Monday, April 3, 2006

MetaSwitch Announces SoftSwitch Customers in Alabama and Canada

MetaSwitch announced new carrier deployments for its Class 5 softswitch platform with service providers in Alabama and Canada.

Alabama-based Graceba Total Communications, Union Springs Telephone Company and Castleberry Telephone Company -- are all using MetaSwitch to migrate to all-IP networks based on the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) architecture.

Graceba Total Communications deployed MetaSwitch's softswitch solution for a wide range of applications including interfacing with legacy access devices, VoIP, voice over ATM, and voice over cable (via PacketCable NCS). Graceba is an established independent operating company (IOC) and cable TV provider, which has also operated a CLEC for five years using a Siemens EWSD digital switching system for about 10,000 lines.

Union Springs Telephone Company looked to MetaSwitch for similar "big-city" enterprise features as well as VoIP compliance and local number portability support. Union Springs began making the transition from Nortel Networks to MetaSwitch more than a year-and-a-half ago, installing MetaSwitch as a tandem to the company's existing Nortel DMS-100. Union Springs is steadily cutting lines across to the MetaSwitch via existing digital loop carriers and next-generation copper and fiber access equipment from Occam Networks. In addition, Union Springs is deploying MetaSwitch to provide Centrex services to local businesses using IP phones from Cisco Systems.

Castleberry Telephone Company in Castleberry, Alabama has recently signed on with MetaSwitch after searching for a true packet-based switch that could elegantly enable the convergence of voice, video and data on a single IP pipe. Castleberry is set to use the MetaSwitch VP2510 integrated softswitch.

In addition, Edmonton, Alberta-based ThinkTel Communications has deployed MetaSwitch to support a range of new services including hosted Voice over IP, interactive voice response (IVR) systems, voicemail, and conferencing. All of these applications are built on ThinkTel's proprietary integrated provisioning and billing system, linked directly to the MetaSwitch Class 4/5 softswitch, enabling ThinkTel to completely automate its service delivery process from order to invoice.

TI Integrates Four Video Decoders on Single Chip

Texas Instruments introduced a new analog-to-digital (A/D) video decoder that combines four independent video decoders into a single chip. With its high level of integration, the new TVP5154 quad A/D video decoder simplifies layout and saves up to 25 percent in board space over previous products. In addition, each channel of the TVP5154 features a programmable horizontal/vertical (H/V) scaler that can offload processing from associated video processors, giving developers additional headroom for value-added algorithms.

The new device targets the security and surveillance market, where TI sees demand for the inexpensive format conversion of video captured by traditional analog cameras. Accepting two composite inputs per decoder for a total of up to eight separate camera inputs, the new chip converts NTSC, PAL and SECAM formats to digital video output streams.

T-Com Deploys Juniper's E-series and T-series Routers for Broadband

T-Com, the fixed network division of Deutsche Telekom AG, is deploying Juniper Networks' E-series Broadband Services Routers and T-series core routing platforms to expand and scale its IP network to support its advanced service offerings over VDSL. The Juniper Networks routing platforms will be added to T-Com's existing installed base of Juniper Networks E-, M- and T-series routing platforms, and will provide the scalability and advanced service management capabilities necessary to deliver IP-based video services to a large number of subscribers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

T-Com is upgrading its network to VDSL2 (Very Fast Digital Subscriber Line), with the first stage of deployment covering 10 cities throughout Germany. For the new network segments with Ethernet aggregation, E-series broadband Services Routers will be used among others to aggregate traffic from lower-level Ethernet switches.

Working with the existing M- and T-series platforms in T-Com's network, the new T-series platforms will provide advanced IP/MPLS capabilities to efficiently distribute traffic in the network core.
  • In March, Alcatel announced that Deutsche Telekom's T-Com division is deploying its IP/MPLS-based portfolio to support its launch of IPTV and interactive consumer services in 10 major German cities including Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, and Stuttgart. Specifically, Deutsche Telekom will deploy the Alcatel 7750 Service Router to provide DSL/IP aggregation network for the 10 cities.

PMC-Sierra Introduces 4 Gbps Networked Storage Architecture

PMC-Sierra introduced its latest generation Tachyon Fibre Channel controller, a quad channel 4G Fibre Channel controller with PCI-Express. It interfaces seamlessly to PMC-Sierra's 4G Fibre Channel loop switch devices, delivering a complete fabric-to-disk-drive solution for enterprise storage systems . In addition, it can be used with PMC-Sierra's 3G MaxSAS expander switches and SAS/SATA multiplexers to enable cost-optimized tiered storage system architectures.

PMC-Sierra to Acquire Passave for FTTH Silicon

PMC-Sierra agreed to acquire Passave Inc., a developer of system-on-chip semiconductor solutions for the Fiber To The Home (FTTH) access market, for approximately $300 million in PMC-Sierra common stock. The deal is expected to close within April 2006 and is conditioned upon the receipt of normal governmental rulings.

The Passave product line includes system-on-chip solutions for Optical Line Terminals (OLTs) for the Central Office, Optical Network Terminals (ONTs), and Optical Network Units (ONUs) solutions for residential termination equipment. Passave has delivered two million ONU devices that have been deployed in NTT's Fiber To The Home broadband access network.

Passave's product set includes GPON chipsets supporting 2.5 Gbps downstream and 1.25 Gbps upstream, and features Forward error correction and AES-128 encryption.

"Our acquisition of Passave brings PMC-Sierra an experienced and highly innovative team with clear market share leadership in Passive Optical Networking solutions. This acquisition fits with our strategic intent to address the high-growth Fiber Access market and is aligned with PMC's developments in Customer Premises Equipment," said Bob Bailey, Chairman and CEO. "PON is the ultimate Triple Play access technology and is key to the build-out of the second generation FTTH-based broadband infrastructure."

Passave employs approximately 150 employees worldwide and has facilities in Herzliya, Israel; Santa Clara, California; and Tokyo, Japan; and regional sales offices in Korea and China.

http://www.passave.comhttp://www.pmc-sierra.comIn March 2006, Passave announced delivery its one millionth FTTH ONU device to Mitsubishi Electric Corporation for use in Japan's gigabit/second FTTH broadband access network market. Mitsubishi has been supplying customer premise equipment (CPE) using Passave semiconductor devices to carriers in Japan since 2004. The FTTH broadband access network in Japan is the world's largest, with new FTTH subscribers exceeding new DSL subscribers since the first quarter of 2005.

Rave Wireless Raises $12 Million for GPS-enhanced Mobile Applications

Rave Wireless, a start-up based in New York, closed $12 million in Series B funding for its GPS-enhanced mobile applications for college and university communities. The company business model is to work in partnership with mobile operators to serve communities such as colleges and universities with GPS-enhanced mobile safety, social networking, academic and local commerce applications. The company said market demand for its mobile applications, such as the recently launched Rave Guardian that provides students with a location-based personal alarm device, has been extremely strong.

This latest round of financing was led by RRE Ventures, which joined existing investors Bain Capital Ventures and Sigma Ventures.

BlackBerry Users Gain Access to Yahoo! Services

Yahoo! and Research In Motion (RIM) expanded their strategic global alliance to bring Yahoo! services to BlackBerry users around the world, including Yahoo! Go for Mobile, Yahoo! Search, Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Messenger.

Yahoo! Go for Mobile will integrate a full range of Yahoo!'s leading products into a single, comprehensive experience for BlackBerry users. With a single click on a Yahoo! Go for Mobile icon, BlackBerry users will have direct access to a full suite of Yahoo! services, including real-time access to Yahoo!'s community, information and content services.

BigBand Awarded Patent for Dynamic Provisioning of Digital Media Streams

BigBand Networks was awarded a U.S. patent for its method and system of selecting media streams from multiple sources, and dynamically provisioning them to particular groups of subscribers. The technique is basis of the BigBand Switched Broadcast solution.

BigBand Networks' patent outlines an invention for selecting between multiple streams, whether addressable or non-addressable, and dynamically provisioning the selected streams to particular groups of end users. It also outlines a method for selectively compressing media packets such that the aggregate bandwidth of group-associated packets doesn't exceed the available bandwidth. This method is designed to create savings in bandwidth usage for operators without altering subscribers' viewing experiences.

Motorola Demos CDMA 1xEV-DO Rev. A Handset

At this week's CTIA Wireless 2006 show in Las Vegas, Motorola is demonstrating its end-to-end CDMA 1xEV-DO Rev. A solution, including a prototype CDMA 1xEV-DO Rev. A handset.

CDMA 1xEV-DO Rev. A, with downlink speeds of up to 3.1 Mbps and uplink speeds of up to 1.8 Mbps, is an enhancement to CDMA 1xEV-DO mobile broadband access that combines voice and data on a single carrier.

Motorola is using the EV-DO Rev. A demonstration to show real-time interactive gaming applications, video/audio streaming, and VoIP and inter-technology video telephony calls.

The calls are connected via Canopy wireless broadband and 1xEV-DO Rev.A networks and routed through the Motorola IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) (referred to as Multimedia Domain (MMD) by the 3GPP2). VoIP and video telephony are among the applications that are optimized for commercial service on a CDMA 1xEV-DO Rev. A network due to the higher bandwidth, lower data latency, and improved quality of service inherent with the technology.

Motorola's CDMA 1xEV-DO Rev. A infrastructure solution is planned for commercial availability in Q4 2006.

Motorola Shows 802.16e-based MOTOwi4 WiMAX

At this week's CTIA Wireless 2006 show in Las Vegas, Motorola is debuting the first of its MOTOwi4 WiMAX solutions. The initial product
is an "ultra-light access point," a highly integrated access point that is unlike a traditional floor mounted cellular-style base station and can be mounted virtually anywhere to provide high-speed wireless broadband coverage.

The 3.5GHz system is aimed at new and existing carriers with 3.5GHz fixed wireless access licenses in developing countries, as well as rural areas in developed countries, especially in Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America.

Motorola said that although the IEEE 802.16e WiMAX standard is most often associated with mobility, it is a more robust wireless access technology than 802.16-2004 and is well suited for fixed deployments.

In addition, by using a common core network Motorola will enable operators to use a complementary combination of licensed spectrum and unlicensed spectrum to cover new territories with broadband service and IP telephony.

"While WiMAX has been touted for its ability to deliver advanced applications, there is a significant market need to provide basic connectivity," said Dan Coombes, senior vice president and general manager of Wireless Broadband Networks and chief technology officer for Motorola Networks. "With our 802.16e-based ultra-light solution we can deliver cost- effective fixed broadband access where people need it to meet simple needs for voice service, and to give them Internet access.

Motorola Introduces Stereo, Bluetooth Skype Headset

Motorola introduced its Talk & Tunes Wireless Internet Calling Kit with stereo - which lets Skype users simultaneously and wirelessly listen to music and manage calls over Skype.

The kit works with Skype's free unlimited Internet calling to other Skype users anywhere in the world and delivers the freedom of listening to music wirelessly from a PC without missing important phone calls. The Talk & Tunes Kit includes the Motorola Bluetooth Stereo Headphones HT820 and the Motorola Bluetooth PC Adapter PC850. When a call comes in, the music will automatically pause.

Pricing was not disclosed.

Globalstar Considers Building New LEO Satellite System

Globalstar has commissioned Alcatel Alenia Space to conduct a study to evaluate a new Globalstar low-earth orbit or LEO satellite system, designed to replace the company's current constellation.

Alcatel Alenia Space had a significant role in the design and production of the current Globalstar satellite system, which is providing satellite voice and data service coverage to over 120 countries.

Lucent Upgrades Telemar's Network in Brazil

Lucent Technologies announced contracts valued at approximately $5.7 million to upgrade Telemar's network in Brazil. As part of the project, Lucent will upgrade all Lucent 5ESS Switches in Telemar's network and integrate them with Telemar's 7IP next-generation network (NGN) platform. Other localities in the states of Minas Gerais and Maranhao will have access to the enhanced services from the 7IP NGN platform via Lucent BZ5000 switches that are connected to Lucent 5ESS switches.

MobiTV Selects Windows Media for WiFi TV Service

MobiTV selected the Microsoft Windows Media to bring its MobiTV service to Windows Mobile-powered phones and devices, as well as Windows XP-based PCs and laptops. MobiTV will use Windows Media Digital Rights Management, Windows Media Audio and Video codecs and Windows Media Player to deliver live, high-quality television content to a broad range of subscribers.

MobiTV Tops One Million Subscribers

MobiTV has passed the one million user milestone now for its mobile television service, which was first launched in November 2003.

The company currently has 50 international content partnerships and deployed its television services on more than 20 mobile networks worldwide.

"We announced breaking the 500,000 subscriber mark in just under two years from our initial launch, and now six short months later, we've doubled to reach one million," said Paul Scanlan, COO and co-founder of MobiTV. MobiTV service is available in the US through Sprint, Cingular, Alltel and several regional carriers; in the United Kingdom through 3 and Orange UK; and is available to Canadian customers through Bell Canada, Rogers and TELUS Mobility.

MobiTV is a privately-held company headquartered in Emeryville, California. Investors include Menlo Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, GefinorVentures and Sorrento Ventures.

Verizon's V CAST Music Library Reaches One Million Songs

Verizon Wireless' V CAST Music service now provides access to one million songs -- the largest catalog amongst mobile operators in the U.S. Verizon Wireless said it is building relationships with the major music labels and leading indie providers.

Panasonic Acquires Tropian for Polar Modulation in Wireless Transmitters

Panasonic Corporation of North America will acquire the assets of Tropian, a start-up developing polar modulation techniques for use in wireless transmitter applications. Tropian's technique, when applied to the transmitter function of wireless communication systems, will enable significant reductions in power consumption and size of equipment.

Panasonic plans to integrate Tropian's intellectual property and core team into Panasonic Emerging Advanced RF Laboratory (PEARL), a new unit of Panasonic R&D Company of America that will be established this month with approximately 40 employees.