Friday, March 29, 2013

ZTE wins patent case against Huawei in Paris district court

CHINA: ZTE Corp. welcomes the ruling by the Paris District Court requiring Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. to pay damages to the company, and dismissing Huawei’s infringement claim against the company over a data card patent.

The decision by the Paris District Court on 28 March to reject all of Huawei’s claims over the EP724 data card patent followed similar rulings in China and Germany. The Paris court dismissed Huawei’s claim over the “rotator head” data card patent on grounds of lack of novelty, and ordered Huawei to pay EUR 100,000 in damages to ZTE and ZTE’s subsidiary in France.

ZTE has won numerous patent rulings against Huawei in different jurisdictions in the past two years, as the company resolutely defends more than 10 patent infringement claims initiated by Huawei in courts in Europe.

“We are very pleased with the ruling by the Paris court,” said Guo Xiaoming, chief legal officer at ZTE. “The decision was within ZTE’s expectations, as it aligned with other rulings in China and France.”

In June 2012, the Patent Re-examination Board of the State Intellectual Property Office in China ruled Huawei’s data card patent to be invalid. In October 2012, the German Federal Patent Court issued a preliminary verdict to invalidate Huawei’s data card patent, and rejected all six of Huawei’s modification proposals.

According to the ruling of the Paris court, Huawei’s data card patent lacked novelty in all three key technical features.

1. The components of the USB connector were previously specified in the US2004/0048494 A1 patent in the United States

2. The elastic effect of the shaft end of the USB connector and component was previously specified in a patent filed by a company in Hangzhou, China

3. The accommodating portion of the outward casing of the USB product was covered by the 200520016967.5 patent

“Authorities in China, Germany and France all affirm the lack of novelty in Huawei’s patent,” Guo said.

Intilop to present at Ethernet technology summit

USA: Intilop, Inc., a pioneer and a recognized leader in providing ultra-low latency networking Mega IP building blocks, systems and solutions, announced it will present its 5th Gen. SX-Series 10G, 76 nanosecond latency TCP and UDP Offload Core and NICs based around them that deliver greater than 1G byte per 10G port and sub-micro second wire-to-host latency.  It will be at the Ethernet Technology Summit taking place April 2nd thru 4th, 2013 at Marriott Hotel, Santa Clara, CA.

Servers and high end NICs are able to use Intilop's TCP technology and solutions to realize the maximum throughput possible, greater than 93% or approaching theoretic limit. The industry leading system solutions are built around their Ultra-high-performance and ultra-low-latency 10G TCP Offload and DMA technology that has been regarded as 'game changing' by industry experts.

"We are achieving the absolute best with our ultra-Low latency protocol accelerators combined with other internally developed critical building blocks to build the whole systems that not only substantially accelerate network traffic but also simplify system design in terms of reduced switch port cost, reduced power requirements and overall operating cost of networking equipment," said Kelly Masood , president/CTO at Intilop.

Intilop's TCP/UDP Offload engines, other high end building blocks and NICs are targeted at high end enterprise equipment-makers that provide solutions to financial markets, web servers, email servers, high-end servers in Data centers, cloud computing, Government network systems and University campus network systems.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

GSA confirms 821 LTE user devices announced, with smartphones leading way

UK: An update to the ‘Status of the LTE Ecosystem’ report released by the GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) confirms that 97 manufacturers have announced 821 LTE-enabled user devices, including frequency and carrier variants. 474 new LTE user devices were launched in the past year. The number of manufacturers increased by 54 percent in this period.

Smartphones remain the largest LTE device category with 4 times as many products released compared to the lansdscape in April 2012. LTE connected tablets is another fast growing segment.
The underlying research by GSA for the report considered devices that are designed to operate on the FDD and/or TDD modes of the LTE system and their main characteristics, and identified the fallback technologies included for when subscribers move outside LTE coverage (i.e. access to HSPA, HSPA+, DC-HSPA+, EV-DO, or TD-SCDMA systems). 562 LTE devices can operate on HSPA networks, including 259 products that incorporate 42 Mbps DC-HSPA+ capabilities, while 215 LTE devices can also operate on EV-DO systems.

Most of the 821 LTE devices operate in the FDD mode. However, 166 devices can operate using the LTE TDD mode, with band 38 (2.6 GHz) and band 40 (2.3 GHz) having the largest number. LTE TDD devices are available in all form factors including smartphones, dongles, routers, portable hotspots, embedded modules, and mobile tablets. In the report GSA calls on semiconductor and device manufacturers to support the many operators who are deploying or planning LTE TDD systems in globally available 3.5 GHz spectrum (bands 42, 43) to ensure a good choice and timely availability of user devices.

GSA recently confirmed that 1800 MHz (band 3) is the most widely used band for LTE networks in commercial service, followed by 2600 MHz (band 7) and 800 MHz (band 20). This report shows that the frequency band support in LTE devices fully aligns with this trend (several products support more than one band):

2600 MHz = 280 devices; 1800 MHz = 233 devices; and 800 MHz = 207 devices.

Alan Hadden, president of the GSA said: “A user with a dual band 1800/2600 MHz LTE FDD device could potentially use it on around 100 LTE networks in more than 55 countries i.e. 83% of markets where LTE service is commercially available today.”

The report gives a breakdown for the other FDD main bands including 700 MHz (used mainly in North America), AWS (band 4), 2100 MHz (band 1) and 900 MHz (band 8). Terminal support for the main LTE TDD bands is also provided.
The report also highlights the results of the industry roundtable at MWC which was co-hosted by GSA to focus on the major opportunity that the APT700 band plan offers for global spectrum harmonization for LTE systems. Semiconductor and device manufacturers are urged to support the goals of policy makers and operators to ensure that the devices ecosystem is established to support planned investments in this band.

Veramark releases next-gen telecom management software

USA: Veramark Technologies Inc. has announced the release of VeraSMART 10.4, the company's latest version of its integrated telecom management software.

VeraSMART 10.4 features a host of new and enhanced capabilities designed to help customers more effectively manage their telecom environment and expenses.

"VeraSMART is the technology that enables high levels of productivity, both for our customers and for our employees," said Tom McAlees, Veramark's senior VP of Technology. "Version 10.4 includes a number of enhancements, especially in the management of wireless expenses -- the fastest-growing portion of telecom spend for most organizations."

VeraSMART includes capabilities for invoice, inventory, contract, and usage management for both mobile and fixed-line telecom. Enhancements for mobile include better, easier-to-use analytical tools for monitoring trends and identifying zero-use devices, missing discounts, and unexpected charges on every wireless invoice.

"VeraSMART automates telecom management processes that otherwise can be very distracting for executives with better things to do," said Tony Mazzullo, president and CEO. "Veramark is continuously investing in the processes, technology, and talent that enable us to eliminate distractions and simplify telecom management for our customers."

Chinese cellphone and tablet makers gain share in MEMS sensor purchasing in 2012

USA: China-based manufacturers of cellphones and tablets in 2012 more than doubled their share of purchases of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) motion sensors, reflecting the rising prominence of the companies in the global market, according to an IHS iSuppli MEMS Topical Report.

Chinese makers as a whole were the third major user last year of motion sensors for cellphones and tablets, accounting for 15 percent of the market, up from 7 percent in 2011, as presented in the attached figure.

“The purchasers fell into two groups: the first typified by big companies such as ZTE, Huawei Technologies, Lenovo and Coolpad; and the second made up of a multitude of smaller players,” said Jérémie Bouchaud, director and senior principal analyst for MEMS & sensors at IHS.

“The two groups will evolve in different directions in the years ahead. The larger manufacturers will maintain their growth through 2016, but the boom that smaller players are enjoying at present—driven by the long-tail growth of smartphones—is a bubble that will not be sustainable. As top-tier suppliers start to optimize their lower-end platforms for this market, the window of growth for smaller players will shrink accordingly, expiring during the next few years.”

Shades of gray
Chinese firms ZTE and Huawei Technologies were at No. 8 and No. 9 last year—below top players Apple and Samsung, Nokia of Finland at No. 3, LG Electronics of South Korea in fourth place, HTC of Taiwan in fifth, Japan’s Sony in sixth and Illinois-based Motorola in seventh. However, ZTE and Huawei were ahead of No. 10 BlackBerry, the rebranded Canadian player formerly known as Research In Motion.

Outside of the legitimate Chinese market, the China gray-handset space also had a small presence in the global motion sensor industry given spending of $12.7 million, down from a peak of $41.1 million in 2009. The market here consisted solely of accelerometers supplied by American companies Memsic and Freescale, as well as STMicrolectronics and Bosch. There are no compasses or gyroscopes in this segment.

Apple and Samsung dominate
Apple and Samsung Electronics were the two largest buyers in 2012 of MEMS motion sensors for handsets and tablets with nearly three-fifths control of the total market last year, affording the two giants extraordinary leverage when negotiating prices.

Apple spent $422.4 million for a 31 percent share, while Samsung’s expenditure of $340.8 million gave it a 25 percent share. The combined share of 56 percent from the two—equivalent to $763.2 million—dwarfed the rest of the market, which included the underground gray-handset space in China, as well as other smaller buyers from Taiwan and the United States.

“The heft and influence of Apple and Samsung in the consumption of motion sensors give the two titans incredible purchasing power in this key area,” Bouchaud said. “Apple and Samsung were leagues ahead of other companies like Nokia, LG Electronics, HTC, Sony and Motorola in purchasing motion sensors. Both companies in 2012 paid 20 to 25 percent lower prices than other buyers for all motion sensors on average. For 3-axis gyroscopes, Apple and Samsung paid prices that were 10 to 15 percent less than for everyone else.”

Apple and Samsung are expected to maintain their dominance until at least 2016, retaining approximately 55 percent of the market by then.

Overall, revenue last year for MEMS motion sensors used in handsets and tablets amounted to $1.34 billion, up a solid 21 percent from $1.11 billion in 2011.

Apple’s major contribution
California-based Apple was the biggest buyer of motion sensors for tablets, but fell behind top purchaser Samsung last year for the sensors in mobile handsets. Apple’s share last year was down from 36 percent in 2011, but the company can claim important milestones in the MEMS motion sensor market.

The first iPhone made the accelerometer popular as the phone could automatically orient to a horizontal or vertical position; the iPhone 3GS launched an electronic compass for navigation; and the iPhone 4 along with the first iPad created a new market for motion-sensitive gyroscopes.

Unlike most manufacturers, Apple so far has a single-source policy for motion sensors. French-Italian entity STMicroelectronics has been the sole supplier to Apple of accelerometers since 2007 and of gyroscopes since 2010, while Japanese-based AKM has been the lone supplier of the e-compass since 2009.

STMicroelectronics is also the supplier of 3-axis gyroscopes for the iPhone 4, 4S and 5, as well as for the iPad 2, 3 and mini tablets.

Apple, however, may be facing stiff competition from other buyers in pioneering new motion sensor applications. Samsung, for instance, is driving the adoption of pressure sensors for sophisticated indoor navigation, while Nokia and HTC have already introduced optical image stabilization to reduce camera shake in smartphones.

Samsung’s upstart challenge to Apple
Samsung overtook Nokia in 2011 to become the second-largest buyer of MEMS motion sensors for handsets and tablets. The South Korean behemoth increased purchasing by 69 percent, boosting its market share to a quarter of the total from 19 percent in 2011. Samsung’s new-found prominence puts it within 6 percentage points of Apple, narrowing Apple’s lead down from 15 percent in 2011.

Unlike Apple, Samsung has a diversified supplier base: three for discrete accelerometers; four for e-compasses; two suppliers for discrete gyroscopes; two for pressure sensors; two for 6-axis inertial measurement units combining a 3-axis accelerometer and a 3-axis gyroscope; and one for 6-axis compasses comprising a 3-axis accelerometer and a 3-axis e-compass.

STMicroelectronics was the main supplier to Samsung as it was for Apple, with German maker Bosch Sensortec and California-based InvenSense as Samsung’s next biggest providers.

Samsung’s inclusion of pressure sensors in the latest Galaxy Note 2 and S III smartphones is also notable, giving the company an important head start in this segment, especially as Apple is not expected to include pressure sensors in the iPhone until 2014.

Top suppliers overall
Four suppliers shipped more than $100 million worth of MEMS motion sensors last year, making up 84 percent of the market. STMicroelectronics was No. 1 with $640 million, followed by AKM with $236 million, Bosch Sensortec with $135 million and InvenSense with $121 million.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

Worldwide shipments of wireless controls for smart buildings will exceed 36 million units by 2020

USA: Wireless technology is finally entering the mainstream of the commercial buildings controls market. While building automation and controls have been used for decades, wireless networks are enabling more granular control over building systems without many of the design and labor challenges involved with running traditional cabling to support communications and/or power.

According to a new report from Navigant Research, worldwide shipments of wireless controls for building automation systems will exceed 36 million units by 2020.

“While various forms of wireless controls have been used for at least a decade, the ZigBee and EnOcean standards are catalyzing mainstream market adoption,” says Bob Gohn, senior research director with Navigant Research. “Though wireless will not displace traditional wired controls, it will be an essential tool in every supplier’s solutions toolbox, especially for retrofit projects.”

Following years of niche, proprietary solutions and slow standards development, open standards such as ZigBee and EnOcean are replacing proprietary, vendor-specific wireless RF technology, ensuring device interoperability and ease of installation and operation. Shipments of ZigBee and EnOcean products will account for nearly half of all wireless building control node shipments by 2020, the study concludes.

ZigBee IP first open standard for IPv6-based wireless networks

USA: The ZigBee Alliance, a global ecosystem of companies creating wireless solutions for use in energy management, commercial and consumer applications, announced the completion and public availability of its third specification, ZigBee IP.

ZigBee IP is the first open standard for an IPv6-based full wireless mesh networking solution and provides seamless Internet connections to control low-power, low-cost devices. A free public webinar hosted by industry experts will discuss the unique capabilities of ZigBee IP on April 3.

ZigBee IP specification enriches the IEEE 802.15.4 standard by adding network and security layers and an application framework. ZigBee IP offers a scalable architecture with end-to-end IPv6 networking, laying the foundation for an Internet of Things without the need for intermediate gateways.

It offers cost-effective and energy-efficient wireless mesh network based on standard Internet protocols, such as 6LoWPAN, IPv6, PANA, RPL, TCP, TLS and UDP. It also features proven, end-to-end security using TLS1.2 protocol, link layer frame security based on AES-128-CCM algorithm and support for public key infrastructure using standard X.509 v3 certificates and ECC-256 cipher suite.

“ZigBee IP offers a significant step forward in the expansion of IP-based control,” said Mark Grazier, marketing manager and ZigBee board member, Wireless Connectivity Solutions, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI). “Having low-power, low-cost wireless mesh devices that connect to a variety of Smart Grid IPv6-based protocols will further expand the Internet of Things.”

ZigBee IP continues the ZigBee tradition of self-organizing and self-healing mesh networking to enable robust communications over the globally available 2.4 GHz frequency as well as over the 868/915/920 MHz frequencies in select countries. For a complete list of features and benefits, visit

“ZigBee IP provides another option for product manufacturers to add mesh networking to their products,” said Tobin Richardson, chairman and CEO of the ZigBee Alliance. “We expect to see a wave of ZigBee Certified products based on ZigBee IP when Smart Energy Profile 2 is completed later this year since ZigBee IP was designed specifically to meet SEP2 requirements for the Smart Grid.”

Exegin, Silicon Labs and Texas Instruments provided Golden Units against which all future ZigBee Certified products using the ZigBee IP specification will be tested. This testing process ensures compliance with the specification so that manufacturers can be assured of consistent communications. Grid2Home and Sensinode achieved ZigBee Compliant platform status. Testing services were provided by NTS, TRaC and TÜV Rheinland.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Radisys LTE solutions enable Rivada to dynamically allocate excess spectrum for public safety networks

USA: Radisys Corp. and Rivada Networks announced that Radisys’ complete end-to-end LTE network solutions and Professional Services have enabled Rivada Networks’ Dynamic Spectrum Arbitrage (DSA) innovation.

DSA, developed for the public safety market, is the first solution to enable the allocation of excess spectrum resources to other network providers on a real-time basis. For the standards-based network, Radisys leveraged its award-winning Trillium TOTALeNodeB and Evolved Packet Core (EPC) software, carrier-grade COM Express platform and Professional Services.

Radisys is the only company with hardware, software and LTE integration expertise all in-house, enabling the delivery of a pre-integrated solution that reduced Rivada’s integration risk and time to market significantly.
“Rivada Networks has opened a new chapter in the history of public safety communications,” said Declan Ganley, CEO, Rivada Networks. “Dynamic Spectrum Arbitrage unlocks the potential for supply and demand economics to bolster the quality and coverage of wireless broadband services. The technology is a market-changing breakthrough with serious potential to improve cellular communication networks and public safety communications capabilities, and our collaboration with Radisys has enabled us to bring this exciting technology to market.”

The US public safety market is evolving rapidly with the introduction of LTE networks. The industry is transitioning to a combination of private and public networks, all with available spectrum that often goes unused. Rivada’s DSA innovation allows unused spectrum to be easily reallocated across networks to where it’s needed most by combining prioritization of users on the network with a real-time auctioning process.

Deployment of DSA will lead to a new approach in how network operators use and charge for their network resources. Operators will be able to apply varying levels of priority to every user on the network and charge users based on demand, opening up the market for innovative business models. Radisys is providing the test network to demonstrate the viability of this industry-first solution.

Carrier-grade small cells will outnumber consumer femtocells in 2016

USA: Mobile Experts has released a new small cell market forecast, predicting more than 5 million metrocells shipped in 2017.

Based on weak shipment data during 2012, Mobile Experts predicts slow growth for residential femtocells, at only 12 percent per year. Faster growth will come from capacity upgrades, as mobile operators are pushing hard for high-capacity small cells. The new Mobile Experts forecast predicts that, taken together, outdoor metrocells and indoor capacity nodes will overtake residential femtocell shipments in the 2016 time frame.  

"The Asia-Pacific market has led the way in small cells, with more than 100,000 public small cells already deployed in Korea and Japan," explained Joe Madden, principal analyst at Mobile Experts.

"The Asian market is stretching the femtocell into areas where the small cells are handling capacity effectively for operators like KT, SKT, and NTT DoCoMo. Many other operators around the world will follow this example, as the LTE macro roll-out is completed and capacity tightens up in North America, China, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East. The bottom line is that small cells are 65 percent less expensive than macro base stations, for adding mobile capacity."

This forecast identifies eight different types of small cells, by architecture and by power level. In this year's analysis, Mobile Experts included low-power Remote Radio Head units, multi-band small cells, and Carrier Aggregation into the forecast, with 33 band combinations identified for inter-band CA. The report breaks down small cell shipments by frequency band and identified 38 frequency bands for small cell deployment.

Joe Madden explained the data sources behind the forecast: "Our Advisory Panel of operators and suppliers has been very helpful in guiding us to an accurate forecast for the past four years. More than 50 companies have helped us to compile a huge database of information, tracking individual operators by frequency band, power level, and architecture. By tracking the details, our 2009 forecast has come in within 6 percent of actual shipment figures, while competing analysts missed by 90 percent to 300 percent."

"Every spring, we compile information about the HetNet architecture and all different kinds of radio solutions: Femtocells, Picocells, Microcells, Metrocells, DAS systems, repeaters, and macro base stations. This study presents our expected evolution for the HetNet, and will serve as the foundation for ongoing research into Carrier Wi-Fi, Backhaul for Small Cells, and Semiconductors for Small Cells."

Identive expands NFC online marketplace to address Japanese market

USA & GERMANY: Identive Group Inc., a provider of solutions and services for the identification, security and RFID industries, is expanding support for the fast growing near field communication (NFC) market in Japan with the launch of a Japanese language version of its popular NFC online marketplace,

Similar to NFC, contactless card-based FeliCa technology has been widely deployed in Japan for many years for public transportation, customer loyalty programs and payment applications. With 70 million NFC-enabled smartphones and other devices now deployed in Japan, there is a growing need for NFC  infrastructure products that work with these NFC devices as well as with FeliCa cards.

Through its online marketplace,, Identive offers customers around the world a wide range of NFC infrastructure products including tags, stickers, labels, readers and solution development kits, as well as its pioneering Tagtrail mobile services platform. customers enjoy free, localized support for their online purchases.

Ovum puts SpeechStorm ‘on the radar’ for personalized IVR

NORTHERN IRELAND: Ovum has highlighted leading phone-based and mobile customer service solution player, SpeechStorm, in its ‘On the Radar’ research series, recognising the company for its innovative interactive voice response (IVR) solutions for enterprise contact centres.

Whether in the utility, financial services, government, retail, or telecoms service provider sectors, there is an increasing, if not critical, need to improve the IVR experiences of customers interacting with enterprise contact centres. Ovum sees SpeechStorm’s approach as supporting Ovum’s own ‘smart connected interaction’ concept to deliver joined-up customer experience, as well as being able to overcome the failings of other IVR offerings to deliver a more personalized user experience.

In the report, Ovum highlights the SpeechStorm Customer Journeys module, which automatically tracks the path taken by customers using the IVR, its ‘Mobile Experience’ self-service applications for smartphones, and the ability for organisations to make near real-time changes to the IVR in order to improve customer experience.

Ovum’s ‘On the Radar: SpeechStorm’, suggests that any enterprise wanting to personalize its customers’ experience should ‘assess’ the company’s solution.

Oliver Lennon, CEO, SpeechStorm, said: “The feedback we get from the customers using our solutions is, as you would expect, of most importance to us. That’s what tells us we are delivering value and it helps drive our roadmap. We know already that our customers really like what we’re doing with Customer Journeys and enabling personalised IVR, but it’s nice to be recognised by a leading analyst and research company like Ovum, whose views are highly regarded across the industry.”

Arista delivers next phase of SDN

USA: Arista Networks announced the next phase of its Software Defined Networking (SDN) offerings by integrating Arista EOS (Extensible Operating System) natively with OpenStack, the leading open-source cloud provisioning and orchestration system.

Arista EOS is also delivering enhanced OpenFlow extensions via direct flow based configuration interfaces and data-plane programmability.

This combined with Arista’s programmatic interfaces showcases a broad array of multi-vendor network monitoring and cloud integration with technology partners such as NEC, NetScout Systems, Palo Alto Networks, SolarWinds, Splunk, Big Switch, Cloudera, Cloudscaling, Corvil and ExtraHop Networks.

This innovative suite of SDN capabilities, available in the latest release of Arista EOS, significantly enhances cloud networking workflows for rapid cloud provisioning – taking IT workflows that often take weeks and delivering them in seconds. With Arista EOS, customers now have the programmable network capabilities that are necessary to operate a Software Defined Network.

Safaricom selects Gemalto’s cloud-based solution

SOUTH AFRICA: Gemalto announced that Safaricom, a leading mobile operator in Africa, with over 18 million customers, is using its LinqUs Cloud Backup solution to offer mobile subscribers in Kenya a comprehensive back-up service for phonebook contacts.

Compatible most of the handset models, the solution ensures that Safaricom customers can easily protect themselves against the disruption caused by phone theft, loss, damage or replacement, through saving all their contacts automatically in the mobile operator’s cloud-based storage service.

Gemalto’s LinqUs Cloud Backup is already used by more than 140 million subscribers across the world and is particularly relevant in emerging markets such as those in Africa, where the mobile phone is fast becoming the most widespread computing device, and where the many small businesses rely on the integrity of their mobile phonebook contacts to operate.

LinqUs Cloud Backup combines both SIM and handset phonebook backup systems and this feature is unique to the Gemalto solution. It is simple to use as protection of the entire phonebook is just a single click process and restoration of contacts is equally straightforward.

For Safaricom, the contacts back-up service represents both an important differentiator and a new income stream within the highly competitive mobile communications market. Furthermore, customer loyalty is significantly enhanced with churn rate dropping as the mobile operator is recognized and trusted as the guardian of the subscriber’s valued contacts information.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Flagship event in European optical communication comes to London

ENGLAND: This year, ECOC  (European Conference on Optical Communications) will be organised by the IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology), Europe’s largest professional body of engineers.

Held at the ICC London ExCeL from 22 to 26 September, the conference will be the pivotal event of the year providing a major platform for industry professionals to deliver emerging topics, new results and developments in the optical communications sphere.

The 39th ECOC conference will be held at an important time for the industry as it faces the challenge of establishing next generation networks that are larger, faster and more agile, as the demand for broadband continues to increase.

Warren East, CEO of ARM who turned the company into the world’s leading Semiconductor IP licensing company, collectively shipping more than 8 billion ARM chips per year worldwide, will be giving a keynote presentation.

The conference will cover six technical topics which include fibres, fibre devices and amplifiers, waveguide and optoelectronic devices, subsystems for optical networks and datacoms, point-to-point transmission systems, optical transport and large scale data networks and access, local area and intra-data centre networks. The technical papers submission system is now open and will accept original, unpublished and relevant papers in line with this year’s topic areas.

The topics this year have been chosen by the ECOC conference technical programme committee chairs, Prof. David Richardson, University of Southampton and Prof. Dimitra Simeonidou, University of Bristol, who are both highly influential figures in optical communication research. The panel also includes other influential research and analysis groups, together with independent industry bodies within optical communication.

Airtel brings 40 Mbps speed on broadband to Hyderabad city

INDIA: Bharti Airtel, a leading global telecom services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, became the first operator to launch broadband plans on VDSL technology at speed of 40Mbps for customers in Hyderabad.

VDSL is the newest and most advanced standard of Broadband wireline communications.  This plan will give customers the best data experience for streaming high definition videos, online multiplayer gaming, downloading rich content, uploading photos and videos instantly and lots more.

Sharlin Thayil, CEO - Andhra Pradesh, BhartiAirtel, said: “We are delighted to introduce 40 Mbps speed – the fastest wireline broadband service on next generation VDSL technology. The all new Ultrasonic 40Mbps plans on Airtel offers the fastest Broadband speed available for customers and will allow data savvy customers to upgrade from the now prevalent 16Mbps speeds they have enjoyed thus far.

"This plan will allow customers, the convenience to download movies in a few minutes, stream high definition videos, online multiplayer gaming, download rich content, upload photos and videos instantly and lots more.”

Oracle buys Tekelec

USA: Oracle announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Tekelec, a leading provider of network signaling, policy control, and subscriber data management solutions for communications networks.

The proliferation of smart devices, mobile applications, and connected services has led to an exponential increase in network signaling and data traffic. Service providers require intelligent network control technologies to address these increased network workloads as well as to deploy and monetize cloud and over-the-top services.

Tekelec's technology enables service providers to deliver, control and monetize innovative and personalized communications services and is utilized by more than 300 service providers in over 100 countries.

Tekelec's network signaling (Diameter and SS7), policy control and subscriber data management solutions complement Oracle Communications' mission-critical operational support systems, service delivery platforms, and business support systems, and are expected to help service providers efficiently allocate and monetize network resources.

By combining Tekelec with leading capabilities from Oracle Communications and Acme Packet, Oracle expects to provide the most complete communications offering that will enable service providers to engage with customers, improve operations, control network resources and deploy innovative communications services.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Google Play risks destroying market for premium apps on Android

ENGLAND: Flexion Mobile Limited , the company that provides one-click monetisation solutions for mobile apps, has found evidence that Google Play is underperforming for developers, resulting in dramatically lower revenues.

Whilst Android is generally considered to be weaker in terms of monetisation than other smartphone platforms, Flexion recently conducted some research to find out how bad it is. The study found that mobile operator billing is on average ten times more effective in terms of conversion than Google Play billing.

In Flexion’s study, Google Play’s in-app billing offered at best around 1 percent conversion from free trial to purchase. In other Android stores that use operator billing the conversion rate can be up to 10 percent after free trial. This means that consumers could generate up to ten times more revenue for Android apps in Google Play if offered a different billing method.

“Our research findings should act as a wake-up call for Google and developers,” said Jens Lauritzson, CEO of Flexion Mobile. “Android is the world’s fastest growing mobile OS and Google Play is the biggest app store and home to thousands of developers. We believe it is Google’s obligation to offer good monetisation tools and it is pretty clear that by mandating the use of a billing SDK that does not convert well, it puts the whole ecosystem in danger.”

The results were consistent with Flexion’s findings from other stores where operator billing is used, which suggests that it is not Android the platform itself which is under-performing, but rather, the monetization mechanisms mandated by Google Play.

“When traditionally successful premium titles in the App Store such as Doodle Jump turn to ad-funding in Google Play, we can see that premium monetisation is not working as well as it should,” added Lauritzson.

Flexion’s research has shown that developers could make substantially more revenues if Google Play offered better coverage of operator billing. Nokia, Microsoft, RIM, Samsung and even Facebook are all seeing the benefit of operator billing but Google does not seem to be in a rush to implement it.

“It would be fairly easy for Google to acquire a global operator billing business, but their approach seems to be that if operators want the business they should integrate with Google. That will take a while and by then developers may have given up on premium altogether, and advertising may be the dominating model. As the biggest online advertising network, the question is whether that would be such a bad thing for Google,” Lauritzson added.

“This attitude by Google and the loss of revenue potential for developers may provide an opportunity for another ecosystem, such as Windows Phone, to flourish. Given Microsoft’s strategy to allow developers to bring their own monetisation tools they may be targeting Android’s weakest spot.

“Since Google Play is pretty much the only store Android developers know about, they somehow need to adapt to low prices and low conversion in an overcrowded store, either by coming up with new monetisation and discovery models or by simply focusing on other platforms,” added Lauritzson. “There is obviously a reason why a whole new industry of monetisation vendors has popped up in the last few years.”

There are over 800,000 applications in Google Play, which makes it the biggest app store in terms of number of apps. Google has made it mandatory for developers to use Google Play billing but there are no restrictions on which advertising networks can be used. This means that developers rely on either Google Play billing or advertising to generate revenues.

In such a crowded store environment, however, it is clear that if developers don’t get featured or supported by advertising, their apps will not hit the charts. In addition price competition has also contributed to generally low pricing. For most developers, this means that it is almost impossible to make money from their apps in Google Play.

Tehuti intros industry’s smallest 10 Gigabit Ethernet adapter with 10GBase-T support

ISRAEL: Tehuti Networks, a fabless semiconductor company focused on enabling mass adoption of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE), has announced the industry’s smallest 10GbE adapter with integrated 10GBase-T support.

Designed to support high-volume OEM systems, such as low-end servers and storage systems, and high-performance desktop applications, the TN9210 Network Adapter offers a low-power, small form factor and low-cost 10GbE solution enabling 10GBase-T connectivity.

The TN9210 Network Adapter hosts the latest Tehuti TN4010 controller, an optimized 10GbE controller designed for low-power, low-cost, single-port applications required in application servers, high-end workstations and personal computers.

The TN4010 MAC is paired with the Marvell Alaska 88X3120 transceiver, a single-port, low-power, high-performance 10GbE PHY, to enable tri-speed connectivity (10GBase-T, 1000Base-T and 100Base-TX) over low-cost standard CAT-6a Ethernet cabling, supporting up to 100m. (Cat-5e and CAT-6 are supported compliant to link segment specifications.)

“Industry analysts forecast ubiquitous 10 Gigabit Ethernet deployments across enterprises driven by the latest 10GbE controller and 10GBase-T PHY-based solutions, which provide significant power and cost efficiencies in addition to a seamless 10-fold performance enhancement,” said Moshe Shahaf, chairman and CEO, Tehuti Networks. “We are pleased to offer the TN9210 as a critical enabler for this important industry transformation.”

“We are pleased that Tehuti Networks has chosen the Marvell Alaska 88X3120 10GBase-T PHY for their TN9210 Network Adapter, as it enables seamless migration of existing gigabit Ethernet (GbE) networking, available on every workstation and network appliance, to 10GBase-T connectivity – providing an order of magnitude boost in performance at very low power and cost levels,” said LK Bhupathi, senior director of technical marketing, Cloud Services and Infrastructure (CSI) Business Unit, Marvell Semiconductor.

Broadband CPE devices have best year ever; WiFi-enabled CPE taking off

USA: Infonetics Research released excerpts from its fourth quarter 2012 (4Q12) and year-end Broadband CPE and Subscribers: PON, FTTH, Cable, and DSL market share and forecast report, which tracks DSL, cable, and fiber to the home (FTTH) customer premises equipment (CPE), residential gateways, and broadband subscribers.

“Broadband CPE enjoyed its strongest year yet in 2012, benefiting from a combination of ongoing technology shifts and the need to support legacy broadband services and subscribers,” notes Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband access and pay TV at Infonetics Research.

“Cable operators are gaining significant traction with DOCSIS 3.0 in North America, Europe, Korea, and Japan, and they’re in the early stages of rolling out video gateways that combine DOCSIS CPE with video transcoding capabilities. These gateways allow cable companies to deliver a whole-home, multi-screen service to customers, and we anticipate hearty growth for the devices over the next few years.”

Heynen adds: “WiFi-enabled CPE is really heating up. In 2012, nearly half of all DSL units sold were WiFi enabled, and we’re forecasting this to swell to 74 percent by 2017. The growth of WiFi-enabled CPE is proof positive that service providers are quickly moving to more integrated devices to control the user experience in the home.”


* Despite global broadband CPE revenue declining 3 percent sequentially in 4Q12, 2012 was a standout year for broadband CPE devices, with revenue increasing 13 percent, to $7.7 billion.

* The strongest growth came from the cable CPE segment, where revenue grew 26 percent year-over-year.

* DSL CPE shipments were down 4 percent in 2012, though on the bright side, VDSL CPE shipments jumped 39 percent, reaching 29 million units.

* Huawei is the broadband CPE market share leader for 4Q12 and the full year 2012, followed closely by ZTE; both vendors benefitted significantly from the FTTH rollouts at China Telecom and China Unicom.

* ARRIS maintains the top revenue share spot in the DOCSIS 3.0 CPE segment, based on strong EMTA shipments to N. American operators; Motorola, Cisco and NETGEAR follow.

* In the highly competitive FTTH CPE segment, Infonetics expects ongoing vendor market share shifts in 2013, hinging largely on shipments in China.

* Worldwide, there were 57 million FTTH subscribers in 2012, while cable broadband subscribers totaled 111 million.

NETGEAR powers converged network with family of affordable managed switches

USA: NETGEAR Inc. is introducing the new NETGEAR ProSafe Intelligent Edge M4100 series of managed switches, a broad portfolio of cost-effective Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet access layer solutions for small and medium businesses (SMBs), educational institutions, hospitals, government agencies, and other networks supporting fewer than 500 users.

The M4100 series delivers an unbeatable combination of performance, security and convergence for voice, video and data networking solutions at an extremely attractive price point.

The NETGEAR Intelligent Edge M4100 series consists of 12 fully managed switch products in desktop and rackmount form factors, ranging from 8-port Fast Ethernet and Power over Ethernet (PoE) to 50-port Gigabit Ethernet and PoE Plus (up to 30W), and power budgets ranging from 66W to 1,440W.

The series is ideal for all organizations needing reliable, affordable and simple access layer switching with CLI, scripting and IPv4 static L3 routing, IPv4/IPv6 ACLs and QoS. The advanced features of the M4100 series — such as Redundant and External Power Supply (RPS and EPS) options — facilitate, improve, or secure convergent applications such as VoIP deployment, IPTV and video surveillance installations, and wireless access point infrastructures.

Due to the wide adoption of virtualization, the convergence of voice, video, and data and the rapid proliferation of bandwidth-intensive applications such as IP phones and cameras, small and mid-sized businesses, hospitals and schools today have bandwidth needs similar to those of large enterprises.

For the same price as low-end solutions currently on the market aimed at SMBs, NETGEAR is offering high-end features that have so far been limited to enterprise-class offerings only available at double or triple the price point. In contrast, the new M4100 series starts at merely $19 per port for Fast Ethernet PoE models, and at an affordable $32 per port for Gigabit PoE+ models.

Asoka receives two US patents for PLC-based HEMS

USA: Asoka Corp., a pioneer in powerline communications (PLC) hardware and services, has been granted two United States patents for its Home Energy Management Service (HEMS) solutions.

United States patent No. 8,239,073 is for systems and methods for controlling energy consumption and United States patent No. 8,364,326 is for a set of sensor units for communication enabled for streaming media delivery with monitoring and control of power usage of connected appliances.

“We are pleased to have received these two patents as it further strengthens our position in the home energy management market,” said Eric Grubel, president and CEO of Asoka. “This brings our issued patent total to 19. Our other energy management patents have been fast tracked by the patent office, so we look forward to many additional home energy patents being granted and issued in the next six to 12 months.”

Asoka’s HEMS is part of its cloud-based Digital Living suite of services enabling customers to enjoy the benefits of today’s connected home. HEMS enables subscribers to monitor and manage the power consumption of the electrical appliances and devices in their home in real time over the same home area network they use for Internet access and broadband services.

UTEL completes full retrofit to PAU City FTTH network

FRANCE & UK: UTEL, Europe’s leading independent research and development centre for telecommunications systems, has completed the design, manufacture and delivery of equipment to retrofit France’s PAU City FTTH network (14 districts).

More than 55,000 customers and 140 sites are involved in the upgrade that will see the delivery of fibre to the home (FTTH) across the city. The existing network in PAU was a point-to-point design which was initially deployed in 2003.

The upgraded PAU network is the first 100% optical fibre network in France and is being developed by concession owner Axione, under an agreement spanning 15 years. It is the only fibreoptic hybrid point to point and GPON network activated in France on this scale. Locally SPTHD (Société paloise pour le très haut debit) company has been created for the deployment, operation and maintenance of the FTTH network.

“We were very pleased with the cost effective design UTEL developed allowing us to retrofit the existing network with a full upgrade to meet all of our requirements. The time-frames in which they were able to complete full delivery were also very impressive,” said Olivier Briche, Network deployment manager at Axione.

The new equipment, designed by UTEL and its Chinese partner Sunsea, called MOF96PS, is now being installed underneath each splice tray at 150 outdoor or indoor cabinet locations. The design means existing patch cords will be connected to the back of the patch panel utilising infrastructure already in place. Then the MOF96PS will enable any customer to connect to any internet service provider whatever the type of network topology, Point to Point or GPON.

“Other bidders for this project wanted to replace the entire infrastructure at much greater cost; but we were able to look at the existing network and design an adaption. This enabled a retrofit at one tenth the cost of full replacement,” said Jean-Raoul Boyer, UTEL France's director.

“Commercial off the shelf products are often not sufficient which is why we pride ourselves on being able to engineer for any situation. For this project we were briefed by Axione on exactly what they wanted and were able to deliver a prototype within 10 days and the full solution within months. That includes design, manufacture and delivery,” added Boyer.

Projects such as this are becoming more common in France as the regulator ARCEP has employed a strict policy to ensure only one FTTH network is deployed in less dense areas (Zone 2) of the country, such as PAU.

Cambium debuts game changing GIGATOWER in Asia

HONG KONG:  Cambium Networks, leading provider of wireless broadband solutions, will unveil its revolutionary IP wireless GIGATOWER for the first time in Asia, at Broadband Asia & TV Connect Asia 2013, taking place next month (9-10 April) in Hong Kong.

A regional first, the wireless broadband access solution enables service providers to further expand capacity to existing and new customers, while providing high capacity broadband as never before.

Cambium’s GIGATOWER is based on the Canopy Point-to-Multipoint (PMP) 450 platform and delivers the industry’s highest level of throughput for enterprises and triple-play service providers across the region and worldwide. Substantial bandwidth delivery which easily supports HD video, IPTV and voice, utilizing the very low Canopy latency, enables the ability to implement new services faster and more efficiently.

The new solution has the ability to extend coverage to more than 75 square miles (120 square kilometers) and has been designed for growth. The GIGATOWER helps service providers grow by providing consistent and reliable coverage across large service areas, enabling the delivery of in-demand services to urban, suburban, rural and remote locations.

Brook Sneddon, Regional Technical Manager, APAC at Cambium Networks, says: “Asia is a rapidly evolving market and a key area of focus for us. Many countries are showing real drive and dedication to bettering broadband access and services for its residents and businesses. To reflect this developing marketplace we must continue to produce effective and innovative solutions that can meet the growing demand. Our presence at Broadband Asia & TV Connect Asia is ideal for us to showcase our GIGATOWER to the region’s markets leaders.”

ADTRAN expands IP phone portfolio to better enable premises and hosted voice services

USA: ADTRAN Inc. announced the addition of four new IP phones to its industry-leading VoIP portfolio. ADTRAN’s expanded VoIP portfolio, including the VVX 300, VVX 310, VVX 400, and the VVX 410 - featuring Polycom Powered technology - can be deployed on both hosted- or premises-based communications networks.

This enables service providers and resellers the flexibility to deliver an advanced end-to-end communications solution for enterprise customers looking to adopt next-generation voice, video and unified communications (UC) solutions.

As businesses work to operate more efficiently, many are looking for more powerful communication tools to enable them to streamline their processes. To address this growing need, ADTRAN is delivering a complete IP voice and video endpoint portfolio.

As the new phones combine the flexibility of ADTRAN’s NetVanta UC call control, enterprises can upgrade to the latest and most advanced VoIP technologies while maintaining the way they communicate within their business. This gives enterprise customers a broader set of endpoints to meet their business needs while keeping the same ease of installation and single vendor support they have come to expect.

The new endpoints offer the total solution that service providers seek when selling hosted services today. The VVX 300/310 and the VVX 400/410 deliver intuitive user interfaces and have the ability to interact with third party web applications. Their uses range from the entry-level business media phone for today’s knowledge worker to mid-range phone with advanced call-handling ideal for the busy call center agent.

“ADTRAN’s unique market position in both UC call control for the premises and IP business gateways for hosted voice services gives us unique insight into our customer’s communications needs,” said Bob Locklear, director of product management for ADTRAN’s Enterprise Networks division. “Combined with flexible deployment options, these new endpoints can reach more customers and add to a complete IP phone portfolio that meets the needs of today’s unified communications applications.”

Friday, March 22, 2013

Rolling out BWA and 3G services

INDIA: The roll out obligations mentioned in the amendments of Unified Access Service (UAS)/Cellular Mobile Telephone Service licence Agreement(s) to use 3G/ BWA spectrum for provision of telecom access services inter-alia provides that:

(i) Roll –out obligation for 3G spectrum: The Licensee shall ensure compliance of the following network roll-out obligations for 3G Spectrum for respective category of the licensed service area(s):

* Applicable for Metro service area licence(s): The licensee to whom the 3G spectrum is assigned shall be required to provide street level coverage using the 3G Spectrum in at least 90 percent of the service area within five years of the effective date.

* Applicable for Category A, B and C service area Licence(s): The licensee to whom the spectrum is assigned shall ensure that at least 50 percent of the District Headquarters in the service area will be covered using the 3G Spectrum, out of which at least 15 percent of the DHQs should be rural Short Distance Charging Areas, within five years of the Effective Date. SDCA is defined as per the definition used by the Census of India. Rural SDCA is defined as an area where 50% of the population lives in the rural areas. Further:

- the operator shall be permitted to cover any other town in a District in lieu of the DHQ;

- coverage of a DHQ/town would mean that at least 90 percent of the area bounded by municipal/ local body limit should get the required street level coverage;

- the DHQ shall be taken as on the Effective Date;

- the choice of DHQ/town to be covered and further expansion beyond 50 percent of the DHQ/town shall lie with the operator.

* The effective date shall be the date when the right to use awarded spectrum commercially commences i.e. date of issue of amendment letter for respective licensed service area.

(ii) Roll–out obligation for BWA spectrum: The licensee shall ensure compliance of the following network roll-out obligations for BWA Spectrum for respective category of the licensed service area(s):

* Applicable for metro service area licence(s): The licensee shall be required to provide street level coverage using the BWA Spectrum in at least 90 percent of the service area within five years of the effective date.

* Applicable for Category A,B and C service area Licence(s): The licensee shall ensure that at least 50 percent of the rural Short Distance Charging Areas SDCA are covered within five years of the effective date using BWA Spectrum. Coverage of a rural SCDA would mean that at least 90 percent of the area bounded by municipal/ local body limit should get the required street level coverage:

The Effective Date shall be the date when the right to use awarded spectrum commercially commences i.e. date of issue of amendment letter for respective licensed service area.

(iii) The earliest date of issue of amendment letters for right to use of 3G/BWA spectrum is 1.09.2010. Accordingly, in view of the above referred 3/G/BWA rollout obligation conditions, the earliest date to meet the required rollout obligations is 31.08.2015.

This information was given by Milind Deora, Minister of State for C&IT in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.

MetroPCS continues to deliver value and versatility with Huawei Premia 4G

USA: MetroPCS Communications Inc. and Huawei are giving consumers another great option to keep up with friends and family with a new powerful, yet affordable, 4GLTE smartphone – the Huawei Premia 4G – available for only $149.

This latest addition to MetroPCS' extensive lineup of 4GLTE smartphones includes all the features for an exceptional mobile experience, including:

* 4.0-inch Corning Gorilla Glass screen displays a crystal-clear picture.
* 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 1GB RAM for effortless multitasking.
* 5.0 megapixel auto-focus camera with rear-facing LED flash for improved pictures.
* Video recording and playback to capture life's special moments.
* Android 4.0 operating system (Ice Cream Sandwich).
* joyn by MetroPCS capability delivers a unified and intuitive way to communicate and share with friends and family with enriched services like video calling and Wi-Fi calling, integrated instant messaging or chat, image, video and file sharing.

Wasu selects Envivio for cable and multi-screen services

USA & CHINA: Envivio, a leading provider of software-based live and on-demand multi-screen video processing and delivery solutions, announced that Wasu Media Group, a cable and new media service provider in Huangzhou province, China, has selected Envivio Muse transcoders on the 4Caster appliance for its cable and multi-screen services.

The service supports transcoding of MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) for DVB-C video services delivered to 800,000 subscriber homes in Huangzhou, and will be extended to support multi-screen and over-the-top (OTT) TV in the near future.

In addition to its cable TV service, Wasu Media Group operates China's largest digitalized content pool, offering millions of hours of digital media content resources for interactive TV, mobile TV and Internet TV applications. Leading communication operators including China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom utilize Wasu Media Group's services for new media. This innovative company is also pioneering cloud-based media strategies, and runs the National Digital Television Open Laboratory under contract from the State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT).

Envivio was selected by Wasu Media Group because of its flexible, software-based architecture and outstanding video quality. The Envivio encoders support the full spectrum of video codecs and adaptive bit-rate formats, while providing additional value-added features for operators that allow them to optimize traditional TV and new multi-screen services.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mobile device data recoveries up 161 percent as mobile phones set to exceed world population by 2014

ENGLAND: According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the number of mobile phones worldwide is expected to exceed the world’s population by 2014, with overall penetration rates reaching 96 percent globally by the end of this year.

Consistent with the widespread adoption of mobile devices, Kroll Ontrack, the world leader in data recovery and edisclosure software, saw a 55 percent increase in mobile device recoveries for phones and tablets from 2010 to 2011, and a 161 percent increase from 2011 to 2012. With more and more people storing valuable personal and business data on their mobile devices, there is no doubt the demand for recovery when something goes wrong will continue to climb.

“For mobile devices, physical damage is the most common cause of data loss we see, representing about two-thirds of data recovery cases,” said Phil Bridge, managing director, Kroll Ontrack. “Inherent in their purpose, mobile devices are simply on the go, and therefore more susceptible to human error, including drops, which can cause electronic failure, and water damage. The other third are from logical failures, such as accidentally deleted files, corrupt software, password lockout and OS upgrade issues.”

Mobile device failure breakdown
Ontrack Data Recovery engineers report that in 2012, for recovery resulting from physical failure, 31 percent of cases were electronics-related physical damage, 23 percent were the result of water or moisture damage and seven percent were related to damage to the exterior of the device. For recovery resulting from logical failure, 26 percent were the result of deleted files, seven percent were software corruption and six percent were cases of password lockout.

Across all types of recovery scenarios, Kroll Ontrack has found that data loss incidents are platform independent and occur within iOS, Android, and Windows devices.

Mobile device recovery process
“In most cases, recovery can be attained by way of physical repair or bypassing a corrupted OS,” said Robert Winter, chief engineer, Kroll Ontrack. “Once repair or OS bypass is successful, Kroll Ontrack specialised software tools are then used to target critical files and provide customers with comprehensive evaluations and detailed file reports of the files that can be recovered.”

Specifically, in instances of physical damage, Ontrack Data Recovery engineers open the device within a cleanroom environment and assess the physical condition of the circuit boards and parts through a comprehensive diagnostic process. The mobile device’s printed circuit board (PCB) parts are examined and repaired as needed to get the device to a state where the data can be read.

When there is logical failure, such as a corrupt operating system or failed OS update, engineers use specialised software to bypass the identified issue and then access and extract the data.

“When my son dove into a pool with his iPhone in his pocket, he lost hundreds of contacts and two years’ worth of photos that were very important to our family,” said James Smith. “We had never made a backup of his phone and thought the data was forever lost. With Kroll Ontrack’s expertise in mobile phone recoveries, all his data was recovered and restored to his new phone for a very reasonable price and we backed up the information to our family computer.”

Tips for handling data loss
The most requested data to be recovered from mobile devices are photos/videos and contacts, followed by notes and text messages. To promote the best chance of success in recovering this valuable data, Kroll Ontrack suggests the following:

Time is of the essence. Power off the mobile device immediately and get it to a reputable data recovery provider. The longer you wait, the more likely critical data will be overwritten (deleted files) or the drive will corrode (physical damage such as water).

Backup, backup, backup. Before disaster strikes, back-up your data to another device, such as a laptop, the cloud or an external drive. If you get an operating system error, this backup is often the saving grace in the recovery process.

Know what you want. The key to recovering data quickly is to know what data to target. Communicate to your data recovery provider what data is most critical to better ensure a timely and accurate recovery.

IMST and WISI develop smart antenna for C2C Communication

GERMANY: WISI, renowned Tier-1 supplier of automotive antennae and IMST, renowned specialist for antennae and wireless communication agreed upon a strategic partnership to develop an intelligent roof antenna for motor vehicles.

"This partnership gives us access to the excellent know-how of the IMST engineers in antenna technologies and communication systems," says Dr. Rüdiger Czolk, sales director at WISI Automotive. "For IMST the cooperation is an excellent opportunity to transfer innovative solutions from its pre-development and research projects into series products" explains Norbert Schmidt, head of Department Information and Communications Systems at IMST.

The intelligent roof antenna is a multi-band antenna system that integrates the services GSM/3G/LTE, GPS and Car-to-Car (C2C) into a single module. In addition to the passive antenna elements for the named services, the module includes the entire electronic components like microcontroller, memory, and signal processing for C2C. Due to the complete integration of the service into a single module the interconnection with the vehicle architecture is purely digital via Ethernet and avoids – especially for 5.9 GHz – using lossy coaxial cables.

At such high frequencies in a vehicle environment, even on the exposed roof position signal drops due to shadowing and multiple reflections are expected. Therefore this architecture provides the ability to connect a second module placed at an alternative position to the main module.

The radiation characteristics of the additional module can be tailored to the particular position. This distributed system enables antenna diversity and thus provides an optimal omnidirectional combined radiation pattern. Maximum transmission range and thus a significant increase in traffic safety can be guaranteed.

Alcatel-Lucent to boost speed and quality of broadband business services for NTT Communications

JAPAN & FRANCE: Alcatel-Lucent has announced that Japan's NTT Communications Corp. (NTT Com) has chosen its advanced Edge Router systems to dramatically boost speed, performance and cost-efficiency within in its VPN enterprise services.

NTT Com will introduce Alcatel-Lucent's Multi-service Edge Router, the 7750 Service Router (7750 SR) as part of business services available in Japan and worldwide.

Previously such services were supported by independent networks, but the move to a single, converged IP infrastructure provided by Alcatel-Lucent will simplify and streamline network management, cut the cost of network operations and help lower NTT Com's operational expenditure through a measurable decrease in energy consumption.

Alcatel-Lucent's 7750 Service Router is designed to offer high performance and availability to differentiate it from the competition. The 7750SR supports platform capacities ranging from 40Gb/s to 2Tb/s, and has a processing structure adapted to the carrier's service, quality-of-service provision, and a wide range of protocols and interfaces such as Ethernet and multi-service.

PrecisionMatch mobile handset market insights

INDIA: PrecisionMatch released the first-of-its kind ‘Mobile Handset Market Insights’ for India for the period December 2012-February 2013.

The consumer data in the mobile handset market suggests that Samsung, Nokia, Micromax, Sony and HTC are the five most researched brands on the Internet, and Samsung Galaxy S3 with its unique features is the most researched handset model.

A key insight gathered from the data is the increasing consumer interest in Micromax phones. Micromax was the second most researched handset brand after Samsung in Feb 2013 while Micromax A110 Canvas 2 was the most researched handset model in January 2013.

The data also suggests the increasing popularity of Nokia, with its range of Nokia Asha and Nokia Lumia models that are competing with the likes of HTC, Apple and Sony Mobile. Another interesting revelation is Sony’s consistent performance making Sony Mobile the fourth most researched handset brand.

Intertrust sues Apple for patent infringement

USA: Intertrust Technologies Corp. has filed a lawsuit for patent infringement against Apple Inc. in US Federal Court in the Northern District of California.

The lawsuit accuses Apple of making products and services that infringe on 15 Intertrust patents on security and distributed trusted computing. The lawsuit covers a broad range of key Apple products and services including iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad, Mac computers and laptops, Apple TV, and services including iTunes, iCloud, and the Apple App Store.

“Apple makes many great products that use Intertrust’s inventions,” said Talal Shamoon, Intertrust’s CEO. “Our patents are foundational to modern Internet security and trusted computing, and result from years of internal research and development. We are proud of our record of peaceful and constructive licensing with industry leaders. We find it regrettable that we are forced to seek Court assistance to resolve this matter.”

ZTE attains no. 1 position in world PON market

CHINA: ZTE Corp. is pleased to achieve the global No. 1 ranking for shipments of PON (passive optical networking) products in a report compiled by industry consulting firm Ovum, as the company leveraged its market-leading technologies to win contracts and outperform competitors in this segment.

According to Ovum’s Market Share Report: 2012 FTTx, DSL, and CMTS Units, ZTE was the world’s leading vendor with 42 percent market share globally in shipments of PON optical line terminals (OLTs) in 2012, after the company shipped 1.72 million lines.

Based on Ovum’s data, ZTE also ranked first globally in shipments of optical network terminals (ONTs) and optical network units (ONUs) with 32 percent market share, after the company achieved shipments of more than 13 million lines. Ovum’s data showed that ZTE attained market leadership while the total number of OLT ports shipped declined between 2011 and 2012.

For many years, ZTE has been able to maintain annual growth rate of more than 30 percent in its PON business, thanks to the company’s commitment to technology innovation and the growth in investment in FTTx networks globally.

ZTE’s strong understanding of the market and superior technology has helped the company win contracts from the world’s main telecommunication operators as they build and optimize their optical networks, especially in the important markets of China, Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America.

“ZTE’s leading position in the PON market is the result of broad recognition of our work from across the global telecommunications industry,” said Zhu Yongxing, GM of ZTE’s fixed-network products. “We will continue our efforts in innovation and service to develop our PON business, to support operators globally in building high-speed and intelligent broadband optical networks.”

Samsung turns up pressure on competition with pressure sensor in Galaxy S4

USA: With the introduction of the Galaxy S4, Samsung Electronics continues to lead the market in the adoption of pressure sensors in smartphones, paving the way for massive growth in the market for these devices in the coming years.

Global shipments of microelectromechanical system (MEMS) pressure sensors in cellphones are set to rise to 681 million units in 2016, up more than eightfold from 82 million in 2012, according to the IHS iSuppli MEMS & Sensors Service.

Shipments this year are expected to double to 162 million units, as presented in the attached figure, primarily due to Samsung’s usage of pressure sensors in the Galaxy S4 and other smartphone models.

“Samsung is the only major original equipment manufacturer (OEM) now using pressure sensors in all its flagship smartphone models,” said Jérémie Bouchaud, director and senior principal analyst for MEMS & sensors at IHS.

“The company appears to be slightly ahead of its time in its adoption of pressure sensors, even though the most compelling application—indoor navigation—is still not ready for deployment. However, Samsung seems to want to anticipate the start of this market and get a jump on the competition for pressure sensors. The pressure device represents just one component among a wealth of different sensors used in the S4.”

Pressure’s rising
Besides Samsung, few other OEMs have been using pressure sensors in smartphones. The only other smartphone OEMs to use pressure sensors in their products are Sony Mobile in a couple of models in 2012, and a few Chinese vendors, like Xiaomi.

Apple Inc., which pioneered the use of MEMS sensors in smartphones, does not employ pressure sensors at the moment in the iPhone. However, IHS expects Apple will start them in 2014, which will contribute to another doubling of the market in 2014 to 325 million units.

Applying pressure
Although pressure sensors aren’t very useful currently in the smartphones, they hold strong potential for the future.

The most interesting application now is the fast Global Positioning System (GPS) lock, wherein the GPS chipset can lock on to a satellite signal and calculate positions more quickly by using the pressure sensor to determine the smartphone’s altitude.

However, the most exciting use for pressure sensors in the future will be indoor navigation, an area with massive potential growth in retail and travel applications. Pressure sensors will provide the floor accuracy required to determine which level a user is on within a structure.

While the ecosystem is not yet fully in place for indoor location/navigation, IHS anticipates this market will reach a breakthrough in growth during the next 12 to 18 months. By this time, Samsung will have a considerable lead over Apple and other competitors in the installed base of pressure sensors in smartphones.

Samsung takes lead in smartphone MEMS sensors
Although Apple pioneered the usage of MEMS sensors in smartphones, and was the top consumer of these devices for many years, Samsung in 2012 took the lead from Apple for the first time. With Samsung expected to maintain hegemony in smartphone shipments in 2013 and the company loading up on the number of MEMS and other sensors in each smartphone that it ships, its lead in this area is is likely to continue to grow.

Given its emphasis on detecting and adapting to consumer lifestyles, the Galaxy S4 integrates a wealth of different sensors, including the accelerometer, RGB light, geomagnetic, proximity, gyroscope, barometer, gesture and even temperature and humidity varieties.

Sensor suppliers
While IHS has not yet conducted a physical teardown of the Galaxy S4, the IHS iSuppli MEMS & Sensors Service is able to anticipate the likely suppliers of these devices for the smartphone.

The pressure sensor in the S4 is made either by STMicroelectronics, as it was in the Galaxy S III; or by Bosch, like what was used in the Galaxy Note 1 and 2. Both companies are the only mass producers of these devices today for handsets.

And just as in the Samsung Galaxy S III, STMicroelectronics and yet another supplier, InvenSense, are expected to share the supply of the S4’s inertial measurement unit (IMU), which combines the accelerometer and gyroscope.

Meanwhile, the S4’s compass could be supplied by any one of three entities: by AKM—the same as the Galaxy S III; or by Yamaha—as was used in a previous member of the Galaxy smartphone line; or by Alps—which is an up-and-coming manufacturer in this area.

Maximum RGB
IHS expects that Samsung will continue to use an RGB sensor in the S4, as part of a combo device that aggregates RGB, proximity, and IR LED emitter, as it did in the Galaxy Note 2 and the Samsung S III. Samsung was the only user of such combo sensors in smartphones in 2012.

If the RGB sensor is installed on the side of the S4 display, it will be used to sense the color temperature of the room where it’s located, and adapt the contrast and colors on the display to enhance the viewing experience. Such RGB sensors are useful for high-end displays. Since the Galaxy S4 is expected to have full high-definition display—unlike the S3—the added value of having an RGB sensor might be more obvious and noticeable in the S4.

The RGB sensor also could be installed on the back the Galaxy S4 in conjunction with the camera module. This can help in taking better pictures by correcting the white balance.

Capella Microsystems is likely to be the RGB supplier, just as in the Galaxy S III. Other potential suppliers are ams-TAOS, Maxim and Hamamatsu.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Samsung gets personal with Galaxy S4—boosting market share in 2013

USA: With a focus on lifestyle enhancement, the Galaxy S4 from Samsung Electronics transcends the smartphone’s traditional role as a mobile device and places it squarely in the realm of providing personal  experiences, a development that stands to boost Samsung’s standing in the worldwide cellphone market.

In 2013, Samsung will extend its mobile handset market share lead over its nearest competitor to 11 percentage points compared with 2012, according to information and analytics provider IHS. In 2012, Samsung accounted for 29 percent of global mobile handset shipments.

“By describing the Galaxy S4 as a ‘Life Companion,’ Samsung is demonstrating awareness of a fundamental truth about the mobile market: Smartphones are all about personal experiences that stay with people throughout the day, not only mobile ones,” said Ian Fogg, director for mobile and telecommunications research at IHS.

“Making extensive use of Samsung’s technological prowess, the S4 can monitor events in users’ lives—and then react accordingly. From health features to an eye-, gesture- and voice-controlled user interface; to automotive, entertainment and financial characteristics, Samsung has designed the S4 to pervade and enhance every aspect of users’ lives. Combined with a massive worldwide rollout through almost every operator, the lifestyle focus of the S4 will help drive Samsung’s market share sharply in 2013.”

Starting at the end of April, the S4 will be sold by 327 operators and 155 countries.

Vertically unchallenged
Samsung has made extensive innovations with the software on the S4 in order to fully leverage the company’s vast portfolio of innovative hardware components.

Despite using Google's open-source Android operating system as a basis, Samsung's smartphones increasingly are becoming vertically integrated in terms of their software, hardware and services. Samsung combines components that it designs and manufactures, along with its optimized version of Android that takes advantage of new sensors and input mechanisms.

In the S4, this combination also offers superior security, with Samsung Knox security system, and connects with Samsung's own app store, wallet, video, music and games hubs.

“Samsung’s vertical integration of hardware and its own software services increasingly places it in competition with Google's own services such as Google Wallet and the Google Play app and digital content store,” Fogg said.

Health check
The S4 includes an extensive array of sensors to track user health and activity, a feature branded S Health.

These sensors include an accelerometer, RGB light, geomagnetic, proximity, gyroscope, barometer, gesture and even temperature and humidity.

S Health uses a combination of the sensors within the device to systematically and automatically monitor a user’s health, surroundings and other parameters to help improve quality of life. Also, users can easily check their health conditions using a food diary, an exercise diary and a sleep monitor to stay fit and healthy. Certain S Health functions are enabled by specific accessories.

Sensors and sensibility
Other S4 features that use these sensors include Samsung Smart Pause, which enables users to control the screen based on where they are looking. Another feature is Samsung Smart Scroll, which allows users to scroll the browser or to check emails up and down without touching the screen. Samsung Smart Scroll recognizes users’ faces and the movement of their wrists, and then scrolls the pages up or down accordingly.

Yet another sensor-enabled feature, Air View, allows users to hover with their fingers to preview the content of an email, the S Planner note-taking system, an image gallery, or video without having to open it. Finally, Air Gesture allows users to change the music track, scroll up and down a web page, or accept a call with a wave of their hand.

Lifestyle lineup
Additional lifestyle-oriented features in the S4 include VoiceTM Drive, which enables users to activate commands via voice control for optimization when driving.

Meanwhile, Samsung Optical Reader automatically recognizes text, a business card or QR code information, and provides useful functions such as translation, call, text message and search.

With Samsung WatchON, the GALAXY S4 will transform into an IR remote to control home entertainment systems, including a TV, set-top box, DVD player and even the air conditioner.

For its part, Samsung Adapt Display provides an optimal viewing experience, customized for each type of application.

Samsung Adapt Sound offers an optimal level and type of sound, personalized for each user.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

Halton Housing chooses 1st Touch

UK: Halton Housing Trust has chosen mobile workforce software from 1st Touch. The not-for-profit housing association, which was formed when Halton Borough Council transferred its housing stock in 2005, manages 6200 homes in the Cheshire Towns of Widnes and Runcorn.

By enhancing their customer interface and responsiveness, Halton Housing Trust believes that mobile workforce software can help them to meet their main objective of ‘Improving People’s Lives’. The intention is to roll the new mobile software out across all customer facing areas of the Trust. 1st Touch is already being used by approximately 25 of the responsive repairs maintenance technicians at the Trust.

Identifying new mobile solution
Prior to choosing 1st Touch, the Trust already had experience of mobile technology from a previous system they had used. However, the earlier software had a number of limitations. The decision was taken to identify a more flexible and scalable mobile solution that could grow with the Trust’s requirements and which was capable of being used across the organisation.

1st Touch was chosen as it has the ability to be deployed across different areas of the organisation as required. In addition, 1st Touch had already developed integration with the Trust’s new Aareon QL housing management system.

Airtel launches 4G services in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula

INDIA: Bharti Airtel has launched 4G mobile broadband services in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula.

"This launch is another first by Airtel that further enhances the footprint of mobile broadband in India. We are optimistic about the potential of Airtel 4G services and invite our data savvy customers in Punjab to enjoy this world class data experience," said Jagbir Singh, Bharti Airtel CTO and director for Network Services Group.

In 2010, Airtel had successfully bid for BWA license spectrum in Kolkata, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra (excluding Mumbai) circles. Additionally, earlier last year, Bharti Airtel acquired 49 percent interest in Qualcomm AP’s India entities that hold BWA licenses in Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala.

The company has launched its 4G LTE services in Kolkata, Bengaluru, Pune and now Chandigarh, and is currently working toward rolling out state-of-the-art networks in the remaining license circles

Entropic brings highest performance Ethernet-over-coax (EoC) broadband access solution to China

CHINA: Entropic has announced the EN3681 Network Controller (NC) and the EN3690 Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) -- the company's newest generation of c.LINK 1.1+ Ethernet-over-Coax (EoC) Broadband Access solutions.

Entropic's latest c.LINK 1.1+ offering is the first multiple-channel EoC solution that can deliver up to 800 Mbps of aggregated throughput, ensuring the bandwidth and flexibility needed to meet China's Next Generation Broadcasting (NGB) requirements. Entropic is demonstrating its new EoC solution at the China Content Broadcasting Network(CCBN) exhibition -- Hall 3, Booth #3403 -- which takes place this week in Beijing.

To satisfy consumer demand for high definition (HD) video content across a variety of connected devices, and to meet requirements set forth by the NGB initiative, China MSOs are looking for high throughput broadband access solutions to reliably drive more entertainment services and applications to their subscribers.

Entropic's EN3681 NC and EN3690 CPE solution delivers the industry's highest performance, highest density EoC solution in the smallest form factor. The technology employs the first-ever multiple-channel solution, which raises the performance bar -- bringing 800 Mbps of aggregated throughput to MSOs' networks, and operates across a wide frequency range, making it easy to co-exist with Low RF and other High RF solutions.

This flexibility allows MSOs to easily augment their capacity needs if more bandwidth is desired. This new generation of EoC solution is backward compatible with Entropic's c.LINK 1.1 install base, protecting MSOs investments and provides an upgrade path over their existing services.

Sumitomo Electric to demo industry's first 25G EDR technology using Anritsu MP1800A BERT

OFC/NFOEC 2013, USA: Anritsu Co. (booth #2519) will be part of a demonstration of the world's first 25G EDR technology that will be conducted in the Sumitomo Electric Industries (SEI) booth (#2318) during OFC/NFOEC 2013, beginning in Anaheim, CA.

The Anritsu MP1800A BERT will be used in the SEI booth to showcase key component technology used in an EDR active optical cable.

The MP1800A was selected, in part, because it supports wideband bit rates from 0.1G to 32.1G for versatile signal integrity analysis applications. It features a built-in Pulse Pattern Generator (PPG) to support output of high-quality, high-amplitude signals, and an Error Detector (ED) with high input sensitivity for signal analysis, such as Bathtub Jitter and Eye Diagram Measurements.

A jitter modulation source is also integrated into the MP1800A, for generating various jitters, such as SJ/RJ/BUJ/SSC, and supporting Jitter Tolerance tests.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sangoma releases high-density telephony board for digital span monitoring

CANADA:  Sangoma Technologies Corp. announced the availability of its T116 16-Span Tapping Board.

The highest density board on the market, the T116 provides passive high-impedance tapping of digital telephony spans. The T116 board, which is available immediately from Sangoma partners around the world, provides telephony solution developers with a highly reliable and dense platform for building call monitoring, recording, logging, fraud detection and security applications.

"With its support for up to eight digital spans on a single board, the T116 has double the capacity of any other passive tapping solution on the market. It is built on Sangoma's highly regarded PCI Express interface board technology to ensure broad compatibility with commercial servers," said Simon Horton, Sangoma director of product management.

"Developers of call recording and logging solutions have been limited in scaling their products due to the lack of high-quality and affordable boards that are compatible with open source and proprietary operating systems. The T116 breaks down these barriers and provides a scalable and reliable product that enables innovation."

The T116 board employs high-impedance circuitry to ensure that there is no disruption or degradation of the communications signals on the digital spans. This passive monitoring approach eliminates the need to insert a device that terminates and regenerates every call.

Designed to monitor up to 240 individual calls, the T116 board is developed for global markets that require compliance with T1, E1 or J1 standards. In addition, Application Programing Interfaces (APIs) and source-code software development kits are available for open source projects such as FreeSWITCH and Asterisk, and for proprietary PBX, switch, IVR, and VoIP gateway applications.

Samsung Galaxy S4 carries $236 bill of materials

USA: The HSPA+ version of Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy S4 smartphone carries a $236 bill of materials (BOM), up significantly from last year’s model—the Galaxy S III—due to major upgrades in the display, sensors and application processor and supporting memory, according to a virtual teardown conducted by the IHS iSuppli Mobile Handset Cost Model Service.

The HSPA+ S4 with 16 gigabytes of NAND flash memory costs $244 when the $8.50 manufacturing cost is added in. The BOM of the HSPA+ version of the S4 is $30.40 higher than for the equivalent version of the Galaxy S III, a 15 percent increase. The Galaxy S III pricing analysis was performed by IHS in September 2012.

This virtual teardown and pricing estimation was derived from information and device specifications released by Samsung, combined with information regarding known components and suppliers. The information presented is preliminary and subject to change, pending IHS’s actual physical teardown of the device.

“Although its hardware is not radically different from the Galaxy S III introduced in April of 2012, the Samsung Galaxy S4 includes some critical component updates that enhance its functionality as well as its BOM cost,” said Vincent Leung, senior analyst for cost benchmarking at IHS.

“Among the upgrades are a larger, full high-definition (HD) display; a beefed-up Samsung processor; and a wealth of new sensors that set a record high for the number of such devices in a smartphone design. And despite the larger display and other changes, the Galaxy S4 has roughly the same width and the same ease of handling as the Galaxy S III.”

Display advance
The S4 employs a full-HD active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) display from Samsung Display with a pixel format of 1,920 by 1,080. This compares to the 1,280 by 720 WXGA resolution display in the S III.

The S4’s HD display and touch-screen subsystem is estimated to carry a cost of $75.00, up from $65.00 for the S III. This represents the single largest area of cost increase for the S4 compared to the S III.

“While many brands have released smartphone models using full-HD LCD displays, the S4 represents the first with an AMOLED display at this resolution,” said Vinita Jakhanwal, director for small & medium displays at IHS. “Reaching a true pixel density greater than 300 ppi has been a challenge for AMOLED display makers. However, Samsung was able to enhance AMOLED display performance by implementing new technologies that also drove up the cost of the display.”

Apps processor beefs up its cores
For the apps processor in the HSPA+ version of the Galaxy S4, Samsung is believed to be employing an Exynos 5 Octa solution, an eight-core chip using its own design, and manufactured with Samsung’s own 28-nanometer process. This compares to the quad-core Exynos apps processor in the Galaxy S III. The cost of the Galaxy S4’s processor is estimated at $30.00, compared to $17.50 for the chip in the Galaxy S III.

The Galaxy S4’s eight-core Exynos processor uses ARM’s big.LITTLE microprocessor architecture. The architecture employs a hybrid approach generally referred to as heterogeneous computing, whereby two central processing units (CPUs)—a quad-core Cortex-A15 CPU and a quad-core Cortex-A7 CPU—are integrated into the same chip.

“With big.LITTLE, there is a computing and power consumption tradeoff, in which less computing-intensive tasks, such as phone calls and social media apps, can be handled by the more power-efficient but slower A7 cores,” said Wayne Lam, senior analyst for wireless communications at IHS. “This allows the bigger, more powerful and energy-draining A15 cores to remain idle when they are not needed, preserving battery life. The A15 cores go into action only for more computing-intensive applications, like video gaming or decoding video.”

This is a unique approach compared to Nvidia's 4+1 Tegra setup or even Qualcomm's asynchronous Krait-cores in the Snapdragon, where the processing cores are evenly matched.

The 4G LTE version of the Galaxy S4 employs a different apps processor and baseband, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, a quad-core apps processor and LTE radio solution. Samsung had a similar hardware differentiation with the LTE version of the Galaxy S III. Given the different apps processors between the Samsung Exynos-powered S4 and the Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered Galaxy S4, some variances in the software capabilities and application performance for the two models are expected. However, that has yet to be verified by Samsung.

Sensuous sensors
With its emphasis on detecting and adapting to consumer lifestyles, the Galaxy S4 integrates an array of different sensors, including the accelerometer, RGB light, geomagnetic, proximity, gyroscope, barometer, IR gesture and even temperature and humidity varieties.

The humidity and temperature sensor as well as the IR gesture sensor are new in the Galaxy S4 compared to the Galaxy S III. Because of these new capabilities, the user interface and sensor subsystem of the Galaxy S4 carries an estimated cost of $16.00, up from $12.70 in the Galaxy S III.

LTE version keeps costs in check
Although the LTE version of the Galaxy S4 employs a more advanced mobile radio than the HSPA+ version, its total BOM cost is slightly lower, at $233.00.

The LTE Galaxy S4’s wireless section costs $25.00, higher than the $16.00 for the HSPA+, because it supports the new 4G LTE air interface standard as well as up to six global LTE bands.

However, the LTE version keeps expenditures down by using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 solution, which costs $20.00. An additional cost benefit of using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 solution comes from the use of a lower-cost wireless LAN/Bluetooth/FM/GPS subsystem.

Samsung inside
Samsung makes extensive use of its own internally manufactured parts in all of its phones, including the Galaxy S4, as presented in Table 2 attached. The company is believed to supply the display and touch-screen module, as well as the apps processor and power management integrated circuit, according to the preliminary IHS analysis. Samsung also is the primary supplier of the SDRAM and flash memory, although the company could employ alternative sources for these commodity parts.

All told, Samsung accounts for at least $149 worth of component content in the HSPA+ version of the Galaxy S4, representing 63 percent of the total BOM, based on the results of the virtual teardown.

Intel and Broadcom too
Intel Corp. is believed to be the supplier of the baseband processor and RF transceiver in the HSPA+ version of the Galaxy S4, just as it did for the Galaxy S III. Broadcom is the likely source for the Wireless LAN/Bluetooth/FM/GPS subsystem and the GPS/GLONASS section in the non-Qualcomm variant of the Galaxy S4.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

BridgePoint announces strategic partnership with XCLUTEL

USA: BridgePoint Technologies, a full service information technology consulting firm, announced its business partnership with XCLUTEL Communications, a world-class provider of integrated managed telecom solutions.

The strategic alliance provides XCLUTEL customers with BridgePoint's proven Managed Services and IT solutions, while offering BridgePoint clientele direct access to XCLUTEL's integrated voice and data access solutions, as well as business telephone systems.

XCLUTEL's voice and data solutions enable seamless, scalable communication and collaboration capabilities across multi-site, small and mid-size businesses.

BridgePoint’s comprehensive and reliable IT business solutions  and managed services, combined with XCLUTEL’s business telephone systems and voice and data access solutions, provide customers value-added service assurance and a comprehensive product suite that fulfills the critical telecom and IT needs of their customers.

Samsung replaces Nokia as top smartphone brand in China

TAIWAN: Samsung has surpassed Nokia as the most commonly used smartphone brand in China since the third quarter of 2012, according to a consumer research report on smartphone use in China conducted by Avanti, a division of global market research firm TrendForce.

While Apple comes in third, with strong scores in the “brand image” and “intent to purchase” categories, a more affordably priced iPhone could very well put the manufacturer back on top in China.

Samsung becomes dominant smartphone brand
In the category of brands used most often, Samsung surpassed leader Nokia in the third quarter of 2012. Apple came in third with 10 percent, and HTC was close behind.

Notably, Nokia’s percentage dropped rapidly after the third quarter; if this continues, the manufacturer may fall behind Apple this year. While China’s domestic brands Huawei, Xiaomi, etc. did not make it into the top three, all show steady growth.

As for brands consumers have used in the past, Nokia and Samsung are neck and neck. Currently, Samsung beats out Nokia as the most commonly used smartphone brand with 20.3 percent and 14.3 percent, respectively.
iPhone shows strongest brand image
When it comes to brand image, the ranking changes. The iPhone surpassed Samsung in the second quarter of 2012, while Nokia’s brand image has been slipping quarterly.

The decline in Nokia’s brand image slowed in the fourth quarter though, likely due to promotion of the new Windows Phone in China. HTC lost to Nokia by just a few percentage points in the fourth quarter, while Xiaomi, Huawei, Lenovo, and ZTE saw significant improvement over 2011.
iPhone nost desired next purchase, Samsung’s percentage increases
The iPhone also came out on top as the brand most consumers intend to choose for their next smartphone purchase. However, as the iPhone’s price tag is relatively high, not everyone that names the smartphone as their most desired next purchase will actually buy it; a lower-priced model would certainly boost the brand’s performance in China.

Samsung, on the other hand, has seen improvement in the category, and intent to purchase is more accurately reflected in use figures. Thus, the short-term outlook for Samsung’s growth in China is very optimistic. HTC and Xiaomi outperformed Nokia is the category; although Nokia managed to stay in the top five in the fourth quarter of 2012, the manufacturer’s score has been slipping in all categories.
Samsung, Apple remain in lead; China’s brands show steady growth
Generally speaking, Samsung and Apple are expected to continue improving, while Nokia will have to rely on the Windows Phone, which unfortunately has not seen impressive sales as of yet, to turn things around. HTC is more or less a leading smartphone brand in China, but still has plenty of room for improvement.

Of China’s domestic brands, Xiaomi has seen the strongest growth, showing stronger performance than the others in terms of both price-to-performance ratio and reputation. Huawei’s sales have been mediocre, but that could easily change if the manufacturer invested in high-end models.

As for Lenovo, entering the smartphone market with a strong background in PCs provides the manufacturer with an integrated sales model that should see strong growth in the future.