Wednesday, March 19, 2008

AirWalk Introduces its CDMA Femtocell

AirWalk Communications, a start-up based in Richardson, Texas, introduced its "EdgePoint" CDMA femtocell

for home and small office use. By deploying the compact (7 by 7 by 2 inches) femtocells at customer sites, cellular carriers can reduce the customer churn typically associated with poor reception. At the consumer end, the unit plugs directly into a DSL or cable broadband connection. The femtocell is programmed for their existing handsets and laptop computers. Users can guarantee good reception -- including smooth handoff of calls originated on EdgePoint to the macro network, and can work with their carriers to secure service plans tailored to their needs.

The EdgePoint architecture combines a base station transceiver, base station controller, and network interfaces into a single unit, and can be configured for either 1xEV-DO Rev. A or 1xRTT. The unit has a range of about 250 feet (76 meters)

CommuniGate Launches UC Suite with HD Media on Adobe AIR

CommuniGate Systems, a start-up based in Mill Valley, California, announced the availability of Pronto! 2.0 unified communications platform featuring a lightweight client interface built with Adobe Flex 3, deployed in the browser with Adobe Flash Player and to the desktop with Adobe AIR.

CommuniGate's Pronto! 2.0 brings together email, voice, messaging, and groupware along with high definition multimedia entertainment applications. With Pronto! 2.0, users can chat with friends, send email, place a VoIP call, catch up on their favorite HDTV show, stream HD radio, etc. -- all from with-in the customizable Web browser interface.

Delivered to the browser through Adobe Flash Player, users can access all their communication and media services all from their home computer, business laptop, and even public computers at an Internet Café.

Additionally, Pronto! 2.0 utilizes the power of Adobe AIR, which enables web developers to extend rich Internet applications to the desktop. Users can open separate windows for Pronto! functions, including IM, calendars, email, and voice, to configure the desktop that works for them. Pronto! 2.0 supports drag-and-drop operations for a more familiar and natural way to save and add attachments from email.

Media capabilities include H.264 and AAC codecs supporting HD video n Adobe Flash Player 9 and AIR. Network operators could use Flash Media Interactive Servers along with CommuniGate Pro's server APIs and plugins to deliver licensed content from a variety of providers using the same browser suite.

Eni Deploys Italtel and Cisco for Global Communications Network

Eni, one of the world's leading companies in the energy sector, has deployed an integrated communication network linking over 100 sites using technology from Italtel and Cisco. The new Eni network, which is based on the Italtel i-SSW Softswitch multiservice platform, is described as one of the world's largest fully-converged enterprise networks in terms of size, performance and technologies used.

Italtel served as the supplier and system integrator of the softswitch platform used for the Eni network. Cisco Systems, Italtel's strategic partner, developed the VoIP services and the Unified Communication network. BT Italia served in the role of Project Management and System Integrator.

The Italtel i-SSW multi-service Softswitch platform is supporting a number of advanced applications on the Eni network, including Unified Communications, fixed/mobile convergence (FMC) services and support for dual mode terminals (WiFi and GSM/UMTS), and a VoIP 2.0 portal with click-to-dial capabilities.

In addition, Eni has already planned several stages for evolving its VoIP 2.0 network, including the installation, in order to reduce disaster recovery times, of a second Italtel i-SSW platform at the company HQ in Rome and the multi-carrier interconnection of the corporate VoIP network.

3Com Seeks Break-up Fee from Bain Capital

3Com will pursue a $66 million merger termination fee from Bain Capital Partners. In a press release, 3Com said it does not believe that Bain Capital Partners' attempt to terminate its merger agreement with 3Com is valid. Subsequently, 3Com's shareholders on Friday voted to approve the take-over from Bain, even though the deal was already off the table. This move is expected to help 3Com in its bid to secure the $66 million break-up fee.

In February, 3Com, along with affiliates of Bain Capital Partners and Huawei Technologies, withdrew their joint filing to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) concerning the parties' proposed merger transaction. The parties said they remain committed to continuing discussions.http://www.3com.com

Redback Announces 68 Joint Carrier Wins with Ericsson

Redback Networks a division of Ericsson, said that its IP-based broadband routers reached 68 joint carrier wins in 45 countries with Ericsson in 2007. Redback and Ericsson won joint deals with fixed and mobile carriers in North & South America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and greater Asia. Two of the joint deals are with top 20 fixed operators; three other wins are with top 10 mobile operators. Several of the joints wins are in fast-growing emerging markets.

Charter Closes on $500 Million in Loan Financing

Charter Communications, the third largest publicly traded cable operator in the U.S., has closed on $500 million principal amount of incremental term loans (the "Incremental Term Loans") under the Charter Operating credit facilities. The funds will be used for general corporate purposes.

HTC Shift Rides Sprint's CDMA-EVDO

HTC Corp. announced U.S. availability of its "Shift" device, a compact device that is half the size and a fraction of the weight of a standard notebook and uses Windows Vista and Microsoft Origami Experience 2.0. The HTC Shift operates over the Sprint Mobile Broadband Network. The company claims up to three days of battery life. It also features HTC's new "SnapVUE" technology, which provides instant access to emails, calendar, SMS messages and contacts, without the need to fully boot up the device. The touch-sensitive screen measures 7". It includes a 40 GB HDD, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi connectivity and weighs 1.8 pounds. MSRP is $1,499.

Ceragon Announces Backhaul Contract with CellularONE of Arizona

Ceragon Networks announced a follow-on order from CellularONE of Arizona valued at over $1 million, as part of CellularONE's further expansion into the Navajo Nation. Ceragon's FibeAir solutions will be used to transport flexible data and voice services to CellularONE's new subscribers.

Ceragon's carrier class FibeAir product family provides backhaul for IP, SONET and PDH on a single platform. Phase III of CellularONE's network utilizes the 6,11 and 23 GHz frequency bands in 1+0, 1+1 (non-protected/protected), and space diversity configurations carrying up to 64 T1's, DS-3, OC3, and Dual Fast Ethernet, CellularONE will benefit from the ability of the FibeAir family to support errorless and hitless space diversity in both SONET and IP+TDM configurations.

City Telecom, M1 and StarHub to Submit Joint Bid for Singapore's NBN

Hong Kong's City Telecom (CTI) and Singapore's M1 and StarHub will form a consortium and jointly submit a bid to design, build and operate Singapore's next generation broadband network, as specified by Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore's Request-for-Proposal (RFP) for the Network Company (NetCo).

Next Gen NII comprises complementary wired and wireless networks to ensure Singaporeans enjoy seamless connectivity.

''Currently, CTI, through its wholly owned subsidiary, HKBN's end-to-end network in Hong Kong, supports the widest range of symmetric broadband services from 25Mbps up to 1Gbps, and has launched Hong Kong's first Fibre-to- the-Home residential broadband services. We welcome StarHub to join us in this project, as their experience and diversity complement the strengths of CTI and M1. We are confident that this will create sparkling synergy for the consortium,'' said Ricky Wong, Chairman of CTI.
  • In December 2007, the government of Singapore outlined its vision for an open access Next Generation National Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN) offering pervasive ultra-high speed connectivity by 2015. The plan calls for a minimum speed of 100 Mbps in the downlink and 50 Mbps in the uplink per end-user connection and scalability to 1 Gbps and above. Singapore is also calling for a separation between network layer operations (the Layer 1 physical network), the bandwidth service operators (Layer 2 and Layer 3 connectivity), and the retail services that ride on top.

    The Next Gen NBN is expected to be available nationwide by 2015, although the first services, such as high-definition video conferencing, telemedicine, Grid Computing-on-Demand, security and immersive learning applications, should be running on the Next Gen NBN from about 2010.

    Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority is issuing a Request-For-Proposal (RFP) open to all interested parties to submit their bid to design, build and operate the passive infrastructure layer of the Next Gen NBN.

    Under this RFP, a Network Company, or NetCo, will be selected to design, build and operate this passive infrastructure that will carry the traffic for Next Generation Services. The deployment of active electronics such as switches and routers to manage the flow of traffic on the passive infrastructure will be done by what is called the Operating Company or OpCo, which will also be the entity that offers wholesale broadband access to downstream Retail Service Providers, or RSPs. The latter are the companies that provide Next Generation Services to end-users.

Packeteer Advises Stockholders to Take No Action in Response to Elliott Associates Offer

Packeteer's Board of Directors recommended that the company's stockholders take no action at this time in response to the announcement by Elliott Associates, L.P. that it has made an unsolicited conditional tender offer to acquire all of Packeteer's outstanding shares of common stock for $5.50 per share in cash

Packeteer said it will review and consider the Elliot Associates offer, and within 10 business days, will advise Packeteer's stockholders of the Board's position regarding the offer as well as its reasons for that position.
  • On March 5, Elliott Associates. an international fund manager and long-term shareholder of Packeteer, make an unsolicited bid of $5.50 per share to acquire the company -- representing about a 42% premium over Packeteer's closing price the previous day.

Broadcom Demos Single-Chip HD Set-Top Box Solution with China AVS Support

Broadcom demonstrated a single-chip solution for high definition (HD) digital set-top boxes that is compliant with China's audio video coding standard (AVS) standard. Broadcom's BCM7405 combines a fast 1100-DMIPS MIPS32/MIPS16e-class CPU, high-speed graphics processing (including video scaling and motion adaptive de-interlacing), a very flexible data transport processor, an MPEG-4/VC-1/MPEG-2/AVS-compliant video decoder, a programmable audio decoder, six video DACs, stereo high-fidelity audio DACs, dual Fast Ethernet ports (one with an integrated PHY), triple USB 2.0, a PCI 2.3/expansion bus, a high-speed DDR2-800 memory controller, and a peripheral control unit that provides a variety of set-top box control functions.

The AVS specification addresses system level content transport, video/audio coding formats and media copyright management. It also provides video coding efficiency that is 2 to 3 times more efficient than MPEG-2 (and equivalent to H.264).

Broadcom noted that AVS was approved as a Chinese national standard in March 2006 and is now being implemented in IPTV trials by China Netcom, a leading broadband communications and fixed-line telecommunications operator in China. China Netcom decided to use AVS in its IPTV roll-outs instead of MPEG-4 or H.264/AVC and is planning to deploy 300,000 AVS-based IP set-top boxes in the Dalian, Liaoning province this year. AVS is also supported by the Ministry of Information Industry in China, who is encouraging companies to make AVS a required part of the STB specification.

Incumbents AT&T and Verizon Wireless Among Winners in 700 MHz Auction

Incumbents AT&T and Verizon Wireless were among the biggest winners in the recently concluded auction of 700MHz spectrum in the United States. Frontier Wireless (EchoStar), a new entrant, also won a sufficient number of licenses to establish a near nationwide footprint for its services for consumers.

AT&T said its winning bid provides it with 700 MHz spectrum covering 100 percent of the top 200 markets in the U.S. Combined with the spectrum previously purchased in the AWS auction, AT&T will have quality spectrum available for new services covering 95 percent of the U.S. population.

"AT&T's strong spectrum holdings position the company to further enhance the quality and reliability of existing wireless broadband and voice services, and to set the foundation for new-generation wireless broadband technologies and services." said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T's wireless unit.

Verizon Wireless won bids providing it with a nationwide spectrum footprint reaching 298 million Pops, plus 102 licenses for individual markets covering 171 million Pops.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said the auction result offer the possibility of wireless ‘third-pipe" in every market across the nation. He also noted that a healthy demand for licenses by non-nationwide wireless incumbents, representing approximately 69 percent of the 1090 licenses sold. This could open up new opportunities for rural bandband by local players.

The list of winning bidders is posted on the FCC website.