Thursday, August 16, 2012

FCC Issues New 800 MHz Band Plan for U.S. - Mexico Sharing Zone

The FCC issued its new 800 MHz band plan for the U.S. - Mexico border. The notice is a follow up to the agreement signed in June between the United States and Mexico for sharing spectrum in the 800 MHz and 1.9 GHz bands along the U.S.-Mexican border.

The FCC said this marks the beginning of the final phase for rebanding in the 800 MHz band across the country. These actions will help support commercial broadband services and public safety mission-critical voice communications along the U.S.-Mexico border and throughout the United States.

Communications Workers Of America Ratify AT&T Wireline Agreements

Wireline employees represented by the Communications Workers of America have voted to ratify three-year contracts for the AT&T Midwest region and AT&T Corp. (CWA Telecommunications and Technology Office). The deals were reached July 21 and cover more than 13,000 wireline employees in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The AT&T Corp. agreement covers about 5,700 wireline employees located throughout the country.

Philippines’Smart Ready for LTE Launch

Smart Communications is ready to launch its first commercial LTE service in the Philippines. Test networks have been underway in various parts of the country over the past year conducted by PLDT’s wireless subsidiary. Several LTE sites located in Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao, and Boracay have already been active months prior to the commercial launch.

Smart’s LTE service will deliver speeds of up to 42 mbps with fallback to HSPA+, HSPA and 3G .

Smart’s LTE deployment was made possible by the PLDT Group’s P67.1 billion network technology refresh program which has replaced the base station equipment in all of Smart’s over 9,500 base stations nationwide with 4G-ready facilities. This program has also strengthened the PLDT Group’s fiber optic networks and overseas fiber optic cable systems.

"The Philippines’ first and only LTE service is here and it’s running on Smart’s ‘super-charged’ mobile network," said Smart Chief Wireless Adviser Orlando B. Vea.

ZTE Intros First Multi-Mode TDD/FDD LTE Devices

ZTE introduced the first multi-standard USB modem and uFi which supports LTE FDD/LTE TDD/TD-SCDMA / EDGE.

The company said its multi-mode approach breaks down regional standard barriers and constraints at user end points.
The MF820S2 is the world’s first LTE FDD/LTE TDD/TD-SCDMA/EDGE multi-standard data card. It features LTE TDD 68M DL speed, LTE FDD 100M DL speed, USB Rotator (270 degrees rotation), and internal antenna. It is compatible with major operators and network systems around the world. With customized networks at different locations, it provides flexibility for travelers.

The MF91S is a portable uFi, supporting LTE FDD/LTE TDD/TD-SCDMA/EDGE standards. Weighing only 105g and running on Li-ion 2300mAh, the mini pocket uFi is the most suitable companion for PC laptops, Macbooks or multi-device users on-the-go.

“This is a transformational year for ZTE’s terminal business. We are catalyzing LTE development on the global stage through heralding new innovations in the LTE terminal market. The new MF820S2 and MF91S are clear demonstrations of ZTE’s leadership in LTE," said ZTE EVP and Head of the Terminal Division, Mr. He Shiyou. “Through continued investment in R&D, we hope to deliver even more cutting edge products for ZTE’s end-to-end terminal suite."

Infonetics: Optical Network Spending up 15% Sequentially in 2Q12

The global optical network equipment market-WDM and SONET/SDH-grew 15% in 2Q12 from the previous quarter, but is down 10% from the year-ago 2nd quarter, according to new analysis released by Infonetics Research.

The improved results are a step up from very weak performance in Q1 2012, especially in Europe and in the Service Provider segment.

"The optical hardware market outlook looks decidedly different depending on which market you sell into," notes Andrew Schmitt, principal analyst for optical at Infonetics Research. "While spending on WDM is reasonably healthy, SONET/SDH is sailing off a cliff. Vendors who have good WDM products but large exposure to SONET/SDH are struggling to replace lost revenue fast enough to show growth."

Schmitt adds: "Asia Pacific notched a big increase in the second quarter, with large seasonal gains by Huawei and ZTE. Despite tepid growth in the first half of 2012, we expect significant growth in optical spending in China, where ZTE continues to take market share from Huawei."

Some other highlights:
  • The global optical network equipment market-WDM and SONET/SDH-grew 15% in 2Q12 from the previous quarter, but is down 10% from the year-ago 2nd quarter

  • Huawei expanded its lead in the global optical network hardware market in 2Q12; Alcatel-Lucent held onto the #2 spot (optical revenue up 5%); and Ciena posted its strongest quarter on record, easily maintaining 3rd overall and edging into 2nd in the WDM segment.

  • North American SONET/SDH spending is down 45% year-over-year, negatively impacting vendors with legacy revenue streams; AT&T, in particular, has cut aggressively

  • WDM now accounts for 80% of all optical spending in North America

  • Optical equipment revenue in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) was up sharply in 2Q12, but still down year-over-year; spending growth on WDM equipment outpaced SDH, a positive indicator for the region.

NSNs Optical Platform Gains U.S. DISA Certification

Nokia Siemens Networks’ optical technology has been accorded Approved Product List (APL) status by the US government’s Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), enabling the Department of Defense (DoD) to purchase and deploy the company’s optical equipment, which is based on its hiT7300 platform that uses coherent CP-QPSK technology.

NSN's high capacity DWDM transmission system allows up to 96 optical channels on a single fiber, with each channel carrying data at 100 Gbps. This gives a total capacity of up to 9.6 terabits per second per fiber.

“This US approval is testimony to our optical technology’s capabilities," said Bob Fennelly, head of the US government and public safety customer team at Nokia Siemens Networks. “With the need to access advanced applications across its defense bases, the DoD’s bandwidth requirement has increased exponentially. Nokia Siemens Networks hiT7300 platform is scalable and able to support the DoD’s current and future demand for bandwidth."

China Mobile Reaches 683 Million Users, Wireless Data Traffic up 184% in 1H2012

China Mobile reported revenue of RMB266.5 billion (US$41.8 billion) for the first half of 2012, up 6.6% over the same period last year, as profits increased by 1.5% over the same period last year to RMB62.2 billion. EBITDA slightly decreased by 0.9% over the same period last year to RMB123.1 billion, with EBITDA margin reaching 46.2%.

Despite increased mobile penetration rates and intensified competition, China Mobile had a net addition of 33.51 million customers, bringing the total customer base to 683 million. The mid- to high-end customer base remained stable. Revenue derived from wireless data traffic, as a component of data services revenue, achieved RMB29.2 billion, up 51.6% over the same period last year.

Some highlights for the first half of 2012:
  • Added 15 million 3G subscribers to reach total of 67 million.
  • Voice usage volume continued to increase, with total voice usage reaching 2,060 billion minutes, up 9.2% over the same period last year.
  • Wireless data traffic accounted for 11.0% of operating revenue.
  • Revenue from applications and information services reached RMB24.6 billion, up 8.2% over the same period last year.
  • China Mobile's 2.83 million Wi-Fi APs 68.6% of total data traffic in 1H 2012, effectively offloading its GSM network
  • China Mobile has 750,000 GSM Base Stations, with network utilization at ~72.4%.
  • China Mobile now has nearly 240,000 3G base stations, network utilization reached 18.5%
  • China Mobile is currently offering 167 smartphone models, 126 of which are priced below RMB 1,000
  • China Mobile is making progress with its Smart Pipes initiative: Mobile Mailbox revenue was up 82% to RMB 1.1 billion, Mobile Reading Revenue was up 77% to RMB 502 million, Mobile Video revenue was up 83% to RMB 420 million, Mobile Gaming revenue was up 48% to RMB 415 million.
  • Added 480,000km of fiber to its metro networks.