Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Tropos Adds 75 Metro Wi-Fi Mesh Cities in 1H 2005

Tropos Networks, a supplier of metro-scale Wi-Fi mesh networks, added 75 customers in the first half of 2005, and closed its 200th customer with the signing of Tulsa MetroNet of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Tulsa MetroNet is using Tropos MetroMesh routers to provide high-speed residential and business wireless Internet access. The network will cover 72 square miles in the Tulsa metro region. Access to the network will be available for $24.95 per month.

Based on current RFP activity and sales engagements, Tropos forecasts that more than an additional 220 municipalities will install metro-scale Wi-Fi networks during the next 12 months in the U.S. alone.

US International Trade Commission Drops Ciena Patent Case

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has terminated its investigation of alleged infringement of certain Ciena patents by Nortel Networks Corporation and Flextronics Telecom Systems Ltd. and Flextronics International Ltd.

In January, Ciena filed a legal complaint in a U.S. District Court charging Nortel Networks with infringing on six patents related to Ciena's communications networking systems and technology.

Subsequently, Nortel filed counterclaims against Ciena in that court asserting that Ciena is infringing a total of 13 U.S. patents owned by Nortel. Nortel is seeking damages and an injunction prohibiting Ciena from shipping products that infringe those patents. The matter is set for trial in June 2006.

A Universal Co-Existence Solution for Powerline Communications

The HomePlug Powerline Alliance announced a co-existence solution that allows all powerline communications technologies, including HomePlug 1.0, HomePlug AV, and HomePlug BPL, to efficiently share the powerline network in both to-the-home and in-the-home applications. The solution would allow multiple powerline communications technologies to share the same wire while maintaining transmission speeds and effective QoS.

The HomePlug Powerline Alliance has been developing a new HomePlug AV specification, which promises 200 Mbps capacity for sharing HDTV, Digital Audio, and Internet access around a home.

The new co-existence technology, which is built-in to the HomePlug AV specification, fully coexists with HomePlug 1.0 data networking devices. When 1.0 devices are detected, the network switches to a Hybrid mode, allowing HomePlug AV devices to control the 1.0 devices and direct their communications, without compromising the AV network performance.

When multiple networks are deployed in such close proximity that they present the possibility of interference, sometimes called "neighbor networks," HomePlug AV technology allows interoperation of the multiple networks while making the most efficient use of available capacity.

HomePlug AV also shares bandwidth in an efficient and seamless fashion with the to-the-home access technology called HomePlug BPL.

The alliance has presented the HomePlug co-existence solution to technology players in an effort to foster rapid development of the powerline communications industry.
  • The HomePlug Powerline Alliance is an industry-led initiative currently comprised of about 50 companies. HomePlug Sponsor (Board member) companies include Arkados, Comcast, Conexant, EarthLink, Intellon, RadioShack, Sharp and Sony.

Thai Carrier Upgrades Backbone with Cisco's 10 Gigabit Ethernet

True Corporation , a leading integrated telecommunications provider in Thailand, has activated multiple 10 Gigabit Ethernet links on its Internet backbone using equipment from Cisco Systems. The upgrade uses Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 720-based 10 Gigabit Ethernet modules.

EZchip Secures $10 Million for its Network Processors

EZchip Technologies, a subsidiary of LanOptics, raised an additional $10.0 million as part of its Series C funding for its high performance network processors.

The company is currently sampling its new NP-2 network processor for 10-Gigabit applications. The company also supplies an earlier generation 10-Gigabit network processors as well as 5-Gigabit network processors. EZchip's network processors can be used for a range of Layer 2-7 applications for the carrier metro and edge, the enterprise backbone and data centers.

All of EZchip's current investors have participated in this round. LanOptics, which will continue to be the majority shareholder of EZchip following this financing round with 60.4% of the company, invested $6.9 million with the balance invested by all other shareholders of EZchip.

Cisco Shuffles Management Team as Mazzola Retires

Cisco Systems named Charles H. Giancarlo as chief development officer, replacing Mario Mazzola who will retire from Cisco after serving over 12 years in engineering leadership roles. Giancarlo, who previously was chief technology officer at Cisco, will report to company CEO, John Chambers. Giancarlo will continue to serve as President of Cisco-Linksys.

Cisco announced a number of other management changes.

  • Jayshree Ullal, senior vice president, Security Technology Group, will take an expanded role to include the Data Center, Switching and Security Technology Group. Ullal's new role includes responsibilities previously held by senior vice president Luca Cafiero, who will retire from Cisco.

  • Mike Volpi, senior vice president, Routing Technology Group, will take an expanded role with added emphasis on the service provider market, including optical and service provider voice technologies. He is also taking on additional responsibility for leading the company's overall service provider strategy. Volpi's new role also includes responsibilities previously held jointly with senior vice president Prem Jain, who will retire from Cisco.

  • Kathy Hill has been promoted to senior vice president, Ethernet Systems and Wireless Technology Group.

  • Don Proctor has been promoted to senior vice president, Voice Technology Group.

  • Tony Bates has been promoted to senior vice president, Carrier Core and Multiservices Business Unit.

  • Ian Pennell has been promoted to senior vice president, Access Business Unit.

  • Pankaj Patel has been promoted to senior vice president, Broadband Edge & Mid-Range Routing Business Unit

Nokia Wins GSM Expansion Deal with O2 in Germany

Nokia will supply its Base Station Subsystem (BSS) infrastructure to expand coverage in O2 Germany's GSM network in Northern, Western and Eastern Germany. The deal includes Nokia's UltraSite base stations, Nokia BSC3i base station controllers, the Nokia NetAct network and service management system as well as related delivery and care services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

NextHop Raises $10.5 Million for Network Source Code

NextHop Technologies, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, closed $10.5 million in Series B funding for its network source code solutions.

NextHop's flagship product, GateD, provides a scalable and manageable solution for routing, MPLS, and LAN switching. NextHop's new WLAN software products, WCS and WAPS, provide a similar solution for wireless LANS. Both GateD and NextHop wireless software solutions are aimed at network equipment manufacturers.

The new funding round included all of NextHop's previous investment partners: New Enterprise Associates, Duchossois Technology Partners, Labrador Ventures, and Parker Price Venture Capital. This brings total funding in the company to $35 million.

Motorola Takes Ojo Video Phone to Retail Channels

Motorola will begin offering its Ojo Personal Video Phone . through Tweeter Home Entertainment, Magnolia Audio Video, and Harvey Electronics retail outlets across the U.S. Motorola now offers Ojo in over 200 retail locations

Motorola worked with WorldGate Communications to bring the Ojo Personal Videophone to market. WorldGate's provided optimization of the MPEG-4 coding standard (H.264), which enables transmission of 30 frames-per-second video with synchronized audio at data rates as low as 100 Kbps. This allows the Motorola Ojo to work within the upstream data rates for both DSL and cable broadband networks, and ensures that existing broadband infrastructures can handle video phone traffic. Ojo supports SIP and network-based call signaling (NCS), making the product interoperable with video phones provided by other manufacturers.

The Motorola Ojo Personal Video Phone (Model PVP1000) carries an MSRP of $799.99. A $14.95 monthly service fee applies.

Vonage Partners with Paltalk, an Instant Messaging Community

Vonage announced a partnership with Paltalk, which is an Instant Chat (IC) community boasting 3.5 million members. The Paltalk Messenger allows members to administer their own voice and video conferences and Instant Message (IM) with buddies on MSN, AOL, Yahoo, and ICQ. Vonage will offer Paltalk's subscribers flat rate residential calling plans starting at $14.99. Subscribers will be offered Vonage's full array of calling plans.

T-Mobile USA and Sprint Set MMS Interoperability via VeriSign

Sprint and T-Mobile USA have established Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS) interoperability, enabling their mobile customers to exchange pictures and video messages.

The MMS interoperability for Sprint is made possible by VeriSign through its LightSurf GX-MMS service. LightSurf GX-MMS service helps operators enable MMS traffic to more customers through a hosted and managed service.

Riverstone Supplies Routers to China's Hubei CATV

Hubei CATV, the incumbent cable operator in China's Hubei province, has selected Riverstone Networks' MPLS-based Ethernet routers to provide the infrastructure for its new VPN service offerings. Hubei CATV will begin offering E-LINE and E-LAN services to enterprises in eight cities as part of its strategy to expand from residential cable and Internet access services into the business services market. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Sprint Begins EV-DO Launch

Sprint began rolling out its EV-DO (Evolution Data Optimized) service in airports and central business districts in 34 U.S. markets. As the roll-out continues, access will be available to approximately 92 million people in 14 broadly deployed metropolitan areas in Q3. By Q4, another 36 metro areas will be launched, so that service will be available to approximately 143 million people. By early 2006, the high-speed wireless data service will be available on a variety of devices throughout at least 200 urban and suburban markets in approximately 60 metropolitan areas.

Sprint said its service delivers average download speeds of 400-700 kbps and a peak rate of up to 2.0 Mbps.

Sprint's EVDO pricing starts at $40 per month for 40MB with a price cap at $90. Sprint also will offer an unlimited access plan through business sales channels for $80 per month.

Sprint is supplying EVDO cards from Sierra Wireless and Novatel Wireless.

Sprint plans to introduce EV-DO handsets and applications for consumers and business customers in the fourth quarter.

China Netcom Expands IP-PAS with UTStarcom

China Netcom Group (CNC) has awarded contracts valued at $67 million to UTStarcom to expand the operator's existing IP-based PAS (Personal Access System) (iPAS) networks in the Heilongjiang, Liaoning, and Shandong provinces; Inner Mongolia; and metropolitan Beijing.

Beijing already has some 2 million PAS subscribers.
In June, PAS coverage was initiated in the Beijing subway system, enabling commuters the ability to use their PAS phones while they travel and remain connected. UTStarcom has also collaborated with China Telecom, China Netcom, China Mobile and China Unicom to achieve short messaging service (SMS) interoperability across the operators' networks.

ARRIS Hires Senior VP of Sales

ARRIS has appointed Derek Elder as Senior Vice President of Sales, where he will have oversight for the Comcast, Cablevision and GCI accounts. Prior to joining ARRIS, Elder led MSO sales efforts for Tropic Networks. Previously, Elder held various technical, marketing, and sales roles at Cisco Systems, Narad Networks, and Graypeak Technologies.

See also