Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ericsson Unveils its Core Network Design for LTE

In conjunction with next week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Ericsson is introducing its most advanced Evolved Packet Core (SAE/EPC) portfolio for supporting operators' LTE network rollouts.


The portfolio is built on Ericsson's existing packet core products and new functionality will be introduced through software upgrades.
The Evolved Packet Core portfolio includes SGSN/MME* and Mobile Packet Gateway - software upgrades of the existing SGSN and GGSN products respectively - and the new Converged Packet Gateway (CPG), which addresses a new converged broadband segment not addressed by other packet core vendors. The CPG, is built on the SmartEdge platform and provides high-quality broadband services for both fixed and mobile traffic in the core network.


Ericsson also offers high-capacity radio access (LTE radio base stations), Evolved Packet Core networks (SAE/EPC), IP / Ethernet-based mobile backhaul and multimedia communication with IMS. The company is also a strong player in the large ecosystem of mobile broadband enabled devices. All of these components will be demonstrated in Barcelona.


Ericsson said its incremental upgrade approach minimizes operators' capital expenditure and ensures a smooth transition to the new technology.
http://www.ericsson.com

Ericsson Achieves HSPA Speed of 42 Mbps With Multi-Carriers

Ericsson is preparing to demonstrate new HSPA multi-carrier technology for peak downlink data rates of 42 Mbps at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week.


Multi-carrier technology is the next step in the evolution of HSPA and enables consumers to receive data simultaneously on two frequency channels. This doubles the user data rate in the coverage area of an HSPA network and on the cell edge, where consumers normally experience lower data rates. As a result the peak downlink data rate increases from today's fastest available 21 Mbps to 42 Mbps. This significantly improves the consumer experience for online services with high-quality content.


The demonstration uses the design concept of an Ericsson Mobile Broadband Router. This consumer device enables easy-to-use fixed wireless access as an attractive alternative for fixed-line services by utilizing an HSPA network. The unit can be used anywhere broadband access is needed, such as in homes, offices or public places. Thanks to the Mobile Broadband Router, the high data rates of up to 42Mbps can be shared between multiple consumers, providing efficient use of the high-speed broadband connection.


Telstra, which is currently pioneering HSPA downlink data rates of up to 21 Mbps in their Next G commercial network, said it welcomes multi-carrier technology.


Ericsson' said its HSPA multi-carrier technology will be ready for commercial implementation by the end of 2009.
http://www.ericsson.com

Allot and Camiant Team on DPI + Policy Control

Allot Communications and Camiant have formed a partnership to deliver a complete DPI and policy control solution for fixed and mobile broadband networks. The joint solution combines Allot's DPI-based, application identification and Policy and Charging Enforcement Function (PCEF) capabilities with Camiant's Multimedia Policy Engine (MPE) which is fully compliant with 3GPP's Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF)* specifications. This integrated offering will enable operators to better control and manage network usage, and as a result, prioritize time-sensitive applications, create new service plans, and carefully control peak and total bandwidth utilization based on a number of key conditions.
http://www.camiant.com
http://www.allot.com

Bell Canada Sees Lower Growth in Weakened Economy, Increases Dividend

Bell Canada's operating revenues in Q4 2008 grew by 0.2% to $3,800 million as growth in wireless, video, and data revenues offset declines in local and access, long distance, and equipment and other revenues. Excluding product sales, Bell's operating revenues grew by 1.2% this quarter. For the full year, Bell's operating revenues were $14,873 million, an increase of 1.5% compared to 2007. Bell's operating income was $520 million, or 6.6% lower than Q4 2007, due to higher depreciation and amortization expense and higher restructuring and other costs. For the full year, Bell's operating income was $2,143 million, a decrease of 19.2% compared to 2007. BCE's net loss per share (EPS) was $0.06 for the quarter compared to $2.93 for the same period last year. EPS this quarter included net losses on investments of $372 million, or $0.47 per share and restructuring and other costs of $0.14 per share.




"This was another quarter of clear progress by the Bell team in executing on our strategic imperatives in order to achieve our goal: to be recognized by customers as Canada's leading communications company," said George Cope, President and Chief Executive Officer of BCE and Bell Canada. "With a clear goal and strategy, improving operating performance, and a sound financial strategy, we are in a strong position to grow our free cash flow and earnings and return value to our shareholders now - as with the dividend increase announced today - and going forward."


Some highlights for the quarter:


  • At year end 2008, BCE had in excess of $3 billion in cash and cash equivalents on its balance sheet.

  • BCE announced that the annual common share dividend will increase by 5% to $1.54 per share. Accordingly, the Board has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.385 per common share, payable on April 15, 2009 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 16, 2009.



  • Wireless


  • Postpaid and prepaid wireless ARPU decreased by $1.06 and $1.24 to $65.69 and $16.40 respectively due to lower usage as customers reacted to a weakening economy partly offset by significant growth in wireless data revenues. Blended ARPU decreased by $0.43 to $54.22. For the full year, blended ARPU increased by 0.7% to $54.29 with postpaid ARPU increasing 0.3% to $66.09 and prepaid ARPU increasing 0.2% to $17.14.


  • Total gross wireless activations were 470,000 this quarter, or down 7.8% from last year's record high.


  • The Bell Wireless segment had 80,000 postpaid net activations, or 3.9% more than last year, and total net activations of 117,000.

  • Postpaid churn improved to 1.3% from 1.4%. Bell Wireless EBITDA grew by 13.6% and EBITDA margin on wireless service revenues increased to 43%.



  • Wireline

  • Wireline momentum continued with residential local access line (NAS) losses declining to 72,000 this quarter from 117,000 in the same quarter last year on the strength of customer winbacks and demand for Home Phone packages.


  • High-speed Internet customer connections increased by 8,000 this quarter, compared to 29,000 in Q4 2007, due to lower overall market demand as a result of a weakening economy and the relatively high broadband Internet penetration rate.


  • At the end of the quarter, Bell had 2,054,000 high-speed Internet customer connections, an increase of 2.5% compared to the end of 2007.


  • Total video subscribers increased by 14,000 this quarter to reach a total of 1,852,000. For the full year, there were 30,000 net subscriber activations compared to 2,000 in 2007.


  • Video subscriber churn of 1.3% was unchanged from last year.


  • Video net activations were 14,000 this quarter, a significant improvement over the 2,000 net activations in Q4 of 2007, due to improved sales in direct and indirect channels.


  • Total NAS declined by 9.1% over the last year. However, total NAS declined by just 5.4% when normalized for the previously announced contract termination with a major wholesale customer and a beginning-of-year adjustment to Bell's residential NAS base following a review of historical records.


  • Bell invested $854 million of capital this quarter, an increase of 11.8% compared to Q4 2007. On a full year basis, Bell invested $2,459 million of capital, or 1.8% more than 2007. For the full year, Bell's capital intensity was 16.5%. Capital expenditures focused on enhancing the wireless network and the continuing expansion of the Fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) program, supporting Bell's commitment to its strategic imperatives.


  • Bell's FTTN footprint reached 2.4 million homes at the end of 2008. This program is being accelerated in order to pass 5 million homes by 2012.
http://www.bce.ca

Qualcomm Introduces Second-Gen Embedded Mobile Module

Qualcomm introduced its second-generation embedded Gobi module for enabling multi-mode 3G mobile Internet access on either HSPA or CDMA2000 EV-DO networks in portable devices.


The Gobi2000 module features a number of enhancements over the previous module, including support for additional radio frequencies, increased data speeds, enhanced GPS functionality and support for additional operating systems such as Windows 7. Currently sampling, the Gobi2000 module is expected to be in laptops scheduled for commercial launch in the second half of 2009.


Specifically, the Gobi2000 module adds support for additional radio frequencies within the 800 MHz and 900 MHz bands, including UMTS900 which is often used for rural areas in Europe. Improved uplink capabilities, with support for up to 5.76 Mbps via HSUPA, translates to even faster upload speeds for laptops equipped with Gobi2000 technology. The GPS functionality of the Gobi2000 module has been further improved with support for Assisted-GPS (A-GPS) and gpsOneXTRA Assistance Technology, which delivers enhanced operation for standalone-GPS via assistance data when A-GPS is not available. Gobi2000 technology supports an expanded range of operating systems, including integration with Windows 7, to enable an optimal 3G connectivity experience.


"Qualcomm's first-generation Gobi module has been broadly accepted as seven of the world's 10 largest notebook OEMs have adopted Gobi, and we are now expanding our Gobi roadmap with a second-generation product that delivers enhanced functionality in response to industry demands," said Mike Concannon, senior vice president of product management for Qualcomm CDMA Technologies. "The Gobi2000 module offers a broad range of performance enhancements that will further accelerate the market growth of embedded 3G connectivity."http://www.qualcomm.com

Ceragon Introduces LTE-Ready Backhaul Solutions

Ceragon Networks introduced its Mobile Architecture for Service Transport (MAST) -- a network architecture that goes beyond "pure transport" to include an interoperable ecosystem, enabling operators to use multiple backhaul and networking alternatives. The architecture encompasses Ceragon's FibeAir family of products along with multi-functional network solutions from Ceragon partners.


Ceragon's MAST features targets network transition in three main layers: Transport, Network and Service. The goal is to support a broad range of transport applications for access and aggregation backhaul. At the network layer, Ceragon MAST supports NG-SDH/SONET, Hybrid native TDM and native IP (Native2), Pseudowire, carrier-grade Ethernet and pure IP. In addition, MAST offers a comprehensive set of service tools to ensure end-to-end QoS and OA&M that help to further increase network efficiency and optimization.


"As mobile networks evolve beyond simple connectivity, operators must address new network challenges. This need will only intensify with the advent of LTE which requires higher capacities, and enhanced performance," said Ira Palti, President and CEO of Ceragon. "The MAST concept brings together the technology, skills and expertise required for successfully constructing complete LTE-ready backhaul architectures. We continue to strengthen our product portfolio to support our customers' legacy networks - while allowing them to gradually grow their performance and capacity."http://www.ceragon.com

Ceragon Introduces LTE-Ready Backhaul Solutions

Ceragon Networks introduced its Mobile Architecture for Service Transport (MAST) -- a network architecture that goes beyond "pure transport" to include an interoperable ecosystem, enabling operators to use multiple backhaul and networking alternatives. The architecture encompasses Ceragon's FibeAir family of products along with multi-functional network solutions from Ceragon partners.


Ceragon's MAST features targets network transition in three main layers: Transport, Network and Service. The goal is to support a broad range of transport applications for access and aggregation backhaul. At the network layer, Ceragon MAST supports NG-SDH/SONET, Hybrid native TDM and native IP (Native2), Pseudowire, carrier-grade Ethernet and pure IP. In addition, MAST offers a comprehensive set of service tools to ensure end-to-end QoS and OA&M that help to further increase network efficiency and optimization.


"As mobile networks evolve beyond simple connectivity, operators must address new network challenges. This need will only intensify with the advent of LTE which requires higher capacities, and enhanced performance," said Ira Palti, President and CEO of Ceragon. "The MAST concept brings together the technology, skills and expertise required for successfully constructing complete LTE-ready backhaul architectures. We continue to strengthen our product portfolio to support our customers' legacy networks - while allowing them to gradually grow their performance and capacity."http://www.ceragon.com

Motorola's Next Gen Cellular Base Stations Support GSM, E-EDGE and LTE

Motorola has expanded its portfolio of cellular base stations with two new addition: the CTU4 and RCTU4. The next generation radios are both based on Multi-Carrier Power Amplifier (MCPA) technology and are GSM, Evolved-EDGE (EDGE) and LTE capable.


Motorola's new CTU4 and RCTU4 offer two discrete form-factors that suit different network needs. The CTU4 is a plug-in unit for Motorola's existing Horizon II base stations that makes it ideally suited to established networks. The RCTU4 is a remote radio unit (RRU), which is particularly suitable for greenfield deployments or major system expansions and gives service providers an opportunity to achieve a minimum total cost of ownership without compromising on performance.


These new radio products are based around a modified radio architecture that sees the baseband and RF functions (traditionally in the same unit) split into physically separate modules that are connected via an optical fiber. Key attributes of both radio products include:

  • Software definable radio with separate baseband units, maximizing the re-use of existing equipment


  • The MCPA is a wide-band unit that is designed for a variety of modulation types. This means that the radio unit (plug-in or RRU) can support a 2x2 MIMO LTE carrier while offering efficient power consumption characteristics, which are a major consideration in today's energy conscious and challenging marketplace


  • Up to six RF carriers capable of supporting E-EDGE, which will provide enhanced end-user experiences and enable more applications. Other carriers can be any combination of EDGE/GPRS or voice.


  • The CTU4 and RCTU4 are expected to be commercially available in the second half of 2009.
http://www.motorola.com

Motorola Shows WiMAX Outdoor CPE With Integrated VoIP

Motorola unveiled a new outdoor CPE with integrated VoIP capability. The wi4 WiMAX CPEo 450 is WiMAX Forum Wave 2 ready and will be commercially available for shipments beginning in Q2 2009 for the 3.5 GHz band with support for 5, 7, and 10 MHz channel bandwidths.


The company said its design is optimized for hassle-free installations of broadband and voice service at new subscriber locations. The VoIP functionality eliminates the need for multiple boxes. Other features that improve total cost of ownership for operators include integrated pole mounting brackets for convenience in installation, visual signal quality indicators for reliable device orientation, and a new high-performance antenna and radio design for interference mitigation and increased service coverage.


The CPEo 450 consists of an outdoor subscriber unit with integrated antennas and an indoor power adaptor incorporating an RJ45 Ethernet port and two RJ11 voice ports. All network configuration parameters come pre-loaded. When turned on, the network will automatically detect the CPEo 450 and perform all necessary authentication processes, allowing subscribers to immediately begin using voice and data services.
http://www.motorola.com/wimax

Motorola Shows WiMAX Outdoor CPE With Integrated VoIP

Motorola unveiled a new outdoor CPE with integrated VoIP capability. The wi4 WiMAX CPEo 450 is WiMAX Forum Wave 2 ready and will be commercially available for shipments beginning in Q2 2009 for the 3.5 GHz band with support for 5, 7, and 10 MHz channel bandwidths.


The company said its design is optimized for hassle-free installations of broadband and voice service at new subscriber locations. The VoIP functionality eliminates the need for multiple boxes. Other features that improve total cost of ownership for operators include integrated pole mounting brackets for convenience in installation, visual signal quality indicators for reliable device orientation, and a new high-performance antenna and radio design for interference mitigation and increased service coverage.


The CPEo 450 consists of an outdoor subscriber unit with integrated antennas and an indoor power adaptor incorporating an RJ45 Ethernet port and two RJ11 voice ports. All network configuration parameters come pre-loaded. When turned on, the network will automatically detect the CPEo 450 and perform all necessary authentication processes, allowing subscribers to immediately begin using voice and data services.
http://www.motorola.com/wimax

Motorola Shows WiMAX Outdoor CPE With Integrated VoIP

Motorola unveiled a new outdoor CPE with integrated VoIP capability. The wi4 WiMAX CPEo 450 is WiMAX Forum Wave 2 ready and will be commercially available for shipments beginning in Q2 2009 for the 3.5 GHz band with support for 5, 7, and 10 MHz channel bandwidths.


The company said its design is optimized for hassle-free installations of broadband and voice service at new subscriber locations. The VoIP functionality eliminates the need for multiple boxes. Other features that improve total cost of ownership for operators include integrated pole mounting brackets for convenience in installation, visual signal quality indicators for reliable device orientation, and a new high-performance antenna and radio design for interference mitigation and increased service coverage.


The CPEo 450 consists of an outdoor subscriber unit with integrated antennas and an indoor power adaptor incorporating an RJ45 Ethernet port and two RJ11 voice ports. All network configuration parameters come pre-loaded. When turned on, the network will automatically detect the CPEo 450 and perform all necessary authentication processes, allowing subscribers to immediately begin using voice and data services.
http://www.motorola.com/wimax

Texas Instruments acquires CICLON Semiconductor

Texas Instruments has acquired CICLON Semiconductor Device Corporation, which specializes in high-frequency, high-efficiency analog power management semiconductors. The acquisition expands TI's capability to improve energy efficiency in today's end-equipment designs, including high-power computing and server systems. The company is based in Bethlehem, PA.
http://www.ti.com/mosfet

ARRIS Announces Preliminary Revenue of $292 Million, up 17% YoY

ARRIS announced preliminary fourth quarter 2008 revenues of $292.4 million grew by $42.8 million, or 17%, as compared to the fourth quarter 2007 revenues of $249.6 million. Full year 2008 revenues were $1,144.6 million, up $152.4 million, or 15%, as compared to full year 2007 revenues of $992.2 million. Non-GAAP net income in the fourth quarter 2008 was $0.25 per diluted share, as compared to the fourth quarter 2007 of $0.16 per diluted share, and as compared to the third quarter 2008 of $0.24 per diluted share. Net income per diluted share on a non-GAAP basis for the full year 2008 was $0.77 as compared to $0.79 in 2007.
http://www.arrisi.com

Compromise Stimulus Bill Allocates About $7 Billion for Broadband

The compromise economic stimulus bill agreed to on Wednesday by U.S. House and Senate negotiators is expected to include about $7.2 billion for broadband and 1st responder wireless interoperability projects. Of this total, about $2.8 billion would be disbursed by the Department of Agriculture under its Rural Utilities Service (RUS) program, and about $4.3 billion would be disbursed through the Department of Justice and the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The final numbers have not yet been released. The compromise bill also apparently eliminates the tax credits for broadband deployments that had originally been part of the Senate version.
http://www.senate.govhttp://www.ntia.doc.gov

Monday, February 9, 2009

Denmark's TDC Selects Aricent for Operational Support Systems Integration

Denmark's TDC, a leading provider of communications solutions in the Nordic business market, has selected Aricent's telecommunications system integration services to integrate and deploy multi-vendor enhancements to its operations support systems.


Aricent's telecommunications system integration practice delivers advanced and reliable Operations Support Systems and Business Support Systems (OSS/BSS) solutions that facilitate fast roll out of innovative services, reduce operating expenses, improve the users' experience and loyalty, and create new revenue streams while preserving existing sources.
http://www.aricent.com

Cisco Forms Strategic Alliance with Tata Consultancy Services

Cisco and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) have formed a strategic alliance to develop and deliver information technology (IT) service solutions to help customers build or evolve next-generation data centers. The companies also announced the formation of a Cisco Technology Lab at the TCS campus in Chennai, India.


As part of the new practice, TCS will incorporate Cisco's Data Centre 3.0 technologies, with TCS' IT services, business solutions and outsourcing. The practice will focus on helping customers develop next-generation virtualized data centres and achieve greater operational and energy efficiency. The companies will also explore new networking innovations to address the needs of large and small businesses for IT services.
http://www.cisco.com

Telefónica Expands 3G in Spain with NSN

Telefónica Spain has undertaken a 3G network expansion which will extend its service reach by more than 25% in dense urban areas. The expansion, which will also improve energy efficiency and reduce environmental impact, has been carried out by Nokia Siemens Networks. Financial terms were not disclosed.


The network upgrade features Nokia Siemens Networks' Flexi Base Station. As the industry's smallest, and most energy efficient base station, the Flexi can offer energy savings of up to 70 percent. Telefónica expects to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 9,500 tones per year, which can be compared to getting 1,800 vehicles off the roads in Spain.
http://www.nokiasiemensnetworks.com

Nokia Siemens Networks to Demo ATCA-based Evolved Packet Core for LTE

At next week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Nokia Siemens Networks is launching two new products that will make up the key elements of its Evolved Packet Core (EPC) network solution for Long Term Evolution (LTE). The Flexi Network Server and the Flexi Network Gateway will both be based on an ATCA platform and will be available for early field deployment in the second half of 2009.


NSN said its Evolved Packet Core offering will ultimately support a full range of 3GPP access, such as 2G, 3G, HSPA and LTE. This will allow it to be conveniently deployed as an overlay solution for LTE alongside existing networks with minimum impact on present 2G and 3G services.


"Rapidly increasing data volumes in mobile networks and the commensurate pressure to reduce the cost per transmitted bit -- with the prospect of eventually offering all services including voice over this low-latency data network -- are encouraging operators to exploit the greater efficiency of LTE as soon as possible," says Petri Pöyhönen, Head of Converged Internet Connectivity, Nokia Siemens Networks.
http://www.nokiasiemensnetworks.com

See also