Saturday, February 2, 2008

FCC 700 MHz Auction Tops $18.8 Billion

After 31 rounds, bids for various licenses in the 700 MHz band have reached $18,824,927,700. Bids for the package of licenses covering all 50 states have increased to $5.2 billion from $4.7 billion in Round 26. Updated bidding results are posted online.


http://wireless.fcc.gov/auctions/default.htm?job=auction_summary&id=73

Update on Undersea Cable Restoration Progress

On Sunday, 03-Feb-2008, FLAG Telecom updated its progress report in repairing its two damaged submarine cables:


FLAG Europe-Asia cable (reported cut at 0800 hrs GMT on 30-Jan-2008) -- a repair ship loaded with spares sailed from Catania, Italy and is expected to reach the site by 05-Feb-2008. Meanwhile, FLAG Telecom has restored circuits of customers who are covered under Pre-planned Restoration service and additional capacity is being activated on alternative routes for customers who have requested Ad hoc Restoration service.


FALCON cable (reported cut at 0559 hrs GMT on 01-Feb-2008) the location of the cut is determined to be 56 kms from Dubai, UAE on segment between UAE and Oman. The port in Abu Dhabi was closed due to bad weather, but a repair ship is fully loaded with spares and ready to set sail as soon as the weather clears. FLAG has arranged part of the Restoration capacity via terrestrial route between the landing stations in Al Khobar and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. Additional capacity is being activated on alternative routes for customers who have requested Ad hoc Restoration service.


Also on 03-February-2008, Egypt's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology said no ships crossed the site where the two marine cables (FLAG Europe-Asia and Sea-ME-We-4 )were cut under the Mediterranean Sea. According to the report, a marine transport committee investigated the traffic of ships in the area, 12 hours before and after the malfunction, where the cables are located to figure out the possibility of being cut by a passing vessel and found out there were no passing ships at that time. http://www.flagtelecom.comhttp://www.mcit.gov.eg/

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Huawei Installs CDMA2000 network for Indonesia's Telkom

Huawei Technologies has supplied a CDMA2000 network for PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom). The project that started in May 2007 and took just five months to complete. Currently, Huawei infrastructure covers over half of Telkom's national network, which encompasses the areas of Jakarta, West Java, Center Java and Sumatera. Financial terms were not disclosed.http://www.huawei.com

Pirelli Labs Spins Out New Company Focused on Nanotech Photonics

Pirelli will soon incorporate a new company to focus on second generation photonics based on nanotechnologies. The company will be the result of integration between the photonics business unit of Pirelli Broadband Solutions and the Optical Innovation division of Pirelli Labs.


Pirelli said the new company will focus on innovative optical components, optical modules, and transportation systems. It has a growing product portfolio and significant know-how in research and technology thanks to its laboratories in Milan-Bicocca and to a network of international partnerships.


At the same time, Pirelli Broadband Solutions will concentrate its activity on the broadband access business, increasingly characterized by market and technology dynamics that are different from those of photonics. The company holds a consolidated portfolio of five product lines (access gateways, set-top boxes, extenders, dual-mode phones and remote management systems), has a leadership position in the Italian market, and is beginning to affirm itself in the rest of Europe.http://www.pirelli.com

FCC Amends Video Leased Access Rules

The FCC adopted rules aimed at promoting video programming diversity. Cable operators are required by statute to set aside channel capacity for commercial use by unaffiliated video programmers (leased access channels). However, in its most recent annual cable price survey, the FCC found that cable systems on average carry only 0.7 leased access channels.


The new Order tries to remove several obstacles that may be hindering the use of leased access capacity, including clarifying the information that cable operators must be prepared to provide in response to inquiries, and the time in which it must be provided.


In a statement, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin wrote: "Section 612 of the Communications Act requires the Commission to promote "competition in the
delivery of diverse sources of video programming." Unfortunately, however, our existing leased access rules were simply not achieving their intended purpose. For example, the Commission's most recent cable price survey found that cable systems on average carry only .7 leased access channels. The record suggests that the leased access regime has been extremely underutilized because of artificially high rates. Our order, therefore, is designed to increase the use of leased access channels and thereby enhance the diversity of programming."http://www.fcc.gov

FCC and USDA Launch Web Site for Rural Broadband

The FCC and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have launched a new website for those in rural America looking to bring the benefits of broadband services to their communities. The site provides information on the different technology platforms that can be used to
provide broadband service, how to access spectrum necessary for delivery of wireless broadband services, government funding for broadband services, relevant FCC and USDA proceedings and initiatives, and data on broadband deployment. In addition, the site provides instructions on how to locate companies already licensed to provide wireless services in or near specific rural communities, as well as helpful links to other government and private resources related to encouraging broadband opportunities in rural America.http://wireless.fcc.gov/outreach/ruralbroadband

Ericsson: Mobile Sales Growth Slowed in 2007, 3.3 Billion Mobile Users Worldwide

During 2007, Ericsson experience a rapid build out of mobile communications in emerging markets along with a decline in network expansions and upgrades in mature markets, resulting in lower overall margins. The year-over-year sales for Q4 2007 were flat due to less spending from operators on network infrastructure and a continued weakened USD. About 50% of sales are USD related. For the full year, the sales increase amounted to 4%. In constant currencies, estimated organic growth was 8%.


Operating income amounted to SEK 7.6 (12.2) b. in the quarter and SEK 30.6 (35.8) b. for the full year. Operating expenses amounted to SEK 15.2 (13.2) b in the quarter as a consequence of seasonality and newly acquired companies.


Some highlights from the company's financial report:

  • Sales in Networks declined by 4% in the quarter, year-over-year. For the full year sales grew by 1%. During the second half of 2007, sales were affected by the shift from capacity expansions and software upgrades to new network buildouts. This shift in business mix, as well as the rollout of new switching technologies, has negatively affected gross margin. Network rollout services increased 61% sequentially, reflecting the higher proportion of large network buildout projects.


  • Redback has significantly increased its international sales over the year through leveraging Ericsson's global sales organization. In the US, however, Redback saw a decline in business from one major customer which impacted domestic sales. Redback full year sales grew slightly.


  • Sales in Professional Services grew by 15% in the quarter year-over-year and by 16% for the full year. Growth in constant currencies amounted to 19% and 16% respectively. Managed services and systems integration showed the fastest growth. Operating margins remained

  • Sales growth amounted to 7% in the quarter year-over-year and 14% for the full year. Operating margin in the quarter was negative 9% and just below break-even for the full year. Multimedia is in a build-up phase. It includes areas with good growth and healthy margins as well as new areas with significant investments, and sales and results fluctuate.


  • At the end of 2007, Ericsson had 74,000 employees worldwide, including 19,800 in Sweden. This compares with 63,800 at the end of 2006, including 19,100 in Sweden.



Ericsson estimates the Mobile Subscriptions worldwide grew by some 150 million in Q4 2997 to a total of 3.3 billion. 180 million are WCDMA subscriptions, up by close to 20 million in the fourth quarter.


There are now 197 WCDMA networks in 87 countries, of which the large majority is being upgraded to HSPA.


Uptake in data traffic accelerates quickly, and in 3G networks monitored by Ericsson total data traffic now exceeds voice traffic.


In the twelve-month period ending September 30, 2007, fixed broadband connections grew with 24% to some 320 million.http://www.ericsson.com

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Nokia Siemens Networks and Ubiquisys Team on 3G Femto Cells

Nokia Siemens Networks has signed a collaboration agreement with Ubiquisys to provide mobile network operators with femtocell solutions that offer greatly improved 3G network coverage and quality of mobile services at home. Under the agreement, Nokia Siemens Networks and Ubiquisys will cooperate in the marketing and sales of the joint solution to mobile operators worldwide.


The Ubiquisys ZoneGate femtocell supports industry standard interfaces and conforms to Nokia Siemens Networks' Femto Gateway's open architecture. The plug-and-play 3G access point uses a mobile subscriber's broadband connection to transport voice and data calls to the 3G core network.


"The femtocell market is moving at an astonishing speed and 2008 will undoubtedly prove to be ‘make-up-your-mind' time for many operators. We are currently involved in 10 trials and expect several to expand into larger deployments later this year," said Chris Gilbert, CEO of Ubiquisys.http://www.ubiquisys.comhttp://www.nsn.com

Telecom Egypt Selects Alcatel-Lucent for New Submarine Cable

Telecom Egypt awarded a US$125 million contract to Alcatel-Lucent to deploy a new submarine cable network linking Sidi Kerir in Egypt to Marseille in France. Named TE North, the 3,100km cable system will enable Telecom Egypt to expand international connectivity, providing diversity from existing cable routes. Additionally, the TE North submarine cable system will help Telecom Egypt enhance its network capacity to operate as a wholesale carrier to other operators and expand its service offering to businesses and consumers.


TE North is designed for an ultimate capacity of 128 x 10 Gbps on eight fiber pairs, making it one of the largest cable systems in the region.http://www.alcatel-lucent.comhttp://telecomegypt.com.eg

Sea-We-Me4 and FLAG Failure Disrupts 620 Gbps of Traffic

The damage to the South East Asia-Middle East-West Europe 4 (Sea-We-Me4) and the FLAG Europe-Asia undersea cables, which both went out of service on Wednesday morning (30-January-2008), is due to a fiber cut in the Mediterranean Sea approximately 19km from the Egyptian coast, according to media reports. The cables are about 400 meters near that location, leading to speculation that the outage was caused by a ship's anchor dragging along the sea floor. An estimated time-to-repair has yet been given by the network operators.


TeleGeography, which tracks undersea cable issues, estimates that 620 Gbps of Internet capacity along the main route connecting Europe to the Middle East and India was disrupted by the cut. This represents 75% of the traffic along the route. With the two main cables out of service, the alternate route is via Southeast Asia and then across the Pacific, North America and Atlantic.


http://www.seamewe4.com/

Infinera Reports Q4 2007 Revenue of $76.1 Million

Infinera reported Q4 2007 GAAP revenues of $76.1 million compared to $62.2 million in the third quarter of 2007 and $43.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2006. There was a GAAP net loss of $3.9 million, or $0.04 per share. GAAP gross margins were 36% in Q4 2007 compared to 34% in the third quarter of 2007 and 6% in the fourth quarter of 2006.


"Infinera's strong performance in the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2007 reflects solid execution against our business strategy, increased customer momentum in favor of our unique approach to optical networks, and continued growth in world-wide bandwidth demand," said Jagdeep Singh, president and chief executive officer of Infinera.http://www.infinera.com

Nokia Siemens Networks and Ubiquisys Team on 3G Femto Cells

Nokia Siemens Networks has signed a collaboration agreement with Ubiquisys to provide mobile network operators with femtocell solutions that offer greatly improved 3G network coverage and quality of mobile services at home. Under the agreement, Nokia Siemens Networks and Ubiquisys will cooperate in the marketing and sales of the joint solution to mobile operators worldwide.


The Ubiquisys ZoneGate femtocell supports industry standard interfaces and conforms to Nokia Siemens Networks' Femto Gateway's open architecture. The plug-and-play 3G access point uses a mobile subscriber's broadband connection to transport voice and data calls to the 3G core network.


"The femtocell market is moving at an astonishing speed and 2008 will undoubtedly prove to be ‘make-up-your-mind' time for many operators. We are currently involved in 10 trials and expect several to expand into larger deployments later this year," said Chris Gilbert, CEO of Ubiquisys.http://www.ubiquisys.comhttp://www.nsn.com

TiVo Wins Appeals Ruling in Lawsuit Against EchoStar

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit unanimously ruled in favor of TiVo in the patent infringement case against EchoStar. The full award of damages, which was stayed pending appeal, was ordered to be reinstated.

http://www.echostar.com

Garmin nüvifone Integrates GPS + Google

Garmin International made its entrance into the mobile phone market by unveiling the nüvifone, a slim, touchscreen device that combines a premium 3G phone, mobile web-browser, and GPS personal navigator.


When powered on, the 3.5-inch touchscreen display reveals three primary icons -- "Call," "Search," and "View Map".
Calls are initiated by tapping the "Call" button and selecting a name from the contact list or by using the on-screen keypad. When the nüvifone is docked onto a vehicle mount, it automatically turns on the GPS, activates the navigation menu, and enables hands-free calling.


The phone includes preloaded maps of North America, Eastern and Western Europe, or both.


The nüvifone is Garmin's first device to include Google local search capability, allowing users to search for locations like "coffee shops" and Google will sort the results based on the user's current location and relevance. Information provided by Google includes a web-based rating so that users can select the most appropriate destination and route directly to it. In addition, the nüvifone includes a web browser incorporating touchscreen operation. The nüvifone also includes personal messaging functions, including email, text, and instant messaging.


The phone offers a "Where am I?" feature that lets users touch the screen at any time to display the exact latitude and longitude coordinates, the nearest address and intersection, and the closest hospitals, police stations and gas stations.


Garmin will also offer mobile entertainment applications. A built-in camera allows individuals to take a picture that will automatically be tagged with the exact latitude and longitude reference of where the image was taken. The user may then save the image so they can navigate back to the location, or email the image to a recipient who can navigate directly to the location. The nüvifone also provides direct access to millions of geo-located landmark and sightseeing photographs available through Google's Panoramio picture sharing site.


Other multimedia functions of the nüvifone include a built-in video camera, MP3 and MPEG4/AAC.


Garmin anticipates that the nüvifone will be available in Q3 2008. Pricing details have not been announced.http://www.garmin.com/nuvifone

EMBARQ Signs on as Reseller of HughesNet Broadband Satellite

EMBARQ has signed an agreement to be a reseller of HughesNet broadband satellite Internet access service from Hughes Network Systems. EMBARQ business customers in certain rural areas of the United States will have high-speed Internet access comparable to the services available in other EMBARQ markets.


HughesNet service is available in a variety of packages with download speeds ranging from 700 Kbps to 2Mbps and a price range of $59.99 per month to $179.99 per month.http://www.embarq.com/http://www.hughes.com/

Motorola Seeks Exit from Mobile Device Business

Motorola is exploring strategic alternatives for its Mobile Devices business. Motorola said its alternatives may include the separation of Mobile Devices from its other businesses in order to permit each business to grow and better serve its customers.


"We are exploring ways in which our Mobile Devices Business can accelerate its recovery and retain and attract talent while enabling our shareholders to realize the value of this great franchise" said Greg Brown, President and Chief Executive Officer.http://www.motorola.com
  • In January, Motorola reported Q4 2007 sales of $9.65 billion and net earnings of $0.04 per share, which include $0.05 per share from continuing operations and a net loss of $0.01 per share from discontinued operations. The company said its Mobile Devices business remains challenged, with sales declining 38 percent versus prior-year quarter, while its Home & Networks Mobility and Enterprise Mobility Solutions business continued to deliver strong results.


    "We are focused on aggressively rationalizing the company's cost structure and working to get Mobile Devices back on track," said Greg Brown, chief executive officer of Motorola. "The recovery in Mobile Devices will take longer than expected and there is a lot more work to be done. Our primary focus is on improving profitability and enhancing our product portfolio in this business. At the same time, we are very pleased with the continued strong performance of our Home and Networks Mobility and Enterprise Mobility Solutions businesses."


    Mobile Devices segment sales were $4.8 billion, down 38 percent compared with the year-ago quarter. The operating loss was $388 million, compared with operating earnings of $341 million in the year-ago quarter. For the full year 2007, sales were $19.0 billion, a 33 percent decrease compared to 2006, and the segment incurred an operating loss of $1.2 billion, compared to operating earnings of $2.7 billion in 2006. During the quarter, the company shipped 40.9 million handsets.


    Home and Networks Mobility segment sales were $2.7 billion, up 11 percent compared with the year-ago quarter. Operating earnings decreased to $192 million, compared with operating earnings of $223 million in the year-ago quarter. For the full year 2007, sales were $10.0 billion, a 9 percent increase compared to 2006, and the segment generated operating earnings of $709 million, compared to $787 million in 2006.


    Enterprise Mobility Solutions segment sales were $2.1 billion, up 35 percent compared with the year-ago quarter, driven by sales from the Symbol business acquired in early 2007. Operating earnings increased to $451 million, compared with operating earnings of $323 million in the year-ago quarter. For the full year 2007, sales were $7.7 billion, a 43 percent increase compared to 2006, and the segment generated operating earnings of $1.2 billion, compared to $958 million in 2006.

New Mexico's ENMR•Plateau Upgrades with Occam

ENMR•Plateau Telecommunications, the largest telephone cooperative in New Mexico, has purchased Occam's Broadband Loop Carrier (BLC) 6000 system as the centerpiece of its voice and DSL services upgrade project at all 25 ENMR•Plateau exchanges over the next 3 years.


ENMR•Plateau manages 13,000 lines across 25,000 square miles of New Mexico's eastern high plains. The upgrade features the deployment of more than 200 Occam blades to replace the system's existing local loop and DSLAM solutions with both POTS-only and POTS/ADLS2+ combination blades. The Occam blades purchased by ENMR•Plateau include the BLC 6152, 6252, 6440, 6312, 6660, 6246 and EMS.


ENMR•Plateau has also purchased Occam's new GPON offering to supplement copper services in one of the Cooperative's exchanges. The telco will implement the SIP-enabled VoIP served by a Metaswitch softswitch and high-speed DSL to its members.http://www.occamnetworks.comhttp://www.enmr.com

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Deutsche Telekom adds 526,000 Retail DSL, 116,000 IPTV Subscribers in Q4

Deutsche Telekom released key operational metric for 2007 underlining its enhanced competitiveness in its home market of Germany and gains in mobile and broadband services. Some highlights:


  • In broadband, T-Home almost tripled its share of new customers in the DSL market and realized a market share of more than 40 percent for five quarters in a row. T-Home expects to equip 13 additional cities with VDSL. By the end of the year, approximately 1,000 cities should have ADSL2+.


  • The number of retail DSL broadband customers rose by 526,000 in the fourth quarter. As a result, more than 9 million customers in Germany now have a broadband line direct from T-Home. This represents an increase of almost 2 million customers in 2007.


  • As of the end of 2007, 150,000 Entertain IPTV packages have been sold, including 116,000 in Q4. The company aims to sell 500,000 Entertain IPTV packages by the end of the year. To make that happen, T-Home will present new content and functions at CeBIT.


  • In mobile, T-Mobile has expanded its customer base by a good 10 percent to roughly 120 million customers. The company added seven million customers abroad.


  • T-Mobile also continued to increase its customer base in Germany and reported almost 36 million customers as of the year-end. Almost 1 million of these customers opted for fixed-term contracts in 2007, of which 385,000 in the fourth quarter alone. The national companies in Eastern Europe and the USA were drivers of this growth. In addition to organic growth, the acquisition of Orange in the Netherlands contributed to the positive subscriber development with 2.2 million users.


  • T-Mobile USA had 28.7 million customers as of the end of the financial year. In the fourth quarter of 2007, T-Mobile gained 951,000 net additions in the USA, 733,000 of which were contract customers.


Additional metrics are posted online.


http://www.telekom.com/dtag/cms/content/dt/en/498760

See also