Thursday, July 5, 2007

Video Interview: Towerstream's Jeff Thompson on the Developing WiMAX Market

Key Questions Covered:

Why is are WiMAX services hot?

Who is Towerstream? What markets does it serve?

The Towerstream network -- how is it built? What services does it support?

WiMAX line-of-sight. Do you need line-of-sight to deliver your fixed wireless services?

How good are Voice-over-WiMAX services?

Competition -- Who does Towerstream compete against?

Licensed versus Unlicensed spectrum. What is Towerstream's spectrum strategy?

WiMAX suppliers -- Who are Towerstream's strategic suppliers?

Thomson and Nokia Siemens Networks Partner on 3G Femto Home Access Box

Thomson and Nokia Siemens Networks announced a partnership to develop 3G femto cell home access solution. Specifically, Thomson's femto cell-enabled residential gateway will be coupled with the newly announced 3G Femto Home Access network solution from Nokia Siemens Networks.
The solution will allow operators to deliver 3G multimedia services such as music downloads and video available in the home on any WCDMA 3G handset.

Trials of the 3G Femto Home Access solution including Thomson's residential gateway will start at the beginning of 2008, and commercial deployments are planned for the third quarter of 2008.
  • Earlier this month, Nokia Siemens Networks announced plans for a new Femto Gateway network element that 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.

BT to Acquire Brightview, an ISP with 62,000 BB Users

BT agreed to acquire Brightview Group Limited, a consumer ISP serving about 62,000 subscribers, for approximately £15.8m in cash. Brightview operates the ISP brands Madasafish and Global Internet, as well as the Which?-award-winning Waitrose ISP. Brightview is also working with John Lewis Partnership to launch its new ISP and telephony service under the "GreenBee" brand.

Alcatel-Lucent Holds 26% Cumulative Share of IP DSLAM Market

Alcatel-Lucent continues to hold a 26% cumulative market share of the IP DSLAM market for the second consecutive quarter, according to the latest figures from Dell'Oro. For general DSL shipments, Alcatel-Lucent holds a cumulative market share of 41%, significantly more than double that of the second ranked competitor.

In the first quarter of 2007, Alcatel-Lucent had shipped over 7.3 million DSL lines, resulting in a total of more than 133 million DSL lines shipped.

Alcatel-Lucent noted that more than 150 customers are deploying its ISAM product portfolio, including 80% of the top 20 DSL operators in the world.

Alcatel-Lucent Demos Femto Base Station Router with Softbank

Alcatel-Lucent is collaborating with Softbank Mobile on a series of demonstrations of its 3G wireless in-building solutions in Japan. The technology demonstrations highlight Alcatel-Lucent's Femto Base Station Router (BSR), which combines W-CDMA/HSPA radio access and core network elements into one compact unit. The demos include the completion of circuit-switched voice calls and the delivery of high-speed data services using Softbank handsets, and High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) technology using laptops equipped with HSDPA PC cards.

Alcatel-Lucent's Femto BSR can be offered with integrated radio network controller (RNC) functionality, router functionality or both, depending on the needs of the operator and the network architecture they have in place.

Clearwire Secures New $1 Billion in Financing

Last week, Clearwire closed and funded its first tranche of a fully committed $1 billion senior secured term loan, the remainder of which will be funded on a delayed draw basis in approximately 45 days. The money will be used for the company's expansion and to refinance Clearwire's existing debt .

The transaction was led by Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan and Citigroup. By refinancing its existing debt, virtually all of Clearwire's debt is extended to a five year maturity.
  • Clearwire launched its first market in August 2004 and now offers service in 40 markets in more than 400 municipalities in 13 states across the U.S. Clearwire's international markets include Ireland and Belgium, and the company also offers wireless high-speed Internet services in Mexico and Denmark through its partners, MVS Net and Danske Telecom.

Silicon Valley Considers Ways to Improve its Broadband Connectivity Issues

Leading San Francisco Bay Area employers -- including Apple, AT&T, Cisco, Comcast, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Nortel, Oracle and Verizon Wireless -- plus the region's largest municipal governments, are slated to meet on Monday to discuss ways of improving the region's broadband situation.

These company and city leaders will discuss how to overcome current regional challenges to building a telecommunications system worthy of the region many consider the technology capital of the world. The meeting will be guided by a keynote presentation by Scott McNealy, Chairman and Co-Founder of Sun Microsystems, plus a report by the Bay Area Council, prepared by Bonocore Technology Partners, that reviews what other countries or regions have done to improve their infrastructure, and recommends Bay Area actions.

"The Bay Area's telecommunications infrastructure has not kept pace with that of other regions, such as Korea and Japan," said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council. "Many of the next-generation technology companies require graphically-intense applications, like video, remote health-care, multi-media or even videoconferencing, and need ubiquitous and much higher broadband speeds. If we can't build a better telecommunications backbone in the Bay Area, these new companies will start somewhere else. We also risk losing our current clusters of technology companies, plus financial services and others, who are increasingly locating their operations at superior worldwide telecommunications hubs."

Terabeam Sells Two Patents for $2.5 Million

Terabeam, which develops mesh, WiMAX, Wi-Fi and millimeter wave wireless products, has sold two of its patents for $2.5 million. As part of the sale, Terabeam and its subsidiaries received a license to continue to make and sell its products generally in the ordinary course of business, subject to certain limitations. The purchaser was not named.

Terabeam has two primary subsidiaries Proxim Wireless Corporation and Ricochet Networks. Proxim Wireless offers WiMAX, Wi-Fi, and other broadband wireless solutions. Ricochet Networks is a portable Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) with operational markets in Denver, Colorado and San Diego, California.

MSN Hosts 10 million Video Streams for Live Earth Concert

Microsoft's MSN served a total of more than 10 million video streams during the Live Earth concerts last weekend. MSN, which was the exclusive online media partner for Live Earth, allowed people to watch live online feeds or recorded footage from earlier performances at no charge from all eight concerts, each located in different cities around the world.

NextWave Wireless Acquires Switzerland's WiMAX Telecom AG

NextWave Wireless Inc. has acquired a 65% controlling interest in WiMAX Telecom AG, a Zurich-based operator that has obtained nationwide wireless broadband spectrum concessions in Austria and Slovakia, and a major spectrum concession in Croatia. The company currently operates WiMAX networks in Austria and Slovakia and provides wireless broadband service to 8,500 customers. The acquisition was completed through NextWave's majority-owned subsidiary, Inquam Broadband GmbH. Financial terms were not disclosed.

San Diego-based NextWave Wireless develops mobile WiMAX solutions and has acquired a nationwide spectrum footprint in the U.S. and Germany.
  • Earlier this month, Nextwave announced the launch of Latin American operations by opening offices in São Paulo, Brazil.

  • In April 2007, NextWave Wireless agreed to acquire IPWireless, the leading supplier of TD-CDMA network equipment and subscriber terminals, for approximately $100 million at closing, consisting of $25 million in cash and $75 million in NextWave common stock.

  • In February 2007, NextWave Wireless, which develops mobile WiMAX solutions and has acquired a nationwide spectrum footprint in the U.S. and Germany, completed its acquisition of GO Networks. The Mountain View, California-based start-up provides advanced Wi-Fi network systems to service providers looking to deploy campus and metropolitan Wi-Fi systems.

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.