Monday, July 2, 2007

The Femto Forum Sets Charter

A new Femto Forum has been launched with a mission to promote femtocell deployment worldwide through open standards, market education and ecosystem development. Founding members including Airvana, ip.access, NETGEAR, picoChip, RadioFrame, Tatara and Ubiquisys.

Initial working groups will concentrate on pre-competitive standards-focused issues including radio planning & control, device provisioning & management and device to network standardization. A marketing task force will help promote femto solutions across the industry and will articulate positive, compelling benefits to end users. These include the enhanced coverage, quality-of-service, attractive tariffs and enhanced services which only femtocells operating in licensed spectrum can deliver.

India's Bharti Airtel Awards US$900 Million Deal to Nokia Siemens Networks

India's Bharti Airtel Limited awarded a contract valued at approximately US$900 million to Nokia Siemens Networks for an expansion of its mobile, fixed and Intelligent Network platforms. Specifically, Nokia Siemens Networks will expand Airtel's GSM network in eight circles; its National Long Distance and International Long Distance network with 1.8 million Next Generation Network (NGN) ports -- the largest ever NGN contract in the country -- and its International Calling Card prepaid service capacity by 4.5 million news users. The GSM and NGN expansions are planned over two years and the International calling cards expansion over three years.

The two year GSM expansion will cover the eight existing circles of Mumbai, Maharashtra & Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh & Chattisgarh, Bihar & Jharkhand, Orissa, Kolkata and West Bengal, where Nokia Siemens Networks already provides equipment and Managed Services. Nokia Siemens Networks will deploy the latest state of art GSM equipment such as Flexi Edge and Ultrasite BTS, BSC3i, 3GPP-based mobile softswitching solution including 3G capable MSC Servers and Media Gateways, and transmission network including PDH & SDH.

For the two year Fixed Network expansion, Nokia Siemens Networks will deploy 1.8 million Next Generation Networks ports across Airtel's National Long Distance and International Long Distance. Nokia Siemens Networks will deploy its complete IP trunking solution with SURPASS hiE 9200 softswitches, SURPASS hiG 1200 media gateways and SURPASS hiR 200 media servers.

The three year International Calling Cards services expansion will see Airtel more than quadruple its capacity and adequately address its calling card business expansion to tap more international markets. The calling card prepaid service will be supported by Nokia Siemens Networks' flexible IN@vantage platform for intelligent services.

Nokia Siemens Networks Develops 3G Femto Home Access solution

Nokia Siemens Networks announced plans for a 3G Femto Home Access solution with open interfaces and a new network element, Femto Gateway. The new 3G Femto Home Access solution is a new way of enhancing WCDMA 3G coverage in homes, giving consumers a strong signal with any standard WCDMA terminal. The Femto CPE will use IP broadband backhaul. It will incorporate 3G Node B and RNC, with xDSL and Wi-Fi capabilities optionally available.

On the network side, the new Femto Gateway network element will not require changes in the operators' existing core network, as it will connect to the core network over a standard interface. Mounted in a standard telco rack, it serves as the grooming point for cellular traffic to multiple Femto CPE. The Femto Gateway will also connect via an open interface to Femto Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) in homes, allowing Femto customer equipment from multiple vendors to be connected to it. The Femto Gateway will support any Femto CPE certified by Nokia Siemens Networks to conform with the interface.

Nokia Siemens Networks said it will co-operate with Femto CPE vendors to ensure interoperability of their equipment to the Nokia Siemens Networks interface.

Trials of the 3G Femto Home Access solution will start at the beginning of 2008, and commercial deployments are planned for the third quarter of 2008.

China Mobile Yunnan Awards GSM Contract to Nokia Siemens Networks

China Mobile Group Yunnan awarded a contract valued at about EUR 70 million to Nokia Siemens Networks for expansion of its GSM network in 11 across Yunnan province. Under the contract, Nokia Siemens Networks will provide GSM coverage for the urban and rural areas of Yunnan province and upgrade the Chinese operator's network to support EDGE. Nokia Siemens Networks will supply radio networks including the UltraSite BTS Mini Outdoor and implementation services, its mobile soft switching solution including MSC (Mobile Switching Center) Servers, Media Gateways and HLR (Home Location Register). The contract also contains care and delivery services for the equipment. In addition Nokia Siemens Networks will supply an expansion of the NetAct network and service management system, and NetAct Traffica for real-time network traffic monitoring and analysis. The deliveries have already begun and the expansion will be operational in October this year.

Google Acquires GrandCentral for Advanced Calling Features

Google has acquired GrandCentral Communications, a start-up developing a service that integrates a user's multiple telephone numbers and multiple voicemail boxes into one account, and then adds advanced capabilities. GrandCentral's mission has been to offer "one number that you keep for life," tying together landline and mobile accounts delivered by other carriers. The service is currently in beta testing. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Capabilities of the GrandCentral service include:

  • Call Screening -- for incoming call, GrandCentral checks your address book to give you the name associated with the calling number. If it is a new phone, GrandCentral can ask the person for their name the first time they call.

  • "ListenIn" -- the ability to listen to a voicemail while it is being recorded.

  • Call Record -- Record calls on the fly and access recordings online/

  • Block Callers -- Stops unwanted callers.

  • Notifications -- Voicemail notifications via email or SMS.

  • Ring Different Phones -- one number that rings different phones based on who's calling.

  • Greetings -- Personalize your voicemail greetings by caller or group.

  • RingShare -- Choose ringback tones for specific callers.

  • WebCall Button -- Let people call you from a web page without showing your number

  • CallSwitch -- switch phones in the middle of a call

  • Click2Call -- call from your address book and save your typing

  • Mobile Access --Visual voicemail for your mobile phone.
  • GrandCentral was founded by Craig Walker (CEO) and Vincent Paquet (COO). In 2001, Craig Walker became the CEO of Dialpad Communications, where he led the company out of bankruptcy and eventually to its acquisition by Yahoo! in 2005. He then became Senior Director of VoIP with the Yahoo! Messenger group.

    Vincent Paquet previously was Director of Business Development at Yahoo! in the voice communications group. He too joined Yahoo! when it acquired Dialpad Communications. At Dialpad, he was VP of Business Development and Marketing.

  • The Google Talk VoIP service first launched in August 2005.

China Unicom Selects Alcatel-Lucent IP Service Routers for Nationwide Network

China Unicom has selected Alcatel-Lucent's IP Service routers as the foundation of a nationwide network transformation that will encompass 65 cities across 13 provinces in China and will be completed by the end of 2007. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Alcatel-Lucent IP solution, based on its 7750 Service Router, will enable China Unicom to better serve its customers, as it expands its service offerings towards 3G. Alcatel-Lucent's solution will also support China Unicom's rapid increase in CDMA subscribers and newly-launched data services on its GPRS network.

The project was secured through Alcatel Shanghai Bell.
  • In May 2007, Alcatel-Lucent announced that China Unicom had awarded it a contract valued at US$120 million for a range of network projects in 2007. The projects include a CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev. A high-speed data network upgrade to be implemented in China Unicom's network in Macau, as well as a further expansion in the CDMA core network, radio solutions, and applications that will support China Unicom's broader mobile network expansion. The agreement also provides for GSM/GPRS/EDGE core and radio network solutions and optical network components in support of China Unicom's GSM service offerings.

BT Selects Alcatel-Lucent to Help Migrate Customers to 21CN

BT has selected Alcatel-Lucent to support the automation of end-user customer migration from its legacy telephone network to the 21st Century Network (21CN). Specifically, Alcatel-Lucent will assist BT in ensuring that its 21CN Migration Control Centre (MCC), which oversees the upgrade of customers from the legacy network to the new IP network, is operational and ready to meet the challenges of migrating 20 million customers over to the new all-IP network.

Alcatel-Lucent will also develop a workflow tool that will provide the management tracking of deployment activities associated with the customer upgrade process, enabling BT to maintain its aggressive deployment schedule and manage the transition of over 5,500 telephone exchanges.

Alcatel-Lucent also serves as a strategic supplier for several 21CN projects.

ShoreTel Rises 28% in IPO -- Enterprise IP Telephony

ShoreTel, a provider of enterprise IP telephony solutions, completed the initial public offering of 7,900,000 shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $9.50 per share. In its first day of trading (July 3), the shares rose $2.65 to close at $12.15, up 28%.

ShoreTel's common stock is now traded on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker "SHOR".

Lehman Brothers Inc. and J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. acted as joint book-running managers for the offering, and Piper Jaffray & Co., JMP Securities LLC, and Wedbush Morgan Securities Inc. acted as co-managers. ShoreTel has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,185,000 shares of common stock.

http://www.shoretel.comShoreTel, which is based in Sunnyvale, California, was founded in 1996 and completed its first IP telephony installation in 1998. The company supplies both the enterprise IP telephony switches (PBXs) and business-class VoIP desksets.

Zarlink Expands its Voice Echo Canceller Line

Zarlink Semiconductor has expanded its VEC (voice echo canceller) product portfolio with a hardware and firmware platform aimed at helping network equipment manufacturers simplify design, speed time-to-market and lower bill-of-material and resource costs.

Zarlink's ZL38015 voice processing platform is built on a voice optimized 100 MHz (200 effective MIPS) DSP with an integrated 1024 tap filter co-processor, 16 KW instruction and 8 KB data memory, hardware accelerators, SPI (serial peripheral interface), UART (universal asynchronous receiver/transmitter) and TDM (time division multiplexing) interfaces, multiprotocol TDM ports, flexible clocking scheme support and 10 GPIOs (general purpose input/outputs).

The ZLS38233 is a four-channel VEC with echo tail programmable up to 64 ms per channel. Where competing solutions will often employ windowing algorithms in the DSP to locate and cancel peaks in echo profiles, the ZLS38233 VEC supports full band echo cancellation. Zarlink said windowing algorithms may not detect multiple echo paths in a signal, resulting in incomplete echo cancellation. In addition, echo tails outside the windowing algorithm may not be cancelled. In comparison, the ZLS38233 VEC eliminates echo from 0 ms to 64 ms without compromise.

The ZLS38233 firmware also integrates a flexible DTMF (dual-tone multi-frequency) transmit programmable tone generator that can generate dual DTMF or single tones, with burst mode support from zero to four seconds and programmable output gains from -18 db to 24 db in 6 db steps to allow for the generation of DTMF, CNG (comfort noise generator), central office and other telecom signaling functions.

EchoStar Sign a Multi-Year Hotel TV Deal with Guest-Tek

EchoStar Communications announced a multi-year deal to provide its DISH Network satellite TV service to Guest-Tek Interactive Entertainment Ltd., which provides networking services to major hotel brands. The agreement will provide a package of television programming services called Free-to-Guest (FTG), which includes a wide range of premium content and more HD channels than previously available.

Guest-Tek brings additional value to the hotelier through its ability to provide the FTG programming over a converged network along with its video-on-demand (VOD), high-definition video-on-demand (HD-VOD) and telephony services. Guest-Tek offers this converged 'triple-play' service set through multiple network platforms including coax, or local area network infrastructures.