AT&T Adds 2 Million Devices in Q4, Edges Ahead of Verizon in M2M Race

US network now supports almost 11 million devices

As cell phone penetration in the US hits 95% (100% if you rule out kids under 5 years of age), the battleground for the largest telecom carriers has shifted to machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. And it looks like AT&T (Dallas, TX USA) has just gotten its nose ahead in this race, adding almost 2 million devices in Q4 2010. (Note: this includes consumer and computing devices like eReaders, tablets and laptops.)

Backhaul Optimizer Claims to Double Bandwidth for Voice, Data

New optimizer to be introduced at MWC

A new optimizer for mobile backhaul applications is said to double the amount of data standard networks can handle, allowing network operators to leverage existing networks for significant cost savings. The I-Gate 4000 from Dialogic Inc. (San Jose, CA USA) provides for voice- and data-stream optimization for 3G, 2G, and enterprise traffic, and is said to significantly improve the customer experience. The unit will be introduced at the upcoming Mobile World Congress In Barcelona.

IEEE Publishes Broadband-Over-Power Line Standard

Standard enables communications data rates in excess of 500 Mbps

IEEE (Piscataway, NJ USA) has announced that the final IEEE 1901 Broadband over Power Line (BPL) standard was finalized in December 2010 and is now available at its website. Sponsored by the IEEE Communications Society, this BPL standard is designed for use in a wide range of applications including smart energy, transportation and Local Area Networks (LANs) in both the home and the enterprise.

Canada overturns harsh data caps

Industry Minister says Internet billing ruling was flawed

A Canadian regulatory ruling that effectively stops small Internet providers from offering unlimited downloading must be revised, Industry Minister Tony Celement said on the social networking site Twitter.

Consumer backlash against limits on Internet use have grown in the last week, after major Canadian carriers announced data caps around 25 gigabytes, down from previous typical ceilings of 250 gigabytes or more.

"True. CRTC must go back to the drawing board," Clement wrote late Wednesday when asked whether he would overturn the decision if the regulator does not back down.

Former Indian Telecoms Minister arrested

CBI busts Andimuthu Raja for corruption

Reuters

The Indian Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested former Telecoms Minister Andimuthu Raja over a massive graft scam, officials said, a huge blow for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and efforts to pass bills in the parliamentary budget session. Raja belongs to a parliamentary ally of the ruling Congress party and his arrest may spark tension between coalition partners and galvanise an opposition that has blocked parliament since November to protest the scandal over mobile phone licences.

Dish Network buys DBSD for $1 billion

Deal includes DBSD’s existing debt

Dish Network Corp. (Meridian, CO, USA) will purchase DBSD North America for approximately $1 billion. DBSD is a combination satellite and land-based communication company.

DBSD is currently is chapter 11 bankruptcy and, as a condition of the purchase, Dish has agreed to an $87.5 million debtor credit. The deal will include interest that is accruing on DBSD’s existing debt. The transaction will be finalized after regulatory approval and DBSD’s emergence from bankruptcy.

Dish is a satellite TV company that provides service to over 14 million U.S. subscribers.

Vodafone names Gerard Kleisterlee its new chairman

Former Philips Chief Executive takes over for Sir John Bond

Reuters

Vodafone (London) has named outgoing Philips Chief Executive Gerard Kleisterlee as its new chairman. Kleisterlee, who has spent his entire career at Philips, will take over from John Bond at Vodafone's annual general meeting later this year, 12 months after Bond endured a small rebellion over his role in the firm's strategy.

France Telecom and Vodafone report partially restored services in Egypt

Both companies issue statements

Both France Telecom (Paris) and Vodafone Egypt (Cairo) have released statements claiming some services have been restored to their Egyptian customers.

The Vodafone unit and France Telecom (itself a unit of Orange) are the largest carriers in Egypt share the majority of the responsibility for the region’s Internet and mobile blackout last week.

Vodafone posted the following message on its main international website on Friday, which claimed the company was simply following the orders of the Egyptian government:

Mobidia introduces policy control to address "bill shock"

Bandwidth management for the end-user

Mobidia Technology, Inc. (Richmond, British Columbia, Canada), a provider of mobile data solutions for increasing efficiency and manageability of wireless data networks, has announced the release of a client-based, subscriber-centric policy control solution that allows subscribers to monitor, control, and buy mobile data.

Tone adds VOIP quality control to 'ReliaTel' suite

SIP trunking becomes more and more relevant to corporate networks

Tone Software Corporation (Anaheim, CA, USA), a provider of network monitoring and management solutions has released its "ReliaTel" VoIP quality of service (QoS) and Converged Infrastructure Management software. This product adds to the ReliaTel core competency of managing voice quality, network service levels and the physical voice and data infrastructure.

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