Archive for March, 2009

Cisco Pure Digital buy a pricey bid for low-end consumers

Here’s what RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Sue had to say today about Cisco’s decision to acquire Pure Digital Technologies:
“It’s not the best way to spend $590M, in our view, but then again Cisco has $29.5B in cash and needs to strengthen its relevance in the consumer device market.”

Supercomm - bending, never breaking?

 We had heard the rumors for weeks. Supercomm sales were off, vendors were cutting back, Chicago hotels were even telling people the show was cancelled.

Efforts to track down the truth of rumors were turned back, and now we know why.  Supercomm officials have been working behind the scenes for a while now to move the show to Oct. 21-23 with the hopes that the $7.2 billion broadband stimulus will goose a sagging industry and prompt more people to attend the one major trade show dedicated to all aspects of the U.S. broadband infrastructure.

Change like this doesn’t happen overnight. Officials in Chicago and at McCormick Place had to agree, other support vendors had too, as well, not to mention exhibitors and major attendees.

Somewhere along the lines, the rumors started to swirl. Given the budget constraints that everyone is facing, a smaller Supercomm made a lot of sense.

But this change makes more sense. This isn’t a delay to see if the economy recovers by fall, because real recovery will take longer than that. Had the show been cancelled altogether (and that’s a possibility no one is admitting having considered) the Supercomm organization and its two backers - USTelecom and the TIA – would have faced significant financial penalities, from which Supercomm might not have recovered. 

By moving Supercomm to October and focusing more directly on the broadband stimulus opportunities, this 20-plus year old event lives to see another day. And I, for one, think that’s a good thing. 

(Full disclosure: Telephony is the official producer of Supercomm’s Show Daily and a partner in programming)

ABI: Tough 2009 awaits wireless vendors

Wireless infrastructure vendors may not get a pass in this recession like some had predicted. ABI Research has released new market data this week that projects the global radio access market to contract by 6% this year, falling to $49 billion.

In January, Ericsson CEO Carl-Henric Svanberg proclaimed that the mobile equipment industry was not in telecom crisis, though other equipment sectors–particularly handsets–were feeling the pinch. Despite the battered economy and dried-up capital markets, Svanberg said, mobile operators were still investing in their networks. Motorola’s Q4 network revenues seemed to back up Ericsson’s claims, largely on the strength of Moto’s WiMAX sales, but Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens Networks weren’t so rosy in their predictions. Even Ericsson’s positive outlook was clouded by the 5000 layoffs. more

Updated: Apple goes app crazy for iPhone 3.0

Apple iPhone applications have been downloaded 800 million times, Apple said today at a press conference. There are now more than 25,000 apps available on the iconic phone, which has sold 17 million in the past two years, and that number will only continue to growth with the next version of the iPhone operating system. iPhone 3.0, unveiled today, will support 1,000 APIs available to app developers, currently totaling more than 50,000 – 60% of which had never developed for any mobile platform before. more

Nokia cuts 1,700 jobs as demand falls

Coming off a challenged fourth quarter in which its market share fell 10%, Nokia today announced plans to cut 1,700 jobs globally as consumer demand for its mobile devices wanes. As part of the cuts, which will come from sales, marketing and technology management, Nokia will trim the “marketing and other activities no longer integral following the Symbian acquisition.” These cuts are also related to Nokia’s support for Symbian/S60, which will all be folded into the new Symbian Foundation. more

Comcast eyeing WiMAX in Portland

Comcast apparently won’t be waiting for Clearwire’s nationwide WiMAX rollout to launch mobile broadband services. Comcast chief operating officer Stephen Burke told the Oregonian that Comcast will exercise its wholesale agreement with Clearwire by midyear, using its WiMAX network in Portland to offer a wireless counterpart to its cable broadband services in that market.

Comcast invested $1.05 billion, almost 1/3 of the $3.2 billion infusion into Clearwire as part of its deal with Sprint, Google, Intel and cable operators. Much of those funds will be used to build Clearwire’s WiMAX footprint to at least 8 new markets this year, and it’s probably not coincidental that many of the named markets so far are Comcast market. Philadelphia, Chicago, Seattle, Dallas and Altlanta are all Comcast markets scheduled to receive the Clear service this year. Clearwire’s other live market, Baltimore, is also in the Comcast footprint. more

Broadcom patent suit against Qualcomm dismissed

While Broadcom has had a recent run of favorable results in its ongoing intellectual property war with Qualcomm, it’s luck ran out today. A federal judge in San Diego dismissed one of Broadcom’s many suits against the mobile chip maker–this one claiming that Qualcomm’s patents were exhausted and therefore unenforceable.

Broadcom filed the suit in October, claiming that Qualcomm misused its vast patent portfolio in CDMA and other wireless technologies to “double recover” royalties from licensees. Qualcomm not only sells Mobile Station Modem (MSM) chips that go into CDMA and W-CDMA handsets, it licenses to those manufacturers the core intellectual property used to power them. But Broadcom alleged that by selling the chip Qualcomm is exhausting its patent rights, and that Qualcomm’s licensing practices amount to double-charging the industry for the same technology. more

Optical vendor Polatis hires Ellacoya’s ex-CEO

Gerald Wesel
Gerald Wesel, the onetime CEO of DPI pioneer Ellacoya Networks, has become the new CEO of Polatis Networks, according to the optical equipment vendor’s Website.

Polatis was one of many optical switch startups born amid the exuberant fiber backbone buildouts of the turn-of-the-century telecom bubble. Last year it introduced a wavelength-selective switch for core and metro DWDM. And its fast piezoelectrics switch caught Verizon’s eye last year as a possible way to automate central-office fiber patch panels.

Wesel’s last outfit, Ellacoya, was acquired by Arbor Networks last year.

Wesel also co-founded Cresent Networks, an edge routing vendor that went out of business in 2003, citing an “adverse market environment and lack of additional funding.”

MID meandering

Global Mobile Internet Device (MID) shipments will rise to 416 million units in 2012, achieving a compound annual growth rate of 50.6% from 53.8 million in 2007, according to iSuppli. That’s nearly a factor of eight. Very impressive…right? more

I-feature: Readers respond

As promised, a key component of Telephony’s new Interactive Feature is reader participation, and I’d like to take the opportunity to highlight some of the comments our readers have made on our current I-feature topic, the future of mobility. The comments haven’t exactly been pouring in, several of them have been quite astute, though with a slightly cynical bent.

In response to Sprint’s McGuire on Frolicking in the Social Grass, a story about the interconnected world envisioned by Sprint’s startegy VP Russ McGuire, Tim responded with a detailed description of how the same technologies could be used for what is essentially cyberstalking: more


March 2009
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