Wednesday, June 14, 2006

WCA Takes Position on Net Neutrality

The Wireless Communications Association International (WCA) has joined -- an e-forum to promote a debate on the merits of net neutrality regulation.

"With spectrum a scarce and expensive resource, it is imperative that wireless broadband providers remain free to manage their own networks," commented WCA President Andrew Kreig. "Net neutrality regulation would discourage innovation and investment in more competitive broadband choices to all Americans. Our member companies are investing heavily in WiMAX or other '4G' types of next generation broadband competitive alternatives. Our companies are part of the competitive solution, not part of the regulatory problem."

BridgeCo Raises $23 million for Digital Home

BridgeCo, a developer of digital home networking products, raised $23 million in series D venture financing. The company recently opened a new headquarters in the Los Angeles suburb of El Segundo. The bulk of BridgeCo's engineering and development team will continue to be located in Zurich, Switzerland. BridgeCo also maintains sales and marketing offices in London, Taipei and Tokyo, and satellite development teams in Moscow and Bangalore.

"The US consumers are a major driver of the emerging digital home market," said Gene Sheridan, CEO of BridgeCo. "Our new LA business HQ gives BridgeCo a front row seat in this important market, and enhances our relationships with key global companies that are at the forefront of content creation and technology development across the PC and CE markets."

The financing round was led by Advent Venture Partners and Wellington Partners, who were joined by all of BridgeCo's Series C investors: Benchmark Capital, Cipio Partners (formerly Infineon Ventures), Earlybird Venture Capital, Fidelity Ventures and Intel Capital.

EdenTree Targets Automated Network Lab Testing

EdenTree Technologies introduced a re-architected version of its network lab automation software, an open "lab operating system" that works with any kind of network equipment, managing physical layer infrastructure to which test equipment and devices under test are connected. Instead of manual patch panels linking network test equipment to targeted switched and routers, EdenTree provides a software-controlled lab environment with drag-and-drop interfaces for connecting equipment and scheduling tests. The EdenTree system provides an ability to share expensive test equipment among multiple users and multiple test beds. Its queue-based scheduler enables a test to be queued to run at the earliest available time based on equipment availability.

EdenTree, which has been shipping its "Layer 1" lab automation solution since 2003, supports interfaces for switches from 15 manufacturers. Customers have included Spirent, Tekelec, Cisco, Juniper, Hitachi Data Systems, McData, AT&T, BellSouth, Comcast and Verizon, amongst others.

EdenTree's new Lab Manager 5.0 release is significantly enhanced with an SQL database and XML interface to be more open, scalable, and modular, and includes new features such as event-based scheduling, a Web interface, and integrated power control.

Also new to Lab Manager 5.0 is integration with power controllers allowing test engineers to control power cycling and system rebooting directly from Lab Manager, integrated with the GUI or script control of test topologies. The software supports power controllers from leading vendors, including APC, Cyberswitching Inc., MRV Communications, Server Technology and WTI.

Network Processing Forum Merges with OIF, Completes Six IAs

The Network Processing Forum completed its merger with the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) and announced the completion of six new implementation agreements (IAs) covering software and benchmarking specifications.

The NPF's latest technical work includes the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Accelerator Service IA, which specifies a set of Services APIs for hardware that offloads and accelerates the processing of SSL. The NPF membership also approved the Switch Address Generator ATM Logical Functional Block (LFB) and Functional API IA. This, combined with 2 additional ATM IAs released earlier this year, complete a suite of 14 NPF software ATM APIs for supporting the implementation of ATM interfaces on network processing elements.

European Commission Urges Germany to Spur Fixed Telephony Competition

The European Commission is urging the German regulator, Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA), to impose more effective competition remedies for fixed telephony.

In December 2005, Deutsche Telekom AG was found by BNetzA to have significant market power on the retail access market and on the market for local and national calls. The current notification covers the remedies that BNetzA intends to impose on DTAG in the access market and in the market for national calls as a follow-up to the December findings.

In line with the EU telecom rules, the European Commission is reminding BNetzA that carrier (pre-)selection services which allow the end-user to select a carrier of its choice for all, certain or individual calls, must be provided at a price that is based on actual costs and that direct charges to subscribers must not act as a disincentive for the use of such facilities.

"In Europe's telecom markets, remedies need to be clear and effective in order to improve the competitive situation and to safeguard the interests of consumers", said Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media. "I am determined to ensure a high degree of coherence and effectiveness of regulatory remedies throughout the European Union. This includes remedies at the retail level in cases where measures at the wholesale level have not resulted in a satisfactory degree of competition".

FLO Forum Adopts Service and Technical Specifications

The FLO Forum, a multi-company initiative led by QUALCOMM and dedicated to the global standardization of FLO (Forward Link Only) technology, ratified and adopted three cornerstone technical specifications: the Service Information Specification, the FLO Services and Use Cases Specification and updated versions of the FLO Device and Transmitter Minimum Performance specifications.

The System Information Specification defines the functions and structure of the system information (SI) associated with real-time and non-real-time broadcast and multicast services in FLO Networks. The SI in this specification provides users with the advance information needed to make service subscription and service selection decisions.

The FLO Services and Content Committee's Service Descriptions and Usage Flows Specification presents a set of use cases and service models for FLO services which are used to derive requirements for other FLO technical specifications.

The updated FLO Minimum Performance Specifications for both the Device and Transmitter provide refined performance guidelines based on the most up-to-date testing of commercial-grade FLO devices and transmitters.

In addition, announced 11 new members, bringing its total membership to 44 companies. The new members are Axcera, DTVinteractive Co., , Envio Networks, Motorola, Nagravision, PacketVideo, Penthera Technologies, Spirent Communications, Telephia, Terayon Communication Systems, and Wireless Test Systems.
  • FLO technology is a new air interface originally developed by QUALCOMM with multicasting capabilities designed to increase capacity and reduce content delivery costs to mobile handsets.

mPhase Enhances its IPTV Software

mPhase Technologies announced several enhancements to its IPTV Software, including:

  • the ability to manage multiple set top boxes (STBs) per location

  • the ability to manage multiple accounts per subscriber, and

  • multiple STB managers that provide scalable failure recovery and load balancing

The new mPhase TV+ System Release 5.0 also includes an enhanced user interface with a new look and advanced program guide searching features. The company also added new language support for Russian, Arabic and Chinese.

mPhase also added features for flexible and secure license management to remotely provision features without complete software upgrades.

Other recent improvements include general availability of an integrated Latens dynamic Conditional Access System, a pure software security solution that protects content and allows telcos to offer revenue rich premium content.

Internet2 and Level 3 Plan 100 Gbps Nationwide NGN

Internet2 and Level 3 Communications unveiled plans for a new nationwide network that will offer Internet2 members 100 Gbps of capacity, more than 10 times that of the current Internet2 backbone network, and will be designed to easily scale to add capacity as Internet2 members' requirements evolve.

The network will support a full range of production IP services as well as new on-demand, dedicated optical wavelength services.

Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, Level 3 will provide dedicated facilities enabling multiple 10 Gbps wavelengths, high-speed IP transit and colocation services with options for private line, metro and long-haul dark fiber services to interconnect the backbone with academic institutions and support growth and changes in member requirements over time.

Level 3 will deploy digital optical technologies for Internet2 to provide multiple 10 Gbps wavelengths and enable rapid bandwidth provisioning across the entire footprint for its members. These new optical services will allow network users to obtain dedicated one Gbps sub-wavelengths or entire 10 Gbps wavelengths through advanced network scheduling or on-demand. It will also enable users to provision circuits dynamically for short or long-term use. Additionally, using this optical system, the new Internet2 network will provide production IP capabilities and bundled access to the Internet.

The new network infrastructure's capabilities build on the successes of Internet2's Hybrid Optical Packet Infrastructure (HOPI) testbed, an initiative examining a hybrid of packet and circuit switched optical infrastructures to understand next generation architectures.

Internet2 said it is working with its members and regional networking organizations to finalize deployment details with the new network becoming operational during 2007. In the interim, Internet2's relationship with Level 3 will enable optical circuit services for the community using Level 3's existing facilities. Internet2 is also working closely with its current network partners and network connectors to ensure a smooth and seamless transition of traffic from its current backbone network onto the new infrastructure.http://networks.internet2.edu
  • The Internet2 Hybrid Optical and Packet Infrastructure (HOPI) is a national network testbed that allows researchers to experiment with new optical technologies, including dynamically provisioned wavelengths, circuit switched environments, and new transport protocols. The HOPI testbed uses facilities from Internet2's Abilene Network, the National Lambda Rail (NLR) network, the MANLAN exchange point, and regional optical networks. Each HOPI node consists of an Ethernet switch with 10GigE capabilities, a fiber cross connect switch, and servers to control HOPI's network infrastructure and measure network performance, all designed to model future optical infrastructures.

    The HOPI testbed is using HP's ProLiant DL360 G4 servers to provide monitoring and control plane capabilities.

    Force10 Networks is supplying its Force10 E-Series family of switch/routers for Internet2's Hybrid Optical and Packet Infrastructure (HOPI) project.

  • In February 2006, National LambdaRail (NLR), a consortium of leading U.S. research universities and private sector technology companies, reached fully-operational status, providing advanced optical, Ethernet and IP connectivity over more than 15,000 miles of fiber across the United States. NLR has deployed nine Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing Systems across the country. The project is also using Cisco Systems' 15808 and 15454 optical transmission platforms.

Charter Deploys 1 Millionth Cedar Point SAFARI C(Cubed) Line

Cedar Point Communications announced a deployment with Charter Communications that represents the shipment of Cedar Point's one millionth telephony line. The milestone was achieved less than two years after the initial deployment of SAFARI C(Cubed).

Cedar Point's SAFARI C(Cubed) is a carrier class VoIP switch that incorporates all of the components that make up the voice switching infrastructure, providing a seamless evolution to SIP-based features and an IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) architecture. SAFARI C(Cubed) is PacketCable-qualified and future-architected to fit within an IMS core network infrastructure. New applications can be integrated into SAFARI C(Cubed), or can be accessed via third-party application servers.

Nokia Supports Celcom in Launching HSDPA in Malaysia

Celcom, a subsidiary of the TM Group, launched High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) services in Malaysia offering download speeds up to 3.6 Mbps. Celcom is using Nokia's HSDPA solution. Apart from supplying to Celcom's expanded radio network, Nokia is also supplying the core network equipment to expand Celcom's current 3G network to four new regions.

Under the agreement, Nokia is supplying the Nokia HSDPA solution with 3.6 Mbps capability, a radio access network and transmission from its radio network portfolio. From its Unified Core Networks portfolio, Nokia is providing its MSC Server mobile softswitch, IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and Flexi Intelligent Service Node (ISN). Financial terms were not disclosed.

In WCDMA 3G, Nokia has 59 customers to date. Nokia's HSDPA is a software upgrade to Nokia WCDMA networks.

Verizon: More Than Half of New Broadband Subscribers Now Choose DSL Over Cable

As many as one in seven new Verizon DSL customers who order service online have switched over from cable modem service. Verizon currently serves nearly 6 million wireline broadband customers.

The Leichtman Research Group reports that more than half of all new high-speed Internet customers in the U.S. chose DSL over cable modem service in 2005, and that Verizon netted the most broadband customer additions among all cable and DSL providers in the nation over the past six months ("1Q 2006 Quarterly Notes," Leichtman Research Group Inc.).