Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Siemens Presents "Mobile TV Streaming"

Siemens Communications is introducing a "Mobile TV Streaming" solution designed to work with DVB-H broadcasts. Siemens said its streaming solution will enable mobile users to switch TV channels in seconds. The streaming technology also offers time-shifted television as well as selected movies and video sequences, similar to a DVD player. The streaming content is stored on a server. Both live transmissions and video on demand are possible.

Siemens said streaming and DVB-H are complementary, which means that the Siemens Media Delivery Solution will develop into a dual platform that supports both technologies. The company expects that mobile phones will be available that can receive both streaming and DVB-H in addition to telephones that are limited to one or the other.

"The combination of DVB-H and streaming via mobile radio will show us all television from a new angle: With a combo device we will have the freedom, for example, to watch movies at specific times or on demand. A football fan, can watch an international match from anywhere on the move over DVB-H, even while away on business. If he wants to savor the goals again, he can have them streamed to his mobile phone via UMTS," said Christoph Caselitz , President of Mobile Networks at Siemens Communications.

ECI Telecom Debuts Hi-FOCuS 5 Broadband Access Platform

ECI Telecom introduced its Hi-FOCuS 5 Multi-Service Access Gateway (MSAG) Platform for delivering bandwidth intensive video, data and voice services for residential and business subscribers.

The Hi-FOCuS 5 Multi-Service Access Gateway offers switching capacity of up to 128 Gbps, multiple 1 Gbps and 10 Gbps interfaces and a non-blocking architecture that eliminates the access bandwidth bottleneck, thus enabling bandwidth-intensive IP-based video services, such as TV and video channel streaming, as well as personalized content, such as Video-on-Demand (VoD), Network-based Personal Video Recorder (nPVR) and peer-to-peer applications.

The Hi-FOCuS 5, which builds on ECI's field-proven Hi-FOCuS4, features a fully redundant architecture and high availability capabilities. The platform acts as a single point of network termination, allowing for management and aggregation of multiple access technologies such as xDSL, FTTx and Wi-Fi.

The Hi-FOCuS5 product line will include both Central Office solutions as well as outdoor and deep fiber solutions for remote broadband deployments. A range of platforms and subscriber cards is supported. Commercial availability is expected in Q4. http://www.ecitele.com

Raindance to Acquire Bell Canada's Conferencing Assets

Raindance Communications, a provider of integrated multimedia conferencing services, acquire certain revenue-generating assets and assume certain related obligations of BCE Conferencing Inc., a subsidiary of Bell Canada, for $6 million in cash.

BCE Conferencing delivers operator-assisted and reservationless audio conferencing, web conferencing and webcasting to its U.S.-based customers. Through this acquisition, Raindance will bring additional benefits to the newly acquired customers of BCE Conferencing, including tightly integrated audio conferencing, expanded web management tools and direct access to Raindance's 24x7x365 customer support.

Tropos Hires Former Qualcomm Exec as VP of Marketing

Tropos Networks, a supplier of metro-scale, Wi-Fi mesh network systems, named Ellen Kirk as Vice President of Marketing. Prior to Tropos, Kirk served as Vice President, Business Development, in the CDMA Technologies Division of Qualcomm, where she was responsible for creating W-CDMA handset strategies, defining initiatives for accelerating migration to 3G, and driving adoption of location-based services worldwide. http://www.tropos.com

Nortel Develops Integrated Data Encryption for 10 Gbps Networks

Nortel, in collaboration with CANARIE, the International Center for Advanced Internet Research at Northwestern University, SURFnet, the University of Amsterdam, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, has demonstrated a prototype optical switch with integrated data encryption operating at 10 Gbps.

Nortel said the ability to use real-time encryption to secure the transport of large amounts of time sensitive information has applications in many industries, such as media distribution in the entertainment industry, global scientific collaboration using grid computing by the research community, and real-time data back-up for the financial industry.

Nortel is demonstrating its integrated encryption technology for super-fast optical networks this week at iGrid in San Diego, an event showcasing ongoing global collaborations in grid computing. The demonstration, which is occurring at the iGrid conference in San Diego, transmits real-time encrypted data from an electronic visualization application over a 10 Gbps SONET network that spans thousands of fiber miles. Application data is encrypted from source locations in Amsterdam, Chicago, and Ottawa and transported to the iGrid show floor in San Diego where the data is viewed and manipulated on an integrated 55 screen, 100 million pixel video display.

To enable this proof of concept demonstration, hardware capable of 256-bit AES encryption at 10 Gbps line speeds has been integrated into a standard Nortel Optical Multiservice Edge (OME) 6500 switch. By encrypting the application data payload before packaging it into a SONET envelope for transport, the encrypted traffic can travel across standards-based SONET networks to be decrypted on the other side. This integration of encryption functionality into the optical switch enables reduced network complexity, lower operational expenses through reduced power and space requirements, and higher network reliability through the inherent carrier-grade attributes of the optical switch.

The live demonstration uses an electronic visualization application provided by the University of Illinois at Chicago. Network connectivity for the demonstration is being provided by CANARIE and SURFnet through international peering points on Northwestern's Chicago campus (StarLight) and in Amsterdam (NetherLight). Facilities participating in the demonstration include the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Amsterdam, the Calit2 facility at the University of California, San Diego, and the Nortel research and development lab in Ottawa. http://www.nortel.com

AOL Names Maureen Govern as CTO

AOL named Maureen Govern as its new Chief Technology Officer (CTO), replacing John McKinley, who was promoted following AOL's reorganization last fall and now runs AOL's Digital Services business. Govern will manage the AOL network, including its infrastructure and data center operations; oversee the company's business technology functions; supervise AOL's internal computing services; and direct the company's shared technology development organization.

Prior to coming to AOL, Govern was CTO at Convergys Corporation. Before joining Convergys, Govern served as Vice President of Advanced Technology Development for Motorola's Global Telecommunication Solutions Sector. While in this position, Govern was responsible for Motorola's cellular architecture, performance analysis, and advanced radio and network technology development. Previously, she held senior positions at Bell-Northern Research and NYNEX Science and Technology.

UNH-IOL Offers Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) Certification

The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) will begin administering the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) certification and logo program for consumer products shaping the digital home network.

Manufacturers of products verified to successfully meet the DLNA Home Networked Device Interoperability Guidelines 1.0 will be granted the use of a certificate and certification logo for the purpose of marketing and promotion. DLNA member companies can register products for certification testing as of this month.

The UNH-IOL has hosted the two Hosted Interoperability Test events held in the U.S. since March 2004.

Nielsen//NetRatings Finds 42% of U.S. Population with Home Broadband

The number of Americans with broadband access reached 42 percent of the U.S. population in August, increasing 16 percent since the beginning of this year, according to a newly published report from Nielsen//NetRatings.

Nielsen//NetRatings also reported that in August 2005, the percent of active U.S. Internet users connecting online via broadband from home reached an all-time high, at 61.3 percent, compared with 51.4 percent of active Internet users in August last year. (An active Internet user is anyone who went online or downloaded an Internet application during the month.) In August 2005, there were 86.1 million Internet users accessing the Web through high-speed connections, marking a 34 percent gain over 64.1 million during August 2004.

"Although broadband penetration among Internet users has long been on the rise, it was always amid speculation that the high cost of broadband would limit its widespread adoption," said Charles Buchwalter, vice president of client analytics, Nielsen//NetRatings. "However, over the last year, carriers have responded to the growing demand for lower cost broadband, and all indications are that this trend will continue."http://www.netratings.com/

GSM Association Selects NeuStar to Manage Root DNS for GSM Operators Worldwide

The GSM Association (GSMA) selected NeuStar to offer Root Domain Name System (DNS) services to more than 680 GSM mobile operators worldwide.

NeuStar's Root DNS will manage a global common directory enabling GSM networks to interoperate, providing wireless subscribers across networks with access to mobile data, content and multimedia services -- both on roaming or home networks.

The directory, which aims to become the definitive source for GSM operators to access shared DNS services, draws upon the combined strength of the GSMA membership, which serves more than 1.5 billion mobile subscribers across 210 countries and territories, and NeuStar's DNS registry infrastructure and expertise in providing essential clearinghouse services to the global communications industry.

NeuStar said its Root DNS service will serve two functions: first, to register domain names under the suffixes "gprs" and "3gppnetwork.org," which are used to register private domain names that allow operators to retrieve routing information when a subscriber accesses data and multimedia services on a roaming or home network. For example, a U.S. mobile subscriber traveling on business in Singapore will be able to access a video or audio file using their mobile device while roaming on a local GSM network.

Additionally, NeuStar will operate the master DNS root server and provide updates to GRX (GPRS Roaming Exchange) and MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) providers, allowing mobile operators to access updated DNS routing information.

RealNetworks to Launch Helix OnlineTV for Mobile Carriers, Signs Cingular

RealNetworks unveiled its "Helix OnlineTV" application for mobile and broadband providers. Real also announced a contract to supply the solution to Cingular, the largest wireless carrier in the U.S.

Powered by the Helix Media Delivery System, Real's Helix OnlineTV application enables mobile carriers and broadband operators the ability to deliver multichannel video to the handset or the PC. The solution is an end-to-end, open, extensible, cross-platform system enabling service providers to offer customizable, interactive video services to consumers. By integrating the Helix components, operators can manage and stream media traffic across their 2.5 and 3G networks to deliver value-added content such as news, sports and entertainment in RealAudio and RealVideo, as well as in 3GPP compliant formats.

Cingular has selected RealNetworks as its end-to-end solution provider for the development and delivery of the carrier's next generation video service.

Specifically, Real will provide Cingular with a comprehensive video solution including application development for packaging mobile content, hosting the mobile video service and delivering the streaming content to a variety of new handsets for the carrier's 3G UMTS/HSDPA network. Cingular is scheduled to roll out its 3G video later this year.

The launch with Cingular will include the following system components: Helix Mobile Server for streaming video content, Helix Universal Gateway for content delivery, the Helix Mobile Producer for content integration, in addition to the Helix DNA Client, a universal media playback engine that can support decoding and playback of any data type on any compatible device.

RealNetworks said components of the Helix Media Delivery System are currently deployed by more than 70 mobile carriers in over 40 countries around the globe.

Nokia Ships N70 smartphone

Nokia began commercial shipments of its N70 compact, 3G smartphone. The N70 incorporates a 2 megapixel camera, flash and front camera for video calling. A new Nokia XpressTransfer storing solution copies photos and video clips manually or automatically to compatible PCs.
For a multimedia diary experience, the in-box Nokia Lifeblog software automatically organizes photos, videos, text messages and multimedia messages into a chronology for easy browsing, searching and sharing.

The smartphone features include extensive email attachment support, Internet browser, video streaming and 3G features, such as two-way video calling and video sharing.

The N70 is also equipped with a digital music player and FM radio with support for Visual Radio. It is also among the first Nokia devices to include the Catalogs Client mobile shopping application for downloading and purchasing new applications, services and content.

KPN Selects Juniper/Lucent for IP/MPLS

KPN selected Lucent Technologies and Juniper Networks to deploy the next part of its IP/MPLS core network. The contract covers Juniper's M- and T-series as well as deployment services and maintenance by Lucent Worldwide Services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The announcement follows a 2003 agreement under which Lucent and Juniper supplied the first part of KPN's national IP/MPLS network over a unified core transport platform.

The first phase of KPN's rollout was aimed at the delivery of Ethernet VPN services to enterprise customers in the Netherlands, and the second phase will improve network redundancy and reliability, enabling KPN to introduce integrated voice, video and data services for consumers.

DSL Forum Releases Technical Reports for DSLHome Triple Play Management

The DSL Forum approved five new Technical Reports (TRs) as part of its "DSLHome" body of work. The TRs provide enhanced remote and local network management capabilities to address VoIP management and QoS provisioning, and extend the reach of "DSLHome" beyond simple DSL modems and home gateways that are the hub of next generation services in the digital home.

New DSL Forum TRs - approved September 2005

  • TR-098 DSLHome Internet Gateway Device Version 1.1 Data Model for TR-069

  • TR-104 DSLHome Provisioning Parameters for VoIP CPE

  • TR-106 DSLHome Data Model Template for TR-069 Enabled Devices

  • TR-110 DSLHome Reference Models for VoIP Configurations

  • TR-133 DSLHome TR-064 Extensions for Service Differentiation

Meru Offers "VoIP Unplugged" Certification Program

Meru Networks, a supplier of wireless VoIP infrastructure, announced an industry-wide partnering program for end-to-end wireless VoIP solutions for enterprises and service providers.

The Meru VoIP Unplugged Program has certified the following market and technology leaders in the following product categories:

  • Strategic IP Solutions (including IP-PBXs, wired and wireless IP endpoints, SIP servers, call management software, and security products): Avaya, Juniper Networks

  • VoIP Infrastructure: Fujitsu, Hitachi, OKI, ShoreTel, Zultys

  • Wireless VoIP-enabled Devices: Hitachi Cable, Vocera

  • Wireless VoIP Management and Planning: Roving Planet, WildPackets

  • Metro Broadband Wireless Solutions: Firetide Networks


SupportSoft Introduces "ServiceVerify" for VoIP Installation

SupportSoft announced the release of its new "ServiceVerify" software for the service verification of VoIP. SupportSoft ServiceVerify can automatically validate the installation of a customer's VoIP service and assist in diagnosing problems -- whether within the provider's network or at the customer premises. Key features in new SupportSoft ServiceVerify for VoIP include:

  • VoIP-Specific "SmartIssue", which enables a simple, template-based way to encapsulate network best practices for VoIP service. SupportSoft SmartIssue technology provides the flexibility to define key criteria for measurement, such as required tests, appropriate pass/fail thresholds, workflow and content for problem diagnosis and resolution.

  • Guided Problem Resolution based on real-time data gathering contrasted with industry best practices that can be customized to help contact centers and field technicians to more efficiently solve -- or proactively address, common and complex problems related to VoIP service.

VeriSign Launches SMS Alert Service for Wireless Carriers

VeriSign introduced a Mobile Alerts Service that helps wireless carriers deliver tailored mobile content to mobile devices using a Short Messaging Service (SMS).

The VeriSign Mobile Alerts Service is a managed service that provides subscribers with up-to-date information about weather, news, sport scores, stock quotes and horoscopes. This premium content is delivered to mobile devices via a text message, sent out upon a customer's request when information is updated or at regularly timed intervals. The service is part of the company's Mobile Messaging Platform (MMP), which provides carriers with a single, secure architecture to deliver enterprise-wide messaging and interactions and efficiently handles diverse wireless technology and carrier integration. The platform features content and applications that enable businesses and consumers to conduct transactions and communicate using different devices and platforms.

The first premium content provider contributing alerts is WeatherBug, the leading provider of weather information services in the United States, and the first service customer is Midwest Wireless, which offers weather alerts as part of a mobile alerts service that includes stocks, sports, news and horoscopes for $3.95 a month.

Mescalero Apache Telecom Deploys InnoMedia and Metaswitch

Mescalero Apache Telecom, a tribally owned and operated enterprise serving New Mexico, completed interoperability testing and deployment of InnoMedia's products. The deployment of Innomedia's MTA phone adaptors builds on MATI's existing MetaSwitch Class 5 Softswitch installation to add IP-based local and long distance calling services over both wireline and wireless broadband access networks.

InnoMedia's family of MTA products include single and multi-port devices for voice and video. The MTAs also support auto-provisioning for fast installation and upgrades, and provide advanced QoS and rate limiting schemes.

Canada's Allstream Announces IP-Based Enterprise Contact Centre

Allstream introduced an IP-based enterprise contact centre solution based on equipment from Cisco Systems. Allstream's scalable, IP-based multimedia contact centre allows agents to interact by voice, email, web chat and fax.

Allstream is already deploying this new solution within its own contact centres across Canada, leveraging its Professional Services expertise as part of the implementation. The company said it continues to work with other key technology partners such as Hewlett Packard (Canada) to design and implement contact centre solutions for its enterprise customers.

Verizon Signs More TV Programming Deals

Verizon announced separate programming-distribution agreements with Lifetime Television, TV shopping network HSN, Jewelry Television and Ovation -- The Art Network. The company said it continues to expand the range of content for its new FiOS TV service.

BT to acquire Infonet Deutschland

BT agreed to acquire Infonet Network Services Deutschland GmbH (Infonet Deutschland), which provides VPNs and other network services to more than 200 major corporate and public sector organisations. Financial terms were not disclosed.

BT currently owns 18% of Infonet Deutschland and will acquire the remaining 82% from T-Systems, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG.
  • In November 2004, BT agreed to acquire Infonet, a provider of international managed voice and data network services, for $965 million (excluding Infonet's net cash balance of $390 million, the aggregate value of the deal is $575 million). Infonet, which is based in El Segundo, California, has local operations in 70 countries and claims 1,800 multinational customers -- including Siemens, Nokia, Bayer AG International, IBM and Hilton International. The acquisition was completed in February 2005 and Infonet was renamed BT Infonet.

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