Sunday, October 4, 2009

Anite and LG Electronics Verify the First LTE Conformance Test Cases

Anite and LG Electronics (LG) announced the successful verification of the industry's first LTE protocol conformance test cases. The results are being released to the members of the 3GPP standards body.

LG uses Anite's LTE solution - which provides a suite of development tools for UE designers - to develop their devices in advance of LTE networks being available, ensuring these meet the industry's rigorous certification requirements during the earliest stages of their development cycle.

The new tests build upon Anite's comprehensive portfolio for all leading 3GPP protocol technologies from GSM through EDGE and WCDMA to the latest HSPA+ standards.

Vonage Offers VoIP Calling Application for Smartphones

Vonage launched its first mobile calling application for smartphones. Vonage Mobile is a free downloadable application (app) that provides seamless, low-cost international calling while on Wi-Fi or cellular networks. Vonage Mobile will be available for download on the iPhone, BlackBerry and iPod touch.

Peraso Secures $10M (CDN) for Multi-gigabit 60 GHz Transceivers

Peraso Technologies, a start-up based in Toronto, secured $10 million (CDN) in Series A funding for its development of multi-gigabit mmWave transceivers.

The investment group is comprised of leading Canadian VC's, including Celtic House Venture Partners, iNovia Capital and VentureLink Funds. The financing will be used to develop and commercialize mmWave integrated circuits (ICs).

Peraso said its forthcoming 60 GHz transceivers will be characterized by low power consumption, small footprint and optimal system implementation.

Verizon Wireless Advances its LTE Innovation Lab

Verizon Wireless announced the opening of the lab at its LTE Innovation Center. At its virtual home (, device developers can get information about:

  • The Verizon Wireless LTE Innovation Center's mission, goals and lab

  • Services available through the Center, such as business development opportunities, user experience testing and product design assistance

  • the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network

  • interacting with Verizon Wireless' other programs, such as the Verizon Developer Community and open development program

The company previously announced that the physical LTE Innovation Center - comprised of the lab and experience center - will be located in the Boston suburb of Waltham, Mass. The experience center of the LTE Innovation Center is anticipated to open in the first half of 2010.

In addition to designing and testing products in a functional LTE lab environment, participants in the Verizon Wireless LTE Innovation Center will have the support of the wireless leader's resources to enable matchmaking with various players in the ecosystem, obtain technical expertise on device-network integration and ensure a best-in-class user experience.

Verizon Wireless Launches 4G Venture Forum

Verizon Wireless is launching a 4G Venture Forum (4GVF) to bring together financial investment, product incubation and market validation for products and services that will harness 4G networks.

The 4GVF is a collaboration of Verizon Wireless, Alcatel-Lucent Ventures, Charles River Partners, New Venture Partners, North Bridge Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) and Redpoint Ventures. The Forum is also backed by both Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson, the primary network infrastructure providers for Verizon Wireless' upcoming LTE network.

To support the initiative, Verizon Wireless, Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson will contribute expertise in building advanced wireless networks and provide programmatic input critical to concept success.

In addition, the companies noted that the 4GVF may support and fund 4G advancements regardless of underlying network technology. Funded entities will not be contractually obligated to work with Verizon Wireless and are not precluded from working with other wireless service providers.

IBM Offers Cloud Email Service for $3 per User per Month

IBM officially launched its LotusLive iNotes, a new email service that competes with Google's Gmail.

The IBM service, which is positioned for mainstream business users, offers pricing starting at $3 per user, per month.

LotusLive iNotes is designed for companies that want to confidently move some or all of their email to the cloud. IBM said its model can accommodate gradual or dramatic migrations to the cloud, while also supporting a client's existing on-premise collaboration system.

CopperGate Unveils HomePlug AV Chipset

CopperGate Communications introduced its HomePlug AV CG2110 Chipset for the delivery of demanding video, audio, data, and voice applications over powerlines.

The CopperGate HomePlug AV CG2110 Chipset supports up to a 200 Mbps physical layer (PHY) bit rate, and up to 110 Mbps effective throughput. The chipset is optimized to stream high and standard definition TV (HDTV and SDTV), VoIP, and other applications that are highly time-sensitive and require low latency. The chipset contains an integrated HomePlug AV media access control (MAC) and PHY transceiver that interfaces with an external integrated analog front end (AFE). It implements OFDM, channel adaptation, FEC, and noise mitigation schemes and is fully compliant with the HomePlug AV 1.1 specification and coexists with HomePlug 1.0.

WSJ: Brocade Up for Sale

Brocade Communications Systems is quietly searching for a buyer, according to The Wall Street Journal. The article did not cite any company sources but said prospective buyers might include companies such as HP or Oracle. Brocade did not comment on the report.

Adobe Pushes Flash Player for Mobile Devices and Smartphones

Adobe Systems unveiled its Adobe Flash Player 10.1 software for smartphones, smartbooks, netbooks, PCs and other Internet-connected devices.

The browser-based runtime leverages Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) for accelerated video and graphics while conserving battery life and minimizing resource utilization. New mobile-ready features that take advantage of native device capabilities include support for multi-touch, gestures, mobile input models, accelerometer and screen orientation. Flash Player 10.1 will also take advantage of media delivery with HTTP streaming, including integration of content protection powered by Adobe Flash Access 2.0.

Specifically, Adobe is working with NVIDIA as part of the Open Screen Project to optimize and dramatically improve performance of Flash Player 10.1 by taking advantage of GPU video and graphics acceleration on a wide range of mobile Internet devices. Adobe is also working with Qualcomm as part of the Open Screen Project to optimize and dramatically increase performance for Adobe Flash Player 10.1 for Qualcomm's chipsets targeted at smartphones and smartbooks. In addition, Adobe and RIM announced a joint collaboration to bring Flash Player to Blackberry smartphones, and Google joined close to 50 other industry players in the Open Screen Project initiative.

A public developer beta of the browser-based runtime is expected to be available for Windows Mobile, Palm webOS and desktop operating systems including Windows, Macintosh and Linux later this year. Public betas for Google Android and Symbian OS are expected to be available in early 2010.

Extreme Cites Supply Chain Constraints in Latest Quarter

For its fiscal quarter ended September 27, 2009, Extreme Networks now expects net revenue of approximately $66 million.

"Our supply chain was constrained during the quarter, impacting our ability to deliver product, close transactions and recognize revenue. Our North America business was particularly soft, as some deals were lost and others were delayed beyond the end of the quarter," said Mark Canepa, president and CEO of Extreme Networks.

"I am disappointed that we did not execute to our advantage. However, on a positive note, we expect to report that backlog and deferred revenue increased by approximately $6 million and total cash increased approximately $3 million for the quarter. We and our Board of Directors are committed to addressing the issues that produced these results. I look forward to giving a complete update on our earning release conference call. Further, we are anticipating giving guidance for our second quarter on the call."

IBM Develops Telecom Analytics

IBM announced two analytical research projects that will help telecom service providers and e-retailers improve customer service and new-customer acquisitions.

IBM's Social Network Analysis technology, which is being developed by scientists at IBM Research - India, maps the social networks and calling patterns of telco subscribers. By sorting through the anonymous calling data, the technology is able to analyze people's social behavior. IBM believes this will enable service providers to improve the overall mobile telco experience.

IBM said that by mapping relationships between individuals, groups and organizations, service providers could better identify target markets and develop more effective customer retention programs. To preserve privacy, IBM's analytics does not capture the conversation held during telephone calls. Instead, the algorithms examine enormous amounts of existing quantitative data such as call duration, volume, and time of day, as well as frequency and points of origination.

IBM Customer Analyst technology, which is under development by IBM Research -- Haifa, Israel, focuses on better understanding Internet users -- particularly mobile telephone subscribers. The proof-of-concept technology employs sophisticated algorithms to create a detailed profile of existing and potential customers by analyzing purchasing and download habits. This can help carriers and retailers predict what products and services -- and what combinations of these offerings -- will appeal to particular consumers.

Verizon's Restructuring Combines Telecom and Business Groups

Verizon Communications announced a corporate restructuring that puts its two wireline business groups, Verizon Telecom and Verizon Business, into one organization called Verizon Wireline. The wireline and wireless organizations will continue to be fully supported by the Verizon Services Operations (VSO) shared resources group.

"Our focus is on simplifying our organization with the objective of increasing speed to market, accelerating our growth trajectory and quickly reducing our costs in the process," said Seidenberg. "This is a natural evolution of our business. Our first-class set of assets, strong balance sheet, and the momentum of our strategic growth areas give us a foundation on which to make changes that enhance the effectiveness of our structure to be more responsive to rapidly changing markets."

Earlier this year, Verizon's Chief Operating Officer Dennis Strigl announced his intention to retire. He will not be replaced. Instead, the two customer-facing business groups will report directly to Seidenberg, as do Verizon's shared services operation, chief information officer, chief technology officer and corporate staff functions.

In the new organization, the following changes are effective immediately:

  • Lowell McAdam, president and CEO of Verizon Wireless, continues in that role, reporting to Seidenberg. McAdam is responsible for Verizon's wireless operations, with more than 87 million customers.

  • Daniel Mead, who was president of Verizon Telecom, becomes chief operating officer of Verizon Wireless, replacing Jack Plating, who announced his retirement on Oct. 2 after 34 years in the communications industry. Mead will report to McAdam.

  • John Stratton, who was chief marketing officer for Verizon, is now chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless, also reporting to McAdam. Stratton is responsible for all marketing initiatives and execution for mobile products and services. The Verizon chief marketing officer position is eliminated, and the centralized marketing functions will be integrated into the business groups.

  • Fran Shammo, who was president of Verizon Business, has been named president of Verizon's realigned wireline operations, reporting to Seidenberg. These operations encompass Verizon Telecom, Verizon Business and Verizon Partner Solutions, serving wholesale customers.

    Executives continuing in their current roles but now reporting to Seidenberg are:

  • Virginia Ruesterholz, president of VSO, who is responsible for providing the externally facing business groups with financial, real estate, and global sourcing capabilities that improve the groups' efficiencies, as well as managing Verizon's wireline networks.

  • Richard Lynch, Verizon chief technology officer, who is responsible for ensuring Verizon remains in the forefront of network architecture for all its markets, and for establishing and managing the overall direction, technology and planning of Verizon's networks.

  • Shaygan Kheradpir, Verizon chief information officer, who is responsible for ensuring Verizon remains on the leading edge of information technology (IT) initiatives, and for establishing and managing Verizon's overall IT architecture, platforms and strategies.

Ciena Seeks to Acquire Nortel's Metro Ethernet Business

Ciena confirmed that it is in advanced discussions to acquire substantially all of the optical networking and carrier Ethernet assets of Nortel's Metro Ethernet Networks (MEN) business. Financial terms were not disclosed. Ciena said the outcome of these discussions is uncertain and subject to negotiation of definitive agreements.

Devicescape Aggregates Global, Free Wi-Fi Network

Devicescape announced the fourth generation of its Easy Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity solution, providing device manufacturers with a way to incorporate access to global network of free Wi-Fi hotspots into their products.

The Easy Wi-Fi Network provides an easy-to-use hotspot location finder, enabling users to quickly find the nearest free Wi-Fi access point. The addition of a seamless Wi-Fi access service and a mapping enables device manufacturers to ship products with lifetime worldwide hotspot access.

The company said this paves the way for a new range of devices -- such as e-book readers or wireless-enabled digital cameras, to gain Internet backhaul capability without the device manufacturer needing to negotiate a mobile data access deal with a service providers. Devicescape aggregates data on a worldwide network of hotspots into its client, which is licensed to the device manufacturer. Key features of Easy Wi-Fi are:

Location finder capability: This enables a device to display nearby, accessible hotspots to the user. Easy Wi-Fi also equips the device with a "Soft-GPS", which derives the device's location using Wi-Fi, without the need for GPS hardware.

Connecting: Easy Wi-Fi enables automated login to hotspots without the need for complex and tedious user intervention, such as typing a username and password in a browser. Easy Wi-Fi also supports thousands of additional hotspot networks, allowing the user to personalize and extend their Wi-Fi coverage beyond the Easy Wi-Fi Network.

Access: Easy Wi-Fi provides access to the world's largest high-quality Wi-Fi hotspot network. At time of announcement, the Easy Wi-Fi Network consists of over 100,000 locations and is growing by several thousand new locations every month. The service ensures high-quality through continuous monitoring and validation of the network.

"Rather than worrying about the Wi-Fi access challenge, Device manufacturers can focus on product differentiation and new device services such as downloading new games, uploading photos or streaming video," said Dave Fraser, CEO of Devicescape. "Imagine all the new mobile electronics - netbooks, media players, mass market phones, digital cameras, e-book readers -- shipping with free Wi-Fi access."

Devicescape Easy Wi-Fi 4.0 featuring the Easy Wi-Fi Network is available immediately. Consumer downloadable applications for evaluation and non-commercial use will be available on October 20th for iPhone OS, Nokia S60, and other popular platforms.

Zain Bahrain Signs LTE Contract with NSN

Zain Bahrain has selected Nokia Siemens Networks to modernize its radio and core network as well as the prepaid charging system. This begins the transition to a flat, all-IP network supporting Internet High Speed Packet Access (I-HSPA) and Long Term Evolution (LTE). Financial terms were not disclosed.

Under the contract, Nokia Siemens Networks will replace the existing legacy core network with the latest Mobile Softswitching (MSS) solution. In addition, charging system will be upgraded to the Nokia Siemens Networks prepaid solution, based on charge@once select. NSN's Flexi Multiradio Base Stations are capable of supporting WCDMA, HSPA/HSPA+ and LTE via a software upgrade. Zain Bahrain will be in a position to launch I-HSPA functionality within the year. In addition, Nokia Siemens Networks will deploy a full end-to-end offering for LTE, providing LTE radio, Evolved Packet Core for LTE, subscriber data management, network management and services.

Motorola Demos 2.6GHz TD-LTE

Motorola has deployed a Time Division Duplex Long-Term Evolution (TD-LTE) network in the streets of Geneva to support China Mobile Communications Corporation's (CMCC) presence at ITU Telecom World 2009.

During Motorola's Home and Networks Mobility TD-LTE drive tour, visitors will ride in Motorola's LTE van to experience the real-life performance of TD-LTE, including mobility and hand-over and a number of demanding applications.

The drive tour showcases Motorola's second-generation Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM)-based products and a set of core networks running the latest specifications software and related application servers. Within the van, a TD-LTE device will receive and transmit the Over-the-Air (OTA) data including HD video from and to the application servers and high-speed data from and to the application servers and high-speed data from and to the Internet. Motorola's TD-LTE solution is comprised of second-generation OFDM-based products, which include:

  • A Base Controller Unit (BCU2) that supports TD-LTE, FDD-LTE and WiMAX

  • A Remote Radio Unit (RRU) that supports both WiMAX and LTE.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

FCC Seeks Comments on National Broadband Clearinghouse

The FCC is seeking public comment on whether it should develop a national "Broadband Clearinghouse" of best practices across the industry. The aim of the broadband clearinghouse would be to "reduce information barriers for municipalities, agencies, businesses, and non-profits that want insights into more effectively utilizing broadband infrastructure, or into broadband deployment or adoption projects". Specifically, the FCC asks:

Should the federal government, through either the Federal Communications Commission, or through another governmental entity, initiate or create a national broadband
clearinghouse of best practices? If the federal government should not create such a clearinghouse, should a non-governmental entity create one?

Comments are due by November 16, 2009.

DOCOMO, NEC, Panasonic Mobile and Fujitsu Develop LTE Chipset

NTT DOCOMO, NEC Corporation, Panasonic Mobile Communications and Fujitsu are jointly developing an LTE-PF mobile-terminal chipset for super-fast downlinks above 100 Mbps and uplinks above 50 Mbps. The four companies have completed the first engineering sample and are now evaluating its main functions. The sample will be exhibited at the NTT Group stand at ITU Telecom World 2009 in Geneva this week.

LTE-PF is a core system comprising software for baseband processing and other basic functions in mobile communication devices. The platform's technology is expected to be licensed in mobile phone markets worldwide, where its adoption as a common platform will free manufacturers of mobile phones and chipsets from having to develop proprietary technologies for basic functions. The companies said their LTE-PF design will be capable of seamless hand-over between LTE and 3G (W-CDMA and GSM).

Telstra Activates its 100th ADSL2+ exchange in Tasmania

Telstra has upgraded its 100th telephone exchange in Tasmania to ADSL2+, extending the ADSL2+ coverage footprint to 88 percent of Tasmanian homes and businesses. The network offers downlink speeds of up to 20 Mbps depending on the customer's distance from the nearest exchange.

Kyocera Develops Crystal Etalon Filter for WDM

Kyocera has developed a new Crystal Etalon Filter technology that prevents dense wavelengths of light from interfering with each other by sensing deviations between multiple wavelengths. The new product, which was created by Kyocera Kinseki, is able to assign arbitrary figures as a wavelength temperature coefficient ranging from 5.4 to 15.7pm/˚C. The company says this enables more flexibility in designing tunable laser modules, while contributing to higher precision, and better wavelength stability and reliability.