Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Samsung Announces Multi-band Mobile TV Chipset

Samsung Electronics has begun sampling the industry's first 65 nanometer (nm) multi-standard channel decoder (S3C4F31) and multi-band radio frequency (RF) tuner (S5M8602) chipset supporting multi digital mobile TV standards, including DVB-H/T, DAB-IP, ISDB-T, and terrestrial DMB.

Samsung's multi-standard channel decoder, which transforms the analog signal into digital signal in order to restore the image and audio source, is fully compliant to DVB-H/T, T-DMB, DAB, DAB-IP, and ISDB-T segment standards.

The multi-band RF tuner, which receives the analog broadcast signal, has a simplified circuit structure by applying a low IF to compliment the conventional zero IF. It is also a general purpose tuner that supports UHF, VHF and L-band commonly used in Europe and the United States. The wide use of the RF tuner compliments the advanced performance of the multi-standard channel decoder.

This new chipset is offered either as two standalone ICs or as a system-in-chip package (SiP) which places together the RF tuner and the channel chip on a single module package.

"Although a new market, we see high growth potential in mobile TV applications," said Yiwan Wong, vice president, System LSI Division, Semiconductor Business, Samsung Electronics. "With initial product launch targets for the Europe and Asia markets, we are introducing our high performance mobile TV chipset technology with added feature support to serve the needs of the entire mobile TV industry."

Equinix to Acquire IXEurope for $482 Million -- 14 Data Centers

Equinix announced plans to acquire IXEurope Plc, which operates 14 data centers across Europe, in a deal valued at $482 million. IXEurope's 14 data centers comprise more than 380,000 square feet of net sellable space throughout Europe, including centers in London, Zurich, Frankfurt, Munich, Paris, Dusseldorf and Geneva. The company serves more than 450 enterprise and Internet customers, including Merrill Lynch, Avis Europe, Deutsche Boerse, Citigroup, Rackspace and SurfControl.

Equinix plans integrate IXEurope's network-neutral data center business and operations under the Equinix brand. Equinix is targeting completion of the transaction in mid-September 2007.

The acquisition comes as Equinix is in the midst of a more than $450 million expansion program in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific since 2006.

Equinix said the addition of IXEurope to its announced expansions, will give it a total footprint of more than three million square feet of data center space across 17 markets in the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific.

"The strategic acquisition of IXEurope by Equinix will solidify Equinix's position as the world's market leading colocation provider with high-quality data centers across the United States, Asia-Pacific and Europe," said Steve Smith, CEO of Equinix.

Pan Dacom Direkt Supplies Hatteras' Mid-Band Ethernet in Germany

Hatteras Networks is partnering with Pan Dacom Direkt GmbH to offer Mid-Band Ethernet solutions in Germany. Pan Dacom Direkt, one of the leading product integrators in Germany, has already secured 15 early deployments. These Mid-Band Ethernet deployments to date range from large enterprise campus networks to alternative regional service providers, wholesale operators, military installations and municipal networks.

ZeroG Appoints Top Executives, Focuses on Low-Power RF

ZeroG, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, announced the appointment of John D. Cummins as CEO and Dr. Andrew N. Karanicolas as Vice President of Engineering.

Cummins joins ZeroG from Agere Systems/Lucent Microelectronics where he spent three years running their business in Shanghai, China as Greater China Vice President.

Karanicolas joins ZeroG from True Circuits where he was the Design Director responsible for development and deployment of PLL and DLL IP for precision clock generation and memory interface applications in CMOS technologies.

ZeroG Wireless is focused on the design and development of low power Radio Frequency (RF) chips.

Investors include Cisco, Greylock Partners and Morgenthaler.
  • ZeroG was founded by Dr. Thomas H. Lee, a tenured Stanford University professor, who also co-founded Matrix Semiconductor in 1998, and is known for his work in designing of the first 3-D memory chip.

Agilent Offers Drive Testing for WiMAX 802.16e-2005

Agilent Technologies introduced its WiMAX Optimization Solution for IEEE 802.16e-2005, featuring a drive-testing capability that enables WiMAX network equipment manufacturers and service providers to authenticate the actual subscriber experience in real-world WiMAX environments.

The Agilent WiMAX Optimization Solution for IEEE 802.16e-2005 is based on the Agilent E6474A network optimization test platform. The new software for WiMAX helps identify interference issues and neighboring cell site configuration problems, enabling the smooth introduction and ongoing maintenance of WiMAX capabilities that operate in IEEE 802.16e-2005 wireless broadband data networks.

Agilent said its platform can be used to support integration and maintenance of 2G, 3G and 4G networks, obtain comprehensive call-performance statistics and quantify the end-user's experience for both voice and data.

3Com Plans IPO for TippingPoint Subsidiary

3Com is planning an initial public offering (IPO) of common stock of its wholly owned subsidiary TippingPoint. 3Com expects to file a registration statement related to the IPO by the end of the calendar year.

TippingPoint provides network-based intrusion prevention systems (IPS) and Digital Vaccine attack filter services for enterprises, government agencies, service providers and academic institutions.

Federal Trade Commission Remains Cautious on Net Neutrality

The Federal Trade Commission's Internet Access Task Force is recommending that policy makers proceed with caution in regards to Net Neutrality. In a newly issued report, entitled "Broadband Connectivity Competition Policy," observes that certain conduct and business arrangements that broadband providers may pursue, including data prioritization, exclusive deals, and vertical integration into online content and applications, can benefit consumers.

According to FTC Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras, "The primary reason for caution is simply that we do not know what the net effects of potential conduct by broadband providers will be on all consumers, including, among other things, the prices that consumers may pay for Internet access, the quality of Internet access and other services that will be offered, and the choices of content and applications that may be available to consumers in the marketplace."

Lockheed Martin Enhances Network Centric Warfare Capability

Lockheed Martin has provided the U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) with a network centric warfare capability that allows system users to create a collaborative, real-time picture of critical events on their computers, then simultaneously share that view with others.

The new User-Defined Operational Picture (UDOP) provides the ability to "see" and better understand dynamic, global situations by interfacing with DoD systems that provide cyber, air, land, sea and space-based resource information.

Lockheed Martin said the new capability enables commanders to quickly establish a tailored operational picture on their respective workstations which can then be shared to better communicate complex situations. Before this capability was developed commanders had to view static pieces of information from various sources individually, in sequence. Operational views could not be shared in real-time.

Motorola Leads OpenSAF Project

Motorola will form an industry-wide consortium that will assume stewardship for the "OpenSAF" project, which seeks to establish a broadly adopted high availability operating environment that can be leveraged by computing technology companies, network equipment providers (NEPs) and other industries requiring high availability.

Motorola also announced the first release of the open source code related to the project. The consortium also will manage any future development of the OpenSAF code base. Leading companies including Ericsson, HP and Nokia Siemens Networks have expressed support for this initiative.

Supporters of OpenSAF argue that it will enable more efficient use of in-house software engineering resources, and additional tools will be provided to enable application development and deployment services. Independent software vendors (ISVs) will be able to use OpenSAF as a benchmark for creating highly available applications. OpenSAF includes an implementation of the Service Availability Forum Application Interface Specification (AIS).

The goals of the OpenSAF project are as follows:

  • Create an open source implementation of a high availability operating environment which includes the SA Forum Application Interface Specification (AIS)

  • Develop necessary additional complementary services necessary to deploy and manage the software

  • Help accelerate the development of SA Forum specifications by proposing enhancements

  • Establish a broadly adopted high availability operating environment that can be leveraged by computing technology companies, NEPs, and other industries requiring high availability, and ISVs.

  • Utilize an open source licensing model not tied to any commercial implementation.

Cricket Awards $126M Contract to Alcatel-Lucent for Network Upgrade

Cricket Communications has committed to purchase up to $126 million USD worth of equipment, services and software over five years from Alcatel-Lucent to help expand its network into new markets across the U.S. Cricket's new market expansion includes the deployment of third-generation (3G) CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Revision A (Rev. A) technology.

In addition, Alcatel-Lucent will provide its industry leading IP/MPLS solution, which includes the Alcatel-Lucent 7750 Service Router and 7450 Ethernet Service Switch, to deploy an IP routing and IP RAN backhaul solution.

Extreme Networks Finds No Evidence of Fraud in Stock Option Probe

Extreme Networks announced that the Special Committee of its Board of Directors has completed its investigation into the company's historical stock option practices and found no evidence of fraud. However, the Special Committee found deficiencies in the company's processes for approving and documenting option grants, which resulted in the company erroneously treating the stated grant date as the measurement date for financial accounting purposes with respect to certain options. The Special Committee concluded that none of Extreme Networks' personnel involved intended to mislead investors or were aware that the Company's stock option granting and documentation practices had resulted or would result in a material misstatement of the Company's financial results.

Specifically, the Special Committee found no evidence of misconduct by current management, and found no involvement by (among others) the current CEO, CFO, Controller, or Vice President, General Counsel in any of the grants for which inaccurate measurement dates were used. The Special Committee also confirmed that none of the affected options granted to the company's officers or directors has ever been exercised.

The Special Committee reviewed and tested over 8,000 grants, including all grants to Board members, officers, and executive level employees between April 9, 1999, the date of the Company's initial public offering, and September 30, 2006.

As for financial restatements, Extreme Networks said it should have recognized approximately $223.0 million of pre-tax, non-cash, share-based compensation expense during the review period that was not accounted for in its previously issued financial statements. In addition, the company should have recorded approximately $0.3 million of income tax benefits. Therefore, Extreme Networks is restating financial information for fiscal years ended July 3, 2005, June 27, 2004, June 29, 2003, and June 30, 2002.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

T-Mobile USA Launches FMC Based on UMA

T-Mobile USA launched a fixed mobile convergence (FMC) service that enables mobile subscribers equipped with a Wi-Fi-enabled handset to use their home broadband connection or Wi-Fi hotspot for unlimited domestic calling. The deployment is based on Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA), an access technology that allows a seamless handoff of mobile voice and data from a wide area cellular network to a wireless local area network (WLAN).

T-Mobile HotSpot@Home enables calls to seamlessly transfer from T-Mobile's GSM/GPRS/EDGE wireless network whenever an authorized Wi-Fi hotspot is in range. While at home, customers benefit from a strong wireless signal and unlimited domestic calling over the Wi-Fi connection; while mobile, customers also can get the same benefits at all the nearly 8,500 T-Mobile HotSpot locations across the U.S.

Key components of the T-Mobile HotSpot@Home service include new mobile phones -- the Samsung t409 and the Nokia 6086. Each phone currently retails for $49.99 with a two-year contract on a qualifying rate plan. Battery life for each of the phones is rated at over 4 hours of talk time.

T-Mobile also has partnered with D-Link and Linksys to offer free Wi-Fi routers optimized for the service.

As part of its launch promotion, the T-Mobile HotSpot@Home service can be added to any qualifying T-Mobile voice plan for $9.99 per month for a single line, and $19.99 per month for up to five lines on a FamilyTime plan.
  • Kineto Wireless is supplying its Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) client software for the Samsung handset used for T-Mobile service.

Paul Reynolds leaves BT for Telecom NZ

Dr. Paul Reynolds, who currently serves as Chief Executive of BT Wholesale, is leaving the company in September to take up the position of CEO of Telecom New Zealand.

Paul will succeed Theresa Gattung, who leaves Telecom New Zealand this week after twelve years at the company, the past eight as the company's CEO. Simon Moutter has been appointed as acting CEO until Paul Reynolds formally takes up his role.

C&W Barbados Selects Calix

Cable & Wireless (Barbados) has selected the Calix C7 multiservice access platform (MSAP) and the Calix Management System (CMS) to implement a 24,000-line expansion of its existing network that will bring DSL and VOIP services to more customers. Cable & Wireless (Barbados) had previously installed more than 10,000 Calix combo ports for POTS and ADSL2+ service.

DISA Awards $11.5M Contract to AT&T for Global Videoconferencing

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) awarded a $11.5 million six-month contract extension to AT&T to manage a global videoconferencing system for the Department of Defense. U.S. military commanders throughout the world communicate on the DISN Video Services-Global (DVS-G), the Department of Defense's all-service video teleconferencing (VTC) system.

Under the terms of the contract, AT&T will provide network management services for the DVS-G. AT&T will also provide such networking services as configuration and installation and inventory management services for DVS-G equipment.

The DVS-G operates six video hubs worldwide - four in the U.S., one in Germany and one in Kuwait. The DVS-G also supports conferences at the Department of Defense Unclassified, Secret and Top Secret classifications, as well as Allied and NATO Secret. AT&T developed, and has managed, the DVS-G for more than 10 years.

Tektronix Tests World's Fastest, Longest Infiniband Cable -- 100m

Tektronix validated the performance of a new Intel 100 meter Infiniband cable operating at speeds up to 20 Gbps. Described as the world's longest InfiniBand optical cable, it has an electrical interface on either end and uses four serial data lanes at 5 Gbps each. The cable, which is designed for large computing clusters, is being used as the part of the backbone network at the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) show in Dresden, Germany.

ST Chips Enable In-Vehicle SIRIUS Backseat TV

STMicroelectronics is supplying the digital broadcasting chipset for SIRIUS Backseat TV, a new TV service that will deliver three channels of family programming directly to vehicles. SIRIUS Backseat TV will be launched later this year in select 2008 model Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles.

SIRIUS Backseat TV is received via an in-vehicle satellite video receiver and two small roof-mounted antennas. The SIRIUS Backseat TV digital audio and video signal is broadcast over the same frequency spectrum allocation as SIRIUS radio.

The core of the in-vehicle satellite video receiver, which is manufactured by Delphi for SIRIUS, is based on three ST chips: the STA210 RF tuner IC; the STA240 channel, service and source decoder IC; and the STA264 advanced hierarchical demodulator chip, which extracts the video stream and performs error correction on the received signal.

ST has been a supplier to SIRIUS since 2004 for of its radio receiver chipsets.

Neopolitan Raises $3 Million for Ethernet Services

Neopolitan Networks, an Ethernet network service provider based in Palo Alto, California, secured $3.17 million in its first round of venture capital financing. The company operates metro Ethernet networks in Silicon Valley and Miami.

CommScope to Acquire Andrew for $2.6 Billion

CommScope, which is the global leader in structured cabling systems for business enterprise applications and also the largest manufacturer of coaxial cable for Hybrid Fiber Coaxial (HFC), agreed to acquire Andrew Corp. in a deal valued at $2.6 billion.

Andrew provides broad-based wireless solutions for antennas, cable products, base station subsystems, in-building and distributed coverage, geolocation systems and satellite communications.

The merger will create a global leader in infrastructure solutions for communications networks. Its portfolio will include structured cabling solutions for the business enterprise; broadband cable and apparatus for cable television applications; and antenna and cable products, base station subsystems, coverage and capacity systems, and network solutions for wireless applications.

Under the deal, CommScope will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Andrew for $15.00 per share, at least 90 percent in cash. Based on CommScope's and Andrew's results for fiscal year 2006, on a pro forma basis, the combined companies would have had sales of approximately $3.8 billion comprised of approximately 35 percent in wireless antenna and cable products; 29 percent in carrier and network solutions; 21 percent in enterprise products; and 15 percent in broadband/cable television solutions. The combined companies' revenues on a geographic basis would have been approximately 57 percent in North America; 24 percent in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; 12 percent in Asia/Pacific Rim; and 7 percent in Latin America. The combined company will have more than 2,200 global patents and pending patent applications and approximately 16,000 employees serving more than 130 countries.

Following the close of the transaction, Andrew will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of CommScope. Frank Drendel will remain Chairman and CEO of CommScope, and CommScope will retain its global headquarters in Hickory, North Carolina. The combined company also plans to maintain its Chicago-area presence, including Andrew's state-of-the-art manufacturing and office facility in Joliet, Illinois.
  • In August 2006, CommScope dropped its bid to acquire Andrew Corporation. A day earlier, Andrew Corporation had rejected CommScope's proposal to acquire all of Andrew's outstanding shares for $9.50 per share in cash.

  • Also in August 2006, Andrew Corporation and ADC Telecommunications mutually agreed to terminate a merger agreement that had been set in May 2006.

XO Launches Point-to-MultiPoint on Demand Service for Carriers

XO Communications launched a new wholesale network service that enables carriers and service providers to obtain bandwidth on demand over the XO advanced, nationwide optical network.

Through a single connection to the XO National Hub, service providers can obtain network connections and capacity on demand to establish hubs on a local, regional and national basis in carrier hotels, ILEC central offices and other end user locations across the United States. The XO solution allows customers to reserve network capacity and deploy it when it is needed, but only pay for the circuits when they are used.

XO said its service is aimed at:

  • International carriers that need to extend their network coverage
    within the United States;

  • Mobile wireless companies that need the ability to rapidly expand network capacity;

  • Telecommunications carriers' that require primary or redundant network solutions supporting dispersed end user data traffic;

  • Internet Service Providers that need to aggregate traffic nationwide through a single network handoff.