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Broadband Briefs for 6/17/08

Tue, 06/17/2008 - 8:00am

Comcast, BTN near carriage agreement
By Traci Patterson

Comcast and the Big Ten Network are close to reaching a carriage agreement, according to news reports.

Under the agreement, Comcast would carry a preview of the network in eight states, with five million subscribers on its expanded basic tier from August. Then the Big Ten Network would move to a basic digital tier from next spring. And after that, individual Comcast systems could offer the network on a sports tier.

The Big Ten Network already has national carriage agreements with DirecTV and Dish Network, as well as several small cable operators.

Microtune gears up for Expo with next-gen tuners
By Mike Robuck

At next week’s SCTE Cable-Tec Expo, Microtune will display its latest silicon tuner technology that enables cable services and technologies such as DOCSIS 3.0, high-speed data, high-definition (HD), video-on-demand (VOD), time-shifting, VoIP telephony, in-home networking and tru2way functionality.

At the Expo in Philadelphia, Microtune will feature its suite of cable tuners, amplifiers and upconverters, along with customer-end products. Microtune will also host a live demonstration of its DOCSIS 3.0 tuner, as well as a display of certified DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems from a variety of industry manufacturers.

Microtune will also have tuners on hand that are compatible with the Multimedia over Coax Alliance’s (MoCA) home networking standards, as well as SCTE-40-compliant tuners that meet residential network gateway specification requirements.

Avail Media launches MPEG-4 HD service
By Mike Robuck

Avail Media announced its MPEG-4, high-definition (HD) channel lineup yesterday that features 56 HD channels. Avail HD is designed to deliver HD channels while maximizing service providers’ existing infrastructure investments.

“Avail Media provides an amazing suite of HD channels available in MPEG-4 format,” said John Egan, chairman of Evolution Broadband. “To provide our customers with a program offering allowing them to compete successfully requires both quality content and infrastructure efficiencies. Working with Avail Media gives operators the ability to take a leadership role in both quantity and quality of HD programming, while minimizing bandwidth costs.”

“For cable systems that need HD programming but lack bandwidth; telephone networks with limited, last-mile capabilities; or fiber-to-the-home providers in search of quality HD offerings, Avail Media’s HD solutions provide cost-effective and subscriber-ready solutions,” said Ramu Potarazu, CEO of Avail Media.

• Qwest names Syed VP of systems engineering, program mgmt
By Traci Patterson

Qwest has named Sami A. Syed to the newly created position of VP of systems engineering and program management within the Qwest Information Technology (IT) organization.

Syed will collaborate with Qwest’s leadership to define technology issues, develop system solutions and ensure programs are delivered on time to meet customer needs.

Syed has nearly 30 years of industry experience with companies including MCI and Alcatel. Syed comes to Qwest from AOL Time Warner, where he had responsibility for broadband and Internet products, including the development of portal services.

Moto’s 2.5GHz WiMAX product garners WiMAX Forum certification
By Traci Patterson

Motorola’s WiMAX WAP 25400 base station has received the WiMAX Forum Certified seal of approval, making Motorola one of the first companies to have its 2.5GHz WiMAX product approved for completing tests necessary to insure operational and feature compliance for 2.5 GHz certification.

"Motorola was one of the early advocates for WiMAX 802.16e because we knew the technology has the bandwidth to cost effectively deliver the multimedia experiences people want, when, where and how they want it, at a fraction of the cost of 3G technologies," said Fred Wright, SVP of cellular networks and WiMAX for Motorola Home & Networks Mobility. "Today, we have a leadership position in the number of contracts for commercial systems worldwide and in being among the first to have an access point for 2.5 GHz designated as WiMAX Forum Certified."

The WiMAX Forum provides operators with the assurance that approved products will interoperate with other vendors' WiMAX access points and devices that have also passed the same certification process. The Forum is working toward enhancing the ecosystem and advancing the widespread adoption of the WiMAX 802.16e standard around the world.

IBM, NEC join Juniper partner program
By Brian Santo

IBM, Kasenna, NEC and Polycom have signed on as development partners for Juniper Network’s Open IP partner program.

IBM and NEC have access to the Partner Solution Development Platform (PSDP) to develop specialized applications on Juniper’s Junos operating system. 

Norihiko Uesugi, GM of IP Networks at NEC, said, “NEC is developing high-quality multicast streaming software with the PSDP, which will run on Juniper’s routing platforms with Junos software.”

Kasenna and Polycom are creating intelligent IP service management functionality through the development of standards-based interfaces to the Juniper Networks SRC Session and Resource Control Portfolio. Kasenna is developing dynamic admission functionality for IPTV services, while Polycom is working on assured quality for video conferencing/collaboration.

Exfo adds new test enhancements to GigE test modules
By Traci Patterson

Exfo Electro-Optical Engineering has released new test enhancements for its FTB-8510B/FTB-8510G and IQS-8510B/IQS-8510G Packet Blazer Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) and 10 GigE test modules.

The test modules now support Provider Backbone Bridge-Traffic Engineering (PBB-TE) and Internet Protocol/Multi-Protocol Label Switching (IP/MPLS) functionalities in a single module, allowing network service providers (NSPs) and network equipment manufacturers (NEMs) to validate carrier Ethernet services and network equipment, the company said.

The new software suite also introduces testing features, including support for advanced multi-stream traffic filtering techniques and 1X and 2X Fiber Channel testing. These new capabilities on the FTB-8510B and FTB-8510G Packet Blazers, combined with full-line rate TCP throughput testing and bi-directional RFC 2544 measurements, offer NSPs a comprehensive and portable tool for deploying, maintaining and troubleshooting next-generation Ethernet services.

Sonus intros voice solution that relies on WiMAX
By Traci Patterson

Sonus Networks has unveiled a voice solution that utilizes WiMAX networks to meet the goals of mobile broadband networks. The solution aims to help operators deploy voice services over their mobile broadband networks today, while getting ready for the future with 4G networks, including mobile interactive multimedia services.

Sonus' WiMAX solution uses the IEEE 802.16 WiMAX standard that delivers wireless last mile access for fixed broadband services, similar to DSL or cable modem service. The Sonus WiMAX solution includes Sonus ASX, GSX, PSX, EMS, NBS and Activator.

"At the end of 2007, there were just over 2 million WiMAX subscribers globally,” said Richard Webb, directing analyst for WiMAX, Wi-Fi and Mobile Devices with Infonetics research. “That number is expected to grow to nearly 80 million by the end of 2010. The ability to add a toll-quality voice service to the operators' service increases the likelihood that operators will experience even further acceleration. In more mature economies, voice-based WiMAX services could significantly change the winners and losers in the region. Sonus' entrance into the market is a positive change for carriers."

More Broadband Direct:

• Verizon targets SMBs for FiOS service

• TWC's target for debt sale: $5B

• Scopus to demo Integrated Receiver Processor at Expo

• EGT to demo VIPr transcoder at Expo

• Allot allies with PeerApp, Qosmos

• Verimatrix bows mobile TV platform for pay-TV ops

• Acme Packet, MetaSwitch reel in customers for joint offering

• Alcatel-Lucent to buy partner Motive

• Brightcove 3 set to launch in fall

• Tellabs ups OAM&P abilities of carrier Ethernet

• Broadband Briefs for 6/17/08

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