Monday, February 26, 2007

TAZZ Networks Teams with Tech Mahindra on IP Policy Control

TAZZ Networks, a start-up specializing IP policy control solutions, has formed a partnership with India's Tech Mahindra, a provider of IT services and telecom solutions. Specifically, Tech Mahindra will build a system integration practice around the TAZZ Policy Control System (PCS) developing a standardized set of reusable capabilities and interfaces for the rapid creation and delivery of value-added Service Provider offerings such as IPTV, Video-on-Demand, VoIP and Bandwidth-on-Demand.

ZyXEL Selects Ikanos' Multi-mode VDSL2 Chipsets

ZyXEL Communications has selected Ikanos' multi-mode central office (CO) and customer premises equipment (CPE) VDSL2 chipsets for used in VDSL2 DSLAMs and other equipment targeted for worldwide deployment.

Ikanos' Fx 100100-5 CO chipset and Fx100100S-5 CPE chipset support all VDSL2 profiles and are optimized for 30 MHz spectrum operation to offer up to 100/100 Mbps performance.

Advanced features for triple play and IPTV include on-chip classification, queuing and scheduling for enhanced Quality of Service (QoS) with IPv4 and IPv6.

Alvarion Supplies WiMAX for Telecom Namibia

Telecom Namibia has selected Alvarion's BreezeMAX to upgrade wireless local loop systems with WiMAX.

The WiMAX network will be used to provide primary telecommunication voice services, broadband data and high speed Internet access, throughout the country. In addition, Telecom Namibia will offer primary voice and data services to residential and business subscribers; Rampoint Communications is Alvarion's local partner for the project. Financial terms were not disclosed.

ITU Approves HomePNA 3.1 as a Global Home Networking Standard

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has standardized the HomePNA 3.1 multimedia home networking specification, which delivers speeds of up to 320 Mbps over both phone wires and coaxial cables inside the home.

"The ITU Recommendation demonstrates to the home networking market that HomePNA technology enables a worldwide market for advanced home networking applications like triple-play IPTV, VoIP and other next-generation services," said Rich Nesin, HomePNA president and vice president of marketing for Coppergate Communications.
  • AT&T has selected HomePNA 3 for in-home distribution of its U-verse services. HomePNA 3 technology is integrated into IP set-top boxes supplied by Motorola and Scientific Atlanta and Residential Gateways supplied by 2Wire as key components of AT&T's U-verse deployment.

  • The previous HomePNA 3.0 spec, which was standardized by the ITU in May 2005, reaches a data rate of 128 Mbps with optional extensions reaching up to 240 Mbps. It also features a deterministic QoS mechanism so that it can be used as a high speed backbone for distributing multiple, feature-rich digital audio and video applications throughout a home.

Second Life to Add VoIP Capabilities

Linden Lab, creator of the Second Life virtual world, will add VoIP capabilities enabling its residents to speak to each other if they wish, in addition to the current Instant Messaging and chat functions. Linden Lab anticipates that voice will be particularly valuable to Resident groups such as educators, non-profits and businesses, who might use Second Life as a collaborative tool for learning and training.

A limited beta program on a test-grid for 1,000 users will be launched next week, before a Grid-wide beta trial, which will give current Second Life Residents the opportunity to explore the benefits of voice-enabled communication. A formal launch is scheduled for Q2 2007.

Calix and Metaswitch Complete H.248 Testing

MetaSwitch and Calix have completed H.248 interoperability testing.

The integrated solution combines MetaSwitch's softswitch with Calix fiber or copper-based network access equipment. The companies said their solution is fully interoperable using either traditional time division multiplexed (TDM) or H.248-based voice signaling, offering carriers a smooth transition from legacy networks to IP-based services.

H.248 is the international standard for media gateway control published jointly by the ITU and the IETF, and is the media gateway control protocol specified by the emerging IMS architecture.

MetaSwitch Unveils SIP Conference Server

MetaSwitch announced a new conferencing component for its UC9000 Unified Communications application suite.

The UC9000 Conference Server combines standards-based SIP conferencing control with a reservation-less "meet-me" conference application and a web-based management interface. It supports conference calls of up to 500 participants. Moderators are able to easily set up conferences via an intuitive web interface, and control participant interaction and call flow via the phone interface or through the web. Other features include:

  • Lock/roll call/number of participant controls

  • Dynamically updated participant list in real time

  • Visible indication of current speaker and audio levels

  • Ability to mute, gain control and disconnect any participant

  • Call recording

As part of the UC9000 Unified Communications application suite, the new conferencing capability integrates seamlessly both with MetaSwitch's softswitch platform and other UC9000 enhanced services including unified messaging, auto attendant, music on hold, and privacy defender.

Orange Business Services to Support Riverbed's WAN Optimization

Orange Business Services has signed a global integration services contract with Riverbed Technology to provide global installation and maintenance support, including a four-hour response time to replace field parts to Riverbed customers worldwide.

Orange Business Services' field services and logistics capabilities will allow Riverbed to ensure seamless business continuity, regardless of the size and location of enterprise customers. Orange Business Services has more than 29,000 people in 166 countries around the world.

JDSU to Acquire Picolight for VCSELs

JDSU agreed to acquire Picolight, a leading designer and manufacturer of optical pluggable transceivers, for approximately $115 million in JDSU stock, plus up to an additional $10 million in cash subject to the achievement of certain revenue targets during 2007.

Picolight's pluggable optics technology address the fast-growing market for optical interconnect applications in the datacenter, enterprise, storage area and metro networking markets.

Picolight has been a pioneer in developing the vertical cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL), a key technology used in high-speed and short-to-medium distance optical interconnects. The company has shipped over 1 million small form-factor pluggable products. The product line includes 850 nanometer (nm) and 1310 nm VCSEL-based transceivers.

JDSU said the acquisition supports its growth and margin expansion initiatives with a best-in-class vertically integrated manufacturing model.
  • The term "VCSEL" was coined in 1989 by optical innovator and Picolight Founder/Chief Technology Officer Jack Jewell. VCSELs emit light vertically through the surface of a wafer—rather than through its edges, as with edge-emitting lasers. Picolight VCSELs are semiconductor lasers in which the active region on-chip is embedded between mirror layers on a semiconductor wafer.

iSkoot Raises $7 Million for Mobile Skype

iSkoot, a start-up based in Cambridge, Mass., secured $7 million in Series B financing for its software for mobile Skype calling.

In recent months, iSkoot has entered into a co-marketing and development partnership with Skype, and landed its first mobile carrier for its Skype-to-mobile service. iSkoot targeted its PC-to-mobile plug-in at Skype's PC-based VoIP service.

The 3 Group, a U.K.-based division of Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Ltd., is offering Skype-to-mobile service using iSkoot software preloaded on certain carrier phones, including Nokia and Sony Ericsson handsets.

The round was led by Charles River Ventures and includes previous investors Khosla Ventures, ZG Ventures, and Jesselson Capital Corp. This financing follows a previous a $6.2 million Series A round of funding, bringing funding to a total of $13.2 million in the past year.

SeaChange Supplies IPTV Solution for India's MTNL

SeaChange International has supplied its VOD systems to Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd. (MTNL) for deployment in its Mumbai IPTV rollout. MTNL's IOL Broadband service is using H.264 video coding, also known as MPEG-4 AVC (Advanced Video Coding).

Midwestern CLEC Deploys ECI's Optical Backbone

Jaguar Communications, a CLEC targeting rural communities in the Midwest, has selected ECI Telecom's optical platform as part of its latest network expansion into new rural areas. Specifically, Jaguar Communications has deployed ECI's XDM Multi-Service optical platform for the backbone expansion of its FTTP network. Jaguar's rural FTTP deployment is funded by the USDA's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) program. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Alcatel-Lucent to OEM ConSentry's LanShield

ConSentry Networks announced a multi-year worldwide Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) agreement under which Alcatel-Lucent will market is LANShield Switch and LANShield Controller platforms as well as its
InSight Command Center. The ConSentry products will be sold under the OmniAccess SafeGuard brand across the global Alcatel-Lucent enterprise market beginning in March 2007.

The ConSentry LANShield family supports both pre-admission and post-admission controls, providing enterprises with a solution for controlling access to resources and applications on the LAN.

Siemens Introduces HiPath MobileConnect FMC Solution

Siemens Enterprise Communications unveiled its HiPath MobileConnect enterprise FMC solution for seamlessly unifying fixed enterprise VoIP, VoWLAN and cellular networks. The MobileConnect FMC solution delivers one number and one mailbox with a seamless handover between wireless (WiFi) and cellular networks.

MobileConnect consists of two elements; the first is an appliance that resides between the enterprise IP communications server and WLAN.
The appliance continuously monitors dual mode mobile devices and call sessions. Enterprises are able to set policies to optimize call costs, switching call sessions off the public mobile network whenever possible.

The Siemens MobileConnect solution also consists of a software client that resides in the dual mode handset and works with the MobileConnect device to enable the seamless handover between the corporate wireless LAN network and the cellular exchange.

Siemens said its HiPath MobileConnect is based on open standards, and can interoperate with virtually any SIP-supported IP telephony, WLAN and dual-mode handset. Siemens has certified HiPath MobileConnect with the Siemens HiPath 8000 communications server, the Siemens HiPath Wireless platform and market leading dual-mode handsets. Ongoing testing with other platforms and devices is underway.

European Commission Opposes "Regulatory Holiday" for DT

The European Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Germany after repeated warnings not to adopt legislation that could grant Deutsche Telekom a 'regulatory holiday' in spite of its dominant position on the German broadband market. The European Commission said it is giving Germany 15 days to reply, and then it intends to refer the case to the European Court of Justice.

Specifically, the European Commission is objecting to a German telecom law that just entered into force that effectively exempts Deutsche Telekom's new VDSL network from competition, as had been requested by the German incumbent operator. DT is still partly owned by the German State.

"The German decision to grant Deutsche Telekom a 'regulatory holiday' is bound to lead to numerous legal disputes at EU and national level," said Commissioner Viviane Reding. "This is the worst possible signal for investment, as now neither the incumbent nor new market entrants will have legal certainty in Germany. Efficient implementation of EU telecom rules would clearly have been the better way to promote both competition and investment."

Mexico's Maxcom Juniper's M-series

Maxcom, a Mexican national telecommunications carrier, has upgraded its IP/MPLS backbone network with Juniper Networks M-series. Maxcom had previously deployed Juniper Networks E-series at the network edge as the first phase of an upgrade to enable the introduction of IPTV and other advanced multiplay services, and is now upgrading its core with the M-series to ensure consistent quality, reliability and performance throughout the IP network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Hatteras Integrates Loop Management Tool into Mid-band Ethernet

Hatteras Networks has integrated a Time-Domain Reflectometer (TDR) into its Mid-Band Ethernet platforms, enabling carriers to accurately perform loop prequalification, and to monitor/maintain selected network facilities throughout the life of their deployment. These critical activities can be performed from either the central office or from a remote location via a web interface.

Hatteras Networks said its new TDR solution performs two critical tasks that save carriers from losing unnecessary time and money. The first, loop prequalification, is a one-time operation that involves the testing of a copper pair to determine the suitability for, and expected performance of, the intended service. Loop prequalification includes detection of flaws in the underlying copper infrastructure as well as accurate measurement of loop length. The second operation, loop troubleshooting, is an ongoing activity. This function finds and characterizes problems with previously qualified copper pairs. Loop troubleshooting detects any post-deployment cable damage or cable degradation.

Cortina Acquires ImmenStar for EPON Silicon

Cortina Systems has acquired ImmenStar, a privately held semiconductor company that specializes in passive optical network (PON) System-on-Chip (SoC) technology. Cortina offers a range of silicon designs to address enterprise and metro needs.

Cortina said the acquisition enables it to extend its leadership across multiple markets -- from the core of the network to subscriber access points.

ImmenStar, which was founded in 2004, introduced an EPON Switch Chipset in May 2006, consisting of four chips and a distributed operating system.
  • In September 2006, Cortina Systems, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, acquired the assets of Intel's optical network components business for $115 million, which consists of a minority investment position and an undisclosed amount of cash. Cortina has been a leader in components for the IP routing and transport markets, while Intel has primarily focused TDM and optical components.

  • At the time, Cortina also announced the completion of a new $132 million funding round led by new investor Institutional Venture Partners (IVP) as well as existing investors Canaan Partners and Morgenthaler Ventures. Additional investors providing funding include new investors Alloy Ventures, Bridgescale Partners, Doll Capital Management, and Sofinnova Ventures, and along with all of Cortina's existing venture investors. The transaction closed on September 8, 2006.

  • Cortina Systems is headed by Amir Nayyerhabibi, who previously held executive and engineering management positions in private and public companies such as Cisco Systems, StratumOne Communications, Silicon Graphics, Inc., MIPS Computer Systems, and Intel Corporation. Mr. Nayyerhabibi was co-founder and Vice President of Engineering at StratumOne Communications, which was acquired by Cisco in 1999. He also managed the development of 12416 and 12410 Cisco GSR Router programs.