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January 2007
Volume 10 / Number 1


IP Makes a Difference with Siemens OpenStage
By Erik K Linask

Siemens (quote - news - alert) has announced its OpenStage line of IP handsets, which have been designed based on a theory that IP phones should be more than extensions of a TDM network, that they should have a fundamental impact on your life. With four different models ranging from basic to advanced, the SIP-based OpenStage series combines a revolutionary, stylish design with ease-of-use with and next generation functionality, including integration with converged wireless and wireline communications solutions, as well as new conferencing and presence features.

OpenStage phones include most of the features available on mobile devices today, which is what research showed Siemens users desire. They include a touch sensitive wheel, called TouchGuide — similar to the Click Wheel found on iPods — a TouchSlider for volume control, touch sensitive preset and programmable keys for quick access to favorite applications and features, hands-free voice-activated dialing, high-quality speaker phone that has been specially designed for conference calls, builtin Bluetooth and WLAN support, and USB connectivity for transferring data to and from mobile devices.

In keeping with its name, the OpenStage line is built on an open application platform, which provides developers the opportunity to create a wide range of value-added and customer- or user-specific applications, further increasing the value of the most frequently used office device — applications for PCs or mobile devices can also be run on the OpenStage phones, or the phones can make use of hosted local and external Web-based application.


Nokia Focuses on Enterprise Mobility
By Stefania Viscusi

As more and more solutions and devices are introduced to support a workforce that is no longer tied to the desk or to one central location, Nokia (quote - news - alert) is just one of the companies marking their ground in the growing enterprise mobility market. At a recent investor conference, the company placed specific focus on the future of enterprise mobility and the services and support needed to push it further.

To make strides to the next phase of enterprise mobility, one that includes a “move from opportunistic point solution purchasing to move strategic mobile deployments,” Nokia pointed to four necessary building blocks:

  • A multi-channel distribution ecosystem
  • Open and extensible mobileware
  • Reduced economic barriers
  • Uncompromised devices As enterprise mobility grows, solutions that include these building blocks and that allow enterprises to be more productive will succeed.


DIY VoIP from Covad and TalkSwitch By Erik Linask
By Erik Linask

Communications service provider Covad Communications (news - alert) and telephone systems developer TalkSwitch (news - alert) have launched a campaign that will enable small businesses to easily experience the benefits of VoIP. Combining the service expertise of Covad and the hardware knowledge of TalkSwitch, small businesses now have available a “Do It Yourself” broadband communications solution they can install themselves, that also provides the reliability, features, and support they require.

Covad’s contribution to the bundle is its ClearEdge Integrated Access solution, which combines the proven reliability of Covad’s managed network with advanced voice-optimized technology and features that enable small businesses to maximize their communications potential. Covad’s small business solutions include a portfolio of cost effective analog and digital premises-based solutions — though it also features hosted solutions as well.

The package also includes TalkSwitch’s 480vs phone system, a self-installable replacement for its 48ca PBX system. Like the 48ca, the 480vs can handle four incoming lines and eight local extensions, which can be either analog or IP. The system is also designed to be able to easily scale to 32 users per location, which means small businesses are assured their Covad/TalkSwitch solution can grow as they do, and they won’t have to worry about replacing their phone system simply because business has been good.


Inter-Tel Presents Presence in Latest Release
By Erik Linask

Inter-Tel (news - alert) announced its Unified Communicator version 4.0 software. In addition to the functionality offered by earlier versions, including speech recognition technology and access via a large selection of endpoints, this release incorporates presence features, further unifying customers’ communications systems.

With version 4.0, Inter-Tel increases the value of its serverbased communications software with a robust presence management and collaboration tool, with which users are able to display their availability status other users. The new features also include the ability to prioritize incoming calls, including where and when they ring. Version 4.0 goes step further, combining the presencebased features with Web-based collaboration elements, creating a single converged and unified communications solution.

Integration with Inter-Tel’s Web Conferencing 4.5 adds valuable conferencing and collaboration functions to the presence management capabilities of Unified Communicator. Customers also have the option of adding Remote Support 4.5, which adds remote support capabilities to the interface. With the new presence and collaboration features, the optional remote management capabilities, a redesigned Web client interface, and simplified installation, Unified Communicator offers users various presence and voice mail options that allow them to be more productive than ever before.


Service Provider

Voxbone Joins Voice Peering Fabric
By Cindy Waxer

Only a month after launching its offering of toll free numbers around the world, Voxbone, (news - alert) a provider of international VoIP origination services to carriers, ITSPs, calling card operators, call centers, and other businesses, has joined Stealth Communications’ Voice Peering Fabric. The partnership will allow Voxbone to exchange voice traffic directly with other VoIP providers. In turn, Voxbone’s participation in the VPF will enable any of its members to gain access to international markets quickly and securely.

As a VPF member, Voxbone can now interconnect with carriers and enterprise to buy, sell, and peer DID/termination services across a private network. Additionally, through the use of the VPF ENUM Registry, Voxbone can now send and receive calls with VPF members directly, completely bypassing the public telephone network and the public Internet.

VPF is designed as a private voice Internet and functions as an exchange or meet-point for its members to establish peer-to-peer connections in a secure, quality-of-service environment. At current levels, traffic on the VPF is expected to surpass 100 billion minutes, up from 18 billion minutes in 2005.


Polycom Announces IMS Strategy
By Johanne Torres

Polycom (news - alert) announced it will provide support for the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) architecture and standards and plans to enable service providers to deliver conferencing and collaboration services to enterprises, small businesses, and consumers via a set of IMS architected products that it will offer during the first half of 2007. Polycom’s IMS architected products will comprise a conferencing and collaboration optimized application server, an application development environment, an optimized conferencing media server, and multiple voice, video, and unified collaboration applications based also on SIP.

“With the proliferation of desktop video and multimedia enabled 3G devices, Polycom believes that the next generation of conferencing and collaboration services will be vastly different from yesterday’s prescheduled and attended audio and video conferencing,” said Polycom’s senior vice president and general manager of network systems Joe.

“Our IMS strategy is designed to assist our current service provider customers and an entirely new generation of service providers to rapidly design and deploy new applications that bring value to large enterprises, small businesses and consumers. Our approach ensures that service providers can migrate to next- generation applications and infrastructures affordably and intelligently, without extensive modification or forklift upgrades,” he added.


Intrado Supports Standard for IP Based Data to 9-1-1 Network
By Stefania Viscusi

Provider of integrated data and telecommunications solutions and VoIP E9-1-1 services Intrado (news - alert) announced its support for a new next generation 9-1-1 standard. The new standard, the Emergency Information Service Interface (EISI) standard, defines the way in which native 9-1- 1 networks will deliver new IP-based content and services.

Currently, the standard, which has also been standardized by the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) Emergency Services Interconnection Forum, is available as an American National Standard for trial use. With the standard, new advanced collaboration services and information is made available for Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) from a number of standard network service providers.

With the new standard, increased interoperability and efficiency is possible by eliminating the need to develop different solutions for the requirements of each specific 9-1-1-technology provider or communications center. Also with the new standard, which can be combined with ESMI, an already approved standard on how equipment will receive IP information, PSAPs and other endpoints are given better management and access to new information in emergencies. Technical reporting on the framework and structure is also available.


Answer, Answer, Wherever You Are
By Erik Linask

The benefits of having a single number to be reached at, regardless of where you are, along with the many added features enabled by IP Communications, are why so many companies are now throwing their hats into the unified communications ring. GrandCentral Communications (news - alert) is one such phone service company. What separates GrandCentral from some of the other providers is it is enticing customers to try out its services by offering not only a free plan, but a free plan that includes unlimited inbound calling.

With GrandCentral’s free basic plan, users can roll three different telephony devices into a single number — the $9.99 monthly Premium plan allows up to six devices. With either plan, customers choose a local GrandCentral phone number that will ring on each of the defined devices (i.e., mobile, work, home), and will also enable access to voicemail via phone, email, or Web, providing unmatched control over call handling features via a simple Web-based interface.

“We’ve always planned to provide a free level of service to our customers and are happy to announce that there will be no artificial limits on the amount of calls received through a free GrandCentral account,” said Craig Walker, CEO of GrandCentral.



Kineto and Extricom Achieve Industry First for Enterprise UMA Solution

Kineto Wireless (news - alert) and Extricom (news - alert) announced their completed interoperability testing between Kineto’s UMA solution and Extricom’s enterprise wireless LAN infrastructure. Through this testing effort, the companies demonstrated how mobile operators can extend their UMA service offerings into the enterprise and commercial hot-zone markets.

The testing validated seamless handover and continuity of active UMA voice calls and data sessions between WiFi access points in an enterprise wireless LAN environment. Seamless mobility across access points truly unlocks the value of mobile/WiFi convergence for all enterprises, enabling superior inoffice coverage, single-number convenience, and overall cost efficiencies that cannot be achieved with today’s fragmented network situation. Thanks to Extricom’s WiFi infrastructure, UMA-based sessions can transparently move between access point radios, without any interruption in service, while WiFi-level security is maintained as well as the IPSec tunnel used to secure UMA services. The tests were conducted with multiple commercially available UMA-enabled handsets, clearly illustrating the handset agnostic benefits of the system.


DECT Forum Intros New Cordless VoIP Technology
By Mae Kowalke

DECT Forum, (news - alert) an international association representing the digital enhanced cordless telecommunications (DECT) industry, announced a new technology for broadband home connectivity. The technology, CAT-iq (short for “Cordless Advanced Technology — Internet and Quality”), is designed to bring together broadband Internet and telephony — FMC.

CAT-iq is both a standard that defines protocols necessary to deliver Internet/telephony integration, and a set of specifications regarding form factors and designs. DECT Forum said that the first CAT-iq products should be available by mid-2007.

In its announcement about CAT-iq, DECT Forum said that the new technology delivers several key advantages:

  • Superior voice quality — By connecting telephony applications to broadband networks, CAT-iq delivers significant improvements to voice quality. The technology also supports wireless music and audio applications.
  • Innovative features — CAT-iq is designed to connect cordless phones and other portable devices with emerging IMS networks. This functionality means the technology enables users to access yellow pages and public phone books, as well as providing universal interfaces for Internet and IMS applications and compatibility with Web 2.0 apps.
  • Home gateways — A CAT-iq certification program will help ensure that home gateway manufacturers using the new technology deliver standards-based, interoperable products.
  • Based on the DECT standard — CAT-iq is based on the proven DECT standard, and thus delivers guaranteed quality of service using an exclusive frequency band.


Beyond WiFi
By Erik K Linask

Because traditional WiFi equipment is not ideal for outdoor mobile environments — which are becoming increasingly more common — Cohda Wireless has built an enabling technology designed as an adjunct to existing wireless technologies to extend their range.

Cohda (news - alert) offers the ability to extend the range of all wireless devices without actually being in the handset — instead, Cohda’s NLOS (non-line of sight) technology is put into the base stations and access points, thus filling in black spots and delivering connectivity where it previously did not exist — and greater coverage with fewer nodes.

Cohda’s patent pending, zero-latency OFDM receiver architecture and algorithms are interoperable with IEEE standards and are designed to resist the detrimental effects of outdoor mobile deployments. Testing s shown an average increase of 7 to 12 dB in sensitivity of Cohda-enhanved equipment, including the ability to maintain NLOS at speeds of up to 200 mph — these tests effectively double the range of standard wireless equipment.


VoIP Developer

Sangoma Ships Latest Analog Card for Connecting VoIP to PSTN
By Cindy Waxer

Despite the leaps and bounds being made by VoIP, it still requires access to existing PSTN networks. Many of these connections are analog FXO or FXS — a prime reason for Sangoma Technologies Corporation (news - alert) to ship its A400 Series, the high density version of the A200 series analog cards. Identical in operation and configuration and using the same FXO and FXS modules, the A400 system supports 12 ports per main board and REMORA, as compared to four ports for the A200.

Like all the Sangoma AFT Series, the A400 and REMORA system has field upgradeable firmware to take advantage of enhancements as they become available. Optionally, the A400 supports Sangoma’s echo cancellation and voice enhancement DSP daughterboard for carrier grade echo cancellation and voice enhancement.

The A400 consists of an A400 REMORA daughterboard mounted on the AFT PCI /PCI Express. Each A400 REMORA card can support up to 12 FXO or FXS connections. Up to three additional A400 REMORA daughterboards can be mounted in empty slot positions beside the A400 assembly, connected to the A400 by a backplane bus connector.


Broadcom Adds Gigabit Ethernet WiFi Processor Its Intensi-fi Family

Broadcom Corporation (news - alert) announced a new WiFi Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) processor that extends its Intensi-fi family of draft-802.11n solutions that allows the theoretical maximum wireless 802.11n performance, nearly 8 times that of 802.11g.

The BCM4705 processor combines a powerful 300 MHz/500 DMIPS MIPS32 core and Gigabit Ethernet controller to provide high-speed routing and bridging capabilities. When implemented with Broadcom’s Intensi-fi radio and media access controller/baseband chips, the BCM4705 processor can substantially enhance the throughput of devices connected to a Gigabit network — providing greater than 160 Mb/s of TCP/IP throughput for wireless clients while also offering Gigabit Ethernet speeds for wired clients.

Broadcom’s flexible draft-802.11n processor platform provides several configuration and connectivity options that enable manufacturers to balance performance and cost in developing router/gateway products. The dual-band BCM4705 processor supports 2.4 and/or 5 GHz radios and accommodates 2X2, 3X3 and 4×4 antenna configurations, enabling single band, dual band, or simultaneous dual band WiFi routers. The chip also integrates USB 2.0 host/device interfaces, enabling dynamic end products that allow end users to add several application specific peripherals such as printers, network attached storage, and digital cameras, to the WiFi or wired network.


Carlo Gavazzi Computing Offers New XP-9E

Carlo Gavazzi Computing Solutions, (news - alert) an innovator in electronic packaging and system expansion solutions, announced its XP-9E PCI expansion system to support applications requiring PCI cards. The XP-9E is a 4U rackmount enclosure that accommodates eight full-length, full-height PCI cards and integrates seamlessly into the PCI Express bus of new application servers that do not provide support for full-size or low profile PCI cards.

The XP-9E expansion system allows end users deploying PCIbased applications to adopt advanced application servers based on their needs, rather than on the number of available PCI slots. This expansion solution dramatically reduces the cost of replacing an entire server for slot incompatibility while also protecting users’ server choice.

The XP-9E provides 8 full size PCI 2.3-compliant slots and one PCIe x4 slot to support the applications PCI and PCI Express cards. Connectivity to the application server is provided through one, 2 meter PCIe x4 serial cable that connects to a low profile PCIe adapter that installs in the application server. Access to the PCI cards in the XP-9E is completely transparent to the application running on the server making the XP-8E a completely seamless solution for supporting PCI card applications on a PCI Express application server.


Agere Systems Introduces TrueFIRE 1394B Host

Agere Systems (news - alert) has announced a chip aimed at igniting a new wave of PC and embedded system design creativity, as well as much faster, more feature-rich PC and embedded system connectivity — the FW643 chip is also only one quarter the size of a U.S. dime.

A centerpiece of Agere’s TrueFIRE portfolio of products, the chip combines PCI Express bus and 1394B functions. Agere believes it is the first company to make available a single chip integrating these two connectivity interfaces. 1394B transports data, audio, and video between computer and consumer electronics equipment at up to 800 Megabits per second (Mb/s) — twice as fast as current 1394A 400 Mb/s technology.

The chip’s unprecedented integration makes it possible for PC makers to lower silicon and system costs. The integration also gives these makers flexibility to design more varied sizes and shapes because they only need one chip instead of two, and because they use the much thinner PCI Express bus. Higher integration also improves overall power management and reduces the distance to route data, audio and video through PC systems.



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