Sunday, April 17, 2005

VeriWave Offers VoIP Over WLAN Test Solution

VeriWave, a start-up based in Portland, Oregon, introduced a VoIP over WLAN Analysis Test Suite. It analyzes traffic prioritization, evaluates the network behavior in the presence of non-voice traffic, and measures overall call quality when users roam between Wireless LAN Access Points.

The test suite utilizes the VeriWave WaveTest Traffic Generator/Performance Analyzer to capture all traffic on the wireless LAN medium. WaveTest automatically calculates a wide variety of performance metrics characterizing the network behavior with the most important metric being the R-Value scores for each voice call, as well as for the aggregate of all calls. R-Value scores are the VoIP equivalent of the MOS scores used to characterize voice call quality in traditional telephony networks.

Converged Access Develops a Layer 7 CPE Device

Converged Access, which was formed in May 2004 by a management buyout of traffic management expert Sitara Networks, introduced its Layer 7, application-aware CPE access device designed for delivering precise network metrics to each application according to customer-defined policies.

The Converged Access Point (CAP) combines traffic management technology with IP routing, Ethernet switching, business-class security, wireless and wired access, and voice interfaces.

The company said alternative solutions, such as stand-alone routers, DSL modems and IADs, lack several critical traffic management technologies, including Layer 7 support, packet size control, TCP rate shaping, class-based queuing, bandwidth borrowing, and ToS marking that are necessary to protect voice traffic. These existing solutions can't control individual IP flows and therefore, can't guarantee toll-quality voice.

The CAP leverages Converged Access' QoSWorks patented traffic management technology and proprietary algorithms to provide identification and control of all individual traffic flows across the access network. The initial version of the CAP provides a 10 Mbps WAN interface; a four port 10/100 Ethernet switch; a firewall with IPSec VPN support; support for up to 50 SIP calls on a T1 and a four-port analog gateway, , fax support and integral SIP/H323/MGCP voice gateway.

Pricing starts at $850.

Adelphia Taps Motorola CMTS for Voice Services

Adelphia Communications, the fifth-largest cable television company in the US, the Motorola Broadband Services Router (BSR) family of products for deployment of advanced data services. Specifically, Adelphia selected Motorola BSR 64000 platform because of its Advanced Spectrum Management capabilities, which allow cable operators to monitor and automatically correct for Radio Frequency (RF) impairments on the Hybrid Fiber Coaxial (HFC) access network. Advanced Spectrum Management allows operators to improve the performance of legacy modems while concurrently deploying DOCSIS 2.0 modems. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Verizon Launches iobi Enterprise

Verizon began offering its "iobi Enterprise" service to large business and government customers. The software tool links Verizon's voice and messaging services, providing a "real-time remote control of phone traffic, messaging alerts and services." With iobi Enterprise, employees who are away from the office can see online who's calling their office phone before the phone rings, and then take the call, by forwarding it from their office phone to their cell phone or another convenient phone, as it rings. Iobi Enterprise can be accessed in three ways -- PC client, Web browser and voice portal. Iobi's call management, unified messaging, personal information management and productivity tools also enable users to hear voicemails via the Web.

Verizon Signs NBC Universal Cable for FiOS TV

Verizon SIGNED a long-term agreement with NBC Universal Cable for distribution of its cable and broadcast networks on Verizon FiOS TV. Two of the networks, Telemundo and mun2, will be part of the extensive lineup of Spanish- language programming available to FiOS TV subscribers.

The agreement includes rights to distribute Bravo, CNBC, CNBC World, MSNBC, SCI FI Channel, Trio, USA, ShopNBC, Telemundo, including Telemundo's locally owned broadcast stations, and mun2, a channel aimed at young U.S. Latinos. Also included are retransmission consent rights to NBC Universal's owned and operated broadcast stations and Universal HD, a service that features high-definition films, TV shows, performing arts, sports and special events.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
  • Verizon has recently announced long-term affiliation agreements with Starz Entertainment Group and TVN Entertainment for its upcoming FiOS TV service. The Starz programming includes the flagship Starz and Encore brands, Starz On Demand and Starz HDTV. 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.

UTStarcom Announces $20M PAS Contracts with China Netcom

UTStarcom announced that it has signed infrastructure contracts valued at approximately $20 million with China Netcom Group (CNC) to expand the operator's existing IP-based PAS (Personal Access System) (iPAS) networks in the Henan and Liaoning provinces, as well as in metropolitan Beijing and Tianjin.

UTStarcom Announces $50 Million In Contracts with China Telecom

UTStarcom announced that it has signed infrastructure contracts valued at approximately $50 million with China Telecom Corporation (CTC). These contracts will expand the operator's existing IP-based PAS (Personal Access System) (iPAS) networks in the Shanxi, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Guangdong provinces in eastern China, as well as in metropolitan Shanghai.

According to statistics from China's Ministry of Information Industry (MII), approximately two million people have subscribed for PAS service each month in the first quarter of 2005. Total PAS subscribers in China reached 72 million by the end of March, with more than 40 million subscribers on networks powered by UTStarcom technology. UTStarcom continues to maintain greater than a 50% market share for both PAS handsets and infrastructure in China.

XO Announces Nationwide VoIP

XO announced the nationwide rollout of XOptions Flex VoIP bundle for businesses. XOptions Flex is now available in 45 major metropolitan markets, which includes more than 1,000 cities nationwide. XOptions Flex is an integrated VoIP services that combines unlimited local and long distance calling, dedicated Internet access and web hosting services for a flat monthly price.

XOptions Flex includes more than twenty standard voice features for each phone line including call forward, three-way calling, and voice mail.

Sun Launches Blueprint for Broadcasting Digital Television

Sun Microsystems launched a complete update of its Digital Asset Management Reference Architecture for delivering digital television content. The new Digital Asset Management Reference Architecture Version 2.0 introduced by Sun is designed for managing video and rich media content, including HD and SD video, photos, audio, and Flash animation.

Sun's new enhancements include VITA, an open Java technology application that accommodates a large number of standards-based ingest (digital conversion) tools. Other enhancements include more media file type support such as MXF and DV, as well as contract rights management to track licensing and distribution parameters for program materials. The Reference Architecture expands video server integration with leading broadcast video server vendors including Thompson Grass Valley and Omneon. The Reference Architecture also integrates the latest features of broadcast automation and traffic systems by industry leaders Harris Corporation and Myers Protrack.

Recent deployments of Sun's Digital Asset Management Reference Architecture Version 2.0 by large media organizations include Major League Baseball Advanced Media, which is transforming the way baseball video and audio are managed and delivered to large audiences via a website.

The MLBAM Digital Asset Management Reference Architecture System customized and powered by Sun, streamed 650 million videos and delivered more than one billion media accesses to more than one billion visitors in 2004 alone. The site recently broke records with 90 million page views in a single day. With the new enhancements from this Reference Architecture, expects to feature as many as 15 live games daily and more than 6,000 audio-streamed games during the 2005 season.

NAB Keynote: Verizon's Seidenberg Promotes IPTV

"FiOS will change the competitive landscape in the video marketplace, both now and in the future. From Day One, we'll offer a new technology, a new business model and a new customer experience," said Ivan Seidenberg, the chairman and CEO of Verizon, speaking at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference in Las Vegas. So far, Verizon has deployed its fiber-to-the-premises network in more than 100 communities across its service territory, and it plans to reach a total of 3 million homes by the end of this year.

Seidenberg is convinced that consumers will prefer the flexibility and integrated lifestyle enabled by IPTV. He said Verizon would offer more local content than cable or satellite. It will also provide upstream speeds will give customers multimedia and interactive capabilities such as sharing family videos, video on demand, 3-D gaming and setting camera angles for sporting events. FiOS TV will also offer HDTV and DVR (digital video recorder) functionality on multiple TV sets. Seidenberg said he is committed to protect intellectual property in a digital universe, specifically that Verizon will help broadcasters address retransmission issues in ways that expand the market for both the company and the broadcasters.

Seidenberg also said that Verizon is committed to partnering with broadcasters on the policy issues related to Verizon's entry into video. Citing the requirement that Verizon obtain a franchise from local authorities to provide cable service, Seidenberg noted that, as a local telephone company, Verizon has always had a franchise to deploy and operate its networks. Now, he said, the company is being asked to obtain a second franchise to use these networks to compete in video.

While continuing to negotiate local franchises, he said, Verizon is seeking statewide solutions in some jurisdictions as well as a federal solution to this issue.

"We ask you to lend your persuasive voice in support of clearing away this barrier to video competition and speeding the day when America's communications companies can use our fantastic resources to offer your content and provide a true and compelling alternative to cable," he told the broadcasters.

BeVocal Raises $10 Million for Hosted Call Automation

BeVocal, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, closed an oversubscribed $10 million funding round for its hosted call automation solutions for enterprises and service providers. BeVocal provides hosted self-service voice application solutions than answer, automate and route customer care calls. BeVocal also provides a carrier grade application hosting environment, and tools for clients and partners to build their own voice applications using BeVocal Cafe, the industry's top VoiceXML development environment.

The round is being led by ArrowPath Venture Partners, with participation by previous investors Mayfield, Technology Crossover Ventures, and US Venture Partners.

BeVocal also announced the appointment of John Mahlmeister as Vice President of Sales and Client Development. Most recently, Mahlmeister served as VP of Business Development at Securify, an enterprise software company focused on providing network security solutions.

Telefonica Brasil Selects Lucent for DSL

Telefonica Brasil awarded a contract valued at R$26 million (approximately US$10 million) to Lucent Technologies to expand its ADSL access network in the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Lucent Worldwide Services will deploy IP and ATM access to 180,000 lines for Telefonica. With this project Lucent increases its share of broadband access concentrators in the Telefonica network to reach a total of 400,000 ADSL ports.

Lucent will also supply a new customized solution to deliver broadband access to remote areas, consisting of rugged outside cabinets and the mini-DSLAM Stinger. This jointly developed solution will enable Telefonica to expand its network capabilities while leveraging its existing investment in its network.

Conexant and TANDBERG Offer MPEG-4 Interoperability

Conexant Systems and TANDBERG Television successfully completed MPEG-4 advanced video coding (AVC)/H.264 interoperability tests. The joint tests verified interoperability between Conexant's CX2418X family of decoder integrated circuits and the TANDBERG EN5990 MPEG-4 AVC high-definition (HD) real-time broadcast encoder.

"In order to truly deliver on its promises, MPEG-4 AVC needs to go beyond the codec and encoding box and be readily available in end-to-end systems that enable broadcasters and operators to rollout next-generation networks," said Matthew Goldman, vice president of Technology, Compression Systems, TANDBERG Television Inc.

TANDBERG Television is demonstrating the EN5990 broadcast encoder with Conexant's HDTV AVC reference decoder systems at the National Association of Broadcasters trade show this week in Las Vegas.

Sonus Warns on Preliminary Q1 Results

Sonus Networks expects to report revenue for the first quarter ended March 31, 2005 of between $30 million to $34 million. Based on revenue in this range, the company expects to report a net loss. The company ended the first quarter with approximately $311 million in cash, cash equivalents, long-term investments, and marketable securities. These results are estimates, as the company does not anticipate completing its quarterly review process until early May.

"We are disappointed that our revenue is lower than anticipated. The revenue shortfall is due to schedule delays for the conversion of certain shipments to revenue and the late renewals of several annual maintenance contracts," said Hassan Ahmed, chairman and CEO, Sonus Networks. "While we expect to recognize revenue below our previous outlook, our business continues to be strong with robust order activity in the quarter that is expected to result in an order to revenue ratio that is modestly below 2. This follows our record order activity in Q4."

UNH-IOL Launches VoWLAN Testing

The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) has opened an industry reference test bed for voice over wireless (VoWLAN) testing.

Building upon ongoing Wi-Fi testing and recent work in "triple play" (wireless voice, video and data), the UNH-IOL is combining a newly written VoWLAN test suite with its already extensive wireless test bed. The UNH-IOL test bed, comprising 138 wireless access points (APs) from 35 manufacturers, includes several shielded RF testing environments, open-air testing, Azimuth Systems' W-Series 802.11 test platform and Veriwave WT1210 traffic generation and analysis. Additional resources include a walk-in radio frequency (RF) chamber and a battery of high-end call and signal generators and voice quality analyzers from leading manufacturers including Agilent, Empirix, Ixia, Navtel and Spirent.

ADC Increases Financial Guidance, 1-for-7 Reverse Stock Split

ADC said it now expects to have sales from continuing operations of around $292-$297 million and GAAP earnings per share from continuing operations of around $0.03, which includes $2 million of restructuring charges and $3 million of acquired intangibles amortization. This compares to previous guidance on February 28, 2005 for the quarter of sales from continuing operations around $260-$270 million and GAAP earnings per share from continuing operations of around $0.02.

ADC also provided guidance for its third fiscal quarter ending July 29, 2005 in which it expects sales from continuing operations to be around $300-$310 million and split-adjusted GAAP earnings per share from continuing operations of around $0.21-$0.24 and adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations of around $0.23-$0.26.

ADC also announced that its Board of Directors approved a one-for-seven (1:7) reverse split of its common stock.

Cisco Debuts XR 12000 Series Routers

Cisco Systems introduced its new Cisco XR 12000 Series router, featuring secure virtualization, continuous system operation, and multiservice scalability. The Cisco XR 12000, which is powered by the same Cisco IOS XR software as the full-size Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing System, scales from 2.5 Gbps to nX 10 Gbps per slot.

The Cisco XR 12000 leverages a Service Separation Architecture (SSA) to isolate public and private services through the secure virtualization of a single router into separate physical and logical routing domains. The Service Separation Architecture allows service providers to consolidate multiple networks and services onto a single, "virtualized" platform while keeping each network and service instance separate and secure. This includes the complete physical separation of network and system resources between each logical routing instance on the Cisco XR 12000. Traffic flows and management-and control-plane functions are isolated on a per-routing instance.

The Cisco XR 12000 platform leverages distributed processing intelligence to scale services like FR/ATM, L2/L3 VPNs. Cisco's new Interface Flexibility (I-Flex) design for Shared Port Adapters (SPAs) and SPA Interface Processors (SIPs) supports a wide range of interface options for the Cisco XR 12000 Series.

The Cisco XR 12000 Series is expected to be available in June 2005. The base configuration for the Cisco XR 12000 starts at a list price of $45,500. Upgrade options for the Cisco 12000 routers start at a list price of $12,500. Four models are available.

Service providers currently evaluating the platform include BellSouth, the China Education and Research Network (CERNET), KDDI Labs, Germany's national research and education network (Deutsches Forschungsnetz), and New York's NYSERNet.

Cisco 7604 Series Routers Positioned for Smaller POPs

Cisco Systems unveiled a number of enhancements positioning its Cisco 7600 Series routers for deployment in "triple play" networks. The rollout includes a new Cisco 7604 router, available as a 4-slot, 5-rack unit high modular chassis, that enables service providers to deploy L2/L3 VPN and triple play services in small points-of-presence (POPs) and internet gateways, or for enterprises requiring wide area network aggregation at the edge of the network. The small form factor router accommodates line cards from DS0 to OC-48 as well as 10/100/1000 Ethernet.

New IOS enhancements provide key upgrades to the Cisco 7600 Series routers such as hierarchical QoS, enhanced capabilities for prioritizing IP traffic, and dynamic multipoint Virtual Private Network (VPN) security capabilities. The base configuration -- which includes the chassis, the supervisor engine, and the power supply -- will be list priced starting at $34,000.

See also