Thursday, April 26, 2012

Aware to Sell Wi-Fi, LTE and Home Networking Patents to Intel

Aware will sell selected patents and patent applications to Intel for approximately $75 million. The patents and patent applications relate to WiFi (802.11n/ac), LTE and Wireline Home Networking.

Global IP Law Group, LLC represented Aware in this transaction.

MCNC Advances North Carolina's Golden LEAF

The first round of MCNC's $144 million Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative (GLRBI) is complete with all fiber now actively in service to Community Anchor Institutions (CAIs) including K-12 schools, universities, community colleges, health care facilities, public health facilities, libraries, research institutions, and other sectors of CAIs in western and southeastern North Carolina.

The GLRBI is funded through grants from U.S. Department of Commerce's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) and significant matching funds from private donations and investments including a $24 million investment from the Golden LEAF Foundation. Once complete through two phases, the GLRBI will greatly expand the reach and capacity of the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN) in the state.

Some highlights:
  • All North Carolina Community Colleges have been connected to NCREN;

  • The video services infrastructure on the network was upgraded;

  • East Carolina University received a 10gig network upgrade and now serves as a hub for most of eastern North Carolina;

  • the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville now has a 10gig connection

  • Vidant Medical Center in Pitt County became the first not-for-profit hospital connected to the N.C. Telehealth Network via NCREN,

  • MCNC received federal approval to begin the second phase of the GLRBI in June 2011. Since that time, MCNC has mobilized efforts and made significant progress on this portion of the project, which is three-times the size of the first phase.

  • The total of new miles spanning both projects is currently 2,604.

  • The routes for Round 1 as engineered represent 904 newly-operational miles of which 414 miles are new construction.

  • All Round 1 fiber is now lit and placed into service.

  • The routes for Round 2 as engineered represent 1,700 total miles, of which 1,338 are new construction and 362 are being obtained and/or leased via indefeasible rights of use (IRU) or existing fiber is being upgraded.
    595 miles of new conduit has been built along the Round 2 project route, 292 miles of fiber has been deployed within that conduit, and nearly 307 miles of dark fiber have been obtained via IRUs.

  • The participating vendors and contractors who worked on Round 1 include: Fiber Technologies for construction/installation of fiber in western North Carolina; Globe Communications for construction/installation of fiber in the southeast; Comtech for all the fiber splicing related to this portion of the project; Cisco Systems for providing the Cisco ONS 15454 Optical Design Network Solution; CommScope for supplying all fiber-optic cable and materials; and ONUG Communications for engineering design, project planning, and related services.

  • All construction for the GLRBI is to be complete by 2013.

"This first phase of the project already is having a positive impact on student learning, patient outcomes in health care, economic outcomes in job creation and community development, and is accelerating innovation and research all across the state," said MCNC President and CEO Joe Freddoso. "Our goal is to continue creating infrastructure that meets the advanced needs of research, education, and health care while stabilizing costs to consumers and small businesses in areas where affordable broadband currently isn't available."http://www.mcnc.org

AT&T's Board of Directors is Re-Elected

At its annual meeting of stockholders held last week in Salt Lake City, each of the 11 nominees were reelected to AT&T's board of directors for one-year terms, with each member receiving at least 96.3 percent of the shares voted. The board members are:

Randall L. Stephenson

Jon C. Madonna

Gilbert F. Amelio

John B. McCoy

Reuben V. Anderson

Joyce M. Roche

James H. Blanchard

Matthew K. Rose

Jaime Chico Pardo

Laura D'Andrea Tyson

James P. Kelly

An interesting note: A shareholder proposal asking that AT&T commit to operating its wireless network without the ability to privilege, degrade or prioritize any traffic was defeated by a vote of 94.1 percent against to 5.9 percent in favor.

FCC Adopts TV Channel Sharing Rules

The FCC adopted new rules that allow multiple broadcast stations to elect to stream individual programming while sharing a single channel. The order is seen as a first step toward making a significant portion of spectrum currently used by the broadcast television service available for new uses. The FCC is also planning a future incentive auction to address the nation's growing demand for wireless broadband.

Specifically, the Report and Order establishes a framework for how two or more television licensees may voluntarily share a single six MHz channel in conjunction with the auction process:

While stations will need to retain at least one standard definition programming stream to meet the FCC’s requirement of providing an over-the-air video broadcast at no direct charge to viewers, they will have the flexibility of tailoring their channel sharing agreements to meet their individual programming and economic needs.

Stations sharing together will employ a single channel and transmission facility but will each continue to be licensed separately, retain its original call sign, retain all the rights pertaining to an FCC license, and remain subject to all of the FCC’s rules, policies, and obligations.

The new rules apply to full power and Class A television stations, including both commercial and non-commercial educational television stations. The rules neither increase nor decrease the cable and satellite carriage rights currently afforded broadcast licensees.

China Telecom Sees 16% YoY Growth in Q1 Revenues

China Telecom continues to grow rapidly as a mobile operator although profit margins in Q1 were squeezed. Mobile substitution continues to impact the number of fixed lines in service and the company is seeing intensified competition.

For Q1 2012, China Telecom reported operating revenues of RMB67,929 million, representing an increase of 15.7% over the corresponding period of last year. Excluding mobile handset sales, Q1 revenues amounted to RMB62,288 million, representing an annual increase of 12.0%.

EBITDA (before CDMA network capacity lease fees) was RMB24,028 million, representing an increase of 0.9% over the corresponding period of last year. Meanwhile, profit attributable to equity holders of the company was RMB4,272 million, representing a decrease of 6.5% over the corresponding period of last year.

Some highlights for the quarter:

The number of mobile subscribers reached a total of 136 million, of which 43.55 million were 3G subscribers.

The net addition of mobile subscribers was 9.36 million for the first quarter and the average mobile service revenue per user per month (ARPU) was around RMB51.7, which was primarily stable as compared to that for the full year of last year.

The number of local access lines in service declined by 0.88 million in the first quarter.

The number of wireline broadband subscribers reached 80.4 million, representing a net addition of 3.59 million.

The fundamentals of the overall wireline services continued to remain stable.

Revenues from sale of mobile terminals were RMB5,641 million, an increase of 80.7% over the corresponding period of last year.

The wireline broadband subscribers reached 80.4 million, representing a net addition of 3.59 million.

China Telecom sees 3G service as entering into a phase of accelerated growth.

China Telecom sees wireline broadband service is still in a period of high growth.

Acme Packet acquires IPTEGO for Networking Monitoring Tools

Acme Packet has acquired privately held IPTEGO GmbH, an IP communications network management software company, for approximately $21 million in cash.

IPTEGO, which is based in Berlin, Germany, specializes in software for real-time, end-to-end communications network intelligence, voice and video operations monitoring, customer experience management and fraud prevention and detection. Specifically, its Palladion software optimizes next-generation IP communications networks, enabling troubleshooting down to the individual session level. The company claims more than 80 customers globally and it has 28 employees.

Acme Packet said the integration of its session delivery network solutions with IPTEGO’s real-time intelligence engine will enable network wide visibility into multi-vendor IP communications networks.

"Both enterprise and service provider customers are looking for ways to optimize their IP communications networks – not only to reduce cost and complexity, but also to better deploy new value-adding applications and services," said Andy Ory, Acme Packet’s president and chief executive officer. "The addition of IPTEGO’s software to the Acme Packet portfolio enables us to help customers get the most out of their IP communications networks with unique, real-time management capabilities."

Docomo Outlines LTE Expansion Plans

NTT Docomo reported flat revenue growth for FY 2011 -- sales of 4,240 billion yen, up 0.4% compared to 4,224 billion yen for FY 2011. Income before taxes rose 5%. The company spent much of the last year recovering from the earthquake/tsunami disaster, implementing new disaster preparedness plans, expanding its new LTE networking, and putting in place the fundamentals to transform itself into a personal and enterprise integrated cloud service provider.

Some operational highlights:

The LTE network currently covers approx. 30% of Japan's population. The company is working to expand the footprint to 70% population coverage by March 31, 2013.

As of March 31, Docomo had 2.2 million Xi LTE subscribers, up by 1.1 million in the last 3 months. The company has set a target of 10 million Xi LTE subscriptions by March 31, 2013.

Docomo plans to start offering Xi service using 800 MHz and 1.5 GHz bands in Q3 FY 2012.

Docomo plans to start offering download speeds of up to 112 Mbps using 1.5 GHz band in selected areas within FY 2012.

Approximately 70% of the smartphones in the summer line-up will be Xi-enabled.

Docomo launched "Shabbette Concier" -- a cloud-based voice agent that controls smartphone features and answers questions regarding train schedules, maps, weather, news, wikipedia, etc.

CAPEX for 2012 is estimated at 735 billion yen, up from 726.8 billion yen in FY 2011 due to additional measures being taken to disperse important facilities and the deployment of facilities for personal and business clouds.