Monday, March 20, 2006

Fujitsu Enhances FLASHWAVE 7420 Optical Platform

Fujitsu Network Communications announced significant enhancements to its FLASHWAVE 7420 wavelength access platform.

The FLASHWAVE 7420 wavelength access platform is fully incorporated into the Fujitsu WDM portfolio through a four-year OEM relationship with ADVA Optical Networking. The system will multiplex and offer transport for high-speed voice, video, data and storage applications.

The carrier-class platform, available in both a standard (seven rack unit) and slimline (one rack unit) chassis version, can be used to increase bandwidth and service flexibility, while supporting new revenue-generating opportunities for high-speed Ethernet and Storage Area Network (SAN) services. Individual wavelengths can be provisioned with or without protection to offer QoS differentiation.

Major new features on the FLASHWAVE 7420 wavelength access platform include:

  • Simultaneous Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing (CWDM) and Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) capabilities on a single FLASHWAVE 7420 chassis, as well as seamless migration of services between both technologies

  • A full suite of Small Form-factor Pluggable (SFP) and 10 Gbps Small Form-factor Pluggable (XFP) optics that offer integrated amplification, signal conditioning, embedded communications, and optical protection, in addition to carrier-class transport for multiple services up to 10 Gbps

  • Transmission of 80 protected wavelengths (increasing from 32 protected wavelengths in prior releases) to allow up to 640 separate services to be transported over a single pair of fibers

  • Support for transmission distances of up to 200 km across a single span and new Raman amplification modules that support network distances beyond 1000 km without regeneration

  • New management and provisioning functionality includes support for a Generalized Multiprotocol Label Switching (GMPLS) control plane, Generic Framing Procedure (GFP), Optical Transport Network (OTN) aggregation, and G.709 digital wrapper technology. When combined with existing support for an Optical Supervisory Channel (OSC) and an Embedded Communications Channel (ECC), the FLASHWAVE 7420 platform offers unmatched operation and service provisioning capabilities from any node on the network.

The same NETSMART 1500 Element Management System that manages existing Fujitsu SONET and WDM network elements can also be used to manage the FLASHWAVE 7420 platform and provision services on demand.

Siemens Brings Carrier Ethernet Products to U.S. Market

Siemens Communications announced the availability of its SURPASS hiD Carrier Ethernet products in the United States. Siemens' carrier Ethernet switches are already in deployment by more than 10 operators throughout Asia and Europe, including at Deutsche Telekom where they support the operator's television and video services.

The SURPASS hiD Carrier Ethernet platform features a hybrid architecture of Enhanced Ethernet and MPLS technologies. The platform helps ensure operational efficiency and end-to-end Hierarchical Quality of Service (HQoS) per service and per subscriber, with sub-50 milliseconds resiliency. Siemens said its hybrid Ethernet/MPLS architecture helps to enable 99.999 (5-nines) percent service availability with SONET-like restoration, including hard QoS for real-time applications. The SURPASS hiD Carrier Ethernet product suite is also compliant with Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF9) specifications and with Network Equipment-Building System Level 3 guidelines applied to telecommunications equipment in the United States.

Another key benefit that U.S. metro Ethernet providers require is end-to-end service provisioning.

Shanghai's OCN Selects TANDBERG Television's OpenStream

Oriental Cable Network (OCN), formerly known as Shanghai Cable Network and operator of the city's largest CATV with 4 million viewers, selected TANDBERG TV's OpenStream Digital Services platform to support its first video on-demand (VOD) content deployment.

The contract is the first to be publicly announced for the TANDBERG OpenStream Digital Services Platform in Asia. It builds on the company's position in the North American cable VOD market.

As part of the contract TANDBERG Television will provide the back office software systems and also work with OCN's engineers to integrate technologies and devices from numerous third party vendors.

DMTF Targets Standards for Desktop and Mobile Management

The Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF has formed two new Work Groups to address emerging issues in cross-platform management. The Desktop and Mobile Work Group will build on the DMTF's standards for the management of end user systems, while the Telecommunications Work Group will focus on the increasing requirement for commonality in the enterprise and service provider space, providing a consistent model and semantics for diverse environments including the enterprise, storage, telecommunications, grid and high availability areas.

The DMTF said it intends to extend its Common Information Model (CIM) schema to enable the standardization of key functions, such as alerting and event logging, remote system power control and monitoring, boot process monitoring, platform asset inventory, discovery and more. The group will create a common interface between management applications and these platforms for in-band, out-of-band, in-service and out-of-service management.

NEC America Expands Optical ROADM Series

NEC America has expanded its SpectralWave family of reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) technologies with the addition of application-agile, multi-reach systems for service provider and Multiple System Operators' (MSO) metro, regional and long distance networks. The new the 4200-series is configured to address carriers' requirements for fiber type, reach and performance requirements.

The new 4240 Metro Edge ROADM can transport up to 40 L-band or C-band wavelengths. Key features include full add/drop at any node, full-band tunable transponders, SONET-on-a-blade multiplexers and upgrade capability to wavelength crossconnect. Topologies include optical rings, point-to-point, or linear-chain.

NEC predicts the 4200-ROADM series can play a major role in facilitating operational improvements by offering application flexibility, while cost-effectively supporting capacity requirements.

NetCracker Announces OSS Orchestrator for IMS/SDP

NetCracker Technology introduced OSS Orchestrator for IMS/SDP deployments, a solution the provides a unified, single interface for a Service Broker and the service creation environment. This enables the Operations Support Systems (OSS) to have the data and functionality necessary to create, deliver and manage a service.

NetCracker OSS Orchestrator for IMS/SDPs provides three key capabilities that an IMS/SDP platform needs from a CSP's back office to ensure successful creation and delivery of converged and content-rich services:

  • Visibility and access to detailed service configuration and capabilities of underlying resources employed by a service from Layer 1 through 7

  • Visibility and access into network and IT infrastructure configuration and capabilities of resources across technology domains and network layers to allow a SDP to choose the most cost effective and optimized utilization of assets to deliver a selected service

  • Complete independence from the underlying complexity of every OSS necessary to create and deliver services, making the existing OSS "IMS/SDP ready" without significant integration and re-engineering costs

"NetCracker's OSS Orchestrator for IMS/SDP is the go-to solution to ensure that existing OSS does not become a barrier to successful implementation of IMS/SDP," said Sanjay Mewada, Vice President of Strategy at NetCracker Technology. "The centralized logic and repository of all service-to-resource relationships provides a single interaction point for all OSS-related information necessary for service creation, provisioning and management.

Veraz Integrates Legacy IN Services With IMS Multimedia Services

Veraz Networks added new functionality to its ControlSwitch platform to help service providers to evolve from traditional voice networks to IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) compliant next generation networks (NGN).

The new Service Control Multi-Protocol (SCMP) capabilities unify the service layer, allowing service providers to mix and match their legacy Intelligent Network (IN) services, such as toll-free and national do-not-call, with new multimedia services, such as messaging and presence. Multiple services can even be initiated within the same call.

Veraz said its ControlSwitch is able to integrate with and leverage the existing value added services infrastructure because it is fully programmable and can be rapidly adapted to meet the unique make-up of a given network.

SCMP capabilities allow a call originating from a Voice over Broadband network to access both the service provider's legacy services as well as new IMS multimedia services.

SCMP aligns with the Service Capability Interaction Management (SCIM) or Service Broker functions emerging within industry service architectures such as those defined by 3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project) and the MSF (Multiservice Forum). SCMP is a realization of these new architectures.

Verizon Granted Regulatory Relief on Broadband Services

The FCC granted Verizon's petition for regulatory relief of its broadband infrastructure and fiber capabilities.

In December 2004, Verizon requested that the FCC forbear from applying common carrier regulations and the Computer Inquiry requirements to its high capacity broadband services.

As a matter or proceeding, the FCC failed to deny the petition by the required deadline and thereby the petition was granted.

The decision exempts Verizon from having to provide competitors with access to certain broadband facilities and from having to file proposed price increases for certain broadband services with regulators. It does not apply to traditional special access services (DS1 and DS3 services) and excludes TDM-based optical networking.

In a statement, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said this relief "will enable Verizon to have the flexibility to further deploy its broadband services and fiber facilities without overly burdensome regulations." He likened the decision to other regulatory relief provided in recent Commission decisions regarding broadband, saying that market forces would now drive new investment in networking.

However, FCC Commissioner Michael Copps blasted the decision, saying the decision "erases decades of communications policy in a single stroke... Longstanding policies--from pricing flexibility standards to accounting rules to notice required for service withdrawal--may all be in play now. "

Lucent Wins Auction to Purchase Riverstone for $207 million

Lucent Technologies was declared winner of the auction to acquire Riverstone Networks. Lucent's final bid was $207 million in cash, as well as certain modifications to the asset purchase agreement originally signed by the parties on February 7, 2006.
  • On March 17, Ericsson made a last minute, $178 million offer to acquire Riverstone Networks, a supplier of carrier Ethernet infrastructure solutions for business and residential communications services.

  • On February 7, 2006, Riverstone and Lucent Technologies signed an asset purchase agreement in which the stated purchase price was $170 million, subject to certain potential adjustments.

Tellabs Introduces Optical Network Terminals

Tellabs introduced new Optical Network Terminals (ONTs) for PON deployments. Several models are available, including for IPTV and CATV in single-family homes, multi-tenant units (MTUs) and small business installations. The units are managed from the network through the Tellabs 1090 Network Management System (formerly AFC's Panorama)

Verizon Seeks FCC Intervention in Cablevision Sports Programming Case

Verizon filed a formal program access complaint with the FCC seeking regulatory intervention to help it secure Rainbow's sports programming in New York and New England.

Through Rainbow Media Holdings, Cablevision operates regional sports networks in New York that hold rights to produce and show games of local teams including the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils.

Rainbow also operates and owns a 50 percent interest in a regional sports network that holds rights to produce and show games of the Boston Celtics, among other teams in the Boston area.

Verizon said it has made repeated requests for more than a year to begin to negotiate a carriage agreement for Fox Sports Network New York, Fox Sports Network New England and Madison Square Garden Network -- all controlled by Rainbow.

Verizon argues that Cablevision's consistent refusal to negotiate carriage is "an attempt to block competition and preserve its market position... and the 1992 Cable Act specifically prohibits this type of refusal to deal."

Hurricane Electric Adds 10GigE Peering with Equinix, Telehouse

Hurricane Electric, an Internet backbone and colocation provider, has increased the size of its connections at Telehouse New York and at Equinix Ashburn and Equinix San Jose to from Gigabit Ethernet ports to 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports. The company said the upgrade was necessitated by a large upswing in traffic growth over the last several months.

Deutsche Telekom Selects Microsoft's IPTV

Deutsche Telekom will use the Microsoft TV IPTV Edition software platform for its IPTV rollout. The agreement is Microsoft's largest IPTV contract in Europe to date and its second-largest worldwide. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Deutsche Telekom's IPTV service will run over its new VDSL2 network, which is expected to deliver up to 50 Mbps and is planned for launch starting mid-2006 in 10 major German cities including Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and Munich.

Microsoft said the Deutsche Telekom deal, together with Telecom Italia's recent selection of Microsoft TV IPTV Edition, signifies growing acceptance for its IPTV platform by the world's largest telcos . This brings Microsoft TV to 13 publicly announced broadband service provider customers worldwide using IPTV Edition, of which ten are committed to commercial deployments. Those 10 are AT&T, BT, Deutsche Telekom, Swisscom, T-Online France, TDC, Telecom Italia, Telkom South Africa, Verizon and Another three customers -- Bell South, Bell Canada and Reliance Infocomm -- are in trials.

Microsoft said it expects AT&T, BT, Swisscom and others will extend their commercial rollout of IPTV to numerous markets, and that other customers will introduce their first commercial IPTV services based on Microsoft TV IPTV Edition this year.

Pioneer Telephone Deploys Ruckus Wireless for In-Home IPTV Distribution

Pioneer Telephone Cooperative (Pioneer), which serves some 140,000 customers in Oklahoma, is beginning a customer trial of Ruckus Wireless' in-home "smart Wi-Fi" system to stream digital TV content to any corner of the home using standard 802.11g Wi-Fi technology.

Pioneer is currently one of the nation's largest providers of commercial IPTV services (launched in June 2004) and has more than 20,000 broadband subscribers.

It currently delivers up to 20 Mbps of broadband capacity to subscribers using ADSL2+ technology to support the simultaneous viewing of as many as three different TV channels per home. Each TV stream consumes approximately 4.5 Mbps of capacity. Subscribers can choose from over 165 channels of compressed (MPEG-2) digital TV, as well as Internet access and, in the future, digital voice services.

Wi-Fi Completes the Triple Play
date, in-home video distribution -- an essential element for Triple Play
delivery -- has been largely ignored: Given its widespread popularity and
use within the home, Wi-Fi would be an obvious solution to this problem.
Yet conventional consumer Wi-Fi was designed primarily for data
applications and provides poor transport for multimedia traffic. Here is
how a new generation of Smart Wi-Fi could solve the problem.

UTStarcom and QUALCOMM Develop Vehicle-Mounted CDMA Base Station

UTStarcom has developed a QUALCOMM Deployable Base Station (QDBS) designed to provide a highly portable, all-IP CDMA2000 800/1900 MHz network to enable reliable mobile voice and 153-kbps data service in both stand-alone scenarios or when interoperating with commercial or other private networks. The unit is designed to interface with pico-cells and macro-cells to increase coverage areas and system capacities. The QUALCOMM Deployable Base Station is based on UTStarcom's MovingMedia 2000 all-IP CDMA wireless core infrastructure technology, which provides the essential connectivity components.


XTS Telecom Selects Redback SmartEdge for VoIP/WiMAX

XTS Telecom has selected Redback's SmartEdge Service Gateway for deployment in its new WiMAX access network across the French islands of Reunion, Martinique, and Guadeloupe. XTS plans to use the Redback SmartEdge Service Gateway systems' carrier class Ethernet capabilities to connect to the WiMAX base stations. This will enable it to deliver personalized services, including VoIP over WiMAX.

Redback is working with Telindus for the XTS Telecom deployment.

Siemens Supplies HSDPA for T-Mobile

Siemens Communications confirmed that it is the primary supplier for T-Mobile's High Speed Data Packet Access (HSDPA) deployment. A software update for the base stations shifts the existing W-CDMA network into high gear. Initially, transfer rates of up to 1.8 Mbps -- rather than the previous 384 kbps -- are possible. The upgraded service is initially available in Germany and Austria.

Freescale and Techno Mathematical Deliver H.264 Video Encoding/Decoding

Freescale Semiconductor and Techno Mathematical announced full-duplex encoding and decoding H.264 high-quality video using Techno Mathematical's proprietary software on Freescale's i.MX multimedia applications processors. In addition, the companies have implemented a highly-efficient playback function for Windows Media format.

The companies achieved full-duplex encoding and decoding of H.264 video format (QCIF 15 fps) by running Techno Mathematical's H.264 codec software on Freescale's i.MX21 multimedia applications processor, operating at 266 MHz. The companies achieved simultaneous decoding of the Windows Media video/audio format by running the Techno Mathematical's high-speed Windows Media decoder on Freescale's i.MX21 processor.

SES AMERICOM and NDS Partner on IPTV Programming

SES AMERICOM reached an agreement with NDS to provide end-to-end IPTV content protection aboard SES AMERICOM's IP-PRIME distribution service. The alliance represents a key component of the turnkey, IP-PRIME solution, which will provide telcos with a turnkey IPTV content solution.

As part of the agreement, NDS is integrating its VideoGuard conditional access and Synamedia IPTV software into the IP-PRIME network, a centralized, satellite-delivered IP television delivery system. The combination of the NDS VideoGuard and Synamedia encryption and security capabilities provide protection - from origination at the SES AMERICOM IPTV Broadcast Center in Vernon Valley, New Jersey, to authorized telco video hubs, all the way to the IP set-top box and throughout a communications network in the home.

BellSouth and the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC), which serves rural and independent telcos in a market of more than 10 million homes, are currently in varying stages of IP-PRIME trials. IP-PRIME partners include Scientific-Atlanta, which was selected to provide an MPEG-4 encoding system and its ROSA Network Management System. Globecomm Systems is providing the overall design and integration services as well as the major components for the IPTV broadcast distribution center.

IP-PRIME is scheduled for commercial launch later this year, with hundreds of standard and HD television channels available for telco subscribers across the U.S.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Entrisphere Announces GPON Access Solution

Entrisphere introduced its GPON access solution including network platforms, software, network terminals and management systems.

The core of the Entrisphere GPON solution includes Optical Line Terminals (OLTs), Optical Network Terminals (ONTs), Optical Network Units (ONUs) and management systems. The solution also includes software upgrades that expand existing IP service-aware features such as IGMP multicasting, VLAN stacking and tagging, and security upgrades.

Entrisphere said its systems are ready for IMS integration. Key features include high density GigE uplinks and integrated voice gateways for increased TDM and VoIP support. Both the hardware and software components build on the existing base of BLM 1500, T-Series and EntriView systems, all of which have been deployed at major carriers for copper and B-PON networks.

The GPON ONTs and ONUs serve single family homes, businesses, residences in multi-dwelling unit buildings (MDUs), businesses in multi-tenant buildings (MTUs), and fiber-to-the-curb (FTTC) applications. All the applications meet North American standards in addition to G.984, including NEBS Level 3, GR-303/TR-08, 99.999% reliability and environmental hardening. By adhering to G.984 standards, both the OLT and ONTs are designed to be interoperable with other G.984-compliant GPON systems. The EntriView Element Management System (EMS) has also been upgraded to manage the GPON network elements.

In addition, Entrisphere announced a series of new product features that enhance the performance of the GPON OLT and ONTs in the access network. These new features include new SIP-based VoIP service on all of its ONTs and ONUs, coupled with integrated voice gateways to legacy Class 5 switches and H.248 softswitches in the BLM 1500. (As an alternative to using an integrated gateway, the system interoperates with external SIP and H.248 voice gateways.)

Virtual Network Elements to Integrate Carrier Management Silos
Access Platforms enable new IPTV and packet voice services, and they lower
capital costs by reducing the number of separate boxes needed to provide
the various functions. But the very integration that makes MSAPs so
attractive also causes problems for the legacy side of telco operations.
The solution is to use software to abstract non-integrated, virtual views
of the MSAP's functions from its integrated hardware.