Thursday, August 21, 2008

Telstra's BigPond Revamps Wireless Broadband Plans

Telstra introduced new BigPond Wireless Broadband service plans, while removing the separate pricing plans for mobile cards and modem customers. The additional usage charge has been simplified to $0.25 per MB across all plans. The new plans are available from Sunday, 24 August.

BigPond has a choice of wireless broadband devices which include either a 7.2Mbps express card or USB mobile card or the new BigPond 7.2 Home Network Gateway modem with built-in WiFi.

Prices in AUD.

Inmarsat Selects ILS Proton to Launch S-Band Satellite for Europe

Inmarsat has selected International Launch Services (ILS) for the launch of an S-band satellite to provide mobile broadcast and two-way telecommunications services throughout Europe. The contract follows the recent successful launch of the Inmarsat-4 F3 satellite on an ILS Proton Breeze M vehicle.

Inmarsat is a London-based provider of global mobile broadband services. ILS holds the exclusive worldwide rights to market and sell commercial launch services on the Proton launch vehicle. The Proton booster and Breeze M are both manufactured by Khrunichev Space Center, the majority owner of ILS and one of the cornerstones of the Russian space industry.

Thales Alenia Space of France is developing Inmarsat's S-band satellite, known as EuropaSat, using its Spacebus 4000C3 platform. The spacecraft will provide mobile broadcast and two-way telecommunications services throughout Europe.http://www.inmarsat.com

Integra Telecom Taps Tollgrade's DigiTest ICE Test

Integra Telecom, a facilities-based, integrated communications carrier for business, has selected Tollgrade Communications' broadband service assurance probe -- DigiTest ICE -- for deployment in a system wide test initiative to further improve performance delivery for Integra's services. A first release of DigiTest ICE became generally available in the U.S. market earlier this summer.

DigiTest ICE is Tollgrade's latest generation broadband service assurance test probe, which is designed for installation at the remote FTTN site -- inside the cabinet -- placing it closer to the customer where it is able to segment faults between the access network and customer and visibility of the customer experience. The compact ICE test probe is managed by Tollgrade's LoopCare Test OSS, a key software component of this deployment. It is designed to support a full suite of physical layer measurements and prequalification tests for ADSL and ADSL2+ service delivery.

Virgin Mobile USA Closes Acquisition of Helio

Virgin Mobile USA completed its acquisition of Helio, a joint venture between SK Telecom and EarthLink. The deal involved the exchange of approximately 13 million shares of Virgin Mobile USA Class A common stock, with a value of $38 million based on the average closing price of Virgin Mobile USA's Class A shares, as of two trading days before and two trading days after the date of announcement. In addition, SK Telecom and Virgin Group will each invest $25 million in Virgin Mobile USA for preferred shares.

The deal will give Virgin approximately 170,000 Helio customers with approximately $80 ARPU. Virgin Mobile USA will also gain an established and highly advanced postpaid billing and customer care platform, marking its entrance into this segment of the market. Virgin also noted that the Helio also gives it a set of unique and differentiated data applications, greatly enhancing its offer across its customer base.http://virginmobileusa.mediaroom.com

Motorola Releases Next Gen Push-To-Talk on CDMA 1x EVDO Rev A

Motorola released its next generation Push-To- Talk over Cellular (PoC) solution, optimized for CDMA 1x networks equipped with EVDO Rev A data capability.

Motorola's end-to-end Push-To-Talk over Cellular solution provides walkie- talkie like capability to mobile devices equipped with special PoC client software. With the push of a button on their PoC-enabled handsets, both enterprise and personal users can connect directly with individuals or groups and quickly share information.

The new release leverages the improved performance capabilities provided by the CDMA 1x EVDO Rev A standard including higher speed data rates, low call set-up time latency and QoS. Motorola said its next generation PoC solution provides competitive call set-up time performance with other PoC and proprietary solutions, "buddy list" availability, an open ecosystem to support a wide variety of mobile devices from multiple manufacturers equipped with the PoC client and access to the Internet to enable "push-to-X" features and services to complement basic PoC.

Motorola also believes this next generation Push-To-Talk system paves the way for new enterprise applications such as Push-To-Productivity and encrypted, PC-based dispatching, which will enable companies to enhance communication among employees, customers and suppliers.

PCCW'S Installed Base of IPTV Subscribers Reaches 927,000

PCCW, the incumbent operator in Hong Kong, reported that the installed subscriber base for its now TV service climbed to 927,000 at the end of June 2008, an increase of 13% from a year earlier. The paying base also recorded an increase of 19% to 668,000. As the largest pay-TV service provider in Hong Kong, now TV has further boosted its content line-up to more than 160 local and international channels at the end of June 2008, including over 85 exclusive world-class movies, sports, news and general entertainment channels.

now TV's ARPU in June 2008 grew by 28% from a year ago to HK$213. The UEFA EURO 2008 had attracted new customer subscriptions to the Mega Sports Pack. The higher ARPU was also attributed to the growing demand for high value packs and HD premium channels. The introduction of the All-In-One Set-top-box with HD and digital terrestrial television reception capability also helped develop new incremental revenue streams.

Some additional highlights:

  • Telecommunications Services (TSS) - TSS revenue achieved an 11% growth to HK$8,551 million, marked by significant growth in International Telecommunications Services and Other Telecommunications Services.

  • Total local fixed lines in service at the end of June 2008 maintained at approximately 2,593,000, with firm ARPU recorded.

  • Local data services revenue grew 9% year-on-year to HK$2,415 million.

  • Strong growth in broadband network revenue was fuelled by another double-digit rise in consumer and business broadband service revenues.

  • Total broadband access lines in service reached 1,275,000 at the end of June 2008, up by 8% from a year ago.

  • Revenue from International Telecommunications Services also increased, mainly due to the growth in the wholesale market of traditional and IP-based international connectivity and voice services.

  • MOOV, PCCW's digital music brand with a library of over 130,000 songs and video titles from more than 90 local and international partners/labels, continued to help drive up the subscribers and ARPU of, PCCW's popular broadband portal.

  • Mobile revenue was up 28% year-on-year to HK$857 million. After achieving EBITDA breakeven in 2007, PCCW mobile generated a positive EBITDA of HK$108 million for the six months ended June 30, 2008.

  • PCCW mobile's 3G subscriber base grew impressively by 142% year-on-year to 288,000, while the total 2G subscriber base increased by 6% to 888,000. ARPU of 3G service increased by 3% from December 2007 to HK$222 in June 2008, and the blended 2G and 3G post-paid ARPU increased by 2% to HK$156 during the same period.

  • PCCW Solutions - Revenue increased by 9% to HK$900 million. This was driven by the continued growing demand for IT solution services from both the public and private sectors in Hong Kong and mainland China, and the success in securing contracts from new clients and expanding relationships with existing ones.

NTT Offers MVNO Service for Japan's eAccess

OCN, the Internet service provider operated by NTT Communications (NTT Com), inaugurated a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service for high-speed mobile internet in Japan with eAccess Ltd., a broadband IP communication service company.

The service, named OCN High-speed Mobile EM, is based on High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) protocol which allows subscribers to obtain broadband-quality internet access anywhere with maximum downlink speed of 7.2 Mbps and maximum uplink speed of 384 kbps.

OCN High-speed Mobile EM is offered at a flat-rate connection fee, allowing users to enjoy music and videos, check e-mails or write blogs on a mobile Internet connection without worrying about connection times and fees.

NTT Com confirmed that it is providing an end-to-end service - from registration and billing to customer support - for OCN High-speed Mobile EM. It will also rent data cards, which allow subscribers to save on installation costs.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ekinops Debuts Dynamic Multi-Reach Metro, Regional and Long Haul System

Ekinops, a start-up headquartered in Lannion, France, introduced a long-haul optical transport platform that can carry 80 WDM channels a distance of 2,000 kilometers.

The foundation of the Ekinops 360 platform is its firmware programmable T-Chip. The new long haul solution also uses Ekinops' "DynaFEC" forward error correction technology, which boosts performance, enabling longer transmission distances with lower-power transmitters and amplifiers. DynaFEC offers a number of FEC options that can be programmatically made available to Ekinops line cards allowing for up to a 10 to 12 dB gain, enabling the longest transmission distances between amplifiers. Ekinops can transmit 300 kilometers without any in-line amplification, with full channel counts and its new FEC capabilities significantly reduce the number of in-line amplifiers needed for long reach routes up to 2,000 km.

Ekinops said its 360 transport platform is capable of aggregating and transporting Ethernet (LAN Phy, WAN Phy), Fibre Channel, SONET/SDH, Escon, HD-SDI video, SD-SDI video, and ASI video client protocols. The new client protocol could also be supported thanks to the dynamic firmware programmable T-Chip.
  • In October 2007, Ekinops announced US$20 million in venture capital for its optical transport and DWDM solutions. Ekinops offers optical transport, WDM and aggregation solutions for service providers and enterprise networks. It uses TDM technology to enable the wire-speed aggregation and transport of multiple high-speed data channels over standard 2.5G and 10G wavelengths. Ekinops' carrier-grade solutions leverage expertise in 10G transmission, aggregation, and Forward Error Correction.

  • Ekinops' technical team is led by Jean-Luc Pamart, an FEC expert who has been awarded 7 patents in optical transmission. Before joining Ekinops, Mr. Pamart was Director of Hardware Development at Corvis-Algety in Lannion, France. Previous to that, he held various R&D positions at Alcatel within its Submarine and Terrestrial Division, and Optical Network Transmission business unit.

Nortel Acquires DiamondWare for Positional Voice Technology

Nortel has acquired DiamondWare, a start-up software developer specializing in high-definition, proximity-based 3D positional voice technology, for approximately $7 million in cash, plus up to an additional $3 million to DiamondWare security holders based on achievement of future business milestones over the next 40 months.

DiamondWare uses wideband, stereo capability and custom spatial positioning to make audio conferences more realistic. The technology has been deployed in gaming environments and in U.S. military tactical intercom systems, and by a broad range of carriers and equipment manufacturers.

Nortel said the acquisition furthers its drive to transform communications to allow people to collaborate in more interactive and immersive ways.

DiamondWare is based in Mesa, Arizona.http://www.nortel.com

Nth Air Deploys WiMAX Network in Denver with Fujitsu

Nth Air, a wireless broadband service provider planning a nationwide WiMAX network, has launched a wireless broadband solution across Denver in time for next week's Democratic National Convention. The WiMAX network is available for the 5,000 delegates and more than 15,000 members of the media expected to attend the political event.

The fixed point-to-multipoint network will provide broadband wireless Internet data, VoIP and video services for businesses and municipalities who can subscribe to the service during the convention and not be locked into a long-term contract. WiMAX-compliant point-to-point connectivity is also available to connect users staying at different hotels in wide area network configurations.

Nth Air provides completely integrated, end-to-end wireless broadband solutions from business-class connectivity to transport access, disaster recovery, professional services, and managed services. Up to 1 Gbps symmetrical, dedicated, scalable services are delivered to support subscriber needs. Nth Air is committed to extending the network reach of individuals and businesses that need to be connected any time, any place and anywhere.

Fujitsu Network Communications delivered the fixed and mobile WiMAX equipment for Nth Air. The Fujitsu WiMAX solution that Nth Air purchased operates in the 3.65 GHz spectrum, which is ideal for quickly deploying wireless broadband services to rural or underserved markets.

Fujitsu has an alliance with Airspan Networks to market and support their portfolio of WiMAX solutions, including FCC-certified 3.65 GHz macrocells, picocells and customer premise equipment. This alliance is an extension of the co-development agreement in place to bring high powered mobile WiMAX base stations to the global market.

Nth Air is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., with network capabilities in the greater San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Denver.

Dell'Oro: CDMA Market Takes a Plunge

The worldwide CDMA infrastructure market declined over 25 percent from the year ago quarter, according to the Dell'Oro Group.

With North America being the predominant CDMA market, significant declines in spending by the two largest CDMA operators in the region had a major impact on the contraction of the worldwide market. The significant contraction in North America was partially offset by the CDMA growth in the Asia Pacific region.

"In addition to Verizon Wireless' CAPEX being down approximately $150 million, Sprint's CAPEX was down nearly $1 billion," commented Scott Siegler, Analyst of Mobility Infrastructure research at Dell'Oro Group. "As a result of this contraction in North America, North America's share of the CDMA market fell to approximately two-thirds share, from over three-quarters share in the second quarter last year. Growth in Asia Pacific, particularly in India, helped to offset these declines. In the quarter, Reliance, Tata and BSNL continued to see solid CDMA subscriber growth and continued to invest in the growth of their CDMA networks. However, we believe the region will experience declines in the second half of the year, as we expect all three operators to begin to focus more capital towards their GSM networks," Siegler continued.

The report also shows that the declines in the CDMA market were offset by the GSM market having another solid quarter, with revenue growing both sequentially and year-over-year.

Ipanema Unveils New WAN Optimization Devices

Ipanema Technologies introduced a new generation of integrated WAN optimization devices.

The Ipanema Autonomic Networking System is built out of central software cooperating devices (called ip|engines). The ip|engines are typically positioned inline between the CPE router and the LAN in data-centers and branch office locations. The ip|engines perform a complete range of application traffic management functions including visibility, optimization and acceleration.

Ipanema's new generation of ip|engines offer greater performance as well as new innovative auxiliary ports for system extension.

The ip|e 5ax is a compact device that handles WAN traffic of up to 8 Mbps for both download and upload and 20/2 Mbps for download and upload. The ip|e 5ax sports an 80GB disk for improved caching capabilities. The device specification makes it ideal for branches fitted with modern ADSL2+ or SDSL links.

The ip|e 1800ax is a carrier grade device able to manage up to 1Gbps WAN traffic. It includes redundant power supply and three hot swap disks of 750GB with RAID capabilities. The new range also includes the ip|e 120ax, ip|e 140ax and ip|e 1000ax models to cope with the variety of WAN access bandwidths.

The new auxiliary ports are designed to attach external devices to the ip|engines. The ip|engines are able to selectively divert a part of the WAN traffic to the ports for external processing. The diverted flows are ensured to be individually monitored and optimized by the ip|engines before and after their transformation.

The new ip|engine line is available immediately. The ip|e 5ax price begins at $3,150. The ip|e 1800ax price begins at $51,000.
  • Earlier this month, Ipanema Technologies announced $7 million in new financing to expand its global geographic coverage and grow its R&D staffing.

Zarlink Releases Newest Access Chipset

Zarlink Semiconductor announced availability of its new VoiceEdge VE792 Next Generation Carrier Chipset (NGCC), expanding its VoiceEdge family of highly-programmable integrated voice silicon solutions. The VE792 is a 3 chipset features support for simultaneous high speed video and voice, carrier grade line testing, and the lowest power usage and highest density on the market. It also integrates widely supported system interfaces.

The VoiceEdge VE792 chipset includes an octal Subscriber Line Audio-Processing Circuit (SLAC), with integrated carrier grade line test toolbox and DTMF detection, Single Channel Subscriber Line Interface Circuit (SLIC) and a multi-port Voice Control Processor (VCP), providing up to 72 channels of real time call control function, as well as full carrier grade line test, when enabled with the Zarlink LineCare software suite. The chipset supports a centralized architecture, capable of interfacing all system on chip voice packet processors and network processors, giving end users full scalability and software compatibility with their favorite architecture.

Sampling is underway.

Ericsson Deploys Solar-powered Cell Site in Cambodia for Star-Cell

Ericsson announced the first deployment of a solar-powered GSM base station with satellite backhaul for Star-Cell, a Cambodian mobile operator. The satellite transmission feature provides affordable mobile-network coverage in remote areas where other transmission solutions are unavailable. About 80 percent of the Cambodian population lives outside the main urban centers.

Ericsson said the GSM main-remote solution has a lower environmental impact than standard base stations, consuming up to 50 percent less energy, while helping lower total cost of ownership by reducing operating costs.

Star-Cell has selected Ericsson's solution to expand network coverage and introduce EDGE-based applications to enable mobile health and educational services for rural communities.

Ericsson noted that it has delivered more than 200 solar-powered cell sites in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Americas.

Global Crossing Provides Core Capacity Ethersphere's ADSL2+ in UK

Global Crossing is providing core network capacity for Entanet International Ltd.'s new wholesale ADSL2+ broadband service in the UK. Global Crossing is supplying core network connectivity from Entanet's central network nodes to BT Wholesale Broadband Connect (WBC) aggregation points in London and around the U.K.

Entanet is a leading communications provider of business-class voice and data connectivity solutions and delivers its services via a partner channel. In 2007, Entanet was selected to be the only non-BT company to participate in the BT 21st Century Network (21CN) WBC trial, with Global Crossing providing connectivity.


WiMAX Forum Opens Software Testing Simulator

The WiMAX Forum is making its its open source system level simulator available to its members. The simulator can be used to characterize applications over WiMAX networks. Specifically, the NS-2 based testing application tool provides a unified simulation tool based on the WiMAX Forum's system profiles and facilitates sharing of results and publication of technical papers. For example, the WiMAX Forum NS-2 Simulator could be used to test VoIP performance over WiMAX networks. The simulator will help vendors evaluate scheduler algorithms and technical solutions, in addition to helping service providers perform network planning, capacity evaluation and product evaluation.

The NS-2 Simulator can port a user specific scheduler, evaluate end-to-end performance and conduct network and capacity planning to identify the best deployment strategy and practices. More than 200 users pre-registered for access to the application.

ShoreTel Reports Quarterly Revenue of $35 Million

ShoreTel reported revenue for its fourth fiscal quarter, ended June 30, 2008, of $34.7 million, an increase of 10 percent over the third fiscal quarter and an increase of 20 percent over the fourth quarter of 2007. GAAP gross margin for the fourth quarter of 2008 improved to 62.5 percent from 62.0 percent in the third quarter. GAAP net loss was $47,000, or $(0.00) per share, in the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to a loss of $1.7 million, or $(0.04) per share, in the third quarter and net income of $1.9 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2007. GAAP results in the fourth quarter of 2008 included $2.0 million in stock-based compensation expenses, compared to $633,000 in the fourth quarter of 2007.

"We are pleased to have delivered solid fiscal year growth of 32 percent over last year and to have ended our fiscal year with record fourth quarter revenue that grew by 10 percent sequentially," said John W. Combs, chairman and CEO of ShoreTel.

AT&T Launches In-Home ConnecTech Service

AT&T is launching a nationwide, "ConnecTech" in-home technical support service for both AT&T and non-AT&T residential customers.

AT&T ConnecTech provides a full suite of in-home services for virtually all technical support needs, including television and home theater installation and personal computer and home network setup/maintenance/repair.

AT&T ConnecTech provides a customized portfolio for virtually all consumer services in all 50 states. Specifically, AT&T ConnecTech provides in-home and over-the-phone support services -- including next-day service installation, seven days a week -- for a broad range of TV and PC needs, including:

  • Custom installation of home theater and TV equipment. Flat-panel TV wall mounting and home video installation. Wall-mount speaker installation.

  • New PC or Apple computer installation and the startup of a home desktop or notebook, including e-mail, security configuration and device networking.

  • PC repair service, including parts and hardware replacement.

  • Home network installation of multiple broadband-enabled devices.

  • Computer and network diagnosis covering software and router configuration, settings, virus, spyware or operating system errors.

  • Remote PC and phone support for digital products, such as digital camera, MP3 players, etc.

Pricing info is online.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Vietnam Telecom National to Deploy Fujitsu's FLASHWAVE 7500

Hanoi-based Vietnam Telecom National will deploy Fujitsu's FLASHWAVE 7500 high-speed optical wavelength division multiplexer as the transmission backbone of its next-generation network. For the new optical trunk-line network in the country's southern region, Vietnam Telecom National, which operates under Vietnam Posts and Telecommunication Group, will deploy Fujitsu's FLASHWAVE 7500 wavelength division multiplexer. This trunk-line network will traverse approximately 3,000 km in Vietnam's southern region, tying together the region's 21 provincial capitals, and is scheduled to be completed in early 2009. Financial terms were not disclosed.
  • In February 2008, Fujitsu Network Communications announced several enhancements to its FLASHWAVE 7500 ROADM, including a new two-degree (2D) ROADM configuration for locations that only need two degrees of network connectivity (i.e. a single ring). The new release also includes other economical and operational enhancements, including new 19- and 23-inch shelves, an in-service upgradeable In-Line Amplifier (ILA), and a 10 Gbps Flexponder SONET ADM-on-a-card unit.

    The FLASHWAVE 7500, which is widely deployed by some of the largest MSOs and telecom companies in North America, offers 400 Gbps of total capacity, provides up to 40 wavelengths, features transmission paths exceeding 1000 km, and supports up to 24 intermediate add/drop nodes. It supports both optical mesh and network hub architectures.

    Fujitsu said that with this release, several enhancements have been made to the existing 19-inch FLASHWAVE 7500 small configuration to allow it to support 40-channel access via Wavelength Selective Switching (WSS) technology. This new configuration is designed for data center locations where 19-inch shelves are desired. Now, these customers have several alternatives to optimize cost and performance, including a 32-channel Fixed Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer (FOADM), 32-channel ROADM, 40‑channel FOADM, or 40-channel WSS-based ROADM.

  • In June 2007, Fujitsu Network Communications announced 40 Gbps transmission capabilities into its FLASHWAVE 7500 Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer (ROADM), enabling 10-Gbps metro DWDM networks based on the platform to grow from 400 Gbps to 1.6 Tbps of total capacity. Fujitsu has developed an advanced modulation scheme and per-wavelength variable dispersion compensation (VDC) to support the 40 Gbps rate. Optical performance requirements such as optical signal-to-noise ratio (OSNR), chromatic dispersion, polarization mode dispersion (PMD), and spectral width become much more stringent as bit rates increase.

Malaysia's REDtone Deploys WiMAX with Motorola

REDtone, Malaysia's leading alternative communications ervice provider, has launched East Malaysia's first WiMAX broadband services, powered by Motorola technology. The first phase of the WiMAX network covers Kota Kinabalu business district, enabling high speed Internet access as well as data applications for enterprises. Motorola is working with REDtone to supply and deploy WiMAX 2.3GHz equipment at base sites and install customer premises equipment (CPE) to provide broadband services in major business districts in the first phase of the plan. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Motorola confirmed that it now has 21 contracts for commercial WiMAX networks in 17 countries.