IP Capsule E-newsletter, June 2, 2006

Fri, 06/02/2006 - 4:22am

IP Capsule Newsletter-011206  |  CED Broadband Direct  |  Current Issue  |  Subscriptions
June 2, 2006

VoIP 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 IPTV
Alcatel and Microsoft 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 said.

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 MPEG-4
Cavalier 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 months.

Spacenet enters Helius orbit
Spacenet 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
IneoQuest 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
Cedar 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 logical device.

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 Release 2.

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

CloudShield Technologies, Inc., a provider of IP service control and infrastructure security, has announced an agreement with Mitsubishi 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 in Asia.

Voxilla, CommuniGate hook up
CommuniGate Systems, an Internet communications software provider, and Voxilla, 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 Enterprise Linux.

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 space
Vertical 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
Clarus 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
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 reported.

The SBV5220 is also equipped with an integrated Lithium-ion battery back-up, which can provide up to eight hours of battery back-up.

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 supplier.

Covad, AOL accelerate DSL deal
Covad Communications 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 broadband market.

RCN gets to Mach 20
RCN Corp. 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 backyard, Philadelphia.

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 a statement.

AirCell 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 report added.

Company: Entone Technologies
Headquarters: San Mateo, Calif.
CEO: Steve McKay

Claim to Fame: Standards-based solutions that address two developments in home entertainment: on demand television and in-home multimedia networks. Entone's technology enables content providers to deliver a variety of personal, digital television services, such as VOD and the network DVR.

Recent news of note: Launched a range of next-gen HD-capable consumer premises equipment (CPE) for IPTV services.

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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