Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Verizon Wireless LTE Road Ahead: 35% of Data Now on LTE

Currently 35% of data traffic handled by Verizon Wireless is carried over the LTE and the company expects to pass the 50% milestone soon, said Nicola Palmer, vice president of network and chief technical officer for Verizon, speaking at MobilCon in San Diego.

Palmer announced that Verizon Wireless is running ahead of schedule in its LTE rollout. By next week, the service will be available in 417 markets across the United States, covering about 75% of the population.  So far, the company has introduced 37 4G LTE-enabled devices, including smartphones, tablets, personal Wi-Fi hotspots and more since the network launched 22 months ago.

Palmer said the iPhone 5 introduction has gone smoothly and that the company was prepared for the expected surge on the LTE network.

Some other notes:
  • Verizon Wireless expects to start using its new AWS spectrum in some cities by the middle of 2013 using its same cell sites. Technical trials are underway.
  • Verizon Wireless is looking forward to LTE-Advanced as one of many tools for managing capacity on the network. The same is true for small cell architecture.
  • Seventeen carriers have signed-up for the companies LTE in Rural America program.
  • 11 million customers were on the LTE network as of the end of September
  • LTE is coming into the home via the carrier's HomeFusion Broadband solution.
  • VoLTE tests have been underway for a while and the company has deployed equipment to support this capability.  The company is excited about Rich Communications Services and HD voice.  Commercial launch is possible by the end of next year but no date has been given.

Seaborn's Seabras-1 Cable Picks Alcatel-Lucent for 100G

Seaborn Networks awarded a turnkey contract to Alcatel-Lucent to build a 10,700 km submarine cable system between the U.S. and Brazil capable of supporting 100G wavelengths.

The 100G Seabras-1 system will deliver new capacity on the primary route between New York and Sao Paulo in Brazil, with a branch to Fortaleza, Brazil. Seaborn Networks and Alcatel-Lucent have already commenced the permit acquisition and marine survey work for the project. Alcatel-Lucent will provide an integrated 100G wet plant of cable and high bandwidth repeaters, power feed equipment, and its 1620 Light Manager (LM) submarine line terminal equipped with advanced coherent technology and offering unique flexibility to increase direct connectivity between countries. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“Seabras-1 will be the first direct route between New York and Sao Paulo and also the longest 100G transoceanic link to date. Once deployed, it will contribute with other ongoing initiatives to enhance trans-continental connectivity, for the benefit of the global consumer and business community,” said Philippe Dumont, President of Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks.


Cyan's SDN-Enabled OTN Fabric Redefines Metro Networks Without Routers

Cyan introduced a multi-terabit packet and G.709 optical transport network (OTN) switch fabric for its Z-Series packet-optical metro transport platform.  The new card enables router bypass in metro software-defined networks (SDNs) while supporting both Ethernet and OTN. 

Cyan said its approach makes sense because the vast majority of metro traffic is transit, with static connections that do not require higher layer routing.  Therefore, using routers across the metro only adds complexity and cost.  Cyan's multi-layer uses a SDN control plane for planning, operations and validation.

The switching fabric scales to over 4 million pps of throughput performance. The platform design allows for up to 200 Gbps per slot, enabling a range of 10G, 1G and ODUflex services. Cyan's Z77 platform offers 14 slots for 2.8 Tbps of capacity.

"Routers play an important role in the network, but the majority of services do not require routing and can be offloaded to reduce costs and simplify operations. Our Z-Series platforms and SDN software are helping more than 100 service providers around the world achieve these goals in a variety of applications," said Michael Hatfield, president at Cyan.


Alcatel-Lucent's "Zero Touch Vectoring" Boosts VDSL2 Business Model

Alcatel-Lucent introduced new signal processing software developed by Bell Labs that promises to shake up the business model for VDSL2.

The new ‘Zero Touch Vectoring’capability eliminates the need to upgrade every CPE in a copper node whenever the first customer opts for faster broadband access delivered over a VDSL2 vectored line.  Previously, a carrier choosing to deploy VDSL2 Vectoring was required to upgrade every modem on the network in order to properly handle the crosstalk elimination.

Alcatel-Lucent introduced the first commercial VDSL2 Vectoring solution in September 2011, delivering 100 Mbps over existing copper loop lengths of 400 meters.  VDSL2 vectoring uses digital signal processing to remove crosstalk between copper pairs in a bundle, similar to noise cancellation in headphones. From line cards at the central office or DSLAM, the system measures the crosstalk from all the lines in the bundle and then generates an anti-phase signal to cancel out the noise.  Alcatel-Lucent developed its own chipset and software.  The VDSL2 vectoring is delivered via  a 48-port Board Level Vectoring card, a 48-port System Level Vectoring card, and a Vector Processing card supporting up to 384 ports.

Alcatel-Lucent said it now has 6 commercial contracts for VDSL2 vectoring.  The first live network is with Telekom Austria, which is using the technology in a suburb of Vienna.

Dave Geary, head of Alcatel-Lucent’s Wireline activities, said: “Trials with leading service providers have shown that VDSL2 Vectoring can effectively deliver the kinds of speeds it promised, and we are now starting to engage in mass-market deployments. With our Zero-Touch Vectoring and other innovations we are eliminating the final barriers that service providers around the world have faced – enabling them to deliver higher bandwidths to more subscribers, now.”

Equinix Activates 3rd Data Center in Amsterdam

 Equinix announced full operational activation of its third International Business Exchange (IBX) data center in Amsterdam.

AM3 Science Park is situated in one of Europe’s most network-dense locations. It houses Internet exchanges such as AMS-IX and NL-ix and is able to reach 80 percent of Europe within 50 milliseconds. 
The AM3 data center offers 17,800 m² of gross space with capacity for 2,800 cabinets.  The facility uses Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) in the ground instead of mechanical cooling, excess heat will be used to warm the buildings nearby. .
Equinix also highlights platform of services available in its IBXs, including the ability to interconnect with leading carrier networks, Internet exchanges, content and cloud providers.
“Green IT and energy efficiency are increasingly becoming decisive factors for organizations when choosing a data center. Environmental legislation is becoming more stringent and energy costs are rising, as is the importance that consumers and companies attach to sustainability,” commented Michiel Eielts, director, Equinix Netherlands. “Equinix is committed to building sustainable data centers throughout the world. We are particularly proud of AM3 for pushing the boundaries on new levels of innovation and sustainability.”

Telx Launches Data Center Connect to the Cloud

Telx, which operates major co-location facilities in New York City, Chicago, Dallas, California and other locations, will begin offering a Datacenter Connect service linking its Cloud Connection Centers (C3).
The virtual fabric extends Telx’s model of interconnection within facilities and metros to enable seamless connections between facilities.  The idea is to enable rapid connect services to various carrier and cloud services services.
For example, the new Telx Datacenter Connect service allows clients to interconnect with Amazon Web Services (AWS) Direct Connect from within the Telx data center, establishing a private network connection that can reduce network costs, increase throughput and security while also providing more consistent network performance than “best-efforts” networks.   This provides the ability to efficiently transfer large data volumes into and out of AWS. 
Datacenter Connect will offer flexible sub-GigE speeds with month-to-month billing.  
“Our services are a perfect fit for a low-bandwidth fabric that allows us to virtualize across a large geography, Telx’s Datacenter Connect is a valuable enabler for our business solutions,” said Dan Dwyer, managing partner, Trading Continuity Services, a leader in the Data Protection and Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity industry. “In the past we had to rely upon purchasing high-bandwidth services with long-term service commitments, but this product offers us the flexibility to deploy services to customers for trials and proofs of concept and later migrate them to even larger dedicated carrier services as the relationship grows. Such a flexible service model really helps client adoption of our products.”

Big Switch Names VP of Marketing, VP of Sales

Big Switch Networks announced two key appointments.

Jason Matlof joins Big Switch Networks as VP of Marketing.  Matlof previously was an investor and Partner at Battery Ventures.  He started his career in the mid-1990s at Cisco Systems, where he managed the product management team for the company’s multi-billion dollar family of fixed-configuration Catalyst switches.  He also served with Neoteris and NetScreen Technologies (acquired by Juniper).  
Dave Butler joins Big Switch Networks as VP of Sales.  Previously, he was VP of Sales and Business Development at Aruba Networks, leading up to a multi-billion dollar IPO. He was also VP of International Sales at FORE Systems and also led FORE’s Federal subsidiary after supporting US intelligence agencies with expertise in real-time networking, multi-data center supercomputing, and global information dissemination. Dave was also VP of Sales at Berkeley Networks, VP of Sales at Fast Forward and most recently VP of Worldwide Sales at VSS Monitoring, leading the company’s sales growth prior to its acquisition by Danaher Corporation.

Russia's MegaFON Readies IPO

MegaFon, which is Russia's second largest mobile operator, is preparing plans to launch an initial public offering of its shares on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and Russia’s MICEX – RTS. 

MegaFon currently serves about 63 million subscribers. In addition to its GSM 900/1800 network in Russia, MegaFon also has subsidiaries in Tajikistan, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.


Symantec Enhances Enterprise Mobility Solutions

Symantec has expanded its enterprise mobility solutions with two new programs – the App Center Ready Program, which helps developers rapidly build trusted enterprise apps with no code changes, and the Mobility Solution Specialization Program for channel partners.

Symantec now offers a mobile suite spanning device management, application management and mobile security.

The Symantec App Center Ready Program allows mobile application developers to embed Symantec’s security and management features, such as encryption, authentication, data loss prevention policies, app distribution and revocation, into their apps without changing their source code.  Symantec supports both iOS and Android.

Symantec is announcing a dedicated mobility channel specialization program that will allow partners to offer Symantec’s enterprise mobility products to their customers. The Mobility Solution Specialization will cover the full Symantec Mobile Management Suite and will provide partners with access to opportunity registration, expert resources, enablement programs, and accreditations in a multi-tier model. 

“Organizations are looking for applications, partners and products they can depend on to confidently achieve their business objectives,” said Anil Chakravarthy, senior vice president, Enterprise Security Group, Symantec. “By consolidating our portfolio into one suite that is priced per user, not by device, we help IT organizations increase employee mobility and productivity without compromising protection with a straightforward, predictable deployment model. We are pleased to move to a licensing model that takes into account the reality companies are facing of two or more devices per employee.”

Symantec is also announcing the availability of Symantec Mobile Management Suite, a single solution that covers mobile device management, mobile application management and mobile security. This new suite can be deployed on a per-user meter with both subscription and perpetual pricing models. T

Monday, October 8, 2012

AT&T and IBM Collaborate on SDN-enabled Cloud Services

AT&T and IBM announced a partnership to deliver secure, network-enabled cloud services.

The service, which will launch early next year, will combine AT&T virtual private networking and IBM SmartCloud Enterprise+ cloud capabilities using software from AT&T Labs to create a new, fast and highly-secure shared cloud service.  This will enable enterprises to quickly and reliably move data and applications between their own data centers (private clouds) and this new cloud service.  The software from AT&T Labs dynamically allocates networking resources to computing resources, automating functions that are often performed manually. The companies said more than 70 security functions are built-in, ensuring that traffic never leaves the protection of the VPN.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

"AT&T and IBM are delivering a new, network-enabled cloud service that marries the security and speed of AT&T’s global network with the control and management capabilities of IBM’s enterprise cloud,” said Andy Geisse, CEO of AT&T Business Solutions. “This new service gives companies yet another way to innovate, create new value, and transform their businesses and industries."

“As more organizations realize that cloud can be secure, easily managed, and a key part of their business strategy, cloud will quickly evolve as a tool for innovation rather than just for infrastructure,” said Erich Clementi, senior vice president, IBM Global Technology Services. “We believe this new service from two recognized leaders in cloud computing provides a compelling way for large organizations to exploit cloud’s transformational power.”

Altera Intros 28 nm Midrange FPGA

Altera introduced its Arria V GZ variant FPGA featuring 36 backplane-capable transceivers that can operate at speeds up to 12.5 Gbps and enable of a variety of protocols. In addition, the variant features four separate DDR3 DIMM interfaces at 72 bits wide, operating at 1600 Mbps.

Altera said its Arria V GZ device is the first midrange FPGA supporting hardened PCI Express Gen3 protocol stacks as well as anti-tampering anc security features.

“Customers face many challenges when designing high-performance systems, including the need to balance power and performance while increasing bandwidth to off-chip memory,” said Patrick Dorsey, senior director of component product marketing at Altera Corporation. “The Arria V GZ variant provides both the high-speed serial transceivers and the external memory capability that designers need to build today’s bandwidth-hungry data processing systems.”

Soft intellectual property (IP)-based memory controllers allowing for maximum flexibility
Most digital signal processing (DSP) in a midrange FPGA for high integration
Industry-leading, anti-tamper features, including enhanced advanced encryption standard (AES) and easy-to-use on-board and off-board key programming>
About Arria V FPGAs

Overture Releases 4000cp High Density Ethernet Edge

Overture announced the general availability of its new Ethernet demarcation device, the Overture 4000cp, as part of its Ethernet over bonded copper (EoC) family.

The Overture 4000cp Ethernet demarcation device can bond up to 24 voice-grade copper pairs to deliver hundreds of Mbps to business customers and mobile towers. The product fits into the Overture product line between the 2-, 4-, or 8-pair Overture 400 series and the 32 pair demarcation capabilities of the Overture 6100. It supports service delivery at speeds ranging from 1 Mbps to more than 300 Mbps over single bonded copper infrastructure. As with other products from Overture, the 4000cp incorporates automated pair bonding capabilities for 24 pairs at up to 15 Mbps per copper pair to expedite service turn-up and eliminate errors typically associated with manual configuration.

“Our customers asked us to bring to market a new edge solution that can cost-effectively bond up to 24 copper pairs for their high-bandwidth applications. The catch was that it had to incorporate all of the advanced service features and powerful management capabilities of our other EoC and optical products,” said Vijay Raman, vice president product management and marketing, Overture. “With our new 4000cp, service providers can quickly capitalize on unrealized revenue opportunities by extending high-speed performance assured Ethernet services beyond their current optical boundaries.”


Sprint Suffers Dual Fiber Cut Leading to Outage at Alaska Airlines

At 7:30 a.m. PST, Sprint suffered a dual fiber cut in its network leading to a major disruption at Alaska Airlines. The faults are believed to have occurred in Wisconsin and Oregon.  The company has not yet confirmed on the nature of the outage and whether the fiber cuts are coincidental.

Sprint provides the airline with connectivity to SABRE, the system used for reservations, check-in and to purchase tickets.

Alaska Airlines said the outage is preventing customers from checking in and has caused significant systemwide delays in all cities it serves.

Reuters: Cisco Breaks Ties with ZTE

Cisco has ended a long-running sales partnership with ZTE, according Reuters, following allegations that ZTE illegally shipped Cisco gear to Iran.  The report cites an a Cisco investigation, as well as investigations by the U.S. Commerce Department, a congressional committee, and the FBI.


GlobeNet Upgrades Cable Linking the Americas

GlobeNet, a wholly owned subsidiary of Oi (formerly Brasil Telecom), is nearing completion of a major upgrade to its submarine cable network connecting the Americas. This upgrade will bring GlobeNet’s network capacity to 1.2Tbps, doubling its current lit capacity.

GlobeNet operates a dual ring-protected subsea network spanning more than 22,000 km connecting North and South America.

GlobeNet also announced the completion of extensive trials with multiple coherent 100G technology platforms, demonstrating its capability to carry over 12Tbps over its four fiber pair subsea cable system, delivering more than ten times the capacity than the original design.

"Our network is ready today to support the future growth in Latin America, and in particular Brazil, where we are already seeing an increase in demand for networks to address high performance applications and services, such as 4G/LTE, FFTH, IPTV including HD and 3D video programming, and support of major sporting events taking place in Brazil in the coming years," stated Erick W. Contag, COO of GlobeNet.


U.S. House Report Recommends Blocking Huawei and ZTE on Security Concerns

Huawei and ZTE pose a threat to the United States telecommunications supply chain and U.S. firms are advised to avoid using their equipment, according to 52-page report issued by the U.S. House of Representatives' Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The report follows an 11-month investigation be the committee into the companies.

The report call on U.S. enforcement agencies to investigate unfair trade practices. including Chinese state support of these key companies in the Chinese telecommunications sector. The report also recommends that Huawei and ZTE be blocked from any future mergers or acquisitions in the United States.

The report is posted online.

For its part, Huawei issued a statement saying the Committee "appears to have been committed to a predetermined outcome" and that this report "failed to provide clear information or evidence to substantiate the legitimacy of the Committee's concerns." Huawei further states that the real purpose of the reports is "to impede competition and obstruct Chinese ICT companies from entering the US market."

ZTE issued the following statement: “ZTE recognizes and fully respects the Committee’s obligation to protect US national security.  ZTE believes the Committee focused its examination too narrowly on vendor locations not on equipment security. The Committee omitted the Western vendors and their Chinese manufacturing partners, which provide most of the US equipment now in use. The Committee also overlooked the opportunity to advance universal application of the Trusted Delivery Model which protects critical telecom networks on a vendor-neutral basis.”



Broadcom Expands its StrataGX Silicon for 802.11ac Gigabit Wi-Fi

Broadcom added five new chips to its StrataGX line of SoCs for delivering Gigabit connectivity in enterprise and small-to-medium business (SMB) networks, including support for gigabit Wi-Fi (802.11ac).

The five new SoCs, which are now sampling, combine a high performance processor, Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) switch, GbE physical layer transceivers (PHYs), USB 3.0 and traffic accelerators all on a single chip.

Broadcom said these new devices deliver more than 10x speed and 40 percent more power efficiency to enterprise and carrier class access points, branch office routers and business class integrated services routers.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

CBS 60 Minutes: Huawei Probed for Security, Espionage Risk

CBS News' 60 Minutes program published a segment on Huawei Technologies discussing U.S. national security, industrial espionage and its relationship to the government of China.

The program aired a day before the U.S. House of Representatives' Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is expected to release a report on Huawei and ZTE.  


Friday, October 5, 2012

FCC Warns on Illegal Signal Jammer Offered on Craigslist.org

The FCC published an official citation against an individual for advertising an illegal signal jamming device on Craigslist.org in violation of Section 302(b) of the Communications Act and FCC rules.  

The FCC states that jamming devices, such as cell phone jammers and GPS blockers, "pose serious risks to critical public safety communications and can prevent individuals from making 9-1-1 and other emergency calls."  Advertise jamming devices for sale to any consumer in the United States through Craigslist or through any other means is also illegal.


Oclaro Cuts Guidance Citing Challenging Conditions and Slower 40/100G Take-up

Oclaro trimmed its financial guidance citing dontinued challenging market conditions in the segments of the optical communications space.  The company now expects revenue of approximately $149 million in its first fiscal quarter ending September 29, 2012, compared to the low end of its guidance of $154 million, previously issued on July 31, 2012

Oclaro also cited slower than expected recovery of customer share of certain products to pre-flood levels, including certain data communications products; and slower than expected ramp of new products, in particular certain customer-qualified new 40G and 100G products.

"We are disappointed that the revenues for the first quarter of our 2013 fiscal year are below guidance," said Alain Couder, Chairman and CEO of Oclaro. "Following the merger, our integration activities are on track to execute our synergies, and our customer relationships are strong. We expect these factors to strengthen our future performance and expect revenues to be up in the December quarter."


  • Oclaro and Opnext completed their merger on July 23, 2012, creating a leader in key components for core optical networking for long-haul, regional and metro DWDM, and positioned to become a leader in data communications for enterprises and data centers, as well as industrial and consumer laser diodes market.
  • Oclaro was formed in 2009 through the merger of Bookham and Avanex Corporation, both suppliers of optical networking components. Its product set includes tunable lasers, modulators, dispersion compensation components, wavelength selective switches, modules and sub-systems. In mid-2009, the company acquired the Newport Spectra Physics high power laser diodes business. 
  • Opnext was established in September 2000 from the spinoff of Hitachi's Fiber Optic Components Business Unit. The new company was funded by the Clarity Group and Marubeni Group. The Opnext product line includes transceivers, pluggable modules (XENPAK, X2/XPAK, XFP, SFP+, SFP), TOSA/ROSA, and communications laser diodes and photodiodes; 40G muxponders, transponders, regenerators, tunable dispersion compensators, PMD compensators, and shelf controllers; and red laser diodes and infrared laser diodes.
  • Financially, the merger is expected to have a positive impact on gross margins and on operating margin. Both companies have been moving to an outsourcing model. Oclaro recently signed a definitive agreement to transition its internal assembly and test to Venture in Malaysia. On a non-flood basis, about 30% to 35% of Oclaro’s, and about 40% to 45% of Opnext’s assembly and test are with Fabrinet.