Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Microsoft to Demo Silverlight for the Living Room

At next week's 2010 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in Las Vegas, will showcase how its Silverlight platform can be used to power set-top boxes, connected TVs, Blu-ray Disc players and other consumer devices. Microsoft also unveiled details about Internet Information Services (IIS) Media Services 4 and announced the upcoming release of Silverlight Media Framework 2.0.

Microsoft is working with system-on-chip (SOC) partners Intel and Broadcom to deliver support for reference designs with native Silverlight support.

This includes capabilities such as adaptive bitrate streaming over standard Internet connections, DVR-like capabilities, and support for Microsoft PlayReady digital rights management.

Microsoft also unveiled plans for the next version of IIS Media Services, an integrated HTTP-based media delivery platform built on Microsoft Windows Server that enables customers to cost-effectively deliver, monitor and monetize live and on-demand media content across enterprise, consumer and broadcast scenarios.

AT&T to Sell Wayport's European Assets to Swisscom

AT&T will sell Wayport Holdings A/S, the European subsidiary of Wayport, to Hospitality Services Plus SA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Swisscom, for an undisclosed sum.

AT&T will continue to own and operate the former Wayport assets in the United States. Since the acquisition of Wayport in December 2008, AT&T has integrated Wayport into its Wi-Fi network, which now encompasses more than 20,000 hot spots.

Last Month's CTIA WIRELESS Attracted 39,000

Last month's International CTIA WIRELESS 2010 in Las Vegas attracted 39,000 attendees from 125 countries.

Among the new products and services announced at the show were: The HTC EVO 4G phone for Sprint; LG's Remarq eco-friendly phone; the Motorola i1 - the first push-to-talk Android phone; the Samsung Galaxy S smartphone; Clearwire's WiMAX-enabled netbook; expanded markets for the Clearwire/Sprint WiMAX service; and the availability of Skype Mobile for Verizon Wireless 3G handsets.


VoIP Calling Enhanced in Apple's iPhone OS 4

Apple's forthcoming iPhone OS 4 software includes over 1,500 new Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and over 100 new features, including multitasking for third party apps; folders to better organize and access apps; improved Mail with a unified inbox, fast inbox switching and threaded messages; enhanced Enterprise support with even better data protection, mobile device management, wireless app distribution and more; Apple's new iAd mobile advertising platform; and iBooks, online bookstore recently debuted on the iPad.

iPhone OS 4's new multitasking will enable VoIP apps to receive a VoIP call even when the iPhone is asleep or the user is running other apps. The iPhone OS 4 Unified Inbox allows users to see messages from all their email accounts displayed together.

New enterprise features in iPhone OS 4 include improvements in security, scalability and compatibility. The new Mobile Device Management service can be integrated with third party servers to wirelessly configure, query and even wipe or lock managed iPhones, and iPhone OS 4 enables enterprises to securely host and wirelessly distribute their own in-house developed apps to employees. The new Data Protection feature uses a user's passcode as an encryption key to protect mail messages and attachments stored on the iPhone. iPhone OS 4 will also provide the option to set a longer, more complex passcodes. It also allows IT managers to set up multiple Exchange ActiveSync accounts, is compatible with Exchange Server 2010 and includes support for forthcoming SSL VPN applications from Juniper Networks and Cisco.

NTT Electronics Develops FPGA Decoder

NTT Electronics has developed an FPGA version of a multi-standard single chip LSI for both H.264/AVC 4:2:2 10-bit (including AVC -Intra 100/50) and MPEG-2 4:2:2 decoding.

NTT Electronics' new chip supports H.264/AVC 4:2:2 10-bit decoding, including AVC-Intra 100/50, helping to improve efficiency in the transmission and editing of high-quality video. The chip also supports 10-bit and 8-bit H.264/AVC 4:2:2 and 4:2:0, as well as MPEG-2 4:2:2 and 4:2:0 8-bit specifications, thereby covering most of the formats currently used to send video. Therefore, by using this chip in equipment on the receiving side, video can be received without concern about which format is used on the sending side.

The company said it intends to develop over 10 next-generation H.264/AVC encoder/decoder LSIs by 2012, enabling broadcast content to be transmitted, edited, and delivered with the highest possible quality."

Intelsat's Galaxy 15 Satellite Reports Anomaly

Intelsat's Galaxy 15 satellite (G-15), which provides transmission capacity for cable programmers in North America, experienced an anomaly on 5 April 2010 at 09:48 UTC.

Intelsat said there have been no immediate service interruption to customers, and based on current technical information, no service interruption is expected for the media customers on this satellite. All media traffic on this satellite is planned to be transitioned to Intelsat's Galaxy 12 satellite, which is the designated in-orbit spare for the North American region.

Launched in 2005, G-15 is an Orbital Star satellite. A technical investigation with respect to the anomaly is underway. Galaxy 15 has 24 C-band transponders and was designed to be operational through 2022.

Mindspeed Debuts 288x288 Crosspoint Switch for Optical and Broadcast

Mindspeed Technologies announced the world's first 288x288 asynchronous non-blocking crosspoint switch, providing 82,944 unique switching paths in a single, monolithic integrated circuit (IC). Applications include serial data switches for broadcast video and optical transport networks.

Mindspeed's M21170 chip is a 288x288 non-blocking matrix for a router's switching core, replacing four cascaded 144x144 crosspoints required to achieve the same number of inputs and outputs. Mindspeed said this method significantly reduces the size, cost and complexity of today's largest switchers. Each switching path in the M21170 can operate independently at any data rate of up to 3.2 Gbps, allowing for multi-rate routing and switching in a single device. The crosspoint also uses Mindspeed's proven signal-conditioning technology to compensate for signal losses that typically accumulate across the extended trace lengths of very large systems.

"This is a major milestone for the video broadcast industry, on the road to significantly larger, more capable multi-format SD and HD switchers," said Kurt Busch, senior vice president and general manager of Mindspeed's high-performance analog business unit. "A few years ago, a 256x256 routing switcher was considered very large; now, 512x512 and 576x576 switchers are in hot demand, and broadcasters are asking for even larger switches. The size of these large routers is limited only by the size of the switching core, and now manufacturers can replace up to four cascaded 144x144 crosspoints with a single 288x288 solution."

Crosspoint switches are also used to implement circuit switched backplanes with hundreds of high speed serial links such as those found in OTN/DWDM systems.

ZTE Reports 2009 Revenue of US$8.8 Billion, up 36% YoY

ZTE Corporation reported 2009 revenue of approximately US$8.821 billion, representing an increase of 36.08% against 2008. Net profit was USD359.7 million, representing an increase of 48.06% against 2008. Basic earnings per share were USD0.21. In 2009, net cash flow from operating activities per share was US$0.28.

ZTE's Board of Directors recommended payment of a final dividend for the year ended 2009: the creation of 5 shares for every 10 shares and a cash dividend of USD0.44 for every 10 shares (including tax).

During the year, the Group's revenue from domestic operations amounted to US$4.45 billion, representing a year-on-year growth of 74.04%. 3G network construction in China was a primary factor, as ZTE emerged to become China's largest supplier of 3G network equipment for the three leading carriers.

ZTE's international operations grew to US$4.371 billion, 11.34% more year-on-year, and accounted for49.56% of the total revenue of the Group.

"In 2009, our Group attained significant breakthroughs and growth in the mainstream product of carriers' network. In the mainstream market, we topped the overall ranking for the PRC 3G market during the reporting period, while revenue from Europe and America was growing fast as a percentage of the Group's sales revenue from international markets. We succeeded in making major breakthroughs in the mainstream market on the back of our strengths in research and development as well as our ability in swift network delivery, winning contracts to build commercial networks in major cities around the world for mainstream carriers such as CSL, KPN and Telenor," stated Mr. Hou Weigui, Chairman of ZTE.

ZTE noted a rapid growth in wireless terminals for 2009. The company shipped 60 million wireless terminals including more than 40 million handsets and 20 million data cards in 2009. More than 70% of all ZTE shipments in 2009 were to international markets. This represents a 33% growth over 2008.

FCC Sets Broadband Plan Agenda

In follow-up to the release of its National Broadband Plan last month, the FCC published its action plan for implementing the key recommendations. This agenda explains the purpose and timing of more
than 60 rulemakings and other notice-and-comment proceedings the Plan recommends for FCC
action. Most of the items will be implemented through a series of open, participatory notice-and-comment proceedings.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said the court ruling earlier this week vacating its 2008 order on Net Neutrality would not deter or delay the National Broadband Plant.

The 2010 Broadband Action Agenda focuses on four key goals:

1. Promote World-Leading Mobile Broadband Infrastructure and Innovation

  • Seek to make an additional 500 megahertz (MHz) of spectrum available for mobile
    broadband within the next ten years.

  • · Increase opportunities for unlicensed devices and innovative spectrum access models.

  • Expand incentives and mechanisms to reallocate or repurpose spectrum to higher-valued

  • Improve the transparency of spectrum allocation and utilization.

2. Accelerate Universal Broadband Access and Adoption, and Advance National Purposes Such as Education and Health Care

  • Carry out a once-in-a-generation transformation of the Universal Service Fund over the next
    ten years to support broadband service. This will be achieved by converting existing subsidy
    mechanisms over time from "POTS" (plain old telephone service) to broadband, without
    increasing the size of the fund over the current baseline projection.

  • Upgrade the E-rate program, which has successfully connected public libraries and K-12
    classrooms, to benefit students and others across the country by making broadband more

  • Reform and upgrade the Rural Health Care Program to connect more public health facilities
    to high-speed Internet facilities and to foster telemedicine applications and services. Create a
    Health Care Infrastructure Fund to support deployment of dedicated health care networks to
    underserved areas.

  • Create a Connect America Fund to extend broadband service to unserved areas of the nation
    and to ensure affordable broadband service in high-cost areas where support is necessary.

  • Create a Mobility Fund to bring all states to a baseline level of "3G" (or better) wireless

3. Foster Competition and Maximize Consumer Benefits Across the Broadband Ecosystem

  • Enhance broadband and marketplace choices for small businesses and mobile providers by
    establishing consistent policy frameworks for special access and wholesale wireline

  • Improve consumer disclosures and FCC data collection to better monitor and promote
    broadband competition.

  • Fulfill mandate from Congress to ensure that video navigation devices, such as smart video
    devices, are available to consumers in the marketplace, spurring innovation in home video
    devices and driving increased broadband adoption and utilization.

4. Advance Robust and Secure Public Safety Communications Networks

  • Facilitate the creation of a nationwide interoperable public safety wireless broadband

  • Promote cybersecurity and protect critical communications infrastructure.

  • Aid the transition to next-generation 911 and alerting systems.

Juniper to Acquire Ankeena for CDN Capabilities

Juniper Networks agreed to acquire Ankeena Networks, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, for its online media delivery technology. The companies have been collaborating for several months and Juniper plans to leverage Ankeena software to offer high-performance content delivery networking and "3 Screen" media delivery solutions for the mobile and fixed service providers. The solution allows network operators to provide highly-optimized video delivery services using their own infrastructure.

Juniper said the financial impact of this transaction is expected to be immaterial with consideration at closing of less than $100 million. Additional terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

At this year's Mobile World Congress, Juniper Networks introduced its Media Flow, a caching solution developed by Ankeena Networks that optimizes mobile and fixed networks for fast, efficient video and rich media delivery. Media Flow software enables smooth adaptive bit streaming at the service edge of the networks. Expected to be available in Q2 2010, Media Flow will include a Juniper VXA Series content delivery engine and Ankeena software to provide video and content delivery up to 10Gbps per engine.

Ankeena's systems combines media storage optimization, multi-tier caching and rate based delivery mechanisms to deliver large number of concurrent media streams at different data rates with an extremely high aggregate bandwidth. Ankeena's Media Flow Director ensures that users receive a smooth-viewing experience regardless of the viewing device and varying network conditions. Ankeena's supports various adaptive streaming technologies. The company calculates that its Media Optimized multi-tier caching technology provides up to a 10-to-1 reduction in the number of servers needed to deliver the same amount of media, with a similar reduction in transit network and media delivery costs.
  • Ankeena is headed by Rajan Raghavan (CEO and co-founder), who previously co-founded Xambala, where he developed the company's vision for the XML, security and financial industries. Prior to Xambala, Raghavan founded and served as CEO of RealChip Communications, where he established the company's fabless ASIC and VOIP segment strategies.

  • Ankeena's other co-founders include Prabakar Sundarrajan (CTO), who was previously at Citrix Systems, NetScaler and Exodus Communications; Jaspal Kohli (Chief Architect), who was previously served as Principal Architect at Yahoo; and Kumar Narayanan (VP of Engineering), who was previously served as Director, Engineering in the Data Center Switching and Security Technology Group at Cisco Systems.

  • Ankeena was incubated by Clearstone ventures and backed by investors including Trinity Ventures and Mayfield Fund.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Vodafone to Offer Opera Browser on Low-Cost Mobile Phones

In an effort to bring low-cost, mobile data service to more people, Vodafone announced plans to a offer a customized version of the Opera Mini browser running on low-cost handsets over 2G networks. Specifically, Vodafone and Opera Software have developed an enhanced version of the Opera Mini 5 for lower- to mid-tier handsets.

Since the Opera Mini 5 browser can compress data by up to 90 percent, it requires less processing power on the handset and uses less network capacity, resulting in a richer internet experience in more challenging conditions. The on-screen experience will feature step-by-step, simple instructions in local languages, with a strong emphasis on the use of intuitive icons to help those with lower levels of literacy.

The Opera Mini 5 browser has been embedded in a range of 20 devices as well as being downloadable to over 250 GPRS supported handsets in Vodafone's customer base.

Vodafone said it will offer highly affordable data tariffs to match this announcement.

A range of Vodafone applications is also in development, most of them designed to deliver the most social benefits to users such as email, finding a job, buying and selling services and products, learning foreign languages, as well as getting access to global applications. The initiative is initially being rolled out in India, South Africa, Turkey, Tanzania and Egypt with other markets expected to follow.

"With this product, we can transform even basic handsets into very capable internet browsing devices, enabling millions of people to enjoy the social and economic aspects of the internet that many already take for granted," said Jonathan Bill, Vodafone Internet Services Head of Emerging Markets.

In February, Vodafone launched the world's cheapest voice and text handset: the Vodafone 150, which retails at under US$15. The handset, along with the $20 Vodafone 250 handset, will be available in the first instance in India, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Turkey, Mozambique, Qatar, South Africa and Tanzania.

Alcatel-Lucent Opens Operation Center in Istanbul, Turkey

Alcatel-Lucent has opened a new Migration Operation Center (MOC) in Istanbul, Turkey. The new facility complements Alcatel-Lucent's existing migration capabilities in countries such as Poland, India, and Australia, and will be capable of delivering critical and complex voice and data migration services in multi-technology (access, core, and transport) and multi-vendor legacy and IP environments.

CommScope Introduces Ultra-High Density Fiber Solution for Data Centers

CommScope Enterprise Solutions introduced its SYSTIMAX 360 Ultra-High Density (UHD) fiber optic solution for data centers. The system can fit 864 fibers in a 1U space -- the highest fiber-patching density currently available. It can be used to facilitate the integration of SAN directors into data center environments.

"Data center operators continue to face ever-increasing IT demands, cost pressures, changing technology and architectures. Our experts at CommScope Labs designed the SYSTIMAX 360 UHD solution with a 50 percent increase in usable density, enabling new data center architectures to face these challenges head-on," said George Brooks, vice president of data centers, CommScope Enterprise Solutions. "The SYSTIMAX 360 UHD solution enables storage growth to support the explosion of network information, allows for future growth with its modular design, and provides a clear upgrade path for 10G, 40G and 100G applications."http://www.commscope.comhttp://

Qwest Launches Hosted Unified Communications Service Platform

Qwest Communications introduced a new unified communications service platform for enterprises, government agencies and educational institutions.

Qwest iQ Hosted Unified Communication Service (iQ HUCS) integrates voice, e-mail and video services so they are accessible by landline phones, mobile phones, smart phones and computers.

The service leverages Cisco multitenant call management and is managed by Qwest. Customers can easily perform on-site moves, adds and changes (MACs) and other day-to-day administrative functions using a turnkey Web-based, operations system.

Arizona State University (ASU) will be the first Qwest customer to adopt the service platform across its four campuses to serve more than 70,000 students, faculty and staff.

Motorola Licenses Fractus' Antenna Technology

Barcelona-based Fractus has entered into a non-exclusive, worldwide patent license agreement with Motorola. The agreement includes a license under all of Fractus' patents related to internal antennas and covers the sale of all Motorola products.

Fractus noted that it has recently filed patent infringement lawsuits against ten leading cell phone manufacturers. The company believes this licensing deal with Motorola represents a major milestone in its efforts to obtain recognition for its work. Fractus claims over 80 patents worldwide, including over 30 United States patents.

Boingo Sees Immediate Impact of the iPad in Airports

The iPad has already become the second most popular non-laptop device connecting to Boingo's WiFi networks, displacing Android devices and more than doubling the daily number of visits for the previous second place device.

"It's stunning how quickly the iPad has established itself as a force in Wi-Fi," said Dave Hagan, president and CEO of Boingo Wireless. "After four days in market, it is already being more widely used than other Wi-Fi enabled mobile devices that have moved millions of units."

The iPhone is still the indisputable king of mobile devices, representing nearly 90% of all non-laptop connections in Boingo's airports. The above data represents all Wi-Fi enabled non-laptop devices in Boingo's managed network, which includes 58 airports, the Washington State Ferries, and several sporting arenas and convention centers.

Swisscom Deploys Mobixell's Converged Rich Media Delivery Platform

Swisscom has deployed Mobixell Networks' converged rich media delivery solution to bring video and live TV to personal computers and smartphones. Mobixell allows Swisscom to offer and manage over 50 live TV channels that can be watched in HD quality via PCs, laptops, Apple iPhone and other mobile devices, as well as across multiple networks such as DSL, Wi-Fi, hotspots or HSPA/UMTS/Edge. The service launched last month.

Mobixell's Videon supports Microsoft's Silverlight Smooth Streaming, Apple's HTTP live streaming, Adobe RTMP and 3GPP streaming in a centralized delivery platform.

Telcordia Warns of "All-You-Can-Eat" Mobile Data Plans

Mobile operators face an unsustainable long-term financial challenge with all-you-can eat mobile data pricing when you combine it with third-party "over-the-top" (OTT) video and content services, according to a new study published by Telcordia.

The warning comes despite the fact that data ARPU has increased steadily over the past several years and is now a major component of the growth strategy for mobile operators.

The traffic growth on these networks, however, significantly outpaces the revenue growth.

"The popularity of video and other third-party OTT services are breaking mobile broadband networks and business models because they siphon off revenue while adding to the network's workload," said Pat McCarthy, Vice President, Marketing, Service Delivery Solutions, Telcordia. "Operators should use this problem as an opportunity to transform themselves from dumb pipes into value-added players that capture revenue from OTT personalization services."

Telcordia is recommending policy-based bandwidth management and real-time charging solutions to give priority access to personalized end user services that generate revenue for an operator, while zero-revenue OTT content is managed at a lower tier.

The "Mobile Broadband: Surf the Broadband Wave with a Customer-Centric Business Model" white paper is posted on the company's website.

Motorola Supplies Passive Optical LAN for Stony Brook University

Motorola's passive optical LAN (POL) solution has been installed at the Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology (CEWIT) at Stony Brook University in New York. Motorola teamed with Verizon Business and ADC to implement an all-fiber enterprise LAN infrastructure solution which provides a secure, energy-efficient and highly cost-effective alternative over traditional enterprise LAN architectures.

Verizon Business provided integration services and support surrounding the implementation while ADC provided all of the fiber-structured cabling components for the POL implementation at the Center. Motorola estimates ROI and low TCO at half the cost of copper-based LANs.

Global IP Solutions First to Bring Video Chat to Android Mobiles

Global IP Solutions released its GIPS VideoEngine for Android, which provides mobile developers the vital building blocks for integrating video conferencing/video chat into applications running Google's Android mobile operating system. The software helps deal with issues such as delay, packet loss, bandwidth limitations and echo.

GIPS VideoEngine Mobile is already available on the iPhone and Windows Mobile OS platforms.