Sunday, September 28, 2008

Telecom Italia Selects Cisco + Adobe Flash Streaming for 'Web TV' Services

Telecom Italia has deployed the Cisco Content Delivery System with Internet Streaming (CDS-IS) platform along with Adobe Flash streaming technology to deliver live television channels and on-demand content through its Web portal, Yalp!

The rich streaming media content is delivered to viewers on laptops and PCs, accelerating the fusion of TV and the Internet. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Mobile Broadband Initiative Sets Charter

A new Mobile Broadband Initiative backed by the GSM Association has been formed by 16 leading IT and mobile companies with the goal of creating a new category of always-connected Mobile Broadband devices, delivering a compelling alternative to WiFi.

In the first phase of this unprecedented initiative, mobile operators, PC manufacturers and chipset providers are uniting to pre-install Mobile Broadband into a range of notebook PCs that will be ready to switch on and surf straight out of the box in 91 countries across the world.

Launch participants include 3 Group, Asus, Dell, ECS, Ericsson, Gemalto, Lenovo, Microsoft, Orange, Qualcomm, Telefonica Europe, Telecom Italia, TeliaSonera, T-Mobile, Toshiba and Vodafone -- some of the world's largest technology brands and operators.

To support this initiative, the GSMA has created the Mobile Broadband service mark, a new global identifier which will help consumers easily identify the array of 'ready to run' Mobile Broadband devices.

The Mobile Broadband mark promises a superior customer experience based on the latest technology available to deliver the highest standard of fully mobile connectivity. Products work out of the box and are fully integrated for maximum simplicity and supported by leading PC manufacturers such as Lenovo and Toshiba.

Tata Communications Extends MPLS Reach in Middle East with Batelco

Tata Communications announced a major expansion of its MPLS network into the Middle East through a partnership with Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco).

Batelco is Bahrain's leading integrated communications provider, providing end-to-end telecommunications solutions to retail and enterprise customers in the Middle East region. This partnership enables Tata Communications to offer MPLS VPN services into Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan and other locations within the region for its customers in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world.

Sprint XOHM WiMAX Goes Live in Baltimore

Sprint announced the commercial launch of its XOHM WiMAX network in Baltimore. The company expects average downlink speeds of 2-4 Mbps. Sprint is offering both daily and month-to-month service options. At launch, mobile WiMAX service plans include a $10 Day pass, $25 monthly Home Internet service and $30 monthly On-the-go service. Special launch pricing includes a $50 "Pick 2 for Life" monthly service option covering two different WiMAX devices. A single monthly charge covers service for multiple WiMAX access devices. WiMAX devices can purchased like other computing/consumer electronic devices. In addition. the XOHM broadband service is self-activated and includes future updates capability.

Customers in Baltimore can now purchase XOHM-branded Samsung Express air cards for $59.99 and ZyXEL modems for $79.99 via XOHM web, telesales or select Baltimore-area independent retailers. Additional WiMAX devices such as a ZTE USB modem, Intel Centrino 2 WiMAX notebook PCs and the Nokia N810 WiMAX Edition are expected in market later this year.

Sprint also noted that its Baltimore XOHM service launch comes approximately two years after its selection of WiMAX IEEE 802.16e as a technology standard and the formation of a charter WiMAX ecosystem with Intel, Samsung and Motorola.

The XOHM WiMAX network utilizes the 2.5 GHz spectrum holdings that were combined in the Sprint and Nextel merger. XOHM uses WiMAX infrastructure developed by Samsung Electronics Corporation Ltd. and has worked with them in deployment and buildout of the Baltimore-area WiMAX network. Additional markets are in various stages of infrastructure development for commercial readiness.

Sprint also confirmed that it is on target with Clearwire to complete the anticipated combination of its XOHM WiMAX business assets with Clearwire to form a new company in the fourth quarter. This new company, to be called Clearwire, will continue to expedite the deployment of a nationwide mobile WiMAX network.

Sprint said it looks forward to becoming the first and only national wireless carrier to offer customers a dual-mode 3G - 4G device that extends the power of Sprint's NOW network. Expected to launch in the fourth quarter, this Sprint device will operate on the nation's largest 3G mobile broadband network and the 4G network in Baltimore and other markets as WiMAX service becomes available.http://www.sprint.com

Alcatel-Lucent Adds T-MPLS to its 1850 Transport Service Switch

Alcatel-Lucent introduced Transport Multi-Protocol Label Switching (T-MPLS) support on its 1850 Transport Service Switch (TSS). The T-MPLS capabilities, which will smoothly align to MPLS-TP when the standards are finalized, are designed to help service providers enhance their transport networks and address the growing demand for carrier Ethernet-based services including mobile backhaul, enterprise broadband and residential triple play.

Alcatel-Lucent said the enhancements support the evolution of its Triple Play Service Delivery Architecture (TPSDA) by introducing advanced transport features such as resiliency, protection and advanced operation; administration and maintenance (OAM) that optimize service delivery between the access and aggregation layers. Alcatel-Lucent is also enhancing its 1850 TSS product portfolio with a new chassis and broadening the range of supported applications to scale from the metro/regional core to the customer premises.

Key elements of the release include:

  • Release 3.0 of the Alcatel-Lucent 1850 TSS-320 with integrated T-MPLS capabilities;

  • The Alcatel-Lucent 1850 TSS-160, a compact chassis for scaling down in the metro edge/core;

  • Enriched TDM and Ethernet features in the metro edge/core of the network with Release 3.0 of the Alcatel-Lucent 1850 TSS-100;

  • Enhanced packet ring transport capabilities with the Alcatel-Lucent 1850 TSS-40;

  • Enriched Ethernet functionality for the Alcatel-Lucent 1850 TSS-5;

  • Intelligent Ethernet demarcation for end-to-end Ethernet services support with carrier-class operation, administration and maintenance (OAM) and quality of service (QoS) using the Alcatel-Lucent 1850 TSS-3.

Alcatel-Lucent also noted that more than 10 large operators, including China Mobile, are trialing T-MPLS capabilities over the 1850 TSS.
  • In July 2008, Alcatel-Lucent announced its commitment and support for MPLS-Transport Profile (MPLS-TP), building on the standardization efforts by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Enhancing MPLS with transport operational practices - including operation, administration and maintenance (OAM) and survivability - is expected to help carriers scale their transport networks while adding performance monitoring and multi-domain capabilities.

    Alcatel-Lucent said it is committed to enabling seamless transformation of transport networks to converged MPLS-based packet transport. It has already added MPLS techniques to transport networks through its 1850 Transport Service Switch (TSS) portfolio -- where the current version of MPLS-Transport, the ITU-T T-MPLS, is already implemented and under test with several service providers -- and its 7450 Ethernet Service Switch (ESS) portfolio, which is deployed worldwide in carrier networks using MPLS pseudowires. This new effort brings these two related approaches together and delivers one unified set of MPLS-based packet transport standards.

ADVA Introduces Optojack for Intelligent Demarcation

ADVA Optical Networking introduced its "Optojack" technology for providing optical demarcation and service monitoring at the handoff point between carrier networks, as well as at the demarcation point between the carrier and customer network. Optojack is designed to enable remote Operations, Administration and Maintenance (OAM) of key optical network elements in the access and backhaul portions of the network. The technology its analogous to ADVA's existing "Etherjack" for Ethernet demarcation.

ADVA's Optojack provides the ability to monitor and test wavelength-based services all the way to the access equipment (e.g., a DSLAM at the curb or in a building) or customer device (e.g., LAN router). Using Optojack functionality, carriers gain important knowledge about when optical service degradations or outages take place and, in some cases, can identify service problems before the customer is aware they exist. Importantly, problems can be fixed before they cause a complete outage, contributing to the delivery of higher service availability levels.

Optojack is a Small Form factor Pluggable- (SFP) transceiver-based solution, which is compliant with the MSA (SFP MultiSource Agreement) and can be integrated into any SFP-based equipment, including ADVA Optical Networking's flagship FSP 3000 and FSP 150 solutions. Other network devices, like Optical Network Units (ONUs) that provide the link to the customer premise, can also utilize the SFP, enabling Optojack to play a critical role in successfully managing the entire access portion of the network. In addition, a specific loopback option enables the Optojack functionality to interoperate with any device using standard-based SFPs.

"Due to the competitive nature of our industry, intelligence about the network and the service can be a service provider's secret weapon," commented Dr. Christoph Glingener, chief technology officer (CTO) of ADVA Optical Networking.

ADVA Optical Challenges EPON/GPON with WDM-PON Universal Access

ADVA Optical Networking introduced a WDM-PON solution aimed at giving carriers greater capacity and flexibility in both the access and backhaul segments of their network by leveraging wave division multiplexing technology. The Flexible Remote Node (FRN) is an extension of the ADVA FSP 3000 platform. When located at the curb, it can be configured as a purely passive network element with environmentally hardened WDM filters that allow the setup of a point-to-multipoint WDM-PON structure. When located at a street cabinet, the FRN can include active equipment such as optical amplifiers and active Ethernet technology that enable reach extension and traffic aggregation.

ADVA Optical Networking said its introduction of WDM into the FTTx environment challenges current EPON (Ethernet PON) and GPON (Gigabit PON), because both of these architectures use protocol-based traffic separation, which creates security concerns for high-end users. Bandwidth scalability is affected by the demands of neighboring customers. Loss-intensive splitting and the absence of optical amplification limit the reach of such solutions to roughly 20km.

In contrast, a WDM-PON approach uses wavelength-based traffic separation implemented with wavelength-selective filters. Bandwidth--per-cabinet, -building or -end user can be scaled nearly indefinitely, while the reach can be extended to 100km or more. The combination of secure traffic separation, scalable bandwidth and extended reach enables carriers to serve a wider customer base from fewer active sites. It eliminates the need for purpose-built platforms and allows a streamlined network operation with fewer operational staff.

ADVA also points to energy efficiency through the elimination of active equipment and the reduction in number of active network sites.

"There is true benefit to having WDM in both the access and backhaul segments of the network," stated Christoph Glingener, chief technology officer of ADVA Optical Networking. "There have been several false starts in the industry regarding FTTx (Fiber-to-the-x) deployments; many solutions have shown limited scalability, introduced network complexity and increased operational costs. Our new unified approach, employing a WDM-PON solution, will enable service providers of all kinds to extend the benefits of WDM into the access network, thereby eliminating active sites and reducing overall network costs."

Alcatel-Lucent Enhances Triple Play Architecture

Alcatel-Lucent is rolling out a significant evolution of its Triple Play Services Delivery Architecture (TPSDA), featuring a more cost-effective and flexible platform for high bandwidth services such as HDTV, an improved IPTV user experience - with immediate channel changing and more reliable TV service, and new capabilities to facilitate the insertion into TV programs of advertisements that are targeted to specific communities or localities, in turn enabling the development of new TV advertising business models. The goal is to enable smart, IP-based, video-centric networks that offer subscribers a consistent and high-quality, personalized and interactive viewing experience.

This evolution of Alcatel-Lucent's TPSDA - dubbed "TPSDA 2.0", which is powered by enhancements to the company's broadband access and IP/MPLS portfolios, will be available starting in early 2009. The company is announcing these capabilities at this week's Broadband World Forum in Brussels.

The enhancements add application layer intelligence to the TPSDA network elements enabling them to cache, store, stream and splice video content as well as to characterize application layer content. As a result, TPSDA 2.0 is able to deliver new features such as immediate channel change and re-transmission. The company says this will yield considerable cost savings, while assuring an uninterrupted viewing experience. In addition, TPSDA 2.0 enables mass scaling of unicast/personalized services, even with HDTV, by optimizing the content delivery. By distributing and integrating these capabilities into the network elements instead of in centralized or distributed servers, TPSDA 2.0 provides operators with a scalable and cost-effective foundation to serve all of these options from the network, allowing them to continue to grow and expand their business.

The enhancements in TPSDA 2.0 also help support Alcatel-Lucent's new Targeted and Interactive IPTV Advertising solution, introduced today, which is designed to increase IPTV revenue by making it easier for advertisers to reach the most attractive potential customers with ads that are more timely and relevant.

Alcatel-Lucent noted that it holds the No.1 market position in IPTV middleware subscribers (2+ million), TPSDA deployments (55+) and IPTV transformation and integration projects (50+).
  • In March 2008, Alcatel-Lucent unveiled extensive enhancements to its IP service routing portfolio that leverage a new high-performance chipset for packet processing and traffic management. The new silicon boosts performance of the company's 7750 Service Router (SR) and 7450 Ethernet Service Switch (ESS) to terabit performance levels, enabling more speed for mass-market video-based services and applications; more services, including secure IPSec VPNs, Ethernet VPNs and MPLS-based IP VPNs; and more availability, including support for non-stop routing, non-stop services and In-Service Software Upgrades (ISSU).

    Alcatel-Lucent said its new custom FP2 chipset, which took three years to develop, is capable of sophisticated and optimized network processing and traffic management at speeds up to 100 Gbps. The upgrades to the current products include more than double the density of Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports as well as supporting up to 10 times the number of services per router. The FP2 chipset also provides a path to 100 Gigabit Ethernet. It also enables densities of up to 1,200 Gigabit Ethernet ports per rack, while delivering sophisticated services to each port at line rate.

    The following enhancements to the Alcatel-Lucent IP/MPLS service router portfolio will be available in Q3 2008:

    Next Generation Silicon

    • the 100 Gbps FP2 chipset integrates 112 array cores for 95,000 MIPs performance and is implemented in 90nm process technology. The silicon was developed in house.

    7750 Service Router Platform

    • Up to 1 Tb/s capacity

    • 50Gb/s (full-duplex) Input/Output Module3-XP (IOM3-XP)

    • 20-port Gigabit Ethernet MDA-XP (SFP-Fiber)

    • 20-Port 10/100/1000 Ethernet MDA-XP (Copper)

    • 2-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet MDA-XP (XFP)

    • 4-Port 10 Gigabit Ethernet MDA-XP (XFP)

    • Application Assurance Integrated Services Adaptor (AA-ISA) with DPI technology

    • IPSec Integrated Services Adaptor (IPSec-ISA)

    7450 Ethernet Service Switch Platform

    • Up to 1 Tb/s capacity

    • 50Gb/s (full-duplex) IOM3-XP

    • 20-port Gigabit Ethernet MDA-XP (SFP-Fiber)

    • 20-Port 10/100/1000 Ethernet MDA-XP (Copper)

    • 2-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet MDA-XP (XFP)

    • 4-Port 10 Gigabit Ethernet MDA-XP (XFP)

    • Application Assurance Integrated Services Adaptor (AA-ISA) with DPI technology

    Alcatel-Lucent noted that it has shipped more than 20,000 IP/MPLS systems since 2004.

Harris Stratex Networks Joins WiMAX Forum

Harris Stratex Networks announced that it has received principal member status with the WiMAX Forum. The company's portfolio includes the 7000 Series WiMAX platform, which supports both IEEE 802.16e-2005 and 802.16d-2004 WiMAX standards for both mobile and fixed subscriber applications respectively.

One Minute Video: Voice over WiMAX

One Minute Video presented by Yaser Mujahed, Veraz Networks, Voice over WiMAX