Monday, February 28, 2005

China Telecom Deploys VPLS with Alcatel

Zhejiang Telecom, the second largest provincial subsidiary of China Telecom, is using Alcatel's 7750 Service Router to offer a Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS) solution to deliver high-quality Ethernet services for enterprises. Alcatel believes this is the largest VPLS network in China, with more than 200 customers from the medical, transportation, and retail markets. The project was won through and implemented by Alcatel Shanghai Bell.

Zhejiang Telecom is using the Alcatel 7750 Service Router (SR) and Alcatel 5620 Service Aware Manager (SAM) to provide its customers with multipoint connectivity between corporate and subsidiary sites across the Zhejiang metropolitan area. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Alcatel 7750 SR has also been chosen by China Telecom to be deployed in the operator's nationwide IP/MPLS network: ChinaNet2. It has also been deployed in the networks of all key China carriers including China Netcom, China Mobile and China Unicom.

NTT's 2006 Plan Sees Shift from ADSL to Optical Access

the effect of wireless substitution, the rapid rise of VoIP, and
increased competition in both residential and business markets
from fixed line competitors, NTT East said it would accelerate
efforts to offer optical IP phone services. The company will
devote itself "to efficiently building optical access
networks as an infrastructure for broadband services and to
ensuring reliability in the field of telecommunications. "

In the coming year through March 2006, the actual number of ADSL
contracts at NTT East is expected to fall, while B-FLETS optical
connections reach one million circuits. For the ongoing optical
access build out, NTT East forecasting CAPEX of 170 billion yen,
up from 130 billion in the preceding year.

NTT East
-- Service Profiles though March 2006


Similarly, NTT West sees the fiscal year ending in March 2006 as
critical to its strategy to achieve a dramatic increase in users
of its optical access and IP services. NTT West will also push
its Fiber-optic IP Connection service, aiming to have 800,000 B-FLET's
optical access subscribers by next March, up from 400,000 today.
Its number of ADSL subscribers is also forecast to fall due to
the move to optical access.

NTT West plans to spend 160 billion yen for the optical access
build-out through March 2006, up from 150 billion yen this year.

West -- Service Profiles though March 2006


NTT November 2004, Japan's NTT Group outlined its plans to migrate a majority of its customers to a next generation optical access and IP telephony network by 2010. This "medium-term management strategy" is aimed at advancing the company's long-term "Vision for a New Optical Generation," which NTT first disclosed in November 2002. Some specifics of the plan included:

  • NTT intends to migrate the majority of its customers to an optical access network by 2010, taking into account the interests of customers and operators of related businesses. The company said maintaining both metal wire and optical fiber access and fixed telephone networks, as well as IP networks, is a burden on business operations and increases the cost to society.

  • NTT will promote IP telephone services as an alternative to fixed line service and provide a variety of ubiquitous broadband services emphasizing high-speed and interactive features in order to shift 30 million customers from the existing metal wire and fixed telephone network to optical fiber access and next-generation network services by 2010.

  • NTT will move to a flat-rate pricing structure which is not based distances, that gives customers service options that meet their requirements for quality, speed (data volume), reliability and security levels, and with varied rates depending on service content.

  • NTT is currently reevaluating its existing fixed-telephone rates (basic rate, call rates, equipment installation rates) in light of the eventual move to IP telephony. It plans to announce a revision to its basic rates and other fees as a first step in this direction.

  • NTT will promote Fixed-Mobile Convergence, whereby high-speed interactive video communications over optical fiber will be combined with mobile communications services to provide ubiquitous services that can be accessed from PCs, TV sets, mobile telephones or information appliances. Its next-generation network will be based on a common service foundation that merges mobile and fixed communications. Each NTT group company will fill a role that plays to their strengths.

Agilent Shows 10 Gbps XENPAK Over 300m of MM Fiber

Agilent Technologies will demonstrate a 10 Gbps XENPAK fiber optic transceiver transmitting network traffic over 300 meters of multimode fiber at next week's OFC/NFOEC 2005. The demonstration will show Agilent's XENPAK fiber optic transceiver module, featuring EDC, transmitting a 10 Gbps data stream error-free over a distance of 300 meters using legacy multimode FDDI grade 62.5/125 micron fiber. The fiber optic cable will be flexed to vary optical signal polarization and stress the EDC's ability to accommodate a variety of incoming signal characteristics.

In addition, Agilent's Fiber Optic Products Division and Input/Output Solutions Division will demonstrate a 4 Gb/s optical link using its 4G multimode (MM) and single-mode (SM) Fibre Channel optical transceivers and 4G Tachyon Protocol ICs. The demonstration will showcase a PC server generating 4G traffic through an HBA initiator (using Agilent's 4G IC and 4G MM and SM transceivers) to a loop switch (using Agilent's loop switch IC and 4G MM and SM transceivers) that will send 4G traffic to an HBA target.

Agilent is leading the IEEE 802.3aq task force, which is defining a standard for using electronic dispersion compensation (EDC) with 10 Gbps serial Ethernet fiber optic transceivers to economically drive short-range transmissions over legacy multimode fiber. Corporate IT departments are demanding a cost-effective solution for the existing enterprise LAN infrastructure before widespread upgrades to 10 Gb Ethernet are implemented.

Intel Outlines I/O Acceleration Technology

Intel outlined a set of silicon technologies that speed the interaction between network data and server applications by up to 30%. Intel also announced an agreement with Microsoft to support the technology in forthcoming operating systems. The Intel I/O Acceleration Technology (I/OAC) takes a platform approach to address the application performance issues -- such as Web commerce, messaging, storage and server clustering, which are beginning to overwhelm servers' responsiveness.

Intel said that while server CPU performance and network bandwidth has improved over the years, the primary method for moving data has not changed. Today, the processor in a server shoulders the total burden of processing, accessing memory and making protocol computations on every piece of data or packet. As a result, much of the processor's operation is diverted and response time, reliability and the end-users' experience can suffer.

The Intel I/O Acceleration Technology would break up the data-handling job among all of the components that make up the platform -- the processor, chipset, network controller and software. This would reduce the workload on the processor while accelerating the flow of data. The chipset and network controller would be given responsibility for moving data in and out of memory.

Intel has also optimized the TCP/IP protocol for Intel-based servers, which cuts the processor's workload in half, further freeing it to work on other jobs.

Intel said this new platform approach would remedy inadequacies in existing technologies, such as TCP offload engines (TOE), designed to offload the processor of TCP/IP processing. TOE dedicates a specialized and costly chip to offload the protocol computation, but it does not fully address system overhead or memory access, the two largest burdens on the CPU. As a result, TOE is effective only when packets payloads are large, such as those in high-performance database and data-warehousing applications.

Microsoft will provide native support for Intel I/OAT in future Windows Server releases. Those releases also will include technology that balances network TCP/IP traffic streams across multi-core CPUs.

Microsoft Hires AT&T Wireless Executive to Lead Windows Team

Microsoft named former AT&T Wireless and E*TRADE executive Michael Sievert as corporate vice president for Windows product management.
Sievert will be responsible for marketing, product management and product planning for the Windows Client, including the next version of Microsoft Windows, code-named "Longhorn," slated for release in 2006.

Sievert comes to Microsoft via AT&T Wireless Services Inc., where he had served as executive vice president and chief marketing officer since 2002. In that post, Sievert was responsible for product management for the company's $15 billion core business.

TiVo Granted Eight New Domestic and Foreign Patents

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently issued new patents to TiVo covering important aspects of DVR software and hardware design. TiVo also announced that it has obtained an exclusive license to an early DVR-related patent and has been granted Japanese and Chinese patents. Today's announcement brings TiVo's patent portfolio to 70 granted patents (domestic and foreign). In addition, TiVo has 106 domestic and foreign patent applications pending. Some of these include:

  • U.S. patent number 6,850,691, entitled Automatic Playback Overshoot Correction System, describing a system that compensates for a user's reaction time when the user stops fast-forwarding or rewinding through program material.

  • U.S. patent number 6,847,778, entitled Multimedia Visual Progress Indication System, which describes, among other things, methods for displaying a trick play bar to a user which visually indicates the amount of stored program material or the length of a recording session as well as the user's current position within the stored program material.

  • U.S. patent number 6,792,195, entitled Method and Apparatus Implementing Random Access and Time-Based Functions on a Continuous Stream of Formatted Digital Data, which describes methods of controlling streaming media in a digital device, including the functions that enable DVRs to pause live TV as well as rewind, fast-forward, play, play faster, play slower, and play in reverse television signals cached by the DVR.

  • TiVo has also acquired the exclusive right to license and enforce U.S. patent number 5,241,428 entitled Variable-Delay Video Recorder known in the industry as the Goldwasser Patent. Filed in March 1991, the Goldwasser Patent is one of the earliest patents regarding digital video recorders of which TiVo is aware. This patent covers devices that permit the simultaneous recording and playback of video material with a variable time delay between recording and playback of a given video program segment.

Broadcom Introduces New PCI Express GigE Controller

Broadcom announced the latest chip offering in its NetXtreme II family of Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) converged network interface controllers (C-NICs). The new NetXtreme II C-NIC is the first to support the PCI Express bus architecture and its supports a TCP/IP offload engine (TOE), iSCSI, and Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) on a single-chip platform.

Broadcom's C-NIC technology enables network protocol processing to be offloaded from the host to the C-NIC, thereby saving the server's CPU and memory I/O resources to perform their primary tasks.

The new chip represents the second generation of C-NIC silicon solutions from Broadcom. The first generation C-NIC is now in volume production. The new C-NIC is sampling to early access customers. Since PCI Express is the preferred LOM connection interface on most servers being designed today, Broadcom has enabled major server OEMs to incorporate the BCM5708 C-NIC into industry standard high-volume servers currently under development.

Tekelec Notes Sales of Class 5 Switch to Two IOCs

Tekelec announced two new customers for its Tekelec 7000 Class 5 Packet Switch: Bloomingdale Telephone Company and Noxapater Telephone Company.

Noxapater Telephony Company, an independent operating company (IOC) in northern Mississippi, is deploying the Tekelec 7000 by the end of this year to provide a seamless migration to next-generation architecture while increasing capacity and satisfying local number portability requirements.

Bloomingdale Telephone has served the Bloomingdale, Mich., area since 1904 and today provides a diverse suite of services, including business and residential telephone and long distance services, cable and satellite television, wireless phone services and networking. The operator is growing rapidly to deliver services to the entire South West Michigan region. To support its expansion, Bloomingdale will install the Tekelec 7000 in a "cap-and-grow" deployment over its legacy switch. Bloomingdale plans also to deploy Tekelec's Packet Interface Card to provide IP connectivity for advanced multimedia services. Bloomingdale is also deploying Tekelec's Meritus and TelAssist solutions to offer hosted business voice services with enhanced features while leveraging its existing network equipment.

General Bandwidth Raises $18 Million in New Funding

General Bandwidth raised $18 million in new financing for its VoIP equipment. General Bandwidth supplies its G6 Universal Media Gateway platform, which is a carrier class VoIP services platform with the capability to simultaneously support multiple service architectures including legacy Class 5 switches, SIP-based feature servers, and next generation softswitches. The platform is currently being used by more than 40 customers.

Oak Investment Partners led the new round with participation from Sevin Rosen, Venrock Associates, Invesco, Thomas Weisel Capital Partners, Trellis Partners, Star Ventures, Wheatley Partners, HLM, Protostar, Granite Global, Siemens Venture Capital and Texas Instruments.
  • In February 2005, General Bandwidth introduced its G6 Reverse Media Gateway designed to enable legacy remote terminals, such as wireline Digital Loop Carriers (DLCs) and cable Host Digital Terminals (HDTs), to migrate from Class 5 call control to IP-based softswitch call control.

  • General Bandwidth said remote terminals using GR-303, TR-08 or V5.2 circuit technology until now have been islands set apart with no effective means of connecting to the new IP-based features and benefits of packet switching technology. Wireline network DLCs and cable network HDTs connect to Class 5 switches over standard GR-303, TR-08 and V5.2 interfaces. With the G6 Reverse MG, these interfaces can be migrated to the G6 platform, using DS-1/E-1 or DS-3/STS-1 connections between the G6 and DLCs/HDTs.

  • General Bandwidth, which supplies a VoIP Media Gateway, named Charlie Vogt as its new president and CEO. He replaces Brendon Mills, who is stepping down. Vogt previously served as President and CEO of Taqua, a supplier of a Class 5 softswitch. Charlie was part of the executive management team with Santera Systems, a Plano, Texas-based developer of a next-generation voice switching technology that was acquired by Tekelec. Prior to Taqua and Santera Systems, Vogt held senior management positions at Accelerated Networks, Ascend Communications, ADTRAN, Motorola and IBM.

  • General Bandwidth raised over $180 million in its previous rounds.

  • In April 2004, it was announced that Alcatel had invested US$15 million in General Bandwidth. The investment further strengthened the three-year OEM relationship between the two companies and allowed for additional development enhancements to their joint FTTP and VoIP offerings.

Cox Selects Nortel for Circuit Switch to VoIP Migration

Cox Communications and Nortel outlined plans for evolving Cox's existing circuit-switched telephony networks to a hybrid TDM/VoIP model. Key points of the plan, which builds on a relationship first announced in 2003, include:

  • Cox currently serves 1.2 million residential and 100,000 business telephony lines in 17 markets across the U.S. It first launched local phone service in Orange County, California in 1997.

  • Cox is currently using two dozen circuit switches to provide these primary line services.

  • Cox is already using VoIP to carry long distance traffic over its national IP backbone and is deploying softswitches in its new VoIP local markets.

  • In this recent deal, Cox has agreed to upgrade at least 10 DMSs to the Nortel Communication Server 2000, expecting to bring more than 50% of its new growth lines to VoIP by the end of 2005.

  • The PacketCable-compliant Nortel Communication Server 2000 solution, integrated with Nuera Communications BTX Gateways, will enable Cox to offer the same quality telephony services that residential and business customers have come to expect from Cox and will position Cox to add rich multimedia services in the further, enhancing the communication capabilities of these Cox customers.

  • There are six steps to the migration -- upgrade the circuit switches to the required hardware baseline to support VoIP; upgrade the core software to a VoIP-enable load in an overnight process; add media gateway controller blades, media gateways and other VoIP hardware; establish connectivity to the VoIP-ready IP bearer network; reconfigure operating system applications to support VoIP; complete pre in-service testing.

  • Cox believes it is more cost-effective to evolve the majority of its circuit switches to hybrid TDM/VoIP than to overlay new softswitches in the existing TDM markets.

  • In June 2004, Cox Communications awarded a multiyear contract to Nuera Communications Inc. to provide media gateways for its nationwide VoIP deployments.

  • In May 2004, Nortel Networks agreed to integrate, sell and support VoIP gateways from Nuera Communications as part of an integrated PacketCable qualified solution.

Allied Telesyn Offers Integrated ADSL Router / VPN Appliance

Allied Telesyn introduced a one-box solution that combines the functionality of a security appliance with the advanced QoS and routing protocol support of a business-class ADSL router.

The new AR440S Router, which is designed for businesses seeking multiple redundant WAN paths, features built-in ADSL, one Async/Console, five 10/100 LAN ports and an optional PIC slot (T1/EI PRI, ISDN, Sync, Async, Ethernet and VoIP interfaces).

The IPv6 ready AR440S offers integrated hardware encryption, IPsec VPN support, Stateful Inspection Firewall, options for DES, 3DES and AES VPN encryption. Of significance is the support for up to 256 VPN tunnels, providing flexibility and secure communications to SMB branch offices and remote users. Other features of note are 802.1x & authentication with RADIUS & TACACS+ support for secure communications between locations and the World Wide Web. Advanced Layer 3 functionality includes routing protocol support (RIP, OSPF, BGP) and an extensive suite of QoS features, including Bandwidth Metering, RED Curves, Mixed Scheduling, Virtual Bandwidth, and Dynamic Application Recognition (e.g. automatically queue VoIP traffic). It also includes extensive multicast support for triple play applications for businesses. The list price is $862.

Calix Ships FTTP OLT Line Cards

Calix announced the availability of standards-based broadband passive optical network (BPON) optical line terminal (OLT) line cards for its Calix C7 multiservice platform. Service providers are able to integrate support for FTTP BPON in the same Calix C7 platform that delivers ADSL2+. A fully loaded Calix C7 supports twenty dual-port, G.983-compliant cards for a total of 40 BPON OLT ports driving 1,280 ONTs in an 8-RU form factor. As many as five compact, high capacity C7s can be housed in a single seven-foot equipment rack, yielding 200 OLT ports and 6,400 ONTs per rack. Service providers can also install the new FTTP BPON line units in Calix outdoor cabinets, which range in size from 20 OLT ports / 640 ONTs to 240 OLT ports / 7,680 ONTs.

To date, over 150 North American service providers with approximately 22 million access lines have deployed more than 4,500 C7 platforms and 750,000 ports into production network infrastructure. Calix said this fully operationalized footprint represents capacity for over two million ADSL2+ subscribers or more than five million FTTP BPON subscribers.

The Calix 7 offers 200 Gbps of backplane capacity. Calix said its system also provides the transport functionality and the slot capacity for eventual migration to 10 Gigabit Ethernet trunking and services.

Advanced Switching Interconnect Spec Targets Next Gen Backplanes

The Advanced Switching Interconnect Special Interest Group (ASI SIG) released a version 1.1 specification for the Advanced Switching Interconnect (ASI). ASI technology, based on PCI Express, enables the standardization of proprietary backplane architectures. Common physical-link and data-link layers with the PCI Express standard enable the ASI technology to exploit a vast ecosystem of products currently available in the market.

The new specification release incorporates a variety of new technical features and benefits such as a generic encapsulation mechanism that can be used for any new Protocol Interface's defined (called "PI-2") and the capability to support peer to peer communications between any PCI Express based processors or I/O devices (called "Programmed IO" or "PIO"). The announcement is the first in a series of developments from the ASI SIG in 2005, leading up to the availability of silicon.

The ASI SIG said availability of the 1.1 specification signifies the increasing momentum Advanced Switching has gained over the past year in providing a high speed interconnect alternative to Ethernet targeted for backplane and extended backplane usage. Along with its key new features -- including PI2 and PIO translations, the 1.1 release is indicative of the specification maturity and readiness in the industry for silicon availability starting 1H'05.
  • The Advanced Switching Interconnect SIG is a non-profit collaborative trade organization chartered with providing a switched fabric interconnect standard. The board of directors includes, Agere, Alcatel, Huawei, IDT, Intel, Siemens, Vitesse and Xilinx.

Malaysian Service Provider Selects Juniper for VPLS

TIME dotCom Berhad, a Malaysian communications solutions provider, has deployed Juniper Networks M-series multi-service edge routing platforms to support its new value-added Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS). TIME dotCom has deployed the M-series in its Metro Back Bone Network (MBBN) project, creating Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) based on Multi Protocol Label Switching (MPLS). It is the first Internet service provider in Malaysia to offer a complete range of MPLS-based VPN services, including layer 2 VPN, layer 3 VPN and VPLS (multipoint-to-multipoint) services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

VPLS combines the advantages of multipoint-to-multipoint Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) found in layer 3 VPNs with the ease-of-use inherent in layer 2 VPNs. Using VPLS, users can seamlessly connect disparate sites in a Wide Area Network (WAN) as if the sites were located on a Local Area Network (LAN).

Corning Chosen for Australian FTTH Network

Corning has been selected as the exclusive passive equipment supplier for a greenfield fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) deployment in western Australia. Broadcast Engineering Services (BES) will deploy Corning's Evolant Solution for Access Networks with NexCor optical fiber. BES has signed agreements with real estate developers to install greenfield FTTH networks throughout this region. Currently, three developments - Somerly, Brighton and Vale are slated for deployment, with a total of 2,000 homes to be passed by early 2006.

Corning said this marks the first deployment of its NexCor fiber in Australia. Corning has engineered NexCor fiber, the only single-mode fiber specified for all PON transmission wavelengths, to provide optimized FTTH performance while maintaining complete backward compatibility with Corning SMF-28e fiber, the world's most widely deployed brand of fiber.

SBC Offers $19.95 DSL Promotion

SBC Communications announced a DSL promotion of $19.95 per month for 12 months for new customers that sign up online. The price -- lower than any other similar offers by leading U.S. providers -- requires a one-year term commitment and SBC local phone service. Customers who do not order over the Web can receive SBC Yahoo! DSL Express for $19.95 a month when they commit to a one-year term and subscribe to the popular SBC unlimited local and long distance calling plan, All Distance, for $48.95 a month.
  • SBC currently has more than 5.1 million DSL lines in service.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Netopia Uses VLANs to Map Services in DSL Gateways

Netopia introduced a Virtual Gateway (VGx) technology designed for mapping Triple Play services in DSL networks to specific QoS priority levels. The VGx technology, which is implemented in Netopia's 3300 series broadband gateways, allows service providers to separately deliver and manage up to eight individual service channels. The technology maps multiple VLANs to one or more specific permanent virtual circuits (PVCs) for DSL, or to other wide area VLANs in the case of fiber networks. Traffic prioritization is based on 802.1p.

Amedia Adds VDSL Option for its FTTP/N Solution

Amedia Networks announced a VDSL-based copper interface for its AS5000 Aggregator Switch and PG1000 Premises Gateway. The option complements the Fiber-To-The-Premises (FTTP) access solution that the company announced last year by enabling a Fiber-To-The-Node (FTTN) capability for copper based networks. Service providers, including those that currently deploy DSL services, would be able to install DMT-coded VDSL line cards in the AS5000 in order to provide standards-based Ethernet access over copper twisted pairs.

Depending on the distance between the node and the premises, the VDSL-optioned QoStream products will be able to offer between 20 Mbps to 100 Mbps over copper wires, both into and out of premises. For service providers preferring "home run solutions," the AS5000 can reside in a Central Office in addition to residing at a remote node in the outside plant.

William R. Zakowski

Amedia Networks


Security in Broadband Access

Security in the local loop hasn't been an issue up to now. Local
operating companies have deployed dedicated cabling with multiple twisted
pairs to each subscriber and MSOs have installed high speed co-ax cabling
for TV services. It's common for home workers to set up IPSec tunnels to
protect corporate information assets. Access networks must be secure,
without inadvertent distribution of data to the wrong subscriber or
deliberate theft of service.
  • 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.

Vodafone Offers 500,000 Music Tracks over 3G

Vodafone is launching a catalogue of 500,000 full music tracks on over its Vodafone live! with 3G. The enhanced service will be rolled in eight countries, beginning in Germany, with Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK following in the next few months.

Vodafone also announced that, since it first launched full track music downloads across an extensive range of new 3G handsets in November 2004, over one million tracks have been downloaded. Vodafone has signed distribution deals with Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Warner Music as well as new agreements for music from the catalogues of EMI and various local artists.

With the significant increase in catalogue size, the company is also extending its search engine capabilities on the service to help customers find the tracks they want, in the way they want.

"The initial response to the full track music service has been very encouraging and following customer research we have upgraded the experience further," said Guy Laurence, Consumer Marketing Director, Vodafone Group. "We believe the extended catalogue is the largest offered by any mobile operator globally and we are currently developing more 3G handsets compatible with the service."

Harmonic Acquires UK-Based Broadcast Technology Ltd

Harmonic has acquired UK-based Broadcast Technology Ltd (BTL), a provider of professional video/audio receivers and decoders, for GBP 4.0 million. BTL's products will be integrated into Harmonic's Convergent Systems Division, enabling it to expand the scope of solutions it provides for existing and emerging cable, satellite, terrestrial broadcast and telecom applications.

Solarflare Raises $48 Million for 10GigE Silicon

Solarflare Communications, a start-up based in Irvine, California, raised $48 million in its latest funding round for its development of high-performance semiconductor products for physical-layer connectivity. Solarflare is one of many companies who are collaborating on final 10GBASE-T technology specifications, including chipmakers Broadcom Corp., Marvell and Intel; equipment manufacturers Cisco Systems and Sun Microsystems; and cabling companies Belden CDT and CommScope. The technology would deliver 10 Gbps Ethernet over standard twisted-pair copper cabling rather than fiber.

Solarflare has already demonstrated a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) device capable of sustaining full duplex, 10 Gbps operation over long distances using the preferred, easiest-to-use twisted-pair copper cable types including Category 5e, 6, 6e, and 7. The company plans to offer a fully standards-compliant transceiver later this year.

Oak Investment Partners joined with previous investors Foundation Capital, Anthem Venture Partners, Intel Capital and Miramar Ventures to complete the new financing. Solarflare has now raised $78 million in funding to date.
  • Solarflare was founded by Dr. George Zimmerman, its CTO. He was formerly VP of Strategic Planning & Chief Scientist at PairGain Technologies. Before PairGain, he was with Caltech and NASA/JPL where he was responsible for signal processing R&D in the Deep Space Network. He was a defining force in the development of HDSL2 and g.lite DSL technologies.

Cisco Releases IP/MPLS Interprovider Capabilities

Cisco Systems announced IP/MPLS interprovider capabilities that allow service providers to work with each other and combine the capabilities of their individual networks, as a way to offer new services to their business customers. Cisco said service providers that take full advantage of the new IP/MPLS interprovider solutions would be able to deliver increased resiliency, multicast-based services such as streaming video, and extended virtual-private-network (VPN) technologies to their enterprise business customers.

The new Cisco IP/MPLS enhanced interprovider capabilities include:

  • Inter-Autonomous System (Inter-AS) Multicast VPN -- this allows service providers to provide enterprise customers scalable Layer 3 multicast services on an IP network that shares resources, on one or more physical networks.

  • Inter-AS Traffic Engineering, which allows service providers to traffic engineer between networks and regions, previously not available. It involves the configuration of a single tunnel at the headend as opposed to switching tunnels across each area that must be crossed, enabling service providers to deliver more robust, resilient and scalable networks.

  • Interprovider MPLS VPN over IP, which allows traditional MPLS-based Layer 3 VPN services to be delivered on a native IP network, simplifying connectivity across a single or multiple transit IP networks. This functionality allows service providers more flexibility in building IP network architectures across domain boundaries, allowing additional revenue opportunities by building scalable Layer 3 VPN services, such as Web hosting, application hosting, interactive learning, electronic commerce and telephony service.

  • MPLS VPN Inter-AS/Carrier Supporting Carrier (CSC) Load Balancing, which allows service providers to load balance across two or more links between boundary routers. Previously, service providers could fully utilize one link between peering routers. The increase in links enables additional flexibility, better redundancy and network scalability for the delivery of improved SLAs.

The Cisco Interprovider capabilities are shipping now in Cisco IOS Software releases 12.0(29)S and 12.0(30)S.

UNH-IOL Expands Wireless LAN Testing Services

The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) has expanded its wireless testing capabilities with the addition of a walk-in wireless testing radio frequency (RF) isolation chamber. The chamber allows the UNH-IOL, which provides testing services to companies on an annual-fee basis, to isolate wireless devices undergoing testing from all RF radiation and interference.

The UNH-IOL Wireless LAN Consortium can provide testing and debugging for 802.11a,b,e,g,i,j and 802.15 (Zigbee) products in an independent, vendor-neutral setting.

AOL Opens Instant Messenger to Web Sites

America Online is working with leading websites and services to weave its AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) service directly into their offerings. Partners include Intellisync Corporation, CareerBuilder, Ruckus Network, and Thomson Financial.

Intellisync launched a public beta test of a free service that lets AIM users who also use Microsoft Outlook 2002 or 2003 bring instant messaging and presence-awareness into their Outlook application. This lets them see when their Outlook contacts are online and available to chat.

Also announced today,, an employment website, has agreed to weave instant messaging and the one click access to the AIM service into its online recruiting website. will enable AIM users to register their AIM screen names in connection with the resumes they have submitted or posted for review, and will indicate applicants' online presence with the AOL Running Man icon.

In addition, Ruckus Network has agreed to integrate the AOL Instant Messenger service and AIM presence across its online community services. Ruckus Network, which provides universities and colleges with a variety of community features and entertainment programming, offers subscription pricing on licensed music and video downloads for students.
  • AOL said its Instant Messenger is currently handling 2.5 billion instant messages each day.

Paradyne Offers Integrated DSL Test Capabilities

Paradyne has integrated single-ended loop test (SELT) and dual-ended loop test (DELT) features into its Broadband Loop Carriers (BLCs), DSLAMs, and ADSL2+ modems. Paradyne said its SELT and DELT are emerging as the standards for loop qualification and diagnostics, aiding in the elimination of costly external test equipment.

Paradyne's SELT implementation includes a loop pre-qualification test integrated into the BLC or DSLAM to determine the strength of the DSL line. With Paradyne's ADSL2+ modems, DELT provides bidirectional testing on lines, isolating sources of line interference in order to reduce the time and costs associated with loop conditioning and broadband troubleshooting.

Paradyne's test performance are enabled by the integrated SELT and DELT capabilities in Broadcom's ADSL2+ chipset.

Capella Photonics Appoints New CEO

Capella Photonics, a start-up offering wavelength selective switch (WSS) modules for use in reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) and optical cross connect (OXC) applications, named Larry Schwerin as President and CEO. He replaces co-founder and current CEO Dr. Joseph Davis, who announced his plan last September to retire as CEO at the end of 2004. The handoff of responsibilities was timed to coincide with Capella's transition from development to commercialization of the WavePath products.

Schwerin previously served as General Partner at Vanguard Ventures, where he sat on the Board of Directors at Capella Photonics. During his tenure at Vanguard Ventures, Schwerin was President and CEO of CenCom V, a Vanguard-sponsored business accelerator focused on the telecommunications market. Prior to joining Vanguard Ventures, Schwerin was founder and General Manager of Lucent Technologies' Wireless Broadband Networks Division, responsible for developing a market leadership position for wireless broadband services around the world. Schwerin spent twelve years at Bell Laboratories where he was Director of AT&T's Global Fiber Access Systems.

i2Telecom Deploys Kagoor's Session Controllers

i2Telecom International, a low-cost VoIP service provider with operations in Atlanta, Redwood City (California) and Beijing, has deployed Kagoor's VoiceFlow 1000 series session border controller in a high-availability, redundant configuration to deliver global VoIP service over its SIP-based network. i2Telecom offers a unique "VoiceStick" portable Internet phone device that converts any Internet connected computer into a local phone. Once the VoiceStick is installed, a dial pad display enables the user to call any telephone in the world directly from the computer at discounted rates.

Kagoor's VoiceFlow 1000 session border controller solves the NAT traversal problem and greatly simplifies the configuration of i2Telecom's microgateway adapter behind NAT devices like cable and DSL modems. Kagoor's network protection solution also provides i2Telecom with added network security.

Group Studies MPEG-4 Over IEEE 1394

The 1394 Trade Association has formed a study group to investigate the need and demand for a new specification to transport MPEG-4 video over IEEE 1394. The group will identify which parts of the MPEG-4 standard are applicable, and review strategies for possible implementation. It will operate under the auspices of the 1394 Trade Association's Architecture Work Group, which is chaired by Peter Johansson. Don Harwood of Oxford Semiconductor, a leading member of the 1394 Trade Association, will direct the MPEG-4 over IEEE 1394 project.

The 1394 Trade Association noted that shipments of digital TVs, mobile handsets, DVD players/recorders and other products equipped with MPEG-4 video capabilities have been increasing steadily since 2002. Delivering MPEG-4 video over IEEE 1394 would extend the popular audio-video standard, which is now included in hundreds of models of digital TVs, DVD recorders, set top boxes, PCs, camcorders, hard disk drives, and other products. 1394-equipped products are branded as FireWire, i.LINK, or DTV Link.

FCC Appoints Media Bureau Acting Chief

Deborah E. Klein was appointed to be the FCC's Media Bureau's Acting Chief, following the departure of outgoing Bureau Chief Kenneth Ferree. Klein has served as the Media Bureau's Chief of Staff since 2002 where she worked to implement the Commission's policies relating to electronic media, including broadcast and cable television, radio, and post- licensing satellite issues.

ADC Reports Stronger Q1 on Fiber Sales

ADC reported $243 million in quarterly revenue and $0.02 GAAP earnings per share from continuing operations, including special items. The company said it benefited from better than expected sales driven from KRONE sales of $93 million and strong sales for its OmniReach Fiber-to-the-X solutions and professional services.

ADC's operating expenses were reduced 11% from 4Q04 to $76 million, excluding restructuring and impairment charges.

"We are pleased with our sales growth and operating expense reduction in the first quarter," said Robert E. Switz, president and CEO of ADC. "Our better than expected first quarter sales of $243 million benefited from the addition of the KRONE acquisition, and strong contributions from our Excluding KRONE's sales, ADC's first quarter sales grew 10% year-over-year. With future sales growth and continued progress in lowering our cost of operations, we expect profitable growth in fiscal 2005."

Total employees were approximately 7,600 as of January 28, 2005 compared to approximately 7,500 as of October 31, 2004 and approximately 5,800 as of January 31, 2004. The increase in employees from October 31, 2004 was primarily a result of increased manufacturing capacity for OmniReach FTTX products, partially offset by the divestiture of the Metrica software business as well as workforce reductions related to the integration of the KRONE acquisition.

Verizon Speaks Out Against Qwest+MCI Deal

Verizon Communications issued a public statement arguing that the possible combination of Qwest and MCI is not in the public interest.

Tom Tauke, Executive Vice President of Verizon, said a Qwest acquisition of MCI "could result in less investment in MCI's networks and Internet backbone, and harm national security-related customers and the long-term interests of large businesses, government agencies, consumers and shareholders." Tauke noted that Verizon has estimated it will invest approximately $3 billion, primarily in MCI's Internet backbone, network and systems. Tauke argues that cash-strapped Qwest could decide to channel Internet traffic onto its own network and potentially remove a backbone competitor.

Caspian and ETRI to Develop Flow State Routing for Korea's BcN

Caspian Networks has been selected by South Korea's Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) to co-develop advanced IP flow state solutions for the nation's Broadband convergence Network (BcN). The project will combine Caspian's flow state technology with ETRI's technical expertise in network control and simplified multi-protocol labeling switching (sMPLS).

The BcN project is targeting a goal to build an integrated network in South Korea with bandwidth of 50 ~ 100 Mbps per end user that can offer seamless multimedia services to 20 million Korean subscribers using wired and wireless communications among heterogeneous networks. South Korea already has the highest broadband penetration rate in the world and high-speed residential connections offering tens of megabits of performance have been on the market for some time. The BcN initiative aims to drive connectivity to the next level, offering seamlessly connectivity between services. Network providers benefit with deterministic, guaranteed IP Quality of Service (QoS) offerings, mobility, and security for new and demanding multimedia applications as set forth by the BcN project. Users benefit with cutting edge integrated services, like IP video and music, online entertainment, real-time health and welfare response, Voice over IP, and more, regardless of device or location.

Caspian Networks, which is based in San Jose, California, has been developing flow-based routing since its founding in 2002 by Dr. Larry Roberts. In flow-based networking, packets are routed as whole flows, i.e. streams of related packets, rather than as individual packets as in current IP/MPLS networks. Caspian's existing "Apeiro" platform examines each packet entering the router, identifies flows, and then stores to memory the flow's relevant routing information as well as its QoS, loss, delay and jitter characteristics. Flows are identified by the combination of source address, destination address, source port, destination port, and protocol. Subsequent packets in the flow are switched based on the "flow state" data already in memory. By tracking potentially tens of millions of microflows per 10 Gbps interface per second in hardware, Caspian said its Apeiro platform provides deterministic QoS for premium IP traffic that is equivalent to ATM. The ASIC-driven platform is capable of handling flow set-ups significantly faster than the circuit set-up rates typical of ATM and MPLS.

Caspian will establish an R&D center in Korea to support the co- development efforts with ETRI and to serve as a technical support hub for the Asia Pacific region. Initially, Caspian expects to hire about 15 engineers.
  • In Sept. 2004, the government of South Korea picked 3 consortia to conduct Broadband Convergence Network (BCN) trial operations scheduled for this year. The consortia are led by led by Korea Telecom, SK Telecom and Dacom. The goal of the BcN is to build an integrated network supporting bandwidth of 50 ~ 100 Mbps to 20 million subscribers via wired or wireless access.

  • In January 2005, Northrop Grumman awarded a multi-year contract to Caspian Networks for joint development of a critical element of the space communications system payload for the Air Force's Transformational Satellite Communications System (TSAT) Space Segment.

Packeteer Releases New WAN Bandwidth Appliance

Packeteer announced a new low-cost appliance for managing WAN application traffic at remote and branch offices. Available immediately, the 1200 Series is a four-in-one product with Layer 7 classification, control, compression and enterprise-wide central management and reporting. It is designed for controlling WAN performance and application QoS in enterprises with 10 or more remote sites and branch offices. The appliance provides network monitoring, application-level control, and compression at link speeds up to 2 Mbps. Manufacturer's suggested list price (MSLP) in the U.S. starts at $2,150.

PCCW and China Netcom Target Broadband TV Opportunity

China Netcom and PCCW, the incumbent carrier in Hong Kong, provided an investor update on their partnership deal announced last month. The companies are looking to capitalize on telecom growth in China, especially in broadband TV services. China Netcom currently has 110 million fixed line customers and 8 million broadband customers, the majority of which are in the ten northern Chinese provinces where it is the incumbent operator. China Netcom's strategy is to defend its territory in the north, while looking for new expansion in the south.

Since September 2003, PCCW, the incumbent operator in Hong Kong, has been offering Broadband TV. The service currently has over 400,000 subscribers. Customers can choose their preferred programs from more than 60 channels using an "a la carte" pricing system, while being able to enjoy 12 channels provided free of charge.

Together, PCCW and China Netcom see a huge opportunity for broadband TV in China, given the potential market of over 300 million TV households in the country. Based on third party research and forecasts, CNC and PCCW estimate China's broadband TV market could reach RMB 10 billion by 2008.

China Netcom expects its broadband subscriber base to keep growing at a CAGR of 40% , reaching 40 million subscribers by 2008. The company believes its current 8 million broadband subscribers will be early adopters of BBTV. Its first BBTV deployments will begin this year. Initial cities with high GDP per capita and high broadband penetration will be selected for the phase 1 pilot deployment.

If the BBTV service attracts a penetration rate of 15 to 20% by 2008, BBTV revenue might reach RMB 3.0 to 3.5 billion by 2008. Eventually, China Netcom and PCCW hope to target all households in China through partnerships with other carriers.

PCCW and China Netcom said they are also looking at other ways to capitalize on business opportunities, including 2G/3G services, the hot real estate market in China, cross-border communications and submarine cables.
  • China Netcom agreed to pay approximately US$1 billion for a 20% stake in PCCW, Hong Kong's incumbent telecom operator.

  • In February 2004, China Netcom acquired full control of Asia Netcom, a company founded in March 2003 by a consortium lead by CNC which included Newbridge Capital and Softbank Asia Infrastructure Fund.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

France Telecom Names New CEO

Didier Lombard was named Chairman and CEO of France Telecom following the resignation of Thierry Breton, who has served in the position since October 2002 and is credited with financial restructuring of the company.

Didier Lombard has previously served as Senior Executive President of France Telecom in charge of mission technologies, partnerships and new services. A graduate of Ecole Polytechnique and of Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Telecommunications, Didier Lombard began his career in R&D with France Telecom in 1967, working on the development of many new products for FT in the field of satellite and mobile systems as well as components. From 1988 -- 1990, he was Technical and Scientific Director for the Ministry of Research and Technology in France and then became General Director of Industrial Strategy for the Ministry of Industry. He spent several years as Ambassador in charge of foreign investment in France and as CEO of the French Agency for International Investment. He has also served on the Boards of Orange and Thomson.

Prior to his term as Chairman and CEO of France Telecom, Thierry Breton was Chairman and CEO of Thomson, S.A. From 1993 to 1997, he was CEO of BULL Group.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Hungarian Research Net Upgrades Backbone with Cisco

MATAV has inaugurated a new 10 Gbps national backbone network in Hungary that provides high-speed Internet access for the Budapest headquarters of the Hungarian National Research Education Network (Hungarian NREN). It will also support seven universities, which operate as regional network centres, and several other research and educational institutions. The new network will help ensure reliable access to the GEANT2 computer network (the pan-European research network supported by the European Union) for nearly 600,000 users of the Hungarian NREN in almost 700 institutions.

The newly inaugurated backbone uses Cisco Systems' ONS 15454 MSTP platform, which allows expansion to 10 Gbps connections within the existing DWDM infrastructure.

European Researchers Select DS2's 200 Mbps Powerline Technology

The Open PLC European Research Alliance, which brings together electric utilities, telecom companies, equipment suppliers and university research groups under an EU-sponsored program, has selected 200 Mbps power line communications technology developed by chip supplier Design of Systems on Silicon (DS2). This technology has been selected as the baseline to develop and complete the OPERA Power Line Communications (PLC) solution within Work Package 3 of the Project with major contributions from WP partners, notably, ASCOM, ADD, Dimat, Elsys, Mainnet, Mitsubishi, Robotiker, Telvent, University of Dresden, University of Karlsruhe, and Itran. The OPERA PLC solution will be promoted to the European Standardisation organisations.

OPERA is an ambitious industry-led consortium of 37 companies and universities from 10 European countries, with a total budget of EUR 20 million, partially funded by the European Commission under its 6th R&D Framework Programme.

OPERA aims to: (i) improve current low voltage (LV) and medium voltage (MV) PLC systems in particular in relation to couplers, EMC aspects and improving PLC equipment; (ii) to develop optimal solutions for connection of the PLC access networks to the backbone network (Wi-MAX, LMDS, satellite, MV PLC, WI-Fi etc.) so as to reach all end users independent of location, and (iii) to develop "ready to sell services" over PLC technology and design or improve low cost user terminals.

To meet these ambitious objectives, the OPERA Steering Committee endorsed a technology selection process based on the Marketing and Functional Requirement Document submitted by the Standardisation Working Group of OPERA, which includes those from the PLC Utilities Alliance (PUA). Major European utility companies including ENDESA, ENEL, EDF, and IBERDROLA, all of them members of the OPERA Steering Committee, have managed the selection process, that followed an open call for proposals and a test plan to evaluate performance, notching capabilities and industrial maturity of the state of the art available technologies.

The technology selection process is the first step in a process that will produce multiple sources of future standard, interoperable PLC equipment. Field trials are scheduled to start from mid-June 2005.

MCI's Q4 Revenue Declines 2% Sequentially, 10% YoY

MCI reported Q4 2004 revenue of $5.0 billion, a decline of 2 percent sequentially and 10 percent year-over-year. Enterprise Markets revenue increased 1 percent sequentially, Commercial Markets revenue was flat sequentially and Mass Markets revenue was down 9 percent sequentially.

For the full year 2004, revenues totaled $20.7 billion, down 15 percent from 2003 revenues of $24.3 billion. Operating loss was $3.2 billion. Operating income before $1.9 billion of depreciation and amortization, a $1 million gain on property dispositions and $3.5 billion of impairment charges would have been $2.2 billion in 2004. In 2003, operating income was $0.7 billion; operating income before $2.3 billion of depreciation and amortization, and a $43 million loss on property dispositions would have been $3.0 billion.

MCI's Q4 operating expenses totaled $4.5 billion, down 8 percent sequentially (excluding pre-tax impairment charges of $3.5 billion) and down 23 percent year-over-year. Access costs decreased 1 percent sequentially and declined 13 percent year-over-year. Selling, general and administrative costs fell 16 percent sequentially and 36 percent year-over-year. Included in operating expenses for the fourth quarter were $24 million of severance and reorganization costs.

Operating income for the fourth quarter of 2004 was $434 million, compared to an operating loss of $3.4 billion, (or operating income of $121 million excluding pre-tax impairment charges of $3.5 billion) in the third quarter of 2004 and an operating loss of $332 million in the fourth quarter of 2003.

2005 Guidance

Based on the existing regulatory environment and assuming no significant acquisitions or divestitures, MCI expects to generate revenues of $18 billion to $19 billion in 2005, down 10 percent to 14 percent from 2004. The revenue decline primarily reflects a change in Mass Markets revenues as recent regulatory changes impact our ability to serve the consumer market on a profitable basis.

MCI expects to generate operating income before depreciation and amortization (estimated at $1.4 billion to $1.5 billion) of $1.8 billion to $2.0 billion in 2005. MCI's plans indicate that incremental revenue and profits from new services will boost second half revenues and operating profitability over first half levels.

Capital expenditures of approximately $1.0 billion are planned in 2005, as MCI accelerates new product and service offerings in Private IP, security, hosting and network management. MCI will continue to invest in Ultra Long Haul technology, and continue the expansion of its MPLS node structure.

Asia Netcom and Japanese Partners Deliver HD Video over IP

Asia Netcom Japan, together with Miyagi Networks and Frontiers, completed a large scale test HDTV over a shared Internet backbone. The trial was conducted using HDTV content (MPEG-2) from Miyagi Networks -- a CATV and broadband service provider in the Sendai Miyagi prefecture; Asia Netcom Japan's Internet backbone; and equipment from Frontiers, a manufacturer of HDTV transmission hardware (HDx1000), which combines "Hi-vision," an MPEG-2 encoder and a Video-over-IP gateway. The trial transmitted HDTV content between the Sendai area and Miyagi's CATV and media partners in the Tokyo area. The companies described the transmission over the 700km distance in the shared Internet backbone as a complete success resulting in nearly zero packet loss and no network delay.

During the trial, the HDTV content was compressed into MPEG2-TS data and sent out at a bit-rate of 20 Mbps, as well as compressed into TS 30 Mbps. In both cases, the HD data was transmitted in real time over Asia Netcom Japan's shared Internet backbone with excellent performance levels with nearly no packet loss or network delay.

"The result of the test means that, in addition to Japanese HDTV operators, media companies in the region and across the globe, can leverage this platform for the transmission of high-definition content over Asia Netcom's global Internet backbone," said Hideo Ishii, Asia Netcom Japan's Director of IP architecture. "This real time high-definition video transmission system is the ideal platform to support international events such as the Olympic Games or the Football World Cup, which requires real-time transmission of video across the globe."

BT Completes Acquisition of Infonet

BT completed its acquisition of Infonet, one of the world's leading providers of global managed voice and data network services for corporate customers. Infonet, which will be renamed BT Infonet, becomes part of BT Global Services.

Andy Green, CEO BT Global Services, said: "The combination of BT Global Services and Infonet will create a clear leader in the networked IT services market, and will enhance our position as the supplier of choice for multi-site organisations around the world."
  • In November 2004, BT agreed to acquire Infonet, a provider of international managed voice and data network services, for $965 million (excluding Infonet's net cash balance of $390 million, the aggregate value of the deal is $575 million). Infonet, which is based in El Segundo, California, has local operations in 70 countries and claims 1,800 multinational customers -- including Siemens, Nokia, Bayer AG International, IBM and Hilton International.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

SBC Selects Tekelec for Signaling Network Solution

SBC Communications will deploy Tekelec's EAGLE 5 Signaling Application System as a part of its signaling network. Financial terms of the five year contract were not disclosed.

During the next three to five years, approximately 20 EAGLE SAS systems will be activated in the SBC network to handle rapidly increasing local number portability (LNP) traffic. Tekelec Professional Services will also assist in the deployment of the equipment.

The Tekelec EAGLE 5 SAS is a multi-protocol advanced signaling system. It hosts a variety of applications from a single, high-performance platform, including: SS7 signal transfer, number portability, signaling gateway, integrated services and data acquisition. The system supports the Sigtran suite of signaling protocols for next-generation network connectivity, enabling a transition to packet telephony and 3G networks.

ADC and Corning Sign Technology Transfer Agreement

ADC and Corning Cable Systems announced a technology transfer agreement for one of Corning Cable Systems' hardened connector products. Corning's OptiTap Connector and Adapter target FTTX networks. The products provide a solution for factory-terminated, environmentally sealed and hardened connectors for use in drop cable deployments in optical access networks.

ADC said that prior to manufacturing the product, it elected to pursue a formal technology transfer agreement to ensure full compatibility between the two companies' products.

France Telecom Launches DSL Licensing Program

France Telecom is launching a new licensing program for DSL transmission technologies using Discrete Multi-Tone (DMT) modulation.
The program follows France Telecom's policy of actively promoting its major patents and software, marketing them directly or through patent pools (groups of patents from different companies handled by the same agent).

DMT modulation is a technique for increasing the efficiency of data transmission over pairs of copper wires. This is an area in which France Telecom and broadcaster Télédiffusion de France (TDF) have patented technology after several years of joint research.

France Telecom noted that DMT transmission has been adopted for the main DSL standards, making France Telecom's patents essential to a number of DSL technologies:

  • Asymmetric DSL and its variants ADSL2 and ADSL2+: ITU standards G992.1, G992.3, G992.4 and G99S.5

  • Very high speed DSL (VDSL): ITU standard G993.1

France Telecom's licensing program is aimed at ADSL and VDSL vendors complying with the relevant ITU standards. It will enable them to integrate the patented technology into equipment for call centers (DSLAMS) and terminals (modems, modem-routers, multi-service set-top boxes integrating an ADSL modem feature, etc.). Enhances SHOUT VoIP Platform released a new version of its SHOUT platform for helping enterprises interconnect multi-vendor PBX and call center environments with next generation VoIP applications across IP data networks. SHOUT provides multi-vendor, multi-protocol support (including SIP). Enhancements to the platform in this release further equip SHOUT as a voice migration appliance for large global enterprises:

  • IP over Serial -- aggregates multiple remote nodes on a router connected to SHOUT, offering point to point serial connection to the central router. The serial interface interoperates with the Cisco HDLC protocol.

  • SIP Signaling over TCP -- allows broader interoperability of SHOUT with third-party SIP vendors, providing additional flexibility and more choices of SIP elements

  • NI-2 ISDN Support -- supports the basic call control messages and information elements required for NI-2.

In addition,'s voice-focused security solutions include protecting the devices from attack, MD5 authentication, TLS support, and enabling enterprises to run VoIP over their existing data infrastructure without having to update or replace their security devices or policies. The platform's security features include the SHOUT Packet Manager (SPM), which inspects the validity of every packet at the Ethernet interface before it is passed to the operating system for processing. This "rogue packet ejector" helps keep networks running, unlike other solutions that may require a reboot of the router when rogue packets are sent to its interfaces.

SHOUT also provides MD5 authentication on a call-by-call basis to prevent spoofing of users by challenging devices attempting to call the network and verifying responses against an internal table or an external database. In addition, SHOUT's BSP/VTP protocols enable voice conversations to seamlessly traverse existing NATs and firewalls, and because these protocols encode voice and signaling information into proprietary tunnels, voice packets are effectively secured from those intent on listening in on conversations.

For secure voice calls in an IP setting, SHOUT offers support of STUII, STUIII, STE, FNBDT for government, and now adds TCC for secure-grade commercial phones.

SHOUT can operate as a standalone system, or can work alongside third-party call controllers, IP PBXs, and SIP proxies. The newest release of SHOUT is now generally available.

Sprint Offers Global Quad-band Phone

Sprint introduced a digital quad-band phone, the Sprint PCS International Phone IP-A790 by Samsung, aimed at multinational business customers. When used in conjunction with a subscriber identity module (SIM) card, the Sprint PCS International Phone IP-A790 by Samsung allows customers to make voice calls on both CDMA and GSM networks in more than 130 countries where Sprint has roaming agreements in place. The phone also functions as a multimedia device on the Sprint Nationwide PCS Network so customers can view on-demand streaming video and audio and shoot video clips with the embedded camera and camcorder. The retail price of the phone is $550.

Sprint has established flat-rate pricing for GSM countries where it has roaming agreements in place. Customers now pay $1.50 per minute for making or receiving calls in those countries with long-distance included. Rates for the remaining covered countries where frequencies supported include CDMA and AMPS are $.50 to $.99 per minute plus varying long-distance rates, depending on where the call originates.
a wireless connection to the rest of the world at simple, flat-rate pricing in supported GSM countries abroad.

India's BSNL Selects UTStarcom's IP DSLAM

UTStarcom announced an expansion contract for the deployment of 75,000 ports of its AN-2000 B820 and AN-2000 B100 IP DSLAMs and related equipment for the second phase of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd.'s (BSNL) National Internet Backbone project. The equipment will support broadband Triple Play services. The new contract extends the initial $9.2 million contract signed with BSNL in August 2004.

BSNL's National Internet Backbone currently comprises around 400 nodes distributed across India and supports over one million subscribers with PSTN and ISDN Internet Access Services. The second phase of the project includes rollout of a broadband access network across 198 cities in India.

BSNL is the incumbent and largest telecom provider in India, with a presence in the fixed-line, cellular mobile, long distance and data markets.
  • In August 2004, India's Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd.'s (BSNL) has selected UTStarcom's Total Control 1000 multiservice access platform and related equipment for the second phase of its National IP Backbone project. The BSNL network currently comprises about 400 nodes distributed across India and supports over one million subscribers with PSTN and ISDN Internet Access Services. The second phase of the project includes deployment of remote access services (RAS) and related equipment across 71 cities in 25 telecom regions in India. UTStarcom's Total Control 1000 is a carrier-class, multiservice access platform supporting enhanced data systems such as RAS, CDMA 1xRTT/EV-DO Packet Data Serving Node (PDSN), Home Agent (HA) and VPNs. The new contract was valued at US$8.2 million.

Qwest Submits New Bid for MCI

Qwest Communications submitted a revised bid to acquire MCI for approximately $8 billion. The sweetened proposal adds collars to protect MCI shareholders should the price of Qwest's shares decline.

Qwest argues this revised proposal is superior to Verizon's bid because it delivers greater value in cash and stock per MCI share. Qwest estimates an "synergy value" of approximately $18 per MCI share in a combined Qwest/MCI company. Qwest also believes its proposal would face less regulatory scrutiny because of the significantly smaller footprint overlap (business, consumer and network) in a Qwest/MCI combination. This would lead to fewer and less extensive divestiture demands from regulatory agencies and will avoid the industry concentration and public policy issues the Verizon/MCI merger presents. Therefore, Qwest argues its proposal has a higher chance of being completed quickly.

In a statement, MCI's Board confirmed that it will conduct a thorough review of the Qwest offer.

Marvell Posts Record Revenue of $340.3 million

Marvell Technology Group record quarterly revenue of $340.3 million, an increase of 40% over net revenue of $243.3 million for the same period a year earlier and a 7% sequential increase from net revenue of $317.6 million for the preceding quarter. Net income (GAAP) was $54.9 million, or $0.18 per share (diluted). Net revenue for the year ended January 29, 2005 was $1,224.6 million, an increase of 49% over net revenue of $819.8 million for the year ended January 31, 2004.

"We are pleased to announce the results of another outstanding year and fourth quarter for Marvell," stated Dr. Sehat Sutardja, Marvell's President and CEO. "As we enter fiscal 2006, we are excited about the growing breadth of the several large volume markets we are serving as we expand our offerings into the consumer electronics markets. We expect continued strong market adoption of our advanced technologies into a variety of emerging consumer applications as well as continued solid growth from the enterprise markets."

BT Selected by The Volvo Group for Global Net

BT was awarded a three-year, multi-million EUR contract for the supply of international data communication services to the Volvo Group and its subsidiaries. The will cover approximately 80 locations worldwide. BT said it will supply an improved ATM-based infrastructure as well as services such as network monitoring and internet access. The technology refresh included in the contract carries an option for the network to be migrated to an MPLS platform within two years. Delivery has already started.

InTechnology to Resell Nortel Gear in Europe

InTechnology and its wholly owned subsidiary, Allasso, have established a new Network Solutions division to develop and sell secure networking solutions to resellers across Europe. Nortel will be the first vendor for the new division, supplying its data networking, Ethernet switches and security products.

For the last three years, InTechnology has managed its own multigigabit national Ethernet network, LANnet, to deliver a portfolio of managed services in the UK.

Neterion Launches PCI Express 10 GigE Adapter

Neterion (formerly S2io), a start-up based in Cupertino, California and Ottawa, Canada, introduced a 10 Gigabit Ethernet adapter based on the PCI Express bus architecture. Neterion now offers its Xframe adapter in all three major bus architectures: PCI-X 1.0, PCI-X 2.0 and PCI Express.

Neterion said its new 10 Gigabit Ethernet adapter requires no rewrites to the end users' operating system software and they are able to keep their host-based TCP/IP stacks intact for reliability and security purposes.

PCI Express is serial, rather than parallel, interconnect technology featuring advantages such as scalable bus bandwidth, lower overhead and lower latency and improved QoS. All major server and storage vendors are designing products equipped with PCI Express.

Nuvio Launches E911 Services Across U.S.

Nuvio launched Enhanced 911 (E911) services for its NuvioCentrex hosted IP Voice solution, which is offered to broadband providers, cable operators, CLECs and VARs through a private-label partner program. The company currently offers E911 in over 1,500 rate centers servicing over 2,700 cities nationwide and will deploy this feature in additional markets as demand warrants.

Nuvio's E911 calls are routed as emergency traffic and provide computer-based caller information to emergency personnel at local Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs). Through its service, 911 calls are automatically transferred to the PSAP and the operators are presented with the person's telephone number and location.

Samsung Demonstrates Push-To-All Application

Samsung Electronics demonstrated a Push-to-All (PTA) solution that extends the existing PTT (Push-to-Talk) one to multi-user voice application with the one to multi-user video conferencing (Push-to-View or PTV) and multimedia file sharing (Push-to-Data or PTD).

The core benefit of PTA handsets is their synchronous video conferencing ability. Similar to a walkie-talkie with video capabilities, the speaker's image appears instantly on the handset screen of the user or multiple users on the call. It is a convenient and time-saving function that allows people in multiple locations to easily conduct virtual meetings. In addition, the PTA handset allows one to send image, video clip and music content to multiple users through one simple operation on a mobile device at one time.

Samsung Electronics plans to offer a commercialized PTA solution handset using not only EV-DO technology but also EDGE, UMTS, and WiFi standards.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Ciena Reports 16% Sequential Revenue Growth

Ciena reported first quarter revenue of $94.7 million, representing a 16% sequential increase, and an increase of 43% over the same period a year ago. On a GAAP basis, Ciena's reported net loss for the fiscal first quarter was $57.0 million, or a net loss of $0.10 per share. This loss compares to a GAAP net loss of $76.7 million, or a net loss of $0.16 per share, in the same period a year ago.

Ciena recognized revenue from two customers that each contributed more than 10% of the fiscal first quarter's total revenue. Combined, the two ten percent customers accounted for 31.7% of the quarter's total revenue. In addition, approximately 83% of Ciena's business in the fiscal first quarter came from domestic customers.

As a result of product mix, Ciena's gross margin in the quarter was 25.6%, compared to 29.5% in its fiscal fourth quarter.

"Strong growth from a number of application areas, including core optical transport, core switching and data networking, fueled revenue growth in our fiscal first quarter," said Gary Smith, Ciena's president and CEO. "While our traditional specialty of core networking continues to be a focus for us, one of the most telling signs of the scope and progress of our efforts to become a more strategic provider is that we have increased the number of customers purchasing from multiple product lines by 73 percent compared to the first quarter of 2004 and we're looking to build on that momentum."

Rogers Cable Selects Nortel Cable Telephony Solution

Rogers Cable, Canada's largest cable television company, has selected Nortel as its primary softswitch vendor to support digital phone service, which it plans to begin launching Digital Phone service in mid-2005. Rogers passes 3.3 million homes in Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and has 69% basic cable penetration of its homes passed. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Rogers Digital Phone service will leverage the company's DOCSIS broadband cable network combined with Nortel's Communication Server (CS) 2000 - Compact -- a softswitch that is PacketCable qualified in both North America (CableLabs) and Europe (EUR-Cable Certification Board). Nortel will also provide Rogers with Nuera's ORCA BTX-4K, a high-density media gateway providing PacketCable compliant trunking access to the PSTN.

Rogers' optical transport network is based on Nortel Optical Metro 5200s and Optical Metro 3500s for transport of voice traffic.

Telecom Italia Integrates Avici into Testbed

Telecom Italia Lab has integrated Avici Systems' SSR carrier class routing platform in its hybrid IP/optical network test bed that leverages open standards signaling across the optical and IP domains. Telecom Italia Lab is building an advanced multi-layer network based on IP/MPLS and optical technologies to evaluate the advantages of an intelligent architecture utilizing standards-based interworking between the optical transport network and client devices (IP routers). Leveraging the unified IP/Optical control plane, this IP/optical test bed will be used to evaluate future upgrades to European research infrastructures in order to support the highly demanding applications of the European research community.

Avici said its is leveraging open standards to enable carriers to signal between the IP and optical domains.

FCC Rules Against AT&T on Prepaid Calling Card USF Fees

The FCC ruled that AT&T unlawfully avoided paying millions of dollars of universal service contributions and other fees related to pre-paid long-distance calling card services. The FCC ordered AT&T to file revised universal service contributions forms for the entire period that AT&T has provided its calling card service. In its November 2004 filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, AT&T reported that it had avoided $160 million in universal service contributions on the card since 1999.

The Commission rejected an assertion by AT&T that its practice of inserting verbal advertisements in the calling card service transformed it into an unregulated "information service" not subject to universal service assessments. The FCC found the advertisements to be incidental to the underlying telecommunications service offered to the cardholder, and therefore did not change the regulatory status of the service.

The Commission also rejected AT&T's assertion that calls made within a state shouldn't be subject to intrastate access charges. AT&T said the calls are exempt because they are routed through AT&T's out-of-state switching platform. The Commission generally determines the jurisdiction of a call by its endpoints; calls that originate and terminate in the same state are considered jurisdictionally intrastate.

AT&T plans to appeal the decision. In a statement, AT&T said the FCC decision was legally flawed and that it reversed years of precedent to re-regulate enhanced prepaid calling card services.

AT&T asserts that there are dozens of other companies offering prepaid
cards that do not appear to be contributing to universal service or paying access charges . Rather than settling the issue years ago, AT&T complained that "the Commission has instead dodged the difficult issues and opened another in its long line of rulemakings. By doing so, this Commission continues its legacy of asking many questions but answering very few."http://www.fcc.gov

Iridium Cites Favorable Trends for Mobile Satellite Service

Iridium Satellite announced that it had more than 114,000 subscribers as of December 31, 2004, a 22.5% increase over its total number of subscribers at the end of 2003. The company's revenue for the full-year 2004 increased by 23.2% over total revenue for the prior year.

In the general aviation market, the company surpassed a milestone in October of 2,500 aircraft using Iridium-based equipment -- roughly double the number equipped in 2003. In the maritime industry, Iridium announced four significant agreements in 2004 resulting in more than 300 ships being equipped with Iridium satellite terminals. In the defense/government sector, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) exercised an option to extend its contract for airtime on the Iridium network for mobile voice, data and paging services. The U.S. government relies on the Iridium network for many applications, including command and control, logistics and tracking systems, battlefield and weather condition data transmission, remote unattended sensor programs and man-pack soldier systems.

In 2005, Iridium plans to complete the development of a new netted push-to- talk communications architecture. This architecture will provide an efficient broadcast service within a designated region for military, homeland security and commercial applications requiring netted voice and data communications. Iridium expects to make this innovative service available in Q4 2005.

In the second half of 2005, Iridium will launch a new lower cost data modem for short-burst data communications. This data module will leverage the 100% global coverage of the Iridium network and will feature low latency, two- way communications, broadcast and high throughput data capabilities.

Time Warner Telecom Launches VoIP Over Metro Ethernet

Time Warner Telecom is launching its business-class VoIP solution suite in 21 initial markets across the U.S..

The first phase of VoIP-based products offered under TW Telecom ONE SOLUTION, provides solutions for PBX customers. These products include: TW Telecom ONE CONNECT, a VoIP trunking solution; TW Telecom ONE REACH, an IP FX virtual numbering service; and TW Telecom ONE FORUM, a conferencing solution. In concert with this VoIP-based business strategy launch, Time Warner Telecom is offering free VoIP VPN service to all its site-to-site customers in the 44 markets it serves.

"Our strategic approach to this technology may differ slightly from other service providers, but it is consistent with how we have built our networks, solutions and customer care for businesses," said Michael A. Rouleau, senior vice president -- Strategy and Business Development for Time Warner Telecom. "Our strategy is to layer VoIP-based business-class solutions on our robust metro Ethernet platform. This leverages our network strengths and relationships with customers to meet their mission-critical voice needs."

Space Systems/Loral Completes DIRECTV 8 Satellite

Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) completed all assembly, integration and tests of the DIRECTV 8 satellite, more than two months ahead of the contracted schedule.

The DIRECTV 8 satellite will provide selectable medium and high power Ku- band broadcast services to the U.S. on up to 32 transponders. The service is optimized to support the current and next generation higher coding rate services that DIRECTV provides. The Ka-band payload will use the full 1,000 MHz of Ka-band communications bandwidth available to link DIRECTV facilities as part of DIRECTV's dramatic infrastructure development for the upcoming launch of local digital and high definition services in the Ka-band.

Peleton Offers Multi-wavelength Laser Source

Peleton, a start-up based in Ottawa, Canada, unveiled its flagship multi-wavelength laser source. Peleton also announced an optical channel controller, a companion module to the multi-wavelength laser source. The products are designed for use in the test and measurement of advanced optical networking equipment.

The laser source generates 40 wavelengths simultaneously on a single output fiber. All of the wavelengths produced by the device are internally locked to the IUT-T grid at a variety of channel spacings. The Peleton multi-wavelength technology is capable of providing wavelength channels in all the L, C and S bands, and it offers locking to specific channel spacings, such as 100GHz or 50GHz. The high scalability and small form factor make it suitable for the optical test and measurement sector.

Peleton's optical channel controller enables power-level control and also enables closed-loop dynamic flatness control.

Tropic Networks, which offers a reconfigurable OADM/DWDM solution, is an early customer of the multi-wavelength laser source.

DIRECTV Expands Networking Contract with AT&T

DIRECTV awarded a new three-year networking contract valued at more than $69 million to AT&T. The deal will provide DIRECTV with the ability to roll out new IP-based technologies, like VoIP, in its call center support networks and enterprise networks. DIRECTV provides digital multichannel television service to more than 13.9 million customers nationwide.

Brooktrout and BayPackets Announce Prepaid Offering

Brooktrout Technology and BayPackets have jointly developed an IP-based network prepaid calling card solution for service providers with circuit-switched, hybrid or packet-based networks.

The IP-based prepaid application runs on BayPackets' Agility Network Services Platform (NSP), which has been designed to scale to support millions of subscribers. Brooktrout's SnowShore Media Server, an open carrier- class IP media server, provides media processing for the BayPackets platform. The Agility Prepaid application includes real-time call rating, support for mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), branded announcements with a customized web portal, multi-language and multi-currency support, and web-based self-provisioning.

China Netcom Builds GPON with Flexlight

China Netcom (CNC), China's second largest service provider, completed the first stage of its GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network: ITU-T G.984.x) deployment linking 15 cities in the north of the country. The deployment uses FlexLight Networks' modular Optimate suite of products. CNC's GPON will be expanded to a further six cities in the coming months.

Michael Camp, President and CEO of FlexLight Networks, Inc., explains, "The successful completion of the first stage of CNC's deployment is a huge endorsement of the technology as a reliable and cost-effective access technology." January 2005, FlexLight Networks, a developer of Gigabit PON (GPON; ITU-T G.984) optical access network solutions, named J. Michael Camp as its new CEO, replacing Gary Lee, who will remain with the company in the role of Chief Marketing Officer. Most recently, Camp served as CEO of VocalData, which was acquire in 2004 by Tekelec.

Marconi and Operax Team on QoS Systems

Marconi signed an agreement with Operax, an independent Swedish software vendor, to jointly develop a carrier-class bandwidth management solution. This bandwidth management solution will guarantee QoS across the core and access network. The new solution, which has open interfaces, brings together Marconi's network and service provider expertise and Operax's bandwidth management knowledge and skills. It is based on Operax's established Bandwidth Manager, a network resource control system for IP networks that enables guaranteed end-to-end QoS and allows operators to migrate current and future services onto a converged network.

The new bandwidth manager is integrated with Marconi's Impact portfolio, which includes SoftSwitch, Session Initiation Protocol-based Admission Controller, Session Border Controller and Intelligence platforms. Once fully developed, service providers can deploy policy-based bandwidth management solutions, which will ensure that adequate bandwidth is available at all times for voice and multimedia services.

The Operax bandwidth manager, which supports services such as private circuit emulation and ATM, will be integrated with a number of the products from Marconi's Impact portfolio to provide a complete end-to-end next-generation network solution for IP-based voice and multimedia services. Using common hardware and with a single management solution, Impact delivers class 4 and class 5 telephony services; business services for all types of enterprises; as well as broadband voice and Session Initiation Protocol-based multimedia services.

Cisco Delivers 1 Gbps over HFC with Wideband DOCSIS

Cisco Systems announced "Wideband Protocol for DOCSIS", a new technology able to deliver up to 1 Gbps broadband speeds over existing hybrid fiber coax (HFC) networks. The protocol augments HFC network bandwidth by adding one of more additional downstream to the standard broadband DOCSIS system. This new set of downstream channels is grouped into one larger channel, and is known as a Wideband channel. Cisco said its Wideband Protocol for DOCSIS is compatible with existing DOCSIS 1.x and 2.0 specifications.

Himawari Network, a Japanese cable operator is testing the technology to deliver advanced commercial services. The trial, being conducted at the Toyota Dream Home at Aichi prefecture in Japan, will showcase the ability to converge video, data traffic onto a single IP-based service. The Himawari Wideband trial is based on Cisco's uBR10012 Cable Modem Termination System (CMTS) platform. As part of the trial, Linksys will provide the Wideband cable modem which can receive and process data streams transmitted by the CMTS on multiple radio frequency channels.

Monday, February 21, 2005

ISN Telcom Selects Kagoor's Session Border Controllers

ISN Telcom, the Miami based CLEC, has deployed Kagoor's VoiceFlow 1000 session border controllers for its ipFONE VoIP service, which offer unlimited calls to Latin America in addition to the United States, and Canada for a single monthly fee. Kagoor's session border controllers provide network protection and security for ISN's VoIP network. Kagoor's network protection applications include topology hiding, intrusion prevention, call admission control, and protection from denial of service (DoS) attacks. Kagoor also provides its hosted NAT traversal solution, which permits incoming VoIP calls to securely pass through firewalls. With the VoiceFlow network-hosted NAT traversal solution, ISN delivers its customers VoIP service without adding additional premises equipment.

Kagoor's VoiceFlow fully supports all major VoIP protocols (SIP, H.323, MGCP).

Jim Greenway

Kagoor Networks


The Evolution of Session Border Controllers

border controllers have matured to play an essential role in delivering
secure and seamless VoIP service. Most VoIP has been deployed in
"islands", either within enterprises deploying VoIP on a LAN or by a
carrier using it for its internal network transport. In both cases, the
VoIP traffic terminates at a gateway and is converted to PSTN as it leaves
the enterprise or the carrier's network. Session border controllers (SBCs)
were designed to connect these islands and create an end-to-end VoIP

SBC & AT&T Argue that Merger in Public Interest

SBC and AT&T filed papers with the FCC kicking off the formal federal review process aimed at determining that the merger is in the public interest. The companies noted that so far, more than 260 consumer, business and civic organizations, as well as state and federal elected officials, have announced their support for the merger.

In the joint filing, the companies argue that the merger is a response to rapid technological changes, extraordinary competition in the marketplace and financial pressures - including the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs and more than $2 trillion in market value - that have marked the telecommunications industry the past few years.

The companies' filing states "the merger will produce numerous tangible public interest benefits, and it will enhance, not harm, competition in every sector." Specifically, the filing claims:

  • The public will benefit from creation of a U.S. communications company with global reach. AT&T's network, which spans more than 50 countries, and AT&T Labs' technological prowess will be combined with SBC's financial strength and local exchange, broadband and wireless capabilities - resulting in a positive impact on investment, employment and productivity for the U.S. economy, benefiting all Americans.

  • The merger will strengthen national security. AT&T in particular serves numerous government customers, including the White House, the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security and numerous states from Alaska to New York. This transaction will result in a robust communications company with the resources and expertise necessary to continue to serve those customers with leading-edge services.

  • The combined company will be an engine of innovation and investment across the country, speeding the delivery of existing services to customers who might otherwise wait years for them, and prompting the development of new services that would otherwise not exist. The combined company will have greater incentives and ability to provide the fruits of its investment in research and development to all customers.

  • And because of the merger, the capabilities, reliability and efficiency available to the largest business and government customers should flow to residential and small business customers. "

Edward E. Whitacre Jr., chairman and CEO of SBC, said "This is a natural and healthy evolution of a dynamic, competitive and restructuring communications industry. It is a direct response to a new competitive reality - and to retail and business customers who have so many more choices in communications today than 10 years ago, when the last federal telecom laws were passed."

Alcatel and Microsoft to Collaborate on IPTV

Alcatel and Microsoft announced a global collaboration agreement aimed at accelerating the rollout of IPTV services for broadband operators worldwide. The companies will offer an integrated IPTV delivery solution. The partners expect their precedent-setting agreement will help expand the quickly-growing ecosystem of IPTV industry partners and enable telecommunication providers to take advantage of global economies of scale fueled by large-scale IPTV deployments planned across the globe.

As part of the agreement, the two companies plan to pursue a series of joint initiatives, including:

  • Developing and customizing new applications to meet the unique needs of different cultures and markets around the world,

  • Enhancing application and network resilience for better reliability in large-scale deployments,

  • Integration of content, security and digital rights management to ensure secure delivery of high-quality content, to and throughout the home,

  • Managing quality of service through intelligent video packet handling, and

  • End-to-end integration of management systems for the application platforms and all components of the network including the home network.

Alcatel said it will continue developing and supporting its own Open Media Platform (OMP) platform, which already has 24 commercial and trial deployments. The Alcatel Open Media Platform is also a software middleware platform that enables broadband service providers to create, deliver and manage multimedia entertainment services. Going forward, the companies will be recommending their joint solution.
  • In recent months, Microsoft has announced a series of high-profile wins for its IPTV platform, including Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom, Verizon, SBC, BellSouth, Telecom Italia, KPN, Swisscom/Bluewin and others.

  • In 2003, Alcatel acquired iMagicTV, a developer of software for delivering multi-channel digital television over broadband networks, for approximately US$30 million in aggregate. Alcatel already owned approximately 16% of iMagicTV. The iMagicTV IP video solution enables digital TV services, an interactive program guide, video-on-demand, pay-per-view and other interactive information services. iMagicTV is based in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.

  • In October 2000, Alcatel and Oracle formed Thirdspace, a joint venture targeting interactive, broadband TV.