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News summary for 12/10/07

Mon, 12/10/2007 - 7:48am
CED staff

AT&T expands IP/MPLS backbone; Deploys Cisco routers 
By Brian Santo

AT&T said its IP/Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) backbone, which it has been building and upgrading for several years, is now operating coast-to-coast. The most recent upgrading activity includes 18,000 miles of enhanced optical ultra-long-haul routes.

AT&T said it has deployed 40 Gbps (or OC-768) technology on more than 50,000 wavelength miles of its U.S. IP/MPLS backbone network to date. The company claimed that by year's end, more than 40 percent of the IP traffic carried over its backbone will be on IP/MPLS. AT&T has IP/MPLS hubs in 25 U.S. metro areas, and is continuing the process of building IP/MPLS backbone routes to interconnect them all.

In a separate but related announcement, AT&T said it selected Cisco’s Carrier Routing System (CRS-1) as the core platform of its IP/MPLS backbone network. It is designed for continuous system operation while scaling system capacity up to 92 Terabits per second (Tbps).

Deploying equipment for rates at 40 Gbps is preparatory to jumping to 100 Gbps. AT&T said it has plans to carry traffic at speeds up to 100 Gbps, which it began testing a year ago. Verizon recently demonstrated the capability of taking a 40 Gbps network to 100 Gbps (see story).

AT&T’s IP/MPLS network carries IP-based wireless data, business video, data and voice services, private line and wavelength traffic, as well as IP-based residential services and Internet access for AT&T's 13.8 million DSL and AT&T U-verse customers.

“As the demand for Internet and IP-based applications continues to explode, IP traffic on the AT&T network has doubled throughout the past two years, and we fully expect this substantial growth to continue in the future," said John Stankey, group president of Telecom Operations at AT&T.

OpenTV provides boost to Comcast Spotlight ad campaigns
By Mike Robuck

OpenTV announced today that its Web tool has led to increased efficiencies in the markets where Comcast Spotlight has deployed it.

OpenTV’s Eclipse Web Services 1.6 product was launched by Comcast Spotlight earlier this year. It was designed to provide new and increased efficiencies to Comcast Spotlight traffic departments, advertising sales teams and inventory specialists. The product is currently deployed in five Comcast Spotlight markets that serve 14 of the top DMAs (designated market areas) in the country.

According to OpenTV, its Web Services product “supports the industry’s eBusiness goal of developing a seamless interface between sales, traffic and invoicing.” While there was no mention of the cable industry’s Project Canoe, which is being designed to provide national advertising avails on a unified platform, OpenTV’s product seems to fit the profile of that project.

OpenTV's Eclipse Web Services 1.6 interface provides live and real-time feedback to Comcast Spotlight account executives and sales assistants in the field, allowing them to check avails for their campaigns and test inventory directly against the Eclipse traffic system.

Users can make desired adjustments immediately in the sales system and export orders directly into the traffic system, saving significant amounts of time. During the life of the order, sales personnel can send certain types of revisions to Eclipse, check for missed spots and monitor any changes made to the order in the system.

"The Web Services 1.6 tool for Eclipse is delivering on its promise of helping traffic and sales personnel clear orders quickly, stay on top of schedules and measure campaign results in a seamless and time-efficient manner," said OpenTV CEO Ben Bennett, in a prepared statement.

Qwest offers free mobile e-mail service to customers 
By Mike Robuck

Qwest Communications is hooking up customers with a new, free service that allows them to receive and reply to e-mails from any text-messaging enabled wireless phone without subscribing to data plans or upgrading to smartphones.

Qwest Connect with Windows Live allows customers to use their Windows Live contacts list to select only the contacts that they would like to receive e-mails from on their wireless phones.

Customers can manage their preferences through site controls, decide which senders’ messages they want to have forwarded to their wireless handsets, specify how often they receive new messages and decide how much of a message’s total length they receive on their phone.

“Qwest wants to simplify customers’ lives by helping them access more communications and entertainment services in a single place,” said Frank Simanson, vice president of product at Qwest, in a statement. “With this mobile e-mail service, customers get a customizable and intuitive way to communicate while on the go.”

Qwest helps make this mobile e-mail service available through an exclusive arrangement with Teleflip by using its flipMail technology. The flipMail technology unifies the e-mail and SMS data channel. Messages that users elect to receive from this service will contain a sponsor message.

Verizon Business smoothes the path to VoIP
By Brian Santo

Verizon Business added new IP Trunking capabilities aimed at easing customers’ move from traditional TDM to voice-over-Internet-protocol (VoIP). Verizon Business said it is providing its IP Trunking customers with on-demand sharing of unused trunk capacity, more platforms for IP PBX, a new path to VoIP through its Ethernet to Private IP access option, and automated rerouting of calls to maintain business continuity.

Verizon VoIP Trunking uses SIP to interoperate with either an IP or time division multiplex (TDM) PBX or key system. The interoperability provides customers the pathway to replace traditional TDM trunk lines.

Simultaneously, Verizon Business added to its managed network services with the addition of Managed IP PBX on the Nortel IP telephony platform. The new services include on-demand networking via burstable enterprise shared trunks; additional IP PBX platform choices; Ethernet as a path to VoIP; and automatic call rerouting.

Broadband Briefs for 12/10/07

* Juniper opens Junos application development
By Brian Santo

Juniper Networks announced the Partner Solution Development Platform (PSDP), which enables customers and partners to develop routing and service applications using the company’s Junos software. Customers can use the PSDP software development kit to develop applications such as event-optimized routing, customized bandwidth management, advanced security services and extended operations toolsets.

Access to the PSDP technology, as well as technical and business support, is through Juniper’s Open IP Solution Development Program for customers and partners. The PSDP will be available through an annual licensing program. The inaugural program members include Aricent and Avaya, among others.

* AT&T debuts U-verse in St. Louis
By Mike Robuck

Starting today, AT&T will be taking orders for its U-verse video service in parts of the St. Louis area.

Aside of St. Louis, the communities that will get the U-verse service include Ballwin, Bridgeton, Chesterfield, Clayton, Creve Coeur, Florissant, Kirkwood, Maryland Heights, Mehlville, Oakville, Olivette, Sappington, Shrewsbury, St. Charles, St. Peters, University City and Webster Groves. AT&T said it would continue to expand the availability of its fiber-to-the-curb service on an ongoing basis.

Aside of competing with satellite providers in the St. Louis area, AT&T will go head-to-head with Charter Communications. Charter recently announced it will increase its HD lineup and offer a lower-priced triple play bundle for $69.99 instead of its standard price of $99.99.

After a slower than expected start that was partially due to a lack of set-top boxes, AT&T announced in September that it has 126,000 U-verse customers in 18 markets nationwide.

* Comcast hires lobbyist for digital TV
By Mike Robuck

The Associated Press reported last week that Comcast  has hired LeClair Ryan to lobby the federal government on its behalf. Citing Senate records posted online Nov. 15, Comcast will lobby for digital television and telecom issues and proposed legislation that prohibits states from imposing taxes on video programming services.

* JDSU bows new analyzer for fiber characterization
By Mike Robuck

JDSU rolled out its new Optical Dispersion Measurement (ODM) module for the T-BERD/MTS-6000 and T-BERD/MTS-8000.

Offering chromatic dispersion (CD), polarization mode dispersion (PMD) and attenuation profile test functions in a single plug-in module, the ODM is a compact and integrated dispersion product dedicated to field testing fiber optic networks, including access, metro and core networks. The module includes a patented solution for CD measurement.

"As cable and telecom network operators continue to deploy fiber networks to meet the world's increasing broadband needs, they need the right tools to ensure fiber links operate as flawlessly as possible," said Enzo di Luigi, general manager of JDSU's fiber optics Communications Test and Measurement group, in a statement. "The ODM module meets this challenge by enabling efficiency through an integrated solution and offering the best dispersion performance available in a field test solution, which is needed to test most fiber networks, from short or long distance unrepeated networks to aerial and amplified networks."

* Synacor names Kim VP of engineering
By Mike Robuck

Synacor, which builds Internet tools for digital media, announced today that Chung Kim was named vice president of engineering. Prior to joining Synacor, Kim was director of product development at Media Data Corp.

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