Thursday, October 27, 2005

MIT and Nokia Open R&D Lab

MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and Nokia Research Center will establish a new research facility near the MIT campus to advance the state of the art in mobile computing and communications technologies.

The collaborative work of the Nokia Research Center Cambridge will center on a view of the future where small handheld devices such as mobile phones will become parts of an "ecosystem" of information, services, peripherals, sensors and other devices.

Research will address new user interfaces that incorporate speech and other modalities, new mobile computing platforms - including low power hardware platforms and wireless communication, as well as new software architectures. Researchers will also address new ways of managing information: The use of Semantic Web technologies - an extension of the current Web developed in part at CSAIL and at the Nokia Research Center - will enable devices to more intuitively and automatically understand interconnected terms, information and services.

The facility will host approximately 20 researchers from Nokia and 20 from MIT.

CloudShield Raises $10 Million for Deep Packet Inspection Platform

CloudShield Technologies, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, raised $$10 Million in additional funding for its multigigabit, open network services platform for security, VoIP, and traffic management applications.

CloudShield's CS-2000 platform is designed to help service providers develop custom packet processing applications for emerging content-based services. The company also sees an opportunity with federal government agencies that need to harden their network security.

The additional funding came from current investors TPG Ventures, ComVentures, Foundation Capital, and Paladin Capital all participating.

In September 2004, CloudShield delivered its third generation packet processing platform, the CS-2000, offering up to 5 gigabits of throughput and high-speed WAN interfaces in a 2RU chassis. CloudShield now has over 30 network applications either available or in development by solutions providers, systems integrators, and end users. These applications include VoIP processing and security, Denial of Service Mitigation services, and a Multi-level Security Guard.

Japan Telecom Market Share Report - Oct 2005

Market Share Report from 

Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications 

October 2005

Fixed Communications

NTT East 48.7% 
Others 2.2%

IP Telephony

NTT Communications,  24.5%
 KDDI,  13.4%
Others 18.7%

Mobile communications
-- Cellular and PHS

Vodafone 16.2%
Others 7.3%


NTT East. 20.7%
 NTT West  17.4%
Others 7.4%

FTTH -- single family
and corporate

NTT East 37.0%
NTT West 37.6%
Utility Groups

FTTH -- Apartment and
Condominium Buildings

NTT East  22.1% 
NTT West  12.9%
Utility Groups




Major industry shift as IBM embraces 10 Gigabit Ethernet in standard based xSeries server line
Leverage IBM's mainframe-inherited technologies
Leadership in I/O performance with X3 architecture and PCI-X 2.0
IBM first in the industry with:
Line-rate 10 Gigabit/sec throughput (PCI-X 2.0)
Cross-platform support (Windows, Linux,VMware)
Highest bandwidth to customers while preserving Customers investments in Ethernet

PCI-X 2.0 has more than enough bandwidth to support even the most cutting-edge technologies including 10 Gigabit Ethernet
Full Hardware Backward Compatibility
The newest, highest-performance PCI-X 2.0 adapter cards can readily operate in 3.3V PCI slots from pastgeneration computers.
Speed Mismatch Compatibility
All speed generations of PCI are interoperable.
High Bandwidth Systems Demand PCI-X 2.0

Motorola Settles Telsim Issue for $500 Million

Motorola has reached an agreement to settle financial and legal claims against Turkish cellular phone operator Telsim Mobil Telekomunikasyon (Telsim), and the Turkish Savings and Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF).

Motorola has settled its claims for a cash payment of $500 million which the company received today plus the right to receive 20% of the proceeds from the sale of Telsim assets over $2.5 billion. Motorola has further agreed to dismiss its litigation against Telsim as well as Motorola's pending demand for arbitration against the Government of Turkey at the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in Washington, D.C. In addition, Motorola has agreed not to pursue collection efforts against certain corporate defendants under TMSF control, subject to certain conditions.

The agreement permits Motorola to continue its efforts, except in Turkey and certain other agreed upon countries, to enforce its previous judgment rendered on behalf of Motorola against the Uzan family for perpetrating a massive fraud against Motorola through their control of Telsim.
  • In August 2005, to collect the international roaming and interconnect revenues of Telsim Mobil Telekomunikasyon (Telsim), the second largest mobile operator in Turkey, as a means of enforcing its approximately $2.5 billion arbitration claim against the company.

  • On June 13, 2005, a panel of arbitrators from the Zurich Chamber of Commerce issued a final award (“the Final Award�?) in the arbitration pending between Telsim and Motorola Credit Corporation (“MCC�?) concerning the amounts due by Telsim to MCC under the financing arrangements between the parties. Telsim had borrowed nearly $2.0 billion from Motorola for the financing of a Motorola-constructed cellular telephone system and has failed to pay Motorola despite the system's operational success. Telsim had refused to pay Motorola.

Vodafone Acquires 10% of India's Bharti

Vodafone will acquire, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, an economic interest of 10% in Bharti Tele-Ventures Limited (BTVL) for a cash consideration equivalent to Rs.66.56 billion (GBP 0.82 billion or US$1.5 billion). The purchase price represents a 7.4% premium to the 5-day average share price of BTVL on 27 October 2005.

BTVL is the leading national mobile operator in India, with 14.1 million mobile customers as of 30-Sept-2005, equivalent to a 21.8% customer market share.

Vodafone said the deal provides it with a means to expand its footprint into India, which ranks as the 3rd largest mobile market in Asia with 65.1 million customers currently, after China and Japan where Vodafone is already present . India's mobile and fixed line penetration is currently at approximately 6.0% and 4.4%, respectively.

Metro Ethernet Forum Issues Asia Pacific Service Provider Awards

Hong Kong's PCCW received the Metro Ethernet Forum's "Best in Business" award and Japan's KVH received the "Outstanding Innovation" award at a ceremony in Beijing at this week's "Ethernet World" event.

Tdsoft and VocalTec to Merge

Tdsoft and VocalTec, both suppliers of VoIP gateways and other packet voice equipment, agreed to merge. Tdsoft's shareholders will be issued VocalTec shares in exchange for all of the share capital of Tdsoft. Following completion of the transaction, the shareholders of Tdsoft will own 75% of the outstanding share capital of VocalTec and the current shareholders of VocalTec will own the remaining 25%. VocalTec will remain a publicly-held company and Tdsoft will become a wholly-owned subsidiary thereof.

Following completion of the transaction, Cisco Systems International BV (a subsidiary of Cisco Systems Inc.) and HarbourVest Partners, LLC, currently major shareholders of Tdsoft, and Deutsche Telekom, currently a major shareholder of VocalTec, are expected to hold approximately 36%, 20% and 3.8%, respectively, of VocalTec's share capital.

The companies said that by combining their resources, their businesses will create a stronger player in the growing VoIP market.

Comcast Launches Amnesty Program in Wash. DC Area

Comcast will implement a cable amnesty program from November 1-14, allowing anyone who is receiving unauthorized cable service in the certain Washington D.C. area communities to turn themselves in and become authorized, paying customers with no questions asked. In 2003, the last time Comcast executed this campaign, the company received more than 8,000 calls and thousands of leads.

As part of the amnesty program, residents currently receiving unauthorized cable services may choose to become paying customers over the phone or have the unauthorized service disconnected without facing legal action. In addition, residents receiving cable television through unauthorized cable boxes will have the opportunity to turn in their boxes to Comcast in exchange for new, legal boxes.

Comcast said its amnesty program will also educate communities about "active" and "passive" cable theft. Comcast defines "active" cable theft to be when people knowingly and willfully make illegal connections to the cable system or tamper with equipment so they receive cable service without paying for it. It defines "passive" theft to be when an individual moves into a new residence where cable is already installed and fails to notify Comcast that the billing should be transferred to the new occupant.

Following the amnesty program, Comcast officials plan to complete a house-by-house electronic audit of its cable systems to identify cable thieves. As these homes and businesses continue to be identified, the information will be turned over to the appropriate authorities for possible prosecution, with possible fines and jail time if convicted.

MCI Enhances its International Private IP Service

MCI's MPLS-based Private IP service is now available directly from MCI in Kuwait, South Africa, and Turkey and through additional partner agreements in Brazil, China, India and Mexico. Additionally, the service now features Ethernet Access in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK; and adds access via MCI's IP network across Europe, as well as new application awareness features and WAN analysis reporting.

Ethernet Access into the MCI MPLS network gives customers additional access flexibility and the adaptability to undertake easier upgrades and downgrades. The availability of MCI's Private IP Network Gateway across Europe enables customers to connect to MCI's Private IP network using public IP access via dedicated access or DSL. Private IP Network Gateway leverages MCI's points of presence in more than 2800 cities globally, providing an entry level solution for remote customer sites.

A new VRF Lite (VPN Routing & Forwarding) feature allows for multiple VPN routing and forwarding features on a single edge router enabling customers to cost effectively segment their network, making provisioning and network management easier compared to a multiple customer edge router solution. MCI is also introducing a managed voice interface card for customers who want to move to a converged network at their own pace. Alternatively, MCI Advantage is available for customers that are ready to expand to a fully converged environment for both internal and external calls supported by voice specific SLAs and additional IP features.

Finally, MCI has begun offering WAN Analysis Reporting powered by Concord, which helps identify network degrading conditions and proactively plan for network capacity.

Level 3 and Cogent Reach Peering Agreement

Level 3 Communications and Cogent Communications have agreed on terms to continue to exchange Internet traffic under a modified version of their original peering agreement. The companies said their modified peering arrangement allows for the continued exchange of traffic between their two networks, and includes commitments from each party with respect to the characteristics and volume of traffic to be exchanged. Under the terms of the agreement, the companies have agreed to the settlement-free exchange of traffic subject to specific payments if certain obligations are not met.

The modified arrangement contains provision to mitigate any impact to customers' Internet connectivity as it sets forth an agreed process to protect customers upon the expiration of the peering relationship, or upon violations of the agreement that are not remedied in accordance with the revised agreement.

The specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

QUALCOMM Competitors File Anticompetitive Complaints to European Commission

Broadcom, Ericsson, NEC, Nokia, Panasonic Mobile Communications and Texas Instruments have each filed complaints to the European Commission requesting that it investigate anti-competitive conduct by Qualcomm in the licensing of essential patents for 3G mobile technology.

The companies state that QUALCOMM is violating EU competition law and failing to meet the commitments Qualcomm made to international standard bodies around the world that it would license its technology on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. Absent these commitments, the WCDMA 3G standard would not have been adopted. The companies allege that QUALCOMM is infringing these rules by:

  • trying to exclude competing manufacturers of chipsets for mobile phones from the market and preventing others from entering. To this end, Qualcomm has committed a number of abuses, ranging from the refusal to license essential patents to potential chipset competitors on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms to offering lower royalty rates to handset customers who buy chipsets exclusively from QUALCOMM.

  • charging royalties for its WCDMA essential patents that are excessive and disproportionate; in particular by imposing the same royalty rate on WCDMA 3G handsets as it does for CDMA2000 3G handsets despite the fact that QUALCOMM has contributed far less technology to the WCDMA 3G standard than it has to the CDMA2000 standard.

The companies believe that Qualcomm's anti-competitive behavior has harmful effects for the mobile telecommunications sector in Europe, as well as elsewhere, because carriers and consumers are facing higher prices and fewer choices.


In response, Qualcomm issued a statement saying that the allegations are factually inaccurate and legally meritless. QUALCOMM said it has more than 130 licenses that it has granted to a broad range of companies, among them five of the six reported claimants.

QUALCOMM also disagreed with any suggestion that it has contributed less significant technology to the WCDMA 3G standard, saying "it is widely acknowledged that efforts to design around QUALCOMM's fundamental innovations in formulating the UMTS/WCDMA standard were unsuccessful."

QUALCOMM said it believes this action is nothing more than an attempt by these licensees to renegotiate their license agreements by seeking governmental intervention.

QUALCOMM also noted that contrary to the reported allegation that it is seeking to exclude chip competitors, QUALCOMM has licensed major chip manufacturers, including Texas Instruments, NEC, Infineon, Philips, Agere, Motorola, VIA and Fujitsu.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Stanford Researchers Develop Silicon Germanium Modulator

Researchers at Stanford University have developed a solid-state optical modulator made of silicon and germanium described as a major breakthrough in optoelectronics. The discovery promises a small, low-cost means of converting light beams into data streams on chip at high rates.

Conventional wisdom held that a germanium-based modulator was impossible. The key to the discovery was in understanding how the "Stark" effect, which occurs when a strong electric field causes an atom to change a wavelength of light, can be made to work in materials compatible with chip manufacturing. Silicon and germanium both belong to a group of materials where the electrons do not appear favorably arranged for the Stark effect. The researchers found that that when germanium layers are properly situated in a crystal with silicon, their electrons do not "leak" from useful levels into useless ones. They claim this effect actually works as well as in any current modulator--and better than many, paving the way for silicon germanium based modulators compatible with standard telecommunications wavelengths.

The breakthrough, which was announced in the October 27th issue of the journal Nature, was made by a research group headed by David A. B. Miller, the W. M. Keck Foundation Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford, and his colleague James Harris, the James and Ellenor Chesebrough Professor in the School of Engineering at Stanford.

Telecom Italia Readies "Superphone" and IPTV Launch

Telecom Italia and TIM announced plans to launch fixed-line to mobile video-calling and image transfer services beginning in December. Under the "fixed/mobile" packages, Telecom Italia fixed-line videophones and TIM UMTS phones can video call one another.

The companies' videophone plus UMTS phone package will be available at rates starting from EUR 199. Starting in November, the companies will also allow customers to make calls at reduced prices between their home phone and three cellphone numbers of their choice and vice versa (Teleconomy Famiglia and TIM Famiglia).


In the second phase of its convergence strategy starting in 2006, Telecom Italia plans to launch the "Superphone" -- a combination home phone and cellphone. It will use UMA (Unlicensed Mobile Access) technology to connect to home ADSL fixed-line networks over WiFi, and work as a GSM, GPRS or EDGE phone outside the home. Calls are charged either as fixed-line or mobile calls, depending on the environment where calls are made and the customer's price plan.


By the end of December, Telecom Italian plans to introduce IPTV over ADSL home service. The company said its IPTV trials are now almost complete and that the service is scheduled for rollout in 21 Italian cities by the end of the year.

The Group is also developing technologies to distribute this content to mobile terminals. A recent non-exclusive agreement between TIM and Mediaset has paved the way for the commercial launch in Italy - the first in the world - of digital terrestrial TV service to mobile phones implementing DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcaster Handheld) technology. Starting in 2006, TIM will offer Mediaset programmes on mobile phones at a level of quality similar to that of the digital terrestrial standard.


Telecom Italia said it plans to invest EUR 10 billion in convergence activities over the period 2005-2007, representing 17% of turnover, the highest rate among the telephone operator in Europe.
  • In July 2005, Telecom Italia launched free trials of its new IPTV service in Rome, Milan, Bologna and Palermo, and said it remains on track to launch commercial services in 21 cities across the country this autumn. The commercial service will feature live TV, including Serie A TIM and B TIM Italian football, top Italian basketball, a VOD library of 600 films plus 30 new films per month, reality shows and other special events. Initially, the IPTV service will be delivered over 4 Mbps ADSL connections on Telecom Italia's network.

  • Telecom Italia's key technology partners include:

    Alcatel, which is supplying ADSL access devices and its Open Media Suite set top box video entertainment TV distribution platform.

    Microsoft, which is providing its Microsoft TV IPTV Edition software

    Pirelli Broadband Solutions, which is supplying intelligent modular routers for home networking, including multiple high-speed Internet connections, VoIP and Wi-Fi via the set top box.

  • In December 2004, Nokia and Telecom Italia reported progress on a project to drive forward mobile and fixed network service convergence. A key target of the project is the development of VoIP and other services, such as video sharing and push-to-talk, that can be provided over both mobile and fixed networks. The Nokia IP Multimedia Subsystem core network infrastructure enables Video Sharing and other rich multimedia services.

  • Nokia is incorporating Kineto Wireless' UMA (Unlicensed Mobile Access) Network Controller into its network convergence solutions for wireline and wireless operators.

QUALCOMM Completes CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev A Call

QUALCOMM reached a milestone in the development of CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Revision A networks and handsets -- the completion of an end-to-end call.

The Rev. A standard represents the next evolution of the EV-DO technologies that support the 3.1 Mbps forward and 1.8 Mbps reverse link data rates and higher system capacity required for next-generation wireless multimedia.

QUALCOMM completed the test calls using equipment based on its Cell Site Modem (CSM) CSM6800 chipset for base stations and the Mobile Station Modem (MSM) MSM6800 chipset for mobile handsets.

Siemens Invests in GlooLabs for Remote Access to Home Media

Siemens Acceleration in Communications has made an equity investmnet in GlooLabs, a start-up offering software for remote access to multimedia content. GlooLabs' GlooNetT is a Java-based platform that allows digital media stored on a home computer to be accessed remotely through any Internet-enabled computer, mobile phone, or PDA. The funding will allow GlooLabs to expand its product portfolio and ramp-up operations for large scale customer deployments.

Siemens said seamless access to personal media and other data has become considerably important in the converging computing and home entertainment environments. GlooLabs' architectural approach overcomes the current gap of desktop and browser based solutions by allowing end users to retrieve media files stored on various mobile devices and view or play it on any other networked device.

A public demonstration site for GlooNetT is available at the GlooLabs' website.

BT Outlines IPTV Plans Combining Broadband with Digital Terrestrial

BT outlined its vision for nationwide next generation TV delivered over broadband and incorporating digital terrestrial channels. BT, which previously disclosed plans to use Microsoft TV IPTV Edition, announced its selection of Philips to supply set top boxes. Every set top box will include a personal video recorder (PVR) capable of storing up to 80 hours of programming and capable of delivering High Definition content.

BT said its service will be a world first combining access to digital terrestrial channels, an extensive video on demand library, "catch-up" TV and a range of interactive services.

BT is planning a commercial launch across the UK from late summer / autumn 2006. Trials are slated to begin next spring / early summer.

BT's next generation TV service will be available to BT customers without the need for a subscription fee. Services available at launch or shortly afterwards will include:

  • Entertainment on demand -- an extensive library of movies, TV and music all available instantly

  • Catch-up TV -- programmes from the previous seven days broadcast schedule will be available on demand without the need to record.

  • Flexible payment -- no mandatory subscriptions. Pay-per-view options

  • Personal Video Recorder capable of storing up to 80 hours of programming

  • More than 30 digital terrestrial TV channels

  • Communication services -- instant messaging, chat and video telephony on TV

  • Interactive services -- online games, retail opportunities and community services

"We see next generation TV as a vital element of our vision for home entertainment. In an increasingly converged world, BT customers will be able to benefit from the combination of television, communications and the internet," Ian Livingston, chief executive BT Retail.

Verizon Adds 389,000 BB Customers, Cites Initial Take-up at FiOS

Verizon Communications reported Q3 oerating revenues of $19.0 billion, up 5.4% on a comparable basis from $18.1 billion last year. Q3 revenues at Verizon Wireless increased 14.2%, or $1.0 billion, to $8.4 billion, year-over-year. Q3 revenues on a comparable basis at Domestic Telecom were $9.4 billion, a 0.7% decrease compared with the third quarter 2004. Domestic Telecom revenues in the third quarter 2005 were flat with the second quarter 2005 on a comparable basis. Some highlights:


  • 1.9 million net customer additions, up 14.6 percent; 49.3 million total customers, up 17.0 percent; churn (customer turnover) of 1.3 percent

  • Total quarterly revenues of $8.4 billion, up $1.0 billion, or 14.2 percent -- the 13th consecutive quarter of double-digit year-over-year revenue growth increases

  • Operating income margin of 21.8 percent

  • Total churn rate, a key measure of customer loyalty, was 1.3 percent for the third quarter 2005, down from 1.5 percent in the third quarter 2004. Churn in the retail post-paid segment -- a base of 45.7 million customers -- was 1.08 percent in Q3 2005.


  • 4.5 million total broadband connections (DSL and Verizon FiOS data lines), including a company-record 389,000 net new broadband connections

  • Average monthly revenue per residential customer up 4.6 percent to $51.61

  • Data revenues up 10.9 percent to $2.2 billion

FiOS: FiOS activity is underway in 15 states, passing a cumulative 2.5 million homes and businesses. The company remains on track to pass 3 million homes and businesses by the end of the year with FiOS data services. The company said it plans to pass an additional 3 million homes and businesses with FiOS data services next year -- for a total of 6 million homes and businesses passed by year-end 2006. In the 35 markets where Verizon has been actively selling FiOS data services for more than six months, market penetration is approximately 12.4%-- an improvement over DSL penetration rates over longer timeframes. FiOS TV, where available, offers all-digital programming with more than 330 channels.

Total Connections: Verizon's total customer connections -- which include wireline switched access lines, wireless customers, and wireline and wireless customers using broadband connections (EV-DO, DSL or FiOS) -- increased to 103.5 million at the end of the third quarter 2005.

Switched access lines: 49.7 million at the end of the third quarter 2005, a decline of 6.2 percent compared with the end of the third quarter 2004. This has been more than offset by the increases of 42.3 percent in wireline broadband connections and 17.0 percent in total wireless customers over the same period.

See also