Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Integra Telecom Expands Carrier Ethernet over Copper to 120 COs

Integra Telecom has expanded its Carrier Ethernet over Copper (EoC) network to more than 120 Central Offices across its 11 state, 35 metro-area footprint. This puts the EoC service in reach of more than 400,000 businesses.

The carrier operates an extensive long-haul fiber network across the western U.S. and has more than 2,000 fiber-fed buildings on-net. Integra's Ethernet Services product line is certified by the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) and is MEF 9 and 14 compliant.

"Integra remains committed to delivering a superior customer experience for our enterprise and wholesale customers. Ethernet is the preferred transport technology for businesses," said Joe Harding, senior vice president of marketing at Integra. "Integra's goal is to be the Ethernet service provider of choice in our markets, and this expansion underscores our commitment to this goal and the needs of our customers." 

Cisco Forecasts 4X Global IP Traffic by 2016

By 2016, annual global IP traffic is forecast to be 1.3 zettabytes – (a zettabyte is equal to a sextillion bytes, or a trillion gigabytes), according to the newly issued Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast (2011-2016). For comparison, the total global IP traffic generated in 2011 was 369 exabytes. The additional traffic added in 2015-2016 alone is expected to be 330 exabytes, or an addition over that 12 month period nearly equal to the entire IP traffic volume last year.

Not surprisingly, Cisco finds the leading factors of growth to be:

More devices: Cisco predicts that by 2016 there will be nearly 18.9 billion network connections ―- almost 2.5 connections for each person on earth -- for tablets, mobile phones, and other smart devices as well as machine-to-machine (M2M) devices. Cisco estimates there were 10.3 billion connections in 2011.

More Internet users: By 2016, there are expected to be 3.4 billion Internet users ― about 45 percent of the world's projected population according to United Nations estimates.

Faster broadband speeds: The average fixed broadband speed is expected to increase nearly fourfold, from 9 Mbps in 2011 to 34 Mbps in 2016.

More video: By 2016, 1.2 million video minutes―the equivalent of 833 days (or over two years) ―would travel the Internet every second.

Wi-Fi growth: By 2016, over half of the world's Internet traffic is expected to come from Wi-Fi connections.

"Each of us increasingly connects to the network via multiple devices in our always-on connected lifestyles. Whether by video phone calls, movies on tablets, web-enabled TVs, or desktop video conferencing, the sum of our actions not only creates demand for zettabytes of bandwidth, but also dramatically changes the network requirements needed to deliver on the expectations of this ‘new normal'," said Suraj Shetty, vice president of product and solutions marketing, Cisco.

Some highlights from the annual report:


  • Average global IP traffic in 2016 is expected to reach 150 petabytes per hour, the equivalent of 278 million people streaming an HD movie (at an average streaming speed of 1.2 Mbps) simultaneously.
  • By 2016, the Asia Pacific region is forecast to generate the most IP traffic (40.5 exabytes per month), maintaining the top spot over North America (27.5 exabytes per month), which generated the second most amount of traffic.
  • The fastest-growing IP-traffic regions for the forecast period (2011–2016) are the Middle East and Africa (58 percent compound annual growth rate, for 10-fold growth), and Latin America (49 percent CAGR, sevenfold growth). For fastest-growing IP traffic at the country level, India is expected to have the highest IP traffic growth rate with a 62 percent CAGR from 2011 to 2016. In a second-place tie, Brazil and South Africa both have 53 percent CAGRs over the forecast period.
  • By 2016, the highest traffic-generating countries will be the United States (22 exabytes per month) and China (12 exabytes per month).
  • Globally, there are expected to be 1.5 billion Internet video users by 2016, up from 792 million Internet video users in 2011.
  • Global mobile Internet data traffic is forecast to increase 18 times from 2011 to 2016, to 10.8 exabytes per month (or 130 exabytes annually).
  • Globally, there were 1.7 billion residential Internet users with fixed Internet access in 2011; the index forecasts there will be 2.3 billion residential Internet users with fixed Internet access by 2016. 

AT&T and Union Reach One-Year Contract Extension

AT&T announced a tentative agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers on a one-year contract extension covering nearly 7,000 core wireline employees. The current contract expires June 23.

The deal will be voted on by the union's membership in the coming days. 

Verizon Accelerates FiOS to 300 Mbps

Verizon will more than double the speeds of several of its FiOS Internet tiers - and introduce two new tiers with even faster speeds.

The new FiOS Internet portfolio will feature download/upload speed tiers of 50/25 and 150/65 Mbps, as well as two new tiers of 75/35 and 300/65 Mbps. The latter speed is double that of FiOS Internet's current top speed of 150/35 Mbps.

In addition, Verizon will continue to offer its entry-level speed of 15/5 Mbps.

"As recently as 2005, video was less than 10 percent of Web traffic," said Mike Ritter, chief marketing officer for Verizon's consumer and mass market business unit. "By the end of this year, we expect it to be 50 percent, growing to 90 percent in just a few years."

Verizon noted that the average home now has seven Internet-connected devices, and by 2015 the company expects to see between nine and 15 Internet-connected devices per home. 

Nokia Siemens Networks Backs Verso Spin-off Fund

Nokia Siemens Networks is the first investor in a new Verso Spin-off Fund which will provide initial financial backing for spin-offs that are not core to NSN's product strategy.

Nokia Siemens Networks aims is to get other large companies as investors, thus helping the creation of new businesses in Finland. Several parties have advised on the creation of the new model, including the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, the Aalto University Center for Entrepreneurship, and Finnvera, which is a potential investment partner. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

European Commission to Act on Net Neutrality

European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes is planning to propose action on consumer choice and "net neutrality", saying that while the market generally has functioned well, greater regulatory certainty is needed to ensure that all European consumers have access to the open, best-efforts Internet.

Citing newly released data from BEREC, the body of European network regulators, Kroes said that at least 20%, and potentially up to half of EU mobile broadband users have contracts that allow their Internet service provider (ISP) to restrict services like VOIP (e.g. Skype) or peer-to-peer file sharing. In addition, up to 95% of users in a country, may be served by fixed operators (spread across virtually all EU member states) that apply restrictions such as to limit peer-to-peer volumes at peak times. About 20% of operators engage in this practice.

Kroes plans to issue recommendations to "end the net neutrality waiting game in Europe." This includes requirements that consumers be provided with clear information on actual, real-life broadband speeds; clear information on the limits of what they are paying for (instead dof the vague "fair use" policies currently in place); and clear information on whether the service they are buying is real "Champagne or lesser sparkling wine" -- if it is not full Internet, it shouldn't be marketed as such. 

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." 

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. 

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. 

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. 

See also