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F5 Networks, the global specialist in Application Delivery Networking, today announced that Swisscom, Switzerland's leading telecommunications provider, has implemented F5 solutions to support its nationwide ‘Internet for Schools' initiative.

The ‘Internet for Schools' program is aimed at getting every primary and secondary school in Switzerland connected to the internet. Swisscom leads the project, in conjunction with federal and local authorities. With over 5000 schools to support, and a potential user base of 900,000, key aspects of the project included stability, performance and reliability. Flexibility was also important given differing policies from canton (region) to canton on web content preferences.

The systems house eXecure recommended the F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager, running on a mix of hardware platforms including F5's carrier-grade VIPRION chassis and blade system.

"This is something of a flagship project, given its extent," said Martin Theiler, Project Management and Engineering, Swisscom, "Since the implementation was concluded, the system has been running smoothly and is extremely stable. It's exactly right for our requirements, and we're particularly impressed with VIPRION's reliability and scalability, which enable us to increase processing power whenever we need to simply by adding an extra blade." 

"The system Swisscom, eXecure, and F5 developed is one of Switzerland's largest centralized web access and security initiatives," said Rolf Schauder, Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe at F5. "The ability of F5 devices to interoperate with other security providers to allow for different levels of URL filtering per canton was a particularly noteworthy achievement. The solution we put in place, unique at the time in Switzerland, is applicable to service providers, governing bodies and the like on a global basis."

Accanto Systems, a specialist in Customer Service Assurance solutions for converged networks, announced today that its iCSA System has been selected by a major Czech-based mobile operator for their fixed-mobile (FMC) converged services. iCSA is used for monitoring, troubleshooting and performance analysis of the converged services, which are supported by a mix of mobile, NGN, IMS and legacy TDM technologies.

The unnamed operator's new fixed mobile converged services already have over 1 million subscribers, and services are targeted at business subscribers who need more seamless voice and data communications in a highly-available environment. The service is based on the IMS architectures of Ericsson and Acme packet (SBC).

"Due to the fact that it's based on a collection of legacy and emerging technologies across both wireless and wireline domains, it was very challenging to optimize, manage and troubleshoot the collective service," said a representative. "This was especially true when trying to obtain information from a customer-level view. Accanto's iCSA solution provided exactly this type of capability."

In addition to managing and troubleshooting the service, the mobile operator selected Accanto's iCSA solution to·

 *   Monitor service quality and performance across the main elements of the core FMC infrastructure, especially across TDM/VoIP domains
 *   Perform quality and performance monitoring for the actual FMC service
 *   Quickly identify network faults and end-user device misconfiguration problems
 *   Provide on-demand service usage simulation for capacity planning

"This company's implementation of Accanto's iCSA is another great example of how Accanto can help operators manage the complexities of converged network technologies and services, and also help ensure that the customer experience is always well understood and in control of the operator," said Michele Campriani, CEO of Accanto Systems.

"In addition to Accanto's great products, their consultancy approach proved that they had the technical and practical background to understand our network and convergence issues, and they quickly became a core part of our project team, which was invaluable," said the representative.

Network specialist, Ciena, has announced the successful completion of its acquisition of substantially all of the optical networking and Carrier Ethernet assets of Nortel's+ Metro Ethernet Networks (MEN) business.

"The acquisition of these assets accelerates Ciena's overall strategy and gives us stronger operating leverage to continue investing in innovation that will allow us to deliver on our vision for next-generation networks," said Gary Smith, Ciena's president and CEO. "With broader geographic reach, deeper customer relationships and a stronger portfolio of solutions, we're confident that this acquisition positions Ciena for faster growth."

Ciena says it has completed several important milestones in its integration plan, and remains focused on ensuring a smooth transition for the benefit of both customers and employees: The companyhas selected its senior management and extended leadership teams and defined their areas of responsibility and accountability, and identified and confirmed substantially all of the organizational structure to the extent permitted by applicable law. Nearly 100 percent of the employment offers Ciena has extended to Nortel MEN employees have been accepted, including a significant number in management positions.

Ciena also says it has ensured that upon closing the applicable Nortel customer and supply contracts will successfully transition to Ciena.

Philippe Morin, previously president of Nortel MEN, has been appointed Ciena's Senior Vice President, Global Products Group.

Smith continued, "As we unite these two organizations, we are emphasizing performance in every aspect of the business and are organizing the newly-transformed Ciena to ensure we remain operationally efficient and financially strong. Staying true to our specialist roots, Ciena is now the only global supplier exclusively focused on converged optical Ethernet as a foundation for the next generation of service-and application-driven networks - creating a true industry leader."

Huawei and Optimus, the integrated telecommunications operator of Sonaecom, have announced the successful conclusion of a new HSPA+ Dual Carrier technology tests which, together with the HSPA+ technology which has already been implemented in Optimus' network, allows maximum download speeds of up to 42 Mb/s on wireless Internet access.

The tests, performed 100% on the Optimus network, reached maximum download speeds of 41.4 Mb/s, very close to the theoretical limit of this technology, and the average download speed reached 39.7 Mb/s.

Dual Carrier technology is based on the principle of using two carrier waves, both on the transmitter and the receiver, which allows the increase of the transmission rate to double the current maximum value (21 Mb/s).

This capacity has been placed at the service of its customers through the continuous evolution of the Optimus Kanguru service, a provider of wireless Internet access in Portugal.

Mr Pinto Correia, Optimus Board Member, stated "The success of the HSPA+ Dual Carrier technology tests reinforces the high quality of our network and represents the confirmation of Optimus as the best integrated telecommunications operator in Portugal. Optimus was one of the first European operators to develop a technological partnership with Huawei, and that has allowed us to introduce several innovations in the Portuguese market, which represent truly benefits to all our customers".

Mr. Xie Xinping, Managing Director of Huawei Portugal, said, "We are working closely with leading operators, such as Optimus since the introduction of 3G technology. Implemented with dual carrier capabilities, Huawei's HSPA+ solution will enhance spectral efficiency and provide capacity gains for operators. With the widespread adoption of mobile broadband, Huawei is well positioned to provide its customers with a faster and better mobile broadband experience."

Barcelona City Council, Spain's second largest metropolitan local authority, has selected Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, an Alcatel-Lucent company, and Telefonica Spain, the country's largest telecommunications company, to develop and implement an advanced SIP-enabled, multi-channel contact centre to better respond to the needs of its citizens.

Genesys' SIP server will, for the first time, integrate and consolidate the operations of  the Catalan Local Authority's internal and external contact centres in order to provide a complete view of customer interactions. This platform completes the service catalogue offered by the City Hall to its citizens throughout the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona and enables them to contact the local authority by telephone, email, website, and SMS, to make inquiries about housing, social services, local tax and benefit services.

With this project, Barcelona City Hall will gain a better understanding of its outsourced operations, provide increased visibility of their performance, and improve customer service to its citizens through a wider set of communication channels that include email, voice and web self-service. After a thorough study of the marketplace, Barcelona City Hall chose the Genesys SIP server as it provides the functionality, operational control and openness to enable the Catalan Local Authority to extend its customer service beyond the contact centre, and to leverage, in the future, customer data and knowledge from across the entire enterprise to better align service goals. Barcelona City Hall anticipates the new contact centre will manage three million citizen contacts in 2010, a 10 per cent increase over the number of contacts managed in 2009.

"Demand from citizens was increasing and we knew if we were to provide the enhanced services they were asking for we'd need to improve our communications infrastructure," said Emili Rubio Lorenzo, Director Citizens Services at Barcelona City Hall. "We wanted to create an open, transparent communication line, moving our customers to the correct expert to solve their problem or answer their question. We knew this would involve making use of the different communication channels our customers use, including web, SMS and email, in addition to the telephone. The Genesys SIP server impressed us with its ability to support multiple media and conversations across multiple channels.  As a result we look forward to increasing the number of citizen inquiries we manage each year as we work towards delivering the best service to our citizens."

The Genesys SIP server will make it easier for Barcelona City Council to deliver services to its citizens as it:

  1.. creates a single virtual pool of resources in the contact centre back offices, and remote locations to simplify administration and the addition of staff during peak times
  2.. extends customer support across the full spectrum of government services so citizens can have access to qualified and available resources
  3.. will enable the use of customer service applications such as presence, IM and video to provide higher levels of citizen-centric services

Telefonica Spain, Genesys' "Partner of the Year" in Spain in 2007 and 2008 was instrumental in implementing the SIP server to enable this major service transformation for the citizens of Barcelona.

"Telefonica Spain really understands this market and the company's technical experience was essential in the design and implementation of the service infrastructure we deployed for Barcelona City Hall. This service infrastructure will consistently deliver successful, efficient and quick contact resolution for the City Hall's citizens, regardless of the communications channel used to access the services," added Agostino Bertoldi, Vice President of Southern Europe at Genesys. "Genesys' track record of working with partners to successfully transform customer service organisations into unified service centres has allowed us to work with some of Europe's most forward-thinking companies and we look forward to a strong and lasting partnership with Barcelona City Hall."

Ericsson has introduced the EFN432, a 32-port Gigabit Ethernet node to its  EDA family, which already include VDSL2 and GPON product offerings.

Ericsson's EDA point-to-point (P2P) solutions now offer the widest range of bandwidth scalability for residential and enterprise users.  The EFN432 offers Gig-to-the-home capabilities and enables user-centric multimedia services. Ericsson's P2P solutions offer flexible expansion options due to their aggregated nature and enable a common transport for mobile backhaul and FTTH.

Jan Kleist, Head of Ericsson's Broadband Access, says: "The increasing demand for media rich communications is driving network operators to build and future-proof networks to support the increasing demand for bandwidth-hungry and diverse services.  Our fiber node solutions have proven to effectively connect subscribers and elevate broadband services to new heights."  He adds, "Operators have intense pressure to prove the investment value for fiber-based networks and adding Gig capacity to each user will allow them to compete beyond triple-play offerings and set the stage for mobile and fixed interconnectivity."

Ericsson says European FTTH projects, particularly Scandinavian P2P networks, are setting the benchmark globally for the 100Mbps+ per user bandwidth capacity.

Alcatel-Lucent today announced 'significant' upgrades to its mobile packet core solution along with an approach to IP network and policy management that will, says Al-Lu, 'bring the IP capabilities of 4G networks to today's 3G subscribers'.
With the growth in mobile data traffic, service providers are faced with a variety of simultaneous, and often conflicting challenges including says Al-Lu: increasing network capacity while reducing the cost per bit of supporting data services; enabling new business models beyond today's ‘all you can eat' offerings; and transforming their networks to take advantage of the benefits of the shift to all-IP networks, which offer simplified operational models and reduced complexity.
"As mobile data traffic continues to grow, every part of the network is being strained," said Peter Jarich, Service Director with Current Analysis and author of the company's most recent mobile packet core analysis: "Mobile Packet Core: Engine of Mobile Broadband Success." "While we applauded Alcatel-Lucent's entry into the EPC space last year, we encouraged the company to expand its solution into 2G/3G operations to better serve their mobile broadband customers and best leverage their expertise in the RAN, IP core and vendor services spaces. The new solution expansion does just that.  More importantly, positioning its gateways alongside policy and analytics tools helps to deliver a fuller mobile packet core solution - and helps operators with the service differentiation they're all chasing."
The new products and enhancements announced today are said to deliver capabilities at every point in the network, including the 3G and LTE mobile packet core. The company says that service providers will now be able to deliver bandwidth-hungry, enriched and personalized services with enhanced subscriber quality of experience - all with reduced provisioning, operating and maintenance costs across all parts of the network, from the radio access network (RAN) to the backhaul elements and into the packet core.
Alcatel-Lucent's Ultimate Wireless Packet Core offering includes the following new capabilities:
-          2G and 3G GGSN (Gateway GPRS Support Node) functionality on Alcatel-Lucent's 7750 Service Router-based mobile packet core gateways. Alcatel-Lucent's 4G mobile packet core gateway platform now supports GGSN for 2.5G and 3G as well as Serving Gateway and Packet Data Network Gateway for LTE, giving service providers a seamless and massively scalable solution for GPRS/EDGE, HSPA, HSPA+ and LTE. The 7750 SR delivers more than ten times the performance and scale of typical 3G packet core gateways, has been in global LTE trials since 2009 and will be available for commercial delivery of 2G, 3G and LTE services in the second half of 2010.
-          The new Alcatel-Lucent Wireless Mobility Manager (WMM), a high-performance and scalable solution for 2.5G/3G SGSN (Serving GPRS Support Node) and LTE MME (Mobility Management Entity) on an in-house designed and optimized, common ATCAv2 platform. This combined functionality enables operators to expand or renovate their existing packet cores to support HSPA and HSPA+ today while having the signaling and control plane performance required of an MME when they migrate to LTE.
To address the need for smarter bandwidth, enabling mobile operators to improve network efficiency and monetization, Alcatel-Lucent's end-to-end wireless network and policy management offering now includes:
-          The new Alcatel-Lucent 5780 Dynamic Services Controller (DSC), which provides the 3G and LTE PCRF (Policy Charging and Rules Function), enabling mobile operators to optimize and monetize network resources, while offering personalized choice for the subscriber in both a 3G and LTE environment. The Alcatel-Lucent 5780 DSC also provides the foundation for converged wireline/wireless policy management to enable any application on any screen, anywhere. The 5780 DSC is currently in global trials and will be available for commercial 3G and LTE service delivery in the second half of 2010.
-          Enhancements to the Alcatel-Lucent 5620 Service Aware Manager (SAM) to include support for the Ultimate Wireless Packet Core and 5780 DSC, including unified, end-to-end management of user (data) and control planes across mobile backhaul and packet core. The 5620 SAM, deployed by more than 270 service providers to date, provides automated configuration and fault/performance management tools that decrease time to market for new mobile services and minimize downtime when problems occur.

Volex Group, a global electrical and electronic cable assemblies specialist, has been selected by global telecom solutions provider Huawei as a local cable assemblies partner for European operations. The contract will see Volex utilise its global footprint to achieve a flexible delivery model for Huawei's mobile infrastructure projects across Europe. 

As part of its growth strategy and to provide a faster service to customers in Europe, Huawei has recently invested in a local logistics centre in Hungary. With an established local presence, and the use of European contract manufacturers to perform the final assembly process, Huawei has achieved significant improvement on product turnaround times leading to lower unit costs and shorter lead times.

Following the opening of the local logistics centre, however, the challenges surrounding cable assemblies and site installation still remained. In order to answer to the growing demand for sufficient 3G and 4G coverage throughout Europe, Huawei is installing its products over a vast number of base-station sites. During the installation process Huawei typically has only a short window to put the product in place with the appropriate cabling and interconnects; and with some of the interconnect requirements being site-specific, this can present a significant logistical challenge for the installation team as well as the cable supplier.

Conway Hui, General Manager, Volex China, comments, "With the need to deliver bespoke cable assemblies at very short notice and at the lowest cost possible, Huawei has engaged with Volex as partner for Europe. Volex has already established manufacturing and installation operations in this region, and is capable of offering a flexible delivery model for telecoms cable assemblies - so is the natural choice for this challenge."

Volex is supplying interconnect products to Huawei's European telecoms installations in an annual contract worth several million pounds. The interconnects will be applied as both standard and bespoke assemblies.

Hui continues, "Volex has been selected on its global credentials. Europe is the first collaboration, but importantly the company has the capability to support Huawei across many regions, which would simplify its supplier relationships and achieve consistency of supply; bringing all important costs down."

Jeff Bierman, Senior VP, Volex Group, comments, "The partnership with Huawei in Europe is evidence of Volex's drive to expand the business in the Telecoms arena. This is grounded in our product-design expertise and manufacturing know-how, as well the ability to supply flexible supply-chain solutions using our global footprint. By ensuring its involvement throughout the design, development and manufacturing process, Volex is able to contribute to solving industry issues, such as shipping, logistics and installation challenges, by bringing products to market faster and more efficiently."

Amdocs, the provider of customer experience systems, today announced that Telenet will deploy the Amdocs Enterprise Product Catalog. As a result, Telenet will be able to unify product data management across different lines of business and reduce the time required to launch new product bundles and promotions. Telenet will also be able to achieve total cost of ownership savings by reducing the number of systems it operates, says Amdocs.

Telenet is a provider of broadband cable television, telephony and Internet services in Belgium, and a Liberty Global company. The Amdocs Enterprise Product Catalog, part of the Amdocs CES 8 product portfolio, will help Telenet to modernise and automate product lifecycle management processes by establishing a single product information catalog where it can quickly define, blend, price, bundle, maintain and retire new offerings. The Amdocs Enterprise Product Catalog will centralise all the product information that is currently dispersed across Telenet's different legacy billing, ordering and provisioning systems.

Amdocs recently announced Amdocs CES 8, a portfolio of business support systems (BSS), operational support systems (OSS) and service delivery platforms (SDP).

Telmap, a specialist in mobile location solutions, and BlueSky Positioning, enabler of A-GPS for the SIM card industry, jointly announced today a cooperation to bring for the first time, real-time search, mapping and navigation to mobiles, with A-GPS SIM. The cooperation is said to show the ability of BlueSky Positioning's A-GPS technology to incorporate navigation onto mobile phones which lack integral GPS capabilities.

BlueSky Positioning's A-GPS technology, embedded into a phone's SIM card, together with Telmap's search, mapping and navigation solution enable, for example, in-car navigation sessions with 3D moving maps, multi-lingual turn-by-turn directions with street names using text-to-speech, as well as traffic and speed camera information (where available). Telmap's solution also includes pedestrian navigation, guiding users through pedestrian-only areas such as parks, squares, passages, and stairs, tracking user's progress as they walk. The Telmap - BlueSky Positioning cooperation allows smart and mid-range phone users to access real-time location information without the need to invest in location-aware hardware.  The full, comprehensive set of LBS features provided by Telmap's Location Companion works seamlessly with BlueSky Positioning's A-GPS location technology to provide accurate, instant location data and information.    

Ronen Soffer, CTO at Telmap, commented, "In utilizing BlueSky's innovation, Telmap can introduce its LBS and Navigation solution to a larger addressable market, which now includes new consumer segments and a multitude of mid-range mobile phones. This helps further realizing Telmap's strategy of mass market reach for its services, while boosting Operators' business case as well as control over distribution and customer ownership of such services."

Velipekka Kuoppala, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at BlueSky Positioning, added, "The collaboration with market leader Telmap strengthens the confidence in our A-GPS technology for SIM cards, and proves that GPS is not only suitable for high-end phones, but can be made available to all consumer segments with both basic and enhanced phones.  Most importantly, this SIM centric solution gives value chain control to mobile operators and opens up wider opportunities for their marketing teams to create location based services."

The TM Forum today announced the launch of Frameworx, an integrated business architecture blueprint for service providers in the communications and digital services markets. Frameworx will enable service providers to significantly reduce their operational costs and improve business agility by providing an industry agreed approach for rationalizing their operational IT, processes, and systems.

Frameworx expands and integrates the Forum's existing NGOSS standard Business Process (eTOM), Information (SID), and Application (TAM) Frameworks into a full enterprise IT and process architecture that also embraces major IT industry standards such as ITIL and TOGAF. The addition of the new Integration Framework to the suite provides a service oriented integration approach with standardized interfaces and support tools. Another major step forward with Frameworx is the introduction of product certification, certified training, a certified TM Forum partner program, and extensive implementation support that will help service providers implement practical solutions based on Frameworx.

"Frameworx comes at a critical time for the market," said Keith Willetts, Chairman and CEO, TM Forum. "With significant pressure on operating costs, service providers need an enterprise architecture that enables them to move much more quickly; to rapidly integrate new technologies and third party services; to deliver consistent services across the world; and most of all, to significantly cut operating costs. Frameworx provides the blueprint for that agile enterprise-out of the box."

TM Forum Frameworx gives service providers and their suppliers an independent, industry-supported and standardized platform to guide new procurements and migrate their existing myriad of incompatible and fragmented processes and systems, which today often deliver poor business efficiency and delay the introduction of new services.

Albert Hitchcock, Group CIO at Vodafone, said "In today's market we need to offer consistent services to our customers across the world, moving ever faster and delivering more to our customers at ever lower costs. A common, industry supported reference architecture, tailored to meet the particular needs of service providers is very important to us and we welcome this move by the TM Forum."

Phil Dance, Managing Director at BT echoed these sentiments: "We encourage common industry approaches that help us build a vibrant market delivering innovative software at realistic prices. We welcome Frameworx, the TM Forum's move to a SOE-based approach, as it future-proofs investments as the market changes. We especially welcome the ability to build systems and processes tailored to our specific business needs using a common set of standard building blocks."

Frameworx, scheduled for full release in June 2010, is the result of a multi-year TM Forum effort and the substantial contributions of its members. A preview of Frameworx is available now at and includes these new features as well as early versions of the Integration Framework:

  • Telecom and IT integration, incorporating ITIL processes
  • "Getting Started Guides" to enable new users to grasp quickly the information and tools available and to understand the steps needed to apply Frameworks into their environment
  • Managers' Guide overviews of Frameworx and key benefits

Frameworx is the result of extensive collaboration by the Forum's 700-strong corporate membership through TM Forum's collaborative R&D programs. The architecture-built for the industry, by the industry-will consist of:

  • Information Framework version 9
  • Business Process Framework version 8
  • Application Framework version 4
  • Integration Framework version 2
  • A platform architecture approach to facilitate collaboration and management of value chain and outsourcing partners
  • Frameworx Roadmap release 1, showing the release strategy and content for the next 12 months

In addition Frameworx will be supported by software tooling for rapid implementation; identified Business Services developed from business, information, and application framework mappings; plus certified product, training, and support services.

Equinix, a provider of global data centre services, today announced the opening of the first phase of its second International Business Exchange (IBX) data centre in Geneva, Switzerland. The purpose-built GV2 IBX data centre, Equinix's fifth in the country, will accommodate demand for premium colocation and data centre services from both local and global corporations and banking organisations. The first phase adds 380 cabinets to Equinix's data centre capacity in Geneva and, when fully built out, will total 48,400 gross square feet (4,500 gross square metres) with capacity for 760 cabinet equivalents. The addition more than doubles Equinix's footprint in the city, making it Equinix's largest IBX in Switzerland. Further phases will open during 2010 and will be timed to reflect market demand.

Located west of Geneva's city centre, the new high specification GV2 IBX is located to transport and airport links and is already well-connected to both metro and regional networks, providing Equinix customers with a variety of options to access the data centre. Customers in the Equinix GV2 IBX can access the Equinix GV1 IBX through diverse fibre paths from multiple providers, reaching more than 40 additional carriers and service providers which in turn offer network connectivity to the remainder of Switzerland and the rest of the world.

In addition to providing high-end services to corporations with operations in the city, the data centre will also enable Equinix to continue the expansion of its interconnect business as Geneva is a key location between the Mediterranean fiber landing sites of Marseille, France and Palermo, Italy and the major metropolitan regions of Northern Europe. With 11 carriers, including 022 Télégenève SA - naxoo, Belgacom ICS (International Carrier Services), Cablecom, Cogent, Global Crossing, Level 3 Communications, SIG, Sunrise, Via Numerica and VTLWaveNet - part of the Viatel Group, already extending their networks to the new data centre, Equinix GV2 IBX is on track to become a major carrier hub for the region. In addition, the Equinix GV2 data centre will also provide access to the CIXP (CERN Internet Exchange Point) which is co-operated by Equinix and CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research.

"Geneva is a very strategic market for Equinix," said Eric Schwartz, president of Equinix in Europe. "Not only is there growing local demand for high specification data centre services - particularly from the city's financial sector - the city's location between Northern and Southern Europe means it is a key peering point for a increasing number of network operators. Our high specification, high capacity and network-rich GV2 data centre more than doubles our capacity in Geneva, providing our existing and prospective customers with the space to support both their current and future data centre operations."

The GV2 IBX data centre is part of Equinix's $1.4 billion 2007-2010 global expansion plan. The company has also announced plans to open a fourth IBX data centre in Zurich, expected to open in Q2 2010.