Saturday, September 6, 2014

AT&T Add Apps to its Connected Car Platform

AT&T announced six, voice-enabled applications for its connected car platform, AT&T Drive.

These include:

  • AccuWeather for AT&T Drive, which provides localized current conditions, hourly, and five-day forecasts.
  • Glympse, a location sharing app that allows connected car drivers to share their dynamic location in real-time with anyone, eliminating the need for phone calls or text messages to let someone know where they are, or when they will arrive.
  • iHeartRadio, a digital radio service that offers thousands of live radio stations from across the country and the ability to create custom stations based on an artist or song.
  • Newsbeat, a mobile news app developed by Tribune Digital Ventures that provides personalized audio streams of the day's top articles from leading newspapers and websites.
  • Stitcher, radio shows and podcasts on demand.
  • Parker by Streetline, a parking guidance application that displays data in real-time from in-ground sensors, from camera-sensing technology, and from gate counters in garages and lots, as well as static data like policy hours, pricing, and location. 

"Each of these apps provides an enhanced in-car experience for users while also keeping driver safety top of mind," said Chris Penrose, senior vice president, Emerging Devices. "AT&T Drive's app selection was developed so that drivers could make more informed decisions while they are driving to help them point A to point B safely, but do so as efficiently and comfortably as possible."

NTT Tests 400G Coherent Transmission with NEC, Fujitsu

NTT has successfully tested 400 Gbps/channel-class digital coherent optical transmissions technology in conjunction with NEC and Fujitsu.

The tests multiplexed up to 62 channels of 400 Gbps.  This demonstrated fiber capacity of up to 24.8 Tbps.  The tests covered various modulation methods over distances ranging from several thousand kilometers up to 10,000 km.

The companies said these tests accelerate the effort to commercialize 400 Gbps-class optical transmission technology. Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) sponsored the testing as part of its “Research and Development Project for the Ultra-high Speed and Green Photonic Networks” program.

Key technologies demonstrated included:

  • Extremely flexible 400 Gbps-class adaptive modulation/demodulation. In addition to Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (QPSK), which is used in existing 100 Gbps transmissions and which superimposes information on the phase of the light, an 8 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) and a 16 QAM were used, superimposing information on both the phase and amplitude of the optical waves to expand data volume, and combined with sub-carrier multiplexing enabled by spectral compression technology called Nyquist filtering. The companies cited clear advantages by selecting a modulation format appropriate for the quality of the link.  This required the development of an algorithm that can be implemented in an electronic circuit including an 8 QAM. Transmission ranges of 500 km to 1500km for capacities of 10 — 20 Tbps per each core of optical fiber were successfully covered, which was not possible up until now, even with QPSK and 16 QAM.
  • Compensation function using digital backward propagation signal processing, enabling long-distance transmissions. To overcome complex waveform distortions caused by nonlinear optical effects, the companies developed digital backward propagation signal processing, which, through refinements to the algorithm and circuit designs that dramatically reduced the volume of calculations, enabled circuit implementation and compensation of the nonlinear optical effects. They also developed chromatic dispersion estimation technology enabling estimations, for 10,000km of optical fiber, of the values of chromatic dispersion, which is a phenomenon in which the propagation lag times differ for each wavelength in an optical fiber. 

More online.

Sprint Extends its LTE Roaming Footprint

Sprint announced LTE agreements with 15 additional rural and regional network carriers as part of the Rural Roaming Preferred Provider program it announced with Competitive Carriers Association earlier this year.  This brings the program to 27 carriers, extending coverage in 27 states, over 565,000 square miles and a population of more than 38 million people. The 15 carriers joining the program are:

  • Bluegrass Cellular, serving Kentucky
  • Blue Wireless, serving New York and Pennsylvania
  • Pine Belt Wireless, serving Alabama
  • Pioneer Cellular, serving Oklahoma and Kansas
  • Public Service Wireless, serving Alabama and Georgia
  • Syringa Wireless, serving Idaho
  • Rural Independent Network Alliance (RINA) members and their partners:
  • STRATA Networks, serving Utah, Wyoming and Colorado
  • Silver Star Wireless, serving Wyoming and Idaho
  • All West Wireless Inc., serving Wyoming and Utah
  • NNTC, serving Colorado
  • Snake River Personal Communications Service, serving Oregon
  • CTC Telecom Inc., serving Idaho
  • South Central Communications Inc., serving Utah
  • Custer Telephone Wireless, serving Idaho
  • Breakaway Wireless, serving Utah

“In just a few short months, Sprint has made significant progress by signing agreements covering 27 regional carriers that serve millions of people across the country,” said Michael C. Schwartz, Sprint senior vice president of Corporate and Business Development. “By working together, we will bring mobile broadband and better wireless devices to underserved communities while expanding 4G LTE coverage for Sprint customers.”

In June, Sprint announced nationwide availability of HD Voice, as well as 28 new 4G LTE markets and three new Sprint Spark markets.

Sprint HD Voice is currently supported on 28 postpaid smartphones and 33 prepaid phones. The company estimates approximately 16 million of its customers are currently using an HD Voice enabled device. In addition to a fuller, more natural-sounding voice, the service uses noise-cancelling technology to minimize background noise from places like busy roads or crowded restaurants.

Sprint's new activated LTE markets, including Seattle, Cleveland, and San Jose, bring its nationwide 4G LTE footprint to 471 cities covering more than 225 million people. Sprint expects to reach 250 million with 4G LTE coverage by mid-year.

Sprint Spark has been activated in three new markets (St. Louis, Winston-Salem and Greensboro, N.C.). The enhanced LTE network is designed to deliver average wireless speeds of 6-15Mbps and peak wireless speeds of 50-60Mbps today on capable devices, with increasing speed potential over time. Sprint plans to reach 100 million people by year-end with the service. T

Sprint is currently field testing 8T8R radios for improved coverage and signal strength at 2.5 GHz. Commercial deployment of these radios is expected this summer.

Sprint will be adding International WiFi calling in the coming weeks.  This will enable customers to make calls and send texts via WiFi in more than 100 countries.

In addition, Sprint will begin offering a 30-day trial period for new customers to test out their service. If customers aren’t completely satisfied with the Sprint experience within the first 30 days, Sprint will refund the cost of their device and waive all service and activation charges.

“We believe customers will be delighted with the Sprint retail experience, our customer service, and the performance of America’s newest network,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint Chief Executive Officer, “so we’re guaranteeing it.”