Monday, December 11, 2006

The Venice Project Enters Beta of its Web-TV

The Venice Project, an Internet TV start-up backed by the founders of Skype, began accepting beta testers. The project is not a file-sharing application or a video download service. It will use P2P streaming technology to deliver a variety of video content over the Web. Encrypted content would be provided directly by the owners. The Venice Project owners have said they are working within the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) framework.

picoChip and Kineto Team in UMA-Enabled Femtocell Market

Kineto Wireless and picoChip, a start-up specializing in software defined radio technology, are developing a UMA-enabled femtocell reference design. The reference design, based on picoChip's single-chip solutions, and Kineto's UMA client software will enable 3G femtocells to overcome network integration barriers to accelerate mass market adoption.

Femtocells are low-cost cellular access points for mobile operators looking to provide enhanced, in-building 3G coverage within homes and small businesses.


NXP Chip Drives Multimedia-Enabled Navigation Devices

NXP Semiconductors announced a solution for low-cost, portable GPS devices with advanced multimedia capabilities. The solution builds on NXP's Nexperia mobile multimedia processor and includes software solution for GPS, along with ALK Technologies' CoPilot navigation software.

Whereas traditional GPS solutions require hardware GPS baseband processors, NXP said its approach utilizes swGPS Personal running on the PNX0190 multimedia processor to efficiently perform GPS calculations. By eliminating the GPS baseband silicon, NXP's solution delivers a lower bill of material while the software-based approach provides flexibility and future-proofing in an evolving market.

Microsoft Releases Beta of Office Communications Server

Microsoft released a private beta of its enterprise voice communications server, Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 to 2,500 testers. Office Communications Server 2007, the successor to Microsoft Live Communications Server 2005, is part of Microsoft's unified communications portfolio.

Microsoft said Office Communications Server 2007 allows companies to integrate VoIP into existing telephony infrastructure. Users will be able to instantly launch a phone call from 2007 Microsoft Office applications, such as Office Word 2007, Office Outlook 2007 or Office Communicator, by clicking on a colleague's name to determine his or her availability and initiate a person-to-person or multiparty call.

Communications Server 2007 and Microsoft Office Communicator offer native support for Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and interoperate with products from industry partners including Nortel Networks, Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, Cisco Systems, LG-Nortel, Mitel Networks, NEC Philips Unified Solutions, Polycom and Siemens Communications Inc.

Microsoft said these relationships will enable its customers to support VoIP using their existing desktop phones, data networks and time division multiplexing (TDM) or IP private branch exchanges (PBXs). Customers will also able to leverage the softphone capabilities of Office Communicator to make and receive phone calls from their PCs, eliminating the need to purchase expensive IP-compatible phones.

"The convergence of telecom and data networks is happening rapidly. Software will integrate these two worlds, enabling IT managers to deliver new communications possibilities that include VoIP," said Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate vice president of the Unified Communications Group at Microsoft. "With this open architecture and broad interoperability, Office Communications Server 2007 will give IT managers the flexibility to determine when and how and in what way they move their communications infrastructure forward."

Gomez and Limelight to Validate Digital Media Delivery

Gomez Inc. announced a reseller partnership with Limelight Networks, the high performance content delivery network for digital media. The deal provides Limelight customers with a new way to independently verify the service they receive from Limelight. Using Gomez Inc.'s web application experience management services, Limelight's customers can now precisely document and validate the performance benefits of Limelight's digital media delivery services and ensure the best experience possible for their customers.

Under the partnership, Limelight will offer Gomez services to any existing or future customer seeking third party content delivery monitoring services. Limelight customers will be able to measure and validate Limelight Networks' digital media delivery performance through detailed online reports.


Cingular Expands Support for Good Mobile Messaging

Cingular Wireless is now supporting Good Mobile Messaging to enterprises using Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes using a number of new smartphones, including the recent introductions of the Cingular 8525, BlackJack, Nokia E62, Cingular 3125, Palm Treo 680 and HP iPAQ hw6920.

Cingular became the first carrier to sell Good Mobile Messaging directly to its customers in May 2005. Since then, Good-Cingular activations have grown more than 300 percent. Thousands of enterprises are running Good Mobile Messaging on the Cingular network today, including Deloitte, Ariba, Vignette, Electronic Arts, McGraw Hill, Perot Systems, Silicon Valley Bank, SanDisk and Avaya
  • In November, Motorola agreed to acquire Good Technology, a supplier of enterprise mobile computing software and service, for an undisclosed sum. Good's mobile messaging client is supported on the new Motorola Q handheld, among other devices. Motorola said the acquisition will extend its mobile computing capabilities and increase its enterprise client base.

KT Deploys Firetide Wireless Mesh for Weather Net

KT completed the first phase of installing Firetide's wireless mesh networking gear covering portions of Jeju and Woo islands off the southern coast of Korea. The mesh network spans a large geographical area, covering 204 square kilometers, or 80 square miles, and replaces a legacy network provided by KT for the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) to monitor weather systems in the region. The mesh networks provide a fully wireless infrastructure that connects remote weather forecasting equipment and video cameras to the KMA's network.

Each Firetide mesh node has multiple Ethernet ports that allow any wired networking device, including video cameras and weather sensors, to operate wirelessly over the mesh without modification or additional configuration.


Motorola Cites Sales of MicroTCA System Products

Motorola announced $1 million in sales for its MicroTCA system product. The companies will integrate Motorola's MicroTCA core communications server technology into development systems to serve markets such as telecom access, military communications and diagnostic equipment for the healthcare industry.

"The availability of communications servers based on open standards such as MicroTCA is accelerating the shift from the old supply chain model -- where OEMs supplied everything from boards to fully integrated applications -- to a model with systems integrators taking on much of the development previously kept in-house," said Paul Virgo, director of MicroTCA marketing, Embedded Communications Computing, Motorola.

Level 3 to Provide Voice Services to MTS Allstream

MTS Allstream, one of Canada's leading national communication solutions providers, awarded a three-year contract to Level 3 Communications' Wholesale Markets Group to provide expanded U.S. voice termination services to Allstream. Level 3 already provides MTS Allstream with data services.

John Chambers: It's a New Game

The networking industry is undergoing fundamental change, said John Chambers, Cisco's CEO, as service providers transition from being simple plumbers to "total experience providers." Quad-play will be the rule everywhere and basic transport is already becoming a low-margin commodity. Anyone operating in this environment will need new business plans, new engineering processes and an extensive set of partners.

Speaking at the company's annual analyst meeting in San Jose, Chambers highlighted some of the macro-trends on show at last week's ITU Telecom 2006 event in Hong Kong, including the rapid network rollouts underway in India, China and other regions of high-growth. Cisco is planning to move quickly in establishing strong partnerships in India and China. The recent selection of India as the site for a Globalization Center reelects the company's growing activity in these markets.

In contrast, Chambers said the U.S. market has underinvested in productivity projects over the past five years. In broadband, the U.S. is also moving too slowly, said Chambers, point to Singapore, where government officials are already planning for 1 Gbps connections to the home over the next decade.

Chambers spoke enthusiastically of telepresence and networked video as the next killer app. Cisco is installing its own telepresence gear to reduce travel costs and to enhance collaboration. Another macro-trend is network virtualization. Cisco is betting that virtualization of network resource will spread from the data center all the way out to the consumer.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

AT&T Opens New Data Centers in Shanghai, Chicago

AT&T opened two new Internet data centers in Shanghai, China, and in Oak Brook, Illinois (outside Chicago).

The new Shanghai facility, located in the city's Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, is the second AT&T Internet data center in that city. AT&T's first Shanghai data center, also in Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, opened its doors to customers this summer. AT&T will operate the Shanghai facilities in alliance with local service providers and will coordinate service delivery with those providers. AT&T, however, will be customers' single point of contact for Enterprise Hosting Services being delivered in China.

The new Oak Brook facility complements AT&T's data center in nearby Lisle, Illinois to further expand the company's hosting presence in the Chicago area..

TI Trims Q4 Business Outlook

Texas Instruments revised its expected ranges for revenue and earnings per share (EPS) for Q4, saying it now expects total revenue of between $3.35 billion and $3.50 billion, compared with the prior range of $3.46 billion to $3.75 billion; semiconductor revenue is expected between $3.28 billion and $3.42 billion, compared with the prior range of $3.39 billion to $3.66 billion; and educational & Productivity Solutions revenue is expected between $70 million and $80 million, compared with the prior range of $70 million to $90 million.

TI expects EPS from continuing operations between $0.37 and $0.40, compared with the previous range of $0.40 to $0.46.

TI Powers NEC 3G FOMA Phone

One of NTT DoCoMo's newest FOMA 3G handsets, the FOMA N903i from NEC, is based on Texas Instruments' OMAP2430 processor. The announcement marks the fifth generation NEC family of handsets supported by TI's OMAP platform.

TI noted that it has shipped more than 100 million OMAP processors to date in more than 180 different mobile phone and PDA models.

Cisco Selected for Turkish Datacentre Backbone

Garanti Bank, the leading Turkish retail, commercial and corporate bank, has selected Cisco to provide a new backbone network infrastructure for its datacentre operations comprising storage area networking, data centre switching and integrated security. The deployment features Cisco MDS 9509 Multilayer SAN directors, with Cisco MDS Multiprotocol Services Modules. In addition to redundant Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches with the Cisco Supervisor Engine 720, Garanti Bank's network upgrade features a number of other Cisco network components, including integrated security with Cisco Firewall Services Modules.

Newbury and PanGo Collaborate on WLAN Location Technologies

Newbury Networks is collaborating with PanGo Networks to deliver a third-party location application on the Newbury Location Appliance.

Newbury Networks enables enterprises to locate, manage and secure applications running over wireless LANs (WLANs). PanGo offers an application that can be powered by Newbury's Location Appliance, enabling users to locate any 802.11-based device across a wide range of WLAN infrastructures including 3Com, Aruba, Cisco, Nortel, Symbol and Trapeze.

Newbury is using PanGo's open Provider Interface to deliver location information to the PanOS Platform and PanGo Locator running in any of these diverse wireless network environments.

Newbury said a new class of mobile enterprise applications fueled by location continues to gain momentum in vertical markets such as healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, retail and government.


Samsung Invests $4 Million in Alereon for UWB/WiMedia

Alereon a start-up based in Austin, Texas, received a $4 million investment from Samsung Ventures for its ultrawideband (UWB) technology.

Alereon is using ultrawideband (UWB) radio technology to develop high-bandwidth, low-power, low-cost Wireless USB and WiMedia UWB chipsets that are aimed at portable products, like digital cameras, mp3 players and cell phones.

The company recently demonstrated a production-worthy Wireless USB device solution, including a multi-vendor application developed in conjunction with Kodak. The Kodak digital still camera was able to transfer photos over Wireless USB to a laptop that included a partner's host MAC and an installed Alereon PHY.

ShoreTel Monitors Enterprise Voice Quality

ShoreTel introduced a real-time network monitoring software tool that provides IT managers with a view of network performance to isolate problems and ensure optimal voice quality.

ShoreWare System Monitor delivers continuous monitoring, diagnostics and alerts to provide real-time monitoring of all network devices regardless of vendor or brand. As a standard, SNMP-based software solution, ShoreWare System Monitor automatically recognizes every device on the network. It also provides Web-based, remote monitoring so that distributed enterprises can manage traffic at remote and branch sites.

ShoreWare System Monitor is available in two deployment models to accommodate both resellers and enterprise customers. Customers can subscribe to the product and monitor their networks directly. In addition, due to the Web-based remote monitoring capability, ShoreTel channel partners can leverage the functionality of ShoreWare System Monitor to deliver value-added monitoring services to their customers.

Pricing is based on a subscription model and starts at $1,750 annually for 250 network interfaces (product support included) and can scale according to company growth.

Sweden's Dataphone Deploys Axerra Networks' Pseudo-Wire

Dataphone, a full-service national carrier in Sweden, is deploying Axerra's Pseudo-Wire solutions for PBX backhaul over Ethernet and xDSL. In addition to offering fixed-line voice and data business services, Dataphone plans to utilize Axerra's Pseudo-Wire solutions to offer mobile backhaul services in the near future.

Axerra's AXN Pseudo-Wire Gateways and Access Devices provide Circuit Emulation Pseudo-Wire, Frame Relay and HDLC Pseudo-Wires, ATM Pseudo-Wires, plus Ethernet and IP aggregation services while preserving security and QoS/CoS over next-generation packet-access networks.

  • Dataphone is a full-service competitive operator resulting from the merger of Dataphone and Citylink in December 2005. Previously, Dataphone had operated since the mid-nineties as a corporate ISP featuring high-quality Internet connections with an SLA of 100% to all customers. Citylink operates an advanced nationwide MPLS backbone in Sweden.

Wintegra Ships its Next Gen Access Processor

Wintegra announced commercial availability of its next generation access processor. The WinPath2 uses six data processing elements (WinGines) instead of four. This change extends the performance of the WinPath1 family by more than doubling the processing capability for the Data Path. These WinGines are decoupled from the Control Path processor to better fine tune overall system performance and power. They are RAM based, ensuring "future proofing" of current designs by enabling a software download to upgrade to evolving protocol standards, such as WT-101 in DSL and new 3GPP standards in wireless.

Harmonic Closes Entone Acquisition

Harmonic completed the acquisition of the video networking software business of Entone Technologies, a privately-held company based in San Mateo, CA, with research and development facilities in Hong Kong.

Entone's software solutions are designed to handle content ingest, distributed content management and video streaming -- facilitate the provisioning of personalized video services including video-on-demand (VOD), network personal video recording (nPVR), time-shifted television and targeted advertisement insertion.
  • In August 2006, Harmonic agreed to acquire the video networking software business of Entone Technologies, a privately-held software developer specializing in IPTV VOD and other digital video solutions for commercial broadcasters. The agreed upon purchase price of $45 million is comprised of $26 million in cash and the value of approximately 3.54 million shares of Harmonic common stock.

  • In September 2005, Entone Technologies introduced its "Armada" asset allocation solution for managing libraries of VOD titles. The system goes beyond static VOD content distribution systems by dynamically and cost-optimally placing video assets in the appropriate location and storage media based on their real-time popularity.