Thursday, September 27, 2007

Alcatel-Lucent, Kyocera work on WiMAX mobile broadband

PARIS – Alcatel-Lucent and wireless handset manufacturer Kyocera Wireless Corp. (San Diego, California) have extended their collaboration with the signature of an agreement on the development of end-to-end WiMAX mobile broadband solutions.

Under the terms of the agreement, both parties said they aim to accelerate the development of WiMAX devices with enhanced mobility features, as well as multi-mode terminals that can enable seamless interoperability between WiMAX networks and cellular or Wi-Fi networks.

Their collaboration includes the establishment of specifications, the development and integration of WiMAX solutions and the creation of an interoperability testing (IOT) program to make sure that Kyocera's WiMAX devices "can operate smoothly" on Alcatel-Lucent’s infrastructure, the two partners agreed.

Intel, Nokia, Nokia Siemens cooperate on WiMax

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

WiMAX bids to cover world with broadband

Chicago/San Francisco (dpa) - From the remotest villages of Vietnam to Silicon Valley offices and Chicago's cavernous convention centre, a new mobile telecommunications technology is set to take the world a lot closer to the age of the ubiquitous internet.

WiMAX technology has long been tipped to transform the way people communicate with computers and hand-held devices. But some key developments in the run up to the WiMAX world convention that began Tuesday in Chicago indicate that the technology is set to take off into the mainstream.

If it all works out as planned, WiMAX will allow users to tap into wireless broadband internet services at the speed of DSL or cable. Because WiMAX has a range of 8 kilometres up to 50 kilometres, the technology has the capability of blanketing entire cities with a broadband cloud.

With base stations linked via satellite, WiMAX can also be used to link remote regions to a state-of-the-art communications systems - even in places where simple telephone access had been impossible until now.

US technology giant Intel proved the feasibility of such projects earlier this month when it hooked up the remote Vietnamese village of Ta Van with a WiMAX hotspot that blanketed the village with broadband. Users in Ta Van now enjoy free internet access.

Intel reckons that on a commercial basis, the service could be offered for about 25 dollars a month per end user, still a fortune in many developing countries.

However, costs will fall as the technology is rolled out in the developed world. Users in remote regions will also find huge economic benefits to their internet connections, which should help them defray the costs.

The US will be the first to enjoy the WiMax experience, which its backers call 4G to differentiate it from the 3G wireless networks currently available. Mobile phone company Sprint has spent 5 billion dollars building out WiMAX networks in some 30 US cities with combined populations of 100 million, which it expects to hook up in 2008.

Sprint could have faced the old chicken-and-egg problem, if not for an initiative announced last week by Intel.

The world's dominant maker of chips that power PC's announced that starting in November, it will roll out a new line of chips named Penryn that will be Intel's first using 45-nanometre technology.

They are expected to quickly become the industry standard for laptops and desktops and will be the smallest, most powerful and most efficient chips the company has ever made. Penryn chips will also all include built-in WiMAX receivers.

"Mobile users have an insatiable appetite for and want even more mobility, connectivity and a full internet on their smaller devices," said Intel executive David Perlmutter. "Intel will satisfy those needs and also use some of these technologies to bring an affordable computing and Internet experience to emerging communities and economies around the world."

Motorola, the world's second-largest cellphone manufacturer, is also betting on the new technology, announcing a new WiMAX chipset Tuesday and calling the technology "the most cost-effective, fastest and easiest-to-deploy option in the market today, often providing an economical way to provide telecom service where previously there was none."

Intel sees the technology spreading around the world within five years, and technology consultant Carmi Levy has little doubt that Intel's stance will make WiMAX the broadband technology of the future.

"Intel's Centrino chips legitimized Wi-Fi," said Levy. "This will do the same for WiMAX - it will become a basic feature of any computer you will buy."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Tyco and OATSystems Announce Agreement

Tyco Electronics and OATSystems announced an alliance to offer a RFID solution targeted for industrial manufacturers to quickly realize the business benefits of RFID by automating asset management processes. Asset management across multiple facilities and trading partners has never been more complex. RFID is an obvious solution to automate these processes, but technology adoption has often been hampered due to a lack of proven solutions and by the cost and time of developing, testing and deploying custom applications.

Combining Tyco Electronics tag solutions with OATSystems Asset Tracking software will enable businesses to realize an ROI much more quickly. By providing integrated software and hardware solutions, proven at real customers, Tyco Electronics and OATSystems can quickly give industrial manufacturers tangible business benefits such as better control and less loss of reusable assets (shipping containers, for example) and improved supply chain visibility, which allows for better planning and improved customer service. Customers can be up and running in weeks, instead of months, enabling them to respond immediately to mis-shipments and delivery errors, increasing both operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.

“Clients want hardware and software solutions with the added value experience to bring scalable, low-risk RFID capabilities to their operations,” said Eric Freid, director RFID Solutions at Tyco Electronics. “By working with OATSystems, Tyco Electronics can now offer its customers the best of both worlds: applications from the leader in RFID enabled software and a selection of active, passive and semi-passive tags combined with our extensive Services and hardware.”

“Tyco Electronics and OATSystems are committed to providing integrated RFID solutions, reducing the time-to-value from the shop floor to the corner office,” said OATSystems’ CEO Michael George. “We are focused on delivering proven solutions that provide benefits out-of-the box, without requiring significant investments in testing, Training and infrastructure. Our staff looks forward to our continued alliance with Tyco Electronics and to continue building on its success.”

UK Regulator to Reclaim Radio Spectrum - Allow 3G at 900Mhz

LONDON -(Dow Jones)- The UK's telecommunications regulator Thursday unveiled plans to liberalize parts of the country's mobile phone radio spectrum to accelerate mobile broadband usage, and in the process generate an additional UK£6 billion (US$12 billion) for the economy.

Ofcom is proposing that two of the UK's mobile phone operators, Vodafone Group and Telefonica's O2, give up part of the radio spectrum they currently use, which it will auction to other phone companies.

02 and Vodafone were given sole rights to use the 900 megahertz frequency in 1985.

In return, Ofcom says that the two operators will be able to use the freqency - over which they currently provide voice calls and text messaging - for other services, including high-speed mobile broadband that the regulator currently restricts them from offering over the 900 MHz spectrum.

Until now, Ofcom has only allowed the 900MHz spectrum to be used for second generation, or 2G, voice and text messaging services. In lifting this restriction, the regulator will give Vodafone, O2, and other potential bidders the right to use this prime piece of radio spectrum to improve mobile reception in rural areas and inside buildings. Operators will also be able to use the spectrum to offer third generation, or 3G, data services, such as Internet browsing, and music and video downloading.

Significantly, operators can roll out 3G services in rural areas on the 900 MHz frequency much more cheaply than using existing 3G technology, as fewer radio masts are required because the 900MHz spectrum can carry signals across greater distances than the current 3G services operating at 2100 MHz that are offered by Vodafone, 02, the U.K. arms of Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile and France Telecom's Orange, and Hutchison Whampoa's operator 3.

The European Commission in July issued a directive proposing that operators across Europe should be allowed to "refarm" the 900MHz band for other uses. EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding argued that by doing so operators will be able to cut the costs of running a wireless network by 40% over five years.

"We estimate that each existing 3G operator in the U.K. could stand to save GBP1.25 billion each in the cost of rolling out a mobile broadband network by using the 900MHz spectrum," said an Ofcom spokesman Thursday.

E-Plus, the mobile arm of Dutch KPN in Germany, has previously estimated that it could save up to EUR300 million in operating costs by running its 3G network on the 900MHz frequency. ...continued

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

STMicroelectronics Announces RF Synthesizer With Integrated VCOs

/17/2007 Geneva, Switzerland -- STMicroelectronics recently unveiled its new RF synthesizer with integrated voltage-controlled oscillators (VCOs). ST claims its STW81103 is the first single-chip device that operates up to 5 GHz, meeting the increasing demand of equipment manufacturers for space and cost-efficient solutions in radio applications with frequencies in the microwave range. Among the applications in which these devices may find application are wireless network infrastructures, CATV systems, instrumentation, and test equipment.

Frequency synthesizers form the basis of most radio designs, and their performance largely affects the operation of the overall system. The leading requirements for signal-generating components in today’s communications equipment include minimized phase noise and broadband frequency coverage.

To address these requirements, ST’s STW81103 exhibits strong phase-noise performance for single-chip RF synthesizers, with measured values of 0.27 degrees RMS (Root Mean Square) at 1.16 GHz, 0.6 degrees RMS at 2.33 GHz, and 1.5 degrees RMS at 4.67 GHz with a frequency step of 200 kHz. Outstanding suppression of random frequency fluctuations in a signal provides more design margin, and the low phase noise also satisfies the stringent requirements of system manufacturers for minimized bit-error rates in voice and data transmission.

In addition to broad spectrum coverage of up to 5GHz, the STW81103’s embedded VCOs with automatic center-frequency calibration provide outstanding multi-band functionality. A single device spans frequency bands from 625 to 762.5 MHz, 1087.5 to 1525 MHz, 2175 to 3050 MHz, and 4350 to 5000 MHz, allowing wireless system suppliers to use the device in wideband and multi-band applications. Among competing solutions, ST’s family of integrated RF synthesizers has three devices (STW81101, STW81102, and STW81103) to cover the largest frequency range, from 625 MHz to 5 GHz.

“ST’s unparalleled combination of a world-class RF technology, solid design skills, and leading-edge components results in dramatic savings in material costs and board space, which are the key concerns of wireless equipment manufacturers today,” said Guillaume Pertinant, RF technical marketing manager at ST’s Communication Infrastructure Division. “With the broadest band-coverage in the market, our single-chip synthesizers are set to spearhead the development of cost-efficient applications in the microwave range.”

Pin-to-pin compatible with other members of ST’s STW8110x family, the STW81103 is supplied in VFQFN-28 lead-free packages. Samples are available now, with volume production slated for early Q1 2008.

Customers can order evaluation kits that include the STWPLLSim software.

Monday, September 17, 2007

ANADIGICS Expands R&D Through Acquisition of Fairchild’s RF Design Group

ANADIGICS Inc., a provider of semiconductor solutions in the rapidly growing broadband wireless and wireline communications markets, has announced that it has acquired from Fairchild Semiconductor, for $2.3 M, the RF team, fixed assets, certain leases, software and licenses to intellectual property in connection with Fairchild’s exiting of its RF Group business in Tyngsboro, MA.

The acquisition, which included the hiring of 23 highly experienced RF design and engineering professionals, will further accelerate the company’s design and development of RF active semiconductor devices for the 3G cellular, WiFi and WiMAX markets.

“Highly specialized RF talent is rare in the semiconductor industry and is a differentiating factor in our fast growing markets,” said Bami Bastani, president and CEO of ANADIGICS Inc. “The establishment of the Massachusetts design center not only fulfills our planned 2008 resource requirements, but further consolidates the industry and provides ANADIGICS with a knowledgeable and exceptionally experienced RF team, which will accelerate our new revenue growth opportunities for our 3G Wireless, WiFi and WiMAX product lines.”

“While this transaction will increase our anticipated R&D expenses for the fourth quarter of 2007, customer demand forecasts and fourth quarter momentum for our products remain robust, which is expected to partially offset the incremental expenses,” said Tom Shields, executive vice president and CFO of ANADIGICS Inc. “Additionally, for fiscal year 2008, our business model had already planned comparable R&D expenses and, consequently, does not need to be further adjusted for this acquisition.”

As a part of the agreement, ANADIGICS will provide business and technical transitional support Services to assist Fairchild as it exits the RF business.

Nokia Siemens and Airvana to Cooperate on 3g Femto Home Access

Airvana and Nokia Siemens Networks say that they plan to work together to provide an end-to-end 3G femto-cell solution for mobile operators worldwide. Femto cells are small cellular access points that utilize a broadband Internet connection to provide consumers with enhanced mobile voice, video and data services, especially in the home. They enable operators to provide mobile broadband services in-building by leveraging existing broadband connectivity.

In a recent report, ABI Research forecasts the market for femto cell equipment will grow 95% per year, to more than $4 billion by 2012.

Airvana's UMTS Home Base Station femto cell leverages software-based functionality and off-the-shelf silicon to accelerate feature development and reduce product cost. The product is being certified to interoperate with Nokia Siemens Networks' Femto Gateway. As the first milestone in this effort, the companies have successfully completed simultaneous end-to-end calls utilizing Airvana's femto cell and Nokia Siemens Networks' Femto Gateway to connect to a 3GPP core network.

The two companies will cooperate in the marketing and sales of the joint solution to mobile operators worldwide. Each company will independently supply its respective products to the operator. Initial trials of the joint solution are expected by the end of 2007, with deployments starting in 2008.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ericsson Continues to Gain Market Share

Ericsson shares rose early Tuesday after Chief Executive Carl-Henric Svanberg said the company continues to gain market share and to outperform the competition.

"We will continue to drive profitability growth and gain further market share. We are in a good market position and we continue to gain market share and outperform the competition," Svanberg said at a strategy day for investors and analysts.

Svanberg said Ericsson was benefitting from integration issues at rivals Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens Networks, a joint venture between Nokia and Siemens.

Ericsson has well over 40% market share in the GSM/WCDMA third-generation wireless technology sector, Svanberg said, while he said new reports from analysts say it may be as much as 45%.

At 0940 GMT, Ericsson shares were up 3%, or SEK0.74, at 25.22.

Commenting on the strategy presentation, Enskilda Bank said there was little new in the presentation, describing it as largely a reiteration of previous comments. But given that Ericsson has been under pressure recently, analysts said, management's confident tone could account for the share strength.

Ericsson's scale and operational excellence plans would help it continue to grow, Svanberg said.

"We can live with fairly limited cost advantage that the Chinese (manufacturers) have, but not if they work smarter than us. This is why we're working with operational excellence," Svanberg said.

Cash-flow conversion is also expected to improve slightly in 2007, as the company improved how it managed large infrastructure projects in Asia and the Middle East, chief financial officer Karl-Hendrik Sundstrom said.

Ericsson, the world's largest wireless infrastructure company by revenue, earlier reaffirmed it expects the GSM and WCDMA market to show mid-single-digit growth in 2007.

It also earlier said, in material prepared ahead of the strategy day, that it expects the professional services market to continue to show good growth.

Sony Ericsson's outgoing President Miles Flint also told Dow Jones Newswires that he expects the global mobile phone market to reach 1.1 billion handsets by the end of 2007.

Sony Ericsson is a joint venture between Ericsson and Sony Corp. (SNE)

Foxconn expands Vietnam investments

Hanoi (dpa) - Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn said Wednesday it will built a 1.1-billon-dollar industrial centre in northern Vietnam as part of a plan to invest a massive 5 billion dollars into the country, local media reported.

The bold move into Vietnam by Foxconn, the world's largest electronics manufacturer for such brands as Nokia, Apple and Sony, is the latest sign that low-wage Vietnam has become a new magnet for manufacturing investment.

The company, officially titled Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., has said it will eventually employ 300,000 workers at its planned Vietnamese factories.

Currently, Foxconn makes 80 per cent of its products in China, where it employs 450,000 people. Foxconn's 1.1-billion-dollar industrial zone in Vietnam's Vinh Phuc province, 60 kilometers north of Hanoi, is to house two factories making mobile phones, expected to produce 84 million units per year, according to Thanh Nien newspaper online.

The manufacturing giant also is building a plant in nearby Bac Ninh province to produce camera modules, computer main boards and connects, the paper said.

Vietnam's low labour costs and its youthful, highly literate population have made it a popular new manufacturing magnet, drawing from its proximity to China and even lower wages of around 55 dollars per month vs. more than 100 dollars for parts of China.

Intel Corp., the world's largest computer chip-maker, is building a billion-dollar chip-assembly factory in Saigon's High-Tech Park and other

Canon and Panasonic have established printer factories in Vietnam, with Canon projecting 1 billion dollars in export revenue this year. dpa kj jh

9/12/2007 Scottsdale, AZ -- The cellular M2M market will be impacted by the growing momentum behind the deployment of WiMAX as a next-generation WWAN communications technology. WiMAX is even more spectrally efficient and cost-effective to operate in carrier networks when compared with W-CDMA and CDMA EV-DO, making WiMAX very suitable for low data rate, low ARPU M2M applications — when and where WiMAX connectivity is available.

Sam Lucero, ABI Research senior analyst, states, “Sprint and Clearwire are the two most significant service providers deploying WiMAX in the United States. Sprint, a CDMA-based operator, has selected WiMAX as its path to 4G service offerings. Sprint will work with Clearwire — a Craig McCaw startup that has received $600 million in venture backing from Intel and $300 million from Motorola — to provide joint coverage to each other’s respective customers on the nationwide WiMAX networks deployed by the two companies.

“Sprint is rapidly deploying WiMAX infrastructure in North America, and believes WiMAX is well-suited to deliver cost-effective, wide area M2M services: a viewpoint borne out by ABI Research analysis.”

There is also growing interest in Europe in the deployment of WiMAX. Furthermore, there are indications suggesting an interest in employing WiMAX for M2M applications such as AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure). ABI Research continuously monitors and evaluates these trends.

Sprint and Clearwire are only two among a number of interested parties. Lucero adds, “Intel is a key member of a developing WiMAX ecosystem that includes network infrastructure equipment vendors, Motorola and Samsung, as well as CPE vendors such as ZyXEL and Accton. Intel expects nearly a few dozen operators to have deployed WiMAX by 2012.”

Additionally, municipal Wi-Fi can be deployed at a very low cost and is well-suited for select M2M applications, such as AMI, public safety telematics, and video surveillance.

The recent ABI Research study, “3G Machine-To-Machine (M2M) Communications,” examines the market for cellular 3G M2M from the perspective of cellular embedded module vendors, and analyzes the impact that WiMAX and municipal Wi-Fi will have on market development. It forms part of three annual ABI Research Services: M2M, Mobile Operators, and Mobile Devices.

SOURCE: ABI Research

Fairchild Announces Sale Of RF Business Assets To Anadigics

9/7/2007 San Jose, CA -- Fairchild Semiconductor announced that it has closed a transaction to sell selected assets of its RF Group to Anadigics, Inc., for cash.

The RF Group assets include licenses to intellectual property, customer and vendor lists, equipment and selected leases. Anadigics has hired 23 RF design and engineering professionals from the RF Group and will maintain the design center in Massachusetts. As part of the transaction, Anadigics has agreed to assist Fairchild transition out of the RF business by providing both business and technical support for a period of time.

The divestiture of the RF Group and assets allows Fairchild to more sharply focus its resources on the design and manufacturing of power semiconductor products that drive energy efficiency in the communications, computing, industrial, ultra portable and automotive market segments, and analog and mixed-signal products for signal path applications in ultra portable segments. Fairchild expects the hiring by Anadigics of the RF employees will provide the employees and Aanadigics with new growth opportunities. The transaction is not expected to have a material impact on Fairchild’s financial statements.

SOURCE: Fairchild Semiconductor