Top Stories of the Week – November 12, 2011

Cisco includes new features to IP telephony for medium-size businesses while reducing cost

Cisco has recently introduced a series of advancements designed to provide midsize businesses with enterprise-grade IP phone systems. The new features will provide IP phone systems with integrated collaboration capabilities without taking additional IT or financial resources.

Among the advancements introduced are innovations to the Cisco Business Edition 3000 and 6000. These will enable customers to access collaboration offerings, such as presence, video, and instant messaging, for a low price with ease of use, configuration, and support. With this, Cisco is helping make IP telephony cheaper for mid-sized businesses; systems are available for as little as $100 per user.

Chile's Telefónica del Sur upgrades IPTV monitoring solution

Chilean telco Telefónica del Sur has deployed a video monitoring solution from Norwegian firm Bridge Technologies for its IPTV service, launched in 2007. Bridge Technologies is to provide its VideoBRIDGE end-to-end monitoring and analysis system, which includes its VB220 probes with ETR290 monitoring capability and a VBC controller server for analysis functionality and sophisticated graphic presentation of complex live data.

The expanded ETR290 monitoring functions of the VB220 probes are part of the VideoBRIDGE version 4.9 software release, which adds powerful SQL database features, advanced graphic displays, probe auto discovery, enhanced device control, and support for the widest range of standards and formats.

Harmonic unveils Outdoor Hub platform for cable networks

Video delivery equipment developer, Harmonic has unveiled its Outdoor Hub platform, which enables cable operators to extend their existing HFC network. When combined with Harmonic's SupraLink 1550 nm transmission service, the Outdoor Hub enhances architecture and day-to-day operations.

The Outdoor Hub acts as an optical distribution point for downstream traffic and an aggregation point for upstream traffic, enabling cable operators to push their fiber networks far beyond the traditional hub/head end infrastructure. With the fiber use enabled by the Outdoor Hub, operators can deliver improved high speed internet, cable IPTV and multiscreen services over their existing networks.

Each hub can house modules for optical switching, splitting, amplification, wavelength multiplexing and de-multiplexing, and re-lasing. Since these modules are compliant with existing optical node housings, operators can expand their existing nodes to Outdoor Hubs, which can then serve additional nodes. An optional Docsis or HMS status-monitoring transponder enables remote monitoring and control of all functionality in the Outdoor Hub.

Mobile VoIP solutions users to benefit from O2 4G rollout

The roll-out of O2 4G looks set to benefit mobile VoIP solutions users, with the first network in London turned on recently. This trial is due to run for the next nine months, with hundreds of venue owners, businesses and consumers equipped with the latest in 4G technology. In all, more than 25 4G sites will go live across the capital this month.

Chief executive officer of Telefonica UK (O2) Ronan Dunne said this launch "demonstrates our commitment to delivering 4G to our customers at the earliest opportunity", adding that the work that is being done now will "lay the foundations" for the company's commercial network when it is unveiled in the UK.

Hiding messages in VoIP packets

A group of researchers from the Institute of Telecommunications of the Warsaw University of Technology have devised a relatively simple way of hiding information within VoIP packets exchanged during a phone conversation.

The called the method TranSteg, and they have proved its effectiveness by creating a proof-of-concept implementation that allowed them to send 2.2MB (in each direction) during a 9-minute call.

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