Thursday, April 5, 2007

Atheros Introduces New 802.11g Chip for Carrier Gateways

Atheros Communications announced introduced an enhanced 802.11g silicon solution for home gateways. The compact, single-chip Atheros AR2417 solution, which is the newest member of the company's seventh-generation AR5007 family, offers significantly increased integration while delivering WLAN signal range of up to 300 ft. Rhe new low cost, single-chip solution for mini-PCI and cardbus designs reduce the rest of bill-of-materials (RBOM) by 30-45 percent compared to competitive solutions.

Like its predecessor, the AR5005G which has shipped more than 30 million units to date, the new AR2417 integrates the media access controller, baseband processor and 2.4GHz radio onto the single-chip design. In addition, the AR2417 now delivers greater value by integrating the low noise amplifier (LNA) and power amplifier (PA) onto the low cost, digital CMOS system-on-chip. The AR2417 offers the added benefit of its innovative 2-layer mini-PCI design.

Atheros said while it continues to push ahead with its XSPAN draft 802.11n solutions, it also continues to invest in 802.11g. Home gateway solutions based on 802.11g technology provide ample performance for basic data networking and web surfing, while the significantly greater throughput enabled by 802.11n networks is required to deliver triple-play services -- data, video and voice -- throughout the home.

The AR2417 chip is currently in volume production and shipping to leading retail and carrier customers.

AboveNet Announces Network Pact with PAXIO

AboveNet announced an agreement with PAXIO Inc. of Anaheim, California for optical network facilities in the San Francisco Bay Area. PAXIO is developing FTTH networks planned for later this year. http://www.above.net

Vonage Continues Adding Customers Under Emergency Stay of Injunction

A U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia issued an injunction against Vonage effective April 12 that bars Vonage from acquiring new customers during its appeal in its VoIP patent dispute with Verizon.

In response, Vonage filed for and received an emergency stay of the injunction from the Federal Circuit. Vonage said the stay enables it to continue to sign up new customers until the Appellate court can hear Vonage's request for a permanent stay. The Court's ruling also allows Vonage to continue to provide phone service to existing customers.

Vonage said it will continue to provide digital telephone service to existing customers indefinitely by paying into escrow a quarterly royalty of 5.5% throughout the appeals process. Separately, the District Court required Vonage to post a bond of $66 million to secure Verizon's damages judgment.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Nortel Global Operations Center in Istanbul

Nortel opened a new Global Operations Center of Excellence in Istanbul to help provide enhanced technical support services to its service provider customers around the world. The facility provides technical and operational support to Nortel customers deploying next-generation mobile, converged, metro Ethernet and optical networks. This includes product support for global customers, network technical support for customers in North America, and network integration and technical support for customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Verso to Acquire sentitO for VoIP Gateway

Verso Technologies agreed to acquire privately held sentitO Networks, a supplier of voice gateways, for approximately 7.7 million restricted shares of Verso common stock, 2.2 million of which are subject to escrow provisions, and warrants to purchase approximately 841,000 shares of Verso common stock, subject to certain conditions and approvals. Shares in Verso (Nasdaq: VRSO) traded on Thursday at $0.96.

Founded in 2000, sentitO supplies open and distributed VoIP gateway solutions for telecommunications service providers worldwide. The sentitO Open Network Xchange (ONX) architecture enables new, innovative voice services by providing media and signaling conversion utilizing session initiation protocol (SIP) technology.

Verso said the acquisition complements its existing portfolio and opens up new distribution and market opportunities. Verso intends to maintain its valuable relationship with AudioCodes as a source for optical and other gateway products.

Verso expects that certain of sentitO's resellers and their strategic affiliations in Russia will allow Verso to expand in the Russian and Eastern European markets with an experienced partner.

Pursuant to the merger agreement, an additional $3.0 million of Verso common stock will be issued through an earn-out provision based on Verso achieving a $12.0 million revenue target during the 12 month period following the closing of the acquisition that is attributable to the sentitO business. In addition, the merger agreement provides that 1.2 million shares of Verso common stock will be held in escrow and released based upon the completion of certain in-progress customer activity and approximately 1.0 million shares of Verso common stock will be held in escrow to satisfy potential indemnity claims.
  • In January 2007, Verso Technologies acquired the iMarc product line from Paradyne Networks, Inc., a subsidiary of Zhone Technologies. Verso had previously served as a reseller of Zhone products. Under the deal, Verso will pay $2.5 million. In addition, Zhone will provide contract manufacturing services to Verso for a period of up to six months. Verso will then purchase from Zhone the inventory relating to the iMarc product line.

  • In August 2006, sentitO Networks raised $6 million in venture financing for its intelligent voice gateway and signaling solution. The funding round was led by Columbus Nova Capital, an affiliate of Russian-based RENOVA Group of Companies, with previous investors Core Capital Partners, Inflection Point Ventures, Kodiak Venture Partners, Mid-Atlantic Venture Funds, and Technology Venture Partners also participating.

  • sentitO's Open Network Xchange (ONX) architecture and distributed VoIP media and signaling gateway solutions provide media and signaling conversion between the PSTN and IP networks. sentitO's ONX solution set includes the IVG1200 Intelligent Voice Gateway, Proxy7 Signaling Gateway, and PreVision Network Manager.

  • sentitO recently announced it has been certified to commercially deploy its VoIP infrastructure equipment in Russia by Infokom, the Center of Examination and Certification. The certification confirms mandatory quality, functionality and interoperability requirements for commercial deployment in Russian networks. sentitO's VoIP infrastructure products are currently deployed in China, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Russia, Singapore, and the U.S., among others.

Alcatel-Lucent Supplies IP Communications for Russia's Gazprom

Alcatel-Lucent has delivered a state-of-the-art IP communication solution for Gazprom neft, Russia's fastest-growing oil company. The installation serves more than 3,000 employees at Gazprom's oil processing factory in the city of Omsk. Based on the Alcatel-Lucent OmniPCX Enterprise IP telephony platform, the solution includes Alcatel-Lucent's newest VoIP handsets. All nodes of the network are interconnected to ensure a feature rich environment and to unite existing systems into a single, integrated enterprise communication platform. Alcatel-Lucent also delivered Alcatel-Lucent IP Touch phones. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nokia Siemens Networks Supplies GEPON to Indonesia's Biznet

Nokia Siemens Networks will supply its Gigabit Ethernet Passive Optical Network (GE-PON) technology to the Indonesian Internet provider Biznet.

Biznet, Indonesia's premium ISP and data center provider, has launched new FTTH access service based on Siemens Surpass hiX 5404 -- Optical Network Termination (ONT) and Siemens SURPASS hiX 5430: Optical Line Termination (OLT) GE-PON (Gigabit Ethernet -- Passive Optical Network) technology.

Biznet MetroNET Prepaid Internet Service is a broadband service for both business and residential users with a connection speed up 100 Mbps for both download and upload. As of 2007, current Biznet MetroNET Prepaid Internet Service is available maximum at 5 Mbps. Biznet MetroNET also offers value added services such as Biznet Bandwidth on Demand and Biznet SafeSurf.

Pipex Wireless Selects Nokia Siemens Networks for WiMAX

Pipex Wireless, a new venture formed in April 2006 by Pipex Communications and Intel Capital to develop and roll-out a WiMAX network into the UK market, has selected Nokia Siemens Networks as a key partner.

Pipex Wireless will use Nokia Siemens Networks' equipment, services and networking expertise to widen its roll-out of WiMAX powered broadband wireless services nationwide. Pipex Wireless and Nokia Siemens Networks are now working on equipment specification, network design and service definition in readiness for a pilot deployment during this year.

Pipex Wireless owns a national spectrum license in the 3.6 to 4.2 GHz frequency range allowing it to deploy new and innovative broadband wireless services.

Digital Music Group (DMG) to Sell Content on Amazon Unbox

Digital Music Group, a content owner and global leader in the digital distribution of independently owned music, television, film and video catalogs, will begin offering its television and film content through Amazon Unbox.

DMGI currently controls the digital distribution rights to more than 4,000 hours of video content.

Amazon Unbox is the latest in a growing list of digital video services added to the DMGI distribution network that includes YouTube, the iTunes Store, Google Video, and In2TV, among others.

Veraz Networks Completes IPO

Veraz Networks Inc. completed an initial public offering (IPO) and began trading on NASDAQ under the symbol "VRAZ". Veraz is a leading global provider of IP softswitches, media gateways and digital compression products that enable voice, video and other multimedia services. ECI Telecom Ltd. holds approximately 40% of Veraz.

Veraz priced its initial public offering on NASDAQ at $8 per share (before underwriting discounts), expecting to raise gross proceeds of $54 million (before underwriting discounts and expenses), selling 6,750,000 shares. In addition, ECI planned to sell 2,250,000 shares at the public offering price. The underwriters were granted a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,012,500 shares of common stock by Veraz and up to an additional 337,500 shares by ECI at the initial public offering price to cover over-allotments, if any.

The offering was made through an underwriting syndicate let by Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC and Lehman Brothers Inc. who acted as joint book-running managers. Jefferies & Company and Raymond James & Associates, Inc. acted as co-managers for the offering.

VRAZ closed at $7.80 after its first day of trading.

Nokia Makes Patent Payment, QUALCOMM Files Arbitration Demand

Nokia made a payment of US$20 million to QUALCOMM for patent licenses covering the second quarter 2007. Nokia and QUALCOMM have had patent license agreements since 1992 and Nokia's obligations to pay license fees under the old agreements partially expire on April 9, 2007.

Nokia said the payment announced today does not extend, and is not related to, the old agreement. Rather, it is based on the licenses that QUALCOMM has agreed and provided through the European Telecommunication Standardization Institute (ETSI).

"As we continue to negotiate the new cross-license agreement, Nokia views this payment as fair and reasonable compensation for the use of relevant Qualcomm essential patents in Nokia UMTS handsets during the second quarter of 2007. Nokia believes that Qualcomm's patent portfolio is concentrated in the United States, and that it has few or no alleged UMTS patents in many of the countries in which Nokia has substantial UMTS handset sales. When Qualcomm's early patents become paid-up and royalty-free on April 9, 2007 Qualcomm's share of all patents relevant to Nokia UMTS handsets will significantly decrease", said Rick Simonson, chief financial officer, Nokia.

In response, QUALCOMM filed a demand with the American Arbitration Association, seeking a ruling that Nokia's continued use of QUALCOMM's patents in Nokia's CDMA cellular handsets (including WCDMA) after April 9, 2007 constitutes an election by Nokia to extend its license under the parties' existing agreement. QUALCOMM said such an extension would obligate Nokia to pay QUALCOMM the same royalty specified in the current agreement and prohibit Nokia from asserting patent claims against QUALCOMM's CDMA products. QUALCOMM also seeks a ruling that it is entitled to terminate all of Nokia's rights and licenses under the agreement if Nokia sues QUALCOMM for patent infringement after April 9, 2007.

Cantata Names Timothy L. Murray as CEO

Cantata Technology announced the appointment of Timothy Murray to the position of CEO, replacing Marc Zionts, who will remain with the company in an advisory capacity, serving as Vice Chairman. Murray spent more than 20 years in senior executive positions at AT&T, including as Executive Vice President, Business Service Operations; President, Business Network Services; and, Vice President, Middle Market Business Unit. Prior to joining Cantata Technology, Murray held the positions of President and CEO of Cross Match Services, a leading provider of biometric identification services.

Mintera Ships its 40 Gbps Optical Transport Platform

Mintera, a start-up based in Acton, Mass., announced its flagship product, the MI 40000XS, is shipping to customers in the North America and EMEA regions. Mintera's MI 40000XS is the company's 40 Gbps DWDM transport subsystem and is already shipping to customers in the Asia Pacific region.

Mintera's new platform features a patent-pending spectrally efficient modulation format and built-in adaptive dispersion mitigation technology to deliver improved chromatic and polarization dispersion tolerances. The company said the combination of these technologies makes 40 Gbps as easy to deploy as 10 Gbps transport.

The design of the MI 40000XS platform is based upon the emerging AdvancedTCA300 industry standard.

Network Equipment Technologies Cites Stronger Sales

Citing strong sales activity in the second half of its fiscal year, Network Equipment Technologies now expects 2007 fourth quarter revenues to be in the range of $24.7 to $25.2 million, which is more than 80 percent greater than the same period of fiscal 2006.

The company had forecast revenues for its 2007 fourth quarter in the range of $22.5 to $24.5 million. Ending cash for the quarter is expected to be approximately $90 million, as compared to its guidance of approximately $85 million. The higher cash balance is due both to increased sales and to proceeds from the exercise of stock options.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Hammerhead Announces "Multiclass" VPLS Support

Hammerhead Systems has enhanced its HSX 6000 platform with "Multi-Class" capabilities, enabling up to 6 different classes of service from a single customer VLAN attachment. Hammerhead's VPLS with Multi-Class is able to provide hierarchical QoS enforcement for segregating services. This enables service providers to more optimally match application requirements to pricing options at a fine-grained level.

Service Providers can roll-out VPLS with Multi-Class on the HSX 6000 to offer a multi-point to multi-point Business Ethernet service on a regional, nationwide, or global basis.

The HSX 6000 offers dense Ethernet aggregation for both E-Line and E-LAN Services, MPLS Pseudowire termination, VPLS, Leased Line IP Aggregation, Frame Relay and ATM/IMA support, and Any-to-Any Service Interworking.

The HSX features a Bandwidth Pooling architecture to enable edge aggregation and a hierarchical QoS implementation that enables segregation and SLA assurance of diverse data, video, and packet voice services feeding a common IP/MPLS core.

Hammerhead said a Tier 1 customer is using the capabilities to roll out nationwide Virtual Private LAN Service with multi-point to multi-point Ethernet connectivity.

EVPL is available now and VPLS is available this month.

Hammerhead Develops PBT Service Gateway

Hammerhead System is developing a PBT (Provider Backbone Transport) Service Gateway software capability for its HSX 6000 Layer 2.5 Aggregation Switch that will enable service providers to interwork PBT deployments with their MPLS backbones and growing VPLS installed base.

Hammerhead's HSX 6000 is a Layer 2.5 Aggregation Switch that features MPLS Pseudowire technology and VPLS capabilities. It provides dense Ethernet aggregation, Pseudowire termination, legacy Frame Relay and ATM support, and Service Interworking. It features a "Layer 2.5" edge aggregation approach designed to integrate access services (wireline, broadband, broadband fixed wireless and 3G) that are typically based on Layer 2 connection-oriented technologies with new services that are based on Layer 3. Hammerhead already offers Service Agile Ports on the HSX 6000 that enable flexible software provisioning of any physical port for a variety of services and data rates.

Using its on-board network processors and the new software, Hammerhead's HSX 6000 will be able to transparently interwork PBT and MPLS using its Any-to-Any Service Interworking Engine.

The new PBT Service Gateway capabilities, which Hammerhead said were developed in direct response to specific customer demand, will enable service providers to introduce PBT in areas of their networks where previously it may not have been considered as an intended direction. Whereas many service providers currently perceive that they are facing an architectural choice of PBT or MPLS, the PBT Service Gateway would enable the coexistence of the two technologies.

Neuf Cegetel selects Alcatel-Lucent's Open Services Platform

Neuf Cegetel, France's leading alternative service provider, has deployed Alcatel-Lucent's open services platform for the delivery of Intelligent Network (IN) services. Alcatel-Lucent is also providing integration services to support the project.

The Alcatel-Lucent open services platform, integrated with Neuf Cegetel's service platform, enables a range of services, including: free of charge waiting time for the hotline, split charging and premium rate services, outsourced call center, personal universal telephony and Internet callback. Neuf Cegetel customers have been enjoying free of charge waiting time on the operator's hotline since February 2007.

As a result of the deployment, Neuf Cegetel will also be able to transfer its existing traditional services (freephone number/free calling, universal access and premium rate services) to a single open services platform. It will also support an evolution to new NGN/IMS multimedia services.
  • Beginning this month, Neuf Cegetel is launching a FTTx service in Paris priced at EUR 29.90 (including VAT) per month. Like the company's "100% Neuf Box ADSL package", the new offer will include the phone line, unlimited calls to landline numbers in France and over 30 countries, a television bouquet, access to video on demand, and the Neuf Giga online storage service.

    The Neuf FTTx service will deliver dynamic bandwidth of 50 Mbps (both uplink and downlinks at up to 50 Mbps). Neuf is also planning to offer a 100 Mbps premium service.

    Neuf, which began its fiber rollout in December 2006, is planning to pass one million homes by end of 2009. Coverage areas will include Paris and its suburbs, districts of other major cities, and other areas selected on the basis of rollout costs and opportunities to increase market share.

NTT DoCoMo Develops High-Quality Speech Coding for Mobiles

NTT DoCoMo has developed speech coding technology that provides exceptionally high-quality voice for mobile phones. The technology uses a wide frequency range of 50Hz - 16kHz, which is approximately the full range of the human voice. By comparison, the frequency range of legacy telephony services is limited to 300Hz - 3.4kHz.

The speech compression is matched to the specific characteristics of human auditory perception, such as the fact that distortion in loud sounds is relatively imperceptible.

NTT DoCoMo said the resulting voice quality is so realistic that conversations via mobile phones sound as if the other person were in the same room. The technology will be especially helpful in mobile applications where voice quality is particularly critical, such as teleconferencing and remote education.

DoCoMo is demonstrating the technology using its "hTc Z" handset.

BT to Supply Internet Access for European Commission

The European Commission's Directorate General Information Technology (DIGIT) selected BT for the supply and management of Internet access services. The contract was won following an invitation to tender and covers a minimum term of 4 years, which may be extended to 8 years, with a budget that may go up to EUR 22.5 million.

BT will provide Internet access from at least 17 sites in Europe, Wi-Fi access, anti-spam filtering, protection against Denial of Service attacks, the registration of domain names and support with distribution of content over the Internet.

In addition to the European Commission, more than ten European Union institutions and organisations, including the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, will receive Internet services from BT through this inter-institutional- framework contract.

Level 3 Acquires Metro Fiber Divestiture Assets from AT&T

Level 3 Communications has purchased certain metro fiber assets from AT&T that were ordered divested as a result of the merger between AT&T and SBC Communications. These assets consist of indefeasible rights of use (IRUs) for dark fiber connections to over 200 buildings and more than 1,600 metro fiber route miles in six of the 11 markets where AT&T was required to divest certain assets.

Specifically, Level 3 will acquire the divested fiber assets in Detroit, Hartford, Kansas City, Milwaukee, San Francisco and St. Louis. Under the terms of the agreement, Level 3 retains intermediate splice rights, which will enable it to add new buildings to the acquired assets.