Sunday, December 2, 2007

Ericsson Appoints Nordberg as Chairman of Redback and Entrisphere

Ericsson appointed Bert Nordberg as Chairman of Redback and Entrisphere,

effective as of February 1. He previously served as Head of Sales and Marketing and Executive Vice President. He will remain in the position as Executive Vice President of Ericsson.

IP-PRIME Launches HD-4 Service for MPEG-2 IPTV Operators

SES AMERICOM announced commercial availability of its IP-PRIME HD-4, the MPEG-4 HDTV service for North American IPTV operators already delivering services using MPEG-2 technology. The company claims a single-rack HD-4 solution delivering 32 HD channels can be operational within 60 days, and can easily be scaled to add more HD programming.

Significantly, the IP-PRIME HD-4 solution allows operators to deliver HDTV to their customers without upgrading their entire infrastructure.

HD-4 solves this challenge by adding an MPEG-4 service "layer" on top of an existing MPEG-2 deployment, where the bandwidth to the home presently does not permit the delivery of HD signals in the less efficient MPEG-2 format. Deploying HD-4 also eliminates the need to interrupt service. As subscribers sign up for the new HDTV service, the operator provides a new set-top box that decodes both MPEG-4 and MPEG-2 signals, making HD-4 the simplest way for existing video service providers to add HDTV to their feature lineup.

IP-PRIME is working with set-top box provider Entone and others to facilitate the delivery of the HD-4 service.


H3C Forms Strategic Relationship With Raza Microelectronics

H3C, a wholly-owned subsidiary of 3Com and a leading global end-to-end IP networking solution provider, and Raza Microelectronics (RMI) have formed a wide-ranging strategic vendor relationship focusing on the use of RMI's multi-core, multi-threaded XLR Processor and XLS Processor Families across H3C's networking, security and wireless applications.

The initial program in the strategic relationship calls for RMI to provide its multi-core XLR Processor for the SR series secure router. The SR is H3C's latest flagship product to feature its Open Application Architecture (OAA) and caters to enterprise networks that are deploying multiple voice, data and video services. As part of the SR Series, the SR6600 is a high-end, multi-services router, integrated with high performance and high throughput features, specifically designed and manufactured for the enterprise market. SR6600 is the first high-end router based on multi-core technology.

H3C Technologies Co. (formerly known as Huawei-3Com), a China-based provider of network infrastructure products, currently holds over one-third of the Chinese LAN switch market, according to IDC.

Infinera Completes OSMINE Certification

Infinera's DTN optical networking platform has completed the Telcordia Technologies' Operations Systems Modifications for the Integration of Network Elements (OSMINE) Services process for Telcordia TIRKS and Telcordia NMA Operation Systems within service provider infrastructures that employ these operations systems.

Larger service providers typically require OSMINE certification to ensure interoperability with their existing networking infrastructure.

The Infinera DTN is a Digital ROADM for long-haul and metro core networks, combining high-capacity DWDM transport, integrated digital bandwidth management, and GMPLS-powered service intelligence in a single platform.

Nortel and Qualcomm Test IMS-based Voice Call Continuity

Nortel and Qualcomm have completed testing between Nortel's IMS-based Voice Call Continuity (VCC) network solution and the Qualcomm chipset solution that uses their IMS/VCC device client. The testing is a major step towards the availability of out-of-the box VCC-enabled mobile phones. As an IMS-based application, VCC moves beyond traditional cellular solutions by enabling service providers to offer innovative multimedia services on mobile phones like network-based real-time, multi-player gaming, enterprise service integration and interactive blogging.

Test sessions were conducted with a Qualcomm test handset using live cellular coverage, rather than a simulation. Testing included authentication, calls on cellular/WiFi, in-call handover using manual and automatic triggers and a variety of error cases. Both Nortel and Qualcomm have implemented the VCC standards defined by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP)**, the global standard for 3G mobile phone systems.

Testing was conducted using Qualcomm's IMS/VCC device client solution on a Mobile Station Modem (MSM) chipset powering a test handset together with Nortel's IMS VCC network solution in Nortel's Ottawa research and development labs. The Nortel VCC network solution is expected to be commercially available from Nortel in the first quarter of 2008. VCC-ready devices are expected to be available from Qualcomm in the market mid 2008.

The companies said a pre-validated IMS/VCC solution allows dual-mode mobile phones to be VCC-ready upon purchase without any additional software downloads or service provider configuration, which is expected to help accelerate broader use of the technology.

"Because Nortel's VCC is based on IMS, it will allow operators to deploy more multimedia services compared to other FMC solutions," said Alf Decardenas, general manager, Carrier Multimedia Networks, Nortel. "Also, Nortel's VCC solution supports seamless voice calling across a wide range of next-generation technologies, as well as Femto cellular access points that are able to connect to the network using residential DSL or cable broadband connections. Nortel is a leading contributor to VCC standards and our successful completion of testing with Qualcomm illustrates that we are committed to deploying commercial VCC solutions in the market, making them available to service providers within their current networks or as they evolve to 4G solutions such as WiMAX, UMB and LTE."

Cavium Teams with Broadcom on Switching Reference Designs

Cavium Networks announced a set of reference designs targeted at intelligent switching and broadband applications and based on its OCTEON Multi-core MIPS64 processor family along with Broadcom's enterprise class StrataXGS and home/SMB ROBOSwitch Gigabit Ethernet switches, and FASTPATH networking software. Target applications include intelligent enterprise switches, Layer 4+ switches, and SOHO/SMB routers.

To enable the tightly integrated designs, Broadcom has licensed its HiGig protocol to Cavium Networks. The HiGig protocol enhances Ethernet switching with features such as stacking and QoS. Cavium's recently-introduced OCTEON processors and follow-on processors with 10Gigabit interfaces integrate hardware acceleration that supports HiGig protocol and enables intelligent switching applications. Additionally Broadcom will utilize Cavium OCTEON processors in its enterprise reference designs as a control plane and services processor, supporting the complete portfolio of StrataXGS Ethernet switches, which are industry-leading, widely deployed merchant silicon switching solutions.

TI Delivers Single-Chip, Real-Time HD Video Transcoding

Texas Instruments (TI) introduced a new DaVinci digital media processor for video transcoding in media gateways, multi-point control units, digital media adaptors, video security DVRs and IP set-top boxes.

The new DaVinci processor is a DSP-based system-on-chip (SoC) specifically tuned for real-time, multi-format, high-definition (HD) video transcoding. It integrates an ARM926EJ-S core and 600 MHz C64x+ DSP core along with a high-definition video co-processor, conversion engine and targeted video port interfaces. TI said the design delivers a 10x performance improvement over previous generation processors to perform simultaneous, multi-format HD encode, decode and transcoding up to H.264 HP@L4 (1080p 30fps, 1080i 60fps, 720p 60fps).

Broadcom Designs Single-Chip, Real-Time, HD Video/Audio Encoder/Transcoder

Broadcom introduced a single-chip, real-time, high definition (HD) encoder/transcoder solution based on 65 nanometer (nm) technology and designed for a wide range of consumer devices with varying video and audio formats.

The single-chip Broadcom BCM7043 solves the industry problem of being able to share non-compatible video and audio content by transcoding (or matching) it to the proper format being used by a particular playback device. It handles the encoding and transcoding of content in cable, satellite, IPTV and terrestrial set-top boxes, portable media players, cell phones, home media centers, personal video recorders, digital video recorders, HD DVD, Blu-ray Disc and universal DVD players/recorders, and personal computers. It also provides the encoding and transcoding foundation for future devices that support H.264/AVC, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4SP video compression.

The new device utilizes a broad range of in-production capabilities currently found in Broadcom's set-top box and digital TV SoCs, including an advanced video decoder that supports high definition AVC, MPEG-2, VC-1, MPEG-4, and DVD playback; a security processor; an advanced video pre-processor; and audio codecs that enable the highest performing platform for robust, high quality encoding and transcoding of connected home devices.

XO Selects Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing System for Nationwide IP Upgrade

XO Communications will upgrade its nationwide IP/MPLS network using the Cisco IP Next Generation Network (IP NGN) architecture to meet the growing demand for high-speed Internet access services and support its expansion into the high-capacity IP Transit services market.

The expansion will more than double current capacity and sets the stage for a four-fold increase. Specifically, XO will deploy the Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing System in the core of its nationwide IP/MPLS network.
  • In October, XO Communications completed an 800 Gbps capacity upgrade on major coast-to-coast routes of its nationwide fiber optic network. The upgrade delivers an additional 80 10-Gbps channels on major coast-to-coast network routes. This additional network capacity augments a capacity expansion XO completed last year which delivered 400 Gbps of capacity across the XO network. The upgrade is being delivered on Infinera's DTN system, which XO implemented last year with the initial expansion of its network.

Russia's VimpelCom and Golden Telecom Ponder Merger

Vimpel-Communications and Golden Telecom, both Russian carriers, confirmed that they currently are in discussions regarding the potential acquisition of all of the outstanding shares of Golden Telecom by a subsidiary of VimpelCom at a price per share of $105 in cash.

The VimpelCom Group includes companies operating in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Georgia and Armenia. The VimpelCom Group's GSM and 3G license portfolio covers a territory with a population of about 250 million across Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Georgia and Armenia.

Golden Telecom, is a facilities-based provider of integrated telecommunications and Internet services in major population centers throughout Russia and other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States. It operates metropolitan overlay networks in major cities including Moscow, Kiev, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Kaliningrad, Krasnoyarsk, Almaty, and Tashkent, and intercity fiber optic and satellite-based networks.

Comcast to Skip 700 MHz Wireless Auction

Comcast, the large cable operator in the U.S., has decided not to bid in the FCC's upcoming 700 MHz wireless auction. The company said the 20 MHz of spectrum it acquired in the wireless auction last year, in partnership with the other cable partners in SpectrumCo, provides it with significant long-term flexibility and strategic options.

AT&T to Withdraw from Pay Phone Business by End of 2008

AT&T plans to exit its shrinking pay phone business by the end of 2008. The company will phase out both public pay phones and phones provided under contracts at government correctional facilities through the end of next year. The move affects AT&T pay phones in the company's traditional 13-state service area only. BellSouth, which was acquired by AT&T in late 2006, had previously exited the pay phone business in its nine-state service area. AT&T's wholesale pay phone services are not affected.

AT&T to Acquire Edge Wireless in Pacific Northwest

AT&T will acquire full ownership in Edge Wireless, a regional wireless company with approximately 172,000 subscribers that operates in several markets in the Pacific Northwest. AT&T, which has held a minority ownership interest since Edge Wireless' inception in 2000, will acquire the remaining 64.3 percent of the company. Financial terms were not disclosed.

AT&T said the addition of Edge Wireless' GSM network will complement its existing GSM networks in Northern California, Oregon, Idaho and Wyoming.

Packeteer Outlines Vision of "Intelligent Service Assurance"

Packeteer outlined its strategic vision of "Intelligent Service Assurance" based on an enterprise's need to increase the quality and performance of key applications for any user, any time, anywhere throughout the organization.

The vision, which will guide the company's product roadmap over the course of Q4 2007 -- Q1 2008, aims to enable IT organizations to intelligently identify, discriminate, measure, optimize and control end-to-end application delivery--operating under constantly changing workloads, across disparate applications, systems and network access points through a centralized portal to assure uninterrupted services.

The cornerstone of Packeteer's "Network That Thinks" product roadmap is IntelligenceCenter, an application and WAN management platform that enables enterprises to monitor, enforce and optimize application performance for all applications across the entire distributed network.

The IntelligenceCenter platform intelligently identifies and monitors performance and quality for transactional, voice, video and bulk transfer files from the data center core to individual remote users. IntelligenceCenter can scale to manage up to 2,500 Packeteer appliances concurrently and provides a new Application Service Level portal, customizable end-user reporting and a single sign on, unified web-based interface.

Packeteer said that to fully deliver on its vision of Intelligent Service Assurance it plans to announce the following over the next few months:

  • "Turbo" --the company's new high-speed product architecture designed to increase application and services performance beginning at the network core by delivering multi-gigabit throughput for Packeteer's application intelligence and WAN optimization engines. The first product using this new architecture, based on highly scalable network processors, acts as a "turbo booster" to vastly increase the capacity of Packeteer's high end PacketShaper 10000 product for the datacenter. Turbo will also be instrumental in bandwidth partitioning, enforcing policy control, and monitoring all types of application traffic for high capacity MAN links, Internet 2 and aggregate WAN/MPLS links. The new Turbo product architecture will initially be made available as a seamless upgrade on all PacketShaper 10000 devices.

  • The Packeteer Mobiliti client software -- a new versio will assure intelligent application and service delivery to the mobile edge user by adding wide dictionary caching and new application acceleration technologies for VPN and remote connections to Mobiliti's automated backup, synchronization and virtual file cache for the remote and mobile workforce.

PMC-Sierra Introduces Integrated GPON Residential Gateway Chip

PMC-Sierra has expanded its fiber access gateway silicon portfolio with the introduction of a Gigabit-speed multi-service Fiber Access gateway chip with an integrated ITU-T G.984 GPON interface. The device integrates key functionality required for a GPON residential gateway, including a MIPS 600MHz multi-threaded core that enables hitless context switching between simultaneous processing for tasks associated with multiple services (data, video, voice, FMC, storage).

PMC-Sierra's MSP7160 provides the processing power for gigabit-per-second IPv4 or IPv6 routing, Network Address Translation (NAT) and QoS capabilities. It includes integrated multi-channel VoIP terminal adapter capabilities, GPON MAC and SERDES functions with proven interoperability.

The device is designed to support residential gateway functions and services such as integrated storage/media server, fixed mobile convergence (FMC) clients, remote access server and content management. The integrated GPON function includes capabilities based on the PMC-Sierra's "GigaPASS" architecture to support full-rate 2.5/1.25 Gbps GPON without processing burden. A virtual DSP engine provides guaranteed cycles for voice processing tasks. The MSP7160 also provides a full complement of interfaces including Gigabit Ethernet, Hi-Speed USB2.0 and PCI.

Support software and tools include PMC-Sierra's GPON ONT OMCI management client and API, a suite of field-proven voice processing components, the MSP7100 Series Linux SDK toolchain, middleware software packages and a third-party pre-integrated residential gateway application. Reference designs and development platforms are available and include BOM-cost optimized schematics, gerber files and documentation.

AppTrigger Extends its "Ignite" Application Session Controller

AppTrigger released a number of enhancements to its "Ignite" Application Session Controller (ASC) with the goal of accelerating telecom web services and, in particular, Web 2.0 applications.

Version 8.0 of AppTrigger's Ignite ASC enables service providers to create new applications and capture new revenues from the Web 2.0 ecosystem while at the same time leveraging the platform to ensure feature transparency across converging networks. The aim is to enable application developers to create any type of application for any network with little knowledge about the underlying networks and yet leverage network resources.

Specifically, AppTrigger's Ignite ASC 8.0 has combined Parlay X Web Services with rich call control -- providing a network layer service component that provides Web 2.0 interface with IN/NG IN real time network based services such as Presence (IMS/SIP), Terminal Location (Mobile positioning) and enhanced SMS (short message) in a highly scalable, performance rich environment.

AppTrigger said its Ignite 8.0 ASC offers support for a broad range of applications with varying network resource requirements. All this capability is presented behind a highly abstracted Web Services interface which is easily comprehendible by the web and IT development communities. The feature rich API reduces the complexity of the service logic required to be implemented by the application.

In addition to the benefits created by the Ignite 8.0 ASC for network abstraction, the ASC also greatly simplifies the network architecture by combining all the network elements required by applications to connect to a network into a single network element. The ASC has integrated switching, signaling, and media capabilities. Version 8.0 is now commercially available.

KT Freetel and NTT DoCoMo to Jointly Invest in Malaysia's U Mobile

KT Freetel Co. and NTT DoCoMo agreed to jointly invest in U Mobile Sdn Bhd, a new Malaysian 3G mobile operator that is scheduled to launch commercial service in 2008. The two companies will collectively acquire 33% control of the new market entrant. Upon approval of the Malaysian government, KTF and DoCoMo will invest US$100 million respectively through third-party allotment of new shares, giving each company 16.5 percent shares with voting rights.

KTF currently serves 13.6 million subscribers in Korea. Initially implementing the WCDMA network in Seoul metropolitan area in 2003, KTF has launched a HSPA service in June 2006 and a fully nationwide HSPA service in March 2007.