Thursday, October 11, 2012

European Investment Bank Loans EUR 500 Million to Ericsson R&D

The European Investment Bank (EIB) will loan EUR 500 million to Ericsson to support its R&D efforts for the next generation of mobile broadband technology.  The load is designated for research sites in Sweden and Finland.

Ericsson noted that it invested SEK 32.6 billion in R&D in 2011, including restructuring charges.

Ikanos Announces its Velocity-3 Vectored VDSL Chipset

Ikanos announced its Velocity-3 Vectored VDSL chipset and software solution.

The company's "NodeScale" Vectoring technology identifies and cancels VDSL crosstalk on up to 384 copper lines in a bundle.  The technology eliminates crosstalk from all lines in the vectored group, independent of binder, cable or chassis, increasing rate, reach, robustness and reliability.

“With Velocity-3, we are delivering the broadband 'holy grail':  fiber speeds for a fraction of the cost of deploying fiber to individual homes,” according to Omid Tahernia, chief executive officer at Ikanos.  “Carriers benefit by super-charging their existing one billion copper line infrastructure, while satisfying consumers’ needs for ever-increasing bandwidth applications.”

Juniper Scales its MX Edge Router, Adds Virtualization

Juniper Networks  introduced its scaled-up MX2020 and MX2010 3D Universal Edge Routers, packing up to 80 Tbps of routing capability in a single chassis and adding new virtualization capabilities for multivendor applications.

At the high-end, a single MX2020 3D Universal Edge router offers 80 Tbps of capacity using Juniper's existing Junos Trio Chipset.  Existing line-cards based on the Trio chipset can be added to the new chassis. The MX2010 3D router supports 40 Tbps of capacity.

Juniper also introduced a JunosV App Engine for the MX Series.  This hypervisor allows Service Providers to run various applications simultaneously in isolation, such as load balancing, security services, online gaming and advertising.

The MX Virtual Chassis can virtualize broadband or business edge services over multiple MX 3D routers allowing service providers to operate the systems as a single chassis and quickly add new subscribers.

Other enhancements include a programmable Path Computational Element (PCE) on the MX.
Juniper is also offering a Rapid Assessment suite of services to enable simplified integration and testing with operating and business support systems (OSS/BSS), traffic migration, network security, and virtual application development.

"Our vision for the new network is to provide innovations that help transform service providers into super providers," said Rami Rahim, senior vice president, Edge and Aggregation Business Unit, Juniper Networks. "Thousands of MX customers have validated the need for massive scaling and reduced complexity driven by emerging video, applications, and cloud-based services. We see our new edge services engine as the first solution that truly empowers service providers to take control of their business by removing barriers currently hindering innovation and revenue expansion."

Telefónica and Jazztel Announce FTTH Sharing Accord

Telefónica de España and Jazz Telecom (Jazztel) announced a network infrastructure sharing agreement covering fiber to the home (FTTH) projects in Spain.  The deal could have a potential reach of up to 3 million fiber end points across Spain.  The companies said the are open to other operators also joining the pact.

Alcatel-Lucent Opens New Conversation with APIs for IMS

Alcatel-Lucent introduced a suite of nine ‘New Conversation APIs’ to help developers access capabilities in service providers'  IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) infrastrucuture.

The suite of application programming interfaces (APIs) is aimed at jump starting the ecosystem of companies developing solutions for 4G LTE and IP networks. These capabilities include high definition voice and video, audio/video conferencing, interactive voice, messaging and call control, which can be used to build services for both consumers and businesses.

Alcatel-Lucent said because its new APIs are based on REpresentational State Transfer (REST), a popular, easy-to-use software architecture used to create applications for the Web, developers can more easily create services delivered via IMS.  For service providers, this opens new retail and wholesale revenue opportunities.

Sandip Mukerjee, President of Advanced Communications at Alcatel-Lucent said: “Today, no one else in the marketplace is offering service providers what our New Conversation APIs offer. They enable service providers to fast-track 4G innovation – turning IMS into a real engine for the rapid creation of new services. We make it easy to access the rich features supported by service providers and thereby attract more developers. New applications using IMS-based APIs can be built very quickly, in turn allowing the rapid introduction of more services, and a growth in revenue that comes from our customers being able to differentiate themselves in the marketplace.”

Clearwire Speculation Centers on Spectrum and TD-LTE

Clearwire shares rose 71% on Thursday, as speculation rose that Softbank may bid to acquire the firm. Clearwire is the largest spectrum holder in U.S. and is closely tied with Sprint.

Clearwire operates a nationwide WiMAX network and is planning to make the transition to TD-LTE.  Its main wholesale customer and investor is Sprint, which has extended its 4G agreement through 2015.  The companies have outlined ways of bridging their FD-LTE and TD-LTE networks with dual-mode devices that are under development.  However, Clearwire's CAPEX investments in its network have slowed to a crawl in 2012 as the company conserves cash as it looks for new funding sources.

Revenue in Q2 2012 declined slightly year over year to $316.9 million primarily due to a year over year decline in wholesale revenue. Second quarter 2012 wholesale revenue of $117.6 million, was sequentially flat as compared to first quarter 2012 wholesale revenue of $117.8 million, and down (11)% year over year despite a 50% increase in wholesale usage over the same period.

Some other notes on Clearwire:

  • Clearwire holds the largest spectrum portfolio in the U.S. but in upper bands.  Its spectrum is an average 163 MHz in the top 100  U.S. markets.
  • Clearwire's network at the end of Q2 2012 covered 134 million POPs, about the same as a year earlier.
  • At the end of Q2 2012, Clearwire was serving 9.6 million wholesale subscribers (mostly Sprint) and 1.3 million retail subscribers.  This compares with 6.4 million wholesale and 1.3 million retail subscribers a year earlier.
  • ARPU for Q2 2012 was $46.12 compared with $47.59 a year earlier.
  • Clearwire's CAPEX in Q2 2012 was $24 million
  • Sequans and Qualcomm are key silicon contributors in the TD-LTE ecosystem.
  • China Mobile and Clearwire have agreed to TD-LTE roaming betweeen U.S. and China.

A Busy Month for Softbank: Acquisition of eAccess (Japan) and Discussions with Sprint

Sprint confirmed published reports that it is in discussion with Softbank of Japan about a possible take-over or major investment.

Various media sources have speculated that a buyout of Sprint could be worth US$12.8 billion.  Softbank may also be looking at acquiring Clearwire.

Sprint is the No.3 mobile operator in the U.S. with 56 million subscribers.

Both Clearwire and Softbank Japan are pursuing TD-LTE for their respective networks.

The news follows closely on Softbank's decision to undertake another major deal in its home market.

Earlier this month, Softbank Mobile agreed to acquire eAccess in a deal that combines Japan's No.3 and No.4 mobile operators.  The stock-swap was valued at approximately ¥180 billion, or $2.3 billion.

The companies plan to continue to operate both the Softbank and EMOBILE brands following the merger.  Network and spectrum integration will provide key advantages to both brands.

SOFTBANK MOBILE will provide eAccess with access to its 900 MHz network (Band8, operating band specified in 3GPP) and 2.1 GHz network (Band1, operating band specified in 3GPP), which will allow eAccess to provide the voice and data communications service in broader areas.

eAccess will provide SOFTBANK MOBILE with access to its 1.7 GHz (Band3, operating band specified in 3GPP) FDD LTE network for the data communications service, which will allow SOFTBANK MOBILE to use both 2.1 GHz and 1.7 GHz for its FDD LTE service.

SOFTBANK MOBILE and eAccess will integrate their base station sites, enabling both brands to expand service coverage more quickly and to decrease capital expenditures and maintenance costs.  The backbone and backhaul networks will also be integrated.
Softbanks currently has more than 9,000 LTE base stations in operation.  It plans to scale this to 20,000 LTE base stations by March 2013.  At this point, eAccess should have about 10,000 LTE base stations of its own.

Softbank said the deal gives it a key spectrum advantage over Japan's No. mobile operator, KDDI-au.  For iPhone 5 service, Softbank will be able to offer coverage over both the 1.7 GHz and 2.1 GHz bands, whereas au will be limited to its 2.1 GHz spectrum footprint.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Telefônica | Vivo Picks Ericsson for LTE in Brazil

Ericsson announced a major win to supply Vivo's 4G/LTE network in the North and Mid-Western regions of Brazil, as well as the states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Bahia and Sergipe. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Vivo is Brazil's largest operator serving 75.7 million mobile subscribers.

The 4G/LTE network will use Ericsson's RBS 6000 multi-standard radio base stations.

This marks Ericsson's second LTE win in Brazil.

Tilera Debuts 64-bit, 9-Core Processor for Network Appliances

Tilera unveiled a 64-bit 9-core processor targeted at applications in networking, multimedia, storage and general purpose computing.

The TILE-Gx9 integrates a high-performance memory controller, Ethernet and PCI Express interfaces, and available crypto and compression engines to reduce both system cost and circuit board area. The multicore performance enables the device to power 10 Gbps routers and firewalls.

The TILE-Gx9 is fabricated in a 40 nanometer technology.  Its 3 x 3 array of three-issue, 64-bit cores are connected through Tilera’s patented iMesh on-chip network that supports an advanced virtual memory system.  Each core includes 32 kilobytes (KB) of L1 I-cache, 32 KB of L1 D-cache and 256 KB L2 cache, with 2.3 megabytes L3 coherent cache across the device. Maximum processor utilization is ensured with an on-board 72-bit DDR3 memory controller that supports up to 1600 Mt/s speeds and 64 GBytes total capacity.

“We are seeing enormous market traction and design win activity with our 16 and 36-core TILE-Gx processors, unseating embedded processors and other difficult-to-program devices,” said Devesh Garg, president and CEO at Tilera.

Funambol Secures Funding for White Label Personal Cloud

Funambol  (pronounced Fu-NAHM-bol), a start-up offering white-label personal cloud solutions for mobile providers, announced $5.75 million in new funding.

Funabol believes the market for personal clouds is transitioning from 'silos' such as iCloud, Google Drive and MS SkyDrive to services that seamlessly support multiple brands to enable users to store all of their content in one cloud for convenience. Funabol's solution help consumersto keep their digital life in sync, including support for pictures, videos, files, music, contacts and calendars, while supporting multiple brands of devices. The providers are also realizing the business case for significant financial returns resulting from reduced customer churn, increased customer acquisition and new revenue streams.

 "Major global mobile providers are seeking a white-label personal cloud solution, and we are delighted to work with them to grow their customer acquisition and retention capabilities," said Amit Chawla, Funambol CEO.

The new financing came from Nexit Ventures and Castile Ventures and HIG Growth Capital.

  • Funambol is based in Foster City, California.  The company is headed by Amit Chawla (CEO), who previously was CEO of enterprise mobility specialist Agito Networks, which was acquired by ShoreTel.  Prior to Agito, he was CEO of NexVerse Networks, where he spearheaded the merger with a division of ECI Telecom to form Veraz Networks.

Vodacom Launches LTE in Johannesburg, South Africa

Vodacom Group switched on its commercial LTE network in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The LTE service will initially be accessible via approximately 70 base stations in Johannesburg. Vodacom said its network transformation project aims to have 500 sites enabled for LTE by the end of the year as the rollout expands to other cities.  Vodacom has some 9,000 base stations in its network. Ninety percent of  3G base stations are 21.6 Mbps enabled, and almost 80% are 43.2 Mbps enabled. Vodacom will begin selling its first LTE devices from its shops later this month.

"Vodacom was the first network in SA to test LTE more than two years ago, and since then we've been busy upgrading base stations and our fibre-optic transmission network in preparation for today. It's great to claim another South African first for Vodacom with the launch of LTE services to the public, and it's even more pleasing that we've done this ahead of many other advanced economies around the world. South Africa has joined an exclusive club with the fastest connectivity the world has to offer," stated Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub. 

Colt Builds Pan-European vCloud Linking its Data Center

Colt, which operates 20 data centres (one in development) and a fiber network spanning 43,000km across 22 countries, has deployed a pan-European vCloud based on the new VMware vCloud Suite 5.1.

The deployment, which is the largest and most extensive vCloud Datacenter Service estate in Europe, enables customers in any Colt country to access enterprise cloud services from Colt data centres in the UK, France, Spain and Germany.

In addition to the native vCloud capabilities, Colt is launching complementary backup and disaster recovery services for vCloud, designed specifically to address the needs of its channel partners.

"We were the first European-based partner with a VMware vCloud Datacenter Services offering and we have worked closely with VMware’s development teams to ensure the latest vCloud software release meets the specific needs of our enterprise customers and partner community,” said Mark Leonard, Executive Vice President, Colt. “VMware’s recognition of the customer need for heterogonous infrastructure and its commitment to an open API-centric strategy means our enterprise customers will be able to build solutions from a broad service portfolio. Also, based on feedback from our resellers, we are seeing real demand for new channel-friendly solutions for vCloud backup and disaster recovery. These new offerings will help resellers operate their own services in this area."

Cisco and NetApp Offer ExpressPod Data Center Package

Cisco and NetApp introduced a prepackaged and tested solution for small and medium-sized organizations that are beginning to virtualize their networking, storage, and computing environments.
The ExpressPod integrates Cisco UCS C-Series servers, NetApp FAS2220 or FAS2240 storage, and Cisco Nexus 3048 switches with infrastructure management. In addition, now features support and validation for VMware vSphere on NetApp Data ONTAP 8 operating in Cluster-Mode for supporting larger data centers. The storage pool resources can be dynamically allocated and securely isolated to support multi-tenancy. 

DragonWave Posts Revenue of $44.2 Million

DragonWave reported revenue of $44.2 million for the quarter ended 30-Aug-2012, compared with $13.6 million in the same period last year and $13.0 million in the preceding quarter.  Revenue through the Nokia Siemens Networks channel totaled $32.3 million in the quarter.

“We continue to advance our strategic priorities,” said DragonWave President and CEO Peter Allen.  “Our partnership with Nokia Siemens Networks is still in the integration phase and involves a wide range of activities, including access to a wide range of major global operators.  Following the June  1, 2012 closing of the acquisition of Nokia Siemens Networks’ microwave transport business, we rationalized our operations and reduced costs; we will continue to manage our cost profile to achieve profitability as we gain greater visibility into revenue opportunities.”

ASSIA Launches Wi-Fi Management Service for Carriers

ASSIA, which supplies high-performance software tools for dynamic spectrum management (DSM) of DSL and Wi-Fi, is introducing a residential Wi-Fi management service to help carriers resolve in-home networking problems.

ASSIA's new Expresse Wi-Fi provides advanced diagnosis and automatic, proactive repair capabilities of in-home Wi-Fi networks,  including the real-time calculation of throughput, latency, and connectivity.  The service provider is able to leverage long-term cloud-based statistical analysis of home Wi-Fi performance for better, more efficient optimization and troubleshooting.

The system works by integrating a lightweight Expresse Wi-Fi software agent into the Wi-Fi CPE platform supplied by the network operator.  This can be deployed in the field through a standard firmware upgrade. The cloud-based service can integrate with any OSS/BSS system through Web services.  ASSIA said its solution is available for licensing to any customer premises equipment (CPE) vendor.  ASSIA provides Expresse Wi-Fi as a cloud-based service. The product is expected to be generally available in late 2012. 

“Consumers around the world expect a seamless Wi-Fi experience. Although the networks are in place and billions of devices are in use worldwide, many consumers are still disappointed with their home Wi-Fi performance,” said Dr. John Cioffi, chairman and CEO of ASSIA.  “ASSIA is delighted to deliver a product that closes that gap by levering our broadband management expertise derived from the 65 million connections we currently manage globally.”

Lantiq Hits 250 Mbps over Copper with Reverse Powered Fiber to the Distribution Point

Lantiq, in partnership with Aethra Telecommunications, an access network equipment supplier, introduced a reverse powered Fiber to the Distribution Point (FTTdp) broadband access solution that uses standard fiber and copper wire to deliver aggregated data rates up to 250 Mbps over 200m twisted-pair copper line lengths.   The idea is to use fiber drop points on a neighborhood pole or in a building basement to provision multiple customer end-points for an enhanced VDSL2 service supporting triple play broadband services, including multiple HD TV channels over IP.

The solution leverages Lantiq’s ultra-low power FALC-ON GPON and VINAX V3 VDSL2 chipsets and patent-pending reverse power feeding circuitry developed by Aethra Telecommunications.

Lantiq and Aethra Telecommunications will demonstrate their FTTdp solution at Broadband World Forum (BBWF), October 16-18 in Amsterdam.

Actelis' CEO Steps Down

Vivek Ragavan has resigned as president and CEO of Actelis.
Tuvia Barlev, Actelis' co-founder and former CEO, will take over the company's operations as executive chairman during the search for Ragavan's replacement. 
Barlev served as president and CEO of Actelis from 2002 to 2010 and, since then, has served as chairman.

  • Vivek Ragavan joined Actelis in 2010.  He previously served as CEO at Atrica and Redback Networks. Other executive positions held by Ragavan include CEO of Siara Systems, president of the residential broadband group at ADC Telecommunications, and vice president of engineering at General Instrument.

ADTRAN Posts Q3 Revenue of $162 Million

ADTRAN reported Q3 revenue of $162,125,000 compared to$192,194,000 for the third quarter of 2011. Net income was $9,272,000 for the quarter compared to$36,213,000 for the third quarter of 2011. Earnings per share, assuming dilution, were $0.15 for the quarter compared to $0.56 for the third quarter of 2011.

ADTRAN Chief Executive Officer Tom Stanton stated, “This quarter’s performance came in line with our revised expectations. Although current market conditions limit near term visibility, we are confident that our market share position and globalization efforts will lead to significantly better performance in the future.”

NSN's Service Management Can Now Predict Problems

Nokia Siemens Networks is launching a new Service Management Capability that helps mobile operators to predict and prevent service degradation and reduce complaint calls to customer care departments.

The new Service Operations and Management solution, which is offered to mobile operators either on-site or as a managed service from NSN, combines insights related to service performance with operations functions to manage mobile broadband services and tackle service degradation before subscribers experience poor quality.

NSN is providing the outsourced edition from its new Service Management Capability Center (SMCC) in Noida, India.

Calxeda Raises $55 Million for its ARM Data Center Processors

Calxeda, a start-up based in Austin, Texas, raised $55 million in new funding for its ARM-based “EnergyCore” Server-on-a-Chip designed for a new generation of high-density servers.

Calxeda said its new chip will deliver as much as a ten-fold improvement in energy efficiency compared to today’s commodity X86-based servers. “

New investors include Austin Ventures and Vulcan Capital, plus additional participation by the firm’s existing investors.

"This significant infusion of capital will accelerate the exciting trajectory we’ve been on for the past four years," said Calxeda co-founder and CEO Barry Evans. "Businesses require a more efficient solution for the Web, Cloud, and Big Data. That is what Calxeda is now delivering and this funding will enable us to go bigger and faster."

  • Calxeda's EnergyCore processor SoC, which derives from earlier generations of ARM-based mobile processors, features a supercomputing-class 80-Gigabit fabric switch and an integrated management engine with power optimization software. It includes a full complement of server I/O features and a large 4MB ECC L2 cache, enabling a complete server node that consumes only 5 watts, including 4GB of ECC memory and a large capacity SSD.
  • Calxeda was founded in January 2008.
  • Calxeda is headed Barry Evans, who previously was the VP and GM of Marvell’s Application Processing Business Unit in the Cellular and Handheld Group (acquired from Intel). Mr. Evans was responsible for the Xscale processor (ARM-based) SoC product line. Before that, he was at Intel.