Thursday, March 10, 2011

LightSquared Partners with Open Range for Rural LTE+Satellite

LightSquared, the new company building a wholesale-only integrated LTE + broadband satellite network, has formed a multi-year, strategic partnership with Open Range Communications to serve rural markets across the U.S.

The partnership is expected to include a licensing arrangement whereby Open Range will lease LightSquared's L-band spectrum. This wholesale agreement will enable Open Range to sell LightSquared's next generation satellite capacity. The partnership will also include a 4G nationwide reciprocal roaming arrangement. Under the arrangement, the companies will collaborate on the design, build-out and operation of Open Range's network as well as on product and service evolution.

The companies said their partnership will help fulfill the promise of the FCC's National Broadband Plan by addressing the needs of "consumers, businesses, healthcare, tribal organizations, public safety and other government users located in or traveling to rural communities."

The deal is still being completed and is subject to review by the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Utilities Program, and approval of spectrum lease arrangements by the FCC.

"Open Range's unwavering vision is for ubiquitous High Speed Internet Service at an affordable price across all of rural America. The partnership with LightSquared helps fulfill our vision of delivering the most advanced and interoperable broadband wireless communications services to un-served and underserved rural communities across America. The combination of satellite and Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC) services provides the only feasible way to offer meaningful ubiquitous nationwide rural broadband and meet President Obama's goals," said Open Range Chief Executive Officer and founder Bill Beans.
  • Open Range Communications is a unique public and private partnership. The company was approved in 2009 for a loan by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Utilities Program (RDUP) to deliver High Speed Wireless Internet to more than 500 communities across 17 states. This Broadband Access Loan of $267 million loan (the largest in USDA history) was made possible through the positive and combined efforts of the USDA’s RUS and FCC. Open Range received additional private equity funding on January 9, 2009 through an investment of $100 million from One Equity Partners (OEP), the private equity arm of JPMorgan Chase & Co. The OEP investment satisfied the RDUP's loan terms, making the funds available to Open Range.

Google Sees Slight Bump in Traffic from Japan

Despite the earthquake, tsunami and network/power outages, Google search traffic volume from Japan showed a slight increase on March 11. There was not a sudden cut.

Fujitsu Selects Telefónica as its Strategic Partner for Mobile Services in Europe

Fujitsu, the Japanese global ICT company, has selected Telefónica as its European wireless communications provider for voice and data services for 30,000 connections across 15 countries. The €30 million four-year contract covers the UK, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Italy, France, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, Norway, Denmark and Sweden – of which more than 60 per cent are migrations to the Telefónica network, representing a significant win in Europe.

Telefónica Multinational Solutions will assume responsibility for the end to end delivery of customer service management, development and post-sales service in the countries covered by the agreement, coordinating Telefónica Business Units and partners in those countries.

Indonesia's Protelindo Outsources Base Station Mgt to NSN

Protelindo, an independent provider of wireless communications infrastructure in Indonesia, has renewed its managed services contract with Nokia Siemens Networks for maintaining and operating over 5,000 base station towers for a multi-year period, with the possibility of yearly extensions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nokia Siemens Networks noted that it has more than 300 managed services contracts, supporting 490 million subscribers on its customer networks globally.

Ericsson Completes Acquisition of Nortel's Multiservice Switch business

Ericsson completed its previously announced acquisition of Nortel's Multiservice Switch business.

The Multiservice Switch business offers switching platforms for CDMA networks.

Ericsson said the deal gives its a strong product portfolio and installed base in the data segment while ensuring the supply of the platform for the recently acquired CDMA and GSM units.

"We are gaining a solid business with a significant installed base and technology that complements our existing Ericsson portfolio. In key locations around the globe, we grow our data capability with experienced and talented people." said Rima Qureshi, senior vice president and head of business unit CDMA Mobile Systems.

The former Nortel Multiservice Switch staff will be integrated into the Ericsson group in business unit CDMA Mobile Systems over the coming months and will work under the Ericsson brand effective today. Former Nortel customers gain a stable partner committed to the ongoing evolution of their networks and the assurance of a seamless business transition.

NTT Implements Network Congestion Controls, Docomo Activates I-mode Disaster Message Board

NTT is implementing pre-arranged plans to separately manage voice calls and data packet transmissions for some handsets in order to avoid network congestion following the high-magnitude earthquake and tsunami. Voice calls are being limited to ensure SMS and packet traffic priority.

Docomo activated its I-mode Disaster Message Board Service, which allows subscribers in Japan to post personal messages for friends and relatives who might not otherwise be able to contact them in the immediate aftermath of a national disaster, such as a high-magnitude earthquake.

In addition to heavy network traffic, the company said its Corporate Communications Services (IP-VPN, e-VLAN, etc.) are disrupted, possibly due to damage at a data center near Tokyo.

Initial reports also indicated that the APCN2 cable system may have been damaged in some segments.

Ericsson Deploys 3G Core and RAN in Delhi for Airtel

Ericsson announced the deployment of its latest core and radio technology to support the launch of airtel's 3G services in Delhi and the National Capital Region. The network was deployed only 5 months and will be able to serve 7.6 million customers in the region. airtel 3G services in Delhi will have a comprehensive presence, delivering speeds up to 21 Mbps even in indoor environments.

Ericsson is supplying a 3G network based on WCDMA/HSPA technology across 8 circles. The company is providing services like network rollout, network design, network integration and training. The network comprises more than 1,800 radio base stations based on Ericsson's RBS 6000, and the latest core technology, which will drastically boost the capacity of the network and evolve it into an IP network.

Ericsson estimates the mobile broadband customers will hit the one billion mark in 2011. The greatest number of customers, around 400 million, is expected to be concentrated in the Asia Pacific region. By 2016, the number of mobile broadband customers is forecast to be close to 5 billion, with 95 percent on HSPA, CDMA and LTE networks.

  • In September 2010, Bharti Airtel announced the selection of Ericsson India, Nokia Siemens Networks and Huawei Technologies as network partners to launch 3G Services in India. Bharti Airtel awarded majority of the 3G License Circles to Ericsson India. With this, Ericsson continues to be Bharti's largest Network Partner across 2G and 3G circles in the country. On the same lines, Bharti has also expanded its relationship with Nokia Siemens Networks, which would manage Bharti's 3G Network in 3 circles across India. Bharti Airtel has also introduced Huawei Technologies as the 3rd partner for offering 3G services in a few circles.

Pacific Crossing's PC-1 Cable Suffers Cut

Pacific Crossing, a wholly owned subsidiary of NTT Communications, confirmed the outage of its PC-1 W and PC-1 N cables following Friday's 8.9 magnitude earthquake. The company evacuated its Japanese cable landing station in Ajigaura due to the tsunami. No word yet on employee status, cable condition or estimated time to repair.

Pacific Crossing's 21,000km fiber optic system consists of four fiber-pairs organized in four segments connecting four cable landing stations at Harbour Pointe, Washington (near Seattle); Grover Beach, California (between San Francisco and Los Angeles); Ajigaura, Japan (near Tokyo); and Shima, Japan (near Osaka and Nagoya). The network offers extensive backhaul into major U.S. and Japanese cities.

There are at least 20 other fiber cables serving Japan, so most international traffic can be re-routed.

Vietnam's VTN Tests Coherent 100G with Ciena

Vietnam Telecoms National (VTN), Vietnam's largest service provider, has completed a 100 Gbps network trial using Ciena's coherent 100G technology.

The trial was conducted in February 2011, spanned 500 kilometers between the cities of Vinh and Danang, and follows the recent deployment of Ciena's coherent 40G solution across VTN's nationwide optical backbone. The trial was implemented by adding coherent 100G line cards in the ActivFlex 6500 Packet-Optical Platform while the platforms were in-service. No re-engineering of existing fiber routes or additional equipment required.