Sunday, March 6, 2005

VON Keynote: Session Management is Key to Scaling Multimedia IP

There are 3 mega trends shaking the industry, said Raj Sharma, President of NexTone, in a keynote address at VON Spring. These include the rapid proliferation of multimedia IP endpoints; the very compressed timeframe required to introduce new apps and services in the competitive IP market; the growing convergence of voice, data, video from both wireline and wireless networks.

We're still in the early adopter phase of VoIP adoption, said Sharma, estimating that there is now about a 10% penetration rate. Today's traffic patterns indicate that 90% of VoIP calls are from and to the PSTN, while only 10% is IP-to-IP. In the near future, Sharma said these traffic patterns will be reversed, with the majority of traffic flowing between multimedia IP endpoints. Rapid adoption of multimedia IP endpoints will create a huge demand for new applications and service providers will need to react quickly. Scalability will be a critical factor for service providers, as the number of users, number of applications and number of devices on the network put new demands on converged backbones.

Sharma gave several network architecture suggestions to handle these challenges:

  • Simplify the network, especially in the service and management/control planes.

  • Use real time session managers and border controllers to handle real-time IP applications and services.

  • Use IP-based multimedia application servers for enhanced services.

  • Redeploy softswitches and media gateways to the edge of the network.

  • Use MPLS routers for transport.
  • In December 2004, NexTone Communications introduced a new session management solution that combines both transport and application QoS to deliver deterministic performance for real-time services over converged IP networks. The new platform includes a NEBS3-compliant, chassis-based Real-time Session Manager (RSM), which acts as a centralized policy manager and enforcement point to manage network resources and optimize call distribution, and the Multiprotocol Session Controller (MSC), enhanced with microflow management capabilities to work with MPLS routers to enforce QoS policies across the network edge.

Mahi Debuts Optical Ethernet Transponders for its Vx7 ROADM

Mahi Networks introduces an expanded line of optical Ethernet transponders for its Vx7 Multi-Service Core Transport System. The solution is aimed at residential broadband and FTTP initiatives, which are taxing carrier's SONET-based transport infrastructure. To support the increasing demand for IP and SAN services, Mahi Networks is introducing a 10-port Multi-Service ADM Transponder with SFP client interfaces supporting any combination of GbE, Fiber Channel, ESCON, FICON, and digital video services. The GFP/VCAT implementation supports full-rate and rate-limited services multiplexed using ADM-on-a-Wavelength technology to provide service add/drop at any node and wavelength reuse around the ring. In addition, Mahi is unveiling its 10G Multi-Service Transponder with XFP client interfaces supporting 10GbE LAN PHY, 10GbE WAN PHY, OC-192, STM-64, and G.709 services.

The Vx7 provides single wavelength switching granularity with full 100% optical add/drop capability for 2.5, 10, and 40 Gbps line-rates, with full wavelength-reuse around a sixteen-node network that spans up to a 1000 km circumference. Other Vx7 transponders previously released include a 10 Gbps ADM-on-a-Wavelength transponder providing 10 ports of independently provisionable OC-3/12/48 SONET interfaces with integrated client side 1+1 APS and line side UPSR protection, and an Any Rate transponder supporting any client service rate up to 2.7 Gbps.

VON Keynote: 500,000 Vonage Lines and Counting

Vonage has exceeded 500,000 total lines in service and is now "on a quick and easy march" to its first million users, said Jeffrey Citron, CEO, Vonage, in a keynote address at Spring VON in San Jose. Vonage is adding 15,000 users per week and expects to end Q1 with over 600,000 users. It claims to have a leading 35% share of the U.S. residential VoIP business, with its nearest competitors being Cablevision and Time Warner. Citron believes Vonage, as a pure play VoIP providers, will keep ahead of cable competitors even as Comcast enters the market later this year.

Looking ahead, Vonage will continue to seek growth through its heavy advertising campaigns, through expanded retail channels (already 20% of new sign-ups come through retail partners), and through expanded CPE gear. Citron showed photos of new products from several manufacturers, including a Linksys Wi-Fi router, a cordless VoIP phone system from Vtech, and a Wi-Fi phone from UTStarcom. Later this year, Vonage will begin adding video to its service. The company also looks to expand its SOHO offering to serve companies with up to 24 lines.

On the regulatory front, Citron sees more battles ahead. A number of states, including New York, California and Ohio, have indicated they plan to challenge the FCC order asserting federal jurisdiction of VoIP. Citron is also looking for regulatory help in local number portability, noting that while it only takes 4 hours for a number to be ported from one wireless carrier to another, it can take up to 20 days in some areas for a POTS landline to be ported to Vonage.

MetaSwitch Introduces Application Server for Unified Communications

MetaSwitch introduced its UC9000 Unified Communications System, adding a range of SIP-based features to its existing softswitch product line. The standards-based platform is targeted at service providers launching next generation services.

The initial release of the UC9000 includes Voicemail and Unified Messaging for "any message, any client" access, with support for Web, PDA, telephone and Outlook clients. A Web portal allows subscribers to manage their own messaging and personal telephone settings, plus easy configuration of business groups in the latest evolution of MetaSwitch's "Web Self-Care" technology. Future releases planned for the coming year promise a range of enhanced services including auto attendant, personal call manager, attendant console, click-to-call, calling card/pre-pay and instant messaging. Such "sticky" services offer users increasingly sophisticated levels of control over multiple communication technologies, while carriers reap the rewards in customer loyalty and revenue growth.

The MetaSwitch UC9000, which uses technology from MetaSwitch's parent company Data Connection, is undergoing multiple carrier trials and 5 carriers have placed orders prior to the official launch. One such customer, Missoula, Montana-based Blackfoot Telecommunications, is deploying the UC9000 system alongside a MetaSwitch CA9020 Call Agent and MG3510 Media Gateways for out-of-region expansion and replacement of its 22-exchange Nortel DMS-100 legacy switching network.

DSL Forum Elects New Leaders

The DSL Forum elected the following new members to its Board of Directors:

  • Chairman of the DSL Forum Board of Directors -- Michael Brusca, Distinguished Member of Technical Staff, Verizon Communications

  • DSL Forum President -- Steve Kingdom, Vice President, Global Business, at KTL in the UK.

  • DSL Forum Vice President and Chairman Emeritus -- Tom Starr, Lead Member of Technical Staff, SBC Communications.

  • DSL Forum Chief Operating Officer, Treasurer, and Secretary -- David Greggains, Director, Gorham & Partners Ltd.

  • DSL Forum Board Director -- Peter LeBlanc, Vice President of Marketing, Aware.

  • DSL Forum Board Director -- Steve Plume, BT, Broadband Product Development Manager

  • DSL Forum Board Director -- George Dobrowski, Conexant, Director, Technology and Product Planning

  • DSL Forum Board Director -- Phil Skeba, Intel Corporation, Business Development Director

  • DSL Forum Board Director -- Frank Van der Putten,
    Alcatel, Standards Manager

  • DSL Forum Board Director -- Jeri Pitoniak, Samsung Telecommunications America, Senior Director - Broadband Network Systems

  • DSL Forum Board Director -- Greg Bathrick, Texas Instruments, Product Line Management

  • DSL Forum Board Director -- Gavin Young, Bulldog Communications, Chief Technology Officer

  • DSL Forum Board Director -- Jay Fausch, DSL Forum Marketing Committee Chair; Alcatel, Senior Director of Marketing

Xten and GN Netcom Partner on USB-to-headset VoIP

GN Netcom is working to bundle Xten's eyeBeam softphones with its headsets in retail stores across the US & Canada. The two companies will work together to deliver bundled headset & softphone solutions for retail and wholesale offerings in the enterprise and carrier markets. Wholesale points of distribution will also span the US, Canada and other parts of the globe.

GN Netcom is introducing a USB-to-headset adapter that features call control buttons, giving the user quick and easy access to the most common call functions, including simple e911
access. The integration gives the end-user a familiar and convenient interface for the softphone. The device also alleviates the frustration of having to use a mouse or keyboard to begin or end a call or adjust volume. Even when the computer is "secured" by a screen saver, users can press one or more of the inline buttons to answer and hang-up calls, place calls on hold, speed dial, raise and lower call volume, check voice mail or mute the microphone.

In addition to Xten, the new device has received the Avaya DeveloperConnection Compliant
Certification, an assurance of compatibility with Avaya IP softphone solutions.
  • Xten's softphones for Windows, MAC OS X and Pocket PC are software applications, which run on devices such as personal computers (PCs) or personal digital assistants (PDAs) or can be integrated into web pages or web applications.

Riverstone's HVPLS Extends MPLS-based Ethernet

Riverstone Networks announced the availability of Hierarchical Virtual Private LAN Service (HVPLS) across both its RS and Riverstone 15000 product lines.

Riverstone said its HVPLS technology extends the capabilities of MPLS-based Ethernet, giving service providers the added reliability and scalability necessary to serve hundreds of thousands or even millions of subscribers dependably. It also provides a more economical means of delivering high quality video services by pushing video packet replications for multicasting further out to the edge.

In addition to adding HVPLS, Riverstone announced several other enhancements, including the introduction of double density line cards on the 15000 platform; support for dual-homed edge and MTU devices; extended troubleshooting with HVPLS OAM support; and Dorado Software's Redcell configuration management.

Ethernet Evolves for Carriers and Customers
when used in conjunction with MPLS, is the first technology at the metro
business and consumer edge that meets all of these sometimes-conflicting
demands. Given its ubiquity at the desktop, Ethernet provides a natural
convergence layer for a variety of higher-layer protocols and
applications. These include IP and other Layer 3 protocols, supporting
data, voice, and video traffic. For new buildouts, customers and carriers
must no longer suffer operationally and cost-intensive handoffs between
Ethernet, Frame Relay, ATM, and SONET/SDH.

TI Narrows 2005 Business Outlook

Citing lower-than-expected demand for DLP products used in televisions and projectors, Texas Instruments narrowed its 2005 expected ranges for revenue and earnings per share (EPS).

The company's new expectations for revenue are:

  • Total revenue between $2910 million and $3030 million, compared with the prior range of $2900 million to $3140 million;

  • Semiconductor revenue between $2550 million and $2650 million, compared with the prior range of $2550 million to $2750 million;

  • Sensors & Controls revenue between $285 million and $295 million, compared with the prior range of $280 million to $300 million;

  • Educational & Productivity Solutions revenue between $75 million and $85 million, compared with the prior range of $70 million to $90 million.

  • TI expects EPS between $0.22 and $0.24, compared with the previous range of $0.22 to $0.26.

The company said that even though it believes DLP-based televisions and projectors gained share in 2004, customers had built for more robust end-of-year sales. Customers are taking aggressive actions to reduce these inventories as quickly as possible.

Marconi Unveils Long-Haul SDH Radio Platform

Marconi unveiled a new long-haul Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) radio system featuring very low power consumption and a footprint reduced by 70%. The Marconi Digital Radio System (MDRS) 155 EC digital radio relay system provides STM-1 or STM-4 signals over medium and long distances in the trunk and metro area of communication transmission networks.

Marconi said its new product utilises Digital Adaptive Linearisation techniques to produce a quantum leap in the evolution of high capacity fixed wireless equipment. Marconi can now transmit up to 20 x STM-1 (3.1Gbps) with up to ten STM-1 channels (including the protection switching function and other options) accommodated in one standard equipment rack.

MDRS is frequently deployed with solar power in remote places, therefore, features such as low power are vitally important to customers. The new MDRS 155EC will be available in frequencies up to 13GHz with a capability to cover spans in excess of 100km. Such a system is therefore ideal for long-distance communication in the core and metro areas of networks and most especially through difficult terrain or over water.

"Major advances in technology, falling equipment costs, and greatly enhanced quality and reliability have made point-to-point microwave radio one of the fastest and most reliable ways of providing network capacity," said Alex Marshall, vice president of product marketing for Marconi's Microwave Radio division.

8x8 and Uniden Offer 5.8 GHz Cordless VoIP Set

8x8 and Uniden America Corporation introduced a fully integrated, service-ready whole house VoIP phone system.

The Packet8-enabled UIP1868 is a 5.8GHz digital expandable corded/cordless phone with built-in VoIP. The unit is expandable with up to ten handsets. It incorporates Centillium Communications' Voice Services Platform (VSP) and 8x8's Internet telephony software to provide plug-and-play access to Packet8's broadband telephone service.

Uniden's UIP1868 supports one telephone and one fax line and is compatible with Uniden's TCX800, TCX400, TCX440, CLX500 and ELT560 flip-design phone accessory cordless handsets. The unit also offers features such as call waiting, caller ID, handset speakerphone, four-way conferencing, DirectLink two-way radio capability and a do not disturb setting.

The Packet8 residential broadband phone service, introduced in November 2002, offers unlimited local and long distance calling to the U.S. and Canada for $19.95 per month and includes calling features such as voicemail, local number portability (LNP), unlimited in-network calling, directory assistance ($.75 per call), call forwarding and call blocking. For a monthly charge, Packet8 subscribers can add toll free and virtual numbers as well as E911 support. Packet8 remains the only VoIP residential telephone service to offer true, replacement E911 service which automatically routes calls and computer-based "screen pops" of caller information to emergency personnel at local Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs).

Kagoor Adds On+Off the Path Functionality to SBC

Kagoor Networks introduced a new unique session border control capability designed for Tier 1 carriers and other large VoIP service providers. The new "On+Off the Path" functionality allows them to place Kagoor's session border controllers within their chosen network design, rather than having to make material network changes to incorporate the session border controller.

In an On the Path configuration, where a carrier has converged voice and data, VoiceFlow now supports Data NAT functionality (including header NAT, source NAT, HTTP, HTTPS, TFTP and FTP support). Here, VoiceFlow processes management and data traffic from VoIP endpoints (e.g., configuration data) without the need for additional devices.

The Off the Path configuration is excellent for carriers and service providers that have an existing network in place with segregated voice traffic, and want to introduce added border control functionality and security for VoIP in a non-intrusive manner.

White Rock Acquires Seranoa for its Service Edge Concentrators

White Rock Networks, announced has acquired Seranoa Networks, a start-up based in Boxborough, Massachusetts, that supplies intelligent Service Edge concentrators. Financial terms were not disclosed. White Rock is provider of next-generation optical transport systems for metro markets.

White Rock said the acquisition substantially broadens its market coverage "since their products reduce the costs of terminating and transporting all of the data that comes into a carrier's network from beyond the fiber's edge." Seranoa's current products will become the White Rock VLX300 and VLX400 Service Edge Concentrators and will be supported by White Rock's existing customer service organization based in Richardson, Texas.
  • In May 2004, Seranoa Networks introduced a new family of Service Edge Concentrators designed to reduce the number of backhaul circuits used to deliver T1-based packet and TDM services to business subscribers over current SONET/SDH metro access networks. Seranoa's new IPeX Service Edge Concentrators are packet-aware switching platforms that could be deployed in a central office or collocation (co-lo) facility. The IPeX 200 performs IP-aware Layer 2 switching to multiplex and aggregate T1/T3-based IP/VoIP subscriber packet services onto standard clear-channel T3 (DS3) backhaul circuits. It offers 12 channelized or clear-channel T3 (DS3) interfaces, up to four of which can be configured as T3 (DS3) trunks with the remaining configured as IP subscriber interfaces. A larger IPeX 400 provides the same IP-aware Layer 2 switching benefits and also supports TDM DS0 grooming capabilities of a wideband 3/1/0 Digital Cross-Connect System (DCS) to optimize the delivery of traditional TDM services. The IPeX 400 offers 12 channelized or clear-channel T3s (DS3s) and up to two Gigabit Ethernet interfaces. It can be used to multiplex IP subscriber traffic with simultaneous grooming and aggregation of TDM voice and non-IP data onto shared backhaul links. Seranoa said this approach enables major improvements in SONET bandwidth efficiency and significantly reducing carrier backhaul costs for IP, TDM or integrated IP/TDM service delivery.

  • Seranoa was founded in 2000 and has raised $25 million in financing from St. Paul Venture Capital, YankeeTek Ventures, FA Technology Ventures and Advent International.

  • Seranoa is headed by Graham Pattison, who previously was President and CEO of Verilink Corp. The company was founded by Paul Kelley, who previously was also a founder and Vice President of Engineering of Net2Net (acquired in 1998 by Visual Networks).

AudioCodes Announces Media Gateway Platform for Carriers and Enterprises

AudioCodes introduced its Mediant 1000 VoIP Media Gateway designed for carrier and enterprise applications. The compact media gateway interfaces between TDM & IP networks in enterprises or small-scale carrier locations.

The open platform on the Mediant 1000 offers partners the option to host their own applications (e.g., IP-PBX or call center application) using a powerful, low-power processor and hard disks to provide a complete solution within the Mediant 1000 chassis. The Mediant 1000 has enhanced hardware and software capabilities to ease its installation without requiring routing modifications in the PBX. It is expected to be available for general release during the second quarter of 2005.

The Mediant 1000 is based on AudioCodes' VoIPerfect architecture, which is used in all the company's product lines, ranging from voice over packet processors to high-density media gateway platforms.

Global Crossing Announces New VoIP LDS Service

Global Crossing launched a new VoIP LDS (local digital service) offer in the U.S., enabling enterprises to extend their local presence to more than 46 major business centers across the US. The new service allows enterprises to expand their addressable markets by offering their customers local numbers through a single connection from one provider. Customers of enterprises can dial these numbers as local calls from any or all of the 46 major business centers serviced by Global Crossing. Calls are then routed across Global Crossing's private VoIP platform to any enterprise location providing a nationwide local presence.

VoIP LDS supports E911, operator and directory assistance. It also gives enterprises the flexibility of local number portability (LNP), allowing them to change service providers within a local service area without switching numbers. Global Crossing plans to expand VoIP LDS to additional markets in and beyond the U.S.

TI Selected by Vonage as its Preferred Silicon/Software Provider

Vonage has selected Texas Instruments (TI) as its preferred provider of Voice over IP (VoIP) silicon and software. This agreement between the two companies encourages VoIP equipment manufacturers to use TI's VoIP silicon and software technology when developing products for use on Vonage's broadband telephony network.

TI has been supplying solutions to the IP telephony industry since its inception and has shipped over 100 million VoIP ports to date for the IP phone, customer premise equipment (CPE) gateway, and high-density infrastructure markets.

TI Delivers Wireless Digital Baseband Processor

Texas Instruments is delivering fully functional wireless digital baseband devices from its advanced 65-nanometer (nm) CMOS process technology.

TI said the 65-nm process and techniques effectively shrink the 90-nm design area by half, leveraging strained-silicon to boost transistor performance by 40 percent, and reducing leakage power from idle transistors by a factor of 1000. TI is among the first semiconductor manufacturers to deliver working 65-nm products.

To achieve the power gains, the device uses TI's SmartReflex dynamic power management technology to automatically scale power supply voltage based on user performance demands and help control power consumption in devices like TI's OMAPVox processors. By closely monitoring circuit speed, SmartReflex can dynamically adjust voltages to meet the exact performance requirements without sacrificing overall system performance. As a result, minimum power is used for each operating frequency, extending battery life and reducing the amount of heat produced by the device.

TI applies other techniques at 65-nm to reduce the power consumed by transistors when they are idle, including the time when a mobile phone is in standby mode waiting to receive a call. These innovations include back- biasing of SRAM memory blocks and retention flip-flop circuitry that allows voltages to drop extremely low without requiring a rewrite of logic or memory content. TI said that together these advancements can deliver up to a 1000 times reduction in power leakage.

TI's 65-nm process is planned for both 200mm and 300mm production, with fully qualified production expected in late 2005.

Ditech Introduces Packet Voice Processing Platform

Ditech Communications introduced a new voice processing platform designed to enable carriers to deploy universal transcoding and toll-quality VoIP services.

Ditech's new Packet Voice Processor incorporates the company's high-density media processing subsystems. The system can be configured for up to 16 Gigabit Ethernet ports and can scale up to 50,000 transcoding and/or voice processing calls per rack in a fully redundant configuration. The Packet Voice Processor supports current VoIP standards including the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP).

The Packet Voice Processor is integrated with Ditech's VQA software, which handles voice quality impairments, such as acoustic echo and voice level imbalances, introduced in end-devices. It also incorporates Ditech's Packet Quality Assurance (PQA) technology, which reduces the effects of packet loss, delay, and jitter to dramatically improve call quality and clarity. The Packet Voice Processor also provides standards-based voice quality monitoring capabilities to screen traffic for impairments and to meet service level agreements.

Bell Labs Tests Nanograss for Electronic and Photonics

Bell Labs has launched of a new research project that aims to use nano-textured surfaces to solve the extreme thermal management challenges of advanced electronic and photonic systems. The team will be spearheaded by researchers from Bell Labs' new research laboratory in Blanchardstown, Dublin, who, in collaboration with three Irish universities and Bell Labs researchers in Murray Hill, New Jersey, will use "nanograss," a Bell Labs-engineered surface that contains billions of tiny silicon posts, to study the effectiveness of transferring heat from silicon surfaces to liquid coolants.

"Nanograss", discovered by Bell Labs researchers last year, provides a method to control the behavior of tiny drops of liquid using silicon surfaces that resemble a lawn of evenly cut grass with "blades" that are each only a few nanometers in size -- 30 times thinner than a red blood cell. Each post is covered with a non-stick, water-repellant surface material similar to Teflon, which allows fluids to move across the top of the posts without wetting the surface below. However, if a small amount of electrical current is applied, the droplets will sink down and wet the surface. Researchers at the University of Limerick will use nanograss to study the basic physics of fluid flow and heat transfer in systems across super-hydrophobic surfaces on the nano scale. (A nanometer is one billionth of a meter, roughly 100,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair.)

Bell Labs said nanograss also increases effective area of a flat silicon surface by a factor of ten, thereby increasing the opportunities to transfer heat from the silicon a liquid. Researchers at Trinity College in Dublin and researchers at the Bell Labs Centre in Ireland will conduct a fundamental study of this phenomenon.

Researchers at the Tyndall Institute of University College Cork will perform advanced modeling and optimization of microchannels, as well as research low cost fabrication processes to ensure that the result is cost-effective for use in low cost or even consumer-grade products
  • In September 2004, mPhase Technologies and Lucent's Bell Labs announced a major milestone for future commercialization of a nanotechnology-based battery. The tests confirm that it is possible to fabricate nanotech-based batteries, which can store and generate electric current. The prototype battery is based on a Bell Labs discovery that liquid droplets of electrolyte will stay in a dormant state atop microscopic structures called "nanograss" until stimulated to flow, thereby triggering a reaction producing electricity. The experiment proved that this super-hydrophobic effect of liquids can permit precise control and activation of the batteries on demand. The companies said future batteries based on this technology have the potential to deliver far longer shelf life and better storage capacity than existing battery technology. Potential initial applications for this technology may include defense, industrial, healthcare and consumer electronics. mPhase is also targeting the nanobattery for use in a technically-improved, lighter weight battery design.

Colubris Raises $15 Million for WLAN Systems

Colubris Networks, a start-up based in Waltham, Mass., secured $15 million in its third institutional round of funding for its WLAN systems.

Colubris said it now has over 1,000 customers and 60,000 WLAN devices deployed worldwide and that it holds leading market share positions in the WLAN carrier, hospitality, transportation and retail segments.

New investors DCM - Doll Capital Management and the Telecommunications Development Fund participated in the round. DCM led the oversubscribed round which also included existing investors: Prism Venture Partners, Mid-Atlantic Venture Funds and GrandBanks Capital and The Business
Development Bank of Canada. Dixon Doll, founder and managing general partner, DCM was appointed to Colubris' board of directors.

The latest funding brings the total investment in Colubris to $36 million. This investment represents a significant increase in valuation for Colubris and will be used to expand the company's global sales channels and development activities in the Enterprise WLAN market.

Coaxsys Supplies IPTV In-home Networking

Coaxsys, a start-up based in Los Gatos, California, is supplying its IPTV in-home networking solution to McDonough Telephone Cooperative of Illinois. McDonough is the first member of the Western Illinois Video
(WIV) group to achieve an in-home networking solution over existing wiring in the home.

Coaxsys TVnet leverages in-home coaxial wiring to create an IPTV-ready digital entertainment network. Because the Coaxsys system uses the existing cabling, McDonough will no longer have to engage
in costly home rewires.
  • The Coaxsys 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.