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News summary for 5/22/07

Tue, 05/22/2007 - 9:04am

Customer service is a killer for service providers
By Traci Patterson, CED

Six out of the 10 U.S. companies ranked worst for customer service were two cable operators, three telcos and a satellite provider. 

A Zogby International survey, “The Hall of Shame,” with 5,147 random nationwide respondents, found that Sprint Nextel scored the lowest for customer service. The response choices were “excellent,” “good,” “fair” and “poor” — 40 percent ranked the company as “poor,” and 28 percent as “fair.”

Coming in third to last was Comcast Corp., with 30 percent answering “poor” and 33 percent answering “fair.” Just ahead in fourth to last was Time Warner Cable, which had 29 percent as “poor” responses and 35 percent as “fair.”

AT&T came in fifth to last, followed by Verizon at eighth to last and DirecTV at tenth to last. DirecTV had the highest “excellent” response rate with 17 percent, followed by Verizon with 11 percent, Comcast with 10 percent and TWC with 8 percent.

C-Cor updates monitoring, management systems
By Brian Santo, CED

Portuguese operator TV Cabo is the first to use the new version of C-Cor's CableEdge product. C-Cor simultaneously announced network management software, called CORView, for its Converged Headend Platform (CHP).

The enhanced CableEdge suite now allows service providers to view and monitor DOCSIS devices in second-by-second intervals.

The latest version of CableEdge also integrates with an operator's billing system so that technicians and customer service representatives can view a customer's subscription and billing status within CableEdge.

Additionally, within the new CableEdge Subscriber Data Module, a technician can initiate a check on service status within the local area, such as on a street-by-street basis.

"As TV Cabo continues to roll out data and voice services, we need to be able to see both our infrastructure's and specific subscriber's needs in granular detail to make sure we maintain the quality of service standards that our customers demand," said João Campos, TV Cabo's network operations manager. "C-Cor's CableEdge offers the diagnostic tools we need for exact forecasting into the network while decreasing home visits by technicians."

CORView network management is a server-based Web application that enables cable operators to monitor all devices installed in multiple CHP Max5000 chassis in any headend or hub location. It provides a standard interface to higher level network management tools, such as C-Cor's OSS network management applications, through its Web interface.

Separately, C-Cor also said its equipment is now being used to monitor more than 20 million cable devices installed in consumers’ homes worldwide.

Wave7, SA, Nortel, Genband in on indie FTTP install
By Brian Santo, CED

Midwest independent phone company Long Lines is going to upgrade to fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP), with equipment supplied by Wave7 Optics and Embarq Logistics.

Long Lines serves more than 100 communities in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. Its first FTTP installation will be in South Sioux City, Neb. 

Embarq Logistics is managing the project, which features Wave7 Optics’ Trident7 Optical Access Platform.

Services include a complete triple play of voice, data and RF video, including Wave7 Optics’ patented RF return. 

Long Lines will also deploy RF video headend equipment and set-top boxes from Scientific Atlanta, a voice switching solution from Nortel, and an IP digital terminal (IPDT) from GenBand.

Last year, Embarq Logistics and Wave7 announced a distribution agreement that will help meet the growing demand from independent service providers, such as Long Lines, to deploy FTTP networks.

Cox to track its vehicle fleet
By Traci Patterson, CED

Cox Communications has signed an enterprise corporate purchase agreement for @Road’s mobile resource management (MRM) solutions.

Cox is already piloting @Road’s GeoManager on-demand MRM solution with the on-board (OBD-II) vehicle diagnostics feature in its Oklahoma, Kansas and Las Vegas systems.

Cox expects to cover a total of 6,000 field service and support vehicles in a broader deployment, and this includes those in the pilot.

The GeoManager aids businesses in streamlining field service delivery operations while maximizing mobile workforce productivity and driving-up customer service, the company said.

ADB tries to crack American market with new HD box
By Brian Santo, CED

Advanced Digital Broadcast  (ADB), a supplier of IPTV set-tops in Europe, is trying to break into the North American market through an alliance with Minerva Networks. The two announced the certification and immediate availability of Minerva's iTVManager IPTV services management platform and ADB's new high definition (HD) IPTV set-top box.

In combination, the products will enable telcos to deliver television services to their subscribers using standard definition (SD), HD, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 formats.

The ADB-3800W digital set-top box incorporates both SD and HD television reception and is based on MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC. They are immediately available for commercial deployment through ADB's distributor Border States Electric, in Fargo, N.D.

Broadband Briefs for 5/22/07

* Telus taps Alcatel-Lucent to integrate service provisioning
Telus has engaged Alcatel-Lucent to integrate an OSS system from Subex Azure into its network, built largely on equipment from Alcatel-Lucent. Subex Azure is an Alcatel-Lucent technology partner. The company’s OSS software is called Syndesis NetProvision.

* Concurrent promotes VOD specialist
Concurrent has promoted Michael Pasquinilli to VP of engineering. He will be responsible for all VOD development resources.
 
Pasquinilli joined Concurrent in October as the director of advanced engineering. Prior to that, he oversaw design and development of Cox Communications’ iTV technologies, including VOD. He was also a technical program manager at Scientific Atlanta, where he also worked with VOD products.
 
* Brix unleashes IP metrics, QoE solution
Brix Networks, a provider of converged service assurance solutions, has introduced BrixView - its analytics and visualization software toolkit.

BrixView gives communications service providers (CSPs) the service information necessary to provide a high quality of experience (QoE) for customers, as well as IP quality metrics. The new portal consolidates information and simplifies the processes of data mining, searches, trending and pattern analysis.

* Sigma Systems has new SMP for ‘all play’ 
OSS specialist Sigma Systems has released the Service Management Platform (SMP) 4.0. SMP 4.0 - ready for new user classes and a broader range of services - enables an "All Play" world with shorter lifecycles and is delivered across multiple network access technologies. The platform provides a J2EE-based, BPEL-compatible workflow engine, and it provides service agility support with a GUI-based service creation environment.

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