Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Samsung Partners with Sonus

Samsung Electronics will resell and support Sonus Networks' equipment to mobile operators worldwide under a non-exclusive, strategic partnership announced by the firms. The relationship is expected to expand Sonus' reach into the global wireless market and enhance Samsung's VoIP strategy including providing a migration path to an all-IP wireless network.
  • Earlier this month, Sonus announced that in December 2004, service providers globally reported that they are now carrying an estimated 10 billion minutes of customer traffic per month on their Sonus-based VoIP networks. This compares with the estimated 6 billion minutes per month in December 2003.

Alcatel's Genesys Teams with Microsoft on "Istanbul"

Under an agreement with Microsoft's Real-Time Collaboration Group, Alcatel's Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories will offer an integrated communications solution supporting Microsoft's next generation communications client, "Istanbul." This will allow the integration of common desktop applications with existing PBXs and IP-PBXs. Products resulting from the agreement will take advantage of presence capabilities to provide users with an instant view of whether contacts are online or on the phone, while delivering point-and-click capabilities for placing and transferring calls and scheduling instant conferences from their Microsoft desktop.

BellSouth and Birch Telecom Sign Long-Term Wholesale Agreement

BellSouth and Birch Telecom signed a commercial agreement for the provisioning of wholesale local phone services throughout the nine-state BellSouth region in the Southeast. BellSouth has now reached 28 long-term commercial agreements with its wholesale customers.

Level 3 Announces Work Force Reduction

Level 3 Communications announced a layoff of approximately 500 to 600 employees, resulting in an expected operational savings to the company of approximately $60 million to $70 million per year. The cuts will take place before the end of January 2005.

Level 3 noted that contract activity for consumer-oriented Voice-over-IP services has been strong, but that it remained difficult to predict whether its wholesale service provider customers would gain traction in sales to end users.

"We remain pleased with the volume of sales we've seen in recent quarters related to IP, transport, voice and other strategic services, and we continue to invest in areas where we see growing opportunities," said James Q. Crowe, Level 3's chief executive officer. "We expect to meet or exceed our previously issued guidance for communications revenue for the fourth quarter of 2004, and we are focused on converting new sales to revenue and on maximizing our ability to scale in response to market demand."http://www.level3.com/

SBC and HP Announce Strategic Alliance

SBC Communications and HP announced a strategic alliance to develop, deliver and market a portfolio of highly adaptable packaged services that integrate telecom and IT to provide end-to-end managed solutions for enterprise businesses.

For enterprise customers, the alliance aims to provide enterprises with the ability to consolidate ongoing management of the most common IT infrastructure needs: voice and data networks; equipment such as servers, PCs and printers; and desktop software. The integrated solutions are designed to help companies increase productivity and minimize total cost of ownership, particularly when facing key challenges such as implementing new convergence solutions or integrating branch office operations into corporate networks.

Specifically, the companies plan to jointly market a portfolio of managed solutions that utilizes HP's expertise in IT and carrier-grade technologies with SBC's network. The solutions will address IT and telecom convergence technologies, mobile data services, WANs, network and infrastructure security, business continuity and availability services, and branch office operations and integration.

Both companies plan to begin jointly marketing each company's services in the first quarter of 2005, and currently plan to develop additional joint offerings, including services designed for smaller businesses, later in the year.

Verizon Wireless and Novatel Debut New 3G EV-DO Card

Novatel Wireless began offering a new PC adapter card for use on its 3G Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) network. The new card uses dual band EV-DO and 1xRTT technologies to give business customers access to both BroadbandAccess and NationalAccess, based on 1xRTT technology, for national data coverage. It is the first PC card from Verizon Wireless to include a built-in dual band diversity antenna to enhance performance by maximizing data throughput. The card is supplied by Novatel Wireless.

Verizon Wireless's BroadbandAccess service is currently available in 32 major metropolitan markets across the U.S. The service provides typical download speeds of 300 - 500 kbps and bursts up to 2.4 Mbps.

Zhone Announces FiberSLAM

Zhone Technologies unveiled its new "FiberSLAM" Optical Line Terminal, enabling carriers to deliver voice, data, video and entertainment services to their subscribers over fiber access lines.
The new PON product, which builds on Zhone's Single Line Multi-Service (SLMS) architecture, is designed for central office (CO), remote terminal (RT), outdoor cabinet or basement deployment. The FiberSLAM delivers both traditional and next generation applications including legacy voice, high speed data and analog or digital video and interactive applications.

Zhone also offers a PON Residential Gateway that serves as the ONT/ONU for connections directly to residential subscribers. The Zhone Residential Gateway (ZRG) combines the functions of a modem, router and Integrated Access Device in a single unit that resides either indoors at the customer premises or outdoors at the subscriber demarc. From a single fiber input, the Zhone ZRG delivers POTS voice, fast Ethernet and either IP or RF video over the subscribers existing home wiring.

InfiniRoute Launches VoIP Peering Service for Wireless Carriers

InfiniRoute Networks began offering a VoIP peering service for Wireless Carriers. The company, which has been offering a carrier-neutral Managed VoIP Peering (MVP) service since last year, now provides mobile carriers with the ability to terminate and receive international traffic using VoIP.
http://www.infiniroute.comInfiniRoute Networks Inc. was established in 2004 as the result of the merger between two private companies, IP Deliver and Proficient Networks. Established in 2001, Proficient Networks provided a platform that measures end-to-end IP network performance, responds quickly to automatically fix problems and prevents network congestion. Established in 2002, IP Deliver provided comprehensive VoIP network management services. IP Deliver's Global VoIP connectivity product will continue to be offered as part of the company's overall solution.

Andrew Corp Acquires Xenicom for Wireless Management

Andrew Corporation has acquired Xenicom Ltd., a privately-held UK-based provider of software solutions that help telecommunications operators plan, launch, and manage wireless networks. Specifically, Xenicom's solutions help to manage 2G, 2.5G, and 3G wireless networks.

Andrew paid approximately $11.5 million cash, with additional cash consideration possible if certain financial performance goals are reached over a two-year period. Xenicom generated approximately $11 million in sales during the 12 months ending September 2004. Its customers include several major European mobile operators.

Intel and ZTE Collaborate on WiMax

Intel and ZTE announced plans to jointly deliver global broadband wireless solutions using WiMAX technology. The companies agreed to cooperate in developing and promoting standards and specifications for 802.16-based networks. The companies will also work jointly with regulatory agencies in key global markets for securing adequate radio spectrum for broadband services based on WiMAX technology.

As part of this agreement, ZTE will develop and deploy infrastructure and customer premises equipment using Intel's silicon for WiMAX solutions based on IEEE 802.16-2004 (previously known as IEEE 802.16REVd), and the upcoming IEEE 802.16e standards for mobile networks. "Rosedale" is Intel's first "system-on-a-chip" solution for cost-effective customer premise equipment (CPE) supporting 802.16-2004.

The companies said they have been working together for more than 18 months for the development of standards and architecture for 802.16-based networks.

ZTE plans to begin initial deployments of networks based on 802.16-2004 later this year with carriers in China, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia. ZTE plans to conduct field trials of 802.16e networks beginning in mid-2006.

Puerto Rico Telephone Launches VoIP with Nortel

Puerto Rico Telephone (PRT), the leading telecommunications provider on the island and a Verizon affiliate, is launching a suite of new multimedia and VoIP services to residential and corporate customers using Nortel equipment. PRT's VoIP network features Nortel's Multimedia Communication Server (MCS) 5200. PRT has also deployed Nortel Communication Server 2000 superclass softswitches. In addition, PRT is participating in Nortel's MarketForce program, a comprehensive joint marketing program. Financial terms were not disclosed.

PRT is also introducing 'PhoneMax' service in Puerto Rico, based on Nortel MCS 5200 Multimedia PC Client. PRT customers can use this PC-based software phone as a primary desktop phone, supplementary phone or telecommuter phone. It eliminates the need for a traditional voice line, using a single Internet connection for both voice and data connection.

Cisco Systems to Acquire Airespace for WLAN

Cisco Systems agreed to acquire Airespace, a provider of wireless LAN systems, for approximately $450 million in stock and assumed options. Airespace's product portfolio includes WLAN controllers, Access Points, WLAN Management and Location Software, and Security capabilities, including IDS.

Cisco said Airespace's product portfolio will expand Cisco's WLAN solution portfolio would accelerated the delivery of key WLAN features and capabilities for its entire customer base.

In the near term, Cisco will continue to offer and support both the existing Cisco Structured Wireless-Aware Network framework (SWAN) and Airespace product lines.

Upon close of the transaction, Airespace will join Cisco's Data Center, Switching and Wireless Technology Group, led by Senior Vice President Luca Cafiero.
About Cisco Systemshttp://www.cisco.com
  • Airespace was founded in July 2001 and has approximately 175 employees. The company is located in San Jose, California.

  • Airespace is headed by Brett D. Galloway, who previously was a co-founder and interim chief executive officer at Packeteer. Before that, he served as Director of Engineering for Metricom, which developed the Ricochet wireless service.

  • In September 2004, Airespace announced a partnership with IBM targeting corporate Wi-Fi services. Airespace had previously
    announced global OEM agreements with Alcatel, NEC, and Nortel. In addition, Airespace has also established partnerships with D-Link .

  • In July 2004, Airespace secured $20 million in mezzanine funding, bringing the total investment in the company to $58 million. Airespace's primary investors include Battery Ventures, Fidelity Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Storm Ventures, Hotung Capital, and KTB Ventures.