Thursday, January 4, 2007

Consumer Electronics Forecast to Surpass $155 Billion in 2007

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is predicting that factory-to-dealer sales of consumer electronics will exceed $155 billion in 2007, or seven percent growth.

CEA projects that display technologies will continue to be the star category in the industry and account for $26 billion in revenues for 2007. The migration to digital along with drastic price declines in plasma and LCD displays are contributing to growth.

Todd Thibodeaux, CEA's senior vice president of industry relations, acknowledged 2006 industry growth far exceeded CEA's conservative forecast at the beginning of the year. "We originally forecast eight percent growth, but when all was said and done, we saw an impressive 13 percent growth for the year."

Vidanti Selects Intellon for HD IPTV

Vidanti Ltd. announced plans to develop HD IPTV products based on Intellon's INT6000 HomePlug AV IC. Specifically, Vidanti will integrate the Intellon standards-based 200 Mbps powerline networking solution into its BBTV4000 family of IPTV and hybrid (IPTV & DVB) triple-play HD products.,
  • Vidanti was founded in August 2005 by ex-Virata / Conexant managers and engineers. The company is based in Cambridge, UK.

Cingular Demos IMS Video Sharing Call with Alcatel-Lucent Gear

At CES in Las Vegas, Cingular is showcasing IMS-based video call capabilities over its 3G UMTS/HSDPA network. Alcatel-Lucent is providing the Las Vegas 3G network and IMS platform. LG Electronics is providing the handset.

Key network elements include:

  • Alcatel-Lucent Session Manager, which provides multiple IMS functions including the call session control functions (CSCF), the service broker function -- the enhanced service capabilities interaction manager (SCIM), the policy decision function (PDF) and the breakout gateway control function (BGCF). It forms the core of Alcatel-Lucent's IMS architecture and manages user presence and call types, dynamically connecting subscribers to a variety of services such as "Push To Show" or "Video on Hold" on an IMS-based network.

  • Alcatel-Lucent Network Controller, which provides the IMS media gateway control function (MGCF) and the signaling gateway (SG) function. These VoIP functions were previously associated with media gateway control (MGC) within traditional softswitches.

  • Alcatel-Lucent Network Gateway, which provides the IMS media gateway (MGW) function and permits seamless interaction between IP networks and both traditional wireline and wireless networks.

  • Alcatel-Lucent Unified Subscriber Data Server (USDS), which provides the IMS home subscriber services (HSS) function which maintains information such as subscriber profiles and user location on wireline and wireless networks. The Alcatel-Lucent USDS is a product resulted from the integration of the Home Location Register, Home Subscriber Server, and Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting (AAA) technology and next-generation Super-Distributed Home Location Register (S-DHLR) technology, along with Bell Labs enhancements.

  • UMTS/HSDPA Radio Access Network, which includes Alcatel-Lucent's radio access network, which includes base stations and radio network controllers.
  • In October 2005, Cingular Wireless and Lucent announced that Cingular had awarded Lucent a four-year agreement to provide a IMS-based (IP Multimedia Subsystem) solution that enables Cingular to rapidly develop and launch a broad range of new personalized voice, video, data and multimedia services, such as video share. Alcatel-Lucent's IMS-based architecture has been deployed in the Cingular network.
    In October and November 2005, respectively, AT&T (then SBC Communications) and BellSouth also have announced agreements for Lucent's IMS-based solution. Cingular and BellSouth have since merged with AT&T.

Tellabs Trims Q4 Estimates Citing Spending Delays from RBOCs

Citing delays attributed to uncertainty surrounding telecom industry consolidation, Tellabs trimmed its preliminary revenue estimate for Q4 2006, saying it now expects revenue to range from $455 million to $470 million. Fourth-quarter GAAP earnings per share, assuming dilution, are expected to range from 5 cents to 7 cents.

Tellabs said these preliminary estimates were driven by lower than expected revenue from some large North American customers, an unfavorable shift in product mix, revenue deferrals related to a new product launch, and a lower effective tax rate.

"Uncertainty surrounding telecom industry consolidation led to lower than
expected revenue in North America during the fourth quarter," said Krish A. Prabhu, Tellabs president and chief executive officer. "We expect the revenue impact to be temporary since, as 2007 begins, our customers continue to see growing user demand for bandwidth. Tellabs remains well-positioned to benefit from this."

Sprint Nextel and Nokia in WiMAX Pact

Sprint Nextel named Nokia as a key infrastructure and consumer electronic device provider for its 4G WiMAX network. Nokia joins Intel, Samsung and Motorola on the Sprint Nextel project, which is currently expected to enter service in late 2007.

The strategic relationship with Nokia involves network infrastructure, mobile device and market development commitments. Under the agreement Nokia will:

  • Be a major supplier to Sprint for WiMAX network infrastructure, including the market-leading Nokia Flexi WiMAX base transceiver stations which bring significant site and operating cost savings,

  • Develop and market WiMAX-enabled mobile devices in significant volumes, including multimedia computers and Internet tablets,

  • Jointly develop mobility services and applications to improve the customer experience, and

  • Conduct co-marketing efforts to drive market development and support global adoption to help establish worldwide roaming.

Sprint Nextel said it is expecting to invest up to $800 million in 2007 and between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in 2008 relating to the 4G WiMAX mobile broadband network. Sprint Nextel's goal is to have a broad range of mobile WiMAX-enabled chipsets and modules and an array of portable data, multimedia and consumer electronics devices available from multiple vendors which work seamlessly among Sprint's network offerings. As a result, customers will experience an interactive mobile data network that is designed to offer faster speeds, lower cost, greater convenience and enhanced multimedia content.
  • In August 2006, Sprint Nextel announced that it had selected WiMAX (IEEE802.16e-2005) technology for a next generation wireless network which would utilize the company's extensive 2.5GHz spectrum assets, and the formation of a unique business ecosystem designed to spur widespread adoption of WiMAX devices and services.