Wednesday, September 27, 2006

REBTEL Raises $20 Million For Cut-Rate, International Mobile Calling

Rebtel Networks, a start-up based in Stockholm, raised $20 million in Series A funding for its plans to offer unlimited international calling from mobile phones for just $1 per week.

Rebtel allows registered users to create local phone numbers for themselves and their friends abroad. For example, a person in San Francisco gets a San Francisco phone number to call their friend in London, and the friend in London gets a London phone number to call the person in San Francisco. By connecting the local calls over the Internet, Rebtel lets consumers bypass the excessive international fees charged by mobile carriers.

The new funding was provided by Index Ventures and Benchmark Capital. The funds will be used to expand business development and marketing efforts, and accelerate expansion into more countries around the world.
  • Rebtel was founded in January 2006 by Hjalmar Winbladh and Jonas Lindroth.

Ixia Launches Software Only Version of IxVoice for Testing IMS and VoIP

Ixia launched a low-cost software-only solution for testing IMS and VoIP protocol implementations. IxVoice Lite contains the same features as IxVoice for testing up to 24 channels. The software enables developers, QA test engineers and field engineers of service providers to perform sophisticated IMS and VoIP functionality testing. It addresses all major VoIP protocols: SIP, SCCP (Skinny), H.323, MGCP and H.248/MEGACO. Specifically, its SIP library can be used to test critical CSCF functionality for IMS implementations.

IxVoice Lite can be downloaded onto workstations and provides the same "look and feel" and operation as the traditional version. Instead of sharing a workstation, individual users can now have their own version of IxVoice running on their workstations saving time and valuable resources.

The software also enables existing IxVoice users to quickly generate test scenarios off-line on an economical basis. Users create, test and debug test scenarios on their workstations and then transfer the test scenarios to a workstation running regression tests. Having a workstation dedicated for regression testing ensures that its results are not compromised by changes introduced by other users.

TranSwitch Trims Q3 Expectations

Citing a change in the production plans by a major customer,
TranSwitch Corporation announced that it now expects revenues for the third quarter of 2006 to be approximately $9.3 million compared to revenues in the second quarter of 2006 of $10.3 million. Of the approximately $9.3 million of revenues, approximately $8.0 million will be net product revenues and $1.3 million will be from services revenues. The Company's previous outlook for third quarter revenues announced on the July 26th, 2006 conference call was for revenues of approximately $10.3 million.

"While we are disappointed by the production delay of a major customer, we have confidence in the long term potential of TranSwitch based on our strong customer relationships with major telecommunication manufacturers, our innovative product portfolio and our stable financial foundation," said Dr. Santanu Das, Chief Executive Officer of TranSwitch Corporation.

Interactive Enterprise and Wave7 Partner on FTTP Automated Management and Provisioning

Interactive Enterprise Limited (IE) has partnered with Wave7 Optics to deliver an automated, end-to-end management and provisioning system for operators of FTTH/FTTP networks.

Under the partnership, the companies will provide FTTP service providers with an integrated solution where IE's automated provisioning and management system will interoperate with Wave7 Optics' Last Mile Link TM (LML) FTTP platform.


Fujitsu Network Communications Names Sr. VP of Development

Fujitsu Network Communications announced that Joe Massery, former vice president of hardware and physical design, has been promoted to senior vice president of development. Joe is replacing Mr. Takashi Wakabayashi, who will return to Japan in October to serve as group senior vice president of the Photonics group at Fujitsu Limited. Joe will be located at the company's headquarters in Richardson, Texas.

Cisco Showcases Victim Tracking and Tracing System for Disasters

Cisco Systems and partners showcased a new solution designed to simplify the registration and identification of casualties affected in a disaster.

The system, which is called BeViTTS (Belgian Victim Tracking and Tracing System), allows for the rapid exchange and automatic processing of data collected by emergency workers at the scene of a disaster. The critical information is collected in real time using Cisco's mobile and wireless network technology, and stored and made available to the emergency workers via a web-based portal.

The crisis management team can consult the personal information contained in the database remotely from a crisis center. Hospitals and other crisis support centers also could have access to the medical information stored in the database, thus allowing them to prepare for the arrival and subsequent treatment of the disaster victims.

The core of the Belgian Victim Tracking and Tracing System is the Cisco 3200 Series Wireless and Mobile Router, also called the Mobile Access Router (MAR).

The device, which can be deployed on vehicles, can support multiple network connections, both fixed and wireless, and can automatically switch from one to the other. If there are several available connections, the intelligent router automatically chooses the connection that guarantees most bandwidth.

The solution was co-developed with AeroScout, CITS, Intermec, and Orion Health. AeroScout provides the active WiFi standards-based active RFID tags, and Choke Point Exciters for detecting entry and exit from hospitals, CITS the back end and portal infrastructure, Orion Health is the vendor of the Portal and integration software CITS used, as a platform, to develop the BeViTTS Portal and Intermec the system's wireless RFID reader.

Intel Announces New Ultra-Wideband Silicon and Reference Designs

Intel announced the availability of Wireless UWB Link 1480 MAC (media access controller) silicon and reference designs for ultra-wideband host solutions.

The Intel UWB host solutions could enable PCs, printers and digital TVs with existing hi-speed USB ports to be upgraded to support wireless personal connectivity through USB dongles and ExpressCards.

The silicon and host design are based on the Certified Wireless Universal Serial Bus (USB) specification from the USB Implementers Forum and the WiMedia Network specification from the WiMedia Alliance.

Intel's UWB host MAC silicon has been integrated with multiple third-party UWB physical layers, offering a choice of radio solutions in its host reference designs. The Intel host solution enables concurrent operation of Certified Wireless USB and WiNet and has been demonstrated to interoperate with multiple device peripherals such as cameras and printers.

Intel said the release will allow independent hardware vendors, PC manufacturers and device OEMs to deliver high-bandwidth, low-power wireless solutions that provide personal area network connectivity in the digital home and office.

"UWB will allow end-users faster wireless access than ever before to their digital content -- photos, music, videos," said Rich Wykoff, general manager of Intel's New Business Initiatives Group. "We look forward to exploring a new world of unwired possibilities uncovered by UWB."
  • Wireless USB enables access up to 480 Mbps within 9.9 feet (3 meters) or 110 Mbps within 33 feet (10 meters).

SS8 Networks Names New Engineering Vice President

SS8 Networks appointed Dr. Bülent Erbilgin as vice president of engineering, where he will direct development of the company's lawful
intercept portfolio, multimedia messaging platforms and signaling products for IMS and AIN applications. Prior to joining SS8, Erbilgin was vice president of platform engineering at Brocade, where his team developed multi-protocol switching platforms.

US House Judiciary Chairman Seeks DOJ Delay in Approving AT&T+BellSouth

The chairman of the U.S. House Judiciary committee has requested that the Department of Justice (DOJ) delay any final decision in the proposed merger between AT&T and BellSouth. At issue is a pending ruling in federal court as to whether two previous mergers (SBC Communications + AT&T and Verizon + MCI) were in fact in the public interest, as the DOJ ruling at the time had predicted they would be.

Britain's ntl Offers Quad-Play for £40

Following its recent acquisition of Virgin Mobile, ntl Telewest announced a "Quad Play" consumer offer for £40 per month.

The "4 for £40" package includes:

  • Broadband
    • Up to 2Mb with no limits on downloads

    • Firewall and anti-virus software included

    • Installed by an expert and modem included

  • • Over 30 channels, including Sky One, UKTV Gold, E4, Film4, ITV2 and LIVINGtv

    • On demand access to a huge library of programmes and films -- watch what you want, when you want

    • Set-top box included and no need for a dish

  • • Unlimited weekend calls to any UK landline

    • Highly competitive mobile rates and simple tariffs at other times

    • Standard features including 1471 and 1571 voicemail

  • • A Virgin Mobile SIM

    • 300 texts and 300 minutes a month, plus free voicemail

    • Access to Virgin Mobile Bites entertainment service

T-Com Tests 40 Gbps with Ericsson's DWDM

Deutsche Telekom's fixed network unit, T-Com, and Ericsson completed a trial for next-generation 43Gbps optical transmission technology over a 1000km link in T-Com's DWDM network in Germany. The use of 40Gbps optical transmission facilitates 40 Gbps connections between IP core routers.

The trial was conducted over T-Com's optic link between the German cities of Nuremberg and Oschatz (1047km), which is equipped with Ericsson's WDM platform.

Ericsson's next-generation 43Gbps optical transmission technology is based on the new modulation format return-to-zero differential quadrature phase shift keying (RZ-DQPSK). This modulation format exhibits high robustness against PMD (Polarization Mode Dispersion).

TelstraClear Selects Ericsson for 3G/HSPA in NZ

TelstraClear selected Ericsson to build its 3G/WCDMA/HSPA high-speed mobile broadband network in Tauranga, New Zealand. Under the deal, Ericsson will have turnkey responsibility for building the network, providing network design, deployment and integration services, including packet core, radio network and service layer.

The network will use 3G/WCDMA and HSPA technology.

On average, users will be able to download up to four-times faster than with current 3G connections, and 20-times faster than a GSM/GPRS connection.

The network will be launched in mid-2007 in Tauranga. Financial terms were not disclosed.
  • In December 2004, Ericsson was selected by Telstra in Australia as its exclusive 3G/WCDMA partner for the next five years.

Sonus' Platforms Carry 37% of LD VoIP Traffic

A total of 37% of all long distance IP-based voice traffic is carried over Sonus Networks' platforms, according to a report entitled, "VoIP Minutes and Subscribers: 2Q06 Update," issued by iLocus.

In August 2006, Sonus carried approximately 25 billion minutes of IP voice traffic, representing an approximately 75% increase compared to August 2005.

Verizon Business Expands European Ethernet Access to Private IP Service

Verizon Business has expanded its Private IP network service for enterprises to six additional countries: Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Poland and Spain. Customers can now use Verizon Business' next-generation Ethernet services to access the company's Private IP network in a flexible way.

The announcement extends Verizon Business Ethernet Access to a total of 16 European countries. Customers in Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom have been able to benefit from Ethernet services since January. Verizon Business also offers Ethernet Access to Private IP in the United States and in seven countries across Asia.

BBC and Microsoft Sign MoU

The British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) and Microsoft signed a nonexclusive memorandum of understanding covering technology for the delivery and consumption of content and the evolution of next-generation broadcasting. Areas of potential investigation and collaboration include search and navigation, distribution, and content enablement.