Thursday, April 28, 2005

Samsung's New SATA II Hard Disks Offer 3 Gbps I/O

Samsung Electronics began shipping the first Serial ATA II hard drives offering native 3.0 Gbps I/O transaction capabilities in addition to Serial ATA Native Command Queuing. The 3.0 Gbps speed doubles the 1.5 Gbps data transfer rate of current Serial ATA hard drives. Serial ATA also allows for the "daisy chaining" of drives via sleek and slim cables, so that systems can be expanded by simply adding additional drives.

Samsung's family of Serial ATA II hard drives include an 80 GB model ($93 estimated street price), 120 GB model ($120) and a 160 GB model($150). All feature a 7,200 rpm spindle speed, an 8.9 millisecond average seek time and a 8MB cache buffer.

Tandberg Delivers IPTV System for India's Atlas netTV

TANDBERG Television has delivered IPTV video head-end to Atlas Interactive for a large scale multimedia broadband deployment over the Indian telephone network. The Atlas netTV project will launch services to an initial 50,000 subscribers in the National Capital Region of Delhi in 2005. Financial terms were not disclosed.

TANDBERG Television is supplying a range of equipment for the project, including its TT1260 professional receivers that feed the video streams to the TANDBERG IP Streamer. Each IP Streamer in the system includes TANDBERG Television encoders to allow for bit-rate reduction of the streams to meet the low bandwidth capacity of the ADSL network. All parts of the system have full redundancy and are controlled by the nCompass management system, with monitoring based on the TANDBERG TT1260 with integrated IP input and the TANDBERG TT4010 transport stream analyser. The video head-end is being installed and integrated by TANDBERG Television's long-standing Indian business partner, Horizon Broadcast Electronics Pvt. Ltd.

Siemens Selected for Mobile Nets in Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine

Siemens was awarded contracts valued at US$265 million to expand mobile networks for Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) in Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine. MTS is the largest mobile phone operator in Russia and the CIS. Together with its subsidiaries, MTS services about 39 million subscribers. The regions of Russia, as well as Belarus, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, in which MTS and its subsidiaries are licensed to provide GSM services, have a total population of approximately 226 million.

EC Approves Alcatel Alenia Space and Telespazio

The European Commission gave its approval for the creation of the two companies, Alcatel Alenia Space and Telespazio. The two new companies result from the mergers of the space activities of Alcatel and Finmeccanica.

The first company, Alcatel Alenia Space, of which Alcatel will hold 67% and Finmeccanica 33%, will combine Alcatel Space and Alenia Spazio's activities. It will concentrate on the design, development, and manufacturing of space systems, satellites, payloads, instruments and associated ground systems for civilian and military applications. The headquarters of Alcatel Alenia Space will be located in France, with plants in France, Italy, Belgium and Spain. With estimated 2004 sales of EUR 1.8 billion and around 7,200 people, it will create the European leader in satellite systems and services.

The second company, Telespazio, of which Finmeccanica will hold 67% and Alcatel 33%, will combine Telespazio with Alcatel Space Services and Operations activities. It will concentrate on operations and services for satellite solutions, which includes control and exploitation of space systems as well as value-added services for networking, multimedia and earth observation. Its headquarters will be located in Italy with plants in Italy, France and Germany. With estimated 2004 sales of EUR 350 million and around 1,400 people, it will be a key player in the space services market.

Packeteer Offers New Data Compression for WANs

Packeteer introduced a new compression algorithm enabling enterprise WAN performance gains of up to 80%. The algorithm targets typical enterprise applications particularly e-mail, including SMTP, POP3, and Notes. Packeteer's dynamic compression appliances are needed at both ends of the WAN connection.

Packeteer also introduced its new "Mentat SkyX Server 155" appliance, offering enterprise-class acceleration to mitigate latency and speed application delivery for remote and mobile users using a VPN over high capacity links up to 155 Mbps. The SkyX Server 155 is installed next to the VPN concentrator and functions as a TCP protocol accelerator, optimizing protocol transmissions to manage and reduce the effects of high latency and high packet loss across the Internet. Pricing starts at $25,000.

Fabrinet to Acquire JDS Uniphase Operations in Fuzhou

Fabrinet, an engineering and electromechanical manufacturing services company, agreed to acquire JDS Uniphase's manufacturing facilities located in Fuzhou, China. The deal includes all assets and operations related to the Fuzhou plant including R&D and the manufacture of products such as crystals and precision optics. The Fuzhou plant employs over 500 engineers, technicians, and skilled operators, all of whom are expected to transfer to Fabrinet and continue their employment at the site. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Germany Trims Local Loop Rental to EUR 10.65

Germany's Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications and Posts (RegTP) trimmed the monthly price for a competitor to rent a local loop from the incumbent by another 9.75%. The monthly price had been EUR 11.80 and is now EUR 10.65. Deutsche Telekom had applied for a price of EUR 17.40. RegTP said it based the new price on a cost model and an international tariff comparison. The move is expected to bolster local competition for broadband services.

"With our new decision we are well amongst the average level of countries using the same cost measures, also within the framework of European comparison. The new local loop price - as an appropriate and cost-based price - is a guarantee for long-term and stable competition on the German telecoms market," said RegTP's Matthias Kurth.

DISH Adds 10 Original VOOM HD Channels

EchoStar's DISH Network satellite TV service will expand its high-definition television (HDTV) package by adding 10 original VOOM HD networks.
  • In April 2005, Cablevision Systems confirmed plans to shut down its VOOM HD satellite TV at the end of April.

  • In January 2005, EchoStar Communications agreed to acquire Cablevision's direct broadcast satellite and certain other related assets for $200 million. The deal includes the Rainbow 1 satellite, located at the 61.5 degree W.L. orbital position, as well as FCC licenses to construct, launch and operate DBS services over 11 frequency channels at the 61.5 degree W.L. orbital location. In addition, EchoStar will acquire the contents of Rainbow DBS's ground facility in Black Hawk, S.D. and related assets.

FCC Chairman Announces Staff Appointments

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin announced several new appointments:

  • Dan Gonzalez -- Chief of Staff

  • Tom Navin - Wireline Bureau Chief

  • Michelle Carey - Wireline Competition Advisor to Chairman Martin

  • Kris Monteith - Enforcement Bureau Chief

  • Monica Desai - Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Chief

Union Raises Questions on BT's Exclusion of Marconi

Amicus, the UK's largest private sector union, raised questions about the decision by BT to award preferred supplier status for its network upgrade to eight foreign owned companies.

In a public statement, the union said it would seek answers on the following questions:

  • If any of the US or other European companies selected have received any direct or indirect public subsidies which enabled them to undercut Marconi by offering lower prices

  • If any of the US or other European companies selected have received
    protection or preferred supplier status from national governments or
    national telecoms companies

  • Why Ericsson was chosen as sole supplier in one of the contract domains, when the stated policy of BT was to seek more than one supplier. (Ericsson was chosen as sole supplier for the I-node domain, essentially the intelligence that controls the services, despite the fact that Marconi's highly regarded Softswitch network software was the only one included in BT's preliminary trials)

Peter Skyte, Amicus National Officer, said "Companies in other countries are able to use their national champion and protected status in their home market to bid for contracts such as the BT 21st Century Network at low or loss leader prices. The strategic decision to exclude Marconi from this project marks the beginning of the end for the UK telephone and telecoms equipment industry, following the same path of other core infrastructure industries such as railway production."