Masud Reza's Blog on the Internet

August 2007

Posted on August 29, 2007


Nayatel acquire their first Juniper Router

Nayatel might opt for a Juniper-based core in the future. So when Premier Systems offered a Juniper M10i… who was I to say NO 🙂

I have just browsed the spec-sheet of the M10i and it seems more capable than our currently deployed Cisco 72xx with a NPE-2G which serves the STM1 (155Mbps) circuit from our upstream provider. You can read more about the M10i here

For newbies, I’ll post some articles later describing the similarities and nuances of the JunOS, the operating system running in the M-series Juniper routers.

Posted on August 28, 2007

PTCL’s ITI downtimes on the RISE!

Day before yesterday, we had an almost eight minute blackout of the internet on our STM-1 (155 Mbps) circuit with PTCL. This circuit terminates on a Cisco 12000 GSR. All traffic was being dropped at this partciular router at PTCL ITI, Rawalpindi.

We were first told by PTCL that it was a Cisco Express Forwarding (CEF) issue. Later, the statement changed and we were told that it was BGP routing issue and that the BGP peer had been reset!. Crap.

A month or two back, one of guys at ITI Rawalpindi, did the wonderful clear ip bgp *, blackholing our internet traffic completely as BGP converged.

I’m having second thoughts now about the GSR 12000s since some of the line cards in the GSRs have known issues.

TW1 trans-atlantic cable is expected to be terminated in Islamabad tomorrow. And Nayatel has a Gigabit Ethenet connection with TW1.

I’m also working to see if Nayatel can transit traffic between the PTCL ITI and the TW1. That’s going to be cool since it will allow all PTCL ITI customers to transit through my Autonomous System to TW1. Let’s see what PTCL ITI has to say about that.

Posted on August 28, 2007

The Wimax Interference Antidote: Frequency Allocation Board

(Above) Frequency Allocation Board’s monster trailer. This baby can scan the entire RF spectrum and will put a One Million USD dent in your pocket!

The Nayatel Headend is mostly C-band. Which means that most of the Satellite Recievers are C-band recievers. Once the Scientific Atlanta Analog Headend was in operation, we later added a few Ku-band recievers.

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, numerous Telecom companies are all set to deploy Wimax. This includes Wateen Telecom, which is rolling out Motorola’s solution. Burraq Telecom was recently acquired by Qatar Telecom and they are plannning to go Wimax in the next few months. Dancom is already offering Redline solution to it’s customers over Wimax.

The Frequency Allocation Board is the Federal Body that allocates frequencies for different services. Some of the Wimax equipment is interfering with the C-band Satellite Recievers. Since we only have recievers, I’m not sure if any C-band Earth Stations in the vicinity of these Wimax towers have had any transmission outages.

Reportedly, only Mobilink Wimax equipment has caused interference with our C-band Recievers. We’re still working with Frequency Allocation Board (FAB) on this to ensure that no operator uses the C-band frequencies.

Posted on August 25, 2007


Islamabad the Beautiful:View from local coffee shop

Serene Saturday
Finally a peaceful Saturday, no operations windows, no calls. Life’s truly a bliss.

(Below) CEO flanked by his faithful comrades 🙂

(Above) SS, “Yay Cheez” and Mufti Sahib

Posted on August 24, 2007


Whither PTCL!
PTCL’s Internet downtimes are on the rise! Day before yesterday, a Cisco GSR12000 developed a hardware problem at ITI Karachi causing a total outage of the internet that lasted at least 15 minutes with a few more minutes of degraded service.

Mobilink’s Link dot NET’s connectivity from Lahore to Islamabad is not complete yet. We expect the STM-4 to terminate at Islamabad within a week. Once that is done, we’ll ride the TW1.

It appears as if PTCL’s ITI does not know how to troubleshoot issues that might affect customers with a few hundred Mbits of Internet bandwidth. Real time issues require top-notch expertise and near-real time isolation of issues. Something apparently not available with the ITI.

Posted on August 22, 2007



Degraded Internet Service in the Capital “normalizes”
The last few days have seen severely degraded Internet service from COMSATS, Nayatel, Micronet Broadband and Dancom. The Upstream ISP, PTCL’s ITI, as usual denied any wrongdoing.
The strange thing about this degraded performance was that it only affected http traffic. Since the ITI is like a big black hole (reminds me of Umro Ayyar‘s Zanbeel – from Daastan e Amir e Hamza) there is little chance of hearing anything from ITI on this issue other than their usual ‘all is well’ stance.
Well Net users in the Capital need not worry since the TW1 submarine cable will be connected to Nayatel / Micronet Broadband within this week. A PTCL STM-1 costs about USD 36000 per month. TW1 is a couple of bucks cheaper.

TW1 would give a totally redundant path to the Internet from Islamabad. I would love to describe it as a “PTCL-Free” solution 🙂

Posted on August 21, 2007

Planning Commission of Pakistan to re-initiate PERN-II Project Bidding for Active Network
For Islamabad, Nayatel was awarded the dark fiber part of Pakistan’s Education and Research Network in Islamabad, Rawalpindi and adjoining areas. Al-Mueed Group offered a Cisco Systems solution for the Metro Ethernet project, as did Juniper’s partner Premier Systems. But the two companies were so dagger-drawn that the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan eventually decided to give such an important project to Huwaei instead!

So today I came to know that the Planning Commission was about to ask the HEC to cancel the whole active component thingy and do it ab initio…. Good News!! So let’s see whether Mr Atta ur Rehman lets HEC listen to the PC directive…..

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