Thursday, November 16, 2006

Boost Mobile and loopt Launch Social Mapping for Mobiles

Boost Mobile, a division of Sprint Nextel, and loopt, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, launched a location-based social mapping service that enables young mobile phone users to share their location, status messages, photos and other on-the-go experiences with friends from their Boost Mobile phone.

Boost offers premium Pay-As-You-Go wireless phones and services to the youth market using the Sprint Nextel network.

The new Boost loopt service automatically updates the location of everyone in a private network of Boost customers and displays that information directly on a map on the phone. The service also sends an alert when a friend in the network is near.

Boost loopt also brings geo-tagging capabilities to a major U.S. wireless carrier for the first time. The service's journaling feature allows mobile users to "geo tag" locations and captures their experience with friends in their private network.

Boost Mobile is offering Boost loopt to its customers with java-enabled handsets for free through the remainder of 2006. Starting January 2007, Boost loopt will be offered on a Pay-As-You-Go basis for $2.99 per month.
  • Earlier this year, loopt announced a $5 million Series A financing led by venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and New Enterprise Associates.

SMC Ships Single Chip 28-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch

SMC Networks began shipping a Layer 2, fully-managed 28-port Gigabit Ethernet switch with two 10 Gigabit uplinks at an MSRP of $1299.99. The switch provides 24 RJ-45 plus four SFP ports in an efficient single chip switching solution. Management features include Spanning Tree, VLANs and link aggregation (LACP) which also supports trunking the 10G ports.

Sipera Adds Cisco Exec as VP Engineering

Sipera Systems, a start-up based in Richardson, Texas, named Ravi Varanasi as Vice President of Engineering. Prior to Sipera, Varanasi led development efforts for Cisco Systems, focused on security technology, enterprise networking and core engineering. He was a founding member for Cisco industry initiatives including Network Admission Control (NAC), Cisco Pervasive Security (CPS), and Application Security.

Sipera Systems also named Greg Flowers as Vice President of Finance. He previously was a vice president of GTESS Corporation.

Sipera Systems specializes in security for VoIP, mobile and multimedia communications, including SIP, UMA and IMS vulnerabilities.

Mavenir Systems Hires former CEO of Spatial Wireless

Mavenir Systems, a start-up based in Richardson, Texas, announced today the appointment of Pardeep Kohli as President and CEO.
Kohli previously served as co-founder, president and CEO of Spatial Wireless, which was acquired by Alcatel.

Mavenir Systems is developing a next generation service delivery platform designed "to transcend the barriers dividing networks." The company promises an innovative approach to delivering multimedia capabilities across networks, access and devices with full mobility, authentication and service assurance. Product plans have not yet been disclosed. The company has an office in Shanghai, China, and is financially supported by Austin Ventures and North Bridge Venture Partners.

Mavenir also announced the appointment of Dr. Sachio Semmoto of eAccess Ltd. and eMobile Ltd. to its advisory board, and the election of industry executive veterans Ben Scott (former chairman and CEO for IXC Communications) and K-P Wilska (Nokia), to its board of directors.
  • In July 2006, Mavenir Systems announced $13.1 million in venture funding for its work in mobile multimedia systems. The company said it is focused on the convergence services market.

  • In September 2004, Alcatel agreed to acquire Spatial Wireless for approximately US$250 million (approx. EUR 205 million) in Alcatel American Depositary Shares (ADS). Spatial's flagship product, Spatial Atrium, is a multi-standard mobile softswitch that controls distributed media gateways and manages call/session control for voice and data services. It works seamlessly in GSM/EDGE, 3G/UMTS and CDMA networks.

Versatel Selects Huawei for IP/DWDM

Versatel has selected Huawei Technologies to supply key elements of a new nationwide network across Germany. The deployment includes Huawei's DWDM equipment and its Quidway NetEngine series of high end routers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Cablevision Plans No Price Increase in 2007

Cablevision Systems' pricing for its cable TV services in New York will remain virtually unchanged in 2007, up 1.1 percent on average over current rates. Standard pricing for Cablevision's Optimum Online high-speed Internet service and Optimum Voice digital voice- over-cable service will not increase in 2007, the fourth consecutive year without a price increase for these top-rated services, which continue to lead the nation in consumer acceptance.

The company noted cable television programming increases in 2006, including the addition of the new regional sports network featuring the New York Mets, SportsNet New York, to its Family Cable line-up, and the addition of a number of new standard-definition channels to its iO digital cable line-up. The company also expanded its HD line-up, adding four new channels to a list of 22 HD services available to iO customers at no additional cost.

Cablevision also expanded the more than 1,400 on demand titles available to iO customers, and added three new categories to its free VOD offering.

Also in 2006, Cablevision completed a significant value-added speed increase for its Optimum Online high-speed Internet customers, from up to 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream to 15 Mbps downstream and 2 Mbps upstream at no additional cost, and also launched a premium tier offering speeds of up to 30 Mbps downstream and 5 Mbps upstream.

Alcatel/Lucent Merger Expected to Close on November 30

President Bush accepted the recommendation of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to not suspend or prohibit the proposed merger of Lucent Technologies and Alcatel. The companies are bound by conditions of a National Security Agreement and Special Security Agreement with U.S. government agencies.

The White House said in a statement that the decision took into account all relevant national security factors, including, but not limited to (1) the scope of Lucent's operations and its work with state, local and federal government agencies, (2) the globalizing nature of the telecommunications industry, (3) the important research and development being conducted at Lucent's Bell Laboratories.

Alcatel and Lucent now expect to complete their merger on November 30, 2006, which is within the six-to-twelve-month timeframe originally announced April 2, 2006.

  • In July, the European Commission has cleared the proposed merger between Alcatel and Lucent Technologies. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it. The main areas of concern had been in the sale of DSLAMs and optical networking equipment, where the combined company will hold considerable market shares. However, the EC concluded that network operators would be able to sufficiently constrain the merged entity through their countervailing power in bidding procedures that are a characteristic of the industry.

FCC Chairman Martin Confirmed for Second Term

The U.S. confirmed Kevin Martin to serve a second term as Commissioner and Chairman of the FCC.

In March 2005, President Bush nominated Kevin J. Martin to serve as the next FCC Chairman, replacing Michael K. Powell. Martin did not need to be confirmed by the Senate because he had served as FCC Commissioner since 2001.

IRAQTEL Selects Redline for WiMAX in Iraq

IRAQTEL, the telecom subsidiary of Al Emaar Holding Group, selected Redline Communications' WiMAX Forum-certified RedMAX products. RAQTEL will begin its RedMAX deployment in Basrah, and will expand its WiMAX network to include additional regions across Iraq. Financial terms were not disclosed.