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Mark Donahue Mark Donahue is an associate editor for Telephony magazine. Previously, he worked in The Associated Press’ Chicago bureau, as well as two trade publications. He graduated from...more

Archive for June 30th, 2009

Itron and Ambient Partner to Increase Smart Grid Functionality for Both Companies

Itron and Ambient Partner to Increase Smart Grid Functionality for Both Companies


LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. — June 30, 2009 — Itron Inc. (NASDAQ: ITRI) announced today it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Ambient Corporation for integration of Itron smart grid and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) solutions, and components, with Ambient Smart Grid® communications platform. The partnership enables a comprehensive and complete suite of smart grid functionality that Itron and Ambient will jointly market to utility customers.


Under terms of the agreement the companies will closely integrate Itron’s leading advanced metering application for the smart grid, OpenWay®, with Ambient Smart Grid communications technology to seamlessly connect legacy equipment as well as advanced smart energy applications to the nation’s power grid.


Itron North America senior vice president and chief operating officer Philip Mezey said, “This is further proof that the OpenWay architecture is adaptable to multiple networks in support of smart grid deployments. Building the smart grid requires unprecedented collaboration. Our partnership with Ambient will help both our companies extend smart grid benefits to more energy users.”


The agreement covers multiple technologies from both companies, including Itron ERT® technology, used for automated meter reading (AMR); as well as Itron Fixed Network and OpenWay RFLAN communications. The partnership leverages Ambient’s X-3000 node and AmbientNMS?, key components of Ambient Smart Grid solutions, and network capabilities utilizing Verizon Wireless’ cellular networks.


John J. Joyce, president and chief executive officer of Ambient, said, “This partnership brings together Itron’s core consumer and commercial AMI technologies with Ambient’s high-capacity communications network for a complete ‘utility to the home’ smart grid solution.”


Itron is a leading, global solutions provider to energy and water utilities, with more than 14 million OpenWay meters under contract.


Ambient designs, develops, and markets Ambient Smart Grid equipment, technologies and services.


About Itron:

Itron Inc. is a leading technology provider to the global energy and water industries. Our company is the world’s leading provider of intelligent metering, data collection and utility software solutions, with nearly 8,000 utilities worldwide relying on our technology to optimize the delivery and use of energy and water. Our products include electricity, gas, water and heat meters, data collection and communication systems, including automated meter reading (AMR) and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI); meter data management and related software applications; as well as project management, installation, and consulting services. To know more, start here: www.itron.com.


About Ambient Corporation

Ambient designs, develops and markets Ambient Smart Grid communications technologies and equipment. Using open standards-based technologies along with in-depth industry experience, Ambient provides utilities with solutions for creating smart grid communication platforms and technologies. Headquartered in Newton, MA, Ambient is a publicly traded company (OTCBB: ABTG). More information on Ambient is available at www.ambientcorp.com.

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MARRIOTT TO OFFER TELEPRESENCE GLOBALLY, GIVING CUSTOMERS THE WIDEST ARRAY OF MEETING OPTIONS

MARRIOTT TO OFFER TELEPRESENCE GLOBALLY, GIVING CUSTOMERS THE WIDEST ARRAY OF MEETING OPTIONS

Using AT&T Telepresence Solution, Marriott Will Increase Opportunities for Small Meetings Business and Create New Revenue Streams for Its Hotels


Bethesda, Md., — June 30, 2009 – Solidifying its position as the lodging industry technology leader, Marriott International (NYSE:MAR) is announcing it will offer telepresence technology in its hotels worldwide, using AT&T’s fully-managed AT&T Telepresence Solution. Cisco TelePresenceâ„¢ technology will enable Marriott to offer customers the widest array of meeting options, whether in-person, virtual or both.


Telepresence is a rapidly growing and increasingly popular technology that enables small groups of less than 20 people to meet and collaborate in multiple locations worldwide in real time. By combining high-definition video, crisp, real time audio – no delays – and interior design for telepresence suites, groups feel as if they are actually meeting together in the same room, even if they are thousands of miles apart. (See video demonstration.)


“As the 24/7 world economy becomes more interconnected, the need to hold small global meetings that cross continents and oceans will only grow,” said Arne Sorenson, president and COO, Marriott International. “We believe telepresence will create more business meetings because people can travel shorter distances and easily connect with colleagues and clients around the world. The addition of telepresence meeting suites in our hotels will give Marriott a leg up on its competition.”


Initially, Marriott plans to locate telepresence meeting suites in 25 global gateway cities, including New York, San Francisco, Washington, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Frankfort and London, in its Marriott Hotels & Resorts®, JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts® and Renaissance Hotels & Resorts® brands. The first telepresence meeting suites are expected to go live at the end of October.


Marriott chose AT&T Telepresence Solution because it combines AT&T’s global communications networking capabilities with the Cisco TelePresence telepresence technology. The Marriott telepresence suites will also be able to connect to existing private Cisco TelePresence locations throughout the world through the use of the AT&T Telepresence Solution intercompany capabilities.


“Marriott is leading the lodging industry in using advanced technology to help extend the reach of meetings for participants in disparate locations,” said Ronald E. Spears, president and CEO of AT&T Business Solutions. “Working closely with Marriott, we are focused on delivering to Marriott hotels throughout the world the premier telepresence experience through the AT&T Telepresence Solution.”


Since early 2008, AT&T and Cisco have collaborated to enable the growth and use of Cisco TelePresence technology and services among businesses and organizations throughout the world. AT&T Telepresence Solution leverages the power of Cisco TelePresence to create a unique, “in-person” experience with the simplicity of making a phone call as well as provides a “meet me” feature with a highly-secure PIN code that simplifies intercompany calling. AT&T Telepresence Solution also offers multipoint functionality and reliable intercompany capabilities enabling multiple locations to connect with one another.


Click here for Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) company information.

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Net Insight’s Nimbra platform selected for contribution feeds from venues in European football league

30 June 2009


Stockholm, Sweden – Net Insight, a leading provider of efficient optical transport solutions for media, broadcast and IP networks has received an order for delivery of the Nimbra platform to a contribution network to carry video feeds from venues in a European football league.


The Nimbra platform has proven to be the top choice for demanding contribution networks responsible for transporting live sports footage from many professional sports venues across the globe including the U.S. and Europe as well as major events such as the 2008 Beijing Olympics.


A European media operator is now deploying a contribution network for live sport transmissions of a European football league. The network will carry SD feeds from multiple venues to a central production facility. Net Insight’s Nimbra equipment will be delivered in June 2009.


The Nimbra platform provides superior flexibility, efficiency and reliability for contribution of live events. The Nimbra 680 is a next generation multi-service switch designed to meet the rigorous rich media and data service needs of the carrier and service provider markets including high switching capacity, end-to-end provisioning and restoration, full topology support, unique multicast support and 100 percent quality of service guaranteed. Equipped with the 8 x Video Access Module, it offers extensive flexibility for studio, contribution and distribution networks. Each of the module’s eight ports can be individually configured as ASI In or ASI Out, as well as standard definition (SD) or high definition (HD) SDI. The module delivers a cost-effective multi-purpose solution for video streams that require a mix of compressed and uncompressed HD and SD content from a single venue, such as sports arenas and editing trucks.


About Net Insight

Net Insight delivers the world´s most efficient and scalable optical transport solution for Broadcast and Media, Digital Terrestrial TV, Mobile TV and IPTV/CATV networks. Net Insight products truly deliver 100 percent Quality of Service with three times improvement in utilization of bandwidth for a converged transport infrastructure. Net Insight’s Nimbraâ„¢ platform is the industry solution for video, voice and data, reducing operational costs by 50 percent and enhancing competitiveness in delivery of existing and new media services. World class customers run mission critical video services over Net Insight products for more than 100 million people in more than 35 countries. Net Insight is quoted on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. For more information, visit www.netinsight.net

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Starwood Hotels and Tata Communications Partner to Roll-Out TelePresence Rooms in Hotels Globally

Starwood Hotels and Tata Communications Partner to Roll-Out

TelePresence Rooms in Hotels Globally


TelePresence provides the experience of in-person meetings with participants in locations around the world


(SINGAPORE and WHITE PLAINS, NY) June 30, 2009 – Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc (NYSE:HOT) and Tata Communications, a leading provider of the new world of communications, today announced a partnership agreement as part of an ambitious plan to roll out public Telepresence rooms worldwide.


The agreement will significantly increase Tata Communications’ network of public Cisco TelePresence rooms with 10 new facilities opening in Starwood hotels by the end of 2009. The first telepresence suites are planned for Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, Sheraton on the Park in Sydney, Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, The Westin Los Angeles Airport and W Chicago-City Center. Looking ahead, Starwood anticipates expanding the offering to hotels in key international business markets like Brussels, Paris, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo. Tata Communications Telepresence Service will provide Starwood and its guests an “in person” meeting experience with participants in rooms around the world.


“We believe that public telepresence rooms are the key to increasing the accessibility of telepresence beyond major company offices to their wider ecosystem of users - customers, suppliers, remote workers and business partners. Using managed telepresence services is ‘better than being there’ and helps companies hold more productive meetings without incurring travel and time costs. More team members can participate in meetings and collaborate around the world,” said John Landau, Senior Vice President Global Managed Services from Tata Communications.


“We intend to make telepresence available to as many users as possible with our global network of public telepresence rooms and our suite of managed telepresence networks services for businesses. Our partnership with Starwood is a major step towards making this vision a reality,” added Landau.


“Starwood has made a name for itself as an innovator in the hotel industry, and it is crucial that we continue to evolve our meetings offerings to address the needs of today’s consumers,” said Christie Hicks, Senior Vice President of Global Sales for Starwood. “The partnership with Tata Communications is yet another opportunity for us to bring innovative, cutting-edge technology to our properties, and add true value for our business and conference facilities’ guests.”


“With global companies under increasing pressure to foster productivity at the least cost, the need for public telepresence rooms is greater than ever. Telepresence that is available on a per use basis enables affordable, high quality communication for the small and medium business or remote/regional office worker. Because of the decentralized nature of business today, without public room deployments, telepresence can never achieve the critical mass needed to realize the full potential of this exciting video technology. Tata Communications is aggressively investing and building public telepresence rooms to help achieve this potential and meet the needs of the global workplace,” said Paul Waadevig, Senior Consultant on Unified Communications, Frost and Sullivan.


Cisco TelePresence provides life-like, high definition, conferencing facilities with superior audio, video and environmental qualities allowing participants to meet their colleagues, customers and business partners across a virtual table. The public facility offers users who do not have Telepresence rooms in their companies, access to this cutting-edge technology at an affordable per hour rental rate. Tata Communications has several operational public rooms in India (Mumbai, Bangalore (x2), Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi and Gurgaon), UK (London) and USA (Boston), and has recently announced an agreement to manage a public room in Manila for PLDT in the Philippines.


Tata Communications is unique in offering a comprehensive Cisco-certified TelePresence network consisting of hosted and managed service within private networks, between the world’s first public rooms and soon, across an open global telepresence exchange. Later this year, Tata Communications plans to launch its Global Meeting Exchange service that will conveniently support business-to-business sessions between any telepresence rooms (public or private) subscribed to the service, regardless of the network service provider. This pioneering global service framework pushes Telepresence from being a private intra-company experience to supporting the strong demand for open inter-company sessions. European CEO Magazine named Tata Communications the Best Managed Telepresence Service Provider of the Year.


For further information on Tata Communications Telepresence Services and Starwood, visit

www.tatacommunications.com/telepresence or www.starwoodhotels.com


About Tata Communications


Tata Communications is a leading global provider of a new world of communications. With a leadership position in emerging markets, Tata Communications leverages its advanced solutions capabilities and domain expertise across its global and pan-India network to deliver managed solutions to multi-national enterprises, service providers and Indian consumers.


The Tata Global Network includes one of the most advanced and largest submarine cable networks, a Tier-1 IP network, with connectivity to more than 200 countries across 400 PoPs, and nearly 1 million square feet of data center and collocation space worldwide.


Tata Communications’ depth and breadth of reach in emerging markets includes leadership in Indian enterprise data services, leadership in global international voice, and strategic investments in operators in South Africa (Neotel), Sri Lanka (Tata Communications Lanka Limited), Nepal (United Telecom Limited), and subject to approval by the Chinese government, China (China Enterprise Communications).


Tata Communications Limited is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India and its ADRs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange. (NYSE: TCL)


www.tatacommunications.com


About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.


Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 960 properties in 97 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft®, and Element SM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.


Forward-looking and cautionary statements

Certain words and statements in this release concerning Tata Communications and its prospects, and other statements, including those relating to Tata Communications’ expected financial position, business strategy, the future development of Tata Communications’ operations, and the general economy in India, are forward-looking statements. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, including financial, regulatory and environmental, as well as those relating to industry growth and trend projections, which may cause actual results, performance or achievements of Tata Communications, or industry results, to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The important factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from such forward-looking statements include, among others, failure to increase the volume of traffic on Tata Communications’ network; failure to develop new products and services that meet customer demands and generate acceptable margins; failure to successfully complete commercial testing of new technology and information systems to support new products and services, including voice transmission services; failure to stabilize or reduce the rate of price compression on certain of the company’s communications services; failure to integrate strategic acquisitions and changes in government policies or regulations of India and, in particular, changes relating to the administration of Tata Communications’ industry; and, in general, the economic, business and credit conditions in India. Additional factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from such forward-looking statements, many of which are not in Tata Communications’ control, include, but are not limited to, those risk factors discussed in Tata Communications’ various filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. These filings are available at www.sec.gov. Tata Communications is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any obligation to, update or alter its forward-looking statements.

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Red Bend Software Enables Device Management of Fujitsu’s WiMAX Chipsets

Tokyo, June 29, 2009—Red Bend Software (Japan headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President: Kazuhiro Abe), the market leader in Mobile Software Management (MSM), today announced that Fujitsu Microelectronics Limited (Headquarters: Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo; President: Haruki Okada) has licensed Red Bend’s standards-based device management (DM) software for Fujitsu Microelectronics’ WiMAX SoC and WiMAX chipsets. Fujitsu Microelectronics is a world leader in the design and manufacturing of semiconductors for WiMAX devices, such as mobile handsets, PC modems, mobile Internet devices and netbooks.


Under the agreement, Fujitsu Microelectronics has pre-integrated Red Bend’s device management software in its WiMAX SoC and chipset platform, allowing Fujitsu Microelectronics’ customers to quickly and efficiently implement standards-based device management in their WiMAX-enabled products. Red Bend provides the industry’s leading independent DM client that is interoperable with DM servers supporting standards from the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), including the WiMAX Management Object used by the WiMAX Forum and adopted by leading WiMAX operators worldwide. Fujitsu Microelectronics is a founding member and board member of the WiMAX Forum.


“This agreement with Fujitsu Microelectronics represents the first WiMAX deal for Red Bend in Japan, and continues the rapid adoption of our device management solution by WiMAX chipset vendors, device manufacturers and operators worldwide,” said Kazuhiro Abe, President of Red Bend Software Japan KK. “Fujitsu Microelectronics selected Red Bend for its leadership in mobile software management and built-in support for WiMAX, making it easier and more cost-effective to integrate OMA DM functionality into any WiMAX-enabled device.”


WiMAX service providers face myriad challenges in provisioning millions of new subscribers as well as managing millions of devices that will operate on the network, often temporarily. Red Bend’s device management software has been proven in tens of millions of mobile devices already in the market, and is rapidly being adopted by WiMAX service providers, chipset makers and equipment manufacturers in the United States, Japan and EMEA.


Red Bend’s standards-based OMA DM solution is used to provision new subscribers, configure applications and network settings, manage software and retrieve device information over the air. It has been deployed across multiple platforms, operating systems and memory types on mobile phones, wireless devices and machine-to-machine (M2M) modules.


For more information about Red Bend’s mobile software management solutions, please visit:

English: http://www.redbend.com/solutions/device-management.asp

Japanese: http://www.redbend.com/japanese/solutions/device-management.asp


About Red Bend Software

Red Bend Software, the leader in Mobile Software Management (MSM), provides software solutions for managing firmware, applications and devices over the air. The company’s award-winning MSM products enable device manufacturers, mobile operators and software developers to increase revenues, reduce support costs and achieve faster time to market by remotely managing their software assets on mobile devices. Red Bend’s software has been deployed in more than 520 million mobile devices by eight of the top 10 handset manufacturers, including Kyocera, LG Electronics, Motorola, Sharp, Sony Ericsson and ZTE, as well as dozens of other leading companies in the mobile, M2M and WiMAX markets. Unlike device management vendors with proprietary end-to-end systems and manufacturers’ internally developed solutions that are platform specific, Red Bend is the only company offering independent client software that is interoperable with any standards-based server and that works with any platform on any type of mobile device. Founded in 1999, Red Bend is a privately held, venture capital-financed company with offices in China, Israel, Japan, Korea, the U.K. and the U.S. To learn how Red Bend is bending rules and breaking boundaries with mobile software management, visit www.redbend.com.


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