Thursday, September 1, 2011

Deutsche Telekom Envisions "Smart Connect" for Smart Homes

Deutsche Telekom, along with partners E.ON, EnWB, eQ-3 and Miele, outlined a "Smart Connect" vision for managing home appliances. The effort aims to unify SmartGrid initiatives with consumer electronics and telecom services. The announcement was made at the IFA 2011 show in Berlin, where the companies are demonstrating advanced home management applications.

The key component of the platform is the so-called "Smart Connect Box," which is located in the customer's home and, in conjunction with various cloud-based functions, acts as the local service center. Deutsche Telekom will offer a device from Sumitomo. The carrier expects to have an initial service available in Germany beginning in mid-2012.

In addition, Deutsche Telekom, E.ON, EnWB, eQ-3 and Miele have agreed to co-develop a technical platform for the varied applications required for the smart home.

"Together with our partners, we aim to lay the foundations of the connected home of the future. The "Smart Connect" platform meets high security standards and can be tailored as a flexible, open solution to meet the requirements of the respective provider", explains Holger Knöpke, Head of Connected Home at Deutsche Telekom, and adds, "In today's world, people live in an environment that has ever greater demands on mobility and flexibility. Together with our partners, we focus on making everyday life easier and, at the same time, on fulfilling the demands of consumers with respect to ecological aspects and costs."

The companies estimate that by 2020, around half of all households in Germany could well be equipped with at least one such "smart" application.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Vertical Systems: Global Provider Ethernet Leaderboard

Vertical Systems Group published its Mid-2011 Global Provider Ethernet Leaderboard, ranking service providers that hold a four percent (4%) or greater share of the total market for retail Ethernet ports installed outside of providers' respective home countries.

In rank order: Orange (France), Verizon (U.S.), Colt (U.K.), NTT (Japan), AT&T (U.S.) and Global Crossing (U.S.).

"Share trends for the first six months of 2011 show that global Ethernet providers are capitalizing on two essential assets," said Rick Malone, principal at Vertical Systems Group. "First and foremost, all of the companies on the Global Provider Leaderboard operate fiber infrastructures that enable delivery of Ethernet services in multiple countries. Additionally, they provide their customers with network solutions that integrate higher speed Ethernet access connectivity to IP/MPLS VPNs."

Some highlights:

  • Verizon had the largest share gain in the first six months of 2011, resulting in a jump up to second position on the Global Provider Leaderboard, surpassing Colt.

  • The top three companies on the Leaderboard - Orange, Verizon and Colt - are separated by a port share differential of less than 2%.

  • Ethernet providers not represented on the Leaderboard hold an aggregate 46% share of the defined market.

Detailed share results, plus in-depth Business Ethernet market statistics, are available exclusively through Vertical Systems Group's ENS (Emerging Networks Service) Research Programs.

Ofcom Gives Go Ahead for License Exempt White Space

Ofcom, the official telecom regulator for the UK, has decided to allow white space devices to access the TV white space providing that no harmful interference is caused to existing services, including: Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) services, Programme Making and Special Events (PMSE) users or other future licensed users. Ofcom has also decided to make White Space devices licence exempt, thereby opening the door to enhanced Wi-Fi and rural broadband applications.

Ofcom is requiring a geolocation database to prevent harmful interference.

White spaces trials are currently underway in the UK, in Bute and Cambridge.

Ofcom is the first regulator in Europe to give a go-ahead to white spaces technology.
  • In June 2011, the Cambridge TV White Spaces Consortium, a new group consisting of leading broadcasters in the UK along with technology providers, are planning a trial of TV White Spaces transmission. The test, which will be conducted in Cambridge, will explore how mobile devices can tap into unused television channels -TV white spaces - to supplement wireless broadband and cellular networks. The consortium includes the BBC, BSkyB, BT, Cambridge Consultants, Microsoft, Neul, Nokia, Samsung, Spectrum Bridge and TTP.

  • In July 2011, the IEEE published the 802.22 standard for Wireless Regional Area Networks (WRANs) using the favorable transmission characteristics of the VHF and UHF TV bands. 802.22 enables broadband wireless access over a large area up to 100 km from the transmitter. The standard specifies up to 22 Mbps per channel without interfering with reception of existing TV broadcast stations, using the so-called white spaces between the occupied TV channels.

    IEEE 802.22 incorporates advanced cognitive radio capabilities including dynamic spectrum access, incumbent database access, accurate geolocation techniques, spectrum sensing, regulatory domain dependent policies, spectrum etiquette, and coexistence for optimal use of the available spectrum. It operates generally in the 54-862 MHz range. For the United States, it specifies the following VHF / UHF Bands54 – 60, 76 – 88, 174 – 216, 470 - 608 and 614 –698 MHz => Total of 282 MHz or 47 Channels.

  • In September 2010, The FCC issued an order that opens up vacant airwaves between TV channels for new unlicensed applications such as "super Wi-Fi." Specifically, a Second Memorandum Opinion and Order (Second MO&O) resolves numerous legal and technical issues regarding unlicensed spectrum usage. Notably, the Order eliminates the requirement that TV bands devices that incorporate geo-location and database access must also include sensing technology to detect the signals of TV stations and low-power auxiliary service stations (wireless microphones). It also requires wireless microphone users who seek to register in the TV bands databases to certify that they will use all available channels from 7 through 51 prior to requesting registration. Requests to register in the database will be public.

Verizon Raises Dividend 2.6% to 50 Cents per Share

The Board of Directors of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) today declared a quarterly dividend of 50 cents per outstanding share, an increase of 1.25 cents per share, or 2.6 percent, from the previous quarter. On an annual basis, this increases Verizon's dividend 5 cents per share, from $1.95 to $2.00 per share. This marks the 5th consecutive year that Verizon has increased its dividend.

Shaw Plans Wi-Fi Build-out Rather than LTE for Western Canada

Shaw Communications, which delivers cable television, High-Speed Internet, and home phone services to 3.4 million customers in Canada, will forgo the construction of an LTE network in favor of a carrier-class Wi-Fi network.

Shaw, which holds approximately 20 MHz of AWS spectrum across western Canada and had been targeting early 2012 for its wireless launch, decided against LTE because it believes it can build extensive Wi-Fi coverage across its territory at a substantially lower cost relative to a traditional wireless network and still provide customers with an excellent broadband wireless experience. The company estimates that it would cost at least $1 billion to build a competitive LTE network in western Canada.

Shaw said it finds the economics of a conventional wireless business as a new entrant are extremely challenging, whereas because Wi-Fi spectrum is free and there are no device subsidies, cable operators such as itself are uniquely positioned to take advantage of Wi-Fi.

"We have decided to focus on strengthening our core business and leveraging our media and programming assets to support our leadership position in broadband and video," said Brad Shaw, Chief Executive Officer of Shaw. "Our decision not to pursue a conventional wireless business is consistent with this strategic approach and our focus on shareholder value."

Shaw noted that Cablevision has implemented a successful Wi-Fi strategy that extends the value of its core cable services outside of the home. It also opens the possibility for Shaw to provide Wi-Fi offload services for other 3G/4G operators.

Shaw confirmed that it is negotiating with Cisco about the Wi-Fi build. Shaw did not rule out the possibility of bidding for 700 MHz spectrum in the next auction.
  • During its FY 10 and FY 11, Shaw has invested an estimated $180 million on its wireless network launch, including back office systems, towers, fibre and retail facilities.

  • In July 2008, Shaw acquired 20 MHz of spectrum across its cable operating footprint for a total of
    $190 million. This represents less than 5% of the total AWS auction proceeds.

Sprint: Study Shows T-Mobile Acquisition Would Eliminate Jobs

The proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA by AT&T would lead to the elimination of thousands of American jobs as the company works to lower its capital expenditures by $10 billion, according to a newly released study commissioned by Sprint.

The study directly refutes claims made by AT&T, based on a memorandum by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), that the merger would be a net job creator. The EPI analysis, Neumark notes, is groundless.

"EPI's claim that the AT&T/T-Mobile merger would create jobs is completely unfounded. It ignores potential reductions in capital expenditures that T-Mobile would have undertaken. Indeed, AT&T has told the federal government and its investors that the merger would lead to reduced capital expenditures – which by EPI's own logic would lead to fewer jobs. And AT&T has acknowledged there would be other job reductions resulting from the merger," stated David Neumark, professor of Economics and director of the Center for Economics and Public Policy at the University of California at Irvine.

Assuming AT&T's net capital investment falls by $5 billion, it would result in job destruction of 34,000 to 60,000 using EPI's own analysis, Neumark concludes.

GSA: 93 LTE Networks Expected in Commercial Operation in 2012

There are 26 commercial LTE networks in operation 18 countries and at least 93 LTE networks are expected to be
in commercial service by end 2012, according to an updated Evolution to LTE report from GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association). The GSA report covers both LTE FDD and LTE TDD system modes and confirms that 174 firm commercial LTE network deployments are in progress or planned in 64 countries, including 26 networks that have commercially launched.

GSA notes a strong momentum towards deploying LTE in re-farmed spectrum, particularly 1800 MHz, with five such networks now commercially launched, in Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Singapore.

In the US, LTE deployments are being made in 700 MHz spectrum and in existing AWS (1.7/2.1 GHz spectrum, while in Europe and parts of Asia there is demand for LTE in 800 MHz Digital Dividend spectrum.

The report also tracks the increasing momentum and acceptance of LTE TDD and an update on LTE-Advanced systems. It also overs a country-specific update on notable LTE activities.

Ciena Posts Revenue of $435.3 million

Ciena reported revenue of $435.3 million for its fiscal third quarter ended July 31, 2011. GAAP net loss was $(31.5) million, or $(0.33) per common share, which compares to a GAAP net loss of $(109.9) million, or $(1.18) per common share, for the fiscal third quarter 2010.

Non-U.S. customers contributed 48% of total revenue. One customer represented a total of 17% of revenue.

"Our third quarter results, which included a favorable product mix and reduced operating expense to achieve an as-adjusted operating profit, demonstrate our early progress in delivering additional operating leverage from the business," said Gary Smith, president and CEO of Ciena. "Despite current macroeconomic headwinds that could cause the rate of market growth to be moderated, we believe that we are well-positioned to capitalize on the continued modernization of today's networks and to grow faster than the market."

Verizon Cites Copper Cable Thefts in Southern California

Verizon announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the individuals responsible for a recent spate of copper cable thefts in southern California. The company reported the theft of thousands of feet of copper cable at nine locations, resulting in thousands of dollars in damages. http://www.verizon.comCopper has recently been trading between $4.50 and $5.00 per pound, up almost 60% since 2007, according to Fremont Insurance which has been fighting the problem in residential cases.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Some Industry Reaction

Sprint: "The DOJ today delivered a decisive victory for consumers, competition and our country. By filing suit to block AT&T's proposed takeover of T-Mobile, the DOJ has put consumers' interests first. Sprint applauds the DOJ for conducting a careful and thorough review and for reaching a just decision – one which will ensure that consumers continue to reap the benefits of a competitive U.S. wireless industry. Contrary to AT&T's assertions, today's action will preserve American jobs, strengthen the American economy, and encourage innovation." --

CWA Union: "-The decision by the U.S. Department of Justice to seek to block the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile USA is simply wrong. In today's sinking economy, where millions of Americans are looking for work, the DOJ has decided to oppose a merger that will create as many as 96,000 quality jobs. In the U.S., where too many Americans, especially in rural areas, don't have access to the tools of Internet technology, the DOJ has determined that a plan to build out high speed wireless access to 97 percent of the country should be opposed."

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski: "Competition is an essential component of the
FCC's statutory public interest analysis, and although our process is not complete, the record before
this agency also raises serious concerns about the impact of the proposed transaction on

FCC Commissioner Michael Copps: "Today's announcement shows a Department of Justice taking its pro-competitive responsibilities seriously. I share the concerns about competition and have numerous other
concerns about the public interest effects of the proposed transaction, including consumer choice
and innovation."

COMPTEL: ""COMPTEL is thankful the Department of Justice recognized the substantially negative impact this merger would have on competition and has taken the appropriate action of filing an antitrust lawsuit to block AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile." Jerry James, CEO of COMPTEL.

Rural Telecommunications Group: "DOJ's pre-Labor Day decision (less than 4 months after AT&T filed to acquire T-Mobile) shows that there is no question that this merger would have been bad for rural America, rural consumers, and rural carriers. AT&T pulled out all of the stops to get this deal done and failed. RTG applauds the DOJ for allowing wireless competition to live to see another day and to allow T-Mobile to continue to innovate and be the low price alternative to AT&T and Verizon. The jobs that have been saved today and the competition that has been preserved across the United States will go a long way to help the U.S. economy." -- RTG's General Counsel, Carri Bennet.

Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.): "The Justice Department's decision to take action to block AT&T's purchase of T-Mobile is a victory for competition, consumers and choice. We should be protecting American consumers holding their cell phones, not just telecommunications titans holding stock in the companies."

DOCOMO and KT Share Android Content

NTT DOCOMO and KT agreed to share content for Android smartphones. DOCOMO has begun offering KT-provided content on its mobile Internet portal in Japan. The initial lineup comprises 30 titles of Android content now popular in South Korea, including action games and puzzles, utility apps for translation, travel etc., and live wallpapers featuring supercars in action. In South Korea, KT plans to offer about 20 titles of DOCOMO-provided content via its content and application store, "olleh market," by the end of 2011.

Ericsson expands Managed Services capabilities in China

Ericsson has opened a new global network operations center (GNOC) in China, adding to the three existing global network operations centers located in Romania, India and Mexico. Ericsson's Global Service Center (GSC) in India now employs more than 5,000 service professionals and houses the world's largest GNOC.

Ericsson noted that it is currently managing networks serving more than 800 million subscribers, and more than half of these subscribers are served through its global NOCs.

Chunghwa Telecom Selects Alcatel-Lucent's Packet Transport Switch

Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom has selected Alcatel-Lucent's Packet Transport Network solution to upgrade the SDH infrastructure currently supporting its mobile network. The upgrade will use the Alcatel-Lucent 1850 Transport Service Switch. Alcatel-Lucent also noted it Chunghwa Telecom have already conducted a successful 4G LTE field trial.

AT&T to Challenge DOJ Decision in Court

AT&T expressed surprise and dismay at the U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit seeking to block its proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA. AT&T is seeking an expedited court hearing.

Wayne Watts, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel, stated:

"At the end of the day, we believe facts will guide any final decision and the facts are clear. This merger will:

* Help solve our nation's spectrum exhaust situation and improve wireless service for millions.

* Allow AT&T to expand 4G LTE mobile broadband to another 55 million Americans, or 97% of the population;

* Result in billions of additional investment and tens of thousands of jobs, at a time when our nation needs them most."

Department of Justice Blocks AT&T + T-Mobile Merger

The U.S. Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. to block AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile. The DOJ said it will block the deal because the merger would result in "tens of millions of consumers all across the United States facing higher prices, fewer choices and lower quality products for their mobile wireless services."

The acquisition, which was valued at US$39 in cash and stock when it was announced on March 20, 2011, reportedly carries a break-up fee of $6 billion in cash, spectrum and services that AT&T must pay to Deutsche Telekom if it is not completed.

In announcing its decision, the DOJ noted that AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile would eliminate a company that has been a disruptive force through low pricing and innovation by competing aggressively as the "the No. 1 value challenger." The DOJ also expressed concern that further market concentration would make it even more difficult for regional providers who already face significant competitive limitations stemming from their lack of national networks.

AT&T is the second largest mobile operator in the U.S. with approximately 98.6 million connections to wireless devices. T-Mobile USA is the fourth-largest mobile operator in the U.S. with approximately 33.6 million wireless connections to wireless devices.

In conclusion, the DOJ said it was not convinced by AT&T's arguments that the proposed transaction would yield efficiencies benefiting consumers and outweighing adverse impacts on competition. The key finding was that AT&T could achieve the same network power and reach by deploying its own infrastructure rather than by eliminating a competitor.

"T-Mobile has been an important source of competition among the national carriers, including through innovation and quality enhancements such as the roll-out of the first nationwide high-speed data network," said Sharis A. Pozen, Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division. "Unless this merger is blocked, competition and innovation will be reduced, and consumers will suffer."

The 22-page complaint is online.

Dell'Oro: Microwave Radio Market Shows Rapid Growth in Q2

The number of point-to-point microwave radio transceiver shipments grew 30% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2011, and is projected to reach 1.6 million shipments for the full year, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group.

"Point-to-point microwave is in high demand," said Jimmy Yu, Vice President of Microwave Transmission research at Dell'Oro Group. "Demand for microwave has increased in all of the major regions, especially Europe where sales have increased 58 percent year-over-year. The equipment manufacturers that benefited the most from the surge in demand were Huawei, Ericsson, and NEC. All three vendors enjoyed shipment growth rates higher than 40 percent year-

AT&T Prices LTE Android Tablet at $700 with 2-year Plan

AT&T will begin selling the HTC Jetstream 4G LTE/HSPA+ tablet on September 4th for $699.99 with a new two-year contract. AT&T is offering 3GB per month for $35 with the two-year contract.

The HTC tablet features a 10.1" HD display, Snapdragon 1.5 GHz dual core processor and front and rear facing cameras. The Jetstream is HTC's first tablet running on the Android™ 3.1 (Honeycomb) operating system which was specifically built for tablets. http://

Ericsson Introduces Smart Services Routers Family

Ericsson formally announced its SSR 8000 family of Smart Services Routers (SSR )for both fixed and mobile networks.

The SSR, which the company highlighted at MWC earlier this year, is being developed by Ericsson Silicon Valley (formerly Redback) and runs the Ericsson IP Operating System. The Smart Services Router (SSR) is being positioned as a "multi-application" platform for advanced services on both fixed access and broadband wireless access. Specific blades will deliver processing power for applications, including: video (caching), mobility (mobile gateway), business and residential services with powerful DPI and policy enforcement.

The Ericsson SSR 8000 family of Smart Services Routers, includes:

  • Ericsson SSR 8020, Smart Services Router, 20 slots, 16 Tbps system with 400G full-duplex slots combined with leading density (e.g. up to 800x1G or 200x10G ports)

  • Ericsson SSR 8010, Smart Services Router, 10 slots

  • Ericsson SSR 8006, Smart Services Router, 6 slots

The Ericsson SSR 8020 will ship at the end of 2011. Other Smart Services Routers will be available next year.

"To enable a truly Networked Society, operators must effectively manage an ever-increasing traffic volume and a diverse pool of applications and end-user devices. The network must not only be able to handle a tremendous volume of data, it must also address an unprecedented level of signaling traffic," said Jan Häglund, Head of Product Area IP & Broadband, Ericsson.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Telecom New Zealand CEO to Stay till DeMerger Complete

Dr Paul Reynolds has committed to lead Telecom New Zealand through the process of demerging Chorus and the establishment of New Telecom as an independent company. The company's Board of Directors is expected begin a search process during 2012 to identify Paul Reynolds' replacement, who will lead the company during financial year 2012/13 and beyond.

Freescale Samples its OorIQ Qonverge for Femtos and Picocells

Freescale Semiconductor has begun sampling the first versions of its QorIQ Qonverge multimode platform for picocell and femtocell base stations.

Freescale's QorIQ Qonverge scalable line of processors is built on the same architecture that spans from small- to large-cell base stations. The first of these devices, the PSC9130/31 femtocell SoCs (for eight to 16 simultaneous users) and PSC9132 picocell/enterprise SoC devices (for up to 100 simultaneous users)support a range of air interfaces, including LTE (FDD/TDD), WCDMA (HSPA+), WiMAX, UMTS and CDMA. The devices also incorporate glueless RFIC communication and antennae interfaces, eliminating the need for additional chips (such as FPGAs) and ultimately reducing board space and cost. The ultra-integrated PSC913x family also provides support for GPS synchronization and 2G/3G sniffing in a single device.

The QorIQ Qonverge processors combine multiple Power Architecture cores and high-performance StarCore DSPs with a MAPLE multimode baseband accelerator, packet processing acceleration engines, interconnect fabric and next-node process technology. Freescale said one its QorIQ Qonverge advantages is the ability to offload offload Layer 2 processing and above to MPU cores instead of DSP cores, delivering significant efficiency advantages. Freescale plans to introduce portfolio members targeting larger cell (metro and macro) base stations built in 28-nm process technology later this year.

"Availability of the first QorIQ Qonverge products is a milestone for the wireless industry, which is in dire need of innovative new solutions to address challenging power requirements and exploding demand for additional bandwidth," said Scott Aylor, director and general manager of Freescale's Wireless Access Division. "Freescale's QorIQ Qonverge portfolio offers unprecedented scalability and software compatibility, giving customers flexibility, reduced cost and design-time savings as they move up to larger capacity systems."