Thursday, March 19, 2009

ZTE Secures US$15 Billion Credit Line from China Development Bank

China Development Bank will provide ZTE a US$15 billion credit line, including ZTE's overseas project financing and ZTE's credit limits, under a 5-year agreement announced by the companies. The two companies are currently in discussion to develop specific terms and procedures on financing project and how to effectively execute the business cooperation.

ZTE noted that in view of the current global financial crisis, majority of mainstream financing agencies based in Europe and the U.S. are trying to find ways how to address issues such as inadequate liquidity and credit crunch. In contrast, China Development Bank claims a healthy balance sheet as well as strong financing and credit worthiness.

China Development Bank is the fifth largest commercial bank in China. In 2008, its total asset was valued at 2,890 billion RMB with non-performing loan ratio within 1%. The bank also holds exceptional advantage in the area of export credit.

ZTE generated 2008 revenue of approximately RMB 44,293 million (US$6,388 million), representing an increase of 27.37% over 2007. In the 3G tender bids offered by China's three largest telecom operators, ZTE obtained about 30% of the total local markets to deploy about 660,000 3G carrier frequency, positioning itself as the clear leader in China's 3G industry.

STMicroelectronics Launches Single-Chip Set-Top Box ICs

STMicroelectronics introduced two new single-chip STB ICs for cable and satellite set top boxes that share a common architecture and are software compatible, enabling efficient development and fast time-to-market for products such as basic zappers, interactive and DVR-capable STBs, and hybrid STBs.

The STi5197 (cable) includes a QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) demodulator and the STi5189 (satellite) includes a QPSK (quadrature phase-shift keying) demodulator, and both products have a common architecture for MPEG-2 audio/video-decoding and application-processing functions. The common architecture saves product development time, lowers bill-of-material costs, and simplifies pc-board design to deliver highly price-competitive products into global markets. Each device supports relevant cable or satellite broadcast standards. The STi5197 supports DVB-C including ITU-T J83 Annexes A/B/C, and TSMF (Transport Stream Multiplex Frame). The STi5189 supports DVB-S for satellite. All industry-standard middleware and browsers are also supported.

Both ICs support all major conditional-access security schemes, with integrated DVB, DES (Data Encryption Standard), Multi2 and ICAM (Integrated Conditional Access Module) descramblers as well as a built-in smart-card interface, which will help to broaden markets for pay-TV services.

AOptix Secures $12.9 Million in Venture Funding

AOptix Technologies, a start-up based in Campbell, California, secured $12.9 million in new venture funding for its advanced iris recognition systems and ultra-high bandwidth wireless optical communication solutions. AOptix is currently in production and launch of the company's first commercial product release for the iris biometrics market, the InSight 2 Meter Iris Recognition System.

The financing round was led by Northgate Capital of Danville, CA. Participation in the round also included leading venture capital firms, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Clearstone Venture Partners, DAG Ventures, W Capital Partners and Lehman Brothers.

AOptix said recent defense contract wins have also accelerated the company's free space optical (FSO) communications division. Ultra-high bandwidth optical wireless connections at long distances are achieved through their patented adaptive optics correction technology.

Opnext Demos 16G Fibre Channel Longwave

Opnext is demonstrating its new 16G Fibre Channel Long Wave (FC LW) SFP+ Transceiver prototype at this week's OFC/NFOEC conference in San Diego.

Based on Opnext's 1310nm DFB laser technology, the Opnext 16G FC LW SFP+ optical transceiver offers transmission distances of up to 10km. The next generation 16G FC product specifications are currently in discussion at the T11 industry standards committee. Market release of the 16G FC product line will be in 2010.

The company recently released its 8G FC short wave and long wave product line into mass production. Storage OEMs are currently in the process of rolling out their 8G FC products.

Broadcom Expands Set-Top Box Family with HD Decoders

Broadcom expanded its portfolio of set-top box (STB) system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions with new products that offer a streamlined feature set targeting single, multi-format high definition (HD) decode, including support for China's audio/video standard (AVS).

Broadcom said service providers are demanding a broader range of STB solutions to address whole-home connected entertainment environments that include a high-end media gateway in the living room along with mid-to-lower-range thin client devices in "second" rooms such as bedrooms or dens. Meanwhile, consumers want shared/networked digital video recorder (DVR) capabilities that allow multiple users to store, time shift or access content from media servers or residential gateways for playback on STBs anywhere in the home.

The new devices build on the company's BCM7405 premium IPTV chip. Broadcom is introducing two new HD solutions, the BCM7205 and BCM7206, and a new SD solution, the BCM7466. All chips feature multi-format video support with an MPEG-4/VC-1/MPEG-2/AVS-compliant HD video decoder. The BCM7205/BCM7206 solutions are designed for the needs of the mid-range single HD decode STB, providing significant bill-of-materials (BOM) cost optimizations for this segment of the market. Similarly, the BCM7466 is designed for the entry-level SD output segment of the STB market.

CIP Technologies Develops 100 Gbps 2R Regenerator

CIP Technologies has released a new 100 Gbps version of its all-optical 2R (reamplification and reshaping) regenerator for optical networking applications. Based on CIP Technologies' HyBoard hybrid platform, the new device is fabricated from an integrated combination of an array of the company's' high-speed nonlinear semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOA-XN), and planar silica Mach-Zehnder interferometers (MZIs).

This component combination extends the outstanding signal regeneration properties of the company's hybrid 2R device from data rates of 40 Gbps to 100 Gbps, and retains multi-channel capability.

Alcatel-Lucent and Politecnico di Milano Research 100G

Alcatel-Lucent has signed a two-year agreement with Politecnico di Milano to conduct research in the fields of 100 Gbps technology, multi-service network design and wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technology for metro-access network applications. The agreement builds on an existing partnership in research, with a particular focus on next-generation optical networks.

Alcatel-Lucent said its objective is to further accelerate its product innovation by leveraging the high level skills of Politecnico's researchers and to reduce its time-to-market to be even more competitive in the marketplace.

Sony Ericsson Warns on Weak Q1 Sales

Sony Ericsson warned that its net sales and net income before taxes in the first quarter of 2009 continue to be negatively affected by weak consumer demand as well as de-stocking in the retail and distribution channels.

Although final results may differ, Sony Ericsson plans to ship approximately 14 million phones during the first quarter of 2009 with an estimated ASP (average selling price) of EUR 120. Gross margin is expected to decline both year-on-year and sequentially. Net income before taxes is estimated to be a loss in the range of EUR 340 - 390 million, excluding restructuring charges in the range of EUR 10 - 20 million.

Sony Ericsson will announce its first quarter results on April 17.

China Unicom Awards WCDMA Contract to Ericsson

Ericsson has been selected by China Unicom to supply WCDMA networks and services for 15 Chinese provinces. Specifically, Ericsson will supply the 2G/3G common core platform, WCDMA RAN system, network rollout services, tuning, spare parts and training services over the coming months. Deliveries and deployment have already begun. Up to now, first 3G calls have been successfully made in all the 14 cities supplied by Ericsson for China Unicom's initial pre-commercial launch scheduled on May 17, the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.

Ericsson, along with its partners, was awarded contracts to supply WCDMA core and/or radio access network systems in 15 provinces, including Beijing, Jilin, Jiangsu, Hubei, Heilongjiang, Liaoning, Anhui, Henan, Hainan, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Shandong, Guangdong and Hunan.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Georgia Tech Forms 100G Consortium

Ten companies have joined forces with the Georgia Institute of Technology to establish the Georgia Tech 100G Optical Networking Consortium, which will perform multidisciplinary research in all aspects of 100-gigabit-per-second transmission, supported by the diverse and complementary strengths of the industrial partners and faculty members. Research topics range from fundamental studies of 100G optical transmission to assessment of optical and electronic technologies that will be used in such high-speed optical networks.

To date, more than $2.2 million in support has been designated for this facility by the consortium's founding research members -- ADVA Optical Networking, Ciena, OFS, and Verizon --and by supporting members Avanex, IBM, Narda Microwave, Nistica Picometrix and RSoft Design Group.

A variety of network architectures will be studied, including realistic impairments found in regional and ultra long haul links. These efforts also actively support the upcoming IEEE 100G standard for short reach, client-side transport in the local area network and future IEEE standards for short reach transmission over laser-optimized multi-mode fiber in data centers.

"Our industry-led effort creates a unique opportunity for students and industry to define and validate the enabling technologies necessary for 100G networks," noted Stephen E. Ralph, the consortium's director and a professor in Georgia Tech's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE).

Co-director of the effort is Gee-Kung Chang, Byers Eminent Scholar Chair in Optical Networking. Joining Ralph and Chang in the quest for 100Gb/s transport is Byers Professor John D. Cressler, whose research addresses high-speed electronics challenges, and Professor John Barry, whose work focuses on critical signal processing issues. All three faculty members are also based in ECE.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

ooma to Add Features for Google Voice

ooma, which offers a broadband phone service, is developing a set of features that will integrate with the upcoming Google Voice service. ooma's current and future home phone systems will support the Google Voice Extensions (GVE) with release planned for this summer. These will include:

ooma GVE Outbound Caller ID Integration -- ooma users can display their Google Voice caller ID on outbound calls from ooma systems with no need to dial additional call prompts or 20 digit phone numbers.

ooma GVE SMS text integration -- with ooma Telo handsets (available this coming August), Google Voice SMS messages may be displayed on the handsets in the home, not just on a cell phone.

ooma GVE Home Phone Integration -- allows calls sent to an ooma home phone to be forwarded directly to a Google Voice number for routing just as if the call were originally directed to a Google Voice number. This overcomes the limitation of not being able to port phone numbers to the Google Voice service. This is made possible by the "Instant Second Line" feature found in ooma Premier.

ooma GVE Call Announce -- in households where multiple Google Voice accounts exist, ooma Premier Google Voice Extensions can allow for different Google Voice accounts to forward calls directly to specific handsets in a home. The GVE Call Announce feature will also voice an announcement of who in the household the call is intended based on which Google Voice account originated the call.

ooma GVE Listen In feature -- allows a user at home to monitor and intercept a voicemail as it is being left without dialing any additional call prompts.

ooma GVE One Touch Voice Mail -- allows ooma users to access their Google Voice mailbox with a single touch of a button on an ooma Hub, Scout, or Telo handset. This eliminates the need to dial a Google Voice number and then password to gain access to voice mail.

Dell'Oro: Enterprises Adopting More 10 Gbps, Service Providers Drive 40 Gbps

The markets for 10 Gbps and 40 Gbps technologies are forecasted to grow in 2009 despite broader market declines, according to recently published reports by Dell'Oro Group.

The reports indicate that while enterprise and service provider markets will both see annual declines of close to 10 percent in 2009, high-speed networking will continue to grow. Within enterprise markets, 10 Gbps is gaining hold not only on infrastructure equipment, but also more recently on the client side with server adoption. Within service provider markets, 40 Gbps technologies are gaining traction on routers and optical transport platforms.

The reports also show that many vendors have benefited from this trend toward higher-speed networking adoption. Cisco held top share positions in 10 Gbps Switching and 40 Gbps Routing shipments, while Nokia Siemens held the leadership position in 40 Gbps Optical DWDM long-haul terrestrial shipments during 2008. Over the same time period, Broadcom attained the number one share position for 10 Gbps silicon controllers deployed in servers.

Matisse Obtains NEBS L3 for its EtherBurst Optical Packet Transport

Matisse Networks has received NEBS Level 3 Certification from MET Laboratories for its EtherBurst products. The NEBS Certification is required for deployment in service provider central offices.

To obtain the certification, the EtherBurst product portfolio was subject to extensive testing covering Ambient Temperature and Humidity, Equipment Handling, Resistance to Fire, Earthquake Survivability, Vibration, Airborne Contaminants, ESD, Emissions, and AC Power Fault. Complete compliance to all NEBS specifications ensures that the equipment being deployed is acceptable for use in service provider central offices.

Matisse's EtherBurst architecture, which has been shipping since last year, integrates Ethernet and WDM technologies. The system that applies the principles of packet switching to the optical layer. Instead of dedicated optical circuits, the goal is a more highly efficient, layer 2 packet-switched photonic layer. Etherburst relies on Matisse's patented 10 Gbps "Tango" optical burst transponder, which is capable of tuning and locking to any wavelength in the ITU C-band in nanoseconds. Matisse is using off-the-shelf, commercially available tunable lasers along with its own silicon and intellectual property. Burst scheduling, collision avoidance and quality of service (802.1 p and DiffServ) enforcement are provided by Matisse Network's patented "MeshWave" packet processor.

Hughes Announces Next Generation HX Routers

Hughes Network Systems released its latest generation HX broadband satellite routers, providing up to twice the throughput performance and based on the DVB-S2/ACM bandwidth management of the company's HX System. Both incorporate a high performance processor and ample onboard memory to deliver carrier grade performance for business private networks, cellular backhaul, and a wide range of broadband applications.

The HX260 features an integrated, multichannel TDMA demodulator, enabling simultaneous mesh and star mode connectivity within the HX System. This enables private networks with mix of voice and data services that can be managed from one central NOC location.

The HX200 supports connection to a variety of radios, including industry-standard L-Band BUCs, and can be configured to support the full range of advanced features offered by the HX System, including mobility support. The HX260 multichannel demodulator enables the unit to operate in full mesh mode with a single satellite hop to connect to another HX260 terminal, offering maximum network flexibility and reliability.

Sierra Telephone Selects Tellabs for Ethernet Services

Sierra Telephone, a network operator based in central California, will deploy the Tellabs 8800 Multiservice Router (MSR) Series as the centerpiece of its 10 Gigabit Ethernet network. Tellabs solutions enable the company to support its existing network while migrating to Ethernet services on one system. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Sierra Telephone already uses the Tellabs integrated network manager to manage all Tellabs products in the network, including the Tellabs 8800 MSR series, the Tellabs 5500 Digital Cross-Connect System, Tellabs 5320L Digital Cross-Connect System and the Tellabs 1000 Multiservice Access Platform.

GeoEye Delivers High-Res Color Satellite Imagery to Google


has started delivering high-resolution, color satellite imagery from its newest satellite to Google. The GeoEye-1 satellite images that are being highlighted by Google were all taken within the last 60 days and include images of the Pyramids of Giza, Mount Fuji, Sydney Australia, and many other recognizable locations.

The images were all taken from 423 miles in space as GeoEye-1 moved around the Earth at 17,000 miles per hour. The 4,300-pound GeoEye-1 satellite was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. on Sept. 6, 2008.

Hughes to Represent Satellite Industry Association on Broadband Stimulus Panel

Hughes Network Systems will represent the Satellite Industry Association (SIA) on a panel at the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) public meeting being held today at the U.S. Department of Commerce headquarters in Washington, D.C. BTOP was established by the recently-enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

"The satellite industry wholeheartedly supports the goals of the broadband stimulus program including providing and improving Internet access in unserved and underserved areas," said SIA President Patricia Cooper. "Satellite companies stand ready to delivery broadband to remote and rural communities, promoting economic growth and job creation."http://www.sia.org

China Mobile Reaches 457 Million Mobile Users, up 23.8% for 2008

China Mobile's annual turnover reached RMB 41.3 billion in 2008, up by 15.5% for 2008. Total subscribers exceeded 457 million, up by 23.8%. The net increase in new subscribers per month was over 7.3 million. As of 31 December 2008, the Group's total voice usage volume was 2,441.31 billion minutes and the average minutes of usage per user per month (MOU) was 492 minutes. Average revenue per user per month (ARPU) was RMB 83.

Due partly to the positive impact of change in PRC enterprise income tax rate, profit attributable to shareholders reached RMB 112,793 million -- rose 29.6 percent. year-on-year. Margin of profit attributable to shareholders reached a relatively high level of 27.4 percent.. EBITDA reached RMB 216,487 million, up 11.6 percent., with a margin of 52.5 percent.. Basic earnings per share reached RMB 5.63, up 29.4 percent. year-on-year.

In 2009, having taken into consideration various relevant factors such as the Company's overall financial condition, cash flow generating capability and sustainable future development, China Mobile anticipates a dividend payout ratio for the full year of 2009 to be 43 percent..

Looking into the future, China Mobile believes the impact of the global financial crisis will continue to be felt but that the Chinese government policies will have positive impact on the demand for telecommunications and information services, while the active promotion of homegrown innovation will help its development. China Mobile also face new challenges. The increasing penetration rate of mobile telecommunications, the restructuring of the telecommunications industry and the issuing of 3G licenses will change the industry structure and competitive landscape. The company vowed to adopt an innovative approach towards integrating its networks and fully utilizing 2G network resources while ensuring a smooth upgrade for subscribers to 3G.

In addition, China Mobile will leverage its influence and market leading position to proactively push the development and maturity of the TD-SCDMA industry while researching LTE.

AT&T: Cyber-Crime Exceeds Drug Trafficking as the Most Lucrative Illegal Global Business

According to the FBI, revenues from cyber-crime, for the first time ever, exceeded drug trafficking as the most lucrative illegal global business, estimated at reaping more than $1 trillion annually in illicit profits.

AT&T Chief Security Officer Edward Amoroso told a Senate Commerce Committee that cyber-security threats have increased significantly over the past five years, and are evolving to the point where they pose a significant threat to both private and government institutions.

Testifying before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Amoroso said, "Evolving and more lethal types of cyber-attacks can devastate infrastructure. It has become so easy and rampant that the risk has grown exponentially. The result is a laser-like cyber-attack on an unsuspecting business or government system."

Amoroso recommended three actions to address the growing cyber threat to the U.S.

  • The federal government procurement process needs to be upgraded to implement sufficient security protections to deal with large-scale cyber-attacks.

  • More international partnership and cooperation is required during a cyber-attack.

  • Endorse several National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC) recommendations to improve public and private sector communications to better thwart cyber-attacks.

VoiceNetworkx Plans 3.65 GHz WiMAX in Southern California

VoiceNetworkx has begun the FCC registration process for 3.65 GHz WiMAX base stations in anticipation of deployment in Southern California. Specifically, VoiceNetworkx has initiated FCC registration for 12 base stations in Southern California in anticipation of WiMAX deployment planned for 2009. The company said it is leveraging its current VoIP competencies and network in order to capitalize on the FCC's decision to use a non-exclusive shared use licensing scheme for the 3.65 GHz band.