Wednesday, September 6, 2006

MetaSwitch to Offer Ditech Networks' PeerPoint SBCs

MetaSwitch will offer Ditech Networks' PeerPoint C100 Session Border Controller (SBC) as an element in its voice over broadband solutions for carriers. The agreement will place Ditech VoIP products in leading VoIP carrier networks while enabling MetaSwitch to provide secure, seamless interoperability at the network edge for carriers.

Harmonic Adds Multi-Channel MPEG-4 AVC Digital Splicing Solution

Harmonic introduced a platform for seamless real-time splicing of standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD) MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) video streams.

The ProStream 2000, which is a key element of Harmonic's IP-based video processing and delivery solutions, is also fully integrated with Entone's StreamLiner digital program insertion (DPI) solution. This enables end-to-end Harmonic and Entone solution for applications including national, local and targeted advertisement insertion.

Large scale introduction of new, high quality HD and SD digital television services is a critical requirement.

IBM's Tivoli Provisioning Manager Enables Wide-scale Virtualized Computing

IBM introduced virtualization software that enables companies to deploy and install software on tens of thousands of laptops, desktop PCs, wireless devices and servers. The new Tivoli Provisioning Manager, which incorporates technology IBM acquired from Rembo Technologies, senses when the network can handle software upgrades and automatically begins those upgrades when there is sufficient network bandwidth. It also runs automatic compliance checks -- such as validating that antivirus software is up-to-date -- and deploys the software across the infrastructure.

The software includes two new virtualization technologies:

  • "Adaptive bandwidth control" gives important business operations priority but allows administrative IT tasks, like anti-virus updates, to be handled whenever network space is available. For example, this eliminates the need for a bank to reserve extra servers or network space solely for administrative tasks such as updating applications across their ATMs.

  • "Peering," which is a grid computing-based approach to distributing software over long distances. It allows files, such as email applications or video clips, to be downloaded from a local server or a nearby desktop. Software is delivered faster to computer users while network traffic and hardware.

Redback Cites Momentum in China

Redback Networks reported that its SmartEdge family of multi-service edge routers have now been deployed in 22 of China's 32 provinces. The company said that over the last 12 months, it has 22 carrier wins in China, focused on the independently operated, provincial subsidiaries of China Telecom and China Netcom.

For China Telecom, this includes provincial carriers in Guangdong, Zhejiang, Fujian, Anhui, Hubei, Jiangxi, Yunnan, Shaanxi, Ningxia, Heilongjiang and Tibet.

For China Netcom, this includes similar deployments in Shandong, Liaoning, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Henan, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Zhejiang, Chongqing and Yunnan.

In Thailand, True Corporation Public Company Limited, formerly Telecom Asia, has selected the platform for its next generation broadband IP network infrastructure.

Internationally, Redback noted that eleven of the top 20 DSL carriers have deployed its SmartEdge multi-service edge routers, including British Telecom, Belgacom, BellSouth, China Telecom, China Netcom, Chunghwa Telecom, France Telecom and Turk Telecom.

Juniper and Siemens Collaborate on IPTV in RESIP Lab

Juniper Networks and Siemens have expanded the focus of their RESIP (Resilient IP) laboratory in Munich to include testing, certification and demonstration facilities to ease the deployment of IPTV and multiplay service offerings.

The RESIP laboratory, which previously focused on VoIP, now accommodates full-meshed core and edge routing, access and aggregation solutions, IPTV and multiplay applications, and the underlying infrastructure, at scale. The RESIP laboratory is working closely with the IPTV and Multiplay Center of Excellence Laboratory in Westford, Massachusetts, which is also a resource designed to help assure readiness for providers' production service deployments.

Juniper Enhances E320 Broadband Services Router for IPTV

Juniper Networks announced a series of enhancements for its E320 Broadband Services Router targeted at IPTV and multiplay networks. The upgrades include new 10 Gigabit Ethernet and High Density Gigabit Ethernet interface cards with advanced multicasting optimization capabilities, enabling providers to support more subscribers, more services, and more network interfaces on a single platform. The E320 is deployed in over 28 networks worldwide, including some of the world's largest IPTV and multiplay networks.

The E320 Broadband Services Router is available with a 320 Gbps switch fabric and capable of scaling up to 128,000 subscribers per platform.

The new 10 Gigabit Ethernet Services Cards can be used for high-capacity trunks between the E320 and downstream Ethernet aggregation devices as well as upstream core routers. They also feature fine-grained Quality of Service mechanisms and hierarchical queuing capability.

The new 8-port High Density Gigabit Ethernet Cards enable greater density of the platform and feature multicast optimization. By distributing multicast processing to the line cards, the High Density cards reduce the load on the switch fabric and line modules. The interface cards also feature both line rate and oversubscription capabilities.

The new interfaces also extend the capabilities of Juniper's Ethernet Services Cards to the broadband edge, enabling providers to deliver multiple services -- each with assured levels of QoS -- over Ethernet.

Juniper also noted that its revenue to date surpasses $1 billion for its broadband services router family.

Amazon Launches "Unbox" Digital Video Download Service

Amazon launched its "Unbox" digital video download service offering customers thousands of television shows, movies and other video content from more than 30 studio and network partners from Hollywood and around the world.

Amazon is offering DVD-quality video with content encoded at 2,500 kbps using VC-1 Advanced Profile codec. A 30-minute TV episode = 600MB, 1-hour TV episode = 1.2GB, and a 2-hour movie=2.4GB. With a 3.0 Mbps DSL/cable, the estimated download time for the 30-minute TV episode is 27 minutes, the estimated download time for the 1-hour TV episode is 55 minutes, and the estimated download time for the 2-hour movie is one hour and 50 minutes.

Users need to download an Unbox Video player application, which currently works only Windows PCs. Apple Macs are not supported.

Unbox uses progressive download and company expects that most U.S. customers using cable modems will be able to start watching the videos within five minutes.

An Unbox "RemoteLoad" capability enables customers to make their video purchase from one computer, such as an office PC, and then download the file to another.

Unbox also automatically includes a second file optimized for playback on any Windows Media-compatible portable device.

Television series episodes are priced at $1.99 per episode; most movies cost between $7.99 and $14.99. Customers also may rent movies for $3.99.

Amazon Unbox customers are provided with a "Your Media Library" Web page that indexes and organizes their media purchases from, including books, CDs, DVDs and Unbox Videos.

Participating movie studios include 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Lionsgate and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios.

Participating TV networks include A&E, Adult Swim, Animal Planet, BBC, The Biography Channel, Cartoon Network, CBS, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery Kids, E! Entertainment Television, FINE LIVING TV Network, FOX, Fuel TV, FX, HGTV, The History Channel, KBS (Korean Broadcast System), Logo, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, The N, PBS, Speed, Spike, Travel Channel, TV Land and VH1.

TANDBERG's Next Gen Encoders Deliver HDTV at Under 6 Mbps

TANDBERG Television introduced its next-generation high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) MPEG-4 AVC encoding solutions claiming bandwidth improvements of up to 50% over currently deployed MPEG-4 AVC units.

The product launch includes new EN8030 MPEG-4 AVC SD and EN8090 MPEG-4 AVC SD/HD ultra compression broadcast encoders, alongside the introduction of new MPEG-4 AVC HD and SD ultra compression encoding modules for the Plex range of high density, multi-channel encoders.

TANDBERG's new encoders enable HDTV services to be delivered at data rates below 6 Mbps, with similar improvements to SD services, and are designed to enable operators to deliver HD and SD multi-channel and single channel services across cable, satellite, telco and terrestrial networks.

The company said this step change in bit-rate performance represents tangible benefits to broadcasters and telcos.

  • For IPTV operators it enables 2 full-resolution HDTV channels over ADSL2+ @ 2km.

  • For satellite broadcasters it delivers transponder cost savings and the opportunity to add in more HD channels. For example, a 36MHz transponder with:

    DVB-S2 and QPSK - can fit more than 6 channels of full-resolution HD

    DVB-S2 and 8PSK - can fit more than 8 channels of full-resolution HD

The next-generation encoders also feature multi-channel capability and high density configurations. Running in HD mode from a single HDTV input, the platform is capable of generating 3 channels:

  • the main HD full resolution channel,

  • a secondary version of the main channel running up to full SD resolution, allowing operators to internally convert HD content to SD to also deliver their services to SD-only set-top-box consumers

  • a third "micro" channel for use in Picture-in-Picture, mosaic, and alternate/multi-view applications.

This multi-channel feature results in the new EN8090 HD MPEG-4 AVC broadcast encoder being able to deliver 1 HD + 1 secondary SD + 1 low resolution PiP service per 1RU, while the high density Plex systems are capable of 12 channels - 4 HD + 4 secondary (up to full SD) + 4 Low resolution (up to SIF / 1/4SD) services - in 1RU.

The NEBS-certified, telco-designed Plex encoders include both encoding and MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 AVC transcoding solutions.

Skype Offers Free Calls to All Landlines in France

French-based Skype users can make unlimited SkypeOut calls to landlines in France for free. The offer is valid in France from 07-September-2006 to 31-December-2006.

Skype said it launched the initiative after seeing a "huge success" from a similar program launched in North America in May.

TI Shows Mobile Personal Video Recording (PVR)

Texas Instruments, along with partners PacketVideo and Silicon & Software Systems Ltd. (S3), are showcasing mobile designs with personal video recording (PVR) technology. The demonstrations of TI's Hollywood DVB-H single chip and OMAP 2 platform include mobile PVR and picture-in- picture (PIP) functionality using PacketVideo's pvTV technology over a live DVB-H network.

Additionally, TI is showcasing an OMAP2420 mobile DTV solution, which also integrates S3's onHandTV DVB-H middleware. The onHandTV solution is a middleware platform for mobile TV applications. The demonstration shows a DVB-H Group C broadcast stream at up to 30 frames per second, supported by the PacketVideo framework. The S3 solution is also designed to enable PVR and PIP functionality.

Alcatel and Lucent Shareholders Approve Merger

Alcatel shareholders voted to approve all proposed resolutions related to the merger with Lucent Technologies. Likewise, shareholders of Lucent Technologies voted to approve the merger.

Alcatel and Lucent now expect to complete their merger transaction by the end of calendar year 2006, within the six- to 12-month timeframe originally announced on April 2.

"Today we received approval for the merger from Lucent´s shareowners, and as a result, we are another step closer to creating the first truly global communications solutions provider with the broadest wireless, wireline and services portfolio in the industry," said Patricia Russo, Lucent Technologies Chairman and CEO .

"I'm delighted that Alcatel's shareholders have approved our strategic merger with Lucent Technologies, and I thank them for their trust. " said Serge Tchuruk, Chairman and CEO of Alcatel. "This significant transaction is about creating the world leader in our industry. This offensive strategy, strengthened by the projects to acquire some of Nortel's assets and the reinforcement of our partnership with Thales, aims to increase Alcatel's value for its shareholders, and to provide its customers with the broadest portfolio and to give its employees great opportunities."http://www.alcatel.com

Japan's NTTPC Communications Deploys Lucent's DWDM

Japan's NTTPC Communications has deployed Lucent's Metropolis Wavelength Services Manager (WSM) in its Tokyo network. The Metropolis Wavelength Services Manager offers DWDM, coarse wavelength division multiplexing, and reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) capabilities. Financial terms were not disclosed.

ARRIS Announces Wideband Data Field Trials with Korean Broadcaster

Korea's KCTV JEJU Broadcasting has completed field testing of ARRIS' wideband data solution. The deployment delivers data speeds in excess of 100 Mbps to KCTV JEJU Broadcasting customers using the ARRIS FlexPath wideband data solution contained in the ARRIS Cadant C4 CMTS and the ARRIS Touchstone WBM650B wideband modems.

ARRIS said the field test validates the performance of its FlexPath Pre-DOCSIS 3.0 wideband data over HFC solution.

The ARRIS FlexPath solution is a DOCSIS 3.0-based channel bonding initiative. FlexPath software is embedded into the ARRIS Cadant C4 CMTS and the ARRIS Touchstone Wideband Modem to deliver end-user data speeds of up to 140 Mbps in the downstream and up to 120 Mbps in the upstream. It does this by bonding up to four 256-QAM DOCSIS channels using packet-based bonding. The FlexPath solution also allows cable operators to deliver new services, like High Definition IPTV over DOCSIS and ultra-fast video downloads, to their customers. FlexPath software can be installed in a CMTS with a simple software upgrade and all legacy DOCSIS modems -- 1.0, 1.1 and 2.0 -- can coexist on the same downstream channels as the FlexPath modems.

SecureMedia Integrates with Amino's HD IPTV STB

SecureMedia has fully integrated its widely deployed Encryptonite ONE CA/DRM system with Amino's HD set-top box. The AmiNET130 supports both SD and HD, MPEG-2 and H.264 (MPEG4/AVC) video streams.

SecureMedia said that by employing a common encryption scheme for both broadcast and VOD content, its system enables persistent and efficient protection of content in PVR and nPVR applications, set-top boxes, PVRs, PCs, portable players and mobile phones.

ABC's Digital Media Group Selects Verizon Media Platform Verizon Business Signs Up ABC as Digital Media Platform Customer

Verizon Business was awarded a new multi-year agreement under which ABC's Digital Media Group will use the Verizon Media Platform Workgroup Edition to automate its content workflow, including content repurposing and distribution.

ABC's Digital Media Group is also using the platform's multi-channel distribution capabilities to meet the growing demand for distribution of promotional and entertainment content to multiple outlets, including ABC affiliate networks, wireless providers, mobile devices and Web portals.

The Media Platform combines with ABC's existing production system to enhance and streamline various processes including editing, transcoding and storage of media files, and content distribution. The platform also helps ABC meet its media-asset auditing and quality control service-level agreements with its distribution partners.

RIM Debuts BlackBerry Pearl

Research In Motion (RIM) unveiled its "BlackBerry Pearl" designed for delivering its "push-based" BlackBerry service the consumer market.

The BlackBerry Pearl is a quad-band GSM/GPRS and EDGE-enabled mobile device with 64MB flash memory expandable via MicroSD cards. The BlackBerry Pearl will be available from T-Mobile USA in the United States beginning September 12. It will also be available in October from Rogers Wireless in Canada and a variety of carriers in Europe. Availability in Asia-Pacific and Latin America is expected later this year. Key features include:

  • RIM's SureType QWERTY keypad technology

  • an ultra-bright, high resolution (240x260) display with built-in light sensing technology that automatically adjusts the screen and keypad brightness

  • a 1.3 megapixel camera with built-in flash and 5x digital zoom

  • BlackBerry Maps capability

  • Built-in media player and stereo headset jack.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Colombia Móvil Selects Huawei for GSM Expansion

Colombia Móvil, Colombia's the third biggest mobile operator, awarded a GSM expansion contract to Huawei Technologies. The deployment will extend services to over 560,000 users across Colombia's five biggest cities of Medellin, Cali, Bucaramanga, Barranquilla, as well as its capital Bogotá. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Colombia Móvil, a leading mobile operator in Colombia, created by Bogotá Telecommunication Enterprise (ETB) ahttp://www.huawei.com

Taiwan's Asia Pacific Online Chooses Caspian

Asia Pacific Online (APOL), a leading ISP in Taiwan, has deployed Caspian Media Controllers to enforce multimedia peering service level agreements (SLAs) and improve IP multimedia service performance. The Caspian Media Controllers will be used to provide improved quality to the peering fabric in APOL's network using Caspian's IP QoS flow control.

Caspian said its Media Controller functions like "traffic metering lights" in peering networks -- identifying, controlling, and balancing IP multimedia traffic flows. The unique traffic management capabilities ensure the highest quality experience for the largest number of users, eliminating situations where a few offending users monopolize bandwidth and affect the quality of experience for the majority.

Asia Pacific Online (APOL) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Eastern Broadband Telecom (EBT), one of the four licensed fixed line type 1 telecommunications service providers in Taiwan.


Siemens Supplies IPTV Middleware for SES AMERICOM's IP-PRIME

Siemens Communications has supplied its Myrio IPTV middleware for integration with SES AMERICOM's IP-PRIME content distribution service.

As part of the PRIME IPTV distribution system, Siemens open, standards-based IPTV middleware has been integrated with content protection technology and MPEG-4 video, including high-definition (HD) video support to provide an end-to-end certified solution.

IP-PRIME, scheduled for U.S. commercial launch later this year, provides rural and independent telephone operators with hundreds of standard and high-definition (HD) IPTV channels. SES AMERICOM's IP-PRIME IPTV Broadcast Distribution Center, based in Vernon Valley, N.J., is the processing hub where content is aggregated and prepared for satellite delivery to telephone company headends.
  • Other 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. NDS is provide end-to-end IPTV content protection.

Nokia Delivers 3.6 Mbps HSDPA to Hong Kong's CSL

CSL, the leading mobile operator in Hong Kong, and Nokia successfully completed the first 16QAM call supporting 3.6 Mbps HSDPA in the CSL network. Nokia and CSL have been working together since 1991, providing GSM, GPRS, EDGE and WCDMA infrastructure for the CSL's network.