Thursday, December 27, 2007

FLAG Telecom to invest $ 1.5 billion in New Undersea Cables

India's Reliance Communications unveiled plans to invest US$1.5 billion (nearly Rs. 7000 crore) to expand FLAG Telecom's global optic fiber network.

Termed - FLAG Next Generation Network (NGN), the project involves laying 50,000 additional kms of undersea optic fiber cable reaching 6O countries.

FLAG NGN will comprise of the following 4 systems:
  • FLAG NGN System 1: Asia -- India, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Brunei, Honk Kong

  • FLAG NGN System 2: Africa -- Kenya, Mozambique, Republic of South Africa, Tanzania, Madagascar, Mauritius

  • FLAG NGN System 3: Mediterranean -- Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Malta, Libya, Lebanon

  • FLAG NGN System 4: Trans-Pacific - US West Coast, Japan, China and Hong Kong

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Chile's Entel PCS Selects Ericsson

Entel PCS awarded a three-year contract to Ericsson to provide GSM/WCDMA/HSPA radio access and common core network equipment to expand and upgrade its existing mobile network across Chile. Ericsson will also provide professional services, including network design, deployment and systems integration. Deliveries will begin in the first quarter of 2008.

Ericsson Acquires Spanish IPTV Consultancy

Ericsson (has acquired HyC Group, a leading Spanish company in TV consultancy and systems integration with around 110 employees. The HyC employees will be part of the Ericsson's growing global services organization. The deal follows Ericsson's acquisition of Tandberg Television at the beginning of the year.

Israel's Partner Communications Selects Ericsson

Partner Communications, an Israeli mobile communications operator, has selected Ericsson for the replacement of third party 3G equipment existing in its network and the expansion thereof, and for the support and maintenance of the Ericsson elements in Partner's network. As a result, Ericsson shall become the sole vendor of Partner's 3G network.

Reliance Completes Acquisition of Yipes

India's Reliance Communications Ltd. received FCC approval

for its acquisition of U.S.-based Yipes Holdings, and subsequently closed the deal. The U.S. $300 million acquisition of Yipes was first announced in July 2007. The transaction, closed on December 19, 2007, is a key milestone in Reliance Communications' plan to become a global data communications leader.

Yipes, which is based in San Francisco, has a strategic network presence in the top 14 U.S. metros. The company claims nearly 1,000 enterprise customers.

Reliance said the combination of Yipes' enterprise Ethernet services with the private undersea cable system of FLAG Telecom (another Reliance subsidiary) will enable the creation of a global service-delivery platform with unmatched coverage and capability.

Vivendi Supports Merger of SFR and Neuf

Vivendi confirmed the planned merger between its subsidiary SFR and the Louis Dreyfus group relating to the potential sale of the latter's stake in Neuf Cegetel.

SFR is the second-largest mobile phone operator in France. Neuf Cegetel is the second largest broadband operator in France.

Commenting on the transaction, Jean-Bernard Lévy, Chairman of Vivendi's Management Board, stated: "This investment is a very attractive opportunity for Vivendi to strengthen its position and development in one of its main business sectors. The planned agreement would make it possible to merge two companies with increasingly complementary and healthy businesses and would create value for Vivendi shareholders."

SFR would finance this transaction through debt, notably with Vivendi granting a loan under market terms. To repay this loan, SFR has agreed to considerably reduce dividend payments that it would receive in the three next financial years.

Occam Wins Upgrade Project in Guam

GTA TeleGuam, Guam's largest telecommunications services provider, has selected Occam Networks to serve as the lead access equipment provider for a major upgrade of the telco's network. The first project includes upgrading 10,000 of GTA TeleGuam's 70,000 access lines. The company is pulling fiber directly to the home in some areas, to the curb in other areas, with other areas remaining with copper for the time being. GTA TeleGuam offers local, long distance and cellular phone service, as well as broadband services.

GTA TeleGuam has purchased Occam's Broadband Loop Carrier (BLC) 6252 ADSL2Plus and POTS Blade, the BLC 6640 Subscriber Trunk Gateway for GR303 signaling; the BLC 6312 Optical Line Termination Blade and the BLC 6450 Access Aggregation Blade for 10Gigabit Ethernet rings. Financial terms were not disclosed.

NetCee Releases its Ultra Packet Processor

NetCee Systems, a start-up based in Fremont, California, announced the availability of its Ultra Packet Processor, a deep packet inspection (DPI) engine with broad applicability in protocol analysis and pattern recognition.

NetCee said its Ultra Packet Processor can identify and process over one Trillion types of protocol at more than 50+ Gbps. The trillion number is derived by combining all the possible combinations of Protocols that can be identified from Layer 2 (Data Link Layer) to Layer 7 (Application Layer).

AT&T Supplies VPN for NYK Logistics

AT&T announced a contract to supply VPN services to NYK Logistics. The contract extends local and long distance voice services and a range of other communications services to 70 NYK locations worldwide. The new contract includes AT&T's Managed Internet Service (MIS) and specially designed Class of Service (CoS) capabilities. AT&T said its VPN solution will help NYK centrally manage global network applications. The solution also enables NYK to enhance security, to conduct network maintenance more efficiently and to establish network reporting capabilities to make worldwide transport shipments and tracking more reliable.

DSL Forum Advances BroadbandSuite Release 3.0

The DSL Forum today announced the approval of its latest Technical Report, TR-135 Data Model for a TR-069 Enabled STB and the amendment of TR-069 -- which is set to expedite IPTV rollouts and change the way operators manage their IPTV offering.

Closely following the release of BroadbandSuite Release 2.0, these new specifications are cornerstone to the pending Release 3.0, which will raise the bar to address triple-play augmented via VDSL2, GPON and bonded DSL over a QoS-enabled Ethernet architecture.

The DSL Forum said Release 3.0 will also provide support for multicast to enable IPTV streaming as well as integrated remote management of Set Top Box (STB) and attached storage devices. The full release is tentatively scheduled to complete late 2008.

TR-135 defines the data model for remote management of Digital Television (IPTV or broadcast) functionality on STB devices via CPE WAN Management Protocol (CWMP) as defined in TR-069 Amendment 2 and TR-106. This report provides the data model for describing STB capabilities such as PVR, IGMP, quality of service, as well as providing a means to enable video service performance monitoring. General use cases are also described in the report, including standard data model profiles that would typically be seen while remotely managing a device of this nature.

In TR-135, the Auto-Configuration Server (ACS) may perform some initial configuration of a newly installed STB, but its main functions are configuration of STB parameters for trouble management and collection of statistics for Quality of Service (QoS)/Quality of Experience (QoE) monitoring.

The goals of TR-135 are as follows:

  • Enable configuration by the ACS of those objects and parameters that are not the responsibility of the IPTV Service Platform.

  • Enable operational status monitoring and checking of specific parameters of an STB from an ACS.

  • Enable performance monitoring of an arbitrary set of STBs, from one to millions, through estimates of QoS and QoE

  • Support various types of STB, including DTT and IP STBs, with or without PVR and other optional functionality.

  • Accommodate STB devices that are embedded as part of an Internet Gateway Device (IGD).

  • Accommodate STB devices that are standalone, i.e. implemented in separate hardware devices.

The update to TR-069, TR-069 Amendment 2, which arose from collaboration and input from the Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) organization. The DVB Project required support for Multicast download protocols. Working closely together, TR-069 Amendment 2 was developed and now contains changes that add support for Multicast downloads, including some additional fault codes, and for autonomous file transfers, transfers that were not directly requested by the ACS. These changes define CWMP v1.1, and therefore include some new rules for guaranteeing interoperability between CWMP v1.0, v1.1 and future CWMP versions.

Giancarlo to Step Down from Cisco, Joins Silver Lake Partners

Cisco's Chief Development Officer, Charles Giancarlo, 50,

has decided to step down in order to join Silver Lake Partners as a Managing Director. After joining Cisco through the acquisition of Kalpana in October 1994, Giancarlo started Cisco's business development organization, where he developed Cisco's M&A strategy. He initiated and then led Cisco's Small and Medium business activities including contributing to the development of Cisco's channel strategy. Giancarlo also initiated and led a large number of Cisco's advanced and emerging technologies including Unified Communications, home networking, wireless networking, security, video, and TelePresence among many others.

Silver Lake is a leading investment firm focused on large scale investments in technology, technology-enabled, and related growth industries. Its portfolio includes or has included Avago, Avaya, Flextronics, Gartner, IPC Systems, NASDAQ, NetScout, NXP, Sabre Holdings, Serena Software, SunGard Data Systems and Thomson.

"Charlie has been a close colleague and a good friend during the 14 years he has been at Cisco, and he has made many significant contributions to the company during that time," said John Chambers.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Nokia Siemens Networks Tests LTE at 173 Mbps

Nokia Siemens Networks, in partnership with the Heinrich Hertz Institut (HHI), reported mobile data rates up to 173 Mbps in a multi-user field trial of Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology in an urban environment using the 2.6 GHz spectrum band.

During the trial, an LTE base station was installed at the top of the Heinrich Hertz Institut building in the center of Berlin. Cars with LTE test terminals were driven up to 1km away from the base station to measure the LTE cell's coverage and throughput.

Nokia Siemens Networks said the test confirms that LTE performance requirements can be met using 3GPP standardized technologies and it realized data rates of more than 100 Mega bits per second over distances of several hundred meters, while maintaining excellent throughput at the edge of typical urban mobile radio cells.

It also proves that LTE makes optimum use of the OFDM (orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing) and adaptive multi antenna technologies, as well as the intelligent algorithms used to schedule user traffic to the radio resources in multi-user environments. This enables substantial optimization of network capacity and, in combination with a scalable flat network architecture, this will provide substantial benefits for operators offering mobile broadband connectivity.

"As the world continues to move closer to our vision of 5 billion people connected by 2015, mobile operators will need to use all of the available spectrum with minimum network complexity and maximum cost efficiency to handle a 100 fold increase in traffic," says Stephan Scholz, CTO of Nokia Siemens Networks. "This field trial is an important initial proof of concept for LTE."
  • In May 2007, a group of leading telecom technology manufacturers and network operators comprised of Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, France Telecom/Orange, Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks, Nortel, T-Mobile, and Vodafone, launched a joint initiative aimed at driving high performance mobile broadband networks based on 3GPP Release 8 "Long Term Evolution / System Architecture Evolution" (LTE/SAE) specifications.

    The LTE/SAE Trial Initiative targets mobile broadband peak data rates exceeding 100 Mbps. In line with 3GPP requirements, LTE/SAE aims to provide a mobile broadband service that outperforms both 3GPP Release 6 HSPA, as well as current fixed line DSL data rates while maintaining and extending the highly successful mobility and coverage benefits of 3GPP networks such as GSM.

BT's CEO Received Honorary Knighthood

BT chief executive Ben Verwaayen has been made an honorary knight

of the British Empire (KBE) by Queen Elizabeth. Verwaayen, a Dutch national, will receive his Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire from a cabinet minister early in the New Year.

CableLabs Awards DOCSIS 3.0 Qualifications

CableLabs awarded the firs qualification status certifications for DOCSIS 3.0 products.

Casa Systems received "silver" qualification while Arris and Cisco received "bronze" qualification for their cable modem termination systems (CMTS) headend gear. The headends were tested under a tiered program that was created as a way to encourage CMTS makers to submit gear for testing earlier than they otherwise might. CableLabs also offered suppliers numerous informal interoperability events where vendors work together in CableLabs' facilities to test and evaluate their implementations of the specifications.

DOCSIS 3.0 specifications enable downstream data rates of 160 Mbps or higher and upstream data rates of 120 Mbps or higher. To achieve these higher data rates DOCSIS 3.0 describes a methodology for channel bonding in both the upstream and downstream directions. A minimum of four channels, each with throughput of 40 Mbps, is specified.

"This technological achievement is a great step for our industry," said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corp., and Chairman of the CableLabs Board of Directors. "CableLabs rapid certification effort will enable companies to begin to develop products that will support the rapid deployment of DOCSIS 3.0 services in 2008."

CableLabs noted that its three-tiered program for CMTS qualification waived some of the more long-term DOCSIS 3.0 CMTS requirements. DOCSIS 3.0 modem testing was unchanged, with only one level of certification that is representative of compliance with the completed DOCSIS modem specification. DOCSIS 3.0 CMTS qualifications were Bronze, Silver and Full. Full DOCSIS 3.0 compliance ultimately will be the sole certification level for CMTS vendors since the two lower levels of qualification will be phased out as the full suite of criteria are made available by vendors.

VSNL Plans 1.28 Tbps TGN Eurasia Cable System

VSNL outlined its plans for the new TGN Eurasia Cable System linking Mumbai directly to Europe via Egypt.

The new cable system is being built in partnership with SEACOM and Telecom Egypt (TE), and will provide VSNL with 1.28 Tbps of new capacity on this route during 2009. It will also support future options for additional connectivity in the Gulf region as well as multiple locations in Europe.

"The plans to build the TGN Eurasia Cable System coupled with our recent announcement to build the TGN-Intra Asia Cable System is a major step towards VSNL's vision to offer seamless global connectivity at affordable prices," said Mr. Vinod Kumar, President, Global Data Solutions, VSNL.

Personeta Adds Voice Call Continuity

Personeta announced the general availability of a software module for voice call continuity (VCC) applications.

The new "My VCC" module, which is part of the company's "Converged Life" converged communication suite for consumers, allows users to make and receive calls on both cellular and Wi-Fi networks using a dual-mode handset and supports handoffs between networks for calls in progress, without any service interruption or degradation. Following the 3GPP standard for VCC, My VCC uses SIP to communicate with dual-mode handsets and has been certified with a number of third-party clients.

Personeta said its software has been tested by several operators, both in Europe and North America, using a variety of switching and signaling infrastructures. Because of its unique call-anchoring functionality, My VCC is particularly well-suited for service providers without cellular plants such as Mobile Virtual Network Operators and Internet Service Providers.

Qwest Wins $8.3 Million Contract at DoE Headquarters

Qwest Communications was awarded an $8.3 million contract from Energy Enterprise Solutions (EES) to upgrade the voice network at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). EES is the principal Information Technology support services provider for DOE headquarters facilities in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Under the project, Qwest will transition the DoE's existing voice switch to a Nortel Communications Server 2100. The contract also includes a Qwest QWave network solution to be deployed between the two DOE headquarter locations in the area. QWave is a fully managed, private, point-to-point service delivered over a 10 Gbps DWDM network. In addition to DOE headquarters, Qwest has installed and provisioned voice network modernizations at the department's major facilities in Oak Ridge, Tenn.; Los Alamos, N.M.; and Richland, Washington.

Global Crossing Deploys Ekinops Metro DWDM in US

Global Crossing has selected the Ekinops 360 optical transport platform to support its metro networks in the U.S. Specifically, Global Crossing is using the Ekinops 360 platform in metro DWDM optical networks in most major U.S. cities to transport high-capacity traffic at speeds of up to 10 Gbps. The platform connects metropolitan network nodes to long-haul networks and enables Global Crossing to provide Ethernet, SONET, and Wavelength services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

3Com Posts Lower Quarterly Revenue, Higher Margins

3Com reported financial results for its fiscal 2008 second quarter, which ended November 30, 2007. Revenue in the quarter was $317.8 million compared to revenue of $333.0 million in the corresponding period in fiscal 2007, a 4.6 percent decrease. Net loss in the quarter was $35.6 million, or $0.09 per share, compared with a net loss of $3.5 million, or $0.01 per share, in the second quarter of fiscal year 2007.

3com said this net loss increase was primarily a result of purchase accounting related to the acquisition of Huawei's 49 percent ownership of H3C. On a non-GAAP basis, net income was $13.0 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, compared with net income of $7.8 million, or $0.02 per share, for the second quarter of fiscal year 2007.

"We made progress in several areas of the business in the second quarter," said Edgar Masri, 3Com President and CEO. "While our overall revenue was lower than we anticipated, our gross margins were the highest they've been in recent history; we once again generated cash from operations; and we recorded our fifth consecutive quarter of non-GAAP operating profit. I also am very pleased with the progress of our Europe, Middle East and Africa region, which continued its rebound with strong top- and bottom-line improvements."

Ericsson Names Business Unit Global Services

Ericsson has appointed Jan Frykhammar as head of its Business Unit Global Services, effective as of January 1, 2008. Jan Frykhammar is presently Vice President, Head of Sales and Business Control within Global Services. In his new position, he will be a member of the Group Management Team.

PAETEC and Alcatel-Lucent Team on VoIP Resiliency

PAETEC and Alcatel-Lucent announced the first deployment of a new Geographic Redundancy solution that increases the reliability of PAETEC's VoIP network.

PAETEC said this deployment in its network, which already operated at "Five 9s" reliability, further minimizes the down time that may be caused by a catastrophic incident, such as a hurricane's direct hit on a central office. In such a situation, restoration could take minutes or hours in the most extreme of circumstances.

Geographic redundancy means that call-control components of the central office are deployed in two geographically disparate locations. One is "live", and the other is on "stand- by."

PAETEC's network has already been architected in a way that allows existing calls to remain connected without disruption in a scenario where the call-control component of the network becomes unavailable. In such a scenario, standing call traffic would continue to be routed over PAETEC's MPLS-enabled, IP network. With the implementation of geographic redundancy, the network can recognize an interruption and engage the back-up network controller or signaling gateway to also allow for the initiation and reception of new voice calls almost immediately.

PAETEC has deployed the Alcatel-Lucent back-up in Illinois and New York. The platform consists of the Alcatel-Lucent Network Controller, Signaling Gateway (SG) and Network Gateway (NG). This solution allows PAETEC to activate the back-up signaling gateway or network controller without dropping existing calls. The transitions to a geographically redundant component can either be automated or performed manually by an administrator when necessary.

GainSpan Secures $20 Million for Wi-Fi Sensor Networks

GainSpan, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, raised $20 million in series B funding for its Wi-Fi sensor network technology.

Incubated in Intel's New Business Initiatives (NBI) Group in 2004, GainSpan Corporation was founded in September 2006.

The company said its Wi-Fi semiconductor and software solutions provide years of battery life for sensors and other connected devices. GainSpan claims its approach enables Wi-Fi devices to run up to 10 years on a single AA battery.

The funding round is being led by Opus Capital with participation from returning investors including Intel Capital, New Venture Partners, OVP Venture Partners and Sigma Partners. Opus General Partner Carl Showalter will join the GainSpan board of directors.

India's BSNL Launches Multiplay over ADSL 2+ with UTStarcom

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) has launched its multiplay broadband

Internet services in India using an ADSL 2+ network supplied by UTStarcom. In March, UTStarcom was awarded a contract from BSNL for the deployment of 1.3 million lines of UTStarcom's iAN-8000 multiservice access node (MSAN) solution in approximately 900 cities throughout India.

UTStarcom said it has served as the turnkey provider for this deployment, with full responsibility for the network design and planning, deployment, and service roll out and maintenance of the network. UTStarcom has also deployed its NetRing 10000 optical transport solution in support of this service for the aggregation of DSL traffic in BSNL's network.

EMCORE to acquire Intel's Optical Division for $85 Million

EMCORE agreed to acquire the telecom--related portion of Intel's Optical Platform Division for $85 million.

The telecom assets to be acquired include intellectual property, assets and technology relating to tunable lasers, tunable transponders, 300--pin transponders and integrable tunable laser assemblies. The companies expect the deal to close in Q1 2008.

EMCORE offers compound semiconductor-based components and subsystems for the broadband, fiber optic, satellite and terrestrial solar power markets. Its Fiber Optics segment offers optical components, subsystems and systems that enable the transmission of video, voice and data over fiber for telecommunications, cable television (CATV) and FTTP networks. EMCORE's Photovoltaics segment provides solar products for satellite and terrestrial applications.

Intel said the sale will help focus its investments on core communications and embedded market segments in line with its platform strategies. In addition to this announced transaction, Intel is currently exploring strategic alternatives regarding the enterprise-focused portion of its Optical Platform Division.

"The optical telecom components business continues to be an attractive market opportunity, but we believe this business and its assets are an optimal fit with EMCORE," said Doug Davis, vice president, Intel Digital Enterprise Group, and general manager, Embedded and Communications Group.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Nokia Siemens Networks and RadioFrame Team on 3G Femtocells

Nokia Siemens Networks and RadioFrame Networks have signed a contract for cooperation on 3G Femto Home Access. The solution is targeted at 3G operators who wish to extend their coverage and service offerings.

The collaboration matches Nokia Siemens Networks' Femto Gateway and RadioFrame Networks' OmniRadio customer premises equipment (CPE). RadioFrame Networks will deliver the Femto CPE directly to operators, while Nokia Siemens Networks will deliver the Femto Gateway as well as required services.

Launched in July 2007, the Femto Home Access Solution from Nokia Siemens Networks introduces open interfaces, boosting the femtocell ecosystem and enabling operators to further enhance their 3G service offering and coverage.


U4EA Introduces Fusion 1000 Series Signaling Gateways

U4EA Technologies introduced its Fusion 1000 Series Signaling Gateways designed to support legacy ISDN and CAS signaling as well as the next generation suite of IP signaling protocols.

U4EA said is still a large base of subscribers using legacy CAS and ISDN signaling protocols that need to access next generation networks that use the new suite of IP protocols. Its Fusion 1000 Signaling Gateways support the full range of protocol conversion including:

  • Legacy protocol to legacy protocol conversion

  • NGN protocol to NGN protocol conversion

  • Legacy protocol to NGN protocol conversion

The Fusion 1000 Series is built on industry standard blade server hardware and operating systems, and scales from an entry level 1U Fusion 1001 supporting up to 900 DS0s through the 8 blade Fusion 1008 to multiple 16 blade Fusion 1016s supporting several million DS0s. The key features and benefits of the Fusion 1000 Series include:

  • Comprehensive range of ISDN, CAS and NGN signaling protocols (e.g., SIGTRAN)

  • Standard industry X86 hardware platform spanning small one blade deployments to multi-blade, multi-system deployments

  • Protocol analysis tools for centralized monitoring of signaling protocols and built-in protocol analyzer

  • Element Manager including a wide range of carrier class of diagnostic tools including visibility all of the way to subscriber interfaces

BelAir Raises $17.5 Million for Metro Wireless Mesh

BelAir Networks, a start-up based in Kanata, Ontario, announced $17.5 million in financing for its mobile wireless broadband mesh network solutions.

BelAir Networks said it now has more than 300 deployments worldwide, in leading cities such as New York, Minneapolis, the City of London and Toronto, and high-profile venues including Dolphin Stadium and Lincoln Center.

BelAir's portfolio supports Wi-Fi, WiMAX, 4.9 GHz Public Safety and cellular backhaul, and includes its flagship four-radio BelAir200 Wireless Multi-service Switch Router, the three-radio BelAir100T wireless mesh node, the dual-radio BelAir100 Multi-service Node, the single- or dual-radio BelAir100C Multi-service Node featuring point-to-multipoint backhaul, and the strand-mounted BelAir100S.

BelAir also offers the BelAir300 Converged Multi-service Wireless Node, combining cellular, Wi-Fi and wireless mesh on a converged platform.

The new funding was led by new investors Export Development Canada (EDC) and Wellington Financial. Existing investors Comcast Interactive Capital, T-Mobile Venture Fund, Trilogy Equity Partners, Panorama Capital (formerly JPMorgan Partners), VenGrowth Capital Partners Inc., BDC Venture Capital, Ventures West Management, McLean Watson and MMV Financial also participated in this round.

http://www.belairnetworks.comIn Oct

BelAir Networks outlined its strategy and product roadmap for its WiMAX mesh portfolio. The company currently utilizes 802.16d WiMAX radio modules operating in the 2.3GHz and 2.5GHz bands. These modules fit in its BelAir100 and BelAir200 mesh nodes and have been deployed by current spectrum holders for mesh backhaul between nodes. In June of this year, BelAir's module became the first and only FCC-certified WiMAX mesh product.

BelAir now plans to expand its WiMAX portfolio to include 802.16e. The company will deliver 802.16e radio modules for use in both backhaul and access applications. BelAir plans to use Intel's latest 802.16e technology to deliver 802.16e mobile WiMAX basestations. The new 802.16e modules, operating in the 2.3GHz, 2.5GHz and 3.5GHz bands, will fit in the BelAir100 and BelAir200 mesh nodes as card upgrades. Carrier trials are slated for mid 2007 and general availability is expected in the second half of 2007, in line with widespread adoption of WiMAX-based devices.

GENI Solicits Proposals for NSF-Funded Network Research Facility

GENI, the Global Environment for Network Innovations, has begun soliciting proposals from the research community.

GENI is envisioned as a national facility for experiments on a wide variety of advanced research in communications, networking, distributed systems, cyber-security, and networked services and applications. It is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and managed by BBN Technologies in Cambridge, Mass.

"The core challenge for GENI is how to engineer this sophisticated research facility in a way that maximizes the value and potential for the research experiments it will support," said Chip Elliott, GENI Project Director. "This solicitation is the GPO's call to the academic and industrial research community to help with GENI's design and early prototypes and integrations."

The GPO plans to issue two (2) solicitations per year with a total award over $7M and anticipates issuing additional solicitations with similar levels of funding in 2009, 2010, 2011, and perhaps beyond.

Proposals for most activities are due by February 15, 2008. Proposals will be reviewed by third-party reviewers, with final funding decisions made by the GPO.


Sprint Nextel Names Dan Hesse as President and CEO

Sprint Nextel named Daniel R. Hesse, as its new president and CEO, , effective immediately. He previously was chairman, president and CEO of Embarq, which was previously Sprint's Local Telecommunications Division.

Hesse had been chairman and CEO since Embarq's inception in 2006. Prior to the formation of Embarq, he served as CEO of Sprint's Local Telecommunications Division for one year before the spin-off that created Embarq. Hesse previously has spent 23 years at AT&T, including serving between 1997 and 2000 as the president and CEO of AT&T Wireless Services, which was then the United States' largest wireless operator.

Hesse also has joined Sprint Nextel's board of directors.
  • On October 8, Gary Forsee resigned as Sprint Nextel's chairman, president and CEO. In the interim, James Hance, Jr., a member of the Board of Directors, assumed the role of acting non-executive chairman of the Board and Paul Saleh, current CFO, served as acting CEO. Forsee was named CEO of Sprint in 2003, replacing Bill Esrey. Forsee previously served as vice chairman of BellSouth, where he had responsibility for the company's domestic operations.

Vivendi's SFR Considers Acquisition of Neuf Cegetel

Neuf Cegetel confirmed ongoing acquisition discussions between its two main shareholders, SFR and the Louis Dreyfus group, and requested the suspension of trading on its shares, pending further developments on these discussions.

SFR, the second-largest mobile phone operator in France, is a subsidiary of French media and telecommunications group Vivendi SA. Neuf Cegetel is the second largest broadband operator in France.


I.T.U. Develops IPTV Standards

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) announced a set of global standards for IPTV.

The new standards, which were developed by the Focus Group on IPTV (FG IPTV) in ITU's Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T), include high-level architecture and frameworks needed by service providers in order to rollout IPTV services.

Twenty-one documents covering IPTV requirements, architecture, quality of service (QoS), security, digital rights management (DRM), unicast and multicast, protocols, metadata, middleware and home networks will be submitted to the ITU-T Study Group charged with progressing and distributing the work.

The Focus Group on IPTV said it benefited from collaboration with all ITU-T Study Groups and other forums and regional standards bodies, including ATIS IPTV Interoperability Forum (IIF), DSL Forum, the DVB project, ETSI TISPAN and the Home Gateway Initiative (HGI).

ITU's next phase of IPTV work -- IPTV-GSI (global standards initiative) -- will centre on the speedy preparation of standards based on documents produced by FG IPTV as well as on the detailed protocols required. The first meeting of IPTV-GSI will convene in Seoul, Republic of Korea from 15 to 22 January 2008.

FCC Adopts Rules To Promote Video Programming Diversity

The FCC adopted rules aimed at promoting video programming diversity by ensuring new video programmers can enter and compete in the video market. Specifically, the FCC is setting the number of subscribers a cable operator may serve at 30 percent nationwide. The FCC is also seeking comment on vertical ownership limits and cable and broadcast attribution rules.

Under the 1992 Cable Act, the FCC was directed to conduct proceedings to establish reasonable limits on the number of subscribers a cable operator may serve -- a "horizontal limit" -- and the number of channels a cable operator may devote to its affiliated programming networks -- a "vertical" or "channel occupancy" limit.

The 30 percent limit, set first in 1993 and modified in 1999, was challenged by Time Warner in 2001. The DC Circuit Court then remanded it back to the FCC seeking further justification. That remand has been pending six years at the Commission.

The FCC said the 30 percent cable horizontal ownership limit will ensure that no single cable operator can create a barrier to a video programming network's entry into the market or cause a video programming network to exit the market simply by declining to carry the network. In devising a limit to achieve this goal, the Commission first determined the minimum number of subscribers a network needs in order to survive in the marketplace, and then estimated the percentage of subscribers a network is likely to serve once it secures a carriage contract.

Hughes Accepts Handover of Spaceway 3 Satellite from Boeing

Hughes Network Systems announced the successful on-orbit handover of the Spaceway 3 commercial communications satellite from Boeing. Hughes will utilize the Boeing-built satellite to provide HughesNet broadband satellite services throughout North America.

The Ka-band SPACEWAY 3 satellite is the world's first commercial satellite featuring an on-board traffic switching and routing capability. This ability to switch and route IP packets on board, enabling single-hop communications between any two satellite terminals and eliminating the need for the traffic to be routed through a central hub earth station.

Hughes has said that combined with a 10 Gbps overall capacity, fast packet switching, and dynamic beam forming, its SPACEWAY 3 satellite will usher in a new world of bandwidth-on-demand satellite services with true site-to-site, single-hop networking of high-performance ground terminals. As a full IP-based system, SPACEWAY supports a large variety of web, data, voice, and video services for both unicast and multicast applications in a standards-compliant fashion. SPACEWAY terminals also implement custom enhancement proxies for application acceleration using TCP and HTTP protocols.

SPACEWAY 3 was built by Boeing and is based on the company's 702 satellite platform.

"We are excited to accept the handover of Spaceway 3 and to begin our pre- commercial service testing," said Pradman Kaul, chairman and CEO of Hughes.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Turin to Acquire Carrier Access for $93 Million

Turin Networks agreed to acquire Carrier Access Corporation for approximately $92.7 million in cash.

The Carrier Access product portfolio includes solutions that span the wireless backhaul network from the cell-site to the network edge, as well as converged access technologies that enable service providers and enterprise customers to deliver carrier-quality IP voice and data services. The company has facilities in Boulder, Colorado and Shanghai, China. It claims a base of over 100 customers which includes major Tier 1 wireless and wireline carriers, cable operators, enterprises and government agencies.

Turin Networks is a provider of metro transport and switching solutions for wireline, wireless, MSO and private networks. Its "iConnect"-based solutions facilitate migration to end-to-end Carrier Ethernet over any media for all types of network operators. Turin is headquartered in Petaluma, California with R&D facilities in Petaluma, Dallas and Boston.

Under the terms of the agreement, stockholders will receive $2.60 for each outstanding share of Carrier Access' common stock, subject to adjustment. This represents a premium of 14.7% over Carrier Access' 20 day average stock price of $2.27 through December 14th, 2007.

The transaction is subject to the approval of Carrier Access stockholders and certain other customary closing conditions.

ECI Adds ASON Capabilities to its Multi-Service Provisioning Platform

ECI Telecom has added Automatically Switched Optical Network (ASON) capabilities to its XDM Multi-Service Provisioning Platform (MSPP) family of products.

Advanced control plane architecture offers new protection schemes to assure service continuation. The ITU ASON architecture, along with the GMPLS common signaling and routing protocol, enables the introduction of an extra layer of virtual management plane for differentiated service support based on Class of Service (CoS).

ECI said differential services can be implemented in existing and new transport networks by adding a control plane card to the XDM platform and using its unified LightSoft end-to-end network management system. Successful dealing with multiple network failures is enabled by full auto discovery package, new protection schemes and automatic prioritized restoration.

Mexico's Iusacell Deploys Starent Platform

Iusacell, a mobile operator in Mexico, is using Starent Networks' ST16 Multimedia Core Platform to deliver multimedia applications, such as streaming video, over its CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev A network.

Starent's ST16 delivers throughput, call transaction rates and packet processing, along with subscriber and network intelligence. For the Iusacell deployment, Starent Networks will provide the Packet Data Serving Node (PDSN) and Home Agent (HA) network elements along with geographic redundancy, Intelligent Traffic Control and Enhanced Lawful Intercept.

Germany's NeckarCom Launches VoIP over WiMAX with Motorola

NeckarCom Telekommunikation GmbH

has launched its commercial VoIP service following the successful implementation earlier this year of a WiMAX network in the Ulm region of Germany by Motorola. NeckarCom has integrate all of its current standard voice services across the WiMAX network and is offering a new combined voice and data solution.

NeckarCom's integrated voice and data service was the first 802.16e WiMAX-based offering in Germany and is based on Motorola's WiMAX technology.

NeckarCom is a subsidiary of EnBW Regional AG, part of the third-largest energy supply company in Germany.

Qualcomm Acquires SoftMax for Noise Reduction

Qualcomm has acquired San Diego-based SoftMax Inc.,

a developer of noise reduction technology for mobile devices, for an undisclosed sum.
SoftMax offers voice algorithms for signal separation, echo cancellation and signal processing. The technology, which is currently in wireless devices on the market, can separate a speaker's voice from various background noises. The result is a dramatic improvement in voice quality, providing significant differentiation for the end product. The company said it has several key partnerships and implementations with industry-leading handset and Bluetooth headset OEMs using dual-microphone designs.

Qualcomm said SoftMax's multi-microphone noise suppression and echo cancellation expertise will broaden the audio and voice capabilities of its product portfolio. The technology can be integrated into devices such as mobile handsets, Bluetooth headsets, VoIP phones and notebook PCs.

http://www.softmax.comSoftMax was founded in 1998 by scientists from The Salk Institute and The University of California, San Diego

AT&T U-verse TV Expands HD Channel Lineup

AT&T announced the addition of eight HD channels to its U-verse TV

channel lineup, bringing the HD lineup to more than 40 HD channels in most markets. HD service is available for $10 a month with any U-verse TV programming package. All U-verse TV packages include HD-ready equipment, and most include an HD-capable DVR.

Atheros Debuts Single-Chip 802.11n for Home Gateways

Atheros Communications introduced two single-chip 802.11n solutions designed for the carrier gateway market. The new dual-band, 2.4GHz/5GHz, AR9220 and single-band, 2.4GHz AR9223 PCI designs are part of the Atheros XSPAN family of draft 802.11n solutions. Routers based on these new XSPAN PCI solutions will deliver 10 times the throughput and nearly twice the range of legacy 802.11g and 802.11a/g networks.

The AR9220 dual-band, 2x2 MIMO, PCI design is designed for high-end, multiplay gateways and set-top boxes supporting IPTV, HD video streaming, VoIP calls and multi-player online gaming on the 5GHz channel-while using the 2.4GHz band for simple data networking. This solution provides leading 802.11a/g/n performance, supporting up to 300 Mbps physical data rates and 200 Mbps of actual user throughput on both the uplink and the downlink.

The AR9223 single-band, 2x2 MIMO PCI design is aimed at basic home gateways with up to 300 Mbps physical data rates. The single-band option offers carriers a natural migration path from 11g to 11n in the 2.4GHz band, and is suited for applications less sensitive to bandwidth limitations and interference, such as web surfing, VoIP calls, audio streaming and wireless printing.

The PCI interface allows for direct integration on DSL motherboards, easing carrier manufacturers' design cycles to accelerate time-to-market. The chips also feature advanced power efficiencies for greener gateways that reduce energy consumption.

Atheros said it has targeted the performance and price points that carriers need to broadly deploy home gateways capable of supporting data, voice and video on a single wireless network.

McAfee Renews VPN Contract with AT&T

McAfee awarded a multimillion dollar, three-year contract to AT&T to provide long distance voice, enhanced toll-free and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services for McAfee's 30 domestic and global sites. The deal builds renews and expands a long-standing relationship between the two companies that spans more than four years.

Sprint Readies IPv6 MPLS Trial

Sprint announced that it is ready to deploy IPv6 and is nearing initial beta testing of IPv6 MPLS VPNs on its Peerless IP (PIP) network, which provides a platform that is physically and logically isolated from the public Internet. Customer trials are expected to begin in January 2008, with general availability in the second quarter of 2008.

IPv6 will greatly expand IP addressing space, thereby accommodating the rapidly growing number of Internet devices and applications. IPv6 is also expected to make significant improvements in areas such as routing and auto configuration resulting in better functionality and enhanced security.

Sprint offers a variety of IP-based services and will continue to expand them in parallel with IPv6 evolution. These services will include Dedicated IP, MPLS VPN, Managed Network Services, and Consulting services. Federal agencies are expected to be the first to benefit from IPv6, as support for IPv6 is a requirement per the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The primary IPv6 vehicle for Sprint federal customers is the Networx Enterprise contract. Sprint will add IPv6 services to the Federal Networx Enterprise contract as they become available for IPv6 planning and transition support.

"Since 1997, Sprint has been actively involved in the standardization, testing, and deployment of IPv6," said Iyad Tarazi, VP of network development at Sprint. "As an early adopter of IPv6 in an experimental capacity, we've been testing IPv6 applications with our customers for more than a decade, and our involvement has provided Sprint the expertise that is needed to develop solutions for the emerging addressing constraints and for the general market."

One Minute Video: What is VPLS?

One Minute Video presented by Ananth Nagarajan, Juniper Networks -- What is VPLS?

Jargon Buster

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Silicon Clocks Appoints VP of Engineering

Silicon Clocks, a start-up based in Fremont, California, has appointed Dr. Bahram Ghaderi as VP Engineering. He previously held several positions during the past 12 years at Exar Corporation, including: GM Network and Transmission and most recently as VP Engineering/Product Development, where he was responsible for the development of mixed-signal product families for T/E and SONET physical layer, jitter attenuation, clocking, and UARTs.

Silicon Clocks specializes in integrated timing products utilizing MEMS and IC technologies. Applications include high speed serial data, wireless communications, and consumer products.

Peermeta Names Jim Ricotta as CEO

Peermeta, a start-up based in Acton, Mass., announced the appointment of Jim Ricotta as President and CEO.

Ricotta previously was Vice President and General Manager of IBM's Appliance business unit, which developed middleware appliances for Web 2.0 / SOA applications. He joined IBM through IBM's $100M acquisition of DataPower Technology, where he was President and CEO. Prior to DataPower, Ricotta was Vice President and General Manager at Cisco Systems leading their Content Networking business unit involving Cisco's content distribution, streaming, and caching products.

Peermeta is an early stage mobile software platform developer focused on the intersection of digitized content, Web 2.0 services and mobile technologies. The Peermeta solution enables mobile access to Any Content, on Any Device, on Any Network, at Any Time. The company was founded in January 2007 and is backed by venture capital firms Sigma Partners and Kepha Partners.

Mintera Hires Pirelli Exec to Lead EMEA Sales

Mintera named Piero Matrona as Vice President, Sales for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) to support new customers of its MI 4000XM Adaptive-DPSK 40 Gbps DWDM module. Most recently, Matrona was in charge of worldwide sales for Pirelli Broadband Solutions for both Optical Components and Systems. Prior to this, Matrona was in charge of Marketing and Sales for Vivato, a developer of metropolitan WiFi systems and also Terawave Communications in the BPON/GPON arena. Matrona was also VP Brand Management for Nortel's Ultra-Long Haul Optical Transport platform following Nortel's acquisition of Qtera.

ARRIS Completes C-COR Acquisition

ARRIS completed its acquisition of C-COR. The deal combines two leading suppliers of networking equipment for cable operators. The companies said their combination:

  • Creates a leading broadband solutions company with combined sales of over $1.2 billion over the past twelve months

  • Enhances ARRIS financial profile with improved margins

  • Expands the ARRIS product portfolio and addressable market

  • Diversifies revenue across core customer relationships and enables deeper participation in network infrastructure capacity spending

  • Creates a global, technologically diverse team with a broader and stronger platform from which to drive portfolio expansion.

C-COR's product line includes a converged Headend/Hub Platform, optical nodes, and RF amplifiers; On Demand media systems (VOD) and Digital Advertising Systems; and Operations Support Systems for workforce management, service assurance, network optimization and health, and subscriber fulfillment. The company is a leading supplier of 1GHz transmission equipment. C-COR's HFC equipment products are deployed with leading operators around the world, including UPC, ONO, Virgin Media, Bright House, Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Mediacom, Insight, and Time Warner Cable. The company's corporate headquarters are in State College, Pennsylvania.

ARRIS' product line includes cable telephony solutions; high-speed data network solutions for cable Internet applications; subscriber premise products that are DOCSIS 2.0 and Euro-DOCSIS 2.0-certified; and HFC infrastructure communications and networking equipment. The company is based in Atlanta and has R&D centers in Atlanta, Chicago, Cork, Ireland and Shenzhen, China.

Wi-Fi Alliance Names New Executive Director

The Wi-Fi Alliance named Edgar Figueroa as its new Executive Director. For the past several years, Mr. Figueroa has led the operations for the Alliance's certification program, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED, which has grown to include a global network of labs and more than 4,000 certified products.

Alcatel-Lucent, 3 Italia and RAI Test DVB-SH

Alcatel-Lucent, 3 Italia (a mobile operator owned by Hutchison Whampoa) and Italian public broadcaster RAI are launching a trial of Mobile TV trial in Italy. The network will be based on the DVB-SH (Digital Video Broadcasting -- Satellite services to Handhelds) standard.

The trial, based on Alcatel-Lucent's Unlimited Mobile TV solution, uses for the first time in the world a multi-layer DVB-SH terrestrial network blending low-power transmitters from a mobile operator and medium-power transmitters from a broadcaster.

The trial will take place in Torino and it will be overseen by RAI Technological Strategies Dept., Raiway SpA and RAI Research and Technology Innovation Centre, providing their three-year-old experience in mobile-TV field tests.

Cellular sites provided by 3 Italia will allow the indoor coverage of Torino's downtown, while broadcast towers provided by RAI and Raiway will allow outdoor and vehicular coverage of the entire town of Torino.

Alcatel-Lucent will provide the DVB-SH equipment, the network planning, the network integration and the technical support required for the good execution of the trial. Alcatel-Lucent's DVB-SH low-power repeaters will be co-localized with the live UMTS sites of 3 Italia and connected to the UMTS antennas.

The first phase of this trial, taking place from December 2007 to March 2008, will consist in a technology trial to validate the capability of DVB-SH to make available a large number of high-quality mobile TV channels, in various usage conditions. Alcatel-Lucent said several innovative technical characteristics of the DVB-SH will be evaluated during this trial, which in this first phase of the trial will be only terrestrial.

In a second phase of this trial, the broadcast signal from a satellite will be emulated by a transmitter located in a high-altitude helicopter; in order to study a real business situation, a sample panel of customers will be provided with commercial DVB-SH handsets. In a longer term perspective, tests with satellites in operation will be carried out in cooperation with a major satellite operator.
  • In August 2007, the European Commission adopted a proposal to select systems for mobile satellite services at European level. If adopted by the European Parliament and the EU Council, this new selection mechanism will allow Mobile TV based on DVB-SH in the S-Band to develop across Europe beginning in 2009.

  • In September 2007, Alcatel-Lucent and Samsung Electronics demonstrated live broadcast mobile TV in S-Band using a Samsung SGH-P930 handset. Users were able to interact with the content of all the 3G/unicast and broadcast mobile TV channels available on the handset.
    The specifications of the DVB-SH standard were approved by the DVB Project on February 14, 2007. The commercial availability of Samsung's DVB-SH models is expected in Q1 2008.

Korea's Hanaro Telecom selects Alcatel-Lucent's GPON FTTH

Hanaro Telecom selected Alcatel-Lucent to supply its Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) solution. Under the terms of the contract, Alcatel-Lucent will deploy the 7342 Intelligent Services Access Manager Fiber-to-the-Home (ISAM FTTU) solution which leverages GPON to deliver any mix of voice, video or data.

Alcatel-Lucent is partnering with Sandeul Networks, which will provide installation and integration. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Alcatel-Lucent noted that is engaged in more than 70 FTTx projects around the world, more than 55 of which are with GPON. More than 180 customers have adopted the ISAM product family globally -- including 80% of the top 20 DSL operators.
  • In October 2007, Cisco announced that Hanaro Telecom selected is cable channel-bonding technology to deliver 100 Mbps residential services over its hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) networks. Cisco's platform is designed based on the downstream channel-bonding specifications defined in CableLabs' Data Over Cable Service Interface Specifications (DOCSIS) 3.0 specification. The network capacity is used to deliver HanaTV, Hanaro's video-on-demand IPTV service.

Alcatel-Lucent Chosen for China's e-government Backbone

Alcatel Shanghai Bell, Alcatel-Lucent's flagship Chinese company, has been chosen as the sole supplier of China's largest high-speed e-government backbone network. The project, which is part of an initiative network transformation led by the Information Industry Office of the State Council of China, in cooperation with China Netcom and China Telecom, will help enhance information access and availability between government bodies throughout the nation. The new high-speed network will support voice, data, and multimedia services with QoS and a high degree of reliability.

Telenor Srbija chooses Nokia Siemens Networks for 3G

Telenor Srbija awarded a contract to Nokia Siemens Networks to build a nationwide 3G radio network across Serbia. Under the agreement, Nokia Siemens Networks will build a WCDMA network across Serbia within four years and it will provide Telenor with a broad range of supplementary services. The deliveries have already begun and the first parts of the new network will start operation in the first quarter of 2008. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pulse~LINK's UWB Delivers 890 Mbps Peak Application Throughput


recently released CWave UWB chipset achieved a 1.35 Gbps over-the-air signaling rate and delivered 890 Mbps application layer throughput at short distances in independent testing conducted by octoScope. The results were published in EE Times and Wireless Net DesignLine.

Pulse~LINK said its CWave throughput held at around 500 Mbps at up to 8 feet of wireless range and 115 Mbps at up to 40 feet, significantly higher than competing vendors. The CWave chipset also measured sustained TCP/IP throughputs of 500Mbps across 450 feet of coaxial cable.

BT Selects Ciena's CN 3000 Ethernet Access for 21CN

BT has selected Ciena's CN 3000 Ethernet Access Series as one of its preferred Network Termination Equipment (NTE) platforms for its 21st Century Network (21CN). Ciena is supplying the CN 3000 Series through an OEM agreement with ANDA Networks. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The CN 3000 Series encompasses a range of copper and fiber-based NTE platforms and complementary NTE aggregators fully compliant with Metro Ethernet Forum specifications. It includes both carrier-to-carrier network demarcation devices as well as customer-located Ethernet access devices, designed specifically to allow service providers to extend homogeneous coverage of managed Ethernet services.

The CN 3000 also features Ethernet Operations, Administration and Maintenance (OAM) functionality that is integrated with Ciena's ON-Center Network and Services Management Suite. These capabilities enable service management, Quality of Service (QoS) guarantees and end-to-end SLA verification, while ensuring operational savings, as Ethernet services can be remotely provisioned and monitored without site visits. Additionally, the flexibility of the CN 3000 Series means that devices can be upgraded remotely using software.

The agreement extends BT's partnership with Ciena, which already supplies optical Ethernet transport and switching solutions for the 21CN transmission domain, by enabling BT to provide Ethernet access in the last mile to support the roll-out of new 21CN services and applications.
  • In February 2007, ADVA Optical Networking announced that BT had selected it as a supplier of Ethernet last mile access products for its 21st Century Network (21CN). Specifically, BT's 21CN will deploy the ADVA FSP 150 as the Network Termination Equipment (NTE) throughout the network. The ADVA FSP 150 portfolio provides Ethernet demarcation, extension and aggregation.

NewStep Enhances its Enterprise FMC Capabilities

NewStep Networks unveiled the latest version of its convergence platform, CSN 3.5, with features aimed at enterprises looking to mobilize their business applications as part of an overall unified communications strategy.

CSN 3.5 adds advanced presence capabilities and integration with enterprise applications, including Microsoft's Office Communication Server 2007. These include:

  • A broadened range of IP PBX support including the Nortel CS1K, and additional support for Cisco Call Manager, Avaya Communications Manager and the Asterisk IP PBX, including the ability to use typical desk phone features from the dual-mode phone while in WiFi

  • Enhanced enterprise seamless roaming client for Windows Mobile 6 devices, including automatic reconfiguration and optimal call routing based on location

  • Support for SIP Presence integration

  • Third-party call-control interface for integration with other business applications

  • Access to thousands of Wi-Fi hot spots to the dual-mode handset

  • Flexible user configurations for users to develop ringing profiles, including options for sequential ringing, simultaneous ring, and staggered ringing.

  • Time-of-day/day-of-week call routing, which provides the user with more flexibility and control over when and where they can be reached, as well as the creation of profiles for network selection of voice and data call delivery.

Firewire Now Reaches 3.2 Gigabits per Second Speed -- 4X

The 1394 Trade Association announced a new specification to quadruple the speed of FireWire to reach 3.2 gigabits per second. The new electrical specification, known as S3200, builds upon the IEEE 1394b standard, preserving FireWire backwards compatibility and using the same cables and connectors already deployed for FireWire 800 products. The 1394 arbitration, data, and service protocols were not modified for S3200. The specification is expected to be ratified by early February.

FireWire 800 operates without polling, without idle times, and without continuous software management, enabling it to deliver more than 97 percent of its bit rate as payload -- not overhead. FireWire 800 hard drives can move over 90 MB per second. S3200 preserves this efficiency and its expected to deliver payload speeds reaching nearly 400 MB per second.

The 1394 Trade Association said that S3200 makes FireWire so fast that users will see no advantage from eSATA. Both interfaces are much faster than any modern hard drive mechanism, but eSATA does not provide electrical power to operate a drive.

"The S3200 standard will sustain the position of IEEE 1394 as the absolute performance leader in multi-purpose I/O ports for consumer applications in computer and CE devices," said James Snider, executive director, 1394 Trade Association. "There is a very clear migration path from 800 Megabits/second to 3.2 Gigabits/second, with no need for modifications to the standard and no requirement for new cables or connectors."

Peter Kiewit Institute Supercomputer Employs Force10

The Peter Kiewit Institute's (PKI) Holland Computing Center at the University of Nebraska has deployed Force10 Networks' TeraScale E-Series family of switch/routers and S50 access switches in its newest supercomputer, which ranks 43 on the list of the world's fastest supercomputers.

The Force10 TeraScale E-Series is supporting 52 Ten Gigabit and 900 Gigabit Ethernet ports to form the reliable foundation researchers at the Center require to optimize the performance of the supercomputer.

Force10 said the high Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet densities of its TeraScale E-Series and S50 enables PKI to build a high performance core that interconnects more than 1,100 nodes. The TeraScale E-Series supports 90 Gigabit Ethernet ports on a single line card or 1,260 per system, enabling the Center to interconnect its supercomputer with a single switch while also supporting the 52 Ten Gigabit Ethernet ports required to build the high performance core.

Zeugma Systems Raises US$22.5 Million

Zeugma Systems, a start-up based in Vancouver, announced US$22.5 million Series B financing. for its technology developments for next generation high speed broadband network. Product plans have not been announced.

The new financing was led by new investor Vertex Venture Capital, and included returning investors Granite Ventures, Ventures West, Yaletown Venture Partners, GrowthWorks Capital Ltd. and BDC Venture Capital, as well as new investors GTD Capital and BC Advantage Funds.

Zeugma Systems is led by Andrew Harries, co-founder, President and CEO and who previously co-founded Sierra Wireless Inc.; Siegfried Luft, founder, CTO and formerly a senior development executive at Redback Networks; Jeff Dillabough, VP Engineering, formerly at PMC-Sierra; Tom Meehan, VP product management, previously at Redback Networks; Wayne Shackelford, SVP Worldwide Sales who formerly led sales at several startups and at Newbridge Networks USA; and Justin Currie, VP Finance, who joined the company from Creation Technologies Inc.

Dutch Government Selects Mitel for 52,000 Lines over 4 Years

The government of the Netherlands has selected Mitel for a large-scale IP deployment as part of the OverheidsTelecom 2006 (OT2006) program, under which telecom services are tendered in one master agreement by ministries and other government authorities and subdivided into clusters. The OT2006 cluster covered by this contract will, amongst others, see eight ministries, seven provincial authorities, 30 municipalities and 51 administrative bodies and advisory boards totalling more than 52,000 lines move to a Mitel platform over the next four years. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Mitel 3300 IP Communications Platform (ICP) is designed to support networks ranging from 10 to 65,000 users and provides standard IP-PBX capability plus a range of embedded unified communications applications including standard unified messaging, auto attendant, ACD and wireless. The 3300 ICP also supports a suite of applications including multimedia collaboration, customer relationship management, and unified messaging.

Atheros Acquires u-Nav Microelectronics for GPS Silicon

Atheros Communications agreed to acquire the assets and certain liabilities of u-Nav Microelectronics, a privately held fabless semiconductor company specializing in global positioning system (GPS) chipsets and software that enable mobile location-based products and services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

u-Nav's silicon is designed for embedded GPS applications for the wireless handset, personal navigation device, personal computing, consumer and mobile telemetry markets. Its flagship product, the uN3010, is a single-chip GPS receiver that integrates the company's CMOS high-performance RFIC core with its third-generation baseband IC core. u-Nav's product portfolio also includes single-die solutions, several baseband chips and RFICs, and complete GPS system software solutions providing signal acquisition, tracking, data extraction and GPS navigation.

Upon closing the transaction, Atheros will also take assignment of the patent cross-license agreement already in place between u-Nav and SiRF Technology.

Atheros said the addition of u-Nav's shipping GPS products and technologies to Atheros' Radio-on-Chip for Mobile (ROCm) portfolio enables the company to deliver high-performance, cost-efficient combinations of mobile solutions featuring WLAN, Bluetooth and GPS technologies.

Atheros said its goal is to provide optimized wireless coexistence, supporting multiple radios in a single device for local area networking, personal area networking and mobile location-based services.

u-Nav Microelectronics is based in Irvine, California, with offices in Tampere, Finland. u-Nav has 54 employees.

Zayo to Acquire Citynet's Wholesale Division

Zayo Group, a regional provider of bandwidth and telecom services, agreed to acquire Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Citynet Fiber Network (CFN), the wholesale division of communications provider, Citynet. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The CFN network has 8,500 route miles of fiber covering 57 Tier I-III markets in 10 states. The company's on-net buildings encompass many major carrier locations like local exchange carrier central offices, carrier hotels and wireless mobile switching centers. Upon completion of the acquisition, Zayo will have doubled its metro and regional fiber route miles to 17,000 serving more than 1,000 on-net building locations.

The deal is the sixth acquisition by Zayo since May 2007. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2008.

"CFN's network compliments our existing metro and regional networks by increasing our fiber footprint in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions," explained Dan Caruso, CEO of Zayo Group.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tiscali TV Combines IP and Digital Terrestrial TV

TISCALI TV has made its commercial debut in Italy. The service combines IP and DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television) television programming. It is initially available in the Cagliari, Milan and Rome areas and will be free until 31-March-2008. Tiscali plans to gradually expanded across Italy over the coming year.

Tiscali also announced a video programming deal with Sky Italia, the Italian digital pay TV service. Tiscali TV users will be able to activate Sky packages on Tiscali's TV platform, experiencing an even richer TV offering together with linear and on-demand channels.

European Commission Approves Amsterdam's Municipal Fiber Network

The European Commission has approved the investment by the municipality of Amsterdam and other shareholders to be build an FTTH network. After a year of investigation and deliberation, the Commission concluded that the municipality participates in the project on the same terms as would a market investor. Therefore the Commission has concluded that no state aid is involved.

Under EU state aid rules, investments by public authorities in companies carrying out economic activities can be considered free of aid, if they are made on terms that a private investor operating under market conditions would have accepted (the market economy investor principle).

The City of Amsterdam is investing in a company building a FTTH network connecting 37,000 households within its city limits. The total equity investment in the project is EUR 18 million. The Amsterdam municipality owns one third of the shares, two private investors, ING Real Estate and Reggefiber together another third, while five housing corporations own the remaining third. The wholesale operator of the new fibre network was selected through a tender procedure and will provide open, non-discriminatory access to retail operators which offer TV, broadband and telephony services.

Motorola Ships 50 millionth SURFboard modem

Motorola announced a company milestone -- the shipment of its 50 millionth SURFboard modem. In the coming months, the SURFboard cable modems (model SB5101) and wireless cable modem gateways (model SBG900) will feature a 50 millionth celebratory icon on products sold in leading North America electronic stores.

Singapore Outlines Vision for Open Access Broadband 2015

The government of Singapore outlined its vision for an open access Next Generation National Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN) offering pervasive ultra-high speed connectivity by 2015. The plan calls for a minimum speed of 100 Mbps in the downlink and 50 Mbps in the uplink per end-user connection and scalability to 1 Gbps and above. Singapore is also calling for a separation between network layer operations (the Layer 1 physical network), the bandwidth service operators (Layer 2 and Layer 3 connectivity), and the retail services that ride on top.

The Next Gen NBN is expected to be available nationwide by 2015, although the first services, such as high-definition video conferencing, telemedicine, Grid Computing-on-Demand, security and immersive learning applications, should be running on the Next Gen NBN from about 2010.

Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority is issuing a Request-For-Proposal (RFP) open to all interested parties to submit their bid to design, build and operate the passive infrastructure layer of the Next Gen NBN.

Under this RFP, a Network Company, or NetCo, will be selected to design, build and operate this passive infrastructure that will carry the traffic for Next Generation Services. The deployment of active electronics such as switches and routers to manage the flow of traffic on the passive infrastructure will be done by what is called the Operating Company or OpCo, which will also be the entity that offers wholesale broadband access to downstream Retail Service Providers, or RSPs. The latter are the companies that provide Next Generation Services to end-users.

"A Next Generation Broadband Network will contribute to Singapore's continued economic success. It is also critical for the Next Gen NBN to provide effective open access to downstream operators. This will create a more vibrant and competitive broadband market. As a policy, we have therefore decided to adopt separation between the different levels of the Next Gen NBN to achieve effective open access. The RFP to construct the network will therefore provide for structural separation of the passive network operator from the downstream operators. If necessary, the Government is also prepared to consider legislation to achieve such effective open access for downstream operators in the next generation broadband market," said Dr Lee Boon Yang.

Beceem's Chipsets Pass Qualification for Sprint's Mobile WiMAX

Beceem Communications' chipsets completed initial interoperability testing for Sprint's mobile WiMAX requirements. Beceem said the milestone shows the commercial readiness of WiMAX equipment and chipsets in preparation for the timely launch of Sprint's Xohm Mobile Broadband Service, which is expected to begin during the 2nd quarter of 2008.

Yipes and KPN Team on Global Ethernet

Yipes Enterprise Services and KPN International are collaborating on global Ethernet network-to-network interfaces (E-NNIs). The bi-directional E-NNIs provide KPN customers end-to-end Ethernet services between Europe and the U.S. while enabling Yipes' customers to access the KPN network in Europe.

With this new agreement, Yipes now has 10 bi-directional E-NNI agreements with providers around the world. Global E-NNIs support Yipes' Ethernet services expansion strategy, which will be further enhanced by the pending acquisition of Yipes by Reliance Communications of India.

BroadLight Appoints Raanan Gewirtzman as its New CEO

BroadLight, which supplies GPON semiconductors and software, has appointed Raanan Gewirtzman as its new CEO, replacing Andrew Vought, who has resigned after four years for personal reasons. Raanan joined the company in 2003 and has been responsible for BroadLight's product development and operations.

Harris Selects RMI's XLR for Data Plane Processing in Warfighter

Harris Chas selected RMI's XLR Processor as the foundation for its data plane processing function being developed for the Warfighter Information Network -- Tactical (WIN-T) Program. The development project awarded to RMI consists of custom board development for data plane processing along with associated software that leverages RMI's XLR500 Series processor's architecture, performance and scalability.

RMI said its XLR was chosen for the project because it met the application's performance goals within a very constrained power and thermal environment, while providing the ability to port a substantial amount of legacy software written in C-Programming language.

France Telecom Affiliates to Deploy NetCracker

France Telecom group has certified and selected NetCracker as the Next Generation Inventory (NGI) Group Core Component (GCC) standard for its strategic NExT program. The NetCracker solution is expected to be deployed into France Telecom affiliates worldwide. Financial terms were not disclosed.

NetCracker's technology helps service providers to deliver and manage convergent and content-rich offerings. NetCracker's portfolio includes solutions focused on specific verticals, such as Triple Play, and pre-integrated product modules. The core modules include Service Inventory, Resource Inventory, Service Provisioning & Activation, Discovery & Reconciliation, Design & Planning, Customer Impact Analysis, Outside Plant, Order Management, Asset Management, and Telecom Cost Management.

NetCracker also announced the successful implementation of NGI WiFi hot-spots inventory, FTTH inventory, and VoIP services inventory for Orange in France, as well as transmission network inventory and ADSL inventory in emerging market affiliates of France Telecom group.

In late 2005, NetCracker was selected as France Telecom group's GCC NGI vendor. NGI incorporates NetCracker's Framework, Physical and Logical Resource Inventory, Service Inventory, and Discovery & Reconciliation modules. Optional modules include Outside Plant, Asset Management, and Telecom Cost Management. These have since been deployed at several France Telecom group properties, supporting mobile, fixed, and IT services. After successful completion of these projects in November 2006, NetCracker was named France Telecom group's official Next Generation Inventory supplier for its NExT program.

SEC Opens Investigation into Westell

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has opened a private investigation into trading of Westell's securities. Westell, which is headquartered in Aurora, Illinois, a supplier of broadband access products and conferencing solutions for carriers, service providers and enterprises.

Hong Kong's Wharf T&T Selects Alcatel-Lucent's IP/MPLS

Wharf T&T, a leading Telecom & IT service provider in Hong Kong, will deploy Alcatel-Lucent's IP/MPLS solution to expand its metro Ethernet network as part of its IP network transformation project. Wharf T&T first adopted Alcatel-Lucent's IP/MPLS solution in 2005 to offer Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to business customers.

Alcatel-Lucent will provide Wharf T&T with a state-of-art IP/MPLS solution based on its 7750 Service Router and 7250 Service Access Switch, all managed by the 5620 Service Aware Manager. In addition, Alcatel-Lucent is providing a range of professional and network integration services for Wharf T&T, including project management. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Alcatel-Lucent 7342 ISAM FTTU Gains RUS Acceptance

The Alcatel-Lucent 7342 ISAM FTTU (Fiber to the User) solution has been granted both "Rural Development Acceptance" and "Buy American" status by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development agency for deployment under the Rural Development Broadband Loan and Loan Guarantee Program.

USDA acceptance means that communities of up to 20,000 inhabitants can now install Alcatel-Lucent's 7342 ISAM FTTU solution using funding obtained under the USDA Rural Development funding programs. Alcatel-Lucent's 7342 ISAM FTTU solution will be listed in the "ae -- Access Equipment" category, FTTH Systems.

Bell Labs Collaborates with French National Research Institute (INRIA)

Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs and INRIA, France's Institut National de Recherche en Informatique, have signed a Joint Research agreement that commits the two organizations to partner in developing advanced technologies for the next generation Internet.

Bell Labs and INRIA have committed researchers and resources to jointly research and develop critical technologies to realize the challenge of "self organizing networks". This joint research will cover four critical areas - semantic networking, high manageability, self-optimizing mobile cellular networks, and ad-hoc extended mobile networks - and will focus on generating results through new technologies, intellectual property, and milestone publications that pave the way for the telecommunications.

"The number of sensors and communication devices is bringing Internet complexity to a new dimension" said Jeong Kim, President of Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs. "This type of challenge needs experts from many disciplines such as math, physical sciences and computer sciences and requires close collaboration between industry and academic institutions. This Joint Research Lab is a natural next step from our collaboration with INRIA which started 10 years ago."

ITU Promotes Communications in Fight Against Global Warming

At the ongoing UN Conference on Climate Change in Bali, Indonesia, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is presenting the case that
ICT can play a vital role in combating climate change. They can be used
for remote monitoring of climate change and gathering important
scientific data - for instance, using telemetry or remote sensing by
satellite. Furthermore, smart technologies can usher in a whole new
generation of energy-efficient products, notably in next-generation

ITU pointed out that the proliferation of ICT products in homes and
offices, and their deployment throughout the world, places an
increasingly heavy burden on energy consumption.

In addition, the move to "always-on" services, like broadband or mobile phones on standby, has greatly increased energy consumption compared with fixed-line telephones, which do not require an independent power source.

However, the ITU underlined an active commitment to promote the use of ICT as a positive force to reduce greenhouse emissions and to find ways to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Blockbuster to Stream Film with Silverlight/Limelight

Blockbuster will stream its studio-backed feature film online later this month using Limelight Networks' content delivery network and Microsoft Silverlight technology.

The film, "JACKASS 2.5", will be distributed directly online by Paramount Pictures Digital Entertainment, MTV New Media group from MTV Networks and BLOCKBUSTER for free between December 19th and December 31st, 2007 to U.S. viewers.

Nortel Enhances its PBT-Enabled Carrier Ethernet Solution

Nortel announced a number of enhancements to its Carrier Ethernet portfolio, including capabilities for using PBT solution to carry "triple-play" services for residential customers.

PBT, or Provider Backbone Transport, creates known paths for data traffic through an Ethernet network. It acts as a guide to channel information through the network, using pre-determined paths to carry traffic and keeping those paths open.

The Metro Ethernet Routing Switch 8600, Nortel's delivery vehicle for PBT technology, is being improved to provide greater flexibility for carriers:

  • New processors will enable better performance and the ability to accommodate new services and advanced networking traffic management

  • New module options for the MERS 8600 allow carriers flexibility for wider deployment scenarios

Also, the company is introducing two new additions to the Metro Ethernet Service Units 1800 portfolio, the Metro ESU 1880 and the Metro ESU 1860, which feature:

  • Enhanced capabilities optimized to provide flexible options for the delivery of business services to enterprises and triple-play services for residential customers.

  • Aggregation capabilities that provide new deployment options, and capacity that enables hundreds of thousands users to be served.

The new products are integrated with Nortel's Metro Ethernet Manager (MEM), which works with PBT to simplify network operations and to provide greater network control over Nortel's Carrier Ethernet solution. The enhanced MERS8600 and new Metro ESU 1800 products will be available in Q1 2008.

Nortel also announced that seven new members have joined the industry's Carrier Ethernet Ecosystem: Bay Microsystems, Broadcom, Ceterus Networks, Ethos Networks, InfoVista, JDSU, and Zhone Technologies. These new member companies join the roster of ANDA Networks, Axerra Networks, Extreme Networks, Dragonwave, Gridpoint Systems, Hammerhead Systems, Ixia, Lightstorm Networks, Meriton Networks, RAD Data Communications, Soapstone Networks, Spirent Communications, TPACK Systems and TranSwitch.

T-Mobile International Selects Huawei for Packet Switched Core

T-Mobile International has selected Huawei Technologies to provide Packet Switched Core Networks (PS-CN) across five European countries: Germany, the UK, Austria, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. Huawei said the contract represents an important milestone for the company in Europe.

The contract requires Huawei to replace existing networks with its next-generation PS-CN equipment.

Early in July 2006, Huawei was selected to provide IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) network infrastructure and applications for the Magyar Telekom, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, for its wire line and mobile business lines in Hungary.

Huawei Submarine Networks Will Target Subsea Telecom Cables

Huawei Technologies and Global Marine Systems, which operates a fleet of cable laying ships and submarines, have committed to launching Huawei Submarine Networks Ltd.

Huawei Submarine will deliver end-to-end submarine network equipment, and related services on a global scale.

"Huawei Submarine Networks is a major focus for both companies and introduces a competitive new entrant into the submarine telecommunication market." Mr. Gabriel Ruhan, CEO of Global Marine Systems. "The continuing growth of the regional and long haul market has persuaded us that a credible, innovative, new company is needed by telecoms providers. Since announcing the MOU earlier this year we have received very positive feedback from customers and look forward to serving their needs with a company that combines Huawei's expertise as the fastest growing vendor in optical networks in 2006, and Global Marine's 150 years of enviable market-leading experience in submarine engineering."

Amdocs Completes First Phase of Openreach's Business Transformation Project

Amdocs Consulting has concluded the initial stages of designing business processes to support Openreach's Business Transformation Project. Openreach is the separately governed operating entity within BT Group that manages the local access network. Amdocs Consulting said it is working with Openreach to meet regulatory requirements to transform its issue resolution processes.

Amdocs has been working with BT for more than ten years and has put a number of systems into production, including customer management, service management and billing solutions.

JDSU Adds Mini DWDM Channel Checker

JDSU introduced its OCC-56 Smart Optical Channel Checker, a selective power meter for DWDM applications that provides the market with a low-cost alternative to optical spectrum analyzers (OSAs). It is available in C-band or L-band models and specifically designed for DWDM system installation and upgrades, channel routing verification in ROADM networks and troubleshooting DWDM systems.

Additional performance features for the OCC-56 include support for 50 GHz, 100 GHz or 200 GHz channel spacing (according to ITU-T). It weighs approximately 500 grams.

East African Consortium Selects Alcatel-Lucent for Submarine Cable

The East Africa Marine System Ltd (TEAMS) consortium awarded a contract valued at US$79 million to Alcatel-Lucent to deploy a 4,900 km submarine cable network connecting the port city of Mombasa in Kenya with the port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The cable will be upgradeable to 640 Gbps.

Network installation is scheduled by the end of the first quarter 2009. The Alcatel-Lucent managed solution will be based on its 1620 Light Manager next-generation DWDM submarine platform, and will also include cable and submarine repeaters. As part of the turnkey contract, Alcatel-Lucent will also deploy its deploy its 1678 Metro Core Connect (MCC) in the landing stations located in Mombasa and Fujairah. The Alcatel-Lucent 1350 management system will supervise all the equipment supplied. Alcatel-Lucent will also provide professional services, including project management, engineering, marine operation, and installation testing and commissioning, will be also part of this turnkey project.

The TEAMS consortium includes the Government of Kenya and Etisalat (Emirates Telecom Corporation) of the UAE.
  • In March 2007, Alcatel-Lucent announced that the East Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy) consortium had selected it to build an undersea cable system that will span nearly 10,000 km, linking eight countries from Sudan to South Africa, via Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar and Mozambique. Landings will be located in Port Sudan, Djibouti (Djibouti), Mogadishu (Somalia) Mombasa (Kenya), Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania), Toliary (Madagascar), Maputo (Mozambique) and Mtunzini (South Africa). The cable system will have a scalable capacity of 320 Gbps. It will also interconnect with the Sea-Me-We 3, Sea-Me-We 4, SAS1, Falcon and SAT3/ WASC /SAFE undersea cable systems. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Towerstream to Bid in FCC 700 MHz Spectrum Auction

Towerstream, a leading fixed wireless Internet provider currently operating in eight major metropolitan areas, has filed with the FCC to participate in the upcoming auction for spectrum in the 700 megahertz (MHz) band.

"The 700 MHz auction offers tremendous opportunity for Towerstream, as WiMAX is a natural fit for the spectrum - not only because it is application agnostic, but also because of the coverage and penetration it offers," said Jeff Thompson, CEO of Towerstream.

Tellabs 7100 Optical Transport Gains Military Certification

The Tellabs 7100 Optical Transport System (OTS) received certification from the United States Information Systems Engineering Command's (ISEC) Technology Integration Center (TIC). The Tellabs 7100 OTS offers reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) and Ethernet switching on a single platform.

The ISEC TIC performs design, engineering, integration, development, containment, installation, testing, and acceptance of information systems for the U.S. Army.

Comcast Appoints VP of Regulatory Affairs

Comcast appointed Kathryn A. Zachem as Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, and Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for Comcast Cable. She will oversee all of the company's regulatory efforts, and will be based in Comcast's Washington, DC office, reporting to David L. Cohen, Comcast Executive Vice President. Zachem joins Comcast from the law firm Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP where she was a partner and practiced communications law for 23 years. During that time, she represented clients from nearly every segment of the communications sector including media, wireline, wireless, satellite, and internet service providers.

AT&T Forecasts Heavy Traffic Growth, Updates Financial Outlook

At its analyst conference in New York, AT&T executives predicted heavy traffic growth on its IP backbone over the next three years as it ramps up its IPTV service, increases broadband speeds, rolls out HSUPA wireless data services and accelerates its push into enterprise application services. The company also updated its 2008 and multiyear outlook.

Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO, said that AT&T will enter 2008 with solid operational momentum, having delivered 10 consecutive quarters of double-digit growth in adjusted earnings per share and five straight quarters of improved revenue growth. "Our premier set of assets is capable of generating continued strong results over the next several years," said Stephenson.

Some highlights from the meeting:

  • The total broadband traffic carried by AT&T per day is up more than 145% over the past 2 years.

  • Business data traffic as measured in terabytes/day was up 60% in 2007 over 2006.

  • There are now more than 1 billion wired and wireless devices connected to AT&T networks.

  • AT&T continues to believe that its FTTN is the best architecture. In the long run, it believes the U-verse bandwidth requirements to each subscriber will grow from 21.4 Mbps today to 36.4 Mbps in the future (this represents 4 HD streams + 4 Mbps of overhead + 10 Mbps for Internet access + 2 Mbps for VoIP services). AT&T estimates it can deliver 36.4 Mbps to 80% of its footprint by using pair bonding techniques.

  • AT&T will expand its U-verse services to include the company's Southeast region, with deployment now expected to reach approximately 30 million living units across 22 states by the end of 2010. AT&T has begun a controlled launch of U-verse services in the Atlanta area.

  • AT&T expects that its U-verse services will represent a multibillion-dollar revenue stream by 2010.

  • In terms of wireline consumer connections, AT&T predicts that ARPU will grow from the upper $50s today to more than $70 by 2010.

  • In 2008, AT&T will begin offering 10 Mbps broadband connections over its U-verse network.

  • For U-verse TV, AT&T has set the following targets: more than 1 million customers by the end of 2008; weekly installs ramping to over 40,000 by the end of 2008.

  • U-verse CPE costs are currently running at about $550 per subscriber. The company aims to reduce this to around $400 per subscriber by 2010. The cost per living unit passed is in the low-$300 range.

  • AT&T is deploying content servers in more than 20 locations across the U.S.

  • Industry-wide voice minutes are growing 10% annually, with a shift to wireless.

  • Annual wireless data revenue growth has exceeded 60% for 5 consecutive quarters.

  • AT&T Global Business Services currently serves nearly 120,000 enterprise and wholesale customers globally. Wholesale represents 43% of the business, while enterprise sales represents the other 57%.

  • AT&T Global Business Services expects approximately 75% of market growth in the next 2 years will come from Application Services. Therefore, the company's strategy will be "to help enterprises achieve velocity by delivering intelligent and secure networking, application-enabling platforms and business solutions expertise."

  • AT&T's board of directors approved a 12.7 percent increase in the company's quarterly dividend, the largest annual increase in the company's history, from $0.355 a share to $0.40 a share on a quarterly basis and from $1.42 to $1.60 a share on an annualized basis.

  • AT&T board approved a new authorization for the repurchase of 400 million shares, which represents approximately 6.6 percent of AT&T's shares outstanding as of Dec. 7, 2007. This replaces AT&T's current repurchase authorization, under which the company had repurchased more than $13 billion of its shares through Dec. 7, 2007.

  • AT&T expects to return $19 billion this year to shareowners through dividends and share buybacks.

  • AT&T expects to deliver continued midteens wireless revenue growth, including results from the recent acquisition of Dobson Communications, reflecting strong subscriber growth and continued robust growth in wireless data services.

  • AT&T expects continued capital expenditures in the midteens as a percentage of total revenues.

Presentation materials are available on the company's website.

Comstar and Intel Develop Mobile WiMAX in Russia

"COMSTAR -- United TeleSystems" signed an agreement with Intel to develop and launch a mobile WiMAX network in the Moscow region by the end of 2008, using the IEEE 802.16e standard (2.5-2.7 GHz range). The network will cover the whole city. Intel will provide the client technical devices with embedded WiMAX solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.