IP Capsule E-Newsletter, February 1, 2006

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February 1, 2006

VoIP conundrum: Still in its infancy, but growing long in the tooth?
Can VoIP be past its prime before it even gets deployed? If teens and young adults had a vote, which they do, they wouldn't even have a landline device, and many don't. It would be wireless and they would watch more TV on devices other than TVs, which they do.

"Many teens and young adults don't even have landlines. If a wireless service can do so many things, why even have VoIP?" asks Deepa Iyer, research analyst for Parks Associates.

Good question. And a good reason why wireless is becoming such a crucial component to broadband service provider bundles. Streaming TV on mobile phones, unified messaging, and using mobile devices to access video, voice and data is expected to attract what will become the much sought after 18-34 year-old demographic.

The impending marriage of cable and wireless, and the all-out move to an IP Multimedia System (IMS), which allows operators to manage only one network, is an appealing, cost-efficient model. And cable needs wireless in its arsenal. "If cable operators want to compete they must offer the quadruple play," Iyer maintains.

And to compete effectively, they may want to keep an eye on the teen and young adult segments, which are growing up in a wireless world.

Canal Digital taps Amino for IPTV

Canal Digital, a Norwegian-based digital TV content and services provider to 3 million homes in Norway and neighboring Nordic countries, will use Amino Communications' IPTV software and AmiNET110 set-top to power a rollout of IPTV services.

The launch will initially cater to subscribers with access to DSL service and fiber-to-the-home (FTTH). And according to Canal Digital, it won't be its last launch. "We expect this deployment to be the first of many in this region," says Roy Kirsopp of Canal Digital.

Tut's demo to show IP error corrections
Tut Systems, Inc. is scheduled to demonstrate its IP-based forward error correction (FEC) product at the VidTrans Conference this week in Hollywood, Calif. The FEC, Tut says, enables routed video networks to recover from lost or reordered packets that cause degradation in video quality. With the rapid migration to IP-based networks, that's probably a good idea.

Dutch ops 'peer' into VoIP future
A joint initiative comprising five Dutch cable operators totaling more than 7 million subscribers has awarded a VoIP Peering contract to XConnect, a provider of VoIP services to more than 20 countries, and Kayote Networks, a provider of interconnectivity solutions for routing and peering.

Considered a "landmark agreement" by the companies, the peering contract will allow all of the participating operators to share VoIP traffic directly over their IP networks, work similar to the aims of the CableLabs' VoIP Peering initiative, which recently issued a request for information (RFI) on VoIP peering and received responses from about 30 technology companies.

The joint solution will be called XConnect SIP-Exchange and will enable multimedia-rich IP communications services such as video and presence, to be delivered across all the interconnected VoIP networks, the companies maintain. The operators involved in the VoIP peering consortium include UPC Netherlands, Casema, MultiKabel, Essent and CaiW.

Corrent secures gateway for VoIP

Corrent's SR770 is a carrier-class security gateway for VoIP service providers.
Corrent Corp. has upgraded its network security appliances to include a carrier-class security gateway for VoIP service providers. The SR770 employs VPN tunnels to protect VoIP calls from security vulnerabilities, the company says.

The SR770 can be deployed as a "bump in the wire" behind the Internet access point of a VoIP service provider's operations center and operate transparently to other VoIP networking equipment and software, the company adds.

With hackers using data-sniffing and other networking tools to break into VoIP data streams, it's no wonder the sophistication level of VPN's is rising, with Corrent being just one of a multitude of companies advancing their VPN products.

LightEdge, BroadSoft, BroadWorks broaden agreement
LightEdge Solutions, a provider of data and VoIP networking to the SMB market (small-and-medium sized businesses), will use BroadSoft's BroadWorks VoIP application platform to deliver VoIP services to its Midwest and Southwest territories.

And, LightEdge and Internet Express, an Internet access provider, have joined their resources and technologies into an entity that will be named LightEdge Solutions.

Atlantic Broadband will use Net2Phone's VoIP service in its 4-state market.

Net2Phone on a roll-out
Net2Phone has won a deal to power VoIP services for Atlantic Broadband, a Massachusetts-based MSO with 250,000 subscribers in four states. Net2Phone will assume the role of PacketCable integrator and telecom administration agent. Translation: They'll be the MSO's end-to-end VoIP partner.

Just the fax for Venali
Vanali, Inc. has launched its Branded Internet Fax Service for VoIP and telecom providers. The service, Venali maintains, will help VoIP providers overcome the pesky problem of offering fax support over VoIP connections.

And the research says....
U.S. businesses are through with their IP experimentation and weaving IP into the fabric of their voice and data network strategies, says a fresh report from In-Stat.

It's no surprise IP-based networks are taking off, but the acceleration into the business markets is impressive. About 20 percent of the study's respondents use multiple IP solutions and nearly rivals use of TDM PBX or Centrex solutions, the report concludes.

And according to In-Stat's David Lemelin, it's going to get even better. "Future purchase plans indicate a hastening shift to IP solutions, particularly in the small business market, where IP-enabled and IP-based purchase plans are nearly double that of traditional PBX or Key System," he says.

Ham and BPL, please
Communications Technologies, Inc. (COMTek) is adjusting about 600 broadband over powerline (BPL) devices in Manassas, Va. to address "ham operator concerns" about interference.

COMTek's Chantilly, Va.-based network in Manassas is the first commercial deployment of BPL to use a city-wide electricity grid to provide individual homes and businesses with direct "plug in" broadband access through electric sockets.

An on-going issue with BPL has been the use of signals regularly used by ham operators, which claim that the technology routinely interrupts communications. With the expansion of BPL over public power lines, static electricity could be a safety issue, The American Radio Relay League has maintained.

COMTek insists it has "done everything necessary, and more, to address any genuine ham radio operator concerns," says Walt Adams, vice president of COMTek. The company has completed the "notching" of all BPL devices in the overhead areas of Manassas to eliminate potential interference issues, he adds.

AOL goes bi-coastal
AOL is expanding its broadband network to include an interesting but expected set of partners. It will offer its AOL High Speed service, which includes both DSL or cable connection, through AT&T, BellSouth, Time Warner Cable and Verizon.

AOL will be "aggressively" marketing the offering, and will allow its new partners a marketing opportunity to entice current customers to upgrade to broadband and DSL while keeping their AOL service.

The launch campaign for AOL will be "AOL High Speed" and will be introduced nationwide. Beginning this week, customers will be able to click or call to sign up for either service via DSL and cable modem connections, the company says.

For each of the companies, it's all about the upgrade.

WiMAX market may be fragmenting
There's competition looming for existing and evolving wireless broadband technologies, reports a Visant Strategies study. Despite the recent certification of commercial WiMAX gear, alternatives to WiMAX such as FLASH-OFDM and others are being considered worldwide. And the standard being most closely watched? China's TD-SCDMA. It is expected to be in place by year-end 2006 and will serve a whopping 100 million subscribers in China by 2010, Visant predicts.

CableLabs gains ITU approval
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has approved a suite of CableLabs' PacketCable specifications as standards for the international version of services including VoIP. The ITU is the United Nations specialized agency in the field of telecommunications.

Known internationally as IPCablecom, the suite covers architecture, network call signaling, call management server (CMS) to CMS signaling, QoS and other IP network functions. The ITU also standardized on CableLabs contributions from the DOCSIS and CableHome projects.

The Street reports that DirecTV and EchoStar are gearing up on a joint venture that will result in a national wireless broadband network capable of supporting data and voice services.

News Corp. head man Rupert Murdoch has already shed some light on what that plan may include. Murdoch told investors earlier this month that plans could be divulged within two months. Most speculation holds that DirecTV (and now possibly in partnership with EchoStar) will use WiMAX to fuel those plans.


February 2006
Issue Contents »

Company: Verso Technologies, Inc.
Headquarters: Atlanta, Ga.
CEO: Steve Odom

Claim to Fame: Verso provides core-to-edge products for the telecommunications industry. It creates IP applications, softswitch platforms and other software-based solutions, which support VoIP, digitally converged voice and data networks, GSM cellular systems, satellite-based communications, and automated revenue assurance.

Recent news of note: Launched its new IP Centrex product, a turnkey, network hosted VoIP solution that enables and supports IP Centrex features and functionality over a packet-based network.

IPTV Forum
Feb. 6-7, 2006
Miami, Fla.
More information

March 6-9, 2006
Orlando, Fla.
More information

Internet Home Alliance
Spring 2006 Connected Home Research Planning Conference

March 29, 2006
Orlando, Fla.
More information

NCTA National Show
April 9-11, 2006
Atlanta, Ga.
More information

SCTE Cable-Tec Expo
June 20-23, 2006
Denver, Colo.
More information

Copyright © 2006 Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.



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