Thursday, January 29, 2009

Devicescape Survey Finds a Willingness to Pay for Citywide Wi-Fi

An overwhelming number of Wi-Fi users expect Wi-Fi while on the road (91%) and there is a willingness to pay for it, especially if it is bundled as part of a 3G subscription, according to a survey of more than 2,700 Wi-Fi users conducted by Decipher, Inc. on behalf of Devicescape and other Wi-Fi leaders. Some other key findings of the"Devicescape Wi-Fi Report": showed:

  • Most respondents want citywide Wi-Fi (84%) and, surprisingly, many are willing to pay for it (56%) as they would a utility;

  • When traveling, the most-often used device for accessing Wi-Fi was the smartphone, such as an iPhone (vs. laptops);

  • The overwhelming majority of smartphone users (81%) prefer using Wi-Fi over 3G for browsing Web sites, downloading data, Google searches and sending e-mail;

  • 86% of respondents want OEMs to build Wi-Fi into their handsets;

  • 82% of respondents want the service provider to provide an overall 3G/Wi-Fi data package

  • "Complicated login screens" was the most common frustration consumers had when attempting to connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot.

  • Many of the statistics within the UK and mainland Europe were similar to the US, but one significant difference is that Nokia is the most used device tapping into Wi-Fi, more than laptops and iPhone users.

"This data reflects the fact that people recognize that Wi-Fi -- a technology they know and love on PCs and home entertainment systems -- is also a great way to stay connected with their handsets," said Kelly Davis-Felner, marketing director of the Wi-Fi Alliance. "Wi-Fi delivers a terrific user experience for web surfing, downloading multimedia content, and doing voice calls, so it has become a must-have feature on all the coolest phones."

Norwegian railway Awards 20-Year Deal to NSN

The Norwegian National Rail Administration (Jernbaneverket) awarded a 20-year support contract to Nokia Siemens Networks for the complete maintenance of the country's railway communications network. The contract which includes hardware services, spare-parts management, software support and upgrades will provide Norway's rail system with a high-performance, always-on communications system. It follows Nokia Siemens Networks' implementation of a new digital GSM-Railways (GSM-R) mobile network.

mobilkom austria Picks Nortel and Kapsch CarrierCom

The mobilkom austria group, which serves nearly 15 million mobile customers in eight countries in Central and Eastern Europe., is using an enhanced network based on a IMS-ready Mobile Switching Center (MSC) solution supplied by Kapsch CarrierCom AG and Nortel. The companies have completed the first phase of the project in Austria and work has already begun on the Liechtenstein and Slovenia upgrades. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nortel said the enhanced mobilkom austria network meets the standards defined by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). mobilkom austria's solution is founded on Nortel's Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (ATCA)-based Mobile Switching Center (MSC) server. This is the first time MSC Servers based on the ATCA platform are being used in normal operation in Europe. As part of the migration project, Kapsch CarrierCom is also managing the system implementation and system integration for the countries of Slovenia, Liechtenstein and Austria.

Nortel Ends Joint Agreement with Alvarion for Mobile WiMAX

Nortel will discontinue its mobile WiMAX business and end its joint agreement with Alvarion. The agreement, announced in June 2008, outlined the integration of Alvarion's advanced radio access network technology with Nortel's core network solutions, backhaul solutions, and global services. It also covered the resale by Nortel of the Alvarion platform of WiMAX access products.

Nortel said its decision will allow it to narrow its focus, better manage its investments and strengthen its broader carrier business to better position itself for long-term competitiveness.

"We are taking rapid action to narrow our strategic focus to areas where we can drive maximum return on investment. We will work closely with Alvarion to transition our mobile WiMAX customers to them and assure customers that they will continue to benefit from leading-edge technology and high-quality service," said Richard Lowe, president of carrier networks, Nortel.

For its part, Alvarion is said it is analyzing Nortel's decision and will take action to mitigate the impact on its business, and expects to provide more information about these actions during its fourth quarter 2008 financial results conference call on Wednesday, February 4, 2009. Under the terms of the agreement, Nortel is obligated to pay Alvarion for certain research and development services beyond Q4; however, collection of these payments is uncertain and subject to Nortel's creditor protection proceedings.

As a result of the foregoing, Alvarion will not be able to recognize approximately $2.4 million of revenues from the sale of products to Nortel during the fourth quarter of 2008. Accordingly, total revenues for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2008, are expected to be approximately $70 million, at the low end of the Company's revenue guidance of $70 to $78 million.

Tzvika Friedman, President and CEO of Alvarion, said,"We are obviously disappointed in the direction this has taken; however, Alvarion's industry position has never been stronger. In Q4, our WiMAX shipments, excluding Nortel, reached a record $54.4 million and WiMAX revenues were $42.3 million. Our book-to-bill remained well above 1, and we ended the year with over $140 million in cash on our balance sheet."

Verizon Wireless Stay Up Through Ice Storms in Ohio

Verizon Wireless noted that is network in Ohio continued to operate throughout last week's ice and snow storm thanks to permanent backup generators that have been installed at more than 90 percent of the company's cell sites across the state.

The company invested more than $258 million in 2008 to enhance its digital network in Ohio, and $1.4 billion since the company was formed in the year 2000.

"In 2008, Verizon Wireless completed the installation of generators at every cell site in Ohio where it was possible to put one," said Roger Tang, president-Ohio/Pennsylvania/West Virginia Region, Verizon Wireless. "We understand that, especially during storm conditions like those that have ripped through much of Ohio this week, our customers and emergency personnel need to rely on their wireless devices to keep in touch and stay connected."

Western Digital Debuts 2TB Hard Drive

Western Digital (WD) introduced the world's first 2 terabyte (TB) hard drive. Based on the company's WD Caviar Green product family, the new 3.5-inch platform uses 500 GB/platter technology (with 400 Gb/in2 areal density) with 32 MB cache. In addition, the drive incorporates "StableTrac" technology, which secures the motor shaft at both ends to reduce system-induced vibration and stabilize platters for accurate tracking during read and write operations. WD's "IntelliPower" technology fine-tunes the balance of spin speed. MSRP is US$299.

Samsung Announces 4Gb DDR3 Memory Chip

Samsung Electronics Co. announced the world's first four gigabit (Gb) DDR3 DRAM chip, using 50 nanometer (nm) process technology. The 4Gb DDR3 can be produced in 16 gigabyte (GB) registered dual in-line memory modules (RDIMM) for servers, as well as 8GB unbuffered DIMM (UDIMM) for workstations and desktop PCs, and 8GB small outline DIMM (SODIMM) for laptops. By applying dual-die package technology, this new device can deliver modules of up to 32GB -- offering twice as much capacity as memory modules based on the previous highest chip density of 2Gb.

Designed to be low-powered, the 4Gb DDR3 DRAM operates at 1.35 volts (V), therein improving its throughput by 20 percent over a 1.5V DDR3. Its maximum speed is 1.6 gigabits per second (Gbps). In 16GB module configurations, 4Gb DDR3 can consume 40 percent less power than 2Gb DDR3 because of its higher density and because it uses only half the DRAM (32 vs. 64 chips).

Samsung predicts the amount of memory per server doubling every two years and the development of high-density DRAM is expected to keep pace. Other applications include notebooks and desktop PCs.
  • In September 2008, Samsung announced its development of the world's first 50 nm-class 2Gb DDR3 DRAM.

Digital Britain Seeks Stimulus for the Digital Economy

The British government published a plan to boost the nation's digital economy by spurring investment in the telecom sector.
The Interim Report outlines Britain's progress in building a digital market-place, while also setting priorities for industry engagement. A final Digital Britain Report is due before the summer. Currently, the UK's digital economy accounts for around 8% of GDP.

The Digital Britain has five objectives:

  • Upgrading and modernizing digital networks -- wired, wireless and broadcast -- so that Britain has an infrastructure that enables it to remain globally competitive in the digital world;

  • Fostering a dynamic investment climate for UK digital content, applications and services, that makes the UK an attractive place for both domestic and inward investment in its digital economy;

  • Promoting UK content for UK users: content of quality and scale that serves the interests, experiences and needs of all UK citizens; in particular impartial news, comment and analysis;

  • Fairness and access for all: universal availability coupled with the skills and digital literacy to enable near-universal participation in the digital economy and digital society; and

  • Developing the infrastructure, skills and take-up to enable the widespread online delivery of public services and business interface with Government.

To achieve these aims, the "Digital Britain" contains more than 20 recommendations, including specific proposals on:

  • Next Generation Networks. A strategy group will be formed, by the time of the final Digital Britain Report, to assess the case for how far market-led investment by Virgin Media, BT Group plc and new network enterprises will take the UK in terms of roll-out and likely take-up; and whether any contingency measures are necessary.

  • Universal access to broadband. The government is developing plans for a digital Universal Service Commitment to be effective by 2012, delivered by a mixture of fixed and mobile, wired and wireless means. Subject to further study of the costs and benefits, we will set out our plans for the level of service which we believe should be universal. We anticipate this consideration will include options up to 2Mb/s.

  • the Creation of a second Public Service Provider of Scale

  • The Modernization of Wireless Radio Spectrum Holdings. This includes resolving the future of existing 2G radio spectrum through a structured framework, allowing existing operators to re-align their existing holdings, re-use the spectrum and start the move to next generation mobile services. The government will make available more radio spectrum suitable for next generation mobile services. The government and Ofcom will also consider further network sharing, spectrum or carrier-sharing proposals from the operators, particularly where these can lead to greater coverage and are part of the mobile operator's contribution to a broadband universal service commitment.

  • A Digital Future for Radio. Plans call for the creation a Digital Radio Delivery Group which includes the retailers, the Transmission Networks, the BBC, the Commercial Radio Companies, the Car Manufacturers, consumer representatives and the device manufacturers, whose role would be to increase the attractiveness, availability and affordability of DAB and to advise on the Digital Migration Plan.

  • A New Deal for Digital Content Rights

  • Enhancing the digital delivery of public services. This includes a commitment to ensure that public services online are designed for ease of use by the widest range of citizens, taking advantage of the widespread uptake of broadband to offer an improved customer experience and encourage the shift to online channels in delivery and service support.

Stanford University Researchers Develop Sub-atomic Scale Writing

Stanford University announced a breakthrough with the potential to vastly increase digital data storage. Researchers at the university demonstrated the ability to assemble subatomic sized bits as small as 0.3 nanometers, or roughly one third of a billionth of a meter. The team used a scanning tunneling microscope to drag single carbon monoxide molecules into a desired pattern on a copper chip the size of a fingernail.

A two-dimensional "molecular holograms" were created not by using laser light as in a traditional hologram but by the electrons that are already in the copper. The recorded information could be read by the scanning tunneling microscope.

A paper on this topic has been published online in the journal Nature Nanotechnology,