Displaying items by tag: US
US computer chip giant Intel announced on March 13 its plans to purchase Israeli technology firm Mobileye for over $15 billion. The deal is the largest ever cross-border acquisition for an Israeli technology firm, according to Israeli media. The two firms have already collaborated with German automaker BMW to develop autonomous vehicles.
"The combination is expected to accelerate innovation for the automotive industry and position Intel as a leading technology provider in the fast-growing market for highly and fully autonomous vehicles," said a statement by the two companies which added that the deal was worth approximately $15.3 billion.
"Intel estimates the vehicle systems, data and services market opportunity to be up to $70 billion by 2030," the statement added.
BMW announced last year its plans to join with Mobileye and Intel on an autonomous vehicle project for "highly and fully automated driving" planning to go commercial by 2021. BMW said in January that it would deploy 40 self-driving cars for tests in the US and Europe.
In August, Mobileye and UK-based auto-equipment maker Delphi said they were teaming up to develop an autonomous driving system which would be ready for vehicle-makers in 2019. Mobileye, which also develops systems for accident avoidance, has concluded an agreement with Volkswagen on road data technology as well.
Wholesaler Angola Cables has selected Ciena's GeoMesh and Blue Planet solutions to support its new service launch on the MONET subsea cable. This 10,556 km route will provide more than 25 Tb/s of traffic on Angola Cables' network between the U.S. and Latin America's major business hub of São Paulo, Brazil.
Angola Cables' wholesale customers can utilize this additional connectivity to support surging bandwidth demands driven by on-demand applications such as over-the-top (OTT) video and cloud computing.
As a major investor in the West Africa Cable System (WACS) consortium, Angola Cables is one of the leading capacity providers for the African West Coast and plays a fundamental role in supporting the African continent's ever-growing needs for network connectivity.
Angola Cables is also an operator of the MONET subsea cable, an open system, where each consortium member can select the submarine line terminals for its cable fiber pairs, providing customers with greater flexibility and choice of technology. The system is expected to be in service in the second half of 2017.
According to Frost and Sullivan, Brazil's cloud computing market revenue is expected to reach USD $1.1 billion this year. To handle these and other network demands between the U.S. and Latin America, Ciena's 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, equipped with the WaveLogic Ai coherent optical chipset, will provide wavelengths at capacities greater than 200G between Angola Cables' point-of-presences and without the need for regeneration.
Additionally, Ciena's GeoMesh spectrum sharing capability provides cost-effective connectivity while enabling wholesale customers to manage network traffic without potential disruption from other users on the open cable system.
"Hosting major sporting events like the Olympics and World Cup helped reinforced Brazil as a global network connectivity hub that plays a key role in bridging the gap between nations," said Ian Clarke, Vice President, Global Submarine Systems, Ciena. "The arrival of new submarine cables like MONET is an important next step, and helps position the country to support the ongoing transition to an on-demand society."
With Ciena's Blue Planet Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) software and cloud-based SLA Portal, Angola Cables can better manage and maintain bandwidth and provide customers a real-time view of network behaviors that impact service level agreements. Angola Cables will also utilize Ciena Specialist Services for training and NOC supervision.
German telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom, which has a stake in Britain's BT, saw its profits fall for 2016, because of BT's loss in value after the Brexit vote. Deutsche Telekom's profits were down 18 percent to 2.67 billion euros ($2.8 billion), according to the company's results. This pales in comparison to analyst predictions of 4.54 billion euros.
Deutsche Telekom's 12 percent stake in BT was the main reason behind the company's 2.2 billion euro loss which was a "result of declines in the BT share price and in the pound sterling following the Brexit referendum," said Deutsche Telekom. Britain's June vote to leave the European Union affected the global markets sparking uncertainty.
Deutsche Telekom has insisted that the fall in profits won't affect its payout of shareholder dividends, which it plans to increase by 5 euro cents to 0.60 euros per share. Operating, or underlying profit at the group slightly outpaced its own forecasts, adding almost 8.0 percent to reach 21.4 billion euros.
Thanks to its American unit T-Mobile USA, Deutsche Telekom saw its revenues increase 5.6 percent in 2016 to over 73 billion euros - more than analysts predicted. The unit alone added 8.2 million customers last year in the teeth of a highly competitive and saturated US mobile phone market. T-Mobile USA's revenues grew 16 percent to $37.3 billion, while profits doubled to $1.5 billion.
However, in Europe, the company's revenues in Germany and the rest of the region fell as its fixed-line phone business continues to decline. Looking ahead to 2017, Deutsche Telekom aims to increase revenues to achieve an operating profit of around 22.2 billion euros -- 4.0 percent higher than 2016's figure.
ZTE has suffered fresh woe just hours after it disclosed details of its settlement with the US government in which it was found guilty of breaching US export control rules in North Korea and Iran from 2010 - 2016. The Chinese vendor released its forecasted loss for 2016 - and it makes grim reading for stakeholders - ZTE have forecast a loss of $343m for 2016.
The latest financial announcement comes hot on the heels of US Justice, Commerce and Treasury department imposing a whopping fine of $892m on ZTE - with a further $300m suspended for seven years. That projected loss reflects the financial provision the company made against the $892m penalty payable as part of the settlement of the US case. It has since emerged that without that financial provision, the Chinese telecommunications colossus would have reported a net profit of CNY3.83 billion in 2016 - which would have represented a 19% increase from results in 2015.
ZTE had issued a warning almost a month ago in relation to the outcome of the US trade sanctions and what impact they would have on its financial results - and they indicated that a settlement would subsequently result in a heavy fine.
For the first quarter of 2017, ZTE expects its net profit to be between CNY1.15 billion and CNY1.25 billion, an increase of between 21 per cent and 31.7 per cent from a year earlier. Revenue is forecast to increase between 10 per cent and 20 per cent from a year earlier, driven by higher revenue in its carrier networks and consumer businesses, the company said in a statement.
CEO Zhao Xianming said that coupled with recent efforts to streamline operations and its leadership around 5G, "ZTE will be well-positioned for positive overall performance. The company anticipates continued growth and business expansion over the next several years as we continue to work with our partners around the world."
Chinese telecom giants ZTE have received the largest criminal penalty in US history in relation to an export control case - following its admission that it violated the terms and conditions of US export controls in selling goods to both Iran and North Korea. ZTE pleaded guilty to the charges and the organization will immediately pay $892m - while another $300m in penalties will be suspended for a period of seven years. Some of the charges against ZTE included obstructing justice for hiding information from government investigators. The settlement reached between ZTE and US authorities is subject to court approval.
It emerged at the court case that from January 2010 to March 2016, ZTE shipped $32m in US cellular network equipment to Iran - and in addition to this made 283 shipments of cell phones to North Korea, with the full knowledge of the highest levels of company management. It was also disclosed that the company 'conspired to evade the long-standing and widely known US embargo against Iran' and conducted business with entities affiliated with Tehran to supply, build, operate and implement large scale telecommunications networks in the country whilst using US equipment and software.
The conclusion represents the end of a lengthy 5-year investigation by the US government into ZTE's activity and actions. The investigation was conducted under Barack Obama's presidency - but the outcome presents an opportunity for Donald Trump to flex his aggressive rhetoric on trade policy which was a consistent theme he used under the category of 'national security' on his campaign trail.
US commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, said any countries that breach their export control laws will suffer the consequences and will not go unpunished. He said: "We are putting the world on notice: the games are over. Those who flout our economic sanctions and export control laws will not go unpunished -they will suffer the harshest of consequences. Under President Trump's leadership, we will be aggressively enforcing strong trade policies with the dual purpose of protecting American national security and protecting American workers."
ZTE issued a statement in relation to the settlement and acknowledged that it had made mistakes and was fully willing to take responsibility for their actions. Chairman and CEO of ZTE,
Dr. Zhao Xianming said: "ZTE acknowledges the mistakes it made, accepts responsibility for them, and remains committed to positive change in the company." He added that ZTE had made alterations to its personnel in order to eradicate the wrongdoings of a previous regime.
ZTE's CEO added: "Instituting new compliance focused features and making significant personnel changes has been a top priority for the company. We have learned many lessons from this experience and will continue on our path of becoming a model for export compliance and management excellence. We are committed to a new ZTE, compliant, healthy and trustworthy."
He concluded the statement by thanking customers, employees, stakeholders and partners for standing by them during this hugely difficult time for the organization. He said: "The agreements we reached will enable us to move forward in a stronger position than ever before. We are grateful to all our customers, partners, employees and stakeholders who have stood by us throughout this difficult time. With this agreement now behind us - we can confidently grow our business with suppliers, continue to provide innovate technology solutions to our partners, and execute our growth strategies as a new ZTE."
A US telecommunications colossus has made an exciting announcement in relation to a major pilot program it is set to embark on later this year. Verizon is set to offer fixed wireless ‘5G’ services in 11 markets by the end of June. The pilot program is aimed at defining the parameters for 5G specifications in advance of future standards and will be based on Verizon’s 5G Technology Forum (5GTF) which includes heavyweights such as Qualcomm, Cisco, Ericsson, Samsung and Intel.
Verizon didn’t disclose who exactly would be able to access the network, but did note that ‘select customers’ would be the beneficiaries of the innovative program. The US mobile operator has boldly claimed that the pilot will be ‘the largest proving ground in the world’ for 5G, encompassing several hundred cell sites which will cover several thousand customer locations.
The eleven cities selected by Verizon for the trial are Ann Arbor, Atlanta, Bernardsville (NJ), Brockton (MA), Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami, Sacramento, Seattle and Washington, D.C. VP of Samsung’s Next Generation Business Team, Kim Woojune, said the 5G systems deployed will provide wireless broadband services to homes. He said, “The 5G systems we are deploying will soon provide wireless broadband service to homes, enabling customers to experience cost-competitive, gigabit speeds that were previously only deliverable via fiber.”
In a separate statement issued by Samsung the South Korean conglomerate added that it will collaborate with Verizon in five cities such as New Jersey, Massachusetts, Texas, Washington and unnamed fifth location in April. Verizon is committed to leading the way to global deployment of 5G – but it will face strong competition from Japanese and Korean carriers to become the world’s first 5G operator – however, it looks increasingly likely to be the first to launch in the US. It was the first operator to launch 4G in 2010.
In a statement issued by Verizon the organization said the 5GTF delivered an open specification for 5G fixed wireless that is immediately implementable. Analysts have suggested the statement has been circulated in an effort to allay fears its equipment will not align with the 3GPP’s initial standards for 5G wireless services.
Rivals AT&T announced earlier that 5G trials are taking place in Austin, Texas and Indianapolis, Indiana. It also recently announced it has completed fixed wireless ‘5G’ tests with Nokia that saw it stream its DIRECTV NOW services at the AT&T labs facility in New Jersey.
Google has announced its plans to launch voice-activated shopping from its artificial intelligence-powered home speaker, which analysts have suggested represents a direct response to the success of Amazon’s Alexa.
The new feature can enable users to tell the speaker to order them items and get delivery from dozens of retailers who are participating in the collaboration with the US tech giants. Google Assistant product manager David Wang said it’s just the start of what’s possible with the Google Assistant and declared that they would continue to add new features in the forthcoming months.
"If picking up paper towels or stocking up on coffee is on your list, consider it done. To help you keep up with your busy schedule and shop for the things you need, we're introducing shopping with your Google Assistant on Google Home." The service marries in with Google’s delivery arm ‘Google Express’ whose US retailers include Costco, Whole Foods Market, Walgreens, PetSmart, Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Consumers can add payment information to their accounts to enable voice-activated shopping, which is a feature on Amazon's devices powered by the digital assistant called Alexa. Wang added: "Today is just the beginning of what's possible for shopping with the Google Assistant. Over the coming months, we'll continue to add new features and enable purchases for other apps and service."
Accenture have disclosed its plans to create an additional 15,000 jobs over the next three years in the US. The technology consulting and services company announced that it will increase its American workforce by 30%. In a statement issued by Accenture they outlined plans to create 15,000 ‘highly skilled new jobs’ which would subsequently increase its overall workforce in the US to more than 65,000 by the end of 2020.
Accenture further disclosed its plans to create 10 new ‘innovation hubs’ and confirmed it will invest $1.4 billion in training employees in order to have ‘leading-edge capabilities’ for doing their jobs. Accenture chief executive, Julie Sweet said the announcement represented a key moment for the company. She said: “Today marks a key moment for Accenture to help our clients play an even bigger part in the nation's growth and innovation agenda.”
Accenture has been a leader in the outsourcing business, and the Accenture boss says the new innovation hubs will be designed to help create the next wave of competitiveness. Sweet added: “That will involve helping companies figure out how to use new technologies in a process of “continuous innovation.” That kind of work "requires proximity to clients,” which is why Accenture is creating the regional centers.
Accenture are the latest in a series of major companies to announce investments or job creation in the United States. It is a trend that has followed the election of US president Donald Trump whose presidential campaign was centered on the theme of job creation. Trump vowed to bring back domestic manufacturing and jobs if he was elected president.
US regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have pledged that they will not ‘deny Americans free data’ following the conclusion of an investigation into zero-rated data programs which have been offered by the country’s leading operators.
The commission concluded their investigation into the data programs and decided not to take any action – citing that the ‘free-data’ plans offered by telecom operators such as AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile US have enhanced competition in the country’s mobile market and have proved extremely popular amongst consumers.
In a statement issued by the new chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, he said: “Going forward, the Federal Communications Commission will not focus on denying Americans free data.”
That stance is the latest indicator that the new FCC chairman is set to remove the country’s net neutrality rules which were imposed by the previous administration. In the aftermath of President Trump’s election in November, he declared that the regulation’s days were numbered.
Last year, the FCC commissioner Tom Wheeler launched an investigation into zero-rated services which enabled US consumers to stream video content from applications without it counting against data caps. Net neutrality laws prohibit providers from offering a better quality of service to certain online content at the expense of other services, and due to this the FCC decided to embark upon an investigation in which looked at zero-rated offerings on a case-by-case basis.
One of Wheeler’s final acts as commissioner of the FCC was to issue letters to AT&T and Verizon in which he warned operators that their zero-rated offers violated net neutrality rules and harmed competition.
It was disclosed further what the contents of the letter contained – it said that AT&T, through its ‘Sponsored Data’ program had offered third party providers less favorable terms and conditions than those it offers its affiliate DirecTV.
It echoed similar concerns of Verizon’s FreeBee Data 360, which offers mobile video through its Go90 video platform. However, with Pai’s latest move both companies are free to continue offering their respective services.
AT&T issued a statement following the close of the investigation by the FCC and declared the decision a ‘win for millions of customers’.
A number of leading US technology companies are to send a letter to US President Donald Trump in which they will urge his administration to follow through on proposed changes to an executive order in relation to a travel ban on seven predominantly Muslim countries.
The technology companies expected to sign the letter include firms such as Apple, Facebook, Alphabet, Google, Twitter, Microsoft and Yahoo. The tech firms are keen to establish clarity on the issue as the travel ban would significantly impacts its workforces.
President Trump signed an executive order on January 27th which imposed a 90-day ban directly affecting citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – and the order also included a 120-day bar on all refugees. It sparked worldwide protests - and resulted in chaos at airports with some passengers trapped at airports - while others were left stranded overseas.
However, a federal judge put a temporary nationwide block on the executive order, which angered the Republican US president – who proceeded to blast the judge and the court system – and vowed to execute the order.
A draft of the letter from US firms has been leaked, and in it the tech giants have requested that their employees can travel with predictability and without undue delay.
"We welcome the changes your administration has made in recent days in how the Department of Homeland Security will implement the Executive Order. We stand ready to help your administration identify other opportunities to ensure that our employees can travel with predictability and without undue delay. We are concerned that your recent Executive Order will affect many visa holders who work hard here in the United States and contribute to our country's success our ability to grow our companies and create jobs depends on the contributions of immigrants from all backgrounds."
It has been reported that the US tech firms are set to post the letter to President Trump today.