Thursday, November 19, 2009

Motorola Acquires RadioFrame Networks' iDEN Business

Motorola has acquired RadioFrame Networks' iDEN business for an undisclosed sum. RadioFrame is a provider of lower cost, power efficient iDEN technology.

Motorola said its proprietary iDEN solution has proven to be an enduring cellular technology due to its innovative and differentiated end-user fast dispatch service and enterprise optimized talk-groups. Radio Frame's iDEN products will further enhance Motorola's portfolio for multi-channel base stations optimized to support non-contiguous spectrum allocations in the special mobile radio (SMR) business that are especially common outside North America.

For Motorola's iDEN customers, Radio Frame's base stations can flexibly manage non-contiguous spectrum channels, and its technology offers a lower cost architecture with a highly efficient use of power amplifiers, a smaller physical footprint and more flexibility in site management. Radio Frame's iDEN technology also offers lower power consumption, lowering operating expenses.

Calix Networks Files for IPO

Calix Networks filed SEC papers for a proposed initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "CALX." The company, which is based in Petaluma, California, began shipping its first multiservice access products in December 2001. A company prospectus is posted online

NSN Confirms That it Did Not Win Nortel Auction

Nokia Siemens Networks confirmed that it did not submit the highest bid in the auction for Nortel's optical networking and carrier Ethernet assets. NSN said that it believes that its final offer represented fair value for the assets, and further bidding could not be financially justified. Financial terms of its bid were not stated.

Ciena, which in October had submitted at a bid of $521 million for the Nortel assets, is believed to have raised its offer on Friday in response to the NSN bid.

Cisco Offers iPhone App for Security Intelligence

Cisco released an iPhone application providing access to Cisco Security Intelligence Operations (SIO), providing administrators with data on threats that could impact their network. Powered by the Cisco Security IntelliShield Alert Manager Service, the new Cisco SIO To Go iPhone application informs, protects and enables users to respond in real time to alerts and threats to the network. The application delivers early warning intelligence, threat vulnerability and proven Cisco mitigation solutions to users' iPhones as they occur. It also provides unique IP and URL address e-mail and Web reputation look-up powered by the Cisco IronPor® SenderBase Security Network and the Cisco SIO. Alerts delivered include:

  • Cisco Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) Alerts

  • Cisco Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) Signatures

  • Cisco Applied Mitigation Bulletins

  • Cisco Threat Outbreak Alerts.

eBay Completes Sale of Skype to Private Investors

eBay completed the previously announced sale of Skype to a private investment group led by Silverlake partners and which included Joltid Limited, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Andreessen Horowitz. The deal valued Skype at $2.75 billion. eBay retains a 30% stake in Skype.

eBay received approximately $1.9 billion in cash and a note from the buyer in the principal amount of $125 million.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Telstra Completes DOCSIS 3 Upgrade in Melbourne

Telstra has completed the upgrade of its hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) network in Melbourne. From 1 December nearly one million Melbourne homes will benefit from the upgrade to the cable network. The network download capacity increases to up to 100Mbps and the upload capacity to up to 2Mbps.

Telstra also revealed a new television set top box incorporating two digital television tuners. This provides the ability to view and record free to air television programs up to seven days in advance, the ability to pause and rewind live television and seamlessly integrates access to BigPond internet content such as BigPond TV channels and the BigPond Movies download rental service.

In addition, Telstra announced that its Velocity fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network has been upgraded to offer a network download capacity of up to 100Mbps into the home for sharing across multiple users within the household.

GSMA and World Bank Partner on Renewable Energy Base Station Market

The GSMA is working with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, to support mobile operators in exploring the use of renewable energy base stations as a means of optimizing capital and operating expenditures.

The goal is to assist mobile operators in developing markets to deploy large scale renewable energy powered networks. Specifically, the IFC plans to identify and pursue green power investments that expand the mobile industry's use of renewable energy powered networks in developing countries. IFC will act independently as an anchored investor, offering developing country mobile operators a variety of financial instruments.

"We have estimated that mobile operators across the developing world will incur a US$14.6 billion diesel bill from powering off-grid base stations by 2012," said Rob Conway, CEO and Member of the Board, GSMA. "Working together with IFC, we hope to address this by helping mobile operators to expand network coverage into remote regions, deploy renewable energy base stations, reduce their energy costs and minimize impact on the environment."

BT Builds MPLS VPN for Italy's Roberto Cavalli Group

BT Global Services announced a three-year contract to provide a global MPLS VPN for the Roberto Cavalli Group, one of Italy's most prestigious fashion brands. The agreement includes the construction, deployment and management of a full IP convergence network supplying fixed line services and VoIP. The new network will link the Group headquarters in Florence with other Italian offices and subsidiaries via a fully redundant broadband infrastructure.

picoChip Secures $20 Million for Femtocell Silicon

picoChip, a start-up based in Bath, UK, secured $20 million in new venture funding for its femtocell silicon products.

picoChip's femtocell solutions cover all the major 3G standards (WCDMA/HSPA+, TD-SCDMA and cdma2000/EvDO), as well as 2G (GSM/GPRS/EDGE) and LTE.

Announced customers include Alpha Networks, AT4 Wireless, Airspan (partnered with Fujitsu), Intel, ip.Access, Ubiquisys (supplying NEC and Motorola), Willtek, Xinwei Telecom, Zyxel and a number of other major OEMs and ODMs.

picoChip's investors include financial investors, Atlas Venture, Highland Capital Partners, Pond Venture Partners, Scottish Equity Partners, and Rothschild plus strategic investors AT&T, Intel and Samsung.

NSN Demos TD-LTE with China Mobile

At this week's GSMA Mobile Asia Congress in Hong Kong, Nokia Siemens Networks and China Mobile jointly demonstrated a TD-LTE femtocell. The demonstration showed a live streaming video downlink application achieving throughputs which exceed the typical xDSL speed currently possible via residential broadband connections.

"Successful TD-LTE commercial deployments warrant efficient, seamless and uniform coverage" said Tommi Uitto, Head of Wireless Access Product Management at Nokia Siemens Networks. "That's why it is imperative to think beyond macro deployments to quality of coverage inside homes and offices. While we have proven that we are ready for large scale outdoor TD-LTE deployments as early as 2010, our femtocell solution takes care of maintaining superior coverage indoors."

Ericsson Pushes EDGE Evolution to 1 Mbps

Ericsson published a whitepaper recommending EDGE Evolution technology as an inexpensive means of delivering mobile data services over existing GSM networks at rates of up to 1 Mbps. The solution adds 3G-like capabilities to GSM, more than doubling end-user bit-rates and reduces latency significantly. Ericsson is the first vendor to offer EDGE Evolution capabilities.

Currently, EDGE offers user bit rates up to 250kbps, with end-to-end latency of less than 150ms. The company said EDGE Evolution can deliver peak bit rates of up to 1 Mbps and typical bit rates of 400kbps. These higher average and peak bit-rates are achieved through more advanced modulation, more efficient channel coding and an increased symbol rate. Round-trip latency is reduced to less than 80ms and spectrum efficiency is more than doubled. Latency and perceived delay are improved through reduced Transmission Time Interval (TTI) and additional protocol enhancements.

EDGE Evolution can be gradually introduced as software upgrades, taking advantage of the huge GSM installed base. The technology encompasses a number of enhancements that were included in Release 7 of the 3GPP standard.

Ericsson said it appears likely that existing GSM networks will remain in operation till 2020 and as such it makes business sense to continue to improve them.

Ulf Ewaldsson, Vice President and Head of Product Area Radio at Ericsson, says: "We are proud to be the world's first vendor with a commercially available EDGE Evolution solution. This is mobile broadband performance with low entry barriers. With this technology operators can address a potential market of 4 billion GSM users and provide cost-effective mobile broadband anywhere - including countries where 3G licenses have not yet been granted.

Aruba's Revenue Rises 8% Sequentially

Aruba Networks reported quarterly revenue of $57.6 million, an increase of approximately 10% over the $52.4 million for the same period last year and up 8% over the preceding quarter. In the fiscal quarter, the company had a $19.75 million litigation settlement expense. Including this cost, GAAP net loss was $24.7 million, or $0.28 per share, compared to a net loss of $6.4 million, or $0.08 per share, in the same period last year.

"We are pleased to report record revenues and both sequential and year-over-year revenue growth," said Dominic Orr, president and chief executive officer of Aruba. "Demand was robust across both our core verticals and the broader enterprise. We believe that we are continuing to gain market share, and expect to see further traction for our 802.11n products as a result of the recent introduction of our new value-priced, high-performance AP-105 802.11n Access Point. "

Alcatel-Lucent Completes LTE Data Call in 800 MHz "European Digital Dividend" Band

Alcatel-Lucent completed the first LTE data call on the 800 MHz "European Digital Dividend" (EDD) spectrum band in a live network. The call was completed in October at Alcatel-Lucent's 4G/LTE end-to-end solutions center in Stuttgart, Germany, and involved transmitting HD video streaming over the air using Alcatel-Lucent's commercial infrastructure platforms and prototype mobile devices.

For several months Alcatel-Lucent has been testing 4G/LTE mobile services on the 2.6GHz spectrum band at its Stuttgart facility. These tests have achieved data rates of up to 60 Mbps in the 10 MHz spectrum and very short round-trip delay, or "latency" times.

Alcatel-Lucent said this latest achievement of an EDD call in a live LTE network marks a milestone for the introduction of LTE in the European market. The company plans to be ready to provide mobile operators with a commercial solution as soon as regulatory decisions on EDD are made. In Germany, for instance, a frequency auction including the 800 MHz spectrum band is expected to take place in the 2nd quarter of 2010. The 800 MHz spectrum is particularly well suited to bringing mobile broadband Internet services to rural areas.

"This is a major breakthrough on our path to become the first vendor to offer a commercial solution for the 'Digital Dividend` spectrum", said Ken Wirth, President of Alcatel-Lucent's LTE/4G Solutions. "Our goal is to quickly and effectively support operators in their plans to further enhance the availability of broadband services all over the region, so we adapted our LTE solution to the 800 MHz frequency band quite early on and we are now working with customers on field trials."

Deploying LTE at 800MHz has a clear benefit for operators which can require fewer sites to cover rural areas, thus reducing overall environmental impact. 800 MHz spectrum LTE deployment could be an ideal complement to a 2.6GHz spectrum LTE deployment where smaller cells are required, in a dense urban environment for example. Alcatel-Lucent has live 2.6GHz LTE networks in Stuttgart and Velizy in France and its 2.6GHz radio modules are CE marked, clearing the way for shipment of 2.6GHz LTE base stations in the European Economic Area (EEA).

CA Completes NetQoS Acquisition

CA completed its $200 million acquisition of NetQoS, a provider of network performance management and service delivery management solutions.

Initially, NetQoS will operate as an independent entity within CA. CA plans to continue to make the NetQoS portfolio available as stand-alone products. CA also plans to proactively extend its leadership position in network and systems management, application performance management, and cloud management by offering the NetQoS products as integrated components of these solutions.

"NetQoS enhances CA's ability to help enterprise IT organizations and service providers deliver reliable, flexible, and cost-effective IT and business services," said Ajei Gopal, executive vice president of CA's Products and Technology Group. "We can now offer customers the ability to deliver service-centric insight into network, systems and application performance, across physical, virtual and cloud environments, with no visibility gaps."

Deutsche Telekom Seeks Merger of T-Home and T-Mobile in Germany

Deutsche Telekom has asked its shareholders to approve the merger of its T-Home and T-Mobile division in Germany into a single company in order to increase their competitiveness.

"Now is the right time to merge our mobile and fixed-network business. Two healthy, competitive business areas will become even stronger by joining forces," said Chairman of the Board of Management René Obermann. This is the Group's response to the challenges facing the industry. This will put Deutsche Telekom in a better position to offer integrated solutions and services for fixed network and mobile communications from a single source. The Group is also continuing to focus on efficient planning and the simplification of systems and wholesale products.

"On the one hand, customers with fixed-network and mobile contracts with Deutsche Telekom are considerably more loyal. On the other hand, just one in five of our 29 million customer households currently has a fixed-network and a mobile contract with Deutsche Telekom. If we were to persuade just one percent of the remaining customers to sign up for a second contract, our revenue could increase by up to EUR 100 million per year."

Intel to Build European Exascale Computing Research Center

Intel announced a multi-million Euro investment to build a European Exascale Computing Research Center in partnership with Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique, Grand Equipement National de Calcul Intensif and Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.

The term "exascale" refers to computers that are able to process 1018 instructions per second -- roughly one thousand times faster than today's fastest supercomputer.

The research agenda of the Exascale Computing Research Center will include integrating multi petaFLOPS systems, developing advanced performance optimization techniques, and collaborating with end users to optimize supercomputer performance in areas such as energy, seismology, computational fluid dynamics and health care.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

FCC Identifies National Broadband Challenges

The FCC published a list of gaps in the nation's policies, programs and practices that must be filled before America can take advantage of the technological advantages that universal adoption and deployment of affordable, robust broadband can bring. These gaps range across all elements of the broadband ecosystem, including networks, applications, devices, and end-user adoption.

Key gaps identified by the task force include:

Federal Universal Service Fund (USF) Structure: Doesn't support broadband deployment and adoption despite over $7 billion spent to subsidize telecommunications annually

1. The majority of USF funding supports affordable phone service, not broadband.

2. The four USF programs -- high-cost support for rural phone service, support for advanced services in schools and libraries, support for phone service to low-income
families, and rural health care support -- are not coordinated to maximize deployment opportunities to fill broadband gaps.

3. High-cost funding mechanism rewards inefficiency and funds is not determined by broadband needs.

4. An unsustainable funding mechanism and increased demands for support have doubled the amount paid by consumers since 2000.

5. Accountability is limited for use of high-cost fund for broadband support.

Broadband Adoption Gap: Increases the cost of digital exclusion to society

1. Broadband adoption levels vary widely across demographic groups.

2. Nearly 90 percent of families with incomes of $100,000 or more subscribe to broadband services, compared to 35 percent with incomes of $20,000 or less.

3. Rural households are less likely to subscribe than urban households.

4. Only 40 percent of Hispanic households subscribe, followed by 46 percent of African-American households, while 65 percent of white households subscribe.

Consumer Information Gap: Undermines competition, innovation, and choice

1. Consumers lack information about actual performance of their broadband service compared to the advertised speeds.

2. Consumers can't accurately compare performance of competing service.

3. Application providers lack knowledge of network performance, dampening innovation.

Spectrum Gap: Frustrates mobile broadband growth

1. Smartphone sales are expected to overtake standard mobile phones by 2011.

2. Smart phone subscriptions have increased by 690 percent since 1998, while over-the-air TV viewership decreased by 56 percent.

3. Identifying available spectrum, reallocating it, and assigning it is often a long, multiyear process.

4. Spectrum is also critical for public safety, telemedicine, smart grid, civic engagement applications.

Deployment Gap: High costs can limit broadband deployment

1. "Middle Mile" costs for transit and transport of Internet traffic can cost rural providers up to $150 per subscriber annually, almost three times as much as network operations, and can be a serious barrier to rural broadband.

2. The lack of efficient coordination when digging trenches for fiber and other expensive infrastructure costs dramatically increases the cost of deployment.

3. Other outside plant costs, including pole attachments, also drive deployment gap.

4. Deployment gaps for access to advanced, high-speed broadband occur in the small business market marketplace, in rural areas, and to consumers in many residential neighborhoods across the nation.

Television Set-Top Box Innovation Gap: Hinders convergence, utilization, and adoption

1. The convergence of video, TV and Internet Protocol-based technology is creating a new broadband medium that could drive adoption and utilization.

2. Lack of devices is a major barrier for adoption -- 99 percent of U.S. households have a TV versus 76 percent with PCs.

3. Retail navigation device and set--top-box market competition has not emerged, limiting innovation.

Personal Data Gap: Users need to control their own information

1. Personal data is increasingly digitized and moving to the Internet "cloud."

2. Users have little control over their personal information.

3. Ensuring privacy and security will enable a new generation of applications, and improve top national priorities that would benefit by secure but accessible personnel

The task force developed the list of challenges from data gathered in a series of nearly 40 workshops and field hearings, from over 10,000 comments on the National Broadband Plan
Notice of Inquiry and 15 public notices, and in the analysis of existing studies and data.

FCC Sets 90 to 150 Day Review Limit for Tower Applications

FCC has set new timeframes of 90 days for collocations and 150 days for all other tower siting applications reviewed by state and local governments.

The FCC said its action is aimed at speeding the deployment of next generation wireless networks while respecting the legitimate concerns of local authorities and preserving local control over zoning and land use policies.

Congress specifically requires that state and local authorities act "within a reasonable period of time" on requests for tower siting.

While most state and local jurisdictions currently process tower siting applications in a timely fashion, the FCC found that there are many instances of unnecessary delays. In order to
ensure a timely review of these applications and to prevent unnecessary delay, the FCC interprets a "reasonable period of time" as 90 days for collocations and 150 days for all other towers. If a jurisdiction "fails to act" on the application within this reasonable time period, applicants may file a claim for relief in court within 30 days of the failure to act. The court will then decide what action to take based on all the facts of the case.