Thursday, March 28, 2013

ZTE Posts 2.4% Sales Drop for 2012

ZTE reported 2012 annual of RMB 84.2 billion, representing a decline of 2.4% for 2012.

In China, revenue of RMB 39.6 billion was stable compared to a year earlier, accounting for 47% of the company’s total. Overseas revenue dropped 4.5% to RMB 44.7 billion, representing 53% of the company’s total The company recorded a net loss attributable to shareholders of listed company of RMB 2.84 billion. ZTE posted positive operating cash flow of RMB 1.87 billion. In 2012, ZTE recorded positive free cash flow for the first time in three years.

In 2012, ZTE saw an improvement in its business mix. Combined revenue for Europe and the Americas increased 1.6% from a year earlier, after strong growth in sales in the United States market. In the Asia Pacific market, revenue increased 2.8%. In the network infrastructure division, the company shifted towards higher-margin business. In the terminals division, the mix shifted towards smart devices.

Revenue by technology division:

  • Network infrastructure sales were RMB 41.6 billion. 
  • Terminal sales were RMB 25.84 billion, in line with the company’s target. 
  • Software and services sales were RMB 16.8 billion.

Despite the pressure on its operations in 2012, ZTE boosted spending on research and development by 4% to RMB 8.83 billion. The company noted that it ranked first in international patent applications by the World Intellectual Property Organization in each of the past two years, and was the first Chinese company to reach the Top-10 in patent applications to the European Patent Office.

VDSL2 G.Vector Plugfest Attracts 15 Vendors

A plugfest for equipment implementing ITU-T G.vector for VDSL2 attracted fifteen vendors earlier this month in Durham, New Hampshire.

The interoperability testing event, which was organized by the Broadband Forum and hosted by the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL), was focused on detailed testing of G.vector functionality.

The participating companies were Actiontec Electronics, Inc., ADTRAN, Alcatel-Lucent, AVM GmbH, Broadcom, Calix, Cisco, EXFO, Ikanos, JDSU, Lantiq, Metanoia Communications, NETGEAR, Real Communications and Technicolor, with the support of Telebyte and TraceSpan Communications.

"There is no doubt that VDSL2 has a pivotal role to play in the future of high speed broadband services. It is rapidly becoming a widely deployed technology and the addition of G.vector functionality is helping to achieve the increased bandwidth needed for today’s applications and consumer expectations. Our role is to ensure that implementations of G.vector are interoperable and perform well, and the plugfest is a key step towards that goal," stated Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum.

Fujikura Develops 40-60 Gbps Silicon Photonics Modulator

Fujikura Ltd. announced the world's first 40-60 Gbps silicon photonics modulator in both Quadrature Phase-Shift Keying (QPSK) and Differential QPSK (DQPSK) versions.

The modulator comprises two silicon phase-shifters that are integrated in a nested Mach-Zehnder configuration. The company optimized electrode arrangements and doping profiles in the phase-shifters, which materializes high-speed performance of >40 Gbps DQPSK and >60Gbps QPSK modulation at less than 10dB fiber-to-fiber loss. Moreover, dispersion tolerance of more than +/-80 ps/nm is recorded at the 44.6 Gbps DQPSK transmission.

NTT Opens R&D Center in Silicon Valley

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation is opening a new R&D center in San Mateo, California,

The NTT Innovation Institute will pursue the development and provisioning of highest-grade information security and cloud computing technologies.  NTT I3 will initially focus on promoting the development of services tailored to the North American market. Best practices concerning intellectual property solutions applied in a modular format in North America will be rolled out globally, including Japan and emerging countries.

"Establishing a new R&D center in North America will enable NTT and its group companies to quickly develop intellectual property tailored to the specific needs of the most rapidly-changing market in the world," said Hiroo Unoura, President and CEO of NTT. "The NTT Group is committed to accelerating global business expansion in order to provide value-added services to its customers."

Digital Realty Acquires Data Center Space Near Toronto

Digital Realty Trust acquired a 120,000 square foot data center development property in Markham, Ontario (Canada), approximately 17 miles north of Toronto's central business district. The facility is capable of supporting approximately 5.4 megawatts of IT load. The purchase price was C$8.65 million.

"We have been tracking a significant amount of demand for enterprise-quality data center space with very limited supply in the Toronto market," said Michal F. Foust, chief executive officer of Digital Realty. "The acquisition of this property expands our existing footprint and enables us to support our customers' data center requirements in the Toronto market."

Lockheed Martin Forms Silicon Valley Alliance

Lockheed Martin is establishing a Silicon Valley Alliance aimed at helping innovative companies in the region meet the diverse technology needs of the federal government.  The goal is to provide the federal government with greater visibility into innovative technology solutions developed in Silicon Valley, especially software and cyber security solutions.

"Lockheed Martin has played an ultra-high-tech role in the Silicon Valley story since 1956 when we opened our facility in Sunnyvale, adjacent to Moffett Field," said Tory Bruno, Lockheed Martin's president of Strategic and Missile Defense Systems. "The government market catalyzed the initial growth of all high-tech industries in the San Francisco Bay Area. Now, through the Lockheed Martin Silicon Valley Alliance, we can help to reconnect today's companies to that market, which continues to be substantial despite a challenging economy."

MTS and VimpelCom Bid to Acquire Tele2 Russia

Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), the leading telecommunications operator in Russia and the CIS, and VimpelCom announced a joint bid to acquire Tele2 Russia, a subsidiary of Tele2 AB, for between US$ 4.0 - 4.25 billion, including US$1.15 billion of net debt.  This represents a premium of up to 30% for Tele2 AB and its shareholders relative to the equity value of the recently announced offer from VTB Capital.

In a letter to Tele2 AB, the CEOs of MTS and VimpelCom, write, "We
would like to express our strong interest in providing an alternative offer to the shareholders of Tele2 AB and we think this is a distinctly more attractive proposal.  We remain convinced that we can create vastly superior value for your shareholders and would be prepared to enter into discussions immediately with the aim of being able to conclude a transaction within a short timeframe and hence deliver the sort of transaction certainty we imagine Tele2 would be seeking."

Metaswitch Opens Near Cambridge University

Metaswitch Networks opened a new product development facility in Cambridge, UK.  Located in the heart of the University of Cambridge, the new Metaswitch office will house current employees, new recruits and interns.

“We have a long-standing association with Cambridge, with many of our graduate intake coming from the University of Cambridge,” says John Lazar, CEO of Metaswitch. “We are both centres of technology excellence and innovation, so Cambridge was a logical choice for our expanded product development team.” 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cloudflare: The DDoS That Almost Broke the Internet

San Francisco-based Cloudflare reported that a Distributed Denial of Service attack against Spamhaus has surpassed all other known DDoS attack in volume --  exceeding peak loads of 300 Gbps.

The DDoS attack, which was profiled in The New York Times, the BBC and other media outlets on Wednesday, involves a dispute between Spamhaus and Cyberbunker, a Dutch web host.

Cloudflare began providing web optimization and DDoS protection for Spamhaus earlier this month after an initial wave of DDoS traffic hit Spamhaus, which maintins a blacklist of I.P. addresses of known spammers.

Cloudflare said the DDoS attack has grown in recent days as traffic crossed several major Tier 1s, primarily in Europe.

Beyond attacking CloudFlare and its direct peers, the attackers also attacked the core IX infrastructure on the London Internet Exchange (LINX), the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX), the Frankfurt Internet Exchange (DE-CIX), and the Hong Kong Internet Exchange (HKIX).  Cloudflare estimates the attackers were able to generate more than 300 Gbps of traffic.

A blog posting describes the attack:

Egyptian Navy Captures Saboteurs Cutting SEA-ME-WE 4 Cable

The Egyptian navy reported the capture of three scuba divers who were cutting an undersea cable off the coast of Alexandria.

The BBC said that the affected cable is the SEA-ME-WE 4 and noted a drop in Internet speeds in Egypt on Wednesday.

  • On March 22, Seacom suffered multiple subsea cable cuts off the northern coast of Egypt.  These cuts disrupted a number of cable systems in Africa, Middle East and Asia connecting to Europe. SEACOM has been providing daily updates since then as it scramble to re-route customer traffic, establish other restoration options on other cables across the Mediterranean, and add further IP capacity in Asia.

Amazon Web Services Offers Dedicated Hardware Security Appliances

Amazon Web Services introduced "CloudHSM," a new service offering dedicated Hardware Security Module (HSM) appliances within the AWS Cloud. 

The CloudHSM service, which is aimed at companies data security compliance requirements,  allows customers to securely generate, store and manage cryptographic keys used for data encryption in a way that keys are accessible only by the customer.
Previously, contractual or regulatory mandates for managing cryptographic keys prevented some organizations from migrating their most sensitive data to the cloud.
AWS said its CloudHSM service enables customers maintain full ownership, control and access to keys and sensitive data while Amazon manages the HSM appliances in close proximity to their applications and data for maximum performance. 

Equinix Offers NetApp Private Storage for AWS

Equinix has begun offering NetApp Private Storage for AWS.

The service is now available in Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers where AWS Direct Connect is deployed including the United States and Asia.

NetApp Private Storage for AWS allows organizations to balance private and public cloud resources to best meet their business needs. This enables companies to maintain control of their data, comply with the most stringent privacy and security standards, and deliver sub-5ms performance.

The service enables sub-5ms response times on data traveling between the hosted NetApp array and AWS.

"Equinix’s robust cloud ecosystem makes Platform Equinix an ideal place to combine NetApp Private Storage with AWS Direct Connect. By taking down the barriers of cloud service adoption, we believe the solution will help both cloud consumers and cloud service providers accelerate business and maximize revenue streams,” Greg Adgate, general manager global alliances and partnerships, Equinix.

KT Expands its CDN Partnership with Akamai

KT has agreed to leverage technology from Akamai to provide CDN services to its customers in Korea.

Specifically, KT will use Akamai's Aura Managed CDN for its own content applications and for third party CDN services.  KT has been an Akamai NetAlliance Partner since 2011.

"The era has come where culture and digital content are leading the market.  Our main priority is to ensure access to content from any device, at anytime, anywhere," said Heekyung Song, Senior Vice President, Enterprise IT BU, KT.  "Through this partnership with Akamai, KT will provide a CDN platform specializing in media delivery, web performance and security so companies can focus on developing quality content and web applications without concerns about delivery."

SiTime Offers 32kHz MEMS Oscillator for Smartphone Market

SiTime introduced a family of 32 kHz MEMS oscillators designed to replace legacy quartz crystal resonators in mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets, fitness monitoring and watch products, medical monitoring and wellness devices, etc.

As with the company's other MEMS timing solutions, the new SiT15xx family of oscillators compare favorably to existing quartz-based devices in several ways; SiTime’s MEMS are 85% smaller, use 50% less power, and significantly exceed the reliability metrics of quartz by 15 times.

The SiT153x family operates from a 1.2V to 3.63V regulated power supply, making them ideal for smartphones that use a coin-cell or super-cap battery backup. The SiT154x family also replaces quartz crystal resonators and operates from a 2.7 to 4.5V unregulated Li-Ion battery.

“SiTime’s groundbreaking silicon MEMS and analog technology deliver innovative timing solutions that leapfrog decades of quartz industry development. Large infrastructure and consumer electronics companies have already adopted SiTime’s solutions and are profiting from our remarkable combination of highest performance, lowest cost and best reliability,” said Rajesh Vashist, CEO of SiTime. “Now, we are bringing these exceptional benefits to the booming mobile market. Our focus, passion and execution has allowed us to get 80% share of the MEMS timing market and with the new SiT15xx family, we continue to extend our lead.”

Network Instruments Intros 2U Analysis Appliance for 1G, 10G

Network Instruments introduced a smaller version of its GigaStor appliance supporting gigabit and 10G retrospective analysis for enterprise network teams.

The new appliance, which is offered in a 2U form factor, is a scalable, monitoring tool that can be expanded from 2 TB – 16 TB in the field.

Features ensuring its availability for monitoring heavy traffic loads include the Gen2 card, exclusively engineered by Network Instruments to maximize performance on critical links; plus hot-swappable drives, Lights Out Management (LOM), and redundant fans and power supplies.

“We have continually been a performance monitoring innovator, providing the fastest, most flexible solutions for service delivery management within the world’s largest datacenters,” said Charles Thompson, director of product strategy for Network Instruments. “We've developed the first platform capable of monitoring saturated full-duplex 10 Gb links at line rate, without dropping a packet. And we're the only company to offer field-scalable retrospective analysis appliances with a product robust enough to handle large datacenter demand – but small enough for deployment at the edge or within a medium-sized enterprise.”

nTelos Picks Alcatel-Lucent for LTE

nTelos Wireless, which operates in the states of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Kentucky, and North Carolina, has selected Alcatel-Lucent's LTE solution for portions of its network.

Specifically, Alcatel-Lucent is supplying its multi-technology base stations equipped with Remote Radio Head (RRH) technology.  The rollout also includes much of Alcatel-Lucent's Evolved Packet Core infrastructure. Close to 200 existing CDMA 3G-1X base stations will be replaced with Alcatel-Lucent's CDMA 3G and EVDO Rev A base stations.

Broadcom Names VP of Worldwide Sales

Broadcom has promoted Michael Hurlston to Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales.

He replaces Thomas Lagatta, who will continue with Broadcom until he retires at the end of 2013, serving as Executive Vice President of Business Development. Hurlston most recently served as Senior Vice President and General Manger of the Wireless Connectivity Combo business. He joined Broadcom in 2001.

Ericsson Completes Job Cuts in Sweden

Ericsson reduced its operations in Sweden by cutting 1,399 positions.  This resulted in 919 employees being given notice.  The majority of cuts are in Ericsson's Networks unit.

Ericsson said its expects to incur approximately SEK -1.5 billion in restructuring costs.

  • As of 31-Dec-2012, Ericsson had 17,712 employees in Sweden.