Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ericsson Provides Network Operations for Virgin Mobile France

French mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) holding company Omea Telecom has signed an infrastructure and managed services contract with Ericsson in France. Under the contract, Ericsson will provide managed services supporting some 2 million subscribers belonging to Omea Telecom's MVNO Virgin Mobile France.

Ericsson will supply the operator with the full range of telecommunications infrastructure needed for complete customer management. These include databases of subscriber details (Home Location Register), service platforms, and traffic management equipment such as circuit switches and packet solutions. Once the new infrastructure has been installed, Ericsson will operate it for Omea Telecom.

Vodafone Italia Outsources to Ericsson

Vodafone Italy awarded a five-year contract to Ericsson to manage the field operations of its fixed and mobile access and transmission networks, as well as for fixed core network nodes. As part of the five year agreement, about 300 Vodafone Italy employees joined Ericsson on July 1, 2011. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ericsson said it will take over the operation and continue the current services activities while ensuring a smooth transition for Vodafone Italy's staff in order to maintain the operator's high network quality.

Telstra Restructures for Better Market Focus

Telstra Chief Executive Officer David Thodey announced a series of appointments and major initiatives that sharpen the company's focus on customers and position Telstra for industry changes including the National Broadband Network.

"These appointments and initiatives are consistent with our long-term strategy to improve service, win customers, simplify processes and build new growth businesses," Mr Thodey said. "They create a single retail sales and service team designed to free-up customer-facing teams to focus on their primary role of serving and winning customers, and capitalise on the opportunity to grow new revenue streams."

The changes include the following:

Telstra's entire sales and retail customer service workforce will be unified in a single
business unit from 1 August 2011. Telstra Customer Sales & Service, to be headed by Gordon Ballantyne, will be responsible for sales and service to all segments including consumer, business, enterprise and
government customers. In support of the Telstra Customer Sales & Service unit, the company's marketing functions
will be centralised under the leadership of Chief Marketing Officer Mark Buckman.

Telstra veteran Stuart Lee has been appointed as Group Managing Director, Telstra Wholesale. NBN Co will become Telstra's largest wholesale customer by virtue of its agreement to lease Telstra infrastructure including dark fibre, exchange space and ducts for at least 35 years. Telstra Wholesale will continue to comply with separation undertakings.

Recognising the importance of content and value-added services in the post NBN environment, Telstra will form an Applications & Ventures Group (AVG) to spearhead its investment in new and emerging high-speed broadband businesses. Deena Shiff will lead the Applications & Ventures Group from 1 August 2011, relinquishing her role as Group Managing Director, Telstra Business. Will Irving, formerly Group General Counsel, will succeed Ms Shiff as head of Telstra Business and will report to Gordon Ballantyne.

In addition to new executive appointments, Mr Thodey today also announced a series of new lines of business and proposed internal structural changes to support the company's long-term strategy.

Telstra will establish specialised teams to support the company's growth opportunities in Cloud Computing and Media.

Telstra's international business unit, headed by Tarek Robbiati, will gain day-to-day responsibility for managing the network assets it uses to serve international enterprise and carrier customers.

Telstra's Operations business unit will be accountable for providing all back-of-house services for consumer customers, making it easier to manage processes from a customer's point of view, and simpler to track and report the company's operational performance.

Skype + Facebook Promise "Effortless Video Calling"

Facebook and Skype announced deep integration providing "the easiest one-click way to get connected via video with friends and colleagues." The companies said their partnership will make video calling widely pervasive and easily accessible for billions of people.

Group video chat is not initially supported, although Facebook is also announcing a text-based group chat. Development was carried out by joint teams. Skype-out services will be offered to reach users who are not on Facebook.

Facebook said the Skype video integration is an example of a social app running over its infrastructure. The company sees itself as the social platform for reach an audience that now reaches 750 million users.

Skype noted that is now carrying over 300 million minutes per month and at peak times over 50% of traffic is video traffic.

Skype said its most important goal is to become as ubiquitous as possible, rather than just promoting its own interface.

The companies said Microsoft's upcoming acquisition of Skype, which was announced after the joint Skype+Facebook integration was already underway, was not a factor in pursuing this partnership.
  • In May, Microsoft announced plans to acquire Skype for $8.5 billion in cash -- its biggest acquisition to date. The deal is still pending.
  • MySpace noted that it signed a similar agreement with Skype for social video calling in 2007.

Equinix Seeks $500 Million in Public Offering

Equinix intends to offer, subject to market and other conditions, $500 million aggregate principal amount of its senior notes due 2021 under an automatically effective shelf registration statement on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The company said it intends to use the net proceeds from this offering for general corporate purposes, which may include capital expenditures, repayment of its 2.50% convertible subordinated notes due 2012 upon maturity, working capital and potential acquisitions. http://www.equinix.com

Valens Raises $14 Million for HDBaseT Chips

Valens Semiconductor, a start-up based in Israel, raised $14 million in Series B funding for its HDBaseT technology.

Valens' HDBaseT technology is a consumer electronic (CE) connectivity technology optimized for whole-home and commercial multimedia distribution. HDBaseT uses a single, long-reach LAN cable with RJ45 connectors to connect entertainment devices. HDBaseT can deliver uncompressed video/audio up to 10.2 Gbps over Cat5e/6 LAN cables of up to 100m while supporting 100 Mbps Ethernet.

The funding will accelerate the development of follow-on generations of Valens' HDBaseT chipset.

The latest funding round comes from a blend of new strategic partners, including Taiwan-based Pegatron and Japan-based Mitsui & Co. Global Investment Ltd., together with new venture capital fund investors, Amiti Ventures and Aviv Venture Capital. In addition, Genesis Partners and Magma Venture Partners, who participated in Series A round of financing, also contributed to Series B.

Dror Jerushalmi, CEO and Co-Founder of Valens, stated "The quality of investors engaged in this round of financing speaks to the success of our HDBaseT technology and signals trust in our vision and our ability to further penetrate the CE market. These partnerships significantly enhance our ability to strengthen our foothold in the home-networking marketplace. We are ramping up production to deliver HDBaseT chipsets to global ODMs, OEMs and CE manufacturers along with added presence in the Japanese marketplace." http://www.valens-semi.com http://www.hdbaset.org

GSA: 24 LTE Networks Have Launched

There are now 24 commercial LTE networks in service and 166 firm commercial LTE network deployments in progress or planned in 62 countries, according to the latest report from The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA). The report covers both LTE FDD and LTE TDD systems. A further 52 operators in 19 additional countries are engaged in LTE technology trials, tests or studies.

Alan Hadden, President, GSA said: "LTE is the fastest developing mobile system technology ever. The number of operators investing in LTE has increased 98% since June 2010, while the number of firm deployment commitments has more than doubled (107%) in the same period. We have again raised our market outlook and forecast at least 91 LTE networks will be in commercial service by end 2012."

GSA also note strong momentum towards deploying LTE in re-farmed spectrum, particularly 1800 MHz (i.e. LTE1800). Four LTE1800 networks are now commercially launched, in Germany, Lithuania, Poland and Singapore, and several more deployments are in progress or planned. The report also notes the growing international interest and acceptance of LTE TDD and confirms numerous studies, trials and deployments underway or planned in Australia, China, India and other Asian markets, Europe, the Middle East, Russia and North America. http://www.gsacom.com

Anite Offers LTE Device Performance Test

Anite, which specializes in wireless device testing, announced a new test solution that will include carrier based scripts for LTE data throughput performance for evaluation LTE devices.

Aite's unique LTE data performance solution is based on SAS (Anite's network simulator for device interoperability testing), the Anite 9000 Mobile Test Accelerator platform, and Azimuth Systems ACE MX advanced channel emulator . The ACE MX is architected to meet the needs of OFDM and MIMO based wireless systems in addition to the emulation requirements of 2G/3G systems.

"New mobile devices need to conform to strict industry and operator specific criteria, and thereby live up to user expectations when launched, said Paul Beaver, Product Director at Anite. "With LTE data performance now also under the spotlight Anite can help ensure that LTE devices will perform as expected and accelerate their time to market. These new LTE carrier acceptance scripts offer a cost-effective option for SAS customers who are also interested in LTE data performance testing." http://www.anite.com

China Unicom Deploy 40 Gbps Optical Backbone with NSN

China Unicom is upgrading its optical backbone with Nokia Siemens Networks' 40 Gbps optical transmission platform.

The 5000 kilometer, 40 Gbps DWDM network paves the way for upgrades to 100Gbps across seven provinces: Chongqing, Hubei, Anhui, Jiangsu, Fujian, Guangdong and Guangxi.

Specifically, Nokia Siemens Networks is providing its hiT 7300 DWDM system with 40G transponder technology that allows continued use of installed fiber infrastructure. The system leverages CP-QPSK modulation with dispersion compensating modules free transmission. Moreover, Nokia Siemens Networks will provide its network management system coupled with services such as network implementation, commissioning and maintenance.

"As one of the largest network operators globally, China Unicom understands the importance of investing in the latest technology," said Markus Borchert, head of Greater China region at Nokia Siemens Networks. "Our 40G DWDM system will ensure a longer life cycle for China Unicom's network by increasing its network capacity to handle data traffic growth. In fact, since CP-QPSK* technology is being used for the first time in China, it will act as a new benchmark for enhancing transport performance and end-user experience." http://www.nsn.com

Monday, July 4, 2011

comScore: 78 Million Americans Own Smartphones, Up 11% in Latest Quarter

For the three month average period ending in May, 234 million Americans ages 13 and older used mobile devices, according to new data released by comScore. 76.8 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in May 2011, up 11 percent from the preceding three month period. Google Android ranked as the top operating system with 38.1 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers, up 5.1 percentage points. Apple strengthened its #2 position with 26.6 percent of the smartphone market, up 1.4 percentage points. RIM ranked third with 24.7 percent share, followed by Microsoft (5.8 percent) and Palm (2.4 percent).

Netflix Charts Expansion in Latin America

Netflix disclosed plans to expand throughout Latin America and the Caribbean later this year with its unlimited movie and TV streaming service. The company plans to offer American, local and global TV shows and movies via a monthly plan. Pricing details have not yet been disclosed. http://www.netflix.com

NSN to Supply GPON for Bulgaria's EVO

EVO Ltd, a leading regional Internet Service Provider in Bulgaria, has awarded a three year contract to Nokia Siemens Networks to supply GPON technology for a network upgrade. EVO has started offering higher bandwidth and new, high-quality data services such as IPTV, to its customers. Specifically, NSN is supplying the customer premise equipment (CPE), the Optical Line Termination (OLT) and services such as installation and maintenance.

"Our goal is to improve the individual experience and satisfaction of our subscribers by providing new high-quality services, and increasing network capacity," said Rosen Velikov, CEO of EVO Ltd. "Nokia Siemens Networks' solution will translate into a more cost-efficient network expansion and also guarantee extremely reliable and high-quality data services to our subscribers."http://www.nsn.com

RADWIN Launches High Capacity 2.5 GHz Wireless for North America

RADWIN introduced its wireless point-to-point solution is ideal for 2.5 GHz license-holders in North America. The RADWIN 2000 2.5 GHz BRS/EBS solution is aimed at carriers, ISPs, public and private organizations such as educational institutions (e.g. colleges, universities and school boards), many of whom were granted 2.5 GHz band licenses and must demonstrate substantial use of this spectrum by November 1, 2011. Otherwise, the licenses could be reclaimed by the FCC.

The RADWIN 2000 Point-to-Point system delivers up to 200 Mbps and up to 16 E1s/T1s with carrier-grade reliability.

Mike Cook, General Manager North America, stated: "The RADWIN 2000 2.5 GHz new BRS/EBS offering enhances our presence in North America as a leading supplier of high performance yet cost-effective wireless communications solutions, while addressing the broadband demand from many different market segments. With RADWIN 2000 2.5 GHz, operators as well as private networks can leverage the 2.5 GHz band, one of the most sought-after spectrum currently available. Moreover, institutions with a scholastic mission can drive education and distance learning initiatives in urban, suburban as well as rural markets."http://www.radwin.com

Verizon Wireless Moves to Tiered Data Plans

Beginning this week, Verizon Wireless will stop offering an unlimited data plan and instead implement usage-based pricing tiers. The company is expected to offer four monthly data tiers: $10 for 75 MB, $30 for 2 GB, $50 for 5 GB and $80 for 10 GB. Verizon Wireless is also planning to implement a monthly fee for Wi-Fi hotspot capability for LTE devices. http://www.verizonwireless.com

GCT Shows 4x4 MIMO WiMAX 2 Chip

GCT Semiconductor introduced a WiMAX 2 (IEEE 802.16m) single-chip solution that integrates RF, MAC and PHY. The monolithic WiMAX 2 single-chip offers a 4x4 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) system, enabling high-speed wireless broadband communications four to five times faster than existing WiMAX technology.

GCT said its new GDM7225 chip allows for higher data rates and provides backward compatibility with existing 16e mobile WiMAX (IEEE 802.16e) requirements. It features a complete transceiver that supports full coverage of the 2GHz WiMAX band in Japan and other countries, and offers the world's first 4x4 MIMO performance enabled by four independent RF receivers. With GCT's proprietary MIMO modem technology, GDM7225 enables performance at speeds of up to 150 Mbps downlink and 50 Mbps uplink, based on device specifications. In addition, GDM7225 supports multicarrier operation (10MHz + 10MHz) up to 20MHz bandwidth. With its advanced features and high data rate, GDM7225 is designed to serve the growing demands of the WiMAX broadband market.

"We believe WiMAX 2 is the natural next generation option for WiMAX operators to improve network performance cost-effectively and enhance the user-experience," said Dr. Kyeongho "KH" Lee, President and CEO of GCT Semiconductor, Inc. "Our new WiMAX 2 single-chip will power the terminal devices needed by operators that are upgrading their networks. The announcement of GDM7225 today demonstrates our continuing efforts to advance the 4G ecosystem and provide market-proven 4G SoC solutions to our WiMAX and LTE customers." http://www.gctsemi.com

Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom Pursues Wi-Fi Offload

In a press event marking its 15th anniversary, Chunghwa Telecom discussed plans to invest NT$200 billion (US$6.94 billion) by 2020 to boost is fiber broadband service, expand its island-wide 3G network, launch 4G services and enable extensive cloud-based offerings.

Some key items on the agenda include:

  • Investing NT$ 5 billion this year in the 3G network by adding 1,250 new 3G base stations to its existing 7,000 3G base stations.

  • Pursue a Wi-Fi mobile data offload strategy with the deployment of 20,000 WiFi hot spots by the end of this year and up to 30,000 in 2012.

  • Provide fiber-based backhaul for other broadband players in Taiwan.

KDDI Picks Ruckus for Extensive Wi-Fi Offload Strategy

KDDI Corporation has selected Ruckus Wireless to supply Wi-Fi products for what is described as "the world's first and largest "instant on" Wi-Fi access and mobile data offload service." The goal is to offload mobile data traffic from its cellular network while providing subscribers with seamless, high-speed wireless access throughout Japan.

Subscribers of KDDI's packet flat rate plans can now use the new KDDI "au Wi-Fi SPOT" service free of charge with their au Android smartphones in over 10,000 locations initially, scaling to 100,000 locations by March 2012.

KDDI subscribers are automatically authenticated to KDDI au Wi-Fi hotspots using credentials embedded within each phone over secure and encrypted connections.KDDI is introduceing bundled plans that include both 3G and Wi-Fi traffic in a variety of options. The charging is unified, and access to both 3G and Ruckus-driven Wi-Fi networks is a single seamless experience.

KDDI's new Wi-Fi overlay leverages its national WiMAX network to backhaul data traffic from each Wi-Fi hotspot to KDDI's mobile network core. Each Ruckus ZoneFlex Wi-Fi access point (AP) connects wirelessly to KDDI's WiMAX infrastructure. KDDI's initial focus is offloading data traffic indoors. For its first phase, KDDI is deploying more than 10,000 Ruckus ZoneFlex 7363 and 7341 dual-band 802.11 indoor access points in venues throughout Japan. A WiMAX router connected to each ZoneFlex 7300 via a USB port. KDDI is using Ruckus controller and network management systems to centrally manage ZoneFlex APs, and the Ruckus FlexMaster Wi-Fi system management platform to provide statistical traffic analysis, reporting and troubleshooting on a national scale.

"Dramatic changes in customer behavior and the related growth in mobile data traffic from the use of smartphones are having a profound impact on user expectations, service delivery and network infrastructure build-out," said Tadashi Egawa, head of KDDI's Service Development and Wi-Fi Business Strategy Department.

"We selected Ruckus products and technologies because they not only outperformed competitive alternatives but were specifically designed to be easily managed and scaled to support service provider infrastructures such as ours," said Egawa. "Ruckus Wi-Fi technology is delivering much better coverage, interference mitigation and deployment flexibility that we couldn't find in any other supplier and at a cost point that enables nationwide deployment. They meet our needs and specifications for carrier grade equipment."


Sprint Signs Sub-Tenant for Campus in Overland Park

FishNet Security, which provides IT services, signed a sublease agreement with Sprint and will move 175 employees and the company's headquarters to the Sprint World Headquarters Campus in Overland Park, Kansas, in early 2012.

Founded in Kansas City in 1996, FishNet Security reported $316 million in revenue in 2010 and is expected to surpass $400 million in revenue in 2011. The company currently has over 400 employees nationwide, with 175 employees located across three buildings in Kansas City's Crossroads district. http://www.fishnetsecurity.com

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Eutelsat Signs Italian Space Agency for Ka-SAT service

ASI, the Italian Space Agency, has signed an agreement with Eutelsat Communications to use its new KA-SAT High Throughput Satellite for broadband connectivity in Italy. Specifically, ASI is planning the progressive use of 550 Mbps of KA-SAT capacity across 10 spotbeams that together provide full coverage of Italian territory. The capacity will mainly be deployed to deliver broadband to Italian government facilities beyond range of terrestrial networks.
http://In May 2011, Eutelsat Communications announced commercial activation of its KA-SAT High Throughput Satellite, marking the official launch of its new-generation Tooway broadband service across Europe. Up to 10 Mbps downstream and 4 Mbps upstream is immediately available for consumers irrespective of location across Europe and the Mediterranean Basin. The service is sold by various channel partners in each national market.

Friday, July 1, 2011

SK Telecom Launches LTE with Cloud RAN and CoMP Capabilities

SK Telecom inaugurated its 4G LTE service in Seoul on July 1, 2011.

The network will provide a maximum downlink speed of 75Mbps, which is five times faster than that of its 3G WCDMA network (HSUPA) and 1.9 times faster than Wibro that provides maximum downlink speed of 39.8Mbps and maximum uplink speed of 10Mbps. The network uses the 800 MHz band. The company plans to expand the frequency bandwidth for LTE from one-way 5MHz (at the time of service launch) to 10MHz by the fourth quarter of 2011 to achieve the full downlink potential.

The LTE rollout in Seoul was accomplished by building 1,772 Radio Units (RU) and 609 Digital Units (DU). In addition to this, the company will also use its 200,000 existing 800MHz repeaters to offer seamless and flawless 4G LTE service in all areas of Seoul, including underground and indoor areas.

SK Telecom said it expects to attract 300,000 LTE subscribers in 2011, 6 million by 2013, and 10 million by 2015. Eleven 11 devices are expected to be on the market by year's end.

SK Telecom is working on LTE roll-outs in 23 cities including the Seoul Metropolitan area and six metropolitan cities by early next year, and secure national coverage (82 cities) by 2013. SK Telecom also said that the national coverage could become a reality earlier than planned depending on the market situation. Moreover, the company expects to introduce LTE-Advanced, the download speed of which reaches 1Gbps, in around 2013, by upgrading its LTE networks.

In addition, SK Telecom said it is leveraging cloud network technology in its LTE networks to flexibly handle wireless data demand that differs by time and region.

SK Telecom also claims to the first carrier in the world to use Coordinated Multi-Point (CoMP) technology to prevent the degradation of data speed coverage in cell boundary areas.http://http://www.sktelecom.com/
  • In January 2011, South Korea's SK Telecom announced the selection of Samsung Electronics, LG-Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks as key equipment suppliers for its LTE network.

    Samsung Electronics and LG-Ericsson are supplying switching equipment, while all three companies will provide base station equipment. SK Telecom said it made the selection based on price and compatibility with other suppliers.

    SK Telecom has adopted its own Smart Cloud Access Network (SCAN) architecture to optimize its rollout. A base station largely consists of Digital Unit (DU) and Radio Unit (RU). With the SCAN architecture, LTE network DUs will be stored together in one area, while Remote Radio Units (RRU) - along with the antenna - will be set up in various locations. The carrier said this cloud-based network design enables multiple RRUs to be installed according to varying network capacity needs of each area.

    SK Telecom also plans to boost network capacity in small areas by deploying 62,000 Wi-Fi zones and over 10,000 femtocells. This will require the installation of 45,000 Wi-Fi this year, as well as expanding the 1,000 femtocells deployed last year to 10,000 femtocells. Also, SK telecom plans to offer femtocells that can handle voice and data traffic at the same time in small areas. Furthermore, the 6-sector solutions, which can double the capacity of current base stations, will be expanded to 500 base stations this year from 20 base stations beta-tested at the end of last year.