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

Ciciora's Corner - Patents and you

November 19, 2012 12:43 pm | by Walt S. Ciciora, expert on cable and consumer electronics issues | Articles | Comments

Patents are still very much in the news. I discussed a broad review of patents in my last column. This month, I will drill down a bit. I hope you went to Google Patents and downloaded one or more just to see what they look like. Only utility patents will be discussed.

Capital Currents - The FCC’s attack on Channel 37

November 19, 2012 11:18 am | by Jeffrey Krauss, president of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Articles | Comments

The FCC has a plan to induce broadcasters to give up some of their frequency spectrum assignments so that more spectrum becomes available for mobile communications. But the FCC plan might also bump the radio astronomy scientists out of off-air TV Channel 37.

3GPP approves specs for Dish's AWS-4 spectrum

November 16, 2012 3:02 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

The 3GPP has approved technical specifications for 40 MHz of AWS-4 spectrum controlled by Dish Network. The 3GPP's approval will allow Dish the necessary technical blueprints needed to design and build everything from cell phone chipsets to broadband networks.

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Report: Dish, Google discussing wireless network

November 16, 2012 3:01 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Google and Dish Network have reportedly been in talks recently about teaming up on a wireless service, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal that cited people familiar with the matter. The report notes that the talks could amount to nothing.

Time Warner Cable’s research program releases 2 new reports

November 16, 2012 2:59 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable released two reports as part of its Research Program on Digital Communications. The program was designed to increase understanding of the benefits and challenges facing digital technologies in the home, office, classroom and community.

Nortex to purchase Verizon Wireless’ 700 MHz spectrum

November 15, 2012 2:22 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Verizon has agreed to sell a portion of its lower 700 MHz B-block spectrum to Nortex Communications, an independent telephone company based in Muenster, Texas. The spectrum is part of Verizon's holding in the 700 MHz A- and B-blocks.

Time Warner Cable zapped with 2 lawsuits over cable modem fees

November 14, 2012 2:27 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable was hit with two class-action lawsuits in regard to its decision to charge its data customers a cable modem lease fee of $3.95 a month. The lawsuits were filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey and the Supreme Court of New York.

SCTE shows support to veterans’ cable careers through Vet-Net

November 12, 2012 2:45 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers officially announced the formation of its SCTE Veterans Network (Vet-Net), which is a program that was designed to assist veterans of United States armed forces to make the transition to careers in the cable telecommunications industry.

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Suddenlink reports robust Q3, plans to add TiVo Mini next year

November 9, 2012 2:23 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Bucking the trend of cable operators losing basic video subscribers, Suddenlink Communications actually added a total of 200 in the third quarter en route to chalking up some solid financial results. Suddenlink reported third-quarter revenues of $511.9 million.

Verizon accelerates LTE build

November 9, 2012 2:19 pm | by Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo told analysts that the company is accelerating the deployment of its LTE network, which already has a wide lead over AT&T’s LTE coverage. Verizon Wireless now plans to complete its LTE rollout by the middle of next year.

AT&T changes policy, will allow FaceTime over cellular

November 9, 2012 2:17 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

AT&T will allow any customer with an LTE-capable iOS device on a tiered or shared data plan to use Apple's FaceTime video conferencing app over a cellular connection. AT&T had previously said it would only allow users who switched to the company's new shared data plans to access the app.

Judge rejects injunction against Dish DVR

November 8, 2012 3:33 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A California judge has rejected a request for a preliminary injunction against Dish Network's ad-skipping digital video recorder in a dispute that has pit broadcasters against a main distributor of their programming. The ruling was not released publically.

Wireless ops report progress on post-hurricane repairs

November 6, 2012 3:17 pm | by Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Wireless providers on the East Coast report that progress is being made to restore service after major damage from Hurricane Sandy. Cell towers and other infrastructure were hit hard by flooding and power outages, particularly in New Jersey and New York.

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Apple, Google suit over patent rates dismissed

November 6, 2012 3:15 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A federal judge in Madison, Wis., threw out a suit by Apple claiming that Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility is seeking unreasonably high license fees for the use of patents on wireless technology. The suit is part of a world-spanning battle between Apple and Google.

Europe opens 2 GHz band for LTE

November 5, 2012 2:15 pm | by Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Wireless providers in Europe will be able to access spectrum in the 2 GHz band for LTE service under a new decision from the European Commission. The rule changes remove restrictions that limited the band to 3G service, effectively opening an additional 120 MHz for LTE.

TWC rolls mobile charging stations into NYC; Cablevision re-groups

November 2, 2012 2:26 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

With tensions mounting in some of the areas that saw the biggest impact from Hurricane Sandy, Time Warner Cable and other service providers are rushing into the morass to fix their triple-play services and ease subscribers’ frustrations.

Live From Cable-Tec Expo - SCTE

November 1, 2012 4:26 pm | by CED Magazine | Videos | Comments

CED Editor-in-Chief Brian Santo talks with Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers President and CEO Mark Dzuban about the new and exciting things happening at the organization that hosted SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2012 in Orlando.

Muni broadband with a twist

November 1, 2012 2:25 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

Chicago intends to do what no American city even remotely its size has ever pulled off – get a municipal broadband network built. There isn’t a city in the country that doesn’t want better broadband infrastructure. Several cities, tiring of waiting for the market to create those networks, have attempted to build their own.

@ 4G World: AT&T exec dishes on small cells, SON, DAS

November 1, 2012 2:24 pm | by Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week | News | Comments

AT&T network technology executive Kris Rinne told a packed crowd yesterday that the operator's early small cell deployments showed promise, but some hurdles still remain. But there's still a lot of optimization that needs to be done, Rinne said.

FCC: Communications slowly improving after Sandy

November 1, 2012 2:17 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Cell towers knocked out by Superstorm Sandy were slowly coming back to life, federal regulators said, but about 1 in 5 were still out of service in a storm-hit area stretching from Virginia to Massachusetts. That compares with 1 in 4 cell towers that were out of service the day after the storm made landfall.

Icahn buys 10 percent stake in Netflix

November 1, 2012 2:10 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Netflix's slumping stock price and weakening financial performance has finally attracted an opportunistic and sometimes nettlesome investor in Carl Icahn. In a regulatory filing, Icahn revealed he had used some of his $14 billion fortune to accumulate a 10 percent stake in Netflix.

In wake of Sandy, Comcast offers free access to Wi-Fi hotspots

October 31, 2012 2:14 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast is lending a helping hand to those impacted by Hurricane Sandy. It owns and operates thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.

Shaw to add more Wi-Fi hotspots in Winnipeg

October 31, 2012 2:06 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Shaw Communications has signed an agreement with the city of Winnipeg to offer its Wi-Fi service in more locations across the city, including libraries, arenas, recreation facilities and community centers. The Wi-Fi hotspots can be accessed by Shaw subscribers.

Sprint investments in Clearwire limited by Softbank deal

October 30, 2012 1:51 pm | by Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Softbank's pending control of Sprint's purse strings could be bad news for Clearwire's ability to tap its largest shareholder for cash. Sprint has been a frequent source of capital for the perennially cash-poor WiMAX operator, having invested billions to fund Clearwire and gain access to its mobile broadband network.

Cable Center elects 3 new board members, realigns focus

October 30, 2012 1:50 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The new board members are Paul Cronin, senior vice president of customer experience at Cox Communications; Phil McKinney, president and CEO of CableLabs; and Comcast’s Kyle McSlarrow, who was recently named regional vice president of the Mountain Region.

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