Monday, June 30, 2008

Alcatel-Lucent and Neuf Cegetel to extend FTTH in Paris

Neuf Cegetel, the leading fixed alternative operator in France, has signed a new frame agreement with Alcatel-Lucent for the deployment of an FTTH network in Paris.

Specifically, Alcatel-Lucent's GPON solution will enable Neuf Cegetel to offer very high-speed access and services to more than 100,000 apartments. The project is part of an initiative led by the Paris social housing office OPAC (Office Public d'Aménagement et de Construction) to bridge the digital divide in the French capital. Financial terms were not disclosed.

As part of this frame agreement, Alcatel-Lucent will supply and provide project management for the deployment of its 7342 Intelligent Services Access Manager Fiber to the User (ISAM FTTU), leveraging GPON technology to multiplex voice, video and data services onto a single fiber and supporting a 2.5 Gbps downstream capacity, the highest bandwidth offered to the mass-market today. The solution is complemented by a range of in-house Alcatel-Lucent optical network terminals (ONTs).

Alcatel-Lucent said this contract significantly increases its market strength in GPON, and confirms the company's readiness to engage in the mass deployment of GPON technology.

The company noted that it is engaged in over 80 FTTx projects worldwide, over 60 of which are with GPON.
  • As of the end of Q1 2008, Neuf Cegetel had 3,294,000 broadband clients, an increase of 70,000 compared to the end of 2007; this includes +100,000 new customers for the Neuf brand and -30,000 customers for the other brands.

Max Planck Institute's ATLAS Cluster Deploys Woven 10GigE Fabric

The ATLAS compute cluster at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Hannover, Germany, achieved top ranking among the 285 Gigabit Ethernet clusters in the most recent TOP500 list of supercomputer sites. The ATLAS cluster leverages the Dynamic Congestion Avoidance feature in Woven Systems' 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) fabric to reach a performance level of 32.8 Teraflops, making it the fastest Ethernet cluster in the world.

The ATLAS cluster consists of 1342 compute nodes occupying 32 full racks. The use of Intel Xeon Quad-core processors gives the cluster over 5,000 CPU cores. Each server node has its own dedicated Gigabit Ethernet connection to a Woven TRX 100 Ethernet switch, which has four separate 10 GE uplinks to the EFX 1000 Ethernet Fabric Switch at the core of the Ethernet fabric. Because this configuration is not over-subscribed, it assures non-blocking throughput performance for both inter-processor communications and storage access.

Woven Systems said its Dynamic Congestion Avoidance capability constantly balances traffic loads intelligently and in real-time along available paths in the non-blocking 10 GE fabric, thus delivering efficiency across the cluster.
A cluster's computational efficiency is critical to its performance, and efficiency is determined by the network's ability to handle inter-processor communications. The efficiency is calculated using the Linpack benchmark from the ratio of the actual performance to the theoretical peak performance for all processors in the cluster. Of the 285 Gigabit Ethernet clusters on the Top 500 List, only six achieved a computational efficiency greater than 60 percent and of those, ATLAS was the most powerful. Of the remaining Gigabit Ethernet clusters, 76 had efficiencies of 50 percent or less; 97 had efficiencies of 51-55 percent and 106 had efficiencies of 56-60 percent.

Tata Communications Launches Cisco Telepresence Services

Tata Communications has begun offering private and public Cisco TelePresence rooms to businesses across the world. The Cisco-certified TelePresence network and managed services offers companies a reliable, highly secure facility. The Telepresence managed service includes a concierge service that takes care of reservations, scheduling, customer support, monitoring, management, reporting and billing capabilities, making it easy for customers to deploy and manage a highly effective collaboration tool.

Tata Communications said its global network and carrier relationships will allow it to grow Cisco TelePresence interconnections.

UTStarcom to Sell Personal Communications Division to AIG Vantage Capital

UTStarcom agreed to sell its Personal Communications Division ("PCD") to a newly formed entity controlled by AIG Vantage Capital, a part of AIG Investments. The expected proceeds of approximately US$240 million will be based primarily on the net working capital levels, subject to certain adjustments. In addition to the cash consideration, UTStarcom could also receive up to US$50 million based on a three-year earn out provision.

UTStarcom's PCD business primarily distributes handsets and related accessories in North America. Subsequent to the transaction, the privately held company will be called Personal Communications Devices, LLC and will be led by PCD's current management team who will be part-owners of the company with AIG Vantage Capital and other investors.

The Handset business unit of UTStarcom will continue to design and provide devices to be sold in the Americas through Personal Communications Devices, LLC as part of a supply agreement. UTStarcom will also sell devices directly to carriers in other areas of the world.

UTStarcom said the divestiture of PCD is consistent with its strategic refocusing announced in late 2007. The company also recently announced a divestiture of its Mobile Solutions Business Unit. UTStarcom to focus on its core IP-based product offerings in rapidly growing economies around the world.

Sumitomo Electric Introduces SFP 6G Series Transceivers

Sumitomo Electric Industries introduced its SFP 6G Series

of fiber optic transceivers for use in a wide range of network equipment applications. The SFP 6G Series is part of the SFP transceiver family, which is fully compliant with IEEE802.3ae, SONET/SDH, Fibre Channel and SFP Multi Source Agreement specifications.

The SFP 6G Series is manufactured in Suzhou, China. Commercial shipments began in April 2008.

Motorola Invests in Apprion for Industrial Wireless Networks

Motorola Ventures has made a strategic investment in Apprion, a start-up located in the NASA AMES Research Park at Moffett Field, California. With this investment, Apprion has raised over $23.5 million.

Apprion delivers advanced wireless products, applications and services for industrial plants. Apprion's ION System enables industrial facilities to deploy and manage multiple wireless applications as one unified, integrated system.

Apprion's ION System consists of the Apprion IONosphere and IONizers. The IONosphere is an on-site controller that manages data services, workflow, security, monitoring and maintenance, and 3rd party application integration across wireless plant networks. Apprion's IONizer is an industrial-grade, multi-RF, wireless network appliance. IONizers are designed to integrate and secure previously standalone wireless-enabled applications, such as VoIP and condition monitoring.

AT&T Files for Statewide Video Franchise in Tennessee

AT&T announced plans to offer video services

in communities across Tennessee and to invest approximately $400 million during the next several years in fiber network upgrades, further broadband deployment and Internet-based technologies to bring new services, including IPTV, to Tennessee consumers. AT&T said its decision to enter the market is a direct consequence of House Bill 1421, which was passed by the Tennessee Legislature and signed into law in May by Gov. Bredesen.

Limelight Updates on Recent Court Rulings in Akamai Patent Trial

Limelight Networks issued an update on its legal proceeding with Akamai, noting that the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts has denied Akamai's motion for a permanent injunction as premature. The Court also denied Akamai's motions for partial summary judgment on certain Limelight Networks' defenses. Additionally, the Court denied Limelight Networks' motions for a new trial, judgment as a matter of law, and obviousness.
  • In February, the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts ruled in favor of Akamai in a patent infringement case against Limelight Networks. Both companies operate content delivery networks. The jury awarded Akamai $45,526,946 in damages, plus interest, for infringing U.S. Patent No. 6,108,703.

Comcast Collects Consumer E-Waste in Denver

Comcast held an event

to help consumers responsibly recycle their unused TVs, computer monitors and other e-waste. The Comcast Colorado's 'Screen to Green' Recycling Rally was held June 28 in downtown Denver on the Auraria Campus. More than 70,000 pounds of e-waste including nearly 1,000 screens and computer monitors were collected at the event in just four hours. Guaranteed Recycling Xperts (GRX) and Waste Management collected the e-waste and prepared it to be responsibly recycled. On average, each participant recycled about two screens per vehicle.

Cox Launches Premium Online Back-Up and Security Services for SMBs

Cox Business is expanding its portfolio of services for Small to Medium sized Businesses (SMBs) in its Northern Virginia market. Premium Online Back-up and Premium Security Suite will be available for customers using Cox Business Internet service at no additional cost. These new services will help ensure that Cox customers' local network data is protected by providing anti-virus, anti-spyware, and a firewall for intrusion detection as well as safely storing this data at a secure off-site location.

Premium Online Back-up enables customers to establish a data back-up profile that includes the specific files to be backed-up and the frequency of back-up. Once the profile has been established and implemented, back-up is automatic and the customer can forget about it and focus on their business. Additionally, Premium Online Back-up provides customers with online file sharing and "Whalemail". Whalemail capability enables customers to provide others with secure access to centrally stored files via an e-mail link and provides administrative tools that enable the customer administrator to manage the storage space and run usage reports.

Premium Security Suite is a business class service with seven scanning engines that scan for local network data, providing first class protection with an industry leading detection rate. The service also has an online administrative tool that enables the customer administrator to manage and track the effectiveness of the Premium Security Suite for their company.

Mobile Operators Launch BONDI Initiative to Promote Mobile Services

A group of leading mobile operators, including 3 Group, AT&T, T-Mobile, Telenor, Telefonica, Telecom Italia and Vodafone, are launching a new initiative to create a blueprint and roadmap for opening up mobile functionality to encourage the development of mobile applications without compromising customer security.

The new "BONDI" initiative aims to provide a consistent and secure web services interface that can be used by all web developers across multiple device platforms. The initiative, which is driven by the Open Mobile Terminal Platform (OMTP) group, seeks to harmonize the many related application development environments across the industry. BONDI will expose key handset features to web developers to help them develop more function-rich, user friendly and relevant applications. The new handset software will be engineered in such a way as to prevent fraudulent and malicious activity through unauthorized access to functions or sensitive personal information. The goal is to provide a consistent, highly desirable, secure interface from web applications to billions of devices in the future.

Why BONDI? OMTP says that, like the Australian beach of the same name, mobile customers desire the greatest surfing conditions while making the experience as safe as possible. "It's safe to surf"

Orange Launches Global Vision Branding Campaign

Orange is launching a new global brand vision and advertising campaign built around the statement "together we can do more."

At its heart is the idea that today we live in a digital world where borders between people and places are being pushed away. This changes the way people connect within society, letting us share ideas and collaborate to achieve more than we could alone. Orange said it has responded to this change. Its mission is to bring people together.

The campaign will be rolled out in the UK on 5th July, followed by Switzerland, Poland, Romania, France, Slovakia, Spain, Africa and the Middle East in the following months. Orange worked with Publicis Groupe and Fallon as its agencies of record for the campaign.

"The Orange brand was originally developed for one technology in one market - mobile telephones in the U.K," says Caroline Mille, Senior Vice President, Brand and Communications. Orange. "Today, just 14 years later, the brand now spans a range of technologies (internet, T.V content) and reaches consumers in 26 countries, covering very different cultures. Thanks to its global enterprise services, Orange also has operations in most markets around the world. Since 2006 it has been the key brand of the France Telecom Group and now includes mobile, internet and TV services plus content associated with these three platforms. Despite this change, the brand has lost none of its strength, staying true to its original values which have become the values of the whole Group. The new brand vision allows us to truly communicate everything that Orange now stands for."

France Telecom has 170 million customers, of which are 120 million are under the Orange brand. The Orange brand was ranked 50th most valuable brand in Millward Brown's recent global brand survey, an increase of 17 places on the 2007 survey.

Mushroom Introduces Virtual Leased Line based on Broadband Bonding

Mushroom Networks introduced a Virtual Leased Line (VLL) solution that utilizes its "Broadband Bonding" technology and the Internet to create high-speed dedicated point-to-point connections for enterprise networks.

Mushroom Networks' VLL is based on the company's flagship Truffle Broadband Bonding product line, which combines multiple broadband Internet connections of any type including DSL, cable, T1, fiber into a single virtual high-speed link. Utilizing VLL, a Truffle unit placed at the enterprise headquarters can be paired with another placed offsite creating a virtual dedicated point-to-point bonded link for any IP traffic including VPNs, file transfers, network storage, and IP based voice and video communications.

The company noted that because high bandwidth speeds can be achieved bi-directionally, its VLL solves the uplink bottleneck commonly associated with other dedicated services for connecting to the branch office or data center at a fraction of the cost. Mushroom's Ethernet-based devices install between the broadband modems and the local network at the user site without requiring any configuration changes to the existing network or coordination with the ISPs. This enables the enterprise to bond broadband lines from multiple providers or ISPs.

Mushroom Networks' broadband bonding product lines including support for 25,000 simultaneous IP connections and a built-in VoIP quality manager to improve voice quality by minimizing latency for both inbound and outbound voice traffic. Mushroom's lines also incorporate an internal router and stateful firewall capability that can be enabled by the user as needed along with support for standard Internet services such as port-forwarding, port binding, WAN interface binding, static IP, dynamic IP, PPPoE, DHCP, DMZ, UPnP, and Dynamic DNS.
  • Mushroom Networks was founded in 2004 as a spin-off from the University of California at San Diego (UCSD).

  • Mushroom Networks is headed by Dr. H. Cahit Akin (CEO and co-founder), who previously was a venture partner and then principal at ITU Ventures for 7 years, the venture capital arm of Brownstein Schnel Holdings.

  • In May, Mushroom Networks introduced its "Porcini" broadband bonding network appliance for combining the bandwidth of up to four broadband Internet connections of any type including DSL, cable, T1 into a single virtual high-speed link. The Ethernet-based Porcini device, which targets small and medium-sized businesses, also features an additional USB port that enables a fifth cellular data modem connection to be added to the overall mix.

    Mushroom Networks' Porcini installs between the broadband modems and the local network at the user site without requiring any configuration changes to the existing network or coordination with the ISPs. This gives users the ability to mix and match various services from multiple providers delivering built-in network redundancy. If one or more of the bonded links fails or is degraded, Porcini transparently spreads the traffic across the remaining links in real-time without any interruptions resulting in maximal network uptime.

    Additionally, Porcini features a built-in VoIP quality manager that can improve voice quality by minimizing latency for voice traffic both in outbound and inbound directions. Porcini also includes an internal router and stateful firewall capability that can be enabled by the user as needed. Other Internet services such as port-forwarding, port binding, WAN interface binding, static IP, dynamic IP, PPPoE, DHCP, DMZ, UPnP, Dynamic DNS and QoS are all supported. Porcini is now shipping with a list price of $1,595.

    The Porcini is a slimmed version of the Mushroom Networks' TRUFFLE broadband bonding network appliance which was introduced earlier this year; The TRUFFLE BBNA combines multiple Internet access lines, each on a 10/100baseT Ethernet interface, into a single aggregated Internet access line for HTTP downlink traffic, again on a 10/100baseT Ethernet interface. The aggregation over the Internet access lines is done even for a single download session, providing the full aggregate speed. Additionally, session based intelligent load-balancing is provided for both downlink and uplink traffic as well as inbound load-balancing. The TRUFFLE BBNA6411 supports aggregation of up to 6 Internet access lines and 1 additional cellular data card. Each Internet access line may be through a DSL modem, cable modem, T1, satellite modem, fractional DS3, DS3, fiber, cellular or any other broadband connection.

    Mushroom Networks is also seeking value added resellers, IT sales representatives, and broadband service providers who would like to offer broadband bonding capabilities to their customers.

ip.access Selects Tektronix for Femtocell Testing

ip.access Ltd. has selected Tektronix's G35 protocol analyzer to provide simulation of UMTS core networks to UMTS Femto- and Macro Radio Access Networks for the design and test of their femtocell access point elements.

ip.access offers a femtocell solution that provides consumers with enhanced mobile voice, video and data services for effective indoor communications.

Tektronix' G35 protocol analyzer provides a comprehensive platform for functional testing of a wide range of interfaces for all the latest mobile technologies.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Codenomicon Appoints New CEO and Vice President of Marketing

Codenomicon, which specializes in security and quality testing software, announced the appointment of David Chartier as its new CEO. Chartier brings 20 years of technology industry experience that includes serving as chairman of Maxware, which was subsequently acquired by SAP in 2007. He has also held CEO positions for startup companies that include IntelliSearch and Computas, and has served as chairman of Active ISP. Chartier founded InfoStream and led the company through a successful IPO in 1999.

Codenomicon also announced the appointment of Andy Huckridge as vice president of marketing. Huckridge most recently served as director of NGN solutions for Spirent Communications, a Codenomicon customer. Andy is closely engaged with industry bodies and forums, including the MultiService Forum where he has served as chairperson of the Interoperability Working Group & NGN Certification Committee. Before Spirent, Huckridge was the director of product management for Centile and the director of marketing for 8X8, Inc.

Hutchison 3G Austria Flattens it Network Architecture with NSN

Hutchison 3G Austria is moving to a flatter architecture in its packet core network by deploying direct tunnel functionality from Nokia Siemens Networks. The technology, which is software upgrade, allows data traffic to bypass the Serving Gateway Support Node (SGSN), which in traditional core setup is responsible for the signaling and user data at the same time. Thus the direct tunnel feature, by bypassing SGSN, reduces the load on its capacity and lowers transmission network costs. It allows operators to balance the use of network resources and prepare for LTE and the streamlined core networks of the future. In addition to the SGSN and the direct tunnel feature, Nokia Siemens Networks also is providing 3G Austria with the NetAct network management and service management solution for maximizing network performance as well as implementation services.

Nokia Siemens Networks said that by modernizing its packet core, Hutchison 3G Austria boosts its network performance to higher speeds and capacity to handle all its data traffic through a single node for the foreseeable future. Direct tunnel also offers a clear migration path to future mobile network technologies, like Long Term Evolution (LTE).

Nokia Siemens Networks also noted that it now has over 15 direct tunnel deployments since delivering its first commercial solution in 2007.

Espial to Acquire Kasenna for IPTV Software

Espial, a specialist in IPTV middleware and applications, agreed to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Kasenna in exchange for an aggregate of 4,722,224 Espial common shares, which before giving effect to the transaction represents 51.2% of the issued and outstanding shares of Espial and will represent approximately 33.6% of the issued and outstanding shares of Espial on an after-issue basis.

Kasenna offers a "PortalTV" suite that allows TV providers to deliver advanced features such as recording and pausing live TV, PVR - both Network-based and Local, StartOver TV, Customized EPG, On-Screen Caller ID, Pay-per-View, Video-on-Demand, Favorites, Reminders, Weather Services, Network Games, etc. Kasenna's platform leverages a centralized delivery architecture although, if necessary, it can adapt to a decentralized distribution and delivery architecture. Video servers are designed to operate as cache servers, library servers or hybrids. Storage system flexibility allows Kasenna servers to employ Direct-Attach Storage or Shared Storage subsystems (NAS or SAN). Kasenna is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, and also has an engineering center in Bangalore, India.

Espial also supplies middleware that controls the overall viewing experience by managing IPTV applications, TV and video, along with subscriber interactions between the set-top box and the network. Espial applications include Electronic Program Guides, Video on Demand, Interactive Content Portals, Web browser, PPV, etc. Espial is based in Ottawa.

The companies cited a number of synergies for their merger, including,

  • Increased number of Tier 1 video service provider customers, a footprint in over 100 customers worldwide with no overlap and a combined 2.4M+ IPTV licenses in deployment for one or more of our products.

  • Broader channel relationships with equipment vendors and system integrators.

  • Larger sales force, support and fulfillment capacity across EMEA, Asia & Americas.

  • Broader product portfolio includes browsers, video servers, client & server middleware, and applications.

  • Differentiated best-of-breed technology with a strong patent portfolio.

  • Strong balance sheet, financial and cost synergies that will be accretive to Espial shareholders in 2009.

Dilithium's ViVAS Flash Enables Web to 3G Mobile Calls

Dilithium has enhanced its ViVAS platform with new capabilities that enable carriers to deliver two-way video calling services between web browsers and 3G mobile devices.

Dilithium's ViVAS platform provides real-time streaming of video content to and from mobile wireless devices, broadband and SIP clients. With the ViVAS Flash add-on module, carriers can expand their services to offer subscribers branded video communications from either their PC or mobile device. The ViVAS Flash-powered video leverages Adobe Flash, so the clients only need to run a web browser.

A number of companies have already implemented Dilithium's ViVAS Flash solution to offer services including:

  • Bi-directional web browser to 3G mobile video calls;

  • Web-based video services, including conferencing and surveillance;

  • Game changing new features on social networks such as ‘call me now' or video chat.
  • In May, Dilithium, which specializes in high-quality transcoding and multimedia delivery over mobile and broadband networks, introduced a high capacity and scalable solution that automates the real-time adaptation and delivery of video content over multiple networks to any device. Dilithium's patented technologies perform real-time, on demand media conversion for multiple devices with minimal latency, avoiding the need for off-line transcoding. The new Dilithium Content Adapter (DCA), which builds on the company's existing 3G mobile video solutions, is designed for the delivery of interactive, 2-way multimedia content to wireless and broadband devices.

    Media delivery has typically required customized coding for each device and network type such as 2.5G, 3G, WiFi or WiMAX, which restricted real-time downloads and is resource intensive as it requires extensive human interaction and expensive capital investment in servers and storage. Dilithium's technologies enable on-demand transcoding, transrating and transsizing of multimedia content. This on-demand processing makes it easier for operators to manage content and allows for additional revenue streams such as targeted ad insertion.

Skyhook Wireless Unveils Hybrid Positioning System 2.0

Skyyhook Wireless released the second generation of its hybrid positioning system, combining signals from Wi-Fi access points, GPS satellites and cell towers. The system is aimed at mass market handsets, especially those supporting location-based services (LBS).

Skyhook Wireless said its XPS 2.0 systems combines positioning algorithms with comprehensive environment survey data. XPS builds on top of the revolutionary Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS) that is already deployed on tens of millions of mobile devices worldwide. The original version of XPS delivered "multi-mode" location switching between WPS and GPS readings based on availability and error estimates. XPS 2.0 combines raw Wi-Fi, GPS and cell tower readings to produce a single hybrid calculation.

In the most difficult indoor and urban environments, XPS can, for example, leverage signals from just two GPS satellites to improve Wi-Fi location accuracy by 35%+. In a typical deep urban setting Assisted-GPS (A-GPS) can only produce a location 70% of the time outdoors due to blocked signals, according to Skyhook. In these difficult urban environments, XPS utilizes weak GPS signals along with Wi-Fi to produce the most accurate location possible 100% of the time. Responsiveness is critical in consumer applications and XPS delivers a full GPS/Wi-Fi/cellular hybrid location in just 4 second from a complete cold start compared to 30-60 seconds with just A-GPS.

The addition of cell tower positioning increases availability so that users always get a location calculation regardless of environment. Additionally, XPS delivers 5 to 10 times better power conservation than A-GPS alone due to the unequaled acquisition time and accuracy in XPS.

XPS also introduces vertical location to the Skyhook system even in areas where GPS is not available. The new stationary detection techniques in XPS reduce jitter and improve the pedestrian user experience. Lastly, XPS can provide A-GPS techniques to offline equipment like Portable Navigation Devices (PNDs) dramatically shortening startup times.

As part of the XPS 2.0 launch, Skyhook Wireless is also introducing its first cellular positioning system leveraging Skyhook's fleet of field signal surveyors. Today the system covers major US and European cities expanding to full Skyhook global coverage by the end of 2008.

TerreStar Reaches a Technical Milestone, Faces Launch Delay

TerreStar, which plans to build, own and operate North America's first 4G integrated mobile satellite and terrestrial communications network, announced a technical milestone. Its satellite TerreStar --1 (TS-1) has successfully completed its Thermal Vacuum (TVAC) testing, and High Power and Passive Intermodulation (PIM) testing of the flight model S Band feed array for its 2 GHz mobile satellite service satellite. TS-1 is now in the final demonstration phase, followed by final assembly and performance testing.

TS-1, which is under construction by Space Systems/Loral, Inc (SS/L) in Palo Alto, California, is expected to be the largest and most powerful commercial satellite following its planned launch.

However, TerreStar noted that its TS-1 reflector, which was in an advanced state of completion, recently sustained damage during manufacturing at Harris Corporation, the reflector subcontractor. The resulting delay in delivery of the reflector will impact TS-1's flight schedule. TerreStar expects that launch of TS-1 may be postponed from fourth quarter 2008 to second quarter 2009.