Wednesday, August 19, 2009

KDDI Selects Motorola for Nationwide LTE Network

Motorola won a key contract to develop and implement KDDI's Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, including RAN/base stations, in Japan. As initially announced on Motorola's second quarter earnings call, Motorola's Home & Networks Mobility business will provide the optimal LTE solution to enable KDDI to offer high-speed mobile broadband services, such as video and social networking, to its customers across Japan. Financial terms were not disclosed.

KDDI will deploy its LTE network in both 1.5GHz and 800MHz bands to maximize the effective use of these frequencies. The company intends to offer commercial LTE services by December 2012 following a series of trials scheduled to begin in mid 2010.

Motorola's end-to-end LTE solution includes the WBR 500 series eNodeB LTE base stations that offer flexible deployment options, evolved packet core elements, compelling end-user devices, backhaul beyond voice network, network management solutions, video solutions that monetize LTE investment, and a complete portfolio of professional services.

Motorola has been a supplier to KDDI for 20 years, introducing for its CDMA network.

Qualcomm + Verizon Wireless JV to be Called nPhase

nPhase is the name for the new joint venture between Verizon Wireless and Qualcomm. nPhase, which formally has begun operations, draws it name from the original Chicago-based machine-to-machine (M2M) pioneer launched in 2003. The new nPhase will be led by original founder and CEO Steve Pazol, who will serve as the company president.

The company's Board of Directors includes:
  • Steve Pazol, president, nPhase

  • Len Lauer, chief operating officer, Qualcomm

  • Jack Plating, chief operating officer, Verizon Wireless

  • Andrew Gilbert, executive vice president and president, QIS and Europe, Qualcomm

  • Anthony Lewis, vice president, Open Development, Verizon Wireless

Fortinet Acquires Assets of Woven Systems

Fortinet, which specializes in unified threat management (UTM) solutions, acquired certain assets and intellectual property of Woven Systems, a start-up that was developing high-performance Ethernet fabric switching solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Woven developed a family of Ethernet switching products, including a 10 GbE switch, based on a custom-designed switching ASIC with unique traffic management capabilities.

Fortinet said it plans to use Woven's high-speed switching and sophisticated traffic management technology to further enhance the performance of its FortiGate-5000 Series chassis-based security solutions. Increased switching power in the chassis-based product means communications within and between security blades will happen at greater speeds and result in overall superior scalability and performance for Fortinet's high-end customers, including large enterprises, carriers and service providers.

Fortinet intends to continue selling certain Woven products and to provide support to new and existing customers who purchase FortiCare 24x7 support contracts.

"Woven's ASIC-driven approach to high performance is highly complementary to Fortinet's own strategy for maximizing performance through customized processors," said Ken Xie, CEO and co-founder, Fortinet. "This acquisition will harness the performance power of our respective technologies to offer tremendous benefits to customers who require the fastest and, often, the most mission-critical network security environments."
  • In September 2007, Woven Systems announced $20 million in venture funding for its 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GE) fabric solutions. The funding was led by MDV-Mohr Davidow Ventures and included existing investors, Goldman Sachs and Palomar Ventures. That round of funding raised the total investment in the company to $35 million.

Ubidyne Secures $14.4 Million for Antenna Embedded Radio Technology

Ubidyne, a start-up with offices in Ulm, Germany and Scottsdale, Arizona, closed $14.4 million in new funding for its antenna embedded digital radio technology.

Ubidyne's micro-radio technology is integrated within wireless antennas, eliminating the need for coaxial feeder cables, remote electrical tilt and additional amplifiers on antenna towers and masts. The Ubidyne technology significantly reduces energy consumption while improving radio performance, deployment flexibility, coverage and capacity of mobile communications networks globally. The Ubidyne integrated active antenna systems are compatible with CPRI and OBSAI optical interfaces and support current and next-generation standards including GSM, UMTS, HSPA+, and LTE. Its products are manufactured in close cooperation with Andrew and Kathrein and will be available from Nokia Siemens Networks as part of their Flexistation product family.

The new funding came from Gimv. Existing investors include Baytech, Doughty Hanson and TVM Capital.

Occam Supplies FTTH to Northeast Missouri Rural Telephone

Northeast Missouri Rural Telephone has chosen Occam Networks' BLC 6000 multiservice access platform and ON 2300 series optical network terminals to upgrade the second largest of its 14 exchanges from copper to fiber.

As part of its FTTH deployment strategy, Northeast Missouri will initially upgrade their Memphis service area from aerial copper to buried fiber. Additional service areas will be upgraded in the future.

Northeast Missouri offers subscribers local and long distance telephone and high speed Internet services. It is a founding member of the Missouri Network Alliance, a fiber transport network that extends throughout much of the state. Northeast Missouri receives its IPTV signal through the Alliance and has been offering IPTV to a growing number of subscribers for approximately 10 months.

Vonage Offers Unlimited Global Calling to 60 Countries for $24.99/Month

Vonage began offering unlimited calling from the U.S. to more than 60 countries, including India, Mexico and China, for a flat monthly rate of $24.99. In addition, the company has launched a new Vonage Visual Voicemail service that extends its presence onto other devices by providing unlimited "readable voicemail" delivered via email or SMS text message. Vonage is the only U.S. home phone service provider to offer voice-to-text conversion at no additional charge. Both services will become basic features of the core Vonage offering.

FLO TV and Rentrak Offer Audience Measurement for Multicast Mobile TV

FLO TV, a subsidiary of Qualcomm, and Rentrak introduced a viewership and advertising impression reporting system based on Rentrak's TV Essentials media measurement technology. Through their collaboration, FLO TV and Rentrak will deliver reporting that will serve as the currency for advertising sales on FLO TV and provide deeper insights into FLO TV audience viewing patterns while not divulging any individual subscriber's personal information.

FLO TV will provide ongoing reports to content providers and advertisers to assist them in their programming and media buying decisions for this emerging platform.

FLO TV and Rentrak are currently in the integration phase and are planning to share impression data with their programming partners later this year.

The FLO TV service is available through the top two U.S. wireless carriers, including AT&T as AT&T Mobile TV.

Spirent and AT4 Wireless Partner on LTE Device Testing

Spirent Communications, in collaboration with AT4 Wireless, introduced an LTE Network Emulator for next-generation mobile devices.

The new Spirent LTE Network Emulator shares a common platform with AT4 wireless' E2010 Broadband Wireless Test Set and integrates Spirent's real-time state machine with enhanced packet core (EPC) network emulation.

In combination with Spirent's existing CDMA and UMTS network emulators, the Spirent LTE Network Emulator enables multiple aspects of LTE multi-mode (LTE with CDMA/EV-DO and/or UMTS) device performance to be fully tested in the lab prior to commercial launch.

Spirent said it is critical that LTE-capable devices launched during early LTE network deployments, currently planned for 2010, perform well and work seamlessly with legacy networks, so early adopters aren't disappointed with device performance. Formal industry certification requirements for LTE devices are not expected to be ratified in time to meet the needs of these first deployments.

The collaboration also strengthens the conformance test portfolio of AT4 wireless, which will integrate Spirent's AirAccess CDMA Network Emulator into its LTE Protocol & Radio Resource Management (RRM) Conformance

China Mobile Reaches 493 Million Subscribers, 3G at 959,000

The macroeconomic slowdown, a rising mobile communications penetration rate and changes in the competitive environment of the telecommunications industry in China have posed challenges to China Mobile in the first half of 2009. However, operating revenue continued to grow steadily, reaching RMB 212,913 million for the six months ended 30 June 2009, representing an increase of 8.9 per cent. over the same period of last year. Profit attributable to shareholders of RMB55.3 billion, up by 1.4%

Some highlights for the period:
  • China Mobile added 35.87 million new subscribers in the first half of the year, pushing its total customer base to 493 million.

  • In June 2009, customers who used 3G network services reached 959,000.

  • Mobile data users surpassed 451 million

  • Average monthly churn rose to 3.31%

  • China Mobile now has 410,000 base stations, of which 91% have fiber access.

  • Value-added business grew rapidly, continuing to increase its contribution to total revenue, accounting for 28.1 percent. of the total revenue.

  • For the six months ended 30 June 2009, the Group's total voice usage volume reached 1,387.047 billion minutes and the average minutes of usage per user per month (MOU) was 490 minutes.

  • Average revenue per user per month (ARPU) was RMB75.

  • In the 3G era, China Mobile aims to leverage its network advantage in a differentiated full-service strategy. The company will proactively develop and promote an LTE network evolution.

  • China Mobile also plans to actively search for quality overseas telecommunications assets as investment opportunities and as a way to explore international development.

EEOC Files Age Discrimination Suit Against AT&T

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed an age discrimination lawsuit against AT&T, alleging that the company discriminated against a class of retired AT&T workers by denying them the ability for reemployment solely because they retired under early retirement plans. The EEOC said the effect of this denial of reemployment results in a disproportionate number of older workers not having the same opportunity to apply for reemployment, in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

Alcatel-Lucent Appoints Head of Vietnam Operations

Alcatel-Lucent has appointed Olivier Lauras to head its operations Vietnam. He reports to Nicolas Van Den Abeele, head of Alcatel-Lucent's activities in South and South East Asia. Alcatel-Lucent has been active and present in Vietnam for 20 years, hosting 250 employees and serving a customer base of major fixed and mobile operators in the country.

Lauras previously headed Alcatel-Lucent Pakistan and Afghanistan. He has been working at Alcatel-Lucent since 1996, holding various management positions in Europe, America and Asia.

American Airlines Expands Gogo Inflight Internet on MD-80s

American Airlines has now installed Aircell's Gogo Inflight Internet service on 100 MD-80 aircraft,

which is two-thirds of the 150 Gogo installations scheduled to be completed by the end of 2009. One year ago today, American was the first U.S. airline to launch the Gogo service. Aircell's prices for the Gogo service range from $5.95 to $12.95 based on length of flight and whether the device is a handheld PDA or a laptop computer.