Sunday, August 31, 2008

Google Set to Launch "Chrome" Web Browser Beta

A beta version of Google Chrome, an open source web browser for Windows, will be released on September 2 in over 100 countries.
Google said it developed the browser to better enable media-rich web applications. The browser is powered by a customized JavaScript engine.

Ericsson Lands US$450 Million Upgrade/Outsourcing Contract with Hanoi Telecom

Ericsson announced the signing of a USD 450 million contract to develop and modernize Hanoi Telecom's nationwide mobile network. The win is described as "the largest single contract in Vietnam" for networking to date.

The strategic partnership, a first in Vietnam, will also see Ericsson managing and operating the network under a full-scope managed services contract.

Under the three-year managed services agreement, Ericsson will be responsible for the management, operation and network design of Hanoi Telecom's mobile network, including field operations and support services. Ericsson will also provide a comprehensive range of professional services, such as network deployment and systems integration.

Ericsson will be responsible for the nationwide migration of Hanoi Telecom's network from CDMA to GSM/EDGE technology, supplying radio access network equipment, optical and microwave transmission, and will be the sole supplier of the all-IP circuit and packet core network. The contract also includes solutions from Ericsson Multimedia portfolio. Deployment has started and commercial launch is set for the end of 2008.

To provide technical support and network operation, Ericsson will expand its operations in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and set up a new office in Danang City.
  • The HT Mobile network was launched in February 2005 under a business cooperation contract signed in July 2004 between the Hanoi Telecom Joint Stock Company and Hutchison Telecom Vietnam, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hutchison Telecom.

  • In March 2008, HT Mobile obtained government approval to convert from CDMA technology to GSM.

Huawei Deploys Home Location Register for Telenor Pakistan

Huawei announced the deployment of "the world' s largest next generation Home Location Register (HLR)" for Telenor Pakistan. The next generation HLR which will serve 40 million subscribers enables Telenor Pakistan to improve its network efficiency, simplify its operations, and enhance its customer' s service experience. Huawei' s HLR solution is fully-distributed and has been deployed in the country' s three major cities of Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore. As a result, Telenor Pakistan is able to unify the management of subscriber information such as number resources and simplify the maintenance of its network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Huawei next generation HLR adopts carrier-grade Advanced Telecommunications Computing Architecture (ATCA) platform and a distributed architecture design.. The company claims system reliability of up to 99.9999%. The design also allows the evolution to Home Subscriber Server (HSS) and Authorization, Authentication and Accounting (AAA) capabilities.

Millicom Activates 3G Services in Guatemala, Honduras and Bolivia

Millicom International Cellular S.A. announced the launch of 3G services in Guatemala (Comcel), Honduras (Celtel) and Bolivia (Telecel). Further 3 G launches are scheduled for this month in Paraguay (Telecel), El Salvador (Telemovil) and Colombia (Colombia Movil). Millicom said it is providing a full portfolio of 3G services including high speed mobile broadband, internet access for mobile customers via laptop, TV on mobile handsets, music and video downloads and video calling.

Runcom Raises US$10M for OFDMA Silicon

Runcom Technologies, a start-up based in Israel, secured a US$10 million Series C investment for its OFDMA based silicon solutions for user terminals and base stations that comply with the IEEE802.16e-2005 standard for WiBro and Mobile WiMAX applications.

Runcom's products include PHY and MAC communication layer silicon. In April 2008 Runcom Technologies received the WiMAX Forum Certified Seal of Approval for its products. The company said it has sold more than 250,000 units of its RNA200 ASIC for user terminals.

The funding was raised by TLcom Capital LLP. This is only the second round of financing of Runcom. The previous investment round currently hold by SMAC Partners from Germany and Concord from Israel was executed in the year 2000.

Deutsche Telekom selects Motorola's IPTV set-tops

Deutsche Telekom will use Motorola's High Definition (HD)-ready IPTV set-tops for its "T-Home Entertain" services. The STBs will enable T-Home customers to access a variety of multimedia applications in addition to standard TV offerings.

Within the scope of the contract, Motorola will provide T-Home with its VIP1616E set-top -- known to T-Home customers as Media Receiver 300 Typ A. With the device, subscribers to T-Home's Entertain service will be able to view premium sporting content in full HD. Moreover, T-Home viewers can use the device's electronic program guide to plan, record, and store what they want to watch. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The HD-ready Motorola VIP1616E set-top with digital video recording (DVR) also supports standard definition high-quality digital video. Its two-way IP capability allows it to be used in multiple applications, including broadcast television, time-shifted television, multicast and video on demand. The VIP1616E is fully compliant with Microsoft Mediaroom.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sumitomo Electric Develops Coaxial Laser Diode Module for Base Stations

Sumitomo Electric Industries has developed a new coaxial laser diode module capable of supporting high frequency bandwidth applications.

Sumitomo Electric said that with the addition of the newly-designed model, its family of coaxial laser diode modules will be capable of supporting a broader frequency range, from 2GHz to 5GHz. The modules are used in mobile base station systems.

WiMAX supports three frequency bands (2.5GHz, 3.5GHz and 5.8GHz), as is defined in the IEEE 802.16-2004 specifications. The new coaxial laser module can support both the 3.5GHz and 5.8GHz bands.

One of the key features of the new module is its capability to achieve a 5GHz bandwidth. The new coaxial laser diode module will be available for sampling in Q3 2008 and for sale by the end of CY2008.

OKI Develops Gigabit Network Processor

Oki Electric Industry Co. has developed a low power consumption gigabit high-speed network processor for the Home/SOHO router market. The ML7240 device includes a RISC-type CPU, IP protocol engine, QoS accelerator, IPsec accelerator, voice engine, Gigabit Ether MAC (2ch), and other peripherals. In addition to the LSI, OKI plans to offer the drivers necessary to configure network equipment, and other software. Sampling is underway and initial volume shipment is scheduled to start in March 2009. OKI said it is developing other products for this market too.

UTStarcom Announces Management Changes

UTStarcom's CFO and executive vice president, Fran Barton, is retiring and has also vacated his seat on the UTStarcom board of directors. Viraj Patel, UTStarcom's vice president, corporate controller and chief accounting officer, will serve as Interim CFO until the company appoints a permanent CFO.

Additionally, David King, senior vice president, international sales and marketing, has resigned from the company.

Also, Craig Samuel has joined UTStarcom in the newly-created position of senior vice president, business strategy and innovation. In this visionary role, Samuel will lead company-wide product portfolio alignment and business development strategy. Prior to joining UTStarcom, Craig was worldwide VP of business innovation at Unisys Corporation.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sprint Signs Partners for XOHM WiMAX Location-Based Services

Sprint announced a set of partners for launching location-based services (LBS) over its forthcoming XOHM WiMAX networks.

Sprint said its XOHM location-enabled mobile experience will span a range of devices such as laptops, mobile Internet devices, media players, cameras and car navigation. Specifically, XOHM is enabling web services application programming interfaces (APIs) so a broad collection of service developers and device partners can use location to offer increased utility for XOHM members. XOHM will offer these location capabilities with a corresponding privacy policy to make sure XOHM members are informed about how XOHM will handle their data. At launch, a XOHM portal will offer location-based content from leading brands including:

  • uLocate Communications, which is the primary partner in building XOHM's location enabled mobile experience, is providing its WHERE platform and leading friend finding application Buddy Beacon to connect XOHM customers with their favorite people, places and things. Through WHERE, XOHM users will have access to local information including restaurant reviews, news, events, weather and much more. Select launch partners on the WHERE platform include Yelp, Eventful, Topix, NAVTEQ and Accuweather.

  • Yelp, a Web site for local business reviews, will provide relevant user reviews and ratings for anything local, from restaurants to doctors and more. The reviews can be searched and sorted by category or shown in a map view, with access to for details on any of the three million local reviews.

  • Eventful will provide users with listings of local events displayed in a map view. Customers can select sub-categories of interest, search for events and click through to to get more event information and purchase tickets.

  • Topix will provide local news based on current location as a summary, with an option to read full stories and others at its site.

  • NAVTEQ will offer XOHM customers NAVTEQ Traffic real-time local traffic and commuter updates with links to the Web site for additional detailed construction, incident and drive time information.

  • AccuWeather will provide three-day forecasts based on users' current locations. An easy link to mobile Web site gives more forecast details, radar/satellite images, and more.

  • Google will contribute Local Search capability along with additional features and functionality from Google Maps.

  • Openwave Systems will provide the location platform that enables XOHM partners to use location to provide valuable services.

  • Autodesk will provide a standards-based interface and geospatial services, such as addresses, ZIP code and city/state information, to enhance location within the XOHM network.
  • Sprint has selected Mformation Technologies' mobile device management (MDM) solution to provide seamless device management capabilities for new WiMAX-capable mobile devices as part of the XOHM WiMAX mobile broadband initiative.

  • Sprint has selected DragonWave's IP backhaul solutions for its XOHM-branded WiMAX mobile-broadband services in North America. Specifically, DragonWave's Horizon Compact and Horizon Duo products will be deployed initially in the Baltimore/Washington and Chicago markets.

  • Sprint has selected Bridgewater Systems as the network access control vendor for its forthcoming nationwide XOHM WiMAX Network. Bridgewater is the incumbent supplier of Authentication, Authorization and Accounting (AAA) services to Sprint's existing CDMA 3G network and will now extend its solution to support XOHM as well. Within Sprint, Bridgewater will provide concurrent support for 3G and 4G networks from a common infrastructure as Sprint begins to commercially deploy the XOHM WiMAX network in 2008.

  • Nokia Siemens Networks is supplying its Subscriber Data Management (SDM) solution for deployment in Sprint's XOHM WiMAX Broadband Network. The solution, which includes the Apertio One-NDS (Network Directory Server), will enable Sprint to operate a Subscriber Profile System (SPS) based on a single, real-time common subscriber database, eliminating the inefficiencies of multiple databases and reducing administration and cost.

EU Roaming Rates to Fall

As of the end of August, it will become cheaper to make or receive calls while travelling in the European Union.

The price ceiling for roaming calls (the Eurotariff) introduced by the EU in 2007 will fall from €0.49 to €0.46 per minute (excluding VAT) for making a call and from €0.24 to €0.22 per minute (excluding VAT) for receiving a call while in another EU country.

Under the present EU Roaming Regulation prices for roaming calls will go down a last time on 30 August 2009 to €0.43 per minute for making calls and to €0.19 per minute for receiving calls while in another EU country.

The European Commission noted that these price reductions are the result of the EU Roaming Regulation, proposed by the EC in 2006 to curb the excessive roaming charges consumers had to pay for roaming calls (on average €1.15 per minute at the time.

The EU Roaming Regulation which will expire in 2010, is currently under review.

Deutsche Telekom Reaches 10 Million DSL Customers

Deutsche Telekom T-Home division welcomed its ten millionth DSL retail customer. With resale customers included, the company now has a broadband customer base with over 13 million lines.

In its domestic broadband market, T-Home took a share of over 40 percent of the new broadband customer market for the seventh consecutive quarter -- winning around 340,000 net new retail DSL customers.

Deutsche Telekom also announced plans to expand domestic broadband network, including further rollouts of VDSL. Deutsche Telekom has already upgraded over forty cities to the VDSL network. During a second phase of rollouts, another ten cities will be joining them this year. The company said it will soon be able to provide broadband coverage across 96% of Germany, including rural areas.

"Deutsche Telekom is aware of its responsibility for Germany, and is equipping virtually the whole country with fast Internet lines. At the end of 2008, we will be supplying 96 percent of all households with DSL, in over eighty percent of them with lines featuring speeds in excess of 2 Mbit/s. In concrete figures, this means that 400,000 more households will be connected to the high-speed network in 2008 -- a good 140,000 of them in areas that were previously without the service," Timotheus Höttges, member of the Board of Management responsible for T-Home Sales & Service at Deutsche Telekom.

Marvell Posts Q2 Revenue of $843 Million, up 28% Year-on-Year

Marvell Technology Group reported record net revenue for the second quarter of fiscal 2009 (ending Aug 2) of $842.6 million, an increase of 28 percent over $656.7 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2008, ended July 28, 2007, and a 4.8 percent sequential increase from $804 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2009, ended May 3, 2008.

GAAP net income was $71.4 million, or $0.11 per share (diluted), for the second quarter of fiscal 2009, compared with a GAAP net loss of $56.5 million, or a loss of $0.10 per share for the second quarter of fiscal 2008. In the first quarter of fiscal 2009 GAAP net income was $69.9 million, or $0.11 per share (diluted).

"The results for our second quarter were better than we had anticipated. We demonstrated significant year over year revenue growth, sustained profitability and excellent free cash flow generation," said Dr. Sehat Sutardja, Marvell Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We also continued to realize recurring benefits from our improved efficiency which combined with our revenue performance enabled us to achieve increased sequential growth in gross and operating margins."

Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom Sees ADSL Decline as FTTB Takes Off

Chunghwa Telecom, the incumbent operator in Taiwan, reported a decline in Q2 of 126,000 ADSL subscribers to 3.5 million. This decline was offset by growth in FTTB subscriptions, with 148,000 net additions to around 0.8 million over the course of Q2, bringing the total number of broadband subscribers to 4.3 million on June 30, 2008, a 3.4% increase compared to the same period of last year.

As of the end of June 2008, the number of ADSL and FTTx subscriptions with a service speed of greater than 8 Mbps reached 1.38 million, representing 32.1% of total broadband subscribers. In addition, Chunghwa reached 508,000 MOD (IPTV) subscribers, with 73,000 new subscriptions added during the second quarter.

Some other highlights for Q2:

  • As of June 30, 2008, Chunghwa had 8.8 million mobile subscribers, slightly up quarter-on-quarter by 0.63% compared to 8.7 million on March 31, 2008.

  • Chunghwa remained the leading mobile operator in Taiwan. According to statistics published by the NCC, at the end of June 2008, the company's total subscriber market share (including 2G, 3G and PHS) was 35.6%, while its revenue share was 33.6%.

  • Chunghwa had 306,000 net additions to its 3G subscriber base during the second quarter, recording a 11.8% rise in the total number of 3G subscribers to 2.9 million on June 30, 2008.

  • Mobile VAS revenue for 1H 2008 was NT$3.4 billion, a 31.7% year-on-year increase, with SMS revenue up 24.9% and mobile Internet revenue up 58.2%.

  • At the end of June 2008, Chunghwa's fixed-line subscribers totaled 12.9 million.

  • Chunghwa's total consolidated revenue decreased by 0.6% to NT$50.0 billion in Q2

  • Internet and data revenue grew by 0.8%; ADSL & FTTB revenue decreased by 0.7% in Q2

  • Mobile revenue decreased by 2.7%; Mobile VAS revenue increased by 28.3% in Q2

  • Net income totaled NT$12.5 billion, an increase of 0.1% in Q2.

Broadcom Joins WirelessHD Consortium

Broadcom announced its support for the WirelessHD consortium as a promoter company with a mutual goal of helping to enable wireless connectivity for streaming high definition (HD) content between consumer electronics devices and displays.

WirelessHD is dedicated to the advancement and enhancement of the WirelessHD standard, which has specified the unlicensed, globally available 60 GHz frequency band to enable wireless uncompressed high definition, high-quality video and data transmission. WirelessHD provides a high-speed wireless digital interface that will enable customers to simply connect, play, transmit and port their HD content in a secure manner at speeds as high as 4 Gbps in real time.http://www.broadcom.com

Dasan Networks Buys Out NSN Share, Companies Sign OEM Deal

DASAN Networks, a leading network equipment supplier in Korea, will acquire all of Nokia Siemens Networks' shares in Dasan Networks which represent 56.13% of all the shares of the company. With the acquisition completed these Korean investors will hold 60.83% of the shares of the company. The remainder of the shares are held by various shareholders.

Dasan's product portfolio includes IP-DSLAMs, Ethernet switches and FTTx solutions.

The companies plan to continue close cooperation through an Original Equipment Manufacturer- and Original Design Manufacturer agreement. Dasan products will remain part of NSN's broadband access solution.http://www.nokiasiemensnetworks.com

Microsoft's Mobile Device Manager Available for AT&T Users

Microsoft System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008 (MDM) is now available to AT&T business customers who use smartphones running Windows Mobile 6.1. The solution provides security, mobile Virtual Private Network (VPN) and software distribution for Windows Mobile devices. AT&T customers using Windows Mobile 6.1 smartphones now have secured access to applications, files, corporate data and other information that is located on the corporate network and previously inaccessible without a secure VPN connection.

AT&T also announced the availability of the MDM Early Adopter QuickStart Program that was developed cooperatively by AT&T and Enterprise Mobile and is an exclusive offering designed to assist AT&T customers with deploying the Microsoft mobility solution. The MDM Early Adopter QuickStart Program enables enterprises to try Mobile Device Manager's abilities to manage mobile devices, define access rights, provide additional security features for data transmissions, coordinate over-the-air software updates and protect the corporate network from unauthorized access.

Ericsson Wins Exclusive GPON + IPTV Deal for King Abdullah Economic City

Ericsson announced an exclusive contract to supply broadband solutions for the planned King Abdullah Economic City, a massive development along the coast of the Red Sea backed by over $26.6 billion in funding. The five-year sole-supplier partnership agreement with Emaar, developer of the smart-city project, is the first for an end-to-end fixed network in Saudi Arabia for Ericsson. The residential area in the city is planned to include 260,000 apartments and 56,000 villas housing a future population of 2 million. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ericsson said the project represents its first GPON- enabled IPTV contract in Saudi Arabia, the first fiber optic contract and the first fixed-network IMS contract where Ericsson provides systems integration and network rollout services. The contract brings together products from Ericsson's major acquisitions - Entrisphere, Marconi, Redback and TANDBERG Television - and the company's telecom services portfolio.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Nominum Defends Against DNS Cache Poisoning

Nominum has released a security update to its Vantio caching DNS server platform, adding multi-layer intelligent defenses that defeat DNS cache poisoning and other attacks, including the recently publicized Kaminsky vulnerability. Vantio, which is an alternative to open-source DNS, enables broadband providers to deliver new services by leveraging DNS as a key control point in the network . Nominum's many ISP and carrier customers support an estimated 120 million broadband subscribers.

Key benefits of new Vantio DNS security features include:

  • Resists and stops all forms of cache poisoning attacks

  • Defends automatically against query response spoofing and takes attackers out of loop

  • Prevents hijacking of subscriber traffic, or "pharming" attacks

  • Identifies perpetrators and records attack attempts

  • Provides protection in Enterprise and Service Provider networks that use network address translation (NAT), which can undermine UDP SPR (NAT devices include server load balancers and firewalls)

  • Reduces the chance of poisoning answers for valuable domains ( to zero.

In the recent cache poisoning threat, Nominum said its customers were instrumental in implementing and deploying UDP SPR. However, UDP source port randomization is only a first-step response to the new vulnerability, and network operators need additional deterministic defenses to address important exploits.

"Literally one day after details of the Kaminsky cache poisoning attack were revealed, UDP Source Port Randomization was defeated in 10 hours by security researchers using brute-force spoofed responses," said Dr. Paul Mockapetris, Chairman and Chief Scientist at Nominum and inventor of the DNS. "Nominum's multi-layered approach eliminates the risk of a successful attack."

Vantio features the following four security layers with key security features highlighted:

  • Deterrence Layer: Includes Nominum's UDP Source Port Randomization implementation, the recommended industry response to the Kaminsky threat

  • Defense Layer: Incorporates Nominum's "Detect and Defend" capability to detect spoofing attempts and automatically switch the resolution to a secure connection in response to an attack attempt.

  • Resistance Layer: Employs Query Response Screening with a set of features that intelligently screen DNS answers to ensure malicious data in DNS responses is not used to answer valid user queries.

  • Remediation Layer: Sends alerts when an attack is under way and incorporates a new feature that records the attack, allowing the attacker to be identified, and real-time remedial action to be taken by the network operator.

SanDisk Boosts SD Card Speed by 50% to 30 Megabytes per Sec

SanDisk announced a new speed record of 30 megabytes per second for SD flash memory cards. This represents a 50-percent speed boost from previous 20MB/s cards.

The SanDisk Extreme III 30MB/s Edition line of SDHC Cards will be available in September in 4GB, 8GB and 16GB capacities.

The new Nikon D90 DSLR camera, which is the first to support the memory cards, is able to record 39 images in continuous shooting mode at 4.5 frames per second with a file size of 6.0 MB JPEG L Fine per image. The Nikon D90 camera captures 12.3 megapixel still images and also features movie recording capability.

BT Enhances Security Monitoring Service Against Botnets

BT has enhanced its managed security service to further defend enterprise networks against the growing threat of malicious botnet attacks.

Botnets are a significant security risk to businesses because they are primarily used to execute criminal activity. Since most bots communicate only infrequently with their command and control hosts, the chances of detecting infected machines prior to a critical event, without significant technology and infrastructure investment, are slim. However, since bots do communicate and these communications generate firewall traffic, BT's Managed Security Solutions Group has created the ability to detect bots by monitoring and analyzing firewall traffic.

The new proprietary Botnet Detection Module, which is part of BT's Event Monitoring and Correlation Service, can identify which hosts within a customer's network are under the control of botnets and then assist the customer with quarantine and remediation efforts to restore the network's integrity. Firewall traffic is collected and analyzed at the BT Security Operations Centers for patterns of activity that bear the hallmarks of bot communications. BT said its customers also benefit from proprietary technology to correlate across multiple security technologies and its diverse customer base, significantly improving the accuracy of these alerts.

Tektronix Extends IMS and TISPAN Core Network

Tektronix Communications released its Spectra2 6.3 Core Network Test Solution software for testing for IMS and TISPAN networks.

Tektronix said its enhanced Spectra2 6.3 software release introduces policy management testing for IMS and TISPAN networks, complementing a mature DIAMETER solution with support for the Gq/Gq' and Rq Interfaces. Spectra2 6.3 offers powerful element simulation capabilities of the next generation Policy Decision elements such as the PDF, SPDF, CSCF and A-RACF and further complements its capability to test IMS Core, VoIP, and PSTN networks.

The Spectra2 6.3 release also implements load testing support for the TISPAN (Megaco V3) la interface. Users are provided with the ability to test and monitor enforcement of local policies at border elements to control bandwidth and session based media traffic. The Spectra2 6.3 release introduces support for Enhanced Variable Rate Codec (EVRC) based media streams, an extension of the Spectra2 media solution set which includes functional and load testing coupled with Quality of Service reporting. This user-friendly feature provides comprehensive call control and media capabilities in a single system.

China Mobile Reaches 415 Million Mobile Users

China Mobile is now serving over 415 million subscribers, up by nearly 25% or 45 million users, over the past 12 months. The net increase of new subscribers per month topped 7.5 million.

For the six months ended 30 June 2008, the Group's total voice usage volume reached 1,160.47 billion minutes and the average minutes of usage (MOU) was 496 minutes. Average revenue per user per month (ARPU) was RMB 84. This compares to ARPU of RMB 88 a year earlier.

China Mobile said the combination of economic growth in China, rising consumer purchasing power, the continuous development of the rural economy and the acceleration of the information society throughout the country is driving a tremendous demand for telecommunications and information services.

Some other key operating trends:

  • Nearly half of subscriber growth in 1H08 came from rural markets

  • Color Ring revenue reached RMB 6.275 billion, up 25% over last year.

  • WAP revenue reached RMB 5.92 billion, up 19.3% over last year.

  • MMS revenue reached RMB 1.365 billion, up 91% over last year.

  • For the six months ended 30 June 2008, China Mobile's operating revenue continued to grow, reaching RMB196,460 million, representing an increase of 17.9 per cent. over the same period of last year.

  • Profit attributable to shareholders reached RMB54,849 million -- an increase of 44.7 per cent over the same period of last year due partly to change in PRC enterprise income tax rate.

  • Margin of profit attributable to shareholders reached 27.9 per cent.. EBITDA reached RMB104,361 million, representing an increase of 16.2 per cent. over the same period of last year while basic earnings per share reached RMB2.74, an increase of 44.2 per cent. over the same period of last year.

Nokia Siemens Networks Wins Major 3G Integration Project in UK

Mobile Broadband Network Ltd. (MBNL), the network collaboration joint-venture between T-Mobile UK and 3 UK, has selected Nokia Siemens Networks as technology partner for 3G network integration. The companies anticipate creating the UK's most extensive 3G network providing near complete population coverage by the end of 2009. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nokia Siemens Networks has been selected as the 3G radio network infrastructure supplier for the consolidation of the two operators' 3G radio access network infrastructure under MBNL.

Under the contract, Nokia Siemens Networks will supervise the creation and operation of the joint network on behalf of both companies.
The first integrated cell site was commissioned in early February. Although masts and the 3G access networks are being combined, each company's core network and T-Mobile's 2G network will not be shared. Both parties will retain responsibility for the delivery of services to their respective customers and use their own frequency spectrum.

Nokia Siemens Networks said its radio access solution will replace most of the two operators' communications stations across the UK and equipment at the remaining sites is being upgraded and reconfigured for higher quality and capacity. The solution, featuring energy-efficient Flexi base stations from Nokia Siemens Networks, will allow a reduction the number of sites in the network by about 30 percent. As well as network infrastructure, Nokia Siemens Networks will deliver project management, network deployment and managed spare parts capability, as well as care services to maintain network performance and increase its efficiency.

Cisco to Acquire PostPath for Linux-based Exchange Alternative

Cisco agreed to acquire PostPath, a start-up based in Mountain View, California with additional development operations in Sofia, Bulgaria, for its email and calendaring software. Cisco will pay approximately $215 million in exchange for all shares of PostPath.

PostPath offers an enterprise email and collaboration server that is a drop-in alternative to Microsoft Exchange. The platform features support for Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES), Microsoft ActiveSync email push technologies, iPhone 3G and iPhone 2.0 software.
With the PostPath Server, enterprise customers -- including iPhone users -- have access to full-feature, enterprise-grade messaging and collaboration at a significantly lower cost than Microsoft Exchange. Organizations can take advantage of the operational efficiency and cost savings of the PostPath server to roll out large mailboxes and mobile messaging to their users much easier and cheaper than with Exchange 2007.

Cisco said it will leverage PostPath to enhance the existing email and calendaring capabilities of its WebEx Connect collaboration platform. . Specifically, Cisco plans to extend the e-mail and calendar functionality of its flexible software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based collaborative platform that includes instant messaging, voice, video, data, document management and Web 2.0 applications.

Upon completion of the acquisition, PostPath employees will become part of the Cisco Collaboration Software Group (CSG). CSG is part of the recently established Software Group, consisting of Cisco's major software businesses; including the IOS network operating system, network and service management, Unified Communications solutions, policy management, and SaaS offerings.
  • PostPath is headed by Duncan Greatwood, who previously held executive positions at Virata/GlobespanVirata/Conexant. Before that he held a variety of engineering and product marketing positions at Madge Networks.

BroadSoft Acquires GENBAND's M6 Communication App Server

BroadSoft has acquired GENBAND's M6 Communication Applications Server, formerly VocalData, product line and related customer base. Financial terms were not disclosed.

GENBAND is the leading supplier of IP gateways for a diverse set of service provider networks worldwide.

BroadSoft said its acquisition of the M6 product line will extend its market position in the VoIP applications market. The acquisition will also enable GENBAND to focus its efforts on further advancing their gateway product innovation.

The companies have also entered into an agreement to cooperate on Network Transformation projects, which will allow their customers to bundle core voice, data and web-based services across an IP network.
  • In 2007, GENBAND acquired Tekelec's Switching Solutions Group (SSG). The deal was structured as a sale of Tekelec's equity interests in Santera Systems and Taqua, and the SSG business assets held by Tekelec in exchange for a 19.9% common equity interest in GENBAND, $1.0 million in cash and GENBAND's assumption of certain SSG liabilities. Tekelec's switching solutions business unit included the businesses Santera, VocalData and Taqua, all of which had been acquired by Tekelec between 2003 and 2004.

  • In 2004, Tekelec acquired VocalData, a start-up that developed a hosted IP telephony platform for business and residential customers, for approximately $27.5 million, consisting of $14.5 million of cash and approximately 780,000 shares of Tekelec common stock.

Monday, August 25, 2008

TesLA Alliance Targets Open IP Test Automation Framework

Ixia and a set of key industry partners have formed a new TesLA Alliance that aims to provide an open, multivendor automation framework for testing IP platforms and services. This will enable service providers and enterprises to automate their end-to-end testing. Ixia is hosting TesLA Alliance briefings and product demonstrations at its iSimCity proof-of-concept lab in Santa Clara, California. A common automation framework ensures interoperability among members' products.

The founding TesLA members are APCON, Codenomicon, Fanfare, Ixia, Mu Dynamics, QualiSystems and Shunra.

The companies believe a common automation framework is needed because networking labs typically contain test equipment from multiple, disparate vendors. This drives the need for seamless integration and interoperability among the various tools. As a result, IP test automation has moved to center stage because it is the only way quality can be assured after product upgrades, network modifications and software patches.

The TesLA framework is based on Ixia's Test Conductor IP test automation solution.


ECI Telecom Selected for Network Upgrade in Costa Rica

Radiográfica Costarricense S.A. (RACSA), a service provider in Costa Rica, will expand its network with ECI Telecoms' XDM Multi-Service Provisioning Platform (MSPP). The network upgrade will combine SDH, Ethernet switching and WDM on a single, converged platform. The network is managed by ECI's LightSoft multi-layer network management system, delivering an end-to-end solution to manage the different equipments, network segments and technologies under one management system. Financial terms were not disclosed.

ECI noted that with RACSA as a new customer, its XDM MSPP Platform is now utilized by the two largest carriers in Costa Rica.

Zhone Introduces Bitstorm IP DSLAMs for VDSL2 and bonded ADSL2+

Zhone Technologies introduced two new IP DSLAMs leveraging VDSL2 and ADSL2+ for single or bonded-pair copper. The platforms are powered by Ikanos Communications' VDSL2 central office (CO) and customer premises chipsets.

The Bitstorm HP (High Performance) is a 24 Port, VDSL2 IP-DSLAM delivering up to 100/100 Mbps symmetrical services on each port with full ADSL2+ support. The Bitstorm HP is a 1 Rack Unit (RU), environmentally hardened platform, ideal for basement Multi Tenant Units (MTUs) and outdoor cabinets. The platform is optimized for cross talk management at distances up to 5,000 feet, providing the maximum bandwidth available over single-pair copper. Bitstorm HP also fully supports customer premises equipment (CPE) for 25 Mbps services at distances up to 10,000 feet.

The Bitstorm RP (Reach Performance) provides 48 ports of ADSL2+ and operates in single-pair or bonded-pair mode to deliver 45+ Mbps for short loops and up to 25 Mbps at distance up to 10,000 feet. The Bitstorm RP is a high-density 1.5 RU IP/Ethernet DSLAM platform/ A code extension of the popular Zhone/Paradyne DSLAM series, Bitstorm RP provides field proven performance with a feature set that includes ADSL2+ bonding, built in splitters and dual Gig E and far end uplink ports. Other new features include hot-swap servicing and single click configuration with automatic line recognition. Bitstorm RP supports bridged mode or advanced layer operations for premium Quality of Service (QoS) smart home or business applications.

Both Bitstorm platforms are standards-based for interoperability and performance certified with a broad range of VDSL2 and ADSL2+ CPE. Bitstorm HP is rate/reach certified at 100/100 Mbps (VDSL2 30a) with Zhone's 6652 CPE series. Zhone's Bitstorm VDSL platform is also available in a 100 Mbps downstream and 50 Mbps upstream configuration (VDSL2 17a). Changes and upgrades are performed remotely via a single-click Web interface or Zhone's Management System (ZMS) with Multimedia Traffic Management for tiered service guarantees.

"The Bitstorm VDSL2 and bonded ADSL2+ platforms further broaden FTTx delivery options for our customers," said Steven Glapa, Zhone's vice president of product management and marketing. "Bitstorm is a direct response to customer requests for plug and play HD multi-play provisioning in a small, cost efficient form factor."

Ikanos Communications said its FxTM100100-5 VDSL2 CO and FxTM100100S-5 offer the lowest power
consumption per port in the industry. The multi-mode VDSL2 chipsets are optimized for IPTV and triple play offerings.

Telx Launches 10 GigE Peering Services powered by Force10

Telx, which provides carrier-neutral interconnectivity via colocation facilities across the U.S., has deployed the Force10 C300 resilient switch in its Phoenix Telx Internet Exchange (TIE) platform. The TIE platform provides one and 10 Gigabit Ethernet peering services.

The Force10 C300 supports up to 384 line-rate Gigabit or 64 line-rate 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports in a single chassis. Utilizing the modular Force10 operating system, FTOS, Telx is also simplifying the management of its TIE platform. Online monitoring and diagnostics tools enable Telx to troubleshoot the network without bringing it down.

Force10 said its Reliable Networking product portfolio now powers the three largest Internet Exchanges in the world as well as the largest Internet Exchange in Central Europe.

Level 3 Delivers Ethernet Transport for Cbeyond

Level 3 Communications' Wholesale Markets Group is now serving as the primary provider of Ethernet transport for Cbeyond, a leading IP-based, managed services provider to small businesses. Under a new agreement, Level 3 will continue to increase bandwidth on current circuits and provide additional circuits as needed in all 12 Cbeyond metropolitan area markets. In doing so, Level 3 will assist in the scaling of Cbeyond's network capacity and the ongoing migration from Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) to Ethernet using Metro Ethernet Private Line services. In addition, Level 3 will provide new Metro Ethernet Private Line services in Detroit, San Francisco, and Minneapolis to enable Cbeyond's expansion in those markets. Level 3 also provides Cbeyond with Voice and High Speed Internet services.

Mexico's Telcel Deploys Ericsson's Microwave Transmission Links

Telcel - Mexico's leading mobile operator and a subsidiary of América Móvil, has selected Ericsson to provide microwave-transmission links for high-speed mobile broadband. Ericsson's MINI-LINK TN solution will enable Telcel to increase its network coverage and subscriber base for its existing 2G/3G-HSPA network. It will also enable a smooth migration to an all-IP network in the future. The first phase of the contract extends through the end of 2008. Rollout begins in the third quarter of 2008. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ericsson described the agreement as the largest microwave deal in Latin America so far.

Alcatel-Lucent Introduces OmniSwitch 6400 LAN Switches

Alcatel-Lucent introduced its OmniSwitch 6400 family of stackable, layer 2+ Gigabit Ethernet LAN switches for small and medium-sized enterprises, branch offices or for carrier Ethernet access applications. The switches are low-power, compact platforms that feature multi-layer security including user authentication, quarantine VLANs, access control lists, encryption and denial of service protection.

The OmniSwitch 6400 family consists of six models, each offering 24 or 48 triple-speed ports. Each model contains two 10-Gigabit Ethernet stacking ports and up to four Gigabit Ethernet combo ports (RJ45/SFP). Up to eight switches can be stacked with virtual chassis redundancy for a total capacity of 384 ports per stack. Both switch configurations are available with power over Ethernet capabilities for use with VoIP handsets or other Ethernet-powered devices.

For service provider demarcation applications, the switches support Metro access features including Ethernet services, OAM support and IPTV multicast VLANs. The switches are manageable and configurable from Alcatel-Lucent's SNMP-based OmniVista 2500 Network Management System and from the industry leading Alcatel-Lucent 5620 Service Aware Manager (SAM).

Nokia to Launch N96 in the Americas in Q4

Nokia announced plans to offer its N96 multimedia device in the Americas during the fourth quarter of 2008. The device features a large 2.8 inch screen, 16 GB of internal memory and compatibility with a wide range of video formats, including MPEG-4, Windows Media Video and Flash Video.

Network connectivity includes USB 2.0 connection, WLAN and HSDPA support. Additional features include built-in 3D stereo speakers, a 5 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, flash and video light, and DVD-like quality video capture at 30 frames per second.

AT&T Expands International Data Offerings for iPhone

AT&T introduced two new international data plans for its iPhone customers: 100 MB or 200 MB a month.

For discounted international data usage in 67 countries, the 100 MB iPhone plan is available for an additional $119.99 a month, while the 200 MB plan costs an additional $199.99 a month. These new plans are in addition to existing plans for smartphones, including iPhone, which offer 20 MB and 50 MB in the same countries. There are no long-term commitments required.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

NTT's IP Video QoE is Adopted as an ITU Standard

Technology originally developed by NTT Service Integration Laboratories to objectively estimate a user's Quality of Experience (QoE) in IP-based video delivery services has been adopted as an international standard (ITU-T Recommendation J.247). The technology enables the quality of video delivery services to be checked and monitored.

NTT said previously existing technology cannot assess the effects of diverse coding systems and bit rates as used in video delivery services nor can it assess degraded video caused by packet loss characteristic of IP networks.

In response to this problem, NTT Service Integration Laboratories modeled quality degradation considering human perceptual characteristics (degradation in experienced quality due to coding and packet loss) based on a huge quality database making maximum use of NTT subjective quality assessment facilities and know-how. Then, based on this model, it developed technology to estimate QoE through the analysis of video signals. This technology enables the objective video quality assessment from the similar viewpoints of customers.

NTT's assessment technology was proposed for standardization at ITU-T, and after a 5-year worldwide performance evaluation contest held by ITU-T, four systems (including the NTT algorithm) out of nine candidates from the same number of institutions were approved as formal Recommendation J.247 on August 13, 2008 and released on August 22, 2008.

Israel's Bezeq Selects Alcatel-Lucent for Metro Ethernet

Bezeq, Israel's largest telecommunications provider, has selected Alcatel-Lucent as the foundation for its new metro Ethernet network. Alcatel-Lucent's Ethernet & IP routing solution will help Bezeq deliver premium Ethernet L2 services, such as Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS), and Ethernet-lines (E-lines) to its business customers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Alcatel-Lucent will deploy its 7750 Service Router and 5620 Service Aware Manager as the base for Bezeq's new metro Ethernet network. Alcatel-Lucent's Ethernet & IP routing solution is unique in its ability to ensure reliable, non-stop service delivery with the quality of service (QoS) necessary to offer differentiated services to customers.

Procera Networks Secures $6 Million in Funding

Procera Networks has secured $6 million in private financing. The company said the funding will allow it to accelerate the hiring and training of Field Engineers and accelerate the purchase of inventory for its recently announced Tier-1 product family, the PacketLogic PL10000.
  • In May 2008, Procera Networks introduced its PacketLogic PL10000, a high-performance DPI platform offering up to 80Gbps of throughput and purpose-built for deployments either at the core or edge of Tier-1 broadband networks. Procera, which also offers a range of smaller DPI platforms, is targeting a new type of "evolved DPI" capable of enhancing application awareness with service control capabilities.

Reliance Globalcom Supplies Managed Ethernet for International Law Firm

Reliance Globalcom announced a contract to provide Managed WAN Ethernet and Managed Premium Internet services to the international law firm of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP (Paul Hastings). The Ethernet service will link offices in Asia, Europe and the U.S.

Reliance Globalcom is deploying a fully managed Layer 2 Ethernet-based virtual private LAN service (VPLS) solution with any-to-any connectivity to Paul Hastings' 18 offices worldwide. The Ethernet-based services support the firm's increased deployment of collaborative web-based services, including video conferencing, VoIP, document management and messaging systems. With Reliance Globalcom's service delivery platform and strategic partnerships in multiple regions around the world, Paul Hastings benefits from enhanced service level agreement (SLA) continuity, improved network availability and stability, bandwidth on-demand and support of converged applications -- all of which support the firm's international growth.

Centennial Wireless Installs Redback SmartEdge Routers

Centennial Wireless, a provider of mobile communications in the United States, will expand its existing Ericsson Mobile Packet Backbone Network solution through the introduction of Redback SmartEdge multi-service edge routers. The implementation of SmartEdge routers addresses Centennial's objective to deploy IP infrastructure capable of supporting a standards-based evolution towards all-IP. Centennial has 13 million Net Pops, 1.1 million wireless customers and 475,000 access line equivalents. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Crossbeam Launches Check Point FireWall-1 GX

Crossbeam Systems has certified Check Point's FireWall-1 GX product via the iBeam ISV Certification Program to run on Crossbeam's X-Series Next Generation Security Platform. Check Point's FireWall-1 GX will enable GSM mobile operators using GPRS-(2.5G) and UMTS-(3G) enabled wireless networks to protect themselves against a host of threats via Crossbeam's carrier-class security platform -- from over-billing attacks and theft of services to Denial of Service (DoS) attacks -- which can destroy their credibility with customers.

Crossbeam's iBeam ISV Certification Program is a testing environment that recreates the layered, core security architectures of large enterprise and service provider networks.
  • Crossbeam's X-Series line of security service switches feature up to 40 Gbps of unified threat management (UTM) security processing throughput in a single chassis. The hardware platform facilitates the consolidation, virtualization and simplification of security services delivery. Among its innovations, Crossbeam features “secure flow processing�?, which offers the ability to logically sequence flows from one virtualized instance of a security application to another. Secure flow processing enables security policy sequences to occur on a virtual plane, as if, for example, switches, load balancers, and patch cables were all physically installed between an intrusion prevention service and a firewall. This process is accomplished at wire speed, with active management of data flows and load balancing with “state�? maintained for firewalls and content gateways.

Conviva Raises $20 Million for its Live Media Platform

Conviva, a start-up based in San Mateo, California, raised $20 million in Series B funding for its LIVE media platform.

Conviva said its C3 platform is built for live media from day one. This would enable content owners to create a new "virtual living room" audience experience and improve the economics of digital media on the Internet.

UV Partners led the funding round, with participation from Series A investors New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Foundation Capital. The funding brings Conviva's total amount raised to $29 million and will help the company expand its global platform, accelerate product development, and invest in business development with key customers.
  • Conviva is headed by Carlos Ramón, who previously was General Manager of Akamai Technologies' international business.

Broadcom to Acquire AMD's Digital TV Business

Broadcom will acquire AMD's digital TV (DTV) business for approximately $192.8 million in cash. Broadcom said the deal enables it to immediately scale its DTV business, and, in conjunction with its existing products, to offer a complete product line that covers all segments of the DTV market ranging from low-end value and mid-range quality to high-end interactive platforms and panel processors.

In connection with the transaction, approximately 530 members of AMD's dedicated DTV team, in addition to certain employees directly supporting this team, located in six primary design centers around the world, will be invited to join Broadcom. AMD's DTV product line includes all Xilleon integrated DTV processors and complete turnkey reference designs, as well as NXT receiver ICs, the Theater 300 DTV processor, and a line of panel processors that perform advanced motion compensation, frame rate conversion and scaling.

"The acquisition of AMD's DTV business, which will become the core of Broadcom's DTV line of business, will enable us to significantly scale and accelerate the completion of our digital TV product portfolio while also expanding our tier one customer base and positions us to achieve leadership and long-term growth in this important market segment," said Daniel Marotta, Senior Vice President & General Manager of Broadcom's Broadband Communications Group. "We believe our combined DTV team will be in an excellent position to grow and thrive in this burgeoning market by bringing best-in-class people, technology, solutions and support to our customers."

Competitors in this space include Micronas, MStar, Trident, MediaTek, ST, NXP and Zoran.http://www.broadcom.com

DISH Offers MPEG-4 for All Standard and HD Programming

DISH Network is now transmitting all standard and high definition programming in the MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding Standard.
New customers in 21 designated markets* in the eastern half of the U.S. who sign up for any DISH Network HD package will be the first in the nation to receive the industry's most advanced delivery system on all televisions connected to DISH Network service. This includes all SD and HD programming broadcast in MPEG-4 via DISH Network's MPEG-4 HD and HD DVR receivers.

DISH said this milestone continues a series of industry firsts, including the latest expansion in high definition services, the launch of TurboHD -- the only 100 percent HD service -- the availability of movies in Blu-Ray Disc quality 1080p resolution, and the commitment to offer up to 150 national HD channels by the end of the year.

China Netcom Reaches 23.4 Million Broadband Users

China Netcom reported 1H08 revenue of RMB 41,125 million, which included upfront connection fees of RMB 505 million. Excluding upfront connection fees, revenue was RMB 40,620 million, representing a decrease of 0.15% over the same period of last year (unless otherwise specified, all reported data hereafter exclude the effect of upfront connection fees). Net profit was RMB 5,877 million, up 11.9% year on year because of the change in corporate tax rate and gain on non-cash transactions. If the impact of non-cash transactions was excluded, the net profit would be RMB5,420 million, up 3.2% year on year.

Some highlights from the report:

  • During the first half of the year, China Netcom integrated its resources for broadband services, ICT (information and communication technology), value-added service and advertising and media services in its push for transformation into a "broadband communications and multimedia services provider". The revenue generated from these businesses grew by 26.2% and accounted for 40.6% of total revenues, up 8.5 percentage points over the same period of last year.

  • In the first half of 2008, China Netcom reported a decline in total capital expenditure of 10.7% year-on-year to RMB 7,527 million. In particular, investment in the businesses of fixed-line and PHS only accounted for 4.4% of the total, down 13.2 percentage points compared to the same period last year.

  • As of June 30, 2008, broadband subscribers increased to 23,355,000. This represented a net growth of 3,587,000 when compared to the end of 2007.

  • China Netcom'S share of the broadband market in its service areas was 90.4%, up 1.5 percentage points year-on-year.

  • Revenue from broadband services was RMB 8,859 million, a year-on-year increase of 38.8%. Broadband services accounted for 21.8% of total revenues, up 6.1 percentage points over the same period of last year. ARPU was RMB 68.5. Revenue generated from broadband content and applications was RMB 1,270 million, up 69.1 % over the same period of last year, accounting for RMB 9.8 of broadband ARPU.

  • In the first half of 2008, ICT revenue grew by 28.5% year-on-year to RMB 1,882 million, and accounted for 4.6% of total revenue.

  • During the first half of 2008, China Netcom's traditional fixed-line service faced major challenges. The company is losing local access subscribers, leading to a decline in revenue from the traditional business. As of June 30, 2008, it had 108,510,000 local access subscribers, 2,310,000 less than at the end of 2007. Of this number, fixed-line subscribers declined by 1,499,000while PHS subscribers declined by 811,000.

  • To combat the continuous decline in subscribers of its fixed-line business and PHS, China Netcom's strategy for 2008 is to use high-quality and bundled services, reformed pricing mechanisms, and improved customer experience to promote customer loyalty and thus arrest the decline in subscribers. In May, 2008, the company launched a family gateway, which offers information services to "Family 1+" customers, combining simultaneous access to the internet through various PCs, wireless internet access, family video monitoring and IPTV services.

  • By the end of the first half of 2008, there were 9,971,000 "Family 1+" subscribers. Penetration rate among broadband subscribers for the "Family 1+" service was 36%.

Looking forward, Chairman Zuo Xunsheng said, "In the second half of 2008, we will increase investment in our innovative businesses, and step up effort to develop the innovative businesses, including the broadband services. We will continue the transformation of the "Family 1+" service in order to meet the demand of the household subscribers for high-quality multimedia services during informatization and to enhance the value of the fixed-line network. Meanwhile, we believe that the Company's merger with China Unicom will support and strengthen execution of these strategies. The merger will enable the new company to give full play to the competitive advantages of both predecessor companies, and bring the synergy of the mobile and fixed-line networks into play. The new company is also expected to have access to a 3G license. These will enable the new company to have an edge and to be better positioned in the domestic telecommunications market. The merger will increase shareholder value of both companies."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Telstra's BigPond Revamps Wireless Broadband Plans

Telstra introduced new BigPond Wireless Broadband service plans, while removing the separate pricing plans for mobile cards and modem customers. The additional usage charge has been simplified to $0.25 per MB across all plans. The new plans are available from Sunday, 24 August.

BigPond has a choice of wireless broadband devices which include either a 7.2Mbps express card or USB mobile card or the new BigPond 7.2 Home Network Gateway modem with built-in WiFi.

Prices in AUD.

Inmarsat Selects ILS Proton to Launch S-Band Satellite for Europe

Inmarsat has selected International Launch Services (ILS) for the launch of an S-band satellite to provide mobile broadcast and two-way telecommunications services throughout Europe. The contract follows the recent successful launch of the Inmarsat-4 F3 satellite on an ILS Proton Breeze M vehicle.

Inmarsat is a London-based provider of global mobile broadband services. ILS holds the exclusive worldwide rights to market and sell commercial launch services on the Proton launch vehicle. The Proton booster and Breeze M are both manufactured by Khrunichev Space Center, the majority owner of ILS and one of the cornerstones of the Russian space industry.

Thales Alenia Space of France is developing Inmarsat's S-band satellite, known as EuropaSat, using its Spacebus 4000C3 platform. The spacecraft will provide mobile broadcast and two-way telecommunications services throughout Europe.http://www.inmarsat.com

Integra Telecom Taps Tollgrade's DigiTest ICE Test

Integra Telecom, a facilities-based, integrated communications carrier for business, has selected Tollgrade Communications' broadband service assurance probe -- DigiTest ICE -- for deployment in a system wide test initiative to further improve performance delivery for Integra's services. A first release of DigiTest ICE became generally available in the U.S. market earlier this summer.

DigiTest ICE is Tollgrade's latest generation broadband service assurance test probe, which is designed for installation at the remote FTTN site -- inside the cabinet -- placing it closer to the customer where it is able to segment faults between the access network and customer and visibility of the customer experience. The compact ICE test probe is managed by Tollgrade's LoopCare Test OSS, a key software component of this deployment. It is designed to support a full suite of physical layer measurements and prequalification tests for ADSL and ADSL2+ service delivery.

Virgin Mobile USA Closes Acquisition of Helio

Virgin Mobile USA completed its acquisition of Helio, a joint venture between SK Telecom and EarthLink. The deal involved the exchange of approximately 13 million shares of Virgin Mobile USA Class A common stock, with a value of $38 million based on the average closing price of Virgin Mobile USA's Class A shares, as of two trading days before and two trading days after the date of announcement. In addition, SK Telecom and Virgin Group will each invest $25 million in Virgin Mobile USA for preferred shares.

The deal will give Virgin approximately 170,000 Helio customers with approximately $80 ARPU. Virgin Mobile USA will also gain an established and highly advanced postpaid billing and customer care platform, marking its entrance into this segment of the market. Virgin also noted that the Helio also gives it a set of unique and differentiated data applications, greatly enhancing its offer across its customer base.http://virginmobileusa.mediaroom.com

Motorola Releases Next Gen Push-To-Talk on CDMA 1x EVDO Rev A

Motorola released its next generation Push-To- Talk over Cellular (PoC) solution, optimized for CDMA 1x networks equipped with EVDO Rev A data capability.

Motorola's end-to-end Push-To-Talk over Cellular solution provides walkie- talkie like capability to mobile devices equipped with special PoC client software. With the push of a button on their PoC-enabled handsets, both enterprise and personal users can connect directly with individuals or groups and quickly share information.

The new release leverages the improved performance capabilities provided by the CDMA 1x EVDO Rev A standard including higher speed data rates, low call set-up time latency and QoS. Motorola said its next generation PoC solution provides competitive call set-up time performance with other PoC and proprietary solutions, "buddy list" availability, an open ecosystem to support a wide variety of mobile devices from multiple manufacturers equipped with the PoC client and access to the Internet to enable "push-to-X" features and services to complement basic PoC.

Motorola also believes this next generation Push-To-Talk system paves the way for new enterprise applications such as Push-To-Productivity and encrypted, PC-based dispatching, which will enable companies to enhance communication among employees, customers and suppliers.

PCCW'S Installed Base of IPTV Subscribers Reaches 927,000

PCCW, the incumbent operator in Hong Kong, reported that the installed subscriber base for its now TV service climbed to 927,000 at the end of June 2008, an increase of 13% from a year earlier. The paying base also recorded an increase of 19% to 668,000. As the largest pay-TV service provider in Hong Kong, now TV has further boosted its content line-up to more than 160 local and international channels at the end of June 2008, including over 85 exclusive world-class movies, sports, news and general entertainment channels.

now TV's ARPU in June 2008 grew by 28% from a year ago to HK$213. The UEFA EURO 2008 had attracted new customer subscriptions to the Mega Sports Pack. The higher ARPU was also attributed to the growing demand for high value packs and HD premium channels. The introduction of the All-In-One Set-top-box with HD and digital terrestrial television reception capability also helped develop new incremental revenue streams.

Some additional highlights:

  • Telecommunications Services (TSS) - TSS revenue achieved an 11% growth to HK$8,551 million, marked by significant growth in International Telecommunications Services and Other Telecommunications Services.

  • Total local fixed lines in service at the end of June 2008 maintained at approximately 2,593,000, with firm ARPU recorded.

  • Local data services revenue grew 9% year-on-year to HK$2,415 million.

  • Strong growth in broadband network revenue was fuelled by another double-digit rise in consumer and business broadband service revenues.

  • Total broadband access lines in service reached 1,275,000 at the end of June 2008, up by 8% from a year ago.

  • Revenue from International Telecommunications Services also increased, mainly due to the growth in the wholesale market of traditional and IP-based international connectivity and voice services.

  • MOOV, PCCW's digital music brand with a library of over 130,000 songs and video titles from more than 90 local and international partners/labels, continued to help drive up the subscribers and ARPU of, PCCW's popular broadband portal.

  • Mobile revenue was up 28% year-on-year to HK$857 million. After achieving EBITDA breakeven in 2007, PCCW mobile generated a positive EBITDA of HK$108 million for the six months ended June 30, 2008.

  • PCCW mobile's 3G subscriber base grew impressively by 142% year-on-year to 288,000, while the total 2G subscriber base increased by 6% to 888,000. ARPU of 3G service increased by 3% from December 2007 to HK$222 in June 2008, and the blended 2G and 3G post-paid ARPU increased by 2% to HK$156 during the same period.

  • PCCW Solutions - Revenue increased by 9% to HK$900 million. This was driven by the continued growing demand for IT solution services from both the public and private sectors in Hong Kong and mainland China, and the success in securing contracts from new clients and expanding relationships with existing ones.

NTT Offers MVNO Service for Japan's eAccess

OCN, the Internet service provider operated by NTT Communications (NTT Com), inaugurated a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service for high-speed mobile internet in Japan with eAccess Ltd., a broadband IP communication service company.

The service, named OCN High-speed Mobile EM, is based on High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) protocol which allows subscribers to obtain broadband-quality internet access anywhere with maximum downlink speed of 7.2 Mbps and maximum uplink speed of 384 kbps.

OCN High-speed Mobile EM is offered at a flat-rate connection fee, allowing users to enjoy music and videos, check e-mails or write blogs on a mobile Internet connection without worrying about connection times and fees.

NTT Com confirmed that it is providing an end-to-end service - from registration and billing to customer support - for OCN High-speed Mobile EM. It will also rent data cards, which allow subscribers to save on installation costs.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ekinops Debuts Dynamic Multi-Reach Metro, Regional and Long Haul System

Ekinops, a start-up headquartered in Lannion, France, introduced a long-haul optical transport platform that can carry 80 WDM channels a distance of 2,000 kilometers.

The foundation of the Ekinops 360 platform is its firmware programmable T-Chip. The new long haul solution also uses Ekinops' "DynaFEC" forward error correction technology, which boosts performance, enabling longer transmission distances with lower-power transmitters and amplifiers. DynaFEC offers a number of FEC options that can be programmatically made available to Ekinops line cards allowing for up to a 10 to 12 dB gain, enabling the longest transmission distances between amplifiers. Ekinops can transmit 300 kilometers without any in-line amplification, with full channel counts and its new FEC capabilities significantly reduce the number of in-line amplifiers needed for long reach routes up to 2,000 km.

Ekinops said its 360 transport platform is capable of aggregating and transporting Ethernet (LAN Phy, WAN Phy), Fibre Channel, SONET/SDH, Escon, HD-SDI video, SD-SDI video, and ASI video client protocols. The new client protocol could also be supported thanks to the dynamic firmware programmable T-Chip.
  • In October 2007, Ekinops announced US$20 million in venture capital for its optical transport and DWDM solutions. Ekinops offers optical transport, WDM and aggregation solutions for service providers and enterprise networks. It uses TDM technology to enable the wire-speed aggregation and transport of multiple high-speed data channels over standard 2.5G and 10G wavelengths. Ekinops' carrier-grade solutions leverage expertise in 10G transmission, aggregation, and Forward Error Correction.

  • Ekinops' technical team is led by Jean-Luc Pamart, an FEC expert who has been awarded 7 patents in optical transmission. Before joining Ekinops, Mr. Pamart was Director of Hardware Development at Corvis-Algety in Lannion, France. Previous to that, he held various R&D positions at Alcatel within its Submarine and Terrestrial Division, and Optical Network Transmission business unit.

Nortel Acquires DiamondWare for Positional Voice Technology

Nortel has acquired DiamondWare, a start-up software developer specializing in high-definition, proximity-based 3D positional voice technology, for approximately $7 million in cash, plus up to an additional $3 million to DiamondWare security holders based on achievement of future business milestones over the next 40 months.

DiamondWare uses wideband, stereo capability and custom spatial positioning to make audio conferences more realistic. The technology has been deployed in gaming environments and in U.S. military tactical intercom systems, and by a broad range of carriers and equipment manufacturers.

Nortel said the acquisition furthers its drive to transform communications to allow people to collaborate in more interactive and immersive ways.

DiamondWare is based in Mesa, Arizona.http://www.nortel.com

Nth Air Deploys WiMAX Network in Denver with Fujitsu

Nth Air, a wireless broadband service provider planning a nationwide WiMAX network, has launched a wireless broadband solution across Denver in time for next week's Democratic National Convention. The WiMAX network is available for the 5,000 delegates and more than 15,000 members of the media expected to attend the political event.

The fixed point-to-multipoint network will provide broadband wireless Internet data, VoIP and video services for businesses and municipalities who can subscribe to the service during the convention and not be locked into a long-term contract. WiMAX-compliant point-to-point connectivity is also available to connect users staying at different hotels in wide area network configurations.

Nth Air provides completely integrated, end-to-end wireless broadband solutions from business-class connectivity to transport access, disaster recovery, professional services, and managed services. Up to 1 Gbps symmetrical, dedicated, scalable services are delivered to support subscriber needs. Nth Air is committed to extending the network reach of individuals and businesses that need to be connected any time, any place and anywhere.

Fujitsu Network Communications delivered the fixed and mobile WiMAX equipment for Nth Air. The Fujitsu WiMAX solution that Nth Air purchased operates in the 3.65 GHz spectrum, which is ideal for quickly deploying wireless broadband services to rural or underserved markets.

Fujitsu has an alliance with Airspan Networks to market and support their portfolio of WiMAX solutions, including FCC-certified 3.65 GHz macrocells, picocells and customer premise equipment. This alliance is an extension of the co-development agreement in place to bring high powered mobile WiMAX base stations to the global market.

Nth Air is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., with network capabilities in the greater San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Denver.

Dell'Oro: CDMA Market Takes a Plunge

The worldwide CDMA infrastructure market declined over 25 percent from the year ago quarter, according to the Dell'Oro Group.

With North America being the predominant CDMA market, significant declines in spending by the two largest CDMA operators in the region had a major impact on the contraction of the worldwide market. The significant contraction in North America was partially offset by the CDMA growth in the Asia Pacific region.

"In addition to Verizon Wireless' CAPEX being down approximately $150 million, Sprint's CAPEX was down nearly $1 billion," commented Scott Siegler, Analyst of Mobility Infrastructure research at Dell'Oro Group. "As a result of this contraction in North America, North America's share of the CDMA market fell to approximately two-thirds share, from over three-quarters share in the second quarter last year. Growth in Asia Pacific, particularly in India, helped to offset these declines. In the quarter, Reliance, Tata and BSNL continued to see solid CDMA subscriber growth and continued to invest in the growth of their CDMA networks. However, we believe the region will experience declines in the second half of the year, as we expect all three operators to begin to focus more capital towards their GSM networks," Siegler continued.

The report also shows that the declines in the CDMA market were offset by the GSM market having another solid quarter, with revenue growing both sequentially and year-over-year.

Ipanema Unveils New WAN Optimization Devices

Ipanema Technologies introduced a new generation of integrated WAN optimization devices.

The Ipanema Autonomic Networking System is built out of central software cooperating devices (called ip|engines). The ip|engines are typically positioned inline between the CPE router and the LAN in data-centers and branch office locations. The ip|engines perform a complete range of application traffic management functions including visibility, optimization and acceleration.

Ipanema's new generation of ip|engines offer greater performance as well as new innovative auxiliary ports for system extension.

The ip|e 5ax is a compact device that handles WAN traffic of up to 8 Mbps for both download and upload and 20/2 Mbps for download and upload. The ip|e 5ax sports an 80GB disk for improved caching capabilities. The device specification makes it ideal for branches fitted with modern ADSL2+ or SDSL links.

The ip|e 1800ax is a carrier grade device able to manage up to 1Gbps WAN traffic. It includes redundant power supply and three hot swap disks of 750GB with RAID capabilities. The new range also includes the ip|e 120ax, ip|e 140ax and ip|e 1000ax models to cope with the variety of WAN access bandwidths.

The new auxiliary ports are designed to attach external devices to the ip|engines. The ip|engines are able to selectively divert a part of the WAN traffic to the ports for external processing. The diverted flows are ensured to be individually monitored and optimized by the ip|engines before and after their transformation.

The new ip|engine line is available immediately. The ip|e 5ax price begins at $3,150. The ip|e 1800ax price begins at $51,000.
  • Earlier this month, Ipanema Technologies announced $7 million in new financing to expand its global geographic coverage and grow its R&D staffing.

Zarlink Releases Newest Access Chipset

Zarlink Semiconductor announced availability of its new VoiceEdge VE792 Next Generation Carrier Chipset (NGCC), expanding its VoiceEdge family of highly-programmable integrated voice silicon solutions. The VE792 is a 3 chipset features support for simultaneous high speed video and voice, carrier grade line testing, and the lowest power usage and highest density on the market. It also integrates widely supported system interfaces.

The VoiceEdge VE792 chipset includes an octal Subscriber Line Audio-Processing Circuit (SLAC), with integrated carrier grade line test toolbox and DTMF detection, Single Channel Subscriber Line Interface Circuit (SLIC) and a multi-port Voice Control Processor (VCP), providing up to 72 channels of real time call control function, as well as full carrier grade line test, when enabled with the Zarlink LineCare software suite. The chipset supports a centralized architecture, capable of interfacing all system on chip voice packet processors and network processors, giving end users full scalability and software compatibility with their favorite architecture.

Sampling is underway.

Ericsson Deploys Solar-powered Cell Site in Cambodia for Star-Cell

Ericsson announced the first deployment of a solar-powered GSM base station with satellite backhaul for Star-Cell, a Cambodian mobile operator. The satellite transmission feature provides affordable mobile-network coverage in remote areas where other transmission solutions are unavailable. About 80 percent of the Cambodian population lives outside the main urban centers.

Ericsson said the GSM main-remote solution has a lower environmental impact than standard base stations, consuming up to 50 percent less energy, while helping lower total cost of ownership by reducing operating costs.

Star-Cell has selected Ericsson's solution to expand network coverage and introduce EDGE-based applications to enable mobile health and educational services for rural communities.

Ericsson noted that it has delivered more than 200 solar-powered cell sites in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Americas.

Global Crossing Provides Core Capacity Ethersphere's ADSL2+ in UK

Global Crossing is providing core network capacity for Entanet International Ltd.'s new wholesale ADSL2+ broadband service in the UK. Global Crossing is supplying core network connectivity from Entanet's central network nodes to BT Wholesale Broadband Connect (WBC) aggregation points in London and around the U.K.

Entanet is a leading communications provider of business-class voice and data connectivity solutions and delivers its services via a partner channel. In 2007, Entanet was selected to be the only non-BT company to participate in the BT 21st Century Network (21CN) WBC trial, with Global Crossing providing connectivity.


WiMAX Forum Opens Software Testing Simulator

The WiMAX Forum is making its its open source system level simulator available to its members. The simulator can be used to characterize applications over WiMAX networks. Specifically, the NS-2 based testing application tool provides a unified simulation tool based on the WiMAX Forum's system profiles and facilitates sharing of results and publication of technical papers. For example, the WiMAX Forum NS-2 Simulator could be used to test VoIP performance over WiMAX networks. The simulator will help vendors evaluate scheduler algorithms and technical solutions, in addition to helping service providers perform network planning, capacity evaluation and product evaluation.

The NS-2 Simulator can port a user specific scheduler, evaluate end-to-end performance and conduct network and capacity planning to identify the best deployment strategy and practices. More than 200 users pre-registered for access to the application.

ShoreTel Reports Quarterly Revenue of $35 Million

ShoreTel reported revenue for its fourth fiscal quarter, ended June 30, 2008, of $34.7 million, an increase of 10 percent over the third fiscal quarter and an increase of 20 percent over the fourth quarter of 2007. GAAP gross margin for the fourth quarter of 2008 improved to 62.5 percent from 62.0 percent in the third quarter. GAAP net loss was $47,000, or $(0.00) per share, in the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to a loss of $1.7 million, or $(0.04) per share, in the third quarter and net income of $1.9 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2007. GAAP results in the fourth quarter of 2008 included $2.0 million in stock-based compensation expenses, compared to $633,000 in the fourth quarter of 2007.

"We are pleased to have delivered solid fiscal year growth of 32 percent over last year and to have ended our fiscal year with record fourth quarter revenue that grew by 10 percent sequentially," said John W. Combs, chairman and CEO of ShoreTel.

AT&T Launches In-Home ConnecTech Service

AT&T is launching a nationwide, "ConnecTech" in-home technical support service for both AT&T and non-AT&T residential customers.

AT&T ConnecTech provides a full suite of in-home services for virtually all technical support needs, including television and home theater installation and personal computer and home network setup/maintenance/repair.

AT&T ConnecTech provides a customized portfolio for virtually all consumer services in all 50 states. Specifically, AT&T ConnecTech provides in-home and over-the-phone support services -- including next-day service installation, seven days a week -- for a broad range of TV and PC needs, including:

  • Custom installation of home theater and TV equipment. Flat-panel TV wall mounting and home video installation. Wall-mount speaker installation.

  • New PC or Apple computer installation and the startup of a home desktop or notebook, including e-mail, security configuration and device networking.

  • PC repair service, including parts and hardware replacement.

  • Home network installation of multiple broadband-enabled devices.

  • Computer and network diagnosis covering software and router configuration, settings, virus, spyware or operating system errors.

  • Remote PC and phone support for digital products, such as digital camera, MP3 players, etc.

Pricing info is online.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Vietnam Telecom National to Deploy Fujitsu's FLASHWAVE 7500

Hanoi-based Vietnam Telecom National will deploy Fujitsu's FLASHWAVE 7500 high-speed optical wavelength division multiplexer as the transmission backbone of its next-generation network. For the new optical trunk-line network in the country's southern region, Vietnam Telecom National, which operates under Vietnam Posts and Telecommunication Group, will deploy Fujitsu's FLASHWAVE 7500 wavelength division multiplexer. This trunk-line network will traverse approximately 3,000 km in Vietnam's southern region, tying together the region's 21 provincial capitals, and is scheduled to be completed in early 2009. Financial terms were not disclosed.
  • In February 2008, Fujitsu Network Communications announced several enhancements to its FLASHWAVE 7500 ROADM, including a new two-degree (2D) ROADM configuration for locations that only need two degrees of network connectivity (i.e. a single ring). The new release also includes other economical and operational enhancements, including new 19- and 23-inch shelves, an in-service upgradeable In-Line Amplifier (ILA), and a 10 Gbps Flexponder SONET ADM-on-a-card unit.

    The FLASHWAVE 7500, which is widely deployed by some of the largest MSOs and telecom companies in North America, offers 400 Gbps of total capacity, provides up to 40 wavelengths, features transmission paths exceeding 1000 km, and supports up to 24 intermediate add/drop nodes. It supports both optical mesh and network hub architectures.

    Fujitsu said that with this release, several enhancements have been made to the existing 19-inch FLASHWAVE 7500 small configuration to allow it to support 40-channel access via Wavelength Selective Switching (WSS) technology. This new configuration is designed for data center locations where 19-inch shelves are desired. Now, these customers have several alternatives to optimize cost and performance, including a 32-channel Fixed Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer (FOADM), 32-channel ROADM, 40‑channel FOADM, or 40-channel WSS-based ROADM.

  • In June 2007, Fujitsu Network Communications announced 40 Gbps transmission capabilities into its FLASHWAVE 7500 Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer (ROADM), enabling 10-Gbps metro DWDM networks based on the platform to grow from 400 Gbps to 1.6 Tbps of total capacity. Fujitsu has developed an advanced modulation scheme and per-wavelength variable dispersion compensation (VDC) to support the 40 Gbps rate. Optical performance requirements such as optical signal-to-noise ratio (OSNR), chromatic dispersion, polarization mode dispersion (PMD), and spectral width become much more stringent as bit rates increase.

Malaysia's REDtone Deploys WiMAX with Motorola

REDtone, Malaysia's leading alternative communications ervice provider, has launched East Malaysia's first WiMAX broadband services, powered by Motorola technology. The first phase of the WiMAX network covers Kota Kinabalu business district, enabling high speed Internet access as well as data applications for enterprises. Motorola is working with REDtone to supply and deploy WiMAX 2.3GHz equipment at base sites and install customer premises equipment (CPE) to provide broadband services in major business districts in the first phase of the plan. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Motorola confirmed that it now has 21 contracts for commercial WiMAX networks in 17 countries.

Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom Names New Chairman, President

Chunghwa Telecom, the incumbent operator in Taiwan, named Dr. Shyue-Ching Lu as Chairman and Mr. Shaio Tung Chang as President of the company. Prior to his appointment as Chairman, Dr. Shyue-Ching Lu was President of Chunghwa Telecom, a role which he undertook in 1996.

Mr. Shaio Tung Chang was previously Senior Vice President of the Company and supervised the marketing, information technology and customer service departments. Prior to that, he served as head of CHT's Mobile Business Group and International Business Group.

FCC Releases Order to Comcast to End Discriminatory Network Management Practices

The FCC released its order requiring Comcast to end discriminatory network management practices. Specifically, the FCC is requiring Comcast within 30 days to disclose the details of their unreasonable network management practices, submit a compliance plan describing how it intends to stop these unreasonable management practices by the end of the year, and disclose to both the Commission and the public the details of the
network management practices that it intends to deploy following termination of its current practices. The order is posted online.

On August 1st, the FCC ruled that Comcast's management of its broadband Internet networks contravenes federal policies that protect the vibrant and open nature of the Internet. Specifically, the FCC concluded that by monitoring the content of its customers' traffic and selectively blocking certain peer-to-peer connections, Comcast unduly interfered with Internet users' right to access the lawful Internet content and to use the applications of their choice.

The issue was first brought to light by Comcast subscribers who noticed that they had problems using peer-to- peer applications, such as BitTorrent, over their Comcast broadband connections. The FCC noted that when challenged on the issue Comcast recast its public position several times. Furthermore, evidence suggests that Comcast's practice of blocking traffic has been widespread and that it interferes with peer-to-peer traffic regardless of the level of overall network congestion at the time and regardless of the time of day.

Ericsson to Join ST-NXP Wireless Silicon Venture

Ericsson will merge its Mobile Platforms business with ST-NXP Wireless in a new 50/50 joint venture. The combined company will be a leading supplier of semiconductors and platforms for mobile applications. It will be an important supplier to Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG and Sharp. The fabless joint venture will employ almost 8,000 people with pro-forma 2007 sales of US$3.6 billion. ST is expected to exercise its option to buy NXP's 20 percent of ST-NXP Wireless before the closing of this transaction.

In the joint venture, ST contributes its multimedia and connectivity solutions as well as a 2G/EDGE platform and a 3G offering, including customer relationships with Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson.

Ericsson contributes its 3G and LTE platform technology as well as customer relationships with Sony Ericsson, LG and Sharp.

The joint venture, staffed by proven professionals across all functional areas, is designed for long-term stability in its original structure, and is set to become an industry leader in product research, as well as design, development, and the creation of cutting-edge mobile platforms and wireless semiconductors.

The companies said the scale of their businesses would provide a strategic differentiator.

"By combining the complementary strengths and product offerings of Ericsson and ST in platforms and semiconductors the joint venture is well positioned to become a world leader," said Carl-Henric Svanberg, President and CEO of Ericsson. "The industry continues to develop at a swift pace and customers see benefits from our broad offering. This partnership is a perfect fit and secures a complete offering, as well as the necessary scale for technology leadership."

The joint venture will be headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and governance will be balanced. Each parent will appoint four directors to the board and Ericsson will designate Carl-Henric Svanberg as the Chairman of the Board while ST will appoint Carlo Bozotti as the Vice Chairman. In addition, ST will designate the Chief Executive Officer and Ericsson will appoint the Executive Vice President to the company. An integration management team, led by Alain Dutheil, has already been selected.

SEB Enskilda is acting as Ericsson's sole financial advisor in the transaction while Morgan Stanley and UBS are acting as financial advisors, respectively, to ST and its Supervisory Board.
  • ST-NXP Wireless began operations on August 2 and the new entity is a global provider of platform solutions and ICs for wireless communications, offering capabilities in 2G, 2.5G (GPRS), 2.75G (EDGE) 3G, LTE, multimedia, and connectivity. The joint venture launches as a solid top-three industry player with a complete wireless product and technology portfolio and as a leading supplier to major handset manufacturers who together ship more than 80% of all handsets.

  • In June 2008, NXP Semiconductors introduced what was believed to be the world's fastest high-bandwidth cellular soft modem -- Nexperia Cellular System Solution PNX6910 -- which is capable of achieving data transfer rates of 150 Mbps downlink and 50 Mbps uplink, and supports multi-mode LTE/HSPA/UMTS/EDGE/GPRS/GSM capability. The device, which is powered by NXP's Embedded Vector Processor (EVP) DSP core, could be used in mobile devices capable of downloading an entire HD movie in less than 7 minutes -- over twenty times faster than today's HSPA Cat 8 devices at 7.2 Mbps.

  • On September 1, 2001, Ericsson formed Ericsson Mobile Platforms to offer 2.5G and 3G platforms to manufacturers of mobile phones and other wireless devices, based on Ericsson's global standardization leadership and intellectual property rights portfolio for 2.5G and 3G mobile phone systems. The rationale for the new company was the transformation of the handset industry where few companies would be able to deliver chip-sets, but many to deliver handsets. Ericsson Mobile Platforms is the supplier of 3G and HSPA platforms to Sony Ericsson, LG and Sharp. The unit is headquartered in Lund, Sweden and is a part of Business Unit Multimedia within the Ericsson Group.

Iceland's S�minn Selects Ericsson for WCDMA/HSPA Expansion

Iceland's S�minn has selected Ericsson to expand its WCDMA/HSPA network into the 900MHz band. This will enable S�minn to deliver enhanced mobile data services to remote areas across Iceland. Under the two-year agreement, Ericsson will be the sole supplier of WCDMA/HSPA radio access equipment and the GSM/WCDMA common core network. Ericsson will also expand S�minn's GSM network, upgrade its software and deliver a range of professional services, including deployment and systems integration. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Intel Media Processor Targets Consumer Electronics

Intel introduced the first in a new family of purpose-built System on Chips (SoCs) for Consumer Electronics devices based on the company's Intel architecture (IA) blueprint.

The new Intel Media Processor CE 3100 (previously codenamed "Canmore") , which targets connected CE devices, advanced cable set top boxes and digital TVs, combines features for high-definition video support, home-theater quality audio and advanced 3-D graphics.

The solution pairs an IA processor core with multi-stream video decoding and processing hardware. It also adds a 3-channel 800 MHz DDR2 memory controller, dedicated multi-channel dual audio DSPs, a 3-D graphics engine enabling advanced UIs and EPGs, and support for multiple peripherals, including USB 2.0 and PCI Express.

The Intel Media Processor CE 3100 also features Intel Media Play Technology that combines hardware-based decoding for broadcast TV and optical media playback with software-based decode for Internet content.

When a consumer watches broadcast TV or content on optical media players, the video is encoded in standard formats, such as MPEG-2, H.264 or VC-1. Intel Media Play Technology software routes the video to the on-chip hardware decoders. When viewing Internet content, the software automatically routes the video, and audio as applicable, to a software codec running on the IA processor core.

Intel said that as the Internet becomes more omnipresent, the ability to decode multiple video and audio formats will provide the industry with greater flexibility to evolving standards and technologies, and consumers with more viewing experiences.

Intel expects to begin shipments of this product next month.

Intel and Yahoo Develop TV Application Framework

Intel and Yahoo! previewed plans for the Widget Channel, a television (TV) application framework optimized for TV and related consumer electronics (CE) devices that use the Intel Architecture.

The Widget Channel, which will be powered by the Yahoo! Widget Engine, will enable TV watchers to interact with small Internet applications designed to complement and enhance the traditional TV watching experience.

The Widget Channel will also allow developers to use JAVASCRIPT, XML, HTML and Adobe Flash technology to write TV applications for the platform, extending the power and compatibility of PC application developer programs to TV and related CE devices. In addition to supporting the Yahoo! Widget Engine, Yahoo! will also provide consumers Yahoo!-branded TV Widgets.

Intel and Yahoo! cited a number of companies that are planning on developing and deploying TV Widgets, including Blockbuster, CBS Interactive, CinemaNow, Cinequest, Comcast, Disney-ABC Television Group, eBay, GE, Group M, Joost, MTV, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Schematic, Showtime, Toshiba and Twitter.

Intel is extending the performance, headroom and connectivity of its IA into a new family of "purpose built" system-on-chip (SoC) media processors for Internet-connected CE devices, including optical media players, U.S. cable set-top-boxes, digital TVs and other connected audio visual products.

Intel's first CE IA-based SoC, the Intel Media Processor CE 3100 (formerly "Canmore"), is a highly integrated chip which includes a high-performance IA core and other functional I/O blocks to enable high definition video decode and viewing, home-theater-quality audio, 3-D graphics, and the fusion of the Internet and TV experiences.

The Widget Channel software framework is designed to work with a new generation of Internet-connected CE devices based on Intel's purpose built SoC. The hardware and software compatibility of IA also provides support for broadcast and Internet content.

Intel also plans to release the Intel Media Processor CE 3100-based hardware development system called the "Innovation Platform" which will provide the initial development and validation environment for developers of TV Widgets on the Widget Channel.