Thursday, October 15, 2009

Orange Business Services Partners with Cisco in Latin America

Orange Business Services is working together with Cisco to offer managed unified communications and collaboration services to companies in Latin America. Specifically, Orange supports enterprise customers in the region with three managed services for Cisco Collaboration solutions: Cisco Unified Communications, based on Cisco Unified IP telephony solutions, including a managed LAN service; a managed end-to-end Cisco TelePresence offer; and a Web collaboration service via Cisco WebEx.

Orange's Cisco Certified TelePresence now spans 44 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela.

Sony Ericsson's Handset Shipments Up 2% in Q3 but Down 45% Year-over-Year

Sony Ericsson shipped 14.1 million mobile phones in Q3 2009, an increase of 2% quarter-on-quarter and a decrease of 45% year-on-year. Sales for the quarter were Euro 1,619 million, a sequential decrease of 4% and a year-on-year decrease of 42%. The sequential decline in ASP (Average Selling Price) was due to product mix and continued challenging market conditions.

Sony Ericsson forecasts that the global handset market for 2009 will contract by approximately 10% from around 1,190 million units in 2008. Sony Ericsson estimates that its market share in units was about 5% in the third quarter.

As of October 15, 2009; Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, CEO and President of Sony Corporation and a member of the Sony Ericsson board, became Chairman of the Sony Ericsson board succeeding Carl-Henric Svanberg. At the same time, Bert Nordberg became President of Sony Ericsson succeeding Dick Komiyama, who remains as Executive Advisor until the end of 2009.

Nokia Shuffles Management Team

Following its earnings report last week, Nokia announced two senior management changes.

Rick Simonson, currently Nokia Chief Financial Officer, has been appointed to head of the Mobile Phones entity within the Devices unit. He will also head strategic sourcing for the whole of the Devices unit. Simonson joined Nokia in 2001 and has been CFO since 2004. He will continue to be a member of the Group Executive Board.

Timo Ihamuotila, currently global head of sales, will transfer to the role of CFO. Ihamuotila first joined Nokia in 1993 and has held the position of Nokia Corporate Treasurer as well as several other senior positions in, for example, portfolio management of devices and most recently global sales of devices and services. Timo Ihamuotila will also continue to be a member of the Group Executive Board.

Beceem Selects Mindspeed's Gateway Processor

Beceem Communications, a leading provider of mobile WiMAX chips, has selected Mindspeed's Comcerto 100 broadband gateway processor for use within its BCS5200 customer premise equipment (CPE) chip for residential, small office/home office (SOHO), small-to-midsize businesses (SMB) and enterprise applications.

Beceem's BCS5200 is a single-chip WiMAX device with integrated voice and gateway router functionality. Mindspeed's Comcerto 100 processor combines a high-performance virtual private network (VPN)/wide area network (WAN) router platform with a guaranteed low-latency voice subsystem.

Charter's Bankruptcy Case Advances in Court

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York has indicated that it intends to confirm Charter Communications' pre-arranged Joint Plan of Reorganization and issue a confirmation order within the next several weeks. Charter expects to emerge from Chapter 11 shortly thereafter.

Charter Communications ranks as the fourth-largest cable operator in the United States.

Insider Trading Case Implicates a Managing Director at Intel Capital

The Securities and Exchange Commission formally charged billionaire Raj Rajaratnam and his New York-based hedge fund advisory firm Galleon Management LP with engaging in a massive insider trading scheme. Charges were also brought against senior executives at major companies IBM, Intel and McKinsey & Company.

Rajiv Goel, a managing director at Intel Capital, allegedly provided inside information to Rajaratnam about certain Intel quarterly earnings and a pending joint venture concerning Clearwire Corp., in which Intel had invested. One of the insider tips reportedly disclosed Intel's plans to invest $500 million in the Clearwire venture.

Ekinops Introduces a Multi-Protocol ADM Solution

Ekinops has expanded its optical transport portfolio with a multi-protocol/multi-rate ADM (add/drop multiplexing) for aggregating converged traffic in business Ethernet, triple-play, wireless backhaul, and broadband backhaul applications.

The new capability allows for many different protocols (uncompressed video, Fibre Channel, Ethernet, SONET/SDH) and many different rates (ranging from as low as 10/100 or OC-3/STM-1) to be aggregated over a single 10G wavelength from multiple sites. In addition, this capability can utilize Ekinops' high-density single fiber capability to cut infrastructure costs in half. The solution supports both ring and linear configurations.

Ekinops said that while alternative transport solutions require as much as an additional wavelength for each service type, its "DynaMux" dynamic multiplexing capability can accommodate a broad range of service types and rates, and do it all over a single wavelength to keep transport costs to a minimum. Alternative solutions without ADM capabilities require service cards to both add and drop traffic at remote sites. With the use of a multi-protocol/multi-rate drop and continue capability, Ekinops is able to reduce the hardware necessary to aggregate traffic at remote sites to a single service card.

In addition, most transport platforms rely n two fibers to transport services bi-directionally, assigning one fiber to each direction. Ekinops also allows for the option to transport in both directions over a single fiber. In addition to transporting as many as 160 10G services over two fibers, the Ekinops 360 offers the option of transporting up to 32 10G or lower-rate services over a single fiber bi-directionally. Ekinops plans to expand this capability to as many as 64 bi-directional 10G services over a single fiber using its WaveBonding 40G/100G technology.

Ekinops noted that its multi-protocol/multi-rate ADM solution has already been chosen by a European service provider.
  • Ekinops is based in Lannion, France.

  • Ekinops has previously disclosed deployments by Mediaserv in overseas French territories, UK operator NWIX, Nepal's Subisu CableNet Pvt. Ltd., FiberNet Telecom Group, Altitude Telecom, Belgacom, amongst others.

  • 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.

Obama Promotes Cyber Security Awareness

President Barack Obama released an online video calling on all Americans to be careful online. Specifically, Obama cited three basic cybersecurity principles:

1. Keep security and software systems up-to-date and beware of suspicious email.

2. Always know who you are dealing with online

3. Never give out your personal or financial information until you verify the recipient is legitimate.

Alcatel-Lucent Appoints Head for its Middle East Business

Alcatel-Lucent has appointed Nicolas Bouverot as vice president and head of the company's business in the Middle East region. He will assume overall responsibility for managing day-today operations as well as taking the lead on strategic business directions for Alcatel-Lucent in the Middle East, reporting to the President of Alcatel-Lucent in Middle East and Africa. Nicolas succeeds Mazen Hamadallah who has decided to leave the company. Most recently, Bouverot was Alcatel-Lucent's Global Account Director for Etisalat. Previously he held several senior positions in management, sales and business development in Europe, East and Southeast Asia. Nicolas joined Alcatel-Lucent in 1991.

ATSC Adopts Mobile DTV Standard

The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) voted to approve the A/153 ATSC Mobile DTV Standard, which is the set of technical specifications necessary for broadcasters to provide new services to mobile and handheld devices using their digital television (DTV) transmissions. Formal development of the ATSC Mobile DTV system began in May 2007 with the issuance of request for Proposals (RFP).

Mobile DTV signals are carried along with current DTV services. ATSC Mobile DTV was developed to support a variety of services including free (advertiser-supported) television and interactive services delivered in real-time, subscription-based TV, and file-based content download for playback at a later time. The standard can also be used for transmission of new data broadcasting services.

A/153 ATSC Mobile DTV leverages Vestigial Side Band (VSB) modulation, with enhanced error correction and other techniques to improve robustness and reduce power consumption in portable receivers, coupled with a flexible and extensible Internet Protocol (IP) based transport system, efficient MPEG AVC (ISO/IEC 14496-10 or ITU H.264) video, and HE AAC v2 audio (ISO/IEC 14496-3) coding. In addition to live television, the new ATSC Mobile DTV standard provides a flexible application framework to enable new receiver capabilities, such as interactive television services ranging from audience measurement and simple viewer voting to the integration of Internet-based applications and transactions with television content.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Shaw Launches100 Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver

Shaw Communications launches DOCSIS 3.0 services in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. Shaw's High-Speed Nitro is the fastest Internet speed available across Canada promising speeds up to 100 Mbps downstream. Shaw launched High-Speed Nitro in Saskatoon, Victoria and Winnipeg earlier this year.

Shaw High-Speed Nitro is priced at $149 (CDN) per month when bundled with any other Shaw service; the price includes DOCSIS 3.0 modem rental.

Miami-based TeleCuba Gains U.S. License for Fiber Cable to Cuba

TeleCuba Communications, a company based in Miami, Florida, has been granted licenses by the U.S. Department of the Treasury ("OFAC") to install the first direct fiber optic subsea cable between Key West, Florida and Havana, Cuba. The company estimates its 110-mile cable will cost $18 million. TeleCuba expects the cable to be fully operational by the second quarter of 2011.

The announcement follows the Obama administration's decision to remove many of the telecommunications restrictions mandated by the embargo.

"The cable will be the first of its kind," says Virginia Hoffman of Great Eastern Group, head of TeleCuba's cable system design, construction, and installation. "It will be far more than a simple commercial cable; TeleCuba has agreements in place to provide for multiple subsea science nodes along the cables path for use by major universities and weather management agencies for both educational and research purposes."

Once in service, the use of the fiber optic cable will eliminate the need for satellite communication between the U.S. and Cuba. The new cable will allow for an array of new telecommunication products and services such as high speed internet and cable television, which are not feasible using current satellite communications.

TeleCuba was founded in 1995 and currently offers calling card services to Cuba.

Tata's Global Priority Ethernet Gains MEF 9 and MEF 14 Status

Tata Communications' Priority Ethernet services have now been certified by the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) as conforming to the MEF 9 and MEF 14 specifications. This complements the already MEF certified Global Dedicated Ethernet Services, introduced by Tata Communications in 2006 and certified since 2007.

MEF 14 ensures that the latency, jitter and packet loss performance of the services conforms to the rigorous MEF standards, while MEF 9 ensures the conditions required for delivery of services have specific Ethernet User Network Interface (UNI) and Ethernet Virtual Connection (EVC) service attributes. MEF 14 is also the first industry certification to include performance criteria, which helps to raise the bar on carriers' services performance.

UTStarcom and Starent Settle Legal Dispute

UTStarcom and agreed to settle all legal disputes between the two companies. Under the settlement, Starent will make a one-time payment to UTStarcom in the amount of $3.5 million and receive a perpetual royalty-free license to UTStarcom patents.

AT&T Manages Global VPN for NYK Shipping

The Japanese global shipping company Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) has selected AT&T as its worldwide communications provider. AT&T is providing Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to NYK Group in North America, Europe and Asia. The network connects NYK's 137 global sites in 31 countries.

Telecom Egypt Launches FTTH in Cairo Suburb of Qatamiya

Telecom Egypt is moving forward with the FTTH deployment in Egypt in the Cairo suburb of Qatamiya. The carrier will offer Triple Play services and downloads speeds of 70 Mbps.

Alcatel-Lucent Announces "Network MIMO" to Boost Wireless Performance

Researchers at Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Laboratories are developing a new Coordinated Multipoint Transmission (CoMP) technology aimed at increasing data transmission rates and ensuring consistent service quality and throughput on LTE as well as on 3G networks. The performance gains are achieved by coordinating and combining signals from multiple antennas. Unlike with existing MIMO (Multiple Input-Multiple Output) approaches, CoMP leverages multiple access points -- a technique termed Network MIMO. Bell Labs, which pioneered MIMO, said its development of Network MIMO also reflects a commitment to open innovation and serves as a clear demonstration of the benefits that result.

Live field tests of CoMP have been conducted in the downtown areas of Berlin in cooperation with Deutsche Telekom Laboratories, the Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz Institut, and antenna supplier Kathrein. The tests were part of a joint research project sponsored by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) called Enablers for Ambient Services and Systems (EASY-C).

During the tests, signals transmitted from mobile devices were received by two active remote radio heads deployed on two buildings located 500m from one another, then forwarded across an optical fiber link to a central unit comprising the modem and controller elements of an Alcatel-Lucent LTE base station (eNodeB). The signals were then combined with one another to increase the strength of the signal. Transmissions between mobile devices and base stations during the field tests made use of the 2.6 GHz frequency band, which is expected to be the predominant band for introduction of commercial LTE services in Europe.

Alcatel-Lucent said these tests showcased Coordinated Multipoint Transmission's key benefits:

  • Helps improve bandwidth scalability by boosting transmission rates not only in the connection from the network to the user's mobile device (downlink), but from the mobile device to the network (uplink).

  • Improves quality of service by demonstrating consistently high transmission rates on the uplink from the phone to the network, even at the edges of a "cell" where transmission quality is typically poor and difficult to maintain; data rates greater than 5Mbps were observed for the vast majority of locations.

  • Maximizes the use of existing network infrastructure to achieve these higher transmission speeds without necessarily requiring deployment of additional antennas.

"The results we have achieved with this new transmission technology are built on our world-leading multi-antenna wireless research," said Gee Rittenhouse, head of Bell Labs Research. "In the future as LTE networks become widely deployed we expect that CoMP will help enable our customers to meet the next wave of demand from users who expect to access all sorts of exciting high-bandwidth applications with their mobile phones."
  • In June 2009, Germany's Project EASY-C announced the first demonstration of a multi-cell cooperative coherent downlink transmission from two base stations to two mobile terminals. This test was performed by TU Dresden. Project EASY-C has a number of industry and academic partners. Key findings are posted on their website.

Nokia and NSN Report Improved Conditions in Q3 But Market Share Declines

Nokia reported net sales of EUR 9.8 billion for Q3 2009, down 20% year on year and down 1% sequentially (down 19% and flat at constant currency). Net sales of mobile devices & services came in at EUR 6.9 billion, down 20% year on year and up 5% sequentially (down 20% and up 6% at constant currency). The company's overall non-IFRS operating margin was 11.4% (18.6% in Q3 2008 and 12.2% in Q22009), while gross margin for devices and services was 30.9%, down from 34.0% in Q2 2009. Nokia's third quarter 2009 reported operating loss was EUR 426 million, compared with an operating profit of EUR 1.5 billion in the third quarter 2008.

"The demand for mobile devices improved in many markets during Q3. With the average selling price of our devices holding firm quarter-on-quarter, our higher device volumes translated into increased net sales in our Devices & Services business. Our volumes and net sales were, however, somewhat constrained by component shortages we encountered across the portfolio. I also want to highlight the good operating expense management that helped the segment deliver solid earnings," stated company CEO Olli-Pekka KALLASVUO.

Net sales for Nokia Siemens Networks were EUR 2.8 billion, down 21% year on year and down 14% sequentially (down 20% and down 14% at constant
currency), and non-IFRS operating margin of -1.9% (5.1% in Q3 2008). NSN's reported gross profit decreased 28% to EUR 778 million, compared with EUR 1.1 billion in the third quarter 2008, with a reported gross margin of 28.2% (30.8%).

Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks now expect the mobile infrastructure and fixed infrastructure and related services market to decline approximately 5% in Euro terms in 2009, from 2008 levels. This is an update to Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks earlier expected decline of approximately 10%. However, Nokia Siemens Networks expects its market share will decline by more than previously expected in 2009, compared with 2008. Strong performance in NSN's Services business unit is expected to be offset by declines in certain product businesses.

"The challenging competitive factors and market conditions in the infrastructure and related services business necessitated non-cash impairment charges at Nokia Siemens Networks. We continue to support Nokia Siemens Networks actions to improve its performance," said Kallasvuo.

Some highlights from the Nokia's quarterly financial report:

  • Estimated industry mobile device volumes of 288 million units, down 7% year on year and up 7% sequentially.

  • Nokia mobile device volumes of 108.5 million units, down 8% year on year and up 5% sequentially.

  • Nokia estimated mobile device market share of 38% in Q3 2009, at the same level as in Q3 2008 and in Q2 2009.

  • Nokia mobile device ASP of EUR 62, at the same level as in Q2 2009.

  • Nokia expects industry mobile device volumes in the fourth quarter 2009 to be up sequentially.

  • Nokia expects its mobile device market share in the fourth quarter 2009 to be approximately at the same level sequentially.

  • Nokia expects industry mobile device volumes to be approximately 1.12 billion units in 2009, down approximately 7% from approximately 1.21 billion units Nokia estimated for 2008. This is an update to Nokia's earlier estimate of industry mobile device volumes declining approximately 10% in 2009 from 2008 levels.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Motorola secures major WiMAX contract in Ireland

Motorola has been selected by Imagine to design and deploy an end-to-end WiMAX network to replace Imagine's existing wireless infrastructure nationwide across Ireland. Motorola will provide deployment, integration and support services to Imagine in addition to WiMAX equipment. This will include WiMAX Access Points, such as the WAP 450 for increased coverage and capacity in a compact design and the WAP 800 with beamforming antenna techniques for enhanced performance. For customer premises equipment Imagine will offer the USBw 100 dongle for high speed mobile connectivity; the CPEi 775 which includes a built-in Wi-Fi router and ports for VoIP; and the CPEo 450 which extends the coverage of critical broadband and VoIP services, while reducing infrastructure and support costs. A portion of purchase price will be financed by Motorola.

Bell Labs Collaborates with Korea's Gachon Energy Institute

Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs and the Gachon Energy Research Institute (GERI) of Korea's Kyungwon University have entered into a joint research agreement to design mission-critical communication infrastructure, comprehensive security systems, and develop innovative businesses models for the next-generation smart power grid (Smart Grid). The Grid 2.0 research project aims is to enhance the efficiency, reliability, security, and intelligence of electric power grids by exploiting the convergence between electric power systems and information and communications technologies.