Monday, February 9, 2015

Qualcomm to Pay $975 Million Fine under China’s Anti-Monopoly Law

Following an investigation of Qualcomm under China’s Anti-Monopoly Law, China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) will impose a fine of 6.088 billion Chinese Yuan (approximately US$975 million at current exchange rates.  Qualcomm will not contest the penalty.  Other terms of the settlement include:

  • Qualcomm will offer licenses to its current 3G and 4G essential Chinese patents separately from licenses to its other patents and it will provide patent lists during the negotiation process. If Qualcomm seeks a cross license from a Chinese licensee as part of such offer, it will negotiate with the licensee in good faith and provide fair consideration for such rights.
  • For licenses of Qualcomm’s 3G and 4G essential Chinese patents for branded devices sold for use in China, Qualcomm will charge royalties of 5% for 3G devices (including multimode 3G/4G devices) and 3.5% for 4G devices (including 3-mode LTE-TDD devices) that do not implement CDMA or WCDMA, in each case using a royalty base of 65% of the net selling price of the device.
  • Qualcomm will give its existing licensees an opportunity to elect to take the new terms for sales of branded devices for use in China as of January 1, 2015.
  • Qualcomm will not condition the sale of baseband chips on the chip customer signing a license agreement with terms that the NDRC found to be unreasonable or on the chip customer not challenging unreasonable terms in its license agreement. However, this does not require Qualcomm to sell chips to any entity that is not a Qualcomm licensee, and does not apply to a chip customer that refuses to report its sales of licensed devices as required by its patent license agreement.

“We are pleased that the investigation has concluded and believe that our licensing business is now well positioned to fully participate in China’s rapidly accelerating adoption of our 3G/4G technology,” said Derek Aberle, president of Qualcomm. “We appreciate the NDRC’s acknowledgment of the value and importance of Qualcomm’s technology and many contributions to China, and look forward to its future support of our business in China.”

http://www.qualcomm.com

VeloCloud Enhances its SD-WAN Service with Zscaler and Websense

VeloCloud Networks, a start-up offering a subscription-based, virtualized WAN service for enterprises that aggregates multiple access lines (cable modem, DSL, LTE) into a single secure connection, announced interoperability with leading cloud security platforms Zscaler and Websense, spurring growth of its SD-WAN ecosystem. VeloCloud has also expanded its business policy framework, enabling enterprises, for the first time, to deploy cloud network services and applications easily and with assured enterprise-grade performance.

VeloCloud's SD-WAN service uses an Intel-based customer premise device at a branch office to communicate with a VeloCloud gateway in the cloud. The service analyzes network performance and application traffic to determine the best path and dynamically steer traffic to corporate data center or cloud services.

The new capabilities from Zscaler and Websense bring new virtual services to the platfrom. VeloCloud enables enterprise branch offices to achieve the same security services as corporate headquarters—without having to install multiple, separate appliances in each branch or backhaul traffic over expensive private links to their data centers. VeloCloud’s extensible business policy framework for network services insertion will cover additional services from its growing ecosystem.

In addition, the business policy framework adds explicit link usage policies for business and security compliance, augmenting VeloCloud’s existing automatic multi-path optimization which dynamically steers traffic to achieve enterprise-grade application performance. This business policy framework is transport independent, and also applies to private lines such as T1/MPLS as they are integrated into VeloCloud’s management and optimization of hybrid WANs. The expanded business policy framework provides software-defined WAN flexibility, simplicity and automation over both network services and transport utilization.

“VeloCloud’s Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN brings software-defined flexibility and automation to the WAN, and the policy-driven insertion of network services announced today extends our no-compromise SD-WAN simplicity, application performance and security,” said Sanjay Uppal, CEO and co-founder of VeloCloud. “Our comprehensive business policy framework replaces today’s complicated configuration and stacks of appliances in branch sites with single-click direct access to both on-premises and cloud-hosted services, including those from Websense and Zscaler.”

“For distributed enterprises, equipping branch and remote offices with secure, high-performance access to cloud services has been complex and expensive,” said Punit Minocha, vice president of business development for Zscaler. “Now that our partner VeloCloud’s SD-WAN solution is seamlessly integrated with Zscaler’s cloud-based Internet security platform, distributed organizations can securely and safely leverage the power of cloud computing, while dramatically reducing costs, increasing performance, and improving employee productivity and satisfaction.”

http://www.velocloud.com

Ruckus Adds Wi-Fi Roaming and Traffic Handling Capabilities

Ruckus Wireless is adding advanced capabilities to Smart Wi-Fi technology to improve IP-based voice calling over Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi Calling) in challenging environments. These include capacity-based client access control, Wi-Fi multimedia admission controls, directed roaming, and automatic packet flow heuristics.

  • Automatic QoS Heuristics - this is the ability to prioritize Wi-Fi Calling traffic by looking at the Type of Service (ToS) bits set by the smartphone in the IP header, or by using automatic packet flow heuristics that constantly examine the size and frequency of packets in any flow, encrypted or not.
  • Capacity-Based Client Access Control - If too many new devices attempt to connect to a given Wi-Fi access point (AP), already connected clients may experience service degradation. To help ensure existing clients' quality of user experience, Ruckus ZoneFlex™ APs can now implement a capacity-based client access control algorithm to decline connection requests from new clients. This new feature allows organizations to protect the user experience during periods of heavy load.
  • Directed Roaming - Leveraging the 802.11v standard, directed roaming helps to ensure the overall quality of user experience for the entire wireless LAN (WLAN) network by directing clients toward another Wi-Fi access point that can provide a better user experience. If a signal falls below user-definable signal strength (RSSI) or throughput thresholds, Ruckus ZoneFlex APs can automatically provide a list of alternative access points and request the client to move to a closer AP.  This solves the problem of clients that stay connected or 'sticky' with a given AP, even if it no longer provides the best connection.

  • Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM) Admission Control - WMM admission control improves the performance of Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi networks for real time voice and video services by preventing oversubscription of bandwidth. By requiring clients to request a specific amount of bandwidth before connecting to a given Ruckus ZoneFlex AP, bandwidth management on each AP now takes into account network load and channel connections before allowing clients to connect.

"The innovations we've made will improve the reliability and quality of Wi-Fi Calling applications, which enables both service providers and enterprises to extract greater value from their Wi-Fi infrastructure," said Dan Rabinovitsj, Chief Operating Officer at Ruckus Wireless. "While voice over Wi-Fi isn't new, the ability to deliver a carrier-class voice service over Wi-Fi is something that no one has mastered, until now."

http://www.ruckuswireless.com

Meru Debuts Controller-less XPress Cloud for 802.11ac

Meru Networks introduced its XPress Cloud, a controller-less 802.11ac Wi-Fi solution featuring cloud-based management and aimed at small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and distributed enterprises.

Meru said its XPress Cloud requires only a PoE-capable Ethernet switch or an optional external power supply, along with a basic Internet connection. Only network management traffic traverses the cloud; all corporate data remains behind the firewall.

The XPress Cloud portfolio includes the new Meru XP8i access point, with management software hosted by Meru and delivered through secure data center providers worldwide. The high-performance, two-radio, 2X2, 802.11ac Meru XP8i offers zero-touch provisioning, with automated channel and power selection capabilities enabling instant self-configuration. Meru XPress Cloud also features an integrated captive portal for secure on-boarding of employee and guest devices.

Meru is also offering two options for the acquisition of XPress Cloud, with XP8i access points available for purchase upfront, or available on a Wi-Fi-as-a-Service (WaaS), subscription basis. Monthly management and monitoring license fees apply.

“We’ve worked closely with small-to-medium enterprises around the world to understand what they need to meet their unique business demands,” said Don Trimble, vice president of SME Cloud Sales at Meru. “These findings, combined with our experience in the design of enterprise-grade WLAN solutions, led to Meru XPress Cloud – a high-performance offering that brings affordability, ease of deployment and scalability to the SME and distributed enterprise markets.”

http://www.merunetworks.com/Products/Cloud/Index.html

Red Hat and NEC Collaborate on OpenStack Solutions for NFV

Red Hat and NEC Corp. will jointly develop network functions virtualization (NFV) features in OpenStack in order to deliver carrier-grade NFV solutions with Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform.

The companies noted that they have collaborated for more than a decade on joint open source software development. In recent years, they focused on NFV system integration with OpenStack, leveraging NEC’s telecom expertise. This enables the acceleration of NFV features in OpenStack and the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) in order to achieve carrier-grade and carrier-scale systems, including data plane acceleration through the Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK). Moreover, these efforts are being contributed to the upstream OpenStack community, to enable Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform to emerge as a leading cloud platform for NFV. Several of the NFV features resulting directly from this collaboration were included in the OpenStack Juno release, or are planned for the forthcoming OpenStack Kilo release.

With this new agreement, NEC's NFV system integrated with Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform will be designed to deliver mobile packet core virtualization, also known as virtualized Evolved Packet Core, or vEPC, as well as virtual Customer Premises Equipment (vCPE). NEC and Red Hat plan to continue the expanded collaboration to integrate and optimize Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform and NFV, along with contributions to open source communities, including OpenStack and Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV).

http://www.redhat.com
http://www.nec.com

ZTE Completes VoLTE Tests with China Mobile

ZTE confirmed its completion of China Mobile’s large-capacity VoLTE (Voice over LTE) tests.

ZTE’s IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) solutions deployed in the China Mobile test delivered robust and stable network performance, fully fulfilling customer requirements, demonstrating VoLTE capacity, voice quality and continuity that exceeded projections. ZTE completed the full range of tests, including network function, service function, performance test and IOT, ahead of all other participating vendors.

ZTE said its VoLTE and IMS solutions offer hierarchical QoS guarantee, seamless 2G/3G/WiFi/4G voice continuity handover and end-to-end O&M features, guaranteeing HD voice quality, delivering superior user experience and easy O&M.


CommScope Intros Metro Cells on Street Poles

CommScope introduced a new Metro Cell Concealment Solution that features a two-piece design for mounting all the necessary equipment for metro cell operation.  Two can mount and hide radios, antennas, backhaul termination (wireline or wireless), back-up batteries and other equipment on street poles in units that are more structurally balanced and easier to permit.

“The key to successful metro cell deployments is making the equipment as inconspicuous as possible and installing it at just the right location in dense urban areas,” said Stan Catey, senior vice president and general manager, Cable Products, CommScope. “Our concealment solution targets some of the most commonly available street furniture available for metro cell deployment—street lighting poles.”


http://www.commscope.com

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Blueprint: How Your Data Networks Can Sustainably Grow

by Thierry Klein, Network Energy Research Program Leader, Bell Labs / Alcatel-Lucent

In a world where leaving the office at the end of the day without one of our devices is hardly imaginable, individuals have become reliant on the technology that keeps them connected during all parts of their waking life. As more and more consumer devices are added to the network, daily Internet traffic is growing dramatically.

To put some concrete numbers behind this:
  • Smartphones and tablets will drive mobile traffic to grow up to 89 times by 2020 from 2010.
  • By 2017 more than 5 zettabytes of data will pass through the networks every year.
  • Enjoy tweeting? Well, that is the equivalent of everyone in the world tweeting non-stop for more than 100 years.
As we know, it takes quite a bit of energy to power our devices so that they can process that data. While battery and power cell technology continues to improve, our consumption continues to grow. In addition to powering the mobile devices, we also need to power the data networks that connect those devices to the Internet. The significant increase in energy consumption and associated energy cost continue to create a key challenge facing the ICT industry today. With massive amounts of devices connecting and users expecting fast, uninterrupted service, how can network providers stay on top of demand in a fully connected world? What can we do to ensure that our networks can support the exponential growth in traffic that will result from these increases in the near future?

One of the challenges we face as an industry is supporting that growth in a sustainable and economically viable way. Network energy bills represent more than 10 percent of the operators’ operational expenses and can even reach as high as 30 percent in developing markets. In 2013, 69 gigawatts – the equivalent of powering New York City 12 times over – was used to keep global data and communication networks, including data centers, running.

Network operators are eager to reduce energy consumption, costs and the carbon footprint of their networks, they’re also working to understand how the network’s energy consumption will evolve based on technology evolution over the next several years. Advancements have been made to address the explosive network growth, but not everyone is aware of them, nor are they familiar with their capabilities and the problems they can solve.

Let’s take an in-depth look at some of the tools available to assist operators as they plan for network growth in a sustainable and economically viable way.

The Global “What if” Analyzer of NeTwork Energy ConsumpTion (G.W.A.T.T.)

To understand the issues facing network growth, Alcatel-Lucent’s research and innovation arm, Bell Labs, has developed an interactive application to highlight the current energy consumption of our ICT networks and of the Internet.

The Global “What if” Analyzer of NeTwork Energy ConsumpTion application (or G.W.A.T.T. for short) forecasts trends in energy consumption and efficiency based on different traffic growth and technology evolution scenarios. This interactive, self-guided tool provides operators the guidance they need to understand the energy consumption and efficiency of their networks, as well as the energy consumption of specific applications such as high-bandwidth video or gaming applications running over the networks.

Using G.W.A.T.T., operators can model their network evolution and show the impact on network energy consumption, cost and carbon footprint from new technologies such as LTE, small cells, heterogeneous networks, VDSL2 Vectoring or VoIP migration. G.W.A.T.T. also provides insights into potential energy benefits coming from network transformation scenarios based on SDN and NFV technologies.


With the help of forecasted trends in energy consumption and efficiency based on different traffic growth and technology evolution scenarios, G.W.A.T.T. allows network operators to specifically pinpoint how these new technologies and high-bandwidth services are impacting the home and enterprise networks, the wireless and fixed access networks, the metro, edge and core backbone networks, and the service core and data centers. This plan allows operators to see any “hot spots” where most of the energy is consumed within the network. Additionally, it can identify the impact of different network transformations and gradual technology deployments to provide a more energy-efficient network evolution process.

Addressing a variety of key questions, G.W.A.T.T. aims to provide answers to key concerns:
  • What is the overall energy consumption of the telecommunication networks?
  • Where is most of the energy consumed in the end-to-end network today, and how much does it cost to power the network now and in the future?
  • How much energy is consumed by wireless networks? By data centers?
  • What is the impact of traffic growth and new applications and services on the energy consumption of current networks as well as future SDN and NFV-based networks?
  • How will the network’s energy consumption evolve based on technology evolution over the next several years?
G.W.A.T.T. has been built to allow operators the opportunity to understand these evolutions and to offer a moment of reflection on the best way to ensure that energy supply matches demand in the future. Over time, Bell Labs will continue to expand the capabilities of G.W.A.T.T. — refining its modeling capabilities, adding new network scenarios and including future technologies in the hope that, with the advent of the Internet of Things and video consumption being at an all-time high, networks have the upper hand to support their growth while decreasing their energy consumption.

The Power of GreenTouch

GreenTouch, a consortium of leading ICT industry, academic and non-governmental research experts, strives to deliver the architecture, specification and technologies needed to increase energy efficiency by a factor of 1,000 compared to 2010 levels by designing fundamentally new network architectures and creating the enabling technologies on which they are based.

Many of today’s networks are optimized for performance, however not for energy efficiency. This can lead to large carbon footprints. Currently accounting for an estimated 2 percent of the global GHG footprint, the entire ICT sector has the potential to reduce global GHG emissions in other industry sectors by 16.5 percent by 2020, amounting to $1.9 trillion in gross energy and fuel savings and a reduction of 9.1 GtCO2e of GHG. When a network is optimized for both performance and energy, a very different design and architecture comes to play, and this is what is needed to be sustainable in the future and realize the full benefit of ICT’s enabling effect on GHG emissions.

GreenTouch brings together the expertise needed to discuss and innovate ways for new technologies to work in concert, while achieving sustainable networks in the near — and not so near — future.

By knowing more about how our networks use energy, research organizations hope to one day build self-sustaining networks powered by natural elements at hand.

G.W.A.T.T. and GreenTouch offer network operators tools and research to help, not hinder, the growth of our communication networks, leaving both the end user and the earth in a happier place.

About the Author 

Dr. Thierry E. Klein is currently the Program Leader for the Network Energy Research Program at Bell Labs, Alcatel-Lucent leading a team of researchers, engineers and scientists across multiple research domains and locations with the mission to conduct research towards the design, development and use of sustainable future communications and data networks. His team is based in Murray Hill, Crawford Hill, Stuttgart, Villarceaux and Dublin. He also serves as the Chairman of the Technical Committee of GreenTouch, a global consortium dedicated to improve energy efficiency in networks by a factor 1000x compared to 2010 levels. Since 2014, he is also a member of the Momentum for Change Advisory Panel of the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Dr. Klein earned an MS in Mechanical Engineering and an MS in Electrical Engineering from the Université de Nantes and the Ecole Centrale de Nantes in Nantes, France, and a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. He is an author on over 35 peer-reviewed conference and journal publications and an inventor on 36 patent applications.

BT's £12.5bn Acquisition of EE Builds Alliances

BT agreed to acquire EE for £12.5 billion (approximately US$19.04 billion), giving it the leading mobile network operator in the UK with 31 million customers (including 24.5m direct mobile customers and 834,000 are fixed broadband customers) and significantly expanding its over strategy. EE (everything Everywhere) is the company that runs the Orange and T-Mobile networks in the UK.

The deal is structured as a combination of cash and new BT ordinary shares issued to both Deutsche Telekom and Orange, thereby bringing the traditional incumbent operators of the UK, Germany and France into closer alliance. Upon closing, Deutsche Telekom will hold a 12% stake in BT and will be entitled to appoint one non-executive member of the BT Board of Directors. Orange will hold a 4% stake in BT.

Some highlights:

  • EE has the largest 4G customer base of any operator in Europe
  • By combining the UK's most advanced 4G network and most extensive superfast broadband network, BT will have greater scope for future investment and product innovation
  • BT expects to achieve combined operating cost and capex synergies of around £360m p.a. in the fourth full year post Completion.
  • BT expects to generate revenue synergies by providing a full range of communications services to the combined customer base. This includes BT selling its broadband, fixed telephony and pay-TV services to those EE customers who do not currently take a service from BT. 
  • BT also expects to accelerate the sale of converged fixed-mobile services to BT’s existing consumer and business customers and offer new services, using both companies’ product portfolios, skills and networks. BT expects to generate revenue synergies with a total net present value of approximately £1.6bn
“This is a major milestone for BT as it will allow us to accelerate our mobility plans and increase our investment in them. The UK’s leading 4G network will now dovetail with the UK’s biggest fibre network, helping to create the leading converged communications provider in the UK. Consumers and businesses will benefit from new products and services as well as from increased investment and innovation. The deal provides an attractive opportunity for BT to generate considerable value for shareholders, with significant operating and capital investment efficiencies supported by our tried and tested cost transformation activities," stated BT Chief Executive Gavin Patterson.

“The transaction is much more than just the creation of the leading integrated fixed and mobile network operator in Europe's second largest economy. We will be the largest individual shareholder in BT and are laying the foundations for our two companies to be able to work together in the future. This is another example of the consistent and successful execution of our portfolio optimisation strategy,” said Deutsche Telekom Chief Executive Tim Höttges.

http://www.btplc.com/News/Articles/ShowArticle.cfm?ArticleID=845B68FF-E7CD-4FD9-B90B-6C4D0E3D1E3B


  • During 2014, EE added a record 5.7 million customers to its 4G network, with 1.7 million in the last two months alone. This beat the 6 million year-end target. In 2014 EE added 350 more cities and towns, with more than 200 added in Q4 alone, bringing the total to 510 covered UK towns and cities with populations of 10,000 and above. 4G from EE now covers more than 80% of the population and is on target to reach 98% by the end of 2015. The company reported six times more 4G data uploaded and downloaded by customers in 2014 than in 2013.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Arista Comments on Cisco ITC Litigation

In a press statement, Arista Networks reiterated its view that the two complaints made by Cisco before the the International Trade Commission (ITC) lack merit.  Arista said Cisco’s unorthodox methods of publicizing them suggest a deliberate effort by Cisco to use the courts to gain a marketing opportunity.

“The Commission institutes an investigation in response to virtually every complaint that is filed. Thus, the decision to institute based upon Cisco’s complaints is an expected procedural event,” said Marc Taxay, Vice President and General Counsel for Arista Networks. “Naturally, we will aggressively defend against Cisco’s allegations and look forward to presenting our case to the Commission.”

Arista will report its financial results on Thursday, February 19th.

http://investors.arista.com/company/investors-relations/press-releases/press-release-details/2015/Arista-Networks-to-Announce-Q4-and-Fiscal-Year-2014-Financial-Results-on-Thursday-February-19th/default.aspx

Sckipio's G.fast Hits 500 Mbps at 200m

Sckipio Technologies, a start-up based in Israel, successfully demonstrated G.fast at speeds greater than 500Mbps for 200 meters – double the official ITU targets for this new broadband standard, according to the company.

Sckipio said laboratory trials with multiple broadband access service providers globally achieved more than 200 Mbps at 400 meters, again doubling the target distance for the given rate.

“G.fast was optimized to deliver up to 1Gbps in short distances,” said David Baum, CEO of Sckipio Technologies. “Yet, we tuned our technology to allow telcos to reach more customers with higher performance from farther away.”

The initial test results are preliminary and based upon lab evaluations over real binders. Sckipio expects additional performance improvements as the solution is further optimized.

http://www.sckipio.com

Friday, February 6, 2015

GigOptix Releases 32G Quad Channel Linear Modulator Driver

GigOptix announced its newest linear quad-channel modulator driver, the GX62476, for low-power coherent metro applications.

The device is a quad-channel, 32Gbps solution offering the lowest power dissipation of less than 1.1W/channel at a 5VPP swing using 5V supply voltage and 0.75W/channel at a 3VPP swing using a 3.3V supply voltage. The linear driver is optimized for use with available low drive voltage Lithium Niobate and Indium Phosphide optical modulators, requiring single ended drive to provide the industry’s lowest power consumption with the best linearity solution in a small form factor SMT package for coherent CFP and CFP2 modules. Sampling is underway.

http://www.gigoptix.com/

White House Summit on Cybersecurity Set for Feb 13

President Obama is now slated to attend a summit on cybersecurity and consumer protection on February 13th at Stanford University. The Silicon Valley event is expected to bring together industry and government officials.

Topics of discussion are expected to include:

  • Public-Private Collaboration on Cybersecurity
  • Improving Cybersecurity Practices at Consumer-Oriented Businesses and Organizations
  • Promoting More Secure Payment Technologies
  • Cybersecurity Information Sharing
  • International Law Enforcement Cooperation on Cybersecurity
  • Improving Authentication: Moving Beyond the Password
  • Chief Security Officers’ Perspectives: New Ideas on Technical Security

http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/foreign-policy/cybersecurity/summit

Dupont Fabros Technology Appoints New CEO

DuPont Fabros Technology has appointed Christopher P. Eldredge as President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Hossein Fateh, who co-founded DFT and its predecessor companies. Eldredge joins DFT from NTT America Inc. where he served as Executive Vice President since 2013. Prior to NTT America, Eldredge was President and General Manager, Ethernet Exchange and Product Management at The Telx Group Inc. Previously he held executive leadership roles at Broadview Networks and Frontier Communications (formerly Citizens Communications).

DFT is a leading owner, developer, operator and manager of enterprise-class, carrier-neutral, large multi-tenant wholesale data centers. Its 11 data centers are located in four major U.S. markets, which total 2.75 million gross square feet and 240 megawatts of available critical load.

http://www.dft.com

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Frontier to Acquire Verizon Wireline in CA, FL, TX

Frontier Communications agreed to acquire Verizon's wireline operations that provide services to residential, commercial and wholesale customers in California, Florida and Texas, for $10.54 billion in cash. The deal requires regulatory approvals.

These Verizon properties include 3.7 million voice connections, 2.2 million broadband connections, and 1.2 million FiOS video connections. The network being acquired is the product of substantial capital investments by Verizon and is 54 percent FiOS enabled. Verizon spent more than $7 billion in the buildout of FiOS in the acquired territories.

"This transaction marks a natural evolution for our company and leverages our proven skills and established track record from previous integrations," said Maggie Wilderotter, Frontier Communications Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "These properties are a great fit for Frontier and will strengthen our presence in competitive suburban markets and accelerate our recent market share gains. We look forward to realizing the benefits this transaction will bring to our shareholders, customers and employees."

Frontier said the deal benefits it in several ways: these Verizon wireline operations generated revenue of more than $5.7 billion in 2014. Frontier expects costs to be reduced by $525 million in the first year after close and $700 million by year three. Frontier expects the transaction to be 35 percent accretive to free

Frontier will finance this acquisition with the issuance of a combination of equity and equity-linked securities, as well as debt.

http://frontier.com/
http://www.verizon.com


  • In October 2014, Frontier Communications completed its previously announced $2 billion acquisition of AT&T’s wireline business, statewide fiber network, and U-verse operations in Connecticut. As part of the acquisition, Frontier also acquired AT&T’s DISH satellite TV customers in Connecticut.
  • In 2010, Verizon divested its local wireline operations serving residential and small-business customers in predominantly rural areas in 14 states by selling these operations to Frontier Communications. The deal included switched and special access lines, as well as its Internet service and long-distance voice accounts. The deal include all of Verizon's local wireline operating territories in Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Also included were fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) assets deployed by Verizon in 41 local franchises and the state of Indiana.  

American Tower to Acquire 11,489 Towers from Verizon

American Tower Corporation agreed to acquire rights to approximately 11,324 wireless communications towers and purchase approximately 165 additional towers from Verizon Communications for $5.056 billion in cash. The portfolio of approximately 11,489 towers spans all 50 states with approximately 50% of the sites in the top 100 BTAs. The average height of the tower portfolio is approximately 190 feet, with capacity for incremental colocation.

Under the deal, American Tower will have the exclusive right to lease and operate the Verizon towers for a weighted average term of approximately 28 years. In addition, American Tower will have fixed price purchase options to acquire the towers based on their anticipated fair market values at the end of the lease terms. Verizon will sublease space on the towers for a minimum of 10 years with monthly rent of $1,900 per site and fixed annual rent escalators of 2%.

American Tower said the deal, in combination with its legacy footprint, will give it the largest wireless communications real estate portfolio in the United States with over 40,000 tower sites. This transaction expands and strengthens American Tower’s relationships with major U.S. wireless operators, and 85% of pro forma domestic rental and management revenue will be generated by the Big Four U.S. carriers.

“The Verizon tower portfolio is a unique asset. Due to outstanding design and management by the Verizon Wireless network operations team, the portfolio boasts a number of key attributes that we believe will facilitate robust leasing opportunities under our focused management. These attributes include average tower heights approaching 200 feet, ample structural capacity and ground space, very attractive transmission locations with relatively few competing sites, a solid ground lease profile, and excellent documentation and technical information. By acquiring access to this high quality asset base, American Tower will be well positioned to capture incremental leasing activity and extend our ability to drive strong annual organic core growth and solid AFFO per share growth, well into the future,” stated Jim Taiclet, American Tower’s Chief Executive Officer.

American Tower estimates that the Verizon tower portfolio will generate approximately $410 million in domestic rental and management revenue, approximately $235 million in gross margin and will be break-even to AFFO per share in its full first year of operation, and accretive thereafter.

http://www.americantower.com/corporateus/investor-relations/press-releases/index.htm

Brocade Advances its VCS Data Center Fabric with Scalable Switch

Brocade announced significant advancements to its VCS fabric portfolio, including a new high port count switch and new SDN software.

that are designed to significantly improve IT agility and help customers migrate to the New IP. These solutions enable efficient, automated, scale-out network architectures with new, advanced programmability and orchestration to deliver network resources on demand.

The new Brocade VDX 6940 is a high-density fixed form factor switch that can be deployed as a spine or leaf switch in dynamic, scale-out data center architectures. It supports Brocade's VCS Logical Chassis capabilities, enabling up to 48 switches to be managed as a single logical switch. SDN capabilities enable advanced programmability, virtualization, cloud orchestration, and DevOps integration.  Its low-latency, cut-through, non-blocking architecture delivers line-rate performance at all packet sizes to accommodate varying traffic patterns and profiles.

Brocade said the on-chip buffer design in these switches delivers high throughput, a critical capability for environments such as Hadoop.  The company's Zero-Touch Provisioning capabilities enable it to be configured and operational in less than one minute. Two models are offered: the Brocade VDX 6940-36Q offers 36 40GbE QSFP+ ports. Through a breakout cable, each 40 GbE port can be broken into four 10GbE ports for a total of 144 10GbE connections. This represents 40 percent more port capacity than any other network switch in its class. The Brocade VDX 6940-144S provides up to 96 10GbE ports, along with 12 40GbE or four 100GbE ports in a 2U form factor.


"As the rise of the third platform -- including cloud, mobile, social, and Big Data -- accelerates, organizations are encountering new requirements and challenges that cannot be addressed with legacy network architectures that were designed for client-server environments," said Jason Nolet, senior vice president of Data Center Switching, Routing, and Analytics Products Group at Brocade. "Networks must transform from a siloed, static design to an agile, on-demand infrastructure that is automated via data center orchestration frameworks and programmability."


  • SDN Support: Brocade VDX switches will integrate with the Brocade Vyatta Controller, as well as third-party OpenDaylight-compliant controllers, through support of OpenFlow 1.3 to enable a smooth migration to SDN.
  • Cloud Orchestration: In April, Brocade will add VCS Layer 3 functionality to OpenStack Kilo release. The new capabilities include Inter VLAN routing allowing tenants on separate networks to communicate and Layer 3 ACLs to enabling Firewall as a Service (FWaaS).
  • DevOps: Brocade will support Puppet and Python scripting across the Brocade VDX switch family with the release of NOS 6.0.
  • Expanded VMware Integration: Brocade continues to expand its strategic partnership with VMware to enhance the integration of virtualized servers and NSX-based virtual networks with physical networking infrastructure. Brocade is introducing an IP Analytics and Content Pack for VMware vRealize Operations to help simplify operations management across physical and virtual resources. 


http://newsroom.brocade.com/press-releases/brocade-advances-data-center-agility-with-new-vcs--nasdaq-brcd-1173449#.VNQ57P6-2-0

Brocade to Acquire Riverbed's SteelApp ADC

Brocade agreed to acquire Riverbed's SteelApp product line (formerly called Stingray) in an all-cash asset transaction. The deal includes all of the assets of the SteelApp business unit, and SteelApp development and field personnel. Financial terms were not disclosed.

SteelApp is a virtual application delivery controller (ADC) providing scalable, secure, and elastic delivery of enterprise, cloud, and e-commerce applications. The SteelApp product line controls traffic to and from applications and enables fast, reliable, and secure application delivery to users anywhere from the cloud or data center. The latest release of SteelApp 9.9 supports advanced global load balancing including to AWS.

Brocade said it expects ADCs to become one of the first applications to benefit from NFV. ADCs provide application availability, acceleration, and security for users. This includes shielding them from interruptions due to bursts in demand, providing various optimizations based on application type, and facilitating access based upon specific policies. Deploying this functionality in software (vADCs) enables a dramatically better level of flexibility and cost, and aligns directly with Brocade's NFV strategy. Brocade's growing portfolio of software networking products already includes virtual routing, firewall, VPN, SDN controller, and network visibility and analytics.

"Brocade continues to execute aggressively to capitalize on the disruptive force of software in IP networking," said Lloyd Carney, CEO of Brocade. "Brocade is the #2 data center networking vendor worldwide and this acquisition strengthens Brocade's unique position as the adoption of software-centric networking is accelerating. We are thrilled to add SteelApp's widely-adopted solution to our portfolio and will invest our existing ADC resources to aggressively advance the roadmap and extend it into our open Vyatta Platform offering for NFV and SDN."

"The decision to divest the SteelApp product line reflects Riverbed's ongoing commitment to focus on businesses and opportunities that leverage our core competencies," said Jerry M. Kennelly, chairman and CEO of Riverbed Technology. "Riverbed is focused on providing solutions that provide CIOs unparalleled visibility, optimization, and control in the hybrid enterprise, ensuring on-premises, cloud and SaaS applications perform as needed."

http://www.brocade.com
http://www.riverbed.com/products/application-delivery-performance/


  • Brocade has made two previous acquisitions of virtualized networking companies: Vyatta (virtual routing and firewall) and Vistapointe (virtual network visibility and analytics). 
  • In December, Riverbed announced a privatization deal with Thoma Bravo, LLC and Teachers’ Private Capital, the private investor department of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Riverbed stockholders will receive $21.00 per share in cash, or a total of approximately $3.6 billion. 

See also