Sunday, February 17, 2008

MSF Outlines Scope and Activity in 2008

In 2008, the MultiService Forum (MSF) is expanding its interoperability focus beyond its Global MSF Interoperability (GMI) event with the addition of two new programs: a permanent NGN Interoperability Test Bed focused on emerging NGN interfaces and the MSF Certification Program, which provides vendor independent certification of critical NGN functionality.

The GMI event will tie it all together by validating products in the latest standards based architectural framework using realistic global network deployment scenarios meaningful to major carriers. GMI 2008 will be the MSF's highest profile interoperability event ever, according to Roger Ward, Office of the CTO, BT Group and President of the MSF, who expects the event will expand beyond the foundations for global IMS implementations to include new services that can be build on an NGN -- notably IPTV and other high value services that can ride on IMS.

The MSF plans to test IMS based IPTV service integration and interoperability during GMI 2008 to help assess the maturity of IPTV solutions and identify gaps in the current industry standards. In addition, other key areas announced for GMI 2008 include: testing of QoS control for multi-service IP networks serving both fixed and mobile clients; demonstration of important service enablers such as "location" information; and the interoperability of a Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) gateway with the core IMS capability.

The MSF permanent NGN Interoperability Test Bed at the UNH InterOperability Lab provides MSF members with a permanent environment to conduct focused interoperability testing of MSF Implementation Agreements. The inaugural event, entitled the "Open Mc Interface Interoperability Event," will test the MSF "Mc Interface" Implementation Agreement based on 3GPP Release 7 specification of the MSC-Server / Media Gateway interface. Open implementation of this key interface is seen as essential to the successful cost effective evolution of the mobile circuit switched domain to IP.

The MSF Certification Program was launched in the third quarter of 2007 and the first certifications will be announced shortly. The MSF's official certification laboratory, Iometrix, is testing and certifying compliance to the Forum's technical specifications. The initial program includes certifications of RTCP implementations of NGN networking components such as SIP end-points, SIP phones, residential gateways (CPE), access gateways, trunking gateways, media servers and session border gateways. RTCP is a protocol that allows the sender of a media stream to receive information, in the form of reports certified by both sender and receiver, about the packet loss, delay and jitter that were encountered by the RTP stream as seen by the recipient. This information is subsequently passed up to the management domain of the operator's network.

Comarco Adds HSUPA Testing Support

Comarco has added High-Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) support to its evolving Symphony range of products.

"The addition of HSUPA support represents another step forward for our Symphony-Multi Platform and for the expanding alliance with our European partner, Ascom," said Mark Chapman, senior vice president and general manager of Comarco. "The Symphony-Multi already supports GSM/EDGE, HSDPA, CDMA1x and EVDO Rev A technologies, amongst others. With the addition of HSUPA, our collective expertise in the measurement of multiple diverse wireless systems now spans all major 3G and advanced air interfaces."

HSUPA currently supports up-link speeds up to 5.76 Mbps, and with speed of up to 11.5 Mbps expected with 3GPP release 7.

Comarco's Symphony supports a growing range of HSUPA data cards including Huawei and Sierra Wireless devices offering up to 7.2 Mbps HSDPA and 2.0 Mbps HSUPA. The Symphony Multi post-processing system, QVP, has also been upgraded to support HSUPA data. QVP Network Analyzer and QVP Map provide full support for HSUPA functionality and operators can view Ec/Io, RSCP, and scrambling codes of the HSUPA serving and non-serving radio links amongst other parameters. Reports include an IP and FTP throughput summary with measurements grouped according to the radio technology.

Comarco's Symphony Multi can support any combination of test phones, data cards and scanning receivers -- up to a total of 24 devices.

AT&T Opens Nordics Sales Office

AT&T has opened a new sales center for the Nordic countries. Anders Juhlin, formerly director of Sales, AT&T Nordics, will take on the new position of sales center vice president, Nordic countries. He will be responsible for bolstering AT&T's success in the region. Juhlin will be based in Stockholm and will report directly to Tom Regent, AT&T's head of EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa).

AT&T's operations in the Nordics include MPLS infrastructure in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, connecting to the AT&T global network. AT&T can provide resilient gigabit Ethernet connections to the voice, video and data network, hosting and security solutions available on more than 1,500 MPLS service nodes in the Nordics, with a DSL alternative in 438 cities and access to almost 1,000 Wi-Fi hot spots.

Net Insight Selected for North American Video Transport Network

Net Insight has received an order from a new North American video transport service provider for its Nimbra optical transport platform. The company said this new customer (name not disclosed) will use the platform to carry real-time traffic for professional media companies across the U.S. The company is building out the first phase of its network in 17 of North America's largest cities.

Net Insight's Nimbra 680 is a next generation switch offering 80Gbps fully non-blocking connectivity between all ports.

The order value is above SEK 10 million and the customer will officially launch its services in April 2008.

Mexico's Cablevision Employs SeaChange Flash Memory Servers for VOD

SeaChange announced that CABLEVISION Mexico has become the world's first digital cable television operator to deploy its flash memory storage and streaming technology. Last month, Mexico's largest digital cable operator switched on SeaChange's MediaServer Flash Memory Streamers, which is a 100-percent flash memory-based solution that completely decouples on-demand streaming from disk-based content storage.

The deployment enables CABLEVISION Mexico to push its streaming resources to the network edge, helping meet its goal of growing its centralized content library to 14,000 hours of movies and television programs.

The platform uses non-volatile flash memory (no spinning disks) and takes advantage of SeaChange's MediaCluster server architecture. SeaChange said its platform MediaCluster stripes content files across flash modules in a server and across servers in an InfiniBand connected cluster, ensuring service fault-resilience and cost-efficient scalability since only one copy of a video is ever required at a server location. Overall, flash memory runs on one-tenth the power that disks require.

SeaGate also claims its MediaCluster technology is able to extend flash memory's life expectancy by a factor of five to at least 10 years. Whereas content "write" hot spots would dramatically reduce life expectancy in any other architecture, SeaChange's MediaCluster eliminates write hot spots by load-balancing content "writes" across all flash modules in a server, and across all servers in a cluster.http://www.schange.com

Aastra Technologies to Acquire Ericsson's Enterprise PBX Business

Ericsson will divest its enterprise PBX solutions business to Aastra Technologies for SEK 650 million, excluding net of assets and liabilities. Ericsson expects a capital gain of approximately SEK 200 million on the transaction. Aastra believes that the acquired business, under its management, will require net working capital of CAD$57 million resulting in a total investment by Aastra of approximately CAD$160 million.

Ericsson's enterprise PBX solutions business supplies IP PBX, converged PBX systems and branch office solutions. The product portfolio includes communications solutions for enterprises of all sizes, mobility solutions, telephone terminals and services. Sales in 2007 amounted to approximately SEK 3 billion.

The agreement involves transfer of approximately 630 employees of which some 360 are based in Sweden. The transaction is expected to close in April 2008.

Ericsson said the deal enables it to focus on providing its broad portfolio of enterprise applications directly to operators and service providers.

Executing on the strategy for the multimedia business, Ericsson will focus on providing its broad portfolio of enterprise applications directly to operators and service providers. Strategic products from the acquisition of Netwise will also remain within Ericsson.http://www.aastra.com

Zayo Buys Citynet Fiber Network -- its 6th Acquisition

Zayo Group closed its previously announced acquisition of Citynet Fiber Network (CFN), the wholesale division of integrated communications provider Citynet. The deal doubles Zayo's metro and regional fiber route miles to 17,000, serving more than 1,400 on-net building locations in 12 states. The sale affects only the wholesale operations of Citynet. Financial terms were not released. The deal was first announced in December 2007.

The CFN network has 8,500 route miles of fiber covering 57 Tier I, II and III markets in 10 states. CFN now becomes part of Zayo Bandwidth, Zayo Group's fiber-based bandwidth business unit that provides private line, wavelength, Ethernet, Internet and colocation.

Zayo said the acquisition connects its network to more local exchange carrier central offices and carrier hotels as well as wireless mobile switching centers. The new network footprint unites Zayo's strength in various metro markets with CFN's regional long-haul routes.

CFN is Zayo's sixth acquisition since spring of 2007.http://www.zayo.com
  • Since early 2007, Zayo Group has announced a series of acquisitions, including: VoicePipe Communications (a provider of retail VoIP services that originated as a hosted PBX service offering of ICG Communications), Onvoy (a 1,400-mile fiber network serving Minnesota), Indiana Fiber Works (a 2,200 fiber-route-mile network serving Indiana), PPL Telcom (a 4,600 fiber-route-mile network based in Allentown, Penn. serving areas in the Northeast), and Memphis Networx (a 200 fiber-route-mile network serving the greater Memphis, Tenn. area) .