Friday, June 22, 2007

Airspan Brings WiMAX Powered Fixed Communication Services to Vodafone Malta












BOCA RATON, FL -- 06/22/07 -- Airspan Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: AIRN), a leading worldwide provider of WiMAX and Wi-Fi based broadband wireless access networks, today announced that its HiperMAX base station and customer premise equipment (CPE) are being deployed by Vodafone to launch its first commercial WiMAX network in Malta. In line with its "Mobile Plus Strategy," this network is among Vodafone's first WiMAX deployments worldwide, bundling together its mobile and fixed offerings to provide broadband data and VoIP services to residential and business customers.

Airspan's flagship HiperMAX is a state of the art WiMAX base station designed for high-density deployment situations such as Vodafone's network in Malta. It is particularly well suited for this kind of deployment in dense metropolitan areas with its capabilities for software upgrades from fixed to mobile WiMAX.

Joseph Muscat, Chief Technical Officer of Vodafone Malta, commented: "We are pleased to announce the launch of our network in Malta, providing bundled Mobile, Fixed Voice, and Data services using Airspan's leading WiMAX products. Airspan has been very responsive to our needs and has provided excellent technical support as we have worked our way through this milestone deployment."

Eric Stonestrom, Airspan's president and chief executive officer, added: "As the market grows for reliable wireless services, WiMAX is quickly becoming a viable alternative to fixed 'last-mile' broadband access solutions. Vodafone's commercial launch of WiMAX validates the need for this technology and we are pleased to be a part of this important step with a leading carrier. We believe Vodafone's confidence in choosing Airspan as a partner validates our technology, product and service offering."

About Vodafone

Vodafone is the world's leading international mobile communications group with operations in 25 countries across five continents and over 200 million proportionate customers by the end of January 2007, as well as 38 partner networks. For further information, please visit

About Airspan Networks Inc.

Airspan Networks provides wireless voice and broadband data systems and solutions for the fixed and mobile WiMAX and Wi-Fi markets, including Voice Over IP (VoIP). Its wireless products serve operators around the world in both licensed and unlicensed frequency bands between 700 MHz and 6 GHz. Airspan has a strong wireless product roadmap that includes WiMAX Forum Certified equipment and products meeting 802.11 a/b/g Wi-Fi standards, Airspan's HiperMAX and MicroMAX base station products support portable and mobile 802.16e-2005 WiMAX alongside fixed and nomadic 802.16-2004 products. Airspan products also include "self install" and professionally installed customer premise equipment. Airspan is on the Board and is a founder member of the WiMAX Forum and a member of the Wi-Fi Alliance. The Company has deployments in more than 100 countries with more than 400 operators, 100 of which use Airspan's WiMAX Forum Certified and non-certified products. Airspan's wireless systems are based on radio technology that delivers excellent area coverage, high security and resistance to fading. These systems can be deployed rapidly and cost effectively, providing an attractive alternative to traditional wired communications networks. Airspan also offers radio planning, network installation, integration, training and support services to facilitate the deployment and operation of its systems. Airspan is an international telecommunications equipment provider headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida.



Wednesday, June 13, 2007

eBay’s new APIs: Harbingers of the Net’s commerce operating system to come?

eBay’s new APIs: Harbingers of the Net’s commerce operating system to come? by ZDNet's David Berlind -- Yesterday, as can be seen from the video, we captured a part of eBay’s senior director of Disruptive Innovation Max Mancini’s keynote address at eBay’s Developer Conference in Boston. eBay made a series of announcements regarding new APIs and developer tools. Among them, the release of two new APIs that developers can use as they [...]

However the question remain is it really OS or new type of platform. I think OS is one of the most overused term. Maybe the lure of becoming like Microsoft OS ( a great platform ) and also leveraging the "OS" term beyond its original meaning is allowing the stretching of definition.

"Good Platform" and API's that allow it's reuse and value-add by complimenters on top of them define the boundaries between a firm and complimenters leading to a great ecosystem that is win-win for all players. Isn't eBay just trying to define a new platform boundary?

Broadcom Buys-Out GlobalLocate For $226M

Broadcom Buys-Out GlobalLocate For $226M


GPS is really starting something. Today Broadcom (Nasdaq: BRCM) acquired San Jose-based Global Locate for as much as $226M, including a $146M up-front cash payment, and up to $80M in possible cash earn-outs.

Founded in 1999, Global Locate has focused on A-GPS (or assisted GPS), which sounds like a minor derivative but it is a big deal. GPS is slow and has a hard time penetrating buildings. A-GPS marries GPS with terrestrial cell-towers. Wireless operators are already selling GPS-enabled cell phones as life-savers so that when someone calls 911 and then passes out they can be located thanks to their GPS cell phone. That works great unless that person is in a building or subway.

GlobalLocate Chips Power TomTom One GPS devices. Last January Motorola invested in Global Locate and it has also taken funding from Siemens.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Awaiting Real Sales From Virtual Shoppers

Awaiting Real Sales From Virtual Shoppers

A Reebok store in the game Second Life, where avatars can design their shoes.


Published: June 11, 2007

THE seven million or so inhabitants of Second Life, the three-dimensional online world, have spent millions of dollars on digital makeovers, clothing and other goods and services for their avatars.

But will the game’s players buy anything for themselves?

Retailers and manufacturers like Reebok, Adidas, American Apparel and are setting up shop in Second Life, hoping that users will steer their avatars to these stores and buy goods to deliver to their real world addresses. So far, retailers say they have low expectations for their efforts, but some believe that the experiments could yield important lessons on how people might operate in the online realm.

“What we’re doing reminds me of the early days of the online world,” said Christopher G. McCann, president of “The first site we launched in 1995 was in 3-D, because I said people wouldn’t want just two-dimensional photos. Here we are, 12 years later, back into this virtual world.”

The company’s Second Life initiative, which rolled out last week, is in a brick greenhouse bearing the company logo. There, users may browse various plants and cut flowers, including a collection of “Happy Hour” bouquets arranged to resemble cocktails. Avatars may take a free floral arrangement, or users may also click from the game’s store to the company’s Web site to buy one directly.

Mr. McCann said that he expected to distribute more virtual bouquets than real ones. “This is more about relationship building for us right now, and exposing our brand,” he said.

The opening of virtual stores in Second Life raises interesting questions as virtual worlds mesh elements of both e-commerce and bricks-and-mortar retailing. How, for instance, does a company market itself?

As with many companies that opened stores in Second Life, contracted an outside vendor. That developer, This Second Marketing, which is based in San Francisco, created avatars wearing T-shirts. The team trolled popular areas of Second Life handing out virtual fliers about the greenhouse.

The team interacted with about 1,600 people in 60 hours, according to Joni West, president of This Second Marketing. In the first three days the greenhouse was open, it had more than 900 visitors, she said.

Joseph Laszlo an analyst with the online consulting firm Jupiter Research, said that building a store on Second Life will not come easily to many online merchants. “You actually have to think more like a bricks-and-mortar retailer than a virtual retailer,” he said.

Mr. Laszlo said retailers must still consider such things as store layout, shelf space and ways to help users find an item.

Location can also matter, but not as much as in the physical world. Rather than walk aimlessly through Second Life, people tend to navigate the realm by searching for specific services or landmarks in the search box and transporting themselves directly there.

One of the more successful commercial applications within Second Life has been Reebok’s virtual store, where users may create custom versions of Reebok shoes for their avatars, and for themselves.

According to Benjamin James, who leads the San Francisco office of Rivers Run Red, the agency that created Reebok’s Second Life store, the site distributed more than 27,000 pairs of digital shoes in its first 10 weeks.

Mr. James said he did not know how many of those people clicked through to Reebok’s Web site to buy physical reproductions of their avatars’ shoes, but he said the effort, which began in October, was indeed helping to sell the real items. “This allowed people to get comfortable with their product in the virtual world,” he said.

Other Second Life retailers said they had not seen results in their stores.

“I’m not really sold on it yet,” said Raz Schionning, who oversaw American Apparel’s entry into Second Life last year. Mr. Schionning said the store, allows people to buy digital versions of the company’s clothes, and also click over to to buy the real items.

Mr. Schionning said he could not comment on the level of sales that have come from the company’s Second Life store, but he indicated that the numbers were quite small.

“The user interface is not particularly intuitive,” he said. “It took me a while to figure out how to buy something.”

One problem with selling on Second Life, Mr. Schionning said, is that it is so new that retailers have not come to a consensus on how to do it. As a result, buyers are not sure how to approach a transaction. “We’ve all become accustomed to how an e-commerce site works,” he said, “but on Second Life, those conventions haven’t really been established.”

“It’s not unlike the way it was on the Web initially,” Mr. Schionning added. “So there might actually be an advantage to waiting and watching to see what happens.”

Either way, the sudden popularity of three-dimensional virtual spaces online suggests that consumers are ready for that sort of experience even if retailers are not. Mr. Schionning, for one, says they will have to be ready soon.

“There’s a gap between the current online shopping experience and the next generation,” he said. “A virtual world can at least bring you closer to the store experience without actually bringing you there. I’m not convinced Second Life is that answer, but it is a step along the path.”

In the meantime, Linden Lab, the privately held San Francisco developer of Second Life, is enjoying the increased attention from businesses.

The company does not earn a commission on sales made on the site, but it charges rent to developers who want to create customized spaces on the service. Companies can lease a 65,000-square-meter parcel for $200 a month. But to develop that land, businesses typically pay technology companies between $100,000 and $5 million, industry executives said.

According to Christopher Mahoney, Linden Lab’s business development manager, the company has in recent months experienced a spike in interest from software developers. Those developers, he predicted, will be able to deliver photo-realistic renderings of offline stores and merchandise in the next five years.

“Imagine taking an avatar and walking around a house, painting the walls dynamically and furnishing it with products from Pottery Barn or Ikea,” he said. “There’ll be a point when a 3-D Internet solves problems in your real world.”


Playboy island discovered in Second Life

Adult magazine unveils virtual rabbit head-shaped island populated with female avatars and merchandise.

June 12 2007: 1:07 PM EDT


NEW YORK ( -- Playboy Enterprises, Inc. slipped into the virtual world known as Second Life Tuesday with the launch of Playboy Island.

The adult entertainment company said it is offering Second Life residents a taste of the Playboy lifestyle on a rabbit head-shaped island, which houses a retail store and will feature events and social opportunities.


The virtual Playboy store includes merchandise from and, and is staffed by female avatar employees wearing Playboy-branded apparel or Playboy Bunny costumes. Playboy-branded apparel can be purchased in the virtual store for real-world wear or Second Life avatars.


"Just as Playboy is expanding its brand in the real world with the Playboy Club in Las Vegas and retail stores across the globe, entering Second Life is a great way for Playboy to leverage its brand in the virtual world in a fun and innovative setting, " Jeremy Westin, executive vice president at Playboy Media Group, said in a statement.


A Playboy Island launch party scheduled for June 12-13 will feature musical performances over the course of two days and is open to all Second Life residents.


Although the company has seen a slowdown in its print and TV business, it has seen healthy increases in sales from "new" media, such as mobile and online services. Last month, Playboy reported a better-than-expected first quarter profit, helped by strength in its licensing brand business.


Playboy is the first men's lifestyle brand to have a presence in Second Life, the company said.