Monday, October 17, 2005

SBC Selects Lucent for IMS

SBC Communications selected Lucent Technologies' IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) platform to integrate its wireline and wireless services. The Lucent IMS platform, consisting of an array of IMS-related hardware and software products and applications, will enable SBC companies to share next-generation customizable IP-based services and applications across different consumer devices. SBC expects to begin introducing services enabled by the IMS platform in late 2006 or early 2007. Financial terms were not disclosed.

On Monday, Cingular Wireless announced that it had selected Lucent's IMS portfolio and integration services.

the IMS Architecture for Service Enabling Next Generation Networks
stave off competition, customer churn, and rebound from the decreasing
rates for local and long distance service, service providers are looking
to evolve or overlay their current networks to enable new revenue
generating converged and next-generation services. The IMS architecture
supports a wide range of services enabled by the flexibility of Session
Initiation Protocol (SIP). It can support multiple application servers
providing traditional telephony services and non-telephony services such
as instant messaging, push-to-talk, video streaming, multimedia
messaging, etc. Here is an overview.

Widevine Adds Digital Watermarking for IPTV

Widevine Technologies , a supplier of downloadable conditional access systems (DCAS) and digital rights management (DRM) for video operators, announced digital watermarking technology for studios and operators. The technology inserts digital fingerprints into video content as it passes through three key points in the video distribution chain: the content owner, the operator and consumer electronics devices. Widevine Mensor fingerprints and watermarks content at each stage of a multi-node content delivery network. Hollywood studios, broadcasters and operators can track where, when and to what device content is delivered--regardless of network, device or video format.

Widevine said that in the event of video piracy, its approach enhances the possibility of tracking piracy down to the individual.

Festoon Plug-in Enables Group Video for Skype

Santa Cruz Networks released a group video plug-in enabling Skype users to see who they are talking to, share applications, and engage in immersive video experiences. The "Festoon" plug-in uses the same GIPS audio codec used by Skype, AIM Triton, and Google Talk. Skype users can securely conduct video calls in groups from 2 to 200 and share photos, spreadsheets, presentations, or applications with others on a call. In future releases users will be able to download and play camera games with other Skype users and access our library of camera personalities, wallpapers, and more.

Santa Cruz Networks, which is based in Campbell, California, is providing the software free of charges, thanks to commercial sponsors. The company said it is working with all major presence networks to add group communications to Google Talk, AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Instant Messenger, and MSN Messenger.
  • Santa Cruz Networks is backed by Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), Geneva Venture Partners and a number of Silicon Valley angel investors.

AMCC Unveils 40 Gbps ATCA Switch Blade and Fabric

Applied Micro Circuits Corporation (AMCC) announced the PRS40G-ATCA 40 Gbps Switch, the industry's first AdvancedTCA (ATCA) Cell Switch Blade providing both base switch and fabric switch in a single slot. The blade is based on the PICMG 3.0 ATCA standard and features the carrier class capabilities described in the PICMG 3.6 Cell Switching draft specification.

AMCC is a leading participant in the PICMG 3.6 Sub-Committee, which was created to standardize ATCA cell switching for carrier-grade applications. AMCC is offering its market leading PRS specification as the baseline for this new PICMG 3.6 standard. AMCC's leading PRS40G-ATCA switch blade provides control plane Ethernet switch functionality and a data plane fabric switch based on the currently defined PICMG 3.6 standard. The PRS solution is available as a result of AMCC's joint development ventures with leading ATCA switch blade providers and system integrators.

AMCC's PRS40G-ATCA Switch Blade is based on the ZNYX ZX6000 ATCA Hub board hosting a mezzanine card featuring the AMCC PRS 80G cell switch. It is designed to provide full switch blade redundancy and to address applications requiring up to 12 payload slots, each supporting from 2.5Gbps (Packet over SONET) to 4Gbps (Ethernet) user bandwidth. Four additional switch ports are available on backplane connectors for optional rear transition module implementation by the user.

Nokia Completes WiMAX (802.16e) Data Call

Nokia announced a technical milestone in its WiMAX development program -- the first completion of a data call in an 802.16e network. The error free call was made between computing and baseband modules at Nokia's research and development facility in Germany and was conducted on a high-speed pre-product test platform.

The WiMAX e-version will combine nomadic and portable mobility capabilities.

Nokia said it will be expanding to WiMAX trials during 2006.

Cavium Debuts New Inline Security Processor Family

Cavium Networks introduced its new NITROX II CN2800 Security Processor Family designed for next generation multi-gigabit VPN/Firewall Equipment, L4+ Switches, Wireless LAN Switches and Storage Security Appliances.

The inline NITROX II CN2800 Family integrates a general purpose processor for security control plane processing, supports SHA-2 and AES-GCM (Galois Counter Mode) algorithms, and includes integrated Gigabit Ethernet interfaces at up to 10 Gbps. The NITROX II CN2800 family is software compatible with the existing NITROX II security processors.

Cavium Networks said new levels of security performance will be required as the density of networking equipment increases in data centers and Telco companies. Additionally, new security algorithm requirements are emerging for equipment to be deployed in the marketplace by 2008. These include SHA-2 and AES-GCM. AES-GCM is expected to be the encryption algorithm widely used for IPsec VPN applications as it provides an efficient implementation for confidentiality and data origin authenticity together with and support for data speeds over 10Gbps. The NITROX II CN2800 offers hardware acceleration capability for these new algorithms.

Cavium expects to begin sampling its NITROX II CN2800 Security Processor Family starting Q1 '06.

UTStarcom Signs New IP-PAS Contracts with China Telecom

UTStarcom signed contracts valued at approximately $42 million with China Telecom Corporation to expand IP-based Personal Access System (iPAS) networks in regions throughout China. The network expansions will take place in the Jiangsu, Guangdong, Sichuan, Zhejiang and Yunan provinces, as well as the Chongqing municipality.

Motorola Reports Sales of $9.42 Billion, Up 26%

Motorola reported record quarterly sales of $9.42 billion, up 26% ompared to third- quarter 2004 sales of $7.50 billion. Earnings from continuing operations were $.69 per share, including earnings of $.39 per share from special items.

Motorola shipped a record 38.7 million mobile devices during the quarter. The company claims an estimated global market share of approximately 19%, an increase of approximately 5.5 percentage points versus the year-ago quarter and approximately 1 percentage point versus the second quarter of 2005. Sales of Motorola's RAZR clamshell mobile handset reached 6.5 million units during the quarter. More than 12 million units have been sold to date.

Some additional highlights:

  • Networks Segment sales were $1.6 billion, up 7 percent compared with the year-ago quarter. The segment continued to deliver a comprehensive value proposition in access, core, platforms and services for wireless and wireline carriers. Operating earnings increased to $268 million, compared with $159 million in the year-ago quarter.

  • Government and Enterprise Mobility Solutions Segment sales were $1.6 billion, up 4 percent compared with the year-ago quarter. Automotive market sales were lower, while sales to the other markets served by the segment increased by 7 percent. Operating earnings decreased to $180 million, compared with $197 million in the year-ago quarter.

  • Connected Home Solutions Segment sales were $710 million, up 28 percent compared with the year-ago quarter. Operating earnings were $59 million, compared with $40 million in the year-ago quarter. During the quarter, Motorola extended its global footprint in digital video and voice and expanded its reach to the consumer through retail distribution channels.

Ericsson Provides HSDPA Upgrade to Cingular in Dallas

Ericsson has successfully upgraded Cingular Wireless' UMTS infrastructure in the Dallas/Fort Worth market - the seventh largest market in the United States - to High Speed Data Packet Access (HSDPA).

In addition to providing radio access equipment for the Dallas/Fort Worth market, Ericsson has provided civil site construction services and integrated the UMTS network Cingular acquired from AT&T Wireless into the operator's larger existing footprint. Because the former AT&T Wireless network has been operating commercially since December 2003, conversion, expansion and upgrades were performed on the live network.

Sony Debuts 20-inch VAIO TV-PC

Sony unveiled an all-in-one VAIO VA TV-PC that combines a full-featured computer with a 20-inch LCD TV.

The integrated Intel system is based on Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 and provides the abiltiy to watch live TV, use personal video recording to the 250 GB hard disk, or play DVDs.

Sony is bundling its own "Click to DVD") mastering software.

A multitude of analog audio and video inputs, a multi-card flash memory reader, i.LINK (IEEE 1394) and multiple USB ports are included, along with integrated 802.11 b/g wireless connectivity.

The VA TV-PC will be available later this month for about $2,000.

Tut Systems Delivers Digital TV to Monroe Telephone

Monroe Telephone has deployed Tut Systems' Astria content processors to deliver advanced digital TV services to customers in Monroe, Oregon. The Astria CP platform serves as the central video processing system for Monroe's digital headend. From a single headend, Monroe will serve its existing base of cable TV customers and expand its video offerings to DSL subscribers.

Tut Systems provided systems integration services including project management, design, staging, installation, and pre-launch testing at Monroe's headend facilities.

Competitive Providers Lobby for Conditions on SBC/AT&T and Verizon/MCI Mergers

Six leading communications companies and the Ad Hoc Telecommunications Users Committee, which represents high-volume business customers, filed an ex parte with the FCC seeking safeguards to ensure competitive pricing of special access services after the mergers of AT&T and MCI with SBC and Verizon and prevent SBC and Verizon from discriminating in favor of their respective AT&T and MCI affiliates and against third parties in the pricing and provisioning of special access services.

Companies represented in this petition are BT Americas, Broadwing Communications, Level 3 Communications, Qwest Communications International, SAVVIS, and XO Communications.

Specific merger conditions and ongoing requirements that these competitive carriers would like to see the FCC impose on SBC/AT&T and Verizon/MCI include:

  • Corrective Pricing Adjustment. Post-merger, SBC and Verizon must be required to reduce their base DS1 and DS3 special access rate elements by 50 percent - bringing their prices in line with what AT&T and MCI today charge. This adjustment would apply to all rate elements in both the price caps and pricing flexibility rate schedules. To protect against "backsliding," SBC and Verizon would not be permitted to increase DS1 and DS3 rates above this corrected level, and would be required to honor existing contracts for new and existing service orders.

  • Fresh Look. To preserve the impact of the corrective pricing adjustment on the downstream retail market, AT&T and MCI customers would be allowed, within the first 12 months following the effective date of the merger, to terminate their contracts without paying a penalty. Customers choosing to terminate these agreements would have a six-month transition period to migrate off of the AT&T and MCI networks.

  • No Restrictive Bundling. SBC and Verizon should not be allowed to bundle channel terminations or other non-competitive special access services with competitive services in any way that would deter customers from using competitors' alternate facilities.

  • No Conditions on Customers. SBC and Verizon may not place conditions on a customer's ability to receive corrected special access pricing, such as requiring the customer to waive their rights to Unbundled Network Elements (UNEs) or to give up the right to commingle UNEs with special access services. SBC and Verizon would also be forbidden to engage in any conduct, such as unreasonable grooming conditions, that interferes with a customer's ability to switch to a competitor, or to use more cost-efficient services offered by SBC or Verizon.

  • Termination of Special Access Contracts. As with "Fresh Look," customers of SBC or Verizon special access services would for 12 months be able to terminate their agreements after the mergers, without penalty.

  • No Favoritism. SBC and Verizon may not give their respective AT&T and MCI affiliates any special access rates or conditions that are not also available to third parties, and may not favor themselves in the provisioning, maintenance and customer care of special access.

  • Regional Symmetry of Special Access. SBC and Verizon must offer in-region customers the same special access services that they - or AT&T and MCI - purchase from other carriers outside the region.

  • Enforcement. The safeguards will be enforced through public informational postings required of SBC and Verizon. Audits, penalties and/or customer credits for violations will be required to help ensure compliance.
  • The FCC might vote on the pending mergers at its next open meeting on October 28.

  • In September, a separate group of eight competitive telecom service providers submitted a petition calling on the FCC to impose strict conditions on the pending mergers of SBC/AT&T and Verizon/MCI in order to safeguard competition. The companies said the divestitures of AT&T's and MCI's local network assets would not be enough to alleviate the harms to the local wholesale market. Companies endorsing the comprehensive remedies were Broadview, Bridge Com, Conversent, Eschelon Telecom, NuVox, TDS Metrocom, Xspedius and XO Communications.

Centennial Deploys Nortel CS 2000 VoIP in Puerto Rico

Centennial Communications is deploying Nortel's Communication Server (CS) 2000-Compact in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic to deliver the full suite of voice services to business and residential customers, including voice mail and long distance calling. The deployment also includes Nortel's Media Gateway 15000, designed to help switch voice calls more cost-effectively with the public phone network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Net Optics Introduces 10 Gbps Taps

Net Optics introduced a series of regeneration taps designed for 10 Gbps networks and monitoring devices. Net Optics 10 GigaBit In-Line and Span Regeneration Taps allow multiple devices to simultaneously monitor the same network link or Span port. Regeneration Taps make better use of network monitoring devices by eliminating contention for secure access points. Net Optics 10 GigaBit Regeneration Taps support passive deployment of two, four, or eight intrusion detection and prevention systems, protocol analyzers, RMON probes, and other key devices.

Net Optics said its 10 GigaBit In-Line Regeneration Tap offers 100% traffic visibility on any network link without requiring an IP address. Attached monitoring devices remain isolated from the network and are protected from attacks. The 10 GigaBit Span Regeneration Tap connects monitoring devices to any two network switch Span ports, enabling independent monitoring of each Span port.

Net Optics also announced a network tap designed for 10 GigaBit networks that provides passive access to singlemode LR links for multimode SR devices. The 10 GigaBit LR to SR Converter Tap simplifies the connection of multimode SR security and monitoring devices to long-haul singlemode LR links by combining media conversion and Tap technology into a single device. With the 10 GigaBit LR to SR Converter Tap there is no need for additional media converters or interface cards. The Tap comes with all the network and monitor cables needed for quick installation.

Flag Telecom Adds Capacity for Formula One Races in Shanghai

FLAG Telecom, working alongside its partner China Telecom, has provisioned additional capacity on its undersea cable system to meet the exacting communication needs of the global TV and news agencies covering the Formula One race in Shanghai.

Cingular Activates HSDPA in Seattle and Phoenix with Lucent

Cingular Wireless activated HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) capabilities in Seattle and Phoenix, becoming the first carrier to provide UMTS customers with simultaneous voice and mobile high-speed data services over commercial HSDPA deployment. When used with HSDPA capable devices, Cingular customers will receive average data connection speeds between 400-700 kbps with bursts over 1 Mbps. Cingular plans to support multimedia services, including high-quality streaming video, fast downloads of high-resolution images and other large files, and interactive services and applications such as advanced gaming in the mobile environment.

Lucent Technologies provided the HSDPA upgrades to Congular in both markets. Lucent also is upgrading additional key markets across the United States and is poised to support Cingular's initial rollout of this advanced network. The upgrades include Lucent's OneBTS base stations (Node Bs) -- which support HSDPA -- Radio Network Controller (RNC), Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN), and 3G Mobile Switching Center based on the Lucent Network Controller and Lucent Network Gateway.