Sunday, March 13, 2005

Sun Targets Telecom Apps with Solaris 10

Sun Microsystems announced that 34 Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) have agreed to port a range of telecom applications to the Solaris10 Operating System (OS).

Solaris 10 offers in-kernel support for the Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP) and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). It also provides unique features such as Solaris Containers and Predictive Self-Healing for reliability. Additionally, Solaris 10 supports current IPv6 specifications and APIs, paving the way for the development of next generation IP-based services.

At CTIA Wireless 2005, Sun announced agreements with 34 telecom partners to support Solaris 10, including Adax, Appium, AsiaInfo, BOCO, Cntomorrow, DigitalChina, Flextronics Software Systems (FSS), Hurray, Infozech, JnetX, Lenovo, Longshine, Metarnet, Mpathix, Neusoft, Object Computing, Inc., Open Cloud, Poson, Pronto Networks, Runway, Shanghai Ideal, Sleepycat Software, Sures, Syndesis, TransNexus, Ubiquity, Ulticom, Veraz Networks, VoiceGenie, Wayout, Xbell, ZCXC, Zhongyin-Unihub and Zznode.

TI Seeks to Drive VoWLAN into Mainstream Mobile Phones

Texas Instruments (TI) introduced the "WiLink" mobile Wireless LAN (mWLAN) platform, which includes single-chip solutions aimed at driving Voice over WLAN (VoWLAN) into mainstream mobile phones. Currently, WLAN and VoWLAN capabilities are found in high-end mobile phones primarily aimed at enterprise users. TI said its the WiLink solution would deliver the performance, small size and price-point required by OEMs to provide cellular-WLAN phones and converged devices to consumers.

TI's WiLink solution is comprised of hardware and software optimized for mobile phones providing on-the-go voice access over a WLAN or cellular network. The WiLink 4.0 mWLAN platform, TI's fourth generation mWLAN solution, consists of two different options to meet a variety of marketplace needs. Manufacturers can choose between the TNETW1251 WiLink 4.0 802.11b/g single chip or the TNETW1253 WiLink 4.0 802.11a/b/g single chip. The platform includes a WiLink 4.X Software Development Kit (SDK).

The WiLink 4.0 TNETW1251 and TNETW1253 single-chip solutions are the industry's first WLAN products manufactured in a 90nm advanced RF-CMOS process and leverage TI's DRP technology. The devices are expected to sample in Q3 2005. Products integrating TI's WiLink 4.0 platform are expected to be released to market in Q2 2006.

CDMA2000 1xEV-DO (Rev. A) Promises IP Flexibility, Higher Data Rates

At this week's CTIA Wireless 2005 in New Orleans, Qualcomm is demonstrating significant improvements in wireless services enabled by CDMA2000(R) 1xEV-DO Rev. A, including VoIP over EV-DO, higher data rates, pilot interference cancellation (PIC), and Platinum Multicast.

Mobile operators implementing Rev. A throughout their network will be able to take advantage of wireless IP-based capabilities. This would include the deployment of more flexible IP network elements using distributed network architectures. Qualcomm predicts that the ability to offer VoIP services over Rev. A-based networks will profoundly enhance operators' service offerings by enabling the combination of high-quality voice with a wide variety of applications, such as interactive 3D gaming among large groups of players, instant messaging with full multimedia content and video telephony.

Rev. A offers improved peak data rates on both the forward and reverse links. On the forward link, peak data rates increase to 3.1 Mbps, while reverse link peak speeds have increased to 1.8 Mbps. Rev. A offers higher sector capacity within the same 1.25 MHz carrier, allowing operators to support more users and richer applications. Rev. A has twice the sector capacity of Release 0 on the reverse link and 1.2 times sector capacity on the forward link. Rev. A is fully backward compatible and interoperable with deployed EV-DO networks and devices around the world.

Pilot Interference Cancellation (PIC) employs advanced techniques to reduce interference on the CDMA reverse link. It improves the reverse link capacity by removing the pilot interference, which improves the signal-to-noise ratio. By removing pilot signal interference, an operator can increase capacity by an estimated 15%-20% for VoIP applications. Qualcomm expects future products supporting Rev. A to introduce full interference cancellation, thus approaching the ultimate theoretical capacity of a multiple-access reverse link.

Platinum Multicast is proposed as the next evolutionary step of EV-DO multicast technologies. Platinum Multicast provides an extremely cost-effective method for wireless operators to deliver a multitude of video and audio channels to a large subscriber population over Rev. A-based cellular networks coupled with a content delivery system such as the MediaFLO media distribution system, with more than three times the capacity of Gold Multicast. This higher capacity translates into more channels of content or higher resolution content with the same number of channels. Higher capacity also results in a proportionately lower cost per bit transferred over the air.
  • Rev. A is supported by QUALCOMM's CSM6800 and MSM6800 chipsets.

QUALCOMM Commits to Global Standardization of FLO Technology

QUALCOMM will 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. QUALCOMM said it is working with leading companies to create a multi-party organization committed to this initiative.

The FLO technology was designed specifically for a mobile multimedia environment and exhibits performance characteristics suited ideally for use on cellular handsets. It uses advanced coding and interleaving to achieve high quality reception at all times, both for real-time content streaming and other data services.

Qualcomm also announced the appointment of Richard Sulpizio as president for MediaFLO, including MediaFLO USA, Inc. and MediaFLO Technologies. In this position, Sulpizio will provide strategic direction and manage all of MediaFLO's operations, including overseeing the development and deployment of MediaFLO technology, wholesaling of content-delivery services to U.S. wireless operators, deployment of the nationwide MediaFLO USA network, acquisition and aggregation of multimedia content, and handset availability.
  • In November 2004, QUALCOMM announced plans to deploy and operate a nationwide “mediacast�? network, delivering many channels of high-quality video and audio programming to third-generation mobile phones at mass market prices. The nationwide mediacasting network will deliver multimedia content to wireless mobile devices in the 700 MHz spectrum for which QUALCOMM holds licenses across the U.S. It will be based on QUALCOMM's "FLO" (Forward Link Only) technology and use the MediaFLO media distribution system for content aggregation, delivery and viewing. The network could support 50-100 national and local content channels, including up to 15 live streaming channels and numerous clip-cast and audio channels using QVGA video at up to 30 frames per second.

  • The mediacast network, which would be operated by QUALCOMM's new subsidiary called MediaFLO, would provide interactive multimedia services to consumers in cooperation with U.S. CDMA2000 and WCDMA (UMTS) operators. MediaFLO will aggregate and distribute the content that is available to all MediaFLO partners and will provide integration of this content with unique content that individual operators provide to maintain their competitive differentiation. MediaFLO would enable the carriers to deliver mobile interactive multimedia to their wireless subscribers without the cost of network deployment and operation.

  • MediaFLO said its service would also benefit TV stations and networks, cable TV and satellite operators and networks, and other content providers by offering a major new distribution channel that complements their current offerings.

Lucent Upgrades 10,000 Base Stations for CDMA2000 1xEV-DO

Lucent Technologies announced it has equipped nearly 10,000 base stations to support CDMA2000 1xEV-DO technology. Lucent currently has nine commercial CDMA2000 1xEV-DO customers.

Market research published by industry analyst firm Strategy Analytics indicates that within the next three years, CDMA2000 1xEV-DO subscribers will make up nearly 50% of all CDMA users globally.

Verizon Wireless Cites Progress with V CAST

Just six weeks since its February 1 launch, Verizon Wireless said it is "tremendously pleased with the success of V CAST," its wireless consumer multimedia service. The company said V CAST 3G is exceeding expectations as an indispensable new infotainment resource. V CAST runs on the Verizon Wireless broadband EV-DO 3G network.

Subscriber numbers have not yet been disclosed.

The service is price at $15.00 per month in addition to an existing Verizon Wireless calling plan. for unlimited access to more than 300 regularly updated video clips from leading news, sports, weather and entertainment content providers.

Videotron Selects ARRIS Telephony Modems for Large-Scale VoIP

Videotron, Canada's third largest MSO, has selected ARRIS as one of its VoIP modem suppliers. Videotron has placed a substantial initial order for ARRIS DOCSIS 2.0-certified Touchstone Telephony Modem indoor E-MTAs. These E-MTAs will be used to address the customer premises side of Videotron's large-scale VoIP telephony deployment based on PacketCable standards.

The sale was facilitated by Capella Telecommunications Inc., a Canadian based distributor. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Cingular Offers Unlimited EDGE/WiFi Data Plan

Cingular Wireless announced the first national unlimited EDGE/WiFi data plan. Cingular customers can now receive unlimited high-speed data connections at nearly 4,000 WiFi hotspots or when accessing the company's expanded EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution) coverage area - domestically and internationally.

When using a laptop and EDGE PC modem card, customers can receive average data speeds up to 135kbps with bursts to 200kbps.

The WiFi connections are provided through agreements with SBC companies, Wayport, Concourse Communications, StayOnline and through its owned-and-operated WiFi networks.

Customers who want unlimited access to both WiFi and EDGE services can select a monthly plan for $99.98 ($79.99 EDGE + $19.99 WiFi).

AOL Ties Instant Pictures into Instant Messenger

AOL has developed a new Instant Pictures feature for both AOL members and users of the AIM instant messenger service. The Instant Pictures features builds on the popularity of camera phones and nationwide adoption of its mobile AIM service.

The first version of the Instant Pictures feature lets users send pictures from their desktop AIM client to friends' and family members' cellular numbers on any mobile device. The new feature lets those who receive an Instant Picture respond by sharing their own photos as well.

AOL also announced that it is working with carrier partners and third-party developers to deliver next-generation mobile AIM clients that incorporate the Instant Pictures feature. These next-generation mobile AIM clients will enable users to both initiate, and reply to, Instant Picture messages by simply inserting a picture into the AIM conversation. Recipients see a thumbnail image of the picture on their mobile AIM screen that they can click to expand. They can reply with their own Instant Picture and initiate fun Instant Picture sharing experiences with everyone on their Buddy List feature.

Instant Pictures is supported by AOL's new Multimedia Messaging System ( MMS ) server as well as its Open Mobile Alliance ( OMA ) Instant Messaging Presence Server ( IMPS ) or Wireless Village server.

Also launching today are new MapQuest mobile services including MapQuest Traffic and MapQuest Find Me. Lastly, now being made available to carriers are mobile versions of America Online's popular You've Got Pictures, Radio@AOL and the AOL CityGuide and Moviefone services.

BroadSoft Launches Mobile PBX

Broadsoft launched a BroadWorks Mobile PBX solution designed to bridge the gap between the advanced voice and multimedia features available on landline phones in the enterprise versus the limited range of enterprise features on mobile phones. It could be used in several scenarios:

  • Mobile Hosted PBX: a solution which offers a wide set of features to mobile users, without a need for a fixed-line PBX

  • Mobile Extension to PBX: a solution for enterprises who wish to extend their fixed-line PBX capabilities to mobile users through a separate, parallel system

  • Hybrid Hosted PBX: a solution for an enterprise seeking both fixed and mobile access to PBX capabilities

Separately, BroadSoft announced that its BroadWorks platform has now been deployed operationally by Ericsson and Lucent Technologies in separate IMS- related carrier roll-outs. The IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) architecture is aimed at unifying fixed and mobile infrastructures. Using IMS, mobile and wireline carriers could offer hosted VoIP, PBX, conferencing, instant messaging, or other multimedia features independent of their infrastructure.

Nokia Shows Internet High Speed Packet Access

At this week's CTIA Wireless 2005 conference in New Orleans, Nokia is showing an Internet High Speed Packet Access (I-HSPA) solution based on existing WCDMA.

Nokia I-HSPA is a 3GPP standards based simplified network architecture innovation from Nokia, implemented by adding I-HSPA functionality to an existing Nokia WCDMA base station. The basic performance of Nokia I-HSPA will resemble that of the traditional High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) solutions, namely High Speed Downlink & Uplink Packet Access. Nokia said the downlink bit rate can reach 14.4 Mbps and the uplink 5.8 Mbps. Nokia I-HSPA is based on a standard HSPA radio interface.

Also at CTIA Wireless, Nokia is demonstrating HSUPA (High Speed Uplink Packet Access), a UMTS/WCDMA uplink evolution technology currently being standardized in 3GPP. HSUPA, which enhances the uplink speed of UMTS/WCDMA networks, is the next step after HSDPA. HSUPA will enhance advanced person-to-person data applications with higher and symmetric data rates, like mobile e-mail and real-time person-to-person gaming. The Nokia HSUPA solution will initially boost the UMTS/WCDMA uplink up to 1.4 Mbps and in later releases up to 5.8 Mbps.

Motorola Extends Canopy WiMAX for International Markets

Motorola is extending its Canopy WiMAX platform for the licensed 3.5 GigaHertz band, which is available worldwide for wireless broadband services. Planned for general availability in early 2006, the platform includes infrastructure, indoor and outdoor customer premise equipment (CPE) and various management components. The plug-and-play indoor CPE will be fully user installable, with a non-line-of-sight (NLOS) range of up to two miles (three kilometers).

VeriSign Announces Managed Push-To-Talk Services

VeriSign introduced a Push-To-Talk Service for mobile operators in North America and Latin America. The VeriSign Push-To-Talk Service combines a portable handset client with VoIP and SIP technologies to deliver push-to-talk voice services over any standard wireless packet data infrastructure. The Push-to-Talk Service enables subscribers to place private and group calls across one or more service provider networks at the touch of a button.

This service is currently available for evaluation by carriers who support CDMA networks in the US and certain countries in Latin America.

Nortel Unveils CDMA WLAN Converged Mobility solution

Nortel unveiled a CDMA WLAN Converged Mobility solution designed to deliver a consistent communications experience between CDMA mobile network and WiFi. End users would be able to roam seamlessly between these networks using feature-rich SIP-based services beyond voice, including video calling, video conferencing, short messaging service, instant messaging, e-mail, Web access and other multimedia services -- all from one device and one phone number. It will also manage subscriber billing information across networks so that end users can receive one, consolidated bill.

Nortel said a WLAN CDMA Converged Mobility solution could help decrease operator costs by allowing them to use WLAN access points as an option to deploying CDMA base stations and carriers. Operators could leverage existing Nortel platforms, including its Call Server 2000 and MCS 5200 softswitches.

Nortel will be conducting live market trials globally with leading operators across the globe later this year.

Nortel, LG Electronics Team on WiMAX

Nortel and LG Electronics announced plans to work together to jointly develop and market WiMAX products. The partnership will combine Nortel's carrier packet networking and OFDM/MIMO (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing/Multiple In, Multiple Out) technology with LG Electronics' mobile telecommunications and digital convergence expertise.

Nortel and LG will develop WiMAX solutions based on the 802.16e standard and the WiMAX networking specification, currently under development within the WiMAX Forum. The companies are planning customer WiMAX 802.16e trials in the second half of 2006.

This partnership announcement follows a January 2005 M.O.U. under which the companies agreed to establish a joint venture for providing telecommunications equipment and networking solutions to Korea and other markets globally.

Netgear Debuts RF-Manageable Dual-Band Access Points

Netgear released a enterprise-class ProSafe Dual Band Wireless Access Point (WAG302)offering simultaneously support for both 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz 54 Mbps radio transmissions. The 802.11i-ready access point incorporates advanced security and management features including Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and IEEE 802.3af integrated Power-over-Ethernet (PoE).

The ProSafe Dual Band Wireless Access Point features two detachable 5 dBi antennas and is Plenum-rated for placement above drop-down ceilings and under raised floors. It supports Netgear's "AutoCell" RF management technology for optimized WLAN performance in high-density, high RF interference environments. The technology enables the Access Point to intelligently choose channels and adjusting transmit power levels to ensure coverage and avoid interference. It is capable of supporting up to 128 simultaneous wireless clients, supporting WDS for bridging and repeater modes, and can be configured to function simultaneously as a bridge and access point. The security feature set includes: WPA2 Enterprise, 40/64- and 128/154-bit WEP shared key encryption, advanced AES 256-bit encryption, 802.1x RADIUS server authentication, TKIP dynamic key assignment, MAC address access control lists, SSID suppression, rogue access point detection and notification, SSL and SSH secure management interfaces, and intra-cell blocking to prevent client-to-client snooping. The list price is $445.