Wednesday, September 29, 2004

CoManage Enhances its TrueSource to Address Access Line Revenue Leakage

CoManage has enhanced its TrueSource data integrity management system with a new solution for addressing access line costs and associated revenue leakage. The CoManage TrueSource solution for Cost & Revenue Assurance Data Integrity Management helps identify discrepancies between how services are billed and how they actually are configured in the network.

CoManage said service providers often lease circuits from numerous carrier partners to provide out-of-region connectivity. But it is often difficult to confirm that in-bound access bills for these circuits accurately match the actual configuration of the circuits, which can lead to overcharges for access circuits. Additionally, revenue leakage can occur when on-net end-customer services are underbilled because it is difficult to compare the actual provisioned circuit with the end-customer billing records.

Both of these problems are data integrity issues, caused by poor visibility into the actual configuration of the network and services. It is compounded by the fact that business and operations support system (BSS/OSS) databases often must be updated manually. As a result, the systems used to confirm billing can be greatly out of sync with the network itself.

CoManage's TrueSource discovery and reconciliation technology identifies leased circuits as they actually are provisioned, updates circuit inventory, and automatically compares circuits to carrier access bills. This enables line grooming and optimization, with cost reductions amounting to an estimated 8 percent or more of a service provider's access cost. TrueSource also addresses underbilled end-customer private line services by identifying service configurations in the network and validating end-customer bills. This enables carriers to find unbilled or underbilled circuits, permitting a typical carrier to recover an estimated 7% of its private line revenue stream previously lost to revenue leakage.
  • CoManage's TrueSource has been selected for data integrity management by AT&T Wireless, British Telecom, Sprint and Verizon, among others.

Esmertec Partners with Korea's ETRI for Digital Home R&D

Esmertec, a supplier of software solutions for mobile phones and embedded devices, will partner with Korea's Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) to jointly research and develop technologies for the digital home and next-gen personal communications devices.

In the first joint project, ETRI will be implementing Esmertec's leading runtime platform, Jbed, on their home-networking reference solution. This reference solution will be provided to home networking device manufacturers.

ETRI is a non-profit government-funded research organization. Esmertec is based in Zurich. http://www.esmertec.com

NETGEAR Offers Home Powerline, Wireless 802.11g Combination

NETGEAR introduced a 54 Mbps Wall-Plugged Wireless Range Extender Kit that could be used to extend an existing wireless network to the back yard, pool house, or a former "dead" zone in the house. The first step is for the user to connect the NETGEAR Wall-Plugged Ethernet Bridge to an existing router, from any vendor, to activate all of the home's wall outlets with Internet connectivity. To complete the network extension, the user needs to plug the NETGEAR Wall-Plugged Wireless Range Extender into an electrical outlet near where the wireless network previously did not reach.

NETGEAR is using Intellon's powerline chips.

Sprint and SUNET Set Internet Data Speed Record

Sprint and the Swedish National Research and Education Network (SUNET) were awarded a new Internet Land Speed Record for bulk data transfer over the public Internet.

The new record of 4.31 Gbps was set on 12-September-2004 when 1,830 gigabytes of data took about 60 minutes to travel 18,013 miles/28,983 km without data loss over Sprint and SUNET networks between California and Sweden. The data path spanned two continents and traveled three times across the Atlantic Ocean. An IPv4 single stream transmission record of 124.935 Terabit-meters per second was set. Further details are online.

QUALCOMM to Acquire Spike Technologies

QUALCOMM agreed to acquire Spike Technologies, a start-up based in Milpitas, California with facilities in Bangalore, for $19 million in cash. Spike Technologies, founded in 1994 by Nikhil Modi and Pradeep Vajram, specializes in physical design for deep submicron process technologies, circuit development, and design and verification engineering for pre-silicon design debug and analysis. The company will be integrated into QUALCOMM CDMA Technologies (QCT) and help QUALCOMM further address the increasing demand for faster time to market of more feature-rich products in 90 nanometer (nm) and below process technologies.

AT&T and Vonage Cut Price of Broadband Phone Services

AT&T cut the price of its CallVantage residential VoIP service from $34.99 to $29.99 per month. The price includes unlimited local and long distance calling in the U.S. and to Canada.

Separately, Vonage said that it would cut the price of its unlimited VoIP service to $24.99 a month. http://www.att.com
  • In May, Vonage trimmed the price of its Residential Premium Unlimited Plan from $34.99 per month to $29.99 per month.

NetCentrex Exceeds 1 Million Residential VoIP Lines

NetCentrex has exceeded 1 million Class 5 end-to-end VoIP CPE-based lines. The company said its carrier customers are currently activating over 3,000 lines per day. This figure includes Fastweb, the largest residential triple play VoIP deployment worldwide.

Citing figures from the Quarterly Broadband Residential Market Analysis from Dataxis, NetCentrex said there are already over 4.6 million VoIP subscribers worldwide, meaning that NetCentrex softswitch technology is managing over 20% of the current subscriber base.

8x8 Adds Virtual and Toll Free Numbers to Business VoIP

8x8 added several new optional features for its Virtual Office Internet-based PBX service including
virtual phone numbers, toll free numbers, and switchboard operator console.

Virtual Phone Numbers allow subscribers to provide local inbound telephone numbers from areas outside of their main number or extension DIDs. The Operator Software Console Application, available for $19.95 per month with a $9.95 activation fee, providing a receptionist with a graphical overview of the users on the virtual office service and a simple way to manage an organization's telecommunication activity. Switchboard works on a PC in conjunction with the Internet and the Virtual Office telephones. Additionally, Switchboard enables operators to have:

  • Direct status view of extension's status: DND, On-line, idle

  • Click to call, click to transfer call control

  • Direct transfer to extension and voice mail

  • Supervised transfers

  • The Packet8 Virtual Office service costs $39.95 per extension, per month.

Voiceglo to Offer its VoIP Service Through Friendster Site

Friendster, a popular, free online community website, will begin offering a privately-labeled broadband phone service powered by Voiceglo. Users are assigned a U.S. phone number that can be used through any Internet-enabled computer anywhere in the world for peer-to-peer calling.

Friendster currently has over 9 million members.

Telefónica Selects Metro Ethernet from Lucent / Riverstone

Telefónica de España selected the combined Ethernet solution from Riverstone Networks and Lucent Technologies for the next phase of its multimedia broadband service deployment. The project will integrate Riverstone's carrier Ethernet routers with Lucent DSL access concentrators to aggregate broadband traffic onto a converged Ethernet infrastructure. This includes Riverstone's RS 8000 and RS 38000 carrier Ethernet routers and Lucent's Stinger FS+ DSLAMs. Financial terms were not disclosed. http://www.lucent.com,

Lucent and Riverstone Enter Ethernet Alliance

Lucent Technologies and Riverstone Networks have formed a partnership to deliver Ethernet solutions for new and existing carrier networks. Specifically, Lucent will integrate Riverstone's MPLS-based Ethernet routing equipment with Lucent systems, software and professional services. Riverstone's equipment also complements Lucent's access and metro optical networking solutions. The agreement is non-exclusive.

The companies said the combination of Lucent optical, data and access systems and Riverstone Ethernet routers could be used by carriers to offer converged DSL-based multimedia services, Ethernet-based corporate VPNs, and enhance the value of existing ATM and Frame Relay services with high-bandwidth Ethernet. http://www.lucent.com
  • In June 2004, Riverstone Networks introduced an "Ethernet Edge Router" that combines the standard elements of a multiservice edge router - an IP/MPLS control plane, multiple interface types, and the ability to converge traffic over MPLS. The new ASIC-driven Riverstone 15008 Ethernet Edge Router employs a distributed and modular operating system architecture that allows the router to detect and restart errant protocols without affecting the rest of the system. Riverstone said router software outages and reboots currently account for nearly half of all network failures. The Riverstone 15008 hardware also provides redundant control modules and switch fabrics. It also supports resilient network designs with technologies like MPLS Fast Reroute and Service loop detection and prevention.

SIPphone Files False Advertising Suit against Vonage

SIPphone filed a false advertising suit against Vonage saying that it is both "anti-competitive and harmful to consumers to sell otherwise SIP-standard hardware that has been intentionally locked to their service without clearly communicating to consumers prior to purchase." SIPphone alleges Vonage has paid the manufacturer of phone adapters used for its service to implement software that cripples the Internet phone adapter from working with other SIP services. SIPphone complains that this practice of "locking hardware" is an exception in the industry and that consumers are hurt by this practice.

SIPphone is asking the courts to require Vonage and its retail partners to disclose on all product advertisements, catalog listings, in store promotional material and displays, and product packaging that the phone adapter they are purchasing can not be used with a competing service, out of the box and at no time in the future.

Ember Closes $25 Million for ZigBee Wireless Mesh

Ember, a start-up based in Boston, closed an additional $25 million in funding for its ZigBee wireless semiconductor solutions. Ember also announced that Bob Metcalfe, father of Ethernet, founder of 3Com, and now Polaris Ventures partner, will become its new chairman.

Ember uses ZigBee technology to create a wireless mesh network linking devices that previously couldn't communicate. Its chip architecture is based on the IEEE 802.15.4 specification.

The new funding was led by Vulcan Capital, which was joined by new strategic investors ChevronTexaco Technology Ventures, Hitachi Ltd. and WestAM. Existing investors Polaris Venture Partners, DFJ New England, GrandBanks Capital, RRE Ventures and DFJ ePlanet Ventures also participated in the round, bringing the total capital Ember has raised to $53 million. CIBC World Markets served as financial advisor to the company for this round.

Nortel Networks to Trim 3,250 Jobs

Nortel Networks announced workforce reductions of approximately 3,250 employees as part of its previously announced plan to reduce research and development expenses, selling, general and administrative expenses, and cost of sales. About 1,400 of the job cuts will be in the U.S,. 950 will be in Canada, 650 in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). And 250 elsewhere.

The company now estimates charges against income of approximately US$450 million comprised of approximately US$220 million with respect to the workforce reductions and approximately US$230 million with respect to the real estate actions. The workforce reductions are expected to yield cost savings of approximately US$500 million in 2005.
  • On August 19, Nortel Networks first announced plans for a 10% workforce reduction resulting in the loss of 3,500 jobs by year end.