Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Comcast Boosts Internet Speeds in California

Comcast is doubling the speeds of two of its most popular XFINITY Internet speed plans, Blast! and Extreme 50, in California. Specifically, the Blast! plan is increasing download speeds from up to 25 Mbps to speeds up to 50 Mbps and upload speeds from up to 4 Mbps to up to 10 Mbps, while Extreme 50 customers will receive download speeds up to 105 Mbps (formerly 50 Mbps) and upload speeds up to 20 Mbps (formerly 15 Mbps).

Comcast is also increasing the speed of its widely used Performance plan by more than 60 percent to 20-25 Mbps downstream and 4-5 Mbps upstream. There is no additional cost to the plans.


Vasona Raises $22 Million for Mobile Edge Platform

Vasona Networks, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California with R&D in Tel Aviv, raised confirmed that it has now raised $22 million to date, including a recent $12 million Series B round. The company recently introduced its SmartAIR1000 edge application controller to address cellular bandwidth congestion.

Vasona's edge platform works with mobile traffic across all applications, at granularity of every cell in a network. It assesses and acts on congestion based on exactly where it is occurring and what is causing it. Bandwidth is allocated to each application in real time for the best overall subscriber experiences.

The venture capital financing was led by Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation by New Venture Partners and a strategic investor, all of them participants in the company's Series A round.

"During the last few years, Vasona Networks has rapidly defined, developed and validated its platform, establishing a new category of solution for pressing mobile operator needs," says Bob Goodman, a partner at Bessemer Venture Partners and member of Vasona Networks' board of directors. "This new financing positions the company to fulfill and build on the strong demand it's experiencing."


Ericsson Adds to its SPO Packet Optical Transport Family

Ericsson is expanding its line of SPO Packet Optical Transport Platform (POTP) products with a new SPO 1485 Multiservice DWDM system for the metro core. The new SPO 1485 offers 10 Gbps service connectivity, 10 Gbps transport and low-latency, long distance coherent 100 Gbps transport.

Network operators leveraging Ericsson’s SPO 1400 POTP family have the flexibility to use DWDM, packet, OTN or SDH (Synchronous Digital Hierarchy) switching and transport where needed.

Tomislav Migotti, Head of Optical & Broadband Access, Ericsson, says: "Our customers like the scalability and flexibility that our SPO 1400 metro regional/core solution offers. With the SPO 1485, operators now have the flexibility to balance between deploying a SPO 1480 POTP for OTN/Packet and SDH switching and 100Gbps transport or the SPO 1485 for simple multiservice DWDM 10Gbps and 100Gbps transport. With end-to-end management from IPT NMS and our Optical Network Planner, operators can plan, deploy and manage their greatest asset – their network."

Xilinx Extends Zynq-7000 All Programmable SoC

Xilinx introduced its new Zynq-7100 All Programmable SoCs designed for programmable systems integration requirements of next-generation 'smart' wireless, broadcast, medical and military applications.

The new device combines digital signal processing and ARM processing capabilities. Xilinx said that by integrating all these programmable technologies (hardware, software and I/O) onto a single device, its Zynq-7100 All Programmable SoC reduces both the bill-of-materials (BOM) and power consumption compared to multi-chip solutions.

"Our new Zynq-7100 device sets a new industry benchmark with greater than twice the signal processing capability of the most advanced All Programmable SoC available to date and is set to accelerate Zynq's already rapid replacement of ASIC & ASSPs in high performance signal processing applications," said Lawrence Getman, vice president of processing platforms at Xilinx. 

Menara Announces New Full C-Band Tunable OTN XFP

Menara Networks introduced a full C-band tunable XFP with integrated G.709 OTN framing, enhanced forward error correction, and Ethernet Monitoring capabilities.

The new “System-in-a-Module,” in addition to G.709 OTU2 framing, Forward Error Correction (FEC), tunability over 102 channels on the ITU-T 50 GHz C-band grid and advanced optical features such as automatic receiver threshold adjustment and SBS suppression, also offers Enhanced FEC at higher coding gain, ODU2 client access, Ethernet payload monitoring, and OTU General Communication Channel (GCC) access via the 30-pin MSA connector. The device is Telcordia qualified and MSA compliant.

OSNR and receiver sensitivity is rated at 15 dB and -29 dBm respectively.  The module is a true replacement for DWDM transponders.  The company says it delivers error-free transmission over distances exceeding 2,000 km.

“Our new 65 nm CMOS based OTN processor allows us to add key features that our customers have requested such as enhanced FEC and SONET/Ethernet monitoring. It also allows us to reduce the overall OTN XFP power consumption to meet the 3.5W maximum,” comments Salam ElAhmadi, Ph.D. Menara CTO and Co-Founder. “We look forward to continue supporting both our carrier and system vendor customers in their quest to significantly reducing the cost, space and power foot-print of their optical networks.”


Level 3 Opens New Data Center in Colombia

Level 3 Communications announced the construction of its newest data center in Bogota, Colombia.  The new Premier Elite data center, designed to support managed services, will provide onsite technical staff, is expected to be operational by the second quarter of 2013.

"The Colombian market shows a growing demand for colocation, housing, hosting and value-added services," said Luis Carlos Guerrero, sales vice president for Level 3's Andean region. "The trend to outsource these services to a trusted business partner – one that will support the customer in its expansion strategy – is crucial for companies today so they can focus on their core business."

Level 3 currently operates 14 existing data centers in Latin America.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Infinera's Fast Shared Mesh Protection Restores Multiple Fiber Cuts in Under 50ms

Infinera introduced a hardware-based implementation of Shared Mesh Protection, an emerging industry standard that ensures network resiliency with protection against multiple failures while simultaneously lowering costs by eliminating the need to provision backup links for every live connection.

Infinera's new FastSMP leverages a purpose-built, FastSMP acceleration processor on every line card of its DTN-X platform. This enables recovery from multiple-failures in less than 50 milliseconds (ms). This hardware chip is pre-installed on the DTN-X and can be enabled via a simple software upgrade ensuring complete investment protection for customers building their networks with the DTN-X.

Infinera has shipped more than 2,000 100G ports to date and every port shipped is ready to be upgraded to FastSMP.

Key features of FastSMP:

  • Deterministic Protection: providing recovery for multiple failures within 50ms versus software-based Shared Mesh Restoration which can take multiple seconds to recover.
  • Enhanced Availability: FastSMP leverages intelligent GMPLS control to provide multiple backups with continuous real-time path re-computation ensuring better survivability for every protected service.
  • Cost-effective Deployment: in contrast to 1+1 protection, it allows for sharing of backup resources with priority pre-emption to lower overall capex and opex costs.

Infinera said that because FastSMP utilizes the digital transport layer it provides better network economics than packet-based solutions and recovers from local as well as remote failures across thousands of nodes within 50ms.

"Pacnet’s unique position is its ability to offer true long haul submarine mesh architecture on its core network within the APAC region,” said Andy Lumsden, Pacnet Chief Technology Officer. “Our selection of the DTN-X has provided new levels of scale for our network allowing us to accommodate customer traffic and deliver high capacity services faster than our competitors. The combination of the Infinera DTN-X platform and its hardware-accelerated FastSMP™ approach will provide Pacnet with a combination of resiliency, capacity and flexibility needed to meet the highest demands of our customers."

Infinera has filed patents for its hardware-accelerated FastSMP™ and is expected to start delivering multi-failure protection and restoration capabilities in 2013.


Coriant Makes its Debut

Coriant, the new optical transport company originating with Nokia Siemens Networks' Optical Networks business unit, is making its public debut at this week's OFC/NFOEC event in Anaheim, California.

In December 2012, Marlin Equity Partners agreed to acquire and privatize the Optical Networks business unit of Nokia Siemens Networks.  The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2013.

Coriant, which will be headquartered in Munich, Germany, said its mission is to bring to market proven 100G/OTN scalability, intelligent control, and extensive automation capabilities with a software defned, end-to-end approach for more agile service creation.

“With plans to help operators manage costs and complexity as optical networks scale, Coriant is expected to enter the market with proven strengths and a compelling vision for agile, end-toend service delivery powered by software-defned intelligence,” said Herbert Merz, designated President and CEO of Coriant. “Coriant will redefne optical networks for the hypergrowth era.”

“We believe in the long-term value that Coriant can bring to its Tier 1 customer base as the optical market crosses an unprecedented infection point and industry dynamics pave the way for a new market leader,” said Patrick DiPietro, Operating Partner, Marlin Equity Partners. “We are tremendously excited to be working with a team recognized for its optical networking expertise and leadership, and we are committed to providing the fnancial strength and resources
necessary to ensure Coriant’s success.”


Vitesse’s Intellisec Extends MACsec Networkwide

Vitesse Semiconductor introduced Intellisec, a patent-pending means of extending IEEE 802.1AE MACsec encryption end-to-end over any network, including multi-operator and cloud-based networks, independent of the network’s awareness of security protocols.

Traditionally, MACsec has been implemented link by link, making it difficult to deploy in service provider networks where latency over multi-hop connections becomes an issue.

Vitesse's Intellisec solves the end-to-end problem by implementing MACsec in the PHY.

“Vitesse is changing the landscape of secure network communications with Intellisec technology,” said Martin Nuss, chief technology officer for Vitesse. “End-to-end network encryption is highly complex and prohibitively expensive to implement at Layer-3, while existing Layer-2 MACsec PHY solutions need encryption and decryption at every link in the network. Because Intellisec runs over MEF CE2.0 and MPLS networks, it will work over most service provider networks with Intellisec-enabled equipment access devices or enterprise edge routers at network endpoints. This has never been done before.”

Some key features of Intellisec:

• Enables MACsec Networkwide: Intellisec extends MACsec to support secure
access to multiple cloud services, enabling delivery of MACsec-secured Layer-2 Carrier Ethernet
services, such as MEF EVCs, MPLS L2VPNs and Data Center Interconnect, across the network.
Until now, MACsec has traditionally been limited to link-based box-to-box applications primarily
within cloud services data centers;

• Simple, Low-Cost, Scalable: Intellisec scales easily with the number of interfaces. Vitesse estimates up to 75% cost savings compared to alternate solutions. Network installation involves a simple upgrade of the system’s physical layer components without impacting or upgrading the ASICs or
network processors;
• Maintains Network Synchronization: Precision synchronization is critical to network
infrastructure. Intellisec works together with Vitesse’s VeriTime™ technology to maintain
nanosecond-level IEEE 1588v2 time stamping accuracy;

• Compatible Extension to Existing Technologies: Intellisec enables network link upgrades
independent of the network’s awareness of security protocols.


Juniper Unveils PTX3000 Packet Transport Router

Juniper Networks unveiled a smaller version of its PTX packet transport router for the converged super core, which allows network operators to converge their networks from nationwide backbones down to the metro core.
Since introducing the PTX platform two years ago, Juniper said it has 20 cutomers, including the London Internet Exchange, Optus Australia, Verizon and XO Communications. The product family also includes the PTX5000, which uses a Junos Express chipset that is optimized for high capacity transport and features the on-chip traffic engineering, full delay bandwidth buffers, algorithms optimized for packet transport and embedded error detection required to support differentiated traffic types. 

The new Juniper PTX3000 Packet Transport Router offers 24 Tbps of capacity and yet measures only 10.6 inches in depth, allowing it to be installed in space and energy constrained environments. 

In addition, Juniper Networks announced an integrated packet-transport physical interface card (PIC) with two-ports of line rate 100 Gigabit forwarding for the entire PTX family, which will enable service providers to cost effectively interconnect sites more than 2000 kilometers (1243 miles) apart.

The PTX3000 packet transport router consumes 1200 watts of entry power for forwarding traffic.

"The Converged Supercore is an innovative platform that enhances service provider economics while providing greater value to their subscribers. Following on the heels of the revolutionary PTX5000, the PTX3000 extends these benefits to new markets and geographies with a solution that is tailored for their specific needs," stated Rami Rahim, executive vice president, Platform Systems Division, Juniper Networks.

Pacnet Deploys Infinera's DTN-X Platform

Pacnet, a leading provider of integrated network and technology solutions in the Asia-Pacific region, has deployed the Infinera DTN-X platform, featuring 500G long-haul super-channels.

The DTN-X platform enables Pacnet to deliver 100 Gbps services.  The deployment is believed to be the largest regional deployment of 100 Gbps technology to date. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Pacnet owns and operates EAC and C2C, Asia’s leading state-of-the-art fiber optic submarine cable networks with 21 cable landing stations extending from India to the U.S. The network spans 46,800 km and serves global customers with a comprehensive range of network and managed services.

"The Infinera DTN-X  FlexCoherent modulation capabilities, integrated control plane, and seamless subsea to terrestrial integration with the existing network further enhances our Data Center connectivity and network virtualization strategy," said Andy Lumsden, Pacnet Chief Technology Officer. "The ability to deliver and commission the DTN-X rapidly meant that our network upgrade was fully deployed within nine weeks, allowing us to deliver services to customers with a high level of confidence and resilience. The Infinera solution greatly advances our Layer 3 to Optical convergence and Network-as-a-Service initiatives."

CenturyLink Deploys 100G with Ciena

CenturyLink is deploying Ciena's 6500 Packet-Optical Platform with WaveLogic coherent optical technology to modernize and upgrade its network that spans more than 50 metropolitan locations across the United States.

The upgrade allows CenturyLink to offer 1GE, 10GE, 100GE and equivalent wavelengths.  The 6500 platform will also offer integrated packet switching which gives CenturyLink agility in the delivery of groomed Ethernet services to its enterprise customers.

CenturyLink is the third largest telecommunications company in the U.S. Financial terms were not disclosed.


Ericsson and STMicroelectronics to Split Up Joint Venture

Ericsson and STMicroelectronics agreed to split up their joint venture, ST-Ericsson. Key points:

  • Ericsson will take on the design, development and sales of the LTE multimode thin modem products, including 2G, 3G and 4G multimode
  • ST will take on the existing ST-Ericsson products, other than LTE multimode thin modems, and related business as well as certain assembly and test facilities
  • Starting the close down of the remaining parts of ST-Ericsson
  • The formal transfer of the relevant parts of ST-Ericsson to the parent companies is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2013, subject to regulatory approvals.
  • After the split up it is proposed that Ericsson will assume approximately 1,800 employees and contractors, with the largest concentrations in Sweden, Germany, India and China.
  • It is also proposed that ST will assume approximately 950 employees, primarily in France and in Italy, to support ongoing business and new products development within ST.
  • Approximately 1,600 employees worldwide will lose their jobs in the restructuring.  This includes about 500-700 positions in Europe, including 400 to 600 positions in Sweden and 50 to 80 positions in Germany.
  • Carlo Ferro has been appointed President and CEO of ST-Ericsson to carry out the transition phase.
"Ericsson continues to believe that the thin modems hold a strategic value to the wireless industry. With this move Ericsson will create a highly focused "thin modem only" operation - an area in which both parents have invested significant amounts to establish industry leading technology and Intellectual Property," said Hans Vestberg, President and CEO, Ericsson and Chairman of the Board of Directors.


AppliedMicro Intros Standalone OTN Processor with Encryption

AppliedMicro introduced a standalone OTN processor that can be used to enable 10 x 10G line cards for OTN cross connect and Packet-Optical Transport System (P-OTS) applications.

The new TPO215 processor delivers advanced framing, mapping and multiplexing, while supporting 10 x 10G channels for a total capacity of 100G.  The device, which is part of the company's portfolio of "SoftSilicon" OTN processors, makes use of the partial reconfiguration function of Altera's Stratix V field-programmable gate array (FPGA) silicon in a way that is completely seamless to the user and effectively quadruples the size of the silicon.

The TPO215 provides optical data unit (ODU) mapping. The device can map any 8-10G client signal to ODUflex/ODU2, in compliance with all ITU standardized mapping methods. The device can also perform hierarchical (de)multiplexing between ODU2 and ODU0/ODU1/ODUflex containers.

In addition, AppliedMicro noted that its TPO125 device also features OTNsec encryption, a new security feature developed by AppliedMicro to ensure comprehensive security during transport of information over "shared" networks. Unlike traditional encryption methods that only encrypt packets or client payloads, OTNsec security encrypts the entire container for transport across an OTN network and provides secure transport of any OTN client, including Fibre Channel, SONET and Ethernet.


Westell to Acquire Kentrox for $30 Million

Westell Technologies agreed to acquire and Kentrox for $30 million in cash.

Kentrox provides monitoring, management and control of remote sites, such as cell sites and towers. Its customers include major wireless and fixed-line telecommunications carriers, tower providers, cable and broadband network providers, utility companies, and enterprises. The company had revenues of approximately $29 million for the 12 months ended December 31, 2012.

"Kentrox is a perfect fit with our growth strategy,” said Rick Gilbert, Westell’s chairman and chief executive officer. “The company is a leader in providing intelligent site management solutions with a wireless focus, significant software content, and global reach. Kentrox has outstanding customers and solutions that complement Westell’s. In addition, it has an impressive team, excellent capabilities and real sales momentum. We expect the acquisition to propel us to about $80 million in annual revenue and add to earnings in fiscal 2014, which starts on April 1."


TeliaSonera Goes International with 100G

 TeliaSonera International Carrier (TSIC) announced the activation of 100G across its North American network, connecting 23 cities across the continent.  This add to the company's 100G European network, which stretches from Madrid to Moscow.

“We own and operate our own global fiber backbone. This lets us deploy the technology required to build a future-enabled network. For our wholesale customers, 100G means the ability to scale up capacity without scaling up complexity – and doing so cost-efficiently”, says Erik Hallberg, President of TeliaSonera International Carrier.

TSIC is also looking at options to upgrade its trans-Atlantic connection to 100G. This will create a seamless 100G enabled network encompassing Europe and North America.

TSIS is using NSN’s hiT 7300 platform for 100G in Europe and has deployed Infinera’s DTN-X platform for 100G in North America.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Telstra Tests 1 Tbps with Ericsson

Telstra has conducted the first trial of 1 Tbps technology in Australia over 995km of an existing optical fiber network using Ericsson's equipment.

Ericsson recently announced it will provide Telstra with the SPO 1400, the latest packet optical transport platform (POTP) for the metro and the MHL 3000 for long-haul applications with 100Gbps service support. The trial tested a 1Tbps line card in the MHL 3000.

The companies said this successful test over the 995 kilometer optical link between Sydney and Melbourne in Australia shows it is possible to deploy 1 Tbps technology in a real network environment.  Furthermore, when 1 Tbps is commercialized, operators will be in a position to deploy it to meet their capacity requirements.

"The trial has proven that our existing optical cable plant can support Tbps channels along with 40Gbps and 100 Gbps channels simultaneously on the same fibre, verifying that we have the ability to increase capacity on our existing fiber cables when required." Alessandro Pane, Head of Ericsson R&D Optical Transmission, says: "Like so many developed countries, Australia is a very technologically advanced market and Australians are sophisticated users of broadband and mobile technology. In addition, there is widespread smart phone, tablet, IPTV and HDTV take-up. Supporting all these services requires an ever-growing capacity in backhaul and inter-city transmission.


OneChip Photonics Intros 100G PIC in Indium Phosphide

OneChip Photonics introduced a Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC)-based 100 Gbps device that monolithically integrates all of the optical functions required for an optical transceiver into a single Indium Phosphide (InP)-based chip. All of the active components (Distributed Feedback “DFB” laser, Electro-Absorption Modulator “EAM,” and Waveguide Photodetector “WPD”) and passive components (Wavelength Division Multiplexing “WDM” combiner, splitter and Spot-Size Converter “SSC”) of the chip are, uniquely, integrated in one epitaxial growth step – without re-growth or post-growth modification of the epitaxial material.

The company said its Multi-Guide Vertical Integration (MGVI)-based PICs will enable transceiver manufacturers to produce high-speed, low-power and small-size modules for Data Center Interconnect (DCI) applications.

The MGVI platform in Indium Phosphide is based on the same process that inherently produces the best and fastest Heterojunction Bipolar Transistors (HBTs) used in Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits (RFICs). As such, the company also will be able to integrate electronics, such as Transimpedance Amplifiers (TIAs) and modulator drivers, within a commercially available and volume-scalable process. The silicon photonics dream of leveraging high-volume electronic chip production, while combining photonics and electronics onto the same substrate, is ironically best realized in Indium Phosphide.


See also