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News summary for 6/07/07

Thu, 06/07/2007 - 8:38am

Qwest enhances DSL – make that ‘broadband’ – experience 
By Brian Santo, CED

Qwest has expanded its relationship with Microsoft to offer Windows Live, has renamed its DSL service, and has introduced a new domain name for its e-mail customers.

Windows Live is a set of communications services fronted by Microsoft’s search engine. Combining some features that used to be associated with its MSN service, Windows Live is designed to be similar to, and be competitive with, search services from AOL, Google, and Yahoo!

Windows Live Services by Qwest will offer Web search that includes maps, directions, images and video, all built into the browser. Windows Live will include OneCare, which will provide users with a unified suite of services, including anti-virus and anti-spyware utilities, to protect and maintain their PCs.

Qwest is also dropping the term “DSL” from its marketing of its Internet access service, which will henceforth be called Qwest Broadband. “The name changes align more closely with Qwest's broadband service and features and resonate more strongly with customers,” said Travis Leo, Qwest director of product management.

Qwest Broadband customers who are also signed up with MSN Premium will also have the option to use a new domain name: q.com. Qwest expects customers will appreciate the new opportunity to create personalized e-mail addresses that don’t include (or aren’t based entirely) on random combinations of characters.

The q.com domain will operate from the new Qwest Mail by Windows Live platform. Qwest Mail by Windows Live contains new features which make it easier to use e-mail, with up to 11 e-mail accounts, 2 GB of storage, a reading pane that lets customers read their mail without leaving their inboxes, drag and drop functionality, advanced spam filtering and notification and AutoComplete population of addresses right out of their address books. Customers who switch to a q.com e-mail address will be able to transfer their e-mail account data, move their address books and notify their friends of their new e-mail addresses.

SeaChange narrows loss in first quarter
By Brian Santo, CED

Sales were up, leading to a narrower loss for SeaChange International in its first fiscal 2008 quarter.

Total revenue for the quarter was $38.8 million, up 17 percent compared to total revenues of $33.2 million for the first quarter last year, SeaChange’s fiscal 2007. The net Q1 loss was $3.7 million, an improvement on a loss of $4.4 million a year ago.

The net loss included $1.1 million of income tax expense in connection with the taxable gain on the transfer of assets from the On Demand Group’s (ODG) U.K. operation to its announced German joint venture with Tele Munchen Gruppe, a leading German video content provider.

Revenue in the Broadband segment, which includes video-on-demand and advertising insertion hardware and software, was $19 million, an increase of $2.7 million (also an increase of 17 percent) compared to last year.

Year-over-year revenue growth in the first quarter was driven by $6.4 million of VOD software subscription revenue principally tied to Comcast’s renewal of its software subscription program, the company said. Last year’s first quarter had no software subscription revenue.

In addition, $1.7 million of higher advertising insertion revenue in this year’s first quarter compared to the first quarter of last year was offset by a $5.6 million year over year reduction in VOD systems revenue. The reduction in VOD systems revenue resulted in part from $2.9 million of systems shipped in the first quarter for which revenue was deferred at April 30, 2007, as compared to no deferred VOD systems revenue in last year’s first quarter, SeaChange explained.

The remaining reduction in VOD systems revenue from last year’s first quarter stemmed from lower systems shipments primarily to U.S. domestic service providers.

Canal Digital picks ARRIS C4 CMTS to deliver broadband and VoIP
By Brian Santo, CED

Arris has attracted a new customer, satellite and cable provider Canal Digital, which will use Arris’ C4 CMTS to deliver broadband Internet and voice-over-IP service to its customers in Denmark.

The first deployment will take place in Odense, Denmark, birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen. Vector, based in Europe, will provide integration and maintenance service. "The C4 CMTS' wire-speed and carrier-grade availability were determining factors in our CMTS selection to improve our network capabilities," said Kim Esben Jorgensen, IT Manager at Canal Digital, Denmark. "The C4 deployments will help us deliver a higher quality of voice and data service now and, in the future, will expand that data service by offering speeds in excess of 100 Mbps."

Canal Digital is planning to implement wideband DOCSIS service based on the Arris FlexPath technology, using the Arris C4 CMTS and Arris Touchstone Wideband Modem WBM650.

Auspice intros network monitoring system
By Brian Santo, CED

Auspice has introduced a new product that enables operators to monitor their networks, as well as the devices attached to their networks, and correlate that information to customer metrics. The information can be used, Auspice said, to evaluate how network performance impacts customer behavior, and ultimately, to improve network performance and reduce customer churn.

Auspice’s new OpsLogic ServiceManager fits in with the company’s OpsLogic suite of service assurance products. It is based on Auspice’s correlation and intelligent automation capabilities.

With ServiceManager, operators can reduce mean-time-to-repair (MTTR) by monitoring and correlating events across their entire infrastructure in real-time, providing intelligent actionable alarms. Auspice said its products are deployed at Tier-1 MSOs and have been proven to scale to millions of devices and new service offerings.

Features include:
* Interactive alarm reports for automatic detection of outages and problems affecting customers.
* Real-time Web-based display of E-MTA/DOCSIS device inventory by node, upstream and CMTSs.
* Periodic monitoring, aggregation and correlation across the entire HFC infrastructure to proactively determine the impact of outages across a multi-service network.
* Graphical user-interface-based configurations with single portal for simplified administration and set-up.
* On-demand real-time status and performance of per-customer service information.
* Historical trend analysis to proactively detect degradations before they impact a customer’s service.
* Ability to easily integrate with third-party network monitoring systems, billing, provisioning, ticketing and other systems.

Broadband Briefs for 6/07/07

* Aware licenses VDSL2 tech to PMC-Sierra

Chipmaker PMC-Sierra has licensed Aware's VDSL2 technology. PMC-Sierra is using Aware's StratiPHY3 VDSL2 technology for its MSP7140 VDSL2 residential gateway system on a chip (SoC) product.

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