Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Russia's TransTeleCom Builds NGN with Huawei

Russia's TransTeleCom has deployed a next generation network (NGN) to carry national and international voice traffic using platforms from Huawei Technologies. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The country-wide Russian NGN network spans nine time zones from Europe to Asia, encompassing seven national toll call offices and four international toll call offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg and six other cities. The newly built NGN interoperates with the original network and retains all the services of the original network. The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) technology integrated in Huawei's NGN solution also enables TransTeleCom to provide end-users with even more multimedia services.

Huawei's NGN solution separates the call control layer from the bearer layer. With the uniform platform for network management and service deployment, it enables centralized network management, as well as allowing TransTeleCom to quickly deploy new services. In addition, Huawei has provided TransTeleCom with an advanced disaster tolerance solution, to ensure secure and stable running of the network, such as a dual-homing Softswitch solution and a network management system that uses dual systems located in different places.

Fujitsu Named a Preferred Supplier to The Quilt Consortium

The Quilt research/education consortium, which includes 28 leading U.S.-based research and networking organizations, has named Fujitsu Network Communications a preferred supplier of optical transport solutions as part of their Vendor Affiliate Program.

The Fujitsu FLASHWAVE 4500 multiservice provisioning platform (MSPP), FLASHWAVE 7420 managed wavelength platform and FLASHWAVE 7500 reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) platforms are now available to members of The Quilt for deployment within their regional optical networks.



Great Plains Network Includes ADVA

The Great Plains Network consortium, a group midwestern universities dedicated to supporting research and education through the use of advanced networking technology, will include ADVA Optical Networking as its first corporate member. ADVA will lend its expertise in reconfigurable optical network services, coarse and dense wavelength division multiplexing (C- and DWDM) and high-speed Ethernet services for applications including on-demand grid computing and supercomputing infrastructures.


BlackBerry Service Suffers Major Outage

Research In Motion's (RIM's) BlackBerry service suffered a major outage across North America lasting from approximately 8 p.m. EDT Tuesday until about 7 a.m. EDT Wednesday. Email service was delayed or interrupted. According to various news sources, RIM experienced a major failure in one of its two network operations centers (NOC).

As of March 31, the total BlackBerry subscriber account base was approximately 8 million.


Global Crossing Supplies IP VPN for Newsquest

Global Crossing is providing an IP VPN capable of supporting data and voice services to Newsquest Media Group, the UK's second largest regional newspaper publisher. The network will be used to link Newsquest's 160 sites. Global Crossing also will consolidate 50 server locations into two data centers and provide new Internet access points for the data centers. The five-year, $20 million contract was signed last September.


Motorola Posts Loss of $181 Million, Weaker Mobile Sales

Motorola reported sales of $9.4 billion for Q1 2007 and a net loss of $181 million, or $0.08 per share.

"As I said a few weeks ago, the performance in our Mobile Devices business in the first quarter is unacceptable and we are committed to restoring it to an appropriate level of profitability. However, I am pleased with the continued performance of our Networks and Enterprise and Connected Home Solutions businesses. Despite challenges, the company was profitable for the quarter, excluding the items highlighted above. We also continue to invest for the future, as evidenced by the completion of several strategic acquisitions during the quarter," said Ed Zander, chairman and CEO.

Some highlights:

  • Mobile Devices segment sales were $5.4 billion, down 15 percent compared with the year-ago quarter. Excluding highlighted items, the segment incurred an operating loss of $231 million, compared with operating earnings of $701 million in the year-ago quarter. Lower sales and earnings are attributable to lower overall unit volumes, particularly in the emerging markets and Europe. Motorola's share of the global handset market for the quarter is estimated to be 17.5%.

    During the quarter, Mobile Devices shipped 45.4 million handsets.

    Motorola said it is streamlining its mobile product portfolio, as evidenced by the discontinuation of six legacy products during the quarter. It will continue to carry out previously announced workforce reductions and introduce more devices based on Linux/Java.

  • Networks and Enterprise segment sales were $3.0 billion, up 20 percent compared with the year-ago quarter. Excluding highlighted items, operating earnings were $343 million, compared with operating earnings of $328 million in the year-ago quarter. Operating margin, excluding highlighted items, was 11.4 percent compared to 13.0 percent in the year-ago quarter.

  • Connected Home Solutions segment sales were $1.0 billion, up 42 percent compared with the year-ago quarter. Excluding highlighted items, operating earnings were $113 million, compared with operating earnings of $47 million in the year-ago quarter. Operating margin, excluding highlighted items, was 10.9 percent compared to 6.4 percent in the year-ago quarter.

Motorola said its Q2 outlook for sales is essentially flat with first quarter 2007. The outlook for earnings per share in the second quarter is in the range of $.02 to $.03. This outlook excludes any reorganization of business charges associated with the company's operating expense reduction initiatives, as well as any other items of the variety highlighted by the company in its quarterly earnings releases.


Nokia Expands its Recycling Program for Mobile Phones

Nokia is offering free postage-paid envelopes enabling consumers in the United States to mail any mobile phone, mobile phone battery or mobile phone accessory to the company for recycling.

XO to Deploy Hatteras Networks' Mid-Band Ethernet

XO Communications selected Hatteras Networks' HN4000 and HN400 platforms as the exclusive Mid-Band Ethernet (MBE) solution to be used in its network. XO is currently deploying the Hatteras platform to expand the reach of its Ethernet Services footprint in 60 metropolitan markets, enabling businesses at copper-fed locations to take advantage of Ethernet services previously only available at buildings connected by fiber. Financial terms were not disclosed.



BT to provide Global Managed Services to Ciba

Ciba Specialty Chemicals (Ciba) selected BT to provide a broad package of managed ICT-services to its offices worldwide. BT will supply a global IP telephony solution running across a BT managed LAN and WAN service, a global IT security solution and a flat-rate voice service. Headquartered in Switzerland, Ciba Specialty Chemicals is active in more than 120 countries. Financial terms were not disclosed.



Verizon Business Extends VoIP Portfolio to Australia

Verizon Business has expanded availability of its portfolio to the Australian market, launching Verizon IP Integrated Access and Verizon Hosted IP Centrex to customers in six Australian cities.

IP Integrated Access consolidates voice and data traffic over a single IP network whilst keeping the traditional PBX (private branch exchange) in place. Hosted IP Centrex is a robust, scalable and feature-rich VoIP service delivered from a hosted platform. The services are supported by SLAs.

Verizon Business said its global footprint and extensive voice network coverage enable it to offer one of the most extensive VoIP portfolios available.

Verizon VoIP is now available in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney in Australia, as well as in the U.K., Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, South Africa, Canada and the United States. Local language (Dutch, French, German and British English in addition to U.S. English) customer Web interfaces and local ringtones are now available in these countries, providing a fully localized IP telephony end-user experience.

Site-to-site VoIP capabilities are also available in an additional 11 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland).

The company plans to expand to six additional Australian cities (Geelong, the Gold Coast, Newcastle, Penrith, Townsville and Wollongong) in mid 2007, followed by the Australian rollout of Verizon Managed IP PBX and Verizon IP Trunking. In addition, Verizon Hosted IP Centrex is also planned for Hong Kong later in 2007.

AT&T Reaches 18,000 IPTV Subscribers

AT&T has signed up 18,000 subscribers to date for its U-verse IPTV and Internet service. AT&T's average installation rate has ramped to approximately 2,000 installations a week -- five times greater than its average rate in January.

AT&T also confirmed plans to launch U-verse in the Los Angeles area in the coming weeks. Additional launches are planned for later this year and next.

AT&T satellite TV offering is growing even faster. Following a strong fourth-quarter 2006 in which AT&T added 111,000 bundled satellite television users, the company added a record number of users in the first quarter of 2007. Including U-verse and satellite customers, AT&T added more than 180,000 video users in the most recent quarter, which is more than the four largest reporting cable companies combined added for the full year in 2006.

AT&T offers satellite service across its 22-state local service area through relationships with satellite broadcast providers. Satellite customers in AT&T's traditional 13-state local service area include subscribers to AT&T Homezone service, which integrates AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet and AT&T | DISH Network satellite services.


Carl Icahn Lobbies Motorola Shareholders for Place on Board

Activist investor Carl Icahn issued a public letter to shareholders in Motorola seeking a place on the company's Board of Directors. Icahn said that if elected, he will be unafraid to demand management accountability, especially in regards to Motorola's Mobile Devices division, which he blames for the steep decline in the value of the company's stock over the past few months.


Monday, April 16, 2007

Samsung Develops LCD Displays Targeting Mobile Internet Devices

Samsung Electronics is sampling 4.8-inch and 7.0-inch WSVGA mobile displays that specifically target the Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC) and mobile internet device (MID) categories. The 4.8-inch display uses Samsung's single-chip display driver that combines source driver, timing controller, level shifter and LVDS receiver. Samsung said it is working closely with Intel to accelerate market acceptance of UMPC and MID market opportunities.


Intel Unveils Media Processor for Networked Media Players

Intel unveiled a new media processor aimed at a new generation of consumer devices, such as digital set top boxes and networked media players.

The Intel CE 2110 Media Processor uses a system-on-a-chip (SoC) architecture that combines a 1 GHz Intel XScale CPU, MPEG-2 and H.264 hardware video decoders, DDR2 memory interface, 2D/3D graphics accelerators, and is supported by a modular software development environment.

Intel said it is working with several consumer electronics companies on designs that incorporate the new SoC media processor, including: ASUS, which is has a set top box; Digeo, which plans to deliver new Moxi Multi-Room HD digital media recorders; and OKI and ZTE, which will build set top boxes.

System integrator Hwacom plans to provide application layers for IPTV services using the new Intel media processing platform.

In addition, RADVISION will deliver VoIP and video conferencing capabilities; Amino Communications will provide the Intact IPTV client software stack and Verimatrix will deliver content protection software based on the new media processing platform.

Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom plans to support consumer devices based on the new SoC media processor with its Multimedia on Demand (MoD) service deployment.

TeleCIS Wireless Sells WiMAX 16e Designs, Focuses on "d" Opportunity

TeleCIS Wireless, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California developing WiMAX fixed and portable broadband wireless chips, has restructured to focus its business and engineering efforts toward the portable WiMAX16d market.

As part of this restructuring the company has sold its 16e WiMAX mobile SoC technology to a premier wireless chip vendor. According to various news reports, the buyer was QUALCOMM, although financial terms were not disclosed.

TeleCIS said it remains completely committed to its flagship product, the TCW 1620 fixed/portable WiMAX 16d SoC, and fully engaged in all aspects of business, including product development, manufacturing, product support, sales and marketing.

TeleCIS noted that its renewed focus on the fixed/portable market will allow it to meet the enormous demands for fixed and portable consumer devices as the explosion of WiMAX "d" network deployments continue.

The TeleCIS TCW 1620 chip features a dual receive/dual transmit design (2x2 MIMO+) delivering up to 15dB of additional performance as compared to other products on the market, and up to 2.5X the range for self installed CPEs. The chip is designed for both fixed indoor consumer premises equipment as well as portable subscriber devices such as PC Cards and small form factor portable access products for laptops and PDAs. The chip delivers full nomadic portability within a WiMAX service area and provides broadband wireless consumers freedom from tethered connections.

  • TeleCIS Wireless is headed by Dr. Sam Endy, who previously served as President and CEO of ArrayComm. He previously was VP, Operations at Sprint, where he was responsible for the activation and operation of Sprint's 20,000-mile U.S. fiber network, 42 switching centers, and initiation of international service.

  • The founder of TeleCIS Wireless is Dr. Je Woo Kim, previously a professor at Pusan National University in Korea.

NTT America Expands Network to Tenth U.S. POP

NTT America, a wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of NTT Communications Corporation, has expanded its networking capabilities to include Atlanta, Georgia. This new point-of-presence represents the tenth U.S. market for NTT Communications Global IP Network (GIN) and it will offer local enterprises and service providers with new fiber routes and access to the Internet at connection speeds up to 10 gigabit per second Ethernet (10GigE).

NTT America said its service offerings will be based in the Telx-owned 56 Marietta building, a 160,000 square-foot fully dedicated carrier hotel/interconnect facility that is home to the Southeast's largest concentration of telecommunication companies. The agreement will further establish NTT Communications as a leading global provider of 10GigE support and service and of IPv6 technologies. Other managed service offerings at the location include firewalls, VPNs, IPS and hardware.

NEC Electronics Delivers Certified Wireless USB Chips

NEC Electronics has received certification by the USB Implementers Forum for its Wireless USB host controller for PCI interfaces and its Wireless USB device wire adapter (DWA). The devices can be used to implement ultra wideband (UWB) wireless technology between USB peripherals and computers or consumer electronics products via a quick relay of data chunks based on Certified Wireless USB technology.

NEC Electronics' uPD720170 host controller supports all eight data transfer rates -- from 53.3 up to 480 Mbps. The uPD720180 DWA chip provides the functionality required by the Certified Wireless USB standard and also enables interoperability with current USB devices. Designers can easily implement a complete system based on Certified Wireless USB technology by combining the two NEC Electronics chips.

Sampling is underway.

Attendance at NAB2007 Reaches 108,000

Attendance is up at NAB2007, the annual convention of The National Association of Broadcasters being held this week in Las Vegas. Attendance figures from the organizers:

Registered Attendees

2007: 108,232

2006: 105,046

International Attendees

2007: 26,824

2006: 25,537http://www.nabshow.com/

Bell Canada Considers Privatization

BCE, the holding company that includes Bell Canada, Telesat Canada and an interest in Bell Globemedia, is reviewing its strategic alternatives with a view to further enhancing shareholder value.

Specifically, BCE is holding discussions with a group of leading Canadian pension funds to explore the possibility of taking the publicly-traded company private. This group will be led by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec and Canada's Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments), who have signed a non-disclosure and standstill agreement with BCE on a non-exclusive basis. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Co. (KKR), a leading global private equity firm, has also signed the agreement and will join the Canadian-led consortium as a minority partner.

BCE said it is driven by the ongoing need to maximize value for the company's shareholders, taking into consideration the need to meet all legislative and regulatory requirements, including ensuring the company remains Canadian, to meet existing foreign ownership restrictions.


Singapore's Muni Wi-Fi Network Exceeds 1,000 Mesh Nodes

The first phase of Wireless@SG, the Wi-Fi deployment blanketing Singapore, currently exceeds 1,000 indoor and outdoor mesh nodes and access points. Firetide is supplying equipment for the municipal, wireless mesh network, which is being deployed by iCELL, a local IT solution provider, and D-Synergy, a local distributor.

The network, which began deployment in November 2006, was cultivated by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore as part of its Next Generation National Infocomm Infrastructure initiative, dubbed Wireless@SG. Three local wireless operators are currently deploying a free wireless broadband network with access speeds of up to 512kbps that is planned to be available in most public areas.

Singapore has a challenging wireless environment with hills, narrow streets, alleys and high rise office towers blocking line-of-sight. Due to the tropical climate, most end-users prefer to receive Wi-Fi indoors, adding the challenge of penetrating building walls. In addition to handling the geographical terrain, iCELL installed advanced technical features that included Firetide's mesh for triple-play applications -- adding data traffic, voice, video and future mobile capabilities.

iCELL is providing the following key lessons learned so far for municipalities considering similar deployments:

  • Select a Model That Works for Your Community -- Singapore instituted for a government sponsored initiative Wireless@SG to ensure Wi-Fi access would be available to all its citizens. To cover the entire country of Singapore, multiple operators were utilized for regional zones to make the deployment more manageable.

  • Consider Future Applications -- The government decided that it would include Wi-Fi access throughout all regions. It also called for future applications for voice and mobility so that wireless connectivity could be tapped while on the go. Firetide's mesh network offers both VLAN capability, QoS and multiple levels of encryption for network security. This allows Singapore to offer secure services to its users and to prioritize critical voice traffic ahead of data for optimal VoIP performance.

  • Test and Correct Installation at Every Step -- During the deployment, the service provider learned that the best location for an access point was not necessarily the best location for a wireless mesh node. Firetide's modular architecture allowed for the ability to deploy each function with flexibility. Based on "test and correct method," iCELL and Firetide engineers learned that placing wireless nodes up high, for best backhaul performance and place access points closer to the user communities allowed for the best network coverage. As Firetide's hardware could be de-coupled, it allowed additional ways to work with any environment.

  • Set Clear Expectations About Coverage -- The free Wi-Fi service is slated to be available island-wide in major indoors and outdoors public places, but not in residential areas, where broadband connections are readily available. Setting expectations upfront, and planning for reliable performance in indoor public venues (cafes, malls, government buildings) prevented issues commonly seen in some of the U.S. Wi-Fi deployments. From the technical stand- point, Firetide's products allow seamless network management from indoors to the outdoors.