Thursday, January 19, 2012

China Mobile Added 65,551,000 Users in 2011

The world's largest mobile operator ended 2011 with 649,568,000 users, up by 65.5 million users for the year. Over 5.2 million users were added during December 2011.

NTT Docomo Teams with Accenture for Smartphone Content Testing

Accenture and NTT DOCOMO will begin offering a remote, self-verification operational testing service to DOCOMO-affiliated content providers for content (e.g. applications) developed for smartphones. The service will then be expanded to the broader smartphone market in Japan.

Accenture will establish and operate a remote test center at the University of Aizu in Fukushima Prefecture. Through the center, NTT DOCOMO will provide information on the devices, including the latest models, and a working network environment for the operational testing of software on the devices.

Currently, content providers must purchase the devices themselves in order to test their content under development for debugging purposes. But with the rapid introduction of a wide variety of smartphones and tablets (with different screen sizes, operating system versions, etc.), the cost of development, including the cost of purchasing the actual devices, has become a heavy burden for the developers.,jp

ADVA Optical Networking Plans European Corporate Structure

ADVA Optical Networking is planning to convert its organizational structure into an SE (Societas Europaea, a public limited-liability company under European law) named ADVA Optical Networking SE. The company is currently structured under German law as ADVA AG Optical Networking.

Shareholders of ADVA AG Optical Networking will automatically become shareholders of ADVA Optical Networking SE. There will be no relevant changes to shareholders’ rights, and there are no changes to the manner or content of financial reporting as a result of the conversion to an SE legal entity.

The company cited several reasons for the change, including the ability to use the same legal form for the incorporation of subsidiaries when expanding business within the European Union. Further, as an SE legal entity, ADVA Optical Networking will be able to opt for a more efficient single tier Board structure, although the Company does not plan to do this immediately following its conversion. The Company’s registered offices and headquarters will remain in Germany for the foreseeable future.

Huawei Marine Builds Trans-Tasman Undersea Link

Huawei Marine announced the finalization of a survey agreement for the trans-Tasman Optikor Network.

This new trans-Tasman link, which is set to be completed by the end of 2013, will be more than 3,000KM in length and will connect Sydney, Australia with South Island and North Island, New Zealand. Initially designed to provide a capacity of 120G with 1 fiber pair, the link will eventually provide 6.4 Tbps with 2 fibre pairs. This solution will address the large capacity requirements in the region and become the main broadband solution provider between Australia and New Zealand.

Huawei Cites 100G European Wins with KPN, SFR, TDC

Huawei provided an updated on its sales progress for 100G coherent solutions in Europe, citing deployments by several leading European operators, including KPN international, SFR, and TDC.

Huawei said a key differentiator for its 100G solution is its ability to tolerate extensive dispersion as well as polarization mode dispersion, enabling it to adapt to old fibers, while still achieving excellent performance in long-haul transmission.

KT to Begin Refarming 1.8 GHz for LTE, NSN Selected

Starting this year, KT plans to meet the fast growing demand for mobile broadband and smartphone data services by re-farming its 1.8GHz band. KT has selected Nokia Siemens Networks as one of its suppliers for its LTE network.

Nokia Siemens Networks is providing its 1.8GHz LTE radio equipment including its Flexi Multiradio Base Stations. The company is also providing services including network integration and commissioning. Nokia Siemens Networks’ NetAct operations support system will enable effective monitoring, management and optimization of KT’s LTE network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

According to KT: “We are happy to partner with Nokia Siemens Networks and are confident of the company’s mobile broadband capabilities and extended support services. Nokia Siemens Networks’ enhanced focus on mobile broadband will certainly help us deliver superior customer experience with the launch of LTE services.�?

“Re-use of spectrum has become all the more vital due to its limited availability and the increasing use of smartphones and rich applications,�? said Paul Tyler, head of Asia Pacific region at Nokia Siemens Networks. “Spectrum re-farming is emerging as a viable option for operators looking to better allocate existing spectrum cost efficiently and provide next-generation LTE services that offer a better customer experience.�?

RIM Replaces its Co-CEOs

Research In Motion (RIM) named Thorsten Heins as President and Chief Executive Officer, replacing its previous co-CEOs. Mike Lazaridis, former Co-Chair and Co-CEO, has become Vice Chair of RIM’s Board and Chair of the Board’s new Innovation Committee. Jim Balsillie, former co-CEO, remains a member of the Board.

Microsemi Acquires Timing & Synchronization Business from Maxim

Last week , Microsemi Corp. announced its acquisition of the telecom clock generation, synchronization, packet timing and synthesis business of Maxim Integrated Products. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The acquired product lines and technology target the delivery of time-sensitive voice, data and multimedia traffic over wireless and wired networks.

Microsemi said the acquisition will provide its customers with the critical synchronization components required to harmonize system and network clocks, as well as the synthesis products required to distribute timing clocks throughout each system.

"This business, acquired from our colleagues at Maxim, is the perfect complement to the highly sought-after synchronization and timing products we obtained in the Zarlink acquisition," said James J. Peterson, Microsemi president and chief executive officer. "We believe the two pieces fit like a glove and allow us to better serve our customers with the broadest high-end synchronization and timing technology portfolio in the market today. Here at Microsemi, we don't just want to participate in these attractive markets, we want to lead them."
  • In September 2011, after multiple offers and counter offers, Microsemi and Zarlink reached a merger deal valued at approximately US$525 million, net of Zarlink's cash. Zarlink developed mixed-signal chip technologies for a broad range of communication and medical applications. Its core capabilities include timing solutions that manage time-sensitive communication applications over wireless and wired networks, line circuits supporting high-quality voice services over cable and broadband connections, and ultra low-power radios enabling new wireless medical devices and therapies.

Ericsson Appoints Ulf Ewaldsson as CTO

Ericsson appointed Ulf Ewaldsson to serve as Chief Technology Officer.

Ulf Ewaldsson is currently Head of Product Area Radio within Ericsson's Business Unit Networks and a member of Ericsson's research board. In this position he has been instrumental in defining the creation of some of the products that reflect Ericsson's technology leadership such as HSPA and LTE in the Radio Access Network (RAN), the multi-standard radio base station RBS6000 and the Antenna Integrated Radio Unit: AIR. He holds a master's degrees of Science in Engineering and Business Management from Linköping Institute of Technology in Sweden. He started within Ericsson in 1990.

Ericsson's previous CTO, Håkan Eriksson, who was based in Silicon Valley, has taken on a new role as head of Ericsson's business in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.

Ulf Ewaldsson will be based in Stockholm, Sweden and will not take on the role as Head of Ericsson Silicon Valley,

Ericsson and ZTE Reach Patent License Agreement

Ericsson and ZTE announced a cross licensing deal that resolves lawsuits filed by Ericsson against ZTE in Germany, UK and Italy related to GSM and 3G/UMTS cellular technology. The parties have now signed a global cross-licensing agreement and both parties have also agreed to drop all litigation.

ZTE signs a royalty bearing cross-licensing agreement that complies with Fair, Reasonable and Non- Discriminatory (FRAND) royalty compensation for access to part of Ericsson's patent portfolio. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Time Warner Cable's iPhone App Allows In-home Live TV

Time Warner Cable launched an iPhone app that allows its cable customers to watch live TV from within the home, change channels on their set-top box and manage their DVR right from their iPhone. The features are available at no additional cost to Time Warner Cable video customers that have a broadband connection.

Features on TWC TV include:

  • Interactive program guide (IPG) – up to 7 days of listings. View detailed show descriptions including box art. Option to display “HD only�? or “favorites only�? by creating a favorite channel list.

  • Search – search for programming by title or episode name and filter results by genre

  • Set-top box tuning – tap on a network logo or “watch on TV�? button within the program description to tune compatible set-top boxes directly to the channel

  • DVR management – schedule one-time and series recordings on compatible DVRs directly from the IPG. Tap on the “DVR�? button to see a list of all upcoming recordings and make changes or cancel recordings.

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.