Net Insight intros gear for video IOCs

Net Insight AB, a five-year-old Sweden-based developer of data and real-time video networking equipment, this week introduced its product line which is already deployed at several multimedia companies and carriers.

The product line called Nimbra includes an 18G bit/sec switch that serves as a multiservice gateway to the Nimbra backbone, constructed of two iterations of 8G bit/sec switches. Net Insight also has an Ethernet switch for corporate and residential access networks.

The company's products are intended to serve the market for "triple play services" in which xDSL providers and independent operating companies (IOC) provision voice, video and data service from a QoS-aware backbone. Indeed, the products are aimed squarely at IOCs looking to enter the video-over-DSL market.

Multiple system operators are also rolling out video-on-demand services that can be provisioned via Nimbra, Net Insight says. Market research firms say video offerings, such as broadcast TV, video-on-demand, interactive TV, and video conferencing, can more than double carrier revenue opportunities from broadband customers receiving only high-speed Internet access services today.

Nimbra promises a high level of QoS -- the company claims "100 percent QoS"-- by maximizing network utilization and employing multicast. It also routes traffic over separate channels according to class-of-service, help Net Insight says helps minimize jitter, packet loss and traffic delays.

The individual, traffic-specific, dynamically established channels obviate the need to overprovision the network to deal with the video payload, which is required in a packet-based network, Net Insight says. Nimbra also employ Dynamic Transfer Mode switching, which provides TDM-like clear channel service quality to Ethernet to support streaming and data SLAs.

The 18G bit/sec gateway is called Nimbra One. Nimbra One has eight slots for hot-swappable trunk and access modules, which support multicast on all ports. The switch also features a "GMPLS-like" optical control plane for provisioning and neighbor/path discovery.

Access interfaces include 8xE-1/T-1, 8x10/100M bit/sec Ethernet, one-port Gigabit Ethernet, and two dual-port video modules. Trunk interfaces are 1G bit/sec fiber, OC-3 and OC-12c.

The core switches include the Nimbra 290 and Nimbra 291. The 290 is an 8-port switch that functions as a scalable switch engine for real-time broadband traffic in metro and access networks.

The 291is a full duplex switch designed to increase the utilization of SONET/SDH networks. It features five 1G bit/sec ports and one 2.5G bit/sec OC-48c/STM 16c interface.

One of the first customers for Net Insight's triple-play system is Midwest Tel Net, a consortium of IOCs. Net Insight's equipment is installed and will be used to buildout a network to deliver IPTV, Internet access and telephony services for rural communities in southern Wisconsin.

Subscribers will receive more than 120 TV channels and ADSL Internet access over existing copper wires, Net Insight says. Midwest Telnet is transporting over 100 IP multicast MPEG 2 streams at 3.5M bit/sec to 29 remote sites. Each customer site receives a minimum of two video channels, as well as ISP services, and the potential to also deliver Class 5 POTS to all customers, Net Insight claims.

Net Insight says it will compete with ATM switch and Layer 1 and 2 transport and switching vendors for video operator business. Router vendors such as Riverstone Networks Inc. are also targeting the video-over-DSL service business of IOCs through extensions to the IGMP multicasting protocol, among other application-specific enhancements to their gear.

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