Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Uganda Telecom Deploys Redback's SmartEdge

Uganda Telecom, the national incumbent telecommunications provider of Uganda, has deployed Redback's SmartEdge Multi-Service Edge Router to support broadband services for business and residential customers. The implementation of the SmartEdge400 service capabilities enables Uganda Telecom to deliver traditional voice service as well as video and data over one single IP-based broadband network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

MFA Forum Approves Ethernet-over-MPLS Specification

The MFA Forum announced the approval of five technical specifications, including two that address multi-service interworking. Additional specifications cover high-speed connections, ATM and Frame Relay-to-MPLS control plane interworking, and virtual trunks for ATM/MPLS control plane interworking.

The Multi-Service Interworking -- Ethernet over MPLS (MFA Forum 12.0.0) specification is aimed at the delivery of Ethernet services utilizing an MPLS core network. The term "multi-service interworking" means that Ethernet frames are transported across the MPLS core in a pseudo wire (PW), and that the two attachment circuits (ACs) associated with the PW employ different Layer 2 technologies (e.g. ATM on one AC and Ethernet on the other). The specification enables carriers and service providers to introduce new Ethernet services, while preserving existing infrastructure and ATM and Frame Relay service end-points.

The Fault Management for Multi-Service Interworking over MPLS Version 1.0 (MFA Forum 13.0.0) specification allows service providers to detect and isolate faults, and propagate alarms so that action can be taken to minimize or avoid service outages, and thus meet customer service expectations. This continues to be important as traditional ATM and Frame Relay, as well as emerging Ethernet and IP services are migrated to MPLS networks.

The High Speed Connections (MFA Forum 11.0.0) specification defines a maximum rate of approximately 1.8 Terabits per second for data transfer between storage servers, maximizing optical links when ATM is part of the network solution.

The ATM and Frame Relay to MPLS Control Plane Interworking: Client-Server (MFA Forum 10.0.0) specification defines the control plane and protocol interworking procedures for ATM and Frame Relay connections across an IP/MPLS network using pseudo wires, simplifying migration from ATM to next-generation multi-service packet networks. The specification is designed to protect carrier investment in current services and revenue streams while enabling emerging IP applications and services.

The Virtual Trunks for ATM/MPLS Control Plane Interworking (MFA Forum 9.0.0) specification is a distributed interworking approach to the ATM and MPLS control planes, enabling separation of the MPLS network routing domains and the ATM routing domains.

All of the specs are available on the MFA website.

North American FTTH Subscribers Climb to 1 Million, 6 Million Homes Passed

The number of North American homes and businesses directly connected via end-to-end fiber now exceeds one million, according to the Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). The number of homes passed and eligible for fiber service now exceeds 6 million.

The growth rate is accelerating, with well over 300,000 additional homes being passed every month.

"In 2006, FTTH providers in the United States have moved from pioneer efforts in the United States into the mainstream," said FTTH Council President Joe Savage, "and are confirming that it is a question of when, not if, to deploy FTTH."

Ericsson Supplies GSM/GPRS Core to América Móvil in Chile

Claro Chile, a subsidiary of América Móvil, has selected Ericsson as the sole supplier of its new GSM/GPRS core network. In the turnkey project, Ericsson also delivered a series of services that facilitated the August launch of the new network, including business consultancy, design and initial installation of the network, and core optimization. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Cable Consortium Comments on Spectrum Acquisition, Readies Sprint JV Trial Launch

SpectrumCo, a joint venture including Comcast Corporation, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Advance/Newhouse (cable MSOs) and Sprint Nextel Communications, confirmed its winning bid of $2.37 billion for 137 wireless spectrum licenses in the FCC's recent advanced wireless services auction.

Comcast's portion of the total costs to purchase the licenses is $1.29 billion. Time Warner Cable's portion of the costs is $632.2 million and Cox Communications' portion is $248.3 million.

The consortium said the new spectrum provides many options and significant flexibility as its members evolve their plans for wireless. The members of SpectrumCo did not approach this investment with the intent of becoming the nation's fifth wireless voice provider, but to obtain greater flexibility in developing options for more advanced wireless services.

While no plans have as yet been finalized, including no specific plans to build out the networks at this time, in coming months the members of SpectrumCo will fully evaluate all options including possible testing in limited markets.

The cable MSOs also confirmed that they remain active with Sprint Nextel in the joint venture announced in November 2005. The acquired wireless spectrum could be used in conjunction with this JV. The cable MSOs expect to launch trials of the Sprint Nextel product in seven markets before the end of the year.

Nokia Wins GSM Core Deal with Telefonica Moviles Peru

Nokia has implemented a complete GSM core network for Telefonica Moviles Peru -- a new customer for Nokia. As part of the deal, Nokia has provided its mobile softswitch MSC Server System, along with network planning and optimization services, training and operations support for six months. The network is supported by the multivendor, multitechnology Nokia NetAct network and service management system.

AT&T Blue Room Expands its Content Aggregation

AT&T announced the expansion of its "Blue Room" content aggregation service as part of its strategy to link the AT&T brand to premier communications and entertainment experiences. The new AT&T blue room features exclusive music, sports and other entertainment content, along with a new Internet gaming portal.

The new blue room site features a "city-environment" that will rotate throughout the year to feature different key cities. Visitors are encouraged to explore areas of the city -- such as the concert, arcade and stadium -- to access one of the four featured "channels".

BellSouth Expands pre-WiMAX Service to 2 More Markets

BellSouth announced the expansion of its pre-WiMAX broadband wireless into two new markets by late October -- select parts of Albany, Georgia and Paducah, Kentucky. Additionally, service will be expanded in the New Orleans area to include New Orleans East. With these expansions, BellSouth will offer the service in 10 Southeastern markets, including four markets recently launched in September: North Charleston, S.C.; Melbourne, Fla.; Greenville, Miss.; and Chattanooga, Tenn.

BellSouth Wireless Broadband Service offers downstream speeds up to 1.5Mbps using its licensed WCS 2.3GHz spectrum.

Occam Networks Announces NASDAQ Listing

Shares in Occam Networks will begin trading on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol "OCNW" on October 9, 2006. The company's common shares have been trading on the NASD Electronic Bulletin Board (OTCBB) under (OCNW).

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

GlobeCast WorldTV Supply Verizon FiOS with International TV Content

France Telecom's GlobeCast subsidiary will supply international television content for Verizon's FiOS TV and broadband platforms. GlobeCast WorldTV will initially furnish Verizon with signal transport and licensing rights for up to 37 top tier international channels in 18 languages from Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. In addition to the 37 channels initially available to Verizon, GlobeCast WorldTV has plans to provide Verizon with access to another 40 channels during 2007. The agreement allows Verizon to make GlobeCast WorldTV programming available to consumers on both a linear and VOD distribution basis, thereby positioning Verizon to have one of the largest multicultural video offerings in the US.

GlobeCast WorldTV is currently broadcasting 206 global television and radio brands from 42 countries in 35 languages via direct-to-home satellite, cable, IPTV, broadband and mobile platforms.

TIA and USTELECOM Agree to Host NXTcomm Event in June 2007

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and the United States Telecom Association (USTelecom) have set aside their differences and agreed to host a single industry event -- NXTcomm -- in Chicago from June 18-21, 2007.

NXTcomm will replace both GLOBALCOMM and TelecomNEXT in 2007.

"TIA is pleased to join forces once again with USTelecom to create NXTcomm," TIA President Matt Flanigan said. "Our organizations' members want one premier show. GLOBALCOMM and TelecomNEXT exhibitors want one premier show. The industry wants one premier show. And in June, 2007, that one premier show arrives at Chicago's McCormick Place, when USTelecom and TIA unveil NXTcomm, the one venue to showcase the leading telecommunications companies in the new converged ICT industry who are merging communications and entertainment via innovations fueled by broadband deployment."

NXTcomm will be a 50-50 ownership venture held in an independent company that will be overseen by a Board of Directors with equal representation from the two trade associations.

Connexion by Boeing Makes Final Payment to SES AMERICOM

As a result of its decision to terminate the "Connexion by Boeing" service, Boeing has made payment of $70 million to SES AMERICOM relating to termination of the AMC-23 satellite contract.
  • In August 2006, Boeing decided to exit the in-flight broadband market and will shut down its "Connexion by Boeing" service over the coming months. The company will take a pre-tax charge of up to $320 million, or $0.26 per share, in the second half of 2006, for write downs of the network assets, payments of early termination fees to airlines, and other costs related to shutting down the service.

Cisco Debuts New Logo

Cisco Systems has begun using a new logo. The company has also launched a revamped website.

Fujitsu and Cisco Introduce IP/MPLS Core Router for Japan

Fujitsu Limited and Cisco Systems launched sales in Japan of a four-slot model of the co-branded "Fujitsu and Cisco CRS-1" Carrier Routing System. The new router model delivers the same 40 Gbps of switching capacity per slot as other models in the series, providing a total switching capacity of 320 Gbps. It also uses the same I/O modules and forwarding engines as existing 8-slot and 16-slot models.

Under a strategic partnership announced in December 2004, Fujitsu and Cisco offer customized solutions that take into account the particular requirements of the Japanese market.
  • In September 2005, Cisco Systems introduced a compact version of its CRS-1 Carrier Routing System designed for deployment at regional Points of Presence (POPs), MSO hub locations and data center peering sites. The new platform is especially aimed at broadcast IPTV services and offers a multistage switch fabric with native multicast capabilities.

Ixia and Anite Offer Video Telephony Handset Test Platform

Ixia and Anite, a supplier of test and measurement technology for the wireless industry, have integrated two of their key products to simplify video telephony certification.

Ixia's IxMobile video telephony terminal emulator and the Anite SAS wireless toolset together perform both base station and terminal emulation to provide a repeatable and versatile test environment for handset certification. The IxMobile and Anite SAS are seamlessly integrated via IxMobile's programmatic interface to communicate with the handset under test over a contained, RF interface.

The company's said their collaboration helps ensure handsets conform to the test cases selected by the Global Certification Forum (GCF) for video telephony application enabler certification.

IxMobile emulates video telephony terminals communicating with handsets under test for protocol analysis, conformance and inter-operability testing. Wireless handset manufactures can use IxMobile to develop and test 3G video applications, while network operators use IxMobile for handset interoperability testing and acceptance, as well as video telephony network optimization to continually assess and improve quality of experience for their customers.

Anite's SAS interoperability toolset reduces the cost and time taken to bring a certified handset to market. This is achieved by providing a network simulation environment in which handsets may be tested in a variety of real-world conditions.

France Telecom and Motorola Test Video Handovers between EDGE and WiFi

Researchers at France Telecom and Motorola have demonstrated a Network Controlled Seamless Mobility solution that permits video streaming applications to perform a seamless handover between EDGE and WiFi occurs at the optimized instant for the network operator and user. In this solution, the handover decision is managed with centralized information regarding radio link conditions, access networks load, application quality of service (QoS) needs, user preferences, and operator policies.

The project is a result of the partnership signed by companies in January 2005.

Tektronix and LitePoint Develop WiMAX Test Solution

Tektronix is working with LitePoint Corporation to create an end-to end test solution for WiMAX. The companies said their joint effort will encompass new test tools for trouble-shooting WiMAX application design utilizing a Tektronix Real-Time Spectrum Analyze. http://www.tektronix.com

Nokia and Orange Enter Software Platform Collaboration

Nokia is working with Orange to facilitate device customization and strengthen the role of S60 devices in Orange's device portfolio. The focus of the collaboration is to create an Orange specific software package to complement S60 software on Symbian OS and to accelerate the Orange device customization process.

See also