Monday, February 6, 2012

Radisys Scales Broadband Media Processing for LTE IMS

Radisys introduced its MPX-12000 Broadband Media Processing platform for large LTE IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) network deployments.

MPX-12000, which is based on Radisys 40G ATCA open platform technologies, is specifically designed to provide mobile and IMS network operators the capacities, capabilities and reliability essential for monetizing real-time wireless broadband communications, including mobile video and voice over LTE (VoLTE). Specifically, the platform offers huge scalability in performing the Multimedia Resource Function (MRF) in LTE IMS networks. This media serving capability can be used for a wide range of mobile services, including:

  • Real-time 2-way and streaming 1-way

  • Multimedia VAS, conferencing, ringback, adverts, messaging, streaming

  • Support for HD video, including H.264 720p HD

  • Support for VoLTE, including AMR-WB

  • Ensuring interoperability of premium conferencing services between mobile devices with IP-IP audio / video transcoding capabilities.

The MPX-12000, which extends the company's existing portfolio of media servers, uses new hardware that is not compatible with the CMS-9000 but the software is backwards compatible. Unlike earlier media servers, the processing and I/O are decoupled as independent elements in this design. There are two blades for the MPX-12000 chassis: a new multi-core Media Processing Card (MPC5) that is optimized for high-capacity real-time multimedia packet processing, and a System Control Card (SCC5) with 1Gig and 10Gig Ethernet interfaces for media, control, and management. Availability is expected in Q2.

“Radisys’ release of its MPX-12000 comes at the perfect time for operators. With its MRF media processing capacities, the MPX-12000 will enable mobile operators to offer and monetize personalized multimedia services to their LTE mobile subscribers.�?

“Mavenir has already integrated the Radisys CMS-9000 media server with our Mavenir mOne Convergence Platform for one of our LTE operator deployments, yet we continue to see growing volumes of traffic in the network, particularly mobile video traffic,�? said Terry McCabe, CTO, Mavenir Systems. “A product like the MPX-12000—with a design objective to increase MRF media processing capacities for mobile video services—offers an enticing MRF product evolution for LTE operators.�?

Vitesse Posts Revenue of $30 Million

Vitesse Semiconductor reported total net revenues of $30.0 million for its first quarter of fiscal year 2012, ended December 31, 2011, compared to $30.3 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011, down 20.3% compared to $37.7 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2011. Net loss including $3.3 million of non-cash income related to the embedded derivative, $1.1 million of non-cash stock compensation and $0.1 million of non-cash amortization of intangibles, was $0.8 million, or $0.03 per share, compared with a net loss of $4.6 million, or $0.19 per share, in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011.

Product revenues were $28.9 million, the same as reported in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011, down 23.0% compared to $37.6 million in the first quarter in fiscal year 2011.

“During our first fiscal quarter of 2012, we delivered revenues within our guidance, solid product margins, and lower operating expenses,�? said Chris Gardner, CEO of Vitesse. “These improvements enabled us to maintain our cash position and to reach our target revenue breakeven of $32.0 million a quarter ahead of schedule within a challenging market environment. Our new product lines continued to gain traction with Tier-1 and Tier-2 customers. As such, we are on schedule to achieve our 2012 objective of 300 design wins. "

Alcatel-Lucent Unveils Customer Experience Suite for Service Providers

Alcatel-Lucent introduced its Motive Customer Experience Solutions (CXS) portfolio designed to help service providers proactively address the consumer experience. The portfolio is made up of four solution suites, each of which addresses various critical touchpoints in the relationship between communications service providers and their customers:

Motive CX Management is focused on getting new devices, applications and services up and running quickly, by simplifying their introduction on the network, managing upgrades and service modifications, and providing a consistent, low-hassle experience for customers.

Motive CX Analytics provides monitoring tools that track the performance of the devices, applications and services running on the network. These tools — which leverage unique algorithms developed by Bell Labs — provide key insights and dashboards that infer overall customer experience and allow for detailed customer experience insights.

Motive CX Optimization empowers communications service providers to provide their customers with the best service experience possible while making better use of network capacity. Using historical data about customers, devices, applications and the network, communications service providers can examine trends, experiences and usage patterns — segmented by types of users — and take accurate and proactive actions with yield management and loyalty.

CX Consulting consists of a dedicated team that — using a patent-pending methodology — identifies unique opportunities to improve the wide range of customer experience touch points within a service provider organization.

“Alcatel-Lucent has established a strong reputation in customer experience with hundreds of communications service providers around the world. What we are announcing today is a commitment to continue our investments in the area of customer experience with the introduction of our new portfolio – which we have called Motive Customer Experience Solutions,�? stated Adolfo Hernandez, President of Alcatel-Lucent’s Software, Services & Solutions group.

Broadband Forum Adds Support for MPLS in Mobile Backhaul Networks

At the MPLS & Ethernet World Congress in Paris, the Broadband Forum released its latest suite of technical specifications and featuring new mobile backhaul capabilities. Specifically, BroadbandSuite 6.0 addresses network migration requirements with practical resources, specifications, test plans, and best practice documentation, including:

Technical specifications:

TR-221: "MPLS in Mobile Backhaul Networks"

IP/MPLS Forum 20.0.0: "MPLS in Mobile Backhaul Networks Framework and Requirements"

Certification Test Plan:

TR-248: "Abstract Test Suite for TDM Services over MPLS" (basis of the BBF.248 TDMoMPLS certification)

Resources: White Papers

MR-238: "Use of MPLS in LTE"

MR-258: "Enabling Next Generation Transport and Services using Unified MPLS"


MR-234: "MPLS in Mobile Backhaul Networks"

MR-245: "MPLS-TP in Multi-Service Packet Network Deployments"

MR-275: "Data Center Interconnection"

Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum said: "The remarkable growth of mobile traffic, driven by demand for data, video and emerging business services, means that the industry must act quickly. The Broadband Forum continues to develop timely specifications that empower the industry to engineer smart converged mobile backhaul implementations."

Broadcom Intros First Octal 10GbE SFP+ PHY

Broadcom introduced the first 10GbE eight-channel, front panel Ethernet physical layer transceiver (PHY) for enterprise and data center networks.

The new Broadcom BCM84780 Octal SFI-XFI PHY is approximately 25 percent smaller with lower power per port compared to other currently available solutions. The PHY features eight fully independent channels with IEEE 1588 timestamping. It also incorporates EDC that enables data to be transmitted on a 10GbE serial interface for applications requiring transmission over multimode fiber (MMF) at distances up to 300m (LRM) using OM3 fiber and SFP+ copper twin-axial cable (CR).

In addition to supporting long reach over multi-mode fiber (LRM), the BCM84780 handles short range (SR), long range (LR) and newer extended range (ER and ZR) optical interfaces,

NETGEAR Posts Record Q4 Revenue, up 20% YoY

NETGEAR reported net revenue for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2011 of $309.2 million, as compared to $258.5 million for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2010, and $301.8 million in the third quarter ended October 2, 2011. Net income, computed in accordance with GAAP, for the fourth quarter of 2011 was $22.8 million, or $0.60 per diluted share. This compared to GAAP net income of $13.6 million, or $0.37 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2010, and to GAAP net income of $26.7 million, or $0.70 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2011.

Retail Business Unit revenue was up 2% sequentially, and up 11% for the full year, while the Service Provider Business Unit was up 14% sequentially, and up 102% in 2011 as compared to 2010. The Commercial Business Unit revenue was down 8% sequentially.

Net revenue for the full year 2011 was $1.18 billion, a 31% increase as compared to $902.1 million for 2010. Net income, computed in accordance with GAAP, for 2011 was $91.4 million, or $2.41 per diluted share. This net income was an 80% increase compared to net income of $50.9 million for 2010. Earnings per share, computed in accordance with GAAP, was $1.41 per diluted share for the full year 2010.

Patrick Lo, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NETGEAR commented, "We are extremely pleased with our full year 2011 business performance amid a challenging macroeconomic environment. Q4 2011 represented another new record in quarterly revenue, and our full year 2011 revenue well exceeded the $1 billion mark. In the fourth quarter 2011 we benefited from strong holiday retail sales, specifically in North America. This is particularly encouraging after the strong back to school season we experienced in Q3. We also experienced healthy year-over-year growth in all three geographic regions as we continue to carry positive momentum out of a very strong third quarter. Our new products continue to exceed our expectations and enable us to gain market share."

LightSquared Calls for GPS Receiver Reliability Standards

LightSquared has filed a petition asking the FCC to develop receiver reliability standards for unlicensed GPS devices to ensure they perform reliably and take into account licensed users in nearby bands. LightSquared is especially focused on commercial GPS receivers designed to receive signals in the 1559-1610 MHz band, company.

In December, LightSquared asked the agency to confirm the company's right to use its licensed spectrum and confirm that commercial GPS manufacturers have no right to interference protection from LightSquared's network since they are not licensed users.

AT&T's U-verse App for iPad Offers Wi-Fi Streaming on the Go

AT&T released an updated iPad App for its U-verse customers with the following new features:

  • extra content and information about the TV show you're watching, including series overview, episode synopsis, photos, cast and crew information, related TV shows and more.

  • a full-featured, intuitive U-verse remote control with channel, guide, DVR, interactive app and on-demand controls, eliminating the need for extra (or lost) remotes throughout the home.

  • advanced search functionality to help you find the content you want.

  • recommendations on what to watch with ratings and reviews.

  • ability to share information about what you are watching with friends on Facebook.

  • the ability to watch hit TV shows and movies over any Wi-Fi connection while on the go. The library of popular content is based on the customer's U-verse TV package, including shows and movies from STARZ, ENCORE, TBS, TNT, truTV, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, with more choices added on an ongoing basis.

  • the ability to access the U-verse programming guide and DVR scheduling on the go, similar to the functionality available on the U-verse app for iPhone and iPod touch.

Juniper Introduces Universal Access Routers for MPLS Edge

Juniper Networks introduced a family of Universal Access routers designed to extend MPLS further in carrier networks while supporting residential broadband, business Ethernet and mobile backhaul applications.

Juniper Networks ACX Series Universal Access Routers scale to offer up to 60 Gbps of throughput capacity and backhaul links of up to 10 Gbps. Using the Junos OS, the new routers extend seamless MPLS from the network core and edge to the access network. The solution is optimized for mobile backhaul applications and include built-in Synchronous Ethernet and 1588-2008 timing capabilities.

Network management and analysis is enabled with Junos Space. The routers are environmentally hardened with passive cooling to provide high reliability with no moving parts. Juniper is also offering Power over Ethernet (PoE+) at 65watts per port, mitigating the need for additional electrical cabling for microwaves or other access interfaces.

Juniper is also opening the management system of these access routers with SDK-enabled programmability.

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.