Thursday, November 30, 2006

NEC Launches TDM/RPR Hybrid Multiplexer for 40 Gbps

NEC launched its new SpectralWave UN5000, a hybrid multiplexer that provides simultaneous Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) and Resilient Packet Ring (RPR) transport, in the Japanese market. The SpectralWave UN5000 was released for overseas telecommunications carriers in August 2006 and has been shipped to Rostelecom in Russia and at AIS in Thailand.

NEC's new product can be used to build 40 Gbps core networks. In addition to TDM and RPR, it also features RPR and Generalized Multi-Protocol Label Switching (GMPLS).

Alcatel-Lucent Creates Independent Subsidiary for U.S. Government Contracts

Alcatel-Lucent announced the creation of LGS, an independent subsidiary dedicated to serving the U.S. government.

LGS, headquartered in Vienna, Va., will be created by joining employees from Lucent's Government Solutions business unit, Alcatel Government Solutions, Inc., and Lucent's Bell Labs Government Communications Lab. LGS will become the sole sales and contracting channel for all classified and unclassified business contracted from U.S. federal agencies and departments, both military and civilian.

LGS is currently finalizing its operational structure and processes, which are planned for completion in early January. LGS will have its own leadership team as well as its own board of directors, initially including three previous members of the national security community: William Perry, former Secretary of Defense, James Woolsey, former director of Central Intelligence and Kenneth Minihan, former director of the National Security Agency.

LGS will be led by Ron Iverson, CEO, who recently joined Lucent from Northrop Grumman where he was responsible for coordination of Air Force marketing and business development dealing with Information Technology.

Alcatel-Lucent Unveils New Look

Alcatel-Lucent unveiled its new logo and corporate visual identity. The company's new logo is a stylized version of an infinity symbol that looks as if it were drawn by hand. Embedded within the symbol is an A and an L.

"Our new logo represents the endless possibilities for the future and our commitment to being a strong and enduring ally for our customers around the world," said Patricia Russo, Chief Executive Officer of Alcatel-Lucent.

Yahoo! Posts Video News Clips from BBC

Yahoo! News began posting BBC News video on its site, through a new agreement with ABC News. Initially, about 30 video clips of BBC News will be posted per day.

In January 2006, ABC News announced an agreement to become the exclusive representative for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for distribution of BBC News on demand broadband and wireless content in North America.

Spirent Highlights Participation in MSF GMI 2006 Interoperability Event

During the MultiService Forum's (MSF's) recent GMI 2006 event, which was held in October, Spirent Communications provided experts, test equipment and advanced IMS test methodologies to facilitate the stringent testing requirements of MSF Release 3 implementation at all five carrier sites (BT, KT, NTT, Verizon and Vodafone). This involved 200 next-generation network (NGN) elements tested against carrier defined test scenarios. Spirent's support included test coverage for all portions of the IMS network:

  • IMS Access Network - Spirent provided real-world traffic models to evaluate wireless core packet data network elements associated with FMC applications.

  • IMS Core Network - Spirent simulated UE (User Element) traffic and emulated the core network elements.

  • PSTN Network - Spirent emulated end to end traffic and all PSTN network elements.

  • Service prototyping -- Spirent simulated many Next Generation Network services.

Spirent said that its participating staff saw many difficulties associated with deploying proprietary implementations between multiple service providers. Specifically many differences were observed in the operation of User Element devices and with differing interpretations of the core IMS protocols.

Garmin Acquires Dynastream for Wireless Monitoring Tech.

Garmin, a developer of GPS navigation, communication and information devices, acquired Dynastream Innovations $36 million in cash.

Dynastream, which is located in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada, develops personal monitoring technology -- such as foot pods and heart rate monitors for sports and fitness products. The company also specializes in ultra low power and low cost wireless connectivity solutions for a wide range of applications. These products address the needs of a broad spectrum of fitness consumers, from heath and wellness to performance athletes.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Belgacom Tops 100,000 IPTV Subscribers

Belgacom passed the 100,000 mark for its IPTV service at the end of September, ahead of its end-of-the-target. Belgacom is using the Surpass Home Entertainment from Siemens, a turnkey end-to-end solution for IPTV delivered over ADSL.

The net ARPU (average revenue per user) stood at EUR 11.6 for the first nine months of 2006. This figure showed a rise in the third quarter which can obviously be traced to the introduction of additional services such as "Rewatching TV" and special offerings sorted by topic.

WiMedia Alliance Finalizes UWB Radio Certification Program

The WiMedia Alliance finalized the Certification Program for its member companies to utilize in testing their products for compliance with the WiMedia UWB Common Radio Platform specification.

WiMedia's Certification Program is comprised of two parts, the first of which is a compliance and interoperability process that tests and "registers" Physical Layer implementations (PHYs) based on the WiMedia Alliance's PHY specification. Once a PHY is registered, the program's second part, WiMedia Platform Certification, supports these eligible PHYs for use in a UWB platform that can be submitted for certification.

In the most recent testing event held in late October, six WiMedia member companies and PHY vendors - Alereon, Inc., Realtek Semiconductor, Staccato Communications, Tzero Technologies, Inc., WiQuest Communications, and Wisair - tested their products against compliance criteria that included the final WiMedia Alliance's PHY specification. This event resulted in the establishment of registered PHYs for these companies' products.

"With the WiMedia Certification Program now in place and the registration of initial PHYs, the key building blocks for the WiMedia UWB Common Radio Platform have been established for vendors to develop products that will eventually obtain WiMedia Platform Certification," said Stephen Wood, president of the WiMedia Alliance. "Our certification program is designed to assure vendors and consumers alike that products certified by WiMedia will work properly in the close proximity to other WiMedia certified devices."
  • WiMedia has held five PHY interoperability testing events over the past 11 months

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BT Selects Motorola for Metro Wi-Fi Deployments

BT selected Motorola to supply Mesh Wi-Fi network infrastructure and services for six of "Wireless City" initiatives across the UK. The contract will see Motorola design, deploy and manage city-wide Wi-Fi networks with BT in, for example, Birmingham and Newcastle. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Motorola will supply solutions from its MOTOwi4 wireless broadband portfolio, which will be deployed across the cities on existing sites such as lampposts. The Motorola solution allows data to be backhauled wirelessly.

BT said Westminster is furthest advanced with its plans and roll out of the street-based network, following a successful pilot. The city council has signed an agreement with Vertex Data Science Ltd, who will work with BT to develop applications running over the wireless broadband network, which will improve the flow of information and services across the city.

BT expect to roll out the first 12 Wireless Cities by the end of March 2007.


AT&T Introduces U-verse in Second Market -- Houston

Houston is the second market where AT&T's U-verse services are now commercially available, following a June launch in San Antonio.

AT&T U-verse TV offers variety of TV packages with more than 300 channels, including digital music, local, and premium movie and sports programming. Over 25 HD channels are available. Three packages of AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet U-verse Enabled service are offered. The top downlink rate currently supported is 6 Mbps.

Sun, Ericsson, Nokia Form Telecommunications Platform Initiative

Sun Microsystems, Ericsson, Nokia announced the formation of a Telecommunications Platform Initiative to develop the requirements for a standardized, integrated telecommunications technology platform. The aim is to simplify technology integration by enabling design, development and supply chain efficiencies, thereby benefiting the network operator.

The companies said that by collaborating on a series of publicly available requirements documents for the Operations, Administration and Management Layer (OA&M) and Service Layer environments, the Initiative could provide the broader telecommunications industry with new alternatives to improve time to service, time to market and ultimately, time to revenues.

Sun and the members of this Initiative will continue to be actively involved with other standardization and specification bodies such as PICMG and SCOPE.

Harley-Davidson Awards $10.5 million Networking Contract to AT&T

AT&T has won a three-year, $10.5 million global networking contract from Harley-Davidson. AT&T will deploy an MPLS-based IP VPN integrating 27 Harley-Davidson locations in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific with a full range of voice, data and business continuity services. The contract renews and expands a long-standing relationship between the two companies.

Sonus Delivers National Communications System (NCS) Emergency Call Suite for VoIP

Sonus Networks announced a suite of IP-based voice calling solutions to serve National Security/Emergency Preparedness (NS/EP) needs as outlined by the National Communications System (NCS), whose Executive Agent is the Department of Homeland Security. The National Communications System aims to ensure a high probability of call completion for government officials during periods of network congestion, including crisis or emergency, attack, recovery and reconstitution.

Sonus Networks, working in collaboration with the NCS and its integration contractor, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), has developed a robust set of next generation network features that meet the requirements outlined by the NCS.

Most recently, the NCS enlisted the support of Sonus to develop two new features to round out its NS/EP services product functionality: Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Resource Priority Header (RPH) and Office Wide Call Queuing (OWCQ), which together identify and allocate resource priority to calls from authorized federal, state, local, and critical industry personnel who have NS/EP missions.

Sonus Networks said it is the first to develop this set of next generation NS/EP features. The company recently hosted a demonstration in their Richardson, Texas, laboratories for NCS, CSC, other NCS contractors, and a group of leading U.S. carriers. The Richardson lab is Sonus' largest customer integration and testing facility.

To ensure that NS/EP communications are being addressed across various network types, the NCS has implemented the Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS) and Wireless Priority Service (WPS). Sonus' NS/EP product portfolio is designed to meet the needs of each of these two services.

  • President John F. Kennedy established the National Communications System (NCS) by a Presidential Memorandum on August 21, 1963 in response to inter-government communications problems experience during the Cuban missile crisis. The NCS mandate included linking, improving, and extending the communications facilities and components of various Federal agencies, focusing on interconnectivity and survivability.

AT&T Promises to Invest up to $620 million in Michigan Broadband

AT&T announced plans to invest up to $620 million in Michigan over the next three years to bring next-generation video and broadband services to local consumers.

AT&T also announced its intent to hire 2,000 employees across Michigan over the next three years to upgrade its fiber-optic network and install its next-generation video products in consumers' homes. Approximately 1,200 of these high tech jobs are expected to be in place by the end of 2007.

The announcement comes as the Michigan Senate Technology and Energy Committee debates a bill that would make it easier for new entrants into the video delivery business. The Michigan House of Representatives already passed House Bill 6456 with a bipartisan 80-21 vote on Nov. 14.

Tandberg Offers Video Solutions for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

TANDBERG introduced a visual communication portfolio that seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.

The company's SharePoint portfolio is comprised of TANDBERG Movi for PC videoconferencing; TANDBERG Management Suite (TMS) for videoconference scheduling and management; and the TANDBERG Content Server for video streaming and archiving. TANDBERG integration is enabled through Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007 Features, Web Parts and Web Services.

TANDBERG is also releasing the source code that allows customers to further integrate, customize and automate TANDBERG solutions within existing applications or portals.

FCC Issues First Set of AWS Spectrum Licenses

The FCC formally granted 550 of the 1,087 licenses won in the Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) Auction completed September 18, 2006. These licenses represent $12.2 billion of the $13.7 billion in total net high bids from Auction No. 66. This $12.2 billion in auction revenue will nearly double the approximately $14 billion in total revenue transferred to the U.S. Treasury from all previous FCC auctions combined.

Alcatel and Lucent Complete Merger

Alcatel and Lucent Technologies completed their merger, creating a global communication solutions provider with pro-forma annual revenues of EUR 18.6 billion. The new company, Alcatel-Lucent, will be traded on EURnext Paris and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) from December 1st, 2006 under a new common ticker (ALU).

Alcatel-Lucent offers an extensive portfolio spanning IPTV, broadband access, carrier IP, IMS and next-generation networks, and 3G spread spectrum (UMTS and CDMA). It also enjoys strong customer relationships with the 100 largest telecommunications operators and counts more than 250,000 enterprise and government customers worldwide.

Patricia Russo, who will serve as CEO of Alcatel-Lucent, said: "Through this merger, we are bringing together two top-ranking companies to form an undisputed leader in the industry, a company poised to enrich people's lives by transforming the way the world communicates. Alcatel-Lucent is a strong and enduring ally that service providers, governments and enterprises can count on to help them unlock new market and revenue opportunities. This combination represents a strategic fit of vision, geography, solutions and people, leveraging the best of both companies to deliver meaningful communications solutions that are personalized, simple to adopt and available globally. Both Alcatel and Lucent embraced a common culture of innovation and excellence that will help ensure the success of our merger."

Financial terms: As a result of the merger, each outstanding share of Lucent common stock has been converted into the right to receive 0.1952 of an Alcatel ADS. In connection with the merger, Alcatel has issued approximately 878 million shares, which is equivalent to the total number of ADS to be issued to the holders of Lucent common stock. Following the completion of the merger, approximately 2.31 billion ordinary shares of Alcatel-Lucent are outstanding.

Some highlights of the new company:

  • 79,000 employees worldwide, after completion of the pending Thales transaction.

  • Approximately 23,000 of the 79,000 total number of employees at Alcatel-Lucent are in R&D, including global Bell Labs which will remain headquartered in New Jersey, USA.

  • More than 18,000 employees working in services worldwide.

  • The company expects to reduce its combined worldwide workforce by approximately 9,000 employees.

  • There will be five Business Groups: the Wireline Business Group, the Wireless Business Group and the Convergence Business Group (addressing the needs of the carrier market), the Enterprise Business Group and the Service Business Group. Each Business Group will have a decentralized regional organization that will provide strong local support to customers.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Verizon Sell Interest in Verizon Dominicana to America Movil

Verizon Communications closed on the sale of its interest in Verizon Dominicana, which provides telecommunications services to more than 2.7 million wireless, wireline and broadband customers in the Dominican Republic, to America Movil, S.A. de C.V.

The transaction was announced in April 2006, when Verizon also announced the execution of definitive agreements to sell its interests in Telecomunicaciones de Puerto Rico, Inc. (Puerto Rico Telephone) and Compania Anonima Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela (CANTV), to America Movil and a company owned jointly by Telefonos de Mexico and America Movil. Verizon sail these sales are proceeding.

IBM Integrates Force10 Network's Switch/routers

IBM is integrating Force10 Networks' TeraScale E-Series family of switch/routers and the S-Series family of data center switches into its System Cluster 1350 to deliver the 10 Gigabit Ethernet density and scalability computing clients require for high performance workloads. The recently upgraded Cluster 1350 combines Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet densities of the Force10 TeraScale E-Series and S-Series and IBM's extensive experience with clustered UNIX and LINUX computers in an integrated solution.

Earlier this month, IBM announced that it is upgrading its Cluster 1350 solution to include a new lineup of next generation processor systems and blades, high speed connectivity and coprocessor acceleration technology.

ECI Telecom Enhances its Multi-Layer NMS

ECI Telecom announced a new feature set for its carrier-class network management system (NMS), enabling operators to view and administer their entire infrastructure of converged Optical, Ethernet and SONET/SDH networks.

LightSoft V3 support of a Northbound interface allows for performance monitoring, provisioning, maintenance and integration into standard market-leading operation support systems (OSS). In addition, the highly-scalable LightSoft V3 supports fifty concurrent users, while the system works in high availability clusters and manages thousands of network elements and hundreds of thousands of network paths. LightSoft can also manage other vendors' element management systems (EMS).

The NMS is optimized for ECI's XDM optical and MSPP platform.

ECI Telecom Launches Carrier Ethernet Cards for XDM MSPP

ECI Telecom (introduced a family of Carrier Ethernet line cards for its XDM Multi-Service Provisioning Platform (MSPP) product line. The new carrier-class Ethernet capabilities provide operators with quality-assured Ethernet services from access to core. The new cards deliver carrier Ethernet services that address Layer 1 through eventually MPLS.

ECI said it is leveraging its success with NG SDH/SONET, allowing operators to rapidly introduce revenue generating carrier-class Ethernet services.

Motorola Launches Motofone for Global Market

Motorola unveiled its highly anticipated MOTOFONE at an event held in New Delhi, India. The company described MOTOFONE as the first of a new breed of handsets designed to disrupt today's communications landscape by cutting across price tiers, product segments and international markets.

MOTOFONE, which will be available in both GSM and CDMA versions, new interface built with icons and voice versus text, as well as voice prompts specifically tailored to local markets. The handset is designed for first-time users. The GSM version, MOTOFONE F3, is available today in India and will roll out in international markets in the coming weeks. Motorola is working towards shipping the CDMA version, MOTOFONE F3c, by the end of 2006.

Nokia and Yahoo! Extend Partnership

Nokia and Yahoo! extended their partnership to offer Yahoo! branded services including Yahoo! Mail and Messenger on Nokia's wide range of mobile phones operating on the Series 40 platform. Series 40 is the software user interface that powers Nokia's broadest range of mobile devices.

Yahoo! services will initially be available on the newly announced Nokia 6300, the Nokia 5300 XpressMusic and the Nokia 5200. Moving forward these services and the ability to synchronies Yahoo! contacts, tasks and calendar on the PC and phone will be added to an even wider range of Nokia's Series 40 devices.

Yahoo! services for Nokia Series 40 mobile phones include Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Messenger, and Yahoo! Personal Information Management.

Broadcom to Acquire LVL7 Systems for Networking Software

Broadcom agreed to acquire LVL7 Systems, Inc., a privately-held developer of networking software for OEMs and ODMs, for approximately $62 million in cash.

LVL7 Systems' FASTPATH software offers the features and protocols needed to build a variety of Layer 2 / 3 / 4+ Ethernet infrastructure systems. Target applications include desktop and workgroup switches; server blade switches; WLAN switches; and switch/router systems.

Broadcom said LVL7's FASTPATH family of software would enhance its existing product offering in the small-to-medium-sized business (SMB) market segment.

LVL7 is based near Research Triangle Park, North Carolinahttp://www.broadcom.com
  • LVLT is headed by Erik Dixon, who previously was responsible for IBM's Ethernet networking product line.

  • In February 2005, LVL7 Systems raised $21 million in Series C funding for its networking software. The oversubscribed funding round was led by Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm USVP. The funding round also included participation from Lighthouse Capital Partners and LVL7's previous investors: The Carlyle Group, Gabriel Venture Partners, H.I.G. Ventures, and Research Triangle Ventures.

Oregon's BendBroadband Turns to Level3 for VoIP

BendBroadband, an Oregon-based cable operator, will use the Level 3's VoIP Enhanced Local service to provide small and medium-sized businesses with a new, cost-effective solution for local and long-distance calling. BendBroadband Business Phone will include enhanced voicemail, E-911 service and popular calling features such as caller ID, call waiting and 3-way calling.

Marvell Debuts Application Processors for Smartphones, Handhelds

Marvell introduced a new generation of application processors designed for feature handsets, smartphones, GPS navigation systems, wireless handhelds and other consumer electronic devices.

The Marvell PXA3xx family of application processors (internally named Monahans), which are based n third generation of Intel XScale technology, delivers improved performance and extended battery life, enabling advanced video and audio capabilities. Wireless Intel SpeedStep with MusicMax technology provides intelligent power management, enabling varying power states so users can listen up to 30 hours of MP3s on their handsets without sacrificing battery life.

The processors support advanced codecs such as H.264 for rich video quality, up to D1 resolution at 30fps. The PXA3xx family also supports digital cameras, and advanced camera effects such as image stabilization and up to 5 Megapixel camera sensors.
  • Earlier this month, Marvell Technology Group completed the acquisition of Intel's cellular and applications processor business. Marvell made a cash payment of $600 million.

TiVo Reports 4.4 million Subscriptions, Signs Cablevision Mexico

TiVo reported financial results for its quarter ended October 31, 2006, saying overall TiVo-Owned subscriptions were up 24% year-over-year to 1.6 million. As expected, TiVo reported a net decline in the number of DIRECTV TiVo subscriptions during the period as DIRECTV deployed fewer TiVo boxes. Cumulative total subscriptions as of October 31, 2006, were up slightly from last quarter to 4.4 million, and up 11% over the year-ago subscription totals.

Service and technology revenues for the quarter increased 22% to $52.6 million, compared with $43.2 million for the same period last year. TiVo reported a net loss of ($11.1) million and net loss per share of ($0.12), compared to a net loss of ($14.2) million, or ($0.17) per share, for the third quarter of last year.

Tom Rogers, CEO of TiVo said, "Our strategy remains clear: to drive our standing as the only branded and truly differentiated DVR in the world. In the third quarter, we continued to make progress towards that goal and our results reflected our efforts as gross subscription addition growth was positive for the first time on a year-over-year basis in six quarters."

TiVO also announced a distribution deal with Cablevision Mexico, which serves Mexico City. Initially, the service offered by CABLEVISION will utilize TiVo's standalone DVR hardware platform. CABLEVISION expects to begin marketing bundles that include the TiVo DVRs and TiVo Service in the first half of 2007.

Wal-Mart Offers Physical DVD + Digital Download Bundle

Wal-Mart announced its first step into the video download market, offering a unique bundle combining a video download option with purchase of the physical DVD. The first such bundle, which is available now at Wal-Mart stores across the U.S., includes the physical "Superman Returns" DVD along with a sticker containing the code needed to download the digital version of the film from the company's website. Customers can choose from three video download format options -- - $1.97 for portable devices, $2.97 for PCs/laptops, and $3.97 for both portable players and PC/laptops.

"This unique Superman Returns physical/digital DVD combination not only marks our first step into the video downloads market, but gives our customers the best of both worlds in movie entertainment," said Kevin Swint, Wal-Mart's divisional merchandise manager for digital media.

In the coming months, Wal-Mart will test additional DVD bundles with this download option, as well as offer a beta version of a video download service. The beta launch will feature both movie and television content from a number of top studios and TV networks.

BitTorrent Signs with 20th Century Fox, Other Studios

BitTorrent announced a series of distribution deals with leading content producers, including 20th Century Fox, G4, Kadokawa Pictures USA, Lionsgate, MTV Networks, Palm Pictures, Paramount Pictures and Starz Media.

The deals provide BitTorrent with a growing library of digital media content. The videos, which can be downloaded and viewed on a PC, laptop and other portable devices, include new film releases day-and-date with the DVD release, popular TV series, deep catalog titles and cult classics. BitTorrent will disclose pricing details closer to the time of the launch of the online retail marketplace, which is set for February 2007.

BitTorrent has previously announced partnerships with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Egami Media, Hart Sharp, Koch Entertainment and The Orchard.

BitTorrent said traffic generated by its millions of its users now accounts for as much as 40 percent of all worldwide Internet traffic.
  • In October 2006, BitTorrent announced its collaboration with a number of global hardware manufacturers to embed its peer-assisted digital content delivery technology into consumer electronics. ASUS, Planex and QNAP are among the first CE manufacturers to implement the BitTorrent download manager into their digital home devices. Products include wireless routers, media servers and network attached storage (NAS) devices.

  • BitTorrent said the growing amount of legitimate content being made available via its P2P technology, hardware that supports the BitTorrent protocol will make it simple for users to consume content even while away from their PC.

Monday, November 27, 2006

IBM to Acquire Vallent for Network Performance Monitoring Software

IBM agreed to acquire Vallent Corporation, a supplier of network performance monitoring and service management software for wireless service providers, for an undisclosed sum.

Vallent's software helps service providers manage the performance of their network infrastructure through monitoring and reporting problem areas such as dropped calls and traffic bottlenecks.

IBM said that adding Vallent's expertise to its Tivoli Software's Netcool portfolio creates a broad set of service assurance capabilities spanning fault, network performance and service quality management over a wide array of technologies and third-party equipment and applications. The acquisition of Vallent extends the Netcool operations support system portfolio acquired with Micromuse in February of 2006 and will further enhance IBM's ability to address the growing needs of its customers in this area, especially communications service providers.

Vallent is based in Bellevue, Washington and has more than 400 employees. Vallent claims more than 200 customers worldwide, including worldwide market leaders such as KPN, Bharti, China Mobile, and Brasil Telecom, as well as equipment providers such as Lucent, Motorola, and Alcatel.
  • Vallent's investors included Argo Global Capital, Columbia Capital Corp., Ericsson Venture Partners, Investor Growth Capital Inc., New Venture Partners, Origin Partners, ORIX, and Pequot Capital.

Veraz Increases Capacity between Switch Centers for Mobile Operators

Veraz Networks announced that its voice compression technology can increase the capacity of existing TDM transmission links between existing mobile switching centers (MSCs) by compressing up to 10 E1s onto a single E1, while preserving high voice quality. By enabling compressed VoIP over TDM using an IP media gateway, Veraz allows mobile operators to accommodate increased traffic on their existing TDM transmission links while avoiding the expenses of building a transmission network or leasing additional TDM transmission capacity.

NTT Com Asia Deploys Juniper's SSL VPN appliances

NTT Com Asia has deployed the Juniper Networks Secure Access 6000 SSL VPN appliances with the Instant Virtual Systems feature set to provide managed remote access services for the Hong Kong market.

The Secure Access 6000 appliances deployed at NTT Com Asia operate with Juniper Network's Advanced Feature Set, which includes advanced role and resource usage definition and management to allow organizations to administer different security policies for different departments.

Juniper said the Instant Virtual Systems (IVS) feature of the SA 6000 enables NTT Com Asia to completely segment SSL VPN traffic between multiple customers within its cluster pair of SA 6000 appliances, and ensure network independence. Customers of NTT Com Asia's managed service can also enjoy dedicated administrator controls for their own SSL VPN segments without the risk of sharing the controls or segment with other parties using IVS capabilities.

3Com to Acquire Huawei's Stake in JV for $882 Million

3Com agreed to acquire Huawei Technologies' 49% Huawei-3Com (H3C) for $882 million, which represents an implied equity value of $1.8 billion.

Under the existing shareholders' agreement, the parties have agreed that the selling shareholder in the bid process would, under certain circumstances, be subject to a non-compete provision for 18 months after the closing.

H3C said its mission, vision and strategy will remain unchanged after the transaction.

  • November 2006 marks the third anniversary of the founding of the Huawei-3Com (H3C) joint venture, which is registered in Hong Kong with research and development centres in China (Beijing, Hangzhou and Shenzhen) and India (Bangalore).

  • On Nov. 15., the company said its first half revenues climbed more than 70 percent over the same period last year with international sales now accounting for one third of all sales. Net sales revenue for the first half of 2006 totaled US$324 million.

  • H3C employs 4,800 people with more than half engaged in R&D.

Orange Business Services Partners with Nortel on SIP Services

Orange Business Services' newly launched suite of SIP multimedia services is based on Nortel's technology. The new "Business Together" service, which will first become available for corporate French customers this month, is the result of a strategic partnership formed between France Telecom and Nortel in 2004.

"Business Together" from Orange Business Services unifies telephony, collaboration, instant messaging and multimedia communications, making them all accessible from a computer, an IP phone or a mobile smartphone.

Orange's "Business Together" services include Nortel's SIP Multimedia Communication Server 5200 (MCS 5200) which seamlessly integrates voice with video, collaboration, presence and reachability services. The solution leverages SIP.

YouTube and Verizon Wireless Ink Agreement

Starting in early December, selected YouTube clips will be available to users of Verizon Wireless's V CAST mobile service. YouTube will deliver a sampling of the most popular videos. In addition, video enthusiasts also will be able to record and share their favorite moments with their mobile phones.

"Delivering YouTube content gives V CAST customers a mobile connection to video content that has revolutionized how people are being entertained today," said John Harrobin, vice president of digital media for Verizon Wireless.

BT Activates First Customers on 21CN

BT switched over the first customer lines to its 21st Century Network (21CN). As planned, BT has started to move customers in the village of Wick, near Cardiff, to the next generation infrastructure.

BT described the event as a landmark in its history. To reach this milestone, BT has re-built around ten percent of the UK's core national communications infrastructure, installed 21CN equipment at over 100 sites across the UK, and laid more than 2,300 kilometers of new fibre optic cable in South Wales.

Paul Reynolds, chief executive of BT Wholesale and BT board sponsor for the 21CN programme said, "Today marks a symbolic and momentous occasion for BT, the communications industry and for the UK as 21CN, over three years in the making, starts to become real for customers. Alexander Graham Bell made the first telephone call 130 years ago -- we are also making history with the first live UK customer calls using a carrier class, all IP network. Years of research and development, network build and design, rigorous trials and testing, together with open collaboration with the communications industry have culminated in this historic moment. A network transformation on this scale has not been attempted anywhere else in the world -- it's happening now in South Wales, and the rest of the UK will follow over the next few years."

Alcatel Demos Mobile TV in S-Band Handsets

Alcatel demonstrated Europe's first broadcast of live TV channels on mobile handsets in S-band. The demonstration used the new DVB-SH
standard (Satellite services for Handhelds), which is currently being
drafted by the DVB Project. To perform this demonstration, Alcatel was assisted by UK broadcasters Sky, ITV and BBC.

DVB-SH is a new technology targeting the S-band. DVB-SH is a
related standard to DVB-H. With DVB-SH technology, Mobile TV signals can be broadcast from satellites as well as from terrestrial transmitters directly to handhelds.

The demonstration featured SAGEM myMobileTV handsets using the S-band telecom frequency between 2.17GHz and 2.20GHz, which is adjacent to the 3G/UMTS band. 30MHz of spectrum is currently available all across Europe and in other major regions in the world.

In addition, Alcatel demonstrated two possible key technical features using the DVB-SH standard. Reception Antenna Diversity, a feature using two antennas inside the same mobile device, enables improvements in the signal quality under difficult conditions. Furthermore, improved Time Interleaving overcomes fading impairment in mobility conditions. The significant quality enhancement was demonstrated by implementing these DVB-SH features.
  • In October 2006, SES GLOBAL and Eutelsat Communications announced a 50/50 joint venture company, which will operate and commercialize S-band satellite services over Europe for mobile video services. The S-band (2.0 and 2.2 GHz), which represents a new frequency band for both SES and Eutelsat, provides a set of frequencies optimized for supporting a wireless distribution network for mobile devices, including phones, PDAs, laptops and vehicle receivers.

    Eutelsat Communications confirmed its order with Alcatel Alenia Space for an S-Band payload on its upcoming W2A satellite, which is slated for launch in 2009. Based on the Alcatel Alenia Space Spacebus 4000C4 platform, W2A's missions also comprise up to 46 transponders in Ku-band and a C-band payload of 10 transponders.

CloudShield Expands into APAC

CloudShield Technologies, which provides IP service control and
infrastructure security solutions, opened a new office in Sydney, Australia to serve the Asia Pacific region. CloudShield is also announcing the appointment of Greg Kershaw as managing director of CloudShield Asia Pacific.

Taiwan's Chunghwa Purchases Additional 300,000 Widevine Security Clients

Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom has purchased an additional 300,000 Virtual SmartCard clients from Widevine Technologies to secure premium linear broadcast and video-on-demand delivery across a wide range of consumer electronics devices. This is in addition to the 500,000 clients Chunghwa purchased in 2005 for planned subscriber growth.

Chunghwa's interactive TV service, Multimedia on Demand (MOD), is one of the largest IPTV deployments in the world. The MOD service offers a wide range of video-on-demand, near VOD (NVOD), karaoke-on-demand and linear broadcast channels. Widevine Cypher is used exclusively to protect the entire Chunghwa multimedia footprint across Taiwan. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Narad and Tropos Partner on Mesh Backhaul over HFC

Narad Networks, which supplies switched broadband access solutions, and Tropos Networks, which delivers metro-scale Wi-Fi mesh network systems, competed interoperability testing of a combined solution for backhauling mesh Wi-Fi traffic within the metro area. Tests using Narad's switched Ethernet-over-coax solution and the Tropos 5210HFC MetroMesh router demonstrated aggregate performance exceeding 20 Mbps of symmetric capacity with low end-to-end latency.

The companies said metro Wi-Fi networks are a logical way to extend the functionality of the cable network to mobile users throughout a metro area without the need for deploying fiber for backhaul.

Portugal's TV Cabo Deploys Arris CMTS

TV Cabo, Portugal's largest Pay-TV operator with over 1.4 million customers, has selected the ARRIS C4 CMTS for its network upgrade. The operator will be introducing cable VoIP service and ultra high-speed access.

Juniper Offers "Liquid LSPs" and MPLS Point-to-multipoint (P2MP) Broadcast Video Capabilities

Juniper Networks announced a series of product enhancements aimed at improving video transport throughout an IP network core. The new features include several enhancements to MPLS-based point-to-multipoint (P2MP) broadcast video distribution and new capabilities for the company's SDX-300 Service Deployment System.

Juniper is also introducing "Liquid LSPs", a solution that leverages the SDX-300's open APIs to ensure efficient network handling of video-on-demand content. Using an open API, third-party video serving platforms communicate with the SDX-300 and Juniper routers to map the best possible path between subscribers and content sources to increase network efficiency, while also preserving high levels of video quality. The Liquid LSP feature also supports Fast Failover capability for split-second failover, ensuring the quality and reliability of video services even in times of network congestion and equipment failures.

Juniper said that by enabling the dynamic activation and modification of LSPs between video serving locations, Liquid LSPs enable providers to serve videos from multiple locations, reducing costs and increasing network design flexibility.

SeaChange International is the first to integrate its open IPTV platform with Juniper's Liquid LSP capability.

Juniper has also implemented a number of enhancements to further extend the point-to-multipoint (P2MP) capabilities of JUNOS. P2MP is
an MPLS-based multicasting solution that provides efficient, scalable and reliable delivery of broadcast TV traffic across the backbone. P2MP enables providers to leverage the simplicity of MPLS for core video distribution without adding new protocols or increasing operational complexity. The new features include the extension of constrained shortest path first (CSPF) functionality to P2MP LSPs, which enables the network to automatically determine the most efficient path through the network for a given video stream. This allows a few super head-ends to service many remote video sites
over long distances while assuring delivery quality of the broadcast TV channels.

Juniper is also announcing enhancements to BGP (Border Gateway
Protocol)-based VPLS (Virtual Private LAN Services) that simplifies the scaling of metro video distribution networks.

"Much of the attention around IPTV to date has been focused on the network edge, but efficient delivery of IP-based video through the core IP network is just as important to our customers," said Shailesh Shukla, vice president of service provider marketing and partnerships, Juniper Networks.

AT&T Adds HD Programming to U-verse in San Antonio

AT&T has added High Definition (HD) programming and other new features to its U-verse service currently available in San Antonio, Texas. The lineup includes more than 25 HD channels, which is more than the local cable providers. New HD customers can receive two months of free HD programming ($10 per month thereafter).

Other new capabilities include:

  • Web-remote access to digital video recorder (DVR), which allows customers to schedule recordings using their AT&T Yahoo! Internet account.

  • The ability to record up to four programs at once using a DVR receiver.

  • An expanded lineup of available programming with more than 300 channels, including digital music, local, and premium movie and sports programming.

  • New set top boxes, manufactured by Motorola, all of which are HD-capable and include specially-designed universal remote controls that provide backlit buttons and one-touch access to VOD, DVR, and other services.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

EC Asks UK Regulator to Reconsider Mobile Termination Rates

The European Commission has asked Ofcom, the UK telecom watchdog, not to include inflated 3G auction costs in termination rates for mobile phone operators.

In the Commission's view, Ofcom's proposed tariffs keep termination values higher than necessary due to 3G spectrum cost valuations which risk overestimating the costs. The Commission therefore asks the UK watchdog to reconsider the valuations. It said Ofcom's approach would be detrimental to fair competition in the UK's mobile market and lead to higher consumer prices for consumers.

Cisco Partners with Russia's Sitronics

Cisco announced a regional partnership with Sitronics JSC, a leading technology company in Russia & CIS, to offer advanced communication solutions in countries that are undergoing major economic and social transformation, including Russia, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE); and Middle East and Africa (MEA).

Initially focused on migrating existing public switched telephone network (PSTN) infrastructure to an IP network platform, the modernization solution offered will be built around Sitronics' IP-NGN soft-switching and OSS portfolio, and Cisco's core routing and switching products, including the CRS-1 Carrier Routing System. The solution is already being successfully implemented by the leading Russian telecommunications operator, MGTS that has 4.3 million subscribers in the Moscow region.

T-Mobile USA Selects Ericsson and Nokia

Both Ericsson and Nokia announced major contracts to supply gear for T-Mobile USA's 3G network deployment. Neither company disclosed financial terms.

Ericsson said it was selected for its turnkey network rollout and to serve as the prime radio provider for WCDMA 3G services in certain markets, including New York City which is scheduled to be operational in 2007.

Nokia said it will supply its Flexi WCDMA Base Station optimized for T-Mobile's newly acquired AWS spectrum bands. T-Mobile will be the first U.S. operator to deploy the fully HSPA capable Nokia Flexi WCDMA Base Station. The Nokia Flexi WCDMA Base Station enables easy deployment of WCDMA 3G in multiple spectrum bands with significantly lower base station site expenditures. Nokia also s a provider of High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) networks to T-Mobile in Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands - all of which are operational networks. In the U.S., Nokia has been a provider of 2G equipment and services to T-Mobile USA and has provided infrastructure and services to T-Mobile USA/VoiceStream since 1996.

Ericsson Appoints New Management Team

Ericsson appointed the following new group management team:

  • Carl-Henric Svanberg, Chief Executive Officer and President
  • Karl-Henrik Sundström, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

  • Kurt Jofs, Executive Vice President and General Manager, business unit Networks

  • Bert Nordberg, Executive Vice President, group function Sales and Marketing

  • Björn Olsson, Executive Vice President and deputy General Manager, business unit Networks

  • Hans Vestberg, Executive Vice President and General Manager, business unit Global Services

  • Jan Wäreby, Senior Vice President, head of business unit Multimedia

  • Carl Olof Blomqvist, Senior Vice President, group function Legal Affairs

  • Håkan Eriksson, Senior Vice President, group function Technology, and Chief Technology Officer

  • Marita Hellberg, Senior Vice President, group function Human Resources and Organization

  • Henry Sténson, Senior Vice President, group function Communications

  • Joakim Westh, Senior Vice President, group function Strategy and Operational Excellence

The company also said that it will begin a headcount reduction as a result of its reorganization.

MIT Lincoln Lab and Naval Research Lab Deploy CIENA's 40G DWDM

MIT Lincoln Laboratory and the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) selected CIENA to upgrade the Boston South Network (BoSSNET) - an applications and network test bed for researching high bandwidth (10s of Gbps per wavelength), long reach (approx. 1,000 km) all-optical transmissions - using the company's standards-based, all-optical DWDM technology.

Specifically, BoSSNET will be upgraded with Ciena's CoreStream Agility Optical Transport System, which is capable of routing wavelength services up to speeds of 40 Gbps for long-haul and ultra long-haul network routes. The platform eliminates optical-electrical-optical (OEO) signal conversions and transceivers, and lowers ongoing operational costs by automating end-to-end service provisioning and management, inventory and resource tracking, and dynamic power management. BoSSNET will also leverage CoreStream's software-defined ROADM technology to enable automated wavelength activation and reconfiguration in capacity increments of 10G and 40G today, with a clear migration path to 100G. CoreStream is also the core optical transport and switching foundation of the Department of Defense's GIG-BE network, ensuring full compatibility for BoSSNET.

BoSSNET is the research network for the Lab's Advanced Networks Group, which architects, designs and builds prototypes of next-generation optical, wireless and satellite communication networks to address critical problems of national security, while also transferring those technical advances to commercial applications.

BoSSNET spans from Boston to Washington, D.C., with local metro area connections to Lincoln Lab, New York and the D.C. area.
  • Qwest Communications supplies dark fiber for BoSSNET.

Data Connection and MetaSwitch Post Near 24% Revenue Growth

Data Connection, and its MetaSwitch division, reported record annual revenue of $87 million and earnings of $13.7 million. The company's fastest-growing division, MetaSwitch, now generates 53% of revenue. Data Connection, which is a privately-held company headquartered in London, said the past fiscal year marked one of the highest annual growth rates since the company was founded in 1981.

Some highlights:

  • MetaSwitch, the next generation softswitch division, now boasts more than 300 deployments with incumbent and competitive service providers in North America, Central America and Europe.

  • Data Connection's Network Protocols Division strengthened its leadership position in the fields of IP Routing, MPLS, VoIP and Session Border Controller source code solutions. The Division increased its year-on-year revenue by 21%, added several major new customers, and shipped new products such as IP Multicast, and increased IPv6 functionality and enhancements to the optical product family. Data Connection's VoIP technologies, which include SIP, Megaco/H.248, and MGCP, continue to enjoy strong demand from OEMs requiring core IMS technologies. DC-SBC, the industry's only portable software Session Border Controller specifically designed for OEMs, has obtained design wins with top OEM's in the industry.

  • The company's Internet Applications Division, which continues to invest heavily in IMS applications, had a successful year marked by the delivery of new enhanced voice services solutions as part of its UC-Portal applications platform, along with further customer wins and deployments among North American Tier 1 Service Providers. UC-Portal is used by Service Providers to deliver a Unified Communications service to subscribers, incorporating both multi-media messaging and innovative real-time telephony services, giving subscribers control of how they communicate regardless of whether they are served by existing fixed or mobile networks or VoIP.

  • The Enterprise Connectivity Division's strategic relationships with IBM, Microsoft, Cisco and other major OEMs continue to thrive, and the division has once again been highly profitable.

  • In accordance with the objectives of the Employee Benefit Trust, which holds 100% of the company's shares, the profits will be distributed to the employees.

Tektronix Launches Performance Monitoring/Testing for IMS

Tektronix has enhanced the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) performance monitoring capabilities of its Unified Assurance suite with additional IMS technical capabilities and protocol support.

Tektronix' network diagnostics portfolio includes IMS load test and a fully-configurable IMS functional test platform. Tektronix also supports Berlin-based Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems (FOKUS) and its Open IMS Playground Laboratory, the leading IMS open test lab in Europe, with its IMS diagnostics solutions.

The Unified Assurance product suite provides network operators a vendor-independent view of the performance of IP multi-service networks and services. This provides real time, multi- protocol/interface network, service and customer monitoring of next generation IP, legacy, mobile and core networks. Key features and capabilities of the Unified Assurance suite include:

  • UA provides a proactive approach to monitor the quality of the customer experience for new IMS-enabled multi-network applications. End-to-end based key performance indicators and key quality indicators are delivered for IMS applications, such as converged voice (fixed mobile convergence); VoIP (hosted VoIP, IP Centrex); Peer to peer video services (mobile to mobile multi-media services); and presence based applications (unified messaging, push-to-talk)

  • UA's service quality visibility enables network operators to prioritize and manage operations activities according to actual service experience being delivered, and proactively track the quality of service experienced by customers to maintain high customer satisfaction.

  • UA provides unparalleled fault isolation, diagnosis and troubleshooting capabilities with its industry-leading correlation and drill-down features, allowing operators to quickly identify when network-related issues are impacting revenue generating services.

  • UA offers complete support of IMS-enabling technologies delivered over multi-technology fixed and wireless networks (2G, 2.5G and 3G), including SIP, H.248/GCP, BICC, HTTP, WAP, SMS & MMS; RTP, RTCP, RTSP; DNS/ENUM, DHCP, RADIUS & DIAMETER; GPRS/UMTS/UTRAN access networks; UMA access networks; Fixed Broadband access networks.

Terawave and K-micro Partner on GPON PHY

Terawave Communications and K-micro (Kawasaki Microelectronics) introduced a jointly developed physical layer ("PHY") ASIC built specifically for gigabit passive optical networking (GPON) optical line terminals (OLTs). The companies said their ASIC enables extremely low GPON physical layer overhead by providing fast phase locking to incoming bursts along with the associated hardware hooks to synchronize upstream traffic within a few bits at 1244 Mbps.

K-micro has integrated its burst mode clock and data recovery (BM-CDR) technology into this new ASIC. It has appeared in two previous generations: the first-generation "Copper Tub" (CT1) that runs at 1244/1244, and a later CT2 that runs at 2488/1244.

The Terawave TW-800 Family of OLTs are the first products to incorporate this technology. The TW-801 OLT is one of a series of OLT packages designed to address the emerging GPON global market. These products are completely G.984.x ITU standards compliant.


AT&T Adds NBC Universal Content to U-verse

AT&T reached a deal to deliver NBC Universal linear, high-definition (HD) and on-demand programming as part of the AT&T U-verse TV channel lineup. The agreement covers the analog and digital signals of the NBC and Telemundo owned-and-operated broadcast stations, as well as NBCU's cable properties, including CNBC, CNBC World, MSNBC, Telemundo, mun2, Telemundo Puerto Rico, Bravo, the SCI FI Channel, Sleuth, ShopNBC, USA Network, Universal HD and the Olympics on Cable. The deal also includes VOD rights for Universal Pictures' movies.

Verizon Wireless Launches LG's enV Phone

Verizon Wireless announced exclusive availability LG's new enV phone, featuring its V CAST and V CAST Music service, VZ Navigator, an integrated QWERTY keyboard, Bluetooth capabilities, dual speakers and a 2.0 megapixel camera.

The phone offers EV-DO (where available) and 1xRTT data connectivity.

EarthLink Announces Another Muni WiFi Project

The City of Alexandria, Virginia has selected EarthLink to build, own and operate a municipal wireless network. The approximately 16-square-mile Wi-Fi mesh network will provide affordable, high-speed Internet access for the residents of and visitors to the City of Alexandria.
  • EarthLink has previously been awarded muni-Wi-Fi contracts in Philadelphia; Anaheim, California; Milpitas, California; and New Orleans.

NeuStar Acquires Followap for Mobile IM Capabilities

NeuStar has acquired Followap, a UK-based provider of mobile instant messaging (IM) products in Europe and Asia, for approximately $139 million in cash.

Followap delivers interoperability between operators and Internet portals in five different functional areas: instant messaging, presence, multimedia gateways, inter-carrier messaging hubs, and services for handset clients.

Followap has a customer base of 17 mobile network operators (MNOs) that have over 160 million subscribers. Customers include Vodafone, Turkcell, 3 Group (Hutchison), Wind and Mobinil.

Followap also works closely with ISPs to connect mobile subscribers to their favorite portal-based instant messaging applications, in addition to network operator- based services such as Personal IM.

Followap's advanced IM client solutions have recently been adopted by leading handset manufacturers.

NeuStar said the acquisition furthers its strategy by extending and complementing current beachhead initiatives in new growth markets such as the GSM Association root DNS service, the acquisition of UltraDNS and the development of the SIP-IX service.

Followap will form the core of NeuStar's Next Generation Messaging group and will complement NeuStar's SIP-IX suite of interoperability product offerings and services. NeuStar's new mobile IM solution suite will now support:

  • Multimedia messaging and real-time communications

  • Mobile phone number-based addressing

  • Presence as well as soft-state availability information; turning the handset phonebook into a buddy list

  • Cross-carrier chat sessions and group messaging

  • Location-based information services using presence technology

  • Seamless interoperability amongst operators and backward
  • compatibility with existing mobile messaging services.

NeuStar projects Followap revenue to exceed $25 million in 2007 and to more than double in 2008. NeuStar affirmed the 2006 full-year guidance issued on November 2, 2006, and confirmed that the acquisition of Followap did not impact its 2006 guidance.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

China Mobile Selects Alcatel for Nationwide IP Network

China Mobile, the world's largest mobile operator, selected Alcatel for a full-scale, nationwide IP network deployment project. Financial terms were not disclosed. The contract was won through Alcatel Shanghai Bell.

The project entails the deployment of the Alcatel 7750 Service Router and Alcatel 5620 Service Aware Manager in 13 densely-populated provinces and municipalities of China including: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Shanxi, Anhui, Gansu, Ningxia, Liaoning, Guizhou, Guangxi, Hunan, Jilin and Hainan.

Alcatel noted that all the major Chinese operators including China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom and China Netcom, have selected its IP solution.
  • In the first half of 2006, China Mobile added 25.775 million net new subscribers, increasing its total customer base to approximately 274 million. The company continues to add an average of over 4.29 million users per month.

  • In August 2006, China Mobile also reported that its total usage volume reached 569,203 million minutes, average minutes of usage per user per month (MOU) reached 367 minutes, average revenue per user per month (ARPU) held steady at RMB88 (approximately US$11.02).

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Nokia Launches Peer-to-Peer Traffic Control for Mobile Operators

Nokia introduced a Peer-to-peer Traffic Control solution for mobile operators. The centralized solution is implemented as a software upgrade to the Nokia Flexi Intelligent Service Node (ISN) and will be commercially available during the first half of 2007.

The Nokia Peer-to-peer Traffic Control solution can identify data traffic according to the type of service, for example file sharing. Nokia said mobile operators can use this capability to treat traffic in a way that best optimizes the use of network resources according to its business strategy.

The Nokia Flexi ISN, introduced in February 2004, is a high-availability, high-capacity connectivity and control element that offers service availability for mobile users independent of the access method. It acts as a centralized control point for data services, providing cellular network users with data connectivity.

Nokia recently concluded its 50th commercial Flexi ISN deal, cementing its leadership position in the Intelligent Packet Core market.

COLT Appoints new CEO -- Rakesh Bhasin

COLT Telecom Group has appointed Rakesh Bhasin as its new President and Chief Executive, succeeding Jean-Yves Charlier. Mr. Bhasin will also be joining the COLT Board and Mr. Charlier will be stepping down from the Board.

Bhasin currently is a Group Managing Director of Fidelity. Since February of 2001, he has served as President and Chief Executive of KVH Co., Ltd, a Fidelity Asia-focused telecom and network solutions provider headquartered in Tokyo. Prior to joining KVH in 2001, he served in various senior positions within AT&T, including head of AT&T Asia Pacific's managed network services business from 1993-97, President, AT&T Japan, Ltd., and also Senior Managing Director, Japan Telecom Company Limited. Mr. Bhasin will be stepping down as President and Chief Executive of KVH. From his new position in London, he will remain as non-executive Chairman of KVH.

SAMSUNG Launches HSDPA + DVB-H Mobile Phone for Italy

SAMSUNG introduced an HSDPA + DVB-H mobile phone for Telecom Italia.

Samsung's newest model, the P930, offers a horizontal-flip LCD screen for optimal mobile TV watching and supports Picture in Picture (PIP) functionality, enabling the viewer to watch two TV channels simultaneously. It offers a 2 megapixel camera and a VGA camera for video telephony. It also supports a microSD external memory slot for better storage.

Samsung said it is supporting all three global standards for mobile TV: DVB-H in Europe , MediaFLO in the U.S, and DMB in Korea .

BT Acquires Assets of Telexis Brasil

BT has acquired the assets of Telexis Brasil, Fiat's Brazilian telecommunications business, for an undisclosed sum. Telexis provides services to both Fiat Group and external customers. The company achieved revenues of around US$2 million in 2005 and had gross assets of approximately US$640,000.

BT said the deal is a significant planned step in the delivery of a global contract worth EUR 450 million over five years to supply telecommunications services to Fiat, as over EUR 30m of this value is contributed from Brazil.
  • In February 2006, BT acquired Fiat's Italian telecommunications subsidiary, Atlanet.

Alvarion Sells Cellular Mobile Unit to LGC Wireless

Alvarion completed the sale of its Cellular Mobile business unit ("CMU") to LGC Wireless, a privately-held supplier of wireless networking solutions for dense urban areas as well as inside public and private structures, for approximately $15 million in notes and the assumption of certain liabilities. The notes are due at the end of 2007 and 2008. One of the notes, in the principal amount of $7 million, is convertible into shares of common stock of LGC.

Alvarion's CMU business generated revenues of approximately $21 million in the first 3 quarters of 2006.


Alcatel and Datang Agree on TD-SCDMA

Alcatel and Datang Telecom Technology and Industry Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to drive TD-SCDMA development. Specifically, the MOU reinforces the cooperation that currently exists between the two companies in the areas of sales, marketing, industrialization, research and development of TD-SCDMA products and technologies for the domestic China market. Alcatel will assist the Datang Group abroad. Finally, the MOU includes joint development of LTE (Long Term Evolution) products and technologies.

TD-SCDMA is one of three 3G standards licensed by International Telecommunication Union (ITU) put forth by Datang Group on behalf of China in 2000. The other two are W-CDMA and CDMA 2000.
  • In November 2004, Alcatel and Datang Mobile, a subsidiary of Datang Group, signed an agreement to invest in the industrialization of TD-SCDMA in China.

  • In April 2005, Alcatel Shanghai Bell and Datang jointly demonstrated a live end-to-end TD-SCDMA solution.

Polkomtel Launches HSDPA with Nokia

Polkomtel, one of three mobile telephony operators in Poland, launched its commercial High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) network in the Warsaw area, offering speeds of up to five times faster than its current WCDMA service. Polkomtel and Nokia have worked together since 1996. Nokia supplies the HSDPA under extension of the existing frame agreement for GSM/EDGE and WCDMA 3G, signed in 2005.

Nokia Supports Orange France in Launching HSDPA

Orange France has launched the High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) services in Toulouse and Bordeaux. Nokia supplied the WCDMA 3G and HSDPA infrastructure, along with radio optimization services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nokia noted that it has 63 customers to date for WCDMA 3G.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Belgium's Proximus Selects Ericsson for Mobile TV

The Belgian operator Proximus has awarded Ericsson a contract for an end-to-end mobile TV solution, including Ericsson's Channel Selector. The contract also covers implementation, systems integration and system support. The launch of the solution is planned in the course of 2007. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ericsson said its channel selector capability makes mobile TV channel surfing much more convenient - changing from one channel to another needs just one click on the mobile handset.

Cisco to Establish Global R&D Centre in Ireland

Cisco plans to open a Research & Development Centre in Galway, Ireland. The facility will initially employ 50 skilled graduates and is projected to grow to 200 positions over the next three years for people at degree level and above.

Cisco, through its international sales and finance subsidiaries, has existing Irish operations based in Dublin, which employ 66 people in sales and support operations, which focuses on the domestic market, and a finance (captive leasing) and treasury operation.

Tellas Deploys Itatel's Softswitch

Tellas, a major wireline competitor in Greece, has selected Italtel's softswitch technology for its Next Generation Network (NGN) and for the deployment of a Metro Ethernet Network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The NGN solution will guarantee full interworking with Tellas existing legacy infrastructure for voice services and enable the delivery over an IP network of new enhanced telephony and rich content services for residential and business customers. The deployment is based on the Italtel softswitch (i-SSW) controlling both Access Nodes and CPE.

Italtel will also supply a Metro Ethernet Network with IP capabilities for advanced traffic management to support both Tellas existing broadband Internet services and the new services managed by the NGN.

Italtel will also act as overall system integrator to seamlessly integrate the NGN and Metro Ethernet solutions into the operator's network.
  • Last month, Italtel announced a new joint solution with Cisco Systems that enables service providers to offer managed and hosted IP communication solutions, facilitating the adoption of advanced Unified Communications services for businesses. The Italtel-Cisco Integrated Networked Business Voice Solution (IN-BVS) integrates the Italtel Softswitch (i-SSW) with Cisco Unified CallManager (CCM) and Cisco Unified CallManager Express (CCME) call-control systems.

  • Itatel's customer list includes Telefonica Moviles (Guatemala), EEPPM (Colombia), Du (United Arab Emirates), and Arcor (Germany).

Nortel Selected for Nationwide Optical Backbone in Iraq

Iraq Telecommunications & Post Corporation (ITPC) has awarded a US$20 million contract to Nortel to build a nationwide optical backbone in Iraq. Nortel was selected by ITPC as the prime contractor for the project following a public tender.

Under the contract, Nortel will supply a national optical backbone network that covers a distance of 5,000 kilometers and includes 35 major cities. The network will be constructed using Nortel's next generation DWDM solution including Common Photonic Layer (CPL), Optical Multiservice Edge (OME) 6500 terminals with electronic dispersion management technology and Optical Network Manager for simplifying field operations. The resilient network comprises seven interlocking rings providing a bandwidth capacity of up to 160 Gbps per ring.

The new network will link to the ITPC's Iraq South Ring DWDM network - built by Nortel in 2004 as part of the US aid-funded Iraq reconstruction programme. The network delivers broadband optical services between Baghdad and Basra.

New SMC WiFi Phone Cradle Charger Integrates AP

SMC Networks announced the availability of products to complement its WiFi phones: two cradles that keep phones charged and ready; one of which has an integrated wireless access point.

The functionality of the SMCDPCR-AP serves double-duty: as a charger/cradle, it keeps the phone charged and ready; and the 10/100Mb Ethernet port on the back of the device turns it into an 802.11g access point, so that users have a close-by and optimal signal for VoIP calling and nearby wireless clients can access the network through it as well. To ensure optimal performance for voice calls over the Internet while still serving regular clients, the SMCDPCR-AP has two SSID's: one just for VoIP calls, and the other for regular wireless clients.

The WiFi phone cradle with access point has an MSRP of $69.99, while the charger version without the access point is priced at $19.99. SMC's Skype-enabled WiFi phone has been available since August 2006, at an MSRP of $179.99.

ECI Telecom Wins Support Services Contract from ntl

ntl, the UK's largest cable operator, awarded a three-year, $5.5 million contract to ECI Telecom for ongoing support services. As part of the new agreement with ntl, ECI will provide maintenance and support services for its national network, thus enabling ntl to continue to offer exceptional service to its customers.

Qwest Provides Fiber Connectivity for DIRECTV

Qwest Communications announced a three-year contract to be a major provider of networking services to DIRECTV. The Qwest advanced networking services will help DIRECTV deliver local HD television content to customers. Specifically, Qwest will provide metro optical wavelength services, or QWave, to upgrade DIRECTV's network infrastructure. With this upgrade, DIRECTV will be able to distribute and transport HDTV content.

Qwest said the agreement is a direct result of the recent acquisition of OnFiber.

Natural Convergence Raises $10 Million in Funding

Natural Convergence, a start-up based in Ottawa, secured US$10 million in series C financing for its VoIP application software for service providers.

Natural Convergence's "silhouette" application replaces traditional key systems, combining familiar functionality with cost and performance advantages. Its go-to-market channel strategy is optimized to the buying habits of small businesses - from value-added resellers, through service providers and original equipment manufacturers.

The funding round was led by Wesley Clover and BDC Venture Capital, and brought the total investment in Natural Convergence to US$29 million. Wesley Clover is the venture capital company founded and chaired by telecommunications industry leader Terry Matthews. Other investors include VIMAC and Desjardins Venture Capital Group, as well as early investors Jefferson Partners, Primaxis Technology Ventures Inc., and Purple Angel.

AT&T and Yahoo! Mark Fifth Anniversary of Alliance

AT&T and Yahoo! marked the fifth anniversary of their broadband alliance.

"Our partnership with AT&T has given Yahoo! the opportunity to create truly innovative Internet experiences, not just for the PC but also on consumer televisions," said Steve Boom, senior vice president of Broadband and Mobile, Yahoo! Inc.


Alcatel Files Patent Infringement Suit against Microsoft

Alcatel USA has filed two complaints against Microsoft with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas alleging violation of its intellectual property rights. The dispute involves six patents, one of which concerns Deterministic User Authentication on a network and another of which concerns peer-to-peer application communication. According to the filing, Alcatel provided Microsoft with notice of infringement before filing its legal claim.
  • Alcatel and Microsoft have been partners in developing IPTV solutions since February 2005.

LSI Logic Acquires Metta Technology from India

LSI Logic has acquired Metta Technology, a developer of multimedia system-on-chip technology and related software for consumer electronics products, for approximately $7 million in cash. Metta Technology is based in Pune, India and has approximately 60 employees.

"Through the acquisition of Metta Technology, we are increasing our focus on delivering the advanced, feature-rich solutions required by next generation digital video and edutainment products," said Umesh Padval, executive vice president, Consumer Products Group, LSI Logic. "

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Bay Area's IP Networks Deploys Atrica's Carrier Ethernet Systems

IP Networks, which has leveraged strategic relationships with multiple electric/gas utilities in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, has integrated Atrica's family of Carrier Ethernet Systems into its all-optical network, primarily at enterprise locations. Following more than two years of deployment, the Atrica platform will now play a deeper role in the carrier's core network.

Specifically, IP Networks has deployed the following components of Atrica's Carrier Ethernet product suite: the A-2000 family of Carrier Ethernet Edge Switches, the A-4000 family of Carrier Ethernet Aggregation Switches, the A-8000 family of Carrier Ethernet Core Switches, and the Atrica Service Platform for Ethernet Networks (ASPEN), an integrated service provisioning and management system. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The integration of Atrica's solutions into IPN's newly installed DWDM backbone nodes increases capacity by an order of magnitude and increases the flexibility of IPN's expanded service offerings.

IP Networks delivers Service Level Agreement (SLA) flexibility, offering Committed Information Rate (CIR) service for mission-critical applications, Excess Information Rate (EIR) for bursty applications, fully protected or unprotected services and guaranteed SLAs. Applications supported by IPN's advanced infrastructure include broadcast video, storage and back-up, IP services, LAN-to-LAN interconnect from 1 Mbps to 1000 Mbps, Metro Ethernet services from 1 Mbps to 1000 Mbps, VON, and T1 circuit emulation service (CES) services.


Siemens Integrates HiPath Wireless Manager with Microsoft's Network Access Protection

Siemens Communications has integrated its HiPath Wireless Manager with Microsoft's Network Access Protection (NAP) platform, enabling companies to monitor and enforce security policy and access control for mobile users who connect through a wireless network.

Network Access Protection is a policy enforcement technology built into the Windows Vista and Windows Server "Longhorn" operating systems that allows customers to better protect network assets from unhealthy computers by enforcing compliance with network health policies. Microsoft's Network Access Protection technology will be publicly available with Beta 2 of Windows Vista, and available to select partners and customers with Beta 2 of the future version of Windows Server, codename "Longhorn."

Siemens' HiPath Wireless Manager is a new, centralized WLAN management platform that enables the enterprise-wide management of thousands of wireless access points and tens of thousands of users from a single console. The platform enables IT managers to monitor and optimize performance using enterprise-wide heat maps, statistics, alerts and reports.

Humax, Conexant and Conax Offer Secure STB for Sweden's ComHem

Humax, a leading international manufacturer of digital set-top boxes (STBs), has selected Conexant Systems' HDTV STB system solution for a new receiver that will be deployed by ComHem, a triple-play provider in Sweden. Conexant collaborated with Conax AS, a leading supplier of conditional access solutions for digital TV, to secure the design-win and deliver an integrated solution that improves the security of HDTV pay-television programming.

Newport Media Raises $30 Million for Mobile TV Silicon

Newport Media, a start-up based in Lake Forest, California, closed a $30 million Series C financing round for its work in developing silicon solutions for digital audio and mobile TV applications.

Newport Media is developing highly integrated, system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions designed to support all major mobile TV standards. The company said its Sundance H solution enables wireless handsets and mobile digital TV players with increased viewing time while simultaneously improving key performance metrics like sensitivity, channel switching time and interference immunity. The design is initially aimed at Digital Video Broadcasting-Handhelds (DVB-H). It will also support other air interface standards including Terrestrial-Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (T-DMB), Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting-Terrestrial (ISDB-T) and MediaFLO.

The new funding round was led by new investor DAG Ventures. Previous investors Benchmark Capital, Global Catalyst Partners, Oak Investment Partners, Pinnacle Ventures, and Venrock Associates joined DAG Ventures in this round. Newport Media has raised more than $66 million to date.

MetaSwitch Power Fujitsu's Managed VoIP Service

Metaswitch's carrier switching platform is playing a central role in Fujitsu Services' new Managed VoIP offering, which was launched in May 2006 for medium and large companies in the UK. Fujitsu's service recently received the International Engineering Consortium's InfoVision Honor in recognition of being the UK's first commercially available managed voice solution for large organizations.

NXP Semiconductors and Sony to Develop Secure Chips for Mobile Transactions

NXP Semiconductors, formerly Philips Semiconductors, and Sony have agreed to establish a joint venture (JV) that will drive global adoption of contactless smart card applications in mobile phones. The anticipated JV will plan, develop, produce and market a secure chip that will include both MIFARE and FeliCa operating systems and applications, as well as other contactless card operating systems and applications.

The companies said that by combining this secure chip with an NFC chip a universal contactless IC platform can be created for mobile phones.

NFC is a combination of contactless identification and interconnection technology that enables wireless short-range communication between mobile devices, consumer electronics, PCs and smart objects.

MIFARE is the most widely installed contactless smart card technology in the world with about 1.2 billion smart card chips and more than seven million reader modules sold.

Current shipments of FeliCa ICs stand at 170 million units and of these 30 million are mobile FeliCa chips for use in mobile phones in Japan.

Cisco Unveils SAN Fabric Switch

Cisco introduced a Multilayer Fabric Switch that provides enterprise-class capabilities such as virtual Storage Area Networks (VSANs), advanced security and high availability. The Cisco MDS 9124 Multilayer Fabric Switch provides up to 24 4-Gbps Fibre Channel ports in a compact 1 one rack unit form factor with line-rate performance on each port. Customers can select eight, 16 or 24 ports and can add ports as needed.

Cisco said has garnered broad support from storage vendors that participate in its original storage manufacturer (OSM) and solution technology integrator (STI) partner programs. Partners that intend to sell the Cisco MDS 9124 Multilayer Fabric Switch include Dell, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, HP, IBM, Network Appliance, Sun Microsystems and Xiotech.

Cingular Selects Alcatel's IP/MPLS Transport for HSDPA RAN

Cingular Wireless is using Alcatel's multiservice transport solution for High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) in its radio access network. This includes the Alcatel 7670 Routing Switch Platform (RSP) and the Alcatel 1671 Service Connect (SC) multiservice cross-connect. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"We will be moving in lock-step with Cingular's aggressive development of the first HSDPA 3G network in the US," said Hubert de Pesquidoux, president of Alcatel's North American activities.

Limelight Supports Current.TV

Limelight Networks is supplying content delivery services for, the online counterpart to the Current television network, which co-founded by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt. Roughly one-third on the on-air content comes from viewer created content.


AT&T to Open Region Headquarters in Dubai

T&T is opening a regional headquarters for the Middle East in Dubai. In 2005 AT&T announced the deployment of its network infrastructure in the region, initially in Qatar in cooperation with Qtel and further deployments in the region are planned including in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Cingular Wireless Launches Mobile Navigation Service

Cingular Wireless introduced a wireless navigation system with 3D maps and "fuzzy search" on the Nokia E62 device. The TeleNav GPS Navigator service provides turn-by-turn directions while driving on the device's large, high-resolution screen, which measures 320 x 240 pixels.

In addition to the Nokia E62 device, the TeleNav GPS Navigator service is available to Cingular business customers on the GPS-enabled HP iPAQ hw6920 Series Mobile Communicator, the Cingular 8525 and 8125 Pocket PCs, and the Palm Treo 650. A Bluetooth GPS receiver is required for non-GPS enabled wireless phones.

Juniper and NEC Develop Joint IMS-FMC Solutions

Juniper Networks and NEC Corporation of Japan announced a partnership to develop IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)-based Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) solutions for the service provider market. The IMS-FMC solutions will combine NEC's advanced products and solutions for fixed and mobile networks with Juniper Networks carrier-class IP core and edge routers and security products. Both companies agreed to use and enhance existing standards based interfaces and conform to architectural standards defined by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) and Telecoms & Internet converged Services & Protocols for Advanced Networks (TISPAN) standardization bodies.

The agreement expands an existing relationship between the companies dating back to 2001. Late last year, NEC and Juniper Networks announced joint development of secure VoIP solutions for the Japan market based on NEC's VoIP solutions and Juniper Networks network security platforms. In March of 2006, NEC and Juniper Networks announced plans to jointly develop next-generation networking (NGN) solutions. Today's announcement builds upon this ongoing relationship between Juniper Networks and NEC with a specific focus on for next-generation networks.

Alcatel Upgrades its Multi-service Cross-connect

Alcatel released an upgrade of its multi-service cross-connect offering to 240 Gbps capacity -- three times the capacity of the previous release -- in a single matrix, while optimizing the multi-service aggregation capabilities of this platform. The capacity upgrade can be performed in-service.

The Alcatel 1671 SC provides broadband (including broadband test access and support), narrowband and wideband grooming, as well as supports data services. Alcatel said the combination of multiple grooming capabilities allows service providers to realize significant capital and operational savings.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Boost Mobile and loopt Launch Social Mapping for Mobiles

Boost Mobile, a division of Sprint Nextel, and loopt, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, launched a location-based social mapping service that enables young mobile phone users to share their location, status messages, photos and other on-the-go experiences with friends from their Boost Mobile phone.

Boost offers premium Pay-As-You-Go wireless phones and services to the youth market using the Sprint Nextel network.

The new Boost loopt service automatically updates the location of everyone in a private network of Boost customers and displays that information directly on a map on the phone. The service also sends an alert when a friend in the network is near.

Boost loopt also brings geo-tagging capabilities to a major U.S. wireless carrier for the first time. The service's journaling feature allows mobile users to "geo tag" locations and captures their experience with friends in their private network.

Boost Mobile is offering Boost loopt to its customers with java-enabled handsets for free through the remainder of 2006. Starting January 2007, Boost loopt will be offered on a Pay-As-You-Go basis for $2.99 per month.
  • Earlier this year, loopt announced a $5 million Series A financing led by venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and New Enterprise Associates.

SMC Ships Single Chip 28-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch

SMC Networks began shipping a Layer 2, fully-managed 28-port Gigabit Ethernet switch with two 10 Gigabit uplinks at an MSRP of $1299.99. The switch provides 24 RJ-45 plus four SFP ports in an efficient single chip switching solution. Management features include Spanning Tree, VLANs and link aggregation (LACP) which also supports trunking the 10G ports.

Sipera Adds Cisco Exec as VP Engineering

Sipera Systems, a start-up based in Richardson, Texas, named Ravi Varanasi as Vice President of Engineering. Prior to Sipera, Varanasi led development efforts for Cisco Systems, focused on security technology, enterprise networking and core engineering. He was a founding member for Cisco industry initiatives including Network Admission Control (NAC), Cisco Pervasive Security (CPS), and Application Security.

Sipera Systems also named Greg Flowers as Vice President of Finance. He previously was a vice president of GTESS Corporation.

Sipera Systems specializes in security for VoIP, mobile and multimedia communications, including SIP, UMA and IMS vulnerabilities.

Mavenir Systems Hires former CEO of Spatial Wireless

Mavenir Systems, a start-up based in Richardson, Texas, announced today the appointment of Pardeep Kohli as President and CEO.
Kohli previously served as co-founder, president and CEO of Spatial Wireless, which was acquired by Alcatel.

Mavenir Systems is developing a next generation service delivery platform designed "to transcend the barriers dividing networks." The company promises an innovative approach to delivering multimedia capabilities across networks, access and devices with full mobility, authentication and service assurance. Product plans have not yet been disclosed. The company has an office in Shanghai, China, and is financially supported by Austin Ventures and North Bridge Venture Partners.

Mavenir also announced the appointment of Dr. Sachio Semmoto of eAccess Ltd. and eMobile Ltd. to its advisory board, and the election of industry executive veterans Ben Scott (former chairman and CEO for IXC Communications) and K-P Wilska (Nokia), to its board of directors.
  • In July 2006, Mavenir Systems announced $13.1 million in venture funding for its work in mobile multimedia systems. The company said it is focused on the convergence services market.

  • In September 2004, Alcatel agreed to acquire Spatial Wireless for approximately US$250 million (approx. EUR 205 million) in Alcatel American Depositary Shares (ADS). Spatial's flagship product, Spatial Atrium, is a multi-standard mobile softswitch that controls distributed media gateways and manages call/session control for voice and data services. It works seamlessly in GSM/EDGE, 3G/UMTS and CDMA networks.

Versatel Selects Huawei for IP/DWDM

Versatel has selected Huawei Technologies to supply key elements of a new nationwide network across Germany. The deployment includes Huawei's DWDM equipment and its Quidway NetEngine series of high end routers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Cablevision Plans No Price Increase in 2007

Cablevision Systems' pricing for its cable TV services in New York will remain virtually unchanged in 2007, up 1.1 percent on average over current rates. Standard pricing for Cablevision's Optimum Online high-speed Internet service and Optimum Voice digital voice- over-cable service will not increase in 2007, the fourth consecutive year without a price increase for these top-rated services, which continue to lead the nation in consumer acceptance.

The company noted cable television programming increases in 2006, including the addition of the new regional sports network featuring the New York Mets, SportsNet New York, to its Family Cable line-up, and the addition of a number of new standard-definition channels to its iO digital cable line-up. The company also expanded its HD line-up, adding four new channels to a list of 22 HD services available to iO customers at no additional cost.

Cablevision also expanded the more than 1,400 on demand titles available to iO customers, and added three new categories to its free VOD offering.

Also in 2006, Cablevision completed a significant value-added speed increase for its Optimum Online high-speed Internet customers, from up to 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream to 15 Mbps downstream and 2 Mbps upstream at no additional cost, and also launched a premium tier offering speeds of up to 30 Mbps downstream and 5 Mbps upstream.

Alcatel/Lucent Merger Expected to Close on November 30

President Bush accepted the recommendation of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to not suspend or prohibit the proposed merger of Lucent Technologies and Alcatel. The companies are bound by conditions of a National Security Agreement and Special Security Agreement with U.S. government agencies.

The White House said in a statement that the decision took into account all relevant national security factors, including, but not limited to (1) the scope of Lucent's operations and its work with state, local and federal government agencies, (2) the globalizing nature of the telecommunications industry, (3) the important research and development being conducted at Lucent's Bell Laboratories.

Alcatel and Lucent now expect to complete their merger on November 30, 2006, which is within the six-to-twelve-month timeframe originally announced April 2, 2006.

  • In July, the European Commission has cleared the proposed merger between Alcatel and Lucent Technologies. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it. The main areas of concern had been in the sale of DSLAMs and optical networking equipment, where the combined company will hold considerable market shares. However, the EC concluded that network operators would be able to sufficiently constrain the merged entity through their countervailing power in bidding procedures that are a characteristic of the industry.