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

Comcast Business debuts dual band gateway for SMBs

June 3, 2014 10:12 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Taking a page out of its residential playbook, Comcast Business is offering a dual band Wi-Fi gateway for small businesses. As part of its neighborhood Wi-Fi initiative, last year Comcast started deploying gateways with dual SSIDs, which is the same tack its taking with the new business wireless gateway. 

New Apple Mac, home automation features coming this fall

June 2, 2014 5:33 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Apple's Mac operating system will have easier ways to share and search, while the iOS software for iPhones and iPads is getting new features for keeping tabs on your health and controlling home devices. Apple is also making it easier for various devices to work together, even though the Mac and mobile systems are separate. 

Report: Google dropping more than $1B on satellites to extend Internet

June 2, 2014 1:33 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Google is deploying 180 satellites to provide Internet access to under-served and unconnected regions in the world, according to The Wall Street Journal. The price range for the project could range from $1 billion to more than $3 billion. The report said the number of satellites could double based on final designs.

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Huawei kicks tires on 802.11ax with 10 Gbps trial

May 30, 2014 12:17 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

While service providers and consumer electronics companies are just starting to settle in on 802.11ac, Huawei said it had successfully achieved the industry’s first 10 Gbps Wi-Fi speeds in laboratory trials at its campus in Shenzhen, China. Using the emerging 802.11ax standard, Huawei said it achived a record transmission data rate of 10.53 Gbps on the 5 GHz frequency band during its lab trial. 

Report: Deutsche Telekom accepts SoftBank’s offer for T-Mobile

May 29, 2014 1:18 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

SoftBank CEO and Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son has been loudly making a case for further consolidation in the U.S. wireless industry. Son’s arguments have suggested that a combined Sprint and T-Mobile would be better equipped to take on the “duopoly” of Verizon and AT&T as well as improve service and pricing for U.S. wireless consumers.

Kansai TV, Elemental Tech, demo 4K on ISDB-T network

May 29, 2014 1:14 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Kansai TV, a commercial broadcaster in Osaka, demonstrated the delivery of HEVC-encoded 4K video over ISDB-T to an Ultra HD TV. The demo used Elemental Technologies’ video processing equipment. The off-air demonstration took place during a 4K educational event hosted by Kansai TV and system integrator CTCSP last week.

Videotron offers new 802.11ac router to subscribers

May 28, 2014 3:01 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Videotron is serving up a new Wi-Fi router that supports 802.11ac and 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wireless networks simultaneously. The router was developed exclusively for Videotron in partnership with ZyXEL. Videotron said that supporting 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wireless networks limited interference and lag. 

Virgin Media takes small cells for a spin in Leeds

May 28, 2014 12:30 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Virgin Media Business partnered with vendor Siklu for a small cell trial in Leeds, which is the third-largest city in the United Kingdom. To showcase the ease of the installs, Siklu’s radios were installed on various types of light poles by technicians that didn’t have any telecommunications experience.

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TWC automates Wi-Fi hotspot sign-ins for customers

May 27, 2014 1:32 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable has launched a new online customer portal that will enable its customers to connect automatically to Wi-Fi hotspots. TWC customers go to the new portal and register their Wi-Fi enabled devices. After that, they will automatically be signed in to any Wi-Fi hotspot operated by TWC or its cable affiliates.

Report: Samsung prepping actual watchphone

May 23, 2014 12:48 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

The device will actually place and receive phone calls without needing to be tethered to a smartphone. The report outfits the device with a camera, GPS, Bluetooth, a heart-rate monitor and email functionality. Samsung is reportedly in talks with U.S. wireless providers about the yet-unnamed device, which could be announced as soon as June or July.

AT&T trials LTE-based home broadband service

May 22, 2014 1:32 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

The company is planning a nationwide roll-out of a service for its wireless customers, who for $30 a month will be able to install a router in their homes that will convert LTE broadband into Wi-Fi signals. Up to 10 devices will be able to connect to the router at a time, AT&T said.

Lincoln, Neb., fires up free municipal Wi-Fi network

May 22, 2014 1:11 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The city has switched on an outdoor public Wi-Fi access service built with equipment from Ruckus Wireless. NebraskaLink is providing a 1-gigabit network connection to support the project. Commonwealth Electric, the City's fiber optic contractor, donated the installation of the fiber optic network.

TWC sets a date for 300 Mbps tier in Austin

May 22, 2014 12:41 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Starting June 3, Time Warner Cable will debut its 300 Mbps tier to more than 100,000 customers in Austin, Texas. Back in February Time Warner Cable announced it would increase the speeds across six of its residential data plans at no additional cost. 

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AT&T: DirecTV deal won't impact network plans

May 22, 2014 12:23 pm | by Andrew Berg, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Bill Smith, president of AT&T’s network operations, said AT&T’s pending acquisition of DirectTV won’t have any effect on how the carrier invests in its network. Smith said that if anything, the acquisition of DirecTV was complimentary to AT&T’s current network plans. 

Mystery operator deploys Benu Networks for community Wi-Fi

May 20, 2014 1:04 pm | by Mike Robuck | Blogs | Comments

Given all of the Wi-Fi related news over the past few months, an interesting press release came over the transom this morning. Benu Networks announced today that a “major North American MSO” had deployed its technology for community Wi-Fi deployments. Benu added more mystery to release by saying that it was in lab trials with two more North American service providers.

AT&T locks up DirecTV for $48.5 billion

May 19, 2014 12:03 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

AT&T announced on Sunday that it would by DirecTV for $48.5 billion in cash and stock, which figures out to be $95 per share. The deal would give AT&T 26 million video subscriber and make it the second-largest pay TV provider behind the combined Comcast/Time Warner Cable entity that would service 30 million subscribers under the $45 billion merger that was announced in February. 

The response to FCC’s spectrum screen, incentive auction rules

May 16, 2014 1:52 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Following a busy day at the FCC that saw the Commission drafting rules for upcoming spectrum auctions and revising its spectrum screen, carriers weighed in with varying degrees of praise or scorn for the new policies. The FCC’s move to set aside a reserve of 30 MHz in the 600 MHz Incentive Auctions for bidders holding less than one-third of available low-band spectrum licenses per area drew a lukewarm response from T-Mobile.

Cisco checks slide in service provider segment

May 15, 2014 12:17 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The company’s financials in the service provider market have been slipping, but it seemed to be slowing the downward slide. Its third quarter decline in orders was 5 percent year over year, an improvement compared to its Q2 decline of 12 percent.

CableLabs working on information models for industry

May 15, 2014 12:15 pm | by Mike Robuck | Blogs | Comments

Over the past few years, CableLabs has been cooking up information models for the cable operator industry that are designed to provide commonality across the various technologies and systems. CableLabs chief technology officer Ralph Brown said the data information architecture seeks to integrate the different networks and systems into a common platform that will improve the rate of innovation and provide a seamless experience.

Mid-Atlantic Broadband upgrades to optical platform

May 14, 2014 1:04 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

MBC is using Cyan’s Blue Planet SDN software along with Cyan’s Z-Series Packet-Optical Platforms to expand its mobile backhaul business, simplify network operations, be able to configure third-party devices via SDN, and eventually migrate to Carrier Ethernet.

Dish, nTelos to launch fixed LTE network in July

May 12, 2014 1:16 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Dish and nTelos last year announced the fixed mobile broadband partnership. The companies activated two wireless tower test sites in the Blue Ridge Mountains using Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson equipment. The broadband antenna used by Dish can be installed directly next to Dish’s TV satellite.

Comcast in trial with Asian carriers for Wi-Fi access

May 12, 2014 12:50 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

When it comes to monetizing Wi-Fi services, Comcast may have forged an in-road with a trial that it’s conducting with two Asian cellular operators. On Sunday, Reuters reported that Comcast was in a trial with Japan's KDDI and Taiwan Mobile that allows their subscribers to access Comcast’s Wi-Fi hotspots when they’re in the United States, which was confirmed by Comcast.

TWCBC survey: Small businesses want Wi-Fi

May 12, 2014 12:42 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable Business Class conducted a survey in regards to small business technology trends. Among the list of small business needs, Wi-Fi rose to the top. The survey found that 80 percent of the respondents believed their customers expected free Wi-Fi, and Wi-Fi also topped the list as the best way to attract new customers, but only 43 percent of the businesses offered Wi-Fi.

Comcast hires former Cisco exec Klaer

May 12, 2014 12:39 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast has hired former Cisco executive Ken Klaer to the position of senior vice president, premises technology where he will lead the cable operator’s customer premise equipment team. Klaer’s hiring filled the gap from Steve Reynolds’ departure from the same role last year to become CTO of what later became Imagine Communications. 

FCC Commish backs push for more Wi-Fi spectrum

May 7, 2014 1:12 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Cable, pursuing a Wi-Fi based wireless strategy, is enthusiastic about having the FCC open up more unlicensed spectrum in the 600 MHz Band. FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said the Commission needs to be creative about finding room for unlicensed spectrum in that band, while protecting incumbent services.

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