Monday, March 17, 2008

Narus Sees Growth for IP Monitoring in India

Narus reported several major deployments of its NarusInsight IP monitoring solution by service providers in India to meet government IP monitoring requirements, manage IP traffic and protect their networks from attack. Narus said this strong customer momentum is spurred by a combination of new entrants offering IP services in India, the stringent regulatory requirements, and the flexibility and scalability of its solution. The company has offices in both Bangalore and Delhi for development, sales and support.

Recent domestic customer wins in India include: Reliance Communications, which is utilizing NarusInsight Intercept Suite to meet the regulatory requirements for legal intercept; and Sify Technologies, which is implementing the NarusInsight Intercept Suite for government compliance.

Metaswitch Introduces SIP Provisioning Server and Phone Configurator

MetaSwitch released a major enhancement to its MetaView network management system and MetaSphere CommPortal web interface, designed to simplify carrier deployment of SIP devices. The enhancements include a MetaView SIP Provisioning Server and a CommPortal Phone Configurator, both available as software upgrades running on the MetaSphere Service Delivery Platform server hardware.

The MetaView SIP Provisioning Server eliminates the hassle of managing thousands of configuration files and intelligent IP end-points, along with the distribution of firmware upgrades, by integrating that configuration knowledge with the service intelligence at the core of the network. In addition, carriers can securely delegate as much or as little control over policies and settings as they like to enterprise administrators and end-users.

The new Phone Configurator application, which is an enhancement to the MetaSphere CommPortal web user interface, provides a graphical representation of each user's exact phone model, and allows point-and-click control over phone settings.

MetaSwitch said the introduction of this provisioning solution addresses a major pain point that carriers have been faced with when deploying hosted PBX services - no matter which platform they use.

DragonWave Offers Pseudowires for Wireless Backhaul

DragonWave introduced a Service Delivery Unit (SDU) product for enabling carriers to converge Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) and IP services over its wireless Ethernet network foundation.

The new SDU pseudowire solution provides both pseudowire and Ethernet switching functionality. The company will offer three versions of the SDU: a 16-port T1/E1 version, a two-port DS3 version and a one-port OC3/STM1 version. In addition to supporting point-to-point TDM transport, the SDU can provide virtual aggregation, further cutting carrier costs by reducing the requirement for TDM cross-connects in the network; a carrier could deploy the T1/E1 version of the SDU at multiple remote locations and aggregate the traffic with the DS3/OC3 version for delivery into the network core. The DragonWave solution supports up to six Gigabit Ethernet ports, in addition to the TDM ports. The SDU provides key carrier-grade features, such as traffic prioritization, Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) tagging, Ethernet demarcation and full redundancy. Up to three SDUs can be deployed in a single standard carrier equipment rack unit.

DragonWave Debuts Horizon Duo Ethernet Radio -- up to 1.6 Gbps Links

DragonWave expanded its Horizon portfolio of native Ethernet radios with a new Horizon Duo model that delivers of up to 1.6 Gbps per link capacity. The product is aimed at wireless carriers offering increasingly bandwidth-intensive WiMAX and 4G services.

Horizon Duo shares the firmware defined modem technology of DragonWave's Horizon Compact and the pseudowire capability of the company's Unite product, enabling integration of Ethernet and Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) traffic across a single packet-based network. DragonWave's Horizon Duo operates within both licensed and unlicensed radio frequencies in the 11-to-38-GHz range, ensuring interference-free performance for customers' traffic.

DragonWave said its Horizon Duo provides scalable, ultra-low-latency, wire-speed native Ethernet connectivity up to 1.6 Gbps full duplex with up to 99.999-percent service availability. Advanced capabilities include integrated link aggregation, XPIC, 1+1 switching, adaptive modulation and an integrated regenerator configuration. Using an optional plug-in with Horizon Duo, a carrier could carry 16 E1/T1, two DS3/E3 or OC3/STM1 services back to the core fiber network over a single Gigabit Ethernet connection. It also supports DragonWave's software-controlled flex bandwidth feature.

The installed base of DragonWave AirPair radios can be upgraded using an indoor-unit replacement, enabling a four-times boost in capacity without changing up-mast gear or cabling.

RAD Introduces G.SHDSL.bis for up to 22.8 Mbps over Bonded Copper

RAD Data Communications has released its new ASMi-54 G.SHDSL.bis modem, which provides up to 22.8 Mbps of bandwidth using bonded copper pairs. The technology transmits multiple point-to-point links of up to 5.7 Mbps each, with each link synchronized at a different rate. The modem may be ordered with two, four or eight-wire options to yield a total bandwidth of 22.8 Mbps.

RAD Data Communications also noted that its ASMi-54 G.SHDSL.bis modem implements the IEEE's 802.1p and 802.1q standards to provide VLAN tagging with four levels of prioritization, enabling carriers to offer differentiated Ethernet services. VLAN tagging can also be employed to separate traffic, ensuring transparency of the customer traffic and bolstering security of management traffic.

IMS Forum Completes Plugfest 4, Gears up for NGN Plugfest 5

The IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) and the NGN (Next Generation Networks) Forums announced the completion of interoperability testing at the IMS Forum Plugfest 4 and plans for the NGN Plugfest 5.

The IMS Forum's Plugfest 4, held at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab (UNH-IOL) Feb 25 - 29, tested a number of leading technologies and services for interoperability, including triple play, VoIP, FMC from multiple vendors, test and measurement equipments, SIP, class-5 features (voicemail, etc), Diameter IMS stacks, and instant messaging with presence support. Plugfest 4 was the first successful IMS call between mobile UE (user equipment) devices and core network elements P-CSCF servers, S-CSCF, and HSS, all from separate vendors.

Plugfest 4 was expanded to include billing interfaces for charging for IMS services. Tests included an IMS-compliant charging/billing system working with multiple network configurations, as well as interoperability of operational support systems and business support systems (OSS/BSS). This is a major milestone since the charging/billing systems are a major component for network operators to deploy IMS.

More than 15 companies participated in IMS Plugfest 4, including Intel as a platinum sponsor, HP, Amdocs, Acision, Alpha Networks, Aricent, Data Connection Ltd., Empirix, Mavenir Systems, Mu Security, NextPoint Networks, Radvision, Shenick Network Systems, Sonus Networks, Starent Networks, Tekelec, and UNH-IOL. PulverMedia and IMS Magazine served as media sponsors.

Plugfest 5, scheduled for June 2008 at UNH-IOL, will test consumer and enterprise M-play interoperability.http://www.IMSForum.org

BBN Wins DARPA Grant for Dynamic, Multi-Terabit Optical Cores

BBN Technologies has been awarded $5.7 million in funding by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for the Dynamic Multi-Terabit Core Optical Networks: Architecture, Protocols, Control and Management (CORONET) program. The researchers aim to revolutionize the operation, performance, survivability, and security of the United States' global IP-based inter-networking infrastructure through improved network architecture, protocols, and control and management software. As envisioned, the target CORONET optical network will enable ultra-fast service set-up/tear-down and very fast and efficient recovery from multiple network failures. An important goal of the program is to transition the CORONET technology to commercial telecommunications carriers, as well as to Department of Defense and other US government global networks.

During the 20-months of Phase 1 of the CORONET program, BBN Technologies will develop the architecture, protocols and algorithms necessary to enable a shift from today's slow-setup-time, static-topology, over-provisioned optical core networks to on-demand, adaptable, high-utilization networks, that are scalable to high capacity at a reasonable cost.

BBN said it is working on innovations in IP/optical cross-layer traffic processing and capacity management, fast signaling to enable rapid recovery from multiple failures, and a novel open-network-operations stack that will lead to simplified network operation. BBN is also designing up-front for security and survivability requirements in both the data and the management planes.

Under the project, BBN will lead a team that includes RTI International; RENCI; Verizon Federal Network Systems; Photon Futures, LLC; Optoelectronic Consulting, LLC; University of California, Davis; and LabN.http://www.bbn.com
  • BBN was founded in 1948 by MIT professors Richard Bolt and Leo Beranek, along with Robert Newman, with a vision of starting a small, acoustical consulting firm. The company is best know for its pioneering work with the ARPANET (the forerunner of today's Internet) in 1969. It is also credited with the first implementation of packet switching (1969), the first router (1976), and the first network e-mail (1971), which established the @ sign as an icon for the digital age. BBN is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

  • In 2004, two prominent venture capital firms (General Catalyst Partners and Accel Partners) acquired the legendary BBN development labs from Verizon. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Canada's PEER 1 Deploys New Global Backbone with Juniper

PEER 1 Networks, a Vancouver-based provider of managed hosting and co-location solutions, has deployed Juniper's M-series Multiservice Edge Routers in all its major points of presence globally. The new backbone will be used for ultra high-speed Ethernet and SONET-based business-class services. The new Juniper infrastructure will also allow PEER 1 to seamlessly support existing SONET services alongside its new 10 GigE services.

ShoreTel and IBM Join Forces on Unified Communications and Collaboration

ShoreTel is working to integrate its distributed unified communications solutions with IBM's unified communications and collaboration platform, IBM Lotus Sametime. The plug-in will allow joint customers to access ShoreTel's distributed IP telephony features from within their IBM Lotus Sametime application, providing greater freedom to choose the right communications to optimize their business processes.

AT&T Wins $16.5 million Air Force Contract for MPLS

AT&T Government Solutions was awarded a contract worth up to $16.5 million by the Air Force Services Agency to build and transition the agency to a single cohesive network for all its locations worldwide. The agency offers a range of military and community support programs, such as troop support, dining facilities, libraries and fitness centers to help improve the quality of life for Air Force field commanders, personnel and family members around the country.

Under the terms of the contract, AT&T will deploy an IP VPN over its MPLS network to link 107 locations, including 22 that are outside the U.S., into a single streamlined IP communications platform.

Toshiba Begins Shipping 128GB SSDs for Notebooks

Toshiba America Electronic Components has begun mass production of its first multi-level cell (MLC) NAND-flash-based solid-state drives (SSDs). The initial models to begin shipping this month are 128GB drives in a lightweight, 15 gram embedded module form factor.

The first generation drives achieve performance levels of 100MB/second read and 40MB/second write. Toshiba utilized a SATA II interface and an iMLC controller supporting fast read-write speed, parallel data transfer, and wear-leveling. As a result, Toshiba SSDs achieve overall PC Benchmark scores that are better than 5400 rpm and 7200rpm HDDs and comparable to selected SATA SLC NAND SSDs.

The Toshiba 64GB embedded module MLC NAND SSD is also ready for mass production. Additional models in 1.8-inch and 2.5-inch drive enclosures are scheduled to sample next month.

Intel and Microsoft Partner on Parallel Computing R&D Microsoft and Intel Launch Parallel Computing Research

Intel and Microsoft are partnering with academia to create two Universal Parallel Computing Research Centers (UPCRC), aimed at accelerating developments in mainstream parallel computing, for consumers and businesses in desktop and mobile computing. The new research centers will be located at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). The companies plan to invest a combined $20 million to the Berkeley and UIUC research centers over the next five years. An additional $8 million will come from UIUC, and UC Berkeley has applied for $7 million in funds from a state-supported program to match industry grants. Research will focus on advancing parallel programming applications, architecture and operating systems software.

"Intel has already shown an 80-core research processor, and we're quickly moving the computing industry to a many-core world," said Andrew Chien, vice president, Corporate Technology Group and director, Intel Research. "Working with Microsoft and these two prestigious universities will help catalyze the long-term breakthroughs that are needed to enable dramatic new applications for the mainstream user. We think these new applications will have the ability to efficiently and robustly sense and act in our everyday world with new capabilities: rich digital media and visual interfaces, powerful statistical analyses and search, and mobile applications. Ultimately, these sensing and human interface capabilities will bridge the physical world with the virtual."

FCC's 700 MHz Auction Raises $19.592 Billion

James E. Carroll, Editor-in-Chief

The FCC's 700 MHz auction came to an end after 261 rounds of bidding and having raised a record $19.592 billion. The names of the winning bidders have not yet been released. The proceeds will be transferred to the U.S. Treasury.

Open platform requirements will be imposed on one-third of the spectrum. This will enable consumers to use the wireless device of their choice on those networks and download whatever software or applications they want on it.

The 700 MHz auction attracted significantly higher bids than any previous FCC auction. In comparison, the 2006 Advanced Wireless Service-1 (AWS-1) Auction raised $13.9 billion.

The FCC also noted that it has established aggressive build-out requirements for the A, B, C and E blocks in the auction and will require more comprehensive service coverage than other Commission licenses.

Juniper Integrates ScreenOS Security into JUNOS 9.0

Juniper Networks has integrated security services from its ScreenOS software into its JUNOS 9.0 software for implementation on its J-series services routers. The additional capabilities offer network administrators the ability to leverage the coupling of routing and security to manage their networks more effectively.

The J-series services router function as a branch office services delivery platform integrating routing, security, and other services including VoIP. Among the capabilities of running JUNOS 9.0 are:

  • high-performance firewall capabilities based on ScreenOS, including zones, policies, and application-layer gateway support to secure both critical information and the network from external threats and denial-of-service attacks;

  • Simplified configuration for IPSec VPN supporting secure connectivity over a variety of public networks, allowing flexibility in network design and the ability to optimize for cost or performance; and

  • Chassis clustering that enables stateful device and services failover with an active/backup control plane and active/active data plane, all within a single system view, delivering continuity by maintaining high availability and systems-level resiliency for networks.

JUNOS 9.0 software with integrated security services for the J-series services routers is currently available. JUNOS 9.0 software is also available for the T-series and M-series routers, the MX-series Ethernet services router, and the EX-series Ethernet switches.

AMC-14 Satellite Launch Fails, Impacting EchoStar

SES AMERICOM confirmed that its AMC-14 satellite failed to reach its intended orbit following its launch on board a Russian Proton Breeze-M launch vehicle on March 15. An anomaly during the second burn of the fourth stage of the rocket resulted in the satellite being placed short of the planned geostationary transfer orbit. The spacecraft is entirely contracted by EchoStar.

The satellite is healthy and is operating nominally in a stable orbit under the control of Lockheed Martin, but, if it is to be salvaged, on-board fuel will have to be spent to get it to the proper orbit. This would reduce its service life.

AMC-14 was built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems, with launch services from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan provided by ILS.

SES said its investment in AMC-14 is insured for partial and total loss.

NSN Hires Former Alcatel-Lucent Exec to Head Radio Access Business Unit

Nokia Siemens Networks has appointed Marc Rouanne as head of its Radio Access Business Unit. He joins NSN from Alcatel-Lucent, where he headed the Convergence Business Group. Prior to this, he was in charge of Alcatel's Mobile Communications activities. Rouanne holds an Engineering degree from Supélec in Signal Processing and is a graduate in computer science from Université d'Orsay, Paris, France. Additionally he holds a PhD in Information Theory from University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.

Orange Business Services Launches Mobile Office in the U.S.

Orange Business Services is launching Mobile Office, a suite of enterprise mobility management tools and capabilities, in the U.S. Mobile Office, which complements Orange's Business Everywhere suite of mobility solutions, is one of the first integrated PC and PDA offerings available on the market today, encompassing:

  • mobility access -- network access client software with broadband wireless access for laptops and managed push-mail for PDAs;

  • mobile device security & management -- auto-inventory of mobility devices, software detection, compliance check, patch distribution and the ability to remotely shut down errant or unauthorized devices;

  • mobile device deployment -- centralized management over staging, mobility software installation, deployment and device certification;

  • mobile infrastructure management -- U.S. help desk support for end-users, integrated portal interface for PDAs and laptops and dispatch and standard/ad-hoc reporting.

Orange said the launch of Mobile Office is an important step in its into the growing U.S. mobile enterprise market.

RadiSys Convedia Media Server Offers N+1 Media Processing Card Redundancy

RadiSys' Convedia CMS-9000 media server now offers N+1 media processing card (MPC) redundancy. RadiSys said this unique fault-tolerant capability on Convedia media servers enables a higher level of reliability for conferencing service providers (CSPs) and enterprises. The feature is also available on the CMS-6000 media server with certain media processing card models. When a rare error or problem is detected on any media processing card within a redundancy group of N cards, all conference participants and associated settings are automatically switched over to a standby media processing card. The hundreds of CSP customers that would normally be impacted without this feature, regardless of location, will now be unaware that anything has taken place.

In 2003, RadiSys introduced the industry's first 1+1 fault-tolerant redundancy across system control cards. This capability allowed a standby System Control Card (SCC) to seamlessly take over from a rare active SCC card failure, without impacting calls in service.

NMS Acquires Groove Mobile

LiveWire Mobile, a subsidiary of NMS Communications, has acquired privately-owned Groove Mobile,

a leading provider of mobile music solutions based in Bedford, Massachusetts, for $14.5 million. The acquisition will enable LiveWire Mobile to meet operators' growing demand for a portfolio of managed services, including ringback tones, ringtones, full track music and video downloads, delivered through an integrated storefront.

Groove Mobile claims 12 global mobile operator customers, including Sprint, 3 UK and Bell Mobility as well as relationships with the major music labels including EMI, Sony BMG, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group.

In December 2007, NMS announced the creation of LiveWire Mobile as a separate division delivering mobile personalization services to operators.http://www.livewiremobile.com

Avaya Introduces Unified Communications Client, Intelligent Presence Server

Avaya introduced its "one-X" Communicator, a unified communications client application that provides full telephony features, desktop video, visual voicemail, rich presence, email and instant messaging, conference bridge integration, directories and contact history.

Avaya one-X Communicator supports both H.323 and SIP communications protocols, enabling communications in businesses with mixed communications environments. It also delivers the aggregated, rich presence information to the desktop supplied by a new Avaya Intelligent Presence Server (IPS), which collects and integrates presence information from multiple sources. Specifically, Intelligent Presence aggregates telephony, desktop and application presence information from Avaya and third party sources, such as those from Microsoft, IBM and others, and bridges industry standard protocols including SIP/SIMPLE and XMPP. Avaya said this provides a richer view of a worker's status that can be supplied to both individuals and business applications to improve collaboration and business execution.

The initial release of one-X Communicator combines telephony presence from Avaya Communication Manager with Instant Messaging presence from Microsoft Office Communications Server; future releases of Intelligent Presence will integrate additional presence sources. In addition, an Avaya one-X Communicator tab within Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 provides direct access to advanced telephony capabilities including mobility, call recording, transfer, and many more.

European Commission Endorses DVB-H over MediaFLO or DMB

The European Commission endorsed Digital Video Broadcasting Handheld (DVB-H) as the standard for mobile TV in Europe. The action is intended to spur the development of a single market for mobile TV in Europe.

DVB-H is currently between trials and commercial launch in 16 countries. Commercial DVB-H services are already available in Italy, with further launches expected later this year notably in Finland, Austria, France, Switzerland and Spain.

After publication of the Commission decision in the EU List of Standards in the EU's Official Journal, Member States will be required to encourage the use of DVB-H.

"For Mobile TV to take off in Europe, there must first be certainty about the technology. This is why I am glad that with today's decision, taken by the Commission in close coordination with the Member States and the European Parliament, the EU endorse DVB-H as the preferred technology for terrestrial mobile broadcasting," said Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for the Information Society and Media. The next steps for implementing the EU strategy on mobile broadcasting will include guidance on the authorization regimes as well as the promotion of rights management systems based, as is DVB-H, on open standards"
  • The DVB-H specification for bringing broadcast services to battery-powered handheld receivers was formally adopted as an ETSI standard in November 2004.
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Ericsson Selected for WCDMA/HSPA Network in Paraguay

Paraguay's operator, Personal, has named Ericsson as sole supplier for its nationwide WCDMA/HSPA network. Under the contract, Ericsson will provide its Mobile Softswitch Solution, as well as a range of professional services, such as network design, network deployment and systems integration, network review and knowledge transfer. Deployment has started. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Gear6 Offers Entry-Level Centralized Storage Caching Appliance

Gear6, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, expanded its storage-caching product line with the introduction of its CACHEfx G100 scalable caching appliance. The new model delivers the same feature set and capabilities as the full CACHEfx product line in a more compact and lower cost configuration.

The new CACHEfx G100 delivers 125,000 I/O operations per second and throughput of 800 MB per second, and features the same Reflex OS that scales across the entire Gear6 product line. The system comes equipped with an initial cache capacity of 128 GB consuming a scant 1,815 watts of power. The appliance preserves valuable data center "real estate", requiring only 11U of rack space.

The G100 is available immediately at a list price of $149,000.

Microsoft Videoconferencing Adds Support for Polycom, TANDBERG

Microsoft announced that its Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communicator 2007 now work with conferencing systems from Polycom and TANDBERG -- which constitute more than 60% of worldwide existing business conferencing systems. Microsoft also outlined continued customer adoption of its unified communications solutions and demonstrated some new technologies, such as low-cost high-definition videoconferencing.

Extreme Networks Boosts VoIP Security Tools

Extreme Networks announced enhancements to its network solutions that provide behavior-based rules to protect IP telephony and VoIP traffic. These security rules help mitigate the threat of malicious users and hackers who are actively trying to exploit vulnerabilities and breach the IP communications network. A packaged set of these rules is available now for Extreme Networks Sentriant security appliance. These rules help to simplify management tasks and better protect VoIP gateways, SIP servers and VoIP phones.

Extreme Networks' Sentriant NG is a post-admission control appliance that is not physically in-line with the network and so does not add latency nor provide an additional point-of-failure. The appliance monitors network traffic using built-in rules to identify anomalous behavior. The new rules specifically help protect VoIP infrastructure.

Motorola and Avail Media Partner on MPEG-4 Content Aggregation

Avail Media is working with Motorola to deliver a combination of equipment and services that will enable IPTV service providers in North America to rapidly launch new entertainment services over their high speed data networks.

"MWAVE" ("MPEG-4 Wide Area Video Entertainment") is capable of transporting Avail Media's more than 200 standard definition (SD) channels and more than 20 channels of high definition (HD). The content distribution is provided via Avail Media's Avail Connect service, which originates at Avail Media's super headend uplinks in Hagerstown, Maryland, and Toronto, Canada. Avail Media's service is combined with elements of Motorola's IPTV portfolio, including set-tops, encoders, systems integration services, and program management for video hub office components, including third-party middleware and digital rights management.

The companies said service providers adopting MWAVE need only construct their local video hub offices where local content, such as off-air channels, public, educational, and government (PEG) channels, and emergency alert services are merged with the supplied national linear channels to construct a comprehensive channel lineup. To accelerate network build-outs, Motorola offers "pre- packaged" video hub offices so that fully-configured and compatible equipment can be integrated and deployed rapidly in service provider serving areas to offer service in customers' targeted communities.

Verizon Declares Quarterly Dividend

The Board of Directors of Verizon Communications declared a quarterly dividend of 43 cents per outstanding share, unchanged from the previous quarter. Verizon has approximately 2.4 million shareowners and approximately 2.9 billion shares of common stock outstanding. The company made $4.8 billion in dividend payments in 2007.