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0110.1 Hot Topics
0110.2 Story of the Issue
0110.7 Optical Networking
0110.1 Hot Topics
***Iridian Releases Iris-Recognition Product
Marlton, N.J.-based Iridian Technologies, a developer of iris-recognition technology, has released its Authenticam network and information security product. Authenticam is a dual-function desktop camera that reads the unique patterns in the iris from up to 19 inches away. The product features Iridian's Private ID software, and supports a variety of authentication methods, including LAN/WAN log-on, digital document signature and e-commerce transaction authorization. Authenticam was developed with the ViCAM digital-imaging engine from San Carlos, Calif.-based Vista Imaging.
***Command Audio Teams with UK Industry for Digital Radio
Command Audio has teamed up with UK broadcaster Capital Radio and UBC Media Group in a joint venture - Command Audio-UK. The company will bring on-demand interactive audio - personal radio - through the UK's Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) network. DAB will be used to transmit on-demand audio programs, advertising and information, providing listeners with unmatched choice, control and personalization.
The deployment of DAB in the UK includes 40 digital stations available in the London area alone. This joint venture, Command Audio-UK (CA-UK), will make the most of the combined experience of its three partners by producing on-demand interactive programs and licensing other programmers and service providers to do so as well.
Listeners to Command Audio-enabled services will be able to select the programs they want to receive using an Electronic Program Guide and have full control over how and when to listen, scanning from story to story pausing, skipping, or saving programs for later listening.
@Road, a provider of location-enhanced wireless Internet solutions for mobile resource management (MRM), announced its financial results for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2000. Service revenues grew to $3 million in the fourth quarter of 2000 from $425,000 in the fourth quarter of 1999 and $2.4 million for the third quarter of 2000. Total revenues for the fourth quarter of 2000 were $4.2 million, up $3.6 million from the $583,000 reported for the same period in 1999 and up 38 percent from the $3.1 million for the third quarter 2000.
Excluding stock compensation for both periods, the net loss for the fourth quarter of 2000 was $10.6 million, or a loss of $0.25 per share, compared with a net loss of $4.3 million, or a loss of $0.15 per share, on a pro forma basis for the same period in 1999.
Including stock compensation for both periods, net loss for the fourth quarter of 2000 was $12.5 million, or a loss of $0.29 per share, compared with a net loss of $8.3 million, or a loss of $0.30 per share, on a pro forma basis for the same period in 1999.
For the year ended Dec. 31, 2000, total revenues increased to $10.6 million from $906,000 for the same period a year ago. Service revenues grew to $7.9 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2000 from $612,000 for the same period a year earlier.
Excluding stock compensation for both years, net loss for 2000 was $37.2 million, or a loss of $1.07 per share, on a pro forma basis, compared with a net loss of $8.5 million, or a loss of $0.37 per share, on a pro forma basis for 1999.
Including stock compensation for both years, net loss for 2000 was $48.8 million, or a loss of $1.41 per share, on a pro forma basis, compared with a net loss of $13.5 million, or a loss of $0.59 per share, on a pro forma basis for 1999.
The company's balance sheet at Dec. 31, 2000 includes $76.6 million of cash and short-term investments. Total assets as of Dec. 31, 2000 were $111.4 million.
@Road leverages its LocationSmart wireless Internet technology to offer mobile intelligence services for businesses and consumers on the move. The company has released an Internet-based Mobile Resource Management (MRM) solution and built an open platform Application Program Interface (API) to address mobile commerce industry partners interested in using the @Road patented technology.
@Road’s marketing partners include AT&T Wireless, Ameritech Cellular, Verizon, GTE Wireless.
Residential Gateway European Forum
February 27-28th Nice, France
Examination of the Residential systems gateway field work
Insights into strategic utilities, mobile, fixed and cable TV operators
Likely user adoption scenarios
How silicon valley can help achieve a common standard for home networks
0110.2 Story of the Issue
***Pennsylvania Legislators Criticize Plan to Split Verizon
According to the Patriot-News, members of the state House Appropriations Committee criticized the Public Utility Commission for its plan to structurally separate Verizon Communications into wholesale and retail operations as a means of ensuring that local telephone competition can thrive.
More than 50 Verizon employees wearing red shirts and carrying signs protesting structural separation crowded the hearing room during the 2 1/2-hour session on the PUC's proposed budget. Rep. William F. Adolph, R-Springfield, said he had received many phone calls from Verizon employees in his district in the past two weeks. Their presence drove home the point, first made at a Capitol rally, that they want the Legislature to stop the PUC from implementing a breakup of the phone company in Pennsylvania.
Verizon spokesman Harry Mitchell said employees who are not Communications Workers of America officials were given paid time off and "not discouraged" from attending. Some of the legislators, including LaGrotta, appeared to believe that structural separation had been thought up by PUC Administrative Law Judge Wayne L. Weismandel, who issued a recommendation last month at the conclusion of a months-long proceeding that the commission proceed with a split-up of Verizon.
PUC member Nora Mead Brownell described the history of the idea so legislators would better understand where it came from - PUC officials and state Sen. Vincent J. Fumo, D-Philadelphia. Almost all the legislators at the hearing voiced opposition to structural separation. None spoke in favor. Verizon told stock-market analysts in New York last week that it had turned the corner on defeating structural separation in Pennsylvania.
Structural separation was part of the PUC's order on local telephone competition issued in August 1999. The idea was first proposed by Christopher Craig, a lawyer for Fumo, then a party to the case, and was embraced by PUC Chairman John M. Quain and then-Commissioner David W. Rolka.
Rolka, in particular, saw it as a means for the commission to cheaply and effectively monitor whether Verizon was illegally favoring its retail operations or actively discriminating against competitors who tried to exercise their legal right to use the network.
The commissioners on Thursday were subdued in their defense of structural separation, reportedly on the advice of their general counsel. PUC members have the status of judges and, like judges, are not supposed to publicly discuss pending cases in any way that would reveal their feelings. But the legislators treated them as any other bureaucrats and pressed them to rule against structural separation when the case came before them.
Brownell sharply disputed the contention, advanced by several legislators, that local telephone competition is thriving in Pennsylvania. She said the number of companies registered to provide service should not be confused with actual market share, and that Verizon continues to control more than 90 percent of the market.
She and Commissioner Terrance Fitzpatrick said repeatedly that full structural separation is not a done deal, and that all options would be considered. Commissioner Aaron Wilson Jr. said he would not do anything to hurt jobs.
Rep. Edward G. Staback, D-Archbald, said he worried that Verizon would move a retail entity out of Pennsylvania. He said after the hearing that no one at Verizon had suggested that or even hinted at it, but that it was just something on his mind.
This is a prime example that communications is not just a service, nor an infrastructure, nor voice, nor technology but it is about politics. The RBOCs have a long way to go to learn how to be competitive.
***SS8 Networks Selected as IP Telephony Signaling Solution Vendor in Level 3's (3)Works Network
SS8 Networks, a developer of Internet telephony signaling and services solutions, announced that its carrier-class IP signaling product, the SS8 SignalingSwitch, has been selected by Level 3 Communications for its (3)Works network. The (3)Works network is a next-generation IP telephony network built to provide an open interoperability testing environment for next-generation intelligent network services.
The SS8 SignalingSwitch, just recently released for general availability, is an IP Signaling Transfer Point (IP-STP) that provides end-to-end signaling switching and routing for voice communications on IP networks. It is an open, standards-based product that enables carriers to build global IP telephony networks with high performance, scale and reliability. Combining high-density SIP Proxy, SIP Redirect and SIP Registrar functionality with H.323 Gatekeeper features, the SS8 SignalingSwitch enables seamless communications in multi-protocol networks. In addition, the SS8 SignalingSwitch IP Telephony Routing Engine (ITRE) enables carriers to build robust policy-based traffic management systems with minimum configuration and management requirements.
The SS8 SignalingSwitch is part of the SS8 open services architecture, which provides next-generation IP signaling and intelligent network services solutions that combine the flexibility of the Internet with the scale and reliability of the PSTN. The SS8 platform assures real-time, end-to-end call management through an intelligent switching system that can distinguish various services and signaling protocols including SS7, SIP and H.323. The open services architecture also provides a suite of Intelligent Network services, as well as applications such as One Number Services, Unified Communications, Voice VPN, IP Call Center, Conferencing and fixed-mobile integration.
***Elumens Corporation Launces SPI-API
Elumens Corporation has launched a developers' tool that will enable OpenGL application developers to generate interactive real-time 3D content for the Elumens' VisionStation and VisionDome Series of products. This API, known as the SPI-API (Spherical Projection of Images) is a free download from the Elumens website and is currently available for Windows NT, Windows 98, Windows 2000 and IRIX for SGI, soon to be followed by other platforms. The same methodology is also under development for DirectX applications.
Now all 3D developers will be able to take small flat images and dynamically project into a 180-degree field of view. Developers have the opportunity to use SPI. SPI is the Spherical Projection of Images, a two-phase image-based methodology for the display of 3D data on a curved surface. This methodology uses multiple renderings of the data from different viewing directions and, in turn, applies these renderings as textures to specially projected geometry, yielding spherically corrected images, very similar to the method of creating an environment map.
SPI also offers the end user the ability to use an off-the-shelf PC, and yet achieve the same performance as that of a $250,000 machine in 1996. As graphics cards continue to evolve and improve, there are associated performance improvements in SPI methodology-based spherical projections. In other words, Elumens' SPI technology automatically scales itself as graphics cards continue to evolve. Therefore, the end user has the benefit of performance at a considerably lower cost over time.
***Fakespace Completes $4.2 Million Private Placement
Fakespace Systems has announced that it has completed a private funding placement of US $4.2 million. The company, a provider of immersive visualization systems, will use the proceeds to support growth in international markets and expanded research and development programs.
The private placement was structured in the form of preferred shares and term debt at a post-money equity valuation of US $22.0 million. Electrohome Limited and the Bank of Montreal Capital Corporation both participated as existing shareholders. The Business Development Bank of Canada and Southbridge Group participated as new shareholders. Together with concurrent purchase of common shares from certain minority shareholders, Electrohome now holds a 67 percent equity interest in Fakespace Systems, increased from a 64 percent interest prior to the transaction.
***North American DSL Market Nears 3 Million Lines at Year End 2000
DSL lines in service in North America totaled 2,861,045 at the end of fourth quarter 2000, according to statistics published by TeleChoice. The U.S. had 2,429,189 DSL lines in service at quarter's end. U.S. ILECs account for 78% of the total, followed by CLECs with 21% and IXCs with about 1%. The IXC deployment figures include only facilities-based deployments and not resold DSL lines. They also do not include Sprint, which counts as an ILEC because for now most of its lines are sold through its local service subsidiaries.
For the U.S. market this represents over a 700,000 subscriber increase from the end of third quarter 2000. Led by SBC's 251,000 new subscribers and growth by Verizon and BellSouth, the ILECs increased their base by 46%. Despite some well-publicized woes, the CLECs still increased their installed base by 25%, resulting in an overall U.S. market increase of 41% for the quarter.
Canada had 431,856 DSL lines in service. The installed base grew by over 150,000 subscribers, increasing 50% over the end of the third quarter.
The deployment figures are based on individual company provided information. The study does not reflect HDSL or HDSL2. The complete set of statistics is available from TeleChoice's xDSL Web site.
***Beta 1, Opera 5.0 for EPOC Launched
Opera Software has released a beta of Opera 5.0 for EPOC. EPOC is the standard industry technology for the next generation of mobile communication and computing products. The platform is promoted and marketed by Symbian, a joint venture established in partnership with Psion, Ericsson, Nokia, Motorola and Matsushita (Panasonic).
Opera signed an agreement with Psion PLC last year, making Opera the default browser on the their Revo Plus and NetBook devices.
***Starwood and Classwave Partner to Provide Hotel Guests with Bluetooth Wireless Services
Classwave Wireless and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, have announced a strategic relationship to develop and deploy software applications for the travel industry using Bluetooth technology. Starwood will utilize Classwave's Polyphony Server and Professional Services Group to deliver mobile data and voice services to its hotel guests and employees.
Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchiser of hotels and resorts including the St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton and W brands. Classwave Wireless is a provider of Bluetooth Network Infrastructure (BTNI) solutions that "intelligently" manage and route personalized information to and from mobile Bluetooth devices. The two companies expect to commence user trials, enabled by Classwave's Polyphony Server, in the summer of 2001.
Bluetooth wireless technology makes it possible to connect any portable and stationary communications device without a cable or line of sight. Hardware vendors are starting to ship a range of mobile Bluetooth-enabled devices, from mobile phones to laptops. Vendors are also beginning to ship a category of device called a Bluetooth Access Point, which enables users of Bluetooth devices to gain access to a local intranet, as well as Internet-based content.
Classwave's Polyphony Server provides the intelligence for Bluetooth networks by managing the devices, media format and content delivery through the network access points and other wireless communication channels, including cellular networks. The Polyphony Server routes personalized, location-sensitive content to and through mobile devices, access points and other Bluetooth-enabled devices.
Utilizing the Polyphony Server's network management tools, dynamic directory services, session management, multi-level security and device rendering capabilities, an enterprise with a network of access points and mobile users can access the Internet and intranet, create ad hoc personal mobile networks and conduct m-commerce.
Classwave Wireless has announced that it has signed a strategic agreement with Axis Communications of Lund, Sweden, a provider of technology for wireless mobile communications, to acquire Bluetooth network access points and develop integrated solutions for the Personal Mobile Network market.
0110.7 Optical Networking
***Optical Equipment to Reach $40 Billion
Research from Frost & Sullivan’s Next-Generation Optical Networking System Markets, reveals the optical-equipment segment of the worldwide optical market generated $9.2 billion in revenues in 2000 and is projected to jump to nearly $40 billion by 2005. The metropolitan-equipment area, a market that earned $200 million in 1999, is expected to approach $13 billion by 2005.
Frost & Sullivan forecasts huge growth in the optical-networking market that will prevail, despite concerns about a slowdown in capital equipment spending. Service providers are fueling the market by replacing their obsolete designs with next-generation optical equipment, a necessary step to meet bandwidth demand and remain competitive, the company reported.
***Using Corvis equipment, Williams achieves 6,400-km Transmission Without Regeneration
Corvis and Williams Communications Group have announced that Corvis technology, which eliminates optical-to-electrical-to-optical conversions in the network, will allow Williams Communications to deliver optical services on a nationwide basis. Williams Communications achieved a 6,400-km transmission without electrical regeneration along a portion of the Williams Multi-Service Broadband Network. The distance of this transmission is greater than the distance from Boston to San Diego.
Williams has the largest fiber-optic network in the United States with 33,000 route miles connecting 125 cities. Under the expanded $300 million, multi-year agreement with Corvis, the Williams Multi-Service Broadband Network will use Corvis' all-optical capabilities to deliver optical services such as optical virtual private networks, wavelength leasing, and wavelength protection and restoration.
***Aura Networks – COMNET 2001
The WAVE Report had the opportunity to speak with Aura Networks, a privately held optical networking company at COMNET about their Radiance Optical Ethernet System. The company offers several systems including the NetBeacon Element and Service Provisioning Management System, an R5000 Central Service Platform and an R1000 Premises Service Platform. Specifics of the platforms below:
A Java-based GUI element and provisioning management software that enables remote loop-backs and dynamic bandwidth provisioning. This piece of the solution provides real-time collection of statistics to enable QoL and facilitate remote troubleshooting with database capabilities including trending, inventory and billing. It also allows the provider to allocate bandwidth remotely in 1Mbps increments.
Provides optical Ethernet connectivity to customer premise and a management interface to NetBeacon and WebBeacon. The R5000 provides flexible media options including 100Mbps/1Gbps Ethernet, singlemode/multimode fiber and data link resiliency. It comes as a 2U 19-inch rack mountable chassis, which meets the carrier depth requirement, provides NEBS Level III and has dual AC or DC power options. The management slot supports NetBeacon, WebBeacon, CU, Telnet and HP OpenView management. It contains 16 connectivity slots.
A manageable edge access device to the service provider. Adds a clearly defined demarcation point.
All systems are available now. The NetBeacon ESPM with Windows is $299, with Unix capabilities is $909. The R5000, with 17 slot x 19” chassis is $3,499. R1000 with 2 slot x 19” chassis is $1,129.
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