September Newsbits

By Naomi Graychase

September 30, 2008

Sprint launches XOHM network; WiMAX World this week; BlackBerry Bold coming in October; Nokia releases N96 in Europe; Buffalo loses patent dispute appeal; Divitas announces new clients and software upgrade; and more.

Sprint launched XOHM, its WiMAX network, in Baltimore, MD yesterday.

XOHM will be available initially in a variety of packages to residents of and visitors to Baltimore: $10/day; $35/month (home use); $45/month (mobile use); or $50/month for two devices. No contracts are required.

Stay tuned for more details later this week.

September 29, 2008

WiMAX World is set to begin tomorrow in Chicago. Now in its fifth year, WiMAX World is the largest global event series focused on WiMAX and mobile broadband.

Among the vendors showing this year is Exalt Communications. Exalt is a maker of next-generation wireless backhaul systems. At WiMAX World, it will demonstrate for the first time its new high-capacity Gigabit Ethernet microwave backhaul radio, EX-5r GigE Series.

According to an Exalt press release issued today, "as the industry's first integrated native TDM and native Ethernet platform, this product delivers 440 Mbps aggregate user throughput with guaranteed five 9s (99.999 percent) availability at link ranges of up to 15 miles."

The EX-5r is engineered to provide a secure, reliable microwave platform that delivers the bandwidth service providers need for campus connectivity, camera backhaul, 3G or 4G backhaul, WiMAX backhaul, and high-definition video broadcast.

September 26, 2008

The long-awaited U.S. debut of the Wi-Fi-enabled BlackBerry Bold, which has been held up by rumored performance issues on AT&T's 3G network, appears to be imminent. RIM's co-CEO, Jim Balsillie, made it official at CTIA earlier this month when he said AT&T plans to ship the BlackBerry Bold in October. It is already available on three continents, including North America (in Canada, RIM's home country).

Demand for the device, which is believed to have a particularly fetching screen, is so great that a handful of pre-release Bold's apparently sold for $1,300 each at the BlackBerry Center retail store in Manhattan. 

**

Late last year, Nokia introduced the follow up to the N95—and its latest top-of-the-line handset—the N96. Earlier this month it finally started shipping the smartphone to European consumers.

Like its predecessor, the N95, the N96 is a dual-slider that reveals a keypad when opened one way and audio controls the other. It is supposed to include several notable improvements, such as Feature Pack 2 of the S60 Third Edition interface and double the memory to 16GB from 8GB. There's also a 5-megapixel camera, GPS, Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-Fi, and a quad-band GSM cellular wireless radio for voice service around the world. The North American edition adds a pair of 3G-wireless bands to support high-speed data service in the U.S.

For more on the N96, see here and here.

September 22, 2008

Buffalo Technology has lost an appeal in its ongoing patent battle with Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), which is attempting to defend its patent relating to several Wi-Fi standards. For more on the history of the dispute, read "CSIRO Wins Patent Victory," and "Buffalo Injunction May Prevent Sales." Details of the latest appeal are here.

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DiVitas Networks, a leading provider of Mobile Unified Communications (Mobile UC), today announced a new software release of its DiVitas Mobile UC Solution, as well as new clients across several verticals, including government offices.

“We are placing more and more people out in the field,” said Greg Ireland, CEO for the 13th Judicial District Court in Albuquerque, NM in a Divitas press release today. “Prior to DiVitas, they had been carrying just regular cell phones--sometimes they have service, sometimes they don’t, so communication was irregular. We are saving a lot of money in carrier and equipment costs, while simultaneously making our mobile employees--who represent a significant part of the court staff--more productive and accessible.”

The DiVitas Mobile UC solution version 2.0 with a 25-user DiVitas Client license starts at $10,000 US list price and is available today worldwide.

**

iPass released the latest edition of the iPass Broadband Mobility Index  today. The Index tracks how and where people are connecting to wireless networks around the world. The results show continued rapid growth of Wi-Fi, particularly in Europe, which leads the world in hotspot use for business users.

September 17, 2008

Aruba Networks issued a press release today announcing that it has filed a patent infringement countersuit against Motorola, Symbol, and Wireless Valley regarding two Aruba patents for managing wireless computer networks and network security. 

According to Mike Tennefoss, Head of Strategic Marketing at Aruba, the countersuit was filed after an unsuccessful attempt to negotiate a license.

The countersuit follows a decision by the United States Patent and Trademark Office to reexamine all four patents that Motorola is asserting against Aruba in a lawsuit filed in the Federal district court in Delaware; prior art submitted by Aruba may raise new questions about the patentability of the claims of all four of Motorola’s patents.

For more on the Aruba/Motorola patent dispute, read our July 10th story, "Aruba/Motorola Patent Dispute Slogs On."

September 15, 2008

U4EA Technologies, a  CA-based provider of integrated access technology for converged communications, today announced the Fusion 300 Wireless LAN Controller and Fusion 50 Access Points, a centrally managed Wi-Fi solution designed specifically for the small-to-medium business segment. Keeping the limited in-house IT budgets of SMBs in mind, the he Fusion 300 was designed be up-and-running in less than 15 minutes. For more details, visit the U4EA Web site.

**

Meraki announced on Thursday that iPhone usage on its Free the Net public WLAN in San Francisco has increased from 6% to 20% in the last five months. In response to the high demand from iPhone users on the free network that functions as a Meraki test bed and aims to be city-wide, Meraki is developing an iPhone splash page. In an e-mail from Meraki's PR firm, a representative said Thursday, "Meraki is working on finding all the ways they can to embrace iPhone users."

Wi-Fi Planet first reported this news on August 1st. For more on Meraki, read "Meraki Masters Mini Muni" and "Meraki Frees the 'Net in San Francisco."

September 12, 2008

While the movement toward open mobile networks in the U.S. has received strong support from both consumers and the Federal Communications Commission, a new report suggests that consumers may still wind up paying a steep price. For more, read "Open Wireless Networks Could Come With a Price" at InternetNews.com.

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Japan's NEC Electronics Corp, the world's No.12 chipmaker, said on Thursday it would team up with IBM and others on next-generation microchips in a bid to beat mounting development costs.

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IT spending is shrinking in the enterprise, but the iPhone is gaining ground, or at least interest, in the corporate market. A year ago, ten percent of respondents to a ChangeWave Research survey said they'd buy an iPhone, and now the percentage has grown to 17 percent.

**

Terry Childs, the system administrator who is in jail awaiting trial for tampering with San Francisco's fiber-optic wide area network earlier this summer continues to cause trouble. Childs had installed equipment on the network without authorization and essentially taken it over, creating a super password, then refusing to hand it over until the city's mayor, Gavin Newsom, visited him in jail a week after his arrest. Then, on Aug. 28, the IT department got a shock: it found yet another unauthorized device on the network. For more, read, "Rogue Sys Admin Still Haunts San Francisco" at InternetNews.com.

**

At CTIA this week, as part of its new growth strategy, Yahoo! previews new page designs, services, and strategies including new iPhone services and maybe even Android. For more, read "Yahoo Goes on an 'Open' Offensive" at our sister site, InternetNews.com.

September 8, 2008

Israel-based Celeno Communications, a maker of semiconductors for multimedia Wi-Fi home networking applications, today announced the availability of its new Wi-Fi System on a Chip (CL1300). Powered by the Celeno patent-pending OptimizAIR technology, the new CL1300 Wi-Fi chip can, according to Celena, reliably stream up to four concurrent and different HD streams with whole-home coverage while maintaining wire-like quality of experience.

The CL1300 and various reference designs are now available and shipping. The CL1300 will be demonstrated at the IBC 2008 show in Amsterdam. Celeno will also be included in the Cisco demo showcase at IBC.

September 3, 2008

Dell is apparently poised to announce a new mini-laptop computer later this week, a source familiar with the company's plan said on Tuesday, confirming a Wall Street Journal story. For more, read "Dell's Netbook Entry On Its Way?." For more on netbook PCs, read "Nothing But 'Net: Back-to-School Notebook PCs," and "Review: Acer Aspire One."

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A "help wanted" ad indicates Microsoft is looking for someone to set up an online marketplace for Windows Mobile applications. For more, read "Microsoft Readies an App Store Competitor?"

September 2, 2008

RIM hasn't even delivered its new Wi-Fi-enabled powerhouse, the BlackBerrry Bold to the U.S. market, yet new applications for the smartphone are already available. For more, read "Mobile Apps Now Arriving Before New Devices."

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Reports of Steve Jobs's death were greatly exaggerated. Bloomberg made a gaffe Wednesday by accidentally printing its 17-page file copy of Steve Jobs' obituary. For more, read "Bloomberg Bungles Obit on Apple CEO."

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Comcast, the largest U.S. cable operator, said on Thursday it would cap customers' Internet usage starting Oct. 1, to ensure the best service for the vast majority of its subscribers. For more, read "Comcast Pushes Ahead on Broadband Throttling."

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Sony Ericsson says rumors that its first mobile phone powered by Microsoft's operating system would miss the key year-end holiday sales period are false. It introduced the Xperia 1 model in February, saying it would start to sell the phone in the second half of 2008 in selected markets. For more, read "Rumor of Microsoft Phone Delay Slammed."

Naomi Graychase is Managing Editor at Wi-Fi Planet.com.



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