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Sequans launches Monarch SX SoC, race for LTE-M heats up

Sequans has launched the Monarch SX, a system-on-chip (SoC) aimed at customers looking for LTE Cat-M1 and NB-IoT connectivity. Integrating its Monarch platform with an ARM processor, the Sequans announcement comes after last week’s unveiling of a new NB-IoT chip from rival Altair – as the low-power cellular industry heats up ahead of MWC. The new SoC aims to streamline decisions for IoT developers that are looking for a cellular option, by providing an SoC that provides the processing power required to run applications, as well as the necessary cellular RF processing and sensor options. In a 90mm2 package, Sequans is pitching this at small IoT devices, with wearables, asset trackers, and sensor nodes identified as ideal candidates. Orion Labs…

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Apple picks Qi, forces equilibrium, by joining Wireless Power Consortium

So Apple has joined the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), which has sent the press into a rush of speculation concerning the next iPhone’s potential inclusion of the WPC’s Qi charging tech. It should be noted that it was heavily rumored that the iPhone 7 would include wireless charging tech, and that did not come to pass, but should Apple opt for Qi, it would likely continue its habit of setting de facto standards for smartphones and laptops. Whether you believe Apple has earned this reputation from its sage wisdom and always backing the right horse, or because its competitors are beholden to Apple’s marketing clout and ape it to retain consumer interest, this move looks like a win for Qi…

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Sonnen and Orison; differing approaches to battery storage

Over the course of the past few weeks, Riot has been particularly interested in the state of the emerging solar and storage markets, and their potential impact on utilities. Last week we spoke to the US branches of battery storage vendors Sonnen & Orison. What emerged from these two conversations were two very distinct narratives about the future of the battery storage sector. The key difference we observed in our conversations was in the future of manufacturing costs – with established German battery storage company Sonnen optimistic that scale would bring about savings, and startup Orison thinking that pricing is going to remain pretty static, regardless of scale. The other main difference we observed was in the business approaches of…

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Tesla highlights strong performance, bets everything on Model 3

Tesla’s year-end financial report and conference call made for interesting reading, as the company readies itself for a turbulent year – where it tries to turn the Model 3 dream into a reality, and hopefully some fat profits. There was little talk of the recent SolarCity acquisition, which has worried Wall Street analysts, and Tesla’s stock has fallen slightly since the announcement. Its execs appear confident in the IoT-leaning elements of their business, and are threatening to step on the toes of the insurance industry, promising that if insurers don’t reflect the company’s high autopilot safety in the price of their customer insurance contracts, the company would begin selling its own insurance products more widely. As for the results themselves,…

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Telefonica signs Sigfox to global IoT services deal

Telco-giant Telefonica has announced that it has signed a deal with Sigfox to integrate Sigfox’s LPWAN offerings into its global managed connectivity platform services. It looks like a big win for Sigfox, and an extension of its channel strategy, and comes as the company considers its plans for IPOs in the coming year. Thanks to the deal, Telefonica gets another tool in its belt, to use when targeting new IoT projects. However, the emerging LTE Cat-M1 and NB-IoT standards are potential rivals for Sigfox, in this cellular ecosystem, and it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Sigfox is perfectly happy acting as redundancy connectivity, but there is a chance that NB-IoT could poach that function over time.…

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Gearing up for MWC, Rohde & Schwarz launches auto security line

German electronics firm Rohde & Schwarz has announced a new set of cybersecurity offerings aimed at mobile network operators (MNOs) looking to tighten up their connected car offerings amid a period of deepening consumer concern in the industry – in what the firm is calling a second line of vehicle defense. Rohde & Schwarz, a company with some $2bn in annual revenues, has various automotive products in its portfolio, from testing systems to driver assistance radars, as well as a significant IT cybersecurity presence, but this week’s launch looks to be the first instance of combining these two business areas. This is a significant move in the IoT as it shows how major electronics firms are shifting from their core…

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IBM brings Watson to mainframes and hospitals, amid slew of AI news

We have been bombarded by announcements from IBM recently, in particular heralding the beginning of the Cognitive Era in healthcare. The goal here is pretty simple, but the rewards are rather lucrative, as IBM looks to provide AI-enabled efficiency savings to massive healthcare clients, as well as improve its Watson capabilities. A major piece of news for enterprise IT is that IBM is bringing its Watson AI platform to its z System Mainframes, effectively providing an on-premises version of its machine-learning platform. IBM has moved lighter versions of Watson to the network-edge, via a partnership with ADLink and PrismTech, but a mainframe version sounds like a much more powerful proposition. While mainframe announcements are perhaps not the most exciting piece…

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OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

Greek telco Wind Hellas has picked Belgian pay TV software vendor Zappware to support its new multiscreen TV services, set to roll out by the end of this year. It will use software from Zappware based on cloud technology, which Zappware says it is currently developing for deployment on smartphones, tablets, PCs and Android TV. Qualcomm Technologies has announced a Head Mounted Display (HMD) Accelerator Program to help OEMs build virtual reality hardware using its Snapdragon 835. It aims to cut engineering costs, and decrease time to market using Qualcomm reference designs. German media company Bubbles Media has launched an Indian entertainment package in Europe called bobbles.tv, delivered by satellite and OTT. The deployment was supported by MX1, the merged…

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Conax finally making noise in the US with eVue TV security win

The deal for Norwegian security specialist Conax to supply a multi-DRM system for Evolution Digital’s eVue-TV platform doesn’t jump out as a particularly major deployment to be shouting from the rooftops, but the budding Kudelski Group subsidiary is jostling for recognition in the US, and it is beginning to make itself heard. eVue-TV is an IP-delivered live and VoD service, aimed at Tier 2 and Tier 3 cable operators of which there are plenty in the US, and it is available on the National Cable Television Cooperative’s (NCTC) VU-IT platform. VU-IT is a system for back office integration and OTT apps, running a TiVo UI. It recently updated the capabilities of eVue-TV to include delivery of IP linear channels, plus…

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MatrixStream says it’s time OTT became network-agnostic

While video service providers new and old have embraced a multiscreen distribution to accommodate viewers’ preferences to stream video content to any and every device that has a screen, the OTT market still has one glaring blindspot: multi-network distribution. So says Aaron Keogh, VP of business development at MatrixStream. MatrixStream claims to offer end-to-end IPTV and OTT video solutions which are truly multiscreen, and network-agnostic. He said that MatrixStream’s streaming video solutions can deliver HD content at low bitrates over multiple forms of network, including wireline, wireless and mobile networks. “Your platform should work seamlessly, whether the customer is watching over the mobile phone, over the tablet, over the PC, over the set-top box, over the smart TV,” Keogh said.…

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Mobile Insiders give verdict on drivers of the video revolution

US based consulting firm Cartesian, the company that gobbled up Farncombe in the UK, has its own survey out this week on the drift towards the use of mobile devices to watch video. The survey took in industry leaders rather than consumers, some 370 of them around the world. We get a report like this every other week and some like the one from Ooyala repeat themselves every quarter, so it makes sense to take a peek at what someone else says for a change. Its first conclusion supports what we have been saying here at Faultline Online Reporter for a while now, which is that VR is substantially over-hyped and running out of steam. Cartesian said that 91% of…

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Qwilt opens cache cloud, Amazon poised for Streaming Alliance entry

Qwilt, often seen as the poster child for Open Cashing technology, says that Amazon is on the verge of joining the Streaming Video Alliance, perhaps showing that the technology is finally coming of age. OTT video driven growth in CDNs, and with VR, Augmented Reality and 4K around the corner even more dense CDNs seem to the needed going forwards.  But as companies transition to the cloud companies like Qwilt are picking up more and more business for tier 1 customers. Qwilt’s VP of Marketing Mark Fisher explained to Faultline Online Reporter this week that the efficient delivery of VR content requires less than 20 milliseconds of latency, ideally 10ms to be safe. Qwilt’s new Open Edge Cloud Platform provides…

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Dish job cuts offset 300k pay TV losses, to reap profit again

Dish Network’s major cutbacks saved it from ending the year on another loss-making note, with the US operator reporting profit of $343 million for the fourth quarter of 2016, despite a quarterly revenue drop of $22 million – marking a turnaround from the $125 million net loss a year earlier. Dish was up to its usual tricks of covering up its poor pay TV numbers behind the uptake of subscribers to its OTT streaming service Sling TV. It reported 694,000 new pay TV subscribers in Q4, a quarterly net gain of 28,000. However, as we are used to pointing out, the majority of these activations will be for the less profitable Sling TV, and the bulk of cancellations will be…

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Arris completes digestion of Pace meal, turns to Ruckus as dessert

When Arris made its bid for Pace, the two companies had combined revenues of $8 billion. We said at the time that it would be a case of 2 and 2 adding up to 3, and so it has transpired, with 2016 results bringing revenues of $6.83 billion. In effect Arris paid $2.1 billion to buy almost precisely the same amount of revenue – $2.1 billion. This has been at the expense of operating incomes halving for 2016, but they are on the mend, with Q4 up on Q4 2015, with this quarter’s $86 million net income being almost as much as the entire of 2015, which came in at $92 million. It is safe to say that the effort…

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SPI – a Polish baby-HBO – sets out to tackle the US, Latam markets

Polish premium TV channel specialist SPI, which owns movie channel Filmbox, has made a move to bring its portfolio of content to the US – securing satellite distribution channels with Eutelsat. From March 2017 SPI International will use two Eutelsat satellites 113 West A and 65 West A, to push these channels to pay TV operators in the US and Latin America in both English, and Spanish, with some Portuguese distribution for Brazil. In two weeks SPI is also planning a new distribution deal in Germany, with its first ever channels in German, through a deal with Tele Columbus, the third largest cable company in Germany. The company thinks of itself as the Polish equivalent of HBO, and eventually wants…

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Nationalist sentiment behind new Dutch protectionist merger laws

Legal publications have all reported this week that the Netherlands is hoping to enact a law which will prevent takeovers of essential services such as telecoms networks, by overseas parties under some conditions. It seems to us that this is a consumer driven backlash for the excesses of the European Commission, allowing deals in the Netherlands which should have been blocked to sustain competition. If the law goes ahead the Government could block mergers if the acquirer has any criminal convictions, but more importantly if the precise ownership is unclear or there are any issues around the transparency of its reporting. It’s tough to see how this law may be interpreted, in the case for instance of a company which…

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LTE-Broadcast – In search of successful pioneers to make it happen

LTE Broadcast divides people as much as new US president Donald Trump. You either love it or you have long since discarded it as a technology. Whenever you find someone who loves it, they are prepared to forgive an extraordinary amount in order to see it as the promised land. Talking this week to Claude Seyrat, CMO of French firm Expway, known for its sophisticated video software stack, we found some of that blind religious fervor that some companies reserve for their favorite technology, with Seyrat clearly showing a vested interest, and he says he has progress to announce at next week’s Mobile World Congress. We hope it’s a concrete deal for Expway’s sake. The only change in LTE-B status…

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YuppTV furthers US reach with ETV, Netflix fails to return fire in Asia

The ambitious South East Asian OTT service YuppTV has teamed up with Indian entertainment firm ETV to bring popular shows from its Telugu channel to subscribers in the US – targeting an estimated market of 250,000 speakers of the native Indian language Telugu in the US, primarily based in California. We have to praise the bold aspirations of YuppTV; a company which has emerged from the comfort of South East Asia where it has enjoyed widespread success, to expanding into Europe and the US and executing its business model effectively, where many others have failed. Netflix, meanwhile, has taken its business in the opposite direction, but has so far struggled to get a foothold in South East Asia, following its…

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Mobile video surge spurs growth of location-based mobile ad targeting

Mobile video is experiencing an explosion that just keeps on exploding, and that’s giving national marketers an opportunity to spend more on location-based advertising for reaching consumers in more contextually-relevant – and personal – ways. Smartphones now rival desktop in terms of video consumption, and will likely pass desktop in the coming years. According to data from AOL, 57% of consumers around the world now watch videos on smartphones every day; for desktop, the number is 58%. And while consumers are gradually becoming more comfortable with watching longer-format videos on smaller screens, short-form video is still a widely popular form of entertainment on smartphones. AOL estimates 42% of consumers globally view videos that are five minutes or less in length…

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MobiTV handed last chance funding to completely switch its technology

You may be excused for thinking that MobiTV is a company that had gone into profit many years ago, but although the company keeps trying and to some extent dominates mobile video in the US with deals at Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T, it has had to go for another round of funding. So far it has taken down $163.8 million of funding in around 8 rounds since 2001. The last was $16.5 million in 2013, involving one of this round’s investors Oak Investment Partners. Before that it had no money since 2008. This round is for $21 million and the cash came from Oak Investment Partners and Ally Corporate Finance and it is saying that funding is to accelerate…

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