Monday, January 15, 2007

Sprint Nextel Names VP of Strategy

Sprint Nextel named Jack Dziak as senior vice president, Strategy, where he will be responsible for driving Sprint Nextel's three-year strategic plan. He will be based in Reston, Va. and report to Chairman and CEO Gary Forsee. Dziak will move into the role previously filled by Atish Gude, who will fully transition to the role of senior vice president, Mobile Broadband Operations in Sprint Nextel's new 4G Mobile Broadband business unit.

Dziak joins Sprint Nextel after serving as senior vice president, Services and Distribution for Mobile Satellite Ventures LP (MSV) where he was responsible for building MSV's next generation mobile broadband services portfolio. Prior to MSV, he served as senior vice president, Corporate Strategy and Business Development for MCI Communications. While there, Dziak built and led a corporate strategy team responsible for developing and launching initiatives in advanced IP communications, VoIP, managed enterprise services, mobility, wireless broadband and other areas relating to MCI's post-bankruptcy strategy and its execution.

Mistletoe Chip Integrates VPN, Firewall and DoS Capabilities

Mistletoe Technologies, a start-up based in Cupertino, California, introduced a security system-on-a-chip (SoC) solution that puts VPN, firewall and denial of service prevention applications in silicon.

The Mistletoe chip enables system manufacturers to add hardware-based, value-add capabilities such as anti-virus and intrusion detection and prevention (IDP) services without sacrificing system performance or security. Specifically, the new VF2110 chip provides enterprise-class security performance and protection for the SMB market.

Mistletoe said its patented RDX (Re-loadable Direct Execution) technology enables systems to offer high-performance anti-virus processing and deep packet inspection for application-level protection. The RDX technology intelligently processes Layer 4-7 network data using a purpose-built application specific integrated circuit (ASIC).

Mistletoe Technologies' VF2110 is a dedicated security ASIC that reduces latency and consistently provides 200 Mbps firewall and virtual private network throughput for all packet sizes. It supports two Gigabit Ethernet ports, which can be extended to support a variety of Gigabit and Fast Ethernet port configurations with an inexpensive external Ethernet switch chip. Targeting the performance requirements of the SMB, the VF2110 supports 65,000 sessions, 300 policies and 250 tunnels. The VF2110 also supports a variety of mechanisms to detect and prevent intrusions and attacks including:

  • Stateful signatures

  • Protocol anomaly detection

  • Traffic anomaly detection

  • Reconnaissance deterrence

  • Layer 2 detection (Address Resolution Protocols (ARP) attacks)

  • DoS and DDoS detection

  • Spoofing detection

Systems based on the Mistletoe RDX technology are already shipping and are in active deployments.http;//

Skype Founders Launch "Joost"

The company formerly known under the code name The Venice Project has revealed its official brand -- "Joost" -- targeting web-based TV with interactive features and social networking. The company was co-founded by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, of Skype fame. Beta testing is underway.

DHL Adopts Wi-Fi Systems Throughout US Network

DHL, the express delivery and logistics company, is adopting the latest Wi-Fi + GPRS enabled scanning devices to capture shipment information by couriers and other operations personnel.

The new handheld (Motorola HC 700) system will provide the same functionality as current DHL scanning devices -- such as electronic signature capture, barcode scanning, and instant communication links to dispatchers -- but has expandable memory to allow for future applications such as image-capturing to ensure DHL continues to be responsive to customer needs. In addition, the new DHL scanning technology is RFID-ready (Radio Frequency Identification). The system will be deployed nationwide by third quarter 2007.

Glimmerglass Debuts New Intelligent Optical Switch

Glimmerglass announced new versions of its Intelligent Optical Switch family with new features designed to facilitate remotely and automatically creating, monitoring and protecting fiber connections. The platform is optimized for carrier and government mission-critical customers.

The new version delivers fully non-blocking transparent connectivity in a 3.5-inch (2U) package that houses as many as 190 fibers and a 7-inch (4U) package that supports as many as 380 fibers. The company also announced a new switch management console -- enabling centralized management of fiber infrastructure throughout a network.

Glimmerglass' Release 4.0 enables remote management of multiple complex fiber plant locations. For the first time, network administrators can monitor traffic and optical performance throughout their network, detect and isolate failed connections and configure automatic fail-over paths to route-around broken fibers or problematic line interface electronics from a central location. Other enhancements include additional redundancy and alarm-management options.

The new management console enables multiple Glimmerglass switches to be linked and managed with a single control interface.

"As optical fiber deployments continue to grow, carriers face rapidly escalating costs associated with the employment of skilled network technicians to create, monitor and protect fiber optic connections in a complex fiber plant," said Robert Lundy, CEO and president of Glimmerglass.

Verizon to Spin Off Rural Lines in New England

Verizon Communications announced a deal to spin-off approximately 1.5 million access lines, approximately 180,000 DSL customers and approximately 600,000 long-distance customers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

Under the arrangement, Verizon will form a separate entity for these local exchange and related business assets. It will then spin off that new entity to Verizon's stockholders, and merge it with and into FairPoint, a telecommunications provider based in North Carolina with 31 local exchange companies in 18 states.

The total value to be received by Verizon and its stockholders in exchange for these operations will be approximately $2.715 billion. Verizon stockholders will receive approximately $1.015 billion of FairPoint common stock in the merger, based upon FairPoint's recent stock price and the terms of the merger agreement. Verizon will receive $1.7 billion in value through a combination of cash distributions to Verizon and debt securities issued to Verizon prior to the spin-off.

Approximately 3,000 Verizon company employees -- those who support primarily the local phone business that is spun off -- will continue employment with FairPoint after the merger. Approximately 300 Verizon company employees in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont who provide national or regional support services will remain with the Verizon company that currently employs them.
  • In 2004, Verizon wireline-related businesses in Hawaii to The Carlyle Group for $1.65 billion in cash. The transaction includes the equity of Verizon Hawaii Inc., which operates 707,000 switched wireline access lines, as well as the services and assets of Verizon Long Distance, Verizon Online and Verizon Information Services (directory publishing) in Hawaii.

Netflix Rolls Out Instant Downloading

Netflix, which has over 5.7 million subscribers for its DVD-by-mail service, introduced a new feature that allows its members to download movies and TV content to a broadband connected PC. Netflix will initially offer about 1,000 titles and its selection will expand over time as licensing for electronically delivered movie rentals widens. Pricing will follow a unique model based on subscribers' monthly plans. Subscribers on the entry-level $5.99 plan will have six hours of online movie watching per month and subscribers on Netflix's $17.99 plan will be offered 18 hours of online movie watching per month.

Netflix is using a custom browser plug-in for Internet Explorer to provide real-time content streaming. Play back can be paused and a position bar will give viewers the ability to jump to any point in the movie. Subscribers will need a minimum of 1 Mbps of bandwidth and the higher the bandwidth, the higher quality the video displayed. The company is rolling out the service now and expects to offer the service to all its U.S. subscribers by June.

Limelight Reaches Terabit Capacity on its CDN

Limelight Networks, which operates a content delivery network for digital media, has exceeded 1 Tbps of global delivery capacity. Limelight's delivery capacity is a combination of highly scalable delivery services deployed at key regional locations in conjunction with massive provisioning to broadband last-mile networks.

Limelight Networks offers three primary delivery services: Content Delivery, providing HTTP/web distribution of all digital media formats; Streaming Media, providing on-demand and live streaming for all major formats including Windows Media, Flash, QuickTime, Real, and MP3; and Custom CDN, which include custom content delivery deployments and sol

Innocor Adds 40G / 43G Test Capabilities

Innocor has added 40Gbps / 43Gbps test capabilities to its TestPoint product line. The new 40Gbps Module is available in both the 3-slot TS-30 and 17-slot TS-170 chassis configurations.

Innocor said the 40Gbps Module is the industry's first OC-768 / STM-256 and OTU3 test interface specifically designed for manufacturing and system test applications.

Seagate Introduces Fastest HDD to Date

Seagate Technology introduced its 2.5-inch, Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) "Savvio 15K" drive -- the world's fastest hard drive to date. The Savvio 15K drive is suited for mainstream enterprise applications in both large enterprise data centers and small, medium businesses. The drive offers a number of advantages over 15K-rpm 3.5-inch drives including: size (70% smaller), weight (1.12 lbs less), power (30% lower), drive seek time (12% faster than any other drive) and reliability (1.6 million hour MTBF). Initially, the drive will ship at 36GB and 73GB capacities.

Ditech Joins IMS Forum and Sponsors IMS Plugfest

Ditech Networks has joined the IMS Forum and will be a sponsor of the first IMS Plugfest event scheduled for January 15-19, 2007 at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab in Durham, N.H.

Ditech Networks said its products strengthen the Border Gateway Function (BGF) and Media Resource Function (MRF) within the IMS architecture to provide network and codec interconnectivity and a better customer experience within IMS and VoIP networks. Ditech plans to work with the IMS Forum to advance network interconnectivity and voice quality best practices.

Sonus Appoints Dr. Vikram Saksena as CTO

Sonus Networks has appointed Dr. Vikram Saksena as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). He was previously Sonus' chief scientist. In this expanded role, he will be responsible for Sonus' overall technology direction, as well as leading Sonus' advanced development initiatives. Prior to Sonus, he spent 16 years at AT&T building their data network services, software and network infrastructure for Frame Relay, ATM, and IP. He became an AT&T Fellow and Chief Technologist of the Data Networking Business Unit responsible for service and technology innovations around IP Quality of Service, Multi-protocol Label Switching (MPLS), and Voice-over-IP. After AT&T, he served as the CTO and VP of Engineering of two start-up companies, MaxComm Technologies and Narad Networks.

Sonus also announced that its founder Mike Hluchyj has retired from the company.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Fluke Networks acquires Crannog Software

Fluke Networks, which supplies solutions for the testing, monitoring and analysis of enterprise and telecommunications networks, has acquired Crannog Software. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Crannog Software, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, develops software and solutions that take advantage of NetFlow, IP-FIX, and IP-SLA data from the network infrastructure.

Crannog's flagship product, NetFlow Tracker, offers essential capabilities for voice and security applications including a unique full-flow forensics database storing all the original flows and all the available NetFlow fields within the flow.

Fluke Networks said this capability complements its rapidly growing solution set for application performance and VoIP performance for converged voice/data networks.
  • In January 2006, Fluke acquired Visual Networks in a deal valued at approximately $75 million at the time.
    Visual Networks, was is based in Rockville, Maryland, supplied a range of enterprise network and application performance management solutions. Its flagship product, Visual UpTime Select, provides in-depth, real-time and historical information that enables organizations to intelligently manage application and network performance and availability across the entire enterprise.

BT Selects Nortel and Siemens for Provider Backbone Transport (PBT)

BT has selected Nortel and Siemens as key suppliers of carrier-scale Ethernet equipment for its 21CN network. BT plans to use PBB-TE (Provider Backbone Bridging Traffic Engineering), an emerging IEEE standard, for a Provider Backbone Transport (PBT) deployment. The network will be used to transport high-bandwidth services - from mission critical business applications to full-streaming video.

PBB-TE is currently progressing through industry standardization within the IEEE 802.1 Working Group. PBB-TE promises to bring control to data paths within very large carrier networks.

BT has selected Nortel's Metro Ethernet Routing Switch 8600 and Metro Ethernet Services Unit 1850 for the Ethernet component of its 21CN.

BT will also deploy Siemens SURPASS hiD Ethernet carrier-class switches, element management, system integration and support services.

Financial terms were not disclosed.
  • In December 2006, the first eleven Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing Systems were deployed in the IP/MPLS core of BT's 21st Century Network (BT 21CN). Additional CRS-1 systems will be deployed within approximately 100 BT POPs during 2007.

AT&T Kicks Offs Cingular Rebranding Campaign

AT&T launched an extensive advertising campaign to begin transition the Cingular brand to its own AT&T corporate identity.

AT&T estimates that 20 percent of the operating expense savings from the AT&T-BellSouth merger will come from advertising, as all operations are moved under a single brand. Previously, the three companies each supported distinct brands with three separate advertising campaigns.

"Around the world, our customers recognize the AT&T brand for meaningful innovation, a commitment to customer service, high quality and exceptional reliability," said Edward E. Whitacre Jr., chairman and CEO of AT&T. "AT&T, BellSouth and Cingular are now one company, and going to market with our services under one brand is the right thing to do."

Avaya to Acquire Ubiquity Software for $144 Million

Avaya will acquire Ubiquity Software Corporation plc, a developer of SIP end-user applications, for approximately GBP 74.3 million (approximately $144 million).

Ubiquity develops and markets SIP-based communications software for fixed and mobile communications service providers, systems integrators, independent software vendors and channel partners. Its SIP Application Server (SIP A/S) is both a carrier-class deployment platform and a programmable, standards-based application creation environment (ACE).

Avaya said the addition of Ubiquity's next generation software platform to its portfolio will help customers and developers enhance the integration of communications technologies and business processes.

Ubiquity is headquartered in Cardiff and has corporate offices in the US and Canada and representation in Japan and China.
  • Ubiquity Software offers "Voice Plus" solution for consumer IP telephony and multimedia services based on its SIP Application Server. Voice Plus is a carrier-grade, pre-built VoIP solution for Internet-based service providers (ASPs, ITSPs, ISPs) who want to deliver IP-based voice and other multimedia services to their residential customers over cable, DSL, WiFi, or other consumer broadband access networks. Voice Plus includes the "Top 10" residential calling features including PC to PSTN calling, PSTN to PC calling, PC to PC calling, voicemail, caller ID, call waiting, and three-way calling. Voice Plus is also a platform to deliver additional IP-enabled capabilities such as presence, instant messaging, video calling, file/desktop/content sharing, and instant conferencing services.

Guam's IT&E Deploys Metaswitch

IT&E, an innovative wireless and internet service provider serving Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific, is deploying MetaSwitch's switching and application solutions to offer advanced hosted PBX services, which are used by the islands' vibrant tourist industry.

IT&E, a 27-year-old carrier serving the 210-square mile U.S. territory in the Marianas island chain, is building on its history as a successful provider of long distance, PCS wireless and internet service by becoming a CLEC and offering advanced IP-based services such as wireless Internet and unified communications to its residential and business customers.

SpectraLink Offers Thin-Client Mobile Telephony Application

SpectraLink introduced a NetLink Softphone (NetLink SP) application that extends its Wi-Fi telephony capabilities to third-party mobile devices. The NetLink SP application allows voice-enabled mobile devices to function as full-featured business telephones integrated with an enterprise telephone system.

The NetLink SP thin client application runs on Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 and PocketPC operating systems. It works in conjunction with SpectraLink's NetLink Telephony Gateway using SpectraLink Radio Protocol (SRP), a lightweight protocol.

SpectraLink said the NetLink SP application is initially targeted at retail enterprises with support for Symbol Technologies' MC50 and MC70 devices, although additional devices are expected to be supported with future releases.

See also