Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Microsoft Launches Platform for Broadcast TV on the PC

Microsoft is introducing Protected Broadcast Driver Architecture (PBDA), a new worldwide platform for broadcast TV on the PC. The new platform, which uses the recently released Windows Media Center TV Pack, enables the PC-TV hardware ecosystem to integrate virtually any free or premium TV service into Windows Media Center.

The PBDA platform enhances and supersedes the existing Broadcast Driver Architecture (BDA), which has been Microsoft's standard for digital video capture on Windows operating systems for many years.

"For the first time, we're enabling those in the PC-TV community to build tuners and integrate almost any broadcast service into Windows Media Center themselves regardless of geographic location or television standard -- we've removed a major roadblock by delivering one consistent platform for the industry," said Geoff Robertson, general manager for Windows Media Center at Microsoft. "The tremendous response we're already seeing for the platform means PC OEMs, broadcast service providers and tuner-makers can now collaborate and embrace the PC as a first-class citizen for delivering more high-quality free or pay content to consumers in their local markets. This is a major milestone for us and our partners as we continue our efforts to deliver the highest-quality, personalized TV-watching experiences available to people everywhere."

Microsoft lists a number of companies rallying behind PBDA, including AVerMedia Inc., Buffalo, Hauppauge Computer Works Inc., I-O Data Device Inc., NEC Electronics Corp., NXP Semiconductors and ViXS Systems,

Microsoft Launches Mediaroom IPTV Migration Program

Microsoft has launched a new program to ease the transition for IPTV service providers using other platforms to migrate to its solution. The Microsoft Mediaroom Migration Program delivers a structured assessment process and analytical tools for migration, including business and technical workshops to review set-top-box portability, network compatibility and audio-visual head-end interoperability. The three key phases in the program are:

  • Phase 1 -- Planning scenarios around engineering and business metrics, assessment of lifetime value of the customer, marketing research kit, usability testing.

  • Phase 2 -- Trial program creation, including infrastructure and set-top box migration and migration communications planning.

  • Phase 3 -- Delivery of training and workshops, operational readiness planning for commercial deployment, platform migration and eventual legacy decommissioning. This involves review of the architecture including servers, set-top boxes, encoder feeds and video-on-demand assets.

Level 3 Rebuilds Enterprise Data Network Architecture VPN Portfolio

Level 3 Communications' Business Markets Group has rebuilt its Enterprise data network architecture, re-launching an MPLS-based WAN platform that leverages assets acquired over the last several years.

Level 3's integrated platform offers three MPLS-based solutions: Ethernet virtual private line (EVPL), virtual private LAN service (VPLS) and Internet protocol virtual private network (IPVPN) services across a single platform.

The company said its recent improvements offer several advantages, including increased interoperability, a streamlined operating environment and a unified portfolio that includes not only the integrated VPN services, but Enterprise Voice, Dedicated Internet Access, Ethernet Access capabilities and Managed Services. In addition to platform and feature upgrades, Level 3 has also upgraded capabilities within its online customer portal. Customers can now enter trouble tickets, check order status and view network reporting online.

"Level 3's VPN portfolio has been rebuilt for delivery over a fully integrated platform, retaining best-of-breed elements from the assets and experience we've acquired and developed over the last several years," said Raouf Abdel, president of Level 3's Business Markets Group. "This major enhancement to our portfolio is in direct response to the demands of our enterprise customers for a simplified and flexible solution that encompasses secure private data networking, reliable access to the Internet and VoIP."

India's Tata Extends Global VPN in Over 150 Countries

Tata Communications officially launched its Global VPN Extended Access Service (EAS), offering VPN access to customer sites that do not require dedicated links as well as those located in hard-to-reach geographies in more than 150 countries.

Tata Communications Global VPN Extended Access Service leverages features of MPLS, IP Security (IPSec) and Virtual Network Operator (VNO) Connect Access Services to provide a managed IPSec access to the nearest IPSec gateway, thereby integrating the site with the customer's VPN for a seamless, secure solution. Tata said its service also provides the ability to create multiple independent virtual private networks in conjunction with its Multi-VPN service. Customers can map any EAS site to any of its VPNs to enable partner or extranet applications.

For non-India based sites, the service also includes the procurement and management of the Broadband Internet Access. Additional features include unified ordering, billing and trouble resolution for the entire solution.
  • In February 2008, Tata Communications launched as a commercial carrier with world-scale ambitions. The new company integrates the former VSNL, VSNL International, Teleglobe, Tata Indicom Enterprise Business Unit (TIEBU), and CIPRIS brands and represents the culmination of recent major international investments that expanded the company's global reach and ability to deliver IP-leveraged communications solutions to businesses and consumers worldwide. Shares in Tata Communications are now being traded on the NYSE under the symbol TCL.

  • Tata Communications' services include transmission, IP, converged voice, mobility, managed network connectivity, hosting and storage, managed security, managed collaboration and business transformation for global enterprises and service providers, as well as Internet, retail broadband and content services for Indian consumers.

  • The Tata Global Network includes one of the most advanced and largest submarine cable networks, a Tier-1 IP network, with connectivity to more than 200 countries across 300 PoPs, and more than 1 million square feet of data center and co-location facilities. The company is in the process of completing additional submarine cable systems connecting emerging markets in Asia, the Middle East and Africa to Europe.

Telsima Receives Mobile WiMAX Certification

Telsima has been awarded the WiMAX Forum Certified seal of approval for its StarMAX 6400 member of 6000 Base Station series and the StarMAX 3160 member of 3100 family Mobile Station operating in the 2.5 GHz band. Telsima's StarMAX products underwent interoperability and conformance testing at AT4 wireless in Malaga, Spain.

Gigamon Enhances its Data Access Switch

Gigamon Systems, a start-up based in San Jose, California, has enhanced its GigaVUE-420 Data Access Switch with a new 10GigaTAP add-on device that splits and copies inbound and outbound optical data streams, then forwards the replicant data to network monitoring tools at 1 or 10 Gbps. The 10GigaTAP eliminates the need for an external data tap in 10GigE data networks.

Gigamon's 10GigaTAP is available in three varieties to accommodate any fiber optic installation: SR-LC/Multimode, for Short Reaches of 850 nanometer-wavelength cables; LR-LC/Singlemode, for Long Reaches of 1310 nanometers; and ER-LC/Singlemode, for Extra-Long Reaches using 1550 nanometers.

When installed in the GigaVUE 420, two Gigamon 10GigaTAP fault-tolerant devices takes data from redundant core links, and the GigaVUE-420 ensures that only appropriate and optimized data reaches the intended monitoring tool. The add-ons balance data flows to ensure reliable performance from multiple intrusion detection systems, data recorders, VoIP analyzers and other network monitoring devices.

3 Italia Selects Alcatel-Lucent to Expand DVB-H Mobile TV Network

3 Italia, which is a member of the Hutchison Whampoa Group, has selected Alcatel-Lucent to expand and optimize its broadcast Mobile TV network throughout Italy. Specifically, Alcatel-Lucent will extend and increase the density of 3 Italia's DVB-H terrestrial transmitters network across Italy, enabling 3 Italia to offer broadcast Mobile TV services to its 8.45 million UMTS customers. Alcatel-Lucent's Mobile TV terrestrial transmitters will be integrated into 3 Italia's existing mobile sites, as well as new sites, and a new remote monitoring system.

The Alcatel-Lucent solution for 3 Italia is based on its 9600 DTH, multi-standard digital terrestrial transmitter, which can deliver DVB-T and DVB-H broadcast solutions, will offering an evolution to DVB-SH. Financial terms were not disclosed.http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

Telecom New Zealand Upgrades with Juniper Infrastructure

Telecom New Zealand International (TNZI) has upgraded the capacity and security of its international network with Juniper Networks M-series routers and Integrated Security Gateways (ISG). By upgrading its network infrastructure throughout the U.S., U.K., Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, TNZI will be able to enhance the responsiveness and efficiency of service delivery to new consumer, business and wholesale customers across a common international network platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The TNZI upgrades includes the M120 and M320 multiservice edge routers, as well as the ISG 2000, which is a purpose-built, high-performance integrated security gateway that provides firewall and IPSec VPNs.

Cable&Wireless Outsources GSM Network to Ericsson

Ericsson has been selected as sole supplier to supply and operate a complete GSM mobile network for Cable&Wireless EAUS (Europe, Asia and US) as it launches its new Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) services in the UK. As Cable&Wireless' exclusive managed services partner, Ericsson will also be responsible for running the network for five years. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Under the agreement, Ericsson will supply a complete core and radio-access network, based on small and low-power GSM base stations. The solution is designed to provide indoor fixed and mobile coverage for enterprise users, and allows for seamless roaming between the Cable&Wireless GSM solution and national roaming partners when moving outdoors. Network connectivity is provided by connecting the GSM base stations directly to existing enterprise data networks, using IP network solutions provided by Cable&Wireless. Ericsson will also supply a service-layer network with solutions for service provisioning, SMS and voicemail to enable Cable&Wireless to launch complete FMC services to its customers.

Nokia Siemens Networks Appoints CFO, Head of Business Development

Nokia Siemens Networks announced the appointment of Luca Maestri as Chief Financial Officer and Michael Matthews as Head of Strategy and Business Development. In addition to their functional roles, both will be members of the Nokia Siemens Networks Executive Board.

Maestri joins from General Motors, where he most recently held the position of Chief Financial Officer, General Motors Europe. Prior to this role, Maestri served as CFO of GM's Mercosur operations.

Matthews previously was Chief Marketing Officer at Amdocs. During his 5 years at Amdocs, Matthews played a key role in leading the transformation of the company; addressing new markets, expanding the product line, and evolving the channel to address the rapidly changing needs of the telecom industry. He replaces Pekka Soini, the current Head of Strategy and Business Development, who will assume a new role heading the Corporate Development Office, with responsibility for quality, process development and information technology.

Alcatel-Lucent Lands Tele Greenland's Submarine Cable Network

The Alcatel-Lucent cable ship 'Ile de Sein' * landed has landed a 2,100 km section (or trunk cable) of Tele Greenland's submarine cable network in Greenland as planned, prior to the onset of winter. Offering an ultimate capacity of up to 96 x 10 Gbps, the Greenland Connect submarine cable network has been designed to provide international and domestic connectivity to meet the growing bandwidth requirements for new applications to serve Tele Greenland's customers.

The EUR 90 million "Greenland Connect" project was awarded to Alcatel-Lucent in December 2007.