Tuesday, August 7, 2012

BroadSoft Acquires Adaption Technologies

BroadSoft has acquired the assets of Texas-based Adaption Technologies Ventures, Ltd., a provider of hosted business VoIP solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Broadcom said the acquisition will enable it to enhance its BroadCloud Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery platform to include BroadWorks features and functionality. Adaption Technologies offered web-based service operating platform that enables telecommunications service providers to more quickly sell, provision, activate and bill for their hosted Unified Communications services.

"Thanks to our cloud technology and infrastructure management experience, many of our customers are confident we can cost-effectively develop, deliver and support their branded Unified Communications services," said Michael Tessler, chief executive officer, BroadSoft. "Adding Adaption Technologies' solutions to our cloud platform will allow our service provider customers to speed time-to-market and accelerate time-to-revenue for their branded Unified Communications solutions." 
http://www.broadsoft.com 07-Aug-12

Russian Rocket Failure Dooms Two Satellites

A Russian Breeze-M rocket launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan failed to reach its intended orbit, leading to the loss of two communications satellites: Telkom Indonesia's Telkom-3 satellite and a smaller satellite for the Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC).

Roscosmos cited a premature shutdown in the rocket's cruise propulsion system. An investigation is underway.

Telkom Indonesia confirmed that its satellite was fully insured. The Telkom-3 satellite was fully insured. 
http://www.roscosmos.ru 07-Aug-12

Vitesse Posts Revenue of $29.7 Million

Vitesse Semiconductor reported quarterly revenue of $30.3 million for its third fiscal quarter, ended 30-June-2012, compared to $29.7 million in the second quarter of fiscal year 2012 and $36.0 million in the third quarter of fiscal year 2011. Net income (GAAP) was $4.7 million.

Product revenues were $25.7 million compared to $27.2 million in the second quarter of fiscal year 2012 and $31.9 million in the third quarter of fiscal year 2011.

"Our vision and operational management continue to deliver, resulting in both operating and net income profitability this quarter,” said Chris Gardner, CEO of Vitesse. “Vitesse’s strategy to leverage our disruptive technology to gain share in the high-growth Carrier and Enterprise networking markets is also working. Innovations such as VeriTime™, our patent-pending distributed timing technology with the industry’s highest accuracy IEEE1588v2 timing, strengthen our market leadership." 
http://www.vitesse.com 07-Aug-12

Novatel Wireless Posts Revenue of $102. Million

Novatel Wireless reported Q2 revenue of $ 102.4 million, down from $118.0 for the same period last year. There was a GAAP net loss of $4.5 million. Revenue for mobile products was $92.5 million while revenue for M2M was $9.9 million.

"During the second quarter our financial results were near or above the top of our guidance range for all three key metrics – revenue, non-GAAP gross margin, and non-GAAP EPS," said Peter Leparulo, CEO of Novatel Wireless. "Revenue increased by approximately $2.2 million from the first quarter, to $102.4 million, driven by strong sales of our mobile broadband devices. 
http://www.novatelwireless.com 07-Aug-12
A Daily R

Qualcomm Appoints Chief Marketing Officer

Qualcomm has appointed Anand Chandrasekher as its chief marketing officer (CMO). Most recently, he was senior vice president, general manager for the Ultra Mobility Group at Intel Corporation, with responsibility for the Intel Atom processor family. During his nearly 25-year tenure at Intel, Chandrasekher held a variety of leadership roles including head of Intel's Worldwide Sales and Marketing Group, corporate vice president of the Mobile Platforms Group and co-general manager for the Intel486 Processor Division. He is best known for his pioneering efforts on the Intel Centrino platforms. http://www.qualcomm.com 06-Aug-12

tw telecom's Q2 Revenues up 7.7% YoY

tw telecom posted Q2 2012 revenue of $364.5 million, net income of $19.3 million, $134.0 million of Modified EBITDA ("M-EBITDA"), $114.2 million of net cash provided by operating activities and $37.7 million of levered free cash flow. The revenue was up 1.6% sequentially.

"Our performance this quarter reflects both consistency and innovation," said Larissa Herda, tw telecom's Chairman, CEO and President. "We achieved solid comprehensive financial results, including our 31st consecutive quarter of revenue growth, as well as strong margins and cash flow. We also delivered game changing new Intelligent Network services and further advanced new Ethernet capabilities. We're focused on delivering advanced networking services for customers' growing complex needs, including enabling cloud applications, to continue our track record of strong revenue growth."

Some highlights:
  • Grew enterprise revenue 2.1% sequentially and 10.9% year over year
  • Grew data and Internet revenue 3.2% sequentially and 15.4% year over year
  • Data & Internet now represents 50% of revenue, driven primarily by strategic Ethernet and VPN-based product revenue
  • The company had approximately 27,600 customers as of June 30, 2012. Customer churn 4 was 1.0% for the current quarter that is consistent with both the prior quarter and the same quarter last year. The Company ended the second quarter with over 28,000 fiber route miles (of which approximately 21,000 were metro miles).
  • Capital expenditures of $80.8 million for the quarter were up slightly compared to the prior quarter of $79.1 million and decreased from $90.9 million for the same period last year, with the majority of the investments in each period related to success-based initiatives.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Brazil's Telecom Regulator Lifts Ban on New Mobile Sales

Brazil's National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) lifted its ban on the sale of new mobile subscriptions in certain regions, clearing the way for Claro, Oi and Tim to resume normal sales activity.

Late last month, Anatel prohibited the nation's mobile operators with the worst customer service from selling new lines in regions with the most problems.

Anatel president João Rezende said the remediation proposals submitted by the carriers were considered satisfactory and the the regulatory agency would continue to monitor progress. "The expansion of subscriber base must be accompanied by investments to enable continuous improvement of service quality," stated Rezende. 
http://www.anatel.gov.br/Portal/exibirPortalInternet.do 03-Aug-12

AT&T Plans to Deactivate 2G by 2017, Refarm Spectrum

AT&T plans to discontinue service on its 2G networks by approximately January 1, 2017. In an SEC filing, AT&T said the plan woud help address the spectrum crunch it sees in the years ahead, presumably as the 2G spectrum could be reused.

As of June 30, 2012, approximately 12 percent of AT&T's postpaid customers were using 2G handsets.

Some other notes:

As of June 30, 2012, AT&T served 105.2 million wireless subscribers, an increase of 6.7%.

Going forward, AT&T sees a declining rate of growth in the industry's subscriber base compared to prior years. The company reported a 6.2% decrease in gross subscriber additions (gross additions) in the second quarter and an 8.6% decrease for the first six months of 2012, primarily related to a slower rate of postpaid and connected device additions.

61.9% of the postpaid subscriber base uses smartphones, up from 49.9% a year earlier.

Average service revenue per user (ARPU) from postpaid subscribers increased 1.7% in the second quarter and for the first six months of 2012, driven by an increase in postpaid data services ARPU of 14.1% in the second quarter and 14.7% for the first six months, reflecting greater use of smartphones and data-centric devices.

About 88% of postpaid smartphone subscribers are on FamilyTalk Plans (family plans) or business discount plans, which provide for service on multiple handsets at discounted rates, and such subscribers tend to have higher retention and lower churn rates.

As of the end of Q2, AT&T had 242,380 employees, down from 258,870 a year earlier. 
http://www.att.com 03-Aug-12

AT&T and CWA Extend Contract Talks till Aug 9

AT&T and the Communications Workers of America failed to reach an agreement by the 11:59 p.m. EDT Aug. 4 expiration of the core wireline contract in the Southeast region. However, the parties agreed to a five-day extension of the contract and negotiations are continuing.

The contract covers more than 22,000 wireline employees in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. 
http://www.att.com/corewirelinebargaining http://www.cwa-union.org 

U.S. Opposes Changes to International Telecommunications Regulations

The U.S. State Department has submitted its first group of proposals to the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), which will be held at the end of this year in Dubai.

 WCIT intends to review and potentially revise the treaty-level International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs), which govern the flow of traffic between nations and which have not been amended since 1988.

The U.S. proposals include:
  • Minimal changes to the preamble of the ITRs;
  • Alignment of the definitions in the ITRs with those in the ITU Constitution and Convention, including no change to the definitions of telecommunications and international telecommunications service;
  • Maintaining the voluntary nature of compliance with ITU-T Recommendations;
  • Continuing to apply the ITRs only to recognized operating agencies or RoAs; i.e., the ITRs’ scope should not be expanded to address other operating agencies that are not involved in the provision of authorized or licensed international telecommunications services to the public; and
  • Revisions of Article 6 to affirm the role played by market competition and commercially negotiated agreements for exchanging international telecommunication traffic.
The U.S. WCIT Head of Delegation, Ambassador Terry Kramer, stated: “The ITRs have served well as a foundation for growth in the international market,” Ambassador Kramer said. “We want to preserve the flexibility contained in the current ITRs, which has helped create the conditions for rapid evolution of telecommunications technologies and markets around the world... We will not support any effort to broaden the scope of the ITRs to facilitate any censorship of content or blocking the free flow of information and ideas. The United States also believes that the existing multi-stakeholder institutions, incorporating industry and civil society, have functioned effectively and will continue to ensure the health and growth of the Internet and all of its benefits.” 
http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/196244.pdf 03-Aug-12

CWA Sees Threat in Verizon-Cable Deal

If the FCC and DOJ fail to bar the cross marketing deal between Verizon and the cable companies the outcome will be lost jobs, higher prices for consumers and a continuation of the digital divide, according to the Communications Workers of America. The union said it appears the FCC is no longer focusing on the role of competition in keeping the industry healthy.

In a press statement on Friday the FCC stated:

"Regulators are demonstrating a real disconnect between supporting this deal and the Obama administration’s goals of affordable high speed Internet access for all and the good jobs that are necessary to push our sluggish economy forward.

The remedy to ensure competition and good jobs is clear: the FCC and DOJ should bar cross marketing within the Verizon footprint and require Verizon to continue buildout of its high speed FiOs network." 
http://www.fcc.gov 03-Aug-12

Sprint to Deploy Alcatel-Lucent's lightRadio Metro Cells

Sprint will deploy Alcatel-Lucent's lightRadio Metro Cells to boost coverage in high-traffic areas.
Sprint's initial deployment will focus on indoor applications, including entertainment venues, transportation hubs and business campuses. The deployment will help Sprint to deliver a better broadband experience to more of its subscribers in these high-traffic areas and will help reduce costs in the process. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"Sprint is a leader in innovation, and as such, we want our customers to enjoy the latest high-bandwidth services and applications," said Bob Azzi, Sprint senior vice president-Network. "With Alcatel-Lucent's lightRadio Metro Cells we will be able to increase our coverage and capacity where it's needed."

"As a leader in small cell technology, Alcatel-Lucent is in an ideal position to address this challenge," said Robert Vrij, president of Alcatel-Lucent's Americas Region and head of Global Strategic Alliances. "By selecting our lightRadio Metro Cells, Sprint can offer its customers the quality of mobile broadband experience they expect, keeping them connected wherever they are."

Alcatel-Lucent noted that it now has 39 commercial small cell deployment agreements and more than 20 ongoing trials. 
http://www.alcatel-lucent.com http://www.sprint.com 06-Aug-12

Vitesse Builds Momentum with 1588v2 Timing for Backhaul

Vitesse Semiconductor has captured multiple design wins with nine of the market share leaders in the IP Edge microwave/millimeter-wave backhaul networking equipment space. The company calculates that these OEM customers account for nearly 60% market share in the microwave backhaul and 75% in the millimeter-wave backhaul segments.

Vitesse's VeriTime distributed timing technology ensures the highest accuracy IEEE1588v2 timing for IP Edge networks. Vitesse's recent presentation of performance results to the ITU-T documented VeriTime's better than 3ns per node accuracy over a nine-node IEEE1588v2 Transparent Clock (TC) network chain and superior long-term phase stability, making it the industry's only solution that fulfills TD-LTE and LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) requirements in real-world tests today.

"Timing accuracy requirements for 4G/LTE-A/TD-LTE are at least six times more stringent than for 3G," said Pat Diamond, timing industry veteran and pioneering member of the IEEE1588-2008 PTP Working Group, of Diamond Consulting. "Clearly, network equipment OEMs recognize this fact. Given the rigorous level of timing accuracy for LTE networks simply to function, solutions like Vitesse's VeriTime enable OEMs to future-proof their equipment for tomorrow's wireless backhaul networks." 
VeriTime 06-Aug-12

IEEE Launches 802.11 Patent Pool Exploratory Forum

IEEE has launched and 802.11 Patent Pool Exploratory Forum to bring together owners of patents essential to IEEE 802.11 standards. The forum will discuss licensing practices, options for licensing administration and other issues related to launching a patent pool for IEEE 802.11-20121 and appropriate extensions to the standard.

Thirteen companies are participating in the forum. 
http://www.ieee.org 06-Aug-12

Broadcom Offers Full-Band Diagnostics for Cable Operators

Broadcom introduced a suite of remote monitoring and diagnostic capabilities based on its Full-Band Capture digital tuning technology. The solution captures the entire 1GHz cable spectrum, providing real-time performance visibility into a user's home coax network to quickly troubleshoot customer service issues. The technology can be implemented on the company's entire cable set-top box, gateway and modem platforms using Full-Band Capture digital tuning technology chipsets. http://www.broadcom.com 06-Aug-12

Alteryx Tunes its Strategic Analytics for Communications

Alteryx, which develops analytic solutions for a range of industries, introduced a Communications Edition that provides actionable intelligence for operators by integrating network performance data with third-party insight. It brings critical data about network, customers, prospects, and market conditions from Business Support Systems (BSS), Operational Support Systems (OSS), and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems into a common analytics environment.

The Communications Edition, which is aimed at wireless, wireline, and cable operators, pulls together industry-specific business and technical data with third-party network insight into pre-packaged analytic applications. It addresses strategic problems such as customer churn by bringing together industry-specific data that adds deeper context to organizational data, marketing insights and customer billing information. For instance, the software can correlate mobile network performance issues, such as cell tower call drop rates, with subscriber billing records in order to proactively identify which customers are more likely to churn.

The Communications Edition from Alteryx includes business data from Alteryx Strategic Analytics 7.1 that has been enhanced by GeoResults to include network spending estimates, bandwidth requirements, and other key industry-specific details.

"Alteryx has a strong reach into the Communications industry. We serve many of the largest North American carriers by bringing deep sector knowledge into a powerful analytics offering -- no other vendor can provide similar insights to wireless, wireline and cable providers," said George Mathew, president and chief operating officer at Alteryx. "Today's communication networks and the OSS/BSS infrastructure that supports them present some of the biggest data flow and analytics opportunities in the market. We fundamentally believe that humanizing the industry's abundant data will create innovative services, reduce consumer churn, improve network performance, and thus deliver a better customer experience."

The company noted that eight of the ten largest wireless service providers in North America use its Strategic Analytics for their daily business operations. 
http://www.alteryx.com 06-Aug-12

IBM Wins $280 Million Project with Saudi Arabia's Mobily

IBM was won a 5-year agreement worth approximately $280 million to provide comprehensive IT solutions for Saudi Arabia's Etihad Etisalat (Mobily).

Mobily is the fastest growing telecommunications company in Saudi Arabia.

Under the contract, IBM will provide Mobily with faster, targeted access to new technologies and expertise in order to build a strong infrastructure to keep pace with the company's business growth. One area of collaboration will build upon IBM's Spoken Web solution to establish a spoken version of the Internet for mobile users.

"Partnering with one of the largest technology companies in the world offers Mobily a broad portfolio of modern IT solutions that will have a positive impact on our customers in terms of the quality of products and innovative services, in addition to solutions that will enrich their lives. We are pleased to sign with IBM, which has a significant presence in this strategic sector," said Khalid Al Kaf, CEO, Mobily.

"Mobile computing is driving increasing demand for IT services in the telecommunications industry," said Takreem El Tohamy, General Manager, IBM Middle East and Africa. "With this agreement, IBM provides Mobily with the robust IT infrastructure and near term innovation to remain a leader in providing their customers with the best technology has to offer." 
http://www.ibm.com 06-Aug-12

Dror Bin Takes Over at RAD Data Communications

RAD Data Communications has announced that Dror Bin has assumed his responsibilities as the company’s President and CEO, replacing Effi Wachtel, who has retired after 15 years in that position. Mr. Bin, 45, was most recently a venture partner at Carmel Ventures. Prior to that he had served for over nine years at Comverse Technology in a series of positions, including President of Global Sales, President of the Products Group, and other key roles such as Vice President and General Manager of the company’s Messaging line, General Manager of the SMS division, and Vice President of Marketing for Comverse Voicemail and Call Completion. http://www.rad.com 06-Aug-12

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Demystifying SDN for Carrier Ethernet Networks

by Sandy Orlando,  

Software Defined Networking (SDN) is the hottest new technology in networking. Google is running its backbone network traffic on an SDN network built using OpenFlow. Nicira was acquired by VMware for $1.26 billion to accelerate the adoption of network virtualization in the data center. Yet with all the buzz about SDN, it is not clear how it will be deployed in service provider networks and what it means to the expansion of Carrier Ethernet. 

Tsunami of data driving change

SDN and Carrier Ethernet are not mutually exclusive technologies. What’s more, both technologies help address the growing tsunami of data driven by the growth in mobile phones and tablets, the emergence of BIG DATA, and the rise in machine-to-machine communications.
Not only is the amount of data exploding, but the characteristics of that traffic are changing with over 70 percent of network traffic on mobile networks streaming media. As service providers roll-out new network services, they struggle with how to keep pace with growing consumer and business demand and how to grow their Average Revenue per User (ARPU) faster than costs. The growing appetite for new services as well as the pace of rolling out new services every three to six months is straining service provider networks.

In comes Carrier Ethernet and SDN

There is no secret why Carrier Ethernet is a $25 billion dollar business, expected to grow to over $47 billion by 2015. Carrier Ethernet offers significant cost advantages for service providers providing WAN transport for a wide-range of services, including mobile backhaul. With Carrier Ethernet, service providers can provide high-value-per-bit at a lower-cost-per-bit while maintaining the reliability and predictable performance required by even the most latency-sensitive applications.

The next stage of Carrier Ethernet growth will come from cloud services and Carrier Ethernet interconnects, combined with virtualized network services. The cost advantages of Ethernet alone cannot keep pace with the uncontrollable demand for bandwidth combined with the emergence of on-demand network services. The next generation of Carrier Ethernet solutions will need a new approach to network equipment design and architecture provided by SDN.

SDN fundamentals

Software Defined Networking is a new approach to architecting networking equipment that fundamentally changes the way we design and build networks in a data center and over a wide-area network (WAN). SDN moves from the monolithic network equipment design based on custom silicon, a custom control plane, and tightly integrated network applications (services) to a modular, programmable, and distributed design (figure 1).

Figure 1: Network architecture transformation.
The key to SDN is the decoupling of network control from traffic forwarding. This migration to a separate software-based controller offers a number of key advantages:
  • Programmability
  • Network application (service) abstraction
  • Global network view
Whether these controllers are based on the emerging OpenFlow standard or a hybrid of legacy switching/routing alongside OpenFlow, the network intelligence is centralized and appears to applications and policy engines as a single logical switch, which simplifies network design and operations.

Distributed traffic forwarders can be added as demand dictates, reducing costly oversubscription of network bandwidth. Moreover, the separation of the network services enables service providers to more quickly add new services without having to forklift networking devices.

The role of OpenFlow

OpenFlow is a communications interface between the control and forwarding layers in an SDN architecture. It allows direct access to and manipulation of the forwarding plane of physical and virtual network devices. The OpenFlow standard is developed by the Open Networking Foundation which was launched in 2011 by Duetsche Telecom, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Verizon, and Yahoo.

The current version of OpenFlow (version 1.3) provides an instruction set for networks analogous to the x86 instruction set for PCs. The Open Flow (figure 2) protocol includes flow tables (generic primitives) that sit on top of (virtual) switch Ternary Content Addressable Memory (TCAM) and can perform the following actions:
  • Switching and routing
  • Firewalling
  • Switching non-OpenFlow logic locally
  • Sending to controller for processing

Figure 2: OpenFlow, courtesy of Open Networking Foundation, 2012

Other SDN standards and research

In addition to OpenFlow, there are several other standards and research activities for SDN, including:
  • Open Networking Foundation: Hybrid programmable forwarding planes
  • ITEF:
    • MPLS-TP Pseudowire configuration using OpenFlow 1.3 (draft-medved-pwe3-of-config-00)
    • SDNi: A Message Exchange Protocol for Software Defined Networks (SDNS) across Multiple Domains (draft-yin-sdn-sdni-00.txt)
    • Use Cases for ALTO with Software Defined Networks (draft-xie-alto-sdn-use-cases-01.txt)
  • MEF: is working on cloud-computing and SDN standards
See the ONF and IETF websites for full list of SDN standards.

SDN is important for the future of Carrier Ethernet

Software Defined Networking is important for the evolution of Carrier Ethernet. It provides a new mechanism for architecting networking equipment and network designs. Moreover, implementing SDN does not necessarily require a rip and replace strategy. Service providers and network equipment vendors can begin identifying the high-value use cases to take advantage of the flexibility and programmability of SDN. These can include:

  • Dynamically partitioning access points and cell radios on demand based on a number of different parameters, including carrier, usage, identity, device type at the mobile edge, enabling optimal use of spectrum, Wi-Fi, and Carrier Ethernet mobile backhaul links.
  • Pooled compute and storage across geographically distributed data centers, connected with Carrier Ethernet transport using SDN, which will carve out bandwidth and allocate optimal use of bandwidth.
  • Traffic steering for content management and distribution, providing granular routing of traffic based on a wide-range of parameters such as subscriber policy, application type, and cache asset.

Waves of adoption

SDN is in its infancy and we have seen the first waves of adoption washing over the data center. For service providers and Carrier Ethernet equipment manufacturers, now is the time to begin researching SDN and identifying use cases that will drive future business.

While the ITEF and the MEF are beginning to explore SDN, the best place to learn about the technology is the Open Networking Foundation: https://www.opennetworking.org/. The ONF is the standards body for SDN and OpenFlow, and has tutorials and the OpenFlow specifications. In addition, the proceedings from the Open Networking Summit from April 2012 are online at http://opennetsummit.org/. There are a number sessions from service providers and vendors on SDN for carrier networks.

As the tsunami of data grows, the emergence of SDN in carrier networks is inevitable. Only a fundamental change in how we architect networks can prepare us for the dynamic growth in communications in the coming decades. Carrier Ethernet will continue to grow. As network equipment providers adopt SDN architectures, service providers will see more opportunities to accelerate new and profitable network services.

About the Author

Sandy Orlando is a high-tech marketing executive with extensive experience in developing winning business strategies for networking and virtualization companies. She transformed the marketing strategy for IP Infusion, moving it from a point protocol provider to the leader in SDN embedded networking platforms. She has written about trends in carrier and enterprise networking and has spoken at data center and Ethernet conferences regarding the network transition to SDN.

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Dell'Oro: Wireless LAN Market to Expand by Over 50 Percent in 2016

Overall Wireless LAN market revenues are forecast to reach almost $10 billion in 2016, an increase of 54% over 2011 revenues, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group. 

The report details why the Enterprise segment will nearly double over 2011 levels (rising to $5 billion in revenues in 2016), while the SOHO segment will rise more slowly to $4.6 billion. Also included in the report are estimates on total SP WiFi units and revenue forecasts.

"With the 802.11ac upgrade cycle now underway, we are more confident in our projections. In addition, we are raising our forecast for service provider use of WiFi based on very strong growth trends now underway," said Chris DePuy, Analyst of Wireless LAN research at Dell'Oro Group. "We expect that by early next year, the availability of five gigahertz radio smartphones will stimulate a new phase in demand for both 802.11ac and SP WiFi," added DePuy. 
http://www.DellOro.com 06-Aug-12