Lightning Strikes Amazon Cloud, Netflix & Others
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Don't Count Out Ericsson
5:05 PM -- If Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) decides to unload Motorola Mobility Inc. (NYSE: MMI)'s Home unit, which appears to be the prevailing thought now that the cable unit is under new leadership, one company to add to the list of possible suitors is Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC). (See Motorola's Home Unit Hires New Leader .)Ericsson made our list when we conducted this exercise in March, but we left them off the refreshed group of candidates that we posted last week. Don't count Ericsson out of the mix now, multiple industry sources tell me. (See Who's Angling for Motorola's Cable Unit? )Some of the reasons for keeping Ericsson in mind haven't changed all that much. Back then, we noted that such an acquisition would help Ericsson deepen its relationship with the North American cable industry, something it's been trying to do since its acquisitions of Tandberg Television in 2007, and, more recently, Bel Air Networks Inc., which puts Ericsson in a prime spot as cable operators expand their Wi-Fi footprints. (See Cable Goes Big With Wi-Fi Roaming .) There isn't a lot of product overlap between Moto and Ericsson, as the Swedish giant doesn't make set-tops, cable modems or cable modem termination systems, and no longer seems to emphasize its edge QAM. But Ericsson still has some Docsis history. It made a run at the cable modem market in the mid-to-late '90s, becoming the first vendor to sell Docsis devices for less than $100 per unit in a bid to buy market share. Ericsson ended up selling its cable modem assets to Canada's Aastra Technologies Ltd. in 2001, holding that it was no longer a vital business. Shrinking product margins didn't help, either. What it lacks in these areas now could easily be bridged through the people and technologies it would obtain via an acquisition of Motorola Home. Ericsson's plenty big enough to pull off such a deal, and the cable guys could certainly do worse than seeing Moto's cable assets fall into Ericsson's hands. There's another interesting reason to put Ericsson's name in the ring again. According to a two industry sources, Sarepta Advisors has done some consulting work with Ericsson in recent months on strategies to make it more competitive in North American cable. Marwan Fawaz, the new executive VP of Motorola Home, and Matt Bell, the unit's new senior VP of strategy and technology, were both part of Sarepta's founding team. (They're no longer involved in Sarepta's operations, a Motorola spokeswoman says.) (See Cable Vets Form Media Advisory Firm.)So, I would not be surprised to learn that the idea of acquiring Motorola's cable business entered Ericsson's thinking once or twice since Google made its original $12.5 billion bid for Motorola Mobility.If you still want to weigh in on who might land Motorola Home, be sure to cast your vote in our reader poll. At last check, 17 percent of voters believe an investment group led by former Motorola chief Ed Breen could take a stab at it, while 22 percent think Google will keep the unit. Thirteen percent believe a company not identified on that list (Ericsson?) could come away with it.
C Spire Picks AlcaLu for LTE Deployment
C Spire is using Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) as its network supplier for its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) deployment in the U.S., the operator said Monday.The regional cellular provider says it will spend $60 million on the initial phase of 4G LTE services in 20 Mississippi markets starting this September. The network will use more than 360 cell sites covering 2,700 square miles and of a population of 1.2 million in the state.The operator formerly known as Cellular South currently offers 3G CDMA services in Mississippi and parts of Alabama, Florida and Tennessee. It says that the new service will "provide four out of every ten consumers and businesses in Mississippi with wireless data speeds up to 10 times faster than today." (See What We Mean When We Say '4G'.)C Spire will be able to offer LTE on the Samsung Corp. Galaxy S III smartphone when it launches the 4G service.Why this mattersAlcaLu is wrapping up many of the larger and smaller LTE contracts in the U.S. The vendor is already a 4G network supplier for AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S) and Verizon Wireless .
Lightning Strikes Amazon Cloud, Netflix & Others
?The twitterverse went into a tizzy Friday night when lightning temporarily took down a portion of Amazon Web Services LLC , causing an hours-long outage for Internet services such as Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and Pinterest. Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) had steadied the ship by midday Saturday.?Carriage disputes with AMC Networks went in two different directions over the weekend. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) reached a deal on Sunday (terms undisclosed) that ensured that U-verse TV subs would continue to get AMC, IFC, Sundance and WE tv. Not the case for Dish Network Corp. (Nasdaq: DISH), which dropped AMC, IFC and WE tv and swapped them out for two Mark Cuban-owned channels -- HD Net Movies and HD Net -- and the Style channel. Dish contends that AMC is charging too much and devaluing its programming by distributing it via platforms such as iTunes and Netflix. AMC countered that Dish "has not discussed rates with us at all," maintaining that Dish is holding a grudge and rooting its decision on an "unrelated lawsuit" -- a reference to AMC's $2.5 billion suit against Dish over claims that the satellite TV giant breached its carriage contract with VOOM HD, a now-defunct HD-only service that was once part of the AMC programming stable. (See VOOM Death to Cost Cablevision .)?New CableLabs President and CEO Phil McKinney tweeted last week about his general whereabouts, noting that he's spending the bulk of his time (80 percent to 90 percent) at the organization's HQ in Louisville, Colo., and the balance at its San Francisco office, which was put into place by his predecessor, Dr. Paul Liao. You can follow him @philmckinney. (See Ex-HP CTO Named CableLabs CEO and CableLabs Set to Open Bay Area Digs .)?A federal judge in Massachusetts has struck down Netflix's request to toss out a suit filed by the National Association for the Deaf, alleging that the streaming service discriminates against the deaf by not providing closed captioning for all its movies and TV shows. Netflix says captions or subtitles are offered on more than 80 percent of its most popular streaming titles.
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