Thursday, April 14, 2005

Bivio Raises $16.5M for Gigabit Packet Handling

Bivio Networks, a start-up based in Pleasanton, California, raised $16.5 million capital in venture funding for its new line of multi-gigabit packet handling appliances. Bivio has developed an enterprise-class networking appliance that features a uniquely scalable architecture for advanced packet handling of network applications in the areas of security, VoIP, multimedia, wireless and IPv6.


Bivio's multi-gigabit architecture, which leverages off-the-shelf processors and programmable FPGAs, is specifically optimized for wire-speed execution of software-based network services. The design separates network processing (Layer 1-3) from application processing (Layers 4 and above) onto separate cards. An application processing card features parallel Motorola PowerPCs. The network processing card, which provides deep packet inspection and classification, scales to 4 Gbps in throughput. The 2U appliance can add either additional application processors or network interfaces as required. The system also scales by daisy chaining the backplane of multiple Bivio appliances.


Bivio is offering its platform on an OEM basis.


Investors in the new funding round include Goldman Sachs, InterWest Partners, Storm Ventures, and Venrock Associates. http://www.bivionetworks.com/


Kasenna Previews its Latest IPTV Server

Kasenna is showcasing its latest IPTV application suite at this week's NAB 2005 show in Las Vegas. Kasenna's "LivingRoom" IPTV includes broadcast TV, pay-per-view, video-on-demand, network PVR, and a commercial music jukebox-all from the same application server. In addition, LivingRoom v1.2 supports easy integration of more advanced services such as Internet access, e-mail, chat, interactive gaming, and traffic watch using web services APIs.


LivingRoom clients are available in easily portable, thin client, browser-based configurations as well as with Macromedia Flash. LivingRoom v1.2 also includes a scalable back-office application server for content management, channel packaging, transaction processing, billing system integration, subscriber management/provisioning integration, services management, and other key functions.


The Kasenna demonstrations use set-top boxes from Amino and Thomson, and with encryption solutions from Widevine and SecureMedia. Key partners showcasing LivingRoom 1.2 at their booths include IBM, HP, and Optibase.
http://www.kasenna.com

Altera and Gennum Develop 3 Gbps Video Interface for Coax

Altera and Gennum, a silicon company based in Burlington, Ontario, announced a serial video interface that supports a 3-Gbps signal over a coax. The solution uses Altera's Stratix GX FPGAs and Gennum's cable equalizer and driver products. This enables a multi-rate link that supports Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) protocols 259M-C (270 Mbps) and 292M (1.485 Gbps), and twice the SMPTE 292M data rate (2.970 Gbps).


"The movement in the broadcast industry toward 1080-line progressive video formats is creating demand for a 3 Gbps serial interface," said Alan Ferguson, director, video transport products at Gennum. "Copper is still the lowest cost method of transporting digital video, so the industry will be pleased to learn that 100 meters of coax is possible at 3 Gbps."


The companies will demonstrate the 3 Gbps link (two times the 292M SMPTE specification for high definition serial video) over 100 meter Belden 1694A cable at next week's National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Conference in Las Vegas.
http://www.altera.com/http://www.gennum.com/

Liberty Alliance Addresses EU Privacy Concerns

The Liberty Alliance Project, a global consortium for open federated identity standards and identity-based Web services, released "Circles of Trust: The Implications of EU Data Protection and Privacy Law for Establishing a Legal Framework for Identity Federation".


The document is a guide for a federation of organisations implementing the Liberty specifications under the rigorous requirements of European privacy law.


The Circle of Trust is a concept central to the Liberty Alliance Project. A Circle of Trust is a federation of service providers and identity providers that have business relationships based on Liberty architecture and operational agreements, and with whom users can transact business in a secure and apparently seamless environment. As federated communities create interdependencies and, consequently, the need for trust between participants, the Circle of Trust is viewed by the Liberty Alliance as an essential component of establishing a system of federated identity based on Liberty specifications.


The paper discusses such issues as: how EU privacy law treats identity and the use of identifiers; how the law applies to different entities in the federated identity ecosystem; and what rules apply to the transfer of personal data beyond the boundaries of the EU.
http://www.projectliberty.org/

Club iT and Alcatel Supply Gaming-on-Demand in Cyprus

Club iT Corporation, a subsidiary of SOFTBANK Broadmedia Corp., partnered with Alcatel to supply an on-demand gaming solution for CYTA, the incumbent telecommunications organisation in Cyprus.


Club iT's G-cluster solution is fully integrated with Alcatel's Open Media Platform (OMP) IPTV middleware suite. Customers are able to play the latest console and PC games on their set-top boxes (STBs). The games are hosted and executed in one of 6 miVision server centers. G-cluster servers stream the video and sound output to the STB. User input (jump, move left, fire, etc) is sent from the STB to the appropriate server centre. Players can use remote controls, keyboards, or USB game pads connected to the STB as input devices.


Alcatel serves as the reseller and system integrator for the DSL-enabled service.
http://www.alcatel.com
http://www.g-cluster.com

Distributel Licenses DCL's Messaging and Conferencing Technology

Distributel, a Canadian provider of competitive telecommunications services, has licensed both Data Connection's MailNGen platform for voicemail, email, fax and unified messaging and also Data Connection's MeetingServer platform for integrated audio/video/web conferencing. This gives Distributel a single source for two key services, both of which are becoming increasingly important differentiators in the hugely competitive telecommunications market.


MailNGen offers email, voicemail and fax, all through a single inbox. This allows Distributel to offer a full unified messaging service to customers, but also to offer different levels of service to different user groups. The system runs entirely on commodity hardware and using a server farm architecture that provides 99.999% availability and low-cost scalability.


MeetingServer provides a set of data and video conferencing features through an entirely web-based GUI, avoiding large downloads that are prone to failures. It is tightly integrated with the audio bridge that Distributel is using, allowing conference users to manage both the audio conference and the web conference through the same interface.


Using the Data Connection technology, Distributel is able to offer bilingual French and English versions of the GUIs and phone interfaces, as well as support both TDM and VoIP traffic. http://www.dataconnection.com

Eagle Broadband Appoints CEO

Eagle Broadband, a supplier of broadband solutions including IPTV, promoted David Micek to the posts of president and CEO, succeeding Dave Weisman. In addition, Jim Reinhartsen, who is currently a member of the company's board of directors, will succeed Dave Weisman as chairman of the board. Weisman will continue to serve as a member of the board of directors.


Micek has previously served as the company's COO. Most recently, Micek was president at Internet search company AltaVista where he led a restructuring and sale of the company's enterprise software business. Before AltaVista, he was president and CEO of wireless networking company Zeus Wireless. Micek was also president and CEO of broadband video applications company iKnowledge. Prior to iKnowledge, he was vice president and general manager at Texas Instruments.


The company is headquartered in Houston, Texas. http://www.eaglebroadband.com

Conax Provides Encryption for IPTV

Conax, a subsidiary of the broadcast operation of Norway's Telenor, introduced a product that enables operators and content providers to encrypt streamed IP television content, distribute the stream via open networks, and selectively determine the receivers who will be able to decrypt and utilize the content. Conax offers a complete video DRM enforcement solution for IPTV, addressing both the point-to-point on-demand and the multicast push content modes.
http://www.conax.com

Streaming Media Consortium Announces Downloading Spec

The Internet Streaming Media Alliance (ISMA) made publicly available the final version of its next generation specification, ISMA 2.0. The specification incorporates advanced codec technology for audio and video applications, Internet protocols for streaming and file formats for storage.


ISMA 2.0 defines a standards-based approach to developing products for the streaming multimedia market. For video, ISMA 2.0 has adopted MPEG-4 part 10, also known as ITU H.264 or AVC. AVC guarantees greater quality at various bit rates and over multiple connection types. Also adopted in ISMA 2.0 is the High Efficiency AAC audio codec, or HE AAC, which offers multi-channel support and the best quality available for very low bit rates.


The Internet Streaming Media Alliance said that, when used together, AVC and HE AAC offer endless possibilities across the digital spectrum, from IPTV to mobile devices. In addition to new codec technology, ISMA 2.0 integrates proven formats for both content delivery over IP -- utilizing RTP/RTSP -- and multimedia file storage, endorsing the industry standard MP4 file format.


ISMA member companies participated in extensive interoperability testing, known within the alliance as plug-fests, to ensure their products comply with the new specification. The alliance promotes a formal certification program, the ISMA Conformance Program, and will issue a call for participants for the next test cycle to validate compliance with ISMA 2.0.


The ISMA 2.0 specification is available for download online. http://www.isma.tv
  • Members of the Internet Streaming Media Alliance include Act, Inc., America Online, Analog Devices, Apple Computer, California State University at Fresno, Case Western Reserve University, Cisco Systems, Coding Technologies, ContentGuard, DMDsecure, Dolby Laboratories, Envivio, France Telecom, Fraunhofer Institute, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, IBM, Inka Entworks, Philips Electronics, Standby Program, Sun Microsystems, Telecom Italia, University of Washington, VBrick Systems, Widevine Technologies, and WIS Technologies.

Skype Offers Inbound PSTN Calls, Voicemail

Skype announced the public beta launch of two commercial services: inbound calls to a Skype users from the PSTN and voicemail. Separately, Skype announced an agreement with TDC Song to provide call termination services and numbering allocations for Skype premium offerings. TDC Song joins previously announced carriers, including B3G Telecom, Cable and Wireless, COLT, HGC, iBasis, Level3 and Teleglobe, in providing global termination and premium services.


SkypeIn provides customers with a regular telephone number so that they can receive inbound calls to their Skype client from ordinary fixed telephones or mobile phones. The Skype software client receives the call from any location where the user has broadband access. Users may purchase up to three numbers from their home country in Denmark, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States during the beta period. Three month SkypeIn subscriptions are available for €10 ($13) and 12 month subscriptions for €30 ($39).


Skype Voicemail enables customers to receive a voicemail message up to 10 minutes long from any user or traditional phone. Skype Voicemail customers may record their own personalized voicemail greeting, playback their messages, even while offline, and send incoming calls to voicemail if they away, offline or simply busy on another call.


Skype Voicemail subscriptions are available for €5 ($7) for 3 months or €15 ($19) for 12 months, and a free subscription is included with all SkypeIn orders.


Skype also updated several key metrics:

  • Total downloads to date have exceeded 100 million. The company now has more than 35 million registered users.


  • More than 150,000 new users are signing up per day.


  • Skype has now enabled more than 7 billion minutes of talk time


  • More than 1.2 million people are now using SkypeOut, which allows global calling to public telephone numbers for local rates



http://www.skype.com

Skype Offers Inbound PSTN Calls, Voicemail

Skype announced the public beta launch of two commercial services: inbound calls to a Skype users from the PSTN and voicemail.


SkypeIn provides customers with a regular telephone number so that they can receive inbound calls to their Skype client from ordinary fixed telephones or mobile phones. The Skype software client receives the call from any location where the user has broadband access. Users may purchase up to three numbers from their home country in Denmark, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States during the beta period. Three month SkypeIn subscriptions are available for €10 ($13) and 12 month subscriptions for €30 ($39).


Skype Voicemail enables customers to receive a voicemail message up to 10 minutes long from any user or traditional phone. Skype Voicemail customers may record their own personalized voicemail greeting, playback their messages, even while offline, and send incoming calls to voicemail if they away, offline or simply busy on another call.


Skype Voicemail subscriptions are available for €5 ($7) for 3 months or €15 ($19) for 12 months, and a free subscription is included with all SkypeIn orders.


Skype also updated several key metrics:

  • Total downloads to date have exceeded 100 million. The company now has more than 35 million registered users.


  • More than 150,000 new users are signing up per day.


  • Skype has now enabled more than 7 billion minutes of talk time


  • More than 1.2 million people are now using SkypeOut, which allows global calling to public telephone numbers for local rates



http://www.skype.com

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

France's Altitude Telecom to Offer Voice-over-WiMAX

Altitude Telecom, a fixed-wireless operator in France, has deployed Cirpack's Class-5 switches to launch telephony services over WiMAX for businesses.


Altitude, which holds a license to operate in the 3.5GHz band throughout France, has deployed 802.16d-compliant WiMAX equipment to offer wireless broadband connectivity to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as well as to large businesses. Altitude will now use Cirpack's softswitch and gateway products to leverage this wireless infrastructure for VoIP, in addition to its IP VPN and IP MPLS services. http://www.cirpack.com
http://www.altitudetelecom.com

NetCentrex Builds its Americas Market Team

NetCentrex announced three executive appointments to its North America market team.


Guillaume Widmer, who was NetCentrex' first employee when founder Olivier Hersent spun off France Telecom's VoIP R&D program in 1998, will serve as CTO for the Americas. He was one of the original developers of the NetCentrex CCS softswitch and has defined architectures for some of NetCentrex' biggest customers, including Telefonica Germany, France Telecom, NextGentel, Rostelecom, and TransTelecom.


Jodi Benassi will serve as NetCentrex's VP Sales for North America. She comes to NetCentrex after spending five years at Minerva Networks, where she was Vice President of Sales. Prior to Minerva, Jodi held the position of Western Regional Sales Manager for Sigma Designs.


Brian Mahony will serve as the company's VP of Marketing for North America. Prior to NetCentrex, Brian was Executive Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for Tundo Corporation. Other management and consulting experience includes roles at Siemens/Unisphere, Nextel, and Nortel.
http://www.netcentrex.net
  • NetCentrex is based in Paris. The company has its North America office in San Jose, California.

Vonage Signs Partnership With Campus TeleVideo

Vonage announced a partnership under which Campus TeleVideo will resell its broadband telephony service to universities nationwide. These universities include, but are not limited to: UCLA, Penn State University, University of Georgia and Rutgers University. Vonage will offer Campus TeleVideo's subscribers unlimited local and long distance calling throughout the United States and Canada for a flat rate.


Campus TeleVideo specializes in providing turnkey video and data solutions for colleges and universities seeking an alternative to the local cable operator.


http://www.vonage.com
http://www.camptv.com/

Cingular Signs its 50 Millionth Customer

Cingular announced its 50 millionth mobile customer. The company said it has added more than three million customers since its merger with AT&T Wireless in October 2004.
http://www.cingular.com

T-Com Selects Juniper/Lucent for IP Net Support

T-COM, the fixed line division of Deutsche Telekom, awarded a two-year contract, Lucent Worldwide Services (LWS) will provide a complete range of maintenance and technical support for Juniper Networks E-, M- and T-series routing platforms. LWS will provide maintenance and second and third level support for the Juniper equipment in T-Com's IP network. LWS will remotely monitor, repair and exchange components of the IP network by providing remote technical support and four-hour and next-business- day options for advanced exchange services, including software updates. Financial terms were not disclosed.


Over the past year, LWS has provided service and maintenance for T-Com's Internet access platform, including Lucent's MAX( TNT systems, which form part of the Universal Gateway product line and has connected T-Com's voice network with their IP network, as well as for several thousand network elements delivered by Lucent in T-Com's optical transport network.
http://www.lucent.com

Lucent Lands U.S. Army Network Contracts Valued At $36.3 Million

Lucent Technologies announced several contracts, totaling $36.3 million, with the U.S. Army to provide network integration and professional services for a communications infrastructure upgrades at U.S. Army bases in Georgia, Hawaii and Germany. The agreements are in support of the Army's Installation Information Infrastructure Modernization Program (I3MP), which is focused on upgrading voice and data network infrastructure at Army bases around the world.


In 2003, Lucent announced an earlier group of contracts with the Army valued at $50 million for infrastructure upgrades at Army installations in North America and Asia.
http://www.lucent.com

Verizon Signs Starz Entertainment for Premium Movie Services

Verizon signed a long-term affiliation agreement with Starz Entertainment Group enabling it to carry East and West Coast feeds of all 13 Starz Entertainment Group movie channels on Verizon FiOS TV when it launches later this year. The programming includes the flagship Starz and Encore brands, Starz On Demand and Starz HDTV. The deal is the first that Verizon has signed with a premium pay-TV provider. Financial terms were not disclosed. Verizon is also negotiating with other premium services.


Verizon will provide Starz On Demand, showcasing more than 100 movies-on-demand per month, and Starz HDTV at no additional charge for Starz subscribers.


Verizon said its FiOS TV will offer video on demand, hundreds of digital video channels, high-definition programming, music channels, an interactive programming guide and other customer-friendly features. Customers will be able to buy FiOS TV as a stand-alone service or packaged with voice and FiOS high-speed data services, which are already available in some areas.
http://www.verizon.com/http://www.starz.com/
  • In February 2005, Verizon announced a long-term agreement with TVN Entertainment for video-on-demand programming and services on its upcoming FiOS TV service. Financial terms were not disclosed. TVN will provide Verizon with a wide range of VOD programming including new studio releases, a library of previous releases, independent movies, family and kids programming, and a broad array of free on-demand and specialty VOD networks. Verizon will also use TVN's advanced services, including TVN's exclusive TVNow rapid-turnaround service that enables subscribers to order news and events, such as the presidential inauguration, within hours of their occurrence. TVN Entertainment Corporation is one of the largest privately held digital content aggregation, management, distribution, and service companies in the U.S. The company currently packages and distributes more than 2000 hours of VOD programming every month. This includes TVN-licensed movie titles, children's and Spanish language content, and genre-themed on demand channels as well as delivering Subscription-Video-On-Demand (SVOD) and network programming for many of the major cable networks.


  • In January 2005, Verizon announced plans to use the Microsoft TV platform for the commercial rollout of its FiOS TV service.

See also