Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Alcatel Supplies WiMAX network in Austria

WiMAX Telecom GmbH, a subsidiary of Swiss WiMAX Telecom AG, selected Alcatel to deploy a turnkey WiMAX network. The first phase of the deployment is expected to be complete later this month. The network will deliver symmetric data throughput of up to 2 Mbps per user.

WiMAX Telecom GmbH was the sole provider to obtain the nationwide rights to the WiMAX frequencies in Austria at the auction of October 4, 2004. This is the first commercial broadband wireless access system using the new WiMAX standard in Austria.
  • In February 2005, Alcatel announced an OEM agreement to resell Alvarion's WiMAX-ready solution based on WiMAX 802.16-2004 ("Rev d") standard. Financial terms were not disclosed. As a first positive market recognition of this new OEM agreement, both companies also disclosed today that Alcatel has been selected to run several WiMAX pilot deployments in Europe. Among those, one will be delivered to TDF (the French broadcast service provider) and RATP (the Paris public transport agency) in France.

Alcatel to Upgrade Cable Linking Africa, Europe and Asia

Alcatel was awarded a multi-million US dollar turnkey contract to upgrade the SAT-3/WASC/SAFE undersea cable system linking West & Southern Africa, Europe and Asia.

The SAT-3/WASC/SAFE submarine cable, for which Alcatel has been a major supplier since 1999, is composed of two segments - SAT-3/WASC in the Atlantic Ocean and SAFE in the Indian Ocean, which together span 28,000 km. Alcatel will upgrade the SAT-3/WASC WDM submarine terminals for the segment linking Portugal to South Africa with branches in Spain, Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Benin Republic, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon and Angola. Alcatel will also upgrade the existing synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) equipment and network management for the SAT-3/WASC/SAFE global network, including the SAFE segment which links Cape Town in South Africa to Penang in Malaysia and lands in South Africa, Reunion, Mauritius and India.

"This proposed upgrade is testimony to the fact that SAT-3/WASC is indeed a success story which has facilitated economic and communications growth in the region and will continue to do so for many years in the future as made possible by the upgrade." stated Johan Meyer, Management Committee Chairman of the SAT-3/WASC/SAFE consortium.

FCC Action in Response to Hurricane Katrina

In response to the destruction of Hurricane Katrina, the FCC announced several actions that it is taking:

  • posted a web page with consumer information that may be helpful to the general public during this emergency situation, including links to amateur radio organizations who may provide alternative communications services

  • the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology will put in place procedures to help emergency communications services resume and maintain operations in the areas impacted by the hurricane

  • the FCC's Media Bureau will provide relief to multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), television and radio broadcasters by allowing systems and stations to operate and restore communications as needed in areas impacted by the hurricane. This include rules that permit FM and TV stations to erect temporary antennas without prior authority from the FCC. Also allows AM stations to use a horizontal or vertical wire or a non-directional vertical element of a directional antenna as an emergency antenna.

  • extended the regulatory fee filing window for those in affected areas

  • granted a temporary waiver of numbering rules to allow carriers in those three states, and the numbering administrators that support them, to port telephone numbers geographically outside of rate centers during this period of service disruption.

  • waived local number portability and number assignment rules to the extent necessary to permit carriers to port customers' numbers to remote locations, on a temporary basis .
  • implemented procedures to grant temporary authority for satellite Earth and Space Stations that need to initiate, resume, and maintain operations in the areas impacted by Hurricane Katrina
  • implemented procedures to grant temporary authority for submarine cables and international routes that need to initiate, resume, and maintain operations in the areas impacted by Hurricane Katrina

Deutsche Telekom Plans 50Mbps BB, 3G HSDPA, SIP Phones and Fixed Mobile Convergence

In conjunction with this week's Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) in Berlin, Deutsche Telekom outlined its plans for high-speed broadband, wireless and converged network services.

Fixed Network: Deutsche Telekom plans to invest up to three billion EURs in its German broadband fixed network over the next few years to boost its Triple Play offering. The company expects to push broadband rates to up to 50 Mbps. Pilot trials are currently underway in Stuttgart und Hamburg offering speeds of up to 25 Mbps. T-Com intends to provide Germany's 50 largest cities with high-speed broadband lines by 2007. By mid-2006, the first cities will be connected to the new optical fiber network, enabling the faster access speeds.

IPTV: T-Online is launching the "T-Online S 100" Media Receiver, an IP streaming set-top box that enables home entertainment via DSL. The Media Receiver is included in the T-Online Vision package together with a splitter for connection to both the DSL network and the Speedport W 500V - a combination of DSL modem, router and DSL phone adapter. The T-Online Vision package will be available for purchase in specialist stores as a starter deal for EUR 49.95 starting in November.

Customized Info Center: New T-Online 6.0 access software is also being released with broadband applications such as T-Online Internet Telefon 6.0, T-Online DSL Manager 6.0 and the T-Online Info Cockpit 6.0. The Cockpit application features a "sidebar" window that provides individualized information through variable mini-programs, or widgets.

Mobile Broadband via HSDPA: Plans for mobile access to the Internet via UMTS are also gaining steam. The company now anticipates the commercial launch of UMTS with HSDPA at the CeBIT trade fair next Spring. Initially, connections will reach up to 1.8 Mbps and will gradually be increased to up to 7.2 Mbps. By then, T-Mobile plans to extend its TV offerings for mobile devices in Germany. A special, innovative TV service will be in place for the 2006 soccer World Cup. T-Mobile is also working on business models to reach wider customer groups with digital radio technologies such as DVB-H and DMB.

Fixed Mobile Convergence: New Voice products include a "Dual Phone" that can communicate via the fixed-network and Wi-Fi along with GSM - one number and one device both at home and on the road. At home, customers make calls through the fixed network, and at a Hotspot, say in an airport or station, they access the Internet via W-LAN - this means better voice quality. And on the go, customers make calls using the tried-and-true GSM technology. The dual phone enables customers to continue using their DSL/WLAN hardware, as well as new value-added services. For example, the synchronization feature with the Outlook address book, video telephony or access - even on the go - to centrally stored MP3 files on their PC. Voicemail calls made at home are free. The Dual Phone device is to be launched in the 2nd quarter of 2006.

SIP Phone Service: Deutsche Telekom also will begin offering a SIP-Phone that not only handle voice and video communications, but also emails, faxes, SMS and MMS. All these message types can be stored in a central "answering machine." The SIP phone will also offer fast access to numerous information and entertainment services: the latest head-lines, traffic information, emergency service information, and shopping and activity tips. Games are also available.

New Tariffs:T-Com and T-Mobile are launching new tariffs in Germany, including a voice flat rate and packages combining the advantages of mobile and fixed-line communications. T-Com will be introducing an flat rate plan in the fall (starting October 6). The T-Net with voice telephony flat rate plan is likely to be just under EUR 40, and the flat rate for an ISDN connection with voice is expected to be around EUR 48. In addition, the minute-based package included in the Call Time rate option in connection with T-ISDN will be doubled effective September 1, 2005.

"Our vision is to give the customer access via one single line - i.e. our broadband connection - to the wealth of the multimedia world, using a range of devices: at present telephones, televisions, PCs, video telephones and multimedia boxes. The benefits of this for our customers are obvious. They will have easy access to superfast Internet, video, games offers, high-quality general entertainment and interactive learning," said Walter Raizner, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Broadband/Fixed Network at Deutsche Telekom.

WSJ: SBC Might Change Name to AT&T

SBC Communications is leaning towards adopting the AT&T name following its pending acquisition of the firm, according to The Wall Street Journal. The SBC corporate brand is not widely recognized outside of its home territory, whereas AT&T is a widely known worldwide.

Ciena Reports Revenues of $110.5 million

Ciena reported quarterly revenue of $110.5 million, representing a 6.4% sequential increase from fiscal second quarter revenue of $103.8 million, and an increase of 46.2% over the same period a year ago when the company reported sales of $75.6 million.

Ciena's reported net loss (GAAP) for the fiscal third quarter was $51.0 million, or a net loss of $0.09 per share. This loss compares to a GAAP net loss of $141.5 million, or a net loss of $0.25 per share, in the same period a year ago. Overall gross margin improved from 26.2% in the second fiscal quarter to 34.1% in the third quarter.

"Signs that we are executing our plan and that our application-focused, network specialist approach to the market is on target, are evident in our fiscal third quarter results," said Gary Smith, Ciena's president and CEO.

Skype Signs up its First Mobile Network Partner -- Germany's E-Plus

Skype announced a landmark partnership with E-Plus, Germany's third largest mobile phone network with 9.8 million subscribers, which marks an important step in Skype's global mobile strategy to move beyond the desktop.

Starting in October, Skype software will be bundled with E-Plus' flat-rate data service, allowing people to gain both a high bandwidth Internet connection and free, high-quality Skype calling over E-Plus' mobile network. The flat-rate data service is available throughout Germany for EUR 39.95 per month. Skype will be the only company offering calls over the Internet on the E-Plus mobile network.

Skype said it has 2.8 million users in Germany.

Unwired Australia Plans 802.16e-based Mobile WiMAX with Navini

Unwired Australia, which operates a wireless broadband network spanning more than 1,200 square miles in Sydney and the surrounding region, will bring 802.16e-based Mobile WiMAX solutions to the Australian marketplace, in partnership with Navini Networks.

As part of this partnership, Navini will work to seamlessly and rapidly transition Unwired Australia to the IEEE 802.16e Mobile WiMAX standard through Navini's Ripwave-MX product line.

Navini has already announced its Ripwave-MX product line which includes dual mode CPEs, PCMCIA cards and software-upgradeable base stations that promise to 'future-proof' operators' move to mobile WiMAX. The first dual mode CPEs have already been shipped.

Unwired Australia currently has some 28,000 subscribers.

QUALCOMM Enhances 3G Call Quality with Philips' LifeVibes Software

QUALCOMM has integrated Philips' LifeVibes Voice sound enhancement software onto its Mobile Station Modem (MSM) chipsets. The echo-canceling technology is designed to improve the acoustic performance of 3G mobile handsets and improve the clarity of conference and hands-free calls.

QUALCOMM said the echo-canceling sound enhancement technology would enable users to make clear and full-duplex conference, videoconference and hands-free calls without audial interference from stationary background noise. QUALCOMM will initially provide support for echo-cancellation software on Enhanced Multimedia Platform MSM6550 and MSM6275 chipsets, both of which are compatible with CDMA2000 and WCDMA (UMTS) networks. Additional acoustic performance improvements to remove background noise using a dual-microphone spatial filter are planned for the Convergence Platform, achieved through the integration of another LifeVibes Voice product, the Noise Void background noise eliminator.


NETGEAR has joined the WiMAX Forum as a principle member. The company is among the first vendors that provide networking solutions for homes and small- and medium-sized businesses to join the WiMAX Forum.

"As with MIMO and OFDM, WiMAX is another example of how NETGEAR positions itself ahead of the technology curve in developing solutions for emerging wireless standards," said Patrick Lo, NETGEAR's chairman and chief executive officer. "WiMAX is a potentially significant technology that could revolutionize the way people get broadband access."

China Taizhou CATV Deploys Flexlight GPON

Taizhou CATV, a major service provider and CATV operator in China's Jiangsu province, is deploying a 2.5 Gbps GPON using technology from FlexLight Networks. The network provides full 2.5 Gbps bandwidth with guaranteed quality of service for existing TDM services while allowing Ethernet services to be deployed.

Taizhou CATV is currently delivering leased line and Fast Ethernet services to their government, enterprise and educational customers in the Taizhou metropolitan area.

Lucent Supplies VoIP to Korea's Hanaro Telecom

Hanaro Telecom, Korea's second largest wireline and broadband service provider, will deploy Lucent's VoIP solution to offer enterprise services. Lucent said its solution can enable Hanaro to provide traditional business voice services, such as call forwarding and conference calling, as well as IP-based features that can include interactive voice response, one-number calling and Web-based integrated business features that allow customers to manage their voice services via their computers.

The deployment will include the Lucent Feature Server 3000, as well as technology from Lucent partners BroadSoft and Acme Packet. Lucent has provided Hanaro with broadband access, optical networking, switching since 1998 and now a VoIP solution for its network. Lucent Worldwide Services will provide professional services including engineering and installation for the deployment.

Verimatrix Introduces Digital Watermarking for IPTV

Verimatrix, a developer of content protection and security solutions based in San Diego, announced an additional level of digital watermarking capabilities that detect piracy to the culpable individual's set-top box. As an optional component to the Verimatrix Content Authority System (VCAS), the user-specific digital watermarking system is the industry's first to embed an electronic fingerprint in video content as it is played back at the set-top box.

Verimatrix protects content and video streams, as well as detects digital piracy at its point of origin, with carrier-class solutions designed specifically for today's bi-directional IPTV networks. Verimatrix developed VCAS as a software-based content security solution built on the principles of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and X509 digital certificates combined with digital watermarks. VCAS inserts three different types of watermarks so that the complete history of a media file can be determined: within the primary data center, at each edge site (or point-of-presence), and a third watermark, called a user-specific watermark, on each client device.

The user-specific digital watermark is a machine readable electronic fingerprint, which is embedded in the video stream. The watermark is invisible to the naked eye, but survives the transition from digital to analog and also commonly-used transcoding methods. The absence of one or more watermarks means that acts of piracy are being conducted before the media file arrives at the individual's set-top box.

"The IPTV market has gained so much momentum that content providers are now requiring operators to employ proven security measures before granting rights to premium content. The addition of user-specific watermarking to pinpoint individuals attempting to steal content has gotten the attention of IPTV operators and studios," said Tom Munro, CEO of Verimatrix, who was appointed to the role in March 2005.

Verimatrix is also announcing its expansion into Europe with the opening of a sales and support office west of London. Verimatrix has an OEM relationship with Siemens AG.

Harris to Acquire Leitch

Harris Corporation agreed to acquire Leitch Technology, a provider of professional digital video solutions based in Toronto, for a cash price of C$14.00 per share amounting to total consideration of approximately C$592 million. The deal represents a premium of 44 percent over the twenty-day volume weighted average trading price of C$9.72 for Leitch shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

"This acquisition further positions Harris to lead the broadcast industry's transition to high-definition digital services," said Howard L. Lance, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Harris. "Leitch has a veteran management team with strong domain knowledge and has launched important new products to meet the changing needs of the digital marketplace. Our combined products and systems serve every segment of the increasingly complex supply chain that brings digital audio, video and data content to consumers. This acquisition clearly establishes Harris as the company that broadcasters turn to as they upgrade their equipment and software systems to operate in a digital environment."

BellSouth: 180 Central Offices on Generator Power, 870,000 Lines Out

BellSouth is concentrating on repairing major cables, ensuring telephone switching centers continue to have back-up power until commercial power can be restored, as well as getting communications established for emergency personnel, city and government officials and hospitals.

The total number of projected lines impacted in Louisiana is about 1,000,000. Approximately 130,000 lines have been cleared to date as power is restored, and 870,000 lines remain out of service. The actual time it will take to restore service depends upon BellSouth's access to the affected areas, the availability of electric power, and, ultimately, the extent of physical damage encountered by BellSouth's repair teams. This includes damage to terminals, poles, cables and drop lines to customer homes. No update was available for Mississippi.

On Wednesday, BellSouth reported that 180 of its central office locations are currently running on generator due to a loss of commercial power in affected areas. BellSouth maintains generators in all of its central offices and back-up power sources to remote terminals. The back-up power to remote terminals lasts approximately 8 to 10 hours.

"This is not a normal hurricane restoration situation," said Bill Smith, Chief Technology Officer.

The company said it is coordinating with wireless providers to improve communications in the hardest-hit areas.

BellSouth has about 13,000 employees in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama who have been affected by the storm. To aid its employees, BellSouth will set up several "tent cities" in severely affected areas. These cities will provide BellSouth employees and their families with necessities such as food, shelter and clothing, in addition to cash loans and employee assistance programs.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

BellSouth: 180 Central Offices on Generator Power

BellSouth reported that 180 of its central office locations are currently running on generator due to a loss of commercial power in affected areas. The company has 750,000 customer lines in the areas most heavily damaged areas by Hurricane Katrina.

BellSouth said it is still assessing the full impact on the network and its customers' operations, and as a result, it is too early to project the total magnitude of destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina.

"This is not a normal hurricane restoration situation," said Bill Smith, Chief Technology Officer.

The company said it is coordinating with wireless providers to improve communications in the hardest-hit areas.

BellSouth has about 13,000 employees in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama who have been affected by the storm. To aid its employees, BellSouth will set up several "tent cities" in severely affected areas. These cities will provide BellSouth employees and their families with necessities such as food, shelter and clothing, in addition to cash loans and employee assistance programs.

Walt Disney and Kudelski to Develop Push VOD for Europe

Walt Disney Television International (WDTV-I) Ventures & Business Development Group and the Kudelski Group announced a joint venture to develop and market turnkey Push Video-On-Demand (VOD) and Digital Video Recorder (DVR) services. The Push VOD solution would run on standard satellite, cable, terrestrial and IP Digital Video Recorder hardware platforms, and will be made available to digital television operators worldwide (excluding the US, Canada and Japan).

The system will offer a selection of movie and other TV content delivered to a STB hard drive for users to view with full on demand functionality. Subscribers will be able to record personal content from existing channels, and operators will also be able to add their own local content to the service. The system will use proprietary Push VOD technologies and navigation systems developed by The Walt Disney Company and the Kudelski Group.

Kudelski is a developer of digital security systems based in Switzerland. Its technologies are used in a wide range of applications requiring access control and rights management, whether for securing transfer of information (digital television, broadband Internet, video-on-demand, interactive applications, etc.) or to control and manage access of people or vehicles to sites and events. Its subsidiary, Nagravision, supplies open conditional access and integrated solutions for digital TV operators and content providers.

Skype Cites Growing Developer Community

Skype announced that more than 400 hardware and software products have been created so far by the more than 100 developers using its Application Programming Interface (APIs), which is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Skype has awarded a first prize of EUR 2000 to Jyve in its first developer competition for a plug-in that lets webmasters enable Skype and call forwarding, presence, browser synchronization and auto-responding features on their sites.

Khaos Labs received a special mention for its Free ActiveS COM wrapper, which has been used by numerous other developers to help build a range of Skype Extras, which are available for download from the Skype Developer Zone.

Some additional third-party Skype products include Siemens and RTX cordless phones, Skype virtual business cards, ways to listen to your mp3 collections, and personal Skype assistants.

Cavalier Telephone Selects Amino's MPEG-4 Set-top

Cavalier Telephone, a CLEC based in Virginia with 180,000 lines, has chosen Amino's AmiNET124 set-top box for its IPTV deployment. The contract is part of a substantial multi-year agreement and deployment will commence in October 2005. Further details of the contract, including value and quantities, have not been disclosed.

The AmiNET124 is Amino's first single-chip IP set-top box which supports the new MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) video compression standard. The device is designed to be installed by the subscriber and features a field-upgradeable software platform to support future enhancements without significant additional cost to the IPTV service provider.
  • Cavalier Telephone, a CLEC based in Virginia, has licensed SecureMedia's Encryptonite System CA/DRM software to secure the delivery of IPTV services over Cavalier's multi-state broadband network. SecureMedia's Encryptonite System is an open platform CA/DRM software solution. The company said its Encryptonite System offers IPTV service providers the lowest cost of operation as the system requires minimal incremental bandwidth and features an ultra-light, processor-efficient client that can be deployed on virtually any set top box, mobile handset, or portable device. Encryptonite also employs a common encryption scheme for both broadcast and VOD content allowing for persistent and efficient protection of content in PVR and nPVR applications.

  • Cavalier is using Tut Systems' Astria content processor video headend and edge-processing solutions

  • Cavalier is also using Paradyne's 8000 BLC platform, supporting downstream data rates up to 29Mbps using ADSL2+

Hong Kong Broadband Network Deploys Cisco ROADMs

Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN) is expanding its coverage and capacity with a Cisco IP Next Generation Network (IP NGN), using Cisco ROADM (Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer) technology together with HKBN's existing ONS 15454 Multiservice Transport Platform (MSTP) optical core. The expanded optical core will assist HKBN in achieving its goals of increasing the scope of its service offerings and expanding its network coverage to 80% of homes in Hong Kong.

ROADM enables service providers to add, drop or pass through any combination of the available wavelengths by remote control without having to manually configure or adjust node configurations.

HKBN is the first service provider to deploy Cisco's ROADM. The deployment will start at the end of August and finish by early October. Upon completion, HKBN's optical core will consist of multiple rings spanning the territory of Hong Kong. The new network capacity will be about 2 Terabits.
  • In April, Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN) officially launched its 1 Gbps symmetric service for the residential market. Approximately 800,000 households, out of a total of 2.2 million households in Hong Kong, are wired to receive the service. The 1 Gbps symmetric service is priced at US$215 per month. HKBN noted that its 1 Gbps service is up to 166x faster downstream and 1,950x faster upstream than the advertised bandwidth of the incumbent's ADSL service. HKBN Premium bb1000 service is being offered on the same metro Ethernet infrastructure that delivers the company's Mass Market bb100 (symmetric 100 Mbps for US$34/month) and Entry Point bb10 (symmetric 10 Mbps for US$16/month) services.

  • HKBN is installing more than 10,000 Cisco Catalyst LAN switches and more than 800 Cisco routers in buildings throughout Hong Kong. Category 5e copper cables are wired from the LAN switch cabinet to the apartments of each target customer. Fiber-to-the-building (FTTB) was deployed between the buildings using the Cisco ONS 15454 Multiservice Transport Platform (MSTP) and Cisco Catalyst 4507R Switches.

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

airBand Names Mark F. Spagnolo CEO

airBand Communications, a fixed wireless broadband connectivity provider based in Dallas, named Mark F. Spagnolo as the company's new president and CEO. Spagnolo most recently led Broadwing Communications. He also served as CEO of UUNET.

airBand said it is serving more than 2,000 businesses, including Continental Airlines, Fujitsu, Solomon Smith Barney, The Staubach Company, and WebMD.

MPLS & Frame Relay Alliance and the ATM Forum Complete Merger

The MFA Forum, the new organization formed through the merger of the MPLS & Frame Relay Alliance and the ATM Forum, held its first meeting last month in Ottawa. The merged group will focus on optimizing and interworking the three primary telecoms transport technologies -- ATM, MPLS & Frame Relay -- in a unified and streamlined technical committee and on representing the industry with a single voice.

"The first meeting of the MFA Forum was a great success," said Andrew G. Malis of Tellabs, and president and chairman of the MFA Forum. "With input from our Service Providers and forward movement from our technical committees, the MFA Forum is contributing to the industry by driving the convergence of multi-services networking technologies -- ATM, FR, and TDM -- over IP/MPLS."

The MFA Forum is nearing completion of Interoperability Agreements (IAs) addressing ATM and Frame Relay to MPLS Control Plane Interworking, and extensions to the ATM Signaling protocol to support high-speed connection greater than seven Gigabits per second (Gbps).

A final implementation agreement on ATM and Frame Relay to MPLS Control Plane Interworking is expected by the end of 2005. The proposed IA requires no changes to the existing ATM infrastructure; instead it will simplify migration from ATM to next-generation IP/MPLS-based packet networks. The agreement protects carrier investment in current services and their revenue streams while enabling emerging IP applications and services. A final implementation agreement expected by the end of 2005.

The High Speed Connection work project is aimed at accommodating data transfer between storage servers. High-end servers have the ability to push out 10 Gbps; this IA will allow those servers to get the most from their 10G links when ATM is part of the network solution.

Harmonic Introduces New HD Multi-Codec Encoder

Harmonic introduced its new DiviCom MV 3500 encoding platform, a multi-format high definition (HD) encoder supporting either MPEG-4 AVC (H.264), SMPTE VC-1 or MPEG-2. The full-featured DiviCom 3500 encoding platform, which builds on Harmonic's existing lines of multi-codec standard definition encoders, provides the performance, video quality and interoperability -- from the headend to the subscriber premises -- that operators need to offer a rich HD experience at low bit-rates.

The MV 3500 supports constant bit-rate (CBR) and variable bit-rate (VBR) encoding, and can deliver digital content in a variety of formats -- including 1080i and 720p -- and resolutions. It incorporates compression technology pioneered by Harmonic -- such as "MotionTrack" which provides full-field motion estimation, multi-pass "LookAhead" analysis and advanced video filtering -- to yield superior quality HD video at the lowest possible bit-rate. The MV 3500 is also the industry's first HD encoder to feature advanced pre-processing functions such as Motion Compensated Temporal Filtering (MCTF), which removes noise without introducing motion blur artifacts.

To ensure viewers receive the full HD experience, Harmonic's new HD platform supports multiple audio encoding formats such as MPEG Layer II, AC-3, AAC, aacPlus, and AC-3 5.1 pass-through. The system's flexible software architecture and substantial processing power make it possible for operators to benefit from new compression and video quality enhancements, features and codecs, delivering better value for the operator over the long-term.

Harmonic said that by using the MV 3500 in CBR mode, DSL operators will be able to viably introduce competitive HDTV, voice and data services. Satellite distribution and direct-to-home service providers deploying the VBR version of the new encoder can greatly increase the HD channel carrying capacity of their existing transports.

Canon Launches New Network-ready Video Cameras

Canon introduced two network-ready cameras featuring two-way audio features, built-in servers and optical zoom lenses.

Both the new Canon VB-C50FSi Fixed Network Camera and the new Canon VB-C50i/VB-C50iR Pan/Tilt/Zoom Network Camera feature an advanced 26X Optical Zoom Lens and a 12X Digital Zoom and 640-by-480-pixel resolution video with up to 30 frames-per-second quality. The two cameras use a quarter-inch, 340,000-effective-pixel CCD for high-quality image capture combined with low-light (1 Lux at 1/30 shutter speed) capabilities. In addition, a Motorized Infrared (IR) Cut Filter can be turned off to significantly brighten the viewing area. The two-way audio capabilities also include a Silence Detection feature that transmits audio data only when sound is present, thereby reducing network traffic. One model offers Power Over Ethernet (PoE) capabilities.

3Com Teams with Nuasis to Offer IP Contact Center

3Com introduced an IP Contact Center module that routes customer contacts -- phone, email, web and fax -- to customer service agents located anywhere on an enterprise network. The 3Com IP Contact Center product is licensed from Nuasis.

The 3Com IP Contact Center module is an IP-based application geared for medium and large enterprise customers. The module consolidates multiple contact center systems such as legacy automatic call distributors (ACDs), interactive voice response units (IVRs), and computer telephony integration (CTI) components on a single software platform. The module leverages SIP to provide flexibility and interoperability.

Senator Sununu Scheduled to Speak at Fall 2005 VON

Senator John Sununu (R-NH) has been scheduled to speak at Fall 2005 VON in Boston on Monday, September 19th.

Last year, Senator Sununu proposed the "VOIP Regulatory Freedom Act of 2004," which aimed at encouraging the growth of VoIP by definitively classifying it as an information service and limiting potential state regulations.

Ericsson Unveils Latest IP-PBX

Ericsson has launched a stand-alone version of its MX-ONE IP communications platform - a full-featured IP-PBX system for enterprises deploying a converged voice and data network from day one.
The latest release of the Ericsson MX-ONE system serves up to 7,000 users with integrated mobility and extensive collaboration features, including instant Messaging, corporate directories and presence profile management. It can be integrated with standard enterprise software such as Microsoft Office and IBM Lotus Notes.

Ericsson said analog, digital, mobile and IP phones can be used interchangeably with MX-ONE, enabling businesses to benefit from fixed-mobile and voice-data convergence.

MX-ONE's messaging application consolidates voicemail, fax and e-mail into a single user inbox, Unified Messaging services and `text to speech' enable employees to access and manage their e-mail inbox while they are on the road, from their mobile, smartphone or even from a public phone at an airport or hotel, for example - wherever they happen to be.

An active directory-based management system, MX-ONE Manager, centralizes network and user administration and simplifies fault and performance management, reducing the costs associated with managing the converged network.

For organizations with call center operations, MX-ONE can be combined with Ericsson's IP-based contact center solution, Solidus eCare, to provide voice and multimedia customer care services and link in mobile and remote agents.

Microsoft Acquires Teleo for VoIP / MSN Integration

Microsoft has acquired Teleo, a developer of VoIP software and services for the consumer market. Teleo, a San Francisco-based start-up, had launched a beta application that integrates with Microsoft Outlook and Internet Explorer to provide a click-to-call VoIP connectivity to cell phones, regular phones or other PCs. The company was founded in 2003. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Microsoft said it will combine the Teleo technology with the existing VoIP investments of MSN to further develop products and services for consumers.

Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom Tops 3.36 Million ADSL Lines

Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan's incumbent telecom operator, had 3.36 million ADSL subscribers as of 30-June-2005, a 23.3% increase year-over-year. Chunghwa added 160,000 subscribers in the second quarter of 2005.

The total number of internet subscribers was nearly 3.96mn as of 30-June-2005, a 7.1% increase year-over-year. In the second quarter of 2005, Chunghwa added 91,000 new subscribers.

At the end of June 2005, mobile subscribers remained at 8.1 million, as the company said it continued to clean up inactive prepaid subscribers to increase the quality of total subscribers. Chunghwa continues to be the leading mobile operator in Taiwan in terms of both revenue and subscriber market share with 35.2% and 39.3% respectively as of the end of June 2005.

Chunghwa's total fixed line subscriber base stood at approximately 13.3 million as of 30-June-2005, an increase of 0.6% year-over-year.

Financially, revenues for the half year ending June 30 of NT$90.7 billion, net income of NT$24.9 billion and fully-diluted earnings per common share (EPS) of NT$2.58, or US$ 0.81 per ADS. The Company also reported earnings for the second quarter of 2005 with revenues of NT$46.2 billion, net income of NT$12.8 billion and earnings per share (EPS) of NT$ 1.33, or US$ 0.42 per ADS.

Widevine Releases Cypher 3.0 for Video Content Security

Widevine Technologies introduced Cypher 3.0, its third generation content security suite with new levels of reliability, flexibility and ease-of-use for telco, cable, satellite and internet services providers.

Cypher 3.0 now guarantees continuous availability for any type of content, on any device, at any time -- a critical requirement for operators who differentiate on service quality. The systems offers expanded ecosystem support for several new standard and high-definition set-top boxes and PVRs from Amino, ASUS, HwaCom and Motorola. The new release adds better reporting and simplified management of broadcast and VOD content security at all points in the network, which further lowers operating costs.

Cypher 3.0 supports standard-definition and high-definition content, including all the major media formats including MPEG-2, H.264 and VC-1. On the client side, it continues to take advantage of Widevine's patented downloadable and renewable Cypher Virtual SmartCard clients to protect set-top boxes, PVRs, PCs and mobile devices.

Verizon Wins FiOS TV Approval in Florida County

Verizon was awarded a 15-year video franchise by the Manatee County Commission in Florida. Verizon now has the authority to offer FiOS TV to the 235,000 residents in the unincorporated portions of the county. The company said this is the largest population to be served by a Verizon franchise agreement to date.

So far, Verizon has placed 1.8 million feet of fiber thus far to serve Manatee County. Verizon will extend FiOS TV to additional geographic areas within the county as wire centers are completed.

In addition, Verizon said the Manatee County agreement contains provisions for the network's future growth; financial support and capacity for educational and governmental access channels; support for a future institutional network (I-NET) that can link schools, libraries and other institutions; cable service to government buildings at no cost; and other important benefits including insurance, indemnification and enforcement protections.

Monday, August 29, 2005

DISH Network Debuts Six-Way TV Mosaic with OpenTV

EchoStar's DISH Network satellite TV service introduced a new feature that delivers a mosaic of six networks and interactive channels on a single TV screen. The feature makes it easier to find content and surf between channels. Viewers can select between windows of popular networks, including CNN, MSNBC, The Weather Channel, E! Entertainment, Bloomberg and Court TV.

The interactive mosaic concept -- six mainstream TV channels integrated with interactive features -- was first used by DISH during the 2004 Summer Olympics and again for the 2004 Presidential Elections.

DISH Network subscribers with an interactive TV-enabled receiver can access the feature by going to channel 100, pressing the interactive TV button on their remote, launching ITV from the electronic programming guide, or selecting a triggered advertisement on another channel.

DISH is using OpenTV Corp.'s digital interactive application.

ARCHOS Tunes its Mobile DVRs for CinemaNow VOD

ARCHOS announced a co-marketing agreement to bring the CinemaNow video download service to its new ARCHOS AV 700 Mobile Digital Video Recorder and Gmini 402 Pocket Multimedia Center devices.

Consumers will be able to watch their CinemaNow videos on the AV 700's 7" wide screen or connect the device to their TV for full screen viewing. The ARCHOS AV 700 comes in 40- and 100-gigabyte hard drive versions and can store up to 400 hours of video.

Currently, CinemaNow boasts a library of more than 550 full-length features and more than 200 music videos available for portable video players that are Microsoft PlaysForSure compliant.

ARCHOS and CinemaNow are planning promotional offers, including free downloads with the purchase of new players.

In addition to Internet content downloads, the ARCHOS portable video players and recorders allow consumers to record video content directly from the TV, DVD player, VCR, cable box or satellite receiver, as well as play and record music, view photos and play games.

Wanadoo's Livecom Integrates Jabber XCP

Wanadoo's Livecom integrated voice, video, and chat service has deployed the Jabber Extensible Communications Platform (Jabber XCP).

For Livecom, Jabber XCP serves as its core presence, subscriber management, and multi-media routing technology. Additionally, Jabber XCP provides Wanadoo with a highly extensible service delivery framework for ongoing service innovation.

Jabber XCP is a presence and messaging server that supports all standards based messaging and presence protocols, including Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP), Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions (SIMPLE), and Instant Messaging and Presence Services (IMPS) defined by the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA).

"We have been working with Wanadoo for several years, initially on their core IM capabilities and the Voila portal, and more recently on the Livecom service," said Tony Bamonti, president of Jabber Telecom.

Nortel Rolls Out New IP Communication Solutions

Nortel introduced a series of new and enhanced IP multimedia solutions for the enterprise market. The line-up includes:

  • the Nortel IP Phone 1100 Series, which features advanced capabilities including high-resolution displays for graphical content presentation along with USB and Gigabit Ethernet capabilities. Nortel is introducing three new models: the IP Phone 1110, IP Phone 1120E, and IP Phone 1140E, each designed to deliver sophisticated telephony features and applications.

  • Nortel WLAN Handset 2212, which offers enterprises fast access to people and applications with one, easy-to-use handset that provides secure access to critical databases, remote control of equipment, Internet access, and send and receive messages.

  • Secure Multimedia Controller 2450, which as part of Nortel's convergence security portfolio is designed to help ensure that productivity-enhancing applications and converged infrastructure are always available and secure.

  • Multimedia Communications Server (MCS) 5100 Release 3.5, which provides new ways for users to communicate in real-time in addition to its current breadth of services - IM with dynamic presence, IM chat, audio and video conferencing, Web collaboration, personalized communication and other collaboration tools.

  • CallPilot Release 4.0 Unified Messaging suite, including new features to improve user productivity. These include an IM integration feature that allows users to respond to voice and e-mail messages with an IM session. Users can also view presence icons to determine the availability of the sender and then initiate an interactive session with the click of a mouse.

  • Communications Server 1000 Release 4.5, a feature-rich enterprise call server software package that supports up to 15,000 users per server and can be deployed in centralized or distributed collaborative enterprise environments.

  • Survivable Remote Gateway 50, which allows users at remote sites to communicate more effectively by providing access to all of the features and applications available to users at the main site.

Astra Platform Services GmbH Deploys Harmonic Encoders

Astra Platform Services GmbH (APS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of SES ASTRA and Germany's largest satellite broadcaster, is deploying Harmonic's DiviCom MV 100 multi-codec encoding platform.

APS, which was formerly known as Digital Playout Center, provisions broadcast TV services that reach several million subscribers across central Europe. Harmonic's DiviCom MV 100 encoding platform and DiviTrackXE closed-loop statistical multiplexing solution will use MPEG-2 compression to enable APS to significantly increase its channel density. e Harmonic solution also maintains full compatibility with the installed headend and subscriber equipment such as set-top boxes. In addition, the customer-installable MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) software gives APS the option of an upgrade. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Manitoba Telecom Adds VOD to IPTV Service in Winnipeg

Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) has launched on-demand programming to over 40,000 television subscribers in Winnipeg using on-demand software and servers from SeaChange International.

MTS TV is a digital television service providing over 200 channels, including more than 25 themed channel packages. In addition to video-on-demand, MTS is adding new features to the MTS TV portal, providing more access to local information such as weather, airport arrivals and departures, school/garbage day, horoscopes and more. All of these new features, in addition to exclusive content such as MTS Centre On Demand and MTS Games On Demand, are accessible through MTS's Motorola set-top boxes. SeaChange's VOD system is integrated with MTS's Motorola VDSL architecture.
  • In June 2004, Manitoba Telecom Services completed its acquisition of Allstream (formerly AT&T Canada). Allstream operates a nationwide network spanning 18,000 km and is focused on the business market.

Nortel Integrates Microsoft Office Communicator with SIP Platform

Nortel has expanded its strategic relationship with Microsoft and plans to integrate Microsoft Office Communicator 2005 and Office Live Communication Server with its open, SIP-based communications solution. The converged solution will provide desktop call control using Microsoft Office Communicator for telephony infrastructures built on Nortel Communication Server 1000. Nortel's open SIP application interface allows companies to further customize the solution.

The new Nortel/Microsoft converged office solution will also provide access to critical applications such as Unified Messaging, Contact Center and Self Service via the Nortel Applications Center.

The companies said the converged office solution would enable end-users to:

  • initiate telephone calls through enterprise phones directly from Communicator 2005.

  • see pop-up notifications for incoming calls and access phone features (accept, transfer or divert calls, or add others to the conversation) via Communicator 2005.

  • forward incoming calls automatically based on location.

  • 'twin' desk phones to the Office Communicator client, enabling calls to desktop phone numbers to ring and be answered using Communicator.

  • conduct multimedia communications sessions with Live Communications Server and Communicator including voice, instant messaging, presence, data sharing, and video.

  • benefit from the business-class reliability, communications continuity and resilience of Nortel Communication Server 1000.

Telecom New Zealand Selects Alcatel NGN

Telecom New Zealand selected Alcatel to build the IP Voice platform for its Next Generation Network (NGN). Telecom will invest US$220 million in new network and system capability. The first residential customers will migrate onto the new network by early 2007 and eventually all of New Zealand's 2.2 million customer lines will be transitioned to the new platform in 2012.

The companies said the investment is a critical milestone in the multi-year, US$1.4 billion transition to a totally new network platform that will deliver triple play (voice, data and video bundle) services.

"In relatively short order we will replace the entire PSTN and be delivering all our services for customers over the IP network. That has the potential to reduce costs for customers and put a lot more control and flexibility in customers' hands, wherever they are - at home, at work or on the move," said Telecom Chief Operating Officer Simon Moutter.

For the IP Voice platform project, Telecom and Alcatel are building:

  • An IP Voice Call Control platform and Trunk Gateways to switch and process IP Voice traffic to and from the current PSTN

  • 'Border Security' to prevent unauthorized access, detect and prevent security threats and provide voice security

  • The capability to deliver an IP Voice Trunking product to connect enterprise VoIP systems to Telecom's network

  • Adaptation of Alcatel's NGN solutions to the New Zealand environment, enabling the equipment to interoperate with other networks and billing and service management systems

Telecom and Alcatel have a next generation technology partnership dating back to 2002. Alcatel was also selected for a US$64 million all IP Multi-Service Core (MSC) project that enables integrated services.

NDS and Frontier Silicon Collaborate on Mobile Content Protection

NDS and Frontier Silicon, a start-up offering semiconductors for mobile digital television (DVB-H & T-DMB) and DAB digital radio products, agreed to collaborate on joint development and marketing of secure content protection and digital rights management (DRM) for mobile digital TV and DAB digital radio.

The agreement will address security concerns that content providers have in releasing premium content into the MDTV (mobile digital television) and DAB radio markets.

NDS and Frontier Silicon will develop a secure end-to-end solution with content securely encoded at the head-end, transmitted and securely received or consumed by users with appropriate digital rights. The companies said tight coupling of NDS' content protection technology, mVideoGuard, to Frontier Silicon's hardware will ensure content providers get one of the most secure mobile TV and radio delivery mechanisms in the industry.

The companies will demonstrate such secure downloads with NDS' mVideoGuard conditional access (CA), DRM and electronic program guide (EPG) solutions over Frontier Silicon's T-DMB, DVB-H and DAB product platforms and IBC from 9th-13th September in Amsterdam.

Meru Partners with Juniper on Secure Wireless VoIP

Meru Networks signed an alliance agreement with Juniper Networks to co-market solutions that enable pervasive, secure wireless VoIP . Meru has joined Juniper's J-Partner Infrastructure Alliance program as a preferred member, and will immediately begin collaborating with Juniper on several fronts, including joint sales engagements and other co-marketing activities.

The companies said the combination of Juniper's IP routing and security with Meru's Air Traffic Control technology that delivers a cellular approach to WLANs would enable best-in-class security including end-to-end network security zones. Network security policies will have common enforcement, regardless of whether users are accessing the network via wireless or wireline. This approach to wireless security is becoming more important with the emergence of new wireless LAN-enabled devices such as WLAN phones, dual-mode handsets and WLAN-enabled PDAs.
  • In June, Meru Networks secured $12 million in Series C funding for its VoIP mobility technology. With its unique Cellular WLAN architecture, Meru's system delivers the over-the-air QoS, scalability, predictable performance and ease of deployment required for large, enterprise-class WLANs. The company said it has achieved significant customer traction, with deployments by U.S. snack-maker McKee Foods, the University of Miami Medical Center in a 1,000+ access point deployment, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Pacific Sunwear and system integrator Azulstar Networks, a division of Ottawa Wireless, to deliver the nation's largest Metro voice and data Wi-Fi service to the city of Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

LANs Need to Evolve toward Cellular Wireless Architecture

Joe Epstein
IEEE 802.11 task groups have worked to improve the speed of wireless
networking and increase the sophistication of the 802.11 base itself.
Unfortunately, 802.11 is still hamstrung by a fundamental problem. Given
the ever-increasing need to have real predictability in networks that will
soon top out at over 600Mbps and rival the capacity of wired networking,
it is clear that 802.11 needs to embrace a cellular wireless networking
architecture and associated technologies.

Motorola Announces Cash Tender Offers for Up to $1.0 Billion

Motorola announced the commencement of cash tender offers for up to $1.0 billion of certain of its outstanding debt. The company announced the commencement of an any and all tender offer (the "Any and All Tender Offer") for all $200 million aggregate principal amount outstanding of its 6.50% Notes due 2008 (the "6.50% Notes") and all $325 million aggregate principal amount outstanding of its 5.80% Notes due 2008 (the "5.80% Notes"). In addition, the company announced the commencement of a partial tender offer (the "Partial Tender Offer") for its outstanding 7.625% Notes due 2010 (the "7.625% Notes") and its 8.00% Notes due 2011 (the "8.00% Notes").

Ericsson Supplies VDLS2 to European Broadband Provider B2

B2 is deploying VDSL2 over Ericsson's IP/Ethernet platform. The company plans to deliver Triple Play services -- Internet, IP Telephony and IPTV. The VDSL2 system is planned to be in operation in October this year.

Study in Finland Finds 41% Willing to Pay for Mobile TV

A study by Finnish broadcast, content and mobile communications companies found that 41% of pilot participants would be willing to purchase mobile TV services and half thought that a fixed monthly fee of EUR 10 was a reasonable price to pay. Over half (58%) said that they believed broadcast mobile TV services would be popular.

Digita, Elisa, MTV, Channel Four Finland (Nelonen), Nokia, TeliaSonera Finland and YLE jointly conducted the pilot in Finland between March and June 2005 with 500 users accessing mobile TV using the Nokia 7710 smartphone and DVB-H technology.

Some key findings of the study:

Content is king

  • In general, mobile TV users spent approximately 20 minutes a day watching mobile TV, although more active users watched between 30 to 40 minutes per session. Participants also watched mobile TV at different times than traditional TV peak hours.

  • Users preferred a fixed pricing model although many were also interested in a pay per view mode

  • "The message for the industry is clear: for mobile TV services to succeed we need relevant and compelling content, easy-to-use technology and reasonable and simple pricing plans. With these elements in place, consumer demand for mobile TV will follow," said Richard Sharp, Vice President, Rich Media, Nokia.

    Sunday, August 28, 2005

    Morton Bahr Steps Down as President of CWA

    Morton Bahr will step down as President of the Communications Workers of America (CWA). Bahr, who led the union for 20 years, is only CWA's third president since its founding in 1938. He won election as CWA president in 1985, a year after the breakup of the AT&T Bell System which had employed a half million workers.

    During the union's 67th annual convention this week in Chicago, Larry Cohen was elected president of the CWA. Cohen has served as executive vice president of the CWA since 1998, after serving as assistant to President Bahr and director of organizing the previous 12 years. A native of Philadelphia, Cohen began his union work as an unrepresented state worker in New Jersey, where he led the successful drive that brought 36,000 state workers into the CWA union.

    D-Link Launches Wireless 3G Router for Mobile Broadband over Cellular

    D-Link introduced a Wireless 3G Mobile Router that offers subscribers of wireless carriers the ability to share 3G wireless broadband access at speeds up to 2.4 Mbps with Ethernet and 802.11g connected stations from anywhere a compatible 3G mobile signal is available.

    The D-Link Wireless 3G Mobile Router will come equipped with a built in Cardbus slot for the insertion of a 3G wireless notebook adapter interface for EVDO, UMTS, Flash-OFDM and HSDPA networks. The router will also feature two USB 2.0 ports, one for providing wireless broadband access when used in conjunction with a USB enabled 3G mobile cell phone and another port for optional print server functionality. The unit will include a built-in 10/100 Mbps switch to connect up to four Ethernet-enabled networking devices as well as an integrated 802.11g access point for wireless LAN support. Security includes WPA, support for 802.1x, and NAT firewall functionality.

    Intelsat to Acquire PanAmSat for $3.2 Billion

    Intelsat agreed to acquire PanAmSat for $25 per share in cash, or $3.2 billion, creating a larger satellite company that will be a leader in the digital delivery of video content, the transmission of corporate data and the provisioning of government communications.

    PanAmSat brings a video-centric customer base, including leading providers of cable TV programming, while Intelsat's historical strength has been in providing core telephony and advanced data services to developing and underserved regions around the world.

    PanAmSat owns and operates a fleet of 25 satellites that transmit a total of 1,991 television channels worldwide, making the company a leading carrier of standard and high-definition signals. In total, the company's in-orbit fleet is capable of reaching over 98% of the world's population through cable television systems, broadcast affiliates, direct-to-home operators, Internet service providers and telecommunications companies.

    Intelsat, which was established in 1964 as the first commercial satellite provider, currently operates a fleet of 27 satellites.

    The combined company will have coverage in more than 220 countries and territories. The shared resources will enable the new company to offer its customers expanded coverage with additional back-up satellites, supporting fiber networks and enhanced operational capabilities.

    Following the merger, the company is expected to have pro forma annual revenues of more than $1.9 billion and to maintain significant free cash flow from operations, providing significant resources for capital expenditures and debt service.

    Intelsat has received financing commitments for the full amount of the purchase price from a group of financial institutions led by Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Credit Suisse First Boston LLC and Lehman Brothers Inc.

    "The combination of Intelsat and PanAmSat creates an industry leader with the ability to provide competitive communications and video services to consumers and businesses," said David McGlade, Chief Executive Officer of Intelsat.
    • Earlier this month, PanAmSat's new Galaxy 14 satellite was successfully launched by a Soyuz-Fregat rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Galaxy 14 is a 1790-kilogram Star 2 Bus model satellite with 24, 36-MHz C-band transponders. It is the second in a series of three C-band satellites being constructed by Orbital Sciences for PanAmSat. Although designated a back-up satellite, the all C-band spacecraft is designed to deliver digital video programming, HDTV, VOD and IPTV service throughout the continental U.S.

    • In June 2005, Intelsat Americas-8 (IA-8), a high-power satellite built for by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), was successfully launched on a Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket from the Odyssey Launch Platform, positioned on the equator in the Pacific Ocean. The IA-8 satellite carries 28 C-band and 36 Ku-band transponders, as well as 24 Ka-band spot beams and will have total end-of-life power of 16 Kw -- making it one of the most powerful communications satellites to date. The satellite will provide coverage of North and South America, Alaska, Hawaii and the Caribbean from its orbital slot at 89 degrees West longitude.

    • In August 2004, a consortium of investment funds announced plans to acquire Intelsat in a transaction valued at approximately $5 billion, including approximately $2 billion of existing net debt. Investors included Apax Partners Worldwide LLP, Apax Partners, Inc., Apollo Management V, L.P., MDP Global Investors Limited and Permira Advisors, LLC.

    IDT Spectrum Files for IPO

    IDT Spectrum, which holds licenses for a large and broad collection of commercial fixed wireless spectrum in the United States, filed an SEC registration statement for a proposed initial public offering (IPO) of its Class B common stock.

    The company is developing a fixed wireless network platform that will integrate wireless spectrum with operational management capabilities and a flexible architecture to serve the specialized backhaul and telecommunications connectivity needs of a variety of customers, such as cellular phone network providers, commercial enterprises, government agencies and first-responders.

    WR Hambrecht + Co. is acting as the lead manager of the offering.

    Adelphia Deploys Ciena Optical Ethernet for Distance Learning Network

    Adelphia Communications has deployed Ciena's optical Ethernet platforms across western New York to interconnect 106 school districts serving 189,000 students with a wide range of applications for distance learning, including video conferencing and broadband data networking. The deployment is based on multiple optical Ethernet platforms from Ciena, including the CN 4300 Managed Optical Services Switch; the CN 2200 Managed Optical Ethernet Multiplexer; and the CN 2101 WaveSplicer, a passive CWDM Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer hardened for outside plant locations. Financial terms were not disclosed.

    The new distance learning applications are an initiative of the Western New York Regional Information Center (WNYRIC), a regional public education organization that delivers a variety of computer and networking services to support instructional and administrative functions of five Board of Cooperative Educational Services regions.

    eDonkey Surpasses BitTorrent as World's Largest P2P Network

    eDonkey 2000 has overtaken BitTorrent to become the world's largest P2P file trading network, according to an updated analysis of worldwide Peer-to-Peer (P2P) traffic from CacheLogic.

    While BitTorrent remains extremely popular in Asia
    (with the notable exception of South Korea, where 92% of all P2P
    traffic is eDonkey), European, North American and Latin American
    users have shifted to eDonkey for the vast majority of file trading.

    The data for this study was obtained through CacheLogic's Streamsight
    Analysis Network Program, which enables analysis based on actual
    packet data and traffic levels obtained from ISPs worldwide.

    "CacheLogic has noted a significant shift in the balance of traffic
    levels associated with the main P2P protocols through our unique
    access to actual Web traffic data throughout the world," said Andrew
    Parker, Chief Technology Officer for CacheLogic. "Over the last six
    months, the traffic levels for the eDonkey protocol have grown to a
    level greater than that of BitTorrent. Such file-sharing applications
    continue to be the single largest traffic burden on ISP networks."

    Cisco Enhances IOS for Catalyst 6500 Switches

    Cisco Systems released several Internetwork Operating System (IOS)-based software enhancements for its flagship Catalyst 6500 Series switches. Specifically, Cisco has evolved its existing IOS software for the Catalyst 6500 switches so that modular Cisco IOS subsystems now run in independent, self-healing processes. This has the following benefits:

    • Minimizes unplanned network downtime through faster fault containment and recovery with Process Fault Containment and Stateful Process Restart features;

    • Simplifies software changes through subsystem In-Service Software Upgrades;

    • Enables process-level, automated policy control by integrating Cisco IOS Embedded Event Manager (EEM). This feature uses an intelligent network to help IT managers automate time-consuming tasks, thus saving time.

    Cisco IOS Software Modularity for the Catalyst 6500 Series switches will be delivered on the existing Cisco IOS 12.2SX release. It is expected to be available in Q4 CY05 on the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 720 and in Q1 CY06 on the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 32.

    Korean National Supercomputing Center Deploys Force10

    The Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI), Korea's national supercomputer center, has deployed Force10 Networks' TeraScale E-Series in an international grid network to connect the country with scientists and researchers worldwide via the Global Ring Network for Advanced Applications Development (GLORIAD).

    The Force10 TeraScale E600 is the foundation in an international grid network that connects Daejon, Korea, with Seattle. In addition, the E600 is connected to the Korea Research Environment Open Network (KREONET2), a high performance government-funded network that provides scientists with supercomputing resources and enables the exchange of science and information technology data.

    SAMSUNG Demonstrates WiBro Handovers -- 802.16e

    Samsung Electronics demonstrated Wireless Broadband (WiBro) Hand-over technology that allows devices to be connected seamlessly to Internet servers or other networked devices while commuting or moving at speeds up to 60 km/h.

    Wireless Broadband (WiBro) is based on Mobile WiMAX technology developed by Korea 's Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) and industry players. In February 2002, the Korea government allocated 100 MHZ of frequency spectrum in the 2.3GHz bandwidth. In June 2004, Phase 1 of the WiBro became standardized. iBro offers an aggregate data throughput of 20 to 30 Mbps and the base station of the WiBro network covers a radius of 1 km ~ 5 km.

    Samsung said it is the first company in the world to demonstrate hand-over technology that is based on the WiMAX IEEE 802.16e standard.

    This week, SAMSUNG is hosting its 3rd annual Samsung 4G Forum 2005 at Jeju Island, Korea, under the theme "Revolution of Radio Access & Key Technologies for 4G." The company expects a 4G mobile communications format to become commercially available around 2010. Its annual 4G Forums provide a forum for defining what the 4G vision should be.

    Credit: Samsung

    MCI Unveils Integrated Security Services Portfolio

    MCI introduced its NetSec integrated portfolio of Managed and Professional Security Services spanning MCI's Internet "cloud" network to the enterprise premise "core" infrastructure. The new suite of global services delivers advanced, comprehensive threat intelligence and flexible security management for business and government customers.

    MCI said that unlike other point-solution providers, its is the first managed services company to take advantage of a carrier's Internet backbone network and a global managed security services provider's customer infrastructure to deliver end-to-end security protection and management.

    As part of its new portfolio, MCI's NetSec Managed Security Services include DDoS detection and mitigation, managed email content security, infrastructure threat monitoring and management for firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention for both network and host environments, vulnerability scanning and incident response. MCI is providing a Web portal for customers to monitor threat activity and navigate security risk within their environment.

    MCI's NetSec Professional Security Services help large enterprise customers with complex requirements to identify security risk, set security policy and develop a security strategy. Solutions include a broad range of security assessments from application to wireless to VoIP, security reviews for policy and network architecture, security programs such as application lifecycle management and partner security certification and incident response and forensics.

    Scientific-Atlanta and Microsoft Collaborate on IPTV Set-Top Boxes

    Scientific-Atlanta and Microsoft announced that they are working together on IPTV set-tops for supporting initiatives such as SBC's Project Lightspeed.

    The new line of Scientific-Atlanta IP set-tops, which will be integrated with the Microsoft TV IPTV Edition software platform, will support advanced codecs such as MPEG-4 Part 10/H.264 and VC-1 and will include standard- definition (SD), high-definition (HD), and whole home SD/HD digital video recorder (DVR) devices, as well as innovative gateway products that can serve an entire home with a single device.

    Additionally, Scientific Atlanta said these new set-tops will support a "no new wires" strategy for operators, which will enable IP video to be delivered over existing coax cable already installed in millions of homes.

    To help expedite the global implementation of IPTV services, country- or region-specific versions of the new Scientific-Atlanta set-tops will support U.S. or international standards.
    • SBC Communications has awarded IPTV set-top box contracts to both Scientific-Atlanta and Motorola. The contracts, awarded by SBC Services Inc., give equal market opportunity to both vendors and continue through the end of 2008. SBC provided a common set of specifications to both vendors to build the set-top boxes. At this time, SBC said it expects to use Motorola set-top boxes initially when it scales the service, with Scientific-Atlanta set-top boxes soon thereafter.

    • In March 2005, SBC awarded a contract to Scientific-Atlanta to provide IP video network equipment that would enable SBC to acquire, process, encode, and distribute digital media content to subscribers. SBC is currently testing this video network equipment as part of an SBC technical trial. Instead of using a traditional broadcast video system, in which all content is continuously sent to every customer's home, SBC companies will use a switched IP-video distribution system. In the switched IP-video network, only the content the customer requests is provided to the customer, freeing up bandwidth to be used for other applications.

    National Semiconductor Debuts Video Decoder with RGB Conversion

    National Semiconductor introduced a video decoder chip with an integrated 2:1 multiplexing (MUX) video switch that uses analog technology to convert standard and high-definition video (YPbPr) signals to a computer video (RGB) format.

    The chip could be used to enable video output directly from consumer devices such as DVD players or game consoles to personal computer monitors. The chip also performs all the necessary sync processing to generate horizontal and vertical sync signals from standard (SD) and high-definition (HD) video formats.

    XO Launches Wholesale Local Voice Residential Solution

    XO Communications is broadening its Wholesale Local Voice services platform to support competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) that offer local and long distance services to residential customers in competition with the RBOCs. XO currently provides wholesale voice service for business-focused CLECs.

    The XO Wholesale Local Voice services platform enables CLECs focused on residential customers to transition off of the RBOCs' unbundled network element platform (UNE-P) and utilize central office and transport services from XO.

    XO offers its Wholesale Local Voice services platform through more than 950 collocation facilities in 70 metropolitan markets across the U.S. The XO platform provides a pre-determined block of capacity for telephone lines and a physical connection for transporting voice traffic from the XO collocation facility to the competitive provider's voice switch. Competitive service providers will need to provision local loops to their customers, but the platform eliminates the need for competitive providers to build costly switching facilities in every central office in order to provide services to their customers.

    XO said its platform offers CLECs a more cost-effective alternative to building local network facilities and presents an opportunity to save between 15 and 30% over long-term wholesale agreements with the RBOCs.

    Verizon Expands EV-DO Network and Cuts Prices

    Verizon Wireless expanded its EV-DO wireless broadband network to seven new markets and cut the price for unlimited BroadbandAccess to $59.99 per month -- a 25% reduction -- for customers with any Verizon Wireless monthly voice plan. For non-voice customers, BroadbandAccess is available for $79.99 monthly access for unlimited use with a one- or two-year customer agreement.

    New Verizon EVDO markets include Baton Rouge, LA; Charlotte and Raleigh Durham, NC; Denver; Louisville, KY; and San Francisco and Sacramento, CA.

    The EV-DO network also supports V CAST service, Verizon Wireless' consumer multimedia service. V CAST enables consumers to access short video content on-demand, viewing current news, weather, sports and entertainment programming via a selection of V CAST-enabled phones. For $15.00 monthly access added to their Verizon Wireless calling plan, customers can get unlimited access to more than 300 daily updated video clips from leading news, sports, weather and entertainment content providers.

    Verizon Signs 5 Additional FiOS Programming Deals

    Verizon announced separate content agreements for it FiOS TV service with The America Channel, Blackbelt TV, Expo TV, LIME and the Pentagon Channel. Terms were not disclosed.

    Verizon previously announced agreements with network groups such as NBC Universal Cable, Starz Entertainment Group, Showtime Networks, A&E Television Networks, Discovery Networks and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., and is close to finalizing agreements with several other major content-partners.

    Granite Ventures Raises $350 Million Venture Capital Fund

    Granite Ventures has closed Granite Ventures II, a $350 million venture capital fund that will focus on investment opportunities in early-stage communications and software companies. In the past 13 years, Granite Ventures has invested in more than 80 companies, including Digimarc, DigitalThink, InfoGear, Internap, NetBoost, Nexabit, Siebel Systems, Sierra Wireless, SnapTrack, Tumbleweed Communications and Vignette.
    • Granite Ventures began as the early-stage venture capital group at Hambrecht & Quist in 1992.

    ShoreTel Unveils 6th Generation IP PBX

    ShoreTel unveiled the sixth generation of its distributed IP PBX voice solution, featuring a new Office Anywhere capability that supports mobile users irrespective of their location and the device they are using at the moment. ShoreTel is also enhancing its management and integration capabilities with integrated software distribution, media encryption, on-net dialing, and increased support of international operations. ShoreTel has also delivered two new telephone devices, a low-end IP phone and a 24-button programmable button box for operators and assistants.

    The Office Anywhere feature makes its easier to contact mobile workers with only one phone number via the ShoreTel PBX . An employee's work identity and profile can be put on any device, including cell phones and PDAs, which eliminates the need for multiple phone numbers and voicemail accounts.

    A native SIP interface in ShoreTel 6 allows the system to be expanded beyond what ShoreTel offers, such as using a Polycom conference phone or integrating with other phone systems. ShoreTel 6 is also supporting SIP-based WiFi phones. The SIP interface will also support residential access devices for teleworking, domestic and international trunking services, and BRI gateways.

    The ShorePhone IP110 is an entry-level IP phone that can be used as a desktop device but is particularly suited to dorm rooms and open areas such as break rooms, hallways, and classrooms. It includes an Ethernet switch with PoE support, can be used as a one-way intercom, and has an optional wall-mount kit. There are six hard keys (transfer, conference, intercom, redial, voice mail, and hold), and a 1-line, 16-character LCD display.

    The ShorePhone BB24 includes an Ethernet switch with PoE and supports power forwarding for one downstream device. It works in conjunction with the ShorePhone IP530 or IP560; up to four units can be daisy-chained together. It features 24 programmable multi-color buttons that also provide presence information about the monitored users. Up to six characters per button are displayed on the device's backlit LCD display.

    ShoreTel 6 and the new ShoreTel handsets will be available in September. New ShoreTel 6 systems typically range from $650 to $850 per user, depending on configuration. Existing customers with support agreements receive this system upgrade at no cost. The suggested retail price for additional language packs is $995. The ShoreTel IP110 phone lists for $149, and the ShoreTel BB24 button box lists for $349.

    Thursday, August 25, 2005

    VNL's IPTV Service First to Complete Migration to MPEG-4 AVC (H.264)

    Video Networks Limited (VNL), provider of the HomeChoice entertainment and communications service, has completed the migration of its broadcast line-up to MPEG-4 AVC (H.264), becoming the world's first revenue-generating broadcast television service delivered exclusively using MPEG-4. VNL's HomeChoice IPTV service is currently available to 2.4 million homes across London and Stevenage.

    HomeChoice currently offers over 80 broadcast and on-demand entertainment channels including BAFTA award-winning interactive music channels and more than 5,000 on-demand movies, music videos and TV programmes. Sky Sports and Sky Movies channels are available on the HomeChoice platform under a retail distribution agreement with BSkyB.
    In early 2004, VNL deployed Harmonic's DiviCom MV 100 and its own multi-codec set-top box for the new HomeChoice IPTV service. This gave VNL the ability to provision differentiated video services with MPEG-2 and, at a later date, install the MPEG-4 AVC software option to cost-effectively extend its geographical reach and service-carrying capacity. Since April 2005, VNL has incrementally migrated groups of the operational MV 100 encoders to MPEG-4 in a process that was recently completed. VNL is also using Harmonic's NMX Digital Service Manager to monitor and control its complete digital television infrastructure as a series of services.

    "Video Networks' move to MPEG-4 AVC, a historic event that will change the dynamics of the broadband TV industry, provides a strong technology platform for continued service innovation and business growth," said Patrick Harshman, President of the Convergent Systems Division of Harmonic Inc.

    "The completion of our migration to MPEG-4 for the delivery of our broadcast channels is an important milestone for Video Networks. The ongoing improvements in advanced encoding will enable us to free up bandwidth which can then be used in our continuous quest to provide ever more advanced products and services for our customers," said Roger Lynch, Chairman & CEO, Video Networks Limited. "We see the benefit of advanced encoding in MPEG-4, combined with European service providers' migration to ADSL2+ enabling the sector to provide HDTV in the very near future," he concluded.

    Harmonic noted that there are approximately 4,000 advanced codec-ready DiviCom MV 100 systems currently in service.
    • Video Networks was founded in 1992 and conducted early work with BT on the first video-on-demand trial in the UK in the mid 1990s.

    FCC Grants 30-Day Extension on VoIP E911 Order

    The FCC has granted VoIP service providers an additional 30 days -- until September 28, 2005 -- before it begins enforcing the requirement that VoIP providers obtain affirmative acknowledgements from 100% of their subscribers that they have read and understood an advisory concerning the limitations of their E911 service. To be eligible for this extension, VoIP service providers must have filed a report on or before August 10, 2005 regarding steps taken toward compliance.

    On July 26, 2005, the FCC released a Public Notice stating that it would delay, until August 30, 2005, any enforcement action against any provider of interconnected VoIP service regarding the affirmative acknowledgement requirement if the provider filed a report by August 10, 2005, detailing its progress toward satisfying the customer advisory, affirmative acknowledgement, and sticker requirements. The Bureau further stated its expectation that interconnected VoIP providers would disconnect, by August 30, 2005, all subscribers from whom it had not received affirmative acknowledgements. The 30-day extension has allowed interconnected VoIP providers to continue to obtain affirmative acknowledgements from subscribers and minimize the number subject to potential disconnection.

    The FCC said it has reviewed numerous reports filed by VoIP providers on August 10. The reports demonstrate the significant efforts made by providers in complying with the 100% affirmative acknowledgement requirement. As a result of its review of these reports, the Bureau has determined that it will not initiate enforcement action, until September 28, 2005, regarding the affirmative acknowledgement requirement against those providers that: (1) previously filed reports on or before August 10, 2005 in accordance with the July 26 Public Notice; and (2) file two separate updated reports with the FCC by September 1, 2005 and September 22, 2005.

    California Permitted to Implement to Technology-Specific Overlay Area Codes

    The FCC granted a petition by the California Public Utility Commission to implement two technology-specific, specialized overlay (SOs) area codes for the state of California. The telephone numbers to be assigned in the SOs include those numbers used for services and technologies such as vehicle response systems, E-Fax, automated teller machines, point-of-sales machines, multi-line fax machines, and VoIP services.

    One of the SO area codes will cover the northern portion of the state and the other SO area code will cover the southern portion of the state.

    Following the FCC decision, the California PUC unanimously approved a plan for an all-services area code overlay to the existing 310 area code in Southern California. The new area code, 424, is expected to help replenish the stock of telephone numbers available within the 310 area code region. Consumers will not have to change numbers for existing services, but may be assigned a different area code for new telephone numbers within the same residence or business where multiple telephone numbers already exist.

    Under the new overlay plan, all calls within the 310/424 overlay region must include a "1" followed by the three-digit area code and seven-digit line number. Customers may begin using this dialing pattern beginning December 31, 2005, and must use it starting July 26, 2006. New numbers will begin to be issued using the new 424 area code on or after August 26, 2006.
    • The petition was first filed by the California PUC in October 2003.

    • The 310 area code was created in late 1991 to relieve number exhaustion in the 213 area code. The 310 area code was subsequently split in January 1997, forming a separate 562 area code, again to replenish number supplies.

    AirNetAnnounces Field Trial of its Super Capacity, Adaptive Array

    AirNet Communications, a developer of software-defined wireless base stations, announced a field trial agreement with an unnamed large, tier 1 operator. The trial will test AirNet's "Super Capacity" adaptive array base stations in a dense urban, major metropolitan market. The trial cell sites will include a challenging combination of extremely dense wireless penetration and difficult radio frequency (RF) planning characteristics. AirNet will provide the Super Capacity base stations at the selected cell sites. The large operator will conduct a battery of tests to evaluate "real world" performance improvements. AirNet is temporarily providing the base stations, common equipment and services for evaluation at no charge; and the large operator is paying for the costs of providing and preparing sites, ancillary equipment, and test services.

    AirNet said wireless networks are prone to interference and poor voice quality due to the fixed directional transmission of radio frequency (RF) signals. In traditional base station systems, the wide area dispersal is necessary , resulting in considerable waste of radiated power. Also, the dispersed transmission pollutes the electromagnetic environment by radiating most of the transmitted power in unnecessary directions -- making radio planning difficult and expensive.

    In contrast, AirNet's Super Capacity, adaptive array technology, which is designed for GSM/GPRS/EDGE networks, determines a user's location and attempts to focus and receive energy only in desired directions as well as to null the interferers. The resulting improvement of RF network quality through substantial C/I (carrier-to-interference ratio) gains, results in improved spectrum utilization and Erlang capacity for urban voice applications compared to traditional technology, thereby reducing the required number of cell sites.

    "Our Super Capacity adaptive array broadband SDR platform is the alternative to the expensive and daunting task of building large numbers of new sites or purchasing expensive spectrum in this major metropolitan network," said Thomas R. Schmutz, Vice President of Engineering for AirNet Communications.

    Amino Combines its IPTV Set-top Software with Philips' Nexperia Chip

    Amino is porting its IPTV set-top software stack to Philips' Nexperia home entertainment engine PNX8550, creating a reference design for IPTV set top box vendors. The open software platform is capable of supporting a range of IPTV middleware and conditional access solutions, including customized third-party applications for IPTV service providers.

    IBM Develops Real-Time, On Demand Data Protection Software

    IBM introduced new software that continuously protects information -- on laptops, desktop PCs and file servers -- from viruses, file corruption, or accidental deletion. The software, IBM Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files, creates a copy of designated file types on the local machine within milliseconds, and then sends another copy to a remote server. IBM said the software involves more than 10 patents pending on technologies for capturing continuous changes to data in tandem with remote scheduled back-up. A beta version of the software has been available to developers via IBM's alphaWorks site for emerging technologies. Pricing is $35 per laptop or desktop, and $995 per server processor.

    SBC Provides Optical Ethernet for Westar Satellite Services

    SBC Communications will provide Broadcast Video TV1 Service, which delivers high-speed fiber-optic connections designed for real-time delivery of broadcast-quality video, to Westar Satellite Services, a privately-held company based in Texas that provides traditional uplink and downlink video services via satellite and terrestrial broadcast transmission, including multimedia and streamed media content distribution. SBC companies will also provide Westar with SBC PremierSERV Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) through OPT-E-MAN switched Ethernet connections. SBC said these services enable Westar customers, including broadcasters, government agencies, retail companies and other organizations, to transfer video and other information to the Westar network collocation facilities and satellite earth station.

    BBC to Offer Video Content Online

    The BBC is preparing to launch a video player application that lets viewers legally download up to seven days of its most recent TV programs. For UK viewers, a simulcast of BBC One or BBC Two would be available online at the same time as the television broadcast.

    "MyBBCPlayer", which is expected to launch in 2006, would also let viewers purchase additional content.

    Wednesday, August 24, 2005

    Former Alcatel Exec Joins Siemens Communications

    Andreas Bernhardt, who previously CEO of Alcatel SEL AG in Germany, will join the Group Executive Management of Siemens Communications. Bernhardt, who has worked for Alcatel SEL since 1983, was appointed CEO of Alcatel SEL AG in Germany in 2000. Among his other activities, Bernhardt serves on the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations in the Federation of German Industries (BDI), on the Economic Council of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, and on the Board of Trustees of the Founders' Association for German Industry (Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wirtschaft).

    Vonage Prepares for IPO

    Vonage is preparing to file registration papers for an initial public offering (IPO) that is expected to raise $600 million for the firm, according to various media sources. Vonage did not officially comment on the reports. The company has an estimated 800,000 users.

    T-Com Upgrades Broadband Access Routers with Juniper/Siemens

    T-Com, the fixed-network unit of Deutsche Telekom, has completed the upgrade of Junipers Networks E-Series Broadband Service Routers as part of its DSL-based broadband access network. Siemens implemented an intelligent logistics and modification process that ensured that the upgrade was completed on-time and without disrupting network operations, by working in close cooperation with T-Com and Juniper Networks, Siemens AG's global partner for IP networks and routers.

    T-Com is using Juniper Networks E-series Broadband Routers as a Broadband Remote Access Server (BRAS) and Access Concentrator. The equipment also supports the AAA services (Authentication, Authorization, Accounting) essential for controlled network access. The E-series also enables the real-time transmission streaming video content over the Internet by and routing them at "wire speed.

    Passave Files for IPO

    Passave, a developer of EPON chipsets, filed a registration statement with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission for the initial public offering of its common stock. Merrill Lynch & Co. will act as the sole book running manager for the offering with JPMorgan acting as joint lead-manager. CIBC World Markets and Jefferies Broadview will act as co-managers.

    Passave supplies FTTH semiconductors for ONTs and OLTs. The company's GigaPASS architecture integrates gigabit PON to Ethernet interfaces, wire speed protocol processing and programmable features . The company maintains offices in Santa Clara, California, Herzliya, Israel and Tokyo, Japan with customer support teams in China and Korea.
    • Investors in Passave have included Walden, BRM, Eurofund, Intel Capital and private investors including Ray Stata, founder and chairman of the board of Analog Devices Inc.

    • The company was founded in 2001.

    Samsung Unveils Smallest Satellite DMB + EV-DO Phone

    Samsung Electronics introduced its fourth and smallest satellite DMB + CDMA2000 1x EV-DO (800MHz) phone, featuring a pivotal LCD screen that rotates 90 degrees into landscape mode. With the new B250, users can make phone calls or send and receive text messages even while watching TV. The DMB broadcast received by the phone can also be relayed to a regular TV.

    The B250 has external buttons that allow users to play MP3 files without opening the phone. A 128-polyphonic sound chip has been built in to provide exquisite ring tones.

    The B250 is also equipped with a 2 megapixel camera. The File Viewer function provides access to Microsoft Office or PDF files, and a 330,000-word dictionary is included in the software.

    The B250 also supports external memory of 256MB, IrDA, and mobile banking capabilities. The phone is available in Korea at around US$700.
    • In May 2005, 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.

    Agere Names CFO

    Agere Systems has named Peter Kelly chief financial officer (CFO), effective immediately. Kelly, who was previously the company's executive vice president of global operations, replaces John W. Gamble, Jr., who has accepted a position at another company.

    Kelly joined Agere in September 2000 as vice president of operations for the company's Integrated Circuits division and was named head of Agere's global operations in August 2001. He has been instrumental in reinventing the company's supply chain and manufacturing strategies. Prior to coming to Agere, Kelly worked at Fujitsu-ICL Systems Inc., a joint venture between Fujitsu and ICL, where he served as chief operating officer for a year and chief financial officer for three years.

    Microsoft Releases Presence Tools for Live Communications Server

    As an initial proof point demonstrating Live Communications Server as a real-time collaboration platform, Microsoft introduced controls and new samples that show developers how to incorporate real-time collaboration capabilities into applications. Controls and new samples include these:

    • Presence Controls for Microsoft Office Communicator 2005 (previously called Real-Time Collaboration Presence Toolkit) enable developers using Microsoft Visual Studio development system to easily insert presence icons into applications to provide status information of contacts. In addition, the context menu within the icons provides integration with Microsoft Office Communicator 2005, allowing users in the application to launch Communicator's instant messaging conversation or telephone call window.

    • Role Agent Sample for Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 provides a sample implementation of role-based instant messaging and presence. The sample gives developers a way to assign a role name, such as "customer service representative," to a group of people to create a public-facing entity that represents the presence of any individual currently in that role. Requests for an instant messaging session with the role can be dispatched to any or all of the available members in the group.

    • Custom Alerting Application Sample for Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 shows how to build an application that allows team members to determine whether other team members are online, and to send an instant notification to those members. The application is integrated with Active Directory service and Live Communications Server.

    Microsoft said its vision for collaboration is to provide software and services to deliver pervasive capabilities to help enable people to work together more effectively. Software providers, including BrightWork,, Meridio Inc., OSIsoft Inc., Siebel Systems and Singularity, are integrating presence and real-time collaboration features into their productivity and line-of-business applications.

    See also