Monday, August 20, 2012

NTT Com Finds High Interest in Virtualized Network Services

Enterprises continue to be enthusiastic about cloud computing services and report high levels of satisfaction with the effectiveness of their cloud investments in enabling flexibility and improved scalability but network performance issue remain a concern, according to a newly published Cloud Computing Infrastructure Study, which was commissioned by NTT Communications and conducted by IDG Research Services. Among the most critical network performance issues around cloud adoption, the study found capacity limitations, possible downtime when changing network configurations and lead-time to change network configurations topped the list, with more than 70% of IT decision makers citing these as areas of concern.

Some key findings of the study:
  • Forty percent (40%) of respondents worldwide report a high level of familiarity with virtualized network services.
  • Most respondents (91%) are interested in learning more after seeing a description of virtualized network services (53% extremely or very interested and 38% somewhat interested).
  • Common drivers for using cloud services – performance, reliability, cost efficiency, flexibility – remain high on IT decision makers’ list of deliverables by a cloud service embedded with a virtualized network.
  • Relatively lower expectations for network-related deliverables – such as better bandwidth utilization and simplified network management – indicate IT decision makers are still thinking about virtualization primarily as a technology for servers, not networks.
  • Simplified network management is largely unrecognized as a cloud benefit, suggesting relatively low maturity of the technology.
NTT Communications is already offering OpenFlow-based virtualized network services. The company said virtualized networks enable enterprises to expand network bandwidth on demand, allowing them to pay for only what they need at any given moment. Changes to capacity and routing over virtual networks are made via software command, negating the need for physical changes at the location of the routers.
  • In June 2012, NTT Communications launched a globally seamless enterprise cloud service using OpenFlow network virtualization technology within and between data centers. The service, which launches June 20, is initially provided via NTT Com data centers in Japan and Hong Kong, followed by data centers in the United States (two locations), the United Kingdom and Singapore in December and in Australia, Malaysia and Thailand in March 2013.

    NTT Com’s new infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offering, Enterprise Cloud, provides global cloud resources that enterprise customers can easily control and manage to optimize their ICT costs and support the global expansion of corporate operations.

    NTT Com said its new service will provide greater flexibility allowing system changes to be performed automatically using virtualized servers and networks, and a convenient customer portal. Primary features of the new Enterprise Cloud service include free-of-charge broadband connection from this service directly to the Arcstar Universal One cloud-based enterprise network in NTT Com data centers. On-demand backup is also provided via other data centers worldwide using NTT Com’s global and secure broadband virtualized networks. In addition, NTT Com will enable customers to perform precise, small-increment control of server resources, such as CPU, memory and disk, and network resources, such as virtual firewall, virtual load balancer and virtualized networks. ICT costs can be trimmed on a pay-as-you-go basis down to the per-minute level.

TrustGo: SMSZombie Attacks Android on China Mobile

TrustGo Security Labs calculates that an SMS Zombie virus has infected some 500,000 Android smartphones on China Mobile's network.

The malware, which has been detected in a variety of wallpaper apps, will request the user to install additional "Android System Service" files by which the virus payload is delivered. The SMSZombie then exploits a vulnerability in the mobile payment system used by China Mobile to generate unauthorized payments, steal bank card numbers and money transfer receipt information. The virus disables the user's ability to delete it and the amount and timing unauthorized charges can be changed at anytime by the malware makers.

TrustGo is developing an automated removal process that it hopes to releases later this month.

  • In July, TrustGo discovered a different virus targeting China Mobile’s Mobile Market. Named the Trojan!MMarketPay.A@Android, the virus automatically places orders and downloads paid apps and video content which can result in unexpectedly high phone bills. Infections were estimated at more than 100,000 devices.

LTE Uptake Accelerates at Docomo

As of August 19, NTT Docomo surpassed five million subscribers to its Xi (pronounced 'crossy') LTE service.

The four million mark was passed on July 22nd. Docomo attributed the faster pace to its recent introduction of a new lineup of a Xi-compatible smartphones. Going forward, the company aims to deliver enhanced customer satisfaction with its Xi smartphones, as well as compatible mobile Wi-Fi routers and other devices, and services such as Xi Talk 24 for free, unlimited voice calls between Xi subscribers.

  • In June 2012, DOCOMO announced flat-rate billing plans for Xi compatible smartphones, tablets and other data communication devices from October 1. The new offerings are lower cost than existing plans and are expected to benefit light users who do not download large-sized data such as video content. "Xi Pake-hodai Light" and "Xi Data Plan Light Ninen" plans will be available for 4,935 yen (including tax) per month, and the "Xi Data Plan Light" plan will be available for 6,405 yen (including tax) per month. Downlinks at a maximum of 75 Mbps will be available for up to 3 GB of data. For users who exceed 3 GB in a given month, the downlink speed will be reduced to a maximum of 128 Kbps for the remainder of that month, although users will have the option of continuing service at a maximum of 75 Mbps by paying an additional 2,625 yen (including tax) per 2 GB. 

TeliaSonera to Acquire Cygate for Data Center Integration Expertise

Cygate, a subsidiary of TeliaSonera has acquired Information Infrastructure Management (IIM), a niche system integrator company in the data center market. The company has 27 employees and its turnover is close to 100 million SEK with high profitability. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"The IIM acquisition complements Cygate�s strategic roadmap as the market for data centres is growing fast and is high up on the agenda for Nordic CIOs when it comes to prioritizing their IT investments�, says Bengt Lundgren, Managing Director Cygate.

"We were one of the first players to bet on backup, storage and virtualization services � areas with staggering growth and are pleased with this acquisition. We feel that we have found a company with a highly technically oriented culture, one which suits us perfectly and its strengths in security and networks complements our knowledge in datacenters," says H�kan Axtelius, Managing Director, IIM.
  • TeliaSonera acquired Cygate in 2006.

Telefonica Germany and NSN Bring LTE to Berlin Campus Party

Telef�nica Germany and Nokia Siemens Networks are participating in a weeklong, 24-hour a day, "Campus Party" technology festival at the former airport area "Tempelhof" in Berlin, Germany. The companies are showcasing LTE's low latency and high data transmission rates.

The event runs from August 21-26, 2012. Some 7,000 "campuseros" are expected to attend.

Highlights of this year�s Campus Party will include mobile gaming and video streaming demonstrations, including LTE mobile reporter, where camera equipped reporters interview participants and highlight HD TV transmission over LTE; and online gaming, where two players compete interactively using a gaming system connected by LTE. These demos will allow participants to experience the benefits of LTE mobile broadband first hand.

Kymeta Raises $12M for Broadband Satellite Antennas

Kymeta, a start-up based in Redmond, Washington, has closed a $12 million funding round to develop and bring to market Metamaterials Surface Antenna Technology (MSA-T). The company was incubated by Intellectual Ventures and is backed by investments from Bill Gates, Liberty Global and Lux Capital.

Kymeta says its mTenna product line will simplify the satellite connection needed for broadband Internet on the go, anywhere in the world. The company uses metamaterials to manipulate electromagnetic radiation to electronically point and steer a radio signal toward a satellite. The technology could be used to maintain a continuous broadband link between a satellite and a moving platform such as an aircraft, car or boat. The metamaterials could be manufactured using established lithographic techniques.

"Metamaterials were an early focus for IV, so the spinout of Kymeta marks an important milestone in our invention work," said Casey Tegreene, executive vice president and chief patent counsel at IV. "As groundbreaking as it is, the satellite antenna technology behind Kymeta only scratches the surface of what metamaterials can do. Thanks to nearly a decade of work with scientists like Sir John Pendry of Imperial College and Professor David Smith of Duke University, we have a portfolio of metamaterials inventions that cover a variety of industries and applications."

Kymeta also plans to develop a portable, laptop-sized satellite hotspot product for individual users.
  • Kymeta is the second company to spin out of Intellectual Ventures. The first, TerraPower, was created in 2008 to develop a new class of nuclear reactor.

LightSquared Appoints New CEO as it Seeks Resolution

Doug Smith will serve as the new chairman and CEO for LightSquared. Mr. Smith was previously serving as co-chief operating officer for the company. He is credited with LightSquared�s network design, deployment and operations, helping to develop the technical characteristics necessary to bring to market a competitive high-speed wireless network. Previously, he worked for Clearwire and Sprint Nextel.

"LightSquared remains committed to working with all stakeholders to find an equitable resolution to the regulatory challenges that the company has faced this past year,� Mr. Smith said. �We are very confident that working together, we can provide the American public with both a protected and robust GPS system while enabling LightSquared to offer consumers and businesses more choice and a lower priced 4G wireless alternative they need and deserve."

Alcatel-Lucent Introduces LTE First Responder Video Solution

Alcatel-Lucent introduced a First Responder Video solution that enable emergency teams to view and rapidly share multiple video and data feeds simultaneously on mobile devices using LTE networks.

Alcatel-Lucent's First Responder Video solution leverages Bell Labs' research in multimedia and cloud to optimize bandwidth use and integrate multiple video feeds and other operational data into one single stream to transmit to situation commanders. First Responder Video employs a 'thin client' strategy, which ensures that data processing takes place at the powerful control centers to free up the device itself to focus on receiving and sending images and data. It works seamlessly with existing control center dispatch applications and allows teams to send video and data to many different types of 'smart' mobile devices at the same time.

Philippe Agard, Vice President of Public Safety, Alcatel-Lucent said: "Alcatel-Lucent's First Responder Video capitalizes on our leading capabilities and expertise in mobile broadband solutions to deliver real efficiencies for public safety agencies. The solution has seen great results in a live end-to-end trial with the Policia Militar do Estado de Sao Paulo, Brazil, allowing teams to be sent views from in-car cameras. Easy-to-use screens enhance operations in the toughest environments and the ability to maximize available bandwidth to share multiple high-quality video images on a variety of mobile devices maximizes cost of ownership at a time when budgets are being stretched."

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Level 3 Activates New London Data Center

Level 3 Communications opened a new advanced data centre in Hayes,�West London. The facility provides enterprise customers with data centre space and access to Level 3's major fibre routes across the Atlantic and its low latency routes into the Chi-X trading platform in�Slough.

The new facility, one of Level 3's Premier Elite data centres, features high-power density cabinets and suites, 24 x 7 security and maintenance support, and will provide additional capacity to Level 3's three existing data centres in central�London�and to its more than 350 data centres worldwide.

Due to its close proximity to central�London, the new facility will offer disaster recovery, replication and redundancy facilities, and will offer customers in the region a new option for expanding or outsourcing their enterprise data centre requirements. The location was chosen in part, to help enable companies to meet disaster recovery objectives, while also being able to perform synchronous replication.

Discera Ships Sicon MEMS Oscillator

Discera announced the production availability of its DSC3001 PureSilicon oscillator for mobile, video, and audio applications. The device is available in frequencies up to 150 MHz and temperature ranges up to 105 degrees Celsius with shock resistance up to 30,000 G.

Discera said its DSC3001 series of oscillators is available in both low power and high precision configurations that consume as little as 3mA of power and deliver higher frequency stability over wider temperature ranges for better performance than other crystal or silicon based products.

Key features include:

  • 1.6 mm x 1.2 mm x 0.5 mm footprint

  • Output frequency support from 1 to 150 MHz

  • Frequency stabilities of 10, 25, 50 ppm across temperature and voltage

  • Operating temperature range up to 105 degrees Celsius

  • Supply current as low as 15uA standby, 3mA active from 1.7 to 3.6V

  • Fast startup time of 1.0 millisecond

  • MIL-STD883 shock and vibration tolerant to 30,000 G

  • AEC-Q100 qualification for automobile applications

  • Lead-free and RoHS compliant

sqrrl Targets Big Data

sqrrl, a start-up based in Cambridge, Mass., announced funding from Atlas Venture and Matrix Partners for its work in security, scalability, and adaptability for�Big Data. The company's core engineering team members architected and developed Apache Accumulo within the National Security Agency (NSA).

sqrrl said its focus is on Apache Accumulo, a distributed key/value store based on Google's Big Table design, which has three unique technical advantages:
  • Security:�Fine-grained security controls allow organizations to control data at the cell-level and promote a data-centric security model.

  • Scalability:�Accumulo is proven to operate and perform at massive scale.

  • Adaptability:�sqrrl's solutions enable users to move beyond batch processing and conduct a wide variety of analyses, including information retrieval, statistical, graph, and visualizations across diverse data environments.

General Dynamics to Acquire Fidelis Security Systems

General Dynamics agreed to acquire Fidelis Security Systems, a supplier of cyber security tools that provide real-time network visibility, analysis and control. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Fidelis Security Systems supplies a platform for real-time session-level visibility, analysis, and control for bi-directional communications. The solution help customers stop advanced threats and prevent data breaches by providing visibility into the complex layers of a network, exposing malicious content in real-time. The company employs approximately 70 people at locations in�Waltham, Mass., and�Bethesda, Md.

"The acquisition of Fidelis Security Systems allows General Dynamics to continue to deliver relevant and innovative cyber security solutions that help customers maintain the edge to successfully address and respond to dynamic cyber threats," said�Lou Von Thaer, president of General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems.�

"Being prepared and having the right intelligence and technologies is critical for organizations to mitigate and respond to cyber threats in real time," said�Peter George, president and chief executive officer for Fidelis Security Systems. "The combination of Fidelis Security Systems' products and General Dynamics' cyber services and incident response capabilities will strengthen our customers' ability to achieve situational awareness to protect and defend their networks."

AT&T Launches Cloud-hosted Mobile Device Management for Small Businesses

AT&T has expanded its cloud-based Mobile Device Management (MDM) offering with solutions for small businesses. MDM allow small businesses to proactively manage employees� mobile devices and data usage, making it easier for the company to enforce management policies while still empowering workers with mobile access. The cloud-based MDM solutions means small business owners don�t need to invest in installing hardware to support the service because it�s hosted and managed by AT&T.

AT&T Mobile Device Management solutions, available for small businesses with as few as 20 employees, offer:
  • Lost device detection, including password recovery, device lock, wipe, and encryption

  • Remote configuration of email, Wi-Fi, and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

  • Asset management features that enable business owners to keep track of company-owned devices

  • App distribution capabilities that allow business owners to push mission-critical apps to their employees

  • App whitelist/blacklist capabilities help control how company-owned smartphones are used

IEEE 802.3 Group Looks Netxt Ethernet Speed -- Road Towards 10 Tbps by 2020?

A new IEEE 802.3 Industry Connections Higher Speed Ethernet Consensus group has been formed to gather industry input toward the development of the next speed of Ethernet. The group is expected to include users and producers of systems and components for telecommunications carriers, Internet exchanges, financial markets, data centers, multiple system operators (MSOs) networking systems, high-performance computing, network storage and servers and other individuals interested in future IEEE 802.3 Ethernet wireline standards.

In July, the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group published an Ethernet Bandwidth Assessment report that found a continuing exponential clim in global bandwidth requirements across multiple application spaces. The report forecasts that, if current trends continue, networks will need to support capacity requirements of 1 terabit per second in 2015 and 10 terabit per second by 2020. This reflects capacity requirements, not line rates. The report considered input was collected from a variety of application spaces (servers, data center networks, high-performance computing, financial markets, carrier and cable operators, Internet exchanges, the scientific community, etc.) and from different geographic regions. The report confirms that growth is being driven across multiple application spaces and markets by simultaneous increases in users, access methodologies, access rates and services (such as video on demand and social media).

"We continue to seek to streamline the early stages of work of potential future IEEE 802.3 Ethernet wireline standards-development activities,� said John D�Ambrosia, chair of the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Bandwidth Assessment Ad Hoc and IEEE 802.3 Industry Connections Higher Speed Ethernet Consensus group and chief Ethernet evangelist, CTO office, Dell. �The information gathered by the Bandwidth Assessment Ad Hoc demonstrates the ongoing, exponential bandwidth growth that is happening in varying application spaces on a global nature. The launch of the IEEE 802.3 Industry Connections Higher Speed Ethernet Consensus group will facilitate an open forum to explore the start beyond 100Gb/s Ethernet."

Added Paul Nikolich, chair of the IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee: "The IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Bandwidth Assessment report documents a cross-industry understanding of the diverse bandwidth needs of various Ethernet applications. By doing so, it provides a critical head start for potential future development activities of IEEE 802 Ethernet standards, as the time needed to accumulate this knowledge is significant. The report and now the work of the IEEE 802.3 Industry Connections Higher Speed Ethernet Consensus group ultimately will help more quickly yield more meaningful IEEE 802.3 Ethernet wireline standards."

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Intelsat 21 Successfully Launched

Intelsat 21 was successfully launched into orbit aboard a Sea Launch Zenit 3SL rocket from the equatorial Pacific.

Intelsat 21 will serve the leading direct-to-home (DTH) and cable programmers in Latin America. It will deliver C-band services for South America, North America and Europe, and Ku-band services for North America, the Caribbean, Brazil, Europe and Western Africa. It also a Ku-band mobility beam, providing coverage across the South Atlantic to Intelsat�s maritime and aeronautical customers. It was built by Boeing Satellite Systems and replaces Intelsat 9.

Intelsat 21 is the fourth of five Intelsat launches planned for 2012. Intelsat 23 is scheduled for launch later this year aboard a Proton launch vehicle from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Intelsat 21 Successfully Launched

Intelsat 21 was successfully launched into orbit aboard a Sea Launch Zenit 3SL rocket from the equatorial Pacific.

Intelsat 21 will serve the leading direct-to-home (DTH) and cable programmers in Latin America. It will deliver C-band services for South America, North America and Europe, and Ku-band services for North America, the Caribbean, Brazil, Europe and Western Africa. It also a Ku-band mobility beam, providing coverage across the South Atlantic to Intelsat’s maritime and aeronautical customers. It was built by Boeing Satellite Systems and replaces Intelsat 9.

Intelsat 21 is the fourth of five Intelsat launches planned for 2012. Intelsat 23 is scheduled for launch later this year aboard a Proton launch vehicle from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

FCC Issues New 800 MHz Band Plan for U.S. - Mexico Sharing Zone

The FCC issued its new 800 MHz band plan for the U.S. - Mexico border. The notice is a follow up to the agreement signed in June between the United States and Mexico for sharing spectrum in the 800 MHz and 1.9 GHz bands along the U.S.-Mexican border.

The FCC said this marks the beginning of the final phase for rebanding in the 800 MHz band across the country. These actions will help support commercial broadband services and public safety mission-critical voice communications along the U.S.-Mexico border and throughout the United States.

Communications Workers Of America Ratify AT&T Wireline Agreements

Wireline employees represented by the Communications Workers of America have voted to ratify three-year contracts for the AT&T Midwest region and AT&T Corp. (CWA Telecommunications and Technology Office). The deals were reached July 21 and cover more than 13,000 wireline employees in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The AT&T Corp. agreement covers about 5,700 wireline employees located throughout the country.

Philippines’Smart Ready for LTE Launch

Smart Communications is ready to launch its first commercial LTE service in the Philippines. Test networks have been underway in various parts of the country over the past year conducted by PLDT’s wireless subsidiary. Several LTE sites located in Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao, and Boracay have already been active months prior to the commercial launch.

Smart’s LTE service will deliver speeds of up to 42 mbps with fallback to HSPA+, HSPA and 3G .

Smart’s LTE deployment was made possible by the PLDT Group’s P67.1 billion network technology refresh program which has replaced the base station equipment in all of Smart’s over 9,500 base stations nationwide with 4G-ready facilities. This program has also strengthened the PLDT Group’s fiber optic networks and overseas fiber optic cable systems.

"The Philippines’ first and only LTE service is here and it’s running on Smart’s ‘super-charged’ mobile network," said Smart Chief Wireless Adviser Orlando B. Vea.

ZTE Intros First Multi-Mode TDD/FDD LTE Devices

ZTE introduced the first multi-standard USB modem and uFi which supports LTE FDD/LTE TDD/TD-SCDMA / EDGE.

The company said its multi-mode approach breaks down regional standard barriers and constraints at user end points.
The MF820S2 is the world’s first LTE FDD/LTE TDD/TD-SCDMA/EDGE multi-standard data card. It features LTE TDD 68M DL speed, LTE FDD 100M DL speed, USB Rotator (270 degrees rotation), and internal antenna. It is compatible with major operators and network systems around the world. With customized networks at different locations, it provides flexibility for travelers.

The MF91S is a portable uFi, supporting LTE FDD/LTE TDD/TD-SCDMA/EDGE standards. Weighing only 105g and running on Li-ion 2300mAh, the mini pocket uFi is the most suitable companion for PC laptops, Macbooks or multi-device users on-the-go.

“This is a transformational year for ZTE’s terminal business. We are catalyzing LTE development on the global stage through heralding new innovations in the LTE terminal market. The new MF820S2 and MF91S are clear demonstrations of ZTE’s leadership in LTE," said ZTE EVP and Head of the Terminal Division, Mr. He Shiyou. “Through continued investment in R&D, we hope to deliver even more cutting edge products for ZTE’s end-to-end terminal suite."