Thursday, November 9, 2006

Germany Orders 16% Cut in Mobile Termination Rates

Germany's Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) approved a 16% decrease in the rates for call termination in mobile networks. The cut, which will occur in three steps, addresses a conflict between fixed-line and mobile providers.

The regulator said the three rate approvals are addressed to T-Mobile Deutschland, E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH & Co KG and O2 (Germany) GmbH & Co OHG.

"With our decision we are correcting a competitive distortion between mobile communications and the fixed-line network and have established planning and legal security for all players. At the same time, we have aligned ourselves with comparable and efficient European mobile operators. In particular, this detailed benchmark ensures that German fixed-line customers do not need to pay more than in cheaper EU countries. On the other hand, the gratifying competition among mobile operators is being retained and the requisite adaptation process structured in such a way to correspond to comparable cost-based trends in Europe," said Matthias Kurth, president of the Federal Network Agency.

The actual rates amount to cent 8.78 for T-Mobile and cent 9.94 for both E-Plus and O2 (Germany). A decision on the termination rates of Vodafone D2 GmbH will be taken at a later date due to legally prescribed time schedules. For this reason the lower rates will not come into effect until 23 November 2006. Until then, the previous rates of cent 11 and cent 12.4 will remain unchanged. For the whole approval period lasting from 30 August 2006 to 30 November 2007, this results in an average rate level of cent 9.22 for T-Mobile and cent 10.43 for E-Plus and O2, corresponding to a decrease of roughly 16 per cent compared with the previous rates.

Touré of Mali Elected as Secretary-General of ITU

Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré of Mali was elected as Secretary-General of ITU for a four-year term.

Mr Touré won the position with 95 votes with 155 countries present and voting, and thus the required majority for election was 78 votes. The majority emerged in the third round of voting, with Mr Mathias Kurth of Germany receiving 60 votes.

Touré takes over from outgoing Secretary-General Yoshio Utsumi of Japan.

Dr Hamadoun Touré has served as Director of the Telecommunications Development Bureau (BDT) of the ITU since 1998. He holds a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from the Technical Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications of Leningrad (LEIS, USSR) and Doctor of Philosophy Degree (PhD) from the University of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics of Moscow (MTUCI, Russia).

Houlin Zhao of China was elected Deputy Secretary-General in the first round with 93 votes. Mr. Zhao has served as Director of the ITU's Telecommunication Standardization Bureau since 1998. He holds a degree from Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications and a Master degree of Science in telematics, University of Essex (UK).

Vodafone UK Offers 8 Mbps DSL + Calling for £25 per month

Vodafone UK introduced a premium broadband service that offers an up-to 8 Mbps DSL account with unlimited downloading and VoIP calling to any UK landline number for GBP 25 per month, including line rental.

Vodafone At Home will be available to 97% of UK households from launch by utilising BT Wholesale's broadband network as announced in September 2006.

The price of GBP 25 is available only to Vodafone consumer contract customers. If a customer cancels their mobile contract Vodafone At Home will be charged at GBP 35 per month.

NTT Adds 647,000 Optical Lines in Q3, ADSL Declines

NTT added approximately 647,000 of its B-FLETs optical access lines in Q3 2006, bringing its installed based of optical access customers to approximately 4,723,000 as of 30-September-2006. The overall number of installed ADSL lines declined by about 87,000 during the quarter, leaving an installed base of 5,586,000 ADSL users across NTT West and NTT East.

NTT's full quarterly financial report is now posted online.

Australian Government Offers More Shares in Telstra

The Australian government, which owns more than half of Telstra, is hoping to raise more than A$8 billion through its third major public share offering in the company. The "T3 Offer" is the third tranche of shares offered in the company and follows other offers in 1999 and 1997. Shares are expected to begin trading later this monthhttp://www.telstra.com

Telstra Launches ADSL2+, Offers Business-Only Broadband

Telsta has now begun offering BigPond High Speed Broadband service at network speeds of either up to 8 Mbps or up to 20Mbps from exchanges offering ADSL2+ services. Because of regulatory constraints, the up to 20Mbps service would be limited to exchanges where competitors are also offering those higher speeds.

"This is the biggest news in Australian fixed-line broadband in years and complements the launch of the Telstra's Next GTM network, Australia's fastest and largest mobile wireless broadband network one month ago, said BigPond's Group Managing Director, Mr Justin Milne.

For customers with a Telstra full service phone, pricing for the new ADSL high-speed services starts at $59.95 (Australian) with a 600MB download limit, a 12GB shaped plan for $89.95 and 25GB and 60GB plans for heavy users priced at $119.95 and $149.95 respectively.

Entry level 256kbps plan prices remain unchanged, starting at $29.95 per month.

Telstra also marked the 10th anniversary of the launch of its fixed-line ADSL "Big Pond" service.

Telstra has begun offering its small business customers a High Speed Broadband service delivered over a dedicated "business only" network.

Business Broadband provides a choice of packages, including Business Broadband Starter for small business, Business Broadband Advantage for growing businesses and Business Broadband BDSL for larger established businesses.

"Smaller businesses have traditionally either had to settle for consumer broadband offerings or been saddled with higher cost solutions designed for large corporates," said Group Managing Director of Telstra Business, Ms Deena Shiff.

Motorola Selects Conexant for Next-Gen Set-Top

Motorola has chosen Conexant's advanced multimedia processor and network processor for use in one of its next-generation set-top platforms. The forthcoming set-top is intended to offer consumers a more flexible and compelling entertainment experience. Financial terms were not discosed.

"Converging networking and media processing technologies are driving the demand for innovative new solutions that allow consumers to manage and control many different devices in their digital home network," said Lewis Brewster, Conexant chief operating officer, and executive vice president and general manager of the company's Broadband Media Processing business.

Motorola to Acquire Good Technology

Motorola will acquire Good Technology, a supplier of enterprise mobile computing software and service, for an undisclosed sum. Good's mobile messaging client is supported on the new Motoroal Q handheld, among other devices. Motorola said the acquisition will extend its mobile computing capabilities and increase its enterprise client base.

Good Technology's software and service offerings, which are used by more than 12,000 enterprises globally, enable wireless messaging, data access and handheld security. Good Mobile Messaging and Good Mobile Intranet solutions extend enterprise applications - including Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Domino, intranets and certain web-enabled corporate applications - to mobile employees by using end-to-end AES encrypted, FIPS 140-2 certified security, and cradle-free, real-time two-way wireless synchronization.

Motorola hopes to build upon Good Technology's customer and carrier relationships by maintaining its multi-device strategy.

"This is an exciting milestone for our company, and we look forward to scaling our growth as part of Motorola," said Danny Shader, chief executive officer and president of Good Technology. "Motorola's global reach, scale, widely recognized brand and worldwide carrier and customer relationships make it the ideal partner for Good Technology. "http://www.motorola.com