Tuesday, January 9, 2007

BT Reaches 1 million VoIP Customers

BT now has more than one million registered consumer customers for its VoIP services, BT Broadband Talk and BT Softphone, representing more than a third of BT's consumer broadband base.

The milestone was reached more than six months earlier than the company had projected, having set out in July 2006 a target of achieving a million VoIP customers within twelve months.


Equinix Acquires New Data Center in Tokyo from VSNL

Equinix has added a second Internet Business Exchange (IBX) data center in Tokyo by acquiring the long-term building lease and related assets from VSNL International. The facility will add approximately 740 sellable cabinets and approximately 73,000 square feet, increasing Equinix's Tokyo footprint to approximately 116,000 square feet. Equinix intends to place new customers in the center during the fourth quarter of 2007. Acquisition terms were not disclosed.

VSNL International will continue to operate in the center as a long-term customer of Equinix, providing its standard suite of communications services to its customers in Tokyo, including colocation services. Existing VSNL International customers, several of whom are already operating in other Equinix IBX centers, will remain in the center as VSNL International customers.

Equinix said it intends to invest $25.0 to $30.0 million of capital expenditures in 2007 to make additional infrastructure enhancements to this center. The center is expected to generate, at capacity, annual revenues between $20.0 and $25.0 million. Equinix expects long-term cash gross margins from this expansion to be in excess of 65%, consistent with the company's model for previous expansion centers.


Redback Names Dr. Alan Lippman as Chief Video Architect

Redback announced the appointment of Dr. Alan Lippman as chief video architect and director of technology planning.

Dr. Lippman is known for his work developing streaming audio and video technology. He was one of the first five employees at RealNetworks, and was one of the original creators of RealAudio and RealVideo, which have been downloaded hundreds of millions of times. He was the first member of the development team for RealAudio, and served as chief engineer and as a key developer for all major product releases for RealVideo through 2001. At RealNetworks, Dr. Lippman was the principal architect behind the real-time encoding and decoding of audio and video on the web that later became known as "streaming media."

Dr. Lippman holds a BSM in Mathematics from the University of Washington, which he received at the age of 14, and graduated at 18 with a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Brown University. Before working as a software developer, Lippman worked as an oceanographer, studying climate change and predicting significant weather events.


Guangdong Telecom Deploys Juniper's Multi-Chassis T-Series Core Routers

Guangdong Telecom, a China Telecom subsidiary, has deployed Juniper Networks TX Matrix routing platforms to upgrade its core network to multi-terabit capacity. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Juniper's TX Matrix platform enables Guangdong Telecom to combine multiple T640 core routers to form a single multi-terabit routing platform without extensive modifications or having to introduce a new operating system. The TX Matrix deployment provides the additional capacity required for Guangdong Telecom to meet growing subscriber demand for higher performance broadband and advanced multiplay services including VoIP, IPTV, video conferencing and video-on-demand.

Guangdong Telecom has also been deploying Juniper Networks E-series Broadband Services Routers extensively and consistently throughout its broadband edge network since 2001. Juniper Networks E-series are the primary component of Guangdong's broadband aggregation and subscriber management capabilities.


Cisco Sues Apple for Trademark Infringement

One after Apple's high-profile unveiling of its iPhone, Cisco Systems filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California citing infringement of its registered iPhone trademark.

Cisco said it had been negotiating with Apple in good faith after Apple repeatedly asked permission to use its iPhone name. As of the date of the product announcement, no agreement had been reached.

Cisco obtained the iPhone trademark in 2000 after completing the acquisition of Infogear, which previously owned the mark and sold iPhone products for several years. Infogear's original filing for the trademark dates to March 20, 1996. Linksys, a division of Cisco, has been shipping a new family of iPhone products since early last year. On Dec. 18, Linksys expanded the iPhone family with additional products.


DIRECTV to Offer 100 National HD Channels in 2007

DIRECTV hailed 2007 as the "Year of HD", saying it is on track to offer 100 national high-definition (HD) channels in Q3 -- three-times more HD programming than any other multi-channel distributor, according to the company.

With the launch of DIRECTV 10 and DIRECTV 11 satellites in 2007, DIRECTV will have the ability to deliver more than 1,500 local HD and digital channels and 150 national HD channels, in addition to new advanced programming services for customers.

DIRECTV currently has signed agreements, or agreements in principle, with more than 70 major networks. It will also offer HD programming from regional sports networks (such as YES Network, Comcast Sports Net, etc.) and plans to offer an expanded line-up of HD programming available from all premium movie channels.

At this week's CES, DIRECTV also introduced a portable satellite and TV system designed for outdoor and indoor settings, including camping and hiking trips, RVing, tailgating, college dormitories, hospital rooms, hotels/motels, emergency response, and in-home as a second TV set. The DIRECTV Sat-Go (Satellite-To-Go), which is scheduled to launch in spring 2007, will feature a briefcase-like design that includes a 17-inch LCD monitor with integrated DIRECTV Receiver, flat antenna and replaceable/rechargeable laptop-style battery.

  • DIRECTV currently offers standard-definition local channels in 142 markets, covering nearly 94 percent of television households in the country, as well as local HD broadcast channels in 49 cities, representing more than 65 percent of U.S. TV households.

DIRECTV HD DVR Gains Intel Viiv Certification

The DIRECTV Plus HD DVR has been verified with Intel Viiv technology. The DIRECTV Plus HD DVR is the world's first digital set-top box with integrated DMA functionality. DIRECTV customers who have a DIRECTV Plus HD DVR can now access their pictures and music on their TVs directly from Intel Viiv technology-based PCs.

The company said it is now the largest supplier of Viiv-verified digital media adapters (DMAs).

Later this year, DIRECTV plans to enhance the photo and music experience, as well as provide the ability to stream video from Intel Viiv technology-based PCs via DIRECTV Plus HD DVRs.

The DIRECTV Plus HD DVR receiver provides the ability to record and view 200 hours of standard definition content or 50 hours of MPEG 4 high-definition programming.

Broadcom Supplies Silicon for DIRECTV's STB

Broadcom announced that its many of its chips are being used as the core technology in many DIRECTV high definition television (HDTV) and basic standard definition (SD) set-top boxes, making it the leading silicon provider in DIRECTV's boxes. Production versions of Broadcom chips were provided to LG Electronics and Thomson Multimedia, enabling them to incorporate Broadcom solutions into set-top boxes for DIRECTV. As a result, DIRECTV became the first satellite provider to launch a set-top box that incorporates HDTV MPEG-4/AVC technology.


CBS Tests Sling's "Clip and Sling" Technology

CBS will begin beta testing Sling Media's new "Clip+Sling", which lets users of the Slingbox appliance clip and share content directly from live or recorded television. The new feature will be built into both the desktop and mobile versions of the SlingPlayer software. Customers can expect to see this new functionality incorporated into the SlingPlayer by Q2, 2007.

The deal is the first for the newly formed Sling Media Entertainment Group. CBS said it is interested in how new media solutions can help build communities around content.


RSA Discovers New Universal Man-in-the-Middle Phishing Kit

RSA uncovered a new Universal Man-in-the-Middle Phishing Kit, is designed to facilitate new and sophisticated attacks against global organizations in which the victims communicate with a legitimate web site via a fraudulent URL set by the fraudster.

The company said its 24x7 Anti-Fraud Command Center discovered that the kit that was being offered as a free trial on one of the online fraudster forums that the AFCC monitors regularly.

Using the Universal Man-in-the-Middle Phishing Kit, the fraudster creates a fraudulent URL via a simple and user-friendly online interface. This URL communicates with the legitimate website of the targeted organization in real- time - whether it is the online banking site of a financial institution, the order tunnel of an ecommerce company, or any other such business transacting with its users online. The victim receives a "standard" phishing email, and when clicking on the link s/he is directed to the fraudulent URL. The victim then interacts with genuine content from the legitimate website - which has been "imported" by the attack into the phishing URL - thus allowing the fraudster seamless, invisible and immediate access to the victim's personal information.

RSA said it can handle this attack in a similar fashion to the way it deals with "standard" phishing attacks - relying on a broad monitoring and detection network, its broad blocking network, as well as its expertise in site shutdown.


UTStarcom Offers EV-DO Revision A Card

UTStarcom Personal Communications introduced its PC5750 Mobile Broadband Connection Card -- a dual-band (800/1900 MHz) CDMA2000 1xEV-DO wireless Type II PC card for laptop users. The card is outfitted with EV-DO Revision A technology and supports download data or send and receive e-mails with large attachments at speeds of up to 3.1 Mbps -- 30 percent faster than previously capable. The PC5750 also has a memory capacity of 64 MB Flash / 32 MB RAM that is eight times greater than that of earlier UTStarcom mobile connectivity cards.


Verizon Boosts FiOS to 50 Mbps in More States

Verizon has boosted its FiOS Internet service to speeds of up to 50 Mbps downstream and 5 Mbps upstream in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. This level of service is now available in parts of five states.

The mid-tier maximum connection speed in those markets was increased from 15 Mbps downstream and 2 Mbps upstream to 20/5 Mbps, and the top-tier service was increased from 30/5 Mbps to 50/5 Mbps. The company plans similar FiOS Internet speed increases this year in some of the 11 other states where the service is available. Specifics will be announced at a later date.

Verizon said that more than 6 million homes and businesses in parts of 16 states are now passed by its all-fiber network, and the company expects its new network to pass about 18 million premises by the end of 2010.

Verizon had 522,000 FiOS Internet customers across 16 states at the end of the third quarter of 2006. The company also delivers its all-digital FiOS TV service over the network in parts of ten states.