Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Internet2 Leverages Dynamic Circuits for Uncompressed HD Video, UltraGrid

The first uncompressed high-definition videoconference application over a dynamic circuit network (DCN) is being showcased at this week's annual Internet2 Fall Member Meeting in New Orleans. The demo will showcase the use of "iHDTV" software to host a live tour of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) Control Center in France.

Developed by the ResearchChannel and the University of Washington, iHDTV will be used to stream uncompressed 1080i high-definition video between the conference floor in New Orleans and LHC's Control Center at CERN in Prevessin, France. The technology interoperates internationally across three DCN network domains including the Louisiana Optical Network Initiative (LONI), Internet2 and US LHCNet.

At the conference, Internet2 and its partners also plan to highlight the use of UltraGrid high-definition video technology. Initially developed via a NSF grant to University of Southern California/Information Sciences Institute, the UltraGrid application has is now primarily developed by the Laboratory of Advanced Networking Technologies at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic and is supported by CESNET. The technology will link Louisiana State University (LSU) Professor Thomas Sterling to students located in Brno, Czech Republic to showcase how advanced virtual collaboration technology can revolutionize the global educational environment. The video will also utilize international DCN connections across multiple circuit domains including LONI, Internet2 and the G√ČANT2 AutoBAHN networks.

The data for the UltraGrid demo will be distributed by application- level modular programmable UDP packet reflectors that have been developed over the past five years by CESNET and Laboratory of Advanced Networking Technologies. This technology allows for independence on network-native multicast, while it is possible to process the data in per-user specific way.

Both iHDTV and UltraGrid technologies are under active development by the research and education community. Through the iHD DevCore partnership, the community is currently investigating how to create interoperability between these platforms to enable more widespread adoption of uncompressed high-definition video technology.http://www.internet2.edu

Achronix Raises $52 Million for its Fast FPGAs

Achronix Semiconductor, a start-up based in San Jose, California, announced the first closing of a $52 million Series B preferred stock financing for supporting the development of its field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) technology.

The company's recently-launched "Speedster" FPGAs provide a three-fold increase in performance compared to traditional FPGAs and are aimed at high-performance applications typically dominated by ASICs, such as networking, telecommunications, test and measurement, and encryption. The devices are capable of up to 1.5 GHz peak performance. The first device in the "Speedster" family embeds 20 lanes of 10.3 Gbps SerDes and four independent 1066 Mbps DDR2/DDR3 controllers

The first $43 million of the $52 million financing was closed on Oct. 10, with the remainder to close in the next several weeks.

Investors include Argonaut Private Equity, Battery Ventures, Easton Capital Investment Group, New Science Ventures, and Entrepia Ventures.http://www.achronix.com
  • Achronix is headed by John Lofton Holt (founder, chairman and CEO), who previously led Integrated Strategies Group (Formerly Saber Security Solutions), a management technology and venture consulting firm in Washington DC.

    The Achronix technical team is headed by Dr. Rajit Manohar (founder and CTO), who previously was an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University. He was one of the principal designers of MiniMIPS, the first high-performance asynchronous microprocessor.

AT&T Wins $223 Million Contract from the County of Los Angeles

The County of Los Angeles has signed a five-year contract with AT&T covering telecommunications services throughout the county. The new contract, valued at $223 million, comprises all voice and data services and expands advanced network services, such as a managed IP network and Managed Router Solutions (MRS), which will be deployed at up to 1,000 county locations.

AT&T said it will continue to provide all voice and data services to the County of Los Angeles, including Frame Relay and ATM data transport; remote access; Managed Internet Service; Virtual Private Network (VPN); all local and long distance voice, Web, video and teleconferencing services; and AT&T Voice DNA. AT&T Voice DNA is a network-based VoIP service.

The County of Los Angeles has options to extend the contract with AT&T for up to 12 years.http://www.att.comhttp://www.lacounty.gov

Cablevision More Than Doubles Size of Activated WiFi Network

Cablevision Systems has begun offering its Optimum WiFi wireless Internet access service in commercial and high-traffic locations across its Long Island, Connecticut and Westchester/Dutchess service areas as a free enhancement for its Optimum Online high-speed Internet customers. Optimum WiFi has also been activated on the commuter rail platforms and station parking lots across Long Island, and at many Metro North stations as well. Over the next two years, Cablevision plans to deploy WiFi in the commercial and high consumer traffic areas across its entire tri-state service area.http://www.optimumwifi.com

Tata Opens Pay-Per-Use Public Cisco TelePresence Rooms

Tata Communications is opening telepresence rooms for public use in the United States and United Kingdom, linking to additional public rooms in Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai, India. Tata Communications is the first managed telepresence service provider to deliver public and private Cisco TelePresence rooms to companies globally. This new service will allow companies and individuals to use Cisco TelePresence for one-off meetings.

Tata Communications is working with Cisco, Taj Hotels owner, the Indian Hotels Company Limited, and the Confederation of India Industry (CII) to offer public telepresence facilities which are available for rent on an hourly basis. The first phase of public rooms was launched in India in July at the Taj Hotels in Mumbai and Bangalore, and CII offices in Bangalore and Chennai. Tata plans to make 100 rooms available globally by the end of 2009.

Cisco also introduced a dedicated public Cisco TelePresence suites facility in Santa Clara, California.

"Public Cisco TelePresence rooms provide global organisations with a cost effective way to connect in virtual 'in person' meetings with key customers, partners and suppliers around the globe. Our objective was to collaborate with a company to launch a unique Cisco TelePresence solution that was innovative, yet reliable and cost effective for businesses whatever their size," said Cisco Chief Globalisation Officer, Wim Elfrink. "Working with Tata Communications offers customers extensive coverage in a user-friendly managed service, and has the potential to help small to medium businesses develop more globalised business models. These Public Cisco TelePresence rooms join a Cisco TelePresence ecosystem that almost 300 rooms internal to Cisco and more than 1,000 rooms installed by over 200 customers. Cisco TelePresence is now represented in over 60 countries worldwide."

Tata Communications have plans to open additional rooms in Hyderabad, Gurgaon, and New York later this year, with a more extensive global rollout of 100 rooms planned to be deployed by 2009.http://www.tatacommunications.com/telepresencehttp://www.cisco.com

Verizon Brings More Than 100 HD Channels to California

Verizon FiOS TV is now offering more than 100 HD channels in California. Earlier this month, Verizon launched a total of 88 new channels, which includes 66 additional high-definition (HD) channels. FiOS TV customers in the area now have more than 800 HD choices available at any time, with 102 HD channels and more than 700 HD video-on-demand (VOD) titles offered each month.

In addition to the new HD content, Verizon has launched 22 new standard-definition channels for customers in California. http://www.verizon.com/fiostv

DISH Network Expands MPEG-4 to Reach 32 Markets

DISH Network will begin transmitting standard and high definition MPEG-4 programming to consumers in 11 additional markets in the eastern half of the United States. This brings availability of the MPEG-4 content for new customers to 32 markets in the eastern half of the U.S. Current customers can upgrade for an additional fee.http://www.dishnetwork.com/

Panasonic Tru2way-Enabled VIERA Plasma HDTVs

Panasonic announced the first retail availability of its tru2way VIERA HDTVs in U.S. market, initially in Chicago and Denver.

The new Panasonic VIERA HDTVs are built with tru2way technology enabling consumers to access two-way digital cable programming, like video on demand, without a cable operator-supplied set-top box. Panasonic and Comcast have worked together to lead the development and deployment of tru2way technology and related products which are based upon specifications developed by CableLabs, the industry's research and development arm.http://www.panasonic.com

Mu Dynamics Provides IPTV and IMS-Based Service Testing at GMI 2008 Event

Mu Dynamics is providing hands-on testing demonstrations at Global MSF Interoperability 2008 (GMI 2008), the industry-wide interoperability event that will be held later this month to focus on the reliability and security of next-generation IPTV and IMS services.

GMI 2008 features product implementations supporting the MSF Release 4 architecture. Interoperability of critical NGN elements will be tested in practical scenarios supporting IMS-based fixed/mobile convergence. Specific service capabilities such as Quality of Service (QoS), Location Management, IPTV and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) will be included to validate key NGN concepts.

"With the growing maturity of IPTV and VoIP services, the importance of assessing the gaps of underlying service level traffic variations services such as Diameter and SIP are critical to the reliable delivery of revenue-critical next generation services," said Adam Stein, vice president marketing at Mu Dynamics. "Mu's test case authoring and hands-on participation as GMI helps ensure our numerous network operators in delivering a high quality of service and helping the industry as a whole identify product weaknesses that cause downtime."http://www.mudynamics.com/

Orange Business Supplies MPLS for Etex

Orange Business Services has signed a 3-year contract to supply a fully managed convergent network for Etex, an industrial holding company specializing in building materials. The MPLS-based network will be used at all sites of the Etex European Business Material Division. Financial terms were not disclosed.http://www.orange.com

Qwest Expands Reach of Ethernet Services

Qwest Communications, which rolled out Ethernet service in 759 new cities this year, announced a significant expansion of its network reach. This brings the total number of U.S. cities served to 1,129. Qwest also offers Ethernet connectivity in 6 of the 137 international countries it serves.

Qwest provides Ethernet services over SONET, Wavelengths and Native Ethernet to fit varying data requirements of enterprise and SMB customers. Qwest's Ethernet expansion is driving its key Ethernet services deeper into target markets and providing new options, speeds and flexibility to new customers. The Ethernet expansion includes metro-area and long-haul optical Ethernet and Ethernet Private Line services.

The Qwest Ethernet portfolio offers a wide range of speeds -- 5 Mbps to 10 Gbps -- and the scalability to accommodate the heavy bandwidth users who require full-time, dedicated or shared point-to-point, and multi-point transport wide area networking and metro area networking (MAN) services, giving customers real choice. Qwest's Ethernet services footprint, which will continue to be extended, integrates Layer 1, Layer 2 and Layer 3 Ethernet services for metro, national and international needs.

"Ethernet is growing rapidly as a networking solution because it's scalable for many different businesses and industries," said Eric Bozich, vice president of Product Management for Qwest. "Whether it is across town or across the globe, customers want secure broadband solutions that use only the necessary bandwidth and can grow along with their business. Our flexible Ethernet options allow customers to tailor their connectivity needs and get a ton of performance and reliability for a relatively low cost."http://www.qwest.com

NEC Deploys UC to 3,000 Employees

NEC Personal Products Ltd. is implementing an integrated Unified Communications (UC) solution with Microsoft and NEC Corporation for approximately 3,000 employees. The project, which is described as one of the largest of its kind in Japan, integrates NEC's UNIVERGE SV7000 IP telephony communications server with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 (OCS). The companywide deployment began earlier this month.

NEC Personal Products manufactures, supports and sells NEC-brand personal computers, the market-leading PC brand in Japan.http://www.nec.com

Alcatel-Lucent to Double Capacity of East Africa Submarine Cable System

Alcatel-Lucent has won a contract with the East Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy) consortium to more than double the design capacity of the optical submarine cable network landing in East Africa. The network, which is based on Alcatel-Lucent's submarine and terrestrial optical solutions, will now be able to deliver a regional capacity of 1.4 Tbps, the highest capacity in the region.

The EASSy submarine network will span nearly 10,000 km linking eight countries from Sudan to South Africa, via Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar and Mozambique. Landings will be located in Port Sudan (Sudan), Djibouti (Djibouti), Mogadishu (Somalia) Mombasa (Kenya), Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania), Toliary (Madagascar), Maputo (Mozambique) and Mtunzini (South Africa). By interconnecting with existing cables and other submarine systems currently under construction, the EASSy submarine cable system will also serve as a supporting infrastructure for these networks.

EASSy is a project set up by 25 licensed telecommunications operators in the Eastern and Southern African region and international carriers.http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

Zain Kuwait Implements NSN Prepaid Solution

Zain Kuwait is upgrading its prepaid system with the latest release of Nokia Siemens Networks' charge@once solution. Zain Kuwait is the first network operator worldwide to go live with the latest Nokia Siemens Networks prepaid solution, based on the latest release of charge@once select. The solution enables Zain to differentiate themselves from competition with attractive services, tariffs and promotions.

"As 70% of our customers are prepaid, our revenue is closely tied to their satisfaction," said Mr. Barrak Al-Sabeeh, CEO, Zain Kuwait. "In order to serve them even better, we selected the Nokia Siemens Networks prepaid solution as it allows us to quickly and flexibly respond to changing customer needs and focus our offering on customer preferences."

Nokia Siemens Networks provided services to integrate and implement the solution in the Zain Kuwait network. The two companies are currently implementing similar projects for other Zain affiliates.http://www.nsn.com

Ericsson Delivers WCDMA/HSPA in Northern Cyprus

Ericsson has been named the sole supplier of a WCDMA/HSPA network in northern Cyprus for Kuzey Kibris Turkcell, a subsidiary of Turkcell. Under the agreement Ericsson will provide a WCDMA/HSPA network, including radio access and packet core network and the Ericsson Mobile Softswitch Solution. The agreement also includes Ericsson's mobile backhaul solution with microwave and optical transport equipment. Financial terms were not disclosed.http://www.ericsson.com

Monday, October 13, 2008

CounterPath Announces Job Cuts

Vancouver-based CounterPath Corporation announced a restructuring to lower its overall operating costs by approximately $4 million per year. The restructuring includes a reduction in 32% of headcount (approximately 45 employees and contractors) as well as other operational changes that are being implemented to increase the overall efficiency of the company's operations.

CounterPath's product suite includes SIP-based softphones, server applications and Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) solutions.http://www.counterpath.com

Woven Introduces Top-of-Rack 10 Gigabit Ethernet Switch

Woven Systems, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, introduced a 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) top-of-rack switch designed for data centers. The 24-port TRX 200 joins Woven's TRX 100, a 48-port Gigabit Ethernet switch with four 10 GE uplinks, giving customers greater flexibility in configuring either non-blocking or oversubscribed data center networks.

Woven said its new TRX 200 sets a new price/performance standard at less than $500 per 10 GE port. The TRX 200 switch is a single rack unit high with 24 SFP+ 10 GE ports that can also function as 1 GE ports. It also includes four 10/100/1000 switched Ethernet ports, along with two additional Ethernet management ports and a single console port. Management options include Web browser, Telnet remote log-in, a command line interface (CLI) and SNMPv3. High availability features include field-swappable redundant AC or DC power supplies, and a field-replaceable fan tray.

The U.S. list price is $11,995, or less than $500 per SFP+ port.http://www.wovensystems.com/

Quantenna Leverages Adaptive Vector Mesh Routing for Better Wi-Fi

Quantenna, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, unveiled its line of 802.11n chipsets featuring 4x4 MIMO and transmit (Tx) beam forming technology for delivering guaranteed wireless bandwidth of up to 1 Gbps anywhere within a home.

In Quantenna's design, a single home access point (AP) would communicate via multiple links to relay nodes plugged into electrical outlets throughout the home. Multiple paths would automatically be created and dynamically maintained from the AP to other client devices, such as IPTV set-top boxes, located anywhere in the house.

Quantenna's silicon leverages a unique architecture that combines MIMO with two or four concurrent bands to enable highly-reliable connections around potential dead zones in a home wireless environment. The design uses adaptive vector mesh routing to work around areas of poor coverage and signal interference. Beamforming technology enables the chip to locate receiving devices and focus the signal on them, improving range and data rate while conserving transmitter power. The concurrent dual band mode could be used for real-time video transmission via the 5 Ghz band and data could travel over the 2.4 Ghz band. Furthermore, the design integrates high efficiency power amplifiers (PAs) with 18 dBm output power along with low-noise amplifier (LNA), video graphics array (VGA), switches, baluns and diplexers that constitute a front-end module.

Quantenna's family of wireless solutions includes a several devices:

  • QHS1000: A fully integrated chipset solution with up to 1 Gbps performance. It is available as a dual 4x4 or quad 2x2 and operates on both the 2.4 and 5 GHz spectrums concurrently.

  • QHS600: A fully integrated single chip solution with up to 600 Mbps link speed. The chip is available as single 4x4 or dual 2x2 and operates on the less crowded 5 GHz spectrum for
    bandwidth-intensive applications such as video.

  • QHS450: A fully integrated single chip solution with up to 450 Mbps link speed. It is available as single 4x4 or dual 2x2 and operates on 2.4 GHz spectrum for data-intensive applications.

  • Quantenna OS: A full-featured access point operating software that runs on the Quantenna family of products. Quantenna also enables equipment vendors to port their own software features on to Quantenna chipsets to further reduce BOM cost.

  • Quantenna Plug: A fully functional, small form factor access point that plugs directly into an electrical outlet. The Quantenna plug features an integrated mesh network element that acts as a reference system. It comes with a development kit that includes schematics, Gerber files and the BOM, and uses the QHS 1000 silicon and the Quantenna OS.

  • Quantenna was founded in 2006 and has received more than $27 million in Series A and B funding. Investors include Sequoia Capital, Venrock Associates, Sigma Partners and Grazia Equity.

  • Quantenna's management team includes Dr. Behrooz Rezvani (founder, chairman and chief executive officer) and Dr. Andrea Goldsmith (co-founder and chief technology officer.) Prior to founding Quantenna, Dr. Rezvani founded Ikanos Communications in 1999 and served as chief technology officer through its successful IPO in 2005. Dr. Goldsmith is also a professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University and a recognized expert in the field of wireless communications and networks, with an emphasis on MIMO systems, adaptive transmission, and QoS for wireless applications. Her prior experience includes both academic and industry positions with the California Institute of Technology, Memorylink Corporation (where she was chief scientist), AT&T Bell Laboratories and Maxim Technologies.

XO Selects Ciena for Nationwide Ethernet Hubs

XO Communications has deployed Ciena's Carrier Ethernet Service Delivery Switches throughout its metropolitan networks as part of its new Ethernet Hub service, which provides a scalable way for domestic and international carriers to expand the reach of their Ethernet services in the United States.

XO has approximately one million miles of metro fiber networks in major markets across the United States and serves 75 metropolitan markets. The new XO Ethernet Hub service offers dedicated access to its extensive Ethernet footprint, including its Ethernet over Copper footprint serving more than 3.7 million buildings. The service offers a variety of Ethernet bandwidth options ranging from 5 Mbps to 10 Gbps and key Ethernet features, including 802.1Q, VLAN stacking and jumbo frames.

Specifically, XO is deploying Ciena's LE-311v Service Delivery Switch in all metro markets to provide the Ethernet Network-to-Network Interface (ENNI) function of the Ethernet Hub service -- identifying, separating and tagging different traffic types, aggregating the traffic for hand-off to XO's core network and switching the traffic across the network with the appropriate class-of-service, security and rate-limits in a point-to-multipoint architecture. Financial terms were not disclosed.http://www.xo.com
  • In September 2008, Ciena announced that XO had selected its CN 4200 FlexSelect Advanced Services Platform to support the delivery of its optical metro transport services. XO Communications will utilize Ciena's CN 4200 in its metro networks nationwide to support the aggregation and transport of high-capacity services. In addition, XO Communications is now a designated Managed Services Provider (MSP) partner within Ciena's BizConnect global partner program.

  • In January 2008, Ciena announced new G10 and G10X Ethernet Service Modules that deliver Layer 2 Ethernet aggregation, switching and transport capabilities on to the company's CN 4200 FlexSelect Advanced Services Platform family. Targeted applications for the CN 4200 with new Layer 2 Ethernet aggregation and switching capabilities include Metro Ethernet Forum-based Carrier Ethernet services, broadband aggregation for triple play and IPTV services and 3G wireless backhaul.

Mintera Secures $8 Million Line of Credit

Mintera, a developer of high bit-rate optical transport systems, secured an $8 million revolving line of credit facility from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB).

The company said it is experiencing strong demand for its 40 Gbps Adaptive-DPSK DWDM modules worldwide. Adaptive-DPSK enables the transport of 40 Gbps signals across ultra-long haul distances through Reconfigurable Add/Drop Multiplexers (ROADMs) with 50 GHz spaced signal wavelengths.