Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Starbucks Picks Google for Wi-Fi in U.S.

Starbucks is replacing AT&T with Google as the provider of in-store Wi-Fi for its company-owned stores across the U.S.  Level 3 Communications will upgrade existing Wi-Fi devices and will manage in-store connectivity.

Beginning in August and extending over the next 18-months, Starbucks will convert more than 7,000 U.S. stores to the upgraded store network and Wi-Fi experience powered by Google.  The company are targeting up to 10 times faster network and Wi-Fi speeds.

In addition to providing faster Wi-Fi, Starbucks and Google will also work together to co-develop the next-generation Starbucks Digital Network.

“Every day, our customers rely on the free Wi-Fi at Starbucks to study, work, connect with friends or just relax. We want to make sure that they can access the web effortlessly and quickly, no matter what they’re doing, or what device they are using,” said Adam Brotman, chief digital officer, Starbucks. “Our goal is to continue to provide our customers with the best in-store experience possible, and we are excited to offer these kinds of unparalleled experiences at a broad scale.”

“Google has always invested in projects that help the Internet grow stronger, including projects that make Internet access more affordable and more widely available. We hope that speedier Internet will make the time customers spend at Starbucks even more enjoyable and productive,” said Kevin Lo, the General Manager of Google Access.

  • In February 2008, Starbucks named AT&T as the provider of Wi-Fi for 7,000 company-owned stores across the U.S.   At the time, the companies planned to offer a mix of free and paid Wi-Fi.  Previously, T-Mobile had been the provider of Wi-Fi in Starbucks across the U.S.

UK Clears 800 MHz Broadcast Spectrum for 4G

The UK has just completed a process of clearing broadcast spectrum for new use in mobile networks.

Last year, Ofcom secured an accelerated timetable for releasing these Freeview frequencies following discussions with TV broadcasters, Digital UK and the transmission company Arqiva. The project's completion on Wednesday comes five months earlier than originally planned. Work was conducted at more than 600 transmitters across the UK, while wireless microphones now use alternative frequencies.

The 800 MHz spectrum was auctioned by Ofcom for use by 4G companies in February. This section of the airwaves is particularly suitable for offering mobile broadband coverage over wide areas, and penetrating buildings to provide a good indoor signal.

"This week we are clearing the path for 4G mobile broadband, allowing mobile companies to provide coverage across the UK.”
“4G services will reach 98% of the UK population indoors – and even more when outdoors – which will provide a significant boost for rural businesses and consumers," stated Ed Richards, Ofcom Chief Executive.

Southern Cross Competes 100G Expansion with Ciena

The Southern Cross Trans-Pacific submarine cable network, which connects Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii and the west coast of the U.S., has completed the deployment of Ciena’s 100G transmission equipment across its entire network.

The 100G upgrade brings total lit capacity across the two cables to 2.6 Tbps. If deployed on all Southern Cross fibres, along with gridless optical networking, our potential capacity capability increases to 12 Tbps, between Australia/New Zealand and the USA.

Southern Cross Sales and Marketing Director Ross Pfeffer says, “The implementation of 100G technology is a major milestone in the ongoing expansion and enhancement of our 30,000km submarine network in continued support of the development of high-speed broadband in Australia and New Zealand.

"Retail broadband data caps have expanded dramatically on the back of current international capacity prices in both Australia and New Zealand with demand for capacity continuing to grow at around 35 to 40 per cent annually,” Pfeffer stated. “Our deployment of this latest technology places Southern Cross in an even stronger position to stay well ahead of the demand growth resulting from Australia’s NBN (National Broadband Network) and New Zealand’s UFB (Ultra-fast Broadband) initiatives, and the growth associated with cloud services and new content. The long-standing Southern Cross policy of using the latest technology improvements to expand lit capacity and to lower marginal cost will ensure that Southern Cross remains in a position to cost-effectively support demand growth for many years."

Eutelsat Acquires SatMex to Expand Latin America Coverage

Paris-based Eutelsat Communications announced a deal to acquire 100% of Satmex for US$831 million, representing an enterprise value of US$1,142 million when considering the company's debt.

Based in Mexico, Satmex operates three satellites at contiguous positions, 113.0° West (Satmex 6), 114.9° West (Satmex 5) and 116.8° West (Satmex 8) that cover 90% of the population of the Americas. The company benefits from frequency rights in C and Ku-bands and was granted Ka-band rights in 2012. It has an 11% market share in Latin America where it enjoys a strong franchise in corporate data networks and cellular backhaul.

Eutelsat said this acquisition, together with the recently ordered EUTELSAT 65 West A satellite, will position it as a major satellite operator in Latin America, reflecting its strategy to expand in high growth markets.

Michel de Rosen, Eutelsat CEO, said: "With Satmex’s strategic orbital slots, state of the art fleet and upcoming satellites, Eutelsat is gaining a robust platform from which to access the significant opportunities in this region. Via these two strategic steps, we are significantly upscaling our presence in Latin America to complement our footprint in fast-growing markets, and securing future sources of growth and value creation."

NEC Exits Mobile Handset Business

NEC is ending the development, manufacturing and sale of smartphones, other than models already on the market.

The company said the handset business is now ruled by economies of scale, admitting that its own efforts failed to generate sufficient market momentum to continue as a competitive player.  Instead, NEC will focus its resources on its Social Solutions Business.

Cisco Completes Acquisition of Composite Software

Cisco completed its previously announced acquisition of Composite Software, a developer of data virtualization software and services, approximately $180 million in cash and retention-based incentives.

Composite Software, which is based in San Mateo, California, connects many types of data from across the network and makes it appear as if it's in one place. Composite's software integrates traditional and new data sources including cloud and big data, into a simplified consolidated view.
Cisco said Composite's software will expand its portfolio of Smart Services, enabling companies to better leverage network knowledge (APIs) and programmability, which maximizes the benefits of data virtualization. As with the transition from physical servers to server virtualization and from physical networks to network virtualization, together Cisco and Composite will accelerate the shift from physical data integration to data virtualization for customers and partners.

  • Composite Software was founded in 2002.  Investors included Apax Partners, Clearstone Venture Partners, Dot Edu Ventures, Palomar Ventures and Tenaya Capital.

Cavium Reports Q2 Revenue of $74 Million, Uo 34% YoY

Cavium reported Q2 revenue of $74.2 million, a 6.7% sequential increase from the $69.5 million reported in the first quarter of 2013 and a 34.2% year-over-year increase from the $55.3 million reported in the second quarter of 2012.

Net loss (GAAP) was $4.3 million, or $(0.08) per diluted share compared to $3.2 million, or $(0.06) per diluted share in the first quarter of 2013. Gross margins were 58.3% in the second quarter of 2013 compared to 62.4% in the first quarter of 2013. Total cash and cash equivalents were $97.6 million at June 30, 2013.