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

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Comptel OSS Sets Record For Charging, Mediation Performance

Comptel Dynamic OSS Sets New Benchmark for Mediation and Real-Time Charging Performance

IBM benchmark highlights Comptel’s ability to protect Communications Service Providers against the growing mediation and charging requirements that ‘lifestyle’ services demand

Comptel Corporation (OMX Helsinki: CTL1V), the leading vendor of dynamic Operations Support System (OSS) software, today announced the results of an extensive scalability and performance benchmarking study undertaken in conjunction with IBM.

The study demonstrates the unique capability of the newest versions of Comptel’s Convergent Mediation and Charging Solutions to address the scalability issue that ‘lifestyle’ services present for Communication Service Providers (CSPs). As these content and bandwidth-heavy lifestyle services are packaged and billed to end-customers in increasingly diverse ways, service providers will require systems that are able to scale to the corresponding exponential increase in mediation and charging support within OSS systems.

Lifestyle services require CSPs to improve their real-time control and management of services as customers will expect more flexibility in the way these services are packaged together and charged to them. said Simo Sääskilahti, Comptel SVP Products and Solutions. In a service provider’s production environment, this translates into a dramatic increase in the number of mediation and charging events that the OSS must be able to handle.

In this benchmarking exercise, Comptel was able to achieve near linear scaling to over 1.9 billion events per hour on a single IBM Power 595 server with a 64-way POWER6 microprocessor.

Scalability of this magnitude is critical to meeting the dynamic needs of tier-one service providers and those looking to consolidate multiple billing back-office components into a convergent platform, continued Sääskilahti. Comptel is comfortable to deliver our solutions on IBM technology for our largest customers, some quickly approaching 100 million subscribers.

“The combination of Comptel’s Convergent Mediation and Charging software and the IBM technology is a great cost effective option for customers that require the highest levels of performance and scalability,” said Pierre Perdaems, IBM Telecommunication Servers - EMEA CTO. By achieving nearly two billion events per hour with Comptel Convergent Mediation and Charging, the IBM Power series server family has again demonstrated why it is proving to be the architecture of choice for CSPs worldwide.”

Today, Comptel has 16 customers on Power series servers supporting over 200 million subscribers, including Airtel, DTAC, Idea Cellular, Telefónica Móviles Argentina and Vodafone Essar. IBM Power series servers are the servers of choice for tier one service providers, with Power 6 servers providing PowerVM IBM’s industry-leading virtualisation technology to allow optimal flexibility, server consolidation and cost reduction.

Benchmark Details

* Conducted at IBM Telecommunications Infrastructure Center for BSS in Montpellier France, the benchmark included various workloads such as offline streams, online streams, charging, rating, and customer balance management activities using a variety of conditions modeled after real-life communications service providers. Several joint customers provided validated test scenarios.

* Convergent scenarios covered modeled conditions equal to 1.5 billion subscribers in a developing economy prepaid/postpaid business model. Specific test scenarios for GGSNs and other network components generating high record volumes requiring complex stream aggregation were defined and tested by IBM Global Services.

* The results verified Comptel Convergent Mediation Solution 6.1 and Comptel Charging Solution 6.1 core components’ near linear scalability utilising in-memory data storage. Memory usage correlates to core functionalities, such as aggregation, correlation, duplicate checking, and rating which dynamically drives how many parallel sessions to hold against the data store.

* The benchmark tested Comptel’s solutions running on a single IBM POWER6 processor-based Power 595 server, with IBM AIX version 6.1 operating system and IBM PowerVM virtualisation technology, hosted by an IBM DS8300 storage subsystem.

Additionally, Comptel also ported Comptel Convergent Mediation Solution 6.1 and Comptel Charging Solution 6.1 to support IBM solidDB in-memory database and IBM BladeCenter, for more performance, scalability, and reliability options required for varying emerging and Greenfield market conditions. Comptel plans to make the Comptel Convergent Mediation and Charging Solutions generally available leveraging the high performance of IBM solidDB in-memory database. Comptel Charging Solution 6.1 is also being integrated by IBM into Aritel applying IBM SOA best practices.

About Comptel Corporation

Comptel provides Comptel Dynamic OSS solutions, enabling telecom service providers to deliver services flexibly and charge them effectively. Comptel’s expertise in inventory, provisioning and activation, mediation and charging empowers service providers to focus on delivering the innovative services. Comptel has provided solutions to 280 customers with 800 million subscribers in 85 countries. Net sales were EUR 85 million in 2008. The Group has about 600 employees in 18 countries.

InterMetro Communications Inc. Appoints New CFO

Simi Valley, CA Dec. 10, 2008 InterMetro Communications, Inc. (IMTO.OB) announced today that Kenneth Fish has been appointed as its new Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Fish’s most notable recent posts were as V.P. Corporate Finance/Strategic Planning and V.P. Corporate Business Development for Allergan, a publicly traded biotechnology and specialty pharmaceutical company with over $3Billion in annual sales. Between the two positions held at Allergan, Mr. Fish was responsible for quarterly forecasting and annual budgets; managing investor relations; managing in-licensing and out-licensing deals; as well as completing several M & A transactions.

Prior to his tenure at Allergan, Mr. Fish worked for 10 years in telecommunications, holding senior executive posts at Hughes Electronics, Airtouch Communications and MCI, all three large public telecommunications companies. Across these roles he led business planning, accounting and tax structuring; managed company valuations; handled due diligence on mergers & acquisitions; as well as negotiated purchase and sale agreements, joint ventures and partnerships. While with Hughes, a publicly traded $7.5B (annual revenue) telecom and media subsidiary of General Motors, Mr. Fish led three IPOs, including the XM Satellite Radio IPO (prior to its sale to News Corporation). He was also instrumentally involved in the creation of new business units in over twenty countries, which included serving as the launch CFO of Airtouch projects in Argentina, Brazil, Egypt and Turkey.Mr. Fishholds his MBA from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA, with dual concentration in finance and strategy, and his BA, cum laude, from Princeton University. more

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Verizon Business Helps IT Leaders Set Sights for 2009

Global Communications and IT Solutions Leader Identifies Top Technology Trends to Help Businesses Reach New Heights in Year Ahead

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. The global economy is front and center, and enterprises worldwide are looking to get the biggest bang for their buck in 2009. With that in mind, Verizon Business has identified 10 business technology trends to help corporate and government information technology (IT) leaders do more with less.These challenging times present IT leaders with an opportunity to make technology work harder and smarter to get the job done, said Nancy Gofus, senior vice president of global business products for Verizon. We’re at a crossroads, where cost-cutting and technological innovation can actually unite to create new business capabilities in spite of the economic climate. Verizon Business stands ready to help large businesses and government agencies worldwide make the most of communications and IT to propel their enterprises forward.

Here’s Verizon Business’ list of 10 hot trends for 2009:

Enterprise 2.0

The workplace is ever-changing and yesterday’s work style is being replaced with a more interactive exchange of ideas inspired by social networking tools such as Facebook, Wikis, Mash-ups, Twitter and Digg-it. Web 2.0 is quickly evolving into Enterprise 2.0 as these rich capabilities are creating new business models for some companies and empowering new strategies for others. Removing traditional barriers of walls, wires, time and distance — reflective of today’s often globally dispersed enterprises — in favor of new social networking tools will enable workers to connect to their extended network of customers, suppliers, vendors and employees in new and exciting ways. Look for Enterprise 2.0 to help organizations take their game to the next level through enhanced collaboration, communications and sharing ideas.

Work as Activity Versus Place

Organizations want their employees to get their jobs done no matter where they are. For that reason, teleworking is becoming a strategic imperative. Companies will continue to recognize the productivity-boosting benefits of enabling mobile teleworkers or at-home teleworkers to remain securely connected to corporate resources. The environment will also benefit as more businesses, government agencies and municipalities recognize the energy savings that can result from teleworking and hoteling (using office space on an as- needed basis, like a hotel room). Telework, including new high-definition virtual meetings, will create an increased focus on work as an activity versus a physical location, and companies will be able to hire and retain professional talent regardless of where they are located. Managed mobility offerings will help businesses track, monitor, secure and manage the plethora of mobile devices accessing corporate networks.

Doing More with Less

Businesses and governments everywhere are looking for ways to do more with less. That holds true whether it means using managed services or tuning up existing networks instead of building new ones. IT organizations are also looking for the right technologies, such as sophisticated automated speech systems, to better serve customers. In 2009, it’s all about productivity. Companies can choose which functions to keep in-house and which to hand off to a third party. Flexibility, the need for specific skill-sets and globalization are making selective out-tasking the preferred model. With managed services, companies can focus on what they do best and leave some of the highly specialized work such as IT, security, networks and call centers, to experts.

Visual Communications

Video will continue to play a starring role, as companies make the most of their IP connections to create a culture of collaboration. From the boardroom to the desktop to the laptop to the mobile phone, more collaboration will take place, as companies increasingly embrace the cost-savings, productivity and environmental benefits of virtual meetings versus business travel. High-definition video will begin to pay off for extended enterprise communications between employees, customers, suppliers and partners. In addition to interactive video collaboration, video functions will be incorporated in the enterprise for on-demand content distribution, including on-the-job training. As high-definition video equipment becomes more affordable and interoperable, the opportunity to video-enable corporate IP network endpoints will allow companies to rev-up their existing networks with minimal investment.

Unified Communications Integrated Into Business Processes

If voice over IP (VoIP) is thought to be the first return on an IP network investment, unified communications (UC) will be the gift that keeps on giving. Unified communications uses Internet protocol networks to integrate various systems, media, devices and applications to help streamline business processes, accelerate decision-making, and reduce costs. With UC now at the forefront of business communications strategies, companies are making decisions about voice telephony that will help them achieve greater collaboration and productivity. Workers leveraging presence capabilities in a UC environment can gain more control over work flow and time management as well as expedited communications. What’s next: UC integrated into automated business processes, where human and machine intelligence commingle in an IP world to drive even greater business growth.


Ready, Set Go IPv6

The number of IP-addressable devices and systems is skyrocketing within enterprises and few organizations have current documented data on what those IP assets are, how they are being used and which ones are most critical to their operations. Knowing which IP addressable elements are linked to which business needs will enable IT leaders to prioritize the data and applications that will need to be future-proofed with IPv6 capabilities while phasing out those that are idle or counter productive to operations. IPv6 will be a necessity for companies to achieve mobility and scalability with increased efficiency and ultimately move their businesses forward.

Getting SaaSy

The network becomes king once again in 2009 making it the perfect platform for software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery. Serving content, applications and security in a centralized online environment will become the rage. Buying computing resources a la carte will help companies control costs while attaining the security, performance, scalability and reliability required for the enterprise. Consuming IT resources (connectivity, server and storage) on an as-needed basis will keep IT costs in control and eliminate the need, time and effort to outfit every desktop. Centralization will keep IT departments on top of their game in 2009. 360 Security

Professionals will need to be security-conscious in and out of the office. Whether at home or on-the-go, security needs to be considered every step of the way. Three hundred sixty-degree security, mandatory on any IT checklist, requires that the flow of data be protected in and out of the corporate network and through the extended enterprise of widespread and mobile customers, partners, suppliers and employees. Security will touch every endpoint, every device and every situation, both physical and logical. Home and office require equal protection as boundaries continue to blur.

Eco-Responsibility as Sound Business Strategy

Companies will evaluate eco-responsibility along with their technology investments as part of an overall business strategy. Corporate social responsibility is becoming increasingly important in how companies are viewed by their employees, customers and investors. What’s good for the environment also happens to make good business sense. According to Smart 2020: Enabling the low carbon economy in the information age published by The Climate Group, information communication technology (ICT) can reduce total global carbon emissions by 15 percent by the year 2020. If companies can reduce their energy consumption, they can also reduce their energy costs to gain a competitive advantage. What’s more, savvy companies today are embracing the green initiative to get ahead of government and business mandates that will eventually force the issue.

Cutting Through the Compliance Clutter

Compliance and regulatory oversight are here to stay. In 2009, expect more, not less, with IT in the hot seat for ensuring IT systems are fully compliant and all the right controls are in place. Enterprises should be prepared to be strategic, think innovatively and act decisively. Professional services and Web-based dashboards that help track, monitor and enable controls for compliance will provide the foundation for companies looking to get it right. These smart tools also will allow an organization to quickly review whether its partners, customers and suppliers, which form an extended network, are complying with relevant standards and regulations, a critical consideration in today’s increasingly connected world.

To these predictions, concluded Gofus, we will add one more: Businesses worldwide will need to be quick and nimble in the coming year. Those that leverage the benefits of technology to power their business objectives will weather the storm and become even stronger in the long run. Our expert staff is trained to help companies navigate these turbulent waters and deliver a comprehensive suite of integrated, secure communications and IT solutions, including managed and professional services that enable companies to focus on their core business.

About Verizon Business

Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), is a global leader in communications and IT solutions. We combine professional expertise with the world’s most connected IP network to deliver award-winning communications, IT, information security and network solutions. We securely connect today’s extended enterprises of widespread and mobile customers, partners, suppliers and employees — enabling them to increase productivity and efficiency and help preserve the environment. Many of the world’s largest businesses and governments including 96 percent of the Fortune 1000 and thousands of government agencies and educational institutions rely on our professional and managed services and network technologies to accelerate their business. Find out more at


VERIZON’S ONLINE NEWS CENTER: Verizon news releases, executive speeches and biographies, media contacts, high quality video and images, and other information are available at Verizon’s News Center on the World Wide Web at To receive news releases by e-mail, visit the News Center and register for customized automatic delivery of Verizon news releases.

Transition Networks Unveils New Power-over-Ethernet Media Converter

sgpoe1040-100_l.jpgRounds Out Gigabit Ethernet PoE Media Converter Portfolio

Las Vegas, NV September 29, 2008 BICSI Fall Conference Transition Networks Inc., the switching and conversion technology expert, a wholly owned subsidiary of Communications Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: JCS), today announced the introduction of a new Gigabit Ethernet Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) media converter. This product expands Transition Networks’ portfolio of PoE copper-to-fiber media converters enabling customers to power wireless access points, voice over IP phones and IP security and surveillance cameras.

These new converters are capable of handling speeds up to Gigabit Ethernet and can be located more than 100 meters from the main PoE Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE) without the expensive replication of the PSE. The new devices are fully compliant IEEE 802.3af media converters providing 10/100/1000Base-T to 100/1000Base-X conversion and can be powered by an AC outlet anywhere in the world.

In addition to helping overcome the challenge of linking remote IP cameras and Wi-Fi access points located beyond the 100 meter distance limitation of PoE over UTP cabling, our PoE copper-to-fiber media converters also help to reduce capital expenditures and installation costs by providing the benefits of PoE at the remote sites, said Patrick Schaber, Director of Marketing at Transition Networks. As we expand our PoE product portfolio to accommodate higher bandwidth devices and customer applications, the addition of the new gigabit Ethernet device offers customers the utmost in flexibility for integrating fiber into their PoE networks.

Product Features

Transition’s AC powered PoE media converters utilize an external AC power supply allowing for a reduced form factor when compared to devices with an internal power supply. These converters combine the data received over a fiber optic link with up to 15.4 watts of power and insert the combination on either the A or B pairs of unshielded twisted pair cabling to interface with Data Terminal Equipment (DTE) Power Devices (PD). The media converters also include PD signature sensing and power monitoring features compliant with the IEEE 802.3af standard, such as Over-Current Protection, Under-Current Detection and Fault Protection Input. In addition, these products include Transition’s premium selectable features such as Automatic Link Restoration, Auto-Negotiation, Autocross, Link Pass Through, Far End Fault and Pause.

Transition also integrated the following innovative and industry-unique features into these new gigabit Ethernet media converters:

Power Device Reset - With the PSE/LPT switch enabled, a loss of fiber RX will disable PSE power output on the UTP port for 2 seconds to allow remote device to re-initialize. It will then resume power output to the PD device and will automatically re-establish the UTP communication link once the fiber RX is restored.

Redundant, dual speed SFP ports The 110 model includes two SFP ports that support both 100Base-FX and 1000Base-X SFPs providing the ability to utilize this converter to support a fast Ethernet link today and simply move to gigabit Ethernet in the future by changing out the SFP. These dual speed ports can also be set via dip-switch to provide a redundant fiber path between a mission critical PD and a PSE or to function as traditional three port switch.

Product Configuration and Availability

Transition’s new gigabit Ethernet PoE media converters are offered in three distinct models:

Product Description

SGPOE10xx-100 10/100/1000Base-T (RJ-45) PoE to 1000Base-X (fixed fiber port) offered in either multimode and single mode SC

SGPOE1040-100 10/100/1000Base-T (RJ-45) PoE to 100/1000Base-X (dual speed SFP port)

SGPOE1040-110 10/100/1000Base-T (RJ-45) PoE to (2) 100/1000Base-X (dual speed SFP ports) offering fiber redundancy

These new gigabit Ethernet PoE media converters expand Transition’s already extensive portfolio of PoE products. Transition also offers external AC powered 10/100-base models as well as 10-base and 100-base PoE media converters with internal power supplies in either AC powered or DC powered configurations. In addition, PoE injectors and PoE splitters are available under Transition’s MILAN brand offering.

All models are available immediately. Please contact Transition Networks at (800) 526-9267 or for the latest information.

About Transition Networks Products

Transition Networks’ conversion products are known for their ruggedness and reliability. They have a 99.4 percent customer acceptance rating, meaning that approximately one in 1,000 experience failure in the field. All Transition Networks brand of media converters and switches carry a lifetime warranty.

About Transition Networks Inc.

Transition Networks Inc. offers networking connectivity solutions that make networks perform better, faster and more reliably while helping companies leverage their existing networking infrastructure. The company’s Transition Networks brand of media converters make conversion between disparate media types possible, providing conversion technology solutions that offer the necessary adaptations without affecting the performance, nature or appearance of the network. Its complete MILAN portfolio of multilayer switching products is designed to facilitate low-cost network evolution with unique solutions, easing the stress on networks caused by high-bandwidth applications. Based in Minneapolis, Transition Networks distributes hardware-based connectivity solutions exclusively through a network of resellers in 50 countries, including Ingram Micro and Tech Data. Transition Networks is a wholly owned subsidiary of Communications Systems, Inc., a publicly traded company (NASDAQ: JCS).

Statements regarding the Company’s anticipated performance in 2008 are forward-looking and involve risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to: competitive products and other factors discussed from time to time in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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