Tuesday, November 20, 2012

DISH Objects to Draft FCC Spectrum Proposal

DISH issued a tersely worded press statement objecting to a draft FCC proposal on Band 23 spectrum that is reportedly circulating amongst FCC commissioners. DISH said the plan unfairly favors Sprint by requiring DISH to disable 25 percent of its uplink spectrum and impair another 25 percent of that spectrum to accommodate possible future use of neighboring H Block spectrum by Sprint.

DISH has previously stated that it is prepared to launch a wireless business assuming the FCC delivers rules making it economically and technically feasible to do so.

 "While the FCC’s proposed order, based on reported accounts, does properly address some of the opportunities with this spectrum, it’s significantly flawed by introducing serious limitations that impair its utility,” said R. Stanton Dodge, DISH executive vice president and general counsel. “While the FCC would grant full terrestrial rights, its proposal to lower our power and emissions levels could cripple our ability to enter the business."

 “The good news is that this proposed order is not final and we urge Chairman Genachowski and the Commissioners to recognize that the DISH plan delivers on the greatest public interest – the most investment, the most jobs and the most spectrum,” said Dodge. “We stand ready to work with the full Commission on final rules that put the full AWS-4 spectrum to work for America and that advance the future potential of the H Block.” http://about.dish.com/news

Equinix and du Build Carrier-Neutral Data Center Hub for the Gulf

Equinix has formed a strategic alliance with Emirates Integrated Telecommunications (also known as du) to deliver data center and interconnection services to customers in the Middle East via a new carrier-neutral hub.

As part of the deal, Equinix has acquired a newly built data center facility in Dubai. This new International Business Exchange (IBX) has capacity of 44,000 square feet and approximately 650 cabinets. The first phase of the data center is expected to be completed and open for business by January 1, 2013. Equinix expects to invest approximately US$40 million for the acquisition, upgrade and future expansion of this site.

Additionally, du has created a new "datamena" -- a new transit zone, which allows international customers to host and distribute content, and to trade data capacity in a cost effective way. datamena services will only be available in the data centers in the alliance. Along with investments in the datamena hub, du has also secured the capability to offer its enterprise customers du managed data center services and data center capacity.

Osman Sultan, CEO for du, said, “The alliance enables our customers to expand their digital footprint from a location where some of the fastest-growing markets in the world intersect. The introduction of datamena and a carrier-neutral data center will act as a catalyst for the next stage of internet development in the region. This resonates with the UAE’s vision of enhancing its role as a regional business hub and to be one of the best places to do business in the world.”


  • In September 2012, DE-CIX, Frankfurt's massive Internet Exchange, announced a collaboration with UAE-IX, an Internet exchange in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

    UAE-IX is a neutral Internet traffic exchange platform that interconnects global networks and, above all, network operators and content providers in the Gulf region. UAE-IX is using a fully redundant switching platform located in a neutral secure data center in Dubai. The new Internet Exchange will reduce latency times by up to 80 per cent and costs by up to 70 per cent for Gulf providers.

    The companies noted that many Internet service providers in the region have had to exchange their traffic via Europe, Asia or North America, leading to high latency rates. Initiated by the UAE’s Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) and supported by DE-CIX, UAE-IX delivers a highly available local alternative for regional traffic exchange, localizing Internet content.

ADVA Invests in Saguna for Mobile Backhaul Content Caching

ADVA Optical Networking announced a strategic investment in Saguna Networks, a start-up based in Israel that develops Content Optimization Delivery Systems (CODS) technology. ADVA acquired a 10% stake in Saguna Networks for US$1 million.

Saguna Network’s CODS works by loading the integrated cache servers in the cell site gateway or network interface device with popular content, thereby reducing backhaul traffic. The company said its approach provides better QoE while reducing operating costs by as much as 70%.

“ADVA Optical Networking's investment in our company and our technology clearly indicates a shared vision for the development of mobile networks,” commented Lior Fite, chief executive officer of Saguna Networks. “The fierce growth in mobile data demands new solutions, new ways of both addressing users' expectations and operators’ needs to grow revenue. Our CODS technology brings cloud and over the top services directly into the mobile base station and this new partnership with ADVA Optical Networking creates a carrier-grade platform that delivers the right services exactly where they’re needed - close to the mobile user.”


Windstream Opens Mid-Atlantic Data Center in McLean

Windstream activated a new Mid-Atlantic data center in McLean, Virginia, boasting 65,000 square feet of total space and 45,000 square feet (4,200 m2) of raised floor space.

The facility offers 2N power distribution and parallel multi-module uninterruptable power supplies (UPS).  The data center is connected to multiple Windstream core POP sites via redundant OC-192 10Gbps circuits with no single point of failure.  It also features a fully redundant core network gear within the data center and full level monitoring and security.

Earlier this year, Windstream opened a state of the art data center in Little Rock, Arkansas.  The company also operates data centers in another 18 cities across the country.


LG U+ Deploys Alcatel-Lucent's 7750 Service Router

LG U Plus (formerly LG Telecom) has deployed Alcatel-Lucent’s IP/MPLS platform in some of the Korea's major cities.  The installation marks the first deployment of Alcatel-Lucent’s service routers in Korea using its FP3 400G processor.

The LG U+ deployment uses the Alcatel-Lucent 7750 Service Router (SR) portfolio.  

Alcatel-Lucent noted that its Service Router portfolio has been adopted by more than 475 carriers with presence in over 110 countries. 


  • LG U+ has previously disclosed the selection of Samsung, Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks as key suppliers for its LTE rollout.
  • In August 2012, Korea's LG U+ announced the launch of commercial VoLTE service. LG U+ is using AMR-WB (Adaptive Multi Rate Wideband) voice codecs covering the 50MHz ~ 7GHz range. Call connection times are rated from 0.25 to 2.5 seconds, or up to 20 times faster that 3G call connection times. LG U+ is using QCI (QoS Class Identifier) ​​technology to ensure voice performance even during traffic spikes on the network.

Bharti Airtel Upgrades its African Networks with Ericsson

Bharti Airtel, which operates mobile networks in 16 African countries, has undertaken an end-to-end network transformation program with Ericsson.

The project, which Ericsson describes as the largest of its kind on the African continent, involves the upgrade and expansion of network elements on all of Airtel’s African operations, including switching, radio, network management, data, charging, and consumer-services platforms and systems.  In addition, a full upgrade of the charging platforms across all operations was implemented introducing the latest version of Ericsson’s Charging System, enabling Airtel to offer subscribers new and innovative value-added services such as mobile wallets.

In 2011, Ericsson won a five year network management contract with Airtel.

Lars Lindén, head of Ericsson Sub-Saharan Africa, says, "In the transition to a Networked Society in Africa, operators are facing growing challenges in meeting the rapidly evolving demands of consumers. The focus of this project was transforming Airtel Africa’s networks to meet current and future consumer demands."


Ciena Announces Another 100G Deployment: Dakota Carrier Network

Dakota Carrier Network has deployed Ciena’s coherent optical technology to deliver 40G and 100G wavelength services across its statewide optical backbone.  The installation uses Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform equipped with WaveLogic coherent optical processors in an 88-channel DWDM ring.

Ciena noted that its 100G solution has now been deployed by a number of independent and regional telecommunications providers in the U.S., including CapeNet, DC-Net, Sunset Digital and Sovernet, among others.

To date, Ciena has shipped over 16,000 coherent 40G/100G line interfaces to more than 100 customers

DCN is the recipient of an approximately $10.8 million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. The grant, along with additional funding, has allowed DCN to design its regional optical backbone to support high-speed fiber connectivity and broadband services to rural and underserved North Dakota critical community institutions, including public safety entities, schools and government agencies.


Orange to Offer Enterprise Content Delivery Service with Akamai

Orange will begin selling enterprise content delivery network (CDN) services using Akamai Technologies' optimization and acceleration solution.  Orange Business Services will market these solutions initially in France. The companies have formed an innovation steering committee to identify areas of innovation in the field of CDN solutions.

"We see great potential in this partnership with Akamai," said Gilles Prunier, Senior Vice President in charge of the Smart Networks program at Orange. "Developing an Orange CDN service, powered by Akamai, will allow us to enrich our existing BtoB services portfolio and to support our customers' growth by providing them with new and differentiated web features that improve the end-user experience and ultimately increase customer loyalty."

"Akamai and Orange have a history of bringing unique and innovative solutions to address enterprises' needs," said Mark Vargo, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Akamai EMEA. "By combining the strengths of two leading technology companies in a single partnership, we believe we can provide enterprises in the French market with a robust and comprehensive set of acceleration and optimization offerings that will help address all aspects of their online businesses."


Monday, November 19, 2012

NSN Teams with Ballard on Mobile Network Fuel Cell

Nokia Siemens Networks and Ballard Power Systems are collaborating on a fuel cell system that could provide extended electrical backup to a cell site during an emergency.

The companies cited a number of advantages to fuel cell over battery back-ups or diesel generators.  These include higher reliability across a wide range of operating conditions, lower maintenance costs, longer operating life as well as reduced size, weight, installation footprint, noise signature and environmental impact.

The base station and fuel cell combination developed by Nokia Siemens Networks with Ballard can provide 4.5 kW of power for approximately 40 hours on a single tank of fuel.

NTT DOCOMO is testing the system alongside the Nokia Siemens Networks Flexi Multiradio base station at  Yokosuka Research Park (YRP) for potential commercial deployment.
The solution from Nokia Siemens Networks and Ballard Power Systems has already received the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) statutory approval in Japan.

“Mobile networks can be vital when a natural disaster strikes, and power outages make other forms of communication difficult,” said Mark Donaldson, head of energy solutions for mobile broadband networks at Nokia Siemens Networks. “Integrating fuel cells with our base stations can significantly increase the resilience of the mobile networks we provide.”

“Our fuel cell systems provide power for extended periods during outages caused by natural calamities and commercial grid failures,” said Larry Stapleton, vice president of sales, Ballard. “The collaboration with Nokia Siemens Networks has helped us leverage our service and integration expertise in order to deliver an emergency-ready alternative power solution for mobile networks.”


DOCOMO Develops 3G/LTE Femtocell

NTT DOCOMO has developed a dual-mode small-cell base station, or femtocell, supporting 3G (W-CDMA) and LTE simultaneously.   The dual-mode femtocell, which will be commercially launched from December, is designed for indoor locations such as offices, shops and homes.

The new femtocell weighs only 0.7 kg and measures just 18.5cm by 17.5 cm by 4.5 cm.  It supports 3G/LTE service coverage in a range of up to several tens of meters, depending on actual conditions.  The LTE radio supports maximum downlink rates of 112 Mbps.  The unit is plug-and-play, automatically configuring itself to the surrounding radio environment.

T-Mobile USA Appoints Chief Marketing Officer

T-Mobile USA announced the appointment of  Michael Sievert as the company’s new chief marketing officer, effective immediately.  Most recently, Sievert served as CEO of Seattle-based Discovery Bay Games.  He has also held positions at Clearwire, AT&T Wireless, Microsoft, IBM and Procter & Gamble.


  • In September, Deutsche Telekom appointed John Legere as CEO of T-Mobile USA, replacing Jim Alling, who will return to his position of Chief Operating Officer. Legere, a 32-year veteran of the U.S. and global telecommunications and technology industries, is the former CEO of Global Crossing, where he successfully transformed the company to become a leading provider of IP services worldwide. Prior to joining Global Crossing, Mr. Legere was CEO of Asia Global Crossing, a Microsoft, Softbank and Global Crossing joint venture. Before that, Mr. Legere served as Senior Vice President of Dell Computer Corporation, where he was President of the Company’s operations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, as well as in the Asia-Pacific region.

Broadcom Supplies Low Latency 5GHz Wi-Fi for Nintendo's Wii U

Broadcom supplied wireless connectivity, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC, for the new Wii U system from Nintendo. The companies jointly developed customized 5GHz Wi-Fi technology that supports low-latency video and audio transmission between the console and GamePad controller.  Bluetooth 4.0 support with backward compatibility enables most legacy games and legacy peripherals to be used with the new system.

The Verge: Verizon Rushes to Replace Copper with Fiber in Lower Manhattan

The storm surge from Hurricane Sandy inflicted catastrophic damage at Verizon's central office on Broad Street in lower Manhattan when an underground cabling vault was completely submerged in salt water. 

Verizon's Executive Director of Operations, Christopher D. Levendos, tells The Verge's Dante D'Orazio that the best choice is to strip out the spoiled copper and simply to rebuild with fiber.

DOJ Requests Additional Info on T-Mobile USA + MetroPCS Deal

The U.S. Department of Justice issued a request for additional information from MetroPCS in regards to its proposed transaction with T-Mobile USA.   MetroPCS said it will cooperate fully with the DOJ to obtain approval of the transaction as soon as possible and remains confident that the DOJ will find that the transaction is both pro-competitive and pro-consumer. 


Overture Boosts its Carrier Ethernet Edge Platform

Overture rolled out a 3-port DS3 interface module and software enhancements for its Overture 1400 gigabit Carrier Ethernet edge platform, which enables premium business Ethernet and mobile backhaul service delivery over a variety of infrastructures, including native optical Ethernet, SONET/SDH, DS3/E3, DS1, and E1.

The new card can bond up to three DS3 circuits to overcome Ethernet service delivery challenges in areas outside of existing fiber network footprints and offer 100 Mbps or more using readily available DS3s.  The new card also supports Generic Framing Procedure (GFP) and Virtual Concatenation (VCAT) bonding using Link Capacity Adjustment Scheme (LCAS).

The software upgrades add MLPPP bonding to the existing T1/E1 interface module, as well as capabilities for rapid service activation, dynamic re-marking of service classes, and synthetic loss measurements.

“Carriers are looking for ways to better serve the needs of all customers, including those who require reliable high bandwidth services but can’t connect directly to the optical network due to physical or geographical barriers, or other gating factors,” said Vijay Raman, vice president of product management and marketing, Overture Networks. “With the Overture 1400 Release 12.1 and the 3-port DS3 interface module, service providers can quickly and easily meet customer demand for premium business services. It’s another powerful solution that allows us to turn the difficult into the doable.”


Ciena Gains 10G FIPS 140-2 Level 2 Certification

Ciena has received Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 Level 2 certification for its 10G wire-speed encryption solution from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSE).

FIPS 140-2 is an officially recognized North American standard that validates proper use of standard, peer-reviewed methods of encryption. All government agencies and departments in the U.S. and Canada that use commercial grade encryption are required to use FIPS-certified solutions in their networks. Additionally, enterprise organizations in healthcare, financial services and other security conscious industries worldwide often seek network solutions with FIPS certification.


Russia's VimpelCom Selects Cisco ASR 5000

VimpelCom has selected the Cisco ASR 5000 mobile multimedia core platform as a core element of its 3G mobile network and as a foundation for its 4G LTE development in key regions, including St. Petersburg and Rostov-on-Don. The project is implemented by CTI, a Cisco Gold Certified Partner in Russia. Financial terms were not disclosed.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Argon Design Develops Flow Simulation Packet Blaster based on Netronome

Argon Design, a leading developer of high-performance software for multi-core processors, introduced a flow simulation tool based on Netronome's flow processors.

The Argon Blaster, which leverages a Netronome Flow Engine PCIe acceleration card, generates realistic, Internet scale traffic loads and applications to test networking and security equipment. The PCIe acceleration card runs in standard x86 platforms and delivers line-rate, timing-accurate packets for traffic flow simulation.

Argon Design said its Blaster is capable of saturating a 10 Gbps link with application traffic with accurate, consistent, per-flow rate control for up to a million unique flows.

“Flow processing has become pervasive in cyber security, network analytics and software-defined networking designs,” said Steve Barlow, chief technology officer at Argon Design. “As a result, new, cost effective testing and simulation tools are required to stress these products in ways not previously available.”

“Argon Design is a recognized leader in software development for engineering organizations,” said Jarrod Siket, senior vice president of marketing and general manager at Netronome. “Their expertise in the complex requirements facing developers of sophisticated communications equipment makes them uniquely qualified to bring this much needed application to market.”

Blaster pricing starts at $9,999, including 12-month warranty and customer support.


Cisco to Acquire Meraki for Cloud-managed Wi-Fi

Cisco agreed to acquire Meraki, a rival supplier of campus Wi-Fi solutions, for approximately $1.2 billion in cash and retention-based incentives. Meraki supplies a line of high capacity on-site WLAN hardware that is centrally managed from its cloud.

Compared to other WLAN solutions including Cisco's own campus Wi-Fi, Meraki has said its key advantages are quick turn-up and no training or dedicated staff needed to maintain the network, thus reducing the total cost of ownership.  Because it leverages cloud-based management, the feature set is constantly updated and secured.  There is no centralized controller.  User traffic does not pass through the cloud.  The network continues to function even if the connection to the cloud is broken, however Meraki hosts its management platform in multiple data centers across the country and provides a 99.99% uptime SLA.

One customer example is Accor North America, which is using Meraki to managed Wi-Fi service to 70,000 hotel rooms in 620 properties across the U.S.  The network is managed no dedicated staff from Accor.

Meraki's product suite includes a line of indoor/outdoor 802.11n access points with 802.3af Power over Ethernet and mesh capabilities, a line of cloud-managed security appliances scaling from small company versions to large campus models, and four cloud managed Ethernet access switches featuring built-in monitoring and Gigabit of 10G uplinks.

Earlier this year, Meraki introduced Layer 7 application visibility controls into its Wi-Fi switches.  This provides insight into how much traffic is due to YouTube, Netflix, Vimeo, etc.  

Meraki was founded in 2006 and is based in San Francisco.

Cisco said that acquisition of Meraki's cloud networking solutions will expand its own portfolio by providing scalable solutions for midmarket businesses.

"The acquisition of Meraki enables Cisco to make simple, secure, cloud managed networks available to our global customer base of mid-sized businesses and enterprises. These companies have the same IT needs as larger organizations, but without the resources to integrate complex IT solutions," said Rob Soderbery, senior vice president, Cisco Enterprise Networking Group. "Meraki's solution was built from the ground up optimized for cloud, with tremendous scale, and is already in use by thousands of customers to manage hundreds of thousands of devices."


Cisco’s Recent Acquisitions

*Cloupia is 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.15-Nov-2012
*ThinkSmart Technologies was a software developer specializing in location data analysis using Wi-Fi.  Financial terms were not disclosed. ThinkSmart’s location analytics collects information on movement within a venue including time of day, traffic patterns and dwell times. The company, which is based in Cork, Ireland, was formed at the Incubation Centre of University College Cork.
*ClearAccess was a privately-held company that provides TR-069-based software to service providers for the provisioning and management of residential and mobile devices. Financial terms were not disclosed.The acquisition includes ClearAccess' software business and talent. The hardware portion of ClearAccess' business, Smart RG Gateways, will continue forward as a separate company called SmartRG.27-Mar-2012
*Cisco acquired NDS Group in a deal valued at approximately $5 billion.NDS, which is owned by News Corp.(49%) and Permira private equity (51%), provides video software and content security for media companies, cable & satellite TV operators and IPTV service providers. Key products include its MediaHighway Set-top Box middleware software and its "XTV" Digital Video Recorder software.14-Mar-2012
* Lightwire was a developer of optical interconnect technology, for $271 million in cash and incentives.Lightwire, a start-up based in Allentown, Penn., specializes in CMOS photonics. Its optical interconnects promise to integrate multiple high speed active and passive optical functions onto a small silicon chip. 23-Feb-2012

Zayo Reports Continued Expansion, Pricing Trends

Zayo reported quarterly revenue of $229.7 million, a $120.1 million sequential quarter increase largely attributed to the acquisition of AboveNet, and adjusted EBITDA of $122.6 million, which was $65.1 million higher than the prior quarter.  There was a loss from continuing operations of $53.4 million for the quarter, $48.2 million higher than the $5.3 million net loss for the previous quarter.
The company said it continues to add buildings on-net and expand the number of fiber route miles both through acquisitions and new construction.

Zayo's 8K SEC filing also contains lots of interesting data on operational metrics and pricing trends for key services, including monthly recurring pricing trends for 10G wavelengths, 2.5 G wavelengths, 1G wavelengths, 1G Ethernet, Fractional 1G Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, OC3, OC12, OC48, DS1 and DS3 services.


  • In September, Zayo completed its previously announced acquisition of FiberGate, which delivers dark fiber connectivity in the Washington, D.C. metro area. The acquisition adds 399 new route miles and 130,000 fiber miles in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, Baltimore, and suburban Maryland to Zayo’s network.
  • In September, Zayo agreed to acquire First Telecom Services, which operates a fiber network across the northeastern and midwestern United States, for $110 million.