Sunday, October 22, 2006

NewStep Raises $7 Million for FMC

NewStep Networks, a spin-out from Bell Canada, has raised $7M as part of its Series B round of financing for its fixed-mobile convergence platform.

NewStep's technology operates at the signaling layer, facilitating standards-based integration with legacy TDM/SS7 networks, IP/SIP networks and enterprise communication software and IP PBX implementations. The solution enables carriers to establish and retain control of calls across IP and TDM, wireless and wireline, service provider and enterprise networks. NewStep's platforms 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 company said it will use the funds to expand its sales and support capabilities, and to develop new technologies that will continuously improve the customer experience with fixed-mobile convergence services. NewStep has active deployments and trials currently underway throughout the world with Tier 1 carriers.

  • Earlier this month, 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.

ECI Announces Proposed IPO for Veraz Networks

Veraz Networks, a global supplier of softswitches, media gateways and digital compression products, filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to the proposed initial public offering of its common stock. ECI Telecom will offer an undetermined number of shares of Veraz common stock as the selling stockholder in the proposed offering.

ECI currently holds 41 % of the outstanding common stock of Veraz Networks (33 % on a fully diluted basis).

AOL Video Adds Online Movie Downloads from Paramount

The AOL Video portal began offering movie and television titles from Paramount Pictures for download with prices ranging from $9.99 to $19.99 per movie. Once downloaded, videos can be viewed offline as well as on other PCs and compatible portable devices.

AT&T Reaches 8.2 million DSL Subs, up by 380,000 in Q3

AT&T posted third-quarter 2006 net income of $2.2 billion, up 73.8 percent versus $1.2 billion in the third quarter of 2005. Third-quarter consolidated revenues totaled $15.6 billion, up from a pre-merger $10.3 billion in the third quarter of 2005.

AT&T's reported earnings per diluted share were $0.56, up 47.4 percent versus the year-earlier third quarter. Before merger-related costs, earnings per diluted share were $0.63, up 34.0 percent versus comparable adjusted results in the third quarter of 2005. This marked AT&T's sixth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth in earnings per share before merger-related costs.

Some highlights:

  • High speed Internet connections -- which include DSL, AT&T U-verse and satellite services -- increased by 380,000 in the third quarter to 8.2 million, up 1.7 million or 25.5 percent over the past year. Approximately 90 percent of AT&T's high speed Internet net adds in the third quarter were consumer.

  • 42% of DSL line base on speeds higher than 1.5 Mbps -- up from 22% a year earlier.

  • Primary consumer lines declined by 242,000 in the third quarter, compared with declines of 320,000 in the second quarter of this year and 114,000 in the third quarter of 2005. Additional lines declined by 109,000 in the third quarter, consistent with results over the past several quarters, reflecting in part migration from dial-up Internet access to high speed service.

  • Video connections, AT&T | DISH Network satellite television plus AT&T U-verse service, increased by 53,000 to reach 586,000 in service.

  • Total wireline revenues in the third quarter were $14.6 billion, up 58.0 percent versus a pre-merger $9.2 billion reported in the third quarter of 2005 and down 0.8 percent versus the second quarter of 2006.

  • Versus pro forma results for the year-earlier quarter, AT&T's third- quarter 2006 wireline revenues declined 4.9 percent, compared with a 5.1 percent decline in the second quarter of this year. More than 60 percent of the year-over-year decline came from the former AT&T Corp. national mass markets category, primarily stand-alone long distance and local bundled services, where AT&T Corp. discontinued proactive marketing in 2004. Beyond this category, third-quarter wireline revenues declined 2.2 percent, largely reflecting declines in enterprise as well as in wholesale, where, as expected, recent shifts of traffic by major consolidated carriers to their own networks affected comparisons.

  • Regional business voice revenues grew 6.6 percent, revenues from IP-based data services increased more than 20.0 percent and total data revenues grew 12.0 percent.

  • Enterprise revenues totaled $4.4 billion in the quarter, representing a decline of 5.1 percent versus pro forma results for the year-earlier period due to continued competition in the marketplace. This followed year-over-year declines of 7.3 percent in the second quarter of this year and 6.8 percent in the quarter before that. Enterprise revenues declined 0.5 percent sequentially in the third quarter after a 0.2 percent sequential decline in the preceding quarter.

  • Regional consumer revenues totaled $3.7 billion in the third quarter, up 0.7 percent versus pro forma results for the third quarter of 2005, reflecting a 376,000 increase in consumer connections over the past year to 33.1 million.

  • AT&T expects to launch its U-verse services in approximately 15 markets (metropolitan statistical areas) across its traditional 13-state wireline area by the end of 2006, all including HDTV.

Oracle to Acquire MetaSolv, Extending Telecom Acquisitions

Oracle agreed to acquire MetaSolv Software, a provider of service fulfillment operations support system (OSS) solutions, for approximately $219.2 million.

MetaSolv's solution sets encompasses provisioning, network inventory and activation for all types of services, including next-generation IMS, VoIP, IPTV, IP VPN, broadband and mobile services, as well as traditional voice and data services.

MetaSolv's customer base includes more than 170 global service providers -- including Brasil Telecom, BT, Cable & Wireless, O2, Singtel, Sprint, Telstra, T-Mobile, UPC, Verizon Dominicana, and Vodafone. The company is based in Plano, Texas.

"By adding a leading OSS application suite, Oracle plans to offer a fully integrated, end-to-end productized solution that will help service providers streamline the 'campaign to cash' process, optimize asset lifecycles, and accelerate time-to-market of new products and services," said Bhaskar Gorti, Oracle Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Communications Global Business Unit. "Conventional, customized solutions have proven inefficient, inflexible and costly. Oracle is putting service providers in control to simplify their infrastructure, deliver more services faster, and drive brand loyalty."
  • Earlier this year, Oracle acquired Portal Software, a global provider of billing and revenue management solutions for the communications and media industry, for approximately $220 million in cash.

    Portal offers a billing and revenue management solution based on an object-oriented architecture built on Oracle that can bill and manage all communications services including wireline, wireless, broadband, cable, voice over IP, IPTV, music, and video. Its customer list includes AOL Time Warner, China Mobile, China Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom/Orange, NTT, Reuters, Sirius Satellite Radio, Softbank BB, Sony, Telecom Italia Mobile, Telefonica Mexico, Telenor Mobil, Telstra, Vodafone, and XM Satellite Radio. The company reported $126.8 million in revenue for fiscal year 2004.

  • In February 2006, Oracle acquired Sweden-based HotSip AB, a provider of telecommunications infrastructure software and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) enabled applications for IP telephony, presence, messaging and conferencing on new converged networks. Financial terms were not disclosed. Hotsip offers convergent off-the-shelf applications as well as an open Service Creation Environment (SCE) for building new customized SIP and web applications. The company's core product is its Hotsip Multimedia Communication Engine (M2CE), a carrier-grade Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) application server.

Centillium Outlines IMS Vision

Centillium Communications outlined its roadmap for converging next-generation multimedia applications across fixed and mobile broadband platforms. Centillium's strategy will leverage its existing Integrated Voice Processor Entropia chipset and new IMS-Media-Processor-on-a-Chip platform. The company said it is focusing its R&D efforts in four key areas:

  • DSP and processor innovation: the new Entropia platform will leverage its proprietary DSP technology and processor capabilities to significantly increase channel capacity and reduce power in a smaller form factor.

  • Security: As VoIP and IMS technology grow more pervasive, security for service providers and end-users becomes a major issue. Centillium's next-generation Entropia technology will incorporate lawful interception/CALEA and protection against denial-of-service (DOS) attacks as security features.

  • Scalability: Centillium's next-generation system-on-a-chip Entropia platform provides a ground-up design that enables customers to "future-proof" their solutions and address a multitude of market segments. Entropia's enhanced scalability provides the capability to handle increased traffic and to ensure interoperability in fixed-mobile-broadband networks.

  • Third-party partnerships: Centillium's product strategy for its Entropia platform includes a commitment to third-party partnerships in a variety of technology arenas, including open source, OS, software suite and video, among others. Centillium will provide enhanced customer customization and faster independent third-party technology porting to its next-generation chips for customers to bring new applications to market faster and more cost-effectively.

"The next-generation Entropia platform will continue to deliver high performance, very low power usage, rich functionality, flexible usage models and scalability, which OEM vendors and service providers demand to power future converged networks," said Sriraman Chari, chief technology officer, Centillium Communications. "Designed to meet future IMS market requirements, the next-generation Entropia platform's robust capabilities will easily handle feature-rich and advanced multi-applications, enabling seamless convergence of premium services such as video from fixed broadband to mobile

ANDA Selects Raza's Intelligent Access Processor for EtherSLAM Platform

ANDA Networks is using Raza Microelectronics' Orion Intelligent Access Processor to power its newly announced EtherSLAM "access DSLAM" for Ethernet. ANDA's new EtherSLAM applies the concept of a residential DSLAM to the business broadband marketplace by delivering 10-100Mbps E-Line and E-LAN Ethernet service.

The Orion device is an Ethernet over next-generation SONET/SDH access processor that provides flexible interface options including Gigabit Ethernet, 10/100 Ethernet, protected SONET/SDH (optical or MSPP fabric), and a PDH expansion bus for T1/E1 and T3/E3 service capabilities.

Broadcom Introduces Ultra-Low Power Wi-Fi Chips for Mobile Devices

Broadcom began sampling two ultra-low power 54g Wi-Fi chips optimized for devices such as Wi-Fi-enabled mobile phones, portable media players, handheld gaming systems and digital cameras.

Both the BCM4326 and BCM4328 WLAN solutions combine highly-integrated single-chip 802.11Wi-Fi transceivers and radios with a software architecture that reduces the Wi-Fi subsystem's total power consumption. Broadcom's low power chips intelligently manage how they transmit and receive data packets, delivering high-performance wireless capabilities while extending battery life. In addition, either the BCM4326 or BCM4328 can be combined with Broadcom's proven Bluetooth, VoIP, multimedia processor, FM radio and cellular solutions.

Mobile Satellite Ventures Awarded 2 New ATC Patents

Mobile Satellite Ventures was awarded two new patents for Ancillary Terrestrial Component ("ATC") technology, the linchpin of MSV's next generation integrated satellite-terrestrial wireless broadband network. MSV has over eighty issued U.S. patents in all, along with counterpart cases issued worldwide.
  • In May 2006, Mobile Satellite Ventures (MSV) and its joint venture partner, MSV Canada, announced an agreement with Boeing to accelerate the deployment of its two North American satellites, which will form the backbone of its satellite-cellular wireless communications network. The agreement will move up, by approximately eight months, the construction, launch and operations of each of the two North American satellites, with the launch of the U.S. satellite scheduled for mid-2009 and the Canadian satellite in early 2010. These two new satellites will replace and expand upon the current MSAT satellite system operated by MSV and MSV Canada. The development of the third satellite for South America, MSV-SA, has been deferred to the third delivery position for the MSV system.

  • Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC) technology allows existing satellite phone spectrum to also be used in dedicated terrestrial networks. Call capacity is managed and reallocated, in real time, between satellite and terrestrial networks via a common control center. Calls can be made over either network using the same phone handset. ATC technology could be used to supplement satellite phone service with a ground-based network to provide a "back-up" signal in and around buildings where satellite signals cannot reach.

SonicWALL Releases Secure, 3G CPE Platform

SonicWALL introduced a 3G Wireless Network Security Platform built on its deep packet protection technology. The SonicWALL TZ 190 enables organizations to establish secure 3G wireless broadband access in any location by simply inserting a SonicWALL approved wireless PC card in the PC card slot. WAN options could include EV-DO, HSDPA, 1xRTT, EDGE, UMTS and GPRS wireless broadband networks. Advanced features include automated failover/failback technologies, policy-based NAT, bandwidth management and DDNS. The TZ 190 also offers integration of real-time gateway anti-virus, anti-spyware, intrusion prevention and anti-spam capabilities. The unit is priced at $995.00.

Verizon Extends Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL) International Service

Verizon Business has expanded its Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL) International service from the United States to six countries and territories in the Asia- Pacific region: Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan.

Verizon Business now provides the following portfolio of Ethernet services:

  • Ethernet Private Line (EPL) -- within 145 U.S. metro markets and 10 European countries

  • Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL) -- within 145 U.S. metro markets and six Asia-Pacific countries and territories, as well as between the United States and six Asia-Pacific regions, and between the United States and 10 European countries

  • E-LAN Services -- within 53 metro markets in the United States

  • Ethernet Access for Private IP and the Internet -- throughout the United States, within 19 European countries and seven countries within the Asia-Pacific region.

Atheros to Acquire Taiwan's Attansic for GigE Silicon

Atheros agreed to acquire Attansic Technology Company, a privately held Taiwan-based fabless semiconductor company specializing in Fast and Gigabit Ethernet integrated circuit solutions for PC, access point (AP) and router applications, for approximately $46.5 million in cash and $25 million in Atheros common stock. Atheros said the acquisition enables it to drive towards complete, cost-efficient system solutions for Consumer and Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) wireless APs and routers.

Specifically, Gigabit Ethernet technology, when combined with Atheros' XSPAN 802.11n WLAN chipsets and recently announced AR7100 family of wireless network processors, enables optimal 802.11n AP/router performance for high quality media networking. The 802.11n WLAN standard will support up to 600 Mbps physical data rates and requires Gigabit Ethernet to achieve optimal connectivity to content and services -- from a broadband Internet connection or a local mass storage device -- to deliver a compelling whole-home media networking experience.

Attansic is a majority-owned subsidiary of ASUSTek Computer, a leading supplier of PC motherboards and manufacturer of modems and gateways through its Askey subsidiary. Attansic is headquartered in Hsinchu, Taiwan and has a large presence in Shanghai.

Atheros Ships 75 Millionth Wireless LAN Chipset

Atheros announced a new milestone -- more than 75 million wireless LAN (WLAN) chipsets to date. Forty percent of these 75 million cumulative chipsets were shipped during the first three quarters of 2006, equal to well over a chipset shipped per second.

TI Reports Q3 Revenue of $3.76 billion, up 13% YoY

Texas Instruments reported third-quarter 2006 revenue of $3.76 billion. Revenue grew 2 percent compared with the second quarter, which included a $70 million royalty settlement, and increased 13 percent from the same quarter a year ago. The increases were primarily due to continued strong demand for the company's high-performance analog and DSP products.

The third quarter was one of the best in TI's history," said Rich Templeton, TI president and chief executive officer. "Our revenue once again set an all-time record as our share continued to climb in our core markets... At the same time, orders declined, leading us to expect that fourth- quarter Semiconductor growth will be below the seasonal average. A couple of factors are influencing this. First, we believe customers have broadly replenished their own inventory and are confident in operating with lower backlog now that chip supply has improved. The second factor is wireless, where we expect that unit mix will be more weighted toward low-priced cell phones and inventory correction will continue in Japan. Even with a less- than-seasonal fourth quarter, we expect the growth rate of our Semiconductor business to be in the upper teens for the year."

BitTorrent to Embed its P2P into Consumer Electronics

BitTorrent is collaborating with a number of global hardware manufacturers to embed its peer-assisted digital content delivery technology into consumer electronics. ASUS, Planex and QNAP are among the first CE manufacturers to implement the BitTorrent download manager into their digital home devices. Products include wireless routers, media servers and network attached storage (NAS) devices.

BitTorrent said the growing amount of legitimate content being made available via its P2P technology, hardware that supports the BitTorrent protocol will make it simple for users to consume content even while away from their PC. For instance, a BitTorrent-based router will enable users to connect to the Internet, schedule and download files all without the need for a traditional PC to be used.

Cisco Names Ex-Gateway Exec to Head Linksys Consumer

Cisco Systems named Greg Memo to the position of vice president and general manager of the Linksys consumer business organization, where he will direct product development, product marketing and engineering for the Linksys line of consumer-based products including routers, switches, storage, cameras, networked entertainment, wireless, gateways, modems and other products targeting the home.

Previously, Memo served as the Senior Vice President of Products, Marketing and Web for Gateway Computer. He also served as the President and COO of Alta Vista, VP and GM of Consumer Mobile Products Group at Compaq, President of Arima Computer USA and has held various positions at Apple Computer.

Cisco Unveils HD TelePresence Meeting Solution

Cisco Systems introduced a high-end, "telepresence" video conferencing solution that delivers HD streams over an MPLS backbone to create a face-to-face meeting experience. The Cisco TelePresence Meeting solution -- available in two versions for large and small meetings -- combines 1080p video, life-size plasma displays and high-quality, spatial audio along with certain room design elements to make that conference participants feel as though they are sitting across the table from each other in the same room. The life-size, high-definition images at 1080p screen resolution are 4x better than standard television quality and 2x better than HD TV.

The Cisco TelePresence 1000 is designed for small group meetings and one-on-one conversations, as well as emerging applications like the "Virtual Assistant." Pricing for this system starts at $79,000.

The Cisco TelePresence 3000 is designed for meetings of up to 12 people around a virtual table. The product is ideal for executive round-tables and engineering reviews, as well as general employee, customer and partner communications. The Cisco TelePresence 3000, starts at $299,000.

Cisco said it is deploying over 100 of the virtual meeting room systems in its own offices worldwide to help reduce the need for travel. The company expects this initiative to grow into a billion dollar business over time.

AT&T has completed initial testing to help ensure network interoperability and performance of the TelePresence Meeting solution, with plans to incorporate offerings into its network integration and managed video communications portfolio, pending successful completion of full trials. The solutions will combine the Cisco TelePresence Meeting solution with the low latency of AT&T's global IP-MPLS network, as well as AT&T's integration capabilities for design, deployment and service management.http:/

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Siemens and Cingular Fund Networking Lab at Georgia Tech

Siemens Networks is dedicating a new 3G/IMS laboratory at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The new lab, co-sponsored by Cingular Wireless, the Georgia Electronic Design Center (GEDC) and the Georgia Tech Research Network Operations Center (GT-RNOC), will serve students and researchers as a test bed for the creation of third generation IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) convergence applications and services that bring together audio, video and data over computer networks.

Initially, the 3G/IMS laboratory is to be used by students participating in an IMS Research Competition co-sponsored by Siemens, Cingular and Georgia Tech. Qualified students who participate in the year-long competition will be eligible to receive a portion of $100,000 in cash prizes.

As part of its sponsorship, Siemens Networks is equipping the new 3G/IMS lab with the latest technology from its IMS portfolio, including IMS@vantage, a 3GPP-compliant implementation of IMS. The IMS@vantage product offering includes the Multimedia Session Controller CFX-5000 and the Home Subscriber Server CMS-8200, as well as the Media Gateway Controller CFX-5200 and the Media Gateway CMG-3000. The IMS@vantage suite gives network operators a strategic platform to deploy multimedia services, such as VoIP, for fixed or wireless infrastructures.

Siemens is also including a suite of enabling servers to allow student applications to use key IMS building blocks. These enablers include Siemens Mobile Presence Manager (Presence status), Community Service Data Manager (Group list management), Instant Messaging and Chat, and Push and Talk over Cellular.

In addition to the Siemens IMS platform, the 3G/IMS laboratory will incorporate subsystems and services from sponsors Ubiquity Software, BridgePort Networks and Azaire Networks.

Ericsson to Supply 3G/HSPA in Kuwait

Ericsson will provide a 3G/HSDPA upgrade for Wataniya's network in Kuwait. Under the agreement, Ericsson will provide radio equipment and implementation services for the 3G/HSPA network, enabling peak download speeds of up to 14.4 Mbps as soon as end-user terminals supporting such a speed are available on the market.

As of October 2006, Ericsson is the prime supplier to 60 out of 109 WCDMA commercially launched networks worldwide.

Ericsson Supplies Microwave Transmission for T-Mobile Czech

Ericsson will supply its MINI-LINK microwave transmission solution T-Mobile Czech Republic. The deployment will be used for traffic aggregation, capacity expansion, and improved service quality and network control. Financial terms were not disclosed.