Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Verizon Wireless Buys Plateau Wireless in New Mexico

Verizon Wireless has acquired wireless assets in New Mexico RSA #6, owned by E.N.M.R. Telephone Cooperative and its subsidiary Plateau Telecommunications and operated under the brand name Plateau Wireless.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deal includes Plateau Wireless' Cellular, PCS and AWS spectrum covering southeastern New Mexico, as well as customers and related GSM operations.  The licenses and the operating assets being acquired cover a population of 259,000 and approximately 26,100 square miles, including state highways U.S. 285, U.S. 54 and U.S. 70.  Major population centers include Roswell, Carlsbad, Artesia and Hobbs, N.M.

Verizon Wireless plans to convert the Plateau Wireless GSM network to CDMA for voice service; and EV-DO (3G) and 4G LTE for data services.  Verizon Wireless will serve acquired Plateau Wireless customers, using the existing Plateau Wireless brand name, until the network conversion is complete 

Space Data Corp. and Lemko Launch Satellite LTE in Alaska

Space Data Corp. and Lemko have deployed a satellite-based commercial LTE network in Atqasuk, Alaska. offering mobile broadband data speeds of over 70Mbps.

Lemko's DiMoWiNe (Distributed Mobile Wireless Network) software is co-located at the eNodeB to optimize the LTE over satellite backhaul.  The company says that by virtualizing the core, all switching and routing in the network is moved to the network's edge, resulting in a LTE solution with greater latency tolerances and the ability to deliver mobile broadband over satellite. Lemko's DiMoWiNe greatly reduces the network's signaling traffic and all backhaul is transported as an "over-the-top" IP application.

"Space Data Corporation commissioned the Lemko LTE solution, staged it at the headquarters in Chandler, AZ and transported it to Alaska where it was deployed in only 48 hours. We are excited to now provide mobile broadband service to this area of Alaska where no economic solution was possible before," said Jerry Knoblach, Chairmen and Chief Executive Officer, Space Data Corporation.


Interoute Powers 100GigE Services Across Europe with Infinera

Interoute, which operates a pan-European network spanning across 60,000km of lit fiber, has activated 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) services using Infinera's DTN platform -- making it the first to broadly offer 100 GbE services across the continent.

Interoute was among the first in Europe to deploy Infinera’s DTN four years ago.

Interoute said that will carriers and enterprises are already using multiple 10 Gbps) services, which can become complex and expensive, the option of 100 GbE  provides higher bandwidth efficiency, lower cost per Gbps, and greater simplicity.

"Interoute and Infinera have worked together to integrate industry leading technology for a number of years,” said Matthew Finnie, CTO at Interoute. "The ability to adapt our existing Infinera DTN network to 100 GbE next-generation services demonstrates the inherent value of the Infinera architecture. It protects our investment for the future services that we need to provide our customers to stay competitive."

"Interoute’s network is used by major incumbents and service providers throughout Europe," said Chris Champion, vice president, EMEA sales at Infinera. "As one of Infinera’s leading customers worldwide, we are excited to play a key part in not only increasing capacity on Interoute's network but also working closely with Interoute to grow its network footprint with Infinera's solutions. The Infinera DTN has delivered for Interoute a cost-effective, high capacity network for its customers in very short time frames."



Ericsson Positions SSR 8000 as Broadband Gateway

Ericsson introduced Broadband Network Gateway (BNG) functionality for its SSR 8000 Smart Services Router family.

Ericsson said its next generation Broadband Network Gateway (BNG) supports up to 768,000 subscribers in a single rack with a total power consumption, fully loaded, of 14,000 watts.

The platform can enable the delivery of services targeted at a specific user or session or device. Ericsson BNG on SSR 8000 offers a wide range of interfaces.  This new gateway derives its software technology foundation from Ericsson's Broadband Remote Access Service (BRAS), which has been deployed by more than 360 networks worldwide.

 "Ericsson's BNG on SSR 8000 gives service providers industry-leading subscriber scale - it triples subscriber scalability compared to other industry BNGs. With its time-tested and field-proven software and scale, it sets a new benchmark yet again," stated Jan H├Ąglund, Vice President, Head of IP and Broadband Networks.


Dell Offers OpenStack Cloud Appliance from Morphlabs

Dell is now selling an OpenStack-powered cloud appliance developed by Morphlabs that enables wholesale hosting companies to a private cloud service.

The new Dell mCloud Helix is a PowerEdge C6220 server system with solid state disks (SSD), OpenStack cloud software, and Dell’s Crowbar software framework, along with 24×7 remote management and support services. The solution is able to support 80 virtual CPUs (vCPUs) and 3TB in a single 2U C6220 chassis, and all at under 700 watts of power consumption.

 Media Temple, a web hosting and cloud services company, is now offering a private cloud service leveraging the new Dell mCloud Helix Solution.


Cisco Announces Web Conferencing Solution for Private Clouds

Cisco announced a series of enhancements to its collaboration portfolio, delivered via public, private or hybrid cloud models.

"At Cisco, we're seeing exceptional growth and adoption across our collaboration cloud offerings. Case in point: More than half of the world's leading service providers have adopted Cisco's HCS solution. We feel it's about choice.  And, it's ultimately about providing exceptional end user experiences, regardless of the deployment model," said OJ Winge, senior vice president, Collaboration Technology Group, Cisco .

Some highlights of the announcement:

  • Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) - new capabilities for Cisco TelePresence, Customer Collaboration (contact center), Unified Communications and mobility.  These enable wholesale providers and integrators to deliver a collaboration "as-a-service" cloud-based model. Example partners include Damovo, eLoyalty (a TeleTech company), Orange Business Services, NTT Communications, Telefonica and Vodafone.
  • Cisco WebEx Web Conferencing -- this has been extended to run inside of Private Clouds. Cisco reports a 38% increase year over year in the number of WebEx meetings.  The new capabilities use a Cisco WebEx Meetings Server to function as the "on-premises" conferencing solution housed in the enterprise's own data centers.


Russia's MegaFon Tests 100G DWDM with Cisco

The North West Branch of MegaFon, one of the three largest mobile operators in Russia, has tested a 100G DWDM implementation with Cisco.  The tests were conducted based on other vendors’ technologies.

The project was aimed at testing the effectiveness and interworking of Cisco 100G transponders, Cisco ASR 9000 Series Aggregation Services Routers and the Cisco ONS 15454 Multiservice Transport Platform (MSTP) at the distance of 140 and 384 kilometers (87 and 239 miles). Additionally the solutions have been tested over "dark fiber" at 60 and 120 kilometers (37 and 74 miles).

Cisco said its ASR 9000 Series routers were used as the network core, as they had been designed as the foundational baseline for next-generation Carrier Ethernet networks. They provide up to 400 Gbps per system and can be scaled up to 6.4 terabits (Tbps), helping ensure the fail-safe delivery of multifunctional applications. 

The 100G services were supported by Cisco DWDM transponders tuned to 192.6 GHz (1556.55 nm). The transponders can operate at a distance well in excess of 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) without signal regeneration, and they feature high performance and port density, thus enabling 100G technologies in networks of any complexity. All parameters of the DWDM network were configured automatically by the smart-management subsystem and optical channel power control tools integrated in the Cisco ONS 15454 MSTP platform. During the test the traffic was transferred at 100 Gbps without failure and degradation of existing 10 Gbps services, showing the investment protection on the installed network and existing fiber plant.

The Case for the Big GEs... and IP-over-DWDM

by Sultan Dawood, Solutions Marketing Manager, SP Marketing Cisco Systems No one knows better than the readers of this publication about the importance of Gigabit networks. The emergence of 10 Gigabit (10 G) links in big networks began more than 10 years ago, and seemed like enough capacity, for a long time. But that was then. In today’s optical conversations, talk tends to center on 40/100 Gig links, all the way up to Terabit advancements....

ADVA and Corning Achieve 100G Direct Detection over 600km

ADVA Optical Networking and Corning have successfully tested direct-detection 100G technology over  600km of Corning LEAF optical fiber -- the first time that direct-detection 100G technology has been used outside of the metro environment. The test used the ADVA FSP 3000 with inline amplification and Corning LEAF fiber.

ADVA's 100G Metro solution leverages 4x28G direct detection technology. Corning's LEAF fiber requires dispersion compensation modules (DCMs) be used only in the terminals at the ends of the link.

“In the metro environment, enterprises and service providers have been cautious about deploying 100G technology,” said Barry Linchuck, division vice president and director, Worldwide Marketing, Optical Fiber, Corning Incorporated. “They need a 100G solution at the right cost point. With this demonstration, we've clearly shown the tremendous opportunities possible through the complimentary features of ADVA Optical Networking's 100G Metro solution and Corning LEAF fiber.”



Gridstore Raises $12.5 Million for Software-Defined Storage Control

Gridstore, a start-up based in Mountain View, CA, raised $12.5 million in Series A financing for its scale-out grid storage solutions.
Gridstore's  Virtual Controller Technology delivers scalable, software-defined storage via a Microsoft Managment Console (MMC) snap-in that integrates with Active Directory.
The funding round was led by GGV Capital and ONSET Ventures with participation from all existing investors bringing the Company's total venture funding to $15 million. 
“It’s the end of big storage. The dynamics of enterprise storage requirements are changing and 30-year-old legacy technology doesn’t cut it anymore,” said Kelly Murphy, CEO of Gridstore. “Web-scale giants such as Amazon and Google have proven that. Gridstore is delivering the next generation of scale-out storage for the software-defined data center that can deliver the same scalability, performance and affordability to the market. Businesses no longer have to accept monolithical systems that are expensive and can’t scale. We are excited for the support of our new investors and the continued commitment of our existing investors will be instrumental as we enter the next phase of rapid growth and continued product innovation that is changing the dynamics of scale-out storage.”

Spain's SARENET Selects Overture for Ethernet-over-Copper

SARENET, an Internet service provider based in Spain, has selected Overture's 4000 and 400 platforms as the cornerstone of a new Ethernet-over-Copper deployment.  The service will offer customers up to 20 Mbps  (with capabilities up to 60Mbps) over unbundled local loops.

Overture’s EoC  enables Carrier Ethernet services over existing copper infrastructure. The Overture 400 demarcation device enables service providers and network operators to deliver feature-rich business broadband services to the last-mile, while the 4000 pay-as-you-grow aggregation platform delivers centralized management and switching for up to 120 of the Overture 400s.

“This new EoC deployment was a very heavily vetted product decision for us, as SARENET is extremely dedicated to customer satisfaction,” said Alberto Alvarez, director tecnico at SARENET.  “The Overture Carrier Ethernet solution provides increased bandwidth capability, flexible QoS and superior reliability as well as a number of service management tools that ensure we can deliver on our commitment to our valued customers.”


Cisco Infographic: The Future and Present of Cloud Collaboration

Cisco reports that its WebEx colloboration solution is generating 428,000 meetings per day -- this equates to 31 million attendees per month.


NSN Selects Tail-f to Enhance Multi-vendor Config Mgt

 Nokia Siemens Networks will use Tail-f Systems's NCS multi-vendor configuration management and network automation software in NetAct, NSN's network management system. 

Tail-f’s NCS  is a network abstraction layer that will be integrated into NetAct to manage a wide variety of network equipment common in Service Providers' IP networks, such as Cisco and Juniper switches.  NCS allows services to be modeled and automatically translated into real-time, fine-grained configuration changes. 

"We decided to use Tail-f Systems' NCS software based on the strength and easy scalability of the product,” said Peter Patomella, Head of the OSS Business Line at Nokia Siemens Networks.  “Their model-driven software will enhance NetAct’s ability to manage IP transport networks through one central interface. It will also simplify network operations and lay the foundation for superior end-to-end mobile broadband service management.” 


Monday, October 15, 2012

Hyundai Partners with Broadcom on In-Vehicle Network

Broadcom announced a joint development agreement with Hyundai Motor to power the next-generation connected car, integrating infotainment, telematics and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) features such as surround view parking and lane departure warning.

The in-vehicle network will be based on Broadcom's BroadR-Reach Ethernet technology, which supports the IEEE 802.1 Audio Video Bridging (AVB)  standard, a key technology for achieving high quality audio and video transmission in automotive by providing guaranteed quality of service (QoS), frame synchronization and timing necessary to stream professional-quality audio and video traffic.

"Hyundai is confident about the viability of Ethernet in the car and looks forward to closely collaborating with Broadcom to develop an Ethernet network for Hyundai vehicles. The in-vehicle Ethernet network will enable key features including infotainment, lane departure warning, park assist and telematics to deliver greater value to our customers.  We chose to partner with Broadcom as they deliver superior Ethernet-based innovation to enrich the driver and passenger experience," stated SunJai Lee, Infortainment Design Division Leader, Hyundai Motor.


Procera Builds Momentum with MSOs

Procera Networks announced a $1.4 million follow-on order from an existing Tier 1 Cable Multi-System Operator (MSO) in the U.S. for its PacketLogic products and services.

Procera said it continues to build deployment momentum across five of the top ten MSOs in the U.S.

Procera solutions are currently installed in over 30 North American MSOs that represent an installed base of tens of millions of cable subscribers.

“Cable MSOs have seen a dramatic rise in their subscribers using OTT streaming video and audio over the last year and continue to look for ways to better analyze the impact of these services on their networks,” said David Ahee, Vice President of Sales Americas at Procera. “The usage profile of cable subscribers continues to evolve as they take advantage of high speed, fixed-line broadband networks that are capable of streaming a larger portion of their video and music programming. Cable operators are looking to maintain a very high quality of service for all of their customers while they access video and music programming through various content outlets.”


Mellanox SwitchX-2 Silicon Virtualizes Infiniband and Ethernet SANs

Mellanox introduced its SwitchX-2 switching silicon optimized for Software Defined Networking (SDN) and featuring the company's  Virtual Protocol Interconnect (VPI) technology, which allows for simultaneous connection to InfiniBand or Ethernet with integrated gateways to legacy data center and storage systems.

SwitchX-2 breaks new ground by incorporating RDMA-based 56Gb/s Ethernet and InfiniBand, while packing 4Tbps of aggregate switching capacity. It also promises low power consumption, extremely low 170ns latency, hardware-based L2/L3 congestion management for highest efficiency and hardware-based data error correction for highest reliability.

Mellanox said the SDN capabilities, including remote configurable routing tables, lossless and congestion free networks, efficient control planes, and SDN-optimized software interfaces, will bring a number of advantages.  IT managers will be able to program and centralize their server and storage interconnect management and dramatically reduce their operational expenses by completely virtualizing their data center network.

“Mellanox’s SwitchX-2 VPI switch leads the industry with the highest throughput capacity, low latency with nearly zero jitter, as well as advanced SDN interfaces for control and management,” said David Barzilai, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies. “SDN technology has been a critical component of the InfiniBand scalable architecture and has been proven worldwide in data centers and clusters of tens-of-thousands of servers. Now, with SwitchX-2, Mellanox provides the most efficient SDN solution for both InfiniBand and Ethernet data centers. Mellanox’s fast, RDMA-based interconnect technology leads the competition in terms of performance, SDN technology and return-on-investment advantages it brings to IT and application managers.”


ZTE Shows Big Loss for First Nine Months of 2012

Despite higher revenue overall for the first nine months of 2012, ZTE reported a preliminary loss of between RMB1.65 billion and RMB1.75 billion, a reversal of between 254.42% and 263.78% compared to the same period of a year earlier.  

For the most recent quarter (ended 30 September 2012), ZTE's revenue decreased by approximately 13% as compared to same period last year.

ZTE apologized to shareholders for the poor results and cited four factors for its weaker performance

(1) the current global economic and industry trends, 
(2) the recognition of low-margin contracts in the third quarter, 
(3) a delay in some projects of overseas clients, and 
(4) a change in the procurement mode of domestic operators.  

In China, ZTE was hit by, a change in the operators’ procurement mode and the timing of their investments. 
In the international market, ZTE said operators slowed down their pace of investments because of a weakening global economy.  ZTE's gross profit decreased significantly due to the recognition of some lower-margin contracts.  In Africa, where the company was previously able to achieve higher-margin business, the overall market was undergoing a transitional stage, resulting in fewer new contracts.

ZTE also acknowledged that its results were adversely affected by operations in Iran.  The company noted that these operations are being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Commerce.

The company outlined several steps to address these problems:

  • ZTE's management has agreed to cut their own compensation collectively.
  • ZTE will raise its level of responsiveness to the internal and external environment
  • ZTE will conduct a review of its product portfolio and of its regional operations
  • ZTE will put profit at the center of its focus and be committed to increasing the profitability of contracts and reducing the losses of unprofitable businesses.
  • ZTE will reduce its selling costs and research and development expenses.
  • ZTE will eliminate offices that record losses for a long time and which have limited prospects of a turnaround.
  • ZTE will consolidate products that offer little development potential,
  • ZTE will exercise headcount control and conduct organizational change.

ZTE's strategy calls for more resources on its terminals business in North America and Europe.  The company will proactively pursue opportunities in the wireless and wired broadband segments in emerging markets including China and Asia Pacific. 

  • In April 2012, ZTE reported operating revenue of US$2.96 billion fo rQ1 2012, an increase of 29.46% over the same period last year. Net profit attributable to shareholders was US$22.99 million, an increase of 23.85% over the same period last year. Basic earnings per share were US$0.00635.
  • For the first 9 months of 2011, ZTE claimed a 33.4 per cent increase in sales revenue year-on-year to US$9.17 billion in the first nine months of 2011, earning it the claim of "the fastest growing major network equipment supplier." Average revenue growth for the industry during the first three quarters of 2011 was approximately 10 percent, according to the company.

Vistapointe Combines Packet Parsing with Cloud-based Analytics

by James E. Carroll

Vistapointe, a start-up based in San Ramon, California with R&D in Bangalore, India, introduced its cloud-based and embedded network intelligence solutions for mobile and enterprise Wi-Fi operators.

Unlike general purpose, deep packet inspection (DPI)-based network intelligence platforms, Vistapointe features a Linux-base packet parser engine to selectively decode 3GPP and 4G/LTE protocols, capture only specific protocol fields, apply compression and then deliver this data to a cloud-based mobile analytics platform.The cloud-based analytics enables Vistapoint to offer a highly scalable Network Intelligence As A Service (NiAS) for 3G, 4G/LTE and Wi-Fi carriers.  Vistapointe's Dynamic Subscriber Profiling enables the operator to predict subscriber usage patterns and profile their mobile data customers so as to offer fine-tuned tariff plans.  Vistapointe also said its dynamic subscriber profiling could leverage APIs to integrate with 3rd party mobile ad platforms.
  • Vistapointe is headed by Ravi Medikonda (CEO), who previously held leadership roles at Juniper Networks in its Product Management & Marketing groups. Before Juniper, he was Director of Product Management at Tellabs/Vivace Business Unit with P&L responsibility for the IP/MPLS products and successfully led Tellabs into the 3G/Wireless RAN backhaul market.

By capturing only the selected protocol fields, Vistapointe substantially improves data collection efficiency while still gaining granular visibility into mobile users and applications.

Cariden Tunes its Network Engineering Software for Flow Collection & Business Intelligence

Cariden Technologies is extending its network visibility and traffic control platform to business intelligence based on accurate and efficient traffic flow collection from key nodes in a carrier network. Cariden's MATE software is widely used by global tier-1 ISPs, PTTs, MSOs and mobile operators for IP/MPLS network engineering.

Cariden has now added a Flow Interface to its MATE portfolio, enabling the ability to collect and analyze NetFlow, S-Flow and J-Flow data to determine the cost of traffic flows and monitor their use of network resources.  This includes being able to analyze peering traffic compliance to agreements and calculate bit-mile costs for that and other services, thus providing operations staff the ability to meet their obligations for transparency to the commercial side of their business.

Compared to existing NetFlow collectors, Cariden's approach is fully integrated with its network planning and simulation tool (MATE).  This provides enhanced accuracy of the collected flow data by ensuring results match existing traffic counter data and adjusting the final matrix accordingly.

Cariden said its new capabilities enable network operators to identify the costs for actual network performance on specific links or nodes. For instance, carriers could identify partners who are violating peering agreements with unequal flows or who are dumping excessive traffic on least favorable nodes and thereby requiring the carrier to bear the long haul transit costs.

The latest release also provides modeling of the impact to the network when peering connections change due to outages.


ZTE Wins Major TD-LTE Contract with China Mobile

ZTE announced a major contract to supply TD-LTE equipment to China Mobile in five cities, namely Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Shenyang. The contract cover more than 13,000 carrier frequencies. Financial terms were not disclosed.

ZTE confirmed that it is now China Mobile's leading LTE supplier for China Mobile.

China Mobile launched the TD-LTE bidding in August 2012. The tender included contracts for some 20,000 base stations and 52,000 carrier sectors, and theTD-LTE devices purchased by China Mobile will be deployed in an expanded trial TD-LTE network in 13 Chinese cities, namely Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Xiamen, Qingdao, Tianjin, Shenyang, Ningbo, Chengdu and Fuzhou. Ten major telecom firms including ZTE, Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia Siemens bid for the tender.

SoftBank Deal Injects $8 Billion in Capital into Sprint

SoftBank will invest $20.1 billion to acquire a 70% in Sprint.  The deal consists of $12.1 billion to be distributed to Sprint stockholders and $8.0 billion of new capital to strengthen Sprint’s balance sheet.  The investment aims to accelerate Sprint's next generation network and its competitive position as the No. 3 U.S. mobile operator.  For Softbank, this represents a major leap beyond its home market of Japan, where it is the No. 3 mobile operator and No. 2 wireline broadband provider. The companies hope to get the deal done by mid-2013, pending regulatory approvals.

Under the deal, approximately 55% of current Sprint shares will be exchanged for $7.30 per share in cash, and the remaining shares will convert into shares of a new publicly traded entity, New Sprint. Following closing, SoftBank will own approximately 70% and Sprint equity holders will own approximately 30% of the shares of New Sprint on a fully-diluted basis.

  • $8.0 billion of primary capital to enhance its mobile network and strengthen its balance sheet
  • No action on Clearwire at the moment, other than supporting the existing agreement.
  • New Sprint’s headquarters will continue to be in Overland Park, Kansas.
  • New Sprint will have a 10-member board of directors, including at least three members of Sprint’s board of directors.
  • Dan Hesse will continue as CEO of New Sprint and as a board member.
 “This transaction provides an excellent opportunity for SoftBank to leverage its expertise in smartphones and next-generation high speed networks, including LTE, to drive the mobile internet revolution in one of the world’s largest markets. As we have proven in Japan, we have achieved a v-shaped earnings recovery in the acquired mobile business and grown dramatically by introducing differentiated products to an incumbent-led market. Our track record of innovation, combined with Sprint’s strong brand and local leadership, provides a constructive beginning toward creating a more competitive American wireless market,” stated SoftBank Chairman and CEO, Masayoshi Son.

 “This is a transformative transaction for Sprint that creates immediate value for our stockholders, while providing an opportunity to participate in the future growth of a stronger, better capitalized Sprint going forward. Our management team is excited to work with SoftBank to learn from their successful deployment of LTE in Japan as we build out our advanced LTE network, improve the customer experience and continue the turnaround of our operations,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint's CEO.