Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sprint's iDEN Nextel Network Set for Retirement

Sprint will cease service on its iDEN Nextel National Network as early as June 30, 2013. 

Sprint is working to transition business and government customers from its iDEN (2G) Nextel National Network onto its next-generation, push to talk service, Direct Connect, which operates on Sprint’s 3G CDMA network. The company has already discontinued selling iDEN devices in certain channels and will discontinue selling iDEN devices in all channels and all brands carrying iDEN Nextel products over the next several months.

Sprint launched its new Direct Connect PTT service in October of last year. The service provides broadband data capabilities, familiar push-to-talk features, and rugged and reliable handset options. Sprint Direct Connect coverage is expected to broaden throughout 2012. 

  • The Sprint iDEN network traces its roots to the 1987 foundation of FleetCall, which later became Nextel Communications in 1993. Sprint acquired Nextel in 2005. The Nextel network operates in the 800MHz Specialized Mobile Radio band and uses iDEN technology developed by Motorola.
  • In April, Sprint provided the following update on its Network Vision:

    Approximately 600 Network Vision sites are now on air. These are meeting speed and coverage enhancement targets.

    Zoning requirements are completed for approximately 9,700 sites and leasing agreements have been completed for close to 7,700 sites.

    More than 3,200 sites are in notice to proceed status and work has started on approximately 3,000.

    Sprint expects to bring approximately 12,000 sites on air by the end of 2012 and to complete the majority of its Network Vision roll-out in 2013.

    Approximately 1,300 iDEN sites have been taken off air to date. Sprint expects to shut down a total of 9,600 before the end of the third quarter.

    Sprint expects to launch 4G LTE in six major cities by mid-year 2012 including Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Atlanta, Kansas City and Baltimore.

Alcatel-Lucent lands EUR 100M FTTH Contract with China Telecom

China Telecom awarded a contract value at Euro 100 million to Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell, for the deployment of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks across China’s 31 provinces. The rollout, which is part of China Telecom’s ambitious "Broadband China, Fiber Cities" plan, aims to serve millions of households with a wide range of high-speed services and guaranteed quality of service.

Alcatel-Lucent will supply Chine Telecom with its 7360 Intelligent Services Access Manager (ISAM) system, which supports GPON as well as EPON broadband technologies.

Rajeev Singh-Molares, President of Alcatel-Lucent Asia-Pacific Region, said: “This project highlights the rapid expansion of broadband in China. It also demonstrates our strong and growing leadership position in the FTTH market as we help accelerate the availability of superfast broadband throughout China.” 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Kaspersky: Flame Malware Represents New Class of Cyber Threat

Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab published a report on a new, advanced cyber threat potentially more potent than Stuxnet and apparently targeted at certain countries in the Middle East.

The new type of malware, now known as Flame, is extremely complex and has remain undetected by security software for the past two years. Kaspersky Lab said the primary purpose of Flame appears to be cyber espionage, including the theft of documents, screenshots, audio recordings and interception of network traffic. Flame is an attack-toolkit with the ability to replicate over a local network using several methods, including the same printer vulnerability and USB infection method exploited by Stuxnet. Stolen information is sent back to a network of command-and-control servers located in many different parts of the world. The attack vector is not yet known.

Kaspersky Lab concludes that Flame should be categorized as a super-cyberweapon, noting similarity with Stuxnet and Duqu in terms of the geography of attacks, use of specific software vulnerabilities, and the fact that only selected computers are being targeted.

Eugene Kaspersky, CEO and co-founder of Kaspersky Lab, said: "The risk of cyber warfare has been one of the most serious topics in the field of information security for several years now. Stuxnet and Duqu belonged to a single chain of attacks, which raised cyberwar-related concerns worldwide. The Flame malware looks to be another phase in this war, and it’s important to understand that such cyber weapons can easily be used against any country. Unlike with conventional warfare, the more developed countries are actually the most vulnerable in this case." 

NTT DOCOMO Selects Alcatel-Lucent's 7750 Routers for LTE

NTT DOCOMO is deploying Alcatel-Lucent’s 7750 Service Routers for the IP/MPLS network supporting its LTE services.

Alcatel-Lucent’s IP routers feature integrated LTE Security Gateway functionality with IPSec (IP security) technology, a key requirement to securely transport LTE data for NTT DOCOMO. Alcatel-Lucent said space and energy efficiency were also key requirements for NTT DOCOMO. Alcatel-Lucent is working with FUJITSU, which has a long-standing relationship with NTT DOCOMO. Financial terms were not disclosed. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

GSMA Comments on Saudi Spectrum

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia should release internationally harmonised band plans of 140 MHz of spectrum at 2.6 GHz and at least 60 MHz of digital dividend spectrum at 800 MHz, according to the GSMA. A report from the GSMA finds that if the Saudi government were to release internationally harmonised spectrum in the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands, the Kingdom would stand to benefit from a total GDP gain of SAR358 billion(1) (US$95.5 billion) in net present value terms over the period 2013 to 2025. The study also predicts direct and indirect creation of jobs for 424,000 people by 2020. The report also found that any delay in the release of this harmonised spectrum beyond 2013 would have a significant impact on these benefits. For example, a five-year delay in the release of harmonised spectrum would reduce the total GDP gain over 2013 – 2025 to just SAR96 billion (US$26 billion) and reduce the number of jobs created to 75,000.

"The current spectrum allocation for LTE in KSA, in the 2.3GHz and 2.6GHz bands, follows a completely non-harmonised arrangement, and as a result, will not deliver the benefits made possible by allocating harmonised spectrum in the 800 MHz and the 2.6 GHz bands," said Peter Lyons, Director of Spectrum Policy, Africa and Middle East, GSMA. "The continuation of the current arrangement will have a detrimental impact on coverage across rural areas, in-building penetration and high-capacity connectivity for KSA's largest cities." 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Infonetics: Carrier IP Edge Router/Switch Markets Grows in North America

The global service provider router and switch market, which includes IP edge routers, IP core routers, and carrier Ethernet switches (CES), sequentially decreased 14% to $3.3 billion in the first quarter of 2012 (1Q12), according to a new report from Infonetics Research. From the year-ago first quarter, the market is essentially flat, down just 1%. However, the North American market was up a very healthy 27% quarter-over-quarter and up 9% from the year-ago first quarter.

Some highlights:

Service provider routers and switches are the second largest telecom market segment in 2011 total revenue (~$14.5 billion) after mobile RAN spending ($30+ billion),

Cisco, Alcatel-Lucent, and Juniper all gained IP Edge market share in the first quarter, Cisco the most by far, increasing its share from about 31% to about 39% quarter-over-quarter,

In 1Q12, Cisco, Juniper, and Huawei together took 96% of global core router revenue. However, Alcatel-Lucent is entering this space with its new 7950 core router. 

Bharti Acquires 49% Stake in Qualcomm AP's India BWA

Bharti Airtel will acquire a 49% interest in Qualcomm Asia Pacific's (Qualcomm AP) Indian BWA entities for approximately US$165 million. This unit holds BWA licenses in Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala. The agreement contemplates that once commercial operations are launched, subject to certain terms and conditions, Bharti would assume complete ownership and financial responsibility for the BWA entities by the end of 2014.

Bharti already has BWA licenses in four circles - Kolkata, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra - and 3G licenses in thirteen circles in India. With this agreement, Bharti has secured a nation-wide broadband leadership through a combination of 4G and 3G, with its own networks in 18 circles. Bharti has already taken the lead in LTE TDD space by launching 4G services in Kolkata and Karnataka Circles.

"One of our key objectives has been to include a strong partner in the Indian venture with the scale, experience and resources to deploy LTE TDD networks. We are pleased to have Bharti's participation and support in this effort," said Dr Paul E Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm. "GHC and Tulip have been great partners in facilitating this transaction. Qualcomm remains dedicated to the continued progress and success of the BWA venture and to fulfilling our commitment as a key equity stakeholder." 
http://www.airtel.com http://www.qualcomm.com 

NTT Comm Extends VPLS in Europe

NTT Communications is extending its Virtual Private LAN Services (VPLS) for customers in Europe. The VPLS offering now provides layer 2 Ethernet capabilities in 30 countries across Europe, backed by 24x7 customer support, customer portal access and leading SLA. The service delivers multipoint, multi-site to multi-site connectivity within this extensive EU footprint. http://www.ntt.co.jp 

Pandora Reaches 51.9 million Listeners, Growing 53% YOY

The Pandora Internet radio service is now averaging 51.9 million users per month. Total listener hours for the most recent quarter grew 92% to approximately 3.09 billion, compared to approximately 1.6 billion for the same quarter last year.

"Pandora is off to an excellent start, exceeding our first quarter outlook and raising our expectations for the full fiscal year," stated Joe Kennedy, Chairman & CEO of Pandora. "This quarter Pandora averaged more than 50 million active users a month who generated more than 3.09 billion listening hours across Pandora's multiple platforms – desktop, auto, consumer electronics, and mobile devices. Consumers continue to embrace Pandora's unparalleled personalized radio experience at an extraordinary rate, propelling Pandora's market leadership to an all-time record share of 5.95% of total U.S. radio listening. Advertisers want to be everywhere their consumers are. They are moving quickly to speak with their target customers across the Pandora platform, with the majority of the top 50 digital advertisers in the U.S. already having bought multiplatform advertising on Pandora. Pandora is the future of radio." 

Intel Invests $40 Million in University Research Centers

Intel disclosed plans to invest more than $40 million over the next 5 years in a university research centers worldwide.

The "Intel Collaborative Research Institutes" (ICRI) program will bring together experts from academia and industry to invent the future of technology. The new investment provides for the ICRI for Sustainable Connected Cities in the United Kingdom; ICRI for Secure Computing in Germany; and the ICRI for Computational Intelligence in Israel. In addition, two previously established centers are being incorporated in the ICRI program: Intel Visual Computing Institute (Saarland University) and the Intel-NTU Connected Context Computing Center (National Taiwan University), extending Intel’s global research network even further.

The company already runs a series of U.S.-based Intel Science and Technology Centers (ISTCs).

"The new Intel Collaborative Research Institute program underscores our commitment to establishing and funding collaborative university research to fuel global innovation in key areas and help address some of today’s most challenging problems,” said Justin Rattner, chief technology officer at Intel. “Forming a multidisciplinary community of Intel, faculty and graduate student researchers from around the world will lead to fundamental breakthroughs in some of the most difficult and vexing areas of computing technology.” 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

NTT Invests in Philippines

NTT Communications plans to acquire a 50.1% stake in the Diversified Technology Solutions International (DTSI) Group of the Philippines. Financial terms were not disclosed.

DTSI Group accounts for 60% of all seats in contact centers currently operating in the Philippines. Also, Anthem, Inc., a DTSI Group company, is forecasting high growth for its business of building and leasing contact center platforms to companies looking to start up IT-BPO businesses in the Philippines. 
http://www.ntt.co.jp http://www.dtsigroup.com 

iBasis Envisions an LTE Signaling Exchange (LSX) for Roaming

iBasis is preparing to launch an LTE Signaling Exchange (LSX) to allow MNOs to connect to hundreds of other operators through a single interconnect and assure LTE Roaming interoperability across multiple vendors.

iBasis sees a need for an LTE Signaling Exchange as a result of the disruptive nature of LTE and the evolution from traditional SS7 (MAP) signaling to IP-based Diameter signaling. Because implementations of LTE roaming can vary widely from operator to operator, iBasis believes the traditional model of bilateral roaming agreements between operators will prove to be technically complicated and commercially unscalable.

The iBasis LSX will run on iBasis’ IPX network, a multiservice, global IP network that delivers high quality voice and data services for mobile operators.

UNE, a leading telco based in Colombia, and Dutch operator KPN have agreed to connect to iBasis’ LSX Sandbox, which provides a comprehensive trial environment in preparation for launching commercial LTE roaming services.

“With more than 15 years of experience in global, real-time communications over IP, iBasis is uniquely positioned to be the LTE exchange provider,” said Willem Offerhaus, iBasis CEO. “The LSX leverages the full complement of iBasis capabilities – voice, data, signaling, IPX, and more – to enable our customers to deliver even greater innovations to their customers.” iBasis is a wholly owned subsidiary of KPN, the Dutch telecommunications and ICT service provider. 

At The Cable Show this week in Boston, Motorola Mobility is showcasing its latest innovations for cable operators offering whole home connectivity, including its DCX3600 Video Gateway – a nextgen set-top positioned as the entertainment hub in the living room... and morphing into the Center of the IP Connected Home.

Motorola Mobility is also demonstrating HEVC video compression technology, which reduces bandwidth by 50 percent in comparison to MPEG4 AVC/H.264 at similar video quality. HEVC was jointly developed by ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) and ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG). It promises better video delivery over wireless link, including Wi-Fi and cellular.

Time Warner Cable has selected the company's SecureMedia Encryptonite ONE HLS+ solution for securing video streams across a variety of devices – including smartphones, tablets, game consoles, connected TVs and Blu-Ray players.


Insight Research: U.S. Telecom Business Services Continues to Grow

U.S. businesses will spend $154 billion for telecommunications services in 2012 and business spending on wired and wireless calling will grow to $184 billion by the close of 2016, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.8 percent over the forecast period, according to a new market report from Insight Research.

Insight's newly released market analysis report, "Telecom Services in Vertical Markets, 2011-2016" found that business spending for cellular and other wireless services is creating all of the growth, while spending on wireline services will be essentially flat over the five year forecast horizon.

Wireless expenditures are expected to grow at a compounded rate of 9.4 percent over the period of 2011-2016. Four vertical industries – wholesale trade; financial, insurance, and real estate services; professional business services; and communications -- account for 68 percent of total business telecom expenditures in 2011. The study analyzes 14 vertical industries categorized by the NAICS, and focuses on corporate spending for wireline and wireless telecommunications services in each of the 14 industries.

"The U.S. telecommunications industry continues to show modest revenue growth, driven by business Internet and mobility solutions," says Fran Caulfield, Research Director for Insight Research. "As US business activity recovers, employment and network traffic increase. In parallel, business applications shift to the cloud and end users shift to wireless access, driving higher network and wireless revenues for service providers," Caulfield concluded.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Google Seeks to Super Charge Android with Motorola Acquisition

Google completed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility, saying the deal will "supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing."

Motorola Mobility will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. Google will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business. Sanjay Jha has stepped down as CEO and been replaced by longtime Googler Dennis Woodside.

Larry Page, CEO of Google, said, "I'm happy to announce the deal has closed. Motorola is a great American tech company, with a track record of over 80 years of innovation. It's a great time to be in the mobile business, and I'm confident that the team at Motorola will be creating the next generation of mobile devices that will improve lives for years to come." 

NTT Expands in Nordics

NTT Communications has extended its global network and cloud solutions into Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark. NTT Europe’s Nordic launch is further strengthened through partnership with Secode (wholly owned subsidiary of NTT Com), a leading provider of managed-security and security-consulting services within the Nordic markets. http://www.ntt.co.jp 

Brocade and NEC Enter Partnership for Software-defined Networking

Brocade and NEC Corporation of America (NEC) announced a partnership focused on Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and OpenFlow switching, including network virtualization. The companies will jointly market solutions for network virtualization, large-scale data center infrastructure management, traffic engineering and Wide Area Network (WAN) flow management, with an open standards-based approach.

The partnership combines Brocade's OpenFlow-enabled products and NEC's Programmable Flow Controller. The companies will establish joint solution labs in key regional offices to test and demonstrate their solutions. 

SAP to Acquire Ariba for $4.3 Billion - Business Collaboration in the Cloud

SAP agreed to acquire Ariba for $45.00 per share, representing an enterprise value of approximately $4.3 billion and a 20% premium over the company's closing stock price on May 21. The deal combines Ariba's buyer-seller collaboration network with SAP's broad customer base and business process expertise to create new models for business-to-business collaboration in the cloud.

Ariba is based in Sunnyvale, California and has 2,600 employees. It recorded 2011 revenue of $444 million, up 38.5 percent over 2010.

Last week, SAP announced the roadmap for its cloud applications business (Software-as-a-Service), focusing on managing customers, suppliers, employees, and financials, in addition to its cloud suite offerings SAP Business ByDesign and SAP Business One. 
http://www.sap.com http://www.ariba.com 

Juniper Fires Back with Core Router Multi-Chassis Upgrades

Juniper Networks announced plans to upgrade the capacity of its core TXP multi-chassis routing system for all existing Juniper Networks T4000 and T1600 core routers. The upgrade more than doubles the maximum capacity of the existing T Series Core Routers. Specifically, the TXP multi-chassis routing system will support the following key functionality:
  • Up to 4X T4000 and 8X T1600 system capacity.
  • Up to 22 Terabits per second (Tbps) of capacity.
  • Future capacity expandable up to 64 Tbps.
  • Simplified pay-as-you grow installation and expansion with standards-based cabling and pluggable optics.

  • Juniper Networks first unveiled its T1600 core router in June 2007.
  • Juniper Networks first unveiled its T4000 core router in November 2010.
  • Juniper's T4000 is powered by its Trio silicon, which was first unveiled in October 2009 for use in its MX series edge routers. The first generation was implemented in 60nm technology and optimized for highly granular packet processing. The second generation features the smaller and more energy-efficient 45nm technology and is optimized for the high-throughput requirements of core routing. By comparison, the T1600 uses 90nm silicon.
  • A fully loaded T4000 system can support up to 192 ports of 10GbE, or 16 ports of 100GbE interfaces.

Brocade Builds OpenFlow into Switching & Routing Platforms

Brocade has integrated hardware based OpenFlow support into its MLX Series of routers and related NetIron platforms, which support wire-speed 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) performance.

The company said its goal it to deliver a SDN-ready product family today that will serve as the foundation for software-defined network architecture in the future. These products include the Brocade VDX family of data center switches, Brocade ADX Series application delivery switches, Brocade MLX Series of 100 GbE routers, Brocade NetIron CER Series routers and Brocade NetIron CES Series switches.

Brocade articulated an SDN strategy encompassing the following key technologies and capabilities:

Resilient and auto-forming Ethernet fabrics optimized for virtualized applications with virtual machine (VM)-aware intelligence.

Network virtualization via overlay technologies for highly scalable multi-tenancy environments.

Support for OpenFlow in hybrid mode, enabling traditional Layer 2/3 forwarding with OpenFlow.

Partnerships with a broad set of OpenFlow controller vendors and open APIs.

A single common cloud management and orchestration interface through northbound standards-based plug-ins and standards-based RESTful interfaces. The plug-ins to cloud management frameworks -- including Cloudstack, Microsoft System Center, OpenStack, and VMware vCenter/vCloud Director -- provide comprehensive orchestration capabilities for cloud service delivery and automated operations. 
http://www.brocade.com http://www.brocade.com/launch/sdn/index.html