Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Zscaler Names Former Motorola Executive as CTO

Zscaler, a provider of cloud security solutions based in Sunnyvale, California, named Dr. Amit Sinha as Chief Technology Officer. In this role, he spearheads research and development initiatives of Zscaler's emerging technologies. Sinha served as Fellow and Chief Technologist of Motorola's Enterprise Networking and Communication business. He was the CTO of AirDefense, which was acquired by Motorola in 2008. Prior to AirDefense, he served as Co-Founder and Chief Technologist at Engim, a Wi-Fi semiconductor company.

Broadband Line Growth Strongest in Developing Economies

The number of fixed, broadband line subscriptions topped 508 million as of the end of Q3 2010, representing a growth of 6.7% over a year earlier, according to new figures prepared by Point Topic and announced today by the Broadband Forum. Over 14.3 million lines were added in the third quarter alone, representing 2.88% growth over the previous quarter. China and India both reported their second best ever quarters in Q3 for broadband line additions. Vigorous growth was generally concentrated in developing broadband markets, with India, Russia, Vietnam, Ukraine and the Philippines all growing by more than 20% in the last 12 months.

In Asia, more and more of the developing markets are starting to report significant growth in broadband, with China, India, the Philippines, Vietnam and even continued growth in South Korea all pointing to increased dominance in the global market.

In Europe the biggest gains are in Eastern Europe, although the region as a whole has performed better in 2010 than in 2009 on a quarter by quarter basis with most of the big markets showing improvement. With these strong numbers coming from Eastern Europe, there is optimism that 2011 will continue a strong growth trend for the region as a whole.

In the Americas, we see renewed pickup, although it's too early to say if this is the start of a full blown recovery. In Canada especially there is little head room for further growth as household penetration nears 90%. In South America, Brazil and Mexico continuing to offer robust numbers while growth is slow in some of their South and Central American neighbors.

The Middle East and Africa region also shows steady growth rather than spectacular numbers. While growth is strong in Egypt, Turkey and South Africa, there are still impediments to adoption (mostly availability and cost) in much of Africa. Once these are overcome we should see mass adoption become a reality.

The total number of IPTV subscribers worldwide now stands at 41.9 million (41,892,171), representing a growth of 7.3% (2.846 million net adds in the quarter) in the three months to end September and 36.7% growth in the last 12 months (11.256 million net adds). With 46% market share, Europe continues as the leading IPTV region. But China is fast catching up to France, the current world leader in terms of IPTV subscribers, and at current growth rates China will overtake France sometime during 2011. With this growth, Asia is rapidly closing the gap.

ADTRAN Adds Advanced Operational Environment Mgt

ADTRAN introduced an Advanced Operational Environment (AOE) management framework focused on service delivery and overall operational improvement. AOE is designed to integrate with existing OSS systems, reducing the need for disparate management tools and allowing customers to provide and diagnose services using the same familiar billing, provisioning, equipment and facilities systems they use today. ADTRAN said its Advanced Operational Environment is in trials at several carriers.

Sprint 4G to Carry BlackBerry Playbook Tablet

Sprint will promote the new BlackBerry PlayBook tablet along with its 4G network. The BlackBerry 4G PlayBook will be the first BlackBerry PlayBook model to include wide area wireless connectivity. In addition to Wi-Fi support, the BlackBerry 4G PlayBook features a 1 GHz dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM and the new BlackBerry Tablet OS.

CES Keynote: Verizon Sees LTE Accelerate Development Cycle

LTE is turning out to be a real game-changer for the networking industry because it speeds up the development cycle, said Verizon executives Ivan Seidenberg and Lowell McAdam in a keynote at CES in Las Vegas. The Verizon booth has over 60 companies demonstrating products and services that are coming to the company's network this year, and over 6,000 developers are enrolled in its program. Sharing the keynote spotlight were TimeWarner, Motorola Mobility and Google -- each of which sees opportunity for 4G-connected media tablets.

Verizon's CTO, Tony Malone, is very pleased with the recent launch of the LTE network. There have been few bumps in the rollout and the network performance is exceeding expectations, including the targeted 5-12 Mbs downlink rates , 30ms of latency, and edge-of-the cell performance of 1-3 Mbps. Customers are confirming this too. Malone credited Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson, the principal suppliers, for the smooth deployment in the first 38 markets. During 2011, the rollout will expand to dozens of new market, and 36 months from the now, the nation will be covered with LTE.

Building on a partnership announced last year, Verizon Wireless confirmed that the Skype mobile application will be bundled and supported on its LTE devices, enabling video and audio calling to Skype users worldwide. The device integration will include Skype presence indicators inside the smartphone contact list. The Skype mobile applications will "always-on" in the background of these devices.

Verizon Wireless showcased a portfolio of new LTE devices that are coming in the first half of 2011 (some are expected by March):

LG - will be offering the "Revolution" LTE smartphone.

HTC - the company's first LTE-enabled smartphones is called "ThunderBolt". It integrates Skype's video calling over LTE. It also offers a hotspot capability for sharing connecting with 8 other Wi-Fi devices. Qualcomm is a partner on the ThunderBolt.

Electronic Arts -- the company is developing mobile games that are better over the LTE network. An example is RockBand, which lets 4 friends to play in a virtual band from anywhere on the network.

Samsung -- the company is introducing LTE-enabled mobile hotspots, smartphones, and the 7-inch Galaxy tablet.

Novatel Wireless - MiFi mobile hotspots and USB modems

Motorola -- earlier this week, the company joint introduced the Droid Bionic 4G smartphones and the Xoom tablet, which will also be LTE enabled.

In addition, Verizon Wireless said its rural initiative is drawing considerable interest from regional spectrum holders. Two more rural partners were signed this week.

Some Q&A's from the press conference --

On battery life for LTE -- Silicon suppliers have worked hard on power optimization techniques and these are being implemented in LTE devices.

On Roaming and 3G fallback -- LTE devices for the Verizon Wireless network will be able to roam internationally and will be able to fall back on 3GPP networks.

On pricing models for 4G -- No pricing was announced for the LTE devices being shown, and no new LTE services were announced. The company has already announced LTE plans for USB wireless modems.

Are the Verizon LTE devices spectrum locked? Could they be used on other carrier networks?-- The SIM card will dictate access to the network.

Are VZ's regulatory Open Access requirements for the 700MHz being met? Yes.

Will simultaneous voice/data be supported? -- Some devices will support this. The capability could be on some devices but not all.

Will there be data caps on the smartphones? -- Pricing structures will be similar to what is available now. VZ will look at new pricing models. Caps may make sense at some point in time.

Will in-building penetration be better than competitors? -- VZ's 700 MHz spectrum has a 3x or 4x distance propagation advantage over 2.5 GHz mobile services.

Are all of the devices being shown from HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung all based on Android? -- Yes.

On Net Neutrality over LTE -- VZ has been very specific about the openness of the network. VZ thins that for innovation to happen, an unfettered development environment is the best and that the free market system works best.

On Tethering for LTE smartphones -- Some of the LTE devices being shown offer mobile hotspot capability, but the company has no comment on tethering at the moment.

Skype to Acquire Qik for Video Sharing

Skype agreed to acquire Qik, a provider of mobile video software and services, for an undisclosed sum.

Qik's app enables mobile phone users to share live or recorded video clips. The Qik service is available on over 200 mobile phones across the Android, iPhone, Symbian, Blackberry and Windows Mobile platforms, and comes pre-loaded on a wide variety of mobile handsets through partnerships with leading handset manufacturers and carriers.

Qik was founded in 2006 and has 60 employees in Redwood City, California and Moscow, Russia.

Skype said that through the acquisition it can leverage the engineering expertise that is behind Qik's Smart Streaming technology, which optimizes video transmission over wireless networks.

Cavium and ARM to Develop Next Gen Multi-Core SoCs

Cavium Networks' next-generation chips will be powered by ARM's Cortex-A family of processor cores.

Cavium's ECONA processor family has been based on ARM processor technology since its inception, first utilizing the ARM9 and then progressing to the ARM11 as market requirements have evolved. The companies said the transition to ARM's Cortex-A series will maintain and further develop Cavium ECONA processors' power/performance profile. The ARM processors are capable of gigahertz-class performance, while demonstrating low-power leadership. The ECONA family is targeted for applications that includes FTTH home gateway, network attached storage, small and medium business routers, service provider networking, enterprise wireless access points, multi-media tablets, and multi-function printers.

"Multi-core Cortex-A series processors will provide customers with a dramatic increase in performance over SMB networking solutions available today," explained Ian Drew, Chief Marketing Officer at ARM. "ARM pioneered licensable multi-core processor IP in 2005 with the ARM11 Core, and Cavium Networks' adoption of the Cortex-A series further is a strong indication of the success of the scalable, multi-core ARM architecture in the networking space."

Also based on ARM technology is Cavium Networks' family of PureVu video processors, which provide a full HD (1080p60) system-on-a-chip (SoC) solution for interactive and recording video applications.

VZ Delivers LTE for Cisco Cius Business Tablet, Router

Beginning this Spring. Verizon Wireless will offer an LTE version of the Cisco Cius mobile collaboration business tablet, which was unveiled last year. The companies also announced an LTE WAN interface card for the Cisco second-generation Integrated Services Router (ISR G2), which will enable Verizon Wireless' 3G and 4G enterprise and small and medium-sized business customers with branch office connectivity.

The new Cisco 4G LTE Enhanced High-Speed WAN Interface Card (EHWIC) integrates with the Cisco ISR G2. In addition, Verizon Wireless is adding the Dynamic Mobile Network Routing (DMNR) capability to its 4G LTE offers. DMNR is based on Network Mobility (NEMO) support in the Cisco IOS.

"Enterprises have come to know they can rely on Cisco and Verizon Wireless to put the business communication and collaboration tools they need in their hands. Together we're taking the next step with the combination of the Cisco Cius mobile collaboration tablet and Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE network. Collaboration delivered over 4G LTE will be a whole new level of access for enterprise users," said Janet Schijns, vice president, Business Solutions Group at Verizon Wireless.

"The 4G LTE Interface card on the Cisco ISR G2 platform is a game changer for our customers, including Verizon Wireless, who are now able to deploy a rich set of productivity-enhancing solutions across its 4G LTE network," said Praveen Akkiraju, senior vice president and general manager, Service Routing Technology Group, Cisco. "Our collaboration with Verizon Wireless enables enterprises and small and medium-sized businesses to create innovative services such as next-generation video-enabled ATMs and 'Shop-in-a-Box' retail solutions."

Calix Wins Clearwave Project in Illinois

Clearwave Communications (has selected the Calix Unified Access portfolio to bring advanced broadband services to 23 counties in southern Illinois. The Clearwave Broadband Stimulus award consists of over $45 million in overall funds, including a $31.5 million federal grant, an $11.3 million grant from the State of Illinois, a $400 thousand grant from the Counties of Southern Illinois, and $2.1 million in private investment.

The Clearwave project will leverage 10GE, point-to-point gigabit Ethernet (GE), and GPON technology to bring advanced fiber services to more than 232 anchor institutions, and facilitate broadband services to approximately 300,000 households and 55,000 businesses.

RADWIN Offers Point-to-Point Systems for Licensed 3.5 GHz

RADWIN introduced a new range of Point-to-Point and Multiple Point-to-Point systems that operate in the licensed 3.4-3.7 GHz spectrum. RADWIN 2000 3.5 GHz solutions deliver up to 100 Mbps and up to 16 E1s/T1s for long ranges (up to 120 Km/75 miles). The solutions comply with FCC, IC and ETSI regulations.

In addition, RADWIN received FCC approval for its RADWIN 2000 solution to operate in the 3.65 GHz spectrum. The 3.65 GHz spectrum is reserved in North America as a non-exclusive license band for broadband expansion in rural and underserved areas.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Agilent Develops Test Solution for 3GPP LTE-Advanced

Agilent Technologies introduced a 4G system design library for 3GPP Release 10, which promises up to 1 Gbps peak download speeds. Agilent said its new W1918 LTE-Advanced baseband verification library helps system architects, baseband algorithm developers and component manufacturers deliver on this performance by providing RF and MIMO channel modeling fidelity; integration between multi-language PHY modeling and wideband test equipment; and greater RF and baseband design-flow integration.

The W1918 LTE-Advanced library is available as an option to Agilent's SystemVue 2011.03 release. Initial availability of the library is expected in March 2011.

Comcast Pushes TV Streaming On Tablets

Comcast plans to offer in-home streaming for live and On Demand content to Apple iPads as well as Android powered tablets. This will provide access to 3,000 hours of On Demand content, including popular movies and hit TV shows, either in the home or on-the-go, including anywhere there is a wireless connection.

Comcast also announced an expansion of its Xfinity TV online service. Comcast's Xfinity TV app functions as a television guide, remote control and mobile video player. Comcast's currently offers 150,000 online video choices.

Hibernia Secures $250 Million for "Project Express" Cable

Hibernia Atlantic announced a $250 million financing commitment for its Project Express, a new, low-latency fiber optic cable system connecting the greater New York City area with London. The new build is expected to be complete in the summer of 2012. Hibernia Atlantic has already secured its first new customers on the cable.

The new funding came Huawei Marine Networks Co., which is one of the vendors for the project.

"We are proud to be part of this historic cable build across the Atlantic," states Nigel Bayliff, Chief Executive Officer of Huawei Marine Networks. "Now more than ever, low latency routes are in high-demand, as critical financial transactions need high capacity, fast speeds, and a secure and reliable environment to transport from one key financial city or exchange to the next. Hibernia Atlantic's GFN has already proven its value for financial networks and now with the Project Express construction underway, the company will soon offer the fastest route across the Atlantic."

  • In December 2008, Huawei Technologies and Global Marine Systems Limited launched a joint venture company to pursue the market for undersea fiber optic cable systems. Huawei Marine Networks is headquartered in Tianjin with R&D institutes and manufacturing bases in Beijing, Shenzhen, and the United Kingdom.

Verizon 4G LTE: More Than Just Speed

AT&T to Accelerate LTE Rollout

AT&T announced plans to accelerate its LTE rollout with the goal of launching initial service by mid-year 2011 and substantially completing the network by year-end 2013. AT&T's mobile broadband strategy calls for both HSPA+ and LTE.

The company has already completed its deployment of HSPA+ to virtually 100 percent of its mobile broadband network. The network upgrade program calls for faster rollout of Ethernet + fiber backhaul and AT&T now expects that nearly two-thirds of its mobile broadband traffic will be on expanded backhaul by year-end 2011.

In an investor presentation at the Citi Annual Global Entertainment conference, John Stankey, President and CEO, AT&T Business Solutions, said that CAPEX at the company would remain relatively constant as a percentage of revenue (mid-teens) but that the accelerated LTE deployment means that some spending will be brought forward. The "tail-end" of the Uverse build means that more money can now be spend on wireless infrastructure and mobile broadband -- therefore a higher percentage of CAPEX will be devoted to wireless, while the company continues to look for synergies in its wireline and wireless backbones.

Regarding bottlenecks in its existing 3G network, Stankey said supply chain issues in procuring radio access network (RAN) equipment finally appear to be alleviated and that the company is now moving ahead with upgrade projects as quickly as it can. However, some projects, such as downtown San Francisco, are delayed by zoning and permitting requirements, while other sites, such as sports stadiums, are delayed by property owners.

Some key points from AT&T's Developer event at CES in Las Vegas:

  • AT&T is delivering 6 Mbps downlink speeds on its HSPA+ network where Ethernet backhaul is in place.

  • AT&T plans to introduce 20 4G devices by the end of the year, some on an exclusive basis. This will include more than 12 new Android devices in 2011. AT&T expects to offer two 4G smartphones in Q1 2011.

  • AT&T plans to launch two 4G tablets, including its first LTE tablet, by mid summer. Additional LTE tablets are planned for the second half of 2011.

  • AT&T is offering Wi-Fi access at more than 125,000 hot spots.

  • AT&T will launch an HTML-5 development kit. The company has also inked an agreement with Open Feint to offer a social gaming platform that can work across wireless networks. The agreement opens API's for the popular Open Feint social gaming platform for AT&T smartphones.

"AT&T is the only U.S. company committed to both HSPA+ and LTE technologies. Today our customers are benefitting as we repeatedly increase speeds on our mobile broadband network. As we accelerate our LTE network build, our customers will have blazing fast LTE speeds and when they go off LTE, they will still have faster mobile broadband speeds with HSPA+ -- something our competitors will not be able to match," stated Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets.

  • AT&T has previously disclosed LTE trials that are underway in Dallas and Baltimore, as well as the selection of Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson as the primary suppliers of radio access equipment for these tests.


Qualcomm to Acquire Atheros for Wi-Fi Expertise

Qualcomm confirmed plans to acquire Atheros Communications for $45 per share in cash, which values the deal at $3.1 billion.

Atheros, which is based in San Jose, California, is a leading supplier of Wi-Fi silicon. Its product line includes wireless LAN client chips, network processors, Ethernet transceivers, Ethernet switching silicon, Powerline SoCs, and Bluetooth devices. The company has approximately 1,700 employess and reported Q3 2010 revenue of $247 million, up 4 percent compared to $238.2 million reported in the second quarter of 2010. Third quarter 2010 revenue increased 58 percent compared to $156.6 million reported in the third quarter of 2009. Atheros' current president and CEO, Dr. Craig H. Barratt, is expected to join Qualcomm as president of Qualcomm Networking & Connectivity.

"It is Qualcomm's strategy to continually integrate additional technologies into mobile devices to make them the primary way that people communicate, compute and access content. This acquisition is a natural extension of that strategy into other types of devices," said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm. "The combination of Qualcomm and Atheros is intended to accelerate this opportunity by utilizing best-in-class products for communications, computing and consumer electronics to broaden existing customer relationships and expand access to new partners and distribution channels."

  • In July 2010, Atheros acquired Opulan Technologies, a privately held Chinese fabless semiconductor company specializing in solutions for passive optical networking (PON) and broadband access aggregation (MUX). Atheros said the acquisition further expands its end-to-end (WAN-to-LAN) architecture consisting of Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Powerline solution

  • In December 2009, Atheros Communications completed its acquisition of Intellon Corporation. With this acquisition, Atheros enhanced its networking technology portfolio to include Intellon's powerline communications (PLC) solutions for home networking, networked entertainment, broadband-over-powerline (BPL) access, Ethernet-over- Coax (EoC) and smart grid management applications.

  • Atheros Communications was founded in 1998 by Teresa H. Meng, a professor at Stanford University, and Dr. John Hennessy, then provost of Stanford. Richard A. Redelfs, formerly general manager of 3Com's Wireless and Home Connectivity Division, joined Atheros as president and CEO in October 1999.

Motorola XOOM Tablet to Offer LTE in Q2

Motorola Mobility preview its 10.1-inch "XOOM tablet for Verizon Wireless, featuring new Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system and a dual core processor with each core running at 1 GHz.

Motorola XOOM supports 1080p HD video and HDMI output to display content on larger HD screens, and plays video and other rich web content seamlessly with Adobe Flash Player. It features a front-facing 2-megapixel camera for video chats over Wi-Fi or 3G/4G LTE, as well as a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera that captures video in 720p HD. It also packs a built-in gyroscope, barometer, e-compass, accelerometer and adaptive lighting for new types of applications.

The Motorola XOOM device will launch as a 3G/Wi-Fi-enabled device in Q1 2011 with an upgrade to 4G LTE in Q2. Starting in Q2 2011 the Motorola XOOM will be a 4G LTE/Wi-Fi- enabled device.

Motorola Mobility also unveiled the DROID BIONIC, an Android smartphone packing a dual core processor, 512 MB RAM and LTE connectivity. Other key features include 4.3-inch HD quality screen, HDMI connectivity, a rear-facing 8-megapixel camera and corporate email capabilities.

Tekelec's CEO Resigns, Financial Guidance Updated

Frank Plastina has stepped down as president and CEO of Tekelec. Krish Prabhu, a member of the Board of Directors and a 25-year industry veteran, has been appointed interim CEO.

The company also updated its 2010 Full Year Guidance. The company now expects orders for 2010 to be between $385 million and $395 million, with fourth quarter orders in the range of $175 million to $185 million, the second-highest in Tekelec's history. However, the company said revenue for a number portability project in India valued at more than $10 million would move to 2011. Accordingly, full year revenues for 2010 will be in the range between $415 million and $425 million and non-GAAP gross margins will be in the mid sixty percent range.

"In his five years at Tekelec, Frank led the successful transformation of the company into a global leader and innovator in next generation network intelligence, highlighted by record revenues and earnings during his tenure," said Mark Floyd, Chairman of the Board. "Frank has positioned Tekelec for the future, both in terms of product evolution and revenue growth, and we wish him great success in his next endeavor."

OnStar to Ride Verizon Wireless LTE

General Motors' OnStar vehicle information service may soon be delivering advanced capabilities over Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE Mobile Broadband network. The companies are showcasing a prototype application at CES on a Buick LaCrosse research vehicle.

Among the innovative services made possible by combining the power of OnStar with the speed of 4G:

  • Vehicle monitoring -- Cameras mounted throughout the interior and exterior of the car allow remote viewing of what is happening in and around your parked vehicle through a smartphone or PC.

  • Impact detection -- The research vehicle has the ability to send live video to secure servers in the cloud from each of its six cameras placed around the exterior and interior of the vehicle. This is triggered by events around the car or by an application on a smartphone. When an impact such as a parking lot fender-bender is detected, the vehicle transmits a video clip, helping to identify the offending driver.

  • Home monitoring and control -- Keep an eye on your home by connecting to security cameras in real-time through the 4Home service. Control the thermostat, lights and other home systems from your vehicle -- "preset" scenes allow you to condition your home when you leave, before you return or when you're leaving for an extended period of time.

  • Electronic User's Guide -- Learn how to operate and maintain your vehicle through videos streamed on demand to the dashboard.

  • Video chat -- Make a video call using Skype to connect with family, friends or colleagues.

  • Traffic view -- A voice-operated navigation system goes beyond calculating the best route by displaying live traffic-cam images from TrafficLand to spot congestion before you get stuck in a backup.

Broadcom Samples First 10G EPON Optical Network Unit SoC

Broadcom announced the first 10G Ethernet passive optical network (EPON) optical network unit (ONU) system-on-a-chip (SoC). The BCM55030 is designed for customer premises equipment such as enterprise routers, MDU systems and home gateways. The EPON ONU integrates a 10 Gbps media access controller, 10 Gbps EPON serializers/deserializers and forward error correction, a four-port Gigabit Ethernet switch, traffic management, and on-chip memory for both CPU and packet buffers.

The device complies with the new IEEE 802.3av 10G EPON standard including support for 10G EPON and 1G EPON co-existence on the same fiber. The chip supports both 10G/10G and 10G/1G symmetric modes of operation. The device supports Broadcom's 2.5G Turbo EPON in addition to both standard 1G and 10G modes.

Broadcom said 10G EPON could also play a role in 4G/LTE mobile backhaul transport, as it supports both QoS-assured bandwidth and timing distribution.

Broadcom has already begun sampling the BCM55030 solution to early access customers.