Thursday, December 28, 2006

AT&T + BellSouth Deal Closes, Following Last Minute Concessions

The FCC voted 4-to-0 to approve AT&T's acquisition of BellSouth, concluding that the largest telecom merger in U.S. history would offer significant public benefits, including increased competition for video services and the creation of a stronger player in national communication services.

The merger was completed immediately following the vote.

"AT&T will be an engine for innovation, competition, and growth for our customers at home and abroad," said AT&T Chairman and CEO Edward E. Whitacre Jr. "In the Southeast, we will build on BellSouth's excellent record of serving customers and communities. And we are ready to lead the way in a new era of integrated wireless services nationwide."

The company said it will begin the integration process to converge the AT&T, BellSouth, and Cingular wireless and wireline IP networks, combine product portfolios and integrate customer care capabilities. AT&T will launch extensive new advertising, which will begin the transition of the BellSouth brand name to AT&T. AT&T will re-brand Cingular through a co-branded transition, which is scheduled to start in 2007.

The FCC decision, which came on the final business day of 2006, followed a series of last minute concessions from AT&T that ultimately swayed the two Democrat commissioners who had earlier withheld their approvals of the merger.

The list of new concessions includes:

  • For a period of 30 months, AT&T agrees to abide the principles of Net Neutrality set forth in the FCC policy statement of September 23, 2005.

  • AT&T commits that it will maintain a neutral network and neutral routing in its wireline broadband Internet access service. The company will not provide to any Internet content, application or service provider, including those affiliated with AT&T/BellSouth, any service that privileges, degrades or prioritizes any packet transmitted over its wireline broadband Internet access service based on its source, ownership or destination. The commitment applies from the network side of customer premise equipment (CPE) up to and including the closest Internet Exchange Point. AT&T said this commitment does not apply to its enterprise managed IP services nor to its IPTV service. The commitment will sunset two years from the merger closing date or the effective date of any future legislation on Net Neutrality enacted by Congress.

  • For three years, the company agrees to maintain at least as many settlement-free peering arrangements for Internet backbone services as it does today on the merger closing date.

  • By the end of 2007, AT&T will offer broadband (greater than 200 kbps in at least one direction) to 100% of residential living units in the AT&T/BellSouth in-region territory -- this includes at least 85% wireline coverage and the rest via broadband wireless technologies, such as WiMAX.

  • AT&T will offer DSL (up to 768 kbps) for $10 per month for up to 30 months to new customers who have never before subscribed to DSL.

  • AT&T promises to accelerate the rollout of its Uverse and HomeZone video services in BellSouth territory.

  • AT&T/BellSouth shall not seek any increase in state-approved rates for UNEs.

  • AT&T/BellSouth promises not increase the rates paid by existing customers of DS1 and DS3 private line services.

  • For a period of 30 months, the company will offer DSL without requiring customers to purchase a circuit switched voice line. The rate for this service will not exceed $19.95 (exclusive of regulatory fees and taxes).

  • The company will offer ADSL transmission service to other ISPs that is functionally equivalent to the same service AT&T offers in-region as of the date that the merger closes.

  • The company agrees to sell or transfer all of the 2.5 GHz wireless spectrum currently licensed or leased by BellSouth.

  • By 2010, the company agrees to offer service in the 2.3 GHz band to 25% of the population in the service area where it holds WCS licenses.

  • AT&T/BellSouth will repatriate 3,000 jobs that are currently outsourced by BellSouth abroad.

Following the vote, FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, who pushed for the additional concessions from AT&T, commented "One hallmark of this Order is that it applies explicit, enforceable provisions to preserve and protect the open and interconnected nature of the Internet, including not only a commitment to abide by the four principles of the FCC Internet Policy Statement but also an historic agreement to ensure that the combined company will maintain a neutral network and neutral routing in its wireline broadband Internet access service."

In a separate statement, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin objected to many of the concessions, saying that while they may have helped close the merger, the concessions were unnecessary and ran counter to other FCC policies. "The conditions regarding net-neutrality have very little to do with the merger at hand and very well may cause greater problems than the speculative problems they seek to address. These conditions are simply not warranted by current market conditions and may deter facilities investment."http://www.att.comhttp;//

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

BT Ready to Get Telecom Licenses in India

The Government of India, Department of Telecommunications (DoT), issued Letters of Intent (LoI) to BT for the award of licences for National Long Distance and International Long Distance services. Once the licences are fully operational, BT will be able to offer both domestic and international managed services to corporate customers who have sites in India. BT will also be able to provide these companies with VPN services using technologies such as ATM and MPLS.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Level 3 to Acquire SAVVIS CDN -- 7th Acquisition in 2006

Level 3 Communications agreed to acquire the Content Delivery Network (CDN) services business of SAVVIS, for $135 million in cash. The deal includes certain network elements, customer contracts, and intellectual property used in SAVVIS' CDN business.

SAVVIS' CDN services business, based in Thousand Oaks, California, with approximately 50 employees and over 100 customers, provides solutions that improve performance, reliability, scalability and reach of customers' online content. The business was initially launched in 1996 as Sandpiper Networks -- the world's first content delivery network. It has a globally distributed infrastructure in more than 20 countries.

SAVVIS' CDN business had approximately $15 million in revenue for the nine months ending September 30, 2006.

"The largest customers of CDN services rely on a combination of capabilities to support their businesses. These include services like CDN, IP transit, wavelengths, metro transport, and colocation. Upon completion of this transaction, Level 3 believes that it will be the only CDN services provider with a single source, full portfolio of end-to-end content distribution solutions, and will be in a unique position to offer a range of building blocks to meet these customers' needs," said Kevin O'Hara, president and chief operating officer of Level 3.

http://www.level3.comhttp://www.savvis.netIn October 2006, Level 3 Communications agreed to acquire Broadwing Corporation in a cash and stock deal valued at $1.4 billion. The deal adds to a series of acquisitions by Level 3 this year, including WilTel, Progress Telecom, ICG Communications, TelCove and Looking Glass Networks.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Microsoft, SOFTBANK and Japan Telecom Team on Services

Microsoft, SOFTBANK BB, and Japan Telecom are developing a security-enhanced, integrated communications service that combines VoIP, e-mail, Internet access, groupware, presence, instant messaging and desktop services with network infrastructure.

The companies have formed a strategic business alliance to provide this service as a business-oriented solution, beginning with trials in Spring 2006.

The service will link the Microsoft Solution for Enhanced VoIP Services with BB Phone's voice platform and JAPAN TELECOM's managed network infrastructure.

Microsoft Solution for Enhanced VoIP Services comprises hosted versions of Microsoft server products including Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 and Windows SharePoint Services with Sylantro Systems Corp.'s Application Feature Server.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Juniper Plans $900 Million in Charges for Past Stock-Compensation Probems

Juniper Networks announced that its internal Audit Committee has concluded that numerous stock option grants issued in the past differ from the recorded grant dates of such awards. Specifically, it was determined that there were numerous instances in which grant dates were chosen with the benefit of hindsight as to the price of the Company's stock, so as to give favorable prices. Blame was attributed to certain management members who are no longer with the company.

Therefore, Juniper currently anticipates that it will record additional non-cash charges for stock-based compensation expense of approximately $900 million, 99.9 percent of which relate to options granted between June 9, 1999 and December 31, 2003.

Juniper Networks noted that its CEO, Scott Kriens, received two stock option awards with measurement date issues. However, both options were canceled unexercised in 2001. Kriens has not exercised any stock options since 1998, approximately a year before the company's IPO.

Juniper's Board of Director expressed their continued confidence in Kriens.

AT&T Launches U-verse TV in SF Bay Area

AT&T announced the initial launch of its U-verse TV service in parts of the San Francisco Bay area, including parts of the cities of Cupertino and Saratoga, and parts of the cities of San Ramon and Danville. AT&T said it now expects to launch U-verse in eleven markets by the end of the year, with plans to launch in additional markets in early 2007.

AT&T U-verse is offering:

  • more than 300 channels, including digital music, local, and premium movie and sports programming.

  • a more than 25 High Definition (HD) channels-and high speed Internet access.

  • Web remote access to digital video recorder (DVR)

  • built-in picture-in-picture functionality that allows subscribers to "channel surf" on any television without leaving the program they're watching.

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

  • a premium Spanish-language package

Three packages of AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet U-verse Enabled will be made available to AT&T U-verse customers:

  • Elite: Downstream up to 6.0 Mbps, upstream up to 1.0 Mbps.

  • Pro: Downstream up to 3.0 Mbps, upstream up to 1.0 Mbps.

  • Express: Downstream up to 1.5 Mbps, upstream up to 1.0 Mbps.

Seagate to Acquire EVault for Online Backup Service

Seagate Technology agreed to acquire privately-held EVault, which provides online backup services, as part of its effort to extend the company's storage solutions and strengthen its Seagate Services group. The all-cash deal was valued at approximately $185 million.

EVault was founded in 1997 and is based in Emeryville, California. The company has over 250 employees and claims more than 8,500 customers, including hundreds of financial, health care and legal organizations.

EVault is the most recent acquisition in the broader storage solutions area and the third for Seagate in the area of services. In 2005, Seagate purchased Mirra, which developed a networked digital content protection server for the home and small business markets; and Action Front, a professional in-lab data recovery company.

Seagate said that with its Services group it is interested in pursuing underserved markets where it can leverage leading technology and market expertise, and provide unique value propositions to address growing customer needs.


Motorola To Acquire Tut Systems for $39 Million

Motorola agreed to acquire Tut Systems for $1.15 per share in cash, giving the transaction a value of approximately $39 million on a fully-diluted basis.

Tut Systems provides carrier-class end-to-end digital video encoding, processing and distribution products. Their solutions support MPEG-2 and MPEG- 4 AVC video compression, local ad insertion, forward error correction, and real-time conditioning of video and audio. Tut Systems' customer list includes more than 160 service providers worldwide.

Tut Systems' "Astria" content processor (CP)is an IPTV headend solution supporting various access networks, including ADSL, VDSL, fiber to the home (FTTH) and hybrid-fiber coax (HFC), all within a single chassis. Protocol support includes ATM, pure-IP, IP over ATM and native MTS. Astria CPs support physical interface requirements including Gig-E, OC-3, DVB-ASI.

Motorola said it plans to integrate Tut Systems' solutions with its own digital video delivery solutions for supporting advanced video services over IP, ATM, or RF-based network architectures. Motorola currently has deployed 2060 digital video networks and over 50 million digital video set tops worldwide.

Once the deal closes, Tut Systems will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Motorola and will be integrated into the Motorola Connected Home Solutions business. Motorola intends to maintain Tut Systems' operations in Lake Oswego, Oregon, San Diego California and Pleasanton California.


UTStarcom's CTO Resigns to Take Post at China Mobile

UTStarcom announced the resignation of Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Bill Huang, who will take a senior executive position at China Mobile Ltd. On an interim basis, Pat Chan, senior vice president of UTStarcom's Network Solutions business unit, will assume Huang's responsibilities as acting chief technology officer.

DIRECTV Awards Data Networking Contract Extension to AT&T

DIRECTV will continue its current contract with AT&T for OneNet services for an additional year at a value of $33 million. AT&T will continue to provide DIRECTV with toll-free 800, Advanced Features and ATM and Frame Relay services that support 18 call centers and approximately 60 corporate WAN points of presence. AT&T will also begin to provide MPLS connectivity for supporting DIRECTV's corporate VoIP traffic.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

FCC Votes 3-2 to Ease Video Franchising Process

The FCC voted 3-to-2 to approve new rules that prohibit local franchising authorities from unreasonably refusing to award competitive franchises for the provision of cable services. The vote is a victory for A&T, Verizon and other telephone providers seeking to enter the market for video services.

The majority of FCC commissioners concluded that the current franchising process required by local municipalities constitutes an unreasonable barrier to entry that impedes the achievement of the interrelated federal goals of enhanced cable competition and accelerated broadband deployment.

The new rules would prohibit towns or cities from engaging new market entrants in drawn-out local negotiations with no time limits; unreasonable build-out requirements; unreasonable requests for "in-kind" payments that attempt to subvert the five percent cap on franchise fees; and unreasonable demands with respect to public, educational and government access.

FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin wrote "Telephone companies are investing billions of dollars to upgrade their networks to provide video. As new providers began actively seeking entry into video markets, we began to hear that some local authorities were making the process of getting franchises unreasonably difficult, despite clear statutory language. The record collected by the Commission in this proceeding cited instances where LFAs sat on applications for more than a year or required extraordinary in kind contributions such as the building of public swimming pools and recreation centers. Such unreasonable requirements are especially troubling because competition is desperately needed in the video market."

In a statement, FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps, who voted against the measure, wrote: "I have been troubled at the lack of a granular record that would demonstrate that the present franchising system is irretrievably broken and that traditional federal-state-local relationships have to be so thoroughly upended." He also noted that the ruling might exceed the FCC's mandate and therefore draw legal challenges which would further delay network rollouts.

Siemens Achieves 107 Gbps over a Single Fiber Channel

Researchers at Siemens, working in cooperation with Micram, the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications (Heinrich-Hertz-Institut) and Eindhoven Technical University, achieved an optical transmission rate of 107 Gbps over a single fiber channel using purely electric processing in both the transmitter and receiver.

The newly developed transmission and receiving system processes the data by purely electrical means directly before and after its conversion into optical signals. The test was conducted at a long-haul network at one of world's largest optical network operators, in which Siemens has previously deployed a 40 Gbps network for commercial use.

A few months earlier, Siemens researchers already proved the feasibility of a receiver with 100% electrical processing for optical transmission at 107 Gbps in which the signal from the photo diode is picked up and processed directly by a chip. The optical transmitter has been "fully electrified."

"In the spring of 2006 we demonstrated the system with a fully electric receiver," said Dr. Rainer H. Derksen, project coordinator at Siemens Corporate Technology in Munich. "At that time we were still using optical multiplexing in the transmitter. Now we've designed a complete system with 100% electrical processing of the data in both the receiver and the transmitter."

Siemens said the first commercial products based on the prototype will be available on the market within a few years. The company expects the technology will find deployments in 100 Gbps Ethernet systems.

Boingo Expands Roaming Network in Europe

Boingo Wireless expanding its roaming network with the addition of six Wi-Fi partners in Europe, providing new Boingo hot spots in Germany, Spain, Greece and the Netherlands. Boingo now provides over 60,000 locations from more than 140 leading Wi-Fi operators.

Boingo also announced an expanded partnership with The Cloud, Europe's leading neutral-host Wi-Fi network operator, to enable Boingo's retail customers, and customers of Fiberlink and Verizon Business Access, to access all European locations of The Cloud. The previous deal with The Cloud only covered the UK.

Working with GANAG (GlobalAirNet AG), Germany, Boingo now has enhanced wireless coverage at Germany's Munich International Airport. Also in Germany, Boingo partnered with HotspotDeutschland, a wireless Internet service provider (WISP) with 350 hot spots, and added Travelping, another German-based ISP with 150 hotspots in Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. Boingo extended its reach in Spain by partnering with AWA, a WISP operating 600 hotspots in retail locations, cafes, marinas, restaurants and hotels including all Repsol gas stations across the country. Spain's largest Wi-Fi operator, AWA has contracts to deploy 4,000 more hot spots. In the Netherlands and the Netherlands Antilles, Boingo teamed with Mobilander. Customers are offered access at 40 hotspots in hotels, restaurants and libraries in 6 main university cities in the Netherlands, and at 100 UTS/Mobilander-hotspots in hotels, resorts and restaurants on Curacao and St. Martin. Boingo also buoyed its coverage in the Mediterranean region, adding FORTHnet, the largest network of wireless access spots in Greece, with more than 72 hot spots at hotels, cruise lines and 34 Starbucks location

Motorola Cites Mobile WiMAX Momentum in 2006

With the prediction that 2007 will be the year WiMAX will begin entering the mainstream, Motorola issued a year-end update on its wi4 WiMAX solutions. The company cited several milestones during 2006. These include:

  • Announced agreements with Sprint Nextel and Clearwire in the US, Wateen Telecom in Pakistan and Agni Systems, Ltd in Bangladesh for WiMAX systems. Clearwire and Sprint Nextel are the two largest holders of 2.5GHz spectrum in the U.S.

  • Increased to more than 20 the number of 802.16e mobile WiMAX trials underway around the world.

  • Began work on the build out of the new 3.5GHz nationwide wireless
    broadband voice and data network for Wateen Telecom, part of Warid Telecom International. Phase 1 rollout, covering major cities in Pakistan, is near completion and recently end-to-end voice and data
    services were successfully tested on the Wateen Telecom WiMAX/IMS network.

  • Announced its WiMAX chipset design effort, launched its first and second generation WiMAX access points, unveiled its CPE portfolio, and demonstrated interoperability with PC cards using third-party chipsets as well as mobile WiMAX handoffs using its WAP400 series access points.

  • For 2007, Motorola expects general availability of its portfolio of WiMAX access points, PC cards and customer premises equipment; live, commercial networks with customers; and previews of handheld devices.

"When we look back one year ago and reflect on all that the industry has accomplished, it is truly astounding the pace at which next generation broadband solutions are evolving. WiMAX no longer is just a promise, a potential. Now it's here, it's real, and Motorola is at the forefront of delivering this technology," said Dan Coombes, senior vice president and chief technology officer, Motorola Networks & Enterprise.

BigBand's DOCSIS 3.0 CMTS Enters Trials with European Operators

BigBand Networks' modular cable modem termination system (M-CMTS), which supports DOCSIS 3.0 downstream channel bonding, has entered trials with multiple European cable operators, including Multikabel in the Netherlands and Austria's LiWest Kabelmedien GmbH. BigBand has also provided its M-CMTS platform to operators in North America and Asia as part of an early access program (EAP). Key advantages include quadrupled downstream delivery capacity and convergence of video, data and voice traffic.

DOCSIS 3.0 specifications, developed by CableLabs and EURCableLabs, provide various tools to enhance network functionality, including significantly increasing capacity for IP-based traffic.

BigBand said that unlike traditional CMTS platforms that integrate capabilities on one chassis, a modular CMTS separates functionality onto two platforms. The BigBand Cuda12000 CMTS performs DOCSIS protocol processing on IP packets destined for subscribers. The second platform, the BigBand BEQ6000, delivers these packets to subscribers using RF quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) signaling. Disaggregation of CMTS functionality is designed to open the door to more economical realization of higher broadband speeds and increasing bandwidth flexibility.

"We believe we have a time-to-market lead in M-CMTS, and we're hoping to extend this advantage to our customers and allow them to benefit from downstream capacity increases, with a cost-effective migration path to DOCSIS 3.0," said John Connelly, executive vice president of marketing and business development at BigBand Networks.

Alcatel-Lucent Selected for Deutsche Telekom's "T-City" Initiative

Alcatel-Lucent has been named an exclusive premium partner supporting Deutsche Telekom's "T-City" competition, which aims to highlight the potential of new, innovative and broadband information and communication technologies for business, public facilities and citizens in a community.

A total of 52 cities entered the "T-City" competition. An independent jury has selected ten cities to go forward to the final round: Arnsberg, Coburg, Frankfurt (Oder), Friedrichshafen, Görlitz, Kamp-Lintfort, Kaiserslautern, Neuruppin, Osterholz-Scharmbeck and Schwäbisch-Hall. The winner will be the city that has made the best municipal application to use the modern telecommunications technology to meet the specific tasks and challenges a 21st century community faces (e.g. the interaction between citizens and the municipal administration). The future T-City will act as a role model for other cities, and will be selected in February 2007.

Under the terms of a five-year contract concluded at the end of November, Alcatel-Lucent will support Deutsche Telekom in the development and introduction of innovative integrated telecommunication solutions for the initiative.


TeliaSonera Selects HP and IXeurope to Serve Online Gaming Market

TeliaSonera International Carrier has selected HP and IXEurope as preferred suppliers of managed data services and high density co-location. The companies will provide TeliaSonera's Global Gaming Community business with access to hardware, software and storage for the creation of high quality gaming platforms and tailor made technology solutions.

Customers can now rely on TeliaSonera International Carrier for outsourcing advanced, high quality gaming platforms and tailor made solutions designed to meet their individual needs for their Internet access, hardware, high density co-location and server management.


Cox Adds Dynamic "PowerBoost" for Faster Downloads

Cox Communications introduced an exclusive "PowerBoost" enhancement that will give its cable modem customers a burst when downloading large files. PowerBoost automatically utilizes additional capacity on Cox's local fiber-hybrid network to give customers a speed burst above and beyond their normal speed. The capability leverages Cable Labs' DOCSIS technology to automatically detect when a customer begins a large file download, regardless of file type. It then jumpstarts the download. Speeds will be boosted up to twice as fast for Cox Preferred package customers, and up to 33% faster for Premier customers.

Cox said the new feature is available now in its Northern Virginia system today, and will be launched in Cox markets across the country on a market-by-market basis.

Telcordia CEO Appointed to NSTAC

Telcordia Technologies' President and CEO, Daniel J. Carroll, Jr., has been appointed by President Bush to the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC). The NSTAC, which is comprised of leaders from throughout the communications industry, provides industry-based analyses and recommendations to the President and the executive branch regarding policy and enhancements to National Security and Emergency Preparedness communications policy.

Skyworks Introduces Helios II-Plus EDGE Radio

Skyworks Solutions, a of high performance analog and developer of mixed signal semiconductors, unveiled its "Helios" II-Plus EDGE radio for next-generation quad band handsets incorporating advanced multimedia features such as DVB-H, FM radios, MP3 players, digital cameras, and Web browsing.

Helios II-Plus reduces radio frequency (RF) board space by an additional 25 percent when compared to the company's previous Helios design. Skyworks said its radio solution also interfaces with virtually any analog baseband and radically simplifies factory calibration, allowing OEMs to substantially increase production throughput.

Sprint Invests $7 Billion in Network Upgrades in 2006

Sprint spent almost $7 billion in 2006 for network upgrades, most of which has gone to enhance its wireless and IP networks. Some highlights for the year:

Sprint will have added more than 3,000 cell sites to its Nationwide Sprint PCS Network and National Nextel Network in large, medium and small markets across the country.

In late October, Sprint upgraded the Sprint Mobile Broadband Network to high-speed EV-DO (Evolution -- Data Optimized) Revision A technology in San Diego, the first U.S. market to receive EV-DO Rev. A. Since then, EV-DO Rev. A coverage has expanded to nearly 2,900 cities and nearly 67 million people -- which surpassed the previously announced goal of 40 million people by the end of the year.

In early August, Sprint announced its plans to develop the first fourth generation (4G) nationwide mobile broadband network and deploy it in initial markets in 2007. A nationwide rollout is targeted for 2008. The 4G wireless broadband network will use the mobile WiMAX IEEE 802.16e-2005 standard.

Sprint continued upgrades to its Tier 1 IP network, Next-Generation Voice Network (NGVN) and wireless-wireline converged services, which all play a key role in the Sprint Cable Joint Venture. The company is deploying Cisco CRS-1 routers to scale the IP core. By the end of 2007, most U.S. core sites are expected to have a Cisco CRS-1 system. Sprint is the first Tier 1 IP provider to place the Cisco CRS-1 into service.

Cable Voice over IP (VoIP) subscribers more than doubled year over year in the third quarter, and Sprint expects continued impressive growth in this area.

MPLS growth was explosive, with Sprint's net revenues from MPLS nearly tripling year over year in the third quarter.

Ericsson to Acquire Redback for $2.1 Billion

Ericsson agreed to acquire Redback Networks for $2.1 billion, or $25 dollars per Redback share. The acquisition is expected to occur by means of a tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of Redback common stock. The companies expect the deal to be completed in early 2007.

Redback Networks supplies multi-service routing platforms for delivering broadband access, including next generation services such as VoIP, IPTV and On-Demand Video. Its customers include many top service providers worldwide.

Ericsson said the acquisition will play a key role in its strategy to help telecommunications carriers lower costs and upgrade their networks for broadband, telephone, video and mobility services. Ericsson and Redback believe there is market opportunity to upgrade more than two billion wired and wireless users worldwide over the next ten years to all IP-based broadband infrastructures -- an opportunity ten times larger than the 250 million broadband users today.

"We believe the combined strengths of both companies in mobility and IP routing will create significant value for customers and shareholders," said Carl-Henric Svanberg of Ericsson. "Redback now will have the global reach and financial resources to accelerate its own routing technology innovation and grow market share faster than our traditional routing competitors."
  • Earlier this year, Ericsson completed its acquisition of Marconi. The deal, which was valued at US$2 billion when it was announced in October 2005, included Marconi's optical networking business, Marconi's broadband and fixed radio access network business, Marconi's softswitch business, and Marconi's data networking equipment and services businesses.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Unicom Deploys UTStarcom's CDMA2000 Gear in Alaska

Unicom Inc., a communications carrier and a wholly owned subsidiary of United Companies, will deploy UTStarcom's MovingMedia 2000 all-IP CDMA2000 network solution in its new digital cellular network for rural Alaska. The initial deployment phase of Unicom's new digital cellular network will provide wireless voice and broadband data services in Bethel and the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta area of Alaska. The network's main infrastructure will be located in Bethel and will be connected by either satellite or microwave transmission to the outlying communities.

Sony's PLAYSTATION Network Moves to Akamai

Sony Computer Entertainment's PLAYSTATION Network is adopting Akamai's content delivery for the PLAYSTATION 3 (PS3).

In addition to providing delivery services to Japanese companies that offer online game content, such as SCE, Akamai's global platform is being leveraged in Japan to drive the commercial use of the Internet by providing delivery services optimized to meet the particular needs of companies in a variety of fields including image-delivery services, financial services, food and beverage services, cosmetics, and multimedia.

Nortel Confirms US$2B Supply Order from Verizon Wireless

Nortel and Verizon Wireless signed an expected five-year, US$2 billion agreement for Nortel equipment and services.

Under this agreement, Verizon Wireless plans to deploy additional CDMA2000 radio base stations, switching, IP platforms, optical networking solutions and related equipment with the help of professional services from Nortel. In addition, this agreement builds on the contract announced in July 2006, whereby Nortel was selected to supply Verizon Wireless with CDMA 1xEV-DO Revision A technology.

This new agreement also presents an opportunity for Verizon Wireless and Nortel to further develop and deploy next-generation IMS-based applications and services.

AboveNet Deploys Juniper's T-Series for Core Network

AboveNet has begun upgrading the capacity of its nationwide Tier 1 IP network backbone with Juniper Networks T-series core routers. AboveNet's private optical network delivers key network and IP services in and between 14 top U.S. metro markets and London. The Juniper Networks T-series routers are being used to enhance the capacity of AboveNet's network and its existing Layer 2 eWAN service. AboveNet will also introduce new services such as Layer 3 MPLS-based VPN Services.

Intellon Raises $18 Million for HomePlug AV Chips

Intellon, a privately-held supplier of powerline communications technology, raised $18 million in new equity financing, including financial backing from Samsung. Intellon will use the new funds to accelerate the global rollout of its HomePlug AV compatible ICs. The company already ships a line of HomePlug 1.0 compatible ICs for use in home networking, IPTV distribution, broadband over powerline (BPL) and commercial applications.

Intellon said its new HomePlug AV ICs enable whole-house distribution of high definition video and digital audio over existing home electrical wiring and coaxial cable, with robust quality of service and tight control of latency and jitter.

In this latest funding round, Samsung Ventures joined existing investors BCE Capital; Comcast Interactive Capital; Duchossois Technology Partners; EnerTech Capital; Fidelity Ventures; Goldman, Sachs & Co.; Intel Capital; Liberty Associated Partners, LP; Motorola Ventures, the strategic investment arm of Motorola, Inc.; TL Ventures; and UMC Capital Corporation in the financing round. The round was led by Goldman Sachs.

Nokia Wins US$100 Million GSM/EDGE Contract in China

Thailand's Advanced Info Service Public Company Limited (AIS) selected Nokia for the expansion of its GSM/EDGE network, resulting in nationwide coverage for both GSM and EDGE. Nokia will supply a wide range of its GSM/EDGE radio and core network solutions, including base stations, Nokia MSC Server System mobile softswitch and the Nokia Intelligent Network. The network will be supported by the multivendor, multitechnology Nokia NetAct network and service management solution, including Nokia NetAct Traffica and Nokia Profile Manager to provide real-time monitoring and provisioning services for AIS' subscribers. Nokia will also provide telecoms implementation, consulting and systems integration, and care services, along with managed services covering the first-line maintenance service for more than 400 of AIS' sites across Thailand. The deal was valued at US$100 million.

Matsushita Selects AT&T Global VPN Network for SWIFTNet

Japan's Matsushita Electronic Industrial Co. has awarded AT&T a contract for a global VPN that will provide the company's SWIFTNet connection. SWIFTNet is the latest messaging platform used by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) for global financial transactions.

AT&T already provides AT&T global VPN network services to numerous Matsushita locations in the United States and Europe as part of a global network infrastructure that supports its international business operations.

Lenovo Integrates Atheros in Ultraportable Draft 802.11n Notebooks

Lenovo has integrated Atheros' XSPAN draft 1.0 802.11n silicon into models of its Lenovo 3000 product family. These Lenovo notebooks integrate Atheros' AR5008E-3NX chipset, which supports the PCI-Express interface and operation in both the 2.4 gigahertz (GHz) and 5 GHz frequency bands.

US LEC Offers Nationwide MPLS

US LEC, a carrier based in Charlotte, North Carolina, announced the expansion of its MPLS VPN data network, saying it can now provide secure connections across the U.S. and internationally. Speeds may be scaled incrementally from fractional T-1 speeds below 1.544 Mbps to DS3 (up to 45 Mbps) to Ethernet Local Loop at 100 Mbps.

Verizon Makes Executive Appointments

Verizon Wireless President Denny Strigl has been named President and Chief Operating Officer of Verizon Communications, reporting to Verizon Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg.

Verizon named Lowell McAdam, currently Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Verizon Wireless, to become President and CEO of Verizon Wireless, succeeding Strigl.

Verizon named John Stratton, currently Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Verizon Wireless, to the newly created position of Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, responsible for the marketing and brand initiatives of all Verizon's business units.

Shaygan Kheradpir, currently Chief Information Officer for Verizon Telecom, has been named to the newly created position of Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer, responsible for the information technology initiatives of all Verizon's business units.

McAdam, Stratton and Kheradpir will report to Strigl, and all of the positions are effective Jan. 1, 2007.

Also reporting to Strigl will be John F. Killian, President of Verizon Business; Daniel S. Mead, President of Verizon Services Operations; and Virginia P. Ruesterholz, President of Verizon Telecom.

Broadcom Announces DSP-Based 10 Gigabit Ethernet Serial Transceiver

Broadcom announced a new 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) physical layer (PHY) device that leverages DSPs -- an industry first. The company said its unique high-speed DSP provides significant performance, manufacturing and reliability advantages over competing analog solutions. The new 10GbE DSP PHY exceeds the requirements of the new standard, which was developed to provide a low cost 10x speed upgrade for existing Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) links in multi-mode fiber (MMF) applications.

Currently, more complex and higher cost 10GBASE-LX4 optical modules are being used in this market. Additionally, as density of 10GbE line cards increase from 8 to 16 channels today to as many as 48 channels on next generation designs, new smaller form factors and lower cost 10 Gigabit modules (such as SFP+) will be required.

The new Broadcom BCM8706 10GbE (SFP+ to XAUI) transceiver that builds on five generations of the company's 10GbE serial PHY technology, and will be used in SFP+ line card applications and inside X2 optical modules. The DSP equalizer provides optimal performance over 300 meters of multi-mode fiber that exceeds the IEEE specified link distance of 220 meters. An on-chip micro-controller provides additional flexibility to maintain optimal performance in even the most challenging operating conditions.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

FCC Commissioner McDowell Disqualifies Himself from AT&T+BellSouth Merger Vote

FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell disqualified himself from voting on the proposed AT&T+BellSouth merger approval vote, leaving the Commission evenly split between two Democrats and two Republicans. McDowell cited his earlier employment by COMPTEL, a lobby group of competitive carriers that has opposed the ILECs. In a statement, McDowell said promises made during his Senate confirmation hearing, and his own personal ethics, led him to withdraw from participating in the vote.
  • Earlier this month, the General Counsel of the FCC cleared Commissioner Robert McDowell from any conflict of interest concern that might otherwise have prevented him from voting on the AT&T/BellSouth merger proceeding.

Agere Debuts New Product Category -- BluOnyx Mobile Content Server

Agere Systems unveiled its BluOnyx Mobile Content Server, a new consumer product category designed to un-tether users from the PC and stationary storage devices by giving them access to content and applications in a portable device.

The BluOnyx server, which will be shown at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in January, enables mobile users to share and stream music, video and business files to or from electronic devices ranging from cell phones, PCs, digital cameras, game machines, DSL routers, etc. The credit card size device does not come with its own screen but is controlled by mobile phone, PC or other video device using a Bluetooth connection. Agere will be offering a turn-key solution for other consumer product brands.

The credit-card sized unit combines either Flash-based storage or a mini-HDD with an application processor, middleware and wireless connectivity. The amount of storage on the BluOnyx server will range from 1 GB to 40 GB. Devices can connect to the BluOnyx server wirelessly through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections or using USB cables or SD cards. The BluOnyx server can be accessed directly or through a home or corporate network where it is seen as a drive letter.

Agere said one of the possible uses for the BluOnyx server could a "Digital Campfire", where friends gathered around a table share media content via their mobile phones. The BluOnyx server is capable of streaming videos to one or more cell phones. Agere is working to support various DRM implementations. The device could also be used to back up pictures, music, video, emails, personal and business documents
and images from cell phones, cameras and PCs. It might also be used to share Internet access for cell phones and PDAs that are not broadband enabled and cannot access the Internet on their own.

The BluOnyx solution combines several of Agere's subsystems, including its storage silicon and a new processor. Details on the processor have not yet been announced. The Bluetooth, and later Wi-Fi capabilities, use commercially-available radios from multiple providers.

Key stats:
  • Dimensions of 90 mm long by 60 mm wide and between 6 mm and 15 mm thick (depending on memory capacity)

  • Battery life: up to 12 hours

  • Weight: about 140 grams with 40 GB HDD

The retail price of the BluOnyx server is expected to range from $99 to $250 depending on memory capacity. Agere said it is currently in discussions with consumer electronic device makers and cell phone service providers.

Loral Skynet to Merge with Telesat Creating Global FSS Provider

Loral Skynet will merge with BCE's Telesat division to create one of the world's largest operators of telecommunications satellites, with a combined fleet of eleven satellites and four additional satellites to be launched over the next three years. The new company will have combined trailing 12 months revenue for the period ended September 30, 2006 of approximately US $568 million (CAD 658 million) and US $4.9 billion (CAD 5.6 billion) of backlog, generating combined trailing 12 months Adjusted EBITDA for the period ended September 30, 2006 of approximately US$295 million (C$341 million).

Under the deal, BCE (Bell Canada Enterprises) will sell its satellite services subsidiary, Telesat Canada, for $3.42 billion to a new acquisition company formed by Canada's Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) and Loral Space & Communications. Loral will merge its Loral Skynet fixed satellite services and network services assets business into the new company. This involves complementary satellite services assets in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. Combined with Telesat's existing services, in North and South America, the new Telesat will be a truly global operator of scale, headquartered in Ottawa.

Net of Telesat's debt, BCE will realize total proceeds of $3.25 billion from the all cash transaction.

BCE said the sale is consistent with its stated strategy of concentrating on Bell, its core communications business.

In conjunction with the sale, BCE has put in place a set of commercial arrangements between Telesat and Bell ExpressVu that guarantee ExpressVu access to current and expanded satellite capacity, including the launch of Nimiq 5 in 2009.

Carriers Plan New Terabit Capacity Trans-Pacific Express Optical Cable

Verizon Business signed a construction and maintenance agreement with a consortium planning to build an undersea optical cable system directly linking the U.S. mainland and China.

The new Trans-Pacific Express (TPE) will initially provide capacity of up to 1.28 Tbps, with a design capacity of up to 5.12 Tbps to support future Internet growth and advanced applications. Customers will have access the cable system at 10 Gbps wavelengths. Construction of the new cable system, which will extend more than 18,000 kilometers, will begin in the first quarter of 2007. Completion is scheduled in the third quarter of 2008. The project represents an investment by consortium members of more than $500 million.

Verizon Business is the only U.S.-based member among the initial parties of the consortium, which consists of China Telecom, China Netcom, China Unicom, Korea Telecom and Chunghwa Telecom (Taiwan).

Landing points will be at Nedonna Beach, Oregon; Qingdao, China; Chongming, China; Tanshui, Taiwan; and Keoje, South Korea.

Juniper Adds T-series Physical Interface Card

Juniper Networks announced a new T-series physical interface card (PIC) with long reach optics and other advanced features designed for its T-series core routers. The new 4xOC-192 PIC features standards-based 10 Gigabit Small Form Factor Pluggable (XFP) optical transponders and inverse multiplexing to 40 Gbps.

The new 4xOC-192 PIC enables providers to transport either a single OC-768 stream or four discrete OC-192 connections by using cost-effective 10 Gbps optical transponders and leveraging their installed base of T-series routers. XFP optics allow non-disruptive upgrades and interface additions, while ensuring interoperability with a wide range of standards-based optical equipment.

Juniper said that with an initial range of up to 80km, expandable as new optics become available, the new PIC supports regional inter-POP connections directly from existing routing platforms, reducing costs by eliminating the need for separate optical transponders. Along with the existing OC-768 PIC, the new PIC leverages the service richness of the new 40 Gbps packet forwarding engine for T-series routers.

Intel Installs WiMAX in Egyptian "Digital Village"

Working with Egypt's government, business and education leaders, Intel has installed a WiMAX network in Oseem, a city of 200,000 in Egypt. The wireless network connects two public schools, a health care center on wheels, a municipal building and an e-government services kiosk. Intel also donated and installed computers in the mobile health center and PC labs at the two schools where students and teachers can regularly connect to the outside world for the first time.

"The next billion Internet users will be from rural areas like Oseem," said Intel Chairman Craig Barrett, who toured the village to explore how similar programs could be replicated in other regions. This issue has led Barrett, who also chairs the United Nation's Global Alliance for ICT and Development, to 10 developing countries from the Amazon to Africa in the past 100 days.

Alcatel-Lucent Introduces Higher-Density 10-Gigabit Ethernet Enterprise Switch

Alcatel-Lucent introduced a new model of its 10-Gigabit Ethernet core switch chassis, featuring twice the capacity of the existing Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch 9700. Also available are a new high-density 10-Gigabit Ethernet module and a new power-over-Ethernet (PoE) Gigabit Ethernet module.

The Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch 9000 family is deployment in the enterprise network core and aggregation layer where large amounts of user data being consolidated for 10 Gigabit connections. Similar to the other OmniSwitch 9000 models, the new Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch 9800 delivers wire-rate processing for IPv6/IPv4 and supports multicast applications. The Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch 9000s can also be used at the edge to support converged applications and deliver QoS for multi-media applications, VoIP, video collaboration and database applications.

Linksys Announces Skype iPhone

Cisco's Linksys division unveiled a new iPhone for Skype that works on 802.11g networks. The iPhone Wireless-G Phone for Skype (WIP320) makes Skype portable by integrating it into a Wireless-G handset, allowing consumers to place calls from anywhere they can connect to a wireless access point. The product is offered in North America through distribution, online retailers and VAR partners. Europe, Asia and LATAM availability is planned for Q1 2007. Estimated Street Price: $199.99.

Linksys also introduce its iPhone Dual-Mode Internet Telephony Kit for Skype (CIT400), which embeds the popular communications client into a cordless phone base station that is attached directly to the home network via Ethernet. This phone is available immediately in the U.S. through e-commerce retailers, and VAR partners. Global availability through e-commerce retailers, and VAR partners is expected for Q1 2007. Estimated Street Price: $179.99.

OIF Finalizes Scalable System Packet Interface

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) has finalized the Scalable System Packet Interface (SPI-S) implementation agreement.

SPI-S is a channelized, streaming-packet interface that scales from 6 Gbps to hundreds of Gbps for chip-to-chip and backplane applications. It is a successor to the widely deployed OIF SPI 4.2 interface, and leverages the OIF's Common Electrical Interface (CEI) to take advantage of high rate serial physical interconnects.

SPI-S is specified to run over CEI, which is defined at 6 and 11 Gbps for both short reach and long reach applications. SPI-S can also be used with other physical interconnects including OIF's SxI-5. The OIF also recently announced the initiation of a CEI-25 project to extend the CEI serial interface into the 25 Gbps range. The scalable nature of SPI-S will allow it to take advantage of CEI-25 when the next generation interconnect is fully defined.

SPI-S uses either industry-standard 64B66B framing or optionally, the enhanced OIF CEI Protocol (CEI-P) framing that provides Forward Error Correction (FEC) support, yet retains a 64/66 clock ratio. FEC is likely to be useful when 11 Gbps PHYs are used in backplane applications and when future, higher speed PHYs are employed.

SPI-S also retains the high-availability focus of the SPI family of interfaces. Like those other protocols, SPI-S is defined to be self-recovering from a catastrophic event on its interface such as a protective switchover of a card.

"The OIF's existing System Packet Interface SPI 4.2 is the most widely deployed chip-to-chip streaming interconnect for high speed data paths," said Dave Stauffer, of IBM and chair for the OIF's Physical and Link Layer Working Group. "Given the highly scalable nature of the new SPI-S, it should have legs to stand for a decade or more as the industry's next definitive streaming-packet interface. The speed and number of bit lanes employed by SPI-S can be directly scaled to very high rates."

Thursday, December 14, 2006

United States Trade Representative Urged to Support Global Access for VoIP

The Voice on the Net (VON) Coalition has filed papers with the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) charging more than a dozen trading partners with creating market barriers and prohibitions that are stifling Internet based communication technologies like VoIP. The VON Coalition asks U.S. Trade negotiators to help open markets to new technologies.

The VON Coalition notes that some incumbent telephone carriers who also control the broadband network have unilaterally blocked users from communicating with VoIP over their broadband network. In several of these cases, the regulator has been complicit in efforts to curtail Internet voice communication.

Furthermore, several countries have kept high entry barriers for traditional voice services and extended these barriers to Internet based voice services. In other cases, ambiguities about VoIP service classification have allowed incumbent phone companies to unilaterally block or restricted the ability of any entity, foreign or domestic, to supply VoIP services over their broadband network. In some cases the limitations on licenses over a borderless communication medium or access to and the cost of telephone number fees have proven to be a significant barrier to market entry, as is the ability to interconnect to the legacy PSTN network.

In its filing, the VON Coalition cites specific barriers it sees in the following countries: China, India, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Jordan, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Saudi Arabia, Panama, South Africa, Korea, Belize, Chile and Turkey.

Siemens Supplies ADSL2+ to Lebanon

Lebanon's Pesco Telecom SAL has commissioned Siemens Networks with the delivery and turnkey installation of ADSL2+ technology for its access network. Lebanon's first DSL-based broadband service is scheduled to go live at the beginning of 2007.

As the sole supplier, Siemens Networks will provide its Surpass hiX 5630 IP-DSLAMs. The contract also covers network components like the first mile Ethernet switch Surpass hiD 6615, which aggregates the expected data traffic, and E-series Broadband Services Routers from Juniper Networks. Financial terms were not disclosed.

France Telecom Plans FTTH Launch in Paris for March 2007

France Telecom has completed early pilot testing of FTTH and is moving ahead with phase two -- with the aim of having 150,000 to 200,000 customers connected by the end of 2008 out of a potential client base of 1 million.

France Telecom now has 100,000 km of fiber installed, agreements signed with 650 tenant associations, 11,500 homes that can now be connected, and 500 customers to date.

The carrier has selected the GPON architecture for its rollout.

A range of consumer services will be marketed under the Orange brand starting in 2007, including Internet access with symmetrical speeds of up to 100 Mbps, several high-definition TV and PC channels, and unlimited VoIP calls.

The Orange FTTH service will be launched in March 2007 in Paris and several neighboring regions, before being rolled out from June 2007 to a dozen large and medium-sized cities, with the first to include Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Poitiers and Toulouse. This phase will enable Orange to further improve its customer experience outside of the Paris region.

CAPEX for the program over the next two years is estimated at EUR 270 million.

"After an initial pilot phase in 2006, the Group is stepping up a gear, increasing the range of very high speed broadband services available with Orange as well as expanding the regional coverage of its network for the future. This new phase will pave the way for the broader deployment of fiber to the home which we foresee in 2009 and beyond, when there will be content and services available which would justify such capacity for many of our customers, said Didier Lombard, FT Group's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

NTT DoCoMo and Hutch form Partnership for i-mode in India

In partnership with NTT DoCoMo, Hutchison Essar (Hutch), one of India's leading mobile operators, will launch "i-mode" mobile Internet service in India during 2007.

DoCoMo will license the patented technologies and know-how needed for Hutch to offer i-mode on GSM, GPRS and W-CDMA networks.

More than 53 million people across the globe subscribe to i-mode, which is now available in 16 countries/regions of Asia-Pacific and Europe: Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan and the UK. Preparations are also underway to launch i-mode in Hong Kong, Macao and the Philippines. DoCoMo said it plans to expand the service to a total of 26 countries/regions in the future.


Cisco to Acquire Tivella for Digital Signage

Cisco agreed to acquire Tivella, a privately-held company specializing in digital signage software and systems. Financial terms were not disclosed. Tivella was founded 2001 and has 10 employees based primarily in Milpitas, California, with corporate offices in Half Moon Bay, California.

Cisco said the emerging market for digital signage has the potential to transform the customer experience and to promote richer communications.
  • In 2006, Cisco announced six acquisitions: SyPixx Networks, Audium Corporation, Metreos Corporation, Meetinghouse Data Communications, Arroyo Video Solutions, Orative Corporation, Greenfield Networks, and Tivella,

SSK Telecom Plans Ultra Wideband (UWB) Handsets for PANs

SK Telecom, the largest mobile phone and broadband operator in Korea, is working with Staccato Communications on Ultra Wideband (UWB) wireless personal area network (WPAN) mobile phone services.

SK Telecom selected Staccato's UWB silicon for use in mobile handsets that will use UWB for content delivery from access points, connecting mobile phones to larger displays (PC, TV, Auto), connecting mobile phones to the PC ecosystem, and sharing profiles and content from one user to another through personal area social networking (PASN). UWB operates at up to 480 Mbps.

Services developed and launched by SK Telecom and Staccato will be standardized and offered worldwide to other operators after initial launch in Korea.

Staccato said that it is working with SK Telecom on applications using several protocols. The Staccato's "PIK" MAC (Medium Access Control) technology is a Protocol Independent Kernel, based on a custom implementation of hardware acceleration and ARM9 software control. This patent-pending technology enables the simultaneous operation of Certified Wireless USB, WiNet, Bluetooth 3.0 and other potential protocols at speeds up to 480Mbps. Products will initially launch with WiMedia radios using spectrum below 6GHz (band group 1, band 3) and add above-6GHz operation when the WiMedia Alliance completes the certification process for these bands.

For the first phase, a Korean-based, leading manufacturer of handsets worldwide will be the handset developer for the new WiMedia UWB handsets.


DVB-S2 Standardization Takes Step Forward

A significant licensing agreement was reached by key holders of DVB-S2 intellectual property. DVB-S2 is the second generation DVB system for broadband satellite communications, covering digital TV and HDTV broadcasting, interactive services, and professional links by satellite. is the second generation DVB system for broadband satellite communications, covering digital TV and HDTV broadcasting, interactive services, and professional links by satellite.

DIRECTV, RAI (Radiotelevisione Italiana), and European Space Agency (ESA) -- the three rights holders to the technology -- will jointly offer a license under their combined portfolios of intellectual property rights necessary for the implementation of DVB-S2. For consumer applications, such as satellite television set-top box receivers, a license under the combined portfolios will not exceed $0.50 per product in quantities exceeding 500,000 over the term of the license and not to exceed $1.00 per product in lower quantities. Licenses for consumer applications will be granted for five-year terms. Renewals will be granted on fair and reasonable terms based on then-current market conditions.

Free-to-air and pay-TV broadcasters will not be required to pay a separate service license fee to broadcast to licensed receivers. The per product royalties and the arrangements for broadcasters are geared to help launch DVB-S2 technology and follow the commitment of the rights holders to offer licenses on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.

DIRECTV Group said the agreement is significant because it will set limits on cumulative royalties paid for the licensing of intellectual property rights in order to speed adoption of the DVB-S2 standard.

BT and Nortel Sign Partnership Deal for UK Enterprises

BT and Nortel signed a new, three-year partnership agreement to drive the uptake of VoIP, multimedia, instant messaging and mobile communications by UK enterprises of all sizes.

The companies will offer solutions based on Nortel's portfolio and BT's networked IT services designed to evolve enterprise communications towards improved fixed-mobile convergence.

BT is Nortel's largest EMEA enterprise partner and one of its three main global partners.

BT is the UK market leader for the supply of enterprise telephone systems (PBX/IP PBX), with a 27 per cent share of total extensions for Q1 2006, according to researcher MZA. Nortel is the leading supplier of PBX/IP PBX equipment in the UK market with a 20 per cent share in Q1 2006, according to the same research. http://www.nortel.com

Aruba Networks Files for IPO

Aruba Networks, a start-up specializing in enterprise wireless solutions, filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of its common stock.

Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Lehman Brothers Inc. will act as joint book-running managers for the offering with J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. and RBC Capital Markets acting as co-managers. The number of shares to be sold in the proposed offering and the offering price have not yet been determined.
  • Aruba Networks was founded in 2002 and is headed by Dominic Orr, who previously served as the president and chief executive of Alteon WebSystems which was acquired by Nortel Networks in Oct. 2000.

  • Aruba Networks is based in Sunnyvale, California.

  • In November 2006, Aruba Networks outlined a five-phase plan to bring enterprise fixed-mobile convergence (E-FMC) to its enterprise mobility platform. The plan addresses both enterprise-centric and carrier-centric E-FMC architectures. Aruba said it will work with others across the E-FMC value chain, including mobile handset manufacturers, IP-PBX vendors, FMC infrastructure vendors and mobile operators.
  • Wednesday, December 13, 2006

    Ciena Reports Quarterly Revenue of $160.0 million

    For its fiscal fourth quarter ending October 31, Ciena reported revenue of $160.0 million, representing a 4.9% sequential increase from fiscal third quarter revenue of $152.5 million and an increase of 35.3% over revenue of $118.2 million for the same period a year ago. For the fiscal year ending October 31, 2006, Ciena's unaudited revenue was $564.1 million, representing an increase of 32.0 % over the previous year.

    Q4 represents the company's eleventh sequential quarterly increase in revenue.

    Ciena's unaudited fiscal fourth quarter net income was $13.1 million, or a net income of $0.14 per diluted share.

    Ciena ended the fiscal fourth quarter 2006 with cash and short- and long-term investments of $1.2 billion.

    Siemens Exec Arrested in Germany

    On Tuesday, Thomas Ganswindt, a former executive and board member with Siemens, was arrested by German authorities in connection an expanding bribery scandal potentially involving hundred of millions of EURs over the pas seven years.

    Separately, following an internal audit, Siemens executives said that close to EUR 420 million ($556 million) of dubious payments made the company for various consulting services were now subject to further investigation. The allegations are that Siemens used these consulting funds to pay bribes in order to secure some major telecom contracts around the world.

    KPN introduces International Ethernet VPN Service for Enterprises

    KPN launched its "EURRings International Ethernet VPN Service", offering corporate customers the ability to connect multiple locations through VPNs based on end-to-end Ethernet connections. The EURRings International Ethernet VPN Service is currently available in the five core countries of the international KPN network - The Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, France and Germany - and offers extended coverage via Ethernet over SDH technology across KPN's high capacity fibre-optic network in 22 European countries.

    KPN said its International Ethernet VPN Service facilitates high-speed Ethernet connectivity between two or more locations, whether they are in the same country or spread across Europe. In addition, the new EURRings International Ethernet VPN Service allows organizations to conclude one contract for all their Ethernet services. Benefits include a single point of contact for a fully integrated national & international solution, one international service desk, one delivery platform and one invoice that can be provided in various currencies.

    IP Unity to Acquire Glenayre Messaging

    IP Unity, a supplier of carrier-grade media servers, application servers and real-time multimedia applications, agreed to acquire Glenayre Messaging. Financial terms were not disclosed.

    The combined company, to be known as IP Unity Glenayre, will deliver a portfolio of rich media services from a single, IMS enabled carrier grade platform. The merged unified communications framework brings together messaging services and rich media distribution to users across disparate networks and devices.

    Applications include voicemail, unified messaging, conferencing, SMS, MMS, text to speech, speech recognition, IVR voice portal, color ringback tones, prepaid billing, video portal, video conferencing, videomail and video gaming all built using open standards based technologies such as VoiceXML.

    The companies serve a diverse global customer base of over 2000 deployments for 300 wireline telco, cable, wireless and FMC service providers, large enterprises and public agencies. The two companies said they currently have no customers in common and market their products in largely different geographies and networks.

    The new company will have major locations in Atlanta Georgia, Quincy Illinois, Milpitas California, Singapore and Bangalore, India. http://www.ip-unity.com

    BT Fusion Launches FMC for Small Businesses

    BT Fusion launched a Wi-Fi fixed and mobile convergence service for business over one mobile device, with seamless two-way handover between Wi-Fi and GSM. In-office Wi-Fi provides access to all fixed and mobile voice messages stored in one place, and call rates are significantly lower than over GSM .

    In the office, or at BT Openzone hotspots, for up to 60 minutes customers pay 5p for UK fixed line calls, less than the cost of a text; 15p for calls to BT mobiles, and 25p for calls to other UK mobiles. On the move all calls to both fixed and mobile numbers are capped at 25p for up to 60 minutes.

    BT is initially offering two dual-mode Wi-Fi mobile handsets: the Nokia 6136 and the Motorola A910. Samsung's P200 will be added to the range next month. Up to 6 Fusion Bluetooth handsets can be linked (paired) to BT Business Hub with up to 3 making calls simultaneously. Or up to 10 Fusion Wi-Fi handsets can be linked to the BT Business Hub with 5 making calls simultaneously The range for handsets connections between the Hub and handsets is up to 25 meters,

    When combined with BT Business One Plan, BT's triple-play package for mobile, fixed and broadband, prices start from £15 a month including the handset.

    AT&T + BellSouth Merger Off the Agenda for FCC' s Dec 20 Meeting

    Consideration of the AT&T + BellSouth merger will not be a part of the FCC's next open meeting on December 20th. No date has been set for voting on the proposed merger.
    • Earlier this month, the General Counsel of the FCC cleared Commissioner Robert McDowell from any conflict of interest concern that might otherwise have prevented him from voting on the AT&T/BellSouth merger proceeding.

    • In October, the FCC postponed a vote on the AT&T + BellSouth merger, as the Democrat commissioners sought concessions from the companies, while the two Republican commissioners sought a quick approval of the transaction.

    DSL Installed Base Reaches 173 Million

    DSL's subscriber base worldwide has exceeded 173 million while global broadband subscribers reached more than 263 million in the 12 months to 30 September 2006. DSL's market share now stands at 65.6% market share, rising to 82% in the European Union.

    According to the DSL Forum and industry analyst Point Topic, each week 1.25 million people sign up to broadband.

    Globally, the largest broadband market in the world is the USA with more than 55.5 million subscribers, followed by China at 48.5 million. Japan in third place has almost 26 million. Together, they account for almost half of all broadband connections across the world.

    Some other key findings:

    Sixteen countries now have over two million DSL subscribers, together representing just under half of all broadband customers using this technology.

    "As the global reach of broadband into people's lives continues to grow, the range of access technologies used to deliver its benefits is also expanding to capitalise on the various available infrastructures. Even though DSL is the predominant delivery technology in the world, the DSL Forum is working to extend the benefits of our own specifications to be equally applicable for other network technologies and to address the service delivery needs of the ever-growing range of multimedia devices and applications that depend on broadband for their success."

    Hawaiian Telcom Selects Alcatel-Lucent for Triple Play

    Hawaiian Telcom, the incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) in Hawaii, has selected Alcatel-Lucent's Triple Play Service Delivery Architecture to replace its existing infrastructure and to provide the scalability, reliability and speeds necessary to deliver new services.

    The deployment will feature the ISAM product family, including the Alcatel 7330 ISAM FTTN and the Alcatel 7342 ISAM FTTU. The rollout will also include the 7750 Service Router (SR) and Alcatel 7450 Ethernet Service Switch (ESS) to address its service routing requirements. Financial terms were not disclosed.


    Nokia Siemens Networks Merger Delayed Till Later in Q1 2007

    Due to the current investigations of Siemens, the scope of which includes its carrier-related business, the planned merger between Nokia and Siemens is now expected to close sometime in Q1 2007, instead of January 2007 as originally planned.

    Nokia and Siemens said they intend to adjust their agreements in order to have Siemens conduct an appropriate compliance review prior to closing of the transaction. This adjustment is an addition to the previously agreed closing conditions. Nokia plans to participate actively in the review.

    Closing will be subject to an agreement between Nokia and Siemens on the results and consequences of a Siemens compliance review.

    • On June 19, 2006, Nokia and Siemens announced plans to combine Nokia's Networks business group and Siemens' carrier-related operations for fixed and mobile networks to form a new company called Nokia Siemens Networks. The new company had 2005 calendar year pro forma revenues of EUR 15.8 billion.

    Cablevision Reaches Two Million Broadband Customers

    Cablevision Systems has surpassed the 2 million-customer milestone for its Optimum Online high-speed Internet service. The service now has a 44 percent take rate of the homes passed.

    Earlier this year, Cablevision raised the speed of its core Optimum Online service, from up to 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream, to new speeds of up to 15 Mbps downstream and 2 Mbps upstream, at no additional charge. The company also deployed its first premium tier high-speed Internet product, Optimum Online Boost, which offers customers downstream speeds of up to 30 Mbps, 5 Mbps upstream.

    Cablevision also offers a special order high-speed Internet service, Optimum Online Ultra, which delivers symmetrical 50 Mbps connections for about $200 per month.

    Tuesday, December 12, 2006

    Iliad Group' Free Selects Cisco for FTTH in France

    The Iliad Group's "Free" broadband service selected Cisco's Ethernet fiber-to-the-home (E-FTTH) technology for a mass rollout in France. Specifically, Free will deploy Cisco Catalyst 4500 Series Switches as the E-FTTH access platform at its new optical PoPs with 10 Gigabit Ethernet uplinks to its core network to make optimum use of the increased capacity provided by the Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing Systems.

    The first phase of the fiber project aims to connect more than 2 million people in Paris. Free plans to offer a EUR 29.99 monthly bundle that combines 50 Mbps Internet access, high-definition IPTV, video on demand, multimedia communication and Web 2.0 services.
    • In September 2006, The Iliad Group's Free division, unveiled plans for a widescale rollout of FTTH in Paris. The company said the new network will give it true independence from the incumbent operator, France Telecom. The project is expected to take 24 months to reach 2.1 million people.

      Free said it plans to invest EUR 1 billion in the project through 2012. The company initially will target areas were its Freebox installation density is greatest. The Freebox HD's ADSL2+ terminal will be replaced by an optical box. Draka Comteq was selected to supply the FTTH network. The deployment will include two million kilometers of fiber and cable designed to resist the adverse conditions of sewers, through which many of the fiber lines will be deployed.

    • Unlike PON architectures, the network topology will use dedicated fiber from the Ethernet switch to the subscriber.

    • Rights-of-way agreements for Paris were signed in July 2006.

    • As of June 2006, the Iliad Group had 1.9 million ADSL users in France.

    • The Iliad Group also holds a national WiMAX license across France.

    Agilent Acquires PXIT for Optical Signal Testing

    Agilent Technologies has acquired PXIT Inc., a privately held company that provides signal integrity testing systems for broadband optical transceiver manufacturers. Financial details were not disclosed. All of PXIT's Massachusetts-based employees have joined Agilent.

    Agilent said the acquisition helps it to continue to innovate in the manufacturing test market, serving R&D and manufacturing customers.

    Skype Offers Annual Unlimited Calling plan

    Skype is transitioning its Skype Out service from a free trial to a paid services with a flat rate of $29.95 for unlimited calling to any landline or mobile phone in the US or Canada for a whole year. Up through January 31, Skype is offering a promotional price of $14.95 for the same package. International calling is 2.1 cents per minute to major destinations worldwide.

    Skype said it currently has 11.9 million registered users in North America.

    Skype also released Version 3.0 of its Windows software, adding new features such as Public Chats, which allow users to join in multi-person community conversations and discussions. Any Skype user can join these chats and meet new people who share the same interests.

    UNH InterOperability Lab to Host IMS Forum Plugfest in January

    The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) will host the first IP Multimedia Subsystem Forum (IMSF) group test in January 2007. The event, which is scheduled for Jan 15-19, will focus largely on IMS application servers. on testing the interfaces between the IMS architecture core network and application servers. This will include analyzing the north-south interfaces of the IMS architecture over several different IMS core / application server / user equipment combinations. The event will allow for the development of a multi-vendor reference IMS test bed that will be used as a baseline throughout the series of events.

    Occam Networks' BLC 6000 Selected by Ontario IOCs

    Ten local, independent telcos in the province of Ontario, Canada have selected Occam Network's BLC 6000 solution to upgrade their networks. These carriers, which together support some 35,000 access lines, include Cochrane Telecom Services, Execulink Inc., Gosfield North Communications Co-op Ltd., Huron Telecommunications Co-operative, Nexicom Group, North Renfrew Telecom, Quadro Communications, Boxborough Telephone Company Ltd., and Wtc Communications (Westport).

    Most of these operators are utilizing the Occam BLC 6252 blade. The BLC 6252 provides 48 ports of ADSL2Plus with Lifeline POTS on the same physical interface to deliver voice, data and video services. Subscriber DSL and POTS ports combine with four ports of resilient Gigabit Ethernet transport capabilities to position the 6252-02 Blade as the Triple Play workhorse for the future.

    Cisco Invests $50M in China Communications Services

    Cisco has made a strategic investment of US$50 million in China Communications Services Corporation Limited (CCS). Under the deal, Cisco and CCS will jointly provide managed telecommunications services, such as network operation and administration, to enterprise customers in China. Additionally, the two companies will provide customers with new network solutions, including IP infrastructures, digital video, and 3G platforms and applications.

    CCS is the specialized telecommunications support businesses arm of a major telecommunications group in China. CCS has been reorganized and spun-off to form a separate independent entity, with China Telecom Group, China Mobile and China Unicom also as shareholders. The company is publicly traded on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with the ticker

    Celtro Wins HSDPA Backhaul Contract with Vodacom South Africa

    Vodacom S.A., South Africa's leading mobile operator, is deploying Celtro's cellular backhaul solution for the expansion of 3G services and rollout of HSDPA. Specifically, Vodacom will deploy Celtro's DynaMate systems at over 850 sites this year, enabling rollout of 3G and HSDPA on existing backhaul infrastructure.

    Vodacom currently provides mobile services to over 20 million subscribers in South Africa, Tanzania, Lesotho, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
    • Celtro was established in 2001 as a business unit within ECI Telecom, and in September 2003 was spun-off as an independent, privately owned company.

    Verizon Business Promotes Polycom Telepresence Solution

    Verizon Business is now offering its large-business customers a video "telepresence" system developed by Polycom for use over its advanced IP network. The new offering, the Polycom RPX modular conference suite, combines Verizon Business' intelligent Private IP network and Ethernet services with Polycom's standards-based RealPresence Experience (RPX) family of telepresence solutions. The modular rooms come in six configurations to accommodate from four to 28 participants.

    Bob Hagerty, chairman and CEO of Polycom, said, "Verizon Business is a longstanding and important relationship of Polycom's, and we are excited they are now offering our new RPX telepresence suites to enterprises."http://www.verizonbusiness.com

    ETSI Approves Second-Generation IP over Satellite (IPoS)

    The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has approved the Internet Protocol over Satellite.v2 (IPoS.v2) air interface standard, which incorporates the DVB-S2 industry standard with ACM (Adaptive Coding and Modulation).

    The first version of IPoS was approved the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) in North America, and ETSI and ITU (International Telecommunications Union) in Europe.

    Hughes Network System said its HN System, launched in the spring of 2006, is fully compliant with the IPoS standard including DVB-S2, supporting very high throughputs of up to 120Mbps, and offering increased network availability while conserving power consumption.

    "We applaud ETSI for embracing the newest version of IPoS, which fully integrates the DVB-S2 standard with ACM," said Pradman Kaul, Chairman and CEO of Hughes. "This standard takes satellite broadband performance to the next level. Along with higher speeds and improved bandwidth utilization, IPoS.v2 enables significantly improved operational efficiency."

    Meriton Networks 6400 Receives RUS Acceptance

    Meriton Networks' 6400 OTP (Optical Transport Platform has been accepted by the Rural Development Utilities Program (RDUP), a division of the United States Department of Agriculture, for inclusion in the RDUP List of Materials. This acceptance enables independent telephone and utility companies to purchase Meriton Networks equipment with the assistance of funds from RDUP grants and loans.

    Altera Ships Stratix II GX FPGAs for Multi-Gigabit-Interconnected Systems

    Altera began shipping its production-qualified Stratix II GX FPGAs, which provide up to 20 low-power transceivers operating between 600 Mbps and 6.375 Gbps with an 127 Gbps of aggregate serial link connectivity.

    Alter said its customers are now using the new FPGAs to design and manufacture multi-gigabit-interconnected systems. Many of these customer systems are now transitioning to production, including high-speed backplane and cabling interfaces, chip-to-chip interconnects, and protocol-bridging applications, including, but not limited to, such protocols as PCI Express, CEI-6G, serial digital interface (SDI), Gigabit Ethernet, Serial RapidIO (SRIO), XAUI, SerialLite II, Fibre Channel and SONET/SDH.

    CheckPhone Raises $10.2 Million for Voice Security

    CheckPhone, a start-up based in Paris, secured a US$10.2 million investment from Trio Capital for its telephony security solutions.

    CheckPhone, which was founded in 2005, offers an enterprise-class product designed to protect any convergent telephony network (traditional TDM, hybrid, and IP) against growing security threats such as: intrusion, interception, modification and denial of service. It is a multi-vendor, multi-technology platform for VoIP, legacy PBXs and hybrid environments, enabling centralized telephony security management

    EMC Enhances MPLS Support for Model-based Management Software

    EMC Corporation has enhanced its Smarts IP Availability Manager 7.0 and Smarts Service Assurance Manager 7.0 software with added support for MPLS-based environments. EMC has also added compatibility for a broader range of application and system instrumentation such as HP's Mercury SiteScope -- EMC continues to widen its model-based management line-of-sight.

    Smarts IP Availability Manager automates real-time root-cause analysis of critical network connectivity layers, including network-attached storage connectivity. Smarts Service Assurance Manager is the cornerstone of the EMC Smarts management suite, integrating and correlating topology, events and analysis from multiple sources -- offering a real-time end-to-end perspective on the IT environment, its health and its effect on core business services.

    Version 7.0 now offers SNMPv3 authentication support for traps, which is a key requirement for government agencies and managed service providers. This gives users two layers of security, providing full encryption of packets as well as full encryption and authentication for polling and discovery. Also key to Smarts IP Availability Manager 7.0 and EMC Smarts Service Assurance Manager 7.0 is "IP Tagging." With IP Tagging, users can better handle overlapping IP addresses in both IP and MPLS environments. Smarts can now tag and monitor multiple links with the same address, allowing Smarts to deal with duplicate addresses across disparate domains.

    The new Smarts suite also adds support for isolating MPLS service outages down to the Label Switched Path (LSP) connection within the MPLS cloud. By testing the specific data paths, Smarts reduces the time to identify the root cause of customer-affecting service degradations.

    Verizon to Feature NFL Broadcasts Over Broadband

    Verizon FiOS Internet and Verizon Online DSL customers who subscribe to either FiOS TV's Premier channel lineup or DIRECTV will be able to view live NFL game broadcasts this week on the Internet, including the first Saturday night matchup, with the Dallas Cowboys taking on the Atlanta Falcons, as well as the Thursday night matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks.

    Verizon said it is the only Internet service provider to deliver selected NFL Network programming over broadband.

    QUALCOMM Appoints COO, Hires Former Sprint Exec

    QUALCOMM appointed Dr. Sanjay K. Jha as its chief operating officer. As COO, Jha will now oversee Corporate Research and Development and QUALCOMM Flarion Technologies (QFT), in addition to continuing as president of QUALCOMM CDMA Technologies (QCT). Prior to being named COO, Jha's 10-plus years of contributions at QUALCOMM included key engineering roles and the formation of QUALCOMM Technologies & Ventures.

    QUALCOMM also announced the hiring of Len J. Lauer, who has joined QUALCOMM as a corporate executive vice president and as group president overseeing key divisions. As group president, Lauer will oversee QUALCOMM Wireless Business Solutions, QUALCOMM MEMS Technologies, QUALCOMM Government Technologies and the company's mobile TV subsidiary, MediaFLO USA. Lauer reports to QUALCOMM president Steven R. Altman. Most recently, Lauer served as chief operating officer for Sprint Nextel where he directed all of the company's operations to deliver converged media and communication services. During 2006, he also served as the chairman of CTIA, the trade association for the U.S. wireless industry.

    AT&T Tests Free Directory Assistance Service

    AT&T has begun testing a free directory assistance service that would give callers access to business listings while giving advertisers the opportunity to reach buyers at a critical moment in their purchasing decisions. Callers will be able to request a listing for a specific business or for listings for a type or category of business from a landline or wireless phone. Callers will hear short audio ads relevant to their listing request before receiving the number or, possibly, being connected directly to the business they select. The trial service is initially available in Bakersfield (California), Oklahoma City (OK) and Columbus (Ohio).

    STMicroelectronics Announces Product Organization

    STMicroelectronics will reorganize its product segments into three main areas: Application Specific Groups, a Flash Memory Group and the Industrial and Multisegment Sector.

    ST is establishing a stand-alone Flash Memories Group (FMG), which incorporates all the Flash memory operations, including Technology R&D, all product related activities, front-end and back-end manufacturing, marketing and sales worldwide. FMG will be led by Mario Licciardello, Corporate Vice President and General Manager.

    ST is adding to the former MPA business its non-Flash memory products - formerly under MPG - and its Micro-Electro- Mechanical Systems (MEMS) activity, to form a new sector, called Industrial & Multisegment Sector (IMS). Carmelo Papa, who is being promoted to Executive Vice President, will lead the Industrial & Multisegment Sector. Within IMS, a new Group, the Microcontrollers, Memories & Smartcards Group (MMS), is created under the leadership of new Corporate VP Claude Dardanne.

    ST's Application Specific Groups (ASG) will now be comprised of the newly created Mobile, Multimedia & Communications Group (MMC) and the Home Entertainment & Displays Group (HED) as well as the existing Automotive Product Group (APG) and Computer Peripherals Group (CPG). In connection with these changes, Tommi Uhari is being promoted to Executive Vice President and will lead the Mobile, Multimedia & Communications Group and Christos Lagomichos is being promoted to Corporate Vice President for the Home Entertainment & Displays Group. The Automotive Products Group and Computer Peripherals Group will continue to be managed by Corporate Vice Presidents Ugo Carena and Gian Luca Bertino, respectively.

    SureWest Offers 50 Mbps Residential Broadband in Sacramento Region

    SureWest Communications, which serves the Sacramento, California region, announced a 50 Mbps "Ultimate Package" broadband service over its FTTH network. Similar to its 20 and 10 Mbps offerings, the 50-Meg product is synchronous, meaning that consumers receive up to 50 Mbps for both uploading and downloading.

    SureWest's Quad-Play "Ultimate" package includes 50 Mbps Internet access; "Full Color Multiplex" digital TV service, which features over 250 channels and includes every premium channel; national unlimited local and long distance telephone; and "Unlimited USA" wireless with 1,000 travel minutes each month. Pricing for "Ultimate" quadruple play is $415.18 a month - a bundled savings of $430 a year. The 50 Mbps product is valued at $259.95 per month.

    SureWest's FTTH network reaches nearly 100,000 marketable homes in the Sacramento region.

    Monday, December 11, 2006

    The Venice Project Enters Beta of its Web-TV

    The Venice Project, an Internet TV start-up backed by the founders of Skype, began accepting beta testers. The project is not a file-sharing application or a video download service. It will use P2P streaming technology to deliver a variety of video content over the Web. Encrypted content would be provided directly by the owners. The Venice Project owners have said they are working within the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) framework.

    picoChip and Kineto Team in UMA-Enabled Femtocell Market

    Kineto Wireless and picoChip, a start-up specializing in software defined radio technology, are developing a UMA-enabled femtocell reference design. The reference design, based on picoChip's single-chip solutions, and Kineto's UMA client software will enable 3G femtocells to overcome network integration barriers to accelerate mass market adoption.

    Femtocells are low-cost cellular access points for mobile operators looking to provide enhanced, in-building 3G coverage within homes and small businesses.


    NXP Chip Drives Multimedia-Enabled Navigation Devices

    NXP Semiconductors announced a solution for low-cost, portable GPS devices with advanced multimedia capabilities. The solution builds on NXP's Nexperia mobile multimedia processor and includes software solution for GPS, along with ALK Technologies' CoPilot navigation software.

    Whereas traditional GPS solutions require hardware GPS baseband processors, NXP said its approach utilizes swGPS Personal running on the PNX0190 multimedia processor to efficiently perform GPS calculations. By eliminating the GPS baseband silicon, NXP's solution delivers a lower bill of material while the software-based approach provides flexibility and future-proofing in an evolving market.

    Microsoft Releases Beta of Office Communications Server

    Microsoft released a private beta of its enterprise voice communications server, Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 to 2,500 testers. Office Communications Server 2007, the successor to Microsoft Live Communications Server 2005, is part of Microsoft's unified communications portfolio.

    Microsoft said Office Communications Server 2007 allows companies to integrate VoIP into existing telephony infrastructure. Users will be able to instantly launch a phone call from 2007 Microsoft Office applications, such as Office Word 2007, Office Outlook 2007 or Office Communicator, by clicking on a colleague's name to determine his or her availability and initiate a person-to-person or multiparty call.

    Communications Server 2007 and Microsoft Office Communicator offer native support for Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and interoperate with products from industry partners including Nortel Networks, Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, Cisco Systems, LG-Nortel, Mitel Networks, NEC Philips Unified Solutions, Polycom and Siemens Communications Inc.

    Microsoft said these relationships will enable its customers to support VoIP using their existing desktop phones, data networks and time division multiplexing (TDM) or IP private branch exchanges (PBXs). Customers will also able to leverage the softphone capabilities of Office Communicator to make and receive phone calls from their PCs, eliminating the need to purchase expensive IP-compatible phones.

    "The convergence of telecom and data networks is happening rapidly. Software will integrate these two worlds, enabling IT managers to deliver new communications possibilities that include VoIP," said Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate vice president of the Unified Communications Group at Microsoft. "With this open architecture and broad interoperability, Office Communications Server 2007 will give IT managers the flexibility to determine when and how and in what way they move their communications infrastructure forward."

    Gomez and Limelight to Validate Digital Media Delivery

    Gomez Inc. announced a reseller partnership with Limelight Networks, the high performance content delivery network for digital media. The deal provides Limelight customers with a new way to independently verify the service they receive from Limelight. Using Gomez Inc.'s web application experience management services, Limelight's customers can now precisely document and validate the performance benefits of Limelight's digital media delivery services and ensure the best experience possible for their customers.

    Under the partnership, Limelight will offer Gomez services to any existing or future customer seeking third party content delivery monitoring services. Limelight customers will be able to measure and validate Limelight Networks' digital media delivery performance through detailed online reports.


    Cingular Expands Support for Good Mobile Messaging

    Cingular Wireless is now supporting Good Mobile Messaging to enterprises using Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes using a number of new smartphones, including the recent introductions of the Cingular 8525, BlackJack, Nokia E62, Cingular 3125, Palm Treo 680 and HP iPAQ hw6920.

    Cingular became the first carrier to sell Good Mobile Messaging directly to its customers in May 2005. Since then, Good-Cingular activations have grown more than 300 percent. Thousands of enterprises are running Good Mobile Messaging on the Cingular network today, including Deloitte, Ariba, Vignette, Electronic Arts, McGraw Hill, Perot Systems, Silicon Valley Bank, SanDisk and Avaya
    • In November, Motorola agreed to acquire Good Technology, a supplier of enterprise mobile computing software and service, for an undisclosed sum. Good's mobile messaging client is supported on the new Motorola Q handheld, among other devices. Motorola said the acquisition will extend its mobile computing capabilities and increase its enterprise client base.