Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Huawei Delivers HSPA Network to Etisalat in UAE

Huawei Technologies has deployed a High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) network for Etisalat in UAE. The network, which is described as the largest of its type in the Middle East, covers 97% of the populated areas in the United Arab Emirates. Huawei served as the sole contractor on the project.

Huawei has also built unified 2G/3G networks and mobile value-added data service platforms, as well as transmission and data communication equipment for Etisalat in Egypt. Huawei also provides 2G/3G solutions for Etisalat's subsidiary Mobily in Saudi Arabia and infrastructure required for a GSM network covering 1,500 cities and towns for Etisalat's subsidiary Ufone in Pakistan.

Citizens Communications to Acquire Global Valley Networks for $62 Million

Citizens Communications will Global Valley Networks, which serves some 15,000 access lines in California, for $62 million. Global Valley Networks serves the communities of Patterson, Livingston, Guinda, San Antonio, Diablo Valley, Westley, Cressey, Grayson and Capay Valley, California.

KazakhTelecom Selects Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing System

KazakhTelecom has selected the Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing System platform for a large-scale network development program. The project is aimed at building a new high-speed 10 Gbps IP/MPLS network in the central area of Kazakhstan between the major cities of Astana, Almaty and Aktobe and a 1 Gbps platform in the remaining cities and towns by the end of 2007. The cost of upgrading KazakhTelecom's core network to 10 gigabits exceeds US $13.5 million.

Sandvine Reports Revenue Of $20.0 Million

Sandvine reported second quarter 2007 revenue of $20.0 million, up 171% from $7.4 million in Q2 2006. Net income grew to $10.3 million (of which $3.1 million related to the recognition of future tax assets) from a net loss of $0.5 million in Q2 2006. Diluted earnings per share were $0.079 (of which $0.024 was attributable to recognition of the future tax assets) compared to $(0.005) in Q2 2006. All amounts are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise specified.

"Our technological edge and broad solutions portfolio continues to pay off in design wins and follow-on business from the Tier 1 market," said Dave Caputo, Sandvine's President and CEO.

Skype Selects Jingle Networks as Provider of 411 Services

Skype will make Jingle Networks' 1-800-FREE411 service easily accessible to Skype users in the United States. Jingle Networks' 1-800-FREE411 service will now give U.S. This will provide Skype users (using Skype 3.5 for Windows) a free directory assistance service without the $2 to $3 fees typically charged by telephone carriers for regular 411 calls.

In addition, Skype will be leveraging 1-800-FREE411 as a new media channel marketing Skype via audio promotions.

Jingle Networks said it has already passed the 200 million call milestone for its ad-supported service.

European Commission fines Telefónica over EUR 151 million

The European Commission has fined Telefónica over EU 151 million for abuse of its dominant position in the Spanish broadband market over the past five years. The EC said Telefónica imposed unfair prices in the form of a margin squeeze between the wholesale prices it charged to competitors and the retail prices it charged to its own customers. In so doing, Telefónica weakened its competitors, making their continued presence and growth difficult: competitors were forced to make losses if they wanted to match Telefónica's retail prices.

With high wholesale costs and weakened retail competition on the broadband market, Spanish consumers pay 20% more than the EU-15 average for broadband access. The Spanish broadband penetration rate is 20% below EU-15 average, and its growth is nearly 30% below that of the EU-15.
  • In 2003, the European Commission fined Wanadoo, the internet arm of France Télécom for abuse of a dominant position in the form of predatory prices in the French retail broadband market.

Hanaro Telecom selects Alcatel-Lucent's DWDM

Korea's Hanaro Telecom has selected Alcatel-Lucent to upgrade its optical backbone. The solution is based on Alcatel-Lucent's 1626 Light Manager (LM), a multi-reach DWDM platform operating up to 40 Gbps, and the 1353 Network Manager (NM). Hanaro Telecom has already deployed Alcatel-Lucent's 1678 Metro Core Connect (MCC) and data-aware Optical Multi-Service Node (OMSN) systems. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ericsson and Stanford University collaborate on Bridging Africa's Digital Divide

Ericsson is collaborating with Stanford University to explore the use of mobile technologies in distance e-learning applications in African countries. Ericsson will work with Stanford University's International Outreach Program, which offers students on different continents the opportunity to learn from researchers in environmental sciences from several countries and perspectives, as well as contribute to lively discourse and debate through Internet and mobile phone interaction.

As part of the program, Ericsson is providing smart phones fully equipped with video cameras, audio recorders, and Internet capability. Ericsson will also support the program by leveraging its relationships with mobile operators in Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa to help Stanford and others implement an environmental e-learning program. This program involves faculty and students from the University of the Western Cape in South African, Mweka College of African Wildlife Management in Tanzania and Makerere University in Uganda.

The international mobile learning project, called Dunia Moja or "one world," utilizes a GPRS or 3G mobile connection and an Internet-enabled mobile handset from Sony Ericsson to allow students and faculty in remote locations to submit and access video, audio and text-based course materials, participate in online discussion forums, post blogs, produce multimedia content and otherwise interact as they learn.

Ericsson Works with United Nations on Wireless Emergency Responses

Ericsson is working with the United Nations to aid and improve emergency telecommunication response capabilities. Specifically, Ericsson will provide a complete mobile telecommunications solution that can be rapidly deployed to selected humanitarian operations and that will be installed, operated and maintained by Ericsson employees.

Ericsson noted that over the past seven years it has contributed equipment and expertise to enhance the United Nations' capacity during relief operations, partnering with their Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in order to coordinate support to multiple humanitarian organizations.

For example, Ericsson's Wireless LAN in Disaster and Emergency Response (WIDER) system, which provides wireless hotspots and telecommunications at a disaster site, was deployed in the aftermath of the severe earthquake in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan. This natural disaster killed more than 70,000 people and left millions homeless in October 2005.

Ericsson has also donated a global system for mobile communications (GSM) to OCHA. The UN Peacekeeping Operation in Bunia, Democratic Republic of Congo is currently connected to this system. The system complements the fixed network, radio and satellite connections currently used in humanitarian missions and is installed in Brindisi, Italy, the hub for satellite telecommunications connecting all UN missions.

Asia Netcom and China Entercom Interconnect MPLS Services

Asia Netcom and China Enterprise Netcom Corporation Limited (China Entercom) -- a value-added telecommunication services and integrated IT solutions provider and subsidiary of CITIC (China International Trust and Investment Corporation) -- have interconnected their respective MPLS infrastructures, and have completed all the necessary technical and operational preparations to support customers across the two networks.

China Entercom operates a nationwide MPLS infrastructure consisting of a core backbone with dual PoP redundancy connecting Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. China Entercom has also established MPLS access PoPs in major industrial centers across China, with service coverage extending to over 347 cities.

As part of the deal, the companies will offer IP VPN services with 5 Class-of-Service options across their respective infrastructure.

STMicroelectronics Supplies Chips for KT's IPTV STB

STMicroelectronics has supplied the silicon for set-top boxes (STBs) being used by KT's new IPTV service. ST's STi710x family offers single-chip H.264/AVC and VC-1 decoding.

KT chose the STi710x-based set-top boxes from Humax (model name: TS-110) and Samsung (SMT-H6170), both of which are KT's consortium partners for the country's IPTV service. Additionally, LG-Nortel, another consortium partner for the service, is also developing its set-top boxes based on the STi710x.

Russia's Synterra to Deploy Alcatel-Lucent' Universal WiMAX

Synterra, which holds a national WiMAX license for Russia, has selected Alcatel-Lucent's Universal WiMAX platform. The project will be conducted in cooperation with regional telecom operators to provide WiMAX access throughout the country. The first regional WiMAX networks should be operational in Q4 2007. Financial term were not disclosed.

Alcatel--Lucent was the winner of the tender announced by Synterra in May, for the delivery of WiMAX infrastructure -- based on the latest IEEE 802.16e-2005 standards (also called Rev-e). The new networks will be deployed by regional operators in the 2.5 GHz spectrum band.

Alcatel-Lucent noted that it now has 70 WiMAX trials and deployments worldwide and 11 commercial contracts.http:/

ChinaSat 6B Successfully Launched

Chinasat 6B was successfully launched into space from China's Xichang Satellite Launch Center aboard a Long March-3B. The satellite, which was manufactured by Thales Alenia Space, carries 38 C-band transponders. The satellite will enable ChinaSatcom to expand its services in China, allowing easy reception of up to 300 television programs across China, south east Asia, the Pacific and Oceania.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Panasonic Introduces 50GB 4x Write-Once Blu-ray Discs

Panasonic plans to introduce Write-Once Blu-ray Discs (BD-R) with 4x writing speed for global distribution. The new discs will be available in both 25GB and 50GB, which will be introduced in the market this July and September respectively.

Panasonic said the 4x speed would be suitable for storing large amount of data or High Definition content with greater convenience. The new 4x Discs have the maximum data transfer speed of 144Mbps, which means they can copy a 1GB folder in just one minute, while a DVD-RW(2x data transfer speed) needs 6 minutes. This is achieved using a new phase-change recording technology developed by Panasonic. The company also noted that the new discs offer extremely low error rate thanks to a newly developed film forming technology which minimizes dust generated in the sputtering process.

Monday, July 2, 2007

The Femto Forum Sets Charter

A new Femto Forum has been launched with a mission to promote femtocell deployment worldwide through open standards, market education and ecosystem development. Founding members including Airvana, ip.access, NETGEAR, picoChip, RadioFrame, Tatara and Ubiquisys.

Initial working groups will concentrate on pre-competitive standards-focused issues including radio planning & control, device provisioning & management and device to network standardization. A marketing task force will help promote femto solutions across the industry and will articulate positive, compelling benefits to end users. These include the enhanced coverage, quality-of-service, attractive tariffs and enhanced services which only femtocells operating in licensed spectrum can deliver.

India's Bharti Airtel Awards US$900 Million Deal to Nokia Siemens Networks

India's Bharti Airtel Limited awarded a contract valued at approximately US$900 million to Nokia Siemens Networks for an expansion of its mobile, fixed and Intelligent Network platforms. Specifically, Nokia Siemens Networks will expand Airtel's GSM network in eight circles; its National Long Distance and International Long Distance network with 1.8 million Next Generation Network (NGN) ports -- the largest ever NGN contract in the country -- and its International Calling Card prepaid service capacity by 4.5 million news users. The GSM and NGN expansions are planned over two years and the International calling cards expansion over three years.

The two year GSM expansion will cover the eight existing circles of Mumbai, Maharashtra & Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh & Chattisgarh, Bihar & Jharkhand, Orissa, Kolkata and West Bengal, where Nokia Siemens Networks already provides equipment and Managed Services. Nokia Siemens Networks will deploy the latest state of art GSM equipment such as Flexi Edge and Ultrasite BTS, BSC3i, 3GPP-based mobile softswitching solution including 3G capable MSC Servers and Media Gateways, and transmission network including PDH & SDH.

For the two year Fixed Network expansion, Nokia Siemens Networks will deploy 1.8 million Next Generation Networks ports across Airtel's National Long Distance and International Long Distance. Nokia Siemens Networks will deploy its complete IP trunking solution with SURPASS hiE 9200 softswitches, SURPASS hiG 1200 media gateways and SURPASS hiR 200 media servers.

The three year International Calling Cards services expansion will see Airtel more than quadruple its capacity and adequately address its calling card business expansion to tap more international markets. The calling card prepaid service will be supported by Nokia Siemens Networks' flexible IN@vantage platform for intelligent services.

Nokia Siemens Networks Develops 3G Femto Home Access solution

Nokia Siemens Networks announced plans for a 3G Femto Home Access solution with open interfaces and a new network element, Femto Gateway. The new 3G Femto Home Access solution is a new way of enhancing WCDMA 3G coverage in homes, giving consumers a strong signal with any standard WCDMA terminal. The Femto CPE will use IP broadband backhaul. It will incorporate 3G Node B and RNC, with xDSL and Wi-Fi capabilities optionally available.

On the network side, the new Femto Gateway network element will not require changes in the operators' existing core network, as it will connect to the core network over a standard interface. Mounted in a standard telco rack, it serves as the grooming point for cellular traffic to multiple Femto CPE. The Femto Gateway will also connect via an open interface to Femto Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) in homes, allowing Femto customer equipment from multiple vendors to be connected to it. The Femto Gateway will support any Femto CPE certified by Nokia Siemens Networks to conform with the interface.

Nokia Siemens Networks said it will co-operate with Femto CPE vendors to ensure interoperability of their equipment to the Nokia Siemens Networks interface.

Trials of the 3G Femto Home Access solution will start at the beginning of 2008, and commercial deployments are planned for the third quarter of 2008.

China Mobile Yunnan Awards GSM Contract to Nokia Siemens Networks

China Mobile Group Yunnan awarded a contract valued at about EUR 70 million to Nokia Siemens Networks for expansion of its GSM network in 11 across Yunnan province. Under the contract, Nokia Siemens Networks will provide GSM coverage for the urban and rural areas of Yunnan province and upgrade the Chinese operator's network to support EDGE. Nokia Siemens Networks will supply radio networks including the UltraSite BTS Mini Outdoor and implementation services, its mobile soft switching solution including MSC (Mobile Switching Center) Servers, Media Gateways and HLR (Home Location Register). The contract also contains care and delivery services for the equipment. In addition Nokia Siemens Networks will supply an expansion of the NetAct network and service management system, and NetAct Traffica for real-time network traffic monitoring and analysis. The deliveries have already begun and the expansion will be operational in October this year.

Google Acquires GrandCentral for Advanced Calling Features

Google has acquired GrandCentral Communications, a start-up developing a service that integrates a user's multiple telephone numbers and multiple voicemail boxes into one account, and then adds advanced capabilities. GrandCentral's mission has been to offer "one number that you keep for life," tying together landline and mobile accounts delivered by other carriers. The service is currently in beta testing. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Capabilities of the GrandCentral service include:

  • Call Screening -- for incoming call, GrandCentral checks your address book to give you the name associated with the calling number. If it is a new phone, GrandCentral can ask the person for their name the first time they call.

  • "ListenIn" -- the ability to listen to a voicemail while it is being recorded.

  • Call Record -- Record calls on the fly and access recordings online/

  • Block Callers -- Stops unwanted callers.

  • Notifications -- Voicemail notifications via email or SMS.

  • Ring Different Phones -- one number that rings different phones based on who's calling.

  • Greetings -- Personalize your voicemail greetings by caller or group.

  • RingShare -- Choose ringback tones for specific callers.

  • WebCall Button -- Let people call you from a web page without showing your number

  • CallSwitch -- switch phones in the middle of a call

  • Click2Call -- call from your address book and save your typing

  • Mobile Access --Visual voicemail for your mobile phone.
  • GrandCentral was founded by Craig Walker (CEO) and Vincent Paquet (COO). In 2001, Craig Walker became the CEO of Dialpad Communications, where he led the company out of bankruptcy and eventually to its acquisition by Yahoo! in 2005. He then became Senior Director of VoIP with the Yahoo! Messenger group.

    Vincent Paquet previously was Director of Business Development at Yahoo! in the voice communications group. He too joined Yahoo! when it acquired Dialpad Communications. At Dialpad, he was VP of Business Development and Marketing.

  • The Google Talk VoIP service first launched in August 2005.

China Unicom Selects Alcatel-Lucent IP Service Routers for Nationwide Network

China Unicom has selected Alcatel-Lucent's IP Service routers as the foundation of a nationwide network transformation that will encompass 65 cities across 13 provinces in China and will be completed by the end of 2007. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Alcatel-Lucent IP solution, based on its 7750 Service Router, will enable China Unicom to better serve its customers, as it expands its service offerings towards 3G. Alcatel-Lucent's solution will also support China Unicom's rapid increase in CDMA subscribers and newly-launched data services on its GPRS network.

The project was secured through Alcatel Shanghai Bell.
  • In May 2007, Alcatel-Lucent announced that China Unicom had awarded it a contract valued at US$120 million for a range of network projects in 2007. The projects include a CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev. A high-speed data network upgrade to be implemented in China Unicom's network in Macau, as well as a further expansion in the CDMA core network, radio solutions, and applications that will support China Unicom's broader mobile network expansion. The agreement also provides for GSM/GPRS/EDGE core and radio network solutions and optical network components in support of China Unicom's GSM service offerings.