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

DoJ signs off on Moto/Arris deal

April 12, 2013 12:29 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Arris announced this morning that the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) had signed off on its $2.235 billion deal to buy Motorola Mobility’s Home division from Google.With the DoJ stamp of approval in hand, Arris has cleared all of the regulatory hurdles and expects the transaction to close “on or about April 17.”

Broadcasters counter Aereo with aerial dongles

April 11, 2013 1:55 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The miniature TV antenna picks up free, mobile broadcast signals. It attaches to iPhone and iPad power ports and extends about 7 inches, allowing users to view live local TV channels at not-quite-high-definition quality. The antenna doesn't sap a user's data plan or rely on Wi-Fi signals, but it does need to be recharged.

Report: NTT top telecom service provider for spending, revenue

April 11, 2013 1:04 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

When it comes to revenue and capital expenditures, NTT still ruled the telecom service provider roost worldwide last year, according a recent study. Infonetics Research’s report said the world’s top-three  service providers in 2012 by revenue were, in order, NTT, AT&T and Verizon.

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Deutsche Telekom could delay final tally in T-Mobile, Metro Vote

April 10, 2013 12:55 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Deutsche Telekom (DT) could potentially halt the final tally of the shareholder vote to approve the T-Mobile-MetroPCS merger if things don’t appear to be swinging in its favor. A Bloomberg report is citing people familiar with the matter as saying the delay could provide DT a chance to sweeten its bid.

Cox, Verizon Wireless combo bundle drops into Vegas, Arizona

April 10, 2013 12:39 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Cox Communications and Verizon Wireless have launched their combined offering of cable, phone, Internet and wireless services in metro Phoenix, Southern Arizona and Las Vegas. The bundling deal, which was first announced in December of 2011, allows subscribers to pick their service preferences from a range of offers that include video, Internet, home phone and 4G LTE wireless services.

Ericsson to acquire Microsoft Mediaroom

April 8, 2013 12:53 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Microsoft will invest its full attention on the  Xbox as a vehicle for its consumer TV strategy. Ericsson, meanwhile, further solidifies its position in the IPTV market, picking up ongoing support for Mediaroom customers, including AT&T (U-verse), Deutsche Telekom (Entertain), Telefonica, Telus (Optik TV), and Swisscom.

Cablevision up to 75,000 hotspots for Wi-Fi service

April 8, 2013 12:09 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Cablevision announced this morning that its Wi-Fi service, Optimum WiFi, was now enabled across more than 75,000 hotspots in its New York Metropolitan footprint. Cablevision also said its Wi-Fi service has been used more than one million times by its subscribers since it was first launched in Long Island back in 2008.

Internet from lamps one step closer

April 5, 2013 2:20 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Transmitting data using simple LEDs is still a research technology, but it took another step closer to practical implementation when the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute used off-the-shelf LED room lights for data transmission with data rates up to 800 Mbps in one laboratory experiment.

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Motorola sets practical demos of HEVC

April 5, 2013 2:09 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

One of Motorola’s demos next week will feature a real-time HEVC encoder delivering streaming content to a Google Nexus 10 tablet for real-time decoding and playback, the company said. A second demo will showcase real-time HEVC HTTP live streaming to an Apple iPad (4th generation). A third will show an IP set-top box decoding HEVC.

Simple.TV draws $5M in venture money

April 4, 2013 2:27 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Really Simple Software said it closed $5 million in Series A funding from New World Ventures. Simple.TV is based on a DVR that streams both live and recorded TV shows to tablets, phones, or connected TVs. The system is designed for consumers looking to supplement over-the-air (OTA) broadcast TV with over the top (OTT) services such as Netflix and Hulu.

Broadcom launches first 5G WiFi hotspot

April 3, 2013 1:59 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Broadcom continues its push to support 5G WiFi with the announcement today of a router that supports the technology; it has made the 5G WiFi hotspot available through SK Telecom. Broadcom's 802.11ac Wi-Fi boasts speeds up to three times faster and up to six times more power efficient than previous generations of Wi-Fi.

Cisco intends to buy Ubiquisys

April 3, 2013 1:49 pm | by Ben Munsen, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Ubiquisys provides 3G and LTE small cell technologies to help close the seams in wireless connectivity. The Ubiquisys purchase will mesh with other recent Cisco acquisitions, like Intucell and Broadhop, and further strengthen the company’s mobile strategy.

Report: VZW, AT&T crafting bid to buy Vodafone

April 2, 2013 1:11 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

 Verizon Communications and AT&T are said to be mulling a breakup bid for Vodafone that would value Vodafone at approximately $245 billion. Verizon entered into a joint venture with Vodafone back in 2000, creating what is now Verizon Wireless. Verizon currently owns 55 percent of the company, while Veodafone holds the remaining 45 percent.  

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Appeals court: Aereo is legal

April 2, 2013 1:06 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Aereo, which offers inexpensive live broadcast television feeds to computers, tablets and smartphones, doesn't violate U.S. copyright law, a divided federal appeals court said Monday. The decision was based in part on Cablevision's landmark court case that established the legality of the networked PVR system. 

MetroPCS shares up as T-Mobile deal is criticized 


March 29, 2013 12:39 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Investors bet Thursday that T-Mobile USA will have to sweeten its proposal to merge with smaller cellphone carrier MetroPCS Communications Inc. after an influential shareholder advisory firm came out against the deal. Shares of Dallas-based MetroPCS, the fifth-largest U.S. cellphone company, rose 42 cents, or 4 percent, to $10.95 in midday trading.

Media: Sprint, Softbank near U.S. deal to restrict Huawei

March 29, 2013 12:28 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Sprint and Softbank, the Japanese cellular company that intends to buy 70 percent of the U.S.’s third largest carrier, are expected to allow the U.S. government oversight in its choice of network suppliers.  The New York Times reports the deal would enable the government to monitor changes to the combined company’s network and possibly prevent it from using equipment manufactured by Chinese companies, particularly Huawei.

Clearwire dips into $80 million from Sprint

March 28, 2013 12:52 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Clearwire has opted to draw $80 million in funding for April from Sprint, as part of the carrier’s proposed offer to buy the WiMax provider for $2.97 per share. Clearwire accepted the draw for March despite Dish’s insistence it would withdraw its offer to buy the remaining half of Clearwire for $3.30 per share.

Santa Clara gets free Wi-Fi via high tech meters 


March 27, 2013 12:41 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The city of Santa Clara flipped on a big Internet switch this week, becoming what it says is the first in the country to use wireless, digital "smart meters" on homes as channels for free citywide outdoor Wi-Fi. Like cities around the U.S., Santa Clara's electric meters are being systematically replaced, house by house, with high tech ones.

Apple Buys Wi-Fi location startup

March 26, 2013 12:20 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Apple has bought WiFiSlam, a startup that has been developing a way to use Wi-Fi hotspots to help smartphones navigate large indoor spaces, like stores, airports and conference centers. The purchase is part of Apple’s efforts to bolster its own mapping and location capabilities, after breaking up with Google Inc. last year.

T-Mobile Goes Live With New No-Contract Plans

March 25, 2013 12:56 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

T-Mobile’s new no-contract pricing plans are now live on the company’s website with plans starting at $50 for unlimited talk and text plus 500 MB of data. The plans add on $10 for each additional 2 GB and include mobile hotspot. 

Report: Broadband CPE enjoys stellar year in 2012

March 25, 2013 12:33 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Driven by DOCSIS 3.0 and Wi-Fi, customer premise equipment (CPE) racked up its best year ever in 2012, according to a recent report by Infonetics Research. Based on strong EMTA shipments to North American cable operators, Arris remained the top dog in revenue in the DOCSIS 3.0 CPE segment, followed by Motorola,  Cisco, Netgear and Ubee Interactive.

FCC sets spectrum auction

March 22, 2013 1:27 pm | by Ben Munsen, Wireless Week | News | Comments

  The FCC plans to auction licenses in the 1695-1710 and 1755-1780 MHz bands as early as September 2014. The NTIA recently picked out the 1695-1710 MHz band of spectrum to be reallocated for non-federal use.  

Sigma Designs bows next-gen Z-Wave home control platform

March 21, 2013 12:19 pm | by Mike Robuck | Product Releases | Comments

System-on-a-chip (SoC) vendor Sigma Designs introduced its next-generation product portfolio, which is based on the Z-Wave wireless protocol, that was designed to improve the performance of home control devices. Sigma’s Z-Wave Next Gen product portfolio was designed for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and service providers interested in developing home control products and services. 

Comcast strikes up free Wi-Fi at Citizens Bank Park

March 20, 2013 12:24 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Baseball fans can tap into Comcast’s Wi-Fi access points for free during Phillies games at Citizens Bank Park. In its hometown of Philly, baseball fans at the games can access the hotspots with their wireless devices even if they’re not Comcast Xfinity Internet subscribers.

AT&T announces 30-, 40- and 50 GB shared data plans

March 19, 2013 2:48 pm | by Ben Munsen, Wireless Week | News | Comments

The plans start at $300 per month—plus a $10-$30 per device fee, depending on the type of device—and go up to $500. In addition, AT&T will now offer new data-only plans for business customers bringing more than 25 devices into the fold.

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