Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Intel Joins MoCA

Intel has joined MoCA, the Multimedia over Coax Alliance, which promotes the distribution of digital video and entertainment through existing coaxial cable in the home. Intel has joined as a contributing member.

  • In August 2007, CableLabs and MoCA formally established a cooperative relationship to share published and draft specifications as well as proposed documentation to ensure seamless integration of each other's technology within the home. CableLabs and MoCA have always operated separately but in parallel. Both organizations will continue to develop specifications independently, but acknowledge the benefits of cooperation.

  • In May, The Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) named Charles Cerino as its new president. Cerino is currently vice president of new media development at Comcast Corporation, where he evaluates new technologies and how best to incorporate their value into the network.

MultiService Forum Launches NGN Test Bed at UNH-IOL

The MultiService Forum (MSF) is launching a permanent test bed at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab (UNH-IOL) with the aim of testing NGN (Next Generation Networks) components and interfaces. A pilot trial gets underway this month and the first full tranche of testing will be initiated in Q1 2008 to address the interoperability of NGN media gateways.

The MSF NGN Test Bed will support testing of all MSF Implementation Agreements (IAs) and will grow to encompass future IAs on topics including IPTV, Quality of Service, Location Management and supporting Operational Support Systems.. In addition to continued in depth testing based on key GMI interoperability scenarios such as the optimal media routing of IMS interconnection between subscribers in the MSF R3 domain and legacy networks, the MSF NGN Test Bed will provide demonstration and test facilities designed in support of MSF members' in-house laboratories and personnel as the industry gears up for greater NGN development and deployment.

The new NGN Test bed builds on the MSF's existing efforts, including its recently launched NGN Certification Program and its plans for a GMI2008 interoperability event.

"We are seeing a massive increase in NGN implementation around the globe and though the industry is very supportive of our GMI programme, we felt that there was so much more to do than is possible in our showcase GMI2006, GMI2008 events. By launching this permanent test bed now, we have a significant new resource that will enable our members to collaborate on testing to at a much greater depth that will enable them to be better prepared for GMI2008, as well as continuing to work the issues arising from GMI2006," said Roger Ward, Office of the CTO, BT Group and President of the MSF.


Allot Selects RMI's Multi-Core Processor for DPI

Allot Communications, a supplier of IP service optimization solutions based on deep packet inspection (DPI), has selected Raza Microelectronics' (RMI's) multi-core multi-threaded XLR Processor for its Allot Service Gateway.

The Allot Service Gateway is an open, standards-based platform for broadband service control and optimization based on Layer-7 DPI. It features an AdvancedTCA-compliant chassis with modular, hot-swappable DPI blades. A single platform provides four 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports, that manage two 10 Gigabit Ethernet lines, supporting more than 20Gbps of traffic. Carrier applications include P2P traffic control, network monitoring, quality of service (QoS) and prevention of security threats.

RMI's XLR Processor is a single-chip solution providing a key building block for next-generation, scalable multi-service systems. The XLR Processor Family features a multiprocessing, multithreaded architecture based on the general purpose MIPS64 processor.

Separately, RMI has expanded its partner alliance to include Altera Corporation, Vitesse Semiconductor, and Octera Corporation. The alliance creates synergy among Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) and ODM partners in software, tools, and applications focusing on RMI's MIPS-based product lines: the RMI XLR and XLS Processors and the RMI Alchemy Processor.


Alianza Offers Hosted Unified Communications for Broadband Operators

Alianza, a start-up based in Utah, is now providing a hosted, fully integrated IP-based platform delivering API customizable Unified Communications Applications, such as IP Telephony, via SaaS for Broadband Service Providers. Alianza said its PowerPlatform v3.0 can be private labeled by broadband operators and launched within 30 days.

Built on a multi-tenant Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), and delivered via SaaS, Alianza's PowerPlatform v3.0 includes the following :

  • APIs: Customizable Account Management Portal (AMP), and sections of the Alianza Tools & Admin Center (ATAC), to provide a personalized end-user experience. Customizable segments include, and are not limited to end-user home page dashboard, end-user account management, product management, reports, staging management (sales tools aid in the process of end-user demonstrations), and other account-related tools.

  • Carrier Relations: Management of multiple termination and origination Carriers can be of service providers' choice or they can utilize Alianza's existing Carrier relationships.

  • Help Desk: A one-stop web application for end-user customer support, via a robust and proprietary ticket system that tracks and reports the status of each account and incident.

Veraz Supplies its IMS-Ready Solution in Brazil

Veraz Networks is now supplying its IP softswitch and media gateway solutions to three of Brazil's major service providers. These include:

  • Transit Telecom, has implemented a converged Next Generation Network (NGN) switched solution that allows for voice and data convergence over IP for services that are currently provided in 20 Brazilian cities, with an expansion to 80 cities expected by 2008.

  • Telemig Celular, which has selected a Veraz solution for bandwidth optimization of the links between Telemig sites. Telemig Celular, the major Minas Gerais State mobile carrier, deployed Veraz's I-Gate 4000 Media Gateways for bandwidth optimization of the transmission links between its sites, resulting in substantial operational expense reductions.

  • Sercomtel has deployed Veraz's equipment to interconnect with other carriers. Sercomtel implemented Veraz's I-Gate 4000 Media Gateways to interconnect their networks with the other carriers' networks.

The Veraz IMS portfolio enables carriers to support a range of access technologies and deploy value-added services over a wide-range of networks, such as mobile 2G/3G, WiMAX and fixed line IP networks.


Ericsson to Supply WCDMA/HSPA in Bhutan

Bhutan Telecom (BTL) selected Ericsson to supply a WCDMA/HSPA network in a move set to transform the mountain kingdom's communications. Specifically, Ericsson will supply an HSPA-enabled network, including WCDMA radio access equipment, all-IP core and transmission. Ericsson will also be responsible for network design, deployment and integration of BTL's existing GSM network.

Rollout will begin in November, starting in the towns of Thimpu and Paro before going nationwide.



TeliaSonera to Deliver 40 Gbps to UK's JANET

JANET, the UK education and research network, selected TeliaSonera International Carrier to be one of its IP Transit providers for the next two years, providing 4xOC-192 ports, a total of 40 Gbps of capacity for IP connectivity. The JANET network currently serves over 18 million end-users. http://www.teliasoneraic.com

Turk Telecom Deploys Juniper T-series Core Routers

Turk Telekom, Turkey's incumbent telecoms operator with four million customers, has deployed Juniper Networks T-series core routers to upgrade network capacity and accelerate the introduction of new revenue-generating services.

The installation enables the service provider to consolidate its TDM (Time Division Multiplexing), IP and voice networks onto a single core IP MPLS network, supporting voice, video and data services with assured levels of quality and performance. Redundant pairs of T640 routers are being deployed throughout Turk Telekom's core infrastructure, to support approximately 180 edge locations across the country. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Turk Telekom aims to have nine million broadband subscribers by the end of 2008, which is expected to increase the demand for core network capacity.


U.S. FTTH Rollouts Reach More Than Two Million Homes

More than two million U.S. households now have direct connections into high-speed fiber networks, according to a study released by the Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). This compares to 1.01 million connections as of September 2006, meaning that the annual growth rate has increased to 112 percent from the 99 percent that was measured last March. The study also shows fiber to the home networks now passing 9.55 million U.S. homes, up from 6.1 million a year ago.

Verizon serves about two-thirds of the 2.14 million connections.
The study noted that the number of households that receive video services over their FTTH connections has increased sharply over the past six months, to 1.05 million, for an annual growth rate of about 160 percent.

The FTTH Council also noted that the "take rate" for fiber to the home services -- that is, the percentage of households that are offered the service and which actually subscribe -- is firmly on the rise. While overall FTTH take rates had been suppressed while Verizon was building its FTTH infrastructure faster than it was adding customers, the company is connecting customers more quickly now. Accordingly, FTTH industry's overall take rate rose from 22.3 percent to 26.8 percent in the most recent six-month period. The take rate among non-Verizon FTTH providers is nearly 52% and some individual projects have take rates well above this.


Motorola Supplies MPEG-4 Encoders for Smithsonian Channel

Motorola will provide a high-definition (HD) MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) encoding system for Smithsonian Channel, which plans to broadcast all programming in HD. Specifically, the new Smithsonian Channel system will employ Motorola's SE-5100 MPEG-4 AVC HD encoders to encode video content into the MPEG-4 AVC format for distribution over satellite. Smithsonian Channel's cable or telco affiliates will be able to install Motorola's new DSR-6050 Digital Satellite Receiver-Transcoder at their headends to receive the signals and, in some cases, convert them to MPEG-2 for distribution.

Motorola said its encoding solution provides greater flexibility and efficiency for programmers by allowing the broadcast of a single MPEG-4 HD signal for each service sent to cable operator and service provider customers. By supporting both MPEG-4 and MPEG-2 outputs, the DSR-6050 enables programmers to transition to the more efficient MPEG-4 format, maintain the quality of their signal and support the transmission format preference of their affiliates.


Verizon Wireless Unveils Venus, Voyager Phones

Verizon Wireless unveiled several phones that will be available for the 2007 holiday season: the Verizon Wireless Juke by Samsung, the BlackBerry Pearl 8130 smartphone, The Venus by LG and The Voyager by LG.

Most notably, the Voyager by LG sports a large external touch-screen and opens laterally to reveal a QWERTY keypad. Capabilities include an HTML browser, full V CAST-capabilities -- including V CAST Mobile TV, V CAST Music, with the ability to play .mp3, .wma and unprotected .aac files, and V CAST Video. A removable microSD memory slot that holds up to 8 GB of memory. Pricing has not been announced.

The Venus has two dual front screens, the lower of which also has touch input with vibration feedback. The music-centric slim, stylish slider design also offers a microSD memory port that accommodates up to 8 GB of expandable memory. It supports Verizon Wireless' Get It Now downloadable applications and V CAST Video and Music. It also features a music player that supports .mp3, .wma and unprotected .aac files and a 2.0 megapixel camera and camcorder.


Verizon Appoints Millegan to Head Wholesale Unit

Verizon named Michael H. Millegan as president of the company's national line of business that serves wholesale customers. He succeeds David Small, who was recently named president of Verizon Wireless' Northeast area. Millegan currently serves as senior vice president and general manager for Verizon wireline operations in the Midwest.

As president of Verizon Partner Solutions, Millegan will be responsible for leading Verizon's more than $11 billion wholesale business - including strategic planning, marketing and sales -- as well as ordering, provisioning and maintenance of wholesale local and long-distance services.

NYT: Unlike U.S., Japanese Push Fiber Over Profit

Nearly eight million Japanese have a fiber optic line at home, far out pacing fiber deployments in the U.S., where AT&T and Verizon Communications are under intense pressure from investors to justify their capital spending plans, according to a report published by The New York Times. The investment in fiber is seen by NTT and KDDI as a long-term strategy and a means of selling additional services, but an expansion into video services has been slowed by regulations that limits their role in the broadcasting business.


Microsoft Zune Plays Recorded TV from Windows Media Center

Microsoft launched its new line of Zune media players, featuring a touch-sensitive button for navigating on the device, as well as wireless sync, a feature that allows Zune devices to automatically sync over the device owner's home wireless network when it is connected to an AC adaptor, in a dock or speaker dock accessory.

The Zune software will now automatically import broadcast content recorded on Microsoft Windows Media Center for Windows Vista Home Premium or Ultimate.

Microsoft also plans to offer a selection of more than 1 million digital rights management (DRM)-free MP3s in the updated version of Zune Marketplace.