Friday, June 28, 2013

T-Mobile USA to Acquire 10 MHz of AWS Spectrum from US Cellular

T-Mobile USA will acquire 10 MHz of Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum from U.S. Cellular for $308 million in cash. The deal requires FCC and DOJ clearance.

The spectrum covers 32 million POPs in the Mississippi Valley region, notably St. Louis; Nashville; Kansas City; Memphis; Lexington; Little Rock-North Little Rock; Birmingham; New Orleans; and Louisville.

T-Mobile said the additional spectrum will allow for an incremental roll-out of LTE in new markets and expand the existing 4G LTE bandwidth in the important Mississippi Valley region.

“In today’s marketplace, spectrum is gold,” said John Legere, President and CEO of T-Mobile. “This is a rare opportunity to secure precious AWS spectrum in key markets that will immediately be put to use by both T-Mobile and MetroPCS customers. This deal expands our network and capacity, allowing for a broader roll-out of 4G LTE and an even faster and more reliable 4G experience for our customers – in addition to spurring competition in the wireless marketplace.”

  • Earlier this month, T-Mobile reported that the migration of MetroPCS customers onto its network was ahead of schedule and moving smoothly.  The company is making HSPA+ and LTE compatible devices available to MetroPCS customers as well as allowing them to bring their own unlocked compatible HSPA+ or LTE phone.  The full migration is expected to be complete by then of 2015.

Tellabs Acting CFO Leaves for Westell

Tom Minichiello, acting chief financial officer, resigned to take up the CTO role at Westell.  He had served as Tellabs' acting CFO since May, following the resignation of Andrew Szafran.

  • In November 2012, Tellabs named Daniel P. Kelly as its new chief executive officer and president. Kelly, 51, had served as Tellabs acting CEO and president since June 27, 2012, following the passing of Rob Pullen.  Previously, Kelly was executive vice president of global products at Tellabs. 

SanDisk Invests in Panzura for Flash-based Network Attached Storage

SanDisk Ventures announced an equity investment in Panzura, a start-up offering flash-based network attached storage (NAS) solutions for enterprise companies. Panzura’s scalable offering uses flash memory to store data off-premise in the "cloud," reducing customer system, support, administration, power and cooling costs.

Panzura, which is based in San Jose, California, offers a cloud-integrated storage system for enterprises with network attached storage (NAS) functionality, native cloud support, a globally distributed file system, built-in FIPS 140-2 certified security and data protection, as well as high speed data transfer rates to and from the cloud.  The company says the physical location of where data resides no longer affects how it is used.

  • Earlier this month, Panzura announced $25 million in Series D funding for its cloud storage solution. The company said its customer base grew by 700 percent in 2012 and that it now had the largest number of petabytes under management. The latest funding round was led by Meritech Capital Partners with participation from its existing investors Matrix Partners, Khosla Ventures, Opus Capital and Chevron Technology Ventures.

Planet Labs Plans Fleet of LEO Imaging Satellites

Planet Labs, a start-up based in San Francisco, unveiled plans to launch a large fleet of Earth imaging satellites.  The company's mission is to provide imaging services on relatively short notice at an optical resolution of 3 to 5 meters, which should be clear enough for agricultural and forestry applications while not compromising personal privacy.

Planet Labs' constellation of low Earth satellites will act in unison to provide a better view of desired targets. The first two demonstration satellites, named Dove 1 and Dove 2, were launched in April 2013 and are already delivering imagery. Further launches are planned for 2014.

"Planet Labs will create an entirely new data set, with both humanitarian and commercial value,” said Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures. “We've become used to having imagery of the entire Earth. What we haven't yet understood is how transformative it will be when that imagery is regularly and frequently updated."

Investors include Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ), O’Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures (OATV), Capricorn Investment Group, Founders Fund Angel, Data Collective, First Round Capital, and Innovation Endeavors.

Roamware Partners with IBM on Big Data Analysis for Mobile Operators

Roamware introduced a roaming Big Data Analytics solution for mobile operators in collaboration with IBM.

Roaware's RWisdom provides dynamic Big Data driven insights on roaming subscriber behavior, helping mobile operators to open up new revenue streams by offering dynamic location specific insights on subscriber behavior in an information-as-a-service model to industries such as retail, travel and financial services.

Roamware is building RWisdom on IBM’s Big Data platforms including both IBM InfoSphere BigInsights and IBM InfoSphere Streams platforms.

“We have entered the Data Age and mobile operators are best placed to benefit from rich data sources available in their networks and to become providers of data-driven subscriber insight to a variety of consumer driven industries,” said Bobby Srinivasan, COO & Managing Director-RWisdom, Roamware Inc. “RWisdom prepares mobile operators to leverage the Data Age for revenue and profitability growth. Roamware is excited to collaborate with IBM, an industry leader in Big Data technology. Roamware’s mobility expertise gained from processing petabytes of operator data per day for nearly 600 operators and IBM’s Big Data technology leadership positions us as the number one Mobility Intelligence Provider to operators.”

Metacloud Raises $10 Million for OpenStack-based Private Clouds

Metacloud, a start-up based in Pasadena, California, raised $10 million in a Series A funding for its on-premise, private cloud-as-a-service.

Metacloud said its Carbon|OS combines the simplicity of the public cloud with the performance, security and cost advantages of the private cloud, enabling businesses to scale dynamic OpenStack applications quickly.

The funding was led by Canaan Partners and included existing investors Storm Ventures and AME Cloud Ventures.

“In addition to a transformative delivery model, Metacloud defines the gold standard of what we look for in a founding team,” said General Partner Maha Ibrahim, Canaan Partners. “With large scale infrastructure engineering experience gained during their years at Ticketmaster and Yahoo!, Sean Lynch and Steve Curry have the pedigree to deliver on Metacloud’s promise of bringing the ease of the public cloud to the private cloud environment.”