Monday, January 6, 2014

T-Mobile to Acquire 700 MHz A-Block Spectrum from Verizon Wireless

T-Mobile US will acquire certain 700 MHz A-Block spectrum licenses from Verizon Wireless for $2.365 billion in cash and the transfer of certain AWS and PCS spectrum licenses, which have an aggregate estimated value of approximately $950 million. Also, as part of the transaction, the two companies will realign spectrum blocks in certain markets, primarily in northern California and the Atlanta area.

T-Mobile said the deal provides it with important low-band spectrum in 9 of the top 10 and 21 of the top 30 markets across the United States. Combined with its existing Boston A-Block holdings, T-Mobile will have low-band spectrum covering approximately 158 million people — including New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Washington D.C., and Detroit. T-Mobile anticipates rolling out service and compatible handsets on this A-Block spectrum as early as the fourth quarter of 2014.

“This is a great opportunity to secure low-band spectrum in many of the top markets in America,” said John Legere, President and CEO of T-Mobile. “These transactions represent our biggest move yet in a series of initiatives that are rapidly expanding our already lightning fast network and improving its performance across the country. We will continue to find ways to advance our customers’ network experience just as our bold Un-carrier moves have shaken up the wireless industry to benefit consumers.”

  • In 2013, T-Mobile deployed 10+10 MHz 4G LTE in 43 of the top 50 metro areas and it is commencing substantive deployments of 20+20 MHz 4G LTE in 2014. The company launched its nationwide 4G LTE network in 2013, which currently covers approximately 209 million people in 273 metro areas.

AT&T's Sponsored Data Follows 1-800 Free Calling Model

AT&T is launching a new "Sponsored Data" service that uses the 1-800 free phone number model to provide access to sponsored mobile content and apps to eligible 4G customers without impacting their monthly wireless data plan.  Data charges resulting from eligible uses will be billed directly to the sponsoring company.

AT&T said its Sponsored Data will be delivered at the same speed and performance as any non-Sponsored Data content.

"As content consumption has evolved from analog to digital, so have the ways for companies to reach consumers," said Andy Geisse, CEO, AT&T Business Solutions.  "The Sponsored Data model is just one way we're helping companies tap into our network to offer differentiated experiences and transform the way they do business."

"Customers love mobile content. Whether it's shopping, banking, entertainment or personal wellness, mobile content is increasingly available for customers almost anywhere and anytime.   And that's what makes this a win-win for customers and businesses – customers just look for the Sponsored Data icon and they know the data related to that particular application or video is provided as a part of their monthly service," said Ralph de la Vega, presid

Orange Business Services acquires Atheos for CyberDefense

Orange Business Services has acquired Atheos, a cyberdefense company based in Paris, for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 2002, Atheos is a pioneer of IT identity and security management on the French market. In particular, Atheos helps with the provisioning of stronger access control and data-loss prevention policies, as well as advanced identification of security breaches and vulnerabilities, the detection and analysis of "low-noise" attack signals, and on-site crisis management.  The company has approximately 130 employees.

Orange Business Services said the acquisition strengthens its position as a leading global player in advanced security services.  Atheos will be combined with the existing competencies of Orange Business Services in security under a new common banner: Orange Cyberdefense.

"We have consistently recorded strong growth since our incorporation in 2002. By joining Orange Business Services, we will benefit from its unique expertise of critical infrastructure to take us to the next level. Orange Cyberdefense offers a credible response to the security requirements of large companies and government agencies," said Michel Van Den Berghe, General Manager and founder of Atheos.

"We are very excited to welcome the teams from Atheos; their high level of expertise and proven methods clearly add value to our services portfolio. Security is a critical concern for our customers, which means that the provision of robust security services has now become a strategic priority for Orange Business Services. With this acquisition, we are now the only European provider able to support companies implementing multidimensional protection strategies, and this significantly reinforces our commitment to customers to support them, as a trusted partner, in an increasingly digital world," added Thierry Bonhomme, Senior Executive Vice President, Orange Business Services.

Cyan Cites Big Sales Drop from Largest Customer

Cyan now expects Q4 2013 revenue to be in the range of $20 million to $21 million, below the company’s previous guidance of $30 million to $33 million.

Cyan blamed the revenue drop on lower sales to its largest customer, which decreased its purchases by approximately 88% from $19 million in Q3 2013 to $2 million in the fourth quarter. Revenue for the full 2013 year is expected to be in the range of $116 million to $117 million. For the year, revenue excluding the largest customer is expected to be in the range of $70 million to $71 million, an increase of 32% to 34% in 2013 over 2012.

“We are very disappointed with our preliminary fourth quarter 2013 revenue results, which were significantly impacted by a sharp decline in orders from our largest customer,” said Mark Floyd, Cyan’s chief executive officer. “Although we expect revenue from this customer to represent a meaningful portion of our revenue in future periods, we expect that it will continue to fluctuate from quarter-to-quarter. As we previously noted, our business in the near term is substantially dependent on this customer while we ramp revenue from new accounts and expand our customer base.”

“On a positive note, in 2013, we saw increased momentum from several of the markets we serve, with revenue excluding our largest customer increasing 32% to 34% year-over-year. Additionally, we continued to make progress with our Tier-1 opportunities as lab trials and proof-of-concept activities continue. Our BluePlanet software is a key differentiator for Cyan and we remain confident in our long-term prospects and opportunity to capitalize on the widespread and fundamental shift to software defined WAN networks.”

Palo Alto Acquires Start-up Focused on Protecting National Infrastructure

Palo Alto Networks has acquired Morta Security, a Silicon Valley-based cybersecurity company operating in stealth mode since 2012.  Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Palo Alto Networks said the acquisition bring a team experienced at protecting national infrastructure as well as technologies that enhance the proven detection and prevention capabilities of its WildFire offering, which is already used by more than 2,400 customers.

"Palo Alto Networks has a successful history of disrupting the network security landscape with its unique offerings” said Raj Shah, CEO of Morta Security.  “The Morta team is excited to work with the clear leaders in this space and we look forward to joining the company and contributing to future highly innovative technology leadership."

Silicon Valley Networking Start-up Map

Here is a map of networking start-ups in Silicon Valley.  Listing our pulled from our Start-up Directory and our Start-up News category.

Broadcom Intros 3x3 MIMO 802.11ac Chip

Broadcom introduced two Wi-Fi system-on-a-chips (SoCs) for streaming HD-quality content, online gaming and other high-bandwidth applications in the home.

  • The BCM43569 is a dual-band 2x2 MIMO combo chip (5G WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1) with a USB 3.0 interface and advanced coexistence technology that enables smart TVs to receive both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals simultaneously. The solution uses a separate Bluetooth low-noise amplifier (LNA) coupled with customized Wi-Fi and Bluetooth coexistence algorithms allow Bluetooth gaming, audio and motion peripherals to perform in challenging environments. Broadcom Media Stack (BMS) enables connectivity software features like TVSelect, audio over Wi-Fi, seamless gaming and Miracast for a rich DTV experience
  • The BCM43602 is a 3x3 MIMO 802.11ac SoC solution that enables these platforms to offload Wi-Fi processing from the host processor. The solution boasts the ability to achieve full 802.11ac (900 Mbps TCP) throughput on CPU constrained systems.  The entire WLAN driver runs inside of the BCM43602, freeing up host CPU for applications such as video streaming. It is pin-compatible, drop in and full feature replacement to Broadcom's industry leading BCM4360, in production across multiple retail and service provider customers.

"As the first company to deliver 5G WiFi across all product segments, Broadcom continues to lead innovation and engineer even more powerful next-generation 5G WiFi products that support today's content-hungry consumer," said Rahul Patel, Vice President, Marketing, Wireless Connectivity Combos. "Our new advanced solutions bring consumers an elevated video streaming experience across the wirelessly connected home and provide OEMs with the benefits of improved system cost and form factor."

The Carlyle Group Hires Former FCC Chairman to Head U.S. Buyout Team

The Carlyle Group, a global investment fund with over $185 billion under management (NASDAQ: CG), named Julius Genachowski a Managing Director and partner in the U.S. Buyout team.

Genachowski, who served as FCC Chairman from 2009 till last year, is expected to focus on investments in global technology, media and telecom, including Internet and mobile. He will be based in Washington, DC.

Carlyle said its U.S. Buyout team recently completed the final close of Carlyle Partners VI, a $13 billion fund that invests in U.S. corporate buyouts and strategic minority investments across six industries. Two hundred sixty-nine investors from 43 countries committed capital to the fund.

  • In May 2013, Julius Genachowski accepted a senior fellowship at the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program following his resignation as chairman of the FCC. The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C. The Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program addresses the societal impact of communications and information technologies, and provides a multi-disciplinary venue for considered judgment on communications policy issues. Genachowski was the 5th consecutive FCC chair to accept this fellowship after ending the chairmanship, including Kevin Martin, Michael Powell and Reed Hundt.

Open Automotive Alliance Brings Android to Cars

The Open Automotive Alliance, a new industry group backed by Google, GM, Audi, Honda, Hyundai and Nvidia, has been launched with a mission to extend the Android ecosystem into cars.

The OAA aims to accelerate auto innovation by leveraging Android's openness, customization and scale. The group will pursue an open development model and common platform to allow automakers to more easily bring cutting-edge technology to their products. The first cars with Android integration are expected by the end of this year.

EchoStar Acquires Solaris Mobile, a Holder of European Satellite License

EchoStar Corp. has acquired 100% ownership of Solaris Mobile Ltd., a mobile satellite services (MSS) operator based in Dublin, Ireland and one of the European Union licensees of mobile satellite service with a complementary ground component (S band).  Financial terms were not disclosed.  Solaris Mobile is a joint venture between Eutelsat and SES.

Solaris Mobile is deploying a satellite and terrestrial network for wholesale access to enhanced mobile communications across Europe in the 30 MHz S band licensed to Solaris Mobile.  In connection with the acquisition, EchoStar has entered into an agreement with Solaris Mobile to provide it with MSS capacity on a new next-generation MSS satellite.

"Through this acquisition and our mobile satellite infrastructure expertise, we look forward to accelerating advanced mobile services throughout the European Union," said Anders Johnson, president, EchoStar Satellite Services. "We are excited to build upon the groundwork laid by Solaris Mobile by most immediately bringing with us access to a next generation MSS satellite which will support a wide range of innovative services across the European Union."

  • In May 2009, the European Commission awarded Solaris Mobile the right to operate satellite & terrestrial services in S-Band in all EU member states. S-Band is spectrum in the 2GHz band and is adjacent to UMTS used by mobile 3G operators. 

TE SubCom Achieves 13 Tbps on 6,500-km Undersea Cable

TE SubCom completed the second installation of its next generation coherent fiber optic subsea system and achieved 13 Tbps capacity over a distance of 6,500 km without any regeneration.

TE Subcom said the new system is a pan-Asian system (customer name not disclosed) with a longest path of over 6,500 km.  It combined a specially designed underwater fiber plant as well as TE SubCom's commercially available coherent C100U line card that features synchronous modulation for 100 Gbps operation.  The optical fiber used was optimized for coherent transmission and resulted in over 131,000 ps/nm of dispersion.  TE SubCom’s C100U line card utilized Nyquist channel spacing to obtain 300% spectral efficiency.  The C100U line card supports electronic dispersion compensation and uses patented synchronous modulation.  The electronic dispersion compensation can enable systems up to 12,000 km without any optical compensation in the wet or dry plant.  This combination provides unique capabilities for the benefit of system operators.

Qualcomm Debuts Snapdragon Processors for Cars

Qualcomm introduced an automotive-grade, Snapdragon infotainment chipset.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 602A applications processor offers  quad-core Krait CPU,  Adreno 320 GPU, Hexagon DSP, integrated GNSS baseband processing and additional high-performance audio, video and communication cores. The device is designed to meet stringent automotive industry standards for temperature, quality, longevity and reliability and is AEC-Q100 compliant. IT is pre-integrated with Qualcomm Gobi 9x15 multimode 3G/4G-LTE and QCA6574 Qualcomm VIVE 2-stream, dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE 4.0-based modules.

The Gobi 9x15, Qualcomm Technologies' second generation multimode 3G/4G LTE chipset, enables Internet connectivity for enhanced 3D navigation, cloud-based services and applications, multimedia streaming and downloads, as well as general web browsing. The chipset's multi-band support enables seamless connectivity between LTE TDD/FDD, CDMA 1x and 1xEV-DO, DC-HSPA+ and UMTS, TD-SCDMA and GSM/EDGE networks, as well as provides automakers with a proven, global platform to build and host their software and services.

In addition, Qualcomm  VIVE 2-stream, dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE 4.0 solutions for in-car connectivity enables wireless hotspot functionality with support for up to eight simultaneous device connections, content streaming from the head unit to multiple devices with Miracast, MirrorLink 1.2 and AllJoyn. Also enabled is hands free telephony and vehicle-to-home content streaming through the Qualcomm 2x2 VIVE 2-stream 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE 4.0 module with multiple antennas and advanced LTE/Wi-Fi/Bluetooth coexistence techniques that maintain reliable wireless connections in the harsh automotive environment.

"We are excited to bring to the car the same mobile technologies and Snapdragon experiences consumers around the world enjoy on their mobile devices," said Kanwalinder Singh, Senior Vice President of Business Development for Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "Building on top of Gobi 3G connectivity already embedded in vehicles globally and Gobi 4G LTE connected cars being rolled out in 2014, the Snapdragon 602A will enable the next generation of connected infotainment in the car."

Ikanos Intros New High-Performance Gateway Processors

Ikanos Communications introduced a new line of Fusiv Vx500 processors for next-generation smart residential gateways.

Ikanos' Vx58x vectoring xDSL gateway processors deliver an aggregate (combined upstream and downstream) data rate of up to 400Mbps with VDSL2 bonding, while providing 11GHz of offload processing for cloud access, dual-band, dual-concurrent WiFi acceleration (AC1750), LAN management and QoS, and secure content processing and distribution.  Ikanos has also integrated its diagnostics and monitoring software suite, inSIGHT™ Broadband eXperience Manager (BXM), which helps carriers to address wiring impairments and noise interference.

The Vx57x multi-mode gateway processors combine the same high-performance Fusiv architecture with the flexibility to support fiber, LTE (up to Category 7), Ethernet, and hybrid fiber-copper access technologies, including

Key features include:
  • Up to 1.2GHz dual-core CPU subsystem with SMP for carrier and OEM application customization
  • Fusiv acceleration processing subsystem with 11GHz of combined offload performance
  • Up to 400Mbps (aggregate upstream and downstream) bonded VDSL2 performance with vectoring support (Vx58x only)
  • 300MHz dedicated DSP for carrier-grade voice processing
  • Single-line and bonded DSL engine with inSIGHT acceleration (Vx58x only)
  • Dual-band, dual-concurrent (DBDC) WiFi acceleration (AC1750)
  • USB 3.0 offload for high-performance LTE support up to Category 7
  • NAS offload engine for local storage and cloud access

“Ikanos is committed to remaining one of the world’s top suppliers of high-performance gateway processors,” said Omid Tahernia, president and CEO of Ikanos.  “The Vx58x family extends our xDSL gateway performance leadership for access over the hybrid fiber-copper networks, enabling carriers to deliver multiple services with fiber-like performance over their existing copper infrastructure.  With the introduction of the Vx57x multi-mode gateway processor family, we are extending the benefits of our advanced Fusiv® acceleration processor architecture to non-DSL access networks. This enables equipment manufactures to build a common platform for addressing multiple service provider opportunities, whether the access is through FTTN with VDSL2, FTTdp with, FTTH, LTE, Ethernet, or cable.”