Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ireland Nets €855 Million in 4G Spectrum Auction

Ireland completed a very successful auction of spectrum in the former GSM-only bands (900 MHz and 1800 MHz) and in the 800 MHz band (the so-called ‘Digital Dividend’), which became available on 24 October last following the switch-off of analogue broadcasting.

The auction raised approximately €854.64 million for these spectrum rights, comprising of €481.7 million in Upfront Fees (adjusted as necessary by transitional arrangements), along with annual Spectrum Usage Fees totalling €372.95 million which will be adjusted for inflation and paid in instalments until July 2030.

"The proceeds of the auction are greater than many people expected and are a statement of confidence in the economy. The total licence payments of €845M are front loaded so over 50% of the money (at least €450M) will go to the exchequer this year. The balance will be paid over by Telecoms companies on a phased basis over the coming years. I expect that the telecoms companies who were the successful bidders will move quickly to build the infrastructure so that we can start to benefit from 4G mobile broadband services in 2013. This will be an important dimension of Ireland's competitiveness in the coming years. It is a key component of the Government's National Broadband Plan which envisages high speed broadband services being rolled out across Ireland in the lifetime of this Government," stated Pat Rabbitte, Ireland's Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

Winning Bidders in India's 1800 MHz Spectrum Auction

India's Department of Telecommunications confirmed the following winning bidders in last week's 1800 MHz Spectrum Auction for 2G services.  The auction was ordered by the country's Supreme Court, following the high profile scandal involving the previous license awards.  

This auction generated approximately INR 94 billion (US$1.71 billion), falling significantly short of market predictions in the INR 400 billion range.

Time Warner Cable Opens $82 Million Data Center in North Carolina

Time Warner Cable (TWC) inaugurated a National Data Center East in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The $82 million dollar National Data Center is a 178,000 square foot (16,500 m2) facility that includes 1,600 racks of technical equipment and four 12,000 square foot data halls. The second facility is a four-story, 103,500 square foot administrative office building. In support of TWC’s green initiative, both buildings will seek Silver LEED certification.

The new data center is part a $101 million expansion at the company's campus in Charlotte.

Time Warner Cable also highlighted that the new data center leverages Cloud Technology from NaviSite, a Time Warner Cable company.

“Time Warner Cable serves customers across 29 states and this National Data Center provides the management and support for all Time Warner Cable products and services including WiFi, High Speed Data, Voice, TV services on smart devices and Intelligent Home among others,” added Jim Ludington, executive vice president of national network operations and engineering, Time Warner Cable. “In addition, the building is strategically designed to double in equipment size to accommodate future growth.”

Alcatel-Lucent Names Dave Geary to Head Wireless Division

Alcatel-Lucent appointed David J Geary as president of its Wireless division, effective January 1, 2013, replacing Wim Sweldens.  Geary was previously president of the Wireline division since 2009 and before that he served as President of Switching Division, President of Application Solutions at Lucent, COO of Lucent's Integrated Network Solutions Group, and Senior VP of North American sales for Lucent's Service Provider Networks division.

In his new role, Geary will report to Philippe Keryer, president of the newly-formed Networks & Platforms Business Group. Starting January 1, 2013, the Wireline division will be headed by Federico Guillen.

Ben Verwaayen, CEO, Alcatel-Lucent, said: “Firstly, I would like to thank Wim Sweldens for his energetic leadership of the Wireless division, which has resulted in the development of lightRadio, more than 25 major commercial contracts for our LTE solutions, and involvement in more than 70 LTE trials worldwide. He has clearly helped us to be at the forefront of LTE.”

Commenting on Geary’s appointment, Mr. Verwaayen added: “David takes over the Wireless leadership at a time of exciting and dramatic evolution in mobile communications, with 4G LTE services launching throughout the world and the proliferation of smartphones and tablet devices driving consumer demand for next generation wireless technologies.”

Infonetics: Optical Sales Slow in Q3 - SONET/SDH Declines Outpace WDM Gains

The global optical network hardware market, including WDM and SONET/SDH, fell 2% sequentially in Q3 2012, according to preliminary analysis from Infonetics.  This marks the third straight quarter of declines following 5 consecutive quarters of minor increases.

"Investment in new WDM gear is growing, but it isn't growing fast enough to offset the accelerated declines in SONET/SDH," notes Andrew Schmitt, principal analyst for optical at Infonetics Research. "SONET/SDH spending hit another all-time low in the third quarter, as architectural shifts in wireless backhaul quicken its transition into obsolescence. Carriers aren't allocating scarce capital to out-of-date equipment."

Some other highlights of the upcoming report:
  • SONET/SDH optical spending continued its sharp fall, down 19% sequentially and 33% year-over-year
  • NEC, Fujitsu, and Infinera had a strong 3Q12, with revenue up by double digits thanks to robust ROADM equipment spending
  • Alcatel-Lucent posted its lowest-ever optical revenue results in 3Q12, with the majority of the decline coming from its WDM business
  • Performance in North America and EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, Africa) was relatively weak, although North America is expected to resume moderate growth in 4Q12 as AT&T and Verizon ramp spending.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Dell Acquires Gale Tech. for Private and Hybrid Cloud Automation

Dell has acquired Gale Technologies, a developer of automation software that allows streamlines the deployment of on-premise and hybrid clouds, for an undisclosed sum.

Gale Technologies, which is based in Santa Clara, California, offers management and orchestration tools that turn discrete compute, network and storage components into integrated and highly optimized application, virtual desktop infrastructure. Gale Technologies said its solution delivers automated physical and virtual resource allocation, preserves best practice enterprise infrastructure deployment through reusable templates, and masks that complexity from the end user to provide a valuable enterprise asset. Gale was founded in 2008.

Dell plans to integrate Gale with its own Active Infrastructure family.

Separately, Dell announced the creation of a new  Enterprise Systems & Solutions division, which will be headed by Dario Zamarian.


Ruckus Wireless Completes IPO - NYSE: RKUS

Shares in Ruckus Wireless began trading for the first time(NYSE: RKUS).  The company priced an initial public offering of 8,400,000 shares at $15.00 per share.

Trading closed on Friday at $12.25, down 18% for the day.

Ruckus Wireless, which is based in Sunnyvale, California, markets and manufactures a wide range of indoor and outdoor “Smart Wi-Fi” products for mobile operators, broadband service providers and corporate enterprises.  The company is headed by Selina Lo, who is previously known for her work with Alteon WebSystems and Centillion Networks.

Ruckus Wireless began operarations in 2004 and received funding from Sequoia, Sutter Hill, Investor AB, Motorola Ventures, T-Ventures, Telus, Firelake Capital, Focus Ventures.

Ericsson Promotes Mats Olsson to Sr VP APAC

Ericsson appointed Mats H. Olsson as Senior Vice President Asia-Pacific (APAC). He currently holds the position as Head of region North East Asia, a position he has held since 2010.

In this new role, Mats will become the chairman of the three Ericsson regions located in APAC, region North East Asia, India and South East Asia & Oceania, respectively.

In his new position, Mats will represent the CEO and the Group overall in APAC, reinforcing Ericsson's commitment to its existing and potential customers in the region.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Qualcomm Sharpens IZat Location platform

Qualcomm Atheros rolled out a number of enhancements to its "IZat" location platform to bring precise indoor positioning capabilities to mobile phones, tablets and network infrastructure. The company has formed a strategic relationship with Cisco, which is working to optimize the indoor positioning capabilities of its Mobility Services Engine to enhance service discovery and location-based apps in public venues such as shopping malls, retail chains, hotels, airports, hospitals, college campuses, entertainment destinations and enterprises.

The goal of IZat indoor location is to deliver new and compelling consumer experiences in public places and help open revenue streams in the retail, travel, entertainment and hospitality industries.

IZat is based on multiple Qualcomm technologies, including cellular, global navigation satellite system (GNSS), Wi-Fi, sensor and cloud-based assistance solutions, as well as the industry’s most widely deployed location core, already found in more than one billion devices on mobile networks worldwide.

The new enhancements provide indoor location capabilities on a large number of mobile devices. The company said it can achieve more precise positioning (within 3-5 meters) inside buildings.

The Qualcomm IZat Indoor Positioning Software debuted on the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processors, including the MSM8960 Pro and APQ8064 coupled with the MDM9x15.

“By coupling the industry’s leading mobile platform with enterprise-class Wi-Fi networking capabilities, Qualcomm is providing a solution that addresses the entire end-to-end indoor location framework. We are delivering the key elements of the indoor location ecosystem in collaboration with other technology leaders to offer more compelling mobile experiences for consumers and businesses alike," said Amir Faintuch, senior vice president and general manager, consumer business unit, Qualcomm Atheros.

Huawei Confirms Role in Telcel's LTE Launch in Mexico

Huawei confirmed that América Móvil has deployed its LTE equipment in the network of Telcel Mexico.

Telcel is using Huawei's SingleRAN LTE solution to build a Heterogenous Network (HetNet), which will greatly enhance network spectrum utilization and end-user data transfer speeds.  During the launch ceremony earlier this month, Huawei's Ascend P1 smartphone and Huawei's LTE broadband modem E397 device were also displayed.

Telcel's initial rollout covers parts of nine cities, with plans to expand to 26 markets next year to reach 65% of the country's population.

Telcel's LTE service officially launched on 06-November-2012 in Mexico DF, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Querétaro, Puebla, Ciudad Juárez, Tijuana, Hermosillo and Mérida. Ericsson is the key LTE supplier for the Telcel network in Mexico.  Ericsson's contract covers deployment of RBS6000 base stations for LTE in multiple bands.  The deal also includes the Evolved Packet Core with Home Subscriber Server (HSS) for user data management and SGSN-MME as the mobility management entity that handles control signaling and traffic and can be used for all three generations of mobile data services. Ericsson will also deliver Operating Support Systems (OSS).

NGNCo Begins Rollout in Western Australia

NBN Co has begun installing fibre in Western Australia for its new access network.  The first installation in this part of the country is occurring in Geraldton, a port city about 400km north of Perth.

In addition to Geraldton, work is under planning or construction in the following suburbs: Beachlands, West End, Rangeway, Mount Tarcoola, Karloo, Deepdale, Utakarra, Wonthella, Beresford, Webberton, Strathalbyn, Bluff Point, Woorree and Spalding.

NBN Co is aiming for construction in these suburbs to be completed throughout 2013.

"Access to high speed broadband can help to breakdown the tyranny of distance for Australian's living and working in the largest state. It has the potential to re-energise rural and remote communities and regional cities by allowing people to access new business markets, education options, cultural opportunities and a world of new entertainment right from their lounge rooms or offices," stated NBN Co spokesperson Trent Williams.

Cisco to Acquire Cloupia for Cloud Automation Software

Cisco agreed to acquire Cloupia, a start-up focused on Cloud Automation and Management Software, for approximately $125 million in cash and retention-based incentives.

Cloupia, which is based in Santa Clara, California, provides tools to automate converged data center infrastructure.  The Cloupia Unified Infrastructure Controller (CUIC) is a vendor-neutral, multi-hypervisor and multi-cloud provisioning and management solution that provides physical and virtual infrastructure control, management and monitoring via single pane of glass.  The company said this enables organizations to build their own internal private clouds as well as manage public clouds.

Cisco said Cloupia’s software enhances its own Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) and Nexus switching portfolio with this single pane-of-glass view into the automation of compute, network, storage, virtual machine, and operating system resources.  Cloupia's employees will be integrated into Cisco's Data Center Group.

“Cisco’s data center strategy is based on the premise of making it easier for customers to deploy a unified and integrated infrastructure that is efficient, fast, and flexible,” said David Yen, senior vice president and general manager, Cisco Data Center Business Group. “This strategy involves the delivery of the industry’s most comprehensive data center networking portfolio, which includes physical and virtual products that support multiple hypervisors and storage stacks. The addition of Cloupia’s automation software enhances the efficiency of such unified data center infrastructures, helping to accelerate the transition from physical to cloud environments more quickly and effectively.”

  • Cloupia was founded in 2009 by Raju Datla (CEO), who was previously the founder of Jahi Networks (also acquired by Cisco), and Raju Penmetsa (CTO), Bhaskar Krishnamsetty (SVP of Products & Marketing), Murali Alapati (VP of Engineering), and Kevin S. Lim (VP of User Experience).

Smile Picks Alcatel-Lucent for LTE in Uganda

Smile has selected Alcatel-Lucent to deploy LTE in Uganda.  Earlier this year, Smile selected Alcatel-Lucent for LTE in Tanzania.

Alcatel-Lucent will deploy its end-to-end 4G LTE network operating in the 800 MHz frequency band. Alcatel-Lucent will provide its leading services expertise including integration of its 4G LTE equipment with other vendor’s existing network equipment and network maintenance.

MetroPCS Deploys Acme Packet to Scale VoLTE and RCS

MetroPCS has installed Acme Packet's Net-Net Session Director session border controller to support its VoLTE and Rich Communications Services.  

Acme Packet's Net-Net Session Director provides SIP normalization, mediation, and interworking functions that enable operators to integrate network elements supplied by multiple vendors.  Specifically, the company said its solution protects and controls SIP sessions between the MetroPCS service core and LTE endpoints, and provides the Proxy Call Session Control Function (P-CSCF) in the IMS network. 

Acme Packet noted that these VoLTE and RCS initiatives extend its relationship with MetroPCS, which started with the management of SIP interconnects with other service providers.

Telstra Hires Ex Vodafone Exec

Telstra has appointed Karsten Wildberger as Group Managing Director, Consumer.

Mr Wildberger was most recently partner and managing director of The Boston Consulting Group in Germany and a core member of the Telecoms, Media and High Tech Practice. He previously served as Chief Commercial Officer for Vodafone in Romania whilst also acting as interim CEO at Vodafone.

Mr Wildberger’s experience also extends to Deutsche Telekom in Germany where he was Executive Vice President, Channel Management, T-Mobile Germany.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

DANTE Builds Terabit GÉANT Network with Infinera and Juniper

GÉANT, the pan-European research and education network, confirmed that Infinera and Juniper Networks are key suppliers for upgrading its 50,000km backbone.

Specifically, GÉANT is using Infinera’s DTN-X optical transmission platform and Juniper Networks MX Series 3D Universal Routers with 100Gbps capability

“After an extensive procurement process Infinera and Juniper demonstrated the best match for our stringent criteria, combining leading edge technology with ease of use and a vision for the future that matches our needs moving forward. We look forward to working closely with them to deliver the benefits of this highly advanced network to GÉANT’s 40 million plus users across Europe,” stated Michael Enrico, CTO, DANTE.

DANTE is the organisation that on behalf of Europe’s national research and education networks (NRENs) has built and operates the GÉANT network.

Earlier, GÉANT announced that Hungary's Wigner Research Centre for Physics in Budapest will host CERN’s new remote data center and will process and store data from CERN for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).   The centre will be connected with multiple 100G links.

NIIF/Hungarnet, the Hungarian National Research and Education Network (NREN) has a central role to play in providing extreme high speed connectivity for data communication between the GÉANT Point of Presence in Budapest and the Wigner site hosting CERN’s remote centre.

In a joint statement, Matthew Scott and Niels Hersoug, joint General Managers of DANTE, the organisation which on behalf of Europe’s NRENs has built and operates the GÉANT network, said, “We’re delighted that CERN value the substantial benefits offered by the GÉANT network and services, and are continuing the long-standing and successful relationship that has seen GÉANT at the centre of the LHC data needs for many years. The Wigner data centre is exactly the kind of power user that the upgraded network will continue to support, and we look forward to working with all the partners involved to ensure the continued success of the LHC research.”


Telefónica Digital Selects Microsoft Mediaroom for Global Video Platform

Telefónica Digital has selected Microsoft's Mediaroom for its new Global Video Platform (GVP) for all video entertainment services across Telefónica’s Operating Businesses.

Telefónica's GVP is an IPTV-based pay-TV subscription service --  including DVR, video on-demand and and other applications -- that can be delivered either on the carrier's own access network or as an over-the-top offering.  It supports a range of devices inside and outside the home, including set top boxes, Xbox 360s, tablets and smartphones.  

Launches are already underway in Brazil (Vivo TV Fibra), Chile (Movistar IPTV) and Spain (Movistar Imagenio on Xbox 360).  The service is Spain provides subscribers with 12 linear channels focused on sports including the Spanish First Soccer League (Liga BBVA) under Canal+ Liga Channel.

“This new agreement focused on Telefónica’s GVP further extends our alliance in the world of TV and video entertainment to a range of screens throughout the home and on the go, and the benefits will be enjoyed by many millions of people globally. Through its use of IP-based broadband networks and the Microsoft Mediaroom platform, Telefónica’s next-generation TV services are poised to delight and entertain millions of consumers across their markets in Europe and Latin America," stated Tom Gibbons, corporate vice president, Operator TV Business, Microsoft.


CenturyLink Upgrades to 100G

CenturyLink, the third largest telecommunications company in the U.S., completed a 100 Gbps upgrade of its nationwide network.  The carrier can now deliver dedicated 100 Gigabit Ethernet Optical Wavelength Service to enterprise and wholesale businesses in more than 50 metropolitan locations across the United States. CenturyLink also recently deployed 100 Gbps in Singapore and London, with more international cities planned for early 2013.

CenturyLink said it plans additional network capabilities to be deployed in early 2013, including connectivity to Savvis cloud, hosting and colocation services, data centers and customer business locations. Savvis, which is a CenturyLink company, provides cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions for enterprises.

"Responding to the increasing broadband demands and supporting new business applications is a priority for us, which is why we began the transition to 100 Gbps a couple of years ago," said Pieter Poll, CenturyLink senior vice president of national and international network planning, engineering and construction. "These speed and capacity improvements will provide customer services that deliver fully managed, end-to-end optical networks designed to meet the specific needs of banks and financial institutions, government agencies, enterprises, carriers and Internet service providers."

GSA: 42 Mobile Operators using 1800 MHz for LTE

The most widely used band for 4G/LTE to date is the 1800 MHz band, according to GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association), which counts 42 active LTE deployments using this spectrum.  The second most popular band in which LTE systems are deployed is 2.6 GHz, followed by 700 MHz.

Commercial LTE1800 services are currently available in 29 countries and there are more than 130 LTE devices on the market suporting this band.

GSA notes that in most cases the 1800 MHz spectrum has been refarmed from its original use as a 2G/GSM band.  

LSI Debuts Syncro Storage Architecture

LSI introduced Syncro, a new storage architecture that enhances direct-attached storage (DAS) with advanced sharing capabilities in multi-server data center applications.

The first member of the Syncro product family, the Syncro MX-B Boot Appliance, is a standalone, pre-configured, 1U form factor rack boot device for as many as 48 servers.  It eliminates boot drives, helping to reduce the overall system and maintenance costs for the largest cloud and mega-datacenter environments.

“The Syncro architecture is the result of customer requests to increase data protection across multiple server and storage systems by enabling levels of enterprise-class availability and flexibility never before offered for DAS,” said Bill Wuertz, senior vice president and general manager, RAID Storage Division, LSI. “The new Syncro architecture and product family demonstrate LSI’s long, proven commitment to delivering the most innovative and productive solutions for next-generation server and storage systems.”