Thursday, December 16, 2010

AOptix Wins $11.4 Million DARPA Grant for Free Space Optical

AOptix Technologies has been awarded a $11.4 million contract to deliver wireless air and ground optical terminals for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Free Space Optical Experimental Network Experiment (FOENEX) program.

Under subcontract to Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (JHU/APL), AOptix will build and flight-validate their Free Space Optical (FSO) terminals at up to 10Gbps and 200 kilometers on various aircraft as well as static ground stations.

"This program will build on years of successful flight test programs where AOptix has delivered a number of firsts in bandwidth and distance for FSO communications" says Dean Senner, president and CEO of AOptix. "We're working very hard with our partners to deploy ultra-high bandwidth solutions, bringing on-line, real-time, sensor data communications capabilities to enable warfighter operations."

The AOptix wireless bi-directional optical terminals utilize a unique patented, single aperture, adaptive optics method of beam control to compensate for real-time atmospheric turbulence while maintaining lock between two terminals. Video, voice and data is transmitted through the air over an infrared, low power, FSO laser link.

Motorola Spin-Offs Make Market Debut

The two divisions of Motorola made their market debuts on Friday with the launch of "when issued" shares. The official split occurs on January 4.

Motorola Mobility Holdings (MMI) is the company's smartphone division. It closed at $25 on Friday.

Motorola Solutions Inc. (MSI) is the company's division that includes public safety radios, handheld scanners and telecom gear. It closed at $40.51.

Both companies will continue to use the Motorola brand.http://

A1 Telekom Austria Pushes DSL Capacity with ALU

A1 Telekom Austria is now reaching 40% of all Austrian households and commercial businesses through its nationwide GigaNet, which uses FTTC (Fiber-to-the-curb) and FTTEx (Fiber-to-the-exchange, also known as VDSL@CO), to deliver high-speed Internet service.

The carrier now its pushing the envelope of its copper access network by demonstrating next-gen technologies such as VDSL Vectoring and the so-called "Phantom Mode". In the course of the demo, using a combination of Bonding, Vectoring and Phantom Mode, downstream speeds up to 390 Mbps at 400 meters were shown.

"Complementing our fiber infrastructure and continuously increasing wireless capacities, we want to get the most out of our existing copper-based network," said Dr. Hannes Ametsreiter, General Manager A1 Telekom Austria. "This is how we can provide our customers with the highest bandwidths in the shortest timeframe, especially in regions where fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) build-outs have not yet been planned."

Alcatel-Lucent said DSL vectoring is capable of delivering a significant increase in downstream capacity by preventing interference or "crosstalk" between copper lines.

"Telecom service providers have invested a great deal in their copper infrastructure and for economic and environmental reasons it makes sense to continue to use this valuable asset as long as possible - even as they move traffic to fiber," said Harald Himmer, Head of Alcatel-Lucent's business in Austria. "As a leader in fixed broadband we are able to dramatically increase bandwidth rates with our innovative technologies. With commercial availability, we can provide even more customers with higher bandwidth along with world-class quality services."

Swisscom Partners with IWB on Open Access FTTH in Basel

Swisscom and IWB (Industrielle Werke Basel), the local utilities operator, announced a plan to bring FTTH connections to all households and businesses in Basel by the end of 2017. Under the joint venture, Swisscom will assume 60% and IWB 40% of a total investment of around CHF 170 million. The fibre-optic cables that have already been installed by Swisscom and IWB in Basel will be included in the joint venture between the two companies. This will substantially reduce the amount of construction work required in Basel. IWB has assumed responsibility for overall coordination of construction and operation.

The rollout will take an open architecture approach. Four fibres will reach every premise. IWB's Layer 1 offer of dark optical fibres guarantees that other providers have non-discriminatory access to the fibre-optic network in Basel.

Basel will be one of the very first cities in Switzerland to enjoy city-wide FTTH.

Swisscom has already installed cables in large parts of the city of Basel. These are being incorporated in their entirety into the joint venture. IWB started a joint pilot project and handled much of the preliminary work. IWB will soon be launching a product range for service providers who want to offer products and services on the fibre optic network in Basel.

ST Intros New Set-top-box Decoder/Demodulators

STMicroelectronics unveiled two new System-on-Chip ICs that allow standard-definition (SD) or high-definition (HD) equipment to share the same printed-circuit-board (PCB) design. The new devices are based on the widely used STi7167 and STi5267, respectively. Targeting free-to-air, cable and terrestrial STBs, as well as hybrid products with added support for IPTV, each device combines the STB decoder with DVB-C cable and DVB-T terrestrial demodulators, plus optional Ethernet support. Each device supports targeted functions for cost-optimized STBs with built-in security features. Both are implemented in 55nm process technology.

AT&T Boosts Dividend by 2.4%

AT&T announced a 2.4 percent increase in the company's quarterly dividend and a 300 million share repurchase authorization, representing about 5 percent of outstanding shares. The quarterly dividend rate has risen from $0.42 to $0.43 a share on a quarterly basis, which would be an increase from $1.68 to $1.72 a share on an annualized basis.

Mitsubishi Electric to Launch WCDMA Power Amplifiers

Mitsubishi Electric will launch five new gallium arsenic (GaAs) power amplifiers for WCDMA devices. Mitsubishi Electric said it has achieved an industry-leading power added efficiency (PAE) of 45 percent, enabling lower power consumption and heat emission in data terminals. The design incorporates GaAs bipolar field effect transistor (BiFET) technology for high PAE and high level of integration.

Nortel Completes Sale of Ottawa Campus

Nortel Networks completed the sale of its Ottawa Carling Campus to Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) for a cash purchase price of CDN$208 million. Nortel will continue to occupy parts of the campus while continuing work on its global restructuring, including work under the transition services agreements with the various buyers of Nortel's sold businesses.

The purchaser has exercised early termination rights to a lease held by Ciena, the purchaser of Nortel's Optical Networking and Carrier Ethernet (MEN) business. This shortens the lease from 10 years to 5 years. This resulted, pursuant to a lease with Ciena, in the payment to Ciena of US$33.5 million from funds escrowed in connection with the closing of the MEN sale.