Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Coaxsys Unveils Home IPTV Coaxial Cable Network

Coaxsys, a start-up based in Los Gatos, California, introduced its "TVnet" solution for transforming existing home TV coaxial cable infrastructure into a high-speed, IPTV-ready digital
entertainment network. Once a TVnet adapter is connected to the video or broadband source, all other TV coax jacks in the home become network enabled.

Coaxsys said its technology delivers up to 104 Mbps transfer rate and supports distances up to 250 feet, enabling it to deliver multiple HDTV signals simultaneously throughout a home. The TVnet technology is also compatible with TV splitters and supports Ethernet unicast, multicast, and broadcast. The solution consists of a Coaxsys IPTV 7000 TVnet adapter that connects to any network-enabled operating system or device with an RJ-45 Ethernet network interface. It can be used for connecting IPTV set top boxes, gaming console systems, PVRs, multimedia servers, and VoIP phones. http://www.coaxsys.comCoaxsys was founded in 2002.

Juniper Provides Infranet Update

A secure and assured Internet infrastructure is "the inevitable destination of the networking industry" said Pradeep Sindhu, Juniper Networks' CTO and Founder, at an Analyst Day presentation in Sunnyvale, California. For Juniper, this evolution of the Internet is the aim of the Infranet Initiative.

The Infranet Initiative was introduced in 2003 at Telecom Geneva by Juniper and Lucent Technologies. Sindhu said there are now about 30 companies participating in the initiative, including a few big name service providers, such as BT and Deutsche Telekom.

The Infranet will require agreement on two standards: a client network interface (CNI) that enables an application to tell the network what it needs for service assurance, and an inter carrier interface (ICI) that allows these technical requirements to be passed across multiple network domains. Significantly, ICI would let carriers settle billing charges based the type and volume of traffic carried on behalf of each other's customers. For the Infranet to succeed, Sindhu said both these two standards need to adopted globally.

A significant milestone was reached this past summer when members ratified an Infranet reference architecture. Infranet participants have also developed the first five application scenarios that could benefit from the architecture. These applications include multi-provider VPNs, fixed-mobile convergence, web radio, web video, and high-performance software distribution. Sindhu expects there will be a multistage migration from the best-effort Internet to full-scale Infranet capabilities. Juniper is planning a number of activities in the coming months to build momentum for the Infranet.

Two questions stood out from the presentation.

  • 1. Can the Infranet Initiative succeed without Cisco participation? Sindhu said he believes all players want to see IP networks succeed. The real question, he argued, is whether this will be accomplished via open standards or whether there will be a proprietary standard and single network vendor that comes to dominate the industry. He encouraged all players in the industry to participate in this effort. Sindhu vowed that all technologies developed through the Infranet Initiative would be based on open standards.

  • 2. If carriers are finally able to implement reciprocal compensation agreements for IP traffic, will this lead to an end of open peering for the Internet? Sindhu said a bigger question is how service providers will ever make money over the long term if such arrangements are not established. He argued that ultimately there must be an alignment between amounts network usage and amounts of payment.

Kodiak Offers CALEA Compliant Advanced Push-to-Talk System

Kodiak Networks, a start-up based in San Ramon, California, announced that its Real-Time Exchange (RTX) System can deliver Push-to-Talk functionality in a CALEA-compliant manner. The company said other PTT systems based VoIP do not comply with CALEA.

Kodiak's list of global system deployments includes ALLTEL, Cellcom, and Bluegrass Cellular in the U.S.; European-based carrier Orange; and Asia Pacific operator IT&E, located in Guam. http://www.kodiaknetworks.com

Deutsche Telekom Licenses Xten's eyeBeam Software

Deutsche Telekom has licensed Xten's eyeBeam SDK (software development kit), which delivers open standards VoIP and Video over IP. The eyeBeam offers numerous softphone features,
including transfer/forward, caller ID, 10-point conferencing, acoustic echo cancellation, voice activity detection, adaptive jitter buffer and message waiting indicator.

NTT Reports Six Month Results

NTT reported revenue of 5.3 trillion yen (US$50 billion) for the six month period ending 30-September-2004, down 2% compared to a year earlier. Group net profit for the six months was 344.6 billion yen (US$3.3 billion), up 3% compared to a year earlier. Some highlights:

  • As of the end of September 2004, NTT East had 632,000 B FLET'S optical access subscribers, an increase of 206,000 from the end of March 2004, and 2,620,000 FLET'S ADSL subscribers, an increase of 338,000 from the end of March 2004.

  • NTT West's FLET'S ADSL customers came to 2.12 million and B-FLET'S customers numbered 580,000.

  • Both NTT East and NTT West began offering faster ADSL services, with maximum download speeds of approximately 47 Mbps and maximum upload speeds of approximately 5Mbps.

  • NTT Communications reported six months operating revenues of 525.3 billion yen, down 1.8% or 9.8 billion yen year on year. Revenues from voice communications services declined due to the shrinking market for fixed-line telephone services and intensifying competition in the IP telephony market. In Japan, NTT Com supported revenue levels by securing more relay traffic for fixed-line-to-mobile communications. In international telephone services, the company's revenue strategy focused on growing market share through aggressive marketing and reduced call rates. Operating revenues for voice communications services came to 229.8 billion yen, down 6.3% or 15.4 billion yen year on year.

  • NTT Comm's data communications service revenues grew steadily. As of September 2004, approximately 4.36 million users were subscribing to NTT Com's OCN ISP service, which has been enhanced with high-speed ADSL. Operating revenues for data communications services came to 168.1 billion yen, up 11.7% or 17.5 billion yen year on year.

  • NTT Comm's leased circuit service revenues declined due to competition from cheaper IP-VPN and VPN services that leverage the Internet. For those customers who place maximum priority on quality, reliability and security, however, NTT Com launched a simple, highly reliable leased circuit service called Giga Stream. Operating revenues for leased circuit services came to 70.1 billion yen, down 20.4 % or 18 billion yen year on year.

CableLabs Issues RFI for an Integrated DOCSIS Access Device

CableLabs issued a request for information (RFI) for Integrated DOCSIS Access Device equipment that could be used by cable operators to deliver voice and data services for small business and commercial customers. The design calls for a customer premise device with a standard RF coaxial cable interface that has a frequency range up to 860 MHz downstream and a return path operating in the range of 5 MHz to 42 MHz. The device would be similar to a Multi-Line Multimedia Terminal Adapter (ML-MTA) in that it will be PacketCable-based for voice services. It goes beyond that specification, however, to include DS1 circuit-emulation - via IP - over DOCSIS. CableLabs said the RFI responses are due January 14, 2005. http://www.cablelabs.com

NTT Outlines Migration to IP/Optical Network by 2010

Japan's NTT Group outlined its plans to migrate a majority of its customers to a next generation optical access and IP telephony network by 2010. This "medium-term management strategy" is aimed at advancing the company's long-term "Vision for a New Optical Generation," which NTT first disclosed in November 2002. NTT said it was setting its sights on 3 near-term objectives:

1) Use the combined strengths of NTT to actively build the ubiquitous broadband market and help achieve the e-Japan Strategy and the u-Japan Initiative.

(2) Build a safe, secure and convenient communications network environment and broadband access infrastructure, while achieving a seamless migration from fixed line to IP telephone service and from metal wire systems to optical fiber.

(3) Strive to increase corporate value and achieve sustained growth.

NTT outlined a number of specific actions, including the following:

  • NTT intends to migrate the majority of its customers to an optical access network by 2010, taking into account the interests of customers and operators of related businesses. The company said maintaining both metal wire and optical fiber access and fixed telephone networks, as well as IP networks, is a burden on business operations and increases the cost to society.

  • NTT will promote IP telephone services as an alternative to fixed line service and provide a variety of ubiquitous broadband services emphasizing high-speed and interactive features in order to shift 30 million customers from the existing metal wire and fixed telephone network to optical fiber access and next-generation network services by 2010.

  • NTT will move to a flat-rate pricing structure which is not based distances, that gives customers service options that meet their requirements for quality, speed (data volume), reliability and security levels, and with varied rates depending on service content.

  • NTT is currently reevaluating its existing fixed-telephone rates (basic rate, call rates, equipment installation rates) in light of the eventual move to IP telephony. It plans to announce a revision to its basic rates and other fees as a first step in this direction.

  • NTT will promote Fixed-Mobile Convergence, whereby high-speed interactive video communications over optical fiber will be combined with mobile communications services to provide ubiquitous services that can be accessed from PCs, TV sets, mobile telephones or information appliances. Its next-generation network will be based on a common service foundation that merges mobile and fixed communications. Each NTT group company will fill a role that plays to their strengths.

  • NTT will promote multi-site video conferencing and other services for vertical applications, such as remote medicine, remote education and remote consulting.

  • NTT will aim for early implementation of next generation technologies, including optical multiplexing technology and node architecture technology.

  • On the financial side, NTT aims to increase revenues from next-generation network solutions and non-traffic-sensitive businesses to 500 billion yen by the year 2010.

  • NTT plans to maintain the same equipment investment level as before, a cumulative total of 5 trillion yen for fixed communications operations through the year 2010. To do this, NTT will aim to substantially reduce costs for equipment investment associated with optical fiber access and the next-generation network by introducing technical innovations, reducing the cost of equipment, and improving production methods. Through these cost cutting initiatives, NTT will endeavor to make its new optical fiber access and the next-generation network businesses profitable in the near future.

Missouri 's Fidelity Comm. Selects Occam BLC 6000

Fidelity Communications Co., a Missouri-based company with 16,000 ILEC customers and 7,100 CLEC customers, has selected the Occam Networks' BLC 6000 System to deliver POTS, high-speed data, and transparent LAN service to banks and other business subscribers located in the area served by the company's CLEC subsidiary. The ILEC has deployed the BLC System in multiple sites throughout its service area. Currently, Fidelity has Occam BLCs installed and delivering services to CLEC customers from Fidelity's Central Offices (COs) in Bourbon, Cuba and St. James, Mo., where they compete with CenturyTel, and St. Robert, Mo., where they compete with Sprint. Each CO site has a secure Ethernet ring protected by Ethernet Protection Switching (EPS) on which it can easily add new subscribers or deliver new services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The BLC's Circuit Emulation Service (CES) enables Fidelity to transport T1 trunks between switches, PBXs and routers to provide connectivity to small- and medium-sized businesses over a resilient optic Ethernet ring, as well as helps it to conserve its fiber runs. http://www.occamnetworks.com

Vodafone Launches 3G Services in 13 Countries

Vodafone launched 3G services in 13 countries: Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.
Vodafone is featuring a range of downloadable and streaming content, including:

  • an extensive music catalogue from world's greatest artists

  • a new "made-for-mobile" video drama inspired by the blockbuster TV series "24"

  • exclusive videos, pictures, animated greetings and wallpaper

  • l
  • aunch of "Movie of the Month" starting with "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason"

  • UEFA Champions League and Barclays Premiership video clips

  • exclusive Manchester United and Ferrari mobile video content

  • new games from leading publishers

The 3G service supports video calling, enabling Vodafone customers to see and hear one another when making a call. The launch includes 10 new 3G handsets, including Europe's first 2 mega pixel camera phone (Sharp 902). Handsets feature stereo speakers and have 32MB of base memory.

Vodafone vowed to pursue "an easy to understand pricing model" designed to encourage usage through increased cost transparency. Content purchases will be charged on an event basis and browsing will be free or included in a bundle of services. Customers will also be offered promotional bundles to promote the uptake of new Vodafone services. 3G voice propositions will offer more value for money to customers, with each Vodafone operating company offering market specific pricing plans.

Vodafone expects that the 3G service will become increasingly mass market next year. The company expects over 10 million customers to be using Vodafone live! with 3G by March 2006. http://www.vodafone.com
  • At 30 June 2004, based on the registered customers of mobile telecommunications ventures in which Vodafone had ownership interests at that date, the Vodafone Group had approximately 139.2 million customers, excluding paging customers, calculated on a proportionate basis in accordance with the company's percentage interest in these ventures.

Toshiba Incorporates Broadcom's IP Phone Chip

Toshiba is using Broadcom's IP phone chip in its enterprise IP telephones. Broadcom's BCM1113 IP phone chip features an integrated Ethernet switch (two port) capability that enables manufacturers to develop IP phones that use the Ethernet switch connections of the IP Phone to support both voice calls through the phone and data traffic to the PC. This capability eliminates the need to have two Ethernet connections in an office or to add switch ports in the wiring closet to support VoIP. http://www.broadcom.com

UTStarcom and VeriSign to Offer CALEA to VoIP Providers

UTStarcom and VeriSign announced a joint marketing agreement through which UTStarcom will refer its mSwitch IP telecom softswitch platform customers -- those who need assistance in compliance with the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) -- to the VeriSign NetDiscovery Service. The two companies have made NetDiscovery interoperable with mSwitch in order to support service providers' VoIP and other voice-over-broadband (VoBB) deployments.

UTStarcom's mSwitch platform supports traditional PSTN and softswitch protocols. VeriSign's NetDiscovery Service is a lawful-assistance and CALEA-compliance service that handles provisioning, access, delivery, and collection of call information for service providers and network operators, to facilitate directives from Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs). Until recently, CALEA applied only to PSTN switches. Recently, the FCC published a proposed rulemaking regarding the applicability of IP voice services to CALEA, which is expected to take effect early next year.
CALEA requires carriers to assist LEAs in lawfully authorized interception and subpoena requests for subscriber records. To comply, carriers often have to purchase dedicated hardware, invest heavily in training, and maintain connectivity with a variety of LEAs. The VeriSign NetDiscovery Service streamlines CALEA compliance requirements by maintaining all LEA connections, and it eliminates the need for UTStarcom's mSwitch users to purchase additional equipment. http://www.verisign.comhttp://www.utstar.com

Ericsson Provides Brasil Telecom with Ethernet DSL Solution for Broadband Access

Brasil Telecom selected Ericsson's Ethernet DSL Access solution to expand its broadband network. The contract includes central office and customer premises equipment. The solution will be deployed in the region of Brasilia, Parana, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul. Financial terms were not disclosed. http://www.ericsson.com/press

Ericsson Awarded Ethernet Broadband Access Contract from Telkom in Indonesia

Indonesia's incumbent operator, PT Telekomunikasi (Telkom), has awarded Ericsson a contract to deliver Public Ethernet broadband access solution and related services to their customers in East Java. Ericsson is providing it's Ethernet DSL Access (EDA) solution, for supporting Telkom to build an advanced IP/Ethernet broadband access network. This solution will able to deliver triple play services such as data, voice and video simultaneously to their customers in Surabaya, East Java - the second largest city in Indonesia. Financial terms were not disclosed. http://www.ericsson.com/presshttp://www.telkom-indonesia.com/

China Shanxi Unicom Deploys Motorola's Canopy Wireless Broadband

Shanxi Unicom is expanding its deployment of Motorola's Canopy wireless broadband solution in four cities in Shanxi Province -- Datong, Suzhou, Xingzhou and Taiyuen. The Canopy solution provides wireless broadband access to businesses in the four cities, which are marked with hills and mountains that make it difficult for providers to lay cable or fiber. Shanxi Unicom originally selected Motorola's Canopy solution in December 2003. In order to meet the increasing demand for high-speed voice and data transmission, Shanxi Unicom expanded its networks in May, August and September. Financial terms were not disclosed. http://www.connectwithcanopy.com

International Carriers Reach Wi-Fi Roaming Agreement

T-Mobile, which operates the largest carrier-owned Wi-Fi network in the U.S., announced a series of roaming agreements with six other major international wireless operators in the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA). Participating WBA members include: BT Group (UK), Telecom Italia (Italy), Maxis (Malaysia), NTT Com (Japan), StarHub (Singapore), Telstra (Australia), T-Mobile USA (USA) and, through existing arrangements, the European operating companies of T-Mobile in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. It is expected that additional international carriers in Europe and Asia will join in the roaming arrangements in the near future, further broadening the WBA footprint into which T-Mobile HotSpot subscribers can roam with a single Wi-Fi account.

T-Mobile HotSpot US subscribers will be able to benefit from these international roaming arrangements at no additional charge through the remainder of 2004. Prices for international roaming in 2005 and beyond will be determined at a later time.

T-Mobile USA subscribers will now be able to use their Wi-Fi subscription at more than 11,500 Wi-Fi locations within the following countries: United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Italy, Czech Republic, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and the United States.

Wi-Fi users from participating WBA carriers can now roam into more than 5,000 T-Mobile HotSpot locations in the U.S. http://www.wirelessbroadbandalliance.com

Monday, November 8, 2004

FCC to Improve Data Collection on Broadband Rollout

The FCC voted to collect additional data about the nationwide availability of broadband and local telephone competition. All facilities-based carriers will now be required to report, regardless of their size. Broadband providers will be required to provide more detailed information on the speed and nature of their service. The rules also establish broadband-over-power line as a separate category in order to track deployment more closely. To better assess broadband availability, incumbent telephone and cable companies will be asked to report the extent to which their DSL and cable modem service is available where they provide phone or cable television service.
The Commission will require local telephone companies, known as local exchange carriers or LECs, to report how many of their local service customers also subscribe to the LEC's long distance service. The data will help the Commission understand how bundling affects local telephone service competition. http://www.fcc.gov

FCC Adapts 4.9 GHz Specs for Public Safety Usage

The FCC revised technical specifications in the 4.9 GHz band to allow manufacturers to adapt, for that band, technologies that are being used in adjacent spectrum bands, such as the 5.4 GHz Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) unlicensed band and the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) band. Specifically, the FCC adopted two emission masks limiting interference potential for the band, one for low-power and one for high-power operations. These changes will allow public safety licensees to leverage commercial off-the-shelf technologies available for the U-NII and ITS frequency bands. http://www.fcc.gov

DISH Network Adds 350,000 Net New Subscribers in Q3

EchoStar Communications' DISH Network satellite television service added approximately 350,000 net new subscribers during Q3, giving the company a total of 10.475 million subscribers.

For Q3, EchoStar reported total revenue of $1.86 billion, a 28 percent increase compared to Q3 last year. Net income totaled $102 million and basic earnings per share were $0.22 for the quarter. http://www.echostar.com