Fast Breaks Newsfront: August 27, 2001

The Federal Communications Commission has agreed to take comment on a plan that New ICO said could save the mobile satellite sector by allowing operators to build land-based systems that would extend their signals throughout cities and into buildings

Air Battle

The Federal Communications Commission has agreed to take comment on a plan that New ICO said could save the mobile satellite sector by allowing operators to build land-based systems that would extend their signals throughout cities and into buildings. But mobile wireless operators promise a fierce battle for the spectrum needed.

Profits in View

Lucent Technologies says its restructured bank debt and a new business plan that focuses on 30 major customers worldwide should return the embattled company to profitability next year. Executives told analysts last week that by March, Lucent will have reduced its headcount by half — to 57,000 to 62,000 — in part by selling manufacturing plants in Oklahoma, Ohio and Georgia.

Speedy Storage

Expect a blizzard of news from San Jose this week as dozens of companies at the Intel Developer Forum expound on their latest InfiniBand breakthroughs. Companies including Banderacom, Lane15 Software and Mellanox Technologies — and, of course, Intel — are developing hardware and software for InfiniBand, the new switched fabric architecture for storage that promises faster transfer rates.

Mixed Signals

Bankrupt Metricom auctioned the assets of its mobile wireless data service Aug. 17, but still was negotiating with the winning bidders late last week. Participants could bid on the licenses, the company or both. Verizon Wireless lost in the bidding.

Test of Wills

A two-month proxy battle by dissidents seeking to remove part of the board and the founder of Computer Associates International will end after a shareholder meeting Aug. 29. Shareholders will vote on a proposal by Texas investor Sam Wyly and his Ranger Governance to depose Chairman Charles Wang and replace members of the board.