Archive for March, 2009

Cox preps for 3G build

Cox is outsourcing the design and construction of its new 3G network to Berliner Communications Inc. (BCI), a service vendor that has been advising operators and building wireless networks for 14 years. BCI will help Cox with the unique task of building a CDMA network at 700 MHz, licenses that Cox won at last year’s FCC auction. more

Alltel’s MyCircle plans near unlimited calling

If you are like most consumers and don’t regularly call more than 25 people, Alltel’s latest MyCircle plan will – for all intents and purposes – be an unlimited plan to you. The carrier, recently acquired by Verizon, today expanded its My Circle calling feature to include five additional numbers for unlimited calling. Without raising the cost, Alltel upped the number of friends a subscriber can call by five – totaling 25 for those on My Circle 20 and 15 for those on MyCircle 10. more

UBS: Telco spending could be down 20% in Q1

Although telecom service providers in general have suggested they will spend 10% to 15% less this year than they did in 2008, their capital expenditures for the first quarter appear to be down about 20%, UBS analysts said in a research note today, citing discussions with industry sources.
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Fairpoint DSL outage hits as regulators lose patience

Fairpoint Communications customers in New Hampshire lost DSL service today, according to ComputerWorld magazine. A reporter there who lost service says he was told by a Fairpoint customer service rep that “service had been out for the entire state of New Hampshire this morning and was still out as of 12:30 p.m. Eastern time.”

However, a Fairpoint spokesperson told Telephony this afternoon there were no widespread outages in New Hampshire today. “We have about 80 individual reports of interruptions for various reasons,” the spokesperson said in an email. “Those are being handled on a case by case basis.”

Those service interruptions come the day after Fairpoint submitted a plan to Maine regulators for how it will correct service problems that have plagued the company since it transferred former Verizon customers to its own back office and billing systems following an acquisition of network assets in three states. Earlier this month, Fairpoint reported having quickly resolved email problems that followed the systems cutover but admitted it needed to keep working to remedy order flow and billing problems.

I-feature: Making the moldable phone

Do you design a single device for all occasions or create a separate device to meet the needs of each occasion? That’s a question that’s been confounding phone makers for the last half decade. As our phones become more powerful, they become capable of usurping the functions of other devices: mobile music players, laptops, navigation systems, even television. The phone may be capable of performing these feats, but viewing video, composing a PowerPoint presentation or mapping a crosstown route on a 4-inch screen isn’t necessarily practical or even comfortable.

The subject of the two most recent interactive feature elements is the evolution of the mobile phone and its interface: a feature outlining Texas Instrument’s plans to evolve the mobile phone into a central repository for computing, content and multimedia; and a podcast with The Astonishing Tribe founder Hampus Jakobsson on the how the device user interface will expand beyond the physical constraints of the screen and keypad. more

Aktino hails 100 Mb/s over copper (lots of copper)

Aktino, which sells Ethernet-over-copper gear for line-bonded broadband, today announced plans to double the rate/reach performance of its products. Starting in May, Aktino’s gear will deliver “up to 100 Mb/s on just five copper pairs (80 Mb/s on four copper pairs).” On five copper pairs, Aktino’s range for 100 Mb/s is 4,000 feet, the company said. And using eight pairs, the range for 100 Mb/s is 9,000 feet.
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Sony Ericsson’s U.S. president leaves

Heading into a challenged first quarter, Sony Ericsson today announced its president of Sony Ericsson USA and head of the North American region Najmi Jarwala is leaving the company at the end of the month. His stated reason for departure was to seek other career opportunities.

Jarwala has been with the company for three years, in charge of redefining Sony Ericsson’s North America strategy and strengthening its presence here.

“It has been an incredibly rewarding time for me and we have achieved a lot together in North America,” Jarwala said in a press release. “We have introduced an increasing number of new products, grown market share, built operator relationships and, perhaps most importantly, have laid the foundation for North America to play a key role in the long term growth and success of Sony Ericsson.”

The company hasn’t announced a successor for Najmi yet, but Anders Runevad, executive vice president of Sony Ericsson and head of global sales and marketing, will take on the position’s responsibilities in the interim.

Palm prepares to say goodbye to epynomous OS

Whether it was triggered by anticipation of Palm’s new OS or the upcoming demise of the old one, Palm’s handest sales took a nose-dive in the last quarter. The company sold 482,000 smartphones in the three months ending Feb. 27, almost half of the number sold last year, while device revenues dropped 72%. Though not exactly the kind of numbers any company wants to see, they were largely expected as Palm prepares to sunset the Palm OS, replacing it with its new Linux-based operating system sometime this year. more

Sony Ericsson takes a turn for the worse

Sony Ericsson said today that it expects to ship only 14 million mobile devices in the first quarter of 2009, marking a year-over-year decline of 36% and a more than 40% quarter-on-quarter fall. Blaming weak consumer demand and de-stocking in the retail and distribution channels, the number four handset maker said its gross margin will decline both YoY and from the previous quarter. more

60 million consumers contemplate ditching wireless

The wireless industry can’t seem to decide if mobile devices will be hard hit because of the economic recession or not. While some say cell phones have become essential and are, therefore, recession proof, the latest report from the Opinion Research Corporation for the New Millennium Research Council indicates that millions of Americans are in fact on the verge of disconnecting their expensive wireless service plans. Based on its survey, two out of five Americans with contract-based cell phones, totaling 39% or 60.3 million, are likely to cut back on their cell phones to save money if the economy gets worse over the next six months (which, let’s face it, it will). more

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