Sunday, February 10, 2008

RIM Suffers Widespread Outage in North America

Research In Motion's BlackBerry service experienced a widespread outage across North America on Monday, affecting users from multiple carriers. The service appeared to normalize about four hours later. The company did not issue a formal statement on the cause of the outage.

NextPoint's IP Multimedia Exchange (IMX) Enable Interconnectivity Between Mobile and Wireline Operators

NextPoint, which was formed through the recent merger of NexTone Communications and Reef Point Systems, announced the availability of its enhanced IP Multimedia Exchange (IMX) featuring support for the deployment of IP services based on the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) architecture and GSMA-IPX requirements .

NextPoint's IMX leverages the functionality of the NextPoint IntelliConnect System to enable service providers to quickly support IP services that span both IMS and Next Generation IP networks. Such services could include enriched multimedia applications like video-sharing, gaming, instant messaging, push-over-cellular (PoC), conferencing and presence.

The NextPoint IMX's key features include stateful SIP dialog processing, call admission control, number/domain translation, ENUM, SIP routing, topology hiding, IPV4/IPV6 interworking, TCP, TLS, IPSec, Tel:URI, customizable call detail records (CDRs), Denial of Service (DoS) prevention, media proxy, media QoS, VLANs and DiffServ. When used in conjunction with the NextPoint RSM and session-level visibility, QoS can be enabled on a real-time basis.

The NextPoint IMX also provides secure connectivity to IMS networks using intelligent identity mechanisms, including access control lists, SIP/TLS certificates, and DNS checks that authenticate subscribers and protect against SIP security.

NextPoint said that as service providers begin to deploy IMS-based services, their requirements for interoperability and interworking with other mobile and fixed-line operators at the services layer become increasingly more complex. Mobile operators in particular are faced with this challenge as subscribers roam and a diversity of handsets proliferates. Wireline carriers and mobile operators are defining more advanced requirements for billing and settlement, application- and network-based service level agreements (SLAs), quality of service (QoS) management, call admission control, session-based least cost and time-of-day routing, call hunting and security. Multiple network deployment scenarios need to be implemented including IPX hubbing, bilateral peering and multilateral peering using ENUM for number resolution. Session border controller capabilities must be enhanced to meet these needs, and a broader technology set is required. NextPoint's IMX addresses these needs.

Holland's Worldmax selects Alcatel-Lucent for WiMAX 802.16e

Worldmax, a new broadband wireless access provider in The Netherlands, has selected Alcatel-Lucent to deploy one of Western Europe's first commercial WiMAX 802.16e-2005 (Rev-e) networks. Worldmax is the owner of the nationwide and exclusive 3.5GHz license for the Dutch market and will therefore be the first service provider to offer its subscribers mobile wireless high-speed broadband internet access coupled with excellent indoor coverage. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Motorola to License its WiMAX Chipset

Motorola will license its mobile WiMAX chipset based radio reference design, Motorola WTM1000 (WiMAX Terminal Modem), to third parties. As part of this program, Motorola also plans to offer essential IP licenses for Motorola's portfolio of WiMAX patents to third parties.

Motorola's WTM1000 chipset-based radio is scheduled to debut in Motorola's line-up of WiMAX mobile devices for various carriers around the world, including Sprint Xohm.

Motorola said it is taking these steps to demonstrate its commitment to WiMAX by driving penetration of the technology through module designers and manufacturers, making it accessible to a wider ecosystem of consumer electronics manufacturers.

Motorola is joined in this initiative by Enfora, which specializes in wireless networking solutions for location-based, monitoring and control and asset management applications. As Motorola's first WiMAX reference design licensee, Enfora plans to integrate the Motorola WTM1000 solution into its intelligent modules and integrated platforms that are part of its suite of eWiDE wireless networking solutions.

Qualcomm Chip Integrates Baseband, Multimedia processing and HSPA+ Radio

Qualcomm introduced a new single-chip solution integrates baseband, multimedia processing and radio functionality.

The Qualcomm Single Chip (QSC) QSC6295, which is implemented in 45 nanometer CMOS, offers downloads of up to 10.2 Mbps, uploads of up to 5.76 Mbps, multimedia content and integrated Bluetooth/FM/GPS.

Qualcomm said innovations in power consumption enable the chip to deliver up to a full day of talk time and more than a month of standby time. The QSC6295 is scheduled to sample in the first quarter of 2009.

Key features include:

  • 400 MHz ARM 11, delivering powerful processing performance

  • Support for WQVGA video playback and recording with TV-out

  • 5.0 megapixel camera

  • 3D hardware-accelerated graphics

  • Integrated gpsOne baseband and radio

  • Integrated Bluetooth baseband and radio, FM radio and USB 2.0 HS

  • Support for all UMTS bands and quad-band EGPRS, as well as receive diversity for enhanced data throughput performance

  • 12mm x 12mm package

Nokia Releases Maps 2.0 for Pedestrian Navigation

Nokia released the beta version of its Maps 2.0 application for pedestrian navigation, adding multimedia city guides, offering satellite images, and sporting a redesigned user interface.

Nokia Maps 2.0 adds Walk, a pedestrian focused navigation component to the application, while still offering Drive, a car navigation system. The pedestrian navigation efficiently walks you from A to B with visual turn-by-turn guidance. It gives information about the surrounding buildings, streets and parks (including pathways through the park) and in newer handsets, like the Nokia 6210 Navigator, points the direction in which you are walking; using the handset's built in compass for orientation.

The new Nokia Maps 2.0 update also adds the option to purchase first-class multimedia guides that feature photos, videos and audio streams to enlighten your journey even more. As with the previous version of Nokia Maps, map users will receive a free 3-day Navigation trial, for Walk and Drive, plus an additional free 10 minute City Guide trial.

Nokia N96 Sports Wi-Fi, HSDPA and USB 2.0

Nokia today unveiled its N96 multimedia computer featuring a 2.8" screen, 16 GB of internal memory and a slider design. The storage capacity of the Nokia N96 can be further expanded with an optional microSD card.

The Nokia N96 supports common 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.

In select markets, Nokia will integrate a DVB-H receiver for live broadcast TV with an automatically updating program guide.

The Nokia N96 multimedia computer is expected to begin shipping in Q3 2008 with an estimated sales price of approximately EUR 550.

Ericsson Shows Multi-standard Radio Base Stations

Ericsson unveiled its RBS 6000 series next-generation radio base stations supporting GSM/EDGE, WCDMA/HSPA and LTE in a single package.

The RBS 6000 series products are available in indoor, outdoor and main-remote packages. The compact design requires only 25 percent of the space used by previous generations while at the same time doubling capacity.

Ericsson said the RBS 6000 series reduces power consumption by 20 to 65 percent, compared with existing Ericsson radio base stations

Commercial launch is set expected this year.

Nokia Siemens Networks Announces Long Term Evolution Solution

Nokia Siemens Network launched its Long Term Evolution (LTE) / System Architecture Evolution (SAE) solution for radio and core networks, including a new Flexi Multimode Base Station, Mobility Management Entity (MME) and System Architecture Evolution (SAE) Gateway. Nokia Siemens Networks said its LTE solution would be aimed at both new operators and operators upgrading existing GSM/WCDMA/HSPA networks.

The new Flexi Multimode Base Station is a small, modular and energy-efficient design that will make full use of the software defined radio concept. The Flexi Multimode Base Station can be deployed with WCDMA/HSPA starting from 3Q 2008 and software upgraded to LTE from the second half of 2009. The Nokia Siemens Networks Flexi Base Station family currently supports FDD and TDD based technologies.

The new Mobility Management Entity and SAE Gateway functionalities will be implemented in Nokia Siemens Networks' SGSN and Flexi ISN and will be available during the second half of 2009.

"Nokia Siemens Networks firmly believes that 5 billion people will be connected by 2015, four billion of them over broadband. This remarkable growth will be accompanied by a 100-fold increase in traffic over the world's networks and will require innovation across the entire ecosystem -- something which we at Nokia Siemens Networks are in an excellent position to deliver," stated Nokia Siemens Networks CEO Simon Beresford-Wylie.

Microsoft to Acquire Danger for Mobile Devices

Microsoft agreed to acquire Danger Inc., a start-up offering mobile devices and software for the consumer market, for an undisclosed sum.

Danger is best known for its Sidekick device, which is marketed by T-Mobile. The company is based in Palo Alto, California.

"The addition of Danger serves as a perfect complement to our existing software and services, and also strengthens our dedication to improving mobile experiences centered around individuals and what they like," said Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft.

NVIDIA Introduces Application Processor for Smart Mobiles

NVIDIA unveiled its APX 2500 applications processor that enables intuitive 3D user interfaces and engaging high-definition video on connected Windows Mobile phones. NVIDIA worked closely with Microsoft on the development of the new device.

NVIDIA said its APX 2500 applications processor delivers up to 10 hours of 720p HD playback, as well as HD camcorder and ultra-high-resolution photo imaging capabilities. The device leverages a new ultra-low-power (ULP) GeForce core that is fully OpenGL ES 2.0 and Microsoft Direct3D Mobile compliant.

Sampling is underway.

Atheros Demos Radio-on-Chip for Mobile

Atheros Communications is demonstrating its Radio-on-Chip for Mobile (ROCm) family of wireless technologies, including its mobile WLAN solutions, its Bluetooth for PCs and Headsets, and its new GPS product portfolio.

In particular, Atheros is showing its AR6001 mobile WLAN implementation on the NVIDIA APX 2500 development platform, a new applications processor designed to enable advanced multimedia features in a new breed of smartphones.

Atheros said its ROCm solutions deliver infrastructure-class throughput while using 70 percent less power in active mode than competing Wi-Fi products, and near-zero (.06mW) power in standby mode.

Aztek Adds to its Emergency Stand Alone Switching Line

Aztek Networks has added to its line of Emergency Stand Alone (ESA) switches with a new model aimed at smaller deployments. The new Aztek Networks 5000SL.

The 5000SL, which is a single blade, lower cost version of Aztek's 5000S, ensures uninterrupted local calling capability and access to 911 emergency services for TDM-based access systems within a local calling serving area. The 5000SL communicates via the GR-303 standard and interoperates with all GR-303-based digital loop carriers (DLCs) or multi-service access platforms (MSAPs). It supports up to two GR-303 interface groups or four T1 lines.

The 5000SL continuously and passively monitors one or two GR-303 interface groups that run between access systems or line frames within a remote office and host central office switch. While in ESA mode, the 5000SL helps ensure public safety by continuously maintaining local calling capabilities and subscriber access to emergency 911 services in the event the link to the primary host switch is severed due to an accident or natural disaster.

Alcatel-Lucent and LG Electronics Team on Long Term Evolution (LTE)

Alcatel-Lucent and LG Electronics (LGE) have formed a strategic alliance focused on Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband technology. As part of a collaboration agreement, the two companies are cooperating on LTE research and development and interoperability testing efforts, harmonizing their contributions to the 3GPP standards development effort and teaming to support ongoing customer trials.

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the companies are demonstrating very high-speed, very high-bandwidth transmissions -- using Alcatel-Lucent infrastructure and LGE mobile device prototypes -- supporting dozens of DVD-quality and high-definition video streams simultaneously in the same radio cell. The demonstrations will feature the delivery of video over LTE between the Alcatel-Lucent and LGE stands at the show.

Specifically, the two companies are demonstrating 2x2 multiple input/multiple output (MIMO) technology, delivering throughput of approximately 180 Mbps.http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

Starbucks Teams with AT&T for Wi-Fi service

Starbucks is teaming up with AT&T for Wi-Fi service at its more than 7,000 company-operated Starbucks locations across the United States.

T-Mobile had previously been the Wi-Fi provider for Starbucks.

Under the deal, Starbucks and AT&T will offer a mix of free and paid Wi-Fi offerings at Starbucks stores. Beginning this spring, Starbucks Card holders can enjoy up to two hours of free Wi-Fi service per day at Starbucks locations offering Wi-Fi access, while more than 12 million qualifying AT&T broadband and AT&T U-verse Internet customers will have unlimited free access to the Wi-Fi service. In addition, more than 5 million of AT&T's remote access services business customers will be able to access Wi-Fi service at Starbucks locations. AT&T will soon extend the benefits of Wi-Fi at Starbucks to its wireless customers.

The initiative further expands the AT&T Wi-Fi network, already the largest in the United States, to more than 17,000 U.S. hot spots and more than 70,000 globally.

In addition to the free Wi-Fi access for qualifying AT&T customers and any Starbucks Card holder, customers will be able to purchase tiered access for $3.99 for a two-hour session. Monthly membership will also be available for $19.99 per month, and will include access to any of AT&T's 70,000 hot spots in 89 countries around the world.http://www.att.com

Amdocs Introduces Unified Mobile Commerce, Search and Advertising Platform

Amdocs introduced a unified platform for mobile operators that integrates its Search and Digital Advertising solution with the mobile commerce solutions of Amdocs Qpass .

Amdocs' Search and Digital Advertising solution, launched in January 2008 as a key part of the Amdocs Customer Experience Systems (CES) product portfolio, leverages service providers' valuable assets, including subscriber data and network infrastructure, to provide the end customer with more targeted and personalized advertising.

Amdocs Qpass is a digital commerce solution that has processed nearly one billion transactions since its introduction in 2003.

Amdocs said that its integrated solution enables service providers to offer consumers a fully personalized experience with both targeted ads and content recommendations.

Ericsson Showcases its Long-Term Evolution - System Architecture Evolution (LTE/SAE)

At this week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Ericsson will be showcasing its Long-Term Evolution - System Architecture Evolution (LTE/SAE). The company plans to demonstrate its LTE handheld mobile devices as well as LTE network equipment supports multi-user data rates of up to 160Mbps per cell.

LTE is the next evolution in mobile network standards as defined by the 3GPP (Third-Generation Partnership Project) and supports operations in both the paired spectrum and unpaired spectrum. It enables efficient spectrum utilization for both legacy and future wireless frequency bands.

"This world-first demonstration marks a key milestone in the development of LTE. It proves the stability and integration of our platform with a form factor accurate handheld device, reaching uplink and downlink data speeds of 25Mbit/s already today. Samples of our first LTE platform will be available in 2008," said Robert Puskaric, head of Ericsson's mobile platforms business.

Freescale Shows Long Term Evolution (LTE) Handset Solution

At this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Freescale Semiconductor is showcasing its Long Term Evolution (LTE) cellular handset end-to-end solution. Freescale's demonstration includes video clip transmission and reception, data throughput statistics and receive constellation. On the networking side, Freescale will demonstrate a modular LTE/WiMAX base station platform with transport, control and baseband capabilities. This MIMO-capable platform offers high performance programmable processing delivered by PowerQUICC communications processors and StarCor DSPs.

Sony Ericsson Launches XPERIA Windows Mobile Slider Phone

Sony Ericsson unveiled its "XPERIA" Windows Mobile phone featuring a hidden keyboard with a slider design. The XPERIA X1 features a 3-inch clear, wide VGA display and a full QWERTY keyboard within a quality metal-finish body.

Network connectivity includes HSDPA/HSUPA and WiFi. The unit also offers. aGPS and a 3.2 megapixel camera. Pricing was not disclosed.