Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Portugal Telecom Secures EUR 900 Million Loan

Portugal Telecom has secured a new EUR 900 million credit facility from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BBVA, Banco do Brasil, Barclays Capital, BNP Paribas and Citigroup. This facility will mature in March 2014.

PT said the transaction is part of its financing strategy, which aims at having diversified maturities and sources of financing.

Samsung's 30nm Mobile DRAM for Thinner & Faster Devices

Samsung Electronics Co. announced first production of four gigabit (Gb), low power double-data-rate 2 (LPDDR2) DRAM using 30 nanometer (nm) class technology. The new chip delivers a data transmission speed of 1,066Mbps, which is more than double that of today's MDDR, which operates between 333 to 400Mbps.

Samsung said this mobile DRAM chip paves the way for thinner, lighter smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, with longer battery life.

"Mass production of 4Gb LPDDR2 is a tremendous advancement for the mobile industry, one that will enable our OEM customers to move quickly in launching better differentiated high-performance mobile devices into the market," said Wanhoon Hong, executive vice president, memory sales & marketing, Samsung Electronics. "Samsung will continue to take the initiative in accelerating growth of the market by providing high-performance, high-density green memory products as often and as early as possible."

Samsung plans to produce the 4Gb LPDDR2 chip based 1GB (8Gb) packages beginning this month, and plans to produce 2GB (16Gb) packages consisting of four 4Gb devices next month to accommodate a growing need for high-density mobile DRAM solutions.

Tektronix Wins LTE Troubleshooting Contract

Tektronix Communications has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract with a multi-country European tier 1 operator (name withheld) for testing and monitoring projects in their main European test labs. The operator will use the Tektronix Network and Service Analyzer (NSA) solution to confirm the reliability of the LTE test platform and to help accelerate the operator's LTE rollout plans by greatly reducing the time for LTE compliance and network and handset troubleshooting.

AMIMON Raises $15 Million for WHDI Silicon

AMIMON, a start-up with operations in Herzlia, Israel and Santa Clara, California, raised $15 million in new venture financing for its Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI) semiconductor solutions.

AMIMON WHDI chipsets are compliant with the WHDI standard. The WHDI standard delivers the highest image quality for in-room and multi-room HD wireless connections, including uncompressed 1080p/60Hz HD video. WHDI utilizes a 40MHz channel in the 5GHz unlicensed band and can be implemented with a single antenna for minimal footprint. WHDI includes support for all 3D formats required by the HDMI 1.4a specification and range of over 100 feet (30 meters) through obstacles and walls. WHDI supports HDCP revision 2.0, providing superior security and digital content protection, and full compatibility with HDMI.

AMIMON said it is ramping up production to deliver WHDI chipsets to multiple OEMs and CE manufacturers. Numerous companies are developing products (wireless HDTVs, PC-to-TV, tablet-to-TV, HD Wireless Bridges, etc.) based on AMIMON's WHDI chipsets.

AMIMON's WHDI technology could also be designed into mobile devices, enabling users to wirelessly view device content on their TVs with excellent user experience. Additionally, WHDI has virtually no latency (less than one millisecond); users will be able to experience interactive applications and gaming capabilities of their mobiles devices and tablets on the "big screen."

The new funding comes from a blend of new and strategic investors together with existing investors.http://www.amimon.com

LightSquared Signs Leap & Best Buy for Wholesale LTE

At last week's CTIA, LightSquared disclosed two customers for it upcoming wholesale LTE service: Leap Wireless (parent company of Cricket Communications) and Best Buy Connect, a new service that is expected to launch later this year. LightSquared said it is negotiating with as many as 15 potential players. Time Warner Cable is rumored to be among the potential clients for LightSquared.

Earlier this month, LightSquared announced a multi-year, strategic partnership with Open Range Communications to serve rural markets across the U.S. The partnership is expected to include a licensing arrangement whereby Open Range will lease LightSquared's L-band spectrum. This wholesale agreement will enable Open Range to sell LightSquared's next generation satellite capacity. The partnership will also include a 4G nationwide reciprocal roaming arrangement. Under the arrangement, the companies will collaborate on the design, build-out and operation of Open Range's network as well as on product and service evolutionhttp://www.lightsquared.com/

Continuous Computing's ATCA DPI Platforms Tops 320 Gbps

Continuous Computing released its latest FlexTCA integrated platform for deep packet inspection (DPI) network intelligence applications.

Continuous Computing's FlexTCA, which is based on the latest 40G ATCA standards, combines switch, packet processing and compute products. It capitalizes on the company's FlowEngine DPI software framework, which combines the advanced load balancing and packet processing capabilities of an ecosystem of software vendors and the customization capabilities of professional services companies into a package that provides NEPs the complete foundation on which they can build and market advanced DPI applications.

The FlexTCA DPI platform is the first to come with native 100GbE interfaces – dual 100GbE CXP with active/standby capability and the option to aggregate other interface types (e.g., 10GbE SFP+ or 40GbE QSFP) for maximum speed.

Policy enforcement and monitoring have become critical elements of assuring performance in today's bandwidth-constrained networks, and DPI is the key enabling technology," said Mike Coward, chief technology officer and co-founder of Continuous Computing. "With the skyrocketing increase in network traffic from advanced, bandwidth-hungry content like converged voice and video, packet processing solutions need to be able to mirror the resulting massive increase in throughput requirements. With up to 320Gbps system capacity, FlexTCA is the right platform at the right time."

The new FlexTCA platform family includes:

  • Option of 14-, 6- or 2-slot platforms, all of which support 300W+ blades

  • FlexCore™ ATCA-FM81 hub switch supporting 10GbE, 40GbE and 100GbE interfaces

  • FlexPacket™ ATCA-PP81 DPI blade with dual NetLogic Microsystems XLP832 CPUs

  • Optional hardware offload includes NetLogic NL11K KBP (Knowledge-based Processor) TCAM and specialized NetLogic NETL7 NLS2008 RegEx solutions for pattern matching

  • FlexCompute™ ATCA-XE100 compute blade with the latest Intel microprocessors.

Motorola Mobility to Acquire Dreampark for IPTV Software

Motorola Mobility will acquire Dreampark, a leading IPTV software provider based in Norrkoping, Sweden, for an undisclosed sum.

Dreampark's software, which leverages open standards, such as HTML and scalable vector graphics (SVG), allows operators to customize their television portals. The Dreampark portfolio is expected to be integrated into the Motorola Medios service management software suite.

"This transaction enables us to continue to enhance our Medios software portfolio and capitalize upon the convergence of wireless technology, media, mobile computing and the Internet," said John Burke, senior vice president and general manager of Motorola Mobility's Converged Experiences business. "With the acquisition of Dreampark, Motorola Mobility will strengthen its ability to provide systems integrators, service providers, enterprises and content providers with innovative solutions for deploying converged media experiences. It's great to have the Dreampark team on board."http://www.motorola.com/mobility

Global Fixed Broadband Lines Climb Steady to 523 Million

Broadband subscriber figures continued to climb steadily in 2010 and ended the year at 523,066,022 – a net addition of over 55 million lines during the year, according to new figures from the Broadband Forum and prepared by Point Topic. The half billion line milestone was surpassed in July 2010.

China continues to dominate the rankings both for total subscribers and net additions as well as the most rapidly growing, in percentage terms, market in the top 10 over the last 12 months. Meanwhile India continues its progress towards the Top 10. It will overtake Spain in the next quarter in terms of total fixed broadband subscribers and there is a possibility it will be in the top 10 by the end of the year.

DSL continued to be the global access leader supporting 331 million subscribers. Cable's market share is eroding and now sits at 106 million, while fiber is growing fast and is now serving 72 million customers. Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) and alternative internet access technologies continue to add market share as markets start to infill some areas where for various reasons it is difficult to deploy traditional fixed line access. DSL and fiber both dominate the Asian markets while cable is most popular in the Americas.

Meanwhile by the end of 2010 the total number of IPTV subscribers had reached almost 45.4 million, representing over 11.5 million new subscribers over the year and an annual increase of 34.6%. The fourth quarter was the strongest quarter for IPTV growth, adding more than 3.4 million new subscribers and accounting for 8% of the total growth. Europe held on to its number one regional spot, but the growth rate was lower in comparison to other markets, mostly due to maturing IPTV territories such as France and Belgium. Asia showed strong growth with over 50% for the year and is the one to watch to overtake Europe in 2011 as largest IPTV subscriber base. And although the region started with a low overall number of subscribers, the Middle East and Africa (MEA), had the strongest percentage growth - at 63.5%.

Presenting the report at the IP & TV World Forum in London today, Laurie Adams Gonzalez, Marketing Director of the Broadband Forum, said: "2010 was a banner year for IPTV and broadband. We have watched how broadband is changing the world and creating a connected society that few could have imagined a few years ago. With great success comes real world logistical problems - the surge of new devices coming online will soon exhaust the IPv4 address pool. To address this looming problem, the Broadband Forum focused our resources to ensure specifications were in place for a smooth integration of the new Internet protocol, IPv6 into network and device management around the world."

The BroadbandSuite™ 4.0 IPv6 Toolkit defines the network support of IPv6 from core to user, brings IPv6 to all TR-101 based network deployments, allows remote management of IPv6 devices, is scalable to address trillions of devices, and future enhancements have the potential to enrich the user experience (supporting secure, mobile and nomadic applications) and enable the proliferation of connected user devices. Most importantly, this IPv6 toolkit will help service providers reduce the impact of IPv4 protocol exhaustion on their services today while ensuring the growth of new users, devices and applications continues unhampered.

Repair of Pacific Crossing Cable Pending Radiation Levels

Pacific Crossing, which lost connectivity on its PC-1 North and PC-1 West undersea cables as a result of the Japanese earthquake, confirmed that its cable repair ship, CS Lodbrog, is currently at Kagoshima Port (Southwest Japan). The ship is in port for additional preparation due to the radiation levels at the work area. A new repair schedule will be announced as soon as possible.

The company expects repairs on PC-1 West to commence immediately following the repair of PC-1 North.

Service on PC-1 South and PC-1 East is unaffected by this interruption. http://www.pc1.com/

CTIA WIRELESS 2011 Attracted 40,000+ Last Week

International CTIA WIRELESS 2011, which was held last week in Orlando, Florida, attracted more than 40,000 attendees from 125 countries. according to the organizers. This compares with 39,000 for 2010. The International CTIA WIRELESS 2012 show has been booked for May 8 – 10 in New Orleans, Louisiana. http://www.ctia.org

CenturyLink-Qwest Expect Deal to Be Completed this Week

The Public Utility Commission of Oregon (PUC) approved the pending merger between CenturyLink and Qwest Communications, marking the final approval needed to complete the merger. The companies expect to close the merger and combine operations on April 1, 2011. As previously announced, the combined company will use the name CenturyLink and its stock will continue to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under CenturyLink's current symbol, CTL.http://www.centurylinkqwestmerger.com

HomePNA's Ethernet over Coax Delivers 640 Mbps

The HomePNA Alliance is developing a "Fast EoC" (Ethernet over Coax) specification aimed at hotels and apartment buildings and promising 320 Mbps in regular mode, up to 640 Mbps over existing coax lines.

The new HomePNA Broadband Access standard builds on HomePNA 3.1, an ITU standard and the world standard for triple play home networking over coax and phone lines, augmenting it with critical features for the demanding MDU environment.

Fast Eoc increases transmission power and adds enhancements that make MDU operation robust and reliable. The enhanced mode uses bonded channels that provide up to 640 Mbps data rate, which, combined with guaranteed QoS and true multicast capability, can enable the delivery of triple play services to MDU residents over the existing coax cables. Fast EoC delivers the highest security and privacy by adding encryption capability and a unique MAC architecture to prevent endpoints from becoming aware of or communicating with each other. In addition, the technology enables control of up to 126 endpoints supporting the large number of living units in an MDU.

"Fast EoC -- the new HomePNA Broadband Access standard changes the game by delivering reliable and affordable broadband over existing coax lines," said Michael Weissman, president of HomePNA. "Now, MSOs can leverage their existing cabling infrastructure to provide digital services to living units for 10% of the capital needed to deploy alternatives such as DOCSIS."http://www.homepna.org

Level 3 Teams with INTERNEXA for South American CDN Coverage

Level 3 Communications will expand its content delivery network (CDN) services to Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Peru in partnership with INTERNEXA, which operates more than 18,000 kilometers of fiber-optic network across seven countries in South America.

The agreement enables both companies to provide greatly improved International IP content services to their respective customers by taking advantage of Level 3's leading global CDN and INTERNEXA's extensive in-region, fiber-based network.

Level 3's CDN will localize content within Latin America to improve the end-user experience with rich media as well as reduce the amount of bandwidth required. INTERNEXA's expansive in-region network will give content owners greater reach in South America while enabling South American telecommunications carriers to more efficiently access and deliver to their end users reliable, fast-loading rich content, like video, online games, software, music, and other media. Financial terms were not disclosed.http://www.level3.com http://www.internexa.com

Monday, March 21, 2011

FCC Chairman: Spectrum is at Top of Agenda

Addressing the looming spectrum shortage for mobile broadband is a top item on the FCC's agenda, said Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, speaking in an opening keynote at this week's CTIA show in Orlando, Florida. Genachowski gave four core reasons why spectrum is at the top of his agenda: American competitiveness, opportunity, dollars and the cost of delay.

Genachowski also said two-sided, voluntary spectrum auctions could be an effective tool for getting more spectrum to mobile operators while fairly compensating broadcasters. He believes the revenue potential of voluntary incentive auctions could reach $30 billion -- and that this figure should translate to $300 billion in total value to market.

No comment from Genachowski on the proposed AT&T + T-Mobile deal.http://

Ericsson Shows CDMA EVDO Advanced for 30-45% Capacity Gain

Ericsson is demonstrating EVDO Advanced Smart Networking capabilities at CTIA. This further showcases Ericsson's innovation and commitment to CDMA.

DO Advanced techniques allocate network resources intelligently to utilize data capacity more efficiently and to address uneven distribution of wireless data traffic in the network. DO Advanced Smart Network techniques can provide up to 30 to 45 percent capacity gain in today's deployed EVDO networks.

The techniques being demonstrated require software only upgrades to existing EVDO network infrastructure. No change is required to the handset. Wireless operators can significantly increase the number of data subscribers supported and improve the user experience with faster download and improved application performance.

"DO Advanced is the next significant CDMA technology enhancement to address the increased demand for data in our customers' networks." says Paul Challoner, VP CDMA Product Management, Ericsson. "DO Advanced implementation is another proof point of Ericsson's focus on innovative solutions to drive the CDMA industry forward."http://www.ericsson.com

Ericsson Works with NetAmerica on Rural LTE

Ericsson and the NetAmerica Alliance, announced a agreement for LTE rollouts in smaller markets and rural areas across the United States. The NetAmerica Alliance is deploying a shared nationwide LTE network in partnership with independent operators holding 700 MHz or AWS spectrum.

Under the four-year contract, Ericsson will be the sole supplier for the LTE -based radio access network and the core network, based Evolved Packet Core (EPC) technology. The contract also includes IMS, enabling the deployment of tailor-made applications and systems integration services. Furthermore, Ericsson will provide a Mobile Home Gateway solution, which integrates easily with existing wireline service offerings to deliver broadband speeds to communities that have not yet been able to roll out fixed broadband services cost effectively.

Arun Bhikshesvaran, Head of Strategy and Market Development, Ericsson North America, says: "This is a new type of LTE deployment. NetAmerica is making it possible for smaller operators to join together to deliver cost effectively the same mobile broadband services available in major metropolitan areas. The socioeconomic benefits of broadband services in metropolitan areas are well-proven and, with applications designed for rural consumers, one can only imagine the extent to which the people and businesses in these markets will become more empowered and more productive as a result of this opportunity."

Roger Hutton, Chairman and CEO of NetAmerica, says: "Our requirements and those of our participants demanded more than just a vendor relationship. We needed a partner who could truly work with us and our alliance participants to not only bring 4G wireless to their communities, but to provide true converged services for their wireline business as well. After an extensive evaluation of all the major suppliers, Ericsson proved to be that partner."http://www.ericsson.com

AT&T to Provide Wireless Connectivity for New Ford Focus Electric

Ford Motor Company has selected AT&T to provide wireless connectivity for the new Ford Focus Electric, Ford's first all-electric passenger car. A MyFord Mobile smartphone app, using the embedded AT&T wireless connection, will provide Ford Focus Electric vehicle owners with have the ability to send and receive data about their car providing command and control of vehicle settings while away from it.

"Ford has been at the forefront of developing market leading telematics and infotainment services for its vehicles and we're thrilled to be a part of this exciting and significant next step with the upcoming Focus Electric," said Glenn Lurie, president of emerging devices, resale and partnerships, AT&T. "Connecting consumers directly to their electric vehicles in this new and innovative way is going to drive innovative and exciting levels of interaction."

Some of the capabilities include the ability to:

  • Find current and projected state of charge information including estimated range and the amount of charge time necessary for additional distances.

  • Program vehicle charging with utility input, allowing the car to start charging immediately or when electricity prices are lowest with the value charging feature, powered by Microsoft.

  • Features powered by MapQuest available on the MyFord smartphone app.

  • Locate charging stations and get the destination sent to the vehicle.

  • Know if the vehicle can reach a specific charge station from its current location with the current charge level.

  • Create a journey with multiple stops, and determine the likelihood that the car has adequate charge for the full journey.

  • Find the car by creating a route from a mobile phone to the vehicle.

  • Receive alerts if the vehicle isn't charging when it's scheduled to, or if charging stops unexpectedly due to a power outage, plug removal or other event.

  • Receive alerts during recharge when the vehicle has reached a particular preset charge level or has the ability to reach a particular destination.

  • Engage remote vehicle preconditioning, using grid power to heat or cool the vehicle interior.

  • Remotely lock/unlock doors.

  • Use the built-in GPS system to locate the car.

  • Download performance and system data.

  • Fun ways of understanding your driver behavior, with ratings from 'Zen' to 'Zippy'.

  • Receive information personalized to the driver, depending on which key the driver used.

Video: Carrier Ethernet Exchanges


"Wi-Fi CERTIFIED" Hotspot Program Aims for Easier Public Roaming

The Wi-Fi Alliance announced plans to launch a Wi-Fi CERTIFIED testing program that addresses authentication and provision of service for public Wi-Fi networks. The program also aims to facilitate the seamless handoff of cellular traffic from data-hungry smartphones, tablets and other portable electronics to Wi-Fi, helping service providers manage demands on constrained licensed spectrum.

The key benefits of the hotspot program include:

  • Network Discovery and Selection: Devices discover and automatically choose networks based upon user preferences, operator policies and network optimization.

  • Streamlined Network Access: In many cases, devices will be automatically granted access to the network based upon credential mechanisms, such as SIM cards, which are widely used in cellular devices today.

  • Immediate Account Provisioning: The process of establishing a new user account at the point of access will be streamlined, eliminating user steps and driving a common provisioning methodology across vendors.

  • WPA2 Security: Over-the-air transmissions are encrypted using the latest-generation security technology.

"Ensuring end users can easily access hotspot networks from various providers is a win for subscribers, service providers and device makers alike," said Kelly Davis-Felner, marketing director of the Wi-Fi Alliance. "We envision an automated, cellular-like experience for Wi-Fi users around the world in security-protected service provider hotspots."

"As a member of the Wi-Fi Alliance, France Telecom-Orange has actively contributed to the development of Wi-Fi hotspot certification, which is set to significantly improve user experience by facilitating connectivity in hotspots," said Rida Zouaoui, head of access networks standardisation of France Telecom-Orange. "By developing carrier-grade certification, this new generation of hotspots will allow Orange to provide Wi-Fi services that are both reliable and user-friendly. In addition, SIM-based authentication will enhance security and accessibility to Orange Wi-Fi hotspots, especially when roaming."

The planned launch of the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED hotspot certification program is targeted for the first half of 2012. http://www.wi-fi.org

BelAir's Small Cell Base Station Combines LTE and Wi-Fi

BelAir Networks introduced its BelAir100LP LTE Picocell designed to help mobile carriers quickly and cost-effectively build large-scale, small cell networks. The new product represents an evolution of the company's existing strand Picocell, which incorporates HSPA or CDMA radios along with 802.11n Wi-Fi, and is currently in live network trials with major operators. AWS spectrum band is also supported on BelAir Networks indoor and outdoor APs and base stations.

Key features include:

  • Multiple mounting options – pole and wall-mount or patented strand mount via aerial, pedestal, cabinet or vault hybrid fiber coax (HFC) infrastructure

  • Backhaul flexibility – patented high-performance switched mesh, fiber, Ethernet or HFC

  • Licensed and unlicensed access radios – LTE + dual 802.11n Wi-Fi radios with chip-based beamforming

  • Internal array beam steering antennas working in conjunction with chip-based beamforming to deliver improved throughput at a greater distance

  • Powering via AC, DC or cable plant

  • Virtual AP capabilities enabling multiple operators to share common wireless network infrastructure while offering a customized user experience through direct integration with their specific back end systems (AAA, Policy Management) on a per SSID basis.

"In live network trials with Tier One operators, we've proven that combining licensed and unlicensed wireless technologies in a small cell base station is a very effective way to handle growing mobile data traffic," said Bernard Herscovich, President and CEO, BelAir Networks. "The BelAir100LP features a modular platform to accommodate operators' LTE preferences and leverages patented innovations that address the installation challenges – including backhaul, power and mounting – that have impeded widespread picocell adoption to date."