Sunday, December 19, 2010

France's SFR Picks NSN for 3G Upgrade

SFR has chosen Nokia Siemens Networks to build extra capacity in its existing 3G network. NSN will supply its LTE-ready Flexi Multiradio Base Station to support enhanced High Speed Packet Access (HSPA+) services. The contract also covers a range of software, network planning and optimization services. The companies have already hosted a live demonstration of Dual-cell HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) technology, which provides up to 42 Mbps download speeds, twice the current peak rate. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Isocore Validates Alcatel-Lucent's Service Router

Isocore has tested and verified the Alcatel-Lucent 7750 Service Router (SR) as a Broadband Network Gateway (BNG) for Residential Service Delivery. Isocore tested the Alcatel-Lucent 7750 SR BNG functionality, including subscriber management, IPv6, video quality assurance and terabit forwarding capabilities necessary to deliver rich streaming video content that consumers demand from their broadband service providers.

Specifically, the test bed mirrored a deployable network comprised of two Alcatel-Lucent 7750 SRs configured as BNGs and another two 7750 SRs configured as a core node (supporting LTS) and an Internet gateway node (supporting LNS) respectively. This configuration is typical of a service provider offering both retail and wholesale Internet services. Using external linkIxia test solutions, 250,000 stateful subscriber hosts were emulated using a mixture of PPPoE and DHCP-based subscriber management protocols. A mixture of routed and bridged residential gateways were configured along with a mixture of IPv4 (with CG-NAT), IPv6 and dual stack (IPv4 and IPv6) address models. This configuration is typical of a service provider supporting customers at various stages of legacy and next generation technologies.

Hierarchical quality of service was used for all subscribers to simulate tiered service offerings. Application assurance was enabled on one BNG by emulating 125,000 IPTV STBs that collectively generated 4,000 requests per second for FCC and RET. The other BNG was configured with PerfectStream delivering 700 video channels by monitoring and selecting video packets between active and backup flows. Forced control plane switch-overs were trigger throughout the tests to demonstrate high availability and non-stop service delivery. This configuration is typical of a service provider delivering the highest quality of experience.

Nasuni Secures $15 Million for Cloud Storage Gateway

Nasuni, a start-up based in Natick, Mass., raised $15 million in Series B funding for its cloud gateway.

Nasuni offer a file server that leverages the unlimited capacity and reliability of the cloud. It runs as a virtual appliance and delivers primary storage, which Nasuni says is indistinguishable from local storage, from an array of leading cloud storage providers.

The new funding was led by Flybridge Capital Partners with participation from existing investors, North Bridge Venture Partners and Sigma Partners, who led the company's Series A funding in March 2009. Investment in Nasuni now totals $23 million for the two rounds.
  • Nasuni is headed by Andres Rodriguez, who previously was founder and CTO of Archivas, which developed an enterprise-class cloud storage system and was acquired by Hitachi Data Systems in 2006. Earlier, he was CTO of the New York Times, where he drove digital strategy at NYTimes and

Verizon Pumps up FiOS for Business to 150/35 Mbps

Verizon will begin offering FiOS Internet for Business with speeds up to 150/35 Mbps to small businesses in 12 states and the District of Columbia. Verizon's newest Internet speed provides three times the downstream speed previously available to FiOS customers.

FiOS Internet 150/35 Mbps service is available in parts of California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia. The service is also available to some medium-sized businesses.

FCC Meeting Starts at 10:30 ET

The FCC's open meeting to vote on new rules for managing Internet traffic will start on Tuesday, December 21st at 10:30 am ET. The FCC is offer a live webcast of the meeting.

HP Launches Cisco Trade-in Promotion

HP kicked off a trade-in promotion for qualifying U.S. customers interested in swapping Cisco networking equipment for new HP gear. HP estimates that nearly $9 billion in Cisco networking equipment is approaching end of life or service in 2011. Its new program enables clients to replace the Cisco gear with standards-based HP solutions. Various discounts and incentives are offered for Cisco Catalyst 2960/S Series, 3560/E Series/X Series, 3750/E Series/X Series, 4500 E Series, 4900 Series or 6500 Series, as well as Cisco Nexus 5000 Series or 7000 Series switches.

Earthlink to Acquire ONE Communications

EarthLink agreed to acquire One Communications for $370 million.

One Comm, which is based in Burlington, Massachusetts, is a privately held, multi-regional integrated telecommunications solutions provider. The company serves approximately 113,000 small and mid-sized business customers in 17 states across the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Upper Midwest, including the major metropolitan markets of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and the District of Columbia.

One Comm's network consists of 629 collocations, connected by more than 11,700 route miles of fiber.

EarthLink plans to integrate One Comm into its newly established EarthLink Business division, which currently consists of products and capabilities of its former New Edge Network, Deltacom and EarthLink Business Solutions divisions.

EarthLink said its recent mergers, including this one, will give it nationwide IP network with underlying fiber assets in 30 of the top 50 MSAs in the country. The combined fiber network will span approximately 28,000 route miles across 27 states, with 923 collocations, 55 IP and circuit-based switches and 68 metro fiber rings. With the addition of One Comm, EarthLink will have nearly 3,500 employees nationwide.
  • Earlier this month, EarthLink completed its previously announced acquisition of ITC^DeltaCom, a leading provider of integrated communications services to customers in the southeastern United States, in a transaction valued at approximately $524 million. Under the deal, ITC^DeltaCom (Deltacom) stockholders received $3.00 in cash per each share of Deltacom common stock in the transaction.

    EarthLink will now begin integrating its New Edge Networks and EarthLink Business Services operations with Deltacom and will market the combined services under the 'EarthLink Business' brand name.

    Deltacom operates a 16,400 mile fiber optic infrastructure in the Southeast – over 75% of which is owned or controlled under Indefeasible Right of Use (IRU) agreements – including a 14-state SONET backbone with 35 metro fiber rings, 294 collocations and 20 voice and data switches. Deltacom currently serves over 32,000 small and mid-size businesses, multi-location enterprises, government agencies and wholesale customers in the southeast with services including MPLS and IP.

Australia's NBN Co. Releases its Action Plan

Australia's NBN Co. published detailed financial and operational plans, including its capital expenditure budgets, network architecture, a 30-year forecast of take-up rates, and financing as well return-on-investment assessments for the government's A$27.5 billion in the national broadband project.

The announcement and press conference also included a discussion on the open network architecture, Telstra's role and cost recovery in decommissioning the existing copper infrastructure, and pricing, which will include a basic service offering with a download speed of 12/1 Mbps at a uniform national wholesale access price of $24 a month.

NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley said the goal is to provide broadband throughout metropolitan, regional and rural Australia in a cost-effective way. "Building a genuinely national broadband network in a country such as Australia requires a central role for the Government, as no commercial enterprise would be likely to fund such an endeavour," Quigley said.

Significantly, NBN Co expects to generate an Internal Rate of Return of 7% per annum - in excess of the Government's cost of funds, or long-term bond rate. Commercial negotiations remain on-going with Telstra and other parties, but NBN Co. expects these to wrap up shortly and full construction work to underway next year.

Some key elements highlighted in the NBN Co. plan:

  • NBN Co. will connect 93% of homes, schools and workplaces with optical fibre delivering broadband services with speeds of up to 1 Gbps.

  • 4% of premises will be covered with a fixed wireless service capable of delivering 12 Mbps downlinks at the edges of each cell. It will be fixed wireless with no roaming.

  • The 3% of rural Australian location outside of the fibre or wireless footprint will be covered by satellite with speeds up to 12 Mbps. Two Ka-band satellites will be launched by 2015. Arrangements are being made for an interim service.

  • There will be a progressive disconnection of copper and HFC services and decommissioning and deactivation of Telstra's copper and HFC networks as the FTTP network is rolled out. NBN Co. will make use of existing Telstra exchange space as well as its existing ducts and conduits.

  • The NBN will cover 13 million premises by 2021 and involve installing 181,000km of Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Network (GPON) and 57,000km of transit fibre.

  • Over the 9.5 year construction period, NBN Co plans to build or lease 120 Points of Interconnect and 980 Fibre Serving Areas.

  • NBN Co will also pass all greenfields developments by the end of deployment, representing some 2 million premises in the fibre footprint.

  • Deployment of the NBN is planned to take place concurrently across multiple Rollout Regions. NBN Co is already constructing five First Release Sites on the mainland, and has announced the locations of 19 further Second Release Sites.

  • By the end of 2020, the network rollout will be complete.

  • Total revenue to NBN Co for its wholesale service to the end of the construction period is forecast to be $20.8 billion.

  • Annual revenue is forecast at $5.8 billion in FY2021 and $7.6 billion in FY2025.

  • Total capital expenditure to the end of the construction period is forecast at $35.9 billion.

  • Total operational expenditure net of revenue over the same period is $1.0 billion.

  • The Australian federal government will initially contribute equity of $27.5 billion. This will be paid back with a return over the life of the project. Other funding will come from operational earnings and private debt.

  • From FY2015 NBN Co will begin raising funds through capital markets.

  • Together the equity and debt funding add to a total funding requirement of $40.9 billion including funding costs.

A 40-minute webcast with Mike Quigley is on the NBNCo website.

AT&T to Acquire Qualcomm's 700 MHz FLO Spectrum

AT&T agreed to acquire Qualcomm's lower 700 MHz D and E Block (Channel 55 and 56) unpaired U.S. spectrum licenses for $1.925 billion. The sale follows Qualcomm's previously announced plan to restructure its FLO TV business. Qualcomm will now shut down its FLO TV business and network in March 2011.

The spectrum covers more than 300 million people total nationwide: 12 MHz of Lower 700 MHz D and E block spectrum covers more than 70 million people in five of the top 15 U.S. metropolitan areas — New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Francisco; 6 MHz of Lower 700 MHz D block spectrum covers more than 230 million people across the rest of the U.S.

The deal requires FCC and Department of Justice approval, but the companies anticipate closing the sale during the second half of calendar 2011.

Qualcomm confirmed that it is integrating carrier aggregation technology into its chipset roadmap to enable supplemental downlink and intends to market the technology globally. The carrier aggregation technology, which is specified in 3GPP Release 10, enables unpaired spectrum bands to be used in conjunction with existing paired bands to obtain substantial improvements in downlink performance.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

AOptix Wins $11.4 Million DARPA Grant for Free Space Optical

AOptix Technologies has been awarded a $11.4 million contract to deliver wireless air and ground optical terminals for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Free Space Optical Experimental Network Experiment (FOENEX) program.

Under subcontract to Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (JHU/APL), AOptix will build and flight-validate their Free Space Optical (FSO) terminals at up to 10Gbps and 200 kilometers on various aircraft as well as static ground stations.

"This program will build on years of successful flight test programs where AOptix has delivered a number of firsts in bandwidth and distance for FSO communications" says Dean Senner, president and CEO of AOptix. "We're working very hard with our partners to deploy ultra-high bandwidth solutions, bringing on-line, real-time, sensor data communications capabilities to enable warfighter operations."

The AOptix wireless bi-directional optical terminals utilize a unique patented, single aperture, adaptive optics method of beam control to compensate for real-time atmospheric turbulence while maintaining lock between two terminals. Video, voice and data is transmitted through the air over an infrared, low power, FSO laser link.

Motorola Spin-Offs Make Market Debut

The two divisions of Motorola made their market debuts on Friday with the launch of "when issued" shares. The official split occurs on January 4.

Motorola Mobility Holdings (MMI) is the company's smartphone division. It closed at $25 on Friday.

Motorola Solutions Inc. (MSI) is the company's division that includes public safety radios, handheld scanners and telecom gear. It closed at $40.51.

Both companies will continue to use the Motorola brand.http://

A1 Telekom Austria Pushes DSL Capacity with ALU

A1 Telekom Austria is now reaching 40% of all Austrian households and commercial businesses through its nationwide GigaNet, which uses FTTC (Fiber-to-the-curb) and FTTEx (Fiber-to-the-exchange, also known as VDSL@CO), to deliver high-speed Internet service.

The carrier now its pushing the envelope of its copper access network by demonstrating next-gen technologies such as VDSL Vectoring and the so-called "Phantom Mode". In the course of the demo, using a combination of Bonding, Vectoring and Phantom Mode, downstream speeds up to 390 Mbps at 400 meters were shown.

"Complementing our fiber infrastructure and continuously increasing wireless capacities, we want to get the most out of our existing copper-based network," said Dr. Hannes Ametsreiter, General Manager A1 Telekom Austria. "This is how we can provide our customers with the highest bandwidths in the shortest timeframe, especially in regions where fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) build-outs have not yet been planned."

Alcatel-Lucent said DSL vectoring is capable of delivering a significant increase in downstream capacity by preventing interference or "crosstalk" between copper lines.

"Telecom service providers have invested a great deal in their copper infrastructure and for economic and environmental reasons it makes sense to continue to use this valuable asset as long as possible - even as they move traffic to fiber," said Harald Himmer, Head of Alcatel-Lucent's business in Austria. "As a leader in fixed broadband we are able to dramatically increase bandwidth rates with our innovative technologies. With commercial availability, we can provide even more customers with higher bandwidth along with world-class quality services."

Swisscom Partners with IWB on Open Access FTTH in Basel

Swisscom and IWB (Industrielle Werke Basel), the local utilities operator, announced a plan to bring FTTH connections to all households and businesses in Basel by the end of 2017. Under the joint venture, Swisscom will assume 60% and IWB 40% of a total investment of around CHF 170 million. The fibre-optic cables that have already been installed by Swisscom and IWB in Basel will be included in the joint venture between the two companies. This will substantially reduce the amount of construction work required in Basel. IWB has assumed responsibility for overall coordination of construction and operation.

The rollout will take an open architecture approach. Four fibres will reach every premise. IWB's Layer 1 offer of dark optical fibres guarantees that other providers have non-discriminatory access to the fibre-optic network in Basel.

Basel will be one of the very first cities in Switzerland to enjoy city-wide FTTH.

Swisscom has already installed cables in large parts of the city of Basel. These are being incorporated in their entirety into the joint venture. IWB started a joint pilot project and handled much of the preliminary work. IWB will soon be launching a product range for service providers who want to offer products and services on the fibre optic network in Basel.

ST Intros New Set-top-box Decoder/Demodulators

STMicroelectronics unveiled two new System-on-Chip ICs that allow standard-definition (SD) or high-definition (HD) equipment to share the same printed-circuit-board (PCB) design. The new devices are based on the widely used STi7167 and STi5267, respectively. Targeting free-to-air, cable and terrestrial STBs, as well as hybrid products with added support for IPTV, each device combines the STB decoder with DVB-C cable and DVB-T terrestrial demodulators, plus optional Ethernet support. Each device supports targeted functions for cost-optimized STBs with built-in security features. Both are implemented in 55nm process technology.

AT&T Boosts Dividend by 2.4%

AT&T announced a 2.4 percent increase in the company's quarterly dividend and a 300 million share repurchase authorization, representing about 5 percent of outstanding shares. The quarterly dividend rate has risen from $0.42 to $0.43 a share on a quarterly basis, which would be an increase from $1.68 to $1.72 a share on an annualized basis.

Mitsubishi Electric to Launch WCDMA Power Amplifiers

Mitsubishi Electric will launch five new gallium arsenic (GaAs) power amplifiers for WCDMA devices. Mitsubishi Electric said it has achieved an industry-leading power added efficiency (PAE) of 45 percent, enabling lower power consumption and heat emission in data terminals. The design incorporates GaAs bipolar field effect transistor (BiFET) technology for high PAE and high level of integration.

Nortel Completes Sale of Ottawa Campus

Nortel Networks completed the sale of its Ottawa Carling Campus to Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) for a cash purchase price of CDN$208 million. Nortel will continue to occupy parts of the campus while continuing work on its global restructuring, including work under the transition services agreements with the various buyers of Nortel's sold businesses.

The purchaser has exercised early termination rights to a lease held by Ciena, the purchaser of Nortel's Optical Networking and Carrier Ethernet (MEN) business. This shortens the lease from 10 years to 5 years. This resulted, pursuant to a lease with Ciena, in the payment to Ciena of US$33.5 million from funds escrowed in connection with the closing of the MEN sale.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Broadband Forum: Fiber Work Advances as Copper "Still in the Game"

An interview with Tom Starr, President and Chairman, Broadband Forum

Bell Labs Partners with Belgium's IBBT

Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs and Belgian research institute IBBT are establishing a joint research lab to focus on video communications. The joint lab aims to efficiently integrate fundamental and applied research in order to unlock the value of these new dimensions of video communications within the marketplace. Specifically, the joint lab expects to introduce capabilities imbued with "intelligence" to analyze the content of a video transmission as well as understand user preferences in order to create a viewer experience that is more relevant, more valuable, and more compelling. A complementary initiative will introduce a capability for high-speed access networks to accommodate this information when deciding the optimal means for delivering that content, adapting as conditions and requirements change.

"Engaging in collaborative programs with other research institutions is essential to the Bell Labs research model and an area in which we have extensive experience," said Danny Goderis, vice-president, Bell Labs. "We look forward to employing our competencies in forming such collaborations in order to make the joint research lab with IBBT a true success story."

euNetworks Builds Low-Latency London to Stockholm Route

euNetworks launched a new ultra low latency route from London to Stockholm dedicated to the financial services community. euNetworks has reduced the previous leading latency on the London to Stockholm route by 12%. This new straight point-to-point route offers a round trip time of 22.4 milliseconds.

The company noted high demand for new low-latency routes introduced in Q3 linking Slough to London and London to Frankfurt.