Sunday, February 5, 2012

ADVA Optical Introduces "RAYcontrol" GMPLS Interface

ADVA Optical Networking launched a new "RAYcontrol" User Network Interface (UNI) for its Generalized Multi-Protocol Label Switching (GMPLS) control plane.

RAYcontrol enables users to seamlessly unite packet optical networks with optical transport technology. The new functionality can now encapsulate the optical transport domain into a virtual topology and expose available resources to a packet domain. The new capability facilitates packet-optical integration and enables client equipment, such as IP/MPLS routers, to interoperate with the transport layer in a seamless manner.

GMPLS is used as the control plane to exchange of routing information between network layers and domains. When the packet domain activates a service traversing the virtual topology describing the optical network, the optical network components required to realize that service are automatically configured to match the requested service. The IP/MPLS routers and the optical transport layer interoperate and act in unison without the need for manual intervention.

“With the addition of the GMPLS UNI, RAYcontrol answers one of the most critical needs in the industry, providing seamless integration between packet networks and optical domains. Our global research and development team have worked directly with customers to understand their exact needs here and the result is something special. It’s a critical element for service providers as they seek to leverage their platforms to drive greater efficiency and automation,�? commented Christoph Glingener, CTO of ADVA Optical Networking.

Calix Lands 12 More Broadband Stimulus Projects

Calix has been selected by an additional 12 communications service providers to support approximately $153 million of Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) Stimulus projects across the United States, of which only a portion of this value is access equipment.

The company notes that with this announcement, aggregate Calix vendor selections by Broadband Stimulus winners for "last mile" and "middle mile" awards have now reached 87 different projects representing over $1.65 billion in Stimulus-related grants, loans, and private investment for plant engineering, materials, labor, and other costs, including access equipment.

The projects will deploy both fiber access and digital subscriber line (DSL) across the Calix B6, C7, and E7 platforms to bring some of the nation's most advanced broadband services to residences, businesses, and community institutions in 11 states, and are expected to both boost local economies and create new jobs in the U.S.

Broadcom Introduces Microwave Outdoor Chip

Broadcom introduced an integrated chip for microwave outdoor units (ODUs) that combines the functionality of up to 10 off-the-shelf chips, dramatically reducing the size, complexity, production cost and power consumption of microwave radio frequency units (RFUs). The new BCM85810 RF system-on-a-chip (SoC) is designed for microwave split-mount and full/all outdoor units (FODU/AODU). Two variants cover all standard point-to-point microwave frequency bands and all channel bandwidths.

Nicira Unveils its Network Virtualization Platform

Nicira, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, unveiled its Network Virtualization Platform (NVP) and announced initial deployments with AT&T, eBay, Fidelity Investments, NTT and Rackspace.

Nicira is offering a software-based system that creates a distributed virtual network infrastructure in cloud data centers that is completely decoupled and independent from physical network hardware. The company says its technology "decouples and isolates virtual networks from the underlying network hardware, like server virtualization decouples and isolates virtual machines from the underlying server hardware. "

Nicira;s NVP software is implemented at the network edge and managed by distributed clustered controller architecture. The system forms a thin software layer that treats the physical network as an IP backplane. This approach allows the creation of virtual networks that have the same properties and services as physical networks, such as security and QoS policies, L2 reachability, and higher-level service capabilities such as stateful firewalling. These virtual networks can be created dynamically to support VM mobility anywhere within or between data centers without service disruption or address changes.

Nicira claims its platform is compatible with any data center network hardware and that it can be deployed non-disruptively on any existing network. The company is pursuing a usage-based, monthly subscription-pricing model, which scales per virtual network port.

“AT&T, working with Nicira, is delivering enterprise-grade, secure and scalable network virtualization within its internal OpenStack deployment,�? said Toby Ford, AVP Cloud Architecture and Strategy, AT&T. “Nicira’s technologies support our work to open the network for innovation and unlock numerous, differentiated offers such as the AT&T API Delivery Platform, the AT&T Developer Center ForHealth, and other services we’ll be building for developers and businesses.�?

“Nicira’s Network Virtualization Platform is a game changer,�? said Lew Moorman, President, Rackspace. “Nicira’s product and industry contributions with OpenStack are tightly aligned with our strategy to bring together the most innovative and open technology with our own fanatical support. Together we are bringing enterprise private networking to the cloud.�?
  • Nicira was founded by networking research leaders Martin Casado and Nick McKeown from Stanford University and Scott Shenker from University of California at Berkeley. Casado’s work at Stanford led to the creation of OpenFlow and Software-Defined Networking (SDN), an architectural approach in which the intelligence of networking shifts from hardware to software.

  • Nicira has raised $50 million in funding to date from Andreessen Horowitz, Lightspeed Venture Partners and New Enterprise Associates, as well as individual investors including VMware co-founder Diane Greene and Benchmark Capital co-founder Andy Rachleff.

PMC-Sierra Posts Q4 Revenue of $153 Million

PMC-Sierra reported Q4 2011 net revenues of $152.6 million, a sequential decrease of 12% compared to $173.3 million in the third quarter of 2011, and 4% lower than net revenues of $159.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. GAAP net income in the fourth quarter of 2011 was $28.4 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income in the third quarter of 2011 of $47.3 million, or $0.20 per diluted share. Non-GAAP net income in the fourth quarter of 2011 was $29.1 million, or $0.13 per diluted share, compared to non-GAAP net income of $42.1 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2011.

For the full year ended December 31, 2011, net revenues were $654.3 million compared to $635.1 million for the year ended December 26, 2010, an increase of 3% year over year.

“Our annual net revenues grew 3% in a roughly flat year for the semiconductor industry,�? said Greg Lang, president and chief executive officer of PMC. “While difficult conditions impact our near-term outlook, we see good signs of recovery in 2012, including a strong increase in bookings. PMC is well positioned to deliver the infrastructure required to support high traffic growth on storage, optical and mobile networks.�?

Verizon and Redbox Target VOD

Verizon has formed a joint venture partnership with Coinstar's Redbox division with the aim of launching a DVD + video-on-demand streaming and download entertainment service. The joint venture plans to debut in the second half of 2012. The venture plans to offer subscription services to consumers across the U.S. by leveraging Verizon's industry-wide relationships with entertainment content providers, its cloud computing technologies and state-of-the-art IP network infrastructure to distribute video on-demand content Additional brand and product information will be revealed in the coming months.

"When you consider the core elements the parties bring to this venture - our powerful brands; our national rental kiosk footprint; our anytime, anywhere network presence; and our mutual commitment to customer-focused innovation - it's clear that Verizon and Redbox are a powerful entertainment team," said Bob Mudge, president of Verizon consumer and mass business markets.

The joint venture is a limited liability company with Verizon holding a 65 percent ownership share and Redbox holding a 35 percent ownership share at the outset.

Hong Kong Completes 2.3 GHz Spectrum Auction

Hong Kong's Office of the Telecommunications Authority raised a total of HK$470 million from the auction of 90 MHz of radio spectrum in the 2.3 GHz Band. Winning bidders include two existing mobile network operators and one new entrant. One additional existing operator participated in the auction but was not successful in its bid.

The auction was conducted on an Internet-based software platform and proceeded in six rounds over the course of a day.

"Over the past two years, mobile data service has continued to grow at a spectacular rate. As a result, the industry finds it necessary to continually provide for additional network capacities in order to meet the market demand. With the assignment of the radio spectrum through the spectrum auction today, the successful bidders will be able to deploy state of the art mobile broadband technologies and provide the necessary network capacities to maintain the momentum of growth of the booming service," a spokesperson of OFTA said.

Telmex Picks Alcatel-Lucent for VDSL2 and GPON

Telmex has selected Alcatel-Lucent as a key supplier for VDSL2 and GPON in its broadband access network in Mexico. Telmex is aiming to expand VDSL2 and fiber-optics network coverage to connect millions of homes to super high-speed Internet services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Alcatel-Lucent is providing a wide range of technology solutions to Telmex, including:

  • the latest generation of VDSL2 broadband access technology (Very High Bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line), deployed in street cabinets throughout cities and municipalities to deliver super high-speed access.

  • GPON to deliver more bandwidth to subscribers, improve the performance of current applications and prepare the network for the fast introduction of new services and applications.

  • the Alcatel-Lucent IP/MPLS Carrier Ethernet solution, which will allow a more efficient traffic management and support the delivery of broadband services to a dramatically greater number of subscribers.

“This is a strategic project that reinforces our long-term and very successful relationship with Telmex.�? said Mr. Pierre Chaume, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent in Mexico. “With our advanced broadband access technologies, the new network will allow Telmex to reliably move huge amounts of traffic and multimedia content to remote areas, with better quality signals, ultra high speeds of up to 100 megabits per second per subscriber, and substantial savings in maintenance costs.�?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Sprint Unveils iDen Decommissioning Sites with 4G Rollout Underway

Sprint has activated a new Nextel iDEN network page that lets the user input a zip code and then see a map of iDEN network towers in the area and which are slated for decommissioning.

The first towers being removed from the iDEN network are considered "excess capacity" sites, which were deployed years ago when a much bigger iDEN network was anticipated. To keep the iDEN service in operation for now, other towers in the area will be retuned to cover the lost territory.

Sprint plans to decommission the first iDEN towers in New Orleans, once Mardi Gras is over at the end of the month.
  • In October 2011, Sprint confirmed that as part of Network Vision, it will be decommissioning of over 25,000 iDEN sites.

  • In December 2011, Sprint deployed the first multi-mode base station as part of its Network Vision architecture. The new base station, which has been activated in Branchburg, New Jersey, is radiating multiple spectrum bands (1.9GHz and 800MHz) and powering both 1x and EVDO services. It is fully integrated with the existing network and performing as expected. Under its Network Vision plan, Sprint intends to repurpose some of its 800MHz spectrum for Sprint 3G service, thereby enhancing coverage, particularly the in-building experience for customers. Augmenting its 1.9GHz footprint with 800MHz, Sprint expects its CDMA coverage density will increase throughout the country. More density generally equates to fewer dropped calls and a more seamless network experience for customers.

Network World: Reed Hundt on Why Spectrum Bill is Terrible

Network World published an interview with former Federal Communications Commission chairman Reed Hundt, who has characterized spectrum auction legislation under consideration by the U.S. House of Representatives as "the single worst telecom bill" he's seen. Two major issues of concern for Hundt are: (1) the idea that future spectrum auctions should not have any bidding eligibility rules set by the FCC, and (2) that unlicensed spectrum should not be a priority for the FCC.

Forbes: More Smartphone Shipments than PCs

An article from Forbes notes that sales of smartphones outpaced PCs for the first time in 2011. According to figures cited from Canalys, 487.7 million smartphones were shipped in 2011 versus 414.6 million PCs, which include tablet PCs.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Netflix Licenses Streaming EYE IO's Streaming Technology

EYE IO, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, announced the first commercial license of its Internet video streaming technology with Netflix.

eyeIO said its video encoding is fully compliant with existing standards. The technology can be deployed as either a cloud or local solution and the enhanced video can be viewed without a custom video player or equipment modification.

“eyeIO provides a straightforward solution for accommodating the rapidly growing demand for video delivery around the world by alleviating the overwhelming bandwidth currently required to stream video,�? said Rodolfo Vargas, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of eyeIO. “Our future could not look more promising as eyeIO continues to challenge the commonly accepted limits of Internet video delivery and enables everyone connected tohttp://www.eyeio.comeyeIO was founded by Charles Steinberg, former CEO of Ampex Corporation and former President of the Business and Professional Products Company of Sony Electronics; Robert C. Hagerty, former Chairman and CEO of Polycom; and Rodolfo Vargas, former Senior Program Manager of Video at Microsoft and former Co-Chairman of Video Streaming and Internet Interactivity at the DVD Forum.

Telenor to Offer ip.access' Small Cells

ip.access announced a major global agreement with Telenor Group for the supply of its end-to-end small cell solutions. ip.access will be able to supply its standards-compliant end-to-end 3G small cell solution for residential, business and public use to Telenor operators worldwide. The deal also has provision to potentially extend to 4G in future. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Last year, ip.access was the first vendor to pass the milestone of more than half a million 3G small cells operational in networks globally.

NetAmerica Alliance Deploys Ericsson's LTE Home Gateway

Members of the NetAmerica Alliance are the first service providers to deploy Ericsson's powerful 4G LTE Mobile Broadband Router in the U.S.

NetAmerica Alliance, which is based in Dallas, is a group of independent carriers who have joined forces to build-out LTE service in the carriers' license coverage areas.

The new LTE device is being marketed as the UniPort Home Gateway. It serves as a multi-function gateway between the home or small business and the LTE network. As a mobile broadband router, it presents a 4G LTE wireless broadband connection to the network and offers wired Ethernet, Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) and RJ-11 telephone interfaces toward the customer premise. It was developed by Ericsson and is provided to Alliance Members through the technology partnership announced between Ericsson and NetAmerica in 2011.

"Alliance Members have been putting the UniPort through its paces since last fall when we announced the launch of our pilot network," said Scott Donlea, EVP and Chief Operating Officer of NetAmerica. "We are confident to say it is ready for commercial service and both customers and Alliance Members have been pleased with its ease of use and powerful features."
  • In January 2012, NetAlliance completed installation of its SuperCenter, which houses both the Alliance’s IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) as well as its 24/7 Network Operations Center (NOC). The SuperCenter is manned and run by NetAmerica personnel in support of Alliance Members who are deploying 4G LTE service in their respective license areas. Before the NetAmerica Alliance, independent carriers who owned wireless spectrum faced the quandary that while they needed an IMS architecture to evolve their network and a 24/7 operations center to monitor it, the capital investment, services development, and staffing costs were unaffordable for any but the largest carriers. NetAmerica Alliance made that investment, and through its business relationship with Alliance Members, shares the cost of that investment among them. In this manner,

BT Looks to Double FTTC Speeds to 330 Mbps

BT plans to introduce a new faster variant of FTTC broadband this Spring. This service will deliver speeds that are approximately double those on offer today so downstream speeds will be up to 80Mbps rather than up to 40Mbps. Upstream speeds will also be faster at up to 20Mbps.

The company also announced progress with its “FTTP on demand�? in St Agnes, Cornwall. This solution allows additional fibre to be run on demand to a home or business in a Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) enabled area, providing the customer with ultra-fast Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) broadband.

BT currently has more than seven million premises that can access fibre broadband over its network. This figure will rise to ten million in 2012 and then to around two thirds of UK premises by the end of 2014. BT wants to go further and believes it is possible to make fibre broadband available to more than 90% of UK premises by working with local councils and devolved governments. BT is bidding for Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) funds to make that happen.

Openreach chief executive Olivia Garfield said: “FTTP on demand is a significant development for Broadband Britain. Essentially, it could make our fastest speeds available wherever we deploy fibre. This will be welcome news for small businesses who may wish to benefit from the competitive advantage that such speeds provide.

Hutchison Whampoa to Acquire Orange Austria for EUR 1.3 Billion

Hutchison Whampoa Limited will acquire Orange Austria from France Telecom and its partner Mid Europa Partners (“MEP�?) .

Orange Austria had estimated 2011 revenues of approximately €500 million and a total customer base of 2.3 million mobile users at the end of 2011. The company employs almost 800 people.

France Telecom-Orange currently holds a 35% stake in Orange Austria and MEP a 65% stake. As part of the overall transaction, Hutchison will sell frequencies, base station sites, the mobile phone operator Yesss! Telekommunikation GmbH (“Yesss!�?) as well as certain intellectual property rights to Telekom Austria Group, immediately after the acquisition of Orange Austria.

The agreement implies an enterprise value of approximately €1.3 billion for Orange Austria and is expected to provide France Telecom-Orange with cash proceeds of around €70 million for its equity stake.

France Telecom said the sale represents another milestone in the optimization of its portfolio.

Swisscom to Leverage Ericsson's M2M

Swisscom will begin offering commercial machine-to-machine (M2M) services based on Ericsson's Device Connection Platform, which allows for cost-efficient management of a large number of connected devices and machines. The first trials will start in February 2012. The commercial introduction of services is scheduled for the summer 2012.

Swisscom already has several hundred thousand machines connected in Switzerland and the company predicts an addressable market of up to 100 million connected devices and machines in Switzerland alone in the coming years.

Urs Schaeppi, Head of Swisscom Corporate Business Unit, says: "We are entering this partnership - in which Ericsson supports us not only with its M2M connectivity platform, but also with its extensive experience of the worldwide M2M market - with the clear ambition not only to be first in an emerging market, but also to provide our customers with the kind of superior offering they are used to from us. Our ambition is to provide enterprise customers with a scalable, easy-to-configure-and-maintain, telecom-grade solution that helps them to leverage the full potential of their M2M connectivity and gain a competitive advantage."

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cavium's Revenue Declines 17% in Q4 to $68 Million

Cavium posted Q4 2011 revenue of $56.3 million, a 16.9% sequential decrease from the $67.7 million reported for the third quarter of 2011.
Net loss for the fourth quarter of 2011, on a GAAP basis, was $9.4 million, or $(0.19) per diluted share, compared to net income of $6.0 million, or $0.12 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2011. Gross margins were 58.1% in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to 59.9% in the third quarter of 2011. Total cash and cash equivalents were $63.2 million at December 31, 2011.

Palo Alto Networks Hires Ex-CFO of Aruba Networks

Palo Alto Networks appointed Steffan Tomlinson as its new chief financial officer (CFO), effective immediately. Most notably, from 2005 to 2011, Tomlinson served as chief financial officer of Aruba Networks and was instrumental in both their Initial Public Offering and helping the company scale to facilitate growth. From 2000 to 2005, he was the first non-founder employee and, ultimately, chief financial officer of Peribit Networks.

Extreme Posts Revenue of $82.8 Million, Profit of $4.1 Million

Extreme Networks reported quarterly net revenue of $82.8 million, and GAAP net income of $4.1 million or $0.04 per diluted share.

"These results show the initial positive effect of our company transformation with product revenue up 8% and non-GAAP operating income up 25% from Q1," said Oscar Rodriguez, President and CEO of Extreme Networks. "We are now focused on driving the success of our new products for the cloud, data center and mobile markets, which will begin shipping this quarter."

Rodriguez continued, "Across our vertical markets, we are seeing strong interest in new cloud-scale products including the Black Diamond X8, and our new mobile backhaul products, the E4G cell-site routers."

Total net revenue in Americas was $36.8 million, revenue in EMEA was $32.4 million, and revenue in APAC was $13.6 million. That compares to revenue in Americas of $30.8 million, revenue in EMEA of $37.2 million, and revenue in APAC of $17.1 million for the same period last year. For the quarter, total revenue increased 5%, and product revenue was up 8% sequentially from the first quarter of fiscal 2012.