Nortel postpones optical, Ethernet unit auction

Nortel Networks (OTCBB:NRTLQ) has postponed the auction of its Metro Ethernet Networks unit, which was scheduled to be held today.

“In light of ongoing discussions with interested parties, [Nortel] has decided to not hold the previously scheduled auction today in relation to the sale of its global Optical Networking and Carrier Ethernet businesses,” the company said in a statement today. “Qualified bidders are now required to submit offers by November 17, 2009.”

The news puts a damper on Ciena (NASDAQ:CIEN), whose $521-million stalking-horse bid for Nortel’s assets (that’s slightly less than half of the unit’s 2009 revenue) would catapult its stature globally and domestically.

Other potential bidders may include Ericsson, Nokia Siemens, Huawei, Tellabs, Cisco, and Infinera. In October, one analyst suggested that interest among potential buyers had waned in recent months, a notion that seems to bear more credence now that Nortel is seeking more time to attract alternative bids. More recently, however, UBS analyst Nikos Theodosopoulos called NSN a “likely active bidder” that could push the purchase price above $750 million. more…

Dell smartphone official in China; is AT&T next?

dell-mini-3.jpgAfter months — even years — of speculation, Dell officially entered the smartphone market today, releasing its Dell 3 Mini smartphone on Open Mobile System, China Mobile’s (NYSE:CHL) version of the Android operating system. After it launches in China later this month, the Dell 3 Mini will make its way to Brazil’s Claro, and — while no U.S. plans have been announced — it should be headed to AT&T (NYSE:T) in the U.S. next, according to ABI Research. more…

Only two regions remain in AT&T union talks

Only two districts remain in AT&T’s (NYSE:T) region-by-region negotiations with union workers after the company signed a four-year agreement with Southwest employees this week.

AT&T’s contract with workers in District 3, which includes nine Southeastern states, expired in August. And its contract in District 1, which includes Connecticut, expired in April. Together they represent just 30% of AT&T’s roughly 120,000 landline employees.

Agreements in those remaining regions don’t appear likely to be coming any time soon. Union officials in District 1 haven’t met with AT&T officials since October. And yesterday William Henderson, a union president there, called AT&T’s region-by-region approach a “divide and conquer” strategy, though the company pointed out that its existing labor contracts are divided into these regions.

Former AOL VP launches Open Mobile Solutions

This post is part of a series leading up to an upcoming Connected Planet feature story on open mobile. Road to Open: Read part 1 HERE and part 2 HERE.

jai-jaisimha.jpg

Developers don’t actually care about mobile operating systems; they just want to reach people, said Jai Jaisimha, CEO of Open Mobile Solutions. Likewise, consumers buy devices based on their functionality, not the OS. With these two truths in mind, Jaisimha left his post as a vice president for AOL Mobile in the summer to start OMS, an open-source initiative aimed at making it easier for developers to build apps that can run on as many devices as possible. more…

What Google gets with Gizmo5

As rumored, Google Thursday confirmed its purchase of VoIP firm Gizmo5, instantly adding Skype-like functionality — and an open source bent — to its Google Voice service. Credit TechCrunch for sniffing out the deal earlier this week.

The acquisition as it plays out will likely be used by Google to add more integrated outbound and, in particular, computer-based softphone calling to the Google Voice service, more than ever setting up Google Voice as a PSTN or mobile service replacement rather than just a complement as it is today. more…

Apple, RIM put the full-court press on developers

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) lifted the veils of secrecy around application development today, and Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) announced innovations on its BlackBerry App World. Specifically, Apple updated its Developer Center Web site with the ability for developers to track their software as it progresses through the App Store’s oft-criticized approval process, and RIM gave its BlackBerry user interfaces a face lift, as well as promised carrier billing in App World by 2010. more…

Would you use Adobe’s Flash to deliver IPTV?

Adobe’s (NASDAQ:ADBE) group platform evangelist, Kevin Hoyt, was at the TelcoTV show this week, aiming to sell telcos on the idea of using the company’s Flash media player to deliver video to the home.

“Consumers are demanding the full Web, and part of the full Web is Flash,” Hoyt said.

Version 10.1 of the Flash player, introduced this year, is coming to living rooms in 2010 through a partnership with chip vendor Broadcom. It’s also part of Adobe’s Open Screen Project, an effort launched last year to remedy the fragmentation of video-enabled consumer electronics by using Flash to play video in the home, eliminating the need for service providers to have to adapt video content for myriad different devices.

Adobe’s “goal,” Hoyt said, is for TVs to come equipped with Flash when consumers buy them. more…

XO in limbo after Icahn standoff

Carl Icahn’s withdrawal of his latest rejected offer to buy the 10% of XO Communications (OTC:XOHO) that he doesn’t already own leaves the company’s next move hard to predict.

Rob Powell at Telecom Ramblings has an interesting analysis of the conundrum the company now faces. And he throws cold water on some of the current speculation that XO might make an acquisition sometime soon.

XO stirred that speculation by writing in its third-quarter earnings report this week, “We believe that certain opportunities exist today in the highly competitive CLEC industry that may not recur such as, but not limited to, the acquisition of other CLECs.” That observation came in the context of the company defending its decision to raise cash without raising high-yield debt. How it will pull that off in Icahn’s orbit is one of the key questions facing XO.

Developers flock to Android, but is openness to thank?

This post is part of a series leading up to an upcoming Connected Planet feature story on Open Mobile. Road to Open: Read part 1 HERE.

Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform has been trumpeted as the beacon of openness and — for the most part — it has lived up to the hype. Although criticized for limiting access to its software development kit, Android is proving to be relatively easy and inexpensive to develop fpr. As a newer platform, it may take awhile for developers to flock to it as they did to Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone, but there is no doubt they are coming, said Peter Farago, vice president of marketing for Flurry Analytics. more…

Connected Planet Podcast: Z-Wave on home energy management

Home energy management is an essential part of plans for the electric grid’s make-over. It’s already being done at an application level, but there are still issues to be worked out, including standards to bring together numerous players. Connected Planet spoke with Z-Wave Alliance chairman Raoul Wijgergangs about how the market is shaping up.

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