DTV, VoIP Vendors Dot Show Floor

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San Francisco— Equipment vendors, responding to impending cable-operator rollouts of digital simulcasting and voice-over-Internet protocol, showcased new products and technologies supporting those services at the National Show last week.

Motorola Inc. and RGB Networks announced an agreement in which Motorola will market RGB’s Video Intelligence Architecture video-processing solutions. The first product to be offered, the companies said, is RGB’s simulcast edge processor, which allows operators to deliver an entire analog lineup from a Gigabit Ethernet MPEG-2 (Moving Picture Experts Group) multiple.

Tandberg Television launched the EN5240 decoder designed for public, educational and government access channels, with four channels in one rack unit.

FREEING BANDWIDTH

Tandberg also introduced the TT1230 multichannel MPEG-2 decoder, designed to sit at the edge of the network and down-convert digital signals for analog-only homes.

The decoder will also permit operators to free up backbone bandwidth, while still providing analog programming to those who want it, Tandberg said.

BigBand Networks Inc. introduced its new BRD210 broadband real-time decoder chassis built for gigabit-Ethernet decoding, as well as its new GFM103 card for the company’s broadband multimedia router. The BRD can decode up to 40 analog video outputs with single audio or 20 analog outputs with dual audio, or any combination in between.

SPRINT DEALS

On the VoIP front, Sprint Corp. signed three smaller cable operators for VoIP-related phone services: Massillon TV in Massillon, Ohio, Wave Broadband and Blue Ridge Communications. Sprint will provide a mix of provisioning, switching, and termination of traffic services, as well an E-911, local number portability, and operator/directory services. The MSOs will be able to provide caller ID, call-waiting, call-forwarding and voicemail functions.

Net2Phone Inc. signed VoIP deals with Communications Services and CityNet, of Tifton, Ga. Both are part of Net2Phone’s master agreement with the National Cable Television Cooperative. Net2Phone also said it has certified Motorola’s VT1000 voice gateway.

Sigma Systems signed a deal to supply operational support system services for Canadian MSO Rogers Communications Inc.’s digital phone rollout. The deal covers Sigma’s VoIP service package, CLEC (competitive local-exchange carrier) Intercarrier gateway, VoIP service diagnostics and voice client service center.

CedarPoint Communications Inc. announced interoperability with Integra 5’s UniTV application server, which provides caller ID on the TV. CedarPoint also announced the rollout of its gear with Insight Communications Co.

WIRELESS PORTING

On the wireless front, BridgePort Networks was showcasing software that links cable’s broadband network with wireless phone service.

BridgePort is offering two business models, two device scenarios and two call models with its NomadicONE Network Convergence Gateway.

In the roaming business model, both the operator and mobile carrier provide their own phone numbers and bills to subscribers. In the wholesale-purchase or mobile virtual network operator model, the operator resells the wireless phone service, providing and subsidizing mobile handsets.

The two call models, BridgePort said, were “Roam to Home,” in which the subscriber’s mobile phone number is also used as the home phone number, and “Roam to Mobile,” where the subscriber’s VoIP phone number also is used as the mobile phone number.

On the device side, BridgePort’s dual-mode option features a single mobile phone operating on the cellular network away from home, which automatically switches to VoIP over wireless fidelity when connected to cable’s broadband network.

In the multiple phone option, a regular cellular phone and broadband SIP phone or MTA are used in combination.

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