Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Microsoft to Demo Silverlight for the Living Room

At next week's 2010 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in Las Vegas, will showcase how its Silverlight platform can be used to power set-top boxes, connected TVs, Blu-ray Disc players and other consumer devices. Microsoft also unveiled details about Internet Information Services (IIS) Media Services 4 and announced the upcoming release of Silverlight Media Framework 2.0.

Microsoft is working with system-on-chip (SOC) partners Intel and Broadcom to deliver support for reference designs with native Silverlight support.

This includes capabilities such as adaptive bitrate streaming over standard Internet connections, DVR-like capabilities, and support for Microsoft PlayReady digital rights management.

Microsoft also unveiled plans for the next version of IIS Media Services, an integrated HTTP-based media delivery platform built on Microsoft Windows Server that enables customers to cost-effectively deliver, monitor and monetize live and on-demand media content across enterprise, consumer and broadcast scenarios.

AT&T to Sell Wayport's European Assets to Swisscom

AT&T will sell Wayport Holdings A/S, the European subsidiary of Wayport, to Hospitality Services Plus SA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Swisscom, for an undisclosed sum.

AT&T will continue to own and operate the former Wayport assets in the United States. Since the acquisition of Wayport in December 2008, AT&T has integrated Wayport into its Wi-Fi network, which now encompasses more than 20,000 hot spots.

Last Month's CTIA WIRELESS Attracted 39,000

Last month's International CTIA WIRELESS 2010 in Las Vegas attracted 39,000 attendees from 125 countries.

Among the new products and services announced at the show were: The HTC EVO 4G phone for Sprint; LG's Remarq eco-friendly phone; the Motorola i1 - the first push-to-talk Android phone; the Samsung Galaxy S smartphone; Clearwire's WiMAX-enabled netbook; expanded markets for the Clearwire/Sprint WiMAX service; and the availability of Skype Mobile for Verizon Wireless 3G handsets.


VoIP Calling Enhanced in Apple's iPhone OS 4

Apple's forthcoming iPhone OS 4 software includes over 1,500 new Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and over 100 new features, including multitasking for third party apps; folders to better organize and access apps; improved Mail with a unified inbox, fast inbox switching and threaded messages; enhanced Enterprise support with even better data protection, mobile device management, wireless app distribution and more; Apple's new iAd mobile advertising platform; and iBooks, online bookstore recently debuted on the iPad.

iPhone OS 4's new multitasking will enable VoIP apps to receive a VoIP call even when the iPhone is asleep or the user is running other apps. The iPhone OS 4 Unified Inbox allows users to see messages from all their email accounts displayed together.

New enterprise features in iPhone OS 4 include improvements in security, scalability and compatibility. The new Mobile Device Management service can be integrated with third party servers to wirelessly configure, query and even wipe or lock managed iPhones, and iPhone OS 4 enables enterprises to securely host and wirelessly distribute their own in-house developed apps to employees. The new Data Protection feature uses a user's passcode as an encryption key to protect mail messages and attachments stored on the iPhone. iPhone OS 4 will also provide the option to set a longer, more complex passcodes. It also allows IT managers to set up multiple Exchange ActiveSync accounts, is compatible with Exchange Server 2010 and includes support for forthcoming SSL VPN applications from Juniper Networks and Cisco.

NTT Electronics Develops FPGA Decoder

NTT Electronics has developed an FPGA version of a multi-standard single chip LSI for both H.264/AVC 4:2:2 10-bit (including AVC -Intra 100/50) and MPEG-2 4:2:2 decoding.

NTT Electronics' new chip supports H.264/AVC 4:2:2 10-bit decoding, including AVC-Intra 100/50, helping to improve efficiency in the transmission and editing of high-quality video. The chip also supports 10-bit and 8-bit H.264/AVC 4:2:2 and 4:2:0, as well as MPEG-2 4:2:2 and 4:2:0 8-bit specifications, thereby covering most of the formats currently used to send video. Therefore, by using this chip in equipment on the receiving side, video can be received without concern about which format is used on the sending side.

The company said it intends to develop over 10 next-generation H.264/AVC encoder/decoder LSIs by 2012, enabling broadcast content to be transmitted, edited, and delivered with the highest possible quality."

Intelsat's Galaxy 15 Satellite Reports Anomaly

Intelsat's Galaxy 15 satellite (G-15), which provides transmission capacity for cable programmers in North America, experienced an anomaly on 5 April 2010 at 09:48 UTC.

Intelsat said there have been no immediate service interruption to customers, and based on current technical information, no service interruption is expected for the media customers on this satellite. All media traffic on this satellite is planned to be transitioned to Intelsat's Galaxy 12 satellite, which is the designated in-orbit spare for the North American region.

Launched in 2005, G-15 is an Orbital Star satellite. A technical investigation with respect to the anomaly is underway. Galaxy 15 has 24 C-band transponders and was designed to be operational through 2022.

Mindspeed Debuts 288x288 Crosspoint Switch for Optical and Broadcast

Mindspeed Technologies announced the world's first 288x288 asynchronous non-blocking crosspoint switch, providing 82,944 unique switching paths in a single, monolithic integrated circuit (IC). Applications include serial data switches for broadcast video and optical transport networks.

Mindspeed's M21170 chip is a 288x288 non-blocking matrix for a router's switching core, replacing four cascaded 144x144 crosspoints required to achieve the same number of inputs and outputs. Mindspeed said this method significantly reduces the size, cost and complexity of today's largest switchers. Each switching path in the M21170 can operate independently at any data rate of up to 3.2 Gbps, allowing for multi-rate routing and switching in a single device. The crosspoint also uses Mindspeed's proven signal-conditioning technology to compensate for signal losses that typically accumulate across the extended trace lengths of very large systems.

"This is a major milestone for the video broadcast industry, on the road to significantly larger, more capable multi-format SD and HD switchers," said Kurt Busch, senior vice president and general manager of Mindspeed's high-performance analog business unit. "A few years ago, a 256x256 routing switcher was considered very large; now, 512x512 and 576x576 switchers are in hot demand, and broadcasters are asking for even larger switches. The size of these large routers is limited only by the size of the switching core, and now manufacturers can replace up to four cascaded 144x144 crosspoints with a single 288x288 solution."

Crosspoint switches are also used to implement circuit switched backplanes with hundreds of high speed serial links such as those found in OTN/DWDM systems.

ZTE Reports 2009 Revenue of US$8.8 Billion, up 36% YoY

ZTE Corporation reported 2009 revenue of approximately US$8.821 billion, representing an increase of 36.08% against 2008. Net profit was USD359.7 million, representing an increase of 48.06% against 2008. Basic earnings per share were USD0.21. In 2009, net cash flow from operating activities per share was US$0.28.

ZTE's Board of Directors recommended payment of a final dividend for the year ended 2009: the creation of 5 shares for every 10 shares and a cash dividend of USD0.44 for every 10 shares (including tax).

During the year, the Group's revenue from domestic operations amounted to US$4.45 billion, representing a year-on-year growth of 74.04%. 3G network construction in China was a primary factor, as ZTE emerged to become China's largest supplier of 3G network equipment for the three leading carriers.

ZTE's international operations grew to US$4.371 billion, 11.34% more year-on-year, and accounted for49.56% of the total revenue of the Group.

"In 2009, our Group attained significant breakthroughs and growth in the mainstream product of carriers' network. In the mainstream market, we topped the overall ranking for the PRC 3G market during the reporting period, while revenue from Europe and America was growing fast as a percentage of the Group's sales revenue from international markets. We succeeded in making major breakthroughs in the mainstream market on the back of our strengths in research and development as well as our ability in swift network delivery, winning contracts to build commercial networks in major cities around the world for mainstream carriers such as CSL, KPN and Telenor," stated Mr. Hou Weigui, Chairman of ZTE.

ZTE noted a rapid growth in wireless terminals for 2009. The company shipped 60 million wireless terminals including more than 40 million handsets and 20 million data cards in 2009. More than 70% of all ZTE shipments in 2009 were to international markets. This represents a 33% growth over 2008.

FCC Sets Broadband Plan Agenda

In follow-up to the release of its National Broadband Plan last month, the FCC published its action plan for implementing the key recommendations. This agenda explains the purpose and timing of more
than 60 rulemakings and other notice-and-comment proceedings the Plan recommends for FCC
action. Most of the items will be implemented through a series of open, participatory notice-and-comment proceedings.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said the court ruling earlier this week vacating its 2008 order on Net Neutrality would not deter or delay the National Broadband Plant.

The 2010 Broadband Action Agenda focuses on four key goals:

1. Promote World-Leading Mobile Broadband Infrastructure and Innovation

  • Seek to make an additional 500 megahertz (MHz) of spectrum available for mobile
    broadband within the next ten years.

  • · Increase opportunities for unlicensed devices and innovative spectrum access models.

  • Expand incentives and mechanisms to reallocate or repurpose spectrum to higher-valued

  • Improve the transparency of spectrum allocation and utilization.

2. Accelerate Universal Broadband Access and Adoption, and Advance National Purposes Such as Education and Health Care

  • Carry out a once-in-a-generation transformation of the Universal Service Fund over the next
    ten years to support broadband service. This will be achieved by converting existing subsidy
    mechanisms over time from "POTS" (plain old telephone service) to broadband, without
    increasing the size of the fund over the current baseline projection.

  • Upgrade the E-rate program, which has successfully connected public libraries and K-12
    classrooms, to benefit students and others across the country by making broadband more

  • Reform and upgrade the Rural Health Care Program to connect more public health facilities
    to high-speed Internet facilities and to foster telemedicine applications and services. Create a
    Health Care Infrastructure Fund to support deployment of dedicated health care networks to
    underserved areas.

  • Create a Connect America Fund to extend broadband service to unserved areas of the nation
    and to ensure affordable broadband service in high-cost areas where support is necessary.

  • Create a Mobility Fund to bring all states to a baseline level of "3G" (or better) wireless

3. Foster Competition and Maximize Consumer Benefits Across the Broadband Ecosystem

  • Enhance broadband and marketplace choices for small businesses and mobile providers by
    establishing consistent policy frameworks for special access and wholesale wireline

  • Improve consumer disclosures and FCC data collection to better monitor and promote
    broadband competition.

  • Fulfill mandate from Congress to ensure that video navigation devices, such as smart video
    devices, are available to consumers in the marketplace, spurring innovation in home video
    devices and driving increased broadband adoption and utilization.

4. Advance Robust and Secure Public Safety Communications Networks

  • Facilitate the creation of a nationwide interoperable public safety wireless broadband

  • Promote cybersecurity and protect critical communications infrastructure.

  • Aid the transition to next-generation 911 and alerting systems.

Juniper to Acquire Ankeena for CDN Capabilities

Juniper Networks agreed to acquire Ankeena Networks, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, for its online media delivery technology. The companies have been collaborating for several months and Juniper plans to leverage Ankeena software to offer high-performance content delivery networking and "3 Screen" media delivery solutions for the mobile and fixed service providers. The solution allows network operators to provide highly-optimized video delivery services using their own infrastructure.

Juniper said the financial impact of this transaction is expected to be immaterial with consideration at closing of less than $100 million. Additional terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

At this year's Mobile World Congress, Juniper Networks introduced its Media Flow, a caching solution developed by Ankeena Networks that optimizes mobile and fixed networks for fast, efficient video and rich media delivery. Media Flow software enables smooth adaptive bit streaming at the service edge of the networks. Expected to be available in Q2 2010, Media Flow will include a Juniper VXA Series content delivery engine and Ankeena software to provide video and content delivery up to 10Gbps per engine.

Ankeena's systems combines media storage optimization, multi-tier caching and rate based delivery mechanisms to deliver large number of concurrent media streams at different data rates with an extremely high aggregate bandwidth. Ankeena's Media Flow Director ensures that users receive a smooth-viewing experience regardless of the viewing device and varying network conditions. Ankeena's supports various adaptive streaming technologies. The company calculates that its Media Optimized multi-tier caching technology provides up to a 10-to-1 reduction in the number of servers needed to deliver the same amount of media, with a similar reduction in transit network and media delivery costs.
  • Ankeena is headed by Rajan Raghavan (CEO and co-founder), who previously co-founded Xambala, where he developed the company's vision for the XML, security and financial industries. Prior to Xambala, Raghavan founded and served as CEO of RealChip Communications, where he established the company's fabless ASIC and VOIP segment strategies.

  • Ankeena's other co-founders include Prabakar Sundarrajan (CTO), who was previously at Citrix Systems, NetScaler and Exodus Communications; Jaspal Kohli (Chief Architect), who was previously served as Principal Architect at Yahoo; and Kumar Narayanan (VP of Engineering), who was previously served as Director, Engineering in the Data Center Switching and Security Technology Group at Cisco Systems.

  • Ankeena was incubated by Clearstone ventures and backed by investors including Trinity Ventures and Mayfield Fund.