Sunday, May 21, 2006

Aperto Names Mike Pratt as CEO

Aperto Networks, a supplier of WiMAX base stations and subscriber units, named Mike Pratt as its new president and CEO, replacing Reza Ahy, who will continue his role as Founder and Chairman of the Board of Aperto Networks.

Pratt was recently the President of ADC's Active Infrastructure business unit. Prior, Mike was the Executive Vice President -- Worldwide Access/Broadband Systems at Marconi, and has held executive and managerial positions at RELTEC, DSC and Bell Labs.

Ethernet Alliance Launches 10G EPON and 10GBASE-T Subcommittees

The Ethernet Alliance has formed two new subcommittees chartered to support the IEEE 802.3 standards development process.

The 10G EPON (10 Gigabit Ethernet Passive Optical Network) subcommittee will support the recently formed 10G EPON study group. The 10GBASE-T (10 Gigabit Ethernet over twisted-pair cabling) subcommittee will support interoperability demonstrations as the 10GBASE-T standards effort comes to completion.

A 10G EPON study group was formed within the IEEE 802.3 working group on March 9, 2006, following an industry discussion regarding the next speed jump for Ethernet PONs.

The Ethernet Alliance said increasing the speed of EPONs from the current 1 Gbps to 10 Gbps will support the delivery of advanced video services, gigabit-capable home networks, backhauls for 4th generation mobile communication networks, and high-bandwidth connections to multi-tenant and multi-dwelling residential units.

The 10GBASE-T standard remains on track for a June ratification. Development of 10GBASE-T will extend the benefits of copper cabling to high bandwidth platforms, beginning in the data center. Data centers have traditionally adopted twisted-pair cabling, based upon its ease of use and cost-effectiveness. As 10GBASE-T moves out of the lab and into wide deployment, the Ethernet Alliance will serve as a source of information for vendors and end users.

The Ethernet Alliance 10GBASE-T subcommittee will support the development of interoperability and conformance test suites, technology whitepapers, and facilitate technology demonstrations.

The Ethernet Alliance also announced the addition of eight new members: CebaTech, Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA), IXIA, KDDI R&D Labs, Siemon, Spirent Communications, Toshiba, and the University of South Florida. The group now has over 50 member companies.

TAZZ Enhances its IP Policy Control Platform

TAZZ Networks introduced an NGN Application Module for its TAZZ Policy Control System (PCS). The module is a collection of functional components that can be used individually or collectively to create an intelligent signaling control layer that is compliant with next-generation standards such as TISPAN and IMS.

TAZZ said its NGN Application Module enables its platform to deliver support for a broad range of applications. With support for SIP, non-SIP, and "over the top" applications - applications created and delivered by a third party -service providers can leverage the TAZZ PCS to deliver a unified service experience via an extensible architecture, accelerating the delivery of next-generation IP services over a converged network infrastructure.

Specifically, the NGN Application Module enables the TAZZ PCS to be fully compliant with the ETSI TISPAN Release 1 deployment architecture. This module ensures the delivery of quality assured services from the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) application framework or other non-SIP application frameworks.

The TAZZ PCS functions as the Resource and Admission Control Sub-system (RACS) within the TISPAN architecture, delivering the Service Policy Decision Function (SPDF) and the Access - Resource and Admission Control Function (A-RACF). With these components, TAZZ provides a highly distributed and scaleable architecture that works seamlessly with Services Sub-systems such as IMS.

The functional components of the NGN Application Module include:

  • Signaling Interface Function - The Signaling Interface Function (SIF) provides an exposure interface for TAZZ PCS capabilities. The SIF mediates external applications requesting QoS services from the PCS.

  • Admission Control Function - The Admission Control Function (ACF) provides the core logic for performing admission control. This component is programmed with a set of policies (event-condition-action sets) that define the desired admission control behavior. These policies can be customized to the specific needs of the service provider.

  • Path Computation Function - The Path Computation Function (PCF) uses topology knowledge to determine the resources affected by a QoS request. The PCF is used in multiple aspects of the system. The PCS Director uses the PCF to determine the PCS Resource Controllers to consult for an admission control decision for a QoS request. The PCS Resource Controller uses the PCF to determine the specific network path affected by a QoS request.

  • Topology Database Function - The Topology Database Function (TDF) stores network resource topology information, which it exposes to the PCF for path computation. The TDF is the master store for network topology information used by the PCS Resource Controller, as well as Pool information used by the PCS Director.

  • Session Database Function - The Session Database Function (SDF) stores information related to dynamic network sessions. It is populated by the Session Awareness Function (SAF). The SDF tracks active PPP or DHCP sessions on the network as well as QoS flows signaled by the application layer. The SDF stores user session data relative to the PPP or DHCP session.

  • Network Discovery Function - The Network Discovery Function (NDF) populates and maintains the information in the TDF. The NDF synchronizes additional information about network topology with external resources to ensure accuracy.

  • Session Awareness Function - The Session Awareness Function (SAF) populates and maintains the information in the SDF. The SAF dynamically populates the associations between IP Address, BRAS, VC, and VP in the SDF.

  • Network Adaptation Function - The Network Adaptation Function
    (NAF) dynamically resizes network links and queue sizes, based
    on the ability of the underlying network to adapt after a request from the ACF.
  • In February 2006, TAZZ announced that Cisco Systems had agreed to resell its IP network policy control platform as the Cisco Broadband Policy Manager under a global distribution agreement. The initial market focus will be on triple play deployments of major service providers. The long-term focus is to help transition legacy networks to next generation architectures -- 3GPP IMS and ETSI TISPAN.

  • TAZZ Networks was founded in 2001 and has raised $25.7 million in three funding rounds. The company has about 60 employees.

an Intelligent IP Control Plane for VOD
many, the network has been relegated to "dumb pipe" status and
viewed as a liability based on the success of the application providers.
Until recently this held true as bandwidth was plentiful and most of the
applications on the network did not consume large amounts per session.
To differentiate themselves, service providers could leverage an IP
Policy Control layer to deliver programmable command and control
capabilities that enable per session quality of services parameters to
be dynamically applied to premium services such as VoD.

ECI Telecom Cites $20 Million IPTV-ready ADSL European Deployment

ECI Telecom (announced the successful deployment of a turnkey triple-play network for one of the leading ISPs in Europe. This ISP, a subsidiary of one of the largest European carriers, has already deployed hundreds of thousands of high-speed, IPTV-ready ADSL lines. Deployment of additional lines is expected in the near future. ECI was chosen as the sole broadband access supplier for the network. The multi-year contract is valued at approximately $20 million.

The deployment is based on ECI's Hi-FOCuS Multi-Service Access Gateway (MSAG).

Intelsat Cites Gain for its Wholesale Video Delivery

Content Services Inc. (CSI) will use Intelsat's satellite-based, open-architecture, video transport platform to deliver wholesale video, voice and data services to retail providers in the multi-dwelling unit, hospitality, municipality, university and master planned community markets.

Content Services, through its CSI Digital subsidiary, will initially focus on distribution to multiple system operators (MSOs) seeking to cost-effectively upgrade video content to MPEG-4 as well as telecommunications operators (telcos) and Internet Service Providers looking to enter the IPTV or triple-play (voice, video and data) market.
  • In April 2006, Intelsat introduced its "Ampiage" -- a new satellite-based, open-architecture, super head-end for North American multiple system operators (MSOs) seeking to upgrade to MPEG-4 and telcos looking to enter the IPTV market. Intelsat's Ampiage service will handle the acquisition, aggregation, encoding, encapsulation and encryption of licensed TV programming from content providers and has the ability to redistribute it in MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 format to cable and telecom service providers. Intelsat plans to offer hundreds of video and audio channels in full digital quality. Ampiage will leverage Intelsat's Americas' satellite fleet, including its IA-8 satellite, enabling reception in antennas as small as 3.7 meters and providing ample margin for variable environmental conditions.

Metrobility Releases Multi-Port Carrier Ethernet Demarcation Device

Metrobility Optical Systems introduced its Ethernet Services Provisioning Platform, a customer-located, six-port Ethernet demarcation device that allows service providers to manage and provision multiple services from a single device, and isolate individual services for troubleshooting without impacting other service offerings. Metrobility allows the service provider to use SNMP, IP PING, or IEEE 802.3ah OAM for device management. It also provides embedded security controls to ensure protection against denial-of-service attacks. The RS960 provides four multi-speed 10/100/1000Mbps customer-facing Ethernet ports and two gigabit redundant fiber provider ports to support failover, ring configurations or link aggregation into the provider's network.

Intel Announces WiMAX Investments in Egypt, Holland

Intel Capital announced an investment in Orascom Telecom WiMAX Limited, a joint venture with Orascom Telecom of Egypt. Orascom Telecom WiMAX Limited will focus its efforts on working with governments and companies throughout the Middle East and parts of Asia to obtain suitable spectrum licenses for the deployment of WiMAX services.

Intel Capital also announced an investment in Worldmax, a joint venture with Enertel Holding of the Netherlands. Worldmax is targeting the deployment of WiMAX services in the Netherlands. In addition to funding and personnel, Enertel is also contributing an existing nationwide 80 MHz at 3.5 GHz spectrum license to support this new joint venture.
  • Over the past year, Intel Capital has announced investments in a number of WiMAX and wireless broadband service providers around the world including: PIPEX Wireless in the United Kingdom, DBD in Germany, Unwired Australia, Neovia in Brazil and MVSNet in Mexico. Intel Capital has also been active in supporting WiMAX infrastructure development through investments in Navini Networks, a provider of WiMAX basestations and modems, and Beceem Communications, a provider of mobile WiMAX chipsets.

F5 Networks Confirms Options Grant Investigation

F5 Networks confirmed that it received a grand jury subpoena issued by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York requesting documents related to the granting of stock options from 1995 through the present. F5 also confirmed that it received notice informing it that the Securities and Exchange Commission is conducting an informal inquiry into its stock option grants and requesting documents related to the granting of stock options from January 1, 1997, through the present.

Sunrise Telecom Offers FTTN Installation Test Set

Sunrise Telecom introduced a Home Test Toolkit (HTT) test set designed specifically to facilitate the deployment of next-generation triple play services.

The HTT allows technicians to test key interfaces and signals at the customer location during installation. The HTT's ability to integrate into the customer's back office systems allows results from each installation to be recorded accurately for analysis and quality control.

Specifically, the unit provides automatic "go-no-go" test routines for VDSL, Home Phoneline Networking Alliance (HPNA) networks, RF video, Ethernet, 802.11x wireless, copper loop fault identification, POTS testing, and in-house wiring identification and testing. The HTT can upload detailed results of an installation test via Ethernet or wireless Bluetooth interfaces. The lightweight unit is powered by a rechargeable, field replaceable smart battery system, and clips to a technician's belt or drops into a tool bag.

Seagate Completes Acquisition of Maxtor

Seagate Technology completed its acquisition of Maxtor. The combined company retains the Seagate name.

"The past twenty years was about digitizing the workplace; the next decade will be focused on digitizing your lifestyle," said Bill Watkins, Seagate president and CEO.

ZTE and SupportSoft Complete TR-069 Interoperability Testing

ZTE and SupportSoft completed interoperability testing according to the TR-069 DSL Forum CPE WAN Management protocol. The companies said their testing validates the interoperability of ZTE's H110/H100 Home Gateway devices with SupportSoft ServiceGateway software to deliver triple play services and service management.

The TR-069 specification provides the necessary framework for efficient and scalable deployment of new services using DSL broadband infrastructure, including the combined delivery of VoIP, IPTV and high-speed data services.


Strix Introduces Dual-radio Edge Wireless CPE

Strix Systems introduced its Edge Wireless System (EWS 100), high-speed customer premise device that extends the reach and mobility of the Strix Outdoor Wireless System (OWS) mesh network to the indoors.

The RF signals of most mesh networks deployed to date can penetrate houses, but WLANs, wireless-enabled laptops, VoIP phones and other wireless user devices frequently do not have a signal strong enough to communicate with the network, resulting in poor performance. The EWS 100 improves signal strength, relaying the signal back and forth between the mesh and devices in the house.

The "plug and play" EWS 100 provides connectivity from WLANs, LANs, wireless-enabled laptops, VoIP phones and other devices to the mesh. It also provides seamless roaming for voice and data between inside and outside.

The EWS 100 incorporates two radios, an 802.11g and an 802.11a; one of them can provide indoor wireless coverage, while the other connects the unit to Strix's outdoor mesh network. An alternate configuration option for indoor coverage is to provide a wired connection through the unit's built-in Ethernet port, just like a cable or DSL modem.

On the client side, Layer 2 Network Address Translation (NAT) allows the unit to support multiple PCs and enables an Ethernet client bridge to the mesh network. In addition, the EWS 100 provides automatic Wireless Equivalent Privacy (WEP) encryption. Provider-side features include local/remote management and Telnet/CLI. The EWS 100 is future proof; service providers can manage automatic upgrades to new features from a remote location or a Network Operation Center (NOC). In addition, the unit offers authentication management.

Strix said service providers can customize the EWS 100 by loading it with their own integration files and can track each customer's unit by recording its MAC address.

In addition to distributing CPE, Strix will license its software, which is powered by the Strix Dynamic Mesh Architecture, and provide reference designs to other CPE vendors, thus enabling service providers to offer their customers a variety of connectivity options.

The EWS 100 is priced at $179; packages of ten are available to service providers at a bulk rate.

NETGEAR Ships Draft 802.11n Wi-Fi / ADSL2+ Modem Router

NETGEAR began shipping a wireless-enabled ADSL2+ modem router based on the new draft 802.11n specification.
The RangeMax NEXT Wireless ADSL2+ Modem Router (DG834N) aggregates five products into one, combining an ADSL 2+ modem, router, four-port 10/100 switch, and a SPI double firewall with NETGEAR's draft 11n-compliant RangeMax NEXT wireless LAN technology. The double SPI and NAT firewall, and protects the network from hacker attacks with Intrusion Control featuring Denial of Service protection. Other security features include VPN pass-through, content filtering, activity logs, and DMZ support. The NETGEAR RangeMax NEXT Wireless ADSL2+ Modem Router (DG834N) has a list price of $299 USD.

The product uses Broadcom's service provider qualified ADSL2+ chipset and its Intensi-fi Wi-Fi silicon.

Motorola Secures Comcast Order for Voice-Enabled Cable Modems

Comcast will order the Motorola SBV5220, a combination modem and phone adapter, also known as an embedded Multimedia Terminal Adapter (eMTA), for deployment in customer homes. The cable modem is equipped with an integrated Lithium-ion battery back-up, which provides up to eight hours of battery back-up in the event of a power outage in the home. Comcast expects to offer the Motorola eMTA in the second half of 2006 to Comcast Digital Voice customers nationwide. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Bay Microsystems Debuts 40G Network Processor

Bay Microsystems introduced the first 40 Gbps programmable network processor based on its "MTM" (Multimedia Traffic Management) technology. The new "Chesapeake" network processor is targeted at a new generation of broadband infrastructure equipment ranging from high density over-subscribed 1GE/10GE Metro Ethernet boxes to high reliability systems up to 40G and above.

The device features 125 Gbps of raw processing power and is capable of 122 million packet-per-second sustained performance.

Bay Microsystems said metro Ethernet solutions designed with Chesapeake are being implemented at price points as low as $40 per GE port and less than $400 per 10GE port. Bay is supporting design starts and accepting sample orders now. Bay also provides a complete hardware and software tool suite facilitating Chesapeake- based network equipment designs.

AT&T Teams with WeRoam to Expand Wi-Fi Access in Europe

AT&T has expanded its global Wi-Fi access footprint in new regions throughout Europe through a partnership with WeRoam, a Swiss-based aggregator of mobility management and roaming-optimization solutions. AT&T's relationship with WeRoam allows AT&T to work with multiple wireless Internet service provider (WISP) networks. For example in France, AT&T now offers more than 7,000 locations through Orange via the WeRoam platform that most of its close competitors do not offer today.

AT&T now has more than 10,000 hot spots in Europe, including locations in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, Hungary, Ireland, France and Israel. In addition, AT&T now has a strong Wi-Fi footprint through WeRoam in Brazil, Japan and Taiwan.

Verizon Wireless Debuts Motorola Q

Verizon Wireless will begin offering the Motorola Q starting on May 31. The Motorola Q is being pitched as a "mini notebook", running Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 software and using Verizon Wireless' EV-DO BroadbandAccess network to send and receive data.

The Moto Q features integrated Bluetooth 1.2; wireless sync capabilities; synchronization with e-mail, calendar, contacts, and tasks entries, regardless of platform or ISP; Microsoft applications; and corporate VPN capabilities. It also offers entertainment capabilities ranging from stereo music and video playback to Web browsing and instant messaging.

Verizon Wireless customers may purchase the Moto Q for $199.99 after a $100 instant credit when purchased with a qualified Verizon Wireless voice and data plan and two-year customer agreement.

XM Satellite and WCS Wireless Call Off Merger

XM Satellite Radio cancelled its planned acquisition of WCS Wireless, a private entity that holds extensive wireless spectrum licenses in certain geographic areas throughout the United States. XM Satellite cited an inability to gain government approval for the deal in a timely manner.

In commenting on the termination, Gary Parsons, Chairman of XM, stated, "With the inability to obtain the necessary government approval for this transaction in a timely manner, WCS Wireless needed to pursue alternatives for its spectrum with greater certainty of regulatory approval."
  • In July 2005, XM Satellite Radio agreed to acquire privately-held WCS Wireless for nearly $200 million in stock.

    WCS Wireless holds wireless spectrum licenses in geographic areas covering 163 million people throughout the United States, including 15 of the top 20 metropolitan markets. On average, WCS Wireless licenses include 10 megahertz in the frequency bands adjacent to XM's satellite radio service.

    At the time the deal was first announced, XM Satellite said the acquisition would enable it to expand its existing business with a variety of multimedia subscription services, including innovative video and data offerings, transmitted over these new frequencies.