Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Verizon Wireless Sees LTE Changing Usage and Pricing Patterns

Pricing structure is one of the ways that LTE will change the mobile broadband game, said Lowell McAdam, Verizon Communications - EVP, President and CEO Verizon Wireless, speaking at the Barclay Capital conference this week.

The 700 MHz C-Block spectrum will prove to a strategic advantage for the company, said McAdam, especially since it will not have to piece together different bands for different markets across the country. Verizon Wireless has LTE trials running in Boston, Seattle and Erie, Pennsylvania, where some rural applications are being tested.

The LTE trials have proven what physics predicted -- the 700 MHz spectrum is delivering excellent in-building penetration, which will also be good for machine-to-machine applications. Verizon Wireless estimates that it will get up to 3.5X the penetrating power of its competitors.

As for the expected average downlinks of the upcoming service, Verizon Wireless has been discussing figures of about 7 Mbps. McAdam said this number is conservative -- especially in light of theoretical numbers of 120 Mbps or more -- and that the field trials so far indicate that downlink performance will exceed the 7 Mbps range. The field trials are also indicating a 30 millisecond delay on the network, which would make video gaming a possibility. McAdam said he expects to see a variety of LTE devices at CES 2011 -- not just LTE cards and dongles.

Looking ahead, McAdam said he expects that most consumers will ultimately have a number of devices that need connectivity -- four, five, six or perhaps as many as 20 devices. Consumers will want to buy "a bucket of megabytes" to be used any way they want by any of the devices. Voice becomes irrelevant because Verizon Wireless expects that by 2012 the voice that it sells on LTE will all be VoIP. So the game will not be about unlimited megabytes on a smartphone, but about tiers of service for all these devices.

ACCESS and OKI ACCESS Offer VoIP Solution for Smartphones

ACCESS CO. and OKI ACCESS Technologies Co. introduced an IMS-based VoIP solution for mobile operators, ISPs and Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). The NetFront IP-Phone system provides both 3G and WiFi air interfaces, and it supports all three major smartphone operating systems: iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile.

The solution, which will be available from ACCESS worldwide as of June 2010, uses a "NetFront IMS Client" to enable the smartphone to communicate with a variety of IP telephony servers in the carrier's network. The NetFront IP-Phone interface is compliant with 3GPP, OMA(Open Mobile Alliance) and IETF standards. NetFront IP-Phone is not bundled with specific services, so ISPs and MVNOs can customize it to offer differentiated IP telephony services.

The IMS framework also features the companies' "eSound" VoIP technology, which enables realistic voice tones that are superior to conventional phone quality.

"Since the foundation of our company, OKI ACCESS Technologies has focused on developing advanced IMS solutions that create value-added services by integrating OKI's industry-leading information technologies and ACCESS' mobile software technologies. We are confident that NetFront IP-Phone will contribute to the growth of mobile VoIP markets," said Osamu Nakazawa, president of OKI ACCESS Technologies.
  • OKI ACCESS was established in November 2005 as a joint venture between Oki Electric Industry Co. and ACCESS CO., to develop voice and video media products for Next Generation mobile devices.

Juniper's SSL VPN Gains Military Certification

Juniper Networks' SA Series SSL VPN (Secured Sockets Layer Virtual Private Network) appliances have been tested and certified by the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) for interoperability with Defense Department Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) requirements.

JITC interoperability testing and certification are required by the U.S. Department of Defense for all IT equipment that attaches to U.S. defense networks.

"Removing passwords--and their transmission across the Internet, as well as the organizational or cloud-based files where they are stored and managed--eliminates a huge vulnerability for managers of critical, sensitive networks," said Bob Fortna, vice president, Defense, Juniper Networks. "The use of a certified SSL VPN solution in a CAC-enabled PKI environment promotes highly secure network access, continuity of operations during emergencies, and offers significant reductions in inappropriate network use and intrusions."

Infonetics: Telco CAPEX to Bottom-Out this Year

Despite the economic crisis, telecom service providers reduced their capital expenditures by only 5.9% worldwide in 2009, according to a new report from Infonetics Research. Two reasons are cited for the relatively modest decline: "service providers are operating with clean balance sheets, having learned that lesson from the great telecom crash, and the demand for broadband today is very real indeed." Infonetics expects that telco CAPEX will bottom-out this year before returning to an upgrade cycle in 2011.

Some other highlights of the report:

  • Worldwide, service providers spent US$295 billion in 2009 on telecom and non-telecom capital expenditure projects, 5.9% less than they spent in 2008

  • Carriers reduced investment in network infrastructure by 8% in 2009, with the deepest cuts in IP voice infrastructure, optical network equipment, video infrastructure, and IP routers

  • Mobile infrastructure spending continues to make up the largest portion of all network infrastructure investments made by service providers, making up about 19%

  • Worldwide, service providers took in US$1.65 trillion in revenue in 2009, a decrease of 4.2% from 2008

  • Carrier revenue is expected to resume growth in 2010

  • The world's 10 largest service providers (ranked in order by 2009 revenue in US dollars) are AT&T, NTT, Verizon, Deutsche Telekom, China Mobile, France Télécom, Vodafone, Telefónica, KDDI, and Comcast.

Infonetics' capex report tracks revenue, capex, capex-to-revenue ratios, opex, ARPU, subscribers, and access lines of 184 public and semi-private/government-owned service providers on a monthly and biannual basis. The report includes past, current, and forecast capex and revenue data through 2014 and equipment forecasts through 2010, market drivers, analysis, service provider demographics, and customizable pivot tables to analyze data by service provider, service provider type, and equipment category.

DISH First to Offer Local Broadcast Channels in All 210 Local Markets

Next week, DISH Network plans to launch local channels in 29 new markets across the U.S., becoming the first and only pay-TV provider to offer local channels to consumers in every market nationwide.

The announcement coincides with the signing of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2010 (STELA) by President Obama, which paved the way for DISH Network to take this historic step.

Fujitsu Develops Super Hi-Vision Encoder for NHK

Fujitsu has developed codec equipment for systems transmitting Super Hi-Vision (SHV) video, with resolution 16 times higher than Japan's current Full Hi-Vision video. SHV offers a resolution of 7,680 x 4,320 pixels. This compares to 1,920 x 1,080 pixels for 1080p HD.

The new codec equipment was delivered as a prototype to NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories. The codec equipment utilizes the H.264 encoding format and can efficiently compress SHV video at a rate of 60-frames per second (fps), a world's first, for transmission via broadcasting networks or IP connections.

Compared to existing equipment, Fujitsu said its new device achieves double the compression efficiency, and due to more efficient inter-frame predictive processing, also results in higher video quality for the whole system. The improved compression efficiency allows the video to be transmitted using lower bandwidth, thereby reducing the line costs and making a significant contribution towards the practical implementation of SHV video transmissions.

Huawei Supplies Video Interworking Gateway for Beijing Unicom

Beijing Unicom, a subsidiary of China Unicom, has deployed an integrated solution from Huawei for providing multi-media video communications between mobile callers and traditional fixed-line customers using a VIG (video interworking gateway). The solution uses Huawei' s mobile softswitch and allows multi-media video interworking between fixed and 3G mobile networks.

Huawei said its integrated VIG solution simplifies operation and maintenance for China Unicom, as opposed to a separate video gateway solution, and it can also provide IMS and IM-MGW (IP multimedia media gateway) capabilities, which will allow China Unicom to implement complete fixed-mobile convergence.

Eutelsat Focuses Four Satellites on 2010 FIFA World Cup

Eutelsat Communications has four satellites ready for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Eutelsat's W2A, W3A, W4 and W7 satellites will provide high-power capacity over Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) will reinforce its existing permanent capacity on Eutelsat satellites with two extra 72 MHz transponders booked on the W2A satellite. This satellite will enable the games, summary reports and highlights of the championship to be broadcast live from the EBU's international broadcast centre, located for the event in Soweto, to its headquarters in Geneva. Images will then be delivered by the EBU to its 75 broadcast members and other clients in extended Europe, using W2A for Europe and W3A for Africa and the Middle East.

Eutelsat also said that in addition to carrying live broadcasts of matches by rights holders, it will provide customers operating in South Africa with satellite links so that journalists working in the field can be directly connected to studios in their respective countries. Clients including GlobeCast, APTN, Arqiva, Telenor and TVI, who all already lease permanent capacity on Eutelsat, will reinforce their resources on W2A, W7 and W3A for these transmissions.