Monday, November 14, 2005

Cisco Unveils its Metro Wireless Mesh Solution

Cisco Systems unveiled its intelligent wireless "mesh" solution for metro-scale deployments.

Cisco mesh solution uses an Adaptive Wireless Path Protocol that enables a remote access point (AP) to dynamically select the best data path among other APs within the mesh coverage area. This provides greater data resiliency to radio frequency (RF) interference, and helps to ensure optimal network capacity. As new access points are added to expand the network, each AP dynamically adjusts data routing schemes for maximum efficiency.

Cisco is introducing a new access point -- the Cisco Aironet 1500 Series -- purpose built for large-scale deployments. The design allows it to be deployed anywhere - rooftops, light posts, power poles -- that has a source of power. The product features a "zero-configuration" deployment capability so it configure itself to operate within a mesh network. This capability allows it to "self-heal" if power should go down or some other interruption occurs. Additionally, the 1500 Series utilizes two radios for maximum data integrity and throughput. With one radio dedicated to AP-to-AP communications, the other radio is free to use all available data channels while minimizing the chances of RF interference. Because of this dual-radio design, the APs can segment the wireless network for different types of user types, such as for police, fire, municipal services, etc. The new 1500 Series provide hardware-based Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption between nodes, and are Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2), (WPA), and Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) compliant, which culminates in a hardened, end-to-end Cisco unified wireless architecture.

Cisco's architecture also uses a Wireless Control System (WCS), which provides the scalable management, security, and supporting tools to manage a mesh network. Device configuration, security policies and RF parameters are managed, while traffic statistics, link characteristics and client information are available to network administrators.

HP and IBM are working with Cisco on metro scale deployments.

Cisco also announced several other additions to its wireless networking portfolio, including the Cisco Wireless Service Module (WiSM) for the Catalyst 6500 Series and the Cisco Wireless LAN Controller Module for the Integrated Services Router (ISR) family.

The Cisco Wireless Services Module (WiSM) is a network adapter card that operates within a Catalyst 6500 Series switch. Each Catalyst 6500 series switch with the Wireless Services Module can centrally control and manage up to 1,500 lightweight access points (APs) per chassis, with each module supporting 300 APs. This solution also supports up to 3,600 APs per roaming domain, clustering across modules, non-blocking and high-availability performance, zero-touch AP configuration for large-scale deployments and enhanced wireless LAN intrusion prevention capabilities.

The new Cisco Wireless LAN Controller Module builds upon Cisco's popular Integrated Services Router (ISR) solutions and provides enhanced security features, such as wireless intrusion protection in an easy-to-use module. It supports up to six lightweight APs, and with its zero-touch capabilities, it automatically handles AP configuration, monitoring and management.

Telstra Selects Alcatel, Ericsson and Cisco for Network Transformation

Telstra announced a Network Transformation Project that will migrate its Australian voice and broadband access networks into a single IP-based infrastructure. The carrier aims to have 80% of its Internet customers on broadband in three years (today 50% are on broadband).

CAPEX plans for the next generation IP network call for an investment of more than A$10 billion over five years, of which A$2-3 billion is incremental over existing plans, with the IP core in place by the end of 2007.

Telstra has selected three strategic vendors for this multiyear project:

Alcatel will provide network design and integration, product supply, deployment, maintenance and on-going support, in relation to broadband access, Ethernet aggregation, fixed next generation voice and network integration. More specifically, Alcatel will provide Telstra with IP DSLAMs, Fibre to the Node (FTTN) and Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) solutions, Optical Ethernet Aggregation, NGN Softswitches and associated Media Gateways.

Alcatel will also create a Hosted Integration Centre, which will support integration testing and introduction of technology into Telstra's network. The aim of the centre is to provide a single facility to support product testing, trials and customer demonstrations. Telstra and Alcatel have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding under which they will negotiate formal agreements to reflect their strategic partnership. The proposed five-year agreement is worth AUS$3.5 billion (EUR 2.18 billion or USD 2.55 billion).

Ericsson will provide a 3G city-to-country mobile network strategy based on WCDMA 850 MHz. Ericsson will provide a broad range of services including design, construction, support and maintenance services and equipment for its 3G core and radio access network infrastructure. The new national network builds on the existing agreement where Ericsson is upgrading Telstra's GSM network to 3G/WCDMA, supplying softswitch core and radio access network equipment, including HSDPA and network rollout services. The companies are negotiating a formal agreement.

Cisco Systems will provide an IP core network. Specifically, Telstra will deploy the Cisco carrier routing system (CRS-1) to support a full range of services to all sectors of the Australian market, including supporting IP Core transit for Ethernet services for business customers and Triple Play consumer services.

Telstra's Network Transformation Project coincides with a larger strategic plan to reorganize the company. This plans calls for:

  • Reducing the number of Telstra's 52,000 full time equivalent (FTE) positions by between 6,000 and 8,000 over three years and 10,000 over five years

  • Introducing a A$200 million field staff training program to provide Telstra people with the skills in building, running and maintaining next generation networks>/li>

  • Cutting costs by simplifying processes and systems

  • Cut the number of different network platforms from about 330 by 60 % within three years.

  • Cut the number of business and operational support systems from about 1200 by 75% in three years.

Telstra issued new financial projection based on its plans.
  • In June 2005, Telstra named Solomon (Sol) Trujillo as its new CEO, replacing Dr Ziggy Switkowski. Trujillo was previously a nonexecutive Director and then CEO of Orange based in London, one of the largest mobile companies in Europe. Earlier, he spent 26 years with US West Inc, including serving as its Chairman, CEO and President for 5 years. Trujillo left US West in June 2000, following the merger with Qwest Communications.

Nokia and T-Mobile Test HSDPA in Europe

Nokia and T-Mobile completed High Speed Downlink Data Packet Access (HSDPA) calls in T-Mobile's live network in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany. The solutions will now be used to further progress testing with T-Mobile prior to commercial launches.

The Nokia HSDPA solution is a software upgrade to the WCDMA 3G network that offers end users significantly faster download speeds - up to 1.8 Mbps in the first phase, compared to 384 kbps on standard WCDMA 3G networks.

Nokia already has over 20 HSDPA contracts, 7 of which have been disclosed.

Huawei Selects Agere's Network Processor for

Huawei Technologies is using Agere's network processors in its converged, next-generation, multiservice, multiprotocol wireless infrastructure equipment. Specifically, Huawei is employing Agere's Advanced PayloadPlus APP300 network processor and LLP (Link Layer Processor) device to build wireless platforms that integrate ATM and IP.

By mid-2005, Huawei had won 11 Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) business contracts and 10 CDMA2000 1xEV-DO business contracts. Its 3G solutions have been deployed in countries and regions such as the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand.

Ikanos Unveils Multi-Mode DSL -- VDSL2, VDSL, ADSL2+, and ADSL

Ikanos Communications announced multi-mode VDSL2, VDSL, ADSL2+, and ADSL support on its SmartLeap silicon platform, becoming the first VDSL supplier to announce support for all commonly-deployed DSL services on a single line card. Ikanos will offer the ability to support ADSL, ADSL2+, VDSL, or VDSL2 on a per-port basis.

Multi-mode DSL capability will enable network equipment manufacturers to offer VDSL2 line cards that support new as well as legacy DSL services. With the availability of multi-mode VDSL2/VDSL/ADSL2+/ADSL solutions, carriers can deploy VDSL2-capable line cards from nodes, remote terminals or central offices without interrupting ADSL or ADSL2+ service to existing customers.

Sea Launch Signs With DIRECTV for Launch in 2007

DIRECTV selected Sea Launch for a mission scheduled in early 2007. The contract includes an option for an additional launch. The DIRECTV spacecraft, with a mass of about 6,080 kg, is one of three Boeing 702 model spacecraft DIRECTV has ordered from Boeing Satellite Systems and is among the largest and most powerful Ka-band satellites ever built. The new satellite will use state-of-the-art video compression technology to deliver national high-definition (HD) programming and will be capable of supporting spot beams carrying local HD broadcast channels in all 50 states.

GUBA Offers Usenet-to-iPod Video Download Service

GUBA began offering its subscribers the capability to watch videos from Usenet, automatically transcode those videos directly into the correct iPod video format and to seamlessly download them into itunes) to sync with the iPod. The company said there are at least 25,000 Usenet video files available for download. GUBA said it is a copyright-friendly service, and will not index feature films or MP3s.

Usenet is the global electronic bulletin board that predates the World Wide Web.

Memphis Networx Deploys Overture's Multiservice Switch

Memphis Networx, which serves the Memphis area, has completed its second year of Ethernet service deployments using the Overture Networks ISG 5000 multiservice switch. The ISG 5000, a 4-slot chassis also provides Memphis Networx with the ability to light dark fiber in a variety of ways, including 10/100 Ethernet, 100Base-FX, Gigabit Ethernet, OC-3 and OC-12.

SingTel Adds International Ethernet Service

Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) began offering a new international Ethernet service for its global corporate customers. The ConnectPlus E-Line service offers point-to-point connectivity between two or more countries. Customers can choose speeds between 4Mbps and 16Mbps (in steps of 2Mbps), as well as 50Mbps and 100Mbps for their global WAN.

This service, which runs on SingTel's managed ConnectPlus network and comes with Service Level Guarantees, is suitable for companies with multiple sites in one or more countries.

ConnectPlus E-Line will initially be available between Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, the United Kingdom and United States, countries where domestic Ethernet coverage has already been established. The service will be available in other countries, including India, in the first half of next year. SingTel has been offering Metro Ethernet service in Singapore since 2004.

KT Launches Commercial WiBro Services in Korea

KT launched its WiBro personal broadband service in Korea. Wireless Broadband Internet (WiBro) is a wireless TPS (Media + Communication + Data) based personal Internet service that allows users to use media, communication and data services even while moving in a vehicle at rates up to 1 Mbps.

During this week's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation's (APEC) annual event in Busan, Korea., KT is demonstrating how its version of mobile WiMAX technology can be used for the real-time delivery of multimedia-rich applications to mobile handsets. The company is hosting a series of live demonstrations and events around the theme "Wonder-full life by KT WiBro." Applications include:

  • Wonder-Eye, a customized multimedia push and demand service that uses a Dynamic Communication Convergence (DCC) platform based on Internet Protocol Multimedia Subsystem (IMS).

  • Wonder-Media, which includes Live TV and VOD, P2P for transfer of video files, and P2W for video BBS.

  • Wonder-Message, a wire & wireless convergence messenger service

  • Wonder-Phone, mobile VoIP that includes 1:1 video phone service, multipoint video conference service and data sharing service.

  • Wonder-Net, a wireless Internet service,

  • Wonder-Tour, which provides a virtual 3D guide around the APEC meeting facilities.

KT recently joined the WiMAX Forum board of directors and is represented by Jong-Seog Koh, Ph.D., vice president of KT's Mobile Internet Business Group. KT is working within the WiMAX Forum Certification Working Group so the products based upon WiBro services will be one of the first Mobile WiMAX Certified products released in late 2006.

China Telecom Selects UTStarcom's mVision for IPTV Launch in Shanghai

China Telecom is deploying UTStarcom's mVision end-to-end IPTV system to support its new IPTV service in China to be launched by the end of the year. The first official service launch of up to 5,000 subscribers is scheduled to be in Shanghai. Financial terms were not disclosed, although UTStarcom said it did not expect revenue associated with this agreement to be meaningful in the near term.

The launch of the commercial service in Shanghai is the culmination of an integrated commercial trial of IPTV by China Telecom in five provinces throughout China.

China Telecom is partnering with Shanghai Media Group (SMG), a leading multimedia television content provider, to offer subscribers a service package of live broadcast television and video-on-demand. additionally, the service is also designed to offer subscribers "time-shift" capabilities -- the ability to pause and rewind live television, as well as an expansive amount of storage to record any program and watch on each subscriber's own schedule.

UTStarcom's mVision system is a unicast/multicast distributed system that scales to support millions of users and hundreds of thousands of content hours. It supports services such as broadcast TV, Network PVR (n-PVR), Video on Demand (VoD), and Near Video on Demand (NVoD).
  • In Japan, Softbank BB has deployed UTStarcom's mVision end-to-end IPTV system to support its new "BBTV" IPTV service, which launched on July 1. The service initially offers subscribers 28 channels of live broadcast television and 5,200 movies on demand. Softbank BB's triple play service will be available in several service tiers, with pricing starting at 4540 Yen, approximately US$40.00 per month.

Key components of UTStarcom's mVision include:

  • a Content Engine that provides live encoding, transcoding and transrating of analog or digital input streams into MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Windows Media 9 video formats and MP2, MP3, AAC, WMA, AC-3 audio formats. Variable bit-rate encoding from 22.5Kbps to 15Mbps enables operators to optimize video quality based on available bandwidth.

  • a MediaSwitch that leverages a chassis-based cluster architecture to scale with the number of subscribers and amount of storage required. The NEBS-compliant MediaSwitch resides in the central office and can serve multiple remote IP DSLAMs or PONs. The platform supports a density of 22,800 subscribers per telco rack. The storage capacity is rated at 100,000 hours of programming content per rack.

  • a new Set-Top-Box that is codec upgradeable via software push. It initially includes support for WM9,VC9, H.264 Codecs. The console delivers services such as real-time and time-shifted television, VoD, video gaming, and video conferencing. UTStarcom plans to continue to add new functions such as WiFi capability to the boxes in the future. An Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) and HTML embedded browser are included.

  • a carrier-class OSS software suite that reduces operating costs by handling media asset management, channel management and scheduling, billing, security and conditional access, system management, and other management functions. A secure data link ensures the privacy of user data. The suite also allows customers to view their accounts, change PIN numbers on their TV sets by using their remote control.

GSM Claims 78% Global Market Share, 1.6 Billion GSM Users

The GSM family of wireless technologies -- GSM, GPRS, EDGE and UMTS/HSDPA -- added more than 112 million new customers in Q3 2005, increasing its global market share to 77.6% with more than 1.6 billion customers, according to 3G Americas.

3G Americas notes that with 381 million customer additions since Q3 2004, GSM added more new customers in the one-year period than the entire customer base of any other mobile digital technology. Some additional highlights:

  • The GSM family of technologies is used by more than 670 mobile wireless service providers in 212 countries and territories

  • The Western hemisphere added more than 84.5 million new GSM customers between Q3 2004 and Q3 2005.

  • GSM claims a 41% market share in the Americas and an annual growth rate of 90%.

  • GSM holds a 47% market share in the Latin American region, followed by TDMA with 26% and CDMA with 24.7%. The top five GSM markets in the region as of September 2005 were Brazil with 38.1 million GSM customers, followed by Mexico (22.6 million), Colombia (10.8 million), Argentina (7.5 million) and Chile (6.1 million).

  • In the United States and Canada, the new customers added for GSM over a one-year period through Q3 2005 totaled 26 million versus the market leader, CDMA, which added 14.9 million new customers.

  • More than 100 operators in 65 countries have launched commercial EDGE networks, with another 83 networks in various deployment stages. These operators represent more than 870 million customers within their current subscriber base. Additionally, UMTS is demonstrating even more growth than GSM at the same point of maturation.

  • At the end of Q3 2004, there were 11 million UMTS customers worldwide, nearly 17 million at the start of this year, and UMTS customers have more than doubled to nearly 35 million at the end of Q3 2005 compared to more than 17 million CDMA 1xEV-DO according to the UMTS Forum (as of September 6).

  • To date, there are 92 operators offering commercial UMTS service around the world, with another 70 operators either pre-commercial, in deployment, or with planned UMTS networks. This makes UMTS the leading 3G technology today based on the number of operators, the number of customers and the anticipated market potential due to operator commitments.

Data is based on figures from Informa Telecoms & Media World Cellular Information Service (WCIS).

Intel Establishes $50 Million Venture Fund for Middle East and Turkey;

Intel has established a US$50 million venture capital fund to invest in technology companies developing innovative hardware, software and services in the region covering the Middle East and Turkey.

The fund will seek to invest in companies that complement Intel's technology and platform initiatives, and seeks to further build out the IT and Internet infrastructure in the region.

Intel Capital will focus on opportunities in hardware, services (including broadband infrastructure and mobile wireless solutions using WiMAX technology), local content developers/providers, digital health solutions, IT service providers and software solutions.

Intrado Integrates Acme Packet Session Border Controllers

Intrado is using Acme Packet's Net-Net session border controllers to securely deliver VoIP 9-1-1 calls into the 9-1-1 network. In delivering this service, Acme Packet Net-Net session border controllers (SBC) connect VoIP providers to Intrado's IP network. The SBCs protect Intrado's E9-1-1 service infrastructure, assuring availability and responsiveness. The Acme equipment handles security functions, including access control, topology hiding and DoS protection against both signaling and media attacks and overloads.

MPEG LA Issues Expanded AVC Patent Portfolio License

MPEG LA, which is the organization that provides one-stop technology patent licensing, issued a revised AVC Patent Portfolio License expanding coverage to include the AVC Fidelity Range Extensions (FRExt/AVC), in addition to the other AVC/H.264 profiles currently included in the AVC/H.264 video standard (ITU-T Rec. H.264, March 2005).

The current royalty rates that apply to products which use one or more AVC profiles also apply to products that use FRExt/AVC.

The revised AVC Patent Portfolio License, which will be offered to all new as well as current licensees, is available online.

The AVC Patent Portfolio License is offered for the convenience of AVC users enabling them to obtain coverage under essential patents owned by multiple patent holders in a single license as an alternative to negotiating separate licenses.

The AVC Patent Portfolio License currently includes essential patents owned by Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI); France Telecom, societe anonyme; Fujitsu Limited; Hitachi; Koninklijke Philips Electronics; LG Electronics; Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., ; Microsoft; Mitsubishi Electric Corporation; Robert Bosch; Samsung Electronics Co.; Sedna Patent Services; Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha; Siemens; Sony; The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York; Toshiba; and Victor Company of Japan, Ltd.

Force10 Acquires MetaNetworks for 10 Gbps Intrusion Detection

Force10 Networks has acquired MetaNetworks, a start-up developing line-rate 10 Gigabit intrusion detection and prevention technology, for an undisclosed sum.

The deal combines Force10's high performance Ethernet switch/router with the industry's only commercially available line-rate 10 Gigabit intrusion prevention system for securing high performance networks against malicious traffic and attacks.

High performance intrusion detection and prevention technology is a flexible inline network security mechanism designed to detect malicious packets and proactively stop intrusions by blocking the offending traffic. Traditional intrusion detection and prevention systems lack the processing power to inspect traffic at line-rate 10 Gigabit speeds, forcing network managers to sacrifice performance for security. The integration of MetaNetworks' technology brings Force10 the ability to detect and prevent network intrusions without impacting performance, even in line-rate 10 Gigabit Ethernet networks.

Force10's acquisition of MetaNetworks also brings with it a customer base of advanced research networks operated by U.S. government organizations.
  • Metanetworks Inc. was founded by Livio Ricciulli in November 1999. Prior to founding Metanetworks, Livio was a senior research scientist at SRI International where he led a number of research contracts for the U.S. Government (DARPA, NSA, NSF, ONR). Ricciulli also founded Reactive Network Solutions, which developed an industry-leading network anomaly detection engine to stop denial-of-service attacks.

  • Metanetworks is based in San Jose, California.