Sunday, November 6, 2005

blinkx.tv Indexes One Million Hours of Online Video Content

blinkx.tv, a start-up based in San Francisco, announced that its rich media index has 1,027,000 hours, of TV clips, including comedy, sports and news programming from both traditional and user-generated sources. blinkx.tv is a search engine for the video content.


blinkx has also enhanced and expanded its SmartFeed service, which is now serving some 500,000 requests a day. SmartFeed allows users to receive highly customized rich media RSS feeds. New developments including added support for ATOM and the integration of blinkx's SmartFeed technology with other services, including the popular news aggregator, NewsGator, and RSS dashboard, KlipFolio.
http://www.blinkx.tv/

NexTone Raises $35 Million, Sees Customer Momentum for Intelligent Session Management

NexTone Communications raised $35 million in Series D funding for its distributed and intelligent session management solutions for VoIP and other real-time IP services.


NexTone, which has provided intelligent session management solutions to more than 370 carrier and enterprise customers worldwide, estimates its customers now carry over 50% of all long-distance VoIP traffic in the world.


NexTone expects that as service providers and enterprises embark on large-scale VoIP deployments, real-time IP session management will become critical for interconnecting VoIP and IP Multimedia Subsystems (IMS) networks.


The company said it has experienced almost 100 percent growth in its business in the past year, due in large part to global demand from carriers deploying VoIP services. In the first three quarters of 2005, NexTone has added more than 100 new customers in 21 countries worldwide, as well as new sales offices in Asia, Europe, and Latin America to support the company's explosive international growth.


The up-value round was led by One Equity Partners (OEP), a private equity affiliate of JPMorgan Chase & Co.; also participating are existing investors BCE Capital, Core Capital, Mid-Atlantic Venture Funds, and Safeguard Scientifics. The new funding brings NexTone's total financing to $67.5 million.
http://www.nextone.com







The
Evolution of Voice: The Network is the Switch


by
Dan Dearing
Carriers
have traditionally delivered voice services from a central office (CO) via
huge, expensive TDM switches that incorporate line cards that interface
with users, a controller card for switch intelligence, and a backplane for
intra-switch communications. VoIP changes all of that. Instead of a
monolithic TDM switch, VoIP employs smaller, less expensive equipment that
carriers and service providers can quickly and easily deploy throughout
the network, in essence, turning the network itself into a switch.

Hong Kong PCCW Deploys Juniper for Video/Broadband

PCCW, Hong Kong's incumbent carrier, has deployed Juniper Networks E-series Broadband Services Routers and SDX Service Deployment System to enable its IP-based video on demand (VoD) services. The Juniper Networks solution enables PCCW to dynamically allocate bandwidth for and assure the quality of service (QoS) of its now Broadband TV VoD service and its now.com.hk web-based streaming video service. Financial terms were not disclosed.


PCCW has deployed the E-series Broadband Services Routers at the edge of its IP network to aggregate broadband traffic, apply QoS policies and deliver unicast VoD sessions. The SDX-300 Service Deployment System works in conjunction with the E-series and the end-user's set-top box, enabling PCCW to deploy and account for individual VoD sessions. When a VoD session is initiated, the SDX signals the E-series router to adjust bandwidth allocations and apply the appropriate QoS policies, ensuring the quality of each customer's experience.
http://www.juniper.net
  • PCCW currently has over 450,000 subscribers for its "now Broadband TV" service.

Versatel Selects Juniper for Triple Play over DSL

Versatel has selected Juniper Networks routing platforms for its new broadband services network, which will deliver VoIP, broadband access, broadcast TV, video on demand, and televised live sporting events, such as national league soccer, over DSL. Versatel is deploying Juniper's E-, M- and T-series routing platforms across 21 locations. The equipment is installed, integrated and maintained by Telindus, Juniper's local partner. The M- and T-series deliver advanced IP/MPLS capabilities in the core, and the E-series Broadband Services Routers provide unicasting and subscriber management capabilities at the edge. Financial terms were not disclosed.
http://www.juniper.net

Juniper Offers Dynamic Bandwidth Allocation for IPTV

Juniper Networks announced a unique Dynamic Bandwidth Allocation capability for its E-series Broadband Services Router aimed at IPTV. Juniper also introduced its SDX Network Resource Manager for the E-, M- and T-series family of IP routing platforms. Both enhancements provide advanced capabilities for managing bandwidth between large numbers of subscribers and multiple sources of video content. As IPTV rollouts gain momentum, Juniper expects there will be at least 3 main sources of content: large number of broadcast TV channels originating at headend facilities; VOD from server farms and Internet-based video content from other parties.


Dynamic Bandwidth Allocation for the E-series Broadband Services Router enables service providers to flexibly distribute bandwidth between the services offered to an individual subscriber. The E-series flexibly and efficiently adjusts service bandwidth based on subscriber activity, which reduces operational complexity and expense. In contrast, other platforms require service providers to pre-provision bandwidth per service.


The Service Deployment System (SDX) is a customizable application for the E-, M- and T-series routers that enables service providers to rapidly create and deploy IP services to hundreds of thousands of subscribers. The Network Resource Manager is the newest SDX feature enhancement and provides end-to-end, policy-based management of video distribution to ensure efficient, quality delivery of service.






The SDX Network Resource Manager performs Call Admission Control (CAC) per video session request to assure the appropriate bandwidth is available to deliver the video stream with the required quality of service as specified by the studio and provider content distribution agreements.


Working with Juniper Networks E-, M- and T-series routers, the Network Resource Manager dynamically constructs Label Switched Paths (LSPs) from the video source to the network edge and automatically re-assigns allocated bandwidth for each video LSP based upon the utilization of the connection. In the event of an outage, the SDX Network Resource Manager can transparently re-route LSPs or acquire the video content from a secondary source without disrupting the viewing experience.
http://www.juniper.net
  • Juniper's announced Triple Play customers include KT, China Telecom, RingGold:, SiOL, Telefonica, FastWeb, and Shenandoah, among others.

SimplySurf to Deploy Nortel Wireless Mesh Around Ottawa

SimplySurf, which provide dialup, ADSL, web hosting, server co-location in Ottawa, is deploying a wireless mesh network from Nortel to deliver broadband services in rural communities throughout Ottawa. SimplySurf is initially offering wireless broadband service to more than 1,200 homes and businesses in the community of Dunrobin, a rural village northwest of downtown Ottawa. In addition to Dunrobin, SimplySurf plans to use Nortel Mobility Solutions and professional services to expand wireless broadband access in multiple rural communities throughout the Ottawa region over the next year. http://www.nortel.com
http://www.SimplySurf.net

Telefónica International Wholesale Deploys Acme Packet

Telefónica International Wholesale Services is deploying Acme Packet's Net-Net session border controllers to deliver its business voice-over-IP (VoIP) trunking services. Telefonica Wholesale manages all of Group Telefonica's voice, IP, data and capacity wholesale services worldwide. Its network extends more than 45,000 km across Europe, Latin America and the United States, providing access to 150 international voice carriers.


Telefonica Wholesale's VoIP services enable its carrier customers to trunk business voice traffic originating from enterprises or carrier circuit switches to optimum PSTN termination points-of-presence around the world. The enterprise voice traffic may be sourced from traditional TDM-based PBXs or IP PBX using H.323 or SIP. The services are commercially available this quarter - Q4, 2005.


Telefónica International Wholesale is using Acme Packet's Net-Net session border controllers to interconnect (peer) with its carrier customers. The equipment supports security functions including access control, network topology hiding and DoS protection against both signaling and media attacks and overloads. The admission control, QoS marking/mapping and QoS reporting features are imperative for compliance with both carrier and enterprise Service Level Agreements. To maximize service reach, the session border controllers mediate between private overlapping IP address spaces and dialing plans, providing basic, but critical, connectivity to both Telefonica Wholesale's customer carrier networks and their connected enterprises. Lastly, the Net-Net session border controllers are responsible for optimized, least-cost routing of VoIP traffic.
http://www.acmepacket.com
  • In April 2005, Acme Packet announced that Telefónica de España had selected its Net-Net session border controllers for its hosted business and residential VoIP offering throughout Spain.

White Rock Introduces OC-3/STM-1 to T1/E1 Multiplexer

White Rock Networks has expanded its optical transport product family to include its new "VLX840" OC-3/STM-1 to T1/E1 Multiplexer.

The VLX840 will provide additional DS1 capacity in conjunction with the VLX2006 OC-48 SONET-based Optical Access platform which supports OC-3/OC-12 drops, for a total package that delivers both electrical (DS1/DS3) and optical (OC-3/12 & FastE/GbE) services in a compact, power-efficient, carrier-class, environmentally hardened package.

With up to 84 T1s (63 E1s) terminated on an OC-3 (STM-1 or OC-3) the VLX840 provides mass termination of TDM signals for T1/E1 site expansion, intra-office transport of T1/E1s, wireless cell site interconnects, or backhaul of legacy DLCs. It can be configured for 1+1 or UPSR ring applications.
http://www.whiterock.com

Optical Internetworking Forum Works On Higher Density Electrical Interfaces

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) announced two new Physical and Link Layer Working Group (PLL WG) projects:

  • a Common Electrical Interface (CEI) 25 project, which will address electrical interfaces of 20 to 25+ Gbps for both chip-to-chip and backplane applications. The published CEI Implementation Agreement (IA) enables backplane interfaces to operate up to 11 Gbps. This is the first step in addressing the Ultra High Bandwidth requirements presented by the OIF¹s Physical Layer User Group at the Forum¹s third quarter meeting in July 2005.



  • an implementation agreement targeting 120 km reach lengths utilizing alternate signaling transmitter technology. This effort extends the work the OIF completed earlier this year in the published "Interoperability for Long Reach and Extended Reach 10 Gbps Transponders and Transceivers" document. The new implementation agreement will support ITU-T Study Group 15 work on future application codes. This technology will allow carriers the ability to leverage/extend the lifecycle of existing fiber and provide support for
    bandwidth-intensive applications such as video.



In addition, the OIF Board announced the following election results:

  • Joe Berthold (Ciena) was re-elected president;


  • Monica Lazer (AT&T) was re-elected to the board and named the
    treasurer/secretary


  • John McDonough (Cisco Systems) was re-named vice-president


  • Steve Joiner (Finisar) was re-named vice president of marketing


  • Hans-Martin Foisel (Deutsche Telekom) and Stephen Shew (Nortel) were newly elected to the Board of Directors.
http://www.oiforum.com

Motorola: Three Lessons from Early HSDPA Trials

Motorola published a list of three key findings from its HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) trials in Europe. The HSDPA trials focused on user experience and how service providers can ensure high customer satisfaction at the launch. Motorola's three key HSDPA findings include:

  • 1. Sufficient processing power needed to reduce latency


    HSDPA will provide high speed but can be prone to delays when using applications such as web browsing. These delays can be attributed to a mechanism known as "state switching". This effectively moves a user from a high to a low speed state based on user activity without the user being aware. When the user requests data, such as clicking a hyperlink for a web page, there can be delays of seconds as the radio network transitions back from a slow to a fast state. Users will not expect such delays for services marketed as "Mobile Broadband".


    There is a solution - avoid switching users down from a high to a low speed state regardless of user activity. As HSDPA enables radio resources to be dynamically shared between users (known as scheduling), the necessity to state switch should be reduced. However, scheduling requires intensive computer processing capabilities at the base station. Network operators should ensure that they have sufficient processing power at the base stations to schedule the highest possible number of calls at launch of the HSDPA service.


  • 2. Adopt key handset functionality for improved mobile performance


    The performance of HSDPA is heavily dependent on device or handset capability. A signal processing function known as an equaliser enhances performance when the user is moving. Initial trial results demonstrate an increase in data rates of as much as 40 percent for devices that support equalisation. Today only a few device manufacturers claim to have equaliser functionality.


  • 3. Video services need priority


    The trials have shown that video streaming performance degrades when a relatively modest number of users are active. As little as four active users are sufficient to cause video streaming to freeze if scheduling priorities are not set properly. To compensate for this, operators must actively prioritise video over other services or provide more capacity. Operators could defer video services on HSDPA to a later stage, but as video services consume a large amount of UMTS capacity they should be moved to HSDPA for improved efficiency. This will reduce the cost to deliver video services.


    To ensure a mobile broadband user experience Motorola recommends early introduction of Quality of Services features for video.
http://www.motorola.com/

Cable One Selects Level 3's VoIP Enhanced Local Service

Cable One, the cable broadcasting division of The Washington Post Company, selected Level 3's (3)VoIP Enhanced Local service. Cable One operates 52 cable systems serving 720,000 subscribers in 19 states.


Level 3's (3)VoIP Enhanced Local service includes network trunking, local numbers, local number portability, E-911, operator assistance, directory listings, and directory assistance.
http://www.level3.com
http://www.cableone.net

QUALCOMM Announces $2.5 Billion Stock Repurchase Program

QUALCOMM announced a new $2.5 billion stock repurchase program to replace its previous stock repurchase program, which had approximately $1.0 billion remaining availability.
http://www.qualcomm.com

Surewest Reaches 19,000 FTTH Customers, 2,000 IPTV

SureWest Communications, which serves the Sacramento, California region, reported strong broadband growth, with broadband revenues rising 30% yoy to $13.0 million.


Surewest said its broadband revenue growth was fueled by a 30% increase in subscribers on the fiber-to-the-premise network to more than 19,000 subscribers, and a 36% increase in marketable homes to 84,500 at September 30, 2005. In addition, DSL subscribers increased nearly 21% to more than 26,500 subscribers, including more than 2,000 video subscribers on the IPTV platform, more than double the number at the end of the third quarter of 2004.


Access line losses in the Telecom segment slowed in the third quarter of 2005 compared to the third quarter of 2004, indicative of a leveling off of access line erosion in the ILEC market during this period. Consolidated access lines experienced a gain of just less than 1%, resulting from strong access line additions in the CLEC market. Long distance lines remain strong, with a penetration rate under 40% and an 11% increase in presubscribed customer lines over the year earlier period.


Telecom segment revenues declined slightly to $34.3 million in the third quarter of 2005 compared to the third quarter of 2004, while operating expenses exclusive of depreciation and amortization dropped by 9% over the same period.


Wireless segment third quarter revenues increased 9% to $8.8 million from $8.1 million in 2004, while total operating expenses increased only by a negligible amount.


Overall, Surewest's consolidated operating revenues of $56.1 million represent a 5% increase over the same period a year ago, while operating expenses exclusive of depreciation and amortization dropped 10% compared to the third quarter of 2004. Income from operations rose to $4.8 million in the third quarter of 2005, from a loss of $1.5 million in the third quarter of 2004. Net income for the quarter totaled $2.0 million, or $0.13 per share, up from a loss of $1.6 million or an $0.11 loss per share in the third quarter of 2004.
http://www.surewest.com

Cablevision to Launch 30 Mbps and 50 Mbps Cable Modem Tiers in NY

Cablevision Systems, which serves some 3 million households in the New York metropolitan area, introduced two premium bandwidth tiers for its cable modem Internet service:

  • Optimum Online Boost, offering speeds of up to 30 Mbps downstream and 2 Mbps upstream,


  • Optimum Online Ultra, offering symmetrical data connections of up to 50 Mbps upstream and downstream


Cablevision's current Optimum Online service will also be upgraded from 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream to 15 Mbps downstream and 2 Mbps up at no additional cost.


Cablevision will begin to deploy the new speeds and service levels immediately, with the accelerated Optimum Online service and Optimum Online Boost available across the company's entire service area by the middle of 2006. Optimum Online Ultra is already available across the company's entire service area. Customers will be updated directly regarding availability in their specific areas.
http://www.cablevision.com
  • Cablevision had more than 1.5 million cable modem customers as of June 30, more than one third of the homes passed by its network. More than half of all Internet-connected homes in the company's service area access the Internet through Optimum Online.

NETGEAR's New Wireless MIMO Products Reach Up to 240 Mbps

NETGEAR unveiled its RangeMax 240 family of wireless networking products, claiming the ability to reach wireless speeds of 240 Mbps and the ability to eliminate dead spots.


The products leverage "True MIMO" Gen 3 technology from Airgo Networks, which uses spatial multiplexing to stream multiple data streams over a single channel, new "Adaptive Channel Expansion")technology for dynamically increasing performance to support bandwidth-intensive applications in a Wi-Fi friendly way, and automatic channel selection to provide the clearest and most available channel connections. True MIMO Gen 3 also offers full speed hardware accelerated encryption for the 128 bit AES, TKIP and WEP standards as well as quality of service mechanisms for video, voice and audio.


NETGEAR said the higher speeds enabled by MIMO would allow it to handle simultaneous bandwidth-intensive applications such as high-definition video, VoIP, streaming audio, and online gaming.


"Consumers are becoming increasingly interested in network-connected devices such as digital video recorders and digital audio/video players for sharing multimedia throughout the home. Add these to the rapidly growing array of portable digital music players, digital still and video cameras, and online game consoles and it quickly becomes apparent that network bandwidth is becoming a critical component of the networked home, especially in an expanding wireless environment," explained Mike Wolf, Director at InfoTrends Research Group.
http://www.netgear.com/http://www.airgonetworks.com/

Fujitsu to Demonstrate WiMAX Reference Design With Video Streaming

Fujitsu Microelectronics is demonstrating WiMAX-based video streaming, web browsing and high speed file transfers. Both the base station communicating and the subscriber station used in the demonstration were built using the Fujitsu WiMAX Reference Design kit. The kit incorporates all the required hardware and software features to enable designers to develop WiMAX-compliant base station and subscriber station equipment. It is now available for customers worldwide. The demonstration was help at this week's Global WiMAX Summit in Beining, China.http://us.fujitsu.com/micro/WiMAX

AT&T Wins $17 Million Networking Contract From Aegis

Aegis Communications, which provides transaction-based business process outsourcing, has awarded AT&T a $17 million networking services contract. The five-year agreement renews and expands a longstanding relationship between the two companies. AT&T will also provide its "ACCU-Ring" Network Access Service at Aegis' headquarters building in Texas.
http://www.att.com

Montreal's Videotron Files Suit Against Bell ExpressVu

Bell Canada announced that Videotron, Canada's third largest cable operator, amended its lawsuit originally filed against Bell ExpressVu on 31-August-2005, against Bell ExpressVu, which also provides digital television services.


The amendment increases the amount of damages claimed from $1 million to approximately $49.5 million for profits allegedly lost over the last three years, $314.7 million for alleged future losses and $10 million in punitive damages.


Videotron has alleged that Bell ExpressVu failed to adequately protect its system against signal piracy, thereby depriving it of potential subscribers.


Bell ExpressVu said it believes that it has strong defences to this lawsuit.
http://www.bell.ca

QUALCOMM Files GSM Patent Infringement Suit Against Nokia

QUALCOMM and its wholly owned subsidiary, SnapTrack, filed suit against Nokia in U.S. federal court in San Diego for infringement of eleven of QUALCOMM's patents and one patent owned by SnapTrack.


QUALCOMM's lawsuit includes patents that are essential for the manufacture or use of equipment that complies with the GSM, GPRS and EDGE cellular standards (the GSM family of standards) and other patents. QUALCOMM's complaint states that Nokia is infringing QUALCOMM's patents by making or selling products in the United States that comply with the GSM family of standards.


QUALCOMM said the evolution of GSM -- first GPRS and later EDGE -- leveraged patented innovations developed by QUALCOMM originally for use in CDMA systems to: achieve higher data rates, increase spectral efficiency, enhance capacity, improve resistance to interference, permit access to packet switched networks, and facilitate multimedia distribution.


Six of the patents in QUALCOMM's complaint against Nokia were also asserted in the complaint that QUALCOMM filed against Broadcom Corporation on July 11, 2005.


"We have been discussing a number of issues with Nokia for some time, including the fact that we have essential GSM patents for which Nokia is not licensed, and we are disappointed that this has resulted in litigation," said Louis M. Lupin, senior vice president and general counsel of QUALCOMM.


In response, Nokia issued a statement saying it had yet to see the complaint. Nokia also said that QUALCOMM had yet to engage in any licensing negotiations concerning these matters: "With respect to the patents alleged to be essential to the GSM/GPRS/EDGE standards, QUALCOMM has a duty to license those patents on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. QUALCOMM has not provided Nokia with any proposed terms for a license in compliance with its obligations."http://www.qualcomm.com
http://www.nokida.com
  • Last week, Broadcom, Ericsson, NEC, Nokia, Panasonic Mobile Communications and Texas Instruments announced that have each filed complaints to the European Commission requesting that it investigate anti-competitive conduct by Qualcomm in the licensing of essential patents for 3G mobile technology.


    The companies state that QUALCOMM is violating EU competition law and failing to meet the commitments Qualcomm made to international standard bodies around the world that it would license its technology on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.

TiVo and Yahoo! Offer Online Schedueling

TiVo's online scheduling features will be offered on Yahoo! TV under a partnership announced by the firms. Yahoo! TV users are now able to request, via TiVo's scheduling technology, recordings of their favorite TV shows on their TiVo Series2 devices from anywhere they access Yahoo!.


In the coming months, TiVo and Yahoo! will also make some Yahoo! services, including photos, traffic, and weather available as part of the TiVo service.


Yahoo! TV offers a variety of entertainment information, such as show times, program descriptions and cast photographs, as well as exclusive content from partners like "Entertainment Tonight" and Mark Burnett Productions, which produces "The Apprentice."http://www.yahoo.com
http://www.tivo.com
  • As of 31-July-2005, TiVo had 3.6 million subscribers, up by 254,000 in its latest fiscal quarter.

Identity Engines Unveils Enterprise ID Management Appliance

Identity Engines, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, introduced enterprise-grade appliance designed to provide centrally-managed network identity management to ensure that only authorized users are granted access to the network and that a user's activities are consistent with their role in the organization.

The appliance uses widely-supported protocols, such as RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service) and 802.1x., and tightly integrates with common identity stores such as Microsoft's Active Directory as well as popular LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) directories from enterprise vendors like Sun Microsystems and Novell. In addition to integrating with all vendor equipment and protocols used in the enterprise network, Ignition addresses challenges IT administrators face in three key areas:

  • Directory Complexity -- Ignition simplifies the management of the many diverse data stores found in today's enterprise by creating a centralized control point. The platform also quickly analyzes user attributes (group membership, roles), session context (time of day, device information), and location to make a fast and accurate policy decision for each user accessing the corporate network, whether the user is an employee, customer, partner, or unregistered guest.


  • Network Complexity -- Ignition manages the security of increasingly sophisticated enterprise networks which include wired, wireless, and remote connectivity, and interoperates with a variety of networking technologies such as switches, routers, wireless access points, WLAN switches, and VPN concentrators.


  • Organizational Complexity -- Ignition offers centralized policy management easing the burden on IT caused by network and security needs associated with reorganizing, hiring, merging, downsizing, and outsourcing. Its centralized policy management enables IT to quickly add, provision and manage a user's access within minutes.



The Ignition Model 3000E appliance is available now with an entry-level price of US$15,000.
http://www.idengines.com/products

See also