Tuesday, December 4, 2012

CenturyLink Installs Infinera's DTN-X for 100G Backbone

CenturyLink has deployed Infinera's DTN-X platform, featuring 500 Gbps long haul super-channels, on its nationwide fiber optic backbone.

The deployment marks a significant Tier-1 win for Infinera's next gen platform.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Infinera said its DTN-X platform enables CenturyLink to enhance its nationwide next generation backbone transport network to support critical video, mobile, and cloud IP services, and extend its ability to deliver up to 100 Gigabit Ethernet services (GbE) tothe company’s data centers and customer facilities around the country.

The DTN-X uniquely delivers 500 Gbps FlexCoherent super-channels and integrates 5 Terabits per second (Tbps) of OTN switching per chassis.

"Our experience with the Infinera DTN platform has demonstrated a system based on quality, ease of use, proven technology and reliability. As a customer since 2004, we look forward to including the DTN-X as part of our next generation network and achieving the same positive results as we have in the past," stated Matt Beal, CenturyLink senior vice president - corporate strategy, product development and chief technology officer.


Telefónica to Deploy Alcatel-Lucent's 7950 Core Router

Telefónica will deploy the new Alcatel-Lucent 7950 Extensible Routing System (XRS) in Argentina and the Czech Republic.

Telefónica is one the first service providers worldwide to deploy Alcatel-Lucent's new core router.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

The new 7950 XRS family - based on the company's 400G FP3 chipset – supports five times the density of today’s core routers and slashes power consumption by 66 percent compared to typical core routers. Telefónica also will benefit from a common operating system (SR OS) across the Alcatel-Lucent router portfolio.  The solution  features a common network management system – the 5620 Service Aware Manager (SAM) – offering seamless support across the 7950 XRS family and the Service Router portfolio.

Enrique Blanco, Telefónica’s Global Chief Technology Officer said: “This collaboration with Alcatel-Lucent is part of a far-reaching network modernization effort which will give us one of the most powerful and efficient IP networks. In order for us to dramatically increase our network capacity and intelligence to address our customers’ fast evolving demands we needed the support of a new, truly disruptive solution. The Alcatel-Lucent XRS met this requirement.”

Federico Guillén, President Alcatel-Lucent Spain and Global Account Manager for Telefónica said: “We are gratified that Telefónica has turned to Alcatel-Lucent to play such an important role in the transformation of their IP networks around the world. With the introduction of the 7950 XRS core router, our IP portfolio offers truly best-in-class capabilities across the board, and we look forward to the opportunity to take Telefonica’s IP network to the next level.”


Infonetics: LTE Infrastructure Spending Up 30% in Q3

The global market for LTE infrastructure grew significantly in Q3 2012, but this was not enough to offset the overall decline in wireless equipment spending, which was down 4.7% from the previous quarter and down 4.0% from the year-ago quarter, according to Infonetics' newly released 3rd quarter 2012 2G, 3G, 4G (LTE and WiMAX) Infrastructure and Subscribers market share and forecasts report.

"We saw strong LTE activity in the U.S., Japan, and South Korea in the third quarter, contrasted by weak activity in the BRIC countries, for a total 30% bump in LTE equipment sales worldwide," notes Stéphane Téral, principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics at Infonetics Research. "LTE was indeed the lone bright spot this quarter, as the rest of the mobile infrastructure market dragged the overall market down, led by a sharp drop in CDMA gear. Despite the current lethargy, we anticipate a strong pipeline moving forward, with 2013 fully charged with a good mix of 2G, 3G, and LTE equipment purchases. China Mobile alone has a nationwide TD-LTE rollout plan of 100,000 eNodeBs."

Some highlights:

  • Nokia Siemens Networks jumped from #4 to #2 in the LTE equipment market after more than doubling its LTE revenue in 3Q12, significantly closing the gap with market leader Ericsson and passing Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei
  • From the year-ago 3rd quarter, global LTE infrastructure sales are up 131%
  • Infonetics forecasts LTE subscribers to grow nearly 5-fold to top 51 million worldwide in 2012
  • The Global Mobile Suppliers Association expects 166 commercial LTE networks by year end
  • CDMA2000 continued its freefall in 3Q12, down 16% sequentially and down 46% year-over-year, reflecting the beginning of the long declining tail curve
  • The WiMAX ecosystem is shrinking, with fewer vendors continuing to support the technology as they stake their long-term futures on LTE.


China Development Bank Extends US$20 Billion to ZTE for Vendor Financing

China Development Bank (CDB)  will expand its financing facility for ZTE to US$20 billion.

Citing the uncertain economic recovery in the United States and the debt crisis in Europe as primary factors that weaken growth in the global telecommunications market, CDB said its financial support could help ZTE achieve a stronger market position internationally.

"We sincerely thank the CDB for their commitment to ZTE’s development of overseas operations,” Mr. Hou said. “ZTE is in a leading position in the worldwide telecommunications industry, and has a comprehensive strategy to address markets globally.  ZTE will leverage the CDB’s financial support and grasp the opportunities in the markets for 4G, fixed broadband, enterprise networks and terminals, consolidate our advantages and migrate to the higher value solutions, as we aim to achieve a global top-3 position before 2015.”

In 2005, CDB supplied an initial US$8 billion credit facility to ZTE.  In 2009, the facility was increased to US$15 billion.


In October 2012, despite higher revenue overall for the first nine months of 2012, ZTE reported a preliminary loss of between RMB1.65 billion and RMB1.75 billion, a reversal of between 254.42% and 263.78% compared to the same period of a year earlier.   For the most recent quarter (ended 30 September 2012), ZTE's revenue decreased by approximately 13% as compared to same period last year.

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

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

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

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

The company outlined several steps to address these problems:

  • ZTE's management has agreed to cut their own compensation collectively.
  • ZTE will raise its level of responsiveness to the internal and external environment
  • ZTE will conduct a review of its product portfolio and of its regional operations
  • ZTE will put profit at the center of its focus and be committed to increasing the profitability of contracts and reducing the losses of unprofitable businesses.
  • ZTE will reduce its selling costs and research and development expenses.
  • ZTE will eliminate offices that record losses for a long time and which have limited prospects of a turnaround.
  • ZTE will consolidate products that offer little development potential,
  • ZTE will exercise headcount control and conduct organizational change.
ZTE said its new strategy calls for more resources on its terminals business in North America and Europe.  The company will proactively pursue opportunities in the wireless and wired broadband segments in emerging markets including China and Asia Pacific. 

World Conference on International Telecommunications Underway in Dubai

Speaking at the I.T.U.'s World Conference on International Telecommunications is underway this week in Dubai to renegotiate the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs), a binding global treaty that facilitates global interconnection and interoperability of information and communication services.

The ITRs have not been revised since 1988.

ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré said the conference should not been seen as undercutting the freedom of expression.  In his opening speech on Monday,  Touré  said "One of the most persistent myths [about WCIT-12] concerns freedom of expression, and it has been suggested that this conference might in some way act to restrict the open and free flow of information. In Article 33 of the ITU’s Constitution, however, Member States recognize the right of the public to correspond by means of the international service of public correspondence. And the ITRs cannot contradict that provision, or indeed any other article in the ITU Constitution."

The U.S. government has previously stated its opposition to significant changes to the ITRs, saying that ITR should apply only to “recognized operating agencies,” which are those entities providing telecommunications services to the public, and thus preventing the treaty from expanding to include private networks, data processing and other activities.

This week, Google launched  a public campaign to "Keep the Internet Free and Open."



CenturyLink Launches savvisdirect Cloud Services

CenturyLink  launched savvisdirect, a suite of cloud services aimed at businesses of all sizes.  The savvisdirect portfolio includes Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, on-demand virtual servers, storage services and application development platforms. 

CenturyLink said its strategic advantage in cloud services comes from its national fiber network and the resources of savvis, the data center and consulting company it acquired last year.

"Practicality and reliability are central to the always-on and consumption-based experience of savvisdirect," said Andrew Higginbotham, president, savvisdirect. "By offering a unique, frictionless approach to cloud, our goal is to make cloud adoption – from learning to purchasing to onboarding – simple and affordable. This is a cloud every business can use."

Savvis has also launched a  Symphony Cloud Storage service built on the EMC Atmos platform and compatible with the EMC Atmos API framework,  The company has also introduced a Symphony Cloud Storage Partner Ecosystem featuring solutions from vendors such as Riverbed, which modernizes data protection and archiving; Oxygen Cloud, which enables smart file access on mobile devices for enterprises; and Panzura, which enables storage consolidation for global network-attached storage (NAS), archive and backup use cases.  Savvis' cloud storage is hosted in data centers in London, Singapore, Toronto, Washington, D.C., and Santa Clara, California. Symphony Cloud Storage complements the VMware-based Savvis Symphony suite of enterprise cloud solutions.


  • In 2004, Savvis (formerly DiamondNet) acquired the assets of Cable & Wireless USA, which included 3,000 marquis enterprise customers, 15 data centers, and significant consulting experience from Exodus Communications, a Tier 1 backbone.

Fujitsu Simplifies Ethernet Service Management

Fujitsu announced a new release of its NETSMART 1500 software featuring Ethernet Service Provisioning, Traffic Engineering and Service Assurance capabilities to help network operators deploy popular MEF E-Line and new E-Access services.

The new NETSMART 1500 software offers GUI (Graphical User Interface)-driven tools using standardized MEF (Metro Ethernet Forum) terminology.  The interface enables point-and-click route selection of Connection Oriented Ethernet (COE) paths.

Fujitsu said its updated software uniformly manages all layers of a packet optical network integrating SONET, SDH, ROADM and Connection Oriented Ethernet (COE) into a single network management application, allowing service providers to most efficiently manage their network resources from the photonics layer to the packet layer. The NETSMART 1500 software will implement the associated profiles for user defined bandwidth and CoS/QoS across all FLASHWAVE packet optical networking platforms, automatically accounting for the different functionality and release levels of those various elements.



NoviFlow Debuts 100Gbps OpenFlow 1.1 Switch

NoviFlow, a start-up based in Montreal, released a 100Gbps Open Flow 1.1 compatible switch designed to bring network virtualization and programmability to large data centers, network operators, cloud and financial service providers.

The NoviKit 100 leverages EZchip's NP-4 Network Processor.  Key features include:

  • High performance NoviWare 100 OpenFlow 1.1 switching software – with demonstrated performance rates of 100 Gbps
  • OpenFlow-based SDN,  including full support and implementation for the OpenFlow 1.1 specification
  • Additional statistics not defined in the OpenFlow standard e.g. summary counters and ability to display error logs, ideal for testing and troubleshooting
  • Integration with the market leading NP-4 network processor from EZchip Semiconductor
  • A compact 1.5U box, stand-alone or rack-mounted, with modular 1 and 10 Gbps port expansion options.
  • Command Line Interface (CLI) configuration
  • Dynamic configuration loading and reporting via XML
  • Lab tested by a tier one Systems Integrator

"OpenFlow has proven itself in real-world SDN deployments by leading companies such as Google. Now, we’re giving OpenFlow a high-performance boost,” said Dominique Jodoin, President and CEO of NoviFlow Inc. “General purpose CPUs are great for many applications, but today’s major data center operators demand switching solutions with genuine wire-speed performance. At NoviFlow, we combine the benefits of virtualization and programmability with processors that can handle complex network flows to make it possible for data centers to keep up with today’s exponentially growing networking demand."


Procera Supplies Traffic Management for King Saud University

King Saud University (KSU) has deployed Procera Networks' PacketLogic platform for network traffic management and user awareness.

The university has over 100,000 students and nearly 10,000 faculty members.  The school, which boasts one of the most advanced campus networks in the region, has seen packet traffic grow by more than 50% year-over-year. This creates a strong need for real-time granular traffic visibility, reporting, and bandwidth management.

“The network managers at KSU need to guarantee high standards of network traffic control and security, coupled with the ability to manage utilization of network resources so that important educational applications are given the highest priority. KSU needed a solution that not only provided control but also enhanced visibility into network and application usage to ensure the best use of network resources,” said Angus MacCormick, regional director at Procera (Middle East, Turkey & Africa).


Monday, December 3, 2012

Nokia Siemens to sell Optical Business to Marlin Equity Partners

Nokia Siemens Networks will sell its Optical Networks business unit to Marlin Equity Partners for an undisclosed sum.

Marlin, a Los Angeles California-based private investment firm with over US$1 billion of capital under management, will form a new optical company to be headquartered in Munich, Germany with operations around the world.  This new optical company will be led by its existing management team with Herbert Merz nominated as chief executive officer.

Up to 1,900 employees – mainly in Germany, Portugal and China – from the optical business unit and related functions are expected to transfer to the new company.  The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013.

NSN's optical networking unit is known for its long-haul and ultra-long-haul transmission platform.

Nokia Siemens Networks said the deal is another step in its transformation into a mobile broadband specialist.

“During 2012 Nokia Siemens Networks has made tremendous progress in the transformation of our company to being the world’s mobile broadband specialist. Our strategic focus on our core markets has enabled us to concentrate our energy and investment in areas such as LTE where we have strengthened our global leadership position,” said Rajeev Suri, chief executive officer at Nokia Siemens Networks. “This transaction builds on that momentum and aims to provide a new home for the Optical Networks business with the focus, resources and strategic flexibility to address the opportunities in the optical market.”


In October, Marlin Equity Partners acquired  Sycamore Networks' Intelligent Bandwidth Management business, which includes optical networking and multiservice access solutions deployed in fixed line and mobile networks around the world.

Broadcom Samples 28nm Knowledge-based Processor

Broadcom introduced its eigth generation knowledge-based processor for high-touch packet services in 3G/4G mobile mobile infrastructure, data center and enterprise platforms.

The Broadcom NLA12000 Series, which is the first to use 28 nanometer (nm) technology, offers significantly faster performance for increased classification, forwarding
and security processing throughout the network -- the company cites up to 24x greater performance than competing solutions.  The latest processor is also aimed at emerging applications, including Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Open Flow, in routers, switches, service gateways, security appliances and mobile infrastructure equipment.

Significantly, Broadcom said its NLA12000 Series KBPs breaks new ground by integrating low-power NetRoute algorithmic search technology in a heterogeneous manner.  This enables deterministic performance and low latency independent of database or signature complexity, with support for up to 2 million IPv6 routes.

The 28nm process technology also unlocks significant power savings.

Some other key features:

  • The new chip handles up to 2.4 billion decisions per second (BDPS) to address growing line rates for IPv4 and IPv6 packets.
  • High-speed serial links for enhanced communication from KBP to system packet processors 
  • Includes 12.5 Gbps SerDes for 300 Gbps aggregate bandwidth
  • Dual-port mode for off-the shelf network processors, FPGAs and customer ASICs
  • Improved search flexibility with Context Buffers and Key Processing Unit (KPU)
  • Range Encoding Engine (REE) delivers efficient database compaction for access control lists
  • Support for on-chip associated data for search tables to enable lowest system latency 

Sampling is underway with production volumes slated for 1H 2013.

Altobridge Sees Backhaul Savings with Data-at-the-Edge

Altobridge confirmed the deployment of its Data-at-the-Edge (DatE) content delivery architecture by a Tier One wireless network operator in Asia.

The Altobridge Data-at-the-Edge platform enables data passing between an operator’s core network and the radio base station to be identified, managed and optimized at a granular level.

Altobridge said its customer is able to achieve savings of over 40% in mobile broadband backhaul costs.

“The Altobridge DatE deployment is showing real evidence that intelligent management and ‘On- loading’ of content at the base station can have the levels of impact on cost reduction and improved QoE that mobile network operators require in order to handle the big data challenge,” said Mike Fitzgerald, Chief Executive, Altobridge. “There is an urgent need for a technology that reduces backhaul costs and improves QoE.  Data-at-the-Edge is the solution to these challenges. In addition, it opens-up new revenue generating opportunities for network operators and content providers, through new and innovative business models, such as revenue sharing from pre-positioned rich media content."

Altobridge is headquartered in Ireland and has further bases in; USA, China, Malaysia and Indonesia covering sales, R&D, customer support and manufacturing. Investors in the company include its employees, Intel Capital, IFC and Enterprise Ireland.


Cortina Debuts 28nm EDC PHY for Next Wave of Network Gear

Cortina Systems introduced its 28nm EDC PHY architecture designed to enable higher port counts and increased faceplate and backplane bandwidth for next generation data center, carrier and enterprise systems.  Significantly, Cortina's 28nm EDC PHY architecture also supports 100G and even 400G applications in data center, storage and high-performance computing.

Cortina's first product in this family is an Octal 15G Electronic Dispersion Compensation (EDC) device featuring less than 1 nsec latency in a 17mm x 17mm package. The device operates over a frequency range from 1 to 15Gbps, supporting 1GbE, 10GbE, 40GbE, 100GbE, InfiniBand,  Fibre Channel, CPRI and OBSAI.  This includes supporting 16G Fibre Channel.

Cortina said the 28nm technology lowers power consumption by 50% over previous generations.  

The device, which is already sampling, is fully compliant to 10G SFP+, 802.3ba 40G and 100G nPPI, and nAUI specifications. It does not require external processors to control the convergence or dynamic adaption of the dispersion compensation. The CS4343 also integrates the auto-negotiation and coefficient training functionality for 40G CR4 applications, and rate negotiation 16G Fibre channel, for seamless interoperability with existing equipment.

“Data centers are being upgraded to handle the exponential growth in bandwidth. System vendors are looking for solutions to meet restrictive size, power, and density constraints,” said Scott Feller, director at Cortina Systems, Inc.  “28nm technology enables Cortina to develop a base platform architecture that meets system vendor requirements today and in the future while keeping a small foot print, increasing the supported data rate to 15G, while reducing power consumption by 50% over current production parts.”

Compromised Security Would Cause Mobile Customers to Jump Ship

Compromised security – more than high monthly fees – would be the biggest catalyst for triggering users to change mobile network providers, according to an independent survey conducted by market research firm Opinion Matters on behalf of Crossbeam Systems. More than 1,000 adult smartphone users were polled in each country to examine usage habits, the importance of mobile security and data services, purchasing considerations, and what would motivate them to switch providers.

According to the survey, 63 percent of global respondents cite high monthly fees as the primary issue that would drive them away from their current mobile network provider, with only five percent citing a lack of security. However, if survey respondents’ smartphones were to be compromised by hackers, malware or other security failures, 55 percent would consider changing providers and 19 percent would definitely change providers – leading to a potential exodus of 74 percent of customers.

Crossbeam Systems said this finding should challenge network providers’ conventional thinking about their investment priorities.  Most operators today are focused on building out mobile broadband infrastructure as the top priority, with less emphasis on shoring up their security infrastructure and offering value-added security services and protection to end users and their devices. The vulnerability is that users could blame the network operator for a smart phone attack even though they are not at fault.

"Smartphone users, like most people, don’t think about the security of their devices until they’ve been hacked. This may be misleading mobile network operators to focus less of their attention on customer security and underestimate the risk it creates,” said Peter Doggart, senior director of global marketing at Crossbeam. “There is an inadequate level of investment in security compared to other areas of the mobile network. This is a wake-up call for service providers, especially as we’re reaching a critical mass of smartphone users worldwide, not to mention the growth of data-enabled endpoints connecting to mobile phone networks, including smartphones, tablets, e-book readers and more. The quantity of threats directed at mobile devices and their level of sophistication are on the rise.”

The full survey report is available online.


Marvell Develops 802.11ac 4x4

Marvell introduced the first 802.11ac 4x4 wireless local area network (WLAN) system-on-chip (SoC), offering up to 1.3 Gbps of Wi-Fi throughput.

The Marvell Avastar 88W8864 is designed to improve the throughput of enterprise and retail access points (APs) and the robustness of wireless video distribution.


  • 4x4 MIMO dual-band 802.11ac solution
  • 1.3Gbps WLAN PHY rate
  • Channel bandwidth up to 80MHz
  • 256 QAM modulation scheme
  • Implicit and explicit Transmit Beamforming technology
  • Low Density Parity Check (LDPC)
  • Wi-Fi offload engine
  • Marvell Spectrum Management
  • Multi-stream, low PER and latency HD video
  • Integrated Wi-Fi position engine


  • Earlier this year, Marvell announced the first 802.11ac 2x2 combination radio chip, the Avastar 88W8897, which pairs near field communications (NFC) and Bluetooth 4.0 – with mobile multiple input multiple output (MIMO), transmit beamforming and support for Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast. 
  • Marvell introduced an 802.11n 4x4 SoC in 2010.

Equinix Opens Miami Data Center

Equinix opened a new International Business Exchange (IBX) data center in Boca Raton, Florida.

The new MI3 facility, which is located outside of the Category 5 hurricane evacuation zone, will provide 31,300 square feet of floor space, with additional options for future expansion.  It offers direct connectivity to the leading Latin American network operators for reduced latency, include close proximity to several cable landing stations such as the lowest latency route to Brazil via GlobeNet.

Customers that are deploying at MI3 include:  Allied Fiber, Cogent Communications, FiberLight, Inteliquent, Neutrona Networks International, Sidera Networks, and tw telecom.


Arista Releases 2nd Gen 10GBASE-T Switches, $300/port

Arista Networks introduced its second generation of 10GBASE-T switches, providing customers with the cost savings of twinax copper cabling in the data center instead of SFP+ fiber.

The Arista 7050 Series 1/10GBASE-T data center switches offer wire speed performance with a choice of 36, 52 or 64 ports of 10GbE.  The Arista 7050T-36 switch includes 32 ports with auto-negotiating 100Mb/1GbE/10GbE ports based on standard RJ45 interfaces and 4 10GbE SFP+ ports. This enables customers to deploy scalable, leaf-spine cloud networks while preserving their initial investment and minimizing intrusive upgrades. Prices start at $300 per port.

Arista said its 7050T Series offers the lowest power consumption in the industry at five watts per port.

“The key elements for widespread customer adoption of 10GBASE-T are low price, power efficiency and high density. The price points of 10GBASE-T are now nearing data center class 1GbE switches which make future proofing all the more compelling for customers,” said Anshul Sadana senior vice president, Customer Engineering for Arista Networks.


Cable & Wireless Comm Sells Assets to Bahrain's Batelco

Cable & Wireless Communications will sell its Monaco & Islands division to Bahrain's Batelcom Group for US$680 million.

The sale include CWC's businesses in the Maldives, Channel Islands and Isle of Man, the Seychelles, South Atlantic and Diego Garcia as well as a 25% shareholding in Compagnie Monegasque de Communication SAM, the company which holds CWC’s 55% interest in Monaco Telecom.

Cable & Wireless Communications said the disposal helps to focus the company on the Central American and Caribbean region, as well as increasing the company’s financial flexibility. The Group’s net debt position will be reduced from US$1,588 million as at 30 September 2012 to approximately US$937 million on a pro forma basis, implying proportionate net debt / EBITDA of 1.8x (for the 12 months to 30 September 2012).

"Batelco Group will have the opportunity to operate, in collaboration with its new business partners, communications businesses across 17 markets. This acquisition supports our strategy by adding new cash generative business clusters to our existing operations across the Middle Eastern region. We look forward to working closely with all the shareholders and management teams in the companies to ensure we continue to deliver value and innovation to customers and be recognized as market leaders," stated Sheikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa, Batelco Group Chief Executive.