Wednesday, October 31, 2012

MetroPCS Goes Live with First Rich Communications over LTE

MetroPCS Communications announced the commercial launch of Rich Communication Services (RCS) on its 4GLTE network under the  GSMA-licensed joyn brand. 

Based on the GSMA RCS 5.0 standard, joyn by MetroPCS will deliver an experience beyond voice and basic messaging to provide customers with a unified and intuitive way to use enriched services like integrated instant messaging or chat, WiFi and video calling and simplified content sharing.

MetroPCS will support the following RCS services at launch for customers with 4GLTE joyn-enabled smartphones:
  • Contacts Presence - joyn knows and shows how users can reach and share content with contacts at any time
    • Contact availability/status sync (online, busy, away, unavailable)
    • Calendar sync
    • Social network interaction
  • Enriched Chat - Threaded conversations keep track of who's said what and show which people and groups are available to chat and share content
    • Instant messaging and group chat
    • Conversational view
    • Delivery of read notifications and composing indications
  • Content Sharing - Bring calls and chats to life by sharing content with just one click from the address book
    • Share video, images and files while on a call and within instant messaging or chat
    • Display service capabilities
    • Geo-location
  • WiFi and Video Calling - Stay connected with voice and video calls in areas with little or no cellular coverage
    • WiFi calling and video calls over WiFi

 "As the first 4G LTE carrier in the world to offer RCS, we are excited to join the global community of operators implementing the RCS standard and we are proud of our team and partners who were critical in building this capability that will evolve and expand over the next year," said Roger Linquist, CEO and Chairman of MetroPCS.

"We believe RCS is a tremendous differentiator among prepaid and postpaid competitors alike and recognize that achieving interoperability across U.S. 4G LTE networks is the next key step to paving the way for more innovative services and capabilities in the future," added Linquist.

joyn by MetroPCS will be available beginning today on the Samsung Galaxy Attain 4G. 

In August, MetroPCS officially 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.

Its first VoLTE-capable LG Connect 4G Android smartphone is now on sales at select stores across the U.S.. MetroPCS said it will continue to roll out VoLTE services and phones in the coming weeks.

MetroPCS had 9.3 million overall mobile subscribers as of the end of Q2, of which over 700,000 were LTE subscriptions.

With the new VoLTE, voice calls are carried transparently over LTE regardless of the handset or network used on the other end of the call.

"The initial move to LTE and this move to VoLTE allow us to achieve significant spectral efficiencies and will increase network capacity so that we can enhance the 4G LTE experience that our customers have today at a tremendous value. VoLTE also provides a foundational capability for future Rich Communication Services (RCS), which we plan to launch later this year," stated Roger Linquist, chairman and chief executive officer of MetroPCS.

MetroPCS noted that it was the first U.S. carrier to deploy a commercial 4G LTE network in September 2010. So far, the LTE network rollout covers roughly 90 percent of its CDMA footprint. 

AT&T and T-Mobile Enable Open Roaming in Sandy's Wake

AT&T and T-Mobile agreed to enable roaming on their networks in areas impacted by Hurricane Sanday and where capacity is available and subscribers have a compatible device.  Both networks use GSM and UMTS.

Customers will be able to place calls in a normal fashion and the traffic will be carried by the most available network.   There will no change necessary for rate plans.

AT&T also noted that it has many disaster response teams engaged and making progress in restoring wireless and wireline services in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.  The vast majority of the company's cell sites in the Northeast are online and working. 

T-Mobile USA said its network in New York City is more than 80% operational and that restoration work continues in the harder hit areas of lower Manhattan, Staten Island, Long Island, coastal and Northern New Jersey, Connecticut and portions of Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia.

Infinera's DTN-X Selected for Mediterranean Subsea Network

Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (Cyta) has deployed Infinera’s DTN-X platform across the TE-North Cable System, interconnecting Asia and Africa to Europe.  Cyta operates and maintains the ALEXANDROS subsystem, part of Telecom Egypt’s TE-North Cable System which stretches 3,600 kilometers connecting Abu Talat, Egypt, to Marseilles, France, with a branch to Pentaskhinos, Cyprus.

Infinera’s DTN-X platform allows Cyta to add additional capacity to the ALEXANDROS subsystem, with the ability to upgrade TE North’s terrestrial network in the future.

Infinera’s DTN-X platform supports 500 Gbps long-haul FlexCoherent super-channels integrated with 5 Terabits per second (Tbps) of Optical Transport Network (OTN) switching per bay.  Infinera also supports multiple software-programmable modulation formats for optimization of the network. Integrated OTN switching is coupled with a GMPLS control plane to deliver wavelength flexibility.

“We are delighted to work with Infinera to deploy the DTN-X platform on this critical international telecommunications route,” said Yiannis Koulias, Cyta’s Director of National & International Wholesale Market. “We are confident the Infinera DTN-X delivers the most advanced optical transport platform based on 500 Gb/s photonic integrated circuits. The FlexCoherent technology will allow us to optimize transmission performance across our existing subsea fiber plant and meet the demands of our customers quickly and efficiently.”

Infinera is the first to deliver 500 Gb/s long-haul super-channels based on Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) and FlexCoherent™ Processor, scaling transport capacity without scaling operational complexity.  Infinera’s PICs combine multiple optical subsystems on a single IC and result in fewer fiber connections, less space, and less power when compared to conventional systems based upon discrete components. The Infinera DTN-X increases network efficiency with 5 Terabits of integrated OTN switching per bay, resulting in much more efficient utilization when compared to conventional WDM architectures that do not allow sub-lambda grooming and switching. Infinera’s Bandwidth Virtualization™ simplifies service deployment, enabling operators to deploy networks in days and services in minutes, thereby lowering operational costs.

Verizon Wireless: 6% of Cell Sites Offline in Northeast

As of Wednesday afternoon, Verizon Wireless reported that more than 94% of it cell towers in the Northeastern United States (from Maine to Virginia) were operational and supporting customers.   The company said it has seen some improvement to wireless service in lower Manhattan and elsewhere in the NYC metro area over the past 24 hours as power is being restored.

A number of cell sites are still on backup power and the company is working to refuel these locations as expeditiously as possible.

IPtronics Files Complaint Against Avago for 40/100G Modules

IPtronics has filed legal suit against Avago Technologies in the U.S. District Court in San Jose for allegedly violating commitments made to standards setting organizations and failing to protect IPtronics’ confidential information.

IPtronics claims that Avago ignored legally binding commitments to standards setting organizations to disclose patented technology and to make that technology available for licensing.

The claims concern short-range, 40G and 100G multimode VCSEL-based fiber optical modules.

PacketFront Acquired by Fiber Access AB

PacketFront Network Products AB has been acquired by Fiber Access Holding AB for an undisclosed sum.

PacketFront is a supplier of broadband access equipment for network operators. The company has shipped more than 1.2 million access connections since its founding in 2001.

The main owners of Fiber Access Holding AB is the investment group ShortCap, which focuses on entrepreneurial companies with strong potential for growth.

Big Switch Raises $25 Million for Open SDN

Big Switch Networks raised $25 million in Series B funding for its platform-independent Software-Defined Networking (SDN) solution.

Big Switch Networks, which was founded in March 2010 and is based in Palo Alto, California, leverages open APIs to enable customers to deploy dynamic and flexible networking applications, including data center network virtualization. The company is building an ecosystem of physical and virtual switching partners for its Open SDN architecture.

The new funding was led by Redpoint Ventures and joined by Goldman Sachs, and existing investors Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures, and others. The company has now raised $39 million to date.

“Big Switch is delivering on the vision of software-defined networking (SDN) with an open and standards-based platform that enables network programmability, flexibility and new levels of network service delivery. We started this revolutionary trend away from closed and proprietary systems, and are gratified that every major physical and virtual infrastructure vendor is now participating,” said Guido Appenzeller, CEO and co-founder of Big Switch Networks.

Ixia Validates LTE Base Station Performance

Ixia introduced its XAir solution for validating LTE base station performance in terms of realistic subscriber and service modeling, scalability, and QoE measurements.

Ixia said its new XAir provides realistic subscriber modeling, supporting web, voice and video applications, all LTE mobility types, and modeling of radio characteristics — cell edge, cell center and user movements.  It supports more than 1,000 emulated user equipment’s per sector and more than 6,000 per chassis.

Carriers can also use XAir carriers to optimize voice quality, including voice over LTE (VoLTE) and video quality by stressing the infrastructure with real-world traffic and measuring QoE.

Other features include:

•        End-to-end LTE network testing from the LTE base station, through the mobile backhaul and core networks, all the way to the data center.
•        QoE analysis and scoring of each traffic stream.
•        Mobility over multiple sectors.
•        Built-in high-accuracy 10 MHz clock for eNB synchronization.
•        Fully compatible with the Ixia XM and XG chassis and load modules for seamless testing with other Ixia hardware and test applications.

Extreme Posts Revenue of $76 Million, Down 13% Sequentially

Extreme Networks reported revenue of $76.1 million for its first quarter of fiscal 2013 ending September 30, 2012, a 3.5% decrease compared to revenue of $78.9 million reported for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 and a 13.1% decrease compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012. GAAP net income for the first quarter was $12.9 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, an increase year-over-year compared to GAAP net income of $1.6 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2012.

"Q1 results were in-line with our targets and we are encouraged by customer and partner response related to our strategy and products released earlier in the calendar year," stated Oscar Rodriguez, President and CEO of Extreme Networks.  "Our goal is to grow revenues while continually refining our cost structure and enhancing our selling efforts to deliver superior products that we believe provide both a technology and cost advantage for both new and existing customers."

Nasuni Raises $20 Million for Enterprise Cloud Gateway

Nasuni, a start-up based in Natick, Mass., raised  $20 million in Series C funding for its enterprise cloud gateway. Nasuni provides a consolidated storage-as-a-service solution for distributed enterprises.  The solution brings all primary storage (i.e. file and block) together with built-in backup, replication, and offsite protection using an on-site appliance connected to the cloud.

The funding came from a new key investor,.Previous investors Flybridge Capital Partners, North Bridge Venture Partners and Sigma Partners also participated in the financing.

  • Nasuni is headed by Andres Rodriguez, who previously was founder and CTO of Archivas, which developed an enterprise-class cloud storage system and was acquired by Hitachi Data Systems in 2006. Earlier, he was CTO of the New York Times, where he drove digital strategy at NYTimes and

MIT Tech Review: Breakthrough in Power Amplifiers

Eta Devices, a start-up company led by two MIT electrical engineering professors, has cracked the energy efficiency problem in power amplifier designs for radio communications.  According to MIT Technology Review website, the technology promises to reduce power usage in LTE base stations by half.  The company has the backing of Strata Venture Partners.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

NSN Ties Network Investments to Customer Experience Management

Nokia Siemens Networks introduced its Customer Experience Management (CEM) for Liquid Net that ties capacity optimization related investments to customer experience.  The aim is to help operators to decide precisely when and where to optimize network performance to improve user experience, for instance, identifying low throughput and uplink performance caused by network congestion. Nokia Siemens Networks said this approach links customer and revenue insights to improving network performance.

“Conventionally, operators have been making investments in network capacity based on a network view, rather than how it would impact customer experience or revenue opportunity,” said Tommi Uitto, head of mobile broadband value creation management at Nokia Siemens Networks. “With CEM for Liquid Net, operators can make investments exactly where capacity improvements are needed to achieve the maximum business impact. With this combined approach, we link capacity optimization to customer experience and revenue impact, improving both user satisfaction and profit.”

Datagram's NYC Data Center Taken Down by Sandy

Datagram's data center at 33 Whitehall in Manhattan was knocked offline by Hurricane Sandy.  Once ConEdison cut power to the neighborhood, Datagram's back-up generators kicked on.  However, the basement flooded with sea water , taking out the the diesel pumps.  The company reports no infrastructure damage.

A number of prominent websites were impacted by the Datagram outage, including Buzzfeed,, HuffingtonPost, The Real Deal and others.

Internap's NYC Data Center Flooded by Sandy

Internap's NYC data centers located at 111 8th Ave. and 75 Broad suffered damage and were knocked offline by Hurricane Sandy.  On Monday evening, Con Edison proactively cut electricity to lower Manhattan ahead of the storm surge. Both sites activated their back-up diesel generators.  However, the salt water flooded into the 75 Broad data center, compromising the diesel pumps.  The building was evacuated and the site eventually lost power.  

The data center at 111 8th Ave. continues to run on back-up power.  The company says there is enough fuel for several days and that it anticipates fuel deliveries in the event that commercial power is not quickly restored.

ADVA Intros Sync Probe (1588v2) for Mobile Base Stations

ADVA Optical Networking introduced an Ethernet network probe that helps mobile network operators deliver precise time-of-day information for phase alignment between adjacent base stations.

The ADVA FSP 150SP device features a Precision Time Protocol (PTP) clock probe that simultaneously supports Synchronous Ethernet and IEEE 1588v2, and a built-in GPS receiver, enabling time synchronization and assurance across multi-vendor mobile backhaul infrastructures.

"Service providers need to do more than simply bring fiber to the cell tower; they also need to deliver precise time-of-day information for phase alignment between adjacent base stations. This is the primary goal of our FSP 150 platform and its new member, the FSP 150SP," said Christoph Glingener, CTO, ADVA Optical Networking.

Steadfast's 121 Varick St Data Center Offline

Steadfast Networks' 5,000 square foot data center located at 121 Varick St. in Manhattan was knocked completely offline by Hurricane Sandy.  The facility suffered an auxiliary electrical failure after commercial power was cut off in the neighborhood and the building evacuated.  Steadfast's data center remained inaccessible as of Tuesday afternoon.

Broadcom Expands Base Station Solutions

Broadcom introduced a Digital Front End (DFE) board designed to speed development of multi-protocol radio systems for macro and small cell base stations. The board ships with the components for a complete transmit loop, with the exception of the customer's selected driver and power amplifier (PA).

Broadcom also noted that it recently began sampling its 28 nanometer (nm) dual-core XLP-200 series communications processor for scalable small cell designs simultaneously supporting 3G, 4G and 5G WiFi. Volume shipments of 40nmXLP-300 series processors are ramping in wireless base station, radio network controller, mobile core and cloud applications.

EMC to Acquire Silver Tail for Web Session Intelligence

EMC agreed to acquire Silver Tail Systems, a start-up offering web session intelligence and behavior analysis tools, for an undisclosed sum.

The Silver Tail Systems platform collects and analyzes real-time web traffic forensics with the goal of providing visibility into all web and mobile application traffic.  Silver Tail then provides a behavioral analysis engine that creates heuristics and rules to detect anomalies, IT security threats, fraud, insider threats, business logic abuse and other malicious activity. The company's Big Data-driven approach is to gather and analyze mass quantities of information in real time and at scale to deepen visibility into web sessions. 

Silver Tail was founded in 2008 and is based in Menlo Park, California.  The company announced a strategic relationship with MasterCard earlier this year.

EMC said the Silver Tail will extend  the capabilities of RSA's Identity Protection and Verification (IPV) solutions, as well as other areas across RSA's enterprise security portfolio.  Following the acquisition, Silver Tail will operate within EMC's RSA security division.  

"The industry is well beyond the point of providing effective security using static, perimeter point tools that fail to keep up with dynamic cyber attackers. Customers need better intelligence, analytics, and the ability to respond in real time which is a capability that Silver Tail’s products do extraordinarily well to help foil web-based attacks. Silver Tail offers proven anti-fraud solutions that complement RSA’s portfolio of risk-based and adaptive products and services, stated Art Coviello, RSA Executive Chairman and Executive Vice President, EMC Corporation.

  • In 2011, EMC acquired NetWitness -- a privately-held provider of network security analysis solutions -- for an undisclosed sum.  NetWitness' technologies provide precise and pervasive network visibility, enabling security teams to detect and remediate advanced threats while automating the incident investigation process. NetWitness' monitoring and analysis platform addresses insider threats, zero-day exploits and targeted malware, advanced persistent threats, fraud, espionage, data leakage, and continuous monitoring of security controls. NetWitness also enables automated malware analysis, a rapidly growing requirement for addressing advanced persistent threats. 

China's 21st CBH: China Unicom Looks at its Cisco Core Routers

China's 21st Century Business Herald reported that China Unicom has decided to replace Cisco core routers in the China169 backbone nodes in Wuxi, Jiangsu province due to security concerns.

Neither company has commented on the report.

The article notes that the report follows the recent public scrutiny that Huawei and ZTE have faced in the U.S..

JDSU Sees Cautious Spending by Service Providers

JDSU reported revenues of $420.9 million and a GAAP net loss was $(11.6) million, or $(0.05) per share for its fiscal 2013 first quarter ended September 29, 2012. Prior quarter net revenue was $434.0 million, with a net loss of $(22.2) million, or $(0.10) per share.

Net revenue for the fiscal 2012 first quarter was $415.8 million, with a net loss of $(5.8) million, or (0.03) per share.

The Communications Test and Measurement division accounts for 40% of revenues, while the Communications and Commercial Optical Products division accounts for 46%, and the Optical Security and Performance Products division accounts for the remaining 14%.

"Our solid fiscal Q1 results reflect JDSU’s ability to deliver to its commitments even during periods of economic uncertainty,” said Tom Waechter, JDSU’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

 "Communications service providers continue to spend cautiously due to macro-economic and geo-political concerns. Because of this uncertain climate, we are not projecting the calendar year-end budget release that frequently occurs in the Telecom industry. Looking forward, we are encouraged by the relentless broadband demand that remains a powerful driver for JDSU’s core business. Our ability to differentiate through product innovation, evolve our variable cost model, and maintain a robust balance sheet means that we are well positioned to capitalize on future growth opportunities as the gap closes between demand and actual spending by our core network customers."