Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Hokkaido-Sakhalin Undersea Cable -- Shortest Fiber Route from Tokyo to Europe

Japan's NTT Communications (NTT Com), TransTeleCom (TTC), Russia's leading backbone telecom operator, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to build a 500 km high-capacity undersea fiber-optic cable linking the two countries.

The Hokkaido-Sakhalin Cable System (HSCS) will transmit data at up to 640 Gbps between Ishikari, Hokkaido in Japan and Nevelsk, Sakhalin in Russia. The project is slated for completion by the end of 2007.

The undersea fiber cable will link with TTC's transcontinental optical backbone, which follows the route of the Siberian railway. This will enable the shortest uninterrupted fiber link from Tokyo and other parts of Asia to Russia and Europe. The new route will also function as a rerouting network for the existing route that connects Japan and Europe via the Indian Ocean, providing extra backup in the event of a probable disaster like an earthquake.


Ixia Adds Support for HD Video-Over-IP Codecs

Ixia has added support for MPEG-4, H.264, and VC-1 codecs to its IxLoad 3.20 IPTV/Triple Play test solution. Furthermore, IxLoad 3.20 supports MPEG-4 video over both existing MPEG-2 transport streams and native MPEG-4 transport to allow testing of HD content regardless of how it is delivered.

Ixia's IxLoad 3.20 emulates IPTV and Triple Play subscribers and associated protocols to ensure subscriber Quality of Experience (QoE). The system supports more than 90 test methodologies. Test engineers also can use IxLoad 3.20 to introduce basic network impairments such as jitter, latency, packet reordering and packet loss when testing video to help test engineers understand how various network issues can impact the quality of video experienced by subscribers.


Tekelec Teams with NEC do Brasil on Softswitching

Tekelec has extended its relationship with NEC do Brasil in Latin America to incorporate next-generation network switching solutions, including softswitch and media gateway products. Under the agreement, NEC do Brasil is incorporating its own customizations to the Tekelec Media Gateway Controller and Network Management System Software into NEC's core network solutions in Latin America. Tekelec also is providing professional services and training to NEC do Brasil. In addition, engineers from the companies are working together to modify existing and developing new solutions for the Latin American market.


Carl Icahn Files Notice to Increase Stake in Motorola

Carl Icahn and his affiliated business entities filed papers under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 to acquire additional shares of Motorola Common Stock.

Motorola said it received a notice stating that Carl Icahn and Icahn Partners LP are each filing to acquire in excess of $119.7 million and up to $500 million of Motorola Common Stock, while Icahn Partners Master Fund LP and Icahn Partners Master Fund II L.P. are each filing to acquire in excess of $500 million, but less than 25% of the outstanding, Motorola Common Stock.

  • In January 2007, Motorola received a nomination to appoint Carl C. Icahn to its Board of Directors. The nomination came Carl Icahn entities that "may be deemed to beneficially own, in the aggregate, 33,529,000 shares, representing approximately 1.39% of the Corporation's outstanding shares."

MobiTV Passes the 2 Million Subscriber Mark

MobiTV has exceeded two million paying subscribers worldwide, more than doubling its user base in less than one year.

MobiTV currently features a content line-up with more than 100 television channels worldwide, and nearly 40 channels in its US offering. The company delivers its mobile TV service over nearly all commercial wireless network standards, including existing operator networks as well as future 4G networks such as WiMAX and DVB-H.


Verizon's SIP Trunking Now Avaya Compliant

Verizon Business' Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking services have been rated compliant with key Avaya IP telephony solutions. Specifically, Verizon Business SIP trunks have been tested by Avaya for compatibility with Avaya Communication Manager 3.1, an IP telephony application, and with Avaya SIP Enablement Services 3.1, a standards-based communications architecture that bridges the public switched telephone network and the Internet.


Motorola Initiates OpenSAF Project for High-Availability Network Gear

Motorola is initiating a new open source project to develop a high availability operating environment based on Service Availability Forum (SA Forum) standards. The objective of the new "OpenSAF" project is to accelerate broad adoption of an SA Forum compliant operating environment.

The goals of the OpenSAF project are to:

  • Create an open source implementation of a high availability operating environment which includes the SA Forum Application Interface Specification (AIS)

  • Develop additional complementary services necessary to deploy and manage the software

  • Accelerate the development of SA Forum specifications by proposing enhancements implemented in the OpenSAF project

  • Establish a broadly adopted high availability operating environment that can be leveraged by computing technology companies, NEPs, and other industries requiring high availability, and ISVs

  • Utilize an open source licensing model not tied to any commercial implementation.

Motorola said OpenSAF will enable network equipment providers (NEPs) to leverage the implementation of a deployed high availability software platform with the knowledge that enhancements will be proposed to the SA Forum for inclusion in future open specifications.

This would help service providers lower operating costs by using a common software platform across multiple types of equipment. Common predictive actions and common provisioning and monitoring interfaces will help reduce training and specialization, enabling service providers to use their resources more flexibly, efficiently and productively.

Other vendors endorsing the OpenSAF initiative include Ericsson, Nokia, Nortel, OKI, and Siemens Networks.

Several providers of computing and communications technology also have indicated support for the OpenSAF initiative including Interphase, MontaVista Software, and Wind River.

Both Motorola and Ericsson will contribute resources from the beginning of the initiative to enhance the open source product and accelerate the development and deployment of SA Forum specifications based on industry requirements. Motorola initially will contribute its NetPlane Core Service (NCS) software to the OpenSAF project. NCS is a complete operating environment that includes SA Forum services and a complementary set of required services necessary for a deployable implementation.

The first release of the open source code base will be made available by end of 2nd quarter on the OpenSAF Web site.
About SCOPEhttp://www.opensaf.org/

Sonus Posts Q4 Revenue of $79 million

Sonus Networks reported Q4 2006 revenue of $79 million compared to $75 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2006. Revenues for the full year fiscal 2006 were $279 million. Cash, cash equivalents and investments increased by $47 million during 2006, to $361 million. Sonus is not providing detailed GAAP or non-GAAP financial results because it has not yet completed its previously announced restatement of certain historical consolidated financial statements related to past stock options.

Other non-GAAP highlights include:

  • Fourth quarter gross margins declined modestly from Q3, but were at the high-end of the company's target operating model range of 58 - 62%;

  • Fourth quarter operating expenses increased moderately from Q3 as a percentage of revenue with the primary increase relating to the voluntary stock option review;

  • Fourth quarter net income increased meaningfully over Q4 2005, even before recognizing a significant income tax benefit in Q406;

  • Annual gross margins increased modestly as a percentage of revenue from the performance in 2005.

"2006 was a great year for Sonus. We set new records for revenue, profitability, order activity, cash flow from operations and, perhaps most importantly, consumer and business traffic on our customers' networks. These results reflect the increasing momentum for our solutions as the industry moves aggressively to IP," said Hassan Ahmed, chairman and CEO, Sonus Networks.


Global Crossing Expands VoIP Access in Europe, Asia

Global Crossing has expanded local access in Europe and Asia to support the rising demand for its "Ready-Access" audio collaboration services.

Global Crossing now provides local access to its Ready-Access service in 31 cities throughout Europe over its VoIP network. In Asia, Global Crossing is offering access to its collaboration services via its VoIP network in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Taiwan, Australia, Indonesia and New Zealand.

The VoIP network represents a more cost-effective way to connect to Ready-Access, and it delivers a higher quality of service for a better overall customer experience. Global Crossing said development is currently is under way to deliver additional access alternatives in Europe and Asia in 2007.

Global Crossing also noted that in 2006, its worldwide collaboration traffic increased by more than 35 percent compared with 2005.


XO Offers Incentives for High-Bandwidth Services

XO Communications announced a new campaign of incentives for other carriers, cable companies, content providers, large enterprises and wireless companies using its inter-city and metro network transport solutions, including Ethernet, IP transit, and wavelength services. To support the campaign, XO has initiated the 3 Guarantee Program consisting of the following guarantees that XO will offer to any large enterprise and wholesale customer to beat valid competing offers for comparable high-capacity network services:

  • Best Price Guarantee: XO will beat any competing price for 2.5 Gbps and 10 Gbps wavelength services along select major XO network routes.

  • Install Guarantee: XO will provide a one month service credit for these wavelength services if it fails to meet the agreed upon service delivery date.

  • 90-Day Risk Free Trial Guarantee: XO will allow customers to trial its IP Transit Service for one 90-day period without commitment. If the customer is not satisfied, the customer only pays for the services used under the trial.

To meet anticipated demand, XO said it will pre-deploy additional capacity across its nationwide network and in the more than twenty of the largest carrier hotels in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Newark, Palo Alto, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle.


TI Debuts Highest Performing Floating-Point DSP -- 350MHz

Texas Instruments (TI) introduced its highest performing floating-point DSP running at 350 MHz. Target applications include high quality audio conferencing, multi-channel audio systems, audio broadcast biometric and industrial solutions. The new device runs at 350 MHz. Versions are also available at speeds of 275 MHz and 300 MHz.

TI's floating-point DSP portfolio, including the new device (C6727B DSP), is based on the TMS320C67x+ DSP generation-based core, a C-efficient, VLIW architecture.


Japanese MSO Deploys ARRIS Cadant CMTS

KATCH Networks, a cable operator located in Aichi Prefecture Japan, has chosen the ARRIS C4 CMTS to implement the KDDI Cable Plus Primary VoIP service. KDDI is one of Japan's largest telecom providers and subscribing cable service providers such as KATCH Networks use their network to provide primary line VoIP telephony service over HFC. Financial terms were not disclosed.


AT&T Wins $41M Contract for DOJ's JUTNet

AT&T Government Solutions was awarded a two-year, $41 million contract extending its existing Justice Unified Telecommunications Network (JUTNet) order with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The network serves approximately 1,900 DOJ locations.

JUTNet is an MPLS-based Virtual Private Network (VPN) with advanced, features such as a secondary carrier for transport and access diversity, private IP transport with encryption, end-to-end service controls that use IP-based features to ensure performance of voice and video communications, and strict Service Level Agreement (SLA) metrics.

JUTNet enables the DOJ to consolidate networks from more than 30 component organizations into a single, highly secure, managed MPLS network. AT&T Government Solutions is working with DOJ agencies such as the U.S. Attorneys office, U.S. Marshals Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Justice Management Division and others to help them use JUTNet.


Marvell to Support Microsoft Network Access Protection in Switching Silicon

Marvell announced support for Microsoft Network Access Protection technology in its multilayer switching silicon and related software.

Network Access Protection is a policy enforcement technology in Windows Vista and the forthcoming Windows Server (code-named "Longhorn") operating systems that allows customers to better protect network assets from unhealthy computers by enforcing compliance with network health policies.

"With the incorporation of Network Access Protection into our switching products, we can provide an additional layer of policy enforcement that is already built into the Windows Vista and Windows Server operating systems," stated Simon Milner, vice president and general manager, Enterprise Business Unit, Communications and Consumer Business Group at Marvell.


Alcatel-Lucent Introduces CDMA2000 for 700 MHz Band

Alcatel-Lucent introduced its CDMA2000 mobile network solution for the 700 MHz spectrum band, which supports the needs of the public safety organizations of state and local governments.

Based on CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Revision A (Rev. A) technology, the solution supports services beneficial to public safety personnel including secure, high-speed access to critical information and the ability to share multimedia data, images and video from any location, push-to-talk services to establish easy communication between groups such as first responders, and critical location-identification services. It also will enable applications such as access assurance, which guarantees specific users network access during times when network traffic may be high due to an event such as a natural disaster.

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.