Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Notel Acquires Tasman Networks for Enterprise Routers

Nortel Networks agreed to acquire Tasman Networks, a supplier of high-performance enterprise routers, for US$99.5 million in cash.

Tasman's IP WAN routers are aimed at small to medium-sized branch office deployments. The routers are capable of running numerous services such as voice, VPN, firewall, and quality of service simultaneously with wire-speed performance. Tasman's products scale from fractional T1 to multiple DS-3 bandwidths. Its Virtual Ethernet technology allows customers to deploy the routers transparently into existing infrastructure. The products provide a scale-on-demand provisioning capability to adjust to changing customer bandwidth needs. Additional ports can be turned on and bonded together remotely.

Nortel said the products would augment its convergence solutions for data and IP multimedia customers.

Tasman Networks was founded in 1997 and is based in San Jose, California.

Alcatel Extends OEM Deal on Tekelec 8000 Media Gateway

Alcatel agreed to a three-year extension of a preferred OEM agreement under which it supplies the Tekelec 8000 Media Gateway as a part of the Alcatel Mobile Next Generation Network (NGN) solution.

As part of this agreement, Alcatel will continue to integrate Tekelec's media gateway in a significant portion of its Mobile NGN solution shipments and may now use Tekelec's media gateway in fixed and mobile environments. In parallel, the two companies will also continue to actively cooperate on the implementation of the open Mc interface between the media gateway and the call server.

The Tekelec 8000 is a converged media gateway that complements Alcatel's standard-based distributed mobile switching solution. The cornerstone of this solution is the Alcatel 5020 Wireless Call Server, a multi-standard and field-proven mobile call server controlling distributed media gateways and managing call/session control for voice and data services.

Alcatel's distributed Mobile NGN has been been deployed or is currently being deployed for tier one service providers like T-Mobile USA, Dobson, TA Orange, Celcom Malaysia, China Mobile and VimpelCom.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Marconi Shareholders Approve Ericsson Deal

Shareholders in Marconi Corporation plc approved the sale to Ericsson of key assets of Marconi's telecommunications business, clearing the way for the merger to be completed in early January.

The deal was first announced on October25, 2005.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

KT Deploys Ericsson's Softswitch

KT deployed Ericsson's Telephony Softswitch solution into its commercial
network. The solution supports KT's traditional, TDM, and IP technologies on a single platform and allows the exchange of international voice and data traffic with other IP-based operators.

Ericsson said it now has more than 55 softswitch solutions
in commercial use in both fixed and mobile networks.

BT Signs Contracts with 21CN Suppliers

BT concluded negotiations and signed contracts with four of the preferred suppliers for its 21st Century Network (21CN) initiative. Contracts were signed with Ciena, Huawei, Lucent and Siemens. BT expects to conclude negotiations with the remaining four preferred suppliers early in 2006.

Paul Reynolds, BT Wholesale chief executive, said: "21CN represents one of the biggest ever investments in the economic infrastructure of the UK by a private company. It will provide the basis of the most powerful competitive and productive communications environment in the world. These are exciting times and we are making good progress. Six million customer calls have been successfully carried in the latest phase of our 21CN trials, and we have more than 2000 people working on the programme. We have been working closely with the entire telecommunications industry to agree the schedule for roll-out across the UK."

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

U.S. Senate Approves FCC Nominees

The U.S. Senate officially confirmed the nominations of Deborah Taylor Tate and Michael Copps to be Commissioners on the Federal Communications Commission. On December 13, 2005, by unanimous consent, the Senate discharged the Senate Commerce Committee from further consideration of the Tate and Copps nominations. A hearing had been held on the nominees earlier that day.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

TI to Acquire Chipcon for Low-power RF Devices

Texas Instruments (TI) agreed to acquire Chipcon, a leading company in the design of short-range, low-power wireless RF (radio frequency) transceiver devices, for $200 million.

Chipcon's CC2430 is the world's first true System-on-Chip ZigBee solution. The company also provides a ZigBee-compliant protocol stack, the Z-Stack, which was acquired when Chipcon purchased Figure 8 Wireless in January 2005. Chipcon also offers a proprietary RadioDesk technology platform to wireless input device manufacturers.

TI said combining Chipcon's design experience in RF transceiver and System-on-Chip devices with TI's advanced analog silicon technologies and broad systems expertise would enhance its ability to offer customers complete short-range wireless solutions for consumer, home and building automation applications. The acquisition also broadens TI's offering of RF solutions and strengthens TI's position in ZigBee.

Chipcon will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of TI and will continue to operate from its Oslo, Norway headquarters. Its other facilities include a software design center in San Diego, California; and sales offices in New Hampshire, Germany, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. The company employs about 120 people.

Videotron Selects Nuera Media Gateways for Cable Telephone Expansion

Videotron, which serves some 1.4 million cable television customers and 96,000 residential phone customers in Quebec, is deploying Nuera ORCA media gateways to provide telephone service to their cable television customers. Videotron is using the Nuera media gateways to initially interoperate with traditional switching systems. The network is designed to deliver the service, security features and 911 capabilities that allow Videotron to meet consumer and regulatory requirements, while positioning Videotron to take advantage of softswitch technologies. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nearly 40 Million DSL Adds and 1.5 Million IPTV Adds in 2005

Nealy 40 million new DSL lines were activated in 2005 - over 100,000 every day - bringing the global installed base close to 140 million, according to the latest data produced for the DSL Forum by industry analyst Point Topic. Some highlights:

  • European Union countries accounted for close to 40% of the total growth in new broadband DSL subscribers in the period, confirming the EU's position as the number one most active DSL region worldwide. The UK and France led the way, each adding more than three million subscribers.

  • The Middle East and Africa region was the fastest growing, with a 140% increase in DSL subscribers - led by Turkey, which added more than 850,000, becoming the first country in the region to pass the one million mark. Latin America has established a DSL subscriber base of more than five million. Brazil added 1.1 million in the year and Mexico saw 98% growth in its subscribers to DSL.

  • A total of 19 countries achieved more than one million subscribers by the third quarter of 2005, with Australia, Belgium, Turkey, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland breaking through the barrier in the past year.

  • China alone added almost 10 million DSL subscribers and is rapidly approaching 25 million in total. The USA extended its lead over Japan as the second largest DSL population in the world, and nine countries increased their DSL population by more than one million new subscribers. Of the established nations, the fastest growth rates were in Australia, at 97%, and the UK, at 91%.

  • Seven countries have over 20% of phone lines delivering broadband services using DSL. Switzerland, Spain and the UK are likely to reach that initial target for mass market status around the end of 2005.

  • IPTV has already attracted 1.5 million subscribers around the world in the first half of 2005, 30% of them in Hong Kong alone and a further 18% in France.

Vonage Raises $250 Million

Vonage raised $250 million in convertible debt funding with a group of investors led by affiliates of Bain Capital, with participation from leading financial institutions and existing investors including New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Meritech Capital Partners. The latest round of financing brings total investment in the company to $658 million.

Vonage said it plans to use the money for general working capital to build-out its network across the United States, including deployment of Enhanced 911. Vonage senior management also participated in the round.

Vestel Integrates OpenTV in Set-Top Boxes

Vestel Group, Turkey's largest consumer electronics and white goods manufacturers, will integrate OpenTV Core Middleware 1.1 into its next generation set-top boxes.

Separate from this deal, DigiTurk, the first and only digital direct-to-home satellite network operator in Turkey, recently announced that it selected Vestel's OpenTV middleware enabled set-top boxes for deployment to its ever-growing pay-television subscriber base.

Sumitomo Selects Ikanos' 100 Mbps Symmetrical VDSL

Sumitomo Electric Networks (SEN), one of Japan's leading communications equipment manufacturers, has selected Ikanos Communications' Fx100100-4 and Fx 100100S-4 chipsets. Previously, SEN has used Ikanos' chipsets for products supporting speeds up to 100 Mbps downstream and 50 Mbps upstream.

First Modernized GPS Satellite Is Operational

A joint U.S. Air Force/Lockheed Martin team announced that the first modernized Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite has been declared fully operational for GPS users around the globe following extensive on-orbit testing of the spacecraft's new military and civilian signals.

The GPS IIR-14 (M) satellite, which is the most technologically advanced GPS satellite ever developed, was built by Lockheed Martin and launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on September 25.

Motorola Names Mader to Head Networks Wireline Business

Motorola named Tom Mader to be corporate vice president and general manager of Wireline Networks. Mader will be responsible for further establishing Motorola's global leadership in Fiber-to-the-Premise (FTTP) and Fiber-to-the-Node (FTTN) solutions, including the deployment of next-generation entertainment services such as IPTV, video on demand (VOD) and digital recording.

Prior to joining Motorola, Mader was founder of Mader & Associates, a VoIP) equipment company that offers outsourced marketing, distribution, order fulfillment and accounts receivables management expertise to small/start-up VoIP testing equipment companies worldwide. Previously, he served as chief executive officer for Netrake, a leading provider of session border controllers. Before joining Netrake, Mader worked for Lucent Technologies in two senior leadership roles, first as regional vice president in Texas where he managed global marketing, sales, technical support and service delivery to Independent Telco customers, and second as regional vice president and managing director in Germany where he was responsible for operations and product management of its Global Optical Networking product family.

Foundry Adds 48-port GigE Module

Foundry Networks announced a wire-speed 48-port 10/100/1000 Mbps module for its BigIron RX-Series family of high-performance Layer 2/3 Ethernet switches. The new module increases the non-blocking Gigabit Ethernet capacity to 768 ports for a single switch and 2,304 ports in a standard 7 foot equipment rack. All ports are non-blocking to ensure wire-speed performance. The new module utilizes compact mini RJ-21 connectors and cables to streamline cable management.

The RX-BI48T 48-port 10/100/1000 I/O module with mini RJ-21 connectors is available in the first quarter of 2006 and priced at $15,995 for US customers and $17,595 for International customers.

Foundry Adds 48-port GigE Module

Foundry Networks announced a wire-speed 48-port 10/100/1000 Mbps module for its BigIron RX-Series family of high-performance Layer 2/3 Ethernet switches. The new module increases the non-blocking Gigabit Ethernet capacity to 768 ports for a single switch and 2,304 ports in a standard 7 foot equipment rack. All ports are non-blocking to ensure wire-speed performance. The new module utilizes compact mini RJ-21 connectors and cables to streamline cable management.

The RX-BI48T 48-port 10/100/1000 I/O module with mini RJ-21 connectors is available in the first quarter of 2006 and priced at $15,995 for US customers and $17,595 for International customers.

Coaxsys to Unveil 200Mbps Ethernet-over-Coax with ST

Coaxsys is planning to introduce a 200Mbps Ethernet-over-Coax networking solution in January at the International CES show in Las Vegas. The solution will be demonstrated in conjunction with STMicroelectronics, a leading developer of IPTV set-top box silicon.

Gary Hoffman, Coaxsys VP of Business Development, stated, "TVnet 2X provides a major leap over the speeds specified by current networking solutions, such as 10/100 Ethernet, HomePlug-AV, and IEEE 802.11n. Like existing 100Mbps TVnet products, it works over existing TV coaxial wiring--but its higher bandwidth paves the way for the features and functions required by operators delivering IPTV and other high-speed applications within the home."

Coaxsys noted that during 2005 it has deployed tens of thousands of TVnet adapters for voice, video, and data with more than sixty service providers.
  • The existing Coaxsys technology delivers up to 104 Mbps transfer rate and supports distances up to 250 feet, enabling it to deliver multiple HDTV signals simultaneously throughout a home. The TVnet technology is also compatible with TV splitters and supports Ethernet unicast, multicast, and broadcast. The solution consists of a Coaxsys IPTV 7000 TVnet adapter that connects to any network-enabled operating system or device with an RJ-45 Ethernet network interface. It can be used for connecting IPTV set top boxes, gaming console systems, PVRs, multimedia servers, and VoIP phones.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Deutsche Telekom moves into Telekom Center München

Deutsche Telekom AG relocated into its Telekom Center München -- a new state-of-the-art facility near the Munich city center. A total of around 2,800 employees of the Group's divisions T-Com, T-Systems and T-Mobile as well as the central units, who had previously been spread over various locations around the city, will now work in the Telekom Center München.

Alcatel Deploys 40 Gbps Links in Stuttgart and Karlsruhe, Germany

Alcatel deployed its 40 Gbps optical transmission link connecting the data centers of the University of Stuttgart and the University of Karlsruhe in Germany. The 105 km link connects two supercomputers, which deliver a computing power of over twenty TeraFlops. The deployment is part of the "Baden-Württemberg Extended LAN" scientific network (BelWü), which is funded by the Baden-Württemberg state and is integrated in the European research association GÉANT.

The Alcatel 40 Gbps WDM solution, which includes the Alcatel 1626 Light Manager (LM), interconnects multiple 10 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces of the two university supercomputers through a single wavelength. Four bidirectional 10 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces are aggregated onto the one 40 Gbps wavelength that is transported over an optical fiber without repeaters. The new line is designed to support multiple 40 Gbps wavelengths to cope with future traffic growth.

TotallyFreeConferenceCalls Selects Vapps SIP-Based Platform / Metaswitch

TotallyFreeConferenceCalls, a large conference call service provider, has chosen the Vapps Conference Bridge 1000 (CB1000) platform as the foundation for delivering next-generation conferencing services. Together with MetaSwitch's fault-tolerant Class 4/5 softswitch architecture for bridging legacy circuit switched and IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) networks, TotallyFreeConferenceCalls can now integrate service across multiple network types to reach new markets and expand its customer base.

A VoIP-native IMS application server (AS) network element, the Vapps CB1000 is a SIP-enabled, carrier-grade conferencing platform that delivers reservation-less conference calls on both legacy and IP-based telecom systems. CB1000 supports up to 18,000 total conference participants in multiple simultaneous conferences and offers both standard and advanced calling features including: participant lists, volume control, mute, multiple languages, call detail records and web-based on-demand feature control.

Sprint Nextel to Acquire Velocita Wireless for 900 MHz Spectrum

Sprint Nextel agreed to acquire Velocita Wireless through a stock purchase agreement for an undisclosed sum.

Velocita Wireless, headquartered in Woodbridge, N.J., serves about 400,000 business and governmental customers, with products that include wireless email, messaging, machine-to-machine, automated vehicle location, point-of-sale and field force automation applications.

Sprint Nextel plans to use a portion of Velocita's spectrum assets to supplement its coverage for customers on its iDEN national network. That spectrum use is not expected to impact Velocita's network coverage or availability. Sprint Nextel will continue to honor existing Velocita customer contracts after the close of the transaction, and will work with customers as appropriate to provide wireless network services that most closely meet their business needs.

Nokia to Build Global Networks Solutions Center in Chennai, India

Nokia will locate its new Global Networks Solutions Center in Chennai, India. The Solutions Center will perform network operation tasks for selected operator customers in the Asia Pacific region as well as Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and play a key role as part of Nokia's expanding and innovative managed services offering. It will start operations in the first half of 2006 and initially employ around 100 people, with this figure expected to rise in the next few years.

SureWest Names Oldham as CEO

SureWest Communications, which serves the Sacramento, California region, named Steve C. Oldham to serve as the company's president and chief executive officer effective January 1, 2006. Oldham, 55, has served as a member of SureWest's Board of Directors since January 2004, and has been chair of the Board's Audit Committee since June 2004. He retired from Sierra Pacific Resources in 2002 as senior vice president, energy supply after a 26-year career during which he held various positions in its accounting, finance and regulatory departments, including senior vice president, corporate development and strategic planning.

SureWest also announced that Brian H. Strom, the company's current president and CEO will remain an employee of the company until March 31, 2006, at which time he will retire as an executive officer after 17 years of service, but continue in a consulting role.

Senator DeMint Proposes Market-based Communications Reform Bill

Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, introduced the Digital Age Communications Act (DACA). The bill aims to create a communications regulation system that is market-oriented and competition-based. According to the Senator, under DACA:

  • The communications industry would be regulated like other businesses, by protecting consumers and ensuring businesses do not engage in unfair competition.

  • Services that are alike from a consumer's perspective would be treated alike. For example, phone service, whether offered by a cable, land-line, or wireless company, would have to comply with the same regulations.

  • The Universal Service Program would be reformed to make all service providers contribute equally and make the distribution of the funds more efficient, transparent, and technologically neutral.

  • Cable television franchises would be phased out over 4 years.

  • Each state would continue to play an important role in enforcing federal rules and would retain the authority to protect consumers and manage public rights-of-way.

In a statement, BellSouth's Herschel L. Abbott, Vice President - Government Affairs, said "We applaud Senator DeMint on the introduction of this forward looking legislation that is designed to assure that market forces and competition replace the outdated regulatory forces that continue to hold our industry back. We are particularly pleased with the bill's focus on further clarifying the role that state commissions should play in regulating the industry."

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Sigma Designs to Acquire UWB Chipset Start-Up Blue7

Sigma Designs, which specializes in silicon-based media processors for IPTV set-top boxes, digital media receivers, high definition DVD players and other consumer media devices, agreed to acquire Blue7 Communications, a start-up focused on the development of advanced wireless technologies, and Ultra-Wideband (UWB) semiconductor products.

Blue7 is currently developing its "Windeo" chipset, encompassing an all-CMOS solution with the Baseband and MAC integrated chip along with an RF front-end chip, both of which are expected to move into production during the second half of 2006. Target applications for these high-performance, wireless chipsets include wireless video/audio streaming within the home, wireless connections from set-top components to HDTV displays, and future potential for a wireless USB standard.

Sigma Designs will pay a total of approximately $14 million for all outstanding shares of Blue7 capital stock and the assumption of all outstanding employee stock options, less amounts for securities held by Sigma in Blue7.

"Wireless connectivity is becoming an integral part of the consumer entertainment landscape," said Thinh Tran, chairman and CEO of Sigma Designs. "With Sigma's focus on IP video and networked consumer products, the addition of wireless communication products and technologies will enable us to address broader solutions and increase our value-add in each product."
  • In August 2005, Sigma Designs has begun sampling its new SMP8634 media processor, designed for IPTV set-top boxes and high-definition DVD players. The device represents a milestone for media processors in that it not only decodes H.264 (AVC), VC-1 and MPEG-2, but also supports multi-stream decoding of any format, up to the equivalent of two simultaneous high-definition streams, along with full-screen graphics. In the years ahead, Sigma said it expects to see a digital media duopoly shared by two new video codecs: VC-1, a SMPTE specification based on Microsoft's Windows Media Video 9 (WMV9), and H.264, a shared specification from ITU and MPEG associations, also known as AVC (advanced video codec) or MPEG-4 part 10. Moving forward, Sigma said VC-1 and H.264 appear destined to equally share the role as next generation digital media standards.

  • Blue7 was founded in 2002 and is currently located in San Jose. The company employs 20 people, 18 of which are engineers with experience in wireless LAN, CDMA, CMOS mixed signal RF, and other wireless technologies. A total of 13 patent applications have been filed during the development of Blue7's technologies.

RADVISION Releases Click to Meet for Microsoft LCS

RADVISION announced that its video conferencing over IP software, Click to Meet, now supports Live Communications Server, Communicator, and Live Meeting from a single platform.

Click to Meet for Microsoft Office expands the functionality and reach of Live Communications Server and Live Meeting by providing multi-party voice and video capabilities and by enabling connectivity with any standards-based communications device, making it easy to deploy and integrate into the Microsoft workflow environment.

Some key features of Click to Meet for Microsoft Office include:

  • Single implementation: Click to Meet for Microsoft Office enables implementation of a single installation to support both Live Communications Server and Live Meeting environments.

  • Universal endpoint support: Click to Meet for Microsoft Office supports IP, PSTN, and 3G networks and standards including SIP, H.323, H.320 and 3G-324M. This enables full connectivity to common communications devices used throughout the enterprise, including wired and wireless phones, 3G mobile, handhelds, and desktop and room video conferencing systems.

Ellacoya Supplies Broadband Service Control for WISP

Ellacoya Networks has supplied its IP Service Control System to, a wireless Internet service provider (WISP) in Minnesota. is using the Ellacoya platform to identify and manage application traffic on its broadband network. gains granular visibility into application and subscriber usage, enabling it to manage traffic based on that data and to ensure fair usage. operates a broadband wireless mesh network powered by the Tropos Networks MetroMesh Architecture.

The Ellacoya system, consisting of Ellacoya's e30 switches and Service Logic Software (SLS) identifies application traffic flowing to and from's broadband wireless mesh network and the public IP network. It is configured to manage bandwidth-intensive applications, based on parameters set by the wireless service provider, to make certain they do not adversely affect the performance of other users nor consume excessive amounts of capacity. The result for has been increased customer satisfaction, reduction in customer service calls, and significant cost savings from not having to add more capacity to the network.

KPN Moves its Employee Communications to Nortel VoIP

KPN has announced it is moving its employee communications to an all IP-based platform based on Nortel's Communications Server 1000. Roll-out of the new voice and multimedia capability across KPN will occur in phases beginning in February 2006. Specifically, KPN is using Nortel's Communications Server 1000 to provide 20,000 voice over IP users. Among these 20,000 employees an initial 12,000 employees will also be using Nortel's Multimedia Communications Server 5100 for voice, data, messaging, video and presence awareness.

Using Nortel's multimedia communications platform, KPN's employees will be able to use their PDAs, laptops and PCs for voice, instant message, file sharing, email and video conference applications. KPN's employee communications will be further enhanced by presence awareness.

Google, Microsoft and Sun Fund Internet Lab at Berkley

Google, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems will provide $7.5 million over five years to fund research at the Reliable, Adaptive and Distributed systems laboratory, or the RAD Lab, at the University of California, Berkeley. The National Science Foundation, the UC Discovery and the Microelectronics Innovation and the Computer Research Opportunities (MICRO) programs are also providing funding.

RAD Lab researchers will focus on developing alternatives to traditional software engineering, which follows a "waterfall" model of development. Instead of infrequent, well-tested upgrades, code for Internet services is continually being modified on the fly as the product is scaled up to accommodate millions of users. The lab's founders say this fix-it-as-you-go feedback loop enables speedier deployment, but it also requires a large technical support staff to make sure operations are not disrupted as bugs are resolved.

"Our goal is to create technology that will enable individual inventors and entrepreneurs to provide new services of value similar to large Internet services people use every day," said David Patterson, UC Berkeley professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences and founding director of the RAD Lab.

IPeria Secures $5 Million for SIP and VoiceXML

IPeria, a start-up based in Burlington, Massachusetts, secured $5 million in a new round of funding for its messaging and communications software for VoIP.

IPeria's flagship product, ActivEdge software, is a highly scalable suite of architecturally open, standards-based messaging applications that enable carriers to deliver new services. IPeria's ActivEdge software is based on open industry standards, such as SIP and VoiceXML, and leverages off the shelf hardware components.

Friedli Corporate Finance, a venture capital firm based in Zurich, Switzerland, provided the funding.

NTT DoCoMo and KT Freetel Enter Partnership

NTT DoCoMo announced a strategic partnership with KT Freetel, the second largest mobile operator in Korea with 12 million subscribers. DoCoMo will invest approximately KRW 564.9 billion (approximately JPY 65.5 billion) to acquire a 10% stake in KTF.

NTT DoCoMo said the alliance enables both companies to provide better services to customers in their respective markets through the development and promotion of mobile technologies and applications. The nationwide deployment and early stabilization of KTF's W-CDMA network, with DoCoMo's technical support, is key to achieving these objectives
  • KTF launched its EV-DO service in 2002.

Reuters Extends Global Security Agreement With MCI

Reuters has extended its contract with MCI to monitor Reuters' global enterprise network providing early warning threat identification and detection capabilities. Under the three-year deal, MCI will continue to monitor Reuters' managed firewall and network-based intrusion detection devices located at sites in the United States, Europe and Asia. Reuters plans to deploy additional intrusion detection and intrusion prevention devices to meet its stringent security objectives.

Brightcove to Offer On2's Flash 8 Video Encoding

Brightcove, a start-up building an open Internet TV service that would help video producers to monetize their content, will offer On2 Technologies' Flash 8 video encoding technology to video publishers participating in the Brightcove commercial preview. Under the arrangement, hundreds of Brightcove commercial preview customers will receive a free license of On2 Flix Pro for Flash 8 to encode their content in Flash 8 video for distribution through Brightcove.

Brightcove is currently available in an invitation-only commercial preview, which is being used by a variety of publishers ranging from independent producers to large cable broadcasters. Using the open online service, publishers are able to reach consumers through a wide range of broadband channels on the Internet while generating revenue from advertising and pay media sales they control. Brightcove will be generally available in 2006.
  • In November 2005, Brightcove signed a video content distribution partnership with AOL. Brightcove and AOL will market a co-branded version of the Brightcove service as the self-service platform for publishing video on Through the syndication to AOL, publishers will be able to generate revenue from the advertising and pay media sales of their content on and other video gateways on the AOL network of web properties.

    Separately, Brightcove closed $16.2 million in venture funding led by AOL and included IAC/InterActiveCorp, The Hearst Corporation, and Allen & Company, as well as existing investors Accel Partners and General Catalyst Partners. The investments complete a Series B financing round that will fuel the company's growth and the launch of its products and services.

LG Ranked #2 in U.S. Market for Handsets

LG Electronics MobileComm has captured the number two spot across all mobile phone manufacturers in terms of shipment volumes in the U.S. for Q3 2005, according to figures from IDC reported by the company.

LG sold 7.8 million handsets in the U.S. in Q3, giving it an overall market share of 19.6%.

In addition to rising to the number two position in mobile phone shipments in the U.S., LG gained the number one ranking in terms of sales of CDMA phones globally for the third quarter of 2005. LG's overall global market share for CDMA phones jumped 5.1% for a total of 24.3%. In addition, sales of CDMA phones in the U.S. for Q3 of 2005 sustained its number one ranking.

STMicroelectronics Debuts "Spidergon" Network-on-Chip

STMicroelectronics unveiled an innovative on-chip interconnect technology aimed at future system-on-chip (SoC) designs. The new technology, called STNoC (ST Network on Chip), builds on ST's existing on-chip communications expertise while adding radical innovation derived from its research in Network-on-Chip (NoC) technologies.

ST expects NoC architecture will play a major role in improving design productivity. The innovative interconnection topology, called "Spidergon, will link the many intellectual propoerty (IP) blocks that make up a SoC device. Typically, these include one or more high performance processor cores as well as complex, dedicated IP blocks such as audio/video codecs, a wide range of connectivity IPs (USB, Ethernet, serial ATA, DVB-H, HDMI etc), and memories. Up till now, the interconnection between these blocks has been implemented via traditional circuit-switched buses but it has been widely accepted in recent years that a new interconnection methodology is required to develop SoC devices that contain a billion or more transistors organised in tens or even hundreds of IP blocks.

ST said traditional on-chip bus architectures are becoming a bottleneck. In the long term, techniques such as optical intra-chip communications, in which ST has already reported world-leading R&D results, may eliminate this problem. In the medium term, new intra-chip interconnection technologies will be required to maintain the combination of price/performance/power improvements required by customers.

NoC technology replaces the traditional circuit-switched bus by a packet-based paradigm incorporating a layered protocol stack analogous to a very simplified version of the networking paradigm. In this scenario, proven IP such as processor cores, cache memories, connectivity I/O functions, or specialized IP blocks such as audio/video codecs are simply plucked from a library, added to the SoC design and communicate with each other via a high-speed, low-power, small silicon area, packet-based communications protocol.

In the Spidergon topology, all of the IP blocks are arranged in a ring and each IP block is connected to its clockwise and its counter-clockwise neighbour as in a simple polygonal ring topology. In addition, however, each IP block is also connected directly to its diagonal counterpart in the network, which allows the routing algorithm to minimise the number of nodes that a data packet has to traverse before reaching its destination. A particularly important benefit is that the functional diagram for a network of 16 connected nodes shown on the left of the image corresponds to a simple planar implementation shown on the right in which the wiring only needs to cross itself at one point. This is a key benefit in translating theoretical approaches into actual solutions that deliver the maximum price/performance benefits.

Sunrise Telecom Withdrawn from NASDAQ

Sunrise Telecom, which supplies communications test and measurement solutions, received a notice from The Nasdaq Stock Market that shares of its common stock will no longer be eligible for quotation on The Nasdaq Stock Market effective at the start of business on Friday, December 16, 2005 for failure to comply with market regulations.

Sunrise Telecom said the delisting does not impact its daily operations, our strategic plans, or our customer relationships.

Level 3 to Provide VoIP for United Online

Level 3 will provide underlying telecommunications services for a new consumer VoIP service from, United Online, a provider of consumer Internet subscription services. NetZero Voice, which was launched in November 2005, provides:

  • Free unlimited PC-to-PC calling

  • Free voicemail with online message center

  • Free NetZero e-mail account

  • Instant messaging

  • Caller ID

  • Call waiting

  • Call blocking

  • A personal telephone number with choice of area code

  • Up to two GB of e-mail and voicemail storage

  • 3-way calling

  • "Find Me Follow Me" call forwarding, which allows incoming calls to be forwarded to up to five phone numbers in succession and answered on any telephone.

Level 3 provides United Online with its (3)VoIP Local Inbound Service and (3)Voice Termination.

Redline and Intel Deliver Live WiMAX Demo

Redline Communication and Intel delivered a WiMAX demonstration at the 3rd Middle East Mobility and Wireless Summit in Dubai this week. The demonstration featured Redline's high-bandwidth WiMAX base station and customer premise equipment (CPE), which incorporates the Intel PRO/Wireless 5116 WiMAX modem silicon, and is expected to be WiMAX Forum Certified this year. Applications shown included video gaming and VoIP.

BellSouth Cuts 1,500 Manager Job Cuts

BellSouth announced a management reduction of approximately 1,500 employees. The reductions will take place in supervisory and non- supervisory management positions, including staff support functions. Most of the reductions are expected to occur through the acceptance of voluntary severance packages and are to be completed by 30-April-2006.

BellSouth will record an after-tax charge of approximately $95 million, approximately $50 million of which will be recognized in the fourth quarter of 2005.

Cingular Wireless Launches Video Services

Cingular Wireless is preparing to launch its on-demand streaming video service, featuring a content partnership with HBO. Cingular Video uses the company's new 3G network.

HBO will produce exclusive mobile content for Cingular. HBO Mobile and HBO Family Mobile will offer select episodes, clips and bonus material from HBO shows, cartoons and never-before-seen comedy and sports. While the video content will be available early next year, the downloadable content is available starting this week.
  • In early December, Cingular Wireless officially launched its 3G national network featuring HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) technology. The service provides average mobile data connections between 400-700 kbps on the downlink and bursts to more than a megabit per second.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

NexTone University to Offer Certified IMS Training

NexTone Communications launched an initiative to produce certified technologists who are focused on VoIP and other digital media applications, including instant messaging, chat, and video across the IP network.

Called "NexTone University," the educational program will be geared towards network engineers and architects. It will focus on real-time IP session management, which is critical for carriers and enterprises to interconnect VoIP, wireless, and IP Multimedia Subsystems (IMS) networks as the demand for new digital media services increases.

Participants in the program can earn up to four levels of certification: NexTone Certified Engineer I, NexTone Certified Engineer II, NexTone Certified Architect, and NexTone Certified Trainer. The program targets experienced VoIP engineers who are looking to brush up on their skills; existing legacy engineers who need to make the transition from TDM to VoIP networks; before-market students who are looking to enter the IP communications industry; and data IP engineers who need to understand the intricacies of VoIP. Attendees of NexTone University will also include NexTone customers, partners, and value-added resellers (VARs). NexTone plans to offer coursework via online testing, through independent training houses, and at participating colleges and universities, as well as at carrier hubs and NexTone's corporate headquarters in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA.

NexTone has trained more than 1,200 engineers worldwide in the fundamentals of session management and VoIP. It is now launching NexTone University to include a broader range of participants and advanced courses. The company has conducted a pilot program in the UK.

Registration for NexTone University begins in January 2006 with students drawn from carriers, enterprises and NexTone channel partners globally.

AT&T Offers 24/7 Internet Security Webcasts

AT&T introduced its Internet Security News Network (AT&T ISNN), a first-of-its-kind 24/7 video Webcast that provides enterprises with critical security news and information.

AT&T ISNN is exclusively available to subscribers of the company's flagship alerting and monitoring service, AT&T Internet Protect(SM). The news network delivers up-to-date information from security experts and forensic analysts directly to subscribers' desktops, around the clock. AT&T ISNN also provides live emergency broadcasts as security attacks occur, keeping customers informed until the event is resolved.

The company plans to post twice-daily news updates on the latest Internet security and network issues.

Orange UK Combines WiFi, 3G & GPRS

Orange UK is launching a "Business Everywhere" service that uses a single software client to provide laptop access to 3G, GPRS and WiFi networks.

Orange is also launching Orange Wifi Access on 19 December, offering business users access to an international network of 12,000 hotspots, through a partnership with Orange France, BT Openzone and WeRoam. The network will include around 1,700 WiFi hotspots across in the UK. Customers will benefit from a simple integrated 'e-voucher' payment structure that includes same price billing for UK and international roaming usage. To access the WiFi network, Orange users send a blank text message to the 9434 short-code and receive a username and password to login in at the hotspot. Payment is will appear on the customer's monthly Orange bill.

High-Definition Audio-Video Network Alliance Targets Home Networks

A new High-Definition Audio-Video Network Alliance (HANA) has been formed to speed the creation of new, higher quality, easier to use HD products. Specifically, HANA's mission is to create industry design guidelines, utilizing existing technology and specifications, that will help enable consumers to:

  • View, pause and record 5+ HD channels simultaneously without
    compromising quality of service;

  • View, pause and record HD anywhere in the home with just one set top box;

  • Share personal content from PCs to AV devices while keeping protected content secure;

  • Control all AV devices and access content with just a single remote per room; and

  • Add any device to the home network with just one cable.

Founding members of HANA include Charter Communications, JVC, Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, NBC Universal, Samsung and Sun Microsystems. In addition to the founding members, ARM, Freescale Semiconductor and Pulse~LINK have joined HANA as contributing members.

HANA-compliant products will include HDTVs, next generation DVD players, personal video recorders, set top cable boxes and home theaters. The first commercial products are expected to be available at International CES 2007. The Alliance plans to facilitate compatibility among various manufacturers' products through compliance testing and HANA-organized developers' conferences.

HANA is in discussions with standards bodies such as the Consumer
Electronics Association (CEA), CableLabs, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) and the 1394 Trade Association. HANA also plans to work with Advanced Access Content System (AACS), Open Media Commons and other digital rights management technologies to give consumers new flexibility in using content across the entire home network, including moving content across multiple devices such as portable video players.

Convergys Extends Billing Contract with Cingular Wireless

Convergys announced the extension of a major contract with Cingular Wireless, the nation's largest wireless provider. Under the contract extension, Convergys will continue to manage and support billing for Cingular Wireless' customers on the Customer Assistance Resource Environment (CARE) billing system. The renewed contract calls for Convergys to continue operating the CARE billing system as well as providing technical support and system enhancements. Convergys will provide the services to Cingular at Cingular's Alpharetta, Georgia, data center. Finnacial terms were not disclosed.

European Commission Initiates Proceedings Against Sweden and Poland on Telecom Rules

The European Commission has decided to take Sweden and Poland to the European Court of Justice for failing to implement EU rules on electronic communications. The case gainst Sweden involved its failure to maintain market safeguard regulations. The case against Poland concerns its failure to ensure effective availability of number portability. The EC is hoping both countries will take corrective actions before court proceedings get underway.

In 12 cases from the previous infringement rounds, the Commission has sent reasoned opinions to the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Germany, Finland and the UK. These countries now have two months in which to respond. They could also face action before the European Court of Justice if they fail to comply with the EU telecom rules.

In addition, the Commission has sent letters of formal notice (step one in the infringement procedure -- failure of a Member State to fulfill an obligation) to the UK, Portugal, Cyprus, the Czech Republic and Lithuania.

At the same time, the European Commission is closing 9 cases from previous infringement rounds, as the Member States concerned have meanwhile ensured effective implementation of the EU framework for electronic communications.

"Implementing EU electronic communications rules is essential to enable competition and to deliver improved services. I find it regrettable that since the entry into force of the new rules in July 2003, the Commission had to open altogether more than 50 infringement procedures to remedy shortcomings in implementation," said Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding. "However, I am pleased that our efforts are now showing positive results in a number of Member States and that we can close today a whole series of cases."

Verizon Tests Nortel IMS Solution

Verizon is testing an IMS solution from Nortel as part of its ongoing plans to evaluate IMS technologies. The lab evaluation is being conducted in Verizon's Laboratories in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Nortel is Verizon's largest softswitch vendor, with multiple solutions deployed across the country. Nortel's Communication Server (CS) 2000 is part of the backbone of Verizon's nationwide packet network. These softswitches control more than 3.8 million packet trunk and line ports, with the capacity to deliver several million more.

Nortel's IMS solution utilizes a new Call Session Controller and Home Subscriber Server (HSS) while leveraging the installed softswitch base for gateway control and voice applications. Nortel said its IMS solution leverages more than five years of internal R&D investment in SIP, and the significant experience gained through deploying its SIP-based Multimedia Communications Server (MCS) 5200 in more than 40 service provider networks.

Verizon also is introducing VoIP into its local service networks as well, potentially allowing it to provide customers with network-based services that dramatically increase functionality, mobility and productivity.

Nortel also noted that it ranked number one in the global markets for service provider softswitches and gateways for the first half of 2005 and the entire year of 2004, according to Synergy Research Group.
  • In January 2004, Verizon Communications announced that it had selected Nortel Networks as its VoIP equipment provider for the evolution of its nationwide wireline network to packet-switching technology. Verizon will begin deployment of the new Nortel Networks equipment in its local and long-distance voice wireline networks later this year, tying the VoIP capabilities into its Enterprise Advance and FTTP initiatives. Verizon's initial service deployment was scheduled for mid-2004 and was expected to include hosted VoIP and multimedia services for business and consumers. Lawrence T. Babbio Jr., Verizon vice chairman and telecom president, described the packet migration to be " significant as when the industry began moving from analog to digital technology in the 1980s."

    As part of the announcment, Nortel Networks was named the exclusive provider of Verizon's local and long-distance Class 4 (tandem) and Class 5 (local) VoIP switches in new offices over the next 18 months. Nortel Networks will also be the exclusive supplier of Verizon's VoIP and multimedia services infrastructure over the next 18 months. Furthermore, the companies agreed to collaborate on packet voice solutions for enterprise customers. Financial terms were not disclosed. Nortel Networks described the project as one of its most comprehensive converged-network wins to date. The deal covers the full range of Nortel Networks' carrier packet platforms. Specifically, Verizon will begin the replacement of a number of its traditional local switches with Nortel Networks softswitches and VoIP gateways. In addition, Verizon will begin using the Nortel Networks switches to expand the company's long-distance network. Nortel Networks has already begun shipping softswitch equipment for Verizon's long-distance, tandem, and end-office networks, including Succession Communication Server (CS) 2000 Superclass softswitches and local and long-distance access gateways. Other Nortel Networks equipment expected to be deployed by Verizon includes Nortel Networks Passport* Packet Voice Gateway, Succession Multiservice Gateway 4000, Succession Media Gateway 9000, and the Multimedia Communication Server 5200.

Meets IMS
enables the separation of applications from the underlying network. While
originally defined for for 3G mobile phone systems, the IMS model has now
been adopted as a baseline technology for network and service convergence
by wireless, wireline and cable providers. Here is how it could be
integrated with IPTV to enable personalized services across any broadband
connection, wireless or wireline.

Cox Deploys Concurrent's MediaHawk for VOD

Cox Communications has chosen Concurrent's MediaHawk(R) 4000 platform for the launch of on-demand services in the cable operator's Northern Virginia division. Subscribers will have access to hundreds of hours of On Demand movies, subscription On Demand services, and free content. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Cox Northern Virginia division services Fairfax County and the Fredericksburg region. Concurrent also has deployments of the MediaHawk 4000 platform in other Cox markets including San Diego, Las Vegas and Oklahoma City, which were among the first in the industry to separate ingest, storage and streaming to meet the demands of increasing content and consumer adoption of on-demand services.

Telsima Raises $20 Million for WiMAX

Telsima, a start-up based in in Santa Clara, California with design centers in Bangalore, Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Boston, raised $20 million in Series C funding for its Boadband Wireless Access (BWA), Carrier Ethernet Transport and DCME voice compression solutions.

Telsima's Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) products combine System-on-a-Chip (SoC) based design, coupled with smart antenna and RF systems. This enables operators to deploy non-line-of-sight broadband wireless services in dense urban, suburban and rural environments cost effectively. Telsima's OptiFlow family of Carrier Ethernet Transport solutions are capable of delivering mission critical business services as well as carrier grade IPTV. Telsima's DCME product line, TelsiNex, offers voice compression solutions delivering toll quality voice.

Joining NewPath Ventures were New Enterprise Associates, CMEA Ventures, and JAFCO Asia. Byron Askin, Partner at Jafco Asia-Pacific, will take a board seat.

South Africa's Internet Solutions Selects Acme Packet

Dimension Data selected Acme Packet's Net-Net session border controllers to deploy at Internet Solutions (Pty) Ltd, a South African converged communications provider, to deliver VoIP business services. The new suite of services, called Voice over IS (VoIS), was launched earlier this year and has a number of live customers.

Acme Packet's Net-Net session border controllers (SBC) have been installed since the summer and are deployed in 5 of Internet Solutions' PoPs in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, London and New York City. In this role, the SBCs' enable Internet Solutions to protect their network resources and extend their service reach and revenue potential. The features used include topology hiding, service theft protection, call admission control, hosted NAT traversal and H.323 to SIP interworking.

New AT&T Offers Service Bundle Discounts

Following the recently completed merger, the new AT&T announced that residential customers with SBC local service, key call management features, and AT&T long distance service can add DSL, wireless and video services at rates that could save them as much as $180 annually compared with purchasing these services individually.

The bundle discounts are available to qualified residential customers who have a local access line and qualifying calling options such as Caller ID from SBC companies, plus long distance service from the former AT&T. An estimated 4 million consumers in the company's traditional 13-state local service territory are eligible for the offer.

MCI Lands EUR 500 Million Contract with ABN AMRO

MCI was awarded a five-year global network integration agreement by ABN AMRO to manage their global data network and firewall platforms. The value of the contract is EUR 500 million (approximately $550 million) over five years. Theagreement includes WAN, LAN and security services connecting more than 6,000 ABN AMRO locations in 25 countries, and 200-plus regional network providers. MCI will assume overall management and delivery responsibility for ABN AMRO's global networking services.

3am Labs Secures $10 Million for SSL Remote Access Service

3am Labs, a start-up based in Woburn, Massachustts, raised $10 million in Series B funding for its remote access and administration services.

3am Labs offers "LogMeIn," a free SSL remote access service that enables users to securely access a any web-enabled PC or Pocket PC via a Web browser. A premium version of the service adds file transfer, remote printing, large file sharing and guest invite features. LogMeIn employs 128-to-256 bit SSL encryption to prevent unauthorized access. The company also offers remote administration and rescue services.

The round was led by Polaris Venture Partners. 3am Labs' existing investors, which include Prism Venture Partners, 3TS Capital Partners of Budapest, Hungary and Integral Capital Partners also participated in the round.

Vonage Now Supports 911 Across the U.S.

Vonage announced E911 capability throughout the U.S. E911 sends the emergency call, along with the customer's address and phone number, to the proper local emergency call center based on the caller's street address. The caller's information is then displayed on the dispatcher's screen whenever they dial the digits 9-1-1 from a Vonage phone. In the event local authorities cannot display the Vonage customer's phone number or address, Vonage offers basic 911. Basic 911 is a service in which the customer's emergency call is delivered through the traditional 911 network and the call is answered by a trained dispatcher in the local public safety answering point (PSAP), or 911 call center. Finally, Vonage provides an additional safety net to customers if traditional 911 methods fail or are not available: customers receive support from emergency trained personnel at Vonage's national 911 emergency response center, which is supported by APCO 33 trained personnel and serves customers throughout the U.S.

Monday, December 12, 2005

BT Awarded EUR450 Million Contract by Fiat

The Fiat Group awarded a global telecommunications service contract worth €450 million over five years to BT. The deal covers telecom services to Fiat divisions in over 40 countries.

BT will also acquire Atlanet, a Fiat subsidiary providing domestic telecommunications services to Fiat and other non-Fiat business customers across Italy. The Turin-headquartered company controls a national network with 24 PoPs (Points of Presence) for voice services and 42 PoPs for data services, interconnected by a fibre optic backbone and equipped to offer 11,000 IP access points across the country. Atlanet also owns MANs (Metropolitan Area Networks) in Rome, Milan and Turin. The company currently employs approximately 280 people and at 2004 year end had gross assets of €133 million. BT will pay cash consideration of approximately €80 million.

Belgacom Deploys Redback for IPTV

Belgacom will deploy Redback Networks' SmartEdge Service Gateway as the platform to enable roll-out of iDTV (interactive Digital Television) Video-on-Demand service over its DSL network. Financial terms were not disclosed.
  • In June 2005, Belgacom announced the commercial launch of digital TV services over its ADSL network. Belgacom's business model is to rent the set-top box and remote control for EUR 6 per month, provide free access to dozens of channels, and charge extra for VOD and sports programming. Siemens provided the end-to-end solution, based on the Surpass Home Entertainment concept.

SeaChange Powers VOD for Verizon's FiOS TV

SeaChange's IP Video System is being used to power the on-demand movies and interactive programming guide of Verizon's FiOS TV service. Verizon is using conventional RF broadcast technology to deliver scheduled programming for its fiber-optic FiOS TV service.

SeaChange said its IP Video System automates the entire FiOS TV on-demand service from content intake right down to set-top applications. In Verizon deployments, the SeaChange system works in conjunction with advanced Motorola set-tops in the combined broadcast and IP system.

Telekom Austria Selects Axiom for Triple Play Management

Telekom Austria has selected Axiom Systems' "AXIOSS" Suite of operational solutions for order management, service inventory and service activation, for the rollout of its next generation IPTV , data and voice services. The project will be deployed in conjunction with Alcatel. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Axiom Systems has a long standing relationship with Telekom Austria who are standardizing the provisioning operations for all new broadband and IP Services on AXIOSS. The Suite is already in production at the customer site provisioning their DSL services which creates 16,000 new subscribers per month.
http://www.axiomsystems.comAxiom Systems' other customers include Cable & Wireless, Deutsche Telekom, TeliaSonera, Wandaoo, AOL, Telekom Austria, TDC, Telecom New Zealand, NTL, Telecom Italia and TelMex.

DSL Forum Issues Three New Technical Reports

Following its meeting in Munich earlier this month, the DSL Forum published three new Technical Reports:

  • TR-102 Service Interface Protocol: Dynamic IP-centric Network Policy -- provides a standard set of system interfaces that allows service providers to define the flow of information for real time fulfillment of IP based services such as VoIP, video conferencing and additional bandwidth on demand. The DSL Forum said the adoption of this set of interfaces and information flows will enhance the ability of network architectures to deliver multiple, end-to-end services and applications over broadband DSL.

  • TR-111 Applying TR-069 to Remote Management Of Home Networked Devices -- applies the remote activation protocol TR-069 through the gateway to home-networked devices such as VoIP phones, media set-top boxes and gaming console systems.

  • TR-113 Multiple Carrier Modulation (MCM) Specific Managed Objects in VDSL Network Element -- can be used by customer premises equipment vendors in VDSL implementations, and by service providers in the EMS systems they use to configure and manage VDSL based service.

The DSL Forum noted that the number of DSL subscribers worldwide is approaching the 140 million mark, based on the most recent figures from Point Topic.

Vonage Begins Selling UTStarcom's Wi-Fi Handset

Vonage began selling UTStarcom's F1000 portable Wi-Fi handset in conjunction with its VoIP service. This product, which will offer mobility across 802.11b networks, is now available at for $129.99 with a $50 instant rebate for a total of $79.99.

The F1000 Wi-Fi handset will be configured with Vonage's standard call features: three-way calling, call waiting, repeat dial on busy, call forwarding to user assigned number, call hold/resume, voicemail, call rejecting/redial/mute and Caller ID based on phone book entries. It will also include phone book favorites with distinctive ring options including: silent, vibrate and selectable ring tones. Users will be able to configure and save Wi-Fi profiles for ease of connectivity. Equally important, the F1000 supports a robust battery, with up to 5 hours of talk time, 50-100 hour standby and the ability to recharge in 2-3 hours.

BigBand Cuda Receives PacketCable Multimedia Certification

BigBand Networks' Cuda CMTS (cable modem termination system) achieved qualification status for the PacketCable Multimedia specification from CableLabs. PacketCable Multimedia (PCMM) provides enhanced control for QoS, enabling operators to better support existing and new revenue generating services. This includes services such as online gaming, streaming media, video conferencing and voice services based on SIP.

PCMM is a CableLabs specification created to dynamically reserve the QoS required for delivery of multimedia IP content using DOCSIS 1.1 or 2.0. The specification defines a service delivery framework providing QoS, event based accounting, and security functionality. Key capabilities include: access to DOCSIS 1.1 QoS mechanisms supporting time and volume-based network resource authorizations; abstract, event-based network resource auditing and management; and a robust security infrastructure. The cumulative effect of these capabilities allows operators to deliver media-rich IP applications and services that have high QoS requirements, such as live video programming, videoconferencing, and on-line gaming.

The BigBand Cuda CMTS is DOCSIS 2.0 qualified. BigBand said its PacketCable Multimedia implementation is noteworthy in its distributed processing of the specification for performance efficiency, and its redundant architecture supporting hitless operation, so that compliance with the specification is maintained through both planned and unplanned changes in operating conditions.

NexTone IP Multimedia Exchange Powers IMS Interconnects in GSMA Trials

Four of the seven GPRS Roaming Exchange (GRX) carriers are using NexTone Communications' IP Multimedia Exchange (IMX) platform to power their trials in the European and Asian interoperability tests, which were conducted by the GSM Association (GSMA).

NexTone's IMX is designed to enable secure and seamless
interconnectivity between 3G mobile networks, wireline networks, and
networks based on the IMS service delivery framework. The NexTone IMX
can also interconnect multiple IMS networks and facilitate the
exchange of multimedia traffic between service providers. NexTone's
IMX platform operates at the network edge to provide seamless
connectivity between IMS networks, and this flexibility enables
subscriber roaming between networks and gives users the mobility that
they require.

The NexTone IMX incorporates specialized session awareness to
adapt to the requirements of the IMS framework. Key session management
features include network-based policy and session routing, providing
end-to-end control of real-time sessions across networks; advanced SIP
features to support mobile gaming, chat, and other real-time
applications as subscribers roam between networks; transcoding of
wireline codecs on wireline networks to wireless codecs on IMS
networks; and IPv4 to IPv6 network address translation to provide
seamless connectivity between VoIP and IMS networks. The NexTone IMX
also provides secure connectivity to IMS networks using intelligent
identity mechanisms, including access control lists, SIP/TLS
certificates, and DNS checks, that authenticate subscribers and
protect against SIP security threats such as spam over internet
telephony (SPIT) and spam by instant messenger (SPIM).

The GRX trials, conducted over the last six months, brought together
mobile network operators, GRX carriers, and equipment suppliers to
ensure that the next generation of multimedia services, based on the
Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and IP Multimedia Subsystems (IMS),
will work smoothly and have compatibility across networks once these
services are launched for customers. The tests are crucial for the
many operators around the world that are planning to use IMS to handle
multimedia services such as instant messaging,
push-to-talk-over-cellular, video-sharing, and multiplayer-games in
the future.

GRX carriers, like KPN and CITIC Telecom 1616, play an essential
role for mobile operators by transmitting data traffic between their
networks and by offering their customers global roaming facilities.
The session management intelligence of NexTone's IMX enabled those
carriers to support IMS interworking and demonstrate hub-to-hub
connectivity, including inter-working between IMS IPv6 systems and IMS
IPv4 systems.

"The GSMA trials demonstrated how the advanced session management
intelligence of NexTone's IMX enables GRX carrier customers to quickly
and seamlessly interconnect with one another. This flexible platform
provides an interconnect facility to manage the rapid growth of
traffic between wireline carriers and 3G mobile operators, while
enabling new business models for network and service expansion," said
Dan Dearing, vice president of marketing at NexTone. "Now, wireline
carriers can transparently exchange minutes with mobile carriers,
deliver fixed-mobile convergence services, and extend the reach of
their networks by peering with mobile operators. The NexTone IMX can
also interconnect multiple IMS networks and facilitate the exchange of
multimedia traffic between service providers."

FCC Nomination Hearings Go Smoothly for Copps and Tate

The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held nomination hearings for Michael Copps and Deborah Tate to serve as FCC Commissioners. Both hearing went smoothly, and Commerce Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) now expects the full Senate to approve the nominations by the end of the year. Key issues raised by the Senators at the hearings included the Universal Service Fund (USF), the indecency issue, and rules governing media concentration. Both Copps and Tate expressed support for the USF.

Michael Copps, a Democrat, has served as FCC Commissioner since January 2001. Before that, he served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Trade Development at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he was previously Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Basic Industries.

Deborah Taylor Tate, of Tennessee, would hold the remainder of the term held by former FCC Chair Michael Powell, who resigned earlier this year. This term expires June 30, 2007. Tate, who is a Republican, currently serves on the Tennessee Regulatory Authority and FCC's Federal-State Joint Conference on Advanced Telecommunications Services.

A webcast of the hearings is available online.

Foundry Expands Enterprise Switching Line

Foundry Networks has expanded its FastIron enterprise switching line with a new model that combines twenty-four ports of 10/100/1000 Mbps with IEEE 802.3af Power over Ethernet, redundant modular power supplies and 10 Gigabit Ethernet in a compact form.

The FastIron Edge X424-POE delivers 10/100/1000 Mbps copper connections to powered IP endpoints such as VoIP handsets, video over IP cameras and wireless access points. Customers may initially deploy the FES X424-POE using trunked Gigabit Ethernet fiber uplinks for connecting to the network backbone and upgrade at a later time with one or two ports of 10 Gigabit Ethernet. Foundry said this field upgradeability provides customers a smooth migration path to 10 Gigabit Ethernet eliminating the expense and disruption of a wholesale product replacement.

Terabit Capacity SEA-ME-WE4 Undersea Cable Enters Service

The terabit-capable South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 4 (SEA-ME-WE 4) was officially commissioned at a ceremony in Dubai. The initial capacity is 160 Gbps. Customer traffic is now being transmitted on the new cable, which was built by a consortium of 16 international telecommunications carriers at an estimated cost of US$500 million.

The cable system spans some 20,000 km with landings in 14 countries -- Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, France, India, Italy, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia and UAE.

Alcatel had the turnkey responsibility for the project and Fujitsu was co-contractor. Construction was completed in 18 months.

MCI, which is the only U.S. carrier in the consortium, said its customers can take advantage of seamless on-net connectivity in Asia, Europe and the United States. In addition to being a consortium member, MCI also is a landing/terminal party for the new submarine cable system in Marseilles, France. The team landed the cable in Marseilles in July, and MCI connected the cable directly to its European IP backbone infrastructure. This allows all MCI customers to reach both European and Transatlantic destinations across MCI's existing network infrastructure. MCI also has connected the submarine cable system directly to its network in Singapore.

Yahoo! Offers 1 Cent/Minute PC-to-PSTN Calling

Yahoo! launched the international public beta trial of its real-time communications suite, Yahoo! Messenger with Voice, a PC-based VoIP service that enables users to place calls to traditional or mobile phones in the U.S. for about one U.S. cent a minute, and make calls to more than 30 other countries for less than about two U.S. cents per minute.

Local versions have been made available in France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Singapore and Spain. The U.S. version is expected to launch in early 2006.

Key capabilities of Yahoo! Messenger with Voice include:

  • Phone Out: International audiences can make low cost calls to more than 180 countries from their PC to traditional phones and mobile phones. Prepaid credit plans are available.

  • Phone In: The Phone In service gives international audiences the ability to receive calls on their PC from traditional and mobile phones. For about U.S. $2.99 a month or about U.S. $29.90 a year, people can select a personal phone number, and receive incoming calls at no additional charge. For instance, Hong Kong residents, who have friends and family in San Francisco, are able to choose a local San Francisco-based phone number. When remote friends and family make calls to the personal number, they will be charged for placing a local phone call to that phone number. People can choose to have multiple phone numbers, and wherever they travel, their phone numbers will follow them. In the beta service, country-based phone numbers are initially available in France, the United Kingdom, and the United States with additional country-based numbers available in the coming months.

  • Contact Search Bar: The new Contact Search Bar provides a fast way to find and quickly connect with friends and family. As people type their friends' names, Yahoo! IDs, phone numbers, nicknames or any other information stored in their contact details, matching results will automatically populate the Contact Search Bar. People then choose how they want to communicate with their friend, whether it is through text IM, voice calling, e-mail or mobile text messaging.

  • Open Talk: By setting the status message to ‘Open Talk,' people will allow their friends to instantly connect to them via a PC-to-PC voice conversation at any time. Because there is a direct connection, there is no need to accept an incoming call request. This is a great solution for working parents to have a consistent connection with their kids at home or for sports fans to communicate with each other while watching the big game on TV.

Yahoo! Messenger with Voice offers Webcam functionality and animated emoticons. It also integrates with other Yahoo! services including games, music, photos and search.
  • In June 2005, Yahoo! acquired DialPad, a provider of Internet Telephony services. Financial terms were not disclosed. At the time, Yahoo! said it planned on leveraging Dialpad's PSTN calling capabilities to add to Yahoo! Messenger's recently enhanced PC-to-PC voice calling offering.

MSN/ MCI Offer 2 Cent/Minute PC-to-PSTN Calling

Microsoft and MCI announced a global, multiyear partnership for consumer PC-to-phone telephony. The solution, MCI Web Calling for Windows Live Call, will be available through Windows Live Messenger, the upcoming successor to MSN Messenger. A beta version of the service is available in the U.S. and the companies expect to jointly deliver the PC-to-phone calling capabilities to France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom in the coming weeks. Once subscribed to the service, customers can place calls to and from more than 220 countries with rates starting at $.023 per minute to the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Western Europe during the beta testing period. Upon sign-up, MCI Web Calling customers will receive up to one hour of free calls. Final pricing will be determined when the product officially launches in 2006.

Customers will be able to sign up for MCI Web Calling via the Windows Live Messenger client. MCI will manage customer registration, terminating calls, customer account management, customer support and billing for the PC-to-phone voice service, and will work closely with Microsoft on delivering a high-quality software service and customer experience. Customers will purchase prepaid calling time from MCI in $5, $10 or $25 blocks for use with the service.

Microsoft claims more than 185 million active MSN Messenger accounts worldwide. MSN attracts more than 440 million unique users worldwide per month, and offers localized versions in 42 markets and 21 languages.
  • In November 2005, Microsoft previewed two new Internet-based software initiatives --"Windows Live" and "Microsoft Office Live " -- that will use technologies such as RSS and Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) to deliver personalized services online. Windows Live will be offered alongside and will primarily be delivered free to users and supported by advertising, but subscription and transaction-based services also will be available. Users will be able to run Windows with or without the Windows Live services.

HomePlug Powerline Products Reach 3 Million Unit Milestone

There are more than 60 different products embedded with HomePlug 1.0 technology, including new offerings from Intellon, NComputing, NETGEAR, Sling Media and Telenet. Earlier this year, the HomePlug Alliance surpassed its three millionth HomePlug powerline communications product shipped.

Additional milestones in 2005 from the HomePlug Alliance include:

  • Approved the HomePlug AV specification - the fastest and most robust and secure industry standard for powerline communication targeting digital entertainment home networking;

  • Commenced the next stage of the Alliance's efforts to develop a specification for an advanced command and control technology, known as HomePlug Command & Control (HPCC);

  • Developed a co-existence solution that allows multiple powerline communications technologies to share the same wire, while maintaining transmission speeds, QoS and a favorable user experience.

  • New members of the board of directors include representatives from Cisco-Linksys, GE Security, Intel, Motorola Inc. and Sony.

EarthLink to Acquire New Edge Networks

EarthLink, a leading U.S. ISP with over five million subscribers,, agreed to acquire New Edge Networks, a privately-held single-source national provider of private Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and secure multi-site managed data networks and dedicated access for businesses and communications carriers.

New Edge Networks integrates a wide variety of last-mile broadband access services available through multiple carriers, technologies, and geographic region. It owns a nationwide multi-services network with more than 850 carrier-class switches and Internet routers. New Edge Networks' core and extended DSL coverage spans about 12,800 telephone company central office locations that are equipped for DSL service across the U.S. The coverage footprint is especially strong in small and midsize markets. In addition to DSL, it offers ATM, Frame Relay, and Private Line Services.

Together, EarthLink and New Edge Networks plan to package their voice, data, protection, and security tools, targeting the -speed access and VPN services for both small office and home office (SOHO) users as well as small and medium enterprise (SME) customers.

EarthLink will pay approximately $144 million, consisting of 2.6 million shares of EarthLink common stock and $114.3 million in cash, including cash to be used to satisfy certain liabilities. EarthLink plans to retain New Edge Networks' 345 employees and the New Edge Networks brand. New Edge will continue to be based in Vancouver, Washington.

The New Edge customer base is expected to generate approximately $120 million in revenues in 2005.

Octasic Expands its Voice Processing Product Line with New Devices

Octasic Semiconductor is enhancing its OCT6100 family with the introduction of lower power, and lower cost devices based on 130nm technology. The new OCT6100L, which enables voice quality enhancement for down to 4 channels, was developed in partnership with STMicroelectronics,

Octasic said that as echo cancellation moves from a standalone box to an internal embedded feature of gateway and switching equipment, designers are faced with increasing demands for lower power to meet their density targets, while improving quality. The new OCT6100L builds upon the proven success of the current OCT6100 devices, which now has over 15 million ports deployed, enabling carrier-class voice quality enhancement at a cost point for small equipment, such as IP based PBXs. It includes key features such as Octasic Music Protection, Acoustic Echo Control (AEC), Adaptive Noise Reduction (ANR), and extensive conferencing capabilities.

By lowering the core voltage from 1.8V to 1.2V, the OCT6100L cuts the power performance of the original device in half, to less than 1.5 mW per fully featured channel. The device is also perfectly suited to adding or enhancing echo cancellation of existing platforms providing a more cost effective solution for carriers.

The low power and space requirement of the solution provides the opportunity to retrofit existing equipments that require external echo cancellation with minimal re-design. Where previously this type of redesign would require a reduction in capacity to accommodate the boards required, a daughter board for an existing linecard now becomes an option, preserving the original configurations and density of the equipment.

OCT6100 family features

  • Up to 672 channels G.168-2002 echo cancellation

  • 128ms tail/channel (on all channel densities)

  • Octasic Music Protection

  • Acoustic Echo Control

  • Adaptive Noise Reduction

  • Extensive signaling tone detection and generation

  • Audio Conferencing with Voice Quality features

  • Large buffer playback capabilities

  • TFO solution available

  • Field upgradeable algorithm

  • Integrated debugging and monitoring

  • Compact size: 16mm x 16mm

Samples of the OCT6100L are currently available; Production quantities are planned for early 2006, with pricing under $0.50 per channel in volume quantities.
  • In May 2005, STMicroelectronics and Octasic announced a partnership to deliver a family of voice-over-packet (VoP) ICs. The solutions will be based on ST's 0.13-µm and 90-nm semiconductor process technology and Octasic's designs for VoP and Voice Quality Enhancement (VQE), which includes technology for line and acoustic echo cancellation, noise reduction capabilities, vocoding and packetization.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

TI Unveils Blueprint for Next-Gen Residential Gateways

Texas Instruments unveiled its UR8 architecture -- its eighth generation of DSL silicon and the foundation for a full family of next residential gateway designed for Triple Play. Key features include an open platform, integrated voice capabilities and advanced multimedia processing over all DSL standards.

The UR8 architecture comprises an advanced multimedia processor, a programmable DSL PHY, a high-performance DSP-based voice sub-system and a rich set of standard interfaces. Delivering on TI's Uni-DSL vision, the common platform could be used for ADSL2+ or VDSL2 gateways.

The high-performance DSP supports up to four channels of wireline or wireless voice. In addition, the programmable voice subsystem allows manufacturers to leverage TI's extensive voice codec library and Telogy Software for VoIP, including wideband codecs, wireline and wireless codecs, and advanced features such as fax and modem relay, packet-loss minimization and noise-reducing algorithms.

The advanced multimedia processor handles queing for multiple streams of HDTV and other advanced video services.

Comcast Selects Cisco CRS-1 and Nortel DWDM

Comcast has selected the Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing System for the core of its nationwide backbone. The selection follows an intensive and successful trial of the platform's advanced features and functions, with a particular emphasis on continuous systems operation, IP service flexibility, overall scalability, multicast support for digital broadcast video and optical integration. The CRS-1 will serve in a backbone network where the highest levels of availability are required for advanced routing, multicast, IPv6, policy and quality of service (QoS). Cisco will also be providing operational readiness and training programs.

Comcast also selected a next-generation optical solution from Nortel for its converged national IP backbone. Specifically, Nortel will be supplying a DWDM solution that includes the Nortel Common Photonic Layer (CPL) and Optical Multiservice Edge (OME) 6500 platforms, as well as a full suite of implementation, integration, and support services. Comcast's optical deployment utilizes enhanced ROADM (reconfigurable optical add drop multiplexing) capabilities in Nortel's CPL platform to dynamically reallocate optical bandwidth as needed across the network, enabling a significant reduction in time-to-market for the introduction of new high-bandwidth services.

Thomson and Thales Partnership Targets Video Content Management

Thomson and Thales announced a strategic partnership as well as the potential acquisition by Thomson of Thales Broadcast & Multimedia (TBM), which provides platforms for IPTV services, video-on-demand, Mobile TV, and Digital TV and radio broadcasting systems and equipment. The companies said they will target high-value video content management and distribution solutions for in-flight entertainment, security, and defense applications, leveraging their respective skills and expertise in these domains. The financial terms of the acquisition are still being finalized.


Renesys Provides Real-time Monitoring/Analysis of Global Internet Traffic

Renesys Corporation introduced a Web-based service that gives service providers and government agencies a new level of operational and competitive intelligence as it relates to the Global Internet. The Renesys service enables customers to uniquely view Internet routes in real-time from multiple vantage points, including real time data on which Internet routes have been activated or deactivated by competitors. Renesys generates its data by monitoring routing tables across the Internet and tracking changes as they occur in real-time. The company also provides a historical view of routing table changes.

Renesys' Internet intelligence services are a set of three services already in deployment with leading service providers and government agencies: "Routing Intelligence", "Market Intelligence", and "XML Connection".

Routing Intelligence: Provides the detailed, immediate information service providers and government agencies need to detect and correct slowdowns or interruptions to mission-critical Internet connections. Routing Intelligence provides detailed forensics and analytic capabilities that include the ability to correlate routing information across different time periods and from multiple sources, and the ability to display information in an easy-to-read tabular and graph-based format. The comprehensive "History" option allows customers to view and analyze historic information dating back to 2000. Routing Intelligence is also available with an Alarms option, which provides real-time alerts when mission-critical networks become unreachable, IP addresses are hijacked, Global routes are unstable, or policies are violated. It is also the first and only product that can instantly detect and report such problems when they occur outside the service provider's infrastructure. Customers can use this information to provide higher throughput and greater reliability than their competitors, and lower their support costs (and improve customer satisfaction) by finding and fixing problems before they impact subscribers.

Market Intelligence: Provides the first set of reference analysis tools to enable sales, marketing, business development and peering professionals to monitor and evaluate the Internet's competitive landscape. This is essentially a real-time map of 180,000 networks and 30,000 organizations worldwide that make up the Internet. This data contains competitive information--on the Global, national, and regional rankings of all service providers based on the actual measured number and quality of customer networks they help connect to the Global Internet. Market Intelligence also provides annotated lists of service providers' current customers, including their geographic distribution and an analysis of the services they currently receive from competing providers, as well as daily changelists for the service provider sales force that visibly track global customer wins and/or those service providers who have been chosen as the primary provider, or bumped to secondary provider, plus longer-term trends of market performance from competing providers. Additionally, the solution offers side-by-side comparisons of the vital statistics of multiple service providers, including relative analyses of their Internet Index placements, measurements of their customer bases and their regional strengths and weaknesses.

XML Connection: A set of APIs that allow users to integrate real-time XML inter-network monitoring data into enterprise operations and security monitoring systems. This lowers the cost and increases the effectiveness of the service provider's network monitoring functions.

China Telecom Deploys Alcatel 7750 in Anhui Province

Anhui Telecom, a provincial subsidiary of China Telecom, will deploy the Alcatel 7750 Service Router to support Triple Play services in seven major cities of the province including Bengbu, Anqing, Suzhou, Fuyang, Huangshan, Huaibei and Tongling. The installation will be completed in early 2006. The contract, which marks the 23rd province in China to utilize the Alcatel IP solution, was won through Alcatel Shanghai Bell.

iPass to Acquire GoRemote for $76.5 Million

iPass agreed to acquire GoRemote in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $76.5 million.

iPass primarily serves roaming business users by providing aggregated Wi-Fi access venues. GoRemote is a leader in the major market segments of remote workers that iPass does not already serve directly -- teleworkers and employees in home offices, branch offices and retail locations to which GoRemote primarily provides managed broadband services.

The management teams are developing an integration plan that will be designed to take advantage of the companies' many similarities, including similar virtual network models, compatible technology platforms and information systems.

AT&T Reaches New Labor Contracts with CWA, IBEW

AT&T reached new labor contracts with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) on a new three year, four month agreements covering 11,000 pre-merger AT&T employees. The contracts remain in effect through April 4, 2009.

Following are highlights of the tentative agreements:

  • Wages: The agreements provide for four annual base wage increases at 11.2 percent, compounded, over the life of the contracts.

  • Pension: Pension benefits were increased by six percent in 2006 and by an additional five percent in 2008.

  • Healthcare: The agreements help the company control healthcare costs, but do not require monthly contributions. Employee co-pays and maximum out of pocket limits were increased for medical and prescription drug benefits for employee and retiree coverage. The retiree healthcare cap on company contributions, which was increased to $9,000 per retiree, provides that no retiree will contribute toward the point of service or traditional indemnity options during the term of the agreements.

  • Employment Security: An agreement was reached that prior to employees being laid off, AT&T Inc. will offer employees a position within the company.