Monday, February 28, 2011

Verizon Expands IPv6 Dedicated Internet Services

Verizon has added IPv6 support to its Internet Dedicated Services across the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific.

Verizon's global Internet services will accept IPv6 data in several formats, including native or pure IPv6; dual stack, which can handle IPv4 and IPv6 concurrently; and IPv6 traffic within IPv4 packets, which is known as tunneling. The company later this year will continue to roll out IPv6 capabilities across Canada and Latin America as well as on its global Private IP service, an MPLS-based virtual private network.

"This is another important milestone for the Verizon public IP backbone, our customers and the global Internet community," said Farooq Muzzafar, vice president of public and private IP communications solutions for Verizon. "As an early proponent and adopter of IPv6, we want to help ensure the Internet continues to deliver on its promise to keep us all connected to each other and to the information that sustains and enriches our everyday life at work, at home and everywhere in between."

Skype Partners with Citrix for Business Services

Skype plans to introduce Web and audio conferencing capabilities enabled with GoToMeeting technology from Citrix. This will expand Skype's business offerings by providing the collaboration features of GoToMeeting.

The Web and audio conferencing features are expected to supplement the Skype for Business desktop experience, which already offers Skype users instant messaging, voice and video calling, group video calling, conferencing, file sharing, etc/ Adding the GoToMeeting capability will also allow Skype's business users to quickly set up online audio conferencing meetings that users can join via Skype or through public switched telephone network (PSTN) phone numbers.

Mashable: Google Finds 21 Free Android Apps with Malware Root Access

Google has pulled 21 free apps from the Android store after being informed by third parties that the apps contained malware capable of giving hackers root access to the victim's device. Mashable reports that malicious apps were downloaded by about 50,000 users.

Infonetics: 2G/3G Remains the Main Game

The number of 2G, 3G, and 4G mobile subscribers is forecast to reach 7 billion by 2015, however the vast majority will continue to be on the 2G/3G infrastructure, according to a new report released by Infonetics Research.

After plunging in the second half of 2010, the GSM RAN market bounced back (up 38% in 4Q10 over 3Q10), fueled by the start of major 2G capacity upgrades in China and India as well as modernization projects in Europe. The report takes a comprehensive look at the mobile and wireless equipment markets, including vendor market share, forecasts, and LTE and WIMAX deployment trackers by service provider and country.

"At the end of the day, 2G/3G remains the major mobile infrastructure event, dollar-wise. In 2010, the global 2G/3G/4G infrastructure market declined 10.7% to $42.4 billion, dragged down by 2G, but is expected to rebound by 9.7% this year, driven by large-scale 2G capacity upgrades, 2G network modernization, and 3G coverage optimization. It's only in 2015 that 4G (LTE and WiMAX) will have a more significant impact when a new global procurement cycle starts," predicts Stéphane Téral, Infonetics Research's principal analyst for mobile infrastructure.

"WiMAX likely will become established as the solution of choice for niche applications, such as supporting the smart grid, public safety, private citywide communications segments, as well as more basic broadband needs. With the high volume of LTE news, people tend to overlook the fact that the WiMAX equipment market, which jumped 85% in 2010 to $1.7 billion, remains bigger than the LTE market, and continues to show healthy growth," notes Richard Webb, directing analyst for WiMAX, microwave, and mobile devices at Infonetics Research.

Some other key findings:

LTE network equipment, including E-UTRAN (eNodeB) macrocells and Evolved Packet Core (EPC) equipment, jumped 704% in 2010 over 2009

Infonetics forecasts the 4G infrastructure market to hit $16 billion by 2015, driven by LTE and WiMAX investments

Ericsson is the #1 LTE infrastructure vendor, followed by Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens Networks

Samsung remains the top-selling WiMAX vendor, followed by Huawei, Alvarion, and Motorola

Motorola and Cox Test 356 Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 RX48 Return Path

–Motorola Mobility and Cox Communications announced a record 356 Mbps for return path data transmission. The test used an ultra low noise, high performance Motorola DOCSIS 3.0 RX48 return path receiver module operating within a Motorola BSR 64000 CMTS Edge Router. The record of 356 Mbps for a 5-85 MHz return path was set by transmitting across twelve return path channels of which six channels employed 256QAM modulation.

Typical HFC networks today have two or three upstream channels delivering an aggregate of 40-70 Mbps.

In addition to establishing the world record at 5-85 MHz, a maximum transmission rate of 141 Mbps was also achieved over a 5-42 MHz return path using six return path channels. Three of these channels were able to operate using 256 QAM modulation, as opposed to 64 QAM maximum in use today, which is also believed to be a record. For the first time, cable operators can use the 5-42 return path to provide 100 Mbps dedicated to business customers and simultaneously provide residential customers with the return path bandwidth necessary to meet their growing needs.

"The RX48 and these tests demonstrate that Cox's HFC networks are much more future proof than many have believed," Jay Rolls, senior vice president of technology, Cox Communications. "We also increasingly need to be able to segment our business and residential customers, visibility into which is provided by the 5-85 MHz return spectrum utilizing 256QAM. Our networks have the capability to support much higher data speeds than today without the need to replace any of the amplifiers, taps or cables."

Motorola said its RX48 provides between 33% and 50% higher data rates possible in the return path than previously possible based on its low noise receiver and hardware based DOCSIS 3.0 channel bonding capabilities. For example, with a 5-42 MHz return path connected to the RX48, it will be possible for the first time for cable operators to support 100 Mbps dedicated for business services in only three bonded return path channels instead of four, leaving three return path channels available for residential data services, all supported using only a single RX48 port in the CMTS.

Overture + Hatteras Merger Targets Carrier Ethernet Acceleration

Overture Networks and Hatteras Networks agreed to merge, creating a larger and more competitive supplier of Carrier Ethernet products. Hatteras is a leading supplier of Ethernet over Bonded Copper solutions, while Overture is the frontrunner in Ethernet over TDM and recently introduced a set of Ethernet over Fiber platforms. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Both companies are venture-backed, privately-held start-ups based in North Carolina's Research Triangle Park.

Going forward, the combined company will use the Overture Networks' name. Jeff Reedy will continue to serve as chief executive officer of Overture Networks. Kevin Sheehan, who formerly served as chief executive officer of Hatteras Networks, has been appointed president of Overture Networks.

In a conference call, Reedy and Sheehan said the merger was driven by a desire to scale-up the operations to meet the rising demand for Carrier Ethernet solutions by Tier 1, 2, and 3 carriers both domestically and overseas. The companies both report record revenue for 2010. They noted non-overlapping customer bases and product portfolios. The combined entity will have about 200 employees.

"We have a unique opportunity to build a great company with the innovation and scale to bring a complete set of products and services to our customers," said Jeff Reedy, chief executive officer, Overture Networks. "Our two companies have grown up together as neighbors, and we have come to appreciate each other's strengths and at times envied the other's successes. Having each completed record setting years, the time is right to join together and establish a dominant force in the market."

"The unification of our two highly successful and profitable companies with a shared customer focus and leading-edge product portfolios will be extremely beneficial for the communications service provider industry around the world," said Kevin Sheehan, newly appointed president of Overture Networks and former chief executive officer, Hatteras Networks.

  • In November 2010, Overture Networks introduced two new products, the ISG 400 and the ISG 4800, for enabling carriers’ migration to an all-optical Ethernet network. The ISG 4800 is a 10 Gigabit Carrier Ethernet Edge Platform with a rich feature set, operational flexibility and carrier class reliability, while the ISG 400 supports the delivery of Carrier Ethernet over TDM. Both offer a wide range of network interfaces for delivering Carrier Ethernet services over existing DS3 or SONET/SDH infrastructures.

  • Hatteras' flagship HN6100 is a modular, multi-service Ethernet platform that enables carriers to offer any service, over any media, via any port or slot from a single chassis. Its portfolio also includes the HN500, a cost-effective Ethernet-over-Time Division Multiplexing (EoTDM) demarcation device, which allows bonding of multiple PDH signals (T1 or E1) into a single Ethernet connection for delivery of 10 Mbps of Ethernet service capacity; as well as the HN4000 for facilitating high-speed symmetrical bandwidth up to 100 Mbps and Ethernet services over copper.

Finisar Introduces First EPON Stick for DPoE Specification

Finisar introduced its EPON (Ethernet Passive Optical Network) Stick, offering pluggable transceiver optics and a complete EPON MAC with DPoE provisioning within an SFP package. This allows an operator to insert the EPON Stick into any SFP host and operate a single demarcation device on the customer premise.

The EPON stick interoperates with other EPON equipment based on CableLabs DOCSIS Provisioning of EPON (DPoE) specifications. In addition to EPON and DPoE compatibility, the EPON Stick supports SFF-8472 digital diagnostics and other extended capabilities.

"We are proud that Finisar's EPON Stick is the first in an MSA SFP footprint compatible with EPON and DPoE," said Dr. Jianhui Zhou, vice-president and general manager of Access Products at Finisar. "It offers operators the advantages of automated provisioning with DPoE, while still allowing the flexibility of using a wide variety of Ethernet network interface devices, integrated access devices, switches, and routers.

SAIC Wins Cybersecurity Contract with U.S. Space and Naval Warfare Center

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) was awarded a prime contract by the U.S. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific (SSC Pacific) to provide technical services in support of cyberspace operations. The multiple-award, indefinite-delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract has a two year base period of performance, three one-year options, and a total contract ceiling value of $219 million for all awardees, if all options are exercised.

SSC Pacific is the Navy's premier research, development, test, and evaluation laboratory for C4ISR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance).

CENX Looks to Aggregate Wireless Backhaul Access Providers

CENX announced plans to serve as aggregation points for various Ethernet wireless backhaul access providers, eliminating the need by the wireless carriers for costly and cumbersome Ethernet backhaul service integration.

In addition to serving as the aggregation point, CENX will enable end-to-end service inventory and monitoring, regardless of the backhaul operating model (wholly-owned vs. shared infrastructure), the myriad of backhaul access providers or the diverse backhaul technology (switched vs. dedicated) or media (e.g., fiber, microwave, copper). CENX said it will thus provide wireless carriers with a normalized view of the operating state of all its backhaul services on per service basis.

"Wireless carriers continue to tell us that delivering the bandwidth required in the wireless backhaul space is the single biggest challenge in the industry. Ethernet is the recognized solution for opening up bandwidth, and CENX creates and manages a ubiquitous Ethernet wireless backhaul platform specifically designed to meet wireless carriers' technical and operating requirements," said Herb Hribar, CEO of CENX. "CENX also addresses the critical unmet need in the network sharing models: Independent service management for each carrier across a shared network. CENX delivers superior value, cost savings and time-to-market benefits to wireless carriers, as well as extraordinary Carrier Ethernet knowledge and leadership."

Sunday, February 27, 2011

XO Launches Enterprise Cloud Communications

XO introduced an Enterprise Cloud Communications service that allows businesses to accelerate the deployment of IP and unified communications, simplify the management of their IP communications needs, and reduce the capital investments and operating costs of their enterprise-wide communications.

XO Enterprise Cloud Communications integrates IP telephony features, local and long distance calling, enterprise-wide HD voice and video, network services, and IP phone sets in a communications as a service, per-user pricing model. All of the applications reside in the cloud.

"XO Enterprise Cloud Communications represents the next evolution of our award-winning IP communications portfolio which today supports 30,000 business customers and more than one million end users," said Mike Toplisek, chief marketing officer for XO Business Services at XO Communications. "This solution is ideal for mid-market businesses and larger enterprises with distributed operations by helping them solve important business issues of controlling costs, improving employee productivity and increasing their competitiveness in the market."

Xtera Adds 100G to its Optical Transport Platform

Xtera Communications announced 100G channel cards for its new Nu-Wave Optima optical transport platform, which features a common, integrated set of modules for long-haul, regional, and metro applications.

The Nu-Wave Optima platform leverages a toolkit of technologies that consists of all-Raman, hybrid EDFA/Raman amplifiers, 10G and 40G interfaces using a variety of modulation formats, next generation ROADMs, and line monitoring technologies.

Xtera said its new 100G optics, when combined with its Raman technology, enables a record 15 Tbps to be carried over a single fiber. The company recently demonstrated 8 x 100 Gbps transported over an extended unrepeatered span of 440km with a loss in excess of 76dB, in effect doubling the capacity that could be achieved using 10G. In addition, the interleaving of 10G signals with 100G signals on a 50GHz grid was also demonstrated, showing the feasibility of seamless upgrade to 100G on existing systems.

The 100G line cards for all applications of the Nu-Wave Optima platform will be available to the general market in June 2011.

Deutsche Telekom will Offer SES ASTRA's Satellite TV

SES ASTRA and Deutsche Telekom announced a partnership in Germany to combine ASTRA's broad satellite free-TV offer with Deutsche Telekom's IPTV product Entertain. The offer will include all free-to-air, TV and radio channels in Standard and High Definition (HD) on ASTRA including HD+ as well as the typical Entertain services like Video on Demand, a TV archive and an Electronic Programme Guide. Entertain Sat also comprises time shift functions and hard disk recording with 500 GB memory. Flat rate telephony and Internet will also be included. Entertain Sat will be available for households all across Germany with a DSL connection of at least 3 Mbps.

HD+ is a platform launched by SES ASTRA in Germany for access to free-TV programmes in HD. The HD+ offer currently comprises eight German private free-TV programmes in HD: RTL HD, Vox HD, RTL2 HD, ProSieben HD, Sat.1 HD, kabel eins HD, Sport1 HD and sixx HD.

SES ASTRA is the leading Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite system in Europe. The satellite fleet currently comprises 16 satellites which deliver services to more than 125 million households and transmit more than 2,600 television and radio channels.

Deutsche Telekom Outlines 2011 FTTH & LTE Plans

At the opening of this year's CeBIT, Deutsche Telekom outlined a number of network initiatives, including fiber optic expansion and LTE rollout in Germany.

In 2011, Deutsche Telekom expects to bring fiber connections to 160,000 households in ten German cities. The network will be capable of speeds of up to 1 Gbps downstream and 0.5 Gbps upstream in the near future. Selected districts of the cities of Braunschweig, Brühl, Hanover, Hennigsdorf, Neu-Isenburg, Kornwestheim, Mettmann, Offenburg, Potsdam and Rastatt will be wired with fiber-optic lines in 2011.

Pilot fiber optics projects were launched in Hennigsdorf and Braunschweig in 2010. In addition, VDSL is available in 50 German cities and more than 60 percent of households in Germany can surf at transmission speeds of six to 16 Mbps.

However, for a widescale rollout, Deutsche Telekom said investment-friendly regulations are required.

"Our decision to expand the fiber-optic network in Germany proves our commitment to our home market. With today's launch of the expansion programme, we are systematically executing our strategy," said Niek Jan van Damme, the member of the Board of Management at Deutsche Telekom AG responsible for business in Germany.

"We have to work together with owners on the expansion and move toward the gigabit society together. This will increase not only the living value of a property, but also its attractiveness," says Niek Jan van Damme. In particular, modern, investment-friendly regulation is needed to speed up expansion of the FTTH networks. "It must be possible to use all existing infrastructure, such as cable conduits from other grid industries or even building networks, to save costs and capture synergy potential. We also have to avoid a patchwork of local fiber-optic networks in Germany, which means the industry has to agree to mutual, open network access," says Mr. van Damme.

In wireless, Deutsche Telekom is pursing HSPA+, LTE and Wi-Fi offload initiatives.In August 2010, Telekom added the first LTE mobile base station in Germany to its network, in Kyritz in Brandenburg. In addition, in the past year, the company boosted large parts of its HSPA/UMTS network to a top speed of 21 Mbps, while increasing coverage by over ten percent, now reaching 83 percent of the population. Marketing of the matching data rates will begin in the second quarter.

In 2011, Telekom plans to upgrade its HSPA/UMTS network once again, doubling available bandwidth in the entire network to up to 42 Mbps by the end of the year.

For LTE, the company will use the 1.8 and 2.6 GHz frequency bands to eventually offer rates of up to 100 Mbps. This new technology will be provided to selected business customers in the early summer of 2011, as part of friendly-user tests. In addition, Cologne will receive near-total LTE coverage, based on the 1.8 and 2.6 GHz frequency bands, and made available to consumers.

Telekom will also be expanding its public Wi-Fi HotSpots, which are currently available at nearly 8,000 locations in Germany. Among other advances, Telekom will equip additional ICE trains from Deutsche Bahn and Lufthansa aircraft with WLAN technology, providing a seamless high-speed network on many travel routes to business customers in particular.

Vitesse to List on NASDAQ

Vitesse Semiconductor announced that its common shares have been approved for listing on the NASDAQ Global Market and will commence trading on March 2, 2011 under the symbol "VTSS."

Cortina Announces Quad 10G EDC Device

Cortina Systems
introduced its CS4317 Electronic Dispersion Compensation (EDC) PHY -- quad 10G device. It integrated MAC layer security, IEEE 1588 v2, and support for 10G SFP+ and IEEE 802.3ba 40G and 100G interfaces. The device is offered in a 17 mm × 17 mm package, which is the smallest in the industry.

The device supports a variety of 10G and 40G (4 × 10G) line-side optical modules, as well as both passive and active copper interconnects. The CS4317 Quad EDC PHY provides Electronic Dispersion Compensation capability on the receive SFI interface that exceeds the requirements of IEEE 802.3aq 10GBase-LRM, SFF8431 linear interface, 10GBase-ZR, and IEEE 802.3ba nPPI specifications.

The device supports 10G/8G/4G/2G/1G FC data rates and Fibre channel rate negotiation. The device also supports the CR4 and CR10 auto negotiation and training as specified by IEEE 802.3ba. The device is fully autonomous and does not require external processors to control the initial convergence or the dynamic adaption of the dispersion compensation. The CS4317 supports both serial XFI and RXAUI host interfaces, and is compliant to the IEEE 802.3ba nAUI specifications.

Sampling is underway.

"The 10G market is ramping, and the 40G and 100G market growth demands support for the IEEE 802.3ba specification," said Scott Feller, product line director at Cortina. "To enable next generation 10G, 40G, and 100G networks from routers to NIC cards to storage boxes, Cortina has integrated features such as MAC Security and IEEE 1588 v2, and support for RXAUI, XFI, and nAUI host interfaces, as well as all line-side optical and copper interface types into the CS4317 device."

Intel Completes McAfee Acquisition

Intel completed its previously announced acquisition of McAfee. The deal was first announced in August 2010.

Intel said this acquisition provides it with the means of tackling security and the pervasive nature of computing threats in an entirely new way. The first fruits of this deal will come to market later this year.

McAfee will continue developing and selling security products and services under its own brand.

As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intel, McAfee reports into Intel's Software and Services Group. The group is managed by Renée James, Intel senior vice president, and general manager. McAfee's president, Dave DeWalt, will report to James.

Level 3 and Saudi Telecom Announce CDN Alliance

Level 3 Communications announced a strategic long-term agreement with Saudi Telecom (STC) to enable international IP and content distribution services in Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East. The agreement will provide US and European CDN with access to a new broadband market in the Middle East across both STC's and Level 3's international networks.

In addition, Level 3 is providing STC with increased IP connectivity in the form of multiple 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps) ports at various points of presence (PoPs) across Europe.

ADVA's Agile Core Express Integrates 100G, ROADMs, GMPLS

ADVA Optical Networking introduced Agile Core Express functionality for its FSP 3000 platform, enabling service providers to use their optical transport network more flexibility and on-demand while supporting 100 Gbps transmission speeds. The agility is created by allowing the IP/MPLS layer to communicate with the optical transport layer.

ADVA's Agile Core Express is defined by three elements:

  • 100 Gbps coherent transmission technology. ADVA is adding 100Gbps with coherent intradyne detection, eliminating the need for dispersion compensation up to 2,500km. Hybrid Raman/EDFA amplification maximizes OSNR performance. The new 100 Gbps "pipes" are not only bigger, but smarter as well, as the service manager has full control over the links.

  • ROADM technology. ADVA's multidegree Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer (ROADM) solution is based on modular building blocks that support colorless, directionless, contentionless and gridless configurations. Customers can opt to deliver any transport service on any port, over any wavelength, to any direction in a network. Integrated amplification provides lowest nodal loss and highest transmission performance. Like the 100 Gbps technology, the ROADM is fully integrated into the control plane, allowing the service manager to dynamically alter paths as needed.

  • End-to-end GMPLS Control Plane. ADVA Optical Networking has fully integrated the 100Gbps and ROADM technologies with a powerful control plane that provides full visibility at the routing layer and full control of the transport layer. This enables end-to-end provisioning as well as fast and dynamic reaction to bandwidth requirements originating from the IP/MPLS layer.

"Networks have become a critical element to life and business, for end users, enterprises and those service providers delivering the capacity," explained Christoph Glingener, chief technology officer of ADVA Optical Networking. "We have one of the most mature control plane implementations in the industry, an extremely flexible ROADM architecture and have introduced new state-of-the-art 100G transmission technologies – the right ingredients to provide efficiency, scalability and automation in the core of the network. We are proud to deliver agile core transport functionality with our FSP 3000 platform, addressing critical needs in the backbone networks of our customers."

The solution is expected to be commercially available in Q3 2011.

  • ADVA's FSP 3000 is a multi-service metro and regional transport platform supporting optical access, backhaul and wavelength services. It is also used for private enterprise networks over dark fiber. As a WDM system, it offers up to 80 protected wavelength carried over various topologies.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

AT&T Launches Location-based Shopping Alerts with Placecast

AT&T will begin offering a location-based, opt-in shopping alert service that delivers special offers to consumers via their mobile phones when they are near a participating store or brand. The service works by creating a "geo-fence" – a virtual-perimeter around a retail location, event, or any geographic area – in order to deliver appropriate location-specific messages. Participating consumers receive relevant marketing messages when they are inside a geo-fence.

The service will initially be available to AT&T customers in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco. Initial sponsors will be HP, Kmart, JetBlue, SC Johnson, Kibbles 'n Bits, Nature's Recipe and the National Milk Mustache "got milk?" Campaign.

AT&T is working with Placecast, a start-up based in San Francisco and New York, to launch the service.

The companies said that messages can be enhanced with information such as weather, traffic, and local shopping area details to more effectively engage consumers.

"We are proud to take mobile marketing into the future with this unique offering that is being embraced by consumers and brands alike," said Greg McCastle, senior vice president of AT&T Advanced Ad Solutions. "ShopAlerts by AT&T enables brands/advertisers to help link consumer engagement with activation and ultimately to the point of sale."

"Kmart has embraced technology to enhance our customer's experience and maintain our value proposition," said Mark Snyder, chief marketing officer of Kmart. "ShopAlerts allows us to deliver this value directly to our customers through innovative technology."
  • In May 2009, Alcatel-Lucent and 1020 Placecast, a start-up based in San Francisco specializing in location-based advertising, announced a partnership to launch a hosted location-based service for wireless network operators. As part of this service, 1020 Placecast leverages its unique ad engine to weave location information into highly relevant SMS or MMS messages delivered on an opt-in basis to mobile users. Alcatel-Lucent, leveraging its Geographic Messaging Services Platform (GMSP) as a hosted service, tracks opt-in subscribers' locations on behalf of the service provider and pushes mobile content to the subscriber when and where is appropriate - based on the advertising campaign developed and managed by the 1020 Placecast platform.

    Alcatel-Lucent's GMSP leverages algorithms developed at Bell Labs to create a "geo-fence" around a particular mobile user or physical location. This enables messages, promotions and ads to reach subscribers at the most appropriate time and place. When a mobile phone user crosses a given "fence," it triggers the delivery of an SMS text message or multimedia message that is relevant to that individual and that location, such as a promotion for a particular store, or the presence of a friend or associate in the area.

    The companies said their network service can support millions of subscribers tracked within millions of geo fences.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Golden Gate Capital Signs Acquisition Deal with Conexant

Gold Holdings, Inc., an affiliate of Golden Gate Capital, has signed a definitive merger agreement with Conexant Systems. Gold Holdings will purchase all of the outstanding shares of Conexant common stock at a price of $2.40 per share in cash. The transaction is expected to close in Q2 2011.

Golden Gate Capital manages more than $9 billion in capital and has completed over 13 going-private transactions in the technology sector since its inception in 2000. The firm is based in San Francisco.