Wireless Last Mile
[Go directly to Services news]
BY GREG GALITZINE
Over the course of the past several months, we have looked at various methods of
broadband Last Mile connectivity and the implications for the overall telecommunications
services market. This month, we do away with wires and focus on Wireless as an alternative
to last mile access.
To begin, lets take a look at what constitutes the last mile. The last mile, or
local loop as it is often referred to, is that distance from the local central office to
the subscribers premises. In most cases, the local loop is made up of twisted pair
copper wiring, but technology is changing that scenario. A growing number of
telecommunications companies, including the likes of AT&T, MCI, Sprint and others, are
focusing considerable efforts at developing a wireless local loop that can provide greater
bandwidth and higher-speed transmission rates than that of a traditional wired solution.
To date, POTS (plain old telephone service) twisted pair solutions were able to offer a
number of advantages, such as clear reception and low cost, but that is changing. With the
advent of "wireless fiber," companies such as Teligent (www.teligent.com) and WinStar (www.winstar.com) are promising their customers greater
bandwidth and (at least) equal quality at lower cost. The competition for this market is
growing apace. Back in 1996, there were less than 50 wireless local loops in place across
the United States. By 1997, that number had grown to over 130, and this does not take into
account the rest of the world. Furthermore, while this technology has been traditionally
more expensive than most wired solutions, experts believe that costs will continue to drop
as much as 40 percent over the next several years.
SO, HOW DOES IT ALL WORK?
In one wireless local loop scenario, a service provider sets up a base station, possibly
on an existing telephone or utility pole. This receiver is hard wired to a central office
type digital switching station, which in turn connects to the existing infrastructure of
the PSTN. On the subscriber side, we find a small transceiver (lets say pizza box or
less in size) attached to the side of the subscribers house. All the inside telecom
wiring terminates here. And theres your wireless local loop.
This type of solution has the potential to offer high-speed voice/video/data/Web
transmissions while allowing the service provider to bypass the incumbent local exchange
carriers (ILECs) network altogether.
While many contend that wireless is a new technology, communicating without wires is
hardly a novel concept. To take it to an extreme, lets consider Paul Reveres
warning, "The British are coming." His lantern told the tale over some distance.
(Early line of sight technology?) Native Americans used smoke signals to communicate. Ok,
ok, maybe that is a bit of an extreme example, but lets consider that 100 years ago,
at the turn of the last century, people like Samuel Morse and Gugliemo Marconi were
already experimenting with wireless communications solutions. Granted, up until the 1970s,
the main users of the technology were police forces, taxi dispatchers, and railroads. In
the waning years of that decade, the advent and subsequent proliferation of the portable
wireless telephone foretold todays wireless craze. (For more on how far weve
come, see the article on 3G Wireless and the sidebar entitled Wireless Handset Showcase.)
Now, one argument in favor of wireless local loop technology is the fact that it provides
a way for service providers to get around the ILECs hold on the last mile, but
consider this: There are close to 6 billion people in the world and only 500 million or so
actually have telephones. Wireless local loop technology would allow a service provider to
establish telecommunications service to a vast majority of the worlds population
that does not yet enjoy any service. The solutions are relatively easy to set up, and are
not necessarily limited in that if service providers need to provide more coverage, they
can easily add more capacity as time goes by. Couple that with the fact that wireless
solutions are not as vulnerable to the same problems (severe weather, rough terrain) as
wired alternatives, and its no wonder people are paying attention to wireless local
loop as much as they are.
Analysts also point to another factor contributing to the potential growth of wireless
local loop solutions. Consider the number of second lines being ordered by the populace.
The vendors of wireless technology see no reason why these second lines shouldnt be
Two acronyms that we constantly come across in any discussion of wireless local loop
technology are MMDS and LMDS.
Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service uses small microwaves to beam data to
subscribers homes. This technology is one-way, line of sight, technology which
allows users to receive data via the downstream link. Still, a modem and a phone line are
needed to communicate upstream. MMDS is hampered by terrain, obstructions (urban and
otherwise), and is generally only useful within a 35-mile range, but has met with
considerable success in densely populated urban areas where receivers and transceivers
mounted on tall buildings can be deployed aplenty. One company, BellSouth (www.bellsouth.com) is offering consumers wireless
digital television (wireless cable) in the Southern cities of New Orleans and Atlanta, and
is soon to start offering service in the Florida cities of Jacksonville, Orlando, and
Daytona. Since all digital transmission is essentially made up of 1s and 0s, can broadband
Internet access be far behind?
Local Multipoint Distribution Service also uses microwaves to transmit data, although due
to issues of frequency and bandwidth, operates in a much smaller footprint (typically 3-10
miles) than MMDS. Unlike point-to-point solutions, LMDS enables two-way simultaneous
communications between a single central hub and multiple subscribers. One of the largest
advantages of this technology is the sheer bandwidth that becomes available. LMDS is
theoretically capable of transmitting 1.5 Gbps downstream (200 Mbps upstream), which is
enough for users to watch a digital movie, talk on the phone, and surf the Internet -- all
at the same time.
For all the talk of massive bandwidth, LMDS deployment has been a bit slow in the
United States. While most of the LMDS license holders will likely begin widespread
operation of their networks within the next 1-2 years, there is already some activity in
the market. Siemens (www.icn.siemens.com) is
undertaking some extensive testing of an LMDS-based wireless broadband solution. The
recently introduced AirNetXpress is a point-to-multipoint access product that will deliver
two-way, high-speed data, voice, video, and Web. For more details on this project, visit
the companys Web site.
The expansive amount of services that can be offered over such vast amounts of bandwidth
certainly sets the mind reeling. Voice, digital video, screaming Web access. And,
thats just the beginning. Video conferencing, bandwidth on demand, streaming video,
data transfer... packet-heads all over the world must be salivating at the prospect.
Of all the competing technologies vying for a piece of the broadband marketplace,
perhaps wireless has some of the bigger advantages in the long run. While telcos and cable
companies have a tremendous amount of infrastructure in place and many many years of a
headstart, the ascension of wireless service providers cannot be ruled out. When you
consider the relative ease of deployment, and the vast amount of untapped subscribers in
the global market, things look pretty promising for the future of wireless broadband
|Wireless Handset Showcase
The newest, and neatest of the handsets on (and soon to be
on) the market. Just remember: We saw them first!
The NeoPoint 1000
Its a phone, an Internet MiniBrowser, and PDA in
one! The NeoPoint 1000, from Innovative Global Solutions (omwww.igsolution.com), is a CDMA digital phone that
works on 1.9 GHz PCS networks (such as Sprint PCS) and has been garnering cooing sounds
since it first made the cover of the New York Times "Circuits" section.
This very smart gadget with the cute face offers an amazing array of data and PDA
functions, including smooth instant syncing to programs like Outlook, ACT! and Lotus
Organizer. Its even got speech recognition functions that let you say things like
"Internet, Stocks, Lucent" and it will bring up the Lucent stock quote on its
screen. NeoPoints "information alerts" will be especially attractive to
corporate MIS information alerts come through NeoPoints Personal InBox that
captures e-mail, voicemail, and text messages. All this and more for under $300.
Qualcomms pdQ smartphone
pdQ smartphone is the industrys first integrated CDMA digital phone and Palm
Computing platform-based organizer. Both the 800 MHz dual-mode and 1900 MHz digital
versions of the phone/PDA allow users to make calls, track appointments, catalog contact
data, send and receive e-mail, surf the Internet, and more. For those of us who own both
Palm Pilots and cell phones, this device is a dream come true.
Launched at CeBIT 1999, the v3688 from Motorola (www.motorola.com) is one of the lightest and smallest
GSM dual band (900/1800 MHz) digital phones available. It incorporates a new prototype WAP
(Wireless Application Protocol) browser that allows true mobile surfing of the Net and
sets the stage for a new age of push-type applications. In fact, Motorola has committed to
delivering mobile Internet capability by incorporating WAP browsers across its entire
range of mobile digital communications products. Motorola believes that WAP technology
will be an essential ingredient in all of its consumer products across all digital
technologies as it predicts that the number of mobile devices with Internet access will
exceed that of fixed based access within five years. We concur.
The Motorola i1000plus handset is a first palm-size device that supports wireless access
to the Internet, corporate intranets and networks, and enhanced phone features for use on
Motorolas iDEN networks. Designed for business users who rely on voice communication
and convenient access to information over networks, the i1000plus handset is an
Internet-ready wireless device that integrates the capabilities of a digital phone,
two-way radio, and alphanumeric pager with Internet microbrowser, e-mail, fax, and two-way
messaging capabilities using Motorola's advanced iDEN integrated digital communication
technology. The IP (Internet Protocol) addressable i1000plus handset will enable a user to
browse Internet, intranet, and extranet Web sites using Unwired Planet (www.phone.com) microbrowser technology. The new handset
can also serve as a wireless modem when connected to a notebook computer or PDA (personal
R380 smart phone is a dual-band handset thats loaded with features. At first glance,
it looks like your basic high-end mobile phone until you flipp the keypad forward
to uncover a full-length touch-sensitive screen with rows of icons for accessing the
handsets wealth of functions. In addition to almost standard e-mail, fax, and SMS
(Short Messaging Service) functionality, the R380 has a built-in modem, a voice notes
recorder, voice dialing and call answering, hands-free speakerphone operation, handwriting
recognition, and a gaggle of personal organizer functions including address book,
calendar, alarm clock, and notebook. When commercially available, it will also support
Internet access via a built-in WAP browser and will also synchronize data with a PC via an
infrared link. The Symbian-developed, Epoc operating system on which the device is based
will ensure long usage and standby times.
Nokia 9000il Communicator
By fully integrating a GSM 1900 digital phone, a
personal organizer, fax capabilities, data and messaging services, as well as Internet
access into one compact device, the Nokia 9000il Communicator allows users to be fully
connected and get things done regardless of their location. The Nokia 9000il Communicator
can quickly and easily sync-up with standard POC-based calendar programs and other
applications, and also allows users to connect to a companys network to check
information in company databases or download e-mail. The Communicator offers a backlit
display, hands-free speakerphone, and the ability to conference call with up to six
people. For more information, visit www.nokia.com.
Wireless: The Next Frontier
BY MARC ROBINS
In the late 70s, the folks at Bellcore made an astounding prediction: There will be
more than 2 million cellular subscribers by the year 2000. If this reminds you of some of
the classic lines from Dr. Evil in Mike Myers hilarious film Austin Powers,
youre in good company.
Check out these numbers, baby: Today, there are over 277 million wireless
subscribers worldwide, according to such market researchers as the Strategis Group (www.strategisgroup.com) and the various wireless
standard bearers such as the CDMA Development Group (www.cdg.com),
GSM North America (www.gsmworld.com), and the
Universal Wireless Communications Consortium (UWCC) (www.uwcc.org).
The Yankee Group estimates that there will be more than 529 million subscribers
worldwide by 2002 and that the wireless market will grow more than three times
faster than landline. This doesnt even factor in the impact of China, which just
gave the go ahead for a massive buildup of a CDMA-based national network.
But heres the real kicker: Over the next five years, the number of wireless
Internet subscribers is expected to grow from about 200,000 today to more than 4 million,
while the number of wireless e-mail users will jump from about 10 million today to 50
From Analog to Digital
Predictions notwithstanding, wireless technology has come a long, long way from the
first-generation clunky analog (AMPS) wireless service started in Chicago by Rogers
Radio Call in 1978. Back then, cellular service was looked at as a pure vanity item
an expensive new toy for the rich who had everything. Today, were deep into the
adoptive phase of second-generation digital wireless technology, otherwise known as TDMA,
CDMA1, and GSM, as digital PCS and cellular service has overtaken analog in subscribers.
(For some more information on these standards, check out the sidebar entitled Another
Blend of Acronym Soup.)
According to Neil Shank, director of strategic marketing and business development at
the Network Operator Group of Ericsson (www.ericsson.com),
and one of the people heading up Ericssons push into 3G, 1983 was a watershed year
due to the realization that analog wasnt going to cut it anymore not in terms
of capacity, quality, or enhanced services. Digital wireless, whether youre talking
GSM, TDMA, or CDMA1, effectively provides about six times the capacity of analog, along
with numerous enhanced services, such as caller ID, call waiting, forwarding,
conferencing, etc. One area where second-generation gets weak, however, is support of
high-speed data services.
Current circuit-switched data rates for TDMA are 28.8 Kbps and 14.4 Kbps for CDMA and
9.6 K for GSM enough for very modest text-based e-mail and short messaging
applications, but far short of whats needed for full-blown multimedia wireless
communications and Internet access. For example, AT&T (www.att.com)
uses a protocol called CDPD, for Cellular Digital Packet Data, which runs at 19.2 K for
its Pocket Net e-mail and information access service. One notable enhancement to 2G
standards for data (call it 2G1/2) is GPRS for General Packet Radio Services
that will run at a 115 K data rate. GPRS is slated to go into live testing by the end of
3G wireless standards on the drawing board promise global access, high-speed data
rates, and native support for IP tantalizing features for subscribers looking for a
way to access their information from anywhere, at any time. Factors driving demand for
faster and better data transmission protocols are the enormous growth in Internet and data
usage, as well as the incredible escalation in the number of digital wireless subscribers
around the world. In addition, current wireless operators are no longer just pure wireless
plays. Carriers such as AT&T, Sprint (www.sprint.com),
Bell Atlantic (www.bellatlantic.com), etc., also
run landline voice and data networks. With its acquisition of TCI and bid for MediaOne,
AT&T also is deep into the cable TV domain and looking to get deeper.
One of the objectives of 3G is to provide access to the network and network services,
regardless of the access method. In theory, the same features would be available on
wireless and wireline networks, providing consistent interfaces and usage procedures for
myriad IP-based enhanced services. When third-generation wireless systems begin launching
worldwide sometime after 2001 subscribers will immediately notice a number
of advantages over current wireless systems. Data access speeds will increase by more than
20 times compared to todays situation. The third generation will also offer
multimedia capabilities and even location-enabled features such as emergency 911. This
means a user from Paris will be able to use her wireless phone in New York to dial 911,
and New York emergency crews will be able to pinpoint her location to send help. Third-generation
technology will also allow subscribers to access several services at once. The user will
be able to carry on a voice conversation while surfing the Internet, or to participate in
a video conference while sending a fax. Whats more, 3G will offer a true global
wireless system, permitting users to roam all over the world and make connections with
Currently, there are more than five competing 3G standards. Three that have made most
of the headlines include EDGE, cdma2000, and Wideband CDMA. EDGE, for Enhanced Data Rate
for Global Evolution, will run on existing TDMA and GSM infrastructures and promises to
offer 384 K data rates for users moving a high speeds (such as driving in a car), and 554
K data rates at low mobile speeds (such as walking), as well as global roaming and access
capabilities for subscribers. The standards bodies UWCC, GSM Alliance and ETSI are all
supporters. The market for EDGE is the more than 180 million TDMA and GSM current
cdma2000, or IS95, is a 3G standard championed by Qualcomm (www.qualcomm.com), Lucent Technologies (www.lucent.com), and Nortel Networks (www.nortelnetworks.com). Both EDGE and cdma2000
offer similar data rates and are appealing to wireless operators due to the fact that they
require only minor changes to the network infrastructure, such as new radios in base
stations and the addition of packet switches and software upgrades.
Wideband CDMA, championed by Ericsson and Nokia (www.nokia.com) , was developed originally for Western
Europe. Wideband CDMA involves the creation of a packet-based network from the ground up,
and requires licenses for new spectrum in the 2 GHz range. Wideband CDMA also offers
native IP capability and can provide data rates up to 2 Mbps.
Why Cant We All Just Get Along
Recently, a meeting of U.S. and European companies called the Transatlantic
Business Dialogue (TABD) convened to hash out an informal understanding on a single
3G CDMA standard. Overseeing this effort is the International Telecommunications Union (www.itu.org). One of the outcomes of the meeting was an
agreement over a three-mode CDMA standard, which would allow cell phones to be compatible
with cdma2000, Wideband CDMA, and TDMA. Other development groups, such as the CDMA
Development Group, are also looking for ways to converge standards.
The recent treaty over standards entered into by Qualcomm and Ericsson should also help
speed up 3G development and help consolidate overlapping and redundant standards efforts.
(Note: Id like to thank Neil Shank for his contributions to this article.)
of Acronym Soup
CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) utilizes what is known as spread spectrum technology.
What this means is that CDMA spreads the signal or rather the information contained
within a specific signal over a greater bandwidth than the originating signal.
Operating in the 1900 MHz spectrum, CDMA assigns each conversation a particular code,
spreads each of the conversations across a broad portion of the spectrum, sends the
information to the receiving end, and reassembles the conversations using the same code it
used to spread them out. (CDMA also operates in the 800 MHz spectrum.) CDMA supports more
voice conversations per channel (54) than its competitors, but since it is the newest of
the three technologies discussed here, it has yet to be deployed as widely as the others
GSM, or Global System for Mobile communications, is the European standard for wireless.
The standards name has its origins in the French Groupe Special Mobile, which,
conveniently has the same acronym. While it is the European standard, GSM is in use in
well over 100 countries today. GSM operates exclusively in the 1900 MHz frequency and is
in fact based on narrow-band TDMA. While it can handle eight conversations per channel,
that is far less than CDMA, albeit more than TDMA. One of the more interesting benefits of
GSM, is that since it is so widely deployed across the globe, users can theoretically
travel (roam) much of the world with just their one cell phone.
Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) is the oldest of the three standards, insomuch as we
are talking about deployment here in the United States. TDMAs headstart in the U.S.
market has afforded it the most users. TDMA operates at both the 1900 MHz spectrum and 800
MHz spectrum. As the name implies, TDMA divides the spectrum into time slots, allocating
these to a number of users to access a single channel. One benefit of TDMA is its
higher-speed support of circuit-switched data: 28.8 Kbps.
No discussion of wireless standards would be complete without at least mentioning AMPS.
AMPS (Advanced Mobile Phone Service) is an analog cellular standard that operates only in
the 800 MHz frequency band. Once the only standard in the United States, AMPS has seen
its market steadily eroded. While analog wireless is on the decline due to the
encroaching digital standards described above, it is still a good bet that users can
connect from anywhere in the U.S. using analog. Unfortunately in a world that demands ever
increasing enhanced services, this technology just doesnt offer the same breadth and
potential of services as digital.
Wireless For The Home
A few years ago, some of the technologically savvy
minds at Ericsson sought to create a technology that would utilize a radio link to replace
cabling between devices. The work done in Ericssons development lab has snowballed
into an industry phenomenon called Bluetooth. To paraphrase the FAQ on the Bluetooth Web
site, Bluetooth is a technology specification for small-size, low-cost, short-range radio
links between portable computing and communications devices. Think wireless LAN for the
home. Think personal area network (hmm, a PAN to go along with all the discussion of
POTS). Think wireless everywhere at any time.
Last year, representatives from Ericsson Mobile Communications, Nokia Mobile Phones,
IBM, Intel, and Toshiba got together to form the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG).
To date, over 500 companies currently make up the Bluetooth SIG. These companies are
charged with developing the technology and eventually bringing it to market (expect
Bluetooth-enabled devices within the next 618 months).
Bluetooth takes advantage of the unlicensed 2.4 GHz spectrum, which gives it the
potential for global acceptance. Currently restricted to operating in a 10-meter area, the
wireless technology will eventually be upgraded to a larger networking area, approaching
100 meters. Todays specifications allow data rates in the range of 1 Mbps, with
future plans to increase the throughput to 2 Mbps. While partially derived from the
IEEEs 802 standard for wireless local-area networks, Bluetooth is designed as a
"piconet," which does not offer the same network management benefits of the IEEE
standard. The term piconet describes a small network of up to eight devices. For more
information on the technology, a list of the current vendor members of the SIG, or a sneak
peek at some of the future applications to be enabled by Bluetooth, check out www.bluetooth.com.
Amteva, Cisco Enter Partnership
Amteva Technologies, Inc. has announced that it has
entered into a partnership with Cisco Systems. Under a joint development and marketing
agreement, the two organizations are integrating Amtevas Unified Messaging Plus and
Ciscos remote access servers as part of Ciscos new Unified Communications
strategy. Cisco Unified Communications delivers new revenue opportunities to service
providers by consolidating voice, e-mail, and fax communications within an IP
infrastructure independent of location, time, or device.
No. 540, www.itmag.com/freeinfo
IP-Based IN Services And Platform
Lucent Technologies has announced it will offer a new
intelligent network (IN) platform that communications network operators will be able to
provide using IP networks. The services will enable users to retrieve Web-based content
with a standard telephone, manage telephone calls through a Web browser, and gain access
to IP network services regardless of callers locations or what computer or phone
they may be using. The services are enabled by Lucents new Packet Intelligent
Peripheral software platform, which will allow carriers to deliver enhanced services for
both voice and data networks.
No. 541, www.itmag.com/freeinfo
SABRE Group, IBM, Nokia
Create Interactive Service
The SABRE Group, IBM, and Nokia have announced that
they are working on a real-time, interactive service -- delivered via mobile phone
utilizing the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), a new open industry standard for mobile
Internet -- that will allow travelers to initiate flight changes and even receive updates
from airlines anywhere, anytime. The service will combine SABRE Business Travel Solutions,
the companys online corporate travel purchasing system, IBM e-business technologies,
and the latest mobile communications technology and terminals from Nokia.
No. 542, www.itmag.com/freeinfo
$11 Billion In Prepaid
Telecom Revenues By 2003
A new report from The PELORUS Group entitled Prepaid
Telecommunications Services characterizes prepaid telecom as a hotbed of opportunity.
In 1998, prepaid telecom revenues totaled $2.8 billion. Calling cards accounted for 53
percent of prepaid revenues. By 2003, they will provide less than a third of the
markets revenues. Concurrently, prepaid wireline will shift from just 4 percent of
the total to 32 percent. Prepaid wireless and prepaid Internet telephony are also ready to
redefine their parameters. From 1993 revenues of less than $300 million, the total prepaid
telecommunications market, had leapt ten-fold to nearly $3 billion by the close of 1998.
No. 543, www.itmag.com/freeinfo
APC Launches Internet
Telephony Service, Changes Name
APC Telecommunications, Inc. has introduced its new
Internet telephony service concurrent with a company name change to Innofone.com, Inc. The
companys new Internet telephony service provider (ITSP) division now delivers
state-of-the-art VoIP fax and data communications over the Internet. Innofone is working
with NetSpeak Corporation and PSINet, Inc., and is poised to provide Canadian customers
with a fully integrated worldwide Internet telephony service including phone-to-phone as
well as PC-to-phone telecommunications.
No. 544, www.itmag.com/freeinfo
GI, Telcordia Provide
Next-Gen IP Telephony Solutions
General Instrument Corporation and Telcordia
Technologies, Inc., formerly Bellcore, have announced that they intend to work together to
help customers develop and implement Next Generation Network IP telephony solutions for
cable providers. The two companies will work together to promote open, standards-based
telephony networks focused on enabling cable operators to deploy complete and
cost-effective IP telephony solutions. GI and Telcordia will create synergies that will
benefit their customers in a number of key areas including the integration of the
Telcordia call agent software with GIs communications gateway for the home.
No. 545, www.itmag.com/freeinfo
Offers LSR-FOC Service Bureau
telecom technologies, inc. has announced an industry
first: A Web-based Local Service Request-Firm Order Confirmation (LSR-FOC) service bureau,
e.Mediate, that enables ported number requests to be communicated instantly and
efficiently between providers of local phone service, including ILECs and CLECs. e.Mediate
automates the pre-port process, which reduces costs and errors of the manual system, and
the electronic LSR-FOC process between multiple carries provides robust integration
capabilities, such as EDI and CORBA interfaces.
No. 546, www.itmag.com/freeinfo
VIP Calling Announces
VIP Calling, Inc. has announced Assured Quality Routing
Version 2.0. AQR 2.0 dynamically reroutes traffic from the Internet to the PSTN as a
result of triggers from a set of tools that monitor the performance of the public Internet
on a continuous basis. AQR 2.0 enables VIP Calling to deliver toll-quality service with
public Internet-based costs. The VIP Calling Network is optimized to deliver low-latency
and packet loss, high voice quality, no echo, high call completion, and low post-dial
delay with one-stage dialing.
No. 547, www.itmag.com/freeinfo
Spyglass Secures $20
Million Agreement With Microsoft
Spyglass has announced a new strategic agreement with
Microsoft Corporation which provides Spyglass a minimum of $20 million in revenues over a
three-year period. Spyglass will license technology and provide services to Microsoft to
help accelerate the development and deployment of Windows CE-based products. Spyglass will
work directly with Microsoft to develop and integrate multiple Windows CE-based
applications for Internet device manufacturers that are developing products utilizing the
Windows CE operating system. Microsoft has licensed Spyglass technology and is exploring
ways to utilize this technology to enhance the Windows CE experience.
No. 548, www.itmag.com/freeinfo
Abatis Introduces New
Abatis Systems Corporation has introduced the Business
Services Architecture, a solution enabling carriers to offer advanced IP business services
to enterprise users in a consumer-oriented, pay-as-you-go format. In the same way that the
openness and accessibility of the Internet have created an explosion of content, the
Business Services Architecture creates unlimited potential for network-based applications
and services. This open architecture transforms service providers into value-added
distributors and retailers of a broad range of business-quality services such as
application hosting, unified messaging, multimedia conferencing, business continuity, and
No. 549, www.itmag.com/freeinfo
Collaborate For Carrier-Class Internet Fax Solution
NetCentric Corporation and Cisco Systems, Inc. have
announced an agreement to provide carriers and network service providers (NSPs) a
powerful, scalable network architecture for deploying Internet fax services. Under the
joint development and marketing agreement, the two companies have integrated
NetCentrics FaxStorm Internet fax technology and Ciscos AS5x00 universal
access servers via open Internet fax protocols. This integration allows RBOCs, carriers,
and NSPs to quickly implement an Internet fax service without adding new infrastructure by
purchasing both a software upgrade to their existing Cisco hardware and NetCentrics
No. 550, www.itmag.com/freeinfo
Announces New Virtual Operator
Registry Magic has announced Virtual Operator Version
2.0, improving the price performance of their speech recognition call routing system for
the second time in the last five months. The new version doubles the number of names that
are understood by the system, improves the speed of the recognition engine by one-third,
and adds new functionality without an increase to the system price.
No. 551, www.itmag.com/freeinfo
PixStream Incorporated, a developer of video networking
solutions, has announced the PixStream VDS2000 video networking platform. The
PixStreamVDS2000 was designed to give network service providers and enterprises the
ability to offer high-quality video distribution services to their customers. PixStream
has been shipping trial versions of VDS2000 to its customers since October 1998, and has
also been collaborating with several leading suppliers and manufacturers such as Newbridge
Networks to integrate the VDS2000 with network equipment and management software.
No. 552, www.itmag.com/freeinfo
TelePacific , Call
Sciences Introduce Personal Assistant
TelePacific Communications, a California-based CLEC,
launched the Shadow Personal Assistant at the Telecom Business 1999 Conference and
Exposition in Anaheim. Personal Assistant, available from Call Sciences, allows users to
manage all of their communications activities through a single number that integrates all
communications needs. One number replaces all other telephone and fax numbers, and manages
voice, fax, voice mail, paging, electronic mail, and Internet access.
No. 553, www.itmag.com/freeinfo
telecom technologies, inc., and TransMedia
Communications, Inc. have announced a joint development and marketing agreement to provide
integrated products that advance new IN voice services over converged Internet/packet and
telephony networks. The integrated product offering by telecom technologies and TransMedia
is targeted at both new and existing carriers that seek reduced operating expenses by
offering distributed voice/data services over an integrated PSTN/packet network.
No. 554, www.itmag.com/freeinfo
Telogy, NetSpeak Launch
Cable Modem VoIP Software Testing
Telogy Networks and NetSpeak Corporation have announced
the launch of the industrys first SGCP/MGCP call agent and signaling software
testing to facilitate the development of interoperable VoIP-enabled cable modems. The
testing, part of NetSpeaks new SGCP/MGCP interoperability testing program, will
speed the deployment of interoperable devices in VoIP-enabled cable systems. The
interoperability testing program was developed in support of the PacketCable Initiative,
sponsored by Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. NetSpeak and Telogy have developed the
two components that comprise the SGCP/MGCP protocol software which enable Internet phone
calls to be made across cable networks.
No. 555, www.itmag.com/freeinfo
Local ISP Enters
Intelligent Network Service Deployment Agreement
Internet Direct Communications, Inc. (IDC), a Midwest
ISP and Kansas City, KSs largest local provider of Internet connectivity and
communications solutions, has announced that it has signed an agreement with Vsys,
Incorporated, a leading supplier of Intelligent Network/IP integration software, for
deployment of a next-generation Intelligent Network-based IP services platform. The new
service platform will allow IDC to provide a whole suite of IP-based services to customers
throughout its service territory.
No. 556, www.itmag.com/freeinfo
Offers Customers Range of Services
Lucent Technologies new Internet call management
software suite, Online Communications Center (OCC), will enable carriers and ISPs to offer
consumers and businesses a broad range of easy-to-use options for answering and forwarding
telephone calls received while connected to the Internet. Lucents Internet Call
Waiting service enables someone using a phone line connected to the Internet to be
notified of incoming calls by a pop-up, on-screen message without disrupting the
connection. OCC adds VoIP capabilities, allowing users to remain online while answering
phone calls at their computer.
No. 557, www.itmag.com/freeinfo
Net2Phone Signs Major
Intl Distribution Agreement
IDTs Net2Phone has announced that it has signed
an agreement with MEE S.p.A, a full service multimedia company based in Italy and France,
to have Net2Phone software bundled into its CD-ROMs. Under the terms of the deal,
Net2Phone will be bundled onto CD-ROMs created by MEE S.p.A. and readily available to more
than 12 million customers throughout Europe. The CD-ROMs will be distributed through MEE
S.p.A.s existing partnerships with European computer and trade magazines, ISPs, and
No. 558, www.itmag.com/freeinfo
Announces Infranet DNA
Portal Software, Inc. has announced Infranet
Distributed Nonstop Architecture (DNA), a new technology included in the latest release of
Portals leading Internet customer management and billing software, Infranet 5.5.3.
Because Infranet DNA delivers a new level of high-availability in the customer management
and billing component of an Internet service infrastructure, providers can offer their
customers uninterrupted service access and usage in the event that the network link to
Infranet, or the main Infranet database in inaccessible.
No. 559, www.itmag.com/freeinfo
Enhanced IP Services
I-Link, Inc. has announced its Enhanced IP Services
Network has been activated in the Orlando, Fla. metro area. The majority of telephone
customers within the 407 area code now have access to V-Link and I-Links
4.9-cents-per-minute long-distance. Providing enhanced V-Link services such as unified
voice, fax, and e-mail messaging, conference calling, and one-number call routing, I-Link
offers an enhanced IP telephony network in the United States and provides enhanced
telephony services over an IP network.
No. 560, www.itmag.com/freeinfo
Time Warner to Launch
Business Telephony in Dallas
Time Warner Telecom, LLC has announced that it will
introduce cable telephony services for businesses in Dallas this summer. Time Warner
Telecom will construct a fiber optic network using leased conduit from Level 3
Communications, Inc. The companies recently entered into a 20-year agreement to provide
Time Warner Telecom access to Level 3s conduits in the Greater Dallas metropolitan
area. Medium and large business customers will be able to purchase Time Warner Telecom
dedicated transport, long distance, high-speed dedicated Internet access and switched
No. 561, www.itmag.com/freeinfo
RCN Offers Services in
RCN Corporation has announced that South San Francisco
has granted RCN its first local approval to offer services to customers in California. RCN
also announced that it has been granted a preliminary approval to build a network in
nearby San Mateo. Both cities represent attractive markets for RCN, and the company
expects to begin service to both communities by the end of this year. Internet usage in
Northern California is more than 50 percent above the national average, and home PC
ownership is 60 percent above the rest of the nation.
No. 562, www.itmag.com/freeinfo
Open Port Announces New
IP Fax Client
Open Port Technology has announced a new fax client in
its IP LaunchPad product suite that can be easily branded by a service provider to
seamlessly integrate into their overall services strategy. IP LaunchPad Fax client is
Windows-based PC software that allows users to send and receive faxes over Open
Port-enabled networks, while service providers build demand and grow traffic for their
network. While Fax Client is designed for use with IPI LaunchPad, it is compatible with
Open Ports legacy fax servers for service providers and enterprise customers.
No. 563, www.itmag.com/freeinfo
Interphase Corporation has announced that is has
launched a new subsidiary that is selling inexpensive, high quality international
telephony service. Zirca.com, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary, provides a cost-effective
portfolio of services for both retail and corporate consumers, allowing them to save more
than 40 percent of the cost of their international long-distance calling to a large number
of countries around the world. Zirca.com offers international telephony service by using
both traditional voice networks through established carriers, and by routing traffic
through its own IP-based network.
No. 564, www.itmag.com/freeinfo