Sunday, February 12, 2006

PodShow and Limelight Build High Performance Delivery Network for Podcasting

Limelight Networks is providing a h-performance content delivery network for a newly launched PodShow Podcast Delivery Network (PodShowPDN).

The PodShowPDN provides the scalability to manage, deliver and track tens-of-thousands of shows, millions of episodes and hundreds-of-millions of downloads, with a complete set of tools for creating, publishing and up-loading content. The PodShowPDN also provides tools for creating, producing, uploading and monetizing content.

Limelight's globally distributed network of servers and interconnects to the world's largest broadband networks and Tier-1 Internet services providers.

The PodShow Podcast Network is backed by leading venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Sequoia Capital and Sherpalo Ventures.


U.S. Senate Committee to Hear Video Franchising Debate

The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee has scheduled a debate for Wednesday, 15-February-2006 to consider new video franchising rules. The list of witnesses includes:

Panel 1

Mr. Ivan Seidenberg, CEO, Verizon Communications

Mr. Edward E. Whitacre, Jr., CEO, AT&T

Mr. Tom Rutledge, COO, Cablevision Systems Corporation

Ms. Lori Panzino-Tillery, President, National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors

Panel 2:

Mr. Brad Evans, CEO, Cavalier Telephone

Mr. Anthony T. Riddle, Executive Director, Alliance for Community Media

Mr. Gene Kimmelman, Senior Director OF Public Policy, Consumers Union

Ms. Gigi B. Sohn, President & Co-Founder, Public Knowledge

A webcast of the hearing will be available.

Vodafone Teams with Google on Mobile Search

Vodafone is collaborating with Google to develop mobile search services. Specifically, Vodafone will integrate Google's search capability into its consumer service, Vodafone live!, providing customers with the most relevant information, wherever they are and whatever time of day it is.

"Innovative mobile search will become increasingly important as fast and easy access to information and services are increasingly demanded by customers on the move. Together, Vodafone and Google will focus on creating the best mobile search service in the market, helping to bring the mobile internet to life. Our customers will be able to find relevant information and services faster, making the Vodafone live! customer experience even better," said Alan Harper, Group Strategy Director, Vodafone.

BT Signs Endemol for next-generation TV

BT signed a programming deal with Endemol, a leading TV production company, to license and develop cutting-edge interactive content for its next-generation TV offering. Endemol will work with BT to deliver its distinctive and high-quality programming and compelling interactive content, tailor-made for BT's next- generation TV service.

BT has previously disclosed content deals already announced with some of the world's biggest entertainment companies including BBC Worldwide, Paramount and Warner Music Group, factual powerhouse National Geographic Channel and with kids' TV programming leaders HIT Entertainment and Nelvana.

PMC-Sierra Offers Single-Chip for 3G Distributed 3G Base Station Architectures

PMC-Sierra introduced its second-generation, single-chip Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) solution for enabling 3G distributed architectures. As mobile operators increase the coverage and capacity of their cellular networks, distributed base station architectures using Remote Radio Heads can help them realize major performance improvements and significant capital and operational savings.

PMC-Sierra said its Baseband to Radio Interface Controller (BRIC) product family will accelerate the adoption of distributed wireless base station architectures, significantly reducing capital and operational expenditures for carriers.

The new BRIC-2 6-port and 2-port termination chips support multiple air interfaces, including WCDMA, CDMA2000,TD-SCDMA, and WiMAX over CPRI with a single interface..

The BRIC product family reduces customer ASIC/FPGA development cost and qualification by providing a complete, fully compliant end-to-end interface solution. It eliminates the need for any external jitter attenuation circuitry to recover a clock that fully meets CPRI specification requirements. Serial link interface performance and quality is guaranteed through the integration of PMC-Sierra's SERDES technology as well as PMC-Sierra's compliance testing.

The PM7832 BRIC-2 and PM7830 BRIC-6 will be available in early Q2'06 and Q3'06, respectively.

China Telecom Selects UTStarcom's RollingStream IPTV in Fujian

UTStarcom announced contracts with China Telecom to deploy its RollingStream end-to-end IPTV solution in two cities in the Fujian Province in southern China.

In Fuzhou, the capital city of Fujian Province with nearly six million residents, the initial deployment has a capacity of 12,000 concurrent media streams, covering the major metropolitan areas of the city. Initially it plans to offer users 70 channels of live broadcast television with "time-shifting" capabilities and approximately 3,000 hours of video-on-demand. The operator is targeting 50,000 users by the end of 2006.

In Quanzhou, a coastal city with approximately 6.5 million residents, the initial deployment is planned to support 37,000 concurrent media streams and covers the city's main districts and initially offers users 70 channels of live broadcast television with "time-shifting" capabilities and approximately 5,000 hours of video-on-demand. The operator is targeting 80,000 users by the end of 2006.

UTStarcom's RollingStream end-to-end solution supports broadcast TV, Network PVR (n-PVR), Video on Demand (VoD), and Near Video on Demand (NVoD) over existing network infrastructures.

Reef Point Unveils Multiservice IMS Security Gateway

Reef Point Systems introduced a massively-scaleable Multiservice Security Gateway for IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) networks extending across multiple next generation networking standards including 3GPP IMS, 3GPP2, ETSI TISPAN, and PacketCable.

Reef Point's design takes a multi-zoned, fully virtualized, defense-in-depth approach to security that includes individualized subscriber protection for up to 150,000 simultaneous registered users and up to a million simultaneous IMS flows, network core and element protection, as well as protection for the gateway itself.

In addition, the IMS Security Gateway also supports Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) security functionality, providing operators deploying UMA today with a migration path to IMS without the need to replace installed gateways.

The Reef Point gateway moves security to the edge of the IMS network and separates the media and signaling plane security functionality. This increases the performance and scale of the solution. The Gateway protects both the IMS subscriber's link into the IMS network as well as the IMS core elements, including the Call and Session Control Function (CSCF) Servers, Application Servers and the Home Subscriber Server.

Reef Point's gateway includes secure termination, authentication, data confidentiality, VOIP and media flow security, Denial of Service (DOS) attack protection, Network Address Translation (NAT) traversal, and Quality of Service (QOS). The Gateway can be deployed as a border and/or access security solution, providing exceptional flexibility for a multitude of converged network architectures.

The IMS Security Gateway is available immediately from Reef Point and through the Company's global channel partners.

"Both UMA and IMS create the need for a new class of massively scaleable secure edge gateways," said Stephen Diamond, CEO of Reef Point Systems.
  • Reef Point Systems has an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) agreement under which Alcatel resells its Multiservice Security Gateway.

Alcatel to Ship WiMAX Base Station by Mid-Year

Alcatel unveiled its "Evolium" WiMAX base station, based on the IEEE 802.16e-2005 standard (formerly known as 802.16e), and confirmed its availability for commercial network deployments starting mid-2006.

Alcatel's Evolium WiMAX solution natively supports fixed, nomadic and mobile usage.

Alcatel's key WiMAX collaborators include Intel, KT, Samsung and C-DOT, the Indian Government's telecom technology development center.

Sun Deploys Force10 for Grid Compute Utility

Sun Microsystems has selected Force10 Networks' TeraScale E-Series family of switch/routers as the foundation for its Sun Grid Compute Utility network architecture.

The Sun Grid Compute Utility service allows companies to purchase or lease computing time on the network to optimize resource utilization.

The Force10 TeraScale E-Series will initially be deployed in a 500-node network that will be used to develop and test the utility compute program. Future data centers around the world will deploy the same architecture with 1,000 or 2,000 nodes.

ZTE Lands Million-line ADSL2+ deal from China Telecom

ZTE announced a contract to provide almost one million lines of ADSL2+ equipment to China Telecom, the country's largest fixed line operator, for network upgrading and transformation. The award, which represents 30% of the total contract by China Telecom, follows three previous million-line ADSL orders secured in December 2003, August 2004 and March 2005 with the same operator. Financial terms were not disclosed.

AT&T to Deploy FTTP in Nevada Housing Development

AT&T will deploy a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network at Kiley Ranch, Nevada, a new home development. AT&T will use the network to deliver its U-verse products and services to homeowners as they become available.

In addition to video services, the network will deliver the AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet U-verse Enabled service in three initial tiers:

  • Elite - up to 6.0 Mbps downstream, up to 1 Mbps upstream

  • Pro - up to 3.0 Mbps downstream, up to 1 Mbps upstream

  • Express - up to 1.5 Mbps downstream, up to 1 Mbps upstream

China's Yunnan Telecom Selects Redback SmartEdge Gateway

Yunnan Telecom Co. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of China Telecom Corporation Ltd. in Yunnan Province, has chosen Redback's SmartEdge Service Gateway to expand their network to deliver broadband Internet access, leased-line connectivity and secure VPN services for its rapidly growing subscriber base.

Yunnan Telecom is deploying a Smart Broadband Network to enable advanced IP and dedicated services for an increasing number of businesses and residential users in South China. Financial terms were not disclosed.

STMicroelectronics Low-Power Video Encoder Enabling TV-Out for Mobile Devices

STMicroelectronics announced two new digital encoders that provide a high- quality TV-Out feature for portable applications such as mobile phones, digital cameras, video players and PDAs. The new encoders convert digital video and still image data to analog TV signals, compatible with most worldwide TV standards, enabling users to share pictures and video from their handheld devices on a standard TV screen.

Motorola Demos IMS Portfolio with Key Partners

At 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, Motorola is hosting live demonstrations of its IMS portfolio integrated with third-party solutions. Motorola is also adding key components to its IMS portfolio, the Motorola IMS Mobility Manager which enables voice call continuity, and Feature Server, for seamless mobility.

The Motorola IMS Mobility Manager is designed to interface with a carrier's own feature servers and softswitches and provides session continuity across different environments, allowing users to experience a seamless communications service. The IMS Mobility Manager is based on open standards including 3GPP and is in-line with the TISPAN standards, which are expected to be ratified at the end of 2006.

Motorola's Feature Server will support voice and data services such as call forward and caller ID across multiple access networks including WLAN and WiMAX.

Motorola's third-party solution providers include: Acme Packet; Antepo; Colibria, Convedia; Highdeal; Ingate Systems; Openera; Radvision; SmartVideo, Sylantro and SS8 Networks.

Motorola and Yahoo! Showcase Mobile Podcasting

At 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, Motorola and Yahoo! are demonstrating a podcasting application that would allow consumers to not only drag and drop podcasts directly from the PC straight to their mobile phone through the Yahoo! Music Engine, but would also let consumers directly download podcasts over-the-air to their handset using an integrated application. The application is being demonstrated on a Motorola RAZR V3x UMTS handset that uses Freescale Semiconductor's 3G/UMTS RF and baseband solutions.


Motorola to Supply Wi-Fi/UMA Handset for BT's Fusion Service

Motorola will supply a dual mode Wi-Fi/UMA (Unlicensed Mobile Access) handset for the launch of BT's Fusion service. BT Fusion works just like a normal mobile phone when you are out and about, automatically switching to UK landline rates whenever you're calling UK landline numbers from home. It offers the convenience and features of a mobile phone, however, when you're at home it recognizes where you are and using wireless technology, automatically links with the BT Hub, to route calls over a BT Broadband connection.

The Motorola A910 will be available on BT's Fusion service from Q3 2006.

The Motorola A910 also offers the ability to play MP3 music, create a personalized soundtrack that runs simultaneously with a slide show of photos taken on the 1.3 Megapixel embedded camera with lumi- LED Flash. It features a Linux-Java operating system, Bluetooth wireless technology, J2ME performance, and enhanced text prediction features for a simplified yet powerful mobile experience.

The Motorola A910 uses Freescale Semiconductor's baseband and enhanced mini-USB solution.

Motorola Handsets to Support Windows Media DRM

Motorola will integrate Microsoft's Windows Media technologies on a number of Motorola's music handsets, which will allow users to access content from the broadest selection of online music stores from around the world.

Motorola's music handsets will add support for Windows Media Digital Rights Management (DRM), Windows Media Audio (WMA), the enhanced Windows Media Audio Pro codec and Media Transfer Protocol (MTP).

Forthcoming Motorola music handsets will enable seamless connectivity to Windows-based PCs via the USB 2.0 high-speed protocol. By supporting MTP, Windows Media Player will automatically recognize Motorola handsets and enable users to quickly and easily sync their music from their PC to their phone. Music acquired from any pay-per-download or subscription store using Windows Media technology will transfer and playback on Motorola handsets.

In addition to making Motorola handsets interoperable with PCs, Motorola and Microsoft plan to provide mobile handset offerings that are tailored for discovering and acquiring music over an operator's 3G network.

Motorola began shipping Microsoft technologies on select handsets in 2005, and plans to offer Windows Media-enabled music experiences on multiple handsets worldwide in the second half of 2006. Support for over-the-air delivery capabilities and WMA Pro is expected to follow suit in 2007.


Harris Polls Tracks Growing Interest in IPTV

Despite limited availability in the United States, more than half (56%) of all U.S. adults say they have heard of IPTV and substantial numbers indicate interest in adopting it for use on their TVs and home PCs, according to a recent survey by Harris Interactive. The survey also shows how the adoption of IPTV may impact cable and satellite providers and the types of providers that may be able to capitalize on this new technology.

These are some of the results of The 2005 Technology Report: Hot Issues Facing the Industry, a study conducted quarterly by Harris Interactive. The most recent study was conducted online from December 2 to 8, 2005 among 1,039 U.S. adults.

One-quarter (26%) of adults say they are quite interested in adopting IPTV for use on their TVs, and 19 percent express a lot of interest in adopting IPTV for use on their computers. Fewer adults (4%) say they would be quite interested in adopting this technology for use on their cell phones.

Twelve percent of adults say they would sign up and try IPTV immediately if it were only available for their PC, and 57 percent say they would wait and see how others like it. Almost one in five (18%) say they would try IPTV immediately if it were available for their PC and could be sent to TV's in their house using a set-top box, and 59 percent said they would wait and see how others like it. Minorities say they would ignore IPTV for their home PC (31%) or their TV (23%) as they are happy with their current service.

Types of providers adults say they would feel most comfortable with delivering IPTV service include:

  • A cable company like CableVision or Comcast (33%)

  • A new company that has no baggage (25%)

  • A technology company like Cisco or Microsoft (15%)

  • A telephone provider like Verizon or SBC (13%)

  • An Internet provider like AOL or Earthlink (11%)

  • A content provider like Disney or CNN (4%)

Milt Ellis, vice president and senior consultant for the Technology Research Practice at Harris Interactive comments: "It's no surprise to find that consumers want to save money on their cable or satellite bill, but the survey results also show that many consumers are quite interested in having access to a broad range of content to watch, at a time they determine. When consumers are able to watch their favorite shows at a time of their own choosing, "prime time" may need redefining, network program schedules may have little meaning, and TV ad rates will have to be recalculated. If and when IPTV becomes a mainstream reality, it could be the best of times for consumers and IPTV providers and challenging times for the networks, as well as cable and satellite providers."

Scientific-Atlanta Acquires UB Video for Compressing

Scientific-Atlanta has acquired UB Video, a provider of advanced compression technologies for digital video encoding, decoding, transrating and other solutions, for an undisclosed sum.

UB Video supplies video processing software that conforms to the H.264/MPEG4 part 10/AVC. The company is based in Vancouver.

"This acquisition cements the two-year, synergistic relationship Scientific-Atlanta has enjoyed with UB Video and presents the industry with a powerful, proven, advanced digital video compression solution that offers flexibility for future network growth," said Dean Rockwell, vice president and general manager, Digital Media Networks, Scientific-Atlanta.


PCTEL Announces FMC Roaming Client Handoffs to Microsoft Mobile 5.0

PCTEL has expanded the capabilities of its Roaming Client-VE (Voice Enabled) software to include Voice Call Continuity (VCC) based on the emerging 3GPP standard and support for Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0.

Additionally, the PCTEL Roaming Client-VE delivers an IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)-compliant core engine, facilitating portability to other operating systems and enhancing integration of third-party applications through a published API.

PCTEL's Roaming Client-VE is an IMS-ready software client enabling ubiquitous communications over both Wi-Fi and traditional cellular networks. The software is designed for next-generation dual-mode handset devices and is interoperable with major IMS-infrastructure vendors.

"Seamless cross-network roaming and call continuity are major considerations for carriers and handset manufacturers in the deployment of fixed/mobile convergence services," said Biju Nair, vice president and general manager of PCTEL's Mobility Solutions Group. "The new enhancements to our roaming client product provide a powerful solution for these challenges while reinforcing our strategy of simplifying mobility."