Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Symmetricom Acquires QoSmetrics

Symmetricom agreed to acquire QoSmetrics, a privately held provider of QoE solutions for IPTV and other triple play services, for $16 million in cash.

QoSmetrics offers a broad base of tools to measure key IP Performance Metrics (IPPM), as well as to monitor VoIP and video-based data streams. The products provide real time, multi-protocol, end-to-end monitoring and diagnostic capabilities that enable service providers to troubleshoot and often prevent network issues.

Symmetricom said the acquisition would enhance its position in emerging areas of the global telecommunications industry by providing those service providers with the tools and monitoring capabilities necessary to maximize QoE for end users of triple play services.

QoSmetrics was founded in 1999 and maintains corporate and R&D facilities in Camarillo, California and in Paris, France.


  • Symmetricom specializes in timing solutions, delivering precision, reliability and efficiency to wireline and wireless networks, instrumentation and testing applications and network time management. The company's synchronization solutions include primary reference sources, building integrated timing supplies (BITS), GPS timing receivers, time and frequency distribution systems, network time servers and ruggedized oscillators. Symmetricom also incorporates technologies including Universal Timing Interface (UTI), Network Time Protocol (NTP), Precision Time Protocol (IEEE 1588), and others supporting the world's migration to Next Generation Networks (NGN).

SpectraLink Shows its Next Generation Wi-Fi Telephones

SpectraLink announced its next-generation Wi-Fi telephony handsets supporting IEEE 802.11a, b and g radio standards.

The new NetLink 8000 Series handsets are enterprise-grade handsets designed for long talk times (four, six and eight hours depending on model) added durability and resilience.

Two models are available: the basic NetLink 8020 Wireless Telephone, and the enhanced NetLink 8030 Wireless Telephone supporting SpectraLink's exclusive integrated push-to-talk (PTT) capabilities, now enhanced with 24 PTT channels plus a unique priority channel for emergency broadcast applications.

The handsets can use either SpectraLink Voice Priority (SVP) or Wireless Multimedia (WMM) (depending on Wi-Fi infrastructure support). Security includes Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA/WPA2).

List price for the NetLink 8020 Wireless Telephone is $595, while the PTT-enabled NetLink 8030 Wireless Telephone is priced at $675.


Atheros Debuts XSPAN Dual-Concurrent Wireless Router

Atheros Communications launched its highest performance 802.11n solution to date -- a chipset that combines its XSPAN draft 802.11n technology with its Wireless Network Processor Unit (WNPU). The chipset offers concurrent operation in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wireless LAN (WLAN) frequency bands, delivering up to 600 Mbps aggregate physical data rates and the flexibility to segregate application content into the channels that provide the best user experience.
The solution provides up to 27 non-overlapping channels, enabling end users to run numerous WLAN applications simultaneously while avoiding interference which often plagues networks operating solely in the 2.4 GHz frequency band.

Atheros said its new AR5008AP-3NX2 chipset targets retail, SOHO and enterprise networking customers that want to provide the highest wireless throughput, coverage and capacity. Specifically, the combined 2.4 and 5 GHz channel capacity supports jitter-free transmission of multimedia applications.

For instance, the 2.4 GHz band could be used for applications less sensitive to bandwidth limitations and interference, such as Internet data traffic, streaming MP3s and wireless printing. The 5 GHz band with 24 channels, fewer legacy devices and virtually no interferers, could be used for high-bandwidth, latency-sensitive applications that require uninterrupted throughput: HD video streaming, VoIP calls and multi-player online gaming.

Atheros also noted that the Microsoft Windows Vista operating system advocates use of dual-concurrent networks and the allocation of applications onto separate frequency bands based on throughput requirement, latency-sensitivity and interference in the network.

The new Atheros AR5008AP-3NX2 chipset consists of dual AR5416 MAC/baseband ICs, the AR2133 and AR5133 radios and the AR7161 wireless network processor. The solution is based on Atheros' XSPAN with Signal-Sustain Technology, a 3x3 MIMO architecture. The wireless network processor features dual 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet ports, dual USB 2.0 and additional interfaces for video, audio and voice applications.


NextWave Wireless to Acquire GO Networks for Metro WiFi

San Diego-based NextWave Wireless will acquire GO Networks, a privately-held developer of 802.11 based mobile broadband wireless solutions for wide area, high capacity metropolitan deployments.

GO's Metro Broadband Wireless (MBW) system is a highly-scalable Wi-Fi network solution that combines a proprietary adaptive beamforming antenna engine with a self-organizing and multi-frequency mesh architecture.

GO Networks is headquartered in Mountain View, California and has its research and development facilities in Tel Aviv, Israel.

NextWave will pay approximately $13.3 million in cash at closing. Additional consideration of up to $25.7 million will be paid in NextWave common stock, based on the achievement of certain operational milestones in the 18 month period subsequent to the closing of the acquisition, as specified in the agreement. NextWave will also assume GO's existing obligations totaling approximately $7.46 million, of which $1.33 million will be paid at closing and the balance will remain in place following the merger.

NextWave Wireless develops WiMAX semiconductors, network components and complete wireless LAN/WAN network solutions. Its PacketVideo subsidiary, a global provider of embedded multimedia software for mobile phones and converged devices, provides a wide range of multimedia solutions to many of the leading wireless carriers and handset manufacturers worldwide. The company was founded in 2005 by veterans from AT&T Wireless, Intel, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, QUALCOMM, and Texas Instruments.

NextWave has acquired a nationwide spectrum footprint in the U.S. that covers 247 million people and owns nationwide WiMAX spectrum in Germany through a majority-controlled joint venture. The company intends to partner with companies to deploy next-generation wireless broadband networks on its spectrum that utilizes its next-generation wireless broadband products and technologies.

Sonus Posts Record Year End Order Activity

Sonus Networks reported very strong customer activity in the fourth quarter of 2006, resulting in both fourth quarter and full year 2006 orders at record levels.

The company said its growth is being fueled by continued demand as major network operators increase their adoption and deployment of IP-voice networks.

Sonus also announced that the NASDAQ Listing Qualification Panel has allowed the company until February 12, 2007 to file its Form 10-Qs for the quarters ended June 30, 2006 and September 30, 2006 and any required restatements. http://www.sonusnet.com/

Wisair Debuts Wireless USB PCI Express Mini Card

Wisair is introducing a Wireless USB PCI Express Mini Card reference design for notebook PCs, as well as a Wireless USB hub reference design. Both reference designs leverage the company's latest 542 chip, based on Certified Wireless USB, which was recently granted WiMedia PHY registration. The design provides four to seven USB ports and includes features such as dual internal antennas fitting into slim enclosures, as well as unique PHY capabilities for extended coverage and link robustness.


Asia Netcom Restores 100 Gbps of Capacity on EAC

Asia Netcom confirmed that it restored all of its customers' traffic along its EAC cable system on 27th December and continues to actively help the region get back online by allocating spare capacity to ISPs and third party telecommunications carriers. In total, Asia Netcom's engineering team restored more than 100 Gbps of capacity on EAC. The company said the majority of the traffic has gone to support Asia Netcom's customers with the remaining being provisioned to support the Internet bandwidth demands of the region's carriers and ISPs.


Verizon Expands FiOS TV in California

Verizon launched its FiOS TV service in Redlands and Redondo Beach, California. The company already provides the all-digital, fiber-optic TV service in more than a dozen California communities.


Broadcom Closes Acquisition of LVL7 Systems

Broadcom completed its acquisition of LVL7 Systems, a privately-held developer of production-ready networking software for networking equipment manufacturers (OEMs), for $62 million in cash.

LVL7's FASTPATH family of software will enable Broadcom to enhance its existing product offering in the small-to-medium-sized business (SMB) market segment. http://www.broadcom.com

EarthLink Announces Passing of CEO -- Garry Betty

Garry Betty, EarthLink's President and CEO, passed away on January 2 due to complications from cancer. He was 49. Mr. Betty had been with the company since 1996. Before joining EarthLink, Garry served as CEO of Digital Communications Associates, Inc. (DCA) -- the youngest CEO of a New York Stock Exchange listed company. He also was a member of the Boards of Directors of Equifax, Global Payments, Inc., and the Carter Center Board of Councilors. Garry graduated in 1979 from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering.

EarthLink also announced that Mike Lunsford will remain interim CEO, a position he has held since November 27, 2006, when Mr. Betty took a leave of absence.


Amdocs to Acquire SigValue for Customer Billing

Amdocs agreed to acquire SigValue Technologies, a provider of a light-weight billing, customer care, and service control platform designed for service providers, for about $54 million in cash. Amdocs currently owns 14% of SigValue's outstanding capital stock.

SigValue's platform is aimed at service providers in emerging markets, such as Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia, where the telecommunications customer base is predominantly composed of mobile pre-paid subscribers.

SigValue's platform provides the basic functions required for billing and customer care with a service control function. It supports multiple networks, multiple services and all lines of business.

"The regions referred to as "emerging markets" are the fastest-growing in telecom, and Amdocs has already enjoyed success in the more economically developed portions of these regions - including Moscow, Russia and Beijing, China, among others," said Patrick McGrory, Network Business Unit president, Amdocs.



  • SigValue is a private company founded in April 2000, has approximately 75 employees and is based in Hod-Hasharon, Israel. SigValue's venture capital investors include AIG Orion Fund L.P. and Holland Ventures.

  • In July 2006, Amdocs agreed to acquire Cramer Systems, a supplier of operations support systems (OSS) solutions, for approximately $375 million in cash.

  • In April 2006, Amdocs agreed to acquire Qpass, a leading provider of digital commerce software and solutions, for approximately $275 million in cash. Qpass can act as a channel between the content provider and the service provider, helping to determine how to offer, manage, charge, and fulfill for the service. It plays a key role in enabling the value chain and monetizing digital content.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Pacific Cables Damaged in Undersea Earthquake

An earthquake off the southern tip of Taiwan damaged several undersea cable networks, disrupting telecom and Internet traffic across Asia.

Cables damaged by the earthquake and its aftershocks included:

  • the SMW3 cable, S1.8 (Fangshan - BU4) and S1.7 (BU3 - BU4)

  • the China-US cable, including segment W1 (Shantou - ChongMing) & segment S1 (Shantou - Okinawa/SLO), and segment W2 (spur to Fangshan).

  • the APCN cable, system 1 segment B17 (Hong Kong branch)

  • the APCN2 cable, system 2 Segment B5 (Taiwan Branch), segment 7 (Tanshui - Shantou) & segment 3 (Hong Kong - ChongMing)

  • the FLAG FEA cable, including sub-system 8 (Hong Kong - Shanghai - Korea)

  • the RNAL cable, including the Hong Kong - Busan cable, and the Hong Kong - Toucheng segment.

On January 2, Hong Kong's Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) said major ISPs had recovered about 80% of their international connection capacity. Some real-time applications such as IP telephony may continue to be adversely affected by excessive response times. Major repairs are now expected to be completed in late January or February.


NTT's Photonic Crystals Delay Light

Researchers at NTT have developed a "photonic crystal" capable of trapping light for over one nanosecond within a wavelength-sized micro-cavity. The technique makes it possible to reduce the speed of light down to one 50 thousandth of that in air. The development was announced in the December 22 edition of "Nature Photonics" magazine.

NTT said the advancement opens up various possibilities for photonics such as a large-scale photonic information processing chip with extremely low power consumption power, or perhaps an optical quantum information processor operating with single photons.


BT Reaches Ten Million Broadband User Milestone

BT has reached the ten million broadband user milestone, smashing its initial target of five million connections by the end of 2006. That target was set in April 2002 when there were fewer than 150,000 DSL connections.

The ten million wholesale connections are shared between BT Wholesale and Openreach. BT Wholesale supplies services to more than 8.7 million customers (via service providers including BT Retail) whilst Openreach supplies more than 1.3 million lines to customers via local loop unbundlers.

Ben Verwaayen, Chief Executive of BT Group, said: "2007 is beginning with broadband firmly established at the heart of the UK economy, helping businesses to compete and enriching people's lives. The UK now has over 200 service providers making it the most competitive broadband market in the world. That means fantastic choice and value for consumers, and a constant stream of new and innovative applications."http://www.btplc.com

Intellon Cites Growth in HomePlug Deployments

Twelve service providers in Europe and Asia are now using Intellon's HomePlug ICs for in-home IPTV distribution. These include: 1&1, ChungHwa Telecom, Club Internet, France Telecom, Free, Hanaro Telecom, neuf cegetel, PCCW, Simmin, Tele2, Telecom Italia France and TPSA.

HomePlug technology uses the electrical wiring in customers' homes as an instant Ethernet network.

Intellon said its 85 Mbps HomePlug 1.0 with Turbo chipset has been very successful for service providers that need a customer-installable home backbone for distributing standard definition video. The company expects to see its IPTV business grow substantially during 2007, as additional operators adopt its Turbo solution for standard definition IPTV applications and new and existing customers begin to deploy its 200 Mbps HomePlug AV-based IC for high definition IPTV applications.


Alcatel-Lucent Closes Acquisition of Nortel's UMTS Radio Access Business

Alcatel-Lucent completed its acquisition of Nortel's UMTS radio access business on December 31 with a cash payment of US$320 million less significant deductions.

With this acquisition, Alcatel-Lucent said one in four UMTS operators - about 40 customers around the world - now use its UMTS solutions. http://www.alcatel-lucent.com
  • The deal, which was first announced on 01-Sept-2006, encompassed Nortel's UMTS access product portfolio made up of the Radio Network Controller and Node B products and OAM solutions, related services and associated assets. The deal added an additional fourteen UMTS customers to the Alcatel customer list. Alcatel said the acquisition would also significantly strengthened its research and development capabilities, especially in HSxPA and 3G Long-Term Evolution (3G LTE), fully leveraging Alcatel's expertise in multi-standard radio solutions and Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

AT&T + BellSouth Deal Closes, Following Last Minute Concessions

The FCC voted 4-to-0 to approve AT&T's acquisition of BellSouth, concluding that the largest telecom merger in U.S. history would offer significant public benefits, including increased competition for video services and the creation of a stronger player in national communication services.

The merger was completed immediately following the vote.

"AT&T will be an engine for innovation, competition, and growth for our customers at home and abroad," said AT&T Chairman and CEO Edward E. Whitacre Jr. "In the Southeast, we will build on BellSouth's excellent record of serving customers and communities. And we are ready to lead the way in a new era of integrated wireless services nationwide."

The company said it will begin the integration process to converge the AT&T, BellSouth, and Cingular wireless and wireline IP networks, combine product portfolios and integrate customer care capabilities. AT&T will launch extensive new advertising, which will begin the transition of the BellSouth brand name to AT&T. AT&T will re-brand Cingular through a co-branded transition, which is scheduled to start in 2007.

The FCC decision, which came on the final business day of 2006, followed a series of last minute concessions from AT&T that ultimately swayed the two Democrat commissioners who had earlier withheld their approvals of the merger.

The list of new concessions includes:

  • For a period of 30 months, AT&T agrees to abide the principles of Net Neutrality set forth in the FCC policy statement of September 23, 2005.

  • AT&T commits that it will maintain a neutral network and neutral routing in its wireline broadband Internet access service. The company will not provide to any Internet content, application or service provider, including those affiliated with AT&T/BellSouth, any service that privileges, degrades or prioritizes any packet transmitted over its wireline broadband Internet access service based on its source, ownership or destination. The commitment applies from the network side of customer premise equipment (CPE) up to and including the closest Internet Exchange Point. AT&T said this commitment does not apply to its enterprise managed IP services nor to its IPTV service. The commitment will sunset two years from the merger closing date or the effective date of any future legislation on Net Neutrality enacted by Congress.

  • For three years, the company agrees to maintain at least as many settlement-free peering arrangements for Internet backbone services as it does today on the merger closing date.

  • By the end of 2007, AT&T will offer broadband (greater than 200 kbps in at least one direction) to 100% of residential living units in the AT&T/BellSouth in-region territory -- this includes at least 85% wireline coverage and the rest via broadband wireless technologies, such as WiMAX.

  • AT&T will offer DSL (up to 768 kbps) for $10 per month for up to 30 months to new customers who have never before subscribed to DSL.

  • AT&T promises to accelerate the rollout of its Uverse and HomeZone video services in BellSouth territory.

  • AT&T/BellSouth shall not seek any increase in state-approved rates for UNEs.

  • AT&T/BellSouth promises not increase the rates paid by existing customers of DS1 and DS3 private line services.

  • For a period of 30 months, the company will offer DSL without requiring customers to purchase a circuit switched voice line. The rate for this service will not exceed $19.95 (exclusive of regulatory fees and taxes).

  • The company will offer ADSL transmission service to other ISPs that is functionally equivalent to the same service AT&T offers in-region as of the date that the merger closes.

  • The company agrees to sell or transfer all of the 2.5 GHz wireless spectrum currently licensed or leased by BellSouth.

  • By 2010, the company agrees to offer service in the 2.3 GHz band to 25% of the population in the service area where it holds WCS licenses.

  • AT&T/BellSouth will repatriate 3,000 jobs that are currently outsourced by BellSouth abroad.

Following the vote, FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, who pushed for the additional concessions from AT&T, commented "One hallmark of this Order is that it applies explicit, enforceable provisions to preserve and protect the open and interconnected nature of the Internet, including not only a commitment to abide by the four principles of the FCC Internet Policy Statement but also an historic agreement to ensure that the combined company will maintain a neutral network and neutral routing in its wireline broadband Internet access service."

In a separate statement, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin objected to many of the concessions, saying that while they may have helped close the merger, the concessions were unnecessary and ran counter to other FCC policies. "The conditions regarding net-neutrality have very little to do with the merger at hand and very well may cause greater problems than the speculative problems they seek to address. These conditions are simply not warranted by current market conditions and may deter facilities investment."http://www.att.comhttp;//www.bellsouth.com

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

BT Ready to Get Telecom Licenses in India

The Government of India, Department of Telecommunications (DoT), issued Letters of Intent (LoI) to BT for the award of licences for National Long Distance and International Long Distance services. Once the licences are fully operational, BT will be able to offer both domestic and international managed services to corporate customers who have sites in India. BT will also be able to provide these companies with VPN services using technologies such as ATM and MPLS.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Level 3 to Acquire SAVVIS CDN -- 7th Acquisition in 2006

Level 3 Communications agreed to acquire the Content Delivery Network (CDN) services business of SAVVIS, for $135 million in cash. The deal includes certain network elements, customer contracts, and intellectual property used in SAVVIS' CDN business.

SAVVIS' CDN services business, based in Thousand Oaks, California, with approximately 50 employees and over 100 customers, provides solutions that improve performance, reliability, scalability and reach of customers' online content. The business was initially launched in 1996 as Sandpiper Networks -- the world's first content delivery network. It has a globally distributed infrastructure in more than 20 countries.

SAVVIS' CDN business had approximately $15 million in revenue for the nine months ending September 30, 2006.

"The largest customers of CDN services rely on a combination of capabilities to support their businesses. These include services like CDN, IP transit, wavelengths, metro transport, and colocation. Upon completion of this transaction, Level 3 believes that it will be the only CDN services provider with a single source, full portfolio of end-to-end content distribution solutions, and will be in a unique position to offer a range of building blocks to meet these customers' needs," said Kevin O'Hara, president and chief operating officer of Level 3.

http://www.level3.comhttp://www.savvis.netIn October 2006, Level 3 Communications agreed to acquire Broadwing Corporation in a cash and stock deal valued at $1.4 billion. The deal adds to a series of acquisitions by Level 3 this year, including WilTel, Progress Telecom, ICG Communications, TelCove and Looking Glass Networks.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Microsoft, SOFTBANK and Japan Telecom Team on Services

Microsoft, SOFTBANK BB, and Japan Telecom are developing a security-enhanced, integrated communications service that combines VoIP, e-mail, Internet access, groupware, presence, instant messaging and desktop services with network infrastructure.

The companies have formed a strategic business alliance to provide this service as a business-oriented solution, beginning with trials in Spring 2006.

The service will link the Microsoft Solution for Enhanced VoIP Services with BB Phone's voice platform and JAPAN TELECOM's managed network infrastructure.

Microsoft Solution for Enhanced VoIP Services comprises hosted versions of Microsoft server products including Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 and Windows SharePoint Services with Sylantro Systems Corp.'s Application Feature Server.