Sunday, September 18, 2005

SureWest to Migrate Class 5 Infrastructure with Lucent Softswitch

SureWest Communications has selected Lucent's Accelerate Next Generation Communications Solutions to migrate its network in the Sacramento, California region from a traditional Class 5 switch-based infrastructure to a softswitch-based IP network for advanced services.

The deployment includes the Lucent Compact Switch, the new Lucent Feature Server and the Lucent Communication Manager. Lucent Worldwide Services will provide installation, maintenance services and integration services.

The VoIP solution will provide end-users with a web-based interface to customize their calling services such as simultaneous ringing and next-generation features including find me/follow me, and web-based end-user provisioning for feature activation, access and setup.

Hawaiian Telcom Licenses CallWave for Fixed-Mobile Convergence

Hawaiian Telcom (formerly Verizon Hawaii) will license CallWave's fixed mobile convergence VoIP software to provide VoIP-based convergence applications, which include branded desktop software, to its customers.

The CallWave capabilities will give Hawaiian Telcom subscribers the ability to screen live mobile calls and move these calls between their cell phone and landline. Hawaiian Telcom will also offer a branded version of CallWave's proprietary desktop VoIP software, where consumers can preview calls, listen to voicemail and direct incoming cell phone calls -- all from their Internet-connected PC.

Hawaiian Telcom's service will be called "Call Choice" and will be offered on a monthly subscription basis. A service trial is scheduled to launch in mid-October 2005, with the full roll-out in the first quarter of 2006.

Broadcom Unveils VoIP Chip for Wi-Fi Phones

Broadcom unveiled a new second generation mobile VoIP processor designed specifically for Wi-Fi phones that feature advanced multimedia and telephony capabilities.

Broadcom's BCM1161's features include polyphonic ring-tone support, a 2 Megapixel digital camera, voice record/playback and video clips record/playback. A variety of telephony features are also supported by the BCM1161 including 3-way conferencing and speaker phone support, and high-fidelity voice capabilities through the use of Broadcom's BroadVoice technology. The new single-chip integrates an ARM9-based CPU, analog voice codec with a direct microphone and high-output speaker interface, 262k color LCD display interface and a USB 2.0 interface.

Level 3 Announces E-911 Direct Service, Signs Vonage

Level 3 Communications announced the launch of its Level(3) E-911 Direct service as part of its VoIP portfolio. The offering includes both Level 3's fixed location and nomadic VoIP E-911 capabilities, supporting an FCC-compliant E-911 solution for interconnected VoIP providers. Using Level(3) E-911 Direct service VoIP providers can achieve compliance with the FCC's mandate for VoIP providers to deliver to their customers E-911 functionality.

Vonage has become the first customer to select the Level(3) E-911 Direct service to support nomadic VoIP customers. Level 3 anticipates that its nomadic solution will be implemented in the fourth quarter 2005, and the two companies plan to begin deploying E-911 service for Vonage customers in that quarter.

To offer the nomadic portion of the Level(3) E-911 Direct service, Level 3 is working with multiple VoIP Positioning Centers (VPCs) that are responsible for collecting, updating and reporting subscriber location information. The information provided by the VPCs will allow Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) operators to provide critical location information to emergency responders.

Level(3) E-911 Direct service routes and completes 911 calls with physical location information to the appropriate selective router and PSAP. The Level(3) E-911 Direct service works in conjunction with (3)VoIP Enhanced Local and (3)VoIP Local Inbound services to provide local and nationwide IP voice solutions.

8x8 Licenses CounterPath's eyeBeam Softphone

8x8 has licensed CounterPath's eyeBeam software to develop a co-branded video-enabled softphone application for integration and deployment with the Packet8 Broadband Phone Service.

CounterPath (formerly X-ten) offers softphones for Windows, MAC OS X, Pocket PC and now Linux.

Riverstone Releases Two New Carrier Ethernet Access Routers

Riverstone Networks introduced two new Carrier Ethernet Access Routers in its Riverstone 15000 product line.

The Riverstone 15100 and the 10 Gig-E Riverstone 15200 extend the feature set of the 15008 Ethernet Edge Router into the access layer, providing MPLS from the core to the network edge. Riverstone said the introduction of these routers fulfills the market's previously unaddressed need for a compact, low-cost, fully-featured platform that extends the benefits of VPLS as close to the service-users as possible.

Like the 15008, the newest members of the 15000 family are equipped with a modular operating system to reduce router software outages and reboots, and MPLS traffic engineering capabilities.

The 15100 provides an Ethernet-optimized alternative to Riverstone's multi-service oriented RS 1100 and 3100. It supports up to 20 triple-speed copper or fiber downlinks, and four Gig-E uplinks.

The 15200 extends this by supporting dual 10 Gig-E uplinks. Both of the new access routers support VPLS, RFC-2547 MPLS-VPNs, and Layer 3 routing protocols including BGP, OSPF, multicast, and IS-IS. Combined with line-rate IPv6, multi-layer OAM and Hierarchical QoS, they play a key role in supporting converged business and residential services, as well as VoIP and 3G wireless infrastructure deployments.

Like the RS family of routers, the expanded Riverstone 15000 product line uses the Riverstone Management Center framework to deliver end-to-end OSS, including device configuration, inventory management, and performance and fault data collection.

Avaya Acquires Nimcat for SIP Endpoint Software

Avaya has acquired Nimcat Networks, a developer of embedded, peer-to-peer IP communications applications software based in Ottawa, for approximately C$46 million in cash.

Nimcat Networks' IP communications software, currently called nimX, is designed to be embedded within enterprise IP phones. By placing the intelligence in the phone and eliminating additional hardware, such as call processing and application servers, installation is simplified and start-up costs are sharply reduced. Embedding communications intelligence directly in the endpoints rather than the network will enable enterprises to implement streamlined peer-to-peer IP communications quickly and cost-effectively. The nimX plug-and-play SIP software includes the most frequently used telephony features and applications, including voice mail, conferencing and auto-attendant. Each phone has its own software and back up data for other phones, so if one phone fails the others continue to work, providing embedded failover and business continuity.

Avaya said it expects the acquisition to be one cent dilutive in the company's fourth fiscal quarter, primarily related to approximately $3.2 million of in-process research and development costs. Research and development plans include incorporating Nimcat Networks software into Avaya IP telephony offers. This process is expected to take up to 12 months, after which Avaya will release its first integrated Nimcat Networks-based product.

AudioCodes Adds SIP capability to Media Gateway

AudioCodes has added SIP control signaling to its globally deployed, carrier grade Mediant 8000 and Mediant 5000 media gateways, which enable access to VoIP services from both wireline and wireless mobile networks.

The Mediant 8000 and 5000 Media Gateways address the High and Medium density trunking gateway markets, which are estimated to grow from $473M to $2.9B and from $177M to $637.8M by 2009, respectively, according to the Synergy Research Group.

The Mediant Media Gateways are deployed as trunking gateways for residential and business VoIP services in cable and broadband networks, connectivity gateways mediating between networks in various fixed-mobile convergence applications, UMTS R4/R5 compliant gateways and as Media Gateways in a SIP IMS network architecture enabling VoIP access from multiple access networks to a variety of SIP Applications and Services -- all on the same common hardware and software.

Motorola Bolsters its Network Services

Motorola is bolstering its suite of Network Services. The company outlined its commitment to help operators evolve to next generation networks and deliver the promise of seamless mobility worldwide.

The plan includes investing in practice-based service offerings that benefit from best-in-class tools and applications, leveraging the expertise of dedicated services employees rooted at the regional market level to serve the global marketplace, fostering an ecosystem to attract best-of-breed partnerships and expanding its solutions value proposition to deliver multi- vendor capabilities.

Motorola said its practice-based approach would touch on every aspect of the network and services delivery -- from planning, designing, deployment and support, to managing of network and services.

Specifically, Motorola is expanding its multi-vendor services approach within four distinct practices:

1. Applications Services Practice: Strengthens an operators' ability to offer a dynamic portfolio of content rich, personalized services utilizing standard creation tools powered by a scalable, service delivery platform called Motorola Global Applications Management Architecture (GAMA).

2. Managed Services Practice: Enables operators to access world-class capabilities, along with the ability to tap resources not internally available, to better control costs and focus on critical business functions. Managed Service options include: staff augmentation; out-tasking for specific projects like planning and implementation; build-operate-transfer for building and operating a network for a limited time before transferring control to the operator; or full outsourcing for controlling entire network operations.

3. Support Services Practice: Focuses on total network care that helps to ensure 24/7 operations with high network availability and operational efficiencies in a multi-vendor network environment. This practice ensures peak network performance and availability through comprehensive offerings including network security, on-site maintenance and operations consultancy, engineer training, and patented optimization tools that use real-time network data.

4. Systems Integration Practice: Solves the challenges of assimilating diverse networks-wired, wireless and mobile broadband-from initial design, site identification and acquisition through managing the engineering, construction and acceptance testing of all elements. As networks converge, the integration of business and operational processes becomes one of the fundamental success factors that is addressed by this practice to enable service providers to gain and sustain competitive advantage.

Motorola Debuts WiMAX-compatible 300 Mbps Backhaul

Motorola doubled its MOTOwi4 wireless broadband backhaul portfolio with the addition of three carrier-grade Canopy backhaul products, including a WiMAX compatible point-to-point 300 Mbps solution.

Upgrades to Motorola's Canopy OFDM backhaul series increases range and point-to-point link reliability and performance. In addition, the backhaul portfolio will include new 30 Mbps and 60 Mbps solutions. All three OFDM products operate in near line of sight and non line of sight environments.

The Canopy 5.7 GigaHertz backhaul solutions can interconnect cellular sites, replace leased T1/E1 lines, connect Canopy access point clusters, serve as a backbone for mesh networks or link corporate and institutional campuses and remote sites.

Additionally, Canopy backhaul solutions feature:

  • Dynamic frequency selection, which automatically changes channels to avoid interference and combat link fading without user intervention,

  • Adaptive modulation to ensure maximum throughput optimized for the radio path even as path characteristics change,

  • Built-in security protection via a complex proprietary signal with scrambling applied,

  • Multi-beam space time coding, which transmits two redundant signals spaced in time to bring multi-path signals into phase, resulting in better performance and link availability,

  • Long-range line of sight capabilities that reduce the number of hops.

CERN Builds Europe's Largest Campus Network With Force10

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research and the world's largest particle physics laboratory, will deploy Force10 Networks' TeraScale E-Series switch/routers as the foundation of its new 2.4 Terabit per second (Tbps) high performance grid computing farm.

The TeraScale E-Series will connect more than 8,000 processors and storage devices and also provide the first intercontinental 10 Gigabit Ethernet WAN links in a production network.

The TeraScale E-Series supports 672 line-rate Gigabit and 56 line-rate 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports per system. The TeraScale E-Series uses a 3 CPU architecture to distribute switching, routing and management functionalities. It also features a 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet-ready backplane.

Beyond the high performance core, the Force10 TeraScale E-Series also will provide 10 Gigabit Ethernet connections to CERN's multiple campus-based experiments, which are similar to individual computing clusters.

The contract between CERN and a consortium of Force10 and T-Systems International, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, is valid through 2010.

NYU Deploys Native IPv6 Multicast Network with Cisco

New York University (NYU) has established native Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) multicast connectivity between its campus network and the global IPv6 Internet, using Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches and Cisco IOS(R) 12.2 SX software. The native IPv6 connectivity is described as the first connection of its kind in North America.

NYU's native IPv6 multicast connections will replace previous "tunneling" methods and will deliver performance and service levels on par with native IPv4 multicast connectivity.

NYU plans to test a number of IPv6-enabled applications and network services using its native multicast connections including Digital Video over IP (DVIP) and multicast-conferencing capabilities. It also plans to test network-layer multicast protocols such as Source Specific Multicast (SSM) and Multicast Listener Discovery (MLD), technologies that help network administrators better direct multicast traffic to recipients who actually want to receive the data.

"This milestone event represents a significant evolutionary step in the growing deployment of IPv6 multicast," said Jimmy Kyriannis, senior technology architect at NYU's Information Technology Services group. "NYU has been an early adopter of IPv6 since its infancy and this accomplishment continues that trend."

The Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series was certified as "IPv6 Ready" in March 2004 by the IPv6 Ready organization.

Axerra Secures $16.25 Million for Pseudo-Wire Solutions

Axerra Networks, a start-up based in Boca Raton, Florida and Herzliya, Israel, secured $16.25 million in series C venture financing for its circuit emulation and service emulation solutions over packet access networks.

Axerra's Pseudo-Wire solutions enable mobile wireless operators, cable operators, competitive service providers, and incumbent carriers to extend IP plus legacy data and voice services in native format over Ethernet, IP, and MPLS networks.

In addition, Shlomo Dovrat, General Partner and Founder of Carmel Ventures has joined Axerra Networks' Board of Directors. Mr. Dovrat has been a leading figure in the Israeli high-tech industry for over 20 years, including CEO and Chairman positions at several leading high-tech companies. He is currently the Chairman of ECI Telecom and Unipier, a leading software developer.

CommPartners Acquires TxLink, Expanding VoIP Portfolio

CommPartners, an IP-based network operator and telephony services and solutions provider, has acquired TxLink, a privately-held company specializing in selling wholesale VoIP services to SME customers, resellers, ISPs, PBX Integrators and carriers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

With the acquisition, CommPartners expects to introduce several new robust systems to support increased sales, including a new pre-paid calling platform and a customer web portal for ordering and managing origination and termination services.

TxLink is based in Red Oak, Texas. CommPartners is based in Las Vegas.

Currently, CommPartners offers IP-based network coverage with over 5,000 rate centers in the domestic U.S., including Hawaii and Alaska. CommPartners has applied for and expects to obtain Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) status in all 50 states by next year. The CommPartners solution includes CommPartners Management System (CMS) proprietary OSS platform for automated provisioning, billing, user interface and back office support capabilities. Hosted features include simultaneous ring, voicemail-to-e-mail, feature activation via the web, and four digit dialing between offices. CommPartners provides VoIP facilitation services such as Subscriber Endpoint Control, Connectivity to the PSTN, Long Distance services, and Subscriber Management.

Broadwing Launches VoIP Utility Services

Broadwing Communications has launched PSTNConnect SIP and Enterprise SIP services over its Converged Network, further expanding its utility offering launched in June 2005 to meet the needs of VoIP carriers and multi-site enterprises with complex communications requirements.

PSTNConnect SIP enables VoIP providers to offer enhanced local voice services to their end users in Broadwing's 23 local markets via a single IP connection to Broadwing's Converged Network.

Broadwing Enterprise SIP enables multi-location enterprises to create VoIP wide area networks over their existing Converged Network data WANs, providing a single SIP interconnection between a customer's internal VoIP network and the PSTN. The service interfaces directly with existing IP PBX equipment to deliver full featured local and long distance calling.

For customers not employing its Converged Network, Broadwing's VoIP access and PSTN interconnection services are available over its integrated IP and circuit-switched TDM networks.

Quebec's Videotron Selects General Bandwidth for Cable Telephony

Videotron is deploying General Bandwidth's G6 Universal Media Gateway Platforms to deliver primary line residential cable telephony services across their entire network in Quebec. The service was initially launched along Montreal's South Shore in January and recently launched in the Quebec City and Montreal areas.

General Bandwidth's G6 platform provides the ability to simultaneously support both Class 5 digital switches and next generation-based services, enabling Videotron to integrate enhanced residential and commercial VoIP services while maintaining a common media gateway architecture across their network.

tekVizion Offers IMS System Integration

tekVizion PVS, a systems integrator based in Richardson, Texas, now offering IMS-specific testing, application development and consulting services designed specifically for service providers and their vendor community. tekVizion is currently offering IMS conformance testing for stand-alone products and multi-vendor IMS interoperability certification testing. Ad-hoc testing is also available for proof-of-concept testing, call-flow validations, regression testing and vendor evaluations.

NTTPC Selects Juniper's Session Border Controllers

NTTPC Communications, Inc., one of Japan's leading Internet service and network integration providers, has deployed Juniper Network's VF-series session border controllers to support its CUNets Plus Talk VoIP service. The Juniper Networks VF-series enables hosted NAT traversal, hosted VPN/VLAN and network protection for hosted IP telephony services such as IP Centrex and managed IP PBX. The equipment was deployed at NTTPC by NTT-AT, a Juniper systems integration partner.

Sprint and RealNetworks Launch Mobile Music Service

Sprint and RealNetworks launched "Rhapsody Radio", providing Sprint PCS Vision customers with high-quality streaming radio stations and music news and videos. Customers can purchase Rhapsody Radio by typing in channel 39 in the Sprint Media Player or by going to the Music & Radio folder and selecting the new channel; the cost is $6.95 per month for unlimited access. The service is available nationwide.

Telcordia Rolls Out VoIP Routing Registry

Telcordia is introducing a VoIP Routing Registry to provide cross-carrier call routing and administration for IMS-enabled converged services over IP networks, such as multimedia and video services.
The new service, which will be part of Telcordia's IMS portfolio, is currently in trials at Tier 1 carriers and cable operators.

Telcordia said VoIP Routing Registry provides a mechanism to centrally administer IP routing data so that VoIP calls can be efficiently routed over an IP network.

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