Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Rackspace Delivers a Hybrid Cloud for CERN

Rackspace will deliver a hybrid cloud featuring OpenStack-powered public and private clouds to CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.  The Rackspace Private Cloud platform will be deployed onto servers that CERN utilizes for production physics experiments.

CERN openlab will host several joint initiatives with Rackspace focused on creating a reference architecture and operational model for Federated Cloud services between Rackspace Private Cloud, Rackspace Public Cloud and CERN's OpenStack powered Clouds. Rackspace and CERN openlab said they will test and ensure the seamless federation between private and public cloud platforms to accommodate excess workloads.

The expanded relationship consists of certain key elements such as:
  • Federated Cloud Services based on OpenStack Cloud Technologies – Rackspace will work with CERN openlab to federate CERN’s current managed services into Rackspace’s open public and private cloud environments.
  • Personnel Support – Rackspace will fund one full-time member of the CERN personnel team, who will help create cloud federation technologies.
 CERN produces more than 25 petabytes of data annually. CERN is leveraging OpenStack software to manage the resources across its two data centres that power the LHC.

This is a landmark moment for Rackspace, as we feel this is an opportunity to take our already mutually beneficial relationship with CERN to new heights,” said Jim Curry, SVP and general manager of Rackspace Private Cloud. “Through ongoing collaboration with CERN openlab, we will broaden the global reach of our hybrid cloud solutions, while simultaneously helping to set the pace of innovation within the field of particle physics.”


Alcatel-Lucent's G.fast Achieves 1.3 Gbps over 70m of Copper

Alcatel-Lucent announced G.fast access technology, which uses Bell Labs vectoring techniques and a wide frequency band to achieve very high speeds on copper lines over very short distances.  The company said G.fast is intended for typical applications of 500 Mbps at 100 meters or less. In recent demonstrations and under laboratory conditions, Alcatel-Lucent achieved 1.3 Gbps over 70 meters.  The technology is being positioned as an evolutionary step for VDLS2.

A trial conducted with A1, the Austrian subsidiary of Telekom Austria Group, first tested G.fast over a single, good quality cable, achieving a maximum speed of 1.1 Gbps over 70 meters and 800 Mbps over 100 meters. On older unshielded cables, typical of most in-building cabling in Austria, the trial achieved speeds of 500 Mbps over 100 meters on a single line. Although adding a second line introduces crosstalk, the use of vectoring can be used to maintain 500 Mbps over 100m. In comparison, DSL networks typically deliver speeds of 5-30 Mbps and VDSL2 vectoring networks typically supporting up to 100 Mbps.

Alcatel-Lucent said G.fast, which is not yet standardized, won’t be commercially available for several years.


Huawei Speeds Up LTE Circuit Switched Fallback Times

Huawei is developing an Ultra-Flash CSFB (Circuit Switched Fallback) voice solution to improve call setup times from LTE to GSM or UMTS.

After a smartphone on LTE places a voice call, Ultra-Flash CSFB allows the network to simultaneously send an indication to the smartphone to fallback from LTE to GSM or UMTS and to the circuit-switched core network to prepare resources for the smartphone. Standard CSFB solutions require first sending an indication to the smartphone and then accessing the GSM/UMTS network.

Huawei said testing at its Shanghai mLAB research center finds 20% faster call setup times compared to legacy GSM or UMTS network calls.


Huawei Hires Former Nokia Exec to Head Consumer Business

Huawei appointed Colin Giles as Executive Vice President, Huawei Consumer Business Group.

Giles previously served at Nokia as Executive Vice President, Global Head of Sales.

In 2012, Huawei Consumer Business Group recorded sales revenue of US$7.5 billion, a year-on-year growth of 60%, and shipped 127 million devices globally, including 32 million smartphones. In the first quarter of 2013, Huawei ranked number four in global market share for smartphone shipments, according to research reports from Strategy Analytics and IDC.
The company has recently launched a series of flagship smartphones including the HUAWEI Ascend Mate boasting the largest screen in the world, the HUAWEI Ascend D2 featuring a 5-inch FHD 443 PPI super retinal screen, and the industry-first LTE Cat4-enabled HUAWEI Ascend P2 that can achieve the fastest network download speeds in the world.

On June 18 in London, Huawei launched another flagship smartphone, the HUAWEI Ascend P6, the world’s slimmest smartphone at only 6.18mm.


Sprint Offers SIP Trunking in Europe

Sprint announced SIP Trunking availability in 12 European countries:  Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Session Initiative Protocol (SIP) Trunking allows businesses to replace costly "physical trunks" that connect a PBX to a service provider network with "virtual trunks" over a single IP connection. Distributed enterprise can connect multiple locations throughout Europe over the same set of SIP trunks while preserving local telephone numbers, calling plans and emergency services. This reduces the overall number of trunks needed to implement SIP Trunking in the available European locations, thus streamlining the network and operating costs for a business.

The service runs over Sprint's international MPLS network.  Sprint first launched SIP Trunking in 2009.


China Mobile Deploys Huawei 4G Base Station on Mt. Everest

China Mobile has deployed a Huawei 4G base station on Mount Everest at an elevation of 5,200 meters (the summit is 8,848m).

Huawei’s GSM base stations have been in service at the Mount Everest base camp since 2007. Huawei has already delivered 4G solutions to other parts of the region including EPC, integrated equipment rooms, BTS, microwave transmission and 4G devices.

David Wang, President of Huawei Wireless Networks, said: “Bringing 4G to Mount Everest marks an important milestone in global LTE TDD development. We are very excited to make this possible, and look forward to working with more operators worldwide to bring high-speed mobile broadband services anytime and anywhere.”


Monday, July 1, 2013

Firefox OS Smartphones Offer Low-Cost, HTML5 Web Apps

Telefónica introduced the first commercial, Firefox OS smartphone.  The ZTE Open phone will be promoted in Spain at Movistar stores from 2 July priced at €69 (inc. VAT), including €30 of balance for prepaid customers and the option of zero interest financing for post pay customers.

Some key specs

  • Screen Size: 3.5 inch
  • Display: HVGA.TFT, One Point touch + Gesture Captive(Two point option)
  • Network: UMTS
  • OS: Mozilla Firefox
  • Silicon: Qualcomm MSM7225A
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Ambient Light
  • GPS: GPS, with AGPS
  • Battery: 1200mAH

"We believe that smartphones need to be more open and that the web is the platform for making this possible. Consumers should not be locked to any one system but have the choice to consume the content they want and the flexibility to be able to take it with them when they change devices. This first open web device marks a significant milestone in making this possible. This is just the beginning as we plan to bring a wide range of Firefox OS devices to our customers," said Luis Miguel Gilpérez, CEO of Telefónica España.

"The launch of Firefox OS marks an incredibly exciting time for the mobile industry. Firefox OS powers the first smartphones built entirely on Web technologies and will stimulate an inspiring new wave of innovation for the Web,” says Jay Sullivan, Mozilla Chief Operating Officer.

Firefox OS supports standard capabilities such as calls, messaging, email, camera, et.c  It also includes built-in social features with Facebook and Twitter, HERE Maps with offline capabilities and smart walking, driving and public transit directions and the Firefox Web browser.  Firefox OS introduces a Firefox Marketplace for applications, as well as an adaptive app search that reconfigures the phone momentarily to meet the user's needs at the moment.

The Firefox Marketplace supports HTML5 apps on mobile. Popular apps initially include AccuWeather, EA games like Poppit, Facebook, Nokia HERE Maps, SoundCloud, Terra, Time Out, TMZ and Twitter as well as personally tailored and local apps that will differ by region.
Mozilla also confirmed that Deutsche Telekom will release its first Firefox OS soon -- the ALCATEL ONE TOUCH Fire.


Nokia Buys Out Siemens in NSN for EUR 1.7 Billion

Nokia will buy Siemens' entire 50% stake in their joint venture, Nokia Siemens Networks, for EUR 1.7 billion.  The deal is expected to close in Q3.

NSN was established in 2007 as a joint venture combining Nokia's Networks Business Group and Siemens' carrier-related operations for fixed and mobile networks.

Nokia plans to retain Rajeev Suri continuing as NSN's CEO, with Jesper Ovesen continuing as Executive Chairman of the Nokia Siemens Networks Board of Directors, which will adjust to the changing ownership structure.  Nokia Siemens Networks' operational headquarters will remain in Espoo, Finland, and the company will continue to have a strong regional presence in Germany, including its major hub in Munich.

"With its clear strategic focus and strong leadership team, Nokia Siemens Networks has structurally improved its operational and financial performance. Furthermore, Nokia Siemens Networks has established a clear leadership position in LTE, which provides an attractive growth opportunity. Nokia is pleased with these developments and looks forward to continue supporting these efforts to create more shareholder value for the Nokia group," stated Stephen Elop, President and CEO of Nokia.

Siemens said the divestiture enables it to focus on core areas of energy management, industry and infrastructure as well as healthcare.


Mellanox Acquires IPtronics for 100G Optical Interconnects

Mellanox Technologies completed its previously announced acquisition of privately held IPtronics A/S, for $47.5 million in cash.

IPtronics’ current location in Roskilde, Denmark, will serve as Mellanox’s first R&D center in Europe.   Mellanox expects to expand its customer support presence within Europe from this location.

Mellanox said the acquisition enhances its ability to deliver complete end-to-end optical interconnect solutions at 100G and beyond.

“Our acquisition of IPtronics further solidifies our strategy to provide full end-to-end solutions for the server and storage interconnect. Together, we expect to continue to offer faster interconnect solutions at 100Gb/s and beyond, with higher density and lower power at a lower cost,” said Eyal Waldman, president and CEO of Mellanox Technologies. “I look forward to the opportunities this union brings.  We welcome the IPtronics employees into the Mellanox family and their expected contribution to Mellanox’s continued growth.”


  • IPtronics A/S was established end 2003 by former Managers, Innovators and Technical Staff from GIGA A/S.

Ericsson Acquires Red Bee for Media Services

Ericsson agreed to acquire Red Bee Media, a media services company headquartered in the UK, for an undisclosed sum.

Red Bee, which has about 1,240 employees, provides a range of media services; from media asset management to playout and digital video publishing, metadata services, multilingual access services and creative services to major broadcasters and broadband platforms. The company is the largest editorial metadata provider in Europe and delivers more than 100,000 hours of subtitling per year for leading broadcasters.

Ericsson said the acquisition expands its role in the broadcast services market, which started in 2007 and expanded in 2012 with the acquisition of Technicolor's Broadcast Services Division. Ericsson provides technology solutions for content acquisition, exchange, distribution, delivery and the provisioning of multi-screen entertainment experiences.

"We can create value for broadcasters by making digital content more accessible, enabling monetization of TV content more efficiently. Video traffic shows very strong uptake in the mobile networks and Ericsson can address the need of both broadcasters and telecom operators through our technology expertise and services capabilities," says Magnus Mandersson, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Unit Global Services, Ericsson.


Altair Raises $25 Million for LTE Chips

Altair Semiconductor, which develops high-performance, single-mode LTE chipsets, closed a $25 million round of funding.  The company is based in Hod Hasharon, Israel.

Altair introduced its first single-mode LTE chipset in 2009.  The company was first to release a FDD/TDD chipset and the first with a commercial LTE chipset exceeding 100Mbps.  The company said it has over 100 different product design wins to date, including tablets, Ultrabooks, portable hotspots, USB dongles and routers, designed by more than 30 global customers.

The funding came from existing investors Bessemer, BRM, Giza, JVP and Pacific Technology.

"As LTE networks reach coverage parity with 3G in key markets, carriers realize that removing 3G and adapting LTE-only is the most efficient way to significantly lower costs and increase mobile broadband attach rates," said Oded Melamed, Co-Founder and CEO of Altair. "Our month over month increase in chip shipments is a testament to the widespread move towards LTE-only across the industry and we intend to use the funds to support our customers as they ramp high volume production and deploy their products in the field."


Orange Launches Corporate Identity Campaign

France Telecom Group officially adopted Orange as its corporate name and ticker symbol' "ORA". Orange was adopted as the single brand for all of the company's mobile, Internet and digital services in 2006. The fixed line services adopted the Orange brand in 2012.

Orange is launching a corporate communications campaign that highlights connections between the present and the future, and between France Telecom and Orange. It will also emphasise broader connections: between generations, between people and the society they live in, and between technology and its uses. The company said its new campaign seeks to show that Orange is focused on the future.

"Studies show that Orange is in a position to achieve the fresh start and sense of community that the Group thrives on. We want the Orange brand to convey a sense of  modernity, energy, innovation, trust and focus on the future and on customers," stated Stéphane Richard, Chief Executive of Orange.

ALU Powers Mobile Backhaul Network in Ukraine

Intertelecom, a CDMA operator in Ukraine, has completed the deployment of a national IP/MPLS backbone.  The network is based on Alcatel-Lucent's IP/MPLS-based mobile backhaul solution, including its 7750 Service Router (SR) and 7210 Service Aggregation Switch (SAS-M) along with the Alcatel-Lucent 5620 Service Aware Manager (SAM). Alcatel-Lucent also provided a range of other services, like high and low level network design, configuration and integration.  Financial terms were not disclosed.


Underwriters Laboratories Joins AT&T Mobile Broadband Accelerator

Underwriters Laboratories has been designated as an AT&T preferred PTCRB Lab for the AT&T Mobile Broadband Accelerator (MBA) Labs Program, which is now mandatory for any integrator wishing to use the network. UL said it will offer full access to AT&T's technical requirements, preventing duplication of testing procedures and ensuring that devices meet specific performance requirements. Eliminating redundancies allows for technical acceptance to be achieved up to 33 per cent quicker, meaning products are available to consumers and enterprises at a more rapid pace.

"UL has a wealth of experience in the cellular industry and we see many new and different applications being presented in greater numbers, particularly in the growing M2M area. The addition of the AT&T Mobile Broadband Accelerator (MBA) Labs Program allows us to add further value to UL's already well-established service, providing our customers with a faster route to market," stated Robert Graham, LTE Lab Manager for UL.


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sprint's iDEN Nextel Shuts Down and Heads for Recycle Bin

Sprint officially pulled the plug on its iDEN Nextel National Network at 12:01 am Eastern time on Sunday morning, June 30.  Nearly 30,000 iDEN installations were taken off air.

Decommissioned equipment from the iDEN sites will be recycled where possible. Sprint said its work includes gutting hundreds of cell sites of obsolete iDEN equipment -- from radios to server racks, antennas to air conditioners -- all will be staged for recycling vendors. Most concrete shelters that house iDEN cell sites will be crushed and turned into composite for roads and bridges. Sites where CDMA and LTE equipment is co-located will be left intact, minus the iDEN gear.

The recycling project is expected to continue into early 2014.


  • The Sprint iDEN network traces its roots to the 1987 foundation of FleetCall, which later became Nextel Communications in 1993. Sprint acquired Nextel in 2005. The Nextel network operates in the 800MHz Specialized Mobile Radio band and uses iDEN technology developed by Motorola.
  • In May 2012, the FCC issued an the order revising a burdensome legacy regulation that constrained the use of 800 MHz Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) licences in LTE deployments.
  • In 2012, Sprint selected Goodman Networks, Overland Contracting, Inc., a construction affiliate of Black & Veatch, Pyramid Network Services LLC and WesTower Communications Inc. to decommission its iDEN network.
  • Nextel developed its nationwide network using Motorola's Integrated Digital Enhanced Network (iDEN) technology, combines a digital wireless phone, two-way radio with "push-to-talk" feature, alphanumeric pager and "always connected" internet microbrowswer capabilities. iDEN leverages TDM, which uses Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) to reference a synchronized time, and then divides the channel into time slots.
  • Sprint acquired Nextel in 2005.

Friday, June 28, 2013

T-Mobile USA to Acquire 10 MHz of AWS Spectrum from US Cellular

T-Mobile USA will acquire 10 MHz of Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum from U.S. Cellular for $308 million in cash. The deal requires FCC and DOJ clearance.

The spectrum covers 32 million POPs in the Mississippi Valley region, notably St. Louis; Nashville; Kansas City; Memphis; Lexington; Little Rock-North Little Rock; Birmingham; New Orleans; and Louisville.

T-Mobile said the additional spectrum will allow for an incremental roll-out of LTE in new markets and expand the existing 4G LTE bandwidth in the important Mississippi Valley region.

“In today’s marketplace, spectrum is gold,” said John Legere, President and CEO of T-Mobile. “This is a rare opportunity to secure precious AWS spectrum in key markets that will immediately be put to use by both T-Mobile and MetroPCS customers. This deal expands our network and capacity, allowing for a broader roll-out of 4G LTE and an even faster and more reliable 4G experience for our customers – in addition to spurring competition in the wireless marketplace.”


  • Earlier this month, T-Mobile reported that the migration of MetroPCS customers onto its network was ahead of schedule and moving smoothly.  The company is making HSPA+ and LTE compatible devices available to MetroPCS customers as well as allowing them to bring their own unlocked compatible HSPA+ or LTE phone.  The full migration is expected to be complete by then of 2015.

Tellabs Acting CFO Leaves for Westell

Tom Minichiello, acting chief financial officer, resigned to take up the CTO role at Westell.  He had served as Tellabs' acting CFO since May, following the resignation of Andrew Szafran.


  • In November 2012, Tellabs named Daniel P. Kelly as its new chief executive officer and president. Kelly, 51, had served as Tellabs acting CEO and president since June 27, 2012, following the passing of Rob Pullen.  Previously, Kelly was executive vice president of global products at Tellabs. 

SanDisk Invests in Panzura for Flash-based Network Attached Storage

SanDisk Ventures announced an equity investment in Panzura, a start-up offering flash-based network attached storage (NAS) solutions for enterprise companies. Panzura’s scalable offering uses flash memory to store data off-premise in the "cloud," reducing customer system, support, administration, power and cooling costs.

Panzura, which is based in San Jose, California, offers a cloud-integrated storage system for enterprises with network attached storage (NAS) functionality, native cloud support, a globally distributed file system, built-in FIPS 140-2 certified security and data protection, as well as high speed data transfer rates to and from the cloud.  The company says the physical location of where data resides no longer affects how it is used.


  • Earlier this month, Panzura announced $25 million in Series D funding for its cloud storage solution. The company said its customer base grew by 700 percent in 2012 and that it now had the largest number of petabytes under management. The latest funding round was led by Meritech Capital Partners with participation from its existing investors Matrix Partners, Khosla Ventures, Opus Capital and Chevron Technology Ventures.

Planet Labs Plans Fleet of LEO Imaging Satellites

Planet Labs, a start-up based in San Francisco, unveiled plans to launch a large fleet of Earth imaging satellites.  The company's mission is to provide imaging services on relatively short notice at an optical resolution of 3 to 5 meters, which should be clear enough for agricultural and forestry applications while not compromising personal privacy.

Planet Labs' constellation of low Earth satellites will act in unison to provide a better view of desired targets. The first two demonstration satellites, named Dove 1 and Dove 2, were launched in April 2013 and are already delivering imagery. Further launches are planned for 2014.

"Planet Labs will create an entirely new data set, with both humanitarian and commercial value,” said Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures. “We've become used to having imagery of the entire Earth. What we haven't yet understood is how transformative it will be when that imagery is regularly and frequently updated."

Investors include Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), O’Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures (OATV), Capricorn Investment Group, Founders Fund Angel, Data Collective, First Round Capital, and Innovation Endeavors.

Roamware Partners with IBM on Big Data Analysis for Mobile Operators

Roamware introduced a roaming Big Data Analytics solution for mobile operators in collaboration with IBM.

Roaware's RWisdom provides dynamic Big Data driven insights on roaming subscriber behavior, helping mobile operators to open up new revenue streams by offering dynamic location specific insights on subscriber behavior in an information-as-a-service model to industries such as retail, travel and financial services.

Roamware is building RWisdom on IBM’s Big Data platforms including both IBM InfoSphere BigInsights and IBM InfoSphere Streams platforms.

“We have entered the Data Age and mobile operators are best placed to benefit from rich data sources available in their networks and to become providers of data-driven subscriber insight to a variety of consumer driven industries,” said Bobby Srinivasan, COO & Managing Director-RWisdom, Roamware Inc. “RWisdom prepares mobile operators to leverage the Data Age for revenue and profitability growth. Roamware is excited to collaborate with IBM, an industry leader in Big Data technology. Roamware’s mobility expertise gained from processing petabytes of operator data per day for nearly 600 operators and IBM’s Big Data technology leadership positions us as the number one Mobility Intelligence Provider to operators.”