Thursday, August 22, 2013

Digital Realty to Host Open Internet Exchanges

Digital Realty Trust, which owns 122 data center properties in cities around the world, plans to establish Digital Open Internet Exchanges to expedite the carrier-neutral exchange of traffic.  Specifically, the company will provide the necessary data center infrastructure to support member-governed Internet exchanges, a model that has proven successful across Europe.

Digital Realty plans to operate as an endorsed data center partner with the governing bodies and endorsed IXPs (internet exchange providers) of Internet exchanges in each of the major exchange locations in North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. The initial rollout for Digital Open Internet Exchange will take place in the New York metro area and Northern Virginia, followed by deployment in several other U.S. markets.

“Digital Open Internet Exchange is a game-changer for the entire IP and networking community, and for our customers,” said Michael Foust, Chief Executive Officer at Digital Realty. “By creating a truly open Internet exchange environment, we are supporting the community’s desire for neutral exchanges that are more efficient and cost-effective than those available today.

“We understand that the costs and limitations associated with connecting to the existing Internet exchanges in the U.S., as well as peer-to-peer interconnecting, are simply too high.” said John Sarkis, Vice President of Connectivity and Carrier Operations at Digital Realty. “This initiative establishes the optimal exchange environment, making it possible for Internet service providers (ISPs), content delivery networks (CDNs) and content producers to interconnect with their peers as well as to other exchanges from our data centers at a significantly lower cost than they pay today, while also improving the quality of service they can provide to customers. By empowering the community to take control of the way it operates the exchanges, we will enable organizations within business ecosystems—like-minded and vertical industries—to connect with each other in and across all of Digital Realty’s 120-plus global locations.”

JDSU Sees Huge Opportunity in Mobile Location Insight Services

By monetizing a range of "Location Insight Services" (LIS) mobile operators could unlock a market opportunity worth $11 billion by 2016, according to research compiled by STL Partners and released by JDSU.

Location Insight Services would leverage aggregated and anonymous "trend" information collected from connected consumers’ mobile location data.

The study draws a distinction between LIS and Location Based Services (LBS) for individual subscribers, a market that is estimated to reach $12.7 billion by 2014, according to Juniper Research. So far, mobile operators have struggled to monetized LBS, as most of the revenues have gone to over-the-top (OTT) content players.

The STL Partners research shows that, by contrast, the Location Insight Services segment offers operators a new opportunity to monetize their location data. Mobile operators have the opportunity to aggregate huge volumes of anonymous location data over time and delivering value either directly to businesses, or via partners such as retail planners and advertising agencies.

The research highlights how organizations in industries such as retail, transport, and advertising could benefit hugely from unique LIS that only mobile operators can provide, once anonymous location data has been collated and analysed. For example, mobile analytics could provide valuable insight on the people passing through a given shopping area over time.

"The findings of this report mark a step change in the perceived value of location data and the way in which operators use it,” said Shirin Dehghan, former Arieso CEO, and now head of the location intelligence business unit since its acquisition by JDSU. “For some time, OTT players have led the way in using real-time location data to provide location-centric services to consumers, such as special offers or vouchers. LIS puts the power back in operators’ hands allowing them to monetize the value of their unique asset, mass location intelligence, creating new revenue streams in times where traditional business models remain under extreme pressure."

Earlier this year, JDSU acquired Arieso, a developer of location-aware software for mobile network operators, for $85 million in cash.

Arieso, which was based in Newbury, United Kingdom, developed a multi-vendor, location-aware network monitoring and optimization solution that delivers intelligence for more effective network performance engineering.  It also supplied an automated network planning technology that searches all possible configurations to deliver optimum network designs. Arieso said its proprietary algorithms provide highly rich and targeted data from mobile connection events to give mobile operators visibility into service level activity and usage patterns. Arieso’s bookings for calendar 2012 were approximately $27 million.

South Africa's Neotel Launches LTE Fixed Wireless Broadband

South Africa's Neotel announced that its flagship broadband service NeoBroadband, is now also available over its new LTE network.

NeoBroadband powered by LTE is a fixed wireless solution designed for Small and Medium businesses (SMB) as well as large Enterprises. The solution uses a fixed installation to connect business offices via Neotel’s LTE network, which operates in the uncluttered 1800 MHz band spectrum.

The initial release of the NeoBroadband over LTE is focused in Gauteng and offers download speeds of 2 Mbps, 5Mbps and 10 Mbps on an unshaped, uncapped package ranging from R999 to R2899 per month. 

Sunil Joshi, MD & CEO of Neotel said “The NeoBroadband powered by LTE brings business grade high speed LTE for the small and medium sized as well as large businesses. Neotel is using its LTE network to deliver efficient, stable, low contention, unshaped and uncapped internet to its business and retail customers as well as for last mile requirements. By using fixed wireless deployment Neotel can optimise the number of connections to each tower thereby delivering better speeds, consistent user experience and minimal disruptions."

Mavenir Enables RCS in Multi-Tenant NFV Environment

Mavenir Systems announced the first commercial deployment of virtualized Rich Communication Services (RCS-e) in a multi-tenant Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) environment.

Mavenir confirmed that its previously announced Virtualized IMS platform is being used by Tier-1 operators in Europe.  The operators are currently rolling out Mavenir's NFV technology as part of their VoLTE /RCS rollouts. The commercial deployment of RCS-e services in a virtualized, multi-tenant environment was launched in 2013 to serve subscribers across multiple countries.

Mavenir cited significant CAPEX reductions for IMS-based RCS deployments when utilizing multi-tenancy on a centrally deployed common platform. Mob

"We are seeing increased pressure on mobile operators to reduce the cost and complexity of network service deployment creating a market for disruptive transformation with more efficient NFV based networks,” said Pardeep Kohli, President and CEO, Mavenir Systems.  "Many of our customers are already seeing the agility and the benefits of Virtualized IMS in their live networks, not just in lab trials."

Second Round of FCC's Connect America Funding Taps $385 Million

The second round of funding from the FCC's Connect America Fund will provide broadband access to an estimated 600,000 homes and small businesses.

The FCC announced that Service Providers in 44 states and Puerto Rico requested over $385 million from the Fund.  These funds are to be matched with hundreds of millions of their own dollars.  Deployment must be completed within three years.

The FCC estimates that about 15 million U.S. residents, mostly rural, currently lack access to broadband and the opportunities it

"Broadband is no longer a luxury but is essential in today's society to finding a job, getting an education, receiving quality health care, and staying connected with family and community," said Acting FCC Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn. "This second round of support from the Connect America Fund will leverage private investment and connect hundreds of thousands of rural consumers and businesses to the robust broadband that other communities have long taken for granted. I'm delighted that requests for support in this round have exceeded our expectations, putting us that much closer to the day when all Americans have access to broadband."

  • In July 2012, the first phase of the FCC's "Connect America Fund" kicked off with about $115 million in public funding being allocated to bring broadband to nearly 400,000 residents and small business owners in 37 states.Many projects are now receiving funding and are expected to begin immediately/ All projects must be completed within three years.The FCC estimates that nearly 19 million residents currently lack access to broadband. 

Cox Business Partners with ViaWest for Colocation, Cloud

Cox Business announced a strategic partnership with ViaWest covering colocation and cloud services  in Las Vegas, Phoenix and Southern California markets.

Cox Business will provide secure fiber network connectivity matched with ViaWest's colocation and cloud infrastructure solutions.

Earlier this year, ViaWest opened its 110,000 square foot data center in Las Vegas which earned the colocation industry's first Tier IV design certification in North America.  ViaWest plans to open its 90,000 square foot enterprise-class, multi-tenant data center facility in Phoenix early in 2014 with Cox Enterprises as its anchor tenant.

"Our Cox Business customers have a growing need for scalable IT infrastructure solutions that enable them to access mission critical data anytime and anywhere," said Mark Bowser, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Cox Communications.  "By partnering with ViaWest, we have an enhanced product offering that now includes a full suite of secure cloud and colocation solutions to meet the infrastructure needs of our customers."

Proximion Cites Growth in 40G/100G ULH Dispersion Compensation

Proximion, a privately-held company that supplies optical modules and sub-systems based on Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) technology, reported record sales growth for the six-month period ended June 30 2013, up 78 percent compared to the same period 2012.

Proximion attributed the growth to a large extent to its recently launched DCM-HDC product for ULH 40G and 100G coherent systems.

Tobias Persson, Vice President of Marketing & Sales stated: “We are very pleased with the successful market acceptance of our coherent DCM portfolio but the numbers also reflect the strong demand for new coherent systems, as reported by many industrial analysts.”

Goldman Sachs Invests $40 Million in SugarCRM

SugarCRM, which offers an open-platform web-based customer relationship management service, announced a $40 million equity investment by Goldman Sachs & Co.

SugarCRM will use the investment to expand its global reach.  The company also announced the appointment of Antoine Munfa, a vice president at Goldman Sachs, to its Board of Directors. Piper Jaffray & Co. served as SugarCRM’s financial adviser during the funding transaction.

“SugarCRM’s market momentum is being fueled by the global demand for more affordable, next-generation CRM systems designed for the individual user. Because we remain laser focused on bringing innovative solutions to the individual contributor first, while delivering superior value for our customers, we are driving increased interest in CRM in the enterprise market,” said Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM. “The company’s consecutive quarter-over-quarter growth, our expanding roster of more than 6,500 customer organizations, and today’s funding all serve as proof that our strategy serves a key market need. This funding surpasses all the investments we have received to date, and we will use this capital to expand our global reach, drive channel growth, and continue our product development.”

  • SugarCRM is headquartered in Cupertino, California with European headquarters in Munich, Germany and Asia Pacific headquarters in Sydney, Australia.

Marvell Sees Strength in Storage and Mobile

Marvell posted quarterly revenue of $807 million, up 10% sequentially but down 1% year-over-year.  GAAP net income was $62 million with GAAP EPS of $0.12.

"Our results in the second quarter were at the high-end of our guidance mainly due to better demand and share gains in our storage end market and strong double digit growth in our mobile and wireless end markets," said Dr. Sehat Sutardja, Marvell's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Many of our customers are introducing new devices using our innovative solutions, which should drive continued success across all of our end markets. We expect growth to be driven by increased traction in areas such as mobile handsets, tablets, connectivity, smart home devices and SSDs."

Marvell's financial outlook for the current quarter predicts revenue in the range of $850 to $890 million.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

NFV Video Series: NFV + SDN

How does network functions virtualisation (NFV) relate to SDN?

Dan Pitt, Executive Director of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), discusses how telecom service providers are looking to leverage virtualization technologies in servers as well as in networks in order to improve operational efficiency and create new services.

This video covers:

0:12 - How does NFV relate to SDN?
2:21 - What is the ONF doing to support NFV?
3:16 - What are the key drivers for Service Providers?
4:34 - Does NFV open the door for new, virtualized wholesale telecom services?

China Telecom Post Double Digit Growth: 175 Million Mobile Users, 21 Million FTTH

China Telecom posted double-digit growth in both revenues and profits.  Operating revenues amounted to RMB157.5 billion, representing an increase of 14.1% over the same period last year. Excluding mobile terminal sales, operating revenues were RMB139.2 billion, representing an increase of 10.0% over the same period last year.

EBITDA for the first half of 2013 was RMB50.1 billion, while EBITDA margin was 36.0%. The profit attributable to equity holders of the Company was RMB10.2 billion, representing an increase of 15.9% over the same period last year.

Some highlights from the China Telecom's 1H2103 investor report:

  • Added 13.88 million mobile subscribers, bringing the total to 175 million.
  • 3G subscribers accounted for 50% of total mobile subscribers or 87.33 million. 
  • 3G smartphone subscribers accounted for 44% of total mobile subscribers. 
  • 3G APU = RMB 70
  • 2G APU = 41
  • Aggregate 3G handset data traffic was up 2X over last year.
  • Mobile service revenues amounted to RMB54.6 billion, representing an increase of 28.3% over the same period last year, and accounted for 35% of the total revenues. 
  • Revenues from wireline broadband services amounted to RMB35.2 billion, representing an increase of 5.5% over the same period last year. 
  • The number of wireline broadband subscribers reached 95.82 million with a net addition of 5.7 million, among which the number of Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) subscribers reached 21 million.
  • Local wireline voice usage was down 15.5% compared to last year.
  • Long distance wireline voice usage was down 21% compared to last year.
  • Mobile voice usage (aggregate minutes on the network) was up 20.4% compared to last year.
  • Traditional access lines in service fell 3.4% to 159 million.
  • Public phones in service fell 1% to 12.9 million.

ZTE's Revenue Dips 12% as Profits Rise 27%

ZTE’s revenues for the first half of 2013 decreased 11.9% to RMB 37.58 billion while gross profit reached RMB 310 million, a year-on-year increase of 26.6%. Basic earnings per share amounted to RMB 0.09.  The company cited improved gross profit margins and stringent cost controls.

Some highlights:

China:  ZTE reported operating revenue of RMB 18.821 billion in its domestic market in the first half, accounting for 50.1% of overall operating revenue.

Internationally: ZTE reported operating revenue of RMB 18.755 billion from the international market, accounting for 49.9% of overall operating revenue.

Product Categories:  ZTE reported operating revenue of RMB 19.050 billion for carriers’ networks, RMB 12.461 billion for terminals, and RMB 6.065 billion for telecommunications software systems, services and other products.

There was a decline in operating revenue from GSM and UMTS products in the domestic market and GSM handsets and data cards in both the domestic and international markets.

ZTE is now forecasting a net profit of between RMB 500 million and RMB 750 million in the first nine months of 2013, rebounding from a loss in the same period a year earlier.

Avaya Outlines Software-Defined Data Center Framework

Avaya outlined a Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) framework based an orchestration process that combines, customizes and commissions compute, storage and network components.  

Avaya said its framework uses the OpenStack cloud computing platform to enable data center administrations to deploy virtual machines, assign storage and configure networks through a single graphical user interface.  

The Avaya Fabric Connect further enhances the OpenStack environment by removing restrictions in traditional Ethernet VLAN / Spanning Tree-based networks to enable a more dynamic, flexible and scalable network services model than exists today.
The Avaya SDDC framework is based on the following components:
  • Avaya Fabric Connect technology as the virtual backbone to interconnect resource pools within and between data centers with increased flexibility and scale
  • An Avaya OpenStack Horizon-based Management Platform, delivering orchestration for compute (Nova), storage (Cinder/Swift) and network via Avaya Fabric Connect (Neutron)
  • Open APIs into the Avaya Fabric Connect architecture for ease of integration, customization and interoperability with other Software-Defined Networking architectures
Avaya said the key benefits of its SDDC framework include:
  • Reduced Time-to-Service: cloud services enabled in minutes through a five-step process
  • Simplified Virtual Machine Mobility: simple end-point provisioning enabling virtual machine mobility within and between geographically dispersed data centers
  • Multi-Vendor Orchestration: coordinated allocation of data center resources via a single interface to streamline the deployment of applications
  • Scale-out Connectivity: services scale to more than 16 million unique services, up from the limitation of 4000 in traditional Ethernet networks
  • Secure Multi-Tenancy: leveraging network, compute and storage layer abstraction and isolation
  • Improved Network Flexibility: overcomes current VLAN challenges to deliver a load-balanced, loop-free network where any logical topology can be built, independent of the physical layout

Dell'Oro: Growth Returns to Optical Transport Equipment Market

The total optical transport equipment market returned to a positive year-over-year growth rate in the second quarter of 2013 following five consecutive quarters of decline, according to a newly published report by Dell'Oro Group.

“It was a great quarter for the optical transport market,” said Jimmy Yu, Vice President of Optical Transport research at Dell’Oro Group.  “Demand for optical equipment took a positive turn in the quarter with higher revenues in North America and Asia Pacific pushing the global market revenue upwards by eight percent.  We attribute the growth in these two regions as follows.  For North America, growth was due to service providers increasing metro capacity to enable better broadband services to residential and enterprise customers, resulting in more DWDM system deployments.  The top two vendors benefiting from North America growth were Fujitsu and Ciena.  For Asia Pacific, the majority of the growth was due to Chinese service providers expanding their mobile LTE network resulting in a significant roll out of optical packet backhaul systems and DWDM long haul systems for inter-provincial capacity. The top two vendors benefiting from China growth were ZTE and Huawei."

Rackspace Launches Dedicated VMware vCenter Server

Rackspace is launching a Dedicated VMware vCenter Server service that helps enterprise customers to extend their VMware capacity off-premise. The service provides a Rackspace-hosted VMware environment that looks and feels just like an extension of the client's own data center.

The Rackspace-hosted VMs are pro-actively supported by VMware Certified Professionals (VCPs) up to the guest-OS layer, and backed by a 100 percent network uptime guarantee and enterprise-grade SLA, along with the company's "Fanatical Support".

Rackspace noted that it hosts one of the largest VMware environments and operates the largest OpenStack-based cloud.

“This new service has been designed to enable customers to migrate workloads out of their data center and into a Rackspace data center. This allows Rackspace to do what we do best, which is providing a fully managed hybrid cloud hosting service backed by Fanatical Support with maximum uptime,” said John Engates, CTO at Rackspace. “Utilizing Rackspace’s hybrid cloud portfolio gives customers the choice to find the best fit for their applications and workloads, all while offloading data center management so that they can focus on their core business.”

Maginatics Raises $17 Million for Cloud Storage

Maginatics, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, raised $17 million in Series B funding for its cloud storage solutions.

The company’s flagship product, MagFS (Maginatics FileSystem), "is an elastic, distributed file system that allows organizations to leverage the agility and economics of object storage (‘the cloud’) without disrupting existing workflows for both traditional and mobile users."

MagFS provides a global namespace for the management of file services, along with accelerations tools.

The funding was led by Intel Capital with participation from WestSummit Capital, Comcast
Ventures and existing investors including Atlantic Bridge and VMware.

AT&T Expands LTE Rollout to 50 More Markets

AT&T announced plans to roll out 4G LTE in at least 50 additional markets by the end of this year.

AT&T 4G LTE currently covers more than 225 million people and 370 markets, and by the end of 2013, coverage is expected to expand to nearly 270 million people and more than 400 markets.

The company noted that it has invested nearly $98 billion into operations over the past 3 years.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 Aims for Global Connectivity

A new initiative is being launched to make the Internet "available to every person on Earth."

The effort is being spearheaded by Facebook, in partnership with Ericsson, Qualcomm, Mediatek, Opera Software, Samsung and Nokia.  The partners plan to explore solutions in three major opportunity areas: affordability, efficiency, and business models.

Vertical Systems: Cable Operators Advance on U.S. Ethernet Leaderboard

Cable MSOs are making advances as providers of business Ethernet services and now comprise 20% of the total U.S. Ethernet port base, according to Vertical Systems Group's latest U.S. Ethernet Leaderboard. The Incumbent Carrier segment remains the largest, with 47% of total U.S. Ethernet ports, followed by the Competitive Provider segment (33% of ports).

Vertical Systems Group's U.S. Ethernet Leaderboard are as follows (in rank order based on port share): AT&T, Verizon, tw telecom, CenturyLink, Cox, XO, Time Warner Cable, and Level 3. Port shares for mid-2013 were calculated using Vertical's base of enterprise installations, plus direct input and other data from surveys of Ethernet Service Providers. To qualify for the Leaderboard, a provider must have four percent (4%) or more of billable retail port installations.

The following seven Ethernet providers have the next highest mid-2013 port shares and have achieved a position in the Challenge tier (in alphabetical order): Charter Business, Cogent, Comcast Business, Integra, Lightpath (formerly Optimum Lightpath), Windstream, and Zayo Group (includes AboveNet and other acquisitions). To qualify for the Challenge tier, a provider must have 1% or more of billable retail port installations.

"During this reporting period, the Cable MSOs showed very strong market penetration. For the first time, the Cable MSO segment had more new Ethernet port installations than the Incumbent Carrier segment," said Rick Malone, principal at Vertical Systems Group. "Competition was heaviest in the mid and small business sectors served by MSOs and regional CLECs, resulting in very favorable pricing for customers."

Some other key results of Vertical's Mid-2013 Carrier Ethernet services share analysis:

  • Leaderboard changes for the period include XO moving up to sixth position, Time Warner Cable moving up to rank seventh, and Level 3 dipping to eighth position.
  • The eight Leaderboard companies as a group lost more than 2% market share to smaller competitors during the first half of the year.
  • A larger percent of retail Ethernet ports are being sold using wholesale and other channel partners.
  • Ethernet providers cited an uptick in demand for connectivity to Private Clouds using Ethernet Private Lines (EPLs) and Ethernet Virtual Private Lines (EVPLs).
  • The fastest growing offerings during the period were Ethernet access to IP/MPLS services and Cloud connectivity.

The Market Player tier includes all other providers selling Ethernet services in the U.S. Companies in the Market Player tier include the following providers (in alphabetical order): Alpheus Communications, American Telesis, Bright House Networks, BT Global Services, Canby, Cbeyond, Cincinnati Bell, Consolidated Communications, Earthlink Business, Expedient, FairPoint Communications, FiberLight, Frontier, IP Networks, Lightower (includes Sidera Networks), LS Networks, Lumos Networks, Masergy, Megapath, NTT America, Orange Business, Reliance Globalcom, Sprint, SuddenLink, Tata, US Signal, Virtela and others.

SK Telecom Plans 32,000 LTE-Advanced Base Stations by Year End

SK Telecom is expanding its LTE-Advanced commercial service network, via its local entity Ericsson-LG, to downtown areas of 84 cities nationwide, including the entire Seoul metropolitan area and six other major cities.  The carrier launched its commercial LTE-Advanced service earlier this summer, offering up to 150Mbps mobile broadband speeds, twice that of LTE.  The initial launch included the entire Seoul area, the downtowns of 42 cities in Gyeonggi-do and Chungcheong-do provinces, and 103 campus towns.

The carrier plans to deploy 32,000 LTE-Advanced base stations by the end of the year, which will cover 84 cities nationwide and approximately 300 college campuses.

Ericsson confirmed its major role in the upgrade, providing the software for Carrier Aggregation and multi-carrier technology for the B5 (850MHz) and B3 (1.8GHz) bands in South Korea’s southeastern regions, where Ericsson partnered with SK Telecom for the LTE network deployment and commercial service launch in 2011.

Jan Signell, Head of Region North East Asia, Ericsson, says: "We are proud to power SK Telecom’s LTE-Advanced network, which now covers major areas of the nation. SK Telecom will be able to offer its users broader network coverage and an enhanced mobile broadband experience, ensuring continued loyalty among its customers and market leadership. Ericsson will keep collaborating with SK Telecom to exceed increasing user expectations in South Korea."