Sunday, July 31, 2005

HNS to Use Intelsat's Newly Launched IA-8 Satellite

Hughes Network Systems (HNS) will use Intelsat's newly launched IA-8 satellite to support its DIRECWAY broadband satellite service across North America. Specifically, HNS will use multiple Ku-band transponders on IA-8 to support its enterprise, SOHO and consumer offerings, and will begin serving new customers using IA-8 capacity now that the satellite is operational. Financial terms were not disclosed.
  • In June 2005, Intelsat Americas-8 (IA-8), a high-power satellite built for by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), was successfully launched on a Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket from the Odyssey Launch Platform, positioned on the equator in the Pacific Ocean. The IA-8 satellite carries 28 C-band and 36 Ku-band transponders, as well as 24 Ka-band spot beams and will have total end-of-life power of 16 Kw -- making it one of the most powerful communications satellites to date. The satellite will provide coverage of North and South America, Alaska, Hawaii and the Caribbean from its orbital slot at 89 degrees West longitude. IA-8 will be the fifth Intelsat satellite in the North American arc and the 28th satellite in Intelsat's global fleet.

New Longer Distance Version of FireWire (800 Mbps at 100m) Gains Traction

Leading motherboard and computer makers are adopting the high-bandwidth, long-distance version of the 1394b (FireWire), according to the 1394 Trade Association, and shipment volumes of 1394b devices will reach at least 5 million within 18 months.

The 'b' version of the FireWire standard operates at up to 800 Mbps and enables product connectivity at distances up to 100 meters without repeaters. Products using the 1394b audio-video connection can operate with legacy systems that use the original FireWire version, 1394a, including notebook computers, desktops, storage devices and a complete range of consumer electronics, including HDTVs and set top boxes. The FireWire standard will soon enable 1.6 Gbps data transfers and, over the intermediate term, will reach 3.2 Gbps capabilities.

"1394b is now being designed into high-end motherboards and computers to deliver top speed and bandwidth for a new generation of computing products," said James Snider, executive director of the 1394 Trade Association.

Also, Texas Instruments and Unibrain of Athens, a supplier of FireWire development software and hardware, announced they are providing a turnkey 1394b development kit for use in a variety of peripheral and motherboard applications. TI has licensed Unibrain's ubCore version 4.0 FireWire driver suite, and will bundle it with TI's 1394b devices.

Nokia Appoints Kallasvuo as Next CEO

Nokia appointed Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo
as President and Chief Operating Officer effective October 1, 2005, and President and CEO from June 1, 2006. Mr. Kallasvuo joined Nokia in 1980 and currently heads the Mobile Phones business group. Prior to this he worked as the company's Chief Financial Officer.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jorma Ollila continues after June 1, 2006 as Non-Executive Chairman. Nokia's current President, Pekka Ala-Pietila, will resign to pursue personal interests. He will take on the role of Executive Advisor as of October 1 and leave Nokia on February 1, 2006.

iPass Gains Access to KT's 14,000 Wi-Fi Hotspots

KT and iPass reached a roaming agreement to allow iPass enterprise customers to use KT's NESPOT Wi-Fi network, which includes more than 14,000 hotspots. iPass, which has 500,000 plus active monthly users, provides access to over 23,000 active Wi-Fi hotspots available in 52 countries. These hotspots come from approximately 60 providers around the world, all of which have been tested and certified by iPass as Enterprise Ready.

KT uses the 802.1x standard for authentication across its entire footprint.

XO Signs 1,000th VoIP Services Bundle Customer

XO Communications has signed more than 1,000 customers for its XOptions Flex business VoIP service in the 3 month since it launched the service nationwide. XOptions Flex is an integrated VoIP services solution that combines unlimited local and long distance calling, dedicated Internet access and web hosting services for a flat monthly price.

Axis Introduces World's Smallest MPEG-4 Network Camera

Axis Communications introduced an MPEG-4 networked video camera that is about the size of a deck of cards (approximately 2 x 1 x 3 inches). The camera is designed for indoor surveillance and remote monitoring applications for small businesses, home offices and residences.

Unlike Web cameras, the AXIS 207 operates independently of a PC and contains a built-in Web server. The camera provides full-motion video (up to 30 frames a second) using MPEG-4 compression or Motion JPEG video streaming. It also contains a built-in microphone that enables users to hear intruders or visitors, and its input/output port allows for the control of alarms, doors and locks. The high audio quality is guaranteed by built-in MPEG-4 AAC encoding technology in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS.

The AXIS 207 comes with a high-quality progressive scan CMOS image sensor to provide excellent images in lighting conditions as low as one lux. It also has a built-in ActiveX media player and is compatible with QuickTime, Real Networks, Mplayer, PacketVideo, and handheld devices such as PDAs and cell phones. Additional features include alarm and event management, video motion detection and multiple user access levels with password protection.

The AXIS 207 will be available this month through Axis' distribution channels. The manufacturer's suggested retail price is $349.

TelTel Opens Network for SIP-based Applications/Services

TelTel, a provider of SIP-based global Internet telephony with presence-enabled features, announced the availability of a new Public SIP Telephone Network (PsipTN). While maintaining an interface with the PSTN, the PsipTN powered by TelTel is designed to enable a new generation of SIP-based applications and services, and create new revenue opportunities for service providers and application developers. Unlike a traditional PSTN that only handles voice traffic, the new SIP-based virtual network is capable of carrying voice, multimedia, and audio/video content.

TelTel is also using the SIP protocol to enable TelTel users, service providers, application developers, and product vendors to join together to take advantage of SIP capabilities to enable communication and commerce. The new platform provides numerous commerce and co-branding opportunities such as customizable softphones and web pages, billing, call center, and provisioning applications, as well as information/entertainment media channels for devices and services. For example, an Internet service provider can offer customers VoIP calls under their own brand and use PsipTN to route the calls and provide billing services. Additionally, vendors can offer their customers TelTel Ready handsets and personalized ring tones.

TelTel said that by taking advantage of the open SIP standard, new value-added services and products would be regularly available to its growing community.

Intel Verfies Connexion by Boeing Service

The Connexion by Boeing in-flight Internet service has successfully completed compatibility testing with common Intel Centrino mobile technology-based laptop configurations, making Connexion by Boeing the first in-flight Internet service to be verified through Intel's Wireless Verification Program.

Connexion by Boeing and Intel also said they plan to work with customer airlines to increase awareness, trial and adoption of in-flight Internet access through co-branding, promotions and educational efforts targeted at both business and leisure travelers.

Connexion by Boeing service is available today on 70 planes and more than 100 daily routes worldwide on Lufthansa Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, Japan Airlines, ANA, Singapore Airlines and China Airlines. In addition, Austrian Airlines, Korean Air, El Al, Asiana and Etihad will soon begin offering the high-speed service on their long-range aircraft.

Sprint Expands Trans-Atlantic and European Capacity

Sprint announced plans to expand network capacity to and throughout Europe to address global access, performance and security requirements. Specifically, Sprint is expanding trans-Atlantic capacity by 50% to augment growth and increasing its intra-European core capacity by 100% to supplement existing points of presence. This expansion is scheduled to be completed during August.

Last fall, Sprint extended its standard MPLS VPN offering to over 100 countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America, providing a secure and highly scalable solution to support the convergence of voice, video and data onto one network- based IP VPN platform.

TiVo Reaches Distribution Deal with National Cable Television Cooperative

TiVo announced a distribution agreement with the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC), an organization of independent cable television companies serving over 14 million subscribers. The deal will make the TiVo service available as a stand-alone option for subscribers throughout NCTC's more than 1,000 independent cable operators.

TiVo and NCTC have also made TiVo's interactive advertising platform available across NCTC's member multi-channel service operator's customer base. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Germany's Netcologne Selects Alcatel for VoIP

NetCologne, one of the leading regional operators in Germany, selected Alcatel for a VoIP solution that will enable it to deliver enhanced voice services over its DSL and cable networks. NetCologne, which is a facilities-based regional carrier with its own fiber network spanning more than 2,000 km, will deploy Alcatel's NGN solution, including the Alcatel 5020 Softswitch and Alcatel 7510 and 7515 Media Gateways.

The Alcatel 5020 Softswitch has received EUR-PacketCable qualification, allowing NetCologne to deliver first or second voice line services over any access including broadband cable. NetCologne will use Alcatel's fully integrated voice over DSL gateway on Alcatel's 7300 Advanced Services Access Multiplexer (ASAM), to expand its services by offering additional voice lines over the same copper telephone wire used by subscribers for Internet access. The complete solution will be managed by the Alcatel 1300 Convergent Management Center (CMC). Financial terms were not disclosed.

WebEx to Acquire

WebEx Communications agreed to acquire privately held, a leading provider of asynchronous collaboration applications for small and medium-size businesses, for approximately $45 million in cash., which is based in Burlington, Massachusetts, claims more than 300,000 paying subscribers and 10,000 corporate sites. The site provides an on-demand suite of asynchronous collaboration tools for team collaboration, project management and partner coordination. The integrated suite includes secure document sharing, group scheduling, task management, database applications, discussion forums and contact directories.

WebEx said the acquisition would enable it to offer companies of all sizes a comprehensive, cost-effective, on-demand web collaboration suite with both real-time and asynchronous capabilities.

"This acquisition secures our position at the nexus of two fast-growing market segments: web collaboration and on-demand applications," said Subrah Iyar, CEO of WebEx. "Companies of all sizes are realizing the cost and productivity benefits of on-demand solutions. WebEx is uniquely positioned to provide a new generation of web collaboration solutions that are affordable, easy-to-use and can be deployed immediately."

BT Wholesale Cuts Price for Symmetric Broadband

BT Wholesale announced a 30% price reduction for its symmetrical digital subscriber line (SDSL) service. The price reduction will apply to both connection and rental charges for BT Datastream Symmetric and BT IPstream Symmetric products. The standard connection charge for BT IPstream and Datastream Symmetric will fall from £450 to £315, while the annual rental charges for the usage and capacity based options for IPstream products will fall from £1,380 to £966. The new pricing is effective from 01-November-2005.

Cameron Rejali, Managing Director, products and strategy, BT Wholesale said: "The UK is one of the most competitive markets for broadband in the world today. The price reductions for wholesale symmetrical broadband will further stimulate that market."

Nujira Secures $7.75 Million for Wireless Power Amps

Nujira, a start-up based in Cambridge, UK, has closed a $7.75 million Series A funding round for its advanced power amplifier technology for the wireless industry. Nujira's high power High Accuracy Tracking (HAT) Modulators for WCDMA, CDMA2000 or WiMAX base stations enable infrastructure and handset OEMs to avoid the reduction in amplifier efficiency normally associated with use of these systems.

The round was co-led by 3i and Amadeus Capital Partners, who was the lead seed investor. The round included further investment by the existing investors Cambridge Gateway Fund, Cambridge Capital Group and the Cambridge Angels.

Power amplifiers are essential building blocks for wireless communication networks as they are found in every cellphone and cellular base station and are critical to the transmission of all wireless signals. Nujira has established itself as a key player in an industry currently undergoing fundamental changes as a result of the increased use of sophisticated modulation schemes.

Cox to Launch VoIP in 5 More Markets this Year

Cox Communications will launch its VoIP-based Digital Telephone service in five more markets this year: Las Vegas; Macon, Georgia; Central Florida; Gulf Coast, Florida; and Topeka, Kansas.

Cox's addition of these locations increases its total number of telephone markets to 22, or 70% of its total footprint by year-end.

Cox Digital Telephone is a lifeline service with more than 1.4 million residential customers and 140,000 business locations.

Cox's other telephone markets are Orange County and San Diego, California; Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona; Omaha, Nebraska; Central Connecticut.; Rhode Island statewide; New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette, La.; Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma; Wichita, Kansas; West Texas; and Hampton Roads, Roanoke and Northern Virginia.

Yahoo! News to Provide Daily Video From and ABC News

Yahoo! announced video content agreements with both and ABC News, in which both news organizations will provide daily video news feeds to Yahoo! News beginning September 2005. will offer extensive video clips daily and ABC News will offer a package of on demand video content. All of the video will be available for free to Yahoo! users, and will be advertising-supported.

Belkin Wi-Fi with MIMO Wireless Delivers 1000 Feet of Range

Belkin introduced its new Wireless G Plus MIMO line
promising up to 1000 ft. wireless range. The unit is powered by Airgo Networks' True MIMO technology and also offers improved resistance to interference from neighboring Wi-Fi systems and other 2.4GHz devices.
The MSRP is $99.99. A matching USB Adapter is priced at MSRP $89.99 and will be available December 2005.

See also