Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Aricent to Acquire DataLinx for its Network Consultancy Practice

Aricent, which is a full-service, full-spectrum communications software company, agreed to acquire DataLinx, a network consultancy, system integrator and software developer based in Tarrytown, New York. Financial terms were not disclosed.

DataLinx, founded in 1992, adds a highly experienced team of 400 consultants and developers to the Aricent organization. The company assists service providers in the planning, development, implementation and support of efficient and scalable OSS capabilities.

Combined, Aricent and DataLinx will deliver full lifecycle solutions to wireless, wireline, cable and satellite service providers. In addition, the two companies will offer a combined line of service provider products that includes applications for network capacity planning, subscriber management, billing mediation, service activation, customer relationship management and workforce management.

Aricent said the acquisition reflects its strategy to establish locations close to clients and relentlessly pursue the leading communications industry talent in the world.

Azul Systems Raises $40 Million for Network Attached Processing

Azul Systems, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, raised $40 million in funding for its network-attached processing appliance and architecture, which delivers compute and memory resources as a shared network service to transaction-intensive applications across an enterprise.

Azul Systems developed a "network-attached processing compute solution" designed to provide grid-like power computing for Java and J2EE platform-based enterprise applications. The Azul appliance transparently redirects application workload to a "compute pool" of resources across a corporate network. The technology does not require any change to applications, or the existing infrastructure configuration. Compute pool appliances are simply connected to the network and Azul software is installed on the application hosts. Azul's technology works with J2EE platform products, including BEA WebLogic and IBM WebSphere application servers.

The new funding came from Accel Partners, Austin Ventures, ComVentures, Credit Suisse, JVax Investment Group, Meritech Capital Partners, Redpoint Ventures and Worldview Technology Partners. All existing investors in the company participated in the financing.

Azul Systems said it intends to utilize the capital to continue its execution on an aggressive product roadmap of network attached processing products and associated solutions for the Java community, and dramatically expand its field operations and global presence.

http://www.azulsystems.comAzul Systems is led by Stephen W. DeWitt, who previously was the Vice President and General Manager of Content Delivery and Edge Computing for Sun Microsystems, where he joined following the acquisition of Cobalt Networks. Prior to joining Cobalt, DeWitt served at Cisco Systems as Vice President and General Manager of the Enterprise Network Management Business Unit and Vice President of Enterprise Marketing.

PMC-Sierra Debuts New Multi-Service Processors for Network and Storage Applications

PMC-Sierra announced two highly integrated "Multi-Service Processors" (MSPs) targeted at applications such as networked appliances, storage systems and security solutions.

The new MSP8110 and MSP8120 System-On-Chip (SoC) solutions, powered by the MIPS32 34K core, offer large 64KB caches with integrated I/O interfaces and consume less than 1.5Watts. Both devices support the following standard interfaces:

  • Two 10/100 Mb/s Ethernet MAC interfaces supporting industry standard MII/RMII interfaces to standard Ethernet transceivers;

  • A USB 2.0 controller and PHY supporting both host and device mode operation;

  • A 32-bit PCI controller providing PCI 2.3 compliant operation at 33/66 MHz;

  • A 166 MHz DDR I/II SDRAM controller;

  • A local bus interface providing connectivity to boot ROM and Flash; and

  • Up to twenty GPIO pins that can optionally be configured as UART, SPI, TDM, or TWI ports.

In addition, the MSP8120 features an integrated IPSec hardware acceleration engine that boosts Internet protocol security, and provides secure socket layer performance for security appliances, firewalls, networking, and storage applications.

Telstra Boosts Broadband to 30 Mbps in Sydney and Melbourne

Telstra announced BigPond Cable Extreme consumer broadband service at rates up to 30 Mbps in Sydney and Melbourne. The service is being rolled out in areas with more than 1.8 million homes and businesses across both cities. Telstra said consumer broadband service will be boosted to a maximum of 17 Mbps in other areas of its footprint.

AllPeers Enables BitTorrent Downloads Inside Firefox

AllPeers Ltd, a software start-up based in Oxford, England with offices in the Czech Republic, has added new capabilities to its free plug-in to support standard BitTorrent downloads directly inside the Firefox web browser. With this new release, AllPeers becomes a Social BitTorrent client, making it far simpler to share and recommend torrents to friends.

AllPeers said its goal is to make downloading of torrent files as easy as normal web downloads. The new plug-in enables the user to just click on a link and the download starts, right inside the Firefox browser. The social features let users share torrent files using the encrypted AllPeers network, directly with their existing AllPeers contacts or by sending files to any email address.

AllPeers estimates that BitTorrent already accounts for over 40 percent of all Internet traffic, boasting over 35 million users.

Avanex Expands 10G Tunable Transponder Portfolio

Avanex has expanded its 10G extended reach tunable transponder product portfolio with a new "PowerReach" 10 Gbps Optical Duobinary (ODB) transponder. The unit combines Avanex's Lithium Niobate modulators with its tunable transponder design to create a high performance extended reach tunable transponder with reach capability up to 160 km without added amplification.

The PowerReach ODB advanced modulation technology provides higher dispersion tolerance and narrower laser line width -- two key features that allow optical signals to travel longer distance with low transmission bit error. The PowerReach ODB can typically achieve a bit error rate below 10-3 with OSNR as low as 12 dB through ±3200 ps/nm, while maintaining power consumption below 12 W (7W at 35oC). The PowerReach ODB is also compliant with large form factor 300pin MSA standards.

Nikon Offers T-Mobile Hotspot Access for Digital Camera

Nikon has partnered with T-Mobile USA to provide buyers of its new COOLPIX S51c digital camera with a complimentary six month subscription to T-Mobile's HotSpot Wi-Fi service for digital cameras. This enables the user to send images and videos to friends and family from the nearly 8,500 T-Mobile HotSpot locations across the U.S.

The Nikon COOLPIX S51c is an 8.1 megapixel camera featuring Wi-Fi connectivity. MSRP is $329.95.

Alcatel-Lucent Supplies IMS Gear for CableLab's PacketCable Lab

Alcatel-Lucent has supplied its next-generation IP multimedia applications and core network technology for use in the CableLabs PacketCable 2.0 Applications Lab. The lab, launched in April 2007, provides a PacketCable application showcase and development test bed for the cable industry and is a venue where network equipment providers and application developers can test and demonstrate cutting-edge applications for voice, multimedia, wireless, and converged services across PacketCable 2.0 core networks from multiple suppliers. The lab will additionally be used as an interoperability test bed to help CableLabs and manufacturers prepare for PacketCable 2.0 certification.

Alcatel-Lucent has provided a 3GPP-compliant IMS network consisting of the Alcatel- Lucent Session Manager that provides IMS session management and control and includes the functions which manage voice, data, and video communication sessions for end users. Alcatel-Lucent also supplied the Alcatel-Lucent Feature Server 5000 that offers both residential and enterprise voice applications and the Alcatel-Lucent Unified Subscriber Data Server that contains subscriber data used by IMS applications.

Additional gear includes the Alcatel- Lucent Communication Manager web portal, which can be used in conjunction with SIP-based clients, and an Alcatel-Lucent element management system for provisioning and management of the solution.

Alcatel-Lucent Trims Financial Guidance

Citing delayed sales to some wireless operators in North America, Alcatel-Lucent trimmed its full year 2007 revenue outlook, saying revenue growth is now likely to be flat to slightly up at a constant Euro/USD exchange rate. The company had previously estimated that its revenue would grow in the mid single digits at a constant rate.

The company's revenue for the fourth quarter 2007 is still expected to ramp-up strongly over the third quarter 2007. Additionally, the change in revenue mix is expected to negatively impact the profitability of the company, especially in the current quarter. For the third quarter 2007, the operating income (loss) is expected to be around breakeven.

As for the weakness in Q3 sales, Alcatel-Lucent said it is now seeing a change in capital spending with major North American wireless carriers in 2007, compared to what it had anticipated. As a result, the company is not seeing the projected volume changes that would have mitigated the ongoing pricing pressures it is experiencing. In other regions and businesses, in particular wireline, enterprise and Asia-Pacific revenue performance continues to be strong.

Alcatel-Lucent noted that it is planning to achieve its synergy related pre-tax savings of EUR 600 million this year. As the company has previously said for this year, it will not retain its gross margin savings due to competitive market conditions but expects it will retain most of its operating expense savings on a comparable basis.

Alcatel-Lucent continues to expect a strong sequential revenue growth in the fourth quarter, driven by IP transformation, broadband deployment and associated services.

Mexico City's CABLEVISION Launches TiVO Service

CABLEVISION, Mexico's largest digital cable operator, began offering TiVo DVRs and the TiVo Service to its digital cable subscribers throughout Mexico City. TiVo service is being offered to CABLEVISION subscribers as a package with a monthly charge covering both service and box rental.

Virgin America Selects AirCell for In-Flight Broadband

Virgin America, which launched service in August, is partnering with AirCell to offer air-to-ground broadband Internet service beginning next year. Passengers will be able to access the Internet in-flight either through their WiFi-enabled personal devices or through the airline's "Red" In-flight Entertainment system at every seat.

Passengers will be able to check and send web-email from their seatbacks through Red's TALK -- the airline's onboard chat system -- using popular instant messaging services such as MSN, Google talk, Yahoo!, Skype, and AIM.

"We believe that broadband connectivity on our planes will help enhance the in-flight experience for our guests," said Charles Ogilvie, Virgin America's Director of Inflight Entertainment & Partnerships.
  • In August 2007, American Airlines announced plans to conduct passenger testing of AirCell's Wi-Fi broadband Internet service on coast-to-coast flights over the U.S. beginning in 2008. Passenger testing will be conducted on American Airlines fleet of Boeing 767-200 aircraft that primarily fly transcontinental routes.

SEC Charges Four More Ex-Nortel Execs

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged four more former officers of Nortel Networks with engaging in accounting fraud by manipulating reserves to manage Nortel's earnings.

The defendants, Douglas A. Hamilton, Craig A. Johnson, James B. Kinney and Kenneth R.W. Taylor, were the former vice presidents of finance for Nortel's Optical, Wireline, Wireless and Enterprise business units, respectively.

The SEC's original complaint, among other things, charged three former corporate officers of Nortel -- CEO Frank Dunn, CFO Douglas Beatty and Controller Michael Gollogly -- with directing the earnings management fraud.

Among other allegations, the amended complaint alleges that Hamilton, Johnson, Kinney and Taylor engaged in the following misconduct:

The amended complaint charges Hamilton, Johnson, Kinney and Taylor with violating and/or aiding and abetting violations of the antifraud, reporting, books and records and internal controls provisions of the federal securities laws. The Commission seeks a permanent injunction, a civil monetary penalty, an officer and director bar, and disgorgement with prejudgment interest against each of these defendants.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

IBM Integrates Multiple RF/Analog Functions on CMOS Chip

IBM introduced a new semiconductor technology -- named CMOS 7RF SOI -- is designed to enable single-chip Radio Frequency (RF) solutions by integrating the multiple RF/analog functions of today's handsets -- such as multi-mode/multi-band RF switches, complex switch biasing networks, and power controllers -- into single-chip solutions for mobile devices.

Single-chip solutions address the need for fully integrated multimedia functionality on low-cost handsets, providing entry-level users in emerging markets such as China, India and Latin America with affordable, power-efficient and high-performance mobile devices.

The 180-nm CMOS 7RF SOI is tailored for RF switch applications that provide a low-cost alternative to solutions based on gallium arsenide (GaAs). The breakthrough technology in SOI can minimize insertion loss and maximize isolation to help avoid issues such as loss of signal or dropped calls, potentially enabling significant cost advantages to mobile handsets.

Initial hardware evaluations have been completed; general availability for design kits is planned for the first half of 2008.

IBM said that as the technology evolves, it could create additional integration opportunities that include filter, power amplifier, power management and receiver/transmitter functions -- the types of integration possibilities that are cost-prohibitive or technically unfeasible with semiconductor technology used in mobile devices today.

Redback Cites 70+ Carriers Deploying SmartEdge 100

Redback Networks announced that more than 70 carrier customers have deployed its SmartEdge 100 multi-service edge router. The platform, which was first introduced in March 2006, is Redback's smallest all-in-one router for data, voice and video services. Typical network applications include a mix of residential and business services for multi-dwelling units, broadband access for small- to medium-size markets, and wireless backhaul routing for mobile operators.

FCC Sets Rules for Digital TV Transition

The FCC adopted rules aimed at ensuring that owners of analog TV sets continue to be able to view their local broadcast television stations after the transition to digital television occurs on February 17, 2009.

Approximately 35 percent of all television homes in the U.S., or approximately 40 million households, are analog-only cable subscribers. This means about 98 million TV viewers are watching roughly 120 million analog TV sets.

By statute, cable operators must make local broadcasters' primary video and program-related material viewable by all of their subscribers.

The FCC's new ruling allows cable operators to comply with the viewability requirement by choosing to either: (1) carry the digital signal in analog format, or (2) carry the signal only in digital format, provided that all subscribers have the necessary equipment to view the broadcast content. The viewability requirements extend to February 2012 with the FCC committing to review them during the last year of this period in light of the state of technology and the marketplace.

In addition, a cable system with activated channel capacity of 552 megahertz or less may request a waiver of the viewability requirements. The Commission is also seeking comment in a Further Notice on ways to minimize any economic impact on small cable operators while still complying with the statutory requirements for carriage of local TV stations.

FCC Adopts Rules to Ensure Competition in Video Distribution Market

The FCC extended existing rules to ensure that competitive multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) continue to have access to essential programming. The Report & Order extends the ban of exclusive contracts between vertically integrated programmers and cable operators to October 5, 2012.

The FCC defines a vertically integrated programmer as one that is affiliated with a cable operator or other covered MVPD's. This ban had already been in place and was set to expire October 5, 2007.

The FCC noted that vertically integrated programmers still have the ability and the incentive to favor the operators with whom they are affiliated over other competitive providers. Ensuring that competitive MVPDs have access to cable affiliated programming remains necessary for viable competition in the video distribution market.

BT to acquire INS, a Belgian Integrator

BT agreed to acquire INS Group S.A., a Belgium-based network and systems integrator. The acquisition will strengthen BT's operations in the Benelux and enhance BT's position in the global LAN and IP telephone services market.

INS is headquartered in Brussels and employs over 225 professionals across Benelux, France, Germany, US, India and Australia.

Russia's VimpelCom to Build Joint Venture GSM Network in Vietnam

VimpelCom, which operates mobile networks in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, executed a Principal Agreement to establish a mobile telecommunications joint venture in Vietnam under the name of GTel Mobile. VimpelCom expects to invest up to $1 billion over the next several years in the development of a GSM mobile network and provide technical and operational expertise to the joint venture.

The other participants in the joint venture will be a company owned by the Ministry of Public Security of Vietnam and Millennium Global Solutions Group, Inc., a U.S. company. In accordance with Vietnamese investment laws, VimpelCom will own a minority voting stake in the joint venture.
  • As of March 31, 2007, VimpelCom's total number of subscribers in Russia and the CIS was 56.8 million (45.8 million of them are active, including 38.6 million in Russia, 3.5 million in Kazakhstan and 2.0 million in Ukraine).

Broadcom Debuts Smaller Wi-Fi Chip

Broadcom announced a new low cost single-chip wireless LAN (WLAN) solution that has a 40 percent smaller footprint and consumes half the power of previous Broadcom solutions while offering the industry's lowest "rest of bill-of-material" (RBOM) costs and delivering the same superior performance of previous solutions.

The new BroadcomBCM4312 chip integrates an 802.11 MAC, baseband processor, and a dual-band radio (2.4 and 5 GHz) onto a single silicon die. The chip is optimized for single-band or dual-band use, making it an ideal solution for adding Wi-Fi to a variety of devices, including notebook PCs, broadband gateways and gaming platforms.

Broadcom also introduced a reference design that combines Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on a standard mini-card. Combining wireless technologies onto a single module reduces the number of card slots required for wireless subsystems in smaller notebook platforms.

Avail Media Acquires ViewNow for VOD Services

Avail Media, which provides IPTV and advanced media services to broadband operators, has acquired ViewNow, a supplier of Video On Demand programming (VOD). The acquisition includes ViewNow's customer base and agreements with major studios, including Buena Vista/Disney, Dream Works, Lions Gate Films, NBC/Universal, New Line Cinema, Paramount, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. The deal also includes ViewNow's ViewTrak tracking system and will allow Avail Media to drive VOD and combined linear/VOD services deeper into the entertainment marketplace.

Avail said the deal enables it to be a single source provider for live and on-demand programming.

Avail Media is currently serving more than 40 customers.

http://www.viewnow.tvEarlier this year, Avail Media secured $17 million in Series-B venture financing in a round co-led by Washington, DC area venture firms Novak Biddle Venture Partners and Columbia Capital. Avail Media is led by CEO Ramu Potarazu who prior to joining the company, was CEO of Broadstream Communications and COO of Intelsat.