Monday, April 28, 2008

Cricket Deploys GENBAND's G9 Converged Media Gateway

Cricket Communications, an operating subsidiary of Leap Wireless, is deploying the G9 Converged Media Gateway controlled by GENBAND's C3 Signaling Controller, to deliver enhanced voice quality and advanced IP services as they continue to evolve to an all-IP architecture. The deployment of the G9 platform complements existing GENBAND products, the GENBAND 8000 Media Gateway and the GENBAND C3 platform, already operational in Cricket's network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

GENBAND noted that in addition to a wide range of features to provide voice quality enhancements (VQE), it is adding Enhanced Variable Rate Codec (EVRC) support over IP. The G9's ability to support EVRC over IP allows Remote Transcoder Operation (RTO) throughout the Cricket network. An added advantage is that the G9 gateway can now interface with a wider range of MSCs, providing added flexibility for future Cricket network growth.
  • In April 2008, GENBAND announced a five-year OEM agreement under which Nokia Siemens Networks will be the preferred supplier of trunking media gateways for their global fixed network market. The companies have also reached a definitive agreement for GENBAND to acquire Nokia Siemens Networks' SURPASS hiG fixed line trunking media gateway product line. Nokia Siemens Networks will continue with its fixed core networks solution portfolio and provide service and support to its current installed base and future customers.

Belgacom selects Alcatel-Lucent for IMS Integration

Belgacom has selected Alcatel-Lucent as its technology and network integration partner to design, integrate, and deploy an end-to-end multi-vendor IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) solution. The platform will enable Belgacom to effectively support and to further develop a wide variety of fixed and mobile services including VoIP and multimedia communications for both residential and business customers.

Alcatel-Lucent will deliver a complete IMS applications and core network solution, based on a standard architecture, incorporating products from Alcatel-Lucent and partners, including application servers, session controllers, home subscriber servers, session border controllers and network/service management functionality. The solution, based on widely adopted standards facilitating convergence, will be a cornerstone of Belgacom's future network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Solera Announces Search Engine for Packet and Payload Data-in-Motion

Solera Networks released a beta version of its "DeepSee" tool for enabling IT or business executives to search, locate and reconstruct specific network traffic in an intuitive, web-like search format. DeepSee works in conjunction with Solera Networks' DS appliances, which provide complete network visibility for both virtual and physical networks through software-based packet capture and stream-to-storage technology.

Key capabilities of Solera DeepSee include the ability to:

  • Execute web-style queries, searching by keywords, user, type of traffic, type of attachment, IP or MAC address, and many other variables

  • Search network traffic for the existence of the most common enterprise file formats

  • Extract and view network artifacts from the search results

  • Obtain visibility into key network-based traffic for legal, HR and other business professionals without requiring networking expertise
  • Monitor and keep a record of all data-in-motion inside the enterprise

SkyPilot Raises $3 million in Funding for its Wireless Mesh

SkyPilot Networks, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, raised $3.4 million in new funding from its existing investors, including August Capital and Mobius Ventures, bringing the total raised since inception to over $70 million. The primary use of the funds will be to continue to expand sales and bring new products to market for the growing customer base of broadband wireless service providers.

"The recent financing is designed specifically to bring SkyPilot to profitability," said Paul Gordon, president and CEO of SkyPilot.

NXP to Acquire Conexant's Set-top Box Operations

NXP Semiconductors, the independent semiconductor company founded by Philips, agreed to acquire the Broadband Media Processing (BMP) business of Conexant Systems for US $110 million in cash up front, and additional consideration of up to US $35 million based on achievement of certain revenue milestones over the period from closing through 2009.

Conexant's BMP business, which provides industry-leading solutions for satellite, cable and IPTV applications, accounted for US $205 million in revenue in 2007.

NXP said Conexant's strengths in broadcast operator set-top box (STB) solutions are complementary to its terrestrial IP and retail STB and Digital TV products. The combined operations will create a top three player in digital video systems.

When the transaction closes, approximately 700 Conexant employees at locations in the United States, India, Northern Ireland, Israel and China will join NXP's Home Business Unit. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the next 60 days.

The deal represents NXP's fourth acquisition since independence and is the first for its Home Business Unit.

Taiwan's Chunghwa Reaches 435,000 IPTV Subscribers

As of the end of the first quarter of 2008, Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom had 435,000 IPTV subscribers, a 52.7% year-over-year increase, with the addition of 41,000 new subscribers during the first quarter of 2008 alone. Some highlights from the companies financial report.:

  • Total revenue increased by 12.1% to NT$51.0 billion

  • Internet and data revenue grew 2.9% to NT$12.5 billion; ADSL & FTTB revenue increased by 2.3% to NT$5.1billion

  • Mobile revenue grew 0.3% to NT$18.1 billion; Mobile VAS revenue increased by 35.3%

  • Net income totaled NT$10.7 billion, representing a decrease of 11.4%, Earnings per share (''EPS'') decreased by 1.8% to NT$1.12

  • Capital expenditures totaled NT$5.5 billon for the first quarter of 2008, of which 71% was for wire line (including fixed-line and internet and data), 5.8% was for mobile equipment, and the remainder 23.3% was for other investments, including purchases of state-owned land where one of our outlets locates.

  • Total HiNet Internet subscribers decreased 5.8% year-over-year due to the separation of 350,000 Prepaid Card subscribers from the total HiNet subscriber base in May 2007. This decline was partially offset by the strong HiNet FTTB subscription growth, with 385,000 net additions over past twelve months bringing the total HiNet FTTB subscriber number to 622,000 as of March 31, 2008.

  • Overall, the company had 4.28 million broadband subscribers (including ADSL and FTTB) at the end of the first quarter of 2008, representing a 4.1% increase in total broadband subscribers compared to the end of the first quarter of 2007. By the end of the first
    quarter of 2008, the number of ADSL and FTTB subscriptions with a service speed greater than 8 Mbps reached 1.28 million, representing a 29.9% increase of the total broadband subscribers.

  • As of March 31, 2008, Chunghwa had 8.72 million mobile subscribers up by 2.0% compared to 8.70 million as of the first quarter of 2007. Chunghwa remained the leading mobile operator in Taiwan with a 36% share.

  • As of March 31, 2008, Chunghwa had 2.59 million 3G subscribers, a 12.9% increase as compared to that of the end of 2007. At the end of the first quarter of 2008, 3G ARPU was 61% higher than that of 2G.

  • Mobile VAS revenue for the first quarter of 2008 was NT$1.7 billion, posting a 35.3% increase year-over-year, with SMS revenue up 32.8% and mobile internet revenue up 54.7% year-over-year, respectively.

Extreme Delivers "Top of Rack" 24-port 10GigE Switch

Extreme Networks unveiled its new Summit X650, a 24-port non-blocking 10 Gigabit fixed switch aimed at next gen data centers. The Summit X650 is a purpose-built, top-of-rack 1 RU switch, with up to 32 10 Gigabit ports on a single system, or up to 256-ports in a stacked system. The Summit X650 supports switch stacking with total throughput performance of 512 Gbps. It also features the ExtremeXOS Operating System -- a modular OS that is consistent with Extreme Networks core, aggregation and edge switches.

The Summit X650 switch will be available in the fourth quarter of 2008 and has a U.S. list price starting at $19,995.

Mobile Handset Vendors Develop Next Gen Memory Interface Standard

A group of leading mobile handset vendors have formed a new working group committed to creating an open standard for next-generation memory interface technology targeting mobile devices.

The proposed standard for dynamic random access memory (DRAM), named Serial Port Memory Technology (SPMT), aims to enable extended battery life, bandwidth flexibility, significantly reduced pin count, lower power demand and multiple ports by using a serial interface instead of the parallel interface commonly used in today's memory devices. The technology would significantly extend battery life while allowing high-performance media-rich applications on next-generation mobile phones.

Companies backing the new working group include ARM, Hynix Semiconductor, Inc., LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Silicon Image, Inc., Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB, and STMicroelectronics.

The SPMT Working Group said its goal is to define a technology that reduces pin count by a minimum of 40 percent, provides a bandwidth range from 3.2GB/s to 12.6GB/s and higher, reduces input/output power by 50 percent or more to extend battery life, and provides the ability to use either a single port or multiple ports into a single SPMT-enabled memory chip. While initially targeted at the mobile handset market, the technology will also be in demand by other markets such as portable media players, digital still cameras and handheld gaming devices.

Broadcom Debuts 65nm StrataXGS 4 Switching Architecture

Broadcom introduced its next generation family of single-chip 65 nanometer (nm) Ethernet switching chips for OEMs designing modular, stackable and fixed form factor equipment for the service provider, data center, and enterprise markets. Broadcom's 4th generation StrataXGS architecture utilizes a low power, 65nm CMOS process. Two new devices are being announced:

  • The Broadcom BCM56624 -- a 48-port Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) plus 4-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) solution that provides carrier-class features such as IPv4 and IPv6 routing, as well as advanced metro encapsulation protocols and advanced security mechanisms such as IPFix and large access control lists (ACLs) for user and flow-based authentication. The BCM56624 also includes advanced QoS features for service provider applications with a new dynamic adaptive memory buffer technology that provides better QoS and network performance. It also features large external address and security tables that scale to meet the demands of high performance equipment at the core of the network.

  • The BCM56720 -- a 4th generation StrataXGS HiGig switch fabric that provides half a terabit of packet switching capacity on a single chip and scales to achieve multi-terabits of capacity on a single backplane. It is compatible with the new StrataXGS 4 series of products as well as products from earlier StrataXGS architectures. This switch fabric also leverages the company's HiGig stacking protocol and service aware flow control (SAFC).
  • In November 2007, Broadcom introduced its BCM56820 24-port, multi-layer 10GbE switch solution for the data center and other high performance applications. Also designed in 65nm, the BCM56820 offers significant per port power savings over previous generation 10GbE switch products, providing greater density at a lower power.

Verizon and Vodafone Team Up to Deliver First Live Global Mobile Simulcast

Verizon Wireless and Vodafone are teaming up to deliver a live global mobile simulcast, with performances from Madonna's exclusive up-close and personal show at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City. Specifically, the carriers will provide a live broadcast of four songs exclusively to Verizon Wireless V CAST Music customers in the U.S and to Vodafone users in Cyprus, Egypt, France (SFR), Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Romania, South Africa (Vodacom), Spain, and the UK. Verizon Wireless and Vodafone said their live global mobile simulcast represents a milestone for the mobile industry.

LSI Introduces New Media Gateway Chips

LSI announced two new media gateway system-on-a-chip (SOC) solutions featuring lower power consumption per voice channel, and video transcoding for new mobile video and enterprise collaboration services. The solution is scalable up to 12 DSP cores per chip, providing a single platform for a wide range of applications from entry-level multi-service business gateways through wireless carrier-class media gateways. All SOCs are equipped with embedded CPUs, on-board memory for voice applications and carrier-class packet processing engines to support advanced QoS and traffic management. The devices are aimed at high-density platforms that support advanced voice services and video processing in a wide range of network environments. LSI is including a software development environment and leading voice, fax and video codecs supporting H.263, H.264 and MPEG-4 standards. Shipping is now underway.

"With these additions to their StarPro portfolio, LSI has delivered an impressive architecture that will enable the industry to develop new high-density media gateways," said Will Strauss, principal analyst with Forward Concepts. "The industry trend of implementing media gateways for 3G and 4G cellular bodes well for LSI because of their extensive cellular infrastructure base."

Broadcom Offers Low-Power GigE Switch Chips for SMBs

Broadcom introduced a family of 65 nanometer (nm) single-chip Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) switch chips for small- to-medium-sized business (SMB) applications. Total system power savings are estimated at 40%. The new switch family includes 5-, 8-, 16- and 24-port configurations, with full Layer 2 (L2) switching. The new chips integrate a MIPS processor, Broadcom's 65nm octal GbE physical layer (PHY) core, as well as QSGMII connectivity. Broadcom said support for the QSGMII interface is significant as next generation switches are expected to adopt this technology as the standard interface for external PHY connectivity. Having both an integrated octal GbE PHY and QSGMII interface allows Broadcom to offer high performance switching solutions that reduce power consumption, design complexity and total system cost.

Towerstream Adds NYC Skyscraper as Sixth City POP

Towerstream will be powering one of New York City's landmark skyscrapers with building-wide access to its high-speed, wireless broadband solution. The 50-story building, which extends a full city block, will also serve as Towerstream's sixth point-of-presence (PoP) in its New York City wireless broadband network, extending broadband coverage to much of Manhattan's north side.

Towerstream said the property is the first building to take full advantage of wireless gigabit broadband delivered directly from the company's rooftop equipment. Building tenants will have bandwidth options including T1, T3, 100 and 1000 Mbps connections.

AT&T U-verse TV Adds Flickr, Yahoo! Games,

AT&T has added some new features to its U-verse TV service, including:

AT&T Online Photos from Flickr, allowing viewing of photos uploaded to on the U-verse TV screen

AT&T U-bar, which brings customizable weather, stock, sports and traffic information to the U-verse TV screen, without interrupting the
current program.

YELLOWPAGES.COM TV, for fast and easy searches to find local businesses and other information via the TV screen.

AT&T Yahoo! Games, including Sudoku, Solitaire, JT's Blocks, Mah-jongg Tiles and Chess -- on the TV screen.

The features are now available to customers in San Antonio, Texas at no extra charge.

Harris Stratex Networks Sees Strongest Wireless Growth in Africa

Harris Stratex Networks, which supplies wireless transmission solutions, reported quarterly revenue of $178.2 million. GAAP net income was $7.3 million or $0.09 per diluted share, which includes $7.3 million in pre-tax charges associated with the merger transaction, integration and stock compensation expense.

n its seasonally softest quarter, North America microwave grew 16 percent year-over-year with revenue of $56.9 million. This compares with $63.8 million in the prior quarter.

International revenue of $117.1 million grew 6 percent from the prior quarter and increased 27 percent compared with the year-ago period. Growth was led by revenue from Africa at $55.9 million, which increased 36 percent sequentially, and 49 percent when compared with the year-ago quarter, reflecting a rebound in capital investment following a series of operator consolidations. Revenue in Europe, the Middle East and Russia was $39.2 million, a sequential increase of 23 percent and an increase of 17 percent compared with the year-ago period. Combined Q3 revenues for Latin America and Asia Pacific were $22.0 million, compared with $37.8 million in the prior quarter and $21.4 million in the year-ago period. Network Operations revenue was $4.2 million compared with $6.5 million in the prior quarter and $5.2 million in the year-ago period.

"I am pleased with our 21 percent year-over-year revenue improvement. In particular, I am pleased with the rebound in Africa as shipments to major operators gained traction," said Harald Braun, president and chief executive officer of Harris Stratex Networks.

The company also noted that it now believes revenue for fiscal 2008 will be at the high end of prior guidance. Due to continued pressure on gross margin, non-GAAP earnings for fiscal 2008 are expected to be at the low end of prior guidance.