Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ciena Endorses Open Data Center Interoperable Network (ODIN)

Ciena announced its support for the new Open Data Center Interoperable Network (ODIN)framework from IBM, which is positioned as an industry best-practice for transforming data-centers with a flatter, more converged network architecture.

In a blog posting, Steve Alexander, Chief Technology Officer of Ciena, writes: "We can see a time in the near future where the combination of increasing network intelligence combined with the use of open standards-based network programming interfaces (NPIs) enables physical network resources to be virtualized, just as we today routinely work with virtualized compute and storage resources."

The ODIN framework outlined by IBM addresses issues such as virtualization and Virtual Machine (VM) migration across flat Layer 2 networks, lossless Ethernet, Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and OpenFlow, and extended distance WAN connectivity (including low latency). Several papers are posted on the IBM site listed here.

http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/networking/solutions/odin.html
http://www.ciena.com

Ciena Endorses Open Data Center Interoperable Network (ODIN)

Ciena announced its support for the new Open Data Center Interoperable Network (ODIN)framework from IBM, which is positioned as an industry best-practice for transforming data-centers with a flatter, more converged network architecture.

In a blog posting, Steve Alexander, Chief Technology Officer of Ciena, writes: "We can see a time in the near future where the combination of increasing network intelligence combined with the use of open standards-based network programming interfaces (NPIs) enables physical network resources to be virtualized, just as we today routinely work with virtualized compute and storage resources."

The ODIN framework outlined by IBM addresses issues such as virtualization and Virtual Machine (VM) migration across flat Layer 2 networks, lossless Ethernet, Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and OpenFlow, and extended distance WAN connectivity (including low latency). Several papers are posted on the IBM site listed here.

 http://www.ciena.com
http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/networking/solutions/odin.html

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

ITU: Broadband Remain Unaffordable in Many Markets

While there are some 600 million broadband lines in service worldwide, affordability remains a major obstacle, particularly in Africa, where fixed broadband access costs on average three times monthly per capita income, according to the ITU's newly published "Trends in Telecommunication Reform" annual report.

In contrast, mobile cellular and mobile broadband services remains very competitive in 92 percent of all markets. By the end of 2011, ITU estimated that the number of mobile-cellular subscriptions reached close to 6 billion, representing a global penetration of 86.7 percent and a penetration level of 78.8 percent in developing countries.

Subtitled ‘Smart Regulation for a Broadband World', this year's report sheds light on the often complex legal and regulatory issues now emerging as broadband becomes pervasive and increasingly serves as a driving force for the development of other economic sectors. Case studies and decision trees are provided for national regulators who are working through the process of developing a broadband plan for their country. Ultimately, there is not a single "right" universal service funding model, according to the report, but there are common principles such as economic efficiency, equity, competitive neutrality, technological neutrality, certainty, transparency, and cost effectiveness. 
http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/treg/publications/trends12.html 

Overture Bolsters International Sales Team

Overture announced the opening of offices in India, Italy, Malaysia and Russia -- significantly expanding its international sales team.

These additions follow on the heels of Overture’s recent appointments of vice presidents for Canada and the Caribbean and Latin American (CALA) regions. 
http://www.overturenetworks.com 

AT&T Selected by U.S. Department of Homeland Security TacCom

AT&T Government Solutions was named prime vendor under the Tactical Communications Equipment and Services (TacCom) contract by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which is a multiple award, Indefinite Delivery – Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract with an overall value of $3 billion and a base contract period of two years and three, one-year options.

The TacCom contract provides DHS and its component agencies with a range of tactical communications products, infrastructure, and services to support public safety communications for first responders. As a prime vendor, AT&T can compete against other vendors for individual awards from DHS and its component agencies.

AT&T was awarded a position in all five functional categories under the TacCom contract, including Subscriber 
http://www.att.com 

Level 3 Expands in Latin America

Level 3 Communications announced an expansion of its data centers in Latin America in response to significant growth in customer demand. The company currently has 14 data centers in the region. Substantial data center expansions are underway in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador.

Level 3 also added new hosting and storage services, and increased its backup and storage capacity to enhance its customers' ability to grow in the region and internationally. The company has incorporated network, security, and storage management tools, and completed the first phase implementation of security and processing platforms that support its virtual and dynamic infrastructure services in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru. 
http://www.level3.com 

Vimplecom Loses Subscribers in Russia as it Targets Profitable Growth

Vimplecom reported Q1 2012 revenue of US$5.619 billion, up 3% over a year earlier, and net income of US$318 million, down 29% over last year.

"The benefits of executing on our strategy can be seen across our businesses: in Russia, our focus on profitable growth has delivered a strong organic increase of 9% in EBITDA and 11% in revenues. In the Africa & Asia business unit organic revenues rose by 9%, with a particularly strong contribution from Pakistan. In Italy we again gained market share, outperforming our competitors and our Ukraine and our CIS business units delivered solid revenue increases," stated Jo Lunder, CEO of Vimplecom.

Some highlights:

In Russia, revenue growth was 11%.

In Italy, revenues were flat YoY and EBITDA declined 2%. However, mobile subscriptions were up 4%, fixed voice up 3% and fixed broadband up 9% YoY.

The total mobile subscriber base increased 12% YoY to 209 million at the end of the first quarter. The largest absolute contribution came from accelerated growth in subscribers in the Africa & Asia Business Unit. The Company also achieved strong growth in fixed and mobile broadband subscribers in Russia, Italy and Ukraine.

Overall mobile subscribers in Russia declined in the first quarter 2012 compared to the fourth quarter of 2011, which benefited from extensive pre-holiday sales. Mobile broadband subscribers in Russia increased 12% YoY to 2.6 million, while the Fixed broadband subscriber base reached over 2 million, up 42% YoY. Overall, organic revenue growth in Russia was strong at 11% YoY.

Vimplecom is still seeking an amicable resolution with the Algerian government.

Vimplecom has sold its 49% controlling interest in GTEL Mobile in Vietnam.

CAPEX in Q1 was US$632 million, compared with US$729 million proforma a year earlier. 
http://www.vimpelcom.com 

  • In March, an Algerian Court handed down a judgment against Orascom Telecom Algerie (“OTA”) and a member of OTA’s senior executive team. The judgment relates to a previously disclosed claim brought in 2010 by the Algerian authorities alleging breaches of foreign exchange regulations. The judgment consists of fines of 99 billion Algerian Dinar (approximately USD 1.3 billion) and a criminal sentence against a member of OTA’s senior executive team.

MPLS and Mobile Backhaul


 In this interview, Sultan Dawood, the Broadband Forum's Marketing Committee Vice Chair, discusses network architecture for mobile backhaul.

1:20 -- What is the Broadband Forum doing with mobile backhaul

2:08 -- How does MPLS fit into the network architecture given that Ethernet is the access technology of choice?

3:40 What about MPLS-TP?

Monday, May 14, 2012

DOCOMO Extends Cloud Services

NTT DOCOMO is preparing to launch an array of new personal services for smartphone and tablet users under a new "docomo cloud" brand.

The cloud strategy, which the company highlighted in its financial report issued late last month, aims to transform the company into being a "trusted personal agent" of its customers rather than a dumb pipe. Since launching its "Shabette-Concier" voice command-based app for Android on March 1, DOCOMO has logged over 2 million downloads. Starting next month, Shabette-Concier voice command-based app will be enhanced to provide precise answers to inquiries on a wide range of topics.

In June, DOCOMO will launch, Mail-Hon’yaku-Concier, an app that automatically translates text messages, such as e-mails and social networking messages, between Japanese and English/Chinese/Korean. The service uses cloud-based mobile interpretation technologies that DOCOMO currently is developing.

In August, DOCOMO will begin providing users with 5GB of free cloud storage for photos and videos. The service recognizes facial features and scenes for automatic sorting and grouping. Photo Collection will link to external services like Evernote, Eye-Fi and HighlightCam.

Also in August, DOCOMO will enhance its dmarket portal for smartphone and tablet apps and content. Content purchased from DOCOMO’s VIDEO Store, MUSIC Store, BOOK Store or ANIME Store can be enjoyed for no extra charge on multiple devices registered to the same subscriber. 
http://www.nttdocomo.com/pr/2012/001591.html 

Equinix to Acquire ancotel GmbH for Frankfurt Interconnect Facility

Equinix, agreed to acquire ancotel GmbH, a leading provider of carrier-neutral colocation and interconnection services in Europe.

ancotel operates a data center in Frankfurt with 2,100 square meters of capacity that serves more than 400 customers, including 200 new networks and 6,000 cross connects. ancotel’s assets also include edge nodes in Hong Kong, London and Miami. ancotel generated approximately $21.4 million in revenue in 2011, and has been growing at a greater than 20 percent CAGR for the past three years.

"The acquisition of ancotel significantly strengthens Equinix’s value proposition and capabilities both in Europe and globally," said Eric Schwartz, president, Equinix EMEA. "Both companies enjoy strong reputations in the market and serve the world’s leading companies. The agreement will also grow the total number of network customers available at Equinix from 700 to 900." 
http://www.equinix.com http://www.ancotel.com 

Amazon CloudFront CDN Tunes for Dynamic Content

Amazon CloudFront is now delivering dynamic content, providing Amazon Web Services customers a simple CDN solution with international reach.

Amazon CloudFront works seamlessly with dynamic applications running in Amazon EC2, without any custom coding or proprietary configurations, making the service simple to deploy and manage. Requests for dynamic, static and streaming content are all routed through Amazon CloudFront’s full worldwide network of edge locations.

Amazon CloudFront charges the same rates for both static and dynamic content.

Last October, Amazon noted that CloudFront had over 20,000 active customers which is double the number of customers from the same time last year. Currently, Amazon has 30 edge locations including Sao Paolo, Brazil (the first location in South America), Paris (launched in February 2011), and Stockholm (launched in June 2011). 
http://aws.amazon.com/cloudfront 

TeliaSonera IC Provides European Connectivity for Facebook


TeliaSonera International Carrier has been selected to build and operate a new pan-European managed optical network for Facebook. The multi-terabit optical network will provide Facebook with connectivity between Internet exchange points in multiple European cities and their newest data center on the edge of the Arctic Circle in Luleå, Sweden.

TeliaSonera International Carrier owns and operates more than 43,000 kilometres (~27,000 miles) of fiber network, which covers more than 200 points of presence in major cities in 35 countries across Europe, North America and Asia. 
http://www.teliasoneraic.com 
  • Earlier this year, Rostelecom, Russia’s leading long distance operator, selected TeliaSonera International Carrier to operate and manage its new backbone network between Kingisepp, Russia and Stockholm, Sweden.

Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom Deploys Cisco Unified Data Center

Chunghwa Telecom has selected the Cisco Unified Data Center architecture to support its "hicloud" Cloud Server Service. The deployment comprises the Cisco Unified Computing System and Cisco Nexus switches. Chunghwa Telecom's "hicloud" will provide virtual server space, cloud data security and protection, applications for smart devices and program access platforms, and other cloud services. Financial terms were not disclosed. http://www.cisco.com 

Verizon Wireles Sees End to Unlimited iPhone Data, Start of Shared Data

Verizon Wireless is planning to phase out unlimited mobile data plans as customers upgrade to LTE devices, said Fran Shammo, Verizon Communications' EVP & CFO, speaking at the J.P. Morgan 40th Annual Technology, Media and Telecom Conference.

Some notes from his presentation:

  • Verizon Wireless is looking to introduce data share plans this summer, allowing customers to share a bucket of GBs across multiple devices on the account 
  •  LTE iPad sales are going quite nicely without a carrier subsidy. Smartphone penetration was at 47% at the end of Q1. 
  • The company is confident that its spectrum deal with the cable operators will get regulatory clearance. VZ sees the enterprise space going more to the cloud and security-type services.

RADWIN Supplies Wireless for Israeli "Safe City" Video Surveillance

The Be'er Sheva Municipality in Israel has deployed RADWIN 2000 radios in a large-scale video surveillance project.

High-definition cameras are installed throughout the city in places such as traffic intersections and public parks. The RADWIN radios transfer high-resolution video from the megapixel PTZ cameras back to the municipality's control center.

Shimon Halfon, VP Projects, Bynet Systems Applications, said: "RADWIN 2000 systems backhaul video from as many as 8 cameras per site and transmit video over 5 Km with high capacity of 50 Mbps and zero latency. Systems operate in particularly challenging city conditions, including non-line-of-sight, high interference and extreme environmental forces such as strong winds, fog, dust, and harsh climate."

Equinix to Acquire ancotel GmbH for Frankfurt Interconnect Facility

Equinix, agreed to acquire ancotel GmbH, a leading provider of carrier-neutral colocation and interconnection services in Europe.

ancotel operates a data center in Frankfurt with 2,100 square meters of capacity that serves more than 400 customers, including 200 new networks and 6,000 cross connects. ancotel’s assets also include edge nodes in Hong Kong, London and Miami. ancotel generated approximately $21.4 million in revenue in 2011, and has been growing at a greater than 20 percent CAGR for the past three years.

"The acquisition of ancotel significantly strengthens Equinix’s value proposition and capabilities both in Europe and globally," said Eric Schwartz, president, Equinix EMEA. "Both companies enjoy strong reputations in the market and serve the world’s leading companies. The agreement will also grow the total number of network customers available at Equinix from 700 to 900."

Friday, May 11, 2012

Telefónica Adds in Latin America But Europe Drags


The total number of accesses served by Telefónica reached 309 million as of the end of March, up 7% over the year earlier thanks to growth in Latin America.

Revenues totalled 15,511 million euros in the first quarter of 2012, a 0.5% year-on-year increase (-1.8% in the previous quarter), driven by higher sales at Telefónica Latinoamérica (+8.3% year-on-year), which more than offset lower revenues at the European businesses (-6.6% year-on-year). Excluding the negative impact of mobile termination rates cuts, revenues rose by 1.6% from the first quarter of 2011.

OIBDA totalled 5,081 million euros, down 8.8% compared to last year, while operating income was 2,511 million euros. Meanwhile, consolidated net profit for the quarter stood at 748 million euros and was impacted primarily by Telco’s writedown.

“Our earnings for the first three months of 2012 reflect the strategic priorities set for the full year and the success of the company's shift in commercial strategy, which began in the second half of 2011," said Telefónica Chairman César Alierta. “These results are in line with internal estimates and thus allow us to reiterate our financial and operational guidance announced for 2012."

Some highlights from the quarterly report:
  • The company is seeking to implement a new approach to handsets subsidies, reducing its upfront costs
  • The company is moving from voice to data-centric tariffs
  • Smartphones represent 81% of new commercial activity in Europe in Q1
  • There were 2x mobile net adds in Latin America vs. Q1 11.
  • The company describes Latin America as its "engine for growth".
  • There was a similar revenue contribution from Brazil (23%) and Spain (25%).
  • CapEx(ex-spectrum)/sales was 11% in Q1, up 1% over the same period last year. CapEx totalled 1,712 million euros in the quarter, up 10.3% year-on-year. The Company continued to devote the bulk of its investments to growth and transformation projects (81% of total CapEx),fostering the expansion of broadband services, both fixed and mobile.
  • The company blamed commercial and regulatory costs for its drop in OIBDA.
  • Telefónica’s mobile accesses growth in Latin America accelerated to 13% year-on-year in the first quarter boosting the accesses base to 170.8 million users.
  • Telefónica’s fixed accesses in Latin America rose by 2% year-on-year to 34.6 million accesses. The Company’s retail broadband accesses climbed by 12% year-on-year to reach 8.0 million and net additions of pay TV customers totalled 2.3 million, up 23% year-on-year. 75% of fixed accesses now include some bundled offer package (+7 percentage points year-onyear), while 89% of broadband accesses are subscribed to a double or triple-play offer.

http://www.telefonica.com 

ITU: Broadband Remain Unaffordable in Many Markets

While there are some 600 million broadband lines in service worldwide, affordability remains a major obstacle, particularly in Africa, where fixed broadband access costs on average three times monthly per capita income, according to the ITU's newly published "Trends in Telecommunication Reform" annual report.

In contrast, mobile cellular and mobile broadband services remains very competitive in 92 percent of all markets. By the end of 2011, ITU estimated that the number of mobile-cellular subscriptions reached close to 6 billion, representing a global penetration of 86.7 percent and a penetration level of 78.8 percent in developing countries.

Subtitled ‘Smart Regulation for a Broadband World', this year's report sheds light on the often complex legal and regulatory issues now emerging as broadband becomes pervasive and increasingly serves as a driving force for the development of other economic sectors. Case studies and decision trees are provided for national regulators who are working through the process of developing a broadband plan for their country. Ultimately, there is not a single "right" universal service funding model, according to the report, but there are common principles such as economic efficiency, equity, competitive neutrality, technological neutrality, certainty, transparency, and cost effectiveness. 
http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/treg/publications/trends12.html 

Verizon Advances Control Plane Strategy, 100G Metro Deployments

Verizon is making progress on two key initiatives that are transforming its global optical network: advanced control plane technology and the extension of 100G into its metro networks.

The integration of additional control plane technology allows electronic devices on its optical network to more easily communicate with each other, simplifying operations and allowing for near real-time provisioning of specified new circuits. Verizon has deployed the Ciena 5430 Reconfigurable Switching System, which features advanced Optical Transport Network aggregation and switching software. The control plane initiative enables end-to-end optical transport network functionality and global mesh architecture capabilities.

Verizon noted that it has been a pioneer in mesh network architecture, beginning deployments in 2006, which gives the company significant flexibility and precision in routing choices. This architecture creates additional paths to quickly and seamlessly reroute traffic in the event of multiple breaks or network disruptions.

The extension of 100G technology into its metro network worldwide, which follows earlier deployment of 100G in its long haul network, provide greater scalability while supporting higher access speeds. Verizon expects to implement this technology into major metro markets around the world during the first half of 2013.

"By combining our expanded control plane capabilities with extended 100G technology, Verizon is building the network of the future," said Ihab Tarazi, vice president of global IP and transport planning and technology for Verizon. "It’s no longer about miles and scope. It’s about leveraging strategies that further enable us to deliver 
http://www.verizon.com 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

ADVA Tests OpenFlow for Multi-Layer Network Virtualization

ADVA Optical Networking is pioneering the use of OpenFlow technology to dynamically control wavelength-switched optical networks. Working in cooperation with the University of Essex as part of the OFELIA project, ADVA has developed an optical OpenFlow implementation based on its FSP 3000 transmission platform.

Project OFELIA provides researchers with a Software-Defined Networking (SDN) testbed to experiment with new applications using a web-services approach. The aim is to use a common OpenFlow control for both the packet and optical layers.

The SDN facility at University of Essex comprises packet switches and application servers that can be dynamically connected by optical lightpaths. External users can directly access the facility via GÉANT, a high-bandwidth pan-European backbone that interconnects national research and education networks. Web-based tools and services enable users to request network resources from OFELIA and run, control and monitor their own SDN applications.

"SDN presents a tremendous opportunity for customers to streamline and automate network infrastructure and operations,” said Christoph Glingener, CTO, ADVA Optical Networking. “While server and storage virtualization have been widely adopted, network virtualization is still in its infancy. SDN closes this gap by offering programmable network control, better scalability and faster adoption to virtual machine mobility. We have proven that SDN can seamlessly extend into the optical domain and enables network virtualization across multiple layers. The OpenFlow approach extends our existing SDN solution employing our RAYcontrol control plane."

"It has been exciting developing this OpenFlow solution with the team at ADVA Optical Networking”, commented Professor Dimitra Simeonidou, head of the High Performance Networks Group, University of Essex. “Together we have built an SDN testbed with packet and wavelength switches under a common OpenFlow control. This is something that has never been done before. Researchers can now obtain slices of network infrastructure to program their own virtual multi-layer networks. They can use optical switching alongside packet switching to adapt bandwidth, latency and power consumption to their application needs." 
http://www.advaoptical.com http://www.fp7-ofelia.eu/