Thursday, November 23, 2006

China Mobile Selects Alcatel for Nationwide IP Network

China Mobile, the world's largest mobile operator, selected Alcatel for a full-scale, nationwide IP network deployment project. Financial terms were not disclosed. The contract was won through Alcatel Shanghai Bell.

The project entails the deployment of the Alcatel 7750 Service Router and Alcatel 5620 Service Aware Manager in 13 densely-populated provinces and municipalities of China including: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Shanxi, Anhui, Gansu, Ningxia, Liaoning, Guizhou, Guangxi, Hunan, Jilin and Hainan.

Alcatel noted that all the major Chinese operators including China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom and China Netcom, have selected its IP solution.
  • In the first half of 2006, China Mobile added 25.775 million net new subscribers, increasing its total customer base to approximately 274 million. The company continues to add an average of over 4.29 million users per month.

  • In August 2006, China Mobile also reported that its total usage volume reached 569,203 million minutes, average minutes of usage per user per month (MOU) reached 367 minutes, average revenue per user per month (ARPU) held steady at RMB88 (approximately US$11.02).

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Nokia Launches Peer-to-Peer Traffic Control for Mobile Operators

Nokia introduced a Peer-to-peer Traffic Control solution for mobile operators. The centralized solution is implemented as a software upgrade to the Nokia Flexi Intelligent Service Node (ISN) and will be commercially available during the first half of 2007.

The Nokia Peer-to-peer Traffic Control solution can identify data traffic according to the type of service, for example file sharing. Nokia said mobile operators can use this capability to treat traffic in a way that best optimizes the use of network resources according to its business strategy.

The Nokia Flexi ISN, introduced in February 2004, is a high-availability, high-capacity connectivity and control element that offers service availability for mobile users independent of the access method. It acts as a centralized control point for data services, providing cellular network users with data connectivity.

Nokia recently concluded its 50th commercial Flexi ISN deal, cementing its leadership position in the Intelligent Packet Core market.

COLT Appoints new CEO -- Rakesh Bhasin

COLT Telecom Group has appointed Rakesh Bhasin as its new President and Chief Executive, succeeding Jean-Yves Charlier. Mr. Bhasin will also be joining the COLT Board and Mr. Charlier will be stepping down from the Board.

Bhasin currently is a Group Managing Director of Fidelity. Since February of 2001, he has served as President and Chief Executive of KVH Co., Ltd, a Fidelity Asia-focused telecom and network solutions provider headquartered in Tokyo. Prior to joining KVH in 2001, he served in various senior positions within AT&T, including head of AT&T Asia Pacific's managed network services business from 1993-97, President, AT&T Japan, Ltd., and also Senior Managing Director, Japan Telecom Company Limited. Mr. Bhasin will be stepping down as President and Chief Executive of KVH. From his new position in London, he will remain as non-executive Chairman of KVH.

SAMSUNG Launches HSDPA + DVB-H Mobile Phone for Italy

SAMSUNG introduced an HSDPA + DVB-H mobile phone for Telecom Italia.

Samsung's newest model, the P930, offers a horizontal-flip LCD screen for optimal mobile TV watching and supports Picture in Picture (PIP) functionality, enabling the viewer to watch two TV channels simultaneously. It offers a 2 megapixel camera and a VGA camera for video telephony. It also supports a microSD external memory slot for better storage.

Samsung said it is supporting all three global standards for mobile TV: DVB-H in Europe , MediaFLO in the U.S, and DMB in Korea .

BT Acquires Assets of Telexis Brasil

BT has acquired the assets of Telexis Brasil, Fiat's Brazilian telecommunications business, for an undisclosed sum. Telexis provides services to both Fiat Group and external customers. The company achieved revenues of around US$2 million in 2005 and had gross assets of approximately US$640,000.

BT said the deal is a significant planned step in the delivery of a global contract worth EUR 450 million over five years to supply telecommunications services to Fiat, as over EUR 30m of this value is contributed from Brazil.
  • In February 2006, BT acquired Fiat's Italian telecommunications subsidiary, Atlanet.

Alvarion Sells Cellular Mobile Unit to LGC Wireless

Alvarion completed the sale of its Cellular Mobile business unit ("CMU") to LGC Wireless, a privately-held supplier of wireless networking solutions for dense urban areas as well as inside public and private structures, for approximately $15 million in notes and the assumption of certain liabilities. The notes are due at the end of 2007 and 2008. One of the notes, in the principal amount of $7 million, is convertible into shares of common stock of LGC.

Alvarion's CMU business generated revenues of approximately $21 million in the first 3 quarters of 2006.


Alcatel and Datang Agree on TD-SCDMA

Alcatel and Datang Telecom Technology and Industry Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to drive TD-SCDMA development. Specifically, the MOU reinforces the cooperation that currently exists between the two companies in the areas of sales, marketing, industrialization, research and development of TD-SCDMA products and technologies for the domestic China market. Alcatel will assist the Datang Group abroad. Finally, the MOU includes joint development of LTE (Long Term Evolution) products and technologies.

TD-SCDMA is one of three 3G standards licensed by International Telecommunication Union (ITU) put forth by Datang Group on behalf of China in 2000. The other two are W-CDMA and CDMA 2000.
  • In November 2004, Alcatel and Datang Mobile, a subsidiary of Datang Group, signed an agreement to invest in the industrialization of TD-SCDMA in China.

  • In April 2005, Alcatel Shanghai Bell and Datang jointly demonstrated a live end-to-end TD-SCDMA solution.

Polkomtel Launches HSDPA with Nokia

Polkomtel, one of three mobile telephony operators in Poland, launched its commercial High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) network in the Warsaw area, offering speeds of up to five times faster than its current WCDMA service. Polkomtel and Nokia have worked together since 1996. Nokia supplies the HSDPA under extension of the existing frame agreement for GSM/EDGE and WCDMA 3G, signed in 2005.

Nokia Supports Orange France in Launching HSDPA

Orange France has launched the High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) services in Toulouse and Bordeaux. Nokia supplied the WCDMA 3G and HSDPA infrastructure, along with radio optimization services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nokia noted that it has 63 customers to date for WCDMA 3G.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Belgium's Proximus Selects Ericsson for Mobile TV

The Belgian operator Proximus has awarded Ericsson a contract for an end-to-end mobile TV solution, including Ericsson's Channel Selector. The contract also covers implementation, systems integration and system support. The launch of the solution is planned in the course of 2007. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ericsson said its channel selector capability makes mobile TV channel surfing much more convenient - changing from one channel to another needs just one click on the mobile handset.

Cisco to Establish Global R&D Centre in Ireland

Cisco plans to open a Research & Development Centre in Galway, Ireland. The facility will initially employ 50 skilled graduates and is projected to grow to 200 positions over the next three years for people at degree level and above.

Cisco, through its international sales and finance subsidiaries, has existing Irish operations based in Dublin, which employ 66 people in sales and support operations, which focuses on the domestic market, and a finance (captive leasing) and treasury operation.

Tellas Deploys Itatel's Softswitch

Tellas, a major wireline competitor in Greece, has selected Italtel's softswitch technology for its Next Generation Network (NGN) and for the deployment of a Metro Ethernet Network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The NGN solution will guarantee full interworking with Tellas existing legacy infrastructure for voice services and enable the delivery over an IP network of new enhanced telephony and rich content services for residential and business customers. The deployment is based on the Italtel softswitch (i-SSW) controlling both Access Nodes and CPE.

Italtel will also supply a Metro Ethernet Network with IP capabilities for advanced traffic management to support both Tellas existing broadband Internet services and the new services managed by the NGN.

Italtel will also act as overall system integrator to seamlessly integrate the NGN and Metro Ethernet solutions into the operator's network.
  • Last month, Italtel announced a new joint solution with Cisco Systems that enables service providers to offer managed and hosted IP communication solutions, facilitating the adoption of advanced Unified Communications services for businesses. The Italtel-Cisco Integrated Networked Business Voice Solution (IN-BVS) integrates the Italtel Softswitch (i-SSW) with Cisco Unified CallManager (CCM) and Cisco Unified CallManager Express (CCME) call-control systems.

  • Itatel's customer list includes Telefonica Moviles (Guatemala), EEPPM (Colombia), Du (United Arab Emirates), and Arcor (Germany).

Nortel Selected for Nationwide Optical Backbone in Iraq

Iraq Telecommunications & Post Corporation (ITPC) has awarded a US$20 million contract to Nortel to build a nationwide optical backbone in Iraq. Nortel was selected by ITPC as the prime contractor for the project following a public tender.

Under the contract, Nortel will supply a national optical backbone network that covers a distance of 5,000 kilometers and includes 35 major cities. The network will be constructed using Nortel's next generation DWDM solution including Common Photonic Layer (CPL), Optical Multiservice Edge (OME) 6500 terminals with electronic dispersion management technology and Optical Network Manager for simplifying field operations. The resilient network comprises seven interlocking rings providing a bandwidth capacity of up to 160 Gbps per ring.

The new network will link to the ITPC's Iraq South Ring DWDM network - built by Nortel in 2004 as part of the US aid-funded Iraq reconstruction programme. The network delivers broadband optical services between Baghdad and Basra.

New SMC WiFi Phone Cradle Charger Integrates AP

SMC Networks announced the availability of products to complement its WiFi phones: two cradles that keep phones charged and ready; one of which has an integrated wireless access point.

The functionality of the SMCDPCR-AP serves double-duty: as a charger/cradle, it keeps the phone charged and ready; and the 10/100Mb Ethernet port on the back of the device turns it into an 802.11g access point, so that users have a close-by and optimal signal for VoIP calling and nearby wireless clients can access the network through it as well. To ensure optimal performance for voice calls over the Internet while still serving regular clients, the SMCDPCR-AP has two SSID's: one just for VoIP calls, and the other for regular wireless clients.

The WiFi phone cradle with access point has an MSRP of $69.99, while the charger version without the access point is priced at $19.99. SMC's Skype-enabled WiFi phone has been available since August 2006, at an MSRP of $179.99.

ECI Telecom Wins Support Services Contract from ntl

ntl, the UK's largest cable operator, awarded a three-year, $5.5 million contract to ECI Telecom for ongoing support services. As part of the new agreement with ntl, ECI will provide maintenance and support services for its national network, thus enabling ntl to continue to offer exceptional service to its customers.

Qwest Provides Fiber Connectivity for DIRECTV

Qwest Communications announced a three-year contract to be a major provider of networking services to DIRECTV. The Qwest advanced networking services will help DIRECTV deliver local HD television content to customers. Specifically, Qwest will provide metro optical wavelength services, or QWave, to upgrade DIRECTV's network infrastructure. With this upgrade, DIRECTV will be able to distribute and transport HDTV content.

Qwest said the agreement is a direct result of the recent acquisition of OnFiber.

Natural Convergence Raises $10 Million in Funding

Natural Convergence, a start-up based in Ottawa, secured US$10 million in series C financing for its VoIP application software for service providers.

Natural Convergence's "silhouette" application replaces traditional key systems, combining familiar functionality with cost and performance advantages. Its go-to-market channel strategy is optimized to the buying habits of small businesses - from value-added resellers, through service providers and original equipment manufacturers.

The funding round was led by Wesley Clover and BDC Venture Capital, and brought the total investment in Natural Convergence to US$29 million. Wesley Clover is the venture capital company founded and chaired by telecommunications industry leader Terry Matthews. Other investors include VIMAC and Desjardins Venture Capital Group, as well as early investors Jefferson Partners, Primaxis Technology Ventures Inc., and Purple Angel.

AT&T and Yahoo! Mark Fifth Anniversary of Alliance

AT&T and Yahoo! marked the fifth anniversary of their broadband alliance.

"Our partnership with AT&T has given Yahoo! the opportunity to create truly innovative Internet experiences, not just for the PC but also on consumer televisions," said Steve Boom, senior vice president of Broadband and Mobile, Yahoo! Inc.


Alcatel Files Patent Infringement Suit against Microsoft

Alcatel USA has filed two complaints against Microsoft with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas alleging violation of its intellectual property rights. The dispute involves six patents, one of which concerns Deterministic User Authentication on a network and another of which concerns peer-to-peer application communication. According to the filing, Alcatel provided Microsoft with notice of infringement before filing its legal claim.
  • Alcatel and Microsoft have been partners in developing IPTV solutions since February 2005.

LSI Logic Acquires Metta Technology from India

LSI Logic has acquired Metta Technology, a developer of multimedia system-on-chip technology and related software for consumer electronics products, for approximately $7 million in cash. Metta Technology is based in Pune, India and has approximately 60 employees.

"Through the acquisition of Metta Technology, we are increasing our focus on delivering the advanced, feature-rich solutions required by next generation digital video and edutainment products," said Umesh Padval, executive vice president, Consumer Products Group, LSI Logic. "