Wednesday, July 5, 2006

SingTel Launches Satellite-based Broadband for the Maldives

Singapore Telecommunications has launched a satellite-based broadband network to the resort islands of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean. SingTel has partnered Focus InfoCom, a leading Internet Service Provider in the Maldives, to support its Raajje Online always-on broadband service.

Cisco to Acquire Meetinghouse for 802.1X Security Software

Cisco Systems agreed to acquire privately-held Meetinghouse Data Communications, a supplier of client-side 802.1X supplicant security software, for approximately $43.7 million in cash and assumed options for Meetinghouse.

The Meetinghouse security software allows enterprise customers to restrict network access to only authorized users and/or host devices attempting to gain access to networked resources through both wired and wireless media. When integrated with Cisco's existing security portfolio, Meetinghouse's AEGIS SecureConnect products will enable Cisco to provide a single unified wired and wireless client to enterprise customers that will help them reduce operational costs by simplifying the security management of a broad array of host devices and operating systems.

Meetinghouse was founded in 1988 and has 77 employees in Portsmouth, NH.
  • Meetinghouse was founded by Dr. Paul Goransson founded in 1988. He also co-founded Qosnetics in 1996. Dr. Goransson served as president of both corporations until the 1999 acquisition of Qosnetics by Hewlett Packard at which point he held a senior management role within HP and then its subsidiary Agilent Technologies.

ZTE Supplies Wireless for Qinghai-Tibet Railway

ZTE has been chosen for a wireless communications network that will provide voice and data services to passengers using the world's highest altitude rail service -- the Qinghai-Tibet Railway. In collaboration with China Mobile and China Unicom, ZTE's CDMA and GSM wireless solutions will be deployed to provide service coverage for the newly-built rail system. The wireless communications network will cover the two regions of Qinghai and Tibet, as well as the Golmud and T'ang-ku-la Mountains section, covering nearly one thousand kilometers.

The 1,100km (750-mile) Qinghai-Tibet railway, which rises to 5,072m (16,600ft) above sea level, has been built through some of the most difficult terrain on earth. ZTE's wireless technology has been specially adapted to work at high altitude and will be installed at T'ang-ku-la, the railway's highest point.

Nokia Selected for New York's Free Wi-Fi in the Parks

Nokia has been selected to be the primary provider for mobile services for free Wi-Fi networks that are currently being installed in 10 major parks in New York City, including Central Park, Union Square Park and Corona Flushing Meadows. The network infrastructure is owned and managed by WiFi Salon, a New York-based company that owns the exclusive concession rights from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation for this purpose.

Nokia will introduce mobile multimedia services in the parks with local media partners during the summer. The media partners will provide complimentary mobile versions of their content to Nokia devices with Wi-Fi connectivity used in the parks.

Mavenir Raises $13 Million in Venture Funding

Mavenir Systems, a start-up based in Richardson, Texas with offices in Shanghai, announced $13.1 million in venture funding for its work in mobile multimedia systems. The company said it is focused on the convergence services market. Product plans have not been disclosed. Investors included Austin Ventures and North Bridge Venture Partners.

Optibase IPTV Platforms Enable Real-Time Video Traffic Monitoring in Korea

Korea Highway Corporation (KHC) has integrated the Optibase MGW 5100 carrier-grade IPTV streaming platform to enable live video monitoring of the country's highways. Samsung Networks provided integration for the video deployment.

The Korea Highway Corporation has stationed analog video cameras alongside the highways to collect traffic information in real-time. The video feeds are delivered over a fiber network to centrally control information for processing and analyzing. The Optibase MGW 5100 encodes the feeds into both H.264 and Windows Media format for the delivery of high quality video streams, in real time, to KHC's Regional Control centers, monitoring the traffic conditions from afar.

Additionally, an on-board Windows Media Server enables viewing of traffic conditions on the KHC Web site using any PC or PDA running a Windows Media Player. This provides drivers with maximum traffic information before they approach the highways.

Parks Associates Predicts Booming Growth for In-Home Entertainment Networks

The number of U.S. households with a connected entertainment network will reach 30 million by 2010, according to a new report from Parks Associates. A connected entertainment network is a network composed of either a PC connected to at least one consumer electronic (CE) device or multiple interconnected CE devices such as a whole-house DVR system.

According to the study, called "Networks in the Home: Connected Consumer Electronics", connected entertainment will be at the heart of the development and business opportunities in the digital home. For the near term, video service providers and CE and home networking manufacturers are driving this space with the deployment of whole-house DVRs and digital media adapters, respectively, but there will need to be cross-industry collaboration, such as efforts like the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA), to realize fully the opportunities in connected entertainment.

"Consumer electronics (CE) manufacturers are still searching for the Rosetta stone of the connected entertainment market," said Harry Wang, research analyst at Parks Associates. "To move beyond the early-adopter stage, CE manufacturers must ally with content and service providers, software developers, and silicon designers to build elegance and usability into the product design and bring popular digital content to consumers' fingertips anywhere in the home."

Cisco Capital Extends 0% Financing to SMBs

Cisco Systems Capital has extended its Easy Lease 0% finance package to the end of December. Originally scheduled to close at the end of June 2006, the 0% finance package helps small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and mid-market companies invest in smart data and communications solutions.

AudioCodes to acquire Netrake for $11 Million

AudioCodes agreed to acquire Netrake, a supplier of Session Border Controllers (SBC) and Security Gateway solutions, for $10 million payable in cash at closing, plus an additional $1 million if Netrake achieves certain financial measures as of the closing date.

"This Agreement with Netrake provides AudioCodes with more products to help Service Providers and Network Equipment Providers (NEP) in enabling connectivity between disparate VoIP networks and deploying Fixed Mobile Convergence as well as IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) networks in the future," said Shabtai Adlersberg, Chairman, President and CEO of AudioCodes. "Together with the Netrake team we can now offer Session Border Controllers in addition to our Media Gateway and Media Server products, which will be three key network elements within IMS that enable the convergence of networks and applications."http://www.audiocodes.com
  • In May 2006, 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.

  • Netrake, which is based in Plano, Texas, was founded in 2001 and raised over $70 million in venture funding from Prism Venture Partners, TL Ventures, Austin Ventures, Trinity Ventures and others.

  • In February 2006, Netrake unveiled its next-generation platform - the 3GX - integrating the capabilities of its nCite Session Border Controller (SBC) and nCite Security Gateway (SG) platforms and adding new functionality for fixed-mobile-convergence (FMC) applications. The platform, which is currently in customer trials, is designed for next-generation, converged fixed-mobile architectures being defined by 3GPP IMS, 3GPP2, ETSI TISPAN, PacketCable and UMA.

    Netrake said the use of dual-mode phones using IPSec encryption in both Fixed and Mobile networks will require a single access point to aggregate the large volumes of secure tunnels into the service provider's network. Security devices at the network edge must handle IPSec encryption of both the signaling and the media traffic as well as perform Dynamic Session Security and other security countermeasures for roaming users and applications. The 3GX, which is available in a range of configurations including a ATCA platform, resides at the edge of the providers' IP network, bridging the divide between network convergence and service convergence.

Eutelsat's HOT BIRD 8 Prepares for Launch

Eutelsat Communications' HOT BIRD 8 broadcasting satellite built by EADS Astrium arrived at the Baikonur Cosmodrome for launch on a Proton M Breeze M vehicle provided by ILS. Launch is scheduled for the night 04-August-2006.

HOT BIRD 8 is equipped with 64 Ku-band transponders and at 4.9 tonnes will be the largest satellite yet orbited by Eutelsat. Designed for television and radio broadcasting it will be positioned at 13 degrees East, Eutelsat's prime video neighborhood, which delivers 950 television channels and 600 radio stations to 110 million cable and satellite homes in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

The satellite's mission is to replace the 20 transponders on the HOT BIRD 3 satellite, which will continue service at a new location. In conjunction with HOT BIRD) 7A, which was launched in February 2006, it will also contribute to raising in-orbit redundancy at Eutelsat's HOT BIRD neighborhood.

Exar Announces Executive Management Changes

Exar, a supplier of mixed-signal silicon for networking equipment, announced the appointment of Al Gharakhanian as Vice President of Marketing for Networking and Transmission Products. Mr. Levent Ozcolak was promoted to Vice President of Marketing for Interface Products. In addition, Dr. Bahram Ghaderi, as Vice President of Engineering and Product Development, will be responsible for all engineering. Previously, there were separate engineering groups within each product division. This move towards a functional organization allows the Company to be more market focused.

Time Warner Cable to Continue Offering Earthlink Service

Time Warner Cable will continue to provide EarthLink broadband online service on Time Warner Cable systems under a new agreement announced by the firms. The parties will make available EarthLink broadband online service to the approximately 19 million homes passed by Time Warner Cable's broadband cable systems. This service area is expected to increase upon completion of Time Warner Cable's previously announced transactions with Adelphia and Comcast.

EarthLink has been offered by Time Warner Cable since November 2000.