Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Telstra Appoints Two Executives

Telstra announced the appointment of two new executives.

Brendon Riley has been appointed Chief Operations Officer, replacing Michael Rocca. Riley comes to Telstra from IBM, where he served as General Manager, Northeast Europe.

Paul Fegan has been appointed Group Managing Director of a new business unit, Strategy & Corporate Services, which will bring together strategic and key corporate functions from 1 February 2011. Fegan was previously the Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director of St. George Bank Limited.

Verizon Files Appeal of FCC Net Neutrality Order

Verizon Communications is challenging the Federal Communications Commission's Report and Order on rules dealing with the issue of net neutrality. The company has filed an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

"Verizon has long been committed to preserving an open Internet and meeting the needs of our customers. We have worked extensively with all players in the Internet and communications space to shape policies that ensure an open Internet and encourage investment, innovation and collaboration with content providers and others to meet the needs of consumers. Today's filing is the result of a careful review of the FCC's order. We are deeply concerned by the FCC's assertion of broad authority for sweeping new regulation of broadband networks and the Internet itself. We believe this assertion of authority goes well beyond any authority provided by Congress, and creates uncertainty for the communications industry, innovators, investors and consumers."
  • On 21-December-2010, 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.

Amazon to Acquire LOVEFiLM agreed to acquire the remaining shares in LOVEFiLM International,
a European subscription entertainment service offering movies and games rental-by-post as well as streaming films and TV shows instantly over the Internet. LOVEFILM operates in the UK, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Amazon already has a significant minority shareholding in the company.

EU Spent EUR 1.8 Billion for Broadband Projects in 2010

In 2010, the European Commission authorized over EUR 1.8 billion of public funds for broadband development. The public funds are aimed to ensure that all citizens have access to high speed Internet access in the European Union, including in rural or remote areas.

Commission Vice-President in charge of competition policy Joaqu�n Almunia commented: "Smart investments into high and very high speed broadband infrastructures are crucial to create jobs, increase economic performance and to unlock the competitive potential of the EU in the long term. The Commission is committed to help EU countries to accelerate private and public investments in this sector."

Ofcom Seeks Price Cuts from BT Wholesale in Rural Areas

Ofcom, the telecom regulator in the UK, proposed significant reductions in the prices that BT Wholesale can charge ISPs in parts of the country where it is the sole provider of wholesale broadband services -- mainly in rural areas. The proposed price reductions are between 10.75% and 14.75% below inflation.

Ofcom expects this will benefit about 12% of UK households or around 3 million homes and businesses.

Cisco: Cybercriminals Shifting to Mobile Platforms

Cyber criminals have begun shifting their focus away from Windows-based PCs to other operating systems and platforms, including smart phones, tablet computers, and mobile platforms in general, according to the newly released Cisco 2010 Annual Security Report. This shift is due in part to strengthened security in PC operating systems -- especially Windows -- as well as to the rapid proliferation of other connected devices. Cisco said third-party mobile applications in particular are emerging as a serious threat vector.

Some highlights of the Cisco Annual Security Report:

Spam: 2010 marks the first year of declining spam volume in the history of the Internet. Despite this good news, 2010 saw an uptick in spam in developed economies where broadband connections are spreading, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom. In the United Kingdom, for example, spam volume rose almost 99 percent from 2009 to 2010. The good news is that Brazil, China and Turkey — all of which figured high on last year's list of spammed nations — showed significantly lower volumes in 2010. In particular, Turkey's spam volume dropped 87 percent. This reduction is due in part to the high-profile takedowns of botnets like Waledac and Pushdo/Cutwail, attributed largely to researcher Thorsten Holz (see the Cisco Cybercrime Showcase) and ISPs restricting malicious e-mail from broadband networks. In addition, authorities are taking the spam problem more seriously and are looking to take down egregious offenders.

Money Muling: As the cybercriminal economy expands and criminals gain access to even more financial credentials, there is a growing need for money mules — people recruited to set up bank accounts, or even use their own bank accounts, to help scammers "cash out" or launder money. Money muling operations are becoming more elaborate and international in scope, and Cisco security experts anticipate they will be a major focus of cybercriminal investment in 2011.

Trust Exploitation: Most cybercrime exploits hinge not only on technology but also on the all-too-human tendency to misplace trust. The Cisco Annual Security Report lists seven "deadly weaknesses" that cybercriminals exploit through social engineering scams — whether in the form of e-mails, social networking chats or phone calls. The seven weaknesses are sex appeal, greed, vanity, trust, sloth, compassion and urgency.

Cisco Global ARMS Race Index: Cisco's Global Adversary Resource Market Share (ARMS) Race Index was designed to track the overall level of compromised resources worldwide and, over time, to provide a better picture of the online criminal community's rate of success at compromising enterprise and individual users. According to data collected for the 10-point index, the level of resources under adversarial control worldwide at the end of 2010 was down almost a half a point from the December 2009 level of 7.2 reported in the Cisco 2009 Annual Security Report.

The 2010 Cisco Cybercrime Showcase: The second annual Cisco Cybercrime Showcase presents two awards for 2010 — one acknowledging the outstanding contributions of a security professional in the fight against cybercrime (the "Good," Thorsten Holz, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany/LastLine), the other the most threatening malware (the "Evil," Stuxnet).

Cisco Cybercrime Return on Investment (CROI) Matrix: The Cisco CROI Matrix, which made its debut in the Cisco 2009 Annual Security Report, analyzes types of cybercrime that Cisco's security experts predict profit-oriented scammers will channel their resources toward in 2011. Based on performance in 2010, the matrix predicts that the data-theft Trojans such as Zeus, easy-to-deploy Web exploits, and money mules will continue to rise in prevalence in 2011. The "wait and see" moneymakers include mobile malware, with Zeus already being adapted for the mobile platform in the form of SymbOS/Zitmo.Altr ("Zitmo" stands for "Zeus in the Mobile"). Social networking scams, on the other hand, will not be a significant area for cybercriminals to invest resources in 2011, despite ranking in last year's report in the Potentials category. That does not mean that social networking scams are declining; they are simply a small part of a bigger plan — launching Web exploits like the Zeus Trojan.

PandaLabs Details Cyber-Criminal Black Market

Researchers from PandaLabs published an investigative look at the growing online cyber-crime black market, in which stolen bank details along with other types of stolen data are sold in more than 50 dedicated online stores.

PandaLabs tracks how he cyber-crime black market has diversified and now sells a much broader range of hacked confidential information including bank credentials, log-ins, passwords, fake credit cards and more. Access to the market typically can only be gained by personally contacting the hackers who are promoting their information for sale on forums and in chat rooms.

Notably, PandaLabs finds significant competition in cyber-crime, and the rule of supply and demand ensures that prices are competitive, and operators even offer bulk discounts to higher-volume buyers. They will offer free "trial" access to stolen bank or credit card details, as well as money back guarantees and free exchanges.

More information is available in the PandaLabs Blog.

T-Mobile Bets on HSPA+ as it Plans a Turn Around

T-Mobile USA will return to growth and become a leader in mobile data services, said company executives and Deutsche Telekom officials at an investor conference. The company will take a more aggressive marketing stance as it positions its HSPA+ network against LTE and WiMAX. It currently ranks as the fourth largest mobile operator in the U.S. Rene Obermann, Deutsche Telekom's CEO, expects T-Mobile USA will return to growth this year and increase its revenue by $3 billion by 2014.

T-Mobile's HSPA+ network is currently available in 100 major metropolitan areas across the U.S., reaching approximately 200 million people nationwide. It currently supports peak downlink rates of 21 Mbps and an upgrade to 42 Mbps will occur this year. The company enables it claim the "4G" moniker and compete against Verizon's LTE.

One example is the newly-announced, T-Mobile exclusive, Samsung Galaxy S 4G -- its first smartphone capable of delivering theoretical peak download speeds of up to 21 Mbps. The phone is powered by Android 2.2 (Froyo) and features a Super AMOLED touch screen display. T-Mobile calls it the "fastest smartphone running on America's largest 4G network."

Some other notes from the T-Mobile USA investor day:

  • The HSPA+ network will provide a cost-effective and technically-flexible path to LTE. When it is time to upgrade to LTE, T-Mobile USA's deployment will be driven by the need to increase capacity, not because it needs to boost end-user speed or increase coverage. In fact, the believes that peak downlink performance for HSPA+ will keep pace with or even exceed LTE downlink performance.

  • A test in Las Vegas, found its HSPA+ network performed comparably to Verizon's LTE.

  • T-Mobile expects that global deployments of HSPA+ will significantly outpace LTE for the next several years, leading to a stronger ecosystem for the technology.

  • Its aggressive, "4G" advertising campaign will continue.

  • The company will consider selling some of its non-strategic assets, including towers, to generate cash.

  • T-Mobile USA believes it has sufficient spectrum for the next few years. It will look to acquire more spectrum in the long-term, possibly 2014 or 2015, from auctions (700 MHz AWS) or from the secondary market. It might also look for partners.

  • Backhaul is competitive advantage for the company. It also nearly 75% of sites on fiber already and this number will climb to 87% by Q3.

  • Growth in the U.S. market will come mostly from mobile data.

  • T-Mobile's growth strategy calls for "affordable" data services, a focus on both consumers and business, and better customer support.

  • Its first 4G tablet is expected this Spring.

  • No comment on the selling the iPhone, instead it will "go big" with Android.

  • The company currently has 34 million subscribers.

  • T-Mobile USA expects to save $1 billion in operational costs through "process reinvention." This include Zero Waste (moving to eBills, reducing handset return rates), Self-Service Automation, Simplifying products, and Network Efficiencies (transitioning 100% to all-IP, roaming overbuilds).

A full-presentation is on the investor page of Deutsche Telekom's website.

NEC Introduces iPASOLINK 400 for 4G Backhaul

NEC Corporation introduced its iPASOLINK 400 designed for mobile backhaul, including LTE. It features an all-in-one, converged design comprising four universal slots that enable operators to swap in and out different backhaul technologies, such as microwave or packet transport as per their requirements. Carrier Ethernet and TDM technologies enable the aggregation of both data and voice traffic with greater efficiency.

"The NEC iPASOLINK 400 enables operators to adopt an ultra-flexible approach in the migration to an LTE, all-IP network. By combining multiple functions into a converged unit, the NEC iPASOLINK 400 allows operators to take an incremental approach by investing gradually in the transformation of their networks - from today's hybrid TDM and Ethernet backhaul towards the full IP transport required by 4G," said Hiroyasu Ishii General Manager of Global Network Division, NEC Corporation.

NEC launched its PASOLINK business in the early 1980s. PASOLINK has been widely adopted as a microwave communications system between base stations, with shipments of more than 1.5 million units throughout 145 countries. NEC noted that its iPASOLINK 200, the first product in its next generation series, to date has received a total of 23,000 unit orders in 18 countries .

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

ADTRAN Posts Record Sales of $165 Million, up 33% YoY

ADTRAN reported record Q4 2010 sales of $165,329,000 for the quarter, up 33% compared to $124,231,000 for the fourth quarter of 2009. Operating income increased 71% to $44,857,000 for the quarter compared to $26,236,000 for the fourth quarter of 2009. Net income increased 93% to $35,960,000 for the quarter, compared to $18,615,000 for the fourth quarter of 2009. Earnings per share, assuming dilution, increased 93% to $0.56 for the quarter, compared to $0.29 for the fourth quarter of 2009.

ADTRAN Chief Executive Officer Tom Stanton stated, "Our fourth quarter results highlight the demand that has been building in our business as quarterly and yearly sales both achieved new record levels. Most notably in the quarter, total sales of our three growth categories increased 50% over the fourth quarter the prior year. This performance included individual records in each of these categories. Broadband Access saw growth of 75% over the fourth quarter the prior year led by expanding deployments of our Total Access 5000 platform and related services revenue. Our Internetworking category grew 37% over the fourth quarter the prior year as we continued to see growth across all of our distribution channels. Optical Access grew 24% over the fourth quarter the prior year, indicative of the strength we saw across all of our mobility products. We believe increasing customer investments are aligned well with our strategic areas of focus and that we are positioned well for long term growth."

DOCOMO, China Mobile and KT Talk Collaboration

NTT DOCOMO, China Mobile and KT announced a broad-based business tie-up. The three companies will consider opportunities for collaboration, particularly in view of dramatic changes occurring in the mobile market, including the further globalization of corporate activities and the sharply rising popularity of smartphones. Specific areas to be looked at include international roaming, enterprise services, LTE and other network technologies, smartphones and common platforms.

Juniper Appoints VP pf Enterprise Marketing

Juniper Networks named Brad Brooks as vice president of worldwide enterprise marketing and solutions, reporting to Lauren Flaherty, executive vice president and chief marketing officer. Brooks joins Juniper from Microsoft, where he served as corporate vice president for Windows Consumer Marketing and Product Management.

O2 Plans Free Wi-Fi Service Across UK

Telefónica O2 UK unveiled plans for a "market-changing," free, public Wi-Fi network across UK. O2 Wifi will operate a series of premium hotspots managed through partnerships with key venue owners.

O2 said its aims to at least double the number of premium hotspots currently offered by BT Openzone and The Cloud combined by 2013. It will begin rollout immediately by replacing its existing 450 Cloud hotspots in its retail and office estate.

Access to the hotspots will be free to both O2 and non-O2 mobile customers. All hotspots will be premium public hotspots, as opposed to using residential connections with limited bandwidth.

In addition, O2 announced plans to increase investment in its mobile network by 25% in 2011.

"Building networks is a core capability. We have pioneered the explosion of mobile data over the last three years and know better than anyone where people are accessing data. O2 Wifi hotspots will bring high quality public Wi-fi access to the majority of mobile users," said O2's New Business Development Director Tim Sefton. "Only 20% of people who have access to free public Wi-Fi on O2 tariffs actively use it despite the majority of devices being Wi-Fi enabled. We know that Wi-Fi as a technology has great potential and can be a very fast service, however customers are discouraged by barriers which include complexity in activation, uncertainty of where Wi-Fi is free and the variable quality of the current experience.

The announcement comes as BSkyB reportedly is negotiating to acquire The Cloud. This deal would provide Sky's 2.8 million fixed line broadband customers with access to The Cloud's European network of 22,000 hotspots.

ip.access Intros S Class Office Femtocell for 8 Users

ip.access introduced an "S" class 3G femtocell designed for use in smaller offices and shops. The new S class supports up to eight simultaneous users along with some carrier management capabilities. The new S class femtocell is designed for use in smaller offices and shops and can support up to eight simultaneous users.

It is based on the technology used in AT&T's 3G MicroCell femtocell. Unlike residential femtocell units, however, the S class femtocells can be configured for open access, two-way handover with the macro network and real-time alarms, making them ideal for targeted deployment in high traffic or high value locations such as busy retail stores and offices. The first operator trials are underway.

"Home femtocells are fast becoming an integral part of operators' network strategies, but some of the heaviest data usage occurs within offices and public indoor locations. Now, with our S class and E class nano3G products we can provide easy, open access, solutions that both improve the service for end users and ease network congestion for the mobile network operator," said Dr Andy Tiller, SVP of Product Management & Marketing at ip.access.

Canada's WIND Mobile Implements HD Voice

Canada's WIND Mobile, which launched its network just over one year ago, is implementing Wide Band AMR, otherwise known as HD Voice, using Huawei's technology. Specifically, Huawei's core network is customized specifically to support enhanced voice frequency range from 200-3400Hz to 50-7000Hz.

"Our shared commitment to providing the latest technology innovations to our customers made Huawei the clear partner to drive our business forward," said Marius Armeanca, CTO, WIND Mobile. "Huawei was instrumental in helping us create a technology that will do for phones what high-definition did for television. With the customized Wide Band AMR Service, our customers will realize superior voice quality and an improved overall experience."

PMC-Sierra Relocates HQ to Sunnyvale, California

PMC-Sierra has relocated its corporate headquarters from Santa Clara, California to Sunnyvale, California. The new facility provides PMC-Sierra with increased capacity, upgraded lab space, and new amenities for employees.

ARRIS: 16X DOCSIS Bonding Yields 800 Mbps Downlinks

ARRIS and SK Broadband Inc. have bonded 16 downstream channels to deliver data throughput speeds of up to 800 Mbps. The testing occurred in SK Broadband's labs using an ARRIS C4 CMTS with Software Release 7.4 and an SK Broadband 16x4 modem.

"The ability to deliver 800 Mbps will enable cable operators to offer service that is competitive with operators using Fiber to the Premises and Passive Optical Networks," said ARRIS CTO Ken Wright. "By delivering this service over existing Hybrid Fiber Coaxial infrastructure, cable operators will be able to deliver a competitive service offering without making substantial investments in network upgrades."

"This is a very exciting technical milestone to have reached," said ARRIS VP Product Management Todd Kessler. "Data speeds about which we only once dreamed are becoming available to consumers and SK Broadband is leading the way. ARRIS has a long history of technological innovation as well as a commitment to open standards and multi-vendor interoperability, and this is a natural extension of our previous channel bonding deployments and a direct example of our commitment to the fast-developing broadband markets of Asia."

Accedian Offers GPS and SynchE Support for its MetroNID

Accedian Networks announced several key features that enhance the synchronization and clock distribution capabilities of its MetroNID and MetroNODE 10GE demarcation units, including support for new GPS and Synchronous Ethernet options.

MetroNID GPS is designed to assure real-time services with an embedded GPS receiver that provides highly accurate clock synchronization for 1-way measurements of delay and delay variation of Ethernet links. It works with both indoor and outdoor antennas, tracks up to 12 satellites, and raises alarms if the GPS signal is lost.

The Synchronous Ethernet enables the deployment of the MetroNID with Synchronous Ethernet-enabled equipment to distribute synchronization and timing information across the network.

Other updates in Release 5.1 for the MetroNID include enhanced service creation capabilities that enable EVC creation based upon arbitrary lists of a full complement of CE-VLANs, in any combination. For the MetroNODE 10GE, Release 5.1 features a 4-port CE model, RFC 2544 test suite and environmental alarms. Both MetroNODE 10GE and MetroNID also now include RADIUS authentication enhancement and unified firmware.

Juniper Gains U.S. FIPS Security Certification

More than 20 of Juniper Networks' routing, switching, security and access control products have recently completed the rigorous testing and certification procedures pursuant to the U.S. Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) and international Common Criteria standards that are considered prerequisites in many of the world's defense, civilian government and public sector network acquisitions. Newly certified are various members of Juniper Networks J Series Services Routers; M Series Multiservice Edge Routers; T Series Core Routers; MX Series Universal Edge Routers; EX Series Ethernet Switches; SRX Series Services Gateways; the LN Series Mobile Secure Router; and IC Series Unified Access Control (UAC) Appliances.

CipherOptics Changes to Certes Network, Plans Virtual Security Appliance

CipherOptics has changed its name to Certes Networks, launched a re-branding initiative, and moved its corporate headquarters from Raleigh, North Carolina to Pittsburgh, PA.

Certes Networks also outlined its plans for providing a secure LAN extension from the data center to both public and private cloud infrastructures. Specifically, Certes plans to support secure connectivity to the cloud with a virtual appliance that can secure data among virtual machines in the cloud. The solution will use core technology from its CipherEngine encryption product and its low-latency appliance. General release of the solution is planned for the second half of 2011.

Certes said it believes its capability to support secure connectivity, bundled with a solution for secure and transparent migration from the data center to cloud-based Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), will align with broad market adoption of the technology and will help enable the use of regulated data in cloud-based virtual environments.

"We are excited to announce our new name, Certes Networks," said Thomas Gill, the company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Derived from the French and Latin words for truth, certainty, and assurance, the new name better reflects our commitment to providing the highest levels of data security without compromising network and application performance, and is better suited to the full breadth of the markets and technologies we support."

  • Certes Networks is headed by Thomas J. Gill, who formerly served as Chief Executive Officer and President of FORE Systems, a pioneering company in ATM switching.

  • Earlier this month, CipherOptics 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.