Sunday, May 14, 2006

HP Supports OSS/J and TMF Standards

The HP Integrated Service Management (ISM) platform, which is an Operational Support System (OSS) based on a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), is gaining new functionality from the OSS through Java initiative (OSS/J). This initiative focuses on the adoption of standards-based Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and design guidelines for the development of component-based OSS systems. OSS/J technologies provide the foundation for unifying legacy systems and new applications quickly and at low cost.

HP has developed an OSS/J adapter that provides a flexible, standards-based interface for HP OpenView TeMIP, which unifies and integrates multiple management domains across a full range of infrastructures including wireless, wireline, IP and IT environments.

Vodafone Germany has implemented the OSS/J adapter for HP OpenView TeMIP and three additional Vodafone subsidiaries are in the process of implementing the same solution. The Vodafone Group is considering this adapter as part of its strategy to deploy a non-proprietary, standards-based OSS infrastructure.


T-Online Hungary Tests Microsoft TV / Alcatel

T-Online Hungary, a group member of Deutsche Telekom and Hungary's largest Internet access provider, has selected Alcatel and Microsoft TV as the suppliers for an IPTV pilot project.

The trial will have three phases: a technical lab trial, two field trials and a public market trial. The technical lab trial was successfully concluded at the end of January 2006. The first field trial (which included 18 broadcast TV channels, VoD and PVR) was recently evaluated and based on the results, a second extended field trial (with 500 users, enhanced quality and more TV channels) was started and is ongoing. The third phase, a public market trial, is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2006.

Alcatel said it is currently involved in more than 35 IPTV - Triple Play projects worldwide.


Allied Telesis to sell Aperto WiMAX in Japan

Allied Telesis will resell Aperto Networks' carrier-grade PacketMAX products, starting with the 2.5 GHz platform, for the Japanese market. Upon frequency band approval, the partnership will enable Allied, a global provider of secure Ethernet/IP access solutions, to quickly enter the potentially burgeoning WiMAX market in Japan.

Skype Offers Free Wireline/Wireless Calls in U.S. and Canada

Skype began offering its US and Canadian-based users free SkypeOut calls to traditional landline and mobile phones in the US and Canada. Previously, Skype users in both countries were required to pay for Skype calls from their PCs to traditional telephones. Free SkypeOut calls to the US or Canada will be available to US and Canadian-based Skype users until the end of the year.

While SkypeOut calls within the US and Canada will now be free, SkypeOut calls to and within all other countries will continue to incur charges.

Skype said it was launching the promotion to expand its user base in North America.

On May 1, after just more than two and a half years in operation, Skype achieved 100 million registered users worldwide.

Qwest To Acquire OnFiber for $107 Million

Qwest Communications will acquire OnFiber Communications for
$107 million purchase price with Qwest having the option up until closing to substitute up to $35 million of Qwest shares for cash.

OnFiber operates an all-optical network in 23 metropolitan areas and features a full offering of access and transport services, including Ethernet, SONET and Wavelength. The company expects to post revenues of nearly $60 million in 2006, representing year-over-year growth of more than 20 percent.

"We expect the Ethernet market will grow upwards of 50 percent annually; Ethernet has been a high growth product for us in-region, and this increases our participation nationally," said Tom Richards, Qwest executive vice president, business markets group. "For Qwest, this expands our penetration in key markets throughout the country while reducing last-mile costs. It absolutely fits our criteria for a return-focused acquisition.

  • OnFiber was founded in December 1999 and has previously announced nearly $156 million from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Incepta (affiliate of Bechtel Enterprises), Bear Stearns Merchant Banking, Amerindo Investment Advisors, GE Capital, TeleSoft Partners and others.

  • Danny Bottoms has led OnFiber as President & CEO since 2001. Earlier in his career, Bottoms was VP of Construction for Qwest Communications, where he managed the construction of a majority of the Qwest national network.

  • In June 2004, OnFiber Communications acquired a majority of the assets and all customer contracts of C2C Fiber of Massachusetts, a competitive carrier operating in the Boston metropolitan area. The deal included approximately 350 route miles in over 25 cities and towns throughout the Boston area, including the I-495 corridor. Financial terms were not disclosed.

  • In August 2003, OnFiber acquired a majority of the network assets and customer contracts of Telseon Inc.

FiberTower and First Avenue to Merge, Targeting Wireless Backhaul

FiberTower, a national provider of wireless backhaul, and First Avenue Networks, a nationwide provider of fixed wireless transport services, agreed to merge in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $1.5 billion.

The merger will create one of largest operators of wireless transport services in the U.S. Both companies operate networks to provide backhaul - transport from cell site to switch - for wireless carriers. The new company will have an installed base in 12 markets with more than 1,000 sites. The companies said their networks and operations are complementary and once combined will have minimal overlap.

FiberTower shareholders will own 51% of the combined company, which will retain the FiberTower name and be listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

  • First Avenue Networks holds extensive spectrum in the 24 GHz and 39 GHz bands covering 99% of the United States.

Ciena Adds Compact Version of its CN 4200

Ciena introduced a compact version of its CN 4200 FlexSelect Advanced Services Platform designed for deployment at enterprises and carrier locations with space restrictions.

Ciena's CN 4200 platform, with FlexiPort optical interfaces, offers individual, remotely-programmable ports that support any optical service type and can function as either client or network interface. The new CN 4200 MC, specifically, extends this value in an edge-optimized platform that network operators and large enterprises can deploy as far out as the wiring closet with full services management capabilities. It can be used in point-to-point, linear add/drop or ring topologies, ad supports Ciena's entire family of CN 4200 line cards and DWDM/CWDM channel plans. It can also sit on the same network as the standard CN 4200 with seamless management across both platforms. In addition, the compact WDM platform combines full support for ITU G.709, also known as optical transport network (OTN), with an intelligent switch architecture that enables multiple optical services to be groomed onto any wavelength.

Ciena said the CN 4200 MC significantly reduces the cost to deliver a variety of service backhaul and metro transport applications, including business services, managed wavelength services, video distribution and wireless infrastructure.

Cantata Builds EMEA Team with Nitel Appointment

Cantata Technology, the new company formed through the recently merger of Brooktrout Technology and Excel Switching Corporation, announced the appointment of Reinder "Rein" Zwolsman to the position of vice president, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) carrier sales. Zwolsman previously served as CEO of Nitel, the national PTT of Nigeria. Zwolsman has also served as vice president of EMEA marketing, sales, and indirect channels for Lucent Technologies and previously held senior sales positions with AT&T Network Systems and Philips.

Verimatrix's Forensic Watermarking Integrated with Broadcom Chip

Verimatrix announced that its proprietary "VideoMark" user-specific forensic watermarking technology has been integrated with Broadcom's set-top box (STB) reference design platform, the BCM97398.

VideoMark, an available feature of the Verimatrix Content Authority System (VCAS), is a robust and invisible content tracking solution that enables forensic, user-specific marking of individual video copies to track piracy to the individual set-top box (STB).

Verimatrix said digital video delivered via STB with invisible, user-specific watermarks creates an environment with unique advantages to effectively secure the content. Every STB contains an individual user identification, which is linked to that consumer via a unique digital certificate. Because piracy can be traced back to the source, and not just the network operator, content owners are ensured a higher protection level than other distribution methods, such as DVDs and VHS tapes. VideoMark complies with the rigorous requirements of the Digital Cinema Initiatives.

Toshiba and ARC Partner on Configurable Processor Technology

ARC and Toshiba have entered into a strategic collaboration targeting configurable processor technology. Specifically Toshiba has taken a multiyear license for ARC's "ARChitect" processor configuration, which provides design tools and resources using a drag-and-drop graphical user interface (GUI). The companies will also collaborate on development of a next generation version of ARChitect that is more closely suited to Toshiba's Media embedded Processor (MeP).

MeP, the core of Toshiba's media-centric processors, offers a 32-bit configurable, asymmetric multiprocessor design that can be customized to support diverse media applications, including products in the high-growth digital consumer market integrating video and audio functionality. Toshiba will leverage a version of the ARChitect processor configuration that has been customized to MeP, which will advance the development of Toshiba's next-generation system-on-chip (SoC) based on MeP.


FCC Commissioner Copps Calls for Investigation into Disclosure of Phone Records

FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps issued a call to open an investigation into the recent reports that the nation's largest telecommunications carriers provided the government with customers' calling records.

"Recent news reports suggest that some -- but interestingly not all -- of the nation's largest telephone companies have provided the government with their customers' calling records. There is no doubt that protecting the security of the American people is our government's number one responsibility. But in a Digital Age where collecting, distributing, and manipulating consumers' personal information is as easy as a click of a button, the privacy of our citizens must still matter."

Axiom Hires Cable & Wireless Exec

Axiom Systems, which develops carrier-grade service fulfillment software, named Brian Naughton to lead the company's global product strategy initiatives as VP of Architecture and Strategy. Naughton joins Axiom Systems from Cable & Wireless, where he reported to the Group CIO in an IT Architecture and Strategy role. Most recently, Naughton was responsible for C&W global fulfillment architecture and he was instrumental in creating their next generation OSS blueprint that will underpin C&W's transformation to a NGN.

BroadSoft and Atreus Launch Residential VoIP Self-Service

BroadSoft and Atreus Systems have extended their partnership to target residential VoIP services. The companies already partner on Hosted PBX, IP Centrex and Business Trunking applications.

The joint solution enables operators to scale their wholesale and retail hosted VoIP services for residential customers.

It combines Atreus' automated provisioning and customer self-management software with BroadSoft's IMS-compliant VoIP application software. The key features will help operators:

  • Streamline service ordering and provisioning using simplified, self-management portals;

  • Simplify feature bundle creation and management capabilities;

  • Automate IP phone ordering and configuration;

  • Simplify complex operational issues including PSTN interconnect, Local Number Portability, Updating Directory Listings and emergency services;

  • Bulk provision and migration from legacy platforms; and

  • Bundle tiered and personalized multimedia offerings for the residential market.


Alcatel Teams with Video Furnace on Enterprise Video-over-IP

Alcatel agreed to resell Video Furnace's end-to-end solution for enterprise video-over-IP. The Video Furnace System will be sold, distributed, and supported globally through Alcatel distribution channels.

Video Furnace's video-over-IP solution is a unique client/server that delivers live broadcast and on-demand TV-quality video services to any network connected viewing device, such as a notebook or desktop computer. It works with Windows, Macintosh, or even Linux-based computers eliminating media player management and compatibility headaches.

It also removes the need for users to install resident player software, browser plug-ins or hardware. http://www.alcatel.com

BellSouth Denies Bulk Transfer of Calling Records to NSA

In response to media reports that BellSouth provided massive amounts of customer calling information under a contract with the NSA, the company said in a statement that it has conducted an internal review to determine the facts. Based on this review, BellSouth affirms that no such contract exists and that it did not provide bulk customer calling records to the NSA.

Netcentrex Reaches VoIP Milestone: 3 Million Lines

Netcentrex announced that its VoIP deployments have exceeded 3 million Class 5 lines in commercial service. Netcentrex customers are currently activating over 5,000 lines per day. The company also noted that its softswitch/application server has demonstrated five nines reliability over an extended time. Key customers with extensive commercial VoIP deployments report a five-year track record of 99.997 reliability and no unplanned outages on the Netcentrex platform.

Vodafone Germany Offers Tabletop GSM Phone Competing with Fixed Line

Vodafone Germany introduced a tabletop GSM phone designed to compete with fixed-line, home phones.

Vodafone provides an inexpensive phone connection and a fixed network number. There is no complex installation process. All you have to do is plug the phone into the electrical outlet and insert the SIM card. It supports popular mobile functions such as phonebook, call register and text messaging. Text messages can be sent to mobile numbers, German fixed network numbers (except special-purpose numbers) and to e-mail addresses. The phone can also receive e-mails in text message format.

Yahoo! BB Deploys Cisco CRS-1 40 Gbps Trunk for IPTV

Yahoo! BB has deployed the high-capacity 40 Gbps (OC-768c/STM-256c) interface card on its Cisco Carrier Routing System (Cisco CRS-1) and will expand the upgrade across its nationwide backbone.

Yahoo! BB currently serves more than 5 million ADSL subscribers and provides advanced video services throughout 23 districts in Tokyo, Hokkaido, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Aichi, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka.

Occam Adds 10 GigE Optical Transport to BLC 6000

Occam Networks introduced a 10 GigE Transport and Optical Line Termination (OLT) blade for its BLC 6000 Broadband Loop Carrier System, as well as a new line of Optical Network Terminals (ONTs).

The new BLC 6314 blade adds dual 10 Gigabit Optical Ethernet and multiple 1 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces to the BLC 6000, providing symmetrical bandwidth that enables telcos to create very high capacity access networks with 10 Gigabit Ethernet resilient transport rings at a fraction of the cost of SONET-based OC 192.

Occam said there are two primary applications for the BLC 6314:

  • FTTP OLT: Combined with Occam's BLC 6312 blade, the BLC 6000 becomes a high-capacity FTTP Optical Line Termination system with integrated 10 Gigabit Ethernet transport. The BLC 6000 can serve more than 250 subscribers with up to one gigabit of full-duplex bandwidth.

  • Higher capacity access network aggregation: Utilizing Occam's Ethernet Protection Switching (EPS), the BLC 6314 provides resilient 10 Gigabit Ethernet aggregation rings for BLC 6000-based copper and fiber access networks. This capacity is especially critical for IP TV networks, which face increasing bandwidth demands driven by HDTV and growing subscriber take rates of video on demand (VoD).

The BLC 6314 OLT blade is a high-performance Ethernet switch with two 10Gbps Ethernet small form factor pluggable optical subscriber ports to provide the BLC 6000 System with direct active fiber subscriber access distribution, and two 10 Gigabit Ethernet Intelligent Blade Interconnect Architecture (IBIA) copper ports whose distributed processing intelligence and unique blade interconnection system provides the flexibility to economically deploy the BLC 6000 System in low, medium or high density applications. The new blade also includes 16 1Gbps Ethernet ports that when populated with small form factor pluggable (SFP) lasers support optical subscriber drops for homes or businesses.

As with all BLC 6000 blades, the BLC 6314 can be deployed as a single, standalone 1 RU product, which can be stacked with additional units to add capacity and redundancy, or it can be added to the BLC 6000 System chassis for use in high-density deployments. The BLC 6314 OLT is environmentally hardened and suitable for deployment in either Central Offices or Remote Terminal cabinets.

The BLC 6314 is currently in field trials and will be demonstrated at Globalcomm2006.

Occam Networks also introduced the ON 2300 Series of Optical Network Terminals (ONTs), offering various configurations for active fiber deployments that meet the requirements of any type of FTTP installation from brownfield to greenfield.

The company will initially ship the ON 2342, an active fiber Triple Play gateway that is currently in field trials and is expected to ship in June 2006. During Q3, Occam expects to ship the ON 2321, a low cost active fiber gateway that delivers data and video and the ON 2343, an active fiber Triple Play gateway enhanced with an HPNA3 coax connector to enable video delivery directly to the premise via a coaxial cable connection.

The ON 2300 ONT series features a low-profile, environmentally hardened, modular outside enclosures that incorporate snap-in electronics, enabling a telco to initially deploy a data only fiber service to minimize start-up capital costs, and then upgrade to full Triple Play services to meet subscriber demands. The Occam ONT Series enables a Telco to install empty enclosures during the fiber installation and add the electronics when the subscriber is ready to order service, ultimately lowering the overall cost of installation.

Mounted outside of the customer premise, the ON 2300 ONT Series provides symmetrical Gigabit Ethernet transport and direct active fiber subscriber access terminations for the BLC 6000 System's fiber subscriber ports.

The ON 2321 has four 10/100TX Ethernet ports and one Gigabit Ethernet laser connection. It supports multiple high-speed data and IP TV applications, with QoS and intelligence to separate and switch the traffic. Telcos deploying the ON 2321 can offer voice over their existing copper POTS network, or deliver VoIP to a standard wire line phone via a residential gateway, such as a router or an IAD, or to a SIP-enabled IP phone or IP PBX.

The ON 2342 has two POTS ports, four 10/100TX Ethernet ports and one Gigabit Ethernet SFP socket that supports either a single or dual fiber laser. It includes web-based management software and supports media gateway control protocol (MGCP) and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) for delivering VoIP and IPTV services. The product supports multiple Triple Play services including Lifeline POTS, VoIP, high-speed data, video on demand (VoD) and HD TV applications. The ON 2342 is powered from within the customer premise from by a 12V DC power supply.

The ON 2343 is an enhanced version of the ON 2342 that includes the same feature set with the addition of an HPNA3 coax connector to enable directly delivery of video via a coaxial cable.