Monday, April 14, 2008

JDSU Intros 10 GigE Field Tester

JDSU introduced a compact 10 GigE multi-function tester for the installation and maintenance of Carrier Ethernet and IP services. Technical capabilities of the new T-BERD/MTS-6000A Multi-Services Application Module include 10 GigE, IP Video, TCP/UDP, FTP test and support for Ethernet and SONET/SDH up to 10GigE/10G on the same physical port.

Verizon Business Debuts SONET-for-Metro Ethernet Service

Verizon Business introduced its "Next Generation SONET for Metro Ethernet" service primarily targeted to its Ethernet LAN (E-LAN) or Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL) customers as a means of linking their far-flung business locations. The new NG SONET enhancements enables customers that can be served by Verizon's fiber-optic network in 53 metro markets to link directly to new locations via Ethernet, eliminating certain costly connection charges. Customers also benefit from reliability and security built in to SONET ring networking and flexible bandwidth configuration of Ethernet at each location.

Verizon Business also offers networking flexibility through its Ethernet Packet Ring Service (EPRS), which combines optical networking reliability with the multipoint capabilities of Ethernet switching. The service is designed to avoid a single point of failure and also provides flexible and scalable Ethernet handoffs at each location connected to the link.

Verizon Business also offers 24 x 7 monitoring and support, and competitive network service level agreements (SLAs). The full Ethernet portfolio now includes:

  • Metro Ethernet Services (E-LAN and EVPL) - available within 53 metro markets in the United States.

  • Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS) - available virtually anywhere nationwide.

  • Ethernet Private Line (EPL) - available within 145 U.S. metro markets and in many locations in 21 European countries.

  • Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL) - available virtually anywhere nationwide and in many locations in six Asia-Pacific countries and territories, as well as between the United States and six Asia-Pacific regions, and between the United States and 21 European countries.

  • Ethernet Access for Private IP and the public Internet - available virtually anywhere nationwide, within 21 European countries, 13 countries in Asia-Pacific, four countries in Latin America and in Canada.

Sigma Introduces its Latest IPTV Media Processor

Sigma Designs has begun sampling its new SMP8654 media processor SoC, designed for next gen IPTV set-top boxes. The new design, which provides a 50% improvement in performance along with lower overall system costs, integrates multiple on-chip CPUs.
From a media processing standpoint, it offers a full complement of advanced decoder engines with high definition video decoding, including of H.264 (MPEG-4 part 10), Windows Media Video 9, VC-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 (part 2), and the new AVS standard. High-performance graphics acceleration, multi-standard audio decoding, advanced display processing capabilities, and HDMI 1.3 output round out its multimedia core.

The new chip also features content security through a dedicated secure processor, on-chip flash memory, and a range of digital rights management (DRM) engines for high-speed payload decryption. It also features a full complement of system peripherals, including a dual Gigabit Ethernet controller, dual USB 2.0 controller, NAND flash controller, IR controller, and SATA controller.

Novatel Wireless Misses Q1 Forecast

Novatel Wireless, which supplies wireless broadband access cards, reported preliminary Q1 financial results saying it now expects revenue to be approximately $91 million, lower than the company's prior guidance of $110 million. GAAP earnings per share are expected to be in the range of $0.13 to $0.15 and non-GAAP EPS is expected to be between $0.16 and $0.18 per share.

Novatel Wireless also announced the appointment of Peter V. Leparulo, the company's current chairman of the board, as chief executive officer, effective immediately. Mr. Leparulo previously served as the company's CEO from January 2003 to November 2006.

"We are very disappointed with our first quarter results," said Peter Leparulo. "Approximately $10 million of the shortfall was attributable to a delayed launch of the MC930D with a major European carrier customer. Additionally, we had lower than expected sales of our enterprise-class MC727 USB products to one major customer. We are between product launch cycles for our USB devices and demand in the current environment has shifted toward lower end products. We continue to see solid demand for our first generation MCD3000 USB products selling into this market shift, and we expect our second generation USB products to become the low end promotional offering as we introduce our third generation products mid-year."

ECI Telecom Selected for Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport

Schiphol Telematics (ST), the telecom operator at Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands, has selected ECI Telecom to provide a three-year managed service contract for its next-generation networks (NGN). ECI was selected to build-operate and manage this new network, providing ST with expertise, management tools and leading operations capabilities.

ST serves business customers in and around Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. It also operates the telecom network for the Amsterdam national airport, including one of the largest Wi-Fi networks in Europe, and cellular backhaul lines for other carriers.http://www.ecitele.com

Platinum Equity Completes Acquisition of Covad

Platinum Equity completed its acquisition of Covad Communications for approximately $470 million. The acquisition was a public-to-private transaction in which an affiliate of Platinum Equity acquired all outstanding shares of Covad stock for $1.02 per share in cash. The company previously traded on the American Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol DVW.

U4EA Certified by Siemens Enterprise Communications for Telefónica

U4EA Technologies' Fusion 200 has been certified by Siemens Enterprise Communications for interoperability with Siemens' HiPath 8000 V3.1 IP-based SIP softswitch and subsequent use by Telefónica.

U4EA's Multi-Service Business Gateways (MSBGs) combine the functions of a SIP session controller, router, switch, firewall, IDS, VoIP gateway, QoS and OA&M into a single device for the delivery of converged VoIP, data, and video communications.

The HiPath 8000 V3.1 is a native SIP real-time IP system designed to provide enterprises with a service creation and delivery infrastructure. It scales from just a few hundred to as many as 100,000 users per single system and can be deployed and managed as a typical enterprise solution or as a hosted service managed by either the customer, a managed service provider (MSP), or by Siemens. Siemens has certified the Fusion 200 for use in Telefonica installations with the HiPath 8000.

SOFTBANK Upgrades POP in Palo Alto

SOFTBANK TELECOM has upgraded its main U.S. point of presence (POP), located at Switch and Data's Palo Alto site, to accommodate a doubling of its Internet traffic with North American Internet service providers (ISPs). The carrier is preparing for traffic with North America to increase by 100% within the next year due to continued growth in its broadband subscriber base. SOFTBANK TELECOM utilizes Switch and Data's Palo Alto Internet exchange and data center as its main hub in North America.

Switch and Data said its Palo Alto site is one of the world's most densely interconnected Internet exchanges.

Akamai Forecasts Near Term Demand for Online HD

There is substantial near-term interest in launching HD broadband video, according to a survey broadcasters according to market intelligence firm Broadband Directions and commissioned by Akamai Technologies. Nearly 75 percent of respondents said they have plans to offer HD video content to their online audiences. In terms of timing, more than 80 percent of respondents with plans to offer HD content said they either already offered HD broadband video or intend to introduce it within the next 24 months. Fully half of respondents said they already offer it or intend to do so within the next 12 months.

While short-form (e.g. previews, news clips) HD content was being offered by close to half of respondents, long-form (e.g. movies, TV episodes, sporting events) was not far behind at 35 percent.

Akamai said that one way to interpret the relatively strong interest in long-form is that rights-holders of high-quality video programming (mainly TV networks and film studios), which tend to be highly focused on the user experience, are only now being drawn into broadband because HD is becoming economically and technically possible.

"Even six months ago, a 500 or 700 kilobit per second bitrate was pushing it," said Tim Napoleon, chief strategist, Media & Entertainment, at Akamai. "Now while 500-700 kbps is more of the norm, we're seeing companies really pushing the envelope with 1.5 -- 2 megabits per second and HD, in the ranges of up to 6 megabits per second bit rates, across our network. This is clearly an indication of consumer desire to experience higher quality content, and of content producers' efforts to meet those needs quickly."http://www.akamai.com

IP-PRIME Signs HD Agreements with Telcos

IP-PRIME, which offers a turnkey IP-based video service for telcos in North America, announced the addition of 12 new High Definition programming agreements with local telephone operators. IP-PRIME's technology and extensive programming roster allow operators to overlay the more efficient MPEG-4 service atop their existing MPEG-2 service, which would otherwise not have been able to provide HD channels.

IP-PRIME will begin delivering a 32-channel lineup of news, entertainment & sports programming in HD-4 featuring content from ESPN, Disney, Discovery, CNN, Fox News, MTV, and others. Among the twelve operators who recently signed IP-PRIME HD-4 contracts are Chibardun Telephone Cooperative in Wisconsin, Home Town Cable in Florida and Manti Telephone in Utah.http://www.ip-prime.tv

Comcast and Pando Call for P2P Management Policies

Comcast and Pando Networks, which offers a managed P2P content delivery service, are launching an initiative to create a "P2P Bill of Rights and Responsibilities" (BRR) for peer-to-peer (P2P) users and Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

The companies said they will engage with industry experts, other ISPs and P2P companies, content providers and others to clarify what choices and controls consumers should have when using P2P applications as well as what processes and practices ISPs should use to manage P2P applications running on their networks.

In addition, Comcast has agreed to test Pando's "Network Aware" P2P technology. The test will capture and analyze the data flow associated with downloading a file using Pando's P2P application. The Pando test will provide additional data to help Comcast migrate to a protocol-agnostic network management technique by the end of this year. The arrangement is yet another example of how these technical issues can be worked out through private business discussions and without the need for government intervention.
  • P2P content delivery can boost delivery speeds by up to 235% across US cable networks and up to 898% across international broadband networks, according to Pando Networks, which offers a managed P2P content delivery service. The data was gathered in a recent P4P field test by Pando from more than 3,000 ISPs worldwide. As part of the test that began February 21st, Pando Networks delivered video content to more than 1 million people across global broadband networks including AT&T, Bell Canada, Bezeq International, BT, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox, Orange, Sasktel, Telefonica, Telecom Italia, Time Warner, Tiscali, and Verizon.

  • In March 2008, Verizon announced that it will begin using a peer-to-peer (P2P) file transfer system from Pando Networks to aid with the distribution of large media files to its broadband users. When deployed, the new system will move material authorized by the content owners -- such as movies, TV programs, software or large data bases -- faster for consumers and more efficiently for network operators, including Verizon. Significantly, Verizon said it no longer regarded P2P as a "dark-alley distribution system for unauthorized file sharing.

Verizon Files FiOS TV Plan for NYC

Verizon has filed plans with the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) to offer its FiOS TV service throughout all five boroughs of the city. The plan would extend the fiber optic service to approximately 3.1 million households over a 6 year period. Verizon submitted the plan in response to a Solicitation DoITT issued on April 11. The solicitation seeks "proposals for franchises for the provision of cable television services to be made available throughout the City." Currently, only two legacy cable TV companies operate in separate and distinct parts of the city.

Verizon said if its proposal is accepted and all approvals are achieved in a timely fashion, it would begin offering service to NYC residents later this year.

Key aspects of the citywide plan include:

  • Verizon will deploy its fiber-optic network throughout the entire City by midyear 2014.

  • Verizon will make available FiOS TV service to requesting customers in all five boroughs within a six-year time frame as Verizon's wire centers are upgraded to being video-capable. If Verizon's proposal is approved, hundreds of thousands of New York City residents will have access to FiOS TV this year;

  • FiOS TV will include an all digital channel line-up of more than 400 channels and 150 HD channels by year-end, and a growing library of more than 10,000 video-on-demand selections;

  • Verizon will provide a fiber-optic institutional network (known as an INET), primarily to support the City's public safety needs;

  • Verizon agrees to pay franchise fees equivalent to five percent of gross revenues on cable TV service, as do other cable TV operators in the City;

  • Verizon has agreed to appropriate customer service provisions.

Verizon noted that it began constructing its fiber network in the City in late 2004 and has installed FiOS in hundreds of MDU buildings throughout the City.