Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Ixia Enables IMS Control Plane and Load Testing

Ixia announced new VoIP and IMS testing capabilities that enable equipment manufacturers and operators to qualify IMS infrastructure as well as conduct more extensive VoIP interoperability testing.

The new IxVoice 4.10 release adds the capability to emulate the HSS (Home Subscriber Server) as well as support for SIP Sigcomp for testing Call Service Control Functions (CSCF). CSCFs are the core of the IMS control structure and ensuring their functionality is critical to the overall adoption of the IMS architecture. IxVoice can now be used to test the functionality of the CSCFs independently or together as a system by emulating the surrounding network elements, including the HSS.

Ixia said its IxVoice test solution can validate the key IMS subsystems for interoperability, functionality and performance. It supports the dynamic architecture requirements inherent in large-scale IMS networks.

IxVoice 4.10 also adds significant improvements to the IxVoice H.323 protocol support for testing VoIP communications systems including call managers, softswitches and IP PBXs. H.323 is a key protocol used in VoIP telephony. The new H.323 functionality with allows users to test interoperability with a wider range of devices.

World Wide Packets Announces LightningEdge

World Wide Packets introduced its LightningEdge 135B (LE-135B), an Ethernet access platform with integrated VoIP technology from Mediatrix.

The LE-135B leverages World Wide Packets' LightningEdge Operating System (LE-OS) as well as the Mediatrix 0124 for enhanced VoIP services. It supports advanced carrier class features such as guaranteed and explicit Quality of Service ("hard" QoS) and rapid restoration of services in case of network or equipment problems. It also has advanced security to protect the edge of the network and the ability to interoperate with core network security protocols.

CyOptics to Acquire Apogee Photonics for 10/40 Gbps Lasers

CyOptics agreed to acquire Apogee Photonics, a leading supplier of laser sources for the 10 Gbps and emerging 40 Gbps markets. Terms of the transaction are not disclosed.

The acquisition extends CyOptics' high-speed source laser capabilities and positions CyOptics an extensive portfolio of InP-based transmit and receive optical chips and components for telecommunications and data communications applications.

Apogee Photonics manufacturers high-speed lasers and offers a broad portfolio of short and long reach products. Apogee Photonics' 10 Gbps and 40 Gbps 1550nm LIM supports optical link distances up to 110km and incorporates integrated InP lasers, modulators and optical amplifiers in a standard 7-pin EML-compatible package while providing higher output power and better dispersion performance than standard, monolithic EMLs. The Apogee Photonics uncooled 1310nm 10Gb/s EML supports both 10 Gbps Ethernet and SONET links up to 10km and delivers the highest mask margin and bit error rate performance available today.

Apogee Photonics is headquartered in Allentown, Pennsylvania. CyOptics' wafer/chip fabrication operations are located in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, and its planar automated packaging and testing operations are located in Matamoros, Mexico.

NexTone, Cantata, Pactolus Offer SIP-Based Prepaid Solution

NexTone, Cantata and Pactolus are offering a Calling Card and Voice over Broadband (VoBB) service solution that combines Pactolus' SIPWare Calling Card and VoBB service offerings, NexTone's Multiprotocol Session Exchange (MSX) product with integrated SBC functionality, and Cantata's IMG 1010 Media Gateway.

NexTone's Lab confirms that the solution has established end-to-end interoperability for Pactolus' prepaid SIPware application and its BBTel application with NexTone products.

The companies said they are working jointly with several IP carrier customers, such as LatiNode -- one of the world's largest IP solutions providers in the international VoIP industry -- that are taking advantage of the high-growth market for prepaid VoIP services.

Verso and Navini Team on Voice-over-WiMAX

Verso Technologies and Navini Networks have formed a partnership to globally market VoIP solutions to the Mobile WiMAX sector by introducing Class 5 telephony features to WiMAX networks. The alliance will provide both companies with mutual visibility and access to emerging VoIP over WiMAX opportunities in their respective niches.

The Navini and Verso alliance will bring the Verso MetroNet VoIP Overlay solution (an open standards, cost-effective next generation softswitch platform) to WiMAX access infrastructure enabled by Navini.

The combined solution was recently rolled out by joint customer, Direct on PC Ltd (DOPC), the leading ISP in West Africa, on their pre-mobile WiMAX network. DOPC is deploying in the 2.3 GHz band in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.

MetaSwitch Supplies Distributed Softswitch in Dominican Republic

Tricom, which serves over 600,000 lines and operates the largest cable system in the Dominican Republic, selected MetaSwitch's distributed softswitch solution -- including the CA9020 call agent, UC9000 application server, and several MG3510 media gateways -- to update its infrastructure across the Caribbean and the United States.

Mediterranean Nautilus Selects Alcatel-Lucent

Mediterranean Nautilus, a broadband network service provider owned by Telecom Italia Sparkle, selected Alcatel-Lucent for a DWDM submarine project in the Mediterranean Sea. Under the terms of a turnkey, multi-million EURcontract, Alcatel-Lucent will upgrade and extend the existing submarine network which began service in 2001. The network links Italy, Greece, Turkey and Israel.

AT&T U-verse Extends MobiTV Programming to Customer PCs

AT&T announced the availability of AT&T U-verse OnTheGo, a new premium service that will allow its U-verse customers to view live television on a PC using any broadband Internet connection.

AT&T U-verse OnTheGo is delivered under an existing agreement between AT&T and MobiTV.

AT&T U-verse OnTheGo subscribers can access nearly 30 channels, several of which feature live programming -- including The Weather Channel and Bloomberg Television, among others. In the future, AT&T U-verse OnTheGo will also feature U-verse content such as movie trailers for Video-on-Demand (VOD) content, and AT&T plans to add more channels and content.

The service is available for $10 a month.

AT&T said OnTheGo will eventually be available using an AT&T wireless device, such as a mobile phone.

Ikanos Supplies its Fusiv Processors for Innomedia's Residential Gateways

InnoMedia, a leading supplier broadband access and telephony gear, will use Ikanos Communications' Fusiv Vx150 network processors in its next generation VoIP-enabled residential gateways. The Fusiv Vx150 is designed to integrate full chain voice processing, signaling and network protocol processing on a single chip to support development of VoIP-enabled residential gateways.

JDSU Offers Optical Component Environmental Test System for FTTx

JDSU introduced its Optical Component Environmental Test System (OCETS) Plus for optical component qualification testing, including the a large-scale automated test system capable of repeatable return loss measurements up to 70dB. The solution can be used for system production and qualification of FTTx components.

With over 420 test ports now supported (more than double earlier versions), OCETS Plus runs on JDSU EasyOCETS software that enables streamlined test set-up, monitoring, graphing, and database interfacing of up to twelve 32-port PON splitters.

Microsoft, Fox, NBC/Universal Team on Video Portal

News Corp. and NBC Universal are working with Microsoft and AOL to launch a consumer video portal to challenge Google's YouTube. The venture expects to be up by summer.

Global IP Solutions Releases Video Codec with Two-Way Capabilities

Global IP Solutions (GIPS) released its new LSVX video codec, which delivers real-time two-way, high-quality video. GIPS LSVX is incorporated into VoiceEngine Multimedia. The GIPS multimedia package improves the way audio and video soft phones are implemented, by providing a framework for both video and voice soft phones and advanced techniques to handle jitter, packet loss, CPU and bandwidth constraints on multiple platforms.

Former FCC Chairman Joins Cisco's Board

Cisco announced the appointment of Michael K. Powell to its board of directors.

Michael K. Powell, 43, spent over seven years as an FCC Commissioner, and was Chairman of the FCC from January 2001 to March 2005. Before being named an FCC Commissioner in 1997, Mr. Powell was Chief of Staff of the Antitrust Division in the Department of Justice.
  • In August 2005, Providence Equity Partners, a private venture capital firm, has hired Michael K. Powell, former Chairman of the FCC, as a senior advisor.

FCC Examines Access Rules for Video Services in Apartments

The FCC is examining the need for new rules relating to the use of exclusive contracts for the provision of video services to multiple dwelling units (MDUs) or other real estate developments. The FCC said it is seeking to foster greater competition in the market for the delivery of multichannel video programming. Specifically, the FCC is seeking comment on:

  • the current environment for service providers attempting to obtain access to MDUs or other real estate developments, including the use of exclusive contracts.

  • the impact of exclusive contracts on consumer choice and video competition, and whether the use of exclusive contracts reduces the likelihood of competitive entry.

The FCC believes it has authority to regulate exclusive contracts for the provision of video services to MDUs or other real estate developments where it finds that such contracts may impede competition and impair deployment of those services.

FCC Classifies Wireless Broadband as an Information Service

The FCC declared that wireless broadband Internet access service is an information service under the Communications Act -- putting it on the same regulatory footing as other broadband services, such as cable modem service, wireline broadband (DSL) Internet access service, and Broadband over Power Line (BPL).

Wireless broadband Internet access service is defined as a service that uses spectrum, wireless facilities, and wireless technologies to provide subscribers with high speed Internet access capabilities. Wireless broadband Internet access service can be provided using mobile, portable, or fixed technologies, and wireless broadband technologies can transmit data over short, medium, or long ranges.

Specifically, the FCC ruling finds that the transmission component underlying wireless broadband Internet access service is "telecommunications," and that the provision of this telecommunications transmission component as part of a functionally integrated wireless Internet access service is an information service.

The FCC said this approach is consistent with the framework that the Commission already has established for cable modem service, wireline broadband Internet access service, and BPL-enabled Internet access service, thus furthering the goal of regulating like services in a similar manner. The FCC also found that wireless broadband Internet access service using mobile technologies is not a "commercial mobile service," as that term is defined in the Act and implemented in the FCC's rules.

FCC to Open Net Neutrality Inquiry, Seeking Public Comment

The FCC voted to open an inquiry into Net Neutrality issues, postponing any decision on whether the market for broadband services should be further regulated.

In its 2005 Internet Policy Statement, the FCC announced four principles to encourage broadband deployment and to preserve and promote the open and interconnected nature of the public Internet. The new inquiry seeks information on the behavior of broadband market participants, including:

  • How broadband providers are managing Internet traffic on their networks today

  • Whether providers charge different prices for different speeds or capacities of service

  • Whether FCC policies should distinguish between content providers that charge end users for access to content and those that do not

  • How consumers are affected by these practices.

The FCC is seeking public comment on whether its Policy Statement should incorporate a new principle of nondiscrimination and, if so, how would "nondiscrimination" be defined, and how would such a principle read.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin commented "Although we are not aware of any current blocking situations, the Commission remains vigilant in protecting consumers' access to content on the Internet. At the same time, I believe that it is useful for the Commission, as the expert communications agency, to collect a record about the current practices in the broadband marketplace... The Commission is ready, willing, and able to step in if necessary. We have the dual responsibilities of creating an environment that promotes infrastructure investment and broadband deployment and to ensure that consumers' access to content on the Internet is protected."

FCC Commission Michael Copps commented: "While we welcome telephone companies and cable providers competing to sell high-speed services, FCC statistics show that together these duopoly operators control some 96 percent of the residential broadband market... The more powerful and concentrated our facilities providers grow, the greater their motivation will be to close off Internet lanes and block IP byways.

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.