Sunday, June 25, 2006

Amdocs Seeks to Build Digital Content Marketplace

Amdocs, a leading provider of telco billing and customer management solutions, launched OpenMarket Exchange, a web-based business system that enables media companies to build lucrative, high-growth "direct-to-consumer" (D2C) mobile content businesses.

OpenMarket Exchange is a system for digital content transactions designed to improve the profitability of digital content initiatives of both media companies and mobile service providers, as well as minimize the costs and complexity associated with such initiatives.

The new exchange will enable "off-network" transactions, in which consumers purchase mobile content directly from media companies using the billing and service relationship with their mobile service provider.

"When you look at the amount of money tier one media companies spend on the mobile channel relative to the others - TV, radio, print, and online media -- mobile is receiving just a tiny fraction of its potential investment," said Steve Shivers, senior vice president and general manager of OpenMarket at Qpass, Amdocs Digital Commerce Division, which developed the service. "The OpenMarket Exchange addresses the complexity and costs that make it difficult for media companies to enter the D2C mobile commerce space. With the scalable, financial-grade infrastructure provided by OpenMarket, they can invest and profit from the mobile channel on par with the other major media channels, and can do so in a way that greatly increases revenues and profits for mobile operators."

OpenMarket provides the critical functionality of offer management, SMS short-code management, SAS 70 compliant transaction processing, real time reporting, settlement, and customer care integration.


LG-Nortel to Develop IP Phones for Microsoft's Unified Communications

LG-Nortel, a joint venture of LG Electronics and Nortel, will develop and market with Microsoft an IP desktop phone that will work with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 to provide presence-awareness, IP call management features and enhanced instant messaging capabilities. The initial target market for the LG-Nortel business enabled IP desktop phone is small to medium sized companies and government departments in selective markets across North America, Europe and Asia, including Korea, from 2007. Both Microsoft and LG-Nortel will market the new IP desktop phone to Microsoft customers worldwide as well as through LG-Nortel's global distribution network of operators and channel partners.

LG-Nortel previously announced a strategic relationship with Microsoft in May 2006 when the two companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for broad range collaboration in VoIP, including the joint development and marketing of Windows CE-based IP terminals and the new Windows CE 6 videophone.

Lucent Lands Prime Contract for U.S. Army's Modernization Project

Lucent Technologies was one of ten prime contractors selected by the U.S. Army for its new Infrastructure Modernization (IMOD) contract, which has a total ceiling of $4 billion dollars.

Under the scope of the indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract, Lucent will work to engineer, furnish, install, secure and test a next-generation multi-vendor communications infrastructure at selected Army installations around the world. The contract has a base five-year award term and one additional five-year award term potential option period.

Corrigent Releases TDM-to-Ethernet Interworking for its Packet Transport Solution

Corrigent Systems released a TDM-to-Ethernet suite of interfaces for its CM-100 packet transport platform. Using the CM-100, service providers can now offer Ethernet services over existing TDM access networks and aggregate these services efficiently on 10 Gbps packet rings. The following new interfaces are now available on the CM-100:

  • 24-port DS3/E3 clear-channel user interface module with Ethernet-over-PDH termination, as well as PPP to Ethernet Layer-2 interworking

  • PPP/MLPPP to Ethernet Layer-2 interworking on 6-port DS3/E3 channelized user interface module

Each of the modules also supports transport of native TDM channels, and the TDM-to-Ethernet interworking capability is configurable on a per-channel basis.

The Layer-2 interworking function on both DS3 interface types is designed to terminate PPP and/or bundled MLPPP sessions and map each individual connection to a standard Ethernet VLAN.

Freescale Supplies ASICs for Hughes' Next-Gen Satellite Modems

Freescale Semiconductor is supplying an advanced satellite broadband ASIC to Hughes Network Systems for its HN family of high-performance satellite broadband terminals. The HN terminals, used in the provision of HughesNet services, deliver high-speed data, voice and video services over satellite to enterprises, government agencies, small businesses and consumers around the world.

Based on Freescale's standard-cell ASIC methodology and 90-nanometer CMOS technology, the satellite broadband ASIC solution combines wireless and analog technology from Hughes and Freescale. The ASIC device supports DVB-S and DVB-S2 standards, ACM and CCM modes. The device is designed to perform QPSK, 8PSK, H8PSK and 16APSK demodulation and decode (LDPC / BCH) functions. Key functional blocks include: DVB-S2 demodulator, DVB-S2 FEC, synchronization processor, legacy mode (DVBS) demod and FEC, stream/adapter output interface and I2C interface.

Cisco-sponsored Survey Finds Slow Government Take-up of IPV6

A survey commissioned by Cisco Systems of U.S. federal decision makers indicates that, despite federal government mandates for rapid implementation of IPv6, less than 4 percent have completed IPv6 implementation and less than 8 percent have completed agency transition plans. Budget constraints are cited as the biggest impediment, and most agency decision makers are choosing to conduct planning in-house, without outside vendor or consultant support.

Although 14 percent of the respondents indicate that agency implementation is already under way, the largest number of respondents indicate that they will complete their implementation by the end of FY 2007. However, 26 percent state that they have not yet targeted a final date. Almost 38 percent will complete planning by FY 2007.

The survey was conducted last month by Market Connections, a federal IT market research firm. The research effort was conducted by phone and targeted IT and business decision makers in both civilian and military agencies.

"This survey indicates that agencies must focus more on how IPv6 implementation will support the fulfillment of their mission, underlining productivity and long-term cost management benefits," said Bruce Klein, Cisco federal segment vice president. "Focusing on the 'big picture' benefits means that IPv6 should be driven from the top down, versus from the bottom up. As every asset -- whether a person or an object -- becomes connected, agency heads are beginning to understand and appreciate the vast opportunities for mission efficiencies, as we move from wired to wireless, from multiple, siloed networks (voice, video, data, emergency response, etc.) to converged, media-rich messaging, and from phone and mail transactions to mobile applications and interactions."

Azimuth Develops Power Consumption Tester for Mobile Wi-Fi Devices

Azimuth Systems announced a test solution that enables semiconductor manufacturers, cellular phone vendors, service providers, consumer electronics vendors and PC manufacturers to measure the power consumption of mobile devices.

Azimuth's Wi-Fi Power Consumption Benchmark Suite allows design engineers to measure the power consumption during various Wi-Fi usage modes and to run profiles that can determine the impact of Wi-Fi connectivity on a device's battery life.

Wi-Fi is being embedded into many battery-operated products, imposing additional power demands on their already strained batteries. Because battery life significantly impacts user satisfaction with these products, manufacturers must identify the factors that lead to battery drain.

Azimuth said that although measuring power consumption is a relatively simple process, correlating its affect on battery life for Wi-Fi-enabled devices presents a challenge for most manufacturers. The reason is that mobile devices - especially those that include Wi-Fi capabilities - operate in a variety of states with variable power requirements.

Verimatrix Supplies IPTV Content Protection in Russia

Norilsk-Telecom has selected for the Verimatrix IPTV content protection system for its interactive television service for the Siberian region of Russia. Norilsk-Telecom, the telecommunications leader for this region, will offer local and popular international channels, films and interactive services. Russian systems integrator and software development company, CTI, is charged with the integration of the Norcom deployment.

Verimatrix's VCAS is a software-based solution designed to address the increasing security requirements imposed on video-over-IP systems. It is built on the principles of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and X.509 digital certificates.

Westell Names Engineering Director for IPTV

Westell Technologies named Joseph G. DeCarolis as Engineering Director for its UltraLine II video gateway product line. DeCarolis formerly served as the Director of Systems and Architecture/Optical Business Unit at Centillium Communications.

Boeing Ponders Future of its In-Flight "Connexion" Business Amid Tepid Acceptance

Boeing is evaluating its options for the future of its Connexion by Boeing high-speed broadband communications business. The company said it has pursued the business vigorously, developing technology that has worked well and evolved into a useful product. However, the market for the service has not developed satisfactorily. Therefore, the company will be working in conjunction with customers to thoroughly evaluate the Connexion marketplace and business model to determine next steps.

Meetings are being scheduled with customers across all Connexion business channels -- including airline, defense, maritime, corporate aircraft and general aviation -- to assess the current state of the market and develop plans that address market conditions. In the meantime, Boeing will limit further commercial expansion of the service.

The full extent of possible changes to the business model associated with this evaluation process -- including a sale, partnering arrangement or termination of service -- won't be decided until meetings with customers have taken place.

Microsoft Expands Unified Communications with Siemens, Motorola, HP

Microsoft made a series of key partnership announcements in conjunction with its Unified Communications initiative:

Siemens -- Siemens Communications and Microsoft will expand their global collaborative efforts focused on the convergence of telephony, audio, video and web conferencing, instant messaging, and e-mail into a single unified communications platform.

The new agreement expands on ongoing efforts by the two companies to integrate technologies around Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Office Live Communications Server.

Anchoring the initiative will be new products and Siemens systems integration and support services to integrate Siemens HiPath 8000 softswitch real-time telephony with Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Office Live Communications Server utilizing the OpenScape communications broker capability. The joint solution will provide enterprise customers with the ability to transition from conventional PBX and voice-mail communications systems to Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and Exchange Server 2007.

Motorola -- Microsoft and Motorola have entered into a multiyear joint marketing and development alliance to deliver unified communications solutions using Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 across Motorola mobile devices and network hardware. The collaboration is intended to enable enterprise customers to seamlessly connect and share information in real time regardless of location, network or device.

The initial planned offering will start with the Motorola HC700 series rugged mobile computing devices and the Motorola Q smart phone. The offering will combine the presence awareness and instant messaging (IM) capabilities of Communications Server 2007 with Motorola's Windows Mobile 5.0-based devices through the integration of Microsoft Office Communicator Mobile with Motorola's MOTOPRO Mobility Suite and Wireless Services Manager (WSM) products, enabling users to seamlessly communicate and collaborate across heterogeneous access networks.

HP -- HP will provide enterprise servers and systems integration services for new and enhanced products within Microsoft's unified communications platform, including Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, Microsoft Office Communicator 2007, Microsoft Office Live Meeting, Microsoft Office RoundTable, Communicator phone experience and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007.

Microsoft Unveils Unified Communications Product Road Map

Microsoft unveiled its Unified Communications product road map and announced new technologies that will be part of the forthcoming Microsoft Office system 2007.

Microsoft plans to bring together the corporate e-mail offerings of Microsoft Exchange Server, which includes new unified messaging capabilities, Microsoft Office Outlook, and Microsoft Speech Server, with updated versions of its real-time collaboration technologies and a set of new communications devices to form a cohesive unified communications solution.

"Unified communications will reduce complexity by putting people at the center of the communications experience. Our goal is to integrate all of the ways we contact each other in a single environment, using a single identity that spans phones, PCs and other devices. Our vision is to make it easy for people to reach each other using the mode of communication that is the most productive, on the device that is most convenient, while at the same time providing individuals with the highest levels of control over when and how they can be reached, and by whom," stated Microsoft's Bill Gates.

Microsoft introduced the following capabilities of its new and updated servers, services and devices:

  • Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, a flexible, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) standards-based real-time communication platform that enables presence-based VoIP call management; audio-, video- and web conferencing; and instant messaging communication within and across existing software applications, services and devices.

  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 unified messaging goes beyond e-mail and today's stand-alone voice-mail systems to deliver a unified inbox experience that includes e-mail, voice mail and faxing functionality, as well as new capabilities such as speech-based auto attendant allowing users to access their communications from any phone.

  • Microsoft Office Communicator 2007, a unified communications client that works in tandem with Office Communications Server 2007 to deliver a presence-based, enterprise VoIP "softphone"; secure, enterprise-grade instant messaging that allows for intercompany federation and connectivity to public instant messaging networks such as MSN, AOL and Yahoo!; one-to-one and multiparty video- and audioconferencing; and webconferencing. As with the previous versions, Office Communicator 2007 will be available in desktop, browser-based and Windows Mobile-based versions.

  • Microsoft Office Live Meeting, a rich conferencing service designed to help users more effectively collaborate, conduct training and deliver presentations using just a PC and an Internet connection. Improvements to Office Live Meeting include support for e-learning, enhanced audio and video capabilities including VoIP, a streamlined user interface, seamless integration with the Microsoft Office system and simpler deployment.

  • Microsoft Office RoundTable, an audio-video collaboration device with a unique 360-degree camera. When combined with Office Communications Server 2007, RoundTable delivers an immersive conferencing experience that extends the meeting environment across multiple locations. Meeting participants on site and in remote locations gain a panoramic view of everyone in the conference room as well as close-up views of individual participants as they take turns speaking.

  • Microsoft Office Communicator phone experience, Communicator-based software designed to run an innovative set of new voice and video devices -- including business-enabled IP desktop phones -- from Polycom Inc., LG-Nortel Co. Ltd. and Thomson Telecom. This is a new ecosystem designed to run on dedicated communications devices in tandem with Office Communications Server 2007 to extend and enhance the Microsoft unified communications experience.

  • PC peripheral devices, such as USB handsets, wireless USB headsets, USB webcams and PC monitors with built-in audio and video components. Devices from industry partners GN Netcom Inc., Logitech, Motorola, Plantronics Inc., Samsung and Tatung Co. will work with Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 to deliver a compelling communication experience on the PC.

Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 is scheduled to be released in late 2006 or early 2007. Microsoft Speech Server 2007 will be available in late 2006. Communications Server 2007, Communicator 2007, Communicator phone experience, Live Meeting, RoundTable and the IP-enabled business desktop phones featuring Communicator phone experience will complete Microsoft's unified communications solutions and are scheduled to be available in the second quarter of 2007

SK Telecom Deploys 10 Gbps Caspian Backbone for Flow-State QoS

South Korea's SK Telecom is deploying a 10 Gbps MPLS mesh backbone designed exclusively with Caspian's Media Controllers, core routers that perform both basic routing and Caspian's unique Flow-State QoS traffic management. Caspian also announced the availability of its Flow-State QoS technology on 10 Gbps Ethernet interfaces and (10) x 1-port GE interfaces. Caspian already offers OC192c/STM64 line cards and (4) x OC48c/STM16c cards.

Caspian said its Media Controllers' flow-state traffic management capabilities enable SK Telecom to deliver exceptional quality of service to its subscribers at broadband data rates without the cost and complexity involved in over-engineering the network. The Flow-State QoS technology identifies all unique IP traffic flows, without requiring invasive deep packet inspection. It then applies the fair use policies that dynamically deliver the QoS, bandwidth and priority required by each traffic flow. Caspian's custom-designed ASICs enable each 10-Gbps interface to process and retain state information for up to six million separate flows and thousands of policies simultaneously. Congestion is also mitigated proactively using Call Admission Control for VoIP and video traffic.

SK Telecom will use the network to provision e-Gov services, including high-quality VoIP, videoconferencing and other real-time multimedia applications, along with mission-critical virtual private networks and Internet access for government agencies and citizens alike.

Caspian said its Media Controllers deployed in the aggregation, backbone or peering points of existing IP or MPLS networks are able to provide deterministic QoS, zero-packet loss and a 2-3 times improvement in overall bandwidth utilization.
  • In June 2006, Caspian announced the second phase of its joint technology development partnership with Korea's Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) to deliver new IPv6 services. Caspian and ETRI announced Phase I of their joint technology agreement in February 2005 to develop multimedia quality of service (QoS) solutions for South Korea's Broadband convergence Network (BcN) initiative. Phase II of the joint development agreement between Caspian and ETRI will focus on new IPv6 services that are part of a comprehensive IPv4-to-IPv6 migration strategy. Through its Phase I collaboration with ETRI, Caspian has successfully deployed its Media Controllers in South Korean's Electronic Government (e-Gov) network with Korea Telecom and SK Telecom. The e-Gov networks are one of many BcN initiatives that represent an ambitious countrywide network infrastructure to deliver dedicated bandwidth in support of integrated multimedia services including VoIP, streaming audio and video, and real-time health and welfare response services to 20 million Korean subscribers.

Use Networking: Leveraging Quality To Create Profitability
is “fair use�? of a service provider's network? Ideally, service
providers should be able to allocate capacity and be paid according to
what they carry over the network. While Internet access providers are
able to raise prices for customers who require more bandwidth, long-haul
backbone service providers pay the freight for growing volumes of
traffic from which they generate no revenue, and worse, rob capacity at
the expense of premium services

Today there seem to be two approaches to the problem of balancing
network traffic and revenue considerations. The first approach is to
simply let any customer transport any kind of traffic—and as much as
they want—over the long-haul backbone network. The second approach
available to service providers for managing bandwidth is to filter out
certain types of traffic or lock out traffic from certain content

Sensory Networks Builds Security Appliance Ecosystem

Sensory Networks, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California with R&D in Sydney, Australia, unveiled an ecosystem of security applications designed to run on its "NodalCore" acceleration platform.

The NodalCore Security Processing Unit (SPU) is a 64-bit dedicated processor designed for high-speed scanning, analysis and classification across a wide range of security applications including anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-spam, intrusion detection/prevention and content filtering. Combined with Sensory Networks' suite of accelerated software libraries, commercial security applications and development tools, products built with NodalCore can be rapidly brought to market.

The first commercial vendors offering applications in Sensory Networks' Application Ecosystem include: AhnLab, Endeavor Security, Eneo Technologia, Exinda Networks, Kaspersky Lab, Intoto, Mail Filters, Mailshell, McAfee, Message Labs, PC Tools, Sunbelt Software and Threat Metrix. Additionally, open source applications include: Snort, Clam AV, DSPAM, and Apache Spam Assassin. These application partners join Sensory Networks' core technology and appliance partners, including Xilinx, Intel, Nexcom, Lanner and Advantech.

Sensory Networks said it no longer makes sense for appliance designers to develop and integrate all of these applications in-house and that general purpose architectures simply cannot provide the necessary processing power while meeting the price/performance benchmarks sought by the market. Sensory's NodalCore acceleration technology off-loads application vendors from speed constraints and allows them to focus on their core competencies and features.