Tuesday, November 14, 2006

LongBoard and France Telecom Develop IMS Roaming Solution

LongBoard announced a partnership with France Telecom to jointly develop and deliver an IMS-compliant multimedia roaming solution.
The multimedia roaming solution, which is expected to be commercially available in early 2007, enables service providers to deliver seamless multimedia services with high-speed handover and service assurance across multiple access networks including GSM, GPRS, CDMA, UMTS, Wi-Fi, and WiMax.

This jointly developed multimedia roaming solution will be marketed by LongBoard to its customers.

LongBoard said the multimedia roaming solution will deliver network-based policy and enforcement capabilities that ensure quality user experiences for multimedia services. It enables carriers to ensure that mobile users are always connected to the optimal fixed or mobile network available. It will also adapt streaming multimedia services in real-time as users move across networks. For example, it automatically adapts a streaming video to a higher quality stream as mobile users move from a cellular network to a Wi-Fi network. http://www.longboard.com

TI Extends PIQUA Software to Carrier Gateways

Texas Instruments has extended its "PIQUA" IP quality management software with its first implementation in media gateways for carrier networks, enabling service providers and carriers to deliver an advanced level of quality to IP-based services.

TI's PIQUA system is based on the company's digital signal processor (DSP) technology and embedded software solutions that provide a real-time distributed system of quality management elements that monitor and improve the quality of IP-based services, such as voice, data and video. PIQUA can collect data from a variety of endpoints, including user devices, IP set-top boxes and residential and media gateways. These endpoints use DSPs to execute software, which encode voice and perform the signal processing required to facilitate the transmission of voice between various networks.

The PIQUA technology uses RTCP-XR and TI-developed extensions to measure VoIP performance, with plans to incorporate RTCP-HR and RTCP-Video for future IP applications. These standards allow the delivery of quality metrics to a network management and quality assurance system. The PIQUA system extends the parameters available in these reports with custom features such as its Echo Quality Index, providing enhanced statistics and diagnostic capabilities. Together these features allow for the real-time response to service degradation while providing the carrier or service provider with extensive metrics that accurately convey the user experience.

TI said that with PIQUA elements embedded in equipment at both the customer premise and the network, consumers using IP-based services - such as VoIP, Video over IP, IPTV and Internet-based music - will realize exceptional quality and performance.

"By embedding TI's PIQUA elements in the network, service providers can focus on meaningfully identifying potential problems and flagging and repairing degraded service, ensuring they deliver the best IP services and applications that their subscribers expect and demand," said John Warner, strategic marketing manager for TI's Communications Infrastructure group.

With TI's PIQUA-embedded elements represented in more endpoints throughout the network and CPE devices, better quality can be delivered with additional information available for monitoring and analysis. Endpoints with TI's PIQUA elements also provide a valuable resource for managing today's complex IP networks.


Captures Packet Intelligence at the Traffic Source
TI's chips are widely deployed at the edge of IP networks, its new
announced PIQUA technology offers the potential to collect vast amounts
of packet data at the source. PIQUA could be used to knit together a
quality of service (QoS) management fabric that addresses all of the
discovery, configuration, monitoring and repair tasks in the diverse and
widely dispersed elements of IP networks.

TeliaSonera Restructures into Four Groups

TeliaSonera will restructure its operations into four business areas: Mobility Services, Broadband Services, Integrated Enterprise Services and Eurasia. The company said its new focus is aimed at stimulating growth through clear responsibilities. Services will be developed closer to customers, competence across borders and units will be utilized more effectively and migration to new services will be speeded-up.

The total net sales for TeliaSonera combining all business areas and including eliminations add up to approximately SEK 90 billion.


mPhase Adds Gaming to its IPTV Middleware

mPhase Technologies formed an alliance with Sweden's Accedo to offer games with the mPhase TV+ System middleware offer. The companies will market the game packages to broadband operators as a pre-configured solution for interactive IPTV services.


PCTEL Awarded a Wireless Roaming Patent

PCTEL was awarded a U.S. patent entitled "Systems and Methods for Seamless Roaming Between Wireless Networks". The patent is briefly described as a technique for the seamless switching of a wireless device between wireless wide area networks (WWANs) and wireless local area networks (WLANs) that includes automatically detecting the available WWANs and WLANs, selecting one of the available networks for use by the wireless device and connecting the wireless device to the selected network.


Cisco Authorizes up to $7 Billion in Additional Stock Repurchases

Cisco's board of directors authorized up to $7 billion in additional repurchases of its common stock in addition to the remaining authorized amount of $3.1 billion. Cisco's board had previously authorized up to $40 billion in stock repurchases. There is no fixed termination date for the repurchase program.

Since the inception of the repurchase program in September 2001 through the close of Cisco's first quarter of fiscal year 2007 on October 28, 2006, the company had repurchased and retired approximately 2.0 billion shares of common stock at an average price of $18.51 per share for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $36.9 billion.


Microsoft Partners for Free Wi-Fi in Portland, Oregon

Microsoft announced a partnership with MetroFi Inc. to provide an advertising-supported, free Wi-Fi network throughout Portland, Oregon. The two companies also plan to use the Microsoft adCenter platform to help advertisers reach local Wi-Fi users. The companies hope to eventually provide the service to 95% of the city.

The Portland Wi-Fi network will be operated by MetroFi and will be modeled on wireless broadband networks that MetroFi built and currently operates in Foster City, Cupertino, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, downtown San Jose and Concord, California.


Avanex Joins "WISDOM" Consortium to Develop a Photonic Firewall

Avanex is a member of a consortium that received EUR 2 million in funding to develop a re-configurable photonic firewall sub-system on a chip. The three-year project is called "WISDOM" for Wirespeed Security Domains Using Optical Monitoring and brings together a consortium that encompasses companies and organizations that span the supply chain within optical networks.

WISDOM aims to develop a proof of concept demonstration for a re-configurable photonic firewall sub-system on a chip to allow optical data inspection using security algorithms optimized for very high speed operation in the optical domain. The optical processing sub-modules will perform bit pattern recognition as input to a range of security algorithms, based on existing research in network intrusion detection systems.

Avanex said that as optical transmission data rates increase, it becomes increasingly difficult to implement existing security approaches based on current electronic techniques. In addition, a large percentage of optical traffic is only converted to electronic signals at the final nodes, thus preventing the deployment of standard security authentication protocols. At present, optical techniques that provide some level of packet screening for optical bypass are cumbersome and would dramatically reduce the traffic load on a particular router.


T-Systems Integrates Volkswagen's Former IT Division

T-Systems, the business customer division of Deutsche Telekom, has integrated gedas, the former IT subsidiary of Volkswagen. T-Systems is now currently providing ICT services for over 50 global automotive suppliers and eight major manufacturershttp://www.t-systemsus.com

Microsoft Office Live Is Now Live

Microsoft officially launched Office Live in the United States after being in beta for nine months, and its free beta availability in Japan, France, the U.K. and Germany on Nov. 21. Three tiers of service are available: Microsoft Office Live Basics is a collection of free services that allows small businesses to get started on the Web ; Microsoft Office Live Essentials adds features for contact management to help generate repeat business for $19.95 a month; and Microsoft Office Live Premium adds additional online business applications and collaboration tools for $39.95 a month.


AT&T Extends Global Network to Vietnam

AT&T is extending access to Vietnam through a collaboration with one of the leading local telecommunication carriers, Viettel Corporation.

Viettel will provide services within Vietnam, while AT&T will provide service outside Vietnam. However, through this collaboration, Viettel and AT&T will connect Vietnam into the AT&T Global network and offer multinational enterprise customers in the country advanced networking services through Viettel. Initial services will include Virtual Private Network and Frame Relay services. There are plans to add more services in the future.

AT&T offers MPLS-based services in 137 countries from more than 1,600 service nodes. AT&T also offers remote access in 149 countries through 45,000-plus access points.


Hanaro Telecom Selects Alcatel for GPON Trial

Hanaro Telecom selected Alcatel for its Gigabit Passive Optical Networking (GPON) trial in Korea. The GPON trial started in October 2006. Hanaro Telecom is deploying the Alcatel 7342 Intelligent Services Access Manager fiber-to-the-user (ISAM FTTU).

Alcatel said it is currently engaged in more than 16 GPON projects worldwide, including with Verizon (US), Ministry of Communications (Kuwait), Jonkoping (Sweden), Singtel (Singapore), and City Cable Shunan Corporation (Japan).


AudioCodes and Xener Announce NGN Partnership

AudioCodes and Xener Systems announced an alliance to collaborate on the sales and marketing of their integrated NGN solutions. The partnership combines Xener Systems' softswitch and application servers with AudioCodes' VoIP Core Network media gateways, media servers and Session Border Controllers (SBC), as well as CPE gateways.

Products and services resulting from the alliance will be distributed in Asia Pacific, utilizing AudioCodes' sales presence in conjunction with Xener Systems' Korean headquarters and Malaysian branch office, a subsidiary of Xener Systems that offers telecommunication consulting services.

This initiative builds on the strength of an existing relationship and live network deployments between Xener Systems and Nuera Communications, recently acquired by AudioCodes.

  • Earlier this year, AudioCodes acquired Nuera Communications, a provider of packet voice gateways for MSOs and service providers, for $85 million in cash plus up to an additional $5 million if Nuera achieves certain revenue milestones during the first 12 months after consummation of the transaction. Nuera's ORCA (Open Reliable Communications Architecture) product family of VoIP gateways, softswitches, and management systems provide telephony solutions for cable and DSL networks, international long distance networks and enterprise networks.

Asia Netcom Expands IP Transit 10G Service for ISPs

Asia Netcom plans to expand its IP Transit 10G service to more Asian markets by 2007. The company said its regional IP backbone consists of over 70 Gbps of intra-Asia and trans-Pacific capacity. Asia Netcom introduced its 10G service in June.

  • In August, China Netcom Group completed the sale of its Asia Netcom to an Investor Group led by Ashmore Investment Management Limited, Spinnaker Capital Limited and Clearwater Capital Partners. The total value of the deal is at US$402 million.

Sonus Gains Rural Utilities Services

The Technical Standards Committee "A" (Telecommunications) of the Rural Utilities Service/Rural Development Utilities Program (RUS/RDUP), a division of the United States Department of Agriculture, has granted "RUS/RDUP Acceptance" status to key elements of Sonus' IMS-ready architecture, including the GSX 9000 Open Services Switch, PSX Call Routing Server, SGX Signaling Gateway, and the Sonus InsightElement Management System. The RUS/RDUP acceptance helps Sonus reach a broader market of network operators by enabling third-party resellers to sell Sonus' solutions to RUS-funded service providers.


Osaka University Selects Chelsio's 10GbE Adapter

Osaka University will equip all of its campuses with Chelsio Communications' 10GbE T3 Unified Wire technology to enable the convergence of the university's clustering, storage, and networking infrastructures onto a single Ethernet network. The 700 node network is spread geographically across several buildings and campuses at Toyonaka and Suita. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The S310e card used by Osaka for their installation is powered by Chelsio's T3 Unified Wire Engine. The S310e runs InfiniBand, Fibre Channel and TCP/IP socket applications unmodified, and with its integrated traffic manager, enables the concurrent support of storage, clustering, and networking traffic on an Ethernet fabric. T3 further implements Firewall and I/O Virtualization capabilities, allowing per-connection traffic filtering, steering and rate control.ttp://www.chelsio.com

Crown Castle Raises $1.55 Billion in Senior Notes

Crown Castle International has priced $1.55 billion of Senior Secured Tower Revenue Notes, which will be issued by certain of its indirect subsidiaries in a private transaction as additional debt securities. The funds will be used (i) to repay the outstanding term loan under the Crown Castle Operating Company credit facility and (ii) pay the expected cash portion of the consideration of the planned acquisition of Global Signal Inc. or, in the event the acquisition of Global Signal Inc. is not consummated, for general corporate purposes.

  • Crown Castle owns, operates and manages over 11,500 and over 1,300 wireless communication sites in the US and Australia, respectively.

  • In October 2006, Crown Castle agreed to acquire Global Signal Inc., which owns, leases or manages approximately 11,000 towers and other wireless communications sites.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Analog Devices Posts Revenue of $644.3 Million

Analog Devices announced quarterly revenue of $644.3 million, an increase of approximately 4% compared to the same period one year ago and a decrease of approximately 3% compared to the immediately prior quarter. Net income under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) was $138.4 million, or 21.5% of sales, and diluted earnings per share (EPS) was $0.39. For its full fiscal year ended October 28, 2006, revenue was $2.57 billion, an increase of approximately 8% compared to fiscal 2005.

"Revenue from consumer customers grew 13% in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2006. This revenue growth was driven by strong sales of digital cameras, home entertainment systems, and new video game consoles where ADI technology continues to enable new sight, sound, and other user experiences in our customers' products," said Jerald G. Fishman, ADI's president and chief executive officer. "Revenue from computer customers also increased sequentially during the quarter, while revenue from our broad base of industrial customers was approximately flat sequentially. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006, revenue from communications customers declined 18% compared to the immediately prior quarter, primarily as a result of lower revenue from wireless handset customers."http://www.analog.com

BT Outlines New Wholesale Broadband Pricing

BT announced plans to reduce its wholesale broadband pricing, offering service providers a cost effective alternative to Local Loop Unbundling (LLU). The new pricing structure is intended to come into effect from May 2007 - at which point BT believes the UK will have achieved 1.5 million LLU lines -- and will be implemented in two stages. The unveiling of the proposals will enable service providers to plan ahead.

BT said that from May 2007, service providers will see the rental charge for the most highly used wholesale broadband product -- BT IPstream -- reduced by 9 percent, with the price coming down from £8.40 per line per month to £7.63. This price is expected to be reduced further in the second round of changes planned for January 2008.

BT will also offer further savings for service providers at high density exchanges. The current rebate scheme that applies at 561 of these exchanges is set to be revised to cover 1,016 exchanges. The level of this rebate is also set to increase from £1.10 to £1.24 from May 2007. The rebate reflects the lower cost of providing broadband in these areas.

The increase in the rebate -- combined with the lower rental price - will reduce the net monthly rental price (i.e. rental less rebate) in these exchanges from £7.30 to £6.39. This is a reduction of 12.5 per cent. Further increases to the rebate are also planned from January 2008.

In addition, BT Wholesale also confirmed that it intends to trial Wholesale Broadband Connect in selected exchanges across the UK from Summer 2007. This is a new next generation broadband service created using 21CN. Using ADSL and ADSL2+ technology, it will provide national connectivity enabling communications providers to connect their broadband and data customers to their own networks.


AT&T Introduces Optical Mesh Service

AT&T introduced an Optical Mesh Service that allows customers to build and self-administer their own SONET network. The service, which is available now in 220 locations nationwide, permits enterprise and wholesale customers to reallocate bandwidth as needed by increasing or decreasing capacity in real time. Customers can provision additional network capacity with rates up to OC48 via AT&T's customer portal, AT&T BusinessDirect.

The service is powered by AT&T's Intelligent Optical Network, a self-healing network that connects multiple offices and locations on a single network and provides 99.999 percent availability, as well as proactive network management and maintenance.

"This new service puts the power and reach of the AT&T network directly into the hands of customers, enabling unprecedented control over how they choose to route network traffic and increase or decrease the amount of bandwidth needed at any time," said Sandy Brown, vice president, Business Services, AT&T.