Monday, December 10, 2007

Blockbuster to Stream Film with Silverlight/Limelight

Blockbuster will stream its studio-backed feature film online later this month using Limelight Networks' content delivery network and Microsoft Silverlight technology.

The film, "JACKASS 2.5", will be distributed directly online by Paramount Pictures Digital Entertainment, MTV New Media group from MTV Networks and BLOCKBUSTER for free between December 19th and December 31st, 2007 to U.S. viewers.

Nortel Enhances its PBT-Enabled Carrier Ethernet Solution

Nortel announced a number of enhancements to its Carrier Ethernet portfolio, including capabilities for using PBT solution to carry "triple-play" services for residential customers.

PBT, or Provider Backbone Transport, creates known paths for data traffic through an Ethernet network. It acts as a guide to channel information through the network, using pre-determined paths to carry traffic and keeping those paths open.

The Metro Ethernet Routing Switch 8600, Nortel's delivery vehicle for PBT technology, is being improved to provide greater flexibility for carriers:

  • New processors will enable better performance and the ability to accommodate new services and advanced networking traffic management

  • New module options for the MERS 8600 allow carriers flexibility for wider deployment scenarios

Also, the company is introducing two new additions to the Metro Ethernet Service Units 1800 portfolio, the Metro ESU 1880 and the Metro ESU 1860, which feature:

  • Enhanced capabilities optimized to provide flexible options for the delivery of business services to enterprises and triple-play services for residential customers.

  • Aggregation capabilities that provide new deployment options, and capacity that enables hundreds of thousands users to be served.

The new products are integrated with Nortel's Metro Ethernet Manager (MEM), which works with PBT to simplify network operations and to provide greater network control over Nortel's Carrier Ethernet solution. The enhanced MERS8600 and new Metro ESU 1800 products will be available in Q1 2008.

Nortel also announced that seven new members have joined the industry's Carrier Ethernet Ecosystem: Bay Microsystems, Broadcom, Ceterus Networks, Ethos Networks, InfoVista, JDSU, and Zhone Technologies. These new member companies join the roster of ANDA Networks, Axerra Networks, Extreme Networks, Dragonwave, Gridpoint Systems, Hammerhead Systems, Ixia, Lightstorm Networks, Meriton Networks, RAD Data Communications, Soapstone Networks, Spirent Communications, TPACK Systems and TranSwitch.

T-Mobile International Selects Huawei for Packet Switched Core

T-Mobile International has selected Huawei Technologies to provide Packet Switched Core Networks (PS-CN) across five European countries: Germany, the UK, Austria, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. Huawei said the contract represents an important milestone for the company in Europe.

The contract requires Huawei to replace existing networks with its next-generation PS-CN equipment.

Early in July 2006, Huawei was selected to provide IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) network infrastructure and applications for the Magyar Telekom, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, for its wire line and mobile business lines in Hungary.

Huawei Submarine Networks Will Target Subsea Telecom Cables

Huawei Technologies and Global Marine Systems, which operates a fleet of cable laying ships and submarines, have committed to launching Huawei Submarine Networks Ltd.

Huawei Submarine will deliver end-to-end submarine network equipment, and related services on a global scale.

"Huawei Submarine Networks is a major focus for both companies and introduces a competitive new entrant into the submarine telecommunication market." Mr. Gabriel Ruhan, CEO of Global Marine Systems. "The continuing growth of the regional and long haul market has persuaded us that a credible, innovative, new company is needed by telecoms providers. Since announcing the MOU earlier this year we have received very positive feedback from customers and look forward to serving their needs with a company that combines Huawei's expertise as the fastest growing vendor in optical networks in 2006, and Global Marine's 150 years of enviable market-leading experience in submarine engineering."

Amdocs Completes First Phase of Openreach's Business Transformation Project

Amdocs Consulting has concluded the initial stages of designing business processes to support Openreach's Business Transformation Project. Openreach is the separately governed operating entity within BT Group that manages the local access network. Amdocs Consulting said it is working with Openreach to meet regulatory requirements to transform its issue resolution processes.

Amdocs has been working with BT for more than ten years and has put a number of systems into production, including customer management, service management and billing solutions.

JDSU Adds Mini DWDM Channel Checker

JDSU introduced its OCC-56 Smart Optical Channel Checker, a selective power meter for DWDM applications that provides the market with a low-cost alternative to optical spectrum analyzers (OSAs). It is available in C-band or L-band models and specifically designed for DWDM system installation and upgrades, channel routing verification in ROADM networks and troubleshooting DWDM systems.

Additional performance features for the OCC-56 include support for 50 GHz, 100 GHz or 200 GHz channel spacing (according to ITU-T). It weighs approximately 500 grams.

East African Consortium Selects Alcatel-Lucent for Submarine Cable

The East Africa Marine System Ltd (TEAMS) consortium awarded a contract valued at US$79 million to Alcatel-Lucent to deploy a 4,900 km submarine cable network connecting the port city of Mombasa in Kenya with the port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The cable will be upgradeable to 640 Gbps.

Network installation is scheduled by the end of the first quarter 2009. The Alcatel-Lucent managed solution will be based on its 1620 Light Manager next-generation DWDM submarine platform, and will also include cable and submarine repeaters. As part of the turnkey contract, Alcatel-Lucent will also deploy its deploy its 1678 Metro Core Connect (MCC) in the landing stations located in Mombasa and Fujairah. The Alcatel-Lucent 1350 management system will supervise all the equipment supplied. Alcatel-Lucent will also provide professional services, including project management, engineering, marine operation, and installation testing and commissioning, will be also part of this turnkey project.

The TEAMS consortium includes the Government of Kenya and Etisalat (Emirates Telecom Corporation) of the UAE.
  • In March 2007, Alcatel-Lucent announced that the East Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy) consortium had selected it to build an undersea cable system that will span nearly 10,000 km, linking eight countries from Sudan to South Africa, via Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar and Mozambique. Landings will be located in Port Sudan, Djibouti (Djibouti), Mogadishu (Somalia) Mombasa (Kenya), Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania), Toliary (Madagascar), Maputo (Mozambique) and Mtunzini (South Africa). The cable system will have a scalable capacity of 320 Gbps. It will also interconnect with the Sea-Me-We 3, Sea-Me-We 4, SAS1, Falcon and SAT3/ WASC /SAFE undersea cable systems. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Towerstream to Bid in FCC 700 MHz Spectrum Auction

Towerstream, a leading fixed wireless Internet provider currently operating in eight major metropolitan areas, has filed with the FCC to participate in the upcoming auction for spectrum in the 700 megahertz (MHz) band.

"The 700 MHz auction offers tremendous opportunity for Towerstream, as WiMAX is a natural fit for the spectrum - not only because it is application agnostic, but also because of the coverage and penetration it offers," said Jeff Thompson, CEO of Towerstream.

Tellabs 7100 Optical Transport Gains Military Certification

The Tellabs 7100 Optical Transport System (OTS) received certification from the United States Information Systems Engineering Command's (ISEC) Technology Integration Center (TIC). The Tellabs 7100 OTS offers reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) and Ethernet switching on a single platform.

The ISEC TIC performs design, engineering, integration, development, containment, installation, testing, and acceptance of information systems for the U.S. Army.

Comcast Appoints VP of Regulatory Affairs

Comcast appointed Kathryn A. Zachem as Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, and Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for Comcast Cable. She will oversee all of the company's regulatory efforts, and will be based in Comcast's Washington, DC office, reporting to David L. Cohen, Comcast Executive Vice President. Zachem joins Comcast from the law firm Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP where she was a partner and practiced communications law for 23 years. During that time, she represented clients from nearly every segment of the communications sector including media, wireline, wireless, satellite, and internet service providers.

AT&T Forecasts Heavy Traffic Growth, Updates Financial Outlook

At its analyst conference in New York, AT&T executives predicted heavy traffic growth on its IP backbone over the next three years as it ramps up its IPTV service, increases broadband speeds, rolls out HSUPA wireless data services and accelerates its push into enterprise application services. The company also updated its 2008 and multiyear outlook.

Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO, said that AT&T will enter 2008 with solid operational momentum, having delivered 10 consecutive quarters of double-digit growth in adjusted earnings per share and five straight quarters of improved revenue growth. "Our premier set of assets is capable of generating continued strong results over the next several years," said Stephenson.

Some highlights from the meeting:

  • The total broadband traffic carried by AT&T per day is up more than 145% over the past 2 years.

  • Business data traffic as measured in terabytes/day was up 60% in 2007 over 2006.

  • There are now more than 1 billion wired and wireless devices connected to AT&T networks.

  • AT&T continues to believe that its FTTN is the best architecture. In the long run, it believes the U-verse bandwidth requirements to each subscriber will grow from 21.4 Mbps today to 36.4 Mbps in the future (this represents 4 HD streams + 4 Mbps of overhead + 10 Mbps for Internet access + 2 Mbps for VoIP services). AT&T estimates it can deliver 36.4 Mbps to 80% of its footprint by using pair bonding techniques.

  • AT&T will expand its U-verse services to include the company's Southeast region, with deployment now expected to reach approximately 30 million living units across 22 states by the end of 2010. AT&T has begun a controlled launch of U-verse services in the Atlanta area.

  • AT&T expects that its U-verse services will represent a multibillion-dollar revenue stream by 2010.

  • In terms of wireline consumer connections, AT&T predicts that ARPU will grow from the upper $50s today to more than $70 by 2010.

  • In 2008, AT&T will begin offering 10 Mbps broadband connections over its U-verse network.

  • For U-verse TV, AT&T has set the following targets: more than 1 million customers by the end of 2008; weekly installs ramping to over 40,000 by the end of 2008.

  • U-verse CPE costs are currently running at about $550 per subscriber. The company aims to reduce this to around $400 per subscriber by 2010. The cost per living unit passed is in the low-$300 range.

  • AT&T is deploying content servers in more than 20 locations across the U.S.

  • Industry-wide voice minutes are growing 10% annually, with a shift to wireless.

  • Annual wireless data revenue growth has exceeded 60% for 5 consecutive quarters.

  • AT&T Global Business Services currently serves nearly 120,000 enterprise and wholesale customers globally. Wholesale represents 43% of the business, while enterprise sales represents the other 57%.

  • AT&T Global Business Services expects approximately 75% of market growth in the next 2 years will come from Application Services. Therefore, the company's strategy will be "to help enterprises achieve velocity by delivering intelligent and secure networking, application-enabling platforms and business solutions expertise."

  • AT&T's board of directors approved a 12.7 percent increase in the company's quarterly dividend, the largest annual increase in the company's history, from $0.355 a share to $0.40 a share on a quarterly basis and from $1.42 to $1.60 a share on an annualized basis.

  • AT&T board approved a new authorization for the repurchase of 400 million shares, which represents approximately 6.6 percent of AT&T's shares outstanding as of Dec. 7, 2007. This replaces AT&T's current repurchase authorization, under which the company had repurchased more than $13 billion of its shares through Dec. 7, 2007.

  • AT&T expects to return $19 billion this year to shareowners through dividends and share buybacks.

  • AT&T expects to deliver continued midteens wireless revenue growth, including results from the recent acquisition of Dobson Communications, reflecting strong subscriber growth and continued robust growth in wireless data services.

  • AT&T expects continued capital expenditures in the midteens as a percentage of total revenues.

Presentation materials are available on the company's website.

Comstar and Intel Develop Mobile WiMAX in Russia

"COMSTAR -- United TeleSystems" signed an agreement with Intel to develop and launch a mobile WiMAX network in the Moscow region by the end of 2008, using the IEEE 802.16e standard (2.5-2.7 GHz range). The network will cover the whole city. Intel will provide the client technical devices with embedded WiMAX solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.