Monday, November 20, 2006

Belgium's Proximus Selects Ericsson for Mobile TV

The Belgian operator Proximus has awarded Ericsson a contract for an end-to-end mobile TV solution, including Ericsson's Channel Selector. The contract also covers implementation, systems integration and system support. The launch of the solution is planned in the course of 2007. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ericsson said its channel selector capability makes mobile TV channel surfing much more convenient - changing from one channel to another needs just one click on the mobile handset.

Cisco to Establish Global R&D Centre in Ireland

Cisco plans to open a Research & Development Centre in Galway, Ireland. The facility will initially employ 50 skilled graduates and is projected to grow to 200 positions over the next three years for people at degree level and above.

Cisco, through its international sales and finance subsidiaries, has existing Irish operations based in Dublin, which employ 66 people in sales and support operations, which focuses on the domestic market, and a finance (captive leasing) and treasury operation.

Tellas Deploys Itatel's Softswitch

Tellas, a major wireline competitor in Greece, has selected Italtel's softswitch technology for its Next Generation Network (NGN) and for the deployment of a Metro Ethernet Network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The NGN solution will guarantee full interworking with Tellas existing legacy infrastructure for voice services and enable the delivery over an IP network of new enhanced telephony and rich content services for residential and business customers. The deployment is based on the Italtel softswitch (i-SSW) controlling both Access Nodes and CPE.

Italtel will also supply a Metro Ethernet Network with IP capabilities for advanced traffic management to support both Tellas existing broadband Internet services and the new services managed by the NGN.

Italtel will also act as overall system integrator to seamlessly integrate the NGN and Metro Ethernet solutions into the operator's network.
  • Last month, Italtel announced a new joint solution with Cisco Systems that enables service providers to offer managed and hosted IP communication solutions, facilitating the adoption of advanced Unified Communications services for businesses. The Italtel-Cisco Integrated Networked Business Voice Solution (IN-BVS) integrates the Italtel Softswitch (i-SSW) with Cisco Unified CallManager (CCM) and Cisco Unified CallManager Express (CCME) call-control systems.

  • Itatel's customer list includes Telefonica Moviles (Guatemala), EEPPM (Colombia), Du (United Arab Emirates), and Arcor (Germany).

Nortel Selected for Nationwide Optical Backbone in Iraq

Iraq Telecommunications & Post Corporation (ITPC) has awarded a US$20 million contract to Nortel to build a nationwide optical backbone in Iraq. Nortel was selected by ITPC as the prime contractor for the project following a public tender.

Under the contract, Nortel will supply a national optical backbone network that covers a distance of 5,000 kilometers and includes 35 major cities. The network will be constructed using Nortel's next generation DWDM solution including Common Photonic Layer (CPL), Optical Multiservice Edge (OME) 6500 terminals with electronic dispersion management technology and Optical Network Manager for simplifying field operations. The resilient network comprises seven interlocking rings providing a bandwidth capacity of up to 160 Gbps per ring.

The new network will link to the ITPC's Iraq South Ring DWDM network - built by Nortel in 2004 as part of the US aid-funded Iraq reconstruction programme. The network delivers broadband optical services between Baghdad and Basra.

New SMC WiFi Phone Cradle Charger Integrates AP

SMC Networks announced the availability of products to complement its WiFi phones: two cradles that keep phones charged and ready; one of which has an integrated wireless access point.

The functionality of the SMCDPCR-AP serves double-duty: as a charger/cradle, it keeps the phone charged and ready; and the 10/100Mb Ethernet port on the back of the device turns it into an 802.11g access point, so that users have a close-by and optimal signal for VoIP calling and nearby wireless clients can access the network through it as well. To ensure optimal performance for voice calls over the Internet while still serving regular clients, the SMCDPCR-AP has two SSID's: one just for VoIP calls, and the other for regular wireless clients.

The WiFi phone cradle with access point has an MSRP of $69.99, while the charger version without the access point is priced at $19.99. SMC's Skype-enabled WiFi phone has been available since August 2006, at an MSRP of $179.99.

ECI Telecom Wins Support Services Contract from ntl

ntl, the UK's largest cable operator, awarded a three-year, $5.5 million contract to ECI Telecom for ongoing support services. As part of the new agreement with ntl, ECI will provide maintenance and support services for its national network, thus enabling ntl to continue to offer exceptional service to its customers.

Qwest Provides Fiber Connectivity for DIRECTV

Qwest Communications announced a three-year contract to be a major provider of networking services to DIRECTV. The Qwest advanced networking services will help DIRECTV deliver local HD television content to customers. Specifically, Qwest will provide metro optical wavelength services, or QWave, to upgrade DIRECTV's network infrastructure. With this upgrade, DIRECTV will be able to distribute and transport HDTV content.

Qwest said the agreement is a direct result of the recent acquisition of OnFiber.

Natural Convergence Raises $10 Million in Funding

Natural Convergence, a start-up based in Ottawa, secured US$10 million in series C financing for its VoIP application software for service providers.

Natural Convergence's "silhouette" application replaces traditional key systems, combining familiar functionality with cost and performance advantages. Its go-to-market channel strategy is optimized to the buying habits of small businesses - from value-added resellers, through service providers and original equipment manufacturers.

The funding round was led by Wesley Clover and BDC Venture Capital, and brought the total investment in Natural Convergence to US$29 million. Wesley Clover is the venture capital company founded and chaired by telecommunications industry leader Terry Matthews. Other investors include VIMAC and Desjardins Venture Capital Group, as well as early investors Jefferson Partners, Primaxis Technology Ventures Inc., and Purple Angel.

AT&T and Yahoo! Mark Fifth Anniversary of Alliance

AT&T and Yahoo! marked the fifth anniversary of their broadband alliance.

"Our partnership with AT&T has given Yahoo! the opportunity to create truly innovative Internet experiences, not just for the PC but also on consumer televisions," said Steve Boom, senior vice president of Broadband and Mobile, Yahoo! Inc.


Alcatel Files Patent Infringement Suit against Microsoft

Alcatel USA has filed two complaints against Microsoft with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas alleging violation of its intellectual property rights. The dispute involves six patents, one of which concerns Deterministic User Authentication on a network and another of which concerns peer-to-peer application communication. According to the filing, Alcatel provided Microsoft with notice of infringement before filing its legal claim.
  • Alcatel and Microsoft have been partners in developing IPTV solutions since February 2005.

LSI Logic Acquires Metta Technology from India

LSI Logic has acquired Metta Technology, a developer of multimedia system-on-chip technology and related software for consumer electronics products, for approximately $7 million in cash. Metta Technology is based in Pune, India and has approximately 60 employees.

"Through the acquisition of Metta Technology, we are increasing our focus on delivering the advanced, feature-rich solutions required by next generation digital video and edutainment products," said Umesh Padval, executive vice president, Consumer Products Group, LSI Logic. "

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Bay Area's IP Networks Deploys Atrica's Carrier Ethernet Systems

IP Networks, which has leveraged strategic relationships with multiple electric/gas utilities in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, has integrated Atrica's family of Carrier Ethernet Systems into its all-optical network, primarily at enterprise locations. Following more than two years of deployment, the Atrica platform will now play a deeper role in the carrier's core network.

Specifically, IP Networks has deployed the following components of Atrica's Carrier Ethernet product suite: the A-2000 family of Carrier Ethernet Edge Switches, the A-4000 family of Carrier Ethernet Aggregation Switches, the A-8000 family of Carrier Ethernet Core Switches, and the Atrica Service Platform for Ethernet Networks (ASPEN), an integrated service provisioning and management system. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The integration of Atrica's solutions into IPN's newly installed DWDM backbone nodes increases capacity by an order of magnitude and increases the flexibility of IPN's expanded service offerings.

IP Networks delivers Service Level Agreement (SLA) flexibility, offering Committed Information Rate (CIR) service for mission-critical applications, Excess Information Rate (EIR) for bursty applications, fully protected or unprotected services and guaranteed SLAs. Applications supported by IPN's advanced infrastructure include broadcast video, storage and back-up, IP services, LAN-to-LAN interconnect from 1 Mbps to 1000 Mbps, Metro Ethernet services from 1 Mbps to 1000 Mbps, VON, and T1 circuit emulation service (CES) services.


Siemens Integrates HiPath Wireless Manager with Microsoft's Network Access Protection

Siemens Communications has integrated its HiPath Wireless Manager with Microsoft's Network Access Protection (NAP) platform, enabling companies to monitor and enforce security policy and access control for mobile users who connect through a wireless network.

Network Access Protection is a policy enforcement technology built into the Windows Vista and Windows Server "Longhorn" operating systems that allows customers to better protect network assets from unhealthy computers by enforcing compliance with network health policies. Microsoft's Network Access Protection technology will be publicly available with Beta 2 of Windows Vista, and available to select partners and customers with Beta 2 of the future version of Windows Server, codename "Longhorn."

Siemens' HiPath Wireless Manager is a new, centralized WLAN management platform that enables the enterprise-wide management of thousands of wireless access points and tens of thousands of users from a single console. The platform enables IT managers to monitor and optimize performance using enterprise-wide heat maps, statistics, alerts and reports.

Humax, Conexant and Conax Offer Secure STB for Sweden's ComHem

Humax, a leading international manufacturer of digital set-top boxes (STBs), has selected Conexant Systems' HDTV STB system solution for a new receiver that will be deployed by ComHem, a triple-play provider in Sweden. Conexant collaborated with Conax AS, a leading supplier of conditional access solutions for digital TV, to secure the design-win and deliver an integrated solution that improves the security of HDTV pay-television programming.

Newport Media Raises $30 Million for Mobile TV Silicon

Newport Media, a start-up based in Lake Forest, California, closed a $30 million Series C financing round for its work in developing silicon solutions for digital audio and mobile TV applications.

Newport Media is developing highly integrated, system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions designed to support all major mobile TV standards. The company said its Sundance H solution enables wireless handsets and mobile digital TV players with increased viewing time while simultaneously improving key performance metrics like sensitivity, channel switching time and interference immunity. The design is initially aimed at Digital Video Broadcasting-Handhelds (DVB-H). It will also support other air interface standards including Terrestrial-Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (T-DMB), Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting-Terrestrial (ISDB-T) and MediaFLO.

The new funding round was led by new investor DAG Ventures. Previous investors Benchmark Capital, Global Catalyst Partners, Oak Investment Partners, Pinnacle Ventures, and Venrock Associates joined DAG Ventures in this round. Newport Media has raised more than $66 million to date.

MetaSwitch Power Fujitsu's Managed VoIP Service

Metaswitch's carrier switching platform is playing a central role in Fujitsu Services' new Managed VoIP offering, which was launched in May 2006 for medium and large companies in the UK. Fujitsu's service recently received the International Engineering Consortium's InfoVision Honor in recognition of being the UK's first commercially available managed voice solution for large organizations.

NXP Semiconductors and Sony to Develop Secure Chips for Mobile Transactions

NXP Semiconductors, formerly Philips Semiconductors, and Sony have agreed to establish a joint venture (JV) that will drive global adoption of contactless smart card applications in mobile phones. The anticipated JV will plan, develop, produce and market a secure chip that will include both MIFARE and FeliCa operating systems and applications, as well as other contactless card operating systems and applications.

The companies said that by combining this secure chip with an NFC chip a universal contactless IC platform can be created for mobile phones.

NFC is a combination of contactless identification and interconnection technology that enables wireless short-range communication between mobile devices, consumer electronics, PCs and smart objects.

MIFARE is the most widely installed contactless smart card technology in the world with about 1.2 billion smart card chips and more than seven million reader modules sold.

Current shipments of FeliCa ICs stand at 170 million units and of these 30 million are mobile FeliCa chips for use in mobile phones in Japan.

Cisco Unveils SAN Fabric Switch

Cisco introduced a Multilayer Fabric Switch that provides enterprise-class capabilities such as virtual Storage Area Networks (VSANs), advanced security and high availability. The Cisco MDS 9124 Multilayer Fabric Switch provides up to 24 4-Gbps Fibre Channel ports in a compact 1 one rack unit form factor with line-rate performance on each port. Customers can select eight, 16 or 24 ports and can add ports as needed.

Cisco said has garnered broad support from storage vendors that participate in its original storage manufacturer (OSM) and solution technology integrator (STI) partner programs. Partners that intend to sell the Cisco MDS 9124 Multilayer Fabric Switch include Dell, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, HP, IBM, Network Appliance, Sun Microsystems and Xiotech.