Thursday, May 31, 2007

Redline to Supply WiMAX in Paraguay

Personal, a subsidiary of Telecom Argentina, has chosen Redline Communications' RedMAX family of products to power its WiMAX service in Paraguay. Personal has completed the roll out of the RedMAX network in Asunción and is continuing its network expansion. The deployment team included Personal, Brightstar (a Redline Value Added Distributor), Cisco, Softnet Logicalis and Redline.

Japan's NII Research Net Deploys Juniper's T-series Routers

Japan's National Institute of Informatics (NII) has upgraded its nationwide SINET3 backbone with Juniper Networks T-series Core Routers. The expanded SINET3 next generation network (NGN) consolidates the NII's existing SINET and SuperSINET infrastructures into the country's largest and most advanced research and education network. SINET3 now connects over 700 universities and research institutions throughout Japan. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Juniper's T-series Core Routers to deliver NGN IP services, including layer 2 and 3 VPNs, IPv6, GMPLS, multicasting, and multihoming services. SINET3 also provides a 10 Gigabit Ethernet user interface and delivers 40 Gbps speeds in the backbone, a 4x advance on SuperSINET which provided 2.4 Gigabit Ethernet user interface and delivered 10 Gbps in the backbone.

Nokia Siemens Networks Appoints CFO

Nokia Siemens Networks named Eric Simonsen as its new chief financial officer, replacing Peter Schoenhofer, who is resigning for personal reasons. Simonsen currently serves as the company's global head of restructuring and a member of the Nokia Siemens Networks executive board.

Simonsen has held senior management positions at companies such as WorldCom Corp., Cable & Wireless America Inc. and Genuity Inc. From 1991 to 2001 he served as chief of operations and chief financial officer for Allmerica Financial Corp., a Fortune 400 company. Since 2002, Simonsen has worked at AlixPartners, a firm focused on helping corporations manage integration and financial restructuring. Simonsen is an American citizen who has previously worked and lived in the Nordic region, and in his new role he will work in both Helsinki and Munich.

Vodafone Netherlands Outsources Network Management to Ericsson

Vodafone Netherlands awarded a five-year contract to Ericsson covering all engineering, implementation and operational activities in its multivendor core and transport network. As a result, 97 Vodafone Netherlands employees will be transferred to Ericsson. Financial terms were not disclosed.

KPN Selects Alcatel-Lucent for IP Centrex

Dutch telecom operator KPN has selected Alcatel-Lucent as lead network integrator to design, deliver, install, integrate and maintain an end-to-end multi-vendor IP Centrex solution. The IP Centrex solution Alcatel-Lucent will deploy, is a multi vendor application and includes products from Broadsoft, Atreus and Comptel. Alcatel-Lucent will integrate these products on the IMS Core it is currently deploying at KPN. In addition, Alcatel-Lucent will provide design services, network integration, project management and installation and testing services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Amp'd Mobile Files for Chapter 11 -- an MVNO

Amp'd Mobile, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) targeting the youth market in the U.S., filed for protection under Chapter 11 bankruptcy to restructure the business. Amp'd Mobile plans to continue normal business operations throughout the reorganization process.

In a press statement, the company cited problems arising from rapid growth, saying that its back-end infrastructure was unable to keep up with customer demand.

Amp'd Mobile also said that it is working with one of its largest investors to obtain debtor-in-possession financing.
  • Amp'd Mobile uses the Verizon Wireless network.

  • Past investors in Amp'd Mobile include Tudor Investments, Intel Capital, Rho Ventures, Quilvest Ventures, Polygon Investment Partners, Heights Capital Management, QUALCOMM, MTV, Universal Music Group, Highland Capital Partners, Columbia Capital and Redpoint Ventures.

UTStarcom to Continue as Separate Company

Following an extensive review of its strategic alternatives, the board of directors of UTStarcom concluded that the company's best course of action is to move forward with the company as it exists today.

"Our stated goal when we commenced the strategic alternatives process in October 2006 was to explore potential options to maximize the company's value for UTStarcom's shareholders. In exploring those alternatives, we concluded that the optimal means of enhancing shareholder value is to focus our efforts on returning the company to profitability by building on the opportunities we have developed in key markets around the world," said Thomas Toy, chairman of UTStarcom's board of directors.

In addition, the company today announced the departure of Ying Wu, executive vice president and chief executive officer of UTStarcom China. UTStarcom's Chief Executive Officer Hong Lu will serve as head of the company's China operations on an interim basis and will continue in his current role as chief executive officer and president of UTStarcom, Inc.
  • UTStarcom announced that it is exploring a variety of strategic alternatives to enhance stockholder value and had engaged Merrill Lynch as an advisor. In conjunction with this initiative, the Board has asked Ying Wu, CEO of UTStarcom China to oversee this effort, under the direction of the special committee. Given this priority, Wu will not assume the title of Global CEO on January 1, 2007, as was previously announced.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

FCC Rules that Competitive Carriers Get Access to Inside Wiring in MTUs

The FCC acted to eliminate barriers to competitive entry in multi-unit buildings where a new entrant seeks to compete against an incumbent provider for voice or video services.

Specifically, the FCC clarified that:

  • Competitive video services providers must not be forced to cut through sheet rock to connect their cable wiring to cable home wiring inside a unit. The FCC found that wiring behind sheet rock is "physically inaccessible" for the purposes of inside wiring rules, like brick, cinder block and similar materials used to construct ceilings and hallways.

  • Competing telephone companies must have access to the incumbent's inside wire sub loops in multi-unit premises at the terminal block in order to install service. The inside wire sub loop typically is used by competing telephone companies to connect to individual consumers in multi-unit buildings.

The ruling was in response to a petition from Cox Communications regarding the scope of access to incumbent telephone companies' inside wire in apartment buildings.

FCC Targets Next Gen Emergency Alert System (EAS)

The FCC adopted an order seeking to strengthen the nation's Emergency Alert System (EAS) while developing fully digital next generation technologies and delivery systems.

The order requires EAS participants to accept messages using Common Alerting Protocol (CAP), the groundwork for Next Generation EAS delivery systems, no later than 180 days after FEMA announces its adoption of standards in each case.

The use of CAP aims to ensure the efficient and rapid transmission of EAS alerts to the American public in a variety of formats (including text, audio and video) and via different means (broadcast, cable, satellite, and other networks) and to promote the development of Next Generation EAS.

Among the key points, the FCC's order expands the EAS system by requiring participation by wireline video providers.

FCC Extends Disability Access Requirements to VoIP

The FCC extended the disability access requirements that currently apply to traditional phone services to providers of interconnected VoIP services and to manufacturers of specially designed equipment used to provide those services.

The FCC's existing Section 255 rules, adopted in 1999, requires:

  • that manufacturers of telecommunications equipment or Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) to ensure that their equipment is designed, developed and fabricated to be accessible to individuals with disabilities, if readily achievable;

  • that telecommunications service providers ensure that their service is accessible to individuals with disabilities, if readily achievable;

  • that manufacturers and service providers to evaluate the accessibility, usability, and compatibility of covered services and equipment; and

  • that manufacturers and service providers to ensure that information and documentation provided in connection with equipment or services be accessible to people with disabilities, where readily achievable, and that employee training, where provided at all, account for accessibility requirements.

In addition, the FCC said that interconnected VoIP providers were subject to the requirements of Section 225, including contributing to the Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Fund and offering 711 abbreviated dialing for access to relay services.

Nortel and BT Partner on Trading Floor Communications

Nortel and BT have collaborated to bring to market a solution that enables investors' phone calls and communications to be monitored and accessed on or off the trading floor.

BT's ITS Anywhere for Nortel extends consistent mobile access to all trading information by allowing calls and information to be viewed on remote and off-floor devices at the same time as it's received by trading floor turrets and multimedia desktop devices.

"By liberating voice trading communications from its traditional fixed location, a virtual trading environment can be created which enables staff to work in a more flexible manner, using a wider range of devices," said Phil Mottram, managing director, BT Trading Systems.

Home Gateway Initiative Outlines Next-Gen Requirements

The Home Gateway Initiative (HGI), which was founded by nine telecom operators (Belgacom, BT, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, KPN, TeliaSonera, NTT, Telefonica and Telecom Italia) in 2004, has begun work on its third specification document for next gen Home Gateways.

The key features addressed will include:

  • designing the Home Gateway for IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)-based Next Generation Network (NGN) environments;

  • the growing need for supporting the SOHO (Small Office/Home Office) market; and

  • the impact of connecting Consumer Electronics devices in the broadband home.

Release 3, entitled "Seamless integration into IMS-based NGN service environments", will be finalized and issued in Q4 2008.

The specifications outlined in the HGI Release 1 document, "The Building Blocks for the Home Gateway", (published in July 2006) are now playing a significant part in operators' RFI/RFQs.

Release 2, entitled "Evolution of support to end-to-end broadband networks and services", are expected to be finalized and made public in Q4 2007.

PMC-Sierra's FTTH Milestone: Four Million ONUs Deployed

PMC-Sierra announced a significant milestone: its Fiber to the Home (FTTH) solution is now deployed in more than four million Gigabit EPON Optical Network Units (ONUs).

PMC-Sierra noted that Gigabit FTTH deployment is outpacing DSL broadband access in Japan (according to the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications), and in Korea.

PMC-Sierra and DASAN Networks recently announced a Korea Telecom contract for expected deployment of 800,000 EPON ONUs this year in Seoul.

In China, benchmark testing is underway on equipment from three of China's largest equipment vendors based on PMC-Sierra's Gigabit/s EPON silicon, led by China Telecom.

In addition, PMC-Sierra recently introduced a solution that meets the ITU-T G.984 specification for GPON Optical Network Terminals (ONTs), targeted for the emerging GPON markets in North America and Europe.

PMC-Sierra supports both EPON (IEEE 802.3ah Ethernet in the First Mile) and GPON (ITU-T G.984) standards.
  • In 2006, PMC-Sierra agreed to acquire Passave, a developer of system-on-chip semiconductor solutions for the Fiber To The Home (FTTH) access market, for approximately $300 million in PMC-Sierra common stock.

  • n March 2006, Passave announced delivery its one millionth FTTH ONU device to Mitsubishi Electric Corporation for use in Japan's gigabit/second FTTH broadband access network market. Mitsubishi has been supplying customer premise equipment (CPE) using Passave semiconductor devices to carriers in Japan since 2004.

Ciena Posts Revenues of $193.5 million, up 17% Sequentially

Ciena reported revenue for its fiscal second quarter ended April 30, 2007 of $193.5 million, representing a 17.2% sequential increase from fiscal first quarter revenue of $165.1 million, and an increase of 47.5% over the same period a year ago. Ciena's net income (GAAP) for the fiscal second quarter 2007 was $13.0 million, or net income of $0.14 per diluted share. This compares with a reported GAAP net loss of $1.9 million, or a net loss of $0.02 per share, for the same period a year ago.

Second quarter 2007 highlights include:

  • Overall gross margin of 42.3% and product gross margin of 47.3%.

  • Positive cash flow with cash generated from operations in the quarter.

  • Ended the fiscal second quarter 2007 with cash, cash equivalents and short- and long-term investments of $1.2 billion.

"Given the demand pipeline we see today, we expect to deliver fiscal third quarter revenue growth of up to five percent from our fiscal second quarter, and we are increasing our fiscal 2007 annual growth expectations from between 27 to 30 percent growth to up to 36 percent growth," said Gary Smith, Ciena's president and CEO.

Level 3 Provides Multiple 10 GigE Links to Jupiter Hosting

Level 3 Communications' Content Markets Group will upgrade Jupiter Hosting's Internet access service to multiple 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GigE) circuits. Under the terms of the expanded multi-year service agreement, Level 3 will replace multiple single-gigabit Ethernet ports with 10 GigE circuits in three of Jupiter Hosting's Silicon Valley, California locations. The upgrades are needed to support the expansion of the Jupiter Hosting network, enabling the firm to better serve its existing managed hosting customers, as well as to facilitate its entry into new markets.

EMBARQ Receives MEF Service Provider Certification

Embarq has received Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) 9 certification for its suite of Ethernet services, including Ethernet LAN, Ethernet Private Line and Ethernet Virtual Private Line. Iometrix, MEF's certification lab, linked into the EMBARQ network to conduct the certification tests from a subscriber's point of view. MEF compliance shows the EMBARQ Ethernet services fully integrate with customers' overall network infrastructure.

Kazakhtelecom Selects Amdocs OSS

Kazakhtelecom has selected Amdocs' billing and mediation solutions to support the delivery of its next-generation services. The implementation of Amdocs Charging 7 and Amdocs Service Mediation Manager 7 will enable Kazakhtelecom to offer modern, differentiated services and service bundles. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Amdocs Service Mediation Manager 7 is pre-integrated with Amdocs Charging 7 to create a unified network-to-bill process that guarantees an accurate flow of information from mediation to billing. Both products are featured in the recently launched Amdocs 7 suite.

Networx Enterprise Contracts Awarded to AT&T, Level 3, VZ, Qwest, Sprint

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), which is the central procurement agency for the U.S. government, awarded its Networx Enterprise contracts to five carriers: AT&T, Level 3 Communications, Verizon Business (MCI), Qwest, and Sprint.

The Networx Enterprise contract provides a streamlined means for federal agencies to access a broad range of networking services.

By leveraging the government's telecommunications services buying power, GSA hopes to use the entire Networx program to provide government agencies with leading edge technology at the best prices in the marketplace. The entire Networx program is valued at an estimated $20 billion over the 10-year life of the Universal and Enterprise contracts.

In addition, the Networx program aims to support a government wide Enterprise Architecture that encourages cross-agency collaboration, transformation, and government wide technology improvement.
  • In March 2007, The General Services Administration (GSA) awarded a set of contracts under its "Networx" program valued at an estimated $20 billion over 10 years -- believed to be the largest networking contracts ever issued. Contract award recipients include AT&T, Verizon Business Services (MCI), and Qwest Government Services.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Charles Cerino of Comcast Named New President of MoCA

The Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA), which promotes the distribution of digital video and entertainment through
existing coaxial cable in the home, named Charles Cerino as its new president.

Cerino is currently vice president of new media development at Comcast
Corporation, where he evaluates new technologies and how best
to incorporate their value into the network. He joined Comcast in 1978 as a system engineer helping to build a cable infrastructure in the Philadelphia suburbs.

Veraz Enhances Media Gateway for Wireless Networks

Veraz Networks released an updated version of its I--Gate 4000 PRO media gateway that enables operators to optimize available bandwidth in wireless networks utilizing the major wireless industry codecs.

The I-Gate 4000 PRO is 80% more dense than its predecessor and enables 16,800 concurrent VoIP calls per chassis, or over 100,000 concurrent calls in four square feet of floor space, helping to optimize large switch site operations in fast growing wireless core networks.

The I-Gate 4000 PRO, which is Veraz's flagship media gateway product, leverages the company's in-house DSP technology to enable voice quality at compression rates of up to 12 to 1. The gateway is designed for non-blocking and failsafe switching. Additionally, the I-Gate 4000 PRO includes support for compressed TDM WAN interfaces enabling direct connection to carrier transport networks including SONET or SDH networks without the need for routers at each gateway site. The I-Gate 4000 PRO also adds support for enhanced security features such as an integrated firewall and IPsec VPN, and support for ITU Q.50, a critical protocol for legacy switch replacement.
  • Earlier this month, Veraz Networks announced the latest release of its ControlSwitch Interconnect, designed to help service providers migrate Intelligent Network (IN) service platforms as well as PSTN transport and peering signaling to IP. Additionally, advanced Quality of Service (QoS) routing improves revenue assurance through the enforcement of network-wide agreements.