Thursday, June 19, 2008

Alcatel-Lucent and SpeedCast Offer Hosted DVB-H in Asia

Alcatel-Lucent and SpeedCast announced plans to jointly market, deploy and operate a shared, hosted DVB-H platform for mobile TV operators in Asia. The companies will provide operators around the region with a state-of-the art DVB-H head-end capable of delivering more than 20 TV channels via satellite (in the Ku-band or in the C-band) to their transmission towers for terrestrial broadcast (in the UHF band) to DVB-H handheld devices. The turnkey solution combines all the elements required for mobile TV, including the service platform, a security and encryption technology, the platform for encoding into a DVB-H compatible format, the satellite delivery to terrestrial infrastructure and a very large number of TV channels with world-class content - across the major genres spanning news, music, sports, lifestyle and entertainment -- which can be customized for different ethnic audiences.http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

VoiceCon Amsterdam Announced for October 14-16

TechWeb (formerly CMP) announced plans to host its first European VoiceCon event in Amsterdam from October 14-16, 2008 at the Amsterdam RAI. VoiceCon Amsterdam is both a conference and an exhibition, and VoiceCon Amsterdam will present the leading international companies in the IP Telephony, Unified and Converged Communications industries.

Supreme Court of Canada Approves BCE Privatization Plan

The Supreme Court of Canada reinstated a lower court order approving BCE's plan of arrangement. This opens the path to complete the previously announced sale of the company to an investor group led by Teachers' Private Capital, the private investment arm of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, Providence Equity Partners Inc., Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC, and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity.

"Today's unanimous decision by the Supreme Court affirms BCE's long standing position that the plan of arrangement complies with the rights and reasonable expectations of Bell Canada debenture holders," said Richard J. Currie, Chair of the Board of BCE Inc. and Bell Canada.

BCE also gained final approval from CRTC. Further, Industry Canada is expected to confirm its approval of the privitization deal.

BCE said it now believes that it can close the transaction in the third quarter of 2008.

FCC Mulls Changes for AWS Spectrum in the 1.9 and 2.1 GHz Bands

The FCC is considering requiring public access to free, nationwide, high-speed wireless broadband Internet services using a portion of the winning bidder's network in the 2.1 GHz Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum. Specifically, the FCC is seeking comment on proposed rules for the AWS spectrum in the 1915-1920 MHz, 1995-2000 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands.

In 2004, the FCC sought comment on service rules for the 1915-1920 MHz, 1995-2000 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, and 2175-2180 MHz bands ("AWS-2"), and in 2007, the FCC sought comment on service rules for the 2155-2175 MHz band ("AWS-3").

Regarding the 2155-2180 MHz band, the FCC proposes combining the 2155-2175 MHz band with the 2175-2180 MHz band to create a 25 megahertz block of spectrum and a single nationwide license for the 2155-2180 MHz band. This larger block size may allow
the AWS-3 licensee to make more robust use of the spectrum while operating at a stricter out-of-band emission limit. Alternatively, another proposed option would be to retain the 2155-2175 MHz AWS-3 block and allow the licensee to operate with a more traditional out-of-band
emission limit.

The FCC is further proposing requiring the licensee for the 2155-2180 MHz spectrum to provide -- using up to 25 percent of its wireless network capacity -- free, two-way broadband Internet service at engineered data rates of at least 768 kbps downstream. Additional obligations
associated with the licensee's free broadband service would include a requirement to provide a network-based filtering mechanism for the free Internet service in order to protect children and families, and a requirement that the network allow for the use of open devices.

The build-out requirements for the licensee would be to provide signal coverage and offer service to at least 50 percent of the total U.S. within four years and to at least 95 percent of the U.S. population by the end of the 10-year license term.

U.S. House Approves Electronic Surveillance Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 293-129 to approve a bill (H.R. 6304) that grants immunity to telecom firms that participated in President Bush's warrantless surveillance program. The bill, which serves as an update to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), affirms that the FISA courts and procedures are the exclusive means of collecting foreign intelligence. Electronic eavesdropping without court approval is permitted only during emergencies, so long as the government agencies conducting the surveillance submit justifications to the FISA court within one week. The bill also requires court permission and establishment of probable cause for surveillance of Americans overseas, and prohibits a process in which the communications of a U.S. citizen could be monitored without court approval by targeting a foreigner.