Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Spirent's Chairman Takes Over as CEO, Gustafsson Out

Spirent Communications' CEO, Anders Gustafsson, has left the company with immediate effect, following a boardroom coup.

Edward Bramson, who became Chairman of the company late last year, will take over management responsibilities. Bramson has launched a strategic review of the company's operations. Spirent expects to announce the results of the review in advance of is scheduled annual shareholder meeting in May.

1394 Trade Association Targets Copper Spec for Vehicle Multimedia Networks

The 1394 Trade Association, which supports "FireWire" connectivity technology, is forming a new task group to complete the IDB-1394 copper specification for use of copper in 1394-based vehicle entertainment networks.

The group is working on a design with 400 Mbps bandwidth capacity and the ability to move A/V through vehicle networks that reach 4.5 meters. The work will be consistent with the requirements of the auto manufacturers and their OEM suppliers.

The pending specification will cover the requirements for Shielded Twisted Pair, Twisted Quad, and coaxial. It also will provide the power budget criteria so auto manufacturers and their suppliers can implement cable lengths sufficient to deal with vehicle harness layout constraints and complexities.

The 1394 Trade Association said it has developed a POF specification for the vehicle network, and optical fiber has remained a preferred medium in some early applications. However, there are advantages and disadvantages with both copper and plastic optical fiber, so completing a copper specification will enable the automakers and their OEM suppliers to have as many options as possible for both the backbone and for individual controller modules within the network.

Major automakers from the U.S., Europe and Japan are currently implementing initial in-vehicle multimedia networks, with many manufacturers moving toward the use of IDB-1394-based technology.

IPv6 Forum Tests VoIP Interoperability

The IPv6 Forum, along with Viagenie, Stealth Communications and CounterPath Solutions, conducted a series of VoIP calls over IPv6, marking an important advancement in worldwide interoperability among VoIP technologies using IPv6.

The VoIP calls, connecting Viagenie in Canada and Consulintel in Spain, were conducted using the CounterPath eyeBeam softphone through the IPv6 version of Asterisk, ported by Viagenie, a consulting and R&D firm in advanced IP networking. The Asterisk-IPv6 server was located on Stealth Communications' Voice Peering Fabric (VPF) network.

"The IPv6 Forum and its IPv6 Ready Program are adding SIP into its test suite to promote SIP and IPv6 interoperability worldwide. This is another major milestone in demonstrating true end to end services," stresses Latif Ladid, IPv6 Forum President.

Sonus IMS Trunking Supports Billing Correlation between Network Operators

Sonus Networks released a new version of its IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)-ready solution featuring standards-based support for billing between different service provider's IP voice networks.

The latest release offers the ability for operators to track individual calls throughout their own network and when the call is handed off to other network operators. The Sonus GSX9000 Open Services Switch and the GSX4000 Open Services Switch both support this billing requirement.

Sonus' platform can generate identifying information and support the seamless integration of Sonus-based networks with other IP-voice networks. In addition, Sonus' Network Border Switch delivers this functionality to allow operators to continue tracking calls for billing purposes as the call crosses network borders. Sonus said it is one of the first telecommunications vendors to support this IMS-required billing feature.

CNBC's "FastMoney" Show Adds Streaming Video Viewer Interaction via WebEx

CNBC's "Fast Money" television program (8 PM-9 PM ET, weeknights) will allow viewers to interact with the show's hosts in real-time via webcams. Fast Money is using WebEx Meeting Center from the on-demand collaboration. The companies describe the video interaction as a convergence of Web 2.0 and broadcast television.

AT&T Appoints New President of Global Operations

Paulino do Rego Barros Jr. has been appointed as the president of AT&T Global Operations. This is a new position designed to accelerate the growth of AT&T's portfolio of IP services and solutions to global companies and institutions in key markets around the world.

Before the AT&T-BellSouth merger, Mr. Barros was the chief product officer of retail markets for BellSouth, where he was responsible for the management of voice, data and IP services, and the development and commercialization of future products and services. Previously, Barros was president of BellSouth Latin America. Before joining BellSouth in 2000, Barros served as corporate vice president and general manager of Latin America Group for Motorola.

ARRIS Decides Not to Increase Offer for Tandberg Television

ARRIS decided not to increase its offer to acquire Tandberg Television, following the higher bid Ericsson made for the firm. Tandberg Television has therefore terminated its acquisition agreement with ARRIS. In connection with the decision, ARRIS has received a termination fee of $18 million. ARRIS also expects to realize net gains of approximately $11 - $12 million on the sale of foreign exchange contracts that ARRIS had purchased to hedge a portion of the purchase price. ARRIS estimates that it incurred approximately $9 - $10 million of expenses associated with the transaction.
  • On 28-Feb-2007, Ericsson made a public cash offer to acquire Tandberg Television for SEK 9.8 billion (US$1.4 billion), or NOK 106 in cash per share -- representing a premium of 18.2% to Tandberg's 90-day volume weighted average stock price. The bid represents a 10.4% premium over the acquisition offer made by ARRIS on 15-January-2007. Ericsson said it makes a better strategic partner for Tandberg TV because together the companies could offer a complete IPTV solution.

Jury Awards $58 Million to Verizon in Patent Case Against Vonage

Verizon prevailed on two counts in patent infringement case against Vonage. Jurors for the U.S. District Court for the Virginia Eastern District ordered Vonage to pay $58 million in damages to Verizon for infringement of three U.S. covering methods of offering commercial-quality VoIP services, including wireless access to VoIP.

For its part, Vonage said it is "delighted that the jury rejected Verizon's meritless claim that we infringed their two billing patents. Of the seven patents Verizon originally sued on, they prevailed on only three and we expect that verdict to be reversed on appeal."

Telecom Argentina Reaches 457,000 ADSL Users

As of December 31, 2006, Telecom Argentina had 457,000 ADSL customers, up from 226,000 a year earlier. Lines with ADSL connections accounted for more than 11% of Telecom's lines in service. The number of cellular customers rose to 9.6 million (including Argentina and Paraguay), up from 6.8 million a year earlier. Fixed lines in service rose 4% to 4.1 million.

During FY06, Telecom Argentina's consolidated net revenues increased 30% (+P$1,719 million vs. FY05) to P$7,437 million, mainly fueled by the expansion of the cellular and broadband businesses.