Sunday, May 27, 2007

Japan's FamilyMart Convenience Stores Accept DoCoMo Mobile Credit

FamilyMart, which operates approximately 7,000 convenience stores across Japan, and NTT DoCoMo formed a strategic alliance through a capital tie-up in which DoCoMo will acquire 2,930,500 shares of common stock (approximately 3% of the retailer).

From July 10, FamilyMart convenience stores nationwide will begin accepting mobile credit via DoCoMo's iD platform, thereby enabling users to make payments simply by waving their phones over a reader/writer. Currently, the iD platform is accepted in about 140 FamilyMart stores in Tokyo, Nagoya and Fukuoka cities.

Initially, FamilyMart will upgrade reader/writers at FamilyMart payment counters for compatibility with DoCoMo's ToruCa information-capture service, thereby enabling customers to download coupons and useful information into their DoCoMo phones. In addition, Osaifu-Keitai compatible reader/writers will be installed in "Famiport" multimedia terminals in all FamilyMart stores. These services will become available by the end of May 2008.

Norway's Largest Power Company Chooses PacketFront for FTTH

Norway's largest power utility company, Hafslund, selected PacketFront to build an open access FTTH network in Østlandet, the area in and around Oslo. The network will be open access and thus open to all service providers who wish to offer services through it. In the first stage, Hafslund will offer IPTV and other broadband services to selected cooperative housing areas in Oslo. PacketFront's partner, NetNordic, will be responsible for the integration of Hafslund's FTTH network. In addition, Datametrix will be responsible for the installation of the core network.

PacketFront described the project as one of the most important contracts in the Norwegian telecom sector. Financial terms were not disclosed.

ATEME Supplies Encoders for NHK's "Super Hi-vision" Project

ATEME's encoding technology was selected for use in the first public Ultra HD demonstration with MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) by NHK in Tokyo.

NHK's prototype Super Hi-vision (Ultrahigh-Definition Wide-Screen System) technology uses a video format with 7680 x 4320 pixels (16 times higher than standard Hi-vision, NHK's HDTV system). Super-fast cameras capture data at a rate of 4,000 frames per second and the audio component is 22.2 (as compared to today's 5.1 surround sound). A full specification for Ultra HD is expected by 2009, satellite transmission tests are predicted in 2011, and by 2020, NHK hopes that Ultra HD will be ready for broadcast to households.

ATEME said 18 minutes of uncompressed Ultra HD footage consumes 3.5 terabytes of data and one minute of uncompressed footage consumes 194 gigabytes. The use of ATEME's MPEG-4 AVC compression technology significantly reduces these requirements.

http://www.ateme.comIn November, NHK demonstrated live-relay DWDM transmission of Super Hi-Vision between Kamogawa of Chiba prefecture and NHK Science & Technical Research Laboratories.