Thursday, March 10, 2005

DSL Forum Targets 500 Million Lines by 2010

The worldwide installed base of DSL now tops 100 million -- representing a 60% expansion in 2004 -- according to data produced for the DSL Forum by industry analyst Point Topic. The figure stood at 96 million as of the end of 2004.

China, which has the largest DSL population, added 8.5 million DSL lines in 2004, compared to the U.S., which added 3.93 million DSL lines for the year. Meanwhile, France added 3.25 million, the U.K. added 2.8 million, Italy added 1.73 million and Germany added 1.4 million.

VDSL had at least 5 million lines in service as of the end of 2004 -- mostly in Korea, Japan and China.

The DSL Forum has set a new target of reaching 500 million DSL lines in service by 2010.

Vendors Showcase Voice Roaming between Mobile and Wi-Fi

At this week's CTIA Wireless 2005 conference in New Orleans, BridgePort Networks and its MobileIGNITE alliance are showcasing voice roaming between mobile (GSM and CDMA) and Wi-Fi networks. The demonstration shows seamless roaming of calls using a single mobile phone number identity over both live mobile and Wi-Fi networks. For example, as attendees enter an area where the Wi-Fi signal offers a clearer connection, a multi-mode phone automatically connects using low cost VoIP technology to send and receive calls.

Participants in the MobileIGNITE alliance include BridgePort Networks, Commoca, VeriSign, First Cellular, IMC and PCTEL.

Visitors to MobileIGNITE participating member booths can test MobileVoIP Live! on a Windows Mobile-based GSM and Wi-Fi Smartphone, with a unified cellular and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)-based VoIP user interface to make and receive phone calls.

Calls will be made on live mobile networks through roaming relationships provided through VeriSign (with International Mobile Communications for the GSM network and First Cellular of Southern Illinois for the CDMA network), combined with a wireless LAN network based on Airespace WLAN infrastructure.

The showcase is the result of the work of a number of BridgePort Networks' partners in its MobileIGNITE alliance program for MobileVoIP interoperability.

TriQuint Wins DARPA Contract to Develop Gallium Nitride Wideband Module

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded a multiyear contract to TriQuint Semiconductor to develop high power wide band amplifiers in gallium nitride. Gallium nitride High Electron Mobility Transistor (HEMT) devices provide the higher power density and efficiency required for high power phased array radar, electronic warfare, missile seeker and communications systems.

TriQuint said the contract is in two phases. The first phase, lasting three years and valued at $15.8 million, covers the development of gallium nitride material and devices to improve performance and reliability. The second, optional phase covers years four and five and is valued at $15.9 million. This phase will develop gallium nitride high power, wide band amplifiers and package technology for insertion into Department of Defense (DoD) systems.

TriQuint is the prime contractor and is teamed with BAE Systems, Emcore Corporation, II-VI Incorporated, Lockheed Martin and Nitronex on the program.

Verizon Makes Strides in UNE-p Deals

Verizon Communications noted progress in reaching agreements with wholesale customers for unbundled network element platforms (UNE-Ps). As of March 10, 2005, more than 20 carriers have signed up for Verizon's Wholesale Advantage commercial offering nationwide. In addition, more than 30 carriers have signed up for its interim commercial offering.

BellSouth Reaches 100 Wholesale UNE-P Deals

BellSouth has signed 100 commercial wholesale local voice platform agreements with its competitive local exchange carriers (CLEC) customers. These deals allow CLECs to lease portions of BellSouth's network at commercially negotiated rates. BellSouth said these 100 agreements cover more than 530,000 access lines served by CLECs in BellSouth's region. CLECs doing business in the BellSouth territory have approximately 2.7 million lines in service using the complete platform of unbundled network elements (UNE-P).

TelTel Tops 800,000 SIP Users

TelTel, a SIP-based global Internet telephony service with presence, has signed-up over 800,000 users for its online community, primarily by word-of-mouth. The TelTel service is described as "Instant Voice" (IV), which is Instant Messaging-like (including buddy lists), but voice-centric. It provides free calls to and from anywhere on the Internet and real-time presence information with multiple levels of privacy. For PC-to-Phone calls, if you have at least three friends in your Friends List, you can make free calls to certain phone numbers.

The TelTel network uses standards-based SIP to deliver "managed peer-to-peer" Internet Telephony versus the "best efforts" service of pure peer-to-peer Internet telephony providers, such as Skype. The encoding technology can deliver better-than-toll quality sound. TelTel also tunes the call route to reduce latency.

TelTel's SIP-based network allows any device that "speaks SIP" (including IP Phones, IP PBX and Terminal Adapter) to connect and interoperate with its users through an auto-provisioning function. The company is seeking partnerships from other telecom providers. as well as SIP-device manufacturers.
  • TelTel is headed by Sherman Tuan, who previously founded AboveNet Communications, a leading Internet Data Center service provider that was acquired by Metromedia Fiber Networks in a multi-billion dollar deal.

  • TelTel is based in Santa Clara, California.

Airspan and Yozan to Build Japan's First WiMAX Network

YOZAN, a telecom operator serving the Tokyo Metropolitan area, selected Airspan to deploy a Tokyo-wide WiMAX network. The Yozan MetroZone will deliver IP connectivity, and support Voice, Video and broadband data services. Trials will start in Q2 and commercial rollout is expected in Q4. Airspan expects to complete deliveries of the base stations by the end of March 2006. The contract is valued in excess of $12 million.

The initial network will be based on a rollout of 600 cells in central Tokyo, and it will gradually expand to provide coverage throughout the greater Tokyo Metropolitan area and surrounding eight prefectures. This project will use Airspan's software-upgradeable radio technology, which will initially support 802.16-2004 and will later be upgraded to support 802.16e. Customers on this network will use Airspan's unique Self-Installable Indoor WiMAX customer premises equipment. This CPE provides WiMAX connectivity to the Base Station and Wi-Fi coverage inside the customer premises via its integrated Wi-Fi Access Point.

Wednesday, March 9, 2005

Acme Packet Introduces Net-SAFE for Session Border Controllers

Acme Packet introduced a security requirements framework that identifies the requirements that a session border controller (SBC) must satisfy to protect the SBC itself; to protect the service infrastructure (e.g. SIP servers, softswitches, application servers, media servers or media gateways; and to protect subscriber, enterprise and service provider security including confidentiality and privacy. Acme Packet's "Net-SAFE" (Session Aware Filtering and Enforcement) spans seven functional areas, each of which is a collection of more specific requirements, including:

  • Session border controller DoS protection: Autonomic, SBC self-protection against malicious and non-malicious DoS attacks and overloads at layer 3/4 (e.g. TCP, SYN, ICMP, fragments, etc.) and L5 (e.g. SIP signaling floods, malformed messages, etc.). Mandates hardware-enforced fairness, control and throttling for signaling and media.

  • Access control: Session-aware access control for signaling and media using static and dynamic permit/deny ACLs at layer 3 and 5.

  • Topology hiding and privacy: Complete infrastructure topology hiding at all protocol layers for confidentiality and attack prevention security, as well as modification, removal or insertion of call signaling application headers and fields. Privacy support using industry-standard encryption methods such as TLS and IPSec.

  • VPN separation: Support for Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) with full inter-VPN topology hiding and separation, ability to create separate signaling and media-only VPNs, and with optional intra-VPN media hair-pinning to monitor calls within a VPN.

  • Service infrastructure DoS prevention: Per-device signaling and media overload control, with deep packet inspection and call rate control to prevent DoS attacks from reaching service infrastructure such as SIP servers, softswitches, application servers, media servers or media gateways.

  • Fraud prevention: Session-based authentication, authorization, and contract enforcement for signaling and media; and service theft protection.

  • Monitoring and reporting: Audit trails, event logs, access violation logs and traps, management access command recording, Call Detail Records (CDRs) with media performance monitoring, raw packet capture ability and lawful intercept capability.

In addition, Acme Packet announced three new enhanced security features - enhanced SBC DoS self-protection against signaling attacks, a hardware acceleration module for TLS and IPSec, and SIP privacy support - to the existing set of Net-SAFE features in Acme Packet's Net-Net products.

  • The new DoS attack protection feature defends the signaling processor in the Net-Net product family by dynamically performing classification, policing, shaping and discarding based on session events, using them to build trust or detect attackers.

  • The new hardware encryption module enables the session border controller to perform hardware-accelerated encryption and authentication for each signaling session on the public network, while translating the signaling to use a lower-overhead, more efficient transport protocol such as UDP (User Datagram Protocol) on the service provider's private network. Consequently, the session border controller can offload the per-session encryption and authentication processing burden from the service provider's internal signaling equipment.

  • The SIP privacy enhancement, supporting RFCs 3323 and 3325, provides anonymity to the caller identity information in SIP signaling messages on a per-user or per-call basis as instructed by the service provider's SIP infrastructure. This enables service providers to provide a caller privacy service for their subscribers concerned about identity theft, spyware monitoring, and eavesdropping by unknown entities.

Telution Names VP of Product Management Team

Telution, a supplier of order management software applications for the delivery of complex IP-based services, named Andy Fruhling as Vice President of Product Management. Fruhling most recently served at CoManage Corporation, where he built a product management foundation based on repeatable release processes that promoted effectiveness and accountability across the company. Prior to leading product management efforts for CoManage, Fruhling was instrumental in building MetaSolv Software's initial product management organization and the MetaSolv Order Management product line.

Acterna Adds Handheld FTTx/PON, Optical Loss Testers

Acterna announced two new SMART optical handhelds: the OLP-57 SMART FTTX/PON selective power meter and the OLT-55 SMART optical loss test set.

The OLP-57 SMART FTTX/PON selective power meter is a high-performance power meter for testing, installing and maintaining FTTx/PON systems. It provides simultaneous measurement at all three wavelengths on the fiber (1490 nm and 1550 downstream and 1310 nm upstream). The 1310 nm channel provides correct power measurements of burst-type upstream PON signals. The OLP-57 also allows user-adjusted thresholds for easy pass/fail analysis.

The OLT-55 SMART optical loss test set is a universal instrument with a two or three wavelength laser source in combination with a power meter that can be used for singlemode fibers and systems in the lab, manufacturing (USB interface), installation, maintenance and troubleshooting. It offers a built-in auto-zeroing function, providing accuracy even for very low power levels or high loss measurements . In addition, the OLT-55 can be used as a power meter or laser source with all features of the corresponding OLS-55 and OLP-55 handheld testers.

Acterna said there are more than 70,000 previous-generation units from its optical handhelds portfolio currently in the field.

Ixia's IxChariot Adds Enhanced Wireless & Security Testing

Ixia released a new version of its IxChariot test platform featuring a new way to measure the scalability and functional compliance of thousands of traffic policies deployed in a typical network. The IxChariot 6.0 release also provides a unique way to correlate the quality and roaming performance of a wireless link with network application performance and VoIP Mean Opinion Score (MOS) test results.

With this release, IxChariot users are now able to freely associate TCP, UDP and RTP payloads with any test script using IxChariot's new "script-embedded payloads" feature. Ixia said use of the new script-embedded payloads provides far greater flexibility and realism in testing the ability of content-aware network devices to enforce policies that rely on deep packet inspection. These correlations are especially important because "intelligent" networking devices, such as firewalls or traffic shapers, make traffic forwarding decisions based on deep packet (payload) inspection, and these devices are becoming standard network components.

The IxChariot 6.0 release, in support of its large WLAN testing user community, now includes integrated metrics for key 802.11 parameters, such as the Received Signal Strength Index (RSSI) indicator and the ability to correlate the Basic Service Set Identifier (BSSID) used in wireless LAN networks with the wide range of enterprise, Internet, and VoIP traffic types. The new 802.11 measurements in IxChariot 6.0 make it possible for users to determine the critical roaming performance of a WLAN switch or Access Point infrastructure while the test station running a standard Windows or WinCE Performance Endpoint is emulating latency and packet-loss sensitive applications, such as VoIP, multicast, and streaming video, with or without Quality of Service policies applied.

Other key new features in this release of IxChariot are:

  • Extended peer-to-peer (P2P) script library, including popular eDonkey and Bittorrent client applications

  • New payload script library, including revised HTTP, PoP3, SMTP, and FTP scripts that maintain Layer 7 payloads and default destination port numbers

  • MAC 10.3 Performance Endpoint for 32-Bit systems (G4)

NetCologne Chooses Marconi's Access Hub

NetCologne, one of the most successful German city-carriers, selected Marconi's Access Hub, a Multi Service Access Node (MSAN), to collapse layers in its access network. This will allow NetCologne to make a seamless transition to an IP-based network. The Marconi Access Hub will serve both residential and business customers. Initially, the company will offer telephone and broadband services for residential customers and the latest G.SHDSL (Single-pair High Speed Digital Subscriber Line) services for business customers.

Planned services will also include VDSL and optical Ethernet. As customers bandwidth requirements increase further, fiber-based solutions such as Fibre to the Curb and Fibre to the Home can also be offered by integrating PON technology into the Access Hub.

Germany's EWE TEL selects Alcatel Softswitches

EWE TEL GmbH, a regional telecommunications provider in Germany has selected Alcatel's softswitches and media gateways. EWE TEL will start the migration of the existing infrastructure to an IP-based next-generation network (NGN) in the German states of Lower Saxony, Bremen, and Brandenburg, setting a course for growth.

The main components of the solution Alcatel is providing to EWE TEL are the Alcatel 5020 Softswitch and Alcatel 7510 Media Gateways, which provide the link between voice and data. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Arcor Replaces IN with Alcatel OSP

Arcor, the second largest fixed-line telecommunications provider in Germany, will replace its existing IN (Intelligent Network) platform with Alcatel's next generation service delivery platform. The contract covers the deployment of the Alcatel 8690 Open Services Platform (OSP) with the 8690 External Statistic Server to support current IN services and future service introductions. The platform is part of Alcatel's Open Path to Enhanced Networking (OPEN) portfolio.

The new IN platform will enable Arcor to launch a set of new and attractive service packages for both the consumer and SME markets including products such as multimedia or pre-paid services. Arcor provides residential customers with voice services and Internet access via DSL. Arcor offers its business customers a broad range of voice and data services such as teleconferencing, flexible bandwidth for Internet access, e-mail services and VPNs. In addition, Arcor has plans to provide residential customers with triple-play services and SME's with a full range of managed communications services in the future.

T-Mobile to Offer Hotspots on German Trains

T-Mobile has signed an agreement with German railway company Deutsche Bahn to develop and provide WLAN Internet access on high-speed trains. The project will go into a pilot phase on select ICE trains on the busy Cologne-Dortmund track in western Germany this fall and is expected to be gradually expanded to other routes in 2006.

The project faces numerous technical challenges due to Germany's often rugged and mountainous terrain and the many tunnels along some of the country's busiest railroad routes. T-Mobile, working with T-Systems, Intel and Cisco, will use Wi-Fi on the trains themselves, UMTS for access and repeaters in tunnels.

As part of the agreement with Deutsche Bahn, T-Mobile will also turn 20 of Germany's biggest train stations into Hotspots by this summer.

Nokia Demonstrates IMS over CDMA 2000 Network

Nokia has demonstrated live IP multimedia applications based on its 3GPP2/3GPP-compliant IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) over a commercial CDMA 2000 network. Nokia has previously demonstrated IMS capabilities over GSM.

IMS is the element of a wireless carrier's core network infrastructure that enables mobile and fixed devices to interact using IP sessions.

Using the commercially available Nokia IP Multimedia Subsystem, Nokia demonstrated peer-to-peer gaming with simultaneous instant messaging, and file sharing. The demonstration included interoperability between GSM/GPRS terminals and CDMA terminals, as well as with CDMA 1xEV-DO Release 0-capable laptop computers.

Sprint Offers Wireless Data SLA

Sprint is launching nationwide wireless data Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for its mobile business customers. The SLAs provide performance metrics based on dropped data sessions, blocked data sessions and data network availability.

Sprint said the new SLAs -- in conjunction with previously announced wireless voice SLAs -- are a key component of its strategy "to erase the artificial barriers between wireless and wireline solutions and encourage greater wireless data usage among business customers."

Vodafone and Toshiba Announce 3G Partnership

Vodafone and Toshiba announced a strategic partnership to market a range of exclusive 3G handsets in Europe, Australia, Japan and New Zealand. Key features of the Vodafone TS 921 include:

  • 1.92 Megapixel camera, with auto focus

  • 2.4 inch display

  • Triband 900, 1800, 1900

  • Video output

  • High-quality Mpeg4 format

  • SDTM expandable memory card

  • 360 hrs standby

  • 320 min talktime

Samsung Offers 3GB HDD Smartphone

Samsung Electronics introduced a 3GB HDD embedded music smartphone based on Microsoft Windows Mobile OS. The unit is capable of storing up to 1,000 music files (with MP3 / WMA / AAC / AAC+ / OGG Player) and features scroll-wheel navigation. It also offers a 1.3 megapixel camera, Video Recording (MPEG4) & Messaging, an email client and external memory (TransFlash).

Nantero Raises $15 Million for Carbon Nanotube Memory

Nantero, a start-up based in Woburn, Massachusetts. Raised $15.5 million for its work in developing carbon nanotubes for next-generation semiconductor devices. Nantero's main focus is the development of "NRAM" -- a high-density nonvolatile random access storage device. Nantero believes the technology will replace all existing forms of storage, such as DRAM, SRAM and flash memory, with a high-density nonvolatile RAM -- 'universal memory.' NRAM could enable instant-on computers and might replace the memory in devices such as cell phones, MP3 players, digital cameras, and PDAs, as well as applications in the networking arena.

This past year Nantero has teamed with LSI Logic to develop semiconductor process technology which will expedite the effective utilization of carbon nanotubes in CMOS fabrication, and has also joined with BAE Systems to evaluate the potential to develop carbon nanotube-based electronic devices for use in advanced defense and aerospace systems. Brewer Science also entered into an agreement with Nantero to commercialize CMOS-grade carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to be used in semiconductor fabs by Brewer Science customers.

The new funding round was led by Globespan Capital Partners and joined by returning existing institutional investors including Charles River Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Stata Venture Partners, and Harris & Harris Group.