Wednesday, July 9, 2008

OpenCloud Raises $10 Million for Real-Time Apps

OpenCloud Limited, a start-up based in Cambridge, UK, closed $10 million in second round funding for its work in real-time application servers for next-generation telecommunications services.

OpenCloud's :"Rhino" is a carrier grade JAIN SLEE application server that provides a java-based service creation and continuously available run-time environment for real-time telecommunications applications.

The company said its OpenCloud Rhino enables the delivery of new person-to-person communications services at a faster pace and at a significantly lower price-point throughout the application lifetime - during service development, deployment and operation. Deploying an open standards platform, such as OpenCloud Rhino enables third-party companies and service providers to develop product applications and deploy them into any JAIN SLEE-enabled telecommunications network.

Existing institutional investors, Advent Venture Partners, No 8 Ventures and Motorola Ventures together with Silicon Valley Bank provided the $10M debt and equity investment. The investment will support the global sales, marketing, delivery and support of OpenCloud's Rhino product set.

Ericsson to Supply IMS for Vodafone Ireland

Vodafone Ireland has appointed Ericsson to be the systems integrator of a real-time charging and IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) solution, including upgrading and expanding the operator's network. Under the contract, Ericsson will be responsible for systems integration of existing solutions into the IMS environment. Ericsson will also upgrade and expand network capacity, enable real-time charging and underpin demanding multimedia functionality. The deal builds upon Ericsson's long-standing relationship with Vodafone Ireland as its sole supplier of an IP-based circuit core network. Based on the Ericsson Mobile Softswitch Solution, the network will now be upgraded to support interworking with IMS. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Rim Semiconductor Develops Amplitude Modulation Decoder

Rim Semiconductor filed a non-provisional patent application on its "RQAM" technology. The company claims its "Cupria" transport processor leverages the RQAM technology to drive data traffic at more than 40 Mbps 5,500 feet (1.67km) on 26AWG (0.40mm) telephone wire. Existing technologies are able to drive data 15 mbps at this distance on this wire type.

The patent, entitled "Amplitude Modulation Decoder," was filed as a non-provisional patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Seagate Unveils 1.5-Terabyte HDD for Desktops

Seagate unveiled the industry's first 1.5-terabyte desktop and half-terabyte notebook hard drives.

The new Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB hard drive represents the eleventh generation of Seagate's flagship drive for desktop PCs. The new model delivers a half-terabyte increase from the previous highest capacity of 1TB, thanks to the capacity-boosting power of perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) technology.

Seagate's new 2.5-inch half-terabyte 5400- and 7200-rpm drives -- Momentus 5400.6 and Momentus 7200.4 -- are the fourth generation of Seagate's laptop family to use PMR.

Sonus and VeriSign Test IP Number Portability

Sonus Networks and VeriSign completed interoperability testing of number portability queries over IP-based networks.

The companies said the introduction of number portability regulation by many governments has, in some cases, increased the resources needed by carriers to complete the accurate transfer of calls. The implementation of Local Number Portability (LNP) has created the need for carriers to perform a LNP Query. This in turn has resulted in an elevated use of the carrier's SS7 networks, and in some cases necessitates the need to purchase additional SS7 network capacity.

Sonus has implemented an IP-based LNP Query mechanism, ENUM-LNP, as an inexpensive alternative to the traditional SS7-based LNP Query. The IP transported LNP Query is served by the VeriSign Number Identity Registry.http://www.sonusnet.com

Nokia Completes Acquisition of NAVTEQ

Nokia completed its acquisition of NAVTEQ, a leading provider of comprehensive digital map information. The deal was first announced in November 2007.

NAVTEQ brings a number of key assets to Nokia: maps and navigation industry expertise, an existing customer base and a map data and technology platform with broad geographical coverage. The company is a leading provider of comprehensive digital map information for automotive navigation systems, mobile navigation devices, Internet-based mapping applications, and government and business solutions. NAVTEQ also owns, a web and interactive service that provides traffic information and content to consumers.

NAVTEQ generated 2006 revenues of $582 million and has approximately 3,000 employees located in 168 offices in 30 countries. The company is based in Chicago and was founded in 1985.

As part of Nokia, NAVTEQ will continue to develop its expertise in the navigation industry, service its customer base, and invest in the further development of its map data and technology platform. It will continue to build out and expand coverage of countries already included in its database as well as add new pieces of both static and dynamic content.

TranSwitch to Acquire Centillium for Optical Access, VoIP ICs

TranSwitch agreed to acquire Centillium Communications in a deal valued at about $42.8 million.

TranSwitch is a provider of carrier-class semiconductor solutions for EoS (Ethernet over SONET/SDH), Broadband Access and Carrier Ethernet applications. TranSwitch said the acquisition broadens its portfolio especially for FTTH and VoIP solutions.

Centillium is a System-on-Chip (SoC) provider offering PON solutions for optical access network and VoIP ICs capable of carrying up to 1,000 VoIP channels on a single chip.

Under the deal, TranSwitch will issue an aggregate of 25 million shares of common stock and $15 million, which will be allocated pro rata among holders of Centillium common stock and vested, in-the-money, stock options outstanding at the closing of the merger. Based on Centillium's capitalization as of July 9, 2009, Centillium shareholders would receive 0.5958 shares of TranSwitch common stock and $0.36 in cash for each share of Centillium common stock. Based on TranSwitch's closing share price on July 9, 2008, the total consideration values Centillium at $42.8 million or approximately $1.02 per share on a fully-diluted basis. Centillium shareholders will own approximately 16% of the combined company.

TranSwitch said it has identified approximately $10.5 million of annual expense savings and expects the transaction to be accretive to earnings in the first full quarter after closing and significantly accretive in 2009.http://www.transwitch.com
  • In February 2008, Ikanos Communications acquired Centillium's DSL technology and assets in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $12 million.

AT&T Claims Fastest 3G in U.S.

AT&T claims to be the fastest 3G network in the U.S., based on data compiled by leading independent wireless research firms. The claim is based on a variety of tests conducted by third-party researchers, who downloaded a variety of applications and files to test throughput and overall performance. AT&T said it was the winner by a significant margin.

AT&T also announced it has started doubling the data capacity of its 3G markets, and nearly half of all cell sites will receive additional 3G capacity by the end of the year. The additional capacity will help accommodate the anticipated growth of 3G subscribers over the next several years.

AT&T's 3G network is currently available in nearly 300 major U.S. metropolitan areas, with plans to expand to nearly 350 by the end of the year.

Time Warner Cable to Sell Certain Non-Core Cable Systems

Time Warner Cable announced a deal to sell a group of small cable systems to Windjammer Communications, a venture between MAST Capital Management, LLC and Communications Construction Services (CCS).

The systems serve approximately 80,000 basic video subscribers and 120,000 revenue generating units spread across more than 125 head-ends in 25 states and located in areas outside of the company's core geographic clusters.
  • Time Warner Cable ranks as the second-largest cable operator in the U.S., serving approximately 14.7 million customers who subscribed to one or more of its video, high-speed data and voice services, representing approximately 33.0 million revenue generating units.

Vonage Awarded Its First Technology Patent

Vonage recently received approval of its first internally developed patent, called "Method and Apparatus for Placing a Long Distance Call Based on a Virtual Phone Number." The invention allows customers to use a virtual number to contact parties at distant locations without incurring long distance charges.

The patent -- No. 7,386,111 -- covers a process for a system that connects calls by converting virtual numbers at an originating point to a physical number associated with a destination point.

A virtual number allows a Vonage customer to have a secondary number where they can be reached. For example, a Vonage customer can get a secondary phone number with the same area code as his mother, so when his mother tries to contact him, she can as a local call even if he lives across the country.
  • In October 2007, Vonage and Verizon announced a settlement in their patent dispute. The terms of the resolution depend on how the Court of Appeals decides Vonage's pending petition for rehearing regarding two of the Verizon patents (the '574 and '711). If Vonage wins rehearing on either the '574 or '711 patent or if the injunction is vacated as to the '574 or '711 patent, Vonage will pay Verizon $80 million. If Vonage does not win rehearing on either the '574 or '711 patent, or if the stay is lifted reinstating the injunction, Vonage will pay Verizon $117.5 million.

  • Earlier this month, Vonage settled its pending patent dispute with Sprint and entered into a licensing arrangement valued at $80 million. The fee includes $35 million for past use of license, $40 million for a fully paid future license, and $5 million in prepayment for services.

Verizon Introduces FiOS TV for Business

Verizon launched a new subscription-television service designed for small and medium-sized businesses, delivered exclusively by Verizon's fiber-optic network.

Verizon FiOS TV for Business is immediately available in select areas of the 13 states where more than 1.2 million customers already subscribe to the residential version of the service. The states are: California, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia.

Pricing for FiOS TV for Business begins at $49.99 per month in most areas for small-business customers. Service highlights include:

  • Up to 400 all-digital TV and music channels to choose from.

  • Approximately 30 high-definition channels (varies by market) with extraordinary clarity and theater-quality sound. Verizon has started to add more HD channels, and plans to expand its lineup to offer all available major HD programming by year-end.

  • A library of more than 10,000 video-on-demand titles each month, 70 percent of which are free.

  • Channels grouped by genres such as entertainment, sports, news, shopping, movies and family, making it easy for audiences to find their favorite programming.

  • An interactive media guide that integrates HD programming, on-demand content and the digital video recorder along with broadcast television into a seamless user experience.

  • Pay-per-view access to sporting events, concerts, movies, etc.