Tuesday, July 29, 2014

BT Business Selects RingCentral's Cloud Phone Platform

BT Business has selected the RingCentral platform for a new generation of cloud business phone systems in the UK. Beginning early next year, the cloud phone system will be offered through BT Local Business, a network of independent BT businesses across the UK, and through BT's dedicated telesales call centers.

John Thorneycroft, Managing Director, Commercial and Marketing at BT Business said: "UK businesses are looking for a new generation of solutions to meet the rapidly changing communications needs of their distributed and mobile workforce. RingCentral brings unique cloud solutions with unparalleled ease of use and management, combined with a rich set of capabilities.”

The new generation of RingCentral’s cloud solution is now available with HD video and web conferencing.

Separately, RingCentral announced Q2 revenue of $52.8 million, up 40% from the second quarter of 2013. Service revenue was $47.9 million for the second quarter of 2014, up 39% from the second quarter of 2013. Product revenue was $4.9 million for the second quarter of 2014, up 52% from the second quarter of 2013. Net income (loss) per diluted share was ($0.20) for the second quarter of 2014 compared with ($0.60) for the second quarter of 2013.

RingCentral is headquartered in San Mateo, California.

http://www.ringcentral.com

Monday, July 28, 2014

The OpenCloud Project Aims for Programatic Interoperability

The OpenCloud Project, which is sponsored by the CloudEthernet Forum, is on-track to launch a test bed later this year for end-to-end interoperability for cloud, datacenter and network services.

Comcast, Verizon and Tata are hosting the first meeting of the OpenCloud Project this week in Silicon Valley. Specifically, the aim of the project is to solve the following problems:

  • Lack of end-to-end SLAs 
  • Provisioning of network services 
  • Policy for compliance, regulation and privacy laws 
  • Single view for managing services 
  • Standardized communication between cloud services

The OpenCloud Project has now put together a reference architecture that will be the basis of its forthcoming testbed.

“Where other standards bodies had the space to shape standards in advance of market penetration, cloud computing is already surging ahead in every direction -- powered by NFV, SDN, virtualization technologies and networking – technologies that are themselves still evolving quickly. Our response is to iteratively develop the Reference Architecture, the Test Bed and the standards simultaneously to keep ahead of business needs. The aim is to evolve a fully interworking cloud environment and the advance best practices to manage OTT and cloud services,” stated James Walker, president of the Cloud Ethernet Forum.

Jeff Schmitz, CEF Chairman, commented, “The OpenCloud Project is now in the design stage. We are putting a range of use cases to the test, starting with remote relocation and multiplication of virtual machines across the cloud.  The published results will reveal what does and does not work and will invite participation in addressing these challenges. Those who commit to the project now will help shape tomorrow and the $200Bn cloud services market.

Members of the Cloud Ethernet Forum include: Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, Comcast, Ciena, Cisco, Citrix, CoreSite, Ericsson, Equinix, Juniper, HP, Huawei, Interexion, PCCW Global, Spirent Communications, Tata Communications, Telx, Verizon and others.

http://www.cloudethernet.org/
http://www.cloudethernet.org/about-cef/cef-overview/opencloudproject/

AT&T, IBM and ACS Develop Cloud-to-Cloud Interconnect

AT&T Labs, IBM Research and ACS (Telcordia), working under DARPA's CORONET program, have been developing a dynamic, cloud-to-cloud interconnection framework for very high-bandwidth, on-demand services.

In a blog posting, AT&T's Chris Rice writes that AT&T's vision for a User-Defined Network Cloud (UDNC) becomes much more practical when it becomes possible to set-up cloud-to-cloud connections in under a minute. A prototype developed by the researches can enable setup times as short as 40 seconds, compared with the previous setup time of several days.

http://www.attinnovationspace.com/innovation/story/a7795947
https://www.orau.gov/sdnpr2013/presentations/von_lehmen12172013.pdf

In October 2012, AT&T and IBM announced a partnership to deliver secure, network-enabled cloud services.

The service combines AT&T virtual private networking and IBM SmartCloud Enterprise+ cloud capabilities using software from AT&T Labs to create a new, fast and highly-secure shared cloud service.  This will enable enterprises to quickly and reliably move data and applications between their own data centers (private clouds) and this new cloud service.  The software from AT&T Labs dynamically allocates networking resources to computing resources, automating functions that are often performed manually. The companies said more than 70 security functions are built-in, ensuring that traffic never leaves the protection of the VPN.

NTT Com Delivers Wholesale IaaS Solution to Philippines’ PLDT

NTT Communications announced a partnership with the Philippines’ largest telecommunication company, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), to provide PLDT’s enterprise customers with NTT Com’s enterprise-grade, infrastructure as a service (IaaS) solution, Enterprise Cloud.

Commercial services are scheduled to begin in or after September.

Enterprise Cloud, which enables enterprises to virtually access their individualized customer portal to configure virtual data centers, is offered via multiple servers in multiple international locations, including Japan, US, UK, Germany, Australia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, totaling nine countries and 11 data center locations.

PLDT will provide globally standardized IaaS services combining Enterprise Cloud and its own network services for Philippine-based enterprises. The enterprises will use these services to develop new solutions for global operations, especially in countries where NTT Com’s cloud is present, and to strengthen business continuity using NTT Com resources outside the Philippines.

“We are very pleased to offer this highly value-added IaaS solution to clients through our new partnership,” said PLDT’s EVP Alberto. “NTT Com provides optimum ICT solutions for multinationals operating out of the Philippines, and for Philippine corporations who choose to go global. With this partnership between NTT Com and PLDT, our clients may now capitalize on PLDT’s local accessibility and interfacing, and also seamless, high-quality cloud services.”

http://www.ntt.com

SkyBox Builds LEED Silver Houston Data Center

Skybox Datacenters, a Dallas-based data center developer, has begun construction on an 86,960-square-foot data center in the fast-growing Energy Corridor of Houston, Texas.

The new Skybox Houston One facility initially offers four private 10,000-square-foot data halls and could be expanded to 12 data halls within its 20-acre campus.  The facility is designed to a LEED Silver standard and the FM I-150 roof system with concrete roof deck is designed to resist 190 mph hurricane grade winds.  It boasts 12.5 megawatts of critical load and is powered by a loop-fed, 300-megawatt electric utility substation immediately adjacent to the site.

"Houston has become a very dynamic datacenter market over the past 2-3 years.  A meaningful contributor to the market has been major oil & gas firms and their need for fast, low-latency access to geoseismic data," says Bryan Loewen, global datacenter practice leader at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. "Additionally, we expect the requirements for local datacenter product to only increase as the reliance and dependence on technology increases for all companies in the greater Houston market."

http://skyboxdatacenters.com

AT&T Confirms All-Fiber GigaPower Rollout for Nashville

AT&T confirmed that it will rollout its all-fiber GigaPower network in the City of Nashville and is also considering five other Tennessee areas – Clarksville, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and Spring Hill as candidate municipalities for the service..

The AT&T GigaPower network will provide services offered over an all fiber network featuring symmetrical upload and download broadband speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second, and AT&T's most advanced TV services to consumers and businesses.

Specific locations of availability and pricing for the Nashville market will be announced at a later date.

http://about.att.com/story/att_commits_to_deliver_uverse_with_att_gigapower_in_nashville.html


  • On April 21, 2014, AT&T announced a major initiative to expand its ultra-fast AT&T GigaPower fiber network to up to 100 candidate cities and municipalities across 25 markets nationwide.  

  • As part of its proposed acquisition of DIRECTV, AT&T has also committed to extend the all-fiber AT&T GigaPower network to an additional 2 million customer locations.


VisionChina and Huawei Contemplate Free Wi-Fi for Public Transport

VisionChina Media Inc., a company that currently operates over 100,000 digital display screens in subway stations in 19 Chinese cities, is looking to Huawei and China Unicom to help launch a free Wi-Fi service for the public transport sector.  The idea is to provide free Wi-Fi with advanced video and location-based services in urban buses and trains.  The 3G/4G/LTE network would be used for backhaul.

"We believe the establishment of a national WIFI network across China's mass transportation systems will deliver unique value to urban commuters and national and multinational advertisers alike," said Mr. Limin Li, VisionChina Media's chairman and chief executive officer. "We aim to provide ubiquitous, high quality internet access that will make the daily commute for tens of millions of daily riders more enjoyable, while offering advertisers big data analytics and precision marketing ophttp://www.visionchina.cn/portunities that will help ensure ads reach their audiences more effectively."

http://www.visionchina.cn/

ViaSat Acquires Gray Labs for High-rate Satellite Modem

ViaSat has acquired a high-rate modem product line and custom spacecraft technologies for earth observation from Gray Labs Inc., a private company based in Georgia. Applications include high-speed intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) data communications. Financial terms were not disclosed.

ViaSat plans to continue to support Gray Labs products and customers with state-of-the-art design from its Duluth, Georgia campus. The former staff of Gray Labs has relocated to ViaSat facilities, and Dr. Jim Gray, former Gray Labs president, has assumed a senior consulting position at ViaSat where he will help expand the capabilities of satellite-to-earth communications for ISR.

"The output of ISR sensors is growing exponentially, so maximizing satellite data rates is increasingly important," said Kent Leka, VP of Satellite Ground Systems at ViaSat. "The expertise we obtained from Gray Labs in high-rate communications gives us important new ways to deliver a higher level of performance and increased data throughput for commercial and government customers. We're also gaining technical expertise and an entrepreneurial spirit that the Gray Labs team has in common with ViaSat."

http://www.viasat.com

Mavenir Posts Q2 Revenue of $33 Million, up 29% YoY

Mavenir Systems reported Q2 revenue of $33.3 million, an increase of 29% year-over-year and 16% quarter-over-quarter. GAAP operating loss for the second quarter of 2014 was $(2.2) million, compared with $(0.9) million in the second quarter of 2013 and $(2.2) million in the first quarter of 2014.

"We achieved a number of financial and business milestones again this quarter. The company delivered a strong quarter with strong financial results, again setting a new quarterly revenue record with Gross Margin above the high end of our guidance range,” said Pardeep Kohli, president and chief executive officer, Mavenir Systems. “Mavenir is seeing momentum in our two major areas of focus that are driving mobile network transformation - the adoption of all-IP technology and the build out of next generation networks using software-based solutions. LTE network transformation has begun in key markets with several VoLTE launches and announcements in the second quarter indicating that 2014 is the year of VoLTE.”

For Q3, Mavenir provided an estimated revenue range from $31.0 million to $33.0 million, reflecting growth of 19% to 27% over the third quarter of 2013.

http://www.mavenir.com

Telefónica’s Movistar Pay TV Service Launches Cloud DVR with ALU

Telefónica’s Movistar pay TV service in Spain has implemented a network-based DVR service that gives subscribers access to up to 350 hours of personal online recording through their set-top boxes.

The service uses Alcatel-Lucent’s Cloud DVR solution, which also includes a "mosaic" TV feature for major sporting events also allows customers to select between six different streams of the live action.
http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/solutions/cloud-dvr

TE Connectivity Floats $1 Billion in Senior Notes

TE Connectivity Ltd. (NYSE: TEL) ("TE Connectivity") today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Tyco Electronics Group, has priced an offering of:

  • $500 million aggregate principal amount of its floating rate senior notes due 2016;
  • $250 million aggregate principal amount of its 2.350% senior notes due 2019; and
  • $250 million aggregate principal amount of its 3.450% senior notes due 2024.

http://www.te.com

Sunday, July 27, 2014

California Looks to CalCloud for Gov IT in the Cloud

The California Department of Technology and IBM introduced CalCloud, a public-private partnership aimed at migrating government services into the cloud.

IBM is supplying and managing the infrastructure, while the California Department of Technology will manage all other aspects of the service offering. In addition to IBM, CalCloud partners include AT&T, which will provide network services for the core and edge networks, and IT consulting firms Alexan International and KPMG will help drive CalCloud’s adoption rate and migration to the new service.

More than 20 state departments have already requested IT services through CalCloud, which uses security standards based on National Institute of Standards (NIST) for cloud based services and FedRAMP.

The California Department of Technology said the main benefit of CalCloud will be to give state and local government the ability to buy only the computing resources needed with the flexibility to quickly scale up or scale down resources as workloads demand.

CalCloud is an important step towards providing faster and more cost effective IT services to California state departments and ultimately to the citizens of California,” said Marybel Batjer, Secretary of the Government Operations Agency.

“Transforming how the State of California delivers technology services is not only more efficient and cost effective, it will spur innovation with cloud capabilities that are open and secure,” said Erich Clementi, Senior Vice President, IBM Global Technology Services. “California is setting an example for other states on how to use cloud technology to improve coordination across agencies and municipalities while reducing the barriers and duplication that can impede the delivery of government services.”

http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/44436.wss
http://servicecatalog.otech.ca.gov/services/cloud/calcloud/docs/CalCloudBrochure.pdf
http://servicecatalog.otech.ca.gov/

Intel's Latest SSDs Offer 256-bit Encryption and OPAL 2.0 Policy Control

Intel introduced a new SSD Pro 2500 Series drive featuring security and manageability features aimed at business users.

The Intel Pro 2500 Series SSDs are self-encrypting drives (SED) utilizing hardware-based 256-bit encryption to protect data without a loss of performance. Additionally, the new Intel drives feature the Trusted Computing Group's OPAL 2.0 standard and are Microsoft eDrive capable. These policy-based controls help to prevent data breaches and support crypto erase to repurpose the drive for reuse.

Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series offers IT departments peace of mind with advanced security features and capabilities designed for businesses ranging from small companies through large IT-managed enterprises. Security and remote manageability features, combined with

Intel also claims lower annual failure rates (under 1%) than hard disk drives (HDDs), which typically reach as high as 5% in mobile devices.

"The Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series is the second-generation OPAL-based client storage solution that helps IT departments protect their users' data and also provides valuable features to reduce operational costs," stated Candace Worley, senior vice president and general manager, Endpoint Security, McAfee*, part of Intel Security. "The Pro 2500 Series is a perfect companion to our data protection solutions, managed by McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator, all working in concert to provide IT departments with data security, management and control, wherever their endpoints may be."

The drives can also be managed remotely with Intel vPro technology.

The Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series will be available in both 2.5-inch and M.2 form factors and in capacities ranging from 120GB to 480GB.

http://www.intel.com/ssd

Equinix Buys Out Brazil's ALOG Data Center Business

Equinix has bought the remaining shares it did not already own in ALOG Data Centers of Brazil for US$225 million in cash.

In April 2011, Equinix, together with Riverwood Capital, acquired a majority stake of ALOG, with Equinix holding a 53 percent ownership of the company. With today’s announcement, Equinix has purchased the remaining 47 percent stake and will integrate the company into Equinix.

ALOG serves approximately 1,500 customers across its four data centers in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

“ALOG’s strong position in Brazil and complementary business model provided Equinix the opportunity to establish a presence in an important emerging market and meet growing demand for data center services in Latin America,” said Karl Strohmeyer, president of the Americas for Equinix. “The ALOG team has done an outstanding job of leveraging the company’s strength in Brazil – specifically in cloud and mobility – and integrating it into Equinix’s global footprint to extend the world’s leading data center platform into Brazil.”

Equinix also announced an expansion of its second São Paulo (SP2) International Business Exchange (IBX) data center. SP2 is a Tier III-certified data center located in the São Paulo suburb of Tamboré. is home to two popular online services in Brazil: Apontador, a search engine visited every day by one in five Brazilians, and Maplink, an API geo-localization platform. Both are owned by Local LBS Group, and collectively generate 40 terabytes of data per month.

http://www.equinix.com

Anritsu Intros All-in-one Instrument with Full OTN Mapping

Anritsu introduced an all-in-one optical field instrument with the ability to conduct Optical Transport Network (OTN) mapping of all client signals as well as multi-stage mapping in a lightweight, small portable package.

The MT1000A Network Master Pro is an all-in-one OTN tester that provides users with the capability to measure with Ethernet and SDH/SONET client signals, making it easier for technicians to install and maintain mobile and fixed-access, metro, and core transmission networks. It supports the new OTN features ODU0 and ODUflex, as well as Ethernet, Fibre Channel and SDH/SONET at rates up to 10 Gbps. Legacy PDH and DSn interfaces can also be measured with the MT1000A Network Master Pro. Field technicians can use the instrument to quickly and accurately locate and solve problems in the transport network without having to contact a remote network operations center.

"Modern networks are utilizing enhanced packet optical transport technology such as OTN to support robust, fault tolerant transport of native Ethernet- and TDM-based clients over optical meshed networks. Additionally, Fibre Channel has grown significantly to meet the demand for data center connectivity and storage area networks (SANs). Anritsu has developed the MT1000A to support the network operator, administrator, engineer, and technician who must measure existing client traffic as stand-alone native signals as well as encapsulated clients in OTN transport," said Pete Alexander, PhD, Vice President and General Manager of Anritsu Company.

http://www.anritsu.com/en-US/Media-Room/News-releases/2014/2014-07-25-NRP004406.aspx

BSkyB Consolidates European Footprint with Acquisitions of Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland

BSkyB announced plans to acquire 21st Century Fox’s 100% stake in Sky Italia and its 57.4% interest in Sky Deutschland.

The deals will give the pay TV provider a total of 20 million customers in three of Europe’s four biggest markets. BSkyB currently serves 11.5 million customers in the UK and Ireland.

The total consideration for the acquisition of Sky Italia is £2.45 billion with approximately £2.07 billion to be paid in cash and the balance to be satisfied through the transfer of BSkyB's 21% stake in National Geographic Channel International to 21st Century Fox at a value of £382 million. The acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s shareholding in Sky Deutschland is for a consideration of £2.9 billion in cash, valuing Sky Deutschland at €6.75 per share.

"This transaction will create a world-class, multinational pay TV business with enhanced headroom for growth and immediate benefits of scale. The three Sky businesses are leaders in their home markets and will be even stronger together. By creating the new Sky, we will be able to use our collective strengths and expertise to serve customers better, grow faster and enhance returns," stated Jeremy Darroch, BSkyB's Chief Executive.


Friday, July 25, 2014

AT&T's All-Fiber GigaPower Service Comes to Dallas / Fort Worth

AT&T is preparing to launch its all fiber-based, GigaPower service featuring symmetrical upload and download broadband speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second in the Dallas metroplex.

The first rollouts will occur in Highland Park and University Park with gigabit speed.  AT&T confirmed that other parts of Dallas and surrounding cities will launch this summer, initially with speeds up to 100 Mbps but eligible for upgrades to full gigabit by the end of 2014.  These cities include Allen, Fairview, Irving, and McKinney. The same 100 Mbps plan is on tap for Fort Worth and the nearby communities of Arlington, Euless, Granbury, North Richland Hills, Weatherford, and Willow Park.

“We’re proud to be the first to offer ultra high-speeds to local consumers and employers in Dallas, Fort Worth, and surrounding cities,” said Dave Nichols, president, AT&T Texas. “As we roll out these ultra-fast speeds beginning this summer, the AT&T GigaPower network will help encourage economic development in the area by facilitating a new wave of innovation through enhanced opportunities for education, health, research, and small business growth.”

http://www.att.com/att/gigapowercities/

Telstra Tests 700 MHz LTE with 20 MHz Channel in Perth

Telstra will conduct commercial trials using 20MHz of the 700MHz spectrum band at six locations around Australia, including Perth,  ahead of rolling out more 4G 700MHz services in a range of cities and regional centres from January 2015.

“4G Advanced technology is the next evolution of our 4G service and brings together two spectrum bands - 700MHz and 1800MHz - to serve up ultra-fast data speeds," said Mike Wright, Telstra Group Managing Director Networks. It will be capable of providing customers double the speeds they currently experience on the 4G network, plus better 4G coverage indoors and beyond."

http://www.telstra.com.au/aboutus/media/media-releases/telstra-launches-future-of-4g-in-perth-mildura-griffith-and-mt-isa.xml


  • In May 2014, Telstra has demonstrated downlink speeds of 450 Mbps using LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation across a trial combination of 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands over its live network. Telstra worked with Ericsson to install equipment for two new 4G Frequency Division Duplexing (FDD) channels of 20MHz bandwidth each on the 2600MHz spectrum band (40MHz FDD), aggregated with live 20MHz of 4G on the 1800MHz band. The result was three simultaneous side-by-side paths for the data to travel through to the operational core network. Telstra also used an advanced prototype Cat 9 engineering device that could combine the three channels to achieve these speeds.



  • In February 2014, Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies 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.

See also