Monday, November 1, 2004

PointOne Announces Wholesale Hosted IP Telephony Service

PointOne Communications introduced a hosted IP solution for enterprises who want to replace or curtail further investment in their PBX. PointOne, which also provides wholesale VoIP service, currently processes more than one half billion calls per month on its MPLS-based network.

Features of the StarPoint IP Business service include abbreviated dialing; call hunt; reservationless, multi-way conferencing; and auto attendant, an automated voice response system providing directory listing and automatic call forwarding based on user extension.
  • Last month, PointOne acquired certain assets from of Callipso, a nationwide carrier of VoIP traffic. Callipso filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September.

Nokia Highlights Fixed/Mobile Convergence Opportunities

Nokia is launching a new consultancy service, End-User Services Consulting, to help service providers profit from the convergence of mobile and fixed-line networks. At the Nokia Mobility Conference in Monaco, the company is demonstrating Video Sharing, a new multimedia service that allows 3G mobile terminal users to share a live camera view while speaking on the mobile. Video Sharing is enabled by the commercially available Nokia IP Multimedia Subsystem implemented in the core network infrastructure. Nokia is ready to implement such end-to-end solutions with open interfaces in collaboration with operators and service providers.

Nokia is also demonstrating a network-based content business solution to expand content business beyond ringing tones and logos. The solution is based on the Nokia Intelligent Content Delivery, with advanced functions like service barring, multiple wallets, cost control, revenue sharing and sponsoring to fulfill business requirements for highly-segmented services and continuously renewed mobile content.

Nokia noted that following the industry's first commercial implementation of 3GPP Release 4 MSC Server System, it has already delivered its MSC Server System to 20 customers. On the packet core side, the Nokia IP Multimedia Subsystem has numerous trial installations to date and up to four commercial contracts. Nokia's Intelligent Content Delivery solution has been delivered to over 30 operators worldwide, while 19 operators so far are implementing Nokia's Push to talk over Cellular solution for their commercial push to talk service.

Ericsson and TATA Sign CDMA2000 1X Expansion Contract

India's TATA Teleservices (TTSL) is deploying Ericsson's AXE-based MSCs throughout 12 new circles in TTSL's CDMA2000 1X network. Ericsson previously supplied its end-to-end CDMA2000 1X network solution in the Tamil Nadu and Karnataka circles, as well as core network equipment in four other TTSL circles. With this expansion contract, Ericsson will be integrated throughout TTSL's nationwide network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Verizon Wireless, Nextel Resolve Legal Disputes

Verizon Wireless and Nextel Communications reached an agreement resolving all their legal disputes. The two companies are dismissing their pending lawsuits against each other, and releasing each other from all other existing claims. Nextel also agreed to forego any trademark and other ownership rights to the phrase "Push To Talk," "PTT," and all related "PUSH" names. Both parties retain the right to utilize those terms in connection with the marketing of their services. Verizon Wireless has agreed not to oppose the FCC's decision to realign the 800 MHz band, including Nextel's receipt of spectrum in the 1.9 GHz band. Other terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

CAVEwave Provides 10 Gbps Link Between Optiputers

The Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) has acquired a dedicated 10 gigabit per second (Gbps) wavelength on the National LambdaRail (NLR) infrastructure from Chicago to San Diego. The 3,200-mile wavelength, known as the CAVEwave, will initially support the National Science Foundation (NSF)- funded OptIPuter project shared between UIC and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

CAVEwave extends from the EVL laboratory to the StarLight optical internet exchange in Chicago, to the Pacific Northwest GigaPoP (PNWGP) in Seattle, to the UCSD campus. It is connected via campus dark fiber to OptIPuter laboratories at UCSD, and to OptIPuter sites on the UCI and University of Southern California campuses via CENIC's eXperimental Development (XD) multi- gigabit network. This configuration enables future research among Chicago, San Diego, the University of Washington, and international colleagues who connect to the PNWGP via Pacific Wave on the U.S. west coast, or to StarLight in Chicago. http://www.optiputer.net

BroadVox Chooses TCS to Provide E9-1-1 VoIP Service

BroadVox, which is offering broadband telephony services in 92 North American markets, has selected TeleCommunication Systems (TCS) as its E9-1-1 VoIP provider. BroadVox subscribers will be offered TCS' E9-1-1 network-based VoIP solution that provides routing of 9-1-1 calls to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), based on the caller's location.

TCS said that other E9-1-1 VoIP providers may take 24 to 48 hours for initial activation or subscriber updates to the location information of emergency dispatch service for an existing or new VoIP subscriber. TCS said its tools allow for validation of an existing or new user's location information within an hour in most instances. Timely validation means that TCS' solution works for subscribers -- ranging from those looking for a landline replacement to those providing the business traveler with VoIP connectivity on the road.

MCI Signs Up Over 1,000 Indirect Resellers

MCI has surpassed the 1,000 Solution Provider milestone, expanding its authorized network of agents and value-added resellers (VARs) that represent MCI's Internet, data and voice products, as well as managed service solutions. Since January 2004, MCI has launched more than 15 new offerings to the VAR community, including Flex T-1, Managed Email Content, Managed Firewall Solo/Office/Corporate, IP VPN, Enterprise DSL and enterprise and personal firewall offerings.

Arbinet Selects NexTone Session Controllers

Arbinet, which is an electronic marketplace for communications trading, has deployed NexTone's Multiprotocol Session Controller (MSC) to expand its current VoIP service offerings and route and manage traffic for its growing carrier and VoIP service provider membership. Arbinet enables its members to anonymously buy and sell voice calls based on route quality and price through its centralized marketplace. Members place orders through a Web-based interface and Arbinet's trading platform matches these orders and delivers them through its facilities.

Arbinet also uses NexTone's MSC to extend its switch partitioning business into the VoIP world with SoftSwitchAxcess, a softswitch partitioning product for VoIP carriers

RaySat Unveils Two Inch In-Motion Satellite Antenna

RaySat, a supplier of antennas and communications solutions based in McLean, Virginia, introduced an ultra low profile antenna to receive live satellite television in moving vehicles. The two-inch high antenna, which will be available commercially in 2005, can receive both DirecTV and DISH satellite signals. It will be offered in two versions: the StealthRay, an "in-roof" antenna that will be built into vehicles by car and RV manufacturers, and the StingRay LP (low profile), an "on-roof" antenna to be offered through aftermarket channels.

Separately, RaySat, which announced $10 million first round investment financing in June, named Samer Salameh as president and CEO, and Yoel Gat as chairman. Salameh previously served as president and CEO of Telmex North American Ventures. He also served as chairman and CEO of Prodigy Communications . Yoel Gat previously was chairman and CEO of Gilat Satellite Networks.

In addition, RaySat named Dan DiFonzo, formerly assistant director of Comsat Labs, as chief technical officer; and former Ernst and Young partner, Liav Even-Chen, as chief financial officer.

Motorola's TV/DSL to Support Widevine Content Security

Motorola will integrated Widevine Technologies' Cypher content security technology into its Multi-Service Access Platform for video over xDSL applications. The companies said the integration of Widevine's Patented Virtual SmartCard and Application Level encryption with Motorola's telecom video delivery platform would benefit telecommunications service providers looking to expand content redistribution agreements with studios and broadcasters. http://www.widevine.com
  • Last month, Verizon awarded a multi-year contract for Motorola to provide video network infrastructure and video consumer premises equipment related to Verizon's launch of video services on the company's new FTTP next year. Motorola will also provide project integration and operational services through its newly-formed Telecom Access Solutions business unit. Financial terms were not disclosed.

KT Deploys Juniper's E-Series and SDX-300

KT has selected Juniper Networks ERX-1440 Edge Routing Platforms and the SDX-300 Service Deployment System for the next phase of its expansion of value-added broadband services. The deployment gives KT both the capacity to service additional broadband customers and the ability to enable customers to dynamically manage their service provisioning. KT will be able to provide self-manageable IP services to its customer base with single sign-on via unified authentication and authorization based on RADIUS and DHCP. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Juniper Networks SDX-300 Service Deployment System is a customizable application that enables service providers to rapidly create and deploy new services, such as video-on-demand, IP television or integrated voice and data, to hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

Total Group Selects Infonet for Managed Global Internet VPN Service

Total, the world's fourth-largest international oil and gas company, selected Infonet Services Corporation to provide it with a managed Internet based VPN. Infonet will also provide remote access services for more than 12,500 of Total's employees. Financial terms were not disclosed.

India's VSNL Selects Cisco's Metro Ethernet for Broadband Services

Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL), India's leading telecommunications and Internet service provider, selected Cisco Systems' Metro Ethernet solution for delivering broadband services to enterprise and residential customers. The Cisco Metro Ethernet solution is based on the Cisco 12000, 7600, and 7300 Series Routers and Cisco Catalyst 2950 series switches. VSNL will use the network for triple play and bundled services, including VoIP, broadcast TV and video on demand for residential customers, and IP VPN and videoconferencing services for business customers.

In the first phase, Tata Indicom Broadband Services will be rolled out across 8 cities in the country. The current deployment can connect more than a million customers.

Boingo Roams with France's METEOR Networks

Boingo Wireless announced a roaming partnership with Paris-based METEOR Networks that will add more than 200 Wi-Fi hot spots throughout the French capital and surrounding cities to the Boingo Roaming System. METEOR Networks, an independent Wi-Fi operator in France, has signed agreements with the Paris mass transit agency (RATP), with McDonald's restaurants, with Best Western hotels, and with other local establishments. The company plans to have 750 hot spots installed by the end of the year.

The Boingo Roaming System is a network of 11,000 Wi-Fi hot spots worldwide with 5,600 locations in Europe.

Hertz Joins Wayport's Wi-Fi Network

Wayport announced an agreement with the Hertz rental car company to extend its Wi-Fi network into at more than 50 major airport locations nationwide. Additionally, the companies are planning to incorporate Wayport's nationwide network of Wi-Fi hot spots at hotels, airports and McDonald's restaurants into the Hertz on-board navigation system in Hertz rental cars, giving customers exact directions to the closest Wayport Wi-Fi location.

Wayport's network extends to 4,700 locations, including nearly 800 hotels, 6 major airports, and selected McDonalds.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Qualcomm to Build Nationwide, Wireless Mediacast Network

QUALCOMM announced plans to deploy and operate a nationwide "mediacast" network, delivering many channels of high-quality video and audio programming to third-generation mobile phones at mass market prices. The nationwide mediacasting network will deliver multimedia content to wireless mobile devices in the 700 MHz spectrum for which QUALCOMM holds licenses across the U.S. It will be based on QUALCOMM's "FLO" (Forward Link Only) technology and use the MediaFLO media distribution system for content aggregation, delivery and viewing. The network could support 50-100 national and local content channels, including up to 15 live streaming channels and numerous clip-cast and audio channels using QVGA video at up to 30 frames per second.

The mediacast network, which would be operated by QUALCOMM's new subsidiary called MediaFLO, would provide interactive multimedia services to consumers in cooperation with U.S. CDMA2000 and WCDMA (UMTS) operators. MediaFLO will aggregate and distribute the content that is available to all MediaFLO partners and will provide integration of this content with unique content that individual operators provide to maintain their competitive differentiation. MediaFLO would enable the carriers to deliver mobile interactive multimedia to their wireless subscribers without the cost of network deployment and operation.

MediaFLO said its service would also benefit TV stations and networks, cable TV and satellite operators and networks, and other content providers by offering a major new distribution channel that complements their current offerings.

QUALCOMM expects to invest $800 million in MediaFLO over the next four or five years. The company said it plans to eventually spin-off MediaFLO to its shareholders.
  • QUALCOMM's FLO multicast technology transmits packets using OFDM. It is complementary to existing cellular networks because interactive services are supported within the mobile device using the CDMA2000 1X, 1xEV-DO or WCDMA cellular link. QUALCOMM said FLO is intended as an alternative to other multimedia multicasting technologies, such as DVB-H. The company believes its FLO technology will prove advantageous where low battery power consumption is critical.

  • QUALCOMM said that by deploying high-power transmitters on tall towers provides superior coverage with 30 to 50 times fewer towers than cellular and higher frequency-based systems.

  • QUALCOMM acquired the majority of its 700 MHz spectrum (UHF channel 55) spectrum in the June 2003 FCC Auction No. 49.

BT Offers Wireless Broadband for £1 a month

BT will begin offering access to its Openzone public wireless broadband hotspots for just £1 a month to its business and consumer broadband customers. The introductory offer applies for the first three months, after which customers can continue to use the service for a further 12 months at just £5 for up to 500 minutes.
  • BT Openzone currently provides access to 7,000 hotspot locations across the UK including hotels, airports, railway stations and coffee houses. The figure includes hotspots owned by BT Openzone and The Cloud.

Marconi's COO to Step Down

Marconi's Chief Operating Officer (COO), Mike Donovan, will be leaving the business at the end of December 2004 and has resigned from the company's board. Donovan has had responsibility for the Marconi's North American businesses and has been based in the United States since 1998, where he played a key role in the operational restructuring and turn-around of the company.