Thursday, August 21, 2008

Telstra's BigPond Revamps Wireless Broadband Plans

Telstra introduced new BigPond Wireless Broadband service plans, while removing the separate pricing plans for mobile cards and modem customers. The additional usage charge has been simplified to $0.25 per MB across all plans. The new plans are available from Sunday, 24 August.

BigPond has a choice of wireless broadband devices which include either a 7.2Mbps express card or USB mobile card or the new BigPond 7.2 Home Network Gateway modem with built-in WiFi.

Prices in AUD.

Inmarsat Selects ILS Proton to Launch S-Band Satellite for Europe

Inmarsat has selected International Launch Services (ILS) for the launch of an S-band satellite to provide mobile broadcast and two-way telecommunications services throughout Europe. The contract follows the recent successful launch of the Inmarsat-4 F3 satellite on an ILS Proton Breeze M vehicle.

Inmarsat is a London-based provider of global mobile broadband services. ILS holds the exclusive worldwide rights to market and sell commercial launch services on the Proton launch vehicle. The Proton booster and Breeze M are both manufactured by Khrunichev Space Center, the majority owner of ILS and one of the cornerstones of the Russian space industry.

Thales Alenia Space of France is developing Inmarsat's S-band satellite, known as EuropaSat, using its Spacebus 4000C3 platform. The spacecraft will provide mobile broadcast and two-way telecommunications services throughout Europe.http://www.inmarsat.com

Integra Telecom Taps Tollgrade's DigiTest ICE Test

Integra Telecom, a facilities-based, integrated communications carrier for business, has selected Tollgrade Communications' broadband service assurance probe -- DigiTest ICE -- for deployment in a system wide test initiative to further improve performance delivery for Integra's services. A first release of DigiTest ICE became generally available in the U.S. market earlier this summer.

DigiTest ICE is Tollgrade's latest generation broadband service assurance test probe, which is designed for installation at the remote FTTN site -- inside the cabinet -- placing it closer to the customer where it is able to segment faults between the access network and customer and visibility of the customer experience. The compact ICE test probe is managed by Tollgrade's LoopCare Test OSS, a key software component of this deployment. It is designed to support a full suite of physical layer measurements and prequalification tests for ADSL and ADSL2+ service delivery.

Virgin Mobile USA Closes Acquisition of Helio

Virgin Mobile USA completed its acquisition of Helio, a joint venture between SK Telecom and EarthLink. The deal involved the exchange of approximately 13 million shares of Virgin Mobile USA Class A common stock, with a value of $38 million based on the average closing price of Virgin Mobile USA's Class A shares, as of two trading days before and two trading days after the date of announcement. In addition, SK Telecom and Virgin Group will each invest $25 million in Virgin Mobile USA for preferred shares.

The deal will give Virgin approximately 170,000 Helio customers with approximately $80 ARPU. Virgin Mobile USA will also gain an established and highly advanced postpaid billing and customer care platform, marking its entrance into this segment of the market. Virgin also noted that the Helio also gives it a set of unique and differentiated data applications, greatly enhancing its offer across its customer base.http://virginmobileusa.mediaroom.com

Motorola Releases Next Gen Push-To-Talk on CDMA 1x EVDO Rev A

Motorola released its next generation Push-To- Talk over Cellular (PoC) solution, optimized for CDMA 1x networks equipped with EVDO Rev A data capability.

Motorola's end-to-end Push-To-Talk over Cellular solution provides walkie- talkie like capability to mobile devices equipped with special PoC client software. With the push of a button on their PoC-enabled handsets, both enterprise and personal users can connect directly with individuals or groups and quickly share information.

The new release leverages the improved performance capabilities provided by the CDMA 1x EVDO Rev A standard including higher speed data rates, low call set-up time latency and QoS. Motorola said its next generation PoC solution provides competitive call set-up time performance with other PoC and proprietary solutions, "buddy list" availability, an open ecosystem to support a wide variety of mobile devices from multiple manufacturers equipped with the PoC client and access to the Internet to enable "push-to-X" features and services to complement basic PoC.

Motorola also believes this next generation Push-To-Talk system paves the way for new enterprise applications such as Push-To-Productivity and encrypted, PC-based dispatching, which will enable companies to enhance communication among employees, customers and suppliers.

PCCW'S Installed Base of IPTV Subscribers Reaches 927,000

PCCW, the incumbent operator in Hong Kong, reported that the installed subscriber base for its now TV service climbed to 927,000 at the end of June 2008, an increase of 13% from a year earlier. The paying base also recorded an increase of 19% to 668,000. As the largest pay-TV service provider in Hong Kong, now TV has further boosted its content line-up to more than 160 local and international channels at the end of June 2008, including over 85 exclusive world-class movies, sports, news and general entertainment channels.

now TV's ARPU in June 2008 grew by 28% from a year ago to HK$213. The UEFA EURO 2008 had attracted new customer subscriptions to the Mega Sports Pack. The higher ARPU was also attributed to the growing demand for high value packs and HD premium channels. The introduction of the All-In-One Set-top-box with HD and digital terrestrial television reception capability also helped develop new incremental revenue streams.

Some additional highlights:

  • Telecommunications Services (TSS) - TSS revenue achieved an 11% growth to HK$8,551 million, marked by significant growth in International Telecommunications Services and Other Telecommunications Services.

  • Total local fixed lines in service at the end of June 2008 maintained at approximately 2,593,000, with firm ARPU recorded.

  • Local data services revenue grew 9% year-on-year to HK$2,415 million.

  • Strong growth in broadband network revenue was fuelled by another double-digit rise in consumer and business broadband service revenues.

  • Total broadband access lines in service reached 1,275,000 at the end of June 2008, up by 8% from a year ago.

  • Revenue from International Telecommunications Services also increased, mainly due to the growth in the wholesale market of traditional and IP-based international connectivity and voice services.

  • MOOV, PCCW's digital music brand with a library of over 130,000 songs and video titles from more than 90 local and international partners/labels, continued to help drive up the subscribers and ARPU of, PCCW's popular broadband portal.

  • Mobile revenue was up 28% year-on-year to HK$857 million. After achieving EBITDA breakeven in 2007, PCCW mobile generated a positive EBITDA of HK$108 million for the six months ended June 30, 2008.

  • PCCW mobile's 3G subscriber base grew impressively by 142% year-on-year to 288,000, while the total 2G subscriber base increased by 6% to 888,000. ARPU of 3G service increased by 3% from December 2007 to HK$222 in June 2008, and the blended 2G and 3G post-paid ARPU increased by 2% to HK$156 during the same period.

  • PCCW Solutions - Revenue increased by 9% to HK$900 million. This was driven by the continued growing demand for IT solution services from both the public and private sectors in Hong Kong and mainland China, and the success in securing contracts from new clients and expanding relationships with existing ones.

NTT Offers MVNO Service for Japan's eAccess

OCN, the Internet service provider operated by NTT Communications (NTT Com), inaugurated a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service for high-speed mobile internet in Japan with eAccess Ltd., a broadband IP communication service company.

The service, named OCN High-speed Mobile EM, is based on High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) protocol which allows subscribers to obtain broadband-quality internet access anywhere with maximum downlink speed of 7.2 Mbps and maximum uplink speed of 384 kbps.

OCN High-speed Mobile EM is offered at a flat-rate connection fee, allowing users to enjoy music and videos, check e-mails or write blogs on a mobile Internet connection without worrying about connection times and fees.

NTT Com confirmed that it is providing an end-to-end service - from registration and billing to customer support - for OCN High-speed Mobile EM. It will also rent data cards, which allow subscribers to save on installation costs.

See also