Monday, August 20, 2007

Verizon Business Launches Hosted Unified Communications Solutions

Verizon Business introduced its Integrated Communications Package for customers of its Hosted IP Centrex. The network-based service provides a central hub where employees can access voice mail, control incoming and outgoing calls, manage their online presence, send text messages, and synchronize contacts and calendars. The services can be used on a Web-based interface, or run in conjunction with a stand-alone desktop client and Microsoft Outlook plug-in. An Administrative Console provides a Web-based tool to the corporate administrator for near real-time service control and management.

The Integrated Communications Package will be available to U.S.-based Hosted IP Centrex customers beginning next month, with plans to expand internationally later this year.

As the service evolves, Verizon Business plans to integrate it with its portfolio of advanced audio, net and video conferencing services, and contact center services.

Black Box to Deliver ShoreTel's IP Telephony Systems

Black Box, a leading technical services company dedicated to designing, building and maintaining complicated data and voice infrastructure systems, will deliver ShoreTel's IP telephony systems across the U.S and Canada. The companies already have several large multi-site installations for FORTUNE 1000 and enterprise-class organizations.

ShoreTel Pure IP telephony systems provide customers with a number of key benefits, including ease of use, manageability and lower total cost of ownership than alternative solutions. ShoreTel's distributed software architecture and switched-based hardware platform extend enterprise-class voice services to every office and remote location, keeping employees fully connected wherever they go.

Tellabs Enhances its Optical Transport System

Tellabs has added new unified SONET/SDH and native Ethernet switching fabric and enhanced Ethernet aggregation capabilities to its 7100 Optical Transport System.

The Tellabs 7100 OTS now delivers all types of transport services -- ROADM, Carrier Ethernet, SAN, video, and SONET/SDH.

Tellabs said the integration means Service providers can now buy fewer stand-alone Ethernet switches and MSPPs, enabling them to deliver Carrier Ethernet services while maintaining reliability and profits.

Hughes Reaches 350,000 Satellite Broadband Users

HughesNet introduced new promotional plans with no upfront fees for equipment or installation. Two payment options are available. With the Upfront Purchase Plan, equipment and standard installation are $299.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate with monthly fees starting at $59.99. With Option 2-the Promotional Plan-there is no upfront fee and one is eligible for the $100 mail-in rebate, with monthly fees starting at $79.99. Both payment options include equipment and standard installation and require a 24-month service commitment.

Hughes estimates that between 15 and 20 million households in the US are not reached by terrestrial broadband such as cable and DSL. Its satellite broadband service is available across the U.S. anywhere with an unobstructed view of the southern sky.

The company also noted that more than 350,000 consumers and small businesses already use HughesNet satellite broadband for Internet connectivity.

ECI Selected for National Packet-Optical Network in Poland

ATM S.A., a leading integrator and carrier of carriers in Poland, has selected ECI's optical solution to build its first national converged TDM-packet-DWDM backbone network.

Specifically, ATM is deploying ECI's flagship XDM line of MultiService Transport Platforms (MSTP) to upgrade its existing optical network, initially in four cities in Southern Poland. The XDM's All-Range WDM optics, supporting a full range of distances from metro access to regional and long haul, will be used by ATM to bridge very long fiber spans and to expand the network into other parts of Poland in 2008. In addition, the XDM's feature-set of optical transport network (OTN) mapping and multiplexing will ensure highest transparency, quality of service and multi-vendor interoperability for all SDH and data services, including 10GE LAN.

Keynote Offers Call Quality Monitoring for VoIP Contact Centers

Keynote Systems, which specializes in mobile and Internet test & measurement services, introduced a new system for assessing VoIP service quality from an end-user's perspective.

The Keynote "Voice Perspective 2.0" service leverages a public caller agent infrastructure to offer a geographically distributed view of the customer's voice service quality experience when dialing into a contact center or business that has implemented a VoIP-based telephone system.

Keynote is positioning this service for use by contact centers and enterprises that need to know that customers are receiving an optimal quality calling experience when dialing into their offices. The service provides an objective assessment whether the call originates from a traditional PSTN landline-based phone or an IP-enabled phone.

Keystone's geographically distributed measurement computers, which it calls Public Caller Agents, are initially located in five U.S. cities (New York, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco). International locations will be added later in the year. The Agents dial in once every 30 minutes to the Keynote Responder, a remotely managed hardware appliance placed at the customer site. This configuration provides an end-to-end view of the call quality as experienced by customers dialing into VoIP-enabled contact centers and businesses around the world.

Key capabilities include:

  • Operational performance monitoring -- ongoing subscription service to proactively monitor customer service quality experience from your site to your end user.

  • SLA compliance reporting -- ongoing monitoring of promised versus delivered service quality.

Pricing starts at $20,000 a year for monitoring from one location and includes a one time payment for the Keynote Responder and Keynote Diagnostic Services (KDS) support.

Veraz Appoints VP of Strategy and Business Development

Veraz Networks named William Rohrbach as its new Vice President of Strategy and Business Development. Rohrbach joins Veraz from Ericsson, where he was Vice President Sales for the Verizon group of companies.

AT&T Supplies Enterprise VPN for US Postal Service

AT&T will upgrade 1,800 United States Postal Service (USPS) facilities with its Enhanced Virtual Private Network (EVPN) service. This will increase the total number of AT&T-managed EVPN sites to more than 5,500. AT&T is providing Managed Services, including engineering and design, on-site installation and proactive network management and reporting. The VPN runs over AT&T's global MPLS network.

The project, which is covered under the Postal Advanced Telecommunications Network (PATN) contract, was valued at up to $22 million over three years.

Occam Introduces New ONT for MDU Market

Occam Networks introduced a new Optical Network Terminal (ONT) for multiple dwelling unit (MDU) and multiple tenant unit (MTU) environments. The new ON 2351 is designed to deliver Triple Play services including POTS, high-speed Ethernet data, VoIP and multiple HD video streams to up to four residences or businesses. The unit may be place on a building's outside wall, at a common service area or inside a communications closet.

Each of the four internal service locations can deliver two POTS phone lines and four Fast Ethernet ports for data and VoIP. The ON 2351 provides IP video services using 10/100 Base T and/or HPNAv3 coaxial cable to compatible set top boxes.

The ON 2351 offers IP Security Management and it facilitates Administration, Authorization and Accounting (AAA) of subscriber traffic through a combination of IP scalability, simplicity of dynamic configuration with DHCP and the cost effectiveness of Gigabit Ethernet. For MDU/MTU applications, Occam's ONT operating system extends these features by adding DHCP and IGMP snooping as well as MAC limiting, ensuring integrity of subscriber services.

Vlingo Develops Voice-Powered Interfaces for Mobile Phones

Vlingo, a start-up based in Cambridge, Mass., released a beta version of its voice-powered interface for mobile phones. Vlingo developed its own speech recognition technology to power its system.

Vlingo's voice-powered interface lets users speak or type into any vlingo- enabled text box on their mobile phones. The company said the accuracy of its voice processing will open up many new data-enabled applications.
  • Vlingo was founded by Mike Phillips (a co-founder of SpeechWorks, now Nuance) and John Nguyen, and funded by Charles River Ventures and Sigma Partners. In April, the company recruited mobile industry veteran Dave Grannan, most recently a general manager at Nokia, the world's largest mobile phone company, as CEO.

Microsoft Licenses RT Audio Codec to Key Partners

Microsoft has licensed its RT Audio Codec voice software to Intel, Texas Instruments, AudioCodes, Dialogic, LG-Nortel and Polycom.

Microsoft said its RT Audio Codec is suitable for an array of solutions, such as audio conferencing, video, wireless over IP and games. For example, Intel plans to deliver the codec in an upcoming Intel Integrated Performance Primitives (IPP) software library release optimized for the PC platform.

Microsoft also announced the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Quality of Experience Monitoring Server, a tool to monitor voice and video quality. The server provides real-time updates, alerts and detailed analysis of network performance to accurately reflect users' experience based on the endpoint they're using.

Tilera Ships 64-Core Processor with On-Chip "Mesh"

Tilera, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, launched its first "TILE64" processor containing 64 full-featured, programmable cores, each capable of running Linux. The on-chip architecture is designed to scale to hundreds and even thousands of cores. Tilera claims 10X the performance and 30X the performance-per-watt of the Intel dual-core Xeon, and 40X the performance of the leading Texas Instruments DSP.

Initial target markets for the TILE64 processor include the embedded networking and digital multimedia markets. This could include switches and security appliances with the performance of up to 20 Gbps for L4-L7 services. In the digital video and multimedia market, the TILE64 could deliver two streams of broadcast-quality, high-definition H.264-encode capability in a single chip, and more than ten streams of encode for high-definition video conferencing applications.

The company is pioneering an "iMesh" Interconnect architecture that eliminates the on-chip bus interconnect, which it sees as the central bottleneck through which all packets from multiple cores must flow.
Tilera eliminates the bus by placing a communications switch on each processor core and arranging them in a grid fashion on the chip.

Tilera said this creates an efficient 2-dimensional traffic system for packets. Because the aggregate bandwidth is orders of magnitude greater than a bus and the distance between cores is shorter, the iMesh technology can be leveraged to create grids as large or small as an application requires, creating a "computing-by-the-yard" scalability.

In order to minimize total system power, cost and real estate, the TILE64 processor integrates four DDR2 memory controllers and an array of high speed I/O interfaces, including two 10 Gbps XAUI, two 10 Gbps PCIe, two 1 Gbps Ethernet RGMII, and a programmable flexible I/O interface to support interfaces such as compact flash and disk drives.
  • Tilera was founded in 2004 to bring to market the MIT research of Dr. Anant Agarwal who first created the mesh-based multicore architecture in 1996. The "Raw" project received multi-million dollar DARPA and National Science Foundation grants and spawned the development of the first tiled multicore processor prototype and associated multicore software in 2002.

  • Tilera is venture funded by Bessemer Venture Partners, Walden International, Columbia Capital and VentureTech Alliance.

Huawei Selects Tundra's Serial RapidIO Switch for Next Generation Systems

Tundra Semiconductor announced a major design win with Huawei Technologies. Tundra's Serial RapidIO Switches will be used in Huawei's next generation production systems. Tundra's Tsi568A offers up to 10 Gbps per link of inter-processor bandwidth. It also features low power at 120-200mW per port, a large port count with 16x1 solution in a small 27x27mm form factor, as well as ports individually configurable by width and speed to optimize intra component connectivity.

Microsoft to Launch its Next Gen Unified Communications Software on Oct 16th

Microsoft plans to launch its next generation of Unified Communications software on 16-Oct-2007 with an event hosted by Bill Gates. The release will include Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 and Microsoft Office Live Meeting, part of Microsoft's unified communications portfolio, which also includes Microsoft Exchange Server 2007.