Thursday, July 5, 2007

Video Interview: Towerstream's Jeff Thompson on the Developing WiMAX Market

Key Questions Covered:

Why is are WiMAX services hot?

Who is Towerstream? What markets does it serve?

The Towerstream network -- how is it built? What services does it support?

WiMAX line-of-sight. Do you need line-of-sight to deliver your fixed wireless services?

How good are Voice-over-WiMAX services?

Competition -- Who does Towerstream compete against?

Licensed versus Unlicensed spectrum. What is Towerstream's spectrum strategy?

WiMAX suppliers -- Who are Towerstream's strategic suppliers?

Thomson and Nokia Siemens Networks Partner on 3G Femto Home Access Box

Thomson and Nokia Siemens Networks announced a partnership to develop 3G femto cell home access solution. Specifically, Thomson's femto cell-enabled residential gateway will be coupled with the newly announced 3G Femto Home Access network solution from Nokia Siemens Networks.
The solution will allow operators to deliver 3G multimedia services such as music downloads and video available in the home on any WCDMA 3G handset.

Trials of the 3G Femto Home Access solution including Thomson's residential gateway will start at the beginning of 2008, and commercial deployments are planned for the third quarter of 2008.
  • Earlier this month, Nokia Siemens Networks announced plans for a new Femto Gateway network element that 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.

BT to Acquire Brightview, an ISP with 62,000 BB Users

BT agreed to acquire Brightview Group Limited, a consumer ISP serving about 62,000 subscribers, for approximately £15.8m in cash. Brightview operates the ISP brands Madasafish and Global Internet, as well as the Which?-award-winning Waitrose ISP. Brightview is also working with John Lewis Partnership to launch its new ISP and telephony service under the "GreenBee" brand.

Alcatel-Lucent Holds 26% Cumulative Share of IP DSLAM Market

Alcatel-Lucent continues to hold a 26% cumulative market share of the IP DSLAM market for the second consecutive quarter, according to the latest figures from Dell'Oro. For general DSL shipments, Alcatel-Lucent holds a cumulative market share of 41%, significantly more than double that of the second ranked competitor.

In the first quarter of 2007, Alcatel-Lucent had shipped over 7.3 million DSL lines, resulting in a total of more than 133 million DSL lines shipped.

Alcatel-Lucent noted that more than 150 customers are deploying its ISAM product portfolio, including 80% of the top 20 DSL operators in the world.

Alcatel-Lucent Demos Femto Base Station Router with Softbank

Alcatel-Lucent is collaborating with Softbank Mobile on a series of demonstrations of its 3G wireless in-building solutions in Japan. The technology demonstrations highlight Alcatel-Lucent's Femto Base Station Router (BSR), which combines W-CDMA/HSPA radio access and core network elements into one compact unit. The demos include the completion of circuit-switched voice calls and the delivery of high-speed data services using Softbank handsets, and High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) technology using laptops equipped with HSDPA PC cards.

Alcatel-Lucent's Femto BSR can be offered with integrated radio network controller (RNC) functionality, router functionality or both, depending on the needs of the operator and the network architecture they have in place.

Clearwire Secures New $1 Billion in Financing

Last week, Clearwire closed and funded its first tranche of a fully committed $1 billion senior secured term loan, the remainder of which will be funded on a delayed draw basis in approximately 45 days. The money will be used for the company's expansion and to refinance Clearwire's existing debt .

The transaction was led by Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan and Citigroup. By refinancing its existing debt, virtually all of Clearwire's debt is extended to a five year maturity.
  • Clearwire launched its first market in August 2004 and now offers service in 40 markets in more than 400 municipalities in 13 states across the U.S. Clearwire's international markets include Ireland and Belgium, and the company also offers wireless high-speed Internet services in Mexico and Denmark through its partners, MVS Net and Danske Telecom.

Silicon Valley Considers Ways to Improve its Broadband Connectivity Issues

Leading San Francisco Bay Area employers -- including Apple, AT&T, Cisco, Comcast, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Nortel, Oracle and Verizon Wireless -- plus the region's largest municipal governments, are slated to meet on Monday to discuss ways of improving the region's broadband situation.

These company and city leaders will discuss how to overcome current regional challenges to building a telecommunications system worthy of the region many consider the technology capital of the world. The meeting will be guided by a keynote presentation by Scott McNealy, Chairman and Co-Founder of Sun Microsystems, plus a report by the Bay Area Council, prepared by Bonocore Technology Partners, that reviews what other countries or regions have done to improve their infrastructure, and recommends Bay Area actions.

"The Bay Area's telecommunications infrastructure has not kept pace with that of other regions, such as Korea and Japan," said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council. "Many of the next-generation technology companies require graphically-intense applications, like video, remote health-care, multi-media or even videoconferencing, and need ubiquitous and much higher broadband speeds. If we can't build a better telecommunications backbone in the Bay Area, these new companies will start somewhere else. We also risk losing our current clusters of technology companies, plus financial services and others, who are increasingly locating their operations at superior worldwide telecommunications hubs."

Terabeam Sells Two Patents for $2.5 Million

Terabeam, which develops mesh, WiMAX, Wi-Fi and millimeter wave wireless products, has sold two of its patents for $2.5 million. As part of the sale, Terabeam and its subsidiaries received a license to continue to make and sell its products generally in the ordinary course of business, subject to certain limitations. The purchaser was not named.

Terabeam has two primary subsidiaries Proxim Wireless Corporation and Ricochet Networks. Proxim Wireless offers WiMAX, Wi-Fi, and other broadband wireless solutions. Ricochet Networks is a portable Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) with operational markets in Denver, Colorado and San Diego, California.

MSN Hosts 10 million Video Streams for Live Earth Concert

Microsoft's MSN served a total of more than 10 million video streams during the Live Earth concerts last weekend. MSN, which was the exclusive online media partner for Live Earth, allowed people to watch live online feeds or recorded footage from earlier performances at no charge from all eight concerts, each located in different cities around the world.

NextWave Wireless Acquires Switzerland's WiMAX Telecom AG

NextWave Wireless Inc. has acquired a 65% controlling interest in WiMAX Telecom AG, a Zurich-based operator that has obtained nationwide wireless broadband spectrum concessions in Austria and Slovakia, and a major spectrum concession in Croatia. The company currently operates WiMAX networks in Austria and Slovakia and provides wireless broadband service to 8,500 customers. The acquisition was completed through NextWave's majority-owned subsidiary, Inquam Broadband GmbH. Financial terms were not disclosed.

San Diego-based NextWave Wireless develops mobile WiMAX solutions and has acquired a nationwide spectrum footprint in the U.S. and Germany.
  • Earlier this month, Nextwave announced the launch of Latin American operations by opening offices in São Paulo, Brazil.

  • In April 2007, NextWave Wireless agreed to acquire IPWireless, the leading supplier of TD-CDMA network equipment and subscriber terminals, for approximately $100 million at closing, consisting of $25 million in cash and $75 million in NextWave common stock.

  • In February 2007, NextWave Wireless, which develops mobile WiMAX solutions and has acquired a nationwide spectrum footprint in the U.S. and Germany, completed its acquisition of GO Networks. The Mountain View, California-based start-up provides advanced Wi-Fi network systems to service providers looking to deploy campus and metropolitan Wi-Fi systems.