Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sony Ericsson Sees Big Loss in Q4 Amid Android Competition

Citing intense competition, price erosion and restructuring charges, Sony Ericsson reported Q4 2011 sales of EUR 1.3 billion, down 16% year-on-year and 19% quarter over quarter. The year-on-year decline reflects the decrease of feature phone sales which was only partially offset by an increase in smartphone sales. There was a net loss of EUR 247 million before taxes.

Average selling price (ASP) for the quarter was Euro 143, up 5% year-on-year but down 14% sequentially. The year-on-year increase is due to the shift to smartphones and geographic mix. The sequential decrease in ASP is attributed to geographic and product mix, including declining prices of products launched earlier in the year, and the absence of new products introduced in the fourth quarter.

The gross margin for the quarter was 24%, a decrease of 6 percentage points year-on-year and 3 percentage points from the previous quarter.

Sony Ericsson estimates that its share of the global Android-based smartphone market was 10% in volume and 7% in value during the quarter and 10% in volume and 10% in value for the full year.

Sony Ericsson estimates that the global smartphone market for the full year 2011 increased by 60% in volume to 463 million units.
  • In October 2011, Sony agreed pay EUR 1.05 billion in cash to acquire Ericsson's 50 percent stake in Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB. The mobile handset vendor will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony when the deal closes in early 2012. Sony said it plans to rapidly integrate smartphones into its broad array of network-connected consumer electronics devices - including tablets, televisions and personal computers.

NSN Wins 5-year Managed Service Contract with Bharti Airtel

Bharti Airtel has selected Nokia Siemens Networks as its managed services partner in eight circles across India - Bihar and Jharkhand; Kolkata; Gujarat; Maharashtra and Goa; Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh; Mumbai; Orissa and West Bengal.

The five-year managed services contract covers Bharti Airtel’s 3G and GSM networks as well as iWAN (internet Wireless Access Network), the operator’s enterprise broadband service. This next phase of managed services relationship will help Bharti Airtel achieve better network efficiency, simplify operations and deliver better quality services. NSN will also provide network optimization, operations and maintenance services remotely from its Global Network Solutions Center (GNSC) in Noida, India. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nokia Siemens Networks is already a managed services partner to Bharti Airtel in these eight circles. These services specifically support Nokia Siemens Networks’ installed base of mobile broadband equipment for the operator.

Telekom Austria Rolls with Vectoring from Alcatel-Lucent

Telekom Austria will deploy vectoring technology from Alcatel-Lucent to deliver significantly higher data transmission speeds on its domestic Giga-Network. Vectoring technology minimizes the impact of interference or “crosstalk�? between copper lines in a copper bundle.

Telekom Austria's A1 group is initially deploying vectoring in Korneuburg, lower Austria. A comprehensive countrywide rollout is planned for the second half of 2012.

With the world’s first commercial launch of VDSL2 Vectoring technology, Alcatel-Lucent has demonstrated once again its technology leadership. Based on cutting-edge innovation from our research center Bell Labs, the VDSL2 Vectoring technology marks a further important step in our efforts to get the utmost out of the current network infrastructure and thus create real added value for network operators such as A1 and their customers,�? said Stephen Carter, President, Europe Middle East and Africa for Alcatel-Lucent.

“The still untapped potential of copper lines is incredibly impressive. Since the late 1990s, when private households started to use modems for data transmission, we have been able to reach a thousendfold increase in transmission capacities of existing copper lines. We are currently facing a dual challenge: on the one hand, we have to invest in the further rollout of our high-performance fiber optic network going forward, and on the other, we have to provide our customers with a full-coverage broadband network with ever-increasing bandwidths starting from today," stated Walter Goldenits, CTO, A1.
  • In September 2011, Alcatel-Lucent introduced a VDSL2 vectoring solution capable of delivering 100 Mbps over existing copper loop lengths of 400 meters.

    VDSL2 vectoring uses digital signal processing to remove crosstalk between copper pairs in a bundle, similar to noise cancellation in headphones. From line cards at the central office or DSLAM, the system measures the crosstalk from all the lines in the bundle and then generates an anti-phase signal to cancel out the noise. For this solution, Alcatel-Lucent developed its own chipset and software. It began field trials in 2010 with a number of operators, including Belgacom, A1 Telekom Austria, Swisscom, Orange, P&T Luxemburg and Türk Telekom.

    Alcatel-Lucent's VDSL2 Vectoring solution includes both Board-level Vectoring (ideal for small nodes) and System-Level Vectoring options for the company's existing ISAM DSLAM platforms, including the 7356 ISAM, the 7330 ISAM and the 7302 ISAM. The new products include a 48-port Board Level Vectoring card, a 48-port System Level Vectoring card, and a Vector Processing card supporting 192 ports initially and expanding to 384-ports of system level vectoring in 2012.

New JONAH Submarine Cable Links Italy and Israel

A new undersea cable named ‘JONAH’ has been launched between Tel Aviv, Israel and Bari, Italy -- a span of 2,300 kilometers across the Mediterranean. JONAH, which is fully-owned by Bezed, the Israeli carrier, leverages Alcatel-Lucent’s most advanced submarine communications technology.

JONAH integrates Alcatel-Lucent OALC-5 cable, optimized with coherent submarine fiber (CSF), repeaters and the 1620 Light Manager (LM) submarine line terminal which is designed to accommodate 10G/40G/100G wavelengths in the same platform, enabling seamless capacity upgrade on flexible grid for channel spacing without traffic interruption.

General Dynamics Opens Cyber Intelligence Center in Annapolis

General Dynamics inaugurated a Cyber and Intelligence Solutions Center in Annapolis Junction, Maryland. The 28,000 square foot facility is built to serve the U.S. Department of Defense and the intelligence community. The National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command are located nearby in Ft. Meade, Maryland. Approximately 100 cyber security experts will staff the new facility. This is in addition to the 8,000 General Dynamics workers already employed in Maryland and the national capital region.

"Defending the nation's networks requires new levels of close collaboration between government network operators and industry to deliver advanced, integrated cyber-defense solutions," said Bill Ross, vice president of Federal Systems and Cyber Solutions for General Dynamics C4 Systems.

Sprint Signs Itron, Lanner, Power Insight and Silver Spring for Utility M2M

Sprint is collaborating with Itron, Lanner, Power Insight and Silver Spring to expand its M2M capabilities for electric and water utility companies. All of these companies will offer Sprint wireless network connectivity in support of their automated products and services.

Itron has enabled their Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) solution for use on the Nationwide Sprint Network. This solution allows water, gas and electric utilities to wirelessly collect metering data from Itron meters and a wide variety of other manufacturers’ meters using Itron ERT modules (100W / 100G), over the highly reliable and secure Sprint 3G network.

Lanner Electronics is working with Sprint to certify its Substation Automation computing platform. The solution will give utilities the option of remotely managing substation assets without relying on costly private networks. Lanner provides real-time monitoring and edge computing and control of Substation Automation that is ruggedized and easily installed.

Power Insight provides residential and lite commercial building automation platforms that give utilities and business owners the option of using public cellular without having to rely on local broadband and contend with private network firewall configurations. This gateway allows the automation, scheduling and control of sensors, large energy loads, HVAC and lighting that can be easily installed and result in immediate energy savings. The Power Insight software platform allows the end user to monitor and control their energy consumption. It also provides a rich API allowing easy customization of device automation.

The Silver Spring Smart Energy Platform combines networking, software and services to enable utilities to build the smart grid. A standards-based system, from the customer's home or business to the back office, the Silver Spring solution supports multiple smart grid applications running over a unified network and leveraging common back-office software. Utilities from small to large benefit from a lower total cost of ownership and the flexibility to focus on advanced metering, distribution automation and demand-side management in any order and combination they need.

Apple's iBooks Weigh in at 1GB+

Apple unveiled its plans to revolutionize educational publishing with the release of iBooks Author, iBooks 2, and iTunes.

The first E-Textbooks are already available through the iBooks store from Pearson, McGraw-Hill and other educational publishers. The books include video, photos, narrations and other interactive material, all of which is downloaded in a single package to the iPad. A biology textbook from McGraw-Hill contains 1,906 print pages and weighs in at 1.49 GB, while a competing Biology textbook from Pearson contains 1,791 pages and weighs 2.77 GB.

The content presumably is downloaded once over Wi-Fi and stored locally on the iPad, as well as being archived on iCloud.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Alcatel-Lucent Integrates Arbor's Threat Management to Stop DDoS

Alcatel-Lucent is integrating Arbor Networks' Threat Management System into its 7750 IP Service Router to provide advanced distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) protection in carrier clouds.

Last year, Arbor Networks documented a single, sustained DDoS attack at up to 100G, making it essential that carrier clouds address this escalating challenge.

The partnership between Alcatel-Lucent and Arbor makes it possible to detect and eliminate DDoS closer to the edge of the network, before infected traffic is carried across the network to its target. By integrating Arbor’s Threat Management System (TMS) software into Alcatel-Lucent’s IP routers - wherever they are located in a given network - attacks can be detected and dealt with at the edge of the cloud, closer to the location of the attack, which is a much more effective and less costly approach.

The capabilities will be delivered either as a standalone appliance or running on an MS-ISA blade for the 7750 Service Router. The solution delivers
60 Gbps+ performance per chassis, which Alcatel-Lucent describes as "industrial strength DDoS scrubbing."

The approach also enables Service Providers to offer a cloud-based service to detect and mitigate DDoS attacks on the networks of their enterprise customers. Effectively, the DDoS scrubbing capability is extended to all customers, services and geographies serviced by the router.

Kevin Macaluso, Vice President and General Manager of the IP Service Router Product Unit at Alcatel-Lucent, said: “Denial-of-service attacks are a rapidly growing problem in service provider and Enterprise networks today. Unchecked, they can bring down large networks and data centers for significant periods of time, which obviously has a detrimental impact on productivity and delivery of services. By integrating Arbor’s TMS into our IP service routers, we’re essentially moving the defensive perimeter further out to the ‘edge’ of the service provider’s network – in effect stopping criminals at the border."

The combined solution is available today and is currently in trials with more than 20 service providers worldwide.
  • In Novermber 2011, Alcatel-Lucent introduced a new "CloudBand" architecture for delivering "virtual telco" functionality and enterprise services from cloud-enabled data centers rather than dedicated telecom platforms. CloudBand, which will be the foundation for a new class of ‘carrier cloud' services such as IMS or video applications, leverages generic compute resources deployed in regional data centers throughout a carrier's footprint. The goal is to make the carrier infrastructure more agile, elastic, resilient and application-aware.
  • In 2010, Tektronix Communications acquired Arbor Networks, a provider of network security and management solutions, for an undisclosed sum. Arbor Networks, which is headquartered in Chelmsford, Mass., supplies solutions for the detection and mitigation of network security threats based on IP flow-based analysis. Its products include Arbor Peakflow, a carrier-class Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) prevention platform, and its Arbor eSeries platforms for broadband service optimization. Its customers include mobile and fixed-line operators, cable and DSL providers, ISPs and other cloud-based infrastructure and service providers.

PMC's OTN Switching Complies with New OIF Protocol

PMC-Sierra's HyPHY family of OTN processors provide full architectural support of the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF)’s new OTN-over-Packet-Fabric Protocol Implementation Agreement (IA).

The OIF IA defines a method for switching OTN streams, including the newly standardized ODU0 and ODUflex streams, over cell or packet switch fabric technology. This enables Packet Optical Transport Platforms (P-OTPs) to be based on a single fabric, which results in significantly simpler designs that consume less power and shelf space.

PMC said its HyPHY 20G and HyPHY 10G OTN processors provide a fully compliant implementation of the OIF IA via the Constant Bit Rate Interface (CBRI) and OTN Phase Signalling Algorithm (OPSA). CBRI, which is compliant with the Interlaken protocol, enables HyPHY to connect to a centralized packet/cell switch fabric and is capable of supporting hybrid packet/OTN switched line card designs (see Figure 1). OPSA provides for the segmentation, reassembly and frequency/phase encoding/decoding required to support OTN over a packet/cell fabric. The HyPHY 20G handles up to 40Gb/s of multi-service line-side traffic via 16-SFP, 2-XFP/SFP+, and 2-SFI-4.1 interfaces. In addition to P-OTP OTN switching line card applications, HyPHY also enables single-chip, low-power multi-service OTN muxponder and transponder line cards.

ETSI Approves Open Smart Grid Protocol (OSGP)

ETSI, the European standards organization, published two specifications aimed at accelerating the deployment of Smart Grid technologies.

The two OSGP specifications that originated with ESNA and were published by ETSI for global use are:

Group specification GS OSG 001: Open Smart Grid Protocol. Produced by the ETSI Open Smart Grid Industry Specification Group, this application layer protocol can be used with multiple communication media.

Technical specification TS 103 908: Powerline Telecommunications (PLT); BPSK Narrow Band Power Line Channel for Smart Metering Applications. This specification defines a high-performance narrow band powerline channel for control networking in the smart grid that can be used with multiple smart grid devices. It was produced by the ETSI Technical Committee for Powerline Telecommunications (TC PLT).

Redpine Signals Release Wi-Fi Module for M2M

Redpine Signals, a start-up based in San Jose, California with offices in Hyderabad, India, released a low-power Wi-Fi module for M2M markets.

The new "WiSeConnect" module implements advanced features like Wi-Fi Direct and Enterprise security required for 802.11n Wi-Fi based machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity. The new module includes an embedded processor along with Redpine's ultra low power 802.11n Wi-Fi subsystem, as well as an antenna and frequency reference to be fully contained. Apart from SDIO and SPI interfaces, the module provides Ethernet and USB interfaces for universal applicability. The module provides Wi-Fi Direct functionality – that allows other Wi-Fi Direct devices as well as standard clients to connect to it. It includes a full implementation of the SEP 2.0 software stack that enables emerging smart energy applications. In addition, it supports embedded AP functionality and in both client and access point modes, it offers WLAN enterprise security features.
Evaluation boards are available now.

Government Agencies Report GPS Interference by LightSquared

Last Friday, a committee of nine federal agencies and Cabinet level departments submitted a letter to the NTIA concluding that LightSquared’s proposed network would cause harmful interference to GPS. Critically, the FAA has found that interference from LightSquared would impact aircraft safety systems. In conclusion, the government investigators state "there is no practical solutions or mitigations that would permit the LightSquared broadband service, as proposed, to operate in the next few months or years without significantly interfering with GPS.�?

For its part, LightSquared issued a press release condemning the report and saying the testing "was rigged by manufacturers of GPS receivers and government end users to produce bogus results, and revealed details of the testing to document its accusations." LightSquared believes the GPS industry insiders and government end users manipulated the latest round of tests to generate biased results. Among the questions that LightSquared raises concerning the transparency and independence of the testing:

Why did the government choose to ignore LightSquared's proposed power levels?

Why did the government choose a power level 32 times greater than the level at which LightSquared will operate?

Why did the test protocol select the 1dB degradation to noise as the interference standard, since it does not apply to general purpose GPS receivers and GPS units are typically designed with an 8dB level of tolerance?

Who determined what acceptable interference is for the current round of testing? What is that standard?

Verizon Extends LTE to 5 More Markets

Verizon Wireless is launching LTE in five new markets and expanding the network in three others on Jan. 19. The new markets are Glens Falls and Utica, N.Y.; Lawton, Okla.; and Brownsville and McAllen, Texas. The company is also expanding its network on in Atlanta, Houston and Spokane, Washington. This extends the network to a total of 195 markets covering 200 million people.

AT&T Increases Mobile Data Prices

Citing rapidly rising mobile traffic, AT&T is increasing the price of its mobile data plans for new customers, effective January 22.

The new smartphone plans include:

AT&T DataPlus 300MB: $20 for 300MB

AT&T DataPro 3GB: $30 for 3GB

AT&T DataPro 5GB: $50 for 5GB, with mobile hotspot / tethering

Smartphone customers needing additional data can pay $10 per additional gigabyte on the AT&T DataPro 3GB and DataPro 5GB plans; AT&T DataPlus users will receive an extra 300MB for $20.

The new tablet plans* include:

AT&T DataConnect 3GB: $30 for 3GB

AT&T DataConnect 5GB: $50 for 5GB

Wi-Fi usage does not count against these caps.

"Customers are using more data than ever before," said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "Our new plans are driven by this increasing demand in a highly competitive environment, and continue to deliver a great value to customers, especially as we continue our 4G LTE deployment."

Huawei Selected for Western Africa's First LTE TDD Network

Nigeria's ZODA FONES has selected Huawei for the deployment of a TDD LTE network -- the first such commercial deployment in Western Africa. The initial rollout will cover Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, and its surrounding areas using Huawei's end-to-end SingleRAN LTE TDD solution. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Monday, January 16, 2012

NTT Develops 60 GHz Transceivers Delivering 15 Gbps

Researchers at Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) announced the world’s smallest wireless transceivers that cover all four of the channels*1 allocated in the 60-GHz band.

The 60 GHz transceivers have a maximum transmission rate of 3.8 Gbps per channel. Simultaneous four channel transmissions makes the transmission rate about 15 Gbps.

NTT said the 60 GHz technology could be used in kiosks located in public venues that would wirelessly download of gigabyte-class content (e.g., a DVD of 4.7 GB) in about 10 seconds,

In Japan, as per the revisions to the Radio Act in September 2011, four channels without licenses can be used for such an application.

The miniaturized transceivers are packed in a wireless module in which a broadband antenna and MMICs are integrated in the multi-layer LTCC substrate. It can cover all four channels.

Crossbeam and Spirent Emulate More Than 1 Million Mobile Users

In tests conducted by EANTC, Crossbeam and Spirent Communications were able to emulate more than a million simultaneous mobile subscribers using their smartphones and tablets. The significance of the test is that the companies were able to simulate the effectiveness of network security devices and how they perform under real-world conditions.

Specifically, the test replicate the traffic loads that carriers experience at the mobile Internet gateway (Gi/SGi). Spirent's Avalanche plat form was used to emulate more than 1 million users concurrently accessing the mobile data network with their connected devices. The traffic was sent through a single Crossbeam X-Series X80-S platform running Check Point software, where it underwent a series of firewall and IPS (intrusion prevention system) inspections, as well as network address translation (NAT). The real-world traffic model included using a 95 percent majority of HTTP sessions representing a range of user profiles. In addition, email (SMTP and POP3) connections were emulated alongside Smart Phone OS over-the-air updates.

“With so much misleading information about security product performance and the unpredictability of threats and traffic demands, there has been no clarity around what to test for and what methodology to use,�? said Chet Gapinski, vice president, product development at Crossbeam. “Any single measurement, such as network throughput, is meaningless unless tested and measured in combination with other metrics under real-world conditions. We saw an important opportunity to work with Spirent and EANTC on a set of real-world tests to move the industry forward to provide more accurate, uniform guidance."

Avago Releases High-Gain Linear Power Amplifier for LTE

Avago Technologies introduced a high-gain, high-linearity power amplifier for high-data-rate applications found in 700-800 MHz cellular infrastructure equipment. The new MGA-43128 amplifier features low distortion and high power added efficiency (PAE) that help reduce power consumption. RF input is fully matched while the output includes integrated pre-match circuitry for matching and application simplicity. An integrated bypass switch controlled attenuator provides up to 18.0 dB attenuation, and the device also has a temperature-compensated power detector on chip. Applications include LTE AP, CPE, and Picocell equipment and can also serve as a base station driver amplifier.

NASA Kennedy Space Center Implements Ciena's OTN

Ciena, in partnership with Abacus Technology Corporation, has been selected to upgrade the expansive campus IT network at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The upgrade will use Optical Transport Network (OTN) technology from Ciena to consolidate the Center’s Ethernet, video and legacy ATM and TDM traffic. The new network is using Ciena’s 4200 Advanced Services Platform.

Abacus Technology, which is contracted to provide support for all information management and communications services related to launch operations at KSC, is leading the design and installation of the new campus network, with completion of the campus upgrade expected in March.

IPv6 Goals Set for 06-June-2012

Major Internet service providers (ISPs), home networking equipment manufacturers, and websites have set a goal of having at least 1% of wireline Internet traffic using IPv6 as the standard default to reach major websites by 06-June-2012. ISPs who have signed on include AT&T, Comcast, Free Telecom, Internode, KDDI, Time Warner Cable, and XS4ALL. Websites who have agreed to enable IPv6 on their main portals permanently beginning 6 June 2012 include Facebook, Google, Microsoft Bing and Yahoo. Akamai and Limelight will be enabling their customers to join this list of participating websites by enabling IPv6 throughout their infrastructure.

Home networking equipment manufacturers who will enable IPv6 by default by 06-June-2012 include Cisco and D-link,