Monday, March 27, 2006

ECI Telecom Debuts Hi-FOCuS MiniShelf

ECI Telecom introduced its Hi-FOCuS MiniShelf, a solution for street (Outside Plant) installations that combines xDSL and Fiber to the Premises capabilities in one box. This enables service providers to deploy access technologies such as ADSL2+, VDSL2 and fiber optics last mile access (GPON).

The Hi-FOCuS MiniShelf accommodates all types of cards used in ECI's Hi-FOCuS Central Office solution. Using the same cards for both the Central Office as well as the Remote systems also provides operators with significant CAPEX and OPEX savings. The new solution can be integrated into an existing or new street cabinet.

ECI's portfolio of Outside Plant solutions also includes its Hi-FOCuS MiniRAM DSLAM and the Hi-FOCuS MiniCAB mini street cabinet. All Hi-FOCuS MiniShelf products use the same management systems and aggregation facilities as ECI's family of broadband access products for both Central Office and Outside Plant, providing superior ease of use and interoperability.

Cramer Introduces its Next Gen OSS, Partners with Alcatel, Oracle

Cramer launched its Cramer6 OSS Suite, its next generation, end-to-end fulfillment suite "for any service on any network." The company has added seven new integrated products to its portfolio.

Cramer said that by encapsulating network complexity for presentation to the sales and marketing organization, it can allows product managers to accelerate the creation of new services.

Cramer6 OSS Suite provides a two-way interface between the Business Support Systems (BSS) and the OSS. It features a unique inventory-centric approach to service fulfillment and activation. Driven by the need for more sophisticated activation for NGN environments, particularly Triple Play, Cramer6 OSS Suite applies the functionality of Cramer inventory and process automation to the task of high-volume, flow-through activation. Inventory-centric activation enables complex service changes without service disruption, increases fulfillment accuracy and reduces the order-to-bill cycle.

Cramer also said its new OSS Suite is intrinsically ready to support new media-based services and associated content. By providing an abstract view of services and resources at all levels, including network, IT and content components, and by providing a capacity view of these resources, Cramer6 OSS Suite enables automation of critical business processes across the converged network.

Separately, Alcatel and Cramer are teaming up to launch a joint Next Generation Network (NGN) solution center to develop an out-of-the box fulfillment solution. Cramer and Alcatel will jointly invest in the NGN Solution Center, which will be located at Alcatel's premises in Stuttgart, Germany.

The joint solution will leverage the Cramer6 OSS Suite and Alcatel's equipment and integration capabilities to automate the end-to-end fulfillment of triple play services for Tier 1 telecom operators.

Cramer also announced plans to offer solutions for telecommunications service providers pre-integrated with Oracle's Business Support System (BSS) capabilities. Specifically, Cramer will work with Oracle to deliver solutions to integrate BSS and OSS and automate key business processes to drive efficiency, scalability and flexibility.

LGC Wireless Collaborates with Nortel on In-Building CDMA

Nortel agreed to distribute LGC Wireless' in-building wireless products as part of its CDMA portfolio of mobile wireless infrastructure solutions.

Under the agreement, Nortel will sell and distribute LGC's InterReach Unison systems around the world, giving LGC a strong global distribution partner that is a leader in carrier wireless infrastructure.


Wireless Applications Need Better In-Building Coverage
the race to deploy 3G mobile data coverage, carriers are primarily
concerned with upgrading their existing outdoor network. While this will
support applications in transportation, utilities, and construction
industries, such coverage won't easily support indoor mobile 3G wireless
users. There are two basic challenges.

BroadSoft Announces IMS-ready Media Resource Function Server

BroadSoft introduced a new Media Resource Function Server (MRF) for IMS environments. Based on the BroadWorks Media Server, the new MRF builds on core features by enhancing them with IMS capability, permitting interoperability with other application servers and allowing service providers to quickly deploy a range of audio and video services.

As a fully IMS-compliant media server, the MRF links the control and transport layers of the network, processing requests for media services from the application server.

The MRF could also be used in enterprise networks to enable multiple media capabilities, including audio and video IVR functions (i.e. record and playback), audio conferencing with ad-hoc and group calling, fax reception and forwarding and streaming (audio and video broadcast).

Broadsoft cited a number of network applications that can be built by using the MRF, including:

  • Video Mail and messaging

  • Auto Attendant

  • Video advertisement in call centre queues

  • Play tones

The MRF can also be managed remotely and monitored externally.

BT Deploys MetaSolv's Provisioning 5 for IP Services

BT is implementing MetaSolv's Provisioning 5 to enable IP Service delivery. Specifically, MetaSolv's Provisioning 5 will be used to facilitate the automated provisioning of BT's MPLS-based IP-VPN services and network elements as part of BT's Vserve initiative. The key objective of BT's Vserve program is to simplify and automate its entire VPN provisioning process, reducing time to revenue and lowering operational costs.

As a major part of this initiative, BT is replacing a legacy order management system with MetaSolv's Provisioning 5 to manage the entire provisioning process for provider edge (PE) and customer edge (CE) routers, MPLS IP-VPN services, and QoS. Provisioning 5 is already deployed at BT to manage a number of services and technologies.

Provisioning 5, formerly known as MetaSolv OMS, provides critical back-office provisioning management functions to orchestrate the essential tasks required to deliver a service to a customer.

Australia's ReelTime Media Deploys SkyStream

Australia's ReelTime Media has deployed SkyStream's "zBand" content delivery platform to deliver the latest Hollywood and Australian movies, regional fare and specialized video content to service providers and customers in major metropolitan areas in Australia.

SkyStream's zBand is an end-to-end PUSH VOD system that ingests, packages, schedules and delivers movies and video content to ReelTime's IP-based television set-top box in customers' homes across the country.

ReelTime is the first VOD service to use version 6.0 of zBand, which enables reliable unicast or one-to-one delivery of rights-protected Hollywood content. ReelTime makes full use of new unicast security, quality-of-service (QoS) and authorization features. The viewer's experience is also enhanced by zBand's Forward Error Correction (FEC), which can repair damaged packets in the distribution, reducing the need to carousel content, making more network bandwidth available to deliver SD and HD movies and ensuring DVD-like picture quality.

ReelTime has licensed SecureMedia's Encryptonite System for digital rights management (DRM) in order to license the top VOD content from the leading Hollywood and Australian film studios.

  • Reeltime has secured access agreements with Telstra for its national network, including the consumer DSL network.

Cantata's SnowShore IP MediaServer Available on Stratus Linux Server

Cantata Technology has partnered with Stratus Technologies to make its SnowShore IP Media Server available with the Linux-based Stratus ftServer 30 CO system.

Cantata's SnowShore IP Media Server is a software-based, carrier-grade IP media server that leverages SIP, VoiceXML, and MSCML. The Stratus ftServer T30 is a mid-range server designed for computing environments built around the RedHat Enterprise Linux operating system.

The joint product is offered through Eastwind Communications, a value-added reseller of multi-service platforms for telecommunications developers marketing to VARs, ISVs and carriers worldwide. Eastwind is a Stratus and Cantata partner.
  • Cantata Technology was formed through the merger of Excel Switching Corporation and Brooktrout Technology.

Intel Establishes $50 Million Venture Capital Fund for Brazil

Intel has created a US$50 million venture capital fund to promote technology growth in Brazil.

Since 1999, Intel Capital has already invested over US$35 million in 13 companies. In 2005, Intel Capital announced four local investments in Digitron, TelecomNet, Certsign and Neovia.

MoCA Completes Interoperability Wave

The Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) completed its first certification wave.

Actiontec, Entropic, Linksys, Mototech, Motorola, Panasonic, 2Wire and Westell all successfully passed and were awarded MoCA certification. The same eight companies participated in MoCA's first plugfest last November.

In addition, MoCA recently ratified and released its "MoCA MAC/PHY v1.0 Specification," for which certification verifies compliance.
  • A MoCA network can transport video, voice and data to TVs, set-tops, DVRs, game boxes, WiFi repeaters and PCs at physical speeds of up to 270 Mbps homes and has been field tested across America in real world situations to deliver over a net usable 100 Mbps at greater than 97% of coax outlets.

  • The MoCA Board of Directors includes Comcast, Cox Communications, EchoStar Technologies, Entropic Communications, Linksys, Motorola, Panasonic, RadioShack, Toshiba and Verizon.

Proposed Barton-Rush Bill Addresses Video Franchising

U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton, R-Texas, and U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., introduced a bill aimed at making it easier for new entrants into pay-TV services.

Specifically, the Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act of 2006 would:

  • Create a nationwide approval process for pay-TV services. By streamlining this system, these companies will be able to offer new TV services in many areas while protecting local interests. Cable providers will also be eligible to participate in this streamlined system once they face local competition.

  • Require Internet-based telephone services to offer 9-1-1 capabilities while ensuring Internet telephone providers have access to all necessary 9-1-1 infrastructure and technology.

  • Clarify the FCC authority to prevent Internet service providers from blocking or degrading any content or applications delivered over the public Internet.

  • Preserve municipalities' right to collect up to a five percent fee from pay-TV providers.

  • Allow cities and towns to develop their own broadband networks.

A hearing on the bill for Thursday, March 30, 2006.

Cox Reaches 3.1 Million Broadband, 1.7 Million Digital Phone Customers

Cox Communications ended 2005 with more than 13.8 million revenue generating units (RGUs), reflecting year-over-year growth of approximately 10%, including more than 3.1 million Cox High Speed Internet subscribers. Cox increased its company-wide penetration of broadband within serviceable homes to nearly 30%. Cox also ended 2005 with nearly 1.7 million Digital Telephone subscribers.

Next Gen Bluetooth to be Based on WiMedia UWB

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has selected the WiMedia Alliance multiband orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (MB-OFDM) version of ultra-wideband (UWB) as its future radio platform.

The new version of Bluetooth is expected to meet the high-speed demands of synchronizing and transferring large amounts of data as well as enabling high quality video and audio applications for portable devices, multi-media projectors and television sets.

At the same time, Bluetooth technology will continue catering to the needs of very low power applications such as mice, keyboards and mono headsets, enabling devices to select the most appropriate physical radio for the application requirements.

One of the key components to the agreement between the Bluetooth SIG and the WiMedia Alliance will help UWB achieve global regulatory acceptance. Both parties have agreed to develop a high speed, high data rate Bluetooth solution that utilizes the unlicensed radio spectrum above 6 GHz. This move answers concerns voiced by regulatory bodies in both Europe and Asia.

The Bluetooth SIG Core Specification Working Group Charter and UWB Feature Requirements Document (FRD) have been approved by the Bluetooth SIG Board of Directors, signaling that work may commence. The requirements set by the UWB study group in the UWB FRD define what has to be done to create a solution appropriate for adoption by the Bluetooth SIG. Both groups will immediately begin work together on the specification draft within the Bluetooth SIG Core Specification Working Group. The Bluetooth SIG estimates this process to last approximately one year, with the first Bluetooth technology/UWB solution chip sets available for prototyping in Q2 2007.

In a statement, Michael Foley, Ph.D., executive director, Bluetooth SIG said "As a member-driven organization, it is the Bluetooth SIG's responsibility to ensure it's attentive to its members' needs. Having considered the UWB technology options, the decision ultimately came down to what our members want, which is to leverage their current investments in both UWB and Bluetooth technologies and meet the high-speed demands of their customers. By working closely with the WiMedia Alliance to create the next version of Bluetooth technology, we will enable our members to do just that."

The WiMedia Alliance noted that its radio specifications can support a variety of applications using different wireless protocols, including Certified Wireless USB, Bluetooth technology, the 1394 Trade Group's "Wireless FireWire" Protocol Adaptation Layer (PAL), and Wireless IP. Different wireless protocols can operate within the same wireless personal area network without interference.

WiMedia UWB also features the ability to control frequency band usage without requiring additional, costly software implementations.

The WiMedia UWB Common Radio Platform is moving toward International Organization for Standardization (ISO) acceptance through Ecma International's ECMA-368 and ECMA-369 standards.

  • WiMedia UWB is optimized for wireless personal-area networks delivering 480 Mbps and up.