Saturday, January 1, 2011

China Plans TD-LTE Trial in Six Cities

China Mobile has received permission from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) to launch trials of TD-LTE in six cities: Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Xiamen.

China Mobile successfully demonstrated multi-vendor TD-LTE developments at last year's Shanghai World Expo. The company has been actively promoting a synchronized development and convergence of TD-LTE/FDD LTE in international standards organizations. TD-LTE has also gained support from China's government and from the industry ecosystems. Multiple TD-LTE chipsets are now expected to be commercially available in the first half of 2011.

Monday, December 27, 2010

NSN's Acquisition of Motorola's Public Carrier Awaits Chinese Approval

Nokia Siemens Networks expects to complete its acquisition of the majority of Motorola's public carrier wireless network infrastructure assets in the first quarter of 2011. The company had expected, at the time the transaction was originally announced on July 19, 2010, to complete closing activities by the end of 2010 but the transaction has not yet received regulatory approval from the Anti-Monopoly Bureau of the Ministry of Commerce of China, which is continuing its review process. All other necessary regulatory clearances from the U.S., the E.U. and elsewhere have been obtained.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Infonetics: Data Center Equipment Market poised for Growth

Worldwide revenue from data center network equipment, including data center Ethernet switches, application delivery controllers (ADCs), and WAN optimization appliances, grew 2% in 3Q10 over 2Q10 to $1.9 billion, according to newly released report from Infonetics. Growth was led by activity in North America and EMEA.

Infonetics reports that 10G now accounts for 14% of data center switch ports and 10G port penetration is predicted to reach about 50% by 2014, aided by rapidly falling prices.

"A new round of data center upgrades is underway, driven by virtualization, surging amounts of data, the growing need for storage, under-investment in 2009, and renewed life in the financial sector. Even with a relatively flat third quarter and an expected down fourth quarter, the market for data center network equipment is poised to grow 67% in 2010 over 2009 to hit a milestone $7.6 billion worldwide," predicts Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise networks and video at Infonetics Research.

MetroPCS Picks Devicescape for Mobile-to-Wi-Fi Offload

MetroPCS Communications will deploy Devicescape's Easy WiFi in support of its Android-based smartphones. The embedded Devicescape client enables the handsets to transparently offload data traffic to Devicescape's virtual Easy Wi-Fi network, reducing mobile network congestion and helping optimize network efficiencies. No user configuration or interaction is required.

A custom version of Devicescape's Easy WiFi, called "MetroPCS Easy WiFi", is included in MetroPCS' Android smartphones -- starting with the LG Optimus M and Huawei Ascend. The Devicescape technology is used to mitigate costs and reduce congestion through the diversion of data traffic onto the prolific Easy WiFi network.

Devicescape said its Easy WiFi allows data offload at more than 125,000 public hotspots throughout the United States.

Isocore Uses Ixia to Validate Alcatel-Lucent's Service Router

Isocore used Ixia's gear in recent testing of the Alcatel-Lucent 7750 Service Router (SR) acting as a broadband network gateway (BNG) for media-rich residential service delivery. The large-scale test covered subscriber management, IPv6 support, video quality assurance, and terabit forwarding capabilities. Specifically, Isocore
employed Ixia's IxNetwork to emulate and scale stateful subscriber hosts using a variety of residential access technologies, while generating high volumes of wire-rate multi-service IPv4 and IPv6 bi-directional traffic flows. Ixia emulated over 250,000 subscribers with various home residence scenarios. Granular QoS settings and analysis enabled Isocore to validate video assurance capabilities and user quality of experience. Ixia was able to deliver high volumes of media-rich traffic over extended periods of time -- a critical step in ensuring the test set-up represented real-world field deployments.

Sprint Hires Qwest's CFO

Sprint named Joseph J. Euteneuer, as its new chief financial officer (CFO), succeeding Bob Brust, who is retiring. Sprint expects Euteneuer, who currently serves as executive vice president, chief financial officer for Qwest Communications International Inc., to join the company following the completion of the proposed merger between Qwest and CenturyLink Inc. Brust, 67, will remain as CFO until that time.

Before serving as Qwest's CFO, Euteneuer served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of XM Satellite Radio Holdings.

Xilinx Trims December Quarter Guidance Citing Wireless

Xilinx now expects December quarter sales to be down approximately 7% to 9% sequentially, compared with earlier sales guidance of flat to down 4% sequentially. The company said this decreased sales guidance is primarily related to weaker than anticipated sales to a few large communications customers, specifically in the wireless segment.

AboveNet Expands Fiber Network in Seattle

AboveNet has expanded its network in Seattle with new fiber rings that provide short, low latency routes from downtown Seattle to the Sabey Data Center Complex in Tukwila and include connections into the new American Life data center. The company's fiber network in Seattle currently spans 250 route miles stretching from Mukilteo to the north to Tacoma in the south, with routes throughout downtown Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, and around Lake Washington.

FCC Opens on Next Gen 9-1-1

The FCC adopted a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking public comment on Next Generation 911 (NG911), which would update the nation's 9-1-1 emergency calling system with the addition of text, photo, and video capabilities. Already, 70% of 9-1-1 calls come from mobile phones and most of these users are frequent users of SMS and picture messaging. However, most 9-1-1 call centers are not capable of receiving text, photo, video or other incoming data.

Specifically, the FCC is seeking public comment on:

  • The technical feasibility and limitations of text messaging video streaming and photos;

  • Consumer privacy issues, particularly related to the sharing of personal electronic medical data;

  • Development of technical and policy standards;

  • Consumer education and awareness; and

  • Inter-governmental coordination and coordination within the public safety community.

Carrier-Class Availability -- "No Upside to Downtime"

Presented by John Fryer, President, Service Availability Forum

FCC's New Internet Rules: Transparency, No Blocking, Reasonable Net Management

The FCC approved new rules governing the management of Internet traffic, with the three Democrats on the commission voting in favor of the measure and the two Republicans voting against.

Key elements of the new Order include:

Rule 1: Transparency -- A person engaged in the provision of broadband Internet access service shall publicly disclose accurate information regarding the network management practices, performance, and commercial terms of its broadband Internet access services sufficient for consumers to make informed choices regarding use of such services and for content, application, service, and device providers to develop, market, and maintain Internet offerings.

Rule 2: No Blocking -- A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices, subject to reasonable network management. A person engaged in the provision of mobile broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block consumers from accessing lawful websites, subject to reasonable network management; nor shall such person block applications that compete with the provider's voice or video telephony services, subject to reasonable network

Rule 3: No Unreasonable Discrimination -- A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic over a consumer's broadband Internet access service. Reasonable network management shall not constitute unreasonable discrimination.

Significantly, "reasonable network management" is defined as follows: "A network management practice is reasonable if it is appropriate and tailored to achieving a legitimate network management purpose, taking into account the particular network architecture and technology of the broadband Internet access service. Legitimate network management purposes include: ensuring network security and integrity, including by addressing traffic that is harmful to the network; addressing traffic that is unwanted by users (including by premise operators), such as by providing services or capabilities consistent with a user's choices regarding parental controls or security capabilities; and by reducing or mitigating the effects of congestion on the network."

The FCC rules go on to say that "Pay for Priority" delivery of packets on wireline broadband networks is likely to run afoul of the "no unreasonable discrimination" clause because it would represent a significant departure from current practices.

Mobile broadband is largely exempt from the "reasonable network management" clause, as the document acknowledges that this market is an earlier-stage platform than fixed broadband, and it is rapidly evolving.

The FCC also acknowledges that "specialized services," such as some broadband providers' existing facilities-based VoIP and IP-video offerings, differ from broadband Internet access service. The FCC said it will continue to monitor whether these specialized services are bypassing open Internet protections, supplanting the open Internet, and enabling anticompetitive conduct.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said "today a strengthened FCC is adopting rules to ensure that the Internet remains a powerful platform for innovation and job creation; to empower consumers and entrepreneurs; and protect free expression. These rules will increase certainty in the marketplace; spur investment both at the edge and in the core of our broadband networks, and contribute to a 21st century job-creation engine in the United States."

Speaking on behalf of the opposition, FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell said his dissent to the measures is based on four primary concerns: "1) Nothing is broken in the Internet access market that needs
fixing; 2) The FCC does not have the legal authority to issue these rules; 3) The proposed rules are likely to cause irreparable harm; and 4) Existing law and Internet governance structures provide ample consumer protection in the event a systemic market failure occurs."

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.