Thursday, April 8, 2010

Unions See Double Standard with T-Mobile USA

ver.di, the union representing workers at Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile operations in Germany, the Communications Workers of America and UNI Global Union held a press conference to denounce a double standard they see in the way the Deutsche Telekom treats its Germany and American workers. Specifically, the unions accuse T-Mobile USA of engaging in an anti-union behavior.

Lothar Schröder, an executive board member of ver.di, pointed out that "in Germany and many countries, DT complies with its Social Charter which directs the company to adhere to internationally recognized norms, directives and standards. DT also respects the human rights standards of the International Labor Organization and upholds the labor principles of the United Nations Global Compact regarding freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.

"But when it comes to U.S. operations, which employs about 40,000 workers and produces about 25 percent of DT's revenue, DT's Social Charter is no where to be found," Schroeder said.

UNI, CWA and ver.di are pressing DT for a global agreement that would protect the fundamental labour rights of the company's workers worldwide. CWA and ver.di formed TU last November.

Marcus Courtney, head of UNI Telecom, noted that "France Telecom and Telefonica have signed global agreements with UNI respecting workers' rights to organize and bargain collectively. Deutsche Telekom is failing to meet standards set by its competition."http://cwa-union.org

Level 3 to Upgrade its Vyvx Infrastructure

Level 3 Communications will significantly upgrade its Vyvx VenueNet infrastructure for broadcast delivery.

In 2010, Level 3's investment will focus on upgrading venue services in time for the start of the U.S. professional football and hockey seasons. In 2011, Level 3 expects to continue upgrading venue services in time for professional basketball and baseball seasons. Upgrades will include:

  • Support for 1080P high definition (HD) video services with native uncompressed HD-SDI customer hand-offs, and support for the next generation of 3 Gigabit per second HD services.

  • End-to-end fiber infrastructure to support future broadcast applications, including 3D transmission.

  • Uncompressed HD-ready support at venues that are directly connected with Level 3 fiber access.

  • Integrated codecs enabling high-quality video compression.

  • New and advanced support for local and remote signal verification and monitoring.

  • Seamless connectivity to the Level 3 Tier-1 IP backbone -- one of the most connected networks in the world -- for Internet access. Services will be able to run at multi-gigabit speeds to enable new digital file-based workflows for broadcasters.

  • Advanced Level 3 enterprise voice services.

Brite Semi Develops 100M Gate Wireless Network Chip

HiSilicon Technologies Co., Brite Semiconductor (Shanghai), Inc., and Open-Silicon, have successfully taped out a 65nm Wireless Network chip using a TSMC foundry process. The chip contains 100M gates, more than 8 cores, an 800MHz high-speed clocking system, and 3.125G high-speed interfaces.

The Brite Semiconductor design team, which organized and executed the project, included engineers from multiple Brite Semiconductor and Open-Silicon locations (Bangalore, Milpitas, CA, and Shanghai).

Nokia Acquires MetaCarta, Novarra

Nokia acquired MetaCarta, a start-up specializing in geographic intelligence technology. The company is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and employs about 30 people. Financial terms were not disclosed.

MetaCarta's technology combines geosearch and geotagging capabilities, allowing users to find content about a location in internal and external data stores. This makes make data and unstructured content "location-aware" and geographically relevant for easier organization and quicker action. Nokia said MetaCarta's technology will be used in the area of local search in Location and other services.

Separately, Nokia confirmed that it has completed the acquisition of Novarra, which offers a mobile browser and services platform. This will be used by Nokia to deliver enhanced Internet experiences on Nokia Series 40 mobile phones.

Taiwan's National Chiao Tung University Tests TD-LTE with NSN

Taiwan's National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) will conduct a trial of the time division (TD) variant of LTE with Nokia Siemens Networks beginning next month. Nokia Siemens Networks has committed to provide all necessary TD-LTE equipment for the trial, including core network and base stations, as well as corresponding technical support to help NCTU in its research.

Chung-Yu Wu, the president of NCTU, said: "This multilateral cooperation in TD-LTE will bring forward research on cutting-edge technologies and drive the development of mobile broadband in Taiwan. This trial network is also a perfect example of how industry-university partnerships can nurture new technology. China Mobile will bring its operational experience and application support to the trial, Nokia Siemens Networks will contribute its leading technologies and products, and NCTU will take advantage of this research program to help Taiwanese companies develop LTE devices."

Infonetics: Video Infrastructure Spending Holds Steady

Worldwide video infrastructure revenue held steady from 3Q09 to 4Q09 at $625 million, with all segments up but one, according to new figures released by Infonetics.

Increased spending was noted for video on-demand (VOD) and streaming content servers, video encoders, IPTV middleware/content delivery platforms, edge QAMs, digital cable middleware, and satellite video middleware. Meanwhile, spending on video content protection software was down.

For the full year 2009, video infrastructure revenue decreased 11% to $2.5 billion. Worldwide video on-demand and streaming content server revenue increased 60% from 2008 to 2009, and is expected to increase rapidly over the next four quarters.

There were 417 million cable video subscribers worldwide in 2009; that number is expected to hold steady through at least 2014 as standard cable video subscribers switch over to digital cable video.

"In the ongoing battle between cable and telco IPTV operators, both continue to spend furiously to add video-on-demand and streaming content server capacity to support the rollout of on-demand HD content and provide start-over and remote storage-digital video recorder services, all of which require the delivery of unicast streams to set-top boxes. This aggressive move to full unicast models for video delivery is driving strong growth in video-on-demand and streaming content servers. While telco, cable, and satellite operators all saw sustained video subscriber growth in 2009, it certainly was not at the growth rates of years past, so operators held off on more significant infrastructure investments, resulting in a down year for video infrastructure overall outside of VOD servers and edge QAMs," notes Jeff Heynen, Infonetics Research's directing analyst for broadband and video.

Orange Switzerland to Merge with Sunrise

France Telecom and TDC signed a final agreement to combine their respective subsidiaries in Switzerland, Orange Suisse and Sunrise Communications. The combined company will be a strong alternative operator to Swisscom.

The completion of this transaction is expected to occur in the second quarter of 2010, once approvals have been obtained from the Swiss competition and relevant regulatory authorities.

Germany Begins LTE Spectrum Auction

Germany's official telecoms regulator, Bundesnetzagenturhas initiated an auction for spectrum in the ranges 800 MHz, 1.8 GHz, 2 GHz and 2.6 GHz for wireless network access for the provision of telecommunication services.

A total of four applicants are enrolled in the auction:

  • Erste MVV Mobilfunk Vermögensverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH (E-Plus)

  • Telefónica O2 Germany GmbH & Co. OHG

  • T-Mobile Deutschland GmbH

  • Vodafone D2 GmbH

One applicant withdrew its application for admission to the bidding procedure. Another applicant did not meet the requirements for admission to the bidding procedure; therefore the application had to be rejected.

Two Minute Video: Network Convergence with OTN

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Presented by Mark Orthodoxou, PMC-Sierra