Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ericsson to Provide Managed Services for T-Mobile UK and 3 UK

Mobile Broadband Network Limited (MBNL), the 50:50 joint venture formed by 3 UK and T-Mobile UK to integrate and manage their 3G radio access networks (RAN), has selected Ericsson to provide managed services to complete the consolidation of their 3G infrastructure. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Under the terms of the contract, about 220 T-Mobile staff have transferred to Ericsson.

Ericsson will be responsible for the network design and deployment requirements of the consolidation program, which will result in the creation of an integrated 3G network providing close to complete population coverage for 3G services. It will also reduce the number of radio sites from approximately 18,000 sites to 13,000, providing both environmental benefits and significant cost savings while simultaneously improving coverage. In addition to the consolidation and decommissioning of sites, Ericsson will take responsibility for the acquisition and building of new sites, capacity management, equipment swaps and upgrades to transmission facilities. The five-year contract includes management of the ongoing growth and optimization of the 3G RAN as well as T-Mobile's 2G access network.
  • In November 2008, Ericsson was awarded a managed services contract for the operation of the integrated 3G networks and T-Mobile's 2G network.

Samsung Introduces Blue Earth Solar Full-Touch Phone

Samsung Electronics unveiled its "Blue Earth" solar powered full-touch screen phone .
A solar panel on the back helps to charge the device. Blue Earth is made from recycled plastic called PCM, which is extracted from water bottles, helping to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions in the manufacturing process. The device, including charger, is free from harmful substances such as Brominated Flame Retardants, Beryllium and Phthalate.

Samsung said it designed the Blue Earth's user interface so as to draw attention to preserving the environment. Features include simple to set screen brightness, backlight duration and Bluetooth in an energy-efficient mode. Through the "eco walk" function the user can count their steps with an in-built pedometer, calculating how much CO2 emissions have been reduced by walking as opposed to motor transport.

MetaSwitch and Occam Reach 100 Joint Customers

MetaSwitch and Occam Networks now have more than 100 joint service provider deployments in North America.

The combined solution brings together Occam's pure IP-over-Ethernet multi-service access platform with MetaSwitch's core session control, call feature server and media gateway products. This enables advanced IP voice and data services.

The partners said their joint customers range from small to large incumbent and competitive carriers to telephone cooperatives across the U.S and Canada, including Hiawatha Communications, Emery Telcom and Alaska Power & Telephone Company.

Hiawatha Communications is a holding company that wholly owns four independent local exchange carriers (ILECs), all offering traditional telephony and Internet services to approximately 12,000 residents and businesses in nine communities throughout Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Hiawatha Communications wanted to consolidate its existing network infrastructure and replace outdated legacy gear.

Emery Telcom, based in Orangeville, Utah, has been providing telephony services for nearly 60 years. Formed as a cooperative, Emery Telcom serves over 15,000 telephone residential and business subscribers in and around central and eastern Utah. The cooperative also provides sophisticated services, like high-speed digital internet, to small communities surrounding the Manti LaSal National Park. The MetaSwitch - Occam solution enables Emery to deliver a triple-play bundle of voice, video and data over the same converged network, helping to reduce network costs.

Alaska Telephone Company (ATC) is the largest local exchange carrier in the Alaska Power & Telephone Company family of companies. Formed nearly over 50 years ago, ATC has diligently sought out under-served or un-served areas in Alaska, building new exchanges from the ground up. ATC currently provides telephone services to communities in regions ranging from the Arctic Circle to the Wrangell Mountains, going as far out as the islands of Southeast Alaska. "

Yankee Group to Obama: Advance U.S. Broadband Penetration

Yankee Group President and CEO Emily Green issued an open letter to President Obama, urging him to advance America from 19th place in the world in broadband penetration. The research firm advises 10 steps to advance the nation toward ubiquitous connectivity -- termed Anywhere by Yankee Group -- with the unification of wired and mobile broadband networks to create new capabilities for citizens, businesses and governments alike.

The 10 steps outlined are:

1. Recommit to building a public safety broadband network.

2. Fund the Rural Broadband Administration (RBA).

3. Stop delaying the transition to digital TV

4. Lead the public use of "white space" spectrum.

5. Encourage the use of femtocell technology.

6. Mandate fiber be built into new public housing and multitenant buildings.

7. Optimize public transportation with wireless information.

8. Make businesses more competitive by encouraging remote workers.

9. Deliver medical diagnoses and basic health care over the Internet.

10. Create a Community Service Geek Squad to help analog citizens.

WiMAX Forum Predicts 800 Million in WiMAX Range by 2010

With nearly 460 WiMAX deployments underway in 135 countries, the WiMAX Forum announced that the combined footprint of commercial WiMAX networks now cover 430 million people, or POPS, globally. These networks are on a path to nearly double to 800 million people by end of 2010.

The WiMAX Forum also met key milestones with the first Mobile WiMAX 3.5GHz products receiving the WiMAX Forum Certified seal of approval. Samsung and ZTE have received the WiMAX Forum Certified seal of approval for products for the 3.5 GHz spectrum band.

"WiMAX coverage is here now and is the catalyst in the global marketplace to deliver 4G broadband Internet access to countries that don't want to wait," said Ron Resnick, president and chairman of the WiMAX Forum. "These new deployment numbers reveal the mobile Internet WiMAX ecosystem has achieved strong growth and will continue to satisfy the market demand to deliver high-speed broadband services in 2009. Certified products in the 3.5 GHz band will now give more operators access to the equipment and devices needed to deliver mobile broadband services."

Samsung's 3.5GHz base station, the U-RAS Flexible, is a new addition to Samsung's WiMAX Forum Certified products in 2.3GHz and 2.5GHz bands. This base station is now being deployed for Lithuania's first WiMAX commercial service. U-RAS Flexible is separated into two parts, including the digital unit and remote radio head. The optic interface between digital unit and remote radio head minimizes cable loss. Its powerful RF output effectively covers macro network areas. It adopts Multiple-Input-Multiple-Output (MIMO) technology and is ready for Beamforming, ensuring consistent quality service for years to come.

ZTE's 9100+R9100 base stations also achieved certification. These add a new frequency band to ZTE's resume, which already includes WiMAX Forum Certified products in the 2.6 GHz and 2.3 GHz bands. ZTE B9100+R9100 are distributed base station systems developed on MicroTCA hardware platform equipped with features such as easy upgrade path, compact design, and low total cost of ownership (TCO). It supports advanced MIMO technology, which enhances the signal transmission quality of single base station. ZTE's most recent products were certified at the Taiwan WFDCL Bureau Veritas ADT.

Orange Business Services Launches 3G IP VPN and Services

Orange Business Services introduced two new services that allow branch office sites to connect to the Orange IP VPN by using a cellular-enabled router and a 3G mobile access provided by Orange.

The wireless Air Quick Start service significantly reduces the lead time to connect.

Air Back-up solves the issue of the last mile disruption thanks to ground/air diversity.

Previously, customers worked directly with local mobile providers to integrate a temporary or back-up access within their IT environment. With Air Back-up and Air Quick Start, the solution is a fully secured package from Orange Business Services eliminating the need for customers to buy separately 3G routers, cards and complex data plans from various mobile providers.

The new services are being rolled out gradually in Belgium, Canada, France (for Air Back-up), Germany, Spain and the U.S. by February 09; Italy, Romania, Switzerland , U.K., Netherlands, Poland and Portugal by the end of June 09; and Asia and other European countries in the second half of 2009.

Juniper Networks and Nokia Siemens Networks Partner on Carrier Ethernet

Juniper Networks and Nokia Siemens Networks are partnering to deliver a fully interoperable Carrier Ethernet solution intended to provide resilient access and aggregation for service providers worldwide. The companies said their enhanced partnership is intended to bring the vision of a unified Carrier Ethernet solution supporting all services on a single network.

The joint Carrier Ethernet solution consists of the Juniper Networks MX-series Ethernet Services Router, Nokia Siemens Networks A-series Carrier Ethernet Switch and the ASPEN "single click" network management system. Current plans are for the new Carrier Ethernet solution to be sold by the respective parties or qualified resellers. The targeted availability date is the second half of 2009 subject to compliance with applicable laws.

Juniper Networks MX-series, which includes the MX960, MX480 and MX240, provides high port-density routing and switching. The MX-series leverages JUNOS software, a single operating system running routing, switching and security platforms from Juniper Networks.

The Nokia Siemens Networks A-series provides an effective evolution path from the existing TDM networks towards the next-generation Ethernet Transport networks. The A-series provides the SDH carrier-class characteristics over a modern Carrier Ethernet network. Additionally, it enables greater cost-efficiencies by carrying both voice and data traffic with higher traffic volumes at lower costs. The A-series can serve as an access solution located at the customer premises or as an aggregation unit that gathers traffic from different customer networks.

Juniper and Nokia Siemens Networks have a long standing partnership that now encompasses IP aggregation, edge and core products and have deployed solutions in more than 200 service provider networks around the world. The enhanced partnership further strengthens both parties' positions in the Carrier Ethernet segment, one of the fastest growing network applications for wireline and mobile service providers.

At Mobile World Congress, Nokia Siemens Networks will show a demonstration of a live application over HSDPA, with the base station being backhauled over the complete chain of Carrier Ethernet Transport enabled platforms (e2e) including the following components: Flexi WCDMA BTS (the base station), FlexiPacket Radio, FlexiPacket Hub, and the Juniper Networks MX-series Ethernet Services Router. Also demonstrated will be packet-based synchronization based on the IEEE1588-2008 standard.

Alcatel-Lucent Shows Eco-Sustainable Broadband Access Gear

Alcatel-Lucent highlighted its role in bringing to the market technologies that will help reduce green house gas emissions.

Two existing technologies - Alcatel-Lucent's distributed digital subscriber line access multiplexer (DSLAM) concept, as well as a series of passively cooled fiber-to-the-building (FTTB) DSLAMs - are now complemented by a whole new range of eco-sustainable indoor optical network terminals (ONTs), which are located at the customer's premise and convert optical signals back into electrical voice, video or data.

Alcatel-Lucent said its new compact indoor ONTs consume up to 30 percent less power than earlier designs. Its distributed DSLAM concept - supported by the Intelligent Services Access Manager (ISAM) family of products - enables service providers to manage up to 24 times fewer nodes in FTTB or fiber-to-the-node architectures, resulting in more cost-effective operations. Additionally, through the use of simplified backplanes, power consumption is reduced by up to 20%.

At home, a number of important savings can be made as well. By introducing FTTB DSLAMs with a so-called "passive cooling" mechanism, up to a 10 percent power savings can be realized compared to traditional FTTB DSLAMs that are actively cooled. An additional benefit lies in the elimination of all noise that traditionally accompanies an active cooling system.

Ericsson and Zain Power Kenyan Village with Wind and Sun

Ericsson and pan-African operator Zain have built a green-powered site in a remote village in northeastern Kenya.

A combination of wind and solar power are used to power the telecommunication infrastructure. The more than 3000 phone minutes logged daily have also created a market for items such as SIM cards, second-hand phones, scratch cards, charging and accessories, while local business people can slash transport costs through mobile ordering and invoicing.

Jan Embro, President of Ericsson in sub-Saharan Africa, says: "The ideal climate conditions mean we expect to see an 80 percent reduction in energy-related operational costs for the site, compared with using diesel generators. Green sites like this one have great potential for solving the power-grid challenge across Africa to bring mobile communication to the poorest of the poor so they can improve their lives and break the poverty cycle."

Chris Gabriel, CEO of Zain Africa, added: "With reliable and affordable mobile voice and data communication, Dertu's nomadic pastoral community of more than 5000 people has the chance to build on the economic and social gains it has made since Ericsson and Zain, partnering with the Earth Institute, first brought mobile communication to the region through a temporary network installed last year."

Amdocs Service Fulfillment for Carrier Ethernet and MPLS IP VPN

Amdocs introduced two new Operational Product Packs for the fulfillment of Carrier Ethernet and MPLS IP VPN. The packs provide service providers with complete service fulfillment functionality - from designing services, assigning the correct resources, through to activating and delivering the services.

Amdocs said its operational product packs $have been configured to support a particular process, such as planning, fulfillment, or network management, for a specific service or technology. The new packs for Carrier Ethernet and MPLS combine best-practice, service-fulfillment business processes together with proven service-fulfillment products from the Amdocs CES - Cramer OSS 7.5 offering.

Amdocs also offers a Backhaul Management pack, which helps mobile operators to roll out new networks, and a DSL fulfillment pack, which automates the fulfillment process for DSL.

ST-Ericsson Makes Debut

ST-Ericsson, the 50/50 joint venture that united the wireless semiconductor division of STMicroelectronics and the mobile platform division of Ericsson officially makes its public debut next week.

ST-Ericsson is a key supplier to four of the top five handset manufacturers, with combined pro-forma revenues of about US$3.6bn in 2008, and a solid cash position of US$400mn. Almost 85 percent of its workforce is in R&D and its technology portfolio spans GSM, EDGE, WCDMA, HSPA, as well as TD-SCDMA and LTE. Its connectivity and broadcast solutions span Bluetooth, FM, GPS, WLAN, Near Field Communications and USB.

Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Company also revealed details of its management team. Joining President and Chief Executive Officer Alain Dutheil are:

  • Robert Puskaric, Deputy CEO, Executive Vice President

  • Tommi Uhari, Senior Vice President, Products

  • Abhijit Bhattacharya, Vice President, Operations and Quality

  • Marc Cetto, Vice President, 2G and Connectivity

  • Jean-Louis Champseix, Vice President, Human Resources

  • Monica De Virgiliis, Vice President, Wireless Multimedia

  • J├Ârgen Lantto, Vice President, Mobile Platforms and CTO

  • Claudia Levo, Vice President, Global Communications

  • Timothy Lucie-Smith, Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

  • Thierry Tingaud, Vice President, Strategic Planning

  • Lotta Westerlund, Vice President, Legal Affairs

  • Pascal Langlois, Vice President, Sales, reporting to Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, R. Puskaric

Sierra Wireless introduces 3G Wireless Routers

Sierra Wireless introduced a new AirLink Helix line of integrated 3G wireless routers based on its "ALEOS" technology and featuring advanced routing capabilities and remote management for device setup, provisioning, control, and maintenance. The first router in the Helix family will feature two Ethernet ports, two USB ports, and an optional 802.11 b/g access point. The Helix product line is aimed at fixed, portable and mobile applications including point of sale, wireline replacement and backup, surveillance, public safety, and transportation. Helix routers will be commercially available later this year, offering a choice of HSPA or EV-DO Rev A network technologies.

Netflix Reaches 10 Million Subscribers, 600,000 Net Adds in '09

Netflix has surpassed 10 million subscribers for its DVD by mail and online streaming service. The company noted that it has added more than 600,000 net subscribers since January 1.

Tata Communications Invests $430M in APAC Data Center, Cable System

Tata Communications said it is investing US$430 million to expand in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. The investments include developing the Tata Communications Exchange, a new world-class Internet Data Center (IDC), and the completion of the main segment of its TGN-Intra Asia Cable System, both of which become integral parts of the Tata Global Network (TGN).

Construction is planned for a flagship data center in Singapore that is expected to enter service in 2010. The Tata Communications Exchange is being developed in partnership with Mapletree Industrial Fund (a pan-Asian industrial fund managed by Mapletree Industrial Fund Management Pte Ltd (MIFM)). MIFM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd, a leading Asian real estate and capital management company based in Singapore. The new facility will deliver colocation, managed hosting, managed storage and value-added services.

Tata Communications also announced the completion of the main segment of its USD 250 million TGN-Intra Asia cable system. The multi-terabit system spans 6,700 km that connects Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines. It increases data and voice reliability by providing new route diversity for traffic generated throughout and into APAC. Tata Communications is partnering with Globe Telecom and EVN Telecom to expand the TGN-Intra Asia Cable System into the Philippines and Vietnam respectively.

AT&T Commences Global Managed Internet Service in India

AT&T has commenced provisioning of its Global Managed Internet Service (GMIS) to multinational customers in India. The service enables businesses to link multi-national sites through a dedicated direct, high-speed Internet connection. The service is available through private leased line in more than 50 countries and is now extended to India. It provides single-source Internet access backed by world-class customer support, around-the-clock management and industry-acclaimed service availability.

AT&T GMIS includes an end-to-end, managed Internet connectivity option for the customers. AT&T's end-to-end management starts from AT&T Global Internet Protocol (IP) Network to the optional managed routers on customers' premises. Customers' Internet traffic patterns are analyzed and AT&T GMIS can be configured according to the customers' specifications. Alternatively, customers can provision and maintain their own equipment.
  • In December 2008, AT&T announced the opening of its first data centre in Bangalore.

  • In October 2006, AT&T secured national long distance and international long distance licenses in India.

Sprint's Social Responsibility Code Sets Greenhouse Gas Targets

Sprint has set the following targets for as part of its corporate social responsibility code:

  • 1. Reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent by 2017.

  • 2. Secure 10 percent of Sprint's energy from renewable sources by 2017.

  • 3. Recycle 50 percent of our operational waste from commercial facilities by 2017.

  • 4. Send for reuse or recycle 95 percent of Network and IT e-waste by 2017.

  • 5. Ensure that 90 percent of Sprint suppliers comply with our environmental standards by 2017.

  • 6. Achieve a 90 percent device collection rate (measured as the number of total devices collected divided by the number of devices sold), by 2017.

  • 7. Train 100 percent of Sprint employees on customer privacy and ethics each year, including specialized training for customer-facing roles.

  • 8. Develop and support programs that encourage employees to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and establish an approach to measure the company's impact, by second-quarter 2009.

  • 9. Establish a meaningful way to measure customers' perception of Sprint's sales and marketing ethics by the end of 2008.

  • 10. Develop an employee environmental training program by the end of second-quarter 2009.

Sprint Sets Target of 90 Percent Mobile Phone Recycling

Sprint has set a goal of reaching a 90% phone collection rate for reuse/recycling compared with annual wireless device sales by 2017. A recent Sprint survey examining consumers' mobile phone recycling habits found that nine out of 10 surveyed own at least one and as many as five old, unused mobile phones. With more than 140 million cell phones discarded every year in the United States, the need for responsible wireless phone recycling is greater than ever.

Sprint has instituted a "Zer0 e-Waste" policy with the providers who receive and process the recycled phones it collects, ensuring they are recycled safely, ethically and responsibly. In 2008, Sprint collected more than 3 million units, equal to 34 percent of devices sold, an increase from 22 percent in 2007. Of the handsets that Sprint collected in 2008, more than 90 percent were reused.

"This is a challenge for the entire industry," said Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO. "Sprint is the first to set an aggressive 90 percent recovery goal. Sprint is committed to lead the industry in conserving natural resources, decreasing energy use and lowering greenhouse gas emissions."

Motorola Extends Its M2M GSM/GPRS Wireless Modules

Motorola introduced the G30 GSM/GPRS LGA series of wireless modules, the latest addition to its Machine-to-Machine (M2M) solutions portfolio. The new land grid array (LGA) module platform is ultra compact and highly reliable, designed with the rigorous demands of the M2M market in mind. The G30's compact form factor, robustness and set of features make it an ideal choice for the automated metering industry, as well as other M2M segments including telematics, security and electronic point of sale (EPOS).

The G30 supports the 3GPP 7.05, 7.07 and 7.10 protocols and an additional set of Motorola proprietary commands including an internal TCP/IP stack. It also offers a programmable M2M application processor and FOTA (firmware over the air) capabilities.

Motorola's full portfolio of M2M Modules supporting multiple technologies including GSM/GPRS/EDGE, HSPA, CDMA1X, iDEN, Wi-Fi and WiMAX.

AT&T Offers Cash Prizes for Best Mobile Apps

AT&T will award a total of $70,000 in cash prizes for its Fast-Pitch Platinum Awards contest for the most innovative mobile applications. The contest will be held in conjunction with CTIA Wireless 2009 in Las Vegas on April 1-2. The contest, in its fourth year, is hosted by devCentral, AT&T's official resource for development. Developers of the best applications, content and enterprise solutions will be rewarded with cash prizes, given the opportunity to go to market with AT&T and earn the coveted title of 2009 Fast-Pitch Platinum Award winner. The prizes include $25,000 and inclusion in an AT&T distribution channel for first-place winners in the consumer and enterprise categories. Two runners-up in each of those categories will win $5,000.

"Openness is about offering all of our customers great choices in applications, devices, operating systems and much more," said Mark Collins, vice president-Voice and Data Products, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "The Fast-Pitch contest helps us identify and encourage the best of our country's creative technical talent, so we can rapidly deliver the benefits of that creativity to our customers."

AT&T also offers a Wireless Reference Architecture Guide to help developers create wireless applications. The guide -- which can be accessed online at AT&T's developer portal, devCentral -- includes a wealth of information on all aspects of wireless technology, from operating systems to application life-cycle management. With 10 sections, the guide provides developers with information on topics such as wireless network security, wireless network technology and emerging trends, wireless gateways, and the wireless application protocol (WAP) environment.

Cisco Unveils "Intelligent Urbanisation" Global Blueprint

Cisco is betting that advanced networking technologies can be used to spur an new era of "Intelligent Urbanisation," where the network serves as the next utility for integrated city management, better quality of life for citizens, and economic development. Building on the thought leadership developed through Cisco's ongoing efforts with Connected Urban Development (CUD), the Intelligent Urbanisation initiative will bring together a broad portfolio of Cisco's products, services, partners and solutions. The initial focus will be on global sustainable solutions for public safety and security, transportation, buildings, energy, healthcare and education.

"With the number of people living in urban areas growing from three billion today to five billion by 2030, urbanisation is a global trend impacting citizens, governments, and industries. This trend will also significantly impact the environment - the 20 most populous cities alone are responsible for 75 percent of the planet's energy consumption. In a world where all things are becoming connected, the network has become the next utility, enabling the holistic, intelligent and environmentally sustainable creation and management of cities, industries and public services," said Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers, speaking from the launch at Cisco's Globalisation Centre East in Bangalore, India.

Cisco has a number of pilot programs underway, including:

The Indian State of Karnataka, which is developing a roadmap for an intelligent, smart and sustainable Bengaluru city. This collaboration builds on Cisco's Connected Urban Development (CUD), a public-private partnership that includes cities like San Francisco, Amsterdam, Seoul and Singapore, which develops replicable ICT solutions to help promote sustainable, intelligent urban development practices.

Korea's Incheon Metropolitan City, which is working to transform the Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) into a center of globalisation expertise in Asia Pacific. As part of this collaboration, Cisco will provide its experience and technologies around creating intelligent urbanisation for Incheon Metropolitan City. The model will be partly based on Cisco's previous globalisation projects in major cities in Singapore, India, Malaysia and the Middle East. The two parties also agreed to launch a joint task force to investigate legal, technical aspects of this cooperation.