Wednesday, April 11, 2012

BT Lands Network Contract with Renater

The French National Telecommunications Network for Technology, Education and Research (RENATER) has selected BT to supervise, manage and operate its fibre-based IP network, and to supply and maintain infrastructure equipment. The contract covers BT Advise Connect services. BT and RENATER have been working together since 2000. Financial terms were not disclosed.

RENATER connects more than 1,300 sites in France and internationally, including all of the nation's research institutes, and provides a national and international connectivity via the pan-European GÉANT network.

TELUS to Invest in LTE Rollout for Northern B.C.

TELUS announced plans to invest $103 million in Northern British Columbia over the next three years to expand 4G LTE to Prince George and other communities. TELUS invested $11 million in Prince George last year, including $3 million to expand its customer care centre so it could hire 150 new team members in Prince George to help the company meet growing demand for Optik TV. TELUS plans to hire a further 70 employees across Northern B.C. this year to continue to support its services provided to citizens across British Columbia.

Microsoft Announces Largest Cloud Customer to Date

All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is deploying Microsoft's cloud-based, Live@edu communication and collaboration service to more than 10,000 technical colleges and institutes throughout India. The service will provide email, Microsoft Office Web Apps, instant messaging and storage to AICTE's more than 7 million students and nearly 500,000 faculty members, for a total reach of 7.5 million users. AICTE also plans to deploy Microsoft Office 365 for education when it becomes available later this year, providing access to Microsoft Exchange Online email and calendar, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Lync Online and Microsoft Office Professional as the technical infrastructure to support member colleges and institutes.

Microsoft noted that more than 22 million users globally are now connected with its Live@edu cloud suite for education.

Symmetricom to Resell GPS Disciplined Atomic Oscillator Modules

Symmetricom will resell GPS Disciplined Oscillator (GPSDO) Modules and High-Frequency Source Modules from Jackson Labs Technologies, Inc., a designer and manufacturer of cutting-edge precision time and frequency products.

GPSDOs provide time and frequency reference signals that have the same long-term accuracy as the GPS signal itself, and also provide a "holdover" capability to maintain system synchronization when GPS reception outages occur.

Level 3 Opens First POP in Africa

Level 3 Communications will establish an IP node in Djibouti, a small country in the horn of Africa, through a partnership with Djibouti Telecom. Five submarine cables have landings in Djibouti. This is Level 3's first point-of-presence in Africa. Services will commence in the third quarter of 2012.

Radisys Names Former Alcatel-Lucent Exec to its Board

Radisys Corporation has appointed Hubert de Pesquidoux to its Board of Directors. De Pesquidoux is the former chief financial officer (CFO) of Alcatel-Lucent and president of its Enterprise Business Group. Prior to those roles, he was a member of the Alcatel Executive Committee. During his nearly 20-year tenure at Alcatel-Lucent SA (and its predecessor, Alcatel), de Pesquidoux held executive positions including President and CEO of Alcatel North America; chief executive officer (CEO) of Alcatel Canada; and CFO of Alcatel USA.

Since November 2009, Mr. de Pesquidoux has served as Chief Executive Officer of HDP Consulting. Mr. de Pesquidoux has served as Chairman of the Board for Tekelec, a provider of Intelligent Network solutions, and on Tekelec's audit and corporate development committees. Mr. de Pesquidoux is currently the Chairman of the Audit Committee for Sequans Communications S.A, a 4G chipmaker, and is a member of the Board and Chairman of the Audit Committee for Mavenir Systems, a leading provider of mobile solutions for LTE Operators.

NSN Appoints Ken Wirth as Head of Customer Operations Americas

Nokia Siemens Networks has appointed Ken Wirth as head of Customer Operations for North and Latin America, a position in which he will be responsible for the company’s sales throughout the Americas. He will also join the company’s Executive Board.

Mr. Wirth previously was president of the End-to-End Networks business at Alcatel Lucent, where he played an important part in building Alcatel-Lucent’s global LTE business with Verizon, AT&T, China Mobile, Telefonica and other leading operators. Before that Wirth held a range of leadership positions at Alcatel-Lucent, including heading the company’s 4G/LTE business unit and serving as president of the Verizon customer team.

France Telecom Bids to Acquire Remaining Shares in Egypt's MobiNil

France Telecom-Orange has submitted a bid to acquire most of the remaining shares in MobiNil for Telecommunications, the Egyptian mobile operator.

Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of France Telecom-Orange said: “We believe this transaction provides a solid basis for our continued partnership with OTMT in ECMS. Furthermore, we believe that our EUR 1.5 billion investment demonstrates our continued, strong commitment and belief in ECMS's potential and in the Egyptian economy in general. To further enhance ECMS's integration in the Egyptian economy, France Telecom-Orange intends to ensure that, if the conditions allow it, up to 15% of ECMS’s shares are held by Egyptian shareholders, whether these are private or public companies, or individual shareholders.�?

France Telecom and Partners Activate Indian Ocean Cable System

The second phase of the Lower Indian Ocean Network (LION) has been brought into commercial service by France Telecom-Orange and the other members of the LION2 consortium.

The LION cable, which links Madagascar to the global broadband network via the Réunion and Mauritius islands, has now been extended with a 2,700 km cable to Kenya via Mayotte. Through its landing station at Kaweni (Mamoudzou), LION2 will provide Mayotte, for the first time, with access to the broadband Internet. In Kenya, the LION2 cable is connected through a new landing station that has been built at Nyali, close to Mombasa. In addition, the new cable also provides an alternative route for passing secure broadband transmissions through Europe and Asia for all African countries in which the Group is located. The cable currently offers a maximum potential capacity of 1.28 Tbps and can be increased without additional submarine work.

The construction of the LION2 cable represents a total investment of around 57 million euros, about 38 million euros of which will come from France Telecom SA and its subsidiaries. Members of the LION2 consortium include Orange subsidiaries Mauritius Telecom, Orange Madagascar and Telkom Kenya, as well as two other operators, Emtel Ltd and Société Réunionnaise du Radiotéléphone.

Vermont Telephone Deploys 100G with Alcatel-Lucent

Vermont Telephone Company is upgrading to a 100G optical transport network with Alcatel-Lucent.

Using Broadband Stimulus funding, VTel is planning to boost its data transmission and broadband access network, enabling it to deliver video and high-speed Internet services to both residences and businesses at speeds of up to 1 Gbps. The project also expands and strengthens VTel’s existing 1,000 mile four-state optical fiber network from Vermont with connections to New York City, Boston, and Montreal.

For the deployment, Alcatel-Lucent is providing its 100G optical coherent technology, based on Alcatel-Lucent’s 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS), its 7750 Service Router, and OmniSwitch 9800E Metro Ethernet switch. Alcatel-Lucent has also been selected as the integrator of VTel’s IPTV service, which runs on the Microsoft Mediaroom solution. Network management capabilities are provided by Alcatel-Lucent’s 5620 Service Aware Manager, and the deployment was supported by the company’s engineering and installations services team.

NBC to Use Ericsson's Video Solutions for Olympics

NBC Sports Group will use video processing solutions from Ericsson during its coverage of the 2012 London Olympic Games from London, England July 27 - August 12, 2012. The equipment will be used to deliver HD content across both contribution and distribution feeds to ensure the highest picture quality from the Olympic venues to millions of viewers in the United States. Ericsson is providing a range of products including MPEG-4 AVC encoders, professional receivers, multiplexers and satellite modulators as well as a team of support engineers in both London and New York.

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."

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.

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."