Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Free Press Launches Petition to Block AT&T's FaceTime Policy


Free Press, a public advocacy group working for Net Neutrality (wired and wireless), launched an online petition seeking to change or block AT&T's policy on using Apple's FaceTime application over its wireless networks.

FaceTime on iPhones is currently limited to Wi-Fi connections. With the coming iOS 6.0 update, FaceTime is supposed to be enabled from use over cellular data connections as well.

Specifically, Free Press is concerned that AT&T will block the iPhone from using FaceTime over cellular connections unless customers subscribe to the carrier's new "Mobile Share" service plans.

Free Press argues that AT&T's plan to block mobile access to FaceTime for all other customers would violate the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet rules.

In response, AT&T argues that Net Neutrality rules do not apply in this case because (1) FaceTime is preloaded on every iPhone on the AT&T network and (2) AT&T does not have a similar preloaded video chat app that competes with FaceTime.  In a posting on its public policy blog, AT&T's Bob Quinn writes:

"The FCC’s net neutrality rules do not regulate the availability to customers of applications that are preloaded on phones.  Indeed, the rules do not require that providers make available any preloaded apps.  Rather, they address whether customers are able to download apps that compete with our voice or video telephony services.   AT&T does not restrict customers from downloading any such lawful applications, and there are several video chat apps available in the various app stores serving particular operating systems."

However, Free Press rejected that argument.  In a follow-up blog posting, Free Press Research Director S. Derek Turner made the following statement:

"AT&T is inventing words that are not in the FCC's rules in a weak attempt to justify its blocking of FaceTime. The FCC's rules are crystal clear: AT&T is not permitted to block voice or video telephony applications that compete with its own services. There is simply nothing in the rules that distinguishes 'preloaded' applications from 'downloaded' applications. It is interesting to see AT&T try this line of defense, as it is tacitly admitting that it is both blocking FaceTime and that the app does in fact compete with its own offerings."

Free Press also runs the SavetheInternet.com coalition.


http://www.freepress.net
http://attpublicpolicy.com/

Everything Everywhere Gets Permission to Roll with 1800 MHz LTE

Ofcom, the official telecoms regulator for the UK, has granted permission to Everything Everywhere (EE) to use its existing 1800 MHz spectrum to deliver 4G services after 11-September-2012.

The decision follows a consultation as to whether an earlier start in LTE by EE ahead of other networks would distort competition. The decision takes account of the forthcoming release of additional spectrum in the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands, in an auction process set to begin later this year, which will enable other operators to launch competing 4G services from next year.

Everything Everywhere provides mobile and fixed-broadband communications services to more than 27 million customers through the Orange and T-Mobile brands. "Ofcom’s decision to make 4G available this year is great news for the UK. Consumers will soon be able to benefit from the much greater mobile speeds that 4G will deliver. 4G will drive investment, employment and innovation and we look forward to making it available later this year, delivering superfast mobile broadband to the UK."

http://everythingeverywhere.com



  • In July 2012, Ofcom, the telecoms regulator for the UK, announced its largest ever auction of spectrum for mobile services-- the equivalent of three quarters of the mobile spectrum in use today – some 80% more than released in the 3G auction which took place in 2000. The auction of spectrum for LTE is set to get underway before the end of the year.

    Key details of the auction have now been confirmed, including plans to reserve some of the available spectrum for a fourth national wholesaler other than the three largest mobile operators.

    The 4G auction will offer at least two spectrum bands – 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz. The lower frequency 800 MHz band is part of the 'digital dividend', which is ideal for widespread mobile coverage. The higher frequency 2.6 GHz band is ideal for delivering the capacity needed to deliver faster speeds. These two bands add up to 250 MHz of additional mobile spectrum, compared to 333 MHz in use today.

    The spectrum bands will be auctioned to bidders as a series of lots. One of the 800 MHz lots of spectrum will carry an obligation to provide a mobile broadband service for indoor reception to at least 98% of the UK population by the end of 2017 at the latest.

    Mobile operators are expected to start rolling out 4G networks using the auctioned spectrum from the middle of 2013, and to start offering 4G services to consumers later that year.

NTT Com's Asia-Oceania Backbone Hits 500 Gbps

NTT Communications has expanded the data-transmission capacity of its Global IP Network between Asia and Oceania to 500 Gbps. Capacity has increased nearly tenfold in five years, from 53 Gbps in 2007.

NTT Com's largest cable network offers 630 Gbps between Japan and the United States. It uses a dual-stack (IPv4 and IPv6) configuration as one of NTT Com's core IPv6 networks.

NTT Com has implemented a number of initiatives to boost its network, including launching the Asia Submarine-cable Express, a low-latency, highly reliable undersea cable connecting major cities in Asia, and offering strengthened security to prevent DDoS attacks.
http://www.ntt.co.jp

Spirent Expands Testing for Network Virtualization

Spirent Communications is now supporting the ability to validate at scale the performance and security of advanced network virtualization and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployments.


The virtualization test capbilities are enabled by Spirent TestCenter, Spirent Avalanche and Spirent Studio. Specifically, Spirent TestCenter Virtual and Spirent Avalanche Virtual now offer expanded support for any type of hypervisor beyond VMware, including KVM, XEN and Hyper-V, to test network virtualization capabilities of cloud platforms such as OpenStack. Spirent Studio Security offers firewall application awareness and vulnerability detection test capabilities for BYOD deployments. And Spirent has partnered with Login VSI B.V. for VDI testing, adding realistic user emulation to determine optimal performance of private or public cloud-based VDI deployments. In addition, Spirent TestCenter OpenFlow tests performance and scale of virtual and physical devices in cloud networks based on Software Defined Networking (SDN).

Spirent said key issued for testing network virtualization cloud platforms include:
  • Determining the best performing cloud and VDI platform for different applications and services

  • Assessing the availability of end-to-end network, computing and storage resources during peak times

  • Ensuring readiness of next generation network security with profiles to detect undesirable applications and block them from being accessed

  • Validating the optimal scalability of cloud and VDI platforms as additional users and virtual machines are added.
http://www.spirent.com

Lantiq Targets VoLTE Enabled Home Gateways

Lantiq is collaborating with D2 Technologies and Ecrio Inc. to enable rich, native communications services for 4G LTE clients. Specifically, Lantiq will offer integration and test support for each company's Voice over LTE software with the Lantiq XWAY GRX Gateway Platform, providing networking OEMs and carriers with a path to faster deployment of wireless broadband enabled home gateways. Reference designs are expected in early 2013.


D2 Technologies is the developer of mCUE 4G and vPort, advanced IMS VoLTE and RCS software solutions that offer IMS IP communications services such as HD voice, real time video call, instant message, presence, SMS and VCC on 4G mobile networks.

Ecrio offers its commercially deployed Mobile Communications Client Suite (MCCS) powered by FlexIMS Architecture, which supports such 4G/LTE services as Voice, Video, SMS and other Rich Communication Suite Services.

The Lantiq XWAY GRX Gateway Platform includes a powerful multi-core network processor and proven Universal Gateway software stack for core networking functions and support for Lantiq�s broad connectivity and voice product portfolio, including Fast/Gigabit-Ethernet, WLAN, and DECT/CAT-iq solutions.

Lantiq has previously announced collaboration with LTE-chipset supplier Altair Semiconductor.

"These cooperations mark the next step in our LTE Gateway strategy. Last year saw a significant increase of LTE CPE deployments by major carriers and now we expect VoLTE to enter the mass market. As we develop an ecosystem of solution providers specifically for this new segment of the home broadband market, we add valuable services to our portfolio," said Dirk Wieberneit, Head of the Customer Premises Equipment Business Unit of Lantiq.
http://www.lantiq.com

AT&T Faces FaceTime Net Neutrality Issue

AT&T has confirmed plans to make FaceTime available over its mobile broadband network only for customers who also subscribe to its Mobile Share data plan.


In response to criticism that this violates Net Neutrality rules because consumers should be able to use any app they choose on their data subscription, AT&T argues that Net Neutrality rules do not apply in this case because (1) FaceTime is preloaded on every iPhone on the AT&T network and (2) AT&T does not have a similar preloaded video chat app that competes with FaceTime. In a posting on its public policy blog, AT&T's Bob Quinn writes:

"The FCC's net neutrality rules do not regulate the availability to customers of applications that are preloaded on phones. Indeed, the rules do not require that providers make available any preloaded apps. Rather, they address whether customers are able to download apps that compete with our voice or video telephony services. AT&T does not restrict customers from downloading any such lawful applications, and there are several video chat apps available in the various app stores serving particular operating systems."

Earlier this week, Free Press, a public advocacy group working for Net Neutrality (wired and wireless), launched an online petition seeking to change or block AT&T policy on using Apple's FaceTime application over its wireless networks.

FaceTime on iPhones is currently limited to Wi-Fi connections. With the coming iOS 6.0 update, FaceTime is supposed to be enabled from use over cellular data connections as well.

Specifically, Free Press is concerned that AT&T will block the iPhone from using FaceTime over cellular connections unless customers subscribe to the carrier's new "Mobile Share" service plans.

Free Press argues that AT&T's plan to block mobile access to FaceTime for all other customers would violate the Federal Communications Commission�s Open Internet rules.

In a follow-up blog posting, Free Press Research Director S. Derek Turner made the following statement:

"AT&T is inventing words that are not in the FCC's rules in a weak attempt to justify its blocking of FaceTime. The FCC's rules are crystal clear: AT&T is not permitted to block voice or video telephony applications that compete with its own services. There is simply nothing in the rules that distinguishes 'preloaded' applications from 'downloaded' applications. It is interesting to see AT&T try this line of defense, as it is tacitly admitting that it is both blocking FaceTime and that the app does in fact compete with its own offerings."

Free Press also runs the SavetheInternet.com coalition.http://attpublicpolicy.com/http://www.freepress.net

Infonetics: Carrier Routing/Switching Sales Rise in Q2

The global service provider router and switch market, including carrier Ethernet switches and IP edge and core routers, grew 4% in 2Q12 from the previous quarter, to $3.5 billion, according to a newly released Service Provider Routers and Switches report from Infonetics.

Some highlights of the report:
  • From the year-ago 2nd quarter, the overall carrier router and switch market is down 9%, as service providers generally remain cautious, particularly in North America and Europe
  • Latin America is the only major world region posting an increase in carrier router and switch revenue on a year-over-year basis (up 57% in 2Q12 over 2Q11)
  • ZTE posted especially strong gains in carrier Ethernet switches (CES) in 2Q12, particularly in China where CESs are being used in major mobile backhaul deployments.
"A nearly 50% increase in revenue in China propped up the global service provider router and switch market in the 2nd quarter," notes Michael Howard, Infonetics Research’s co-founder and principal analyst for carrier networks.  While Cisco has long led the global IP edge and core router market by very comfortable margins (and whose share is steady from this time last year), Alcatel-Lucent, Juniper and Huawei have been fighting it out every quarter for the past year-and-a-half for the next 3 leadership positions. The race tightened considerably in the 1st half of 2012, with Huawei taking the #2 spot in the 2nd quarter."




Amazon's Glacier Archive - One Penny Per GB Per Month

Amazon Web Services introduced a new "Glacier" archival service priced at $0.01 per GB per month.

Unlike Amazon's S3 cloud storage service, which is optimized for rapid access, Glacier is designed for long-term, high-durability archiving with infrequent access. Each archive can contain up to 40 Terabytes of data and is encrypted with AES-256, Amazon will store the archive durably in an immutable form in multiple facilities. Retrieval requests are queued up and honored "at a somewhat leisurely pace" -- within 3 to 5 hours. Up to 5% of the archive can be retrieved for free and there is a $0.01 per GB retrieval fee for the rest of the archive.

http://bit.ly/SOcunX




FCC Releases Broadband Progress Report

The United States is leading in LTE deployment and DOCSIS 3.0 has now been rolled out extensively across the country, but approximately 19 million Americans -- 6 percent of the population -- still lack access to fixed broadband service at threshold speeds (4 Mbps/1 Mbps), according to the FCC’s Eighth Broadband Progress Report.

Some highlights of the 181-page report:
  • In rural areas, nearly one-fourth of the population -- 14.5 million people -- lack access to this service.
  • In tribal areas, nearly one-third of the population lacks access.
  • Even in areas where broadband is available, approximately 100 million Americans still do not subscribe.
  • Broadband satellite is not included in this report but the FCC notes that ViaSat (formerly WildBlue) and HughesNet's newly launched ECHOSTAR XVII are entering the market with services above the threshold rate.
  • Service Providers are boosting their speeds. Verizon is offering up to 300 Mbps/65 Mbps for FiOS,23 while CenturyLink is offering up to 40 Mbps/5 Mbps.

http://www.fcc.gov/reports/eighth-broadband-progress-report


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.

http://www.trustgo.com

  • 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.

http://www.nttdocomo.com/


  • 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.

http://www.teliasonera.com
http://www.cygategroup.com/
  • 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. http://www.nsn.com http://www.campus-party.eu

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. http://www.kymetacorp.com
  • 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."
http://www.LightSquared.com

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."
http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

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.
http://www.level3.com

See also