Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Interphase Hires Former Alcatel Exec as VP Engineering

Interphase named Marc E. DeVinney as its new vice president of engineering. Prior to joining Interphase, DeVinney spent 25 years with Alcatel, serving in various capacities. Most recently, DeVinney served as Director, Mobile Solutions Circuit Core for Alcatel in Paris. http://www.interphase.com

Blockbuster Israel Deploys Orca for IPTV and WebTV

Blockbuster Israel, a franchise of the U.S. DVD rental firm, is using Orca Interactive's RiGHTv middleware platform for the delivery of digital video services. The project was valued at US$3 million.

Using Orca's new combined solution, Blockbuster Israel will launch a new Internet service for progressive download of up-to-date digital content over PCs by the end of the year. In early 2008, Blockbuster Israel plans to provide an IPTV-ready STB to enable TV connectivity from the PC and advanced services such as Push VOD and HDTV, followed by a complete digital TV offering.

Orca's new WebTV offering includes progressive download and push VOD capabilities over PCs and STBs, in addition to other services such as PVR, home media and high definition television based on VOD push. The combined IPTV and WebTV platform supports the new WebTV capabilities alongside IPTV services such as video-on-demand and live television. The WebTV-powered RiGHTv middleware platform continues to provide connectivity to OSS/BSS systems, enabling service providers to efficiently operate both services.


Germany's QSC Deploys Huawei

QSC AG (QSC), which operates a nationwide network in Germany, has deployed Huawei's ME60 multi-service control
gateways (MSCG). The ME60 is a next-generation multi-service edge solution supporting QoS. After a strict test and selection process, QSC chose Huawei as a partner to build up its All IP network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Vodafone Portugal Selects HP Fraud Management System

Vodafone Portugal will deploy the HP Fraud Management System (HP FMS) to mitigate fraudulent activity on its mobile and fixed networks.

HP FMS, which has been implemented at more than 80 service providers worldwide, helps network operators to identify, investigate and respond to all types of fraudulent behavior from all kinds of services. HP said major features and benefits of the latest release of HP FMS include:

  • Greater precision in fraud detection through user-defined key risk indicators with threshold alarming and extended patterns;

  • Enhanced case management with improved case escalation, notification management and advanced reporting;

  • Advanced security and audit capabilities to guard against internal mistakes and intentional misconduct.


Broadcom Introduces First 65 Nanometer Gigabit Ethernet Switches

Broadcom announced the availability of the industry's first Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) switches produced in 65 nanometer (65nm) CMOS process technology.

Broadcom said an unprecedented level of integration is achieved using 65nm process technology, which enables lower-power silicon. This, in turn, reduces overall costs in local area networks (LAN), service provider networks and data centers.

The new StrataXGS 200 series contains highly integrated multilayer Ethernet switches that can support up to 28 GbE ports and can operate at 10/100/1000 Mbps. The series provides wire speed Layer 2 (L2) switching and Layer 3 (L3) routing for highly manageable enterprise networks. It also performs IPv6 routing and transition services in hardware,. The series also integrates a 32-bit MIPS CPU processor optimized for supporting advanced QoS capabilities, including sophisticated metering, statistics and traffic management.

Broadcom estimates that it currently holds 70 percent market share in merchant silicon for GbE switch integrated circuits (ICs).


Lockheed Martin Announces IPv6 Transition Pilot

Lockheed Martin made a significant networking announcement: the company will transition a portion of its global network to IPv6.

The pilot program will work through all phases of a full-scale IPv6 transition, upgrading a network that connects laboratories in 10 different cities, from California to the United Kingdom.

The company said its pilot project is similar to one that a government agency would undertake in transitioning to IPv6.

"We've been working on IPv6 for the past seven years, and we understand that transitioning to IPv6 requires a great deal of prep-work before you actually transition to this new protocol," said Frank Cuccias, director, Lockheed Martin IPv6 Center of Excellence. "A thorough understanding of the process is critical to a successful implementation, and this pilot program will enhance our ability to guide customers through their network upgrades." http://www.lockheedmartin.com/

Verizon Business Enhances Wholesale VoIP

Verizon Business announced several new features aimed at increasing functionality and adding choice for its SIP Gateway VoIP customers. Among these are:

  • Foreign Telephone Number Assignment (FTNA), the ability to assign a U.S. telephone number outside the normal local calling area for that number. For example, a resident of Dallas could be assigned a Chicago-area telephone number, allowing friends and family in the Chicago area to place a local call. Businesses could use this function to maintain local numbers for their customers while controlling costs by centrally locating all or portions of their business elsewhere.

  • The ability for wholesale customers to pick and choose specific functions. For example, wholesale customers will have the ability to order two-way telephone numbers associated with SIP Gateway Service with or without E911 service. Many wholesale companies rely on multiple VoIP providers, so they prefer the savings and efficiency associated with unbundled 911.

  • Flexible pricing model, including the ability for wholesale customers to select metered or unmetered pricing for SIP Gateway Service Inbound Complete.

  • Discretionary Call Blocking, giving wholesale customers the ability to designate blocking of eight specific types of calls (such as international long-distance) at the time the order is placed. Verizon Business then integrates the selected blocking into its network switch, thus freeing the wholesale customer from managing the blocking function.

  • Seasonal pricing, which allows a wholesale customer to keep a telephone number but temporarily suspend the ability to make or receive calls, except 911. This feature is especially attractive to wholesale subscribers who have multiple homes or who travel extensively.

  • More robust fraud detection and treatment capability. Verizon Business can improve detection of fraudulent VoIP traffic, alert the wholesale customer, then temporarily or permanently block the suspected traffic based on the wholesale customer's direction.

TiVO at 4.2 Million Subscriptions, Eyes HD Transition

TiVo issued its financial report for its most recent quarter. Some highlights:

  • TiVO recently launched its HD DVR box for the mass market and is expecting a gradual transition

  • there was a net loss of $17.7 million, which included a combined inventory write-down and inventory purchase commitment charge of $11.2 million, as compared to TiVo's net loss guidance of $5 to $8 million that didn't contemplate the inventory related write-down.

  • TiVo's net loss per share was $0.18. The inventory-related charge primarily relates to long-lead time dual-tuner Series2 standard definition DVR inventory.

  • TiVo-Owned subscription gross additions for the second quarter were 41,000, compared to 74,000 gross additions for the year-ago period. The company said gross subscription additions were impacted by the pace at which retailers moved to a high definition sales focus.

  • Overall, TiVo-Owned subscriptions totaled 1.71 million, up 136,000 on an annual basis compared to the year ago-period.

  • As expected, TiVo reported a net decline in DIRECTV TiVo subscriptions during the period as DIRECTV is no longer deploying new TiVo boxes.

  • Cumulative total subscriptions as of July 31, 2007 were 4.2 million.

  • The monthly churn rate was 1.2% compared to 1.1% in the prior quarter.

  • Comcast plans to commence its TiVo rollout shortly, which will continue rolling out throughout the fall in Comcast's New England Division including metro Boston, Southeast Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

  • Comcast has also agreed to fund significant additional development work to bring the TiVo service to other Comcast platforms, including Scientific Atlanta set top boxes.

Nokia Debuts "Ovi" Internet services

Nokia introduced "Ovi", its new Internet services brand name for mobile devices. Ovi, meaning "door" in Finnish, will be Nokia's portal enabling consumers to access its gaming and music store services. Also under the Ovi umbrella is Nokia Maps, the company's navigation service, as well as future Internet-based services the coming plans to introduce in the coming months.

Nokia also promised to make Ovi "an open door to web communities, enabling people to access their content, communities and contacts from a single place, either directly from a compatible Nokia device or from a PC."

The English language version of Ovi is expected to debut in Q4.

Nokia also unveiled four new mobile devices specifically optimized for entertainment, music and games. Each device offers dedicated music or gaming keys, expanded memory, large screens and extended battery performance. Prices range from EUR 225 to EUR 560, with shipping later this year. The new devices include:

  • the Nokia N81 and Nokia N81 8GB, featuring 3G and WLAN connectivity, and a polished surface with keys that light up when you activate them;

  • the Nokia N95 8GB, featuring a 5 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, built-in A-GPS, WLAN, HSDPA and an innovative 2-way slide. The Nokia N95 8GB now offers up to eight gigabytes of built-in memory. The N95 8GB also boasts a new luminous 2.8" QVGA display.

  • the Nokia 5310 XpressMusic, featuring an aluminium finish, and an iconic design that is only 9.9mm thick and weighs less than 71 grams. The device offers up to 18 hours of music playback, memory for up to 3,000 songs on an optional 4GB microSD card and dedicated music keys. It also features a 2-megapixel camera and a 2-inch QVGA screen.

  • the Nokia 5610 XpressMusic, featuring an iconic Music Slider key making music easy to access with a flick of the thumb. It has a 2.2-inch display and capacity for 3,000 songs on an optional 4GB microSD card.


Chicago Backs Away from Muni Wi-Fi

The City of Chicago is backing away from plans for a municipal Wi-Fi network after failing to reach an agreement with AT&T and Earthlink. A report by the Chicago Tribune said city officials were concerned by both the cost of the project and the apparent lack of public enthusiasm in other cities nationwide. In the City of Lompoc, California, only 500 people out of a population of 40,000 have signed up for paid Wi-Fi access since the network was launched a year ago.


Sierra Wireless Debuts New HSUPA USB Modems

Sierra Wireless introduced two new additions to its product portfolio for HSUPA networks - the AirCard 880U and AirCard 881U USB modems. Both USB modem support the theoretical maximum uplink speed of 2 Mbps. Downlink speeds are also improved, with a theoretical maximum download speed of 7.2 Mbps.

For use in areas where HSUPA networks are not yet available, the AirCard 880U and 881U USB modems are fully compatible with HSDPA, UMTS, EDGE, GPRS, and GSM network technologies on all frequencies currently used worldwide. The AirCard 880U is optimized for Europe and Asia, while the AirCard 881U is optimized for North America. Shipments will begin in September.


Netflix Reports 10 Million Instant Viewings

As of August 22, Netflix members have watched movies and TV episodes 10 million times on their PCs, doubling the number of viewings in the last six weeks. As of July 7, Netflix counted 5 million instant viewings.

Netflix currently has more than six million subscribers for its DVD by mail service.