Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Cisco Upgrades ONS 15454 Optical Platform

Cisco announced significant hardware and software upgrades to its Cisco ONS optical networking platform, including a new 40-channel, mesh reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) supporting from 2 to 8-degrees of dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) traffic, Ethernet Xponder and Cisco Multiservice Provisioning Platform (MSPP)-on-a-blade.

Cisco said its mesh ROADM now supports a service provider's migration from ring-based DWDM topologies to more fiber-efficient mesh DWDM topologies.

The new Cisco Ethernet Xponder provides aggregation of 1-Mbps up to 1-Gbps Ethernet into G.709, 10-Gbps wavelengths for delivery to Cisco routers such as the Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing System-based IP-over-DWDM solution. This enables service providers who have already deployed the Cisco ONS 15454 platform for other services to add a blade to provide Ethernet aggregation services in remote central offices.

The Cisco MSPP on a blade enables full MSPP Synchronous Optical Network (SONET)/Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) functionality to reside on a single card inside a Cisco MSTP DWDM chassis.

Cisco noted that more than 75,000 Cisco ONS 15454 systems have been deployed.


MSF Broadens Scope to Include Web Services

The MultiService Forum (MSF) is extending the scope of its activity to address broader aspects of "making NGN's work" in its technical program for 2007. Whereas the MSF's Release 3 architecture focused on communications via Parlay and Parlay-X services, the new focus will be on next gen web-based and traditional web services and other components, including non-trusted third-party applications.

Key elements in this program will be the extension of MSF architecture to embrace web services and the launching of an interoperability testing framework that includes the industry's first NGN/IMS Certification Program.

The MSF announced five additional goals of the MSF's 2007/8 work program:

  • 1) Extension of the MSF architecture from its communications network focus to include integration of web services;

  • 2) A unified approach to QoS to minimize and contain differences in practical implementation;

  • 3) Evaluation of NGN interconnect scenarios and development of fully specified NNI interconnect points;

  • 4) Specification of a coherent approach to achieving resilience to overload in highly distributed and dynamic NGN implementations; and

  • 5) Initiation of an MSF NGN certification program with a Pilot Program focused on delivering certifiable specifications based on MSF Implementation Agreements

The new MSF NGN certification program will focus on delivering certifiable specifications based on MSF Implementation Agreements. The MSF has set April 2007 as the target launch date, and the first round of certification testing could begin by the third quarter and be completed early in 2008.

The MSF said it is also exploring a permanent interoperability test bed to augment the large-scale test bed created to support GMI test events. This test bed would enable the industry to keep pace with current innovation and provide a less formal test facility that can leverage accelerating development schedules as the market moves toward NGN architectures.


MetaSwitch Introduces Web 2.0 Portal for Communication Services

MetaSwitch released a communications Web portal that enables its service provider customers to deliver dynamic Web controls to their subscribers.

The new CommPortal leverages Web 2.0 standards to provide a tightly integrated user interface to a wide range of services delivered from the company's UC9000 unified communications platform, as well as calling features provided by the MetaSwitch Call Agent, including Visual Voicemail, Recent Calls List, Contact Management, Find Me / Follow Me, Call Forwarding and Selective Call Screening.

With CommPortal installed, both residential and business end users can self-subscribe to various managed services offered by their provider, eliminating the need for time consuming and costly site visits for new service activation.


UTStarcom to Deploy 1.3 Million ADSL2+ Lines for India's BSNL

UTStarcom announced a contract with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) for the deployment of 1.3 million lines of its iAN8K B1000 IP DSLAM solution in approximately 900 cities throughout India. UTStarcom will be the turnkey provider for this deployment, with full responsibility for the network design and planning, deployment, and service roll out and maintenance of the network. Additionally, UTStarcom will also supply its NetRing 10000 optical transport solution for the aggregation of DSL traffic in BSNL's network. http://www.utstar.com

2Wire Integrates 3G/UMTS and CDMA into Residential Gateways

2Wire announced plans to include femtocell functionality in its DSL residential gateways for enabling fixed-mobile convergence (FMC).

A femtocell is a miniature cellular base station specifically designed for use in the home, vastly improving cellular voice and data coverage and quality throughout the home.

2Wire said its HomePortal BaseStation will provide whole-home coverage for both UMTS 3G voice and data (HSPA) services and CDMA-2000 EVDO 3G services. Backwards compatibility with GSM/GPRS/EDGE and IS-95/1xRTT will also be provided.

The HomePortal BaseStation will add to 2Wire's existing portfolio of broadband voice products and services, which includes the HomePortal 2700HGV, with built-in VoIP capability and differentiated QoS functionality. Sold in conjunction with the BT Fusion service, the HomePortal 2700HGV delivers dual-mode phone service with mobile and Wi-Fi calling capabilities from the same cellular device.

2Wire will be launching two new families of femtocell products in early 2008, including femtocells that connect with residential gateways via Ethernet, and the HomePortal BaseStation, which fully integrates the femtocell into the residential gateway itself. The HomePortal BaseStation will provide complete femtocell functionality while retaining the form and functionality of traditional HomePortal residential gateways, including full TR-069 standards compliance, a high performance ADSL or VDSL modem, a high-speed router, professional-grade firewall, integrated voice over IP, remote access capabilities, and flexible home networking options.

Motorola Cuts Guidance, Names President and Replaces CFO

Citing lower than anticipated sales and operating earnings for its Mobile Devices business, Motorola cut its first quarter 2007 guidance and provided a revised perspective on the full year. Motorola's Network & Enterprise and Connected Home Solutions businesses continue to perform in line with the company's expectations.

Motorola now expects sales for the first quarter of 2007 to be in the range of $9.2 to $9.3 billion. First quarter GAAP results are expected to be a loss in the range of $0.07 to $0.09 per share, including charges of approximately $0.09 from special items.

Greg Brown, President of the Company's Networks and Enterprise business, has been named President & Chief Operating Officer of Motorola, effective immediately. Brown will be responsible for overseeing Motorola's Mobile Devices, Networks & Enterprise, Connected Home Solutions businesses and supply-chain operations. In this new role, Brown will report to Ed Zander, Chairman and CEO. Prior to joining Motorola in 2003, Brown was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Micromuse.

Motorola named Thomas J. Meredith as acting Chief Financial Officer. He will replace David Devonshire, 61, who is retiring. Meredith is a general partner of Meritage Capital, L.P., an investment management firm specializing in multi-manager hedge funds that he co-founded. He is also chief executive officer of MFI Capital.


Pulver Launches 'Video on the Net Alliance', Files FCC Petition

Jeff Pulver is launching a "Video on the Net Alliance" to advocate on behalf of the Internet video industry, focusing on educating the industry, users and government about the promise of Internet video and the best policy framework to foster innovation and evolution of Internet video.

"It is essential that we, the members of the Internet video community, dive into the political and policy debates shaping the future of the Internet, video, media and entertainment," said Jonathan Askin, cofounder and Executive Director of the Alliance. "If we don't engage government, rules will be established by those without all the necessary information and without the best interests of the Internet video industry and users."

Separately, Pulver's Network2.tv company filed a petition with the FCC seeking a declaratory ruling that Internet Video is not subject to regulation under Title III or Title VI of the Communications Act.

"Internet Video shares none of the conditions that provided the basis for traditional broadcast and cable regulation. From a technical standpoint, Internet Video is simply a piece of code, a software application riding over the Internet Protocol. Internet Video is not tied to underlying network infrastructure in the same ways that cable and broadcast-based video content currently is tethered," said Jeff Pulver.

  • In February 2004, the FCC voted 4-to-1 to approve a Declaratory Ruling that pulver.com's Free World Dialup (FWD) service is neither a “telecommunications service�? nor “telecommunications,�? and therefore not subject to traditional telephone regulation. The FCC also declared FWD to be an unregulated information service that is subject to federal jurisdiction. Pulver's FWD allowed users of broadband Internet access services to make VoIP or other types of peer-to-peer communications directly to other FWD members, without charge.

  • The Pulver VoIP ruling was seen as formalizing the Commission's policy of "non-regulation" of the Internet and, in so doing, preserves the Internet as a free and open platform for innovation.

AT&T: The Network of the Future

AT&T is busy building out a Common Architecture for Real-Time Services (CART), its next generation network that uses IMS but is not IMS, said Siroos Afshar, Senior Technical Consultant at AT&T Labs, speaking at the VON conference in San Jose.

The goal is to decouple the company's various access networks from the services delivered to the customer, enabling any application to be easily delivered to any device. In AT&T's vision, the network retains the intelligence of current services, user preferences, device capabilities, and user availability/presence on every access network. This will require the network to maintain a database of device profiles and user preferences. Applications need only worry about their own service logic and not network status or user presence.

AT&T has developed its own Service Logic Execution Environment (SLEE) based on SIP servlets that defines how application run. This includes both AT&T and non-AT&T applications. SLEE overcomes the need for deploying lots of application servers every time a need service is introduced to the network.

AT&T has written a 180-page document describing how CARTs runs over its converged IP/MPLS backbone. The document is being circulated amongst equipment suppliers under NDA.



Monday, March 19, 2007

Corning Introduces Ultra-Low-Loss, Single-Mode Optical Fiber

Corning unveiled a single-mode optical fiber with low attenuation and low polarization mode dispersion (PMD) characteristics, enabling greater system reach and longer span lengths in long-haul and regional terrestrial networks.

Corning said its new fiber, which compatible with the installed base of single-mode fibers, has the lowest loss of any terrestrial-grade fiber with maximum attenuation available between 0.17 and 0.18 dB/km at 1550 nm. Additionally, the fiber has the lowest PMD of any ITU-T G.652 compliant optical fiber featuring a ≤ 0.04 ps/√km PMDQ link design specification. Combined, these features provide spare network margin that can be leveraged to extend network span lengths, skip amplification sites, upgrade to faster bit rates, add network components for improved flexibility or lengthen the distance between regenerators.

STMicroelectronics Offers New Chip for STB

STMicroelectronics announced a new generation single-chip solution for digital cable-TV STBs. The newest member of the company's leading OMEGA family, the QAMi5107 is an integrated demodulator plus MPEG decoder for standard-definition digital TV. ST said the new device enables manufacturers to cut their total component cost and simplify board design and assembly, while offering increased performance and enhanced security features.

The decoder supports the advanced security features required by all major conditional-access (CA) suppliers. The 200MHz clock speed of the embedded ST20 32-bit RISC CPU core -- the most widely used CPU in the STB market -- provides increased power for advanced applications and is fully compatible with all mainstream set-top box middleware.

Global Crossing Extends VoIP Local Service to Hong Kong and Italy

Global Crossing is extending its VoIP Local Service into Rome, Milan and Hong Kong. The company also announced it is expanding the United States availability of VoIP Local Service to 83 additional communities.

VoIP Local Service has been extended to Hong Kong and Italy supporting the existing suite of VoIP Outbound and converged IP services is these two markets. VoIP Local service is also available in Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, UK and the United States. Global Crossing VoIP Local Service complements the company's VoIP Outbound services, which are available from 29 countries around the world, and provides the consistency multinational customers require from global services.

Global Crossing VoIP Local Service is an inbound local service that provides nationwide Direct Inward Dialing/Direct Dial Inward (DID/DDI) functionality through a single IP interconnection. The service lets customers originate traffic on the PSTN in different countries using geographic and non-geographic numbers. The traffic is then converted to VoIP on Global Crossing's network for delivery to the customer's IP network. VoIP Local Service eliminates traditional time division multiplexing (TDM), private line and foreign exchange service fees by providing a single IP connection alternative to serve multiple markets.

To this service, Global Crossing now has added an automated business-to- business Local Number Portability (LNP) interface.

Global Crossing also has added Calling Name Delivery Service (CNAM), the ability to provide VoIP Local Service enterprise and carrier customers with calling party name, along with calling party number, on inbound calls. The company said this is similar to caller ID in that the calling party's name is displayed along with the calling number. VoIP end users expect the same functionality as traditional telephony customers, so providing the calling party name over a VoIP service is essential.


Limelight Expands Its Board and Management

Limelight Networks, which operates a leading content delivery network for digital media, announced it is expanding its board and management team with the addition of David Peterschmidt and Gary Valenzuela as Directors, and David Van Engelhoven as General Counsel. Peterschmidt is President and Chief Executive Officer of Openwave Systems, a maker of software for mobile phones. Valenzuela, a former Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Yahoo!, is an entrepreneur and executive actively involved in real-estate development and the San Jose Sharks NHL hockey team, of which he is part-owner. Van Engelhoven was previously a Senior Partner at the Cavanagh Law Firm where he focused on intellectual property management and litigation.

Panasonic Skype Wi-Fi Phone Embeds Broadcom Chip

Broadcom is supplying its Wi-Fi phone platform and other key technologies for Panasonic's new Skype Wi-Fi phone, the KX-WP1050, and travel router bundle. Panasonic's Skype Wi-Fi phone allows consumers to make and receive phone calls, as well as have an Internet connection, while at home or on the road. Unlike a traditional cordless phone, the Skype-enabled Wi-Fi phone is unique because it allows users to see if other Skype users are available and make immediate connections to friends and family members from their Skype buddy lists.


GENBAND to Acquire Tekelec's Switching Solutions Group

GENBAND agreed to acquire Tekelec's Switching Solutions Group (SSG). The deal is structured as a sale of Tekelec's equity interests in Santera Systems and Taqua, and the SSG business assets held by Tekelec in exchange for a 19.9% common equity interest in GENBAND, $1.0 million in cash and GENBAND's assumption of certain SSG liabilities. Twenty-five percent of the equity issuable at closing will be held in escrow for one year pending the expiration of the indemnity period. Tekelec will have no operational role in GENBAND and will account for its investment under the cost method of accounting.

The acquisition will expand GENBAND's portfolio of infrastructure, applications and services for wireline, wireless and cable service providers. Tekelec's switching solutions business unit includes the businesses Santera, VocalData and Taqua, all of which had been acquired by Tekelec between 2003 and 2004. GENBAND said this portfolio of wireline and wireless media gateways and application platforms are synergistic with its existing gateway and application portfolio.

Charles D. Vogt, President and CEO of GENBAND said "The combination of the two companies creates an enviable gateway and applications product portfolio and enables GENBAND to strengthen our relationship with our existing customers and business partners."

Tekelec has approximately 465 employees directly and indirectly associated with SSG. The majority of these employees will transfer to GENBAND, and the remainder will be terminated in a restructuring at the time of closing.



AT&T Launches GPS-based Workforce-management Solution with TeleNav

AT&T introduced a hosted, GPS-based workforce-management solution based on the TeleNav platform. The application delivers GPS-enabled location- tracking, mileage-tracking, wireless time sheets, alerts and detailed location-reporting to capture field data. A premium version of TeleNav Track is also available with features including wireless forms, dispatching, barcode- scanning support and voice and on-screen turn-by-turn GPS directions.

Initially, TeleNav Track is available on the new BlackBerry 8800 and HP iPAQ hw6920 Mobile Communicator, both of which have integrated GPS. TeleNav Track also offers enterprise organizations the option of full integration with back-office systems using Web services application programming interface (API) and other connectors.


Two Former Alcatel Executives Indicted in Costa Rica Case

Two former Alcatel executives have been indicted in the U.S. for allegedly bribing Costa Rican officials to obtain a telecommunications contract.

Specifically, a 10-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Miami charges Edgar Valverde Acosta, a Costa Rican citizen, along with Christian Sapsizian, a French citizen, with conspiring to make over $2.5 million in bribe payments to Costa Rican officials in order to obtain a telecommunications contract on behalf of Alcatel, making corrupt payments, and laundering the bribes through a consultant.

EarthLink Selects Accton to Supply Wi-Fi Phones; Beta Testing in Anaheim

EarthLink has selected Taiwan-based Accton Technology Corporation to manufacture handsets for the company's Wi-Fi phone initiative. EarthLink is beta testing phones on the company's municipal wireless network in Anaheim, California.

EarthLink Wi-Fi phones will allow consumers to make Internet phone calls from a wireless handset to any traditional landline, cell phone or VoIP phone. The handsets will work directly on EarthLink's municipal wireless networks and can also connect via a wireless router attached to the user's wired home broadband network. Service and the phone handset will be free during the Anaheim beta test. Anticipated price plans for the consumer roll-out after the beta test include:

  • $14.95 a month for 500 anytime outbound domestic minutes, and free, unlimited inbound minutes.

  • $24.95 for unlimited domestic minutes.

  • $100 one-time charge for equipment, including the Wi-Fi phone handset and a cradle that functions as a charger and a Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g router inside the home.


DSL Forum Releases Technical Reports, Elects New Board

Following its annual meeting in Vancouver earlier this month, the DSL Forum released two new technical reports and announced the election of new board members. The newly approved technical specifications include TR-100 ADSL2/2plus Performance Test Plan and TR-126 Triple-play Services Quality of Experience Requirements.

TR-100 builds on TR-67 (ADSL Interoperability Test Plan) and evolves the ADSL test plan to address the higher speed options. With the launch of common performance standards, service providers can reduce costs and time to market by enabling independent testing laboratories (ITLs) to perform product interoperability tests against a standardized test suite.

TR-126 provides an extensive reference model for measuring key performance indicators associated with a user's quality of experience for bandwidth intensive applications such as video (video on demand, and broadcast video), voice and best-effort data (web browsing, gaming). These baseline expectations then correspond to objective engineering targets, critical to the market success of broadband service offerings, and they are an example of the new focus of activities that the Forum is undertaking. TR-126 is already being referenced in IPTV work by both ATIS and the ITU-T IPTV Focus Group.

In addition the Forum continued its work on VDSL2 test plan development, home networking specifications for remote management and CPE requirements, GPON architecture requirements, network policy control and IP session management solutions.

The DSL Forum members elected two new directors and re-elected four directors. The new members elected to the board of directors are Les Brown of Texas Instruments and Michael Hanrahan of Huawei Technologies. Les Brown also serves as Chair of the Testing & Interoperability Working Group within the Forum and Michael Hanrahan has been a strategic leader in the development of stronger Asian region participation as well as instrumental in defining current policy and procedures within the Forum.

Directors who were re-elected for a further two year term were: Tom Starr, AT&T, George Dobrowski, Conexant, Heather Kirksey, Motive and Greg Bathrick, PMC-Sierra. Richard Cardone, Marketing Director of Tazz Networks was elected as marketing chair.

Following the election of the DSL Forum's 2007 Board of Directors, George Dobrowski was named chairman and president, Tom Starr named vice president and secretary and Frank Van der Putten, Alcatel-Lucent, was named vice president and treasurer.


WildBlue Launches Internet Services over New Satellite

WildBlue Communications began offering Internet access services using its new Ka-band spot beam satellite, WildBlue-1. The new satellite allows WildBlue to more than triple its customer capacity, making high-speed Internet service available to more than 750,000 rural consumers throughout the continental United States. WildBlue expects that the additional capacity accessible on WildBlue-1 will be available to all areas of the contiguous United States by the second quarter of 2007. WildBlue will also continue to utilize its capacity on Anik F2, alongside WildBlue-1.

WildBlue provides broadband Internet access via satellite to homes and small businesses not currently served, or underserved, by other high-speed providers.

WildBlue launched commercial service via the Anik F2 satellite in June of 2005, and currently has over 130,000 customers nationwide.

The new WildBlue-1, which was launched in December 2006 aboard Arianespace's Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana, is a 4.7 metric ton high-power satellite based on Space Systems/Loral's 1300 spacecraft bus. It provides Ka-band spot beam capacity over the contiguous United States. Spot beam Ka-band satellites are a key component in WildBlue's low-cost wireless broadband infrastructure. WildBlue also utilizes the Ka-band spot beam capacity over the United States on Telesat Canada's Anik F2 satellite.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

Juniper Expands its Open IP Service Creation Program

Juniper Networks has expanded industry collaboration within its Open IP Service Creation Program (OSCP) with the addition of Acme Packet and BitBand. Introduced in June 2006, the OSCP facilitates the deployment of multiplay services such as IPTV and VoIP by opening up the IP network and enabling applications, services and subscribers to interact intelligently with the network.

Companies who have joined the OSCP and are working to develop, deploy and/or market innovative network solutions now include:

  • Acme Packet: Testing underway to couple Net-Net session border controller with Juniper Networks Session and Resource Control Portfolio to deliver assured quality for VoIP/IMS applications, as well as uniform management across IMS and non-IMS applications, using standards-based interfaces such as DIAMETER.

  • BitBand Technologies: Proof-of-concept offering delivers admission control functionality for Video-on-Demand Services via SOAP/XML signaling between the video servers and the Juniper policy platform.

  • Ellacoya Networks: Joint solution delivers session and quota-based bandwidth management and service optimization at both the application and subscriber levels.

  • Exent Technologies: Solution enables dynamic, application-driven high-speed game delivery and game play for broadband subscribers.

  • Intelliden, Inc.: Joint Dynamic Network Automation (DNA) under development is intended to be an advanced policy management solution that can intelligently and dynamically coordinate applications and network resources to provide service assurance for IPTV and other resource-intensive applications.

  • SeaChange International: Integrated functionality delivers admission control and resource allocation for Video-on-Demand services via SOAP/XML interface.

  • Tropos: Proof-of-concept offering enables scalable subscriber and bandwidth management for secure, multi-service metro Wi-Fi networks.