Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sprint Forms Small Business Specialty Team

Sprint has formed a new Small Business specialty team to sharpen the company's focus on the rapidly growing small business market segment. Sprint said it intends to capture a leading share of the segment's growth by dedicating resources, customizing products, and developing special offers for small business owners. This team will reside in Sprint's Business Markets Group, formed earlier this year. The Small Business team will serve as a single, common interface for all groups across Sprint that sell and serve small business clients to ensure consistent focus on addressing the unique needs of business owners and their employees. The Sprint groups include marketing, customer experience, product development and all channels that reach small business customers, including telesales, online/web, Sprint retail stores, and third-party retail partners.

Aicent Establishes First WiMAX Roaming Exchange

Aicent, which operates one of the world's largest GPRS and 3G network exchanges connecting to over 50 operators, US-based Clearwire, and Taiwan-based VMAX Telecom announced sucessfull internetwork roaming between WiMAX networks. Using Aicent's WiMAX Roaming eXchange (WRX), executives from Clearwire successfully used a USB dongle together with a username and password, as well as with embedded credentials from their company's 4G WiMAX service to gain access to the VMAX WiMAX network in Taiwan. This successful connection marks the first time international roaming between WiMAX networks has been achieved.

Aicent said that for roaming to be commercially viable, it has to be transparent and effortless to the end user. In this trial, VMAX wanted to ensure that subscribers from other WiMAX networks could take their equipment, in this case a USB modem that plugs into a laptop, and use the same username and password used for the home network to gain easy access to the VMAX network. The test also indicates that VMAX subscribers could likewise use their equipment, usernames and passwords to gain access to non-VMAX WiMAX networks.

"The future promise of WiMAX stretches beyond national borders to offer mobile data users the ability to connect wirelessly, at broadband speeds, wherever they may travel across the globe," said Ali Tabassi, Clearwire's Senior Vice President of Global Ecosystem and Standards. "The ability of WiMAX operators to work cooperatively in order to create seamless, simple and reliable international interoperability, as we have successfully demonstrated through Aicent's facilities, will be crucial to realizing the tremendous social and economic potential of a truly connected world."

VMAX Telecom was awarded a WiMAX operator permit for northern Taiwan by the National Communications Commission in July 2007. Investors include Tecom, Vibo Telecom, Intel Capital and Teco Electric & Machinery.

Separately, Aicent announced a similar roaming exchange with the Tatung InfoComm WiMAX network in Taiwan. Also in this trial, Tatung InfoComm wanted to ensure that subscribers from other WiMAX networks could use their equipment, in this case a USB dongle that plugs into a laptop, with the same username and password used for the home network to gain easy access to the Tatung InfoComm network. Tatung InfoComm is the first commercially-launched operator in Taiwan, beginning service in April this year in Penghu Island, then quickly expanding to Kaohsiung three months later in July.

ARRIS, Incognito Software and Teknovus Demonstrate DOCSIS EPON Provisioning

ARRIS introduced a new DOCSIS Control Interface for subscriber service provisioning and system management on EPON networks. ARRIS developed the solution in partnership with Incognito Software and Teknovus.

The DOCSIS Control Interface enables cable operators to seamlessly deploy symmetrical EPON for business services with their existing DOCSIS provisioning system, instead of creating separate back office functions.

ARRIS is showcasing interoperability of its DOCSIS Control Interface, with Incognito Software's Broadband Command Center, a key product in the DOCSIS device provisioning space. In turn, the ARRIS DOCSIS Control Interface incorporates middleware from Teknovus, a leading provider of EPON chips for the FTTx market.

"With the successful integration of our DOCSIS Control Interface with the Broadband Command Center for EPON deployment, we are able to successfully provision EPON devices in our cost-effective Converged Head-end Platform," said ARRIS Access & Transport VP and GM Peter Wolff. "This new functionality will enable cable operators to efficiently serve their customers through an FTTMax Gigabit EPON network."

Ericsson and Samsung Test LTE interoperability in Stockholm

Ericsson and Samsung successfully achieved interoperability between the world's first commercial LTE device from Samsung and the live network from Ericsson in Stockholm, Sweden. Through extensive testing in Stockholm, Samsung LTE dongles and Ericsson's infrastructure have complied with the industry standard for commercial deployment, 3GPP Release 8 March baseline. The end-to-end connection was provided via LTE FDD technology

"This is the first time a commercial, standard compliant LTE device demonstrated full interoperability with a live network. It is an important milestone for Ericsson and the mobile industry," stated Johan Wibergh, Senior Vice President and Head of Networks at Ericsson.

Extreme Networks Appoints Acting CEO, Announces Job Cuts

Extreme Networks announced the resignation of its CEO, Mark Canepa, along with a corporate restructuring and a reduction in its workforce.

Bob L. Corey has been appointed as acting CEO and that the company has initiated a search for a permanent CEO. Mark Canepa will remain with the company for a limited period of time to assist in the transition.

Extreme also announced a re-organization to streamline its operations and reduce recurring costs. As part of this restructuring, Extreme has reduced its workforce by approximately 70 employees or almost 9 percent of its worldwide workforce. The reductions have been completed and the Company anticipates it has lowered its operating expenses approximately $2.5 million per quarter.

Corey recently joined Extreme Networks as its Senior Vice President and CFO, after serving on Extreme Networks Board of Directors for approximately 6 years. Prior to Extreme Networks, Corey served in a variety of executive positions, including Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Thor Technologies, Inc. and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Documentum, Inc.

NSN Wins Managed Services Contract with Zain Nigeria

Nokia Siemens Networks has been awarded a managed services and care contract by Zain Nigeria. The agreement covers full network management, operations and maintenance, which will ensure network availability at all times across Nigeria. The management of the network will be handed over to Nokia Siemens Networks in mid-October, 2009.

Under the deal, Nokia Siemens Networks will provide managed services for Zain's multi-vendor fiber and DWDM network in Nigeria which is 4000km long countrywide outside plant network. This includes overall network management, monitoring for fiber and DWDM via OSS, field maintenance on a 24 X 7 or 12 X 7 basis and tight service level assurance on response and rectification. Corrective and preventive maintenance will predict and prevent potential network problems to provide ongoing high network quality along with an efficient management of spare parts for fiber repairs within guaranteed response times.

European Commission Adopts 3G Spectrum Directive

The European Commission adopted a directive on spectrum allocations for mobile broadband. The measures open the GSM radio spectrum band to more advanced wireless communication devices, making it easier to adapt spectrum allocation in the 900 MHz frequency band.

Specifically, the new Commission decision sets out the technical parameters allowing for the co-existence of GSM (2G mobile phones) and UMTS systems (3G phones that add high-speed mobile internet to regular phone services) on GSM 900 MHz and 1800 MHz frequencies.

National administrations have now six months to transpose the Directive and to implement the Decision so that the GSM spectrum bands are effectively made available for 3G.