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KRONE was the first company in the world to demonstrate - at the IEEEstandards conference, November 2003 Albuquerque USA - a technologicalbreakthrough that would, for the first time, permit such a high data speed tobe transmitted over an unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cable based on trustedCategory 6 technology. CopperTen complies with all the Category 6 standards,yet has 10 times the data capacity.

Leading independent consultant Steve Banks, recently specified and completedthe installation of some 70km and 2,000 patch panel ports of KRONE CopperTenfor a major international bank's London data centre. Said Banks, "Other possibilities for 10Gigabit/s data transmission, such asshielded augmented Category 6 and Category 7, have not achieved significantacceptance outside parts of central Europe and Scandinavia. KRONE hasrecognised that the majority of the world's design and installation skillsare based around UTP cabling and Category 6 installation practices.CopperTen will enable users to install a system today that works withexisting 10/100/1000 Mbit/s equipment and yet has the capacity for10Gigabit/s when the electronics are introduced in 2005."

KRONE's patent-pending technological breakthrough is the development of theCopperTen cable. Based on existing Category 6 technology it solves thethorny problem of alien crosstalk (interference from adjacent cables), whichhas until now required shielded cables to be used. The cable is ellipticalrather than circular and uses several novel techniques to ensure thathowever the cables are installed there will always be sufficient separationto achieve the necessary performance.

So confident is KRONE in this solution that it is warranting 18Gigabit/s"Shannon capacity." In addition to this significant increase in throughput,all KRONE CopperTen cables, connectors, patch panels, and patch cords exceedthe TIA/EIA and ISO standards for Category 6. As a result, they can be usedas a direct replacement for existing Cat 6 systems ensuring full backwardcompatibility.

Organization to provide unified industry leadership on multi-service, multi-protocol interworking

In a joint announcement today, the MPLS & Frame Relay Alliance and The ATM Forum unveiled plans to form a single organization to advance the deployment of multi-vendor, multi-service, packet-based networks, associated applications and interworking solutions. The merger will create a unified industry association with a combined membership of more than 100 companies representing the world's major service providers, equipment vendors, software and silicon suppliers, and enterprise end-users.

"The merger of The ATM Forum and MPLS & Frame Relay Alliance is great news for the industry," said Stu Elby, vice president of Network Architecture and Enterprise Technology within the Verizon Technology Organization. "The benefit to carriers, and to Verizon in particular, is that now there will be a single body creating Implementation Agreements (IAs), which will reduce the ambiguity that vendors currently face with joint ATM and MPLS technology development. Now carriers and vendors can look to a single industry forum and a common suite of IAs across ATM, FR, and MPLS, which should, in the long run, reduce the time to market for new network capabilities and services."    "In principle, this merger takes the public networking end-game of a profitable, convergence – ready, true carrier-grade broadband network one step closer to reality," said John Mazur, Gartner Principal Analyst – Public Network Infrastructure. "Internetworking of disparate technologies and carrier networks has been the final frontier for divergent standards bodies. Real world progress has often been hindered by competing standards organizations. This combination is a triumph for end-users, service providers and vendors alike."

"The big winner in this merger is the telecommunications industry," said Marlis Humphrey of Harris Corporation, chairman of the board, The ATM Forum. "Service providers will see fresh interworking solutions that result in real OPEX reductions while creating new and sustainable revenue-generating services. Equipment vendors will benefit from our amalgamated approach to multi-technology solutions without the cost of joining multiple organizations."

"The unification of the MPLS & Frame Relay Alliance and The ATM Forum will provide a huge boost to the multi-service interworking goals shared by both organizations," said Andrew G. Malis of Tellabs, president and chairman of the board of the MPLS & Frame Relay Alliance. "This merger is the culmination of a strongly coordinated effort over the past two years to closely align work items and allows us to become truly multi-protocol." 

The boards of the two forums who have negotiated the merger agreement include representation and backing from the major infrastructure providers as well as service providers.  The interim board of the merged forum will include representatives from Alcatel, Agilent Technologies, Bell Canada, Ericsson, Harris Corporation, Lucent Technologies, Riverstone Networks, Sprint, Tellabs, and Verizon.

The members of each organization will be asked to approve the merger by the end of this quarter. Completion of the merger is expected to take place by the end of this year. The two organizations held a co-located meeting this week in Salt Lake City and will continue to meet jointly and cooperate on market education and awareness activities in the interim.

Azure, the telecoms revenue assurance company, has today announced theappointment of Jason Lane-Sellers as its new fraud product marketingmanager. He brings over eight years of experience specialising in combatingtelecoms fraud.

Jason joins Azure from Neural Technologies, where he had a role as a fraudand revenue assurance consultant, providing it with a knowledgebase thatcould be used to improve its sales, marketing, product development andcustomer interaction experience.

Previous to that, Jason worked for Vodafone UK, where he was responsible fora variety of fraud issues from management and prevention to training,education and liaison. He has also worked for fixed, indirect access andswitch-less resale providers, with responsibilities covering fraud billingand revenue assurance.

Jason is also involved heavily with fraud issues outside of his employment.He has served as a director for TUFF (Telecommunications UK Fraud Forum) andis currently sitting on the Emerging Technologies Committee of the CFCA(Communications Fraud Control Association) who are a worldwide bodypromoting fraud and risk awareness.

Additionally, Jason is a regular member of the GSM Association Fraud Forumwhere he is a consistent contributor and has aided the development of theGSMA fraud professional training courses. Jason is also a member of theServices Fraud and Risk Assessment (SFRA) committee and the professionalcertification board and regularly speaks at industry events on the issues offraud, revenue assurance and risk management.

John Cronin, CEO of Azure, said:  "We are delighted that Jason has joinedus. He is one of the principal contributors to fraud issues in the industryand his wealth of experience and knowledge will no doubt be a great asset toAzure. Jason’s appointment is part of Azure’s commitment to being number onein the revenue assurance space."

Azure’s revenue assurance portfolio includes Interconnect Billing, FraudManagement, Mediation Software, Event Integrity and Route Optimisation.

Xantic has been selected by Inmarsat to become a prospective launch Distribution Partner for the new BGAN services which will become available to the market in 2005. Xantic already won the contract to host the BGAN platform for Inmarsat at Xantic's Land Earth Station in Burum, the Netherlands. Both hosting the platform as well as being a Distribution Partner positions Xantic as an ideal supplier of BGAN services.

To make a jump start in the BGAN era Xantic already built its own PoP in 2003 for both Regional BGAN and BGAN in order to develop a full range of value added services to its customers. The Xantic infrastructure is placed between the Inmarsat Regional BGAN/BGAN system and the Internet in order to develop a value added services platform. This distinguishes Xantic's offering from the basic Regional BGAN/BGAN service. These unique services are very much valued in the market. They provide users cost control, firewall management, full traffic information, pre-paid facilities, high security options, easy VPN access, messaging services and a full IP range.

The BGAN service will be a complete and easy to use mobile satellite solution. With higher bandwidth of up to 432kbit/s and improved portability via a broad selection of terminals, BGAN will also offer great opportunities for customers outside the traditional range of mobile satellite communication users. Xantic is very keen to exploit these opportunities in new markets and will use its in-house IP expertise and its extensive world wide distribution network to offer a complete, high quality, simple to use and accessible BGAN service to its customers.

The Institute of International Research (IIR) has recently been interviewing network operators across Europe to examine their attitudes towards deploying Ethernet in their networks.

"This time last year there was a lot of interest in making a business case for Ethernet in the Access and Metro networks. We organised a very popular conference on that topic last September. On reviewing our experiences last year, we wondered whether the lessons of last year had been taken on board. Did operators feel that Ethernet services were a viable replacement to service provision by leased lines, ATM or Frame Relay?" said Alex Lawrence, Conference Producer at IIR UK’s Telecoms & Technology division.

The response has been unanimous; among all respondents to the survey, Ethernet was felt to be the carrier protocol of the future. The principal difference between respondents was between those who considered it a valid technology now and those looking a few years down the line.

"Ethernet is still a very young technology outside the LAN," Lawrence commented, "The standards are developing at a great rate still. There is a great business opportunity for operators who can go first-to-market with Ethernet service offerings because of their ability to undercut other network operators. The risk is that they could end up in the middle of a price war with their competitors implementing a better service at lower cost because they have waited till a later stage of Ethernet’s evolution."

With major carriers like BT and Deutsche Telekom announcing trials of Ethernet it is clear that at least part of the drive towards Ethernet is being spawned by a fear of increased price competition among established network operators. Just as incumbents are beginning to offer VoIP and risking cannibalising their own voice call revenues in a bid to prevent customers going elsewhere, so too any new Ethernet-based services they offer will inevitably undercut their own existing services. An uncomfortable situation for the incumbents, but when the alternative to lower revenues from Ethernet is none from churned customers, they have little choice in the matter. The fact that this appears to be their attitude is, however, significant.

In Eastern Europe, operators appeared less interested in Ethernet as a near-future consideration. The great majority of incumbents and alternative network operators are using ATM and Frame Relay services, and opinion is divided as to when this most dynamic of markets is going to make a change.

"With the accession of many Eastern European countries to the EU, we can expect to see a great deal more interest in improving telecoms services than in previous years," says Lesley Hansen, Marketing Director EMEA at Net To Net Technologies. "We are likely to see a rapid growth in network investment as the EU attempts to bring Eastern Europe up to the levels of productivity we see in the west. Providing Ethernet-based services will almost inevitably play an important part in that process."

However, others are not so convinced, citing a lack of demand from enterprises as a powerful reason to maintain the status quo. Indeed, according to Russian operator Peterstar it is the SMEs and private individuals that are taking most easily to Ethernet-based services in St Petersburg, with larger enterprises staying loyal to tried-and-trusted ATM services.

This should not come as a surprise. Influx of new money or no, Eastern European operators will have to bear in mind the rapidly diminishing technology costs associated with Ethernet deployment which make putting it off considerably more attractive. In addition, as Constantinos Theophilou of Cyprus Telecommunications Authority points out, without such strong competitive pressures – as yet – it makes sense for incumbents to watch events further west to avoid making the mistakes inevitably associated with early deployments of any new technology.

Based on his research, Alex Lawrence has put together a unique 5-day programme for IIR’s Delivering Ethernet Services conference, taking place 20-24 September in Budapest. If you would like to find out more about this event, please visit our ‘events diary’ by clicking on the link below.[l=www.iir-conferences.com/a.cfm?id=7578]http://www.iir-conferences.com/a.cfm?id=7578[/l]

EU Member states' implementation of E-Money Directive critical for future of mobile content services' development in Europe

The impact of the implementation of EU E-Money Directive will prove the most critical consideration for the development of mobile commerce throughout Europe as the telecommunications industry develops content-based solutions delivered over 3G networks, according to a new report from mobile industry analysts, The ARC Group.

Paul Merry, author of Mobile Transactions in Europe: The Challenge of Implementation and Ramifications of EU Directives, argues that legislative developments must be tailored to the specific challenges facing the mobile communications industry and its unique requirements. Merry believes that it is unwise to rely upon blanket legislation for transactional models developed before the evolution of telecommunication networks from voice-based service delivery mechanisms to content-based service delivery mechanisms. "By relying upon these old legislative approaches law makers risk destroying the burgeoning mobile payments industry and innovative payment model development, such as mobile parking meter payments, before they can begin to develop," he says.

Problems are also emerging due to the wide disparity in implementation of e-Money regulation from country to country; for example e-Money issuers in Italy have strict regulatory demands placed upon them compared with the relatively laissez faire attitude taken to regulation of mobile transactions in Finland.

According to Merry this is an immensely dangerous development: some EU members' mobile payments and related content services infrastructure could develop much more quickly than others solely based on their country's legislative approach to implementation of supposedly standard Europe-wide legislation.

Without a balanced approach those operators with strict implementation - and their mobile payments partners including content partners) - face an unfair disadvantage in competitively developing their business throughout Europe. 

It is difficult to foresee how this problem will be overcome. It is the right of the countries involved to determine, clarify and implement remedial measures of the EU E-Money Directive and its related directives as well as set the punishment for those transgressing regulation. 

Comparative, standardised and universal development of mobile payment capabilities across Europe is in the best interests of all parties involved. Mobile payment could potentially drive mobile service usage and the network development required to compete globally within network-based industries. The EU's role toward this aim should be as a facilitator acting in an advisory role.

However, in order to undertake this role, Merry emphasises, the EU must first tackle its own standardisation problems. It has widely-dispersed departments involved in regulating transactions: the European Commission policy development department (DG IS) deals with some areas of mobile payment regulation (policy regulation); the Directorate General Health and Consumer Affairs (SANCO) deals with others (Distance Selling Regulations); and DG Internal Market (MARKT) deals with still others (financial regulation and security issues).

Each department has a different axe to grind - different mandates, policies, guiding principles, spheres of influence and prescribed aims - yet each impacts upon aspects of mobile payment regulation in Europe. 

Home networking is emerging as a central competitive battleground for European broadband service providers

Home networking in Europe is booming, and broadband service providers (BSPs) have a strong interest in promoting it, according to the Yankee Group report, Service Providers Must Push Home Networking, Despite Service and Standards Issues.    The pay off for BSPs in promoting home networking is that home networking:

• Increases the depth of their offers, which improves customer loyalty, satisfaction, and stickiness.

• Increases the average revenue per user if is offered as a rental product, frequently the option of choice for BSPs.

• Adds considerable value to the basic broadband connection because it is strongly linked to Internet usage and to extension of the Internet to other devices in the home.

• Increases the prospect of selling premium-priced entertainment services because home networking is strongly linked to audio-visual applications such as video downloading and audio streaming.

However, new types of home networking that connect consumer electronics equipment raise major technical and customer service issues. Even PC-based networking often is not yet plug and play, and interoperability with other types of equipment is far from finished.    "Ultimately, home networking will become a central aspect of home life, and its momentum will make it one of most strategically important features of broadband service provision," says Graham Finnie, Broadband & Media Europe director. "However, it is vital for all participants to cooperate where possible – and compete where necessary – to reap the full rewards from this important change in consumer services."

New features increase ability to prevent worm infection

ForeScout Technologies has announced the release in Europe of its ActiveScout 3.0 product, a leading solution that protects networks from external attack.

The new enhancements give ActiveScout vastly increased performance in the ability to protect enterprises and service providers from malicious attacks before they reach the target network. Despite worm infections and hacker attacks increasing exponentially, ActiveScout 3.0 automatically identifies and eliminates known and unknown threats.

"Our goal remains the same, to stop network attacks by worms and hackers in order to keep businesses running smoothly," said Kent Elliott, CEO of ForeScout Technologies. "We are proud that our products have kept our customers in full operation during fast moving, self-propagating worm outbreaks and lingering attempts at ongoing infection, while their competitors are often shut down for hours or even days."

ActiveScout sits outside the perimeter of a network and provides absolute accuracy in preventing both known and unknown threats from even reaching the perimeter. ActiveScout 3.0 provides instantaneous protection against both hacker and worm attack at minimal cost and saves the network from downtime.

ForeScout Technologies' ActiveScout solution delivers an entirely unique approach to preventing network intrusions: it stops attackers based on their "proven intent" to attack.

An overwhelming majority of telecom industry leaders say VoIP is ready for widespread deployment today and predict it will revolutionalise communications, according to Spirent Communications and Telephony Magazine’s poll of more than 1,000 attendees of SUPERCOMM, the industry trade show held in Chicago, June 21-25.

More than two-thirds of poll respondents said VoIP is ready for widespread deployment while 91 per cent feel the "VoIP revolution has begun."

Reduced costs and product innovation/increased functionality were cited as the top two benefits of VoIP technology.

Poll respondents also claimed the following top three consequences of VoIP deployments:

• Rapidly increases new service deployment• Substantially changes network architectures• Levels the playing field between large and small players, telecom and cable carriers

Despite the rosy outlook for VoIP deployment, industry leaders noted obstacles such as voice quality issues, government regulation and slow broadband deployment that could limit adoption.

"This is a breakthrough year for VoIP technology," reported Jim Schleckser, president of Spirent Communications’ Service Assurance - Broadband unit. "It is also a critical year. Successful adoption requires that VoIP quality match the performance of the existing voice telephone service consumers and businesses have relied on for years. Service providers will need to invest in service assurance tools and expertise to make a smooth transition to VoIP technology."

Which service providers will lead the industry in VoIP deployment?

Poll respondents were pretty evenly split on which five service providers will be most successful at deploying VoIP.

Those that topped the poll were Verizon, AT&T, SBC, Comcast and Vonage, a new VoIP service provider.

More than 50 per cent of telecom industry leaders said their employer uses VoIP technology today and 45 per cent said they have a choice to sign up for VoIP at their homes.

"Our survey shows one compelling direction - the VoIP revolution has begun and service providers clearly have IP networks in their sights and intend to make IP platforms their future," said Mark Hickey, publisher of Telephony and Telephonyonline.com.

Adds record number of new customers, further penetrates applications and business services management market, expands channel presence

Driven by growing demand internationally for InCharge and its ability to solve the most complex problems in IT management, SMARTS today reported robust revenue growth, its 11th straight quarter of profitability, and strong international and channel momentum for Q2 2004. Contributing to this successful quarter, SMARTS reported a record number of new customer additions, further penetration into the Application and Business Services Management (BSM) marketplace, and the rapid adoption of SMARTS IP, MPLS and optical management technologies by leading US and international service providers.

In Q2, the company reported continued acceleration of market demand for both InCharge Application Services Manager and Business Impact Manager, with the solutions being adopted by a top global investment bank, a premier US retail bank, and a leading US retailer for the management of mission critical business applications. SMARTS again experienced strong international demand, including the adoption of InCharge to replace a competitive product at a leading Telco in Asia-Pac. In addition, the second quarter marked continued strength in channel sales, with over 50 percent of license transactions coming through SMARTS partners. 

"Our ongoing success, quarter upon quarter, is a clear demonstration of the compelling value proposition SMARTS products offer to our customers," said SMARTS Chief Operating Officer Roger Pilc. "Because we take a service-centric approach to IT management, our software enables customers to manage their entire IT environment - including infrastructure, applications, and business services - as a coherent, interconnected system. The end result is unprecedented Business Insight into how technology supports their core services and customers. As we enter Q3 and beyond, we'll continue to focus on helping our customers become more competitive, dramatically reduce management costs, and set new standards for quality service."[l=www.smarts.com/]http://www.smarts.com/[/l]

SSL report lauds Whale SSL VPN’s security, flexibility and customisability

Whale Communications today announced that it has been lauded in a June 2004 Forrester report, entitled: "SSL is the Future of Remote Access VPNs." The report noted Whale’s SSL VPN for its security, flexibility and customisability. It cited Whale’s tier one position and pointed to its great vision and dedication to innovating technology in the space.

Whale’s e-Gap Remote Access Appliance offers physical isolation to prevent from network attacks as well as an application-level firewall, wrote Robert Whiteley, associate analyst for Forrester, adding that the product’s flexibility and customizability has won many large accounts. Whiteley adds that Whale has a great vision and is dedicated to innovating in the SSL VPN space.

The report notes that Whale, as an established tier one vendor, offers a best-of-breed solution, solid technology road map and shows high growth potential. It states that the tier one vendors make up a majority of the SSL VPN market and dominate the large enterprise accounts, especially the Fortune 1000.

The report states that the SSL VPNs offer a smooth migration to a more cost-effective, easier to deploy remote access solution than IPSec, and that although IPSec remains dominant, SSL will become the standard.

"It is an honor for Whale to be named again by Forrester among the tier one players. I am pleased to see that the tier one list of players reflects that Whale, coming from the security space, is now recognized as an established and leading vendor in the SSL VPN space and no longer a start-up. The other tier one vendors are either veteran VPN players or very large firms," said Daniel Steiner, Whale’s president. "We certainly do not intend to stop here. Forrester’s acknowledgement in the report of Whale’s strong security, flexibility, customisability and vision is yet another independent confirmation of Whale’s ability to shape the market."[l=www.whalecommunications.com/]http://www.whalecommunications.com/[/l]

Lifetree Convergence Limited has announced the successful deployment of its Data rating solution "ZipRate" at DST Group , Brunei Darussalam. ZipRate, which has been successfully installed and integrated with Alcatel infrastructure, is being used by DST to rate its recently launched GPRS and MMS services.

The deployment of ZipRate is a key milestone in the deployment of @Billity, Lifetree's web-based, convergent Billing and Customer Care solution, which is currently underway. Lifetree announced the DST contract in August 2003.

DST is using the ZipRate application to rate MMS calls & GPRS calls in addition to differentially rated content (URLs) being accessed through the GPRS service.

In July 2003, DataStream Technologies (DST), Brunei's leading GSM operator, awarded Lifetree the global contract to design and deliver an Integrated Customer Care and Billing System for its pre-paid and post-paid customers. The implementation of this solution will result in a single bill for all nine DST Group subsidiaries and lines of business.

Lifetree leads a consortium of partners including Sun Microsystems, Wipro Infotech and Hughes Software Systems who are jointly implementing a turnkey solution for DST Group.

Lifetree's proprietary Billing Platform @Billity 3.0 will replace DST's multiple billing, Operations Support System (OSS) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications with a single unified platform that will deliver all the benefits of a convergent system to DSTcom's 189,000 subscribers.[l=www.lifetreeindia.com/]http://www.lifetreeindia.com/[/l]

    

 

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