still not exactly prime time
VoIP is the buzz and it's getting lots of style points, but
some recent research suggests it could use more substance.
A recent independent study conducted by Decipher Inc., an
online market and research firm, reported that while 61 percent
of VoIP customers were generally satisfied with their service,
34 percent of users said that a technician had to visit their
home within 90 days of installation due to a problem, and
16 percent had a technician visit their home two or more times.
The primary complaints? Recurring quality or reliability
problems. The most common problem, according to 59 percent
of users, was that voice transmission was hard to understand.
With truck rolls now averaging about $130 per, and customer
retention a top priority, it would behoove the service providers
to address the VoIP quality issue.
There is some good news for U.S. cable providers, however.
More than 80 percent of cable VoIP customers surveyed said
that they also receive their broadband service from their
cable provider. Translation: Bundled services are finding
a home with many users.
With heated competition among a growing number of service
providers to offer triple play services, and with speed to
market the operative term, initial testing and effective installations
probably need to be handled at the same speed.
Triple play trio to deliver
Corp. have established a global relationship with
HP to deliver server solutions for carrier-class triple play
IPTV, the companies reported.
With the announcement, HP joins the Alcatel-Microsoft IPTV
ecosystem, designed to help carriers deploy triple play services.
HP will provide support for the Microsoft TV IPTV Edition
within Alcatel's overall Triple Play Service Delivery Architecture
(TPSDA). HP will validate and recommend the appropriate HP
ProLiant and HP BladeSystem servers to optimize the performance
and scalability of Microsoft Edition applications, the companies
In addition, the three companies will establish joint global
marketing efforts, including sales and marketing.
Why the expanded relationship? Speed to market and greater
scalability are two key drivers for the deployment of IPTV.
The companies believe the relationship will boost both.
In the future,
consumers who have Microsoft TV IPTV Edition via their
service provider, could enjoy multiple camera angles
of a sporting event at once.
Cavalier charges ahead with
Telephone & TV will launch its Broadband TV service
in Richmond, Va., making it the first telephone provider in
the States to offer advanced MPEG-4 technology to deploy TV
services over a broadband connection, according to the company.
Cavalier is converting its satellite transmissions to MPEG-4
and distributing content from its headend facility in Richmond.
The company's Broadband TV service is bundled with its telephone
and broadband Internet service for a triple play offering
of $95 a month.
Why MPEG-4? It's twice as bandwidth-efficient as MPEG-2,
plus it addresses competition with AT&T for triple play
service customers and a path for new video launches in Baltimore,
Norfolk, Philadelphia and Metro Washington, DC in the coming
Spacenet enters Helius orbit
Inc., which provides connectivity, value-added applications
and managed networks, has joined the Helius Strategic Partner
program for IP-Video services, the companies announced.
Spacenet will provide digital signage, training and digital
distribution applications to Helius'
partner program. Helius' software advances the connection
between terrestrial and satellite networks to deliver IP-Video,
the company noted.
IPTV takes IQ test
Technologies has launched its IQRouter Test and Measurement
Suite, which can be configured with 1, 2, 10 and 20 GigE IneoQuest
Geminus units through the generation of multiple controlled
video streams through an IP switch.
Why the IQ test? Looking at QoS performance as early as the
design stage is fast-becoming a mandatory procedure before
scaling sensitive network services such as IPTV.
Cedar Point preps IMS plans
Point Communications is starting to carve out integration
work intended to provide "operational simplicity" as cable
operators start to migrate to the PacketCable Release 2 architecture
and IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) technology.
Cedar Point, however, is a bit of a different animal in the
PacketCable world. Rather than taking a distributed approach,
its SAFARI C-Cubed platform pre-integrates several PacketCable
1.x network elements, including the call management server,
media gateway, signaling gateway and CALEA server, into one
IMS, a technology born out of the wireless world and the
3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), keys on the convergence
of wireless and wireline services. With peering added to the
mix, those services can be provided even when customers roam
outside of the cable operator's traditional territory.
Mobility is key. If that's not part of an operator's strategy,
IMS is "probably overhead that you wouldn't want to spend
right now," said Cedar Point EVP of Strategy & Market
Development David Spear.
Cedar Point, which has lived historically in the access layer
of the new IMS architecture, already supports several "core"
IMS capabilities, including applications based on Session
Initiation Protocol (SIP), Spear added. Because of its PacketCable
1.x roots, the company's platform can concurrently support
non-SIP, NCS (Network-based Call Signaling) voice services.
"The building blocks are there for the converged system,"
Spear said, noting that operators can use the same SAFARI
C3 hardware as they transition from PacketCable 1.x to PacketCable
That same hardware, however, will need to be integrated so
that it properly interfaces with a new set of core, control
plane IMS network elements such as the HSS (Home Subscriber
Server) and CSCF (Call Session Control Function), as well
as third-party application servers.
Spear said IMS migration strategies will vary among MSOs,
depending on their size and technical and financial wherewithal.
Generally, tier-1 operators will want to bring in IMS core
capabilities, including the core network elements.
Cedar Point has customers that fit into those various levels
of subscribers, from large ops such as Comcast Corp., Charter
Communications and Insight Communications, to those that qualify
in the mid-to-small tier, such as Bresnan Communications,
Buckeye CableSystem, and Atlantic Broadband, among others.
Cedar Point hopes to announce some of its IMS integration
partners by the 2006 SCTE Cable-Tec Expo, slated to run June
20-23 in Denver.
CloudShield partners with Mitsubishi
Technologies, Inc., a provider of IP service control
and infrastructure security, has announced an agreement with
Corp. to deliver its Distributed Denial of Service(DDoS)
mitigation, VoIP and Content Service Control solutions to
Japanese carriers and service providers.
The agreement will allow CloudShield content inspection,
service control, and security applications to perform true
gigabit speeds, the company said.
What's the big deal? The agreement is CloudShield's first
Voxilla, CommuniGate hook up
Systems, an Internet communications software provider,
an online information source, will make available an Internet
Communications suite of integrated telephony, e-mail and messaging
services, the companies said.
The package will include a Dell server with Intel dual-core
CPUs, VoIP software, IP telephones and adaptors and networking
hardware, the companies noted. Initially, the product will
ship with either Microsoft Windows Server Edition or Red Hat
Why the connection? The enterprise market is a lucrative
one, and growing. Offering IP communications services is becoming
a bigger part of the market.
Vertical leaps into learning
Communications, a provider of next-generation, IP-based
phone systems, is launching Vertical University to provide
a state-of-the-art learning environment for its business partners.
The University is designed to provide its business partners
with best-of-class training programs and tools for IP communications
systems, and is built on the e-learning environment from GeoLearning,
the company added.
Some of the classes in the University will include SIP applications,
VoIP Tie Lines, Automatic Call Distribution, Instant Office
101 and other technical training courses.
Why the focus on education? A closer tie to business partners
in an increasingly complex IP world.
Clarus program for partners
Systems Inc. launched the Clarus Systems Partner Program,
an initiative targeted at systems integrators, managed service
providers and resellers of enterprise IP telephony.
Members of the program, the company noted, receive software,
training and technical support for ClarusIPC VoIP testing
software. Clarus' software provides testing of the functionality
of phones in an IP network.
Comcast orders up Motorola
Inc. will supply Comcast
Corp. with a new Embedded Multimedia Terminal Adapter
(e-MTA), a home-side cable modem/phone adapter designed to
pump both high-speed data and IP telephony services.
Motorola's SBV5220 serves as a single device connecting customers
to their digital voice and high-speed Internet services, and
can power up to two phone lines in the home using standard
RJ-11 connectors. It can also connect to a computer through
either a 10/100Base-T Ethernet or a USB data port, Motorola
The SBV5220 is also equipped with an integrated Lithium-ion
battery back-up, which can provide up to eight hours of battery
Why the deal? The SBV5220 just passed a series of hardware
and software qualification processes, and joins the list of
modems and set-tops Motorola supplies to Comcast as a certified
Covad, AOL accelerate DSL deal
Group Inc. will provide AOL
with its 6.0 high-speed broadband access product, allowing
AOL to offer its ADSL service for as low as $39.95 a month.
The service will include video, online gaming and music downloading
and feature download speeds of up to 6.0 Mbps and up to 768K
upstream. The service also includes exclusive and original
programming such as commercial free radio, streaming video
and music, the companies added.
What's the deal here? Another example of AOL's push into the
RCN gets to Mach 20
has launched its new MegaModem Mach 20 service in Philadelphia.
The Mach 20 tier caps data at 20 Mbps downstream and 2 Mbps
upstream, which, RCN says, beats speeds offered by Comcast,
Time Warner and its DSL competitors.
What's the big deal? Speed counts in the fiercely competitive
high-speed data market, especially when you're in Comcast's
And the research says…
Gigabit Ethernet switches sales pumping up
Though probably not on everyone's list of vital research material,
10 Gigabit Ethernet Switches are on a strong growth track,
says research group In-Stat.
Prices fell 19 percent in 2005, with the Ethernet market revenue
rising from $14.9 million in 2005 to $17.7 million in 2009.
A bigger picture is evident here, In-Stat reports. "With
growing demand for streaming video, VoIP, high-end multimedia,
medical imaging, and other bandwidth-intensive applications,
Ethernet continues to evolve to remain the standard networking
technology," maintains In-Stat Analyst Pamela Tufegdzic, in
BidCo, a small Colorado-based company, looks to have
won a large swath of radio spectrum that could lead to cheaper
in-flight Broadband and telephone calls.
The spectrum, according to an Associated Press report, is
currently used by Verizon Airfone, which will have two years
to shrink the bandwidth used by its in-flight phone service.
AirCell would essentially replace Verizon's service and is
expected to lower the cost and raise the data speeds, the