Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Nortel Supplies IMS-ready NGN in Morocco

Itissalat Al Maghrib (Maroc Telecom), the leading telecommunications service provider in Morocco, will deploy an IMS-ready, next-generation network based on Nortel technology in the cities of Rabat and Casablanca. This new network will allow IAM to offer businesses and consumers a full range of advanced multimedia services such as VoIP, mobile VoIP, video telephony, file exchange and integrated voice mail and messaging. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The carrier's new network integrates the Nortel Communication Server 2000 superclass softswitch, Nortel Media Gateway 15000 carrier-grade and the existing digital switched telephone network to enable SIP-based multimedia services and expand capacity.


  • In August 2006, Morocco's Maroc Telecom has selected Huawei as the exclusive supplier for the second phase of its IPTV project. In just 3 months since launching IPTV service, Maroc Telecom has registered more than 10,000 subscribers.

Tamil Rebel Group Gains Illegal Use of Intelsat Satellite

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a Sri Lanka-based group listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department, gained unauthorized use of one of Intelsat's satellites. This week, Intelsat officials, including its technical experts, met with Sri Lankan government officials to discuss the steps Intelsat is taking to address the unauthorized access.

Intelsat said it does not tolerate terrorists or others operating illegally on its satellites and is actively pursuing a number of technical alternatives to halt the transmissions. http://www.intelsat.com

MetaSwitch Partners with SOMA for VoIP over WiMAX

MetaSwitch and SOMA Networks have formed a partnership to deliver VoIP over WiMAX solution for carriers looking to deploy next generation applications over wireless broadband services.

The companies said a key differentiator for their combined solution is that both the SOMA broadband wireless system and MetaSwitch elements integrate native support for VoIP. For carriers operating in rural areas, the solution will be particularly appealing since both SOMA Networks and MetaSwitch have received Rural Utilities Service (RUS) listing for their products.

SOMA's FlexMAX Mobile WiMAX Systems are based on all-IP architecture that supports the Mobile WiMAX 802.16e-2005 standard. SOMA's indoor gateways are all-in-one devices that integrate the functionality of a wireless broadband modem, analog terminal adaptor (ATA) and Session Initiation Protocol user agent (SIP-UA).


Ericsson's Svanberg Sees TV as Primary Driver in Networking

Television will be the leading driver of IP network growth, said Carl-Henric Svanberg, President and CEO of Ericsson, speaking at his company's Annual General Meeting in Stockholm. Ericsson's recent acquisitions Entrisphere and Redback Networks, that of Marconi last year and the public offer to acquire Tandberg Television, are premised on this belief.

In the mobile broadband arena, Svanberg underlined that HSPA is now a widespread technology, laying the foundation for applications such as mobile TV and mobile office.

This year 3 billion people will have a mobile phone and Ericsson expects that figure to grow to 4 billion before 2010.

Another important trend is telecommunications services - Ericsson's fastest growing area with an increase of 30 percent during 2006. Ericsson currently manages networks covering 100 million subscribers.


AT&T Builds Global MPLS VPN for Continental

Continental, a leading automotive supplier, has extended an existing network contract with AT&T for an additional three years. Under the deal, AT&T will operate an MPLS-based VPN linking more than 230 Continental sites in 34 countries. The overall contract includes services worth several millions of U.S. dollars and continues the existing business relationship of the two companies.


Marvell Debuts Bluetooth Version 2.0 Chip

Marvell introduced a single-chip solution featuring a Bluetooth Core Specification Version 2.0 + Enhanced Data Rate (EDR)-compliant baseband, a radio frequency (RF) transceiver, and a worldwide FM radio receiver.

The new chip, which is Marvell's second device enabling Bluetooth Version 2.0 + EDR features, is aimed at high-volume consumer applications such as cell phones and portable media players. It supports simultaneous use of Bluetooth applications and FM radio, and includes support for the new Bluetooth Version 2.1 + EDR features. It is currently sampling and will be in production in the second half of 2007.\http://www.marvell.com
  • Bluetooth 2.0 will support an enhanced data rate (EDR) of up to 3.0 Mbps.

Sonus Gear Carries 33 billion minutes of IP-based Voice per Month

Sonus Networks estimates that platforms installed by its carrier customers currently carry more than 33 billion minutes of IP-based voice traffic every month, up approximately 75% from the same period in 2006. Based on market share numbers from iLocus, Sonus leads both the national and international long distance market with 39% and approximately 26% of voice traffic respectively. Carrying 38% of total long distance voice traffic, Sonus carries nearly 4 out of 10 IP-based voice minutes.


Apple Adds MGM Films to iTunes, 2 Million Movie Downloads

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (MGM) is now offering selected titles from its catalog of feature films for purchase and download on Apple's iTunes Store. This brings the number of films currently available on iTunes to about 500.

Apple noted that more than two million movies have now been downloaded from the iTunes Store. To date, iTunes has also delivered over 2.5 billion songs and over 50 million TV shows.


LSI's New Encoder Supports HD at 1080p60

LSI introduced an HD real- time encoder with performance and quality required to support 1080p60, the highest resolution format for HD content. The new Domino[X] Pro (DX-1810), which supports H.264, MPEG-2 and VC-1 compression formats, is an encoding solution for TV program content delivery as well as for Blu-ray and HD DVD real-time authoring systems.

LSI said its new DX-1810 platform achieves the performance required for high quality 1080p60 encoding at the lowest possible bit-rate by leveraging the scalability of a programmable media processor architecture. Using interconnected media processors with special high-speed interfaces, the DX-1810 platform can be scaled to perform at 3500 billion operations per second (BOPS) or 3.5 tera operations per second (TOPS) for audio-video processing and 12 BOPS for high-level image analysis, statistical multiplexing and system level operations. The scalability of the LSI solution allows additional media processors to be added for HD level pre-processing such as motion compensated temporal filtering (MCTF) to improve video quality or to create dual- or triple-pass HD encoders for bandwidth constrained multi-channel broadcast applications.

To ensure this high level of performance does not become outdated, the LSI DX-1810 has a programmable architecture with common APIs. This feature makes it easy to upgrade the encoding quality and reduce the output bit-rate as improvements are made to the H.264, MPEG-2 and VC-1 encoding algorithms or to support new compression formats as they become available.


Hughes Supplies Broadband Satellite System to Galaxy Broadband

Hughes Network Systems has supplied a broadband satellite system to Galaxy Broadband Communications, which operates its Network Operations Center from a teleport in Hamilton, Ontario. The fully redundant satellite system enables Galaxy Broadband to extend its broadband satellite service offerings beyond consumer internet access, to a wide range of value-added commercial applications, including VoIP, reaching enterprise, small business and government customers across Canada.

The Hughes broadband satellite system is based on the IPoS (IP over Satellite) industry standard, including DVB-S2 with ACM (Adaptive Coding Modulation).

Hughes said the ACM feature yields higher performance and spectrum efficiency than other DVB-S2 systems in the market, resulting in greater throughputs and more efficient bandwidth utilization, enabling service providers to deliver the most cost-efficient broadband connectivity to their customers.

This is the first satellite service in Canada based on the Hughes implementation of the DVB-S2 standard with ACM, and will fully support and prioritize VoIP packets, thereby improving voice quality and reliability. Galaxy will also provide new service plans that can be customized to improve the performance of satellite VPN connections and other business applications.


Orange Launches First Windows Mobile 6.0 Device

Orange Business Services launched the first Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.0-powered smartphone on the UK market. Available exclusively from Orange until the beginning of May, the compact SPV E650 offers the ability to connect with Wi-Fi, EDGE and GPRS networks.

The Orange smartphone combines PDA capabilities with quad-band functionality. It conceals a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, making it easier than ever before to respond to emails . Talk time is rated at up to 5 hours, with a standby time of up to 7 days.

  • Earlier this year at 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, Microsoft unveiled Windows Mobile 6, the newest version of its mobile software platform. Key improvements include the ability to view e-mails in their original rich HTML format with live links to Web and SharePoint sites. Windows Mobile 6 includes Windows Live for Windows Mobile, which includes a set of Windows Live services, such as Windows Live Messenger. The newest version also includes mobile versions of Office Outlook, Office Word, Office Excel and Office PowerPoint.

    Microsoft said Windows Mobile 6 supports a variety of security options for businesses, including new Exchange Server policies and certificate options, storage card encryption, and continued support for remote and local device wipe. Windows Mobile 6 will also support Information Rights Management (IRM) technology to help control the viewing, storing and printing of confidential information on the mobile phone.

    Microsoft expects the first Windows Mobile 6 powered devices to be on the market by Q2. In Europe, Orange plans to deliver the SPV E650 smartphone from HTC.

Comcast to Acquire Fandango for Movie Ticketing

Comcast announced plans to acquire Fandango, which provides online movie information, showtimes, and ticketing for 15,000 cinema screens across the US, for an undisclosed sum. Fandango is a top U.S. entertainment site and one of the nation's largest movie sites with between 4 and 5 million unique visitors each month. The site has long- term, exclusive relationships with many national theater chains.

Comcast also announced plans to launch Fancast.com, a new national online destination that will enable consumers to search, discover, manage and enjoy their entertainment experience across many devices and channels, including television, computers, DVDs and wireless services.

Fancast, which will launch this summer, will enable consumers to search for their favorite shows, movies, actors and actresses, or simply enjoy the video content on the site. Fancast will provide consumers with a place to discover when their favorite shows or movies are "on," and where they can view them via television, video-on-demand, online or on other devices.

Comcast noted it already has a major Internet presence, through Comcast.net, which is now a top 10 site with more than 2.5 billion page views, more than 80 million videos viewed and 15 million unique visitors per month. The cable operator aims to leverage its experience as the nation's largest buyer of video content, serving nearly 25 million cable customers and 11.5 million broadband customers, to expand its existing video-centric websites and create a new online destination, Fancast.com.



Motorola and ECI Telecom Form Broadband Access Partnership

Motorola and ECI Telecom announced a new strategic relationship pairing ECI's IP DSLAM portfolio with Motorola's Fiber-to-the-Node (FTTN) and Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) solutions. The multi-year agreement provides Motorola access to ECI's portfolio of carrier-class access infrastructure products including Outside Plant (OSP) and Central Office (CO) IP DSLAM solutions. Specifically, the deal gives Motorola the global rights to brand, market, and sell ECI's portfolio of access infrastructure solutions. Motorola will be investing in integration of these platforms into their current Ultra-Broadband access portfolio and hence will have an exclusivity period for the North American market.

ECI's IP DSLAM features an IP/Ethernet switching fabric and deep Quality-of-Service (QoS) assurance capabilities.



BBC: Bangladesh Stuck in Telecoms Jam

Unregistered and privately-owned VoIP operators in Bangladesh have been shut down disrupting thousands of international callers, according to the BBC. The move is seen as protecting the state-owned telephone company, the Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board, and as part of a wider crackdown on illegal businesses by the country's new military-backed government.


Monday, April 9, 2007

BT to Reduce Wholesale Broadband Charges

BT will reduce the price of its wholesale broadband products beginning next month. From 1-May-2007, service providers using BT Wholesale's most highly used product -- BT IPstream -- will benefit from a 9 percent reduction in the monthly rental charge, with the price falling from £8.40 per line per month to £7.63.

BT said there will also be further savings for service providers at high density exchanges, to reflect the lower cost of providing broadband in these areas. The current rebate scheme that covers 561 of these exchanges will now apply to a total of 1,016 exchanges. The level of this rebate is also set to increase from £1.10 to £1.24 from May 2007.

The increase in the rebate -- combined with the lower rental price - will reduce the net monthly rental price (i.e. rental less rebate) in these exchanges from £7.30 to £6.39. This is a reduction of 12.5 percent.

The revised rebate scheme will also apply to service providers using the BT Datastream product. The existing rebate of £1.15 for connections to the current 561 exchanges will be extended to the 1,016 designated exchanges. This will effectively reduce the monthly rental charge per end user from £7.05 to £5.90 in those areas from 1 May, 2007.


Datang and Alcatel-Lucent to Supply TD-SCDMA for China Mobile

Datang Mobile and Alcatel Shanghai Bell were selected to provide TD-SCDMA network solutions to China Mobile as part of China Mobile's TD-SCDMA trial network expansion program. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Datang and Alcatel Shanghai Bell plan to deploy TD-SCDMA network solutions for China Mobile in Shanghai and in the southern city of Guangzhou. Alcatel Shanghai Bell will provide the Node B equipment to be used in the network.

TD-SCDMA, initially developed by Datang Mobile, has been officially recognized as an international standard for third-generation (3G) mobile communications.

Alcatel Shanghai Bell said it has made a long-term commitment to the development and promotion of TD-SCDMA within China and worldwide. In 2004, Alcatel Shanghai Bell entered into a strategic partnership with Datang Mobile to further the development of TD-SCDMA and as part of that agreement made an investment in Datang of Euro 25 million to acquire shares and further TD-SCDMA industrialization.



Akimbo VOD Service Now Available for TV and PC

Akimbo's Internet video-on-demand service will be available next week in beta release for Windows XP and Vista-based PCs. The service has previously only been available to the Akimbo set-top box.

Akimbo used the Sonic Solutions' Roxio Venue, a rich media management application, to make the Akimbo Service available on PCs. The service offers a progressive download feature, allowing users to begin to watch videos before the download is complete. Later this year, consumers will also be able to securely burn Akimbo videos onto recordable DVDs that play on standard DVD players as well as PCs, which will be enabled using Sonic DVD On Demand technology.


NextWave Wireless to Acquire IPWireless for TD-CDMA

NextWave Wireless agreed to acquire IPWireless, the leading supplier of TD-CDMA network equipment and subscriber terminals, for approximately $100 million at closing, consisting of $25 million in cash and $75 million in NextWave common stock. Additional consideration of up to $135 million will be paid based on the achievement of certain revenue milestones in the 2007 -- 2009 timeframe as specified in the agreement.

IPWireless is known for its developmental work in 3GPP TDD UMTS standards. Its TD-CDMA technology has potential application as the mission-critical wireless broadband needs of government and public service agencies including police and fire departments, public safety, and medical first responders. The technology, as optimized for public safety applications, can serve the 700MHz band plan currently under consideration by the FCC for public safety applications.

In September 2006, IPWireless's TD-CDMA mobile broadband wireless technology was selected by New York City's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications as part of a five-year, $500 million contract awarded to Northrop Grumman for the deployment of a citywide, public safety, mobile wireless network.

The IPWireless TDtv solution, based on 3GPP Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (MBMS), allows UMTS Operators to deliver mobile television and other multimedia services using their existing 3G spectrum and networks, without impacting their current voice and data services. A trial of TDtv technology, recently conducted in the UK by four of the largest mobile operators in Europe, demonstrated its ability to cost-effectively deliver high-quality, multi-channel broadcast services using the trial participants' existing spectrum. TDtv supports key consumer requirements including fast channel change times, reliable operation at high travel speeds, and seamless integration into small profile handsets.

Mobile broadband networks that utilize IPWireless' TD-CDMA technology have been commercially deployed in more than a dozen countries, including the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Germany, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.

NextWave Wireless and IPWireless said they will work together to expand IPWireless' product portfolio to incorporate WiMAX and/or Wi-Fi technologies for those service providers and equipment vendors that require such solutions.


http://www.ipwireless.comIn February 2007, NextWave Wireless, which develops mobile WiMAX solutions and has acquired a nationwide spectrum footprint in the U.S. and Germany, completed its acquisition of GO Networks. The Mountain View, California-based start-up provides advanced Wi-Fi network systems to service providers looking to deploy campus and metropolitan Wi-Fi systems.

In January 2006, Sprint Nextel made an additional $10 million strategic investment in IPWireless, a supplier of TD-CDMA technology. Sprint made its initial investment of $4 million in IPWireless in July 2005.

At the time, Sprint Nextel was trialing IPWireless' UMTS TD-CDMA technology in the Washington, D.C. area for broadband access for laptops, desktops or PDAs; backhaul for enterprise campus; and a wide array of Wireless Interactive Multimedia Services such as video-streaming, online gaming, document collaboration and video-conferencing.

IPWireless has raised more than $200 million since its founding in 1999, with lead backers including Bay Partners, DCM - Doll Capital Management, Gabriel Venture Partners, GIC Special Investments, J.F. Shea Venture Capital, and Oak Hill Capital Management.

Novatel Wireless Announces HSDPA Launch in Europe through OEMs

Novatel Wireless announced that four tier-one operators and two OEM partners, including existing and new customers, have launched its next generation HSDPA product portfolio throughout Europe. Novatel Wireless currently has five products commercialized for the European market across all product portfolio segments of PC and ExpressCards, embedded modules and Ovation fixed mobile solutions. The company said these customer relationships have resulted in more than a 25 percent sequential increase in HSDPA EMEA sales in the first quarter of 2007.

KT to Deploy DASAN STBs Powered by Sigma Media Processors

KT has selected DASAN Networks for deployment of FTTH equipment for their Megapass TV service. Under the contract, customers that sign up for KT's flagship Megapass TV service will be offered a DASAN Network IPTV set-top box.

The DASAN STBs are powered by Sigma Designs' SMP8634 media processor. An internal hard disc drive enables the download and play option for personal video recording. The set-top box also includes a port of ACAP middleware to support data broadcasting reception of the ATSC digital TV standard.

KT's new Megapass TV Advanced Video Services support rates up to 50 Mbps. It will feature live television, pay-per view, high definition content, video-on-demand, and a host of interactive services. KT expects to begin volume deployments of Megapass TV in July of this year.