Sunday, June 24, 2007

Boingo Offers Flat Rate Wi-Fi Roaming for $39/Month

Boingo Wireless announced a new Wi-Fi service providing access to more than 100,000 Boingo hot spot locations around the world for a flat rate of EUR 29 or US$39 per month, with no roaming charges and no per-minute fees.

Boingo also announced a partnership France's Hub télécom and Norway's Oslo Lufthavn Tele & Data AS (OLTD), thereby adding key airport locations in Europe to its roaming network.
  • In May 2007, Boingo Wireless signed a roaming agreement with FON, a Madrid-based start-up building a global community of Wi-Fi access point owners (or "foneros") willing to share their broadband connections. The roaming deal will provide Boingo users with access to an additional 130,000 hot spot locations – more than doubling the company's network size.

RCN to Acquire NEON for $260 Million

RCN Corporation agreed to acquire NEON Communications Group, a facilities-based carrier serving New England and the mid-Atlantic regions, for up to $5.25 per share of NGI common stock, in cash, for expected total consideration of up to approximately $260 million.

The merger combines RCN, a leading competitive provider of video, data, and voice services to residential and business customers in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, and Chicago metro markets, with NEON's pure play network transport services to carrier and enterprise customers in its twelve-state New England and mid-Atlantic region.

NEON operates a densely built fiber optic network with approximately 4,800 route miles, over 230,000 fiber miles, 22 colocation facilities, and more than 200 points of presence from Maine to Virginia. It serves approximately 120 carrier and enterprise customers.

RCN provides service in the Boston, New York, Eastern Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., and Chicago metropolitan markets.

"This is a significant strategic acquisition for RCN that scales our high-value commercial segment with another premier regional service provider in our own footprint. This combination of NEON, ConEd Communications and RCN's existing metro and intercity rings will now reach into both Tier 1 and Tier 2 markets for enterprise and carrier customers who are looking for robust alternatives to incumbent providers. Additionally, NEON's dense capillarity improves our ability to deliver seamless, high quality services and creates significant growth potential," commented Peter Aquino, President and CEO of RCN.

Germany's EWE TEL Selects Infinera Optical Backbone

EWE TEL, one of Germany's leading regional telecom operators, selected Infinera for its optical backbone. The European systems integrations partner AXIANS, represented in Germany by NK Networks & Services, introduced the Infinera Digital Optical Networks solution. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Telstra and Alcatel-Lucent Announce R&D Pact

Telstra and Alcatel-Lucent announced a three year collaborative Research and Development (R&D) agreement. Alcatel-Lucent said the agreement ensures that its global products and solutions are developed in close alignment with Telstra's commercial and technological business requirements.

Nokia Siemens Networks Builds Global Network Solutions Center in Lisbon

Nokia Siemens Networks will create a new Global Network Solutions Center (GNSC) at its site in Lisbon, Portugal. The facility will consist of a Global Network Operations Center, for outsourced network operations and management for our customers, a Global Care Center for network maintenance services, including fault correction, and also a Service Delivery Center for Consulting and Systems Integration activities such as network optimization.

Wi-Fi Alliance Begins Testing 802.11n Draft 2.0 Gear

The Wi-Fi Alliance Authorized Test Laboratories began testing products for 802.11n draft 2.0 compliance. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 802.11n draft 2.0 products have been tested for interoperability across vendors, adherence to WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access) security protocols, and backward compatibility with more than 3,500 Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 802.11n a/b/g products.

The first products are anticipated to arrive on store shelves this summer -- in time for students returning to school.

Verizon Business and SoftBank Announce Alliance

Verizon Business and SoftBank Telecom announced a strategic alliance to serve multinational customers doing business in Japan. The deal provides customers with access to the networks and capabilities of each company.

SoftBank Telecom has a nationwide, fiber-optic network of more than 13,000 kilometers. Verizon Business owns and operates an expansive global IP backbone.

EarthLink Names New CEO, Former Mpower Exec

EarthLink named Rolla P. Huff as its new president and CEO. Previously, Huff, 50, served as the chairman and CEO of Mpower Communications, a facilities-based provider of voice and data services to both the business and consumer markets from 1999 to 2006. Prior to Mpower, he served as president and chief operating officer, and earlier as chief financial officer, of Frontier Corporation until its acquisition in 1999.
  • Garry Betty, EarthLink's President and CEO, passed away on January 2 due to complications from cancer. He was 49. Mr. Betty had been with the company since 1996.

  • Mpower was a facilities-based CLEC with operations in areas of California, Nevada, and Illinois. The company was acquired by TelePacific in 2006.

Fujitsu Enables Station-to-Station HD-over-IP Transmission in Japan

Fujitsu has developed a new High-Definition (HD) video encoder that is being used for station-to-station transmission between TV Asahi and All Nippon Network (ANN) affiliated companies. The new service enables high quality video transmission from station-to-station using inexpensive broadband public IP lines. Previously, HD video transmission required the use of special lines and mainstream billing using a pay-as-you-go plan.

The deployment uses MPEG4 AVC (H.264) encoding technology in Fujitsu's IP-9500 Video Encoder, which was first launched in November 2006.

blinkx Launches Contextual Online Video Advertising Platform

blinkx, a video search engine company based in San Francisco, introduced a contextually relevant video advertising platform.

blinkx's AdHoc platform aim to match customized, TV-style ads to online video clips in way that Google's AdSense matches advertising to text based Web pages.

AdHoc leverages blinkx's patented speech-to-text transcription and visual analysis technology to understand video content more thoroughly and effectively than other search engines.

MobiTV Expands R&D in Sweden, Silicon Valley

MobiTV announced the opening of its R&D center in Stockholm, Sweden, as well as the company's new engineering facility in Sunnyvale, California.

MobiTV currently claims more than two million paying subscribers.

Seagate Unveils New Terabyte Hard Drives

Seagate announced two new 1 terabyte (TB) hard drives for enterprise and desktop PC storage of digital content.

The new products are second-generation desktop and enterprise perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) hard drives. They deliver 1TB of capacity, 7,200-rpm spin speeds, average seek times of 8.5ms, caches up to 32MB. The new hard drives pack 1TB of data on just four discs. One model offers a SATA interface, and the other model offers SATA and SAS interface options. Shipment is slated for Q3 and MSRP is $399.99.

Motorola Introduces Good Mobile Messaging 5

Motorola announced the release of Good Mobile Messaging 5, a mobile messaging client for business users. The new release aims for greater personalization; and strengthened security and manageability. The new release will incorporate all of the handheld security capabilities previously available separately though the company's Good Mobile Defense product. New features include:

  • Group and find by conversation and sender: sorts and groups emails by conversation thread and/or sender, helping users to easily pinpoint important messages and save time by filing and/or deleting an entire thread or group

  • Complete calendaring: helps invite participants to a meeting, provide real-time visibility into their free/busy status; and automatically suggests and reserves conference rooms based on past preferences and availability

  • Edit and send documents: securely accesses corporate intranets using Good Mobile Intranet (GMI); enables downloads of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Adobe PDF documents directly to the smartphone; allows users to edit files and attach them to outbound emails

  • Dial without password: dials a contact from a password-protected phone without requiring users to enter the password--all while keeping email and contacts data secure

  • Third-party access to contacts: option to provide third-party applications, such as voice dialing and SMS, with access to Good contacts, helping to enhance device usability.
  • Earlier this year, Motorola completed its acquisition of Good Technology, a supplier of enterprise mobile computing software and service, for an undisclosed sum. At the time of the deal, the companies said more than 12,000 enterprises globally were using the Good platform for their mobile messaging.

Zarlink to Acquire Legerity - Targeting Voice over Packet

Zarlink Semiconductor agreed to acquire privately held Legerity Holdings, Inc., a leading developer and supplier of voice ICs for carrier, enterprise and residential gateway equipment, for US$134.5 million in cash, subject to working capital adjustments.

Legerity, which is based in Austin Texas, has grown revenue from US$88 million in calendar year 2004 to US$113 million in calendar year 2006. For the calendar year 2006, income from operations was US$5.1 million and net income was US$4.1 million. Over its 27 year history, the company has shipped over 450 Million lines of DSP-based analog mixed signal products and nearly 320 Million SLIC lines.

Zarlink said it portfolio of network synchronization, voice enhancement and telecom-related products will be combined with Legerity's products and technologies to create a powerful platform for the growing deployment of next-generation networks.

Zarlink intends to fund this acquisition through a combination of its cash resources and, as required, draw down on a bridge facility of up to US$50 million.

"This acquisition will accelerate and expand Zarlink's plans for the voice-over-packet market," said Kirk K. Mandy, President and CEO, Zarlink Semiconductor. "Both companies are designing complementary technologies that enable high-quality voice services. We share a very similar customer base but are not direct competitors. As a result, we expect there to be substantial cross-selling opportunities across a larger customer base and plan to deliver more integrated, higher-value solutions for the rapidly growing voice-over-Internet and voice-over-cable markets."

Chelsio Signs Tier-One OEMs for 10GbE NICs

Chelsio Communications said it has signed OEM contracts with eleven new customers (including five Tier-One vendors) for its 10Gb Ethernet Unified Wire solutions. The company estimates these deals alone will generate more than $30 million in revenue for Chelsio in 2008.

Chelsio technology is being used in a wide range of applications, including WAN acceleration, Network-Attached Storage (NAS) Filers, Storage Area Network (SAN) Arrays, Server Adapters, High Performance Cluster Computing, Video Servers, Server Blades, Application Servers and Web Accelerators. A key attribute of the Chelsio technology is the seamless upgrade path from NIC to RDMA, iSCSI and TOE.

Intel to Support OpenCable Platform in Future Consumer Chips

Intel will include support for the OpenCable Platform in future consumer electronic (CE) system-on-a-chip (SoC) products. This will enable devices powered by the Intel chips, such as digital televisions, set-top boxes, digital media recorders and other networked consumer electronics, to run standard OpenCable applications and services delivered by cable operators, consumer electronics companies, program networks, and other software developers.

Future Intel platforms will include OpenCable Platform technologies certified by CableLabs for interactive applications. Interactive digital cable-ready products can access interactive program guides delivered by cable operators, as well as premium services ordered on-screen, such as video-on-demand (VOD). The devices will also include support for the CableCARD removable security module. The CableCARD encapsulates the local cable system-specific conditional access technology, thus enabling nationwide portability of these two-way devices.

"The collaboration between the major cable TV operators and Intel exemplifies and fuels the ongoing transition to digitally delivered entertainment whether through a computer, high-definition TV, smart set-top box or other networked CE device," said Eric Kim, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the company's Digital Home Group.
  • In April, Intel said it planned to deliver Intel Architecture (IA) SoC products for a new generation of Internet compatible consumer electronics devices. Intel's first CE-optimized IA-based SoC is scheduled for 2008, pairing an IA processor with leading-edge A/V processing, graphics and more to help deliver greater performing, Internet-compatible devices.

Infineon Acquires Texas Instruments' DSL CPE Business

Infineon Technologies will acquire Texas Instruments' DSL Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) business. The transaction is expected to close in the summer of 2007. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Infineon said it plans to continue supporting Texas Instruments' product portfolio and existing customer designs while leveraging the acquired experience in future product generations.

"Combining Texas Instruments' DSL CPE products with Infineon's innovative roadmap leads to a unique end-to-end offering for DSL customers," said Prof. Dr. Hermann Eul, Executive Vice President of the Infineon Management Board and President of the Communication Solutions business group.

"We recognize Infineon's strong commitment to the DSL business. This transaction gives our customers continuity of the product line, continuity of customer support and a strong DSL roadmap," said Dennis Rauschmayer, General Manager of TI's Residential Gateway business. "TI is fully committed to support the transition of the business and the customer service transition to Infineon, ensuring a positive customer experience."

Infineon serves the entire DSL value chain from terminal equipment to street cabinets to the Central Office (CO). Infineon's wireline access portfolio currently includes products ranging from ADSL/2/2+ to integrated voice/data (IVD), SHDSL, VDSL2 and VoIP solutions. Leveraging its product offerings in the CO arena, Infineon also offers a broad portfolio of xDSL routers, VoIP, IP telephony, WLAN and Ethernet switching ICs ideal for broadband CPE applications.

Huawei Wins $700 million GSM contract with China Mobile

Huawei Technologies Co. announced a GSM expansion contract with China Mobile, the largest mobile services provider in China, valued at approximately $700 million. The contract represents 23.6 percent of China Mobile's GSM group purchase project and is the second largest share. Huawei also doubled its share of this year's GSM group purchase project as compared to 2006.

Under the agreement, Huawei will expand China Mobile's GSM coverage in 30 provinces in China, including Guangdong, Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangsu, and Shandong with the deployment of thousands of GSM core and radio products and services.

China Mobile selected Huawei's EnerG GSM solution which includes a new generation BSC (Base Station Controller) based on an ALL-IP PARC platform (Platform of Advanced Radio Controller) and IP-based BTS (Base Transceiver Station) family.
  • Earlier this month, China Mobile awarded a GSM expansion contract to Ericsson covering the supply of core and radio network equipment, along with related technical support and services. The signing ceremony is Stockholm was attended by Chinese President Hu Jintao, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, Wang Jianzhou, Chief Executive of China Mobile Communications Corporation, and Carl-Henric Svanberg, President and CEO of Ericsson.

ZTE Supplies UMTS/HSDPA Network in Estonia

PGH, a holding company integrating resources of virtual mobile company Bravocom and fixed line operator ViaTel, has selected ZTE to deploy a commercial nationwide UMTS/HSDPA network in Estonia. The Estonian operator awarded ZTE the sole vendor contract. Financial terms were not disclosed.