Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Modeo Licenses Digital Fountain for U.S. DVB-H Network

Modeo, which is building a dedicated multi-channel DVB-H network in the top 30 U.S. markets, has licensed Digital Fountain's "DF Raptor" forward error correction (FEC) technology. Modeo plans to incorporate the technology in its DVB-H broadcast network file delivery service.

Digital Fountain's DF Raptor technology is an advanced and highly flexible FEC that enables the efficient and error-free download of multimedia data files in the presence of a wide range of network impairments. The technology has been standardized by DVB as part of IP datacasting services over DVB-H and by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) as a component of the Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Service (MBMS) for GSM-based 3G cellular networks.

Modeo is a subsidiary of Crown Castle, which owns over 10,000 wireless towers and holds a nationwide spectrum licenses.

DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting - Handheld) is an open, non-proprietary global industry standard for the delivery of mobile broadcast digital services to handheld devices that has been formally standardized by the Digital Video Broadcasting Project (DVB) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). With DVB-H, consumers will be able to enjoy sports, news, entertainment, animation, music, and other programming direct to their mobile devices. DVB-H delivers content both as streams for real-time entertainment and as file downloads, or "podcasts," for use at the subscriber's convenience.

  • Modeo plans to offer a compelling package of live video channels, audio channels and podcast content over its Digital Video Broadcast – Handheld (DVB-H) network to a broad range of mobile devices in the United States.

  • Crown Castle has previously disclosed key equipment and services suppliers for its forthcoming mobile TV service, including Thales Broadcast & Multimedia and Axcera for terrestrial site transmitter equipment and integration services; Kathrein for site antennas; SES AMERICOM for providing satellite space segment for broadcast distribution; and Microsoft for Windows Media Audio, Windows Media Video 9 and Windows Media Digital Rights Management (DRM) 10 encoding technology.

– The Newest Mobile Multimedia Standard
June of 2005, the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) completed
Release 6 of its technical specifications for the continued evolution of
3rd generation (3G) cellular networks based on the GSM infrastructure.
Included in 3GPP Release 6 are the specifications for the Multimedia
Broadcast/Multicast Service (MBMS), an IP-based technology designed to
more efficiently deliver multimedia (video, audio, and text) content over
3G radio and network resources. Here is an overview.

BBN Reports Breakthrough in Quantum Cryptography Network

BBN Technologies announced a breakthrough in the development of a quantum cryptography network.

Quantum cryptography is an approach to securing communications based on certain phenomena of quantum physics -- using single photons of light to distribute keys to encrypt and decrypt messages. Quantum cryptography is focused on the physics of information. The process of sending and storing information is always carried out by physical means, for example photons in optical fibers or electrons in electrical current. Eavesdropping can be viewed as measurements on a physical object -- in this case the carrier of the information. Using quantum phenomena allows for the design and implementation of a communication system which can always detect eavesdropping.

Working in collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), BBN demonstrated a single-photon detector designed for standard telecom fibers that is 20 times faster than today's benchmark device and could produce even greater speed increases.

BBN said that greater speeds not only mean faster communications but, in a quantum cryptographic network, also enable greater distances. This breakthrough brings quantum communications beyond metropolitan distances closer to reality.

Previously, the practical uses of quantum cryptography networks were limited by their relatively short range of transmission. The BBN breakthrough enables distances of over 100 km.

BBN and NIST built the new devices under DARPA sponsorship, in collaboration with the University of Rochester in New York and Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. Laboratory trials have already confirmed continuous operation at a 100 million pulses per second. The technology is believed scalable to 10 billion pulses per second and beyond. The compact, rack-mounted detector system uses NIST-developed packaging and cooling technology which efficiently couples the superconducting detector to a standard telecom fiber and allows operation at a temperature of ~3K without using liquid cryogens.

BBN has operated the world's first quantum cryptography network, the DARPA Quantum Network, continuously since 2004, sending quantum keys between BBN, Harvard University and Boston University under the streets of Cambridge and Boston Mass. The network now has 10 nodes, exchanging quantum keys through both telecom fiber and the atmosphere.
  • Quantum cryptography, invented by Charles Bennett and Giles Brassard in the 1980s, prepares and transmits single photons of light, through either fiber optic cable or the atmosphere, to distribute cryptographic keys that are used to encrypt and decrypt messages.

  • In February 2004, two prominent venture capital firms acquired the legendary BBN development labs from Verizon. General Catalyst Partners, a private equity firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Accel Partners, a venture capital firm based in Palo Alto, California, said the deal would allow BBN to continue its legacy of innovation and technology leadership. Financial terms were not disclosed.

  • BBN was founded in 1948 by MIT professors Richard Bolt and Leo Beranek, along with Robert Newman, with a vision of starting a small, acoustical consulting firm. The company is best know for its pioneering work with the ARPANET (the forerunner of today's Internet) in 1969. It is also credited with the first implementation of packet switching (1969), the first router (1976), and the first network e-mail (1971), which established the @ sign as an icon for the digital age. BBN is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

China's CPCNet Expands MPLS Network with Juniper

CPCNet Hong Kong has deployed Juniper Networks M-series multiservice edge routing platforms to expand its MPLS-based IP virtual private networking (VPN) service in the Chinese cities Ningbo, Chengdu and Zhongshan. CPCNet's MPLS-based IP network now encompasses 19 POPs. making it one of the largest in the region.

Enterasys Supplies Secure Network at New Telefonica HQ in Madrid

Telefónica has deployed Enterasys Networks' NMatrix N-Series Platinum switches at the company's new headquarters in Madrid, Spain.
Spanning 15 buildings, four city districts and 14,000 employees, the Secure Networks infrastructure provides flexibility to support a mobile working culture, which is centered on dynamic teams defined by individual roles and objectives.

The Enterasys network provides Telefonica with centralized definition and deployment of user policies, as well as management of the infrastructure down to the individual device and user level. The embedded security capabilities protect the mission-critical information that moves across the network. Each employee has a flexible and personal access profile that follows them as they move throughout the network environment, ensuring the highest levels of collaborative access, mobility of location or device, and security.

U.S. Wireless Market Hits $174.7 Billion in 2005, up 10.7%

Revenue in the U.S. wireless market totaled $174.7 billion in 2005, up 10.7 percent from 2004, with an acceleration in handset revenue and a ramp-up in new wireless subscribers as key drivers of growth, according to the newly released TIA's 2006 Telecommunications Market Review and Forecast. Some highlights of the report:

  • The wireless handset and device market totaled $15 billion in 2005 and is expected to increase 19.3 percent in 2006 climbing to $17.8 billion.

  • Twenty-five million new wireless subscribers were added in 2005, more than in any other year, and the 21.4 million subscribers added in 2004 matched the previous high in 2001.

  • TIA projects the overall wireless market, including transport services, devices, wireless equipment and services in support of the wireless infrastructure, to grow at an 11.0 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), reaching $265.2 billion in 2009.

  • Nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population currently subscribes to a wireless service.

  • Due to current penetration, TIA expects a drop to single-digit increases in wireless subscribers (wireless telephony and paging) beginning in 2007, with growth averaging 8.2 percent on a compound annual basis through 2009, when there will be an estimated 278.5 million wireless subscribers, representing 88 percent of the population.

  • Revenue generated from all wireless services rose 14.8 percent in 2005 to $118.6 billion. TIA expects revenue to increase to $180.4 billion in 2009, growing 11.1 percent on a compound annual basis.

  • Overall wireless equipment revenue totaled $29.4 billion in 2005 and is expected to grow at an 8.3 percent CAGR reaching $40.4 billion in 2009.

  • A substantial roll-out of third-generation infrastructure will contribute to increased capital spending during the next few years. Capital expenditures is forecast to grow at a 7.5 percent CAGR reaching $32 billion in 2009.

  • Spending on services in support of the wireless infrastructure rose 18.0 percent in 2005, accelerating from the 13.6 percent increase in 2004. New wireless applications and wireless infrastructure upgrades are fueling growth in this area. Total spending on services in support of wireless infrastructure in the United States will increase to a projected $20 billion by 2009, up 14.1 percent CAGR from the $11.8 billion total of 2005.

CSR Aligns with WiMedia for Ultra Wideband Bluetooth

Cambridge-based CSR, a supplier of Bluetooth technology, is aligning with the WiMedia Alliance and will use their technology to develop Ultra Wideband (UWB) with Bluetooth products.

The integration of UWB into the Bluetooth architecture will enable future Bluetooth devices to share information at much higher data transfer speeds with even lower power consumption.

James Collier, CTO of CSR commented that, "UWB is the next logical step for Bluetooth development. The decision to work with the WiMedia Alliance is based on end-user experience and that is where WiMedia excels. Designers want to integrate the very latest technologies into their devices and the most important design issues they face are co-existence and interoperability."

CSR offers developed hardware/software solutions for Bluetooth based around BlueCore, a fully integrated 2.4 GHz radio, baseband and microcontroller. The company has launched its fifth generation BlueCore suite and is in volume manufacture of its fourth generation BlueCore devices. BlueCore4 supports the Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) standard, which was ratified at the end of 2004.

The company said its BlueCore features in over 50% of all Bluetooth devices shipped and over 60 per cent of all qualified Bluetooth enabled products and modules listed on the Bluetooth website with companies including Nokia, Dell, Panasonic, Sharp, Motorola, IBM, Apple, NEC, Toshiba, RIM and Sony using BlueCore devices in their range of Bluetooth products.

Digital Lightwave Names New CEO

Digital Lightwave, a supplier of optical test equipment, named Kenneth T. (Ted) Myers as its new president and CEO. He succeeds Robert F. Hussey, who has served as Interim President and CEO since February 2005. Mr. Hussey will continue as a Director, and as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board.

Myers has worked in engineering and development for nearly 30 years. He has been with the Digital Lightwave since it was founded in 1991.

Occam Networks Announces 1-for-40 Reverse Stock Split

Occam Networks, a supplier of Ethernet- and IP-based loop carrier equipment, announced a 1-for-40 reverse split of its common stock. The record date for the reverse split will be March 10, 2006, and the reverse split will be effective after market close on Friday, March 10, 2006.

Verizon Expands Online Content Deals with ABC, Disney and ESPN

Verizon announced new broadband-enabled content, available to its consumer DSL and FiOS Internet access customers, from ABC News, Disney Online, ESPN and

The launch follows the announcement in September of wide-ranging video and broadband content agreements between Verizon and The Walt Disney Company. The online programming includes live video news feeds, live sports events, children's entertainment and other content specially targeted to broadband Internet users. Other special broadband content includes live local sports.

"The addition of rich content from Disney and ESPN Networks to our consumer broadband and FiOS TV services is another way we are continuously enhancing the value of broadband and our new fiber-optic network for Verizon customers," said Bob Ingalls, president of Verizon's Retail Markets Group.

Additionally, customers of Verizon FiOS TV, the company's fiber-optic television service, can now order more than 80 hours a month of free on-demand titles from Disney Channel, Toon Disney, Radio Disney, Jetix, ABC News, ABC Family, SOAPnet, ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPNU.

Verizon is also offering its FiOS TV customers new-release movies from Buena Vista Pay Television (BVPTV) on demand for $3.95 each, including the upcoming "Flightplan" and "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." Starting April 1, BVPTV will offer an array of on-demand library titles for FiOS TV customers for $2.95 each.

DirectTV Broadband Video Planned for Q4

DirectTV is preparing to launch a Broadband Video by the end of the year that would deliver content-on-demand to a DVR. Hundreds of hours of popular content would be available for download via satellite, and thousands of hours would be available for download via broadband over the Internet. All content would be under DirecTV control. The initial content library is expected to contain over 2,000 videos. Speaking at an investor conference, company officials said a large number of their customers already had a broadband service from another provider. DirecTV is considering investing in its own broadband wireless distribution network if necessary.

DirecTV currently has over 15 million customers, 2.5 million DVRs in service and one million HD customers. The company added 1.2 million net subscribers in 2005, down from 1.2 million net subscribers in 2004.

Subscriber acquisition costs remain at $642 ($272 for hardware, $167 for installation, $153 for dealer commission and $50 for marketing).

By the end of 2007, DirecTV will have 11 of its own satellites in service, providing it with the capacity of 3,200 channels, including 1,650 HD channels (mostly Ka-band). This will enable 150 national HD channels and local HD programming in nearly all markets across the country.

A revamped program guide and user interface will launch in 2007.

Some expected technical innovations will include "DIRECTV TO GO" content transfer capability to DVRs, portable media players and other devices; a DirecTV tuner for Media Center PCs and Intel Viiv platforms, and media extender functionality via Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) devices.

DirecTV is also working in improved return-channel capability via powerline technologies in the home. Another expected innovation is a hard drive expansion option for existing DVRs.
  • Earlier this month, BellSouth signed a five-year exclusive marketing alliance with DIRECTV, allowing it to offer digital satellite entertainment service to its customers.

iTunes Music Store Tops 1 Billion Song Downloads

One billion songs have been legally downloaded from Apple's iTunes Music Store since it was launched less than three years ago.

Apple said more than 15 million videos have been purchased and downloaded from the iTunes Music Store, making the site the world's most popular video download store.

The iTunes Music Store now features a selection of over 3,500 music videos, Pixar and Disney short films, a variety of hit TV shows, 35,000 podcasts, 16,000 audiobooks and more than two million songs from the major music companies and independent record labels.

"I hope that every customer, artist and music company executive takes a moment today to reflect on what we've achieved together during the past three years," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "Over one billion songs have now been legally purchased and downloaded around the globe, representing a major force against music piracy and the future of music distribution as we move from CDs to the Internet."