Archive for February, 2008

Helio holds on

The last of the boutique MVNOs continues to maintain a grip on solvency, but just barely. As MocoNews reported, Helio saw its net loss jump from $192 million to $327 million between 2006 and 2007. Yet its revenues have more than tripled and its subscribers base continues to grow, settling at 180,000 by the end of 2007 (click here for the full Helio report in EarthLink’s annual 10K filing with the SEC). The more Helio grows, the more it’s costing its parents, SK Telecom and the already financially harried EarthLink. more

The quotable OFC

There’s a lot more to say about this week’s OFC NFOEC optical trade show (in addition to all this). While I continue to sift through my notes, please enjoy my traditional list of disembodied statements heard at the show:

“TV has no latency problem. If you lose an hour, you don’t miss that much.”
–Bob Metcalfe, partner, Polaris Ventures

“Video is the new black.” – Donn Lee, network architect, Facebook, projecting his company’s need for terabit routers by 2011

“Over the next five years, all the high-speed links out of a computer will go optical.” – Robert Zona, marketing director, optical platform division, Intel

“It’s been a difficult road for Alcatel Lucent. They’re the poster child today for why consolidation isn’t easy.” –Paul Bonenfant, vice president of equity research, Morgan Keegan

“Because the capital markets are so broad, [component manufacturers] are always able to find another group of guys to reload their balance sheets, and they subsequently get wiped out. It’s now becoming somewhat entertaining.” –Todd Koffman, managing director of equity research, Raymond James

“You’d have to be on drugs to believe that.” –Andrew Schmidt, partner, Nyquist Capital, on projections for a $900-million 40G market in 2013

“I got the message. You need it. We’re working on it.” –John D’Ambrosia, components technology scientist, Force10 Networks, on 100G industry standards

“The FCC made a big decision last week. They fined the makers of NYPD Blue $1 million for showing a naked woman from the rear in a shower. So the people in Washington are busy dealing with very important issues.” –Reed Hundt, former chairman, FCC

“Let me put the ‘but’ in.” – Dave Clark, vice president, optical and defense products, Sierra Monolithics, showing a slide reading “40G/100G is exciting, but…”

700 MHz Auction: Sure the money’s good, but…

While none of the bidders in the 700 MHz auction are making any noise, one U.S. Senator is. Arkansas Democrat Mark Pryor is lambasting the FCC, and specifically chairman Kevin Martin’s handling of the auction, despite the $19.5 billion in funds so far raised in difficult economic times. According to a story by Broadcasting & Cable, Pryor told a room full of broadcasters that the auction was a disaster, benefiting the major Tier I vendors to the determent of smaller operators. more

iPhone SDK worth the wait

With less than three days left in February, there is still no sign of Apple’s software development kit (SDK) for the iPhone, promised to us by CEO Steve Jobs himself back in October of last year. The rumor reported in Business Week was that it will be delayed by one to three weeks, although Apple has yet to confirm a new launch date or offer an explanation for the holdup. Knowing Apple and its penchant for doing the unexpected (read: anything it wants), it’s probably in no hurry and is banking on its customers agreeing the iPhone SDK will be worth the wait. more

Drawing a shaky line on P2P shaping

It was Comcast on the podium defending itself from charges of P2P blocking this week, but it was service providers of all shapes and sizes left wondering if the FCC and Congress would soon be telling them how to manage their networks. more

It’s a no-brainer, folks

If you listened to my podcast yesterday with Mark McElroy of Connected Nation about their study on the economic impact of pushing broadband into underserved areas of the U.S., you might have been impressed by a big number — $134 billion. That’s the potential economic impact of national deployment of what Connected Nation, a not-for-profit group, has done in Kentucky, with the ConnectKentucky project.

In talking with McElroy, however, I was even more impressed by two other numbers. more

Correction: Rim Semiconductor

In my initial report on Rim Semiconductor, I wrote that Embarq was one of the few publicly named members of the IPSL SIG–the group convened by Rim to develop industry standards for its IP Subscriber Line technology. In fact, Embarq is not now and has never been a member of IPSL SIG. Rather, Embarq hosted the group’s first meeting last April, but a spokesman for the carrier assures me that their only contribution was the locale–Embarq’s Technology Center. The telco has not participated in the group’s standardization efforts, though Embarq has evaulated Rim’s gear and is “keeping an eye on the technology,” the spokesman said.

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Qualcomm loses its FLO

Toward the end of last year, Qualcomm was full of promises for the burgeoning mobile TV market and its Media Forward Link Only (FLO) technology. Yet so far, the market has received less than positive reviews, and we have yet to see another MediaFLO handset be unveiled. more

MWC: MSFT eyes mobile model for computing

BARCELONA–Microsoft has struck a deal with Russia’s MTS for the bundling of a laptop lease and wireless data subscription into one monthly bundle. Oddly enough that deal seems very similar to the way the cellular industry works: a cellphone is useless without a wireless connection and a wireless connection is pointless without a device to access it. That same logic now is starting to be applied to computing, an acknowledgement that the PC and the Internet are so closely tied together that they can’t be separated. So why not sell them together? more

MWC: MEMS the word

BARCELONA–You never would have figured Qualcomm would have been so proud of a tiny one-inch black-and-white screen, but the that’s just what the chipset maker was showing off at the Mobile World Congress. The Hisense C108 is the first phone using display technoloy from Qualcomm’s MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) subsidiary, and while the phone may not be the most impressive looking handset at the Congress it probably has the best battery life. The MEMS display reflects ambiant light to render its images, unlike liquid crystal displays which depend on a power-draining backlight. The result is a phone that can go 20% to 40% longer without recharging than it peers. more

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