Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Verizon Sell Interest in Verizon Dominicana to America Movil

Verizon Communications closed on the sale of its interest in Verizon Dominicana, which provides telecommunications services to more than 2.7 million wireless, wireline and broadband customers in the Dominican Republic, to America Movil, S.A. de C.V.

The transaction was announced in April 2006, when Verizon also announced the execution of definitive agreements to sell its interests in Telecomunicaciones de Puerto Rico, Inc. (Puerto Rico Telephone) and Compania Anonima Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela (CANTV), to America Movil and a company owned jointly by Telefonos de Mexico and America Movil. Verizon sail these sales are proceeding.


IBM Integrates Force10 Network's Switch/routers

IBM is integrating Force10 Networks' TeraScale E-Series family of switch/routers and the S-Series family of data center switches into its System Cluster 1350 to deliver the 10 Gigabit Ethernet density and scalability computing clients require for high performance workloads. The recently upgraded Cluster 1350 combines Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet densities of the Force10 TeraScale E-Series and S-Series and IBM's extensive experience with clustered UNIX and LINUX computers in an integrated solution.

Earlier this month, IBM announced that it is upgrading its Cluster 1350 solution to include a new lineup of next generation processor systems and blades, high speed connectivity and coprocessor acceleration technology.


ECI Telecom Enhances its Multi-Layer NMS

ECI Telecom announced a new feature set for its carrier-class network management system (NMS), enabling operators to view and administer their entire infrastructure of converged Optical, Ethernet and SONET/SDH networks.

LightSoft V3 support of a Northbound interface allows for performance monitoring, provisioning, maintenance and integration into standard market-leading operation support systems (OSS). In addition, the highly-scalable LightSoft V3 supports fifty concurrent users, while the system works in high availability clusters and manages thousands of network elements and hundreds of thousands of network paths. LightSoft can also manage other vendors' element management systems (EMS).

The NMS is optimized for ECI's XDM optical and MSPP platform.


ECI Telecom Launches Carrier Ethernet Cards for XDM MSPP

ECI Telecom (introduced a family of Carrier Ethernet line cards for its XDM Multi-Service Provisioning Platform (MSPP) product line. The new carrier-class Ethernet capabilities provide operators with quality-assured Ethernet services from access to core. The new cards deliver carrier Ethernet services that address Layer 1 through eventually MPLS.

ECI said it is leveraging its success with NG SDH/SONET, allowing operators to rapidly introduce revenue generating carrier-class Ethernet services.


Motorola Launches Motofone for Global Market

Motorola unveiled its highly anticipated MOTOFONE at an event held in New Delhi, India. The company described MOTOFONE as the first of a new breed of handsets designed to disrupt today's communications landscape by cutting across price tiers, product segments and international markets.

MOTOFONE, which will be available in both GSM and CDMA versions, new interface built with icons and voice versus text, as well as voice prompts specifically tailored to local markets. The handset is designed for first-time users. The GSM version, MOTOFONE F3, is available today in India and will roll out in international markets in the coming weeks. Motorola is working towards shipping the CDMA version, MOTOFONE F3c, by the end of 2006.


Nokia and Yahoo! Extend Partnership

Nokia and Yahoo! extended their partnership to offer Yahoo! branded services including Yahoo! Mail and Messenger on Nokia's wide range of mobile phones operating on the Series 40 platform. Series 40 is the software user interface that powers Nokia's broadest range of mobile devices.

Yahoo! services will initially be available on the newly announced Nokia 6300, the Nokia 5300 XpressMusic and the Nokia 5200. Moving forward these services and the ability to synchronies Yahoo! contacts, tasks and calendar on the PC and phone will be added to an even wider range of Nokia's Series 40 devices.

Yahoo! services for Nokia Series 40 mobile phones include Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Messenger, and Yahoo! Personal Information Management.


Broadcom to Acquire LVL7 Systems for Networking Software

Broadcom agreed to acquire LVL7 Systems, Inc., a privately-held developer of networking software for OEMs and ODMs, for approximately $62 million in cash.

LVL7 Systems' FASTPATH software offers the features and protocols needed to build a variety of Layer 2 / 3 / 4+ Ethernet infrastructure systems. Target applications include desktop and workgroup switches; server blade switches; WLAN switches; and switch/router systems.

Broadcom said LVL7's FASTPATH family of software would enhance its existing product offering in the small-to-medium-sized business (SMB) market segment.

LVL7 is based near Research Triangle Park, North Carolinahttp://www.broadcom.comhttp://www.lvl7.com
  • LVLT is headed by Erik Dixon, who previously was responsible for IBM's Ethernet networking product line.

  • In February 2005, LVL7 Systems raised $21 million in Series C funding for its networking software. The oversubscribed funding round was led by Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm USVP. The funding round also included participation from Lighthouse Capital Partners and LVL7's previous investors: The Carlyle Group, Gabriel Venture Partners, H.I.G. Ventures, and Research Triangle Ventures.

Oregon's BendBroadband Turns to Level3 for VoIP

BendBroadband, an Oregon-based cable operator, will use the Level 3's VoIP Enhanced Local service to provide small and medium-sized businesses with a new, cost-effective solution for local and long-distance calling. BendBroadband Business Phone will include enhanced voicemail, E-911 service and popular calling features such as caller ID, call waiting and 3-way calling.


Marvell Debuts Application Processors for Smartphones, Handhelds

Marvell introduced a new generation of application processors designed for feature handsets, smartphones, GPS navigation systems, wireless handhelds and other consumer electronic devices.

The Marvell PXA3xx family of application processors (internally named Monahans), which are based n third generation of Intel XScale technology, delivers improved performance and extended battery life, enabling advanced video and audio capabilities. Wireless Intel SpeedStep with MusicMax technology provides intelligent power management, enabling varying power states so users can listen up to 30 hours of MP3s on their handsets without sacrificing battery life.

The processors support advanced codecs such as H.264 for rich video quality, up to D1 resolution at 30fps. The PXA3xx family also supports digital cameras, and advanced camera effects such as image stabilization and up to 5 Megapixel camera sensors.

  • Earlier this month, Marvell Technology Group completed the acquisition of Intel's cellular and applications processor business. Marvell made a cash payment of $600 million.

TiVo Reports 4.4 million Subscriptions, Signs Cablevision Mexico

TiVo reported financial results for its quarter ended October 31, 2006, saying overall TiVo-Owned subscriptions were up 24% year-over-year to 1.6 million. As expected, TiVo reported a net decline in the number of DIRECTV TiVo subscriptions during the period as DIRECTV deployed fewer TiVo boxes. Cumulative total subscriptions as of October 31, 2006, were up slightly from last quarter to 4.4 million, and up 11% over the year-ago subscription totals.

Service and technology revenues for the quarter increased 22% to $52.6 million, compared with $43.2 million for the same period last year. TiVo reported a net loss of ($11.1) million and net loss per share of ($0.12), compared to a net loss of ($14.2) million, or ($0.17) per share, for the third quarter of last year.

Tom Rogers, CEO of TiVo said, "Our strategy remains clear: to drive our standing as the only branded and truly differentiated DVR in the world. In the third quarter, we continued to make progress towards that goal and our results reflected our efforts as gross subscription addition growth was positive for the first time on a year-over-year basis in six quarters."

TiVO also announced a distribution deal with Cablevision Mexico, which serves Mexico City. Initially, the service offered by CABLEVISION will utilize TiVo's standalone DVR hardware platform. CABLEVISION expects to begin marketing bundles that include the TiVo DVRs and TiVo Service in the first half of 2007.


Wal-Mart Offers Physical DVD + Digital Download Bundle

Wal-Mart announced its first step into the video download market, offering a unique bundle combining a video download option with purchase of the physical DVD. The first such bundle, which is available now at Wal-Mart stores across the U.S., includes the physical "Superman Returns" DVD along with a sticker containing the code needed to download the digital version of the film from the company's website. Customers can choose from three video download format options -- - $1.97 for portable devices, $2.97 for PCs/laptops, and $3.97 for both portable players and PC/laptops.

"This unique Superman Returns physical/digital DVD combination not only marks our first step into the video downloads market, but gives our customers the best of both worlds in movie entertainment," said Kevin Swint, Wal-Mart's divisional merchandise manager for digital media.

In the coming months, Wal-Mart will test additional DVD bundles with this download option, as well as offer a beta version of a video download service. The beta launch will feature both movie and television content from a number of top studios and TV networks.


BitTorrent Signs with 20th Century Fox, Other Studios

BitTorrent announced a series of distribution deals with leading content producers, including 20th Century Fox, G4, Kadokawa Pictures USA, Lionsgate, MTV Networks, Palm Pictures, Paramount Pictures and Starz Media.

The deals provide BitTorrent with a growing library of digital media content. The videos, which can be downloaded and viewed on a PC, laptop and other portable devices, include new film releases day-and-date with the DVD release, popular TV series, deep catalog titles and cult classics. BitTorrent will disclose pricing details closer to the time of the launch of the online retail marketplace, which is set for February 2007.

BitTorrent has previously announced partnerships with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Egami Media, Hart Sharp, Koch Entertainment and The Orchard.

BitTorrent said traffic generated by its millions of its users now accounts for as much as 40 percent of all worldwide Internet traffic.

  • In October 2006, BitTorrent announced its collaboration 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.

Monday, November 27, 2006

IBM to Acquire Vallent for Network Performance Monitoring Software

IBM agreed to acquire Vallent Corporation, a supplier of network performance monitoring and service management software for wireless service providers, for an undisclosed sum.

Vallent's software helps service providers manage the performance of their network infrastructure through monitoring and reporting problem areas such as dropped calls and traffic bottlenecks.

IBM said that adding Vallent's expertise to its Tivoli Software's Netcool portfolio creates a broad set of service assurance capabilities spanning fault, network performance and service quality management over a wide array of technologies and third-party equipment and applications. The acquisition of Vallent extends the Netcool operations support system portfolio acquired with Micromuse in February of 2006 and will further enhance IBM's ability to address the growing needs of its customers in this area, especially communications service providers.

Vallent is based in Bellevue, Washington and has more than 400 employees. Vallent claims more than 200 customers worldwide, including worldwide market leaders such as KPN, Bharti, China Mobile, and Brasil Telecom, as well as equipment providers such as Lucent, Motorola, and Alcatel.

  • Vallent's investors included Argo Global Capital, Columbia Capital Corp., Ericsson Venture Partners, Investor Growth Capital Inc., New Venture Partners, Origin Partners, ORIX, and Pequot Capital.

Veraz Increases Capacity between Switch Centers for Mobile Operators

Veraz Networks announced that its voice compression technology can increase the capacity of existing TDM transmission links between existing mobile switching centers (MSCs) by compressing up to 10 E1s onto a single E1, while preserving high voice quality. By enabling compressed VoIP over TDM using an IP media gateway, Veraz allows mobile operators to accommodate increased traffic on their existing TDM transmission links while avoiding the expenses of building a transmission network or leasing additional TDM transmission capacity.

NTT Com Asia Deploys Juniper's SSL VPN appliances

NTT Com Asia has deployed the Juniper Networks Secure Access 6000 SSL VPN appliances with the Instant Virtual Systems feature set to provide managed remote access services for the Hong Kong market.

The Secure Access 6000 appliances deployed at NTT Com Asia operate with Juniper Network's Advanced Feature Set, which includes advanced role and resource usage definition and management to allow organizations to administer different security policies for different departments.

Juniper said the Instant Virtual Systems (IVS) feature of the SA 6000 enables NTT Com Asia to completely segment SSL VPN traffic between multiple customers within its cluster pair of SA 6000 appliances, and ensure network independence. Customers of NTT Com Asia's managed service can also enjoy dedicated administrator controls for their own SSL VPN segments without the risk of sharing the controls or segment with other parties using IVS capabilities.


3Com to Acquire Huawei's Stake in JV for $882 Million

3Com agreed to acquire Huawei Technologies' 49% Huawei-3Com (H3C) for $882 million, which represents an implied equity value of $1.8 billion.

Under the existing shareholders' agreement, the parties have agreed that the selling shareholder in the bid process would, under certain circumstances, be subject to a non-compete provision for 18 months after the closing.

H3C said its mission, vision and strategy will remain unchanged after the transaction.

  • November 2006 marks the third anniversary of the founding of the Huawei-3Com (H3C) joint venture, which is registered in Hong Kong with research and development centres in China (Beijing, Hangzhou and Shenzhen) and India (Bangalore).

  • On Nov. 15., the company said its first half revenues climbed more than 70 percent over the same period last year with international sales now accounting for one third of all sales. Net sales revenue for the first half of 2006 totaled US$324 million.

  • H3C employs 4,800 people with more than half engaged in R&D.

Orange Business Services Partners with Nortel on SIP Services

Orange Business Services' newly launched suite of SIP multimedia services is based on Nortel's technology. The new "Business Together" service, which will first become available for corporate French customers this month, is the result of a strategic partnership formed between France Telecom and Nortel in 2004.

"Business Together" from Orange Business Services unifies telephony, collaboration, instant messaging and multimedia communications, making them all accessible from a computer, an IP phone or a mobile smartphone.

Orange's "Business Together" services include Nortel's SIP Multimedia Communication Server 5200 (MCS 5200) which seamlessly integrates voice with video, collaboration, presence and reachability services. The solution leverages SIP.


YouTube and Verizon Wireless Ink Agreement

Starting in early December, selected YouTube clips will be available to users of Verizon Wireless's V CAST mobile service. YouTube will deliver a sampling of the most popular videos. In addition, video enthusiasts also will be able to record and share their favorite moments with their mobile phones.

"Delivering YouTube content gives V CAST customers a mobile connection to video content that has revolutionized how people are being entertained today," said John Harrobin, vice president of digital media for Verizon Wireless.


BT Activates First Customers on 21CN

BT switched over the first customer lines to its 21st Century Network (21CN). As planned, BT has started to move customers in the village of Wick, near Cardiff, to the next generation infrastructure.

BT described the event as a landmark in its history. To reach this milestone, BT has re-built around ten percent of the UK's core national communications infrastructure, installed 21CN equipment at over 100 sites across the UK, and laid more than 2,300 kilometers of new fibre optic cable in South Wales.

Paul Reynolds, chief executive of BT Wholesale and BT board sponsor for the 21CN programme said, "Today marks a symbolic and momentous occasion for BT, the communications industry and for the UK as 21CN, over three years in the making, starts to become real for customers. Alexander Graham Bell made the first telephone call 130 years ago -- we are also making history with the first live UK customer calls using a carrier class, all IP network. Years of research and development, network build and design, rigorous trials and testing, together with open collaboration with the communications industry have culminated in this historic moment. A network transformation on this scale has not been attempted anywhere else in the world -- it's happening now in South Wales, and the rest of the UK will follow over the next few years."http://www.btplc.com

Alcatel Demos Mobile TV in S-Band Handsets

Alcatel demonstrated Europe's first broadcast of live TV channels on mobile handsets in S-band. The demonstration used the new DVB-SH
standard (Satellite services for Handhelds), which is currently being
drafted by the DVB Project. To perform this demonstration, Alcatel was assisted by UK broadcasters Sky, ITV and BBC.

DVB-SH is a new technology targeting the S-band. DVB-SH is a
related standard to DVB-H. With DVB-SH technology, Mobile TV signals can be broadcast from satellites as well as from terrestrial transmitters directly to handhelds.

The demonstration featured SAGEM myMobileTV handsets using the S-band telecom frequency between 2.17GHz and 2.20GHz, which is adjacent to the 3G/UMTS band. 30MHz of spectrum is currently available all across Europe and in other major regions in the world.

In addition, Alcatel demonstrated two possible key technical features using the DVB-SH standard. Reception Antenna Diversity, a feature using two antennas inside the same mobile device, enables improvements in the signal quality under difficult conditions. Furthermore, improved Time Interleaving overcomes fading impairment in mobility conditions. The significant quality enhancement was demonstrated by implementing these DVB-SH features.

  • In October 2006, SES GLOBAL and Eutelsat Communications announced a 50/50 joint venture company, which will operate and commercialize S-band satellite services over Europe for mobile video services. The S-band (2.0 and 2.2 GHz), which represents a new frequency band for both SES and Eutelsat, provides a set of frequencies optimized for supporting a wireless distribution network for mobile devices, including phones, PDAs, laptops and vehicle receivers.

    Eutelsat Communications confirmed its order with Alcatel Alenia Space for an S-Band payload on its upcoming W2A satellite, which is slated for launch in 2009. Based on the Alcatel Alenia Space Spacebus 4000C4 platform, W2A's missions also comprise up to 46 transponders in Ku-band and a C-band payload of 10 transponders.