Tuesday, May 29, 2012

European Commission to Act on Net Neutrality

European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes is planning to propose action on consumer choice and "net neutrality", saying that while the market generally has functioned well, greater regulatory certainty is needed to ensure that all European consumers have access to the open, best-efforts Internet.

Citing newly released data from BEREC, the body of European network regulators, Kroes said that at least 20%, and potentially up to half of EU mobile broadband users have contracts that allow their Internet service provider (ISP) to restrict services like VOIP (e.g. Skype) or peer-to-peer file sharing. In addition, up to 95% of users in a country, may be served by fixed operators (spread across virtually all EU member states) that apply restrictions such as to limit peer-to-peer volumes at peak times. About 20% of operators engage in this practice.

Kroes plans to issue recommendations to "end the net neutrality waiting game in Europe." This includes requirements that consumers be provided with clear information on actual, real-life broadband speeds; clear information on the limits of what they are paying for (instead dof the vague "fair use" policies currently in place); and clear information on whether the service they are buying is real "Champagne or lesser sparkling wine" -- if it is not full Internet, it shouldn't be marketed as such. 
http://europa.eu http://erg.eu.int/whatsnew/index_en.htm 

Sprint's iDEN Nextel Network Set for Retirement

Sprint will cease service on its iDEN Nextel National Network as early as June 30, 2013. 

Sprint is working to transition business and government customers from its iDEN (2G) Nextel National Network onto its next-generation, push to talk service, Direct Connect, which operates on Sprint’s 3G CDMA network. The company has already discontinued selling iDEN devices in certain channels and will discontinue selling iDEN devices in all channels and all brands carrying iDEN Nextel products over the next several months.

Sprint launched its new Direct Connect PTT service in October of last year. The service provides broadband data capabilities, familiar push-to-talk features, and rugged and reliable handset options. Sprint Direct Connect coverage is expected to broaden throughout 2012. 

  • The Sprint iDEN network traces its roots to the 1987 foundation of FleetCall, which later became Nextel Communications in 1993. Sprint acquired Nextel in 2005. The Nextel network operates in the 800MHz Specialized Mobile Radio band and uses iDEN technology developed by Motorola.
  • In April, Sprint provided the following update on its Network Vision:

    Approximately 600 Network Vision sites are now on air. These are meeting speed and coverage enhancement targets.

    Zoning requirements are completed for approximately 9,700 sites and leasing agreements have been completed for close to 7,700 sites.

    More than 3,200 sites are in notice to proceed status and work has started on approximately 3,000.

    Sprint expects to bring approximately 12,000 sites on air by the end of 2012 and to complete the majority of its Network Vision roll-out in 2013.

    Approximately 1,300 iDEN sites have been taken off air to date. Sprint expects to shut down a total of 9,600 before the end of the third quarter.

    Sprint expects to launch 4G LTE in six major cities by mid-year 2012 including Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Atlanta, Kansas City and Baltimore.

Alcatel-Lucent lands EUR 100M FTTH Contract with China Telecom

China Telecom awarded a contract value at Euro 100 million to Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell, for the deployment of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks across China’s 31 provinces. The rollout, which is part of China Telecom’s ambitious "Broadband China, Fiber Cities" plan, aims to serve millions of households with a wide range of high-speed services and guaranteed quality of service.

Alcatel-Lucent will supply Chine Telecom with its 7360 Intelligent Services Access Manager (ISAM) system, which supports GPON as well as EPON broadband technologies.

Rajeev Singh-Molares, President of Alcatel-Lucent Asia-Pacific Region, said: “This project highlights the rapid expansion of broadband in China. It also demonstrates our strong and growing leadership position in the FTTH market as we help accelerate the availability of superfast broadband throughout China.”