Monday, September 3, 2012

GSA: HD Voice Launched on 45 Mobile Networks

Mobile HD Voice services based on Adaptive Multi Rate Wideband technology (W-AMR, standardized by 3GPP) are now commercially launched in almost 60% of EU member countries, according to the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA).

Altogether,  HD Voice services are commercially launched on 45 GSM, 3G/HSPA and LTE mobile networks in 35 countries and territories: Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong S.A.R., India, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mauritius, Moldova, The Netherlands, Poland, RĂ©union, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Uganda, and UK.

Mobile HD Voice services are offered by competing operators in 10 markets – Austria, Canada, Croatia, France, Poland, Slovenia, South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey and UK,

More than 80 HD Voice enabled mobile phones are launched by many leading manufacturers, including products for professional broadcasters. Many new phone models are delivered with HD Voice (W-AMR) activated as default. Demand for HD Voice is increasing and many operators are working to maximize HD voice handset availability.

"The number of operators offering commercial HD Voice service has increased by 40% in under a year. Initially HD voice service was offered on HSPA networks, followed by GSM. HD voice is now market reality on LTE systems with the first wave of commercial VoLTE service launches announced in South Korea," stated Alan Hadden, President of GSA.

Windstream Responds to Bribery Charges

Windstream denied bribery and conspiracy allegations contained in an indictment returned by an Oklahoma grand jury. The allegations stem from a customer event that Windstream hosted at the 2007 NCAA Final Four men’s basketball championship for business customers, including the Broken Arrow School District.

Russia's MTS Faces Seizure of Network in Uzbekistan

Russia's Mobile TeleSystems is facing confiscation of its assets in Uzbekistan as a result of a tax dispute with local authorities.  According to news reports, MTS company officials have been arrested and the company's networks have been seized.  In a statement, MTS said these actions are occurring in breach of international legal norms.

Riverbed Tunes for VMware's vCloud

Riverbed is continuing to advance its work in cloud optimization. In May 2012, Riverbed and VMware joined forces to improve performance and flexibility for moving workloads between clouds by integrating Riverbed WAN optimization with VMware vCloud Connector.

The goal is to standardize WAN optimization deployments in virtual environment by using VMware vCloud Director and vCloud Networking & Security (vCNS).  The companies said this integration will automate the deployment and management of the Steelhead Cloud Edition while vCNS Edge integration ensures traffic redirection to the Steelhead Cloud Edition for fully automated optimization.

"SDNs will bring to enterprises, service providers, and systems integrators the next evolution of the virtualized IT environment, with benefits that include the ability to create complete virtual data centers in minutes and deliver quickly hybrid cloud solutions," said Eric Wolford, executive vice president at Riverbed. "Our partnership with VMware will help deliver on the promise of SDNs by providing the needed management and performance solutions to operate and deliver IT services at the infrastructure level."

Riverbed Partners with Vmware for SDN Performance Management

Riverbed Technology, in partnership with Vmware, is developing a performance management solution for software-defined networks (SDN) and the ability to provision wide area network (WAN) optimization for virtual data centers (VDC).  The planned Riverbed solutions will ensure the operational viability and performance of VMware-based SDNs and VDCs.

Specifically, Riverbed is adding VXLAN support to its Cascade product family support to deliver a application-aware network performance management (NPM) solution for SDN performance management.

In addition, Riverbed Steelhead Cloud Edition will be further integrated with VMware vCloud Director® to simplify deployment, configuration, and management of wide area network (WAN) optimization-as-a-service for the VDC.  VXLAN enables the quick and dynamic configuration of virtual networks that can span physical boundaries. However, with virtual overlay networks, traffic is encapsulated in tunnels across the physical network, which creates blind spots for the understanding and troubleshooting of performance issues. Riverbed and VMware are collaborating in the development of a new VXLAN-aware Internet Protocol Flow Information Export (IPFIX) format. This functionality would enable network and application performance monitoring, troubleshooting, and reporting, allowing organizations to embrace SDNs without sacrificing operational control.

Riverbed also plans to release a Cascade Profiler Virtual Edition and Cascade Gateway Virtual Edition.

Riverbed  said its Cascade product family, which is an application-aware NPM solution, can leverage this performance information about overlay network and UDP-encapsulated traffic to provide comprehensive and unified visibility across the WAN, LAN, virtual overlay networks and data centers in the cloud. This visibility enables network and virtualization teams to find and fix network and application performance problems.

"Our partnership with Riverbed was founded on the goal to help enterprises accelerate their journey to the cloud and enable businesses to increase efficiency and improve productivity while reducing costs. Rigid networking and security architectures based on purpose-built hardware and fragmented management interfaces pose a barrier to achieving the promise of the software-defined data center," said Allwyn Sequeira, vice president and CTO, networking and security, at VMware. "This latest collaboration with Riverbed brings the needed visibility and performance to address the challenges associated with the next evolution of virtualization, and enables customers to embrace SDNs."

Portugal's Optimus Selects Huawei to Launch LTE

Huawei confirmed its selection to launch commercial LTE services for Optimus in Portugal.   

Optimus’ implementation of Huawei's SingleRAN LTE solution will offer theoretical data speeds of up to 150 Mbps. The network will support seamless mobile services both from the existing GSM/UMTS and new LTE build.

“Our successful partnership with Optimus on Wireless, from GSM, UMTS and now LTE, demonstrates the effectiveness of Huawei’s SingleRAN LTE solution in helping operators cope with the challenges of operating multiple networks and meeting the demands of mobile broadband simultaneously," said Ying Weimin, President of GSM&UMTS&LTE Network, Huawei. "

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Russia's MTS Signs LTE MVNO Deal with Yota Networks

 Mobile TeleSystems announced an agreement with Scartel LLC (Yota Networks) to launch an LTE MVNO on Scartel’s network in Kazan.  A commercial launch is already underway.

Scartel’s LTE FDD (frequency division duplexing) network in the 2500-2530/2620-2650 MHz range. Scartel’s network consists of 118 base stations, covers 80% of Kazan’s territory and enables speeds up 100 Mbps.

“Demand for data services is constantly rising in our markets. MTS is focused on making state-of-the-art mobile Internet technologies available to its subscribers both by upgrading its own infrastructure and partnering with other operators. MVNO partnerships allow MTS to quickly launch LTE networks and optimize CAPEX on network roll-out. Kazan is the first city in Russia where MTS will begin offering 4G services under the MVNO model. Going forward, the experience gained in this region can be used nationwide,” commented Aleksander Popovskiy. MTS Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

On September 01, 2012, MTS will launch its own LTE TDD (time division duplexing) network in Moscow and the Moscow region. Sales of 4G modems began in early August.

Friday, August 31, 2012

T-Mobile Cranks LTE to 100 Mbps in Germany

Deutsche Telekom announced a new LTE performance tier that promises 100 Mbps downlinks to smarthphones in certain coverage areas in Germany.

The LTE Speed option can be purchased from September 4 for EUR 9.95/month with all Complete Mobile rates. The data volume included in the selected rate also doubles over the standard price.

The new tier is being launched at the same time as the first LTE-capable smartphones, such as the HTC One XL and Samsung Galaxy SIII LTE.

Without the LTE Speed option, customers can get downlinks of up tp 21.6 Mbps.

Telekom noted that by the end of this year, it plans to have activated its LTE network in 100 cities . Already more than 10 million customers in rural regions are covered by the LTE 800 network. In addition, Telekom offers download speeds of up to 42 Mbps in its entire UMTS network, reaching some 87 percent of Germany's population.

  • Earlier this year, Deutsche Telekom, in collaboration with Huawei, announced the  first LTE 4×4 MIMO field trial, achieving download data rates of up to 250 Mbps. The 4×4 MIMO field trial utilized Huawei's SingleRAN LTE solution.
  • Deutsche Telekom launched its LTE network in Cologne in June 2011 using the 1.8 GHz frequency band and Huawei's SingleRAN LTE as one solution. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Deutsche Telekom to Offer Unlimited Spotify - Exclusive Deal

Deutsche Telekom announced an exclusive deal to offer unlimited Spotify music streaming in Germany as an add-on option for its mobile and broadband customers.

Beginning in October 2012, customers will be able to listen to more than 18 million music titles via their mobile phone, tablet and PC - both online offline. Music streamed from Spotify will not count against any data volume caps.

The Spotify app is available for desktop, tablet PCs and a range of mobile platforms including iPhone, Android, Windows Phone or BlackBerry. Spotify also has a handy Offline mode, which means that you can sync up to 3,333 tracks to up to three devices, for you to enjoy wherever you are, with or without internet access, such as on a plane, train or on the beach.

The exclusive cooperation agreement will be valid for at least one year.

Deutsche Telekom said the deal represents another important step for its partnering strategy.

"Music streaming is the business model of the future, and we are proud to be the first German telecommunications provider to offer our customers the pleasure of unlimited music as part of our tariffs. Spotify is an outstanding partner for this endeavor," says Niek Jan van Damme, Management Board Member of Deutsche Telekom for Germany.

SingTel's ConnectPlus E-Line Service Rides Global ASON + MPLS-TP Backbone

Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) launched its ConnectPlus suite of global connectivity services, linking key business hubs in Asia, Europe and USA at rates up to 10 Gbps.

SingTel’s ConnectPlus International Private Leased Circuit (IPLC) and Ethernet Line (E-Line) services are delivered over SingTel’s meshed network of extensive submarine cable assets using Automatically Switching Optical Network (ASON) and the Multi-Protocol Label Switching – Transport Profile (MPLS-TP).

The intelligent optical network is able to detect faults swiftly and automatically switch data traffic to backup routes within 50 milliseconds.

SingTel noted that it is the first service provider in Asia Pacific to deploy MPLS - TP globally. This allows enterprises to increase their bandwidth by increments of 1Mbps, thereby offering them more cost-effective connections. Next year, SingTel will leverage this platform to deliver dedicated point-to-multipoint and electronic Bandwidth-On-Demand (eBOD) for E-Line services.

Taiwan's Academia Sinica Deploys HPC Cluster with Extreme

Taiwan's Academia Sinica, an educational research institute, has selected Extreme Networks' scalable data center switches as part of a network upgrade to support the demands of its high performance computing (HPC) and cloud network.

At Academica Sinica, a team of physicists within the Academia Sinica Grids (ASG) research area are analyzing the particles created in collisions within the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's largest and most powerful particle accelerator.   ASGC implemented more than 2,500 blade servers from Extreme Networks in its computer facility with 52 racks in 135m^2. With more than 5.4petabytes of storage capacity including disk and tape, it represents one of Taiwan's largest data centers.

ASGC is using Extreme Networks BlackDiamond 8900 series fabric switches, comprising a BlackDiamond 8810 chassis fully loaded with BlackDiamond 8900 module cards.

Kaspersky's Forensic Analysis Examines Destructive Wiper Virus

Kaspersky Lab released digital forensic analysis of  a destructive malware program, codenamed Wiper, which was discovered in Iran in May.

Although the malware code itself has note been identified, an analysis of the hard disks of machines destroyed by Wiper, including its unique data wiping pattern and destructive behavior, suggest that it may be related to Duqu and Stuxnet.  During an attack, Wiper destroys all traces of itself, wipes critical data from the disk, and corrupts the file system so thoroughly that the machine cannot be rebooted and no data can be recovered or restored.

Kaspersky Lab noted that no additional wiping incidents that followed the same pattern occurred, and no detections of the malware have appeared in Kaspersky Lab’s proactive protection.

Shamoon, another destrcutive malware which appeared in August 2012, is not believed to be related.  Further analysis is posted.

SAIC to Split in Two with One Focus on Cyber + Big Data

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) announced plans to split into two stand alone businesses:

  • A technical services business focused on government technical services and enterprise IT businesses.  It will be one of the largest, pure-play government services companies.  The spin-off will make it independent of potential OCI restrictions caused by its current relationship with other SAIC business pursuits, specifically those involved in developing ISR solutions and products for the Department of Defense and Intelligence agencies.  Pro forma revenue for the fiscal year ending January 31, 2013 for the future technical services business is estimated at $4 billion.
  • A solutions-focused business delivering science and technology solutions in three high-growth markets that reflect high priority, long-term global needs – national security, engineering and health. These markets are experiencing a convergence of the physical and digital worlds. They operate in complex, data rich environments.  This business will offer mission-critical systems that leverage SAIC's rapidly emerging technologies in cyber defense and big data analytics.  Separation from SAIC's services business will allow this business to have unimpeded access to significant new business opportunities in both Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAP) and Programs of Record (POR) in multiple Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4ISR) regimes.  Pro forma revenue for the fiscal year ending January 31, 2013 for the future solutions-focused business is estimated at $7 billion.

"In this next step of our strategic plan we configure ourselves for the future.  Our two new companies will be designed so that their businesses can be more differentiated and more competitive in their own space.  More importantly, that addressable space will expand for each as we eliminate the burden of organizational conflicts of interest (OCI)," said John Jumper, chairman and chief executive officer. "This affords both companies an excellent opportunity to combine optimized cost structures, unrestricted access to their respective markets, and the leveraging of decades of SAIC's scientific and engineering excellence to unleash the growth and value we can deliver to our customers, employees and shareholders."

  • In 2010, SAIC acquired CloudShield Technologies, a supplier of carrier-grade cybersecurity and management solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.  CloudShield offers a CS-4000 next generation trusted network security platform for protecting critical carrier and enterprise infrastructure.  The CS-4000 deep packet inspection platform allows carriers and enterprise customers to integrate a variety of subscriber data privacy products. It also brings significant improvements to data rates and network security while reducing the total cost of ownership of the network architecture.

    The CS-4000's architecture combines the power of CloudShield's fourth-generation deep packet inspection (DPI) capabilities with the most advanced multi-core, general-purpose processing in a single converged platform for scalable, active network solutions. The system is hardened both at the operating system and with physical security countermeasures protecting the system itself. 

Hibernia Atlantic Offers Amazon Web Services Direct Connect

Hibernia Atlantic is now supporting Amazon Web Services' Direct Connect, which enables customers to establish private connectivity utilizing Hibernia’s network between AWS and his/her network presence.

Hibernia said AWS Direct Connect can often reduce network costs, increase bandwidth throughput, and provide a more consistent network experience than Internet-based connectivity.

“We are proud to join the AWS Partner Network and to support its efforts to increase network connectivity options,” states Eric Gutshall, President of Wholesale for Hibernia Atlantic. “Through this program, Hibernia can offer its services to those customers accessing the AWS Cloud and provide further network connectivity options on-demand to meet growing requirements for customers’ public and private needs.”

Hibernia Atlantic operates a global network connecting North America, Europe and Asia with its own submarine and terrestrial network between the United States, Canada and Europe. Hibernia offers over 120 redundant network PoPs on over 24,000 kilometers of fiber. Hibernia provides secure and diverse dedicated Ethernet, DTM and optical- level services, including GigE, 10G and LanPhy wavelengths and traditional SONET/SDH services.

  • AWS Direct Connect uses 802.1q VLANs. The dedicated connection can be partitioned into multiple virtual interfaces, enabling the same connection to access public resources such as objects stored in Amazon S3 using public IP address space, and private resources such as Amazon EC2 instances running within an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) using private IP space, while maintaining network separation between the public and private environments. Virtual interfaces can be reconfigured at any time.

BT and Rostelecom Sign Interconnection Agreement

BT and Rostelecom, Russia’s national telecommunications operator, announced a new network interconnection agreement. The deal improves BT’s ability to serve its corporate customers across all regions of Russia with its BT Connect portfolio of intelligent network services.

BT already serves around 400 large organisations in Russia, including many of the world’s leading global multinational companies with operations in the country.

Rostelecom's national network consists of approximately 500,000 km of backbone infrastructure.

Ciena Revenue at $474 Million - Weak Spending in Europe

Ciena reported revenue of $474.1 million for its  fiscal third quarter ended July 31, 2012, up 8.9% from the same period last year and down 0.7% from the preceding quarter.  Ciena's net loss for the fiscal third quarter 2012 was $(29.8) million, or $(0.30) per common share, which compares to a GAAP net loss of $(31.5) million, or $(0.33) per common share, for the fiscal third quarter 2011.

On a conference call, Ciena executives said macro economics continued to impact its customers, as the market in Europe deterioted while North America remained steady.  The company said major players are making next gen architecture decisions and that it is winning strategic projects, although rollouts are slow. 

The outlook for Q4 is for revenue in the range of $455 to $480 million, lower than predicted earlier in the year, due in part to weakness in Europe.  

“We continue to win in the market and take share as demonstrated by a solid operating performance in the third quarter,” said Gary Smith, president and CEO of Ciena. “We are experiencing the effects of ongoing macroeconomic challenges and slower than expected roll-outs of new design wins. However, our approach to the market is working, our OPn architecture vision is gaining traction with customers globally, and our view of the long-term opportunity is unchanged.”

Some other notes:
  • Ciena ended the period with 4,463 employees.
  • There were no 10% customers in the period
  • Gross margin was 39.6%
  • There were 13 new 100G customers in the quarter, bringing the total to 44.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Video: 2013 State of the Enterprise Cloud Report

AT&T U-Verse TV Adds Facebook App

AT&T began offering a Facebbok on TV app to its U-Verse TV customers.

The Facebook on TV interactive app lets the user view news feeeds, post status updates, interact with friends and easily share info on the show they are watching.  U-verse TV customers can add up to ten different accounts on a single receiver.

"The TV experience is becoming more social, and we've always focused on delivering interactive TV apps that are more engaging and provide an overall better experience," said Maria Dillard, Vice President of U-verse and Video Products, AT&T Home Solutions. "This app gives U-verse TV and High Speed Internet customers the ability to share information about what they're watching on their TV with their remote, on any U-verse TV screen. It's another example of how we continue to enhance and bring more value to the U-verse experience."

Seeking a Better Paradigm for Global Standards

IEEE, Internet Architecture Board (IAB), Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), Internet Society and World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) reached agreement for establishing a modern paradigm for global, open standards.

The agreement is premised on the understanding that the economics of global markets - fueled by technological innovation - drive global deployment of standards, regardless of their formal status within traditional bodies of national representation.

The OpenStand principles demand:
  • cooperation among standards organizations;
  • adherence to due process, broad consensus, transparency, balance and openness in standards development;
  • commitment to technical merit, interoperability, competition, innovation and benefit to humanity;
  • availability of standards to all, and
  • voluntary adoption.
Standards developed and adopted via the OpenStand principles include IEEE standards for the Internet’s physical connectivity, IETF standards for end-to-end global Internet interoperability and the W3C standards for the World Wide Web.

“New dynamics and pressures on global industry have driven changes in the ways that standards are developed and adopted around the world,” said Steve Mills, president of the IEEE Standards Association. “Increasing globalization of markets, the rapid advancement of technology and intensifying time-to-market demands have forced industry to seek more efficient ways to define the global standards that help expand global markets. The OpenStand principles foster the more efficient international standardization paradigm that the world needs.”

“The Internet and World Wide Web have fueled an economic and social transformation, touching billions of lives. Efficient standardization of so many technologies has been key to the success of the global Internet,” said Russ Housley, IETF chair. “These global standards were developed with a focus toward technical excellence and deployed through collaboration of many participants from all around the world. The results have literally changed the world, surpassing anything that has ever been achieved through any other standards-development model.”

Teradek's Wi-Fi Hotspot Can Bond 6 3G/4G USB Modems

Teradek introduced a rugged, mobile bonded cellular hotspot that provides six USB ports for 3G/4G modems, dual Ethernet ports, and built-in dual band a/b/g/n MIMO WiFi. The aggregated uplink can be any combination of 3G/4G service, satellite, terrestrial microwave, etc.  The device is powered with the built in AC/DC adapter, or through a V-mount or Anton Bauer Gold-mount adapter for mobile power.  MIMO Wi-Fi enables the device to be placed in locations with optical signal reception.

The device is targeted at broadcast professionals, such as camera crews in the field that need video file upload capabilities.