Monday, April 17, 2006

Vitesse Places Chief Executives on Leave, Opens Investigation

Vitesse Semiconductor's Board of Directors announced that Louis R. Tomasetta, the company's CEO, Eugene F. Hovanec, the company's Executive Vice President and Yatin Mody, the company's Chief Financial Officer, have been placed on administrative leave.

Vitesse has appointed a Special Committee of independent directors to conduct an internal investigation relating to past stock option grants, the timing of such grants and related accounting and documentation. The Special Committee is being assisted by independent outside legal counsel.

Vitesse said it is too early to determine whether it will need to restate its financial results for prior periods.

Chris Gardner has been appointed Acting President and CEO. Mr. Gardner joined Vitesse in 1986. He served as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer from November 2000 to June 2002. Since June 2002, Mr. Gardner has served as Vice President and General Manager of the Network Products Division.

Netopia and Verifone Partner on Merchant Wi-Fi Hot Spots

Netopia has integrated its Wi-Fi Hot Spots with VeriFone payment systems to provide merchants with a flexible hot spot solution. The solution allows merchants to determine who can access the wireless network, how long they can stay connected, and whether Wi-Fi access is free of charge or available for a fee. And they can change the parameters of access to support marketing initiatives or respond to usage patterns. Merchants generate a receipt on their VeriFone payment system with a unique access code for each patron. Netopia Hot Spots are also the only hot spots to offer family-friendly surfing, which enables merchants to prohibit patrons from accessing Web sites with objectionable content to maintain a retail environment appropriate for all ages.

AT&T to Offer Akimbo in Homezone TV Service

AT&T will offer the Internet-based Akimbo video-on-demand service as part of its upcoming AT&T's Homezone TV service, scheduled to launch later this summer.

AT&T plans to offer the content available from Akimbo's library of more than 10,000 television programs and movies-on-demand. Akimbo said it is currently adding more than 150 new mainstream and niche titles in 85 different categories per week.

The service will have an online guide that enables AT&T Homezone subscribers to view a comprehensive listing of all Akimbo videos and movies. To help subscribers find videos that match their interests, the on-screen guide features a video search function, full program descriptions and video previews. Customers can also access the guide remotely from an Internet-connected computer to browse and download programs so that new shows are available for viewing when they get home.

AT&T Homezone, currently in trial in several states, will integrate AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet and AT&T DISH Network programming to provide video on demand, digital video recording, and Internet content, including photos and music, via a new set-top box. AT&T Homezone will be available to customers who purchase both AT&T | DISH Network satellite television and AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet services.

"Our agreement with Akimbo is yet another milestone as we prepare to launch our AT&T Homezone service - an entertainment service that we believe will be more powerful and compelling than anything offered on the market today," said Scott Helbing, chief marketing officer-AT&T Consumer. "Consumers want better solutions and more choices for entertainment, and we're committed to delivering that."http://www.TheNewATT.com
  • In March, Akimbo Systems announced a deal to make select titles from HDNet's library of HD content available for download through the Akimbo Service for Windows XP Media Center Edition. 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.

  • Akimbo is based in San Mateo, California and is funded by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Sprout Group and Zone Ventures.

Nanochip Secures $10 Million for MEMS Storage

Nanochip, a start-up based in Fremont, California, has secured $10 million of a $15 million Series C financing round for its development of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) silicon data storage chips for the consumer electronics market.

Nanochip is developing a new class of ultra-high-capacity MEMS-based storage chips. The company said these new chips -- with bit-densities enabling the storage of tens of gigabytes per chip -- use a nano-probe array technology that goes far beyond the expected limits of conventional lithography used in present semiconductor memory chips. Nanochip is designing a family of removable, rewritable data storage products for use in a wide range of future consumer electronics products that will require data storage capacities that exceed the physical limitations of today's semiconductor memory technology.

The funding was led by Intel Capital, a new Nanochip investor. Five million dollars of additional funding in this round is being left open for other interested investors. Also participating in the Nanochip C Round is JK&B Capital, a venture capital firm that led the B funding round.

Oracle Outlines Roadmap for Telecom Service-Oriented Architecture

Oracle outlined its roadmap for a standards-based Service Delivery Platform (SDP) for the telecommunications industry. The plan is to help service providers, network operators and system integrators to evolve current silo-based network investments into a service-oriented architecture (SOA) supporting IP-based services. Enterprises could also deploy the Oracle SDP as a foundation for VoIP, mobile and real-time applications.

The Oracle SDP extends the company's Fusion Middleware for network-centric applications. Key functionality includes:

  • IMS Support: Oracle SPD includes a SIP Application Server, Presence Server, Proxy Registrar and Location for a complete IMS-ready Infrastructure. Oracle acquired the SIP Infrastructure as part of its Hotsip acquisition.

  • Support for Legacy Networks: Oracle SDP provides a programming environment that extends J2EE for asynchronous, event-based programming that is crucial to support and leverage existing legacy telecommunication networks. It supports the industry standard Java API Parlay X Web Services standards. Oracle has acquired Parlay and SLEE technology as part of its acquisition of Net4Call, a Norway-based provider of carrier-grade Parlay infrastructure software.

  • Network Adaptation Layer: Oracle SDP provides a rich set of adapters to connect the SDP to existing network elements and telecommunications equipment enabling service providers to rapidly roll out new services while protecting their existing investments.

  • Messaging: Oracle SDP provides facilities to access content from Mobile Devices across a variety of standard protocols including SMS and MMS.

  • Carrier-grade Communication Infrastructure, including Oracle Database 10g, Real Application Clusters and Oracle TimesTen In-Memory Database for supporting scalable, always-on, real-time services. This is particularly relevant in a telecom environment where end-to-end service availability across middleware and database tiers is critical.

Oracle SDP -- Future Functionality Plans:

  • Call Control, and Charging Facilities: To provide call control capabilities that are intended to work across IMS and Legacy networks as well as a charging enabler to quickly integrate SDP with billing systems.
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  • Device Management and Device repository: To provide support for standards-based device management, and a comprehensive device repository.
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  • Out of the Box Services: To include a suite of services such as mobile content delivery, VOIP and virtual PBX that can be immediately deployed for faster Return on Investment.

Oracle said it is uniquely positioned to combine its identity management and middleware expertise to bring to market an SDP that would allow operators to provide highly personalized services to their customers based on customer profiles and preferences. It aims to enable a single J2EE-based programming environment to provide support across next generation and current generation networks and OSS/BSS integration, thereby simplifying service development, integration and management for developers.

"Our vision is to address market needs and provide customers with a comprehensive, scalable, IP-based services platform," said Thomas Kurian, senior vice president, Oracle Server Technologies. "We are building the ideal platform for developing and deploying new telephony services that deliver value over today's networks, both wireline and wireless, as well as for the converged networks of the future."
  • Earlier this month, Oracle agreed to acquire Portal Software, a global provider of billing and revenue management solutions for the communications and media industry, for approximately $220 million in cash.

    Portal offers a billing and revenue management solution based on an object-oriented architecture built on Oracle that can bill and manage all communications services including wireline, wireless, broadband, cable, voice over IP, IPTV, music, and video. Its customer list includes AOL Time Warner, China Mobile, China Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom/Orange, NTT, Reuters, Sirius Satellite Radio, Softbank BB, Sony, Telecom Italia Mobile, Telefonica Mexico, Telenor Mobil, Telstra, Vodafone, and XM Satellite Radio. The company reported $126.8 million in revenue for fiscal year 2004.

  • In February, Oracle acquired Sweden-based HotSip AB, a provider of telecommunications infrastructure software and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) enabled applications for IP telephony, presence, messaging and conferencing on new converged networks. Financial terms were not disclosed. Hotsip offers convergent off-the-shelf applications as well as an open Service Creation Environment (SCE) for building new customized SIP and web applications. The company's core product is its Hotsip Multimedia Communication Engine (M2CE), a carrier-grade Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) application server.

Envivio Adds MPEG-4 Decoders for SD and HD

Envivio introduced its first professional decoder for high definition (HD) content and a new decoder supporting mobile and standard definition (SD) content.

The D1 and D5 join Envivio's 4View Broadcast Series of MPEG-4 professional decoders, providing real time decoding and confidence monitoring of content as it passes from production through distribution and is repurposed for delivery over mobile, IPTV, enterprise and broadcast networks.

The 4View D5 professional MPEG-4 AVC decoder supports both SD and HD content and decodes HD in both 720p and 1080i video resolutions. The system includes IP and DVB-ASI inputs with digital HDSDI outputs and offers broadcast quality audio featuring MPEG-4 Advanced Audio Coding (AAC-LC) and HE-AAC with parametric stereo. 4View D5 may be deployed with any open standards-based MPEG-4 encoding systems and are compatible with ATSC, ISMA, DVB AVC, and DVB-IPI. The system is scheduled for full availability in the third quarter of this year.

The 4View D1 is a professional SD MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 Main Profile decoder. The system also supports AVC Baseline Profile as well as ASP and SP video decoding, and MPEG-4 AAC/HE-AAC audio decoding. In addition to high- resolution broadcast applications, 4View D1 supports a non-scaled output option to allow mobile video streams to be displayed in their native resolution. The system is scheduled for full availability in the second quarter of this year.

Nokia Expands Mobile Infrastructure R&D in China

Nokia will expand its R&D operations in Chengdu, China. The facility , which was established in August 2005, started as a focused R&D unit for IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) based communications applications. In order to have more direct responsiveness to emerging customer needs in this market, Nokia has decided to further expand the Chengdu R&D Center scope, engaging in development of systems such as carrier grade platform middleware, WAP gateways for mobile browsing, intelligent packet core subsystems and increasing multimedia applications development effort.

"The Chinese mobile market is seeing tremendous growth and digital convergence is coming to the mobile mass market in China. The expansion of our Chengdu R&D Center will significantly strengthen our product creation responsiveness to evolving customer requirements in China," says Jouni Pirhonen, Head of Nokia Chengdu R&D Center.

Tut Systems Offer Power-over-Broadband Solution for Hotels

Tut Systems introduced a networking platform that delivers both power and broadband connectivity up to 75 Mbps over standard telephone wiring in multi-tenant dwelling units, hotel complexes, and campus networks. While specifically designed to deliver multiple channels of high-definition television over IP networks, the product line also enables campus wide deployment of VoIP phones, wireless access points, and IP-enabled security cameras.

Tut Systems said that by delivering both power and broadband connectivity across a single in-house telephone line, its new T2 product can eliminate the cost, installation, and maintenance issues associated with standard DSL-like systems that require local power.

T2 provides power through a proprietary process over existing telephone lines to the wall plate. It also features application-level security and privacy.

Initial deployments of T2 systems have been completed in the US, Europe and Japan.

JDSU Intros Centralized IP Video Service Monitoring System

JDSU introduced its Digital and IP Video Service Monitoring System with capability of simultaneously monitoring more than two hundred and fifty video streams. The system is designed to test access coverage at all points in the network relevant to delivering video service. It also monitors a range of interfaces and streams, including GigE, ASI, QAM, QPSK, 8VSB and COFDM.

The Digital and IP Video Service Monitoring System leverages the MPEG test capabilities found in JDSU's DTS-330 and DTS-200 digital video protocol analyzers. The system is comprised of the new QT-1100 Digital Video Service Monitor, the Digital Video Service Monitoring Server and Digital Video Service Monitoring Probes.

Its centralized monitoring with remote testhead maintenance capabilities, coupled with DTS-330 and 200, perform 24X7 digital services monitoring and testing that examines and troubleshoots all transport streams carried inside a digital broadcast network. Once the remotely deployed QT-1100 test head detects a service problem, a fault alarm is generated and forwarded to the centralized monitoring software system. When the fault is verified, an operator can maintain a steady flow of operation by using either the DTS-330 or DTS-200 to perform in-depth analysis and troubleshooting to help resolve the problem.

JDSU will show its portfolio of digital and IP video test solutions at the upcoming NAB 2006, April 24 -30 in Las Vegas.

Broadcom Debuts16-port 2.5 Gbps Single-Chip Switch for Blade Servers

Broadcom introduced a 16-port 2.5 Gigabit single-chip switch that uses existing Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) network infrastructure to deliver simultaneous 1 GbE and 2.5 Gigabit connectivity in blade servers.

The new BroadcomStrataXGS III 2.5 Gigabit switch is optimized for blade servers. It works in conjunction with Broadcom's NetXtreme II converged network interface controller (C-NIC), and includes 4 ports of 10GbE. The device features auto-negotiation of both 1GbE and 2.5 Gigabit, which allows each port to simultaneously support either 1GbE or 2.5 Gigabit speeds, and enables individual deployment of blades in a plug-and-play fashion. Also featured within the BCM56580 is the Broadcom ContentAware engine, which provides deep-packet inspection (Layers 2 - 7), allowing the switch to identify and prioritize various types of traffic including IP-based storage, clustering, management and data networking.

Verizon Expands FiOS TV to Plano, Texas

Verizon began offering its FiOS TV service in Plano, Texas, its largest local market in the state. The launch of FiOS TV in Plano follows the passage just six months ago of a state-issued video franchise that expedited by about one year the time frame in which Verizon can launch the service.

Motorola to Acquire Orthogon System for OFDM

Motorola agreed to acquire Orthogon Systems, a start-up developing a high-performance fixed wireless, for an undisclosed sum.

Orthogon Systems, which is based in Ashburton, UK, offers intelligent OFDM-based, wireless IP, point-to-point transmission solutions. Orthogon has developed software-defined Ethernet bridges.

Orthogon Systems uses intelligent orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) along with a special multi-beam space time coding technique to provide far greater radio coverage than has previously been possible with non-line-of-sight (nLoS) technology. Unlike conventional systems that use a single channel radio, Orthogon Systems transmits several data beams via multiple antennas. These beams are recombined by multiple receivers at the other end of the point-to-point connection. If any one radio path is faded, there is a high probability that other paths are not, so the signal still gets through. Orthogon's Wireless Ethernet Bridge also employs adaptive modulation.

Motorola said the addition would expand its MOTOwi4 portfolio of IP, wireless broadband solutions. Specifically, Motorola will enhance its OFDM capability and broaden the support of its MOTOwi4 wireless broadband offerings -- including WiMAX, Mesh Solutions and Canopy products -- and accelerate the growth of its existing wireless IP access business. Motorola expects to advance Orthogon core technology to build it into a series of future products.

Motorola has an existing minority equity investment in Orthogon, which was driven by its venture capital arm, Motorola Ventures. In addition, Motorola has been a distributor of Orthogon's products through its Canopy business since 2004.


COMTek Plans Earthday Videocast Reaching 16,000 Schools

Earth Day Network (EDN) is planning to host a live, two-way audio/video conference reaching more than 16,000 high school and college science classrooms across the United States from 1-3 p.m. ET/10 a.m.-1 p.m. PT on April 21, 2006. Students will see a scientific expert panel followed by a panel of religious leaders and be able to chat with the panelists on a real-time basis throughout both presentations.

The broadcast is being coordinated by Chantilly-based Communication Technologies, Inc. (COMTek), which operates a private, hybrid, global IP network that integrates fiber, wireless, broadband-over-power-lines (BPL) and satellite distribution. http://www.earthdaynetwork.tv

Motorola Q1 Sales up 23% to $10.01 billion

Motorola reported record first-quarter sales of $10.01 billion, up 23% compared to first-quarter 2005 sales of $8.16 billion. Earnings were $.27 per share, including $.02 per share for stock compensation expense. Some additional highlights:

  • Record handset shipments of 46.1 million units, up 61% compared to the first quarter of 2005 -- and up 3% compared to 44.7 million handsets shipped during Q4 2005.

  • Global handset market share estimated at 21%, up 4.8 percentage points versus the year-ago quarter.

  • Record digital set-top box shipments of more than 2.0 million units

  • Shipped a record 632,000 voice modems during the quarter. Total modem shipments for the quarter were 2.6 million.

Amdocs to Acquire Qpass for $275 Million

Amdocs agreed to acquire Qpass, a leading provider of digital commerce software and solutions, for approximately $275 million in cash.

Qpass can act as a channel between the content provider and the service provider, helping to determine how to offer, manage, charge, and fulfill for the service. It plays a key role in enabling the value chain and monetizing digital content. Qpass currently has relationships with over 300 content providers and also works with some of the largest carrier groups globally, including Cingular, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Qpass is based in Seattle.

Amdocs provides integrated customer billing and management solutions to service providers.

"Service providers are working hard to adapt their networks and business models to take advantage of the growing content and services market," said Dov Baharav, Chief Executive Officer of Amdocs Management Limited. "This transaction creates a unique combination that will help realize the transformation of service providers from carriers of voice and data services to dynamic retailers of ubiquitous, converged services and digital content."http://www.amdocs.com

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Strix Scales Wireless Mesh Networks

Strix Systems introduced a new, third-generation Outdoor Wireless System and a new High Performance Modular Architecture for large-scale mesh networks.

The new OWS 2400-30 offers increased user density, provides enhanced transmit power and receive sensitivity, a 30% smaller form factor and lower cost per radio compared to earlier products. The new design doubles from 64 to 128 the number of WLAN associations permitted per radio, allowing up to 768 concurrent users per node. Modularity lets the OWS 2400-30 scale to up to six radios as needed (802.11a/b/g/j, 802.16d/e, 2.4 GHz, 4.9GHz and 5 GHz in any access and backhaul configuration.

The new High Performance Modular Architecture offers Scalable Mesh Fast Re-route (SMFR) capabilities for distributed localized node intelligence, network topology-independent fast re-route, instant roaming, zero throughput loss, and zero latency over multiple hops. Strix said it is able to deliver cero throughput loss and zero latency for over 10 hops, enabling real-time applications and lowering OPEX costs for the number of wired connections needed for a given area.

When networks are turned up, every node automatically scans to locate all other network nodes and selects the best path to the wired node based on round-trip delay (RTD), signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and other criteria. The nodes continue to scan and evaluate the best path and alternate paths to the wired node, automatically self-healing to the next-best path within milliseconds if the criteria of the best path drops below the set threshold or the path is blocked.

Strix also noted that in mobile applications, its Scalable Mesh Fast Re-route can deliver hand-offs for trains traveling at up to 200 mph.

SMFR also supports real-time node-state status indication, real-time backhaul path analysis, a congestion-avoidance algorithm, and an optimal channel re-use algorithm.

Mesh Architecture is Best for Delivering VoIP?

Cyrus Irani
wireless data networks, voice is a "killer app." This article
will first look at the four key mesh network performance requirements for
real time applications; the three mesh architectural options when
deploying wireless voice over IP (wVoIP) over a WiFi mesh network; how a
multi-radio, multi-RF architecture positively impacts the capital cost to
deploy; and the operating expenses involved to properly operate such

DiVitas Develops Enterprise FMC Platform

DiVitas Networks, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, is developing an enterprise-class fixed-mobile-convergence (FMC) platform that would enable seamless roaming between Wi-Fi and cellular networks. The platform is being designed to work with in any corporate WLAN environment, with any PBX, and over any type of fixed, mobile, or wireless network. A light, client application would run on the dual-mode handset.

DiVitas said thekey mission for its forthcoming platform is to provide the cost advantages of seamlessly bridging cellular calls over to lower cost WLANs while enabling enterprises to retain control of this process. This would include the ability to monitor media quality in order to specify when and how handoffs should occur, and the ability to implement advanced security. Security capabilities include application-layer authentication, authorization and access control, session-layer end-to-end encryption, packet filtering and bandwidth policing, network-layer STUN, NAT/Firewall Traversal and automatic pre-authentication.

The platform is currently in beta testing. Full product details have not yet been disclosed. DiVitas has conducted interoperability testing with Trapeze Networks' WLAN Mobility System to enable enterprise campus mobility with fixed mobile convergence. DiVitas has also entered into a relationship with G-Tek Electronics Group, which supplies a dual-mode SIP Wi-Fi handset that integrates GSM/GPRS and Wi-Fi modules.

DiVitas was founded by president and CEO Vivek Khuller and CTO Venkat Kalkunte. Khuller was previously a venture partner at Clearstone Venture Partners, entrepreneur in residence at Matrix Partners, and an executive at Sycamore Networks and Verizon. Kalkunte formerly worked at Cisco, and was founding engineer of Transmedia Communications, which Cisco purchased in 1999. He also worked at Alteon, Stratacom, and other technology companies.
  • DiVitas has raised $8 million from Clearstone Venture Partners (investors in Meru, SiNett, and Good), venture debt and private investors.

ZyXEL Selects PMC-Sierra's Multi-Service Processor for CPE

ZyXEL Communications has selected PMC-Sierra's MSP4120 and MSP4200 Multi-Service Processors for its VoIP Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) solutions. Its VoIP family includes Analog Telephone Adapters (ATA), VoIP Routers and Wi-Fi VoIP Ethernet Gateways. PMC-Sierra's devices provide both voice and routing functions.

The MSP4120 and MSP4200 VoIP router-on-a-chip products combine a DSP for processing up to four voice channels together with a MIPS32 4Kec core for high performance routing and control functions. The MSP4200 offers the additional benefit of a PCI interface to enable the inclusion of 802.11 Wi-Fi subsystems to create Wi-Fi access points.

Force10 Debuts 10 Gbps Security Platform

Force10 Networks introduced a security appliance that inspects, monitors, captures and blocks traffic at line-rate 10 Gigabit speeds. Force10 Networks said its security platform leverages a Dynamic Parallel Inspection (DPI) architecture for signature processing. The technology employs multiple hardware-based engines to simultaneously process thousands of rules on a single packet. The P-Series directly embeds security rules and signatures into hardware to ensure line-rate processing, inspection and monitoring of traffic on the network. The ability to write new signatures directly to hardware in real time provides IT managers with deterministic, predictable performance regardless of traffic conditions.

The Force10 P-Series family of security appliances includes the P10, a 1RU appliance the offers two line-rate 10 Gigabit ports for an aggregate inspection throughput of 20 Gbps. As a complement to the P10, the two-port Force10 P1 delivers inspection at line-rate Gigabit speeds. The Force10 P-Series supports open source network security applications, enabling customers to specify policies from public domain signatures or standard network monitoring libraries. An open application program interface also allows IT managers to develop custom signatures for firewalling, denial of service attacks and packet and flow analysis applications.

Force10 said it already has more than 20 government organizations, Internet exchanges and national laboratories using P-Series security platforms. Among these are the Amsterdam Internet Exchange, Oakridge National Laboratory, Oxford University, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, SRI International, Seaton Corp, the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Peter Kiewit Institute.

Level 3 to Acquire ICG Communications

Level 3 Communications will acquire ICG Communications, Inc., a privately held Colorado-based telecommunications company, for $163 million in stock and cash.

ICG primarily provides transport, IP and voice services to wireline and wireless carriers, Internet service providers and enterprise customers. ICG's network has over 2,000 metro and regional fiber miles in Colorado and Ohio and includes approximately 500 OPs. ICG serves more than 1,600 customers.