Alphabet’s Project to Restore Wireless Service in Puerto Rico With Balloons Gets FCC Approval

Project Loon has already proven its real-world usefulness once this year.

The FCC has approved an experimental license for Alphabet, Inc’s Project Loon to attempt to restore wireless service to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico using its high-altitude balloons, according to FCC Chief of Staff Matthew Berry.

Though the Loon technology is not entirely proven, it could help speed the restoration of vital communications as the U.S. territory works to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

It could also help prove the business case for Loon, one of the experimental “moonshots” debuted as part of Google, and now housed under Alphabet subsidiary X.

More than 80% of Puerto Rico’s cellular towers are still out of service more than two weeks after the arrival there of Hurricane Maria, and nearly one-third of the island’s counties have no service, according to the FCC. Rebuilding conventional cell towers will be “a long road,” T-Mobile told CNN, thanks to challenges including not just the cost of construction, but, according to some wireless companies, theft and crime against their operations.

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Loon balloons, which carry communications equipment as high as 20 kilometers into the atmosphere, would circumvent those earthbound hurdles — at least temporarily. Loon recently rolled out internet and LTE service in Peru after flooding there, reportedly providing coverage for an area roughly the size of Switzerland. The balloons that were deployed in Peru, in fact, were launched from Puerto Rico.

However, restoring communications to Puerto Rico may be more challenging. Loon requires local partners to work, and in the case of the Peru project, relationships with wireless providers and other players were already in place. But in earlier statements to Mashable, a Loon spokesman said the Puerto Rico effort would be “a little more complicated because we’re starting from scratch.”

Contracting with governments for deployment in disaster zones could eventually become a revenue stream for Loon, which debuted in 2013. Alphabet has begun ramping up pressure for moonshots to generate revenue, partly in hopes of diversifying beyond the search-driven advertising business that still makes up the overwhelming majority of its profits.

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In Broadband Service, ‘Discounts for Data’ Are Pro-Consumer, ITIF…

Broadband Internet service plans that offer discounts to customers in exchange for permission to use their data are decidedly pro-consumer, according to an analysis by the Information Technology and…

(PRWeb August 15, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/08/prweb13615766.htm


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Vodafone readies pan-European virtual private cloud service for SMEs

Small businesses with global ambitions will soon have a new cloud partner — at least wherever Vodafone has data centers.

Vodafone Total Cloud Flex is a virtual private cloud service that can be managed via a self-service portal, and directly integrated with on-premises infrastructure via VPN or MPLS.

Telecommunications operator Vodafone unveiled the service in Hanover, Germany, on Sunday, on the eve of the Cebit trade show.

The service is scheduled to go live by the end of June in Germany, Italy, the U.K. and Ireland. Other countries will follow, half a dozen of them in the third quarter, including the U.S. and either Hong Kong or Singapore, said Nadja Risse, Vodafone’s head of sales for cloud and hosting in central and southern Europe.

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Former Vodafone boss backs India’s music-streaming service Saavn as it hits 18M users

Saavn-Logo

Mumbai-based music-streaming service Saavn announced Thursday that former Vodafone chief executive Arun Sarin has joined as an investor and strategic advisor.

The news comes less than three months after the company announced $ 100 million in fresh funding. At the time, it said it was adding one million new users per month, with 14 million in total.

As of today, that number has grown to 18 million monthly active users, which it says represents a tenfold increase in daily active users in India since last year.

Beyond that, it’s claiming more than 20 million songs (over 250 million streams per month) and a global team of 145 people across five offices.

“Music streaming is a core app on today’s smartphones, and Saavn is superbly positioned to grow rapidly in the fast expanding smartphone market in India,” Sarin said in a statement.

“As an innovative and nimble music-streaming company, at the heart of one of the world’s most valuable markets, Saavn hits all the right notes,” he added.

Meanwhile, the company’s cofounder and chief executive, Rishi Malhotra, said that over 90 percent of the service’s usage is driven by smartphones, and that it plans to “work more deeply with carriers in India and additional territories” in the coming months.

Sarin’s investment amount was not disclosed.

The company’s most recent series C round in July was led by New York-based hedge fund Tiger Global Management, and at the time it said that it expects to hit 20 million users by the end of the year.

But while the service may be the market leader on its home turf in India, it certainly has its work cut out if it hopes to expand globally — an area in which Sarin’s expertise will no doubt help. That said, the company did not make any mention of expansion plans today.

In general, the music-streaming space has been busy.

Earlier this week, we reported that Deezer is planning an IPO later this year as the battle with rivals Spotify and Apple Music heats up. And Google Play Music continues to expand with its official entry into Japan a few weeks ago.

Microsoft’s Groove Music just announced support on Sonos speakers, and Spotify hasn’t managed to keep out of headlines either: On Wednesday it launched its new “Mix Mates” playlist generator to help friends find music they share in common. (We also heard rumors that Spotify will be supported on Google’s upcoming second-generation Chromecast.)

The announcements from Saavn today are encouraging, but it’s only just the beginning of the global music-streaming wars — and versus many of the other big players, its user numbers are still relatively low.

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Amazon Pop-Up Loft Programme to Give Start Ups Free Web Service Training

amazon awsThe Amazon Web Services (AWS) Pop-up Loft programme has extended to London, with the opening of dedicated office space where start ups can get free support from cloud computing experts.

The Fore Street offices, close to the city of London, will be open until the end of October with the intention of bringing together developers, engineers, entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts. AWS is offering personal help and guidance from a range of experts from both AWS and its partners, with the intention of encouraging entrepreneurs to build new systems on AWS or create their own startups. Once registered, visitors can participate in training courses, boot camps, self-paced labs, seminars or networking events.

The programme will feature a number of educational strands for would-be developers. Under the Ask an Architect initiative, AWS users can book appointment for a one to one meeting with an AWS systems expert to discuss technical questions about their AWS architecture, AWS features and cost optimization. The AWS Technical Bootcamps will be free one day training sessions run by experienced AWS instructors and systems designers, with the aim of giving delegates hands-on experience using a live environment with the AWS Management Console.

The free technical sessions are designed to cover development areas in which experienced instructors are rare in the cloud industry, such as mobile and gaming, databases, big data, compute and networking, architecture, operations, and security. AWS customers, partners and industrialists will also host evening sessions to share their experiences.

Startups will also get the chance to hear from customers, venture capitalists and incubators. Experts in venture capital, from Seedcamp and Techstars, will be on had to offer funding and business development guidance.

Intel, a supporter of the programme, will host talks and demonstrate new advances in Xeon processors and the Internet of Things. IT automation company Chef will advise on development operations.

Pop-up Loft London is the third initiative in the programme after previous events in San Francisco and New York as AWS aims to help local startups to grow their businesses using its cloud services.  Two thirds of the UK’s startups with valuations of over a billion dollars, including Skyscanner, JustEat, Powa, Fanduel and Shazam, now use AWS to run their services, Amazon claims.

“We’re bringing some of the brightest and most creative minds in the industry to help startups across the UK,” said Amazon CTO Werner Vogels.

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Connecting to the Future: Wireless Infrastructure Service Company…

RCR Wireless News release a new report that takes an inside look at the wireless infrastructure industry and how it plays an increasingly important role in the U.S. economy.

(PRWeb August 20, 2015)

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Private, Public and Hybrid Clouds Will All Need an IT Service Culture

Private, Public and Hybrid Clouds Will All Need an IT Service Culture
Whether IT focuses on a public, private or hybrid cloud computing strategy, it's going to be measured on service like never before. As a result, more and more IT executives are focusing on service culture development. Servicing the systems and the …
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Mobility, Cloud, Virtualization Gain Traction Among Small Businesses: Symantec
Small businesses are turning to mobile devices and technologies, virtualization and cloud computing to improve disaster preparedness. Cloud computing, virtualization and mobile technology are increasingly prevalent among small and midsize businesses, …
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IDA urges S'pore businesses to take up cloud computing
SINGAPORE: The government is taking the lead when it comes to the adoption of cloud computing. The Infocomm Development Authority Singapore (IDA) said it has awarded a key tender to allow Singapore's first private computing cloud infrastructure for all …
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Microsoft adds more features to its cloud-hosted Team Foundation Service

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Microsoft adds more features to its cloud-hosted Team Foundation Service
Microsoft first previewed plans for a cloud-based version of its Team Foundation Server — its source-control and software-development-project-tracking tool — a year ago. The company made available a technical preview of Team Foundation Service at the …
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It's nice to imagine the cloud as an idyllic server room—with faux grass, no less!—but there's actually far more going on than you'd think. Photo: Tom Raftery/Flickr By Matthew Braga Maybe you're a Dropbox devotee. Or perhaps you really like …
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Jelastic – Cutting Edge Cloud Platform for hosted service providers

Jelastic - Cutting Edge Cloud Platform for hosted service providers

Jelastic packages the memory and processing power of your servers and dynamically packaging them into the environments your customers need. Developers get happy with the platform which automatically scales and takes minutes to get started, and flock to your datacenter. Unlike other cloud platforms, Jelastic has been specifically designed for hosted service providers. For example, it automatically allocates the physical resources each application needs and can automatically migrate applications between the host servers for optimal load. To achieve even higher density, Jelastic can automatically hibernate unused environments so the resources can be effectively by active applications. When previously hibernated apps get requests again, Jelastic automatically restores them.
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