Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Telstra Completes ADSL 2+ Upgrades Ahead of Schedule

Telstra has completed an ADSL 2+ upgrade to 907 communities across Australia four months ahead of schedule. These 907 exchanges serve 2.4 million homes and businesses. The upgrade program was first announced in February. Telstra said more than 1,400 exchanges in its network, serving 16.6 million people, have now been upgraded to ADSL 2+, providing download speeds of up to 20Mbps.

FCC Increases ATC Spectrum for the Globalstar Mobile Satellite Network

The FCC adopted an order that increases the amount of spectrum in which CDMA operators of Mobile-Satellite Service (MSS) low-earth orbit satellite systems in the 1.6/2.4 GHz bands (the Big LEO bands) may provide ancillary terrestrial component (ATC) service. Specifically, the FCC increased the spectrum available for ATC in the Big LEO L-band from 1610-1615.5 MHz to 1610-1617.775 MHz, and in the Big LEO S-band from 2487.5-2493 MHz to 2483.5-2495 MHz. At the same time, the FCC adopted rules to ensure that ATC operations will not cause harmful interference to other services in these or adjacent bands.

The FCC proposes to modify the ATC authority of Globalstar to allow greater capacity and flexibility for MSS/ATC, and will allow CDMA Big LEO MSS/ATC systems to provide improved service to customers, particularly in urban and underserved rural areas of the United States.

PMC-Sierra Announces RAID Development Agreement with IBM

PMC-Sierra announced a multi-year joint development agreement with IBM for RAID technology. The partnership combines PMC-Sierra's 6 Gbps SAS and 8 Gbps Fibre Channel storage protocol controller family and IBM's extensive RAID technology. The companies said the agreement will accelerate the development and industry availability of innovative RAID chipset and software solutions.

"PMC-Sierra is committed to providing our customers with innovative, industry-leading storage chipset solutions," said Bob Bailey, President and CEO of PMC-Sierra. "Our joint technology development program with IBM combines the strengths of two industry leaders to accelerate RAID product solutions for broad customer and industry benefit."

Ixia Expects Q1 Revenues at Low-end of Guidance

Ixia expects its preliminary financial Q1 2008 revenues to be in the range of $41.0 to $42.0 million, slightly below the low end of the company's previous guidance of $42.0 to $46.0 million. The company said sales to its largest account, Cisco Systems, were up more than 20 percent sequentially from the 2007 fourth quarter to approximately $10.5 million, and sales in the Asia Pacific region remained strong. First quarter 2008 revenues were impacted by larger than anticipated decreases in Europe and Canada as compared to the fourth quarter of 2007. Lower than expected revenues from carriers in North America and Europe also contributed to the shortfall.

Earnings per diluted share on a GAAP basis for the first quarter of 2008 are expected to be between a loss of $0.01 to breakeven as compared to the company's guidance of between a loss of $0.01 to a profit of $0.02.

Level 3 Introduces Content Delivery for Extended Libraries

Level 3 Communications introduced a Content Delivery for Extended Libraries (CDXL) service that it hopes will allow publishers to more easily host online and monetize their long-tail content (archived audio and video files that are less frequently accessed). The service is aimed at content owners/aggregators, sports leagues, broadcasters and user generated content sites with large digital libraries.

The new service, which is offered by Level 3's Content Markets Group, leverages the company's Content Delivery Network and its highly scalable origin storage solution, Level 3 has introduced proprietary intelligence into its infrastructure which enables content to be delivered dynamically on the optimal path to end users. The dynamic intelligence built into Level 3's CDXL solution automatically positions customer content on the Level 3 infrastructure based on popularity and removes the need for customer guesswork about which assets will be popular in certain regions at any given time.

"Our customers with large content libraries have been looking for an economic solution to enable them to monetize their substantial digital assets," said Grant van Rooyen, president of Level 3's Content Markets Group. "We believe that the business of providing a solution for the efficient delivery of entire libraries of content, not just the most popular titles, will be increasingly important as online content distribution matures. Level 3 is excited to deliver a solution that enables customers like Libsyn to build a viable business model for monetizing their long-tail content."

JDSU Launches Digital Video Service Quality Test Solution

JDSU introduced its latest digital video test solution, the DTS MVP-200, a dynamic new MPEG video analyzer that performs monitoring and troubleshooting functions at the network edge. These test processes at the edge include those for Digital Program Insertion (DPI), ad splicing, rate shaping, grooming, MPEG remuxing, encryption and modulation. Additional capabilities include IGMPv3 support, GigE and QAM Channel Scanning, SNMP for real-time alarming, and MS-RTP to allow users to recognize, parse and display MPEG streams embedded in a Microsoft RTP1.1 stream.

Cisco Opens its Integrated Services Router for 3rd Party Apps

Cisco is opening its Integrated Services Router (ISR) and Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) platforms to customers and third-party application developers. Cisco also introduced an array of new security, wireless and unified communication products and service innovations that elevate branch-office worker productivity and deliver information technology (IT) operational efficiencies.

Highlights of the new offerings include:

  • Cisco Application eXtension Platform. The Cisco AXP consists of open, Linux-based Cisco ISR hardware modules for application development and hosting to support a tighter integration of the network and applications. Multiple off-the-shelf and custom applications are now available, along with a development and support ecosystem that includes a downloadable software development kit (SDK) and application programming interface (API) for application developers.

  • Cisco WAAS WAE-674 Wide Area Application Engine with Virtual Blade Technology. Further opening the branch to third-party applications, the newest Cisco wide-area network (WAN) optimization platform, the Cisco WAE-674, offer a "virtual blade" technology to host third-party applications, beginning with Microsoft Windows Server 2008.

  • Cisco 880 and 860 Series ISR. These are the first fixed-configuration routers to provide integrated lightweight access points supporting Cisco Unified Wireless and IEEE 802.11n WLAN technology, 3G wireless WAN support for improved high availability, and specialized support for managed services.

  • Enhanced Unified Communications and manageability. Cisco also introduced enhancements to Cisco Unified Border Element and integrated management of voice, security and data services with new Cisco Configuration Professional Management Software.

Regarding the 3rd party applications, the Cisco AXP, which is based on an open Linux architecture with an open interface to Cisco IOS,
is delivered via network modules and Advanced Integration Modules (AIMs) on the Cisco ISR. Multiple applications can be supported on a single AXP module concurrently, optimizing the footprint in branch offices.


ARRIS announced the availability of its 1 GHz CHP CORWave 'closely spaced' CWDM downstream optics for enabling delivery of HD SDV, On Demand and business services on existing MSO fiber networks. CORWave is an extension of the broadly-deployed, field proven CHP CWDM optics that deliver more capacity over longer-link distances on existing fiber. When deployed with the ARRIS OptiMax4100 4x4 segmentable nodes, it enables multiplexing of twelve wavelengths: four forward, four return and four bidirectional all on one fiber with a link length of up to 25 kilometers.

The bidirectional wavelengths are ideally suited for business service applications. When deployed with any of the ARRIS OptiMax segmentable nodes in a 2x2 configuration, CORWave enables longer link lengths of up to 30 kilometers.

ARRIS said its CORWave was recently certified by a top 3 U.S. cable operator and is scheduled to be deployed by them this quarter.

Orange Teams with Eutelsat, Adding Satellite TV Component to its Livebox

Orange will use Eutelsat's HOT BIRD and ATLANTIC BIRD 3 satellites to broadcast the TV component of its triple play offer to households not accessible via ADSL. Orange will supply a new decoder interfacing with its livebox to enable the satellite-delivered Orange TV signal to be bundled with Internet access and telephony.

Satellite broadcasting of Orange TV's programmes will be launched simultaneously in summer 2008 from Eutelsat's HOT BIRD and ATLANTIC BIRD 3 satellites located at 13 degrees East and 5 degrees West respectively. In terms of the French market, these two neighbourhoods already reach an installed base of 4.8 million DTH antennas.

EMCORE to Acquire Intel's Enterprise and Storage Optical Assets

EMCORE Corporation agreed to acquire the enterprise and storage assets of Intel's Optical Platform Division as well as the Intel Connects Cables business. EMCORE will issue 3.7 million shares of restricted stock for the acquisition, currently valued at about $25.8 million. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.

EMCORE said the deal further enhances its presence in the optical communications market segments, especially in the areas of 10 Gigabit Ethernet and storage area network transceivers.

"Following the successful acquisition of the telecom-related assets of Intel's Optical Platform Division, this second acquisition from Intel enables EMCORE's Fiber Optics to be a significant supplier for both telecom and datacom products," said Reuben F. Richards, Executive Chairman, EMCORE. "This acquisition will provide additional manufacturing efficiencies through economies of scale and vertical integration, benefiting our enterprise, storage, telecom, cable and high-performance computing customers. EMCORE projects this asset will add $45 million in revenue for the next 12 months, increase gross margin from 23 to 29 percent and be accretive to earnings. The Intel Connects Cables business provides an innovative solution for high-performance computing cluster interconnect applications, using embedded parallel optical transceivers with a multi-mode fiber ribbon. EMCORE expects this business to have gross margins exceeding 50% and to be the fastest growing segment of the acquired assets."

EMCORE has two operating segments: Fiber Optics and Photovoltaics. EMCORE's Fiber Optics segment offers optical components, subsystems and systems that enable the transmission of video, voice and data over high-capacity fiber optic cables for high-speed data and telecommunications, cable television (CATV) and fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) networks. EMCORE's Photovoltaics segment provides solar products for satellite and terrestrial applications.

Intel said the sale of these optical-related assets will enable it to focus its investments on core communications and embedded market segments in line with its platform strategies. Intel will continue its efforts on the universal serial bus 3.0 specification, which is slated to support optical, and silicon photonics research and development.http://www.emcore.com
  • In December 2007, EMCORE agreed to acquire the telecom–related portion of Intel's Optical Platform Division for $85 million. The telecom assets to be acquired included intellectual property, assets and technology relating to tunable lasers, tunable transponders, 300–pin transponders and integrable tunable laser assemblies. The deal closed in Q1 2008.

STMicroelectronics and NXP Merge Wireless Businesses

NXP -- the independent semiconductor company founded by Philips -- and STMicroelectronics agreed to combine key wireless operations to form a joint-venture company serving handset manufacturers. The companies said their joint effort will have the scale to better meet customer needs in 2G, 2.5G, 3G, multimedia, connectivity and all future wireless technologies. It will rank as a top-three industry player, with combined revenue of $3 billion in 2007.

The new organization will combine key design, sales and marketing, and back-end manufacturing assets from both companies into a streamlined worldwide joint venture that will rely on its parent companies and foundries for wafer fabrication services. The joint venture's core technical competencies include UMTS, the emerging 3G Chinese standard, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, FM Radio, USB, and UWB (Ultra-wideband). The JV will also integrate the Silicon Laboratories' wireless and GloNav's GPS operations recently acquired by NXP.

STMicroelectronics will take an 80% stake in the joint venture. NXP will receive $1.55 billion from ST, including a control premium, to be funded from outstanding cash (cash and cash equivalents balance for ST at year end 2007 were $3.5 billion). The parents have also agreed on a future exit mechanism for NXP's ongoing 20% stake, which involves put and call options, exercisable beginning 3 years from the formation of the JV, at a strike price based on actual future financial results, with a 15% spread.

The new company will be incorporated in the Netherlands and headquartered in Switzerland with approximately 9,000 employees worldwide. The JV will operate its own very competitive assembly and test facilities in Calamba, Philippines and Muar, Malaysia. NXP's Calamba site as a whole will be transferred to the JV. In addition, part of ST's back-end operations in Muar will be separated from the parent company's existing facility in the area and transferred to the JV.
  • In February, NXP Semiconductors and Thomson have agreed to combine their can tuner modules operations in a joint venture. Thomson will appoint the CFO of this new venture, while NXP will appoint the CEO. NXP and Thomson expect that the definitive joint venture agreements will be finalized and the transaction will close in Q2, subject to closing conditions, including social and regulatory approvals.

AT&T Wins $500 Million MPLS Contract with the State of Florida

The Florida Department of Management Services awarded a $500 million contract to AT&T to provide services to more than 4,000 locations across the state. AT&T already provides the state with Internet access, VoIP services and Centrex central-office based voice service to more than 5,000 locations. The new contract will establish MPLS-enabled voice, video and data transport services for government, education, rural health care and nonprofit operations across Florida. AT&T said its MPLS solution will support advanced applications for state employees and citizens, as well as low-cost broadband transport services statewide to meet critical public needs. The AT&T solution will further allow the state to more efficiently prioritize voice, video and mission-critical data and significantly increase bandwidth, minimizing the need for future network upgrades.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

BBC Digital Media Initiative to Leverage Signiant's Media Distribution Solution

Signiant's Digital Media Distribution Management Suite (DMDMS) has been selected by Siemens as a core component for the forthcoming BBC Digital Media Initiative. Siemens is providing the integration and delivery services for the provision of the Digital Media Initiative within the corporation, and Signiant's technology will enable the Media Mover component. The Digital Media Initiative will provide the broadcaster with a flexible, multiplatform-enabled, digital production capability with the associated technology infrastructure. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The BBC DMI is collaborative multiplatform production capability that will allow multiplatform programme making teams to work together throughout the production lifecycle and provide individuals access to the work-in-progress content from the point of its inception.

Media Mover is an infrastructural component of the DMI architecture which will manage effective movement of media across the BBC network by throttling transfer rates based on priority and available bandwidth. This component will be enabled using the Signiant DMDMS and, in this first phase of the DMI, will be used for two main purposes.

Firstly, the DMI will use the Signiant SOA Interface (Simple Object Access protocol) to manage, prioritize and accelerate the movement of media between the BBC Archive (the central repository for the corporation's digital assets and related asset information) and the Work In Progress Library (a client application that allows users to ingest and retrieve content and perform logging, local searching, storyboarding and synchronization retrievals) across all sites within the BBC Network. This will allow multi-platform programme-making teams to work together throughout the production lifecycle, providing instant access to the work-in-progress content.

Secondly, the Signiant DMDMS will be used for the bundling, packaging and distribution of video, audio and graphics material to the various broadcast platforms. Signiant's Adaptive Policy Engine will be used to perform digital media transfers based on business rules to ensure that the highest priority items are assigned the appropriate levels of networking bandwidth and priority within the file-based workflow.

MetaSwitch Announces Sales Milestone -- 150th IOC Customer

MetaSwitch announced that with its deployment with Ontario & Trumansburg Telephone Companies (OTTC), it is now providing the core softswitch technology for 150 independent operating companies (IOCs) in North America. OTTC, the largest independently owned telephone companies in New York State, has invested in building a 300-mile fiber network, operated by subsidiary Finger Lakes Technologies Group, Inc. (FLTG), which extends from Ithaca to Rochester and towards the Western part of New York State.

MetaSwitch's platforms enable IOCs to deliver traditional telephony services to business and residential subscribers, as well as provide the foundation for the advanced platform of IMS-enabled services as the carriers migrate toward next-generation architectures.

MetaSwitch noted that more than a thousand IOCs, also known as rural local exchange carriers (RLECs), serve in excess of 20 million lines throughout the United States and Canada. In the past six months, more than 25 IOCs have chosen MetaSwitch to provide a switching platform for traditional voice and advanced IP communications services. Independent operators now make up nearly half of MetaSwitch's customer base of more than 350 service providers, which includes global, national and regional incumbent and competitive carriers, as well as cable operators.

Pando's P2P Field Test Shows 235% Performance Boost across US cable networks

P2P content delivery can boost delivery speeds by up to 235% across US cable networks and up to 898% across international broadband networks, according to Pando Networks, which offers a managed P2P content delivery service. The data was gathered in a recent P4P field test by Pando from more than 3,000 ISPs worldwide. As part of the test that began February 21st, Pando Networks delivered video content to more than 1 million people across global broadband networks including AT&T, Bell Canada, Bezeq International, BT, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox, Orange, Sasktel, Telefonica, Telecom Italia, Time Warner, Tiscali, and Verizon. Pando used ISP-supplied topological data for some of the networks, such as Verizon and Telefonica, while using proprietary Pando Network Aware technology to deliver content across other networks such as Comcast and AT&T.

The results also show Pando's ability to use P4P and Pando Network Aware technology to route data internally across the broadband networks instead of pulling data from external sources that put more strain on the networks.

For example, across US cable carriers, Pando increased the percentage of data routed internally across their networks from 2.2% to 43.4% of all downloads. This optimization reduced inter-ISP data transfers by an average of 34% (up to 43.8 % in the US and 75.1% internationally) demonstrating that network awareness provides significant network efficiencies for all ISPs.

The technology used in this first P4P field test was developed by engineers at Pando Networks based on research from Yale University. The protocols and specifications are being shared within the P4PWG, which is open to all ISPs and P2P technology providers, and sponsored by the Distributed Computing Industry Association (DCIA).

In March, Pando presented initial results of this field test reflecting data exclusively for the US-based Verizon broadband network at the DCIA P2P MARKET CONFERENCE in New York.
  • In March 2008, Verizon will begin using a peer-to-peer (P2P) file transfer system from Pando Networks to aid with the distribution of large media files to its broadband users. When deployed, the new system will move material authorized by the content owners -- such as movies, TV programs, software or large data bases -- faster for consumers and more efficiently for network operators, including Verizon. Significantly, Verizon said it no longer regarded P2P as a "dark-alley distribution system for unauthorized file sharing.

  • In February 2008, Pando announced NBC as its latest content customer.

  • Pando is funded by Intel Capital, BRM Capital and Wheatley Partners.

Siemens Introduces Wave2 WiMAX Card

Siemens Home and Office Communication Devices (SHC) introduced its Gigaset SE68 WiMAX Express Card based on the IEEE 802.16-2005 standard. It complies with the Wave 2 specifications, including MIMO (Multiple Input / Multiple Output) A and B, and supports beamforming.

The Express Card Gigaset SE68 WiMAX permits mobile broadband access at up to 20 Mbps. The card will be available in the summer of 2008 supporting the 2.5 and 3.5 GHz frequency bands. It supports the computer's idle mode, thus reducing battery consumption. The Express Card can also be operated via a USB 2.0 port or a PC Card port with the aid of an adapter.

WiMAX Forum Certifies First 2.3 GHz Products

The WiMAX Forum has given its Certified Seal of Approval to the first eight Mobile WiMAX products following interoperability testing. The 2.3 GHz frequency band products, including four base station and four subscriber unit modules, that achieved WiMAX certification are from WiMAX Forum member companies POSDATA, Ransom Technologies Ltd, Samsung Electronics Co., LTD and Sequans Communications.

The products were certified in collaboration with the WiMAX Forum's lead certification testing laboratory, AT4 wireless, in Malaga, Spain, and members of the Telecommunications Technology Association's (TTA) IT Testing & Certification Lab from Seoul, Korea.

Qwest's Ed Mueller to Chair National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee

Qwest Communications' chairman and CEO, Edward A. Mueller

, has been named by President Bush to chair the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC).

Since its inception by executive order in 1982, the NSTAC has advised the president and other White House leaders on issues pertaining to the preservation and utilization of the nation's communications infrastructure, specifically with regard to national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP).

Harmonic Improves Video Encoding at Low Resolutions for Mobile Video

Harmonic introduced a new approach to low resolution encoding for mobile video on DiviCom Electra MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) compression platform. Harmonic is now supporting ultra-low bit-rates in formats including QVGA and SIF with the Electra 5400 standard definition (SD) H.264 encoders. This solution is designed for lower resolution applications such as video delivery to automobiles via satellite transmission or IP-based streaming to the PC and handheld devices.

Harmonic's Electra H.264 encoding platform employs a number of technologies, including video pre-processing, dynamic noise reduction, full multi-pass hierarchical "LookAhead" compression and IP-based statistical multiplexing to deliver video quality at very low bit-rates. The multi-pass LookAhead process was pioneered by Harmonic and uses a dedicated H.264 compression processor to fully analyze incoming video content and proactively apply highly efficient encoding strategies.

Harmonic said that by exploiting its multi-pass architecture and noise reduction processing, mobile resolutions on the Electra platform offer significantly improved video quality in comparison with the DSP-based alternatives utilized for QVGA encoding today. In addition to SIF and QVGA, Harmonic's compression platform will be able to scale to support a number of additional resolutions, including QCIF and SQCIF.

Dell'Oro: Service Providers Spend Over $36 Billion on Wireline Gear in 2007

Telecom service providers worldwide purchased more than $36 billion of equipment to enhance their wireline networks in 2007, up more than 10 percent over 2006 levels, according to Dell'Oro Group. The largest increases in capex spend was on optical transport and routers, followed distantly by IP voice equipment (such as media gateways and softswitches), and carrier Ethernet switches. Spending on broadband access and multiservice switching declined.

Dell'Oro said Cisco captured the bulk of spend on routers while Alcatel-Lucent captured spend on optical transport. Nokia Siemens and Nortel captured the majority of spend on IP voice equipment.

of Manufacturers' Revenue from

Wireline Telecommunications Equipment

Sold to Service Providers -- %

  2007 2006
29 24
Cisco 34 29
Ericsson 4 4
Huawei 14 10
8 6
Nortel 11 13