Archive for June, 2009

Telit filling the gap left by Kyocera in M2M

Telit Communications (LON:TEL) is taking advantage of the vacuum left by Kyocera’s abrupt exit from the M2M module business to establish a foothold in the CDMA telematics markets. This week, Telit announced that its first CDMA product, a dual-band 1X module, has been approved for Sprint’s 2.5G network.

The Italian machine-to-machine module maker has always focused on the GSM/UMTS embedded devices markets, while Kyocera (NYSE:KYO) has focused on CDMA. In March, though Kyocera shocked the industry by closing the division down outright. more

RIM’s not scared of Apple, but maybe it should be

Despite increasing competition in the smartphone space, Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) shipped 7.8 million devices in the first quarter and saw its revenue grow by 33%. The BlackBerry maker reported its first-quarter earnings last night, and told investors that even though it expects second-quarter revenues to be lower than Q1, it isn’t afraid of its growing competition. more

New CEO says Kineto is more than just a UMA company

Kineto Wireless made its name from unlicensed mobile access (UMA), the protocol that routes WiFi calls over the Internet to a carrier’s mobile core. But Kineto’s newly appointed CEO Jeff Brown is trying to dispel the notion that Kineto only dabbles in one small niche of the wireless industry. Rather, Brown pointed out on his official first day on the job, Kineto is evolving into a company with the grander scheme of enabling wireless communication over any IP network. more

IBM turns research eye on mobile

IBM (NYSE:IBM) has identified mobile communications as a new pillar in its near-term research efforts, announcing today that it plans to invest $100 million over the next five years in wireless R&D projects focusing on enterprise applications and platforms as well as the unique needs of customers in emerging markets. more

PBB-TE carrier Ethernet standard ratified

The IEEE ratified an industry standard for PBB-TE (Provider Backbone Bridges - Traffic Engineering) technology yesterday at a meeting of the engineers’ organization in Tokyo.

The approval of 802.1Qay is good news for vendors like Fujitsu Network Communications and Ciena (NasdaqGS: CIEN), whose optical networking platforms include support for the connection-oriented carrier Ethernet transport technology, and for Nortel Networks (NYSE: NT), which first championed it back in 2006, when it was called PBT.

PBB-TE’s standardization also potentially gives it a leg up against its rival, MPLS-TP, which is based on Layer 3 routing technology rather than carrier Ethernet. Backed by big names such as Alcatel-Lucent and Cisco Systems, MPLS-TP was proposed only last year as compatibility concerns grew over T-MPLS, a transport technology being standardized by the ITU-T. So with MPLS-TP not yet standardized, PBB-TE supporters can at least brag about their status for a while.

In a sad twist of irony, perhaps, the IEEE ratified PBB-TE just one day after Soapstone Networks, a long-struggling software startup focused primarily on PBB-TE, announced that its board had okayed a liquidation of the company and that it had dismissed 50 remaining employees.

For more on this subject, read “PBB-TE: What now?”

UPDATE [6/22/09]: Here is the official release.

Vendor trio readies first standardized femtocell platform

Just two months after the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) finalized its new femtocell interface standard, three vendors have managed to pack the new protocol into an end-to-end platform. Continuous Computing, PicoChip and Starent Networks (NASDAQ:STAR) said today they have completed interoperability testing and are now showing off a fully interoperable femtocell home base station and network gateway that uses the freshly minted 3GPP IUH interface. more

AT&T improves U-Verse UIs, ups Internet speed

AT&T (NYSE:T) today announced enhancements to its U-Verse IPTV platform, including a free 20% speed increase for those who subscribe to U-Verse Internet Max, a new application for usage-based top picks on-demand and a new PC interface for its digital-video recorder (DVR) subscribers. Making good on its promise to focus on its existing customers as it draws back on U-Verse expansion, the free software updates will be available to U-Verse customers within the month. more

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Web browsing not just for smartphone users

Consumers with basic capability phones, such as those offered free by carriers, consume as much or more raw data than iPhone users, according to Internet mobility company Novarra. The vendor today published its first mobile Internet experience benchmark report studying how consumers access and use the mobile Internet on its Vision browser and mobile Internet platform. more

AT&T’s new vendor strategy ‘no big deal,’ analyst says

AT&T’s (NYSE: T) rumored plan to reduce the number of direct suppliers it works with to about 30 — two for each of about 15 technology categories — “shouldn’t be a big deal,” according to Jeffries analyst George Notter.

In a research note this morning, Notter pointed out that AT&T already gives the vast majority of its business to two key vendors. “We’re not sure there’s anything really new here,” he wrote. “We think it’s basically just ‘business as usual’ for AT&T.”

He also said vendors are already being notified of their new chosen roles and that a public announcement should be coming soon. more

Qwest: Broadband speeds a ‘non-issue’

It was a bit surprising to hear Qwest Communications’ (NYSE: Q) chief financial officer, Joe Euteneuer, assert at an investor conference this week (in relation to residential broadband), “Speed is almost a non-issue for the consumer.”

“The consumer just wants what they want when they want it, and they want it seamlessly delivered,” he said, adding that Qwest is “empowering” its workforce to “perfect the customer experience” and that “we’ll see the benefits of that, and speed will be a non-issue.”

Set aside the obvious, which you already know just from being a broadband consumer — that speed is SO NOT a non-issue.

Qwest in particular has made it plain in the past year that high-speed Internet service is the core of its entire corporate strategy, Qwest being the only regional Bell carrier without an in-house wireless or terrestrial video offering.

“We’re moving the high-speed Internet product to be the anchor of what we’re trying to do here,” Ed Mueller, Qwest’s chief executive officer, said last fall.

So high-speed Internet is the key, but speed is a non-issue? more

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