Sunday, September 11, 2005

Nielsen//NetRatings Measures Skype/eBay Audience at 58 Million

Nielsen//NetRatings released some interesting Internet user metrics on Skype and eBay.

Globally, Skype saw 6.9 million active users, or a 2.4% active reach, during July 2005,
across the 10 countries of Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, U.K. and U.S.

In the U.S., Skype reached an all-time high of 1.3 million unique users, or an active reach of less than 1%, during July 2005. Year-over-year growth from August 2004 to August 2005 shows a 178% rise in unique users.

eBay grew 15% to 58 million unique users during the August 2004 to August 2005 period.

The two companies' combined unduplicated audience would have been 58 million unique users, or an active reach of 39%, during the month of August 2005.

Türk Telekom selects Alcatel for IP/MPLS

Türk Telekom awarded a contract valued at US$28 million to Alcatel for the design, deployment and management of an IP/MPLS-based data backbone network based on the Alcatel 7750 Service Router and 5620 Service Aware Manager. Deployment of new services will begin as early as 2006, with completion of the multi-phased contract by 2007.

Alcatel Enhances 7750 IP Router with Pseudowires, VPLS Tools

Alcatel released a series of upgrades for its Alcatel 7750 Service Router (SR) and the 5620 Service Aware Manager (SAM), helping operators to offer fully-managed and converged ATM, Frame Relay, Ethernet and IP VPN services on a single IP/MPLS network.

Software enhancements to the Alcatel 7750 Service Router now enable Frame-ATM-Ethernet interworking with pseudowires. Non-stop services include ATM pseudowires, Frame Relay pseudowires, Ethernet pseudowires, VPLS and IP VPN (with any access). The upgrade also enables Frame Relay and ATM access to VPLS. Point-to-point pseudowire services and VPLS can be offered simultaneously from an Alcatel 7750. All routing protocols and services are maintained through a control plane failover mechanism in the platform.

Enhancements to the 5620 Service Aware Manager (SAM) help to ensure predictable end-user experience and to measure SLA conformance with using a Service-Aware OAM Toolkit & Service Assurance Agent. The 5620 SAM can schedule a suite of tests at service activation or at a specified time of day. The automated tests can calculate SLA performance metrics, including latency, jitter, packet loss and round-trip delay. The Service-Aware OAM Toolkit provides capabilities such as VPLS MAC Ping, VPLS MAC Trace Route, ATM Ping, etc.

Alcatel said it now has over 70 customers in 30 countries for its IP routing platform, making it the clear #3 edge router vendor with growing market share.

Marconi and Airspan Launch WiMAX Trials in Italy

Marconi has been selected to support the largest public WiMAX trial to date, providing WiMAX connectivity in Italy's Piedmont and Sicily regions. The selection was made by a working party that included representatives from the Italian Ministry of Communications, the Italian Ministry of Defence, and the Ugo Bordoni Foundation, which is coordinating the trial at a national level.

Marconi will deploy Airspan's AS.MAX family of WiMAX broadband wireless access products. The AS.MAX product family is IEEE 802.16-2004 compliant and due to its Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology, it can be upgraded to be IEEE 802.16e compliant, to include Spatial Division Multiple Access advanced services.

Vonage Selects Force10 for National Network

Vonage is deploying Force10 Networks' Tera Scale E-Series family of switch/routers to increase the capacity of its nationwide network and build in the scalability to support an increase in VoIP calls over the next several years. Vonage will use a combination of high density Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet links between POPs to accommodate increasing traffic demands. In addition to adding more capacity, Vonage is simplifying the architecture and management of its network by deploying the Force10 TeraScale E-Series in the core, collapsing its distribution and aggregation layers into a single layer. Financial terms were not disclosed.

FCC Schedules Meeting on Hurricane Katrina Failure

The FCC will hold an Open Meeting on Thursday, September 15, 2005 to focus on the effects of Hurricane Katrina on communications services in the Gulf Coast states.

In a joint statement, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and Michael Copps: "In the days ahead, the challenge will be facilitating service restoration. But in the long term, we will need to learn from this event and work together to improve the reliability, survivability, and security of our nation's telecommunications networks."

Marconi Uses Galazar for MSPPs

Galazar Networks is supplying key semiconductor solutions for multiservice provisioning platforms (MSPP) to Marconi. Recent wins for Marconi with a number of major operators have included products supporting next generation SONET/SDH features enabled by Galazar's MSF250 and DSF250 chips. This includes the ability to efficiently carry Ethernet services on existing SDH network infrastructure using Generic Framing Procedure (GFP), high order and low order Virtual Concatenation (VCAT) and Link Capacity Adjustment Scheme (LCAS).

Oracle Offers Telecommunications Billing Integrator

Oracle announced the availability of a Telecommunications Billing Integrator capability as part of its E-Business Suite, allowing communications service providers (CSPs) to integrate Oracle Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications with third-party billing systems.

Oracle Telecommunications Billing Integrator allows CSPs to use standards-based technology to connect previously siloed systems, reducing integration time, cost and risk. The solution positions the Oracle Customer Relationship Management modules within the Oracle E-Business Suite as a unifying dashboard, providing a single source of accurate data for customer interactions across any channel, including the Internet, call centers and field sales organizations.

Oracle Customer Relationship Management allows users to capture, configure and fulfill complex service orders, as well as manage accounts. With Oracle Telecommunications Billing Integrator, CSPs can integrate these business processes seamlessly with third-party billing systems to bill for ordered services, respond to customer inquiries, and conduct post-sale follow-up activities more efficiently and effectively.

Juniper Enables Service Providers to Offer Managed SSL VPNs

Juniper Networks has extended its SSL VPN product family with a high-end model designed to enable service providers to deliver additional revenue generating network-based SSL VPN managed services. The new carrier-class SSL VPN solution features end-to-end virtualization capabilities that enables service providers to offer remote and extranet access, disaster recovery and Intranet LAN security services (e.g. wireless LAN, VoIP) to their enterprise customers worldwide.

SSL VPNs enable authorized users to gain secure access to network resources from any standard Web browser and Internet connection, including PCs, laptops, and mobile devices. End-users are no longer constrained to use specific devices or work from designated locations, and unlike traditional IPSec VPNs, the service provider's customers do not need a client to achieve remote access -- enabling greater mobility and productivity.

The new Juniper Networks SA 6000 SP offers end-to-end application-layer, network-layer and access management virtualization. Through its multi-dimensional virtualization software, Instant Virtual System (IVS), service providers can create 255 virtual SSL VPN gateways on a single SA 6000 SP appliance, each representing a customer.

The Secure Access IVS software provides complete customer separation and traffic segregation. Service providers can set granular network, security (endpoint, authentication, authorization and auditing), and management policies tailored for individual customers. While the service providers own the management of the SSL VPN equipment, they can delegate portal administration, customer-specific log and usage monitoring, end-user access privileges and endpoint policy configurations to each customer. Service providers can cluster multiple SA 6000 SP appliances to offer highly available and scalable network-based managed SSL VPN services to multiple customers.

In addition, the SA 6000 SP with its highly granular and detailed logging/auditing capabilities enables service providers to help their customers address compliance with government regulations, such as Sarbanes-Oxley and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

TelTel to Support SIP Virtual Network Operators

TelTel, a provider of SIP-based global Internet telephony with presence-enabled features, is launching a program to enable ISPs, ITSPs, CLECs, carriers and other Internet service and content providers to offer SIP-based telephony and multimedia services without having to build their own SIP infrastructure.

The TelTel SIP Virtual Network Operators (SVNO) Partnership Program aims to create a "Public SIP Telephone Network" (PsipTN), a network backbone and turnkey solution operated by TelTel. Partners will be able to either provide VoIP as an independent service or an additional value-added service bundled with existing offerings by using TelTel's infrastructure.

For a one-time fee and future revenue sharing opportunities, the program includes access to the proven PsipTN platform, SIP termination and origination, a feature-rich softphone available for partner customization, full integration with the partner's existing operation and customization with legacy networks. SVNO partners will be able to deliver conferencing, voicemail and PBX features for enterprise solutions. They will also have web portals to manage their services and monitor the growth of their users.

In addition to these benefits, each SVNO partner will have the option of offering customers co-branded and remote configurable SIP equipment such as IP phones, ATA and video phones. SVNO partners who have their own network capacity may also connect the network to the SIP infrastructure by offering their own termination and origination to the PsipTN. They can still use the PsipTN's existing termination and originations for areas outside their coverage area.

VoIP Services Need to Take a SIP

Jack Chang

Peer-to-Peer VoIP services have proved to
be very popular. Skype claims to have more than 10 million users. However,
Skype and other peer-to-peer providers use proprietary technology to
deliver their services. This results in potential quality of service,
security and reliability issues, as there is no way to manage pure
peer-to-peer routing. Additionally, the ability to improve quality and
provide new services through collaboration is tough to come by in the pure
peer-to-peer environment. The limitations of peer-to-peer can be overcome
through the introduction of Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). Here
are some advantages and disadvantages to consider.

K-Opticom Japan Selects Teknovus EPON Chipsets

K-Opticom, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Kansai Electric Power Company in Japan, has selected the Teknovus TK37xx family of EPON chipsets for exclusive use in the next phase of its EO Hikari FTTH deployment. K-Opticom will be offering some of the most advanced broadband services in the world, including VoIP and the first Gigabit EPON service in Japan. This is the third exclusive deployment of Teknovus EPON products in FTTH networks in Asia.

SureWest Selects Occam and General Bandwidth for Triple Play

SureWest Communications, which serves the Sacramento, California region, has selected a joint solution consisting of the General Bandwidth G6 Universal Media Gateway and the Occam Network' BLC 6000 System to deliver triple play services to customers residing in large multi-tenant buildings. The Occam BLC 6000 will deliver traditional telephony, high-speed data and video services while the General Bandwidth G6 Universal Media Gateway will enable VoIP services to customers being served by the Occam 6000 platform. This solution includes the ability to deliver lifeline POTS services through the Occam BLC in MTU buildings where a competitive carrier wants to line power telephones. SureWest expects to begin offering the new services in the fourth quarter of 2005.

Wave7 Optics Raises $18 Million for its FTTP

Wave7 Optics, a start-up based outside of Atlanta, raised $18 million in new funding for its fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) equipment for residential and business services. The company's product portfolio supports a variety of deployment options, based on IP and Ethernet or ATM standards.

The new funding included $15 million from the existing investor group of Advanced Technology Partners, Armada Venture Partners, Lucent Venture Partners, Mellon Ventures, Morgenthaler Ventures and Oak Investment Partners and $3 million from new investor, Ballast Point Ventures, a venture capital firm affiliated with Raymond James Financial, Inc. Wave7's current VC funding now stands at $86.5 million.

BroadSoft Completes Interoperability Testing with Nortel Softswitch

BroadSoft's BroadWorks VoIP application platform has completed laboratory SIP interoperability testing with Nortel's Communication Server (CS) 2000 (software release SN07 and SN08) and will now carry the Nortel Compatible Product designation.

BroadWorks provides a comprehensive range of advanced applications, including hosted PBX, IP Centrex, mobile PBX, business trunking and residential broadband services fully integrated into a single VoIP application platform.

eBay + Skype Combines eCommerce and IP Communications

eBay agreed to acquire Luxembourg-based Skype Technologies for approximately $2.6 billion in up-front cash and eBay stock, plus potential performance-based consideration.

Skype claims to have 54 million registered members in 225 countries and is currently adding approximately 150,000 users a day. It serves more users and delivers more voice minutes than any other Internet voice communications provider.

eBay said the acquisition would strengthen its global marketplace and payments platform, while opening several new lines of business and creating significant new monetization opportunities for the company. For example, in addition to eBay's current transaction-based fees, ecommerce communications could be monetized on a pay-per-call basis through Skype. Pay-per-call communications opens up new categories of ecommerce, especially for those sectors that depend on a lead-generation model such as personal and business services, travel, new cars, and real estate. eBay's other shopping websites --,, and Kijiji - can also benefit from the integration of Skype.

"Communications is at the heart of ecommerce and community," said Meg Whitman, President and Chief Executive Officer of eBay. "By combining the two leading ecommerce franchises, eBay and PayPal, with the leader in Internet voice communications, we will create an extraordinarily powerful environment for business on the Net."

"Our vision for Skype has always been to build the world's largest communications business and revolutionize the ease with which people can communicate through the Internet," said Niklas Zennstrom, Skype CEO and co-founder.

  • Skype was founded in 2002 by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis.

  • eBay was founded in 1995 and is based in San Jose, California.
  • Jeff Pulver, Chairman of pulvermedia, issued the following statement on the deal: "Today's move by eBay in purchasing Skype is transformational because it signals the ability and value of an 'Applications Company' adding a 'Communications Company' to its portfolio. This turns the entire telecom industry picture on its head, and demonstrates that voice, presence, text messaging and other IP-based applications will be essential for the company of the future. Until today, we looked at building communications networks and applications differently. Telcos never were the developers of applications -- frankly, developing applications is not the telcos' strong suit. Innovation happens at the edge. Now we have an example of how communications will be swallowed by the edge. eBay, because it comes from a place where it knows about community, how to build community, and how to enable end-users within its community probably knows how to harness the products and services that Skype's technology will enable."

Mindspeed Launches VoIP Developer Program

Mindspeed Technologies is launching its "OpenMind" development program for matching its Comcerto VoIP processors with open-source applications and other products and design services from third-party companies.

Mindspeed's single-chip Comcerto open-source processing platform integrates an application control and signaling processor with a real-time media-stream processor to provide a deterministic architecture capable of scaling from data-only applications to full packet telephony capabilities operating on hundreds of voice channels. Mindspeed's OpenMind program adds to this optimized mixed-media silicon platform a library of open-source applications and a collaborative network of development and manufacturing resources including silicon providers, software and application suppliers, contract manufacturers, turnkey original design manufacturers (ODMs) and hardware designers.

Samsung Electronics Develops First 16-Gigabit NAND

Samsung Electronics announced the world's highest density NAND flash -- a 16Gigabit (Gb) NAND memory device -- targeted at multi-feature mobile applications. The 16Gb NAND density was achieved with the industry's first use of 50-nanometer (nm) technology directly applicable to mass production processes and by using Samsung's proprietary 3D-transistor architecture.

Samsung said the new 16Gb memory device should accelerate further expansion of the NAND flash market across mobile and portable digital applications as an alternative to mini-HDDs (hard disk drives) and even HDDs for laptops.

Availability of Samsung's 16Gb NAND will allow mobile and portable application designers to use memory cards with densities up to 32-Gigabytes (GBs) by combining up to 16 such devices on a single card.

"The future of NAND is setting the stage for an irreversible shift in the design of digital end products as NAND becomes the key storage medium for data in virtually any portable form," said Dr. Chang-Gyu Hwang president and CEO of Samsung Electronics' Semiconductor Business.

He compared the growing embrace of NAND technology for data storage applications to that of the Gold Rush of 1849. "NAND flash will eventually replace other storage mediums, especially those used in mobile products, creating a "Flash Rush," as NAND continues to register an unprecedented surge in demand as the backbone of the mobile electronics era...With cards containing multiple 16Gb flash memory chips, you will be able to take your entire music and personal video libraries with you on one small portable device."

Samsung plans to begin mass producing its 16Gb NAND flash in the second half of 2006.
  • Samsung also unveiled the world's first 7.2 Megapixel CMOS image sensor (CIS) for compact cameras and camera phones. Supporting the low power requirement in mobile or portable applications, the new CIS chip performs at the same level and operates at a power level that is a mere 10 percent of its charge-coupled device (CCD) counterpart.

Tropos Names Cisco Exec as VP of Engineering

Tropos Networks named Saar Gillai as Vice President of Engineering. Most recently, Mr. Gillai was Vice President of Engineering for the Wireless Networking Business Unit of Cisco Systems, where over the past four years he played a key role in building Cisco's enterprise WLAN product line. In addition, Mr. Gillai was instrumental in the company's WLAN acquisition and integration strategy, most recently playing a key role in the acquisition, and integration of WLAN equipment provider Airespace. During his tenure with Cisco, Mr. Gillai also held key management positions in product development for the Desktop Switching Business Unit and the Multi Service Switching Business Unit.

China Telecom Selectively Blocks Skype

China Telecom has begun selectively blocking Skype traffic in certain cities across China, according to various media sources including Xinhua and the Shanghai Daily.

See also