Tuesday, September 23, 2008

One Minute Video: Telco 2.0 -- Evolving Business Models

One Minute Video presented by Andrew Coward, Juniper Networks --Telco 2.0 -- Business Model Evolution

EU Calls for Central Telecom Regulatory Body

The European Parliament adopted measures calling for the creation of a new Body of European Regulators in Telecommunications (BERT), whose mission would be to ensure fair competition and high-quality telecom services across the EU by requiring national regulators to implement common policies for common market conditions. The original proposal from the Commission had been to set up a European Electronic Communications Market Authority (EECMA) to achieve these goals. BERT will be a leaner structure, based on the existing Board of Regulators composed of the 27 national regulatory authorities.

BERT should be funded jointly by the EU and national regulatory authorities, but the Parliament chose not to specify the respective proportions of funding at this stage.

Members of Parliament also voted against the Commission's proposal for the new body to take over tasks related to network and information security. The report was adopted with 490 votes in favour 105 against and 14 abstentions.http://www.europarl.europa.eu

Sprint Nextel Completes Tower Sale to TowerCo for $670M Cash

Sprint Nextel completed the previously announced sale of approximately 3,080 towers to TowerCo for an estimated $670 million in cash, with the number of towers and sale price subject to post-close adjustment. The two companies have also signed a long-term leasing agreement for TowerCo to provide Sprint Nextel with wireless communications towers to support the company's CDMA, iDEN and WiMAX networks.

"Leasing rather than owning these network facilities is a more efficient use of resources and allows us to focus more closely on our core business of providing communications services to our customers," said Bob Azzi, Sprint senior vice president - Network Services. "This deal also gives Sprint additional liquidity and greater flexibility in managing our business."

Equity financing for this transaction was provided by Tailwind Capital, Soros Strategic Partners II LP, Stone Tower Equity Partners and Vulcan Capital.http://www.sprint.comhttp://www.towerco.com
  • TowerCo was founded in 2004 by Tailwind Capital and industry veterans Richard Byrne, Chief Executive Officer, and Scot Lloyd, Chief Operating Officer. Soros Strategic Partners invested in TowerCo in December 2005.

NEC Expands its Unified Communications Portfolio

NEC introduced a host of new Unified Communications (UC) and infrastructure products for both SMB and large enterprise customers in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa) region. The new solutions include the UNIVERGE SV8100 and 8300 communications servers and a family of IP and digital terminals, in combination with new UC applications such as Business ConneCT.

The new scalable UNIVERGE SV8100 and SV8300 communications servers offer calling number and name display, conferencing, soft keys, voicemail, unified messaging, speed dialing and support for wireless handsets and softphones.

NEC's new line of modular IP and digital terminals, UNIVERGE DT700/DT300, offer extensive feature sets move the standard desktop phone to the next level. This includes extensive customization options, SIP support, XML open interface support, menu-driven soft key functions, and easy-access function keys.

NEC's Business ConneCT unified communications application suite offer rich presence, mobility, unified messaging and desktop telephony applications as well as operator and contact center functionality.http://content.nec-philips.com/hq/

Intelsat's Galaxy 19 Successfully Launched to Orbit

Intelsat's Galaxy 19 satellite was successfully launched aboard a Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket. Built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), the 1300-series hybrid spacecraft carries a total of 52 physical transponders. The Galaxy 19 satellite will provide Intelsat customers valuable 50-state coverage, as well the Caribbean, Canada and Mexico. It will be located at 97 degrees West Longitude.

Galaxy 19 will join Intelsat's North American Galaxy fleet comprised of 16 other satellites that cover North America, Central America and the Caribbeanhttp://www.intelsat.com

Motorola Launches WiMAX Interoperability Testing Program

Motorola has launched a WiMAX interoperability testing program (IOT) in its labs in Arlington Heights, Ill., and at its new lab in Taiwan that is operated in partnership with M-Skylink. The location in Asia further enhances Motorola's ability to fulfill its commitment in the M-Taiwan project by helping to establish an ecosystem for WiMAX technology in Taiwan and worldwide.

Through its IOT program, Motorola validates for its customers that a device is compatible with their WiMAX network infrastructure.

Vendors wishing to submit products to Motorola for interoperability testing must provide assurances that the products conform to the WiMAX Forum's specifications for certification or have been WiMAX Forum Certified.

Level 3 Launches High Capacity IP Services in Toronto and Montreal

Level 3 Communications' Wholesale Markets Group has launched high speed IP (HSIP) services in the Toronto and Montreal markets and expanded transport services into Montreal. The company also maintains operations in Ottawa.http://www.level3.com

Verizon to Offer Cisco Collaboration Services

Verizon will expand its overall suite of unified communications and collaboration tools based on the new Cisco collaboration portfolio. New services will include components of Cisco Unified Communications System Release 7.0 and Verizon-developed collaborative business applications based on Cisco's new WebEx Connect platform. These services are aimed at enhancing communications and collaboration between and among employees, partners, customers and vendors, while enabling companies to achieve eco-friendly benefits through reduced travel and lower carbon emissions.

Verizon said it plans to offer to its large-business and government customers served by Verizon Business managed services support for Cisco Unified Communications Manager and Cisco Unified Contact Center. Verizon also plans to develop a customized business application based on the new WebEx Connect platform for its small- and medium-sized business customers served by Verizon Telecom. The new services will be available in the coming months.http://www.verizon.com

SureWest Refinances $30 Million Term Loan

SureWest Communications has refinanced a short-term $30 million loan that extends the maturity date from February 2009 to May 2012. The facility consists of $15 million each from CoBank, ACB (CoBank) and Union Bank of California (UBOC).

In connection with the February 2008 acquisition of Everest Broadband, Inc. in the Kansas City region, SureWest entered into a $60 million term loan with CoBank; $30 million of which was repaid with a portion of the proceeds from the divestiture of the company's Wireless assets in May 2008. The extension of the remaining $30 million term loan facility to 2012 places it in line with the maturity dates of the company's other revolving and term loan credit facilities under this Amended Credit Agreement.http://www.surewest.com

U.S. Appeals Court Affirms Jury Verdict Against Qualcomm

A U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has upheld a unanimous jury verdict that Qualcomm cellular chips and software infringe two Broadcom patents. The court also upheld the injunction entered by the district court on those two patents. The appeals court also rejected Qualcomm's request for a new trial. The court ruled that a third patent was invalid.

Broadcom filed the infringement case in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, Calif., in May 2005. On May 29, 2007, a unanimous jury returned a verdict finding that Qualcomm infringed three Broadcom patents and awarded past damages to Broadcom. Late last year, U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna issued an injunction against Qualcomm designed to stop the company from continuing its infringement of the three Broadcom patents.

In August 2008, Judge Selna found Qualcomm in contempt of his injunction by, among other things, failing to pay royalties to Broadcom on infringing QChat products. Citing the "egregiousness" of Qualcomm's conduct, the court ordered Qualcomm to pay Broadcom the gross profits Qualcomm has earned on its infringing QChat products. Judge Selna further ordered Qualcomm to pay Broadcom's attorneys fees in connection with the contempt proceedings.http://www.broadcom.com

KPN Delivers Broadband in Belgium with Nortel 40G-Ready Optical Solution

KPN Belgium is using a Nortel 40G-ready optical solution to provide its broadband services across Belgium The next generation DWDM network provides connectivity between several major locations across Belgium while the 40G solution enables KPN Belgium to make more efficient use of the existing network and deliver higher bandwidth. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The new 40G-ready network uses products from the Nortel Metro Ethernet Network's portfolio including its Common Photonic Layer and Optical Multiservice Edge 6500 platforms. The deployment also features Nortel's electronic Dynamic Compensating Optics (eDCO) technology. This leverages the value of Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexing (ROADM) in 10G/40G all optical networking. Either 10G or 40G transponder cards can be plugged into the Optical Multiservice Edge 6500 shelves. End-to-end wavelength provisioning is accomplished with Nortel's Optical Service Provisioning (OSP) tool. The DWDM solution is capable of supporting 88 x 40G wavelengths (3.52 Tbps).http://www.nortel.com

Cisco Capital Launches Financing Program in Asia Pacific.

Cisco Systems Capital Corporation is launching a "Zero Percent Progress Payments Program" for the Cisco Unified Communications system in the Asia Pacific region. Funding is available for Cisco partners and customers until July 25, 2009.

Under the financing program, customers can defer payments for up to 120 days, without interest, during their Cisco Unified Communications system deployment, and channel partners receive progress payments from Cisco Capital when installation milestones are reached. The financing program is designed to help customers when they are required to make deposits prior to full deployment of unified communications projects, and to help Cisco channel partners manage their cash flow on projects with long implementation times. The minimum transaction size is US$50,000. This program is not available in Vietnam, Indonesia or the Philippines.http://www.cisco.com/go/capital

Cisco's Open Collaboration Portfolio Integrates UC, TelePresence and WebEx

Cisco introduced a new collaboration portfolio that consists of Cisco Unified Communications, Cisco TelePresence and a new Web 2.0 application platform -- all of which are being integrated with business applications, existing IT infrastructures and other Web services.

"Collaboration is the next phase of the Internet, a phase that analysts see as a $34 billion market opportunity, and at the center of this phase is the network," said Don Proctor, senior vice president, software group, Cisco. "Our network platform uses open-standards protocols to expose critical collaboration services such as presence, instant messaging, call control and policy to a broad range of devices and applications. The Cisco collaboration portfolio uses this network architecture to create an integrated collaboration experience that encompasses everything from simple text messaging to immersive Cisco TelePresence sessions."

In a webcast product launch, Cisco executives said their goal is to leverage an open architecture and standards-based application programming interface (API) expose business application to the network as a platform. Key components of this portfolio include:

Unified Communications: Cisco Unified Communications System Release 7.0, featuring significant improvements in total cost of ownership by increasing Cisco Unified Presence scalability to 30,000 users and Cisco Unity to 15,000 users on a single server. Cisco Unified Mobile Communicator now supports devices running on Windows Mobile as well as Symbian and BlackBerry operating systems.

Video: Cisco TelePresence Expert on Demand integrates the immersive Cisco TelePresence experience into the contact center. This would enable customers to connect with subject-matter experts via an "in-person" experience. Users can summon expert assistance directly in a Cisco TelePresence meeting or use a dedicated Cisco TelePresence endpoint and get face-to-face assistance. For example, a retail bank could provide "in-person" services to bank customers in every location via Cisco TelePresence, while optimizing highly trained resources.

Web 2.0 Applications Platform: Cisco WebEx Connect, a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, integrates presence, instant messaging, Web meetings and team spaces with traditional and Web 2.0 business applications. Essentially, Cisco WebEx Connect is a cloud-based application platform for collaborative business mash-ups. It includes a number of standard applications such as enterprise instant messaging, team spaces, document management, calendaring and discussions, which can be combined with third-party widgets that are built using open APIs, enabling companies to work from a single workspace. Extensive administrative controls support enterprise policy, security and compliance requirements to enable secure inter-company collaboration.

Cisco listed a number of APIs that it is providing to support this open application environment, including:

  • Cisco Unified Applications Environment, to deliver Web applications to the Cisco Unified IP Phone screen

  • Cisco Applications eXchange Platform, to expose capabilities within the router to applications in branch offices

  • Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance 8.0(4), to provide an open network security appliance that allows businesses to extend their collaboration capabilities with a high degree of security via a converged data and voice virtual private network

  • Cisco WebEx Connect, to bring together business applications, Web tools and team workspaces.