Tuesday, May 16, 2006

DSL Forum TR-122 Addresses VoIP Terminal Adaptors

The DSL Forum published Technical Report 122 (TR-122) aimed at defining common feature sets for VoIP devices. The report forms part of the DSL Forum's expanding "DSLHome" body of work.

TR-122 ("Base Requirements for Consumer-Oriented Analog Terminal
Adapter [ATA] Functionality") also addresses VoIP customer experience and enhances the technology's ease of use. It builds on the DSL Forum's earlier specifications TR-094 and TR-104 for multi-service delivery for home networks and provisioning parameters for VoIP customer premises equipment (CPE).

"Service providers worldwide are increasingly placing VoIP deployment
at the top of their value-added services agenda, and customers already have a wide range of VoIP services and devices to choose from," said Michael Brusca, chairman and president of the DSL Forum. "Industry implementation of TR-122 will assist in attaining ubiquitous VoIP services."

TR-122 and all DSL Forum TR specifications are available at the Forum's website.


Equinix Opens L.A. Data Center with MySpace as Lead Client

Equinix opened a new Internet Business Exchange (IBX) center in the Los Angeles area and announced that MySpace will be its lead tenant. Once MySpace is fully installed, the agreement is expected to generate approximately $6 million in annual revenues for Equinix.

MySpace has experienced tremendous growth and regularly ranks in the top 10 most visited sites on the Web with more than 75 million users. The social web portal is leveraging the network-rich environment of Equinix's centers to implement a high-performance network connectivity infrastructure.

With the aggregation of networks operating within Equinix's centers, the new facility will allow MySpace to cost-effectively execute strategic connectivity and data exchange, or "peering," agreements with key business partners within a highly secure and reliable environment.


Boingo Releases Open Source Wi-Fi Aggregation Toolkit

Boingo Wireless, the wholesale Wi-Fi aggregator, launch an open source Wi-Fi toolkit, that enables developers to integrate Wi-Fi connection management to any Wi-Fi hot spot -- including the more than 45,000 public hot spots that are part of the Boingo Roaming System -- into small form factor devices such as dual-mode phones, VoIP handsets, mobile gaming consoles and other portable devices.

The open source Boingo Embedded Wi-Fi Toolkit is publicly available to developers who can port it to any device operating system with no license fees, as long as improvements to the core toolkit are available to the open source community. It is also available under a commercial license that eliminates the need to republish open source changes.

Boingo said service providers, OEMs, ODMs, and Wi-Fi chipset manufacturers that develop Wi-Fi equipped devices could use the source code to enable global roaming on commercial hot spot networks. Potential customers include mobile operators, MVNOs, VoIP providers and other service providers that can benefit from Wi-Fi access in public places. The toolkit has been delivered to numerous partners, including Accton, Broadcom, E28 and Kyocera Wireless.

"Providing seamless public hot spot authentication between the mobile and Wi-Fi worlds is a key element to the success of fixed-mobile convergence applications," said Sanjay Jhawar, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, BridgePort Networks.


Vitesse Appoints New Executive Officers, Reports Credit Issue

Vitesse officially appointed Christopher R. Gardner as its new CEO. He had been acting in that role since April 18th, when the company placed 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, on administrative leave.

Tomasetta, Hovanec, and Mody have been terminated as officers and employees of Vitesse because of their involvement with issues related to the integrity of documents relating to Vitesse's stock option grant process.

Gardner, the new CEO, joined Vitesse in 1986. He served as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer from November 2000 to June 2002. Since June 2002 , he served as Vice President and General Manager of the Network Products Division. Mr. Gardner received his B.S.E.E. from Cornell University and his M.S.E.E. from the University of California at Berkeley.

Vitesse said its internal investigation relating to past stock option grants, the timing of such grants and other related accounting and documentation issues has been expanded to include issues relating to the company's practices in connection with credits issued to and requested by customers (for returned products or otherwise) and the related accounting treatment, as well as the application of payments received to the proper accounts receivable. The internal investigation has now been further expanded to include a review of the company's general revenue recognition policies and practices and practices that may have affected the company's cash position at the end of certain reporting periods.

Furthermore, Vitesse said it has received notice from Silicon Valley Bank regarding potential default on its credit facility. The company has engaged an investment banking firm to assist in obtaining additional financing. Vitesse said that if additional financing is not obtained and/or the Bank takes further action under the credit facility, it would have a material adverse effect on Vitesse's operations, liquidity and financial condition.


Hybrid Hard Drive Could Cut Boot Time, Reduce Power Use

Samsung Electronics is demonstrating the first commercial prototype of a Hybrid Hard Disk (HHD) for notebooks and PCs that integrates NAND flash memory with rotating magnetic storage.

Samsung said its HHD boots or resumes up to twice as fast as conventional HDDs, lasts 20-30 minutes longer on battery and is up to five times more reliable. The Hybrid Hard Disk eliminates the need for the hard disk to constantly spin whenever a computer is operating on battery power, and is less susceptible to damage from jarring or being dropped since it is idle most of the time.

Every time the cache is filled, the rotating drive spins to "flush out" or transfer data from the cache, spinning only a few seconds every 10-20 minutes. The Samsung HHD architecture uses the fastest flash device on the market as cache, Samsung's OneNAND flash with 108MB/s read and 18 MB/s write data-rates. The functionality of the H-HHD is automated by the high performance HDD SOC which supports 3.0G Native Command Queuing SATA and an OneNAND interface. The HHD saves between eight and 25 seconds of boot-up time and extends battery life by about 8-10 percent depending on the model of computer.

"We see the HHD as the most advanced and cost-effective means of improving the performance of a notebook computer's storage functionality," said Jon Kang, senior vice president, technical marketing group, Samsung Semiconductor.

The HHD will be exhibited with two cache densities, 128MB and 256MB, at next week's Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) in Seattle.


BT Outlines Wi-Fi Rollout in Six Cities

BT has signed contracts with six cities across the UK (Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, Cardiff and Westminster) to rollout Wi-Fi networks.

BT said it strategy is to work with Intel, other leading partners in wireless solutions and local authorities to roll out a wide area of wireless broadband in metropolitan areas. This will be based around wireless broadband in the home, BT Openzone Wi-Fi hotspots, Wireless Cities, and high speed mobile access.

The wireless networks will be available to a wide range of devices, including the forthcoming Wi-Fi version of BT Fusion and a similar product currently being developed for corporate customers. These handsets will use the wireless broadband network to make calls over broadband at landline rates and provide a rich media experience, such as video calling and access to internet applications and services.


Lucent Enhances VitalSuite OSS

Lucent Technologies announced enhanced versions of its "VitalQIP" IP Address Management software and "VitalSuite" Performance Management OSS.

Lucent's VitalQIP 7.0 IP Address Management software includes a new user interface, new features that enhance IP address management business processes to reduce operating expenses, and support for IPv4 and IPv6 with new security and configuration capabilities.

Lucent's VitalSuite Performance Management 10.0 integrates three application and network management software modules that allow service provider and enterprise customers to apply a unified network management architecture across multi-vendor deployments.

It offers network operators real-time views of complex application and web services transactions, critical network resources and overall service quality compliance. It also includes new performance management features to integrate multi-level domains, additional technology support for IMS, WiMAX, and Ethernet, client-usage accounting, and service indicator group scoring for improved end user quality characterization.

In addition, Lucent also announced its first application of VitalSuite Services Management software. The software uses session analytics tools to increase services completion and associated billed revenue across voice, VoIP, content, mobile, messaging, and IMS technologies and services.


Alcatel to Resell Syndesis Triple Play Service Mgt Platform

Alcatel will offer Syndesis' IP Triple Play service delivery management solution as part of its OSS portfolio. The Syndesis solution is designed to reduce the time and costs associated with the installation of IP networks and the delivery of feature-rich IP-based video, voice and data services. The integrated offering focuses on the end-to-end service delivery across access, aggregation and core, including subscriber-centric activation and discovery, in multi-vendor networks.

Demonstrations of Alcatel's Triple Play OSS/BSS solution, including Syndesis software suite, are permanently housed at Alcatel"s premises in Plano, Texas, in the Operational Support Systems Integration Laboratoryhttp://www.alcatel.comhttp://www.syndesis.com

VeriSign to Acquire GeoTrust for SSL

VeriSign agreed to acquire Needham, MA-based GeoTrust, a supplier of SSL and other solutions to secure e-business transactions, for approximately $125 million in cash.

GeoTrust offers hosting providers and businesses with digital certificates for online transaction security. GeoTrust also offers "smart seals" to ensure a trusted identity on the Web. The company claims more than 100,000 companies in over 150 countries use its technology for transaction security, identity verification and trust services on the Internet and over wireless networks.

VeriSign said the acquisition of GeoTrust extends its mission to enable and protect all forms of networked interactions, and addresses the needs of an evolving SSL market.

  • In March 2006, VeriSign agreed to acquire m-Qube, a leading mobile channel enabler that helps companies develop, deliver and bill for mobile content, applications and messaging services, for $250 million dollars net of cash.

  • 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.

  • In January 2006, VeriSign agreed to acquire Seattle-based CallVision, a provider of online analysis applications, for $30 million net of acquired cash. The acquisition will enable VeriSign to deliver converged electronic bill presentation, payment and customer self-care applications to mobile operators, Tier 1 carriers, broadband companies and consumer-brand MVNOs worldwide.

Senate Hearing on Communications Reform Set for May 18

The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation will hold an open hearing on the Communications Reform Bill (S.2686) on Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 10:00am EST. A webcast is available.

Invited witnesses include:

Mr. Kyle McSlarrow, President and CEO, National Cable & Telecommunications Association

Mr. Walter McCormick, President and CEO, United States Telecom Association

Mayor Michael A. Guido, Vice Chair of the Conference of Mayors Transportation and Communications Committee, U.S. Conference of Mayors

Ms. Julia Johnson, Chairman, Video Access Alliance

Mr. Gene Kimmelman, Director of Public Policy, Consumers Unionhttp://www.convergedigest.com

LSI Logic Demonstrates 8.5 Gbps Fibre Channel

LSI Logic demonstrated its "GigaBlaze" 8.5 Gbps serializer/deserializer (SerDes) transceiver core for OEM storage and SAN infrastructure applications.

The Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA) has ratified the 8 Gb/s standard as the next step in its SAN Fabric roadmap. Products based on the 8 Gb/s standard are backward compatible and support auto-negotiation with 2 and 4 Gb/s products, providing full interoperability while protecting previous investments.

LSI Logic said it expects the first 8 Gbps Fibre Channel systems based on its SerDes core to enter the market in the 2007-8 timeframe.


Linksys Ships Its First Wireless-G IP Phones

Linksys began shipping its WIP300 and WIP330 Wireless-G IP Phones, enabling VoIP service through a broadband-connected Wi-Fi network.

The new Linksys WIP330 offers a 2.2-inch color LCD display with
built-in Internet browser, making it easier to access public hotspots which require user name or password access. The browser can also be used to access web-based email, view web sites or even receive Internet-based video, such as that sent by the Linksys Wireless-G Compact Internet Video Camera. Additional features of the WIP330 include:

  • Support for SIP v2 standards

  • Compliance with IEEE 802.11b/g standards

  • 3-way conferencing, call hold and resume, and caller ID

  • Fast Hotspot Authentication

  • Support for auto-provisioning using HTTP or HTTPS for configuration and upgrades

Linksys' WIP300 model features "SecureEasySetup" (SES) functionality that makes its easier to establish a WPA-encrypted connection with a Linksys Wireless-G router. Additional features for this model include:

  • Support for SIP v2 standards

  • Compliance with IEEE 802.11b/g standards

  • 1.8-inch color LCD display

  • Call forwarding, call transfer, call history

  • Backlit keypad

  • RF and battery level indication

  • WiFi survey tool

  • Connection status button

  • USB charger interface

The WIP330 and WIP300 are priced at $369.99 and $219.99 respectively. Additional products from the Linksys family of WiFi phones will be launched in the second half of 2006.


Modulus Video Builds its Team

Modulus Video, a supplier of MPEG-4 AVC video encoding systems based in Sunnyvale, California, announced two executive appointments: Mark Magee as vice president of technology and chief architect; and Steve Nevalsky as vice president of engineering.

Prior to co-founding Modulus Video, Magee was VP of engineering for DiviCom (acquired by Harmonic, Inc.) He was the architect of the DiviCom MPEG-2 encoder and multiplexer and helped define and develop other DiviCom core products.

Nevalsky previously was VP of engineering at ArrayComm, a supplier of wireless antenna technology. For ten years prior, Nevalsky was director of engineering for Cisco Systems Cable and Video Networking Business Unit.


AT&T Supplies Global IP VPN for Tenneco

AT&T will deploy an IP VPN integrating 113 Tenneco locations across North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia-Pacific with a full range of voice, data and business continuity services. The contract was valued at $10 million over three years. Tenneco manufactures and markets emission control products for auto manufacturers.


Napster Grows Subscriber base to 606,000

At the end of March 31, 2006, Napster's total paid subscriber base was 606,000, including 59,000 university subscribers. Excluding university, the number of premium paid subscribers grew 16 percent from the preceding quarter and 54 percent year-over-year. Subscriber revenue, which consists of monthly subscription fees as well as downloads purchased by both paid and trial subscribers, represented approximately 87 percent of music revenue, compared to 86 percent in the immediately preceding quarter.


Monday, May 15, 2006

Telecom Egypt Selects Alcatel for IMS Transition

Telecom Egypt, the national fixed incumbent operator, selected Alcatel to transform part of its network from TDM to IP. Specifically, Alcatel will provide key components of its IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) solution, including the Alcatel 5020 Softswitch as well as the Alcatel 7510 and 7515 Media Gateways to communicate between the existing TDM and new IP networks. In addition, Telecom Egypt will deploy the Alcatel 7750 Service Router and Alcatel 5620 Service Aware Manager in multiple sites. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"This contract is a big step forward in our relationship with Telecom Egypt and further positions Alcatel as the partner of choice for operators implementing IP network transformation projects," said Michel Rahier, President of Alcatel's fixed communications activities.


Audiocodes to Acquire Nuera

Audiocodes agreed to acquire Nuera Communications, a provider of packet voice gateways for MSOs and service providers, for $85 million in cash plus up to an additional $5 million if Nuera achieves certain revenue milestones during the first 12 months after consummation of the transaction.

Nuera's ORCA (Open Reliable Communications Architecture) product family of VoIP gateways, softswitches, and management systems provide telephony solutions for cable and DSL networks, international long distance networks and enterprise networks.

"This Agreement with Nuera places AudioCodes in a stronger position in the Cable and Voice over Broadband markets and in particular in North America and Asia," said Shabtai Adlersberg, Chairman, President and CEO of AudioCodes.

  • Nuera has raised $80 million in venture funding since its inception in 1997. Previous investors in Nuera have included Comcast Interactive Capital, Cox Communications, Sandler Capital Management, Argo Global Capital, HarbourVest Partners, Bay Partners, Gleacher & Co., Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank Capital Partners, SAIC Venture Capital, and J.F. Shea.

  • In June 2004, Cox Communications awarded a multiyear contract to Nuera Communications Inc. to provide media gateways for its nationwide VoIP deployments.
  • In May 2004, Nortel Networks agreed to integrate, sell and support VoIP gateways from Nuera Communications as part of an integrated PacketCable qualified solution.

Sony's Pocket-Sized PC Offers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, EDGE

Sony Electronics introduced the U.S. version of its pocket-sized VAIO UX Micro PC based on the Intel Core Solo Ultra Low Voltage CPU and Microsoft XP Professional OS. The unit features a 4.5-inch wide SVGA screen that slides up to expose an integrated keyboard.

The UX model also incorporates two built-in cameras -- one in front for VoIP communication for on-the-go video conferencing and another located on the back for taking photos.

Connectivity includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and WWAN for access to Cingular's nationwide EDGE network.

A docking station with three 2.0 USB ports, Ethernet, VGA, iLink IEEE-1394 interface and an AV output comes with the unit. The VAIO UX Micro PC will be available in July for about $1,800.