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

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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

Google Builds White-Space Spectrum Database

March 5, 2013 2:16 pm | by Ben Munsen, Wireless Week | News | Comments

 Google has unveiled a searchable map of the available white-space spectrum in the U.S. The company said this new effort is in order to help promote dynamic spectrum sharing. The FCC is in the process of evaluating the map for accuracy.

Time Warner Cable scores marketing deal with University of Kentucky

March 4, 2013 12:03 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable has struck a multi-year sponsorship deal with the University of Kentucky’s athletic program centered around the men’s basketball and football teams. With the agreement, Time Warner Cable serves as the official sponsor of University of Kentucky athletics across its core video, high speed data, Wi-Fi and home phone products and services.

Former Knology execs Holt, Ard join Synapse

March 4, 2013 11:56 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Former Knology president Todd Holt has signed on as president of Synapse Wireless while Royce Ard, who worked with Holt at Knology, was hired as vice president of marketing. In his new job, Holt is responsible for directing the custom product offerings and horizontal market businesses in Synapse's core market of cloud-enabled, machine-to-machine (M2M) communication solutions

Companies struggle to popularize mobile money

March 1, 2013 1:03 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Even people who work in the mobile phone industry passed up the opportunity to use their phones to get into the Mobile World Congress using their smartphones because it was just too much of a hassle to set up the capability. It's a poor omen for an industry that's eager to have the cellphone replace both tickets and credit cards.

Smart watches gain interest and popularity

February 28, 2013 12:40 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Miniaturized computers, worn on the wrist, link to the wearer’s iPhone or Android handset, and can display not only the time, but also e-mail messages. The Pebble smart watch is $150, and can also display texts, provide caller ID, and scan Twitter or Facebook feeds.

Clearwire draws Sprint funding

February 27, 2013 2:11 pm | by Ben Munsen, Wireless Week | News | Comments

Clearwire has elected to accept the $80 million draw from Sprint for March, while continuing to discuss acquisition offers from both Sprint and Dish. Dish has said that it will withdraw its offer of $3.30 per share to buy the remaining 50 percent of Clearwire if the WiMAX provider drew any of the funding offered by Sprint.

Verizon to test Ericsson’s TV over LTE

February 26, 2013 3:40 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

What Ericsson is calling an end-to-end LTE broadcast solution is based on the eMBMS standard covering broadcast video over LTE. It represents one of the first proposed uses of both HEVC and MPEG DASH. Telstra in Australia and Verizon Wireless will be among the first to trial the system.

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