Monday, April 9, 2007

BT to Reduce Wholesale Broadband Charges

BT will reduce the price of its wholesale broadband products beginning next month. From 1-May-2007, service providers using BT Wholesale's most highly used product -- BT IPstream -- will benefit from a 9 percent reduction in the monthly rental charge, with the price falling from £8.40 per line per month to £7.63.

BT said there will also be further savings for service providers at high density exchanges, to reflect the lower cost of providing broadband in these areas. The current rebate scheme that covers 561 of these exchanges will now apply to a total of 1,016 exchanges. The level of this rebate is also set to increase from £1.10 to £1.24 from May 2007.

The increase in the rebate -- combined with the lower rental price - will reduce the net monthly rental price (i.e. rental less rebate) in these exchanges from £7.30 to £6.39. This is a reduction of 12.5 percent.

The revised rebate scheme will also apply to service providers using the BT Datastream product. The existing rebate of £1.15 for connections to the current 561 exchanges will be extended to the 1,016 designated exchanges. This will effectively reduce the monthly rental charge per end user from £7.05 to £5.90 in those areas from 1 May, 2007.

Datang and Alcatel-Lucent to Supply TD-SCDMA for China Mobile

Datang Mobile and Alcatel Shanghai Bell were selected to provide TD-SCDMA network solutions to China Mobile as part of China Mobile's TD-SCDMA trial network expansion program. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Datang and Alcatel Shanghai Bell plan to deploy TD-SCDMA network solutions for China Mobile in Shanghai and in the southern city of Guangzhou. Alcatel Shanghai Bell will provide the Node B equipment to be used in the network.

TD-SCDMA, initially developed by Datang Mobile, has been officially recognized as an international standard for third-generation (3G) mobile communications.

Alcatel Shanghai Bell said it has made a long-term commitment to the development and promotion of TD-SCDMA within China and worldwide. In 2004, Alcatel Shanghai Bell entered into a strategic partnership with Datang Mobile to further the development of TD-SCDMA and as part of that agreement made an investment in Datang of Euro 25 million to acquire shares and further TD-SCDMA industrialization.

Akimbo VOD Service Now Available for TV and PC

Akimbo's Internet video-on-demand service will be available next week in beta release for Windows XP and Vista-based PCs. The service has previously only been available to the Akimbo set-top box.

Akimbo used the Sonic Solutions' Roxio Venue, a rich media management application, to make the Akimbo Service available on PCs. The service offers a progressive download feature, allowing users to begin to watch videos before the download is complete. Later this year, consumers will also be able to securely burn Akimbo videos onto recordable DVDs that play on standard DVD players as well as PCs, which will be enabled using Sonic DVD On Demand technology.

NextWave Wireless to Acquire IPWireless for TD-CDMA

NextWave Wireless agreed to acquire IPWireless, the leading supplier of TD-CDMA network equipment and subscriber terminals, for approximately $100 million at closing, consisting of $25 million in cash and $75 million in NextWave common stock. Additional consideration of up to $135 million will be paid based on the achievement of certain revenue milestones in the 2007 -- 2009 timeframe as specified in the agreement.

IPWireless is known for its developmental work in 3GPP TDD UMTS standards. Its TD-CDMA technology has potential application as the mission-critical wireless broadband needs of government and public service agencies including police and fire departments, public safety, and medical first responders. The technology, as optimized for public safety applications, can serve the 700MHz band plan currently under consideration by the FCC for public safety applications.

In September 2006, IPWireless's TD-CDMA mobile broadband wireless technology was selected by New York City's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications as part of a five-year, $500 million contract awarded to Northrop Grumman for the deployment of a citywide, public safety, mobile wireless network.

The IPWireless TDtv solution, based on 3GPP Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (MBMS), allows UMTS Operators to deliver mobile television and other multimedia services using their existing 3G spectrum and networks, without impacting their current voice and data services. A trial of TDtv technology, recently conducted in the UK by four of the largest mobile operators in Europe, demonstrated its ability to cost-effectively deliver high-quality, multi-channel broadcast services using the trial participants' existing spectrum. TDtv supports key consumer requirements including fast channel change times, reliable operation at high travel speeds, and seamless integration into small profile handsets.

Mobile broadband networks that utilize IPWireless' TD-CDMA technology have been commercially deployed in more than a dozen countries, including the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Germany, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.

NextWave Wireless and IPWireless said they will work together to expand IPWireless' product portfolio to incorporate WiMAX and/or Wi-Fi technologies for those service providers and equipment vendors that require such solutions.

http://www.ipwireless.comIn February 2007, NextWave Wireless, which develops mobile WiMAX solutions and has acquired a nationwide spectrum footprint in the U.S. and Germany, completed its acquisition of GO Networks. The Mountain View, California-based start-up provides advanced Wi-Fi network systems to service providers looking to deploy campus and metropolitan Wi-Fi systems.

In January 2006, Sprint Nextel made an additional $10 million strategic investment in IPWireless, a supplier of TD-CDMA technology. Sprint made its initial investment of $4 million in IPWireless in July 2005.

At the time, Sprint Nextel was trialing IPWireless' UMTS TD-CDMA technology in the Washington, D.C. area for broadband access for laptops, desktops or PDAs; backhaul for enterprise campus; and a wide array of Wireless Interactive Multimedia Services such as video-streaming, online gaming, document collaboration and video-conferencing.

IPWireless has raised more than $200 million since its founding in 1999, with lead backers including Bay Partners, DCM - Doll Capital Management, Gabriel Venture Partners, GIC Special Investments, J.F. Shea Venture Capital, and Oak Hill Capital Management.

Novatel Wireless Announces HSDPA Launch in Europe through OEMs

Novatel Wireless announced that four tier-one operators and two OEM partners, including existing and new customers, have launched its next generation HSDPA product portfolio throughout Europe. Novatel Wireless currently has five products commercialized for the European market across all product portfolio segments of PC and ExpressCards, embedded modules and Ovation fixed mobile solutions. The company said these customer relationships have resulted in more than a 25 percent sequential increase in HSDPA EMEA sales in the first quarter of 2007.

KT to Deploy DASAN STBs Powered by Sigma Media Processors

KT has selected DASAN Networks for deployment of FTTH equipment for their Megapass TV service. Under the contract, customers that sign up for KT's flagship Megapass TV service will be offered a DASAN Network IPTV set-top box.

The DASAN STBs are powered by Sigma Designs' SMP8634 media processor. An internal hard disc drive enables the download and play option for personal video recording. The set-top box also includes a port of ACAP middleware to support data broadcasting reception of the ATSC digital TV standard.

KT's new Megapass TV Advanced Video Services support rates up to 50 Mbps. It will feature live television, pay-per view, high definition content, video-on-demand, and a host of interactive services. KT expects to begin volume deployments of Megapass TV in July of this year.

OPNET Delivers HAIPE Network Planning and Configuration Validation

OPNET Technologies announced new capabilities for planning and validating the configuration of High Assurance Internet Protocol Encryptor (HAIPE) networks.

HAIPE encryption devices comply with the National Security Agency's (NSA) HAIPE Interoperability Specification, a suite of features for traffic protection, networking, and management to ensure secure interoperability between IP encryption devices. HAIPE devices are emerging as a standard for protecting IP traffic for national security systems.

New capabilities include support for modeling and simulating HAIPE devices, as well as analyzing their configuration. Users are able to design secure and resilient HAIPE networks, and predict the impact of their deployment on existing networks. They can also validate a proposed network configuration, including HAIPE devices, to ensure network integrity, security, and policy compliance.

The new functionality is available in OPNET Modeler, Modeler Wireless Suite, Modeler Wireless Suite for Defense, and IT Guru Network Planner.

Modulus Video Announces MPEG-4 AVC Receiver Encoders

Modulus Video introduced a new class of video receiver/encoder systems for direct broadcast satellite (DBS) and IPTV headend operations. The new MRE2000 is a single 1RU chassis that incorporates direct RF signal input, demodulation, decoding and signal processing along with MPEG-4 AVC high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) video encoding.

The MRE2000 family complements Modulus Video's ME2000 family of dedicated HD/SD MPEG-4 AVC video encoders. The MRE2000 eliminates the need for external demodulator, receiver and decoder systems by providing built-in reception functions.

Modulus Video said its new product family will ultimately include support for the following: Terrestrial RF NTSC, Digital Terrestrial ATSC and DVB-T, Satellite DVB-S/S2, and Direct MPEG-2 from UDP/IP.

Telsima Raises $50 Million for WiMAX

Telsima, a start-up based in in Santa Clara, California, raised $50 million in new funding for its WiMAX based Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) and Mobility solutions.

Telsima's StarMAX BWA product lines resemble end-to-end WiMAX solutions, enabling operators to deploy non-line-of-sight, fixed or portable broadband wireless multimedia services in dense urban, suburban and rural environments.

Telsima said it currently has commercial deployments in emerging markets such as India, and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), with several multi-million dollar contracts from Tier 1 operators.

The new funding came from the initial investor syndicate: NewPath Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, CMEA Ventures, JAFCO Asia, and other strategic investors.
  • Telsima is headed by Dr. Alok Sharma, who previously was the Vice President and General Manager of the Worldwide Cable Business at Juniper Networks. Before Juniper Networks, Alok was the Founder, CEO and President of Pacific Broadband Communications (PBC) which was acquired by Juniper Networks for $200 million in December 2001.

Vodafone Selects Ericsson for European-Wide Managed Services

Vodafone has selected Ericsson to manage the supply and distribution of spare parts for its mobile networks across several of its major European operating companies including Germany, Spain and Portugal.

Under the multi-million Euro deal, Ericsson will assume responsibility for the logistics, warehousing, repair and replacement of multi-vendor spare parts in the selected operating companies. The agreement will cover the end-to-end management of spare parts for 2G, 3G and transmission equipment in the selected European operating companies.

Ericsson said it is able to deliver greater cost efficiencies to Vodafone through lower average prices for the management process of spares, as well as enhanced service levels. The initiative forms part of Vodafone's cost reduction strategy as each Vodafone operating company currently runs its own spare parts operation. It will also enable the company to focus more on its core business of enhancing network performance, as well as delivering more attractive services to customers.

Israel's Partner Comm. Deploys AMDOC's Service Mediation

Partner Communications, a leading Israeli mobile provider operating under France Telecom Group's Orange brand name, has deployed Amdocs Service Mediation Manager 7 to support new services while reducing operational costs. This is the first deployment of Amdocs Service Mediation Manager 7, a product within the Amdocs 7 suite which was launched on January 23, 2007. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Amdocs has been supporting mediation at Partner since 2000. With the current deployment, Partner was looking to consolidate all data and content mediation onto a single convergent mediation system that supports both batch-mode and real-time processing modes for its postpaid and prepaid offerings. Partner was also looking to add mediation capabilities to support Mobile Number Portability and new data and content services, such as multimedia messaging (MMS).

Bay Microsystems and Enigma Push Line Card Designs to 40 Gbps

Bay Microsystems and Enigma Semiconductor have jointly developed a 40 Gbps line card solution using Bay's Chesapeake 40G Network Processor and Enigma's HybriCore chipset.

The combination of Bay's 40G network processor and Enigma's single chip, 40G full duplex EN6240 fabric manager device enables OEMs to develop a new generation of broadband equipment, metro Ethernet routers and multi-service provisioning platforms capable of delivering advanced IP-based services.

Bay and Enigma Semiconductor said they have aligned their product roadmaps to support common interfaces on next generation devices to maintain industry leadership in terms of both system density and cost as the era of 100G dawns.

Rinera Raises $9 million for Internet Video Distribution

Rinera Networks, a start-up based in San Mateo, California, raised $9 million in Series A funding for its development of solutions for the delivery of distributing video over the Internet. The funding came from NEA and Foundation Capital.

Rinera said its unique Coordinated Video Distribution System (CVDS) allows content owners to offer a consumer experience that is on- par with or better than that offered by server-based Content Delivery Network (CDN) solutions. Furthermore, Rinera's technology provides excellent network efficiency and breakthrough traffic management capabilities for both content owners and network service providers. Rinera is currently conducting trials with selected customers and plans to make its technology available to the marketplace later this year.

Rinera was founded by Dr. Hui Zhang, a researcher from Carnegie Mellon University, and Dr. Ion Stoica, a researcher from U.C. Berkeley.

Cablevision Appeals Network DVR Decision

Cablevision Systems is appealing the recent New York federal district court ruling involving network-based DVRs. Cablevision said it plans to seek expedited review of its appeal, citing the district court's misapplication of modern copyright law to remote-storage DVR, with potentially broader negative implications for technological innovation, and the clear consumer benefits of remote-storage DVR.

"We continue to believe strongly that remote-storage DVR is permissible under current copyright law and offers significant benefits to consumers, including lower costs and faster deployment of this popular technology to our digital cable customers," said Tom Rutledge, Cablevision's chief operating officer.

"Our remote-storage DVR is the same as conventional DVRs, and merely enables consumers to exercise their well-established rights to time-shift television programming. The technological innovation behind our remote- storage DVR makes a popular product even better. It does not alter the relationship between our customers and the programming they choose to record, and simply stores programming recorded by consumers in a central location," Rutledge added.

Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom Invests in Content Aggregator

Chunghwa Telecom, the incumbent operator in Taiwan, has acquired a 21-percent stake in Elta Technology Co Ltd, a local company that delivers digital content to Chunghwa Telecom's mobile users and Internet TV subscribers as well as other mobile carriers.
  • Earlier this year, Chunghwa Telecom acquired a 32% stake in Senao International, Taiwan's second-largest domestic handset retailer.