Sunday, August 26, 2007

QUALCOMM Announces $1.1 Billion Stock Repurchase

QUALCOMM announced that it has repurchased and retired approximately 29 million shares of common stock during July and August 2007 for approximately $1.1 billion under its $3.0 billion stock repurchase program. Approximately $1.5 billion remains authorized for repurchase in future periods, net of put options outstanding, under the stock repurchase program announced on May 22, 2007.
  • Since fiscal 2003, QUALCOMM has returned approximately $6.3 billion of capital to stockholders, including approximately $2.3 billion in dividends and approximately $4.0 billion through the repurchase of approximately 101 million shares of its common stock.

Spreadtrum Announces AVS Audio/Video Decoder Chip

Spreadtrum Communications, a wireless baseband chipset provider based in Shanghai, announced the commercial release of its AVS audio/video decoder chip. AVS is the audio and video coding- decoding standard independently created by China.

Spreadtrum said its new SV6111 product includes all of the decoding functions required by the AVS standard, while at the same time supporting MPEG-2 specifications. The device supports real time decoding in both high definition and standard definition modes, and contains key functions designed to support both current and future digital TV set-top boxes (STB). Applications include IPTV, cable digital TV, digital satellite TV, and DMB-T transmission standards.

AT&T Adds Big Ten Football to U-Verse Line up

AT&T announced the availability of the Big Ten Network football coverage across all U-verse markets. The Big Ten Network will showcase more than 400 live events, original programming and conference football games in standard and High Definition (HD).

Fujitsu Launches Transmitter Modules for W-CDMA Mobile Phones

Fujitsu Media Devices (FMD), a leading manufacturer specialized in devices for mobile phone equipment, introduced three compact, high-performance transmitter modules for high power efficiency for W-CDMA mobile phones. The modules serve Band I, Band II and Band V. FMD is also planning to develop transmitter modules for Bands IV and VIII in an effort to further strengthen its product lineup.

FMD said its use of a proprietary duplexer and filter enables an optimal design and the world's highest level of power efficiency (27%). The transmitter modules support three output power modes: High power, Middle power, and Low power. In the FMD design, the transmitting circuit components of the mobile phone -- the power amplifier, SAW filter, and SAW duplexer -- are built into a single unit, thus the transmitter modules can achieve a compact size of 7.0 mm × 4.0 mm (with a maximum height of 1.2 mm). This enables a nearly 30 percent decrease in the circuit area when compared to modules configured using conventional discrete components. The transmitter modules support High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA), which serves as the base for 3GPP Release 5, for downlink speeds of up to 14.4 Mbps.

Yahoo! Offers Email-to-SMS Connectivity

Yahoo! has enhanced its email service with the ability for users to send real-time text messages to mobile recipients. Through this service, users in the U.S., Canada, India and the Philippines can send messages to a mobile phone number directly from their e-mail account. Simultaneously, Yahoo! Mail accounts can receive text messages from mobile phone users.

Ikanos Signs Development Pact with European OEM

Ikanos Communications announced a $1.6 million strategic non-exclusive development and feasibility study agreement with a leading European original equipment manufacturer (OEM) that supplies solutions that deliver triple play services.

Ikanos said this extension of the parties' relationship leverages the OEM's extensive DSL and networking system expertise, sets forth a time line that is compatible with Ikanos' next generation design cycle, and explores highly integrated, low-power architectures for next generation, multi-mode VDSL2/ADSLx products that are expected to meet worldwide carriers' requirements and deployment trajectories.

In addition, Ikanos has determined that, because this agreement involves consideration given to a customer, the company is required by applicable accounting rules to record the consideration against revenue. Accordingly, the company's previously reported revenue guidance for the quarter ending September 30, 2007 has decreased by $1.6 million and is now expected to be between $26.4 million and $28.4 million.

Sprint Awards Samsung New York Deal For XOHM

Sprint Nextel selected Samsung Telecommunications America to support the rollout of its mobile WiMAX network in the New York metro area.

Samsung was previously awarded the Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston and Providence, R.I., markets. The New York award is part of an extensive, multi-year supply agreement, and encompasses New York City, Nassau-Suffolk and Jersey City, N.J. It also includes northern and central New Jersey the Newark, Bergen-Passaic, Middlesex-Somerset-Hunterdon and Monmouth-Ocean areas. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Sprint's forthcoming "XOHM" mobile WiMAX network promises broadband access with speeds up to five times faster than current third-generation wireless networks.

With Xohm mobile Internet, customers will get interactive communications, high-speed Internet browsing, local and location-centric services, and multimedia services including music, video, TV and on-demand products. Sprint also plans to bring Xohm WiMAX mobile Internet customers search, interactive communications and social networking tools through a new mobile portal in a deal announced with Google.

Alcatel-Lucent Supplies Universal 802.16e–2005 for Germany's VSE NET

VSE NET, a regional telecommunications service provider based in Saarbr├╝cken, Germany, selected Alcatel-Lucent for a commercial universal WiMAX network - based on the 802.16e--2005 standard (also known as Rev-e) - in the Saar region. The network will support high-speed Internet access and VoIP and other data services with transfer rates of up to 6 Mbps. In the initial stage of the deployment, wireless broadband will be made available to residential and business customers in the sparsely populated northern Saar region, where it is not economically viable to build a conventional DSL infrastructure. The network will operate in the 3.5 GHz frequency band.

Under the contract, Alcatel-Lucent will provide its compact WiMAX base stations as well as wireless access controllers to support the seamless handover of mobile broadband subscribers between individual base stations. The base stations are suitable for indoor installation as well as outdoor mast mounting. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Deployment will start in the autumn of 2007, and commercial operation is set to commence in January 2008.

ECI Supplies Optical and Broadband for Vietnam's Viettel

Viettel, a network operator in Vietnam, has selected ECI Telecom's optical and broadband access solutions to expand its nationwide network. Specifically, ECI has supplied its XDM Multi-Service Transmission Platform (MSTP), BroadGate (BGTM) Multi-Service Provisioning Platform (MSPP), and Hi-FOCuS Multi-Service Access Node (MSAN) platform in an IP DSLAM configuration. The project is being implemented by ECI's business partner in Vietnam, Ntegrator.

Viettel is building a new, long haul DWDM network with a capacity of 40 channels of 10 Gbps using ECI's XDM all-range platform. The network uses very high power fiber amplifiers, widely tunable lasers and very long reach transponders. Viettel also chose ECI's cost-effective, miniature BG-20 optical platform in order to provide optical access for backhauling of mobile base station traffic.

In addition, for this network expansion, Viettel installed ECI's Hi-FOCuS-5 MSAN platform to increase DSL broadband access from Ho Chi Minh City to the other major cities and provinces in the country.

ECI and Ntegrator have been leading suppliers in Viettel for the past nine years, supplying optical equipment for nationwide wireless backhaul.

Intellon to Provide HomePlug for DIRECTV

Intellon announced that its HomePlug 1.0 with Turbo powerline communications IC will provide "No New Wires" connectivity for DIRECTV's Video On Demand service that is scheduled to launch this fall.

DIRECTV On Demand will offer customers access to thousands of titles, including movies, music, popular television shows and more, through their DIRECTV Plus HDDVR.

DIRECTV customers who sign up for the new service will have access to a HomePlug-enabled surge protector and a HomePlug powerline-to-Ethernet adapter, manufactured by TII Network Technologies. This will enable the consumer to connect each HR20 set-top box to the Internet for DIRECTV content downloading, using existing home wiring.

Akamai Pushes HD Internet Video

Akamai Technologies is now delivering HD quality video content for its customers via its distributed edge delivery network with servers in more than 750 cities worldwide. For the Internet, Akamai said it is making the HD web possible by continuing to refine the infrastructure required to bring the HDTV experience to online audiences.

HDTV is defined as pixel resolution of 1080i, 1080p or 720p. A 2-hour feature-length movie would need to be encoded at a bit rate of at least 6-8 Mbps, which would result in the file being a size of 5-8 GB. This presents numerous technical challenges to deliver such a high-quality, large file.

Akamai calculates that to deliver a file encoded at 6 Mbps to an audience of one Nielsen ratings point (1,102,000 households) would require 6.6 Terabits of sustained bandwidth. Another critical factor to enable high bit rate delivery of very large HD files is the proximity of the end-user to the server sending the file. As the distance from the server becomes greater, throughput dramatically decreases. Even a seemingly small distance can result in lost throughput due to lower throughput, higher packet loss, and increased latency. As an example, the only way to achieve 10 to 20 Mbps throughput for typical PC end-users is if the server is less than 20 milliseconds away.

Akamai has architected its platform to comply with the following technical criteria that content owners must leverage to successfully enable an HD web:

  • Technology and an operational model to operate serving devices in the largest high-throughput networks around the world (servers need to be physically in the networks, as that is where the capacity lies)

  • Established relationships with the largest high throughput networks

  • Support for delivery, storage, and management of files greater than 2 Gigabytes

  • Support of VC-1 and MPEG-4 video standards, achieving visual parity with other broadcast video networks

  • Support for files with resolutions of 720p, 1080i and 1080p

  • Client-side technology that is deeply integrated into its delivery system to be deployed as appropriate.

Additionally, Akamai plans new service launches, device integration, and partnerships with technology vendors in the coming months.

South Korean Online Portal Deploys Force10

DAUM Communications, the second largest Internet portal in South Korea with 55 million users throughout Asia, has deployed Force10 Networks' TeraScale E-Series family of switch/routers and S50 data center switches in a 10 Gigabit Ethernet network.

Force10's TeraScale E600 supports up to 633 Gigabit and 112 Ten Gigabit Ethernet ports per system. Additionally, the high density and robust routing functionality of the Force10 TeraScale E-Series combined with its high performance switching features allow DAUM to simplify its architecture by collapsing multiple network layers.

OFS Introduces Fiber-to-the-Multiple Dwelling Unit Solution

OFS introduced a new solution for installing fiber within Multiple Dwelling Units (MDUs) using in-building PON or point-to-point fiber topologies. The solution features OFS' bend-optimized AllWave FLEX ZWP fiber.

OFS said its solution helps to cut installation time, space, and labor cost up to 50%

Verizon Offers "Lifetime" Price for DSL

Verizon will offer a "lifetime" pricing for customers who order its Verizon High Speed Internet service online with a connection speed of up to 768 Kbps with a two-year commitment. Under this plan, the customer will pay $14.99 a month for as long as they subscribe to the same price-for-life plan. The same plan applies to Verizon's 3 Mbps service, which is available online for $27.99 a month.

Verizon Business and SAIC Target Passive Fiber-to-the-Desktop Integration

Verizon Business and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a leading systems integrator for the U.S. government, are working on a new converged solution that combines Verizon's single fiber passive optical network technology with SAIC's system and technical service integration capabilities. This fiber-to-the-desktop solution would use either a broadband passive optical network (BPON) or gigabit passive optical network (GPON) architecture, with no active electronics, repeaters or other equipment needed to boost the signal for seven miles.

Verizon Business and SAIC will draw upon their joint integration and communications expertise to identify information technology infrastructure (ITI) modernization opportunities and implement solutions for federal agencies and large businesses operating in a campus environment.