Thursday, September 29, 2005

Meriton and Mahi Merge, Focus on Agile Optical Networking

Meriton Networks is merging with Mahi Networks, combining two start-up companies offering leading edge optical networking systems for carriers. The combined company, which will use the Meriton name, said its mission is to deliver a unified, end-to-end Agile Optical Networking solution under an integrated management system. This will include automated optical layer provisioning, multi-topology (ring and mesh) support as well as Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer (ROADM) capabilities.

Meriton Networks features an end-to-end, fully managed high-speed metro/regional (HSM) services architecture that consolidates key transport capabilities (DWDM/CWDM and Wavelength/SONET/SDH switching) within a single network element. The mid-plane design of Meriton's 7200 OADX enables it to support the transmission and switching of wavelengths and SONET/SDH traffic -- all within a single network element. Individual wavelengths can be groomed via the SONET/SDH switch fabric or be switched transparently. The chassis design also enables the addition of ROADM and transparent wavelength switching cards.

Mahi Networks offers a Vx7 Multi-Service Core Transport System with ROADM capabilities. The Vx7 provides single wavelength switching granularity with full 100% optical add/drop capability for 2.5, 10, and 40 Gbps line-rates, with full wavelength-reuse around a sixteen-node network that spans up to a 1000 km circumference. To support the increasing demand for IP and SAN services, Mahi Networks recently introduced a 10-port Multi-Service ADM Transponder with SFP client interfaces supporting any combination of GbE, Fiber Channel, ESCON, FICON, and digital video services. The GFP/VCAT implementation supports full-rate and rate-limited services multiplexed using ADM-on-a-Wavelength technology to provide service add/drop at any node and wavelength reuse around the ring. In addition, Mahi offers a 10G Multi-Service Transponder with XFP client interfaces supporting 10GbE LAN PHY, 10GbE WAN PHY, OC-192, STM-64, and G.709 services.

Michael Pascoe, Meriton's president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), will continue in that role. Bill Gartner, Mahi's former president and Chief Operating Officer (COO), will take over the COO position at Meriton.

The company's Agile Optical Networking portfolio includes the following:

  • 9500 Network Planning Tool (NPT)

  • 8600 NMS and 8300 EMS (Integrated Management Systems)

  • 7200 Optical Switching Platform (OSP)

  • 6400 Optical Transport Platform (OTP)

  • 3300 Optical Services Multiplexer
  • In June 2005, Meriton Networks, a start-up based in Ottawa, secured US$54 million in Series C funding for its optical metro optical solutions. The company cited growing traction with carrier customers worldwide – including its role in supporting strategic partner, Fujitsu Telecommunications Europe, in addressing BT's 21Cn network build. Meriton said it would continue to work with strategic partners in reaching top-tier service providers, as well build-out its own channels of distribution. The oversubscribed round was led by two new prominent investors, VantagePoint Venture Partners and Nomura International. All of the previous investors in Meriton also participated in the round, including Desjardins Venture Capital Group, Newbury Ventures, Primaxis Technology Ventures, RBC Capital Partners (Telecommunications Fund), Sierra Ventures, VenGrowth and Venture Coaches/Skypoint Capital.

  • In March 2005, Meriton named Michael Pascoe as its new CEO. Pascoe was the former CEO of PairGain Technologies, which was acquired by ADC Telecommunications in 2000 for $3 billion. Prior to PairGain, Pascoe was a key member of the executive management team at Newbridge Networks.

  • In June 2004, Mahi announced its acquisition of Photuris, another start-up based in New Jersey. It developed an automated optical transport system for high-capacity metro and regional DWDM networks. Its platform features a "Versicolor" capability that integrates four functions on a single optical line card: WDM demux/mux at the system input/output; fully flexible, reconfigurable OADM wavelength switching (any wavelength to any port, independent of any other wavelength); per-wavelength power balancing; and real-time per-wavelength optical power monitoring.

  • Also in June 2004, Mahi Networks closed $70 million in new funding. The company later discontinued Mahi's original Mi7 Metro Core Aggregation System (MCAS), which combined SONET add-drop multiplexer (ADM), 3/3 digital cross-connect (DCS), DS-3 breakout capability and Layer 2 Ethernet transport switching in a single box.

Metro Optical Networks to Deliver Ethernet Services
address the needs of the various Ethernet-based applications, service
providers have to create a set of service descriptions to enable the
transport of Ethernet data from the enterprise network through the Metro
Area Network. The Ethernet service descriptions can be divided into two
categories: 1) Leased Line or 2) Switched services. The level of
transparency and the bandwidth allocation method differentiates the two
service categories.  The metro IP/Ethernet layer network needs to be
able to provide a switched Ethernet and/or routed IP network.

FCC Sees Healthy Competition in U.S. Mobile Market

The FCC adopted its Tenth Annual Report to Congress on the state of competition in the mobile telephone business, concluding that there continues to be effective competition based on several factors: the number of competing carriers providing service in an area, the extent of service deployment, prices, technological and product innovations, subscriber growth, usage patterns, churn, and investment. Although consolidation during the period covered by the report has reduced the number of nationwide mobile telephone carriers, the FCC found that none of the remaining carriers has a dominant share of the market and that the market continues to behave and perform in a competitive manner.

Consumer behavior metrics provide further evidence that mobile telephone carriers have an incentive to compete on price and quality of service. For example, churn rates, or the percentage of customers who switch providers each month, averaged 1.5 to 3.0 percent per month during 2004, a slight decline from the previous year. The implementation of local number portability (LNP) beginning in November 2003 has lowered consumer switching costs by enabling wireless subscribers to keep their phone numbers when changing wireless providers. While the advent of LNP has not resulted in an increase in churn, evidence continues to suggest that LNP has put added pressure on carriers to improve service quality in order to retain existing customers and to avoid increased churn.

Some other highlights from the report:

  • During 2004, the number of mobile telephone subscribers in the United States rose from 160.6 million to 184.7 million, increasing the nationwide penetration rate to approximately 62 percent at the end of 2004.

  • The amount of time mobile subscribers spend talking on their mobile phones has also increased, with the average minutes of use per subscriber per month rising to more than 580 in the second half of 2004, up from 507 in 2003 and 427 in 2002.

  • Two indicators of mobile pricing -- revenue per minute (RPM) and the cellular Consumer Price Index (Cellular CPI) -- showed a continued decline in the price of mobile telephone service during 2004. The RPM, which can be used to measure the per-minute price of mobile telephone service, fell 12 percent during 2004, and the Cellular CPI declined 1.0 percent during 2004 while the overall CPI increased 2.7 percent.

  • The volume of text messaging traffic grew to 4.7 billion messages per month in December 2004, more than double the 2 billion messages per month reported in December 2003.

Latest Skype Release Offers Ringtones, Sounds and Pictures

Skype released a new Windows version of its Internet telephony software featuring ringtones, sounds and pictures, better than ever sound quality, as well as more ways of interacting with users in groups by searching Skype's Global Directory, and import personal contacts from Outlook directly into their buddy lists.

The new Skype for Windows Version 1.4, which was first available in beta in August, incorporates two new premium services.

A new Call Forwarding service will allow callers to forward incoming Skype calls to another Skype Name, or up to three landline or mobile numbers when they're away from Skype, at no cost to the caller. Anyone using Skype may forward their calls to another Skype Name free of charge, or forward to traditional phone numbers at low SkypeOut rates.

Skype's new Personalise Skype features also allow callers to express themselves with original pictures, sounds and ringtones for as little as 1 EUR ($1.20). This feature opens up a new market for content providers looking to deliver applications to Skype's global callers and is initially offered in partnership with American Greetings, Qpass and WeeWorld. The global ringtone market is forecast to grow to $5.2 billion in 2006, and ringtones now account for over 10% of the $32.3 billion worldwide music market (Arc Group).

NTT DoCoMo Shows Mobile Handset for Terrestrial Digital Broadcasting

NTT DoCoMo unveiled its 3G FOMA P901iTV, its first mobile handset to receive terrestrial digital broadcasting signals, in addition to conventional analog signals.

The handset was developed in response to the planned launch of mobile digital broadcasting in April 2006, which Japanese broadcasters formally announced in September.

DoCoMo said its new s P901iTV will converge mobile communications and broadcasting, providing access to TV programs and related websites by simply clicking the URL shown on the display during the program.

The handset's main display will be a 2.5-inch, wide-view LCD screen. More than 2.5 hours of continuous viewing will be possible for digital TV programs.

The TV function is activated by twisting the screen (enabling the lower half of the phone to be used as a convenient handle), or simply pushing a button. An antenna-embedded earphone will enhance TV signal reception.

The new P901iTV will also be one of DoCoMo's "Osaifu-Keitai" mobile phones with wallet functions, which enable the phone to be used as electronic money, credit card, commuter pass, electronic ticket, etc.

iGrid 2005 Showcases Super High-definition Video over Gigabit IP

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, NTT Network Innovation Laboratories, and Keio University in Tokyo demonstrated super high-definition (SHD) 4K digital video transmitted over 15,000 kilometers of gigabit IP optical-networks.

4K images have roughly 4,000 horizontal pixels -- offering approximately four times the resolution of the most widely-used HD television format, and 24 times that of a standard broadcast TV signal.

At 8 megapixels per frame, uncompressed streaming of 4K video requires a data rate greater than 6 Gbps. At various points though the trans-Pacific connection the signal needed to be carried over 1 Gbps circuits. To do so efficiently, the iGrid demonstration utilized prototype JPEG 2000 codecs from NTT Network Innovation Labs, designed to compress and decompress 4K digital video in real time to 200-400 Mbps for direct connection to gigabit IP networks. NTT Labs also provided prototype Flexcast systems that enable multicast delivery of 4K video and audio over traditional unicast networks by just adding functions to existing networks.

The researchers said 4K video is a particularly significant new image format because it will be widely used for future digital cinema theatrical distribution under new specifications proposed by Digital Cinema Initiatives, a consortium of the seven major Hollywood studios.

Nearly six hours of live and pre-recorded 4K content will be streamed in real time via 1 Gbps IP networks from Tokyo to San Diego, where the video will be displayed on one of Sony 's Electronics' prototype SXRD 4K projectors installed in Calit2's new 200-seat auditorium. The content streamed from Keio/DMC to Calit2 includes pre-rendered computer animations, materials shot with 4K digital motion picture cameras and digital still cameras, real-time computer-generated visualizations, and digitally scanned 35mm and 65mm motion picture film.

FOCUS Announces First Silicon for 880 Mbps UWB Chip

FOCUS Enhancements, a supplier of video production and conversion technology, received first silicon for its new 880 Mbps Ultra Wideband (UWB) chip.

The FOCUS Enhancements' analog/rf chip is the first chip of a two-part chipset solution in FOCUS Enhancements' "Talaria" UWB line being designed for wireless video distribution and high speed data transfer for home and office applications. The company expects tape out of the second chip to occur in October 2005 and receipt of silicon of this chip in December 2005. Evaluation kits are anticipated to be shipped around the end of 2005.

FOCUS Enhancements said its UWB technology will allow wireless high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) video transmission at net data rates up to 880 Mbps at distances of up to 8 meters and 37 Mbps at 40 meters.

Verizon to Accelerate Availability of FiOS TV Service in Texas

Verizon filed for a state-issued franchise from the Public Utility Commission of Texas to offer its new FiOS TV service to 21 communities in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Verizon now expects that FiOS TV will be available to nearly 400,000 North Texas households with over 1 million potential viewers by the end of 2006.

Cisco to Acquire Nemo Systems

Cisco Systems agreed to acquire Nemo Systems, a start-up based in Los Altos, California, for up to $12.5 million in cash.

Nemo Systems has developed technology in the network memory space that will offer enhanced performance on Cisco's core switching platforms and service modules. Cisco said this technology will allow its customers to scale network systems and line card bandwidth while reducing the overall cost of high-performance networking systems.

Nortel Restructures into Two Groups

Nortel announced a corporate reorganization of its product, technology, services, operations and sales structure to better meet the needs of global enterprise and carrier customers in the converged marketplace.

The new organization simplifies Nortel's structure into two product groups:

  • Enterprise Solutions and Packet Networks, which will be led by Steve Slattery. Nortel said that in order to better serve global enterprise customers, it is combining core assets such as Ethernet and enterprise telephony, optical, and wireline data into a unified product group to better leverage core technology and hardware platforms for enterprises while fulfilling the requirements of carrier customers.

  • Mobility and Converged Core Networks, which will be led by Richard Lowe. This group consolidates the company's mobile businesses and combines them with core network technologies, reinforcing the wireless market as a vital element of current and future revenue growth.

Nortel is also forming four region-based teams to address the most promising business opportunities, as well as to create market solutions and business arrangements tailored to individual customer requirements. These teams will be led by Steve Pusey, executive vice president, Nortel and president, Eurasia; Dion Joannou, president, North America; Robert Mao, president and chief executive officer, Greater China; and Martha Bejar, president, Caribbean and Latin America and Emerging Markets Strategy.

To meet global customer demand for managed services, Sue Spradley, president, Global Services and Operations, will continue to provide single point of contact solutions to enterprise and carrier customers worldwide. Spradley's team delivers a comprehensive services and solutions portfolio that gives customers the ability to simplify their operations, optimize their networks and better manage costs.

In addition, Nortel announced that Malcolm Collins, president, enterprise networks, will be leaving the Company.

"Convergence is here and now, and our enterprise and carrier customers are demanding partners who can deliver enterprise innovation on carrier-grade platforms. With our carrier and enterprise capabilities, Nortel is uniquely positioned to deliver on this," said Bill Owens, vice chairman and CEO , Nortel. "We're playing to win, and that means having the determination and flexibility to transform our teams, simplify our portfolio, and focus our resources close to our customers, as well as harness both the power and opportunities of network convergence."

Liberty Global to Acquire Switzerland's Cablecom

Liberty Global agreed to acquire 100% of Switzerland's largest broadband cable operator, Cablecom Holdings AG from a group of selling shareholders led by Apollo Management, TowerBrook Capital Partners and Goldman Sachs affiliates. Liberty Global will pay CHF2.825 billion (US$2.186 billion) in cash. The purchase price, together with the company's net debt position, represents a multiple of 10.4 times Cablecom's estimate of 2006 operating cash flow before synergies, and is below Cablecom's announced IPO pricing range of CHF2.9 to 3.5 billion (US$2.2 to $2.7 billion). The transaction is expected to close in October 2005.

Cablecom serves about 2 million subscribers and has an 80% video penetration in its region.

Upon completion of the deal, Liberty Global will be the largest broadband cable operator in 11 of its 14 European markets, and it will have approximately 17 million total RGUs worldwide.

Boeing Selects Thales for In-Flight Wireless Entertainment Network

Boeing has selected Thales as the first recommended in-flight entertainment provider for the all-new 787 Dreamliner.

The new Thales system, called the TopSeries i-8000, will use a wireless network to deliver DVD-quality video to each seat on the airplane. The Thales product interfaces with the Connexion by Boeing system that provides broadband connectivity for the 787 and allows passengers to access the Internet and e-mail systems.

A prototype system will be built and demonstrated to Boeing late 2006. Then, in 2007, a new engineering lab with a 270 seat configuration will be built at the Thales facility in Irvine, California. After lab testing, the system is scheduled to ship to Seattle where it will be installed into a B787 flight test aircraft for further testing.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Coaxsys Announces 50th Customer for its in-Home IPTV Solution

NTS Communications, one of the largest privately-held FTTH providers in the U.S., has begun deploying Coaxsys' TVnet as a critical component of its IPTV launch. NTS is using Coaxsys' IPTV 7000 network and its new TVnet/AC, an Ethernet-over-Coax adapter specifically designed for compatibility with Amino's AmiNET set-top boxes. The IPTV 7000 network uses a home's existing coaxial cable to distribute multiple IP video streams throughout a subscriber's home without having to rewire with Cat-5 cable.

NTS has operations in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, and Arizona. It currently serves more than 60,000 customers. Its IPTV rollout started in 2004.
  • The Coaxsys technology delivers up to 104 Mbps transfer rate and supports distances up to 250 feet, enabling it to deliver multiple HDTV signals simultaneously throughout a home. The TVnet technology is also compatible with TV splitters and supports Ethernet unicast, multicast, and broadcast. The solution consists of a Coaxsys IPTV 7000 TVnet adapter that connects to any network-enabled operating system or device with an RJ-45 Ethernet network interface. It can be used for connecting IPTV set top boxes, gaming console systems, PVRs, multimedia servers, and VoIP phones.

Siemens Acquires Garderos Software for OSS

Siemens Communications agreed to acquire Garderos Software Innovations GmbH, a start-up based in Munich, for an undisclosed sum.

Garderos supplies software for operational support systems (OSS). Siemens said this OSS will be a strategic element of the Siemens Wireless Integration Platform (WIP), which integrates WLAN, WiMAX and Flash-OFDM networks with mobile and fixed networks. A number of functions from the large operator networks, such as billing, roaming or authentication, can then also be used for wireless broadband customers.

Garderos will continue to be run under its existing name as a fully owned Siemens subsidiary.

State of South Carolina Migrates to MPLS VPN

The State of South Carolina will replace its state-wide data network with an MPLS-based VPN. Spirit Telecom will serve as the primary provider and BellSouth as the subcontractor to deliver the new network. Other services that are part of the contract include a customized Web site for the state. The site serves as an online portal, allowing users of the MPLS network to access an automated system for billing, ordering, provisioning, service level management and trouble reporting.

China Mobile Awards $150 Million Project to Nortel

China Mobile, the world's largest GSM operator, has selected Nortel to expand its digital wireless network in six regions under a series of contracts awarded since January of this year and collectively estimated at US$150 million.

China Mobile's GSM network expansion in the six regions will increase subscriber capacity by 3.48 million to a total of approximately 18 million. It is expected to improve network coverage and services to remote areas while providing a smooth migration to future 3G services.

Russia's VimpelCom Selects Nortel for Optical Backbone

VimpelCom, one of Russia's largest mobile communications operators, has selected Nortel to supply an optical backbone for its wireless services. The network will carry traditional mobile voice traffic as well as enable the roll-out of future Ethernet based services.

The new network will use Nortel's Optical Multiservice Edge 6500, which allows VimpelCom to support high capacity line rates and leverage the functionality of DWDM and Ethernet technologies.

Implementation of the network will be carried out by Nortel's Russian channel partner CJSC "InstalSite" under a two-year frame supply agreement.
  • In August 2005, Alcatel announced that VimpelCom had selected its mobile Next Generation Network (NGN) solution for deployment iin the Urals.

Bell Labs and mPhase Reach Magnetometer Milestone

Lucent's Bell Labs and mPhase Technologies have reached a milestone in their joint magnetometer project by creating a prototype un-cooled metal detector. The companies said this prototype is a significant step towards the development of a device that will be theoretically 1,000 times more magnetically sensitive than comparable solutions available on the market today.

Magnetometers detect changes or disturbances in magnetic fields and derive information such as presence, size, location and orientation of objects, such as metal, that have magnetic properties.

mPhase has licensed this magnetometer technology from Bell Labs and is working to commercialize the new class of magnetometers for use as un-cooled ultra-sensitive sensors for a host of possible defense and civilian applications including automated battlefield sensors and integrated compass and direction functionality in handheld devices.
  • In September 2004, mPhase Technologies and Lucent's Bell Labs announced a major milestone for future commercialization of a nanotechnology-based battery. The tests confirm that it is possible to fabricate nanotech-based batteries, which can store and generate electric current. The prototype battery is based on a Bell Labs discovery that liquid droplets of electrolyte will stay in a dormant state atop microscopic structures called "nanograss" until stimulated to flow, thereby triggering a reaction producing electricity. The experiment proved that this super-hydrophobic effect of liquids can permit precise control and activation of the batteries on demand. The companies said future batteries based on this technology have the potential to deliver far longer shelf life and better storage capacity than existing battery technology.

Novatel Ships its First HSDPA-Enabled PC Data Card

Novatel Wireless announced the first shipments of its Merlin U740 High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)-enabled PC Data Cards to European carriers.

Novatel's Merlin U740 is backward compatible with existing UMTS networks in Europe and Enhanced Data Rate for Global Evolution (EDGE) networks worldwide. It supports speeds of up to 1.8 Mbps, making HSDPA a viable alternative to landline cable and DSL connections, with the added freedom of mobility. The Merlin U740 will also operate on UMTS 2100 MHz bands in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, in addition to EDGE and GSM/GPRS 900/1800/1900 MHz bands across the globe.

Novatel Wireless said it has received purchase orders for commercial volume shipments for the Merlin U740, which it expects to begin before the end of 2005.

Adelphia Files Third Amended Plan of Reorganization

Adelphia Communications filed a third amended plan of reorganization with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

The company said its third filing represents continued progress toward a definitive outcome of the Adelphia bankruptcy case. It is expected that significant negotiations will continue regarding the terms of the proposed plan of reorganization and disclosure statement as the constituents work through a number of inter-creditor issues.
  • In April 2005, Adelphia announced that it had reached definitive agreements for Time Warner and Comcast to acquire substantially all the U.S. assets of Adelphia for $12.7 billion in cash and 16 percent of the common stock of Time Warner's cable subsidiary, Time Warner Cable Inc.

DIRECTV and XM Satellite Radio Announce Partnership

DIRECTV and XM Satellite Radio reached an agreement covering the distribution of digital satellite entertainment programming.

Beginning Nov. 15, 2005, 72 channels of XM's music, children's, and talk programming will be available to the more than 14.6 million DIRECTV customers nationwide at no additional cost. The deal doubles the amount of audio programming delivered by DIRECTV.

"DIRECTV is making a major commitment in the world of music, and this alliance with XM Satellite Radio will leave a lasting imprint on not only our more than 14.6 million customers nationwide, but on the pay television industry as a whole," said Dan Fawcett, executive vice president, Programming Acquisitions, DIRECTV.
  • In July 2005, XM Satellite Radio agreed to acquire privately-held WCS Wireless for nearly $200 million in stock. WCS Wireless are wireless spectrum licenses in geographic areas covering 163 million people throughout the United States, including 15 of the top 20 metropolitan markets. On average, WCS Wireless licenses include 10 megahertz in the frequency bands adjacent to XM's satellite radio service. XM Satellite said the acquisition would enable it to expand its existing business with a variety of multimedia subscription services, including innovative video and data offerings.

Scientific-Atlanta Buys Out its China Joint Venture

Scientific- Atlanta completed the acquisition of all outstanding interests in the Scientific- Atlanta Shanghai Limited joint venture from the other shareholders. Going forward, Scientific-Atlanta (Shanghai) Company Ltd. will function as a wholly owned subsidiary of Scientific-Atlanta China, Inc. The company will continue to use the extensive marketplace knowledge acquired during the 12 years of the joint venture's operation as it focuses on research and development of digital technology for the burgeoning China market and extending that technology for applications all across Asia.

Bell Labs Demonstrates 100 Gbps Ethernet-Over-Optical

Bell Labs reported transmissions of 100 Gbps Ethernet over optical. These results are a significant milestone in the industry's march towards migrating to 100 Gbps data networking.

The Bell Labs research team was able to deliver a 107 Gbps optical data stream, representing 100 Gbps of data transmission plus a standard 7% overhead for error correction, using the following two technological approaches:

  • Duobinary Signaling: This technique uses three electrical signal levels, - positive, negative and zero - to represent a binary signal for communications transmission. Duobinary signals require less bandwidth than traditional NRZ (non-return to zero) signals. The application of this bandwidth-compressing format enabled the creation of an optical 107-Gbps serial data stream using a commercially available optical modulator (rated for 40 Gbps).

  • Single-Chip Optical Equalizer: Integrated optical equalizers invented by Bell Labs researchers two years ago, can compensate for transmission impairments and also for the limited modulator bandwidth in a commercially available NRZ system. NRZ is the least complex optical data format to generate. In order to demonstrate an optical 107-Gb/s NRZ signal, Bell Labs designed a single chip optical equalizer that compensated for almost all inter-symbol interference arising from modulator bandwidth limitations in an optical 107 Gb/s NRZ electronic time division multiplexing (ETDM) transmitter. As with the duobinary approach, Bell Labs researchers used a commercially available 40-Gbps optical modulator in combination with the optical equalizer to generate a 107-Gbps optical NRZ data stream.

Lucent Technologies presented papers on both of these approaches at to the European Conference and Exhibition on Optical Communication (ECOC) in Scotland.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Siemens Presents "Mobile TV Streaming"

Siemens Communications is introducing a "Mobile TV Streaming" solution designed to work with DVB-H broadcasts. Siemens said its streaming solution will enable mobile users to switch TV channels in seconds. The streaming technology also offers time-shifted television as well as selected movies and video sequences, similar to a DVD player. The streaming content is stored on a server. Both live transmissions and video on demand are possible.

Siemens said streaming and DVB-H are complementary, which means that the Siemens Media Delivery Solution will develop into a dual platform that supports both technologies. The company expects that mobile phones will be available that can receive both streaming and DVB-H in addition to telephones that are limited to one or the other.

"The combination of DVB-H and streaming via mobile radio will show us all television from a new angle: With a combo device we will have the freedom, for example, to watch movies at specific times or on demand. A football fan, can watch an international match from anywhere on the move over DVB-H, even while away on business. If he wants to savor the goals again, he can have them streamed to his mobile phone via UMTS," said Christoph Caselitz , President of Mobile Networks at Siemens Communications.

ECI Telecom Debuts Hi-FOCuS 5 Broadband Access Platform

ECI Telecom introduced its Hi-FOCuS 5 Multi-Service Access Gateway (MSAG) Platform for delivering bandwidth intensive video, data and voice services for residential and business subscribers.

The Hi-FOCuS 5 Multi-Service Access Gateway offers switching capacity of up to 128 Gbps, multiple 1 Gbps and 10 Gbps interfaces and a non-blocking architecture that eliminates the access bandwidth bottleneck, thus enabling bandwidth-intensive IP-based video services, such as TV and video channel streaming, as well as personalized content, such as Video-on-Demand (VoD), Network-based Personal Video Recorder (nPVR) and peer-to-peer applications.

The Hi-FOCuS 5, which builds on ECI's field-proven Hi-FOCuS4, features a fully redundant architecture and high availability capabilities. The platform acts as a single point of network termination, allowing for management and aggregation of multiple access technologies such as xDSL, FTTx and Wi-Fi.

The Hi-FOCuS5 product line will include both Central Office solutions as well as outdoor and deep fiber solutions for remote broadband deployments. A range of platforms and subscriber cards is supported. Commercial availability is expected in Q4.

Raindance to Acquire Bell Canada's Conferencing Assets

Raindance Communications, a provider of integrated multimedia conferencing services, acquire certain revenue-generating assets and assume certain related obligations of BCE Conferencing Inc., a subsidiary of Bell Canada, for $6 million in cash.

BCE Conferencing delivers operator-assisted and reservationless audio conferencing, web conferencing and webcasting to its U.S.-based customers. Through this acquisition, Raindance will bring additional benefits to the newly acquired customers of BCE Conferencing, including tightly integrated audio conferencing, expanded web management tools and direct access to Raindance's 24x7x365 customer support.

Tropos Hires Former Qualcomm Exec as VP of Marketing

Tropos Networks, a supplier of metro-scale, Wi-Fi mesh network systems, named Ellen Kirk as Vice President of Marketing. Prior to Tropos, Kirk served as Vice President, Business Development, in the CDMA Technologies Division of Qualcomm, where she was responsible for creating W-CDMA handset strategies, defining initiatives for accelerating migration to 3G, and driving adoption of location-based services worldwide.

Nortel Develops Integrated Data Encryption for 10 Gbps Networks

Nortel, in collaboration with CANARIE, the International Center for Advanced Internet Research at Northwestern University, SURFnet, the University of Amsterdam, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, has demonstrated a prototype optical switch with integrated data encryption operating at 10 Gbps.

Nortel said the ability to use real-time encryption to secure the transport of large amounts of time sensitive information has applications in many industries, such as media distribution in the entertainment industry, global scientific collaboration using grid computing by the research community, and real-time data back-up for the financial industry.

Nortel is demonstrating its integrated encryption technology for super-fast optical networks this week at iGrid in San Diego, an event showcasing ongoing global collaborations in grid computing. The demonstration, which is occurring at the iGrid conference in San Diego, transmits real-time encrypted data from an electronic visualization application over a 10 Gbps SONET network that spans thousands of fiber miles. Application data is encrypted from source locations in Amsterdam, Chicago, and Ottawa and transported to the iGrid show floor in San Diego where the data is viewed and manipulated on an integrated 55 screen, 100 million pixel video display.

To enable this proof of concept demonstration, hardware capable of 256-bit AES encryption at 10 Gbps line speeds has been integrated into a standard Nortel Optical Multiservice Edge (OME) 6500 switch. By encrypting the application data payload before packaging it into a SONET envelope for transport, the encrypted traffic can travel across standards-based SONET networks to be decrypted on the other side. This integration of encryption functionality into the optical switch enables reduced network complexity, lower operational expenses through reduced power and space requirements, and higher network reliability through the inherent carrier-grade attributes of the optical switch.

The live demonstration uses an electronic visualization application provided by the University of Illinois at Chicago. Network connectivity for the demonstration is being provided by CANARIE and SURFnet through international peering points on Northwestern's Chicago campus (StarLight) and in Amsterdam (NetherLight). Facilities participating in the demonstration include the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Amsterdam, the Calit2 facility at the University of California, San Diego, and the Nortel research and development lab in Ottawa.

AOL Names Maureen Govern as CTO

AOL named Maureen Govern as its new Chief Technology Officer (CTO), replacing John McKinley, who was promoted following AOL's reorganization last fall and now runs AOL's Digital Services business. Govern will manage the AOL network, including its infrastructure and data center operations; oversee the company's business technology functions; supervise AOL's internal computing services; and direct the company's shared technology development organization.

Prior to coming to AOL, Govern was CTO at Convergys Corporation. Before joining Convergys, Govern served as Vice President of Advanced Technology Development for Motorola's Global Telecommunication Solutions Sector. While in this position, Govern was responsible for Motorola's cellular architecture, performance analysis, and advanced radio and network technology development. Previously, she held senior positions at Bell-Northern Research and NYNEX Science and Technology.

UNH-IOL Offers Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) Certification

The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) will begin administering the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) certification and logo program for consumer products shaping the digital home network.

Manufacturers of products verified to successfully meet the DLNA Home Networked Device Interoperability Guidelines 1.0 will be granted the use of a certificate and certification logo for the purpose of marketing and promotion. DLNA member companies can register products for certification testing as of this month.

The UNH-IOL has hosted the two Hosted Interoperability Test events held in the U.S. since March 2004.

Nielsen//NetRatings Finds 42% of U.S. Population with Home Broadband

The number of Americans with broadband access reached 42 percent of the U.S. population in August, increasing 16 percent since the beginning of this year, according to a newly published report from Nielsen//NetRatings.

Nielsen//NetRatings also reported that in August 2005, the percent of active U.S. Internet users connecting online via broadband from home reached an all-time high, at 61.3 percent, compared with 51.4 percent of active Internet users in August last year. (An active Internet user is anyone who went online or downloaded an Internet application during the month.) In August 2005, there were 86.1 million Internet users accessing the Web through high-speed connections, marking a 34 percent gain over 64.1 million during August 2004.

"Although broadband penetration among Internet users has long been on the rise, it was always amid speculation that the high cost of broadband would limit its widespread adoption," said Charles Buchwalter, vice president of client analytics, Nielsen//NetRatings. "However, over the last year, carriers have responded to the growing demand for lower cost broadband, and all indications are that this trend will continue."

GSM Association Selects NeuStar to Manage Root DNS for GSM Operators Worldwide

The GSM Association (GSMA) selected NeuStar to offer Root Domain Name System (DNS) services to more than 680 GSM mobile operators worldwide.

NeuStar's Root DNS will manage a global common directory enabling GSM networks to interoperate, providing wireless subscribers across networks with access to mobile data, content and multimedia services -- both on roaming or home networks.

The directory, which aims to become the definitive source for GSM operators to access shared DNS services, draws upon the combined strength of the GSMA membership, which serves more than 1.5 billion mobile subscribers across 210 countries and territories, and NeuStar's DNS registry infrastructure and expertise in providing essential clearinghouse services to the global communications industry.

NeuStar said its Root DNS service will serve two functions: first, to register domain names under the suffixes "gprs" and "," which are used to register private domain names that allow operators to retrieve routing information when a subscriber accesses data and multimedia services on a roaming or home network. For example, a U.S. mobile subscriber traveling on business in Singapore will be able to access a video or audio file using their mobile device while roaming on a local GSM network.

Additionally, NeuStar will operate the master DNS root server and provide updates to GRX (GPRS Roaming Exchange) and MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) providers, allowing mobile operators to access updated DNS routing information.

RealNetworks to Launch Helix OnlineTV for Mobile Carriers, Signs Cingular

RealNetworks unveiled its "Helix OnlineTV" application for mobile and broadband providers. Real also announced a contract to supply the solution to Cingular, the largest wireless carrier in the U.S.

Powered by the Helix Media Delivery System, Real's Helix OnlineTV application enables mobile carriers and broadband operators the ability to deliver multichannel video to the handset or the PC. The solution is an end-to-end, open, extensible, cross-platform system enabling service providers to offer customizable, interactive video services to consumers. By integrating the Helix components, operators can manage and stream media traffic across their 2.5 and 3G networks to deliver value-added content such as news, sports and entertainment in RealAudio and RealVideo, as well as in 3GPP compliant formats.

Cingular has selected RealNetworks as its end-to-end solution provider for the development and delivery of the carrier's next generation video service.

Specifically, Real will provide Cingular with a comprehensive video solution including application development for packaging mobile content, hosting the mobile video service and delivering the streaming content to a variety of new handsets for the carrier's 3G UMTS/HSDPA network. Cingular is scheduled to roll out its 3G video later this year.

The launch with Cingular will include the following system components: Helix Mobile Server for streaming video content, Helix Universal Gateway for content delivery, the Helix Mobile Producer for content integration, in addition to the Helix DNA Client, a universal media playback engine that can support decoding and playback of any data type on any compatible device.

RealNetworks said components of the Helix Media Delivery System are currently deployed by more than 70 mobile carriers in over 40 countries around the globe.

Nokia Ships N70 smartphone

Nokia began commercial shipments of its N70 compact, 3G smartphone. The N70 incorporates a 2 megapixel camera, flash and front camera for video calling. A new Nokia XpressTransfer storing solution copies photos and video clips manually or automatically to compatible PCs.
For a multimedia diary experience, the in-box Nokia Lifeblog software automatically organizes photos, videos, text messages and multimedia messages into a chronology for easy browsing, searching and sharing.

The smartphone features include extensive email attachment support, Internet browser, video streaming and 3G features, such as two-way video calling and video sharing.

The N70 is also equipped with a digital music player and FM radio with support for Visual Radio. It is also among the first Nokia devices to include the Catalogs Client mobile shopping application for downloading and purchasing new applications, services and content.

KPN Selects Juniper/Lucent for IP/MPLS

KPN selected Lucent Technologies and Juniper Networks to deploy the next part of its IP/MPLS core network. The contract covers Juniper's M- and T-series as well as deployment services and maintenance by Lucent Worldwide Services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The announcement follows a 2003 agreement under which Lucent and Juniper supplied the first part of KPN's national IP/MPLS network over a unified core transport platform.

The first phase of KPN's rollout was aimed at the delivery of Ethernet VPN services to enterprise customers in the Netherlands, and the second phase will improve network redundancy and reliability, enabling KPN to introduce integrated voice, video and data services for consumers.

DSL Forum Releases Technical Reports for DSLHome Triple Play Management

The DSL Forum approved five new Technical Reports (TRs) as part of its "DSLHome" body of work. The TRs provide enhanced remote and local network management capabilities to address VoIP management and QoS provisioning, and extend the reach of "DSLHome" beyond simple DSL modems and home gateways that are the hub of next generation services in the digital home.

New DSL Forum TRs - approved September 2005

  • TR-098 DSLHome Internet Gateway Device Version 1.1 Data Model for TR-069

  • TR-104 DSLHome Provisioning Parameters for VoIP CPE

  • TR-106 DSLHome Data Model Template for TR-069 Enabled Devices

  • TR-110 DSLHome Reference Models for VoIP Configurations

  • TR-133 DSLHome TR-064 Extensions for Service Differentiation

Meru Offers "VoIP Unplugged" Certification Program

Meru Networks, a supplier of wireless VoIP infrastructure, announced an industry-wide partnering program for end-to-end wireless VoIP solutions for enterprises and service providers.

The Meru VoIP Unplugged Program has certified the following market and technology leaders in the following product categories:

  • Strategic IP Solutions (including IP-PBXs, wired and wireless IP endpoints, SIP servers, call management software, and security products): Avaya, Juniper Networks

  • VoIP Infrastructure: Fujitsu, Hitachi, OKI, ShoreTel, Zultys

  • Wireless VoIP-enabled Devices: Hitachi Cable, Vocera

  • Wireless VoIP Management and Planning: Roving Planet, WildPackets

  • Metro Broadband Wireless Solutions: Firetide Networks

SupportSoft Introduces "ServiceVerify" for VoIP Installation

SupportSoft announced the release of its new "ServiceVerify" software for the service verification of VoIP. SupportSoft ServiceVerify can automatically validate the installation of a customer's VoIP service and assist in diagnosing problems -- whether within the provider's network or at the customer premises. Key features in new SupportSoft ServiceVerify for VoIP include:

  • VoIP-Specific "SmartIssue", which enables a simple, template-based way to encapsulate network best practices for VoIP service. SupportSoft SmartIssue technology provides the flexibility to define key criteria for measurement, such as required tests, appropriate pass/fail thresholds, workflow and content for problem diagnosis and resolution.

  • Guided Problem Resolution based on real-time data gathering contrasted with industry best practices that can be customized to help contact centers and field technicians to more efficiently solve -- or proactively address, common and complex problems related to VoIP service.

VeriSign Launches SMS Alert Service for Wireless Carriers

VeriSign introduced a Mobile Alerts Service that helps wireless carriers deliver tailored mobile content to mobile devices using a Short Messaging Service (SMS).

The VeriSign Mobile Alerts Service is a managed service that provides subscribers with up-to-date information about weather, news, sport scores, stock quotes and horoscopes. This premium content is delivered to mobile devices via a text message, sent out upon a customer's request when information is updated or at regularly timed intervals. The service is part of the company's Mobile Messaging Platform (MMP), which provides carriers with a single, secure architecture to deliver enterprise-wide messaging and interactions and efficiently handles diverse wireless technology and carrier integration. The platform features content and applications that enable businesses and consumers to conduct transactions and communicate using different devices and platforms.

The first premium content provider contributing alerts is WeatherBug, the leading provider of weather information services in the United States, and the first service customer is Midwest Wireless, which offers weather alerts as part of a mobile alerts service that includes stocks, sports, news and horoscopes for $3.95 a month.

Mescalero Apache Telecom Deploys InnoMedia and Metaswitch

Mescalero Apache Telecom, a tribally owned and operated enterprise serving New Mexico, completed interoperability testing and deployment of InnoMedia's products. The deployment of Innomedia's MTA phone adaptors builds on MATI's existing MetaSwitch Class 5 Softswitch installation to add IP-based local and long distance calling services over both wireline and wireless broadband access networks.

InnoMedia's family of MTA products include single and multi-port devices for voice and video. The MTAs also support auto-provisioning for fast installation and upgrades, and provide advanced QoS and rate limiting schemes.

Canada's Allstream Announces IP-Based Enterprise Contact Centre

Allstream introduced an IP-based enterprise contact centre solution based on equipment from Cisco Systems. Allstream's scalable, IP-based multimedia contact centre allows agents to interact by voice, email, web chat and fax.

Allstream is already deploying this new solution within its own contact centres across Canada, leveraging its Professional Services expertise as part of the implementation. The company said it continues to work with other key technology partners such as Hewlett Packard (Canada) to design and implement contact centre solutions for its enterprise customers.

Verizon Signs More TV Programming Deals

Verizon announced separate programming-distribution agreements with Lifetime Television, TV shopping network HSN, Jewelry Television and Ovation -- The Art Network. The company said it continues to expand the range of content for its new FiOS TV service.

BT to acquire Infonet Deutschland

BT agreed to acquire Infonet Network Services Deutschland GmbH (Infonet Deutschland), which provides VPNs and other network services to more than 200 major corporate and public sector organisations. Financial terms were not disclosed.

BT currently owns 18% of Infonet Deutschland and will acquire the remaining 82% from T-Systems, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG.
  • In November 2004, BT agreed to acquire Infonet, a provider of international managed voice and data network services, for $965 million (excluding Infonet's net cash balance of $390 million, the aggregate value of the deal is $575 million). Infonet, which is based in El Segundo, California, has local operations in 70 countries and claims 1,800 multinational customers -- including Siemens, Nokia, Bayer AG International, IBM and Hilton International. The acquisition was completed in February 2005 and Infonet was renamed BT Infonet.

Monday, September 26, 2005

FCC Not to Pursue Enforcement Against VoIP Providers over 911

The FCC announced that it will not pursue enforcement action against interconnected VoIP providers regarding the deadlines to obtain customer acknowledgements of the limitations of their 911 service.

The FCC said it was pleased by the industry efforts to contact VoIP subscibers in this matter. Specifically, by repeatedly prompting subscribers through a variety of means, the majority of VoIP providers submitting September reports to the FCC have obtained acknowledgments from nearly all, if not all, of their subscribers. For example, the September reports indicate that at least 21 providers have received acknowledgments from 100% of their subscribers and at least 32 others have obtained acknowledgements from 90% or more of their subscribers.

Virtela Provides VPN for National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Virtela is providing a managed VPN services to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to speed communications between its employees and law-enforcement agencies nationwide. NCMEC is using Virtela's network-based SSL VPN and broadband VPN solution to connect approximately 250 employees across six branch offices and enable thousands of federal and local law enforcement around the world to quickly and easily access NCMEC's national clearinghouse of child information anywhere, anytime via a standard web browser.

Virtela's SSL VPN solution is replacing a self-managed IPsec VPN client environment at NCMEC that became increasingly difficult to deploy and manage as their global reach expanded.

Telcordia Introduces its "Maestro" IMS Portfolio

Telcordia introduced its "Maestro" IMS portfolio of wireless, wireline and converged products, services and applications designed to enable carriers to offer "any service, over any network, via any device."

Telcordia describes its Maestro IMS portfolio as a major initiative to help operators fully exploit the emerging capabilities of the IMS architecture and the wide interest and deployment of service delivery environments.

Using its "Elementive" open product strategy, Telcordia said it provides an IMS-compliant and ready-to-deploy portfolio that incorporates its access independence, strong knowledge of OSS systems integration, and exceptional reliability and flexibility in service platforms.

The Maestro portfolio includes new and upgrades of existing products, complemented by Telcordia's professional services capabilities to enable operators to develop and launch converged services at their own pace.

Telcordia Maestro portfolio products, including the Telcordia Converged Application Server and Telcordia Converged Real-Time Charging, are already deployed globally at Oi, Telus, Swisscom, Tata Teleservices and Virgin Mobile USA, among others.

Qualcomm Shows its FLO Technology

QUALCOMM announced the first live, over-the-air demonstration of "FLO" (Forward Link Only) Technology delivered to a wireless handset. The demonstration will feature over-the-air delivery and viewing of multiple channels of wireless multimedia content, both streaming video and multicast packet data on a form factor accurate (FFA) handset. The demonstration will take place at this week's CTIA I.T. & Entertainment 2005.

FLO Technology is an air-interface technology designed to increase capacity and coverage and reduce cost for multimedia content delivery to mobile handsets. QUALCOMM said FLO technology offers several advantages over other OFDM-based mobile multicast technologies, including higher-quality video and audio, faster channel switching time, superior mobile reception, optimized power consumption and greater capacity than other multicast technologies. Specific performance features of FLO Technology include:

  • Low power consumption, 4 hours of viewing time on a standard 850 mAh battery, without unacceptable degradation to talk or standby time

  • An average channel switching time of 1.5 seconds without buffering or progress bars

FLO Technology is independent of the cellular network but complements CDMA2000 1X, 1xEV-DO and WCDMA cellular network data and voice services.
  • In July 2005, QUALCOMM and other key members of the wireless industry announced the establishment of The FLO Forum, a new non-profit industry association that promotes the development of products and services related to the delivery of advanced multimedia services to wireless devices around the world using "FLO" (Forward Link Only) technology.

  • In March 2005, QUALCOMM announced plans to make the air interface specification for its FLO (Forward Link Only) technology available to an industry-led group for the purpose of bringing a cooperative specification to standards bodies for ratification. The FLO technology was designed specifically for a mobile multimedia environment and exhibits performance characteristics suited ideally for use on cellular handsets.

GSM Association Selects Motorola for Emerging Markets

The GSM Association (GSMA) selected Motorola to serve for a second phase as the sole supplier of handsets for the Emerging Market Handset (EMH) program. Motorola will deliver low-cost mobile handsets based on its C11x mass market handset platform that are specifically designed to meet the unique needs of mass market consumers, including unparalleled battery life for increased talk and standby times, large displays and durable design.

The GSMA estimates that despite 80% of the world's population having wireless access, only 25% are able to use it, with cost identified as the single biggest barrier to mobile communications usage in emerging markets. The partnership with Motorola will aim to extend the reach of mobile telephony and connect the unconnected in countries such as India, South Africa, Russia, Egypt, Philippines and Indonesia.

XM Satellite Radio Tops Five Million Subscribers

XM Satellite Radio has passed the five million subscriber milestone. the company expects to have six million subscribers by the end of this year.

AT&T Expands Internet Data Centers and Services

AT&T is opening two additional Internet Data Centers (IDCs) in San Jose, California and Shanghai, China, and augmenting its existing presence in the New York City center by 27% . With this added capacity, AT&T will be able to provide managed hosting services from 28 IDCs worldwide -- 14 within the U.S.; 14 outside of the U.S.

The new and expanded IDC's in the U.S. will offer the full breadth of AT&T's application performance management capabilities, for example, CRM or ERP management. The Shanghai IDC will offer the full suite of application performance management capabilities in early 2006.

In addition to the IDC expansion, AT&T introduced three enhancements to its Managed Hosting portfolio:

  • AT&T Server and Operating System Support (SOSS) Service, which provides a collaborative solution for customers who want to retain control over their applications. The service tracks changes made to the customer's environment (including restoring previous configurations), provides global support for hardware "break/fix;" keeps security patches up to date; and provides support for troubleshooting operating systems-related applications problems.

  • AT&T's new server virtualization capability, which lets customers run multiple applications and multiple operating systems on a single server.

  • AT&T's Managed Utility Computing Pay-Per-Use offer, which lets customers pay for hosting resources as they need them. This service, which uses Sun Microsystems' hardware, is especially attractive to customers whose businesses experience seasonal demands.
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JDSU Claims Leading Share in ROADMs

JDSU has shipped more than 1,200 reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexers (ROADMs) based on planar lightwave circuit (PLC) technology, giving it the leading market share. The company attributed its success to the unique design of its PLC chip that enables a high level of integration of the various ROADM functions, including filtering, power measurement, power balancing, switching and control system. JDSU's PLC ROADM provides high channel count and full day-one access for all channels spaced at 100GHz in either C or L band.

Kodak Ships First Wi-Fi Consumer Digital Camera

Eastman Kodak Company announced commercial shipments of the world's first Wi-Fi consumer camera.

Kodak said its 4-megapixel EASYSHARE-ONE camera combines the power of sharing, taking, organizing, and printing pictures into a single product.

Kodak's EASYSHARE-ONE camera has the ability to send e-mail from the camera, to connect to the KODAK EASYSHARE Gallery at home and on-the-go from thousands of hotspots worldwide, to store up to 1,500 favorite pictures, and to optimize viewing and operation via touch screen and graphical menus.

Kodak is working with leading wireless hotspot companies to make sharing pictures across town, across the country, or across the globe as easy and convenient as possible.

EASYSHARE-ONE camera purchasers receive a complimentary, camera-specific trial service in conjunction with major hotspot providers.

Current preferred service providers include T-Mobile USA, with more than 6,000 T-Mobile HotSpot locations across the United States; T-Mobile International, with over 5,000 hotspot locations in Germany (in conjunction with T-Com) and more than 800 hotspot locations in the United Kingdom; and Telstra, with over 850 Telstra Wireless Hotspot locations in Australia.

Qwest Denies Rumors of New MCI Bid

Qwest Communications issued a statement denying published reports that it might reconsider bidding for MCI Corp.

Lucent Launches Hosted Custom Applications Center

Lucent Technologies is launching a Hosted Custom Applications Center designed to help wireless and wireline service providers rapidly deliver innovative and personalized new services.

Lucent's hosting capabilities will be managed from one of Lucent's four carrier-grade Global Network Operations Centers (GNOCs) in Denver, Colorado, Hilversum, The Netherlands, Sydney, Australia, and Hamilton, New Zealand.

The Lucent Hosted Custom Applications Center leverages Lucent's applications product portfolio, including the Lucent Intelligent Services Gateway (ISG) and the Lucent iLocator location-based services platform. The Lucent ISG will serve as the foundation of the hosted custom application center's Service Delivery Platform and provide a common environment for creation and execution on new blended services.

Lucent's Hosted Custom Applications Center will also incorporate Bell Labs technology such as identity binding, advanced anti-spam technologies, and authentication capabilities associated with the Mail Delivery Gateway and Lucent's Vortex service personalization. Part of the Lucent Bell Labs Service Enhancement Layer in Lucent's IMS-based solutions, Lucent Vortex enables personalization and rapid service customization of end user services via a new rules engine -- distributed throughout the network -- that enables network operators to quickly modify network behaviors to target particular customer segments or offer quality of service guarantees.

Phase 1 of the Lucent Hosted Custom Applications Center rollout includes:

  • Video Greetings: Enables the subscriber to create personalized video greeting cards for family members and friends by animating a character or picture with an audio message generated using text-to-speech technology or a recorded audio track. The greeting can then be sent to the recipient's handset via Multimedia Messaging Services, Short Message Services, Instant Messaging web or e-mail.

  • Media Delivery Solution: Enables subscribers to purchase and download entertainment greetings to personalize their voice mailboxes. It also lets subscribers purchase and send celebrity greetings and other greeting cards to the voice-mail boxes of friends and family.

  • Location-Based Services (LBS) applications: Based on iLocator, which was developed by Bell Labs and is a component of Lucent's blended lifestyle applications for IMS-based networks. LBS applications enabled by Lucent's iLocator platform include Friend Finder, Driving Directions and Points of Interest, which can be deployed as revenue-generating subscriber or per-use services that capitalize on user presence, location and availability.

  • Inter-Modal Messaging: Enables service providers to increase SMS and MMS traffic and revenue by allowing subscribers to securely send SMS or MMS messages from computer email accounts with full authentication and billability.

Lucent to Integrate Pulse's Avatars and Animation into IMS-based Video Messaging

Lucent Technologies will integrate animation technology from Pulse Entertainment into its portfolio of Hosted Custom Applications for wireline and wireless carriers. Pulse's software transforms standard digital images (photos and illustrations) into interactive, animated avatar characters. Subscribers select a character then create customized content that blends messages and greetings into video services. These characters/avatars can deliver messages, perform greetings, and stand in for a subscriber during conversations or online meetings.

Lucent said service providers could offer their subscribers the ability to enhance and personalize their greetings by adding video as an option to their voice and text messages. These enhanced video greetings applications could be offered either as a standalone service, or as part of an IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)-based solution for blended lifestyle services.

Lucent's Video Greetings application leverages current messaging and communications methods including Short Message Services (SMS), Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS), Instant Messaging (IM), web messaging and email and accommodates the uplink speeds of current 2.5G and 3G mobile networks.

Motorola Invests in July Systems for its Mobile Storefront

Motorola Ventures has made an equity investment in July Systems, a developer of smart mobile retailing technology that enables the rapid creation of mobile storefronts to give consumers the convenience of "virtual mall" browsing and shopping on their handheld devices.

July's Integrated Mobile Marketplace will be integrated with Motorola's Global Applications Management Architecture (GAMA) to help to handle all dimensions of mobile services retailing, from content mobile network operators handle all the aspects of value chain management, service creation and provisioning to retailing, delivery and operations.

The new solution called Motorola GAMA Integrated Mobile Marketplace allows all the players in the mobile content value chain-mobile operator, retailer, content provider, and consumer-to collaboratively and dynamically participate in establishing, managing and leveraging mobile content services. Through the use of GUI-based tools for the operator, retailer, and content provider, advanced retailing models such as subscriptions, rentals, pay- per-use and try-before-you-buy, along with personalized real-time promotions for consumers can be managed effectively on mobile devices. The solution supports all mobile content types including games, tones, pictures, streaming, and music and video clips.
  • July Systems is based in Santa Clara, California, with R&D in Bangalore, India, and European offices in Germany and UK.

NAVTEQ Joint Venture Provides Maps for Nokia

NAVTEQ's Chinese joint venture, NAV2, is providing Nokia with map data for its newly launched Nokia Wireless GPS Module. The solution integrates the hardware, software and digital map data needed for a navigation experience using all smartphones based on the Nokia Series 60 platform, and a wide range of compatible PDAs or PCs. The Nokia LD-1W will be available in China in the fourth quarter of 2005.

The Nokia LD-1W provides users with an easy-to-use mobile navigation solution. Its standard sales package includes the GPS module and a 256MB multimedia card (MMC) that contains a mobile navigation application from ROUTE 66 and the map of Greater China provided by NAV2. Users can use the navigation application by inserting the MMC card into a compatible smartphone and launching the application. The device then establishes a Bluetooth connection between the phone and the Nokia LD-1W.

VeriSign Provides Roaming, SMS Connectivity to SingTel

VeriSign announced a contract to provide roaming and short message capabilities between SingTel and operators in the Americas. Additionally, VeriSign will be able to leverage SingTel's Signaling System 7 (SS7) network in the Asia-Pacific region, gaining access to SingTel's extensive connectivity and voice transport for its joint venture companies and associates around the world. This enables VeriSign to extend its telecom signaling network to the Asia Pacific region. VeriSign already owns and operates the largest independent SS7 network in the Americas, with access to carriers throughout North, Central and South America.

SingTel will use VeriSign ANSI-41 and GSM-MAP transport services, which enable feature-rich and secure seamless roaming regardless of a customer's location. These services facilitate wireless call validation, call completion in out-of-area markets and access to advanced databases such as Wireless Calling Name, E-911 and Wireless Number Portability.

SingTel will be able to terminate Short Messaging Service (SMS) text messages to GSM and CDMA operators in the Americas using VeriSign's network capabilities. The technology operates as a service bureau to connect wireless carriers' messaging systems and to route messages between carriers using standard messaging protocols such as MAP to Short Message Peer-to-Peer Protocol (SMPP) conversion.

Tatara Systems to Integrate Boingo as part of FMC Solution

Tatara Systems will integrate the Boingo Roaming System Wi-Fi network into its converged mobile services solutions for carriers worldwide. The integration will provide Tatara's service provider customers the ability to offer their customers a branded Wi-Fi service that includes access to the Boingo Roaming System network of more than 22,000 Wi-Fi hot spots globally, including 188 airports and 4,300 hotels.

To date, Boingo has announced Platform Services partnerships with BT Infonet, EarthLink, Fiberlink, Nextel Communications, MCI, Telecom Italia and Skype. Tatara's announced service provider partners include Vodafone, British Telecom, Telus Mobility, VeriSign and JiWire.

Verizon Gains Franchise for FiOS TV in Fairfax County, VA

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in Virginia voted to authorize Verizon to offer its fiber-optic powered FiOS TV Service in the county.

With its 351,000 households, Fairfax County is the largest jurisdiction to date to grant Verizon a cable franchise. The 15-year agreement authorizes Verizon to offer FiOS TV throughout the county, except for independent municipalities like the towns of Clifton, Herndon and Vienna, and the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church.

Microsoft and Intel Back HD DVD

Microsoft and Intel threw their support to the HD DVD format developed by the DVD Forum, joining such companies as NEC, SANYO Electric Co. Ltd. and Toshiba as well as content providers such as Universal Studios and Paramount Pictures.

Microsoft and Intel cited the following reasons for their decisions:

  • Managed Copy: This feature within HD DVD that gives consumers the freedom to make copies of their discs to a hard drive or home server, including Media Center PCs using Intel Viiv technology, and enjoy them in every room of the house over their home networks. HD DVD discs also will allow copies of the movie to be played on portable devices.

  • "Future-proof" compatibility. Using proven HD DVD "hybrid disc" technology, a single disc can store both high-definition and standard-definition versions of a film, allowing consumers to enjoy
    the standard-definition movies stored on these discs on today's DVD
    players, while HD movies can be replayed later on the HD DVD platform.

  • Low-cost, high-volume manufacturing. HD DVD discs use essentially the same manufacturing equipment as existing DVDs, meaning that production of HD DVD can ramp up easily and with lower costs.

  • High capacity. HD DVD-ROM discs will offer dual-layer 30GB discs at launch, compared with BD-ROM discs, which will be limited to 25GB.

  • Interactivity. HD DVD discs will offer interactivity using iHD technology, allowing for enhanced content, navigation and value-added functionality for high-definition films. For example, HD DVDs can offer advanced picture-in-picture capability so that other video, such as a director's commentary, could play on top of the movie.

  • Superior format for notebook PCs. The compatibility of HD DVD with
    standard DVD facilitates and simplifies development of slim disc drives
    for integration in notebook PCs, one of the fastest-growing segments of
    the PC market.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Shanghai IPTV Launches with MPEG-4 AVC

SiTV is launching China's largest IPTV service and will initially serve 10,000 homes across Shanghai by the end of 2005. SiTV is providing an MPEG-2 and MPEG-4/ASP/H.264/AVC-compatible television (TV) set-top box.

SiTV will offer 99 channels of broadcast-quality TV, along with 10,000 hours of Video on Demand content and nPVR digital video recorder services, over a fiber network supplied by China Telecom. On-Demand video content will be charged as premium content and nPVR service will carry an extra fee per set-top box along with a monthly service charge. Much of SiTV's content will feature Chinese-originated programming, including sports, movies, opera, soaps and talk shows, but will also include English-language educational content.

China Telecom will provide separate Internet and voice services to SiTV subscribers.

SkyStream is provide 106 channels of MPEG-4 AVC video headends for SiTV. Shanghai Daning, the integrator and content aggregator of the SiTV service, selected SkyStream's Mediaplex headend after nearly two years of lab trials and evaluations of video headends from multiple international suppliers.

Skystream's Mediaplex will encode and transcode MPEG-2 content into MPEG-4 AVC for delivery over the new China Telecom ADSL IPTV network. SkyStream recently announced integrated MPEG-4 transcoding functionality in its video headends and this will be the first deployment of an AVC transcoder in China.

Shanghai Daning will manage the operations of the SiTV service, while Shanghai Media Group (SMG) will supply content and services.

Law Enforcement Information-Sharing Network Upgrades to Cisco IP

Nlets, the nation's primary interstate law enforcement network, has upgraded from Frame Relay to a standards-based Cisco IP network. With a Cisco router deployed at each of the member agencies, Nlets now performs the required, end-to-end encryption.

Nlets, which interconnects 18,000 local, state and federal law enforcement and public safety agencies, lets authorized users query out-of-state databases for motor-vehicle and driver data, criminal histories, Canadian "hot file" records, U.S. citizenship and immigration services records and aircraft-tracking and registration information. Nlets also routes homeland security messages and Amber alerts of missing children.

The network delivers more than 41 million transmissions per month encrypted end-to-end across the Cisco infrastructure.

Nlets is owned jointly by the 50 U.S. states and territories. In addition, all federal agencies involved in criminal justice and public safety subscribe to the network.

Other benefits of the upgrade include:

  • New agencies can be connected more quickly and easily

  • The network has been made more reliable because local agency staff can quickly install hot-spare Cisco routers that have already been deployed to each agency location.

  • Nlets now supports eXtensible Markup Language (XML)

  • The Nlets administrative staff has adopted a Cisco IP Telephony solution.

Darcomm, a Cisco Gold partner, designed and configured the new Nlets network. Cisco routers, switches and firewalls are deployed at Nlets headquarters in Arizona and at a backup facility in Idaho. A Cisco intrusion prevention system (IPS) helps Nlets protect network resources from unauthorized or malicious activity.

Infinera Selects Data Connection IP Routing and MPLS Code

Infinera is using Data Connection's integrated control plane technology, which includes its DC-MPLS and DC-OSPF protocol products, in its digital optical networking platform, the Infinera DTN.

Data Connection supplies portable routing and signaling source code covering a wide range of technologies. It optionally provides its routing protocols tightly coupled with its packet and/or optical MPLS software products to give an integrated control plane that significantly reduces development time and costs for OEM system vendors.

Data Connection's portable IP routing and MPLS source code provided Infinera with the building blocks to create the sophisticated routing and bandwidth management features of the Infinera DTN.

Infinera's Digital Optical Networking combines DWDM scalability, digital bandwidth management and protection, and GMPLS-based networking intelligence. The platform delivers SDH/SONET, Ethernet, and managed wavelength transport services in live long-haul, regional, and metro core networks.
  • Infinera is offering an optical transport platform based on its Photonic Integrated Circuits. The Infinera DTN supports 400 Gbps, i.e., forty 10 Gbps channels in a half rack, and 800Gbps (eighty 10 Gbps channels) in a full rack.. 100 Gbps line cards support a variety of hot-swappable client interfaces including OC-192/STM-64, OC-48/STM-16, 10 Gigabit Ethernet LAN PHY and WAN PHY, and Gigabit Ethernet. The platform runs Infinera's IQ Network Operating System to automate network discovery, configuration, and provisioning via GMPLS.
    # Unlike conventional optical systems, which use analog optical devices for key networking functions, the Infinera DTN uses digital technology. Its photonic integrated circuits convert all traffic from optical to electronic signals, allowing the DTN to add and drop, multiplex, groom, and protect circuits digitally rather than optically. Infinera's Photonic Integrated Circuits include a 100 Gbps transmitter, which integrates ten lasers, ten 10 Gbps modulators, and an optical multiplexer; as well as a 100 Gbps receiver, which integrates an optical demultiplexer and ten photodiodes. Each enables low-cost optical-electrical conversion on a semiconductor chip.

  • In September 2005, Infinera announced that FLAG Telecom has deployed its equipment on its fiber-optic networks in major metro areas, initially in Asia and Europe.

  • In May 2005, Infinera announced that Level 3 Communications plans to deploy Infinera's optical equipment across a substantial portion of its 23,000-mile fiber-optic network.

Fujitsu Adopts Intel's Optical Tunable Laser

Fujitsu Limited has adopted Intel's full-band tunable laser for use in its next-generation tunable transponders targeted at worldwide optical network systems.

The Intel TTX19900 Full C-Band and L-Band Tunable lasers are available now for $2,500 MSRP.

Nokia Debuts 3250 Music Phone with a Twist

The new Nokia 3250 uses a microSD memory cards to provide up to 1 Gigabyte of storage (about 750 songs). By twisting the keypad 180 degrees, users can toggle between the music controls and the traditional phone keypad. The music player of the Nokia 3250 supports an array of music formats, including MP3, WMA, M4A and AAC. Additionally, songs can be downloaded over-the-air while on the go and favorite songs can be set as ringtones. Headphones can be connected to the Nokia 3250 via the 3.5mm connector. The phone also features an FM radio with Visual Radio client.

Additional features include a two-megapixel camera, which is activated in the landscape mode by twisting the Nokia 3250's phone's keypad 90 degrees. The Nokia 3250 is based on the Series 60 platform and Symbian OS.

AboveNet Provides Fiber for StarLight 10 Gig Network

The StarLight 10 Gigabit Ethernet Network, located at the DuPage National Technology Park in West Chicago, Illinois, is now providing connectivity for the global scientific community conducting advanced networking, database applications, visualization and computing research using IP over wave division networks. The DuPage National Technology Park is an 800-acre mixed-use business park.

The StarLight network was developed by the Electronic Visualization Lab at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the International Center for Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR) at Northwestern University, and the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory.

AboveNet is supplying the fiber optic network facilities to the DuPage National Technology Park.

Firetide Introduces HotPort 4.9 GHz Public Safety Mesh Network

Firetide introduced a new HotPort 4.9 GHz Public Safety Mesh Network for licensed public safety operation for emergency services and first responders. The company also announced the City of Rio Rancho, New Mexico as a beta customer.

The Firetide HotPort 4.9 GHz public safety mesh network, based on the HotPort 3000 high performance series introduced earlier this year, operates on the licensed 4.9 GHz public safety band and provides a secure wireless infrastructure for emergency first responders and public safety personnel.

The self-forming, self-healing network can be used for permanent installations as well as the deployment of portable and mobile wireless networks for emergency and surveillance purposes. The network provides 25 Mbps throughput for high quality video, voice, and data applications and includes advanced networking features including VLAN capability, traffic prioritization, network gateway interconnects, and remote management.

The HotPort 3100/PS indoor node and the HotPort 3200/PS outdoor node are FCC part 90 DSRC-C mask compliant and provide Ethernet connectivity which allows conventional networking devices including laptop computers, surveillance cameras, and access points to operate on the wireless mesh network.

Firetide Delivers Multi-Mesh Scalability to 1,000 Nodes

Firetide announced that its HotView Pro Mesh Management Software offers mesh scalability up to 1,000 nodes and the ability to deploy and manage multiple mesh environments. The company also announced The Cloud, Europe's leading Wi-Fi network, and the City of Rio Rancho, New Mexico as beta customers.

Firetide's HotView Pro software provides live monitoring and management of mesh networks and multi-mesh environments for service providers and large enterprise networks. The software's "MeshBridge" feature provides full interoperability between two or more mesh networks operating on different channels or frequencies. MeshBridge connects multiple mesh networks to form a single mesh environment allowing the network to scale to any distance with up to 1,000 mesh nodes.

The Cloud is deploying a Firetide HotPort mesh with HotView Pro in the Town of Bridgend, England. The Cloud provides high speed, secure wireless Internet access for almost 6,000 Hotspot locations across the UK and is opening more than 100 new locations each week.

Openwave Acquires Musiwave for Operator-focused Entertainment services

Openwave Systems will acquire Musiwave, a supplier of operator-focused music entertainment services, applications and content, for approximately EUR 99.5 million and a contingent earnout of up to an additional EUR 15 million. This equates to approximately $121 million, and an additional $18 million respectively.

"Openwave is focused on helping our operator, broadband and MVNO customers deliver high quality services that generate new revenue streams," said David Peterschmidt president and CEO, Openwave. "With Musiwave, Openwave will enable operators to deliver a broad range of high value music services and associated content, quickly and safely to their customers."

"The mobile music market is exploding and operators are eager to answer the growing consumer demand for music services, both to personalize their devices and to listen to high quality music on the move," said Gilles Babinet, chairman and founder, Musiwave.

InfiniRoute Relocates from S.F. to Princeton

InfiniRoute Networks, provider of fully managed VoIP peering services for wireline and wireless carriers worldwide, has relocated its headquarters to Princeton, New Jersey from San Francisco, California.

InfiniRoute also announced that it has appointed Michael Loiacono as vice president of finance. Prior to joining InfiniRoute, Loiacono served as vice president of finance for Reach Services, where he led the financial and billing management for the company's US operations. Before that, Loiacono was controller and director of finance for ITXC Corporation, which was acquired by Teleglobe.

VoiceGenie and Nuasis Combine VoIP and VXML

VoiceGenie Technologies and Nuasis Corporation have supplied an IP contact center solution with IVR capabilities to Tuition Management Systems (TMS).

TMS selected the Nuasis NuContact Center as its IP contact center solution to improve customer service and ensure that all methods of customer communication are handled efficiently and effectively regardless of how the customer chooses to contact the company - voice, email, or web. By integrating VoiceGenie's VoiceXML-based IVR platform with their VoIP-based infrastructure, TMS not only included voice access to their previously outsourced IVR account information application, but also added a that allowed them to develop, implement and manage the extended speech application in-house.

Mobily of Saudi Arabia Deploys Aperto WiMAX

Mobily, the second largest GSM operator in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has deployed Aperto Networks' PacketWave broadband wireless systems in the four largest cities of that nation, Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Khubar, as well as in Dahran, the gateway city to Bahrain. Mobily's PacketWave-powered 2.5 GHz wireless network now reaches a population numbering over 6 million metro residents, as well as many of Saudi Arabia's central business districts. The system is used to provide high-speed data connectivity and to enhance Mobily's service delivery across the major urban areas in the kingdom. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Mobily (brand name of Etihad Etisalat) is owned by Etisalat of UAE, as well as private and public investors in Saudi Arabia. Selects Force10 for China's Largest Search Engine Network, China's largest search engine, has deployed Force10 Networks' TeraScale E-Series at the core of its data centers. China ranks second in the world with 103 million Internet users, more than half of which use broadband. According to iResearch, the number of Internet search users in China is projected to grow from to 187 million in 2007.

The Force10 TeraScale E1200 is providing the high density Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet density Baidu requires to connect thousands of servers within its multiple data centers. Within each data center, Baidu is leveraging the high Gigabit Ethernet density of the TeraScale E-Series to connect its serves while 10 Gigabit Ethernet connects each data center, ensuring a highly available, congestion-free network.

Palm and Microsoft Partner on Treo Smartphone

Palm has licensed the Microsoft Windows Mobile operating system for an expanded line of Treo Smartphones, the first of which will be available on Verizon Wireless' national wireless broadband network.

The Treo Smartphone on Windows Mobile is a CDMA-based phone targeted for the U.S. market. The Verizon EV-DO network will enable the device with download speeds averaging 400-700 kbps.

Full product details will be disclosed when the product is available for purchase in early calendar 2006. No plans were revealed for additional mobile operators. Palm indicated that a Treo Smartphone using Windows Mobile based on other wireless technologies was not anticipated to be released earlier than the second half of 2006.

Siemens Selects CoreOptics for DWDM Platform

Siemens is employing CoreOptics' electronic distortion equalization technology on its SURPASS hiT 7500 DWDM transmission platform. CoreOptics' 10 Gbps 300 pin MSA compliant transponder features a Maximum Likelihood Sequence Estimator (MLSE) electronic distortion equalization engine, which adaptively compensates for both optical and electrical distortions accumulated along the transmission link. Key benefits of this MLSE-enabled transmission product platform include reduction in initial capital expenditure by eliminating the need for the conventional Dispersion Compensation Modules (DCMs) and Dual-Stage amplifiers. The operational expenditure savings include simplification of network planning, installation and provisioning by way of a complete set of plug-and-play features. CoreOptics' distortion tolerant transponder enables transmission of 10 Gbps services on existing widely deployed 2.5 Gbps metro optical networks, allowing service providers to maximize revenue generation from their installed base. Siemens is now able to deliver a distortion tolerant 10 Gbps WDM transponder.

Zhone Selects Agere's Network Processor for VDSL2

Zhone Technologies will use Agere Systems' PayloadPlus APP300 network processor for use in its VDSL-2 equipment. Agere's APP300 can deliver 2 Gbps performance within VDSL2 systems. Using a single Agere APP300, network equipment designers can reach per-board port densities exceeding 48 channels of VDSL2 service. Agere's APP300 chip also can enable simultaneous use of up to six High Definition Television (HDTV) signals per modem port, compared with no more than two using ADSL2+ technology.

Wave7 Introduces "Universal PON" System

Wave7 Optics introduced its Trident7 Optical Access Platform -- an advanced "universal PON" system supporting its own Ethernet-based Last Mile Link (LML) system, IEEE 802.3ah Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM) and ITU-T G.984 Gigabit-capable PON (G-PON). Each of these technologies is supported on a "blade by blade" basis. The system is available as a modular OLT (optical line terminal) chassis that can installed at the central office or in the field. It features a 180 Gbps backplane and accommodates up to eighteen line cards.

The Trident7 also incorporates Wave7 Optics' multi-layer QoS, integrated RF return for interactive video, 128-bit encryption and Stimulated Raman Scattering (SRS) immunity for the highest quality video.

Wave7 noted that it now has more than 100 FTTP deployments on six continents.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Ellacoya VoIP Quality Reporter Deliver Per-Call Reporting

Ellacoya Networks introduced a "VoIP Quality Reporter" software capability that enables its IP Service Control System to monitor VoIP calls on a per-subscriber basis. Service providers could use the system to measure VoIP call quality in real-time for a particular subscriber, CMTS or DSLAM, or network segment.

Ellacoya's IP Service Control System, which consists of its e30 IP switches and Service Logic Software for centralized management, can identify, classify and control VoIP calls on a per-VoIP service provider and individual subscriber basis. It can prioritize specific VoIP calls and apply appropriate QoS to control jitter, latency and packet loss, and guarantee a high quality VoIP call. The VQR complements the Ellacoya system by providing voice quality reports, historically or in real-time, using a Mean Opinion Score (MOS) measurement method to rate calls from 1 (very poor) to 5 (excellent). The reports are used to identify specific quality problems or quality trends in the network that can then be resolved by the service provider.

The VQR captures latency/jitter, packet loss and Codec information. It collects information from Real Time Control Protocol (RTCP) streams and frames, the most accurate means for obtaining latency/jitter and packet loss information end-to-end. The system can be configured to report on specific subscribers, subscriber groups, VoIP service provider, time intervals, upstream/downstream quality and many other parameters. It can even zero in on a specific problem call and troubleshoot in real-time to enhance customer service.

Each Ellacoya e30 switch can track and report up to 10,000 simultaneous calls, while supporting up to 64,000 subscribers for network reporting, bandwidth management and tiered services.

Ellacoya said its system can scale to millions of subscribers by managing hundreds of switches from a central point in the network. The VQR is currently in beta tests at service providers and will be available for general release in November 2005.

ZTE Announces First European WiMAX Deployment

ZTE Corporation announced its first European WiMAX deployment in Serbia. ZTE will provide VeratNet with a nationwide WiMAX network which is due for completion by June 2007. In January 2006, the first phase of the deployment will be complete offering wireless broadband access to business subscribers in Serbia's capital, Belgrade.

ZTE also recently announced a WiMAX deployment in Pakistan.

ZTE has partnerships with Intel and Fujitsu to develop and promote WiMAX networks.

NeoPhotonics Introduces Transceiver for 4Gbps SANs

NeoPhotonics introduced a 4 Gbps Multimode SFP transceiver. The device can be used at 1, 2 or 4 Gbps for Fiber Channel applications. The device meets the SFP and SFF-8472 MSA and is hot pluggable and LC-Duplex fiber connector compatible. The transceiver incorporates an 850nm Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) and is capable of transmission distances over 50/125 MMF of up to 150 meters at 4.25 Gbps and 550 meters at 1.0625 Gbps.

Con Edison Expands its Fiber Network in NYC

Con Edison Communications completed a network expansion through Staten Island that enables it to offer customers services that can completely bypass Manhattan as well as provide east and west paths out of Manhattan. CEC also completed a ring in Connecticut that connects Greenwich and Stamford to CEC's network. The new ring provides customers along the route protected services back to CEC's network hub, located in Manhattan, and from there connectivity to more than 170 commercial buildings.

Con Edison reported that its first half 2005 revenues increased 19% over the same period in 2004. CEC's customer base also grew 18 percent during the first half of 2005 compared to the first half of 2004.

The CEC network now services a total of 192 buildings with more than 564 route miles of fiber-optic cable in the New York Metro area. CEC will install approximately 45 additional miles of fiber-optic cable during the remainder of 2005. The number of new SONET and Ethernet rings increased by 24% and 7% respectively over the first half of 2004. Meanwhile, the company reported it installed 1,388 circuits in the first six months, an increase of 7% over the first half of 2004.

FCC Issues CALEA Order for Facilities-based VoIP

The FCC issued its formal Order imposing Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) obligations on certain broadband and VoIP service providers. The FCC decision was first announced on 05-August-05 and the final order has just been released.

Order is limited to facilities-based broadband Internet access service providers and VoIP providers that offer services permitting users to receive calls from, and place calls to, the public switched telephone network.

Siemens and France Telecom Extend Cooperation in Poland

Polska Telefonia Komórkowa Centertel (Centertel Polish Cellular Telephony) or PTK Centertel, a subsidiary of Telekomunikacja Polska and France Telecom, selected Siemens for the construction of a signaling network based on the Surpass hiS 700 platform. The Surpass hiS platform from Siemens will allow PTK Centertel to provide the number portability service required by Poland's new telecommunications law (subscribers will be able to retain their previous numbers even if they change networks). The contract builds on the global cooperation between Siemens and France Telecom.

See also