Monday, April 22, 2013

China Mobile Tops 726 Million Mobile Lines as ARPU Falls


As of 31-March-2013, China Mobile was serving 726.31 million customers, up by about 16 million customers over the past three months.  However, ARPU fell to RMB 63 (US$10.19) compared to RMB 71 during the preceding quarter. The number of 3G customers reached 114 million. The carrier said it continues to observe and increasing trend of "one customer with multiple SIM cards."
 
The company reported Q1 2013 revenue of RMB134.7 billion (US$21.6 billion), up by 5.7% over the same period of last year.  EBITDA came in at RMB61.2 billion, up by 0.8% over the same period of last year.

China Mobile said Q1 was characterized by "difficulties and challenges arising from the increasing mobile penetration rate, unprecedentedly intense market competition and more apparent substitution of
traditional communication business by new technologies and new businesses.


Wireless data traffic in Q1 2013 increased by 1.6 times compared to the same period of last year.

http://www.chinamobileltd.com

Xtera Introduces Next Gen Optical Repeater for Undersea Cables

Xtera Communications introduced a next-generation optical repeater for extending high-capacity reach on subsea cable systems.

Xtera is leveraging a modular optical design to allow the amplifiers to be tailored to different system requirements, with variants covering both short regional systems and very long transoceanic systems.  One variant offers an optical bandwidth extending well beyond the normal EDFA C-band.

Xtera said its new repeater is constructed from marine grade titanium, resulting in a very light and exceptionally strong unit that can be deployed to water depths of 8 km. It is also sufficiently small that it can pass directly through a plough during burial operations – making it easier to handle during laying and assembling.

“With this modular product Xtera can better optimize the design of subsea cable systems and address the need for higher capacity per fiber with wider optical bandwidth,” said Stuart Barnes, CTO Submarine Systems of Xtera. “We had the advantage of not having to evolve an existing design and have been able to find modern solutions to old problems, for example improving electrical to optical power conversion. The new repeater adds nicely to Xtera’s turnkey solutions for building new subsea cable systems or upgrading the wet plant of existing systems.”

http://www.xtera.com


CommScope Simplifies Distributed Antenna System (DAS)


CommScope introduced a version of its ION platform aimed at reducing the complexity out of integrating a distributed antenna system (DAS) into a macro wireless network.

The new ION-U guides the design, planning, installation, setup, commissioning and optimization of a DAS. The platform offers built-in monitoring for measuring network quality, monitoring interference and passive intermodulation (PIM) and conducting detailed uplink/downlink spectrum analysis

“The ION-U has built-in intelligence that greatly simplifies installation, transforming a job that required considerable expertise into a relatively easy task,” said Matt Melester, senior vice president and general manager, Distributed Coverage and Capacity Solutions, CommScope.

http://www.commscope.com

GlobeNet Boosts Bermuda Undersea Cable


GlobeNet, a wholly owned subsidiary of Oi (formerly Brasil Telecom), completed construction on its new high capacity subsea cable system (Segment 5), which connects Bermuda to New Jersey.  The new subsea cable system has a total design capacity of 30 Tbps.  It is designed to support 150 wavelengths per fiber-pair at 100 Gbps per wavelength.

As an integral part of GlobeNet’s dual-ring subsea cable system, Segment 5 has the largest cross-sectional capacity per fiber pair of any system built or contracted to date.

The Segment 5 system includes the use of TE SubCom Submarine Line Terminating Equipment (SLTE), which allows transmission of multiple high-quality, high-bandwidth optical signals over ultra-long distances.

http://www.globenet.net

Ixia Upgrades its Anue Net Tool Optimizer for 100GbE

Ixia introduced an upgraded version of its Anue Net Tool Optimizer for providing network visibility into physical and virtual networks. The upgrade enables large enterprises and mobile carriers to monitor the increasing number of 100GbE network ports with existing 1, 10 and 40GbE monitoring tools.  


Up to four of the new 100GbE interface modules can be supported on one high-density Anue NTO device, or may be combined with 1, 10 or 40GbE ports in a single 2RU chassis.

In addition, the release of the Network Visibility Operating System (NVOS) v3.8 and the 100GbE Interface Module supports new capabilities that improve forensic analysis capabilities, advance application performance monitoring and simplify security monitoring of 100GbE networks.  Ixia said this multi-speed monitoring capability helps companies preserve their previous investments in network visibility tools.

http://www.ixiacom.com


OFS Debuts Single-Mode Fiber for 100G with 12,000km Reach


OFS introduced a new single-mode fiber designed for 100 Gbps coherent transport in submarine systems for distances up to 12,000 km.

The new TeraWave ULA Ocean Fiber boasts the industry’s largest effective area, excellent cabling performance, and significantly reduced attenuation for reliable coherent transmission at 100 Gbps over trans-oceanic distances. OFS said its fiber’s very large effective area (153 ┬Ám2) reduces nonlinearities, enabling the launch of higher signal power into the span, and improves signal loss (0.176 dB/km at 1550 nm). When used in shorter length applications, the fiber can provide even better nonlinearity performance for increased spectral efficiency.

OFS said the new fiber is optimized for ultra long haul networks that use advanced modulation formats and coherent detection, such as transoceanic networks where extreme distances between shore end terminals limit the per-channel launch power in DWDM transmission.

http://www.ofsoptics.com/press_room/view_press_release.php?txtID=361

NASA Launches Lowest Cost PhoneSats


NASA has successfully launched a trio of "PhoneSats" to determine whether a consumer-grade smartphone can be used as the main flight avionics of a capable, yet very inexpensive, satellite.

NASA's PhoneSats are currently in orbit and successfully transmitting information about their health to multiple ground stations on Earth.  The satellites, which are expected to remain in orbit for as long as two weeks, are being monitored by a team at the Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.


NASA said the three PhoneSat satellites are emitting packets over the amateur radio band at 437.425 MHz using AFSK (1200 bps) modulation, AX.25 packet coding and with vertical linear polarization.

"Smartphones offer a wealth of potential capabilities for flying small, low-cost, powerful satellites for atmospheric or Earth science, communications, or other space-born applications. They also may open space to a whole new generation of commercial, academic and citizen-space users," said Michael Gazarik, NASA's associate administrator for space technology in Washington.

http://www.phonesat.org/

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Reporter Notes from ONS 2013: NTT Com, Internet 2, Google

By James E. Carroll, Editor
NTT Communications was among the first Service Providers to see the potential of OpenFlow and SDN for transforming its operations, said Yukio Ito, Senior VP Service Infrastructure, NTT Communications.  Some notes from his keynote at the Open Networking Summit 2013 in Santa Clara, California:

  • NTT Com's reasons for pursuing SDN include shorter time to market, service differentiation, and reduced CAPEX/OPEX.
  • NTT Communications has a Global Cloud Vision encompassing many of its enterprise services and all self-managed under an integrated cloud portal.
  • The company launched its SDN-enabled Enterprise Service in 2012, including the self-provisioning portal website.
  • OpenFlow is being used for inter-data center back-ups between NTT Communications' Global Data Centers.  The service allows bandwidth can be boosted on-demand using the OpenFlow controller.
  • The results of using OpenFlow/SDN for the Enterprise Cloud service have been good, including better service automation, a topology-free design, an the overcoming the 4K VLAN limitation that the network would otherwise face.  There have been some issues.  The OpenFlow v1.0 specification did not meet requirements for redundancy, current silicon has meant a "flow table shortage", and the network has generally been less programmable than NTT Communications expects.  The company is working to overcome these issues.
  • NTT Com is working on its SDN architecture that will provide a common framework for northbound and southbound interfaces.  The company will use vendors and/or open source if they meet its criteria.
  • NTT Com is very interested in extending SDN to the optical transport layer. The ONF's Optical Transport WG is expected to accelerate this discussion.
  • One additional challenge is that the interconnection between a data center network and an MPLS-VPN is not currently automated.  The company is developing a "Big Boss" SDN controller to address this challenge.

INTERNET2

The experimentation with Software Defined Networking underway in Internet2 in many ways parallels the birth of the commercial Internet, said Dave Lambert, President and CEO of Internet2.  Many U.S. companies, in fact, have their roots in academia, such as Cisco (Stanford), Sun (Berkeley and Stanford), Google (Stanford), Arbor ( U.of Michigan), Akamai (MIT), etc.

Some notes from his presentation:

  • It's time for a change. Most of the network paradigm was created 35 to 40 years ago, when Ethernet and IP emerged despite strong technical objections.
  • Will we fight re-centralization of an open control plane and hybridization to a potentially post-IP, SDN-based packet environment? This is like the packet-circuit debate with IBM's SNA group back in the day.
  • Getting bandwidth limitations out of the way for the academic community is a key objective.
  • Bandwidth and openness are imagination enablers.  An open networking stack is risky but is among the most exciting things.
  • Data intensive science in genomics and physics really do demand flexibility to handle massive data flows.
  • 29 major universities are committed to the Innovation Platform Program.  This entails (1) 100 GigE connectivity to their campus and across their campus (2) support and access Intenet2's Layer 2 OpenFlow-based service (3) Invest in developing applications that run across this network.
  • The U.S. academic is admittedly on the cutting edge. 

SDN @ GOOGLE

Google's software defined WAN, which is the basis its internal network between data centers, is real, it works, and has met the company's expectations in terms of scalability and reliability, said Amin Vahdat, Distinguished Engineer at Google.  Some notes from his presentation:

  • It's been a year since Google announced that its internal backbone had been migrated to SDN.
  • Growth in bandwidth continues unabated.   Google's internal backbone actually carries more traffic than its public-facing network.
  • Planning, building and provisioning bandwidth at Google scale had been a major headache, hence the interest in SDN. Over-provisioning costs were also a major driver to adopt SDN.  Slow convergence time in the event on an outage was another factor.
  • Google wanted to go with  logically centralized network control instead of the decentralized paradigm of the Internet.  This centralized approach leads to a network that is more deterministic, more efficient and more fault tolerant, according to Vahdat.
  • B4 is the name of Google's software defined WAN.  Vahdat describes it as a warehouse-scale-computer (WSC) network.  It links data centers around the world  (a map shows 12 nodes across Asia, North America and Europe) . So far this network is successful, so the next step may be to run some Internet user-facing traffic across this same backbone.
  • The B4 network runs OpenFlow. Google built its own network hardware using merchant silicon. The are 100s of ports of non-blocking 10GE.
  • Google uses Quagga for BGP and IS-IS.  A hybrid SDN architecture is used to bridge sites that are fully under SDN control and legacy sites. This means that SDN can be deployed incrementally.  You don't have it deploy it everyone on Day 1.
  • Traffic engineering is the first application on the SDN WAN. This was implemented about a year ago.  It takes into account current network demand and application priority.
  • Google has been adding capabilities pretty quickly through frequent software releases. 



http://www.opennetsummit.org



Symantec Tracks Growing Phishing and Watering Hole Attacks


Targeted cyber attacks, such as spear phishing, rose 42% in 2012 compared to a year earlier, according to Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 18 (ISTR), released last week.

Over the past year, Symantec noted an increase in cyberespionage attacks targeted at the manufacturing sector as well as small businesses, which now constitute 31 percent of these attacks. This could be due to more sophisticated defenses in place at larger enterprises, or simply that the criminals have extended their reach to more organization.

Two significant attack vectors, according to the report, remain unpatched but legitimate websites (nearly 53% of legitimate websites were found to have unpatched vulnerabilities that hackers could potentially exploit to place malware) and mobile malware.

"This year’s ISTR shows that cybercriminals aren’t slowing down, and they continue to devise new ways to steal information from organizations of all sizes," said Stephen Trilling, chief technology officer, Symantec. "The sophistication of attacks coupled with today’s IT complexities, such as virtualization, mobility and cloud, require organizations to remain proactive and use ‘defense in depth’ security measures to stay ahead of attacks."

Some highlights of the report:

  • Watering hole attacks, where a legitimate website is poisoned and the hackers then wait for a victim to arrive, emerged as a rising threat in 2012. A large number of victims can be compromised in a short period of time.
  • Symantec estimates that 61% of websites serving malware are in fact legitimate website and unaware they have been compromised.
  • Global spam rates declined slightly in 2012.  Spam represented about 69% of all email sent in October 2012 compared to 79% in January 2011.
  • Symantec estimates that 1 in 414 emails is a phishing attack.
  • Symantec estimates that 1 in 283 emails is a malware attack.
  • Symantec found that Apple’s iOS had the most documented vulnerabilities in 2012, but that there was only one threat created for the platform. On the other hand, the Android OS only had 13 vulnerabilities reported, but led all mobile operating systems in the amount of malware written for the platform. 

http://www.symantec.com/about/news/release/article.jsp?prid=20130415_01

http://www.slideshare.net/symantec/istr-volume-18

Google Expands North Carolina Data Center


Google announced an expansion of its data center in Lenoir, North Carolina and an agreement with Duke Energy to pursue renewal electricity sources.

Google also confirmed that is has invested over $1 billion to date in renewable energy projects.  The company has agreements in place for over 260 megawatts (MW) of wind power near its data centers.  Google also has 1.7 MW of solar panels in place at its headquarters in Mountain View, California.

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Ionic Security Raises $9.4 Million for Cloud+Mobility Enterprise Platform

Ionic Security, a start-up based in Atlanta, announced $9.4 million in Series A-1 funding for its unified cloud and mobility security platform for the enterprise.

Founded in 2011, Ionic Security (formerly Social Fortress) combines identity and access management, data-centric policy enforcement and comprehensive usage auditing to provide enterprises with an unprecedented level of control of their data without the need for, or use of, gateways. Administrating Ionic Security's Fusion platform is done through simple dashboards, tablet-oriented UI and a powerful correlation and policy engine while end-users see no change to their workflows.

The funding was led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and included Atlanta-based TechOperators and increased participation by early investors such as famed security entrepreneurs Ken Levine and Dr. Paul Judge.

"Enterprises want to take advantage of the reduced costs and increased usability of cloud and mobile applications, but hesitate due to security concerns," said Steve Abbott, Ionic Security CEO. "Our Fusion platform provides the security controls executives need to approve cloud migrations, especially in regulated environments. Customers see lower costs, higher employee satisfaction and increased security."

http://www.ionicsecurity.com


University of Illinois Develops High-Power Microbatteries

Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed new microbatteries only a few millimeters in size.

The batteries feature an internal three-dimensional microstructure that allows for significantly faster charging and discharging -- about to 1,000 times faster than conventional batteries, out performing even the best supercapacitors. The researchers see potential applicability in microelectronics.

http://www.news.illinois.edu/news/11/0321batteries_PaulBraun.html

VimpelCom Exits Cambodia


VimpelCom has sold its entire indirect stake in Sotelco Ltd. in Cambodia to its local partner, Mr. Huot Vanthan. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jo Lunder, Chief Executive Officer of VimpelCom, commented: "We have previously outlined our Value Agenda within which our operations are reviewed to assess their future value to the Group. The decision to sell our interest in Cambodia is a result of this process.  We are happy that our long term partner in the company now takes control of the business in Cambodia."

VimpelCom, or its invested partners, currently serve 214 million mobile subscribers on a combined basis in the following countries:  Russia, Italy, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Algeria, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Central African Republic and Canada.

http://www.vimpelcom.com 

Seaborn Brings its US-Brazil Cable Capacity to Sao Paulo

Seaborn Networks, which operates the Seabras-1 cable system linking the US and Brazil, is establishing its first Brazil gateway in Equinix's International Business Exchange (IBX) data center in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Seaborn Networks' Brazil – US submarine cable is a four-fiber pair, 32 Tbps system that will offer the first direct route between Sao Paulo and New York City.

"Seaborn understands the importance of leveraging strategic points of presence in key metropolitan areas," said Larry Schwartz, CEO of Seaborn Networks. "We selected SP2 as our first gateway from Brazil to the US because it provides us with access to the single largest concentration of carriers, content providers and other companies that require a direct route between Sao Paulo and New York City."

http://www.seabornnetworks.com



Friday, April 19, 2013

tw telecom Introduces DDoS Scrubbing Service


tw telecom introduced a DDoS Scrubbing service designed to protect customer networks during a denial of service attack.

DDoS Scrubbing filters out malicious traffic while allowing good data to flow through the network during an attack. The data inspection and DoS protection is enabled across tw telecom's nationwide network.

"Our DDoS Scrubbing service offers granular traffic management, which protects customer network resources so they can continue to operate at high levels of quality without impeding network performance," said Trent Pham, Director of Security Product Portfolio at tw telecom.

http://www.twtelecom.com

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Video: Where is SDN today? (part 2)



Where does SDN stand today in Service Provider networks?

00:10 - Verizon -- Prodip Sen, Director, Network Architecture
01:45 - NTT Communications, Nayan Naik, Director, Product Strategy, Data Center, Services
03:17 - Telstra, Frank Ruhl, CTO
03:45 - Ericsson, Jan Haglund, VP, Product Area IP & Broadband
04:30 - Cyan, Steve West, CTO
05:29 - Overture - Michael Aquino, President and CEO
06:17 - Metaswitch, Andrew Randall, SVP Corporate Development
07:45 Netronome, Daniel Proch, Director of Product Management

Verizon's LTE Now Covers 95% of its 3G Footprint, 28% of Devices on LTE

Verizon reported Q1 revenue of $29.4 billion, a 4.2 percent increase compared with first-quarter 2012, and 68 cents in EPS, a 15.3 percent increase compared with first-quarter 2012 earnings of 59 cents per share.  Growth was driven by an 8.6 percent year-over-year increase in wireless service revenues, 4.3 percent year-over-year increase in wireline consumer revenues, and a 6.0 percent year-over-year increase in revenues for global enterprise strategic services.  Q1 CAPEX was $3.6 billion, flat year over year.

“Verizon is off to an excellent start in 2013,” said Lowell McAdam, Verizon chairman and CEO.  “Our strategic investments in wireless, wireline and global networks have given us the platforms to sustain momentum and take advantage of growth opportunities in key markets for broadband, video and cloud services.  With ongoing improvements in operating efficiency, we expect continued growth in free cash flow and earnings as we move through the year.”

Some highlights:

Wireless

  • Verizon Wireless added 677,000 retail postpaid net connections, out of a total 720,000 net retail connections, in the first quarter.
     
  • At the end of Q1, the company had 98.9 million retail connections, a 6.4 percent increase year over year -- including 93.2 million retail postpaid connections.
  • Verizon Wireless had 34.9 million retail postpaid accounts at the end of the first quarter, a 1.1 percent increase over first-quarter 2012, and an average of 2.7 connections per account, up 5.1 percent year over year.
  • At the end of the first quarter, smartphones accounted for more than 61 percent of the Verizon Wireless retail postpaid customer phone base, up from 58 percent at the end of fourth-quarter 2012.
  • Retail postpaid churn was 1.01 percent in the first quarter, up 5 basis points year over year.  Retail churn was 1.30 percent in the first quarter, up 6 basis points year over year.
  • As of April 18, Verizon Wireless 4G LTE service is available to 287 million people in 491 markets across the U.S., covering more than 95 percent of Verizon’s current 3G network footprint.

Wireline

  • Verizon added 188,000 net new FiOS Internet connections in first-quarter 2013, marking the third consecutive quarter of sequential growth in net customer additions.  The company also added 169,000 net new FiOS Video connections in the quarter.  Verizon had a total of 5.6 million FiOS Internet and 4.9 million FiOS Video connections at the end of the quarter, representing year-over-year increases of 12.0 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively.
  • FiOS penetration (subscribers as a percentage of potential subscribers) continued to increase.  FiOS Internet penetration was 38.2 percent at the end of first-quarter 2013, compared with 36.4 percent at the end of first-quarter 2012.  In the same periods,
  • FiOS Video penetration was 34.1 percent, compared with 32.3 percent.  The FiOS network passed 17.8 million premises by the end of first-quarter 2013.
  • Broadband connections totaled 8.9 million at the end of first-quarter 2013, a 1.4 percent year-over-year increase.  Overall, net broadband customers increased 99,000 in the first quarter, as FiOS Internet net customer additions more than offset fewer subscribers for DSL-based High Speed Internet services.
  • Verizon has been replacing high-maintenance portions of its residential copper network with fiber optics to provide enhanced services and to reduce ongoing repair costs.  In first-quarter 2013, Verizon migrated 83,000 homes to fiber, toward a target of 300,000 migrations within FiOS markets in 2013.
  • Verizon Enterprise Solutions completed agreements with and began deploying innovative business technology solutions for a variety of corporations and organizations in the quarter, including the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Ocean Exploration Trust, Quest Diagnostics and Synchronoss Technologies (Nasdaq: SNCR).

http://www22.verizon.com/investor/

Amazon S3 - Two Trillion Objects, 1.1 Million Requests / Second

Amazon Web Services is currently storing two trillion objects in its S3 cloud storage service, double the number of just one year ago (it took the first six years of the service to reach the first trillion).    Peak loads are often reaching 1.1 million requests/second.

http://aws.typepad.com/aws/2013/04/amazon-s3-two-trillion-objects-11-million-requests-second.html

See also