Monday, November 8, 2010

BT Reaches Two Million Wi-Fi Hotspots

BT is now operating a two million-strong Wi-FI hotspot network.
The hotspots are available in homes, independent businesses, high street chains, major city centres and now the underground -- the Charing Cross Tube station is the latest addition. Commuters can now connect to the web in the ticket hall area and Northern and Bakerloo line platforms at the station as part of a 6 month trial from London Underground and BT.

The two million-strong Wi-Fi estate is the biggest in the UK and comprises hotspots from the BT FON Wi-Fi Community, BT Openzone, plus BT Openzone hotspots via the BT Business Hub. The estate includes:
  • Circa 1,955,000 BT FON hotspots: These are public Wi-Fi hotspots broadcast by BT Home Hubs.

  • Circa 195,000 BT Business Hubs broadcasting a BT Openzone public Wi-Fi signal

  • Circa 3,900 BT Openzone hotspots in popular UK and Ireland locations including hotels, coffee shops, major city centres, airport lounges and terminals and marinas.

Ericsson Wins Managed Services Contract with China Unicom

Anhui Unicom - a provincial company of China Unicom - signed a three-year integrated field maintenance agreement with Ericsson, making Ericsson its largest managed services partner in Anhui Province. Ericsson will take care of the maintenance work for base station sites, as well as fixed network and transmission. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Anhui is the eighth most populated province in China and has a mobile penetration of around 50 percent.

Ericsson has been one of the major suppliers to Anhui Unicom and its largest GSM supplier.http://

Ubiquisys and NSN Develop WCDMA Femtocell

Ubiquisys, the leader in 3G femtocells, today announced a new standards-compliant WCDMA femtocell solution with Nokia Siemens Networks. The solution features standardized Iuh and TR-196 interfaces between Ubiquisys Femtocell Access Points and Nokia Siemens Networks Femto Gateways and Femto Management Systems. The system is currently in trials. Commercial release is expected in Q1 2011.

"Together we're responding to operator demand for a sophisticated yet standardized femtocell solution, one that can deal with shared spectrum deployment and that provides complete flexibility in small cell deployments," said Chris Gilbert, CEO of Ubiquisys.

Zayo Expands Fiber Network throughout Minnesota

Zayo announced plans to expand its network in Minnesota. The company will extend its fiber network to 1,700 miles throughout Minneapolis, St Paul and surrounding markets in order to enable fiber-based communications for carriers, enterprises and high bandwidth services. As a component of the investment, Zayo will increase its high bandwidth fiber-to-the-tower (FTT) coverage for multiple wireless providers in five Minnesota markets. This expansion adds Ethernet and TDM services to ~350 wireless tower sites and includes connectivity to a new wireless mobile switching center.

IBM's Cu-32 Process Technology Targets Networking Apps

IBM announced a new chip-making technology that could significantly increase the memory capacity and processing speeds of chips used in fiber-optic and wireless networks, and in such gear as routers and switches.

Specifically, IBM's Cu-32 technology offers the industry's first set of High Speed Serial (HSS) cores in 32nm silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology. This could enable:

  • 15G Backplane core supporting 16G Fibre Channel standard

  • 15G Chip-to-Chip core supporting low-power optical and chip-to-chip applications

  • 28G Backplane core supporting 32G Fibre Channel standard

  • 6G standards core supporting PCI-Express Gen1 & Gen2 standards

  • PCI-Express Gen3 core supporting PCI-Express Gen1, Gen2, and Gen3 standards

"By any measure -- from the growing number of mobile users to the explosion we're seeing in data -- network traffic will grow at a pace we haven't seen before," said Mark Ireland, VP, Semiconductor Products, IBM. "Cu-32, our most advanced Custom Logic offering, with the industry's best eDRAM and high speed serial links will provide our infrastructure partners the lead they need to create next-generation networks."

"IBM's Cu-32 technology with ARM advanced physical IP enables chip-makers to get powerful system-on-a-chip solutions quickly to market," said Simon Segars, executive vice president and general manager, ARM physical IP division. "Our collaboration with IBM allows both companies to advance the state-of-the-art in the low-power embedded semiconductors that will help create next-generation networks."

Vodafone Reports Improved Revenue Trends and Outlines New Strategy

Driven by strong performance at Verizon Wireless, Vodafone reported that its Group revenue increased by 3.9% to £22.6 billion, with improved organic growth trends in all of its regions. For its recently completed fiscal Q2, Group organic service revenue increased by 2.3%, 1.2 percentage points faster than Q1, with data revenue growth of 25.9%. Group adjusted operating profit increased by 2.7% to £6.1 billion with an increased contribution from
Africa and Central Europe, Asia Pacific and Middle East and Verizon Wireless offsetting lower profit in

Some highlights:

In Europe service revenue declined by 1.3%(*) with improvement in trends in Q2 where service revenue
declined only 0.8%(*), reflecting continued growth in Germany and the UK, an improved trend in Italy and
continuing weakness in Spain. Data revenue growth was 23.2% and fixed line growth was 4.4%.
Operating costs in Europe including Common Functions declined by 3.4%, enabling further commercial
investment. EBITDA margin declined 1.6 percentage points.

In Africa and Central Europe service revenue increased by 20.1%, reflecting favourable foreign exchange
rate movements and the impact of the acquisition of a controlling stake in Vodacom in the prior year. On
an organic basis service revenue increased by 4.8%(*), with continued growth in Turkey and Vodacom and
stable trends in most Central European operations. EBITDA margins were stable.

In Asia Pacific and Middle East service revenue increased by 22.2% reflecting a strong contribution from
India where service revenue grew by 14.7% and where we added 14.7 million customers during the
period. The regional EBITDA margin increased by nearly 2 percentage points reflecting better margins in
India as we begin to gain the benefits of scale.

At Verizon Wireless underlying service revenue growth was 6.2%, the EBITDA margin was 40.0% and data
revenue continued to grow rapidly. Free cash flow generation remained strong and net debt had reduced
to US$14.3 billion by 30 September.

On an annualised basis the Group's mobile data business has grown to nearly £5 billion and fixed line revenue, primarily broadband, has grown to over £3 billion.

Vodafone outlined the following strategy focused particularly on Europe, Africa and India:

1. Mobile data: Vodafone will focus on the rapid increase in demand for ubiquitous mobile data services
and accelerate the rate of adoption by customers in under penetrated markets.

2. Enterprise: Vodafone will further grow enterprise revenue through the introduction of new services for the
SME, SoHo and Corporate segments, increasing our addressable market and building on the momentum of Vodafone Global Enterprise and Vodafone One Net.

3. Emerging markets: Vodafone will continue to generate revenue growth from driving penetration of
mobile voice and SMS and accelerating the adoption of affordable data into our attractive markets
across India and Africa.

4. Total Communications: in Europe, Vodafone will build on our recent success in fixed broadband and continue to secure over time access to fast broadband to allow us to service the enterprise and consumer markets in a capital efficient manner.

5. New services: Vodafone will selectively expand into a number of new growth segments including
machine-to-machine services and financial mobile services.

Thales Adds MPLS–awareness Capability to Its Layer 2 Ethernet Encryptor

Thales has enhanced its line of Datacryptor Ethernet Layer 2 network encryptors by adding the ability to operate in multipoint meshed environments and support encrypted connections over end-to-end (MPLS networks. The hardware-based, stand-alone security platforms deliver full duplex point-to- point and fully-meshed multipoint encryption of sensitive data over Ethernet collision domains. The 100 Mbps, 1 Gbps, and 10 Gbps models secure the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive and high-value data, voice, and video by protecting broadcast and multicast connections, addressing the market's need for high-speed security over wide area networks.

BTI Systems Raises $11 Million for its Packet-Optical Solutions

BTI Systems raised $11 million in new financing from existing investors as well as increases in credit facilities, working capital and a significant reduction in long term liabilities. The new financing allows the company to continue to invest in its products and portfolio expansions, technology and global footprint.

BTI Systems said its is on track to exceed a record $50 million in revenue this year, which has been driven by an increase in direct sales of 80 percent over the previous fiscal year. In March 2010, the company achieved EBITDA profitability and is anticipating reaching income profitability in Fiscal Year 2011. http://www.btisystems.com31014

Time Warner Cable Prices a $1.9 Billion Debt Offering

Time Warner Cable priced a $1.9 billion underwritten public offering of debt securities, including $700 million aggregate principal amount of 4 1/8% notes due 2021 and $1.2 billion aggregate principal amount of 5 7/8% debentures due 2040. The company said net proceeds would be used for general corporate purposes, which may include the repayment of debt and the repurchase of the company's common stock. The sale of the debt securities is expected to close on November 15, 2010.

Texas Instruments Debuts High-Performance 3G/4G Base Station Chip

Texas Instruments introduced a System-on-Chip (SoC) designed for high performance macro base stations capable of supporting all wireless standards, including WCDMA/HSPA/HSPA+, TD-SCDMA, GSM, TDD-LTE, FDD-LTE, and WiMAX. The new TCI6616 device, which is based on the company's new TMS320C66x digital signal processor (DSP) offers clock speed operating frequencies of up to 1.2 GHz -- a new benchmark for the industry, according to TI. This drives performance that is double that of any 3G/4G SoC in the market.

TI also boasts that its TCI6616, which leverages the company's Keystone architecture, is the industry's first multicore DSP that processes both fixed- and floating-point math, an innovative capability that simplifies wireless base station software design. The company said its configurable coprocessors enable Software Defined Radio (SDR), which allows operators to migrate to emerging standards without needing external components. Autonomous packet processing in the TCI6616 manages packets from both core and radio networks, offloading packet processing and freeing cycles for algorithms that enhance spectral efficiency. The autonomous operation of the packet coprocessors simplifies design and reduces costs for developers. Together, these configurable coprocessors, which target all major wireless standards, yield the performance equivalent of over 250 DSPs.

CenturyLink and Qwest Reach Deal With Fed Customers

CenturyLink and Qwest Communications announced an agreement in Arizona, Colorado and Utah with federal government customers that addresses the handling of merger-related costs, the continued sufficiency of both high service quality and employees with needed security clearances. CenturyLink and Qwest and their federal government customers will urge the public utility commissions in Arizona, Colorado and Utah to approve the companies' merger application with the associated settlement agreement, as the agreement and the merger being in the public interest.

Business Insider: Netflix Moves Traffic from Akamai to Level 3

Business Insider reported that Netflix is moving significant amounts of its streaming traffic off of Akamai's content delivery network and on Level 3 Communications and Limelight. Earlier this year, Netflix picked Akamai as its primary CDN.

DOCOMO's LTE Launch Set for Dec 24 -- $60/Month Initial Rate

NTT DOCOMO will launch its "Xi" (read "Crossy") LTE service on December 24, 2010. Xi promises a top theoretical downlink speed of 75 Mbps from some buildings in the network's footprint, maximum downlinks of 37.5 Mbps elsewhere with 12.5 Mbps uplink rates. This is approximately ten times faster than DOCOMO's 3G service.

Xi service initially will be available in the Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka areas, with other major cities and regions to be added thereafter. This initial rollout involves approximately 1,000 base stations, of which 800 LTE base stations are in Tokyo and 100 each in Nagoya and Osaka.

DOCOMO initially will sell a USB LTE device from LG Electronics for providing connectivity to mobile computers. Voice calls using Xi are expected sometime within the fiscal year starting in April 2011, when DOCOMO will begin launching LTE-compatible mobile phones.

At launch, two data-only billing plans will be offered: "Xi Data Plan Ninen" and "Xi Data Plan." Xi Data Plan Ninen, which will require a two-year contract, will cost between 1,000 and 6,510 yen (including tax) for up to 5 gigabytes (GB) of data per month. Over 5 GB, 2,625 yen (including tax) will be charged for each 2 GB (details about both plans are attached).

As a special introductory offer, the maximum monthly charge for unlimited data using Xi Data Plan Ninen will be 4,935 yen (US$60) through April 2012.

The company charges 5,985 yen for unlimited 3G use.

Billing plans for Xi voice services will be announced later.

The LTE-related CAPEX spending for FY 2010 was approximate 35 billion yen (approx. US$431 million) and this spending is expected to reach 100 billion yen ($1.2 billion) and 170 billion yen ($2 billion) in FY 2012.

As for the Xi brand, the "X" denotes both "connection" and "infinite possibility," and the "i" both "individual user" and "innovation." The logo, which resembles the infinity symbol, aligns the letters in a single stream to embody the bonds that organically link people, goods and information, and lead to new innovation.
  • In June 2010, NTT DOCOMO began testing its LTE network in the Tokyo area, prior to the full-scale launch of extra-high-speed LTE commercial service in December.
    DOCOMO said it expects to confirm 5 MHz-bandwidth throughput for 37.5 Mbps downlinks and 12.5 Mbps uplinks, and later 10 MHz-bandwidth throughput for maximum 75 Mbps downlinks and 25 Mbps uplinks in selected test areas.

    The 2 GHz network system comprises dual W-CDMA/LTE base stations, LTE core network equipment and LTE-enabled mobile devices. For efficiency, DOCOMO has been installing LTE base-station components on existing W-CDMA 3G base stations.
    Base stations in DOCOMO's existing W-CDMA network that already are equipped with dual W-CDMA/LTE remote radio equipment1 can be easily upgraded for LTE service with the addition of an LTE BDE (base station digital equipment).

    The LTE devices to be used in the pre-launch operation are equipped for theoretical speeds of 100 Mbps downlinks and 50 Mbps uplinks. Compatibility with W-CDMA will enable seamless handover as the devices move between LTE and W-CDMA service areas in the network.
    The devices also are compatible with the GSM protocol, which will enable them to be used on LTE/GSM networks in overseas markets.

  • In March 2010, Fujitsu began shipping LTE mobile base station systems to NTT DOCOMO, which plans to launch LTE services in December 2010.

    Fujitsu was selected by NTT DOCOMO in October 2006 as a vendor to develop and manufacture the company's LTE wireless mobile base stations. Since then, the two companies have been jointly developing and evaluating the systems.
    Fujitsu said LTE, also called Super 3G, should reach transmission rates of up to 150 Mbps downstream and 50 Mbps upstream, in addition to featuring low latency.
    The new LTE base stations incorporate numerous advanced Fujitsu technologies, such as highly efficient amplifier technology, to make them lightweight, energy-efficient, and high-performance.