Tuesday, October 29, 2013

OIF Members Approve Smaller 100G Modules

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) members approved three Implementation Agreements (IAs) addressing the needs for smaller modules for 100G deployments:

  • The 100G Long-Haul DWDM Transmission Module IA specifies key electromechanical aspects of Generation 2.0 of a 100G Long-Haul DWDM Transmission Module, for optical line interface and specifically 100G PM-QPSK long-haul DWDM transmission applications. The module size has been decreased by 40% to 4x5 inches to accommodate technological advances made since the first module was introduced and to reflect lower power consumption.
  • The Integrated Polarization Multiplexed Quadrature Modulated Transmitters IA specifies key aspects of optical transmitters operating at rates up to 32 GBd per channel for applications such as 100G PM-QPSK DWDM transmission. The agreement reduces the size of the transmitter to fit into the Gen 2 LH DWDM Transmission Module.
  • The Intradyne Coherent Receivers IA also targets 100G PM-QPSK applications with nominal rates up to 32 GBd.  This IA reduces the size of the receiver to fit within the smaller 4x5 module and also will now fit into future CFP modules.

A fourth implementation agreement defines medium reach Common Electrical I/O (CEI)-28G-MR, for an electrical channel operating at peak speeds. This expands on the OIF's CEI work that defines the characteristics required to communicate between a CEI-28G-MR transmitter and a CEI-28G-MR receiver. This clause details the requirements for the CEI-28G-MR medium reach high-speed electrical interface between nominal baud rates of 19.90 Gsym/s and 28.1 Gsym/s using NRZ coding. Medium reach is defined as capable of driving up to 500 mm of PCB and up to 1 connector.

“100G DWDM represents a significant development expense for component and system suppliers,” said Nathan Tracy of TE Connectivity and the OIF technical committee chair.    “The original implementation agreements for 100G have been refreshed to support second generation smaller form factor modules and the expectation for future pluggable modules. Smaller form factor modules enable higher density, lower power equipment.”


Pacnet Activates 100G Mesh on Transpacific Cable System

Pacnet has activated an optical mesh network with 100G on its EAC Pacific fiber optic cable system.  Pacnet can now offer its Carrier and Enterprise customers 10Gbps, 40Gbps and 100Gbps services between Asia-Pacific and the U.S.

Pacnet said its new backbone integrates subsea fiber infrastructure and terrestrial backhaul links supporting pure packet technology and OTN switching in the optical core.  The upgrade supports both Ethernet and OTN interfaces at a location, allowing flexible selection of whether to multiplex, scale up and down, amplify, groom, optically express, or switch individual data streams.

"We are the first carrier to support 100G service between Asia and the United States,” says Andy Lumsden, Chief Technology Officer of Pacnet.  “With this successful upgrade, we have significantly boosted our bandwidth capacity and scalability to serve the dynamic needs of carriers and enterprises that support compute-intensive operations in the region.”


  • EAC Pacific is a trans-Pacific cable system providing connectivity between Chikura, located off the coast of Japan near Tokyo, to Los Angeles, California and other network Points of Presence (PoPs) on the West Coast of the United States.  The two fiber pairs, collectively known as EAC Pacific, provide up to 1.92 Terabytes per second (TBps) of capacity.

  • Pacnet owns and operates EAC-C2C, Asia’s largest privately-owned submarine cable network at 36,800 km, as well as EAC Pacific, which spans 9,620 km across the Pacific Ocean.  EAC-C2C connects to cable landing stations in Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, the Philippines and China.

TM Forum Launches REST-based API Ecosystem

The TM Forum launched an API ecosystem containing a suite of REST-based APIs developed for end-to-end digital services management.

The API Zone, which is part of the TM Forum's Open Digital Program, aims to serve all digital services stakeholders including consumers, developers, providers and operators. TM Forum and its members defined and developed the APIs in a three month cycle using agile development techniques.

The API Zone features four APIs: Catalog Management, Trouble Ticketing, Product Ordering and Simple Management. The purpose of these APIs is to create easy sharing of management information and expose management functions such as submitting orders or creating trouble tickets between partners.


Columbus Networks Upgrades Florida Net to 100G with Coriant

Columbus Networks, which operates the largest subsea multi-ring fiber-optic network connecting the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico and the United States in partnership with CWC Wholesale Solutions, has selected Coriant's coherent 100G solution to expand its network. The strategic network upgrade will use Coriant's hiT 7300 intelligent transport platform for multiple 100G optical transmission links in its Florida Transport Network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"We are pleased to be a strategic partner of Columbus Networks to help them advance the capabilities of their DWDM backbone network with best-in-class 100G technology," said Herbert Merz, president and CEO, Coriant. "Our revolutionary vision for software-enabled, end-to-end optical networks, combined with a proven heritage of engineering excellence, places Coriant in a unique position to offer compelling customer solutions that deliver immediate CapEx and OpEx savings while future-proofing networks for long-term growth."


CloudSigma Expands in U.S.

CloudSigma, the Switzerland-based provider of pure-cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Services (IaaS), has expanded its public cloud to a second U.S. location. In addition to its Las Vegas cloud at SwitchNAP, CloudSigma’s public cloud is now also available at Equinix’s DC6 International Business Exchange (IBX) in Washington D.C.

CloudSigma said its dual-site U.S. hosting solution allows customers can now more easily geo-balance workloads across multiple data centers, thereby keeping their data and mission-critical applications accessible in the event of a disaster or a system outage. For instance, customers already housing their data in CloudSigma’s Las Vegas-based cloud can now simply fail over to its East Coast location or vice versa.


Ixia Posts Q3 Sales of $115 Million

Ixia reported Q3 revenue of $115.4 million, compared with $110.6 million reported for the 2012 third quarter. The 2013 third quarter includes $35.2 million in revenue from Anue Systems and BreakingPoint Systems, which were acquired in June and August 2012, respectively.  Net income (GAAP) was $6.0 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, compared with net income of $10.9 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, for the 2012 third quarter.

“We delivered a solid third quarter and saw healthy spending from our enterprise, federal, and service provider customers, while network equipment manufacturers continue to be cautious,” commented Errol Ginsberg, Ixia's chairman and acting chief executive officer. “Anue and BreakingPoint revenue surpassed expectations and grew to $35.2 million, and our revenue from service providers and enterprise customers grew to 53% of our total revenue. We are on track with expanding our go-to-market channels and product portfolio, while at the same time managing our expenses.”


Monday, October 28, 2013

NTT Com Expands Global Cloud Vision with 2 Investments: Virtela and RagingWire

NTT Communications announced two major international investments:  the acquisition of Virtela for US$525 million in cash, and the acquisition of an 80% stake in RagingWire for US$350 million.

Virtela Technology Services (Virtela), which is based in Denver, is a leading global managed and cloud network services provider serving over 500 multinational companies. Virtela integrates 1,000+ local and regional network providers, enabling the customer to build a virtual overlay network from multi-carrier MPLS, Ethernet, DSL, 3G/4G/LTE and other IP links, while benefitting from a single SLA and management portal. Virtela operates global operations and delivery centers in the U.S., India and the Philippines.  It has over 400 employees.

NTT Com said it plans to combine Virtela’s advanced service/operational platforms and expertise with its own global ICT infrastructure and resources.  NTT Com will also upgrade its cloud-based network services with Virtela’s network function virtualization (NFV) technology to virtualize the functions of customers’ network equipment, such as firewalls and WAN accelerators, enabling enterprises to benefit from instant service activation and significant cost reduction.

"Virtela is well known for its strong technology, networking expertise, global reach and highly regarded services," said Akira Arima, CEO of NTT Com. "As we advance our Global Cloud Vision, we expect to continue offering enterprise customers the highest possible value in services ranging from branch office networking to large-scale cloud migration."

"Virtela’s virtualized network services model combined with NTT Com’s brand and strength will create the industry’s most advanced services portfolio that enables enterprises to break free from the constraints of traditional network architectures and services," said Vab Goel, Virtela founder and general partner at Norwest Venture Partners.

Separately, NTT Communications will acquire approximately 80% equity interest in RagingWire Data Centers (RagingWire), a leading provider of data center services in the United States.

RagingWire has 650,000 square feet of data center space at its campuses in Sacramento, California, and Ashburn, Virginia. Both campuses are currently being expanded. In addition, RagingWire has begun construction of a new 150,000 square foot data center in Sacramento and will soon break ground on a 78 acre parcel of land in Ashburn, Virginia with designs to build 1,500,000 square feet of data center space. The company has annual revenues of approximately $85 million (USD), and a compounded annual growth rate of 30%.

NTT Com said the acquisition will more than double its data center space in the U.S.

"We are rapidly expanding our capabilities to provide cloud and telecommunications solutions worldwide and the deal with RagingWire is critical to increasing our overall capacity, providing data center infrastructure management tools which enhance colocation service’s reliability and efficiency. RagingWire leads the data center industry in availability, innovation, and customer experience, and that will enhance our global cloud solutions significantly," said Akira Arima, CEO of NTT Com.


  • In September 2013, RagingWire Data Centers closed on a $230 million credit facility to fund its strategic growth plan and ongoing expansion of its data center campuses in Sacramento, California and Ashburn, Virginia. The funding was led by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, co-led by Comerica Bank, and included eight financial institutions in total.  RagingWire noted that its 500,000 square foot data center campus in Sacramento is almost entirely full and plans are underway for an additional facility in the area. In Ashburn, Virginia, the heart of “Data Center Alley,” RagingWire has five data center vaults within a 150,000 square foot facility and plans to build a 1,500,000 square foot campus on 78 acres of land in Ashburn that the company recently acquired.
  • In 2012, RagingWire was awarded two patents for data center power delivery systems and technology. These patented technologies include the 2N+2™ design, which offers double the redundancy of a standard data center design at a lower cost. The unique infrastructure, design and operations of 2N+2 has enabled RagingWire to deliver customer SLAs (service level agreements) for 100% availability without any exclusions for maintenance periods or utility disruptions. NTT Com will now begin introducing these advanced technologies throughout its data centers worldwide.
  • NTT Communications was among the first Service Providers to implement SDN.  The company has a Global Cloud Vision encompassing many of its enterprise services.
  • In June 2012, NTT Communications launched a globally seamless enterprise cloud service using OpenFlow network virtualization technology within and between data centers. The service was launched via NTT Com data centers in Japan and Hong Kong, followed by data centers in the United States (two locations), the United Kingdom and Singapore in December and in Australia, Malaysia and Thailand in March 2013.

  • OpenFlow is being used for inter-data center back-ups between NTT Communications' Global Data Centers. The service allows bandwidth can be boosted on-demand using the OpenFlow controller.

FCC Adopts Technical Specs for FirstNet Wireless Broadband

The FCC adopted technical service rules, including power limits and other technical parameters, to govern the spectrum for First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) nationwide wireless broadband system.

The rules are intended to provide a foundation for FirstNet's operations, help avoid harmful interference to spectrum users in adjacent bands, and expedite the availability of equipment for use on the public safety network, thereby fostering competition and innovation in the marketplace.

The has granted a license to FirstNet for the combined use of two spectrum blocks  -- one block that was previously designated for public safety use (763-768/793-798 MHz) and a second, spectrally adjacent block (758-763/788-793 MHz).

The FCC said this action consolidates the technical requirements governing both spectrum blocks into a uniform set of rules, which will provide vendors with specifications they need to develop equipment for use on this spectrum.

The FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology will now begin accepting and processing applications for equipment certification in this band, consistent with the newly consolidated rules.


FCC Supports Lower 700 MHz Band Agreement

The FCC endorsed a voluntary industry agreement that will establish interoperable LTE service in the Lower 700 MHz band and adopted and an Order that modifies the technical rules of the D and E blocks.

The FCC said its new rules remove the likelihood of harm caused by attendant power levels while continuing to allow high-value uses of the D and E blocks.

The order also proposes to modify AT&T's B and C block licenses to incorporate the commitments of AT&T and makes changes in construction requirements and deadlines for various E Block licensees in the Lower 700 MHz band.

The Lower 700 MHz interoperability agreement was brokered by several wireless providers, along with the Competitive Carriers Association.  The FCC expects it will give consumers more choice in using their devices with large and small carriers alike and will promote widespread deployment of mobile broadband services, especially in rural areas.


In September 2013, the FCC and mobile operators announced an agreement that resolves handset interoperability issues in the lower 700 MHz bands.  At the time, the FCC's Acting Chairwoman, Mignon Clyburn issued the following statement:

"After many frustrating years, wireless carriers have finally reached a voluntary industry solution that will resolve the lack of interoperability in the lower 700 MHz band in the most efficient manner. This is a big win for consumers, especially in rural areas, who will see more competition and more choices. Also, by making it easier for small wireless carriers to compete, today's interoperability solution will spur private investment, job creation, and the development of innovative new services and devices.  "That's why for the past few years, I have been consistent in pushing for a final resolution to this issue. Thank you to all the parties - AT&T, The Interoperability Alliance, The Competitive Carriers Association, DISH, and the consumer advocacy groups - who came to the table and worked collaboratively with FCC staff to hammer out a solution that benefits all consumers."

NSN Refines its Multi-stack Approach to Carrier-Grade Clouds

Nokia Solutions and Networks is reinforcing its multi-stack approach to telco cloud to give operators full flexibility in their choice of cloud platforms.  The company confirmed that it is working closely on cloud technology with major operators, leading cloud stack vendors such as VMware, open source cloud platforms  such as OpenStack and the ETSI Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) Industry Specification Group (ISG).

NSN cited recent trials and proof of concept projects with Tier 1 operators that demonstrate the reliability of its core virtualization.  The tests also show its capability to adapt cloud IT platforms to meet the demands of telco cloud.

“NSN supports multiple stack solutions such as OpenStack  and VMware,” said Thorsten Robrecht, VP of MBB Portfolio Management at NSN. “As well as enabling operators to increase the flexibility and agility of core network infrastructure, we are committed to creating a telco cloud ecosystem that supports the co-existence of traditional networks and cloud environments and gives operators the option of choosing the most competitive hardware and cloud platform for their specific needs.

“Our recent proof of concept projects demonstrated in practice how we enable telco cloud by running our core network software on top of virtualized network infrastructure. In the process, we are moving from the virtualization of single network elements to full cloud orchestration, including cloud application management.”

NSN has also launched its cloud-ready NetAct 8 , which helps simplify network operations, reduce operational expenses and deliver very high availability. NetAct 8 includes the NSN Cloud Application Manager, which provides off-the-shelf management, orchestration and elasticity for virtual network functions.


China Telecom Carries Terabit Wavelength over 3,200km with ZTE

China Telecom Corporation Ltd. Beijing Research Institute carried a terabit wavelength over a distance of 3,200 kilometers on G.652 optical fiber without Raman amplification that was error-free for 24 hours.  The world record demonstration used ZTE’s ZXONE 8700 WDM platform and advanced Nyquist WDM Terabit PM-QPSK optical modulation and optical coherent detection technologies.  The system leveraged ultra-high-speed signal processing and soft-decision forward error correction algorithms, achieving spectral efficiency of 4bit/Hz/s.

ZTE said this latest demonstration strengthens its global leadership in terabit optical transport systems. In 2012, ZTE and Deutsche Telekom successfully completed 100G/400G/1T long-haul transmission over 2,450 kilometers, setting a record in long-distance multi-rate mixed transmission. ZTE has successfully deployed more than 50 100G trial and commercial networks globally.

ZTE noted that it achieved record revenue in optical network products in the second-quarter of 2013, achieving the industry’s fastest growth rate in the preceding 12-month period, according to data from research company Ovum.


Telstra Tests LTE Broadcast on Live Network

Telstra has completed a test LTE Broadcast session on its commercial LTE network using Ericsson's solution.

During the demonstration, end user devices received different video feeds, including a sports match replay, sporting network news, horse racing coverage and news. Additionally, the devices received a large file using the single LTE Broadcast channel.  The trial devices used Qualcomm Labs' LTE Broadcast SDK and middleware running on Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and integrated modem platforms.

Mike Wright, Telstra Executive Director, Networks said: "The trial is an important step in testing this technology to see how it provides network efficiencies while providing consumers the content they want in a high-quality experience. Our goal is to ensure consumers can get the content they are looking for easily and to explore the wider benefits that might be obtained using broadcasting technology."

Thomas Norén, Vice President and Head of Project Area Radio, Ericsson says: "LTE Broadcast provides the ability to send the same content simultaneously to a very large number of devices in a target area. Mobile operators can use this ability and monetize their media and network assets for new services. Revenue generation and cost-saving opportunities are significant and provide an attractive value proposition for mobile operators."


Telefónica I+D and Oracle Develop Fixed-Mobile Convergence Use Cases

Telefónica I+D, the research and development company of the Telefónica Group, and Oracle have completed a process of definition, developing and testing to allow Oracle’s Tekelec Policy Server (PCRF) to extend mobile policy management to fixed broadband networks. The work paves the way for the use of Policy Server and Oracle’s Tekelec Subscriber Profile Repository (SPR), or subscriber database, in a fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) environment.

The test was developed in Telefónica I+D’s properties, where some business case scenarios were prepared in order to verify the FMC capabilities of the Oracle solution.

Oracle said the work has produced a solution that sets out the key next-generation policy management requirements and handles a more diverse set of subscriber-centric rules.

“Service providers have a tremendous untapped potential to create and offer new innovative broadband data services that both increase revenues and increase customer loyalty,” said Albert Fernandez, Senior Director, Europe Sales, Oracle Communications.


ZTE Picks Freescale’s QorIQ Qonverge for TD-LTE Small Cells

ZTE has selected Freescale’s QorIQ Qonverge BSC9132 “base station-on-chip” for TD-LTE femtocell products.  The small cells are to be deployed starting later this year.

“ZTE is playing a pivotal role in the build-out of LTE networks across global 4G markets,” said Zhang Shizhuang, TDD product director for ZTE. “The performance, energy efficiency and scalability of Freescale’s proven QorIQ Qonverge platform allow us to deliver compelling and highly differentiated products designed to establish an early leadership position in LTE solutions.”


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Huawei Demos SDN Virtual Transport Service

Huawei demonstrated a transport SDN prototype capable of delivering Network on Demand (NoD) services.

Huawei's SDN virtual transport service solution is based on its Path Computation Element (PCE) architecture.

The goal of the virtual transport service platform is to provide users with multiple modeled virtual topologies through programmable interfaces to meet on-demand virtual network service (such as NoD service) user requirements in real time.

Huawei said its platform can help carriers deliver customized services and deploy value-added services efficiently and flexibly. An intelligent Transport Path Engine (TPE) algorithm ensures dynamic network resource optimization.

The announcement follows Huawei's demonstration of a transport SDN controller prototype launched last year.

SoftCOM is Huawei's end-to-end ICT network architecture based on concepts such as cloud computing, SDN, NFV, and network openness.

The demonstration occurred at the recent Layer123 conference in Bad Homburg, Germany.  In a keynote address at the conference, Justin Dustzadeh, Huawei's CTO & VP Technology Strategy, said Carrier SDN ultimately will be an end-to-end framework spanning Last Mile, Access, Aggregation, Metro & Core, and Data Center equipment. He presented several SDN use cases, including:

  • SDN-based Mobile Backhaul
  • Virtualized Residential Gateways with virtual set-top boxes
  • Traffic Steering for Gi-LANs
  • Cloud IMS
  • SDN-based Transport Network Virtualization

Huawei is also continuing work on its Protocol-Oblivious Forwarding (POF) technology, which is a software-defined networking (SDN) forwarding implementation.  The goal is to leverage the OpenFlow protocol in a programming model where forwarding devices are no longer limited by pre-defined packet protocols or forwarding rules.  Data plane hardware would not be limited by hard­-wired protocol implementations. POF has been prototyped on Huawei's NE5000E Core Router



ETSI's NFV Group Publishes Update

ETSI's Industry Specification Group for Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV ISG) has published its second white paper highlighting progress to date.

The NFV ISG, which will be meeting this week in California, currently has four working groups: Infrastructure Architecture, Management & Orchestration, Reliability & Availability, and Software Architecture.  Altogether, the NFV ISG has grown to over 150 companies, including 28 Service Providers.

The new whitepaper provides an overview of the following topics:

  • NFV Use Cases document describes initial fields of application.
  • NFV Requirements document describes the high level business and technical requirements for an NFV framework including service models. It is a key reference document for the NFV ISG.
  • NFV Architectural Framework document describes the high-level functional architecture and design philosophy for virtualised network functions and the underlying virtualisation infrastructure. By delineating the different constituents and outlining the reference points between them, it paves the way for fully interoperable multi-party NFV solutions.
  • NFV Terminology document is a common repository for terms used within the NFV ISG documents.
  • NFV Proof of Concept Framework document. The NFV ISG has launched a global call for multi-party NFV Proof of Concepts (PoC) to validate NFV approaches. 

The 16-page whitepaper is available online.


IBM Awarded Patent for Cloud Security Technique

IBM has been awarded U.S. Patent #8,539,597: Securing sensitive data for cloud computing.  The technique enables clients to use cloud-based services without risking the release of sensitive data into cloud environments, alleviating security and privacy concerns due to information disclosure or attribution.

IBM said its invention helps overcome security concerns by redacting, removing or replacing sensitive data from records that are being sent to the cloud for processing. It then restores the sensitive data when the records are returned from the cloud.

"Patents like this help to solve real-world security challenges that are inhibiting cloud computing growth," said Josyula Rao, IBM Director of Security Research. "IBM's investment in research and development is producing innovations that will advance the company's cloud computing and security leadership."      


CommScope Completes IPO -- Nets $437 Million for Debt Repayment

CommScope completed its initial public offering of 38,461,537 shares of its common stock at $15.00 per share, raising $577 million.

The shares, which are listed on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol "COMM", closed at $14.99 on the first day of trading (Friday, October 25).

The company expects to net approximately $437.3 million after underwriting costs. The company intends to use the net proceeds it receives from the offering, plus cash on hand, to redeem approximately $399 million in aggregate principal amount of its 8.25% Senior Notes due 2019 and to pay related premiums, expenses and accrued interest. J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank Securities and BofA Merrill Lynch were lead book-running managers.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Infonetics: Cisco Takes Lead in Femtocells

The global 2G/3G/4G residential and enterprise femtocell equipment market grew 4% sequentially in 1Q13, to $115 million, driven by LTE, according to a new report from Infonetics Research.

“Sales of 3G femtocells still dominate the market, despite the focus of vendors on 4G,” notes Richard Webb, directing analyst for microwave and carrier WiFi at Infonetics Research. “Residential femtocells still account for the bulk of the market, though from this point forward we will see increasing adoption of femtocells from the enterprise segment, which is a key focus for a growing number of operators.”

Some additional highlights:

  • Integrated femtocells are expected to account for nearly half of all femtocell units shipped in 2017, almost entirely within the residential segment.
  • Infonetics forecasts FDD-LTE femtocells to grow at a 76% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2012 to 2017.
  • Cisco, who recently acquired Ubiquisys, sprang to the top of the femtocell revenue share leaderboard in 2Q13, thanks also to its work with AT&T, who lays claim to the largest scale femtocell deployment in the world.
  • Airvana dropped to the #2 spot overall, but moved into the lead in the 3G femtocell segment.


Australia's NBN Co Set for Strategic Review

Australia's NBN Co named a panel of outside consultants and appointed an executive to help with a Strategic Review of its operations.

A 60-day Strategic Review is being undertaken by NBN Co’s Board and executive management pending the introduction of new Government policy in the wake of the nation's recent elections.

Mr. JB Rousselot has been to the new position of Head of Strategy and Transformation, responsible for activities within the Quality group and also the corporate planning, strategy and decision support functions of the office of the Chief Finance Officer. He will lead the Strategic Review process and then help manage the implementation of recommendations and their incorporation into the company’s 2014-17 Corporate Plan.

NBN Co has retained the following outside consultancies to support the Strategic Review:

  • Deloitte will provide governance and the program management office services to ensure the Strategic Review fits within the parameters and tight deadline for submission set by the Government;
  • KordaMentha will contribute to the analysis of the current NBN operational and financial performance;
  • Boston Consulting Group will participate in the review of the timing, financials and product offers under alternative models of delivering very fast broadband.