Monday, November 15, 2004

Fujitsu Supplies FLASHWAVE Transport for Triple Play Network

The South West Iowa Network (SWIN) consortium has deployed Fujitsu Network Communications' FLASHWAVE 4000 Multi-Service Provisioning Platforms (MSPPs) to support triple play services provided by its member companies. The new network interconnects 10 independent telephone companies that collectively provide service in 28 exchanges across Iowa.

The new SWIN network uses a fault-tolerant OC 48 ring to provide physical, electronic and interconnection redundancy for the 10 participating companies. Each member company installed either a FLASHWAVE 4100 or FLASHWAVE 4500 MSPP depending on the current and future interface and switching requirements at each site. Both FLASHWAVE platforms traditional SONET and legacy services from DS1 through OC-48, plus next-generation 10/100Base T/TX and Gigabit Ethernet services via Ethernet over SONET (EoS) capabilities. The FLASHWAVE 4500 MSPP also supports multiple OC-48 and OC-192 rings to allow for future high capacity traffic requirements, as well as DVB-ASI interfaces for broadband video transport.

Iowa Network Services (INS) is using the Fujitsu NETSMART 1500 Element Management System (EMS) to provision and monitor services across their network of new FLASHWAVE and legacy FLM network elements.


Hong Kong's City Telecom to Offer 100 Mbps and GigE Residential Access

Hong Kong Broadband Network, which operates the world's largest Metro Ethernet network, announced plans to offer symmetric 100Mbps and 1,000Mbps (1Gbps) residential broadband services.

  • The BB100 Symmetrical 100Mbps Service is priced at HK$268/month (US$35/month) and will provide unlimited 100Mbps local (upstream/downstream) and 20 Mbps international access. The company will also offer will an unlimited option with 100 Mbps local and international access for HK$1,980/month (US$254/month).

  • A BB1000 symmetric 1,000 Mbps (1Gbps) service is slated for introduction in Q2 2005. The customer interface will be Category 5e copper.

''HKBN's BB1000 service will effectively be the Autobahn of Broadband access -- on our BB1000 Internet freeway, the only limitation will be the processing speed of the consumers' equipment. BB100 and BB1000 services showcase the inherent bandwidth and cost advantages of HKBN's next-generation network over legacy platforms,'' said Ricky Wong, HKBN's chairman.

Hong Kong Broadband Network is a wholly owned subsidiary of City Telecom.
  • Hong Kong Broadband Network is using a Cisco Optical Core network as the foundation for new digital pay-TV service. The deployment includes the Cisco ONS 15454 SONET/SDH Multiservice Provisioning Platform (MSPP); Cisco Catalyst 6500, Catalyst 4500, Catalyst 3350, and Catalyst 2950 series switches; and Cisco 2600XM Series routers. Cisco's ONS 15454 MSPP enables the carrier to converge its legacy voice and data services and its new pay-TV service into a single platform, and at the same time offer Layer 2 and 3 IP services using Resilient Packet Ring (RPR)-ready ML Series line cards. The network enables HKBN to deliver up to 200 digital pay-TV channels via MPEG-2 at 4.5 Mbps to 10 Mbps with DVD visual quality. Its service also features interactive pay-TV elements and enables PC or TV connection with the aid of a set-top box.

  • Hong Kong Broadband Network also using Cisco's Catalyst switches for Metro Ethernet connections to buildings. The network passes 1.6 million homes, representing 75% of Hong Kong's residences.

  • As of August 2004, City Telecom was reporting an aggregate Triple Play customer base of 465,000.

ICG to Sell SS7 Network to TNS

ICG Communications will sell its Signaling System 7 (SS7) network to Transaction Network Services for an undisclosed sum. ICG's SS7 network encompasses 18 metropolitan markets. Included in the sale are eight Signal Transfer Points (STPs) that assist in call setup, call alerting, and call addressing via a stand-alone signaling network. The transaction closes immediately. http://www.icgcom.com

Verizon Wireless Begins Offering Caller Ringback Tones

Verizon Wireless began offering Ringback Tones -- short clips of real music that replace the standard ring callers hear when they call the Verizon Wireless phone of a Ringback Tone subscriber. Customers can browse from an initial catalog of more than 2,200 songs in 13 different music genres to selects tones that can be associated with different callers based on the Caller ID, Group List or the time of day. The service is initially available in parts of California for a monthly fee of $0.99 per month. Each ringback tone purchased is $1.99, which provides unlimited use for one year. Both the monthly fee and cost for each tone appear on the customer's monthly bill.

Motorola to Acquire MeshNetworks

Motorola agreed to acquire privately-held MeshNetworks, a developer of mobile mesh networking and position location technologies. Financial terms were not disclosed.

MeshNetwork's technologies and products enable users of mobile communications devices to create their own self-forming and self-healing broadband networks.

Motorola and MeshNetworks have an existing agreement through which Motorola licenses MeshNetworks MeshConnex software for 802.11 wireless LANs and distributes their MeshNetworks Enabled Architecture product line through its direct sales and re-seller network.

Motorola Ventures, the investment arm of Motorola, is an investor in MeshNetworks.
  • MeshNetworks solutions leverage battlefield networking technology originally developed for the US military under DARPA directed programs. Key characteristics of the MeshNetworks technology include a layer 2 routing engine, ultra-fast route acquisition, dynamic bandwidth allocation (fairness), real-time congestion management, QoS, assignable user priority, mobile handovers, infrastructureless peer to peer capability and scalability.

  • In September 2004, the FCC granted MeshNetworks a new experimental license to conduct nationwide trials of new products and technologies using its mesh networking technologies at 2.5 GHz and in the newly created 4.9 GHz public safety band. Specifically, the grant allows MeshNetworks to deploy a total of 1000 nodes, with a maximum of 200 per demonstration network.

  • MeshNetworks was founded by Milcom Technologies and is based in Maitland, Florida.

Metro Ethernet Forum Ratifies Three Specifications

The Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF), has ratified three new MEF technical specifications for carrier class Ethernet:

  • MEF 7, the Element Management System (EMS) - Network Management System (NMS) Interface Information Model, addresses network management by defining a logical, protocol-neutral model to guide the development of consistent management interfaces across diverse protocols.

  • MEF 8 defines the Implementation Agreement for the Emulation of PDH Circuits over Metro Ethernet Networks (MENs). It provides requirements to implement the circuit emulation services (CES) over MENs as defined in the earlier MEF 3 technical specification.

  • MEF 9 - Test Procedure for Ethernet Services helps subscribers ensure successful integration of Ethernet Services into their network infrastructure as defined by the industry's first metro Ethernet service specification, MEF 1. It defines test procedures for point-to-point (E-Line) and any-to-any (E-LAN) services.

In the past 12 months, the Metro Ethernet Forum has ratified nine specifications, advancing its mission to accelerate, promote and educate the marketplace on Ethernet as the technology of choice for metropolitan area networking.

"Building confidence in metro Ethernet as a carrier class, service delivery technology is crucial, and the MEF has made significant advances this year towards that goal" adds Nortel Networks' Ralph Santitoro, Co-Chair of the MEF Technical Marketing Committee.

Net Insight Introduces Multi-service Access Device for Triple Play

Net Insight introduced a 2RU multi-service access and switching device designed for triple play transport applications. The compact Nimbra 340, which can be located on customer premises and in co-location POPs, provides bandwidth management with guaranteed QoS for services such as Ethernet or ASI regardless of network load. The unit takes advantage of Net Insight's next generation SDH/SONET Nimbra platform to support automated end-to-end provisioning (uni/multicast) and re-routing resilience against network faults. The new device is fully compatible with the larger Nimbra One multi-service switch for central office applications. Bandwidth can be allocated with guaranteed QoS in increments of 0.5 Mbps. An automated backplane providing up to 10 Gbps switching capacity.

Turin Names New CEO and CFO

Turin Networks, a start-up based in Petaluma, California, named Henry Wasik as its new president and CEO, replacing company founder John Webley, who has been named chairman of the board of directors and also appointed to the newly created position of chief marketing officer (CMO). Wasik joins Turin Networks from Alcatel, where he served as senior vice president of the Voice Networks/Applications Software and Solutions businesses.

Separately, Turin has also named Dan Steimle to the position of chief financial officer (CFO). Steimle was formerly CFO of Advanced Fibre Communications (AFC), which he guided to a successful IPO in 1996.
  • In June, Turin Networks added to its product portfolio with the introduction of its "TraverseEdge 100" (TE-100), a compact next-generation SONET/SDH and Ethernet edge system for metro access networks. The platform can be used to aggregate a combination of DS1 or E1, DS3 or E3, Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet service interfaces onto dual high-speed SONET OC-3/12/48 or SDH STM-1/4/16 ports.

CommASIC Unveils Wireless Broadband Signal Processor

CommASIC, a start-up based in San Diego, announced progress in its efforts to develop a programmable Wireless Broadband Signal Processor with multimode capability (i.e., the capability to support multiple cellular (e.g., GSM, WCDMA) and WLAN standards. The single CMOS processor is being designed to provide handset-class power consumption without compromising performance.

CommASIC said its first product, a WiFi baseband processor, will be the industry's most energy-efficient, most compact 802.11a/b/g solution.

The company said its Wireless Broadband Signal Processor (WBSP) will offer several key advantages over conventional ASIC and DSP methods. CommASIC aims to offer 1/5th the power consumption of comparative ASICs and half the die size.

Westell Awarded DSL Modem Contract by BellSouth

BellSouth awarded a new broadband supplier contract to Westell Technologies for its remotely-manageable DSL modem. BellSouth will begin shipment of the Westell modem to DSL subscribers beginning next month. The two companies agreed to a new one-year agreement that builds upon the supplier relationship that has been in place for several years. As BellSouth's primary CPE supplier since 2002. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Westell's ProLine modem use Texas Instruments' AR7 chip designed to support ADSL2+. The modems conform to the DSL Forum's Technical Report TR-069 specification for enabling remote management.

SBC to Supply 7,000 Seat Hosted IP Service to Notre Dame

SBC Communications was awarded a multimillion-dollar, five-year contract to replace the University of Notre Dame's Centrex-based network with a hosted IP telephony service connecting approximately 7,000 users on the university's main campus and in remote offices scattered across the country. The service will provide faculty and administrative staff a range of productivity-enhancing features, such as a single inbox for voice and e-mail messages, "click-to-call" functionality from computers, and "find me, follow me" call routing options, all accessible via personalized Web pages.

SBC is currently offering its hosted IP telephony service in 69 metropolitan areas nationwide.

SBC Plans Full-Scale VoIP Service Rollout in 2005

SBC Communications announced plans for a full-scale, consumer VoIP service rollout in early 2005. The service will use a DSL Internet connection not only voice calling but also other enhanced features, such as a Web-based portal and advanced call- management capabilities. The feature set will include "find me," "do not disturb," click-to-call, voice mail, call forwarding, call waiting, caller ID and three-way calling. A trial is currently underway in Los Angeles.

SBC said recent FCC decisions have encouraged to accelerate its investment in IP services. In particular, SBC citing the recent FCC ruling that found VoIP to be an interstate service that is not subject to a patchwork of state-by-state regulations.

"It is important that federal, state and local authorities keep the road clear so that this technology can reach consumers faster. The fact that we are accelerating our investment to bring new technologies to the market more quickly shows how good policies can deliver good results to consumers," said Randall Stephenson, SBC chief operating officer.
  • Earlier this month, the FCC ruled that Vonage's broadband telephony service is not subject to traditional state public utility regulation and asserted its federal authority over VoIP. The ruling found that the VoIP service cannot practically be separated into intrastate and interstate components, precluding dual state and federal regulatory regimes. The FCC reasoned that efforts by the Minnesota public utilities commission, or other such state agencies, could impede the rollout of VoIP.

Optical Solutions Offers HPNA Home Wiring Option for Triple Play

Optical Solutions introduced a HPNA v3 module that enables FTTH operators to optimize customers' existing in-home wiring for delivery of IPTV and data. HPNA v3 supports data rates of up to 100 Mbps over existing twisted pair or coax connections. Optical Solutions said trials are currently underway and general availability is expected in Q2 2005.

Cisco Ships 4 Millionth IP Telephone

Cisco Systems announced the sale of its 4 millionth Cisco IP telephone to fashion apparel and accessories icon Liz Claiborne. Cisco said it took 4-and-a-half years to sell its first 2 million IP phones and only 14 months to climb from 2 million to 4 million phones. Cisco currently has more than 45 IP Communications customers with 5,000 or more Cisco IP phones installed.

Conexant Announces Senior Management Changes

Conexant Systems announced several management changes, including the following.

Lewis C. Brewster has been appointed executive vice president and COO, replacing Michael Powell, who resigned for personal reasons. Brewster held the same position with Conexant prior to the merger.

Chee Kwan has been named vice president and general manager of the Wireless and Networking Components Products organization, replacing Lawrence Ciaccia, who is leaving Conexant to pursue personal interests. Most recently, Kwan served as vice president of Marketing for this business unit.

Akram Atallah has been appointed vice president and general manager of Conexant's Broadband/DSL Access Products business, replacing Michael Powell, who had been acting in this capacity. Atallah was vice president and general manager of the company's Universal and Voice Access Products group.

Jeff Crosby has been named vice president and general manager of Broadband Media Processing Products, which consists of Set-top Box Products and Convergence Video Products. Crosby previously served as vice president and general manager of Set-top Box Products. Greg Fischer, who held the same position for the Convergence Video group, has chosen to leave Conexant.

Mark Duvall has been appointed vice president and general manager of the company's Universal and Voice Access Products business, replacing Atallah. Duvall was vice president of Americas Sales.
  • Conexant Systems named Dwight W. Decker as its new CEO, replacing Armando Geday, who resigned for personal reasons. Conexant also said that it plans to reduce pro forma operating expenses from the current quarterly level of $95 million to $80 million exiting its September-ending fiscal year. Plans to reduce operating expenses include an increasing shift of product development resources to lower-cost regions, and a continued merger-related SG&A consolidation. Dwight Decker, who also serves as Conexant's Chairman, returns to the CEO position he held from the time of Conexant's spin-off from Rockwell International in 1999 through to the company's merger with GlobespanVirata. At the time of the merger, Armando Geday, CEO of GlobespanVirata, became CEO of the combined company, and Decker assumed the role of non-executive chairman.