Thursday, November 18, 2010

Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance Appoints Board

The Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance appointed its new Board Members:, elected for the period from 2010 to 2012 are:

Olivier Baujard, Chief Technology Officer, Deutsche Telekom AG

Thierry Bonhomme, Executive Vice President IT, Networks and Product Support, France Telecom - Orange

Sandro Dionisi, Head of TI Lab (Innovation and Engineering dpt), Telecom Italia S.p.A.

Jong Tae Ihm, Senior Vice President, Head of Institute of Network Technology (R&D Center), MNO Business, SK telecom Ltd.

Mitsunobu Komori, Executive Vice President, Chief Technical Officer, Member of Board of Directors, and Managing Director of R&D Center, NTT DOCOMO Inc.

Li Zhengmao, Executive Vice President, China Mobile Communications Corporation

Andy MacLeod, Director Group Networks, Vodafone Group Services

Kristin S. Rinne, Senior Vice President - Architecture & Planning, AT&T, Inc.

Bruce Rodin, Vice President Wireless Technology, Bell Canada Enterprises

Vicente San Miguel Maza, Global Chief Technology Officer, Telefónica S.A.

The vision of the NGMN Alliance is to provide a platform for innovation by moving towards one integrated network for the seamless introduction of mobile broadband services.

Frontier: Suspects Charged with Murder in Copper Theft Accident

Frontier Communications has intensified its efforts to combat copper theft. The company said it will vigorously follow up on the prosecution of vandalism and theft of its infrastructure.

Frontier cited a recently case in Beckley, West Virginia, where two suspects were charged with first degree murder after a third person was electrocuted while allegedly stealing copper at a facility. Raleigh County Prosecuting Attorney Kristen Keller said, "We hope that if the possibility of killing themselves doesn't deter people from attempting copper theft, then perhaps the knowledge that they can be charged with first degree murder if one of their associates is killed might help dissuade people from committing the crime."

Michigan's Agri-Valley Selects BridgeWater

Michigan-based Agri-Valley Communications, a rural internet service provider ,has selected the Bridgewater EPC 500 system for its network rollout. The Bridgewater EPC 500 system provides subscriber and device data management, policy control, and interworking functions for the LTE Evolved Packet Core. It includes the Bridgewater Home Subscriber Server and Policy Controller (PCRF) both anchored by Bridgewater's Subscriber Data Broker. Financial terms were not disclosed.
  • Last month, Nokia Siemens Network announced a contract to supply LTE gear to Agri-Valley, including its Flexi Multiradio Base Stations and Evolved Packet Core (EPC) using Flexi NS (Network Server) and Flexi NG (Network Gateway). It will also provide its NetAct network management system to efficiently monitor, manage and optimize the operator's network. Nokia Siemens Networks' Value-Added Reseller (VAR), Avion Systems will manage installation, commissioning and integration of the solution.

FiberLight Activates $20 Million Network in Maryland

FiberLight activated a $20 million, 104-mile fully diverse fiber optic network in Maryland. The new network will augment FiberLight's existing 123-mile Baltimore network and 299-mile Virginia and D.C. networks by extending the 100% underground optical backbone past the downtown business district to connect to the growing cities of Laurel, Columbia, Elkridge and Greenbelt, while providing greater diversity to the MD/D.C./VA region.

USAID Teams with Cisco to Promote Entrepreneurship

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Cisco and World Learning announced a new collaboration to promote local entrepreneurs, workforce development and economic growth in developing countries.

USAID is providing $1 million in seed funding through World Learning to encourage the creation of new Cisco Entrepreneur Institutes and Networking Academy programs in up to 10 countries. USAID Missions will in turn be invited to partner with local Cisco offices to fund country or customized initiatives, such as curriculum enhancement, scholarships, or initiatives that target underserved populations, including youth, women and persons with disabilities. A portion of the funding also could be used to translate and localize training content to ensure it meets local business laws and regulations. The programs aims train more than 2,500 students over the next two years.

"USAID is proud to partner with Cisco and World Learning to expand local entrepreneurial activities in developing countries with the goal of alleviating poverty and promoting sustained economic growth," stated Deputy Administrator Donald Steinberg, at a ceremony held at USAID to sign the partners' Memorandum of Understanding. "This alliance will help build sustainable businesses and train the business leaders of tomorrow."

India's 2008 2G Spectrum Auctions Cited for Fraud

India's auction of 2G spectrum, which were conducted two years ago, is the subject of a fraud investigation implicating former Telecom Minister, Mr. Andimuthu Raja, and other government. In what is being described as one of the nation's biggest political corruption scandals, investigators allege that the low-prices for the 2G licenses could have cost India's treasury billions -- perhaps as much as US$40 billion. Proposals have now been floated to cancel up to 62 of the 2G licenses held be five leading mobile operators.
  • In May 2010, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar and Reliance Communications were major winners in the 3G spectrum auction that was just concluded by India's Ministry of Communications & Information Technology. After 183 rounds of bidding in 4 days, the auction raised approximately Rs 67,719 crore (US$15 billion) in commitments from the carriers. Pundits had predicted between Rs 30,000 crore to Rs 35,000 crore in auction proceeds for the spectrum, indicating fierce bidding as the number of mobile users across the country continues to soar.

Cisco Authorizes Up To $10B in Additional Stock Repurchases

Cisco's board of directors authorized up to $10 billion in additional repurchases of its common stock. Cisco's board had previously authorized up to $72 billion in stock repurchases. There is no fixed termination date for the repurchase program.

"Today's decision to increase Cisco's stock repurchase program is part of our continued commitment to return cash to shareholders, which also includes our plan to issue a dividend this fiscal year," said Frank Calderoni, chief financial officer, Cisco. "We are confident in our strategy, product portfolio and ability to capture and lead new markets."

From the inception of the repurchase program in September 2001 through the close of Cisco's first quarter fiscal year 2011 on October 30, 2010, the company had repurchased and retired 3.2 billion shares at an average price of $20.83 per share for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $67.5 billion, with a remaining authorized amount of $4.5 billion.

Kotura Demos Ultrafast Silicon Photonics Switch

Kotura demonstrated an ultrafast, submilliwatt, broadband 2 x 2 optical switch. The device boasts switching speeds of 6 ns and power consumption of only 0.6 milliwatts. The company said large numbers of 2 x 2 switch modules could be integrated to create complex switch fabrics.

"We are putting all the building blocks in place for Optical Interconnects," reported Mehdi Asghari, CTO at Kotura. "We previously demonstrated high-speed, low-power modulators, high-speed detectors with record performance, and low-loss wavelength division multiplexers and de-multiplexers. With our new 2 x 2 switch we will be able to support more complex silicon photonic circuits and enable more flexible interconnecting architectures. The switching power of 0.6mW achieved by this free carrier current injection device represents, to our knowledge, a world record and the speed of 6ns is amongst the fastest ever reported."

Kotura's low-power high-speed switch was developed as part of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's Ultra-performance Nano-photonic Intrachip Communications (UNIC) program in conjunction with Oracle Corporation, under the leadership of Dr. Jagdeep Shah, DARPA Program Manager.