Saturday, November 3, 2007

Samsung Unveils 64 GB SATA II SSDs

Samsung Electronics began sampling 1.8-inch and 2.5-inch 64 Gigabyte (GB) solid state drives (SSD) featuring a SATA (Serial ATA) II/native SATA interface.

The drive delivers a sequential write speed of 100 Megabyte per second (MBps) and sequential read speed of 120 MBps. The SATA II SSD has a 3.0 gigabit-per-second (Gbps) interface speed which is twice as fast as its SATA I predecessor. Moreover, the SATA II SSD requires only half as much power as the 1.9 watts consumed by hard drives now used in notebook PCs and only one-tenth the power consumed by enterprise-class 15,000rpm hard drives in servers, according to the company.

Target applications for the SATA II SSD include notebook PCs, corporate servers, and other high-performance storage applications.

Samsung's SATA II SSD is based on a 50 nm-class, single-level-cell (SLC) 8Gb flash chip with a Samsung proprietary, high-speed SATA controller and supporting software.


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Huawei Enhances its Mobile Softswitch

Huawei Technologies rolled out an enhanced version of its mobile softswitch solution in China, providing new capabilities for next generation mobile core networks. The new Huawei solution supports Fixed-Mobile Convergence (FMC) deployments by integrating softswitch, IMS, packet-based voice and IP-based networking. The switch allows the connection between the core network and the access layer to be completely IP. In addition, the enhanced solution continues to support Huawei's MSC Pool, which does not require any upgrades in the access layer.

Vodafone Portugal Demos DVB-SH with Alcatel-Lucent

Vodafone Portugal, in partnership with Alcatel-Lucent, demonstrated a Mobile TV service based on DVB-SH technology.

The demonstration used the S-Band frequency spectrum (2.17 --2.20 GHz), which is available throughout Europe and can be used for the EU-wide delivery of mobile satellite services, in particular Mobile TV. The handsets used for the demonstration are DVB-SH-ready handsets provided by Sagem Mobiles.

The demonstration took place on the premises of the Parque das Nações in Lisbon, where the informal Summit of the EU Heads of State and Government took place on October 18 and 19, 2007.
  • On August 22, 2007, the European Commission adopted a proposal to select systems for mobile satellite services at European level. If adopted by the European Parliament and the EU Council, this new selection mechanism will allow Mobile TV based on DVB-SH in the S-Band to develop across Europe beginning in 2009.

Ericsson Completes GSM Upgrade for T-Mobile Germany

Ericsson completed an EDGE network upgrade for T-Mobile Germany. Over the past 24 months, Ericsson has upgraded more than half of T-Mobile's radio network, replacing more than 10,000 base stations in seven federal states with the network operating commercially and without subscribers noticing any deterioration in service. Ericsson said the new EDGE-compliant GSM radio network consumes about 30% less power. Financial terms were not disclosed.

U4EA Expands its MultiService Gateway Line

U4EA Technologies has extended its multi-service business gateway product line with two new models for small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) and enterprises. The U4EA Fusion 200 and Fusion 400 Series are integrated IP communications devices that eliminate the need for separate router, firewall, NAT, Ethernet switch, SIP session controller, and security products.

The Fusion 200 series consists of small form-factor devices for managed service delivery to small office users, while the 400 series is made up of enterprise-grade, rack-mountable devices suitable for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs). WAN options include Ethernet, DSL and T1/E1, as well as the use of external cable modems.

The products deliver high-performance QoS, IP security (IPSec), and Firewall/Network Address Translation (FW/NAT) that ensure secure, wire-speed performance and reliable multi-service support for today's converged networks.

The U4EA Fusion product line is supported by U4EA's patented "GoS" (Guarantee of Service), which guarantees service quality for applications of multiple media types (voice, data, video, collaboration), all accessible through a single access link (or WAN pipe).

U4EA said its Fusion Series was developed specifically for SIP-based next generation networks carrying multiple types of real time applications coexisting with data and other streaming IP media. These total one box solutions interoperate with multiple VoIP solutions (both IP-Centrex and IP-PBX) and multiple vendor's IP phones.

The gateway also supports VPN connections between multiple locations, allowing an IP-PBX at one site to serve multiple offices.

Canada's Rogers Renews Yahoo! Partnership

Rogers Communications and Yahoo! signed new multi-year agreements that build on their existing broadband alliance. Canadian high-speed Internet access subscribers will continue to be offered a Rogers Yahoo! customized portal and browser, Yahoo! Search, as well as premium services and content from both Yahoo! and Rogers. Under the terms of the expanded mobile agreement, Rogers and Yahoo! will also bring Yahoo!'s mobile products -- Yahoo! Go for Mobile 2.0 and Yahoo! oneSearch -- to customers across Canada.

Canada's TELUS Reaches 994,000 Broadband Lines, up 14% YOY

TELUS, the incumbent operator in western Canada, reported that Q3 2007 revenue increased 4.5 percent to $2.31 billion from a year ago. The performance was driven by nine per cent growth in both wireless revenue and wireline data revenue, partially offset by declines in local and long distance wireline revenues. Consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased 3.6 per cent to $987 million due to an increase in wireless EBITDA of eight per cent, while wireline EBITDA decreased by one per cent. Net income in the quarter was $410 million and earnings per share (EPS) were $1.24, up 28 per cent and 32 per cent respectively.

Some highlights:

TELUS wireless

  • Net subscriber >additions remained strong at 134,500, a small 2.0% decrease from the same quarter in 2006. Postpaid additions were 98,200, down 9.6%, while prepaid loading increased by 27% to 36,300

  • Revenues increased by $95 million or 9.4% to $1.1 billion in the
    third quarter of 2007, when compared with the same period in 2006

  • Wireless data revenue increased $42 million or 56% due to migration
    to full function personal data devices and increased text messaging

  • ARPU decreased by 1.3% to $64.80 as a result of increased voice re-price due to competitive pressures. The data component continued to increase, up by 41% to $7.20

TELUS wireline

  • Revenues increased by $4 million or 0.4% to $1.2 billion in the third quarter of 2007, when compared with the same period in 2006. Strong data growth offset declines in local and long distance revenues

  • Data revenues increased by $36 million or 8.7% due to strong year- over-year high-speed Internet growth and enhanced data and hosting services

  • TELUS added 31,300 net high-speed Internet subscribers, building TELUS' high-speed base to 994,000, a 14% increase from a year ago.

  • Network access lines (NALs) declined by 35,000 in the quarter. Total NALs were down 3.0% from a year ago, reflecting continued residential line losses from ongoing competitive activity and wireless substitution partially mitigated by an increase in business access lines.

Afghanistan Builds Microwave Backbone

Afghan Wireless announced the completion of a digital microwave ring backbone passing through 18 provinces and providing direct coverage and connectivity to the population residing in surrounding areas. The backbone will support GSM service to the largest customer base in Afghanistan, as well as enabling other services.

Until now, most areas in the country with network coverage were connected over satellite, which is prone to the inherent delays in the quality.

The Afghan Wireless Microwave Ring connects the North of the Country in Mazar, Takhar, Badakshan and Kunduz to Kabul over the Salang, which is further connected in the South to Kandahar and Spinboldak. The ring further extends West from Kandahar, passing through Hilmand, Nimroz and Farah, to reach Herat. It also extends from Herat to Mazar via Badghees, Faryab and Jawjan provinces. In the East, the ring connects Kabul to Jalalabad and the Turkham Border, along with the Kunar Valley. It also connects Gardez and Khost in the South East of the country.

The Microwave Ring has also helped in providing coverage to all major highways connecting Kabul to Kunduz to Mazar to Herat to Kandahar to Kabul.

Afghan Wireless also noted that it now operates one of the world's highest GSM sites at Salang (3980m in elevation).

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Toshiba Launches Enhanced Softphone

Toshiba America Information Systems launched its newly enhanced SoftIPT softphone.

Compatible with Toshiba's family of Strata CIX IP business communications systems, the new Toshiba SoftIPT 2.1 wirelessly extends the features and functionality of Toshiba desktop telephones to suitably equipped PDAs running Pocket PC 2003, Pocket PC Windows Mobile 5.0/6.0, SmartPhone Windows Mobile 5.0/6.0 as well as notebook computers, tablet PCs, and PCs running Windows 2000 or Windows XP and soon to be released for Windows Vista. The softphone enables users to access their desktop telephone features from virtually any location by connecting to the enterprise's Toshiba Strata CIX IP business communications system through 802.11 wireless networks or virtually anywhere there is Internet access. The new SoftIPT is fully compatible with Toshiba's new IP User Mobility feature and is a supported IP station that work in conjunction with Toshiba's Video Communication Solution (VCS).

Pakistan's Mobilink Chooses DragonWave for WiMAX Backhaul

Mobilink, a subsidiary of Orascom Telecom Holding has selected DragonWave's Horizon Compact high capacity IP backhaul product to provide 270 wireless backhaul links for a new nationwide WiMAX Network in Pakistan. Initial rollout will begin in the cities of Islamabad,
Karachi and Lahore. Financial terms were not disclosed.

DragonWave's Horizon Compact product will be used to enable Mobilink to backhaul traffic from their nationwide WiMAX deployments with a native IP backhaul solution. DragonWave's solution is providing high capacity IP backhaul as a fiber replacement and an economical and efficient way to provide full coverage across the country. The new network will provide data and other applications like VoIP access to enterprise, government,
residential and municipalities.

DragonWave's Horizon product operates within both licensed and
unlicensed radio frequencies in the 11-to-38-GHz range. It also features ultra-low latency, wire-speed native Ethernet connectivity up to 800 Mbps full duplex.
  • In September 2007, Pakistan Mobile Communications Limited (Mobilink), a leading mobile operator in Pakistan and a wholly owned subsidiary of Orascom Telecom Holding, awarded a contract to Alcatel-Lucent to participate in deploying Pakistan's first live network based on the Universal 802.16e-2005 WiMAX solution. The network will cover major cities in Pakistan, including Karachi, the nation's financial capital and the major business center.

  • Based on the latest IEEE 802.16e-2005 standards (also called Rev-e), the new WiMAX network will be deployed in the 3.5 GHz spectrum enabling rapid implementation of broadband services available in fixed and nomadic environments. It will deliver high-speed internet access, enabling the delivery of advanced broadband multimedia services, such as video streaming, through a variety of end-user devices including laptops, desktop computers, modems and WiMAX terminals.

RadiSys Posts Q3 Revenue of $84 Million

RadiSys announced revenues of $83.6 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2007 and a net loss of $2.5 million or $0.11 per share. Non-GAAP net income for the third quarter was $2.8 million or $0.11 per diluted share. Non-GAAP results in the third quarter excluded a loss of $0.22 per share, primarily attributable to the impact of acquisition-related expenses and stock-based compensation expense.

Commenting on the financial results for the quarter, Scott Grout, President and CEO stated, "I am pleased with our results in the third quarter. We grew revenues by 11% sequentially, and our non-GAAP earnings were up nicely from the prior quarter driven by higher revenues and an improved gross margin rate. We are also excited about our recent acquisition of the ATCA and cPCI assets of Intel's MCPD business. This acquisition further solidifies our leadership position in ATCA and communications platforms, broadens our base of customers and enhances our global operations and market penetration. The early stages of the integration are going well, and we currently project that this business will be cash flow positive in the fourth quarter."

Conexant Cuts Wireless In Restructuring

Conexant Systems reported quarterly revenues of $183.9 million, including a non-recurring royalty of approximately $4 million related to an existing license agreement. Core gross margins were 44.7 percent of revenues. Core operating expenses were $90.3 million. The core operating loss was $8.0 million, and the core net loss was $18.5 million, or $0.04 per share.

In addition, the company announced that it will terminate further investments in "stand-alone"" products for wireless networking but will continue to support DSL gateway solutions that incorporate wireless-networking capability. Conexant will eliminate approximately 140 positions worldwide. The company said it plans to maintain the staffing levels required to support existing wireless networking customers with current solutions. Conexant's remaining wireless employees will join the company's Broadband Access organization and support DSL gateways that incorporate wireless connectivity.

The company has also discontinued further investments in developing network processor solutions and packet switch products, and terminating its investment in HomePlug networking. In each case, the company will support current customers that are using existing products.

"In the fourth fiscal quarter, we made solid progress across multiple fronts," said Dan Artusi, Conexant president and chief executive officer. "We delivered on the performance expectations we established at the beginning of the quarter, we restructured our business and took action that will significantly reduce expenses, and we narrowed our business and product focus.

"Including the wireless networking actions announced today, we have reduced our worldwide workforce by approximately 20 percent over the past five weeks," Artusi said. "We will continue working to narrow our product-development focus in order to improve our engineering execution and our ability to deliver innovative, cost-effective solutions to customers on schedule. At this point, our most important company priority is to return to breakeven financial performance as quickly as possible."

TrendChip Offers New ADSL2+ Chipset

Taiwan's TrendChip Technologies announced a new ADSL2+ chipset composed of an ADSL2+ processor and an Analog Front End (AFE). The chipset is targeted at ADSL2+ Bridge, Router, and WiFi Gateway applications.

TrendChip said its design features a high performance ADSL2+ CPE processor with enhanced DMT structure and optimized cache architecture, which provides high processing power, enhanced Impulse Noise Protection (INP) capability for IPTV, advanced IP routing and bridging functionalities, QoS support, and high throughput performance. In addition, a new SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) flash boot up feature allows customers to adopt serial flash memory and helps lower the memory component cost. By adding a second UART interface, designers can connect to new peripherals like Bluetooth and DECT cordless chips to develop value-added applications.

Sea Launch Prepares for Thuraya-3

Sea Launch has left its home port of Long Beach, California and is preparing for the launch of the Thuraya-3 satellite on November 13 from an equatorial launch site in Pacific.

Boeing designed and built the GEO-Mobile (GEM) spacecraft for Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company, which is based in the United Arab Emirates. Boeing also built, and Sea Launch successfully deployed into orbit, Thuraya-1 (October 20, 2000) and Thuraya-2 (June 10, 2003). The satellites are designed to provide a range of mobile voice and data services over large geographic regions.

Thuraya, the world's largest provider of handheld mobile satellite services, is preparing to operate commercially in Asia-Pacific markets as early as January 2008, when Thuraya-3 is expected to become operational. Thuraya's expansion towards East Asia will allow it to provide its proven and highly affordable voice, IP and rural telephony services to thousands of private, public and business customers in the densely populated Asian region.
  • In January 2007, Sea Launch experience the total loss of the NSS-8 spacecraft, which exploded at launch from its Odyssey Platform in the equatorial Pacific. The Odyssey Launch Platform sustained limited damage. Commander ship was not damaged during the launch attempt, as it was positioned four miles from the Launch Platform at the time of lift-off.

MySpace and Google Collaborate on OpenSocial APIs

MySpace and Google are joining forces to launch OpenSocial-- a set of common APIs for building social applications across the web. MySpace will provide critical user mass and platform guidance.

The companies said the OpenSocial standards will to evolve through contribution from the open source community and as new features are developed by various partners. Global members of the OpenSocial community include, Friendster, hi5, Hyves, imeem, LinkedIn, Ning, Oracle, orkut, Plaxo,, Six Apart, Tianji, Viadeo, and XING.

Verizon FiOS TV Readies for 150 HD Channels

Verizon announced plans for a fivefold increase in the number of HD channels carried by its FiOS TV service. In the spring of 2008, Verizon will begin expanding its HD lineup as well as the sports and multicultural program offerings on FiOS TV. Verizon initially will double the current number of HD channels, on a market-by-market basis, to more than 60, including additional sports channels. Verizon expects to have more than 150 HD channels by year-end 2008 as it continues to add to its HD lineup and programmers launch new channels. The company also will add standard-definition sports, multicultural and other programming during the year.

In addition to the expanded HD channel lineup, Verizon said it will offer HD programming through its video-on-demand library, which already totals more than 10,000 titles. Before the end of 2007, Verizon expects to introduce a limited number of HD on-demand titles, which will increase to more than 1,000 HD titles in 2008.

Verizon Shareholders to Vote on Executive Compensation

The Board of Directors of Verizon Communications adopted a policy that provides for an annual advisory vote related to executive compensation beginning in 2009. The company is also amending its executive severance policy to define more specifically the types of payments included in the calculation of severance payments.

Cisco Broadens its Activities, Investments and Sourcing in China

Cisco CEO John Chambers unveiled a multi-year investment initiative aimed at strengthening its business commitments and long-term corporate strategy in China. Highlights of Cisco's multi-year investment program include:

  • A significant increase in local procurement. In the past five years, Cisco has purchased more than USD $7 billion worth of China-sourced components and services, a critical part of the company's virtual manufacturing supply chain. According to Cisco estimates, these procurement commitments provide employment to 50,000 people in manufacturing management roles and through contract manufacturing and supplier partners.

  • The total value of Cisco's commitments in China since 2002 are estimated at more than USD $8.5 billion, and under the initiative announced today, could expand to approximately USD $16 billion during the next five years, including significant increases in materials procurement, and increases in education, Cisco Capital, research and development, direct and indirect investments and sales and service operations.

  • A Memorandum of Understanding with China Development Bank to explore a joint investment program that would provide capital and expertise for innovative Chinese businesses. The initiative is intended to support high-growth Chinese companies over multiple sectors, with a focus on information technology, "green" innovators, and other key segments

  • A commitment to expansion of the Cisco Networking Academies program in cooperation with China's Ministry of Education to add 300 additional academies in vocational colleges during the next three years, with a specific focus on China's central and western provinces. Currently, there are more than 200 Networking Academies in 70 cities throughout China, which have trained more than 90,000 students since inception. The new initiatives will add the capacity to train an additional 100,000 students by 2010. Cisco will also donate more than USD $6 million worth of networking equipment to assist in establishing labs in the new academies.

  • A memorandum of understanding with Alibaba Group, China's largest business-to-business (B2B) on-line portal. Under the MOU, Cisco and Alibaba will explore ways to jointly offer collaboration and business management solutions to small and medium businesses (SMBs) in China. Under a previous agreement, Cisco will also invest USD $17.5 million in Limited, a subsidiary of Alibaba Group, as part of its planned initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, becoming one of only eight cornerstone investors in the listing

  • Establishment of incremental funding up to USD $400 million for Cisco Systems Capital China for providing financing facilities to Cisco customers in China during the next three to five years. Cisco Systems Capital China commenced captive financing operations in June 2006 and has funded USD $60 million in customer assets to date.

  • The establishment of Cisco's first global "green" technology center to address the increasing need for sustainable development, energy efficiency, reduction of electronic waste, and emission reductions inside and outside of China. The center will also augment existing programs underway by Cisco China's R&D teams in the area of application specific integrated circuits (ASIC) power efficiency design and expand this into other product areas.

  • Establishment of product and research teams to develop innovative networking equipment to address the SMB (small and medium business) market and emerging countries markets, leveraging local design and manufacturing resources.

Cisco first established operations in China in 1994 and now employs more than 2,300 staff in sales, customer support and service, research and development, BPO/IT outsourcing, Cisco Capital and manufacturing. The company has 12 offices in China, a major R&D facility in Shanghai, Scientific Atlanta R&D/manufacturing facilities, as well as several development centers supporting WebEx, which Cisco acquired in March 2007.

See also