Monday, March 19, 2007

Corning Introduces Ultra-Low-Loss, Single-Mode Optical Fiber

Corning unveiled a single-mode optical fiber with low attenuation and low polarization mode dispersion (PMD) characteristics, enabling greater system reach and longer span lengths in long-haul and regional terrestrial networks.

Corning said its new fiber, which compatible with the installed base of single-mode fibers, has the lowest loss of any terrestrial-grade fiber with maximum attenuation available between 0.17 and 0.18 dB/km at 1550 nm. Additionally, the fiber has the lowest PMD of any ITU-T G.652 compliant optical fiber featuring a ≤ 0.04 ps/√km PMDQ link design specification. Combined, these features provide spare network margin that can be leveraged to extend network span lengths, skip amplification sites, upgrade to faster bit rates, add network components for improved flexibility or lengthen the distance between regenerators.

STMicroelectronics Offers New Chip for STB

STMicroelectronics announced a new generation single-chip solution for digital cable-TV STBs. The newest member of the company's leading OMEGA family, the QAMi5107 is an integrated demodulator plus MPEG decoder for standard-definition digital TV. ST said the new device enables manufacturers to cut their total component cost and simplify board design and assembly, while offering increased performance and enhanced security features.

The decoder supports the advanced security features required by all major conditional-access (CA) suppliers. The 200MHz clock speed of the embedded ST20 32-bit RISC CPU core -- the most widely used CPU in the STB market -- provides increased power for advanced applications and is fully compatible with all mainstream set-top box middleware.

Global Crossing Extends VoIP Local Service to Hong Kong and Italy

Global Crossing is extending its VoIP Local Service into Rome, Milan and Hong Kong. The company also announced it is expanding the United States availability of VoIP Local Service to 83 additional communities.

VoIP Local Service has been extended to Hong Kong and Italy supporting the existing suite of VoIP Outbound and converged IP services is these two markets. VoIP Local service is also available in Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, UK and the United States. Global Crossing VoIP Local Service complements the company's VoIP Outbound services, which are available from 29 countries around the world, and provides the consistency multinational customers require from global services.

Global Crossing VoIP Local Service is an inbound local service that provides nationwide Direct Inward Dialing/Direct Dial Inward (DID/DDI) functionality through a single IP interconnection. The service lets customers originate traffic on the PSTN in different countries using geographic and non-geographic numbers. The traffic is then converted to VoIP on Global Crossing's network for delivery to the customer's IP network. VoIP Local Service eliminates traditional time division multiplexing (TDM), private line and foreign exchange service fees by providing a single IP connection alternative to serve multiple markets.

To this service, Global Crossing now has added an automated business-to- business Local Number Portability (LNP) interface.

Global Crossing also has added Calling Name Delivery Service (CNAM), the ability to provide VoIP Local Service enterprise and carrier customers with calling party name, along with calling party number, on inbound calls. The company said this is similar to caller ID in that the calling party's name is displayed along with the calling number. VoIP end users expect the same functionality as traditional telephony customers, so providing the calling party name over a VoIP service is essential.

Limelight Expands Its Board and Management

Limelight Networks, which operates a leading content delivery network for digital media, announced it is expanding its board and management team with the addition of David Peterschmidt and Gary Valenzuela as Directors, and David Van Engelhoven as General Counsel. Peterschmidt is President and Chief Executive Officer of Openwave Systems, a maker of software for mobile phones. Valenzuela, a former Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Yahoo!, is an entrepreneur and executive actively involved in real-estate development and the San Jose Sharks NHL hockey team, of which he is part-owner. Van Engelhoven was previously a Senior Partner at the Cavanagh Law Firm where he focused on intellectual property management and litigation.

Panasonic Skype Wi-Fi Phone Embeds Broadcom Chip

Broadcom is supplying its Wi-Fi phone platform and other key technologies for Panasonic's new Skype Wi-Fi phone, the KX-WP1050, and travel router bundle. Panasonic's Skype Wi-Fi phone allows consumers to make and receive phone calls, as well as have an Internet connection, while at home or on the road. Unlike a traditional cordless phone, the Skype-enabled Wi-Fi phone is unique because it allows users to see if other Skype users are available and make immediate connections to friends and family members from their Skype buddy lists.

GENBAND to Acquire Tekelec's Switching Solutions Group

GENBAND agreed to acquire Tekelec's Switching Solutions Group (SSG). The deal is structured as a sale of Tekelec's equity interests in Santera Systems and Taqua, and the SSG business assets held by Tekelec in exchange for a 19.9% common equity interest in GENBAND, $1.0 million in cash and GENBAND's assumption of certain SSG liabilities. Twenty-five percent of the equity issuable at closing will be held in escrow for one year pending the expiration of the indemnity period. Tekelec will have no operational role in GENBAND and will account for its investment under the cost method of accounting.

The acquisition will expand GENBAND's portfolio of infrastructure, applications and services for wireline, wireless and cable service providers. Tekelec's switching solutions business unit includes the businesses Santera, VocalData and Taqua, all of which had been acquired by Tekelec between 2003 and 2004. GENBAND said this portfolio of wireline and wireless media gateways and application platforms are synergistic with its existing gateway and application portfolio.

Charles D. Vogt, President and CEO of GENBAND said "The combination of the two companies creates an enviable gateway and applications product portfolio and enables GENBAND to strengthen our relationship with our existing customers and business partners."

Tekelec has approximately 465 employees directly and indirectly associated with SSG. The majority of these employees will transfer to GENBAND, and the remainder will be terminated in a restructuring at the time of closing.

AT&T Launches GPS-based Workforce-management Solution with TeleNav

AT&T introduced a hosted, GPS-based workforce-management solution based on the TeleNav platform. The application delivers GPS-enabled location- tracking, mileage-tracking, wireless time sheets, alerts and detailed location-reporting to capture field data. A premium version of TeleNav Track is also available with features including wireless forms, dispatching, barcode- scanning support and voice and on-screen turn-by-turn GPS directions.

Initially, TeleNav Track is available on the new BlackBerry 8800 and HP iPAQ hw6920 Mobile Communicator, both of which have integrated GPS. TeleNav Track also offers enterprise organizations the option of full integration with back-office systems using Web services application programming interface (API) and other connectors.

Two Former Alcatel Executives Indicted in Costa Rica Case

Two former Alcatel executives have been indicted in the U.S. for allegedly bribing Costa Rican officials to obtain a telecommunications contract.

Specifically, a 10-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Miami charges Edgar Valverde Acosta, a Costa Rican citizen, along with Christian Sapsizian, a French citizen, with conspiring to make over $2.5 million in bribe payments to Costa Rican officials in order to obtain a telecommunications contract on behalf of Alcatel, making corrupt payments, and laundering the bribes through a consultant.

EarthLink Selects Accton to Supply Wi-Fi Phones; Beta Testing in Anaheim

EarthLink has selected Taiwan-based Accton Technology Corporation to manufacture handsets for the company's Wi-Fi phone initiative. EarthLink is beta testing phones on the company's municipal wireless network in Anaheim, California.

EarthLink Wi-Fi phones will allow consumers to make Internet phone calls from a wireless handset to any traditional landline, cell phone or VoIP phone. The handsets will work directly on EarthLink's municipal wireless networks and can also connect via a wireless router attached to the user's wired home broadband network. Service and the phone handset will be free during the Anaheim beta test. Anticipated price plans for the consumer roll-out after the beta test include:

  • $14.95 a month for 500 anytime outbound domestic minutes, and free, unlimited inbound minutes.

  • $24.95 for unlimited domestic minutes.

  • $100 one-time charge for equipment, including the Wi-Fi phone handset and a cradle that functions as a charger and a Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g router inside the home.

DSL Forum Releases Technical Reports, Elects New Board

Following its annual meeting in Vancouver earlier this month, the DSL Forum released two new technical reports and announced the election of new board members. The newly approved technical specifications include TR-100 ADSL2/2plus Performance Test Plan and TR-126 Triple-play Services Quality of Experience Requirements.

TR-100 builds on TR-67 (ADSL Interoperability Test Plan) and evolves the ADSL test plan to address the higher speed options. With the launch of common performance standards, service providers can reduce costs and time to market by enabling independent testing laboratories (ITLs) to perform product interoperability tests against a standardized test suite.

TR-126 provides an extensive reference model for measuring key performance indicators associated with a user's quality of experience for bandwidth intensive applications such as video (video on demand, and broadcast video), voice and best-effort data (web browsing, gaming). These baseline expectations then correspond to objective engineering targets, critical to the market success of broadband service offerings, and they are an example of the new focus of activities that the Forum is undertaking. TR-126 is already being referenced in IPTV work by both ATIS and the ITU-T IPTV Focus Group.

In addition the Forum continued its work on VDSL2 test plan development, home networking specifications for remote management and CPE requirements, GPON architecture requirements, network policy control and IP session management solutions.

The DSL Forum members elected two new directors and re-elected four directors. The new members elected to the board of directors are Les Brown of Texas Instruments and Michael Hanrahan of Huawei Technologies. Les Brown also serves as Chair of the Testing & Interoperability Working Group within the Forum and Michael Hanrahan has been a strategic leader in the development of stronger Asian region participation as well as instrumental in defining current policy and procedures within the Forum.

Directors who were re-elected for a further two year term were: Tom Starr, AT&T, George Dobrowski, Conexant, Heather Kirksey, Motive and Greg Bathrick, PMC-Sierra. Richard Cardone, Marketing Director of Tazz Networks was elected as marketing chair.

Following the election of the DSL Forum's 2007 Board of Directors, George Dobrowski was named chairman and president, Tom Starr named vice president and secretary and Frank Van der Putten, Alcatel-Lucent, was named vice president and treasurer.

WildBlue Launches Internet Services over New Satellite

WildBlue Communications began offering Internet access services using its new Ka-band spot beam satellite, WildBlue-1. The new satellite allows WildBlue to more than triple its customer capacity, making high-speed Internet service available to more than 750,000 rural consumers throughout the continental United States. WildBlue expects that the additional capacity accessible on WildBlue-1 will be available to all areas of the contiguous United States by the second quarter of 2007. WildBlue will also continue to utilize its capacity on Anik F2, alongside WildBlue-1.

WildBlue provides broadband Internet access via satellite to homes and small businesses not currently served, or underserved, by other high-speed providers.

WildBlue launched commercial service via the Anik F2 satellite in June of 2005, and currently has over 130,000 customers nationwide.

The new WildBlue-1, which was launched in December 2006 aboard Arianespace's Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana, is a 4.7 metric ton high-power satellite based on Space Systems/Loral's 1300 spacecraft bus. It provides Ka-band spot beam capacity over the contiguous United States. Spot beam Ka-band satellites are a key component in WildBlue's low-cost wireless broadband infrastructure. WildBlue also utilizes the Ka-band spot beam capacity over the United States on Telesat Canada's Anik F2 satellite.