Thursday, August 13, 2009

Verizon Wireless Launches Mobile App Development Contest

Verizon Wireless is launching a mobile application development contest with a $50,000 grand prize. Developers can submit applications in five categories -- Connect, Entertain, Guide, Save Time, and Enhance Living -- which highlight the wide range of activities, information, entertainment and other cool things developers can bring to mobile phones. Verizon encourages developers who have been creating apps for other platforms such as Java, BREW, Android, Windows Mobile and others to enter the Apply Your Ideas contest. Applications must be new to the BlackBerry wireless platform and work on BlackBerry Storm smartphones to be eligible to win. Members of the Verizon Developer Community (VDC) will choose the category winners and the People's Choice winner from among the applications submitted. The Grand Prize winner, chosen from among the category winners by a panel of judges, will take home $50,000; 200 percent of the application's revenue for a year (to a maximum of actual revenue plus $100,000); and a featured spot at the launch of the V CAST Apps storefront.

Qwest Selected for Colorado Telehealth Network

The Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) and the Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council (CBHC) have selected Qwest Communications (NYSE: Q) to provide high-speed broadband services that will link nearly 400 of the state's urban and rural health care and behavioral health providers, and facilitate telemedicine access. Once complete, the Colorado Telehealth Network will be the among the largest health care information networks in the United States.

Qwest will manage metro optical Ethernet and data networking technology to provide a secure, reliable, scalable voice and data platform to health care providers of all sizes, enabling them to share critical medical information over large distances, control costs and reduce patient travel time, thereby providing a better patient care experience. Colorado Telehealth Network will connect into Qwest's national fiber-optic network , providing patients -- especially those in rural areas--with state-of-the-art, long-distance medical care using speeds up to 100 Mbps.

"Too many rural communities are isolated from many of the advanced diagnosis and treatment technologies available in urban areas," said CHA President and CEO Steven J. Summer. "The Colorado Telehealth Network, when implemented, will enable Coloradans to receive the right care, at the right place and at the right time."

"The Colorado Telehealth Network will promote better health in many ways, while greatly reducing the need for rural residents to travel long distances to receive quality care," said George DelGrosso, executive director of the Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council. "This innovative system will save lives and scarce health care resources."

The Colorado Telehealth Network is funded by two awards from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). An FCC award to CHA provides up to $4.6 million in federal funds over three years. When combined with a similar award to CBHC, $9.8 million will be available for the initiative. In addition, a 15 percent match from participating health care providers will supplement the program. CHA and CBHC expect that the Colorado Telehealth Network will connect approximately 70 percent of the 388 eligible facilities by the end of the year and will complete connectivity in early 2010.

Comstar Enhances its Transport Network in Moscow Region

Russia's COMSTAR announced the activation backbone support ring of its transport telecommunications network in the Moscow region. The total length of the NGN network's new fibre-optic lines connecting the ring's telecommunications facilities exceeds 180 km. The transport network's support ring consists of 11 backbone nodes and includes 44 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports and 264 Fast Ethernet ports. The overall investment in the project amounted to over RUR 111 million (US$ 3.4 million).

Ditech Networks Joins VoLGA Forum

Ditech Networks has joined the Voice over LTE via Generic Access (VoLGA) Forum, which promotes an approach for extending traditional GSM and UMTS services over Long Term Evolution (LTE) access networks. Based on the existing 3GPP Generic Access Network (GAN) standard, solutions based on VoLGA are designed to enable mobile subscribers to receive a consistent set of voice, SMS and other services as they transition between GSM, UMTS and LTE access networks.

Ditech Networks provides voice processing solutions, including voice quality enhancement and Voice 2.0 applications.

Brazil's GlobeNet Boosts Submarine Cable to 360 Gbps

GlobeNet, a subsidiary of Oi (formerly Brasil Telecom), has begun a major upgrade of its submarine fiber-optic cable system. Upon completion, the network upgrade will enable 360 Gbps of capacity. The company, which currently operates in the U.S., Brazil, Bermuda and Venezuela, is upgrading the submarine network based on ongoing customer demand to the region as well as forecasted growth in regional traffic.

GlobeNet's submarine system spans more than 22,000 kilometers, connecting Brazil, Bermuda, Venezuela and the United States. As a result, the company analyzes and forecasts international traffic patterns and demand in order to service these core markets. Based on its strategic market analysis, GlobeNet embarked on its current network upgrade to 360 Gbps to ensure its readiness to service its existing customers' needs as well as secure new opportunities in the region. The current upgrade will bring to market a total of 360 Gbps; however, the current DWDM technology utilized will have a total lit capacity of approximately 1.92 Tbps.

Verizon Wireless Activates LTE 4G Test Sites in Boston and Seattle

Verizon Wireless completed its first Long Term Evolution (LTE) data calls based on the 3GPP Release 8 standard. The successful data calls involved streaming video, file uploads and downloads, and Web browsing. Significantly, Verizon Wireless has successfully made data calls using VoIP to enable voice transmissions over the LTE 4G network.

Verizon Wireless currently has 10 LTE 4G cell sites up and running on the 700 MHz spectrum in both Boston and Seattle. The first test data calls have been completed on both the Boston and Seattle networks using commercial grade infrastructure platforms. Technology partners helping to enable data calls in these initial markets include Alcatel-Lucent (Boston) and Ericsson (Seattle) for base station/radio access network, LG and Samsung for trial devices, and Starent Networks and Nokia Siemens Networks for network equipment. Devices from LG and Samsung will soon be supplemented by devices from ST-Ericsson, Motorola and Qualcomm.

Tony Melone, senior vice president and chief technical officer at Verizon Wireless, said, "Verizon Wireless, with outstanding cooperation from our partner suppliers, is fully committed to harnessing the power of LTE over our 700 MHz spectrum. This combination of state-of-the-art technology and prime spectrum will soon make a ubiquitous, highly mobile, super-fast broadband experience a reality for customers. This significant milestone in our LTE 4G network testing, exemplified by the first data calls in Boston and Seattle, further validates our early support and decision to select LTE as the standard for our next-generation wireless broadband network."

Verizon Wireless expects to commercially launch its LTE 4G network in up to 30 markets in 2010, covering 100 million people. In subsequent years, an equally aggressive growth plan will result in full nationwide coverage in 2013.