Tuesday, March 29, 2005

EarthLink Comments on Supreme Court Case

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the cases of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association vs. Brand X Internet Services and FCC vs. Brand X Internet Services. At issue is whether cable operators must open their networks to other ISPs.

Dave Baker, vice president for law and public policy, EarthLink, said "We believe the Supreme Court will affirm the Ninth Circuit's decision. To do otherwise would dismantle the very framework that has allowed the Internet to develop and would limit the promise of new technologies such as voice over IP, video over IP, mobile broadband and advanced communications services and applications. Cable companies built their networks using government-granted monopoly franchises, access to public rights of way and discounted rates for pole attachments. Nonetheless, they now dictate what services, devices and applications companies can offer and consumers can use on those networks. We expect that the Supreme Court will affirm that consumers, and not cable companies, should make those choices."http://www.earthlink.net

Union Criticizes Verizon's Reluctance to Integrate Wireless / Wireline Operations

The Communications Workers of America issued a public statement criticizing Verizon Communications for a "failure to fully provide the bundled services that customers want."

In a letter to Carlos Slim Helu, MCI's largest shareholder, CWA President Morton Bahr said that providing fully bundled services is the winning strategy for the communications industry. Noting that Verizon does not bundle wireless with its wireline service for residential customers, Bahr urged MCI shareholders to carefully consider the company's competitive position versus cable providers.

"Being able to offer wireless service, along with DSL, local and long distance telephone and other services, would offer a tremendous advantage over cable competitors, a position Verizon is unable to take advantage of because of its insistence on maintaining "a firewall between its wireless and wireline operations," Bahr said.

Jason Chudnofsky to Head Pulver Events Group

Jason Chudnofsky has joined Pulver.com's Events Group as CEO.

Chudnofsky is known for his role in growing the Comdex tradeshows in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1988 he became President of the Trade Show Division of The Interface Group. In April 1995, when The Softbank Corporation of Japan acquired Comdex, he became President and CEO of Softbank Comdex. His responsibilities continued when ZD Events and Key3Media Events acquired the assets of Comdex. From 1990 - 1995, Mr. Chudnofsky also served as President and CEO of the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas.

Pulver.com plans to expand its tradeshow, conference and events franchise into new US and global markets. Through the balance of 2005, Pulver.com upcoming events include: VON Canada, VoIP Policy Summit, VON Europe, SIP Summit Summer 2005, VoIP Mission to Israel, VON Australia, Fall VON, and IP-4-IT.

Verilink Enhances Orion 4000 Multiplexer

Verilink has added an E1 to T1 transport card to its Orion 4000 Modular Multiplexer, which used by service providers and large enterprises. The new T2E conversion card offers additional capabilities to extend the reach of E1 services by allowing for data and voice transport over T1 lines.

E1 supports 30 channels of voice or data, whereas T1 supports 24 channels of voice or data. Numerous PBX systems installed in Europe support only the E1 format, limiting their ability to connect to overseas offices established on T1 services. Verilink's new T2E E1 to T1 transport card, designed for integration within the Orion 4000 Modular Multiplexer & Inverse Multiplexer, allows users to convert calls from the originating E1 PBX to either E1 or T1 PBXs depending on the customer's communication topology.

The modular Orion 4000 is available with rack-mountable 12-slot and 5-slot shelves. A variety of modules can be used to deliver T3 or E3 access multiplexing (or inverse multiplexing T1s and E1s), transition between circuit- and cell-based services, or transport data, voice and video over a single DS3 circuit.

Orange Trials UMTS TDD in France with IPWireless

Orange has launched technical and marketing trials of UMTS TDD (TD-CDMA) targeting the enterprise market in Lille, France with equipment supplied by IPWireless. UMTS frequency allocation traditionally comprises a paired band (FDD) and an unpaired band (TDD). Like nearly all UMTS operators, Orange has been allocated, depending on the country, a number of FDD frequencies and a block of TDD frequencies. To date, most UMTS deployments have focused on WCDMA utilizing the paired frequency bands.

Orange's large-scale WCDMA deployment will support delivery of a variety of services including voice, SMS, supplementary services, videophone, and packet data transmission at data rates of 64/128Kbps and 64/384Kbps, higher with the planned FDD band evolution to HSDPA. http://www.ipwireless.com/http://www.orange.com/

BigBand Offer GigE Networked Video Decoding

BigBand Networks introduced a chassis platform for networked Gigabit Ethernet decoding. The BigBand Broadband Real-Time Decoder (BRD210) was developed in collaboration with KTech Telecommunications, a provider of professional digital broadcast and digital headend technologies. The compact chassis receives a gigabit-per-second of MPEG content over IP via an SFP module, and performs decoding for up to 40 analog video outputs with single audio, 20 with dual audio or combinations in between. Modularity allows operators to deploy only the precisely required output capacity. Each module is hot-swappable. The BRD is catered towards leveraging existing network investments by interfacing to already installed analog modulators.

BigBand is also introducing a new card for its company's versatile BMR(Broadband Multimedia-Service Router) that offers integrated decoding, modulation, and up conversion. The card occupies one modular slot in the carrier-class BMR chassis. Each card can receive a gigabit-per-second of content by SFP, and perform decoding of up to six analog channels with modulation and two-to-one up conversion onto three RF ports of two channels each, for a total of up to 48 channels in a single BMR1200 chassis. http://www.bigbandnet.com

Telekom Austria Teams with Alcatel on Triple Play

Telekom Austria has started a pilot project offering fiber-based Triple Play services in the township of Arnoldstein. Alcatel, which is serving as project integrator, has provided its Open Media Suite, NGN portfolio and Fiber to the User (FTTU) solution.

Telekom Austria and the local and provincial governments are pursuing a Public Private Partnership model. Fiber is being deployed to each home alongside new pipes, which will be used for environmentally-friendly heating.

Alcatel's Open Media Suite will be used for video delivery, as well as interactive applications such as Video on Demand or Electronic Program Guides (EPG).

VoIP will be delivered using the Alcatel 5020 Softswitch Call and Session Controller, and the Alcatel 7510 Media Gateway. The solution is designed to extend the current offering by providing new advanced services such as multimedia telephony or conferencing, to be deployed later this year.

Tiscali Italy migrates to Alcatel Open Service Platform

Tiscali has migrated its intelligent network (IN) to the Alcatel 8690 Open Service Platform (OSP). The platform supports a quick time to market of value added services, such as toll-free numbers, prepaid phone card, call screening and prepaid residential telephony. Alcatel will also support Tiscali in the operation of the new service delivery platform from its premises in Vimercate (north of Milan) and in daily assistance and maintenance. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Charter Adds Video Mail for Cable Modem Users

Charter Communications began offering a video mail application at no additional charge to its cable modem customers. Charter Video Mail, which uses Vibe Solutions' Group platform, provides for up to 45 seconds of recording time, with VCR-like (stop/record/preview) functionality. For customers with speeds of 3 Mbps and higher, the service also comes with Greeting Card and Story Teller applications. Greeting Card includes more than 40 different video greeting cards that can be customized with a special message. Story Teller enables a user to assemble and record pictures in a video slideshow to share with friends and family.

For the receiver of video mail, retrieval simply requires clicking on a link. Rather than being stored in the recipient's inbox and taking up capacity, the video mail is stored on a server for a full 30 days.

Telenor to Launch Broadband Telephony

Telenor rolled out a consumer VoIP service for its DSL subscribers priced at NOK 49 (US$7.74) per month, plus NOK 0.15 (US$0.02) for calls to fixed lines in Norway. Calls to mobile numbers and international numbers have the same rates as from traditional fixed lines. Calls to other broadband users are free. http://www.telenor.com

Enterasys and Lucent Partner on Enterprise Security Consulting

Enterasys Networks and Lucent Technologies began offering a joint professional services for delivering secure convergence solutions to enterprise customers. The companies also announced that they have completed Secure Networks certification for Lucent's enterprise VoIP solution. This solution provides the same features and applications found in IP Centrex and IP PBX solutions, as well as applications such as unified communications, collaborative conferencing and location-based services.

Under this agreement, Enterasys will resell Lucent's suite of Bell Labs-developed security consulting and assessment solutions and VoIP readiness assessment to provide a secure environment for enterprise networks migrating or adding VoIP services.

BT Supplies 200-Site Global Network to Volkswagen

BT Infonet was awarded a three-year contract to provide managed network services for Volkswagen AG. Volkswagen is continuing its nearly eight-year partnership with BT Infonet, and has expanded the scope of its contract with nearly all of BT Infonet's services, including Internet, Mobility and MultiMedia Services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Laurel and Telindus Supply VPN Solution for ntl

Laurel Networks and Telindus have delivered a solution that will enable ntl to provide new Ethernet and IP VPN services to its UK business customers. The solution -- a combination of Laurel Networks ST200 and ST50 broadband services routing products and the Laurel Provisioning System -- was delivered and implemented by Telindus, a global network services and solutions provider.

Telindus provided ntl with independent laboratory facilities to test a variety of technology vendor solutions, before selecting Laurel Networks. Telindus then provided a fully-managed service including the installation and commissioning of the Laurel Networks solution as well as providing the on-going support services.

Separately, Laurel Networks announced an expansion of its sales activity in Europe, with offices now in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and the UK. The company has appointed Thomas Schmitt to the position of vice president for Europe, Middle East and Africa operations. Schmitt most recently served as the director of business development for Juniper Networks. While at Juniper, he was instrumental in setting up and managing the sales operations for Central and Eastern Europe. Prior to Juniper, Schmitt held various sales roles at Cisco Systems and StrataCom (acquired by Cisco Systems in 1996). Other additions to Laurel Networks' EMEA sales team include: Marco Berkheij, sales director for Northern Europe; and Uwe Wagner, sales engineer. Mr. Berkheij's 20 years of sales experience includes stints at Alcatel and RedBack Networks. Mr. Wagner has over 16 years of experience with firms like Juniper Networks and Cisco Systems.

FCC Seeks Input on Spectrum for Emergency Responders

The FCC is conducting a study to assess the short-term and long-term spectrum needs of emergency response providers. Specifically, the Commission is considering whether to allocate additional portions of the electromagnetic spectrum for Federal, State, and local emergency response providers, including whether or not an additional allocation of spectrum in the 700 megahertz band should be granted by Congress to such emergency response providers.

The FCC is seeking public input regarding the need for, operation, and administration of a potential nationwide interoperable broadband mobile communications network. Comments are due by 28-April-2005.http://ww.fcc.gov

Microsoft Launches Video Download Site for Mobile Devices

Microsoft launched a subscription-based video download service for Windows Mobile devices such as Portable Media Centers and select Smartphones and Pocket PCs.

Digital videos are downloaded daily to a Windows Media Player 10 library, and then synchronized with Portable Media Centers and other devices. A one-year membership costs $19.95. Some content is offered for free.

Microsoft has some 20 content partners, including CinemaNow, Food Network, FOX Sports and IFILM, MLB.com, MSNBC.com, MSN Music, MTV, Napster, SnapStream Media and TiVo, who have agreed to make video available online specifically formatted for Windows Mobile-based multimedia devices.


Caspian Releases Flow-State Edge Router

Caspian Networks introduced a smaller version of its flow-state router designed for broadband aggregation and peering applications. The new 50 Gbps A50 flow-state router uses the same ASICs, software and line cards as the existing Caspian router, but in a single 6-RU shelf capable of aggregating up to 40 Gigabit Ethernet connections, four 10 Gbps trunks or other combination of interfaces.

Unlike traditional routers, the A50 is able to recognize and route traffic as flows of related packets, not just as individual packets.
Caspian's technology 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 said its new A50 flow-state router "gives service providers the ability to optimize peering interfaces, implement P2P traffic control, improve the performance of broadband access networks and create an effective and efficient infrastructure for voice and video over IP as well as other real-time services."

The smaller A-50 chassis offers optional dual 120-V AC power supplies and standard dual 48-V DC power. It also features dual redundant application processor cards and a redundant, hot standby management system. Like the existing A120, the A50 supports a variety of optical interfaces, including 1/10 Gigabit Ethernet, OC-192c/STM-64c, OC-48c/STM-16c, and OC-12c/STM-4c. The A50 supports BGP4, IS-IS, and OSPF routing and signaling protocols, with optional support for MPLS, RSVP-TE, LDP, PIM-SM, MBGP and IPv6.

The device is currently in testing by cable operators as a means of aggregating CMTS and by telcos as a means of aggregating DSLAMs. The A50 is generally available and is shipping now. A base system configuration starts at $50,000.
  • In February 2005, Caspian announced that it had 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).

  • 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.