Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Clearwire Signs Distribution Deals with DirecTV, Echostar

Clearwire announced distribution agreements with DIRECTV and EchoStar Communications, enabling each of the satellite companies to offer Clearwire's high-speed Internet service to their customers. Clearwire will also be able to offer the video services of one or both satellite companies to its customers. The launch is planned for later this year.

"We're pleased to partner with these two satellite companies as they both share our commitment to offering a superior customer experience by enabling customers to enjoy the benefits of unwired services," said Perry Satterlee, Clearwire president and chief operating officer.
  • In May, AOL agreed to offer Clearwire's high-speed wireless broadband service to AOL users throughout Clearwire markets in the U.S. Previously, AOL and Clearwire had a joint distribution agreement that covered four Clearwire markets – Jacksonville and Daytona Beach, Fla.; and Stockton and Modesto, California.

  • Earlier this year, Clearwire, the broadband wireless services provider founded by Craig McCaw, raised $600 million in an initial public offering (IPO).

  • In February, Clearwire agreed to acquire all 2.5 GHz spectrum currently licensed to, or leased by, BellSouth, now AT&T. The sale price is $300 million in cash. For AT&T, the deal follows through on a commitment of the AT&T-BellSouth merger.

  • In January 2007, Clearwire named Scott Richardson as the company's new chief strategy officer. Richardson previously served as vice president of Intel's Mobility Group and general manager of the company's Service Provider Business Group. In these roles, Richardson led Intel's broadband wireless efforts from its inception and was responsible for driving the company's 802.16 silicon products for WiMax Certified wireless equipment and access devices.

  • In July 2006, Clearwire secured $900 million in funding to accelerate its development and deployment of portable and mobile WiMAX networks based on the IEEE 802.16e-2005 standard. The deal included a $600 million investment from Intel Capital, its largest to date, and Motorola's acquisition of Clearwire's subsidiary NextNet Wireless, which supplies OFDM-based non-line-of-sight (NLOS) wireless broadband infrastructure equipment.

American Fiber Systems Deploys Atrica's Carrier Ethernet

American Fiber Systems (AFS), which operates metropolitan fiber networks and offers wholesale transport services, has deployed Atrica's Carrier Ethernet platform. AFS has over 1,200,000 miles of its own metro fiber deployed. It provides Ethernet, wavelength, and TDM private line services, as well as dark fiber infrastructure, to operators and large enterprises in nine U.S. metro markets, including Atlanta, Cleveland, Kansas City, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nashville, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Reno, and Boise. Financial terms were not disclosed.

AFS selected the Atrica Carrier Ethernet platform for its ability to deliver end-to-end 50ms protection, flexible bandwidths for both Committed Information Rate (CIR) and Excess Information Rate (EIR) services, and differentiated service offerings based on Quality of Service (QoS).

The Atrica gear is used to deliver Ethernet Transport Services, including Ethernet Private Line Service (EPL - a dedicated, point-to-point service with capacity from 50 Mbps to 1 Gbps, in increments of 1 Mbps), Ethernet Virtual Private Line Service (EVPL - which also provides point-to-point connectivity. A switched service, EVPL allows management of bandwidth, traffic handling characteristics and route destination), and Ethernet Virtual LAN Service (EVLAN - like virtual private line, only providing multi-point connectivity. This switched service enables management of bandwidth, traffic handling characteristics and route destination.).

Atrica Announces Multi-port Carrier Ethernet Demarcation Device

Atrica introduced a Multi-port Carrier Ethernet Demarcation Device designed to enable end-to-end service delivery across third-party networks - as well as Atrica-based networks - with Quality of Service (QoS) control for each individual service.

The A-1180 Multi-port Carrier Ethernet Demarcation Device has eight 10/100Base-T Ethernet interfaces on the customer network side, each of which provisions an Ethernet Virtual Circuit (EVC) that corresponds to a service. It has an uplink slot on the service provider network side, which supports both Fast Ethernet (FE) and Gigabit Ethernet (GE) uplink modules. The FE and GE uplink modules utilize pluggable SFP transceivers, using either dual strands or single strand fiber of various distances. This allows service providers to cost effectively connect the A-1180 to fiber local loop.

The A-1180 could be deployed by Service Providers at the customer premise to provide a clear demarcation point between the customer and the service provider network. Besides delivering managed services to customers via MEF-UNI with QoS control for each service, the A-1180 provides carrier-class management and OAM functions. Supported services include:

  • Ethernet UNI for E-Line and E-LAN Services in an Atrica Environment: The A-1180 functions as UNI for E-Line and E-LAN services. Operators can provision E-Line and E-LAN services in a point-and-click manner. Hard QoS is ensured for each service, and 50ms protection can be guaranteed within Atrica's edge and core network. The A-1180 supports Connection Admission Control (CAC) and allows service providers to provision CIR/EIR and delay/jitter bound for their SLA.

  • Ethernet UNI for E-Line and E-LAN Services in Any Existing Edge/Core Network: The A-1180 is an ideal demarcation device for operators who want to deliver high-value Ethernet services to business customers. The A-1180 can be connected directly to the existing provider network via its FE or GE uplink interface and it can be managed, either in-band or out-of-band, from a central location.

  • Ethernet UNI for E-Line and E-LAN Services in Off-Net: Carriers who want to offer Ethernet services outside their own regions may use off-net from a third-party service provider. The A-1180 can be used to connect the end customers on the access side and the off-net on the network side. The modular uplink provides the most convenient way to connect to the off-net.

Acme Packet Enhances its Net-Net Session Border Controllers

Acme Packet announced over 40 new features and enhancements that further extend the capabilities of its Net-Net session border controllers (SBCs) for controlling access to IP voice (VoIP), video and multimedia networks. The enhancements include new capabilities in the areas of security, service reach maximization, SLA assurance, revenue and profit protection and regulatory compliance.

The new access border control features in Net-Net OS Release 5.0 enhance the advanced signaling and media control required by service providers, enterprises and contact centers at their access borders.

Some highlights:

  • Security -- several new enhancements improve the SBC's denial of service (DoS) and distributed DoS (DDoS) self-protection capabilities for session initiation protocol (SIP), transport layer security (TLS), media gateway control protocol (MGCP) and address resolution protocol (ARP) attacks or overloads. The SIP enhancement enables the Net-Net SBC to differentiate between a massive endpoint re-registration event and a malicious registration flood attack. TLS performance is optimized via TLS session caching and reuse. A collection of new SIP, H.323, SIP-H.323 interworking (IWF) and session description protocol (SDP) control features improve the ability of the SBC to deliver trusted services.

  • Signaling and media control -- new features in Net-Net OS 5.0 further augment service/application support and maximize reach. Because session content is moving beyond just interactive voice and video, Acme Packet's control capabilities have been extended to the data, text, image and application content of multimedia sessions, such as gaming and multimedia collaboration. Admission control, quality of service (QoS) marking or mapping and bandwidth policing is now provided for these media types. Many new SIP, H.323, SIP-H.323 interworking and SDP enhancements facilitate greater interoperability to extend service reach.

  • Overload and admission control -- new features assure service level agreements (SLAs) for incoming traffic and police network usage. Overloads on core signaling softswitches or IMS CSCF elements can be controlled by selective call rejection or diversion based upon telephone number, IP address or domain. Aggregate signaling constraints are now supported by individual SIP interfaces. Limits on individual SIP users in terms of the number of active calls or bandwidth being used can be enforced.

  • Regulatory compliance For emergency (E911) service within IMS architectures, an ETSI TISPAN-compliant DIAMETER e2 interface to an external location server is now supported. This interface enables the SBC to add location information to SIP message headers and assists in routing to the appropriate emergency service center (PSAP). In the area of lawful intercept, Net-Net OS 5.0 supports the ETSI TISPAN interfaces--X1_1 for target provisioning, X2 for call data delivery and X3 for call content delivery.

Cisco to Integrate IBM's Tivoli Software

Cisco and IBM announced an expansion of their existing strategic alliance to deliver new standards-based telecommunications service assurance and fault-management solutions.

Beginning in July 2007, Cisco will introduce a service-management solution that combines Cisco Active Network Abstraction (ANA) technology with IBM Tivoli software to help service providers centrally manage new services. The new offering, Cisco Assurance Management Solution, will provide network fault monitoring, trouble isolation, and real-time service-level event management for large multi-vendor networks on a next-generation mediation platform.

The initial version of the Cisco Assurance Management Solution will include IBM Tivoli Netcool/OMNIbus and Netcool/Precision technology. Cisco is also able to incorporate other Tivoli technologies in future version of assurance solutions.

IBM and Cisco have been partners since 1999.

Verizon Business Activates Node in Cairo

Verizon Business has expanded its next-generation global IP network into Egypt with the activation of a private IP node in Cairo. The IP node is managed in partnership with TE Data, the data communications and Internet unit of Telecom Egypt. Verizon Business is now accepting Private IP Service orders.

UTStarcom to Supply Multiservice Access Node to Tiscali Italia

UTStarcom will supply its iAN8K B1000 Multiservice Access Node / Gateway (MSAN / MSAG) to Tiscali Italia S.p.A.. The contract builds on earlier deployments. To date, UTStarcom has supplied more than 300,000 ports to Tiscali Italia. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Under the deal, Tiscali Italia will deploy over 350,000 lines of UTStarcom's iAN8K B1000 to support the delivery of high-speed data, VoIP and IPTV services to all major markets in Italy.

Bell Labs' Alfred Cho Awarded U.S. National Medal of Technology

Alfred Y. Cho, Adjunct Vice President of Semiconductor Research at Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs, has been chosen as a recipient of the 2005 U.S. National Medal of Technology. The U.S. National Medal of Technology is the highest honor awarded by the President of the United States for technological innovation. Cho, a 39-year veteran of Bell Labs, is being recognized for his contributions to the invention of molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) and his continuing work to refine it into a commercial process.

MBE "grows" ordered materials one atomic layer at a time, allowing engineering of the highly precise semiconductor components needed for advanced electronics and photonics. Alcatel-Lucent noted that this technology has enabled many of the advanced devices critical to the modern electronic age including RF switches and front-end and power amplifiers in cell phones, and the semiconductor lasers used in today's compact disc players and CD-ROM drives.

This is the eighth time Bell Labs and its scientists have received the U.S. National Medal of Technology.

Tiscali Expands North American Wholesale IP Business

Tiscali International Network (TINet), the carrier arm of Tiscali Group, is ramping up its network infrastructure, its network capacity as well as its sales & marketing organization to further establish itself in the North American wholesale IP Transit market. TINet ranks as Europe's third largest IP network, having overtaken many incumbent operators in terms of traffic. The company provides International Wholesale Products (IP Transit, MPLS lines and Voice Termination) to Carriers and Service Providers worldwide.

As part of the network infrastructure upgrade, TINet will be deploying Juniper's MX960 platform, a carrier Ethernet platform to scale up its network edge traffic capabilities. TINet is also upgrading its point of presence in Miami to cope with the tremendous growth of Latin American service providers.

Broadcom Introduces Impulse Noise Protection for ADSL and VDSL Modems

Broadcom introduced an impulse noise protection technology that provides a significant improvement in residual bit error rate (BER) on ADSL2+/VDSL2 lines.

The new impulse protection solution, marketed as Broadcom "PhyR" (pronounced "Fire") technology, incorporates Broadcom's ADSL2+/VDSL2 firmware. In contrast to previous impulse noise protection techniques, Broadcom said its PhyR technology provides a number of key advantages:

  • As much as a ten times higher impulse noise resilience

  • Significantly lower residual BER or packet-loss

  • An extended network service area (higher rate, longer reach, lower delay)

  • Simplified network provisioning (no per user "tuning")

  • Firmware upgrade to central office and customer premise equipment

  • Transparency to network and upper layer applications (significantly reduces the burden on networks that use higher layer retransmission schemes for improving network efficiency)

All new and previously deployed Broadcom central office and consumer premise equipment silicon solutions are firmware upgradeable to the innovative PhyR firmware.

Broadcom believes the technology is especially useful for video services provisioned over traditional copper loops, which are susceptible to noise sources in the ambient environment that limit the coverage area over which services can be made available, or may even reduce video quality by inducing "macro-blocking." area. Broadcom's PhyR technology significantly improves noise protection without inducing limitations of reach, rate, margin or latency.

PhyR field trials and system demonstrations are currently underway as a means to validate the robustness of the technology. Broadcom said that at present, live field data demonstrates a ten-fold reduction of error lines resulting in a vastly improved video experience. The field trials also show 3dB of equivalent coding gain that enables a dramatic extension of IPTV services or even data-only service reach.

Broadcom's PhyR impulse noise protection and retransmission technology is currently being considered for DSL standardization.

Mersive Technologies to Develop "Ultra Definition" Stingray Standard

Mersive Technologies, a start-up based in Lexington, Kentucky, is partnering with the National Science Foundation to define a new standard for how media can be transmitted, manipulated, and displayed on Ultra Definition (UD) devices. Ultra definition display devices will support hundreds of millions of pixels of resolution. Mersive and its partners plan to look beyond traditional video broadcast and transmission standards to develop Stingray, a standard that is hardware independent yet will address the challenge of managing media on displays that are very different from a desktop monitor or HD television. These include multi- projector arrays, large-scale LED clusters, mobile and micro projector displays, and electronic paper.

"As the pace of display innovation increases, older video standards are no longer appropriate," says Dr. Christopher Jaynes, CTO of Mersive. "A universal standard that allows media to exploit the next generation of displays, regardless of underlying hardware or configuration, is needed."

FBI Launches Operation Bot Roast -- One Million Compromised IP Addresses Identified

The U.S. Department of Justice and FBI announced OPERATION BOT ROAST, a national initiative to disrupt and dismantle "bot-herders" and elevate the public's cyber security awareness of botnets. Ongoing investigations have identified over 1 million victim computer IP addresses. The FBI is working with the CERT Coordination Center at Carnegie Mellon University to notify the victim owners of the computers.

To date, three individual have been charged or arrested in this operation with computer fraud and abuse in violation of Title 18 USC 1030.

Aware Develops IP-Bonded VDSL2, Enabling 40 Mbps at 5,550ft

Aware will conduct the industry's first public demonstration of bonded VDSL2 with its new StratiPHY IP-Bonded VDSL2 reference design for copper line bonding. Aware's new StratiPHY IP-Bonded VDSL2 enables service providers to use the existing and unused second telephone line to bond two VDSL2 links into a single aggregate connection. Aware claims that by using the VDSL2 8d profile common in North American FTTN deployments, a service provider can use IP- Bonded VDSL2 over two lines to deliver an effective data rate of 40 Mbps to subscribers up to 5,000 feet from a remote DSLAM. A single VDSL2 line can deliver 40 Mbps only up to 3,000 feet.

Aware is also showcasing its new single-chip StratiPHY ATM-Bonded ADSL2+ intellectual property solution.

The company' StratiPHY bonded silicon-level intellectual property technologies are targeted at semiconductor manufacturers that want to support ITU (G.998.1 or G.998.2) in their customer premises equipment.

"Bonded DSL is one of the most important new broadband DSL technologies because service providers are now able to leverage their installed copper infrastructure to roll out higher bandwidth IPTV and video offerings further into the network, reaching a much larger subscriber base for lower CAPEX than by using fiber-to-the-home networks," commented Peter LeBlanc, Aware's vice president of marketing.