Thursday, October 13, 2011

SoftLayer Opens in Amsterdam

SoftLayer Technologies, which operates major data centers in Dallas, Houston, San Jose, Seattle, Washington D.C., and Singapore, has chosen Amsterdam for its European headquarters and site of new facility. SoftLayer is investing $75 million initially in Holland and its European operations, which also includes new network PoPs in Amsterdam, London, and Frankfurt. The new Amsterdam data center will feature capacity for more than 15,000 servers. In addition, the company has appointed Jonathan Wisler as General Manager for European Operations. 13-Oct-11

Agilent and Datang Telecom Establish TD-LTE-Advanced Lab

Agilent and Datang Telecom Group have established the TD-LTE-Advanced Joint Research Lab to focus on developing new test standards to promote the technology.

The new lab is the second project created by the two firms. Engineers from both organizations will work together to develop TD-SCDMA, TD-LTE and TD-LTE-Advanced solutions. The work will support Datang Telecom's research on technologies, systems and chipsets, as well as Agilent's instrument test technologies.

TD-LTE-Advanced is a follow-on phase for the current TD-LTE standard. The joint research lab will focus on developing new technologies and test standards to promote TD-LTE-Advanced technologies.

As the initiator of the TD-SCDMA international 3G mobile communication standard, the owner of core patents and a leader in the telecom equipment market, Datang Telecom has been playing a key role in the creation and global deployment of TD-SCDMA and TD LTE-Advanced. 
  • In March 2009, Agilent and Datang signed a memorandum of understanding stating that both firms would collaborate on TD-SCDMA, TD-LTE-Advanced, and related technologies and standards development. The goal of the collaboration was to further the deployment of the TD-SCDMA and TD-LTE-Advanced standards in China with the intent to significantly impact future wireless technologies. The projects completed today have successfully achieved those objectives.

Ericsson Wins TD-LTE with India's Augere

Augere has selected Ericsson's radio base station, the RBS6000; Evolved Packet Core technology and microwave transmission for a TD-LTE network in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Services will be rolled out under the ZOOSH brand to residential and business customers beginning in Q2 2012. Financial terms were not disclosed. 13-Oct-11

Huawei Introduces Hybrid MPLS Prototype

Huawei introduced its H-MPLS (Hybrid-Multiprotocol Label Switching) prototype unified bearer solution for simplifying VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network) planning within an access network and extending service scalability to the network at large.

Hybrid MPLS is based on Huawei's SingleFAN broadband access solution and it provides a unified bearer platform for ATM, TDM, Ethernet and IP with MPLS encapsulation. Huawei said that unlike traditional MPLS, its H-MPLS does not require direct configuration of network edge devices. As a result, the number of nodes that needs to be managed can be reduced by up to 99 percent. Moreover, using H-MPLS, there is no need to configure IP addresses and routing protocols on edge devices, and this reduces configuration workloads by up to 90 percent. H-MPLS is also a cost-effective solution since it neither increases the hardware cost of edge devices within the current access network nor the cost of deploying MPLS widely.

“H-MPLS uses the existing OMCI(ONU Management and Control Interface) management protocol to distribute MPLS labels over multiple PON systems,�? Said Dr. Frank J. Effenberger, Huawei's leader of optical access research, “The label distribution method is already standardized, and has negligible impact to the cost or complexity of PON access systems.�?

Huawei noted that the technologies within Huawei's H-MPLS solution have been accepted under the ITU-T standard for GPON/XG-PON.

Juniper Secures its Cloud Data Center with Juniper SRX Gateways

Dell will deploy Juniper Networks' SRX RX Series Services Gateways in one of its new cloud data centers.

Riverbed Sees Opportunity in Optimizing Cloud Storage

Riverbed is continuing to enhance its Whitewater cloud storage gateways with goal of replacing tape storage with third-party, offsite solutions. The Whitewater platform ingests back-up data into its local data cache that scales to multiple terabytes in size. Whitewater performs deduplication, compression, encryption and other optimization techniques before delivering the back-up traffic over the WAN to a cloud-based storage service. Riverbed said its clients often achieve 10-30x reduction in backup traffic over the WAN, thereby making cloud-based back-ups a faster, easier and lower-cost alternative to tape with offsite warehousing. Data restoration is much faster too since the local cache typically stores a majority of the previous 30 days of backed up data.

Riverbed continues to expand its ecosystem with the addition of cloud storage solutions Windows Azure, Rackspace Cloud Files and OpenStack Object Storage (Swift). These solution additions build on the existing support for Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), EMC Atmos®-based cloud storage solutions and Nirvanix Cloud Delivery Network (CDN).

Existing solutions supported by Riverbed are CA ARCserve Backup, EMC NetWorker, IBM Tivoli Storage Manager, Quest vRanger, Symantec's NetBackup and Backup Exec. Joining the list of supported backup software are CommVault Simpana for Backup and Recovery, HP Data Protector and Veeam Backup & Replication.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Orange and China Telecom Announce Partnership

Orange and China Telecom signed a strategic partnership framework agreement in Beijing. The first areas of cooperation involve providing improved access and services for Orange's business customers in China and China Telecom's in Europe; improved access to international cable networks for both parties; and providing WiFi roaming services for both parties' customers.

The agreement, which may be extended to other areas at a later date, covers cooperation in several specific areas: IPVPN cooperation: Orange has agreed to establish cooperation in IPVPN (Internet Protocol Virtual Private Network) services across its footprint in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, to allow China Telecom to extend IPVPN services for subsidiaries of Chinese multinational companies;

managed services: China Telecom has agreed to provide managed outsourced and field services to Orange's multinational customers in China to allow Orange to improve IPVPN services to its enterprise customers in China and other Asia-Pacific countries;

network resources cooperation: both parties have agreed to complement each other's network development planning and deployment in their respective regions, focusing on the submarine and terrestrial cable links between the Asia and Asia-Pacific regions and Europe, as well as ensuring improved connectivity to Africa;

WiFi roaming: Orange will facilitate the ability of China Telecom's customers to roam on WiFi hotspots in Europe; and China Telecom will facilitate the ability of Orange's customers to roam on WiFi hotspots in China. 12-Oct-11

Fujitsu Develops 10G PON Amplifier Supporting 128 Split, 40km Reach

Fujitsu has developed new optical amplifier technology with the potential to quadruple the number of splits and double the transmission distance for PON optical access systems.

Fujitsu and Fujitsu Laboratories have developed a burst-mode optical amplifier technology with a semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA), an integrated SOA-array module fabrication technology, and an SOA chip fabrication technology enabling uncooled operation. The company said these innovations enable its new 10 Gbps optical amplifier to support 128 connections and maximum distance of 40 km from the central office. This compares with the current split ration of 1:32 and top reach of 20 km.

In addition, the optical amplifier supports symmetric 10 Gbps service.

Ericsson: Mobile Data Traffic Doubled from Q2 2010 to Q2 2011

Mobile data traffic from the second quarter of 2010 to the second quarter of 2011, according to findings of a new measurement from Ericsson to be released as part of Akamai's The State of the Internet report.

Ericsson measured mobile broadband traffic volumes at four different operators in mature markets in Europe, Asia and North America.

Another key finding of the study is that factors including screen size, age and price of the smartphone have a stronger correlation with median traffic than OS (i-phone-iOS, Android, Symbian, etc). It is notable that in North America, high-end smartphones generate twice the traffic than comparable smartphones at the operators analyzed in Asia and Europe.

Ericsson also noted that among heavy users, the cumulative data generated by video is significantly higher than for other activities. The top 5 to 10 percent of smartphone users are willing to spend up to 40 minutes a day watching online video. However, the average user spends about 30 seconds a day watching online video.

Italy's FASTWEB Deploys 100G DWDM with NSN

FASTWEB is deploying 100G channel optical transmission links between Milan and Rome. The network will be capable of carrying 40 wavelengths at 100G each.

The deployment uses Nokia Siemens Networks' hiT 7300 optical network platform and its network management system for planning and automation. The hiT 7300 platform will ensure cost savings by either adopting no dispersion compensation (DCM-free) techniques on new fiber or simply by utilizing the operator's installed DWDM network infrastructure.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Eighteen Operators Have Launched LTE in 2011 So Far, Including 3 TDD

The GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) raised its forecast for commercial LTE network launches and is now predicting 100 network launches by end of 2012. Currently, 35 commercial LTE networks are in operation in 21 countries.

GSA now counts185 firm commercial LTE network deployments, 64% higher than a year ago, are in progress or planned in 66 countries, including 35 networks now commercially launched. Another 63 operators in 21 additional countries are engaged in LTE technology trials, tests or studies.

LTE TDD is also market reality following the commercial launch of three networks last month in Saudi Arabia.

The LTE commercial network launches scorecard:
  • 2009: 2 networks launched – all FDD
  • 2010: 15 networks launched – all FDD
  • 2011: 18 networks launched (up to October 10, 2011) - 15 FDD, 3 TDD
GSA also noted that the move towards deploying LTE in re-farmed spectrum, particularly in the 1800 MHz band (i.e. LTE1800) is accelerating. Seven LTE1800 networks are now commercially launched, in Australia, Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Singapore. In Australia all three mobile operators have confirmed they will deploy LTE1800 systems (Telstra recently commercially launched its LTE network in this band). In the European Union, where operators are investing today in LTE networks or trials in more than 90% of member countries, GSA expects many of those operators will deploy LTE in 1800 MHz spectrum as part of their network strategy. 13-Oct-11

Telstra Shareholder to Vote Tuesday on NBN Decommissioning Course

Shareholders in Telstra are expected to vote on Tuesday on the historic pact with the Australian government regarding Telstra's role in the National Broadband Network.

Telstra's Structural Separation Undertaking (SSU) and Migration Plan has two components:
  • it commits Telstra to structural separation by 1 July 2018. This will occur through the progressive disconnection of fixed voice and broadband services on Telstra's copper and HFC networks, and subsequent migration of these services onto the NBN;
  • it sets out the various measures which Telstra will put in place to provide for transparency and equivalence in the supply of regulated services to its wholesale customers during the transition to the NBN.
The deal provides Telstra with replacement revenue, through disconnection payments as the rollout of the NBN occurs, and new revenues, through access payments for the use of Telstra's infrastructure over an assumed average 30 year period. Telstra estimates the value of this arrangement at approximately AUS $11 billion in post-tax net present value over their long-term life. 16-Oct-11
As announced in June 2011, the deal between Telstra and the Australian government provide for the decommission of the Telstra copper network and eventual migration of traffic onto the new fibre infrastructure.
  • Telstra has agreed to disconnect, progressively, copper-based Customer Access Network services and broadband services on its HFC cable network (but not Pay TV services on the HFC) that are provided to premises in the NBN fibre footprint, and will migrate its services onto NBN-based services, over the expected 10 year build period of the NBN;
  • Telstra will provide NBN Co with large scale access to certain infrastructure – dark fibre, exchange space, lead-in-conduits and ducts - at prices based on committed large volume levels of usage and availability. The term of the infrastructure agreement will be between 35 and 40 years (the precise term depends on a number of factors including NBN Co's rollout schedule) from commencement, plus two 10 year options to extend exercisable by NBN Co.
  • The infrastructure will be taken over the course of the NBN rollout and payments made for an assumed average period of 30 years. In order to maximise the availability of this infrastructure, Telstra will undertake necessary work on the infrastructure. Telstra retains ownership of all infrastructure assets, except for those lead-in-conduits used by NBN Co which will become NBN Co property once used;
  • The Government has agreed to a package which includes increased funding for the delivery of the Universal Service Obligation (USO), clarification of Telstra's USO responsibilities for the supply of infrastructure in new developments in the NBN environment, and the avoidance of certain costs to Telstra through various funding measures such as funding of a public information campaign, and for employee retraining; and
  • Telstra and NBN Co have also agreed to key product feature and price commitments relating to NBN Co's basic voice and data offering. These will be addressed in NBN Co's full product terms, which remain subject to further development and industry consultation.

Level 3 Sets New IP Peering Policy

Level 3 Communications posted a revised peering policy for IP traffic exchanged within the United States. The company said that one fundamental aspect of the new policy is a requirement that carriers adjust routing practices and interconnection locations so that the distance and volume of traffic carried by each party on their backbone network remains equitable.

The revised policy sets forth four overarching principles that Level 3 believes should control all next-generation peering arrangements:
  • The primary objective of a peering arrangement is to enable each party to deliver high-quality service to its Internet customers.
  • The interconnection architecture and traffic exchange practices of each party should assure that the exchange of traffic is resilient, secure and quickly scalable.
  • Regardless of the direction or type of traffic exchanged between the networks, or the technology used to deliver it, the parties should work together to implement routing practices and adjust location of interconnection points such that each party bears a reasonably equal share of backbone burdens - taking into account the amount of traffic carried by each party and the distance over which that traffic is carried. This will give each party the option to use its own backbone network to balance backbone network burdens between the parties and thus eliminate the need to impose charges to interconnect or carry traffic.
  • Any termination or modification of a peering arrangement should be managed by both parties in a manner that minimizes adverse impacts to each party's customers and the overall operation of the Internet.
Level 3 said the updated policy was created to address questions raised by the Department of Justice during its review of Level 3's acquisition of Global Crossing Limited. The revised policy takes effect immediately across the networks of Level 3 and Global Crossing.

"For too long, peering practices between Internet carriers have focused solely on the commercial needs of the carriers," said Jack Waters, chief technology officer for Level 3. "We believe that the focus should be on customers, and that carriers must attempt to structure and implement fair and equitable interconnection relationships and practices that are designed to deliver fast, secure, reliable and quickly scalable Internet services to customers. Peering relationships and practices from a decade ago were implemented when traffic was dominated by email and text-based communications, and periodic interruptions in Internet service were common. Today, residential, governmental and commercial users rely on the Internet for rich content and applications, and demand better performance in an increasingly dynamic Internet environment. Fair, equitable, scalable and dynamic interconnection is essential to deliver that experience." 12-Oct-11
  • In November 2010, Level 3 Communications and Comcast got into a public spat regarding IP peering after Level 3 became the primary CDN for Netflix.

FCC Chairman Announces Public-Private Broadband Adoption Initiative

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced a national public-private partnership program that seeks to overcome the chief obstacles that have prevented one-third of all Americans – 100 million people from adopting broadband high-speed Internet at home. These obstacles are digital literacy, relevance and cost.

The FCC will work with public libraries and schools across the country on programs to boost digital literacy, especially among the elderly, disadvantaged and unemployed. The FCC is also supporting "Connect to Compete," a nationwide initiative with the private sector to tackle America's broadband adoption challenge. As part of this initiative, Best Buy will put its 20,000 Geek Squad agents to work beginning in 20 cities to train Americans in basic digital literacy. The Geek Squad will also train trainers, working with community groups to train others how to teach digital literacy.

Microsoft has announced it will build a state-of-the-art online digital literacy training center, with videos and other easy-to-follow content. Others participating in the initiative are National Urban League, 4-H, the Boys and Girls Club, Goodwill, Connected Nation, the NAACP, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the National Council of La Raza, and the Asian American Justice Center. and are participating by offering a "skills gap monitor" for identifying opportunities where online training or certification could make a difference between finding a job
and not. MetrixLearning and Virtual Solutions will provide some online job training courses.

Lantiq Brings HD Voice Quality to 2.4 GHz Cordless Home Phones

Lantiq has expanded its family of single-chip solutions for advanced cordless home telephony with a new 2.4 GHz COSIC WDCT device for DECT phones targeted at Asia-Pacific countries and emerging markets that use this unlicensed frequency range.

It supports wideband voice and low-rate data services (similar to European CAT-iq™ feature-set) to make the cordless phone a value-added component of a digital home. The device's wideband coding and transmission and advanced acoustic echo cancellation results in brilliant HD voice quality for conversation and recording, including full duplex hands free speaking with HD sound. It feautres adaptive collision detection and channel selection for co-existence with 2.4 GHz wireless LAN, and a high-signal-to-noise ratio (sensitivity approx. -98 dbm) reduces transmit power requirement and achieves better range performance than alternative devices.

All members of Lantiq's COSIC family integrate baseband controller, RF transceiver and power amplifier on single silicon chip, resulting in lowest system Bill of Material (BOM) cost, optimized manufacturing and logistics, smallest PCB footprint and low power consumption.

LightSquared Signs Aircado for Towns and Small Cities

LightSquared signed a wholesale wireless broadband agreement wit Aircado, which is targeting smaller towns and cities across the country. Aircado serves "micropolitan" towns and cities with populations of 10,000-100,000.

"With LightSquared's nationwide 4G-LTE network, we can implement our unique community-based business model and deliver wireless broadband services to small but important towns throughout America," said Loren Wengerd, Aircado CEO. "LightSquared's network and attractive wholesale-only economics allow us to advance the delivery of our services in the markets we plan to serve at a dramatically quicker pace, while offering competitively priced products to our growing base of customers."

IP Smart Object Interoperability Event Held in Silicon Valley

The IPSO Alliance hosted a multi-vendor IP Smart Object interoperability event in Santa Clara, California to implementations of 6LoWPAN, IPv6, and COAP, the new protocol being developed by the IETF for embedded devices.

During the interop event, devices using multiple different communications technologies including 802.15.4, 802.15.4e and powerline communications (PLC) shared command and control information directly between devices at the event, as well as with devices located at other participants' sites around the world. IPSO member companies that participated in the interop were Convergence Wireless, Dust Networks, NXP Semiconductor, Proto6, Sensinode, Symphony Networks, Ubilogix and Watteco.

Verizon Wireless' Test Fleet Adds 4G Monitoring Equipment

The fleet of test vehicles operated by Verizon Wireless is being equipped with 4G testing and monitoring equipment to encompass all of the major operating networks in the U.S. today. Specifically, the field testers are using testing equipment from Ascom to perform mobile data tests on the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network as it continues to roll out across the country. The collected data will be used to measure network performance, benchmark against competitors, and assist Verizon Wireless network engineers who are responsible for maintaining and planning improvements and expansions of the company's network. The fleet includes about 100 test vehicles.

"Verizon Wireless has a firm commitment to the quality and performance that has made our wireless network the most respected in the United States," said David Small, vice president and chief technical officer of Verizon Wireless. "The addition of 4G testing equipment enables our nationwide fleet of test men and women to test our 1X, 3G and 4G networks as we continue to strive to deliver the superior wireless experience our customers expect from Verizon Wireless."

BlackBerry Blackout Expands on its Third Day

Research in Motion suffered a third day of disruption to its BlackBerry service with outages and slowdowns expanding to the United States, Canada and corporate networks. RIM's CIO Robin Bienfait began posting regular updates on the crisis, stating that traffic is now moving through the network and that the company hope to restore normal service levels soon. No technical details on the cause of the disruption has been confirmed apart from a switch failure on Tuesday at a data center in the UK.

"You've depended on us for reliable, real-time communications, and right now we're letting you down. We are taking this very seriously and have people around the world working around the clock to address this situation. We believe we understand why this happened and we are working to restore normal service levels in all markets as quickly as we can." Robin Bienfait. Chief Information Officer, RIM

Pacific Crossing and Infinera Complete 100G Subsea Trial -- 9,500km

Infinera and Pacific Crossing, a wholly owned subsidiary of NTT Communications, have completed a 100 Gbps trial using the PC-1 transpacific submarine cable system. The test spanned more than 9,500 kilometers from California to Japan.

Infinera said this trial demonstrates the unique ability to deliver two industry firsts. The 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) demonstration was the first transmission of a 100 GbE client service carried across the Pacific using 40 Gbps optical channels with Infinera's FlexCoherent transmission. The success of this trial was based on Infinera's commercially available 40 Gbps optical line module and 100 GbE client interface on Infinera's DTN platform.

The second demonstration was the first realization of a 100 Gbps optical channel using binary phase shift keying (BPSK) with soft decision forward error correction (SD FEC) that will be available in the future on Infinera's DTN-X platform. Infinera's FlexCoherent technology enables service providers to optimize transmission performance across a range of applications using multiple software-programmable modulation formats. Infinera recently announced the availability of new DTN capabilities and the new DTN-X platform featuring both photonic integrated circuit (PIC) based super-channels and FlexCoherent transmission.