Monday, March 13, 2006

Octasic Introduces Echo Cancellation Software for End-User Devices

Octasic introduced its SoftEcho software suite for enhancing the audio quality of VoIP calls. Based on Octasic's Echo Cancellation algorithms, SoftEcho is a readily portable solution for up to 4 channel voice applications enabling manufacturers to integrate superior voice quality into their products.

Octasic is offering two versions of the SoftEcho suite initially.

  • SoftEcho AEC (Acoustic Echo Cancellation) version is designed for acoustic echo situations such as hands-free and speaker phone uses. This product is intended for such applications as the demanding car hands-free environment or wireless handsets where the environment is unpredictable, with specific extensions for noise reduction.

  • SoftEcho LEC (Line Echo Cancellation) version is designed for manufacturers of IAD's or PBX's. This product allows for simple integration of a ready-made, complete solution that delivers the best audio quality through added features such as complex echo point support, which is crucial when multiple hybrids are crossed, as is the case during conference calls.

SoftEcho is available for a variety of applications, including:

  • Car-hands free kits

  • IP Phones

  • Desktop speaker phones

  • Table top conference phones

  • IAD (Cable, DSL)

  • SOHO routers

  • Analog Gateways

  • IP DLC Line Cards

  • IP PBX

The SoftEcho Suite is configurable with a high-level ANSI C API, which allows for a simple interface for all development. Coupled with Octasic's support and porting expertise, customers can receive an optimized code for their particular platform without compromising sound quality.

SyChip Introduces VoIP Processing Chip for Mobiles

SyChip, a supplier of Radio Frequency Chip Scale Modules (CSM), introduced a VoIP integrated circuit that has been optimized for wireless VoIP applications. The SV1000 device is the newest in the SyVoice family of products targeted to mobile devices such as cell phones, single-mode wireless VoIP phones, PDAs, personal media players and portable gaming consoles. It combines a high-speed digital signal processor (DSP), A/D and D/A converters and power management logic in a single integrated circuit.

SyChip said its device is optimized to execute all of the real-time functions required during a VoIP call including advanced speech coders, jitter buffer, encryption and acoustic echo cancellation. Today many general-purpose processors are used to execute these functions and will consume three-to-five times more power due to the increased MIPS and memory required. The SV1000 consumes only 14mA of current during a call, enabling phones to have talk times of more than eight hours with a typical cell phone battery, according to the company.

AOL Offers Link2PC Service with WebEx

AOL began offering WebEx's Link2PC service, which lets users remotely access and use their personal computer from any Internet-connected PC. The Link2PC service is available to both AOL members and non-members and is powered by WebEx Communications and its secure MediaTone Network. Link2PC costs $6.95 per month for up to two host computers.

TNS Acquires InfiniRoute for Managed VoIP Peering

Transaction Network Services, a network and data communications provider for transaction-oriented applications, has acquired InfiniRoute Networks, which provides managed VoIP peering network services to carriers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

TNS will continue to provide InfiniRoute's flagship product, VoIP Direct, a service enabling direct VoIP peering between service providers over IP networks. VoIP Direct includes the following components:

  • VoIP Enablement: For traditional carriers, InfiniRoute accepts legacy time-division multiplex (TDM) interfaces and converts the traffic for transport over IP networks using VoIP signaling protocols.

  • Protocol conversion and interoperability: For customers operating different signaling protocols (particularly H.323 and SIP VoIP protocols), InfiniRoute offers interoperability services and protocol mediation support, enabling disparate networks to connect.

Additionally, TNS will offer billing, clearing and settlement services to complement the VoIP Direct product. Customers can choose to interconnect directly by establishing their own bilateral contracts and simply using TNS as the technology enabler and usage-reporting vehicle, or they can contract with TNS to reduce the number of independent agreements required and have TNS perform billing and settlement services.

PSTN-Quality Voice to Managed VoIP Peering
peering is becoming a standard practice for even the world's largest
carriers for a number of reasons. The number of VoIP telephony subscribers
is increasing, and carriers want to retain ownership of these calls. VoIP
is too important a technology to ignore; according to research firm
TeleGeography, VoIP—driven by the growth and availability of broadband
and cellular services as well as by deregulation—will account for half
of the international voice market by 2007. Recognizing the inevitable,
more carriers are migrating their networks from TDM to VoIP. As a result,
‘VoIP network islands'—which may be surrounded by a sea of TDM
networks—are emerging around the world.

Netcentrex Delivers VoIP for Tiscali DSL Net in Germany

Tiscali GmbH has chosen Netcentrex for the roll-out of unbundled telephony services in Germany.

In Germany, Tiscali has been offering 2nd line VoIP services since December 2004 based on an Open Source architecture. The company is now deploying its own DSL infrastructure in order to deploy unbundled, IMS-compliant, primary line voice services based on Netcentrex solutions. Co-locations have been installed in the Frankfurt region where the new SIP-based voice services roll-out started in March 2006 in the first stage of a nationwide deployment plan.

Nominum Launches ENUM-based IP-Application Routing Directory Server

Nominum introduced an ENUM-based IP-Application Routing Directory server that enables the connection of advanced IP-based communications services between separate networks.

Nominum Navitas sits at a critical point in new network topologies and provides the necessary information to handle local number portability data, resolve SIP to URI translation, and route sessions between IP networks. Nominum Navitas is the first to market with a complete solution that includes leading performance such as sub-millisecond query response latency, massive scalability, real-time updates, provisioning interfaces, optimizations for varied deployments (private, carrier, and public), support for multiple in-network architectures (centralized and decentralized), and carrier-grade availability that are required for the success of IP-based services.

In order to test the ability of its new product to provision and access authoritative routing data from external sources, Nominum has completed interoperability testing of Nominum Navitas with NeuStar's SIP-IX ENUM registry service. Using an open SOAP/XML schema developed by NeuStar, in collaboration with partners like Nominum, Navitas was provisioned with ENUM records from SIP-IX. SIP-IX is a suite of services and global infrastructure designed to enable direct network-to-network peering between trading partners for voice, video and content services using SIP-based technologies such as IP multimedia (IMS) and VoIP.

In addition, Nominum will collaborate with Evolving Systems, Inc., a leading provider of software solutions and services to the wireless, wireline and IP carrier market, to test Nominum Navitas. The collaboration will test Local Number Portability data integration with Nominum Navitas.

Telephony Is On the Line -- Can the Telephone Directory join the Internet
numbers are an entrenched standard that are unlikely to disappear anytime
soon. VoIP services need to be able to exist in a world with phone numbers
and devices designed to work with only those numbers. To deliver on the
promise of convergence, communications between IP-based devices must be
able to travel solely over IP networks, without traversing multiple
protocol conversions ( e.g., IP-to-PSTN gateways). For this to happen in
the telephony world, however, we need to be able to direct calls using
phone numbers to the appropriate VoIP servers or session border
controllers, without using the PSTN. Essentially, we need to link phone
numbers to IP addresses. Here is how ENUM is connecting VoIP islands.

Orange France Launches HSDPA Trials with Nortel

Orange France launched an HSDPA trial using technology from Nortel. The trial is providing mobile broadband connectivity from 1.8 Mbps for 150 lead business customers in Lyon, France's second largest city. Orange France expects to commercially launch its HSDPA enterprise network nationwide in the second half of 2006.

In addition to its presence in Orange France's GSM and EDGE networks, Nortel is also the exclusive provider of Orange France's UMTS network in the Côte d'Azur and central regions of France which include Cannes, Nice, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Toulon, Grenoble and St. Etienne.

In January 2006, Nortel, Orange and Qualcomm successfully completed UMTS and HSDPA calls in the 900 MHz band, a solution that could complement Orange's existing 3G services to deliver wireless broadband to rural areas of France. Nortel and Orange also demonstrated this capability during the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona in February 2006.

CounterPath Enhances its eyeBeam SIP Video Softphone

CounterPath Solutions introduced a new version of its "eyeBeam" SIP-based video softphone. eyeBeam 1.5 now supports superior video and audio codecs such as H.264 and Broadcom's BV32. It also includes new QoS and security capabilities that are built into the core application. These include the ability to automatically prioritize packets during both video and voice calls and new security features such as signalling encryption via Transport Layer Security (TLS) as well as message authentication and confidentiality via Secure Real-time Transport Protocol (SRTP) streams to secure the voice and video connections.

CounterPath said its softphone delivers "zero- touch" configuration for audio and video devices, such as headsets or web cams, enabling automatic configuration each time eyeBeam is started and whenever devices are changed.

eyeBeam 1.5 is currently available in Windows. Mac, Linux and Pocket PC versions will be available in Q2 2006.

New Global Telecom Raises $11 million for VoIP Expansion

New Global Telecom (NGT), a provider of hosted VoIP services, raised announced the completion of a $10.75 million Series A Preferred Stock financing round to fund continued expansion. The company added 58,000 VoIP end-user seats through 2005, bringing its total at year-end to over 61,000 seats.

The funding round was led by Comcast Interactive Capital and included new investors Centennial Ventures and Columbia Capital, as well as existing investor ICG Communications.

Netcentrex Partners with BEA Systems for FMC and IMS

Netcentrex has partnered with BEA Systems to develop and promote joint solutions addressing the fixed/mobile convergence and IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) markets.

BEA WebLogic SIP Server, acting as an IMS Application Server, controls the Netcentrex MCS IP Media Server, which in turn acts as an IMS audio and video Media Resource Function (MRF) to deliver IP multimedia processing. For increased efficiency, developers can use the BEA WebLogic Workshop development environment to design applications requiring both session and media control.

The companies said their joint initiative is based entirely on open standards, such as the IMS Service Control (ISC) and Mr interfaces, RTSP and VXML. As part of the agreement, Netcentrex can also develop application modules on top of BEA WebLogic SIP Server designed to facilitate and accelerate the BEA WebLogic SIP Server integration within converged fixed/mobile and IMS environments. http://www.netcentrex.net

USIIA Rejects Legislative Approach to Network Neutrality

The US Internet Industry Association (USIIA) urged Congress to take no action on the issue of network neutrality, concluding legislative action "could substantially undermine investment in networks, stifle innovation on the Internet and harm consumers and business alike."

USIIA is a national trade association for Internet commerce, content and connectivity.

"Network neutrality continues to be nothing more than a solution in search of a problem," said David P. McClure, USIIA president and CEO. "In spite of intense media hype and speculation by advocates, there is no evidence that a problem does or will exist."

D-Link Launches Mobile Wi-Fi Phone Preloaded with TelTel Software

D-Link introduced a flip-style mobile Wi-Fi phone that will ship with a full-featured softphone from TelTel, provider of SIP-based global Internet telephony services. Calls from the D-Link phone are made over the Public SIP Telephone Network (PsipTN) telephony backbone. The unit has a suggested retail price of under $300. Commercial shipments are slated for Q2.

D-Link is using Broadcom's Wi-Fi phone silicon and software platform for the device.


AudioCodes Teams with Digium -- Media Gateways + Asterisk Software

AudioCodes and Digium, the creator of Asterisk and pioneer of open source telephony, announced a partnership to formalize product interoperability between a range of AudioCodes media gateway platforms and the Asterisk open-source software application.

AudioCodes' SIP Gateway products, the Mediant 1000; TP260/SIP; and the MediaPack will undergo testing and a certification process to determine interoperability and compatibility when integrated with Digium's Asterisk Business Edition.

The companies said the results of interoperability testing will help Asterisk developers and value added resellers (VARs) to better design and deploy high quality and scalable SIP-based solutions.

VeriSign to Acquire Kontiki for Digital Media Delivery

VeriSign agreed to acquire Kontiki, a provider of managed peer delivery systems for high-quality video, software and digital content, for approximately $62 million dollars.

Kontiki's system will form the cornerstone of VeriSign's Broadband Content Services platform to enable the delivery of rich media over broadband networks to personal computers, television sets and portable devices. The broadband delivery capabilities complement VeriSign's Mobile Content Services infrastructure and expand the company's Content Services portfolio.

Kontiki's platform is being used by Internet portals, broadcasters and Fortune 500 companies. AOL, BSkyB, Verizon and others use the centrally managed system to deliver branded high-quality video content.

Kontiki, based in Mountain View, CA, is privately held and has 34 employees in the United States.

VeriSign also completed the acquisition of 3united Mobile Solutions ag, for which it paid 55 million EURs.
  • In October 2005, Kontiki announced the fifth generation of its flagship software for delivering DVD-quality video across the Internet or enterprise. Called Kontiki 5.0, the new, enhanced platform enables content providers and enterprises to securely publish, protect, deliver and track rich media content at a fraction of the cost of traditional distribution systems, while giving users on-demand access to rich media content. Specific capabilities include:

    Content Security – Allows only authorized users to receive and view content and employs MS DRM (Digital Rights Management) to prevent unauthorized or illegal copying or sharing of content with another individual or device.

    Content Audit and Tracking Features -- Consumer media companies can measure the effectiveness and popularity of specific content. Enterprises can measure content consumption by employee or by region.

    Controlled Publishing – Only authorized users or groups can publish content for distribution.

    Efficient P2P Delivery – Maximizes the delivery and download speed of media content and manages bandwidth usage to reduce service provider costs. The peer-to-peer download process is transparent to the end user and does not impact the performance of the device.

    Customization and Integration – Kontiki 5.0 features a set of APIs enabling the enterprise and consumer media company to create fully customized and branded user interfaces.

    DVD-HDV Quality – Video quality is preserved, with full-screen, DVD or HDV quality.
  • AOL is using the Kontiki Plug-in and Relay Network delivery mechanism to deliver its new In2TV VOD service. AOL is promising DVD-like quality in full screen playback mode.
  • The BCC is using Kontiki for its planned online content launch. Announced in August 2005, the "MyBBCPlayer" will let viewers legally download up to seven days of the BBC's most recent TV programs. For UK viewers, a simulcast of BBC One or BBC Two will be available online at the same time as the television broadcast. The Internet based service is expected to launch in 2006.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Nokia and Deutsche Telekom Pilot Fixed Mobile Convergence

Deutsche Telekom announced T-One, an integrated dual-mode telephony solution combining fixed line and mobile communications. The service is being piloted on Nokia N80 and Nokia E60 devices.

T-One will offer customers a simple and convenient way to access both fixed line and mobile data services using WLAN-enabled Nokia N80 and Nokia E60 devices. Customers will be able to use the same data and voice services from home or on the go through a T-Com HotSpot.

"The Internet and mobile communications are coming together faster than anyone expected. We're delighted to work with Germany's leading operator, the Deutsche Telekom Group, in the mobile and Internet space to offer new possibilities for people to communicate in a flexible way with the T-One solution," said Ilkka Raiskinen, senior vice president of Multimedia Experiences at Nokia.

Global Crossing Launches Applications Performance Management with Fluke

Global Crossing is adding an Applications Performance Management (APM) service to its portfolio of fully managed, converged IP services.

The service provides end-to-end, real-time performance monitoring, robust troubleshooting and one-second increment data gathering at every site throughout a converged IP network.

Enabled through a strategic partnership with Fluke Networks that incorporates its Visual UpTime Select solution, APM provides network managers the ability to identify performance issues and determine if they are application specific or network based, resulting in faster resolutions.

Global Crossing Applications Performance Management Services are now available worldwide.

SupportSoft's CEO to Step Down

Radha R. Basu will step down as CEO of SupportSoft to focus her efforts on non-profit work. Ms. Basu has been CEO since she joined SupportSoft in July, 1999. She will remain in her current role as CEO until her successor is on board and will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Linksys Launches SIP-Based Multi-Line Phone System

Cisco Systems' Linksys division introduced a new line of SIP-based telephony products targeting SOHO and very small business customers. The new line of IP telephony solutions called the Linksys Voice System 9000 (LVS 9000) includes an IP PBX/Key system, a wide range of IP desktop phones, an Analog Gateway for connection to the Public Switched Telephone Network and a selection of authorized Internet Telephone Service Provider (ITSP) offerings for the Value Added Reseller (VAR) or small business to choose from.

The Linksys Voice System 9000, a fully-featured multi-line Internet phone system for up to 16 lines, includes the following components:

  • Configuration Server

  • SIP Proxy and Registrar - Up to 16 Users

  • Application Server

  • Music on Hold Server

  • Media Proxy

  • Web Server - For Local Management

  • ATA via 2 Onboard RJ11 FXS Ports

  • Two Phone Ports for analog telephone and fax

  • IP PBX features including Automated Attendant, Automatic Call Distribution / Routing, Bridged / Shared Line Call Appearance, Call Transfe, Call Forwarding, Local and Corporate Directory, Call Pickup, Group Paging, Intercom, etc.

Pricing starts at $400.

The new line of Linksys phones includes models with one or two Ethernet ports, 1, 2, or 4 extensions, optional Power over Ethernet functionality, or a durable no-display model. Pricing starts at $89.

MobiTV Hires Sprint Exec to Drive Content Acquisition

MobiTV, which provides television and digital radio services for mobile devices, named Dale Knoop as Sr. Director of Business Development. Knoop previously served as Sprint's General Manager of Multimedia.

MobiTV recently expanding its MobiTV service with version for the Palm TX and other WiFi enabled devices. Dozens of channels are offered through MobiTV's WiFi service, including ABC News Now, Bloomberg, C-SPAN, Comedy Time, ESPN 3GTV, Fox News, Fox Sports, The Weather Channel and ToonWorld TV. Additional channels will be added throughout the year.

AudioCodes Collaborates on Microsoft's Next Unified Messaging System

AudioCodes announced that its Mediant and MediaPack SIP VoIP Gateways provide key interoperability solutions that enable Microsoft Exchange "12" Unified Messaging to connect to an enterprise's existing voice network.

Microsoft Exchange "12" is the code name for Microsoft's next version of its server for e-mail, calendaring and unified messaging.

Microsoft and AudioCodes have been working closely to develop and test the AudioCodes gateways to help ensure they will be market ready along with the Exchange "12". Microsoft announced its "Beta 1" program for Exchange "12" late last year, and Exchange "12" is expected to be generally available in late 2006 or early 2007.