Monday, October 9, 2006

NewStep Introduces FMC for Small Carriers and Enterprises

NewStep Networks, a spin-out from Bell Canada that was established in 2003, unveiled its CSN30 fixed-mobile convergence platform for enterprises and small carrier environments with up to 30,000 subscribers. The company already offers an FMC platform for larger deployments.

Both platforms converge services across diverse networks to enable subscribers to have a single number, single voicemail, simultaneous ringing across multiple phones, and other features like corporate extension dialing, from existing mobile phones.

The CSN30 offers fixed-mobile convergence with capacity for up to 30,000 subscribers and targeted at enterprises with a large number of mobile workers, and also for smaller network operators that require scalable solutions.

In addition to VCC compliant dual-mode seamless handoff support, the CSN30 provides features such as One Button Transfer, Single Number Service, Automatic Reconnect, Single Voicemail and Voicemail Intercept. The CSN30 delivers PBX extension services, so that employee mobile phones appear like extensions of the company PBX. The CSN30 also offers Optimal Call Routing, which helps enterprises and network operators save on long distance, transfer and roaming charges.

NewStep said that by extending traditional desktop PBX phone capabilities to mobile phones, and allowing the easy transfer of calls between fixed and mobile phones, users get a more consistent, simplified communications experience at a lower cost, and service providers are able to deliver a higher value bundle of fixed-mobile services.

Alcatel Releases TISPAN-compliant IMS Solution

Alcatel announced commercial availability of an IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) solution that complies with the functionality outlined by ETSI TISPAN standards for fixed, mobile and converged networks. The solution enables the delivery of advanced IP multimedia services, such as VoIP, push-to-talk, multimedia conferencing, presence-based communication, and other interactive applications with a guaranteed quality of service. The solution also enables the control of media-rich SIP sessions between terminals and devices over any fixed or mobile access network, including second- and third-generation wireless, xDSL, and wireless access such as LAN (WiFi) hotspots and WiMAX.

Alcatel's portfolio of IMS-compliant products covers the application, session control and connectivity layers.

The Alcatel 5350 IMS Application Server offers an open development environment for innovative services. The Alcatel 8690 Open Service Platform (OSP) bridges traditional telephony applications to IMS. SIP-based session control is provided using the Alcatel 5020 Call Session Controller (CSC), a member of the Alcatel 5020 Softswitch family, and using the Alcatel 1430 Unified Home Subscriber Server (HSS) for subscriber management.

Alcatel noted that as of September 2006, it had more than 120 IMS-related fixed and mobile deployments and trials around the world.

Telefónica Latin America Selects Alcatel

Telefónica has selected Alcatel to provide solutions for its access, Metro Ethernet, IP edge and optical transport networks in Latin America. This award follows the recently announced selection of Alcatel to support Telefónica's broadband network transformation in Spain. Financial terms were not disclosed.

For broadband access, Alcatel will provide its 7302 Intelligent Services Access Manager (ISAM).

For the Metro Ethernet and IP edge network, Alcatel will supply its 7750 Service Router (SR), which will enable Telefónica to offer corporate access services and virtual private networks based on MPLS, on a national level.

For the transport network, Alcatel will provide its data-aware Optical Multi-Service Node (OMSN) systems, 1678 Metro Core Connect (MCC) and 1696 Metrospan systems to enhance network capacity and multi-service aggregation functionality for triple play service delivery.


Telchemy Launches IPTV/IP Videoconferencing Performance Monitoring Software

Telchemy released an upgraded version of its VQmon/SA-VM solution for IPTV and IP Videoconferencing performance monitoring. The software can be integrated into IP Set Top Boxes, Residential Gateways, IPTV probes and analyzers, and a wide range of core network and customer premise equipment.

The VQmon/SA-VM system now reports the new "TVQM" - Telchemy Video Quality Metrics, which combines transport quality, video stream quality and perceptual quality metrics, giving a clear view of performance at key protocol layers.

TVQM Transport Quality Metrics include Packet Loss and Discard Rate, Burst/Gap Statistics, FEC Effectiveness, TR 101 290 MPEG Transport Metrics and both Jitter. TVQM Video Stream Metrics include I, B, P frames received, I, B, P frames impaired, Group of Picture structure, and Video codec type, bit rate and frame size.

TVQM Perceptual Quality Metrics include Video Service Transmission Quality (VSTQ), Video MOS, Audio MOS, Audio-Video MOS, and PSNR. MOS scores are calculated using Telchemy's patented perceptual models, which accurately represent the impact of time varying impairments on user perceived quality.

VQmon is a multi-platform, multi-vendor technology for measuring the quality of Voice and Video over IP and providing diagnostic data for problem resolution. VQmon/SA for VoIP and VQmon/SA-VM for IPTV provide the core analysis function for analyzers, and probes, and also are used for traffic analysis and SLA monitoring in routers.

AudioCodes Launches Transcoding Resource Blade Products

AudioCodes introduced its Transcoding Resource Blade (TRB) family as part of its IPmedia product line, adding a number of enhanced performance features that enable complex wireline and wireless transcoding processing required in IP Multi-media Subsystem (IMS) architecture and other VoIP implementations.

The TRB products support IP to IP conversion of a wide range of standard and low bit-rate (LBR) coders, including: G.711, G.726, G.727, G.723.1, G.729.a, iLBC, GSM-FR, GSM-EFR, AMR and others. In addition to voice coders, the TRB family also supports encryption/decryption, conversion of G.711 fax to T.38 and a number of DTMF conversions. Transcoding features are controlled via SIP, MGCP or via the high-performance AudioCodes API.

The TRB product family is available in a number of blade form factors and densities, including:

  • IPM-260/TRB -- PCI form factor, supporting up to 120 transcoding sessions

  • IPM-1610/TRB -- cPCI form factor, up to 240 transcoding sessions

  • IPM-6310/TRB -- cPCI form factor, up to 1008 transcoding sessions

In addition to the above PCI and cPCI version, an AdvancedTCA form factor product is planned for early 2007.

Y-E Data Develops 4-port UWB Hub with Wisair

Y-E Data, part of the Yaskawa Electric Group, is developing a UWB wireless hub based on Wisair's silicon and reference design. four-port wireless hub is designed to seamlessly replace any wireline USB connection with a wireless connection. USB devices such as printers, scanners, remote hard disks, and digital cameras can plug into the UWB hub, which can be placed anywhere in the room. Data is transmitted wirelessly from the hub to a PC or notebook via a dongle that is plugged into the PC's USB port.


Colt Upgrades European Fiber Network with Nortel's DWDM

COLT has boosted the capacity of its pan-European fiber network using optical technology from Nortel. Specifically, COLT is using Nortel's Common Photonic Layer (CPL) technology and its Optical Multiservice Edge 6500 platform with wavelength tunable lasers and electronic compensation for fiber dispersion.

Nortel Shows IPTV, IMS Services over WiMAX

At this week's WiMAX World trade show in Boston, Nortel is showcasing real-time, multimedia IPTV and IMS services over a live high-speed, 4G WiMAX network. The demo shows a 4 Mbps video stream delivered over WiMAX, along with a click-to-call capability that enables viewers to make VoIP calls using IMS.

Tennessee Telco Upgrades with Occam's BLC 6000

Ben Lomand Telephone Co-op, Inc., one of Tennessee's largest independent operating companies (IOCs), has selected Occam Networks' BLC 6000 to upgrade its access network. Ben Lomand built out half of its geographic territory with Next Level Communications equipment, but concerns over the future evolution of that equipment caused them to reconsider their deployment plans. The carrier has purchased approximately 50 of Occam's BLC 6252 blades, and plans to deploy many more as it upgrades seven new networks. Ben Lomand will soon trial Occam's BLC 6312 blade as part of a project to offer Active Ethernet fiber to the home.

Spirent Supports MultiService Forum's GMI 2006 Event

Spirent Communications will contribute expertise, test solutions and methodologies to every test scenario at five locations across three continents for the MultiService Forum's (MSF) Global MSF Interoperability (GMI) event.

The GMI 2006 event will demonstrate multi-vendor interoperability of Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) services using the IMS framework. The event is intended to be the catalyst to move IMS beyond the hype and into active deployment. Five of the world's top carriers are collaborating with the MSF to host this globally networked test event that spans three continents.

During the GMI 2006 event, Oct. 16th - 27th, Spirent Communications is providing experts, test equipment and advanced IMS test methodologies to facilitate the stringent testing requirements of MSF Release 3 implementation at all five carrier sites. This involves 200 next-generation network (NGN) elements tested against carrier defined test scenarios. Spirent's support involves test coverage for all portions of the IMS network:
  • IMS Access Network - Spirent provides real-world traffic models to evaluate wireless core packet data network elements associated with FMC applications.

  • IMS Core Network - Spirent simulates UE (User Element) traffic and emulates all the core network elements.

  • PSTN Network - Spirent emulates end to end traffic and all PSTN network elements.


BelAir's WiMAX Mesh Roadmap to Expand to 802.16e

BelAir Networks outlined its strategy and product roadmap for its WiMAX mesh portfolio. The company currently utilizes 802.16d WiMAX radio modules operating in the 2.3GHz and 2.5GHz bands. These modules fit in its BelAir100 and BelAir200 mesh nodes and have been deployed by current spectrum holders for mesh backhaul between nodes. In June of this year, BelAir's module became the first and only FCC-certified WiMAX mesh product.

BelAir now plans to expand its WiMAX portfolio to include 802.16e. The company will deliver 802.16e radio modules for use in both backhaul and access applications. BelAir plans to use Intel's latest 802.16e technology to deliver 802.16e mobile WiMAX basestations. The new 802.16e modules, operating in the 2.3GHz, 2.5GHz and 3.5GHz bands, will fit in the BelAir100 and BelAir200 mesh nodes as card upgrades. Carrier trials are slated for mid 2007 and general availability is expected in the second half of 2007, in line with widespread adoption of WiMAX-based devices.
  • Earlier this month, BelAir Networks, a start-up based in Kanata, Ontario, raised $21.4 million in venture funding for its mobile wireless broadband mesh network solutions.

  • In June 2006, Fujitsu Network Communications announced plans to offer a metro wireless mesh solution for North American telecom carriers, cable/MSO operators, utilities and municipalities, based on BelAir Networks' platform.

STB Vendors Show Boxes for Microsoft TV IPTV

At Broadband World Forum Europe in Paris, Cisco Systems, Motorola, Philips and Tatung unveiled advanced system-on-a-chip (SoC) set-tops for the Microsoft IPTV Edition software platform.

Cisco IP set-top models, which will be deployed by customers including AT&T, support experience-enhancing features such as high-definition TV, DVR, integrated home networking over coax and user-friendly displays. Cisco offers models that include silicon from both Sigma Designs Inc. and STMicroelectronics.

Motorola's VIP series of SoC-based set-tops are engineered to bring the advanced IP services into any room in the house, including on-demand services, DVR and support for HDTV codecs, as well as forthcoming IPTV Edition features such as multiroom streaming and home media networking. Motorola VIP series set-tops are currently shipping in volume to leading providers worldwide, and the company has announced that AT&T will be the first service provider to commercially deploy these products.

Philips has introduced a hybrid IPTV-DTT set-top box supporting Microsoft IPTV Edition with HDTV and DVR functionality based on the Sigma Designs 8634 chipset. This product will be launched by BT plc this fall.

Tatung will introduce its STB2000 series SoC-enabled set-top boxes based on the Sigma Designs 8634 chipset later this year. The new STB2300 model is an entry-level IP set-top box that not only supports two high-definition decoding engines for MPEG2, H.264 and VC-1, providing decoding flexibility, but also supports advanced features including HDTV, video on demand (VOD) and high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI).

Siemens Supplies 40 Gbps Optical Transmission for Retelit

Italy's Retelit S.p.A. awarded a contract to Siemens to supply its Surpass hiT 7300 based on DWDM platforms. As a result, the transmission capacity will be increased up to 40 Gbps per wavelength, offering a maximum capacity of 1.6 Tbps per fiber. Siemens will deliver Retelit's DWDM-based fiber optic transmission network as a turnkey solution. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Retelit network spans 6,034 km, of which 1,431 km are in urban centers.


SAMSUNG Launches 10 Megapixel EVDO Phone

Samsung launched the industry's first 10 megapixel camera phone -- a CDMA 2000 1X EVDO (800 MHz) model for the Korean market that will initially be priced at about $900.

Samsung's 10 megapixel camera phone (SCH-B600) is 6mm thinner and 10g lighter than the 7 megapixel camera phone (SCH-V770) and sets itself apart from its previous megapixel camera phones by combining mobile TV capability with satellite Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB).

The camera includes 3x optical zoom and 5x digital zoom. It also has auto focus and a flash. It comes fitted with a LED autofocus feature that automatically determines the distance and utilizes the appropriate focus setting for optimal photo shooting. It also supports white balance, manual focus, continuous picture-taking, and interval picture-taking functions.

The handset supports external memory (MMCmicro) in addition to its internal memory. The mobile phone supports a TV-out function where users can connect their phones to view still or motion pictures.

Other advanced functions in the B600 include an MP3 player, business card reader, and 128 polyphonic sounds.

Alcatel Debuts New Ethernet/MPLS Routing Platforms

Alcatel introduced two new platforms: a twelve-slot, 400 Gbps version of its 7450 Ethernet Service Switch (ESS), and a four-slot, 9 Gbps version of its 7710 Service Router (SR), which was launched in March 2006.

The new twelve-slot Alcatel 7450 ESS is a carrier class, Ethernet/MPLS routing platform for high-bandwidth video aggregation in service provider networks. Key features include Alcatel's non-stop routing and non-stop service delivery capabilities. It uses the same operating system and interfaces as the existing Alcatel ESS family of products.

The four-slot version of the Alcatel 7710 SR is a modular, multi-service routing platform that allows high-end verticals and fixed and mobile operators to extend carrier-class attributes to the edges of their IP/MPLS network, where a broad range of access interface types are required.

The Alcatel 7710 SR uses the existing Service Router Operating System (SR-OS) which simplifies operational processes. With this addition, Alcatel's Service Router product line now extends from 9 Gbps to 400 Gbps in capacity.

Both new platforms feature a service-oriented OA&M toolkit plus full element and network management by the Alcatel 5620 Service Aware Manager (SAM), which automates operational tasks and thus enhances the speed and efficiency with which new services can be introduced and managed. As well, both products provide comprehensive support for service-based accounting and billing which allows operators to customize invoices based on end-user requirements.

The twelve-slot Alcatel 7450 ESS and the four-slot Alcatel 7710 SR are available in October 2006.

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Fujitsu Unveils WiMAX Strategy Encompassing Silicon, Systems and Services

Fujitsu Network Communications and Fujitsu Microelectronics America outlined their WiMAX strategic vision spanning silicon solutions, electronic devices, radio access network solutions, professional services and backhaul infrastructure solutions.

The new Fujitsu WiMAX product line includes two models of base stations for indoor or outdoor use. These base stations include a very compact Radio Frequency (RF) unit with high-efficiency RF amplifiers and a high-performance, compact Baseband (BB) unit. The system is based on the ratified IEEE 802.16-2005 standard and the WiMAX Forum definition of mobile WiMAX. The solutions integrate intellectual property for multiple antenna technologies such as multiple-input/multiple-output (MIMO) along with its Digital Pre-Distortion (DPD) amplifiers.

In silicon, Fujitsu's System on a Chip (SoC) is designed to optimize both performance and power consumption using proprietary 90 nm process technology suited for PC cards and mobile device applications such as high-speed vehicular data sharing, consumer-in-motion and mobile appliance connectivity.

Fujitsu Network Life Cycle Services are an integral part of the network solution. These services are available to help carriers create and extend their WiMAX footprint by utilizing planning services such as RF engineering, site acquisition and site preparation.

Fujitsu said it would back its WiMAX vision through its full global presence, enabling carriers to work with one strategic partner for broadband wireless networks. The company has formed regional partnerships to augment development efforts and meet specific requirements of carriers around the world. In North America, for example, Fujitsu has partnered with two broadband wireless access leaders -- Airspan Networks for WiMAX solutions and BelAir Networks for Wi-Fi mesh solutions.

Opportunities in the Broadband Wireless Era
and commercial enterprises share a growing need for borderless
communications on-the-go. Many wired and wireless broadband technologies,
including 3G, 3.5G, WiFi and WiMAX, will co-exist in this era, leading to
new opportunities, new lifestyle options and new modes of working. Here's
a perspective on future applications.

Ruckus Gains Traction with Smart Wi-Fi CPE, Secures Funding

Ruckus Wireless, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, unveiled its MediaFlex NG gateway that uses it smart Wi-Fi technology for distributing video inside the home. Ruckus also announced that it has closed a new round of funding, led by Motorola Ventures and T-Online Ventures, and has been selected by the national telecommunications providers in Belgium and the Czech Republic to supply its MediaFlex system as the "cable-less" solution.

The MediaFlex NG router is specifically designed to deliver continuous high-performance, video-grade wireless networking. The system is capable of simultaneously supporting three to four standard definition MPEG-2 video streams or one to two high definition video streams, providing 15-25 Mbps of sustained video throughput to any corner of a 3,000 square foot home.

Significantly, the Ruckus MediaFlex NG enables providers to securely operate and manage multiple wireless virtual networks within the home. Each virtual network can be dedicated to a specific organization, service or traffic type, uniquely managed and secured by the service provider or a designated administrator.

Virtual networks can be prioritized by the provider. IPTV traffic, for instance, can traverse a discrete Wi-Fi network and be given higher priority over another wireless network on the same MediaFlex NG system.

Separate statistics for each virtual network (per SSID) can be collected and discrete security policies applied. On the same device, operators can provide users their own wireless network using a separate, user managed SSID.

Key features of the Ruckus MediaFlex NG include:

  • the ability to support multiple virtual APs

  • a remote wireless service management technology that provides operators access, via SNMP, HTTP, SSL, SSH and Telnet, to the performance and RF information necessary to manage triple play services, as well as the ability to perform inventory audits on wireless devices within a subscriber's home network.

  • increased capacity and predictable performance using standard 802.11 Wi-Fi

  • the ability to automatically adapt to the changing RF characteristics within the home using smart antenna ("BeamFlex") and quality of service ("SmartCast") technologies.

  • the ability to reliably receive Wi-Fi signals down to -100 dBm.

  • and extensive remote management capabilities.

    Ruckus said two major issues have prevented service providers from deploying Wi-Fi as a utility network in consumer homes: 1) unstable performance affecting the quality of delay-sensitive applications such as streaming video and 2) the inability to remotely identify and diagnose Wi-Fi related problems as consumers experience them.

    Ruckus also announced that it will supply its "smart Wi-Fi" technology and systems to Telefonica O2 Czech Republic to support its newly launched IPTV service. Telefonica O2 Czech Republic is initially offering 30 channels of MPEG-4 IPTV packaged within its basic packages O2 TV Entertainment and O2 TV Cinema. Telefonica O2 Czech Republic delivers IPTV over an ADSL2+ infrastructure with plans to begin providing fiber-to-the-home by year's end.

    As for the $16 million in new funding, Motorola Ventures led the third round along with T-Online Venture Fund, Firelake Capital Management and other private investors. The new corporate investors join existing Ruckus Wireless investors which include Sequoia Capital, Sutter Hill Ventures, Investor AB and WK Technology Fund.

    The new financing increases the total investment in Ruckus Wireless to $30 million since its formation in June of 2004.

    Wi-Fi Completes the Triple Play
    date, in-home video distribution -- an essential element for Triple Play
    delivery -- has been largely ignored: Given its widespread popularity and
    use within the home, Wi-Fi would be an obvious solution to this problem.
    Yet conventional consumer Wi-Fi was designed primarily for data
    applications and provides poor transport for multimedia traffic. Here is
    how a new generation of Smart Wi-Fi could solve the problem.

AT&T First Foreign Carrier to be Granted New Telecom Licenses in India

AT&T Global Network Services India Private Limited (AT&T India), a joint venture which is majority-owned by AT&T, has become the first foreign telecom operator in India to secure National Long Distance/International Long Distance (NLD/ILD) licenses to serve global and India-headquartered companies with advanced telecommunications services. AT&T India is planning to provide Virtual Private Network services to the corporate enterprise segment by the end of 2006.

AT&T presently supports its global customer requirements in India through a cooperation agreement with a local licensed service provider, consistent with government regulations. Once AT&T India becomes operational later this year, AT&T India will directly serve the corporate enterprise market.

AT&T said the announcement was made possible by the Indian Government's new policy of November 2005 on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), which allows up to 74% foreign ownership for companies doing business in the country. AT&T owns 74% of AT&T India while the remaining 26% equity is held by Mahindra Telecommunications Investment Private Limited.