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IP Capsule... April 19, 2007

Wed, 04/18/2007 - 8:00pm
Brian Santo
   
IP Capsule from CED Magazine
   April 19, 2007
IPso Facto...
 

 The net is dead. Long live the net.
The Internet is running into trouble. Traffic is expanding at an astounding rate, as an increasing amount of video is being transmitted with ever increasing frequency among both fixed and mobile devices, with demands for ever more rigorous security, on a network designed for relatively anonymous swapping of text files among stationary computers.

An operation called the Internet Innovation Alliance expects the Internet to become choked if the issue is not addressed directly. The IIA is led by Larry Irving, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications under President Clinton, and Bruce Mehlman, formerly Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Technology Policy under the current President Bush.

Irving is the guy credited with coining the term "digital divide." He's calling the choking Internet phenomenon the exaflood. The term is apparently derived from the prefix exa-, as in "exabyte." Exabytes come after terabytes and petabytes, and before zettabytes, yottabytes, and cenobytes. An exabyte is approximately a quintillion or, for the binary minded among us, 2 to the 60th power.

To make sure the Internet can handle volumes of data that vast, the IIA this week proposed the U.S. should:

  • Promote investment in content, upgrades of infrastructure and innovation in Internet technologies and applications;
  • Protect consumers through market competition to ensure lower prices and broadband access for all communities;
  • Maximize competition among service providers and technologies, through policies such as video franchise reform;
  • Limit government control through permanent extension of the Internet tax moratorium and by reducing exorbitant taxation of service providers.
 A Cenobyte
(alternate spelling)

Only that first bullet point seems as if it might actually have some bearing on the problem. One can't help but wonder if the IIA is using the "exaflood" as just another opportunity to reiterate the same free market, anti-tax, anti-government stuff we've been hearing for years from organizations such as the American Conservative Union, Americans for Tax Reform, and AT&T , which - surprise of surprises - are all IIA members.

But that doesn't mean they're wrong about improving the Internet. Because there is an exaflood coming, and it will have to be dealt with, and people who are actually involved with networking and who don't have any political axes to grind are considering all sorts of possibilities, including phasing out the Internet we have today in favor of an entirely new network actually built for the way networks are being used.

The AP reports that the National Science Foundation wants to build an experimental research network, the Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI), and is funding university research projects through a program called Future Internet Network Design (FIND).

Rutgers, Stanford, Princeton, Carnegie Mellon and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are among the universities involved. Other government agencies, including the Defense Department, have also been exploring the concept, AP said.

It looks like something is going to happen, and somebody's going to have to make space in their technology roadmaps for whatever it might be.

By the way, it's the rare person who manages to add a word or phrase to the language. Shakespeare surely coined many of the scores of words he is credited with using first. Others might consider themselves lucky to mint two. I suspect Irving used up his quota with digital divide. I don't expect to hear the word "exaflood" ever again.

But I digress.

 
Brian Santo, IP Capsule Editor & CED Magazine Senior Editor
 
 
 
 

Kasenna, HP, Intel test IPTV system that scales to 1M
Kasenna, Hewlett Packard and Intel have tested an IPTV system they say successfully scaled to 1 million subscribers. The test also determined that a single HP server could serve up to 100,000 IPTV subscribers.

It's also a demonstration that IPTV systems are successfully migrating to off-the-shelf hardware, presaging a steady decrease in system costs.

The IPTV-infrastructure test bed combines Kasenna's LivingRoom middleware platform and MediaBase video server software with industry standard HP ProLiant servers powered by Intel low-power Dual-Core Xeon processors. Fastweb and Jazztel are two IPTV providers using Kasenna IPTV products with HP servers.

Kasenna said an Executive Summary and Engineering report with detailed results of the benchmark test is available at www.kasenna.com/1m and www.hp.com/go/iptv.

Envivio adds gateway to IPTV headend system
Envivio introduced its 4Stream IP gateway for IPTV and mobile TV service providers. The 4Stream IP Gateway is another element of Envivio's all-IP Convergence Generation video headend announced in March.

The 4Stream IP gateway is a dual receiver and demodulator which feeds IP video networks with video services coming from satellite, cable, terrestrial networks. Each one rack-unit gateway receives encrypted MPEG-2 streams and can process 2 full transponders, replacing up to 24 professional decoders, Envivio said.

Intel allies with Amino on high-powered IPTV set-tops 
Intel is trying to insinuate its hardware into set-tops. Amino said its IntAct IPTV software stack will be ported on to the new Intel CE 2110 Media Processor. The hardware-software combo, incorporated in IPTV set-top boxes, will enable services such as advanced interactive TV, web browsing, video calling and communications applications.

Microsoft expands roster of IPTV partners
Microsoft has long claimed that its IPTV approach would become progressively cheaper with advances in standardized hardware - provided the volume is there.

Microsoft announced a slate of prominent technology companies who now explicitly support its the Microsoft TV Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) Edition software platform. They include chipset manufacturers AMD and Intel; Thomson's Grass Valley group; set-top maker Pirelli Broadband Solutions; and Sun Microsystems.

Companies which have previously integrated with Microsoft TV IPTV software include systems integrator and infrastructure provider Alcatel-Lucent; set-top box manufacturers Cisco Systems Inc. (Scientific Atlanta, a Cisco company), Motorola Inc., Philips and Tatung Co.; chip manufacturers Sigma Design Inc. and STMicroelectronics; server solution providers HP and IBM Corp.; and encoder providers Cisco Systems (Scientific Atlanta, a Cisco company), Harmonic Inc., Motorola and Tandberg Television.

BitBand's IPTV servers off to Italy
BitBand's new Vision 880 video on-demand servers are being installed throughout FastWeb's points of presence in Italy. The servers will allow FastWeb-Italy's second-largest fixed telephony operator-to expand its delivery of IPTV, VOD, network personal video recording (nPVR) and Catch-Up TV services with higher streaming throughput and increased storage capacity, BitBand said.

IPTV growth ups 2007 telco equipment sales
This year's wired communication infrastructure equipment sales are expected to reach $41 billion, the highest annual level since 2002, according to iSuppli (http://www.isuppli.com).

iSuppli Figure

The downside is that revenue growth will be lackluster, with only a 1.6 percent increase. Telco equipment spending rose 10.7 percent last year, and 8.3 percent in 2005. Most spending will be for the North American and European markets.

"The major reason for the slowdown is focused spending and a "pay-as-you-grow" strategy among telcos," said Steve Rago, principal analyst for IPTV, broadband and digital home research at iSuppli, in a statement. "The marginal increase in 2007 spending is being driven largely by telcos' purchases of equipment to deploy Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) services. iSuppli estimates $9 billion will be spent on IPTV-related communications equipment in 2007."

Global IPTV subscribers will soar to 105.8 million in 2011, from 3.4 million in 2006, iSuppli predicts. To serve this huge base, iSuppli said the telcos' IPTV budgets will have to account for 20 percent of their total capital spending by 2011, including networking equipment, software and customer premises equipment.

Verizon creates own Nor'easter
Verizon has expanded its services and increased its network in the Northeast. The company's FiOS TV service is now available to some 6,000 households in Canton, Mass. Canton is among 41 communities in the state where Verizon's service is being offered-to more than 270,000 households. Negotiations with 25 other Massachusetts communities are in the works. Verizon has also expanded its network with two new cell sites in Charlestown and Plainfield, N.H.

 
 

CEO of battered Vonage steps down; layoffs to come
Vonage Holdings CEO Michael Snyder stepped down and resigned from the company's board of directors.

Vonage has grown significantly with Snyder at the helm. But Vonage is fighting off a reputation for poor service, has yet to turn a profit, and recently found itself on the wrong end of a patent infringement suit won by Verizon http://www.verizon.com. Vonage is enjoined from signing up any new subscribers while it appeals.

The company had alluded to a technical workaround which would allow it to continue to offer VoIP services without infringing Verizon patents, but recently acknowledged no such workaround exists.

With Snyder gone, company chairman Jeffrey A. Citron has taken the reigns as interim CEO while the company looks for Snyder's replacement.

At the same time, Vonage announced preliminary results for the quarter ended March 31, 2007, including revenue of $195 million, a net gain of 166,000 subscribers, and average monthly churn of 2.4 percent. In Q4 2006, the company reported record revenue of $181 million yet still lost $65 million.

Citron said the company is taking a number of measures to reduce the company's costs and operating expenses. Vonage intends to reduce its marketing expense by approximately $110 million, and slim its G&A by $30 million through the remainder of 2007 through consolidation of operations and a workforce reduction that may trim up to 10 percent of the company's workforce.

Another rosy forecast for VoIP
The number of U.S. VoIP subscribers will rise from 9.8 million at the end of 2006 to 41.3 million by the end of 2011, according to eMarketer. VoIP subscribers could account for over one-third of all U.S. landline subscriptions in 2010, up from 10% in 2006.

Res BB VoIP IPTV Subscribers

Vonage was the single largest operator in the U.S. at the end of 2006, but Comcast and Time Warner are growing their VoIP subscriber bases very quickly and will surpass Vonage in 2007.

Sonus provides VoBB with 'veracity'
Sonus Networks Inc., a provider of VoIP infrastructure solutions, has been selected by Veracity Communications for its Voice over Broadband (VoBB) offering. The solution-which enables voice and data bundling-will serve as the foundation for Veracity's communications network, which provides residential subs, as well as small- and medium-sized, businesses.

 
 

CableLabs to provide tiered approvals for DOCSIS 3.0 CMTSs
CableLabs announced a three-tiered program for qualification of DOCSIS 3.0 (Data over Cable Service Interface Specification) cable modem termination systems (CMTS).

The move is designed to accelerate the process of commercializing DOCSIS 3.0 equipment by speeding the testing process. CableLabs is waiving what it calls some of the more advanced DOCSIS 3.0 CMTS requirements for the entry level of qualification as a way to encourage CMTS makers to submit gear for testing earlier than they otherwise might.

"We expect fully compliant DOCSIS 3.0 modem submissions to arrive at our labs along with a range of CMTS submissions in the fourth quarter of this year," said Ralph Brown, Chief Technology Officer at CableLabs. "We are implementing this change in our program as a way to accelerate certification and interoperability of 3.0 modems and headend equipment. The intent is to more quickly enable our members to compete effectively in the very high-speed broadband data marketplace," he added.

C-COR announces Global IP Summit details
C-COR Inc. has unveiled the initial international and cross-industry speaker lineup for its third-annual Global IP Summit in Cannes, France, June 28-29.

Interactive panel sessions, featuring experts from around the globe, will address the impact of personalized content and services on consumer offerings, and on the way content, mobile, telecommunications, Internet and over-the-top providers create and conduct business, the company said.

The kick-off Visionary Session will be moderated by Leslie Ellis-independent technology analyst, author and CED contributor-and will host Marwan Fawaz, executive VP and CTO of Charter Communications; Mike LaJoie, CTO of Time Warner Cable; Herve Payan, SVP of Content Services for France Telecom; Howard Watson, CTO of Virgin Media; and innovation expert S.K. Bottom, partner and co-founder of I2 Innovation Intelligence.

For more information, and to register for the event, visit the summit's Web site.

 
Current Issue

April 2007
Issue Contents
   

Company: Vyyo
Headquarters: Norcross, Ga.
CEO: Wayne Davis
URL: www.vyyo.com

Claim to Fame: The company has a unique overlay technology that helps expand an MSO's bandwidth, and a technology that allows cable operators to offer T1 service to small and medium-sized businesses.

Recent News of Note: The company picked up two big accounts in Starhub and Cox, and with them no small measure of validation.

The Cable Show 2007
May 7-9, 2007
Mandalay Bay - Las Vegas
More info: Click Here 

Anga
May 22-24, 2007
Germany
More info: Click Here 

China VoIP
Conference & Expo 2007

May 23-24, 2007
Hong Kong
More info: Click Here 

SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2007
June 19-22, 2007
Orlando, Fla.
More info: Click Here 

C-COR Global IP Summit
June 28-29, 2007
Cannes, France
More info: Click Here 

Wireless & Mobile
Expo & Conference

July 17-18, 2007
Toronto, Canada
More info: Click Here

CTAM Summit 2007
July 23-25, 2007
Washington Convention Center
Washington, D.C.
More info: Click Here

   
 
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