Archive of the 3G/4G Category

Cisco buys a 4G core strategy

If you can’t beat them, buy them. Rather than compete with the spry Starent Networks (NASDAQ:STAR) in the mobile packet core space, Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) has decided to acquire them, announcing today Starent has accepted a $3 billion offer to purchase its outstanding shares. more

Femtocell interoperability gaining momentum

The Femto Forum said today that it will begin the first interoperability testing for femtocells in March, a critical step in ensuring the miniature base stations become practically interchangeable from carrier to carrier. more

Finding the connected consumer’s new loss leader

The quickly shifting roles of devices and services has some of the best minds of the tech world struggling to figure out which are the razors and which are the blades of the connected consumer economy.

In an interview this week, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said, “The iPhone has proven that you can sell a phone with a subscription. The contract cost is greater than the cost of the phone. So what do you think: Do those prices remain higher from AT&T and those guys? Does the hardware become free?” more

CTIA IT: Inside Nokia’s destruction-proofing labs

Nokia's Button-Testing Robot

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – There are few among us who haven’t dropped, stomped, sat on or cracked a cell phone (or, if you’re like me, called a plumber to find out your flip-phone was the cause of a clogged toilet). In a lot of cases, that accident has been the phone’s demise. To give Nokia (NYSE:NOK) handsets a better chance at survival, the global handset maker has Research and Development labs where technicians presuppose - and account for - any destructive, accidental and inevitable mistakes consumers make with their cell phones. more

CTIA IT: Messaging vendors prep for 4G

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – An SMS message is the same to a messaging vendor regardless of the protocol, but as 4G networks continue to come online, there will be new issues of support and interoperability that carriers will have to address. Two vendors at CTIA, Sybase 365, the mobile messaging and commerce subsidiary of Sybase Inc. (NYSE: SY), and wireless messaging and device management vendor Interop Technologies are demonstrating that they are ready to take this old standard and migrate it to any next-generation network. more

AT&T greenlights 3G VoIP for the iPhone

iPhone customers can now use VoIP services over AT&T’s 3G network–not just over WiFi. That’s the ruling today from AT&T (NYSE:T), which has been dealing with regulatory and cosumer fallout from banning iPhone versions of Skype and other VoIP applications from its high-speed packet access (HSPA) network, even though it has allowed such 3G access on other devices. more

VZW looks to venture capitalists for LTE development

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ, NYSE:VOD) has added a new wrinkle to its 4G development program. Not only is it encouraging early development of applications and devices for its forthcoming long-term evolution network, it’s partnering with some of technology’s biggest venture capitalists to fund many of those of the new ideas.

The carrier announced today the creation of the 4G Venture Forum (4GVF), a collaboration between Verzion and several investment firms with a total of $1.3 that could be potentially tapped for new ideas keying off of mobile broadband networks of the future–not just Verizon’s and not necessarily just LTE networks. The funded companies won’t be contractually obligated to work with exclusively–or at all–with Verizon, meaning their innovations could apply equally to AT&T’s (NYSE:T) forthcoming LTE network. Nor are they limited to working with LTE, meaning Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) or even 3G providers could benefit from whatever emerges from the fund.

The venture firms are Charles River Partners, New Ventures Partners, North Bridge Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures and Alcatel-Lucent Ventures, the investment arm of one of Verizon’s primary vendors. Both of VZW’s radio network suppliers Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU) and Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) will work with 4GVF to provide their technical expertise and Verizon itself, of course, will contribute access to the network.

ALU, NEC still partnered for LTE (but they’re seeing other people)

Remember that joint venture to develop long-term evolution technology Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU) and NEC announced at Mobile World Congress two years ago? Those of you that do remember might have been slightly puzzled by Telefonica’s LTE trial announcement today, which named both Alcatel-Lucent and NEC as separate competitors for their contract. If they’re developing the same base station, there’s not much point in doing separate trials, right?

According to Alcatel-Lucent spokeswoman Christine de Monfreid, our eyes are not deceiving us–ALU and NEC are, in fact, competing with each other for the Telefonica (NYSE:TEF) business and they’re bringing their own separately developed LTE kits to the party. It turns out that the two vendors re-evaluated their proposed joint venture last year and decided to scale it back a bit. Instead of developing a joint product line they’re attacking the market with their own portfolios but have agreed to collaborate on a case-by-case basis when going after specific customers, de Monfreid said.

I doubt that means that Alcatel-Lucent and NEC are going to custom build base stations for specific customers, but the implication is that, in the future, ALU and NEC could leverage each other’s customer relationships in their respective markets to land deals, i.e. a Japanese carrier long accustomed to dealing with NEC wants Alcatel-Lucent gear in its network.

Telefonica LTE trials blends vendors from east and west

Telefonica (NYSE:TEF) has become the latest global operator to commit to long-term evolution trials and like Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ, NYSE:VOD), Vodafone (NYSE:VOD) and China Mobile (NYSE:CHL), it’s casting a wide net in search of suppliers. more

Grid Week: A telecom missed opportunity

This week I attend my first Grid Week conference in Washington D.C., but I wasn’t the only newbie there. In contrast to most telecom trade shows this year, this jam-packed conference, in its third year of existence, sold out. The mostly vendor-driven show did have one important (at least to Connected Planet) segment missing, however – telecom service providers. more

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