Sunday, July 14, 2013 Picks Cisco Aggregation Services Routers for its Data Centers, which claims to be the world's third-largest hosting provider, has selected Cisco's Aggregation Services Routers to expand its cloud and hosted services. operates data centers in Europe and Canada, with more than 150,000 physical servers and 500,000 virtual machines serving more than 700,00 customers.  With a dedicated fiber optic network, is able to provide speeds of up to 2 Tbps in Europe and 8 Tbps in North America, crossing 33 global peering points, which ensures superior customer experiences when accessing its servers from anywhere in the world.  The company is based in Roubaix, France.

The expansion will use the Cisco ASR 9922 Router, part of the ASR 9000 Series, to enable highly resilient IP connectivity and robust support for both IPv4 and IPv6 across the network.

Cisco said the platform was selected largely due to its ability to support such capacity with an extensive number of 10 Gbps and 100 Gbps connections. In addition, the Cisco IOS XR modular software operating system and full compliance with IPv6 enables to meet customer demand for IPv6 based services.

" has sought to deploy one of the most advanced networks in the world. By leveraging our own data center technology for our servers and our IP network from Cisco, we're able to deliver a faster, lower latency solution for our costumers while minimizing our power consumption and carbon footprint. No other Cloud and hosting company has our combination of flexible service offerings and global reach to so many Internet service providers," stated Octave Klaba, C(E/T)O of

  • Earlier this year, Infinera confirmed that had selected its DTN-X platform to interconnect its data centers via its pan-European network. The OVH pan-Eureopan network links data centers throughout 10 major European cities in seven countries.
  • OVH is also expanding to Canada and the U.S., including a massive new facility on the outskirts of Montreal with a record capacity of 360,000 physical servers. The Montreal BHS data center is powered by a hydro-electric dam located just 300 meters from the building.
  • OVH is known for building its own data centers and for building its own water-cooled servers. Key technology partners include Infinera, Cisco, Intel, vmWare, Kingston, Seagate, Level 3, T-Systems and tata.

AT&T Gains Nationwide AWS Spectrum with Acquision of Leap Wireless

AT&T announced a bid to acquire Leap Wireless for $15 per share in cash -- a deal that values the San Diego-based carrier at about $1.2 billion.

Leap currently operates a 3G CDMA network, as well as a 4G LTE network covering 21 million people across 35 states. The company serves about 5 million prepaid mobile users under the Cricket brand. It currently ranks as the fifth largest mobile operator in the U.S.

Some operating stats for Leap Wireless:
  • Over 9,500 company-owned stores, dealers, national retailers
  • Cricket’s Muve Music service has more than 1.4 customers
  • 71% of handsets sold in 1Q13 were smartphones
  • $43.72 ARPU
  • 3G average download speeds of ~600 kbps
  • 4G average download speeds of ~2.5 Mbps

The deal would include all of Leap’s stock and wireless properties, including licenses, network assets, retail stores and approximately 5 million subscribers. As of April 15, 2013, Leap had $2.8 billion of net debt. Leap shareholders will also receive a contingent right entitling them to the net proceeds received on the sale of Leap’s 700 Mhz “A Block” spectrum in Chicago, which Leap purchased for $204 million in August 2012.

AT&T said its bid is driven by Leap's spectrum in the PCS and AWS bands, which covers 137 million people and is largely complementary to AT&T’s existing spectrum licenses. AT&T would add Leap’s unutilized spectrum – which covers 41 million people – to its 4G LTE network, providing additional capacity and enhanced network performance for customers’ growing mobile Internet usage.

AT&T also said it would retain the Cricket brand name, provide Cricket customers with access to the AT&T 4G LTE mobile network, utilize Cricket’s distribution channels, and expand Cricket’s presence to additional U.S. cities.

The deal requires approval by the FCC and the the Department of Justice. AT&T expects the transaction to close in six to nine months.

  • Leap Wireless was founded in 1998 as a spin-off from Qualcomm.
  • In 2007, MetroPCS offered to acquire Leap Wireless but the deal ultimately was called off.

Horsebridge Picks ECI's GPON for City of Westminster

Horsebridge Network Systems, a UK-based international network and security infrastructure supplier, has selected ECI Telecom as their technology partners in the rollout of an advanced fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) project in the City of Westminster, London, UK.

Horsebridge have setup a new company called Community Fiber Ltd that will provide TV, Broadband and telephony services to Westminster’s residents. Plans call for the installation of GPON in more than 22,000 homes in the City of Westminster over the next three years.  The project will use ECI's I-OLT platform, which is optimized for any FTTx architecture and supports GPON, active Ethernet and full traffic aggregation capabilities.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Ericsson Acquires Integrator in Thailand

Ericsson agreed to acquire TeleOSS Consulting Ltd., a specialist in consulting and systems integration for Operating Support Systems (OSS), based in Bangkok, Thailand. Financial terms were not disclosed.

TeleOSS Consulting Ltd. delivers OSS-related solutions to telecom service providers, particularly in the areas of inventory and traffic management and software development. The company will add about 50 skilled, Thailand-based OSS systems integration professionals to Ericsson.

The acquisition complements Ericsson's existing consulting and systems integration expertise in these fields and will further strengthen the company’s customer relations and OSS transformation capabilities in South-East Asia and Oceania.

"The acquisition of the entire business of TeleOSS Consulting Ltd. will complement our capabilities in systems integration for OSS in South East Asia and Oceania, particularly in the areas of traffic and inventory management areas to offer a wide-range of solutions to our customers," says Paolo Colella, Head of Consulting and Systems Integration at Ericsson. "This strategic investment is in line with our long term ambition and commitment to strengthen our capabilities in the IT transformation area."

IBM Acquires CSL for Cloud Computing on System z

IBM agreed to acquire CSL International, a privately-held developer of virtualization management technology for IBM’s zEnterprise system. Financial terms were not disclosed.

CSL International, which is based in Herzliya Pituach, Israel, offers software that enables companies to monitor and manage their z/VM and Linux on System z environments. The software provides drag and drop simplicity to instantly create, discover, visualize and connect virtual servers to resources.

"As clients create smarter computing environments, they are looking for ways to manage IT costs and complexity without sacrificing security or the ability to scale," said Greg Lotko, IBM business line executive, System z. “The response by clients to the advantages of Linux on System z have been tremendous, with the shipped capacity nearly doubling in 1Q13 year to year. With the acquisition of CSL International, IBM expands its cloud virtualization capabilities, making it even easier for clients to take advantage of Linux on System z."

Friday, July 12, 2013

Cisco and Microsoft Team on Data Center Architecture

Last week, Cisco announced a partnership with Microsoft to accelerate the deployment of private and hybrid cloud infrastructure worldwide.  

The plan calls for an alignment of sales teams and channel partners focused on integrating the Cisco Unified Data Center architecture and Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V and System Center 2012.

The companies said their joint initiative will be rolled out globally in conjunction with Microsoft's Cloud OS Accelerate program, which provides funds to help customers offset the services cost of deploying these Microsoft solutions, accelerate deals, and drive competitive wins.  Key integrated solutions include:

Nexus 1000V Switch for Windows Server Hyper-V is a distributed virtual switching platform that provides advanced network virtualization features and tight integration with Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.   
EMC® VSPEX Proven Infrastructure Solution for Microsoft Private Cloud is a validated reference architecture that integrates Cisco server and networking components and EMC storage with Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V to provide customers with an easy on-ramp to the cloud.

FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud is a validated reference architecture that integrates Cisco server and networking, NetApp storage and data management, with Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V and System Center 2012.   

 "Over the last two years Cisco and Microsoft engineering teams have worked diligently to combine our industry-leading technology into integrated data center solutions.  Now, we're taking the next step by investing together to rapidly accelerate demand for our private cloud solutions," stated Padmasree Warrior, chief technology and strategy officer, Cisco.

Tellabs Appoints Acting CFO

Tellabs appointed Lawrence A. (Larry) Rieger its acting chief financial officer (CFO),replacing Tom Minichiello, who resigned to become chief financial officer at Westell.

Rieger is a partner with Crowe Horwath LLP, and has worked closely with Tellabs since 2003. At Crowe Horwath since 2002, Rieger previously served as the managing partner and CEO of Crowe Horwath Global Risk Consulting Service.

Tellabs also announced the promotion of Michael Miles from director – finance to vice president – finance and chief accounting officer. Miles joined Tellabs in 2005, bringing experience from UTStarcom, CommWorks, 3Com, U.S. Robotics and other companies.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mike Quigley Steps Down as Head of Australia's NBN

Mike Quigley is stepping down as CEO of Australia's National Broadband Network.

Quigley said he will continue to serve as CEO until the Board appoints a successor.  He plans to retire from corporate life after four years leading NBNCo.

"My job was to lay the foundations for the NBN for the next 30 years. That job is largely complete. NBN Co is now a well-established wholesale telecommunications company with a nationwide workforce, delivery partners, infrastructure agreements, complex IT systems and more than 40 retail customers which are supplying fast, reliable and affordable broadband to a growing number of Australians," stated Quigley.

“I joined NBN Co because I believed better telecommunications was central to Australia’s ongoing success. I still believe that today. The ramp-up in construction and the news last week that the company had passed more than 200,000 premises with fibre gives me further confidence that the NBN build can be delivered by 2021 in line with the projections in the company’s Corporate Plan.”

  • Quigley previously served as President and COO of Alcatel.

Oceus Floats LTE Base Station in High-Altitude Balloon

Oceus Networks, a start-up based in Reston, Virginia, demonstrated the deployment of an LTE base station in a high-altitude balloon.  The idea to create an easily deployable emergency network that could cover a wide geographic area within the first 72 hours of a natural disaster.

Last week, Oceus and Space Data launched an airborne 4G LTE cellular network near Boulder, Colorado.  The payload traveled nearly 200 miles and reached an altitude of 75,000 feet (22,860m). The team used Band 14 devices – data modems (the VML 700) and smartphones (the LEX 700) – both provided by Motorola Solutions, to connect to this mobile airborne LTE network. The test was conducted in coordination with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) program.

Space Data specializes in high-altitude balloon system design, payload integration and flight operations.  Oceus has integrated a military-grade LTE solution called Xiphos.

Oceus said its experiment supports the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Deployable Aerial Communications Architecture (DACA) initiative, which is exploring the role of High Altitude Platforms in the national public safety network.

"This successful demonstration underscores the role of 4G LTE in a rapidly deployable aerial communications architecture, particularly during the first crucial hours after disaster strikes, when deployable broadband technologies are critical,” said Douglas C. Smith, chief executive officer of Oceus Networks. “We look forward to continuing our work with federal policymakers and first responders on deployable solutions for extending the reach of the national public safety network, FirstNet."

IEEE Targets Super-Efficiency, Super-Dense WLANs

A new IEEE 802.11 study group has been set up to define the scope of a new standard for high-efficiency, high-performance wireless local area networks(WLANs).

The new IEEE 802.11 High Efficiency WLAN (HEW) Study Group will consider use cases, including dense network environments with large numbers of access points and stations.

IEEE said it has received interest from more than 300 individuals from equipment and silicon suppliers, service providers, carriers, systems integrators, consultant organizations and academic institutions.

In addition, an IEEE 802.11 Pre Association Discovery (PAD) task group has also been formed to explore the scope of a future 802.11 amendment intended to improve user experience by providing information about network devices and services beyond the access point prior to full connection establishment of a device to a wireless local area network (WLAN).
“The WLAN environment is evolving; no longer are stations merely looking for access to Internet service. This creates opportunities to deliver new services, as the IEEE 802.11 standard needs to be enhanced to better advertise and describe these new services,” said Stephen McCann, chair of the new IEEE P802.11aq task group. “The proposed amendment will provide mechanisms that assist in the pre-association discovery of services, by addressing the means to advertise their existence and enable delivery of information that describes them.”

Sprint Extends its Unlimited Plans

One day after its acquisition by Softbank, Sprint launched an "Unlimited Guarantee" initiative that offers unlimited talk (calls to any wireline or mobile phone), text and data while on the Sprint network, for the life of the line of service. This guarantee is applicable to both new and existing customers who sign up for Sprint’s new Unlimited, My Way plan or My All-in plan.

"Sprint continues to lead the industry in providing customers with simplicity and value,” Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said. “The Sprint Unlimited Guarantee allows our customers to lock-in unlimited talk, text and data not for just the next two years, but for life. Sprint customers won’t have to worry about their wireless bill or managing their family’s wireless usage. While other wireless providers are moving away from unlimited service, Sprint champions it."

EMC to Acquire ScaleIO for Flash, Aveska for Identity Mgt

EMC agreed to acquire privately-held ScaleIO, which develops server-side storage software. Financial terms were not disclosed.

ScaleIO creates a virtual pool of server-based storage by logically combining SSDs, PCIe Flash cards, HDDs—or any combination of these devices. It supports both virtualized and non-virtualized environments and scales from tens to thousands of servers.  ScaleIO is based in Santa Clara, California.

EMC will combine ScaleIO's server software with PCIe Flash cards, such as EMC XtremSF, in Enterprise Private Cloud and Service Provider environments.

“Flash now permeates every layer of IT—in virtualized and non-virtualized environments. Enterprise workloads are diverse in nature, and EMC is committed to offering our customers and partners choice in their Flash deployments. ScaleIO is a natural extension to our best-of-breed portfolio. It strengthens our product capabilities in the area of server-side storage and brings a world class team that will undoubtedly enable us to innovate more quickly in the future," stated David Goulden, President and Chief Operating Officer, EMC.

Earlier this week, EMC announced its acquisition of privately held Aveksa, which specializes in Identity and Access Management. Aveksa solutions help define rich user profiles and increase the convenience of managing user identities, allowing customers to continue building “situational perimeters” that can flexibly enforce security whenever and wherever users interact with corporate data and resources.

EMC said Aveksa aligns with its intelligence-driven security strategy, leveraging insight from roles, processes, and security-oriented Big Data to enable better evaluation, prioritization, detection and response to real-time threats. Aveksa is based in Waltham, Mass.

UK Proposes Lower Wholesale Line Prices

Ofcom is proposing lower prices that Openreach, BT’s network access division, can charge other telecoms providers for some of its main wholesale services. Ofcom regulates these prices because of the significant market power that BT holds in this sector.

The proposal covers wholesale charges for telephone and standard broadband services delivered to homes and businesses over BT’s copper network.  Ofcom said the new prices would be linked to inflation (measured under the consumer price index, or CPI).

  • Fully unbundled lines: the regulated wholesale price for this service today is £84.26 per year. Under Ofcom’s proposals this will fall in real terms by between CPI − 0% and CPI − 6% every year;
  • Shared unbundled lines: the regulated wholesale price today is £9.75 per year. Under Ofcom’s proposals this will fall in real terms by between CPI − 8% and CPI − 12% every year;
  • Wholesale line rental: the regulated wholesale price today is £93.27 per year. Under Ofcom’s proposals this will fall in real terms by between CPI − 2% and CPI − 8% every year.

A public consultation is underway.

European Commission Conducts Antitrust Raids

The European Commission initiated unannounced inspections at the premises of a number of telecommunications companies, saying it has concerns that the companies may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit the abuse of a dominant market position.

Various news reports said the raids included Deutsche Telekom, Orange and Telefonica in response to a complaint by U.S.-based Cogent Communications.

Ciena Supplies Packet-Optical in Philippines

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) has deployed Ciena’s 5410 Packet-Optical Reconfigurable Switch System (RSS) and OneConnect Intelligent Control Plane software across its global network.

PLDT is building a global mesh that interconnects points of presence worldwide into a highly resilient, intelligent switching network. Ciena’s 5410 RSS will link PLDT’s global points of presence to provide efficient aggregation, grooming and intelligent switching of SONET/SDH, OTN and Ethernet services with flexible tiered service-levels and differentiated service offerings.

“As the largest telecommunications provider in the Philippines and a rapidly growing international carrier, it is critical that our infrastructure is highly reliable and capable of delivering robust broadband service and applications,” said Napoleon L. Nazareno, President and CEO, PLDT. “With the implementation of Ciena’s intelligent optical mesh network solutions across our international network, we are able to give our enterprise and wholesale customers a variety of low-latency, high-capacity services with the utmost assurance, putting us on par with large global carriers,” he adds.

Talari Networks Appoints Kevin Gavin as CMO

Talari Networks appointed Kevin Gavin as Chief Marketing Officer. Gavin joins Talari from ShoreTel, where he was CMO since 2007.

Talari Networks' solutions aggregate multiple diverse networks into a virtual WAN for improving reliability and application performance. The company is based in San Jose, California.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Softbank Completes Acquisition, Positions Sprint for Accelerated LTE

SoftBank completed its acquisition of Sprint. 

SoftBank paid approximately $16.64 billion to purchase shares from existing Sprint shareholders. It has also agreed to invest an additional $5 billion in Sprint's network, of which $1.9 billion is available at closing .  As a result of the transaction, the ownership of current Sprint equity holders in the new Sprint will be approximately 22 percent, while SoftBank will own approximately 78 percent, both calculated on a fully diluted basis. Sprint Corporation will be listed and traded on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the ticker symbol, “S.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Sprint completed its acquisition of Clearwire. Sprint paid $5.00 per share, valuing Clearwire at approximately $14 billion, or about $0.30 per MHZ-pop.

Softbank expects the acquisitions will bring $2.0 billion in annual cost savings to Sprint by leveraging economies of scale and operational expertise.  In terms of global procurement, Sprint and Softbank combined have a mobile CAPEX budget of US$11.9 billion, second only to China Mobile (US$20.4 billion), and ahead of AT&T, Verizon, DOCOMO and KDDI.

Next steps:

Complete Network Vision - Sprint must continue executing on its plan to rebuild its infrastructure to catch up to LTE coverage of AT&T and Verizon.  Sprint has articulated plans to get to 200 million POP coverage with LTE (VZ already covers 297 million)

Leverage the Clearwire spectrum,  the largest spectrum portfolio in the U.S. but in the upper bands.  Its spectrum is an average 163 MHz in the top 100  U.S. markets.   Clearwire operates a nationwide WiMAX network and has been planning to make the transition to TD-LTE.  Its main wholesale customer  has been Sprint.  The companies had previously planned on extending the WiMAX arrangement through 2015.  The companies have outlined ways of bridging their FD-LTE and TD-LTE networks with dual-mode devices that are under development.

Bring iDEN spectrum to LTE -- Earlier this month, Sprint pulled the plug on its Nextel iDEN network.  This will add nationwide 800 MHz coverage to the Sprint LTE network.

Continue the Prepaid push -- Sprint already has successful brands with Virgin Mobile and Boost

Strengthen M2M -- Sprint is already active in this area.

T-Mobile Announces Jump! Smartphone Upgrades and LTE Expansion

T-Mobile unveiled its JUMP! program for enabling customers to upgrade their phones up to twice a year.

Basically, the program makes it easier to upgrade to a new device without having to wait out a lengthy contract.  JUMP!, which has an enrollment fee of $10 per month, is packaged with a smartphone insurance program.

New phones are financed through T-Mobile's Equipment Installment Program (EIP). Customers will need to trade in an eligible T-Mobile phone in good working condition at a participating store location. Any remaining EIP payments will be eliminated, and current customers can purchase new phones for the same upfront pricing as new customers, with device financing and Simple Choice Plan, a no-annual-service contract. 

On the network front, T-Mobile announced that its LTE network now reaches 157 million people across the United States in 116 metropolitan areas.  The LTE network was launched just four month ago. The company said it is on target to deliver nationwide LTE network coverage by the end of the year, reaching 200 million people in more than 200 metropolitan areas.

"At some point, big wireless companies made a decision for you that you should have to wait two years to get a new phone for a fair price. That's 730 days of waiting. 730 days of watching new phones come out that you can't have. Or having to live with a cracked screen or an outdated camera," said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile US. "We say two years is just too long to wait. Today, we're changing all that with the launch of JUMP! "

Broadcom's EPON ONU and OLT Chipsets Support DOCSIS Provisioning

Broadcom confirmed that its end-to-end EPON ONU and OLT chipsets and DML software are ready to be deployed in DOCSIS provisioning of EPON (DPoE) 1.0 environments.

Broadcom said the 1G EPON and 10G EPON access technologies offer the bandwidth, scale, and features required to deliver demanding business and mobile backhaul services. CableLabs DPoE 1.0 specification fully supports the DOCSIS provisioning processes.

The company has been collaborating with CableLabs, multi-system operators (MSOs) and industry OEMs on defining the requirements for the DPoE 1.0 specifications.

“The DPoE specifications represent a significant achievement on the part of CableLabs, cable MSOs and industry OEMs to create an open standard that achieves full vendor and equipment interoperability. This will further the growth of the cable industry by meeting the bandwidth needs of business users,” said Greg Fischer, Broadcom Vice President and General Manager for Broadband Carrier Access. “As an early supporter of the technology, Broadcom has devoted significant resources to both the standardization process and our product portfolio to make DPoE technology available today.”

CableLabs recently qualified DPoE 1.0 Systems and ONU products through its certification process.

Amazon Cuts Price for EC2 Dedicated Instances by 80%

Amazon Web Services announced a price reduction of up to 80% on its Amazon EC2 Dedicated Instances, which are EC2 instances that run on single-tenant hardware dedicated to a single customer account. Amazon Dedicated Instances offer On-Demand and Reserved Instance purchasing options.

The reduction applies to both the dedicated per region fee and the per-instance On-Demand and Reserved Instance fee across all supported instance types and all AWS Regions. The company posted the following details:

  • Dedicated Per Region Fee - An 80% price reduction from $10 per hour to $2 per hour in any Region where at least one Dedicated Instance of any type is running.
  • Dedicated On-Demand Instances - A reduction of up to 37% in hourly costs. For example the price of an m1.xlarge Dedicated Instance in the US East (Northern Virginia) Region will drop from $0.840 per hour to $0.528 per hour.
  • Dedicated Reserved Instances - A reduction of up to 57% on the Reserved Instance upfront fee and the hourly instance usage fee. Dedicated Reserved Instances also provide additional savings of up to 65% compared to Dedicated On-Demand instances.