Sunday, September 24, 2006

Telecom Italia and Sony Pictures Reach VOD Deal

Telecom Italia and Sony Pictures Television International struck a deal to offer on-demand major blockbuster movies on "Alice Home TV", Telecom Italia's TV via Internet service, and on Rosso Alice, Telecom's Italia ADSL portal.

"This agreement marks an important milestone for SPTI as we increase and diversify our distribution platforms in Europe" commented Stuart Baxter, Senior Vice President of European Distribution for SPTI. "The Italian TV landscape is changing dramatically with the emergence of IPTV and the growth of pay TV and we are delighted to be working with one of the key drivers in this market."

Bay Microsystems Selects IDT's Network Search Accelerator

Bay Microsystems has selected IDT's (Integrated Device Technology) application-optimized network search accelerator as the packet header processing solution of choice for its recently announced Chesapeake Network Processor. The IDT network search accelerator enables high-performance, low-power packet processing for Bay Microsystems' fully- programmable 40G line-rate network processor and traffic manager.

IDT's acceleration chip, which is the first "fourth generation" network search solution commercially available, enables enterprise, and carrier switch and router developers to create highly differentiated systems by accelerating and offloading critical search functions. In turn, this provides more headroom for value-added services, such as variable QoS for video, voice, data and security, access control lists, secure data transactions, and billing applications.

The IDT device performs at the rate of one billion searches per second - an order of magnitude greater performance than previous generation solutions - facilitating Bay's support of enhanced triple play services and future 100G Ethernet networks.

The companies have been engaged since the initial specification phases of their respective devices in order to ensure maximum performance and seamless interoperability of the combined solution. The new IDT network search accelerator works synergistically to offload classification and forwarding lookups, helping Chesapeake realize its 40 Gbps performance.

  • In May 2006, Bay Microsystems introduced the first 40 Gbps programmable network processor based on its "MTM" (Multimedia Traffic Management) technology. The new "Chesapeake" network processor is targeted at a new generation of broadband infrastructure equipment ranging from high density over-subscribed 1GE/10GE Metro Ethernet boxes to high reliability systems up to 40G and above.

    The device features 125 Gbps of raw processing power and is capable of 122 million packet-per-second sustained performance.

    Bay Microsystems said metro Ethernet solutions designed with Chesapeake are being implemented at price points as low as $40 per GE port and less than $400 per 10GE port. Bay is supporting design starts and accepting sample orders now. Bay also provides a complete hardware and software tool suite facilitating Chesapeake- based network equipment designs.

Austria's Energie AG Deploys Atrica's Carrier Ethernet

Energie AG Oberoesterreich, the incumbent utility provider in upper Austria, has deployed Atrica's Carrier Ethernet System for its next-generation Layer 2 transport network. Energie AG, which supplies energy, water and disposal to customers throughout Austria, southern Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, will use the new network to provide customized, high-speed business communications, wholesale, backhaul, aggregation and triple play services throughout its service region.

Atrica worked with DATENTECHNIK, a supplier of professional technical services in Austria, to complete this agreement. DATENTECHNIK, who is a VAR for Atrica, assisted in the deployment of the network and will supply ongoing service and support to Energie AG. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deployment includes Atrica's full carrier-class Carrier Ethernet product suite, including the A-4100 Carrier Ethernet Aggregation Switch, the A-2100 Carrier Ethernet Edge Switch, and the A-100 Carrier Ethernet Demarcation device as well as the Atrica Service Platform for Ethernet Networks (ASPEN), an integrated service provisioning and management system.

  • In July, Atrica announced that Sanef Telecoms, a business unit of the Sanef Group which operates motorways across France, has deployed its 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 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.

Corrigent Delivers Compact Packet Transport Switch

Corrigent Systems expanded its portfolio of packet transport solutions with a compact fully-redundant and modular Packet Transport Switch (PTS) that measures six rack-units in height.
The new CM-104 PTS includes four horizontal user slots for all the generally-available CM-100 User Interface Modules, including Ethernet, PDH, SONET/SDH, and storage interfaces. It supports 10 Gbps or 2.5 Gbps network-side interfaces, and as the rest of the CM-100 product line, it is based on MPLS, RPR and SONET/SDH to provide a carrier-class packet transport solution.

Also introduced is the CM-21 Packet Transport Switch, which provides an Ethernet access solution for residential and business customers. The CM-21 may be subtended from Corrigent's CM-100 Ethernet user interface modules in ring, linear and tree configurations. It provides twenty-four Gbps of non-blocking switching capacity, making it ideal for bandwidth-intensive, and interactive applications such as IPTV, VoIP and VoD. It supports a full suite of Ethernet E-LINE and E-LAN services as defined by the MEF. The CM-21 product line comes in four different configurations, all in a single rack unit, supporting optical or electrical fast-Ethernet and gigabit-Ethernet interfaces, including redundant AC and DC power options.

Systems -- An Interview with Ehud Rokach, CEO

A pioneer in
the development of packet transport technology, Corrigent is now seeing
increasing demand globally. CEO Ehud Rokach discusses this market,
successes and customer deployments, features and functions, support and
sales, applications and future directions.

Level 3 to Provide Backbone for Germany's EWE TEL

EWE TEL GmbH, one of the largest regional carriers in Germany, has selected Level 3 Communications' to provide network services across Western Europe. Specifically, Level 3 will provide 10GigE LAN PHY wavelength service, a standard enhancement to the Level 3 intercity wavelength service, connecting EWE TEL's main Internet exchange points in Europe. Financial terms were not disclosed.

EWE TEL has approximately 300,000 customers, more than 30,000 business customers, and offers services including mobile, private line, dark fiber and other network solutions.

Agere Announces Low-Cost Cell Phone Solution with CD-Quality Music

Agere Systems introduced a silicon solution for delivering much more affordable entry-level cell phones that feature compact disc-quality music.

The TrueNTRY X125 platform, which consists of semiconductor system chips, software and a product development kit, provides processing power three times greater than most typical cell phones in use today. In addition, Agere's audio software and hardware electronics circuitry and processing technologies play integral roles in delivering sound quality comparable with industry-leading music players. The solution provides a dedicated applications processor separate from the communications engine, enabling users to receive phone calls or surfing the web while playing music.

The solution is aimed at entry-level mobile phones with bill-of-materials cost as low as $30. At such low cost points, the cell phone market has the potential to accelerate its growth rate substantially, particularly in developing nations such as India and China.

Other key features include:

  • integrated speaker amplifier

  • integrated CD quality stereo

  • integrated polyphonic sound synthesizer

  • integrated Universal Serial Bus 2.0 On-the-Go controller with charging

  • integrated power management circuits to support all phone peripherals

  • integrated battery charging circuits with over voltage protection

"CD-quality music is rapidly becoming a 'must have' application for voice- centric and basic cell phones," said Denis Regimbal, executive vice president of Agere's Mobility Division. "The challenge has been figuring out how to achieve high-quality music and other higher-end, multimedia features on cell phones while making them much more affordable."

To date, Agere has shipped chips for more than 135 million cellular phones.

Seagate Ships 750GB Hard Drives for DVRs, STBs

Seagate began shipping its highest storage capacity DB35 Series hard drives to DVR and digital entertainment device manufacturers for the next generation of DVRs.

The drives feature Seagate's "DynaPlay" technology, which optimizes the drive's operating parameters. Performance optimization tunes the drive for sequential streaming needed for uninterrupted digital media; drive security tools enhance fair use of digital programming by helping manufacturers implement appropriate digital rights management technologies; power optimization allows the manufacturer more leeway in selecting cost-efficient power supplies. Seagate said these features also help to keep DVR internal temperatures under control for enhanced system reliability.

Microsoft Renews Xbox Live Hosting Contract with Limelight

Microsoft has renewed an agreement under which the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment service utilizes Limelight Networks' high-performance content delivery network. Limelight currently provide more than 1,000 heavily trafficked rich-media content library items -- spanning on-demand games and other multimedia content -- to the full network of Xbox Live subscribers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

:The fast-growing library of extremely popular games for Xbox Live -- led by the likes of Halo 2, Gears of War as well as premium sports titles -- has been key to its leadership among online game platforms," said Erik Gabler, senior vice president business development for Limelight Networks.


Huawei Completes TR-069 Testing with SupportSoft

Huawei Technologies' customer premises equipment (CPE) devices have successfully passed interoperability testing with the DSL Forum CPE WAN Management protocol. SupportSoft lab testing has validated Huawei's CPE devices and SupportSoft ServiceGateway software interoperate in accordance with the DSL Forum's specification.

Known as TR-069, this specification ensures that Huawei CPE devices can be easily configured, activated and managed from a console in the network, helping service providers to effectively control the costs of deployment and support of a CPE device, as well as tightly manage delivery of multiple services.

NETGEAR Debuts "Digital Entertainer" Media Adapter

NETGEAR introduced the first Intel "Viiv" technology-verified digital media adapter (DMA), enabling consumers to stream digital media content, applications and services from PCs, network storage devices, USB devices, and the Internet via a home network to TVs and home entertainment systems.

The NETGEAR Digital Entertainer (EVA700)decodes a variety of audio formats (MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC), video formats (MPEG1/2/4, WMV, XviD) and image formats (JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF, GIF).

It integrates a 10/100Base-T Ethernet controller, support for 802.11g wireless networking, and a USB 2.0 port for additional connectivity with flash memory, digital cameras, iPod, or other portable music and video players.

The Digital Entertainer also includes RCA connectors for composite and component video outputs with HD video support, stereo RCA audio ports, an S-video port, and a SCART connector for regions that require it.

The Digital Entertainer complies with multiple interoperability standards, including UPnP AV, Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA), and emerging digital rights management technologies such as DTCP-IP and Microsoft Windows Media DRM 10 for Network Devices. It supports several security standards including WEP, WPA-PSK and WPA2-PSK.

The NETGEAR Digital Entertainer (EVA700) has an MSRP of $269.

Firetide and Axis Partner on Wireless Mesh Video Surveillance

Firetide and Axis Communications announced a strategic partnership to deliver high quality video over wireless mesh networks. Firetide's mesh technology allows security and network professionals to install and operate Axis network cameras, video servers, and video management software, without the expense and physical limitations of wires or cabling. Firetide's mesh technology works indoors and outdoors.

The two companies also announced a joint public safety deployment in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Initially installed in a small, high-crime area downtown, the solution consists of Firetide HotPort outdoor and indoor wireless mesh nodes and AXIS 214 PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) and AXIS 211 fixed cameras. The cameras, connected directly to the HotPort nodes, offer remote viewing and enable 10 days of recorded digital video. Designed for rapid deployment, the entire system was up and running in about an hour. One police cruiser has a mesh node, and plans call for the installation of additional nodes into other cruisers as well.


Formula Telecom Solutions Rebrands as FTS

Formula Telecoms Solutions, a provider of Business Control, billing & CRM for communication and content providers, has changed its name to FTS. The company is based in Herzliya, Israel and its shares are listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange.

Motorola Acquires Vertasent for VOD

Motorola has acquired Vertasent, a privately-held developer of VOD resource management solutions, for an undisclosed sums.

Vertasent, which is based in Colmar, Pa., offers an application that manage the elements in a "switched" digital video network. Vertasent's Integrated Resource Management solution is based on industry- standard interfaces and protocols.

Motorola said that together with its existing on-demand hardware solutions, the Vertasent system can offer service providers three key benefits: (1) an open platform for expanding their program offering to potentially include millions of live and on-demand titles; (2) the additional flexibility to more efficiently migrate to an all-digital network architecture; and (3) the ability to stream video programming to any device.

Vertasent's management team and employees are expected to remain based in Colmar, Pa. and be integrated into the Motorola Connected Home Solutions business.
  • Vertasent is headed by Fred Allegrezza, who also previously founded Vivid Technology, another VOD company that later merged with Concurrent Computer Corp.

Bell Labs Advances 100 Gbps Ethernet-Over-Optical

Bell Labs, the R&D division of Lucent Technologies, announced the first transmission of 10 channels of 107 Gbps) data over 2,000 kilometers of fiber -- a significant enough distance to prove the technology's viability for the majority of networks where 100G Ethernet is a sought-after technology.

The results are being presented in a paper being delivered to the European Conference and Exhibition on Optical Communication (ECOC) in Cannes this week.

In this same paper Bell Labs researchers also announced the successful transmission and reception of electronically multiplexed and demultiplexed 107 Gbps traffic using hardware similar to that used in today's 40 Gbps networks. By employing differential quadrature phase shift keying (DQPSK) at 107 Gbps, the high-speed electronics and opto-electronics used were required to have a mere 25% speed-up compared to those used in today's 40 Gbps systems.

A prototype of the fully integrated Lithium Niobate DQPSK modulator was provided by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT, Japan) and Sumitomo Osaka Cement, Inc.

Bell Labs said the use of technology similar to commercially available products is a significant step towards realizing the viability of manufacturing and installing 100 Gbps based networks at a reasonable cost per transmitted information bit.

"Our breakthroughs in both transmission distance and the use of commercially-viable components prove that 100 Gb/s serial is a viable technology for transmitting data traffic in its native Ethernet format," said Martin Zirngibl, director, Bell Labs.


FCC Establishes Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau

The FCC voted to establish a new Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, consolidating all its public safety, national security, and disaster management policy making, planning, and outreach activities into a single department. This Bureau will provide a single central hub for the development of policies and rules to promote reliable communications for public safety, national security, and disaster management.

One of the Commission's strategic goals is to ensure that public safety, health, defense, and emergency personnel, as well as all consumers in need, have reliable communications during emergencies and crises.

Orange Launches its "Unique" Fixed Mobile Convergence

Orange announced its "Unique" or "Unik" fixed mobile convergence service featuring a single handset and offering unlimited calls to landlines and Orange mobiles from the home. Benefits include one phone number, one address book, one answer phone and one bill from Orange. At home, the mobile handset connects in WiFi mode to the Orange Livebox and calls are routed via the Internet. Outside the home, the phone works over the Orange GSM network.

The "Unique" service will be available to Orange customers in the UK, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Poland. Each market will tailor the service for local conditions.

Other key features of the Orange service include:

  • Call initiated at home remain covered by the unlimited offer rather than count as part of the mobile service minutes.

  • Each home can have up to six Unique phones, with three people able to make calls or surf the net at the same time.

  • For UK customers, initially, there are three handsets to choose from - the Motorola A910, Nokia 6136 and the Samsung P200 - with more due to launch in 2007.

  • Pricing will start from £50 a month including broadband package and free phone

  • In France, "unik" requires an Orange broadband subscription and will initially be a limited edition, reserved for the first 100,000 customers and will be available with a mobile plan in 2 options:

    Unlimited calls 24/7 from the mobile connected to the Livebox to fixed lines in France: EUR10/month

    Unlimited calls 24/7 from the mobile connected to the Livebox to Orange mobiles and fixed lines in France: EUR 22/month

Didier Lombard, President and Director General of the France Télécom group, said: "The commercial launch of Unique phone announces the advent of a new generation of telephones. Today, people use the phone in a different way. With broadband, the use of Internet, mobiles, Voice over IP, and high definition technologies for sound and vision, our communication habits are changing very rapidly. Unique phone re-invents the telephone, by unifying fixed and mobile worlds."

  • In July 2006, Samsung launched its Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) phone (model: SGH-P200) for the Italian market. The handset allows free switching between cellular networks such as GSM, GPRS, EDGE and wireless LAN networks (WiFi).