Tuesday, August 22, 2006

BT Media & Broadcast Partners with Entriq for IPTV VOD Store

BT Media & Broadcast has formed an alliance with Entriq, a provider of pay media solutions that help service providers manage, protect and sell multimedia content to broadband, mobile and IPTV devices. The two organisations will work together to provide an end-to-end digital content delivery system including a digital store, that allows customers to sell high value content via the web and mobile platforms to consumers. Entriq's expertise, which encompasses encrypted content and subscriber management systems, will be integrated by BT Media & Broadcast into customer solutions for network operators.

BT Vision, the first joint network customer, is using the solution to enable consumers to download video entertainment to their PCs and portable media players from the BT Vision website (www.downloadstore.bt.com)http://www.entriq.com

FLO Forum Spec Boosts Interoperability

The FLO Forum, a multi-company initiative led by QUALCOMM and dedicated to the global standardization of FLO (Forward Link Only) technology, introduced a new Multiplex Subsystem-to-Transmit Station Interface (MTI) specification that allows transmit stations from multiple manufacturers to be part of a single MediaFLO broadcast network. Transmit stations must be compliant with the MTI protocol to correctly broadcast a FLO waveform.

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.

The new MTI spec outlines the protocol for communicating FLO multiplex and control information from a FLO multiplexer subsystem in a FLO aggregation segment, to a transmit station. The FLO system supports multiple services including the video, audio, text and signaling components of a mobile multimedia multicast service. Technical requirements, such as the MTI specification, form a compatibility standard for FLO multimedia multicast systems.

At the FLO Forum's quarterly meeting held earlier this month in Toronto, Verizon Wireless executives held a presentation describing the evolution of video services within the Verizon network, why Verizon chose FLO technology, and how the company views the future growth of the mobile multicast market. In December 2005, Verizon Wireless announced that it is working toward launch multicast multimedia services using via the MediaFLO network in 2007.

  • In June 2006, The FLO Forum 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.

New Edge Networks Adds Class of Service on MPLS VPNs

New Edge Networks plans to introduce class-of-service support for its MPLS network services. Starting Oct. 1, five classes of service will allow businesses to prioritize application data traffic over their IP-based VPN. The five classes of service are real time, interactive, enhanced, business class, and best effort.

New Edge Networks said it accelerated its MPLS enhancements through investments from EarthLink, which acquired the company in April.

Ericsson to deliver IP DSLAMs to TOT in Thailand

Thailand's leading fixed-line operator, TOT, IP MSAN (Multi Service Access Node), which will be integrated into the operator's existing nationwide network architecture. This will allow TOT to deliver consumers services at up to 24 Mbps using ADSL2+. Financial terms were not disclosed.


Sony Pictures Acquires Grouper.com for $65 Million

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) has acquired Grouper.com, an independent video sharing community, $65 million.

"Consumers are spending more and more time on sites like Grouper, and as one of the world's largest creators of entertainment, we want to be where the audiences are," said Michael Lynton, SPE Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.


China Netcom Completes Sale of Asia Netcom to Investor Group

China Netcom Group completed the sale of its Asia Netcom to an Investor Group led by Ashmore Investment Management Limited, Spinnaker Capital Limited and Clearwater Capital Partners.

The total value of the deal is at US$402 million.

  • In March 2006, Asia Netcom completed a major network upgrade that will bring a 50% increase in lit capacity to its pan-Asia submarine cable systems, EAC. As part of the upgrade, 10 Gbps was lit up on each of EAC's four fiber pairs, effectively adding 40 Gbps of new bandwidth to EAC's existing 80 Gbps. The EAC system spans 19,500 km within Asia connecting Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong and soon, China.

  • China Netcom purchased the former Asia Global Crossing and launched Asia Netcom in 2003.

AT&T Selects HomePNA 3 over MoCA for In-home Networking

AT&T has selected HomePNA 3 technology for in-home distribution of its U-verse services, including its forthcoming IPTV offering, high-speed Internet, and VoIP.

HomePNA 3 technology will be integrated into IP set-top boxes supplied by Motorola and Scientific Atlanta and Residential Gateways supplied by 2Wire as key components of AT&T's U-verse deployment.

AT&T said it chose the technology following extensive testing in AT&T Laboratories and other test environments.

"Based on our research, we believe HomePNA 3 technology is the best option for distributing IP-based video services inside customers' homes," said David Deas, vice president--networks & services, AT&T Laboratories Inc. "The ability to work over both coaxial cable and traditional phone lines is a key advantage and we look forward to working with the industry to enhance and standardize the technology."http://www.att.com
  • The HomePNA 3.0 spec, which was standardized by the ITU in May 2005, reaches a data rate of 128 Mbps with optional extensions reaching up to 240 Mbps. It also features a deterministic QoS mechanism so that it can be used as a high speed backbone for distributing multiple, feature-rich digital audio and video applications throughout a home. The QoS technology permits users to assign specific time slots for each stream of data guaranteeing that the real-time data will be delivered when it is required with predetermined latency and without interruption, allowing HomePNA V3 to transport data with inherent QoS requirements such as IEEE1394.

  • In March 2006, the HomePNA alliance announced plans to extend the 3.0 specification to deliver up to 320 Gbps over existing wires in homes. The HomePNA 3.1 specification is intended to provide the highest speed option for in-home distribution of new triple-play services such as IPTV.

  • In December 2005, AT&T awarded a $43 million, one-year contract to 2Wire to supply its new IP-based residential gateways for the forthcoming AT&T U-verse suite of services.

  • In September 2005, AT&T (formerly SBC Communications) announced an agreement with Motorola and Scientific-Atlanta to provide set-top boxes for AT&T U-verse TV. These set tops will connect to the residential gateway to deliver the IP video to TVs.

  • In June 2006, AT&T began offering its "AT&T U-verse" services in San Antonio -- its first IPTV market. AT&T expects to offer its U-verse services in 15 to 20 markets (metropolitan statistical areas) within its traditional 13-state wireline area by the end of 2006.

Tut Systems Raises $10.8 Million in New Funding

Tut Systems, which supplies content processing and distribution products for digital video, announced the pending sale of $7.0 million of 8% convertible notes to private investors. The company also issued to the investors common stock purchase warrants to purchase 2,815,768 shares of common stock. If exercised in full for cash, the warrants would provide an additional $3.8 million in proceeds to the company.


Kasenna Names VP of Engineering

Kasenna, a developer of VOD and MPEG-4 ready IPTV systems, has hired Sanjay Mehta as its vice president of engineering. In his new role, Mehta will be responsible for managing all of Kasenna's engineering and QA activities and resources in the Sunnyvale, California headquarters and the company's R&D center in Bangalore, India.

Mehta previously served as senior director of global systems development at Quantum Corporation and prior to that was senior vice president of engineering and operations at Five9, a hosted call center technology and services company. In addition, Sanjay held the position of senior vice president of engineering at DirecTV Broadbandhttp://www.kasenna.com

Deutsche Telekom's WiFi Net Grows to 17,000 owned HotSpots

T-Com and T-Mobile now have roughly 17,000 owned HotSpots - the largest international public WiFi network in the world, according to Deutsche Telekom -- with even access points available through its roaming partners. The carrier said the combined HotSpot offering of T-Mobile and T-Com is a unique bargaining chip that strengthens its T-brand.

Deutsche Telekom's international arm for wholesale, International Carrier Sales & Solutions (ICSS), provides other WiFi providers across the world, such as France's Bouygues Telecom, with an roaming connectivity.