Monday, September 23, 2013

IBM Plans Cloud Data Center in Colombia

IBM will invest US$17 million in a new data center in Bogota, Colombia.  The new center will provide Colombian companies with Cloud Computing and Big Data services.  The new facility expands the US$8 million investment IBM made in Colombia when the company opened a data center in 2011.

Since 2009, IBM has opened nine IT Services Centers located in Brazil, Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Uruguay.

According to Colombian consulting firm Vision Growth Consulting, "Colombia is one of the fastest growing countries outsourcing datacenter services in Latin America, with an estimated 15.3% growth of the data center services market in Colombia in 2013, mainly driven by cloud computing, among others, which is already a reality in the country."

"In the current competitive environment, Colombia companies are looking for high value solutions that help them solve complexity through innovation and business insight by addressing organic growth and productivity issues. Our new datacenter and our professionals aim to contribute to the private and public companies' development and the country's progress. This new investment showcases our clients' trust in our expertise and services, as well as the commitment IBM has made to the country's growth," said Francisco Thiermann, General Manager IBM Colombia.

Alcatel-Lucent Adds Long-Haul Microwave Packet Radio System

Alcatel-Lucent introduced its 9500 Microwave Packet Radio (MPR) long-haul system for areas where fiber is too costly or difficult to deploy.

The 9500 MPR long-haul system is designed to offer a smooth transition from TDM and hybrid microwave networks while providing a path to 10G capacity between microwave towers. It is ETSI-optimized to meet deployment requirements in Europe and other parts of the world.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

UN Broadband Commission Report: Poorer Countries Left Behind

By the end of 2013 there will be more than three times as many mobile broadband connections as there are conventional fixed broadband subscriptions, according to a newly issued report from The Broadband Commission for Digital Development, a joint initiative of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and UNESCO.

The goal of the report is to provide a global snapshot of broadband network access and affordability, with country-by country data.

Some highlights:

  • The Republic of Korea continues to have the world’s highest household broadband penetration at over 97%.
  • Switzerland leads the world in fixed broadband subscriptions per capita, at over 40%. By comparison, the US ranks 24th in terms of household broadband penetration, and 20th in the world for fixed broadband subscriptions per capita, just behind Finland and ahead of Japan.
  • In terms of Internet use, there are now more than 70 countries where over 50% of the population is online.
  • The top ten countries for Internet use are all located in Europe, with the exception of New Zealand (8th) and Qatar (10th).
  • ITU (2013) estimates that some 200 million fewer women are online, compared with men.

“The new analysis in this year’s report shows progress in broadband availability, but we must not lose sight of those who are being left behind,” said ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. TourĂ©, who serves as co-Vice Chair of the Commission with UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. “While more and more people are coming online, over 90% of people in the world’s 49 Least Developed Countries remain totally unconnected. Internet – and particularly broadband Internet – has become a key tool for social and economic development, and needs to be prioritized, even in the world’s poorest nations. Technology combined with relevant content and services can help us bridge urgent development gaps in areas like health, education, environmental management and gender empowerment.”

“The global roll-out of broadband carries vast potential to enhance learning opportunities, to facilitate the exchange of information, and to increase access to content that is linguistically and culturally diverse,” said UNESCO’s Irina Bokova. “It can widen access to learning, enhance its quality and empower men and women, girls and boys, with new skills and opportunities.  But this does not happen by itself – it requires leadership, planning and action.”

Friday, September 20, 2013

AT&T's Alltel Acquisition Comes in at $1,322 per Subscriber

AT&T completed its previously announced acquisition of Atlantic Tele-Network's U.S. retail wireless assets, which operated under the Alltel brand, for $780 million.

The deal includes wireless properties in six states, including spectrum licenses, network assets, retail stores and approximately 590,000 subscribers.  The former Alltel network covers approximately 4.5 million people in mainly rural areas in Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina.

AT&T plans to move customers to the AT&T network by midyear 2014.
  • $780,000,000 / 590,000 subscibers = $1,322 per subscriber
  • Alltel operates a CDMA network covering approximately 4.6 million people in primarily rural areas across six states — Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina. Once the network is upgraded to 4G, AT&T said the Alltel assets will be complementary to its own network. Alltel's spectrum is in the 700 MHz, 850 MHz and 1900 MHz bands.
  • The current Alltel brand, which is owned by Atlantic Tele-Network, was formed in early 2010 following ATNI's acquisition of wireless properties, licenses and network assets from Verizon Wireless, which was required by the FCC to sell these coverage areas.
  • In January 2009, Verizon Communications acquired the original Alltel Corporation for approximately $5.9 billion. The FCC and the Department of Justice required Verizon to divest assets in 100 areas in 22 states to win approval for the deal.
  • The original Alltel traced its heritage back to the foundation of the Allied Telephone Company in Arkansas in 1943.

AT&T Saw Record Smartphone Sales in Q3

Although the quarter is not yet over and official numbers are not yet out, AT&T reported record smartphone sales for Q3.  The company cited strong customer response to new marketing programs, new devices and the expansion of its 4G LTE network, which now covers 240 million people.

AT&T said third quarter smartphone upgrades should be higher year over year, similar to second quarter 2013, and the company expects to grow its smartphone base by more than 1 million in the quarter.

AT&T expects lower year-over-year smartphone upgrades in the fourth quarter, however, given the higher upgrade expectations for the third quarter and the new 24-month upgrade policy.

In addition, AT&T noted strong U-verse sales, saying it now expects to reach 10 million total U-verse subscribers by the end of the third quarter.  Consumer wireline revenue growth for the third quarter should  be consistent with second quarter 2013.

AT&T also confirmed published reports that it is exploring the possible sale and lease-back of some or all of its remaining wireless tower assets.

RSA Issues Security Alert Following NSA Disclosure

RSA issued a security advisory to its BSAFE and Data Protection Manager customers recommending they choose one of the different cryptographic Pseudo-Random Number Generators (PRNG) built into the RSA BSAFE toolkit.  The alert follows disclosures from Edward Snowden that subsequently led the National Institute of Standards (NIST) to strongly recommend against the use of the community developed encryption standard known as the Dual Elliptic Curve Deterministic Random Bit Generation (Dual_EC_DRBG) algorithm.

Earlier, NIST strongly recommended that, pending the resolution of the security concerns, the Dual_EC_DRBG no longer be used.

RSA said it does not design or enable any backdoors in its products.

SFR Deploys LTE in Paris with NSN

SFR has deployed NSN's Liquid Radio technology for its commercial LTE launch in Paris.

Specifically, NSN has provided its Single RAN Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Stations, which can be made LTE-Advanced capable with a simple software upgrade. NSN has also supplied its NetAct network management system to ensure consolidated configuration, monitoring, management and optimization for SFR’s network.

“This project is an important landmark in our long-term partnership with SFR,” said Benoit Duchene, head of the SFR customer business team at NSN. “SFR’s customers in Paris can now enjoy a mobile broadband experience that’s unmatched-in terms of latency, speed and the range of services available. We are committed to helping SFR in its endeavour to evolve towards networks capable of monetizing future opportunities.”

Orange Switzerland Selects Ericsson for BSS

Ericsson will supply core components of the new hardware and software architecture supporting Orange Switzerland’s business support systems (BSS). In addition, Ericsson will integrate the platforms into the Orange network and operate it over a five-year period under a managed services agreement. This cooperation expands the scope of the existing managed services agreement that was entered into early in 2013 and covers the operation and field service maintenance of the Orange network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Initially, the scope of the BSS project will comprise the billing of prepaid subscribers and the so-called multi-mediation and multi-activation features, which will be harmonized on a common platform. Multi-mediation supports the retrieval and processing of user data from all network nodes, so that such data can be made available to the relevant IT back-end systems and billed in real time. Multi-activation provides Orange with fully automated real-time subscriber management capabilities.

New 8,000 m2 Data Centre Planned for London

GVA Connect announced plans to build a new Gateway Data Centre in London’s West Thurrock, close to the M25 London Orbital motorway and the A13 road – giving easy access to London Docklands.

The new facility will have 8,000 square metres (86,000 sq ft) of data halls split over two floors and a gross internal floor area of 19,500 square metres (210,000 sq ft). Up to 47MVA of diverse power is available meaning the Gateway Data Centre is ideally suited to both normal density and High Density uses.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Japan's O3 Project Aims for Multi-Carrier, Multi-Layer SDN

Leading Japanese companies, including Fujitsu, Hitachi, NEC, NTT Communications and NTT, announced the launch of the "Open Innovation over Network Platforms" research and development (R&D) project, also known as the "O3 Project".

The project, which is supported by Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, aims to develop network virtualization technology that enables multiple telecommunications carriers and service providers who share network resources to design and construct networks and manage their operations freely to suit their needs.

Specifically, a common SDN layer will be developed to integrate a multilayer infrastructure consisting of optical, wireless and packet communications platforms. Compared to existing SDN architectures, the O3 Project targets a common, multi-carrier framework that would enable any Service Providers to share resources.

Development goals include:

1) Network management and control platform software

2) Software for network design, construction and operation management

3) Technology for developing virtualization compatible network devices -- this includes the interfaces and drivers that enable use of low-cost, high-performance resources through all layers.

The work will be divided as follows:

NEC: Development of network management and control platforms, making wireless communications systems compatible with SDN (1-3 in the above)

NTT: Making software communications devices compatible with SDN (3 in the above)

NTT Com: Creating the guidelines for design, construction and operation of SDN (1 in the above)

Fujitsu: Making optical communications systems compatible with SDN (1-3 in the above)

Hitachi: Making packet transport systems compatible with SDN (1-3 in the above)

Some of the applications being discussed for the testbed network include Big Data, 8K HD video broadcasting and global enterprise intranets. Over the next three years, the partners plan to develop prototypes and to conduct verification testing of the network virtualization technology.

NTT Com Nationwide SDN for Video Transport

NTT Com's Nationwide SDN for Uncompressed HDTV received the Innovation Award in Content Delivvery at IBC 2013.  The service provides stable transmission of uncompressed high-definition video images between the 128 members of the Japan Commercial Broadcasters Association via a large-capacity and highly reliable network.

NTT Com said the value of SDN in this application is that it enables simplified functionality for broadcasters, such as adjusting the bandwidth requirements of each station according to their program schedule. By centrally managing the network, the technology flexibly and efficiently manages traffic to ensure the flawless and timely transmission of vast amounts of data between stations.

NTT Com Expands Data Center Campus in UK

NTT Communications has begun construction of its Hemel Hempstead 3 Data Center, located northwest of London.

This will be the third data center for NTT at the site.  The new, modular, Tier IV facility will be about 10,000 m2. It will leverage the latest energy saving technologies and is expected to deliver a PUE of 1.2.

NTT Com estimates the data center market is growing 20% year-on-year in the UK.

Agilent to Split Off Electronic Measurement Business from Life Sciences

Agilent Technologies plans to separate into two publicly traded companies: one in life sciences, diagnostics and applied markets (LDA) that will retain the Agilent name, and the other that will be comprised of Agilent's current portfolio of electronic measurement (EM) products.

The new EM company, which will be named later, holds a leading position in major markets including communications; aerospace and defense; and industrial, computers and semiconductors. FY13 estimated revenues are $2.9 billion.

Key products for the EM company include: signal sources and signal analyzers, network analyzers, one-box testers, oscilloscopes and testing instruments, software and services. The EM company will be headquartered in Santa Rosa, California and initially is not expected to pay a dividend. It has about 9,500 employees.

"Agilent has evolved into two distinct investment and business opportunities, and we are creating two separate and strategically focused enterprises to allow each to maximize its growth and success," said William (Bill) Sullivan, Agilent president and CEO.

"Agilent's history is one of reinvention, starting with our own separation from HP and including four major spinoffs since 2005. We are once again making a bold move, as we have done many times in the past, to ensure a future of sustainable growth for both the LDA and EM companies," he said. "We are focused on making this transition seamless for our customers."

Boingo Acquires AWG for Airport Wi-Fi Consolidation

Boingo Wireless agreed to acquire Advanced Wireless Group (AWG), the second largest airport Wi-Fi provider in the United States. Financial terms were not disclosed.

AWG operates public Wi-Fi in 17 U.S. airports, including: Baltimore (BWI), Boston (BOS), Buffalo (BUF), Burbank (BUR), Charlotte (CLT), Detroit (DTW), Indianapolis (IND), John Wayne (SNA), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), Minneapolis – St. Paul (MSP), Oakland (OAK), Omaha (OMA), Providence (PVD), Sacramento (SMF), and San Diego (SAN). The company has also been chosen to operate the public Wi-Fi services in Phoenix’s Sky Harbor (PHX) airport.

After the acquisition, Boingo will operate the public Wi-Fi services in nearly 60% of North America’s top 50 airports and more than 40% of the world’s top 50 airports, representing more than 1.4 billion passengers per year across all airports.

“Wireless infrastructure at the airport has become more than an Internet connection for travelers; it is a primary touch-point between the airport and its passengers,” said David Hagan, CEO of Boingo Wireless. “Adding AWG’s airport portfolio to our own will help us to reach scale more quickly with a wide array of services that leverage the wireless infrastructure to help airports better serve those passengers.”

Rackspace Offers E-Learning Training for Openstack

In an effort to build on the momentum of Openstack, Rackspace is launching an on demand e-learning training course, adding four new classroom-based courses and establishing a training partner program.

“As the founder of OpenStack, Rackspace recognizes the need for comprehensive educational courses and delivery models and is fundamentally revolutionizing OpenStack training to include a Certified Training Partner Program and on demand e-learning course,” Tony Campbell, director of training and certification for OpenStack at Rackspace. “We are thrilled with the momentum that the Rackspace Training for OpenStack program has had over the past year, and we are proud to expand the scope of the program and provide individuals with the necessary skills to secure OpenStack related jobs.”

Rackspace noted that at its 3-year anniversary mark in July 2013, OpenStack had more than 10,000 contributors; greater than 1,000 code authors; more than one million lines of code and was utilized by more than 200 companies in 120 countries.  The BSA Global Cloud Scorecard 2013 predicts an estimated 14 million cloud jobs will be created by 2015.

Violin Memory Launches Maestro Software Suite

Violin Memory released a Memory Services software suite for acceleration, tiering, migration and protection of application data in the enterprise data center.

The Violin Maestro suite of Memory Services, which runs on memory-optimized, hardware-accelerated Violin Memory Appliances, provides non-disruptive migration of data off legacy storage to high performance Violin Memory Arrays. The company said its software transparently learns application I/O patterns and accelerates performance.  The software provides dynamic tiering of application data between Memory Tier and disk storage.

“Today, we are expanding our enterprise memory software portfolio to bring the benefits of memory-based computing to traditional enterprise storage at significantly better economics than what is offered by legacy storage vendors,” said Don Basile, CEO of Violin Memory.   “With Violin Maestro, data can be tiered in real time across memory and disk storage to accelerate applications at the speed of memory.”

Zayo Intros its First 100G Wavelength Services in Europe

Zayo Group has begun offering a 100G wavelength services between London and Amsterdam.  This is the first 100G route on its European network.

Zayo's 100G wavelength platform is already operational in several U.S. locations and will continue to be deployed in Europe during the rest of 2013 and into the first half of 2014.

”This route is deployed and ready for immediate implementation by European customers with high bandwidth connectivity needs,” said Alastair Kane, vice president of Zayo Europe. “The European 100G deployment includes the latest optical technology which provides the fastest commercially available IP services to Internet and content companies.”

  • In 2012, Zayo acquired AboveNet for approximately US$2.2 billion.

Orange Business Services Picks Ericsson for M2M

Orange Business Services has chosen Ericsson’s Device Connection Platform delivered as a service to enrich its existing M2M products and solutions portfolio to support international customers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ericsson said its solution enables Orange's customers to deploy, scale and operate millions of M2M connections using a service portal, available at anytime from anywhere, customers can access self-service functionality to manage and control their installed SIM base, including real-time access to monitor operational levels, support management, and access statistics.

Thierry Bonhomme, CEO, Orange Business Services, said: "Orange Business Services has been investing in the Internet of Things for many years with the ambition to be a key player in the global M2M market. We continue to enrich our M2M portfolio to provide market-leading services to international companies. This agreement with Ericsson is another step in our global approach to M2M offers and in building an ecosystem of selected partners to the benefit of our customers.”

See also