Monday, January 10, 2011

TeliaSonera Picks Ericsson for Upgrade in Norway

TeliaSonera has selected Ericsson as the supplier of GSM/EDGE and WCDMA/HSPA for its network upgrade in Norway.

Under a 3-year contract, Ericsson will help modernize and expand the northern part of TeliaSonera's Norwegian network and roll-out 4G/LTE in the same region. Ericsson will, as part of the modernization process, replace the existing 2G and 3G radio base stations with its multi-standard RBS 6000. The contract also includes Ericsson's microwave technology MINI-LINK. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The contract expands Ericsson's engagement with TeliaSonera in Norway, which until now has been a customer within 4G/LTE.

Google Chrome Adds Support for WebM and Theodora, Drop H.264

Google announced changes to Chrome's HTML5

Level 3 Plans $300 Million Notes Offering

Level 3 Communications plans to offer $300 million aggregate principal amount of senior notes (the "Senior Notes") that will mature in 2019 and will bear interest at a fixed rate in a proposed private offering to "qualified institutional buyers", as defined in Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), and non-U.S. persons outside the United States under Regulation S under the Securities Act. The Senior Notes will not be guaranteed by any of the Company's subsidiaries. A portion of the net proceeds from the offering are expected to be used to redeem the Company's outstanding 5.25% Convertible Senior Notes due 2011.

Level 3 also confirmed its previously issued expectation that for the fourth quarter 2010 and continues to expect Core Network Services revenue and Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA to increase in the fourth quarter compared to the company's results in the third quarter 2010. The company also expects to be free cash flow positive for the fourth quarter 2010.

Aruba Networks Names Ben Gibson as CMO

Aruba Networks named Ben Gibson
to the position of Chief Marketing Officer, reporting to Hitesh Sheth, Aruba's Chief Operating Officer. Gibson most recently served as vice president of data center and virtualization marketing at Cisco. Prior to that, Gibson headed Cisco's enterprise mobility solutions marketing organization. Gibson also served as vice president of marketing at both Meru Networks and Proxim Corporation prior to joining Cisco as head of marketing for the Enterprise Mobility Solutions Marketing business in 2005. He previously held a variety of executive positions at companies including Atrica, 3COM and Adaptec.

TELUS Deploys GENBAND Converged Application Server

TELUS will deploy GENBAND's A2 Converged Application Server across its Canadian network to provide business customers with the next-generation of voice, unified communications (UC) and collaboration services. These could include UC services, PC-based soft client and call control capability, customized web portal applications, integrated multimedia collaboration tools, and fixed mobile convergence features. Financial terms were not disclosed. TELUS currently utilizes GENBAND's C20 Converged Softswitch across its network.

MoSys Ships its Bandwidth Engine IC for

MoSys has begun shipping its first "Bandwidth Engine" integrated circuit (IC) devices, which integrate MoSys' 1T-SRAM high-density embedded memory with its 10.3 Gbps SerDes interface (I/O) technology and an arithmetic logic unit (ALU).
MoSys said its Bandwidth Engine enables up to four times the throughput, two to four times the density, approximately 40 percent lower system power and a system cost savings of up to 50 percent, compared with today's available alternative system memory solutions.

"In February 2010, we announced our intent to bring to market a revolutionary new networking memory chip architected for use in 40Gbps/100Gbps Gigabit Ethernet routers. In July 2010, we announced the tape-out of Bandwidth Engine, and today I am pleased to announce that we met our goal of sampling by year end 2010," said Len Perham, President and CEO of MoSys. "This key achievement is a testament to the magnificent execution of our team. Customer and partner interest in Bandwidth Engine continues to be remarkably strong, and we are very excited about the substantial opportunity for the Bandwidth Engine family of ICs to provide a strong foundation for long-term growth and value creation at MoSys."

ZTE Claims 235 LTE Essential Patents

ZTE now holds 235 essential patents for LTE standards, representing a 7% share of the total LTE essential patents declared on the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) online database of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, as of 30th November 2010.

As of the end of 2010, ZTE had submitted more than 6800 proposals to 3GPP, of which more than 3900 proposals involved LTE/SAE technologies, and had made more than 2900 LTE-related patent applications.

Ericsson: Mobile Broadband Subscriptions to Double in 2011

Ericsson is forecasting spectacular growth in mobile broadband subscription worldwide this year. During 2010, the number of mobile broadband subscribers topped the 500 million mark. The company expects this figure will double before 2011 ends. The greatest number of subscriptions, around 400 million, is expected to be concentrated in the Asia Pacific region, followed by North America and Western Europe with more than 200 million subscriptions each. By 2015, Ericsson believes mobile broadband subscriptions will top 3.8 billion.

Ericsson notes that it has now signed commercial LTE (core and/or access) contracts with 11 operators worldwide.

Extreme Networks Demos Data Center Bridging for iSCSI-Based Storage

Extreme Networks has added support for Data Center Bridging (DCB) protocols in multi-vendor environments into existing BlackDiamond and Summit switching products.

The company recently participated in the Enterprise iSCSI Interoperability Test Event at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL), which demonstrated the continued power of Ethernet and recent extensions to the standard, such as Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE), to support high performance storage. Extreme Networks was one of many networking and storage vendors to participate and demonstrate the power of open data center architectures for converged data and storage networks. IEEE standards, including CEE and Data Center Bridging (DCBX), enable the lossless transport of Ethernet-based storage traffic and deliver the reliability and lossless characteristics required for demanding SAN applications.

CipherOptics Raises $21 Million for Scalable Network Encryption

CipherOptics, a start-up based in Raleigh, North Carolina, raised $21 million for its scalable network encryption.

CipherOptics offers policy and key management solutions along with wire-speed encryption appliances for securing networks without changing the underlying infrastructure or application performance.

The new funding round was led by existing investor Adams Capital Management and included new investors Blue Heron Capital, Intuitive Venture Partners, Next Stage Capital, Kestrel Asset Management and other individuals joining Origin Partners and Axiom Venture Partners as investors.

Verizon Wireless Begins Selling iPhone 4 on Feb 10

Verizon Wireless made its long-anticipated announcement to begin selling Apple's iPhone 4 on February 10. Apple will supply the CDMA version of the iPhone 4 under a multiyear, non-exclusive agreement. Pricing is set at $199.99 for the 16GB model and $299.99 for the 32GB model with a new two year customer agreement.

Due to CDMA characteristics, users will not be able to use voice and data connections simultaneously.

The iPhone 4 on Verizon Wireless will also include new Personal Hotspot capabilities allowing customers to use iPhone 4 to connect up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices.

Data packages and pricing will be announced at a later date. The companies did not comment on future LTE capabilities, although Apple said using first generation LTE silicon would have required unacceptable design changes.

Tata Communications to Acquire BitGravity CDN

Tata Communications agreed to acquire BitGravity, a start-up based in Burlingame, California that operates a content delivery network (CDN). Financial terms were not disclosed.

BitGravity's network and products accelerate the delivery of media assets to end-users and enables scalable, real-time video communications over the Internet. The company operates nodes in over 25 locations around the globe.

"Tata Communications bet on BitGravity's vision and people to provide innovative video services. We are ecstatic that this will be a positive outcome for all the stakeholders; we are equally excited about what this means for BitGravity and its products going forward," said Perry Wu, CEO and co-founder of BitGravity. "As a combined entity, we can propel our position in the market, and the opportunity to accelerate our vision on a significantly larger scale was one we couldn't pass up." In 2008, Tata Communications entered into a strategic alliance with BitGravity that included the licensing BitGravity’s CDN technology and the federation of BitGravity’s and Tata Communications’ delivery networks. The company also made a strategic investment of $11.5mn in BitGravity.

BitGravity was founded in mid-2006. The company is headed by Perry Wu, who previously was involved in the creation of Xilinx, Mpath, eWorld, Sitesmith, Alibris, and more recently Cloudshield, Enkata, Persist, and WireCache. He has been an investment professional at Accel Partners, Bedrock Capital, and most recently as a General Partner at ComVentures.

Qwest Launches Ethernet over MPLS/DWDM (E-Line)

Qwest launched a new "iQ" E-Line service that provides enterprise customers with a low-latency, private line solution suitable for media transport and other mission-critical applications.

Qwest's E-Line service leverages its DWDM and dedicated MPLS network technologies to combine the benefits of intelligent routing with the advantages of full bandwidth utilization. The fully managed service offers bandwidth in increments from 5 Mbps up to 1 Gbps. When combined with multiplexing, the solution allows for hub-and-spoke multi-site connections within or between any of E-Line's 16 markets currently for long-haul and metro applications: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Mo., Los Angeles, New York, Newark, N.J., Philadelphia, Phoenix, Sunnyvale, Calif., Tampa, Fla., and Washington, D.C.

Qwest said its E-line service may be rapidly provisioned. Hibernia Media, which provides managed video transport services, is a lead customer.

"By leveraging the latest technology to reduce our costs, Qwest has rolled out a feature-rich service that drives applications and is simple to integrate with customers' existing networks. It will be hard for other private line technologies to match the high performance and high reliability at E-Line's price point. Customers like Hibernia Media will enjoy lower latency, along with better predictability and control over their applications," stated Eric Bozich, vice president of Qwest National Network Services.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

IBM Tops U.S. Patent List for 2010

IBM received a record 5,896 U.S. patents in 2010, marking the 18th consecutive year it has topped the list of the world's most inventive companies. Top companies on the list include:

1. IBM -- 5,896

2. Samsung -- 4,551

3. Microsoft -- 3,094

4. Canon -- 2,552

5. Panasonic -- 2,482

6. Toshiba -- 2,246

7. Sony -- 2,150

8. Intel -- 1,653

9. LG Electronics -- 1,490

10. HP -- 1,480

SMSC to Acquire Conexant for $284 Million

SMSC, a supplier of Smart Mixed-Signal Connectivity silicon, agreed to acquire Conexant Systems in a deal valued at approximately $284 million.

Conexant develops silicon for imaging, audio, embedded modem, and video surveillance. Conexant, which is headquartered in Newport Beach, California, has approximately 600 employees worldwide, including over 230 in Asia.

The companies said their complementary connectivity product portfolios covers an expansive set of computing, consumer, industrial and automotive applications. The combined company has anticipated annualized pre-tax cost synergies of $8 to $10 million by the end of SMSC's fourth quarter of fiscal 2012.

"In our industry, size and scope provide a significant advantage with customers and suppliers," said Scott Mercer, Conexant's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "SMSC and Conexant share similar core competencies in analog and mixed-signal design, possess complementary product portfolios, and count many customers in common. By joining forces, we get the opportunity to take advantage of economies of scale and drive profitable growth. I am convinced that combining our companies will best serve the interests of Conexant stockholders, customers, and employees moving forward."

Skype Reports Record Traffic -- 27 Million Simultaneous Users

Skype had 27 million simultaneous users on Monday, January 11. This represents a new peak for the service.

Thumb Cellular Joins Verizon Wireless' Rural LTE Program

Michigan-based Thumb Cellular has joined Verizon Wireless' LTE in Rural America program. Under this program, Thumb will deploy and operate a state of the art 4G LTE wireless network which will provide greater telecommunications capabilities and choices for the residents of Michigan's Thumb area.

Under the agreement, Verizon Wireless will lease to Thumb its 700 MHz upper C block wireless spectrum in the Thumb Cellular service areas where Verizon Wireless has not constructed a network. Using the leased spectrum, Thumb will construct and operate a 4G LTE network in three counties in Michigan serving Thumb customers, Verizon Wireless customers and customers of other LTE in Rural America participants. In addition, Thumb customers will have access to Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE network throughout the United States.

Agri-Valley Communications which has a long and rich history of meeting the telecommunications needs of the rural communities it serves. Agri-Valley Communications is a locally- and family-owned business which is parent to Thumb Cellular, Agri-Valley Broadband, Agri-Valley Services and Pigeon Telephone Company, an independent local exchange carrier.
  • Previously announced participants in Verizon Wireless' LTE in Rural America program include Cross Telephone, Bluegrass Cellular and Pioneer Cellular.
  • In October 2010, Nokia Siemens Networks announced that Michigan-based Agri-Valley Communications, a rural internet service provider, had selected it for a regional rural LTE deployment using 700 MHz spectrum. The contract includes core and radio elements as well as network management and related services. Nokia Siemens Networks said it would supply its Flexi Multiradio Base Stations and Evolved Packet Core (EPC) using Flexi NS (Network Server) and Flexi NG (Network Gateway). It will also provide its NetAct network management system to efficiently monitor, manage and optimize the operator's network. Nokia Siemens Networks' Value-Added Reseller (VAR), Avion Systems will manage installation, commissioning and integration of the solution.

Finland's DNA Signs Ericsson for 4G/LTE

Finland's DNA Group has signed a three year contract with Ericsson covering GSM/HSPA/LTE radio access, Evolved Packet Core (EPC), All IP-based mobile backhaul solutions as well as network management solutions. Services to DNA will cover support, network rollout, systems integration as well as consultancy and educational services.

The deal extends an existing partnership between DNA and Ericsson. Financial terms were not disclosed.

NTT West Tests Residential Services with Mu Dynamics

NTT WEST has adopted Mu Dynamics' Test Suite to ensure its residential gateway services, such as broadband connectivity, are properly functioning and secure in real world environments. The carrier's Research and Development Center is using the Mu Test Suite to test devices such as service edge routers and residential gateways for wired services.

The Mu Test Suite can leverage actual traffic from the service provider's environment to create test scenarios and auto-generate thousands of tailored test cases custom-tailored to the unique system under test. These test cases accelerate testing for scale, functionality, interoperability, resilience and security of the NGN service.

The companies said this approach enables NTT WEST to test the security and resiliency of their specific service and to identify and fix issues before deployment, ensuring a successful rollout. The Mu Dynamics approach also accelerates and simplifies this testing process.

"As the largest provider of communication and Internet services in Japan, using innovative technologies to proactively test our services is a critical part of our delivery lifecycle," said Mr.Takagi Director, Research and Development Center at NTT WEST. "The Mu Test Suite is instrumental in helping us ensure the reliability and security of our residential gateway services. This is achieved by using our actual network traffic as the basis for the test case creation."
  • In September 2010, Mu Dynamics disclosed that Chunghwa Telecom Laboratories, the R&D arm of Taiwan's leading service provider, had selected the Mu Test Suite in order to quickly develop and deploy new services, ensure the security of its services and quickly resolve customer issues on the network.

MegaPath Launches Managed Security Services with Fortinet

MegaPath introduced new Security as a Service (SaaS) offerings delivered over its nationwide PCI-certified MPLS network. MegaPath's new Managed Security Services leverages Fortinet's Unified Threat Management (UTM) solutions to deliver robust protection. Customers can select a MegaPath Internet connectivity service and then select the SaaS service to address their specific security requirements, corporate guidelines and compliance needs.

In addition to its Compliance Services, MegaPath's Managed Security Services offers Attack Mitigation with an advanced firewall and intrusion prevention with rogue wireless detection, Web Filtering with content filtering and white/blacklisting, Anti-Malware with anti-virus, anti-crimeware and anti-spam, and Application Security with advanced application control and data leak prevention.

"Security is one of the top concerns within most organizations today, and by adding leading security capabilities to our premises-based offerings, MegaPath can now offer services that protect customers' internal networks and Internet connections," said John Ramsey, Senior Product Manager of Managed Security and Compliance, MegaPath.

  • In September 2010, Speakeasy, Covad Communications and MegaPath merged into a single company, creating a next generation Managed Services Local Exchange Carrier (MSLEC) with more than 85,000 business customers and over 4,500 partners throughout North America. The new company, which is called MegaPath, is privately held by a group of investors, including the primary investor, Platinum Equity. Best Buy is also an investor in the combined business. MegaPath, which operates a nationwide MPLS network, offers hosted and integrated voice services; VPN and MPLS service; business-class broadband from DSL up to 15 Mbps, as well as T1 and bonded T1 and business Ethernet at up to 20 Mbps over copper.