Thursday, April 3, 2008

Chelsio Delivers Microsoft TCP Chimney-enabled 10GbE Adapter

Chelsio Communications announced availability of its TCP/IP offload engine (TOE) technology fully supporting the Microsoft TCP Chimney architecture. Microsoft TCP Chimney allows Windows operating systems to offload network TCP processing from the CPU to the network controller.

Chelsio said TCP/IP processing consumes a high amount of server CPU cycles and at 10Gbps rates, it places a tremendous load on the memory subsystem and the need to offload this burden from the server becomes critical.

The Chelsio TCP Chimney-enabled adapter frees the host CPU from network processing. It also eliminates data copy and frees up memory bandwidth for processing of applications.

Chelsio also announced that it is licensing Alacritech Inc. patents to enable Chimney driver support.

Qwest's CFO to Step Down

John W. Richardson, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Qwest Communications, will be leaving the company. A search is underway for a successor.

CenturyTel Pursues Overlay of Existing Operations in 700 MHz

CenturyTel, which was the successful bidder for 69 licenses in the FCC's recent 700 MHz auction, said the newly-acquired spectrum will create a highly contiguous footprint that closely overlaps its existing local exchange and long-haul fiber networks. CenturyTel serves small-to-mid-size cities in 25 states. Key markets include Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, Ohio, Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon and Wisconsin.

The spectrum is being acquired at an average price per megahertz pop of $.70 and a total cost of $149 million. CenturyTel said it is paying an overall average price per MHz Pop of $.70 versus $1.92 national average for A & B blocks combined.

"While it is too early to discuss financial and operational details, we are acquiring spectrum that overlaps our core ILEC and fiber transport networks. This should enable us to utilize our existing operations, including our current distribution and technical support infrastructure, to cost-effectively deploy wireless services, both in our existing markets and in selective contiguous markets, where we believe profitable growth is achievable," said Glen F. Post, III, chairman and chief executive officer.

Verizon Wireless Anticipates LTE in 700 MHz Spectrum in 2010

Verizon Wireless plans to launch its LTE network in the 700 MHz spectrum in the 2010 timeframe. The company said the breadth of the national C-block spectrum footprint, all in a single band and with a depth of 22 MHz, provides a speed and performance advantage that will be ideal for connecting a variety of consumer electronics, from wireless phones to medical devices to gaming consoles.

In the recent FCC auction, Verizon Wireless was the winning bidder for a nationwide spectrum footprint (excluding Alaska) in the FCC-termed C-Block group of licenses, plus 102 licenses for individual markets around the country.

In all, the company will pay $9.36 billion for these licenses, which equates to $1.03 per MHz Pop, compared with the auction average of $1.20.

"We now have sufficient spectrum to continue growing our business and data revenues well into -- and possibly through -- the next decade, and this is the very best spectrum with excellent propagation and in-building characteristics. We also believe that the combination of the national, contiguous, same- frequency C-block footprint and our transition to LTE will make Verizon the preferred partner for developers of a new wave of consumer electronics and applications using this next generation technology," said Lowell McAdam, the company's president and CEO.

Microsoft and Telefonica Partner on Online Training in Latin America

Microsoft and the Telefónica Foundation will expand an online training network -- called Profesores Innovadores (Innovative Professors) -- to provide online content, services and curricula to innovative teachers in Latin America. The program will help educators learn, develop professionally and exchange knowledge with their peers. It already is operating in Spain, Mexico and Colombia, with a goal to expand offerings throughout more countries in the Latin American region, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru.

FCC to Host Hearing on Broadband Network Management at Stanford on 17-Apr-2008

The FCC will host a hearing on Broadband Network Management Practices at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, on 17-April-2008. A similar hearing, which was held earlier this year at Harvard Law School, focused on Comcast's management of P2P traffic.
  • In March, in a policy turnaround, Comcast announced a partnership with BitTorrent and with the broader Internet and ISP community to more effectively address issues associated with rich media content and network capacity management.

  • Also in March, Verizon said it no longer regarded P2P as a "dark-alley distribution system for unauthorized file sharing." Specifically, Verizon announced plans to begin using a peer-to-peer (P2P) file transfer system from Pando Networks to aid with the distribution of large media files to its broadband users.

FCC Sets Agenda for Open Meeting on Thursday, April 10

The FCC will hold an Open Meeting on Thursday, April 10, 2008. Key items on the agenda include:

  • Spectrum and Service Rules for Ancillary Terrestrial Components in the 1.6/2.4 GHz Big LEO Bands. The FCC will consider granting Globalstar authority to Implement an Ancillary Terrestrial Component.

  • 911 Call-Forwarding Requirements and Carriers' Blocking Options for Non-Initialized Phones. The FCC consider a Notice of Proposed Inquiry in response to a petition filed by nine public safety organizations..

  • Commercial Mobile Alert System -- The FCC will consider a Report and Order concerning implementation of
    the Warning, Alert and Response Network.

  • Various other issues.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

SmarTone-Vodafone Selects Ericsson for HSPA/MBMS in Hong Kong

Hong Kong's SmarTone-Vodafone has named Ericsson as the sole supplier for HSPA network enhancements. Under the three-year agreement, Ericsson will be the sole supplier of a HSPA-enabled radio access network, including Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (MBMS), a functionality that enables mobile-TV services to be broadcast. The deal also includes a fully IP-based core network, including IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), Ericsson's Mobile Softswitch Solution, and Redback's SmartEdge routers. The network enhancements will allow SmarTone-Vodafone to cost-efficiently introduce more new services and to further increase broadband speeds to support more advanced video and mobile applications over time.

Ericsson will also be responsible for a range of professional services, such as, network design, systems integration, spare parts management service, support services, as well as network deployment and integration. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ericsson is also the sole supplier of SmarTone-Vodafone's core and radio networks, including GPRS and WCDMA/HSPA.

Craig Wireless selects Alcatel-Lucent for WiMAX in Palm Springs

Craig Wireless has chosen Alcatel-Lucent to build a new 802.16e-2005 (Rev-e) WiMAX network in Palm Springs, California. Alcatel-Lucent will provide its end-to-end WiMAX Rev-e solution, including base stations, wireless access controllers and an operation and maintenance center (OMC). Alcatel-Lucent also will provide network design, planning, installation and optimization for end-to-end integration of the network, which will operate in the 2.5 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum band.

Alcatel-Lucent said this is the first commercial deployment of its WiMAX technology in North America.

Comcast Launches 50/5 Mbps Internet Service Using DOCSIS 3.0

Comcast launched "wideband" Internet service at up to 50 Mbps downstream and 5 Mbps upstream in its first market -- the Twin Cities region of Minnesota. The service leverages DOCSIS 3.0 technology. Comcast said it expects to deliver even faster speeds of up to 100 Mbps to its customers over the next two years with the capability of delivering higher speeds of 160 Mbps or more in the future.

The new 50 Mbps / 5 Mbps speed tier will be offered at $149.95 per month.

The company is boosting its other speed tiers as well. Comcast will nearly triple the upload speed of its 6 Mbps / 384 Kbps Performance tier to 6 Mbps / 1 Mbps and more than double the upload speed of its 8 Mbps / 768 Kbps Performance Plus tier to 8 Mbps / 2 Mbps. In addition, with Comcast's "PowerBoost" technology, customers are able to enjoy even faster speeds of up to 12 Mbps downloads and 2 Mbps uploads on the Performance tier and 16 Mbps downloads on the Performance Plus tier for files like videos, games, music and digital photographs.

"This announcement marks the beginning of the evolution from broadband to wideband," said Mitch Bowling, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Comcast High-Speed Internet, Comcast Cable. "Wideband is the future and it's coming fast. We believe wideband will usher-in a new era of speed and Internet innovation for today's digital consumers."

CWA and German Union to Represent T-Mobile Workers in US and Europe

The Communications Workers of America and ver.di, Germany's largest union, have established a union to unite and represent workers in the U.S. and Europe.

The new T-Union, which is a joint affiliate of both organizations, will support T-Mobile workers who want a union voice and collective bargaining rights in the United States and other countries, and German union members who work for T-Mobile in the U.S.

CWA President Larry Cohen said the new union is a "new step in global solidarity" and will be a major part of the struggle for workers' organizing and bargaining rights around the world. "This new union sends a message to T-Mobile management in the U.S. that workers at Deutsche Telekom and at other T-Mobile operations who have bargaining rights will fight hard to protect them and to support their U.S. counterparts who also want the right to collective bargaining."

Ver.di, representing more than 2.4 million workers, represents workers at Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile's parent company, and holds seats on DT's supervisory board. Ver.di already represents T-Mobile workers in Germany, and T-Mobile workers in the United Kingdom and nine other European countries already have collective bargaining rights.

CWA is the largest telecommunications union in the U.S., representing workers in information technology and communications, media and broadcasting, and other sectors.

AT&T Offers GigE VoIP Interface for Wholesale Customers

AT&T announced the availability of a Gigabit Ethernet interface for its AT&T Voice Over IP Connect Service (AVOICS) and the AT&T BusinessDirect portal for AT&T Global Hubbing IP Access (GHIA) customers. The AVOICS Gigabit Ethernet connectivity interface enables customers to interconnect with the AT&T network more efficiently and at higher capacity.

AVOICS is the flagship wholesale VoIP offered to U.S. service providers that require IP-based connectivity to AT&T's global IP network for long distance call termination. Customers connect to AVOICS via AT&T's MPLS-Private Network Transport (MPLS-PNT) service. AT&T's advanced worldwide voice-networking infrastructure provides the foundation for a variety of unbranded and unbundled domestic long distance and international service offerings to wholesale customers for both resale and internal use.

The GHIA platform is designed to provide flexible solutions for both U.S. and global customers with high international call volumes. GHIA is a centrally managed service that allows service providers to easily establish and operate IP telephony services over AT&T's award-winning global network.

"By adding these options to our portfolio, we are demonstrating our agility and continued commitment to provide innovative voice and IP solutions to our wholesale customers," said Rise Frankel, executive director of Wholesale Marketing for AT&T Operations Inc. "Ethernet is quickly becoming the de facto access method that wholesale customers are looking for in terms of capability and flexibility because it can be used as the foundation for VoIP, IP access, intranet connectivity and MPLS core services. An Ethernet interface typically allows for seamless growth as customer bandwidth requirements increase."

AT&T Wins Global Managed Service Deal with Shell

Royal Dutch Shell has selected AT&T to be its global provider of advanced communications services. The five year agreement, estimated to be worth $1.6 billion, calls for AT&T to provide, manage and maintain Shell's worldwide communications infrastructure while also managing the company's global mobility needs. Under the contract, AT&T will provide managed network services to Shell and its subsidiary companies in more than 100 countries. AT&T will deliver wide area and local area networks, voice services (including IP telephony), managed security solutions and mobility services.

AT&T said this is one of the largest commercial contracts ever signed by AT&T and the largest agreement signed with a company that is headquartered in Europe. The agreement is one of three outsourcing contracts signed by Shell with key suppliers for networking and IT services.

T-Systems Wins Outsourcing Contract with Royal Dutch Shell

T-Systems, Deutsche Telekom's enterprise customer unit, was awarded a multi-sourcing contract by Royal Dutch Shell valued at approximately EUR 1 billion. Under the initial five-year agreement, T-Systems will take over the infrastructure and IT professionals of Shell's global data centers, including three centers in the Netherlands and one each in the U.S. and Malaysia.

T-Systems said the deal confirms its position as a leading network-centric information and communications technology (ICT) provider for Corporate Europe.

Qualcomm's New 700 MHz Licenses to Double its FLO TV Spectrum

In the FCC's recent 700 MHz spectrum auction, Qualcomm won eight licenses at a total cost of $558.1 million.

Specifically, Qualcomm purchased licenses in the E block covering the Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia and San Francisco Economic Area regions. These licenses double Qualcomm's 700 MHz spectrum holdings throughout a footprint of more than 68 million people in 28 individual markets for MediaFLO USA's "FLO TV" service (21 of its top 100 markets) at a cost of $554.6 million. In addition, Qualcomm purchased three licenses on the B block at a cost of $3.5 million.

Qualcomm's E block licenses cover five of the nation's top seven Economic Area regions. These regions consist of large contiguous areas on the East and West Coasts, stretching from New Hampshire to Maryland and from Orange County to Northern California, respectively.

Qualcomm said the new E block spectrum will give MediaFLO USA greater flexibility to deliver additional content and services in these top markets, building on the Channel 55 spectrum for which Qualcomm already owns licenses in these markets and throughout the rest of the country and the FLO TV service now available to more to more than 130 million people.

In addition, Qualcomm won the B block in the California-Imperial, New Jersey-Hunterdon and Yuba City, Calif. Cellular Market Areas. These licenses will provide Qualcomm with 12 MHz of paired 700 MHz spectrum near key Qualcomm offices to enable the company's R&D teams to test new mobile broadband technologies.http://www.qualcomm.com

AT&T Comments on Recent Spectrum Purchase in FCC Auction

AT&T said its successful bids for prime B Block spectrum in the recent FCC auction, combined with its acquisition of Aloha Partners, gives its a leading spectrum position in the United States to further enhance the quality and reliability of existing wireless broadband and voice services while setting the foundation for future 4G services.

With the final award of the auctioned B Block spectrum, AT&T's 700 MHz spectrum will cover 100 percent of the top 200 markets and 87 percent of the U.S. population. The C-Block spectrum AT&T acquired from Aloha Partners is not subject to the same strict regulations imposed on the C Block spectrum that the FCC recently auctioned.

"Results of the auction bidding demonstrate the B Block was the most attractive, most valuable spectrum available, and it was the best investment for AT&T and our customers... With fewer costly and complex regulations, we have the certainty and flexibility needed to move faster in rolling out new mobile technology and more customer choices in devices and applications," said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T's wireless unit.

AT&T currently plans to deliver 3G services to nearly 350 U.S. markets by the end of 2008, including all of the top 100 cities. The 3G initiative will include the rollout of more than 1,500 additional cell sites nationwide. The company also will complete the nation's first HSUPA-enabled network by the middle of the year. This advanced network delivers typical downlink speeds ranging between 600 and 1,400 Kbps, as well as faster uplink speeds ranging from 500 and 800 Kbps.

AT&T also stated that it does not expect this spectrum purchase to have a material impact on its operating results.

Sprint Licenses Visual Voicemail Patents from Klausner

Sprint Nextel has licensed patents from Klausner Technologies for its new Sprint Visual Voicemail service. The patent license also covers the new Samsung Instinct cell phone, which includes the Visual Voicemail feature, that Sprint will offer.

Sprint Nextel is the seventh company to date to license the Klausner visual voicemail patents. Other licensees include ISP's such as Time Warner's AOL , VoIP providers such as Vonage, and ASP's such as Simulscribe and Simulsays for Blackberry.

Sprint was not a defendant in the pending patent infringement lawsuit brought by Klausner against Apple for its iPhone Visual Voicemail. Other remaining defendants in the pending litigation include ATT, eBay and Comcast.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

PMC-Sierra Appoints Greg Lang as CEO

PMC-Sierra has appointed Greg Lang as its new president and chief executive officer. The position will become effective immediately upon the resignation of Robert Bailey as the company's president and CEO following the filing of the Company's first quarter 2008 financials next month. The Company's Board of Directors also elected Mr. Lang to serve as a director effective as of the next meeting of the Board. Mr. Bailey will continue as PMC-Sierra's Chairman of the Board.

Prior to his appointment at PMC-Sierra, Mr. Lang was president and CEO at Integrated Device Technology Inc. (IDT), a company he joined in 2001. Mr. Lang led the transformation of IDT from a commodity SRAM supplier to a very profitable mixed signal solution provider. He was responsible for the integration of several successful acquisitions and more than doubled revenue over the course of his term at the company. Prior to IDT, Mr. Lang spent 15 years at Intel and was vice president and general manager of the Platform Networking Group, where he built Intel's client-side wired and wireless networking businesses. Mr. Lang is also a member of the board of directors of Intersil Corporation, a high-performance analog semiconductor company.

Yahoo! Debuts Voice-Enabled Mobile Search

Yahoo! unveiled a new version of its mobile search service, allowing users to initiate searches faster using text or voice.

Yahoo! also plans to provide greater relevance through richer, more detailed search results by opening up Yahoo! oneSearch to publishers to integrate content, simplify search input with Search Assist and voice-enabled search, and make search instantly accessible on the idle screen of many phones.
Open search results are expected to debut with initial partners in Q2 2008.

Some of the key enhancements include:

  • Predictive text completion - as you begin to type, Search Assist surfaces the most common search queries in real time that match the letters you have submitted so far. As soon as you see a query that matches what you were typing, select it and your results are returned.

  • Contextual recommendations Search Assist is intelligent enough to recommend more refined results than your initial query. At launch, Search Assist is available for the iPhone and is expected to become available on additional AJAX-compatible devices over the coming months.

Yahoo! said that with the voice-enabled version of oneSearch, users can search for anything, including flight numbers, locations, Web site names, local restaurants, and more, by simply speaking. Key features include:

  • Wide-open voice-enabled mobile search - Speak anything and get relevant results returned through oneSearch.

  • Personalizes to your voice - Voice-enabled Yahoo! oneSearch adapts to your voice the more you use it.

  • Multi-modal input - Allows users to switch between speaking and typing at any time, enabling consumers easy access to refine queries.

NextPoint Enhances Integrated Border Gateway, Adding PDIF and Tunnel Termination Gateway

NextPoint announced a number of mobility enhancements to its Integrated Border Gateway (IBG) including Packet Data Interworking Functionality (PDIF) and Tunnel Termination Gateway (TTG) capabilities -- key capabilities enabling seamless handoffs in Wi-Fi FMC or femtocell services deployed by mobile operators.

NextPoint's IBG, which consolidates Session Border Controller (SBC) capabilities with Security Gateway (SeGW) in a single ATCA-based platform, now includes an IP Mobility Suite that provides Packet Data Interworking Function (PDIF) to support CDMA-based operators and Tunnel Termination Gateway (TTG) for GSM/UMTS-based operators. This session tunneling functionality enables mobile roaming between multiple IP networks. The platform scales to support hundreds of thousands of IPsec tunnels and subscribers per blade.

Nextpoint said its PDIF and TTG IP Mobility Suite will extend beyond voice roaming to include "combinational" voice and data services to mobile IP users, ensuring subscribers' continuity experience across IP networks for both sessions and data.

As part of NextPoint's FMC solutions, which enable seamless handoff of voice and data across service providers' networks, PDIF is applied to CDMA mobile networks for interworking wireless local area network (WLAN) deployments, including Wi-Fi and Femtocell applications, as well as WiMAX deployments. TTG -- a subset of the Packet Data Gateway (PDG) specification -- is applied to UMTS networks for inter-worked WLAN or WiMAX deployments. PDIF and TTG rely upon and enhance the security gateway to protect resources and packet data services from unauthorized access.

NextPoint now offers three versions of the IBG. One version provides a single-component security gateway while a second version integrates intelligent session management capabilities. These two versions provide intelligent edge solutions to mobile and fixed-line operators' to address their requirements for management and implementation of network elements from access edge to network core.