Sunday, January 22, 2006

Tekelec Names Frank Plastina CEO

Tekelec has named Frank Plastina as its new CEO, president and a member of the board of directors, replacing Fred Lax, who resigned. For much of his career, Plastina served in senior executive and management positions at Nortel Networks. In 1997, he was appointed general manager of Nortel's DMS-10 and Signaling Solutions Group.
Between 1999 and 2001, he had profit and loss responsibility for Nortel's Wireless and Carrier business, a global organization with $7.8 billion in revenue and 20,000 employees. In 2001, he was named president of Nortel's Metro and Enterprise Networks, with $6 billion in revenue and 18,000 employees. In 2003, Plastina joined Warburg Pincus LLC, a private equity firm, as an executive in residence, evaluating potential investments and providing executive support to its portfolio companies. Later that year, he became CEO of one of those companies, Proxim Corporation, a provider of Wi-Fi and broadband wireless access products. He served in that capacity until 2005 when its assets were sold.

UTStarcom Awarded Optical Transport Contract by Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom

Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom awarded a contract to UTStarcom to supply its NetRing 10000 multiservice optical transport products. Chunghwa Telecom intends to utilize UTStarcom's NetRing solution to deliver high-density, high-speed broadband services, including voice, data, and video, to subscribers throughout Taiwan in support of its MultiMedia on Demand (MOD) service. UTStarcom's NetRing products provide aggregation, grooming, cross-connect, and transport to deliver high-density, highly efficient STM-1 to STM-64, PDH (E1, E3), Fast Ethernet, and Gigabit Ethernet services in SDH-based carrier networks. All systems are designed to support full-redundancy, multiple protection options, and in-service upgrades.

Tello Launches Presence and Telephony Service

Tello, a start-up based in San Mateo, California, launched its business instant communication and collaboration service.

Tello enables users to locate and collaborate with their key contacts beyond their enterprise boundaries and across multiple platforms - including phones, mobile devices and PCs.

The service consists of Tello Enterprise for businesses and Tello Basic for individuals and runs on the Tello Connect platform. It features a federation system that aggregates contacts' presence (i.e., shows if the contact is available on a certain application or device) and allows interoperability of disparate voice and instant messaging systems.

Additionally, Tello interfaces with other communication tools, allowing users to launch voice calls, instant messaging and web sharing from a single interface.

Tello's current partners include Avaya, Cisco and Digium.

Tello was formed in late 2004. Eagle River, Evercore Partners, Rho Ventures and Intel Capital are the leading investors. The company is led by Doug Renert, CEO, who joined from Oracle Corporation where he spent eight years, most recently as vice president responsible for vertical industry applications.

Tello's founders include:

  • Craig McCaw, who also serves as chairman and CEO of Eagle River, a private company focusing on strategic investments in the communications industry; and Clearwire Corporation, one of Eagle River's portfolio companies, which operates wireless broadband communications networks.

  • Jeff Pulver, chairman and founder of, co-founder of VoIP provider Vonage, publisher of The Pulver Report and VON Magazine, and creator of the industry standard Voice on the Net (VON) conferences.

  • John Sculley, a venture partner at Rho Ventures. Previously, he co-founded private investment firm Sculley Brothers, and served as CEO of Apple Computer from 1983 to 1993. Prior to Apple, he was president and CEO of Pepsi.

  • Michael J. Price, a senior managing director of Evercore Partners. Prior to Evercore, he co-founded FirstMark Communications Europe, and previously spent eleven years at Lazard, where he led the firm's global Telecom and Technology Group.

Huawei-3Com Tests 10G Core Routing Switch with Spirent

Huawei-3Com tested its Quidway S8500 10G Multi-Service Core Routing Switch using Spirent Communications' Test System and Global Services. Huawei-3Com has validated wire-line forwarding, low latency and no packet loss in a fully meshed topology. The platform features high port density and scalability, supporting up to 576 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) or 48 10 GbE interfaces. In addition, the Quidway S8500 can provide wire-line forwarding capacity for MPLS-VPN networks.

TAZZ Networks Works With BT on MPLS Policy Control

TAZZ Networks, which provides policy control solutions for broadband networks, announced a collaborative effort with BT on the design and delivery of a lab demonstration platform intended to illustrate the power of network-centric ICT (Information and Communication Technology) solutions for enterprise customers. This proof of concept platform delivers an on-demand IP-VPN based on a robust and dynamically controlled CoS (Class of Service) enabled MPLS network - ICT-ADQ (Application Driven Quality of Service).

The ICT-ADQ platform was explicitly designed to demonstrate the benefits of policy-based ICT service management, in particular to show how applications can be delivered On-Demand to corporate customers while giving application level service guarantees end-to-end across the IP-VPN.

As part of this work, TAZZ has taken the static 6 CoS DSCP model and enabled real-time network, application, and end-user events to trigger the dynamic reallocation of bandwidth across the classes and/or the ability to flex the available bandwidth for the link. The result is an MPLS CoS enabled network that is able to intelligently react in real-time to application, customer, and network events based on business level policies expressed in service contracts to customers.

This enables BT to not only monitor SLA performance, but to proactively take corrective actions based on real-time network events to ensure that contracts are upheld.

TAZZ Networks said its Policy Control System will open up a new era in managed enterprise service offerings, one where the enterprise customer has the ability to define and control many of the key resources involved in the service delivery and management process.

"Our research programme around ICT-ADQ is aimed at enabling a new level of service assurance for our customers, moving beyond passive monitoring by creating a proactive network that can dynamically adjust to ensure application success," said John Wittgreffe, BT Group CTO. "Within this the TAZZ platform is delivering a real-time intelligent command and control point (policy decision point) necessary to orchestrate the many different components making up any ICT product. Policy-based ICT service management offers BT the ability to translate our customer's business instructions into real-time changes in the end to end network configuration and across ICT components, creating a significant business advantage for our customers."

ChoiceStream to Provide Personalization for Starz VONGO VOD

ChoiceStream, a start-up based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will power the personalized recommendation engine on the new Vongo Internet video on demand service from Starz Entertainment Group. ChoiceStream provides:

  • Personalized content programming that promotes discovery: ChoiceStream powers 'Vongo Recommends,' personalized recommendations that are based on consumers' individual movie preferences. This enables VONGO to dig deep into inventory and surface useful recommendations that genuinely match subscribers' interests.

  • Personally relevant merchandising. ChoiceStream-powered 'You may also like...' recommends movies similar to the movie that is currently selected, or the subject of a failed search.

  • Relevant recommendations for all users - even first-time visitors

  • Accurate targeting of profitable back-catalog and non-mainstream movies: Often the most useful--and the most profitable--recommendations, these titles are overlooked by traditional approaches to personalization which require movies to be rated or downloaded by large numbers of users before they can be accurately recommended.


IBM Provides Federated IM Access to AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, iChat

IBM unveiled a new version of its Lotus "Sametime" audio and video corporate conferencing application, featuring federated connectivity with leading consumer IM platforms, including AOL, and Yahoo! In addition, IBM and Google intend to connect Lotus Sametime and Google Talk users.

Lotus Sametime 7.5 sports more than 100 new features and represents a major upgrade in instant messaging and Web conferencing capabilities. New features and functions include:

  • In addition to enhanced security features, privacy settings and location awareness capabilities, Lotus Sametime 7.5 simplifies connections with other instant messaging platforms and has embedded VoIP capabilities.

  • In 2006, IBM plans to add Lotus Sametime 7.5 client support for Apple's Mac OS X version 10.4 "Tiger" and Linux.

  • The new instant messaging client is built on the Eclipse open source framework. By leveraging Eclipse, Lotus Sametime users get access to new "plug-in" capabilities, such as audio/video extensions, location-oriented or "mapping" applications and corporate calendar integration.

  • Social networking capabilities -- leveraging Lotus Sametime's new Eclipse-based application platform, businesses can tap into the collective knowledge of their employees through instant polls, focused broadcasts to members of a specific community, context-sensitive chat rooms and the automated capture and storage of ad-hoc information that can be searched for future reference.

  • Real-time collaboration "gateway" -- Lotus Sametime 7.5 will also feature a new advanced, multi-protocol real-time collaboration "gateway" to increase the ease and manageability of enterprise-to-enterprise and enterprise-to-public network connections. The gateway will initially be based on SIP (session initiation protocol), a growing standard for instant messaging technology.

  • Integration with IBM Workplace software -- also planned to serve as the instant messaging client for future editions of IBM Workplace Collaboration Services, Lotus Sametime 7.5 will provide an identical user experience while working with both Lotus Sametime and Workplace Collaboration Services servers.

3Com Launches V6000 Enterprise VoIP and IM Platform

3Com introduced its new V6000 Integrated Branch Communications platform for running centrally-managed, business continuity applications, including SIP-based IP Messaging, IP Mobility, IP Contact Center, IP Conferencing and Presence. The new V6000, which runs 3Com's VCX IP Telephony module and convergence applications, is designed for medium to large, geographically distributed enterprises.

Should the WAN between sites be lost, the IP Telephony and IP Messaging applications running on the V6000 can work totally independent of the corporate headquarter system. Once the network becomes operational, the VCX systems will automatically resume normal networking operations. Even in the extreme event of a failure of the local V6000 server, the 3Com IP phones will automatically re-route to the central site server running the VCX system for call control.

Akimbo Adds VP of Sales -- Targets Internet VOD

Akimbo Systems, which provides an Internet video-on-demand service for television, has hired Jim Bennette as vice president of sales. Bennette joins Akimbo from Orb Networks, where he was vice president of business development. At Orb, he was responsible for content strategy development and built critical content and distribution partnerships with major content creators including broadcasters, networks and studios, as well as video-on-demand, digital music and digital photo providers. Prior to Orb, Bennette was vice president of western region sales at AIM Technology, a developer of business intelligence applications.

Kineto and Reef Point Confirm Interoperability

Kineto Wireless and Reef Point Systems confirmed the interoperability of their solutions for fixed-mobile convergence. The two companies have ensured interoperability between the Reef Point UMA Security Gateway and the Kineto IP Network Controller at the Kineto UMA test facility in Milpitas, California.

The Reef Point UMA Security Gateway is now qualified for deployment in conjunction with Kineto's UMA network controller.

The core component of Kineto's mobile/Wi-Fi convergence solution is the Kineto UNC (UMA Network Controller). The Kineto UNC is a carrier-class network element that integrates with a service provider's existing voice (MSC) and data (SGSN) switching systems, and uses standard interfaces to extend high- performance mobile services over IP access networks and WLANs. The Kineto UNC manages and secures all subscriber access to mobile, voice, data and IMS services from various WLAN locations, and facilitates automatic seamless roaming and handover between licensed radio access networks and WLANs.

Unlike other solutions, such as session border controllers, the Reef Point Systems' UMA Security Gateway is massively scalable, securing up to half a million simultaneous connections. The gateway enables secure Wi-Fi roaming and provides subscribers with confidentiality by encapsulating the call and signaling data in secure IPSec tunnels. It provides robust threat defense including stateful firewalls with Denial of Service attack prevention, intrusion detection services, custom firewall filtering, dynamic virtual routing with Network Address Translation, and session limiting to protect against external threats.


Avaya's Revenues Rise 9% to $1.2 Billion

Avaya's quarterly revenues increased 8.8% $1.249 billion, compared to revenues of $1.148 billion in the first fiscal quarter of 2005. The first quarter of 2006 included the full quarter contribution from the Tenovis acquisition. Avaya said its Global Communications Systems revenues rose 11.7% year-over-year and Avaya Global Services revenues increased 5.8% over the same period.

Net income from continuing operations was $71 million or 15 cents per diluted share, compared to $33 million or seven cents per diluted share for the same period last year.

During the quarter, Avaya shipped its eight millionth IP line, with shipments increasing 16% compared to the year ago quarter.

Broadcom to Acquire Sandburst for Switching Silicon

Broadcom agreed to acquire Sandburst, a start-up specializing in scalable packet switching and routing systems-on-a-chip (SoCs), for $80 million -- $75 million in cash in exchange for all outstanding shares of capital stock and vested stock options of Sandburst and up to 100,000 shares of Class A common stock reserved for future issuance in exchange for unvested employee stock options of Sandburst.

Sandburst designs and develops switching solutions that target the high-end carrier-class chassis market. The company provides a complete switching and routing solution, which includes a packet processor, traffic management capabilities and switch fabric.

Sandburst's currently shipping HIBEAM chip set consists of four, multi-million gate devices. The switching architecture supports platforms that scale from 80 to 1.2 terabits per second while supporting line rate port speeds of up to 10 Gbps. The traffic management chip allows per-end-user service-level guarantees. Specifically, Sandburst's solution offers per-subscriber QoS, which ensures service integrity to hundreds of thousands of subscribers simultaneously regardless of the traffic load.
http://www.broadcom.comhttp://www.sandburst.comSince its founding, Sandburst had raised $72 million in venture funding. The company is based in Andover, Mass.

Motorola Releases Multi-Radio Solution for Municipal Wireless Networks

Motorola announced the commercial release of its MOTOMESH, a multi-radio, high performance mesh networking system for municipal wireless. The system addresses the needs of public safety, public works and public access in a single network by leveraging multiple radios in both licensed and unlicensed frequency bands. Motorola also announced that the city of Riviera Beach, FL has been added to the list of over a dozen municipalities to deploy MOTOMESH as its metro-area wireless network.

The MOTOMESH multi-radio broadband solution, whose architecture supports up to four radio networks in a single access point. By combining radios in the unlicensed 2.4GHz and the newly licensed 4.9GHz public safety spectrum in single network architecture, MOTOMESH allows municipalities to provide WiFi access to public users, license-free mobile broadband to public works users, and dedicated licensed network connectivity and security to public safety users over a single network.

Motorola said its mesh networking technology was originally developed for the military battlefield in order to provide instant, ad-hoc communication networks where fixed infrastructure was not available or deployable. The technology is capable of delivering seamless broadband data connections and real-time video transfers to vehicles moving at highways speeds. Motorola's unique Multi-Hopping technology turns every mesh-enabled user into a router/repeater, so every user makes the network stronger. It also allows users to hop through each other and form instant ad hoc peer-to-peer networks among themselves, anytime, anywhere. The system also features fast and accurate tracking capabilities without relying on GPS equipment or satellites.

Asia Netcom Upgrades Pan-Asian Cable with Lucent LambdaUnite Switch

Asia Netcom selected Lucent Technologies to upgrade its pan-Asian submarine cable network, known as EAC. Lucent will replace EAC's existing platform with the Lucent LambdaUnite Multi-Service Switch (MSS). Financial terms were not disclosed.

With the LambdaUnite MSS platform and its support for ASON (Automatically Switched Optical Networks)/GMPLS (Generalized Multi-Protocol Label Switching) technology, Asia Netcom will be able to adopt a meshed, network architecture on the optical layer, and offer a wide variety of "Class-of-Service" options as part of its optical transport services. At the same time, the LambdaUnite MSS platform's enhanced management system gives Asia Netcom full control of all network elements, resulting in seamless service provisioning and network management of EAC.

Samsung BCS Expands its U.S. Distribution

Samsung Business Communication Systems (BCS) announced the conversion of 29 of its existing dealers to distributor status. The newly designated distributors, with footprints that span both East and West Coasts, now have the ability to sell Samsung BCS equipment and solutions directly to enterprise end-users and also to offer Samsung BCS products to other dealers and resellers.

Samsung Business Communication Systems (BCS), a Dallas-based division of Samsung Telecommunications America, is the distribution arm for Samsung Electronics' line of business telephony solutions. Targeting small- to medium-sized businesses, Samsung BCS offers a line of telephony-based customer premise equipment (CPE) with dynamic architecture.

Spirent Acquires SwissQual for Wireless Test

Spirent Communications agreed to acquire SwissQual, a test and measurement company for wireless network operators, for $70.5 million (including performance incentives) on a cash and debt-free basis.

SwissQual supplies drive-test systems for optimization and benchmarking of GSM, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, CDMA and TDMA networks. It also provides end-to-end monitoring systems for speech, data, messaging and video service quality testing on both fixed and mobile networks; as well as smart-phone based quality assessment probes for the measurement of true end customer experience.

Spirent said the SwissQual acquisition will enhance its presence in the wireless test and measurement market by bringing exposure to a new segment, subscriber experience management. Subscriber experience management measures the quality of the wireless subscriber's experience and service received from a user's, rather than a network, perspective. This "user-focused" perspective also favorably positions Spirent for growing its business in testing mobile video applications as well as wireless services and handsets.

SwissQual, a Swiss-based company with approx. 80 employees, was founded in 2000 and provides products that measure the experience of users of wireless applications and services. SwissQual also has regional offices in Italy and Singapore.


Verizon Business Debuts its Wireless/Wireline Service Portfolio

Verizon Business introduced its service portfolio and announced new integrated wireless and wireline offerings for its U.S. business and government customers.

"Verizon Business" is the new unit resulting from the integration of MCI and similar businesses that previously were part of Verizon Domestic Telecom, including the former Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group.

The new offerings combine the Verizon Business IP network with the Verizon Wireless network. Immediately available, Verizon Business' enhanced suite of Enterprise Mobility solutions provide access via Verizon Wireless' broadband service throughout 181 major U.S. metropolitan areas, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, D.C.

Additionally, the company is making wireless broadband access available as a business continuity solution that provides companies with a wireless backup for their data networks.

The full Verizon Business portfolio includes:

  • Data and IP Networking Solutions - local-to-global private networking capabilities, including a broad range of Internet access services, Private IP, an MPLS-based global networking solution, one of the broadest and deepest Ethernet footprints, optical network solutions and traditional data services such as Frame Relay, ATM and private line.

  • Managed Services - expertise in managing large customer WAN and LAN network environments protected by "cloud-to-core" security solutions and featuring the company's IMPACT network management system and Finium security platform.

  • Advanced Voice Applications - a range of VoIP solutions and
    Contact Center Services, featuring speech recognition and Web-based offerings, and advanced collaboration solutions through its premier Conferencing services.

  • IT Services - Helping customers meet a wide range of requirements from simple collocation to full IT applications management.

  • Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) - from network-based services to CPE solutions

  • All-Distance Voice Services - services that begin and end on a single-source provider's world-class network.

"The launch of Verizon Business is a game-changing event in the business communications marketplace," said John Killian, president of Verizon Business. "While our unparalleled network assets and next-generation products help customers transform the way they do business, our customer-first philosophy will redefine the service delivery model for our industry."