Sunday, February 27, 2005

Netopia Uses VLANs to Map Services in DSL Gateways

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

Amedia Adds VDSL Option for its FTTP/N Solution

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

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

William R. Zakowski

Amedia Networks


Security in Broadband Access

Security in the local loop hasn't been an issue up to now. Local
operating companies have deployed dedicated cabling with multiple twisted
pairs to each subscriber and MSOs have installed high speed co-ax cabling
for TV services. It's common for home workers to set up IPSec tunnels to
protect corporate information assets. Access networks must be secure,
without inadvertent distribution of data to the wrong subscriber or
deliberate theft of service.
  • Amedia Networks offers an active Ethernet-based Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) access solution. The company's Ethernet Switched Optical Network (ESON) technology, which was licensed from and jointly developed with Lucent Bell Labs, provides QoS mechanisms for delivering triple play services at up to 100 Mbps bandwidth per subscriber.

Vodafone Offers 500,000 Music Tracks over 3G

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

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

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

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

Harmonic Acquires UK-Based Broadcast Technology Ltd

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

Solarflare Raises $48 Million for 10GigE Silicon

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

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

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

Cisco Releases IP/MPLS Interprovider Capabilities

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

The new Cisco IP/MPLS enhanced interprovider capabilities include:

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

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

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

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

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

UNH-IOL Expands Wireless LAN Testing Services

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

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

AOL Opens Instant Messenger to Web Sites

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

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

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

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

Paradyne Offers Integrated DSL Test Capabilities

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

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

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

Capella Photonics Appoints New CEO

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

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

i2Telecom Deploys Kagoor's Session Controllers

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

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

Group Studies MPEG-4 Over IEEE 1394

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

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

FCC Appoints Media Bureau Acting Chief

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

ADC Reports Stronger Q1 on Fiber Sales

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

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

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

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

Verizon Speaks Out Against Qwest+MCI Deal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Packeteer Releases New WAN Bandwidth Appliance

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

PCCW and China Netcom Target Broadband TV Opportunity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See also