Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Via Licensing Builds LTE Patent Pool with Major Players

Via Licensing announced an LTE patent pool that includes the contributions of some major players:  AT&T, Clearwire Corporation, DTVG Licensing, HP, KDDI Corporation, NTT DOCOMO, SK Telecom, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, and ZTE Corporation.
The patent pool aims to accelerate innovation by providing efficient, transparent, and cost-effective access to LTE standard essential patents.  Participation in the LTE licensing program is open to all owners of LTE essential patents. Any party that believes they hold a patent essential to the LTE standard is encouraged to submit the patent for evaluation and, once qualified, to participate in this valuable offering.

“We are delighted to have been able to participate in a truly collaborative effort from a broad spectrum of industry players to provide one-stop shop access to LTE standard essential patents that the pool provides,” said Dr. Toru Otsu, Managing Director of Intellectual Property at NTT DOCOMO. “We feel confident that the pool will play a huge role in accelerating growth of the LTE ecosystem by meeting both the needs of licensors and licensees.”

Integra Telecom Powers Hosted Voice Service with Metaswitch

Integra Telecom has selected Metaswitch Networks as the infrastructure and application partner powering its new Hosted Voice Service.  Integra is also using Metaswitch for its SIP-based services.
The new Hosted Voice Service provides a fully managed and feature-rich integrated voice, data and equipment solution for business customers of all sizes. 
Integra owns and operates an enterprise-class network consisting of a 5,000-mile long-haul fiber-optic network, 3,000–miles of metropolitan fiber and a nationwide IP/MPLS network across the western U.S.  Its fiber network connects directly to more than 2,000 enterprise buildings and data centers.

XO's Coast-to-Coast 100G Links Equinix Data Centers

XO Communications is deploying nodes of its new, national 100G optical backbone in Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers across the United States.

XO Communications and its partners, Nokia Siemens Networks and Ciena, deployed the 100G service inside Equinix, leveraging Equinix’s Solution Validation Center.

The 100G connection already links Equinix data centers in Silicon Valley and Washington DC.

XO said 100G availability from Equinix’s data centers provides customers with:

  • High-capacity access to public, hybrid, private cloud providers
  • The ability to optimize their network for increased performance and lower latency
  • High-speed content distribution to improve end user experience
  • Access to Carrier Business Ethernet services across metros and regions

Thinking Phone Raises $16.5 Million for Cloud Services

Thinking Phone Networks, a start-up based in Cambridge. Mass., raised $16.5 million in venture funding for its enterprise cloud communication services.

Thinking Phone Networks developed a multi-tenant cloud software platform that fosters ready integration of third-party off-the-shelf and “home grown” business applications such as CRM and ERP. In addition, the platform addresses the multi-faceted needs of service providers, PBX vendors, and channel partners seeking to easily deploy and scale differentiated cloud UC services. 

Thinking Phone Networks provides extensive back office service deployment, management, and billing tools that speed time-to-market and time-to-revenue.

The new funding was led by Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV) and Bessemer Venture Partners.

MetroPCS + T-Mobile USA Looks to Accelerated LTE Rollout

MetroPCS agreed to merge with T-Mobile USA (a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom) in a deal that creates a much strengthened No.4 mobile operator in the U.S. market with deeper network coverage and the need for an accelerated path to one common LTE network.

 Despite operating incompatible legacy networks (CDMA and GSM), the companies said rapid handset turnover (60% - 65% per year) will make for a relatively quick migration of MetroPCS customers to LTE.   MetroPCS customers will also benefit from T-Mobile's much more extensive network.

The basis for the merger will be to re-farm MetroPCS spectrum to create capacity services.  Specifically, the spectrum migration plan for the merged company will be:

  1. GSM will become the merged company's “universal” technology for roaming, M2M and legacy device
  2. MetroPCS PCS spectrum will be migrated to HSPA+
  3. T-Mobile AWS will be repurposed from HSPA+ to LTE over time
  4. Available MetroPCS AWS spectrum will be migrated to LTE
  5. AWS will become NewCo's primary LTE band across Americas

Some other key points of the deal:
  • The merged company will use the T-Mobile name and brand.  It will be traded on the NYSE.
  • The combined company is projected to have 2012 Pro Forma Revenue of $24.8 billion
  • The combined company will have 42.5 million subscribers

  • The annual CAPEX budget for the combined company would be approximately $4.2 billion at current level
  • Deutsche Telekom will receive a 74% stake
  • MetroPCS Shareholders will receive $1.5 billion in cash and 26% ownership in the combined company
  • The new company will continue to position itself as "the best value in wireless" in the U.S. market
  • The combined company will have ~70,000 total points of distribution, including 50,000 retailers
  • The cost synergies are projected $6 - $7 billion over 5 years, including both CAPEX and OPEX on network infrastructure
  • The company’s headquarters will be in Bellevue, Washington and it will retain a significant presence in Dallas, Texas.

“The combination with MetroPCS is another logical and significant step that will accelerate our Challenger Strategy and enable us to deliver amazing, affordable and trusted 4G services, while providing opportunities to expand geographic territories and serve more customers. Our enhanced spectrum position will be the foundation for a faster and more reliable network, and will allow us to deploy a deeper and more robust LTE rollout, particularly in major metropolitan areas. We will be a stronger, value-focused competitor, providing customers with offerings such as our Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data and ‘bring your own device’ plans," stated John Legere, President and Chief Executive Officer of T-Mobile.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cisco's nLight Converges IP and 100G Optical

Cisco introduced its "nLight" technology for converging IP and optical transport networks while introducing programmability.

Cisco's nLight silicon enables coherent 100 Gbps transport services over distances of up to 3,000 km without the need for signal regeneration.  The IPoDWDM technology in Cisco CRS-3 routers lets service providers introduce 100 Gbps technology in their networks and deliver ultra-long-haul, high-speed transport services. Cisco also claims that nLight silicon enables 100 Gbps over existing fiber plant, delivering maximum performance, especially on marginal or impaired fiber segments.  

With the nLight IPoDWDM, the Cisco CRS can converge IP and optical layers at 10 Gbps, 40 Gbps, and now coherent 100 Gbps speeds.

CESNET, the national research and education network which connects close to 100 science, research and education institutions in the Czech Republic, is now seamlessly transitioning to the Cisco CRS with 100 Gbps coherent IPoDWDM solution, using Cisco's nLight technology.

Sentinel Builds Mega Data Center in North Carolina

Sentinel Data Centers has begun construction on  a 420,000 square foot (39,000m2) wholesale data center in Durham, North Carolina.

The Sentinel NC-1 multi-tenant facility will be available for occupancy in early 2013 upon completion and commissioning of an initial 120,000 square foot (11,000m2) phase.  The company expects its mega facility will ultimately yield approximately 200,000 square feet of net computer room space, divisible into autonomous, turnkey suites of multiple sizes and configurations.

Juniper Expands Edge Routing Possibilities

Juniper Networks unveiled a set of enhancements for its MX Series 3D Universal Edge Router, including a content caching line card and new virtualization capabilities. 

The new features  help operators to deliver new consumer and business value-added services, such as multi-screen video and digital advertising, by moving more functionality into the edge router.

The MX Series 3D Universal Edge Router, which  is powered by Juniper's Junos  Trio chipset, now supports a content streaming via an  MX Application Services Modular Line Card with multi-terabytes of storage.  Juniper's content caching, which has been renamed Junos Content Encore offers the capacity to stream up to 80,000 videos simultaneously.

Other enhancements include:

·         Junos Web Aware, which uses processing power in the edge router for new monetization possibilities by providing parental control services and enabling targeted advertising.
·         JunosV Firefly, which enables service providers to quickly deploy new virtualized managed services, such as virtualized security.  Service providers can ensure that traffic for each customer is completely isolated and secure from other users within the cloud.

·         Junos Node Unifier, which combines MX routers and Juniper top-of rack switches into a single virtualized element to simplify management of multiple nodes. This innovation enables service providers to streamline operations and ultimately reduce operational expenditures.

·         Juniper Business Cloud CPE, which enables service providers’ enterprise customers to offload complex monitoring and Layer 3 routing intelligence from their on-site premises and onto the service provider’s MX router. 

ADVA Powers PIONIER’s GMPLS-Controlled Network in Poland

 PIONIER, one of Europe’s largest research and education networks, has chosen ADVA Optical Networking's FSP 3000 platform to link five supercomputing centers in Poland, including Poznan, Warsaw, Gdansk, Wroclaw and Krakow, and 21 academic Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs) at speeds up to 100 Gbps.

The network, which is owned and managed by the Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center (PSNC), uses the FSP300's embedded, multi-layer GMPLS-based control plane and ROADM technology to allocate bandwidth-on-demand resulting in true network automation, dynamic routing and restoration capabilities.

"We have worked with ADVA Optical Networking for many years now so they understand the unique needs of a long-haul research and education network,” said Maciej Stroinski, technical director of PSNC. “We needed a cost-effective way to deliver more bandwidth to the researchers and scientists. Having a small team and limited resources, it was imperative that we have a high level of automation without operational complexity. Using the FSP Service Manager, we are now able to set-up high speed services on demand, offering network users throughout Poland access to the content and applications they need, at any time and from anywhere on all-optical links of distances up to 3,000 kilometers.”

Shares in MetroPCS Rise 18% on T-Mo Rumor

Shares in MetroPCS climbed 17.8% on Tuesday to close at $13.57.  Unconfirmed reports state that Deutsche Telekom is in talks to merge its T-Mobile USA business with MetroPCS.

MetroPCS operates a CDMA network while T-Mobile USA operates a GSM network.  MetroPCS launched LTE in January 2011 while T-Mobile USA is preparing to launch LTE next year.

As of June 2012, MetroPCS passed 700,000 LTE subscribers, representing 8% of its customer base.

In August,  MetroPCS launched its commercial Voice-over-LTE service. The first sale of a VoLTE-capable handset occurred at one of the company's Dallas/Fort Worth store locations.

Radisys Appoints New CEO, Updates Q3 Guidance

Radisys named Brian Bronson as its new President and Chief Executive Officer, replacing Michel Dagenais, who has left the company and resigned as a member of the Radisys Board of Directors.  Mr. Bronson joined Radisys in 1999, has been an officer of the company since 2000, Chief Financial Officer since 2006 and President since 2011.

Radisys has appointed Allen Muhich as CFO and Corporate Secretary. Mr. Muhich joined Radisys in 2011 as Vice President of Finance.

In addition, Radisys trimmed its Q3 guidance.  The company now expects third quarter revenue to range from $63 million to $65 million which compares to earlier expectations of $66 million to $72 million.
“We are disappointed in our preliminary third quarter revenue levels,” commented Brian Bronson, Radisys President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our revenue, primarily in our higher margin products, is slightly below the expectations set at the beginning of the quarter and is expected to result in a third quarter Non-GAAP EPS loss. We continue to believe we are not losing market share, but rather are seeing softer customer demand in a challenging telecommunications spending environment. 

AT&T Expands Deployments of Bloom Fuel Cells

AT&T will deploy an additional 9.6 MW of fuel cell power from Bloom Energy.   This follows  last year's order for 7.5 MW of "Bloom Boxes" at 11 AT&T sites in California including data centers.  The companies calculated that once fully operational, all of AT&T's Bloom Box installations are expected to produce more than 149 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity annually.

The new installations will make AT&T the largest non-utility customer for Bloom Energy.

"A key differentiator for fuel cells compared to other forms of alternative power is that fuel cell electricity production is virtually constant," explained John Schinter, AT&T's Senior Energy Director. "They provide steady recurring electricity production at a relatively predictable cost, replacing the traditional electricity bill, which can be volatile."

SOASTA Acquires LogNormal for User Metrics Tools

 SOASTA, a start-up offering cloud and mobile testing, has acquired LogNormal, a developer of real user measurement and monitoring tools for mobile and web applications. The acquisition extends SOASTA’s platform to deliver actionable intelligence for both marketing and operations executives on real user behavior.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

SOASTA said the acquisition extends its vision of delivering the full life cycle of development, testing and measurement solutions.

SOASTA is based in Mountain View, California.  LogNormal is based in Menlo Park, California.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Level 3 Launches New Security Services

Level 3 Communications introduced a suite of layered security solutions matched with its advanced network services, including its global IP network, domain naming system (DNS) caching servers and content delivery network (CDN). The new capabilities include:

  • ·Level 3 Secure Access Services, Managed Security Services, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) mitigation and Security Consulting Services.
  • Vulnerability scanning, DDoS blocking and cleansing, proactive alerts, incident reporting, site-to-site remote user access, content filtering, anti-virus, anti-spam, and firewall and intrusion prevention.
  • Customer ability to receive network access and protection from a single provider, simplifying the operational complexity inherent to internal network security management.
  • 24x7x365 access to dedicated, skilled security professionals coordinated from four redundant security operation centers (SOCs).
Level 3 is introducing a new standard of security, with a multi-layered portfolio of protection for customers that we believe is unparalleled in the industry,” said Anthony Christie, Level 3’s chief marketing officer. “Our protection covers our customers from the earth to the cloud, integrating seamlessly across our broad range of advanced network services. It combines a number of layers of increasingly sophisticated protection from the ground up, beginning with the way our network was designed and constructed in the ground, with diverse routes and other structural protection. Additionally, our integrated CDN and network infrastructure, firewalls and capabilities are combined with redundant layers of advanced, proprietary protocols and algorithms that extend to the cloud.” 

Riverbed Offers Upgrade Path for Juniper WAN Optimization Customers

Riverbed introduced a trade-in program for customers of Juniper Networks' WX/WXC Series Application Acceleration Platforms to migrate and upgrade to the Riverbed Steelhead product family.  Juniper recently announced it has endorsed Riverbed as its provider of choice for WAN optimization solutions and is collaborating with Riverbed on this trade-in program to help customers with their transition from the WX/WXC Series Application Acceleration Platforms to the Riverbed Steelhead product family.

Internet2's 100G Backbone Open for SDN

Internet2's new 100G-enabled and 8.8 Terabit per second optical network is now operational for member institutions.
The new capabilities now available on the Internet2 Network include:
  • An upgraded Advanced Layer 3 Service, that will provide extraordinary broadband capabilities for science, medicine and education not only to the higher education community, but also to hundreds of thousands of community anchor institutions through partnerships with regional networks and Internet2's United States Unified Community Anchor Network (U.S. UCAN) project.
  • A nationwide 100 Gbps Software Defined Network offering both production services like the Layer-2 Open Science, Scholarship and Service Exchange built in partnership with Indiana University and support of new network innovations through software defined networking support.
  • Over 8.8 Tbps of optical network capacity through 88, 100 Gbps-waves that are delivered in a unique partnership, between Internet2 and the Department of Energy's Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) that will share this capacity and operations of the infrastructure to advance national programs.

"We are excited about officially launching the new capabilities of the nation's first 100G open, national-scale, software-defined network through massive collaboration with our partners in government and business that will be used by Internet2 members to help solve practical, far-reaching problems that benefit society," said Internet2 CEO and President H. David Lambert. "We look forward to seeing the collaboration of our community using this dynamic network to advance education, transform university business models, and accelerate global Big Data collaborative research outcomes. When we equip the research and education community with great technology and no barriers to innovation, that's when they start creating the future."

  • Earlier this year, Internet2 formed partnerships with 16 leading technology companies to provide cloud services to college campuses across the U.S.
  • Cloud partners include Aastra; Adobe; Box; CENIC; Dell; Desire2Learn; Duo Security; DuraSpace; Evogh; HP; Level 3 Communications; Merit Network, Inc.; Microsoft; Savvis, a CenturyLink Company; SHI International; and The Solution Design Group.

    "These major cloud service partnerships are customized to meet the needs of the Internet2 community and these offerings range in stages from incubator, proof-of-concept, early adopter and general availability," said Dave Lambert, Internet2 CEO and president. "No other organization in the United States is able to offer this level of collaboration between higher education and the technology industry to launch these strategic cloud services to effectively and efficiently advance research, innovation and the education mission of our nation's leading universities."

GSA: 105 LTE Networks Now in Commercial Operation

The GSA confirmed that 105 operators have launched commercial LTE networks in 48 countries. 

A further 194 network deployments are in progress. GSA forecasts that 159 networks will be commercially launched in 68 countries by the end of 2012, which is expected to rise to 195 live networks in 72 countries by the end of the following year. 

Summary of commercial LTE network launches annually:

2009 = 2 
2010 = 15 (year-end cumulative total = 17)
2011 = 30 (year-end cumulative total = 47)
Year to October 1, 2012 = 58 (cumulative total to date = 105)

GSA end 2012 outlook = 159 commercial LTE networks in 68 countries
GSA end 2013 outlook = 195 commercial LTE networks in 72 countries

Broadcom Samples 28nm XLP 200-Series Multicore Processor

Broadcom has begun sampling its 28nm XLP 200-Series network processor for enterprise, service provider 4G/LTE, data center, cloud computing and software defined networking (SDN) equipment.  The processor family, which is the world's first 28nm multicore communications processor family, promises up to 400 percent faster performance than competing solutions while lowering power consumption by up to 60 percent. 

Broadcom said the product launch demonstrates its successful integration of NetLogic Microsystems, which developed the XLP processors.

The new processors combine quad issue, quad threading and 2 GHz out-of-order execution capabilities with integrated networking and security acceleration.  The XLP 200-Series is the first to integrate a grammar processing engine, a fourth generation regular expression (RegEx) engine, and a broad range of autonomous encryption and authentication processing engines to deliver comprehensive Layer 7 deep-packet inspection (DPI) capabilities and complete offload of the compute-intensive security functions from the CPU cores. 
Some key capabilities
  • Quad-issue, quad-threading and out-of-order execution
  • Total Security Acceleration Technology: High performance grammar processing, DPI/RegEx engine, encryption/decryption and authentication 
  • Autonomous Acceleration Engine Modules: Offloads processing tasks, freeing up the cores to perform other compute-intensive application dependent tasks
  • Hardware Acceleration for packet ordering, network management, compression/decompression and RAID5/6 storage, etc.
  • Processor Core Enhancements for improved pre-fetch performance and branch mis-predict penalties
  • Processor Cache Architecture: MOESI+ coherent, three-level cache architecture and shared 16-way set associative Layer 3 cache
  • Memory Subsystem: On-chip DDR3 memory controller; configurable channel width (40 or 72 bits)
  • Fast Messaging Network System: Low-latency, high-speed system allows non-intrusive internal communication and control messaging among NXCPUs, acceleration engines and input/output
  • Software Development Kit (SDK): Comprehensive SDK with reference and production-ready software components accelerates time-to-market

  • In September 2011, NetLogic first unveiled its XLP II family of processors based on 28nm process technology, packing up to 80 high-performance NXCPUs per chip, and promising 5-7x performance enhancement over the existing XLP processors. NetLogic said its XLP II processor family is designed to deliver over 100 Gbps of network processing performance per device and over 800 Gbps in a clustered, fully-coherent system. The devices integrate up to 80 high-performance NXCPUs per chip, featuring an enhanced quad-issue, quad-threaded, superscalar out-of-order processor architecture capable of operating at up to 2.5 GHz to provide unmatched control and data plane processing and low-power profile. 
    NetLogic is adding innovations that improve pre-fetch performance, branch mis-predict penalties and cache access latencies. The family also significantly expands the tri-level cache architecture to over 32MB of fully coherent on-chip cache which represents over 260MB of on-chip cache in the maximum clustered configuration of 8 fully-coherent XLP II processors.

    NetLogic also introduced a second-generation high-speed Inter-chip Coherency Interface (ICI) that will enable systems designs with eight sockets of XLP II processors for scalability of up to 640 NXCPUs. Full processor and memory coherency are enabled across all 640 NXCPUs, allowing software applications to run in Symmetric Multi Processing (SMP) or Asymmetric Multi Processing (AMP) modes.

  • Earlier this year, Broadcom acquire NetLogic Microsystems in a deal valued at $3.7 billion ($50 per share) net of cash assumed.  NetLogic Microsystems, which was based in Santa Clara, California, added a number of critical new product lines and technologies to Broadcom's portfolio, including knowledge-based processors, multi-core embedded processors, and digital front-end processors.

HughesNet Gen4 Satellite Internet Service Goes Live with Speeds up to 15 Mbps

Hughes Network Systems activated its new HughesNet Gen4 satellite Internet service.

HughesNet Gen4 delivers downlink speeds of up to 15 Mbps, depending on the plan. Pricing starts at $49.99 per month for 10 Mbps downlink with a 10 GB cap for a 24 month term , plus $9.99 per month to lease the equipment.

"Our new fourth generation high-speed satellite Internet service is an industry game changer, allowing customers to do more of what they love online, from shopping and social networking to movies and music," said Mike Cook, senior vice president, North American Division at Hughes. "Hughes pioneered the satellite broadband industry, and HughesNet Gen4 continues our long tradition of innovation to bring the many benefits of high-speed Internet access to people everywhere across America—no matter where they live or work."

  • In July, Hughes Network Systems confirmed that its newly launched EchoStar XVII satellite was successful placement into its permanent geosynchronous orbital slot of 107.1 degrees West longitude. The new generation Ka-band satellite was built by Space Systems/Loral and launched by Arianespace.

Accenture Buys NSN's IPTV Assets

Accenture has acquired the software and skills of Nokia Siemens Networks' IPTV business.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Accenture already offers pre-integrated Over-the-top TV (OTTV) solution that has been deployed by several large video providers.  The software delivers a seamless consumer experience for accessing linear video content, such as traditional, real-time video, through the broadcast network, as well as non-linear services, such as catch-up TV and video on demand (VOD) through a broadband network.  The newly-acquired IPTV software, assets and capabilities from NSN will be integrated with this Accenture Video Solution.
“The combination of Nokia Siemens Networks’ IPTV assets with Accenture’s over-the-top TV software and capabilities, will deliver an exciting new combination of services to the global video industry,” said Marco Vernocchi, managing director of Accenture’s Media & Entertainment industry group. “The scalable and flexible end solution we are creating will help video service providers dramatically change the way they approach content distribution while balancing costs.”