Monday, December 5, 2005

Yahoo! Acquires for Social Bookmarking

Yahoo! has acquired, which provides a social bookmarking model for web users. is essentially a collection of favorite bookmarks that are shared on the web. By tagging web content with one-word descriptors, users of the service makes it easier for others to find the content. Financial terms are not disclosed. is privately-held and based in New York City. It has received seed financing from Union Square Ventures,, BV Capital, Marc Andreessen, Esther Dyson, Seth Goldstein, Josh Koppelman, Howard Morgan, Tim O'Reilly, and Bob Young.

Pactolus and Convedia Collaborate on IMS

Pactolus Communications Software , a developer of Class 4/5 SIP-based IP voice services, and Convedia, a supplier of IP media servers, announced a partnership to accelerate and simplify service provider deployment of SIP-based, IMS-compliant services. The targets media-rich services and features for applications based on Pactolus' RapidFLEX Service Creation Environment and its SIPware Carrier Services Suite, leveraging Convedia's IP multimedia processing.

The companies said they aim to simplify both media-rich feature innovation and the delivery of services of all types of fixed and mobile network topologies. The emerging IMS cross-network service model fosters subscriber adoption of advanced calling features, customizations, unified contact databases and calling groups, which extends the usability of carrier services and promotes subscriber loyalty. The Pactolus/Convedia partnership will help carriers integrate rich media from multiple globally-distributed sources into "bread and butter" applications, such as conferencing and collaboration, and emerging high-growth entertainment applications.

The two companies' solutions are already deployed together in numerous service provider networks, such as Primus Canada.

Pactolus has implemented IMS across its RapidFLEX Service Delivery Platform and SIPware Services using an open software environment that includes SIP, SOAP, XML, HTTP and other IP-based technologies in an extensible framework. IMS extensions have been added using the Pactolus RapidFLEX SDK, allowing the current software environment to embrace new protocols required for IMS support such as DIAMETER.

Convedia media servers deliver the MRFP media processing essential for a broad range of converged IMS services including push-to-talk, ringback tones, mobile video services, unified messaging, speech controlled services, and multimedia conferencing. Mobile application developers can integrate Convedia's broad MRFP capabilities into their IMS solutions using SIP, H.248, XML or other standards-based control protocols.

Yahoo! to Add Phone In/Out to Messenger

Yahoo! is expected to launch "Phone In" and "Phone Out" capabilities as part of its Messenger IM service. The service is service is expected to offer low, per-minute, prepaid pricing for calls to/from the PSTN. It is also expected to integrate with Yahoo!'s voice mail service.
  • In June 2005, Yahoo! acquired DialPad, a provider of Internet Telephony services. Financial terms were not disclosed. At the time, Yahoo! said it planned on leveraging Dialpad's PSTN calling capabilities to add to Yahoo! Messenger's recently enhanced PC-to-PC voice calling offering.

Inmarsat Launches Broadband Global Area Network

Inmarsat launched its Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN), a satellite-based mobile IP service that delivers Internet and intranet content and solutions, video-on-demand, videoconferencing, fax, e-mail, phone and LAN access at speeds of up to 492 kbps. There is an option for guaranteed data rates up to 256 kbps.

The service is delivered using a pair of new Inmarsat-4 satellites -- which are among the largest and most advanced commercial communications spacecraft ever launched. BGAN is initially available across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Service to the Americas is expected to be available in Q2 2006. The two satellites will deliver seamless broadband coverage across 85% of the world's landmass and be available to 98% of the world's population.

BGAN satellite terminals are about half the size of a laptop and can be connected using wired or wireless connections, including Bluetooth and 802.11b.

BGAN terminals and airtime are being sold through selected Inmarsat Distribution Partners (DPs). These include BT, France Telecom, KDDI (Japan), MCN (China), MVS (USA), SingTel, Stratos (USA), Telenor Satellite Services (Norway and USA), and Xantic (Australia and the Netherlands).
  • In November 2005, the Inmarsat-4 communications satellite was successfully launched in geosynchronous transfer orbit by a Zenit-3SL rocket from the Sea Launch Odyssey platform in the Pacific. Inmarsat-4 is among the largest communications satellites ever launched -- 5,958 kg (13,108 lb). It is designed to provide high-speed mobile service to people throughout the Americas during its 13-year service life. It is one in a series of satellites designed to support the Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN). One of a family of three similar spacecraft, this Inmarsat-4 F2 satellite carries a single global beam that covers up to a third of the Earth's surface, 19 wide spot beams and 228 narrow spot beams. It has a total end-of-life power of 13kW.

  • The first Inmarsat-4 was launched in March 2005 and is already in commercial service above the Indian Ocean. Together, the two I-4 satellites will be able to deliver Inmarsat's new Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) service to 85% of the world's landmass.

  • Inmarsat's I-4 satellites are built by EADS Astrium and are part of an eight-year, US$1.5 billion development of Inmarsat's next-generation satellite network.

Charter Expands Deployment of TANDBERG's OpenStream for VOD

Charter Communications has expanded its deployment of the TANDBERG Television OpenStream Digital Services platform to support its national rollout of digital on-demand services. Charter has now deployed OpenStream in multiple markets within seven states, including Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin with multiple server vendors, billing systems, and set-top box manufacturers.

Zhone Introduces VDSL2 CPE and Line Card

Zhone Technologies introduced its new VDSL2 customer premise equipment and VDSL2 line card for its Multi-Access Line Concentrator (MALC) Next-Generation Broadband Loop Carrier.

Zhone is using Conexant's VDSL2 CPE and CO chipsets.

As part of the new technology announcement, Zhone is also introducing a new VDSL2 addition to its comprehensive line of customer premise equipment. Key features include:

  • Compliant with ITU-T VDSL2/G.993.2, VDSL/G.993.1 ITU-T, ANSI T1-424, ETSI TS 101 270, and China MII VDSL standards

  • Long-reach support with US0 Band

  • Fully integrated ATM/PTM support

  • DSP integrates interleave memory required by high speed video applications

  • Programmable transmit power levels and PSD masks

  • Maximizes flexibility of deployment scenarios from CO, remote terminal or MxU

Spirent Federal and Innofone Establish IPv6 Test Center in No. Virginia

Spirent Federal and v6 Transition, a training and services division of, will establish an IPv6 test center in Northern Virginia.

The IPv6 Test Center will provide U.S. Government agencies and their prime contractors, who are acting on guidance from the Office and Management and Budget (OMB) to be IPv6 capable by June 2008, with an easy solution and convenient site to test networks and products for IPv6 capability. On completion, the IPv6 Test Center will be a fully operational IPv6 test facility; it will provide customers with state-of-the-art IPv6 test equipment supported by engineers who are experienced in IPv6 testing and have the security clearances necessary to assist on both classified and unclassified requirements.

Sylantro Appoints VP of Marketing

Sylantro Systems named Ronald Raffensperger as Senior Vice President of Marketing. He joins Sylantro after 30 years in product management and marketing positions in the telecom industry, most recently at Network Focus. He has also held senior positions at Siemens, ROLM/IBM, Telebit Corporation and General Telephone.

Juniper Supplies M-series Routers to Sri Lanka Telecom

Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has deployed Juniper Networks M-series multiservice routers to enhance its network and to provide advanced IP services to SLT's premium and corporate customers. The Juniper Networks M-series has replaced the legacy gateway routers in SLT's network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

SS8 Develops Lawful Intercept For IMS

SS8 Networks announced the ability to provide Lawful Intercept capabilities for emerging IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) based networks.

SS8 Networks said its Xcipio architecture leverages SIP to now provide equivalent LI capabilities in both circuit-switched and IMS networks. In the IMS-based network, Xcipio receives SIP signaling traffic from the CSCF (Call Session Control Function) node and both SIP signaling and RTP media traffic from the SBC (Session Border Controller). Xcipio interprets the messages, correlates them with a specific warrant and sends the SIP signaling and RTP voice streams to the collection function nodes at law enforcement agencies (per ANSI T1.678 protocol). Xcipio can simultaneously receive traffic from several CSCF nodes in a network thereby reducing operational complexities for the service provider.

"As service providers deploy IMS-based networks, and start implementing the converged wireline/wireless services for residential and commercial customers, they need solutions that enable them to comply with federal mandates for security, accountability and authentication," said Dr. Cemal Dikmen, General Manager of SS8 Networks' Lawful Intercept business.

Eagle Broadband Appoints GM for IPTV

Eagle Broadband announced the appointment of Brian Morrow as General Manager, IPTV Solutions, which includes the company's core IPTVComplete and MediaPro IP set-top box product lines. Morrow joins Eagle from geographic information systems software and services firm Analytical Surveys, where he was President and Chief Operating Officer.

Limelight Delivers Content for Xbox 360

Limelight Networks is serving as the Content Delivery Network for Microsoft's just-launched Xbox 360 video game system and Xbox Live, the online gaming service for the Xbox video game system from Microsoft now included with every system.

Limelight is delivering trailers and game demo for Xbox Live audiences.
  • The Limelight Content Delivery Network provides global distributed delivery of rich, high-bandwidth media. Massive global distributed peering and direct broadband network connectivity ensure high performance delivery. Limelight has massive commercial and private peering with other Internet networks, with both 10 GigE and GigE interconnections. Limelight connects directly to many of the top end-user broadband access networks.

Verizon Wireless Carries CBS TV Shows

The Verizon Wireless V CAST service will begin carrying video content from CBS, including CBS News, "CSI," "Survivor," David Letterman and "Entertainment Tonight."

This marks CBS's first venture presenting its content on cell phones.

Verizon Relocates Corporate Headquarters in Lower Manhattan

Verizon Communications relocated its corporate headquarters to 140 West St. in Lower Manhattan.

During the September 11 attacks, the former 7 World Trade Center building collapsed against the south and east sides of 140 West St., the 32-floor structure built in 1926 as the headquarters for New York Telephone. The Art Deco building was riddled with gaping holes and filled with debris and water. Verizon spent four years carefully restoring the original architectural elements and upgrading the building's systems and amenities. The company is relocating its headquarters from 1095 Avenue of the Americas to the Lower Manhattan location.

TI Updates Q4 Outlook

Texas Instruments (TI) narrowed its expected ranges for revenue and earnings per share (EPS) for Q4 200, saying it sees strong demand across a broad range of its Semiconductor products. The company's expectations for revenue are:

  • Total revenue between $3.560 billion and $3.705 billion, compared with the prior range of $3.425 billion to $3.715 billion;

  • Semiconductor revenue between $3.200 billion and $3.325 billion,
    compared with the prior range of $3.075 billion to $3.325 billion;

  • Sensors & Controls revenue between $295 million and $305 million,
    compared with the prior range of $290 million to $310 million; and

  • Educational & Productivity Solutions revenue between $65 million and $75 million, compared with the prior range of $60 million to $80 million.

TI expects EPS between $0.38 and $0.40, compared with the previous range of $0.36 to $0.40.

NTT America Offers IPv6 Managed Firewall Service with Virtela

NTT America began offering an IPv6 managed security service in partnership with Virtela.

The IntelliSecurity IPv6-enabled Managed Firewall is fully managed and monitored on a 24/7 basis by Virtela, where customers may access the firewall service via the NTT Security Zone portal, also powered by Virtela.

The companies said the inherent security features of IPv6, such as mandated use of IPsec, coupled with an IPv6 managed firewall service, will provide IPv6 users with a higher level of security throughout their organization from hackers and other Internet-related threats. NTT America customers using the new IntelliSecurity IPv6 Managed Firewall solution also benefit from the following features:

  • Round-the-clock monitoring. Virtela fully manages the firewall service and provides 24/7/365 monitoring.

  • No additional hardware required. For customers without an IPv6-capable router, the firewall performs this function.

  • Customer portal. Customers have a unique view inside their managed
    firewall solution with the NTT Security Zone portal, which also allows users to file tickets and manage company information.

The new IPv6 security-offering complements NTT America's existing suite of managed IPv6 services.

NTT America and Virtela also offer a range of managed network VPN and security services.

Verizon Offers Encrypted Email with Echoworx

Verizon Online began offering an email encryption service for small businesses as a complement to its Internet access, e-mail and security services.

Verizon Secure Mail is powered by Echoworx encrypted e-mail software. Verizon is the first national Internet service provider in North America to offer an encrypted e-mail subscription service using Echoworx.

After registering for the service, a user will be prompted to download a plug-in. Before sending an e-mail message, users just click on the "Secure" button on their toolbar, and their message -- along with any attachments -- is immediately encrypted, digitally signed and sent to the recipient. If the recipient is another registered Verizon Secure Mail user, the user can open the message after entering his or her password. Non-subscribers can also receive encrypted e-mail without downloading any software or registering for the service. To view the message, non-subscribers are directed to the Verizon Message pick-up center where they can read the e-mail after answering a secret question known only to the sender and recipient.

The service is now available nationwide for $6.95 per month per mailbox.

Tektronix Scales its Spectra2 VoIP Test Solution

Tektronix announced the availability of new Spectra2 Release 4.4 software that doubles the VoIP and converged network RTP large-scale load generation features of its Spectra2 VoIP testing solution. Additionally, release 4.4 introduces scripting of Bearer Independent Call Control (BICC) call models in its Monitor, Tester and Generator applications.

Spectra2 combined with the WTI RTP board performs large-scale media tests, allowing users to evaluate busy hour call capacity by simulating load under ever-increasing, real-world operating conditions.

The Spectra2 BICC Testing Package provides the ability to emulate the BICC Service Node (SN) for IP media bearer testing and BICC STC transport. BICC is designed to help carriers migrate from the PSTN to IP-based networks without loss of legacy network features and services. BICC is derived from ISUP and represents a critical step toward broadband multimedia networks, enabling the seamless migration of circuit-switched TDM networks to IP and high-capacity broadband multimedia networks. BICC also benefits users implementing the IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) architecture, which defines how IP networks should handle voice calls and data sessions, and supports the convergence of wireline, wireless and IP/broadband networks and services. The addition of BICC support for the Spectra2 allows carriers to ensure delivery of existing revenue-generating voice services in a converged network.

Navini Pre-WiMax Deployments Reach 100,000 Consumers

Navini Networks reported that commercial deployments of its pre- mobile WiMAX networks by its customers worldwide have reached over 100,000 consumer subscribers.

Unwired Australia, with the world's largest personal broadband network, had 36,600 self-install subscribers in Sydney at the end of September -- just over a year after its launch.

Navini said 802.16e ratification, spectrum harmonization and inter- network roaming will provide further impetus for the growth of personal broadband.

Ikanos Introduces Extended Reach, Low Power 100/100 Mbps VDSL2

Ikanos Communications introduced new chipsets designed to deliver VDSL2 and VDSL services in multi-tenant unit (MTU) and multi-dwelling unit (MDU) applications and to enable carriers to extend the reach of symmetric 100 Mbps services up to 80%, while consuming 30% less power than Ikanos' first-generation Fx100100 chipset.

Ikanos said the new chipset will enable new, lower-cost aggregation equipment that eliminates the need for a cooling fan and is quiet enough to be deployed inside smaller apartment buildings lacking a separate room for communications equipment. As a result, Ikanos expects that the carriers' available market will expand to include smaller buildings as well as the larger multi-tenant units which have been the majority of MxU deployments to date.

The new chipsets are the Fx100100-4-EX and Fx100100S-4-EX chipsets for Optical Network Unit (ONU) and Subscriber Located Equipment (SLE) respectively.

The Fx100100-4-EX chipset for ONU equipment consists of an 8-port BME (DSP Engine), a 4-port AFE (Analog Front End) and a 1-port IFE (Integrated Front End). The Fx100100S-4-EX chipset for SLE consists of a single-port BME (DSP Engine) and a single-port IFE, which integrates a digital/analog converter, analog/digital converter, line driver, low-noise amplifier, and filters.

Both chipsets include iPOS (Ikanos Programmable Operating System), which consists of firmware, APIs, and reference host software to configure programmable features on the chipsets. Chipset evaluation systems are available today, and production is expected to begin in late December, 2005.

UNH-IOL Tests Security, Mobility and VoIP on IPv6 Testbed

The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL), joined by 10 companies and a branch of the U.S. military, has successfully demonstrated mobility, security and international voice calls over IPv6 in tests conducted on the Moonv6 network, the world's largest multi-vendor IPv6 network.

The testing began Oct. 28 and concluded Dec. 2. While past Moonv6 events have focused mainly on testing core IPv6 network functions, this event demonstrated advances in the access layer, focusing mainly on DHCP and mobility as well as some security and voice services.

UNH-IOL engineers employed realistic traffic streams, passing mixed VoIP and data traffic over the IPv6 network and successfully demonstrating basic application layer functionality and IPv4 equivalency in areas such as addressing.

UNH-IOL engineers successfully completed VoIP-over-IPv6 calls between New Hampshire and Korea using commercial software provided by business technology company Mercury Corporation. The calls were routed from the Moonv6 network in New Hampshire to Seoul using an IPv4/IPv6 tunnel. The Moonv6 test bed includes approximately 80 servers, switches and routers in a network that stretches from New Hampshire to California.

UNH-IOL said the tests successfully demonstrated basic mobility for VoIP-over-IPv6 for at least one implementation. They also demonstrated that DHCPv6 and DHCPv6-prefix-delegation are working and that router implementations are now implementing IPsec and DNS/DHCP resolution. The test comprised seven IPv6 implementations of DHCP, the largest number yet gathered in one location.

Participants in the latest Moonv6 test were: Agilent, Checkpoint, Hewlett-Packard, Alaxala Networks-HITACHI, Ixia, Juniper, Lucent, Nortel, Panasonic, Spirent, Symantec and the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency's Joint Interoperability Testing Command (DISA JITC).

DISA performed IPv6 testing from the army's Fort Huachuca, Arizona JITC base. A North American IPv6 Task Force project, Moonv6 has harnessed engineering and technology resources from the UNH-IOL, Internet2, various U.S. government agencies, technology organizations, networking equipment companies and both Asian and North American service providers.

In addition to VoIPv6, the test included additional mobility demonstrations, DHCP, network management and interoperability testing between firewalls, hosts and routers using the IPsec security protocol. A summary of the results from the testing will be available on the UNH-IOL Web site in approximately six weeks.
  • In June 2005, MCI, France Telecom Research and Development, the University of New Hampshire-InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) and Lucent Technologies completed a series of distance-learning video tests over IPv6. The tests linked the North American IPv6 Task Force's Moonv6 network to MCI's global IP backbone via MCI's MAE Extended Services infrastructure, from San Jose, Calif. to Durham, NH. The MCI backbone provided the essential transport and its MAE West facility hosted the IPv6 application servers from France Telecom R&D, Lucent Technologies and Panasonic.

Excel Switching Enhances its Integrated Signaling/Media Gateway

Excel Switching Corporation has added SIP and ISDN functionality in an enhanced version of its IMG 1010 integrated signaling and media gateway. The IMG 1010 media gateway provides TDM to IP conversion and IP to IP transcoding with integrated signaling.

Excel's IMG 1010 has been enhanced with SIP and ISDN functionality to enable service providers to add new VoIP capacity, while simultaneously providing a clear migration path to an all-VoIP environment. The IMG 1010 supports SIP, H.323, SS7 and ISDN simultaneously, all in a compact 1U design that can accommodate up to 768 channels.

"Since its introduction earlier this year, the IMG 1010 has achieved significant market traction, and has been successfully deployed at service provider locations around the world," said Peter Vescuso, vice president, market development, Excel Switching Corporation and Brooktrout Technology. "For service providers evaluating VoIP for tandem replacement or to bridge TDM-IP networks, the IMG 1010 is an integrated media and signaling gateway that enables the delivery of SIP services into legacy SS7/PRI networks. For IP-to-IP network peering applications, the IMG 1010 supports IP-to-IP transcoding which complements the security/firewall requirements in session border control applications."
  • In October 2005, EAS Group, the privately held parent of Excel Switching Corporation, completed its acquisition of Brooktrout. Excel is a worldwide provider of carrier-class, open services platforms, media gateways and media servers. Brooktrout specializes in media processing, call control, signal processing, and fax communications. The company is based in Needham, Massachusetts.

CinemaNow Japan Licenses Warner Bros. Content

CinemaNow Japan Inc., a joint venture between CinemaNow, Tokyo-based Transcosmos and Microsoft, announced a licensing agreement with Warner Bros. International Television to offer movies on-demand via its Website.

CinemaNow Japan is the first online service to offer movies from a major Hollywood studio to the Japanese market via an online subscription.

CinemaNow Japan's new monthly subscription option will also offer access to hundreds of videos in total for 1,480 Yen ($12). In addition, users can choose to download and watch any of the videos on a pay-per-view basis for 250 Yen ($2) per film for 48 hours access.

ECI Ships Over 1 Million DSL Ports in Q3

ECI Telecom shipped over 1 million DSL ports in Q3 2005, making it the #2 vendor worldwide for Multiservice Access Concentrators according to figures from Dell'Oro.

Telkonet Acquires Microwave Satellite Technologies

Telkonet, a provider of powerline carrier (PLC) networking solutions using existing electrical wiring, will acquire Microwave Satellite Technologies (MST), which offers sales, installation, and service of VSAT and business television networks, and is a full-service national ISP.

Telkonet said the $10 million cash and stock transaction will allow it to provide a triple-play solution of HDTV, VoIP and Internet access. The business strategy is to expand the existing operations concentrated in Manhattan throughout New York and to increase the Telkonet presence in other cities using the New York system as a template.

"We are extremely enthusiastic about MST's Interactive Wi-Fi hot-zone system which currently offers wireless Internet service and blankets a large portion of New York's Central Park. This system transmits the signal to a roof top receiver, which utilizes Telkonet's powerline carrier (PLC) technology as the backbone within the building to distribute voice, video and data to the customers' apartment buildings, hotels, and business environments. The ability to combine the Telkonet IP technology with the network capabilities of the MST solution creates a fully scalable and viable way to bundle services to existing network subscribers. We now have a perfect solution for the millions of multi-dwelling residents and multi-dwelling unit (MDU) owners who are searching for a complete voice, video and data package solution for their properties, while at the same time enabling Telkonet to build a valuable base of subscribers nationally," Ronald W. Pickett, President and CEO of Telkonet.

Kineto Cites Strong Demand for Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA)

Kineto Wireless, a start-up based in Milpitas, California, reported strong industry demand for its Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) technology. UMA is an access technology that allows a seamless handoff of mobile voice and data from a wide area cellular network to a wireless local area network (WLAN).

In April 2005, UMA achieved global standardization when the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) ratified the UMA specification as part of its Release 6, ensuring standardized approaches for handsets and infrastructure equipment to speed adoption of mobile/Wi-Fi convergence. First announced by the UMA participating companies in September 2004, the specification became a 3GPP global standard in less than eight months.

BT, Telecom Italia and TeliaSonera -- have announced their intent to deploy the technology as part of their strategic fixed-mobile convergence initiatives. In addition, Kineto is actively involved in UMA evaluations with more than 25 major operators around the globe.

"The momentum for UMA in the market is tremendous. With UMA now a formal global standard, major mobile operators committing to UMA deployments, and leading handset and infrastructure vendors delivering UMA solutions based on Kineto's proven technology, all the pieces are now in place for widespread commercial UMA deployments in 2006," said Rick Gilbert, chief executive officer for Kineto Wireless.

UMA Enables Broadband IMS
developed by 15 leading companies in the mobile industry, Unlicensed
Mobile Access (UMA) is now the 3GPP standard for enabling subscriber
access to mobile services over Wi-Fi and broadband IP networks. The UMA
standard effectively creates a parallel radio access network - the UMA
Network (UMAN) that interfaces to the mobile core network using existing
GSM-defined standard interfaces. This solution uses IP tunneling
techniques to transparently extend mobile voice, data, and IMS services
over IP access networks. Here is an overview of UMA.

Siemens SURPASS IPTV Support Entone's STB for In-Home Coax Wiring

Siemens Communications will integrate Entone Technology's Hydra IP Video Gateway set-top box as part of its SURPASS Home Entertainment portfolio of IPTV solutions.

The Entone box enables service providers to use existing coaxial wiring for video distribution within homes. The Entone Hydra set-top box also enables line sharing for simultaneous viewing and Internet access. The Hydra box supports up to three simultaneous video streams over a single DSL, FTTH or Ethernet connection. The single box also supports high-speed data and telephone features, such as Caller ID. Furthermore, the unit provides a RF remote allowing channel changing and control of the set top box throughout the home.

The SURPASS Home Entertainment solution includes the Myrio Interactive Development Kit (iDK), which facilitates the integration of the Myrio IPTV middleware platform with set-top boxes and other consumer electronic devices. In addition to supporting Entone, Siemens also supports set-top boxes from leading vendors such as Amino Communications and Thomson.
  • In November 2004, Entone Technologies introduced its "Hydra" multi-television IP Video Gateway, which is able to support up to three simultaneous television streams and broadband Internet access over existing residential coaxial cabling. Whereas previous generations of IP set-top boxes required a separate box for each television in the home, Hydra is a single gateway device that can be shared by up to six televisions with any three of them receiving independent, simultaneous video streams. Video delivery within the home takes place over existing coaxial cabling. Entone is providing network interfaces for both ADSL2+ and FTTH/Ethernet deployments.

BellSouth Expects 12-24 Mbps for 50% of Households by 2007

BellSouth expects to be able to offer 12 to 24 Mbps residential service in 50% of households it covers by year-end 2007. In its top 30 markets, BellSouth expects to offer this level of service in 70% of homes. The company estimates the cost for the upgrade at roughly $150 per household at current levels.

Currently, BellSouth has 2.7 million DSL customers. The number of homes passed by its FTTC architecture is now 1.2 million and rising by 150,000 to 200,000 per year.

To respond to VoIP competition, BellSouth plans to roll out its own hosted VoIP service for consumers and small businesses over the next 12 to 18 months.

In IPTV, BellSouth plans to launch a market trial in summer 2006. Meanwhile, it is renewing its existing agreement with DirecTV. So far, the companies have 460,000 customers for the bundled offer.

A webcast of the company's Analyst Meeting in New York is available on the Investor Relations page of the BellSouth site.

Cisco Targets Application Networking Services

Cisco Systems designated Application Networking Services as its latest advanced technology -- a market opportunity that the company believes has the potential to grow to $1 billion in revenue over the next five to seven years.

The goal of Application Networking Services is to help information technology (IT) organizations drive higher return on investment (ROI) by improving the performance of critical business applications, while lowering operational costs and expanding IT flexibility. The Cisco Application Networking Services solutions are a core part of the Cisco Service-Oriented Network Architecture (SONA) for the enterprise, which enables customers to evolve their IT infrastructures toward the Cisco Intelligent Information Network (IIN).

Cisco Application-Oriented Networking (AON) products improve application-to-application communication and offload infrastructure functions such as logging, security, messaging, etc. into the network. AON operates at the application message level (e.g. purchase order, stock trade) and can apply policies to business messages depending on content and context.
  • In June 2005, Cisco Systems unveiled its vision for Application-Oriented Networking (AON) -- a new initiative and set of technologies designed to move beyond the packet level to read application-to-application messages flowing within the network.

  • The Cisco AON family complements current Cisco packet and content-aware products by providing true application message-level awareness of business applications. An AON-enabled router would not only examine the data packets that flow through it but would also look inside some of those packets to see what the messages say. For example, a company might write a business rule that tells the router to send an email to a customer service representative every time an order over $1,000 goes to the warehouse.

  • The first set of products have included AON modules for the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and the Cisco 2600/2800/3700/3800 series enterprise routers.

Marconi Unveils New VIPR Media Center

Marconi introduced its new ViPr Media Center, featuring H.264 support.
The SIP-based video conferencing suite delivers high-quality video telephony over a wide range of bandwidths and provides interoperability with standard telephone systems and legacy video conferencing systems.

Marconi's newest ViPr is available in configurations that work from the executive suite or command center to large conference halls. A Virtual Share package of optional collaboration tools allows ViPr conferees to share documents and applications, including electronic white boarding, text messaging, and file transfers via Microsoft NetMeeting. Other optional components enable conferees to view live broadcast TV, prerecorded video, or closed circuit TV (CCTV) during a ViPr call.

Verizon Trims Pension Benefits

Verizon announced a restructuring of retirement benefits for active management employees. These employees will retain pension benefits they have already earned, continue to be eligible to grow into their early retirement pensions, and on June 30, 2006, receive an 18-month enhancement to the value of their pension and retiree medical benefits.

In addition, Verizon plans to increase matching dollars for its Management Savings Plan (401k) for these employees as well as for MCI managers who join Verizon after the close of the planned Verizon/MCI merger.

After June 30, 2006, Verizon management employees will no longer earn pension benefits or receive any additional service credits toward the company's subsidy of retiree medical benefits.

Verizon said these changes will provide the company with pre-tax net savings, including the effect of the increase in the savings plan match, of approximately $3 billion over the next 10 years.

Cingular Launches 3G Network with 400-700 kbps Downstream

Cingular Wireless officially launched its 3G national network featuring HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) technology. The service provides average mobile data connections between 400-700 kbps on the downlink and bursts to more than a megabit per second.

Cingular will initially launch the BroadbandConnect service in Austin (TX.), Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Portland (OR.), Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose (CA.), Seattle, Tacoma (Wash.) and Washington D.C.

Cingular is providing dual-band HSDPA/UMTS (Universal Mobile Telephone System) (850/1900Mhz) laptop modem cards that are backward compatible with EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution) and GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) in four bands (850/900/1800/1900Mhz).

Customers can purchase either a Sierra Wireless AC860 or Novatel U730 laptop modem card for $99.99, after rebate, when they sign up for a qualifying voice plan and introductory two-year $59.99 Unlimited Data Connect plan. A variety of monthly data plans are available starting at $19.99 for 5 MB.

Surewest IPTV Offer HDNet Content

SureWest Communications will offer HDNet and HDNet Movies as part of its IPTV high-definition television service set to launch this year. HDNet and HDNet Movies broadcast an original slate of news, sports, music and entertainment programming, all in 1080i high-definition format, with a widescreen 16x9 aspect ratio and crystal-clear resolution.
  • HDNet launched in September 2001 and is co-founded by Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and General Manager Philip Garvin of Colorado Studios.

Sun's CoolThreads Servers Target Next-generation Internet

Sun Microsystems debuted its 9.6 GHz Sun Fire T1000 and T2000 servers with "CoolThreads" technology aimed at addressing the growing needs of the next-generation Internet.

The servers leverage the new UltraSPARC T1 "Niagara" processor and the threaded nature of the Solaris 10 OS. Sun said its new server line beats the competition on performance, slashing energy consumption and reducing costly datacenter space requirements.

For example, Sun's new systems are more than three times faster than IBM Xeon systems at nearly half the power and cooling costs and with 4.2 times better performance per watt CoolThreads servers also have nearly seven times greater performance than Dell Xeon systems and have 76% more performance at 2.3 times lower power consumption than an IBM 4-way Power 5+ system, while costing nearly half as much.

Sun intends to open source the massively-threaded processor technology to further lower the barriers to innovation and application development.

Sun also introduced a new metric for the next generation of the Internet: the new SWaP (space, wattage and performance) metric that assesses the efficiency and effectiveness of rack-optimized server deployments in a datacenter.

SWaP = Performance/ (Space x Power)

As customers attempt to expand their server capacity to deliver numerous web and application services, they are running out of power and space in the datacenter.

"Sun's innovations are once again at the forefront of driving the industry and the economic reality of building out the next generation Internet," said Scott McNealy, chairman and CEO, Sun Microsystems.

Apple's VOD Store Adds NBC Content

Apple's iTunes store began offering select TV shows from NBC Universal for $1.99 per episode. The deal includes new primetime, cable, late-night and classic TV shows.

iTunes now offers more than 300 episodes of 16 popular TV shows, including content from SciFi Channel, USA Network, Disney and ABC television shows.