Tuesday, June 3, 2014

AT&T Updates Project VIP Status, Raises 2014 Guidance

AT&T said its Project VIP network transformation plan, announced in 2012, is ahead of schedule.  The company also reported strong second-quarter wireless trends and an increase in its full-year 2014 revenue guidance, while reaffirming its full-year guidance for consolidated margins, EPS growth, capital spending and free cash flow.

Some highlights of the announcement:

  • AT&T’s 4G LTE network now covers nearly 290 million people;
  • Project VIP will bring fiber to more than 400,000 new business customer locations by the end of the second quarter.
  • For Q2, AT&T expects postpaid subscriber net adds to exceed 800,000 while postpaid churn remains at 0.95 percent or lower.
  • Approximately 3.2 million AT&T Next smartphone sales, which have risen throughout the quarter and now are expected to be approximately 50 percent of total sales;
  • Approximately one-half of the company’s postpaid smartphone customer base on no-device-subsidy Mobile Share Value pricing plans, growing to approximately two-thirds by year-end.
  • AT&T expects second-quarter wireless service EBITDA margins to be pressured year over year due to the increased sales activity and strong customer movement to the no-device-subsidy Mobile Share Value plans.  Wireless service EBITDA margins are expected to be over 40 percent in each of the three remaining quarters of 2014.
  • U-verse video additions bundled with broadband are expected continue to perform well.
  • Wireline margins continue under pressure, reflecting content cost increases, fiber expansion and high-speed broadband subscriber growth.
  • AT&T raised its full-year 2014 guidance for revenue growth to be in the 5 percent range and reaffirmed its full-year 2014 guidance for stable consolidated margins, adjusted earnings per share growth at the low-end of the mid-single digit range, capital expenditures in the $21 billion range and free cash flow in the $11 billion range.


Synopsys and Intel Collaborate to Enable 14-nm Tri-Gate Design

Synopsys announced SoC design tools for Intel's 14-nm Tri-Gate process technology for use by customers of Intel Custom Foundry.

The companies confirmed that Intel Custom Foundry 14-nm design platform supports Synopsys' Galaxy Design Platform tools and RTL-to-GDSII methodology, high-performance DesignWare Memory Compiler intellectual property (IP), and advanced interface IP.

"The combination of Intel's 14-nm Tri-Gate process technology and Synopsys tools, memory and interface IP enables designers to create industry-leading SoCs for their target markets," said Ali Farhang, vice president, Design and Enablement Services, Intel Custom Foundry. "By building on our successful collaboration on Intel's 22-nm design platform, we have been able to seamlessly extend the solution to our 14-nm process technology."

Cadence Collaborates with Intel on 14nm Tri-gate Design

Cadence Design Systems announced support for Intel’s 14nm Tri-Gate process technology to enable customers of Intel Custom Foundry. Cadence and Intel have together enabled the custom/analog flow, including Spectre APS, Virtuoso Schematic Editor, Virtuoso Layout Suite and Virtuoso Analog Design Environment for the 14nm Tri-Gate process. The companies are also collaborating on the development of the Cadence digital flow featuring Encounter Digital Implementation System, QRC Extraction Solution, and Tempus™ Timing Signoff Solution.

Cadence is also delivering the LPDDR4-3200 PHY for Intel Custom Foundry’s 14nm Low Power design platform. With data rates of up to 3200Mbps and a 1.6 GHz memory clock, this latest and most advanced memory PHY IP realizes the full capabilities of LPDDR4 technology. Cadence LPDDR4-3200 PHY IP is backward compatible with LPDDR3 memories and supports package on package (POP) and memory on PCB systems, making it ideal for the mobile market, which demands high memory performance, low power, low cost and compact systems.


ItsOn Releases its Cloud-based OSS/BSS

ItsOn, a start-up based in Redwood City, California, announced the commercial release of its cloud-based  OSS/BSS. The ItsOn Smart Services Platform enables mobile operators to virtualize service policy control, billing and traffic-management functions for data, voice and text, with an optimized real-time, on-device user experience.

The company said the goal of its integrated smart policy and charging solution is to help mobile operators offer highly personalized contextual services and applications-based plans to their customers. The cloud platform integrates with existing mobile network architectures to orchestrate OSS/BSS.

"The only way operators can meet the growing trend toward exciting new use cases such as personalized mobile service plans for families and businesses, sponsored applications, content as a service, on-device contextual marketing and real-time on-device customer care, while also reducing operating costs, is to extend and enhance their OSS/BSS and policy orchestration systems," said Greg Raleigh, Founder and CEO of ItsOn.


  • ItsOn secured $28 million in seed, Series A and Series B as well as an additional $12.5 million in an April 2014 Series C round of funding, led by Tenaya Capital with participation from existing investor Andreessen Horowitz. Previous ItsOn investors include Vodafone Ventures, Verizon Investments, SV Angel and an investor group led by Jim Davidson.
  • ItsOn is headed by Dr. Raleigh, who previously served as vice president of mobile internet at Qualcomm; founder, President, chief executive officer and board member at Airgo Networks (acquired by Qualcomm in 2006); vice president of wireless internet at Cisco; founder and president of Clarity Wireless (acquired by Cisco in 1998); and chief scientist and vice president of research and development at Watkins Johnson Company.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Cavium Debuts Project Thunder ARM Processors with up 48 Cores

Cavium introduced its line of "Project Thunder" 64-bit processors for next gen data centers, cloud and NFV applications.

The new processors will pack up to 80 custom ARMv8 cores along with configurable/virtualized network and storage I/O options, and a set of configurable HW accelerators for different applications.

Cavium will be offering four versions depending on the type of hardware accelerators on-board"  Compute ThunderX_CP, Networking ThunderX_NT, Storage ThunderX_ST and Security ThunderX_SC.  Sampling is expected in Q4 2014.

The new ARM-based devices will be implemented in 28nm technology.  Global Foundry is the fab.  Performance/Watt will be one of the key metrics that the ARM-devices will bring to the table. The company has commercially supported Linux OS partnerships lined-up with Canonical and MontaVista.  Cavium has also joined the Open Compute Foundation and said its ThunderX processors are well-suited for this architecture.

In the networking space, the ThunderX_NT processor is aimed at high-performance data plane applications, including NFV implementations, media servers and embedded applications. The devices will offer 10/40/100G I/O and full virtualization support.

Cavium said it is also continuing to advance its existing line of MIPS64 multicore processors, which also scale up to 48 cores and are implemented in 28nm silicon, although these are aimed at different Service Provider applications.


ALU Adds 19 companies to its CloudBand Ecosystem Program

Alcatel-Lucent cited progress in its efforts to accelerate the industry adoption of NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) by adding 19 companies to its CloudBand Ecosystem Program – the first open community of platform and virtual application vendors and service providers who are developing NFV.

The CloudBand Ecosystem Program, which was created last year to help foster NFV innovation, has added the following companies:  6WIND, Cellwize, ConteXtream, EXFO, Fusion-io, IPgallery, JDSUJDSU, Netrounds, Peer App, Procera, PT Inovação e Sistema/PT Innovation and Systems, Qosmos, RADCOM, Red Hat, Saisei Networks, Sonusnet, Tieto, vArmour, and VMware. The CloudBand Ecosystem now includes 36 technology providers and operators who have come together to develop new and innovative use cases and customer trials.

Dor Skuler, Vice-President and General Manager of Alcatel-Lucent’s CloudBand business said: “NFV requires an open multi-vendor approach, as well as a high degree of collaboration and exchange between all contributors in the value chain. The CloudBand Ecosystem Program provides this workspace and leverages the open CloudBand NFV Platform to support a strong community of inclusion that is quickly advancing and innovating NFV solutions that are compatible for the telecommunications industry.’’


ONF's Fifth PlugFest Tests OpenFlow v1.3

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) completed its fifth semi-annual PlugFest last month at two of ONF’s global testing facilities: the Beijing Internet Institute (BII) in Beijing, China and the Indiana Center for Network Translational Research and Education (InCNTRE) at Indiana University.  This was the first time on ONF PlugFest occurred outside the U.S. and the first time it was staged simultaneously in multiple locations.

The event provided participating companies the opportunity to test for interoperability and enhance implementations of OpenFlow v1.3 in commercial and test controllers and switches. OpenFlow v1.3 includes capabilities that are finely tuned for commercial and enterprise networks, such as quality-of-service, Q-in-Q VLAN tunneling, group tables, active-standby controller, and IPv6.

“This PlugFest marked an important milestone for OpenFlow v1.3, as it was the third time this version had been tested which featured more maturity and advanced features  on products from multiple vendors,” said Michael Haugh, product marketing director at Ixia and chair of the Open Networking Foundation Testing and Interoperability Working Group. “The ability to test products on OpenFlow v1.3 provides the framework for carrier-grade SDN and promotes the growth and adoption we continue to see in the OpenFlow protocol.”  

“PlugFests provide a great opportunity for ONF to drive interoperability, deployment, and commercialization of OpenFlow-based SDN,” said Rick Bauer, technical program manager of the Open Networking Foundation. “With this being our first global PlugFest, the wide spectrum of participating member companies was a testament to SDN’s growing international footprint.”

Attendees of the PlugFest included approximately 50 representatives from 18 participating ONF member companies, including Brocade, Centec Networks, Digital China Networks, Ltd., Freescale, GreeNet, H3C, HP, IBM, Infoblox, Ixia (Net Optics), Luxoft, NEC, Netronome, NoviFlow, Pica8, Spirent, xNet, and ZTE.


NANOG 61 Tests 100G Provisioning with NTT Com, Cisco and Cyan

NTT Communications, Cisco and Cyan are collaborating and partnering with others to provide 100G IP connectivity to NANOG 61, an event taking place this week near Seattle and organized by the North American Network Operators Group (NANOG).

The 100G network connects the NANOG 61 venue (the Hyatt Regency Bellevue) to NTT Com’s Point of Presence (PoP) at the Westin Building in Seattle, the region’s largest data center and network interconnection hub. The 100G connection is enabled by Cisco ASR 9900 and 9904 routers and powered by Cisco’s IOS XR Network Operating System, as well as Cyan’s Z-Series packet-optical hardware in combination with Cyan’s Blue Planet platform. Cyan’s hardware and software solution and Cisco routers seamlessly integrate with NTT Com’s backbone and automated provisioning of 10G and 100G connections on NTT Com’s Software-defined Networking (SDN) platform.

“NTT Com is proud to be the connectivity provider of NANOG 61 and bring 100G IP connectivity to all NANOG 61 attendees,” says Michael Wheeler, Executive Vice President of NTT Communications’ Global IP Network at NTT America. “With fiber directly connected to our Seattle PoP, this ultra-high speed network is a milestone in NANOG’s 20-year history and will ensure that all attendees benefit from a fast, high-quality network experience.”

Cyan said the 100G deployment for NANOG represents yet another step in a multi-year collaboration with NTT Com focused on software-based network services automation, including the development of an open Application Programming Interface (API) designed to drive the rapid provisioning of Optical Wave Services (OWS). This joint development allows NTT Com’s existing Operations Support Systems (OSS) provisioning tools to interact with Cyan’s Blue Planet, ensuring the rapid and automated provisioning of 10 Gbps wavelengths across NTT Com’s Global IP Network.

“Cyan is happy to collaborate with other leading technology companies and provide NANOG attendees with best-in-class network connectivity,” says Michael Hatfield, President, Cyan. “This 100G demonstration and joint development with NTT Com highlights how Cyan’s technology can deliver unparalleled performance, scale and flexibility to customers seeking to transform and simplify their networks.”


Broadcom Looks to Exit Baseband Business

Broadcom is exploring strategic alternatives for its cellular baseband business, including a potential sale or wind-down. The company confirmed that it has engaged JP Morgan to consider its options.

Broadcom said a successful sale or wind-down of the cellular baseband business could result in a roughly $700 million reduction in annualized GAAP research and development and selling, general and administrative expenses, of which approximately $100 million relates to estimated reductions in stock-based compensation.

Broadcom also updated its business outlook for the three months ending June 30, 2014, saying it continues to expect revenue between $2.0 billion and $2.1 billion, with both GAAP and non-GAAP product gross margin to be at or above the high end of the previously-guided range.


ALU Demos LTE Priority/Pre-emption for First Responders

Alcatel-Lucent announced a demonstration of standards-based priority and pre-emption technology for the application of 4G LTE for emergency services in the United States.

Working in conjunction with the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) program, a joint effort of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Alcatel-Lucent demonstrated prioritization and pre-emption on a complete end-to-end Public Safety LTE solution. The solution included elements from Alcatel-Lucent’s LTE Radio Access Network, its Subscriber Data Manager and the IP Mobile Core.  Prioritization and pre-emption prioritizes users’ traffic to assure higher priority users can send or receive content with the required bandwidth they need.

Alcatel-Lucent said its technology enables public safety authorities to prioritize access and bandwidth usage based on the role of a first responder as more first responders arrive at the scene. For example, in a fire requiring a response from multiple crews, the incident commander could be assigned a higher priority to ensure unbroken real-time video delivery as more first responders arrive at the scene.  If required, sessions of lower priority users can be pre-empted to assure higher priority users can send or receive the information they need.


T-Mobile US selects Ericsson for OSS/BSS Managed Service

T-Mobile has awarded a contract to Ericsson to improve business and IT billing processes for all branded T-Mobile and MetroPCS customers.  The long-term contract will leverage Ericsson's pre-integrated OSS/BSS software suite.  Ericsson's Service Agility solution includes charging, billing, order management, product catalog and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Ericsson will integrate and manage operations of the solution. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ericsson said T-Mobile customers will gain real-time billing visibility and full control over account service changes. This will result in a streamlined customer experience as well as reduced overall operational costs for T-Mobile.

"Ericsson and T-Mobile have a long-standing relationship and this expansion gives us the agility we need to continue growing our valued customer base," said Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer for T-Mobile. "The work now underway with Ericsson will enhance our infrastructure and deliver an even better experience to our customers."


IBM Brings SAP HANA to SoftLayer Cloud

IBM is bringing the SAP HANA platform, the SAP HANA ONE service and other SAP applications on the cloud platform from SoftLayer, an IBM Company.

The SoftLayer platform has been verified by SAP to run SAP applications, including SAP Business Suite software and SAP BusinessObjects™ solutions. The deal extends the existing capabilities provided by IBM to run SAP solutions on IBM Cloud Managed Services. With Cloud Managed Services and the SoftLayer platform, customers will have access to 40 data centers across five continents to run SAP applications for their enterprises. SoftLayer and IBM provide an expansive set of cloud capabilities for SAP solutions to address development testing, production and SAP HANA-based workloads.

"Businesses today are looking for ways to lower the cost of deployment and greater efficiency in addressing new market opportunity," said IBM General Manager of Cloud Services James Comfort. "By delivering SAP applications via IBM cloud technologies, companies will have consistent access to a global infrastructure that will assist them in tackling business needs with the speed and efficiency needed in today's business climate."


Compass Datacenters Completes $100 Million Round of Funding

Compass Datacenters announced the completion of an additional $100 million in funding, including  $35 million in additional equity commitments and $65 million in additional capacity under Compass’ now $110 million revolving credit facility, to support its expansion into additional geographic markets.

“This funding provides Compass with the resources to bring our proven model to more customers and more geographic regions, which will drive the next stage of Compass’ growth,” said Chris Crosby, CEO of Compass Datacenters. “Our successful projects in markets such as North Carolina, Tennessee, Minnesota and Massachusetts have demonstrated the value proposition of our unique solution for customers, and those projects have also affirmed the quality of our facility design, the effectiveness of our construction methodology, and our ability to deliver on our six month construction timeline. We have proven our vision with multiple customers, and this new funding allows us to focus on implementing our growth plan. We are excited to add new partners Regions Bank and Raymond James to the Compass team.”


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Video: Getting to 400 GbE

An official IEEE P802.3bs Task Force has been formed to develop a 400 Gbp Ethernet standard for 100m over multimode fiber, as well as 500m, 2km, and 10km over singlemode fiber.

A number of technical and architectural issues, as described in this video, are up for discussion in the Task Force.

John D'Ambrosia, Chairman of the Ethernet Alliance and Chief Ethernet Evangelist at Dell, is looking for ratification in early 2017.

See video:  http://youtu.be/_iUoYwohzeM

SingTel Launches 300 Mbps LTE-A

SingTel is launching a 4G mobile broadband service boasting data speeds of up to 300Mbps, double the speeds of currently available 4G services in Singapore.

SingTel's 300 Mbps uses LTE-Advanced technology from Ericsson.

SingTel is using LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) carrier aggregation to combine 20 MHz bandwidth each of its 1800MHz and 2600MHz spectrum bands.

 The first live site at Singapore Expo is now ready for service.  By the end of the year, more than half of the island will be covered, including areas such as the CBD, Changi Airport and popular shopping malls. Customers can look forward to nationwide coverage by the end of 2015.

The first compatible device, the Huawei E5786 MiFi dongle, will be available from SingTel in mid-July. Smartphones and tablets are expected to be available soon after.

Mr Johan Buse, SingTel’s Vice President of Consumer Marketing, said: "The fastest network is now even faster. At SingTel, we are constantly upgrading our networks with the latest technologies and pushing the boundaries of innovation. Our customers are seeking higher speeds for their increasingly bandwidth-hungry multimedia applications. Last year, we were the first to launch nationwide dual-band 150Mbps 4G, and we are now excited to raise the bar to 300Mbps."

SingTel also announced 4G data roaming in China through its partnership with China Mobile.


Dell'Oro: Ethernet Switch Market Drops Close to $1B in Revenue in 1Q14

The Layer 2-3 Ethernet Switch market declined nearly $1 billion sequentially in the first quarter 2014 to just over $5 billion, according to a new report by Dell'Oro Group.

"Several factors caused 1Q14 to deliver the second worst first quarter on record for the Ethernet Switch market," said Alan Weckel, Vice President of Ethernet Switch market research at Dell'Oro Group.  "Campus switching continues to struggle as many customers look towards wireless connectivity; data center switching paused as Cisco's Nexus 9000 product transition continued; and stronger than usual seasonality all caused the market to weaken," Weckel explained.

"Despite the steep decline, white box switching continued to gain momentum in 1Q14, outpacing the overall market.  As we look towards the rest of 2014, the market will be most impacted by two factors: Cloud providers' continued and increasing need for networking equipment, and how China selects the vendors it will allow to sell into each part of its network," stated Weckel.

The report also indicates that 40 Gigabit Ethernet and 100 Gigabit Ethernet both grew in the first quarter, contributing more than five percent of the total market revenue.  Of the vendors broken out in the report, Cisco Systems, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Juniper Networks all grew their 40 Gigabit Ethernet port shipments sequentially.


Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks Form Cyber Defense Consortium

Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks are leading the foundation of a new cyber defense consortium whose mission is to drive a coordinated industry effort against cybercrime and cyber criminals through deep collaboration on threat intelligence and sharing of preventative measures.

1. Better cross-industry, cross-vendor threat intelligence
2. Better coordination of incident response
3. Better prevention of cyber attacks using advanced malware

“At Fortinet we look forward to collaborating with Palo Alto Networks to continue to improve network security,” said Ken Xie, Fortinet’s Chairman and CEO. “We look forward to combining our threat resources to offer customers innovative ways to more comprehensively combat modern day dynamic, sophisticated threats.”

“We are pleased to work with another respected innovator like Fortinet to join forces in the ongoing battle against the rapidly evolving threats stemming from advanced malware and APTs,” said Mark McLaughlin, Chairman, President and CEO of Palo Alto Networks. “The consortium is a clear response to the demands from the industry for a coordinated response from their technology vendors.”


IBM Patents Cloud-based Fraud Detection Technique

IBM was awarded a U.S. patent for a technique that helps online and cloud-based businesses improve their ability to eliminate fraud by analyzing browsing behavior.

IBM received U.S. Patent #8,650,080 - "User-browser interaction-based fraud detection system" - for the technique, which could be used by web site operators, cloud service providers and mobile application developers to detect and deal with threats by using analytics to thwart fraudsters.

"Our invention improves the effectiveness of authentication and security systems with insights derived from real-time data analytics," said Keith Walker, IBM Master Inventor and co-inventor on the patent. "For example, if an individual suddenly changes how they interact with an online bank or store, such as due to a broken hand or using a tablet instead of a desktop computer, I want these web sites to detect the change, and then ask for extra identity confirmation before accepting a transaction.  Our experience developing and testing a prototype, which flawlessly confirmed identities, shows that such a change would more likely be due to fraud, and we all want these sites to provide more protection while simultaneously processing our transactions quickly."


ViaSat Readies L-band Managed Service for M2M

ViaSat is launching a new worldwide, L-band network service for the machine to machine (M2M) market.

The ViaSat L-band Managed Service will introduce an innovative new waveform optimized for M2M that leverages ViaSat's extensive experience in serving U.S. government customers with highly secure, reliable, and rugged satellite-based global services.

ViaSat said its new service will operate over the highest performance L-band satellites using new technology to manage the satellite bandwidth more efficiently and support a number of performance differentiators.  The company is targeting M2M applications for the energy, utilities, logistics, and enterprise sectors.

"The agreements we've just completed with LightSquared and Thuraya signal the launch of our worldwide MSS services," said Phil Berry, VP MSS at ViaSat. "In the same way that we transformed satellite broadband, we're bringing innovation to this market with a focus on constantly improving system economics while enabling an order of magnitude performance improvement over comparable M2M legacy systems. We are developing a range of fixed and mobile devices to deliver the service for a variety of applications."


Infoblox Posts Revenue of $61M, CEO to Step Down

Infoblox reported revenue of $61 million for its third fiscal quarter ended April 30, 2014.  Net revenue was up 5% on a year-over-year basis but on the low-end of company guidance. There was a GAAP net loss of $7.4 million, or $0.14 loss per fully diluted share, for the third quarter of fiscal 2014, compared with a net loss of $0.3 million, or $0.01 loss per fully diluted share, for the third quarter of fiscal 2013.

“Revenue for the third quarter was $61 million, which was at the low-end of our guidance range of $61 million to $62 million,” said Robert Thomas, president and chief executive officer. “While we made progress in a few areas of the company, we again experienced challenges in closing seven-figure transactions. Clearly, our top priority is to reaccelerate top-line growth and we are taking actions to improve sales execution. Importantly, we believe our competitive position continues to be strong and our addressable market is growing, and we are optimistic about the opportunities before us.”

In addition, Infoblox announced that Robert Thomas has decided to step down as the company’s president and CEO pending the appointment of a successor. Thomas joined Infoblox in September 2004 as director, president and chief executive officer.

“We have accomplished a tremendous amount over the past ten years, and I am very proud of our entire team,” said Robert Thomas, president and chief executive officer. “Today, we have strong customer relationships, leading technologies and deep management talent. I am confident the board will select a world-class leader to continue to grow the company, and build on the strong base we have in place today. I remain fully committed to leading Infoblox and ensuring the succession process is seamless.”