Sunday, July 1, 2007

Iridium Releases RFI for Next-Gen Satellite Communications Net

Iridium Satellite announces it has released a Request for Information (RFI) to potential partners interested in participating in the design, development and deployment of "Iridium NEXT," the company's next-generation satellite communications network.

Iridium said a key design requirement for NEXT will be to maintain the "life line" attributes of its current service, including pole-to-pole coverage, security, availability and reliability. NEXT will also provide extended services beyond those offered today, from high-bandwidth data transmission to enhanced voice and short messaging services for commercial and government users. In addition, Iridium will engineer NEXT to support innovative space-based applications.

Iridium expects the RFI process will lead to supplier partner selections in 2008 and 2009.

Avago Completes Acquisition of Infineon's Fiber Business

Avago Technologies today announced that it has closed its acquisition of Infineon Technologies AG's Polymer Optical Fiber (POF) business unit based in Regensburg, Germany. This acquisition agreement between Avago and Infineon was first announcedi in April.

France Télévisions and Orange Offer "Rewind TV" on 3 Screens

France Télévisions and Orange announced an exclusive partnership to offer Orange customers a new service to view France Télévisions Group channel programmes on any screen (TV, PC, Mobile).

This service, developed by Orange, is called "rewind TV", and builds on the existing Video on Demand (VOD) capabilities. Viewers are able to choose when they want to watch (or watch again) the main free France Télévisions digital bundle programmes - France 2, France 3, France 4, France 5 and France Ô:

France Télévisions is making its flow content (magazines, entertainment programmes) available for 7 days from the time of broadcasting and "stock" programmes (series, soaps and documentaries, excluding films) available for 7 to 30 days. ThE service will be on offer at the end of the year to Orange subscribers on TV, the Internet and mobile phone. France Télévisions will continue to distribute its content on its Internet site.

Horry Telephone Deploys Actelis for Carrier Ethernet over Copper

Horry Telephone Cooperative (HTC), the nation's largest telephone cooperative, is using Actelis' Ethernet equipment as the basis for its Metro Ethernet services, which provide advanced broadband data services over existing copper infrastructure.

Actelis' carrier Ethernet over copper access solutions allow the South Carolina-based IOC to provide high-speed broadband services to many of its residential and business customers, including Horry County libraries, located in rural communities across the county.

Actelis is supplying its ML600 Ethernet Access devices and ML130 Ethernet Aggregation switches to construct an Ethernet access network on its existing voice-grade copper plant.

Windstream Deploys Actelis for Carrier Ethernet over Copper

Windstream, which was formed through the spinoff of Alltel's landline business and merger with VALOR Telecom, has deployed Actelis' ML1300 and ML600 point-to-multipoint systems to offer symmetrical Ethernet access connections to its customers.

Windstream is continuing the rollout of its ConnectStream family of Virtual LAN Service (VLS), Virtual Private Network (VPN) and Ethernet Internet Access (EIA) services in key markets throughout the states of Nebraska and Kentucky during 2007. ConnectStream VLS, VPN and EIA are Windstream's next-generation Ethernet/IP solutions that provide customers robust, scalable virtual private data and Internet-based services over the company's MPLS core network.

Limelight Networks Establishes Japanese Subsidiary

Limelight Networks has established a wholly-owned Japanese subsidiary with headquarters located in Tokyo. Limelight Networks Japan is headed by Shinji Tsukamoto, president of the new firm, which will focus on providing Limelight's digital content delivery network (CDN) services to Japanese customers and partners. Prior to joining Limelight, he was senior director of Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions. Before that, he held positions as executive director, president, and chief operating officer of Critical Path Japan.

China's Guizhou Telecom Selects Amdocs for Enterprise Data Integration

Guizhou Telecom, a subsidiary of China Telecom, has selected Amdocs to help integrate its enterprise data for improved system management and efficiencies across the company. Amdocs said this is the first China Telecom subsidiary to implement an enterprise-wide operational data storage (ODS) project.

Within Guizhou Telecom there are nine subsidiaries that provide integrated telecommunications services, including voice, data, video and multimedia communications across various counties, prefectures and cities in the Guizhou province of China. The enterprise data integration architecture and system that will integrate disparate data among the business support systems of its subsidiaries.

AT&T Provides Wi-Fi Hotspot Access to Some Broadband Customers

AT&T announced that it will provide its broadband customers with free access to its nationwide Wi-Fi network, which includes nearly 10,000 hot spots at popular locations across the country, including leading airports, McDonalds restaurants, Barnes & Noble bookstores, coffee shops and popular sporting venues.

Effective now, qualifying new and existing residential and small business AT&T broadband customers can get the free unlimited Wi-Fi connectivity at company hot spots. Qualifying AT&T broadband packages include: AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet Pro (up to 3.0 Mbps downstream), AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet Elite (up to 6.0 Mbps downstream), FastAccess Xtreme (up to 3.0 Mbps downstream) and FastAccess Xtreme 6.0 (up to 6.0 Mbps downstream).

Separately, AT&T also announced two new offers that include an AT&T Wireless (Wi-Fi) Gateway for residential customers.

AT&T said it ships an average of nearly 7,000 home Wi-Fi gateways day.

Verizon Business Now Managing 250,000 Customer Network Devices

Verizon Business announced a significant mileston in its outsourcing business -- the company now manages more than 250,000 customer communications devices around the world.

Verizon Business said the number of devices being managed -- including servers, routers, firewalls and other security systems -- continues to grow rapidly as enterprise customers continue the outsourcing trend.

Verizon Business said the number of devices being managed -- including servers, routers, firewalls and other security systems -- continues to grow rapidly as enterprise customers realize the benefits of turning to a trusted expert to keep their communications infrastructure functioning smoothly round-the-clock.

As part of managing these devices, Verizon Business hosts thousands of Internet-based applications and Web sites for marquee-name customers, provides network security for some of the world's largest businesses and government agencies, and manages more than 3,700 customer networks in 142 countries.

Unisys Selects BT for Multi-Year Managed Network Services

Unisys Corporation , one of the world's largest IT services and solutions companies, awarded a global managed services agreement to BT. The agreement is for a six-year term following a transition period. Under the agreement, BT will deliver network monitoring and management services in outsourcing engagements for Unisys clients worldwide.

BT will implement a standardized set of global network monitoring and management processes across Unisys outsourcing operations and will take on the remote management of LAN and WAN devices for most of Unisys client contracts. Unisys expects to drive improved scalability and operational efficiency as a result.

Towerstream Expands its Sales Force for Fixed WiMAX Services

Towerstream announced that its sales force has grown to over 50 full-time employees nationwide and is on track to expand to 100 by the end of the year. The company recent appointed Mel Yarbrough as VP of Sales.

Towerstream provides fixed WiMAX services in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Seattle, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the greater Boston, Providence and Newport, R.I. areas.

Ikanos Supplies Processor for ASUSTeK Security Gateway and Broadband Router

Ikanos Communications is supplying its Fusiv Vx200 processor for ASUSTEK Computer's SL1200 security gateway and RX3042H broadband router. Both are both designed for small office/home office (SoHo) and small and medium enterprise (SME) applications.

The ASUSTeK SL1200 VPN security gateway and RX3042H dual-WAN broadband router offer up to 200 Mbps full-duplex network address translation (NAT) and firewall performance. Both the RX3042H and SL1200 routers support full-featured advanced firewall protection with Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) to protect the network against hackers and malicious Trojan Horse programs. In addition, the RX3042H provides dual-WAN load-balancing with failover support and handles up to 30,000 concurrent sessions. The SL1200 provides VPN encryption performance for data encryption standard (DES), 3DES and IPSec up to 50 tunnels.

United Wireless Acquires Velocita Wireless for Mobitex Service

United Wireless Holdings, Inc. announced today that it has acquired Velocita Wireless, an indirect subsidiary of Sprint Nextel that provides Mobitex services. Mobitex is a wireless technology developed by Ericsson for delivering dedicated packet switched data with high reliability, integrity and security.

In connection with the merger, Velocita Wireless will lease certain FCC spectrum channels from various affiliates of Sprint Nextel Corp., subject to any required FCC approvals.

Velocita Wireless provides mission-critical wireless data solutions for enterprises and governmental organizations deploying machine-to- machine (M2M), telematics, point-of-sale, and telemetry applications. Velocita Wireless operates a nationwide Mobitex wireless network covering 93% of the U.S. business population. The company is based in Woodbridge, New Jersey.

United Wireless Holdings is an associate of Mobitex Technology AB, the Swedish based wireless technology company that provides and supports the technology on which the Velocita Wireless network is based.

ECI Telecom to be Acquired by Investor Group for $1.2 Billion, $10 per Share

ECI Telecom agreed to be acquired by affiliates of the Swarth Group, an investment vehicle controlled by Shaul Shani, and certain funds that have appointed Ashmore Investment Management Limited as their investment manager for approximately $1.2 billion in cash. The deal effectively privitazes the company, which is currently listed on NASDAQ.

ECI shareholders will receive $10 per share in cash at closing, representing a premium of approximately 22% over ECI's average closing share price during the 30 trading days ended June 15, 2007.

The Board of Directors of ECI has approved the agreement and recommended that ECI shareholders vote in favor of the transaction. Each of Koor Industries, Clal Industries & Investments and a group led by Carmel Ventures, the owners of an aggregate of approximately 44% of ECI's outstanding ordinary shares, have entered into voting undertakings with the buyers under which they have agreed to vote their shares in favor of the transaction.

Verizon Wireless Leverages MediaFLO for Sports Programming

Verizon Wireless' V CAST Mobile TV service is using MediaFLO's "FLO TV" network to deliver access to an array of sports programming from CBS, ESPN, FOX and NBC. The summer of sports includes comprehensive live coverage from Wimbledon, which began on June 25 and will air on both the ESPN Mobile TV and NBC2Go channels on the service.

Riverbed Supplies its WDS to Hyundai Hysco

Hyundai Hysco, a leading manufacturer of automotive steel sheet and high-tech steel pipes, and a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company, has deployed Riverbed's Steelhead WDS appliances. Hyundai Hysco currently operates 11 overseas offices in countries. The company's Users in China were particularly hard hit when a strong earthquake struck Taiwan last year, damaging undersea cables and disrupting communications across East Asia.

Riverbed said tests performed by Hyundai Hysco performed confirmed a four- to ten-fold boost in application response time for groupware and electronic approval systems.

Nokia Siemens Networks Names Sue Spradley to Head North America Region

Nokia Siemens Networks named Sue Spradley to lead the company's North America region, replacing Mark Louison, who earlier this year was named president of Nokia Inc., the mobile device manufacturer's arm in the United States.

Spradley previously served as President of Nortel Global Services and Operations, where she was responsible for technical engineering, manufacturing and supply chain management.

AOL Video Portal Features More than 20 Million Videos

AOL launched an update to its AOL Video portal with enhancements designed to make it even easier for consumers to find, watch and share more than 20 million videos from across the Web without having to visit multiple websites. The site uses "Truveo" video search technology and features better presentation of Web search results.

mPhase Extends R&D Agreement With Rutgers

mPhase Technologies signed an additional extension of its original cooperative research agreement with Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, as related to lithium-based chemistries for a functional reserve microbattery prototype. mPhase announced an initial agreement extension in February.

mPhase Technologies said the batteries under development can be either configured as individual power cells, or potentially configured in arrayed arrangements depending on the power needs of the electronic devices requiring power. Initially the batteries are targeted for powering small electronic devices and other applications requiring long shelf life and controlled activation.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

FCC Acts on Waivers for Integrated Set-Top Box Rules

The FCC acted on several set-top box waiver requests seeking to delay implementation of a rule that requires cable set-top boxes distributed after July 1, 2007 to separate the "security" and "navigation" functions.

The FCC said its statutory requirements aim to facilitate a competitive market for set-top boxes in a reasonable and consistent manner. Separation of security functions will allow consumers to pick the products they want.

The action from the FCC's Media Bureau included the following:

  • Granted an Omnibus Waiver of the integration ban for MVPDs currently all digital or going all digital by February 17, 2009. An all-digital conversion will facilitate the DTV transition, enable expanded service offerings, promote efficient use of the spectrum, deliver broadband services, spur competitive entry, and expand universal service.

  • Deferred Enforcement of the Integration Ban for Crosslake, Minnesota d/b/a Crosslake Communications. The Media Bureau noted the difficulties that small cable operators may face in complying with the July 1, 2007 deadline for separated security because manufacturers prioritize orders from the largest providers. The Bureau indicated that the Commission would defer enforcement of that deadline for those small cable operators who can demonstrate that they have placed orders for set-top boxes that comply but that their orders will not be fulfilled in time for them to comply with the deadline.

  • Denied NCTA's (National Cable & Telecommunications Association)
    request for a waiver of the integration ban for all cable operators. The Bureau finds the arguments NCTA's makes are not adequately novel or changed from assertions that it has made to support previous extension requests to justify further relief and it does not reflect developments in the market.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin stated: "A previous Commission required cable operators to separate their security functions putting them into a CableCARD, which can be used in televisions and set-top boxes made by other manufacturers. By separating out security functions, the Commission hoped a viable market for truly cable ready televisions and set-top boxes could flourish. Back then, Congress and the Commission envisioned consumers being able to walk into their local retail store and buy televisions and set-top boxes from any manufacturer that would work on any cable system. This is a goal that I share and believe we are a big step closer to with today's rulings. In a new era with a competitive set-top box market, consumers will enjoy greater choice and reap the benefits of exciting and innovative features -- such as the ability to watch Internet videos or view slideshows of family vacations on their tv sets."

In a separate press statement, Verizon said the waiver enables it to continue its focus on deploying its competitive FiOS TV service and developing additional innovative features.