Oclaro Lines Up Against Finisar, JDSU
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Oclaro Lines Up Against Finisar, JDSU
Oclaro isn't announcing such a product at the ECOC Exhibition in Amsterdam next week, but there's this: Alongside a couple of 100Gbit/s announcements Oclaro is making next Monday is the debut of an eight-port optical channel monitor, a device that's primed for integration into line cards.The eight-port device is notable for its density -- most optical channel monitors go up to four ports -- and Oclaro sees it being added into line cards for flexible-grid ROADMs, says Per Hansen, vice president of product marketing for Oclaro's optical networking division."As you have these more complex cards, you really want to be able to monitor your signals anyplace on your cards," Hansen says.Oclaro's recent acquisition of Opnext had integration as a major theme, as Opnext didn't have Oclaro's breadth of components. Oclaro can also take advantage of Opnext's development facilities in Japan, which count low-power design as a focus.Oclaro has also announced production shipments of its 100Gbit/s coherent module for line-side transport and a CFP2 client-side module. CFP2 is the smaller successor to the CFP module; each one fits one 100Gbit/s optical channel per port.Why this matters The component and subsystems vendors, JDSU in particular, are moving towards selling integrated line cards as products. It's the classic case of vendors migrating up towards higher-margin products.For a couple of years now, JDSU has offered ROADM line cards with amplifiers integrated. Finisar can start going down that route with the recent acquisition of amplifier company Red-C. It makes sense that Oclaro -- now arguably No. 2 among optical components vendors, on par with JDSU and behind Finisar -- would want to step up its game in this area.
5 iPhone 5 Features Carriers Should Care About
The teardown specialists at Light Reading sister company UBM TechInsights have a good track record of predicting what will be inside mobile devices. Their expertise, coupled with a steady stream of rumors, reports and "sources familiar with the matter" give us a good idea of what to expect from the event. (See iPad Mini: Wi-Fi Only & Camera-Free?)Here's a few of the features we anticipate will be in the iPhone 5 and, more importantly, why the U.S. wireless operators should be prepared for them.1) LTE support Many were disappointed when the iPhone 4S lacked 4G network connectivity last year, but the next iPhone is unlikely to fail on this front. For the wireless operators, the inclusion of 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) is table stakes. To date, they have had a hard time convincing consumers they need the faster network connectivity, especially when the previous iPhone didn't support it. The iPhone 5 could be the best publicity for their new networks yet. (See Here Comes the 4G iPhone .)This will be especially important for AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S), which trail significantly behind Verizon Wireless in both coverage and handset line-up. (See 4G: Marketing the iPhone & Other Matters.)
TechInsights Technical Research Manager and teardown specialist Allan Yogasingam believes the iPhone 5 will include an LTE chip, as well as support for all the major 3G bands in the U.S. He predicts Apple will launch an iPhone for all four wireless operators in the U.S., including T-Mobile USA , which has so far been left out of the iPhone game and which won't have an LTE network to speak of until 2013. (See Verizon CFO Is a Tease on iPhone Timing, Sprint, the LTE iPhone & 4G Plans and Qualcomm Not Holding Up LTE iPhone.)"It will be a multi-carrier cell phone to maximize the profit," Yogasingam says. "I would be shocked if [Apple doesn't support] all four."Don't expect that to mean the iPhone will hop between the different providers' networks, however. Local roaming is a business issue, not a technology one, so even if the phone supports it, the wireless operators here likely won't. Global roaming, on the other hand, will most likely be enabled, as it was on the iPhone 4S. (See Will the iPhone 5 Be a North American Roamer? and Qualcomm: Multi-Band Chips Will Take LTE Global .)2) NFC A lot of vendors are starting to bake Near-Field Communications (NFC) into their handsets, and Apple will most likely be another one. The contactless technology hasn't yet caught on in the U.S., but having more handsets equipped with NFC will help accelerate the market for it. (See Apple Could Make Mobile Payments AuthenTec.)Should Apple include NFC capability in its iPhone 5, this would likely raise awareness of mobile payments and of NFC in general, but the wireless operators may not look favorably upon it. That's because, with the exception of Sprint, the Tier 1 providers are pushing their own Isis initiative. It's been slow getting started, but the group is planning a debut this month. (See Mobile Money: What's the End Game? , Mobile Commerce Sidesteps the Carriers and Isis Signs Up 50+ Merchants.)
The U.K.'s largest mobile operator Everything Everywhere Ltd. (EE) today unveiled plans to launch the country's first major 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) service within weeks and roll out extensive 4G and new fiber broadband access services across the country by the end of this year.And, to the relief of most, the company -- a joint venture between Orange UK and T-Mobile (UK) with about 27 million subscribers -- also unveiled a new brand to replace the preposterous Everything Everywhere moniker. From now on, the carrier will be known simply as EE. [Ed note: How much better is that, exactly?]But the Orange and T-Mobile brands aren't going away just yet, as they will co-exist with the new EE brand. Orange and T-Mobile retail shops will be made over as EE stores but they will serve customers of all three brands.Where's the 4G, EE?EE said today that it has switched on LTE networks for testing in London, Bristol, Cardiff and Birmingham and that the 4G services will be launched commercially in those cities for consumers and businesses "in the coming weeks."By the end of this year, the operator said it aims to launch 4G services in another 12 cities, covering about 33 percent of the British population, which is about 20 million people. Those cities are Belfast, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Newcastle, Sheffield and Southampton.For its long-term 4G rollout plans, EE said it aims to have 70 percent of the population covered in 2013 and 98 percent of the population covered by 2014.What about 4G devices?The 4G service will launch with at least seven devices. The first five confirmed smartphones are Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC)'s Galaxy SIII LTE, Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s Lumia 820 and 920 (which have attracted a lot of attention during the past week), High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498)'s One XL and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. 's Ascend P1 LTE. (See Euronews: Nokia Fakes Lumia 920 Ad, Analyst Labels Latest Lumia Launch as 'Tepid' and Nokia Lights Up Windows Phone 8 Devices.)EE also has two dongles from Huawei in its 4G gadget starting line-up: the E589 Mobile Wi-Fi device and the E392 Mobile Broadband Stick.EE adds fiber to its broadband diet To go with its shiny new mobile broadband network, EE has also souped up its fixed broadband offering with a new fiber access service, which will launch at the same time as EE's 4G service. EE said the fiber broadband service will be available to 11 million households and businesses by the end of the year and will cover about 66 percent of households and businesses in the country by the end of 2014.Why this matters This will be the first major LTE launch in the U.K., so it's a big deal. But the development is steeped in controversy. EE has been allowed a head start on its LTE service rivals thanks to a decision by U.K. regulator Ofcom last month that allowed EE to use its existing 1800MHz spectrum for 4G. (See Euronews: Orange/T-Mob JV Given 4G Head Start and Ofcom Allows EE to Go Early on 4G.)Other U.K. operators won't be able to launch LTE services until at least September 2013 (in the case of 3 ) or late 2013 (in the case of Telefónica UK Ltd. O2 or Vodafone UK ), as new spectrum has still to be auctioned, cleared and allocated.EE rivals O2 and Vodafone vehemently opposed Ofcom's decision, sparking speculation that they could hold up EE's 4G service launch by suing the regulator. But such a move, in turn, could result in another delay of the upcoming 4G auction in the country.According to Matthew Howett, telecom analyst at Ovum Ltd. , there is always going to be a risk that the other operators will launch a legal challenge, but "the incentive to challenge has changed slightly." A lawsuit could damage operators' reputations and could be perceived as stalling, he explained.So while EE has laid out its plans today for 4G services and network coverage, as well as its new corporate identity, uncertainty still hovers over the launch of the new mobile broadband services ahead of the U.K.'s 4G auction.The main missing piece of information about EE's 4G service is the price. The operator did not reveal how much the new services will cost.
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