Tuesday, April 10, 2012

NTT Cites Breakthrough in GaN-based Thin Film Production

Researchers at NTT announced a breakthrough in the development of GaN-based thin-film devices from substrates, where an extremely thin layer of boron nitride (BN) is grown between a sapphire substrate and the GaN-based semiconductor and works as a release layer.

The newly developed MeTRe (Mechanical Transfer using a Release layer) method of production facilitates the transfer of the resulting nitride structures (typically a few μm thick) to more flexible and affordable substrates.

So far, the researchers have demonstrated a very thin LED, in which a detached thin-film device is sandwiched by two laminate films (total thickness is as small as 0.2 mm, Fig. 5 ), indicating that this technology has opened a door for GaN-based flexible devices.

NTT said this innovation helps in the production of very thin LEDs, transparent solar cells sensitive only to UV light, and highly-functional hybrid CMOS devices.

Verizon and General Dynamics Selected for Army Private Cloud Initiative

Verizon Enterprise Solutions, as part of a General Dynamics-led team, has been awarded two contracts to develop and implement fixed and mobile cloud computing capacity for the U.S. Army under the Area Processing Centers Army Private Cloud 2 initiative, known as APC2. The five-year, multiple-award contracts have a combined potential value of $249.8 million to all awardees.

Verizon's Terremark division will provide infrastructure -- including cloud assets designed to meet federal security guidelines, and server, network and storage capacity -- for the initiative.

APC2 is a new component of the LandWarNet strategic initiative, which encompasses all Army information computing capabilities such as collecting, processing and storing information. Through the program, the Army intends to lower application migration, hosting, administration and maintenance costs by moving to cloud infrastructure and reducing the number of data centers it operates.

"There is an amazing transformation under way in the federal government and the U.S. military as agencies become increasingly virtual to operate more efficiently and effectively on behalf of our nation," said Susan Zeleniak, Verizon's senior vice president for public sector markets. "By moving to the cloud, the Army will have more flexibility in how IT resources are consumed while providing better economics, greater agility and broader access to information for civilian and military personnel."http://www.verizonbusiness.com

Microsoft Adds Cloud Requirements to Engineer Certification Program

Microsoft has upgraded its flagship professional credential, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, for the cloud. The new Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) includes cloud training requirements that demonstrated to employers and peers that those certified have the skills to do the job in an expanding market.

"The new Microsoft certifications are raising the bar across the industry and reflect industry shifts that require a broader knowledge base and deeper skills across solutions that cloud computing requires," said Don Field, Microsoft's senior director of Product Management. "The Microsoft certifications reflect the experience and skills needed to build, manage and evolve solutions in a cloud-based environment, ensuring validation of real-world skills for individuals and helping hiring managers identify the best-qualified job candidates."

CloudPassage Lands $14 Million to Secure Cloud Servers

CloudPassage, a start-up based in San Francisco, secured $14 million series B financing round, for its cloud security solution.

CloudPassage said its key innovation is its Halo architecture, which automates multiple server security functions and transparently handles the highly fluid and scalable characteristics of public IaaS environments. The technology automatically secures cloud servers when they burst or are cloned. Halo combines an ultra-lightweight guest VM software component with an elastic compute grid optimized for security operations, an architecture that has opened up significant new security capabilities to companies leveraging IaaS.

CloudPassage said the new funding will be used to accelerate market penetration of Halo, its cloud server security platform and extend its functionality with innovations previously in stealth development. The company reports subscriber growth of over 70 percent during the first two months of 2012, compared with last year. Halo Basic is free for up to 25 servers. A Pro service is also offered.

The new funding brings the company’s total funding to $21 million. The round was led by Tenaya Capital, with participation from existing investors Benchmark Capital and Musea Ventures. Brian Melton, Managing Director at Tenaya Capital, will join the CloudPassage board of directors.


CVC Capital Partners Bids for Hong Kong's City Telecom

CVC Capital Partners will acquire Hong Kong's City Telecom for HK$5 billion (US$644 million).

Hong Kong Broadband Network Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of City Telecom (HK) Limited, has offered residential broadband services at 100 Mbps and 1 Gbps for several years over its fiber, CAT 5 metro Ethernet network. HKBN has over 1,240,000 subscribers.

Optimum Lightpath Carries Uncompressed HD-SDI over Wavelengths

Optimum Lightpath, which is Cablevision's Ethernet-based business service for the New York metropolitan area, is supporting 1.485 GB linear uncompressed HD-SDI over dedicated wavelengths. The functionality is available footprint-wide, supporting the real-time transport of uncompressed high definition video at high reliability levels the fiber network. The update is targeted primarily to media production facilities, broadcasters, television stations, video relay bureaus and content distributors that want to transport high quality video of live events to various local destinations. Optimum Lightpath manages encoding and decoding, as well as installation, operation and maintenance of all related equipment for Managed Video.http://optimumlightpath.com/ourservices_video

Dell Launches Content Delivery Platform (CDP) for Service Providers

Dell is launching a Content Delivery Platform (CDP) that allows network providers to sell Content Delivery Network (CDN) services to the enterprise as well as manage the on-demand delivery of any video to any screen.

The CDN solution is powered by Dell PowerEdge 12th generation servers and software from EdgeCast Networks and Elemental Technologies.

Dell said its solution allows network operators to launch their own CDN quickly and affordably. EdgeCast's CDN software already supports more than 4,000 content providers worldwide. Elemental Technologies' video processing software leverages massively parallel NVIDIA graphics processing units (GPUs) and Intel processors to offer an extremely dense and highly cost effective transcoding solution.

"Managing and maintaining a healthy IT infrastructure is getting more and more complicated for network operators as their infrastructures are not designed to support today’s growing demand for IP-based, bandwidth-hogging content,�? said Laurie Hutto-Hill, general manager of Dell’s Global Telecommunications, Media & Entertainment organization. “Until now, few content delivery models have been optimized for rich media, and it is hard to find existing technologies equipped to analyze and deliver content efficiently based on the requirements of a multitude of end-user devices. Dell Deliver offers flexible and scalable technology with significant cost advantages, allowing network providers to establish a healthy CDN that can support today’s ever-changing data landscape."http://www.dell.com

BT Boosts Top Infinity 2 Tier to up to 76Mbps

BT Retail has nearly doubled the downstream speed of its Infinity 2 broadband service to peak rates of 76 Mbps. The newly revamped service will also offer the UK’s fastest upstream speeds of up to 19Mbps. BT Retail is also set to give its BT Infinity 1 product a boost by increasing its upstream speed fivefold from up to 1.9 Mbps to up to 9.5 Mbps.

IBM's PureSystems Integrates Server, Storage and Networking

IBM unveiled its PureSystems architecture for combining all IT elements, both physical and virtual, into "expert integrated systems" with server, storage, and networking capabilities. IBM's PureSystems is the result of $2 billion in R&D and acquisitions over four years.

IBM said PureSystems will be distinguished by its scale-in design, which optimizes all of the critical components required in today’s data center – system networking, storage, compute, management, etc. -- and provides for a single-view management system. The goal is to automatically scale compute resources, networking and storage as needed by applications.

IBM is applying its "patterns of expertise" software to PureSystems in order to automate time-consuming tasks such as configuring, deploying and upgrading applications. This software layer is open to independent developers who can customize applications for the PureSystems.

IBM has also included a cloud self-service and provisioning interface directly into PureSystems.

“With its new scale-in design and built-in expertise, PureSystems represents an important advance in the evolution of computing,�? said Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive, software and systems, IBM. “By tightening the connections between hardware and software, and adding incomparable software know-how, PureSystems is designed to help clients to free up time and money to focus on innovation that many businesses cannot address due to ever rising costs and staffing needs in the traditional data center.�?http://www.ibm.com

Monday, April 9, 2012

Nokia Siemens Networks Announces Accord to Stay in Munich

Nokia Siemens Networks announced that a significant majority of employees affected by the company’s restructuring plan agreed to join an interim employment company. The acceptance of this offer by a major proportion of affected employees was a pre-requisite for the company to stay in Munich, as outlined in an agreement struck with IG Metall last month. As a result, Nokia Siemens Networks will continue to employ about 2,000 people in Munich.

Crown Castle Completes Acquisition of NextG Networks

Crown Castle International completed its previously announced acquisition of NextG Networks, Inc., the largest provider of outdoor distributed antenna systems.
http://crowncastle.comIn December, Crown Castle International first announced its plans to acquire NextG Networks for approximately $1.0 billion in cash.

NextG, which specializes in outdoor distributed antenna systems ("DAS"), currently has over 7,000 nodes-on-air and a further 1,500 nodes under construction. In addition, NextG has rights to over 4,600 miles of fiber. Over 90% of NextG nodes are in urban and suburban locations, with 80% in the top ten US metropolitan areas, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas Fort Worth. The NextG assets are expected to provide significant growth, as they currently average only 1.25 tenants per network.

Following the contemplated acquisition, Crown Castle expects to be the largest independent DAS operator in the US, with approximately 10,000 nodes and 26 venues in operation or under construction. Previously, Crown Castle owned, operated and managed over 22,000 and approximately 1,600 wireless communication sites in the US and Australia,

Procera Increases Outlook, Confirms Tier 1 Order

Procera Networks increased its financial guidance, disclosed a multimillion dollar follow-on order from a Tier-1 European operator and announced a new offering of stock.

Based on preliminary financial data, Procera expects that first quarter 2012 financial results will reflect revenue in the range of $11.8 million to $12.2 million for the quarter, representing a year-over-year increase in the range of 71% to 77%. Bookings are expected to be approximately $14.6 million for the quarter, while gross margin is expected to be greater than 65% for the quarter, as compared with 61% in the first quarter last year.

"We are pleased with the outcome for our first quarter of 2012 and the strength of our business model. We continue to gain traction in the fast growing IPE market as evidenced by our strong first quarter results,�? said James Brear, president and CEO of Procera Networks. “With our industry leading solutions and customized analytics that enable broadband service providers to effectively operate and monetize their networks, we believe 2012 will be the year that Procera establishes itself as the leader in Intelligent Policy Enforcement.�?

Procera Networks also announced a $2 million follow-on order from a Tier-1 European Mobile Operator. This order is the third from this operator, and supports an increase in the number of subscribers handled by the PacketLogic solutions and the deployment of video optimization to better manage OTT video streaming. The majority of this revenue is expected to be recognized in the first quarter of 2012.

In addition, Procera Networks announced plans to offer to sell 3,500,000 shares of its common stock in an underwritten public offering. Procera expects to grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 15% of the shares of common stock offered in the public offering to cover over-allotments, if any. All of the shares in the offering will be sold by Procera. The company intends to use the net proceeds from the offering for working capital and general corporate purposes including potential acquisitions.

E-Band Secures Funding for Small Cell Wireless Backhaul System

E-Band Communications, which supplies 80 GHz wireless backhaul solutions, announced that it has secured funding to complete development of its next-generation "small cell" wireless backhaul system. Financial terms were not announced.

"Compact size, affordability and bandwidth delivery are the ingredients that network service providers and mobile carriers are looking for," said E-Band CEO Sam Smookler. "E-Band's track record of delivering over 5,000 millimeter-wave 80 GHz wireless terminals with outstanding proven network reliability positions us well for addressing the burgeoning 4G/LTE market along with its small cells."http://www.e-band.com

Ciena's 100G and Carrier Ethernet Connects Cape Cod

CapeNet, which serves southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod, has chosen Ciena and Integration Partners to provide coherent optical transport and Carrier Ethernet solutions for the 350-mile fiber optic OpenCape Network. The network is currently being constructed in southeastern Massachusetts and on Cape Cod using Ciena’s coherent optical processing technology.

The project is funded through a Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) infrastructure grant as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act . On Cape Cod, the network will provide high-speed broadband connectivity to approximately 70 community anchor institutions, to include 30 libraries, five colleges, 15 town network hubs, and six research institutions.

CapeNet is using Ciena’s 100G coherent optical transport solution on Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform as the backbone of the network providing the ultra-high bandwidth service. In addition, Ciena’s 5150 and 3916 Carrier Ethernet Solutions (CES) will provide aggregation and delivery of highly reliable broadband services to CapeNet customers.

Cisco and NetApp Extend Their FlexPod Collaboration

Cisco and NetApp are collaborating on a series of new pre-validated design architectures that combines their computing, networking and storage solutions to help companies implement cloud automation capabilities.
The entry-level FlexPod solution are aimed at business application workloads with 500 to 1000 users. This combines the NetApp entry level FAS 2240 and the Cisco UCS C-Series Cisco Nexus 5000 Switches, Cisco Nexus 2232 Fabric Extender, and Cisco UCS 6200 Series Fabric Interconnects.

Cisco and NetApp first announced their FlexPod collaboration in November 2010. The companies now have more than 500 FlexPod partners and more than 850 customers are using FlexPod for their data center infrastructure – representing more than 400% growth in customer adoption in less than a year.

FTTH Connections in North America Surpass 8 Million, up 13% YoY

The number of North American households served directly by fiber grew by 13 percent over the past year, according to the Fiber-to-the-Home Council Americas and figures prepared by the market analyst firm RVA LLC.

The newly released figures show that 900,000 households across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean were upgraded to FTTH service since April 2011, as the total number of North American homes with all-fiber connections surged past eight million. The figures showed that FTTH is now being offered to 19.3 million homes on the continent.

Some highlights of the report:

  • The U.S. accounts for about 95 percent of FTTH households in North America, while Canada is 3% and Mexico is 2%.

  • Verizon continues to be by far the largest FTTH provider on the continent by far.

  • The number of FTTH network operators in North America is nearing 1,000, thanks to the increasing number of small and medium-sized incumbent telephone companies, most located in rural and small town areas. The vast majority of these FTTH network operators serve fewer than 10,000 subscribers.

  • On average, government supported FTTH stimulus projects are now 38 percent complete, with indications that many will start connecting subscribers this year.

  • There is growing activity among FTTH providers in fiber to the cell tower construction, with more than 1500 towers connected by small, single state providers in 2011.

"The notion that the upgrade to FTTH can be a catalyst for economic development is precisely what is driving this enormous interest in high-speed fiber we are seeing at the community level across North America," said Heather Burnett Gold, President of the FTTH Council Americas. "Civic leaders in communities of all sizes have a sense that more bandwidth means more opportunities for economic progress."http://www.ftthcouncil.org

Thailand's TOT Upgrades to HSPA+ with Nokia Siemens Networks

TOT, Thailand’s state-owned telecom operator, has selected Nokia Siemens Networks to upgrade its 3G network to HSPA+. The upgrade, which will be completed this month, will increase the down speed rate to a maximum of 42 Mbps.
TOT currently serves 7.2 million customers.

Nokia Siemens Networks’ all-IP ready HSPA+ solution is based on the Dual Carrier HSDPA technology, Flexi Multiradio Base Station and the 3G Radio Network Multicontroller (RNC). The company will also deploy its Liquid Core’s COTS ATCA-based Open Mobile Switching Server (MSS), which together with the Flexi Multiradio Base Station enables a smooth transition to LTE. NSN will also supply its NetAct network management system and its Location Based Services solution, enabling TOT to offer Value Added Services (VAS), such as localized advertising.

Bharti Airtel Launches TD-LTE in Kolkata

Bharti Airtel launched India's first commercial LTE service in the city of Kolkata.

Airtel is initially offering LTE USB Dongles as well as indoor LTE CPE, while supporting top theoretical download speeds of 100 Mbps although actual speeds will be much lower. Currently voice and SMS are not supported on the LTE network, but the company plans to add these soon.

Airtel is offering a movie service (www.bigflix.com) featuring Bollywood hits.

Airtel has secured LTE licences in four of India's telecom circles, including Kolkata, Maharashtra, Punjab and Karnataka.
  • ZTE served as infrastructure provider for airtel's LTE network in Kolkatta.

  • In February, Nokia Siemens Networks announced a contract to supply TD-LTE network equipment in the 2.3 GHz frequency band for Bharti Airtel. The carrier also 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.

MediaTek to Acquire Coresonic for DSPs

Taiwan-based MediaTek agreed to acquire Coresonic AB, a global leader of Digital Signal Processor (DSP) technology. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Coresonic AB, founded in Sweden, has rapidly established itself as a market leader with its breakthrough DSP architecture for wireless baseband. MediaTek will use Coresonic's DSP technology to further improve the efficiency and flexibility of its expanding product lines, strengthening MediaTek's position as a leading provider of wireless communication and digital multimedia IC solutions. Prior to the acquisition, MediaTek has been working closely with Coresonic AB.

TE Connectivity Sells Professional Services Group

TE Connectivity agreed to sell its TE Professional Services (TPS) business to BlueStream Professional Services, LLC, an affiliate of KGP Logistics, for $23.5 million. TPS, acquired as part of TE's acquisition of ADC in December 2010, has been reported in the Telecom Networks business of TE's Network Solutions segment. TPS is a provider of engineering, furnishing and installation services to communication service providers. TE reported sales of $121 million in fiscal 2011 for the TPS business.