Monday, February 3, 2014

Mellanox Launches Venture Arm

Mellanox Technologies has launched a global investment arm to provide equity investments in leading technology start-ups and companies worldwide.

Mellanox Capital will make investments in start-ups and technology companies that focus on innovative approaches to storage, compute, virtualization, cloud infrastructure, Big Data, enterprise application platforms, and embedded solutions.

In addition to capital, Mellanox said its portfolio companies will gain access to its broad product portfolio of data center interconnect solutions, world-class technology and process expertise and business relationships.

“As a key component of Mellanox’s innovation strategy, equity investments will provide us with access to technologies, markets, applications and key innovations influencing the data center as well as the high-performance interconnect market,” said Eyal Waldman, president and CEO of Mellanox Technologies. “Mellanox Capital will enhance our relationships with entrepreneurs, opening doors to new markets, customers, alliances, co-investors, and emerging technologies.”

F-Secure Announces Mobile Security Partnership with NSN

F-Secure announced a partnership with Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) to provide new solutions to protect consumers’ privacy and to keep mobile devices clean from malware incidents.

F-Secure, which offers its Internet security products through over 200 operators around the world, said rapidly developing mobile malware is growing threat to users that must be confronted by network operators.

“We are pleased to partner with NSN, the world leader in mobile networks,” said Samu Konttinen, executive vice president, Customer and Market Operations at F-Secure. “We’re glad to join with them in proactively attacking the problems that mobile malware create for both the consumer and Internet service providers.”

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Connectem Envisions a Simplified, Virtualized LTE Packet Core

Connectem, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, is adopting an overlay strategy for its Virtualized LTE Evolved Packet Core (EPC), betting that mobile operators will implement its NFV-powered solution first for specific business applications while continuing with their current LTE infrastructure rollouts.  Once the Connectem virtual EPC has proven effective as an overlay delivering specialized services, carriers would then cap the investments in the first generation EPC boxes from the traditional vendors and move more critical packet core functionality into the Connectem solution running on low cost x86 servers.

Connectem, which was founded in 2011, is betting that virtualized EPC software will prove more cost effective and scalable in addressing signaling and data throughput in LTE networks.

While the incumbent EPC suppliers are also pursuing NFV implementations, Connectem argues that they are going about it in the wrong way by essentially re-creating virtual machines in the cloud for each of the nodes that exist in the current networks.  In other words, the traditional equipment suppliers will likely supply NFV solutions with separate VMs for existing MME, HHS, PCRF, S-Gateway and P-Gateway node. A great deal of complexity will be inherent in building scalable interfaces between each of these VM nodes.  Connectem, on the other hand, proposes to dismantle the idea of a separate VM node for each function in the packet core.  Its model removes the encode/decode layers at the interface between each node, thereby simplifying the entire evolved packet core.

Connectem conducted its first virtual EPC live network trial with Singtel/Optus in December 2012 and now cites numerous trials around the world.  In terms of interoperability, the company says it has been tested alongside solutions from NSN and Huawei for delivering services to iOS and Android devices.

In November, Connectem signed a distribution agreement Macnica Networks, an integration company serving  mobile network operators in Japan.  In terms of other industry partnerships, Connectem has demonstrated its VCM software running on the IBM PureFlex platform, although it could leverage the entire x86 ecosystem.  The company is also working with Cyan to tie is virtual EPC into Cyan's blueplanet SDN framework.

  • Connectem is led by Nishi Kant (CEO), who previously worked at Stoke and Azaire Networks, as well ast Hughes Networks and Nortel Networks.

Qwilt Enables Transparent Caching for Live Video Streaming

Qwilt, a start-up based in Redwood City, California, introduced a  transparent caching solution for live-streamed events online.

The Qwilt Live Stream Cache, which is a software upgrade for the company's QB-Series Video Fabric Controllers, detects trending and popular live OTT video streams, enabling the QB-Series to instantly direct those streams into the controller's FastCache, a dedicated control and storage path optimized for quick delivery of live streams. The Qwilt Live Stream Cache then establishes a local live video transmission point in each neighborhood that can serve a very large population of nearby subscribers using a single seed stream, offloading significant strain on operator network infrastructures.

Qwilt's QB-Series Video Fabric Controllers are deployed by cable operators and broadband carriers close to subscribers, typically next to a B-RAS or CMTS.  The company says its solution can deliver a 50% reduction in traffic while improving average video bit rates during times of peak network utilization. The QB-Series Video Fabric controller is 100% software running on COTS. A 2U form factor offers 10 Gbps of video delivery capability, 20 Gbps of analysis, and 20 TB of onboard storage.

Qwilt said this innovation will prove especially effective for live event, such as the Super Bowl, Olympics or World Cup, as

"High quality live event streaming is the 'holy grail' of online video. However, until now, the required infrastructure from the origin server, through CDN, via operator last mile network, was not designed to deal with the scale and capacity required to deliver a high quality experience to the consumers. As consumers increasingly look to access live and VOD content from connected devices, network operators and content providers must keep pace with demand," said Alon Maor, CEO and Co-Founder of Qwilt.

  • Qwilt was founded in 2010 and is backed by over $40 million in funding from Accel Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Marker and Redpoint Ventures. 

Telstra Tests 300 Mbps LTE Carrier Aggregation with Ericsson + Qualcomm

Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies have conducted the first inter-vendor interoperability testing of LTE Category 6, which promises potential speeds of up to 300 Mbps.

The final stages of testing, which were completed in collaboration with Telstra, was based on ready-to-release versions of Ericsson's L14A software release. Ericsson said its L14A software leverages load balancing for better spectrum efficiency and improved user experience during high-load situations. It supports all bandwidth and frequency combinations for up to 40MHz Carrier Aggregation, providing users with speeds of up to 300 Mbps.  The test also used Qualcomm;s fourth-generation 3G/LTE multimode modem, the Qualcomm Gobi 9x35 chipset.

Håkan Eriksson, CEO, Australia and New Zealand at Ericsson, says: "We are pleased to see 300Mbps achieved and we're excited about the superior broadband experience this will enable. With the introduction of Category 6, adoption of LTE Advanced is expected to accelerate, with a key factor being the availability of commercial infrastructure and global chipsets for smartphones."

Telstra Conducts Stadium Trial of LTE Broadcast

Telstra conducted a trial of Long Term Evolution Broadcast (LTE-B) technology during the T20 International cricket match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Lab trials were conducted last October.

The trial streamed three channels of dedicated content to selected participants using specialised LTE-B enabled smartphones with specialised device firmware been provided by Samsung.  Network equipment was supplied by Ericsson.

“When a large number of people gather in one place we often see a huge spike in the demand for data, which can stretch the capabilities of our network and affect our customers’ experience. This is particularly evident during sporting events with a lot of our customers looking to enhance the live event by accessing commentary or stats online,” said Mike Wright, Telstra Executive Director Networks.

NEC Lands SDN Order from Toyo Seikan Group for Pooled Firewalls

NEC Corporation was awarded an order by Toyo Seikan Group to integrated the networks of its subsidiary companies using Software-Defined Networking technology.  The systems, which will come into operation starting from February 2014, will be deployed in the companies' data centers to pool the corporate firewalls into a common resource.

Toyo Seikan GHD is considering the use of SDN for the Group's common virtual server infrastructure, for integration of the Group LAN through virtualization, business continuity measures and other purposes in the future. NEC is also providing consulting services for planning this project.

NEC's UNIVERGE PF Series is an OpenFlow product.

NEC also noted that it has delivered SDN-based systems to more than 100 companies in Japan and abroad.

NTT Com Launches "Compute (VPC Type)" Service

NTT Communications launched a "Compute (VPC Type)" service, which can be used by customers of NTT Com’s Cloudn public cloud service to build virtual server environments connected to VPNs and other secure networks.

The "Compute (VPC Type)" service enables a virtual server to be established on a private network connected to a high-quality Internet virtual private network (VPN) or an IP-VPN such as NTT Com's Arcstar Universal One.  The virtual service offers instant connections and expansion to various networks. The service rate is fixed, regardless of bandwidth or traffic volume.

NTT Com will intitially offer the service from its data centers in Japan, but applications will be accepted from users overseas.

Going forward, Cloudn will be enhanced with other seamless, secure services, including from data centers in the US and other locations within APAC, and security options such as antivirus for virtual servers.

NTT DOCOMO to Delist from the London Stock Exchange

NTT DOCOMO will  request the cancellation of the standard listing of its Shares of Common Stock from the Official List of the UK Listing Authority and the cancellation of the admission to trading of the shares on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange (the "LSE").

The company cited the low trading volume of the Shares on the LSE, saying there to be no significant benefit in maintaining the listing.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Level 3's Vyvx Venuenet+ Delivers Super Bowl Coverage

For the 25th consecutive year, Level 3 Communications delivered television broadcast video services for the Super Bowl using its Vyvx network. Special requirement for this year's event included builiding a separate broadcast location in Times Square for FOX Sports. The Times Square remote location included 4,500-square-feet of temporary office space, using more than 200,000 feet of cable.

MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. is connected directly to Level 3's advanced fiber-optic network, enabling the TV broadcast of the event. Level 3's equipment and connectivity into the venue provided FOX with fully diverse, end-to-end on-net service to ensure better reliability and control over the delivery process.

As part of the service, FOX also used Level 3's JPEG 2000 compression services, which the broadcaster employed at all NFL venues during the 2013 season. In total, more than 5,000 hours of video content was acquired, encoded and transported across Level 3's Vyvx VenueNet+ platform as part of the Super Bowl coverage. In addition to delivering the game, Level 3 also carried the pre-game and post-game feeds to all NFL operations centers; NFL Films in Mt. Laurel, NJ and NFL Network studios in Culver City, CA, NFL Network Master Control in Atlanta, as well as other broadcast networks and satellite teleport sites for global distribution.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Time Warner Cable Boosts Performance in NYC and LA

Time Warner Cable boosted its consumer Internet and TV services in New York City and Los Angeles with faster speeds.

Under the initiative, TWC will upgrade network connection sites (referred to as hubs) in NYC and LA to ensure optimum service levels are delivered to every neighborhood. Each TWC hub serves thousands of customers with phone, video and data services. The first four hubs to receive upgrades are those that service customers in West Hollywood and Costa Mesa in California, and portions of Woodside (in Queens) and Staten Island in New York.

Additionally, TWC will begin to convert its network in Los Angeles to “all-digital” by removing all remaining analog TV channels. This process opens up new bandwidth in the network to be redeployed for faster broadband speeds and other enhanced services. In 2013, TWC completed an all-digital network conversion in New York City.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sprint Selects BroadSoft for VoLTE/IMS Transformation

Broadsoft announced that Sprint selected its BroadWorks platform to enhance VoIP services made available by Sprint to both its consumer and business customers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Broadsoft said its BroadWorks' Service Centralization and Continuity application server enables mobile network operators to deliver next-generation, Unified Communications (UC) services over their existing legacy GSM and/or CDMA networks.  The platform's Voice Call Continuity capabilities enable these UC services to transition from legacy networks as an operator migrates to VoLTE.

"We were seeking a single voice and video application server platform to support our IMS network transformation in order to provide the communication services both our consumer and enterprise customers are demanding today" said Iyad Tarazi, Vice President of Network Development, Sprint.

Michael Tessler, president and chief executive officer, BroadSoft, said "We are committed to providing superior technical capabilities that enable our service provider customers to offer the highest quality communications experience and look forward to helping Sprint achieve these objectives through our BroadWorks platform."

Sprint Deploys Hydrogen Fuel Cells for Backup Power

Sprint will continue deploy hydrogen fuel cells technology as backup power to cell sites with financial assistance from the Department of Energy (DOE).

Sprint has been testing and using hydrogen fuel cells since 2005.  In 2009, the DOE provided a $7.3M grant for Sprint to support fuel cell technology advances. Under the new grant, fuel cell deployments will continue this year.  Final terms of the award are being worked out.

“We are excited to once again partner with the DOE to bring a new fuel cell technology solution to the market,” said Bob Azzi, chief network officer at Sprint. “To date, we’ve deployed approximately 500 hydrogen fuel cells in our network. This technology will provide backup power for our network and could extend to other industries as well.”

Sprint noted as much as 30 percent of total network cell sites are located on rooftops in some major metropolitan areas. Light weight fuel cells are an alternative to diesel generators and do not require a crane for installation.

JDSU Acquires Trendium and Time-Bandwidth

JDSU announced two acquisitions:  Trendium, a provider of real-time intelligence software solutions for customer experience assurance, asset optimization and monetization of big data for 4G/LTE mobile network operators; and Time-Bandwidth Products, a provider of high-powered and ultrafast lasers for the industrial and scientific markets. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Trendium, which is based in Boulder, Colorado, helps mobile operators improve the quality of services by leveraging application and traffic analysis with correlation technology. JDSU said the acquisition enables it to introduce a new paradigm of customer experience assurance (CEA) in 4G/LTE networks.  Trendium will become part of JDSU's mobile assurance and analytics solution, which recently selected by one of the top five mobile operators in the world.

Time-Bandwidth Products, which is a spin-off from the Ultrafast Laser Physics group at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, offers a range of OEM and customized picosecond and femtosecond laser systems. The company specializes in ultrafast diode-pumped solid-state laser systems (DPSSLs). JDSU said this acquisition strengthens its position as a leading provider of lasers for micromachining applications. Ultrafast lasers can rapidly and precisely process parts at high volumes and use very short light pulses during the manufacturing process to minimize heat, which can negatively impact the quality and functionality of the processed part. Time-Bandwidth Products is based in Zurich.

“Technology is evolving at a rapid pace, making mergers and acquisitions an important part of JDSU’s growth strategy as a diversified technology company,” said Tom Waechter, president and CEO of JDSU. “These two acquisitions reflect our approach to selectively acquire technology and talent that help meet our customer’s rapidly evolving needs in the markets we serve.”

Ericsson Reports Flat Sales for 2013

Ericsson sales for Q4 and for full year 2013 were flat (0% growth) compared to the year earlier, although up 5% for the full year when adjusted for currency conversion and comparable units.  Net sales for Q4 2013 came in at SEK 67.0 billion (about US$10.29 billion).

The company said the long-term fundamentals in the industry remain attractive and that in Q4 sales began to grow in some of its key European markets.

"Ericsson's sales for comparable units, adjusted for FX, grew 5% for the full year. I am pleased that we have successfully closed the IPR cross-licensing agreement with Samsung. Our industry is built on scale and a strong tradition of sharing technologies through licensing on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. The agreement shows the value of our R&D investments and enables both companies to continue to innovate and bring new technologies to the market," says Hans Vestberg, President and CEO of Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC).

"Our focus on profitability started to pay off and operating margin for the group gradually improved in 2013, despite significant currency headwind, driven primarily by improvements in Networks and Network Rollout.

Here is a snapshot for the Q4 2012

ONF Selects Bangalore's CNLabs as SDN Test Facility

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) named Criterion Network Labs (CNLabs) in Bangalore as its fourth international conformance and interoperability testing facility.

CNLabs joins the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL), Beijing Internet Institute (BII), and the Indiana Center for Network Translational Research and Education (InCNTRE) in testing SDN products for compliance with the OpenFlow™ specification through the ONF OpenFlow Conformance Testing Program.

As an ONF-accredited testing facility, CNLabs establishes OpenFlow conformance testing capabilities in India and provides SDN testing services to global clients. CNLabs evaluates vendors’ networking products for conformance, performance, and interoperability, and offers vendors the opportunity to receive OpenFlow certification through ONF’s Conformance Testing Program.

“The networking industry is undergoing a refreshing change. SDN provides a framework through which networks can be administered, programmed, and made to scale seamlessly,” said Jayaprakash Kumar, director of Criterion Network Labs. “OpenFlow provides the method for ensuring consistency, promoting device interoperability, and allowing for a level of flexibility to the network operator that has not been seen before. We are delighted to be named the first ONF-approved testing facility in India and the second in Asia.”

CenturyLink Tech. Ties into IO's Phoenix Data Center

CenturyLink Technology Solutions (formerly Savvis) will enhance its colocation footprint using IO's Intelligent Control technology platform, with initial deployments at IO Phoenix and nearby IO Scottsdale.

Under the partnership, CenturyLink Technology Solutions (formerly Savvis) will enter the Phoenix market as a hosting and colocation provider, making up to 9 megawatts of additional capacity available to its clients through rapidly deployable IO technology. CenturyLink has a deep understanding of the Phoenix market, where it maintains a substantial network services business and employs more than 1,700 employees.

The IO Intelligent Control technology platform consists of IO.Anywhere data center modules and the integrated IO.OS data center operating system, which provides integrated control, data collection and business intelligence across data center infrastructure, IT equipment, applications and users of the data center. In the CenturyLink data center space, IO's technology will be complemented by CenturyLink's broad set of colocation, managed services, cloud and network offerings. Clients will also gain access to CenturyLink's ClientConnect, an online gateway for businesses to expand their capabilities by locating, connecting and sharing services with other businesses residing across CenturyLink's global data center footprint.

CenturyLink operates more than 50 data centers worldwide, with more than 2.5 million square feet of gross raised floor space throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

Riverbed Hits Record Quarterly Revenue

Riverbed Technology reported record quarterly revenue of $283 million (GAAP) for Q4 2013, up 8% compared to the third quarter of fiscal year 2013 and 19% compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012.  GAAP net income for Q4'13 was $8 million, or $0.05 per diluted share. This compares to $4 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, in Q3'13 and $5 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, in Q4'12.

For FY'13, Riverbed reached GAAP revenue was $1.0 billion, up 24% compared to FY '12.

"Riverbed is executing well on a strategy to create sustained growth for our business, strategic value for our customers, and profitable returns for our shareholders," said Jerry M. Kennelly, chairman and CEO, Riverbed. "Our strong 2013 finish demonstrates progress across our major product lines and all geographies, and strength in enterprise sales. For the full year we are reporting more than $1 billion in revenue, an important milestone in the Company's history, and a good base from which we will drive our next leg of growth."

Broadcom's Q4 Revenue Dips to $2.06 Billion

Broadcom posted Q4 2013 net revenue of $2.06 billion, down 3.8% compared with the $2.15 billion reported for Q3 2013 and down 0.8% compared with the $2.08 billion for Q4 2012.  Net income (GAAP) for Q4 was $168 million, or $0.29 per share (diluted), compared with GAAP net income of $316 million, or $0.55 per share (diluted), for Q3 2013 and GAAP net income of $251 million, or $0.43 per share (diluted), for Q4 2012.

Net revenue for the year ended December 31, 2013 was $8.31 billion, up 3.7% for the year.

"In 2013 Broadcom delivered record revenue in all three business groups. Continued strength in our Infrastructure Business Group drove Q4 revenue and earnings ahead of expectations," said Scott McGregor, Broadcom's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Looking into 2014, we are building momentum in LTE, setting the stage for Ultra HD and powering next generation service provider and data center networks."

JDSU Beats Guidance with Revenue of $448 Million

JDSU posted GAAP net revenue of $447.6 million, with net income of $8.8 million, or $0.04 per share, for its second quarter ended December 28, 2013.  Prior quarter net revenue was $429.0 million, with net income of $0.3 million, or $0.00 per share. Net revenue for fiscal 2013 second quarter was $429.4 million, with net income of $4.1 million, or $0.02 per share.

“Our fiscal second quarter results exceeded our guidance expectation with gross margin improvements across all three segments,” said Tom Waechter, JDSU’s President and Chief Executive Officer.  “We are pleased with the performance of our organic business, the progress of our continuing investments in new offerings which align with customer requirements and market trends, and our continuing M&A strategy to expand our product portfolio into mobility and service enablement.  We believe JDSU is well-positioned to leverage our technical leadership in new markets in network infrastructure, commercial lasers and anti-counterfeiting in calendar 2014.”