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

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.

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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.  

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.

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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.

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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.

AT&T begins new broadband promo

March 18, 2013 1:56 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

New customers signing up for U-verse High-Speed Internet are eligible to get one of the following Wi-Fi-enabled products: an Xbox 360, Sonos Play:3, Kindle Fire or a Nexus 7 Tablet. The promotion aims to underscore Wi-Fi based connectivity that AT&T offers, first through the company’s gateways with Wi-Fi.

San Jose fires up free Wi-Fi network

March 15, 2013 2:23 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The city that considers itself the capital of Silicon Valley is offering free connectivity via a network built by SmartWAVE Technologies using 802.11n Wi-Fi products from Ruckus Wireless. San Jose also has one of the best acronyms ever for its metro area network exchange (see story).

Wireless spectrum crunch? Not so fast

March 13, 2013 12:12 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

While devices such as iPhones and tablets have no doubt put a heavy burden on wireless networks the wireless spectrum seems to be holding up well, according to a report. Wi-Fi offload, which is a growing opportunity for cable operators,  has helped ease the spectrum crunch.

Cablevision, CableLabs team up on Wi-Fi app

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

CableLabs announced this morning that its Wi-Fi app, which it developed in conjunction with Cablevision and other member companies, has been licensed to mPortal in order to make the app more readily available to the cable industry. The CableLabs Wi-Fi app software includes Wi-Fi detection in order to help subscribers find the best Wi-Fi hotspot from their current locations.

Capital Currents: FCC broadcast spectrum incentive auctions

March 6, 2013 5:42 pm | by Jeffrey Krauss, President of Telecommunications and Technology Policy | Articles | Comments

The big picture on FCC incentive auctions of broadcast spectrum, includes two key elements: 1) The transfer of at least 120 MHz of spectrum for mobile broadband use; and 2) The generation of enough revenues to pay broadcaster relocation costs, the funding of a national broadband public safety network, as well as support for deficit reduction.

Roku adds headphones to latest online video player

March 6, 2013 2:54 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Roku 3 box going on sale Wednesday also includes a more powerful search engine to find movies, TV shows and music more quickly and a new menu for perusing the more than 750 online services available through the device. The new model will be sold for $100, initially only at Roku's website and Amazon.com.

Schools shift from textbooks to tablets

March 6, 2013 2:46 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Schools are increasingly looking to the hand-held tablets as a way to sustain students' interest, reward their achievements and, in some cases, actually keep per-student costs down. News Corp. just introduced its $299 Amplify tablet designed for the education market; some 2,000 schools use Google's $199 Chromebooks.

FreedomPop giving away home broadband

March 6, 2013 2:21 pm | by Ben Munsen, Wireless Week | News | Comments

After announcing its plans to enter home broadband service back in December, MVNO FreedomPop has today made its Burst wireless router available to the public. The device retails for $89 and gives users access to FreedomPop’s freemium service on Clearwire’s WiMax network.

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