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Discretix, a provider of embedded security and DRM (Digital Rights Management) solutions, and castLabs, a mobile broadcasting technologies and services company, have announced a technology partnership with mobile broadcasting technologies. The partnership brings together two prominent technologies of the fast-growing mobile TV segment-Discretix' Multi-Scheme MobileTV Security Client and castLabs' OMA BCAST Service Delivery Platform-creating a robust, quickly-implemented client/server mobile TV solution built upon OMA BCAST standards.

castLabs' carrier-grade OMA BCAST Service Delivery Platform is a comprehensive head-end product for use by mobile TV operators.  The server-side platform includes key features such as Electronic Service Guide (ESG) management, offer management and Conditional Access (CA); it also supports convergent TV services using Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Service (MBMS), 3G streaming and IPTV.

Like castLabs' platform, Discretix' Multi-Scheme MobileTV Security Client supports OMA BCAST DRM Profile, Smart Card Profile and DVB-H IPDC 18Crypt.  The Discretix client secures the distribution and consumption of mobile TV broadcasts over a wide range of mobile devices, all with complete user transparency and no degradation in broadcast performance or playback time.

"The combination of castLabs' and Discretix' products removes implementation risk and reduces time-to-market for handset OEMs and service providers," said Edo Ganot, Executive Vice President of Sales and Business Development for Discretix. 

"This strategic partnership enables mobile network operators to deploy a ready-made solution with broadest possible device support, highest levels of flexibility and assured performance", said Michael Stattmann, Managing Director of castLabs. "Discretix´ Multi-scheme clients and castLabs´ Service Delivery Platforms are setting the standard for Mobile TV security and DRM in the international market of today."

On2 Technologies, a specialist in video compression solutions, has announced the launch of its latest video compression format, On2 VP8. This eighth generation of On2 video is claimed to be the perfect solution for web TV, IPTV and video conferencing companies looking to differentiate their product and service offerings by delivering higher quality video using less data and requiring less system resource for playback.

Downloading and streaming HD movies and TV shows has become commonplace, and with affordable HD web cams, we will see rapid growth in high-resolution user-generated content as well as the wide-scale adoption of high quality video communication solutions .

Even with faster transport technologies on the way, the cost and availability of bandwidth will remain a stubborn obstacle to containing costs as video services use more bandwidth than any other IP application. According to a recent white paper published by Cisco, annual IP traffic will exceed half a zettabyte by 2012, with video accounting for close to 90% of all consumer traffic. Internet video alone is expected to generate 10 exabytes of data per month in 2012.

"Next generation video must transcend platforms while remaining fast and affordable," said Eero Kaikkonen, Chief Marketing Officer at On2. "We design On2 video formats to achieve those goals. On2 VP8 achieves significant improvements over leading standards-based implementations and is less compute-intensive to encode and play back. Furthermore, we have used our years of experience developing embedded video IP to ensure the design is entirely suited for optimization to current and future desktop and mobile processor cores."

On2 VP8 is claimed to surpass the compression efficiency and performance of every other video format on the market by employing over 40 technical innovations, among them:

  • Advanced prediction through constructed reference frames
    Macroblock row level threading
    Improved small area referential encoding
    Advanced contextual entropy coding without the added complexity of
    bit level adaptability
    Sparse targeted adaptive loop filtering

"With On2 VP8, we set out to increase compression performance over On2 VP7 and leading H.264 implementations by 20% while reducing playback complexity by 40%," said Paul Wilkins, Chief Technology Officer at On2. "In the end we exceeded these goals and even back-ported some of what we learned to our On2 VP6 for Adobe Flash encoders."

On2 VP8 bitstream requires fewer processing cycles to decode, so users do not need to have the latest and greatest PC or mobile device to enjoy On2 VP8 video quality.

"Through our relationship with On2 over the years, Move Networks has enabled viewers to realize the highest quality Internet television experience possible.  We look forward to On2's continued innovations," said John Edwards, CEO of Move Networks.

Multicore processing is one of the most significant developments in computer technology. On2 VP8 is designed to take full advantage of multi-core systems and can efficiently use up to 64 processor cores simultaneously.

"As new multi core processors come to market, On2 Video will be able to make maximum use of the additional computing power available, " said Wilkins "Our innovative encoder can seamlessly use additional cores to either increase compression speed or to improve compression quality in real-time applications."

On2 has worked closely with ARM to ensure suitability for porting to current and future ARM single and multi-core processors in mobile devices.

"We have been working with On2 to ensure that their compression schemes work as optimally as possible with our NEON 64/128-bit SIMD technology which enables high definition video in software. NEON technology is a key feature in our current Cortex-A8 and Cortex-A9 MPCore processors and will be included in all future ARM application processors," said Laurence Bryant Mobile Segment Marketing Manager, ARM "The high compression performance of this latest generation of On2 Video suggests that it will be ideal for wireless internet applications where available data bandwidth is a premium, and complements our recent work with Adobe on the Open Screen Project to drive consistent internet experiences across multiple screens, including TVs, PCs, mobile devices and consumer electronics."

"JavaFX enables content authors and developers to quickly and easily deliver high-impact, rich internet applications across mobile phones, desktops, TVs and other consumer devices," said Param Singh, senior director of JavaFX marketing at Sun Microsystems."JavaFX leverages the best capabilities of the existing Java platform along with new immersive media capabilities and we are pleased to be working with On2, a world leader in video compression technology. The combination of On2 video and JavaFX will provide the high-fidelity video capabilities to supercharge the consumer experience across the billions of devices around the world that are powered by Java technology."

Company Remains Committed to Existing Formats

On2's VP6 format became the de facto standard for web video following its integration in Adobe Flash Player in 2005. On2 expects VP8 to complement its existing formats and, in particular, is fully committed to continuing the development of VP6 to further improve encoding and playback performance.

"We are serving different needs with On2 VP6 and VP8," said Kaikkonen. "On2 VP6 offers distinct advantages for web video as the Adobe Flash Player is installed on nearly every desktop in the world. It offers comparable quality to H.264 with the added value of supporting cue points and alpha channel masking, allowing developers to quickly and easily create more interactive and complete web video experiences with minimal investment.  On2 VP8 will be our flagship format and enable companies developing client-side playback capability to deliver a supreme video-over-IP solution."

On2 video is proprietary to On2 Technologies and is available with patent-pool free licensing.

castLabs, a mobile broadcasting technologies and services company, today announced that it is the first ever provider of an OMA BCAST platform which supports all currently available DVB-H enabled mobile phones. It is the first platform which has been successfully tested with all marketed DVB-H handsets. The platform is based on the open OMA BCAST (Open Mobile Alliance Mobile Broadcast Services Enabler Suite) standard, but is also compatible with IP Datacasting (IPDC) and all other proprietary standards used by current mobile phones.

castLabs´ mobile TV service delivery platform enables network operators to provide customers with a broad range of interactive mobile TV and IPTV services with multivendor capabilities.

The platform has already been deployed as a central headend component of the nationwide DVB-H broadcasting network in Austria for MEDIA BROADCAST, which has supplied all EURO 2008 venues and enabled the majority of the Austrian population to receive fifteen domestic and international TV programs and five Austrian radio programs in digital quality on mobile devices.

Mobile TV applications hold great promise as the next blockbuster application for the wireless industry; however with different broadcasting standards used around the world, a technology able to support all available devices is a major cornerstone towards commercial success in mobile TV. According to industry forecasts, approximately 462 million people will view mobile TV by 2012 worldwide.

 "We are proud to be the world's first provider of an OMA BCAST solution which supports all available DVB-H handsets regardless of vendor-specific properties," commented Michael Stattmann, Managing Director of castLabs.

Ericsson and Dutch mobile network operator KPN have signed a contract for hosted mobile advertising, marking Ericsson's first contract for hosted mobile advertising.  

Under the agreement, Ericsson will provide KPN with an innovative and flexible end-to-end business solution for managing and delivering targeted advertisements to be displayed on mobile phones and other devices.   The hosted service enables KPN to deliver targeted advertisements based on consumer preferences to individual network users via mobile internet pages and various messaging services. The advertisements can be targeted based on each user's personal preferences. Advertising agencies can create and maintain advertisement campaigns through reporting tools.  

KPN has piloted mobile advertising services with major advertisers and is currently testing them further. The company is committed to working out opt-in programs for customers in accordance with legal requirements, and is researching appropriate incentive programs. In May 2008 KPN commercially launched the first mobile advertising services.  

Patrick Kuijsters, marketing director KPN Mobile, says: "KPN is proud to announce a strategic partnership with Ericsson. Ericsson' platform suits KPN's need to add relevant advertisements to operator services to end users, in which opt-in plays a crucial role. KPN's vision is to reduce waste of advertisers' media spending and to deliver relevant offers to its consumers based on their desires. Ericsson is a crucial partner in realising this vision, and is willing to help KPN shape this developing market."  

Mobile advertising is a developing medium that supports new business models with promising forecasts. Mobile devices, as the most personal medium, provide opportunities for these new business models.  

Nils de Baar, President, Ericsson in the Netherlands, says: "Hosting is a growing segment within Ericsson and we are pleased to collaborate in exploring new possibilities in the multimedia environment. This underlines both our strengths as the leader in telecom services and our commitment to become a leader in multimedia."

Global provider of security solutions for digital TV operations, Conax, has announced support for Common Interface+ (CI+) on Conditional Access Modules (CAMs). The founders of the CI+ forum and CAM manufacturers are driving market development of the new CI+ standard that implements protection between the CAM and the digital television receiver. Conax will be ready to support the upcoming market of advanced HD flat screens with a built in slot for CI+ modules, without needing the extra set top box.

"Digital TV operators experience that today's DVB Common Interface (CI) standard, where content is transmitted in clear between the CI module and the STB, does not provide the necessary level of security for HD content. Consequently content providers and digital TV operators are avoiding these modules," says Geir Bjørndal, COO/Sales & Marketing Director, Conax. The new CI+ standard supports the authentication and encryption mechanisms that provide a secure channel between the CAM and the integrated digital TV (IDTV).

For the increased security required for HD content, Conax provides the advanced solution Conax Chipset Pairing with CI+ support. The leading CAM vendors are already integrating support for this solution and many major DVB broadcasters have announced their intention to deploy CI+ when it becomes available.

"The market demand for an alternative to content descrambling using a Common Interface module is growing rapidly. CI+ will secure the connection between the CA module and the IDTV. Conax is already there providing IDTV and CAM manufacturers with the insurance of a total CI+, including optimal smart card security for HD products and the ultimate home cinema experience.,".

Meet Conax at IBC, September 12th - 16th: Stand 1.B39

MobiTV, a leading provider of managed TV and video content over mobile and broadband networks, today announced the immediate availability of its standards-based Optimized Delivery Server (ODS) in Europe. MobiTV's ODS system provides a scalable, secure and optimised method for the distribution of enhanced live, clip-linear, VOD and downloadable media over broadband and wireless networks. ODS is available for licensing to partners and customers across Europe looking for systems that will deliver high-quality video and rich media over existing wireless and broadband network ecosystems.

Currently over four million mobile subscribers worldwide access programmes via MobiTV's managed network platform that delivers live television, video on demand and digital music services. The availability of ODS comes at a time when consumer demand for access to wireless video and TV services is growing substantially. The analyst house Strategy Analytics, has reported that the global media market will double between 2008 and 2011 from $32 billion to more than $64 billion. This growth has been attributed to the increase in global service provider video offerings.

"Our Optimized Delivery Server technology represents decades of best practices coming into focus around issues including bandwidth adaptability, full redundancy and carrier-grade reliability," said Anders Norström, European Managing Director, MobiTV. "A primary component of the end-to-end managed hosted solution offered to MobiTV customers in North America, ODS technology can now be licensed by third parties in Europe, delivering the advantages of high quality video and user experience across varying network conditions through advanced network optimisation, and efficient, effective service creation."

MobiTV's standards-based Optimized Delivery Server is RTP/RTSP and 3GPP standard compliant, and combines unicast and multicast distribution methods, creating a single delivery platform that improves video quality and decreases backhaul demands. The technology optimizes network resources by creating a distributed network, and includes comprehensive usage reporting, fully redundant architecture and support for all types of devices.

By utilising bandwidth smoothing, seamless network handover and bandwidth adaptation that includes stream switching, stream thinning and rate shaping, MobiTV's Optimized Delivery Server also enables significant improvements channel change and session start-up capabilities.

For licensees based in Europe, the Optimized Delivery Server system can grow with the needs of customers' businesses. Partners and customers can start with a single cluster in a data centre and then deploy additional clusters at the network edges as their business needs demand. Providing low latency and secure media distribution through a scalable architecture, ODS also enables an interactivity layer that includes compelling, targeted advertising insertions and personalisation options.

SafeNet, a global specialist in information security, has announced the addition of SafeBSF, a carrier-grade Generic Bootstraping Architecture (GBA) solution for mobile user authentication to its industry-leading portfolio of Mobile TV Protection and DRM solutions. SafeBSF provides mobile operators and service providers with a general-purpose authentication infrastructure, which can be used for multiple services such as mobile TV and mobile payments.
SafeBSF performs mutual authentication of the operator network and consumers-via their SIM card-who may be accessing a multimedia application, including mobile TV, during service access initiation using the GBA standard from the 3GPP. The SafeBSF solution is a complete bundle of GBA components, including a BSF, HSS/HLR Proxy, and a Zn proxy. By using SafeBSF, mobile operators and service providers can be confident that only authenticated users with access rights to their mobile services are able to access the content.
"When securely deployed and managed, services such as Mobile TV and IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) present mobile operators and service providers with a tremendous opportunity to grow revenue by significantly increasing average spend per subscriber," said Vikrant Gandhi of Frost & Sullivan. "SafeNet has long been a strong provider in the DRM space and with the addition of SafeBSF to their Mobile TV Protection portfolio they have once again demonstrated their ability to address important market trends and deliver complete security solutions for the protection, management, and monetisation of next-generation digital content, features, and services."

SafeBSF can plug directly into an existing HLR (or provide a stand-alone HSS), thereby allowing mobile network operators to enhance their existing authentication infrastructure. This significantly reduces development cost and time to market.
"Increased demand for next-generation features and services such as mobile TV and mobile payments has forced mobile operators and service providers to prioritise user and device authentication to ensure the privacy, integrity, and confidentiality of sensitive data and valuable content," said Dr. Simon Blake-Wilson, managing director, embedded security solutions, SafeNet. "With the addition of SafeBSF, SafeNet offers customers the industry's only complete, end-to-end Mobile TV Protection Solution which address rights management and authentication challenges while reducing development costs and shortening time to market."

 Nokia Siemens Networks today announced that Luca Maestri is to join the Company as Chief Financial Officer and Michael Matthews is to join as Head of Strategy and Business Development as the Company prepares to move beyond its integration phase. In addition to their functional roles, both will be members of the Nokia Siemens Networks Executive Board.
 Maestri joins from General Motors, where he most recently held the position of Chief Financial Officer, General Motors Europe, Europe's fastest-growing automotive group in 2007. Prior to this role, Maestri served as CFO of GM's Mercosur operations, where he helped execute a successful turnaround of the business, leading to strong revenue and profit growth, improvement in cash flow, and a strengthened balance sheet. Maestri has also held senior positions in GM operations in the United States, Brazil, Thailand, Italy and Singapore.
 Maestri will join Nokia Siemens Networks on 1 October 2008, and will formally assume the Chief Financial Officer role on 1 November 2008. Eric Simonsen, the outgoing CFO, will start his retirement in December 2008, following the two-month transition and hand-over period.
 "Eric came on board as an integration and restructuring specialist following our merger in April 2007 and his expertise and wisdom have been instrumental in the execution of a successful merger process in very tough circumstances. Nokia Siemens Networks is a stronger company as a result of his contributions," said Simon Beresford-Wylie, Chief Executive Officer of Nokia Siemens Networks. "He has paved the way for Luca to play a key role in our continued transformation into a world-class company."
 Matthews joins with a strong background in telecommunications, software, technology and innovation. He was Chief Marketing Officer at Amdocs Inc, the leading provider of software and services for many of the world's largest communications service providers. During his 5 years at Amdocs, Matthews played a key role in leading the transformation of the company; addressing new markets, expanding the product line, and evolving the channel to address the rapidly changing needs of the telecom industry. Matthews also brings broad experience across the technology industry, having held senior positions at hardware and software companies and in both start-up and multinational companies.
 "Luca and Michael bring the rights skills, experience and values to help complete our integration work at Nokia Siemens Networks and take the Company to the next level," said Beresford-Wylie. Maestri and Matthews will report to Beresford-Wylie.
 Pekka Soini, the current Head of Strategy and Business Development, will assume a new role heading the Corporate Development Office, with responsibility for quality, process development and information technology. All of these areas are essential to a successful conclusion of the Nokia Siemens Networks integration work and to building the Company's competitive advantage as a globally integrated enterprise. Soini will remain a member of the Nokia Siemens Networks Executive Board and will also serve as the Executive Sponsor for the North American region, working closely with region head Susan Spradley and her leadership team.

Alcatel-Lucent has signed a turnkey equipment and services contract with 3 Italia, a  3G mobile operator in Italy and the first DVB-H Mobile TV operator in the world, to expand and optimize its broadcast Mobile TV network throughout Italy.

Alcatel-Lucent's solution for 3 Italia, based on its DVB-H terrestrial transmitters, its
remote monitoring system and including network integration services, will enable 3 Italia to increase the indoor and outdoor coverage of its broadcast Mobile TV network, while optimizing network efficiency for enhanced Mobile TV service delivery. As a result, 3 Italia's subscribers will enjoy attractive television programs - such as football matches, movies, music and reality shows - with an improved mobility and service continuity, says Al-Lu.

Alcatel-Lucent will extend and increase the density of 3 Italia's DVB-H terrestrial transmitters network across Italy, enabling 3 Italia to offer broadcast Mobile TV services to its 8.45 million UMTS customers. The company also claims that the seamless integration of Alcatel-Lucent's Mobile TV terrestrial transmitters into 3 Italia's existing mobile sites, as well as new sites, and a new powerful remote monitoring system, enables 3 Italia to protect its previous investments, while achieving significant savings in capital and operational expenditures.

"As end-users increasingly demand enhanced entertainment services that are on the move, operators need to transform their network while protecting their investment. By enabling 3 Italia, which is the first DVB-H Mobile TV operator in the world, to expand and optimize its existing DVB-H network in Italy, Alcatel-Lucent is delivering upon its commitment to accelerate the advent of Mobile TV for the mass market, whichever the mobile broadcast technology," said Pierre Barnabé, President of Alcatel-Lucent's activities in France, Iberia & Italy. "This new contract confirms Alcatel-Lucent's ability to offer and integrate innovative and future-poof wireless network solutions that can support a broad range of blended service applications including Mobile TV services."

The Alcatel-Lucent solution for 3 Italia is based on its 9600 DTH, future-proof multi-standard digital terrestrial transmitter that can deliver DVB-T and DVB-H broadcast solutions, as well as a evolution to DVB-SH. The transmitters have been designed and optimized according to the specific requirements of mobile operators and can easily be integrated into their mobile sites. Alcatel-Lucent's solution also includes its remote monitoring system, as well as professional services such as network integration, project management, installation and commissioning, and repair and maintenance.

Orga Systems, leading provider of convergent real-time billing, has been short listed at the Total Telecoms' World Communication Awards 2008. The innovative research project Local Mobile Services (LOMS) is seen as one of the Best Technology Foresights.

Orga Systems is contributing to the development of groundbreaking technologies within the LOMS project. In particular, Orga Systems has developed a new billing method for online charging of context-aware mobile services. Innovative interfaces allow for local providers to offer their customers such kind of context-aware services while using preexisting billing systems. Billing expenditures are minimized by printing only one bill for all services used- independent from the provider. Interfaces are defined with regards to international standards like IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and Parlay X.

To simplify the development and deployment of mobile location-dependent services through innovative methods and tools is what the project longs for. It enables raising efficiency during the entire development process of context-aware mobile services and is specifically targeted on giving small and medium-sized companies the opportunity to offer these services.

Orga Systems is committed to progress next generation products and customer-specific solutions in cooperative research projects. With a dedicated team of onsite researchers and developers, Orga Systems is continuously looking to explore future technologies in cooperation with experts from related industries. Participation in international projects allows Orga Systems to stay ahead of emerging market trends.  

Ericsson has been selected as sole supplier to supply and operate a complete GSM mobile network for Cable&Wireless Europe, Asia and US as it launches its new Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) services in the UK. As Cable&Wireless' exclusive managed services partner, Ericsson will also be responsible for running the network for five years.

Under the agreement, Ericsson will supply a complete core and radio-access network, based on small and low-power GSM base stations. The solution is designed to provide indoor fixed and mobile coverage for enterprise users, and allows for seamless roaming between the Cable&Wireless GSM solution and national roaming partners when moving outdoors. Network connectivity is provided by connecting the GSM base stations directly to existing enterprise data networks, using IP network solutions provided by Cable&Wireless. Ericsson will also supply a service-layer network with solutions for service provisioning, SMS and voicemail to enable Cable &Wireless to launch complete FMC services to its customers.

Cable&Wireless has announced Tesco as its first corporate customer for its new FMC service.  FMC will enable Tesco staff to use one mobile handset for all calls, switching between mobile and fixed line calls seamlessly.

In addition to operating and managing the GSM network for five years, Ericsson will provide Cable&Wireless with a wide range of professional services, including design and systems integration.

Jim Marsh, Chief Executive Officer, Cable&Wireless Europe, Asia and the US, says: "Ericsson's proven expertise in mobile technologies and network operations will provide us with a high-performance, quality solution to control operating costs and enable us to bring compelling services for our customers, such as FMC, to market." 

Jacqueline Hey, President of Ericsson UK, says: "This agreement establishes an exciting position for Cable&Wireless and will provide its customers with innovative and attractive solutions. The deal also reflects the close strategic partnership between Cable&Wireless and Ericsson, and we are proud to be selected as the supplier for this network and managed services contract."

DragonWave, a global supplier of next-generation point to point microwave radio systems, has announced that Altitude Infrastructure, a subsidiary of Altitude Group, has selected DragonWave products to provide high capacity Ethernet backhaul as part of its rollout of WiMAX broadband services across France.

Altitude has helped WiMAX service introduction in France, and its first deployments took place in 2004. To date, DragonWave's Ethernet backhaul solution has been selected for four regional deployments in the Département de la Haute Garonne, Département des Deux Sèvres, Département du Jura and Département des Pyrénées Atlantiques.

"WiMAX has matured beyond the developmental stage. Today it is being selected as a legitimate broadband access option by more and more French customers. To accommodate this growth we required the highest performance IP backhaul solution available." said Fabrice Ballart, Directeur Général with Altitude Infrastructure. "A broad portfolio of frequency options provides the flexibility we need to introduce WiMAX in any region. Its superior payload-per-hertz efficiency means we can optimize our spectrum usage and overall backhaul investment without compromising the end user experience. These benefits have helped fuel our business and provide a better return on network investments."

Customer uptake in Altitude Telecom's services is said to have intensified across business and residential markets.  The operator recently announced it is accepting hundreds of new orders per month and this year plans to double the number of base stations in its WiMAX network to six hundred.

Altitude Infrastructure is deploying DragonWave's AirPair products operating in licensed frequencies between 6 and 38 GHz. The products are claimed to ensure interference-free performance, ultra-low latency to support real-time services, and scaleable Ethernet connectivity up to 800 Mbps. Said to be extremely easy to deploy and manage, DragonWave products come with a full suite of network management options, and can be engineered to provide 99.999% service availability.

The deployment expands DragonWave's growing market presence in Europe. "Operators in more and more markets are validating our IP backhaul solutions as the state-of-the-art, high-capacity transport option for 3G and 4G base stations," said Peter Allen, president and CEO of DragonWave. "We will continue to work closely with Altitude to assist in its expansion plans in France and with WiMAX operators throughout Europe and other international markets."

Network Electronics, the specialist in optical transport, video over IP, video over SONET/SDH, routing and signal processing solutions for reliable video transport, has integrated the awarded and widely deployed Skyline Communications DataMiner multi-vendor NMS (Network Management System) with its market-leading Flashlink, VikinX and Ventura product ranges, enabling customers to monitor and control all its video transport solutions from a single consolidated user interface. The integration, which will be demonstrated on booth 8.B70 throughout IBC 2008, will reduce the time needed for broadcasters and telcos to discover and resolve problems in their networks.

DataMiner NMS is a comprehensive multi-vendor network management solution based on an open platform to support integration of third-party products. The Skyline solution has a proven track record within the broadcasting and telco industries. The extensive feature set provided by Network Electronics' advanced management systems, GYDA control system and AEMS (Advanced Element Monitoring System) can now be accessed from the DataMiner NMS.

This integration enables Network Electronics' customers to deploy an ‘umbrella' network monitoring approach and provides broadcasters, telcos and other video transporters with a simplified consolidated overview of their entire network activities through DataMiner. This approach means that customers can use the advanced router, optical transport and signal processing control and management systems developed by Network Electronics while using DataMiner to obtain an overview of the whole system end-to-end, resulting in a best-of-breed solution for video transport and network management.

The cooperation between Network Electronics / VPG and Skyline Communications provides broadcasters and telcos with an integrated management solution that provides a state-of-the-art and highly intuitive user experience, resulting in lower total cost of ownership. As part of the integration with DataMiner NMS, the two companies are working to develop protocol drivers, alarm templates, trending templates, visual overviews and documentation for the Flashlink, VikinX and Ventura product ranges. This will guarantee minimum implementation times for customers making use of the combined capabilities.

"Video quality and availability is an important differentiator for service providers and the efficient and cost-effective transport of highest quality video, whether for contribution or distribution applications, requires good insight into network performance and fast responses when problems do arise," comments Jan I. Helgesen, Product Manager for Network Management Systems, Network Electronics / VPG. "The integration of Network Electronics video transport control solutions with Skyline's DataMiner multi-vendor NMS provides broadcasters and telcos with a single point for system overview, making it easier than ever to maintain service quality levels in mission-critical video transport environments."

"DataMiner enables advanced management of video services and simplifies user control," adds Ben Vandenberghe, Sales & Marketing Director of Skyline Communications. "Our philosophy has always been to provide an open platform so network operators have the freedom to create best-of-breed solutions. We are delighted to extend our existing relationship with Network Electronics to enable customers to have an increased choice how they manage state-of-the-art systems that include Network Electronics' popular range of video transport solutions. Also noteworthy is the fact that aside from the traditional device perspective, DataMiner will offer these customers also a comprehensive service perspective, and on top of that it even enables professional real-time monitoring of the service level agreements (SLAs) associated with those services."

Network Electronics provides a comprehensive portfolio of video transport solutions. The Ventura range of modular signal transport solutions covers SONET/SDH and IP network interfaces and multiplexers, JPEG 2000 and MPEG-2 encoders and decoders, optical multiplexing, CWDM and DWDM, and multi-format metropolitan transport. Flashlink has gained a high reputation for power and reliability and has become the industry leader for signal processing and optical distribution. This product range includes optical multiplexing, CWDM and DWDM, time division multiplexing and signal processing and distribution. The VikinX Sublime range of routers represents a new era in small and medium sized routing and provides Ethernet control, 3Gbps single link support for 1080p HDTV and ultra low power consumption.

DataMiner is a powerful open architecture multi-vendor network management solution designed for advanced management of earth stations, headends, backbones, datacenters, HFC networks, digital television platforms, satellite uplinks & downlinks, etc. It offers unlimited client web access, such that the monitoring environment can be accessed from any location with a standard PC, and is currently widely deployed across the globe by industry leading operators for the end-to-end management of their technology infrastructure.

The intuitive graphical interfaces of DataMiner provide comprehensive features for real-time monitoring and control, trend analysis, alarm management, notification, automation, correlation, reporting, etc. DataMiner also features a powerful graphical user interface to dynamically present the system in rack diagrams, floor plans, schematics, etc. with drawings based on standard Microsoft Visio drawings.

THUS has today announced the launch of Managed Ethernet Access and Services. Leveraging the latest Ethernet management standards THUS is now able to offer enhanced, SDH like management for Ethernet access and connectivity services. THUS is one of the first telecoms operators in the UK with the capability to do this over Ethernet. 

Ethernet is becoming the predominant fixed access technology to next-generation networks (NGNs), supporting the networking of a variety of converged communication services and solutions. By fully managing the crucial first mile, from customer site to its NGN, the new Managed Ethernet Access connections provide THUS customers with greater service assurance and reliability.

Using Ethernet Operations, Administration, and Maintenance (OAM) standards, THUS network management centres are able to fully monitor these access connections for enriched alarm and event data, proactively managing any service degradation, and to use advanced remote diagnostic tools to rapidly isolate and fix critical faults. With converged corporate networks becoming ever more business critical and central to the smooth operation of organisations, minimising the effects of network downtime can have a significant impact on a customer's bottom line, as well as their operational efficiency.

Nigel Stevens, Product Director at THUS said:  "Proactively managing the first mile connection allows us to make a significant difference to the level of service we can guarantee.  It is this level of reliability and efficiency that shows that THUS is taking our next generation Ethernet based converged communication services and solutions to the next level. THUS was one of the first providers capable of doing this in the UK and builds on our experience of delivering advanced next-generation solutions for the benefit of our customers."

Managed Ethernet Access can now be used to access a range of services from THUS including MPLS IPVPN, Internet and IP Exchange Line services and are an essential component to THUS new City and National Ethernet Managed services. With these services, customers not only benefit from the assurance that THUS is able to fully manage the first mile Ethernet access connections, they also enjoy end to end, connection specific,  Quality of Service (QoS) level guarantees for latency, jitter and packet loss. Whether these connections are used for mission critical data centre connectivity, LAN extension or to access centralised ICT applications and services, the end to end QoS levels provide certainty of service and application performance over the wide area network.

City and National Ethernet Managed customers also benefit from practically real time network performance, degradation and critical event reporting tools namely Performance Track Plus and Network View. These include end to end, circuit specific QoS reporting and visibility of EOAM alarms and events seen by THUS network management centres.

E business and rich content applications and the increasing move towards ICT centralisation, is causing many companies to increase bandwidth and introducing scalability onto their fully converged networks. With this comes a need for greater service assurance and to make the network more visible. Managed Ethernet Access and Services address this need in a way that demonstrates an understanding of the customer's business applications and optimises their performance from a service perspective.


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