Monday, April 11, 2005

France Telecom Extends its TV-over-DSL Rollout

France Telecom is extending its "MaLigne tv" television-over-DSL service to a further 100 French towns during Q2. The service, which was first launched in December 2003, provides a broad range of content offered by TPS and CANAL+, the majority of TNT's free-to-view and subscriber channels, and a library of VOD choices. France Telecom said the service will now be available to some 10 million households across the country.
  • France Telecom has deployed a dedicated end-to-end architecture for its TV-over-DSL. Its partners include Alcatel for the multicast-enabled DSLAMs , SAGEM for the MPEG-2 set-top decoders, Thal├Ęs for the service management platform and Thomson for the video encoders. Digital rights management is provided with the Viaccess conditional access system.

MEF Sets Sights on Carrier Ethernet, Offers Certification Program

With Ethernet now becoming prevalent in metropolitan area networks, the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) is setting its sights on promoting Ethernet services across the WAN. As part of this effort, the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) is launching a Certification Program. The program will initially allow MEF member companies to certify that their products meet the international Carrier Ethernet service standards detailed in MEF specifications. Certification will later become available to non-MEF members from a growing number of laboratories worldwide and will embrace services as well as equipment.

The developmental phase of the Certification Program will be led by Iometrix and open to MEF members whose equipment meets MEF requirements for E-Line (point to point) and E-LAN (multipoint) services. The results for those companies that submit their equipment for testing by June 9, 2005, will be announced at the Carrier Ethernet World Congress in Berlin, Germany, September 2005.

According to the latest Infonetics study, the Carrier Ethernet market should exceed $2.7 billion in equipment revenues alone by 2008. In addition, IDC predicts Ethernet based service revenues will exceed $19 billion by 2007.

"I see Ethernet developing in four directions: UP, DOWN, OVER and ACROSS. UP in speed - whether we jump to 40Gbps or 100Gbps is more to do with the decision balance between telephone and computer companies than any limit to the technology. Telephone generations are traditionally four times faster while computer generations go up in tens. Ethernet is moving DOWN to the 8 billion processors shipped each year that are not yet networked. It's increasingly moving OVER wireless links - WiFi, WiMax, ZigBee and others - which is ironic as it was derived from the 1970 Alohanet packet radio network. And now it's moving even further ACROSS the telechasm between LANs and WANs with the development of Carrier Ethernet. It marks the end of outmoded SONET and T-1 technologies as businesses will be able to buy cheaper bandwidth at higher speeds - with the advantage of a 'granular' pricing structure that allows selection of just the bandwidth needed while paying for no more than what you really require," said Bob Metcalfe, who is credited with inventing Ethernet and now serves as Advisory Director to the MEF.

is a Great Time for Metro Ethernet!

With continued and
growing industry support, the technology has clearly moved beyond its
origins in local area networks to become a compelling, robust solution for
meeting the service delivery and cost reduction requirements of today's
leading carriers and service providers.

QUALCOMM Completes Interop Testing on NTT DoCoMo's FOMA

Qualcomm announced the successful completion of WCDMA interoperability testing (IOT) on NTT DoCoMo's 3GPP WCDMA-compliant FOMA network. The IOT began in June 2004 using QUALCOMM's Mobile Station Modem (MSM) chipset and software solution.

"QUALCOMM's solution will allow global mobile users to roam onto our FOMA network and take advantage of the advanced services we offer. We are sure this will lead to the rapid expansion of WCDMA globally," said Dr. Kazuhiko Kushima, vice president of Global Network Development Department for NTT DoCoMo.

BT to Supply Avaya's IP Communications Gear

Avaya announced a supplier contract with BT, estimated to be worth up to GBP 80 million over three years. The deal extends two existing contracts between the two companies -- one for the UK and one for the rest of Europe -- and combines them into one overarching agreement.

Specifically, BT will supply Avaya's portfolio of communication systems and MultiVantage Communications Applications to its customer network throughout the European Union and some strategic non-EU countries. BT will provide a comprehensive service including installation, maintenance and support for the Avaya products.

BT Suppliers High-Def Transatlanctic Circuit for NHK

BT was awarded a three year contract by NHK, a major Japanese public broadcaster, to supply a full-time High- Definition (HD) circuit from Paris to New York. The BT fiber network provides a compressed 60 Mbps, 4:2:2 format, fully-managed circuit that runs between NHK Paris and NHK New York and additionally passes through the BT Tower in London.

NHK currently contributes news content from its European bureau to its General Bureau for America in New York. From there the content is routed to Japan, via NHK's existing transpacific fiber, for contribution to NHK's HD satellite and terrestrial channels. Previously, content gathered by NHK's European bureau was only transmitted in HD format through the use of satellite.

AT&T Wins $21 Million IP VPN Contract From ServiceMaster

AT&T was awarded a three-year, $21 million contract to continue providing an IP VPN solution for The ServiceMaster Co. , the largest provider of residential and commercial outsourcing services in the U.S. The IP VPN links over 5,400 company-owned and franchised service centers and business units, as well as with business partners and suppliers.

Foundry Networks Says Q1 Below Forecast

Foundry Networks warned that its net revenue for the first quarter ended March 31, 2005 is expected to be approximately $84 million, compared to the company's previous forecast of $100-$110 million. The Company also expects earnings per diluted share for the first quarter to be in the range of $0.06 to $0.07, versus the Company's previous forecast of $0.08 to $0.12.

"We believe the shortfall in our revenue as compared to our forecast was influenced primarily by two factors," said Bobby Johnson, President and CEO of Foundry Networks. "First, we experienced a slowdown in our U.S. Federal Government orders. Second, our sales to North American enterprise customers were below our initial forecast for the period."

Congressional Internet Caucus to Consider VoIP Port Blocking

The Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee, a diverse group of public interest, non profit and industry groups working to educate the Congress, has scheduled a hearing next week to consider VoIP port blocking issues. Invited witnesses include:

  • Dan Brenner, National Cable & Telecommunications Association

  • Jeffrey Citron, CEO, Vonage

  • James Speta, Associate Professor, Northwestern University Law School

  • Timothy Wu, Associate Professor, University of Virginia Law School

Congress is looking into making changes to the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The panel is expected to discuss whether "packet discrimination" should best be dealt with by legislation, regulation or on a case-by-case basis.

The event is scheduled for Tuesday, April 19, 2005, from 9:30 - 11:00 am in Room HC-5 of the U.S. Capitol Building.
  • In March 2005, Vonage prevailed in a case involving VoIP-port blocking by local telephone company. The case involved the Madison River Telephone Company, which Vonage accused of blocking ports used for VoIP applications. Last month, the FCC's Enforcement Bureau issued a Letter of Inquiry to Madison River. This has resulted in a Consent Decree under which Madison River will refrain from blocking VOIP traffic and ensure that such blocking will not recur. Madison River will also pay a $15,000 fine to the U.S. Treasury. The consent decree expires in 30 months.

Samsung Elected to WiMAX Forum, Supports WiBro for Mobility

Samsung Electronics was elected to the Board of Directors of the WiMAX Forum. The company had joined the forum in December 2004.

The WiMAX Forum promotes and certifies compatibility and interoperability of broadband wireless products based on the IEEE 802.16 standard, and is seeking to develop the existing fixed standard (802.16d) into a mobilized standard (802.16e).

Samsung is developing WiBro solutions, which South Korean companies are expected to commercialize. WiBro is also based on the IEEE's mobilized technical standard (802.16e), allowing WiBro to be compatible with mobile WiMAX. Samsung Electronics has already demonstrated WiBro.
  • In July 2004, South Korea's Ministry of Information and Communication issued a statement endorsing the IEEE 802.16 standard as Korea's base technology for portable wireless broadband access. Plans are being developed for the licensing of carriers interested in offering "WiBro" portable broadband services based on the standard. Initial commercial services are forecast to launch in 2006.

Anystream Raises Funding from Softbank for Digital Media Automation

Anystream, a start-up based in Sterling, Virginia, raised $8 million in Series B funding led by SOFTBANK Capital Technology Fund III LP (SBCT). Existing investor SCP Private Equity Partners also participated in the round.

Anystream supplies software that automates digital media production and distribution. The software enables broadband applications -- such as premium online content, video-on-demand, mobile video, and online learning -- by automating the complex processes, from metadata tagging to compression and distribution, required to share high-quality video over broadband networks.

SBCT is a U.S. venture fund sponsored by Japan's SOFTBANK, a global pioneer in converged broadband services.

Qwest Installs its First FTTH

Qwest announced its first FTTH deployment at a new home development at RidgeGate, south of Denver, Colorado. The company said it has decided to deploy FTTH in certain new developments where green field conditions exist. RidgeGate residents will receive high-speed Internet access, TV, local, long-distance and wireless on one monthly bill from Qwest.

Mintera Raises $18.5 Million for 40 Gbps Systems

Mintera, a start-up based in Lowell, Massachusetts, raised $18.5 million in Series B funding for its 40 Gbps optical sub-systems for metro, regional and long-haul networks. Mintera demonstrated a 40 Gbps ultra long-haul optical transport connection in June 2004 in a trial with MCI and Ciena Corporation. Recently, the company conducted a live traffic trial on the Cernet network in China and a formed a partnership with Mahi Networks.

The funding was co-led by new investors Polaris Venture Partners and RRE Ventures. Also participating in the round are existing investors including Court Square Ventures, Star Ventures and Portview Communications Partners. Industry veterans Bob Metcalfe, General Partner, Polaris Ventures and RRE General Partner Rich McGinn, will join Mintera's board of directors.

See also