Wednesday, September 29, 2010

ZTE's Gecko - A Super-mini CDMA Base Station

ZTE introduced its "Gecko" -- a multi-carrier super-mini CDMA base station.

ZTE's Gecko base station supports several IP access modes including MAN, LAN, PON, xDSL, and satellite. Its coverage radius can reach 300 meters. The unit is designed for use in offices, hotels, retail and entertainment outlets. The Gecko is capable of supporting 31 1x users or 64 EV-DO data users. ZTE said it is the first in the industry to support both 1x and EV-DO services simultaneously. In addition, the Gecko base station can be flexibly deployed in conjunction with the current outdoor macro base stations to achieve soft handoff and to enable unified management and operator maintenance.

China Telecom has started deploying the units on a trial basis in its Sichuan network.

Verizon Charts Global Data Center Expansion

To meet the increasing demand for the full range of cloud services, Verizon Business announced plans to expand and enhance its data centers around the globe.

The infrastructure expansion comprises more than 5,500 additional server cabinets in the company's Internet data centers in Paris, Dublin, London, Frankfurt, Belgium, Canberra, Hong Kong and throughout the U.S. The expansion further enables the delivery of private clouds via more than 200 global data centers connected to Verizon's MPLS network, Private IP.

Within the next year, Verizon Business will expand its flagship cloud computing services suite - Computing as a Service (CaaS) - into centers in San Jose, Calif.; London; and Canberra, Australia. In addition, CaaS data centers to serve U.S. government customers will come online in Miami and Culpeper, Va., during the first quarter of 2011.

Verizon said these moves bring it another step closer to achieving its "everything-as-a-service" (EaaS) vision of offering cloud-based solutions on an as-needed basis to enterprises around the globe.

Verizon Adds Hybrid Vehicles to Its Fleet

Verizon will add more than 1,600 alternative-energy vehicles its fleet across the country this year. In New Jersey, Verizon is adding 260 hybrids. This will include Toyota hybrid sedans, Chevrolet hybrid pickup trucks and unique, new "mild hybrid" aerial fiber splicing trucks.

FT Acquires Elettra -- Telecom Italia's Submarine Cable Group

France Telecom-Orange has acquired Elettra, a subsidiary of the Telecom Italia group specializing in the laying and maintenance of submarine cables, for EUR 20 million.

The deal involves the acquisition of two cable ships -- the Certamen and the Teliri -- along with their crews and maintenance contracts. France Telecom already operates a fleet of four vessels through its subsidiary France Telecom Marine.

Of France Telecom Marine current three ships are dedicated to maintenance services in the Mediterranean basin, the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean. The René Descartes, the flagship of France Telecom Marine, is specialized in laying new telecommunications submarine systems worldwide.

France Telecom said the acquisition boosts its ability to service telecommunications operators mainly in Europe, in the Mediterranean basin and around Africa, where the Group now operates in close to twenty countries. In this region, the Group has played an active role in the creation of several major networks including the LION cable linking Madagascar, Mauritius and RĂ©union - soon to be extended to Kenya with the LION2 cable -, the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy), and the ACE cable that will provide 23 West African countries from 2012 with efficient and affordable access to international networks. France Telecom Marine and Elettra will be participating in the installation of LION2 and ACE.

Hibernia Atlantic to Construct Lowest Latency Cable from NY-to-London

Hibernia Atlantic unveiled plans to build the lowest latency submarine cable route from New York to London. "Project Express" aims to achieve Round Trip Delay (RTD) latency of under 60 milliseconds, providing a strategic advantage to high frequency financial traders.

Hibernia Atlantic said its new submarine network build will be the shortest route from New York to London. It will initially be lit with 40 Gbps technology and upgraded to 100 Gbps in the future.

The first phase of the new build will begin with a new cable from the County of Somerset in the UK, to Halifax in Canada then connect to Hibernia's current low latency cable from Halifax to New York. In addition, the new system will include branching units for future latency enhancements to the US and Continental Europe. The build is projected to be completed by the summer of 2012.

"Demand for low latency routes has grown exponentially over the past several years," states Bjarni Thorvardarson, CEO of Hibernia Atlantic. "Project Express will offer the lowest latency from New York to London and provide demanding customers the speed and accuracy they require." Furthermore, the new Express transAtlantic cable will allow customers to reach other key financial cities and will offer lowest latency connections between Frankfurt and London and into Chicago, New York City and Toronto. Additionally, Toronto will now connect into London at sub 70ms."

BT Pursues FTTP Project in Cornwall

BT announced a £132 million project to bring fibre access to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The FTTP network will be open to all communications providers on a wholesale basis.

BT is providing £78.5 million in funding for the project and there will be ERDF Convergence public investment of up to £53.5 million.

Intel Invests $20M in Korea's WiBro -- October Mobile Wonderland Launch

Intel Capital is investing US$20 million in WIBRO Infra Co., a joint venture with KT, Samsung and KBIC, to boost its wireless broadband rollout.

In addition to availability in the metropolitan areas of Seoul, Inchon and Suwon, KT will expand the WIBRO service to five new cities -- Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, Daejeon and Ulsan -- and the expressways of Gyeongbu, Jungbu, Honam and Yeongdong.

Starting Oct. 1, KT will be offering a "Mobile Wonderland" -- an integrated offering combining 3G mobile (WCDMA), Wi-Fi) and high-speed wireless Internet (WIBRO) access. KT is also migrating its WIBRO network onto the standard of 10MHz WiMAX channel width that will allow interoperability and roaming with WiMAX networks worldwide. Coupled with better radio planning, this migration is expected to improve the quality of service by up to two times.

KT aims to achieve nationwide WiMAX coverage -- with its WIBRO service covering 82 cities an 85 percent of the Korean population -- by March 2011.

KT and Intel are also collaborating with major PC manufacturers to launch the first Intel Core and Intel Atom processor-based laptops and netbooks in Korea featuring Intel embedded WiMAX solutions, based on the Intel Centrino Advanced-N + WiMAX 6250 network adapter.

T-Mobile + Orange UK Joint Venture Rebrands as "Everything Everywhere"

Everything Everywhere, the newly formed mobile operator following merger of T-Mobile and Orange in the UK, outlined plans increase its network footprint and retail presence and expand in broadband services while cutting staff.

The company aims to achieve cost synergies of £3.5 billion by consolidating operations. The company said these integration plans are ahead of schedule, and that its workforce will be trimmed by about 7.5%, resulting in the loss of about 1,200 jobs. The company aims to achieve a double digit, cash flow CAGR from 2010 to 2014.

Starting October 5th, Orange and T-Mobile customers in the UK will be able to access two national networks at no extra cost, as first phase of multi-network strategy to combine 2G, 3G, 4G, fixed broadband and Wi-Fi.

As of the end of Q2 2010, the combined company had 27,931,000 customers, up 3.4% of a year earlier. Mobile service revenue for the period was £1.56bn and EBITDA was £309m. Both revenues and EBITDA in the quarter were impacted by the introduction last year of lower regulatory caps on mobile termination rate.

Tom Alexander, Chief Executive Officer of Everything Everywhere, said, "Everything Everywhere has made rapid progress in the six months since incorporation, with a strong leadership team in place and a clear strategy based on transforming the market through network leadership. We have identified in excess of £3.5bn of synergies, allowing us to further invest in our networks and building our customer offer for both today and tomorrow. Our aspiration is to give people instant access to everything everywhere and with the launch of national roaming next week -- enabling our customers to access what matters to them over two national networks -- we're well on our way".

European Commission Rules Against Public TV Telecom Taxes in France, Spain

The European Commission requested France and Spain to abolish new taxes recently implemented on telecom operators to support public TV channels.

In France, a new charge on telecoms operators was introduced in March 2009 after the decision was taken by the French Government to end paid advertising on public TV channels. Telecom operators must pay 0.9% of their total revenues exceeding €5 million received from subscribers. The annual revenue from the new charge, which is paid to the French Treasury, is estimated at around €400 million.

In Spain, a new law imposed in September 2009 imposed a charge of 0.9% on the gross revenues of telecoms operators to make up for the loss of revenue from paid advertising on the Spanish national public broadcaster. A limited number of operators were exempted from paying this charge based on the geographical scope and the type of telecoms services they provide. The charge is expected to generate revenue of around €230 million in 2010.

In both cases, the Commission considers these "telecoms taxes" to be incompatible with EU telecoms rules, which require specific charges on telecoms operators to be specifically and directly related to covering the costs of regulating the telecoms sector. The requests take the form of "reasoned opinions" under EU infringement procedures. France and Spain now have two months to inform the Commission of measures taken to comply with EU telecoms rules. If they fail to do so, the Commission may refer them to the EU Court of Justice.

Sprint Execs Resign from Clearwire Board

Daniel R. Hesse, Keith O. Cowan, and Steven L. Elfman have resigned from the Clearwire board of directors. All three are all officers of Sprint Nextel Corporation and were nominated to the Clearwire board by Sprint.

In a statement, Clearwire said it informed by Sprint that "the decisions to resign were made out of an abundance of caution to address questions raised by Clearwire regarding new developments in antitrust law. Clearwire's board structure allows for 13 members, seven of which Sprint has the right to appoint. The remaining four Sprint appointees to the Clearwire board are unchanged, and Sprint reserved the right to appoint new members to the Clearwire board at a later date."

Huawei Proposes Major Manufacturing Site in India

Huawei has proposed a plan to invest in a US$500 million manufacturing site near Chennai, according to The Economic Times of India. The proposal came during an official visit to China by an Indian minister seeking greater economic cooperation between the countries.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cable&Wireless Worldwide Picks Cisco's Unified Computing System

Cable&Wireless Worldwide has selected Cisco's Unified Computing System (UCS) as its next-generation data centre platform to deliver an enterprise cloud computing solution. Cable&Wireless Worldwide plans to launch its service later this year.

3GPP to Include RF Pattern Matching LBS in Release 10

The Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards organization has technically endorsed RF Pattern Matching technology for incorporation into its 3G UMTS specifications. The endorsement was made by the Radio Access Network (RAN) Work Group 2 on UMTS during the recent 3GPP standards meeting in Madrid. RF Pattern Matching will be incorporated into Release 10 of the 3G UMTS specifications, expected to become final in late 2010 or early 2011. This will also set the stage for opportunities to incorporate RF Pattern Matching into LTE and other future air interfaces.

Polaris Wireless, which supplies high-accuracy software-based wireless location solutions using Radio Frequency (RF) Pattern Matching, said the endorsement will lead to a higher level of location-based services (LBS) accuracy and improved experiences for wireless customers compared with current Cell-ID based technologies.

"The decision to incorporate RF Pattern Matching into the 3G UMTS specifications is needed for all service providers wanting to provide the highest-SLA option for LBS as it gives them more credible options for public safety and commercial applications," said Manlio Allegra, president and chief executive officer at Polaris Wireless. "This level of LBS accuracy will create an improved user experience for wireless customers, which ultimately generates additional revenue streams for carriers and other enterprises offering LBS applications."

Polaris also noted that the FCC is currently considering new E911 Phase II regulations that would improve indoor location capabilities for first responders. Using RF Pattern Matching, Polaris' WLS software solution enables carriers and OEMs to be prepared to meet these new FCC requirements with little or no investment in new infrastructure or hardware.

ng Connect Program Builds Momentum for LTE Apps

The ng Connect Program, which was co-founded by Alcatel-Lucent to stimulate the development of network-ready applications, services, content and devices for LTE, has added 11 new members, bringing its roster to 47 companies.

ng Connect is a cross-industry effort to collaboratively develop new services, devices and business models for emerging LTE networks.

"We've just conducted our most recent ng Connect Program member meeting where members from around the world were represented and the excitement about the capabilities and opportunities presented by 4G and LTE networks was intense," said Steve West, Vice President of Emerging Technology & Media at Alcatel-Lucent. "In addition to the showcase demos that the program members have delivered, our membership sees tremendous opportunities for program expansion into high growth areas such as telematics, retail and media where smart, high capacity networks will drive a new era of innovation."

The new ng Connect Program members include:

Atrato --- a storage innovator specializing in high performance, autonomic tiered storage solutions.

BlogRadio -- a mobile media services developer working on a solution to turn written materials into cloud-based audio and video streams available anywhere, anytime.

Intelligent Mechatronic Systems Inc. (IMS) --- a developer of in-vehicle, voice-interactive services and turn-key, end-to-end telematics solutions.

IVOX --- an information services provider of predictive, driver-based information for Driver Risk Management.

Netsweeper -- a provider of Internet content filtering and web threat management solutions and services.

Nuance Communications -- a leader in mobile voice technology supplying solutions to the world's leading automotive manufacturers, Tier One suppliers and third-party platforms.

Skymeter --- a developer of financial-grade GPS (FGPS) applications.

STRATACACHE --- a provider of scalable and cost-effective digital signage, IP video, content distribution and enterprise video acceleration solutions.

Telepresence Tech -- a provider of advanced telepresence solutions.

VisionMAX --- a multi-platform custom applications and business system integrator. --- a travel and entertainment content publisher and developer of a database of authoritative travel content.

Holland's IP2 Internet Builds Data Center with Juniper

IP2 Internet, a Dutch business Internet Service Provider, has deployed an all Juniper Networks infrastructure for its new data center. By running Junos across its routing, switching and security deployment as a single network operating system, IP2 has a centralized architecture to reduce cost and complexity in the network. The installation comprises routers, switches and security appliances that run on Junos OS, Juniper's single operating system. The companies estimate that this unified approach has reduced OPEX by as much as 20 percent. Financial terms were not disclosed.

LightSquared Donates Satellite Access to Tribal Communities

LightSquared, which recently unveiled plans to build a wholesale LTE network across the U.S., signed an agreement with Indian Health Service (IHS), the lead federal agency to serve health needs of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) persons, to donate satellite phones and associated service for use in AI/AN communities. All satellite phones will come with service provided free of charge through 2020 to address the lack of reliable telecommunications connectivity which often plagues Tribal communities.

LightSquared includes the satellite services assets of the former SkyTerra Communications. LightSquared will provide up to 2,000 satellite phones and service to this project, depending on the requirements of IHS.

"The lack of ubiquitous telephone connectivity, let alone broadband, for residents of these Tribal communities is highly regrettable, and we commend FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski for shining the spotlight on this serious issue," said Sanjiv Ahuja, chief executive officer of LightSquared. "Our goal is to deliver the benefits of modern communications to people who have little or no access and bolster their ability to provide potentially lifesaving services to their fellow citizens."

Ericsson's First Live LTE Network in North America

Ericsson confirmed that it is the primary supplier of LTE infrastructure for MetroPCS and its equipment is being used in the company's Dallas/Fort Worth network. This is Ericsson's first commercial LTE deployment in North America.

Ericsson's full end-to-end LTE solution for MetroPCS includes:

RBS 6000 Base Station -- along with LTE, the software-upgradeable base station supports Wideband CDMA (WCDMA), GSM and GPRS/EDGE.

IP-RAN -- makes it possible for MetroPCS to be the world's first operator to run both CDMA and LTE over a common connection. This simplifies network management and lowers operating costs by allowing MetroPCS to leverage its CDMA and LTE assets and reduces power consumption.

Evolved Packet Core -- Ericsson's Evolved Packet Core solution for MetroPCS includes the Serving GPRS Support Node - Mobility Management Entity (SGSN-MME) and the Converged Packet Gateway (CPG) products. The SGSN-MME is an evolution of Ericsson's SGSN product, upgradeable by software-only means, and providing pooled and triple-access operation. The CPG provides high-quality broadband services for mobile and fixed traffic in the packet core network, and permits consolidated mobile gateway and aggregation router capabilities in a compact platform.

Network Services -- Ericsson has provided MetroPCS with LTE network design, optimization, engineering, implementation, integration and customer support services for the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area.

MetroPCS Launches LTE in Dallas/Fort Worth

MetroPCS Communications launched commercial LTE service in its second market -- the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex (DFW). LTE service in Las Vegas began earlier this month.

The MetroPCS LTE network in Dallas was supplied by Ericsson.

MetroPCS is selling the Samsung Craft 4G handset as its first LTE device. MetroPCS offers monthly 4G LTE service plans for $55 or $60, which include talk, text and a 4G Web experience initially on an unlimited basis.

"MetroPCS will continue to expand 4G LTE network coverage into all of our markets through 2011 to offer unmatched value in 4G LTE services on a no-contract basis for all of our customers," said Roger D. Linquist, president, CEO and chairman of MetroPCS. "The launch of our 4G LTE network in the metroplex is yet another milestone in our expansion and our vision of the Internet going mobile."

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sandvine's Usage Management Enables Accurate Usage-Based Billing

Sandvine released a new version of its Usage Management product that addresses usage-based billing and unified charging for converged networks. Specifically, Sandvine Usage Management release 3.1 introduces a new Record Generator license that adds the following capabilities to the Usage Management product and complements the support for mobile data pre-paid charging, announced earlier this year:

  • Supports detailed and accurate charging requirements for post-paid service plans using an interface to Offline Charging Systems (OFCS)

  • Provides customizable, policy-based usage data records based on highly flexible network policy rules, triggered by time or volume

  • Supports a variety of use cases, such as usage record transfer to Operational Support Systems (OSS) for customer bill auditing, or for back-up of Online Charging Systems (OCS)

  • Seamlessly interoperates with 3rd party billing network elements within mobile, fixed and converged networks using customizable data record formats

  • Integrates into legacy and 3G mobile networks and offers seamless migration into future 4G networks.

Fujitsu Launches Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in Japan

Fujitsu will begin offering a pay-as-you-go Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in Japan starting October 1, 2010. The IaaS public cloud service delivers bundled virtualized ICT infrastructure from Fujitsu's datacenters, providing resources on a metered-use billing system that is based on customer usage. This includes server and storage functionality as well as network and security features. Over 200 companies have participated in a trial service since May.