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News Briefs (February 01, 2001)

PANASONIC TO OPEN $13 MILLION WIRELESS DESIGN CENTREPanasonic Wireless - Matsushita Mobile Communications Development (MMCD) has announced plans for Panasonic's first Wireless Design Centre in Canada....


February 1, 2001  


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PANASONIC TO OPEN $13 MILLION WIRELESS DESIGN CENTRE

Panasonic Wireless – Matsushita Mobile Communications Development (MMCD) has announced plans for Panasonic’s first Wireless Design Centre in Canada.

Slated to open its doors mid-year, the new $13 million digs will occupy 56,000 square feet of a newly built 76,000 square-foot building in Calgary, Alberta.

The new facility, along with the company’s Suwanee, Georgia Design Centre, will work to co-develop air interface protocol software for Panasonic’s next generation of wireless handset products.

CISCO ANNOUNCES INTERNET MOBILE OFFICE

Designed for business professionals “on the move”, the new Internet Mobile Office from Cisco Systems provides mobile users with secure, high-speed network access from public facilities such as hotels or airports.

The new system features both wired and wireless products and technologies from Cisco, including an end-to-end security solution based on the company’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) technology, which supports secure remote-access computing.

In addition, Cisco has aligned with a number of other technology and solution providers to offer a comprehensive system that will deliver seamless connectivity between mobile professionals and their enterprise networks. There are over 300 “hot spot” public-access locations where business professionals will be able access their networks through secure broadband Internet access while travelling.

RHYTHMS CANADA OFFERS VIRTUAL REACH

Rhythms Canada Inc., the Toronto-based Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) alternative service provider, has announced the launch of Virtual Reach, a service that allows its Internet Service Provider (ISP) customers to extend into new markets.

Through Virtual Reach, ISPs can provide service in new local markets without setting up a physical presence or building an infrastructure. The service will also allow ISPs intending to establish POPs in new markets to piggyback on Rhythms’ infrastructure until their own local Internet interconnection is established.

Service is currently available in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, and will soon be available in Quebec City, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Hamilton.

NORTEL, SIERRA AND XIRCOM WORK ON WIRELESS MODEMS

Brampton, Ontario-based Nortel Networks has signed up to assist both Sierra Wireless, Inc. of Richmond, BC and Xircom, Inc. of Thousand Oaks, CA to develop what they call the industry’s first third generation (3G) wireless modems based on the UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) standard.

The companies aim to accelerate the availability of these modems to enable “anytime, anywhere” access to Internet content through a variety of digital devices.

Sierra Wireless and Xircom both plan to develop their own multi-mode UMTS/GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) wireless modems in form factors including PC cards, Compact Flash cards and embedded modules. Nortel Networks will help fund these development efforts, and provide technical and joint marketing support. Plans call for market trials and general availability in the first half of 2002.

ANIXTER’S LEVELS LAB TESTS FIBER OPTICS

During its recent first test of fiber optics, the Anixter Levels Lab has found that enhanced 50 and 62.5/125-micron multimode fiber can support Gigabit Ethernet signals without error for distances of roughly 150 to 200 per cent of the expectations.

The Anixter Levels Lab devised a live data testing procedure using difficult waveforms in a real-world environment to find and compare the transmission limits of 62.5-micron fiber and 50-micron fiber.

“With 12 MTRJ connector pairs, 62.5-micron multimode fiber could, ostensibly, provide the background riser in a building taller than the Petronas Towers in Malaysia, the world’s tallest,” states Pete Lockhart, VP of Technology at Anixter, Skokie, IL. Lockhart says the fiber cabling and components testing program will help assure that cabling systems meet quality requirements and the growing demand for increased performance and bandwidth.

A white paper on this initial study, The Origins of the Anixter Fiber Testing Program, can be found on the company’s web site at www.anixter.com.

FIBER OPTIC RESOURCE NOW AVAILABLE

A new report, entitled 2000 Fiber Optic Applications and Developments in the Utility and Gas Pipeline Industries, is now available from the United Telecom Council (UTC) of Washington, DC.

Among other sections, the report contains a management summary and breakout tables that indicate such demographics as geographic location, type of company ownership, total core business customers served, and age of existing fiber optic systems.

The report is available to members for a fee of US$595 and non-members for a fee of US$1,995. For more information, please contact UTC Member Services manager Adriana Bandy at (202) 872-0030 ext. 224 or via e-mail at abandy@utc.org.


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