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Daily news and top headlines for broadband communications engineering and design professionals

FCC halts special access deregulation

August 23, 2012 3:46 pm | by Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week | News | Comments

The FCC has put the brakes on its deregulation of the special access market, services that provide wireless operators with access to critical backhaul for their networks. The Commission voted 3-2 along party lines in favor of temporarily suspending rules that automatically granted requests to change prices on special access services.

Calix to buy Ericsson’s GPON biz

August 23, 2012 3:45 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Calix has negotiated to acquire Ericsson’s GPON business. At the same time, the two companies signed a global reseller agreement, under which Calix will become Ericsson’s preferred global partner for broadband access applications. Neither company divulged the value of the deal.

New antenna could vastly increase wireless net capacity

August 23, 2012 3:42 pm | by Brian Santo | Product Releases | Comments

Rice University researchers unveiled a multi-antenna beamforming technology that could help wireless providers keep pace with the voracious demands of data-hungry smartphones and tablets. As a bonus, using the antennas would save on energy. Furthermore, they can be built using mostly off-the-shelf hardware.

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Report: Cisco still No. 1 in router market; Huawei 2nd

August 23, 2012 3:35 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

When it comes to worldwide router revenues, Cisco is still the top dog, but in a recent report, Huawei came in second overall. Overall, a report by Infonetics Research found that the global service provider router and switch market, including carrier Ethernet switches and IP edge and core routers, grew 4 percent, to $3.5 billion, in the second quarter of this year when compared to the previous quarter.

Report: LTE performance tops all other network technologies

August 23, 2012 3:33 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Mobile customers on LTE devices see fewer data-related issues than do customers on 3G and HSPA+ or WiMAX devices, according to the a new study released by J.D. Power and Associates. Now in its 10th year, the study evaluates wireless customers' most recent usage activities in three areas that impact network performance: calling, messaging and data.

Much of W.Va. lacks high-speed Internet access

August 23, 2012 3:25 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A Federal Communications Commission report shows West Virginia has the highest percentage of residents in the nation without high-speed Internet, but state and company officials say the report is based on old data. About 845,000 West Virginians, or 46 percent of the state's residents, don't have access to broadband Internet service.

AT&T launches Mobile Share plans amid net neutrality debate

August 23, 2012 3:23 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

AT&T launched its new shared data plans today, capping off a week marked by controversy over its FaceTime policy. Along with the new plans, AT&T has completely overhauled its online account management page, which now offers a quick overview of a user's account.

Schooled: Cox Business connects students with enhanced technology

August 22, 2012 3:49 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Cox Business provides voice, video, data and Ethernet services to regional K-12 and higher education facilities across it footprint. It currently serves over 5,000 schools, representing more than 3.2 million students, with its services.

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FCC: 19M Americans lack broadband access

August 22, 2012 3:47 pm | by Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week | News | Comments

The FCC reports that 19 million U.S. residents still lack access to high-speed Internet service, especially in rural and tribal areas. Even if broadband is available, about 100 million Americans - nearly one-third of the population - still don't subscribe to the service, the agency said in a report on broadband access and adoption.

AT&T: FaceTime policy within FCC net neutrality rules

August 22, 2012 3:45 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

AT&T says its policy to reserve FaceTime use over a cellular connection for those customers who move to its new Mobile Share plans does not violate the FCC's net neutrality rules. An AT&T exec argued that it has not violated the FCC's rules on transparency or blocking by stopping customers who aren’t on a Mobile Share plan from using FaceTime on its cellular network.

T-Mo goes unlimited; op nixes throttling, tethering

August 22, 2012 3:41 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

The new "Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data" plan will cost $20 per month when added to a Value voice and text plan or $30 per month when added to a Classic voice and text plan. For example, a single line Value plan with unlimited talk and text combined with unlimited data will cost $69.99, or a single line Classic plan with unlimited talk, unlimited text and unlimited data will cost $89.99.

Ericsson debuts encoder for mobile video

August 22, 2012 3:40 pm | by Brian Santo | Product Releases | Comments

Ericsson is on the verge of hitting the market with a new HEVC/H.265 encoder for the delivery of live and linear TV over mobile networks to mobile devices. The device, based on the H.265 proposed standard, nearly doubles compression rates, making it especially desirable for transmission of video on LTE networks, where bandwidth is an even more limited resource than elsewhere.

Lantiq prepares for VoLTE home gateway

August 22, 2012 3:37 pm | by Brian Santo | Product Releases | Comments

The chip designer is working with two software companies, D2 Technologies and Ecrio, to create a gateway reference design that will support voice over LTE (VoLTE) services in consumers’ homes. VoLTE, a software stack built around the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), provides native voice and other rich media services on LTE networks.

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Cox to commercialize home security services

August 22, 2012 3:32 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

After a trial in its Arizona market, the MSO is ready to start rolling out security services in other markets before the end of this year; the company promoted Vince Groff to continue to lead the operation. Now that the company is set to start commercializing the service, it has promoted Vince Groff to general manager of the new business.

Harney takes helm at broadband start-up

August 21, 2012 3:16 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

INovo Broadband has hired former Cisco Systems executive Michael Harney as CEO. He’ll be reunited with a large handful of other veterans of the old Scientific Atlanta (acquired by Cisco) at the broadband customer premises equipment (CPE) start-up.

Harmonic media server adds solid-state memory

August 21, 2012 3:13 pm | by Brian Santo | Product Releases | Comments

Harmonic has a new version of its integrated media server, this one including solid-state disk (SSD) storage. Otherwise, the Spectrum MediaDeck 7000 SSD four-channel media server is essentially the same system as the MediaDeck 7000.

Gates puts cash into broadband antenna start-up

August 21, 2012 3:12 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Kymeta was founded to exploit new metamaterials to create beam-steering antennas for mobile broadband applications. The start-up that has technology likely to improve broadband service to moving vehicles just closed $12 million in funding, with contributors that include Bill Gates, Liberty Global and Lux Capital.

Comcast promotes finance exec

August 21, 2012 3:08 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Sarah Bryant will take over as senior vice president of finance for Comcast’s enormous Central Division. In her new role, Bryant will oversee budgeting and forecasting, financial reporting and analysis, purchasing, capital planning and information technology, and systems throughout the 15 states that comprise the Central Division.

TiVo strikes deal with GCI

August 21, 2012 1:00 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Alaskan telecommunications company GCI announced that it is going with TiVo for its next-generation whole-home TV platform. It will start deploying TiVo’s platform this year before offering it across its entire footprint next year. GCI will rely on TiVo to enable its whole-home platform.

Comcast Business Services connects distance learning initiatives for college

August 21, 2012 12:55 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast Business Services is fueling Community College of Baltimore County’s distance learning initiatives through its Ethernet services. CCBC is using Comcast’s Ethernet services in its “Fab Lab,” which is an interactive workshop that allows users to take advantage of digital fabrication technologies by using files of two- or three-dimensional computer drawings to replicate products onto different types of equipment.

AT&T’s FaceTime policy could violate FCC rules

August 21, 2012 12:44 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

AT&T's recent announcement that FaceTime over cellular will be reserved exclusively for those customers who switch to the company's new Mobile Share plans is sure to ruffle a few feathers, and some say it might even be in violation of the FCC’s Open Internet rules.

LightSquared appoints new CEO

August 21, 2012 12:41 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

LightSquared announced that it has appointed Doug Smith as its new chairman of the board of directors and CEO. Smith was previously serving as co-chief operating officer for the company. Smith said LightSquared remains committed to working with all stakeholders to find an equitable resolution to the regulatory challenges that the company has faced this past year.

Best Buy profits plunge on weak sales, restructuring costs

August 21, 2012 12:36 pm | by Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Best Buy's profits plummeted about 90 percent during its second fiscal quarter as weak sales and restructuring costs hit its bottom line. The weak financial results come after co-founder Richard Schulze walked away from an offer to move forward with talks to take the company private.

TWC lights up Empire State Building with fiber-based services

August 20, 2012 3:15 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable Business Class, the commercial services division of Time Warner Cable, recently scored a high-profile customer win after expanding its fiber-optic network to the Empire State Building. TWCBC is providing all tenants of the skyscraper with access to a dedicated Internet network that provides high-bandwidth capabilities and speeds that can reach 1,000 Mbps.

Hale Communications the top reseller for Charter Business

August 20, 2012 3:08 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

In its first year as a channel partner, Hale Communications announced it was the top sales leader in the nation for Charter Business services. St. Louis-based Hale brokers telecom services for more than 30 carriers across the nation, including Level 3, AT&T, tw telecom and Windstream.

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