Hall 13 is missing a significant amount of land mass with the absense of Cisco. So what's the deal? Did the company, as one Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) staffer suggested, "forget about CeBIT this year"?
Not so, says Cisco. It's here on some partner stands and is, instead, holding a Cisco Expo in Berlin in May. "We feel we get more value from that type of activity," says a spokesman.
Nortel has the same view. It is here with partners and has a stand with its joint venture partner LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) but is reviewing the way it looks at "live brand communications," says a member of the vendor's events team, and later this year will do its own expo event in Germany.
Meanwhile, competitors like Juniper are surprised and delighted in equal measure, as this is still a major event in the European telecom and major enterprise calendar. So what else is new? Here's a rundown of some news snips.
Today the French firm announced some new residential gateway features and DECT phone products, and enhancements to its IPTV middleware platform, Smartvision. The firm is a major player in the emerging home gateway segment and has developed a home hub with BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA). (See BT Gets a Gateway and Home Gateway Group Puts on Specs.)
But can Thomson deliver to the Home Gateway Initiative (HGI) 's target of a product at just €70 per unit? (See Telcos, Vendors Battle Over Gateway.)
Yes, says Bruno Fabre, CEO of Thomson Telecom, though it will take some time before any company can deliver to the full expectations of the carrier-led HGI, which is still formulating its specifications.
Thomson also today unveiled a new line of IP set-top boxes, the IP2000 series, that incorporates support for MPEG-4 Part 10, the new iteration of the compression codec also known as AVC and H.264 that, the IPTV sector believes, will help bring MPEG-4 into mainstream deployment. That's important for service providers, as MPEG-4 allows about twice as many streams of standard definition video to be delivered across a broadband connection as the widely deployed MPEG-2 standard.
The IP2000 series also supports high definition (HD), and, importantly, is based on system-on-a-chip technology that reduces the unit cost of the set-top boxes, an important breakthrough for MPEG-4 and HD-capable products. Thomson uses ST17000 silicon from STMicroelectronics NV (NYSE: STM) for its system-on-a-chip design.
Fabre says this is Thomson's first system-on-a-chip MPEG-4 Part 10 IP set-top device (SOSMPFPTSTD) and that the unit cost is much lower now than before, though he wouldn't commit to any specific numbers. It will be commercially available in July.
Other CeBIT news today includes:
- Transmode Adds Transponder
- Nokia Showcases Convergence
- Keymile, Conklin Demo IPTV
- Siemens Shows Off Mobile TV
- Vistream Touts FMC