Archive of the Global Category

Bell Labs forms group to green communications networks

Bell Labs, Alcatel-Lucent’s (NYSE:ALU) research and innovation arm, announced the launch of Green Touch, an initiative to improve communications networks’ energy efficiency, today. With the help of founding members AT&T (NYSE:T), chipmaker Freescale, hardware maker Samsung Electronics and more than a dozen others, the group has vowed to create technologies that will make communications networks 1,000 times more energy efficient than they are today. more

CES: Nokia CEO stresses need to democratize the smartphone

LAS VEGAS – Nokia’s (NYSE:NOK) goal, through a combination of good business and doing good, is to put mobile phones in the hands of the 2.2 billion people (out of 6.8 billion total) in the planet that still lack a mobile subscription, Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo told CES attendees in his keynote presentation today. The usually humble handset maker used the keynote to showcase how it is changing lives across the world with basic mobile phones and Nokia’s Life Tools. more

Hacker claims to have the key to GSM code

2010 might just be the year that the cellular phone calls become open to any hacker with the wherewithal to listen in. German hacker Karsten Nohl said this week that he has fulfilled his promise of cracking the GSM encryption code that protects phone calls from eavesdroppers while they traverse the airwaves. And while Nohl claims his publishing of the GSM codebook is purely academic, his project could significantly lower barriers for those with more malevolent intent.

IDG News’ Robert McMillian provides a good explanation of what exactly Nohl and his research team have done: cracking the 64-bit cipher called A5/A1 used to mask most GSM calls and SMS, Nohl has compiled a database of codes which can be used like a reverse phonebook to decrypt conversations and text messages. Using the codebook, antennas, some specialized software and about $30,000 worth of computing equipment, a hacker can crack a call in real-time, allowing him or her to listen in on live conversations. If that hacker is willing to wait a few minutes, a recorded call could be cracked in a few minutes using off-the-shelf computing equipment, according to Nohl.

The ability to listen in on cellular conversations isn’t new–it’s been available to law enforcement (and presumably criminals) for years–but the cost of the specialize equipment have made it prohibitive, according to PC World. Nohl’s codes make those capabilities available to just about anybody.

US still waiting as first LTE network lands in Sweden

Just a few weeks after Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) finished its 2009 WiMax rollout, competing 4G technology long-term evolution (LTE) landed its first network – in Sweden. TeliaSonera launched in two cities – the first LTE launches ever – today, promising wireless download speeds of up to 100 megabits per second. The wireless operator used equipment from Ericsson and Huawei to roll out the service in Stockholm and Olso, respectively. more

Study: Backhaul radio spend down in Q3

Operators are supposed to be busting up their piggy banks to upgrade their backhaul networks in anticipation of increased 3G and eventual 4G data traffic, but a new study from Infonetics shows that one of the key backhaul equipment sectors, microwave radios, was down 8% in the third quarter. The global microwave market brought in $1.4 billion, half of which went to Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) and NEC, according to Infonetics. more

Video–A little bit of (twisted) LTE humor

For those of you have been following the VoLGA issue, here’s a video that might amuse–or offend–you. The debate over how exactly to extend bread-and-butter voice and SMS services over the all-IP data network is becoming contentious. On one side are the advocates of IP multimedia subsystem (IMS)-based solutions and on the other are those that favor a more generic solution, utilizing operators existing 2G and 3G circuit-switched infrastructure. Even within those camps there are some big disagreements.

Who says engineers don’t have a sense of humor?

Verizon’s cloud consulting: Helping hand, foot in the door or throat to choke?

Verizon Business (NYSE: VZ) is positioning its new cloud-computing consulting offering – which fluidly combines consultation, professional services and some of the carrier’s own managed telecom/IT services – as an open-ended best-of-breed approach. The company hopes to advise enterprises on their cloud strategies, whether based on internal or third-party infrastructure or a hybrid of the two, even when those enterprises get their cloud computing services from a competitor to Verizon – say, Savvis, Rackspace or AT&T.

“The client may want our full support or just a helping hand,” said Bruce Biesecker, senior strategist at Verizon Business. “They may want design help or other resources. Or they may just want us to provide some training and then fade out into sunset gracefully.” more

Ciena takes breather in Nortel auction, then raises bid, say reports

Ciena (NASDAQ:CIEN) called for a break in last Friday’s auction for Nortel Networks’ (OTC:NRTLQ) optical and Ethernet business unit, taking the bidding into a second day, Reuters reported Saturday.

UPDATE: On Sunday, Reuters reported — again, citing unnamed sources — that Ciena had raised its bid from about $522 million to about $714 million, a mix of $500 million in cash and $214 million in convertible notes.

It’s hard to imagine Ciena winning a bidding war against the other known participant: the much more well-heeled Nokia Siemens Networks (NYSE:NOK; NYSE:SI), which is reportedly bidding jointly with private equity firm One Equity Partners. But NSN has its own internal challenges — predicting larger than expected market share losses this year and announcing a new round of layoffs.

I wonder if Ciena would fare any better if it could pull its own private equity partner into this fight as well. What do you think? Leave a comment.

SingTel launches latest LTE beauty contest

While LTE vendors are still slugging it out for Vodafone (NYSE:VOD) and China Mobile’s (NYSE:CHL) 4G business, a new large-scale network competition has emerged. SingTel today became the latest multinational operator to dangle a big fat LTE contract in front of equipment vendors, announcing plans for a LTE roll out spanning Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore. more

NSN bids on Nortel unit with private equity partner

Nokia Siemens Networks and private equity firm One Equity Partners have jointly bid for Nortel Networks’ (OTCBB:NRTLQ) Metro Ethernet business, challenging Ciena’s (NASDAQ:CIEN) bid for those assets in advance of an auction to be held on Friday, Reuters is reporting.

NSN was expected to bid on the assets, which include Nortel’s optical gear, but NSN’s own current reorganization efforts complicated the picture. A joint bid with a partner could give it enough financial backing to overcome that complication, however.

Analysts have predicted that NSN would be able to beat much-smaller Ciena in a bidding war, not just because of its greater capitalization but because it would exact more synergies from such a deal that Ciena would, allowing it to pay a higher price. Ciena offered $521 million in cash and stock, which was originally estimated as slightly less than half of the 2009 revenue from Nortel’s Metro Ethernet unit. But its revenues dropped about 26% from a year earlier in the third quarter.

NSN was outbid for Nortel’s wireless assets this year by rival Ericsson.

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