Tuesday, January 9, 2007

BT Reaches 1 million VoIP Customers

BT now has more than one million registered consumer customers for its VoIP services, BT Broadband Talk and BT Softphone, representing more than a third of BT's consumer broadband base.

The milestone was reached more than six months earlier than the company had projected, having set out in July 2006 a target of achieving a million VoIP customers within twelve months.


Equinix Acquires New Data Center in Tokyo from VSNL

Equinix has added a second Internet Business Exchange (IBX) data center in Tokyo by acquiring the long-term building lease and related assets from VSNL International. The facility will add approximately 740 sellable cabinets and approximately 73,000 square feet, increasing Equinix's Tokyo footprint to approximately 116,000 square feet. Equinix intends to place new customers in the center during the fourth quarter of 2007. Acquisition terms were not disclosed.

VSNL International will continue to operate in the center as a long-term customer of Equinix, providing its standard suite of communications services to its customers in Tokyo, including colocation services. Existing VSNL International customers, several of whom are already operating in other Equinix IBX centers, will remain in the center as VSNL International customers.

Equinix said it intends to invest $25.0 to $30.0 million of capital expenditures in 2007 to make additional infrastructure enhancements to this center. The center is expected to generate, at capacity, annual revenues between $20.0 and $25.0 million. Equinix expects long-term cash gross margins from this expansion to be in excess of 65%, consistent with the company's model for previous expansion centers.


Redback Names Dr. Alan Lippman as Chief Video Architect

Redback announced the appointment of Dr. Alan Lippman as chief video architect and director of technology planning.

Dr. Lippman is known for his work developing streaming audio and video technology. He was one of the first five employees at RealNetworks, and was one of the original creators of RealAudio and RealVideo, which have been downloaded hundreds of millions of times. He was the first member of the development team for RealAudio, and served as chief engineer and as a key developer for all major product releases for RealVideo through 2001. At RealNetworks, Dr. Lippman was the principal architect behind the real-time encoding and decoding of audio and video on the web that later became known as "streaming media."

Dr. Lippman holds a BSM in Mathematics from the University of Washington, which he received at the age of 14, and graduated at 18 with a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Brown University. Before working as a software developer, Lippman worked as an oceanographer, studying climate change and predicting significant weather events.


Guangdong Telecom Deploys Juniper's Multi-Chassis T-Series Core Routers

Guangdong Telecom, a China Telecom subsidiary, has deployed Juniper Networks TX Matrix routing platforms to upgrade its core network to multi-terabit capacity. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Juniper's TX Matrix platform enables Guangdong Telecom to combine multiple T640 core routers to form a single multi-terabit routing platform without extensive modifications or having to introduce a new operating system. The TX Matrix deployment provides the additional capacity required for Guangdong Telecom to meet growing subscriber demand for higher performance broadband and advanced multiplay services including VoIP, IPTV, video conferencing and video-on-demand.

Guangdong Telecom has also been deploying Juniper Networks E-series Broadband Services Routers extensively and consistently throughout its broadband edge network since 2001. Juniper Networks E-series are the primary component of Guangdong's broadband aggregation and subscriber management capabilities.


Cisco Sues Apple for Trademark Infringement

One after Apple's high-profile unveiling of its iPhone, Cisco Systems filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California citing infringement of its registered iPhone trademark.

Cisco said it had been negotiating with Apple in good faith after Apple repeatedly asked permission to use its iPhone name. As of the date of the product announcement, no agreement had been reached.

Cisco obtained the iPhone trademark in 2000 after completing the acquisition of Infogear, which previously owned the mark and sold iPhone products for several years. Infogear's original filing for the trademark dates to March 20, 1996. Linksys, a division of Cisco, has been shipping a new family of iPhone products since early last year. On Dec. 18, Linksys expanded the iPhone family with additional products.


DIRECTV to Offer 100 National HD Channels in 2007

DIRECTV hailed 2007 as the "Year of HD", saying it is on track to offer 100 national high-definition (HD) channels in Q3 -- three-times more HD programming than any other multi-channel distributor, according to the company.

With the launch of DIRECTV 10 and DIRECTV 11 satellites in 2007, DIRECTV will have the ability to deliver more than 1,500 local HD and digital channels and 150 national HD channels, in addition to new advanced programming services for customers.

DIRECTV currently has signed agreements, or agreements in principle, with more than 70 major networks. It will also offer HD programming from regional sports networks (such as YES Network, Comcast Sports Net, etc.) and plans to offer an expanded line-up of HD programming available from all premium movie channels.

At this week's CES, DIRECTV also introduced a portable satellite and TV system designed for outdoor and indoor settings, including camping and hiking trips, RVing, tailgating, college dormitories, hospital rooms, hotels/motels, emergency response, and in-home as a second TV set. The DIRECTV Sat-Go (Satellite-To-Go), which is scheduled to launch in spring 2007, will feature a briefcase-like design that includes a 17-inch LCD monitor with integrated DIRECTV Receiver, flat antenna and replaceable/rechargeable laptop-style battery.

  • DIRECTV currently offers standard-definition local channels in 142 markets, covering nearly 94 percent of television households in the country, as well as local HD broadcast channels in 49 cities, representing more than 65 percent of U.S. TV households.

DIRECTV HD DVR Gains Intel Viiv Certification

The DIRECTV Plus HD DVR has been verified with Intel Viiv technology. The DIRECTV Plus HD DVR is the world's first digital set-top box with integrated DMA functionality. DIRECTV customers who have a DIRECTV Plus HD DVR can now access their pictures and music on their TVs directly from Intel Viiv technology-based PCs.

The company said it is now the largest supplier of Viiv-verified digital media adapters (DMAs).

Later this year, DIRECTV plans to enhance the photo and music experience, as well as provide the ability to stream video from Intel Viiv technology-based PCs via DIRECTV Plus HD DVRs.

The DIRECTV Plus HD DVR receiver provides the ability to record and view 200 hours of standard definition content or 50 hours of MPEG 4 high-definition programming.

Broadcom Supplies Silicon for DIRECTV's STB

Broadcom announced that its many of its chips are being used as the core technology in many DIRECTV high definition television (HDTV) and basic standard definition (SD) set-top boxes, making it the leading silicon provider in DIRECTV's boxes. Production versions of Broadcom chips were provided to LG Electronics and Thomson Multimedia, enabling them to incorporate Broadcom solutions into set-top boxes for DIRECTV. As a result, DIRECTV became the first satellite provider to launch a set-top box that incorporates HDTV MPEG-4/AVC technology.


CBS Tests Sling's "Clip and Sling" Technology

CBS will begin beta testing Sling Media's new "Clip+Sling", which lets users of the Slingbox appliance clip and share content directly from live or recorded television. The new feature will be built into both the desktop and mobile versions of the SlingPlayer software. Customers can expect to see this new functionality incorporated into the SlingPlayer by Q2, 2007.

The deal is the first for the newly formed Sling Media Entertainment Group. CBS said it is interested in how new media solutions can help build communities around content.


RSA Discovers New Universal Man-in-the-Middle Phishing Kit

RSA uncovered a new Universal Man-in-the-Middle Phishing Kit, is designed to facilitate new and sophisticated attacks against global organizations in which the victims communicate with a legitimate web site via a fraudulent URL set by the fraudster.

The company said its 24x7 Anti-Fraud Command Center discovered that the kit that was being offered as a free trial on one of the online fraudster forums that the AFCC monitors regularly.

Using the Universal Man-in-the-Middle Phishing Kit, the fraudster creates a fraudulent URL via a simple and user-friendly online interface. This URL communicates with the legitimate website of the targeted organization in real- time - whether it is the online banking site of a financial institution, the order tunnel of an ecommerce company, or any other such business transacting with its users online. The victim receives a "standard" phishing email, and when clicking on the link s/he is directed to the fraudulent URL. The victim then interacts with genuine content from the legitimate website - which has been "imported" by the attack into the phishing URL - thus allowing the fraudster seamless, invisible and immediate access to the victim's personal information.

RSA said it can handle this attack in a similar fashion to the way it deals with "standard" phishing attacks - relying on a broad monitoring and detection network, its broad blocking network, as well as its expertise in site shutdown.


UTStarcom Offers EV-DO Revision A Card

UTStarcom Personal Communications introduced its PC5750 Mobile Broadband Connection Card -- a dual-band (800/1900 MHz) CDMA2000 1xEV-DO wireless Type II PC card for laptop users. The card is outfitted with EV-DO Revision A technology and supports download data or send and receive e-mails with large attachments at speeds of up to 3.1 Mbps -- 30 percent faster than previously capable. The PC5750 also has a memory capacity of 64 MB Flash / 32 MB RAM that is eight times greater than that of earlier UTStarcom mobile connectivity cards.


Verizon Boosts FiOS to 50 Mbps in More States

Verizon has boosted its FiOS Internet service to speeds of up to 50 Mbps downstream and 5 Mbps upstream in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. This level of service is now available in parts of five states.

The mid-tier maximum connection speed in those markets was increased from 15 Mbps downstream and 2 Mbps upstream to 20/5 Mbps, and the top-tier service was increased from 30/5 Mbps to 50/5 Mbps. The company plans similar FiOS Internet speed increases this year in some of the 11 other states where the service is available. Specifics will be announced at a later date.

Verizon said that more than 6 million homes and businesses in parts of 16 states are now passed by its all-fiber network, and the company expects its new network to pass about 18 million premises by the end of 2010.

Verizon had 522,000 FiOS Internet customers across 16 states at the end of the third quarter of 2006. The company also delivers its all-digital FiOS TV service over the network in parts of ten states.

Monday, January 8, 2007

T-Mobile Germany Selects Tekelec to Upgrade Signaling Network

T-Mobile Germany has selected Tekelec to upgrade its SS7 signaling network as it makes the transition to IP-based platforms and services. The upgrade introduces Sigtran -- IP-based signaling system 7 (SS7) signaling. Tekelec's EAGLE 5 Integrated Signaling System (ISS) supports a variety of applications in addition to SS7 signaling, including gateway functionality, number portability and integrated data acquisition.

The deployment, which began in October 2006, will be completed by the middle of 2007.

Tekelec described the introduction of Sigtran (SS7oIP) into the signaling network as the "stepping stone: for migrating to session initiation protocol (SIP) signaling in an IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) architecture. The underlying IP infrastructure can be leveraged for the parallel evolution from SS7 to SIP -- as SIP signaling is able to traverse over the same quality of service-enabled IP network.


PMC-Sierra and DASAN Win EPON with KT

KT has selected DASAN Networks, Korea's leading supplier of broadband access equipment, for a major FTTH rollout in the greater metropolitan area of Seoul. The number of subscribers under this deployment to reach 800,000 in the 2007 calendar year.

DASAN's gigabit per second EPON solution is based on PMC-Sierra's FTTH chip set using its GigaPASS architecture. DASAN provides ONUs (Optical Network Units) for FTTH Customer Premises Equipment and OLTs (Optical Line Terminal) FTTH equipment for central office equipment (COs).



Cablevision's Optimum Lightpath Connects 2,000th Fiber Building in NY

Cablevision's Optimum Lightpath division is now connected to 2,000 fiber-lit buildings in the New York metropolitan area. Its network now comprises more than 2,500 route miles of fiber optic cable (nearly 128,000 miles of actual fiber) within the New York metropolitan area, encompassing New York City, and the suburban areas of Long Island, Westchester County, Northern New Jersey and Southern Connecticut. The company delivers Metro Ethernet services.



Force10 Awarded Backplane and Routing Patents

Force10 Networks was awarded two patents protecting the 100 Gigabit Ethernet-enabled backplane and robust routing technology that powers its TeraScale E-Series family of switch/routers. Force10 now holds 18 U.S. and international patents.

Force10 said its TeraScale E-Series leverages several advances in both switching and routing technology to improve system-level processing and throughput. In its routing implementation, the TeraScale E-Series utilizes a patent-protected scheduling logic that more efficiently processes traffic, enabling very high system throughput. Working in conjunction with the routing capabilities of the Force10 TeraScale E-Series is the five Terabits per second backplane, which provides the necessary capacity to support 100 Gigabit Ethernet. The company noted that the patent-protected backplane of the TeraScale E-Series features innovations in design and fabrication to make it ideal for high performance routing functionalities. The high-layer count backplane combines significant power distribution capabilities with a large number of signaling paths to ensure support for 100 Gigabit Ethernet. Additionally, the unique techniques of construction produce a reliable and economical backplane that is a passive system component and does not act as a point of failure.

Slingbox Targets Social Networking with Clip + Sing

Sling Media, which offers the Slingbox place-shifting device, introduced a new technology called "Clip+Sling" that lets Slingbox customers share short segments of programming, live or recorded, with other Slingbox customers as well as the Web users at-large.

Clip+Sling is a feature that will be built into both the desktop and mobile versions of SlingPlayer software.

Customers will need a Slingbox to publish clips, but the content will be posted to an interactive portal accessible by anyone.

Beta testing is underway.

"How many times have you been watching one of your favorite shows or a big sporting event and couldn't believe what you had just seen and wished there was a way to share that moment with others? With Clip+Sling you now can do just that," said Blake Krikorian, co-Founder, chairman and CEO of Sling Media.


Cisco Outlines Vision of the "Human Network"

In a keynote address at CES in Las Vegas, Cisco CEO John Chambers outlined the company's vision of connected people and devices, the inevitable trend as consumer electronics makes the transition from analog to digital and become Internet enabled. Through its marketing and in its product development, Cisco is emphasizing "the human network" -- where content follows people wherever they go. Chambers demonstrated seamless handovers of a media file playing first on a car stereo, then a mobile phone, and finally a home audio system. The network tracks the users, preserving content and preferences across a range of devices.

The last wave of networking was driven from the Service Provider down to the consumer, but the next wave is being driven from the consumers up. Cisco hopes to leverage this trend through initiatives such as its recent deal with the Oakland As, helping to build new consumer experiences, and new revenue streams, through social networking. Cisco is also looking to push its life-size tele-presence systems from large enterprises to small businesses and soon to home users. The intelligence to deliver these consumer experiences will move into the network, said Chambers.

Some Cisco related news from CES:

  • Linksys announced its newest PowerLine networking products that are designed for HomePlug AV. The Powerline AV Ethernet kit comes with two Powerline AV Ethernet Adapters and two Ethernet cables. The first adapter can connect with the included Ethernet cable into a broadband wired or wireless router via the LAN port on the router, then the adapter plugs into a power outlet in the wall. The second Powerline AV Ethernet Adapter can then be plugged into a computer other networked device with the Ethernet cable via the Ethernet port and the other end of the adapter is then plugged into a power outlet within the home.

  • Linksys introduced its Wireless-N Gigabit Gaming Router (WRT330N). It includes four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, one Gigabit WAN port and an industrial design tailored specifically to the gamer audience. An optimized Quality of Service implementation within the router examines network traffic based on customizable settings and gives gaming packets the highest priority.

  • Linksys announced its entry-level networked attach storage solution, the Network Storage System with 2 Bays (NAS200). It includes two 3.5 inch SATA drive bays and two USB slots for additional storage capacity.

  • Scientific Atlanta demonstrated several products to help enable cable operators comply with the FCC regulations, including its Multi-Stream CableCARD and a range of set-tops, from standard-definition digital-only to dual-tuner high-definition (HD) digital video recorders (DVRs), as well as software solutions for both systems and clients. The removable security cards handle conditional access to and the encryption of premium cable channels.

Comcast Sees Triple Play and Business Services Driving Growth

Triple Play service bundles are driving growth at Comcast, said Brian Roberts, speaking at the Citigroup Entertainment Media & Telecommunication Conference, and new push into business services will extend this momentum. Growth in revenue generating units (RGUs) surged 85% in 2006 due largely to its Triple Play bundle, which provides voice, video and Internet access for $99 per month. Comcast aims to be a credible alternative to the ILECs in delivering services to small and medium businesses -- a market valued at $25 billion per year. Some highlights of the presentation:

  • Comcast now has 12 million digital cable subscribers, of which 1.7 million have the Digital Starter package ($50 per month), 6.2 million are Digital Cable subscribers ($65+ per month), and 4.1 million subscribe to Digital Cable + HD/DVR ($75+ per month).

  • Comcast's VOD library currently offers over 8,000 program choices, including some 800 film (300 available at no extra charge). Customers watched over 20 million of the free movies in December.

  • There were 1.9 billion VOD views for all of 2006 -- over 95% were for the free content. Customers typically use On-Demand viewing 27X per month.

  • Comcast's "PowerBoost" cable modem service is now delivering downlink rates in the 12~16 Mbps range.

  • Comcast now has over 11 million high-speed Internet customers.

  • Comcast's Digital Voice service now has a 4% penetration rate. The company's goal is to achieve a 20% penetration rate by year end 2009.

An archived version of the webcast is available on the company's website.


iSkoot Puts Skype on Motorola RAZR and Symbian

iSkoot, a start-up based in Cambridge, Mass., announced that the iSkoot client software has been Skype Certified. iSkoot, which is initially available only in the US market, allows mobile phone users to place and receive Skype calls from their handsets, without the need for PCs, special hardware, or WiFi hot spots. Users use local rates or minutes from their plans to speak to Skype contacts or use SkypeOut to make inexpensive calls to any phone from their mobiles.

Initially, the iSkoot client software supports Motorola RAZR phones and Symbian-based mobile phones,http://www.iskoot.com