Thursday, September 15, 2005

Xten Changes Name to CounterPath

Xten Networks, a provider of VoIP, Video over IP, Instant Messaging (IM), and Presence SIP softphones, has changed its name to CounterPath Solutions, Inc. The Vancouver-based company said it remains committed to enabling global communication between endpoints.

CounterPath technology is deployed in more than 5,400,000 IP endpoints worldwide.

Earlier this month, Jason Fischl joined the company as CTO. He previously was a founder of the consulting firm SIP Edge, which provides SIP/VoIP client/server architecture and implementation consulting.

Worldwide Mobile Users Pass 2 Billion Mark

The global mobile industry passed the major milestone of 2 billion subscribers on September 18th, according to estimates from Wireless Intelligence -- the venture between Ovum and the GSM Association.

The 1 billion mobile subscriber milestone was reached in Q2 2002, twenty years after mobile telephony came into widespread use.

GSM technologies account for 78% of the world market.

Enterasys Files for 1-for-8 Reverse Split

Enterasys Networks filed a proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission in regards to a planned 1-for-8 reverse split. If the plan is approved by shareholders, Enterasys expects the reverse split to become effective on October 28, 2005.

Sprint and Samsung Announce 802.16e Collaboration

Sprint and Samsung Telecommunications agreed to engage in wireless broadband technology efforts to test the IEEE 802.16e standard and drive the development of advanced wireless broadband services. The agreement involves testing of prototype terminals and supporting core network equipment to help substantiate next-generation wireless network infrastructure requirements for future wireless interactive multimedia services.

The companies said their collaboration will involve lab trials at company facilities and field trials with customers, as well as interoperability testing with Sprint ecosystem partners in order to verify the specifications of 802.16e technology.

"The agreement with Samsung will help align technologies and validate requirements for future wireless offerings," explained Barry West, Sprint chief technology officer. "We are evaluating multiple options for 2.5GHz applications and fostering strategic relationships with ecosystem partners who are vital to progress on next-generation wireless broadband access and infrastructure."

Samsung, which has been a key driver of the 802.16e standard, said it intends to be the first company to give a trial performance at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit this year and commercially launch high-bandwidth wireless data access technology early next year in Korea.

Wireless Broadband (WiBro) and Mobile WiMax are services enabled by the standard and are seen as offering mobile/portable solutions, high performance, wide-area services and global standardization. Samsung plans to leverage the experience gained from this research to drive ongoing development of WiMax equipment for the global market, including the U.S.

White Rock Selected by PPL Telcom for Fiber-Enabled Cell Site Backhaul

PPL Telcom, a facilities based operator, has selected White Rock Networks' transport and multi-service optical access products to provide backhaul capabilities to cell sites in the Northeast for one of the nation's top wireless carriers.

PPL Telcom will deploy White Rock's VLX2020 Optical Transport system in a multi-node OC-192 core aggregation ring supporting multiple subtended OC-48 optical access rings for backhaul of TDM and Ethernet cellular traffic. White Rock's VLX2006 Multi-service Access platform will be installed at individual cell sites on the OC-48 rings providing fully protected Ethernet, DS1 and DS3 transport of wireless voice and data services.

"PPL Telcom's immediate application called for high-density DS1 backhaul of existing 2G cellular voice traffic. The VLX2020's DS1 grooming, transmux and 3/1 cross-connect capabilities proved an easy and cost-effective way to optimize the transport efficiency of PPL Telcom's existing T1 TDM traffic, " said Lonnie Martin, Founder/CEO of White Rock Networks.

Rogers and Bell Canada to Build Nationwide Wireless Broadband Network

Rogers Communications and Bell Canada today announced an agreement to jointly build and manage a Canada-wide wireless broadband network expected to initially reach more than two-thirds of Canadians in less than three years. The companies will jointly and equally fund the initial network deployment costs estimated at $200 million over a three-year period, completing a network footprint that will cover over 40 cities and approximately 50 unserved rural and remote communities across Canada.

The companies will pool their wireless broadband spectrum holdings into a joint venture, Inukshuk Internet Inc., which will build and operate the network. Specifically, Rogers currently controls and will contribute to the joint venture its entire broadband wireless spectrum in the 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz and 3.5 GHz frequency ranges. Bell controls and will contribute to the joint venture all of its broadband wireless spectrum in the 2.3 GHz and 3.5 GHz frequency ranges.

Inukshuk will be the network services provider to Rogers and Bell and their subsidiaries, and will operate on a cost recovery basis. The arrangement will allow the companies to minimize costs and maximize wireless broadband network coverage by pooling their spectrum holdings and leveraging both companies' existing wireless tower and network transport infrastructures.

Inukshuk expects to negotiate a roaming agreement with Clearwire Corporation, a U.S.-based company building a similar wireless broadband network, allowing Rogers and Bell to offer customers access to an extensive Canada-U.S. wireless broadband footprint.

Inukshuk plans to continue to use network equipment
manufactured by NextNet, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Clearwire Corporation.

Separately, Bell has reached an agreement with companies controlled
directly or indirectly by Craig McCaw under which Bell will acquire the
remaining 50 per cent of NR Communications that it does not already own. NR Communications and a subsidiary of Rogers are the two partners in the current Inukshuk joint venture which holds approximately 98 MHz of wireless broadband spectrum in the 2.5 GHz frequency range across much of Canada. http://www.bell.ca
  • Rogers Wireless is Canada's largest wireless voice and data communications services provider and the country's only carrier operating on GSM/GPRS. Rogers Cable is Canada's
    largest cable television provider offering cable television, Internet access, voice-over-cable telephony services, and video retailing. Rogers Media Inc. is a premier collection of Canadian media assets with businesses in radio and television broadcasting, televised
    shopping, publishing and sports entertainment.

  • In July 2005, Rogers completed the acquisition of Call-Net Enterprises (now Rogers Telecom and formerly Sprint Canada), a national provider of voice and data communications services.

U.S. Broadband Bill Would Ensure Network Neutrality, Common Framework for IP Services

The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee released a 77-page, bipartisan staff discussion draft legislation document aimed at updating the Telecommunications Act of 1996 by addressing broadband, VoIP, IPTV franchising, port blocking and 911 regulations. Highlights of the draft legislation include:

  • Creates common regulatory definition for broadband Internet transmission services (BITS) which includes DSL, cable modems, and other broadband services.

  • Ensures network neutrality to prevent broadband providers from blocking subscriber access to lawful content.

  • Provides a uniform, federal regulatory framework for broadband providers, VoIP, and broadband video providers, except in some areas where state or local rules still apply, such as rights-of-way.

  • Authorizes the FCC to determine that VoIP can be required to contribute to the Universal Service Fund.

  • Develops a streamlined franchising process for broadband video providers.

  • Applies many current cable video requirements to broadband video providers.

  • Allows municipalities to develop and deploy BITS, VoIP and broadband video services. However, municipalities can't provide preferential treatment for these services and must comply with all regulations governing private-sector providers.

  • Ensures that VoIP subscribers have access to 911.

"The Telecommunications Act of 1996 spurred the development of telephone competition, but no one could have foreseen the magnitude of the challenges and opportunities that the Internet age has presented. New services shouldn't be hamstrung by old thinking and outdated regulations," said Chairman Joe Barton, R-Texas. "We need a fresh new approach that will encourage Internet providers to expand and improve broadband networks, spur growth in the technology sector and develop cutting-edge services for consumers. Updating the 1996 law is one of my top priorities for this fall and this bipartisan discussion draft represents a solid first step."

The 77-page document is online.

Canadian Government Invests $7M in Tundra Semi for RapidIO

Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC) will invest $7 million dollars in Ottawa-based Tundra Semiconductor to accelerate the research and development of next-generation RapidIO System Interconnect products.

The RapidIO standard addresses the industry's need for reliability, increased bandwidth, and faster speeds in high-performance intra-system interconnect. Tundra's current product portfolio includes a parallel RapidIO multi- port switch and two serial RapidIO switches. It also offers RapidIO development kits.

The Technology Partnerships Canada investment is repayable on a royalty basis, with the level of repayment being conditional on the success in the marketplace of the technologies supported by the R&D initiatives. Tundra has received two previous investments from TPC.

See also