Sunday, May 6, 2007

Yipes Introduces Class-of-Service over VPLS VPN

Yipes Enterprises Services introduced a new Class of Service (CoS) feature that allows its customers to prioritize their traffic over its global Ethernet network. Yipes is supporting four classes of service using its Layer 2 Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS)-based network.

Yipes said that because Ethernet operates at Layer 2, it eliminates the need to convert data from customers' Ethernet LANs to higher-layer protocols. Ethernet thus provides dramatic performance advantages, including latency measured in milliseconds, jitter measured in microseconds, and efficiency gains that allow networks to deliver more traffic with less bandwidth. The new feature ensures high performance of network applications, supports any-to-any connectivity, and is secure.

"Using our CoS feature, available in four classes of service, helps assure our customers they'll receive the service quality they need for their critical performance-sensitive enterprise applications such as VoIP, real-time videoconferencing, and collaboration," said Dr. Kamran Sistanizadeh, chief technology officer and co-founder of Yipes. "CoS is very attractive to national and multinational enterprises because of the increase in internal VoIP deployments and mission-critical intranet applications."

TI Introduces its DOCSIS 3.0 Silicon Solution

Texas Instruments (TI) announced its "Puma 5" DOCSIS 3.0 silicon solution optimized for cable IP services, including voice, data and video. The DSP-based Puma 5 incorporates TI's VoIP technology and advanced home networking support. The architecture is based upon the DOCSIS 3.0 specification and supports Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), IPV6 and channel bonding.

TI said Puma 5 will enable download speeds of 160 Mbps in a low-cost residential configuration and 320 Mbps in a business services configuration.

Puma 5 will go through certification later this year, with volume expected early in 2008.

"TI anticipates that by 2009 cable operators will stop deploying earlier generations of DOCSIS specification-based products and only offer their subscribers DOCSIS 3.0 technology, as it offers them additional opportunities for revenue with new features and services while providing their subscribers a better technology," said TI Director of Broadband Strategy Peter Percosan.

Joost to Carry Warner Bros. TV Programming

Joost continues to add media partners to its Internet broadcast TV service. Warner Bros. Television Group will bring program offerings, including WBTV: SCI-FI FIX and WBTV: Before They Were Mega Stars, to Joost on an exclusive basis.

Motorola Combines HFC and PON Architectures for Ultra-Broadband

Motorola unveiled its "Cable PON" technology, combining Passive Optical Network (PON) architecture and Hybrid-Fiber-Coaxial (HFC) architecture. as an upgrade path for cable operators.

Motorola said that by emulating a traditional coaxial network, its Cable PON allows cable providers to deliver deep-fiber services that plug directly into their existing cable infrastructures and back-office operations. The cable operator can continue to use set-top and DOCSIS equipment located in homes and headends over PON while adding new FTTP connections in proximate green-field locations.

"Hybrid networks are not new to the cable industry, but this cable-operated fiber approach is unique in both its cost-effective nature and its ability to create a migration path to future GPON FTTP deployments," said Kevin Keefe, vice president of marketing and business development, Motorola Connected Home Solutions.

Motorola Plans OCAP Application Toolkit

Motorola plans to introduced an OpenCable Applications Platform (OCAP)) Simulator and Software Development Kit (SDK) for cable operators and independent application developers in late 2007.

OCAP allows for the creation of new, innovative and interactive applications to enhance the customer experience.

Motorola said its new simulator and SDK helps enable developers to more cost effectively develop new applications for the OCAP environment.

Motorola Plans OCAP Application Toolkit

Motorola plans to introduced an OpenCable Applications Platform (OCAP)) Simulator and Software Development Kit (SDK) for cable operators and independent application developers in late 2007.

OCAP allows for the creation of new, innovative and interactive applications to enhance the customer experience.

Motorola said its new simulator and SDK helps enable developers to more cost effectively develop new applications for the OCAP environment.

mig33 Raises $10 Million for Mobile Internet Community Service

mig33, a start-up offering a mobile Internet community, closed a Series A funding round of $10 million co-led by Accel Partners and Redpoint Ventures, with substantial contribution from Technology Venture Partners.

mig33's mobile phone based global communications service offers inexpensive mobile VoIP calls, instant messaging, text messaging and social networking and community features. It uses an application that works on most mobile phones, even basic models, regardless of carrier.

The service is in beta in more than 200 countries, including India, Monaco and South Africa and the company claims more than 4 million users are sending more than 15 million messages every day. The service will launch in the U.S. and additional countries in the coming months.

Atheros Introduces Mini Gigabit Ethernet PHY

Atheros Communications introduced a single-port Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) PHY measuring just 6mm x 6mm -- or 60% smaller than the nearest competitor, according to the company. The device is Atheros' second- generation GbE PHY and is designed for use in notebook and desktop PCs, wired and wireless routers, gateways, set-top boxes, printers, gaming platforms and network storage devices.

Comcast to Offer "SmartZone" Communications Portal

Comcast plans to launch a "SmartZone" communications center, giving its customers one portal to send and receive email, check voicemail online, send instant messages and manage a new smart address book. Comcast is partnering with Zimbra, which develops unified messaging and collaboration software, and HP. Other key partners involved in the project include Plaxo, which offers a "smart address book" service.

PhyFlex and ADVA Team on Carrier-Ethernet Services

PhyFlex Networks (formerly Narad) and ADVA Optical Networking announced an interoperability partnership aimed at extending the reach of Ethernet services. As part of ADVA Optical Networking's Etherjack Alliance interoperability agreement, the companies will collaborate to deliver end-to-end Carrier-Ethernet solutions including PhyFlex's FTTxSWITCH, an outdoor HFC Carrier-Ethernet switch, PhyFlex's SMP Service Management Platform and the ADVA FSP 150 family of intelligent Ethernet access and demarcation products.

Microsoft: Consumers Value TV Features over Price

More than 60 percent of consumers in seven developed countries would consider switching TV service providers to obtain the features and content they want, at current market prices or higher, according to a survey commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by Screen Digest earlier this year. The study surveyed 5,000 consumers in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Microsoft said the reports contradicts previously held assumptions that price is the single most important factor in selecting TV service providers.

The study estimated a total of 230 million potential candidates for more advanced TV services across these countries, with 75 million of those consumers expressing interest in switching and paying for a TV service with the features and channels they want. An additional 2,000 surveys were conducted in urban China and India. When these countries are included, the global audience for advanced TV services increases to 380 million, with 200 million willing to switch and pay for a new TV service.

Additional key findings highlighted by Microsoft:

  • One-third of "entertainment-oriented" households are willing to pay more than their current country average for the features and content they want, while another 33 percent would switch for new features at the same price. Entertainment-oriented households currently spend money on entertainment through either a home Internet subscription, a home pay TV subscription, or higher-than-average monthly entertainment spending on items such as DVD rentals and purchases. Nearly 80 percent of households in the seven benchmark developed countries are entertainment-oriented.

  • Driven by economic growth and broadband adoption, China and India have the highest percentage of high-potential IPTV households.

  • Among consumer segments most interested in paying for an advanced TV service, a significant proportion (30 percent) do not already have home broadband Internet service. Many of these consumers would prefer a TV-only or a TV-plus-phone package, rather than a "triple play" package including Internet, phone and TV.

"Old assumptions about this new TV market will need to be turned upside down to effectively build the customer base," said Christine Heckart, general manager, marketing, Microsoft TV Division. "Our research clearly demonstrates that the purchase paradigm is changing. Price and channel lineup have long been the primary criteria for consumers selecting TV services. Our research suggests that consumers are willing to pay for a richer TV experience that is personal, easy to use, connected and social -- and that consumers are willing to pay for."

Carbonite Raises $15 Million for Online Backup Service

Carbonite, a start-up based in Boston, raised $15 million in Series B financing for its online backup services for consumers and small businesses.

Carbonite said it recently backed up its one-billionth file since launching its service in May 2006. Carbonite's data center has over 1.5 petabytes of storage. In the past year, Carbonite's customers have been able to recover nearly 100 million digital photos, documents, emails and other files that otherwise would have been lost forever.

The funding round was led by Menlo Ventures, which joins existing investors 3i Group and Common Angels.

OpVista Receives $15 Million New Funding

OpVista secured $15 million in additional funding to further support its global sales and marketing efforts of the OpVista2000 and the recently released optical networking approach for Carrier Ethernet Transport (CET) services.

This latest internal round of investment was led by ComVentures; with existing investors also participating; this brings the total company funding to date to $90 million.

Verizon Adds 416,000 Broadband Customers in Q1

In Q1 2007, Verizon added more than 416,000 broadband customers and served nearly 1 million TV customers. Verizon now serves about 348,000 homes with FiOS TV, carried by fiber optics all the way to the home, and about 620,000 customers with DIRECTV all-digital entertainment services.

Sonus Posts Q1 Revenue of $71 Million

Sonus Networks reported Q1 revenues of $71 million compared to $79 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006 and $60 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2006. Cash, cash equivalents and investments increased by approximately $5 million during Q1FY07 to $366 million.
Sonus is not providing detailed GAAP or non-GAAP financial results for the quarter at this time because it has not yet completed its previously announced restatement of certain historical consolidated financial statements resulting from its voluntary review of the processes by which it has historically granted and accounted for employee stock options.

"Fueled by the growth of the IP-services market, Sonus' global business continues to expand, and the demand for our solutions continues to increase. With another quarter of year-over-year revenue growth, we're delivering results and executing on our long term strategy," said Hassan Ahmed, chairman and CEO of Sonus Networks.

Microsoft Launches Windows Live Hotmail

Microsoft officially launched "Windows Live Hotmail" -- the successor to MSN Hotmail -- and the most significant upgrade since the Hotmail service was launched in 1996.

Microsoft said key improvements center around security and more flexible access via the Web, on a mobile phone or with an e-mail client. An "Outlook Connector" will be available later this month in 11 languages worldwide, enabling full contact, e-mail and e-mail folder synchronization. Mobile users can access Windows Live Hotmail using a Web-enabled mobile phone or PDA. In the future, Windows Mobile customers will receive a richer online and offline Windows Live Hotmail experience with Windows Live for Windows Mobile, which will ship with Windows Mobile v6.