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Volume 12, Number 47, December 14, 2009 - Report: Google to Sell Android Smartphone to Public

Industry Events

Wireless Symposium and WiExpo
(Jan 13-15)

 

NTCA Annual Meeting & EXPO (Jan 31-Feb 3)

 

The Marketplace

 

The Business
Case for Mobile Backhaul

 

 

 

 

 

NTCA.org | NTCA Events | NTCA Publications

Wireless Symposium 2010

Wireless Symposium and WiExpo
Attend the most comprehensive wireless conference for rural telco service providers and vendors on January 13-15, in San Antonio, Texas. You will learn strategic planning tactics to grow your business and discover cost-saving solutions at the sold-out WiExpo show floor.


Volume 12, Number 47, December 14, 2009

Report: Google to Sell Android Smartphone to Public

AT&T Partners with Silver Spring on Smart Grid

Cox Reveals Wireless Launch Plans

Boxee to Offer Web-to-TV Set-Top Box

Rovi Developing IPG with Online Video

...And last but not least, our VOTW


Report: Google to Sell Android Smartphone to Public

Google plans to begin selling an Android-based smartphone directly to consumers as early as next month, according to published reports in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

Sources familiar with the matter say the phone will be based on GSM technology, and that the device, manufactured by the Taiwanese company HTC, is thinner than Apple's iPhone, with a slightly larger touch screen. It is named Nexus One, according to various reports and digital traces that the phones have been leaving on Web sites.

The move is reportedly designed to offer Google the flexibility to distribute its own voice and data services without adhering to typical carrier restrictions.

Needless to say, if the rumor comes to fruition it could shake up the fundamentals of the cellphone market in the United States, where most phones are sold and subsidized by an individual wireless carrier, and designed to work only on its network.

Google confirmed Saturday that it is trialing a new mobile product: "We recently came up with the concept of a mobile lab, which is a device that combines innovative hardware from a partner with software that runs on Android to experiment with new mobile features and capabilities, and we shared this device with Google employees across the globe," writes Google product management vice president Mario Queiroz on the Official Google Mobile Blog. "This means they get to test out a new technology and help improve it."

The New York Times has the full story.
Google's blog mentions the trial.
Engadget has photos of the device.


AT&T Partners with Silver Spring on Smart Grid

AT&T and Silver Spring Networks, a seven-year-old company based in California that sells smart grid networking gear to utilities, announced a new partnership last week in which Silver Spring will utilize AT&T's network to backhaul its smart-grid gear. The financials of the deal were not disclosed.

"We are thrilled to be working with Silver Spring and their growing number of successful deployments, as we continue to expand our smart grid solutions that enable utilities to utilize wireless technology as backhaul for customer data," said Chris Hill, vice president, mobility product management, AT&T Business Solutions.

"AT&T is providing utilities with an economically compelling carrier network they can rely on for monitoring energy use and managing consumption."

Apart from Silver Spring, AT&T has similar partnerships with Itron, a smart meter maker; SmartSynch, a provider of IP-based smart grid solutions using public wireless networks; and Cooper Power Systems, a distribution grid equipment maker.

The telecom provider is working with SmartSynch, offering the use of its 3G wireless network for residential installations of SmartSynch's smart meter technology. That deal was an expansion of a similar relationship between AT&T and SmartSynch for commercial installations, and SmartSynch says it is working with AT&T to connect 100 different utilities' back offices.

Read the release.


Cox Reveals Wireless Launch Plans

Cox Communications Inc. has identified the first three markets that will receive the MSO's wireless phone and mobile high-speed Internet service: Hampton Roads, Va.; Orange County, Calif.; and Omaha, Neb. Cox serves 1.45 million cable subscribers in those three markets combined.

As you may remember, Cox was initially involved in Sprint's "Pivot" wireless venture along with Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cable Inc., and Bright House Networks. Cox announced back in April 2008 that it was cutting ties with Pivot. Then in October 2008, the MSO revealed plans to add wireless service. (See the October 27, 2008, issue.)

This first set of markets will tap into Sprint Nextel Corp.'s 3G CDMA network "to get to market quicker, while managing every aspect of the service ourselves," a Cox spokeswoman said in an email to Cable Digital News.

Cox has launched wireless service to a test group of Cox customers in those markets, and plans to expand the service across Hampton Roads, Omaha and Orange County in 2010, complementing those launches with retail stores.

The operator has not disclosed pricing and bundling plans or which devices will run on its wireless platform, citing competitive reasons. Cox also has not laid out a specific timeline for when it will roll out wireless in its other cable markets, which include most of Rhode Island; Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; San Diego; Las Vegas; and New Orleans, among others.

Cox is the third-largest cable television company in the United States, with more than 6.2 million total customers.

View the release.


Boxee to Offer Web-to-TV Set-Top Box

Video start-up Boxee announced last week that it is supplying the software for a new set-top box that will transfer online video to TVs. Taiwanese vendor D-Link will manufacture the device, which the companies hope to keep under a $200 retail price.

Boxee collects videos and music from Web sites such as Netflix, MLB.TV, Comedy Central and Pandora, and presents it in a visually friendly format, alongside some social networking features.

The free service has caught on with early adopters, who say it represents a future in which the wide selection of content from the Web wins out over a more limited television experience controlled by big media companies.

Boxee's software is limited to a PC or Mac, although some techies have installed it on Apple's set-top box called Apple TV.

Boxee hopes to differentiate itself by offering a truly unlimited viewing experience. However, it faces a competitive marketplace, and an uphill battle to acquire mainstream content.

The New York Times has the story.
Visit Boxee's Web site.


Rovi Developing IPG with Online Video

California-based video company Rovi is in the early stages of designing an interactive program guide (IPG) for cable operators that would integrate video content from the Internet, linear cable TV and video-on-demand. The company expects to have details on the new IP-enabled IPG in 2010.

Rovi says that competitive pressure has influenced cable companies, and their extremely interested in the device. "The [cable] industry has shifted in the last year," said Corey Ferengul, Rovi's executive vice president of product management and marketing. "Their fear of over-the-top video is pulling us forward more quickly than we were planning just six months ago."

Rovi, previously known as Macrovision Solutions, currently offers cable providers two guides, Passport and i-Guide. Its Passport guide is deployed to about 3.9 million U.S. cable households via operators, including Cox Communications and RCN.

Rovi also offers TotalGuide to consumer-electronics manufacturers. Previously code-named Liquid, the IPG is designed for Internet-enabled HDTVs and other devices to provide integrated access to a user's personal media and Web content.

Multichannel News has more.
View Rovi's Web site.


And, last but not least, our VOTW: ATMC (Shallotte, N.C.) shares one of its commercials, based on its "Local Company, Local Priorities" theme. Thanks to Jody Heustess, ATMC Marketing Manager, for the suggestion.

Have you recently seen a funny, entertaining or informational video? "The New Edge" would love to hear from you. Please send your suggestions for the next "video of the week" to jward@ntca.org and your video might be featured in an upcoming issue.


2010 NTCA Annual Meeting


The Marketplace

The Business Case for Mobile Backhaul
By 2010 the number of worldwide mobile broadband phone subscribers is expected to pass the one billion mark, and data traffic will surpass voice traffic on mobile networks, according to Infonetics Research. Consumer demand for mobile broadband is fueled by the operator's desire for new revenue streams. Further, mobile operators are beginning to deploy 4G technologies, which will enable new data-intensive applications. It's the perfect storm, many factors uniting to cause increased strain on the mobile network infrastructure, particularly the backhaul facilities. Rural telcos are ideally positioned to assist with this problem, create a revenue stream and, in the process, perhaps gain a piece of the wireless market. Read more about The Business Case for Mobile Backhaul in NTCA's November 2009 ePaper.


Industry Events

Wireless Symposium and WiExpo (Jan 13-15)
Attend the most comprehensive wireless conference for rural telco service providers and vendors on January 13-15, in San Antonio, Texas. You will learn strategic planning tactics to grow your business and discover cost-saving solutions at the sold-out WiExpo show floor. If you are considering wireless services, but want to know your options, make plans today for you and your colleagues to attend the most-talked about wireless event.

NTCA Annual Meeting & EXPO (Jan 31-Feb 3)
Heat up your business in 2010 by registering for the NTCA Annual Meeting & EXPO in Tampa held January 31-February 3. This year's meeting will give you the knowledge to position your telco as a competitive industry leader. During educational sessions and networking events, you will be equipped with resources to take your company to the next level. View the Schedule-at-a-Glance to see more meeting highlights.

 

 

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