Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Proponents Post Net Neutrality Videos on YouTube

Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy is among the proponents of Net Neutrality posting their views on YouTube. The 3-minute video, first posted on 13-September-06, had 113,000 downloads in the first four days.


Italtel and Cisco Extend Strategic Relationship

Italtel and Cisco Systems will extend their strategic technology and commercial alliance to 2008, with an expanded market coverage beyond Europe, Middle East and Africa to include the Latin America region.

Since signing the original strategic alliance agreement in early 2005, Italtel and Cisco have worked together on joint technology solutions for service providers focused on optimization of network infrastructures, multimedia communication services for the consumer segment, and hosted and managed Unified Communication services for the business segment.

Recent successful deployments include BT-Albacom, Belgacom, EITC (du) in the United Arab Emirates, Telecom Italia and Telekomunikacja Polska, among others.

As part of the extended agreement, Italtel has identified a set of solutions to help service providers deliver fixed-mobile converged services and embed intelligence in the network to accelerate service creation and reduce operational costs.

The extension of the agreement to support the Latin American market resulted from successful joint activities including implementation of VoIP infrastructure in Brazil and Argentina for fixed and wireless service providers with the goal of optimizing and expanding existing networks.

The two companies will continue to cooperate on the development and marketing of joint solutions based on the Italtel Softswitch and Cisco IP technologies. Italtel and Cisco joint solutions include Multimedia carrier-class IP communications, Hosted and Managed Unified Communication Services, Service and Network Control solution, IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) solution, and Next Generation Operational Support System (NG-OSS).


Mitsubishi Develops 10 Gbps XFP-E Transceiver

Mitsubishi Electric introduced the first 10 Gbps transceiver module that is compliant with the Pluggable Extended Multi-Source Agreement (XFP-E MSA) form factor. Sample shipments will begin on October 1.

The company said that by using 48 modules per optical fiber, it can achieve a high-density transmission rate of 480 Gbps (48 multiplexed wavelength of 10 Gbps) per optical fiber. The new module has also achieved improvements in speed and volume, and is also a 55% reduction in volume from the previous 300pin MSA model.http://global.mitsubishielectric.com

China's Zhejiang Telecom Deploys Redback

Zhejiang Telecom will use Redback's SmartEdge family of multi-service edge routers to deliver broadband internet, IPTV and virtual private network (VPN) services to business and residential users. Zhejiang Telecom, which is a major subsidiary of China Telecom Corporation, currently serves more than 3 million broadband subscribers in Zhejiang province. Financial terms were not disclosed.


PMC-Sierra Introduces Analog Front End Devices for GPON and EPON

PMC-Sierra introduced four new Analog Front End Devices (AFEs) for GPON and EPON FTTH equipment. The new Physical layer devices, which will compliment PMC-Sierra's line of networking SoCs for GPON and EPON systems, enable system OEMs to produce high-performance systems for IEEE802.3ah EPON, which is widely deployed in Asia, and ITU-T G.984 GPON, which is increasingly popular in North America.

The new GPON devices include the PAS7351 GPON Trans-Impedance Amplifier (TIA) and the PAS7361 GPON Limiting Amplifier (LIA), that together form a Gigabit PON Optical Line Terminal (OLT) burst receiver for use in ITU-T G.984 GPON transceivers.

The new EPON devices include the PAS5351 EPON Trans-Impedance Amplifier (TIA) and the PAS5361 EPON Limiting Amplifier (LIA). Together they form a Gigabit Ethernet PON Optical Line Terminal (OLT) burst receiver that exceeds the IEEE802.3ah Ethernet in the First Mile EPON transceiver standard.


Comcast Launches HD VOD, Cites Soaring Demand for On-Demand Content

Comcast is planning to launch high-definition video-on-demand (HD VOD) programming. At least 20 high-definition movies from Starz Entertainment will be available each month.

Comcast also noted that video-on-demand usage is soaring, with customers viewing more than three billion ON DEMAND programs since 2004. The company's VOD library now contains over 7,500 programs.

Alcatel Opens IP Transformation Center in Antwerp

Alcatel opened an IP Transformation Center (IPTC) in Antwerp, Belgium. The first center of its scale in Europe, the IPTC will develop, integrate and test end-to-end IP networking solutions for customers in Europe as well as in Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and Latin America.

Located in Alcatel's new facility for its Belgian operations, the Antwerp IPTC will bring together experts from across the globe to design, test and build pre-integrated customer-specific solutions as well as Alcatel reference solutions. Hosting more that 50 technologies in 1,500 square meters, the IPTC will open with over 100 Alcatel experts from many disciplines, including solution architects, network engineers, application and OSS/BSS specialists, integration engineers, and network operation engineers. It will also include specialists from third party technology suppliers.

The IPTC, which is large enough to simultaneously host more than 10 large scale projects, will ensure the end-to-end integration and testing of customer projects and services and equipment domains such as home environment, network infrastructure, service application platforms and OSS/BSS.


Verizon Business Expands Managed Hosting Capabilities

In addition to continued support of the Microsoft Windows Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Sun Solaris systems, Verizon Business' managed hosting service now supports IBM's AIX and Hewlett-Packard's UX. Verizon Business offers IP Application Hosting services such as hardware break/fix, software administration, patching, monitoring and backups. Verizon Business also supports common applications such as Web and application servers and database software.


Atmel Introduces 2nd Gen VoIP Chip for Wi-Fi Based Phones

Atmel introduced its second generation VoIP chip, designed for 802.11a/g wireless phones. The device a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) stack, uCLinux operating system software, and firmware enabling 802.11a/g (Wi-Fi) and voice compression and decompression all on a single chip.

The chip design consists of an ARM946 processor for VoIP call control, authentication and signaling functions, and two subsystems -- an ARM7 and 802.11a/g Media Access Controller (MAC) that implements the 802.11a/g protocols, and a TEAK TeakDSPCore and integrated voice codec for voice processing functions. Additionally, hardware security accelerators offer on-the-fly encryption, decryption and authentication support for AES, DES/3DES and TKIP, supporting WPA and WPA2 -- Personal and Enterprise.

Atmel said its chip supports Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM) and WMM Power Save modes. WMM adds QoS capabilities to Wi-Fi networks. WMM Power Save is an improvement to the 802.11e amendment adding advanced power management functionality to WMM.

WMM Power Save is based on Unscheduled Automatic Power Save Delivery (U-APSD), which, like WMM, is based on Enhanced Distributed Channel Access (EDCA). U-APSD is suited for dynamic environments where Wi-Fi is generally deployed and allows clients supporting U-APSD to download all or some of the frames buffered by the access point during unscheduled service periods.

Atmel said that by supporting U-APSD and Scheduled APSD (S-APSD), solutions based on its chip have talk times of over six hours and stand-by times of over 220 hours on a 900 mA battery. This is achieved even when the access point it is connected to does not support WMM APSD.


Whaleback Selects Sonus for Managed Voice over Broadband Service

Whaleback Systems, a Managed Service Provider (MSP) offering a business phone solution for broadband, is using Sonus Networks' IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)-ready architecture to support its Whaleback CrystalBlue Voice Service. By deploying the Sonus-based network, Whaleback Systems is providing small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with a feature-rich Voice over Broadband service.

Whaleback's deployment includes the Sonus GSX9000 Open Services Switch, PSX Call Routing Server, SGX Signaling Gateway, and the Sonus Insight Management System.

Whaleback's CrystalBlue Voice Service is a premises-based, software-driven solution ideal for companies that require 5-500 phone stations. The managed service is deployed with a dedicated, "voice-only" broadband connection to the DSL or cable infrastructure to ensure that voice services receive required quality of service levels.


D-Link Offers Managed Wireless Gigabit Switch With 10-Gigabit Uplinks

D-Link began shipping its new DWS-3250 managed wireless stackable gigabit switch featuring 10 Gigabit uplinks. The centrally managed 48-Port Layer 2+ Stackable Gigabit switch offers 10 Access Point (AP) licenses that fully integrate wired and wireless switching capabilities. Up to 16 of the new switches can be stacked, delivering up to 768 gigabit ports. It also provides wireless security, rogue access point detection and centralized management for all compatible wireless LAN components in a single 1U form factor.

Manufacturer's suggested retail price for the DWS-3250 is $5,499.99, about a third of the cost of competitive non-integrated switches.

The DXS upgrade software (DS-710) with 10 licenses is $799.99; the DS-725 version is $1,749.99. D-Link APs are compatible with both the DXS-3250 and DWS-3250 and range from $139.99 to $349.99 MSRP.


Monday, September 11, 2006

Spirent Introduces New IMS Testing Product

Spirent Communications announced availability of the Spirent Protocol Tester, a new platform testing the IMS architecture.

Spirent Protocol supports all major VoIP and IMS protocols and media formats, including conformance, protocol, functional and interoperability testing, while simultaneously providing high-performance signaling and media load generation. It can test and emulate virtually any VoIP and IMS network element, function or service. Its protocol-independent architecture allows new or proprietary protocols to be added as needed.

Engineers can define and create any protocol call flow using any mix of protocols.


Ixia Scales its Subscriber Emulation for Carrier Class Networks

Ixia has added new capabilities for its Optixia hardware platform that almost triples its subscriber emulation scalability. Using the Aptixia IxLoad Triple Play test application, service providers and system vendors can emulate virtual "countries" of web users, more than 40 million, connecting at the rate of over 1.5 million users per second; virtual "cities" of voice callers, making more than 60,000 simultaneous calls; and virtual "towns" of video subscribers, receiving more than 30,000 standard definition video streams -- all from a single Optixia chassis.

The Ixia platform can simultaneously simulate complete Triple Play (video, voice and data) scenarios in an integrated solution. Additionally, Optixia can use real application layer traffic to test IP/MPLS network infrastructure -- true converged multi-services testing. Ixia said these realistic testing scenarios are superior to traditional one-way packet blasting testing techniques.


Apple Adds Movie Downloads to iTunes, Shows STB

In a much anticipated announcement, Apple began offering over 75 movies from Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar, Touchstone Pictures and Miramax Films through its iTunes store. Movies will become available on the iTunes Store the same day they are released on DVD, with new releases priced at $12.99 when pre-ordered and during their first week of availability, and $14.99 thereafter, and library titles available for $9.99.

Videos are downloaded in near-DVD quality at a resolution of 640x480 (up to 480, depending on the aspect ratio).

Apple also previewed its upcoming iTV player, which is expected to debut in Q1 2007. The unit will look like a flatter version of the Mac Mini and include built-in power supply, USB 2.0, Ethernet, 802.11, optical audio, RCA and HDMI ports. The expected price is $299.


RealNetworks to Acquire WiderThan -- a Ringtone Provider -- for $350 Million

RealNetworks will acquire WiderThan, a leading provider of integrated mobile music and entertainment solutions, through a cash tender offer for $17.05 per share or approximately $350 million.

WiderThan is a leading provider of ringback tones, music-on-demand and other mobile entertainment services to more than 50 wireless carriers in more than 25 countries including leading carriers such as SK Telecom in South Korea, Verizon Wireless in the U.S., and Bharti Airtel in India.

For the six months ended June 30, 2006, WiderThan achieved $61.9 million in revenue, an increase of 39% over the same period in 2005. http://www.realnetworks.com

Iliad Group Plans Multibillion FTTH Rollout in Paris

The Iliad Group's Free division, unveiled plans for a widescale rollout of FTTH in Paris. The company said the new network will give it true independence from the incumbent operator, France Telecom. The project is expected to take 24 months to reach 2.1 million people.

Free plans to invest EUR 1 billion in the project through 2012. The company initially will targets areas were its Freebox installation density is greatest. The Freebox HD's ADSL2+ terminal will be replaced by an optical box.

The company plans to offer a EUR 29.99 per month service that includes 50 Mbps Internet access, HD TV, and unlimited calling to numbers in France and certain international locations.

Draka Comteq has been selected to supply the FTTH network. The deployment will include two million kilometers of fiber and cable designed to resist the adverse conditions of sewers.

Free also plans to open its FTTH network to competitors.


DSL Forum Broadens its Focus to Include Broadband Control and Broadband Home Architecture

The DSL Forum is broadening its mission beyond DSL to address interoperability and management across DSL, fiber and alternative broadband technologies. In addition to the new access technologies, the expanded focus will also include the network control layer or a service provider network and the broadband home network.

"The DSL Forum serves as the catalyst for developing critical standards necessary for the delivery of DSL and integrated services across the globe," said Matt Davis, Director, Consumer Multiplay at IDC. "Companies not normally associated strictly with DSL, such as consumer electronics vendors and home networking companies, stand to benefit as the DSL Forum evolves in order to create the technological underpinnings necessary for the delivery of voice, video, and multimedia over DSL and other broadband technologies."

The DSL Forum's new BroadbandSuite initiative
has three focus areas:

  • BroadbandControl: Creates an intelligent, programmable control layer that unifies management of next-generation network elements and devices, which empowers service providers to deliver personalized services that enhance the subscriber's broadband experience.

  • BroadbandAccess: Defines specifications for broadband-agnostic access network architectures, evolving from ATM to Ethernet-based access aggregation. With Ethernet, service providers can better support high-bandwidth applications such as IPTV, video on demand and videoconferencing.

  • BroadbandHome: Unifies the home networking environment by establishing a common set of capabilities for networked devices as well as automating device activation and configuration to simplify the service delivery process.

AT&T Launches MobiTV Service over Broadband

AT&T will begin offering the MobiTV service to broadband users in the United States, including AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet and AT&T WorldNet subscribers. AT&T currently has more than 7.8 million DSL lines in service.

The browser-based service, which will be called AT&T Broadband TV, initially will have approximately 20 channels of live and made-for-broadband television content spanning national news, sports, entertainment and full-length music videos from top artists. Among the channels included in the initial channel lineup is Fox News, Bloomberg, Oxygen, History Channel, Comedy Time, Toonworld, Maxx Sports and the Weather Channel.

The service requires Windows XP, Internet Explorer 6.0 with cookies enabled, Windows Media Player Version 9, and Flash 7.0 plug-in for IE.

AT&T will charge a flat monthly subscription of $19.99.http://att.mobitv.com/http://www.mobitv.com
  • In May 2006, AT&T agreed to deliver MobiTV's mobile television content across its nationwide Wi-Fi network. The service will enable AT&T customers to view live television while connected to one of AT&T's Wi-Fi hot spots.

NETGEAR Ships WiFi Phone for Skype in Volume

NETGEAR announced volume shipments of its new WiFi Phone for Skype. The phone is shipping to pre-order customers in the U.S. and Canada starting this week at an MSRP of $249.99. It will be available in Europe and Asia-Pacific by early October. NETGEAR said Skype already has an impressive pre-order list for the product.


VON: Pulver Keynote Marks 10th Anniversary of VoIP

This year marks the 10th anniversary of VoIP. What started out as "a bottoms-up disruption" from innovators at small companies has grown into a multi-billion industry embraced by all the major players, observed Jeff Pulver, speaking at the opening of the VON event in Boston. The PSTN is not going away, said Pulver, it's just morphing into a multi-modal billing engine.
This year also marks the transition of VON from strictly a VoIP event into multi-faceted conference with a Video-on-the-Net component.

"We always kinda' thought video was an app, but Moore's Law finally makes it true, said Pulver, demonstrating high-quality streaming of movie trailer from Sony site and projected onto conference's big screen.

Pulver drew a clear distinction between TV-over-IP and IPTV. He sees IPTV as a great space to be in, but ultimately another scheme for empowering incumbent phone companies with fiber in the ground.

VON remains about disruptive technologies. Many people said the Internet was not good enough for telephony. It's now clear that the Internet is good enough for TV. Video shows on Net (vlogs) are proliferating and the studios are jumping in as well.

VON conference organizers expects to attract 10,000 visitors over the course of the event.