News Briefs

Ericsson, Rogers sign agreement

Ericsson Canada Inc. of Toronto was last month awarded its biggest contract ever by Toronto’s Rogers AT&T Wireless. Under the three-year agreement, Ericsson will provide a complete GSM and GPRS network infrastructure to deliver packet-based access to the mobile Internet. Ericsson will migrate Rogers AT&T’s network to EDGE and UMTS for 3G mobile Internet applications. Ericsson is a provider of IP backbone technology and applications and services like mobile portal, mobile e-commerce, mobile positioning, unified messaging and Web browsing. It currently has over 20 commercial agreements for 3G network equipment.

CANARIE constructs mammoth disk drive

Ottawa-based CANARIE Inc. plans to construct what it is calling “the world’s largest disk drive.” The wavelength disk drive will be constructed around wavelengths of light on CANARIE’s national optical research network, CA net 3. The wavelength disk drive will be more than 8,000 km in diameter and will harness the power of thousands of personal computers connected to the Internet, effectively making it more powerful than state-of-the-art supercomputers, according to CANARIE. The PCs will read and write data directly to the optical network as if it was one big shared disk drive. The company says such a network would have applications in collaborative scientific research. CANARIE is busy trying to deploy a proof-of-concept wavelength optical disk drive with an expected capacity of several gigabytes.

Nortel signs contracts in China

Brampton, Ont.-based Nortel Networks recently received approximately $300 million in optical and wireless Internet contracts in China. Nortel has won approximately 20 optical Internet contracts in China throughout 17 of China’s 31 provinces to date and claims to hold 70 per cent of the 10Gbps Chinese optical networking market. Most recent contracts include a $101 million agreement with China Telecom for the delivery and installation of OPTera Long Haul and OPTera Connect equipment, a $130 million contract with China Mobile for expansion of its GSM 900/1800 dual-band cellular network in the Shaanxi province, a $10.6 million agreement with China Telecom for ATM, frame relay, IP and IP VPN services, and a $32 million contract with China Unicom for expansion of GSM 900/1800 networks in Zhejiang, Heilongjiang and Ningbo.

Cisco expands designation family

Cisco Systems Inc. of San Jose, Calif., has launched a new initiative to address the networking industry’s need for more qualified professionals. The Cisco Qualified Specialist initiative was designed to recognize and validate an individual’s skills in specific technologies under four new designations. Those who meet the requirements by demonstrating a significant technical competency and who posses a Cisco Certified Network Associate or Cisco Certified Design Associate certificate would be qualified for one of the designations, which include Cisco Cable Communications Specialist, Cisco Security Specialist 1, Cisco SNA/IP Support Specialist or the Cisco SNA/IP Design Specialist certification.

Privacy guru exits NAI

Philip Zimmermann, the inventor of the widely used Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) encryption protocol, last month announced that he has left Network Associates Inc. because he and the company no longer agree about the future of PGP. The world-renowned cryptographer, who in 1996 founded Pretty Good Privacy Inc. based on the PGP freeware encryption algorithm he invented, will take the post of chief cryptographer at Dublin, Ireland-based Hush Communications Inc. Santa Clara, Calif.-based Network Associates acquired PGP Inc. in 1997. The company, now called PGP Security, has continued to release open versions of PGP source code but has also built enterprise applications around it.