Thursday, April 16, 2009

Verizon Wireless Drives 4G LTE Open Device Specifications

Verizon Wireless has published an initial set of technical specifications for devices that will run on its Long Term Evolution (LTE) fourth generation (4G) network. The specs provide guidelines for both access and data transport for LTE devices. They are intended to serve as a roadmap for developers who choose to develop devices for submission to the LTE certification process.

To encourage developers to design devices that can take advantage of 4G network speeds and capabilities, Verizon Wireless plans to host a Web conference on LTE device specifications on May 13, 2009. The Web conference is designed to discuss the details regarding the latest on LTE specifications, answer questions, and gather feedback, all with a goal of encouraging transparency, clarity and ease in designing devices to run on LTE networks.

Tony Lewis, vice president of open development at Verizon Wireless, said, "Hardware is the starting point, and Verizon Wireless is encouraging developers to get excited about designing innovative products and services the future requires. We want to publish details to the development community as soon as possible to get us started on that journey. Verizon Wireless is fully committed to openness and transparency that brings companies and people together, harnessing the power of LTE over 700 MHz spectrum. In broadly sharing how LTE standards for access and transport will translate into our specifications today, we can provide a framework for all developers who want to begin their work immediately."

Verizon Wireless also reiterated that commercial use of its LTE network is expected to commence in 2010.

The specifications are available for download online.

Verizon Achieves 3% Improvement in CO2 Efficiency

Verizon's rate of 64 metric tons of CO2 emissions per million dollars in revenue in 2008 represents a year-over-year improvement of 3 percent, according to figures cited by the company. Overall, Verizon's "carbon intensity" is approximately nine times below the U.S. average, as reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Verizon cited a number of ongoing initiatives that should see its energy efficiency improve even more in the years ahead. In 2008, Verizon:

  • Became the first telecommunications company to require that the network equipment it purchases be 20 percent more energy efficient.

  • Launched an initiative to limit engine idling, which cut fuel consumption by more than 1 million gallons (equivalent to taking some
    1,600 cars off the road for a year.

  • Electronically delivered approximately 100 million bills to customers.

  • Collected more than 1.1 million cell phones, an increase of 6 percent from 2007, through HopeLine, a Verizon Wireless program that collects, refurbishes and sells used phones to benefit domestic violence prevention programs.

  • Recycled 35.1 million pounds of telecommunications equipment. (equivalent to the weight of more than 11,500 Toyota Prius sedans.)

  • Focused on purchasing goods containing recycled material. As a result, 60 percent of all goods purchased by the company contained recycled material.

Dow Jones: Venture Investments Plummet in Q1

Venture capitalists invested just $3.90 billion in U.S. companies in the quarter, a 50% decline from the nearly $7.78 billion invested over the same period in 2008 and the lowest quarterly investment total since 1998, according to a new report from Dow Jones VentureSource . The study found that only 477 venture deals were completed in the quarter, well below the 706 deals done in the first quarter last year and the industry's lowest quarterly deal total since 1996.

Some other key findings from Dow Jones VentureSource:

  • The software sector saw $728 million invested in 117 deals during the quarter, a 50% decline from the same period last year when nearly $1.46 billion was invested in 163 deals. This marks the lowest quarterly investment in software since 1997 and the sector's smallest deal count since 1995.

  • The information services sector, which includes most Web 2.0 technologies, saw investment and deal flow fall back to the levels seen in 2005. Information services companies attracted $323 million in 55 deals during the first quarter, down more than 61% from the record $828 million invested in 116 such deals a year ago.

  • Later-stage financing rounds accounted for 55% of all venture investment in the first quarter of 2009, up from 47% in the same quarter last year. By comparison, the proportion of seed and first-round investment was just 18% in the first quarter, down from 25% in the same quarter last year.

  • The San Francisco Bay Area attracted the majority of capital, but saw investment fall 57% to $1.14 billion with 139 deals complete--the region's lowest investment and deal totals in at least a decade.

  • New England garnered $594 million in 61 deals, nearly 16% less than what the region saw invested in the first quarter of 2008.

  • Southern California saw investment drop 35% year-over-year to $462 million with 58 deal completed in the first quarter of 2009.

  • The New York Metro region attracted $390 million in 46 completed deals, 40% off from a year ago when $655 million went to start-ups in the region.

Nokia Siemens Networks to open Distribution Center in Indonesia

Nokia Siemens Networks plans to increase its operations in Indonesia by setting-up a telecoms equipment distribution hub in the country. The company said the hub in Indonesia will mark its first such facility within the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

OKI Develops Polarization-Mode Dispersion Control for 100+ Gbps Optical Networks

OKI Electric Industry, in partnership with Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, has developed a technology to precisely suppress Polarization-Mode Dispersion (PMD), which is the main cause of interference when attempting high-speed optical communication greater than 100Gbps. Using a "PMD Suppressor," OKI and NICT succeeded in an operational test using a 160Gbps optical signal, which is faster and more susceptible to PMD than 100Gbps.

OKI noted that optical networks operating at 40 Gbps and higher become particularly sensitive to PMD effects. In Japan, over 50% of current optical fiber networks (total length of backbone network: approx. three hundred thousand kilometers) are of a type influenced greatly by PMD.

OKI succeeded in developing a PMD suppressor, which is an optical circuit for restoring the distorted received signal wave to its original form. Using this suppressor, OKI succeeded in restoring a wave distorted by PMD to its original form by generating a pseudo PMD in an operational experiment using a 160Gbps signal.

The research was conducted as part of the "Research and Development on λ (Lambda) Utility Technology," under the auspices of NICT, as part of Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (Mick's "Research and Development for Photonic Network Technology."

China Telecom Launches 3G CDMA in 52 Cities with Huawei

China Telecom has activated commercial 3G CDMA networks in 52 cities across China. The networks use equipment supplied by Huawei Technologies.

"It is very exciting to see 3G CDMA services going live for the first time across China and Huawei is proud to have contributed to this important milestone," said Zhao Ming, Vice President of Wireless, Huawei. "There is no doubt that these world-class mobile communications technologies will generate enormous economic and social benefits for China. We are looking forward to completing the nation-wide construction of China Telecom' s state-of-the-art next generation mobile communications network so that these benefits can be realized."

Huawei was recently awarded the largest share of China Telecom' s 3G related contracts and also has the highest market share in China' s CDMA infrastructure and terminal market.

Sony Ericsson's Mobile Phone Shipments Drop 35% in Q1

Sony Ericsson shipped 14.5 million mobile phones in Q1 2009, a decrease of 35% compared to the same period of last year and in line with March 20, 2009 interim announcement of approximately 14 million units. Sales for the quarter were Euro 1,736 million, a decrease of 36% from a year ago. Sales decreased primarily as a result of continued weak consumer confidence and de-stocking in the retail and distribution channels.
Market share in the first quarter decreased and is now estimated to be around 6%, down two percentage points sequentially.

Sony Ericsson forecasts that the global handset market for 2009 will contract at least 10% from around 1,190 million units in 2008.

"As expected, the first quarter of this year has been extremely challenging for Sony Ericsson due to continued weak global demand. We are aligning our business to the new market reality with the aim of bringing the company back to profitability as quickly as possible," said Dick Komiyama, President, Sony Ericsson. "The management intends to pursue an additional cost saving program targeting a further annual operating expense reduction of Euro 400 million, to be completed by mid-2010."

The company's initial cost saving program targeting annual operating expense reductions of Euro 300 million by the end of the first half of 2009, including a workforce reduction of 2,000 headcount, has now been completed. A total of Euro 187 million restructuring charges have been recorded compared to the initial estimated costs of Euro 300 million. In January 2009 an additional cost saving program was initiated to target annual operating expense reductions of Euro 180 million by the end of 2009. The cost of this program will be covered by the initial Euro 300 million restructuring costs announced in July 2008. With this announcement, the company will undergo a further reduction in its global workforce of approximately 2,000 people. It is estimated that new restructuring charges of Euro 200 million will be needed to complete this program.

Cisco Opens Green Lab with China's Tsinghua University

Cisco has established a green technology research and development lab with China's renowned Tsinghua University. The lab which is co-led by the Electronic Engineering Department in Tsinghua University and the Cisco China Green Research and Development (R&D) Center will develop network-based technologies and solutions for intelligent urbanisation to support China's long-term strategy of green GDP growth, energy savings and emissions control.

In addition, as part of Cisco's prior commitment, the company today announced it will establish a Supply Chain Institute with Fudan University to support China's ongoing development through a jointly designed and delivered world-class educational program. The first of its kind for Cisco in China, the Supply Chain Institute will offer learning and development for leaders of Chinese companies, driving thought leadership in supply chain management and accelerating participants' ability to lead on a global scale.

Underscoring the strategic importance of China to its global operations and the company's determination to deliver on its US$16 billion multiyear investment, Cisco also said that it is committed to a "cultivated innovation" model aimed at boosting local innovation through capital, technology, process expertise, incubation resources and leadership investments. Cisco intends to allocate US$1 billion of its US$16 billion investment commitment, announced in November 2007 to support this new innovation model. This initiative is expected to underpin Cisco's collaboration with top universities and market-leading entrepreneurs to support programs to develop technologies for intelligent urbanisation, promote growth enterprises, and foster next-generation Internet development.

Cisco Supplies Transcoders for MTV Networks

MTV Networks (MTVN) is deploying Cisco's medianet products and technologies including MPEG-4 advanced video coding (AVC) and transcoding, Cisco TelePresence and Unified Communications systems.

Specifically, the Cisco MPEG-4 AVC HD encoding/transcoding platform will deliver 16 flagship HD channels for MTVN - eight channels each for U.S. East Coast and West Coast feeds. The Cisco TelePresence meeting solution helps the broadcaster improve efficiency and lower travel expenses. The Cisco IP telephony systems provide a way to extend consistent communications services to all employees in their workspaces, whether they are in main campus locations, at branch offices, working remotely or are mobile. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nortel Teams with Ingram Micro for Unified Communications In Australia

Ingram Micro has agreed to distribute Nortel's unified communications (UC) solutions to its network of IT resellers in Australia. This distribution agreement will see Ingram Micro playing a significant role in distributing Nortel's recently announced Software Communication System (SCS), which replicates all the functionality of a unified communications PBX on a standard server using out-of-the-box software. Ingram Micro will also stock Nortel's extensive range of solutions designed to integrate with Microsoft and IBM's UC platforms, including its Business Communications Manager (BCM) IP PBX's for small-to-medium enterprise and will carry Nortel's established range of data networking products that form the foundation for any UC deployment.