Sunday, January 6, 2008

Nokia Siemens Networks Completes Acquisition of Atrica

Nokia Siemens Networks completed its previously announced acquisition of Atrica, a supplier of Carrier Ethernet solutions. The deal was first announced in October 2007.

Atrica's product suite consists of its A-8100 Carrier Ethernet Core Switch, its A-4100 Carrier Ethernet Aggregation Switch and its A-2100 Carrier Ethernet Edge Switch, as well as the Atrica Service Platform for Ethernet Networks (ASPEN), an integrated service provisioning and management system. Earlier this year, Atrica introduced its A-1180 Multi-port Carrier Ethernet Demarcation Device, which enables end-to-end service delivery across third-party networks - as well as Atrica-based networks - with QoS control for each individual service.

Atrica has over 40 customers including Orange Business Services, KVH and Optimum LightPath.

Atrica is a privately-held company with headquarters in Santa Clara, California and R&D in Israel. Atrica has approximately 180 employees.

Nokia Siemens Networks noted that it has more than 70 deployments worldwide that span the full spectrum of Carrier Ethernet applications (wireless backhaul, residential backhaul, business Ethernet services).

BT Vision to Support Microsoft's Xbox 360

The BT Vision service will support Microsoft's Xbox 360 games and entertainment system. All BT broadband customers will have the opportunity to receive the HD gaming, television and movies through an Xbox 360 console or through their set-top box.

BT Vision, which is powered by the Microsoft Mediaroom Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) platform, plans to make this first-of-its-kind device and service offering available to customers in the middle of 2008. The service will be available to existing and future Xbox 360 console owners.

Zain Awards $1 Billion Contract to Nokia Siemens Networks for Mobile Rollout in Saudi Arabia

Nokia Siemens Networks announced a contract valued at approximately US$1 billion to roll out a state-of--the-art greenfield mobile network in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on behalf of Zain. Formerly known as the MTC Group, Zain is the leading telecommunications mobile provider in 22 countries across the Middle East and Africa and was recently awarded the third mobile telecommunications license for Saudi Arabia.

Under the terms of the contract, Nokia Siemens Networks will provide to Zain in Saudi Arabia the latest 2G and 3G mobile network technologies, including HSDPA and HSUPA, based on the latest base station design and distributed architecture for both radio access and core networks according to the 3GPP release 4 standard. Nokia Siemens Networks said it will deliver a full turnkey solution, including managed services for five years from a dedicated local network operations center. The US$ 935 million turnkey contract also includes network planning, implementation, project management, systems integration, logistics management, multi-vendor maintenance, field services and network optimization for the base station sites. The company will also provide a wide range of operations and business support system (OSS/BSS) solutions that will help Zain reduce operating expenses and manage the network and service quality for its subscribers. Nokia Siemens Networks will also provide Zain with its convergent prepaid solution, charge@once select, for voice and data.

Nokia Siemens Networks is the sole supplier of Zain Saudi's core network, including the industry leading MSC Server mobile softswitch for cost-efficient voice and data services, as well as the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), which enables a wide range of rich communications services based on the Internet Protocol.http://www.nokiasiemensnetworks.com

Belkin Offers $99 Desktop Skype Phone

Belkin introduced its new Desktop Internet Phone for Skype, which allows you to make free Skype Internet calls without having to turn on your computer. The phone is priced at US$99.99 and plugs in via an Ethernet port. Some features include:

  • Speaker, speed dial, call hold/release, call pickup/park, mute, redial, hold, call-timer display, and contact list

  • Contact list supports over 500 sets of Skype and SkypeOut contacts

  • Automatically logs into Skype after initial login

  • Plugs into port on wired/wireless router or a live Ethernet port so you can immediately start making calls

  • Supports inexpensive SkypeOut calls to landlines and mobiles anywhere in the world (requires purchase of Skype credit on
  • Supports SkypeIn.

Verizon Offers SMB Symmetrical FiOS at 20, 50 Mbps

Verizon has begun offering small- and medium-sized businesses symmetrical FiOS Internet connections at 20 Mbps. For those who want even faster download speeds, Verizon offers up to 50 Mbps download (with 20 Mbps upload).

In some states (Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island) small- and medium-sized business customers can subscribe to 20M/20M service with a dynamic IP address for $99.99 per month; or with a static IP address, the 20M/20M service is $139.99 per month -- both with a two-year term agreement. The fastest speed available in these states is now 50M/20M for $199.99 per month with a dynamic IP address, or $239.99 per month with a static IP address -- both with a two-year term agreement.

In other states (California, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington) small- and medium-sized business customers can subscribe to 15M/15M service with a dynamic IP address for $99.99 per month, or with a static IP address, the 15M/15M service is $139.99 per month both with a two- year term agreement. The fastest speed available -- 35M/5M with a dynamic IP address -- has been increased to 30M/15M for $199.99 per month, or $239.99 per month with a static IP address both with a two-year term agreement.

Verizon Expands FiOS TV Availability in California

Verizon has expanded the availability of its all-fiber- optic FiOS TV service in California, where it is now available to more than 500,000 households across the state. The company plans to expand the service to 1 million homes by the end of this year.

Verizon recently launched FiOS TV in additional Southern California cities -- including Downey, Santa Fe Springs, La Mirada and Norwalk -- and won approval from the Public Utilities Commission to offer the service in 34 more California communities as construction of the fiber-optic network proceeds. [Note: Lists of California cities served with FiOS TV and the new communities approved by the Public Utilities Commission appear at the end of this release.

Verizon started large-scale construction of its fiber network in California in 2004. Since then, the company has passed more than 800,000 households with its FiOS network in urban, suburban and rural areas throughout the state.

CopperGate's HomePNA 3.1 Chipset Promises 240 Gbps over In-home Wiring

CopperGate Communications introduced its "CopperStream" CG3210 chipset for home networking over existing coax and telephone wires. CopperGate said the new silicon supports a PHY data rates of up to 320 Mbps and up to 240 Mbps in user throughput. The chipset incorporates a complete ITU G.9954 compatible HomePNA 3.1 MAC and PHY as well as an Ethernet MAC and a RISC processor capable of running the entire HomePNA 3.1 protocol stack, providing remote management and diagnostics capabilities and full backward compatibility with CopperGate's previous products. The CG3210 is sampling to customers today.

"With millions of chipsets shipped, CopperGate has established the home networking standard for TelcoTV," said Gabi Hilevitz, CopperGate CEO. "The CG3210 adds valuable capabilities to the CopperStream product line which is being deployed today by both large and small service providers worldwide for the distribution of IP services within the home and MDUs."

Microsoft Enhances Mediaroom IPTV with "DVR Anywhere"

Microsoft has added a "DVR Anywhere" capability to its Mediaroom IPTV and multimedia platform, giving digital video recording (DVR) consumers the flexibility to watch their recorded TV programs on any TV in their home. Microsoft Mediaroom's DVR Anywhere is software-based, so no TV tuners are needed. It also requires that only one set-top box in the home have a hard drive, thus lowering the expense for service providers and consumers.

In addition, Microsoft also announced it is working with leading programmers, including Showtime Networks Inc. and Turner Broadcasting System Inc.'s TNT and CNN networks, to showcase new connected TV applications and scenarios that are enabled by the extensible Microsoft Mediaroom platform.

At CES, Microsoft is also showing an application called My Pad, designed and built by emuse technologies, that connects viewers to their social networks through the TV via Windows Live services and also enables them to share personal pages that exist online and on the TV.

In addition, Microsoft and ChoiceStream Inc. will demonstrate a personalized TV and video-on-demand recommendations application tailored to each viewer's unique tastes and preferences.

Microsoft also noted that more than 20 leading service providers across four continents have selected the Microsoft Mediaroom platform for their digital TV offerings.

Major Korean Telco Selects Ikanos

Ikanos Communications' Fusiv Vx155 processor will be used in a major Korean telecommunication service provider's first trial deployment of residential gateways. Ikanos' Fusiv Vx155 powers Mercury Corporation's PHY-agnostic residential gateway, which is designed to be used with VDSL2-, PON- and AON-based access networks for distributing triple play services in the home. Mercury Corporation is the only gateway vendor to successfully pass the Korean telco's rigorous benchmark testing and reach field trial deployment.

Ikanos said the PHY-agnostic residential gateway powered by the Fusiv Vx155 enables the Korean telco to deploy this gateway in fiber to the building (FTTB), fiber to the home (FTTH) and fiber to the remote (FTTR) architectures for triple play applications. As demonstrated in Mercury's qualification testing, Ikanos' Fusiv Vx155 delivers wirespeed performance of 100 Mbps with customized Quality of Service (QoS) and firewall/security capabilities for distributing rich-media services inside the home. Datapath processing is offloaded from external components onto the Vx155's on-chip Accelerator Processors (AP), thus reducing overall system cost.

SIP Forum Elects New Chairman and Appoints Managing Director

The SIP Forum announced today the recent election of Eric Burger, Deputy CTO of BEA Systems,

as Chairman of the SIP Forum Board of Directors, and the selection of Marc Robins as the Forum's new Managing Director. Dr. Burger is known for his numerous contributions on protocols to the IETF (including SIP, SIPPING, SIMPLE, LEMONADE, SPEECHSC, VPIM) and markup to the W3C (VoiceXML, CCXML, and MSCML.) He is the inventor of the Applications and Services Infrastructure concept, bringing the web development paradigm to telephony applications. Robins is currently the Chief Technology Evangelism Officer of Robins Consulting Group and has been continuously involved in the telecommunications industry as a reporter and analyst, editor and author, trade show producer and magazine publisher, and marketing executive and consultant for more than 25 years.

In addition, the Forum announced the election of Mark Enstrom, Product Manager of BroadSoft and Richard Shockey, Director of Technical Staff of NeuStar, Inc. to the SIP Forum Board of Directors.

Pacific Crossing Appoints Former Asia Netcom Exec as CEO

Pacific Crossing, which provides undersea capacity between the United States and Japan,

is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Simpson as its new CEO. Simpson was recently chief operating officer of Asia Netcom, a position he had held since September 2006. He previously served as chief technology officer (CTO), chief information officer (CIO) and senior vice president with a focus on restructuring efforts at Asia Netcom and its predecessor Asia Global Crossing from 2001 to 2004.

BT Selects Motorola as lead supplier for IPTV Set-top Boxes

BT has selected Motorola as the lead supplier of next-generation set-top boxes for its BT Vision digital TV service. Financial terms were not disclosed. Motorola will supply BT with second-generation V-Boxes boasting a new look, the potential for substantially improved energy efficiency and enhanced capabilities for deployment in 2009.

The HD-capable V-Box digital TV recorder will provide access to up to 40 Freeview TV channels and 30 radio channels, the ability to record an average of 80 hours of content, on-demand access to a huge library of films, TV shows, music videos and sport and a range of interactive applications.

Siemens Leverages Jungo Middleware for Residential Gateways

Siemens Home and Office Communication Devices (SHC), which supplies broadband routers as well as DECT and IP phones, will use Jungo's OpenRG software for its advanced Gigaset gateways. The companies said their strategic cooperation would speed time-to-market for new gateways and help service providers to introduce new services with substantially lower operating costs because of reduced complexity and maintenance costs.

Siemens Gateways based on OpenRG will be available starting Spring 2008.

JDSU Acquires Westover Scientific for Fiber Inspection Tech.

JDSU has acquired the fiber division of Westover Scientific Inc., a provider of fiber optic inspection and cleaning solutions, for $50 million in cash. JDSU also intends to acquire Westover Scientific's affiliated manufacturing company in Fuzhou, China, which remains subject to certain regulatory approvals. JDSU expects to complete this second acquisition in the second half of the 2008 fiscal year.

Westover Scientific, based near Seattle, Washington, designs and manufactures specialized field and lab microscopes necessary to detect dirt and other contaminants that are considered the leading cause of costly faults in fiber optic networks.

JDSU said Westover Scientific's products complement its existing fiber field and lab and production test portfolio and will be integrated with JDSU's Communications Test and Measurement (CommTest) business. JDSU currently integrates high-performance Westover Scientific products in many of its advanced test platforms, including fiber characterization solutions in the MTS/T-BERD 8000 and MTS/T-BERD 6000 product lines.

ViaSat Plans 100 Gbps Satellite System for Broadband Services

ViaSat has selected Space Systems/Loral to provide what is described as the highest capacity broadband satellite to date. The new spacecraft is scheduled to launch in 2011 and will be based on SS/L's 1300 platform and high-capacity Ka-band spot beam technology. Total throughput is designed to be over 100 Gigabits per second, which is more capacity than today's entire fleet of two-way Ka-, C- and Ku-band capacity over North America combined.

ViaSat has secured financial commitments from partners of over $100 million to date towards ViaSat-1 and will finance the remainder from cash on hand, future cash flows and available borrowing capacity.

ViaSat-1 involves a collaborative effort between ViaSat, Loral, Telesat and Eutelsat, which is working with ViaSat on the networking system and a common wholesale business model that works through existing ISPs, telecommunication companies, and pay TV providers to serve subscribers.

Loral also announced that it is investing in the Canadian coverage portion of the satellite in anticipation of Telesat Canada (which is 64 percent owned by Loral) utilizing the capacity for Canadian services. The satellite is planned for Telesat's 115 West longitude orbital slot and Telesat will also provide telemetry, tracking & control (TT&C) operations for the satellite.

Eutelsat Selects to EADS Astrium to Deliver Ka-Band Satellite System

Eutelsat Communications has selected EADS Astrium to deliver its first satellite operating exclusively in Ka-band frequencies. The satellite will form the cornerstone of a major new satellite infrastructure programme that will significantly expand capacity for consumer broadband services across Europe and the Mediterranean Basin.

Currently called KA-SAT and scheduled for launch in third quarter 2010, the satellite will be configured with over 80 spotbeams, making it the most advanced multi-spot satellite designed in the world to date. A network of eight gateways managed by Eutelsat, and which will provide access to KA-SAT and deliver the full range of services to end users, will form an integral part of the new infrastructure.

KA-SAT is the European equivalent to ViaSat-1, a high-capacity Ka-band broadband satellite ordered by ViaSat to serve the North American market and planned to launch in 2011. ViaSat and Eutelsat said they are cooperating closely around ViaSat's Ka-band SurfBeam networking system and a similar wholesale business model that works through ISPs, telecommunications companies and pay-TV platforms to serve subscribers.

Eutelsat said the amount of bandwidth provided by KA-SAT, coupled with ViaSat's next generation SurfBeam ground networking system, will take satellite operations to new levels of efficiency and capacity, delivering a total throughput of over 70 Gbps.http://www.eutelsat.com
  • In December 2007, Eutelsat Communications and ViaSat launched "Tooway" -- a satellite-based, consumer broadband service in Europe being delivered using the Ka-band spot beam capacity on Eutelsat's HOT BIRD 6 satellite at 13 degrees East. It will also be available via Ku-band capacity on the EUROBIRD 3 satellite. The Ka and Ku-band hubs with equipment supplied by ViaSat to manage Tooway are now fully commissioned and ready for service at Skylogic's SkyPark teleport in Turin, Italy. Tooway uses ViaSat's SurfBeam DOCSIS system.

Panasonic Previews IP-Enabled HD Televisions

At CES in Las Vegas, Panasonic previewed its first IP enabled televisions. Panasonic's VIERA full HD 1080p PZ850 series features four sizes -- 46-inch, 50-inch, 58-inch and 65-inch. The IP enabled televisions provide access to on-line content directly using the company's "VIERA CAST" technology. They also feature a Pro Setting Menu, allowing the consumer to access professional calibration software; an improved native resolution contrast ratio of 30,000:1 and a dynamic ratio of 1,000,000:1; Digital Cinema Color Re-Mastering; 24p native reproduction; Game Mode; an SD memory Card slot; RS-232C connection; four HDMI connections; increased luminous efficiency; lead free panels; 100,000 hours to half brightness and a PC input. The 850 series further expands the capabilities of the SD Card feature by utilizing the H.264 codec to display high definition video recorded on a HD camcorder equipped with the H.264 codec.

Panasonic and Comcast Debut Portable DVR

Comcast will begin offering a portable DVR/DVD player from Panasonic powered by tru2way technology. The Comcast/Panasonic co-branded AnyPlay Portable DVR (P-DVR) will let Comcast customers record programming at home and take it with them. The device is expected to be available beginning in early 2009. The unit features 60GB of digital video recording capacity, an 8.5" folding LCD display screen, and integrated stereo speakers.

ShoreTel Cuts Financial Guidance

Citing fewer sales to new customers, ShoreTel trimmed its financial guidance for the quarter ending 31-Dec-2007, saying it now expects revenue to be in the range of $29.7 to $30.7 million, lower than its previous expectation of $32 to $35 million. Gross margin percentage is expected to be within the guided range of 62 percent to 64 percent, and GAAP operating expenses are also expected to be within the previously guided range of $19 million to $20 million.

"Despite delivering the second highest revenue quarter in the Company's history, we fell short of our expectations. Our preliminary review indicates that sales to existing customers grew during the quarter, however, sales to new customers declined. We are still in the process of analyzing the factors affecting our results for the quarter and will discuss the results further when we hold our regularly scheduled earnings conference call at the end of January," said John W. Combs, president and CEO of ShoreTel.

Full results are expected 29-Jan-2008.

Motorola Acquires Singapore's Soundbuzz for Music Distribution

Motorola agreed to acquire Soundbuzz Pte. Ltd., a privately held, leading pan-Asian music provider based in Singapore. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition, which is subject to customary conditions, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2008.

Soundbuzz's multi-region music delivery platform enables the purchase and distribution of digital content through over-the-air and wired broadband connections. The company's end-to-end system includes subscriber management, content management, payment, client software and media delivery technologies. The company maintains a consumer-facing brand, Soundbuzz, and will continue to provide "white-label" services to carrier customers that offer tailored solutions for Multimedia delivery. Soundbuzz currently has more than 750,000 tracks available to download to PCs, portable music players and mobile phones.

Through its MOTOMUSIC service, Motorola has more than two years experience delivering mobile music to consumers with its carrier customers in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The acquisition of Soundbuzz allows Motorola to expand MOTOMUSIC beyond China, into India, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand.