Sunday, November 25, 2012

Japan Examines Disaster Scenarios for Network Congestion

Researchers from NTT DoCoMo, Tohoku University, NEC, Hitachi East Japan Solutions and Fujitsu have set up a joint test bed to examine network resiliency issues during major disasters such as the Great East Japan Earthquake.  The test environment has been set-up in the Yokosuka Research Park and at Tohoku University.

The idea is to enable more dynamic network control for dealing with priority mail and voice calls when congestion spikes above a certain threshold.

UK Issues White Spaces Proposal

Ofcom, the official telecoms regulator for the UK,  published detailed proposals for consumer devices using "white spaces" spectrum.

Ofcom said its framework will ensure that the devices do not interfere with existing licensed users of the spectrum, which include DTT and wireless microphone users.  The idea is to allow white space devices to operate without the need for a licence. New legislation is needed to support this proposal.  Ofcom is seeking public consultation on the issue.

Ed Richards, Ofcom Chief Executive, said: "From rural broadband to enhanced Wi-Fi, white space technology offers significant opportunities for innovation and enterprise in the UK. "It also represents a fundamentally different approach to using spectrum by searching and recycling unused gaps in the airwaves. This could prove critical in averting a global spectrum capacity crunch, as consumers demand more bandwidth over different devices."

Pacnet Provides Trans-Pacific Ethernet for NEC Big Globe

Pacnet, which operates the EAC Pacific subsea cable system, is providing an Ethernet International Private Line (EIPL) service to interconnect NEC Big Globe's data center in Japan with the  Any2 Internet Exchange in Los Angeles.

EAC Pacific is part of the $300 million Unity cable system built with five other global telecommunications and technology companies. Pacnet is the largest investor in Unity and operates two of the five fiber pairs in the cable system independently. The two fiber pairs, collectively known as EAC Pacific, stretch over 9,600 kilometers and provide up to 1.92 Tbps of capacity across the Pacific Ocean.

Google Expands Data Center in Data Center in Council Bluffs

Google announced a $200 million expansion of its data center campus in Council Bluffs, Iowa, bringing it total investment in the complex to over $1.1 billion over the past four years.

The Google data center in Council Bluffs currently employs more than 130 workers and houses computer systems and associated components that support services such as Google Search, Gmail, Google Maps, and new products including Google+.

“Google’s decision to continue its investment in Iowa is a tribute to the company, and to Iowa,” said Governor Terry Branstad. “We have worked hard to make Iowa an attractive and safe place to do business, and this is another example of that work bringing great results. Google has found a unique recipe in Iowa: an educated workforce, reliable tax structure, and reasonable energy costs. Google’s substantial investment, now totaling more than $1.1 billion, represents a major step towards Iowa building a diversified and forward looking economy.”

BT Tests 10G XGPON in Cornwall

BT launched a trial of 10 Gbps XGPON access technology over a live network in Cornwall.  The trial, which uses equipment from ZTE, runs in tandem with the company’s existing 330Mbps service on the same Openreach fiber.

Cornwall based engineering firm Arcol UK Ltd. is connected by a direct fiber link from its offices to BT’s exchange in Truro, and is the first business in the country to enjoy the record-breaking speeds.  Until recently, Arcol’s 40 staff had shared a 1.5Mbps internet connection. BT said the demonstration aims to show how even faster speeds could be provided over Cornwall’s new fiber infrastructure in the future by upgrading the electronics at the exchange and in user premises.

Ranulf Scarbrough, Program Director for the Cornwall SuperFast Broadband Program, said: “What is exciting about this trial is that these hyper-fast speeds have been obtained over the exactly the same fiber that carries BT’s fiber broadband services today. All we are doing is changing the electronics at either end.  This trial shows we are thinking and ready for the future even though there are no current plans to deploy this technology. A lot of this project is about future proofing – making sure that it’s not just the fastest speeds today but that we can continue to be at the cutting edge for five, ten, twenty years.”

Cisco Funds University Research in Canada

Cisco will provide $2 million over 10 years to establish a Research Chair in Mining Solutions at the University of Saskatchewan.  The sim ti to support research, development, and innovation in the use of transformational business architectures, technologies, and solutions for the mining industry in Canada.  Networking can play a transformative role in applications such as remote control of robotic mining equipment, monitoring critical equipment parameters. seismic activity and tunnel closure rates, and tracking ventilation air flow rates, air quality, and biometric data on human workers.

Cisco will also donate $2 million over 10 years to establish a Research Chair in e-Governance at the University of Regina.  Here the aim is to help governments to more effectively use technology to drive collaboration, productivity and efficiency in the public sector in Canada.

Ericsson: Mobile Data to Grow 12x by 2018

Mobile data traffic doubled between Q3 2011 and Q3 2012, and is expected to grow 12 times between 2012 and 2018, according to Ericsson's newest Mobility Traffic and Market Report.

This equates to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 50 percent between 2012 and 2018.  Smartphones already account for 40% of all device sales worldwide in Q3 2012 and the rapid mobile data growth forecast is tied largely to the growing video traffic to smartphones.

Based on the latest operator data, Ericsson finds that online video is already biggest contributor to mobile traffic volumes, constituting 25 percent of total smartphone traffic and 40 percent of total tablet traffic.

 "Expectations of mobile-network quality have been elevated by the availability of smartphones and tablets that have changed the way we use the internet. Mobility is becoming an increasingly significant part of our daily lives; we always have devices within arm's reach, allowing us instant access to information, entertainment and social interaction," states Douglas Gilstrap, Senior Vice President and Head of Strategy at Ericsson.

Some highlights of the 28-page report:

  • Total mobile subscriptions are expected to reach 6.6 billion by the end of 2012 and 9.3 billion by the end of 2018 (not including M2M).
  • China accounted for about 35 percent of net additions during Q3 (+40m), followed by Brazil (+9m), Indonesia (+7m) and the Philippines (+5m).
  • Global mobile penetration reached 91 percent in Q3 2012
  • LTE is the fastest-developing system in the history of mobile communications in terms of buildout and uptake.
  • Ericsson forecasts around 55 million LTE subscriptions at the end of 2012, growing to an estimated 1.6 billion in 2018.
  • WCDMA/HSPA networks continue to grow faster than LTE in terms of absolute numbers, adding 65 million subscriptions in Q3 2012 compared with 13 million for LTE.
  • Total smartphone subscriptions will reach 1.1 billion by the end of 2012 and are expected to grow to 3.3 billion in 2018.

The full report is posted here:

EchoStar XVI Launch Success Aboard ILS Proton Rocket

The EchoStar XVI satellite built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) was successfully launched and placed into geostationary transfer orbit by International Launch Services (ILS) using a Proton Breeze M rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

EchoStar XVI is an all Ku-band satellite with spot beam transponders and coverage of the continental United States.It uses SS/L’s 1300 spacecraft bus and will be located at 61.5° west longitude, providing Direct-To-Home (DTH) broadcast services to DISH customers in the United States.

This marks the 5th EchoStar satellite to be launched on ILS Proton.

EchoStar XVI will be fully leased to DISH Network for the delivery of direct-to-home (DTH) broadcast services to DISH customers in the United States.  , a 20-kilowatt satellite that weighs more than 14,700 lbs. fully fueled.

Oncore IT Deploys Brocade Data Center Switches in London, Amsterdam

Oncore IT, a cloud Managed Service Provider (cMSP), has deployed Brocade VDX 6710 and 6720 Data Center Switches and Brocade VCS Fabric technology at its Tier IV data centers in London and Amsterdam.

Specifically, Oncore IT has created two 10 GbE fabrics – one in London and the other at Oncore IT’s replicated data centre in Amsterdam – using eight Brocade VDX 6710 and two Brocade VDX 6720 switches.  The equipment was supplied by Brocade partner, NetSumo.

"At peak times, network traffic was becoming a little ‘bursty’ and we would experience some packet loss that affected performance. The issue was most pronounced when servers were accessing our HDS BlueArc [NAS/iSCSI] storage platform over the network. Latency was too high and throughput wasn’t truly wire-speed. The upgrade to the Brocade VDX-based Ethernet fabric has solved this issue plus given us a scalable platform for future growth," stated Mick Caney, Oncore IT’s technical lead.

"Brocade Ethernet fabric technology is allowing Oncore IT to begin the move away from spanning tree protocol, which can become difficult to manage as networks grow. These factors, combined with ‘virtual chassis’ technology and full support for next-generation network technologies, like Converged Enhanced Ethernet and Data Centre Bridging, were instrumental in Oncore IT’s decision to go with the Brocade VDX platform.”

Sandvine's Network Analytics Looks at Routing Efficiency

Sandvine introduced a Routing Efficiency Dashboard as part of its Network Analytics library. The new dashboard provides a detailed look into the costly routing and transit links and interconnect relationships that affect operational expenses on fixed and mobile networks.

Sandvine said its goal with the Routing Efficiency Dashboard is to identify high-demand traffic using high-cost transit links, allowing communication service providers to reroute traffic toward more appropriate routes such as private peering. Network operators can use the data to capture cost savings on these routes.  The dashboard also enables the operator to measure the quality of links based on their ability to carry rich media.

"Large CSPs have many complex peering and transit arrangements and their Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) designates the best available routes for subscriber traffic.  Linking route-knowledge to application, cost and quality is an essential part of optimizing network operations, reducing costs and improving subscriber quality of experience," said Don Bowman, CTO, Sandvine.  "Sandvine's Routing Efficiency Dashboard paints a bullseye on the inefficient and over-worked transit links so CSPs can manage their investments to enhance network performance and increase quality of experience for subscribers."

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cable&Wireless Worldwide Opens Data Center in Uxbridge, UK

Cable&Wireless Worldwide (CWW) opened a new data center in Uxbridge, UK.

The new Tier III facility boasts a Power Usage Efficiency (PUE) rating of 1.25.  It offers seven data halls across 30,000 square feet, including free air cooling, IL2 & IL3 status and additional data halls for further growth.

Colt Delivers 100 GbE Across Europe with Infinera

Colt Technology Services has begun offering 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) services over its pan-European long-haul fiber network using the Infinera DTN platform.

Colt operates a 22-country, 43,000km network that includes metropolitan area networks in 39 major European cities with direct fiber connections into 18,000 buildings and 20 carrier neutral Colt data centers.

Colt can now offer 100GbE services across this infrastructure.

"As the company continues to transform from a traditional B2B telecoms operator to a provider of integrated IT and network services, enhancing our Ethernet services capabilities is key to delivering an end to end service experience that matches our customer’s agenda,” said Luke Broome, CTO at Colt. "Our use of the Infinera DTN to deliver 100GbE services on our long distance network will support customers with the highest performance demands in achieving their business priorities."

Infinera noted that Colt first deployed its DTN in 2009 and that an early trial of 100GbE services over the London to Frankfurt route was completed in 2010.

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.”

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."