Technology StocksThe *NEW* Frank Coluccio Technology Forum

Previous 10 Next 10 
To: Frank A. Coluccio who wrote (11780)10/20/2005 6:39:06 PM
From: TimF
   of 46619

Re: "Censoring Maps

China To Regulate e-Maps "

It appears they aren't the only people interested in regulation.


Google maps threat to national security
Says Indian president


Vietnam jailed man for 12 years for using Internet

Brief show trial and his number was up

By INQUIRER staff: Thursday 20 October 2005, 14:31
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL said it has launched an appeal for a man sentenced to 12 years in prison for using the Internet.

Nguyen Khac Toan, a maths teacher, was banged into clink in the Communist state for filing articles on the Web about democracy and human rights. Two other "cyber dissidents" are also in jail...

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read

From: Frank A. Coluccio10/20/2005 10:13:44 PM
   of 46619
The Dave Burstein Newsletter of 10/20/05, Uncut:


From: Dave Burstein <>
Subject: DSL Prime VDSL Gear Drops to $66 for 100 Meg
Date: Thu 10/20/05 08:16 PM

* $66 for VDSL DSLAM + Modem, 50-100 meg
* 234,000 lines to Taiwan at an ADSL2+ killing price
* SBC 528,000 Added Subscribers $15 promotion pays off big
* Spectrum Auctions: More than 15 Years A Bad Mistake
* Jim Granelli, LA Times on $300M PUC Giveaway
* VDSL2 When? - 2005, 2006, 2007-2008
* OVUM/DSL Forum Q2 Figures
* Briefs: Russell Southwood on Africa, Digitimes, Dale

Lehman, Stijn Vander Plaetse, Ikanos. Merrill Lynch

Reply "Un" to be dropped, "subscribe" to be added.

?Each iPod download took a bit over 20 minutes using an average DSL connection.? Walt Mossberg, WSJ Anyone really doubt your customers want more speed?

1.8 million more Chinese signed up for DSL at China Telecom in the last three months, bringing the total to 19.17 million

Bob Metcalfe, the inventor of Ethernet, stunned the LR crowd with lavish praise for Verizon?s fiber build. His comments about behemoth telcos are typically livid, and often very funny. Metcalfe cares about results more than rhetoric; three million Verizon homes by the end of 2006 can choose 30 meg FIOS, and three million more are confirmed for 2006. An additional twelve million are scheduled for 100 meg GPON by the end of the decade. I called Larry Babbio a hero last year for this kind of service, and will praise him again when they do my building.

The smart folks on Wall Street are headed to Columbia University?s CITI event Friday, where Marilyn O'Connell of Verizon is one of the presenters on IPTV. O'Connell is a pro who won't give away anything she doesn't intend to, but is sure to have plenty of solid information. Dan Reingold, who I once called "The Prince of Wall Street" but is currently on the sidelines, has Robert Schiffman of CSFB and Tom Aust of JP Morgan on his panel. Wish Dan luck on his forthcoming book, Confessions of a Wall Street Analyst.

Then off to Las Vegas for USTA. Half the FCC will be there, paying the obligatory obeisance. Let me hope the same officials come to Peripheral Visionaries on November 10. Mark Spencer, David Isenberg, and Om Malik are a lot less boring than propaganda you have heard twenty times before.

Say hello to the round fellow with a beard. And do come to the Marconi Gordon Moore Dinner and Symposium November 4. A good chance to meet a few engineering geniuses.

" TI's AR7 DSL Gateway Family. Flexible. Integrated. Interoperable.
Ideally suited for your Data, Wireless, Voice and Video Needs. (ad)

$66 for VDSL DSLAM + Modem, 50-100 meg
234,000 lines to Taiwan at an ADSL2+ killing price
ZyXEL?s amazing bid at Chunghwa brings closer the time for VDSL2 to replace ADSL2+ in many networks. Digitimes reported Chunghwa had budgeted 40% more and was happily surprised when the bids came in. $90-100 is the lowest previously reported price VDSL DSLAM and modem. The 100 meg down, 50 meg up speeds are specified for 400 meters, enough to reach most of Jennie?s 20-story building or my fifth floor apartment. Verizon - can you blow some fiber through your conduit for us, please?

Conexant is believed to be supplying the chips, and presumably priced to make a statement that VDSL DMT is no longer a one-company market. Infineon has promised me some very strong test results. Broadcom has also promised chips ready to test and is upgrading the UK engineering operation that grew from the old Alcatel Micro/E-14 team. The chips are DMT, 6 band, accurately and carefully specified by ZyXEL as VDSL, not VDSL2. While the chipmakers are all claiming their chips are ?VDSL2?, there are no interoperability results and it is highly likely that most of the actual shipping chips fall short of the (very complex) full standard. Chunghwa expects volume deliveries starting in December.

Chunghwa will use Alcatel Ethernet gear to 16 and 24 port ZyXEL DSLAMs in apartment basements. Half the modems are four port, the other half have a wireless access point. Chunghwa with fiber to the basement/VDSL is following the model of Korea Telecom, BellSouth (fiber to the curb within 500 feet, 1 million of their 10 million+ homes), and now Deutsche Telekom. Verizon, UTOPIA, and NTT are doing the more expensive fiber all the way home, although Mark Wegleitner at Verizon has told me they?ll do VDSL in selected buildings where running fiber is impractical.

** The mPhase TV+ System is built around an innovative cluster architecture and offers key advantages to phone companies, including:

* improved maintenance environment, with links to industry-standard operations support systems, including element management of IP traffic
* high degree of reliability with "failover capability" that transfers traffic without interruption from a failing system to a back-up
* unprecedented scalability, capable of growing to hundreds of thousands of users (ad)

Spectrum Auctions: More than 15 Years a Bad Mistake
Auctioning spectrum is inevitable in D.C., but it?s not too late to limit the monopoly grant of the spectrum to only 10 or 15 years. Technology changes almost as predictable as Moore?s Law make that the right decision, whether Republican or Democratic. Cognitive radio is making it possible to more effectively share spectrum, and WiFi has demonstrated the incredible innovation enabled by shared spectrum. I?ll have more details when I write up conversations with economist Simon Wilkie and economist Bob Metcalfe. The returned broadcast spectrum will attract only a relative pittance in bids, but could tie up crucial spectrum in monopolies indefinitely. The companies bidding invariably have a short time horizon, calculating their bids on the return over 3-7 years. Private companies planning bids discount to almost nothing returns ten or fifteen years out, much less the thirty year or longer terms under consideration. Conclusion: offering ten or fifteen years will raise almost as much money, while making the spectrum available for public use (including security) or re-auction in a reasonable length of time. It?s just stupid to mortgage our children?s future with longer terms for a fraction of what the spectrum will be worth in a few years.

*** Gordon Moore, Claude Berrou and some of the world's best engineers will be at the Marconi Foundation November 4. Come to the daytime symposium at Columbia and the gala Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria. If Robert Galvin, Federico Faggin, Bob Kahn, Vint Cerf, Jack Goldman, Leonard Kleinrock, Bob Lucky, Harry Sello, Gottfried Ungerboeck, Herwig Kogelnik, Whitfield Diffie, James Massey, Bob Metcalfe, and David Forney are people you'd like to meet and listen to, please come. (psa) These are the people who created the Internet and some of the most respected engineers alive, at a modest sized event. See you there. The cost is reasonable, but if that's a burden email me, especially if you work for a nonprofit or government. db

SBC 528,000 Added Subscribers
$15 promotion pays off big
?SBC's significant DSL net add beat (528K vs. 432K expected) supports what investors have long believed, namely that price does matter,? Jeff Halpern notes. Evidence around the world overwhelmingly supports Halpern?s conclusion. This result suggests BellSouth?s Keith Cowan comment, "It's clear our customers are looking for more than speed and price," is overstated. (To Ken Belson, NY Times) Cowan was discussing the Yahoo deal, which takes a couple of dollars off the top for services subscribers could mostly get for free anyway. Yahoo has advantages, but that same couple of bucks would pay for enough bandwidth to give everyone in BellSouth ?up to 24 meg? rather than 1.5 meg when the ADSL2+ gear is installed. (Real speeds will of course be closer to 10-15 meg for most customers.) I doubt many people would rather have a few premium Yahoo features rather than a ten times faster service. SBC + Yahoo had a dismal Q2; SBC + Yahoo had a great Q3. The difference was price.

SBC?s profit numbers were good, explained as ?EBITDA substantially beat our forecast on SG&A cost containment.? Translated into English, that meant profits were up because they fired a lot of people. SBC is actively moving jobs to India and China; much of the Lightspeed engineering is being done by Alcatel under contract in Chengdu, where $400 a month is a good wage. Depreciation Q3 was $1.8B, capex $1.4B; that disinvestment covered most of the $500M share buyback that is propping up the stock prices and management options. I believe an even bigger factor is improved wireless results. The two mergers the FCC allowed have raised wireless profits by several billion a quarter, which is flowing to the Bell bottom lines massively. SBC?s stock has fallen 60%, despite continued high earnings, which suggests Blake Bath?s well-timed buy recommendation may be right.

*** Does Wireless Policy Matter to You? Come to Congress Tuesday, October 25, 2005 to hear Andrew Viterbi, Simon Wilkie, Robert Pepper, and fifteen other guests.
Markets, Technologies, and Public Policy in a 21st Century Wireless World
Sponsored by USC.

Rayburn House Office Building, Gold Room. (psa)
For security reasons, you must register (213) 740-3841 or email

VDSL2 When? 2005?, 2006?, 2007-2008
Some today, some delayed
2005 - Fiber to the basement. Ikanos just had a $25M quarter - with a $3M GAAP profit - so clearly some VDSL sales are improving in 2005. Rajesh Vashist expects another 10% sales gain this quarter, almost exclusively going to Asian fiber to the basement rollouts. XyZEL has sold 2M ports for that application, even before the Chunghwa deal, probably the largest VDSL total to date. This is a controlled rollout, easy for the carrier to avoid compatibility and interference problems. Only Belgacom is speaking publicly about currently deploying VDSL from the neighborhood node, perhaps than 3,000 feet away. VDSL in 2005 is less than 5% of the new DSL ports, and very few outside Asia.

2006 Korea and Japan have ambitious plans despite capex issues, with weakness at Hanaro possibly allowing KT to slow down. SBC and Deutsche Telecom between them plan 30 million ports of VDSL, but may go slowly in 2006.

Will fiber to the node/VDSL reach any volume? That is the SBC strategy, using existing boxes at 3,000 to 6,000 feet and looking for 25 meg down for video. Randall at Goldman officially confirmed what I have previously reported, that only very limited work will proceed until May or June at the earliest. He added that a house at 2,500 feet achieved 40 megabits down, and one at 4,000 feet reached 25 megabits. If Chris Rice at USTA takes questions, I?ll ask what field results they can share and whether those speeds will be likely when multiple lines in the binder are running at high speed. Vashist expects substantial U.S, VDSL in the second half, but he built Ikanos by being a true believer and enthusiastic salesman. Anton Wahlman, whose sources are usually impeccable, doubts any volume from Lightspeed before 2007. Vashist confirms my report Swisscom will move forward in Q1 with a similar build, probably with shorter average loops. The cable guys are hurting them badly.

Deutsche Telekom, on the other hand, intends a short loop build for speeds of 50 meg or more. That?s because unbundlers are clobbering them because Matthias Kurth had the courage to protect competition. I?ll shake his hand happily when he comes to Columbia this week. BellSouth has a million lines of fiber to the curb in place, which they intend to bring to 50 meg and might begin in 2006. The old Marconi equipment, now serviced by AFC/Tellabs, can be upgraded as soon as the CFO agrees to spend the money. Perhaps Wegleitner in Vegas can give me some insight on the timing, and Vashist will be surprised how soon Verizon takes Manhattan.

Expect a minimum of five million lines, but if big carriers decide to move the total could be triple that. The ?integration problems? Randall bemoaned with Microsoft TV could slow things down; it?s becoming clear SBC?s choosing such a proprietary system puts them in a bind.

2007 Will 2007 be the year VDSL substitutes for ADSL in most new installations? Bill Smith says BellSouth will switch ?when the price and reliability is right.? VDSL2 should really be called ADSL3, which would make the progression obvious, but industry politics created confusion. The chips are designed to do everything ADSL2+ does and more. If they had called it ADSL3, more people would realize the progression is inevitable. The $66 price is close to the $47 Chunghwa recently paid for ADSL2+, suggesting the price issue will be soon solved. VDSL2?s quality still is unproven, the key barrier to general deployment. Besides interoperability, many features such as the promised long reach haven?t been proven in any field deployment. While the price per chip is coming down, VDSL power and space requirements need improvement. Lucent?s launched their new gbox, to replace the Stinger next year, and the ADSL capacity is twice what what they offer with VDSL. No one has shown me a line-powered VDSL remote, a critical issue for units deployed outside. Line-powered remotes (powered by one of the telco cables already in place) were critical to the cost-effective spread of ADSL, because it often costs more to bring mains power to a field pedestal than to install the DSL gear.

VDSL chip volume will pass 60M ports a year, but the switchover date remains to be seen. TI, whose UDSL chip is making progress, reminds me that while VDSL is the exciting news, ADSL2 is currently selling very well.

*** Columbia October 21st

The State of Telecom: Taking Stock and Looking Ahead. Andrew
Odlyzko, Robert Lucky, Matthias Kurth, Robert Pepper, Jonathan Askin, Bob
Atkinson, Mark Cooper, Lawson Hunter, Heather Hudson, Dan Reingold, and a
dozen more. Columbia University Uris Hall, Room 141 New York, NY
9:30am-5:30pm October 21, 2005 (psa) See you there!

OVUM/DSL Forum Q2 Figures

Countries with wealth and/or large populations dominate the top of the first list, total broadband subscribers Q2. Korea remains the great exception, and Canada remains far head of the more affluent U.S.

USA 38,200,981
China 30,843,000
Japan 20,650,500
South Korea 12,260,915
France 8,323,000
UK 7,961,938
Germany 7,878,497
Canada 6,086,959
Italy 5,460,555
Spain 4,094,017
Netherlands 3,566,566
Brazil 3,562,157
Australia 2,117,300

The ranking is different by percentage of population.

South Korea 26 per 100 people
Hong Kong 23
Netherlands 22
Denmark 21
Switzerland 20
Canada 19
Taiwan 18
Belgium 18
Israel 16
Sweden 16
Japan 16
France 14
UK 13
US 13

For DSL total subscribers, China is ahead and gaining.

China 21,230,000
USA 16,929,322
Japan 14,168,000 (with a large fiber deployment)
France 7,803,000
Germany 7,800,000
South Korea 6,678,107
UK 5,691,000
Italy 5,135,000
Taiwan 3,360,000
Spain 3,271,771
Canada 2,921,259
Brazil 2,400,957

Percent of phones with DSL. The U.S. and China do not rank

South Korea 28.71%
Taiwan 25.65
France 22.95
Belgium 22.39
Netherlands 21.47
Japan 19.91
Italy 18.71
Spain 17.49
UK 16.21
Australia 14.98
Canada 14.63
Germany 14.52

*** Public Knowledge has been working day and night to protect your digital rights, and its court victory striking down the broadcast flag. Help us continue our fight. First, consider becoming a member of PK. Check out our membership page (with the cool premiums for joining) at Alternatively, you can donate to PK, at Both are quick and easy. (psa)

Jim Granelli, LA Times on $300M PUC Giveaway
Candidate for story of the year, but will they listen
?Phone Users May Get None of Merger Savings The Los Angeles Times reports that California regulators Wednesday tentatively blessed two giant telephone industry mergers, but customers won't see much of the billions of dollars the companies expect to save. SBC Communications Inc.'s $16-billion acquisition of AT&T Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc.'s $8.5-billion purchase of MCI Inc. could reduce their expenses in the state by a combined total of up to $2.7 billion, consumer advocates say. State law requires phone companies to split any such savings with customers, as SBC did when it bought Pacific Bell parent company Pacific Telesis Inc. in 1997. But draft decisions by Public Utilities Commission members Susan P. Kennedy and Michael R. Peevey would exempt the companies from that requirement, prompting outrage from consumer advocates.? The story continues with facts and opinions equally clear, forceful, and accurate.

Ed Whitacre, SBC CEO, recently estimated California and Michigan consumers pay $3 to $5 less per month for phone service than do BellSouth customers. SBC is profitable enough to pay a 5.8% dividend, one of the highest of any major company. Their ?excess cash? is enough to buy back a billion dollars of stock next quarter. Blake Bath of Lehman expects SBC free cash flow to double from $4.5B to $9.0B in the next three years. Verizon is even richer, with a higher market value. I?ll be reporting some air and spin in the telco numbers, including depreciation too low, but they remain enormously profitable.

?? Because the benefits of the merger will be passed through to California consumers through competition and market forces, there are no policy grounds for mandated sharing of those benefits," the two commissioners said in the SBC draft decision.? I have no explanation for this comment, obviously not true. Pac Bell is no longer a pure monopoly, and cable-telco competition is an important part of my reporting. This competition is significantly limited, however Anyone with high school economics knows that means some of the savings will go to SBC?s bottom line, not ?be passed through.? Randall Stephenson, SBC COO, has already promised that to Wall Street.

Kennedy and Peevey need the courage and serve California consumers. So does their boss, Arnold.

*** November 14, 2005 The tenth DSL Forum ADSL2/2+ chipset interoperability plugfest will take place at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL). Contact Matthew Langlois, (psa) The Forum/UNH events deserve everyone?s support. db

Stories to come: Randall Stephenson on TV choice, bandwidth cost is now ten cents a gig/movie, Lucent's new gbox, Martin-izing the FCC, 25% Layoffs At Hanaro Korea, 7% of Japanese Can?t Get DSL, ADSL2+ with HomePlug built in, Bill and Steve Letter to the Telcos, $75,000 to FCC "consumer advisor", China IPTV, Rising prices of video programming, and ...


* Balancing Act?s Russell Southwood produces an excellent free newsletter covering telecom and the net across Africa. Subscribe by sending a message saying I want to subscribe to


* Digitimes, which broke the Chunghwa story I report above, has the admirable policy of putting corrections at the top of their reports. I probably won?t follow suit unless something is seriously misleading, but the frankness earns them respect.


* Dale Lehman of Alaska Pacific University is developing a new MBA in Information and Communications Technology designed to allow students to earn the degree with only twelve weeks of coursework. This is not a distance education program - it takes place in two-week sessions, studying with IT/Telecom professionals on three continents. He's adapting the current MBA in Telecom Management for a globalized industry, including study in China (with managers from the big Chinese telecom carriers) and Austria (with European telecom/IT managers) as well as Anchorage. Lehman's looking for ideas on the new curriculum, as well as inquiries from prospective students. website: email:
* Stijn Vander Plaetse has moved from Belgacom to manage their ecommerce venture with the post office, Certipost. Stijn is part of the team at Belgacom that has been doing something right for years, holding their own and getting a high take rate despite cable competition. I believe they are the only telco in the world with excellent DSL sales despite high prices, which I?d like to attribute to exceptional service. They are now the first in Europe to jump to VDSL.

Wall street

* Before today?s 34% jump in Ikanos? price (good earnings), I had drafted this correction. It?s no longer necessary, but I wanted to leave a reminder why not to read DSL Prime for stock picks. ?I wrote ?the imminent Ikanos IPO could be very hot.? I was wrong; Ikanos came to market at the top of its planned range but moved not at all. It?s since drifted down. Glad I put in the weasel word ?could? and spoke of the IPO price as ?fair,? but I wanted to remind readers of my mistake. VDSL is exploding, and although Ikanos isn?t winning all the contracts (they didn?t get Chunghwa), they are on the short list for every bid in the field.?
* At Merrill Lynch, ?all analysts have completed an aggressive writing training program to emphasize clarity, brevity and readability.? Great idea - I should enroll as well.

Employment Ads are free for two issues to any company in the field looking to hire. Just send a short ad with a dedicated contact to

Westell - Seven positions

Manager of Engineering - Video HR802
Lead the development of customer premises networking products that support new digital video services, including IPTV.

Senior Software Engineers HR804 (five positions)
5 - 10 years overall software design experience with an undergraduate in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or Electrical Engineering -embedded systems experience preferably customer premise equipment. Experience with VoIP technology (SIP, softswitches, telephony features, audio codecs) OR expertise of the Windows CE operating system & application implementation
OR experience with digital video technology: IPTV, IGMP, video compression standards MPEG2/4 OR Video routing to implement control plane software for a residential video router OR IP network security to architect and implement security mechanisms for a consumer networking device.

Systems Engineer (Architecture) HR806
Work closely with our customers (national and international telecom carriers) to determine and document new product requirements. Strong expertise in Internet technologies (TCP/IP, routing, QoS, sgnaling) and expertise in specific technologies - Network security (encryption, authentication, digital certificates, DRM) or Digital Video (IPTV, IGMP, MPEG2/4 or VoIP (SIP, softswitches, audio compression standards). 10 years prior design engineering experience preferably software and within low-cost, high volume consumer networking products.

Candidate interest to

Researcher xDSL networks

TNO Information and Communication Technology is a leading research institute in the Netherlands. TNO's Broadband Access and Home Networking group provides unique xDSL knowledge to operators and system
suppliers and is currently looking for an xDSL Networks Researcher to strengthen its team. Candidates should have a MSc/PhD in a relevant area and preferably have experience in modeling and measuring xDSL systems. Candidates should also have knowledge of signal transmission, processing and analysis and be able to co-operate and communicate effectively with both team members and customers.

For more information contact Erik Peeters (group manager BAHN):, +31 15 2857226, or visit (job information currently only in Dutch)

Sales Engineer, Regional Sales Manager & Account Management Opportunities: Calix Networks is seeking experienced sales professionals with strong knowledge of telecommunications Voice, Data, and Video networking. Some positions require fluency in Spanish. Visit for details and to apply. EOE

Carrier Access
Director of Product Management
The Director of Product Management is responsible for establishing and championing the business strategy of the Carrier Access product portfolio to drive revenue gain and achieve strong market share. The candidate must have a BS in Engineering or Computer Science, MS preferred with eight to ten years of related experience. Extensive knowledge of emerging voice and data technologies required. At least five years of management experience. The Director creates strategy, comprehensive content and execution for product launches, as well as existing product program initiatives. Manage the product business plan portfolio to drive attainment of top-line revenue and earnings goals. Partner and aligns the company with key customers to establish direct customer opportunity with measurable revenue projections. Manages Product Managers to ensure product or service positioning is clear and consistent to meet customer needs.

Sales Director-West
Responsible for developing plans and strategies to maximize existing customer base and understanding overall market perception of Carrier Access products. Engages key customer accounts; assists sales engineers in presenting solutions; provide forecast information by customer and market; provide weekly written reports; and works closely with customer support and marketing. Must have in depth knowledge of data networking technologies, product, and markets. Five years experience in sales in the communications industry required. Sales Engineering background desired.
Product Marketing Manager
Responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of the annual marketing plan through developing strategic relationships with business partners, creating marketing material, determining marketing strategy, monitoring competitive activity, working with OEM's on products, and establishing pricing strategies. Participates in trade shows by providing product demonstrations, expertise, and training. Provides product and technical information to internal and external customers for developing business relationships with partners. Knowledge of emerging voice and data technologies required with 4 to 5 years of related experience.

Texas Instruments Larry MaGee

Candidate must be strong in C programming. Candidate must have knowledge of different network layers and network protocols such as HDLC, TCP/IP etc. Candidate must understand processor architecture including Cache, DMA, interrupt controller, EMIF, etc. Experience with MIPS, ARM or DSP processor is preferable. Candidate must be proficient in embedded software programming and understanding all aspects of real-time OS. Experience in assembly language and code optimization is preferable. DSL knowledge/experience is a huge plus.

Copyright 2005 Dave Burstein. Volume 6, #30 Issue date 10/20/05
Reply "Un" to be dropped, "subscribe" to be added.

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read

From: P2V10/20/2005 10:18:17 PM
   of 46619
You might want to read the following PDF File, which
details what these folks want to do with the freed up spectrum.
In the PDF File, the D to A Boxes are mentioned as well:

By Jeremy Pelofsky
40 minutes ago
(from Yahoo News, this evening)

A U.S. Senate panel on Thursday set an April 7, 2009, deadline for television stations to switch entirely to digital broadcasts, the latest effort to provide certainty to the transition that will free airwaves for wireless companies and emergency responders.

The legislation approved by the Senate Commerce Committee would require stations to end their analog broadcasts and return those airwaves to the government, some of which would be sold in an auction that could bring in $10 billion or more.

The bill also earmarks up to $3 billion to subsidize some of the cost for Americans to buy devices that would convert digital signals so existing analog television sets could still work. The cost of the boxes is expected to be about $50.

"We take the position that, if we're mandating this conversion, we cannot leave people behind," Sen. Ted Stevens (news, bio, voting record), the committee chairman and an Alaska Republican, told reporters. "I don't expect to lose that $3 billion" in debate on the Senate floor, he said.

Current law requires stations to switch to airing only digital broadcasts when 85 percent of the country can receive the new signals, or by December 31, 2006, whichever comes later. Experts have said that could take a decade, prompting lawmakers to seek a more certain date.

One lawmaker warned that Congress must act swiftly to fully educate consumers about the switch. Broadcasters estimate there are 73 million television sets in American homes not hooked up to cable or satellite services and that rely on broadcasts.

"Most of the consumers have no idea how this transition will work and do not realize their TVs are going to go dark," said Sen. Bill Nelson (news, bio, voting record), a Florida Democrat.

The panel plans to soon write another bill to address that and other issues, Stevens said.

As the Senate worked on its bill, a bill being drafted in the House Commerce Committee had several differences, according to a copy obtained by Reuters. It sets December 31, 2008, as the deadline and includes $990 million for a converter box subsidy program, according to the draft.


The April 7, 2009, date would avoid interfering with holiday selling seasons or popular sporting events that draw enormous television audiences, and provide time for consumers to buy new digital-ready sets.

The Senate panel turned aside an attempt by Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), an Arizona Republican, to push up the 2009 date by two years so emergency personnel can use some of the airwaves to communicate better. During recent disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the attacks of September 11, 2001, police, fire and rescue officials had trouble communicating vital information.

Stevens countered that moving up the auction would not raise enough funds to meet commitments.

The measure provides $4.8 billion to help with the federal budget and allocates $1 billion for making communications by emergency personnel interoperable. If the auction raises more than $10 billion, the bill calls for that extra money to be used for deficit reduction.

A company like Motorola Inc. (NYSE:MOT - news) could benefit since it makes communications equipment used by emergency personnel.

"This permits public safety to begin to plan to deploy the advanced technology capabilities that they know they must have to deal with today's emergencies," said Bill Anaya, Motorola's senior director of congressional operations.

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last ReadRead Replies (1)

To: P2V who wrote (11833)10/20/2005 11:42:44 PM
From: Peter Ecclesine
   of 46619
Hi Mardy,

One of the Senators added language that would have declared Broadcast to be a data service, and thus unregulated ;-)

The Washington Post goes more into what happens to the Senate bill when it reaches the House:

$3 Billion Proposed for TV Conversions
By Arshad Mohammed, Washington Post Staff Writer, Thursday, October 20, 2005; Page D05

Senator's Digital-Subsidy Plan Quickly Opposed by Other Republicans


The idea, outlined in a Stevens speech and in a staff draft circulated among Senate Commerce Committee members, was criticized by fellow conservatives. It could trigger a battle at a Commerce Committee markup of the draft bill today as well as with House Republicans who aim to limit any subsidy to $1 billion.

"I don't think we need that much money for a program to deal with the limited number of consumers that might require a converter box," said Sen. John E. Sununu (R.-N.H.), a member of Stevens's committee. "Given the competing issues like reconstruction in the Gulf states and national security needs, $3 billion for set-top boxes should not be a priority."

"It seems awfully high," said Rep. Lee Terry (R. Neb.), who sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "It is not a constitutional right to own and watch a TV. . . . I can't envision that we'd go for a number that's triple what was our upper end."

Congress is debating setting a deadline to cut off the analog broadcasts that have brought Americans free, over-the-air TV signals for decades.

Stevens has proposed an April 7, 2009, deadline while Rep. Joe Barton (R.-Tex.), the House Commerce chairman, has backed Dec. 31, 2008.

Before the deadline, millions of Americans will have to buy either new digital TVs or the set-top converter boxes. Lawmakers are considering a subsidy in large part because of a fear of a political backlash if TV screens go blank.

In addition to the subsidy, the Senate staff draft set aside other funds expected to be raised by the auction: $1 billion to help first responders buy communications equipment, $250 million for a national alert system to warn of impending disasters, and $200 million to aid "coastal states affected by hurricanes and other coastal disasters."

Republican congressional aides criticized the last item, noting that it was worded so broadly that it could be spent on states like Alaska and Hawaii, home state of Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee, rather than in states like Louisiana and Mississippi that were hit by Hurricane Katrina.

Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz), a fiscal conservative who does not sit on the House Commerce Committee, said he did not think House Republicans could accept a $3 billion subsidy under any circumstances.

"What's next, $40 to upgrade people's iPod Mini to the Nano?" Flake said. "I think it will be laughed at over here given the budget constraints we're under."

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read

To: Peter Ecclesine who wrote (10397)10/21/2005 1:42:02 AM
From: axial
   of 46619
Peter, can you comment on the impact of this development WRT the issues of power consumption and linearity?

MIT starts second wireless revolution

Lauren J. Clark, School of Engineering
July 11, 2005

Technology being developed at MIT promises to pave the way for the next generation of wireless networks, saving consumers hundreds of billions of dollars over the next 20 years.

Wireless companies are investing big in new infrastructure that can handle the ever-increasing demand for inexpensive delivery of voice and data. But the solid-state amplifiers that the nation's roughly 200,000 wireless base stations now use to communicate with cell phones and other electronic devices are costly, generate excessive heat (requiring bulky cooling equipment) and need large backup batteries.

MIT researchers are developing an alternative: the first radio frequency (RF) power amplifier based on a ribbon-beam vacuum electron device. The new amplifier combines a half-century-old technology-vacuum electron devices, or "vacuum tubes" in the old terminology-with a recent MIT breakthrough: an elliptical, or "ribbon," electron beam.

A ribbon electron beam is much more efficient for RF amplification than the one-dimensional, pencil-like electron beam that conventional vacuum electron devices emit. A ribbon-beam vacuum electron device requires less energy than either conventional vacuum electron devices or the solid-state transistors that replaced them in many applications decades ago.

In January, Chiping Chen, principal research scientist in the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center, and his colleagues published a paper for the American Physical Society on the first-ever successful demonstration of a ribbon electron beam.

Ronak Bhatt, a physics graduate student involved in the project, received a best-student-paper prize at the Particle Accelerator Conference in Knoxville, Tenn., this spring for a paper describing how a ribbon beam is generated.

To build the amplifier, the team also invented a ribbon-beam focusing system and a coupling device between the beam and the RF signal.

"This technology could change how radio-frequency amplifiers are made," said Chen.

Ribbon beam amplifiers (RBAs) are smaller, generate less heat, require smaller backup batteries, are more electrically efficient and cost thousands of dollars less than solid-state amplifiers. And because they could be mounted directly on a base-station tower, less signal decay would occur during transmission.

These new amplifiers would enable the completion of next-generation wireless networks by dramatically improving throughput and reducing the cost of base stations by 65 percent. Chen believes RBAs have the potential to reduce the cost of delivering voice and data from the current 50 cents per megabyte to five cents per megabyte.

Moreover, their high power and their capacity to operate at low and high frequencies (from 1.9 GHz for third-generation U.S. wireless base stations to 5.8 GHz for WiMAX, or wireless broadband networks) make them "future-proof" for successive generations of wireless networks.

Wireless and power-amplifier companies such as Ericsson, Nokia, Motorola, Andrew and PowerWave have expressed interest in RBA technology and are willing to test prototypes, said Chen. He expects that the first RBA will be on the market in two years.

RBAs are a broad-platform technology with a range of applications in not only communication (telephony, WiMAX, satellite communications), but also defense (radar, missile defense) and scientific research (particle acceleration).

This work is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation.

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last ReadRead Replies (1)

To: axial who wrote (11835)10/21/2005 8:49:59 AM
From: Peter Ecclesine
   of 46619
Hi Jim,

In the '60s, I wrote diagnostics for Varian 10 kW Traveling Wave Tube amplifiers for S-band, and got to watch them glow - as far as I know they are still in use. They have a definite decline and wearout characteristic that had to be tracked to insure the 10 kW was available to end of life. I also got to test X-band links that shared the same antennas. TWT size was inversely related to the frequency involved.

Power amplifier linearity is usually obtained by operating at less than maximum power, (P1dB is the power when backed off 1 dB from maximum), and higher bits/Sec/Hz modulations are achieved by backing off into more linear regions of operation. One consequence of the backoff is lower power efficiency - power out divided by power used.

I will look into
and get back.


Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last ReadRead Replies (1)

From: Frank A. Coluccio10/21/2005 9:23:10 AM
   of 46619
AFRICA: New Wave of African VOIP Operators Emerge from the Shadows of the Grey Market

Africa's grey market VoIP operators are coming out into the light as attitudes and legislation change. The emergence of a VoIP service providers sector could prove almost as significant for Africa as the earlier emergence of independent ISPs. Because beyond the mobile companies, it has been the entrepreneurial energy and lobbying of ISPs that has driven regulatory change in many countries. The emergence of the newly legalised VoIP service providers (or those who hover in a legal 'no-man's land) will add further pressure for change. In this week's issue we talk to one of this new breed of operators Joseph Tekeng of Icon in Cote d'Ivoire.

So who are these former grey market VoIP operators? Most are young (aged between 30-40), have a background in IT and are involved in some way in distribution or sales. Often they operate IT businesses (offering computers, networking and installation) as part of a broader portfolio of businesses. At the smaller end of the business, many are cyber-cafe owners who have sought to increase their income. Indeed, the main motivation for taking the legal risks associated with VoIP has been the desire to make money but also to meet an overwhelming demand for cheap voice calls.

The operators are becoming increasingly sophisticated as the business grows. In the early days, it was enough simply to sign up with a US or European-based provider but now a number are operating gateways on their own networks which requires a higher level of in-house skills.

These former grey market operators have been emerging with the end of the international monpoly in many countries or in response to the formal legalisation of VoIP. The list of countries where VoIP is operated fairly openly includes Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire, Angola, Tanzania and Nigeria. Places like Cameroon would have more VoIP if Camtel was capable of competently selling broadband and its SAT3 capacity. In places like Equatorial Guinea and Gabon it is much more difficult for operators to come out into the open.

The sceptics are inclined to believe that these operators are simply parasitic arbitragers and that they will disappear when the telco incumbent is able to resume its rightful place through rebalanced lower international pricing. However the critics have perhaps failed to understand the impact of IP networks on the shape of the business. IP networks - in contrast to traditional telco networks - are decentralising. They allow the intelligence in the network to be at the edge rather than the centre of the network. As a result, they encourage the growth of small service providers at the edge of the network and not just in VoIP services.

So how big is the VoIP sector? We estimate that the current large-scale local providers and international suppliers conservatively account for about 15 million minutes out of an annual 64.9 million minutes (source: Balancing Act Voice and Data Bandwidth Forecasts): in other words about 23% of the total market.

So what choices does an incumbent telco have faced with this competition? At present because the traffic is "illegal", these operators have almost all used international gateways. However when the business is out in the open, there is nothing to stop incumbents wholesaling minutes to these operators and to start treating them as a retail channel. But this poses a major challenge for incumbents rebalancing their pricing structure: they will need to bring their wholesale prices down to 2-3 cents a minute.

Cameroonian Joseph Tekeng of Icon is a good example of this new breed of VoIP operators. Icon is offering VoIP solutions to both corporate and residential customers in Cote d'Ivoire and has plans to expand in other parts of West Africa. His operation exists in the legislative 'no-man's land' (vide juridique) that exists in the country. The international monopoly has been ended but the Government is currently in no shape to frame and pass a framework for voice operators. As Tekend told us:"Cote d'Ivoire telecom are not able to pursue us on this. It still has a monopoly on local calls but not on international."

90% of Tekeng's customers are call-shops in Abidjan and as Teken says:"Because of the political situation we have not been able to offer the service more widely."Icon has contracts with two ISPs for connections. Customers get an ADSL line: FCFA38,000 a month fore 128K or FCFA65,000 for 256K. It sells to its call shop customers at 3 cents a minute for calls to places like the USA, Canada and Europe and offer per second billing. The call shops sell on these minutes at between 10-20 cents a minute. Its margin is between 15-25% depending on the type of customer:"We are trying to find ways to reduce our margin so that we can expand the number of customers we have."

The call-shop customers take an internet connection from Icon and buy an internet gateway with a graphic user interface where they can buy pre-paid minutes from a minimum of 25 euros upwards. Currently it has about 200 customers but when it reaches between 300-400 customers Tekeng believes that it will be able to offer free calls to residential customers on the basis of a monthly fee of FCFA5,000 a month. It buys its international minutes from in Holland and Icon has set up its own domain to sell its minutes.

It has opened an office in Ghana and plans to expand there. It is offering its services to corporate and residential customers only at the moment as VoIP is still 'illegal' there and therefore it will not sell to call-shops. And the price? 15-20% more than 3 cents a minute. It is looking at going into Burkina Faso on the same basis. Where there is little competition, it will increase its margins accordingly. It wants to be able to add security solutions like firewalls and anti-virus software to its offer.

It is also acting as local agent for Taiwanese router manufacturer iDraytek:"They have good routers that combine internet access, security and Quality of Service bandwidth management. We can give priority to VoIP calling using MPLS. We're going to sell routers to companies that need an 'always-on' internet connection."

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read

From: tech10110/21/2005 10:38:50 AM
   of 46619
06:31 Phone, cable firms rein in consumers' Internet use - WSJ

According to the WSJ, several large telephone and cable co's are starting to make it harder for consumers to use the Internet for phone calls or swapping video files. Some of the co's say the users are hogging bandwidth, taking up too much space on networks and slowing down service for all customers that tap the Internet for email, video, music, phone and other services. Wireless phone co's like Verizon Wireless and Vodafone stipulate in their subscription contracts that customers can't use the co's high-speed Web-access networks for Internet calling, or may prohibit usage in the future. Several cable co's are using technology to cap the speed at which some of their customers can swap videos. A number of equipment co's are selling software and other products designed to block and monitor Internet applications such as phone calls, video and photo downloads. Many telephone and cable co's have begun to closely monitor the uses of their network with an eye toward controlling activity by users who are swapping movies, TV programs, pornography and other video files. Operators say file sharing is growing so quickly, it threatens to sharply slow down other uses.

Message 21813484

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last ReadRead Replies (1)

To: tech101 who wrote (11838)10/21/2005 11:35:08 AM
From: Frank A. Coluccio
   of 46619
Thanks. See:
Message 21813627

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read

From: Sam Citron10/21/2005 1:30:32 PM
   of 46619
Wireless phone companies like Verizon Wireless and Vodafone Group PLC stipulate in their subscription contracts that customers can't use the company's high-speed Web-access networks for Internet calling -- or may prohibit usage in the future.

full text:

Phone, Cable Firms Rein In Consumers' Internet Use

Big Operators See Threat To Service as Web Calls, Videos Clog Up Networks
October 21, 2005; Page A1

Several large telephone and cable companies are starting to make it harder for consumers to use the Internet for phone calls or swapping video files.

Some of the companies say the users are hogging bandwidth, taking up too much space on networks and slowing down service for all customers that tap the Internet for email, video, music, phone and other services.

Wireless phone companies like Verizon Wireless and Vodafone Group PLC stipulate in their subscription contracts that customers can't use the company's high-speed Web-access networks for Internet calling -- or may prohibit usage in the future. Several cable companies are using technology to cap the speed at which some of their customers can swap videos. A number of equipment companies are selling software and other products designed to block and monitor Internet applications such as phone calls, video and photo downloads.

Many telephone and cable companies have begun to closely monitor the uses of their network with an eye toward controlling activity by users who are swapping movies, TV programs, pornography and other video files. Operators say file sharing is growing so quickly, it threatens to sharply slow down other uses.

In August alone, one cable broadband subscriber consumed a total of 1.5 terabytes, the equivalent of 1,500 standard-definition movies, according to CableLabs, the cable industry's research and development arm. Fewer than 10% of the subscribers of Time Warner Inc.'s cable unit consume more than 75% of its bandwidth, says Mike Lajoie, chief technology officer of Time Warner Cable. "It can be frustrating for people using email or sending pictures to their moms," he says. "It tends to slow down the rest of the network."

Critics say the big operators are using their concerns about heavy network traffic to fight competition from smaller rivals that are using the phone and cable companies' networks, like Internet calling companies Skype Technologies SA or Vonage Holdings Corp. Others say that telecom companies may use their control over the networks to charge users more money if they want higher quality.

"They claim it's a network-management issue when it's really a revenue-maximization issue," says Mark Cooper, research director for the Consumer Federation of America.

The battle features big companies with multibillion-dollar telephone, cable and cellular networks into homes and tiny competitors who don't own any network but whose low-cost or free services compete with those of the big operators. Consumers could get caught in the squeeze.

The crackdown is controversial: Consumers have come to expect unfettered use of the Internet. Any effort by phone or cable companies to curtail use so far has sparked an outcry.

Kevin Martin, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has said that market forces would prevent operators from curtailing applications that run on their networks, but he also says the FCC is looking into guidelines to protect consumers on this issue. Earlier this year, telecom provider Madison River Communications stopped blocking Vonage's service after the FCC intervened.

While there aren't yet specific laws to enforce so-called net neutrality, an FCC spokesman said the commission relied on its broad authority "to ensure an efficient communications network at reasonable charges" in its action on Madison River earlier this year. He declined to comment on Verizon Wireless's contract language prohibiting Internet calling. "It would involve looking at the facts of the situation." Verizon Wireless is a joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone.

The big operators' efforts at Internet traffic control reflect, in part, the skyrocketing use of video files and other bandwidth-intensive applications by the tens of millions of households with high-speed Internet connections. Video file sharing can use up more than 20 times as many bits as other Internet applications, such as making a phone call.

One kind of video-file-sharing software alone, called BitTorrent, accounted for 18% of Internet traffic on U.S. cable operators' networks this year, according to a recent CableLabs survey. "These applications, run unchecked, could consume all of the bandwidth available in the network," says Ralph Brown, CableLabs' chief technology officer.

The increasing attention being placed on broadband traffic control promises to be a boon for network-gear businesses like Ellacoya Networks Inc., Sandvine Inc. and P-Cube, which was acquired by Cisco Systems Inc. last year for $200 million. Some of these companies have developed a technology called "deep packet inspection" that enables network operators to tell whether bits on their network are email, videos, music, photos or any other use.

The use of such policing technologies by big operators is also driven by the popularity of competing Internet-calling services like those of Skype and Vonage. Those companies offer customers the ability to make free or cheap calls using their high-speed Internet connection without paying a telephone company for traditional voice service. Last month, Skype, which has 55 million registered users world-wide, was acquired by eBay Inc. for $2.6 billion.

Verso Technologies Inc. last month launched its "Skype Filtering Technology," marketing it to carriers seeking to block the use of Skype and other such services. "I can guarantee you that if a service provider has the ability to prioritize their voice traffic over Skype traffic, they'll do theirs," a Verso executive said.

Verizon Wireless's BroadbandAccess enables customers to use its cellular network for high-speed Internet access. But the service explicitly prohibits subscribers from using it for Internet calling because "we don't want people clogging up the network," says spokesman Jim Gerace. The carrier launched the service in two markets in 2003, but has only recently begun heavily marketing the offering, cutting prices by 25%.

Mr. Gerace adds that Verizon Wireless has to bear the cost of any dissatisfaction with an Internet-calling provider. "We offer a wireless connection. When it doesn't work well, who do they call? They don't call Skype; they call us," he said.

A Vodafone spokesman said the company's contract language, which applies only to its customers in Germany, was included as "a legal reservation" for potential future action. He said the carrier isn't blocking Internet calling and accepts that such a service is a competitor.

Time Warner Cable is considering several ways of controlling the traffic on its network, Mr. Lajoie says. The operator might simply give video file-sharing traffic a lower priority than other traffic so that it slows down first during periods of peak usage. Or it might restrict the flow of bits to a particular user's computer if the usage is too heavy. Time Warner Cable may also charge heavy users more if they want preferred treatment. "Revenue opportunities...definitely exist," Mr. Lajoie says.

Phone companies also may take such steps for their land-line broadband networks. Verizon Communications, for example, has put tools in place for monitoring the network, and managing it if necessary, says spokesman Eric Rabe. "We don't feel at this point [video file sharing] has caused the kind of problem that would force us to take extraordinary measures," he says. "But we're prepared to deal with it if we need to."

Telecom companies overseas have been more aggressive than those in the U.S. in controlling their networks. Verso says that interest in its service so far has come primarily from overseas carriers, since deploying such a technology here in the U.S. would be highly controversial. The only carrier it would name is Britain's Cable & Wireless PLC, which it says is interested in deploying the technology in its Caribbean markets. Cable & Wireless didn't respond to requests for comment.

Shaw Communications Inc., a large Canadian cable operator, has been using technology purchased from Ellacoya to manage its broadband network for about one year, says Shaw's president, Peter Bissonnette.

During some periods of peak usage, video file-sharing traffic is slowed to provide more bandwidth for subscribers accessing email, Web pages and other uses. "We try to manage those people who are avariciously using up spectrum," he says.

Shaw also uses the network management technology to increase revenue. For example, customers who use Vonage or another Internet phone service can pay an additional $9.95 a month to make sure that their calls get higher priority on the network than some other uses.

Businesses that sell services that piggy-back on cable and phone networks have been watching efforts by operators to control traffic with alarm. "To use a broadband connection for any legal application is critical to ensuring the vitality of the Internet," says Brooke Schulz, a Vonage spokeswoman.

Ashwin Navin, chief operating officer of BitTorrent, said he is "very disappointed" that operators are taking steps to slow down video file-sharing traffic. He says that he's mostly hearing about it happening in markets served by only one operator, depriving disgruntled consumers of a choice.

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last ReadRead Replies (1)
Previous 10 Next 10 

Copyright © 1995-2018 Knight Sac Media. All rights reserved.Stock quotes are delayed at least 15 minutes - See Terms of Use.