Monday, July 17, 2006

Hellenic Telecom Selects Huawei for IP DSLAMs and Metro Ethernet

Hellenic Telecommunications (OTE) selected Huawei Technologies to build an IP DSLAM broadband access and Metro Ethernet bearer network.

Huawei will provide OTE with ADSL2+ IP DSLAM access equipment with a 200,000 line capacity. The Metro Ethernet equipment will serve approximately one hundred nodes in Greece's two largest cities, Athens and Thesalonniki. Based on this new network, OTE can provide its residential users with high-speed internet access service now, and IPTV, Triple Play services in the future.

Huawei noted that it has shipped over 22 million IP DSLAM lines to date.

Alltel Completes Spin-off, Creating Windstream

Alltel completed the spin off its wireline business, which was merged with VALOR Communications Group to create Windstream, a major wireline operator focused on the rural U.S. market. Windstream serves approximately 3.4 million access lines and offers voice, broadband and digital TV services in 16 states. The company has 8,000 employees and about $3.4 billion in annual revenues. Windstream is based in Little Rock, Arkansas. Windstream's common stock is trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WIN.

Alltel will focus on its nationwide wireless network.


Broadwing Selects Infinera's DTN Optical System

Broadwing will deploy Infinera's DTN optical system, enabling it to offer managed wavelength services to more cities in their nationwide network, while benefiting from the economics of an architecture that combines transport and switching in a single platform. Specifically, Broadwing plans to deploy the Infinera DTN in regional network applications across its national network and is also evaluating the DTN for other applications. The deployment also will facilitate new service capabilities, including:

  • Path to future 40Gb/s OC-768/STM-256 services

  • Gigabit Ethernet Private line Service without a separate SONET layer

  • Future protected wavelength services up to 50ms plus full bit-transparency

  • 10 Gigabit Ethernet LAN PHY

In addition, Infinera is licensing key Corvis intellectual property including Raman amplification. Infinera also will take over manufacturing and maintenance support for Broadwing's CorWave network with members of the Corvis engineering, manufacturing, and support team becoming Infinera employees. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"The decision to evolve our network is significant and is a result of much research and analysis. This work leads us to the conclusion that the Infinera DTN is an important new technology in the continuing evolution of Broadwing's industry-leading transmission network architecture," said Mike Jones, Chief Technology Officer for Broadwing.
  • Infinera has previously disclosed deployments by FLAG Telecom, Global Crossing, Level 3 Communications, and Citynet, amongst others.

UAE's etisalat Deploys Juniper's E- and M-series Routers

etisalat, which is one of the United Arab Emirates' leading telecommunications providers, has deployed Juniper Networks E- and M-series routers for its next generation, multiservice network. etisalat has built a multiservice network core that will deliver new Triple Play services such as IPTV, while supporting existing Internet, ATM, Frame Relay and mobile IP services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

France's Sanef Deploys Atrica's Carrier Ethernet

Sanef Telecoms, a business unit of the Sanef Group which operates motorways across France, has deployed Atrica's Carrier Ethernet Systems. Sanef's new state-of-the-art communications infrastructure leverages a 3,855 km fiber optic network that connects the greater Paris region with the major cities of northern and eastern France.

Sanef Telecoms is using the network to deliver services to local authorities, public institutions and businesses situated near its motorways in France, and to expand its wholesale services business. Services include high-speed Internet, Ethernet VPNs, video surveillance, video conferencing and IP telephone to business parks and industrial estates.

Sanef Telecoms selected the Atrica solutions for their delivery of critical functionality areas such as support of TDM traffic via Circuit Emulation, guaranteed end-to-end Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with CIR and EIR, sub-50ms resiliency, scalability of the network architecture, and carrier-class service management and provisioning.

Sanef Telecoms has deployed Atrica's full product suite, including the A-8100 Carrier Ethernet Core Switch, the A-4100 Carrier Ethernet Aggregation Switch and the A-2100 Carrier Ethernet Edge Switch, as well as the Atrica Service Platform for Ethernet Networks (ASPEN), an integrated service provisioning and management system.

Club Internet/T-Online France Deploys Harmonic

T-Online France, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG, has deployed Harmonic's DiviCom Electra 5000 multi-service encoders to power its new Club Internet ADSL-based digital television service.

Club Internet TV, which is now commercially available, uses the Microsoft TV IPTV Edition software platform. The service features more than 150 SD broadcast television channels, a full complement of video-on-demand (VOD) and subscription VOD programs, an intuitive and feature-rich interactive program guide with picture-in-picture, personal video recorder (PVR), and fast channel change capability.


LongBoard Introduces "MediaRoam" IMS-Compliant Software

LongBoard introduced "MediaRoam" software that provides telecommunications carriers with the ability to deliver differentiated IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)-enabled multimedia services across fixed and mobile networks with service and revenue assurance.

LongBoard's MediaRoam delivers network-based policy and enforcement capabilities that ensure that mobile users are always connected to the most optimal fixed or mobile network available.

In addition, MediaRoam adapts streaming multimedia services in real-time as users move across networks. For example, MediaRoam adapts a streaming video to a higher quality stream as mobile users move from a GSM network to a Wi-Fi network.

LongBoard said its MediaRoam software enables service providers to establish multi-tiered Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for multimedia services. For example, service providers can offer subscribers different levels of multimedia service quality, such as gold, silver, and bronze, and charge customers accordingly. In this example, a gold-level subscriber would get priority over a bronze subscriber when these customers are in both within range of a Wi-Fi access point.

MediaRoam is delivered on the LongBoard Multimedia Application Platform (LMAP) the company's IMS-compatible converged services platform.

MediaRoam, which is compatible with IMS, enables delivery of multimedia services across multiple access networks including GSM, GPRS, CDMA, UMTS, and Wi-Fi (802.11) networks.

LongBoard is currently conducting trials of MediaRoam with unnamed Tier 1 carriers.

Amdocs Agrees to Acquire Cramer, Consolidating OSS

Amdocs agreed to acquire Cramer Systems, a supplier of operations support systems (OSS) solutions, for approximately $375 million in cash, net of cash on hand, subject to post-closing adjustments.

Amdocs, which provides carrier systems for integrated customer management, said the acquisition would uniquely position it to support large-scale OSS transformation projects. The OSS domain is typically defined as network-facing applications supporting key service fulfillment and service assurance business processes. Cramer has a proven and tested OSS product portfolio, which includes leading products in network resource management (NRM), activation and auto discovery.

Cramer claims more than 80 customers worldwide, including Bell Canada, KPN, TDC, Telefonica, TeliaSonera and Vodafone. Cramer has partnerships with industry leaders including Accenture, Alcatel, Amdocs, Ericsson, HP, IBM, Oracle and SAP.

Cramer will form a new division in Amdocs, which will be the centerpiece of Amdocs' OSS strategy and activities, and will leverage and enhance Amdocs' current assets in BSS and OSS. Cramer's current management will continue to lead the business.

"We are redefining the OSS industry. Service providers are faced with the tripartite challenge of delivering more services at lower cost, managing network transformation and optimizing the customer experience. Amdocs' acquisition of Cramer creates a leading integrated BSS/OSS company, so that for the first time, service providers can get a complete view of the network, the service and the customer, all from one supplier," said Guy Dubois, Cramer's president and chief executive officer."http://www.amdocs.com
  • In June 2006, Amdocs 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.

  • In April 2006, Amdocs agreed to acquire Qpass, a leading provider of digital commerce software and solutions, for approximately $275 million in cash. Qpass can act as a channel between the content provider and the service provider, helping to determine how to offer, manage, charge, and fulfill for the service. It plays a key role in enabling the value chain and monetizing digital content.

  • In March 2006, Amdocs and Cramer signed a letter of intent to deliver an operations support systems (OSS) solution to service providers that integrates the Cramer6 OSS Suite with the Amdocs ordering and service management solutions. The combined offering targeted the crucial automated link between front-office customer management and back-office network and service management, unifying service ordering, provisioning, activation and assurance across all products and lines of business.

  • In August 2005, Alcatel and Amdocs agreed to collaborate to address the requirements of communications service providers planning to deploy IPTV and other next generation broadband IP services. Through this arrangement, the two companies will work to deliver a joint end-to-end solution that supports triple play bundles of voice, data and video services. The companies will integrate the Amdocs IP Convergence Solution for IPTV with Alcatel's broad suite of IPTV offerings.

  • In May 2005, SBC Communications awarded a multi-million dollar, multi-year contract to Amdocs to provide its customer lifecycle management solutions for Project Lightspeed. The Amdocs IP Convergence solution is based on the Amdocs billing, customer relationship management (CRM), ordering and payment mediation products, combined with Amdocs consulting and systems integration services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

BellSouth Launches New $99 "Triple Choice" Bundle in Atlanta

BellSouth launched a "Triple Choice" bundle in Atlanta and priced at $99 per month for voice service, DSL Ultra and DIRECTV service or Cingular Wireless service. The voice service includes long distance and local service, including Caller ID Deluxe, Call Waiting Deluxe, Call Return (*69), Three-Way Calling and BellSouth "Privacy Director" Service.

"The Triple Choice bundle is unique in that customers can choose to add either DIRECTV service or Cingular Wireless service to their bundle, receiving three great services for one low price," said Joey Schultz, vice president, marketing - BellSouth Retail Markets.

Cablevision's VoIP Surpasses One Million Customers in NY Metro Market

Cablevision Systems' consumer voice-over-cable service, Optimum Voice, has surpassed the one million-customer milestone. The VoIP service has already attracted one-third of Cablevision's cable television customers and more than half of the company's high-speed Internet customers.

Cablevision said that since the launch of the service, Optimum Voice customers have paid an estimated $500 million less than they would have been charged by traditional phone companies for a similar level of service.

"Optimum Voice brought competition to a market that had historically been dominated by high-priced monopoly phone companies, and offered consumers a reliable flat-rate voice product that included all the popular calling features with no additional charges or hidden fees," said Tom Rutledge, Cablevision's chief operating officer.

Cablevision also credited Optimum Voice for having a profound impact on the growth of all of its digital services and the company's overall success, particularly as a driver of the company's innovative Optimum Triple Play marketing offer. Since the launch of Optimum Voice, all of the company's digital services have extended their penetration rates and Cablevision has added three million revenue-generating units (RGUs).

Optimum Voice is available exclusively to Optimum Online high-speed Internet customers. Nearly 98 percent of Optimum Voice customers are three- product customers who also take Cablevision's video service.

Optimum Voice provides unlimited local and long distance calling to the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico as well as a full array of advanced features for a flat monthly fee of $34.95.
  • Cablevision Systems, which serves some 3 million households in the New York metropolitan area, added more than 130,000 VoIP customers for Q4 2005 and 458,653 for all of 2005.

  • In 2003, Cablevision deployed Siemens' SURPASS platform to launch its new "Optimum Voice" IP telephony service.

Foundry Adds to Power over Ethernet (PoE) Switching Line

Foundry Networks introduced two new modular systems to its FastIron SuperX line of Power over Ethernet (PoE) switches. The FastIron SX 800 and FastIron SX 1600 are scalable, secure, low-latency and fault-tolerant switches optimized for deployment of VoIP, wireless and high-capacity data services throughout the enterprise.

The new switches feature redundant power, redundant fans and management modules, load-sharing switch fabrics, high-density 10/100/1000 Mbps PoE and hardware-based low-latency switching and routing for high-performance and reliable network convergence. Additionally, a rich suite of security features including IP source guard, dynamic Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) inspection and DHCP snooping shield the enterprise from internal and external threats.

Foundry's FastIron SuperX family features a unique dual power distribution design. The PoE and system power distribution sub-systems are independent, eliminating the reliability and configuration complexity associated with chassis designs that rely on a common system and PoE power design. Power consumption for system and PoE power are engineered, provisioned and managed independent of one another. The two power sub-systems support N+1 redundancy to ensure continuous operation in the event of a power module failure.

The FastIron SX 1600 scales to 36 10-GE and 384 ports of 10/100/1000 Mbps PoE ports, each capable of delivering 15.4 watts, the highest power output specified in the IEEE 802.3af PoE standard. This is the highest Class 3 PoE capacity in the industry, providing customers with a convergence-ready infrastructure that will scale to support future growth.

Line modules and power supplies are interchangeable with the FastIron SuperX, a modular PoE switch Foundry first introduced in 2005.

Actimagine Raises $3Million for Mobile Video Codecs

Actimagine, a start-up based in Paris, raised EUR3 million in equity financing for its video compression technologies. The company's "Mobiclip" video codec software is optimized for low-power consumption.

Actimagine said its codec is a completely new technology and not subject to MPEG, MP3 or any other codec licenses. Mobiclip has already been endorsed by major content studios such as Sony Pictures Digital to deliver full-length, full-screen, 30 frames per second movies on 128MB memory cards. Leading handset manufacturers like Nokia and Sony Ericsson have launched marketing campaigns for new smart phones by bundling them with memory cards, powered by Mobiclip, containing full-length blockbuster movies. With Mobiclip, a Nokia phone with full standard batteries runs more than 7 hours of video playback without recharging.

Nintendo has licensed Mobiclip to feature 90 minutes of animated classics such as Shrek or Pokemon on 32MB cartridges on the Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Advance SP and the Nintendo DS. Fisher-Price uses Actimagine's software video codec to provide cartoons on its Pixter Multi-Media toy.

Actimagine also joined forces with Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas to increase video performances for its ARM based portfolio of microcontrollers.

The funding round was led by US-based GRP Partners.

Nortel and Microsoft Enter Alliance for Unified Communications

Microsoft and Nortel announced a strategic alliance based on a shared vision for unified communications -- converging today's device- and network-centric silos of communication such as e-mail, instant messaging, telephony and multimedia conferencing.

Nortel and Microsoft will transition traditional business phone systems into software, with a Microsoft unified communications software platform and Nortel software products to provide further advanced telephony functionality.

The first product set will be based on the Nortel Converged Office, which was first released in January 2006. The solution integrates the Nortel Communications Server 1000, analog and digital Nortel IP phones (wired and wireless), IP telephony soft clients, Nortel Contact Center and IVR, Microsoft Live Communications Server 2005, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Office Communicator, SIP/UC developer kits and Nortel's application-aware data networking equipment.

Key aspects of the "Innovative Communications Alliance" include:

  • the companies will enter into a four-year alliance agreement, with provisions for its extension.

  • Nortel will be Microsoft's strategic partner for advanced unified communications solutions and systems integration.

  • The two companies will form the Innovative Communications Alliance ( as a go-to-market vehicle.

  • Microsoft and Nortel will deploy the other's technologies in their enterprise networks.

  • Nortel becomes a strategic systems integration partner for the advanced unified communications solution.

  • Nortel believes it can capture substantial new revenue through service offerings such as convergence planning, integration, optimization, monitoring and managed services.

  • Nortel and Microsoft will form joint teams to collaborate on product development that spans enterprise, mobile and wireline carrier solutions.

  • The two companies will cross-license intellectual property. There will be a payment from Microsoft to Nortel for key intellectual property. Financial terms were not disclosed.

  • Nortel and Microsoft will engage in early-stage integration and testing.

  • Nortel will deliver solutions that complement Microsoft's unified communications platform, including enterprise contact center applications, mission-critical telephony functions, advanced mobility capabilities and data networking infrastructure.

  • Microsoft and Nortel will jointly sell the advanced unified communications solution and integration services. The plan is to develop a training and incentive program for the companies' sales teams.

  • Both companies will invest substantial resources in marketing, business development and delivery.

  • Microsoft and Nortel will build a joint channel ecosystem using both companies' systems integrator, reseller, and service provider relationships.

  • The two companies will develop a series of compelling solutions for a range of customers, including small and medium-sized business, large corporations and service providers.
  • In June 2006, 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.

  • Also in June 2006, 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.