Monday, May 15, 2006

Telecom Egypt Selects Alcatel for IMS Transition

Telecom Egypt, the national fixed incumbent operator, selected Alcatel to transform part of its network from TDM to IP. Specifically, Alcatel will provide key components of its IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) solution, including the Alcatel 5020 Softswitch as well as the Alcatel 7510 and 7515 Media Gateways to communicate between the existing TDM and new IP networks. In addition, Telecom Egypt will deploy the Alcatel 7750 Service Router and Alcatel 5620 Service Aware Manager in multiple sites. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"This contract is a big step forward in our relationship with Telecom Egypt and further positions Alcatel as the partner of choice for operators implementing IP network transformation projects," said Michel Rahier, President of Alcatel's fixed communications activities.

Audiocodes to Acquire Nuera

Audiocodes agreed to acquire Nuera Communications, a provider of packet voice gateways for MSOs and service providers, for $85 million in cash plus up to an additional $5 million if Nuera achieves certain revenue milestones during the first 12 months after consummation of the transaction.

Nuera's ORCA (Open Reliable Communications Architecture) product family of VoIP gateways, softswitches, and management systems provide telephony solutions for cable and DSL networks, international long distance networks and enterprise networks.

"This Agreement with Nuera places AudioCodes in a stronger position in the Cable and Voice over Broadband markets and in particular in North America and Asia," said Shabtai Adlersberg, Chairman, President and CEO of AudioCodes.

  • Nuera has raised $80 million in venture funding since its inception in 1997. Previous investors in Nuera have included Comcast Interactive Capital, Cox Communications, Sandler Capital Management, Argo Global Capital, HarbourVest Partners, Bay Partners, Gleacher & Co., Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank Capital Partners, SAIC Venture Capital, and J.F. Shea.

  • In June 2004, Cox Communications awarded a multiyear contract to Nuera Communications Inc. to provide media gateways for its nationwide VoIP deployments.
  • In May 2004, Nortel Networks agreed to integrate, sell and support VoIP gateways from Nuera Communications as part of an integrated PacketCable qualified solution.

Sony's Pocket-Sized PC Offers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, EDGE

Sony Electronics introduced the U.S. version of its pocket-sized VAIO UX Micro PC based on the Intel Core Solo Ultra Low Voltage CPU and Microsoft XP Professional OS. The unit features a 4.5-inch wide SVGA screen that slides up to expose an integrated keyboard.

The UX model also incorporates two built-in cameras -- one in front for VoIP communication for on-the-go video conferencing and another located on the back for taking photos.

Connectivity includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and WWAN for access to Cingular's nationwide EDGE network.

A docking station with three 2.0 USB ports, Ethernet, VGA, iLink IEEE-1394 interface and an AV output comes with the unit. The VAIO UX Micro PC will be available in July for about $1,800.

Freescale and Wind River Enter Alliance

Freescale Semiconductor and Wind River Systems have formed a strategic alliance aimed at delivering a productive "out-of-the-box" experience for embedded system and device software developers.

A cornerstone of the alliance is to provide extensive support for Freescale's PowerQUICC communications processors and host processors containing PowerPC cores. This support will be delivered across Wind River's portfolio of Device Software Optimization (DSO) solutions, including its VxWorks real-time operating system (RTOS) platforms, carrier-grade Linux platforms and eclipse-based development suite.


Telefonica Deutschland Selects Cisco for FMC

Telefonica Deutschland GmbH is deploying a Cisco IP Next Generation Network (IP NGN) featuring Cisco PGW softswitches and Cisco media gateways. The expanded network, delivered with Cisco partner, Dimension Data, will support the growth of wholesale and retail broadband voice services and help Telefonica to deliver new fixed-mobile converged services to consumers and business users.

The network is based on a distributed architecture of Cisco PGW 2200 Series Softswitches and Cisco AS 5350 Series and AS 5400 Series Media Gateways. It provides call control and interconnections for Telefonica's complete VoIP network with Class 4 transit functionality and Class 5 line-side functionality which will be extended in future through the integration with Ericsson softswitches within the Class 5 infrastructure.

Telefonica is one of the largest VoIP wholesale carriers in the German market, serving 30 national carriers and 160 Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The company is also extending its broadband network reach to offer 25 Mbps ADSL2+ services to over 40% of German households by the middle of this year.

"The accelerating demand for advanced broadband services has resulted in Telefonica deploying one of the largest distributed Cisco PGW networks we have implemented to date," said Michael Ganser, general manager and vice president, Cisco Systems Germany.

Alvarion Announces 108 Mbps Backhaul in 5 GHz Band

Alvarion introduced its carrier-class BreezeNET B100 wireless bridging solution that operates in the licensed-exempt 5 GHz band and offers up to 108Mbps in point-to-point broadband access and backhaul applications. Available in Q3 2006, the B100 could be used to support real time video, voice, and data services and the backhauling of high WiMAX broadband access and other networks, including those built using Alvarion's BreezeMAX and BreezeACCESS VL products. It also targets building-to-building enterprise connectivity and cellular backhaul.

Currently in field trials, the BreezeNET B100 will be available first in the 5.8 GHz and 5.4GHz bands and can be co-located with other Alvarion products.

Deutsche Bank Deploys Cisco Unified Communications System

Deutsche Bank, a leading global bank, selected Cisco Systems to provide its unified communications solution. Initially, Deutsche Bank will rollout nearly 1,000 Cisco 7961 and 7911 Unified IP phones to it branch offices in the U.S., with the potential to expand the voice services across all of its U.S. operations. As part of this upgrade, Deutsche Bank is also deploying Cisco's Unified CallManager software, and Cisco Unity voice messaging system, an IP-based solution that combines traditional voice mail functionality with a Web browser, allowing users to access and manage voice messages from a phone or from a PC.

In conjunction with news, Cisco announced the shipment of its 8 millionth Cisco Unified IP phone to Deutsche Bank.

BelAir Touts UK Wireless Mesh Network Expansion

BelAir Networks announced the significant expansion of several wireless mesh networking projects in the U.K. for which it is a supplier. Of these, the Islington "Technology Mile" network -- described as the UK's largest wireless broadband hot zone -- has expanded to cover four kilometers. The London Borough of Islington hosts the "Technology Mile", built on wireless mesh networking equipment from BelAir Networks with partner, Cityspace. BelAir said this network's usage figures are escalating with more than 1,000 users per week accessing local information and the Internet. In parallel, applications are already being explored by mobile workers and local businesses; one independent drycleaners has installed wireless CCTV to provide high quality, low cost security.

Entropic Ships Millionth c.LINK Home Networking Chip

Entropic Communications has shipped its millionth c.LINK-270 chipset after being in production for less than 18 months. The device is being used in CPE in Japan, Korea and the United States. It is used in a variety of consumer electronics devices such as set-top boxes, digital video recorders, broadband home routers and media gateways to enable whole-home access to all the stored multimedia and video content in the home over the existing coaxial cable.

Entropic's announced customers include 2Wire, Actiontec, Alcatel, BnMux, Foxconn, Hannet Telecom, Linksys, Motorola, Mototech, Oki, Panasonic, Tellabs, Samsung, Scientific Atlanta and Westell. c.LINK chipsets can be found in Motorola products deployed by Verizon in the U.S., J:COM in Japan and Hanaro Telecom Inc. in Korea. Motorola has shipped 500,000 MoCA-enabled consumer devices.


Digital Lightwave Scales Jitter Testing to 10.7 Gbps

Digital Lightwave announced the shipment of instruments equipped with jitter and wander testing from 1.5 Mbps to 10.7 Gbps. The instruments were shipped to a major telecommunications equipment manufacturer in Asia.

Digital Lightwave Network Information Computer (NIC) Plus is a portable test instrument that supports jitter and wander testing at all the following data rates: 1.5 Mbps, 2 Mbps, 34 Mbps, 45 Mbps, 51 Mbps, 139 Mbps, 155 Mbps, 622 Mbps, 2.5 Gbps, 2.66 Gbps, 9.953 Gbps, and 10.7 Gbps. The NIC Plus units support testing of PDH interfaces (DS1, E1, E3, DS3, E4), SONET/SDH interfaces (OC-1/3/12/48/192, STM-0/1/4/16/48), and OTN (Optical Transport Network) interfaces (OTU-1, OTU-2) and can be upgraded to support Next Generation SONET/SDH (VCAT, LCAS, GFP).

Nortel Announces Metro Ethernet Initiative

Nortel appointed Philippe Morin as president of a new Metro Ethernet Networks initiative. The company said its business strategy is based on the increasing reliance on Ethernet as the standard protocol for both LAN and WAN communications to break the bandwidth bottleneck between fiber and metro networks. In addition, Nortel's Metro Ethernet Networks will focus on wireless capabilities, using its Metro Ethernet solution to ensure such applications as high-bandwidth video provide real-time speed and quality to mobile devices.

Morin previously served as general manager of Nortel's Optical group, which grew approximately 24% last year to US$1.2 billion.

"With IPTV, IMS and other applications evolving quickly, service providers will face huge bandwidth challenges across all networks - wireless, wireline and cable. Metro Ethernet Networks is the first step in getting Nortel in front of that curve to win in this critical new space in the market," said Mike Zafirovski, Nortel's CEO.

Towerstream offers Pre-WiMAX T1 with 5 Nines in NYC

Towerstream, a fixed wireless Internet provider, began offering T1 service with a guaranteed 99.999% uptime in New York City for $600/month. The SLA specifies 99.999% availability 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.
  • Towerstream's PoPs in Manhattan include the Empire State Building, the MetLife Building, and the AT&T Building at 32 Sixth Avenue.

DuPont Selects AT&T to Manage Its Global Network

DuPont selected AT&T to seamlessly connect the company's more than 60,000 employees located in 70 countries over a single MPLS-based network. The new contract expands AT&T's relationship with DuPont that has existed for nearly a century. Specific contract terms were not disclosed.

AboveNet Expands Data Center Connectivity in DC

AboveNet announced the launch of dcXchange, a data center to data center service delivering high performance connections over a dedicated DWDM core network, between prime locations in the Washington, D.C. & Northern Virginia market.

dcXchange is a pre-provisioned service delivering DWDM, SONET and Gig E connections for Enterprise, Carrier and Indirect Sales customers.

"The virtualization of scarce collocation space across the metro area is a key feature of our offering," said John Deering, Director of Carrier Sales for AboveNet.

Verizon Denies Supplying Call Data to NSA

Verizon issued a statement saying that while it cannot and will not confirm or deny whether it has any relationship to classified NSA operations, recent media reports about Verizon providing calling records of millions of its customers to the NSA are false.

Specifically, Verizon stated that it was not asked by NSA to provide, nor did it provide, customer phone records or any call data from its wireline phone business, its wireless company, its directory publishing business, its Internet Service Provider (ISP) or its long-distance businesses.

The company also denied turning over data on local calls to the NSA, saying that phone companies do not even make records of local calls in most cases because the vast majority of customers are not billed per call for local calls.