Monday, November 22, 2004

MetaSwitch Appoints VP of Technology Strategy

MetaSwitch named Martin Taylor as Vice President of Technology Strategy. Previously, Taylor was CTO at CopperCom from shortly after its founding in early 1998 until late 2002. He was the chief architect of CopperCom's Voice over Broadband system and led the effort by the ATM Forum to create a standard for VoB interoperability. Following CopperCom's acquisition of DTI Networks, Taylor shaped the technology roadmap for the company's Class 4/5 softswitch product. Prior to CopperCom, Taylor was VP Network Architecture at Madge Networks.

WSJ: Telecom Giants Oppose Cities on Web Access

Verizon Communications lobbied the Pennsylvania General Assembly to include as part of a newly passed broadband bill a special provision that would ban cities from providing Wi-Fi services with the service territory of a local exchange carrier, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Pennsylvania bill is currently awaiting the approval or veto of the state's governor. If approved, the new law could be a blow to the City of Philadelphia, among others, that are planning or deploying widescale municipally-owned Wi-Fi networks. According to the article, Verizon argued that it is unfair and unwise for the government to compete with the private sector.

UK Regulator Publishes Spectrum Framework Review

Ofcom, the official telecom regulator in the U.K., published the Spectrum Framework Review - its strategy for securing the optimal use of the civilian radio spectrum. Spectrum has traditionally been centrally allocated and managed by the regulator. This has resulted in an inefficient system that has limited the innovation and development of higher-value services.

Ofcom's Spectrum Framework Review sets out four key recommendations:

1. Allow the market to decide the best use for new spectrum allocations.

2. Allow licence holders to trade spectrum in an open market and change the use they make of spectrum rights to develop new technologies and offer different services to customers (also known as liberalisation).

3. Clearly define the rights of spectrum users, giving them the confidence to plan for the future.

4. Increase the amount of licence-exempt spectrum which allows businesses to develop and bring to market new technologies and services without the need for a licence.

Ofcom gradually plans to apply this market-led approach to over 70% of the radio spectrum (currently 0%). However, Ofcom will continue to maintain control over spectrum licences where:

  • Signals cross international boundaries;

  • International mobility is critical, or

  • the UK has agreed to harmonise spectrum use in line with important multi-national accords.

Beginning next month, spectrum trading will begin in the UK with the following licence classes:

  • Analogue public-access mobile radio

  • National paging

  • Data networks

  • National and regional private business radio

  • Common base stations

  • Scanning telemetry

  • Fixed terrestrial links

  • Fixed wireless access.

Additional licence classes will become tradeable next year.

Amedia Partners with LightRiver on Switched Ethernet FTTP

Amedia Networks announced a partnership under which LightRiver will distribute Amedia's QoStream FTTP product portfolio. LightRiver's customers include Telephone Companies, municipalities, utilities, government agencies and cable TV providers. http://www.amedia.com
  • Amedia Networks offers an active Ethernet-based Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) access solution. The company's Ethernet Switched Optical Network (ESON) technology, which was licensed from and jointly developed with Lucent Bell Labs, provides QoS mechanisms for delivering triple play services at up to 100 Mbps bandwidth per subscriber.

Thomson and VeriSign to Offer Digital Content Authentication Service

Thomson and VeriSign announced plans to create an on-demand digital content authentication and authorization service bureau to support the secure delivery of electronic entertainment content over digital networks. The new service will provide transaction reporting and essential back-office functions to securely authenticate and authorize digital entertainment content such as movies, music and games. Thomson and VeriSign have recently completed successful proof of concept demonstrations with a variety of entertainment companies, telecom companies, technology companies and online retailers and plan to launch the service by mid-2005.

The new service is aimed at content providers and electronic content distributors and will utilize key technologies and expertise of Thomson's Technicolor business and VeriSign's authentication and network infrastructure. The service will leverage Technicolor's expertise in content security, preparation, management and distribution; and its long standing relationships with entertainment providers. The service will also leverage VeriSign's network security technology and large scale internet transaction authentication infrastructure that currently supports over 400,000 Web sites and 118,000 merchants, as well as VeriSign's extensive Digital Content mediation and distribution platform. In addition, Thomson and VeriSign are developing proprietary technology, already demonstrated through proof of concept, to provide secure authentication and authorization of digital content and a seamless interface between a variety of home networking devices including personal video recorders, mobile devices, computers and recordable media.

Thomson and VeriSign said they aim to support the needs of both content owners and network operators by offering a third-party solution that will work across digital networks. . http://www.thomson.net

CommPartners Deploys TCS' E9-1-1 VoIP Service

TeleCommunication Systems (TCS) has deployed VoIP E9-1-1 service for Las Vegas-based CommPartners, a VoIP facilitator providing IP telephony services and connectivity to service providers. The deployment is the latest in TCS' E9-1-1 services that have been deployed across the United States since 1998.

TCS said its solution meets the requirements and expectations of E9-1-1 services offered to traditional landline and wireless subscribers. It supports a wide range of VoIP solutions ranging from those offering a landline replacement to those providing the business traveler with VoIP connectivity from the road. Whereas location updates to the wireline databases typically take up to 48 hours to activate, TCS provides mechanisms to its customers that allow the information to be updated and validated in a fraction of the time. The updated location information is used to dynamically route the call to the appropriate Public Safety Answering Point, of which there are over 6500 across the country. http://www.telecomsys.com

SBC Extends its Wi-Fi Service with Avis, Barnes & Noble

SBC Communications announced commercial partnerships with Avis Rent A Car and with Barnes & Noble that will broaden the reach of its Wi-Fi network across the U.S. Under the first deal, the SBC FreedomLink Wi-Fi service will be made available in up to 88 Avis locations at major airports throughout the nation by early 2005. It will also be available in Avis business centers in major airports. Separately, Barnes & Noble announced that SBC FreedomLink Wi-Fi service is now available at more than 600 of its bookstores nationwide.

SBC's FreedomLink Wi-Fi service is also available in select McDonald's restaurants, The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. locations, Caribou Coffee shops, airports, hotels, convention centers, restaurants, state parks, rest stops and welcome centers -- currently more than 5,000 locations throughout the U.S. By the end of 2006, the SBC FreedomLink service is expected to be available in more than 20,000 locations. Customers can view a list of FreedomLink locations by visiting .
  • SBC's FreedomLink memberships are available for $19.95 a month and provide unlimited access to all SBC Wi-Fi hot spots and discounted rates in roaming locations. Daily rates start at $7.95. SBC DSL customers are able to use the service at no charge until April 15, 2005. After this introductory period, the price will be $1.99 a month with a one-year term commitment for customers who choose to sign up for the service.

Tekelec Names Senior VP of Global Marketing

Tekelec promoted Scott Weidenfeller to senior vice president of global marketing. Before joining Santera Systems in 2000 as vice president of product line management, marketing and business development, Weidenfeller held various positions at Nortel Networks.

SAIC Licensed by the FCC to Test Mobile 4.9 GHz Solutions

Science Applications International Corporation's (SAIC) Telecom Services Business Unit was granted a new experimental license from the FCC to test fixed and mobile experimental wireless networks and client devices at 4.9 GHz. The experimental license allows the company to conduct multi-city trials of new low cost solutions for public-sector metropolitan area networks (MANs) using technologies in the new, exclusive-use 4.9 GHz public safety band.

Cities have seen the successes of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.11a/b/g and the emerging 802.16d/e standards and products, through the interoperability assurance of the WiFi and WiMAX consortia. Standardization of mesh network protocols, as in the draft 802.11s also is proceeding in concert with open solutions for the new band.

SAIC said that by adopting these standards and products for the 4.9GHz band, the public sector stands to benefit from low cost outdoor-rated infrastructure equipment adapted for the 4.9GHz band while still preserving the benefits of standards- based air protocols and high volume chipsets.

deltathree Updates VoIP Calling Plans

deltathree announced the launch of six new Broadband Phone consumer and business calling plans for its retail division, iConnectHere. Each calling plan includes local, long distance and international calling with features such as voicemail, caller ID, 3-way calling, call forwarding and real-time call records. The service also provides end-users with a choice of phone numbers from the United States, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel or the United Kingdom. These numbers are available to end-users no matter where they are physically located around the world. The new service tiers include:

  • iCall Unlimited plan, which includes unlimited minutes to call the United States and Canada for US$29.99 a month, from anywhere worldwide.

  • iCall North America plan, which includes 800 minutes to call the United States and Canada for just US$15.99 a month, from anywhere worldwide.

  • BizCall Unlimited, which provides businesses located anywhere around the world with unlimited calling to the United States and Canada for US$49.99 a month.

  • Open Access Plan, which enables advanced VoIP users to mix and match various features and use their own SIP devices.

Global Crossing and India's Sify Link MPLS Services

Global Crossing and Sify, a leading Internet, networks and eCommerce services company in India, have agreed to interconnect their MPLS-based IP networks using Global Crossing's iMPLS interprovider connection service. Customers of either provider will be able to seamlessly scale and provision converged IP and data services including VoIP, IP Video, and Internet access across IP VPN connections to any endpoint in the networks' combined footprint.

The deal provides Global Crossing IP VPN customers with access to 63 major commercial centers in India, while Sify gained worldwide service reach to more than 50 countries and 500 major cities.

Global Crossing's iMPLS service enables seamless, reliable, scalable MPLS-based IP VPN service expansion by carriers and service providers, across Global Crossing's worldwide network. The interprovider interconnection preserves QoS, traffic prioritization and endpoint visibility, permitting end-to-end SLAs and enabling applications such as VoIP and IP Video to work reliably across the connected networks.

Motorola Launches New 900 MHz Canopy Broadband Radios

Motorola began shipping an new version of its 900 MegaHertz (MHz) Canopy wireless broadband radio that features a fully integrated antenna. The integrated high-gain antenna enables these Canopy radios to reach up to 40 miles in a point-to-multipoint, line-of-sight application and provide enhanced penetration for non line-of-sight applications. It could be used to extend a service provider's network coverage by offering last mile data connectivity to remote subscribers or in areas of dense foliage.

Motorola also has made available a new software release (R6) for all Canopy 900 MHz modules, which increases the aggregate throughput by a factor of two, up to 2.1 megabits per second to a single user. The new software decreases the latency in the new 900 MHz module to 15 milliseconds from 45 milliseconds giving service providers increased ability to support VoIP and gaming applications for their subscribers. The software download is available for all 900 MHz radios already deployed and can be installed remotely.