Tuesday, June 20, 2006

CommuniGate Releases Unified SIP Suite for IP Communications

CommuniGate Systems rolled out its upgraded version of CommuniGate Pro with a new scalable infrastructure, applications and access capabilities. CommuniGate Pro is an IMS-ready session call control and application/presence server. The product will allow any user to access IP Communications from web interfaces and software on mobile computing devices.

CommuniGate said its v5.1 release represents the launch of a "SIPify" the world initiative that aims to enable the nearly 2 billion email addresses around the globe to use IMS-ready voice applications.

The new version CommuniGate Pro v5.1 includes the following:

  • Communify -- a full-featured messaging client based on Flash technology and the XIMSS interface (XML API). Within Communify, all aspects of communication are done through one application in a single dashboard, including email, collaboration, IM and RSS feeds, securely from anywhere and reducing administration costs. The client is compatible on Windows, Mac and Linux.

  • XIMSS -- an XML Interface for Messaging, Scheduling and Signalling. The CommuniGate Pro Application server now provides a new XML API for development of clients and access touch points to drive a full IMS strategy for carriers. This new interface is based on the open, proposed standard XIMSS, based on previous XML RFCs. XIMSS transforms CommuniGate Pro into a web application server, allowing providers to extend and develop new light-weight web applications that integrate with CommuniGate Pro 5.1. Communify is built on XIMSS and benefits from a light weight, protocol independent and server-driven "push" architecture. No other native messaging server provides such a rich array of open applications and published APIs.

  • IPv6 support -- IPv6 increases the number of available IP addresses and is required for mobile and IMS compatibility. It allows CommuniGate Pro to be fully IMS interoperable for mobile connectivity, while serving both IPv4 and IPv6 networks simultaneously.

  • XMPP (the Jabber protocol) -- XMPP support will drive interoperability between SIP and XMPP users around the world, and enable CommuniGate Pro users to IM with users on different IM networks, such as Google Talk

  • Calendar views in webmail -- CommuniGate Pro v5.1 provides new, advanced calendar views for collaboration via webmail.

CommuniGate Pro v5.1 allows subscribers a choice of clients -- IP phones, soft clients, traditional telephony, mobile devices, browsers and IM agents through a single account. Traditional telephone and mobile numbers or extensions are available through PSTN connectivity and ENUM, while CommuniGate Pro delivers all modes of IMS-related protocols such as SIP, XMPP, RADIUS and others through an open, high-performance platform, personalized applications built on CG/PL, XML, Perl/Java development modules, and easily used APIs. CommuniGate Pro joins multiple gateways for IP-to-IP, PSTN-to-IP and PSTN-to-PSTN connectivity. Ultimately, with CommuniGate Pro all users have access to a single source for email, collaboration, voice/video and mobile IP Communications.

A fully-featured trial version of CommuniGate Pro is available online.

  • CommuniGate Systems serve over 115 million users, with 40 million voice users through OEMs.

Tekelec Announces Restructuring

Tekelec will eliminate 60 jobs in a corporate restructuring across its business units, customer service organization and operations group. The majority of the terminated employees worked directly for or in support of the Switching Solutions Group based in Plano, Texas.

Navini Secures $17.5 Million for Mobile WiMAX

Navini Networks secured an additional $17.5 million in funding for its portable wireless broadband network solutions.

Navini pre-16e mobile WiMAX experience include a deployment with Unwired Australia (with over 50,000 subscribers to date). The company claims broadband wireless customers in over 30 countries.

The Navini Ripwave) MX solution offers dual-mode CPEs and PCMCIA cards as well as base stations, with software upgrades to the IEEE 802.16e standard. The portable, zero-install, non-line-of-sight (NLOS) product line consists of customer modems, base stations, and element management systems (EMS) that run in the full range of spectrums.

Intel Capital, which has been an investor in Navini since 2001, has increased its stake in the company with this round.


Cox Deploys Scientific Atlanta for Cellular Backhaul

Cox Communications has initiated cellular backhaul service in Oklahoma City, Okla. and Pensacola, Fla. using a Scientific Atlanta Prisma IP platform. In addition to providing support for an increased number of wireless customers growing call volume, the cellular backhaul service delivers further scalability to support an expanding range of new services being introduced by wireless operators.

Prisma IP is a packet-based Multi-Service Provisioning Platform (MSSP) that supports advanced Ethernet services, such as VPNs and multicasts, as well as legacy TDM and a variety of video (ASI, SDI, and IF) interfaces.


AT&T to Deploy FTTP in Houston

AT&T will build a fiber-to-the- premises network to deliver its U-verse suite of services, which includes integrated digital TV, high speed Internet and voice services, to a 20,000- home master-planned community near Houston.

The agreement with General Growth Properties, AT&T's largest such contract to date, underscores one of the company's key strategic initiatives for connecting customers to its Project Lightspeed fiber footprint.


Belgacom Selects SupportSoft Remote CPE Management

Belgacom has purchased SupportSoft ServiceVerify and ServiceGateway software to provide service verification and remote CPE management capabilities for its triple play service offerings. Belgacom will begin deployment of the solutions with its newly launched IPTV service, Belgacom.TV.

ServiceGateway is designed to automatically detect and discover CPE devices that conform to the DSL Forum's TR-069 specification, as well as remotely configure the device for the proper service level ordered by the high-speed data customer.


Liberty Global Signs Purchasing Agreement with Nortel

Liberty Global signed a global purchase agreement (GPA) with Nortel to cover purchases through 2007. The GPA gives Liberty Global access to a uniform purchasing process and pricing terms for Nortel's cable VoIP and optical solutions and services. Nortel is now an approved vendor across Liberty Global's cable subsidiaries - such as UPC Broadband in Europe, J:COM in Japan and VTR in Chile - that serve 15 million customers in 18 countries around the world.


BigBand and Netgear Partner on DOCSIS Channel Bonding

BigBand Networks and NETGEAR demonstrated DOCSIS channel bonding capable of delivering downlink speeds of 100 Mbps or more.

Based on emerging DOCSIS standards from CableLabs, channel bonding practices have potential to increase broadband subscribers' downstream access speeds by factors ranging from 2 to 20 or more.

The companies have integrated the NETGEAR CM232 Channel Bonding Cable Modem with the BigBand Cuda CMTS and BigBand BME (Broadband Multimedia-Service Edge). The modular CMTS approach is designed to enhance cost effectiveness, density and performance in the headend by dissociating DOCSIS MAC (media access control) functionality on a CMTS platform from physical QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) functionality on an edge platform.


Vonage Foresees Minimal Cost Increase for USF Funding

Vonage foresees only slightly higher bills for its VoIP due to the FCC's action to support the Universal Service Fund (USF). This is because the USF-related cost increase will be offset by the recent elimination of Federal Excise Tax (FET) from VoIP services. Vonage is assessing which method of contribution will be most beneficial for its customers.

"Vonage fully supports its obligations to government programs. Last month the Treasury advised us to cease collecting FET, to the benefit of customers, and now we must begin to collect USF tax, balancing the scales," said Mike Snyder, CEO, Vonage Holdings Corp. "Now that VoIP customers will be contributing directly to the fund, we hope as a result of this interim rule, VoIP companies will now be able to utilize universal service funds enabling Vonage and the industry as a whole to bring new technologies like ours to rural America."http://www.vonage.com
  • In May 2006, the U.S. Treasury decided to end collection of the long distance telephone excise tax and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will issue refunds of tax on long-distance service for the past three years.
    The tax was originally imposed in 1898 as a "luxury" tax on wealthy Americans who owned telephones and was established to help fund the Spanish-American War.

UTStarcom Posts Q1 Revenue of $596.6 Million

UTStarcom reported Q1 net sales of $596.6 million. Gross margins for the first quarter were 20.5% and GAAP net loss for the quarter was $10.6 million, or a loss of ($0.09) per share. The company generated approximately $54 million of positive cash flow from operations and paid down approximately $27 million in short-term debt during the quarter.


JDSU Offers VoIP Service Assurance for MSOs

JDSU introduced its VoIP NetComplete Service Assurance Solution for the cable industry. The solution, which is currently deployed by one of North America's largest cable operators, combines JDSU's portfolio of test, measurement and monitoring applications for mass market VoIP deployment.

JDSU's NetComplete test system measures hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC) characteristics, the cable modem termination system (CMTS) and IP network, providing visibility into problem areas that are affecting voice signal clarity. It correlates the data and presents an analysis on an individual cable VoIP customer basis. It can also perform real time analysis of mean opinion score (known as MOS, a measure of voice quality), and of simultaneous customer calls and correlate this to the signal's radio frequency (RF) performance from a single, centralized location.


VeriSign Expands into Asia, Signs SK Telecom

VeriSign has expanded its communications network into Asia to meet customer demand for improved international roaming services. The company also announced that SK Telecom will be the first CDMA operator in the region using its new network services.

VeriSign has built network Signaling Transport Points and Signaling Control Points in Osaka and Tokyo that feature best-in-class operations methodologies that help ensure high availability, redundancy and reliability. Operators using local network capabilities can increase performance and availability for intra-Asia voice and data roaming traffic. Previously, much of that traffic has to be routed back to the United States even if it is between Asian operators.

SK Telecom will be using the VeriSign Signaling System 7 (SS7) network, IMP and Roamer View services to gain route diversity, improve network availability and support advanced roaming services.


FCC Requires USF Support from VoIP, Increased Fees from Wireless

The FCC voted to adopt two proposals for boosting contributions for the Universal Service Fund (USF).

First, the FCC will raise the existing wireless "safe harbor" percentage used to estimate interstate revenue from 28.5 percent to 37.1 percent of total end-user telecommunications revenue to better reflect growing demand for wireless services. This interim wireless safe harbor was last updated in 2002. Wireless carriers continue to retain the option to base contributions on their actual revenues or on traffic studies that estimate their actual interstate revenues.

Second, the FCC will expand the base of USF contributions by extending universal service contribution obligations to providers of interconnected VoIP service. For interconnected VoIP providers, the FCC establishes a safe harbor percentage of interstate revenue at 64.9 percent of total VoIP service revenue. Interconnected VoIP providers also may calculate their interstate revenues based on their actual revenues or by using traffic studies.

"Maintaining the stability of the universal service contribution system is one of the Commission's most important responsibilities. We take an interim step today to ensure the stability of the fund by raising the wireless safe harbor and broadening the contribution base to include interconnected VoIP providers. We take these actions because we recognize the changing telecommunications marketplace, said FCC Chairman Kevin Martin.

In a statement, FCC Commissioner Michael Copps commented: "I think the jury may still be out on whether today's action actually puts enough additional funds into the universal service fund as DSL's non-participation takes out. By some accounts DSL providers contribute $350 million a year to the fund, perhaps more.... I don't see with slam-dunk certainty that contributions from interconnected VoIP (which is, for all its impressive growth, still a relatively nascent industry) and from wireless carriers (whose possibly increased use of traffic studies could lead to unforeseen consequences) offset the funds lost by DSL's non-participation. Surely it would be an intolerable result to end up with the fund having less revenue, not more, for the foreseeable future. Last summer we pledged this result would not happen. Nine months later we seem to accept the possibility of a diminished fund."http://www.fcc.gov
  • Every year, the nation's universal service fund (USF) pays out approximately $673 million for low-income programs and about $3.0 billion to support high-cost rural services.

  • In May 2006, the FCC voted to adopt an order that requires facilities-based broadband Internet access providers and interconnected VOIP providers to provide Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) with all of the resources of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), enacted in 1994.

Huawei Debuts Metro Ethernet Switches, IP-DSLAM

At this week's CommunicAsia show in Singapore, Huawei displayed new carrier-class Quidway CX series switches for metro Ethernet networks. The Quidway CX series switches are designed for carrier-class E2E services spanning the core layer, the convergence layer, and the access layer of a metro Ethernet.

On the IP-DSLAM front, Huawei showed its flagship SmartAX MA5600 broadband access platform, which is based on a Gigabit Ethernet switching architecture. The back panel offers 210 Gbps in aggregate capacity. The SmartAX MA5600 also integrates Layer 3 IP features and supports IPv6. It can also support controllable multicast and video autorelease for multicast services, providing a maximum of 1000 multicast channels. The system provides high-performance multicast modules for real-time channel switches even when all users on the system are operating simultaneously.

On the fixed network side Huawei is unveiling a range of fixed network terminal products including the C/S/T series DVB STB, EC series IP STB, HG series home gateway, MT series xDSL modem, and its digital home solutions.

Huawei is launching a variety of UMTS and CDMA handsets at the event. Huawei currently supplies 3G terminal products to customers in over 70 countries including China, Sweden, Portugal, Russia, India, Brazil, UK, Italy, Spain, France and Hong Kong.

Huawei showed a mini USB modem that supports multiple standards such as HSDPA, WCDMA, EDGE and GPRS and a transport rate of 3.6Mbps.


Huawei Cites Fast Sales Growth in Asia-Pac

Huawei Technologies expects contract sales in Asia Pacific to grow by 55% to hit US$2 billion in 2006. Specifically, Sales in Asia, excluding China, Japan South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong, are expected to jump to more than US$2 billion this year from $1.29 billion in 2005 as it continues to focus on further deepening its relationship with existing and potential key customers in the region.

Huawei has been steadily expanding its operations outside of China since 1996 and has a presence in 13 countries across Asia Pacific, with its products deployed in over 20 countries in the region.

In 2005, the company's global international sales hit US$4.8 billion, which exceeded domestic sales for the first time, accounting for 57% of its total contract sales of US$8.2 billion. This trend is expected to continue as part of Huawei's internationalization strategy and Asia Pacific remains one of the most important markets as Huawei expands globally.

Huawei sees Next Generation Networks (NGNx) for both fixed and wireless carriers as a key growth strategy for Asia Pacific. The company has made significant traction in this area as evidenced by its contract wins with the likes of TT&T in Thailand, TM & TIME in Malaysia, PTCL & TELIPS in Pakistan and JTB in Brunei. Huawei also won four 3G contracts in Asia Pacific, including B-Mobile in Brunei, Celecom in Malaysia, NTS in Indonesia and Econet in New Zealand.


Fujitsu Partners with Bel Air for Metro Wireless Mesh

Fujitsu Network Communications will offer a metro wireless mesh solution for North American telecom carriers, cable/MSO operators, utilities and municipalities, based on BelAir Networks' platform.

Fujitsu will resell BelAir's entire portfolio of carrier-class Wi-Fi products. The portfolio includes environmentally hardened outdoor Wi-Fi devices, with single-, dual- and multi-radio products that provide uniform, high-density, and high-bandwidth broadband wireless capabilities. The multi-radio product solution supports a true wireless mesh capable of providing scalable and deterministic WAN services. Within the same wireless network, carriers can offer applications such as VPNs, VoIP, T1 access and mobility, with multiple service levels that range from casual subscription to commercial grade.

The IEEE 802.11a point-to-point backhaul radios within the products operate within the 5.0 to 5.8 GHz unlicensed band, providing dedicated and isolated wireless backhaul links. The products support IEEE 802.11b/g access at maximum power output and optimized sensitivities. The product solution can be wall-, rooftop-, tower-, pole- or strand-mounted. They support a variety of line interfaces, including Ethernet (10/100Base-T and 100Base-FX), T1 and DOCSIS.

Fujitsu offers a full line of deployment services, which include installation and test/turn-up services, as well as backhaul and back-office connectivity provisioning. Fujitsu will manage the detailed logistics of deployment, including all local permits, inspections, and contracts needed to deploy the network. Carriers can also opt to have Fujitsu monitor and maintain their wireless network with Network Operations Center (NOC) services and provide full network statistics so carriers maintain full visibility to the inner workings of their network. http://us.fujitsu.com/telecomhttp://www.belairnetworks.com
  • In October 2005, BelAir Networks announced two new carrier-grade wireless mesh products that enable Multiple System Operators (MSOs) and cable operators to deploy wireless mesh nodes directly on their existing wired network. The BelAir50s is a single-radio, wireless mesh node that leverages BelAir's rugged outdoor design. Each BelAir50s includes an 802.11g access radio module that supports Wi-Fi client access and wireless backhaul in the 2.4 GHz band. The BelAir50s offer automatic discovery of other mesh nodes, multiple SSID and VLAN support. The product has an external omni-directional antenna, battery backup and supports a DOCSIS, copper, or fiber interface. The BelAir100s is a two-radio, wireless mesh switch that includes all of the capabilities of the BelAir50s and more. It adds a 5 GHz backhaul radio module that supports a shared mesh or forms dedicated point-to-point links to other mesh switches. The BelAir100s can be configured with two backhaul radio modules and offers high gain directional or omni-directional antennas.

SAMSUNG Unveils Slimmest Mobiles

SAMSUNG unveiled a new line of slim mobile handsets.
The Ultra Edition 6.9 (X820) boasts the world's thinnest profile of only 6.9 mm . Also on display at the CommunicAsia trade show in Singapore is the Ultra Edition 12.9 (D900), the world's slimmest slider with a depth of only 12.9mm and featuring a 3 megapixel camera.


Nortel Reaches Settlement in Shareholder Class Action

Nortel and lead plaintiffs reached agreements of settlement in two class actions lawsuits that arose following the company's announcement of revised financial guidance during 2001, and the company's revisions of its 2003 financial results and restatement of other prior periods effected during the first half of 2005. As previously announced, the proposed settlement was conditioned, among other things, on the resolution of related Canadian shareholder class actions. Nortel has now also reached agreement with the plaintiffs in those Canadian actions with respect to the global settlement as set forth in the stipulations and agreements of settlement.

Under the terms of the global settlement, subject to certain approvals, Nortel would make a payment of US$575 million in cash, issue 628,667,750 of its common shares (representing approximately 14.5% of its equity), and contribute one-half of any recovery in the existing litigation by Nortel against Messrs. Frank Dunn, Douglas Beatty and Michael Gollogly, the company's former senior officers who were terminated for cause in April 2004.

Nortel noted that it continues to cooperate with the U.S. and Canadian securities regulators and law enforcement authorities in their ongoing investigations relating to the company's accounting restatements, and the settlement does not relate to these ongoing investigations. http://www.nortel.com

Siemens to Supply Juniper Routers for Finnish Defense Forces

The Finnish Defense Forces have selected Siemens and Juniper Networks to deploy a next-generation IP/MPLS backbone network that will integrate the data transmission and communication systems for reconnaissance, surveillance and military command. Siemens Osakeyhtio will be responsible for the delivery of the Juniper Networks M-series routers, plus Redcell network and service configuration suite of products from Dorado Software and related maintenance. Financial terms were not disclosed.

With the new Redcell system, the Defense Forces will get an advanced network and service configuration management system that permits, among other things, secure VPN management of the MPLS network. Redcell also offers a strategic investment as it is designed for a multi-vendor environment and can be used for controlling other network components as well as the M-series. Similarly, the network management software will offer redundancy. http://www.siemens.com/communicationshttp://www.juniper.net