Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Boingo to Roam onto FON, More Than Doubling Its Hot Spot Network

Boingo Wireless signed a roaming agreement with FON, a Madrid-based start-up building a global community of Wi-Fi access point owners (or "foneros") willing to share their broadband connections. The roaming deal will provide Boingo users with access to an additional 130,000 hot spot locations -- more than doubling the company's network size.

The 130,000 Wi-Fi locations come from businesses and individuals who add their own hot spots to the FON community in exchange for the right to roam on other FON community locations for free or at a reduced rate. For Boingo users, these new locations provide a rich network of Wi-Fi locations in areas that complement Boingo's existing commercial locations.

Boingo said that access to the FON network will also benefit users of Boingo Mobile, its service for Wi-Fi-enabled handsets. Boingo Mobile users pay $7.95 per month for unlimited access to hot spots worldwide to make VoIP calls, use messaging services or surf the Internet from their handset.
  • In April 2007, Time Warner Cable agreed to allow and encourage its broadband subscribers to share their home connections as open Wi-Fi hotspots in the FON community. Through a partnership with FON, Time Warner Cable subscribers will be able to create FON access points via their home or business broadband connection.

  • La Fonera router is secure out-of-the-box and offers two distinct WiFi channels. One channel is for the exclusive use of its owner; the second channel is shared with other foneros. The La Fonera increases security through an encrypted private network and Foneros decide how much bandwidth to share. Public users cannot access the private network and there is no anonymous usage.

  • In February 2006, FON, a start-up based in Madrid, Spain, secured EUR 18 million (US$21.7 million for its software that enables users to share their Wi-Fi access points while gaining access to a global community of Wi-Fi hotspots.

  • FON investors include Index Ventures, Google, Sequoia Capital and Skype.

Parks Associates Predicts 60 Million IPTV Subscribers by 2012

The number of IPTV subscribers will reach nearly 60 million worldwide by year-end 2011, spurred by both aggressive and reactionary telco tactics, according to a new report from Parks Associates.

The new IPTV: From Quadruple Play to Multiplay report, which provides forecasts and analyses for the worldwide IPTV market, predicts television choices for European consumers in particular will expand greatly in the next several years, due to a growing number of IPTV providers per country, a surge in digital terrestrial offerings, and a resurgence of cable providers in certain markets.

While Asia has established solid growth to date, the Parks Associates' study finds that certain regulations may bar IPTV providers from offering truly differentiated content. Finally, North American growth, spurred by major Tier 1 providers, will reach solid numbers by the end of the forecast period.

"On a global scale, the IPTV experience is going to provide widely-varying levels of success and challenges," said Kurt Scherf, Parks Associates' vice president and principal analyst. "European incumbents are being encouraged now to enter non-traditional markets, and this has spurred not only growth of multi-channel television delivery, but a whole new level of reliance on residential gateways and the beginnings of truly converged communications services. Asian markets have, in many cases, the necessary infrastructure to support incredible television experiences, but providers may struggle to truly differentiate their offerings from cable competitors. Finally, the North American model for telcos is going to have to shift very quickly from a defensive to an offensive posture for Tier 1 providers to establish a foothold and actually build revenue per subscriber."

AudioCodes Releases VoIPerfect Solution for WiMAX CPE

AudioCodes released its "VoIPerfect" solution for WiMAX CPE applications, adapted for Intel WiMAX Connection 2250 (previously codenamed Rosedale 2) chipset. The AudioCodes toolkit includes a hardware reference design for a VoIP Analog Telephone Adapter (ATA) and a Linux-based SIP VoIP application, fully integrated and tested with the Intel WiMAX Connection 2250. A variety of vocoders are supported, including G.711, G.726, G.729, G.723.1, iLBC, etc., as well as wideband vocoders for HD voice quality.
Echo cancellation, T.38 Fax relay, conferencing and flexible telephony signals detection and generation are also supported. The solution also includes provisioning for Real Time Polling Service (RTPS) allowing dynamic allocation of bandwidth, which provides the Quality of Service (QoS) required for VoIP calls while optimizing the usage of the required bandwidth.

The AudioCodes VoIPerfect architecture, which has been deployed for over 12 years, includes a DSP firmware, media processing VoicePacketizer stack, SIP stack and call control layer for a complete SIP VoIP application. Additionally, an infrastructure is provided to allow the configuration and management of the stand-alone SIP VoIP application from the user's main application.

"With the growing number of WiMAX installations globally, service providers will want to enable their customers with voice as well as data," stated Shaul Weissman, Vice President, VoIP Processors, at AudioCodes. "Using our integrated VoIPerfect solution allows OEMs and ODMs to rapidly provide a VoIP enabled WiMAX CPE for such applications."

ViaSat Expands Agreement with WildBlue, Ordering 500,000 Terminals

WildBlue Communications awarded a requirements contract to ViaSat to supply the next 500,000 Ka-band satellite terminals to be deployed by WildBlue for use with its WildBlue-1 and Anik F2 satellites. Together with units already delivered, the number of terminals supplied by ViaSat is expected to exceed 750,000. The contract provides for potential expansion to other on-orbit Ka-band satellites that may be used by WildBlue. The contract, which also includes network infrastructure upgrades and software support services, could exceed a value of $200 million over the next three to five years, depending on the underlying market demand for WildBlue subscriber terminals.

"ViaSat and WildBlue have been working very closely together for a number of years to create a scaleable market for satellite broadband services," said ViaSat CEO Mark Dankberg. "WildBlue's impressive growth has shown there is very strong demand for high-quality, affordable satellite broadband service in rural America. We are extremely pleased to be a part of their continued growth."

ViaSat was first selected as the supplier of the WildBlue satellite networking system in 2001.
  • n March 2007, 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.

Hitachi's GPON Platform Receives USDA-RUS Acceptance

Hitachi Telecom's AMN1220 GPON product has been accepted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) for deployment under the Rural Development Broadband Loan and Loan Guarantee Program. Acceptance for the RUS program requires that the product is standards-compliant (ITU G.984.1 - 4 for GPON), has been deployed in a "revenue-generating service environment" with at least six months of operating experience, and is recommended by current customers.

RUS acceptance means that communities of up to 20,000 inhabitants can now install Hitachi's AMN1220 GPON Fiber to the Premises solution using funding obtained under the USDA Rural Development funding programs.

The Broadband Access Loan program provides loans for funding the costs of construction, improvement, and acquisition of facilities to provide broadband service to eligible rural communities.

Hitachi's GPON products for North America are compliant with ITU-T G.984 standards.

Voxant Partners With Dow Jones Online

Voxant has partnered with Dow Jones Online to make videos from The Wall Street Journal Online, and Barron's Online available through VSN's TheNewsRoom. Voxant offers proprietary "viral mashing" technology that allows the copyright-protected content to be "mashed" from TheNewsRoom and legally embedded on websites and blogs.

EarthLink to Launch Next Phase in Philadelphia Wi-Fi Rollout

The City of Philadelphia approved EarthLink's 15-square-mile Wi-Fi Proof of Concept (POC) area -- or test zone. In turn, EarthLink will continue building the 135-square-mile Wi-Fi mesh network, slated for citywide completion in the third quarter of 2007.

EarthLink will finance, build and manage the wireless network, and provide Wireless Philadelphia (the non- profit created by the City to manage the project) with revenue sharing fees to help support the non-profit and its Digital Inclusion programs.

EarthLink Wi-Fi for consumers offers download and upload speeds up to 1 Mbps for a limited time promotional rate of $6.95 a month for the first six months, returning to the recurring rate of $19.95 a month thereafter. A premium 3 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload service is priced at $9.95 for the first six months, returning to the recurring rate of $21.95 a month thereafter. EarthLink will also offer business services.

AT&T Wins $30 Million Contract with Centers for Disease Control

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded a $30 million contract to AT&T Government Solutions to provide Managed Telecommunications Services to multiple CDC locations throughout the country. AT&T will provide the CDC Information Technology Services Office with managed telecommunications and support services for its existing PBX and cabling systems. AT&T will also provide the CDC with a dedicated staff of employees responsible for maintaining and updating the CDC's telecommunications infrastructure.

The contract has a two-year base with a three-year option. AT&T will support 14 CDC locations in Atlanta, Ga.; Cincinnati, Ohio, and Hyattsville, Md. The CDC has approximately 6,500 employees.

Aruba Networks Posts Revenue of $34.7 Million

Aruba Networks reported quarterly revenues of $34.7 million, an increase of 65% from $21.0 million reported in the same quarter of last year. GAAP net loss for the quarter was $9.3 million, or $0.26 per share, compared to a net loss of $1.5 million, or $0.13 per share in the same quarter of 2006.

"Our momentum in the marketplace is reflected in our revenue growth, which increased during the quarter on both a sequential and year-over-year basis," said Dominic Orr, president and chief executive officer of Aruba Networks. "We continued to add new customers at a rapid rate and now have over 2,400 customers."

Sony Ericsson Joins the WiMAX Forum

Sony Ericsson has joined the WiMAX Forum.

"Sony Ericsson's membership in the WiMAX Forum is a logical step as we seek to understand the technology and the opportunities in the marketplace," said Mats Lindoff, Chief Technology Officer, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB.

AT&T unveils Networx Transition Management Center

AT&T Government Solutions showcased its portfolio of products, services and capabilities for Networx Universal, a multibillion telecommunications network and services contract awarded by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). At its Networx Universal Program Launch meeting , AT&T unveiled its Transition Management Center, where AT&T PMP-certified program managers and staff showcased tools, resources, inventory management and processes that will be used for agencies that will partner with AT&T for their transitions.

AT&T also detailed its products and services for Mobility, Network Disaster Recovery and Continuity of Operations, Security, Order Processing and Billing, Managed Services and Services Management, including its Web-based customer portal, BuisnessDirect.

RadiSys Releases Convedia CMS-3000 and CMS-9000 Media Servers

RadiSys announced the general availability of its Convedia CMS-3000 and CMS-9000 media servers, which are based on a modular hardware platform, incorporate the latest DSPs and processor chipsets and utilize the company's eXtended Media Processing (eXMP) technology.

The platforms are optimized for media-intensive IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) networks and can be used to enable fixed mobile convergence by delivering a shared IP media processing resource for any access network, including wireless, broadband, cable, PSTN or satellite. The media servers provide a standards-based Multimedia Resource Function Processor (MRFP) that can be shared across a broad range of IMS applications.

RadiSys said the processing of XML-based scripts for IVR applications, storing and retrieving multimedia files for messaging applications, as well as the growing use of low bit rate audio codecs, high complexity video codecs, and sophisticated VoIP security, including media encryption, require increasingly powerful and flexible IP media processing platforms.

The CMS-9000, a carrier-class IP media server, incorporates a family of new modular media processing cards. The processing cards are backwards compatible with CMS-6000 deployments, allowing existing customers to benefit from recent hardware advancements while fully protecting their investment in CMS-6000 systems.

The CMS-3000 media server, targeted at enterprise customers and smaller service providers, incorporates eXMP media processing technology in a 1RU network appliance packaging. Both products are backwards compatible with management and control interfaces from RadiSys, and meet or exceed Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) environmental standards for telecommunication equipment.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Agilent and Net-O2 Announce CFM Test Suite for Carrier Ethernet

Agilent Technologies and Net-O2, a developer of automated communications testing software, have integrated Net-O2's ATTEST Connectivity Fault Management (CFM) protocol conformance test suite into Agilent's N2X multiservices test solution. Network equipment manufacturers and service providers can use N2X to ensure their Carrier Ethernet switches and routers implementing the CFM mechanisms conform to the relevant IEEE and ITU-T standards.

Defined currently in IEEE 802.1ag draft 8.0, CFM provides end-to-end Carrier Ethernet diagnostic capabilities that allow service providers to rapidly detect and locate faults, ensuring the reliable delivery of delay-sensitive triple play services.

The companies said the IEEE CFM mechanisms are very similar to those in the ITU-T Y.1731 standard. The tight alignment between these two influential standards bodies attests to the relevance of CFM to the industry. The Agilent N2X CFM test suite provides the industry's first solution for validating CFM standards compliance.

Jangl Assigns a Phone Number to Every Email Address

Jangl, a start-up based in Pleasanton, California, unveiled a service that lets consumers call anyone using only their email address. The new Jangl service, which is available in 31 countries, builds on the social networking phenomenon.

Jangl Service Highlights:

  • Call anyone: Connect via your mobile phone simply by knowing someone's email address.

  • Keep your real phone numbers private at all times.

  • Want to be called? Add a simple Jangl web address to your email signature to let people connect with you even when you're not online, or post a customized Jangl widget to your online profile.

  • Control your phone access and manage Jangl voicemails, numbers and relationships online.

  • Use any of your personal phones to connect -- mobile, landline or VoIP.

Jangl works by matching email addresses to phone numbers. To make a call, you begin by enter someone's email address at Jangl's homepage to get connected. You'll be given a phone number -- local to you -- to call them. During the first call, you'll leave a voicemail, which Jangl then delivers via email. Once they receive that message, the recipient receives instructions to get a number -- local to them -- to call you back. This service still keeps your personal number safe, enables text messaging via SMS and the exchange of voicemails.

Skype Chooses VSNL's Teleglobe for VoIP Call Termination

Skype has selected Teleglobe voice termination services to provide call termination for SkypeOut. Skype connects to VSNL's international global network via the Teleglobe VoIPLink service, which exchanges VoIP traffic worldwide. SkypeOut is then terminated using the Teleglobe Voice Termination Service (VTS).

"We chose to partner with VSNL for international voice termination services because their services allow us to quickly connect to a true global network without the operational burden and the expenses associated with interoperability requirements," said Scott Bagby, Skype's vice president for new markets."
  • India's Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) acquired Teleglobe International in 2005. Telegloge was once the international carrier for Bell Canada. Following a split from Bell Canada Enterprises in 2002 and a subsequent bankruptcy, Teleglobe was relaunched in June 2003 as a provider of international voice, wireless roaming, data and Internet services. Teleglobe later acquired ITXC, one of the first large providers of international VoIP wholesale services.

QUALCOMM Ventures Expands Into Europe, Invests in Streamezzo

QUALCOMM plans to invest EUR 100 million in European companies offering innovative technologies and services that enhance the global wireless communications ecosystem. The company said its investment strategy will focus on European small- to medium-sized enterprises and startups that can serve the 3G (WCDMA) business case in Europe through innovation in the following sectors: mobile application/platform software developers, handset components, network infrastructure and core technologies providers.

QUALCOMM Ventures' first direct equity investment in Europe is in Streamezzo, a leading provider of rich media solutions, platforms and service for mobile communications.

Asia Netcom Offers Country-Specific Route Service

Asia Netcom has begun offering a new Country-Specific Route (CSR) IP Transit Service that provides a corresponding set of performance guarantees for a given route. In its initial phase, the service is available to ISPs/CSPs from Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia, on the following routes: China, Japan, Greater China, Australia, and Taiwan.

"By creating dedicated and direct routes within its backbone, Asia Netcom's CSR service effectively allows ISPs and CSPs to access a fast lane on the Internet," said Mark Simpson, Chief Operating Officer, Asia Netcom.

Asia Netcom's Country-Specific Route IP Transit service uses virtual-route-forwarding (VRF) tables to separate different routes into different VRF routing tables. The country routes are distributed to country- specific routers. Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) communities are then used to control the routing between the main Internet routes, and different country VRF routes. The result is a service that ensures performance between different countries, allowing ISPs/CSPs to ensure the optimal user experience for their subscribers.

KeyEye and Methode to Jointly Develop 10GBASE-T Copper Modules

KeyEye Communications, which develops low-power semiconductor transceivers for 10 Gbps copper-media communications, and Methode Electronics will to jointly develop the industry's first 10 GbE copper MSA pluggable modules compatible with the short-reach, low-power mode of the IEEE 802.3an 10GBASE-T standard.

The companies said that while demand is rapidly growing to deploy field-configurable 10Gb servers and switches, building MSA pluggable modules that enable application-specific configurability presents major power dissipation, footprint and cost challenges. First-generation 100-meter 10GBASE-T ICs typically consume in excess of 10 Watts, offer inadequate signal margin, employ packaging that exceeds the industry-standard module footprint, and are only available at costs rivaling optical devices.

Chelsio Delivers Unified Wire for Gigabit Ethernet

Chelsio Communications, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, introduced a family of Unified Wire Adapters that enable the convergence of storage, clustering and server networking applications onto a single unified fabric. This would allow the replacement of disparate fabric technologies such as Fibre Channel and InfiniBand in a wide range of applications, including Network-Attached Storage (NAS) Filers, Storage Area Network (SAN) Arrays, Server Adapters, High Performance Cluster Computing, Blade Servers, Video Servers, Application Servers and Web Accelerators.

Internet2 and Microsoft to Extend Shibboleth for Windows CardSpace

The Internet2 consortium will develop new extensions to Shibboleth to support Microsoft's Windows CardSpace and other compatible identity selectors.

Shibboleth, a SAML-based software suite, provides Web Single Sign On (SSO) capability and a secure attribute exchange framework to enable individual access to an unlimited number of online resource providers. Shibboleth leverages an institution's existing sign-on and directory system to authenticate users and then passes only relevant identity information to the provider. The system removes the need for universities to set up multiple passwords and accounts for each online resource.

Adding information card support to Shibboleth would enable interoperability with Windows CardSpace which provides critical support for secure user-centric authentication and identity information exchange for web-based applications.