Sunday, April 1, 2007

Apple Offers DRM-free Music Downloads -- 256 kbps Quality

EMI Music's entire digital catalog of music will be available for purchase DRM-free (without digital rights management) from Apple's iTunes Store starting next month. The DRM-free tracks from EMI will be offered at higher quality 256 kbps AAC encoding and will cost $1.29 per song.

In addition, iTunes customers will be able to upgrade their entire library of all previously purchased EMI content to the higher quality DRM-free versions for just 30 cents a song.

Apple said that iTunes will continue to offer its entire catalog, currently over five million songs, in the same versions as today -- 128 kbps AAC encoding with DRM -- at the same price of 99 cents per song, alongside DRM-free higher quality versions when available.

Rogers Wireless Offers Video Calling over HSDPA

Rogers Wireless, Canada's largest mobile operator with 6.8 million customers, unveiled a wireless video calling service over its new High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) network, the fastest wireless network in Canada.

In addition to wireless video calling, Rogers VISION allows customers to access video-on-demand, including the best on YouTube, ET Canada, CSI, and CNN; radio-on-demand, featuring live XM Satellite radio; and Rogers MusicStore with hundreds of thousands of music tracks.

As part of Rogers VISION, Rogers Wireless is first in Canada to offer subscribers access to the top 50 YouTube clips, updated on a weekly basis.

Freescale Develops Voice-Enabled GPON Chipset

Freescale Semiconductor introduced a voice-enabled Gigabit Passive Optical Networking (GPON) SoC. The multi-core MSC7120 integrates a Power Architecture CPU, a "StarCore" DSP and a data path engine to deliver a complete PON sub-system in a single device. Sampling is underway.

Freescale and Alcatel-Lucent initiated joint development of the MSC7120 after the companies agreed in 2005 to collaborate on delivering compatible, interoperable and cost-effective GPON technology to the market.The delivery of rich digital content to the home and small office via fiber takes a major step toward reality today with the introduction of the MSC7120 from Freescale Semiconductor -- the industry's first voice-enabled Gigabit Passive Optical Networking (GPON) SoC.

The multi-core MSC7120 integrates a "Power Architecture" CPU, a "StarCore" DSP and a data path engine to deliver a complete PON sub-system in a single device. It combines the high channel voice density of Freescale's MSC711x DSP device with the high-speed networking capabilities of the "PowerQUICC" II Pro platform featuring Power Architecture technology, a GPON media access controller (MAC) and Freescale's packet engine, which achieves Gigabit wire rate packet forwarding. The device supports the G.984 GPON GEM protocol and is designed to be compliant with the ITU-T standards.

North Carolina's Star Telephone Deploys Ciena's CN 4200

Star Telephone, an independent operating company (IOC) based in southeastern North Carolina, has selected Ciena's CN 4200 FlexSelect Advanced Services Platform for its core network infrastructure upgrade. Star is transitioning its legacy SONET network to a next-generation, service-enabled architecture to better support the delivery of high-bandwidth services including metro Ethernet, wireless, high-speed data and IPTV.

Supporting the ITU's G.709 Optical Transport Network (OTN) standard, Ciena's CN 4200 enables Star to overlay its SONET ring with a Coarse Wave Division Multiplexing (CWDM) system on existing lit fiber to carry two GbE circuits over the ring--with the capability to grow to 16 GbE circuits--to deliver more services faster.

Comcast Interactive Capital Invests in Vyatta

Vyatta, a start-up developing open source routing, completed its Series B financing led by Comcast Interactive Capital (CIC). The Vyatta system is available as a software subscription with tiered service and support options, or as a pre-configured hardware appliance. Vyatta has also sponsored the Vyatta Community, a public forum for Vyatta users and developers who are interested in open-source network innovation.

In addition to leading the round, CIC has joined the Vyatta board of directors, where it will assist the company in addressing service provider market opportunities for its open-source networking solutions that include routing, firewall, and VPN functionality as well as extensibility for many other network applications.

Comcast Interactive Capital was joined in the new funding round by all of Vyatta's existing investors, including JPMorgan Partners (as advised by Panorama Capital), ComVentures, and ArrowPath Venture Partners, bringing the total venture funding in Vyatta to $18.5 million. The funds will be used for operating capital as the company scales its market penetration and product delivery.

UK's Virgin Media Deploys Juniper Networks T-series

Virgin Media Group, the UK's largest cable operator serving 3 million customers, has deployed Juniper Networks T-series core routers, including the multi-terabit TX Matrix, to upgrade its IP backbone network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Virgin Media, which was formed through the merger between ntl, Virgin Mobile and Telewest Global in 2006, is using the T-series for its next-generation IP network supporting bandwidth-intensive multiplay services such as IPTV, video on demand and VoIP. In addition to supporting all of its own broadband customers, Virgin Media also leases capacity on its core network to several of the UK's leading ISPs, so the Juniper Networks T-series will be supporting an expansive network capable of delivering Internet-based communications services to more than 12 million UK homes (more than 50 percent of the total households in the UK), and 85 percent of UK businesses.

Virgin Media also uses Juniper Networks integrated firewall/VPNs in its VoIP infrastructure, and the Juniper Networks Steel-Belted Radius family of high-performance RADIUS/AAA servers to provide centralized user authentication and access policy management.

Juniper noted that over 2,500 units of its T-series have been deployed worldwide.http;//

Vyyo to Supply 3GHz Network Passives by Cox

Vyyo has been selected as a supplier of 3GHz taps and passive network elements by Cox Communications, the fourth largest cable system operator in the U.S. Cox will use 3GHz elements from Vyyo within its coaxial network as part of its new build architecture and for business services in its existing network. Vyyo has received initial orders for 3GHz passives from multiple Cox systems.

Vyyo said its Spectrum Overlay solution is designed to allow cable companies to substantially increase bandwidth to fiber-like performance, leveraging their existing infrastructure and at a fraction of the cost (under $125 per home passed) to build new fiber networks. Spectrum Overlay leverages higher frequencies on the existing coaxial cable doubling downstream bandwidth and increasing upstream bandwidth by a factor of at least four.

AT&T Offers Managed Web-Security Service

AT&T introduced a network-based security service that provides advanced Web content and instant-messaging filtering.

AT&T Web Security, which is available to companies in the U.S. and internationally, is the newest addition to AT&T's enterprise security portfolio, which is focused on providing companies with security services "in the cloud" to help remove the dependency on hardware and software while supporting a "defense in depth" architecture with security features built into different network layers and supporting processes.

AT&T Web Security provides companies with network-based capabilities to perform Web-content filtering and screening for malware and spyware, and IM filtering for malware, without dedicated hardware or software requirements.

AT&T Web Security is designed to monitor all nonencrypted Web traffic, including HTTP requests, and replies to HTTP requests and IM traffic. It can operate independently or become fully integrated with AT&T's other managed security solutions.

Key features include:

  • Monitoring and reporting of Web traffic at the network level. Customers may choose to monitor individual end-users, which would require that the customer install software on the user's PC.

  • Web-based portal for administration and reporting, including customized browser alert capabilities and automated reports.

  • Near-real-time scanning of requested Web sites and files to ensure that even trusted locations and files are monitored.

  • IM-filtering capabilities with storage.

Nokia Siemens Networks Starts Operations, Offer 2007 Outlook

Nokia Siemens Networks officially started its operations as a merged company. It has five product business units - Radio Access, Broadband Access, Service Core and Applications, IP/Transport, and Operations Support Systems - that provide a full range of products and applications for fixed, mobile and converged networks. Additionally, the new company addresses the growing demand for services through its Services Business Unit, which has some 20,000 professionals worldwide.

Nokia Siemens Networks said its mission is to help its hundreds of customers across the globe meet the challenges of connecting the five billion people that the company believes will be "always on" by 2015. It has approximately 600 customers and operates in about 150 countries.

"Already starting as one of the leaders of the industry, we have a clear objective: to become number one. We want to be the number one communications enabler for our customers; the number one company connecting the world through seamless connectivity of mobile and fixed communications; and the number one workplace of choice for our employees. We also want to be known for operating with the highest standards of ethics and integrity," said Simon Beresford-Wylie, chief executive officer of Nokia Siemens Networks.

In terms of market outlook, Nokia Siemens Netwoks said that over the last couple of months there has been a narrowing of visibility and indications of a slowdown in spending in some regions. . As a result, Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks now expect very slight market growth for the mobile and fixed infrastructure and related services market in euro terms in 2007. Previously, Nokia expected slight growth in the mobile and fixed infrastructure and related services market in euro terms in 2007. From April 1, 2007, the financial results of Nokia Siemens Networks will be consolidated to Nokia.

Korea's DASAN Networks Selects Ikanos Silicon for VDSL2 Gear

DASAN Networks has selected Ikanos Communications' multi-mode VDSL2 central office (CO) and customer premises equipment (CPE) chipsets for its next generation equipment. Ikanos' solutions enable DASAN to offer universal 100/100 VDSL2 DSLAMs, concentrators, CPE and residential gateways for deployment in Korea and the rest of the world.

LSI Completes Merger With Agere Systems

LSI Logic completed its merger with Agere Systems. The newly merged company will be known as LSI Corporation and will continue to trade under the stock symbol LSI on the New York Stock Exchange.

The two companies had combined revenue of $3.5 billion for the 12 months ended December 31, 2006. The new LSI operates in more than 20 countries, with a workforce of approximately 9,100 employees, including nearly 4,300 engineers. The company owns a substantial patent portfolio consisting of more than 10,000 issued and pending U.S. patents.
  • On 04-Dec-2006, LSI Logic first announced plans to acquire Agere Systems in an all-stock transaction with an equity value of approximately $4.0 billion. Under the deal, LSI and Agere shareholders will own approximately 52% and 48%, respectively, of the combined company.

  • Agere Systems was formerly the Microelectronics Group of Lucent Technologies. Agere was spun-off from Lucent in 2002.

SunRocket Reaches 200,000 Paid VoIP Subscribers

SunRocket has reached 200,000 residential VoIP subscribers. The company has also launched or expanded service in several key markets over the past few weeks.

SunRocket also noted that in the coming months it plans to leverage its all-IP network to deliver "a host of compelling home-centric communications products, services and features to consumers nationwide."

Colubris Networks Names CEO

Colubris Networks, which supplies intelligent WLANs gear for enterprises and service providers,announced the appointment of Rob Scott as president and CEO. Most recently, Scott was president and CEO of Xelor Software, where he established the company's U.S. headquarters and launched its new software solution for IP telephony and voice over IP service quality management. Prior to Xelor, Scott served as president and CEO at IPeria, a provider of network-based voice messaging applications.
  • In the last year, Colubris said it has achieved record revenues, 89 new reseller agreements, $14 million in new financing and key vertical customer wins such as Wayne Memorial Hospital, Coleman Powermate and George Mason University.

  • Last month, Colubris and Nortel announced a joint marketing and sales agreement under which the companies will offer a comprehensive municipal wireless solution. The first deployment for the joint solution will be with Trinity Railway Express (TRE), a cooperative public railway linking Fort Worth, Dallas and DFW International Airport.

Verizon Offers Premium Tech Support Service

Verizon will begin offering a Premium Technical Support service to its broadband customers for problems with spyware, adware, viruses, Internet security, hardware issues, computer operating systems and other problems not typically covered by many Internet providers' standard support services.

Consumers and businesses who have Verizon High Speed Internet service can subscribe to Premium Technical Support for $9.99 a month. Subscribers will have a single point of contact, unlimited use of the service, and expert one-on-one assistance for a wide variety of computer or Internet problems. The service will be available 24/7.

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