IP Capsule E-newsletter, May 24, 2006

Wed, 05/24/2006 - 5:03am

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May 24, 2006

Sprint shedding its local service, going mobile
The Sprint Joint Venture (JV) with cable giants Advance/Newhouse, Comcast, Cox and Time Warner Cable has not only inspired the companies to offer integrated wireless and cable-based services via some new devices, but looks to have prompted Sprint to shed its local phone operations.

It recently announced the spin-off of its local telephone operations, called Embarq, which will focus primarily on "building its position in the market for mobile communications products and services," the company detailed in its spin-off announcement.

And why not? According to research firm In-Stat (a sister company to CED magazine), the global market for wireless handsets was $110 billion in 2005, but will grow 23 percent to exceed $136 billion in 2006 and top $250 billion in 2011.

Worldwide sales of mobile phones will reach 1.8 billion units in 2011 and SmartPhone sales will surpass 480 million units, In-Stat predicts. With those heady numbers and a JV the size of its cable partnership, it's no wonder Sprint Nextel is shedding its local phone business.

In the meantime, Sprint is enhancing its Power Vision network, a wireless network for mobile broadband services, by increasing its high-speed footprint to more than 190 million wireless users by year-end 2006.

And, the dual-mode phone being designed to combine Nextel walkie-talkie features with Sprint's voice and data services is expected to be deployed later this year.

So, for Sprint, the operatives are now worldwide, mobile and wireless.

Alcatel and Microsoft TV getting Hungary
Alcatel and Microsoft TV will supply T-Online Hungary with the software and integrated solutions for T-Online's IPTV pilot project, which is scheduled for public market trial this summer.

The three-phase pilot comprises a technical lab trial, which has been successfully completed, two field trials and the public market trial, the companies said.

So what's up with this deal? It represents the 15th service provider to announce its use of Microsoft TV's IPTV Edition software platform, and represents T-Online Hungary's initial step into broadcast TV, VOD and interactive TV.

WorldGate finds its Ojo
WorldGate Communications announced that its Ojo personal videophone will now operate over a wider range of wired and wireless broadband networks.

The video phone, WorldGate claimed, can now operate on Fiber-to-the-Home, HomePlug and Broadband over Power Line (BPL) networks, along with wireless networks based on WiFi and WiMax.

Why the Ojo expansion? Greater user flexibility over more broadband networks.

Nakina now managing IPTV infrastructure
Nakina Systems Inc., a security and element management provider, has launched a management solution for IPTV infrastructure that covers management of network devices ranging from core optical networks through to the next generation of broadband FTTx/GPON edge technologies, the company said.

Nakina's new IPTV product provides a consistent user interface and set of procedures that apply equally across all hardware systems in the network, the company revealed.

What's the big deal? Nakina says its solution will overcome the problem of inadequate element management systems.

And the research says....
Digital Rights Management (DRM) making an impact

By 2010, growth of IPTV, digital cable, DTH satellite and mobile TV will reach 400 million subscribers worldwide, and annual shipments of consumer electronics devices with DRM on board will surpass 1 billion units annually in 2009, reports research and analyst group, iSuppli in the firm's report: "Digital Rights Management & Conditional Access: Keys to the Digital Content Kingdom."

The result? The research group predicts a healthy increase in the DRM and Conditional Access (CM) markets. For example, by 2010, nearly $40 billion in protected premium digital multimedia revenue will flow, with more than $4.5 billion in revenue opportunity for DRM/CA solutions.

Cablevision puts flat-rate plan on a global scale
Optimum Voice, Cablevision Systems Corp.'s VoIP service, is now offering a new international calling option that allows customers to call anywhere in the world for an extra $19.95 a month.

More than 900,000 customers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will have access to the new tier, the company added. The Optimum World Call service can be added to any residential Optimum Voice subscription. Cablevision's flagship VoIP service offers unlimited local and long distance calling to the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico for $34.95.

Why the new international tier? Flat rate calling offers are becoming an important part of expanding bundles of services.

AudioCodes nabs Nuera

VoIP gateway specialist AudioCodes Inc. has inked a deal to acquire Nuera Communications Inc., a top supplier of media servers.

AudioCodes said it will pay $85 million in cash to Nuera stockholders. AudioCodes has also agreed to pay up to an additional $5 million, should Nuera achieve certain revenue milestones in the first 12 months following the closing of the deal.

On the PacketCable front, Nuera has won qualification for its BTX-4K VoIP media gateway and its BTX-8 gateway. Both provide PacketCable-compliant trunking access to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). AudioCodes' Mediant 5000 gateway has also received the PacketCable okay from CableLabs.

The deal and product combination "places AudioCodes in a stronger position in the cable and voice over broadband markets, and in particular in North America and Asia," said AudioCodes President & CEO Shabtai Adlersberg, in a statement. "Together we will create a more capable, larger scale VoIP equipment provider in North America to serve service providers and support our network equipment providers in cable, wireless and wireline markets, and we will offer best-of-breed media gateway carrier grade products to a wider group of customers."

The companies expect to close the deal by the end of Q2 or by early Q3. At that time, Nuera will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of AudioCodes.

Aptela adds call center functionality

Aptela has introduced an automated call distribution service that will allow business customers to recognize, answer and route incoming calls, enabling real-time communications for sales and support team management, the company said.

The service, called Aptela Dispatch, automatically distributes incoming calls to the first available live agent or operator through queues. It can also integrate mobile, remote and distributed staff within queues and call distribution, the company noted.

BroadSoft integrates with RTX
BroadSoft Inc. and Danish wireless company RTX have integrated RTX's wireless loop solution with the BroadWorks VoIP application platform, the companies announced. BroadWorks is BroadSoft's flagship technology.

The solution will enable businesses to connect an existing fiber optic or copper cable network to an IP-and Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT)-based wireless network.

The result, according to the companies, will be a VoIP platform that can bring the service to emerging markets, cost effectively.

Xconnect acquiring
Xconnect has agreed to acquire, the operator of an international private ENUM registry (ENUM is a standard protocol for resolving phone numbers into IP addresses).

The 50 contracted members of and others currently trialing the service, have provisioned more than 123 million unique telephone numbers into the ENUM registry, the company said.

What's this about? Xconnect is a large provider of "Plug and Play" VoIP peering services. With the addition of, it is now the largest VoIP peering community worldwide, the companies noted.

Arbinet-thexchange Inc. has certified the SAFARI C-Cubed Multimedia Switching System.

Cedar Point gets certified
Cedar Point Communications said its SAFARI C-Cubed Multimedia Switching System is the first switching platform to be certified by Arbinet-thexchange Inc. for Arbinet's Peering Solutions managed VoIP peering service.

Peering Solutions, the companies noted, gives global VoIP providers the ability to manage access to their VoIP accessible phone numbers and the option to exchange VoIP traffic with their peering partners.

If you've been tracking cable telephony over the years, the president & CEO of Arbinet-thexchange, Curt Hockemeier, may ring a bell. In the earlier part of the decade he headed up the telephony activities of AT&T Broadband, which is now part of Comcast.


BigBand and NETGEAR bond on DOCSIS 3.0
BigBand Networks and NETGEAR Inc. have secured an integration deal that aims to comply with DOCSIS 3.0, a developing CableLabs spec that will enlist channel bonding and product speeds in excess of 100 Mbps.

The integration will team the NETGEAR Channel Bonding Cable Modem (model CM232) with a modular cable modem termination system (M-CMTS) from BigBand that features the company's Cuda CMTS and BME (Broadband Multimedia-Service Edge) products.

The deal also teams a traditional broadband vendor with a company with direct ties to the consumer electronics ecosystem.

"Service providers desire open, multi-vendor solutions with timely delivery, making NETGEAR and BigBand Networks natural partners to achieve end-to-end integration such as our channel bonding collaboration," said John Connelly, BigBand's executive VP of marketing and business development, in a statement.

"NETGEAR believes in partnering with companies such as BigBand Networks that share our focus on openness and innovation, allowing each of us to leverage our expertise in elevating consumer experiences and service provider operations," added David James, director of broadband service provider products for NETGEAR.

Note: NETGEAR and BigBand recently underwrote a Webcast ("Speed Thrills - Paving the Path Toward DOCSIS 3.0") in partnership with CED. An archive of the event is available for free with registration.

Yahoo! BB to deploy Cisco
Yahoo! BB, one of Japan's largest broadband service providers, has announced the deployment of Cisco Systems' high-capacity 40 Gbps interface card on its Cisco Carrier Routing System (Cisco CRS-1).

Yahoo! BB is using Cisco's IP next-generation network (NGN) architecture and according to the company, will deploy the high-capacity interface nationwide. Cisco's NGN architecture will give Yahoo! BB the flexibility, scalability, security and stability it needs to compete, the companies added.

Sunrise set to offer VDSL support
Sunrise Telecom is introducing its SSMTT-41 module for triple play services, the company said. The multi-functional tool supports VDSL line verification function and inside wiring tests in an integrated system.

The SSMMT includes a VDSL modem, HPNA analyzer, RF signal level meter, spectrum analyzer, and wiring test features in a single unit, the company added.

Company: Parks Associates
Headquarters: Dallas, Texas
CEO: Tricia Parks

Claim to Fame: Creates research capital for companies ranging from Fortune 500 to small start-ups through market reports, multi-client studies, consumer research, workshops, and custom-tailored client solutions. The market and consulting firm focuses on digital segments and connectivity in the home.

Recent news of note: Its most recent study—"The Business of Bundled Services: Consumers, Models, and Uptake"—predicts that the addition of incremental value-added services such as TV-based caller ID and home monitoring to basic triple-play service bundles in the US will boost monthly revenue per subscriber to $206 by 2010, up from the current $148 per month.

Walk of Fame Gala
Rocky Mountain Chapter of Women in Cable & Telecommunications
May 25, 2006
Hyatt Regency Tech Center
Denver, Colo.
More information: Click Here

Conference for the Broadcast Cable Financial Management Association (BCFM)
June 11-13, 2006
Orlando, Fla.
More information: Click Here

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

2nd Annual C-COR Global IP Summit
June 28-29, 2006
Athens, Greece
More information: Click Here

IPComm 2006
Sept. 25-27, 2006
Nashville, Tenn.
More information: Click Here

CTHRA Fall Symposium
Oct. 18, 2006
Philadelphia, Pa.
Park Hyatt Hotel
More information: Click Here


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



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