Monday, March 31, 2008

Hybrid Location Solution™ to Improve Accuracy and Reliability for E-911 and all Location-Based Services From TruePosition®.

CTIA Wireless 2008 BERWYN, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--TruePosition, Inc., a leading provider of wireless location technologies and solutions and a subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation, today announced the TruePosition® Hybrid Location Solution. This mobile positioning method combines network-based and handset-based location technologies and leverages the benefits of each to gain higher accuracy and reliability than any other single location technology.

By combining multiple location technologies, TruePosition offers significantly improved performance for all location-based services. The Hybrid Location Solution provides better accuracy and consistency for consumer services such as local search and location-based advertising. The solution also enhances enterprise services including workforce management and asset tracking. Most importantly, it offers the accuracy, latency, and yield required for safety and security services such as family monitoring, personal medical alerts, and emergency number services including E-911 (in the US) or E-112 (in the European Union).

The TruePosition Hybrid Location Solution can incorporate a combination of location technologies such as Cell ID (CID), Enhanced Cell ID (ECID), Angle of Arrival (AOA), Uplink Time Difference of Arrival (U-TDOA), and Assisted GPS (A-GPS) to ensure optimum accuracy, latency, and yield across every type of environment and conditionurban, suburban, rural, indoors, in-vehicle, in-motion and stationary.

TruePositions combination of U-TDOA and A-GPS provides the best performance of any individual technology or any hybrid location technology available today or in the foreseeable future, said Stephen Stuut, CEO of TruePosition. With this solution, TruePosition can offer the performance and reliability that the public demands for location-based services, especially for emergency calls where peoples lives and property are often at stake.

The TruePosition Hybrid Location Solution can perform in two different ways:

1. A-GPS and U-TDOA can be combined in a fallback arrangement, in which the location system calls on one method when the performance of the other has deteriorated due to environmental conditions. For example, U-TDOA would be the operative method in urban areas and indoors, where A-GPS produces lesser results or fails altogether. Consequently, A-GPS would be selected in extreme rural areas where it can produce very accurate results.

2. TruePosition can have two location technologies such as A-GPS and U-TDOA operate simultaneously, and then mathematically combine the calculations to obtain enhanced results. The combined location calculations produce location estimates at substantially higher accuracy than A-GPS or U-TDOA alone.

The TruePosition Hybrid Location Solution not only improves the performance of A-GPS equipped mobiles in areas with marginal A-GPS coverage, but supplies high-accuracy location in areas with no GPS reception and to mobile phones without GPS capabilities.

More information at TruePosition

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Public Health Advisory, Mobile Phone-Brain Tumour (Again?)

Cell Phone and Brain cancer study has come up again. I think I can blame it on my cell phone next time I do something stupid! I just gave up Smoking! Wham.
In his paper, "Mobile Phones and Brain Tumors -- A Public Health Concern," Vini G. Khurana, a staff specialist neurosurgeon at the Canberra Hospital and associate professor of neurosurgery with Australian National University Medical School, summarizes a 14-month study in which he reviewed previous reports on the effects of mobile phone usage in medical and scientific publications as well as the popular press.

PWNageTool no more, iPhone Dev Team Quits

iPhone Dev Team has quit and shut the door keeping the much awaited PWNageTool inside. The website is reduced to a image announcing that a private party had offered to buy the team, tool and the code. So they have pocketed the money and closed the shop. Ah another exciting website closed (NOT!).
Hope another money hungry dev team starts something anew.

Well I got only one fool!

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iPhone Development Or Android Development? Both Inviting!!

Apple, Google vie for hearts (and wallets) of developers
This is the title of an excellent article on
Posted by Stefanie Olsen
It was a nice view of the current developer interest on attractive mobile platforms. The facts on iPhone development funding of 100 million and unsaid Apple iPhone Developer kit compared with Google's Android developer challenge paired with 10Million prize money makes one think that developers will flock to iPhone.
But I think Android has another big advantage, open! There  were developers that wanted to get on the iPhone platform and surprisingly denied by apple. But I have not heard of anyone getting denied by Android. As I write, my Android Development environment is running on a virtual machine on this computer. No I am not developing any applications but evaluating an application for a company that I consult. My iMac has most of the Apple developer products but iPhone developer kit.(It also has the Android Developer platform running!) One of these days I will have it because the same company I consult got the approval and I will have to go through the codes and what not. I hope I will be able to say "Google Phone Coming Soon" again and get dugg.
But I think you should read the Stefanie's article as it might shed light on darker corners of your developer desk.

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Quintum Tenor Hybrid VoIP Gateway for Microsoft's Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007, wins Product of the Year award From TMC

Quintum Technologies, a leading innovator in VoIP technologies and a subsidiary of Network Equipment Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: NWK), announced today that the new Tenor Hybrid VoIP Gateway for Microsoft's Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007, has been awarded the 2007 Product of the Year by the Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC®) Unified Communications Magazine. The Tenor Hybrid debuted at the recent TMC INTERNET TELEPHONY EXPO, and garnered the Best of Show Award for Best Large Enterprise Solution.

The first annual Unified Communications Product of the Year award is presented to companies who have designed innovative new products that address the needs of enterprises and service providers deploying unified communications. With the vast number of UC products entering the marketplace, TMC's awards are aimed at helping readers identify those products that offer the best solutions for their unified communications deployments.

The Tenor Hybrid Gateway includes Quintum's MultiPath VoIP switching technology and is Microsoft Mediation Server-ready to simplify deployments of Microsoft Unified Communications (UC). This new hybrid VoIP product is a single box solution, specifically designed to allow customers to easily integrate Microsoft OCS 2007 into existing enterprise voice networks and as a result, leverage past voice network investments and minimize disruptions to business.

Quintum's Unified Communications Proxy (UCP), included in the Hybrid Gateway, as well as all Tenor "S" gateways and switches, addresses the critical requirements for deploying Microsoft's OCS 2007. The UCP supports "any to any" switching, which enables the integration of OCS 2007 with the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and any legacy or SIP-based voice equipment, including analog telephony equipment, TDM PBXs, IP-PBXs, fax and modem based devices and SIP-based endpoints, including standard SIP phones.

The UCP also supports the deployment of multiple gateways behind a single mediation server, providing the ability to extend gateway capability to branch offices. The UCP addresses these critical business needs when deploying Microsoft OCS 2007 into today's diverse voice network environments. Traditional VoIP gateways lack the "any to any" switching thus limiting their ability to integrate all the elements typically found in the enterprise voice network.

"Quintum has consistently set the bar high for innovative technologies, and in this case, they have surpassed that standard," said Rich Tehrani, TMC President and Group Editor-in-Chief of Unified Communications. "The Unified Communications Proxy, which is standard on the Tenor Hybrid, expands Quintum's successful MultiPath switching to support SIP to SIP connectivity, and thus allowing Microsoft's OCS 2007 to be integrated with both TDM and VoIP networks."

"Quintum's Tenor Hybrid Gateway was designed specifically for Microsoft UC deployments," said Chuck Rutledge, Vice President of Marketing for Quintum. "The single box solution provides a mediation server ready unified communications VoIP gateway for those customers deploying Microsoft OCS 2007. Its MultiPath switching design and UCP makes it easy to install with minimum modifications to the existing network."

The Tenor Hybrid Gateway is generally available. For more information, please go to: Tenor Hybrid Gateway. For information on our new Unified Communications Proxy, please go to:

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3G iPhones Are Coming!.

(Fortune) -- Apple is gearing up for a big bump in sales of the next generation iPhone, the 3G iPhone, if new production plans are any guide, according to fortune magazine.

The plans show the faster iPhone will be rolling off the assembly line this summer. The initial order calls for 11 million iPhones to be built this year, with that total split between the existing 2.5G phone and the upgraded 3G phone, according to people familiar with the plan.

Apple appears to be targetting a June introduction of the 3G version of the phone, roughly a year after the original iPhone's debut. And similar to last year, Apple seems to be scheduling a limited initial supply to be followed by more phones in the fall quarter.

Observers are split on how to interpret the plans however.

Read the complete analysis at Fortune.

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iPassconnect, Your Passport to Mobile and Wireless Freedom.

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. — March 31, 2008 — iPass, Inc. (NASDAQ: IPAS), a long-time leader in providing mobility services to the world's largest companies, today announced the availability of its iPassConnect mobility service for individuals ( The iPassConnect service is unique in unifying Wi-Fi hotspots and 3G data in the US, and also includes wired hotel broadband and global dial-up. Now, businesspeople and consumers can buy a subscription-based service directly from iPass to stay connected and productive virtually anywhere in the world.

iPass enterprise connectivity services, built to meet the needs of the world's most demanding companies and based on the world's largest multi-technology mobility network, are already used regularly by more than one million businesspeople around the globe. The iPassConnect mobility service extends this business-class connectivity to individuals, giving subscribers unlimited access to the world's largest wireless broadband network. With one click, users can access Wi-Fi hotspots in over 95,000 business-friendly locations worldwide as well as 3G mobile broadband service across the U.S.—all for one fixed monthly fee.

"As a director for an advertising agency, I'm often on the road visiting clients and going to photo shoots," said Kelly Olsen at Rare Method, a leading interactive marketing firm. "Not only is it frustrating figuring out where to get connected and how to sign up for service each time, but I worry about the costs of Wi-Fi subscriptions as well as racking up high bills while on business trips. With the iPassConnect service, I have don't have to worry. They have more Wi-Fi locations than I could ever use and 3G for everywhere else. I just login and still get work done without worrying about the bill."

Signing up is easy. Simply visit to register, choose a username and password, and install the iPassConnect software to immediately begin using the service. Users that order a Wi-Fi/3G combo plan will be sent a pre-configured 3G card that will plug-and-play in their laptop.

Mobile Workers Need a Better Way
Since most Wi-Fi hotspot services have limited coverage, mobile professionals often must cobble together access through a complicated and expensive combination of high hourly or day rates and individual subscriptions for their favorite cafés, local airport, and preferred hotel chains. With broadband speeds generally only available outdoors and in major cities, 3G alone is not a complete solution either.

iPass combines Wi-Fi and 3G into one simple service so that busy road warriors cam choose the option that best suits their situation. Users can access nearly 1,000 hotspots in more than 500 airports, including 83 of the world's 100 busiest; more than 20,000 hotels such as Hyatt, Hilton and Marriot; and more than 70,000 retail locations including Starbucks coffeehouses and McDonald's restaurants. iPass' nationwide 3G network provides data rates of up to 1.4 Mbps with coverage reaching over 230 million people in the U.S. As a last resort, subscribers can take advantage of iPass' global dial-up network to make local modem calls in over 160 countries.

A Complete Solution for the Mobile Lifestyle
More than just access, the iPassConnect service addresses the end-to-end mobile experience. The iPassConnect mobile user portal ( provides valuable tools and information including hotspot locators for laptops ( and handhelds (, (see iPass' announcement of its Handheld Hotspot Finder today), 3G coverage maps, articles on the mobile lifestyle, and helpful tips on how to make the most of the mobile working experience.

"While many companies give their employees a complete enterprise mobility service such as iPass Mobile Office, others leave users to fend for themselves," said Joel Wachtler, VP of marketing and strategy at iPass. "The iPassConnect mobility service gives these businesspeople the best of both worlds—a world-class network delivered in a simple and affordable package."

iPassConnect service is available immediately for laptops running Windows Vista, Windows XP, or Windows 2000 with price plans starting at $29.95/month. Handheld support for Windows Mobile is due to be released this spring followed by additional laptop and handheld platforms.

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iPhone Gets Ultrasonic Ringtones From Teenbuzz

March 30, 2008

The popular ultrasonic technology offered by has recently been reformatted to include added support for iPhone users.

The technology employs high frequency tones to help younger generations avoid detection of mobile phone usage. While younger teenagers can hear the tones, adults will have a hard time in doing so as a result of naturally occurring hearing loss.

But not everyone is technically savvy enough to get the technology onto their mobile phone. For these people in mind, the service at was upgraded to give iPhone users a special way to use the ultrasonic technology.

The new service works based on subscribing to a PodCast the website offers. Once this is accomplished a download to the ultrasonic ringtones will be given, and they will be automatically added to the ringtones directory of an iPhone user. Note that they will be made available upon successful syncing of the iPhone.

Other mobile phone users need not fret the same service is still available to all mobile phones. The only change has been the upgraded ease of use for iPhone users. Detailed instructions on how to get the ultrasonic technology on both iPhone mobiles and others can be found on the website.
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Sunday, March 30, 2008

MetaSwitch Makes Service Providers Out Of Municipalties.

Alameda, CA, March 26, 2008. Just as they once constructed their own infrastructures for electricity and water supply, many municipalities are taking their future into their own hands by building leading-edge telecommunications systems. From coast to coast, communities are realizing that their economic success depends on high-speed broadband networks coupled with the most advanced communications services - and they are increasingly turning to MetaSwitch to realize that vision.

"MetaSwitch is helping municipalities take the significant step of providing their own telecommunications services by delivering leading-edge technology complemented by comprehensive system integration support," said Paul Drew, vice president of professional services at MetaSwitch. "Our integration teams have experience from hundreds of softswitch and enhanced applications deployments, bringing the necessary expertise to ease the transition and ensure that these new services can be delivered to market quickly and cost-effectively."

Widely recognized as one of the most forward-thinking municipalities in the country, Bristol Virginia Utilities (BVU) is a 64-year-old municipal utility serving the city of Bristol, Va. In early 2000, BVU launched its unique network, OptiNet, to offer voice, video and data services within the city's regional and metro areas. Three years ago, BVU OptiNet made a strategic decision to expand the scope of its services using the MetaSwitch class 4/5 softswitch.

The decision, according to Mark Lane, BVU director of network engineering, was based on MetaSwitch's ability to deliver a next-generation softswitch that could operate in a PON-based infrastructure via any access protocol. "Initially we decided to deploy MetaSwitch based on the technology," explained Lane. "We wanted to create an evolved service architecture that would deliver a superior voice product, with the quality and reliability you'd normally associate with traditional telecommunications providers."

MetaSwitch's packet-based architecture has enabled BVU OptiNet to build out its network beyond Bristol County. In addition, the company is leveraging MetaSwitch applications to offer a telecommuting services bundle to sign up larger, international companies that have established a presence in the region. For local businesses, BVU OptiNet offers a hosted PBX service, augmented by MetaSwitch's MetaSphere service delivery platform (SDP), to provide unified messaging, auto attendant, conferencing, and music-on-hold. Residential customers can choose from a host of converged services, including Caller ID on their televisions, as either a standalone or as part of a triple-play package of voice, video and data services.

BVU was recently honored with a Digital Expo 2008 Smart Community Award by Last Mile Magazine, which recognized the community for employing innovative solutions in network deployment and applications, as well as fostering community involvement.

MINET, a non-profit public utility based in Oregon, operates a local fiber-optic telecom network delivering television, phone service and high-speed Internet access to the cities of Monmouth and Independence. In business for nearly two years, MINET has been deploying the MetaSwitch VP3510 integrated softswitch for its fiber-to-the-home network for the past 12 months to deliver a triple-play bundle of voice, video and data. The company uses a Broadband PON (BPON)-based infrastructure with a voice-over-ATM network to effectively reach its 3,000 business and residential subscribers. MINET also has plans to deploy Voice-over-IP (VoIP) services in the future.

"Deploying the MetaSwitch couldn't have been easier," explained Phil Garrett, general manager, MINET. "We were pleasantly surprised by how straightforward it was to get our customers provisioned using the switch. MetaSwitch's responsive team and ongoing maintenance and support ensure that we consistently deliver high-quality, reliable services to our customers. We have also been impressed with the MetaSwitch MarketVisions program, which is helping us effectively market these services to our community."

Bristol Tennessee Essential Services (BTES), in business for 60 years, serves the city and surrounding areas of Bristol, Tenn. One year ago, BTES registered as a local exchange carrier and added telephone service to its slate of high-speed Internet and cable television offerings, packaging these services into a triple-play bundle to be delivered via its all-fiber optic network.

Prior to purchasing and installing the equipment necessary to start offering telephony services, BTES did an analysis of several different equipment and software providers, ultimately deciding to deploy the MetaSwitch softswitch because "MetaSwitch is an organization with a solid support system," according to BTES chief executive officer, Dr. Mike Browder.

Currently, BTES provides basic and enhanced telephone services, including caller ID and unconditional call forwarding, to nearly 3,500 business and residential customers. The company plans on expanding with MetaSwitch to make this service available to all its customers. Plus, BTES believes that offering telephony services is a key tool in recruiting business and industry to the community.

"BTES chose MetaSwitch because of its interoperability with our other equipment, allowing for a complete voice services delivery platform that is easy to provision and easy to use," explained Browder. "Moving quickly from zero customers to 'any' customers, it was imperative to partner with a solution provider that had been through the process before and understood what was required. MetaSwitch helped make this transition as easy as possible and continues to offer excellent support and resources, allowing BTES to deliver the best service to its customers."

The city of Windom is a regional transportation hub in southwestern Minnesota. For more than 100 years, Windom Municipal Utilities (WMU) has provided residents with electric, water and wastewater services. In 2005, WMU rebranded as Windomnet and launched a citywide fiber-to-the-home network in order to provide cable television, high-speed Internet and telephone services to 2,000 homes and 300 businesses. After numerous vendor interviews, evaluations and customer references, Windomnet chose MetaSwitch as its VoIP telephone softswitch supplier.

"Choosing the right vendor partners was crucial in the process of building out and running this network," explained Dan Olsen, director of operations at Windomnet. "It was particularly important to pick the right vendor, because voice really is the most fundamental communications service."

Currently, Windomnet is using its MetaSwitch platform to provide voice-over-fiber using traditional TDM voice-over-fiber, but according to Olsen, Windomnet plans to transition to VoIP later this year to offer hosted PBX-type services to businesses in the community.

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Kyocera W42K Phones Recalled By KDDI Corp.

Japan's second largest cellular operator KDDI Corp said it would recall some 214,000 mobile phones that may overheat and blow up, after several people were injured.
Recallr: KDDI Corp Recalls 214000 Kyocera Phones
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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Symbian S60 Jailbroken! (Symbian 9.2 Hacked?)

Geemodo is telling us how to run applications on Symbian S60 without having to have SSS (Stupid Symbian Signed). I think there are many people with free third party applications looking into this as a path to Symbian Freedom, a really open Symbian.
Geemodo: Symbian 9.2 Hacked?

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Telecom Egypt Goes Green With Help From IBM

Solarion: IBM helps to build state-of-the-art data center for Telecom Egypt that includes the world's most sophisticated energy-efficient "green" technologies.
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Free Mobile Calls (VoIP) From Tpad Mobile

Tpad today announced the availability of a free SMS text service that will automatically setup a WiFi enabled mass-market mobile phone that will bring free or ultra low cost mobile VoIP calls to millions.
The SMS text service is currently configured for Nokia's latest E and N series phones and will be constantly updated when leading mobile phone producers such as Samsung and Motorola release their brand new WiFi phones later this year.

Mobile calls between Tpad users are free worldwide if the calls are routed over their WiFi Connection. All other PSTN calls from the user's WiFi mobile to any other landline or mobile in the world will be charged at the usual low Tpad VoIP rates.

This SMS text service has been designed to remove the need for complicated set up procedures. At Tpad, set up is easy and fast, customers simply create a free mobile account and then they will automatically receive a free SMS text that will configure their phone's SIP settings with Tpad.
Tpad ( integrates seamlessly with the phone using the existing address book, so there's no need to retype your contacts. Once set up to use a WiFi hotspot, the mobile connects automatically next time the phone is in range.

The beauty of this service is that no special software is needed, as it uses the inbuilt software that Nokia already has pre-installed. This ensures that there will be full compatibility with trouble free usage.

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VoIP Tax In Los Angeles, California. has published an article about Measure S that was passed recently in Los Angeles, California. This imposes a 9% Tax on VoIP calls. The measure had won by nearly a two-thirds margin. So perhaps majority of people did not know what VoIP is.

Last fall, Congress passed a seven-year extension of the federal moratorium protecting Internet access services from federal, state, and local sales or excise taxes. So is this Tax illegal?

Los Angeles voters have imposed a 9 percent tax on Internet phone calls, known as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). VoIP calls had been tax-free in the city.

Voters also enacted a 1 percentage point reduction in the tax on all other phone calls, from 10 percent to 9 percent. Most phone calls are still made over traditional wireline or wireless phones, but Internet phone service is a rapidly growing segment of the telephone market.

Measure S appeared on the February 5 ballot in Los Angeles and won by nearly a two-thirds margin. Voters were promised if they supported Measure S, the tax money would go toward police protection.

Critics of the new VoIP tax say there is no guarantee any of the money will go to police or other public safety services, as the proceeds will simply go into the city's general fund.


Written By: Steve Stanek
Published In: Info Tech & Telecom News
Publication Date: April 1, 2008
Publisher: The Heartland Institute

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Tom Keating Goes To Disney Land To Check Out A Power Outage!

Disney World Florida had a power outage! well even my humble home can run for few hours, full blast, without any external power. I thought Disney would have done that. Tom says otherwise. Perhaps Disney should go solar! at least look into a better managed backup power system.

But the funny part is Tom likes Goofy! So do I and I have a similar photo like him with Goofy. So I had to post this! May be Tom is right, Goofy tripped the switch!
Read more and see the photos at Tom Keatings site.
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VoIPfone Offer Managed Broadband Services

Voipfone is offering its customers a Managed Broadband service. According to VoIPfone, the service uses their business class, privately peered, network specifically engineered to complement telephone services that are run over IP. They also mention about the prioritizing of voice traffic above other Internet traffic so that it's customers get the very best possible call quality and line reliability at any given time time. Also offered are Fast provisioning, free technical support and up to 25 simultaneous conversations - and best of all, unlike most other ISPs there’s no contract either.
They do not even lock you into their own router, they just provide raw bandwidth and you can bring your favorite router!

VoIPfone's Managed Broadband offers;

  • Fully privately peered, business only, uncongested network
  • Voice Prioritised from you to us
  • Unlimited usage
  • No Contract Service
  • Highly reliable
  • Free Technical Support
  • Fast provisioning
  • Free Static IP address
  • Static IP Address Blocks (Up To 8 Static IP Addresses)
Find out more about this and the other services offered by VoIPfone.

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SmartPhones As Mobile Hotspots with WalkingHotSpot!

Not so long ago we were playing with mesh networks. Actually we implemented a such network a while with windows and Linux clients. I am happy to see a company is going in a direction to utilize the smartphones to provide hotspot services to smartphones or any other WiFi client. I would love to see a working and walking mesh network, soon. Here is the press release from TapRoot Systems.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – March 26, 2008 – TapRoot Systems Inc., a leading developer of software for the smartphone market, today announced its WalkingHotSpot™ solution for wireless carriers.

TapRoot’s patent-pending software transforms a Wi-Fi enabled smartphone into a hotspot providing access to 3G data networks. The solution is the first in a series of products allowing wireless subscribers to enhance their smartphones for internet connectivity.

The WalkingHotSpot solution provides a platform to deliver new solutions to wireless subscribers around Wi-Fi. The scalable solution allows users to securely retrieve e-mails and browse the internet with no additional software or configuration required on the Wi-Fi client devices.

”We are very excited to be launching the WalkingHotSpot service. This solution addresses concerns around Wi-Fi for the wireless carrier. The demand for consolidated anywhere, anytime, any-device connectivity has been emphasized in convergence initiatives and discussions in the industry for years. This solution leverages carriers’ existing 3G infrastructure and smartphones already in the marketplace, and provides carriers with a whole new business model to serve their subscribers,” said Bob Bicksler, TapRoot’s CEO.

The launch of WalkingHotSpot allows wireless subscribers to consolidate all their data connectivity needs into one source. “We see this as a truly disruptive technology that gives early carrier adopters a significant advantage in terms of differentiation, subscriber acquisition, increased ARPU and reduced churn,” Mr. Bicksler added.

In addition to the WalkingHotSpot handset client, TapRoot is launching its WHS Server, which provides carriers with the ability to manage and control subscriber accounts, authenticate WalkingHotSpot devices and clients, as well as collect subscriber usage information. This service allows carriers to offer a secure, controlled and scalable solution to their subscribers.

The WalkingHotSpot solution supports multiple devices simultaneously through secure connections. The application is specifically designed to be power-efficient, robust and end-user friendly. The solution can be downloaded today on Wi-Fi enabled smartphones using Symbian® S60 and Windows Mobile® operating systems, with more operating systems support in development.

The WHS server and the WalkingHotSpot handset client are commercially available for immediate implementation in carriers’ networks.

For more information, please visit

Crux Communications for TapRoot Systems Inc. Charlotte Rubin,, Tel: +1.858.775.7621

Blane Rockafellow,, Tel: +1.919.465.2266 ext 4406
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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Socializing With Breakfast and Freinds, Jef Pulver Way.

I read today at Jeff's blog about a new trend that he has started, having breakfast with and socializing with friends. The trend seem to catching up.(You will find in Jeff's archives such events starting as far away as Singapore), So if you are intrigued, here is Jeff's last post about few such breakfasts and here is an account by Jen Flanigan of Gear Shift fame. Both are good post and as usual Jeff's post has photos that you would easily recognize. I am going to get myself a social media breakfast, may be in Sapporo City.
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Thailand's TRUE Corporation Selects NICE SmartCenter for its VoIP Contact Centers

RA'ANANA, Israel, Mar 27, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- NICE Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ:NICE), a leading global provider of advanced solutions that enable organizations to extract Insight from Interactions to drive performance, today announced that Thailand's leading and only fully-integrated telecommunications service provider, TRUE Corporation has selected NICE SmartCenter for its VoIP contact centers. NICE Perform and the NICE workforce management solutions will replace competing systems being used today. TRUE selected NICE SmartCenter to leverage the synergies of the NICE solutions, to improve customer service, dispute resolution capabilities, and operational efficiency.

TRUE Corporation is Thailand's leading and only fully-integrated provider of telecommunications services, with more than 10,000 employees, and operates five core businesses, including: mobile, business, online business, pay-TV, digital commerce, and digital content. TRUE's contact centers handle over 8 million annual customer calls covering topics such as account information inquiries, telephony needs, and technical support requests.

With NICE SmartCenter TRUE will be able to leverage the synergies of the NICE solutions for liability recording and workforce management to better link its customer interactions with its planning and management processes. The NICE solution for 100% interactions capture of inbound and outbound calls will enable TRUE to efficiently handle and manage information archives regarding topics such as billing, payments, collections, and telesales. The NICE solution for workforcemanagement will help TRUE efficiently manage and optimize scheduling of agents.

"We are pleased that Thailand's leading telecommunications services company has selected our comprehensive solution for improving contact center performance at the agent, operational, and enterprise levels," said Doron Ben-Sira, President, NICE APAC. "This reflects a trend we are seeing gaining more and more momentum around the world - of companies across a variety of verticals turning to NICE to replace competing systems - and help them achieve their strategic and operational goals."
For more information, please visit:

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Yahoo Messenger For MAC Beta Brings Voice To Yahoo MAC Messengers.

Yahoo has released a new version of the Yahoo! Messenger Release 3.0 (Beta 3) for MAC. The new version for Mac now has voice calling!. In addition to Voice (VoIP) capabilities, it also has;

  • Stealth settings
  • Conferencing
  • "New IM" indicator in the OS X dock
  • Tabbed conversations
  • Message archiving
  • Stay connected from your mobile phone
  • Automatic updates

  • The voice capabilities offer you chance to make free PC-to-PC calls (OK MAC to MAC Calls) or sign up for a Phone Out account to make calls from your Mac to regular or mobile phones worldwide for as low as 1¢ a minute (see rates). And if you want friends to be able to call you on your Mac from any phone, sign up for a Phone In account and choose a number. So overtaking all the tasks that you were doing with your phone.
    The MAC could also use USB phones instead of Mic and speakers attached to your MAC. Just imagine the capabilities it offers your iMACs or MACBOOKs.
    So how do I use these new voice feature? You’ll find a new “Voice & SMS” button in your IM window (see the graphic above). From there you can call another Yahoo friend, or send a free SMS (text) message to a friend’s mobile phone. And as we mentioned earlier, if you have Phone Out, you can also call anyones phone number directly from your MAC. If you also have the Phone In feature, anyone in the world will be able to call your MAC!
    You can read more information at Yahoo Messenger Blog.

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    Orange Offers SIP To VoIP Customers.

    After going through extensive testing in Brittany, SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) is now a part of Voice over IP telephony included in the offres Net (without subscription France Telecom) by Orange.

    Until now, Orange was only offering H.323 protocol for VoIP communications, one of the first standards validated by the ITU for VoIP telephony. By having SIP protocol, Orange customers now could extend their communication capabilities beyond just VoIP, like Unified Communications.Continue reading at; Téléphonie IP : Orange adopte le protocole SIP
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    Artelis Selects Thomson's VoIP softswitches For VoIP IP telephony Deployment In Luxembourg and Germany.

    Paris (France) - March 26, 2008 - Thomson's VoIP softswitches have been selected by the telecommunications group artelis for deployment of IP telephony by its subsidiaries in Luxembourg and Germany with more than 250,000 subscribers.

    The owner of two telecommunication companies - Cegecom in Luxembourg and VSE NET in Germany, artelis also provides wholesale communications services to other operators. artelis has chosen Thomson's Cirpack VoIP platform in order to launch a double play offer packaged with primary line telephony to its residential customers as well as "IP centrex" services with advanced business features to enterprise customers.

    "We were especially interested in Thomson's interoperability with multiple networks, including traditional telephony[1] and cable infrastructures, which made the Cirpack softswitch suitable for our deployments in both countries as well as for our wholesale clients some of whom are cable operators" said Mr Leidinger, General Manager of artelis. "In addition, we were attracted by the fact that Thomson provides end to end solutions for triple play, something that we are examining for the future."

    "Our deployment with artelis further demonstrates Thomson's success in providing multiple play service platforms to telecom operators," said Bruno Fabre, Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing of the Systems Division at Thomson. "Our Cirpack VoIP softswitches are uniquely positioned to help operators with hybrid networks and multi countries operations to launch rich broadband services"

    As more German operators accelerate their migration to next-generation networks, they are seeking more network optimization as well as operating cost reduction opportunities. Many are turning to Thomson; already, Thomson's Cirpack softswitches have been involved in 14 operator deployments in Germany.

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    Secure Skype IM With FaceTime Communications' Greynet Enterprise Manager

    BELMONT, CALIFORNIA - FaceTime Communications, the leading provider of solutions that control Internet and unified communications (UC) in the enterprise, today announced enhancements to its Greynet Enterprise Manager (GEM) including detection of malicious URLs entering the enterprise network via Skype instant messaging conversations.

    Skype is encrypted using a proprietary method, making it impossible for traditional security products to view the content of a Skype text conversation. Working in partnership with Skype over the last year, FaceTime is the only security vendor with the ability to examine the content of a Skype instant message as it enters the network. Using its leading malware signature database maintained by FaceTime Security Labs, FaceTime's products verify that content is safe and free of malicious URL links before entering the network.

    With 276 million registered business users worldwide, Skype's growing popularity and inherent cost savings have made it very attractive to businesses looking to provide the advantages of presence and real-time Internet communications to their employees. Being able to protect against the threat of malware that can enter the network via something as simple as a URL in a chat screen is crucial to IT's realization of the real-time presence benefits of Skype.

    An add-on to FaceTime's popular Unified Security Gateway and IMAuditor products, GEM enables organizations to manage security policies and aggregate reporting for IM, P2P and malware traffic across distributed enterprise environments. By integrating with USG, GEM delivers the industry's most robust network-based anti-malware solution, allowing targeted remediation and repair of infected endpoints dynamically based on gateway malware detections from USG.

    "Simple block or allow policies are no longer sufficient in most organizations," said Frank Cabri, vice president of marketing and product management for FaceTime. "IT managers are realizing they need to embrace the real-time communications that employees have introduced to the business environment with policies and tools to secure, control, manage, log and archive their use - as well as their content."

    Malware entering enterprise networks via real-time communications such as instant messaging and Skype costs businesses nearly $289,000 annually on average, according to the 2007 survey "Greynets in the Enterprise: Third Annual Survey of Trends, Attitudes and Impact," conducted by NewDiligence Research and commissioned by FaceTime. The survey revealed that IT managers experience nearly 39 incidents per month, on average, that require some kind of repair or remediation to end user PCs, and each repair requires, on average, about nine hours of work.

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    Wednesday, March 26, 2008

    Nokia 6300i, a GSM Mobile Phone Offers Integrated VoIP

    Nokia has released the Nokia 6300i, a GSM mobile phone offering a fully integrated VoIP (Voice over IP) client. The all weather phone ideal for connections from everywhere, home office, on the road, on flights that allow WiFi connections. The Nokia 6300i can make VoIP and GSM calls effortlessly as needed. The phone also has mapping so may be it is easier to locate WiFi hotspots where ever you go, like Tokyo WiFi Hotspots.
    Key Features of the phone includes;
    • WLAN for connecting to home wireless networks and accessing fast broadband connections
    • Seamless VoIP integration enabling easy and affordable VoIP calls
    • Nokia Maps to help navigate and find the way
    Additional Features
    • 2.0” TFT QVGA color display
    • 2 megapixel camera with 8x digital zoom
    • Music player (MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA) and FM stereo radio with RDS
    • Support for 4GB microSD memory card
    VoIP calls
    • Up to two thousand VoIP, home, and mobile numbers listed side-by-side
    • Dedicated WLAN and VoIP symbols conveniently showing the connection status and type of phone call (GSM or VoIP)
    • In-box desk stand
    Data Services & Connectivity
    • 802.11b/g WLAN
    • EGPRS multislot class 32, max download 178.8 kbps; upload 298 kbps
    • Mini-USB, 2.5 mm AV connector
    • Bluetooth wireless technology 2.0 with A2DP stereo audio
    Operating Times
    Talk time: Up to 3.5 hours (GSM), 3 hours (VOIP)
    Standby time: Up to 14 days (GSM), 4 days (VOIP)
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    Microsoft Fixes VoIP With A Service Pack(1)!

    Although no one knew it is broken, Microsoft is fixing it. I think it's policy of first release then fix attitude from other solutions has been carried over to VoIP solutions as well. But don't worry, it is not entire VoIP they are fixing, it a feature update to its Response Point VoIP phone system for small businesses. Yes I also had to say phew!.

    Microsoft has announced plans to release a feature update to its Response Point VoIP phone system for small businesses as a Service Pack. The SP 1 will be available this summer as a free download.

    Response Point SP1 will help small businesses move from analog phone service to VoIP without the need for technical expertise. The upgraded solution features a VoIP account setup wizard in the Response Point Administrator for quick and easy scalability. It also allows businesses to select a local phone number for use in remote locations.

    "Small businesses rely heavily on the phone to communicate with customers and want a solution that allows them to reliably reach as many customers as possible at a low cost," Xuedong Huang, general manager for Response Point at Microsoft, said in a statement. "Response Point SP1 will make it easy to transition from traditional analog service to the promise of digital voice services."

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    Motorola Is Two Entities Now! (The Mobile Devices business and The Broadband & Mobility Solutions business)

    Under pressure, direction or both from investors, Motorola has decided to separate itself into two publicly traded companies, one Mobile Devices business and the other The Broadband & Mobility Solutions business. The later will also handle Government and Public Safety, and Home and Networks businesses.
    "Our decision to separate our Mobile Devices and Broadband & Mobility Solutions businesses follows a review process undertaken by our management team and Board of Directors, together with independent advisers," CEO Greg Brown said in a release. "Creating two industry-leading companies will provide improved flexibility, more tailored capital structures, and increased management focus--as well as more targeted investment opportunities for our shareholders."

    SCHAUMBURG, IL – March 26, 2008 – Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) today announced that the Company’s Board of Directors has commenced a process to create two independent, publicly-traded companies. Today’s decision follows the Company’s January 31, 2008 announced evaluation of the structural and strategic realignment of its businesses and represents affirmative steps to position its Mobile Devices and Broadband & Mobility Solutions businesses for success, while creating value for all Motorola shareholders.

    “Our decision to separate our Mobile Devices and Broadband & Mobility Solutions businesses follows a review process undertaken by our management team and Board of Directors, together with independent advisors,” said Greg Brown, Motorola’s president and chief executive officer. “Creating two industry-leading companies will provide improved flexibility, more tailored capital structures, and increased management focus – as well as more targeted investment opportunities for our shareholders.”

    Based on current plans, the creation of the two stand-alone businesses is expected to take the form of a tax-free distribution to Motorola’s shareholders, subject to further financial, tax and legal analysis, resulting in shareholders holding shares of two independent and publicly-traded companies:

    • The Mobile Devices business is an industry leader in multi-mode, multi-band communications products and technologies. The business designs, manufactures and sells mobile handsets and accessories globally with integrated software solutions that incorporate the latest personal communications technologies. It also licenses a portfolio of intellectual property.
    • The Broadband & Mobility Solutions business includes Motorola’s Enterprise Mobility, Government and Public Safety, and Home and Networks businesses. These businesses manufacture, design, integrate, and service voice and data communication solutions and wireless broadband networks for enterprises and government and public safety customers worldwide. These businesses also provide end-to-end digital and Internet Protocol (IP) video solutions, cellular and high speed broadband network infrastructure, cable set-top receivers, and associated customer premise equipment for residential and commercial wireless network system access.

    “Our priorities have not changed with today’s announcement,” added Brown. “We remain committed to improving the performance of our Mobile Devices business by delivering compelling products that meet the needs of customers and consumers around the world. As part of that effort, we have undertaken a global search for a new chief executive officer for the Mobile Devices business. We believe strongly in our brand, our people and our intellectual property, and expect that the Mobile Devices business will be well-positioned to regain market leadership as a focused, independent company.”

    The completion of any separation transaction would be subject to certain customary conditions, including implementation of inter-company agreements, filing of required documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission and receipt of an opinion of counsel or a ruling from the Internal Revenue Service as to the tax-free nature of any transaction. The Company expects that the separation of its businesses, if consummated, would take place in 2009. The Company noted that there can be no assurance that any separation transaction will ultimately occur or, if one does occur, its terms or timing.

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    Open Range Communications Receives $237 Million to provide broadband service to 518 rural communities in 17 states.

    WASHINGTON, March 25, 2008 - USDA Rural Development Under Secretary Thomas C. Dorr today announced that Open Range Communications, headquartered in Denver, Colo., has been approved to receive a $267 million loan from USDA Rural Development to provide broadband service to 518 rural communities in 17 states.

    This partnership will address the significant need to deploy wireless, portable broadband connectivity to improve service in considerable portions of rural America. The commitment by USDA and Open Range represents one of the largest public-private investments for broadband service by the federal government.

    This unique set of services will provide cutting-edge Wi-Max technology that transmits wireless data in areas not serviced by cable or DSL technologies. Open Range plans to offer affordable, wireless high-speed broadband service to underserved and unserved areas.

    The loan presents dual benefits to the residents of the communities to be served. Those without service will have access to broadband and other technologies for the first time. Residents in areas served by an existing provider will benefit from mobile and portable broadband, lower prices, enhanced service options and improved quality as a result of marketplace competition.

    "Portable, high-speed connectivity provides new options to help create business expansion in rural communities," Rural Development Under Secretary Thomas C. Dorr noted. "Communities that lack broadband are often bypassed for new economic development investments. "Broadband is as important today as providing rural telephone service was 75 years ago, and we're proud of our role in fostering public-private partnerships to bring broadband services to rural America."

    In addition to broadband, Open Range will offer satellite services to provide rural residents with portable connectivity virtually nationwide. Improved service with portability features will improve communications and responses for emergency first responders such as law enforcement and rescue providers, as well as health care providers.

    The project is intended to cover more than 6 million people and serve more than 447,000 households within five years. In addition, it will create jobs and business opportunities in the project's 17-state area. Open Range is leveraging the $267 million government loan with an investment of more than $100 million from the private sector. The loan is contingent upon Open Range meeting the conditions of the loan agreement.

    The loan was approved under the Rural Development Broadband Loan and Loan Guarantee Program, which since its inception has awarded $1.6 billion in loans for projects to provide rural broadband services. The Rural Development Broadband program has financed a variety of technologies, including wireless, fiber, hybrid fiber/coax, DSL and broadband over power lines. The Open Range project is the program's first investment to support Wi-Max technology.

    USDA Rural Development's investments in broadband are helping rural communities develop sustainable economic opportunities to improve the quality of life in communities across the nation. The loan to Open Range is expected to foster business development and create new jobs in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wisconsin.

    USDA Rural Development's mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development has invested nearly 91 billion since 2001 for equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technologyinfrastructure. More than 1.7 million jobs have been created or saved through these investments. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA's web site at

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    Tuesday, March 25, 2008

    Juniper's WiMAX Gets Steel Belted

    This has to be good as I remember our first network AAA server we built with steel Belted Radius almost a decade ago, still operational in the background. One of the most outside facing services have a trouble with AAA, Authentication Authorization and Accounting. Our first H323 based VoIP Gatekeeper was using SBR for these purposes.

    SUNNYVALE, Calif., March 25, 2008 -- Juniper Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: JNPR), the leader in high-performance networking, today introduced support for WiMAX broadband wireless networks with its Service Provider Steel-Belted Radius (SBR) Authentication, Authorization and Accounting (AAA) Server. With mobile WiMAX support, Juniper's SBR Carrier AAA Server will provide a single, unified multi-access AAA system that delivers the flexibility to serve the rapidly evolving mobile landscape, and will enable providers to accelerate the delivery of new services while leveraging existing network assets.

    WiMAX is a next-generation mobile broadband technology that offers dramatically improved range and capacity over traditional wireless technologies, however mobile WiMAX places extraordinary demands on Authentication, Authorization and Accounting (AAA) systems, which need to support multiple Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) methods; manage mobile IP sessions; and facilitate roaming. Juniper's SBR Carrier AAA solution will address these challenges by supporting the methods required by the WiMAX standard for authenticating users and devices (EAP-TLS, EAP-TTLS and EAP-AKA), as well as legacy technologies such as EAP-SIM for backward compatibility--on a single, unified platform. With its mobile IP key derivation and management functionality, the SBR Carrier AAA Server will also have the intelligence to set up mobile IP sessions; manage mobile sessions throughout their lifetimes; and support roaming in both home and visited networks.

    The Juniper Networks Steel-Belted Radius family of high-performance RADIUS servers is a core component of many mobile operator networks, providing centralized user authentication and access policy management, with the performance and reliability required by the world's largest mobile operators. Juniper Networks SBR servers give mobile operators control over how users access and use their networks--preventing unauthorized access, ensuring that users comply with security policies before they connect, granting the appropriate level of access to each user, and delivering accounting records to a billing/tracking system. More than 120 service providers worldwide rely on Juniper's SBR today to meet their mission-critical AAA needs. With its scalability, reliability, flexibility, and high performance, Juniper's SBR Carrier AAA Server will offer strategic value to service providers seeking to support mobile WiMAX services.

    "By delivering high throughput, always-on access to content rich applications and broadband wireless services, WiMAX represents an enormous opportunity for many mobile operators, and Juniper's Advanced Mobile Solutions can help operators to accelerate the delivery of WiMAX and other advanced mobile services," said Mallik Tatipamula, vice president, mobile/FMC Business, Juniper Networks. "The enhanced SBR Server platform is another example of Juniper's service-enabling network infrastructure that expands and accelerates service model innovation by enabling providers to rapidly and cost-effectively introduce new services such as WiMAX."

    Support for mobile WiMAX is expected to be generally available as a separate software module for SBR Carrier AAA server in Q3 2008. Additional information can be found at

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    QubeConnect, VoIP IP Telephony solution based on open standards.

    Computer world Malaysia is reporting t QubeConnect Sdn Bhd, a Malaysian company has produced to the market it's own VoIP IP Telephony solution based on open standards. The call control solution, called the QubeTalk Enterprise Communications Server (ECS), unifies voice, data and video on a single IP network and is targeted at medium and small-sized enterprises.
    According to the company, QubeTalk ECS architecture also integrates both IP and legacy TDM (Time Division Multiplexing) connections that ensures high availability and minimal downtime as well as full SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) support.
    Complete article at CW Malaysia.

    India To Become Second Largest Wireess Market In The World, Beating Out USA.

    According to reports around the net, India is set to become the second largest mobile user collection after China. With the current rate of expansion, it will beat USA in the near future. So mobile phone makers now have a good reason to take their whole factories to India, not just out sourcing of labor. One caveat though, thay may have to sell the phones at low rates that they have been enjoying with out sourced labor.

    NEW DELHI: India, which added 8.53 million new mobile users in February, is set to become the second-largest wireless market in the world after China by April 2008, telecom regulator TRAI said on Monday. As per data compiled by TRAI, India had 250.93 million wireless users by end-February, compared with 256 million in the US and 540.5 million in China.

    “India’s monthly wireless subscriber addition is the highest in the range of 8-9 million. Thus, India’s wireless subscriber base during the first half of April 2008 will surpass that of the US and become the second-largest wireless network in the world. Not only this, the total subscriber base (wireless plus fixedline) of India will also cross the 300-million mark in April 2008,” TRAI said in a statement.

    Read the rest of "
    India to beat US in mobile telephony" here.

    Google to FCC, Let Us Make Some Digital Noise In That White Space.

    Following is the file submitted by Google regarding the white space in TV Broadcasts. Google would like this space offered in a dynamic fashion, highest bidder at the time will receive the broadcasting medium for the given time slot. The white spaces are currently goes unused and TV Broadcasters are reluctant to let this space go. FCC already conducted WHITE SPACE PROTOTYPE TESTING, earlier this year. In any case the submission below is a good reading and you may find some valuable information, including some business acumen. To me it is all about getting your point across.

    Ex Parte via Electronic Filing
    Marlene H. Dortch

    Office of the Secretary
    Federal Communications Commission
    445 12th Street, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20554

    Re: Authorized Ex Parte Contact – Unlicensed Operation in the TV Broadcast Bands (ET Docket No. 04-186)

    Dear Ms. Dortch:
    Google Inc. (“Google”), by its attorney, respectfully submits this ex parte letter in the above-referenced docket. We herein present our plans for mobile broadband services using the TV “white space,” along with an enhanced spectrum protection proposal that we are confident will eliminate any remaining legitimate concerns about the merits of using the white space for unlicensed personal/portable devices.

    TV white space: unique opportunity, unique benefits

    As Google has pointed out previously, the vast majority of viable spectrum in this country simply goes unused, or else is grossly underutilized. Our nation typically uses only about five percent of one of our most precious resources. Unlike other natural resources, there is no benefit to allowing this spectrum to lie fallow. The airwaves can provide huge economic and social gains if used more efficiently, as seen today with the relatively tiny slices utilized by mobile phones and WiFi services.

    The unique qualities of the TV white space -- unused spectrum, large amounts of bandwidth, and excellent propagation characteristics -- offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide ubiquitous wireless broadband access to all Americans. In particular, this spectrum can provide robust infrastructure to serve the needs of under-deployed rural areas, as well as first responders and others in the public safety community. Moreover, use of this spectrum will enable much-needed competition to the incumbent broadband service providers.

    Google’s plans for open mobile platforms

    Google is working diligently to lay the technological groundwork so that Americans may begin to see the benefits of utilizing this unused spectrum for wireless Internet access. There are several interrelated components to our current plans:

    (1) In our December 17, 2007 letter to the Commission, we explained that we see considerable utility in a network that combines elements of both fixed/access unlicensed devices and personal/portable unlicensed devices. This “hybrid” approach will join together the tangible benefits of mobility, low cost, and ease of installation and use.

    (2) Coupled with the “Android” open source platform for mobile consumer devices, TV white spaces can provide uniquely low-cost mobile broadband coverage for all Americans. As announced last fall, over thirty other companies are working with Google through the Open Handset Alliance to develop a fully open source software stack, including the operating system, middleware, and user applications. Android-powered handsets should begin appearing commercially later this year, and would be an excellent match for the TV white space.

    (3) In the 700 MHz auction proceeding, Google advocated for openness at various network layers. In the context of TV white space, consumers will be able to enjoy robust access to the Internet, including the ability to download and utilize any lawful applications or content that is desired.

    (4) Google also would be willing to provide, at no cost to third parties, the technical support necessary to make these plans happen; this could include intellectual property and reference designs for underlying technologies, open geo-databases maintained by Google, and other supporting infrastructure. Of course we welcome others as well with an interest in helping to provide such support.

    No risk: an enhanced spectrum protection proposal

    There are many ways to safely and reliably protect DTVs and wireless microphones, not all of which require spectrum sensing. Last fall, Motorola submitted a proposal in this proceeding that relies on a combination of geo-location (to protect broadcast TV) and beacons (to protect wireless microphones) Google believes both concepts, along with a “safe harbor” approach, should be seriously considered for incorporation into the FCC’s service requirements for the spectrum.

    Under our own enhanced protection proposal, a TV white space device will not transmit on a channel until it first has received an "all clear" signal for that channel, either directly from a database of licensed transmitters in that area, or from a geo-located device with access to that database. That “permission to transmit” signal (at a maximum power level of 4W EIRP) would be sent on channels the geo-located device already knows are clear of licensed users. Any device without geo-location and database access would not transmit at all, unless and until it has successfully received advance permission from such a device.

    Further, all TV white space devices would be blocked from transmitting by any wireless microphone beacon in that channel, using signals specifically designed to be easy to reliably detect, and coded to be identifiable to prevent abuse. These beacons should be quite inexpensive, and would be used in conjunction with existing wireless microphones, so there would be no need to replace legacy devices.

    In addition, we are proposing a "safe harbor" for wireless microphones in channels 36-38. No TV white space device would be permitted to transmit in these channels. This will also protect medical telemetry devices and radio astronomy services, which are licensed to use channel 37.

    Even in the absence of spectrum sensing, then, these enhanced measures should be more than adequate to protect all licensed uses.

    Politics as usual: a potential stumbling block to the future

    It is an unfortunate, yet not surprising, fact that some entities prefer the comfort of the past to the promise of the future, and use their influence to convince policymakers to protect legacy applications -- at any and all costs. Technological innovation, and the significant changes it brings, can be a scary prospect for some. But it should not be the government’s role to protect the status quo, especially by blocking access to the new.

    Clearly the rules for unlicensed use of TV white spaces should be written to amply protect licensed uses, while permitting useful services to be deployed. Those rules should include important constraints like reasonable detection thresholds, power limits, spectral masks, and geo-location requirements. But those rules should not select any particular technology. Nor should rulemaking be contingent on the existence of any specific technology implementing those rules. And certainly the TV white space should not be "earmarked" for any particular use or users, as has been proposed by some cellular carriers for their use specifically as backhaul (which, as we already have pointed out, would be a particularly inefficient use of this spectrum).

    In short, FCC rules should specify only what is allowed, not how that result is to be achieved, or by whom. Much like the Internet itself, the agency’s specifications should as much as possible enable “innovation without permission” (although with necessary technical constraints). For example, the Part 15 rules permitting WiFi were written years before the IEEE 802.11 technology was even contemplated, much less existed. If those rules had been contingent on the pre-existence of WiFi, one of the most successful and efficient uses of spectrum in the history of wireless communications likely never would have happened.

    The state of testing and the state of the technology

    Much has been made of recent issues with third party equipment in the OET's spectrum sensing tests. In our view, particularly in light of our enhanced protection proposal, these issues should be moot. Simply put, no product will come to market unless the FCC can verify that the device does not interfere with TV or wireless microphone signals. And the combination of geo-location, beacons, and “safe harbors” is more than sufficient to ensure the protection of all licensed uses.

    Spectrum sensing already has demonstrated its effectiveness in other settings. In fact, spectrum sensing capabilities are being deployed and used extensively in the field, and are being relied on to protect America’s troops and our national defense. Widely used 802.11a-based WiFi currently supports spectrum sensing to protect military radar from interference. Moreover, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) neXt Generation (XG) program has graduated from lab experiments to field use of the technology. Both examples represent an important existence proof for the viability of spectrum sensing, where the risks of failure inarguably are far greater than those potentially posed to broadcast TV and wireless microphones.

    Creating a glidepath: TV white spaces as a spectrum sensing testbed

    Google is a firm believer in the capabilities of spectrum sensing. Nonetheless, in order to clarify the record on the use of spectrum sensing on a standalone basis for unlicensed devices, the Commission should consider issuing a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to address any lingering questions.

    In particular, while using a combination of geo-location and beacons guarantees more than adequate levels of protection for all licensed uses, the TV white space also could provide a way of validating the spectrum sensing concept. By using spectrum sensing as well as geo-location/beacons, and reporting back to a central database any discrepancies, there will be more than enough data for the FCC unambiguously to validate spectrum sensing as a viable technology. This would be a much larger sample size than otherwise would be possible with any testing program, and would be backed up by geo-location and beacons, so no harm could come during this provisional period. Once enough confirmatory data has been obtained, we can begin relying exclusively on spectrum sensing, under more permissive FCC rules that do not depend on geo-location or beacons.

    The vast promise of spectrum sensing technologies

    Modern spectrum sensing technologies enabled by low-cost computers in communications devices can provide one obvious mechanism for restoring our nation's spectrum resource to practical use. These technologies allow devices to use spectrum on a secondary basis without interfering or causing any harm to primary users or uses.

    Once demonstrated in the TV white spaces, this method can become the technical basis for extending spectrum sensing to other bands, and perhaps ultimately to all bands.

    A specific approach to increasing the efficiency of spectrum utilization is our "dynamic auction" proposal. One form this potentially could take, enabled by spectrum sensing technologies, is a real-time airwaves auction model:
    For each available spectrum band, the licensee could bestow the right to transmit an amount of power for a unit of time, with the total amount of power in any location being limited to a specified cap. This cap would be enforced by measurements made by the communications devices. For channel capacity efficiency reasons, bands should be allocated in as large chunks as possible. The airwaves auction would be managed via the Internet by a central clearinghouse.

    This large amount of spectrum, coupled with advanced signal processing techniques made practical by the exponential growth in computing power (Moore's law), can make data rates in the gigabits-per-second available in the not-to-distant future. As a result, we soon could see a low-cost and open infrastructure, supporting a near-unlimited bandwidth Internet service, improving every year as computer and radio technologies continue to evolve. This would be akin to a faster, longer range, higher data rate WiFi service – “WiFi 2.0” if you will.

    Conclusion: The future is now

    We appreciate the opportunity to discuss Google’s mobile broadband service plans, and our enhanced spectrum protection proposal. While we continue to believe that spectrum sensing alone is more than sufficient to protect the legitimate concerns of the broadcasters and wireless microphone communities, we are willing to go considerably farther in order to secure a positive outcome for all. The value of the TV white space to all Americans simply is too great to allow this unique opportunity to be blocked by unfounded fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

    Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Richard S. Whitt, Esq.
    Washington Telecom and
    Media Counsel
    Google Inc. Google to FCC, Let Us Make Some Digital Noise In That White Space.

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    Saturday, March 22, 2008

    Hands Free Help For California Motorists From Verizon

    WALNUT CREEK, CA — Verizon Wireless reminds consumers to take steps now to comply with new driver safety initiatives. Motorists in California have less than four months to get ready to comply with a new state law requiring drivers over the age of 18 to use hands-free devices when talking on their wireless phones.

    “Time is precious and people are using wireless devices to help them be more productive,” said Rich Garwood, president of Verizon Wireless’ Northern California and Nevada Region. “If they choose to use a device while driving, it’s important that they know both the law and responsible driving tips and options.”

    Starting July 1, 2008, motorists over 18 could face fines starting at $20 for talking on wireless phones without using hands-free devices (Vehicle Code (VC) §23123), while drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a wireless phone even with a hands-free device while operating a motor vehicle (VC §23124).

    Consumers have a number of choices available to help them comply with the new law, from universally compatible headsets to phones with built-in speakerphones and voice-activated dialing. Most phones can be fastened easily to a car’s vent or visor and removed when you leave the vehicle. No installation or hard wiring is necessary.

    Hands-free car kits, which provide a cradle for the phone and an external microphone, offer drivers another option for complying with the new law.

    Verizon Wireless, the most widely used brand of wireless service, offers the following responsible driving tips:

    • Remember — safe driving is always your first responsibility when behind the wheel.
    • Before you leave the curb:
      • Activate your voicemail service if you haven’t already, so you won’t miss a call if traffic conditions prevent you from answering the phone. You can retrieve your messages later.
      • If you’re taking advantage of any navigation service, including VZ NavigatorSM, program the address into your phone before you leave the curb, either on the handset or online, then you’ll only need to listen to the directions.
      • Program important and frequently dialed numbers into your phone to take advantage of speed dialing and voice dialing features on your phone.
      • Set up your playlist on your V CAST Music-enabled device, or any music player, while you are stopped.
      • Turn your phone to speakerphone or put on your headset. Many phones have speakerphone capability. Headset models available from Verizon Wireless range from Bluetooth devices for individual use, or car mount, to hands-free ear buds compatible with devices from many wireless providers.
    • Never take notes or write down phone numbers while driving. Rather, pull off the road to a safe spot or leave yourself a message on your voicemail or voice-memo-capable handset.
    • Never view or send text or multi-media messages or video downloads while driving

    For more information on hands-free options and responsible driving, customers can visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store or

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