Sunday, November 23, 2008

Alcatel-Lucent Enhances its Corporate Communications Portfolio

Alcatel-Lucent announced a suite of enhancements for its portfolio of products for large enterprises, including new capabilities to scale to support 100,000 users and the ability to better integrate with key corporate applications.

Alcatel-Lucent's Corporate Communications offer includes voice, data, unified communications and contact center solutions whose enhancements enable large business customers to employ data virtualization, increased scalability and strategic centralization in the network to better address the challenges of globalization.

Key enhancements include:

  • Release 9.0 of the new Alcatel-Lucent OmniPCXprovides a secure, scalable, centralized architecture capable of serving 100,000 users. The system's Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) controller and expanded standards-based SIP trunking allows easier integration with new applications and SIP device management.

  • A new OmniSwitch 9000E platform is being introduced to serve locations requiring high capacity, scalability and virtualization with multi-virtual routing and forwarding, which delivers cost reductions through hardware consolidation and lower power consumption.

  • Release 5.1 of the Alcatel-Lucent OmniTouch Unified Communication Solution and OmniTouch 8600 My Instant Communicator now offer multimedia, multi-session collaboration, mobile device integration, and support for third-party applications such as Microsoft Office Communicator and IBM Sametime and Lotus Notes.

  • The Alcatel-Lucent OmniTouch Contact Center Premium and Standard Release 9.0 and the latest CC Teamer application help enterprises provide superior customer service.

  • Alcatel-Lucent solutions also encourage more effective knowledge sharing internally and with customers, partners and suppliers through open APIs and third-party integration, enabling improved productivity and cost reduction.

Alcatel-Lucent noted that it has added more than 5,000 new enterprise customers since the initial launch of its Corporate Communications Solutions offering nearly two years ago.

Orange Busines Partners with Microsoft on Unified Communications

Orange Business Services will make available as standard managed services the latest versions of the unified communication and collaboration offerings from Microsoft, including Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, and supporting these services with ITIL standards-based service management.

Business Together with Microsoft is an innovative solution that integrates collaborative offers into a single user interface in order to improve team efficiency. Since its May 2007 launch, Business Together with Microsoft has been deployed to 150,000 seats.

Orange Business Services said it differentiates its offer by providing ITIL standards-based service management that achieves secure and reliable performance for an improved end-user experience and a 24/7 service desk to provide global support.

BelAir Debuts 802.11n Access Point for Service Providers

BelAir Networks introduced its BelAir20 Access Point (AP), a compact dual-radio, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi indoor AP designed to deliver centrally managed and hosted public or private Wi-Fi services in a variety of high density environments . Key features include:

  • Complements the company's portfolio of outdoor Wi-Fi nodes

  • Leverages the same BelAirOS operating system and BelView network management

  • Integrates with the service provider's back office to facilitate service provisioning and bundling, ease deployment and operation, and reduce network commissioning and upgrade costs

  • Provides wireless backhaul between APs.

The company said its hosted software based control lowers network CapEx by 30%.

Orange Adds Mobile TV to its Unik 3G UMA Service

Orange is preparing to launch high definition mobile TV for Unik, its 3G+ UMA platform. Customers in France will gain access to more than sixty high definition mobile TV channels (including twenty with unlimited access).

The video content will be deliver with though the 3G network and/or Wi-Fi network at home and in Orange Wi-Fi hotspots.

The service will be available on Orange's Unik using a new and exclusive handset from LG, the LG Secret KF757. The LG device will be the first UMA handset to include Orange TV Player, Orange's new mobile TV software that enables users to easily flick from one channel to another and to consult a guide to programmes showing on each channel.

With the Unik service, the network intelligently chooses the best connection available -- Orange Livebox, WiFi or 3G+ -- offering optimal TV quality more cost-effectively when in a WiFi environment.

Secret KF757 via the Orange TV Player software or the Orange World portal, and is already available on the Sony Ericsson G705u via the Orange World portal. Orange's existing Unik service currently has over 1 million customers in France. The offer is also available through Unifon in Poland, Unique in the UK and Unico in Spain.

BT Launches New Managed WAN Optimization Service

BT has launched a new fully managed wide area network (WAN) optimisation service that can accelerate the performance of applications between data centres, remote offices and mobile workers by 5 to 50 times and in some cases up to 100 times.

BT is also introducing a new applications performance monitoring service that allows IT directors to ensure that vital applications perform according to required service levels. By centrally installing a device in the data centre, it measures response times between user, server and application, providing accurate measures even for remote locations without the need for physical devices at each user location.

BT's applications performance monitoring is based on Compuware technology, while the new WAN optimization service is based on Riverbed technology.

"As enterprises look to be more efficient with fewer resources and finances, a managed service environment relieves them of the challenges surrounding the management of multiple vendors. The services we announce today are the latest additions to our Applications Assured Infrastructure (AAI) portfolio, which is a set of repeatable managed services that audit, monitor and optimise the performance of applications throughout their life cycle," stated Jean-Noel Moneton, vice president Network Services at BT.

BT Openreach Cuts Ethernet Backhaul Prices by up to 65%

BT's Openreach division is cutting prices by up to 65% across a range of access and backhaul services. Specifically, effective immediately for new and existing connection orders, and from the 1st February 2009 for rentals, the price reductions will encompass most of Openreach's WES, WEES and BES products. Changes include:

  • BES 1Gb product connection reduced by up to 62% and rental by up to 31%.

  • WES/WEES 100Mb Local Access reduced to the same price as 10Mb Local Access for both connection and rental, representing a reduction of up to 43% for connection and up to 14% for rental.

  • BES 100Mb reduced to the same price as BES 10Mb for connection and rental, representing a reduction of up to 65% for connection and up to 26% for rental.

"For our key Broadband suppliers this means the opportunity to buy super-fast gigabit capacity at drastically reduced prices and the chance to enhance their own network capacity with minimal incremental investment. In addition Communication Providers will soon be able to purchase ten times the capacity they buy today for more or less the same price, allowing business customers to massively improve their connectivity at a fraction of the cost, and providing a boost for UK competitiveness in an uncertain economic climate," stated Steve Robertson, CEO of Openreach

Sunrise Telecom Sells Protocol Product Group to LTE Innovations

Sunrise Telecom will sell its Protocol Products Group (PPG) to LTE Innovations, a leading OSS consulting organization for the telecom industry, for approximately EUR 8 million, roughly $10 million in cash. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2008. The completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

Sunrise Telecom's PPG division, which is based in Modena, Italy, is known for its 3GMaster and NeTracker protocol analyzer solutions, though most recently, its Traffic Analysis and Monitoring System (TAMS) and Mobile X-Ray Mobile Data Services analysis platform have gained recognition as dominant monitoring and troubleshooting platforms for advanced telecom environments.

Trapeze Networks Chief Strategist to Chair IEEE 802.11 Task Group

Trapeze Networks' Matthew Gast has been elected to chair the IEEE committee that is guiding the evolution of the wireless local area networking standard, 802.11. Gast is the author of the best selling guide to wireless networking, chairs important task groups for the Wi-Fi Alliance and is the chief strategist in Trapeze Networks' Office of the CTO.

Trapeze Networks noted that the original IEEE 802.11 standard was published in 1997 and since then wireless networking has revolutionized the way people work in the office, at home and on the road. The task group Gast is chairing will respond to interpretation requests on the standard and revise it. The current revision of 802.11 was published in 2007. Since that point, three amendments (802.11k, 802.11r, and 802.11y) have been ratified and IEEE rules require a "roll-up" revision that incorporates these amendments. The revision is currently expected in 2011.

Agito Networks Names Amit Chawla as CEO

Agito Networks, a start-up specializing in enterprise fixed mobile convergence, has named former Veraz Networks executive Amit Chawla as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. Most recently, Mr. Chawla served as the Executive Vice President of Global Business Units for Veraz Networks. Previously, he spent 13 years at Nortel Networks, most recently as Vice President of Portfolio Management.

Agito Networks' flagship product fuses WiFi, cellular, IP telephony, and location information. The RoamAnywhere platform mobilizes voice and unified communications for enterprises of all sizes, extending PBX and deskphone features to mobile phones. In addition, RoamAnywhere provides handover between WiFi and cellular networks to reduce cellular costs and improve in-building coverage.

Verizon FiOS TV Completes Digital Television Upgrade

Verizon's FiOS TV has completed its migration to 100 percent digital service, In an initiative that began in April, the company phased out the small number of duplicate analog channels that had been offered on its FiOS TV service.

Verizon has always provided all FiOS TV programming in digital format. Previously, however, Verizon also provided duplicate signals in analog for some channels. Some customers used the old analog signals to view limited programming on a television set not equipped with a set top box, CableCard or digital tuner.

Hughes Brings WiMAX + WiFi + Satellite Backhaul to Amazonas

Hughes do Brasil has won a public tender and signed a 36-month contract with PRODAM - Data Processing Company of the State of Amazonas, to deploy a turnkey broadband network solution that combines WiMAX and WiFi access technologies with satellite backhaul. The goal is for PRODAM to provide high-speed wireless Internet access service to customers throughout all 61 municipalities of Amazonas, including government agencies, small businesses, and the public at large.

Hughes will install and operate WiMAX and WiFi wireless base stations in every municipality, together with over 900 wireless customer premises terminals, all as an integrated service delivered over its nationwide HughesNet broadband satellite network. Each base station includes a high performance, Hughes HX broadband satellite router, which manages the backhauling of the IP traffic over satellite channels to the HX hub located in Manaus, the state capital. In Manaus, the hub is connected to PRODAM's data center and to the Internet.

The contract calls for completion of the installation process within twelve months. In the first phase, 15 municipalities will receive the service, which includes the WiMAX network connecting various public agencies and a Wi-Fi hotspot for wireless public Internet access. Financial terms were not disclosed.

AT&T Wins Managed Services Deal with Indianapolis Power & Light

AT&T was awarded a new three-year contract to provide integrated network solutions for Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL), a subsidiary of AES Corporation, a global power company. Under the deal, AT&T will link IPL's locations across the state and monitor its network to optimize data communication through its Managed Internet Service Private Network Transport (MIS PNT) services. As part of AT&T's diverse IP VPN portfolio, PNT provides any-to-any connectivity to link domestic sites to a single IP network that easily integrates new locations and applications. In addition to its MIS PNT services, AT&T also will provide an AT&T Business Network solution, including local and long distance. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Verizon Completes FiOS Buildout to 27,000 Aimco Apartments

Verizon is completing its FiOS build-out to 27,000 apartments in Aimco housing complexes in 11 states. The project, which began last year under an agreement between Verizon and Aimco, will make FiOS ultra-high-sped broadband services available to all the apartments. The 27,000 apartments are in 100 Aimco properties situated in California, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia. Aimco (Apartment Investment and Management Co.), based in Denver, is one of the nation's largest owners and operators of apartment communities, with a total of 1,067 properties across 46 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Telcordia Adds Broadband Test and Analysis System

Telcordia released a test and analysis system designed to reduce the cost of supporting advanced broadband services.

Telcordia Test Expert, part of the Telcordia Service Assurance Suite, automates the process of service testing and accurately identifies the precise problem so that it can be resolved expeditiously. The system incorporates an expert system that analyzes failure types, frequency, and cost, and mines historical performance and alarm data to pinpoint the root causes of intermittent faults, even after the original fault conditions have cleared. Using service and circuit information from the inventory system and advanced analysis scenarios, Test Expert enables CSPs to find and address the most costly faults quickly and efficiently.

Telcordia said key benefits include lower OPEX by automating and increasing the accuracy of field service testing, shortened service outages, and accelerated time to market for new offerings with effective field service testing.

Covad Names William R. Ferraiuolo to Head Wholesale Operations

Covad Communications has named William R. Ferraiuolo as General Manager for the Covad Wholesale division. Ferraiuolo comes to Covad from EMC2, where he worked for more than a decade and most recently served as Director of Global Business Operations.

Congressional Panels Warns of Cyber Security Threat from China

The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission issued its 2008 Annual Report to Congress warning of Chinese cyber attacks, authoritarian rule, and trade violations. In particular, the report warns that China has advanced capabilities for launching cyber attacks at any time and cites a number of recent incidents directed against the U.S. government and defense contractors. The report argues that China is "likely to take advantage of the U.S. dependence on cyber space for four significant reasons. First, the costs of cyber operations are low in comparison with traditional espionage or military activities. Second, determining the origin of cyber operations and attributing them to the Chinese government or any other operator is difficult. Therefore, the United States would be hindered in responding conventionally to such an attack. Third, cyber attacks can confuse the enemy. Fourth, there is an underdeveloped legal framework to guide responses."

The full report is available online.