Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dell'Oro: Wireless Packet Core Equipment Sales to Top $6B by 2017

The Wireless Packet Core Equipment market is forecast to nearly double in size, exceeding $6 billion by 2017, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group.

Evolved Packet Core, the emerging segment of this market, is forecast to expand to over half of the total market, driven by the Long Term Evolution (LTE) network capital spending.

During the forecast period, Dell'Oro expects new vendors to enter the Wireless Packet Core market, leveraging their strengths in adjacent markets. The report also shows that the PCRF market is forecast to exceed $800 million in 2017.

"In addition to escalating use of smartphones and surging wireless data usage, we expect that new wireless packet core devices will incorporate features to address deep packet inspection (DPI) and WiFi management," said Chris DePuy, Vice President at Dell'Oro Group. "As Service Providers expand the capabilities of their core networks in order to roll out additional services and manage users across both cellular and WiFi networks, we expect the market to experience robust growth."


Broadcom Announces 28nm 4G LTE Modem

Broadcom announced a 28nm 4G LTE modem with integrated radio and cellular baseband reduces board area by approximately 35 percent while supporting LTE-Advanced with carrier aggregation, HSPA+, TD-SCDMA and EDGE/GSM.

Broadcom's multi-mode, multi-band solution – the BCM21892 – is aimed at next generation 4G LTE smartphones and tablets. The device combines a full-featured cellular baseband with a world-band radio that can support virtually any designated 3GPP LTE frequency band and combination, which aids in 4G LTE roaming. The LTE-Advanced capability will support LTE Category 4 speeds of 150 Mbps with seamless hand-offs between the various 4G LTE, 3G and 2G interface technologies.

A Voice over LTE (VoLTE) solution that enables high-definition voice calls. Broadcom estimates its VoLTE service consumes approximately 40 percent less power than a comparable WCDMA voice call.

Significantly, Broadcom said its design employs advanced power management techniques that can save up to 25 percent of the power typically consumed during data transmissions to the network.

"Broadcom's new 4G LTE modem combined with our Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and NFC technologies gives OEMs all the communications technologies needed to build advanced devices that will offer consumers the features, speed and functionality they demand in their next smartphone purchase," said Robert A. Rango, Broadcom Executive Vice President and General Manager, Mobile and Wireless Group.  "Broadcom's 4G LTE modem will also help carriers drive new 4G LTE features, such as carrier aggregation, into commercial networks."

BCM21892 is now sampling to early access customers, with anticipated production in 2014.


President Obama Issues Cyber Security Executive Order

President Obama signed an executive order aimed at countering cyber security threats with better information sharing and coordination between U.S. government agencies and the owners and operators of critical infrastructure across the country.

In his State of the Union speech, Obama said the United States faces real threats to its infrastructure and economy and he called on Congress to give the government more authority to secure networks and deter attacks.

Some key elements of the new directive.

  • New information sharing programs to provide both classified and unclassified threat and attack information to U.S. companies. The Executive Order requires Federal agencies to produce unclassified reports of threats to U.S. companies and requires the reports to be shared in a timely manner. The Order also expands the Enhanced Cybersecurity Services program, enabling near real time sharing of cyber threat information to assist participating critical infrastructure companies in their cyber protection efforts.
  • The development of a Cybersecurity Framework. The Executive Order directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to lead the development of a framework of cybersecurity practices to reduce cyber risks to critical infrastructure. NIST will work collaboratively with industry to develop the framework, relying on existing international standards, practices, and procedures that have proven to be effective. To enable technical innovation, the Cybersecurity Framework will provide guidance that is technology neutral and that enables critical infrastructure sectors to benefit from a competitive market for products and services. 

The directive defines the term critical infrastructure as "systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that the incapacity or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination of those matters."

The White House also ordered Federal agencies to incorporate privacy and civil liberties safeguards in their activities, including safeguards based upon the Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPPS) and other applicable privacy and civil liberties policies, principles, and frameworks.

The Obama administrations also plans to set-up a voluntary program to promote the adoption of the Cybersecurity Framework.


Ruckus Posts Q4 Revenue of $62 Million, Up 51% YoY

Ruckus Wireless reported Q4 revenue of $62.2 million, up 51% compared to $41.0 million reported in the fourth quarter of 2011. GAAP net income was $1.9 million, compared with a net income of $3.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.  GAAP net income per diluted share was $0.03 for the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to $0.02 for the fourth quarter of 2011.

"2012 was an exciting year for Ruckus Wireless.  In addition to completing our IPO, we continued to make progress on our business objectives while growing our revenue 79% and significantly increasing profitability over the prior year," said, Selina Lo, President and Chief Executive Officer at Ruckus Wireless.


NETGEAR Sees Growth Slow

NETGEAR reported Q4 2012 revenue of $310.4 million, as compared to $309.2 million for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2011, and $315.2 million in the third quarter ended September 30, 2012.  Net income, computed in accordance with GAAP, for the fourth quarter of 2012 was $16.1 million, or $0.41 per diluted share.  This compared to GAAP net income of $22.8 million, or $0.60 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2011, and GAAP net income of $23.8 million, or 0.61 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2012.

"The worldwide macroeconomic environment proved challenging for us during the second half of 2012. In the fourth quarter, we witnessed reduced spending among our service provider customers and Commercial Business Unit customers. Despite this, our Retail Business Unit experienced the best fourth quarter sequential growth in the last three years. We are very pleased with the share gain against our retail competitors worldwide. We introduced 32 new products in the fourth quarter of 2012 and once again, we were a double honoree this year in the CES Innovations Design and Engineering Awards competition," stated Patrick Lo, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NETGEAR.


Level 3 Posts Q4 Revenue Grew 1.8% YoY, Trimmed Workforce

Level 3 Communications Q4 2012 revenue of $1.614 billion, compared to $1.590 billion for the third quarter 2012 and $1.579 billion for the fourth quarter 2011. For the full year 2012, total revenue was $6.376 billion, compared to $6.318 billion pro forma for the full year 2011. There was a Q4 net loss of $0.16 per share, excluding a loss on the extinguishment of debt of $0.23 per share and a benefit from special items recognized in the fourth quarter 2012 of $0.13 per share.

Core Network Services (CNS) revenue grew sequentially to $1.424 billion in the fourth quarter 2012, increasing approximately 1.8 percent on a constant currency basis.

"In 2012, we took a deliberate and careful approach in bringing Global Crossing and Level 3 together to ensure we maintained the excellent customer service capabilities we've worked hard to build over the last several years," said Jeff Storey, President and COO of Level 3. "We completed several milestones in support of a unified customer experience in 2012, and our customer satisfaction scores improved over the course of last year."

"With the progress we made throughout the year and the additional milestones we reached in the fourth quarter, we felt comfortable taking additional cost reduction actions in the fourth quarter, reducing our workforce by approximately 4 percent and beginning the process to exit office locations. At the same time, we made investments for growth by increasing our sales force, putting additional customer buildings on-net throughout our global footprint, and launching additional capabilities to our Managed Services, Managed Security and Professional Services product offerings."

"As we look to 2013, we remain focused on revenue growth in all regions, and continuing to drive additional cost efficiencies throughout the business."


Monday, February 11, 2013

F5 to Acquire LineRate Systems for SDN Application Layer Platform

F5 Networks agreed to acquire LineRate Systems, a start-up targeting software defined networking (SDN), for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition is not expected to have a material impact on F5's operating results.

LineRate Systems, based near Boulder, Colorado, provides software that offers layer 7+ network services. LineRate’s early-stage, application layer platform leverages commodity x86 hardware and uses a proxy-based architecture similar to F5's BIG-IP.

F5 said the LineRate acquisition aligns with F5’s vision for application control plane architecture and goal of delivering application-layer SDN services to bring superior agility, application intelligence, and programmability to software defined data centers.

"F5’s vision is to enable application-layer SDN services for software defined data centers, providing our customers with unprecedented automation, orchestration, and control,” said Karl Triebes, EVP of Product Development and CTO at F5. "Extreme scale of applications, infrastructure, and services will be vital to SDN, core to F5, and the key to customers realizing the benefits of software defined data centers. LineRate’s programmable network capabilities and innovations in layer 7 will bolster our efforts to extend F5’s market leadership in these areas, and we are very pleased to welcome the LineRate team to F5.”


Connecting Europe Fund Slashed to EUR 1 Billion

The EU's long-term budget agreed last week will cut funding for the Connecting Europe Facility from EUR 9.2  billion to EUR 1 billion between 2014 to 2020.

"ETNO is disappointed that budget cuts have been made which affect forward-looking initiatives such as the Connecting Europe Facility, and in particular the fund devoted to NGA networks, which have a real role to play in driving Europe out of the current crisis", says Luigi Gambardella, Chair of ETNO Executive  Board.

"Given the key importance of high speed broadband networks and the potential leverage effect on private network investments of the CEF, this budget cut is a missed opportunity for Europe's economic recovery.", added Gambardella. “Investments in wireline networks in Europe in 2011 amounted to EUR 24.8 billion, with ETNO members accounting for 67% of this expenditure. Industry is finding it increasingly difficult to sustain this level of investment in order to meet the goals of the Digital Agenda."


Mellanox Introduces RDMA InfiniBand and Ethernet Long-haul Interconnect Solutions

Mellanox Technologies introduced new RDMA InfiniBand and Ethernet long-haul interconnect solutions for within and between data centers across multiple geographically distributed sites.

The new systems are part of the MetroX long-haul interconnect solution family and include:
  • MetroDX TX6000 – MetroX based system aimed at internal data center long reach connectivity or between close data center compute and storage infrastructures. The TX6000 supports 18 long-haul ports running 40Gb/s to a distance up to 1,000 meters.
  • MetroX TX6200 – MetroX based system that enables longer reach campus and metro data center connectivity. The TX6200 supports 2 long-haul ports running 10/40Gb/s to a distance up to 100km.
  • The two new systems are in addition to the recently announced MetroX TX6100 system, which supports 6 ports running 40Gb/s to a distance up to 10km.
“The need for long-haul InfiniBand and Ethernet with RDMA connectivity continues to grow,” said Gilad Shainer, vice president of market development at Mellanox Technologies. “The MetroX series extends InfiniBand and Ethernet lossless RDMA beyond a single data center network location. Data center expansion or Disaster Recovery (DR) sites can now benefit from Mellanox’s fastest interconnect solutions with no performance degradation. Utilizing Mellanox high-throughput interconnect solutions, our customers are able to reduce their database recovery time from days to hours, and thus maintain their business continuity and gain a competitive edge.”

MetroX will be available during the second quarter of 2013.

Ericsson Lands US$1 Billion Managed Services Contract with Reliance

Reliance Communications awarded an eight-year, managed services contract to Ericsson valued at US$1 billion to operate and manage wireline and wireless networks in the Northern and Western states of India.

Under the deal, Ericsson will manage the day to day operations across wireline and wireless networks and will take over responsibility for field maintenance, network operations and operational planning of Reliance Communications 2G, CDMA and 3G mobile networks.

Reliance Communications' infrastructure covers 24,000 towns and 600,000 villages in India to which it offers converged services including voice, data and video.

"We are happy to announce our partnership with Ericsson to manage our wireline and wireless network enabling us to provide a higher level of customer experience in terms of network and services. Given the complexity of network increasing with platforms, technologies and application offerings, we are banking on the experience, innovation and technical expertise of Ericsson to improve the productivity of our network and ensure that it delivers to its full potential," stated Gurdeep Singh, Chief Executive Officer - Wireless Business, Reliance Communications.


Motorola Completes Public Safety LTE Interoperability and Drive Testing

Motorola Solutions is the first Public Safety LTE vendor to complete all testing activities associated with Phase 3: Part One, with the Public Safety Communications Research Program (PSCR) located at the Department of Commerce, Boulder Laboratories in Colorado. The testing by Motorola and Ericsson demonstrated the interoperability of the Radio Access Network (RAN) and Evolved Packet Core (EPC) with three major network vendors.   Some highlights:

  • Phase 3: Part One testing was performed in the 700 MHz Band 14 spectrum which supports broadband for public safety.
  • Motorola was able to support interoperability at both S1-Mobility Management Entity (MME) and S1-User (U) interfaces utilizing its RAN and EPC with the three network vendors. The interconnectivity of both the RAN and EPC demonstrated Motorola’s solution to support open network architecture under 3GPP standards.

Motorola described the testing as a key milestone toward Motorola becoming an authorized supplier to FirstNet, the nationwide public safety broadband network, and shows Motorola’s continued support of the work of the PSCR team.


In September 2010, Motorola and Ericsson entered an alliance to provide an LTE-based solution for Next Generation Public Safety broadband communications. Ericsson is providing its LTE access equipment as well as parts of its packet core and related services to deliver broadband multimedia services to public safety.

Cobalt Opens 5.5 Megawatt Data Center in Las Vegas

Cobalt Data Centers opened a new 34,000 square-foot, 5.5 megawatt data center in Las Vegas accommodating more than 450 cabinets and power capacities up to 600 watts per square foot.

The facility, which is the first of two Tier-3 compliant data centers that the company has planned for Las Vegas, incorporates a high-density and distributed power infrastructure.

Other advantages is that Nevada is known for its attractive tax environment and is protected from natural disasters.


Ruckus Wireless Hires David Stephenson -- Chair of Hotspot 2.0 Task Group

Ruckus Wireless appointed David Stephenson as Senior Principal Engineer within its System Architecture group.

Stephenson is the current chair of the Wi-Fi Alliance Hotspot 2.0 Technical Task Group.  He previously worked at Cisco Systems for nearly 14 years within its Wireless Networking Business Unit. At Cisco, Stephenson was responsible for the technical architecture of Hotspot 2.0, driving that program since 2009.

Stephenson is credited with draftring much of the IEEE 802.11u amendment.  He also held the position of Secretary for the IEEE 802.11 TGu, and worked on both the Wi-Fi Alliance Hotspot 2.0 Specification as well as the Mobility Services Advertisement Protocol (MSAP).


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Corning: Optical Fiber Demand Continues to Ramp

In its annual investor meeting last Friday, Corning outlined growth opportunities with its Gorilla Glass business, in fiber for telecommunications and in environmental and life sciences.  Some highlights:

  • Gorilla Glass sales surpassed the $1 billion mark last year.
  • Since launching Gorilla Glass in 2007, over 1 billion devices have implemented the technology.
  • Corning is working to bring new glass innovations to the consumer electronics market, including optimized touch and Radio Frequency (RF) capabilities; aesthetically pleasing shaped devices; and anti-reflectivity and antimicrobial properties.
  • Corning Lotus Glass is designed to offer superior performance for higher-resolution LCDs as well as OLEDs.
  • Corning’s newest advanced glass solution, the ultra-slim, flexible Corning Willow Glass, is positioned for next generation displays.
  • Corning sees the potential for double-digit growth in 2013 in its Telecommunications Business Group.
  • Corning believes the global optical fiber market will exceed 250 million fiber kilometers in 2013, with the bulk of this growth coming from developing markets.
  • Corning opened a new fiber manufacturing facility in India last year.
  • Corning continues to expand its Pretium EDGE solution for data centers.
  • Corning has an installed base of over 1.8 billion kilometers of fiber.
  • Corning is delivering optical solutions to every "edge" of the network -- Data centers, FTTH, Wireless and Consumer.
  • Corning expects optical investments to ourpace telecom CAPEX by >2X.
  • In data centers, Corning forecasts that there could be 10X the number of servers in use within the next decade.
  • In 2013, Corning is launching an all-optical distributed antenna system (DAS).
  • In Q1 2013, Corning will begin delivering USB 3.0 Optical and Thunderbolt Optical cables.


Big Switch Attracts Strategic Investment from Intel

Intel Capital has made a strategic investment in Big Switch Networks.  The investment in Big Switch's Series B funding brings the total amount raised to date to over $45 million from investors including Goldman Sachs, Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Redpoint Ventures and others.

"Data center operators need programmable and cost effective merchant silicon-based networking architectures to meet their data center economic and operational objectives,” said Bryan Wolf, Managing Director of Intel Capital. “At Intel Capital, we’re looking for companies creating the most disruptive data center solutions, and Big Switch Networks Open Software-Defined Networking product suite is a leading solution in data center network virtualization."

Big Switch is based in Mountain View, California.


  • In November 2012, Big Switch announced the full commercial release of its Open Software-Defined Networking (SDN) product suite, encompassing a Big Network Controller (BNC), the Open SDN platform for network applications which scales to more than a thousand switches and 250,000 new host connections per second; Big Tap, a unified network monitoring application which provides cost-effective enterprise-wide network visibility; and Big Virtual Switch (BVS), a data center network virtualization application that makes the data center network as agile and dynamic as cloud compute resources, while also driving dramatic increases in compute utilization through automated network provisioning. 
  • Compared to other SDN approaches, Big Switch said its architecture is distinguished by its large ecosystem of physical and hypervisor switch, security, cloud orchestration and application partners. These include: A10 Networks, Arista Networks, Broadcom, Brocade, Canonical, Cariden Technologies, Citrix, Cloudscaling, Coraid, Dell, Endace, Extreme Networks, F5, Fortinet, Gigamon, Infoblox, Juniper Networks, Mellanox Technologies, Microsoft, Mirantis, Nebula, Palo Alto Networks, Piston Cloud Computing, Radware, StackOps, ThreatSTOP, and vArmour.  

Eutelsat Awards 4-Launch Contract to Arianespace

Eutelsat Communications awarded a contract to Arianespace covering up to four satellite launches in 2016 and 2017.  The new contract is in addition to the contract signed in July 2012 between Eutelsat and Arianespace for the 2014 and 2015 timeframe, covering one launch and an option for a further launch.

"This latest contract seals a 30-year relationship between Eutelsat and Arianespace during which over 60% of our satellites have been launched by an Ariane rocket. It paves the road for the future by giving us flexibility and schedule assurance to secure our deployment pla n for the five years to come . We are delight ed to pursue our longstanding collaboration and are confident that we can count on Arianespace's total commitment to performance and precision," Michel de Rosen, stated Eutelsat CEO.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

AT&T Mobility and CWA Continue Labor Discussions

AT&T Mobility and  the Communications Workers of America (CWA) failed to reach agreement on a new labor contract ahead of the February 9th expiration of the the Mobility "Orange" contract, covers more than 20,000 AT&T Mobility employees in CWA Districts 1, 2-13, 4, 7, and 9 – AT&T Mobility's Orange unit.

The parties agreed to an extension of the contract and negotiations are continuing.

The contract covers wages, pension, work rules and disability.  CWA members in October ratified a separate four-year benefit agreement for all CWA-bargained Mobility employees nationwide covering health care and other benefits.


Friday, February 8, 2013

NTT Comm Signs with Denmark's TDC

NTT Communications announced an agreement with Denmark's TDC enabling it to extends services in the Nordic region. NTT Communications will also provide TDC with an extension to its Asia-Pac network through NTT Com's Global data network services.

"Both TDC Wholesale and NTT have clear visions and growth strategies for 2013 to 2015, which require high performance oriented cooperation and new business development in order to meet the ambitious time to market objectives. The collaboration between TDC Wholesale and NTT will further enable these visions. Nordic organizations show a growing demand for globally scalable ICT solutions, and on TDC Wholesale's Nordic platform, NTT is able to meet these demands and connect them to their global footprint. In parallel TDC's global reach is extended with NTT's global network," stated Eva Birgitte Bisgaard, Vice President, TDC Wholesale.


TE SubCom Upgrades Trans-Pacific Express Cable

 TE SubCom has completed an upgrade of the 18,000-km Trans-Pacific Express (TPE) submarine cable system by adding 1 Tbps of capacity.

The TPE cable system, which entered service in 2008, the U.S. (Nedonna Beach, Oregon) and Asia with five landing stations located in Chongming, Qingdao, Keoje, Tanshui, and Shin Maruyama.  It is owned by AT&T, Chunghwa Telecom, China Telecom, China Unicom, KT, NTT Com, and Verizon Business.

“The trans-Pacific, and more specifically Northern Asia, continues to see an explosion in demand for capacity and TE SubCom maintains our commitment to provide the largest cross-sectional capacity on long-haul networks,” said Dr. Qian Zhong, Managing Director, TE SubCom. “The TPE cable system was designed and implemented to be flexible and meet this demand. With our extensive resources and technical familiarity with the system and its route, we are able to complete an upgrade that best positions TPE to provide essential bandwidth to one of the fastest growing telecom markets in the world.”


Zayo's Quarter Revenue Reaches $243 Million, Loss Narrows

Zayo reported revenue of $243.5 million for the quarter ended 31-December-2012, a $13.8 million sequential quarter increase. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $137.3 million, which was $14.7 million higher than the prior quarter. There was a loss from continuing operations of $20.0 million for the quarter,  which was $33.4 million lower than the $53.4 million net loss for the previous quarter..

Contributing to the sequential quarterly revenue increase of $13.8 million were the acquisitions of FiberGate, US Carrier and First Telecom Services.  Also contributing to the revenue growth was positive net installations during the quarter.  Zayo said this increase in revenue related to organic growth was partially offset by total customer churn of $3.3 million in monthly revenue during the quarter.   

Zayo's financial backers include eight leading telecom investment firms.