Sunday, January 31, 2010

BT Wholesale to consolidate Mobile and Fixed Networks for O2

BT Wholesale was awarded a five year contract to consolidate O2's mobile and fixed core networks in the UK into one network running on top of BT's 21st Century Network (21CN) infrastructure.

BT Wholesale already provides a range of services to O2 including core network management support for O2's mobile customers as well as a managed network service that is enabling O2 to serve the UK business market with fixed and broadband services. This new agreement will further ties between the companies. O2 is a division of Telefónica.

Nigel Purdy, Head of Networks, Telefónica O2 UK Ltd said: "As we move to an all IP world and as data traffic volumes increase, the consolidation of our fixed and mobile core networks is a common sense approach that will help future-proof our business and provide the best possible service for our customers. BT Wholesale continues to impress O2 with its ability to deliver highly complex solutions. It is a trusted partner and we value its experience in managed services."

Brian Fitzpatrick, Managing Director, BT Wholesale Markets said: "Our industry is witnessing a significant shift from commodity products to value-added managed services and this latest agreement with O2 is yet another example of how BT Wholesale is at the forefront of this industry transformation. The trend to outsource network requirements to BT Wholesale continues as operators look to stabilise their operational and investment costs, enabling them to concentrate on their customers."http://

Huawei and Qualcomm Test Dual-Carrier HSPA+ at 42 Mbps

Huawei and Qualcomm completed interoperability tests on dual carrier HSPA+, reaching the peak downlink data rate of 42 Mbps. The companies said their testing indicates that dual-carrier HSPA+ technology is ready for commercial deployment.

Huawei' s latest HSPA+ solution and Qualcomm' s Mobile Data Modem (MDM) MDM8220 chipsets were used in this interoperability test. Implemented with dual cell technology, Huawei's HSPA+ solution can transmit data via two or more carriers, resulting in the downlink data rate of 42 Mbpss, which improves an operator' s spectrum resources, enhances spectral efficiency and provides capacity gains of up to 20%.
http://www.huawei.comIn March 2009, Huawei deployed its first 21 Mbps HSPA+ commercial network.

In October 2009, Huawei announced plans to provide 28Mb/s HSPA+ commercial service in Singapore, and Huawei successfully demonstrated a 56Mb/s HSPA+ commercial solution in Beijing.

Calix Adds 10G, VDLS2, GPON, Ethernet Cards

Calix introduced five new line cards for its C7 Multiservice Access Platform (MSAP).

  • The RAP-10GE forms the core of the EXA Powered C7, operating as the common control unit for the C7 and delivering carrier-grade, ERPS ring protected 10 Gbps and 1 Gbps transport interfaces, full Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) service assurance and compliance, as well as a 150 Gbps switching fabric.

  • The COMBO2-24V and VDSL2-24 deliver high density VDSL2 services, including seamless fallback to ADSL2+, Annex M, and bonding support, in a single-slot form factor that allows for 1:1 replacement of existing Calix ADSL cards for operational simplicity.

  • The Ethernet Gateway (EGW) acts as a gateway for the existing base of C7 multiprotocol line cards, allowing existing cards to leverage the Ethernet transport infrastructure of the EXA Powered C7.

  • The OLTG-4E delivers up to four GPON ports per card, supporting any mix of standard or Extended Reach GPON
    optical interface modules.

The new EXA Powered C7 line cards share a common software core with other Calix E-Series platforms, including the new E7 Ethernet Service Access Platform (ESAP). In addition, each new card is fully compatible with the existing stable of C7 cards, allowing for simple service migration and preservation of necessary legacy services.

The company also introduced six new residential optical network terminals (ONTs).

The Calix C7 has been deployed at over 500 North American and international CSPs whose networks serve more than 32 million subscriber lines. Calix said the new cards enables these CSPs to evolve to advanced Ethernet and fiber-based services from existing copper-based legacy service offerings like plain old telephone services (POTS) and special business circuits.

SAIC Wins $52 Million Network Contract with NSF

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) was awarded a $52 million contract to manage the information technology (IT) infrastructure and provide network services for the National Science Foundation (NSF). This single-award, time and materials contract has a one and a half month phase-in period, a one-year base period and four one-year options with a total value of more than $52 million if all options are exercised. Work will be performed primarily at the NSF's offices in Arlington, Va.

Nokia and Pearson form wireless educational venture in China

Nokia and Pearson announced the formation of a joint venture, Beijing Mobiledu Technologies, to accelerate the growth of Mobiledu, the premier mobile phone-delivered education service, developed by Nokia in China.

Launched in China in 2007, Mobiledu is a mobile service that provides English-language learning materials and other educational content, from a variety of content providers, directly to mobile phones. Customers can access the content through an application preloaded on new Nokia handsets, or by visiting the service's mobile website and most other WAP portals in China. Mobiledu currently claims 20 million subscribers in China, with 1.5 million people actively using the service each month. Mobiledu will continue to be delivered to customers in China through a range of channels, including Nokia's Ovi Store.

Extreme Networks Posts 27% Sequential Rise in Product Revenue

Extreme Networks reported quarterly net revenue of $79.4 million, above the guidance for the quarter of $76 to $78 million. This represents a sequential increase in revenue of roughly 20 percent compared to revenue of $66.3 million in the previous quarter and approximately a 9 percent decrease compared to revenue of $87.5 million in the second quarter of last year.

Second quarter non-GAAP operating income was $4.3 million or 5.4 percent of net revenue, compared to $2.6 million or 3.0 percent of net revenue in the second quarter of last year. Additionally, non-GAAP net income was $4.8 million or $0.05 per diluted share, compared to non-GAAP net income of $3.5 million or $0.04 per diluted share in the second quarter of last year.

Obama Comments on Net Neutrality

In a video interview posted on YouTube, President Obama reiterated his support for Net Neutrality and says he is opposed to proposed online fees that might limit the openness of the Internet.

BroadHop Introduces Open Policy PCRF Platform

BroadHop introduced its new open policy management and control platform designed for intelligent broadband services and mobile data and application delivery. The company's Quantum Network Suite leverages a virtualized rules engine that enables network-aware mobile data services on an individual basis. Using 3GPP PCRF standards, the policy engine detects and adjusts for mobile core congestion in real time, maximizing session capacity and user quality of experience. Key capabilities include a subscriber balance manager, charging and policy enforcement.

BroadHop said its Quantum Network suite enables service providers and solution integrators to use industry standard tools and technologies to create new policy blueprints -- and enable dynamic linking of their proprietary applications to the Quantum Network policy platform.

Using the platform, service providers could share real time network status information with individual subscribers, such as smartphone users, informing them of periods when light network loads with lower downloading costs. By seeing their service and network status at a glance, subscribers will be better able to manage their data usage.

"The Quantum Network Suite is the first end-to-end, open policy management platform that empowers service providers to take back control of their network and customer relationships," said William Diotte, president and CEO of BroadHop, Inc.

The Quantum Network Suite enables service providers to create and deliver innovative and compelling new policy-driven services such as:

  • Solving the problem of mobile data network overload and QoS

  • Cloud-based policy control for retail applications and hosted enterprise solutions (XaaS)

  • Intelligent mobile data offload solutions to protect the 3G mobile core

  • Multi-service Quota Balance Management for Fair Use applications

  • Location and Identity-based Services, Ads and Content

  • Personalized Parental Controls and Security solutions for families

  • Intelligent subscriber-aware Broadband and Carrier-Ethernet services

  • Fixed-Mobile converged services, including the latest Femto-cell deployments.

Broadhop confirmed that its Quantum Network Software Suite is currently in technical trials with service providers. The company noted that its existing network policy solutions are already deployed by more than 60 telecom service providers serving more than 200 million subscribers in 25 countries.

SpiderCloud Adds $25 million for Enterprise Radio Access Network (E-RAN)

SpiderCloud Wireless, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, announced $25 million in Series B funding for its Enterprise Radio Access Network (E-RAN) platform developed for mobile operators.

SpiderCloud Wireless mission is to enable self-organizing wireless network capable of extending the enterprise's full suite of voice and data applications and services to any standard handset or computing device. The goal to bring together the functionality and security of cellular networks with the utility and economics of enterprise data networks. Its SmartCloud Services Node (SCSN) is analogous to an enterprise Wi-Fi switch but can be used by carriers to serve enterprise segments previously too expensive and complex to deploy in-building. Advanced features of its platform include "zero touch" installation and low-cost routing options for voice and data to the world of mobile radio access networks.

The $25 million round was led by Opus Capital along with new investments from Shasta Ventures and existing Series A investors Charles River Ventures and Matrix Partners.

The company also announced the addition of Behrooz Parsay as its new senior vice president of engineering and operations. Previously, he held RF engineering and management positions with Aperto Networks, Ericsson, DIVA, Kestrel, and Lantern Communications.
  • SpiderCloud is headed by Mike Gallagher, who previously was the chief executive officer of FiberTower, a company he joined via the merger with First Avenue Networks in 2006 where Mike Gallagher was the chief executive officer. Mr. Gallagher was previously the president of Flarion Technologies, a company acquired by Qualcomm. SpiderCloud's technical team includes Peter Wexler (co-founder), who previously was the vice president of engineering and product operations at Stoke.

Sprint Supports Tango Networks' Mobile UC

Sprint has added support for Tango Networks' "Abrazo" Mobile UC solution. Tango Networks' Abrazo enables any Sprint CDMA mobile phone to become an extension of the corporate PBX or UC system on the mobile network. This functionality enables businesses to gain control over mobile usage and to offer superior features to promote productivity.

In addition to supporting Cisco Unified Communications Manager and Avaya Communications Manager, Tango Networks' Abrazo significantly expands the portfolio of PBX solutions that can benefit from Sprint Mobile Integration fixed mobile convergence (FMC) solution, which allows enterprises to extend the capabilities of a PBX or UC system to their employees' Sprint mobile phone.

"Increasing employee accessibility and productivity while better managing costs are top priorities of our customers," said Paget Alves, president of Business Markets Group, Sprint. "Sprint's relationship with Tango Networks enhances our ability to fully enable mobile unified communications, allowing employees to work virtually anytime, anywhere. We are confident that our collaboration will help achieve these goals while enhancing our customers' overall communications experience."

Luxtera and Siemon Integrate 40 Gbps Chips into Active Optical Cabling

Siemon, a leading global manufacturer of IT cabling infrastructure systems, has integrated Luxtera's 40 Gbps single-mode fiber transceivers into its new "Moray" Active Optical Cabling (AOC) product family. Siemon's first AOC offering is four lane QSFP 40G active optical cabling family that supports Ethernet Switch, FibreChannel SAN Storage, InfiniBand Server systems and several other IO interface links between various blades, boxes, racks, containers and buildings.

Luxtera's Silicon CMOS Photonics technology utilizes an integrated opto-electronic chip with a directly attached fiber and a micro-packaged laser.

The companies said this "Fiber-to-the-Chip" technology enables Siemon's Moray active optical cabling to break the cost barriers and distance restrictions associated with existing vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) and multi-mode fiber solutions. Unlike traditional optics that utilize VCSELs and multi-mode fiber for short connections, Luxtera's Silicon CMOS Photonics-based single chip transceivers support any distance from one meter to 4,000 meters for inter- and intra-building connections while decreasing the number of components in the AOC and improving its reliability.

Cyber Security Institute: An Assessment of U.S. Cyber Defense

The Cyber Security Institute, a newly established analysis and advocacy institute based in Washington, D.C., published a whitepaper, entitled "Cyberwar and Cyberterrorism: The Need for a New U.S. Strategic Approach," written by Gen. Eugene Habiger USAF (ret.).

General Habiger formerly served as Commander in Chief of United States Strategic Command. He also served as the Department of Energy's "Security Czar." After leaving public service he was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the San Antonio Water System.

Key conclusions include:

  • 1. Our nation's vital public and private IT systems are so vulnerable that they invite attack.

  • 2. America is routinely the victim of nation-state driven cyber intrusions that can be seen as low-grade cyber-border conflicts.

  • 3. Some of these attacks have crossed a critical line: they have compromised critical systems supporting our troops engaged in combat.

  • 4. Our failure to proactively address these threats risks a digital Pearl Harbor or 9-11.

  • 5. Deterrence by retribution and preemption, our nation's core national security strategies, are of limited value against cyberwar and cyberterror threats -- "these rotary-phone-era strategies are not well suited for today's digital world."

  • 6. A new approach based upon deterrence by denial is needed.

  • 7. Achieving effective cyber deterrence by denial, or defense in-depth, will require nothing short of a total paradigm shift from both government and the private sector.

  • 8. Across both the public and private sector we must deploy inherently secure technologies, tested and certified secure against sophisticated attacks.

  • 9. The private sector must look beyond the balance sheet and focus on our national interests--and if need be the government must force this change.

  • 10. We must educate the American people about the importance of cybersecurity and drive behavioral change.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

SK Telecom Reaches 24 Million Users, ARPU Edges Down

As of the end of 2009, SK Telecom was serving 24.25 million access lines, up by 5.3% compared to the end of 2008. Average revenue per user (ARPU) edged down by 1.3% to KRW 42,469 with the expansion of various discount plans.

For the fourth quarter of 2009, the revenues increased by 3.1% quarter-on-quarter to mark KRW 3.1 trillion. Also compared to the same quarter last year, the operating income went down by 5.5% to stand at KRW 443.1 billion, while EBITDA increased by 3.4% to mark KRW 1.095 trillion.

EC Takes Action against France over "Telecoms Tax"

The European Commission launched a legal action against France relating to the "telecoms tax" on telecommunications operators that was introduced in March 2009. To offset the ending of advertising on public TV channels, France has introduced a specific tax on the turnover of telecommunications operators in connection with their licence to provide telecoms services (including Internet and mobile phone services).

However, the Commission takes the view that in reality this tax constitutes an administrative charge that is incompatible with European law.

The EC estimates the annual revenue from the new tax is around 400 million euros. This tax is payable by telecommunications operators which, in accordance with the French Telecoms Law, provide a service in France.

"I have expressed doubts about the telecoms tax on a number of occasions" , said Viviane Reding, the Member of the European Commission responsible for the information society and media. "Not only does this new tax on operators seem incompatible with the European rules, it also concerns a sector that is now one of the major drivers of economic growth. Moreover, there is a serious risk that it will be passed on to customers at a time when we are in fact trying to reduce their bills by cutting termination rates and the costs of mobile phone calls, data transfer and text message roaming."

EC Approves Telefónica O2's Acquisition of Hansenet

The European Commission has cleared the proposed acquisition of Hansenet Telekommunikation GmbH of Germany by Telefónica of Spain. The Commission concluded that the concentration would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it. Telefónica and Hansenet are not major competitors for each other in any of the relevant markets. Moreover, both the horizontal and the vertical relationships between the activities of Hansenet and Telefonica in Germany are limited and the combined firm would continue to face a number of strong, effective competitors, including the incumbent operator Deutsche Telekom.

New EU Telecoms Regulator Begins

The new Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) officially commenced its activities with its first meeting in Brussels.

BEREC was established by European Council and European Parliament as part of the new EU Telecoms rules that were adopted in December 2009. The new regulatory body is expected to play a key role in strengthening a single telecom market and consistent regulation across Europe. Already there are 12 fixed and 10 mobile telecoms companies offering services in many other EU Member States. Hundreds of service providers are operating across borders. In 2008, Europe's telecoms sector revenues accounted for €351 billion.

The new European telecoms body BEREC will give important expert opinions on the functioning of the telecoms market in the EU. BEREC will also advise, support and complement the independent work of national telecoms regulators, especially when it comes to regulatory decisions with cross-border aspects.

BEREC is made up of the heads of the 27 national telecoms regulators and is assisted by an office that provides the necessary professional and administrative support to BEREC's work. Most decisions will be taken by two-thirds majority and by simple majority when BEREC gives opinions in the context of the Commission's analysis of measures notified to the European Commission by national regulators.

BEREC replaces the "European Regulators Group", a loose grouping of national regulators that could operate on the basis of consensus alone and was not integrated into the EU's regulatory process.

"The first meeting of BEREC will be a step in the right direction for a more competitive telecoms market in Europe. I look forward to seeing real progress in developing further the European single market in telecoms and, in particular, to the positive impact that it will have for Europe's 500 million citizens," said Neelie Kroes, the EU Competition Commissioner.

NTT DOCOMO at 55 Million Users -- Nearly Flat for 2009

As of December 31, 2009, NTT DOCOMO was serving 55.44 million subscriber lines, up by 1.2 million compared with a year earlier. Churn for the quarter was 0.45%, roughly the same level as a year earlier. Due to the popularity of discount plans, aggregate ARPU during the quarter for cellular services (FOMA+mova) decreased 4.5% compared to a year earlier to Y5,470 (about US$60).

The number of handsets sold during the quarter ending December 31 declined by 310,000 units to 4.20 units.

For the nine months ending December 31, 2009, NTT DOCOMO's capital expenditures amounted to Y 484.5 billion (about US$5.36 billion), down 3.2% compared to the same period a year earlier.

Looking ahead, NTT DOCOMO predicts competition will intensify even further in Japan, putting increased pressure on revenues. The company is looking to decrease its network operating costs through a variety of programs.

AT&T Gives Update on Network Upgrade Programs

In its quarterly financial call last week, AT&T executives gave a progress report on the company's network upgrade programs. Some highlights of the call:

  • In 2009, AT&T added 1,900 new cell sites, more than 100,000 new circuits for backhaul, four times our 2008 total.

  • The composite quality index for voice on the wireless network was up 22% in 2009.

  • Data throughput increased more than 19% during the past year.

  • 3G block calls were down 25%.

  • 3G drop calls were down 22%.

  • Congestion in New York City and San Francisco -- In Manhattan, there are periods when nearly 70% of the devices active on the network are data intensive handsets. AT&T is adding third and fourth radio network carriers to maximize capacity on available spectrum. The company is increasing the amount of 3G spectrum and radio capacity by one third in high-volume areas. It is also adding cell towers and upgrading high-capacity antenna systems.

  • HSPA 7.2 -- AT&T has completed the software upgrade to its 3G network nationwide. It currently offers 10 devices that are HSPA 7.2 Mbps capable. The next step is to build out backhaul, focusing first on highest traffic cell sites.

  • AT&T anticipates that the majority of mobile data traffic will be carried over fiber-based backhaul by the end of this year.

  • Already, the first metro clusters with HSPA 7.2 show average throughput increasing nearly 50% during peak conditions.

  • AT&T has not made a clear declaration on whether it will deploy HSPA upgrades beyond 7.2 Mbps.

  • Apple's iPad -- AT&T said it will work closely with Apple in planning for iPad connectivity to the network. The iPad will use HSPA 7.2 Mbps. iPad represents a different revenue for AT&T because it is not subsidizing the device.

  • AT&T is predicting that iPad users will be heavy network users, likely more than iPhone and similar to 3G laptop users. However, many iPad users are likely to use the device at home or in schools, cafes or airports -- places where Wi-Fi networks are usually available. Because users will pay in advance by credit card, AT&T is forecasting that its billing and support costs will be low.

  • 2010 CAPEX -- $18 billion to $19 billion range. That is up 5% to 10% overall versus 2009, with investments in wireless up substantially.

  • AT&T expects a substantial increase in wireless and backhaul CapEx, which will be about $2 billion.

  • The amount of new capacity in the wireless network in 2010 will be 2X greater than in 2009.

  • In 2010, AT&T plans to deploy 2,000 new cell sites. It will also increase deployments of radio network controllers.

  • Ethernet backhaul connections to cell sites will be 10X greater than in 2009. This includes 3X more fiber-to-the-cell-site departments compared to last year.

  • LTE trials -- planned for 2 markets in 2010

  • U-verse -- on track to reach 30 million living units by the end of next year. U-verse revenues nearly tripled over the past year, and on an annualized basis, now approach $3 billion. U-verse TV penetration now approaches 13%, and in areas marketed to for 24 months or more, overall penetration is better than 20%.

An archived webcast is posted in the Investor's section of the company's website.

FCC's McDowell on Broadband Plan: "First, Do No Harm"

For over three decades now, it has been the bipartisan policy of the U.S. Government to keep information services lightly regulated, said FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, delivering the Free State Foundation Keynote at the National Press Club. The proliferation of broadband and mobile communication technologies has come about, he said, because of a competitive, free market and not because they were mandated by some government authority.

In looking ahead to the National Broadband Plan, which the FCC will present to Congress in March, McDowell said his preference is "that it should not propose heavy-handed industrial policy." He prefers incentives for service providers to invest in extending and upgrading their broadband infrastructure rather than coercive mandates. And before setting regulations, he thinks the government should first ask "What exactly is broken that only the
government can fix?"

To deal with anti-competitive conduct by monopolistic players, McDowell suggests that instead of writing new rules, (which will be tied up in court for years anyway), "the FCC could forge a new partnership with the appropriate non-governmental collaborative Internet governance bodies that have worked flawlessly on these issues for years." He believes "this approach, coupled with strict enforcement of our antitrust laws, could very well provide the benefits sought by proponents of new rules without incurring the unexpected costs of a new regulatory regime."

Thomson Changes Name to Technicolor

Thomson has changed its name to Technicolor. Shares in the Paris-based company will trade on NYSE Euronext Paris under the Technicolor symbol (TCH).

Technicolor's mission is to be a provider of production, postproduction, and distribution services to content creators, network service providers and broadcasters. The company is one of the world's largest film processors; the largest independent manufacturer and distributor of DVDs (including Blu-ray Disc); and a leading global supplier of set-top boxes and gateways.