Thursday, November 12, 2009

Huawei Supplies Next-gen Home Location Register in Indonesia

Huawei has installed a next-generation Home Location Register ("ngHLR") for Hutchison CP Telecommunications Indonesia with the capacity to serve more than 16 million wireless subscribers. The deployment in Indonesia represents a major milestone for HCPT as it provides a modernized subscriber data management system and paves the way for growth in a rapidly expanding market over the next five years. The project, which took less than two months to complete, involved the deployment of a pair of Huawei ngHLRs in two strategic locations of Jakarta with seamless geographical redundancy. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Huawei's ngHLR, which uses an ATCA chassis, scales to a maximum capacity of 100 million subscribers while offering over 99.9999% reliability by sites load sharing mode. This solution also supports the evolution to USC (Unified Subscriber Center) functionality.

NTT Labs Develops Gigabit-class "i-Visto" Video Transmission

Researchers at NTT Laboratories in Japan have developed a novel technology to transmit uncompressed video streams through IP networks at rates exceeding 1 Gbps. NTT's "i-Visto" technology, which has been field tested in cooperation with National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), transmits uncompressed HDTV signals by acquiring a path in the optical network whenever it is needed, without allocating additional network resources or re-optimizing the provisioned network resources. The experiment was carried out using GEMnet2 and JGN2plus, the R&D testbed networks provided by NTT and NICT, respectively.

Currently, data transmission exceeding 1 Gbps typically requires the network operator to allocate network resources along the transmission path. NTT Laboratories' low-latency video transmission mechanism features an ultra-high speed server system architecture which enables the recording and playing of multiple high-quality video formats, including DVCproHD, uncompressed HD, and uncompressed 4K-resolution video.

Using GMPLS for signaling between IP routers and optical switches, the system establishes a network path for ultra-wideband video transmission dynamically whenever video transmission is activated by the user. Testing has been conducted using Experiments were done using 1920x1080 resolution images at 60 interlaced fields per second. This uncompressed video interface (HD-SDI) signal for broadcast use consumes about 1.5Gbps of network bandwidth.

FCC Seeks Comment on Universal Service Fund and Intercarrier Compensation

The FCC is seeking additional public comment on universal service and intercarrier compensation (ICC) policies that should be part of its forthcoming National Broadband Plan.

The universal service fund (USF) currently consists of high-cost, low-income (including the Lifeline and Link Up programs), schools and libraries (the E-rate program) and rural health
care support mechanisms. The FCC asks whether the size of funding for each support mechanism is appropriate to achieve the objective of universalization of broadband?
Also under consideration is whether the FCC should modify the current methodology for assessing contributions to the universal service fund.

The FCC is also interested in whether reductions in current levels of universal service high-cost support and/or intercarrier compensation would jeopardize some carrier's ability to continue to serve customers and advance the deployment of next generation broadband-capable networks.

Comments are due by December 7, 2009.

ZTE Ships 200,000th Software Defined Radio Base Station

ZTE noted the shipment of its 200,000th Software Defined Radio (SDR) base station. It took the company almost one year to achieve the first 100,000 SDR units shipped by April 2009, and only six months to ship the second 100,000. The fast growth showcases global operators' recognition and favor of ZTE as a leading provider of SDR base stations, helping them meet the rapid market needs.

A variety of multi-band and multi-standard wireless communications systems can be implemented ZTE's SDR technology, including GSM, UMTS, CDMA2000, TD-SCDMA, FDD LTE, WiMAX and TDD LTE, all on the same hardware platform. 3G networks utilizing ZTE SDR base stations are being constructed across China, including a TD-SCDMA network (China Mobile), WCDMA network (China Unicom) and CDMA2000 network (China Telecom).
  • In September this year, ZTE and CSL, the largest mobile operator in Hong Kong, jointly released an LTE commercial test network. Based on ZTE's SDR base station platform, CSL successfully built GSM/UMTS/HSPA+/LTE multi-mode networks with a maximum download rate of 127.552Mbps and a mobile download rate of 43.9Mbps.

Dell Enters SmartPhone Business, Signs China Mobile and Brazil's Claro

Dell confirmed plans to enter the smart phone business and announced distribution deals with China Mobile and Claro, which serves more than 42 million people in Brazil as part of the America Movil network. The initial Mini 3 smart phones are designed around the Android platform. Details of phone models will be announced on a partner-by-partner basis when devices are available in stores, anticipated in late November for China Mobile and year's end for Claro.

"Our entry into the smart phone category is a logical extension of Dell's consumer product evolution over the past two years," said Ron Garriques, President, Dell Global Consumer Group. "We are developing smaller and smarter mobile products that enable our customers to take their internet experience out of the home and do the things they want to do whenever and wherever they want."

Nortel Postpones Carrier Ethernet Auction

Last Friday, Nortel called off a schedule auction of its global Optical Networking and Carrier Ethernet businesses. Nortel said it canceled the auction in light of ongoing discussions with interested parties. Qualified bidders are now required to submit offers by November 17, 2009. The Company expects to provide a further update on the auction process and sale of these businesses shortly.
  • In October, Ciena agreed to acquire all of the optical networking and carrier Ethernet assets of Nortel's Metro Ethernet Networks (MEN) business for $390 million in cash and 10 million shares of Ciena common stock. Based on the closing price of Ciena's stock on Tuesday, October 6, 2009, the full deal is valued at $521 million. The deal is subject to a competitive bidding process and higher offers could emerge.

  • The deal includes Nortel's long-haul optical transport portfolio; metro optical Ethernet switching and transport solutions; Ethernet transport, aggregation and switching technology; multiservice SONET/SDH product families; and network management software products.

Zayo Bandwidth Expands Fiber-to-Tower in Philadelphia

Zayo Bandwidth will deploy TDM and Ethernet services to an additional 300 wireless tower sites in the Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley areas of Pennsylvania in support of the current mobile platform and the upcoming transition to 4th generation technologies. The deployment will enable the delivery of future LTE wireless network services.

Ericsson Completes Acquisition of Nortel's CDMA, LTE Business

Ericsson completed its acquisition of substantially all of Nortel's CDMA business and LTE assets in North America.

Under the deal, which was first announced on July 25, 2009, Ericsson paid US$1.13 billion. The acquisition includes the transfer of important CDMA contracts with North American operators including Verizon, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, Bell Canada, Telus and Leap, as well as LTE assets, certain patents and patent licenses relating to CDMA and LTE.

Approximately 2,500 Nortel employees in North America and China are now part of Ericsson. Combined with the transition of employees in the recent Sprint deal, Ericsson now has some 14,000 employees in North America, making it the company's second largest market based on number of employees.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sigma Designs Acquires CopperGate

Sigma Designs completed its previously-announced acquisition of CopperGate Communications. Under the deal, which was first announced in October, Sigma has acquired all of the outstanding share capital of CopperGate for a cash payment of approximately $116 million and the issuance to CopperGate shareholders of an aggregate of approximately 3.9 million shares of Sigma common stock. Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, Sigma also assumed outstanding unvested options held by CopperGate employees and agreed to make an additional cash payment of up to $5 million to specified CopperGate employees upon attainment of specified milestones.

Founded in 2000, CopperGate offers silicon solutions that drive home entertainment networks based on HomePNA. Its technology portfolio spans across all three wire-types: coax, phone, and power. CopperGate has also been one of the leading contributors to the next generation home networking standard, The company is based in Tel Aviv, with offices in Silicon Valley, Taiwan, Korea and Japan.

Sigma Designs is a fabless semiconductor provider that also specializes in solutions for entertainment and control throughout the home. SoC solutions include media processing, wired and wireless networking, video image processing, and home control along with system software to form the critical components of consumer electronic
products that include Internet protocol TV (IPTV) set-top boxes and gateways, Blu-ray players,
high definition televisions (HDTV), and media communication devices. Sigma Designs is headquartered in Milpitas,
California. The company has direct sales representatives in the United States, Brazil, China,
Europe, Israel, Japan, Taiwan and distributors in Singapore, Korea, Russia and India.

BT Revenue Falls 3%, Further Cost Savings Planned

BT reported quarterly revenue of 5,122 million pounds, down 3%, or 6% excluding foreign exchange movements and acquisitions. Adjusted EBITDA was 1,436 million pounds, up 2% reflecting progress in all lines of business. The company upgraded its financial outlook for 2009/10 -- it now expects revenues to decline by 3-4% annually compared to previous guidance of 4-5%. BT now forecasts capital spending to be $2.6 billion pounds compared to an earlier forecast of $2.7 billion.

"We have had another quarter of progress but there remains a lot more to do. With total cost reductions of over 900 million pounds in the first half, we have made significant headway towards our previous target of well over 1bn pounds for the full year. We now expect to generate at least 1.6 billion pounds of free cash flow this year, compared with our previous target of over 1 billion pounds," stated Ian Livingston, BT's CEO.

Some highlights:

  • For BT Global Services, underlying revenue was down 8% due to declines in calls and lines in UK and Europe, mobile termination rate reductions and lower equipment sales

  • For BT Retail, ARPU was up £6 to £296

  • For BT Vision, the subscriber base has reached 436,000

  • For BT Wholesale, quarterly revenue fell 4% due to mobile termination price reductions.

Lockheed Martin Forms Cyber Security Technology Alliance

Lockheed Martin has established a new cyber security technology alliance in partnership with APC by Schneider Electric, CA, Cisco, Dell, EMC Corporation and its RSA security division, HP, Intel, Juniper Networks, McAfee, Microsoft, NetApp, Symantec and VMware.

The alliance members have agreed to collaborate on solutions that can help provide early threat detection, protection, and multi-layer autonomic self-healing capabilities to solve customers' hard problems and meet future challenges.

The technology partners will be engaged in customer-focused test scenarios, experiments, and end-to-end systems integration pilots. NexGen is also the central site for Lockheed Martin's new global cyber innovation range that enables safe attack and defense testing simulating customer environments, enhancing the speed, security, and innovation of real world solutions development.

Bell Canada Adds Wireless and Video Subscribers

BCE reported quarterly revenue and EBITDA growth in line with its increased financial guidance; healthy free cash flow; an increase in net earnings applicable to common shares to $558 million, or $0.72 per share, this quarter compared to $248 million, or $0.31 per share, in Q3 2008; and strong wireless and video net subscriber activations. Bell's operating revenues increased by 1.2% this quarter, to $3,788 million, as higher product revenues from the acquisitions of The Source and the remaining 50% of the equity of Virgin Mobile Canada (Virgin) not already owned by Bell and growth in video revenues more than offset declines in local and access, long distance, and wireline data revenues.

"Our strategic progress this quarter makes clear that Bell is fundamentally transforming as a customer-focused competitor," said George Cope, President and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada. "Even in a challenging economic and competitive environment, the Bell team's ongoing execution of our strategic imperatives moves us forward every day toward achieving our goal: For Bell to be recognized by customers as Canada's leading communications company."

Some highlights:

  • The Bell Wireless segment had record Q3 gross activations of 501,000 new subscribers and total net activations of 135,000. Postpaid net activations of 122,000 were a Q3 record.

  • Bell Wireless operating revenues increased by 0.3% this quarter with service revenues declining by 0.6% and product revenues increasing by 1.9%. Bell Wireless operating income and EBITDA grew by 4.7% and 0.2% respectively.

  • Blended ARPU decreased by $2.50 to $52.13 year-over-year but improved sequentially over the previous quarter by $1.67.

  • In the Bell Wireline segment, retail residential NAS losses improved for an eighth consecutive quarter but total Residential NAS declined by 77,000 this quarter, or by 6.9% more than last year, due to higher wholesale customer deactivations. Business NAS declined by 26,000 this quarter compared to no change last year, reflecting business customer disconnections and fewer new installations.

  • Video subscribers increased by 40,000 and high-speed Internet subscribers increased by 22,000 this quarter.

  • Bell Wireline operating revenues increased by 1.0% as video and equipment and other revenue growth more than offset declines in local and access, long distance and data revenues. Equipment and other revenues increased by 78.5% due to the acquisition of The Source at the start of the quarter. Bell Wireline operating income increased by 83.2% as a result of higher EBITDA and lower restructuring and other costs. Bell Wireline EBITDA increased by 2.1% due to higher revenues and cost reductions.

  • Bell invested $589 million of capital this quarter, or 4.1% more than in Q3 of last year.

Qualcomm Pushes Gigahertz Processing to Smartphones

Qualcomm began sampling a new smartphone chipset family that pushes gigahertz processing performance, enabling smartphone multimedia performance.

The MSM7x30 family of chipsets, which includes the MSM7230 solution for HSPA+ networks and MSM7630 solution with multi-mode HSPA+/EV-DO Rev. B and SV-DO support, promises optimal data throughput and powerful multimedia functionality. The 7x30 has the same market-leading Scorpion CPU as previously commercialized in the Snapdragon QSD8x50 chipset. The 7x30 uses an 800 MHz to 1 GHz custom superscalar CPU based on the ARM v7 instruction set, delivering exceptionally high-end processing at low power to support features that include:

  • 720p high-definition video encode/decode at 30 frames per second

  • Integrated 2D and 3D graphics GPUs with support for OpenGL ES 2.0, and OpenVG 1.1 industry standard APIs

  • Dedicated low-power audio subsystem supporting 5.1 surround

  • 12-megapixel camera support

  • Integrated GPS for location-based services

  • Support for leading mobile operating systems, including Android, Windows Mobile, Brew Mobile Platform and Symbian

  • Support for package-on-package memory for reduced board space, optimized power consumption and more responsive performance.

Qualcomm Samples Dual-carrier HSPA+ and Multi-Mode 3G/LTE Chips

Qualcomm is sampling the industry's first chipsets for dual-carrier HSPA+ and multi-mode 3G/LTE.

Qualcomm's MDM8220 dual-carrier HSPA+ solution, based on the 3GPP Release 8 standard, provides peak downlink data rates of up to 42 Mbps and 11 Mbps on the uplink, allowing carriers to upgrade their existing infrastructure equipment to achieve significantly higher bandwidths. Its dual-carrier technology doubles networks' bandwidth from 5 MHz to 10 MHz by aggregating two HSPA carriers in parallel. The Mobile Data Modem (MDM) MDM8220 chipset supports Dual-carrier High-Speed Packet Access Plus (DC-HSPA+); and the MDM9200 and the MDM9600 chipsets offer multi-mode 3G/Long Term Evolution (LTE) connectivity.

Qualcomm said its MDM9200 and the MDM9600 chipsets allow UMTS and CDMA2000 operators to upgrade seamlessly to future LTE services while preserving backward compatibility to their existing 3G networks. MDM9200 supports UMTS, HSPA+ and LTE, while the MDM9600 supports CDMA2000 1X, EV-DO Rev. B, SV-DO, SV-LTE, UMTS, HSPA+ and LTE. All of the new chipsets support FDD LTE and TDD LTE modes and different carrier bandwidths, and are capable of using orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA) and multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) antenna technology to support peak data rates of up to 100 Mbps on the downlink and 50 Mbps on the uplink.

Qualcomm also noted that it is working with numerous network operators, infrastructure vendors and device manufacturers with its dual-carrier HSPA+ and/or LTE solutions. Among multiple network operators evaluating the new technologies are Japan's EMOBILE and Telstra Wireless. Qualcomm is also working with multiple infrastructure vendors, such as Huawei Technologies and Nokia Siemens Networks, to perform interoperability tests for dual-carrier HSPA+ and LTE. Among the many device manufacturers currently evaluating the new chipsets are Huawei, LG Electronics, Novatel Wireless, Sierra Wireless and ZTE.

"HSPA's faster data speeds and added capacity offers an attractive upgrade path for our growing network," said Eric Gan, representative director, president and COO at Japan EMOBILE Ltd. "We see Qualcomm's new dual-carrier HSPA+ and LTE technology as a real potential benefit for our customers."

"Telstra is on track to start deploying the next evolution of Dual-carrier HSPA+ technology in the Next G network by the end of 2009," said Mike Wright, executive director at Telstra Wireless. "Following our successful collaboration in developing the world's first HSPA+ commercial network and device, we are working with Qualcomm and looking forward to their MDM8220 chipsets to support the evolution of our network."

AT&T to Provide Wireless Data for United Road Services

AT&T was awarded a five-year, $2.6 million contract to provide wireless data services and applications to United Road Services, which operates nearly 1,100 tractor-trailer trucks across the U.S. Using a custom application and AT&T's 3G network, United Road's entire fleet will be able to directly connect and view daily business processes and measure its efficiency. United Road will also have access to AT&T's mobility billing platform.

Deutsche Telekom Appoints Alcatel-Lucent Exec as CTO

Deutsche Telekom appointed Olivier Baujard as its new Chief Technology Officer (CTO). In this function he we be in charge of technology for the entire DT Group and report directly to Hamid Akhavan, Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Board Member of Deutsche Telekom.

Prior to joining Deutsche Telekom, Olivier Baujard worked for Alcatel-Lucent in Paris since 1988. He was Chief Technology Officer at Alcatel from 2005-2008. As of 2008, he additionally took over the role as chairman and CEO at Alcatel-Lucent France.

Vodafone and Chunghwa Telecom Announce Partnership

Vodafone and Chunghwa Telecom, the leading telecom operator in Taiwan, signed a non-equity Partner Market agreement to provide customers with high quality communications services and enhanced roaming arrangements. Under the deal, Chunghwa has exclusive access to a range of products, services and devices from Vodafone in Taiwan. Chunghwa will also be able to draw on Vodafone's experience in supply chain management, technology development, the acquisition of enterprise customers as well as improved inter-working between networks.

Vodafone said the partnership with Chunghwa will provide its customers a range of services, which utilize "home" network capabilities as well as extended coverage within Taiwan. The two companies will provide additional support to Vodafone Global Enterprise customers, who have a presence in the region and will, in the future, be able to benefit from added Vodafone business solutions such as Vodafone Mobile Broadband and BlackBerry from Vodafone.

Vodafone noted that it has growing circle of partners in Asia, including relationships with China Mobile, SmarTone-Vodafone in Hong Kong, M1 in Singapore, Celcom in Malaysia, Dialog in Sri Lanka, dtac in Thailand, SoftBank in Japan, and Vodafone Fiji. It also has its own existing operations in India, Australia and New Zealand.

Vietnam's VMS MobiFone Picks NSN for 3G Upgrade

Vietnam's VMS MobiFone has awarded contracts to Nokia Siemens Networks to modernize its network to 3G. The upgrade covers the packet switched core network and the IP backbone. Nokia Siemens Networks will design and maintain the network using its remote delivery capabilities, and upgrade the operator's existing radio access network to 3G using it energy-efficient Flexi Multiradio Base Station. In addition, Nokia Siemens Networks' multi-technology NetAct offering will enable the smooth management of the network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Fujitsu's FLASHWAVE 7120 Deployed for SCinet WAN

Fujitsu Network Communications' FLASHWAVE 7120 wavelength services access platform will be deployed to support the SCinet Wide Area Network (WAN) at the upcoming SC09 conference, which focuses on high-performance computing (HPC), networking, storage and analysis. The FLASHWAVE 7120 system is a combination access WDM and intelligent edge service delivery platform. Two FLASHWAVE 7120 nodes will be located at local Oregon Points of Presence (POPs) to transmit data to the SCinet WAN network at the Oregon Convention Center. A third node will be on display in the SCinet Network Operations Center (NOC) carrying traffic back to the convention center.

Zhone Supplies Access Platform for Etisalat's GPON Rollout in UAE

Etisalat has selected Zhone's new MXK intelligent terabit access concentrator for its major FTTx network expansion in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Etisalat's plans include GPON installations to provide broadband and a full suite of consumer voice and enhanced video services to its residential subscribers. The company will also use GPON on the MXK platform to provide a suite of sophisticated services, including advanced call processing and ultra high-speed data, to businesses throughout the region. Financial terms were not disclosed.