Monday, March 27, 2006

ECI Telecom Debuts Hi-FOCuS MiniShelf

ECI Telecom introduced its Hi-FOCuS MiniShelf, a solution for street (Outside Plant) installations that combines xDSL and Fiber to the Premises capabilities in one box. This enables service providers to deploy access technologies such as ADSL2+, VDSL2 and fiber optics last mile access (GPON).

The Hi-FOCuS MiniShelf accommodates all types of cards used in ECI's Hi-FOCuS Central Office solution. Using the same cards for both the Central Office as well as the Remote systems also provides operators with significant CAPEX and OPEX savings. The new solution can be integrated into an existing or new street cabinet.

ECI's portfolio of Outside Plant solutions also includes its Hi-FOCuS MiniRAM DSLAM and the Hi-FOCuS MiniCAB mini street cabinet. All Hi-FOCuS MiniShelf products use the same management systems and aggregation facilities as ECI's family of broadband access products for both Central Office and Outside Plant, providing superior ease of use and interoperability.

Cramer Introduces its Next Gen OSS, Partners with Alcatel, Oracle

Cramer launched its Cramer6 OSS Suite, its next generation, end-to-end fulfillment suite "for any service on any network." The company has added seven new integrated products to its portfolio.

Cramer said that by encapsulating network complexity for presentation to the sales and marketing organization, it can allows product managers to accelerate the creation of new services.

Cramer6 OSS Suite provides a two-way interface between the Business Support Systems (BSS) and the OSS. It features a unique inventory-centric approach to service fulfillment and activation. Driven by the need for more sophisticated activation for NGN environments, particularly Triple Play, Cramer6 OSS Suite applies the functionality of Cramer inventory and process automation to the task of high-volume, flow-through activation. Inventory-centric activation enables complex service changes without service disruption, increases fulfillment accuracy and reduces the order-to-bill cycle.

Cramer also said its new OSS Suite is intrinsically ready to support new media-based services and associated content. By providing an abstract view of services and resources at all levels, including network, IT and content components, and by providing a capacity view of these resources, Cramer6 OSS Suite enables automation of critical business processes across the converged network.

Separately, Alcatel and Cramer are teaming up to launch a joint Next Generation Network (NGN) solution center to develop an out-of-the box fulfillment solution. Cramer and Alcatel will jointly invest in the NGN Solution Center, which will be located at Alcatel's premises in Stuttgart, Germany.

The joint solution will leverage the Cramer6 OSS Suite and Alcatel's equipment and integration capabilities to automate the end-to-end fulfillment of triple play services for Tier 1 telecom operators.

Cramer also announced plans to offer solutions for telecommunications service providers pre-integrated with Oracle's Business Support System (BSS) capabilities. Specifically, Cramer will work with Oracle to deliver solutions to integrate BSS and OSS and automate key business processes to drive efficiency, scalability and flexibility.

LGC Wireless Collaborates with Nortel on In-Building CDMA

Nortel agreed to distribute LGC Wireless' in-building wireless products as part of its CDMA portfolio of mobile wireless infrastructure solutions.

Under the agreement, Nortel will sell and distribute LGC's InterReach Unison systems around the world, giving LGC a strong global distribution partner that is a leader in carrier wireless infrastructure.


Wireless Applications Need Better In-Building Coverage
the race to deploy 3G mobile data coverage, carriers are primarily
concerned with upgrading their existing outdoor network. While this will
support applications in transportation, utilities, and construction
industries, such coverage won't easily support indoor mobile 3G wireless
users. There are two basic challenges.

BroadSoft Announces IMS-ready Media Resource Function Server

BroadSoft introduced a new Media Resource Function Server (MRF) for IMS environments. Based on the BroadWorks Media Server, the new MRF builds on core features by enhancing them with IMS capability, permitting interoperability with other application servers and allowing service providers to quickly deploy a range of audio and video services.

As a fully IMS-compliant media server, the MRF links the control and transport layers of the network, processing requests for media services from the application server.

The MRF could also be used in enterprise networks to enable multiple media capabilities, including audio and video IVR functions (i.e. record and playback), audio conferencing with ad-hoc and group calling, fax reception and forwarding and streaming (audio and video broadcast).

Broadsoft cited a number of network applications that can be built by using the MRF, including:

  • Video Mail and messaging

  • Auto Attendant

  • Video advertisement in call centre queues

  • Play tones

The MRF can also be managed remotely and monitored externally.

BT Deploys MetaSolv's Provisioning 5 for IP Services

BT is implementing MetaSolv's Provisioning 5 to enable IP Service delivery. Specifically, MetaSolv's Provisioning 5 will be used to facilitate the automated provisioning of BT's MPLS-based IP-VPN services and network elements as part of BT's Vserve initiative. The key objective of BT's Vserve program is to simplify and automate its entire VPN provisioning process, reducing time to revenue and lowering operational costs.

As a major part of this initiative, BT is replacing a legacy order management system with MetaSolv's Provisioning 5 to manage the entire provisioning process for provider edge (PE) and customer edge (CE) routers, MPLS IP-VPN services, and QoS. Provisioning 5 is already deployed at BT to manage a number of services and technologies.

Provisioning 5, formerly known as MetaSolv OMS, provides critical back-office provisioning management functions to orchestrate the essential tasks required to deliver a service to a customer.

Australia's ReelTime Media Deploys SkyStream

Australia's ReelTime Media has deployed SkyStream's "zBand" content delivery platform to deliver the latest Hollywood and Australian movies, regional fare and specialized video content to service providers and customers in major metropolitan areas in Australia.

SkyStream's zBand is an end-to-end PUSH VOD system that ingests, packages, schedules and delivers movies and video content to ReelTime's IP-based television set-top box in customers' homes across the country.

ReelTime is the first VOD service to use version 6.0 of zBand, which enables reliable unicast or one-to-one delivery of rights-protected Hollywood content. ReelTime makes full use of new unicast security, quality-of-service (QoS) and authorization features. The viewer's experience is also enhanced by zBand's Forward Error Correction (FEC), which can repair damaged packets in the distribution, reducing the need to carousel content, making more network bandwidth available to deliver SD and HD movies and ensuring DVD-like picture quality.

ReelTime has licensed SecureMedia's Encryptonite System for digital rights management (DRM) in order to license the top VOD content from the leading Hollywood and Australian film studios.

  • Reeltime has secured access agreements with Telstra for its national network, including the consumer DSL network.

Cantata's SnowShore IP MediaServer Available on Stratus Linux Server

Cantata Technology has partnered with Stratus Technologies to make its SnowShore IP Media Server available with the Linux-based Stratus ftServer 30 CO system.

Cantata's SnowShore IP Media Server is a software-based, carrier-grade IP media server that leverages SIP, VoiceXML, and MSCML. The Stratus ftServer T30 is a mid-range server designed for computing environments built around the RedHat Enterprise Linux operating system.

The joint product is offered through Eastwind Communications, a value-added reseller of multi-service platforms for telecommunications developers marketing to VARs, ISVs and carriers worldwide. Eastwind is a Stratus and Cantata partner.
  • Cantata Technology was formed through the merger of Excel Switching Corporation and Brooktrout Technology.

Intel Establishes $50 Million Venture Capital Fund for Brazil

Intel has created a US$50 million venture capital fund to promote technology growth in Brazil.

Since 1999, Intel Capital has already invested over US$35 million in 13 companies. In 2005, Intel Capital announced four local investments in Digitron, TelecomNet, Certsign and Neovia.

MoCA Completes Interoperability Wave

The Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) completed its first certification wave.

Actiontec, Entropic, Linksys, Mototech, Motorola, Panasonic, 2Wire and Westell all successfully passed and were awarded MoCA certification. The same eight companies participated in MoCA's first plugfest last November.

In addition, MoCA recently ratified and released its "MoCA MAC/PHY v1.0 Specification," for which certification verifies compliance.
  • A MoCA network can transport video, voice and data to TVs, set-tops, DVRs, game boxes, WiFi repeaters and PCs at physical speeds of up to 270 Mbps homes and has been field tested across America in real world situations to deliver over a net usable 100 Mbps at greater than 97% of coax outlets.

  • The MoCA Board of Directors includes Comcast, Cox Communications, EchoStar Technologies, Entropic Communications, Linksys, Motorola, Panasonic, RadioShack, Toshiba and Verizon.

Proposed Barton-Rush Bill Addresses Video Franchising

U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton, R-Texas, and U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., introduced a bill aimed at making it easier for new entrants into pay-TV services.

Specifically, the Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act of 2006 would:

  • Create a nationwide approval process for pay-TV services. By streamlining this system, these companies will be able to offer new TV services in many areas while protecting local interests. Cable providers will also be eligible to participate in this streamlined system once they face local competition.

  • Require Internet-based telephone services to offer 9-1-1 capabilities while ensuring Internet telephone providers have access to all necessary 9-1-1 infrastructure and technology.

  • Clarify the FCC authority to prevent Internet service providers from blocking or degrading any content or applications delivered over the public Internet.

  • Preserve municipalities' right to collect up to a five percent fee from pay-TV providers.

  • Allow cities and towns to develop their own broadband networks.

A hearing on the bill for Thursday, March 30, 2006.

Cox Reaches 3.1 Million Broadband, 1.7 Million Digital Phone Customers

Cox Communications ended 2005 with more than 13.8 million revenue generating units (RGUs), reflecting year-over-year growth of approximately 10%, including more than 3.1 million Cox High Speed Internet subscribers. Cox increased its company-wide penetration of broadband within serviceable homes to nearly 30%. Cox also ended 2005 with nearly 1.7 million Digital Telephone subscribers.

Next Gen Bluetooth to be Based on WiMedia UWB

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has selected the WiMedia Alliance multiband orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (MB-OFDM) version of ultra-wideband (UWB) as its future radio platform.

The new version of Bluetooth is expected to meet the high-speed demands of synchronizing and transferring large amounts of data as well as enabling high quality video and audio applications for portable devices, multi-media projectors and television sets.

At the same time, Bluetooth technology will continue catering to the needs of very low power applications such as mice, keyboards and mono headsets, enabling devices to select the most appropriate physical radio for the application requirements.

One of the key components to the agreement between the Bluetooth SIG and the WiMedia Alliance will help UWB achieve global regulatory acceptance. Both parties have agreed to develop a high speed, high data rate Bluetooth solution that utilizes the unlicensed radio spectrum above 6 GHz. This move answers concerns voiced by regulatory bodies in both Europe and Asia.

The Bluetooth SIG Core Specification Working Group Charter and UWB Feature Requirements Document (FRD) have been approved by the Bluetooth SIG Board of Directors, signaling that work may commence. The requirements set by the UWB study group in the UWB FRD define what has to be done to create a solution appropriate for adoption by the Bluetooth SIG. Both groups will immediately begin work together on the specification draft within the Bluetooth SIG Core Specification Working Group. The Bluetooth SIG estimates this process to last approximately one year, with the first Bluetooth technology/UWB solution chip sets available for prototyping in Q2 2007.

In a statement, Michael Foley, Ph.D., executive director, Bluetooth SIG said "As a member-driven organization, it is the Bluetooth SIG's responsibility to ensure it's attentive to its members' needs. Having considered the UWB technology options, the decision ultimately came down to what our members want, which is to leverage their current investments in both UWB and Bluetooth technologies and meet the high-speed demands of their customers. By working closely with the WiMedia Alliance to create the next version of Bluetooth technology, we will enable our members to do just that."

The WiMedia Alliance noted that its radio specifications can support a variety of applications using different wireless protocols, including Certified Wireless USB, Bluetooth technology, the 1394 Trade Group's "Wireless FireWire" Protocol Adaptation Layer (PAL), and Wireless IP. Different wireless protocols can operate within the same wireless personal area network without interference.

WiMedia UWB also features the ability to control frequency band usage without requiring additional, costly software implementations.

The WiMedia UWB Common Radio Platform is moving toward International Organization for Standardization (ISO) acceptance through Ecma International's ECMA-368 and ECMA-369 standards.

  • WiMedia UWB is optimized for wireless personal-area networks delivering 480 Mbps and up.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

HKBN Launches Free Movie Download, Showcasing its 100Mbps Service

Hong Kong Broadband Network Limited Free Legal movie download platform for all Hong Kong Internet users, irrespective of ISP. the only restriction is an 18 minute download time out. HKBN's Metro Ethernet bb100 (symmetric 100 Mbps) subscribers will be able to download an entire 4GB DVD format movie in less than 7 minutes. Unfortunately, other ISP subscribers on ADSL with 6 Mbps download bandwidth are likely to take more than 1 hour to retrieve the movies, thereby exceeding the time out limit.

The 5 movies, "Cocktail" staring Candy Lo and Race, "My Wife is 18" staring Ekin Cheng and Charlene Choi, "Heat Team" staring Eason Chan and Aaron Kwok, "Tiramisu" staring Karena Lam and Nicolas Tse and "Shiver" staring Athena Chu, are now available for downloading.
  • In April 2005, Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN) officially launched its 1 Gbps symmetric service for the residential market. The 1 Gbps symmetric service is priced at US$215 per month. HKBN noted that its 1 Gbps service is up to 166x faster downstream and 1,950x faster upstream than the advertised bandwidth of the incumbent's ADSL service. HKBN Premium bb1000 service is being offered on the same metro Ethernet infrastructure that delivers the company's Mass Market bb100 (symmetric 100 Mbps for US$34/month) and Entry Point bb10 (symmetric 10 Mbps for US$16/month) services.

  • HKBN has installed thousands of Cisco Catalyst LAN switches and more than 800 Cisco routers in buildings throughout Hong Kong. Category 5e copper cables are wired from the LAN switch cabinet to the apartments of each target customer. Fiber-to-the-building (FTTB) was deployed between the buildings using the Cisco ONS 15454 Multiservice Transport Platform (MSTP) and Cisco Catalyst 4507R Switches. HKBN is also using a Cisco Optical Core network. The deployment includes the Cisco ONS 15454 SONET/SDH Multiservice Provisioning Platform (MSPP); Cisco Catalyst 6500, Catalyst 4500, Catalyst 3350, and Catalyst 2950 series switches; and Cisco 2600XM Series routers.

Infinera Clocks New Speed Record -- 1.6 Tbps on a Chip

Infinera successfully demonstrated a large-scale photonic integrated circuit (PIC) capable of carrying data at a rate of 1.6 Terabits per second (Tb/s). This is the highest data rate yet achieved for a single PIC. Last year, Infinera demonstrated a PIC carrying data at 400 Gbps.

Infinera's 1.6 Tbps PIC includes more than 240 optical devices on a chip. It transmits 40 channels of optical data, with each channel operating at 40 Gbps. The aggregate date rate of 1.6 Tbps is equivalent to 160 of the line cards typically deployed in long-haul telecom networks today. An optical system based on a 1.6 Tb/s PIC would deliver substantial benefits to service providers in terms of density, space, power consumption, and cost-effectiveness.

Infinera said that while this PIC is still a lab demonstration, it shows the enormous potential of photonic integration to put more and more devices, as well as more features and functionality, onto a single chip.

Akimbo and HDNet Team on HD over the Web

Akimbo Systems will begin making select titles from HDNet's library of HD content available for download through the Akimbo Service for Windows XP Media Center Edition. Akimbo currently offers 8,000 on-demand programs through its Web-based subscription service.

Co-founded by Mark Cuban and General Manager Philip Garvin, HDNet features up to 20 hours of new original programming each week, all produced in the highest quality 1080i HDTV format. http://www.akimbo.com

Spirent and Lumenare Partner on Lab and Test Automation

Spirent Communications is teaming with Lumenare Networks to provide an integrated test automation solution addressing complex converged network technologies in the lab and during manufacturing.

The partnership brings together Spirent's suite of network test solutions and Lumenare's lab and test management and automation software.

The company said their joint solution can increase testing by five to eight times the manual rate by allowing complex tests to be performed repeatedly -- using fully automated hardware setup and software configuration -- getting consistent results, quickly isolating problems, and ensuring a successful product or service launch. http://www.lumenare.com

BT to Offer Managed Grid Computing based on United Devices

BT has selected United Devices' (UD's) to power its virtual services platform, a new managed grid service offering. The virtual services platform goes beyond traditional utility computing approaches in that it leverages BT's internal assets and network connectivity capabilities to create a real-time provisioning service that is network-aware and SLA focused. With real-time access to network heuristics and the opportunity to manipulate network controls, BT's offering will dynamically bind applications to the most eligible infrastructure components via the UD grid platform.

The virtual services platform is built on a shared infrastructure that consists of internal BT resources and those contained in its customers' enterprises to assure availability for mission-critical functions like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) by adhering to policy-based SLAs.

BT will initially offer the virtual platform internally and develop managed grid services expertise. BT and UD's joint vision is then to rapidly make it available to customers who are seeking alternatives to their rigid and expensive application infrastructures.

Verimatrix and Heuris Team on Hollywood Production Tools

Verimatrix and Heuris, a manufacturer of video compression, processing tools and applications, have developed a suite of secure screening tools for the Hollywood theatrical film and television industry.

The integrated Heuris and Verimatrix screening products ensure security from the time of the shoot and throughout the distribution chain. Using Verimatrix's digital watermarking and its complementary forensics, as well as encryption prior to release to production and post-production crews, results in better internal controls from the beginning of the value chain. The RushPlay onDemand platform includes the Video-on-Demand (VOD) server from Streaming 21 and Numa Technology's VD-200 IP set-top box.

"We are providing the most simple and secure method for producers to view dailies, rough cuts, VFX tests, casting sessions, or screeners instantly from their screening room, office or even living room," said Brian Quandt, president of Heuris. "Our intention is to simplify the complex processes of producing a show or movie by creating an 'on demand' private channel, which streamlines the workflow for producers."http://www.heuris.com

Centillium's Optical Services Gateway Integrates VoIP

Centillium Communications has integrated VoIP capabilities into its Optical Services Gateway platform, which is designed for service providers striving to deliver superior voice, video and data services capabilities over passive optical network (PON) access infrastructure to both residences and businesses.

The new Optical Services Gateway platform combines Centillium's "Mustang" EPON system chip with the VoIP, routing and advanced security capabilities of its "Atlanta" product family. The solution could be used for enhanced optical network units (ONUs). Additionally, a common management interface simplifies the provisioning and monitoring of the Optical Services Gateway.

Centillium's Optical Services Gateway platform is supported by a development and evaluation kit which includes a multi-functional customer evaluation board, reference designs and a turnkey software package.

FiberZone Raises $8 Million for Fiber Mgt. Tools

FiberZone Networks, a start-up based in Bethesda, Maryland, raised $8 million in second round funding for its automated, physical fiber management tools. Beta trials of the system are planned for later this year. The deal was led by Novak Biddle Venture Partners, with existing investors Portview Communications Partners and Stage One Ventures participating.