Monday, November 10, 2008

IntelePeer Raises $18 Million for its Appworx Open Platform

IntelePeer, a start-up based in San Mateo, California, raised $18 million in third round funding for its hosted on-demand rich media communications. The funds will be used to expand IntelePeer's global presence and to support business and technology development of its hosted on-demand rich media services and extensive voice peering grid.


IntelePeer has developed an "AppworX" open communications platform and voice peering grid network that gives application developers the ability to create high-quality interactive voice, video, SMS, data and other rich media services that boost productivity while reducing telecommunications and operational expenses through the hosted business model. A communications-as-a-service (CaaS) offering, IntelePeer AppworX could be used for increasing collaboration among business application users, fostering closer connections with customers and introducing communications-enabled business processes that drive efficiency and deliver cost savings.

IntelePeer operates its own carrier-grade network carrying more than 6 billion minutes, with worldwide coverage delivered through an IP and TDM peering grid with over 50 leading service provider peering partners.

The financing was led by new investor VantagePoint Venture Partners of San Bruno, California, with participation by existing investors.

Cisco Debuts ASR 9000 Aggregation Services Router

Cisco unveiled its ASR 9000 Aggregation Services Router providing up to 6.4 terabits per second of total capacity and designed for the delivery of video services over next-gen access networks. The Cisco ASR 9000, which will be offered in 10- and six-slot models, leverages the same 40-core "QuantumFlow" processor that is featured in the smaller capacity Cisco ASR 1000 edge router introduced earlier this year. The QuantumFlow processor can be used for advanced subscriber management functionality and/or silicon-driven security processing per packet. The ASR 9000 also uses the same IOS XR as the network core 92-terabit Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing System (CRS). Each of the slots on the ASR 9000 delivers up to 400 Gbps of capacity, enabling it to handle high densities of 1, 10, 40 or future 100 Gbps links. Cisco said it spent four years and over $200 million to develop the platform

The Cisco ASR 9000 will also extend IP over dense wavelength-division multiplexing (IPoDWDM) with Ethernet services to the aggregation edge by integrating optical transponders. Cisco argues that by providing IPoDWDM from core to edge with Cisco CRS-1, Cisco XR-12000 and Cisco 7600 Series Routers, its IP Next-Generation Network (IP NGN) architecture can significantly reduces network complexity and cost while reducing the carbon footprint.

The Cisco ASR 9000 also incorporates the Cisco Advanced Video Services Module (AVSM), which enables terabytes of streaming capacity at the aggregation edge while simultaneously offering content caching, ad insertion, fast channel change and error correction. More specifically, the Cisco AVSM eliminates the need for standalone content-delivery network elements and inherits all the high-availability characteristics of the router, which optimizes the network insertion point for advanced content services and moves content sourcing closer to the consumer. Fast channel change and onboard error correction for both unicast and multicast video traffic helps ensure that errors can be detected by any set-top box and retransmitted within milliseconds to maintain a transparent and optimized visual experience for the audience.

As for scalability, Cisco said its ASR 9000 Series brings six times the capacity of competing products to Carrier Ethernet backhaul. Moreover, every Cisco ASR 9000 line card is SyncE-ready, which means that it inherently works with cell site routers to deliver seamless mobile handoff capabilities, avoiding the need and costs incurred to dedicate slots for additional synchronization cards.

Cisco is also introducing a number of green features with this platform, including a modular electrical power system that consumers energy only when slots are put into active service. The six-slot unit has design advantages utilizing a patent-pending side-to-back ventilation scheme that helps service providers free up side-by-side rack space.

In summary, Cisco is positioning the ASR 9000 series as the "Carrier Ethernet Foundation for the Zettabyte Era." According to the "Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast and Methodology, 2007-2012" study, which analyzed network traffic data from major Cisco Service Provider customers globally, IP traffic will increase at a combined annual growth rate of 46 percent from 2007 to 2012, nearly doubling every two years. This will result in an annual bandwidth demand on the world's IP networks of approximately 522 exabytes, or more than half a zettabyte. This demand on networks is equivalent to downloading 125 billion DVD movies per month.
  • In March 2008, Cisco introduced a new aggregation platform powered by its 40-core "QuantumFlow" processor and designed for massive scalability in packet intelligence in both service provider and enterprise networks. The new Cisco Aggregation Services Router (ASR) 1000 is the company's most significant new product since the CRS-1 debuted in 2004. The Cisco Aggregation Services Router (ASR) 1000 series, which was developed over more than five years at a cost in excess of a $250 million, packs up to 20 million packet per second (PPS) forwarding rate performance in a compact single router platform. As such, the ASR 1000 could be used to consolidate a number of networking appliances, including firewall, IPSec VPNs, deep-packet inspection (DPI) and Session Border Controllers (SBC). Over 42 patents were filed on the Cisco Aggregation Services Router 1000 Series.

Mavernir Releases IP SMSC Converged Messaging Solutions

Mavenir Systems, a start-up based in Richardson, Texas, announced the commercial availability of its IP SMSC Converged Messaging solution. The solution has been in numerous trials, globally, and is currently deployed with a Tier 1 operator in North America.

Mavenir's IP SMSC is an ATCA-based platform that offloads the traffic from SMSC and SS7 transport networks to cap the investments in legacy systems. Mobile operators get a system capable of handling both traditional SMS and next generation SIP/IMS Messaging on a single converged platform.

Microsoft Mediaroom-Powered Services Surpasses 2 Million Subscribers

In less than a year, subscribers to TV services powered by the Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV and multimedia software platform have more than doubled, reaching over 2 million subscriber homes and powering services on nearly 4 million set-top boxes worldwide. In the past quarter alone, Mediaroom customers have connected 500,000 new subscribers across the globe.

Microsoft noted that its customers are beginning to maximize the functionality of its Mediaroom platform to differentiate their service offering with features such as personalized weather and sports information, the freedom to play back standard-definition and high-definition recorded programs on any connected TV in the home, or the ability to set the digital video recorder (DVR) remotely via a PC or mobile device.

Motorola Teams with BlackArrow fon On-demand Advertising

Motorola is collaborating with BlackArrow, an independent provider of multiplatform ad-management systems, to deliver a SCTE 130-compliant addressable advertising solution. Through this integration, ads can be selected in real time by BlackArrow's powerful ad decision server and added dynamically to on demand content using the Motorola B1 on demand server.

Motorola's B1 on demand video server provides a flexible, high performance platform for video on demand (VOD), time-shifted TV and network-based digital video recorder (nDVR) devices. One of the server's key features is the ability to create ranged playlists that enable it to dynamically insert targeted ads at any point in on-demand content. Combining this capability with the BlackArrow real time ad decision server (ADS) means that accurately targeted ads can be dynamically inserted before, after, and during on demand content playback. As a result, it is possible to deliver pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll advertisements that are always fresh, relevant and targeted.

Verizon FiOS VOD Library Reaches 1,000 Titles

Verizon's is now delivering more than 1,000 HD video-on-demand (VOD) titles per month for its FiOS TV service. Originally promised for the end of the year, Verizon has expanded its HD VOD library with more great titles, including HD content from several movie channels: Starz, Showtime and Sundance Channel.

Broadband Forum Outlines BroadbandSuite 3.0 Plan

The Broadband Forum, formerly the DSL Forum, unveiled its BroadbandSuite 3.0 plan. This includes specifications for triple-play delivered via GPON and bonded DSL over a QoS-enabled Ethernet architecture, and remote management beyond the gateway to address video and storage devices.

BroadbandSuite 2.0, released in 2007, provided a roadmap for triple-play access via ADSL2plus, but over the past 12 months, the Broadband Forum has responded to an industry need for the ability to deliver triple-play services, such as IPTV, over a variety of different access technologies.

The Broadband Forum said key capabilities of BroadbandSuite 3.0 include triple-play augmented via GPON and bonded DSL over a QoS-enabled Ethernet architecture; full support for multicast to IPTV streaming; and integrated remote management of set-top-boxes (STB) and attached storage devices.

"With over 17 million IPTV subscribers around the world -- two and half million in the US alone -- the ability to offer triple play services is essential if a service provider is to remain successful in such a competitive market. However, different geographical areas and landscapes demand different access technologies. The Forum understands these demands and is working hard to establish specifications that cover the range of access technologies, from DSL to fiber, ensuring Quality of Service and Quality of Experience for all customers, wherever they are. We believe that our BroadbandSuite Release Plan, which provides a clear and concise blueprint, is the way to do this," said George Dobrowski, President and Chairman of the Broadband Forum.

Avaya Offers Proactive Contact Center Solutions

Avaya launched two new contact center solutions tohelp businesses use outbound communications and self service automation to drive new efficiencies, improve cost-savings and enhance customer experiences.

Avaya's Proactive Outreach for Financial Services and Proactive Outreach for Healthcare enables companies to deliver important information to customers -- such as appointment reminders or bill payment requests -- and let them complete transactions using automated menus or speech commands. The Proactive Outreach capabilities help financial companies and healthcare providers deal with large volumes of incoming customer calls on a daily basis.

Vodafone Revises its Growth Strategy

Vodafone reported first-half revenue of £19.9 billion, an increase of 17.1%. In Europe, revenue up 14.3%, with outgoing voice usage up 11.6%, while in emerging markets revenue growth was 25.7%, reflecting the acquisition in India. Meanwhile, group data revenue was up 48.6% to £1.4 billion. Vodafone's first half group adjusted operating profit was up by 10.5% to £5.8 billion and group EBITDA increased by 10.3% to £7.2 billion.

Citing the more difficult macro economic environment., slower growth in mature markets, increased competition and growing regulatory pressure, Vodafone outlined changes to its overall corporate strategy.

In terms of growth prospects, Vodafone said that while prices are likely to continue to decrease in Europe, the scope for usage growth remains significant, as demonstrated in markets such as the US and India. Mobile data is also proving to be in high demand: effective communications drive productivity benefits, meaning businesses and individuals need more, not less, of our services. A greater range of data devices and portable computers, at increasingly lower costs, are enlarging the addressable market.

On the cash cost side, Vodafone said only about a third of its operating costs are fixed, and about a quarter depend on growth in voice minutes and data traffic. Of the remaining component of costs, some 40%, is market driven, providing significant scope for to adapt in the event of greater economic pressures.

Going forward, Vodafone's strategy will now be focused on four key objectives: drive operational performance, pursue growth opportunities in total communications, execute in emerging markets and strengthen capital discipline. The company is less likely to pursue mega-merger to fuel growth.

The Group will seek to trim its current operating costs by approximately £1 billion per annum by the 2011 financial year to offset the pressures from cost inflation and the competitive environment and to enable investment in revenue growth opportunities.