Monday, May 14, 2007

AOL Acquires Third Screen Media for Mobile Ad Serving

AOL has acquired Third Screen Media, the leading mobile advertising network and mobile ad-serving and management platform provider. Third Screen Media will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of AOL's division. Third Screen Media will continue to be headquartered in Boston. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"AOL is one of only four at-scale advertising businesses on the Internet, and the acquisition of Third Screen Media gives us a very strong position in the fast-growing mobile space," said Randy Falco, Chairman and CEO of AOL.

Third Screen Media connects advertisers, publishers and mobile phone carriers on a common platform, allowing ads to be managed and delivered via WAP, downloadable applications, SMS, MMS and mobile video.

Level 3 Enhances Its Content Delivery Network with Caching and Downloading

Level 3 Communications' Content Markets Group has added caching and downloading services as a part of its content delivery platform. The addition of caching and downloading services helps content owners to deliver high-quality video and digital media to Internet end users.

Level 3 said the new capabilities enable customers to tap into large-scale server clusters deployed to leverage the scale and reach of the Level 3 backbone, one of the largest in the United States and in Europe.

Level 3 cited AOL as a lead customer.

"Level 3 has been a trusted network partner for AOL for some time," said Balan Nair, chief technology officer of AOL. "We have relied on Level 3's network and services to enable the delivery of our content and services to end users. We are very pleased that Level 3 continues to develop its content delivery platform and believe that caching and downloading services are logical extensions of Level 3's network services portfolio. We believe that Level 3's content delivery solutions will enable AOL to scale with growing demand and meet the performance expectations of our AOL community of users."

Level 3 said its content delivery platform now supports the acquisition and distribution of digital content from a wide variety of applications, from broadcasting live events in HD to distributing user-generated content. Major television networks, top advertising agencies, eight of the top 10 most visited U.S. Web sites, top movie studios, and many of the biggest social networking sites are using Level 3.
  • Earlier this year, Level 3 completed its acquisition of the Content Delivery Network (CDN) services business of SAVVIS. The deal included certain network elements, customer contracts, and intellectual property used in SAVVIS' CDN business.

Mobile Satellite Ventures Signs ILS for 2009, Sea Launch for 2010

Mobile Satellite Ventures has contracted with ILS International Launch Services, Inc. for the launch in 2009 of one of two high-powered, next-generation satellites, designed to provide seamless, transparent and ubiquitous broadband wireless coverage of North and Central America to consumer electronic devices. The ILS agreement is for a single firm launch and includes an option for a second launch. ILS plans to launch the MSV spacecraft on a Proton/Breeze M vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Separately, Mobile Satellite Ventures has contracted with Sea Launch for the launch in 2010 of the second of two high-powered, next-generation satellites. Sea Launch plans to launch the MSV spacecraft on a Zenit-3SL vehicle from a site on the Equator near the island of Kiribati in the Pacific Ocean.

The two new MSV satellites, under construction by The Boeing Company, will operate in geostationary orbit over North America from 101 degrees and 107.3 degrees west longitude. The satellites feature 22-meter diameter, elliptical mesh reflectors that will support L-band communication with conventional handsets through a network based on MSV's patented ancillary terrestrial component technology.
  • In January 2007, Mobile Satellite Ventures (MSV), which is developing a hybrid satellite-terrestrial communications network for coverage across the U.S. and Canada, named Drew Caplan as Chief Network Officer. Mr. Caplan will be responsible for MSV's network engineering and technology functions, as well as leading the development and deployment of MSV's next generation network. Prior to joining MSV, Mr. Caplan served as Vice President of National Network Services at Nextel Communications from November 1996 to August 2005.

  • Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC) technology allows existing satellite phone spectrum to also be used in dedicated terrestrial networks. Call capacity is managed and reallocated, in real time, between satellite and terrestrial networks via a common control center.

McDonald's Selects AT&T/Avaya for IP Telephony

McDonald's Corporation selected AT&T and Avaya for an IP telephony network covering several locations near the company's Chicago-area headquarters. Implementation of the telephony network began in 2005 and is slated for completion in 2007.

Under the multi-year contract, AT&T is providing a fully managed high speed voice and data local area network linking three major McDonald's corporate offices in suburban Chicago. The company is using Avaya's telephony, mobility and contact center applications.

Crossbeam Launches Certification for Integrating Security Apps

Crossbeam Systems announced a partner certification program to ensure compatibility of security applications for customers running its UTM security switches. The testing program uses carrier-class equipment in a highly flexible, interconnected test bed to recreate the layered, core security architectures of large enterprise and service provider networks.

Crossbeam's UTM platforms support best-of-breed applications, including firewall, anti-virus, content management and IDS/IPS.

Nominum DNS Software Delivers Web Error Redirection

Nominum released a new DNS service delivery module that enables broadband service providers to deliver intelligent, customizable and responsible Web error redirection. The new "Vantio NXR" software redirects Web errors resulting from non-existent domain names to a provider-hosted support page that helps users find their intended Web destinations. The software comes pre-configured with the most restrictive filters to prevent redirection of non-existent domain names used by non-Web applications.

Nominum's solution is composed of the Vantio base server and the Vantio NXR (NXDOMAIN Redirection) Service Delivery Module. The base server offers a high-performance extensible carrier-grade DNS foundation. The Vantio NXR Service Delivery Module enables the Web error redirection service. Both are available immediately.

Avail Media Raises $17 Million for IPTV Managed Content Services

Avail Media, a start-up based in Reston, Virginia, has secured $17 million in Series-B venture financing for its IPTV and advanced media services to broadband operators.

Avail Media offers managed IP video content services and technologies through a fully integrated head end infrastructure. The company offers broadband providers an ease of execution and a speed to market advantages.

The funding round was co-led by Washington, D.C. area funds Novak Biddle Venture Partners and Columbia Capital.

Fujitsu Selected for Terabit-class Japan-US Cable

Fujitsu Limited was awarded a contract for the upgrade of the Japan-US Cable Network by a consortium of seven carriers, including AT&T Corp, KDDI Corporation, NTT Communications, Qwest Communications International, Reach Global Networks, Softbank Telecom, and Verizon Business. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The upgrade to the submarine fiber-optic cable system involves deployment of Fujitsu's FLASHWAVE S650 submarine line terminal equipment at three landing points each in Japan and the US. The FLASHWAVE S650 series is capable of more than doubling the original design capacity of 640 Gbps Japan-US Cable Network to 1.28 Tbps and beyond.

Disney Develops Programming For Interactive Cable Networks

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts will develop original programming for Cablevision and Time Warner Cable, which together reaches more than nine million viewers.

"Cablevision's interactive fiber optic network makes it possible for a wide range of businesses to use VOD programming to reach customers in new and innovative ways," said Barry Frey, Cablevision's senior vice president of advanced platform sales. "Disney Travel on Demand is a perfect example of a preeminent brand using our advanced platform to have a powerful dialogue with consumers through the television."

Veraz IMS Enables Application Sharing by Operators

Veraz Networks' ControlSwitch-USC, a modular IMS core and service platform, now enables application resources to be shared by multiple operators. The latest release of the Veraz IMS solution brings a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) approach to service delivery. Operators can mix and match innovative services from other operators in combination with their own services. These customized service bundles can be delivered to their direct customers or to other operators via white-label partitions.

Veraz said this capability opens up new opportunities for multi-operator business arrangements and business models.

"By enabling operators to deliver services in new and creative ways, Veraz is expanding the commercial model of these operators though new business opportunities, new revenue sources and reduced operational expenditures," said Doug Sabella, CEO of Veraz.

The ControlSwitch-USC leverages advanced Service Broker/ SCIM (Service Capabilities Interaction Manager) to expand service options, facilitate service customization, and simplify back office integration, by decoupling service resources from the underlying network. The advanced Service Broker / SCIM also enables operators to leverage both traditional PSTN-based and new IP/IMS-based service platforms as they migrate their existing voice networks to an IMS network and services architecture.

Veraz's ControlSwitch-USC includes integrated protocol mediation and SIP profiling techniques in order to support multiple generations of devices and standards even as they continue to evolve, including a mix of traditional narrowband and broadband access networks. The included Service Broker connects to Veraz or third-party session controllers and application servers via various levels of IMS SIP compliant including SIP-ISC interface as specified by 3GPP IMS release 7 and leverages ControlSwitch elements for traditional SS7 service platform interfaces.

Bill Gates Demos Windows Home Server

At the Microsoft Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) 2007, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates demonstrated Windows Home Server and announced new hardware partners for the upcoming product, which include Gateway Inc., LaCie and Medion International. HP also plans to deliver an HP MediaSmart Server based on Windows Home Server software later this year.

Microsoft's Windows Home Server partners include:

  • Diskeeper Corp.'s Diskeeper 2007 software will support Windows Home Server to enhance system speed and reliability.

  • Embedded Automation Inc.'s mControl software will integrate with Windows Home Server to help consumers manage home lighting systems, security cameras, climate control, and audio and visual components.

  • F-Secure Corp. software will interoperate with Windows Home Server to help protect consumers against computer viruses and other threats from the Internet and mobile networks.

  • Iron Mountain will integrate its data protection services with Windows Home Server.

  • Lagotek Corp.'s Home Intelligence Platform for home automation will support Windows Home Server.

  • PacketVideo Corp.'s PacketVideo Connect will enable DLNA 1.0-certified, DLNA 1.5-compliant and universal plug-and-play media streaming from Windows Home Server to a variety of entertainment devices in the home.

  • Riptopia CD loading service for Windows Home Server will convert and load a customer's entire CD collection for storage and protection on Windows Home Server.

  • SageTV will provide its Placeshifter software to enable "always on" digital entertainment experience for personal media and online content on any TV or PC screen, at home or away.

Microsoft Windows Rally to Offer Network Discovery of Consumer Devices

At WinHEC 2007, Microsoft outlined its vision for Windows Rally, a set of technologies that aim to make device connectivity simple, robust and more secure. Networking devices that carry the Certified for Windows Vista logo, Windows Vista-based PCs, and Xbox 360s all use Windows Rally technologies.

Microsoft said Windows Rally technologies provide standard, baseline mechanisms for device discovery, configuration, management and network quality. The individual protocols and the experiences they are designed to enable are:

  • Link Layer Topology Discovery (LLTD), a layer 2 protocol that operates over Ethernet. Any device that implements LLTD will appear on the Windows Vista Network Map with an icon representing the device, allowing users one-click access to the device's Web User Interface.

  • Windows Connect Now (WCN), Microsoft's implementation of the WiFi Alliance's WiFi Protected Setup, which provides a simple, secure wireless setup experience for Wi-Fi enabled devices.

  • Devices Profile for Web Services (DPWS), which enables rich, secure programmatic control of devices, and easy discovery of device capabilities.

  • Plug and Play Extensions (PnPX), which enable the same plug-and-play experience users are familiar with for devices that connect via buses, such as USB. By extending this model to network-connected devices, users get the same rapid discovery and simple "ready to use" experience.

"Our goal is to help consumers have the most positive home computing experience possible so they can concentrate on more important issues than device connectivity," says Jim Barber, senior program manager for Windows Rally at Microsoft. "As we develop new device classes for Windows Vista and for future generations of Windows, partners will continue to benefit from their investments in Windows Rally technologies and provide better service to their customers."

The company noted that since the Windows Rally technologies were introduced last year, more than 1,100 copies of the Windows Rally Porting Kit, a key device enabler, have been downloaded from

Motorola Unveils its 2007 Mobile Devices

Motorola unveiled its 2007 mobile devices collection, led by a highly anticipated successor for its RAZR set.

RAZR2 -- featuring "CrystalTalk" technology, up to 2GB of on-board memory, Web browsing, real-time point-to-point video and fast menu navigation, all packed into a slimmer, stronger, sleeker design. CrystalTalk automatically adjusts audio to ensure clear calls in a noisy environment. The RAZR2 will be offered in 3 versions -- V9 (3G HSDPA), V9m (EVDO CDMA) and V8 (GSM). Some versions of RAZR2 will run Linux/Java. The external display incorporates Motorola's "haptics" technology, which provides users with vibrating feedback in response to their finger taps. A 2.0 megapixel camera offers multi-shot capability.

MOTO Q 8 and MOTO Q 9 -- featuring Windows Mobile 6 OS, a sleek form factor with a dual-processor HSDPA/UMTS engine, and HSDPA downloads at up to 3.6 Mbps. The units use the TI OMAP 2420 processor and 96MB of RAM. The MOTO Q offers 2GB of optional removable microSD storage and 256MB of on-board flash memory. It also features a 2.0 megapixel camera.

MOTO Z8 -- dubbed the "Media Monster", features video capture and playback at 30 frames per second and up to 32GB of expandable memory. The MOTO Z8, which is expected to hit shelves in Europe and Asia in June, supports 3.6Mbps HSDPA. The unit uses a combination of OMAP2420 and ARM 11 processors.

ROKR Z6 -- a Linux/Java music phone with Windows Media technologies, including Windows Media Audio (WMA) Windows Media DRM 10, and media transfer protocol (MTP). The ROKR Z6 lets consumers "plug and play" with any personal computer running Windows Media Player 10 or 11. With fast PC direct connectivity via High Speed USB 2.0. An external memory slot accepts 2GB microSD cards. ROKR Z6 will be on sale in Asian markets starting in May. ROKR Z6 will download and side-load content from Motorola's music store in China.

Ixia Offers 10 GigE Traffic Test Solution

Ixia introduced a single blade test solution that emulates line-rate, real-world (stateful) 1 Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) traffic.
Ixia's XMV12X Load Module with its IxLoad test application allows the processing power of multiple onboard, high performance CPUs to be aggregated through one or more ports, providing the required performance to test and verify the most resource-intensive mix of services and applications.

Ixia said the new XMV12X Load Module creates an "in demand" solution to ensure performance and security by emulating traffic conditions and patterns that closely mirror the conditions of the live deployment of devices and applications on today's networks. The ability to aggregate and target the separate CPUs at an individual port enables the most stateful and realistic emulation of video, voice and data, as well as potential threats to network security.

Italcementi Selects Orange Business Services

Italcementi is the world's fifth largest producer of cement and aggregates, has selected Orange Business to connect hundreds of its mobile workers, either when they are traveling internationally or inside their own country. Orange Business Services' Business Everywhere is a managed mobility service that enables employees to work anywhere in fully secure conditions, with one single bill at the end of the month for all worldwide connections.

Orange Business Services has been providing an international MPLS VPN to connect all of Italcementi's overseas sites and mines into a seamless global network since 2002. In 2006, the contract was extended for two further years. Business Everywhere has been added on top of the current network services.