Thursday, March 25, 2010

FCC Approves Transfer of SkyTerra to HCP

The FCC approved the transfer of control of SkyTerra to Harbinger Capital Partners. SkyTerra is building two new satellites for a next generation ancillary terrestrial network, which will offer ubiquitous mobile + satellite communications across North America for public safety, homeland security, aviation, transportation and entertainment. Dual-Mode handsets would work on both 700 MHz public safety terrestrial networks and on satellites when terrestrial networks are unavailable or inaccessible. The first of two SkyTerra next-generation satellites is planned for launch this year.

Harbinger said it plans to use SkyTerra's spectrum in concert with its other investments in radio frequencies to implement an open next generation terrestrial network and mobile satellite system. The new network could lead to increased competition in mobile broadband services, a goal supported by the FCC's newly released National Broadband Plan.

Philip Falcone, Chief Executive Officer of HCP said that, "The FCC's broadband policies have given us the confidence to make a series of investments that will bring new competition and innovation to all Americans. This announcement by the FCC sets the stage for the launch of our business plan whose objective is nothing less than to revolutionize how Americans use and experience wireless communications in the 21st century."

On a separate item, the FCC's International Bureau also granted SkyTerra's application for a modification of certain terms of its ancillary terrestrial component (ATC) authorization. This approval allows SkyTerra to implement its Cooperative Agreement with Inmarsat and deploy a robust terrestrial mobile broadband network, which will be integrated with SkyTerra's satellite network.

Nokia to Acquire Novarra for Mobile Browser and Services Platform

Nokia agreed to acquire 100% of the outstanding shares of Novarra, a privately-held company based in Chicago that offers a mobile browser and service platform. Novarra has more than 100 employees.

Nokia expects a new service offering utilizing the Novarra technology platform to be available later this year.

"Connecting the next billion consumers to the Internet will happen primarily on mobile devices," said Niklas Savander, Executive Vice President, Services, Nokia, "and delivering an optimized internet experience on our devices is core to our mission. By driving innovation in all segments of our portfolio, we are building one of the largest consumer audiences for web services and content. Novarra's Internet services technology delivered on the world's most widely-used mobile platform, Nokia's Series 40, will help us achieve this."

IEEE to Support Serial 40 Gbps Ethernet Over Single Mode Fiber

The IEEE has begun work on a new amendment to the 802.3 Ethernet standard to enhance the 40 Gbps Ethernet physical layer (PHY) capabilities already under development in the IEEE P802.3ba 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps Ethernet project.

The project, which is known as IEEE P802.3bg, aims to provide multiple system operators and telecommunications operators with an IEEE 802.3 Ethernet 40 Gbps serial PHY that provides optical compatibility with existing carrier 40 Gbps client interfaces. It is sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society's Local and Metropolitan Area Networks Committee and will be developed by the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group.

"This project is to build upon the current IEEE P802.3ba 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps Ethernet project to create a new PHY for 40 Gbps Ethernet operation that is optimized for carrier networks," says David Law, Chair of the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group. "The ongoing liaison relationship between the IEEE 802.3 Working Group and ITU-T Study Group 15 will help to ensure interoperability between standards developed by the two organizations."

Cable & Wireless Splits into Two

Cable & Wireless Worldwide began trading as an independent company on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker CW. Cable&Wireless Worldwide provides managed voice, data and IP-based services and applications to large corporates, multinational companies, governments, carrier customers and resellers across the UK and around the globe. It operates an extensive fibre network across the UK, as well as a multiservice NGN with connectivity to 153 countries.

Cable & Wireless Communications also began trading as an independent company on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol CWC. Headquartered in London, Cable & Wireless Communications is composed of four operating units - the Caribbean, Panama, Macau and Monaco & Islands. It operates as a full-service telecommunications provider offering mobile, broadband, and domestic and international fixed line services, as well as enterprise and managed service solutions. As of September 2009, these operations (including subsidiaries and joint ventures) provided services to approximately 8.3 million mobile, 0.6 million broadband and 1.8 million fixed line customers.

The original Cable&Wireless traces its history to a number of British telegraph companies founded by Sir John Pender in the 1860s. In 1866, a Pender-led consortium laid the first submarine cable across the Atlantic Ocean. In subsequent years, submarine cables were laid from the United Kingdom throughout the British Empire. These operations were later merged with the Wireless Telegraph Company founded by Marconi in 1929 to form the Imperial and International Communications Company. During the Thatcher years, Cable&Wireless was one of the first privatizations.

AT&T to take $1 Billion Accounting Charge for Health Care

AT&T will take a non-cash charge of approximately $1 billion in the first quarter of 2010 to reflect the impact of the new health care legislation signed into law by President Obama. In an SEC filing, AT&T said the new legislation will result in an additional tax burden on the firm and therefore it is evaluating prospective changes to the active and retiree health care benefits offered by the company. AT&T currently has about 282,000 employees.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

ZTE Picks Qualcomm for CDMA2000 Femtocells

ZTE is working with Qualcomm on femtocell technology. The terms of the agreement allow ZTE to access Qualcomm's Femtocell Station Modem (FSM) chipset platform in order to develop CDMA2000 femtocell products.

Alcatel-Lucent names VP of its Services Business

Alcatel-Lucent has appointed Vivek Mohan as President of its Services business. He replaces Andy Williams who has left the company for another opportunity. Vivek will be based in India.

Mohan is currently Head of Alcatel-Lucent's business in India. Previously, he headed the Services organization for Alcatel-Lucent's South Asia region. Before India, Vivek worked in a variety of roles and locations in Alcatel-Lucent. He led the Asia Pacific Supply Chain operations for Lucent Technologies from Shanghai and supported global business restructuring for Lucent's Optical Networks Group (ONG) from Murray Hill, USA.

Sprint Awards Motorola iDen Services Contract for 5th Year

Motorola has been awarded its fifth consecutive annual contract by Sprint to provide Intelligent Optimization Service (IOS) for its iDEN network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Motorola's IOS includes expert resources, analytical tools and a proven optimization methodology for achieving efficient and measurable improvement results in network performance. Motorola's IOS utilizes data-reporting features generated by the network and subscribers as they use their phones. Motorola said its service virtually eliminates the need for manual resource intensive drive-testing.

Clearwire Picks Tellabs SmartCore 9100 for WiMAX in Spain

Clearwire will deploy the Tellabs SmartCore 9100 platform for its WiMAX network throughout Spain. Clearwire already uses the Tellabs 9100 SmartCore ASN Gateway (formerly the WiChorus SmartCore platform) in the United States. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Skype Mobile for Verizon Wireless Now Available

Verizon Wireless officially launched Skype mobile on its network. Initially available on nine Verizon Wireless 3G smartphones, Skype mobile uses the Verizon Wireless voice network for the wireless connection of the Skype-to-Skype calls, providing its users with a superior experience and top-notch call quality.

Qualcomm Raises Financial Guidance - Strength in Licensing and Chips

Qualcomm raised its financial guidance for the second fiscal quarter ending March 28, 2010.

Revenues are now estimated to be $2.55 to $2.65 billion compared to prior guidance range of $2.40 to $2.60 billion. Diluted earnings per share are estimated to be $0.56 to $0.58 pro forma, compared to a prior guidance range of $0.49 to $0.53.

CDMA-based Mobile Station Modem (MSM) shipments are estimated to be approximately 92 to 93 million units compared to our prior guidance range of 88 to 92 million units.

"We are very pleased with our stronger than expected performance this quarter with both the licensing and chipset businesses projecting higher revenues versus our prior guidance," said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm. "We now project earnings per share to be well above the high end of our prior guidance driven by strength in licensing revenues and favorable volume and product mix in our chipset business."http://www.qualcomm.comhttp://

Cisco Invests in Grid Net for SmartHomes

Cisco has made an equity investment in Grid Net, a San Francisco start-up developing Smart Grid and Smart Home software platforms for utilities, their partners and their customers.

The Grid Net platform is designed to integrate substation automation, distribution automation, smart meters, demand response, load management, and home automation capabilities to increase grid reliability, energy efficiency, renewable energy use, and customer satisfaction while reducing operating costs.

Grid Net said it intends to use the proceeds from this investment to promote its real-time, all-IP, secure, reliable, extensible, end-to-end Smart Grid network infrastructure solutions. In addition, the investment highlights the two companies' shared vision of creating an energy infrastructure for the 21st century that is built on open standards and helps utilities scale for more effective, efficient electricity transmission and distribution.

Grid Net's other investors include Braemar Energy Ventures, Catamount Ventures, GE Energy Financial Services and Intel Capital.

D-Link Chooses BroadLight's Chip for GPON Residential Gateways

D-Link has selected Broadlight's GPON Residential Gateway (RG) system-on-chip for a new line of high-performance CPE devices. D-Link is extending GPON technology into its product portfolios and has achieved high level of interoperability for the emerging GPON markets like Russia.

Qwest Requests $350 Million in Broadband Stimulus Funds for Rural Projects

Qwest Communications is seeking $350 million in broadband stimulus funding to extend broadband at speeds of 12 to 40 Mbps to rural communities throughout its local service region, which is comprised of 14 Midwestern and Western states.

In its application, Qwest proposes to build facilities to serve more than half a million homes, schools, businesses and hospitals that lack access to today's high-speed Internet capabilities. It plans to introduce the service at download speeds of 12 to 40 Mbps.
The total cost of the proposed deployment would be $467 million. Qwest is requesting a grant for $350 million from the Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP), which is administered by the Rural Utilities Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). When Congress enacted the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act last year, it directed the USDA to establish a program that would stimulate broadband deployment to hard-to-serve rural areas. The BIP provides 75 percent of the build-out costs. The remaining 25 percent, or $117 million, would be funded by Qwest.

"Much like the water and electric programs the government established to encourage rural development, federal grants are needed to enable the deployment of broadband to high-cost, unserved areas," said Steve Davis, senior vice president of Qwest Public Policy and Government Relations.

Fanfare Launches iTest App Store

Fanfare, which specializes in test automation solutions for service providers (SPs), network equipment manufacturers (NEMs), and enterprises, launched an "iTest App Store", featuring free iTest applications and test assets that can be leveraged by iTest users and testers. The iTest App Store adds new capabilities as well as eliminates the need to re-create test assets, increasing productivity and accelerating the overall time to market.

The iTest App Store is a new extension of the Fanfare Community, an online forum and learning center for testers and developers in the communications industry to share best practices and discuss challenges related to device and network testing. By leveraging the Fanfare Community across thousands of iTest customers and partners, the iTest App Store provides a number of add-on applications and test assets for users to access.

The iTest assets provide customers with a starting set of test assets, including test cases, response maps, and session profiles, that eliminate the need to re-create already-existing test assets. The results are quicker time to automation, enhanced productivity, and accelerated time to market.

The iTest App Store currently features assets for Cisco, Juniper Networks, Linux, and Spirent devices and includes contributions from Spirent. Additional content will be provided on a regular basis from Fanfare's customers and partners.

Andrew Offers SmartBeam Base Station Tool

Andrew Solutions introduced a SmartBeam base station antenna tool that helps wireless operators achieve load balancing across a cell site or even a whole network cluster of 3G, LTE and WiMAX cell sites.

SmartBeam offers three levels of base station antenna pattern adjustments -- beam tilting, panning, and fanning -- which can be conducted from a central office via Andrew's ANMS (Antenna Network Management System).

When used in combination, the three pattern adjustments enable wireless operators to re-distribute capacity across a network cluster of sites based on changing traffic patterns. The company said this process yields a significant improvement in capacity efficiency while delaying or preventing the expensive addition of new cell sites or radios. SmartBeam antennas can also enhance network quality by providing the capability to deliver stronger signal strength, minimized interference, reduced number of dropped calls, and higher data rates.

Andrew's SmartBeam works by utilizing "Next Generation Actuators" installed under the antenna radome, which enable the three pattern adjustments. Remote electrical tilt BSAs currently deployed in many wireless networks essentially perform vertical beam tilting. SmartBeam, however, adds the horizontal panning and beamwidth fanning that make the next generation of network optimization capabilities truly possible. Beamwidth fanning can result in antenna patterns narrowed or broadened from 35 to 105 degrees. Andrew currently offers seven SmartBeam base station antenna models with one, two or three pattern adjustment capabilities.

Trials of SmartBeam antennas are underway.

Skype for SIP Now Interoperable with AudioCodes' Mediant

The AudioCodes Mediant 1000 Multi-Service Business Gateway has been certified as interoperable with Skype for SIP. This will enables SMBs who are still using legacy TDM PBXs and Key-Systems to direct their outbound calls to mobile phones and landlines around the world through Skype. It will also allow them to receive inbound calls from Skype users.

Certification testing of Skype for SIP with the AudioCodes Mediant 1000 Multi-Service Business Gateway was conducted by tekVizion Labs, an independent test facility in Richardson, Texas, which specializes in IP communications interoperability testing.

Wavesat Samples its Odyssey 9010 WiMAX - LTE Chipset

Wavesat has begun sampling its Odyssey 9010 LTE chipset. Taiwan-based Alpha Networks has selected it for inclusion in a forthcoming line of USB dongles and other consumer broadband devices.

Wavesat's Odyssey 9010 supports to support multiple 4G technologies, including LTE and WiMAX, on the same silicon. The chipset supports up to 100 Mbps downlink and 50 Mbps uplink while offering a programmable architecture capable of easy adaptation to LTE's evolving requirements.

ADTRAN Enhances Mobile Backhaul with Modular Ethernet Solution

ADTRAN introduced its NetVanta 8044M modular Ethernet Access Gateway for mobile backhaul.

Combined with the ADTRAN Total Access 5000 Multi-Service Access and Aggregation Platform, the new NetVanta 8044M provides an end-to-end Ethernet access migration solution. The 1U-high platform delivers Ethernet, fiber, copper and bonded TDM services with a "pay-as-you-grow" business model supported by ADTRAN's Ethernet Quality of Service capabilities. At the cell site, the NetVanta 8044M delivers intelligent Ethernet and legacy TDM services, seamlessly offering aggregation and delivery of these services via GPON and Gigabit Ethernet (EoF), as well as bonded copper using e.SHDSL and VDSL2/ADSL2+ technologies.

ng Connect Program Targets LTE Applications

The ng Connect Program Targets LTE-ready Apps

The ng Connect Program, which was co-founded by Alcatel-Lucent to stimulate the development of network-ready applications, services, content and devices for LTE, has added ten new members and now has 37 companies participating in total.

The ng Connect Program said its members have made progress in developing turnkey solution concepts for 4G/LTE networks - including sophisticated point of sale (PoS) technology, advertising platforms, gaming, home management, security applications and the LTE Connected Car.

At this week's CTIA, one such application -- the "HumanKiosk" -- won a first place CTIA Emerging Technology (E-Tech) Award in the Enterprise & Vertical Market Solution -- Mobile Marketing or Advertising category. Developed by MediaTile and Alcatel-Lucent, the HumanKiosk represents next generation digital signage for brand-to-consumer communications. The kiosk can run digital promotions and includes two-way video technology that can only operate over a high-bandwidth wireless IP connection enabled by LTE, utilizing Alcatel-Lucent IMS.

New members of ng Connect include:

  • CoolSign ( enterprise-class digital signage software),

  • Desktone (a virtual desktop hosting platform)

  • EON Reality ( interactive 3D visual content management and virtual reality software)

  • K12 Inc. (a technology-based education company)

  • LiveCast (provides live streaming video from the field to command centers and professional broadcast studios)

  • Mobideo -- wireless application software

  • Movial -- rich, intuitive Internet experiences for companies embracing transformational technologies.

  • NCR Corporation -- a global technology company

  • Optical Crime Prevention, Inc. (OCP) -- proprietary hardware and software systems to enable Video Security as a Service (VSaaS) for the mass markets.

  • Vidyo -- Personal Telepresence