Tuesday, May 31, 2005

SBC Launches $14.95 DSL Promotion

SBC Communications launched a limited promotion offering DSL (384Kbps - 1.5 Mbps) for $14.95 a month (other charges apply) with a 12-month term for new residential subscribers who order online. The SBC Yahoo! DSL Pro (1.5Mbps - 3.0Mbps) service is available for $24.99 a month for 12 months if they order online (other monthly charges apply).

The move is expected to lead to further price cuts across the U.S. broadband market.http://promo.yahoo.com/sbc/

Marconi Debuts Service Router

Marconi introduced a new routing platform designed to help service providers deliver high value, low touch IP services such as virtual private networks (VPNs) based on network virtualization capabilities.

Marconi said the service provider market is being driven by the same virtualization trends seen in data centers, where storage and other resources are virtualized. Carrier networks need to evolve into commodity cores with differentiated edges.

The new Marconi Service Router, which is available as a 16-slot mid-plane chassis, uses Dynamic Services Blades to provide its virtual router capabilities. The platform supports up to 8,000 virtual router instances and up to 5,000,000 BGP routes, with all CPU, packet processing, and memory resources managed dynamically in software. Each virtual router has a unique processing context and distinct memory allocation. Virtual router route tables can be set for maximum routes. No sharing of routes or topology is possible, and BGP or MPLS is not required. Each virtual router can be remotely enabled and disabled. Each virtual router can be rate limited and CPU constrained, and one VPN cannot interfere with another VPN.

Significantly, the platform uses Linux and open APIs that allow new application development by Marconi, ISVs and/or end customers. Key hardware features of the platform include:

  • a 80 Gbps switch fabric, which will be upgradeable to 320 Gbps

  • 60 Gbps I/O bandwidth

  • Front-loaded route control processing and packet service engines

  • Up to three chassis per 7-ft rack

  • NEBS Level 3 ready, CE Mark

  • Common Criteria Level 3

  • Hot-swap capability

  • Redundant A and B power feeds

  • AC Chassis

The platform is currently being deployed by Dalton Utilities, which provides a wide range of fiber-based telecommunications services to business and residential customers in and around Dalton, Georgia.

Deployments for the Marconi Service Router are also expected to include the federal market, where the company supplies its other high-end routing platforms.

Marconi said the new platform would complement the routing products offered through its alliance with Huawei.

SBC Sees DSL as Foundation for Next Gen Services

"Broadband is much more than just another add-on service... broadband is the foundation for the newxt generation of wireline services," said Rick Lindner, CFO of SBC Communications, speaking at the Lehman Brothers conference in New York. "That's why we/ve made broadband a high priority and why you can expect us to remain aggressive with DSL. Speaking to investors, Lindner outlined a roadmap for SBC based on five strategic initiatives: broadband, wireless, service integration, business markets, and cost savings.

In broadband, SBC added more than 504,000 DSL lines in Q1, ahead of its industry peers, giving the company more than 5.6 million broadband customers. Lindner said SBC is now winning more than 50% of new broadband customers in its territory. He noted that penetration has increased from 13% a year ago to 20% overall. In California and Nevada, consumer penetration is now at 25%. Lindner also said the alliance with Yahoo! has been a plus. One third of new DSL customers are also buying a home networking solution from SBC. Meanwhile DSL churn rate is down over the last year. DSL is also the stickiest product in the SBC consumer service portfolio.

Project Lightspeed lab testing is "progressing very well," said Lindner. In its trials, SBC has seen seen data rates of up to 25 Mbps over 4,000 ft. of copper, which he considers to be very good considering that most Project Lightspeed end customers are expected to be at under 3,000 ft. Lindner is also optimistic that the new "U-Verse" brnaded services enabled by Project Lightspeed will be warmly received by consumers as well as regulatory policy makers.

Regarding the recent regulatory fight in Texas, Lindner expressed disappointment that the IPTV bill it support did not come up for a vote before the legistative session ended because SBC believes the bill would have passed. Even so, SBC will not change its Project Lightspeed plans. Lindner contends that Project Lightspeed does not fall under traditional broadcast television regulation because it will use an advanced two-way network.

In wireless, the new Cingular has tremendous scale, extensive spectrum, and is preparing to launch 3G UMTS with HSDPA in its first 15 major markets by the end of this year. Other markets will be added in 2006. Cingular's migration to GSM is going well, said Lindner, with 84% of minutes now riding the GSM network.

As for integrated services, SBC has been very successful with its consumer bundles to date. The new challenge, said Lindner, is to transition from product bundles to integrated networks. Architectures such as IMS will improve interoperability across wireless and wireline networks. Lindner believes this integration will be an important key for differentiation for SBC.

In enterprise services, SBC is looking to its pending acquisition of AT&T to significantly boost its industry presence. The AT&T acquisition will add a global network and strength in enterprise services, especially IP VPNs for large companies.

A final opportunite for SBC is to reduce its overall cost structure. To this end, SBC is enhancing its online capabilities and streamlining and standardizing all its operating procedures across all its services. The new announced $14.95 DSL promotion is an example of a new offering that is available only online and for self-install customers.

Net Insight Introduces Video-Centric SONET/SDH Platform

Net Insight introduced its Nimbra 600 series of next generation multi-service switches, offering up to 1 terabit per second switching capacity per rack. The Nimbra 600 series utilizes next generation SDH/SONET and Net Insight's switching architecture to provide guaranteed video transport over fiber for triple-play and professional broadcast media networks. The Nimbra 600 series also provides lower-order granularity for all services including Ethernet.

In a triple play network, the Nimbra 600 could be use to transport video from a head-end facility or a video server farm to neighborhood DSLAMs or ONTs. In a media network, it could be used to switch video traffic from a central site to fiber-connected affiliates.

The Nimbra 600 series presently consists of two multi-service switches:

  • Nimbra 680 -- an 80 Gbps multi-service switch for metro core, triple play, and high-capacity professional media networks.

  • Nimbra 688 -- Twice the access and switch capacity e.g. for replacement of multiple legacy platforms in metro and core PoPs.

An automatic optical control plane enables both unicast and multicast services to be provisioned in a one step process, as well as easy network expansion. The internal non-hierarchical switch plane with 0.5 Mbps granularity can be extended across the network via SDH/SONET interfaces to achieve 95+% network utilization and maximum flexibility. The Nimbra 600 series also provides full carrier class features including full redundancy for switch planes, power supply, node controllers, and control paths.

SureWest Offers 20 Mbps Residential Access in Sacramento

SureWest Communications will begin offering a residential Internet connection of up to 20 Mbps in selected areas of the Sacramento, California market. The service is delivered over the company's FTTP network. The new 20 Mbps service will be added to SureWest's lineup that already includes a 10 Mbps residential Internet connection. When combined with a home telephone or television package, the 10 Mbps service is $49.95 a month and the 20 Mbps service is $89.95 a month. Both the 10 and 20 Mbps services are "synchronous," which means that users will get 10 or 20 Mbps upstream as well as downstream.

Canada's Bell Mobility Selects Nortel for 1xEV-DO

Bell Mobility, Canada's leading wireless carrier, awarded a contract valued at an estimated US$126 million (C$160 million) to Nortel for upgrades to its wireless network. This represents the first commercial deployment in Canada of a next generation wireless data network using EV-DO technology, Bell Mobility customers will be able to download data on their mobile devices at speeds up to 2.4 megabits per second with average speeds of 300-500 kbps.

Nortel will provide CDMA2000 1X radio base stations, base station controllers, switching platforms and other related equipment. Nortel will also supply Bell Mobility with CDMA2000 1xEV-DO equipment for initial deployment in Toronto and Montreal.

Nortel said its currently supplies EV-DO equipment to 12 of the 19 operators across the globe who are offering commercial EV-DO service.

Nortel/BT Selected for UK Ministry of Defence Net

Nortel announced a US $42 million deal with BT to provide a new and secure mission-critical network for the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) and British Armed Forces. This network is based on Nortel's Multiservice Switching and Carrier VoIP solutions that will deliver a secure and resilient wide area network and save the UK MOD approximately £15 million per year.

Additionally, Nortel and BT have jointly developed a dedicated testing facility lab for the MOD network. The testing done in this lab will help ensure the smooth migration of new and current services and applications across the new multiservice network.

Motorola Debuts DOCSIS 2.0 CMTS

Motorola introduced a fully-featured DOCSIS 2.0 cable modem termination system (CMTS) with a compact design that enables cable broadband operators to extend services into new and emerging market venues.

Motorola's new Broadband Services Router 2000 (BSR 2000) is a 1 rack unit (1U) unit that can be deployed as a stand-alone device, or in small clusters that support small or medium sized distribution hubs, multiple dwelling unit (MDU) facilities, or hospitality locations. The product supports Motorola RFSentry functionality, which enables advanced management of spectrum though an extra receiver port. It also offers QoS features to support services such as VoIP, virtual private networks (VPN) and multimedia services. The product also includes support for wireless broadband applications.

Other features include:

  • Based on DOCSIS 2.0 and EURDOCSIS 2.0 standards, including A-TDMA and S-CDMA with logical channels, and provides up to three times the upstream bandwidth for increased delivery of high-speed commercial services

  • Architected for system redundancy and allow operators to increase overall service reliability and uptime for thousands of flows at wire-speed to enable Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

  • SmartFlow QoS classification and RFSentry functionality, including an extra receiver port to enable Advanced Spectrum Management. RFSentry enables operators to monitor upstream performance while maintaining channel throughput.

Riverstone Supplies Ethernet Routers to China Telecom

China Telecom's Shanghai subsidiary, Shanghai Telecom, has selected Riverstone's carrier Ethernet routers to deliver Ethernet access services to its expanding base of enterprise customers over its ATM core infrastructure. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Shanghai Telecom will deploy Riverstone's RS 3100 Ethernet access routers. The RS 3100 is designed to deliver services over Ethernet, TDM, ATM, CWDM or SONET/SDH networks. Sitting at the edge of the carrier's network or at the customer premises, it features 32 10/100BaseTX fixed RJ-45 ports, high-performance routing and switching, and dynamic on-demand bandwidth provisioning.

Last year, China Telecom deployed Riverstone's RS 3100 and RS 8600 Ethernet routers in its Wuhan branch to provide IP over ATM-based Ethernet access services. Riverstone has also announced the use of its carrier Ethernet routers by China Railcom, China Netcom, Shanxi Cable, PCCW-HKT Network Services Limited, Chunghwa Telecom and Hutchison Global Crossing.

Motorola Invests in Sonaptic

Motorola made a strategic minority investment in Sonaptic Limited, a start-up developing advanced audio technologies for the mobile device market. The technology creates an immersive, three- dimensional sound environment that can be experienced using the embedded speakers in portable devices or by using standard headphones. The technology is suited to multiple applications including games, user interface enhancement, music and ringtones. Sonaptic's technology is portable and has been especially crafted for the low power, low resource requirements of the mobile device environment.

Sonaptic is based in High Wycombe, UK. This forms part of the second round of investment in the company. In addition to Motorola, the round included further investment from Pentech Ventures, and new investment from ROHM Inc., the leading Japanese semiconductor component manufacturer.

Perimeter Internetworking Offers "Security in the Cloud"

Perimeter Internetworking introduced a "Security-in-the-Cloud" designed to protect ISPs, VoIP resellers and others from a variety of security threats. The Gateway 4.0 solution provides traffic policy control, intrusion prevention and malware defense. Gateway 4.0 pre-integrates over 50 security services to address every potential threat to SP customers' businesses including Intrusion Defense, Malicious Code Defense, Secure Email Services, Secure Access, Automated Compliance, and Network Services.

SP customers can choose between a network-based, "security in the cloud" offering, whereby the SP connects to Perimeter and Gateway 4.0 blocks all malicious traffic to and from their networks or a multi-threat appliance at the client site, which can be used alone or in concert with Perimeter's network-based security service. Perimeter provides a white-label portal for the SPs and their customer to view and monitor alarms and other relevant security data. They can choose the level of support that they require from a fully automated service to the use of Perimeter's in-house team of trained security experts.

Perimeter also offers a secure hosted IP Telephony service and managed network services.

BellSouth Selects Tellabs and JDSU for Access Network

BellSouth selected Tellabs as the exclusive supplier for the Fiber to the Curb (FTTC) portion of its next-generation network through the end of 2006. Specifically, Tellabs will develop an upgrade for BellSouth's existing FTTC platforms designed to achieve speeds greater than 50 Mbps for BellSouth's customers served by this architecture. BellSouth currently has approximately 1.1 million customers served by FTTC systems and anticipates adding 150,000 - 200,000 new homes on those systems in both 2005 and 2006.Financial terms were not disclosed.

"BellSouth will use VDSL2 to upgrade existing FTTC systems and achieve broadband speeds greater than 50 Mbps on systems installed over the last decade," said Bill Smith, chief technology officer of BellSouth.

BellSouth also selected JDS Uniphase's WaveReady platform for passive optical transport in the loop portion of its next-generation broadband network. The WaveReady 3000 WDM optical multiplexing subsystems multiply the capacity of existing single mode fiber by combining up to eight ITU-T G.694.2 compatible channels into a single optical fiber. Shipment of the subsystems are expected to begin within the next year. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"The JDS Uniphase passive optical technologies will be a key component in allowing us to economically get Gigabit Ethernet from the Edge Aggregation Router to the IP-DSLAM," said Smith. "In cases where we do not have a dedicated fiber available because the fiber is already in use, the CWDM approach will allow multiple wavelengths of light to share the fiber."
  • In February 2005, BellSouth named Alcatel as its preferred supplier of IP DSLAMs over the next three years. The agreement extends Alcatel's existing strategic supplier relationship with BellSouth for DSL equipment. Specifically, Alcatel will provide IP DSLAMs from its Intelligent Services Access Manager (ISAM) family for enabling Triple Play services.

  • Also in February 2005, BellSouth selected Redback Networks' SmartEdge Service Gateway platform for its next-generation integrated IP network. The SmartEdge systems will enable the delivery of "Triple Play" services, including potential future IP video services that BellSouth is currently testing, in addition to serving as the new architecture for broadband services and subscriber management. Deployment of the systems could begin as early as the second half of 2005.Previous generation SMS(TM) systems from Redback Networks have powered BellSouth's successful deployments of DSL to its customer base.

  • In January 2005, BellSouth announced a technical trial of Microsoft TV Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) Edition software platform over its DSL network.

  • In November 2004, BellSouth awarded a new broadband supplier contract to Westell Technologies for its remotely-manageable DSL modem.

Guangdong Telecom Selects Lucent's LambdaUnite

Guangdong Telecom, a provincial subsidiary of China Telecom, awarded two optical networking contracts to Lucent Technologies. The deployments will include Lucent's LambdaUnite Multi-Service Switch (MSS) and the Metropolis ADM MultiService Mux for Guangdong Telecom's networks in Zhongshan and Zhuhai. This marks the first deployment of the LambdaUnite MSS in the two cities and the first deployment of the Metropolis ADM in Zhuhai. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Spain's Auna Selects Alcatel for Triple Play

Auna, the second largest fixed network operator in Spain, selected Alcatel as its IP Triple Play turnkey project integrator, and as the supplier for most essential network components and service delivery platforms. Along with the DSL access network, Alcatel will deploy its MPLS metropolitan aggregation network solution for AUNA.

Alcatel will integrate the softswitch-based VoIP solution, which enables a fast deployment on existing platforms. As in other major IPTV contracts around the world, Alcatel will act as overall systems integrator, managing the overall project and being responsible for integrating the network management aspects from other supplier's equipment.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Conexant Offers VDSL2 Solution

Conexant Systems introduced its Accelity family of VDSL and VDSL2 central office (CO) and customer premise equipment (CPE) semiconductor solutions. The Accelity family includes VDSL and VDSL2 system solutions for ATM and packet-based DSLAMs and client-side terminals.

Conexant's Accelity chipset family is based on industry-standard discrete multi-tone (DMT) line code technology, and is compliant with the recently ratified VDSL2/G.993.2 International Telecommunications Union standard. Production devices are available now and are shipping to customers worldwide.

Aware Announces VDSL2 Engines

Aware announced solutions conforming to the recently ratified VDSL2 standard. StratiPHY3 is a complete physical instantiation of Aware's DSL intellectual property in the form of a single digital chip and can be software configured to operate in central office (CO) or customer premise equipment (CPE). It supports all ADSL, ADSL2/2+, VDSL and VDSL2 features and functionality, including long-reach VDSL2 mode, and is the latest addition to the StratiPHY line of fully functional, manufacturable silicon intellectual property (IP) offerings from Aware.

Aware's StratiPHY3 is the DSL engine in Infineon's recently announced VINAX central office and customer premises chipsets.

Siemens Supplies Optical Access Network in Kuwait

The state Ministry of Communications in Kuwait has commissioned Siemens Communications to completely upgrade its access network in six urban areas from copper to fiber. Under the EUR 40 million contract, Siemens will deploy a Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) to deliver up to 2.5 Gbps to each fiber. A single optical fiber is then fanned out over passive splitters and laid in a star configuration to each building. There the link is terminated at an ONT or for a large number of users at an ONU (Optical Network Unit). The network termination is equipped with one or more Ethernet and voice interfaces for standard telephony. The rollout is scheduled to take place over three years. The first users are set to be connected via the optical fiber network in spring 2006.


Alcatel Supplies FTTH to Japanese Cable Company

Alcatel's FTTU (Fiber-to-the-User) solution is being deployed in Japan by a local cable TV operator and a municipal authority under projects managed by Itochu Cable Systems, a leading system integrator in Japanese cable TV, broadband and broadcast media. The two FTTU projects enable City Cable Shunan Corporation, a cable TV operator in the Yamaguchi prefecture and the municipal authority of the Kijimadaira town in the Nagano prefecture, to offer video and Internet services. Itochu Cable Systems is utilizing the Alcatel 7340 Packet Optical Line Terminal (P-OLT) and the Alcatel 7340 Home Optical Network Terminal (H-ONT), to build both networks.

China Telecom Awards DSL Contract to ZTE

ZTE Corporation announced a multi-million contract to supply its more than one million lines of ADSL equipment to China Telecom, the country's largest fixed line operator. The contract represents 30% of the total award by China Telecom, according to ZTE.

ZTE noted it has delivered approximately 12 million ADSL lines to date to customers in over 30 countries, including China, Greece, Romania and Egypt.

Bay Microsystems to Acquire Parama for its ADM-on-a-Chip

Bay Microsystems, a start-up offering high performance packet processing silicon solutions, announced it has reached profitability and that it has agreed to acquire Parama Networks, a start-up developing an ADM-on-a-chip solution. The merger is expected to close later this month, and terms were not disclosed. As part of its strategy to complete the acquisition of Parama, Bay has raised additional capital from new and existing investors, securing a Series D round of $8.4 million.

Bay Microsystems said it will support Parama's complete family of "ADM-on-a-Chip" devices and has already begun supporting existing customer designs.
http://www.baymicrosystems.com http://www.paramanet.com
  • In May 2005, Bay Microsystems was awarded a follow-on contract with the U.S. federal government to provide 40 Gbps technology used in the government's global mission-critical secure broadband network. Bay has been delivering full-line rate 10 Gbps system solutions to the U.S. Government for more than two years and is continuing its Advanced Network Projects for device technology and network element development. This new business is expected to generate several times more revenue than the previous multi-million dollar contract announced last year.

  • In August 2004, Parama Networks, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, announced a new centralized architecture for SONET/SDH Add/Drop Multiplexers that leverages its ADM-on-a-Chip (AoC) family. The company said it simplified architecture enables network equipment manufacturers to centralize the framing, cross connect and overhead processing functions of SONET and SDH. The architecture enables 50ms restoration in mesh networks, per service protection schemes, and transparent transport services. It also allows vendors to tap the bandwidth in the "overhead" channels for signaling and control purposes throughout the network. Parama said its design supports simplified control plane implementations such as GMPLS for service provisioning and other tasks. In addition, Parama has extended its ADM-on-a-Chip (AoC) family with a new device that incorporates eight programmable tributary interfaces to run at OC-3/12 or STM-1/4 rates, two OC-48/STM-16 line interfaces, and 10 Gbps of non-blocking cross-connect.

Artimi Samples Single UWB Chip

Artimi., a start-up based in Santa Clara, California with R&D in Cambridge, UK, announced first silicon of its single chip UWB solution. Samples will be made available to development partners for early design-ins.

Artimi's UWB solution is a single chip implemented in SiGe BiCMOS. The digital portion of the device is implemented in CMOS and the high frequency section implemented in SiGe. The chip can process up to 4GHz of coherent bandwidth and includes integrated LNA and PA, adaptive channel digital radio, IEEE 802.15.3 MAC, standard PCI 2.3 interface with master/slave, flexible expansion port with dedicated RISC I/O processor and is designed to be compliant with FCC Part 15 Subpart F. Additional features include Artimi's strong QoS technology that supports streaming media without any other processing
in the solution.

Artimi said that with an underlying 800 Mbps transport capability, plus
integrated error correction and encryption, its RTMI-100 chip is ideal for high bandwidth wire replacement, such as high performance bulk file transfers or where quality of service is important, like streaming audio and video between a DVD player and an LCD home theater system. Artimi is working with leading manufacturers in the consumer electronics, PC and mobile markets to develop end user products based on its UWB technology. http://www.artimi.com
  • In July 2004, Artimi announced $14 million in Series A funding for its development of Ultra Wideband (UWB) silicon solutions. Artimi is developing a low cost, single chip solution that aims to extend the range and boost the performance of UWB connectivity. Artimi's UWB chips could be used for applications such as interconnecting flat panel displays, DVD, DVR and other multimedia devices. The company participates in standard-setting industry bodies, including IEEE 802.15 working groups and the Multi-Band OFDM Alliance (MBOA).

  • Artimi was co-founded by Mark Moore and David Baker. Moore was most recently Principal Architect with GlobespanVirata, having been a member from the company's early days as ATM Ltd, to its subsequent re-branding as Virata and flotation on NASDAQ. Baker previously was Principal ASIC Engineer at GlobespanVirata and Technical Director of RWA.

AMCC Shows ATCA-Based, Multiservice Evaluation Platform

Applied Micro Circuits Corporation (AMCC) is introducing an ATCA standards-based Multiservice Evaluation platform for OEMs developing packet and cell-based switching chassis gear. The platform includes a Control Processor, Network Processor, Packet/Cell-based Switch,
Framers, and SERDES functions. Targer applications could include multiservice switch/routers, wireline access (DSLAM, CMTS, Media Gateway), wireless access (RNC, GGSN, SGSN), metro aggregation (MSPP), and data center (WLAN, L4-7) platforms. Key elements of the platform include a network processor-based ATCA line card and a 80G-based ATCA packet/cell switch card. http://www.amcc.com/ATCA/

Ensim Acquires TeleGea for Hosted Services Delivery

Ensim, a provider of hosting automation software, agreed to acquire TeleGea, a provider of service delivery solutions for hosted VoIP services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The combination of Ensim and TeleGea will offer service providers a suite of software solutions for enabling converged voice and data services with reduced cost of operations and the flexibility to support evolving business models. The combined company will operate under Ensim's brand, with headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA, and regional offices in Waltham, MA, and Pune, India. Sandip Gupta will continue in his role as President and CEO and Steven Domenikos, CEO of TeleGea, will act as a strategic business advisor to the company. Key members of TeleGea's management team will hold leadership positions at the new Ensim.

Sandburst Unveils 20 Gbps Traffic Manager

Sandburst announced the debut of its 20 Gbps packet-based Traffic Manager device optimized for delivering next generation Ethernet services. The device provides advanced hardware-based QoS on a per-user, per-application and per-flow basis, thereby enabling the bandwidth control and service prioritization required to drive new converged real-time voice, video and data communications services across carrier-grade Ethernet networks.

Sandburst's TME-2000 is a 20-Gigabit line rate packet-oriented traffic manager. Based on the company's second-generation HiBeam traffic management technology, it performs highly precise and granular packet queuing, congestion management and hierarchical traffic shaping on up to 16K queues simultaneously. It integrates two SPI-4.2 interfaces for a standards-based interconnect enabling seamless integration with existing legacy systems or to other members of the HiBeam chipset family.

"With the rise of advanced Ethernet services in carrier networks, specifically the delivery of real-time voice, video and data to individual subscribers, it is increasingly urgent for service providers and their OEMs to ensure the highest levels of per subscriber QoS within their network infrastructure," said Vince Graziani, CEO of Sandburst.

NTT-AT to Distribute Axerra's Pseudo-Wire Gateways

Axerra Networks announced a strategic distribution agreement with NTT Advanced Technology (NTT-AT). Under the deal, NTT-AT will distribute Axerra Networks' family of AXN Pseudo-Wire Gateways and Access Devicesto wireline and wireless service providers throughout Japan. Axerra's AXN Pseudo-Wire Gateways and Access Devices enable a range of layer-1 plus emerging and legacy layer-2 voice and data services over IP, carrier Ethernet, and MPLS networks. http://www.axerra.com

Westell Unveils New Home Networking Routers

Westell Technologies unveiled a new family of home networking routers for delivering IPTV and video to residential users. The new UltraLine II line will include three models:

  • UltraLine - Ethernet WAN (for direct fiber connections)

  • UltraLine - Bonded ADSL WAN

  • UltraLine - VDSL WAN

All UltraLine II models support a wide means of delivering connectivity to a consumer's broadband-enabled devices, including IP video set top boxes or digital recorders. In addition to an intelligent Ethernet switch, UltraLine II includes a digital coaxial connector. This allows any UltraLine II gateway to be connected directly to the consumer's existing in-home coaxial cabling for delivery of 100Mbps+ of data and IP video with minimal cost or disruption to the customer's home. Each UltraLine II model also contains an 802.11g wireless access point to deliver wireless networking throughout the home.

The UltraLine II also provides software and routing capabilities for delivery of video content over the broadband network. For example, the product line supports intelligent IGMP functions for efficient management of video streams, as well as a combination of QoS features and configurations.

Teknovus Offers Gigabit EPON ONU Chip

Teknovus announced its new Ethernet Passive Optical Network (EPON) Optical Network Unit (ONU) chip, which is in full production. The new Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) device provides two service ports including a gigabit User Network Interface (UNI), and hardware-based service-contract enforcement for advanced FTTH networks. The device is currently shipping.


Kabel Deutschland Selects Cisco for Cable Telephony

Kabel Deutschland (KDG), Europe's largest cable operator, has implemented an IP Next-Generation Network (IP NGN) solution from Cisco Systems to deliver converged voice, video and data over its cable broadband network serving the city of Leipzig. The deployment includes the Cisco BTS 10200 softswitch, the Cisco PGW 2200 media gateway controller and the Cisco AS5400 Series media gateways. The BTS 10200 softswitch provides processing of voice calls supporting the PacketCable Dynamic Quality of Service specification. Financial terms were not disclosed.
  • Kabel Deutschland (KDG) operates cable networks in 13 Federal states and supplies around 10 million connected TV households in Germany. In 2003, a consortium of investors, consisting of Apax Partners, Providence Equity and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, took over Kabel Deutschland from Deutsche Telekom.

5G Wireless Solutions Tests Cellular Approach for Wi-Fi

5G Wireless Solutions has begun testing a new Cellular Approach to Wi-Fi that is designed to further extend the range of its existing Campus-Wide Area Network and accelerate municipal Wi-Fi deployments.

The new antenna array resembles a cellular base station in that it divides a large geographic area into 120 degree sectors and optimizes the range of each sector to maximize coverage. The individual sector antennas can be mounted alongside cellular mountings without interference. The initial range of the 802.11b/g base station to most wirelessly enabled portable devices can be up to 4 km in b mode and up to 1.5 km in g mode.

The company said the new 360 degree, 3-panel antenna arrays will have the ability to simultaneously handle backhaul in the 5.3 and 5.8 gig range and handle local Wi-Fi distribution in the 2.4 range 802.11 b and g modes. The first unit has just been installed at the company's Marina del Rey facility in California and is currently in testing phase with plans to ship Q3, 2005.

WSJ: Verizon, SBC Lose TV Fight with Texas Bill

The Texas Legislature ended its session without approving a bill that would have enabled telecom carriers to launch IPTV services across the state without negotiating separate franchise deals with each municipality. according to The Wall Street Journal. SBC Communications and Verizon had lobbied in favor of the bill. Telecom industry pressure is now likely to increase for a major regulator overhaul at the federal level.

Lingo Adds Unlimited Calling to Mexico

Lingo launched an "Unlimited Mexico" VoIP plan that provides members with unlimited calls to Mexico (landline), the U.S. (including Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands) and Canada for $29.95 per month.

Hong Kong's SuperSUN Selects Alcatel for IPTV

SuperSUN, a pay TV Service of Hong Kong's Galaxy Satellite Broadcasting Limited, selected Alcatel's IPTV solution to deliver service to residential broadband users in Hong Kong. In addition, Alcatel is also selected as the integration partner for the project.

Alcatel will provide a fully integrated end-to-end video solution to enable SuperSUN to manage and deliver its satellite TV content over the broadband network of Hutchison Global Communications, one of Hong Kong's leading fixed telecom operators. At present, SuperSUN's satellite TV services cover 600,000 homes in Hong Kong. The service provider expects to launch its IPTV services in June 2005 and immediately expand its reach to 2 million households by leveraging the coverage of its broadband network partner.

Alcatel Launches GPON Access Solutions

Alcatel introduced a GPON solution for its ISAM access family, offering full compliance to the new ITU standard (G.984.x) with 2.4 Gbps of downstream bandwidth and of 1.2 Gbps upstream bandwidth. In comparison, BPON supports 622 Mbps of downstream bandwidth and 155 Mbps upstream. BPON is ATM-based, whereas GPON is native IP. GPON also supports up to a 1:64 passive split and a 20 km reach (28dB link budget). Alcatel said carriers may choose to deploy GPON in new areas of their network, BPON in current network rollouts, and a mixed BPON/GPON environment in others.

Components for the GPON system were designed and built by Alcatel.

The new Alcatel 7342 ISAM FTTU scales to 2,304 subscribers from a single system (36 lines times 64 split). Alcatel will also offer a 2.4 Gbps symmetric option. The platform uses distributed network processors and features a high-speed internal switching fabric with available 10GbE optics.

The Alcatel 7342 ISAM FTTU is managed by the same management suite as the rest of the Alcatel Access product portfolio.

Alcatel said GPON can coexist with BPON in the same network, CO and chassis. An Alcatel 7340 chassis can be upgraded to GPON to installing new network processors. Existing BPON line cards would remain in place and new GPON line cards would be added for the new GPON subscribers.

The GPON network supports IPTV in a similar fashion to BPON, with video channels being multiplexed to the ISAM and subscribers switching channels through IGMP.

Alcatel is also introducing a GPON ONT called the GSFU (GPON Single Family Unit). Services are delivered over 1 fiber. Two options exist for user interfaces: 4 Ethernet and 2 POTS, or 2 Ethernet and 1 POTS.
  • Since introducing its ISAM family of access products, Alcatel has already contracted for more than 25 million lines worldwide from over 20 major carriers.

  • In September 2004, Alcatel launched a new IP DSLAM designed for telco triple play services, including high-speed Internet access, voice, video on demand, HDTV and broadcast TV services. The Alcatel 7302 Intelligent Services Access Manager (ISAM) supports a range of broadband access technologies: multi-ADSL (RE-ADSL2 and ADSL2plus), VDSL2, PON, remote node aggregation, integrated POTS and ADSL combo technology. It features a non-blocking internal architecture with a 24 Gbps switching fabric for wire-speed service delivery to all users. Gigabit connectivity is provided to each slot for allow for high uptake of bandwidth consuming services (such as VoD and business access).

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Samsung Selects TI Multimedia Processor for DMB Phones

Samsung Electronics has selected TI's OMAP-DM multimedia processor technology for several mobile phones that can receive Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) signals from satellites or from a network of terrestrial transmitters. The first model of these new Samsung digital TV mobile phones is available now to consumers in South Korea.
  • Earlier this month, SK Telecom launched a satellite DMB service that delivers high-quality video broadcasts to a mobile phone or car-based video entertainment system. SK Telecom is initially delivering 11 video channels, 25 audio channels, and 3 data channels. Consumers in South Korea are able to receive the broadcasts either on mobile phones or in-car displays. The video uses MPEG-4 H.264 system and the music channels are furnished through a MPEG-2 AAC+ system.

    In areas where the satellite view may be obstructed, such as alongside tall buildings, SK Telecom will boost its service using a signal "gap filler" from its mobile base stations and existing towers. The Ku-Band (13.824~13.883GHz) is used between the Signal Transmission Center and the satellite (which is positioned at 144 degrees east longitude), and the S-Band (2.630~2.655 GHz, 25MHz) is utilized between satellite and the mobile terminals. The Ku-Band (12.214~12.239GHz) is used between satellite and base stations providing supplemental signals.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Infineon Announces VDSL2/ADSL2+ Silicon

Infineon Technologies is extending its DSL silicon portfolio with VINAX, a VDSL2/ADSL2+ end-to-end solution positioned for Triple Play services such as multi-channel HDTV, on-line/on-demand gaming and video applications, VoIP and high-speed Internet access. The new Infineon VINAX chipset drives symmetric 100 Mbps over copper wires at distances greater than 350 meters (1150 ft), doubling the loop reach performance of existing VDSL solutions.

Infineon said VINAX is fully compliant to the new VDSL2/ G.993.2 (Very-High-Bit-Rate Digital Subscriber Line 2) standard, which is solely based on DMT (Discrete Multi-tone Modulation) technology. It provides the long-reach capabilities of the ADSL2+ technology while enhancing the high data rates of VDSL from 70/30 Mbps to symmetric 100 Mbps. In order to carry such high bit rates within a reach of up to 350 meters the VDSL2 frequency spectrum has been increased from 12 MHz to 30 MHz. To meet carrier access market requirements for medium and long loops the transmit power has been raised up to 20 dBm and echo canceling techniques were specified to allow ADSL-like performance for long reach applications. For most efficient use of bit rate and bandwidth flexible framing and on-line reconfiguration methods like Seamless Rate Adaptation (SRA) and Dynamic Rate Repartitioning (DRR) were included as well.

The new Infineon VDSL2 chip set is available as complete end-to-end solution designed for full VDSL2 bandwidth of 30 MHz. The multi-channel Central Office (CO) chipset is based on a 2-chip architecture enabling line card density of 48 full-rate VDSL2 ports in CO and Remote Terminal (RT) applications. MII, R-MII, S-MII, SS-SMII, POSPHY-L2, and Utopia-L2 interface on the backplane side allow full flexibility and in combination with the built-in AAL5 interworking functionality enable system vendors and telecom providers to deploy VDSL2/ADSL2+ line cards in existing Ethernet and ATM networks. To increase service speed and range the solution integrates a 2-port bonding mechanism and therefore enables service providers to reach 100 percent of their customer base. ADSL-like long reach performance is ensured using Echo Canceller algorithms, Time Domain Equalization and a maximum of 20 dBm line power. All service profiles and regional specific requirements can be met with a single hardware platform by appropriate software configuration.

On the Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) side, Infineon offers a full standard compliant VDSL2 single-chip solution which addresses both simple bridge modems as well as access gateway applications. The VINAX-CPE can be integrated with the company's new WildPass Wireless Network processor for a complete, ready to deploy, VDSL2 / ADSL2+ gateway reference design.

"We are delighted to see standardized VDSL2 technology entering the market so quickly as it is a key element of next generation DSL business," said Tom Starr, Board Member of the international DSL Forum.

ITU Approves VDSL2 Standard

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) officially approved the very-high-bit-rate digital subscriber line 2 (VDSL2) standard.

The new VDSL2 Recommendation (ITU-T G.993.2) delivers up to 100 Mbps both up and downstream, a ten-fold increase over "plain vanilla" ADSL.

Yoichi Maeda, chairman of the ITU Telecommunications Standardization Sector (ITU-T) Study Group responsible for the work, said: "We have leveraged the strengths of ADSL, ADSL2+, and VDSL to achieve the very high performance levels you will see with VDSL2. This new standard is set to become an extremely important feature of the telecommunications landscape, and is a landmark achievement for our members, many of whom are relying on this Recommendation to take their businesses to the next level."http://www.itu.int

SIPquest Appoints CEO

SIPquest, a developer of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) based IP Telephony software applications, named David Hattey as its president, CEO, replacing co-founder and current CEO, Alain Mouttham, who stepped down for personal reasons. Mouttham will continue to serve on the company's board and as CTO. Hattey previously served as Vice President and General Manager, Enterprise Voice Solutions at 3Com.


Verio Provides IPv6 Service to UltraDNS

Verio, a subsidiary of NTT Communications, will provide its IPv6 Gateway Services to Internet access customer UltraDNS, a provider of managed DNS services. The company currently manages more than 12 million domains, representing approximately a 20% share of the global domain market. The IPv6 services UltraDNS provides to its customer base expand beyond the United States, reaching to Hong Kong and London, making IPv6 an option for international customers.

Pace Micro Lands Set-Top Contract with Comcast

Pace Micro Technology was awarded a multi-year set-top box contract by Comcast. In addition, Comcast has agreed to license Pace's EngineWare software platform and related set-top box technology and to work with Pace on the joint development of next-generation set-top boxes and related technologies.

The total price expected to be paid for the set-top boxes over a three-year period is between approximately $375 million and $550 million based on the type of Pace boxes that Comcast may order. Under the new agreement, which supersedes an earlier set-top box purchase agreement between the companies, Comcast will purchase a variety of Pace's set-top boxes, including the recently announced Tahoe HD DVR set-top box. The purchases are subject to Comcast's acceptance of the boxes and other conditions contained in the agreement.

Comcast also will have the right to sublicense Pace's EngineWare software and specified set-top box designs in the North American cable market. In addition, Comcast and Pace will jointly fund non-exclusive development of next-generation cable set-top boxes and related technologies to be carried out by Pace's engineering team. http://www.pacemicro.com

European Regulators See High International Roaming Charges

Regulators from 32 European countries agreed to coordinate their efforts to address the very high retail charges for mobile international roaming services. The European Regulators Group (ERG) said the exorbitant charges appear to result both from high wholesale charges levied by the foreign host network operator and also, in many cases, from high retail mark-ups charged by the customer's own network operator. Reductions in wholesale charges are not being passed on to consumers. Furthermore, consumers often lack clear information on what they will be charged for each call.

The ERG is establishing a project team to identify regulatory measures in order to improve tariff transparency. The issue will be discussed at the next ERG meeting in September.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Level 3 to Deploy Infinera's Optical Transport

Level 3 Communications plans to deploy Infinera's optical equipment across a substantial portion of its 23,000-mile fiber-optic network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Infinera's DTN platform will provide DWDM at the network's optical transport layer. The Infinera DTN, based on Infinera's photonic integrated circuits, combines DWDM, digital bandwidth management, and advanced network intelligence. The DTN supports 800 Gb/s of DWDM capacity and delivers manageable and protectable SONET/SDH and Ethernet-based services.

Level 3 is continuing its field trials and interoperability testing, and expects to finish installing the Infinera equipment along a majority of its intercity network routes in the U.S., where demand for IP and transport services is greatest, by the end of 2005.
  • In October 2004, Infinera, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, raised $52 million in new funding for its Photonic Integrated Circuit technology. The company has raised $205 million to date. Strategic investors in this round include UTStarcom and CTC (Itochu Techno-Science Corporation), both of which are collaborating with Infinera to provide optical networking solutions in Asia.

  • Infinera is offering an optical transport platform based on its Photonic Integrated Circuits. The Infinera DTN supports 400 Gbps, i.e., forty 10 Gbps channels in a half rack, and 800Gbps (eighty 10 Gbps channels) in a full rack.. 100 Gbps line cards support a variety of hot-swappable client interfaces including OC-192/STM-64, OC-48/STM-16, 10 Gigabit Ethernet LAN PHY and WAN PHY, and Gigabit Ethernet. The platform runs Infinera's IQ Network Operating System to automate network discovery, configuration, and provisioning via GMPLS.

  • Unlike conventional optical systems, which use analog optical devices for key networking functions, the Infinera DTN uses digital technology. Its photonic integrated circuits convert all traffic from optical to electronic signals, allowing the DTN to add and drop, multiplex, groom, and protect circuits digitally rather than optically. Infinera's Photonic Integrated Circuits include a 100 Gbps transmitter, which integrates ten lasers, ten 10 Gbps modulators, and an optical multiplexer; as well as a 100 Gbps receiver, which integrates an optical demultiplexer and ten photodiodes. Each enables low-cost optical-electrical conversion on a semiconductor chip.

TiVo Adds 319,000 New Subscribers in Latest Quarter

During the three month period ending April 30, TiVo added 319,000 total net new subscriptions, giving it a total of 3.3 million. The installed base of DIRECTV subscriptions is now approximately 2.1 million with the addition of 247,000 net new subscriptions in the quarter; while the installed base of TiVo-owned subscriptions grew by 72,000 in Q1 to a level of over 1.2 million.


Telenor Deploys Nokia's VDSL in the Artic

Telenor is using Nokia's VDSL equipment to bring IP-based TV and other services to Svalbard, one of the world's northernmost settlements. At 78 degrees north, the Svalbard archipelago, also known as Spitzbergen, forms one of the world's most northern settlements. Sixty percent of the area is covered by glacier, and the inhabitants experience the extremes of long polar nights and summer-long midnight sun.
Under the deal, Nokia will supply its latest generation D500 IP DSLAM and a range of support services. http://www.nokia.com

Deutsche Telekom Appoints CTO and CIO

Deutsche Telekom has established new positions of Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Information Officer (CIO).

Anton Hendrik Schaaf was named CTO, responsible for the key functions of technology and innovation in the Deutsche Telekom Group, which are being combined to create a new unit, and thus also takes over as head of research & development in the group. Schaaf previously served at Siemens, where he was head of the business units Carrier Networks and Carrier Service, as well as the regions Asia / Australia and CIS. Schaaf has been CTO and member of the Siemens Communications Board of Management since October 2004. He began his professional career at Philips.

Peter Thomas Sany was named CIO, where he will be responsible for Information Management and Processes. Sany is currently CTO and deputy CEO at Avaloq, a software company for financial service providers in Switzerland. He was group CIO and responsible for the pharmaceuticals division of Novartis from 1997 to 2003.


BT Cuts Prices for Local Loop Unbundling

BT Wholesale launched a special offer to make it cheaper for service providers to move customers onto unbundled local loops. Under this variant of unbundling, the LLU operator chooses to unbundle just the broadband channel on the line with either BT or a wholesale line rental operator providing the narrowband voice service. Line sharing is made possible by installing ‘splitters' in the end user's home or office and another within the LLU operator's network equipment. Under line sharing, the end user has contracts with both the narrowband provider and the LLU supplier for the services each provides.

For LLU operators, BT is offering a 42% reduction in the price for migrating their customers from BT Wholesale's other broadband products to its shared LLU offering.

From 1 July, the price for migrating end-customers from BT Datastream and BT IPstream to shared LLU with the same operator will be reduced from £34.86 to £20.00 (ex.VAT). This offer will apply to LLU operators migrating end-customers in bulk per exchange and will be available for a period of 12 months. This special offer follows the 70 per cent reduction in total charges for shared LLU introduced by BT Wholesale in September 2004. With the introduction of these price reductions, the UK is now ranked third in Europe on price comparison for shared LLU.

Paul Reynolds, CEO, BT Wholesale said, "We are fully committed to seeing LLU a success. Industry interest has grown significantly since BT delivered price reductions of up to 70% on shared LLU in 2004, and we are confident that the special offer announced today will further boost demand."

BT's vision is that by January 2006, LLU operators will have the operational capability to deliver more than one million unbundled local loops a year.
  • According to the Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator, the total number of unbundled lines in the UK is currently just over 47,000 and is increasing at 2,000 lines per week.

Cable & Wireless Chooses Marconi MSPP

Cable & Wireless has awarded a contract to Marconi to supply its multiservice provisioning platform (MSPP) for an initial period of five years. Marconi will supply a range of transport services for Cable & Wireless, including access and customer-located solutions.

The contract does not form part of Cable & Wireless' £190 million investment in its Next Generation Network.

Cable & Wireless Selects Tellabs' AssuredEthernet

Cable & Wireless awarded a Metro Ethernet contract to Tellabs for its "AssuredEthernet" solution. Cable & Wireless' Next Generation Network (NGN) deployment will include the Tellabs 8800 multi- service router series for delivering Ethernet services with differentiated service level agreements. The platforms will also be used for the migration of Ethernet, Frame Relay, Time Division Multiplex (TDM), ATM and IP onto a single, converged network.

The contract is the first to be awarded by Cable & Wireless as it begins provisioning its Next Generation Network. Cable & Wireless has also issued the tender for its IP core and would anticipate awarding the contract before the autumn. Further tenders for other key elements of the network, including optical network and voice over IP infrastructure, will be issued in due course.
  • Last month, Cable & Wireless announced its £190 million investment in its own NGN to transform its entire core and edge network, the second largest in the UK, to next generation topology. Cable & Wireless said the benefits will include an enhanced ability to offer market-leading IP services; reduce operating costs; accommodate significant growth in traffic; and give our customers the chance to migrate to new services ahead of the equivalent transformation outlined by BT.

  • Earlier this month, Tellabs introduced an entry-price multiservice router (MSR) designed for business-class IP, FR, ATM, Ethernet and TDM/Private Line services at the edge of an IP/MPLS network. The new Tellabs 8830 MSR, which is part of the company's larger Tellabs 8800 MSR line, is multi-service platform that can aggregate ATM, Ethernet, Frame Relay, and TDM services and perform interworking services among these same services, either through the IP/MPLS backbone or in native form. Key features include: A single Universal Line Card (ULC) that accepts a flexible set of different Physical Line Modules (PLMs) spanning DS-3 to OC-192/STM-64 or 10 GigE. The line cards use Tellabs' 10 Gbps custom ASIC for high-density per-flow queuing; ANYPort software-defined service edge enabling any port or channel to be configured in software-only to provide IP, FR, ATM, PPP, HDLC, MPLS or TDM; Scalable single-stage, low-latency design to achieve 80 Gbps in a single shelf; Fully non-blocking switching architecture

Agere Offers USB 2.0 to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter

Agere Systems introduced a USB 2.0 to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter and an ExpressCard form-factor Gigabit Ethernet Adapter. The first product turns a USB 2.0 port into a Gigabit Ethernet LAN connection. The second product enables a PC to support 10/100/1000 Base-T Ethernet in a compact mini-size ExpressCard compatible with the latest generation of notebook PCs featuring an ExpressCard slot. http://www.agere.com

Cisco to Acquire FineGround for WAN Optimization

Cisco Systems will acquire FineGround Networks, a start-up based in Campbell, California, for approximately $70 million in cash and options. FineGround offers network appliances that accelerate, secure, and monitor application delivery while minimizing bandwidth usage.

FineGround uses application-optimization techniques resulting in bandwidth efficiencies, decreased latency, and server offload across the network. The company claims its appliances can dramatically improve end-user response times by up to 5 times, reduce application bandwidth usage by up to 90% , and reduce the load on servers by up to 90%. In addition, FineGround solutions allow organizations to secure and mitigate the risk of web-enabled business transactions by incorporating application firewall functions.

"This acquisition further enhances Cisco's strategy to converge application acceleration, security and a highly available network infrastructure seamlessly in the data center," said Jayshree Ullal, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco's Security Technology Group.

FineGround will become part of Cisco's Security Technology Group and CEO Nat Kausik will continue to lead the team.

FineGround was founded in June 2000 and has 42 employees.

TelTel Adds Music to its SIP-Enabled VoIP

TelTel, a provider of SIP-based global Internet telephony service with presence-enabled features, is adding music and audio programming channels to its peer-to-peer network. The company also announced that it has signed up more than 1 million users.

TelTel currently provides 13 channels of audio entertainment in two languages, and plans to expand the range of offerings in the near future. A TelTel user only needs to click on "My Channel" on the softphone and can immediately enjoy a wide variety of content.

TelTel is searching for media content partners. Similarly, nearly any telecom service provider using SIP, including the SIP termination and SIP origination service providers, also can become TelTel's partner through the same partner program. TelTel's user base now has more than one million users, making it the world's largest SIP-based Internet Telephony user community.
  • The TelTel network uses standards-based SIP to deliver "managed peer-to-peer" Internet Telephony versus the "best efforts" service of pure peer-to-peer Internet telephony providers, such as Skype. The encoding technology can deliver better-than-toll quality sound. TelTel also tunes the call route to reduce latency.

  • TelTel's SIP-based network allows any device that "speaks SIP" (including IP Phones, IP PBX and Terminal Adapter) to connect and interoperate with its users through an auto-provisioning function. The company is seeking partnerships from other telecom providers. as well as SIP-device manufacturers.

  • TelTel is headed by Sherman Tuan, who previously founded AboveNet Communications, a leading Internet Data Center service provider that was acquired by Metromedia Fiber Networks in a multi-billion dollar deal.

Acterna Launches VoIP Test and Performance Mgt Solution

Acterna introduced VoIP support features for its NetComplete Service Assurance solution, which provides performance monitoring, turn-up test and troubleshooting functions for service providers.

Acterna said its NetComplete enables VoIP service providers to obtain visibility of the end-customer voice experience throughout the entire lifecycle of a call. This includes service-assurance functions such as service monitoring, rapid fault isolation, and tier-two troubleshooting so they can address the challenges of delivering carrier grade VoIP. As components of NetComplete, Acterna's NetAnalyst Test Management and NetOptimize Performance Management applications work in conjunction with its QT family of distributed test heads. Together, they provide VoIP demand testing and proactive monitoring by means of active call generation or passive call monitoring.


ADC Supplies FTTX to City of Provo, Utah

ADC announced that it is shipping its OmniReach FTTX solutions for the fiber network owned and operated by the City of Provo, Utah. The City owns the network infrastructure and private businesses lease the system to deliver "triple play" services. The ADC OmniReach FTTX products deployed by the iProvo network includes Fiber Access Terminals and Central Office cable management systems.

Enterasys to Collect $47.5 Million Tax Refund

Enterasys Networks announced that the Internal Revenue Service has completed its field audit of the company's federal tax returns for fiscal years 1999 through 2002 and concluded that the company is due a tax refund of $47.5 million. The refund is subject to review and approval by the Joint Committee Reviewer of the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation. http://www.enterasys.com

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Verizon Announces FiOS for Businesses

Verizon outlined plans for its FiOS FTTP service for businesses with under 50 employees. There are three tiers:

  • 15 Mbps downstream and 2 Mbps upstream, priced at $59.95 a month with a dynamic IP address and $99.95 a month with a static IP address.

  • 5 Mbps downstream and 5 Mbps upstream symmetrical service, priced at $169.95 a month with a dynamic IP address and $209.95 a month with a static IP address.

  • 30 Mbps downstream and 5 Mbps upstream, priced at $349.95 a month with a dynamic IP address and $389.95 a month with a static IP address.

Discounts are offered as part of a package that includes local and long-distance service.


Agere Enters Market for Home Multimedia Networks

Agere Systems introduced a portfolio of chips designed for multimedia and storage networking applications in homes and businesses. The new chips are designed to enable digital media server and network attached storage solutions capable of delivering content at 1 Gbps, enough for up to eight HDTV streams.

Agere's new portfolio of chips is called NASn01 (network attached storage), in which n stands for the number of Serial Advance Technology Attachment Level 1 (SATA 1) hard disk drives (HDDs) the chips can support. The portfolio includes four members: NAS8xx (supports up to 8 SATA 1 drives), NAS4xx (supports up to 4 SATA 1drives), NAS2xx (supports up to 2 SATA 1 drives), and the NAS1xx (supports a single SATA 1 drive).

Media streaming technology from Digital 5 Inc. is embedded in these chips.

In addition to its 1 Gbps speed benefit, key features include the ability to manage multiple streams (up to 64 concurrent sessions), content protection through RAID 0, 1, 4, 5 (Redundant Array of Independent Disks), multiple hard disk drive (HDD) configurations (1, 2, 4, 8) for expandable storage capacity, and optional data security.

The Agere chips provide the ability to dynamically allocate bandwidth, protect the network, and store media and data content. The chips integrate two network interfaces: Gigabit Ethernet and USB 2.0 for connectivity to a wireless local area network. The chips also house a multi-port (1, 2, 4, 8) SATA-1 storage controller to interface with up to eight HDDs.

Agere said these capabilities will make it possible for multiple people in the same house to simultaneously share, view and send digital entertainment content to and from a wide range of consumer equipment such as digital media servers, network-attached storage, PC storage/expansion and backup gear, routers, multi-user personal video recorders, network area servers, and audio servers. Similarly, in business environments the amount of bandwidth and storage required is growing exponentially, and this Agere chips meet the needs of such requirements. http://www.agere.com

Nokia Launches Wi-Fi Internet Tablet

Nokia introduced a dedicated Wi-Fi device optimized for Internet browsing and email in a pocketsize format.

The Nokia 770 Internet Tablet features a high-resolution (800x480) widescreen display with zoom and on-screen keyboard. Aside from Wi-Fi, the device can also connect to the Internet utilizing Bluetooth wireless technology via a compatible mobile phone.

The device runs on Linux based Nokia Internet Tablet 2005 software edition which includes widely deployed desktop Linux and Open Source technologies. Additional highlighted applications of the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet with the 2005 software include an Internet Radio, RSS News reader, Image viewer and Media players for selected types of media. Commercial launch is expected in Q3.

BT Infonet Supplies MPLS VPN for Radisys

BT Infonet was awarded a two-year contract by RadiSys to implement an MPLS-enabled IP VPN Secure global network for eight manufacturing, design and sales locations in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Headquartered in Hillsboro, Oregon, RadiSys provides advanced embedded solutions for the commercial, enterprise and service provider systems markets. Financial terms were not disclosed.

NTT Develops IP Video Stream Server

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) has developed a cluster-based, IP video stream server that can simultaneously handle up to ten 1.5 Gbps streams of uncompressed high definition television (HDTV) video in real-time using an IP network. The i-Visto eXmedia server is intended for professional use in the broadcasting industry.

NTT Network Innovation Laboratories developed the cluster-server using multiple general purpose PCs and a commercially available, low-delay Fibre Channel network. When combined with the i-Visto gateway XG, another NTT product that serves the broadcasting industry, it functions as a complete system that integrates transmission, storage, and delivery of uncompressed HDTV video streams over an IP network.


Acme Packet Announces Lawful Intercept/CALEA Support

Acme Packet announced support in its Net-Net session border controller (SBC) for global lawful intercept (LI) capabilities, including compliance with the US Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). LI requires sending call data (the voice over IP signaling messages) and call content (the actual voice media packets) to one or more law enforcement agencies for detection and storage. This intercept must be transparent or undetectable to the both the target subscriber and to the service provider's management systems. In addition, each law enforcement agency eligible to receive the intercepted call must not be aware that other agencies are also intercepting the call. Acme Packet said that for IP networks, which utilize separate signaling and media protocols and paths, these requirements present a challenge.

Acme Packet is working with leading product vendors and trusted third-party service providers - NeuStar, SS8 Networks, Verint and VeriSign - to provide a complete solution for LI. In addition, for MSO cable networks, Acme Packet supports the dynamic provisioning of the targeted subscribers by the Call Management Server (CMS).

In the solutions announced today, Acme Packet's Net-Net SBC is the intercept access point in an IP network. Provisioning of the target subscriber in the SBC is performed by SS8 Networks' lawful intercept platform Xcipio or Verint STAR-GATE products or within SIP signaling messages sent to the SBC by the CMS in a MSO cable network. The Acme Packet SBC forwards intercepted call data and content to the SS8 Networks or Verint delivery functions which in turn provide trusted, secure interfaces to law enforcement agencies.

Acme Packet and its product partners SS8 Networks and Verint support managed services from NeuStar and VeriSign. Service providers use those third-party managed services of Neustar and VeriSign to meet their law enforcement compliance needs while remaining able to keep their focus on delivering innovative, high-quality subscriber services. http://www.acmepacket.com

Alcatel and Polycom to Deliver SIP Solutions

Alcatel and Polycom agreed to deliver converged collaboration solutions to enterprises. The solutions combine Polycom's video conferencing systems with Alcatel's unified communications offering. The end-to-end videoconferencing will leverage presence and real-time control using Session Initiation Protocol (SIP).

Polycom's PVX and VSX video conferencing and collaboration systems and MGC multipoint bridges with then integrate with the Alcatel OmniPCX Enterprise IP communications platform, Alcatel IP Touch phones, and the Alcatel My Teamwork collaboration application. The integrated solution will also tie the desktop into Polycom's group video conferencing systems in conference rooms both within and among companies for a seamless integration of applications and devices, enabling users to instantly add video to existing IM sessions and telephony calls. Network administrators will be able to remotely deploy, provision and manage the integrated environments through a unified dial plan and directory services.

Customer trials and pilots will begin in the fourth quarter of this year and the joint solution will be commercially available in early 2006.

Alcatel and Intel Collaborate on AdvancedTCA

Alcatel and Intel signed an agreement to improve time to market of Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (AdvancedTCA) platforms for mobile service providers. The companies will engage in joint development activities in such areas as system architecture definition and board and solution design based on Intel processors, with the resulting products to be available across the industry.

New Alcatel solutions resulting from this collaboration are expected to be available in early 2006, and use an Intel Pentium M processor-based AdvancedTCA single board computer.

"Intel's collaboration with Alcatel to build a long-term, stable AdvancedTCA building block roadmap will undoubtedly accelerate the industry's move to modular, open standard-based architectures," said Doug Davis, vice president, Digital Enterprise Group (DEG) and general manager, Communications Infrastructure Group (CIG) at Intel.
  • In February 2005, Alcatel endorsed the Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (AdvancedTCA) as its preferred architecture for the evolution of its mobile and fixed network infrastructure platforms. Alcatel plans to leverage AdvancedTCA across its entire portfolio of network solutions, thereby aiming to reduce the total cost of ownership for fixed and mobile operators.

  • AdvancedTCA is an open industry standard for carrier-grade blade-based servers, targeting the requirements for next-generation telecommunications network equipment. The series of specifications is designed to provide higher I/O capacity and computing performance, improved reliability and flexibility, reduced equipment footprint and power consumption, as well as greater choice and interoperability of components at multiple levels of the solution 'stack'.

TI and Audiocodes Partner on VoIP Processors - DSPs

Texas Instruments and AudioCodes have agreed to jointly promote AudioCodes' VoIP processors based on TI DSPs. This announcement furthers the two companies' longstanding relationship and enables AudioCodes to provide the highest quality VoIP solutions to their customers more quickly and efficiently.

AudioCodes' VoIP solutions extend from its AC494 System on a Chip for IP phones and CPE, through the AC490, an 8 and 12 channel DSP for IP-PBX applications, and up to 64 and 102 channels in the AC491 for digital gateways and carrier grade equipment. As these solutions are based on TI´s TMS320C55xTM DSP generation and share uniform API software, vendors can develop a wide variety of VoIP solutions based on the same hardware and software.

TI has shipped over 125 million VoIP ports worldwide for the IP phone, customer premise equipment (CPE) gateway and high-density infrastructure markets. http://www.ti.com

TI Reports 20 Wi-Fi Mobile Device Wins

Texas Instruments reported that more than 20 TI WLAN-enabled mobile devices are shipping from companies including Nokia, NEC, Motorola, HP, and BenQ.

In-Stat predicts that by 2010, there will be 296 million WLAN-enabled mobile phones on the market, with 46 percent of these devices enabling VoWLAN capabilities. http://www.ti.com

N.E.T. Supplies Platforms for "Combined Endeavor 2005"

N.E.T. Federal has supplied its Promina, SCREAM and SHOUT networking gear for "Combined Endeavor 2005," the largest and most complex Communications and Information System (CIS) military exercise in the world, which is currently underway in Lager Aulenbach, Germany.

The 13-day military exercise, which is organized by the U.S. European Command and the German and Romanian Ministries of Defense, brings together NATO and Partnership for Peace nations to plan and execute interoperability testing of command, control, communications and computer equipment systems from participant nations in support of future combined humanitarian, peacekeeping and disaster relief operations.

Participants in Combined Endeavor 2005 will be conducting over 1,400 different interoperability tests, with the main elements being satellite communications, video teleconferencing, VoIP, and single channel radio networking.

Fujitsu Unveils Latest 10 Gbps Ethernet Switch Chip

Fujitsu Microelectronics America introduced the latest version of its single-chip 10 Gbps Ethernet switch with advanced security, data-reliability and aggregation features, and leaner power requirements.

The new device is the latest member of Fujitsu's 10 Gbps Ethernet switch chip family, which was introduced in late 2003. The new 12-port, layer-2 switch adds new capabilities such as link aggregation, which enables users to combine several links as a virtual fat link to achieve bandwidth scalability and high availability. This feature realizes a maximum aggregated bandwidth of 120 Gbps of bi-directional throughput between the server and the switch. This aggregation or trunking complies with the IEEE 802.3ad standard.

Fujitsu said its new chip also incorporates advanced port-security features such as source-based filtering. Power consumption has been reduced by more than 30% over the second-generation chip, which was introduced in mid-2004.

In addition to these features, the 10 Gbps Ethernet switch also supports differentiated services (Diffserv) for IPv4 and IPv6, along with Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) snooping for IPv4 and Multicast Listener Discovery (MLD) snooping for IPv6, which enable connected routers to discover multicast group members.

Fujitsu's single-chip switch incorporates an enhanced XAUI that supports XAUI and IEEE 10GBASE-CX4 high-speed electrical interfaces.

The device is fabricated using Fujitsu's 0.11-micron process. Samples and evaluation boards are available now. http://www.fma.fujitsu.com/

Monday, May 23, 2005

Global Crossing Introduces Carrier VoIP Outbound Service in Europe

Global Crossing introduced a Carrier VoIP Outbound Service in Europe that provides wholesale IP interconnection, transport and call completion of packet-based voice traffic over its network.

Global Crossing's Carrier VoIP Outbound Service is available using three different access methods. Customers can choose to connect either through Global Crossing IP VPN Service, IP Transit service or via the public Internet. The three access options allow customers to match Quality of Service levels to their requirements. The latter option also allows customers worldwide, beyond Global Crossing's network reach, to cost-effectively connect to the VoIP Outbound service using any public Internet connection for termination of traffic to any telephone in the world.

Global Crossing has deployed session border controllers (SBCs) to provide a secure interconnection point that protects both Global Crossing's and the customer's networks from each other. High performance is guaranteed because traffic is carried over the Global Crossing MPLS private backbone.

Hellas On Line, a Greek Internet service provider (ISP), is using the service to offer Internet-based services, including telephony and unified messaging, Internet connectivity, and value-added and content services, to consumers and enterprises. Global Crossing's Carrier VoIP Outbound service directly connects IP networks, enabling Hellas On Line to avoid the expense of connecting to TDM equipment.

Skype Adding 150,000 Users per Day, Launches Affiliate Program

Skype currently is signing up about 150,000 new users per day and its total number of registered users exceeds 35 million. In addition, there are 1.4 million SkypeOut accounts and the company reports a 22% monthly growth in minutes of traffic, which is now at 1.5 billion minutes per month. With up to 100 million new broadband connections activated worldwide last year and more this year, Skype believes its opportunity the telephony applications continues to accelerate. Looking beyond PCs, Skype is planning to take its telephony application to mobile devices, including phones and PDAs based on embedded Linus, Symbian, Windows Mobile, etc.

Also this week, Skype kicked off an Affiliate Program that rewards online communities, website publishers, bloggers and Skype enthusiasts with commissions of up to 10% for promoting Skype on their websites. Registered sites link to both Skype's home page and the Skype Store, where customers can purchase Skype's premium services from the affiliate website. So far, Skype said it has signed up 1,800 affiliates.

Skype is also partnering with a select group of "super affiliates," sites with millions of registered users, including: 192.com, aSmallWorld, Firstream, LunarStorm Sweden, LunarStorm United Kingdom, MyFamily.com, Passado, Spymac and SuperEva. Super affiliates integrate Skype into their online products and services.

Mitel Chooses TI for VoIP Silicon/Software

Mitel has selected Texas Instruments as its primary supplier for both its IP phone sets and VoIP gateway systems. Mitel plans to use TI's technology in both its business telephone sets and its core Integrated Communications Platform (ICP) portfolio. TI's TNETV1050 offers Mitel a highly integrated IP phone system-on-a-chip with a comprehensive feature set and integrated LCD controllers. Using TI's flexible silicon and software architecture, Mitel can map additional functionality into its IP phones as the demand for a particular feature or application emerges. TI's TNETV series of VoIP gateway solutions can be used for customer premises gateway applications, featuring optimized solution density and the flexibility required to differentiate products for their market.


BT 21CN Builds on MSF Implementation Agreements

Several of the MultiService Forum (MSF) Implementation Agreements (IAs) are incorporated into BT's 21st Century Network (21CN) program. MSF IAs build upon protocols issued by standards bodies such as the ITU and IETF, providing practical methods for applying standards to real world networks.

The major elements of BT Group's overall strategy including ICT, mobility, broadband, netcentricity and portfolio transformation are underpinned by the 21CN initiative. An early deliverable of this transformation is the first phase of the migration of services from the existing UK public switched telephone network (PSTN) to a multi-service IP based network which will carry both voice and data services.

"BT's use of MSF IAs is a perfect example of the way that industry leaders benefit from collaboration on the detailed technical work necessary to implement 21st century open architecture networks," said Roger Ward, MSF President. "The MSF's carrier-led collaborative environment develops IAs that support the deployment of VoIP networks with enhanced revenue earning services."

"MSF IAs add the necessary meat to the bones of the work emerging from the international and regional standards organizations," said Alan Nunn, chief voice architect and CTO at BT Group. "Last year's Global MSF Interoperability event (GMI2004), as well as validating MSF IAs and MSF Release 2 architecture, also provided many proof-points for BT's 21CN architecture. As a result, we have been able to de-risk solutions more quickly, which will help us in our goal of achieving an accelerated migration from PSTN to a multi-service IP-based network."http://www.msforum.orgIn April 2005, BT announced eight preferred vendors for its 21st Century Network, an ambitious undertaking in which it plans to invest up to £10 billion over the next five years to migrate to a fully-converged, packet network.

  • Access -- Fujitsu and Huawei have been chosen in the access domain which will link BT's existing access network with the new 21CN.

  • Metro -- Alcatel, Cisco and Siemens have been selected as preferred suppliers for metro nodes which provide routing and signalling for 21CN's voice, data and video services.

  • Core -- Cisco and Lucent will be 21CN's preferred suppliers for core nodes providing high capacity and cost efficient connections between metro nodes.

  • Softswitching -- Ericsson has been selected in the i-node domain – in essence the intelligence that controls the services.

  • Optical Transmission -- Ciena and Huawei have been chosen in the transmission domain. BT plans to deploy Ciena's optical switching and transmission and Ethernet transport platforms.

BT said the selection of these eight suppliers will allow dozens of smaller and innovative subcontractors to become involved in the delivery of the 21st Century Network, attracting significant new investment and employment to the UK. BT expects to conclude contractual agreements with named preferred suppliers for 21CN over the summer.

Occam Unveils Active Gigabit Ethernet FTTP

Occam Networks expanded its line of Broadband Loop Carriers with an Optical Line Termination (OLT) blade that delivers gigabit class active Ethernet services over fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) networks. The company said active Ethernet FTTP offers several significant advantages over BPON or GPON solutions, including the ability to deliver up to one gigabit per second 1 Gbps of bandwidth to each subscriber premise, rather than sharing the capacity via a 1:16, 1:32 or 1:64 split. Occam argues that active Ethernet makes more efficient use of expensive optical ports, allowing the telco to install lasers when subscribers order a higher bandwidth service and to add capacity only when the number of subscribers increases. Because there are no load balance issues as with PON splitters, telcos should be able to control bandwidth according to established service level agreements (SLAs). An active network plant enables location-based fault discovery from the central office using a handheld tester. Active Ethernet can support single or dual fiber topologies with a range laser power budgets. Finally, Occam argues that an active Ethernet architecture would enable a telco to maintain a mixed fiber and copper plant without a change in CO equipment.

Occam's product rollout includes the BLC 6312 Optical Line Termination (OLT) blade for the company's BLC 6000 Broadband Loop Carrier System and the ON 2240, an Optical Network Terminal (ONT). The BLC 6312 OLT blade is an Ethernet switch with 22 optical Gigabit Ethernet subscriber ports and two 10 Gigabit Ethernet Intelligent Blade Interconnect Architecture (IBIA) ports. It can be deployed as a single, standalone 1 RU product, which can be stacked with additional units to add capacity and redundancy, or it can be added to the BLC 6000 System chassis for use in high-density deployments. As with other blades for Occam's BLC 6000, the 6312 OLT is environmentally hardened and suitable for deployment in either Central Offices or Remote Terminal cabinets closer to the subscribers.

Occam is partnering with two other companies for the customer-located ONT. Interfaces on the ONT will include 2 POTS (optional 2 additional POTS), 6 Ethernet 10/100TX ports, and a GigE SFP Socket for single or dual fiber plant. Bandwidth can be set in 64 kbps increments. Software support for the ONT includes, VoIP, IGMP for IPTV, NAT, Firewall, and SNMP Management. The ONT is powered by a 12 V DC Power supply inside the home and comes with an outside enclosure with space for a backup battery.

Wisconsin-based independent operating companies (IOCs), LaValle Telephone Cooperative and Richland-Grant Telephone Cooperative, will be among the first companies to field test the Occam FTTP solution.
  • Earlier this month, Occam Networks enhanced its BLC 6000 System with a software upgrade that adds support for several new ADSL2Plus features, including bonding, Annex M, Annex L and Seamless Rate Adaptation (SRA). Bonding provides the ability to bond or combine two ADSL2Plus channels to deliver a single high-speed data stream over a DSL service. This data stream provides an aggregate data rate of more than 48 Mbps. Annex M doubles upstream data rates. Annex L, also known as Reach Extended ADSL, extends DSL line reach, making it possible for Telcos to offer DSL service to subscribers who are more than 18,000 feet from the BLC 6000 System. ADSL2Plus Seamless Rate Adaptation (SRA) software allows modems to make seamless data transfer rate changes to avoid dropping a connection.

Fujitsu and Cisco Deliver Next Gen Routers in Japan

Fujitsu Limited (and Cisco Systems introduced the first high-end router for the Japanese market based on the strategic alliance between the companies that was announced in December 2004.

The co-branded and customized Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing System is built on the Cisco IOS XR next-generation operating system. Fujitsu is working with Cisco on OS features for Japanese next generation networks. The companies have also begun joint certification testing specifically for usage scenarios in Japan.


Siemens and Calix Announce BPON Interoperability

Siemens Communications and Calix announced interoperability between the Calix C7 multiservice access platform and the new announced Siemens broadband passive optical network (BPON) products. The two portfolios provide standards-based FTTP optical network terminal (ONT) and optical network unit (ONU) solutions.

Operating as a BPON optical line terminal (OLT), the Calix C7 platform allows service providers to deliver an identical mix of voice, data and video services to both fiber-connected and copper wire-connected subscribers. The Siemens family of FTTP ONT/ONU products is deployable in multiple environments such as single-family residences, businesses and multi-dwelling housing units.


Verizon to Offer IP-based Call Centers with Genesys

Verizon is planning to launch hosted IP-based services for large contact-center customers, said Mark Wegleitner, Verizon Chief Technology Officer. Verizon is working with Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories to develop the service.

Call center customers will be able to choose from a list of applications that include: automatic call distribution, an interactive voice-response unit, call control, and monitoring and customer-history databases.

Equant Deploys Juniper's Session Controller

Equant, a member of the France Telecom Group, is deploying Juniper Networks' VF Series Session Border Control products to deliver VoIP services to business customers worldwide. Specifically, Equant is using the VF-3000 Series to offer secure Session Border Control features across the Equant Global VoIP network providing inter-VPN NAT (Network Address Translation) service. This enables Equant to support multiple vendors' IP PBXs for multi-national customers. In addition, multiple security features will be deployed providing the highest level of network protection for Equant and its business customers.

  • In March 2005, Juniper Networks agreed to acquire Kagoor Networks, a supplier of session border controllers (SBCs), for $67.5 million in cash, plus options and certain other incentives and equity compensation. Kagoor, which is based in San Mateo, California, with R&D in Herzelia, Israel, has supplied its VoiceFlow SBC products to over 100 carriers worldwide. The company has strategic partnerships with Lucent, Siemens and NEC.

3Com Appoints New CTO

3Com appointed Marc Willebeek-LeMair as its new CTO. He previously was CTO and Chief Strategy Officer of TippingPoint, 3Com's security division. Prior to TippingPoint, he spent 10 years at the T.J. Watson Research Center of IBM where he was responsible for the exploration of High Bandwidth Systems, Intelligent Infrastructure Technologies, as well as streaming audio and video applications. http://www.3com.com

Dutch Colocation Provider Deploys Force10's 10 GigE

TrueServer, a Netherlands-based colocation and hosting service provider, has deployed Force10 Networks' TeraScale E-Series in an upgrade of its network to 10 Gbps. The company is using Force10's recently launched 90-port high density Gigabit Ethernet cards, which increase the density of the TeraScale E-Series to 1,260 ports. This allows TrueServer to collapse its aggregation and core layers to simplify its network and build in a new level of resiliency.

TrueServer provides colocation and hosting services to enterprises across Europe. To accommodate the recent surge in traffic, driven in large part by the significant demand for Internet radio and television, TrueServer is deploying the Force10 TeraScale E-Series in a full 10 Gigabit Ethernet mesh between its TeleCity-2 and Redbus Interhouse colocation and IP POPs, ensuring full redundancy and high network availability. Additionally, two 10 Gigabit Ethernet links connect both POPs to the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX).

Toshiba Expands its Strata Enterprise VoIP Portfolio

Toshiba America Information Systems has expanded its Strata CIX family of pure IP business communications systems -- adding two new versions -- the Strata CIX670 (supporting up to 672 ports) and Strata CIX100 (supporting up to 112 ports) to the existing Strata CIX200 (supporting up to 192 ports), which began shipping in February 2005.

All three models are designed for SMB enterprises or larger corporate users with multiple sites. Key capabilities include:

  • traditional business phone features in an IP System

  • virtually all features available to all Toshiba users on Fixed or mobile devices, including IP phones, IP wireless telephones, IP softphones on notebook and tablet PCs, and digital (TDM) and analog telephones.

  • "Adaptability" that allows the company to customize and add features companywide, by department, or for individual users.

  • Unified System Administration for the programming of Toshiba's Strata CIX and the Strategy ES Voice Processing system, allowing technicians and system administrators to program both systems together.

  • "My Phone Manager" -- a personal administration tool for programming the LCD on the telephone and speed dial buttons and feature buttons via their PC's Web browser.

  • Multiple IP-Based Media Applications on a single media application server. Applications include Auto Attendant, Voice Mail, Automated Speech Recognition, Text to Speech, Unified Messaging, Interactive Voice Response, Automatic Call Distribution and Reporting, Web-based Personal and System Administration, Web-based Telephone Applications, and other third party applications. Strata MAS comes standard with Toshiba's Strategy Enterprise Server Voice Processing solution, "My Phone Manager," and eManager.

  • ability to choose a pure IP system or to add Digital TDM

Wireless USB Specification Released -- 480 Mbps at 3m

Work on the Wireless USB specification has now been completed and responsibility for the specification will transition from the Wireless USB Promoter Group to the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), which intends to undertake certification, compliance testing, logo licensing and marketing for Wireless USB.

Wireless USB is a high-speed wireless personal interconnect technology that is based on the WiMedia MAC Convergence Architecture, utilizing the WiMedia Alliance's MB-OFDM ultra wideband MAC and PHY. It has been designed to coexist with the other upper-layer protocols built atop WiMedia's common radio platform. It delivers speeds equivalent to wired Hi-Speed USB, with bandwidth of 480 Mbps at 3 meters and 110 Mbps at 10 meters. It promises to provide backward compatibility and seamless legacy support through the definition of external adapters, which will help ensure quick proliferation.

"We've delivered on the promise we made in 2004 to complete the specification and make it publicly available in 2005," said Jeff Ravencraft, chairman of the Wireless USB Promoter Group. "Product development is currently underway, with the first Wireless USB products expected to be available at the end of 2005. The first implementations will be in the form of discrete silicon that is being introduced in a number of form factors such as add-in cards, external adapters and embedded silicon modules for integrated solutions."

The Wireless USB Promoter Group, consisting of seven companies -- Agere Systems, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Microsoft, NEC, Philips Semiconductors and Samsung -- defined the Wireless USB specification with the support of more than 100 contributor members.

Spirent and Psytechnics Partner on Video Quality Assessment for Triple Play

Spirent Communications and Psytechnics are collaborating to offer a video quality assessment test system for carriers, service providers and equipment vendors. The test system measures video quality as well as a broad range of video distortion and degradation parameters under various network configurations and real-world load conditions. The solution is aimed at video on-demand and IPTV services, where ensuring satisfactory end user experience is a necessary ingredient of a successful service rollout.

Spirent has licensed the Psytechnics Video Agent (PVA), a full reference video quality measurement tool based on the ITU J.144 standard and part of the Psytechnics family of Assessment Modules. Spirent has integrated the PVA into its Abacus 5000 IP Telephony Test Migration System.

The test system works by sending reference video clips into the device or system under test. Using a complex video quality assessment algorithm, the test system compares the received video clip from the output of the system under test to the reference clip and provides a MOS (Mean Opinion Score) video quality rating score on a scale of 1 to 5. Additionally, the test system provides several video degradation metrics including Blockiness, Blurriness, Jerkiness, Frame Freeze Events, Frame Skip Events, Temporal Complexity and Spatial Complexity. In addition to performing this testing in a lab environment, two or more test systems can be distributed at various points of the network to perform pre-production assessment of voice and video quality in a real network environment with various levels of real world traffic load. This will help carriers diagnose problems in the network and get an accurate picture of what the network is capable of and where it may break down.


Sangoma Selects Octasic for Soft PBX Systems

Sangoma Technologies, a supplier of TDM voice and Internet infrastructure products, has selected Octasic's silicon solutions for use in their high density E1/T1/J1 Advanced Flexible Telecommunications (AFT) series. Sangoma's new A108d (eight E1/T1/J1 port), A104d (four E1/T1/J1 port) and A102d (dual E1/T1/J1 port) cards with DSP support in hardware will use Octasic technology to provide board-level voice quality enhancement features, including echo cancellation, audio conferencing and tone detection. The range of cards will provide hardware DSP support for new and existing AsteriskT installations, as well as supporting other PC-based PBX systems.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

ECI Telecom Delivers Optimized Transport for Utilities

ECI Telecom announced an optimized optical transport solution for the utilities industry based in its XDM product line. The platform enables utilities to support their internal networking needs and legacy services such as SCADA, voice circuit telephony and power system protection, and then migrate to broadband applications and value-added commercial service offerings such as LAN/WAN, L2/L3 VPN, VoIP, video surveillance, IP-Based SCADA and Storage Area Networking (SAN).

ECI said that unlike other platforms that require a specific chassis and network element for each transport technology, its XDM converged solution supports all transport technologies: DWDM, CWDM, SDH/SONET, PDH/Async and Ethernet, including Fast Ethernet and GigE. The company noted that its XDM platform has been deployed by utility companies worldwide, including, among others, Banverket in Sweden, REN in Portugal, JEA in the United States, Tata Power in India, and China State Power. http://www.ecitele.com