Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Integra5 Previews SMS to TV Application

In conjunction with Scientific Atlanta, Integra5 demonstrated an SMS-to-TV application that seamlessly converges quad play elements -- mobile phones, landlines, TVs and PCs -- into new cross-platform services.

The application, which is part of the i-Communicate application suite for Integra5's Converged Services Delivery Platform (i5 C-SDP), enables the user to send a text message from a cell phone to a TV. The text message is displayed on the TV and the recipient can then use the TV remote to reply to the message with pre-set responses, or to trigger a "click to call" response that initiates a call between the home landline phone and the cell phone that sent the text message. If the person sending the text message has been personalized via the i5 network address book, the SMS will be flagged with a picture and nickname of the sender on the TV screen similar to Integra5's Picture Caller ID service. The application will be available this summer.

Siemens to OEM Crossbeam's Unified Threat Management Platform

Siemens Networks will sell Crossbeam Systems' Unified Threat Management (UTM) platforms under an OEM agreement for deployment in mobile and fixed carriers' networks.

Crossbeam's UTM platform consolidates a variety of best-of-breed security applications such as firewall, spam filter, anti-virus, web security and intrusion prevention, used to recognize and repel attacks on the telecommunications network in a single device.

Within the partnership with Crossbeam Systems, Siemens will provide the design know-how for security solutions and network integration, as well as sales and technical support. The services from Siemens include loading software upgrades, designing a secure network structure, test runs, integration of the UTM platforms, maintenance and, if required, permanent operation including round-the-clock monitoring. Consolidating security solutions on one platform leads to extensive savings in infrastructure and operating costs, and meets the high demands of the network carriers in terms of availability, scalability, flexibility and network performance.

Radialpoint Names Martin Demers as President & COO

Radialpoint, which provides managed Internet services solutions for broadband providers, Martin Demers as President and Chief Operating Officer. Reporting to Hamnett Hill, CEO of Radialpoint, Mr. Demers will be responsible for all business operations, including pursuing new opportunities.

Prior to joining Radialpoint, Mr. Demers was President and CEO of Interstar Technologies. Before that, he was Chief Marketing Officer at ACE*COMM, a Washington DC-based provider of operations support systems (OSS), where he was responsible for building and growing its carrier business globally. He has also held senior management roles at Teleglobe, CAE Electronics, and Foxboro.
  • Radialpoint's Value Added Services (VAS), such as backup-and-restore, firewall, fraud protection, parental controls and malware protection, are currently available to over 20 million broadband subscribers worldwide. Customers include customers include Bell Aliant, Bell, TELUS and Videotron in Canada; Adelphia, BellSouth and Verizon in the US; and ntl, ONO, and Telewest in Europe.

  • Radialpoint is based in Montreal, Canada.

Intelsat Cites Restoration Role Following Taiwan Undersea Fiber Cuts

Intelsat said it was able to restore services for many voice, video and data providers following the 26-Dec-2006 undersea earthquake off the coast of Taiwan. The earthquake severed six major undersea fiber optic cables, disrupting telecommunications throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Intelsat restored traffic to customers in Asia and the Middle East through its flexible satellite network and its GlobalConnex Managed Network Services infrastructure. Traffic delivery to the area has primarily used Intelsat's teleports and its six satellites serving the Asia-Pacific region. Specifically, Intelsat reestablished international and intra-regional links for more than 20 telecommunications operators, broadcasters and network service providers.

In one case, Intelsat was able to establish a new 56 Mbps of Internet service for a Southeast Asian telecommunications provider within four hours after the fiber outage.

Intelsat said the event illustrates the importance of satellites during and after natural disasters.

Nigeria Awards Spectrum License to Mubadala of UAE

The Nigerian Government has agreed to license spectrum in the 1800MHz and 900MHz bands to the Mubadala Development Company of the United Arab Emirates. The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) also intends to proceed with the licensing of radio spectrum in the 3G and 450 MHz bands. These new licences will encourage the deployment of advanced technology to continue the development of telecommunications in Nigeria.

Widevine Joins the Digital Watermarking Alliance

The Digital Watermarking Alliance, an industry group that was formed in September 2006 to create awareness of the value of digital watermarking to content owners, industry, policy makers and consumers, has added Widevine Technologies to its ranks.

Widevine provides content protection and forensic watermarking solutions for telco, internet, mobile, cable and satellite service providers worldwide. Its patented Widevine Mensor solution invisibly watermarks content at multiple points in a video distribution network and employs session-based watermarks in real-time to content that is streamed from a server to a client.

LG Earns CableLabs Certification for Two-Way Interactive Digital Cable HDTV

LG Electronics' plasma HDTV has achieved Certification status as OCAP-enabled interactive digital television set, including the multi-stream CableCARD (M-Card) system, from a recently concluded certification by CableLabs.

LG Electronics' 42-inch OpenCable plasma HDTV set features built-in OCAP technology, M-Card capabilities and interactive capabilities, as well as high-definition content and interactive services like Video-on-Demand and Pay-Per-View. The TV can connect directly to a local cable TV system, and receive current advanced interactive cable TV services, as well as be ready for future interactive applications -- without the need for a separate digital set-top box (STB).

Amino Links its STBs with Orb Network' MyCasting Service

Amino, which supplies IPTV set-top boxes, has formed a partnership with Orb Networks, a software developer offering the "MyCasting" media streaming service.

The two companies plan to integrate Amino's AmiNET series of (STBs) with Orb's software and roll out a series of product offerings throughout the year. The combination of technologies will close the gap between the STB and the PC, using the Orb MyCasting application platform as the bridge.

Orb MyCasting gives consumers secure, free, instant, and everywhere-access to everything from their photos and video to TV and music on virtually any Web-enabled device.

Crown Castle and Global Signal Stockholders Approve Merger

Crown Castle stockholders voted to approve the merger with Global Signal, whose stockholders also voted to approve the deal.

"We are excited about the combination of Crown Castle and Global Signal, which will create the largest US wireless tower company with the best-located assets in the industry, with approximately 55% and 72% of our towers in the top 50 and top 100 BTA's, respectively," stated John P. Kelly, President and Chief Executive Officer of Crown Castle. "The complementary nature of the US portfolios and our experienced management team position Crown Castle to remain a leading provider of infrastructure to the wireless industry."
  • In October 2006, Crown Castle agreed to acquire Global Signal Inc., which owns, leases or manages approximately 11,000 towers and other wireless communications sites.

Level 3 to Exchange Debt for Equity

Level 3 Communications announced that pursuant to an exchange agreement, Southeastern Asset Management, on behalf of certain investment accounts, and Legg Mason Opportunity Trust have agreed to exchange $490 million aggregate principal amount of Level 3's 10% Convertible Senior Notes due 2011 for a total of approximately 160.1 million shares of Level 3's common stock, equivalent to approximately 326.78 shares per $1,000 note, and the payment of accrued and unpaid interest on the notes to the closing date.

Level 3 said the exchange will reduce its 2007 cash interest expense by approximately $47 million.

IP Captioned Telephone Service Eligible for TRS Compensation

In a decision that could benefit the deaf and hard-of-hearing, the FCC adopted a Declaratory Ruling finding that Internet Protocol (IP) captioned telephone service (IP CTS) is a type of telecommunications relay service (TRS) eligible for compensation from the Interstate TRS Fund (Fund). The decision would enable these affected consumers to more easily take advantage of the flexibility and portability that IP captioned telephone service offers by freeing them from having to use specialized equipment.

An IP captioned telephone call can be set up similar to a two-line captioned telephone call, except that the line from the user to the provider would be via the Internet, not a second PSTN line. The consumer would make a voice-to-voice call to the other party on a standard telephone and the PSTN; at the same time, the voice of the called party is directed from the consumer's telephone to a personal computer (or similar device) that routes it to the IP CTS provider via the Internet. The provider, in turn, sends back to the consumer the text of what was spoken. As a result, the consumer can both hear (to the extent possible) what the called party is saying over the standard voice telephone headset, and read the text of what the called party said on the computer or similar device.

IP CTS will benefit consumers by giving them the flexibility of using a computer, PDA, or wireless device to make such a call, without having to purchase special telephone equipment. In addition, captions provided on a computer screen can accommodate a much wider group of individuals, including persons with low vision, because they can take advantage of the large text, variable fonts, and variable colors that are available.

The FCC said IP CTS calls will be compensated, on an interim basis, at the IP Relay compensation rate. The Commission also concluded that providers seeking to offer this service and be compensated from the Fund may seek certification from the Commission as an eligible provider. The Commission noted that this is an interim measure and that it intends to revisit the cost recovery methodology for this service in the future, including jurisdictional separation of costs.

AsicAhead Secures Funding for WiMAX Radios

AsicAhead NV, a start-up based in Hasselt, Belgium, announced US$10 million in its series B round of funding, for its development of advanced mobile Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits (RFICs) for the WiMAX market.

AsicAhead is working on an "on the fly" reprogrammable single-chip radio solution that enables WiMAX-connected devices and systems to be deployed worldwide. The reprogrammable wideband transceiver is designed to overcome the challenges of regional frequency band variation, multiple radio bandwidths and low-power requirements. It also eliminates the need for multiple RFICs, Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) filters, and Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillators (TCXO), lowering the Bill of Materials.

The round of funding was led by Capital-E and included current investors LRM, SHF and Allegro.

Calix Appoints Ex-Cisco Exec to its Board

Calix announced the addition of Don Listwin to the company's board of directors. A 25-year industry veteran, Listwin held positions of increasing responsibility during a ten-year period at Cisco Systems. In his last role at Cisco, Listwin was responsible for the service provider business. Listwin was also president and CEO at Openwave, a provider of software solutions for the communications and media industries.

Optibase Acquires 23% Stake in Scopus Video Networks Ltd.

Optibase, which supplies encoding, decoding, video server upload and streaming solutions, acquired a 23% equity stake in Scopus Video Networks Ltd. from Koor Corporate Venture Capital and Koor Industries Ltd. at an aggregate purchase price of approximately US$16 million.

Scopus develops, markets and supports digital video networking products that enable network operators to offer advanced video services to their subscribers.

Westell Appoints Thomas E. Mader as President and CEO

Westell Technologies appointed Thomas E. Mader, 57, as President and Chief Executive Officer, replacing E. Van Cullens, who last year announced his intention to retire and will continue as a member of the company's board of directors.

Mader most recently a corporate vice president and general manager of Motorola's Wireline Networks business. Prior to Motorola, Mader served as president and chief executive officer of Netrake Corporation. Mader led Lucent's Fiber Optic development company in Germany and held other senior sales and marketing positions at Lucent Technologies and Nortel Networks.