Thursday, September 23, 2010

UAE's du Rolls out Dual-Carrier HSPA+ for 42 Mbps

du, which serves the United Arab Emirates, has rolled out dual-carrier HSPA+ service, offering top peak speeds of 42 Mbps. Technology partners for du's deployment include Huawei and Qualcomm. At launch, 98% of the populated areas in the UAE will enjoy coverage of the HSPA+ service. du expects to begin selling the first dual-carrier HSPA+ data modems soon.

"We recognize that mobile data is the new frontier, and we firmly believe that high-speed mobile data networks will be key enablers for the growth and future of our communities. We anticipate growth of new ecosystems and applications, which will trigger a lot of mobile data usage and traffic, and thus contribute significantly to the progress of the UAE. Customers can be assured that du will be the undisputed leader in the adoption and deployment of next- generation solutions, which will make life easier and better," stated Farid Faraidooni, Chief Commercial Officer, du.

PLX to Acquire Teranetics for 10GBASE-T Silicon

PLX Technology, a supplier of I/O interconnect silicon, agreed to acquire Teranetics, a start-up focused on 10GBASE-T silicon, for 7.4 million shares of PLX valued at approximately $27.6 million, cash of approximately $1.0 million and two promissory notes aggregating approximately $6.9 million. PLX will also assume or repay approximately $18 million of Teranetics corporate obligations, including indebtedness, transaction expenses incurred by Teranetics and cash bonuses payable to Teranetics employees.

Teranetics' silicon solutions enable 10 Gigabit Ethernet over low-cost CAT6 and CAT6a copper cabling. The products are aimed at 10GE switch ports and server adapters. The company was founded in 2003 and is based in San Jose, California.

PLX Technology, which is based in Sunnyvale, California, is a publicly traded company focused on PCI-based silicon solutions including PCI Express (PCIe). PLX entered the consumer and small office storage market with the 2009 acquisition of Oxford Semiconductor.

PLX Technology said it believes PCI Express and 10G Ethernet will coexist as complementary technologies in the data center. PLX will leverage its unique leadership position, technology and IP with these two dominant IOs to bring out new architectures for the data centers of tomorrow and to tap further into the $2 billion Ethernet semiconductor market. These future solutions can take advantage of both technologies while leveraging the company's superior switching fabrics, high-speed analog, and SoC capabilities to increase performance, lower power consumption and reduce overall system costs.
  • In April 2010, Teranetics introduced its third generation of 10GBASE-T PHYs implemented in 40nm technology. The small form factor and low power dissipation of the 40nm chips enable 10 GigE copper connections in high-density data center switches. They also pave the way for 10 GigE LAN-on-motherboard servers. The Teranetics TN8044 is a quad-port 10GBASE-T PHY device designed for high-density, highly power efficient 10 GigE switches. The TN8022 (dual-port) and TN8020 (single-port) offer the power-efficiency required to enable 10GBASE-T adapter card designs.

    Teranetics' new TN8000 family dissipates less than 4 watts per port at a full 100 meters, and as little as 2 watts per port in short reach mode. In addition, this third-generation, 40nm family continues Teranetics' support for triple rate Ethernet (100M/1G/10G). It will also offer support for the emerging Energy Efficient Ethernet standard (EEE, or IEEE 802.3az). Teranetics CTO and Chairman Sanjay Kasturia is the Editor in chief for the IEEE 802.3az committee developing the EEE standard.

    Teranetics noted that its technology further reduces the external component count required to build systems with 10GBASE-T ports. The TN8000 family allows multiple PHYs to share reference clocks and power regulators, and also integrates an EMI filter that previously was built with external components on the PC board. Moreover, MDI test capabilities reduce manufacturing costs by increasing equipment manufacturers' final yield and decreasing test time.

AT&T Declares Quarterly Dividend, Adds to Board

AT&T declared a quarterly dividend of $0.42 a share on the company's common shares. In addition, the company appointed Matthew K. Rose to its board of directors. Mr. Rose is chairman, president and chief executive officer of Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC (BNSF), a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Dept. of Justice Reaches Settlement with Silicon Valley Firms

The U.S. Department of Justice reached a settlement with six Silicon Valley firms -- Adobe Systems, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit and Pixar -- that prevents them from entering into no solicitation agreements for employees. The department said that the agreements eliminated a significant form of competition to attract highly skilled employees, and overall diminished competition to the detriment of affected employees who were likely deprived of competitively important information and access to better job opportunities.

Ericsson Acquires Additional CDMA Assets from Nortel

Ericsson will acquire Nortel's Multi-Service Switch business (MSS), which includes CDMA-related R&D and services capabilities, for US$65 million in cash.

Ericsson said the acquisition gives it access to a strong product portfolio and installed base in the data segment while ensuring the supply of the MSS platform for the recently acquired CDMA and GSM units.

The announcement follows the completion of the auction process initiated by Nortel, and the transaction is subject to court approval and customary regulatory approvals.

"Today's announcement is further evidence of our commitment to our CDMA portfolio as we continue to strengthen our in-house R&D and services muscle to deliver on the innovation, collaboration and support that our customers have come to expect from us." said Rima Qureshi, senior vice president and head of business unit CDMA Mobile Systems.
  • In August, Nortel Networks announced plans to sell its Multi Service Switch business to private investors for US$39 million in cash. The deal includes Nortel's North America, Caribbean and Latin America (CALA) and Asia Multi Service Switch (MSS) business and the assets of the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) portion of its MSS business. The buyer is PSP Holding LLC, a special purpose entity to be fully funded at closing by Marlin Equity Partners and Canadian based Samnite Technologies Inc. Nortel's MSS business consists of its Data Packet Network and Shasta product groups and associated intellectual property.

  • In June 2010, Ericsson completed its acquisition of Nortel's majority shareholding (50%+1 share) in LG-Nortel, the joint venture of LG Electronics and Nortel Networks, for $242 million in cash. The deal significantly expands Ericsson's position in Korea, which is one of the 10 largest telecom markets in the world with advanced end-user demand for new services.

  • In March 2010, Ericsson completed its acquisition of Nortel's North American GSM business. The acquisition included the transfer of important GSM business with North American operators and further strengthened Ericsson's ability to serve North America's leading wireless operators. More than 350 employees from Nortel were involved. The deal was first announced in November 2009.

  • Also in November 2009, Ericsson completed its acquisition of substantially all of Nortel's CDMA business and LTE assets in North America. Under this deal, which was first announced on July 25, 2009, Ericsson paid US$1.13 billion. The acquisition included the transfer of important CDMA contracts with North American operators including Verizon, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, Bell Canada, Telus and Leap, as well as LTE assets, certain patents and patent licenses relating to CDMA and LTE. Approximately 2,500 Nortel employees in North America and China joined Ericsson under this transaction.

Italtel Announces Management Shift

Italtel announced the appointment of Umberto de Julio as its new Chairman, replacing Roberto Quarta; and the appointment of Stefano Pileri as its new CEO. Italtel also announced the approval of a 341 million euro bank financing and a 70 million euro capital increase. The capital increase of 70 million euro, which was supported by Telecom Italia and Cisco, is part of the debt re-financing scheme approved at the end of July by the pool of lending banks which includes Unicredit, BPM, GE Interbanca, Banco Popolare and UBI.

Vodafone Global Enterprise Opens in Singapore

Vodafone Global Enterprise has opened a new Regional Office in Singapore in a bid to further enhance the delivery of managed communications services to multinationals in Asia Pacific. The company said its new Singapore office will complement its existing presence in the Indian, Australian, Japanese, New Zealand and Hong Kong markets to provide unparalleled coverage and service levels in the Asia Pacific area. Vodafone Global Enterprise noted that its customer base already includes 140 multinational corporations that are headquartered in Asia, and an additional 435 global customers have operations in Singapore or its neighboring countries.

Extension Planned for Lower Indian Ocean Network (LION) Cable

Less than one year after the inauguration of the LION submarine cable (Lower Indian Ocean Network) linking Madagascar to the rest of the world via Réunion Island and Mauritius, an agreement was reached to build a 3,000-km extension to Kenya via the island of Mayotte. The project is being conducted by a consortium of France Telecom-Orange and its subsidiaries Mauritius Telecom Ltd, Orange Madagascar and Telkom Kenya Ltd, along with carrier companies Emtel Ltd., Société Réunionnaise du Radiotéléphone and STOI Internet.

Mayotte is an overseas collectivity of France with a population of about 195,000. The cable will give the island and its neighbors broadband access to the Internet for the first time.

The construction is expected to cost EUR 56.5 million euros, about EUR 31.25 million which will come from France Telecom SA. Service is scheduled to begin in the first half of 2012.

Video: Silicon MEMS Timing Replaces Quartz

Presented by Aaron Partridge, SiTime's CSO

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Verizon's Seidenberg: Rapid Mobile Growth, OTT Threatens Cable TV

The mobile industry has entered a period of rapid innovation with step-function growth in services and revenues, said Ivan Seidenberg, Verizon's Chairman and CEO, speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia XIX Conference.
Seidenberg expects the smartphone penetration rate in the U.S. to rise to 70% by 2015. Meanwhile, the overall mobile penetration rate with pass 100% as more people carry 2 or more connected-devices wherever they go. Seidenberg expects these trends to impact all segments of the consumer and business markets. He believes Verizon is well-positioned for this period of bullish growth.

Regarding the iPhone, Seidenberg said he would welcome it, but that the Droid is proving to be a great alternative and that the company is not suffering from an "iPhone deficit". He expects the upcoming 4G launch will be a great platform for manufactures to launch a new range tablets and phones.

As for 4G pricing tiers, Seidenberg agrees with AT&T's move to tiered data plans, but that Verizon's LTE network provides it with the ability to offer unique plans. Key advantages that he sees are Verizon's 700 MHz spectrum and a rapid rollout that will give national coverage over the next 24 months.

Seidenberg also predicted rapid change in the multichannel video market. He expects the cable operators are facing a downward trend as "cord cutters", especially the younger demographics, give up pricey monthly cable bills in favor of over-the-top content. He does expect a steady, paid TV client base in many segments especially for high-end 3D TV. However, he believes but that the OTT trend will impact the cable business much like how traditional voice service were hit mobile and VoIP substitution. He thinks Verizon is better positioned than its cable peers because the FiOS network is built to handle high data rates for carrying IP traffic and because the company's newer FiOS TV subscriber base has lower exposure in the market. He would like to see both the FiOS and 4G networks take advantage of these new content models.

FCC Bolsters E-rate Program

Following recommendations of the National Broadband Plan, the FCC upgraded and modernized the E-rate program, which funds Internet access in public schools and libraries across the country.

Although 97% of American schools and nearly all public libraries now have basic Internet access, the basic level of broadband connectivity is now too slow to keep up with traffic demands.

The FCC said its E-rate Order makes it easier for schools and libraries to get the highest speeds for the lowest prices by increasing their options for broadband providers and streamlining the application process.

Key elements of the new E-rate include:

Super-Fast Fiber: Participants may use E-rate funds to connect in the most cost-effective way possible, including via unused fiber optic lines already in place across the country and through existing state, regional and local networks.

School Spots: The FCC is opening the door to "School Spots" -- where schools have the option to provide Internet access to the local community after students go home. For instance, schools with 1 Gbps fiber access could help neighborhoods that otherwise lack such access. The FCC sees the School Spots as a major step toward the National Broadband Plan's goal of connecting an anchor institution in every community.

Learning On-the-Go: The FCC is launching a pilot program that supports off-campus wireless Internet connectivity for mobile learning devices. Education doesn't stop at the schoolyard gate or the library door. Digital textbooks and other innovative wireless devices allow students to learn in a real-world context, inside the classroom and beyond. Because of their low cost and accessibility, these mobile devices can also help advance digital equality, particularly for children from economically disadvantaged communities.

21st Century E-rate Program: The Order will begin indexing the cap on E-rate funding to inflation in a fiscally responsible manner, so that the program can more fully meet the needs of students and communities. Since 1997 when the E-rate program started, inflation has raised costs 30 percent but the program has remained capped, significantly decreasing its effective purchasing power. E-rate can also now be used for connections to the dormitories of schools that serve students facing unique challenges, such as Tribal schools or schools for children with physical, cognitive, or behavioral disabilities.

In addition, the FCC will codifying E-rate competitive bidding requirements and clarifying ethics obligations so as to stop waste, fraud, and abuse. It also promises to streamline the E-rate application process for educators and librarians.

FCC Opens "White Spaces" Spectrum

The FCC issued an order that opens up vacant airwaves between TV channels for new unlicensed applications such as "super Wi-Fi." Specifically, a Second Memorandum Opinion and Order (Second MO&O) resolves numerous legal and technical issues regarding unlicensed spectrum usage. Notably, the Order eliminates the requirement that TV bands devices that incorporate geo-location and database access must also include sensing technology to detect the signals of TV stations and low-power auxiliary service stations (wireless microphones). It also requires wireless microphone users who seek to register in the TV bands databases to certify that they will use all available channels from 7 through 51 prior to requesting registration. Requests to register in the database will be public, thus allowing interested parties to weigh in on any given request.

The FCC order also includes steps to ensure that incumbent services are protected from interference from the use of white spaces in various ways. This includes reserving two vacant UHF channels for wireless microphones and other low power auxiliary service devices in all areas of the country.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said "We know from experience that unlicensed spectrum can trigger unexpected but hugely beneficial innovation. For example, years ago, there was a band of low-quality spectrum that was lying fallow. Nobody could figure out what to do with this so-called "junk band," so the FCC decided to free it up as unlicensed spectrum.

The result was a wave of new technologies -- baby monitors, cordless phones, and eventually a real game changer: Wi-Fi. Today, Wi-Fi is a multi-billion industry and an essential part of the mobile ecosystem. As compared to the airwaves we released for unlicensed use in 1985, this "white spaces" spectrum is far more robust -- traveling longer distances and through walls, making the potential for this unlicensed spectrum much greater.

"We share the FCC's enthusiasm about the potential use of TV white spaces for Wi-Fi," said Wi-Fi Alliance CEO Edgar Figueroa. "The new FCC rules will foster innovation that benefits end users, while continuing to promote co-existence among all users of the spectrum."

The Wi-Fi Alliance recently initiated an industry effort to create a certification program for Wi-Fi devices operating in the TV white spaces. This program will draw on the emerging IEEE 802.11af standard.

Nokia and AT&T Launch $10M App Development Contest

Nokia and AT&T are kicking off an app developer contest
with US$10 million in cash and prizes. The 2010 Calling All Innovators, North America contest is open to developers from around the world to create apps for North American consumers. All submitted apps will be made available exclusively for download via the Ovi Store by Nokia.

Verizon Business Partners with TDC for Nordic Coverage

Verizon Business and TDC announced a partnership agreement under which the companies will provide joint service and support to multinational companies based or operating in the Nordic market. The preferred partnership calls for TDC to deliver in-country network and information and communications technology services and for Verizon to provide global communication services.

Verizon FiOS TV Expands International Programming

Verizon FiOS TV has added STAR India PLUS, India's No. 1 Hindi channel, to its extensive channel lineup, which now includes nearly 40 other international channels covering more than 20 languages. The new channel began launching on FiOS TV this week and will be in all markets by Sept. 27.

FiOS TV's programming currently includes more than 520 all-digital channels with up to 140 HD channels and 18,000 monthly video-on-demand titles.

BICS's Pan-European Network Trials NSN's 40G CP-QPSK

BICS, which is a joint venture of Belgacom, Swisscom and MTN, has successfully conducted trials of 40 Gbps optical transmission over its existing fiber network between Zurich and Frankfurt using Nokia Siemens Networks' new 40G transponders.

The deployment features the Nokia Siemens Networks SURPASS hiT 7300 and hiT 7500 DWDM platforms, along with its new coherent detection 40G transponder, which uses CP-QPSK modulation technology.

Marvell's ARMADA 3-core Processor Targets Mobile Devices

Marvell introduced a 1.5 GHz tri-core application processor designed for delivering dual stream 1080p 3D video for Smartphones and tablets. The ARMADA 628 features three ARM-compliant CPU cores (including one optimized for ultra low-power), along with six additional processing engines to support 3D graphics, 1080p video encode/decode, ultra high fidelity audio, advanced cryptography, and digital photo data processing -- for a total of nine dedicated core functions.

The company said its ARMADA 628 could be used in mobile devices capable of playing more than 10 hours of full 1080p HD video or 140 hours of music on a single charge while still providing 3 GHz of raw computational horsepower. The ARMADA 628 is also designed to be the first mobile CPU to provide high-speed USB 3.0 connectivity, which offers 10x faster performance than USB 2.0.

Sampling is underway.

ALU to Resell Blue Coat's Content Delivery Products

Alcatel-Lucent will sell Blue Coat products, including Blue Coat ProxySG and CacheFlow appliances, to Alcatel-Lucent customers worldwide -- including tier-one telcos, managed service providers, regional ISPs and mobile operators.

Blue Coat's CacheFlow appliance reduces the strain of bandwidth-consuming dynamic Web 2.0 and video content by transparently caching such over-the-top content, providing bandwidth savings for carriers and a better experience for users. The CacheFlow appliance also helps service providers manage traffic spikes due to unusually high demand for content on breaking news or special events.

Alcatel-Lucent said it will leverage the CacheFlow appliance as a complement to its own Velocix Content Delivery Network solution. The Velocix Digital Media Delivery Platform manages the distribution of digital content and is based on open Internet based video standards.

"With this relationship we see significant opportunity to help service providers capitalize on growing consumer demand for access to high-speed video over the Internet by leveraging their existing infrastructure investments," said Paul Larbey, vice president of Alcatel-Lucent's Velocix Content Delivery Network solutions. "The Blue Coat platform is proven in some of the largest service provider and enterprise environments in the world, and it complements our existing products and services, giving service providers another tool to improve and simplify video delivery."
  • Alcatel-Lucent acquired Velocix, a supplier of content delivery network solutions, in 2009. The Velocix Digital Media Delivery Platform consists of a series of appliances that service providers can deploy to support their own dedicated advanced digital media delivery capability, as an alternative to relying on shared content delivering networks, helping improve quality and reduce cost. The appliances are designed and optimized for content publishing, storage, delivery, routing and utility (management and analytics).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Verizon Wireless Reaffirms Open Networks

Verizon Wireless reaffirmed its commitment to help developers deliver applications to market by continuing to open its network to them with APIs and other tools and services. At the company's Developers Community Conference in Las Vegas, Verizon Wireless also outlined the progress of V CAST Apps, its mobile storefront, and said that it is expanding V CAST Apps to additional platforms, beginning with Android devices.

Verizon Wireless said it has more than 5,000 developers in its community.

Verizon Wireless has published an LTE Application Developer's Guide with guidelines to the open access environment. v

The V CAST Apps storefront launched earlier this year on the RIM platform, and submissions are now being accepted for Android-based applications in V CAST Apps. V CAST Apps offers developers speedy time-to-market and carrier-billing, so any charges for the applications appear on the customer's monthly wireless bill.

France Telecom Buys 40% of Morocco's Médi Télécom

France Telecom confirmed its intention to acquire an initial stake of 40% in Médi Télécom, Morocco's second largest telecoms operator with licenses for fixed, mobile and 3G. The deal is valued at 640 million euros.

Médi Télécom claims over 10 million mobile subscribers and a market share of 37%. It has published sales of over 5.3 billion dirham (465 million euros) in 2009 with an EBITDA margin of 40% and an operational cash-flow of around 1.4 billion dirham (131 million euros).

Stéphane Richard, France Telecom's CEO, said "The acquisition of this stake in Médi Télécom is the first concrete step in our new policy of expansion outside Europe, and contributes to our stated aim of doubling our revenues in Africa and the Middle-East over the next five years. I am delighted to contribute to this strategic partnership, which can only strengthen Médi Télécom's profile as a dynamic and solid company."
  • In July 2010, France Telecom-Orange announced a five year strategic plan to transform its corporate culture and conquer new markets and new business opportunities in the coming digital economy of billions of interconnected devices. The plans were disclosed by Stephane Richard, underscored opportunities in Africa and the Middle East.