Tuesday, May 31, 2005

SBC Launches $14.95 DSL Promotion

SBC Communications launched a limited promotion offering DSL (384Kbps - 1.5 Mbps) for $14.95 a month (other charges apply) with a 12-month term for new residential subscribers who order online. The SBC Yahoo! DSL Pro (1.5Mbps - 3.0Mbps) service is available for $24.99 a month for 12 months if they order online (other monthly charges apply).

The move is expected to lead to further price cuts across the U.S. broadband market.http://promo.yahoo.com/sbc/

Marconi Debuts Service Router

Marconi introduced a new routing platform designed to help service providers deliver high value, low touch IP services such as virtual private networks (VPNs) based on network virtualization capabilities.

Marconi said the service provider market is being driven by the same virtualization trends seen in data centers, where storage and other resources are virtualized. Carrier networks need to evolve into commodity cores with differentiated edges.

The new Marconi Service Router, which is available as a 16-slot mid-plane chassis, uses Dynamic Services Blades to provide its virtual router capabilities. The platform supports up to 8,000 virtual router instances and up to 5,000,000 BGP routes, with all CPU, packet processing, and memory resources managed dynamically in software. Each virtual router has a unique processing context and distinct memory allocation. Virtual router route tables can be set for maximum routes. No sharing of routes or topology is possible, and BGP or MPLS is not required. Each virtual router can be remotely enabled and disabled. Each virtual router can be rate limited and CPU constrained, and one VPN cannot interfere with another VPN.

Significantly, the platform uses Linux and open APIs that allow new application development by Marconi, ISVs and/or end customers. Key hardware features of the platform include:

  • a 80 Gbps switch fabric, which will be upgradeable to 320 Gbps

  • 60 Gbps I/O bandwidth

  • Front-loaded route control processing and packet service engines

  • Up to three chassis per 7-ft rack

  • NEBS Level 3 ready, CE Mark

  • Common Criteria Level 3

  • Hot-swap capability

  • Redundant A and B power feeds

  • AC Chassis

The platform is currently being deployed by Dalton Utilities, which provides a wide range of fiber-based telecommunications services to business and residential customers in and around Dalton, Georgia.

Deployments for the Marconi Service Router are also expected to include the federal market, where the company supplies its other high-end routing platforms.

Marconi said the new platform would complement the routing products offered through its alliance with Huawei.

SBC Sees DSL as Foundation for Next Gen Services

"Broadband is much more than just another add-on service... broadband is the foundation for the newxt generation of wireline services," said Rick Lindner, CFO of SBC Communications, speaking at the Lehman Brothers conference in New York. "That's why we/ve made broadband a high priority and why you can expect us to remain aggressive with DSL. Speaking to investors, Lindner outlined a roadmap for SBC based on five strategic initiatives: broadband, wireless, service integration, business markets, and cost savings.

In broadband, SBC added more than 504,000 DSL lines in Q1, ahead of its industry peers, giving the company more than 5.6 million broadband customers. Lindner said SBC is now winning more than 50% of new broadband customers in its territory. He noted that penetration has increased from 13% a year ago to 20% overall. In California and Nevada, consumer penetration is now at 25%. Lindner also said the alliance with Yahoo! has been a plus. One third of new DSL customers are also buying a home networking solution from SBC. Meanwhile DSL churn rate is down over the last year. DSL is also the stickiest product in the SBC consumer service portfolio.

Project Lightspeed lab testing is "progressing very well," said Lindner. In its trials, SBC has seen seen data rates of up to 25 Mbps over 4,000 ft. of copper, which he considers to be very good considering that most Project Lightspeed end customers are expected to be at under 3,000 ft. Lindner is also optimistic that the new "U-Verse" brnaded services enabled by Project Lightspeed will be warmly received by consumers as well as regulatory policy makers.

Regarding the recent regulatory fight in Texas, Lindner expressed disappointment that the IPTV bill it support did not come up for a vote before the legistative session ended because SBC believes the bill would have passed. Even so, SBC will not change its Project Lightspeed plans. Lindner contends that Project Lightspeed does not fall under traditional broadcast television regulation because it will use an advanced two-way network.

In wireless, the new Cingular has tremendous scale, extensive spectrum, and is preparing to launch 3G UMTS with HSDPA in its first 15 major markets by the end of this year. Other markets will be added in 2006. Cingular's migration to GSM is going well, said Lindner, with 84% of minutes now riding the GSM network.

As for integrated services, SBC has been very successful with its consumer bundles to date. The new challenge, said Lindner, is to transition from product bundles to integrated networks. Architectures such as IMS will improve interoperability across wireless and wireline networks. Lindner believes this integration will be an important key for differentiation for SBC.

In enterprise services, SBC is looking to its pending acquisition of AT&T to significantly boost its industry presence. The AT&T acquisition will add a global network and strength in enterprise services, especially IP VPNs for large companies.

A final opportunite for SBC is to reduce its overall cost structure. To this end, SBC is enhancing its online capabilities and streamlining and standardizing all its operating procedures across all its services. The new announced $14.95 DSL promotion is an example of a new offering that is available only online and for self-install customers.

Net Insight Introduces Video-Centric SONET/SDH Platform

Net Insight introduced its Nimbra 600 series of next generation multi-service switches, offering up to 1 terabit per second switching capacity per rack. The Nimbra 600 series utilizes next generation SDH/SONET and Net Insight's switching architecture to provide guaranteed video transport over fiber for triple-play and professional broadcast media networks. The Nimbra 600 series also provides lower-order granularity for all services including Ethernet.

In a triple play network, the Nimbra 600 could be use to transport video from a head-end facility or a video server farm to neighborhood DSLAMs or ONTs. In a media network, it could be used to switch video traffic from a central site to fiber-connected affiliates.

The Nimbra 600 series presently consists of two multi-service switches:

  • Nimbra 680 -- an 80 Gbps multi-service switch for metro core, triple play, and high-capacity professional media networks.

  • Nimbra 688 -- Twice the access and switch capacity e.g. for replacement of multiple legacy platforms in metro and core PoPs.

An automatic optical control plane enables both unicast and multicast services to be provisioned in a one step process, as well as easy network expansion. The internal non-hierarchical switch plane with 0.5 Mbps granularity can be extended across the network via SDH/SONET interfaces to achieve 95+% network utilization and maximum flexibility. The Nimbra 600 series also provides full carrier class features including full redundancy for switch planes, power supply, node controllers, and control paths.

SureWest Offers 20 Mbps Residential Access in Sacramento

SureWest Communications will begin offering a residential Internet connection of up to 20 Mbps in selected areas of the Sacramento, California market. The service is delivered over the company's FTTP network. The new 20 Mbps service will be added to SureWest's lineup that already includes a 10 Mbps residential Internet connection. When combined with a home telephone or television package, the 10 Mbps service is $49.95 a month and the 20 Mbps service is $89.95 a month. Both the 10 and 20 Mbps services are "synchronous," which means that users will get 10 or 20 Mbps upstream as well as downstream.

Canada's Bell Mobility Selects Nortel for 1xEV-DO

Bell Mobility, Canada's leading wireless carrier, awarded a contract valued at an estimated US$126 million (C$160 million) to Nortel for upgrades to its wireless network. This represents the first commercial deployment in Canada of a next generation wireless data network using EV-DO technology, Bell Mobility customers will be able to download data on their mobile devices at speeds up to 2.4 megabits per second with average speeds of 300-500 kbps.

Nortel will provide CDMA2000 1X radio base stations, base station controllers, switching platforms and other related equipment. Nortel will also supply Bell Mobility with CDMA2000 1xEV-DO equipment for initial deployment in Toronto and Montreal.

Nortel said its currently supplies EV-DO equipment to 12 of the 19 operators across the globe who are offering commercial EV-DO service.

Nortel/BT Selected for UK Ministry of Defence Net

Nortel announced a US $42 million deal with BT to provide a new and secure mission-critical network for the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) and British Armed Forces. This network is based on Nortel's Multiservice Switching and Carrier VoIP solutions that will deliver a secure and resilient wide area network and save the UK MOD approximately £15 million per year.

Additionally, Nortel and BT have jointly developed a dedicated testing facility lab for the MOD network. The testing done in this lab will help ensure the smooth migration of new and current services and applications across the new multiservice network.

Motorola Debuts DOCSIS 2.0 CMTS

Motorola introduced a fully-featured DOCSIS 2.0 cable modem termination system (CMTS) with a compact design that enables cable broadband operators to extend services into new and emerging market venues.

Motorola's new Broadband Services Router 2000 (BSR 2000) is a 1 rack unit (1U) unit that can be deployed as a stand-alone device, or in small clusters that support small or medium sized distribution hubs, multiple dwelling unit (MDU) facilities, or hospitality locations. The product supports Motorola RFSentry functionality, which enables advanced management of spectrum though an extra receiver port. It also offers QoS features to support services such as VoIP, virtual private networks (VPN) and multimedia services. The product also includes support for wireless broadband applications.

Other features include:

  • Based on DOCSIS 2.0 and EURDOCSIS 2.0 standards, including A-TDMA and S-CDMA with logical channels, and provides up to three times the upstream bandwidth for increased delivery of high-speed commercial services

  • Architected for system redundancy and allow operators to increase overall service reliability and uptime for thousands of flows at wire-speed to enable Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

  • SmartFlow QoS classification and RFSentry functionality, including an extra receiver port to enable Advanced Spectrum Management. RFSentry enables operators to monitor upstream performance while maintaining channel throughput.

Riverstone Supplies Ethernet Routers to China Telecom

China Telecom's Shanghai subsidiary, Shanghai Telecom, has selected Riverstone's carrier Ethernet routers to deliver Ethernet access services to its expanding base of enterprise customers over its ATM core infrastructure. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Shanghai Telecom will deploy Riverstone's RS 3100 Ethernet access routers. The RS 3100 is designed to deliver services over Ethernet, TDM, ATM, CWDM or SONET/SDH networks. Sitting at the edge of the carrier's network or at the customer premises, it features 32 10/100BaseTX fixed RJ-45 ports, high-performance routing and switching, and dynamic on-demand bandwidth provisioning.

Last year, China Telecom deployed Riverstone's RS 3100 and RS 8600 Ethernet routers in its Wuhan branch to provide IP over ATM-based Ethernet access services. Riverstone has also announced the use of its carrier Ethernet routers by China Railcom, China Netcom, Shanxi Cable, PCCW-HKT Network Services Limited, Chunghwa Telecom and Hutchison Global Crossing.

Motorola Invests in Sonaptic

Motorola made a strategic minority investment in Sonaptic Limited, a start-up developing advanced audio technologies for the mobile device market. The technology creates an immersive, three- dimensional sound environment that can be experienced using the embedded speakers in portable devices or by using standard headphones. The technology is suited to multiple applications including games, user interface enhancement, music and ringtones. Sonaptic's technology is portable and has been especially crafted for the low power, low resource requirements of the mobile device environment.

Sonaptic is based in High Wycombe, UK. This forms part of the second round of investment in the company. In addition to Motorola, the round included further investment from Pentech Ventures, and new investment from ROHM Inc., the leading Japanese semiconductor component manufacturer.

Perimeter Internetworking Offers "Security in the Cloud"

Perimeter Internetworking introduced a "Security-in-the-Cloud" designed to protect ISPs, VoIP resellers and others from a variety of security threats. The Gateway 4.0 solution provides traffic policy control, intrusion prevention and malware defense. Gateway 4.0 pre-integrates over 50 security services to address every potential threat to SP customers' businesses including Intrusion Defense, Malicious Code Defense, Secure Email Services, Secure Access, Automated Compliance, and Network Services.

SP customers can choose between a network-based, "security in the cloud" offering, whereby the SP connects to Perimeter and Gateway 4.0 blocks all malicious traffic to and from their networks or a multi-threat appliance at the client site, which can be used alone or in concert with Perimeter's network-based security service. Perimeter provides a white-label portal for the SPs and their customer to view and monitor alarms and other relevant security data. They can choose the level of support that they require from a fully automated service to the use of Perimeter's in-house team of trained security experts.

Perimeter also offers a secure hosted IP Telephony service and managed network services.

BellSouth Selects Tellabs and JDSU for Access Network

BellSouth selected Tellabs as the exclusive supplier for the Fiber to the Curb (FTTC) portion of its next-generation network through the end of 2006. Specifically, Tellabs will develop an upgrade for BellSouth's existing FTTC platforms designed to achieve speeds greater than 50 Mbps for BellSouth's customers served by this architecture. BellSouth currently has approximately 1.1 million customers served by FTTC systems and anticipates adding 150,000 - 200,000 new homes on those systems in both 2005 and 2006.Financial terms were not disclosed.

"BellSouth will use VDSL2 to upgrade existing FTTC systems and achieve broadband speeds greater than 50 Mbps on systems installed over the last decade," said Bill Smith, chief technology officer of BellSouth.

BellSouth also selected JDS Uniphase's WaveReady platform for passive optical transport in the loop portion of its next-generation broadband network. The WaveReady 3000 WDM optical multiplexing subsystems multiply the capacity of existing single mode fiber by combining up to eight ITU-T G.694.2 compatible channels into a single optical fiber. Shipment of the subsystems are expected to begin within the next year. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"The JDS Uniphase passive optical technologies will be a key component in allowing us to economically get Gigabit Ethernet from the Edge Aggregation Router to the IP-DSLAM," said Smith. "In cases where we do not have a dedicated fiber available because the fiber is already in use, the CWDM approach will allow multiple wavelengths of light to share the fiber."
  • In February 2005, BellSouth named Alcatel as its preferred supplier of IP DSLAMs over the next three years. The agreement extends Alcatel's existing strategic supplier relationship with BellSouth for DSL equipment. Specifically, Alcatel will provide IP DSLAMs from its Intelligent Services Access Manager (ISAM) family for enabling Triple Play services.

  • Also in February 2005, BellSouth selected Redback Networks' SmartEdge Service Gateway platform for its next-generation integrated IP network. The SmartEdge systems will enable the delivery of "Triple Play" services, including potential future IP video services that BellSouth is currently testing, in addition to serving as the new architecture for broadband services and subscriber management. Deployment of the systems could begin as early as the second half of 2005.Previous generation SMS(TM) systems from Redback Networks have powered BellSouth's successful deployments of DSL to its customer base.

  • In January 2005, BellSouth announced a technical trial of Microsoft TV Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) Edition software platform over its DSL network.

  • In November 2004, BellSouth awarded a new broadband supplier contract to Westell Technologies for its remotely-manageable DSL modem.

Guangdong Telecom Selects Lucent's LambdaUnite

Guangdong Telecom, a provincial subsidiary of China Telecom, awarded two optical networking contracts to Lucent Technologies. The deployments will include Lucent's LambdaUnite Multi-Service Switch (MSS) and the Metropolis ADM MultiService Mux for Guangdong Telecom's networks in Zhongshan and Zhuhai. This marks the first deployment of the LambdaUnite MSS in the two cities and the first deployment of the Metropolis ADM in Zhuhai. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Spain's Auna Selects Alcatel for Triple Play

Auna, the second largest fixed network operator in Spain, selected Alcatel as its IP Triple Play turnkey project integrator, and as the supplier for most essential network components and service delivery platforms. Along with the DSL access network, Alcatel will deploy its MPLS metropolitan aggregation network solution for AUNA.

Alcatel will integrate the softswitch-based VoIP solution, which enables a fast deployment on existing platforms. As in other major IPTV contracts around the world, Alcatel will act as overall systems integrator, managing the overall project and being responsible for integrating the network management aspects from other supplier's equipment.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Conexant Offers VDSL2 Solution

Conexant Systems introduced its Accelity family of VDSL and VDSL2 central office (CO) and customer premise equipment (CPE) semiconductor solutions. The Accelity family includes VDSL and VDSL2 system solutions for ATM and packet-based DSLAMs and client-side terminals.

Conexant's Accelity chipset family is based on industry-standard discrete multi-tone (DMT) line code technology, and is compliant with the recently ratified VDSL2/G.993.2 International Telecommunications Union standard. Production devices are available now and are shipping to customers worldwide.

Aware Announces VDSL2 Engines

Aware announced solutions conforming to the recently ratified VDSL2 standard. StratiPHY3 is a complete physical instantiation of Aware's DSL intellectual property in the form of a single digital chip and can be software configured to operate in central office (CO) or customer premise equipment (CPE). It supports all ADSL, ADSL2/2+, VDSL and VDSL2 features and functionality, including long-reach VDSL2 mode, and is the latest addition to the StratiPHY line of fully functional, manufacturable silicon intellectual property (IP) offerings from Aware.

Aware's StratiPHY3 is the DSL engine in Infineon's recently announced VINAX central office and customer premises chipsets.

Siemens Supplies Optical Access Network in Kuwait

The state Ministry of Communications in Kuwait has commissioned Siemens Communications to completely upgrade its access network in six urban areas from copper to fiber. Under the EUR 40 million contract, Siemens will deploy a Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) to deliver up to 2.5 Gbps to each fiber. A single optical fiber is then fanned out over passive splitters and laid in a star configuration to each building. There the link is terminated at an ONT or for a large number of users at an ONU (Optical Network Unit). The network termination is equipped with one or more Ethernet and voice interfaces for standard telephony. The rollout is scheduled to take place over three years. The first users are set to be connected via the optical fiber network in spring 2006.


Alcatel Supplies FTTH to Japanese Cable Company

Alcatel's FTTU (Fiber-to-the-User) solution is being deployed in Japan by a local cable TV operator and a municipal authority under projects managed by Itochu Cable Systems, a leading system integrator in Japanese cable TV, broadband and broadcast media. The two FTTU projects enable City Cable Shunan Corporation, a cable TV operator in the Yamaguchi prefecture and the municipal authority of the Kijimadaira town in the Nagano prefecture, to offer video and Internet services. Itochu Cable Systems is utilizing the Alcatel 7340 Packet Optical Line Terminal (P-OLT) and the Alcatel 7340 Home Optical Network Terminal (H-ONT), to build both networks.

See also