Thursday, June 30, 2011

Skype brings video calling to Android phones

UK: Skype has announced an updated version of its Skype for Android app - Skype for Android 2.0, bringing Skype Video Calling to the currently fastest growing mobile OS.

With the new version, users will be able to make and receive free 1-to-1 video calls over Skype between their Android phone and other Skype contacts on the iPhone, Mac, Windows PCs and even TVs. The Android video call app works over Wi-Fi or 3G data connections and can be downloaded for free from the Android Market or the Skype website using any phone browser.

"We are committed to bring Skype Video Calling to as many platforms as possible and are delighted to deliver on this with our new updated Android video chat app," said Neil Stevens, Skype's VP and GM for product and marketing.

"With approximately 30 million concurrent users logging into Skype at any given time and making up to half a million simultaneous video calls, the Skype video chat on Android app makes it even easier for users to share moments with their contacts wherever they are."

In addition to video chat, users can also make calls to landlines and mobiles around the world, as well as send SMS's to friends and family anywhere in the world at great Skype rates. All this comes with a complete redesign of the Skype for Android user interface.

There's a new main menu on the Skype app for Android where users can navigate easily through their contacts, access their Skype profile to change personal details or see the balance of their Skype Credit.

Finally a new mood message box at the top of the Skype app menu makes it easier than ever for users to share how they are feeling, what they've seen, or what they're up to.

For this first phase of launch, handsets that support video calling include the HTC Desire S, Sony Ericsson Xperia neo, Sony Ericsson Xperia pro and the Google Nexus S.

Canadian critical communications decision completes TETRA availability worldwide

CANADA: The TETRA Association announced that the Canadian telecoms regulator Industry Canada has issued a revision to its rules that will enable equipment conforming to the TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) voice and data communications standard to be type accepted. This revision will result in TETRA systems being available for use in Canada for the first time.

The revised Radio Standard Specification (RSS)* for the Canadian market follows the decision from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) earlier this year to allow TETRA systems to be used in America. The certification from Industry Canada means that TETRA can now be available in all countries of the world.

Phil Godfrey, Chairman of the TETRA Association, said: “We are grateful to Industry Canada, with whom we have been working closely throughout the process that has resulted in this decision. We are delighted that users in Canada who require mission-critical communications can now consider TETRA as an option.”

The first implementation of the technology in North America took place in 2009, when TETRA infrastructure and devices from PowerTrunk and Sepura were trialled by BC Hydro, the third largest electric utility in Canada. Further successful trials have taken place in the US.

TETRA is the technology of choice for professional users in the public safety, military, air, road and rail transport, utilities and many other market sectors. The technology has been adopted by 121 countries to date, and is the most established and advanced standard for critical communications.

“Having set up the first TETRA pilot network in the country and been the first to obtain type acceptance for our TETRA portfolio, we welcome Industry Canada’s revised Radio Standard Specification, which will help stimulate the TETRA market in Canada. We also recognise the role played by the TETRA Association supporting the introduction of the ETSI standard into the North American market,” said Jose Martin, CEO of PowerTrunk Inc., Teltronic S.A.U.’s North American subsidiary.

"Following the FCC waiver in April, this is yet another important step for TETRA in North America. Both Sepura and, I am sure, many user organisations are pleased that Industry Canada has recognised the benefits that TETRA can bring to a wide range of business sectors and are excited by the opportunities that should result from this landmark decision," said Jens Thostrup, Sepura’s senior VP, Sales and Marketing.

* The new version of RSS-119 includes requirements for equipment with a 25 kHz channel spacing and an occupied bandwidth greater than 20 kHz operating in the frequency bands 406.1-430 MHz, 450-470 MHz, 806-821/851-866 MHz and 821-824/866-869 MHz.

Market on the move – Insight of M2M communication technology

Oozi Cats

NEW DELHI, INDIA: For a few years now the machine-to-machine (M2M) communication technology is rapidly gaining awareness. Businesses as well as public authorities and organizations begin to recognize that M2M delivers outstanding value propositions in terms of cost reduction, efficiency improvement and business model development.

At the same time there is still a lack of common understanding of the technological framework and the value chain of M2M. To unlock the full power of M2M it’s therefore necessary to provide potential users with a clear picture.

The idea of M2M: Basic principles enable endless variety of apps
The basic concept of M2M is the same-enabling real-time data communication between remote machines and central management applications to enhance the value of the remote device to its user.

Within the basic structure of an M2M application, there are many wired and wireless communications options. But the real growth trend lies within embedded cellular M2M, which enables rapid and secure data transfer via GSM, UMTS, or CDMA networks.

The exciting thing about M2M is that the possibilities are endless in terms of what new innovative devices and applications can be developed that leverage M2M technology. Historically, M2M has focused on vertical market applications, like fleet management, remote monitoring, and utility meter reading.

However, emerging applications such as pay-as-you-drive auto insurance, Smart Grid automation, e-readers, and connected personal navigation devices (PNDs) are driving innovation and growth within M2M.

The many benefits created from M2M technology are among the reasons why independent analyst firms such as Berg Insight estimate that the number of cellular M2M connections will triple by 2015 to approximately 300 million.

Contributing to the expected growth of M2M is the recent embrace of the industry by major cellular carriers around the world who have recognized the vast market potential of M2M.

MindTree extends strategic partnership with Getronics

BANGALORE, INDIA: MindTree Ltd, a global IT and Product Engineering Services company, announced an expansion of the strategic partnership with Getronics in the area of Remote IT Infrastructure Management, Telecom and Application Support Services. Getronics, part of the €13.4 billion KPN group, is a leading ICT service-provider in the world with a market leading position in Benelux.

“This strategic partnership between MindTree and Getronics has proven itself over the last seven years on two key objectives – cost reduction and improved quality of service and now expands to include a joint go to market agreement. This partnership will provide our clients with an extended services portfolio to choose from,” said Steven van Schilfgaarde, acting CEO of Getronics.

“The engagement with Getronics is significant as it is a testimony of MindTree’s ability to take up large-scale engagements and be measured on stringent SLA based deliverables for managing critical IT infrastructure” said Parthasarathy N.S., president and head of Infrastructure Management Services and Independent Testing at MindTree.

This engagement has already ramped up to 450 engineers delivering high quality 24x7 services from MindTree’s delivery centers in Bangalore and Chennai. Getronics confirms it has realized significant cost reduction coupled with improvement in SLAs through this engagement. Both companies expect significant engagements in the future.

Steven van Schilfgaarde added: “We want to provide our clients the benefits of offshore expertise through a strategic partnership. MindTree was chosen as a strategic partner for its technology expertise, proven track record of delivery, highly talented people, cultural fit and top management commitment.”

Bay Talkitec launches Smart LI - world’s first real-time 3G video interception app

CHENNAI, INDIA: Bay Talkitec, a pioneer in 3G VAS solutions who has deployed India’s first 3G Value added Services in MTNL, announced the launch of “Smart LI” – world’s first real time 3G video interception application that allows real time call interception and monitoring through 3G mobile handsets, IP-video phones, and even soft phones - desktop/laptops in case the monitoring agency is out of coverage area.

Built as a complete system, Smart Intercept integrates real time communication interception, logging and analysis of both voice and 3G video calls. Besides enabling recording of video and voice communication which is monitored in real time, a powerful “Call Detail Record” (CDR) reporting tool for receiving data from the service provider of the intercepted calls is also built into this.

Also, when any agency considers intercepting a call, the system sends a SMS alert whenever the monitored caller makes or receives a call and the interception can be monitored immediately. It will thus be the first integrated solution that enables tracking real time 3G video and voice calls and this provides a great boon to the law enforcement agencies.

D. Arunan, co-founder and director, Bay Talkitec, said: “When we came to know about the challenges faced in intercepting 3G Video calls, we took up the issue and leveraging on our vast experience in 3G technology, came out with Smart LI. Being an Indian company we are proud to launch world’s first Real time interception of 3G video calls. The powerful application with multiple features will change the way law enforcement agencies have carried out interception and investigation in India.”

T. Hariraj, senior VP, Sales & Marketing, Bay Talkitec, said: “The launch of Smart LI strengthens already existing strong 3G product suite like Video conferencing, Video help desk and Roaming “i”- an application for video surveillance. This breakthrough product addresses the challenges and meets fully the requirements of Law enforcement agencies. Smart LI will now enable all the operators to fulfill the Government requirements for continuing the 3G services. The launch of LI will open many opportunities both within and outside India, and propel Bay Talkitec to next level of performance.”

Samsung launches faster high-performance memory cards for 4G smartphones

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA: Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd announced production of its high-performance micro Secure Digital (microSD) cards with advanced data transfer speeds that support the performance requirements on fourth generation (4G) smartphones. The new 20-nanometer-class microSD cards have a class 10 speed rating suitable for seamless data storage and transmission of full HD video, one of the features becoming highly popular among 4G smartphone users.

“The industry demand for high-class-rated memory cards addresses the growing performance push for next generation mobile applications in more advanced smartphones including 4G models,” said Wanhoon Hong, executive vice president, memory sales & marketing, Samsung Electronics. ”As the industry adopts microSD cards with a class 10 rating, the superior data transfer speeds are expected to improve the mobile user experience tremendously.”

The new 32GB microSD cards can write at 12 megabytes per second (MB/s) and read at 24MB/s, providing users with more than double the maximum write speeds of a class 4 rated 32GB microSD card. The new 32GB memory card incorporates 32Gb 3-bit NAND flash memory chips and a proprietary 3-bit NAND controller to deliver the high performance.

The new card follows the introduction of Samsung’s 30 nanometer (nm) class, 32 gigabit (Gb) 3-bit-per-cell (3-bit) NAND-based 32 gigabyte (GB) microSD cards in February 2010. By applying the finer 20-nm-class process technology, the productivity of the chips is raised over 30 percent.

As an industry pioneer, Samsung plans to continue to aggressively introduce new NAND-based mobile memory solutions for timely market adoption. Mass production of its 20nm-class 64Gb 3-bit NAND designed on advanced toggle NAND architecture is anticipated for early next year.

China’s PON CPE vendors developing cutting-edge technologies

Julie Kunstler, Ovum principal analyst

AUSTRALIA: It is not surprising that China’s PON CPE (customer premises equipment) vendors are doing well in this highly cost-sensitive market. Building, testing, and qualifying FTTx CPE requires a lots of skilled labor. In addition, China leads the world in consumption of FTTx equipment, providing the PON CPE vendors a strong home market.

However, China’s FTTx CPE vendors are not simply finding cost savings at the margin. A number of them are leading innovations, creating PON ONU/ONT (optical network unit/optical network terminal) devices that cost around 40 percent less than today’s equipment.

These innovations could bring PON CPE costs to within 1.5 times the cost of comparable DSL equipment. When applied to 10G PON, this price reduction may serve as the catalyst for adoption.

Cambridge Industries Group (known as Cambridge or CIG) and Superxon (Chengdu) Technology Ltd, two privately held PON CPE vendors in China that have developed cutting-edge technologies for significant savings are our main focus.

Cambridge pushes BOSAs on board for GPON and takes the trademark
Cambridge is a significant independent supplier of GPON ONTs. Its revenues had grown at a CAGR of more than 125 percent over the past three years.

Cambridge is a leader in the charge to bring BOSAs (bidirectional optical sub-assemblies) on board for PON equipment. Cambridge publicly discussed BOSAs back in 2009 and now holds a trademark for BOB – BOSA on Board. BOSA-on-board ONT designs enable significant cost savings of 40 percent when compared to traditional optical module–based designs. This saving is significant in GPON, where PON ONTs are still at least twice the cost of DSL/VDSL/ADSL CPE.

Bringing BOSA-on-board ONT equipment to market presents challenges, requiring calibration and testing of each ONT device, as well as testing and qualification by system vendors and service providers.

Cambridge claims that its GPON ONTs are interoperable with “practically every” GPON OLT in the industry. It has more than 500 employees and can apply its manpower to BOSA-on-board ONT device calibration and testing. In early June 2011, Cambridge announced its new manufacturing facility, more than doubling its former capacity. Ovum’s upcoming brief on BOSAs will discuss the movement to BOSAs in the PON market along with implications for the ecosystem.

Superxon positions itself for 10G PON, EoC, and intellectual property
Superxon is supplying PON equipment to the major system vendors in China. Based on conversations with component vendors, we believe that Superxon is gaining market share. Its competitive strategy includes BOSA designs for 10G PON equipment.

The major impediment to 10G PON is the cost of the optics and therefore the high cost of equipment. Savings achieved through BOSA-based 10G PON equipment might be sufficient to support the business case for 10G PON. Superxon’s competitive product positioning also includes EoC – Ethernet over Coax.

Products include cable line terminals and cable network units. This positions Superxon to capture market share when China’s cable industry adopts PON for triple-play services – despite delays, we do expect this to happen within the next few years.

The company’s news site is dominated by announcements concerning patent filings and patent grants. Superxon has already been granted 29 patents, an impressive amount for a company that was founded in late 2007. In addition, its website mentions three ISO certifications.

China and beyond
China’s PON CPE vendors are developing cutting-edge technologies leading to significant cost savings. This competitive advantage serves Cambridge and Superxon well in China’s fast-growing PON market. It also works well outside of China, where OEMs and service providers alike understand the business case implications of PON CPE equipment that approaches the cost of DSL CPE equipment.

Telcom Italia selects Incard MUSE platform to support web based SIM services

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: Incard, a leader in smart cards for the mobile telecom industry worldwide and a division of STMicroelectronics, is supplying smart SIM cards and technical support enabling Telecom Italia to develop exciting new services for its mobile subscribers, hosted on the handset.

Incard's MUSE (Multimedia USIM Environment) family of SIMs support Smart Card Web Server (SCWS) technology, a new standard enabling visually appealing, graphical web-style SIM services on cellphones and smartphones. Telecom Italia is also using Incard's technical expertise to support its migration from legacy text-based services to the SCWS web-server application environment. The MUSE family also provides the flexibility to deploy NFC contactless services in the future.

As one of the world's leading telecom operators, Telecom Italia is the first to launch SCWS SIM cards for its handsets. These now provide the company with a platform to roll out new SIM-based services for subscribers, accessed via a user-friendly web-style environment featuring icons, images and hyperlinks. Services will include enhanced multimedia, Telecom Italia web portal directly on the SIM card, over-the-air updating of SIM-based web content, improved address book management, secure handling of information, online-style technical help and mobile advertising.

Throughout the project, Incard has preserved coexistence of new SCWS applications with the legacy SIM services. This gives Telecom Italia the flexibility to offer the classic text interface, where preferred, while allowing a smooth migration with continued use of existing infrastructures and servers.

"We are delighted that Telecom Italia has chosen to partner with Incard, and the success of this project confirms our position as a leading provider of advanced SIM solutions," said Michele Scarlatella, VP of Marketing at Incard. "Our MUSE family provides a powerful and flexible platform for customers to develop best-in-class services."

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ericsson remains top point-to-point radio manufacturer

BOSTON, USA: Because consumers are increasing their use of smartphones and tablets in order to stay connected “anywhere, anytime,” system OEMs are increasing the number of wireless point-to-point radios to accommodate all the additional traffic backhaul.

The recently released Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Technologies Service (GaAs) Forecast and Outlook, “Wireless Point-to-Point Radio Component Demand: 2010-2015,” shows that leading infrastructure equipment supplier, Ericsson, manufactured 26 percent of the nearly 1.4 million point-to-point radios that shipped in 2010.

This Strategy Analytics research forecasts growth for point-to-point radio shipments to slightly more than 2 million in 2015, resulting in $300 million RF component revenue. In addition to Ericsson, the report details product offerings from major suppliers, such as Nokia Siemens Networks, Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent, Aviat Networks, BridgeWave Communications, TriQuint, Avago Technologies, Hittite and RFMD.

“Wireless is becoming an important backhaul solution as the amount of mobile data increases because of increased device use,” noted Eric Higham, director of the Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Technologies Service. “Backhaul is becoming an integral part of the whole wireless network, so it is not surprising to see large wireless equipment OEMs like Ericsson leading the charge.”

Asif Anwar, director in the Strategy Analytics Strategic Technologies Practice added, “As the infrastructure deployments for emerging 4G technologies—including LTE—pick up, we expect to see growth in the use of wireless point-to-point radios for backhaul.”

ANADIGICS receives co-operation and support award from Huawei

WARREN, USA: ANADIGICS Inc., a leader in radio frequency (RF) semiconductor solutions, announced that ithas been recognized by Huawei by receiving their prestigious Cooperation and Support Award for outstanding service.

The award was presented to Ron Michels, ANADIGICS' CEO by Derek Luo, Huawei's terminal parts CEG senior business manager. According to him: "ANADIGICS has been recognized for providing exceptional support in responding to Huawei's ramp-up of 3G smart phones in the second and third quarters of 2010." Victor Chu, Huawei's business director terminal parts CEG added, "The level of cooperation and support demonstrated by ANADIGICS during a critical period in our manufacturing process was significant in ensuring our success in the highly competitive wireless handset market."

Ron Michels commented: "I'm extremely proud to receive this award from Huawei on behalf of our team at ANADIGICS. We believe this award recognizes our commitment to deliver service and support that exceeds customer expectations and reinforces our dedication to growing our partnership with Huawei in the future."

Sequans and IGI Mobile develop world’s smallest WiMAX pocket router for Korea Telecom

PARIS, FRANCE: 4G chipmaker Sequans Communications S.A. is the provider of the 4G chip inside the new “mini Egg” pocket router now available from Korea Telecom. The unique device, about the size of an egg, enables users to easily add 4G connectivity to smartphones and tablets via a tiny mobile router that fits in a pocket. IGI Mobile, a leading Korean maker of wireless broadband communications devices, manufactured the device.

“We are very pleased to work with IGI Mobile to deliver this powerful 4G product to the Korean marketplace,” said Georges Karam, Sequans CEO. “The design is modern and compact, and it provides great value for users, allowing them to add 4G speed instantly to almost any mobile device.”

“Sequans’ technology has helped us to make a tiny mobile router that is about half the size of the previous version,” said Daniel Park, CEO, IGI Mobile. “Sequans’ very small SQN1220 chip solution and its ultra low power consumption technology allowed us to reduce the package and battery size significantly while delivering hours of continuous WiMAX surfing and overall a very high performance 4G router.”

The mini Egg (KR-MR100) is available today from Korea Telecom.

Comviva achieves key milestone with over 50 USSD deployments across 39 countries

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Comviva, the global leader in providing mobile solutions beyond VAS, today announced that it now has 52 USSD deployments across 39 countries globally, making it a leader in the USSD space globally.

Comviva’s portfolio of USSD solutions are enabling operators in South Asia, Middle East, Africa and Latin America to quickly launch new services by providing a Service Creation Environment (SCE) and a diverse range of market-ready USSD applications.

Comviva’s USSD solutions are now delivering services to over 550 million mobile users across the globe and handling up to 130 million transactions/day on different operator networks. Comviva’s USSD solutions are deployed by leading operators globally handling over 220 million hits daily. A key application for Comviva’s USSD portfolio is the delivery of cost-effective customer self-care. Multiple leading South Asian operators have deployed Comviva’s USSD Self Care, reducing costs of customer care provision by an average of 38 percent.

Microsoft Office 365 – bought to you in Australia by Telstra T-Suite

Steve Hodgkinson, research director, Ovum

AUSTRALIA: This is an interesting development in the rapidly maturing cloud computing market – evidence that enterprise-grade vendors on both the supply side and the demand side of the industry are coming to grips with the opportunities and benefits of the new cloud computing model. Telstra have been on the front foot with the cloud, but so far in a pretty low key manner.

T-Suite was launched in 2008 with Microsoft as a founding partner providing productivity applications online. The early market experience seems to be paying off, with Telstra claiming this week that sales are now booming in T-Suite, growing over 200% in the past year – with over 50,000 services now sold via the portal. Microsoft’s online services have comprised around 70% of the services sold on T-Suite to date, so the launch of Office 365 today will clearly hit the spot in the SMB market.

Office 365 provides a full-function SaaS alternative to the on-premise versions of the Microsoft suite, though the entry level service bundle targets collaboration rather than online document creation and editing. $7.90 per user per month buys Exchange, Sharepoint and Lync collaboration functionality while adding Office Professional Plus functionality brings the monthly cost up to $40.10 – or $480 per user per year. 365 will operate on a range of mobile device operating systems via Office Web Apps.

We expect this alliance to grow and deepen over time. Telstra is a logical partner for Microsoft in the Australian market - bringing both its nationally ubiquitous sales and support channels to drive SMB adoption as well as the largest investment commitment of any vendor to cloud computing in this country. Telstra recently announced an investment of $800 million over five years in the further development of its infrastructure-as-a-service capabilities.

As adoption of cloud services grows it will become important for cloud vendors to be able to offer a hybrid mix of global and locally hosted cloud services to meet customer business and regulatory requirements. Global companies like Microsoft will need to develop strategic relationships with the market leading cloud providers in each country and the Telstra/Microsoft alliance seems to be going from strength to strength.

ZTE launch signals new era of TD-SCDMA smart devices in China powered by Marvell's single chip solutions

BEIJING, CHINA: Marvell, a leader in integrated silicon solutions, announced the introduction of four new TD-SCDMA (Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access) smart devices by ZTE, including two smartphones, a mobile tablet and a mobile hot spot device. All four devices are customized for China Mobile's 3G TD-SCDMA market, and feature Marvell's industry-first TD-SCDMA single chip solution and the most advanced mobile 802.11n Wi-Fi technology with beam-forming capability.

"The ZTE launch is the latest validation of our long-standing strategy to make TD-SCDMA a world-class standard for very affordable smart devices and ZTE's products deliver everything and more that consumers want from their smartphones, tablets and mobile hot spot devices today. We're gratified by our role in making the TD-SCDMA vision a reality," said Weili Dai, Marvell's co-founder.

"These exciting new products from ZTE demonstrate the performance advantages and versatility of Marvell's TD-SCDMA solutions and point to a growing momentum for the TD standard in China, the world's largest consumer electronic market. I'm very proud that our China based engineering team delivered this world-class industry-first single chip solution designed to deliver high performance processing, dynamic multimedia for mobile TV, live video, 3D gaming and many exciting new mobile applications. We look forward to announcing more customer products in the near future leveraging this innovative technology that is rapidly gaining market share in China."

The ongoing collaboration between Marvell and ZTE, one of China's most prominent and innovative communications companies, delivers highly cost-effective smart devices to Chinese end users that are tailor-made for China Mobile's TD-SCDMA standard. Marvell and ZTE have also worked together to develop end-to-end TD-HSPA+. In the future, the two companies intend to further cooperate to develop creative mobile phone solutions and emerging mobile Internet applications. In recent years, the two companies have also collaborated on a passive optical network (PON), network switches, WLAN and CPUs.

"2011 is the year of ZTE's smart devices. ZTE aims to ship 12 million units this year, a goal that will make us one of the top three global tablet providers, one of the top five global providers of Android smart phones and the largest provider of smart devices in China," said He Shiyou, executive VP, ZTE, and president of ZTE Mobile Terminal Business. "As one of our most important partners in the TD-SCDMA market, ZTE entrusts Marvell to meet and exceed the performance demands that our innovative, jointly-produced TD smart devices rely on."

ZTE product highlights
* Blade U880, one of ZTE's flagship smartphones, is powered by the Marvell PXA920 and features a 3.5 inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen at a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels, delivering exquisite pictures with rich colors and multi-touch. Other features include Android 2.2 support, a TD-SCDMA +WLAN dual wireless Web connection, WLAN-AP wireless routing, CMMB (MBBMS) mobile phone TV, a 5 megapixel auto-focus camera, 720p high-definition video, GPS/AGPS navigation and a 3D graphics processing accelerator.

* Light Tab T9, powered by the Marvell PXA920, is a 7-inch tablet with a WVGA capacitive touchscreen that is only 12.6 millimeters in thickness. It supports phone calls, China Mobile's CMMB+MBBMS mobile TV, WLAN, Bluetooth and FM. The device also ships with GPS, an electronic compass, an eBook reader and a camera.

* U802 is a highly affordable (sub 1,000 Renminbi [RMB]), all-white smartphone powered by the Marvell PXA918. It features a 2.8 inch touch screen, WLAN/WAPI data connection, CMMB TV, accelerometer for UI auto-rotate, 3 megapixel and 0.3 megapixel dual cameras, a 3D graphics accelerator, Android 2.2 support and a customized Widget desktop.

* A6 is a highly affordable mobile hot spot device customized for TD-SCDMA networks powered by the Marvell PXA920. It ensures smooth switching between TD and Wi-Fi and self-creation of hotspots. It supports up to eight terminal access points and is small, portable and easy to operate.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

HarQen intros Symposia at eComm 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, USA: Imagine being able to share the two minutes that matter from any conversation, anywhere. It would be the death of dead-end discussions and circular meetings, where we find ourselves endlessly “recapping,” “regrouping” and “getting up to speed.”

“The amount of information lost in our daily business exchanges is truly extraordinary,” said HarQen CEO E. Kelly Fitzsimmons. “By not capturing conversations in a trusted system, we are asking people to memorize all their conversations and then recall them accurately in an instant. No wonder we feel increasingly overwhelmed by communications today.”

This week at eComm 2011, HarQen will demonstrate Symposia, a new cloud-based offering that dynamically transforms any conversation into an interactive synopsis that lives long after the conference call, meeting, webinar or presentation has ended. With Symposia, organizations can capture and enrich conversations so greater insight can be retained and shared; ushering in a new era of business intelligence.

“HarQen Symposia is an example of how voice is evolving,” said Rich Nespola, chairman and CEO of TMNG Global. “HarQen has figured out how to monetize voice by transforming it into valuable, reusable content.”

HarQen Symposia converts conversations – in all their various forms and languages – into searchable, referenceable and actionable insights. Initially, Symposia will be focused on use cases for sales-related presentations, customer-service exchanges and account status calls.

HarQen is integrating Symposia into key Customer Relationship Management systems (CRMs), such as Salesforce.com, leveraging their privacy and security features.

Symposia allows conversations to be captured as they occur, both visually and aurally, and then enriched collaboratively with notes, tags or uploaded imagery via Smartphones, using classic social media conventions. With this approach, participants can organize the content around key ideas, themes or action items, so the key information is always accessible and sharable.

“Prior efforts to isolate phrases and assign meaning largely missed the boat,” said Dan Miller, senior analyst at Opus Research. “Context, sentiment and much of the meaning is distilled out of conversations when voice is rendered as text and then subjected to analysis according to static business rules,” explained Miller. “Even with 'state-of-the-art' recording and analytics, there is no timely way for people to find and share what they found to be the most important parts of ongoing interactions.”

Symposia unleashes the wealth of information trapped within conversations by allowing users to:

* Capture on-the-fly conversations via voice, tags and images from smartphones.
* Enrich meetings with dynamic collaborative content -- without technology barriers.
* Organize sales calls within CRM solutions and review unfiltered customer reactions.
* Navigate in any language with multiple ways to find key information anytime, anywhere.
* Share insightful exchanges via existing data management systems using HarQen’s API.
* Analyze what webinar attendees find important and share in real-time.

Symposia will be available later this year.

Comtech receives large contract from Bharti Airtel for satellite cellular backhaul equipment

MELVILLE, USA: Comtech Telecommunications Corp. announced that its Tempe, Arizona-based subsidiary, Comtech EF Data Corp., received a SATCOM equipment contract from Bharti Airtel Ltd, a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 19 countries across Asia and Africa. Under the contract, Comtech will supply the equipment to support Bharti Airtel's network upgrade and service expansion across its operations in 16 African countries.

Bharti Airtel ordered Comtech's CDM-625 Advanced Satellite Modems and the Memotec CX-U Series. The award-winning CDM-625 Advanced Satellite Modem combines advanced technologies for maximum bandwidth efficiency under all conditions, including DoubleTalk Carrier-in-Carrier bandwidth compression, patented VersaFEC low latency LDPC forward error correction with Adaptive Coding and Modulation, patent-pending ultra low overhead streamline encapsulation, header compression and payload compression.

The CX-U Series brings together a flexible access device and mobile backhaul traffic optimization, offering a variety of backhaul interfaces and transmission options. The CX-U offers Abis/Ater optimization, 2G/3G aggregation, DCME voice trunking optimization, TDM Pseudowire, all over IP, Frame Relay or MLPPP protocol support.

"Bharti Airtel will use Comtech equipment to facilitate significant growth planned for the African region," said Fred Kornberg, president and CEO of Comtech. "The Comtech equipment was selected based on our track record of providing operators globally with infrastructure products that reduce operating expenses and increase throughput for satellite-based mobile backhaul."

Indepth analysis of cellular handset and chip markets 2011

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Cellular Handset & Chip Markets 2011: An In-Depth Analysis of Cell phones & Their Chips" report to its offering.

Cellular handset shipments grew a healthy 12 percent in 2010 to 1.5-billion units. That in comparison with 2009's negative 1.3 percent growth. We predict a strong, but more traditional growth in 2011 of 4.3 percent, but smartphones will continue to do better, growing 15.4 percent to the 318 million level this year. The report provides extensive forecasts for all handset types and virtually all cellphone chips through 2015.

This is likely the most extensive market analysis of both handsets and chips available. While others concentrate on tracking the top six handset companies, we track the top 34. And, we track each of those handset companies' shipments by air interface (GSM/HSPA/CDMA/etc.).

Though Samsung and Apple are growing faster, Nokia continues to be the leading handset vendor. However, Nokia's average handset selling price is among the lowest because of their huge share of the low-end markets in China, India and Africa. Nokia still reigns as the largest vendor of smartphones, but smartphone vendor Apple is catching up.

This extensive (654-page) market study covers cellular handsets, the integrated circuits that enable those devices and the vendors of both. We don't just track basebands and application processors, we also track and forecast RF transceivers, power amplifiers, power management units, Wi-Fi, GPS, AM/FM, Bluetooth, audio codecs, image sensors, display controllers, MEMS, Sensors, NFC, ultra-low-cost modems of all types and more. Our informed views on the global market and trends will be of great benefit in your long-term planning. We provide vendor market shares for virtually all cellphone chip types.

Of course, the buzz is now about fourth-generation cellular, in the form of LTE (Long Term Evolution). We devote much of the report to LTE and forecast both handsets and integrated circuits for it, as well.

The cellphone continues to be the physical and market magnet that is pulling in the functionality of digital cameras, PDAs, MP3 players, GPS navigators, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AM/FM Radio, mobile TV, smart cards and fingerprint sensors. It is important to understand that the cellphone is quickly becoming the dominant market for virtually all of these functions.

Apple iOS and Android now supported by almost 50 percent of US companies, but BlackBerry still leads

BOSTON, USA: According to recent end-user research conducted by Strategy Analytics, the number of US companies supporting Google Android and Apple iOS has reached unprecedented levels of adoption. At 42 percent and 49 percent respectively, these operating systems still trail the RIM BlackBerry which, at 72 percent, remains the top corporate mobile phone choice.

The Strategy Analytics Wireless Enterprise Strategies (WES) service report, “2011 Enterprise Mobility Mid-Year Recap and Outlook,” also reveals an average of 11 percent employee-owned devices (BYOD—Bring-Your-Own Device) that are reimbursed by US businesses.

“In contrast to the relatively modest, but growing level of reimbursement for BYOD devices, the exponential growth in enterprise support for iOS and Android suggests that Apple and Android devices and supporting ecosystems are gaining credibility in their own right as corporate standard-issue with appropriate levels of IT support,” commented Andrew Brown, director of Wireless Enterprise Strategies service, and author of the report. “Nevertheless, IT policy management remains a challenge, suggesting a major opportunity for mobile device and application management solutions.”

Monday, June 27, 2011

Orange Business Services launches Business Together as a Service

PARIS, FRANCE: Orange Business Services is introducing Business Together as a Service, a unified communication solution designed to enable an innovative way of working and collaborating. Business Together as a Service allows Unified Communications solutions to be offered via the cloud, using an “as a service” model that allows enterprises to quickly and cost-effectively access communication and collaboration tools any time, anywhere, on any device.

Business Together as a Service will benefit from the upcoming dedicated cloud computing infrastructure recently announced with partner SITA. This infrastructure will provide an even higher level of network reach with six cloud-ready data centers on five continents secured with premium levels of security required by global enterprises.

Based on the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution, Business Together as a Service is already available in France where it is being delivered to six customers already, among which Xerox General Services and Orange Labs. It will be available in Europe later in 2011, and in all other regions in 2012.

Components and benefits of Business Together as a Service
Applications include: telephony, unified messaging, IM with presence, conferencing (audio, Web and video), support for mobile devices and a contact center option. Through an easy-to-use portal, companies can select from five pre-set profiles to match different employee group needs and change the number of end user accounts up or down quickly and easily.

This level of agility and flexibility allows companies to quickly open new offices, integrate a newly-acquired company or react to changing business needs. Additionally, customers pay as they go, only pay for the applications their employees use, and they do not have to expend Capex or internal resources.

Why Orange?
With more than 2.7 million business clients, 3,700 multinational clients, and 325,000 IP VPN access points in 177 countries, Orange Business Services provides fully managed, global unified communications services with end-to-end service level agreements and customer support.

Orange’s extensive Field Services in 166 countries supports customers transitioning to cloud-based services. With the Cisco Managed Services Master certification worldwide, Orange Business Services provides ITIL® standards-based service management for operational best practice and global ISO certification to ensure high service availability. Orange enables customers to access Business Together as a Service through IP VPN in a highly secure fashion, ensuring that each customer's usage is private.

“Offering Business Together as a Service adds the flexibility and cost efficiency benefits of cloud computing to our existing Business Together offer,” said Paul Molinier, vice president, Unified Communications & Collaboration, Orange Business Services. ”Employees need productivity tools that make it easier and faster for them to get things done. Business Together combines Orange Business Services’ expertise with the powerful technologies of our partners to offer a wide range of global collaborative services. Business Together as a Service helps employees collaborate together more efficiently using a complete suite of best-in-class and on-demand tools.”

Eric Schoch, senior director for the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution, said: “Orange Business Services and Cisco are helping IT departments access collaboration and unified communications applications based on the deployment model of their choice: in the cloud, on premise or both. Companies now have flexibility and choice in how they deploy these advanced and business-critical technologies to their end users.”

Value of Cisco
Orange Business Services is one of Cisco’s leading service provider customers in Europe and one of the two global service providers that qualified for early field trials of Cisco’s HCS technologies. Orange Business Services and Cisco share a complementary vision to provide enterprises with a rich set of collaboration tools together with ubiquitous network access from the cloud.

Both companies aim to provide cost-effective and standards-based unified communications solutions based on Orange’s experience delivering and supporting end-to-end Internet Protocol telephony and collaboration solutions.

ITU Telecom World 2011 announces global agenda

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: ITU Telecom World today unveiled the agenda that will be debated by industry CEOs and world leaders, government ministers, digital experts, technology gurus and grassroots technology pioneers, when they assemble in Geneva, 24-27 October 2011.

High level debates at the event will tackle the core issues that are shaping the global ICT landscape in the age of broadband technology, including the pathway to a connected world; future internet; the spectrum edge; smarter lives; frameworks for innovation; heads in the cloud; social networks and privacy; the Internet of Things and more.

Among the top-level speakers invited to participate in forum discussions are industry and government leaders including Randall L. Stephenson (Chairman and CEO, AT&T), Ben Verwaayen (CEO, Alcatel-Lucent) and Sunil Bharti Mittal (Founder, Chairman and Group CEO of Bharti Enterprises), Jianzhou Wang (Chairman, China Mobile), Denis O’Brien (Chairman, Digicel Group), Neelie Kroes (European Commissioner for Digital Agenda and European Commission vice president), Masami Yamamoto (President, Fujitsu), Yafang Sun (Chairperson, Huawei), Paul S. Otellini (CEO, Intel), Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani, (Chairman, Qtel) and Lirong Shi (President, ZTE).

“ITU Telecom is unique in that we alone can leverage forty years’ experience of facilitating industry debate across public and private sectors into a platform for real global change, shaping our collective, networked future,” said ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré. “I am excited to be welcoming leading stakeholders from governments, industry and research worldwide to address together the key issues of connectivity – and drive the implementation of broadband as a vital enabler of social and economic development globally.”

Highlights of ITU Telecom World 2011 will also include:

* Invitation-only Broadband Leadership Summit for Heads of State and Governments, members of the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Digital Development and other key players.

* Digital Cities Conference debating how the wider industry can apply connected technology solutions to the key challenges of urbanization.

* National and Thematic Pavilions showcasing advancements in connected technologies and how these innovations are improving quality of life in areas such as healthcare, education, finance and entertainment.

* Interactive workshops, debates and showcases for projects presented by young and digital innovators.

The event, to be held at Geneva-Palexpo from 24 to 27 October, will welcome major players such as Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, China Mobile, Cisco, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Huawei, Intel, NTT Group, Research in Motion, Samsung, Telkom SA, Turk Telecom, ZTE and more. National Pavilions from countries representing nearly half a billion people from across Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe will showcase the very best in innovation and investment opportunities in those markets.

UNH-IOL at the forefront of evolving Ethernet technologies

DURHAM, USA: The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL), an independent provider of broad-based testing and standards conformance services for the networking industry, is continuing to expand the capabilities of its 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet testing services. Members of the UNH-IOL’s 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium now have devices available that are ready for testing, and the enhancements to the testing services will allow members to prepare their products for market in advance of widespread industry adoption.

IEEE Std 802.3baTM-2010, ratified in June 2010, was created to address business and consumer demands for increased bandwidth by granting access to unprecedented Ethernet speeds. In addition, the standard is backward compatible, enabling devices that implement the 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet standard to be installed in an existing network, avoiding the costs associated with upgrading network components.

With devices now ready to test, UNH-IOL member companies are leading the advancement of 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet technology, and the lab, as the de facto standard for Ethernet testing, is helping companies prepare their products for the continuing demands for speed and accessibility on the network.

The UNH-IOL 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium decreases research and development and quality assurance expenses and reduces product time to market for test system, network system, development system, transceiver and active and passive cable vendors.

Since the consortium’s launch in September 2010, the UNH-IOL has increased the number of devices in its comprehensive test bed and all test suites have been made available on-line. By granting on-line access to the test suites, the UNH-IOL allows companies to prepare their products in advance of on-site testing at the lab. The on-line access also gives companies an opportunity to provide the lab with input into the testing procedures.

To date, testing services in the consortium have focused on the MAC and Flow Control layers, and the lab is currently developing a custom test tool for the lower layers as well. Upon introduction of the test tool, which is anticipated by the end of the third quarter of 2011, the UNH-IOL will be the only independent laboratory to offer lower layer testing.

“Like all new technologies, repeated multi-vendor testing is imperative to speeding the development of 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet devices, as well as driving industry acceptance of the technology,” said Jeff Lapak, senior engineer for the UNH-IOL. “Our members are leading the market with these devices, and rely on the lab’s experience in offering reliable interoperability testing results that can get working products to the market quickly.”

Airtel 3G shrinks the world with launch of international video calling services

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Have you ever missed sharing a special moment with a loved one living abroad, or wished you could share visual information instantly with your colleagues in the international markets? Now talking with your family, friends and colleagues based overseas is just one video call away.

Bharti Airtel, leading global telecommunications company with operations in 19 countries across Asia and Africa, today announced the launch of its International Video Calling capabilities on 3G for its customers in India. With this, Airtel 3G mobile customers in the country will now be able to leverage Airtel internet on 3G to make international video calls and interact face-to-face with their loved ones and colleagues living abroad - instantly sharing experiences and information.

Launching the service, Atul Bindal, president – Mobile Services, Bharti Airtel, said: “At Airtel, it is our constant endeavor to introduce services that enrich the lives of our customers. As we take the lead in launching International Video Calling on 3G in India, this marks the beginning of a new era of next generation communication in the country - one that will help mobile customers break the barrier of boundaries and instantly connect with their personal and business network across the world.

“Given the high demand of video calling services seen since the launch of Airtel 3G services, we are confident that our customers will see great value from the availability of this capability for international calls as well. We invite our 3 million plus Airtel 3G customers to enjoy this exciting experience.”

Airtel’s International Video Calling is currently available for 227 international geographies. An Airtel 3G customer in India can see and talk with his friends and relatives in USA, Canada, Bangladesh face to face through video call at just Rs. 14/min, while on the move. Similarly, video calls to UAE, Singapore, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Oman are priced at Rs. 20 per minute.

As a pre-requisite to making ISD video calls, both the caller and the called customer have to be on 3G network and have a front-camera in their 3G handset in their respective countries.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

CommunicAsia2011 and BroadcastAsia2011 close with strong results

SINGAPORE: CommunicAsia2011 and BroadcastAsia2011 ended on a strong note with positive visitor growth and exhibitor feedback.

More than 56,000 industry visitors, conference speakers and delegates, exhibiting staff and media from around the world attended CommunicAsia2011 and BroadcastAsia2011 between 21-24 June.

The shows also saw more than 250 industry luminaries convened to address pertinent issues and challenges affecting the broadcasting, media and ICT industries.

Stephen Tan, chief executive of show organiser, Singapore Exhibition Services, said: “The success of the event is a direct outcome of the strength of our exhibitors, and the unparalleled quality of networking and discussions at the conferences and workshops. We are pleased with this year’s event turnout and with the positive responses it generated, and look forward to planning for the next editions.”

Highlights at CommunicAsia2011
· Mobile application developers and global satellite players made their presence felt at CommunicAsia2011.

· The show saw launches from the likes of Huawei, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Nokia Siemens Networks and ST Electronics.

· Dr. Supot Tiarawut, Director of Telecommunications Research and Industrial Development Institute (TRIDI) said: “This was our first time exhibiting at CommunicAsia and we were impressed by the event. Not only were we able to showcase the ICT technologies available in Thailand, but we also received some good business prospects and collaboration opportunities for the ten companies that are exhibiting under TRIDI. We will definitely be back next year to showcase what Thailand has to offer.”

Highlights at BroadcastAsia
· The spotlight at BroadcastAsia2011 was on 3D, hybrid broadcast broadband TV (HbbTV) and DVB-2.

· The latest technologies in 3D, HD, motion/film production and post-production software were showcased at the all new Cinematography/Film/Production Zone.

· Ms. Joyce Quark, Channel & Marketing Manager, Harmonic, said: "The quality of the visitors to BroadcastAsia2011 surpassed previous years and we were kept busy meeting prospective customers throughout the four days. We applaud Singapore Exhibition Services for bringing in strong, serious buyers, and for putting together yet another fantastic show."

Friday, June 24, 2011

Salora forays into mobile business with SM501 and SM 401 handets

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Salora International, a leading player in Indian consumer electronics industry, is foraying into the Mobile Handset market with the launch of its SM501 and SM401 models. To utilize the well established manufacturing and distribution network of Salora International Ltd, these mobile handsets will be marketed under the Salora brand.

In its first phase, Salora plans to launch the mobile phones in the markets of eastern India, Delhi-NCR, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, through its vast network distributors. All Salora mobile handsets adhere to international Quality standards and are supported by Salora’s wide service network “silcare” of 152 service points in 127 cities across the country.

The SM501 will cost Rs. 2,999 and the SM401 comes for Rs. 2,499; mobile handsets come with a wide range of high quality features and applications. While SM501 comes in striking colors of black and red, SM401 have soothing colors of light green and blue.

Along with the most widely used English and Hindi languages in mobile phones, both phones allow users to operate in regional languages, like Bengali. The new Salora handsets feature amazingly loud sound and cutting-edge style. The K series amplifier technology gives users an incredible audio clarity that has been never heard before.

Targeted at multimedia lovers, SM501 comes with touch screen facility, which is something that is an out of the ordinary kind of thing, allowing users to work much more effectively. This feature makes it fairly effortless to use it with either fingers or stylus. Screen size is amazing and large enough to provide the real taste of touch screen. The handset also comes with a 3.5mm adaptor that fit regular earphones, headphones and portable speakers.

Both the models have the design of a bar phone and come with an easily manageable dual SIM feature that allows users to operate two SIM cards in one phone flexibly. They allow easy access to either card, so that the user can access two separate phone numbers and make calls under the most optimal calling plan.

The 1.3 MP Camera with Flash & Zoom facility helps users to click pictures better in lower light and share with friends right away. The other main attraction of these sleek handsets is that they help users to stay connected with their family, friends and all other near and dear ones with quick access social networking.

Airtel launches 3G services in Assam

GUWAHATI, ASSAM: Bharti Airtel, leading global telecommunications company with operations in 19 countries across Asia and Africa, furthered the rollout of its 3G services in the North-East circle by announcing the launch of Airtel 3G services in Assam’s largest city – Guwahati. With this, Airtel’s 33 lakhs plus customers in Assam will now be able to enjoy a host of exciting 3G capabilities including fast mobile internet access, video streaming, video calling, Mobile TV, social networking on-the-go and high definition gaming.

“Having successfully launched Airtel 3G services in 50 plus towns across India, we today have over 3 million customers that are enjoying the Airtel 3G advantage. As we extend the promise of Airtel 3G services to Assam, we invite our mobile customers in the region to experience the power of high speed internet and enjoy a host of innovative application capabilities from their mobile devices – anywhere, anytime. We believe that Airtel 3G will lead the data and internet revolution in Assam, bringing our customers in the state closer to an all new world of possibilities,” said George Mathen, COO – Assam and North East, Mobile Services, Bharti Airtel.

Airtel also announced the availability of latest Assamese movie trailers as well as music videos on Airtel Video Talkies. Using Airtel 3G services, customers in the state will now be able to enjoy capsules of a wide range of regional movies on their mobile phones at never experienced before speeds.

Trailers of various Assamese movies including Mon, Kadambari, Maharathi, Hiya Diya Niya, Rangdhali and Asin Sinaki are already available on Video Talkies for Airtel 3G customers to enjoy. Customers in Assam can also view music videos from popular albums Jaan and Priyatama. Video preview of many other exciting Assamese movie titles (such as Pole Pole Ure Mon, Jetuka Pator Dore, Jetukar Misa Rang, You Are Not My Julie and Jaanmoni) as well as latest music albums will also be released on Airtel Video Talkies in the coming months.

Airtel 3G customers can enjoy the benefits of 3G speeds on the device of their choice – be it their mobile handsets, laptops or tablets. 3G services can be enjoyed seamlessly as Airtel provides its customers with timely updates and alerts on their data usage – helping them control their expenditure on 3G and avoid ‘bill shock’. The company has also introduced a first of its kind ‘internet usage calculator’ available online to help customers analyse their current internet data usage and choose an Airtel 3G plan accordingly.

Android devices more likely to develop hardware faults than competitor smartphones

POOLE, ENGLAND: A year-long study by WDS of more than 600,000 technical support calls has found that Android devices are more likely to develop a hardware fault than many of their smartphone competitors. Fourteen percent of all technical support calls for Android devices related to hardware faults in contrast to just 3.7 percent for RIM BlackBerry, 8 percent for iPhones (iOS) and 9 percent for Windows Phone 7 devices.

The greater propensity for hardware faults is, says WDS, a symptom of the platform's fragmentation across a broad range of OEMs. Both Apple and RIM control their hardware ecosystems and Microsoft mandates minimum hardware specifications for Windows Phone deployments. In contrast, Android is widely deployed by more than 35 OEMs globally under an open source license.

The study found that instances of hardware faults varied between OEM deployments, with some brands showing a propensity to display faults, others to keypad / button failures and some to microphone and battery issues. The findings, says WDS, highlight the need for mobile operators to consider the Total Cost of Ownership, including support and potential reverse logistics costs, and not just the unit price of the device when ranging product.

"Android has been instrumental in bringing smartphone technology into the mass-market. The maturation of the industry, availability of hardware components and a reduction in manufacturing costs has seen some OEMs drop the price of Android smartphones below US$100," explains Craig Rich, Chief Marketing Officer at WDS. "However, many of these factors are also driving varying levels of hardware quality into the market, in turn delivering an inconsistent customer experience."

Unlike many support calls taken by mobile operators, such as connectivity and service configuration, hardware failures cannot typically be resolved by Customer Service Representatives. Instead they add further cost by entering the returns and repair channel.

"Mobile operators have to make important decisions when selecting which smartphones to range on their networks," adds Rich. "They must balance the need to introduce low-cost smartphone devices with the Total Cost of Ownership; a $100 smartphone might not look so attractive if it drives x3 more support cost over its lifetime or has an above-average return rate that impacts customer loyalty," finishes Rich.

The study took place between June 2010 and May 2011 and covered 600,000 technical support calls taken by WDS across Europe, North America, South Africa and Australia.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Telstra and NBN deal marks historic day for the industry

Nigel Pugh, Consulting Director, Ovum

AUSTRALIA: Today's announcement by Telstra that it has signed the NBN definitive agreement with NBN Co. and the Commonwealth marks an historic day for the industry and especially for Telstra. The deal is similar in structure to what had been pre-announced in the June 2010 non-binding Heads of Agreement and Ovum views the deal as positive step forward for industry.

It's clear that Telstra has done its own cost benefit analysis for its participation in the deal versus the alternatives and has determined this is the best approach in the current environment. If the remaining hurdles are passed (ACCC acceptance of Telstra's structural separation undertaking & migration plan and Telstra's shareholder vote) then Telstra will have a clear strategic direction for operation of its retail and wholesale functions in an NBN world. This will also be a positive for NBN Co. as the key hurdles to its nationwide rollout will have been overcome.

Furthermore, although there has always been an overhang to the deal with regards to a change of government, our initial reading of the cessation clauses don’t position this deal as a poison pill if there is a change of government at the next election. NBN Co. will have to reach 20 percent fibre coverage for the compensation payment to occur and, based on our reading of NBN Co.’s three year corporate plan, we think this will be a stretch to achieve by 2013.

Asia-Pacific optical networking market is not the engine of growth in 2011

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: The Asia-Pacific (AP) optical networking (ON) market will reach revenues of $6.4 billion by 2016, as the sector’s overheated market goes through a cooling down period, predicts Ovum in a new forecast.

However, the independent telecoms analyst warns that although the AP market will grow at a CAGR of 4 percent from 2010 to 2016, much less than the astonishing 25 percent CAGR achieved from 2005 to 2010.

Ovum’s figures show that the market in Asia-Pacific contracted by 2.2 percent last year and will contract by a further 3.2 percent in 2011, “although for different reasons.” said Ian Redpath, principal analyst. “The 2010 reduction was due to a dry market in Japan and a government-induced freeze in India, while the Chinese market grew. For 2011, we predict growth again from Japan and India but a slowdown in China, caused by an overheated market that needs a little cooling-down period.”

According to Ovum, China will not cede its place as the second highest contributing country to the global ON market, however the country’s contribution will not likely grow in 2011. At this point, no other countries are candidates to replace China and its rapid growth. The US and the northern European countries collectively are expected to exhibit steady, respectable growth in 2011.

The return of extraordinary growth will most likely come from China when another build cycle comes around, for example 4G wireless, very-high-speed data to the enterprise, or another new service driver.

Ovum’s global forecast report shows a marked improvement for the market when compared to the recessionary period, however it falls short of a strong bounce back. “We expect yet another year of muddling out, with North America continuing to gain momentum; Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) improving from contraction to modest growth; and Asia-Pacific beginning a modest retreat,” added Redpath.

Ovum predicts solid growth for North America in 2011 of 12 percent, up from 7 percent in 2010. Redpath commented: “Emerging technologies will be the driving force in North America. We expect adoption of 100G network building to gain momentum from both carriers and non-carriers.”

In EMEA, which contracted by 10 percent in 2010, Ovum predicts that 2011 will be a turnaround year, with 3 percent growth and a CAGR of 5.5 percent from 2010 to 2016. Redpath commented, “Developing economies in EMEA still need basic infrastructure and the developed ones are due for a network refresh after two long years of recession-induced restraint.”

SITA and Orange Business Services to build global cloud computing infrastructure

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM: SITA, the air transport industry IT specialist, and Orange Business Services, the leading global integrated communications service provider for businesses, have agreed to jointly build a global, high performance, managed cloud computing infrastructure. Each partner will use this infrastructure to deliver its cloud services portfolio to its markets with added global reach, reliability and minimum latency.

The cloud computing infrastructure will be based on six seamlessly interconnected Tier III+ and Tier IV data centers in five continents, in Atlanta, Frankfurt, Johannesburg, Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney.

Each data center will cover its respective region and will be interconnected via Orange’s high-speed MPLS network. Over this infrastructure, Orange Business Services and SITA will offer their individual portfolio of cloud computing services, encompassing infrastructure as-a-service, platform as-a-service, desktop as-a-service, and software as-a-service. Both Orange Business Services and SITA will continue to own the service relationships with their end customers.

The infrastructure will deliver high performance cloud computing services globally. Network connections between the data centers are secured with premium levels of protection against malicious threats. Highly resilient service is ensured through redundant connections, failover sites, and network-based intelligent re-routing that can transfer traffic around any disruptions, leading to significantly higher performance levels between the data centers. The two companies are aiming to achieve no more than 100 milliseconds of latency when their customers are operating their applications in the cloud.

Rollout of the infrastructure has already started with the data centers of Atlanta, Frankfurt and Singapore being fully operational in Q1 2012 and all six data centers in Q3 2012.

Wireless carriers accelerate spending on infrastructure gear in 2011

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Wireless carriers in 2011 will double their spending increase on communications infrastructure equipment compared to 2010 as they rush to accommodate the explosive growth of data traffic, according to new IHS iSuppli research.

Global spending on wireless infrastructure gear in 2011 is projected to rise by 7.7 percent to reach $43.2 billion, up from $40.1 billion in 2010. This compares to growth of 3.8 percent in 2010, and a decline of 7.2 percent during the recession year of 2009.

The year will represent a peak period for growth, with wireless infrastructure spending poised to expand by the largest rate until at least 2015, as presented in the figure.Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

“In developed nations, wireless carriers are wrestling with the thorny issue of exploding data traffic on overloaded networks, brought about by the huge appetite among consumers for high-bandwidth mobile data services such as video and web browsing,” said Jagdish Rebello, senior director and principal analyst, communications and consumer electronics at IHS.

“This is spurring rising investments in equipment that can support high-speed data transmission, specifically gear that works with the 3G/3.5G and 4G standards.”

Carriers in developed regions lead the way
Many carriers in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, Japan and South Korea are taking a cautious approach in 2011, focusing on the purchase of equipment for currently dominant 3G/3.5G technologies in order to extend the life of their investments.

As carriers in the developed nations expand deployment of 4G during the coming years, an increasing portion of their total capital spending will be devoted to that next-generation technology, designed to support mobile wireless access at very high data transmission speeds. By 2013, 4G networks will account for the largest portion of the wireless infrastructure market.

In most of the developing countries, carriers this year will maintain capital spending on infrastructure gear at approximately the same level as that seen in 2010.
A potential exception to flat capital spending in developing countries 2011 is India, where the carriers that won wireless spectrum auctions last year are believed to be investing in 3G networks this year.

Another exception is China, where wireless operators will slow down capital expenditures. Significant portions of the 3G network build-out in the country have been completed. Furthermore, China’s three main telecom providers also have announced reduced spending plans for 2011.

Infrastructure as leading indicator
Although spending on infrastructure represents only one component of overall capital expenditures by carriers, the metric is a closely watched indicator of the direction that the wireless telecommunications industry is headed.

The other components of wireless capital spending, aside from infrastructure, include expenditures on software and network upgrades, as well as spending on non-infrastructure equipment such as cables, plants and site procurements. Total capital spending in 2011 by wireless carriers is anticipated to reach $134.6 billion, up 1.1 percent from $133.2 billion last year.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

Cellular baseband market worth $3.5 billion in Q1 2011

BOSTON, USA: Quarterly global cellular baseband revenue grew a healthy 20 percent year-over-year to reach $3.5 billion, according to the latest market share report from the Strategy Analytics Quarterly Metrics Service, “Baseband Market Share Tracker: Intel Doubles Revenue Year-on-Year in Q1 2011.”

According to this Strategy Analytics report, cellular baseband market share rankings went through changes again in Q1 2011. Qualcomm ranked number one in baseband unit volume and revenue share in Q1 2011, with the help of its strong positions in CDMA, W-CDMA and LTE. Broadcom, Intel and Spreadtrum continued their impressive recent growth in Q1 2011 with strong shipments. MediaTek and ST-Ericsson both experienced declines in baseband revenues in Q1 2011 and compared to Q1 2010.

“Intel cellular baseband revenue more than doubled in Q1 2011 on the strength of strong design-win momentum with tier-one handset manufacturers. Despite the latest MeeGo setback, Nokia continues to be an important baseband customer for Intel in terms of volume,” noted Sravan Kundojjala, senior analyst. “However, Intel is still noticeably absent in Nokia 3G phones.”

“Strategy Analytics estimates that Spreadtrum baseband unit volume share reached double-digits for the first time in Q1 2011, pushing Spreadtrum into the top-five in terms of baseband unit shipments,” commented Stuart Robinson, director of the Handset Component Technologies service. “Spreadtrum’s surging unit shipment growth can be attributed to its aggressive pricing, international expansion efforts and R&D subsidies from the Chinese government.”

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

ZTE and Nucleus Connect to build BSS/OSS system for Singapore’s next-gen nationwide broadband network

SHENZHEN, CHINA: ZTE Corp. has announced that Nucleus Connect, the Operating Company (OpCo) of Singapore’s Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN) has partnered with ZTE to build the BSS (Business Support System) and OSS (Operational Support System) platforms that will allow Nucleus Connect to support various end-to-end services such as business operations, billing, fault management, network management and maintenance.

ZTE’s highly flexible BSS/OSS solution allows customised configurations which work well with an open access environment. It is expected to provide Nucleus Connect with fast and reliable service provisioning, multi-mode billing and effective network operation.

In addition, the BSS/OSS delivers maintenance through flexible process management, overlapped resource modelling, powerful SOA structure and easy-to-scale interfacing models. ZTE’s system will support various new services under the company’s wholesale bandwidth business, and help Nucleus Connect run its business operations efficiently and effectively.

Nucleus Connect CEO, David Storrie, said: “As the OpCo, Nucleus Connect is responsible for the Active Optical Network (AON) infrastructure, including switches and transmission equipment, and also to resell the bandwidth to the third-layer RSPs (Retail Service Providers). It’s critical for us to work with a trusted partner like ZTE who can help us develop a reliable, future-proof, turnkey solution to support our RSPs.”

ZTE Asia Pacific president, Zheng Bang, said: “The partnership has once again proven ZTE’s competitive position in BSS/OSS planning, construction and implementation. We are confident that we can fulfil the needs of Nucleus Connect and provide the best broadband communications services for Singaporeans.”

ZTE’s ZSmart BSS/OSS solution is currently providing business and operation support to operators in more than 50 countries and regions around the world.

Wireless History Foundation announces 2011 inductees for Wireless Hall of Fame

AUSTIN, USA: The Wireless History Foundation (WHF) announced the names of four accomplished individuals who will be inducted into the Wireless Hall of Fame during the Foundation’s Oct. 10, 2011 dinner in San Diego. The 2011 inductees are:

Nick Kauser: Former CTO of four major wireless carriers, including Rogers Cantel, McCaw Cellular Communications, AT&T Wireless Services, and Clearwire Corp., which he also co-founded. Kauser built the first nationwide network across both Canada and the United States. He led US standards processes, aggressively explored new technologies, and laid the basis for nationwide automatic roaming.

Robert Marino: Former president and first employee of United TeleSpectrum (now Sprint), also former president of cellular companies including Compania de Radiocomunicaciones Moviles (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Houston Cellular Telephone Company (now part of AT&T Mobility), and the Northeast Region of Nextel Communications (now Sprint). Marino moved from the carrier side to industry services as group president of Convergys Information Management Group and chairman of the Board of Syniverse.

Clayton Niles: Radio telecommunications pioneer and former chairman of Communications Industries (acquired by Pacific Telesis Group). Niles began his wireless career in 1948. He played a critical role in securing interconnection for the radio common carrier (RCC) industry and in convincing the FCC to open cellular applications to RCCs, as well as telephone companies.

Arnold Pohs (posthumously): Former chairman of the Board and CEO of CommNet Cellular, Inc. (acquired by AirTouch), former chairman of the Board of CTIA – The Wireless Association and the CTIA Wireless Foundation. Pohs was a strong advocate for rural wireless, building a network of rural systems at a time when others doubted their value. Pohs was a respected industry leader and a strong advocate before the FCC and Congress on industry issues. Pohs passed away in April 2011.

“These are outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions in all aspects of wireless development, and we are honored to induct them into the Wireless Hall of Fame,” said Wireless Hall of Fame member and Qualcomm Founder, Dr. Irwin Jacobs, who is chairman of the 2011 Wireless Hall of Fame dinner.

The dinner will take place at the US Grant Hotel in San Diego on Oct. 10, the evening before the CTIA Enterprise and Applications 2011 tradeshow.

PLX and Avago to prove PCI Express over fiber optics at 64Gbps

SUNNYVALE, USA: PLX Technology Inc. and Avago Technologies announced a collaboration using optics to demonstrate PCI Express (PCIe) extending beyond its dominant role within the box to a cabled box-to-box solution.

This higher-performance alternative is paving the road for next-generation data center applications where lower latency, lower cost, extended cabling distances, and I/O conversion minimization create simpler architectures for cleaner PCIe end-to-end environments.

The demonstration from this collaboration features PLX PEX8748 PCIe Gen3 (8Gbps per lane) switches, along with Avago high-density MiniPOD parallel fiber optic modules, both of which are setup in a x8 configuration, showcasing external box-to-box high-performance connectivity at 64Gbps. PCI Express as an interconnect for data centers using parallel optics will enable a wide variety of applications including storage, servers and GPU clustering.

“With PCI Express now native virtually everywhere, including Intel platforms and SSD storage modules, the market is hungry for reliable and harmonious solutions,” said Reggie Conley, senior director, hardware applications, PLX. “As the market drives down the cost of optical solutions, today’s cumbersome and costly conversion of PCI Express to Ethernet or InfiniBand will be replaced by clean system architectures enjoying the fruits of PCIe and optical connectivity’s premium performance.”

“PCI Express is a natural fit for our MiniPOD embedded parallel optics, which deliver the speed and overall performance necessary to enable box-to-box connections,” said Victor Krutul, director of marketing for fiber optic products at Avago. “Our work with PLX provides another example of Avago serving as the technology partner of choice to develop innovative fiber optic solutions for new applications.”

NFC Forum announces new vice chairman

WAKEFIELD, USA: The NFC Forum, a non-profit industry association that advances the use of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, announced a newly elected vice chairman of its Board of Directors, James Anderson of MasterCard Worldwide. The organization also announced that Anderson and NFC Forum Director Debbie Arnold will serve as panelists at the MPA Digital: Technology conference in New York on June 23.

James Anderson has spent his career at the intersection of mobile, payment, and Internet technologies in the functional areas of Product Development and Business Development. He is currently group head and senior vice president for Mobile Product Development at MasterCard Worldwide. In this role, he is responsible for developing all mobile payment products, including proximity payments, mobile web payments and mobile remote payments.

In addition to leading MasterCard’s mobile product development, Anderson also leads commercialization efforts and supports sales and business development activities around the world. He has served on the Board of the NFC Forum since October, 2009. In his new position, he replaces outgoing Vice Chairman Dave Wentker of Visa Inc.

"As a technology leader at an influential payment solutions provider, Mr. Anderson holds skills and experience that will be valuable as NFC broadens its acceptance and usage among consumers, and as the NFC Forum reaches the next level of influence," said NFC Forum chairman, Koichi Tagawa of Sony Corp. "I look forward to benefitting from Anderson's insights in his new role."

Elected by a vote of the NFC Forum Board of Directors at its June meeting in Seattle, Anderson joins re-elected chairman Tagawa, vice chairman, Mikko Saarisalo of Nokia, secretary, Frank Dawidowsky of Sony, and treasurer, Martin Bührlen of NXP as Officers of the Forum.

As part of the NFC Forum's program of outreach, Anderson and Ms. Arnold are the featured panelists in a session entitled "What's Next in Near Field Communication – and How It Will Impact Magazine Media," at the June 23 MPA Digital: Technology conference. This event (formerly known as the Dimensional to Digital Conference) examines the technology of print and digital content for magazine brands, exploring workflow and software solutions with a focus on companies that have successfully tackled the migration of content to digital platforms.

Also highlighted are brands using innovative technologies to push the boundaries of what's possible with print magazines.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Barcoding Inc. adds more staff to support continued growth

BALTIMORE, USA: Barcoding Inc. has announced the hire of Jeffery Zinn, Esq., general counsel, and Regis Fitzgibbon, solutions architect, to support the company’s planned strategic growth. Zinn will create Barcoding’s corporate legal department and support the company’s corporate initiatives in intellectual property; while Fitzgibbon will use his more than 10 years of proven strategic sales support and pre-sales engineering experience to support and enhance Barcoding’s growing enterprise client base.

Jeff Gillis, COO, Barcoding, said: “Jeffery and Regis are excellent matches for the Barcoding team, as we continue to expand our business to service a growing number of enterprise clients throughout the United States. Jeffery’s years of working for large corporations’ legal departments and Regis’ industry expertise, will provide us with the staff and resources needed to take on new opportunities to provide mobility solutions to today’s top supply chain operators.”

Zinn has practiced business and intellectual property law throughout a 15-year career, developing and honing subject matter expertise while working at both boutique and large law firms. Previously, he worked as in-house counsel at the Baltimore-area offices of Fila USA Inc., and ViPS Inc., now a division of General Dynamics. Zinn’s career highlights include the successful negotiation of the sale of intellectual property and IT outsourcing arrangements with technology leaders that include Apple, IBM, and Research in Motion. His appointment with Barcoding will mark the second occasion on which Zinn has been charged with creating a corporation's legal department.

Fitzgibbon comes to Barcoding with over 10 years of experience in strategic customer solutions. He has proven successful in both national and regional accounts providing in-depth sales and customer support in applications, technology, and systems architecture. Previously, Fitzgibbon served as a pre-sales consultant and application engineer for Kronos Inc., and most recently Zenith Infotech. In his new position with Barcoding, Fitzgibbon will primarily be responsible for supporting enterprise accounts throughout the United States.

Dust Networks to demo self-powered IPv6 wireless sensor network

IDTechEx Wireless Sensor Network & RTLS Summit 2011, HAYWARD, USA: Dust Networks, the leader in intelligent wireless sensor network solutions, will demonstrate a SmartMesh IP 6LoWPAN wireless network running on harvested energy at the IDTechEx Wireless Sensor Network & RTLS Summit in Munich, Germany, June 21-22.

For the first time anywhere, all of the nodes in the network, including the IPv6 routing nodes, will run on energy harvested from a variety of devices including the Micropelt TE-Power thermogenerator and the Cymbet EnerChip CC rechargeable solid state battery trickle-charged by a small off-the-shelf daylight powered solar collector.

“The SmartMesh product family provides a unique convergence with energy harvesting because all of their mesh network nodes can run on harvested energy,” said Burkhard Habbe, VP of Business Development for Micropelt GmbH. “With the further decreased power requirements of Dust’s new SmartMesh IP technology we can now run even more applications on thermoharvesters at rather low gradients, eliminating both wires and battery maintenance.”

“By combining EnerChip solid state energy storage solutions with Dust Network’s Eterna technology, Cymbet’s customers are able to deploy completely self-powered wireless sensor networks,” said Steve Grady, VP of Marketing for Cymbet. “The overall power requirement is so much lower than with competing wireless products that this is a maintenance-free, extremely compact, eco-friendly networking option.”

“It appears that much of the WSN growth likely in 2011 will be due to market demand for solutions to overall network connectivity and battery-free operational constraints,” said Kirsten West, Principal Analyst with West Technology Research Solutions, an independent market research and consulting firm that follows emerging wireless technologies and the products and industries which will adopt those technologies.

“The practical impact of Dust’s focus on low power 802.15.4 SoCs and networking is evident in this multi-vendor demonstration of self-powered wireless sensing,” said Brenda Glaze, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Dust Networks. “With no wires to install and no batteries to change, the initial and on-going costs of installation and maintenance are slashed.”

The standard SmartMesh IP Evaluation Kit provides everything needed to demonstrate wireless mesh network performance, data monitoring, digital actuation, and event notification.

Telit adds GPS functionality to established GE864 family

INDIA: Telit Wireless Solutions, an internationally leading specialist in machine-to-machine (M2M) technology, introduces the GE864-GPS. The new quad band module is the smallest, and most efficient GSM/GPRS M2M module on the market with embedded GPS receiver in a compact BGA form factor. The combined solution is especially suited for highly integrated positioning solutions in automotive, tracking or security applications requiring 2G network connectivity in a very small footprint.

The new GE864-GPS shares the identical form factor and is pin-to-pin compatible with Telit’s successful GE864 family, making it the smallest GSM/GPRS module in the market with full 48-channels A-GPS functionality. It combines the high performance of Telit’s proven GSM/GPRS core technology with the latest SiRFstarIV high sensitivity single-chip A-GPS receiver.

High-level A-GPS with minimal power consumption
The new assisted GPS receiver features an optimized power management function, which allows to maintain hot start capability at minimal energy consumption, offering a position resolution accuracy of less than 2.5m. Moreover, the GE864-GPS supports Satellite Based Augmentation Systems, such as WAAS, EGNOS, MSAS and GAGAN. With a dedicated power supply circuit, the GPS chipset can work independently from the GSM chipset and still operates when the cellular part is in power saving mode or switched off. This function is very helpful for battery operated solutions that activate the communication function only upon triggering events like e.g. location changes.

The GPS receiver is equipped with a flash-based memory, so the firmware can be upgraded. The ultra small Ball-Grid-Array package (size: 30 x 30 x 2.9 mm) allows the end application to have a very low profile and small overall dimensions, facilitating the design of extremely compact location based services solutions.

Since connectors are eliminated, the cost is significantly reduced as compared to conventional mounting technologies. These features, combined with the embedded Python script interpreter result in a very cost effective and well equipped platform, quite capable of becoming an integrated solution for the complete customer application. Additional features including jamming detection, integrated TCP/IP protocol stack, and Easy Scan offer valuable benefits to the application developer without adding cost.

Remote upgrade capability
All Telit modules support Over-the-Air firmware update by Premium FOTA Management. By embedding Red Bend Software’s vRapid Mobile agent, a proven and battle-tested technology powering hundreds of millions of cellular handsets world-wide, Telit is able to update its products by transmitting only a delta file, which represents the difference between one firmware version and another. FOTA service is available for the GSM firmware and will be available in the future for the GPS firmware as well.

Dominikus Hierl, chief marketing officer at Telit Communications, says: “The GE864-GPS is a prime example for the advantages of Telit’s proven family concept. Clients who have been using the GE864-QUAD V2 in their solutions can now incorporate GPS functionality without changing the application design. This helps them to reduce development costs and time to market.”

Asian broadband markets head to 50 percent penetration, but equal access set to be a bigger challenge than better bandwidth

SINGAPORE: In a key presentation at the CommunicAsia2011 Conference in Singapore, leading telecoms analyst Oliver Johnson will detail the factors that could see fixed broadband household penetration in markets such as China, the Philippines and Vietnam surge past the 50 percent mark by 2020.

Johnson, CEO of specialist broadband analysis company Point Topic, will also discuss the prospect of a single regional Asian broadband market.

The deployment of next generation networks in Asia is allowing service providers to supply new innovative offerings such as multiplay packages, IPTV, fixed-mobile convergence and sophisticated enterprise solutions. Factors shaping this dynamic market include Gross National Income (GNI), the growth of urban populations, national regulatory environments and the spending plans and policies of governments in the region.

According to Johnson, while regional broadband growth is strong, some non-trivial challenges remain. “Some markets are at risk of being left behind and will need some central intervention to avoid that outcome,” judges Johnson. “In addition it’s essential that competition in the service market is free and fair.”

The region is also home to a mix of mature, emerging and youthful broadband markets. “In Asia at the country level it is clear that the internal as well as international digital divides will remain a fact of life to the end of the decade and beyond,” states Johnson.

“If we look more closely at the mix of infrastructure and technology deployment the divides can be even greater. The national challenges are not so much how to deliver ever-faster broadband services but how to provide them across whole countries.”

Aptina launches 2-MP image sensor with 720p/30fps for mobile video apps

SAN JOSE, USA: Aptina, a leading provider of CMOS imaging solutions announced the introduction of its MT9D015 mobile image sensor. The 1/5-inch, 2-megapixel (MP) sensor meets the growing needs of the mobile market for primary and front-facing cameras for still image and video capture within smartphones.

The sensor’s 1.75-micron pixel uses the latest Aptina A-Pix technology, enabling improved performance and increased low-light sensitivity. Used as a primary camera, the new sensor provides exceptional performance for DSC-like image capture including reduced latency (less lag time between shots) and overall image quality.

For front facing video applications, the sensor captures video in high definition (HD) at 720p/30fps for an enhanced video chat experience. The MT9D015 is a cost-effective, compact, sensor-only solution that is capable of meeting camera integrators’ low z-height requirements to enable thinner phones.

“The MT9D015 is a versatile imaging solution for mobile camera applications, providing camera integrators with a high definition imaging sensor that can capture video at 30 frames per second,” said Farshid Sabet, VP and GM of Aptina's Mobile, PC Gaming Business Unit. “The sensor leverages the Android platform’s native support for primary and front-facing cameras, making camera integration easier.”

The 2MP MT9D015 provides integrators with an advanced feature set to enhance mobile camera applications without overlapping integrator’s processor functions. The 1.75-µm pixel in the sensor uses the latest generation Aptina A-Pix technology to deliver a leading 2MP sensor with excellent dynamic range and high sensitivity. The sensor enables full resolution snapshots at 30fps for reduced shutter lag, and video capture that leverages the technology advancements in processors supporting 720p resolution.

Smooth video recording in 720p/30fps format via high quality scaling provides and maintains full field-of-view makes for excellent HD video capture as a primary camera, or a friendlier video chatting experience when used as a front-facing camera.

Designers can use single-lane MIPI (CSI-2) for compatibility with a variety of image processors, and the sensor’s one time programmable memory enables storage of camera module and lens correction information. The sensor’s architecture delivers essential ISP features like defect correction, scaling and lens shading correction, and leverages the growing capability in the back end processor for an efficient 2MP, 720p video camera module solution.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Adobe enables developers to build mobile apps for Android devices, BlackBerry PlayBook, iPhone and iPad

LONDON, UK: Adobe Systems Inc. delivered an update to Adobe Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex 4.5 software to enable developers to build applications for iPhone, iPad and BlackBerry PlayBook.

Support for Android devices was released in April 2011. Developers now have a single platform for building highly expressive mobile applications that can be distributed via the Android Market, Apple App Store and BlackBerry App World. Offered standalone or as part of Creative Suite® 5.5 Web Premium and Master Collection, Flash Builder 4.5 enables the creation of applications that work seamlessly across leading mobile device platforms.

“The reaction from developers to the new mobile capabilities in Flash Builder 4.5 and the Flex 4.5 framework has been absolutely fantastic,” said Ed Rowe, vice president of developer tooling, Adobe. “They are amazed by how easy it is to create great mobile apps for Android devices, BlackBerry PlayBook, iPhone and iPad. Companies can now effectively reach their customers no matter what type of device they have.”

Today’s release accompanies the announcement of the Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform (see social media release). With consumers increasingly engaging with more content on smartphones and tablets, large enterprises are required to add mobile applications as a core part of their marketing strategy.

Simultaneously, IT organisations are looking to build business process, CRM and other employee productivity applications to support the broad range of devices and platforms in use today. Using Flash Builder and Flex, enterprises can now use one tool, one framework and one codebase to create high performance applications that run on desktops as well as on smartphones and tablets.

Flex 4.5 also includes significant productivity enhancements that allow developers to rapidly build applications for the desktop, Web and top mobile platforms. Using best practice code templates, code completion and code generation features in Flash Builder 4.5, developers can accelerate the creation of Flex and ActionScript applications and deploy them using Adobe AIR software, Adobe’s runtime for standalone applications.

This allows developers an opportunity to reach more than 80 million Android devices, BlackBerry PlayBooks, iPads and iPhones in the marketplace today. By the end of the year more than 200 million mobile devices are expected to support AIR applications.

Mobile apps in action
Many applications built with Flash Builder and Flex have already been published to the Android Market, Apple App Store, and BlackBerry App World. Following are a sample of those created for Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS and iOS using Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex 4.5, leveraging existing code and logic to quickly deploy to leading mobile platforms.

* Conqu is an easy to use yet powerful task management tool designed to help conquer an email inbox and get things done.
* Mr. Mixit is a spin-based matching game where users must frantically mix record labels against the clock.
* Muni Tracker tracks San Francisco Muni locations and arrival time predictions on a map updating live every ten seconds. Favorite transit stops and lines can also be bookmarked for easy access later.
* Netflix Queue Manager lets users browse, search and manage their Netflix Queue on the go. New features include viewing queues, updating queues, and adding/removing/viewing movies.
* PolitiFact Mobile App helps you “find the truth in politics,” with features including the Truth Index, Truth-O-Meter and Flip-O-Meter. PolitiFact.com is the fact-checking website of the St. Petersburg Times and received a Pulitzer Prize in 2009.
* Pyramix is an easy to learn, highly addictive word game that combines the strategy of Cryptoquote with the simplicity of Boggle.

Developers head for alternative distribution platforms due to Android’s limited business potential

BERLIN, GERMANY: Android app developers are opting to submit their apps to multiple app stores, and so are heading for independent stores. The "inflation" of alternative distribution platforms has just begun. Today, there are more than 30 alternative Android distribution platforms, with more and more opening and building up their catalogues with increasing speed.

Today, almost half of all Android apps listed in the original Android Market are also listed in independent stores. This share is going to increase as the competition level in the Android Market has reached a level that makes it difficult for a publisher to stand out of the crowd. Getting found amongst 5,000 apps is much more likely than amongst 200,000 apps.

The trend of more independent Android app stores with increasing number of apps will continue for some time. One indicator of the growing importance of independent stores is that investment companies have started to invest into these companies. Most prominent examples are Getjar and PocketGear raising over $10 million last year and Appia again (formerly PocketGear) collecting $10 million this year.

As one of the consequences of the high level of competition download numbers of paid apps in the Android Market are very low, and do not support any reasonable paid app-based business case for the vast majority of app publishers.

For developers, visibility is key, even more important than reach – and visibility is what independent app stores can offer. The “inflation” of Android app stores is a consequence of the growing number of Android apps and their growing business potential. Independent Android app stores build their service offering around additional promotion areas within the store and the targeting of specific user groups to allow better monetization opportunities for app publishers.

The number of Android apps the independent stores offer varies a lot, although none of the stores have reached comparable app numbers to the original Google store. The biggest independent store, Handster, has 23,204 apps to date (10.7 percent of Android market), which were submitted by the developers, followed by PocketGear, Amazon App Store and SlideMe. The smallest independent stores have no more than 100 apps.