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Waltham’s Red Bend Software acquires Santa Clara’s VirtualLogix, for undisclosed terms October 4, 2010

Posted by HubTechInsider in Acquisitions, Startups.
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Waltham’s Red Bend Software, a provider of mobile software management tools, acquires Santa Clara’s VirtualLogix, a provider of real-time virtualization technology for mobile handsets, for undisclosed terms.

Boxborough’s Lightower Fiber Networks acquires Westford’s Veroxity Technology Partners, for undisclosed terms October 4, 2010

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Boxborough’s Lightower Fiber Networks, a provider of fiber network and broadband services, acquires Westford, Massachusetts -based Veroxity Technology Partners, a provider of fiber based data and internet connectivity solutions, for undisclosed terms.

Boxborough’s Lightower Fiber Networks, a fiber network provider, acquires NYC’s Lexent Metro Connect October 3, 2010

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Boxborough’s Lightower Fiber Networks, a fiber network provider, acquires NYC’s Lexent Metro Connect, a provider of dark fiber networks, for undisclosed terms. Lightower Fiber Networks is headquartered in the same old former DEC building that houses eSpendwise, the employer of the Hub Tech Insider.

Get ready for high definition cellular and landline telephone calls November 3, 2009

Posted by HubTechInsider in Fiber Optics, Telecommunications, VUI Voice User Interface.
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For over forty years, the quality of telephone calls has changed very little. The shift in the 1990’s from analog to digital cellular technology promised crisper quality, but the results never panned out. Struggling with 30% annual increases in cellular traffic, cellular telephone companies used the improved technology to add capacity, not improved quality.

Today the demand for cellular minutes is nearing its zenith, with mature growth levels of only 3% in the past year. Now the relentless advance of digital technology advances in cellular communications can be used for purposes other than simply packing more telephone calls into the cellular airwaves.

To this point in time, the big U.S. carriers plan to use their growing capability to provide all sorts of data services, but eventually, the cost of better sounding voice calls will be too cheap to ignore. Today’s carriers convert telephone calls into 6,000 digital bits per second, a tight squeeze and the major reason telephone calls sound so poor today. In the tiny European country of Moldova, French wireless carrier Orange has now deployed the world’s first high definition cellular telephone network, which uses double the number of bits per second. The highs and lows of the human voice are not so badly mangled using the high definition cellular telephone system.

In the U.S., chipmaker Broadcom is working on new equipment that will allow even better-sounding telephone calls. 32,000 digital bits per second will produce voice quality that is virtually indistinguishable from face-to-face conversation. The technology portends a clear audible improvement over not just ordinary cellular telephones but also landline telephones, which chop off high frequencies, especially above 3 kHz, the frequency range in which much human speech falls into.

Another big problem with cellular telephone calls is the annoying apparent lag that occurs between the moment when one caller speaks and the time his voice reaches the other person’s ear. Many people assume that’s an inherent drawback of cellular telephones, but it is not. Wireless digital cellular signals fly through the air at the speed of light just as they do in optical fiber – the delays come from slow software and circuitous routing. The new Long Term Evolution (LTE) gear set for deployment next year should cut that lag by at least 75%, so much that most human ears won’t notice it anymore.

Landline telephones stand to gain from the same quality advances as well. Orange has already installed 500,000 high definition landline telephones in Europe that use voice over internet technology (VOIP). When this style of telephone connection first hit the scene, it was roundly criticized for its poor sound quality relative to traditional landline telephones, but Orange and other carriers, some of whom are in the U.S. like Vonage, have shown that better technology can close that quality gap and then some. Both cellular telephone and Internet landline telephone calls may soon sound terrific as a result.

What is the Mu-Law PCM voice coding standard used in North American T-Carrier telecommunications transmission systems? June 8, 2009

Posted by HubTechInsider in Definitions, Telecommunications, VUI Voice User Interface.
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Mu-Law encoding is the PCM voice coding standard used in Japan and North America. It is a companding standard, both compressing the input and expanding the data upon opening after transmission. Mu Law is a PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) encoding algorithm where the analog voice signal is sampled eight thousand times per second, with each sample being represented by eight bits, thus yielding a raw transmission rate of 64 Kps. Each sample consists of a sign bit, a three bit segment which specifies a logarithmic rqange, and a four bit step offset into the range. The bits of the sample are inverted before transmission. A Law encoding is the voice coding standard which is used in Europe.

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About the author.

I’m Paul Seibert, Editor of Boston’s Hub Tech Insider, a Boston focused technology blog. You can connect with me on LinkedIn, follow me on Twitter, even friend me on Facebook if you’re cool. I own and am trying to sell a dual-zoned, residential & commercial Office Building in Natick, MA. I have a background in entrepreneurship, ecommerce, telecommunications and software development, I’m the Senior Technical Project Manager at eSpendWise, I’m a serial entrepreneur and the co-founder of Tshirtnow.net.

What is a LATA, in the telecom sense? May 4, 2009

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lataIn 1984, in conjunction with Divestiture, the Justice Department created local access and transport areas (LATAs). LATAs define the contiguous geographic areas in which local Bell telephone companies were allowed to sell local and long distance services. Interexchange carriers and competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) carried calls between the 197 LATAs. States with small populations, such as Maine, Alaska, and Wyoming, are made up of one LATA. Thus, Qwest (formerly US West), the Bell company serving Wyoming, are made up of one LATA. Thus, Qwest (formerly US West), the Bell company serving Wyoming, was allowed to provide long distance to all sites within Wyoming. California has eleven LATAs, and New York State has eight. Calls between LATAs in California were handed off to interexchange carriers, as were those between LATAs in New York State.
Now that RBOCs have Federal Communications Commission (FCC) permission to sell inter-LATA long distance, much of the concept of LATAs has lost significance except for billing. Telephone companies often rate their intrastate intra-LATA and intrastate inter-LATA calls differently.lata

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