Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Italtel Partners with Accenture on NGN Solutions

Italtel and Accenture agreed to jointly develop next-generation solutions for telecommunications service providers in Europe and South America.

The two companies will integrate Italtel's products, which support the IMS standard, with Accenture Communications Solutions to help service providers bring next-generation services to market more quickly.

Accenture offers a suite of business solutions that provide telecommunications service providers with ready-to-use, pre-packaged components that include a robust common integration framework and are aligned with industry standards.

Products to be included in the ACS suite are:

  • i-UDB - Italtel Universal Data Base, which is a unique common database for the storage and handling of all subscriber information.

  • i-SSW - Italtel Softswitch, which is a next-generation multi-service system based on an open architecture.

The co-development agreement builds on the existing relationship between Accenture and Italtel, who recently teamed to develop a converged services capability for next-generation networks solution at Telecom Italia. At the heart of Telecom Italia's services is a unified database that Accenture and Italtel integrated to provide a fast, scalable and reliable, centralized database that helps manage high volumes of customer profiles in real-time to facilitate innovative services. This agreement will allow Italtel to address a broader complement of business challenges through synergistic co-development around Accenture's framework for the development of next-generation services and applications.

Brazil's Telemar Tests Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC)

Telemar, which operates the largest fixed network in South America, with around 15 million subscribers and a mobile network with about 8 million subscribers, will begin trials of Nokia's Fixed Mobile Convergence solutions. The Nokia Fixed Mobile Convergence solutions can leverage Telemar's current fixed network to create a converged packet based domain for fixed and mobile services.

The trial employs a comprehensive Nokia end-to-end solution for unified core and converged access networks, as well as Nokia terminals providing multimedia and VoIP services for both mobile and fixed customers. The Nokia unified core includes the Nokia IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), for voice calls and multimedia services, the Nokia VoIP Server, and the Nokia MSC Server System (MSS). The agreement also includes testing of the Nokia Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) solution for extending the potential of fixed broadband networks. http://www.nokia.com
  • In August 2005, Nokia announced plans to incorporate Kineto Wireless' UMA (Unlicensed Mobile Access) Network Controller into its network convergence solutions for wireline and wireless operators.

    UMA, a 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Program) standard, is an access technology that allows a seamless handoff of mobile voice and data from a wide area cellular network to a wireless local area network (WLAN). The UMA standard defines how mobile operators can turn home, office and public wireless LANs into seamless extensions of their cellular networks. With UMA, operators can deliver high-performance, low-cost mobile voice, data and IMS services to subscribers over the broadband Wi-Fi access networks, dramatically increasing mobile service usage while decreasing costs for operators.

UMA Enables Broadband IMS

Steve Shaw
developed by 15 leading companies in the mobile industry, Unlicensed
Mobile Access (UMA) is now the 3GPP standard for enabling subscriber
access to mobile services over Wi-Fi and broadband IP networks. The UMA
standard effectively creates a parallel radio access network - the UMA
Network (UMAN) that interfaces to the mobile core network using existing
GSM-defined standard interfaces. This solution uses IP tunneling
techniques to transparently extend mobile voice, data, and IMS services
over IP access networks. Here is an overview of UMA.

Covad to Acquire NextWeb, Enter WiMAX Market

Covad Communications will acquire NextWeb, a provider of fixed-wireless in California, for approximately $24.7 million. NextWeb, based in Fremont, California, utilizes licensed and unlicensed wireless technology. NextWeb currently provides service to nearly 3,000 business customers in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Orange County (CA), Santa Barbara and Las Vegas.

Covad said it is currently conducting pre-WiMAX technical trials focused on the small business/enterprise market in the San Francisco Bay Area. Covad is achieving pre-WiMAX links up to five miles from the wireless base station at symmetrical speeds as high as 5.0 Mbps.

France Telecom Offer EUR 2 Billion Bond to Finance Amena Acquisition

France Telecom has closed a EUR2 billion bond offering that will be used for the acquisition of 80% of the Spanish mobile operator Amena.
  • France Telecom's Orange subsidiary agreed to acquire an 80% equity stake in Auna Operadora de Telecommunicaciones S.A., the third largest mobile operator in Spain (trade name Amena), for EUR 6.4 billion. France Telecom, which currently ranks as the second largest DSL operator in Spain (the Wanadoo brand), said the acquisition would position it as a first tier competitor in Spain. Amena currently has 9.7 million mobile customers, representing a 24% market share. France Telecom serves 526,000 ADSL lines in Spain, representing 16% market share. The balance (between 20%-25%) of the shares will be held by Santander, Union Fenosa and Endesa as well as by the minority shareholders wishing to keep their participation among which certain Spanish savings banks. The deal would close after the separation of Auna's cable and mobile assets.

BT IP Converge Offers WAN, LAN and IP Telephony

BT announced a converged network service to help enterprises implement a core Wide Area Network (WAN) service, and then have the option of adding additional elements and services such as Local Area Network (LAN) and IP Telephony (IPT).

BT IP Converge is an end-to-end managed service aimed at enterprises without a large internal IT department, as well as companies that wish to focus resource on more core IT issues.

For a mid-sized company with multiple sites, IP Converge also delivers a secure network for both voice and data at a lower cost than equivalent "DIY" options.

BT IP Converge, which runs over the company's MPLS core network, offers eleven LAN packages. Leased line access is available from 64 kbps to 155 Mbps and Flex bandwidth ranges of up to 2Mbps, 10Mbps, 100Mbps and up to Gigabit. ADSL access is also available at 256 kbps through to 2 Mbps in both contended or uncontended variants.

Freescale Combines Bluetooth and Ultra-Wideband Wireless

Freescale Semiconductor demonstrated high data rate Ultra-Wideband (UWB) silicon operating under existing Bluetooth software stacks. The demonstration, held at WiCon Americas this week, leverages partners Open Interface and Frontline Test Equipment to stream UWB signals using Bluetooth protocols and track the protocols via an analyzer.

Freescale said the combined functionality enables direct sequence-UWB (DS-UWB) to meet the higher-speed demands of streaming high quality video applications. Developers could also tap into the strong ecosystem created for Bluetooth devices.

The demonstration compares a pure Bluetooth-to-Bluetooth file transfer between laptops (max rate of 1 Mbps) with a file transfer using UWB radios equipped with Open Interface's BLUETusk software and operating at up to 110 Mbps. http://www.freescale.com

CyOptics Adds $3 Million in New Funding

CyOptics, a supplier of optical chips and components, raised an additional $3 million as part of its Series F funding round. Birchmere Ventures joined prior investors JVP, Sprout Group, TowerBrook Capital Partners, and EURfund, which collectively invested $16.5 million in the April first closing. The round also included $7.5 million in debt financing from Comerica Bank. This round financed the acquisition and integration of TriQuint Semiconductor's Optoelectronics Division.

Boingo Signs Wi-Fi Roaming Deal with BT and Japan Telecom

Boingo Wireless announced a roaming agreements with BT Openzone, the London-based Wi-Fi Internet service provider division of BT, and Japan Telecom.

The BT Openzone agreement adds 1,588 Wi-Fi hot spots in the UK and in key airports around the world to the global Boingo Roaming System.

The Japan Telecom agreement provides access to 820 Japanese hot spot locations that are part of Japan Telecom's BB MOBILEPOINT Wi-Fi network. BB MOBILEPOINT, which was launched on Oct. 3rd, is a joint network brand of SoftbankBB's Yahoo!BB Mobile and Japan Telecom's MOBILEPOINT.

Boingo now provides access to more than 22,000 Wi-Fi hot spots worldwide.

Siemens and 3Com Form Strategic Alliance

3Com and Siemens Communications announced a new global strategic alliance and master reseller agreement to integrate and sell - via Siemens' direct sales organization and indirect channels - a range of cost-competitive data networking and enterprise security products, and a full suite of complementary services.

The agreement includes edge-to-core switches and routers, Siemens' portfolio of identity and access management solutions, and 3Com's network security platform, the TippingPoint Intrusion Prevention System (IPS).

Under an existing agreement between the two companies, Siemens will continue to provide lifecycle maintenance services to current 3Com customers. Building upon this relationship, Siemens and its partners will provide a suite of lifecycle, professional and managed services to new Siemens enterprise customers, who purchase a combination of Siemens and 3Com products for integrated enterprise solutions.

3Com and Siemens said they are also collaborating to develop joint capabilities to enhance their combined enterprise applications and platforms. To help ensure ongoing synchronization and product synergies, Siemens, which is named a 3Com Strategic Alliance Partner and Master Reseller, will have active participation in strategic product development initiatives at 3Com.
  • Huawei has a joint venture with 3Com that supplies enterprise networking solutions, including routers and LAN switches.

  • In October 2004, Siemens Communications signed a cooperation contract with Huawei. The deal covers Huawei's network infrastructure products for enterprise customers, and will primarily cover the Huawei portfolio for Quidway routers and switches. Siemens Communications said this cooperation pact with Huawei reinforces its multivendor strategy for Enterprise network infrastructure.

GlowPoint and WebEx Partner on Video and Web Collaboration

Glowpoint, an IP-based video communications service provider, and WebEx Communications, an on-demand collaborative applications provider, agreed to create a comprehensive video communications and data collaboration solution.

As part of the alliance, GlowPoint will be integrating WebEx web meeting capabilities into Sony's "Instant Video Everywhere," or IVE Mobile video communication service. Sony is integrating these capabilities into some of its notebooks.

The IVE (pronounced "ivy") service, powered by GlowPoint, enables enhanced video communications from the notebook.

LG Integrates Hard Drives into HD Plasma TVs

LG Electronics has begun integrating 160-gigabyte Seagate hard drives into plasma High-Definition televisions (HDTVs), enabling a built-in high-definition digital video recorder (HD-DVR). The new Digital Cable Ready plasma HDTVs can store up to 14 hours of digital high-definition programming or 62 hours of digital standard-definition programming. The new widescreen plasma-DVRs incorporate an automatic time-shift feature, which continuously records in one-hour intervals. Other features include slow motion rewind and forward capabilities and instant replay.

Seagate said its 160-Gbyte DB35 Series drive delivers up to 10 simultaneous streams of TV and provides long-haul reliability for "worry-free" DVR operation.

MFORMA Secures $30 Million for its Mobile Content

MFORMA, a start-up with operation in the U.S. the U.K., China and Korea, raised $30 million in a third round venture funding for its mobile content distribution service.

MFORMA is a leading global publisher and distributor of mobile entertainment, including BREW, Java, SMS, MMS, and WAP games. Its customers include more than 100 of the world's leading wireless carriers. The company was founded in 2001 and now has over 700 employees.
  • In September 2005, MFORMA promoted Jonathan Sacks to the position of president and chief executive officer. Sacks was formerly president of AOL Interactive Services where he was in charge of operations and media programming for the internet giant during a time when the company's subscribers nearly tripled to approximately 30 million members. Before joining AOL in 1998, Sacks was president of the Hub, a joint venture between AOL and New Line Cinema.

TANDBERG Supplies HD Encoding for Undersea Expedition

TANDBERG Television supplied advanced encoding systems for VISIONS '05, a research expedition to the underwater volcanoes of the Juan de Fuca Ridge in the northeast Pacific Ocean led by University of Washington.

Using TANDBERG Television's HD encoder and decoder, the high definition video was compressed and transmitted live from the research vessel over IP satellite to the University of Washington, where it was streamed over the Internet to research facilities across the United States. The seafloor locations are located about 200 miles offshore and HD video links reached 20Mbit/s. The live images of deep-sea volcano research are provided with the highest visual fidelity currently possible using a satellite link, and are available to computer and ocean scientists, engineers, students, and the general public.

The live transmission from the VISIONS '05 research expedition can be viewed http://www.tandbergtv.com/http://www.researchchannel.org/visions05/

AT&T Wins Contract with Raymond James Financial

Raymond James Financial, a Florida-based financial services firm managing assets valued at $147 billion, awarded a multimillion-dollar networking contract to AT&T. Contract terms were not disclosed.

The two-year contract provides up to 2,100 participating Raymond James affiliate offices around the globe access to a full portfolio of AT&T data, voice and Internet access services. The agreement offers Raymond James additional services. Raymond James will also deploy AT&T's Internet Protect to monitor the network for potential cyber security breaches. The service provides an early warning system to unusual activity and allows enterprises to predict and eliminate cyber threats before they can damage critical business operations.


US Cable Group Deploys ARRIS' CMTS

US Cable Group, which serves 140,000 customers in nine states, has selected ARRIS' Cadant C4 Cable Modem Termination System (CMTS), outfitted with the new dense 2 Downstream x 12 Upstream Cable Access Modules (CAMs) to deploy High-Speed Data service in its markets. Additionally, US Cable is testing ARRIS Touchstone 402G Embedded Multimedia Terminal Adapters (E-MTAs). Financial terms were not disclosed.

Verizon Signs MTV Networks and BET for FiOS

Verizon announced distribution deals with MTV Networks and BET for its new FiOS TV service. Through the agreement, FiOS will carry all MTV Networks and BET program services, including the MTV Networks recently launched services LOGO, MTV Desi and several other program services in the MTV World group, as well as its recently announced high definition channel, MHD. MTVN and BET programming will be available to all FiOS TV subscribers.

Verizon will also deliver MTV Networks' video on demand content as part of the FiOS "Free-on-Demand" VOD platform. The FiOS TV service will also offer music on MTV Networks' digital audio radio channels. Verizon will also provide its broadband subscribers with access to content from the MTV and Nickelodeon brands, including MTV.com's MTV Overdrive and Nick.com's TurboNick.

Monday, October 3, 2005

TI Integrates Wi-Fi into VoCable Platform

Texas Instruments is incorporating Wireless LAN capabilities into a single VoCable gateway.

The TNETC731 chip supports all of CableLab's PacketCable 1.5 requirements. The new gateway design allows cable service providers to also deliver voice quality monitoring, T.38 fax relay, and battery backup. Voice is enabled through wired telephones, as well as cordless single- or dual-mode wireless VoIP handsets throughout the home network.

Alcatel Adds VoIP Media Gateway to ISAM

Alcatel is adding a VOIP media gateway as well as legacy POTS and ISDN line cards to its ISAM broadband access family. The Alcatel ISAM Voice Package is designed to help service providers migrate to an NGN/IMS network. The solution is especially aimed at incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) in ETSI regions who want to deal with the obsolescence issues of their current PSTN network.

Key features of the ISAM Voice Package include:

  • the ability to convert legacy POTS/ISDN voice traffic to IP traffic

  • up to 10,000 subscribers per gateway

  • One gateway controls local and remote Alcatel 7302 ISAM subscribers

  • Requires only one IP address per gateway

  • Handles 1,024 active calls per voice gateway plus 102 reserved for emergency calls

  • Provides 12 call attempts per second

  • Provides POTS only, ISDN only or Combo (xDSL + POTS) boards

  • Is fully integrated with IMS/TISPAN architectures