Sunday, January 17, 2010

Singapore's MobileOne Installs NSN Basestations, Plans LTE Trial

Singapore's MobileOne (M1)is updating its 2G network with Nokia Siemens Networks' Flexi Multiradio base stations. In addition, M1 is set to start an LTE trial in February 2010. Undertaken in collaboration with Nokia Siemens Networks, the LTE trial will last two months. M1 will be showcasing the high-speed wireless broadband capabilities of LTE at its flagship store in Paragon on Orchard Road. This will allow customers to see amongst other things High Definition (HD) TV streaming, as well as high-speed Internet browsing and web surfing over the LTE network.

Patrick Scodeller, chief technical officer at M1, said. "Our network modernization contract with Nokia Siemens Networks represented our first steps in our evolution to LTE. The trial will help pave the way for faster and better quality mobile broadband services in the future. The extensive use of Nokia Siemens Network's proven energy efficient equipment will ensure that we have in place a network that is well able to meet the increasingly demanding environmental standards now and in the future."

Zain Nigeria Installs Huawei's Blade Mobile Soft-switch

Zain Nigeria has installed Huawei's ATCA-based, next-generation blade mobile softswitch to serve 8 million customers.

Huawei said its blade mobile softswitch can provide real-time monitoring, fault location and automatic recovery features. In addition, based on the MSC Pool networking architecture, Zain can quickly achieve network resource sharing, guarantee the services continuity, and improve the system' s reliability achieved up to 99.9999%. In the future, the network can evolve to IMS network capabilities. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Alcatel-Lucent to Demo LTE-connected Car in 2.6 GHZ Spectrum

Alcatel-Lucent will offer a public showing of an LTE network in the 2.6 GHz spectrum band and the ng Connect "LTE Connected Car" on January 19 at the company's campus in Vélizy, just outside of Paris.

The event will feature demonstrations of exciting new applications conducted in cooperation with other companies in the LTE "ecosystem" including mobile device maker LG Electronics, mobile gaming company FishLabs, digital signage leader SIGNEXX and mobile security and digital security leader Gemalto.

This event will mark the first live demonstration in Europe of the LTE Connected Car, an advanced solution concept that Alcatel-Lucent developed with other members of the ng Connect Program including QNX Software Systems, Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) USA, Inc., chumby, Kabillion and Atlantic Records.

In addition to the LTE Connected Car, the event also will feature drive demonstrations, in an LTE-equipped R&D van -- used to test the capabilities of LTE technology -- of mobile services on the company's campus-wide LTE network operating at 2.6 GHz, which is expected to be one of the leading frequency bands for LTE in Europe.

iBasis and Telecom Italia Migrate Bilateral Voice Traffic to IP

iBasis and Sparkle, the international wholesale arm of Telecom Italia, have migrated their bilateral voice traffic to IP. Both companies believe they are the first to accomplish full migration to IP of their international voice bilateral in compliance with guidelines developed by the i3 Forum, an independent industry alliance created to promote an industry-wide transition of voice and related services to IP.

SMS Mobile Giving Surpasses $20 Million

As of Monday, the Mobile Giving Foundation said donations made via mobile phones in the U.S. and Canada for Haiti Earthquake Relief had surpassed $20 million. On Sunday, thanks to widespread marketing on national broadcast outlets, mobile donations increased by $3.5 million and the pace of donation is accelerating.

GlobeNet to Deploy Huawei's DWDM Platform

GlobeNet, which provides carrier transport services between North and South America, will deploy Huawei's upgradable NG-DWDM platform to connect its cable landing station, in southern New Jersey, to its Point of Presence (POP) sites in New York City via two diverse paths. These links allow GlobeNet to seamlessly offer high availability services from NYC to its cable landing sites in Brazil, Venezuela, Bermuda, Florida and beyond.

Specifically, Huawei will provide its OSN 6800 NG-DWDM OTN optical platform hardware and also upgrade the software of GlobeNet's existing iManager T2000 Network Management System (NMS). The network solution will support 10 Gbps, 40 Gbps, and future 100 Gbps wavelengths to competitively deliver advanced, high bandwidth services today and well into the future. Huawei's iManager T2000 will integrate the existing Huawei ADM equipment and services, presently in place, with the new DWDM equipment and services for a unified managed solution.

Philippine LD Telephone Uses Level 3 Facility

The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) will use Level 3 Communications' landing station connectivity at the Asia America Gateway (AAG) submarine cable system -- a key communications link between the two continents. Level 3's services provide a diverse and scalable extension of the PLDT pan-Asian network to carry voice, data and video traffic in the United States.

Ericsson Appoints Heads for Global Services and CDMA Units

Ericsson has appointed Magnus Mandersson to lead its Global Services operation, leading 40,000 professionals in areas such as managed services, systems integration and consulting. Magnus Mandersson joined Ericsson in 2004 where he has held the positions as head of managed services and market unit Northern Europe. He was also the global key account executive for Deutsche Telekom. In 2009 he was appointed head of business unit CDMA Mobile Systems and member of the Group Management Team. Prior to Ericsson, he served as CEO of Tele2 Europe as well as COO for Millicom and held various executive positions within Ikea.

Rima Qureshi has been appointed to head Ericsson's CDMA and LTE business in North America. This operation, which was recently acquired from Nortel, has 2,500 employees in North America and China. Rima Qureshi is currently heading a strategic program for a major North American operator and Ericsson Response. From 1993-2000 she worked in a variety of managerial positions at Ericsson Research in Canada. In 2000, Rima took on responsibility for the global service delivery center in Montreal and two years later she was heading the service delivery centers for the Americas. Rima moved to Sweden and became head of Ericsson's global customer support business in 2004, responsible for supporting more than one billion mobile phone users worldwide. In 2008, she returned to Canada where she currently resides.

Both Magnus and Rima will be members of the Group Management Team.

Baidu's CTO Resigns

Baidu, China's largest search engine, announced the resignation of Mr. Yinan Li, its Chief Technology Officer (CTO), for personal reasons.

Verizon Updates its FiOS Bundles

Verizon introduced new FiOS service bundles, including an option that will deliver 35 Mbps symmetrical Internet to the home.

New double-, triple- and quad-play bundles are available with a 24-month service agreement that guarantees the customer's rate will not change for two years. FiOS bundles are also available in month-to-month plans that do not require a minimum term agreement. Early termination fees have been increased for the bundles.

  • Ultimate: FiOS TV Ultimate HD includes 90 or more HD channels; premium content from EPIX, Showtime, TMC, Flix and the NFL RedZone; FiOS Internet service with an ultra-fast, symmetrical connection speed of up to 35/35 Mbps; and FiOS voice service - all available for $139.99 a month. In the New York City area this bundle also includes HBO/Cinemax and other premium channels, for a total of 125 or more HD channels, and is available for $149.99 a month.

  • Extreme: FiOS TV Extreme HD includes 65 or more HD channels; FiOS Internet service with an ultra-fast, symmetrical connection speed of up to 25/25 Mbps; and FiOS voice service - available for $124.99 a month. In the New York City area this bundle also includes Showtime, TMC and Flix, for a total of 80 or more HD channels, and is available for $119.99 a month.

  • Prime: FiOS TV Prime HD includes 40 or more HD channels; FiOS Internet service with a connection speed of up to 15/5 Mbps; and FiOS voice service - available for $109.99 a month. In the New York City area this bundle includes all of the TV content offered with FiOS TV Extreme HD, for a total of more than 65 HD channels.

Verizon FiOS Internet for Business speeds have been increased to a symmetrical 25 Mbps/25 Mbps and 35 Mbps/35 Mbps. Small or medium-sized businesses that bundle either FiOS Internet or High Speed Internet (HSI) in qualifying business packages with Verizon Freedom for Business unlimited local and long-distance calling can receive for 12 months either a toll-free number with no monthly recurring charges, or a Verizon Internet Security Suite and online data backup storage package plus a free wireless router at no additional charge. And Verizon FiOS Internet for Business customers can bundle more than 100 channels of FiOS TV with Verizon Freedom for Business unlimited local and long-distance calling for $129.99 per month in a Single Line PAK triple play.

In addition, Verizon's DSL customers can order double- or triple-play bundles with up to 7.1 Mbps Internet service for the same price as bundles with up to 3 Mbps, a $10 per month rate reduction. Verizon's 7.1 Mbps HSI is now available to more than half of all households across the Verizon footprint where HSI is offered.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Digicel Restores Service in Haiti

On Sunday, Digicel managed to restore the majority of its mobile service in Haiti. The company said its network is now functioning well in Port-au-Prince with more and more customers connecting to it and being able to make and receive calls, text messages, email and BlackBerry Messenger messages.

A full assessment of the network has been carried out and the situation is as follows:

  • All of Digicel's three switch sites which serve the country are operational. One is damaged but an interim solution has been put in place until new equipment arrives

  • 70% of the network's cell sites are on air. We are working on restoring service to the remaining 30%

  • Roaming is fully operational

  • There is still some congestion on the network when making and receiving international calls

  • An assessment of what network equipment is required has been completed and new equipment has been ordered and is en route to Haiti

  • More teams of technicians have been assembled and are en route to support the existing teams on the ground.

The good news follows days of frustration as the company found itself unable to airlift emergency repair gear into Haiti from its headquarters in Jamaica due to congestion at the airport in Port-au-Prince.

Digicel is now giving each and every Digicel customer in Haiti US$5 of free call credit -- totaling US$10 million -- so that they may be in contact with friends and family.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

BroadSoft Sees Momentum for Packet Island's SaaS-based QoS Assessment

In the three months since BroadSoft acquired Packet Island, a provider of Quality of Experience (QoE) monitoring and assessment solutions, the company reports continued moment, customer traction and product development. The company is also introducing a new commercial licensing model under which service providers can now license the software directly from BroadSoft, while leveraging the existing PacketSmart infrastructure for hosting rather than deploying the platform internally.

"With the rapid growth of media convergence, service providers are quickly recognizing they need to actively monitor and diagnose service quality issues and proactively troubleshoot network problems on the customer premises," said Ken Rokoff, vice president of business development of BroadSoft. "We are pleased at the early success of PacketSmart and the mounting interest from our existing customers. PacketSmart's momentum continues to build in response to the rapid adoption of IP voice and video and our unique ability to guarantee end-to-end 'carrier-grade' service delivery for converged media networks."

New features and functionality currently under development for the PacketSmart solution include:

  • High-definition Voice support -- PacketSmart's network VoIP readiness monitoring and assessments services now include HD network deployments and HD quality metrics.

  • Network discovery -- Service provider field engineers can perform discovery of network elements at the enterprise site to better profile the local area network (LAN) before VoIP or video deployments.

  • QoE Alerting -- Service providers can set QoE threshold metrics and receive alerts of problems via various methods (e.g., Short Message Service (SMS), email, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)) before the enterprise discovers and reports an issue.

  • Media loopback -- Service providers can run media tests from the enterprise/service provider demarcation point to end-user IP phones to simplify the deployment verification process and enable remote troubleshooting.

In addition, BroadSoft announced that NuVox, a CLEC serving 90,000 lines across sixteen states, will use PacketSmart for assessing and verifying VoIP deployments and troubleshooting difficult-to-identify issues that affect call quality. The company is planning a deployment of PacketPro, which will provide their field service technicians with the capability to perform VoIP network assessments, VoIP deployment verifications, and collaborative VoIP/data diagnosis.

Ericsson Sends Container-based GSM System to Haiti

The UN has requested that Ericsson deploy its Ericsson Response organization to aid relief work in disaster-stricken Haiti. Ericsson has sent a container-based mini GSM-system to Haiti along with four telecom experts.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

OFS Launches Hand-Held Core-Alignment Splicer

OFS has begun shipping its new hand-held core-alignment FITEL S178 Hand-Held Core-Alignment fusion splicer to the global market.

The splicer is significantly smaller and lighter in weight than previous models. In addition to rugged durability, the S178 offers an innovative, mirror-free alignment system which allows for simplified maintenance. The new battery system provides up to 200 splicing cycles (splicing/heating). The S178 can splice in 7 seconds at super low loss and heat in 25 seconds. It is available for all METRO/ LAN / FTTX fibers.

AT&T Tweaks Wireless Pricing Plans

AT&T adjusted its pricing plans as well. The company is also offering different rates for Feature Phones, Quick Messaging Devices, and Smart Phones (including the iPhone). All smartphone customers, including iPhone customers, may now buy unlimited voice and data for $99.99. For smartphone customers with Family Talk plans (prices assume 2 smartphones), unlimited voice and data is now available for $179.99. Texting plans remain unchanged at $20 for unlimited plans for individuals, $30 for Family Talk Plans.

FCC Clears 700 Mhz Band

The FCC adopted an order prohibiting the further distribution and sale of devices that operate in the 700 MHz frequency. The order will primarily impact the use of wireless microphone systems that currently operate in the 700 MHz band.

This action helps complete an important component of the DTV Transition by clearing the 700 MHz band to enable the rollout of communications services for public safety and the deployment of 4G wireless devices for consumers.

The Commission has published a website to assist consumers who have previously purchased wireless microphone systems and other related devices that utilized the 700 MHz band.

"Our decision will accelerate the buildout of 4G wireless networks, and will prevent interference with first
responders who rely on the 700 MHz Band for mission-critical communications," stated FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

Sprint Touts its Unlimited Messaging and Data Plans

Responding to Verizon Wireless' announcement, Sprint announced that its Everything Data plans offer a savings of nearly $240 per year vs. Verizon's new Nationwide Talk & Text plans plus unlimited data package.

Families can save nearly $600 per year on unlimited messaging and data with Sprint Everything Data Family plans vs. Verizon's new Nationwide Talk & Text Family SharePlans plus unlimited data package.

Sprint's Everything Data plans include Any Mobile, Anytime for unlimited calling while on the Sprint network to and from any U.S. wireless user regardless of carrier, plus unlimited text, picture and video messaging, e-mail, Web browsing and exclusive data services, such as Sprint Navigation and NFL Mobile Live.

Sprint noted that text messaging traffic nearly doubled from 2008 to 2009, with 135.2 billion text messages sent and received in June 2009, compared to 75 billion a year earlier. Picture and multimedia messages have more than doubled, from 4.7 billion in June 2008 to 10.3 billion in June 2009. And mobile Internet usage has increased by almost one-half in the past two years, with 35 percent of Americans reporting they used the Internet on a mobile phone in a December 2009 survey, compared to 24 percent in December 2007.

France Telecom-Orange Addresses Haiti

The France Telecom-Orange Group announced its initial series of measures for earthquake-hit Haiti:

Orange Dominicana, France Telecom-Orange group subsidiary in the Dominican Republic, took a number of emergency steps: local technical teams are working to improve means of communication in the border zone (power generators, fuel, radio stations and other technical equipment), mobiles have been handed out to humanitarian organisations and emergency satellite telephones have been loaned to the authorities.

The Group's teams in the Dominican Republic, in the Caribbean region, in France and around the world, have also made themselves available to the local and international authorities to provide the technical and human resources needed to re-establish the telecommunications network in Haiti. Teams of experts and French network technicians (IP and mobile) will be on the ground as soon as possible.

France Telecom has decided to offer free calls to its mobile customers in mainland France to and from Haiti until the end of January, effective retroactively from 12 January when the earthquake took place. For its fixed-line mass-market customers in mainland France, France Telecom is offering free calls to Haiti until the end of February.

In France, as of 15 January, Orange will take part in a one-month operation, SMS for Haiti: three special numbers will allow all Orange customers to make a donation quickly and easily to the Red Cross, the Secours Populaire and the Secours Catholique humanitarian organisations.

To make a one-euro donation, customes simply have to text HAITI to 80222 for the Red Cross, 80333 for Secours Populaire, and 80444 for Secours Catholique. In return, they will receive the logo of the chosen charity on their mobile, along with a message confirming that the donation was registered. Operators will donate the cost of the SMS to the partner associations.

France Telecom will also participate in rebuilding efforts.

GoAhead Acquires S3's embeddedMIND

GoAhead Software, which specializes in high availability middleware for network equipment and defense applications, will acquire the embeddedMIND business of S3. The deal includes all IP and staff associated with embeddedMIND business. Financial terms were not disclosed.

embeddedMIND, which is based in Poland, develops configuration management software for network equipment manufacturers. The company has been delivering best of breed configuration management software for several years with their commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) solution. embeddedMIND's device configuration uses industry-standard management interfaces such as Command Line, Web / XML, SNMP, and the forthcoming Netconf interface.

GoAhead Software said COTS-based solutions in operating systems and other software layers have enabled equipment manufacturers to bring solutions to market faster than ever. By integrating embeddedMIND's Device Management Capability, it will be able to further reduce developments costs and risks. The embeddedMIND product will also continue to be offered as a stand-alone solution.

Haiti Donations by SMS Top $7 Million in 36 Hours

In 36 hours, donations made via mobile phones for Haiti Earthquake Relief have surpassed $7 million across all the short codes managed by the Mobile Giving Foundation, a non‑profit organization dedicated to helping other non-profits raise funds through SMS.