Monday, November 30, 2009

Bharti Teletech to distribute RAD NGN solutions in India

GURGAON, INDIA: Bharti Teletech, one of India's leading distributor of telecom and allied products, and RAD Data Communications, an industry leader in access solutions for data and telecommunications applications, today announced that it has entered into a distribution partnership for the Indian market.

India has been RAD's second largest market worldwide for the past five years and experienced tremendous growth. As part of this partnership, Bharti Teletech will offer a complete range of RAD's patented, standards-compliant next-generation network (NGN) solutions for Carrier Ethernet access, cellular backhaul, multiservice access, voice optimization and compression and VoIP for Indian customers.

"We are proud to welcome Bharti Teletech to our worldwide family of partners," said Effi Wachtel, President and CEO, RAD Data Communications. "Our baseband and xDSL products are the de facto standards for Last Mile connectivity in India and connect hundreds of thousands of miles of telecom network infrastructure across the country.

"RAD is also uniquely qualified to accompany service providers and their customers through the migration to next generation networks. RAD's innovative, standard-based Ethernet access solutions with carrier-class performance, security and resiliency are especially suited to India's telecommunications, utility, transportation, and financial sectors," he further added.

Announcing the partnership, Sunil K. Goyal, CEO, Bharti Teletech said: "We are delighted to cement our partnership with RAD. RAD's flagship NGN solutions will enable us to offer our customers a greatly enhanced product portfolio.

"Our understanding of the Indian market coupled with our extensive distribution reach is a perfect match for RAD's growth strategy in India. The mutually beneficial partnership will provide both the partners with opportunities to further strengthen their reach and help penetrate NGN solutions deeper into the Indian market."

Infosys CFO, Balakrishnan V., joins Tejas board of directors

BANGALORE, INDIA: Tejas Networks Ltd., a pioneering telecom product company today announced that Balakrishnan V has joined the Tejas Board as an Independent Director.

Balakrishnan is a Senior Vice President and Group Chief Financial Officer at Infosys Technologies Ltd. He has significant experience in leadership positions in the finance domain, with expertise in Corporate Finance, International Taxation, Risk Management and Mergers & Acquisitions. He has been a recipient of the “Best CFO” award from CNBC and Finance Asia.

"I am delighted to welcome Bala to our Board. Bala is a highly respected finance professional and comes with rich experience of building world-class companies", said Dr. Gururaj "Desh" Deshpande, Chairman of the Board. "Tejas Networks has all the ingredients to become a globally successful telecom product company and I look forward to Bala providing us with his perspective and guidance", added Dr. Deshpande.

Commenting on his association, Balakrishnan said: “I am excited to join the Board of Tejas Networks, which is India’s first telecom product company with ambitions to be a global company. They have built a great team and I look forward to work with them in their globalization journey.”

“We are excited to have Bala on our Board. He brings in wealth of experience and insights in the finance domain and has guided one of India’s leading companies in their journey towards global scale and success. We look forward to his guidance in helping us build a great global company,” said Sanjay Nayak, MD and CEO of Tejas Networks.

Mobile messages to surpass 2.1 trillion in Asia/Pacific and Japan in 2010; Indian volumes to reach 191.6 billion messages in 2013

MUMBAI, INDIA: Short Messaging Services (SMS) and mobile voice services are proving resilient even during financial crisis, as SMS in Asia/Pacific and Japan are on pace to reach 1.9 trillion messages in 2009, a 15.5 percent increase from 2008, according to Gartner, Inc. In 2010, SMS volumes are forecast to surpass 2.1 Trillion, a 12.7 percent increase from 2009.

Gartner analysts said that messaging traffic and revenues continue to be driven by new subscribers in developing markets.

"Strong organic growth continues in Asia's developing markets, with marginal subscribers turning to low-cost messaging as an entry-level service," said Madhusudan Gupta, senior research analyst at Gartner. "In the mature markets of the Asia/Pacific region, SMS has seen sustained healthy growth as a result of steady price declines and increasingly generous SMS and data bundles."

The impact of the financial crisis has been muted in Asia/Pacific and resulted in little impact on the estimates and forecasts for 2009. Carriers are expecting somewhat slower messaging traffic increases going into 2010, but in many cases there will still be double-digit-percentage rises.

Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) traffic picked up in Asia during 2008, driven by reduced prices and increased uploading of pictures to social networking sites.

"'Big bucket' or large inclusive SMS and MMS bundles will also increase traffic by lowering the price barriers to usage," said Mr. Gupta. "At the same time, competition and network efficiencies will continue to drive down the retail price of SMS and MMS for consumers. Application traffic will continue to support growth, especially in the mature markets."

SMS growth will, however be, slow as mobile markets approach saturation and other types of messaging, including mobile e-mail and mobile instant messaging, become more widely adopted. Integrated messaging clients on handsets will facilitate adoption of alternative messaging services, as will the use of alternative rich-messaging services on smartphones.

Mobile services will keep revenue flowing in Hong Kong

CAMBRIDGE: In Hong Kong, mobile services will make gains against fixed services in the coming years, reaching 55% of total revenue by 2014, according to the latest report from Pyramid Research, the telecom research arm of the Light Reading Communications Network.

Hong Kong: Mobile Data Becomes the Focus of Leading Hong Kong Operators offers a precise, incisive profile of the country's converged telecommunications, media, and technology sectors based on proprietary data from our research in the Hong Kong market.

This 28-page report provides detailed competitive analysis of both the fixed and mobile sectors, tracks the market shares of technologies and services, and monitors the introduction and spread of new technologies, such as WiMAX, IPTV, and VoIP. It provides a comprehensive view of the Hong Kong communications market by analyzing key trends, evaluating near-term opportunities, and assessing upcoming risks factors.

"This rise in the market share of mobile services is due to the accelerating adoption of mobile broadband services," says Daniel Yu, Analyst at Pyramid Research and author of the report. "We expect mobile subscription numbers in Hong Kong to increase from 9.2m at year-end 2008 to 10.8m at year-end 2014," he adds.

The report finds that operators will focus on migrating existing 2G users to 3G+ while promoting data usage to counterbalance the decline in voice ARPS. "Operators' continued push for 3G adoption will drive 3G subscriptions as a proportion of total subscriptions from 32 percent at year-end 2008 to 86 percent at year-end 2014."

Even though mobile voice ARPS will continue to drop due to continuing downward pressure on voice tariffs, healthy growth in data services will ensure that total mobile ARPS will increase at a 1% CAGR, to $22.86 in 2014.

"Operators will also rely heavily on 3G+ networks to offer innovative and revenue-generating VAS, such as mobile TV, media downloads, gaming and customized applications," Yu explains.

"Messaging services will still contribute 55 percent of total data revenue in 2009, but as 3G services become even more pervasive, infotainment and connectivity will together make up 61 percent of total data revenue by 2014."

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Starent Networks agrees to settle shareholder class action lawsuit

TEWKSBURY, USA: Starent Networks Corp., a leading global provider of infrastructure hardware and software products and services that enable mobile operators to deliver multimedia services to their subscribers, announced that it and the other named defendants have entered into a memorandum of understanding with plaintiff’s counsel in connection with a putative class action lawsuit filed in the Chancery Court for the State of Delaware in connection with the proposed acquisition of Starent Networks by Cisco Systems Inc.

Under the terms of the memorandum, Starent Networks, the other named defendants and the plaintiff have agreed to settle the lawsuit, subject to court approval. If the court approves the settlement contemplated in the memorandum, the lawsuit will be dismissed with prejudice. Starent Networks and the other defendants deny all of the allegations in the lawsuit and believe the disclosures are appropriate under the law.

Nevertheless, Starent Networks and the other defendants have agreed to settle the putative class action lawsuit in order to avoid costly litigation and reduce the risk of any delay to the closing of the merger.

Pursuant to the terms of the memorandum, Starent Networks has agreed to provide additional information to stockholders through publicly available filings in order to supplement the proxy statement that has been provided to Starent Networks’ stockholders in connection with the special meeting of stockholders concerning the proposed merger.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

dtac and RIM launch BlackBerry solution in Thailand

BANGKOK, THAILAND: dtac and Research In Motion (RIM) recently announced that the BlackBerry solution will be available for dtac’s customers in Thailand on Dec. 2, 2009. At the launch, dtac will be offering BlackBerry service with the new BlackBerry Curve 8520 smartphone, including a special edition white model.

Khun Thana Thienachariya, Chief Commercial Officer of Total Access Communication Public Company Limited (dtac), said “BlackBerry smartphones are increasingly popular in the mainstream market and dtac is pleased to launch the BlackBerry solution backed by our strength and expertise in this area.

“BlackBerry smartphones provide an exceptional, feature-rich experience for people on the go and dtac’s high speed data network, dubbed “dtac Internet”, allows customers to enjoy fast and seamless service anytime and anywhere. BlackBerry service enables wireless email, internet surfing and social networking, among many other uses, and customers will appreciate the performance and reliability of dtac Internet which was recently rated highest for quality and speed in a survey of IT retailers around the country.”

dtac will be offering the BlackBerry Curve 8520 smarphone, in two colors – a glossy black finish and a special white model for the festive season. The BlackBerry Bold 9000 smartphone is also in the launch line-up.

“We are very excited to be launching the new BlackBerry Curve 8520 smartphone in Thailand with dtac and we believe it will be a popular choice with customers,” said Gregory Wade, Managing Director of Southeast Asia. “More and more people are switching from basic cell phones to smartphones and the BlackBerry Curve 8520 is an exceptional choice for first-time smartphone users.”

The new BlackBerry Curve 8520 smartphone is an incredibly approachable smartphone. It provides easy access to email, messaging (IM, SMS, MMS) and social networking sites (including Facebook and MySpace), as well as rich multimedia capabilities.

It introduces an innovative touch-sensitive trackpad for easy navigation and is also the first BlackBerry smartphone to feature dedicated media keys, integrated along the top of the smartphone, giving customers an easy, convenient way to control their music and videos. The BlackBerry Curve 8520 is a world phone and supports Wi-Fi, allowing faster Web browsing and extended data coverage.

In March 2009, Vodafone and dtac announced the signing of a Partner Market Agreement in which the two companies will cooperate to make certain products and services available to customers, including the BlackBerry solution.

Richard Daly, CEO of Vodafone Partner Markets, commented: “We are pleased to extend our co-operation with dtac to include the BlackBerry solution to complement our work together in roaming services and the shared success with our largest multinational accounts under the Vodafone Global Enterprise program. As part of our global marketing, support and product development community for the BlackBerry solution, we look forward to a close cooperation and excellent service to our mutual customers.”

Targeting mobile Internet market Lenovo to acquire mobile handset business

HONG KONG: Lenovo Group announced that it is acquiring the entire interest of Lenovo Mobile Communication Technology Ltd from a group of investors led by Hony Capital, the private equity arm of Legend Holdings. Consideration of the acquisition is approximately US$200 million in cash and Lenovo shares.

The announcement signals that Lenovo is gearing up its efforts in the burgeoning mobile Internet market in China. Lenovo Mobile now ranks No.3 in China’s mobile handset market and is the No.1 domestic brand. The transaction is conditional upon Lenovo independent shareholder approval.

Convergence between the personal computing and mobile handset industry has been a key technology trend over the past several years worldwide. The two technologies today provide very different user experiences that are evolving and combining to create new generations of devices, applications and Internet services. In addition, China is entering a high growth phase. Driven by the government and telecom service carriers, the demand for mobile Internet devices has created a huge market.

Industry analysts project the China mobile Internet market will grow to exceed $16 billion by 2014, fueled by rapid evolution of 3G mobile broadband and accompanying multimedia Internet services.

As a global leader in IT industry, Lenovo has been following the business opportunity in the fast growing mobile Internet market. With this acquisition, Lenovo aims to maximize the combined synergies of the two companies in product innovation, lean manufacturing, strong distribution channels and retail presence to lead the market for new mobile handheld devices in China.

Yang Yuanqing, CEO of Lenovo Group, said: “As Lenovo’'s global PC business continues to make steady progress, we view mobile Internet as a key growth opportunity moving forward globally. Lenovo has prepared itself in this area. We have developed first class products with excellent hardware and operating systems integration. We will launch these innovative new products in China soon. With Lenovo’s brand, strong channel and excellent operation platform, we’re confident in our ability to execute our mobile Internet strategy and make it our next growth engine after the China business.”

Lenovo Mobile has an experienced and successful leadership team in the China mobile industry, healthy financial performance, an extensive channel network, and good relationships with domestic telecom carriers in China.

Lenovo divested Lenovo Mobile in March 2008 in order to refocus on the Group's core PC business and this acquisition reflects the changed market conditions of the past 18 months.

Friday, November 27, 2009

AMI India's MAG to provide customized Android and Windows mobile solutions

CHENNAI, TAMIL NADU: American Megatrends India, has launched the MAG (Mobile Applications Group) within its current portfolio of specializing in PC hardware and firmware in Chennai.

The new division reiterates AMI India's continuous drive to support its ODMs (Original Device Manufacturer) and OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) with customized solutions to keep up with the current buzz in the Android and Windows mobile platforms.

Mobile Applications Group (MAG) is equipped to provide Server based services to focus on Mobile and Internet solutions, particularly for the convergence. AMI India's solution will see the convergence of Android based smart phones, and the netbook and handheld solutions.

"The initiative was established with an aim to empower AMI India to cater to the clients and customers spread across the APAC region. Our professionals in India will play critical roles in developing world-class solution and products which will be required to excel in internet appliances," stated Sanjoy Maity - Vice President of Software Engineering, American Megatrends Inc (AMI) who traveled to Chennai for the MAD launch.

As a pioneer and recognized industry leader in BIOS and embedded space, AMI has the relevant knowledge and experience to support the mobile market demands. With the launch of Mobile Applications Group, AMI will support the OEMs and ODMs to develop mobility market based applications," stated Sridharan Mani - Director & CEO, American Megatrends India (AMI India),

The new group was presented to the customers at a meet held on November 16th in Chennai and was headed by Sanjoy Maity and Sridharan Mani who have been responsible for identifying and creating the MAD.

AMI India began operation in India in June 1994 and currently employs 220 professionals across India.

Aplab-Aitelong to jointly showcase latest telecom product line at India Telecom 2009

THANE, INDIA: Aplab Ltd has joined hands with Aitelong Technology Co. Ltd to offer a range of optical fibre test equipment for the ever growing telecom needs in India.

Products on offer include professional optical splicing machines, time domain reflectometers (OTDR), optical power meter, variable power meter, stabilized light sources, etc.

With a 24 X 7 online CRM support, a toll free number and a strong team of technically competent sales and service staff, Aplab is a one stop destination for the telecom maintenance needs.

Incorporated 1962, Aplab is globally recognised as a technology-driven professional company in business sectors like telecom, information technology, retail banking, retail fuel dispensing and power control and conditioning. Since inception, Aplab has been serving the global market with wide range of electronic products meeting international standards for safety and reliability such as UL, VDE etc.

Myriad selected as partner on LG’s first Android device

DUEBENDORF-ZURICH, SWITZERLAND: Myriad Group AG, a global leader in mobile technology with software in over 2 billion phones, recently announced that it has been selected by LG Electronics as the major Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) applications partner and J2ME partner for its new Android device, LG GW620, which is due to be released this month via both Orange and Canadian carrier, Rogers.

Myriad is a founding member of the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) contributing various OMA applications, securing Myriad’s position as a leading provider of Android software. LG will use Myriad’s OMA applications, as they are proven on the Android platform.

“Android is a very exciting platform as it allows mobile operators to quickly bring advanced features to their customers,” said Simon Wilkinson, CEO of Myriad. “This partnership will enable LG to benefit from our proven mobile technology, bringing the best possible experience to the user.”

LG and Myriad will continue to work closely on other projects to deliver the best software experience on mass-market mobile devices.

Green Packet establishes strong foothold in Eurasia with three WiMAX deals

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: Green Packet Berhad (Greenpacket), a leading developer of next generation mobile broadband and networking solutions, has secured three separate deals with Eurasian WiMAX Operators for the supply of its award-winning WiMAX modems.

The deals are with WiMAX Operators, Maximali of Georgia, Intellecom of Ukraine and iCON Communications of Armenia. Maximali and Intellecom acquired the outdoor modems (OS230) and indoor modems (DV230), respectively. While, iCON Communications purchased both indoor modems (DV350) and USB modems (UM350).

“According to the Broadband Forum Q2 report, broadband growth of Eastern Europe was reported at 6 percent quarterly and 29 percent yearly, representing a two-fold growth compared to the world and Greenpacket foresees tremendous opportunity for the growth of WiMAX networks in the region,” said Kelvin Lee, Senior General Manager of Green Packet Berhad.

Commenting on the Armenian deal, iCON’s Chief Commercial Officer, Raffi Kassarjian said: “Ease of installation is essential to us as it helps to increase user adoption for broadband services. We see that Greenpacket’s plug and play modems allow our subscribers to get connected instantly with less end-user education.”

iCON plans to introduce VoIP in its second phase and DV is the ideal choice as it has built-in VoIP capabilities.

Meanwhile, Maximali’s CEO, Teimuraz Gogoberidze cited that the superior quality of OS230 was the main reason for signing with Greenpacket. “Winter is coming, so we needed modems that could withstand sub-zero conditions. In fact, the outdoor modems we use must be robust and built to withstand extreme weather conditions, which Greenpacket’s modems could do,” he said.

Greenpacket offers a full range of WiMAX CPE which includes indoor, outdoor and USB modems and supports the 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz and 3.5 GHz frequencies.

It's a mad, mad, mad, mad, 4G world!

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad [4G] World" report to its offering.

In the last few weeks, the operator with the largest installed base of HSPA subscribers in the world announced that it was moving directly to LTE while relegating HSPA+ to the backburners -- a complete reversal of its earlier stated strategy.

Telefonica also stated that it would probably not be deploying HSPA+ in many of its markets, seemingly providing further evidence that HSPA+ will be relegated to isolated markets. Meanwhile, if rumors about various operator mergers pan out it could have important implications for the infrastructure community, not to mention the future of certain wireless technologies.

In this week's issue of Signals Ahead the publisher shed some light on why AT&T made its decision and why the strategies of AT&T and Telefonica should not be misinterpreted as the inevitable downfall of HSPA+.

By looking strictly at the spectrum holdings of the operators, they can determine which potential mergers or partnerships make sense and which operators need spectrum to fulfill their network evolution strategy.

Specifically, the report discusses the following topics:
* HSPA+ versus LTE. Given comments from Telefonica and AT&T about their views on HSPA+ it may seem like HSPA+ will be relegated to remote regions of the world. The publisher discusses why this is not necessarily the case, as well as what it means for the future of HSPA+ and LTE.

* AT&T's new strategy. The publisher shed some light on why AT&T has reprioritized LTE at the expense of HSPA+ and they demonstrate why it lacks the spectrum assets to have a successful dual-band LTE strategy.

* Operator Musical Chairs. By looking solely at the spectrum assets of the various operators, the publisher can identify which potential operator partnerships make the most sense and why. This analysis includes 14 spectrum maps and/or tables that provide the 700/1700MHz spectrum positions of each operator and or pairings of operators on a nationwide basis as well as in the top 25 markets. Ultimately, the publisher conclude that AT&T needs Spectrum Co spectrum assets and T-Mobile needs access to Clearwire spectrum. Other operators analyzed include Verizon Wireless/Vodafone, MetroPCS, Leap, and US Cellular, along with all of their respective affiliations that also own spectrum assets.

* TD-LTE and Mobile WiMAX. Operator interest in TD-LTE, including from the likes of China Mobile, Telefonica, Clearwire, Rogers Wireless could prove problematic for the future long-term success of mobile WiMAX. The publisher completely disagrees that it doesn't matter which OFDMA-based technology an operator decides to deploy.

ZTE to build telecom lab in Colombia with Javeriana University

SHENZHEN, CHINA: ZTE Corp. announced its partnership with the renowned Javeriana University of Colombia to build a telecommunications laboratory.

ZTE has invested $4 million for the construction of this lab, which will provide training for students from the Electronics Department of Javeriana University and to ZTE´s customers around Latin America, promoting the brand and its products, mainly focused on the wire-line infrastructure products, such as NGN, transmission (including SDH, DWDM, micro-wave) and net access (MSAG, DSLAM).

With this lab, which will initiate activities at the beginning of 2010, ZTE and Javeriana University will offer access to state-of-the-art telecom equipment and training courses for approximately 500 customers per year.

“With our new lab we are demonstrating our heritage and core understanding of Latin America carriers and their technology requirements,” said Su Jian, ZTE Columbia President. “We will have a continuous investment plan and look forward to train more telecom talent locally and help carriers deepen their understanding of the company.”

This partnership, with one of the oldest and well-recognized accredited Universities in Colombia, shows ZTE’s commitment and continuous investment to train more telecommunication talents of local society. This Centre, along with the other regional training facility built in Brazil; intend to provide training services to a wider range of customers in Latin America.

For Javeriana University this partnership consolidates its cooperation process with high tech industrial partners and provides a hands-on scenario for students and faculty that will enable the development of international telecom research activities, promoting also student mobility from well-recognized Chinese Universities.

In the future and after the telecom laboratory is well positioned, ZTE looks forward to implementing a trainee IT school.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

3G, rural penetration to catalyse PE investments in telecom

CHENNAI, INDIA: Almost 70 percent of the Private Equity (PE) and Venture Capital (VC) investors surveyed by Venture Intelligence, a leading research firm focused on Private Equity and M&A deal activity, felt that Indian telecom operators would be able to find and profitably serve the next 100 million mobile consumers from rural areas.

A majority of investors are also willing to bet that the introduction of 3G services can be a game changer for various players in Indian telecom, the survey of fund managers from over 50 PE and VC firms reveals.

While the appetite for investments into mobile operators is still high, PE & VC investors who have invested over $5 billion in telecom services and related companies over the past five years, are also actively scanning for "downstream" opportunities including Mobile VAS, Telecom Software and other service providers to telcos.

Investors are also bullish on the expansion of Indian telecom operators into other developing markets. Their experience in the highly competitive Indian market, combined with their low costs and ability to continuously innovate, will stand Indian operators in good stead while expanding into markets like Africa, the investors feel.

The survey results are published in the in the newly released report from Venture Intelligence titled "Private Equity Pulse on Telecom". "In recent months, intense and rising competition levels, declining ARPUs, high costs of 3G licenses and the impending introduction of Number Portability, have placed significant challenges before the industry," said Arun Natarajan, CEO of Venture Intelligence.

"At the same time, as the report reveals, investors feel the introduction of 3G and the increased emphasis by mobile operators on locally-relevant applications to enhance their ARPUs, will present investors with several interesting opportunities," he added.

In a special article for the report, an expert from KPMG points out the various opportunities and challenges ahead for PE investments across various segments within Telecom. While the industry will continue to provide attractive returns that PE investors seek, the landscape is likely to remain dynamic and somewhat uncertain over the foreseeable future from market, regulatory and industry perspective, KPMG feels.

Experts from Deloitte insist in their article that 3G has great potential to alter the dynamics of the Indian telecom market. Besides the expected adoption in the metros, the poor infrastructure on the fixed line side means that an increasing number of consumers are going to rely on their mobile phones for data driven services, leading to a massive uptake as and when the infrastructure becomes available.

Mobile Value Added Services (VAS) companies, which have thus far been struggling in the shadows of the largely voice-focused mobile operators, are looking forward keenly to the advent of 3G which promises an opportunity to enhance their revenues including via new types of services.

In this context, the article by TC Meenakshisundaram of IDG Ventures India analyses the emerging scenario in which, he predicts, VAS will get its rightful priority in the operators' focus to maintain or increase their ARPU and profitability.

The Venture Intelligence investor poll reveals that a majority of investors, given the unorganized nature of cable TV distribution in the country, believe that several opportunities still exist in this space.

In his article, Nithin Kaimal of Private Equity firm New Silk Route Advisors (NSR), highlights how the battle over the "last mile" in cable TV networks is hotting up with the entry of Direct to Home (DTH) services. He feels the success of the cable model over DTH in other markets as well as the performance of organized cable players like Asianet and Ortel provides ample evidence of the economic attractiveness of this model.

Telecom-focused consulting firm BDA weighs in with a meaty analysis of the various technology options and investment scenarios for the cable TV sector.

In an article on the legal and regulatory challenges facing the telecom industry, leading corporate law firm ARA Law outlines the regulatory framework, rules relating to foreign investments, M&A-related issues as well as recent developments like spectrum allocation and 3G licensing.

Airvana increases mobile broadband capacity and performance with EV-DO Release 8.0

CHELMSFORD, USA: Airvana, Inc. (Nasdaq: AIRV), today announced delivery of the latest release of its EV-DO Rev. A software. Release 8.0, which is now generally available, allows operators to increase the capacity and performance of their mobile broadband networks through a software upgrade of their existing radio access network equipment.

Airvana's EV-DO Release 8.0 addresses growth in mobile broadband data traffic in several important ways. By enhancing the Radio Network Controller (RNC) load balancing function, Release 8.0 ensures that the resources within the radio access network are distributed to serve smartphone and data card traffic in an effective manner.

In addition, this release also optimizes the way network "control messages" are transmitted, so the existing infrastructure can handle more devices, call activity, and in-session user mobility. Radio network performance enhancements in Release 8.0 also result in higher data rates for users in weak signal areas.

EV-DO Release 8.0 will be available to operators through Airvana's newly-established relationship with Ericsson. Ericsson recently acquired Nortel's CDMA business and LTE assets in North America and Airvana's agreement with Nortel was assigned to Ericsson as part of the acquisition. "We look forward to a long and successful relationship with our new partner Ericsson," said Randy Battat, CEO, Airvana.

Airvana's Release 8.0 software is available now for new EV-DO network deployments and also as a software upgrade for existing networks. The general availability of Release 8.0 software begins an upgrade billing cycle for Airvana beginning in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The delivery of EV-DO Release 8.0 also triggers a revenue recognition event for Airvana in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2009 as planned.

MVAS market in South Asian and Middle East countries continues to grow

MUMBAI, INDIA: Mobile markets across regions are intensely competitive and some of them have reached saturation in terms of penetration of addressable markets. With tumbling voice tariffs contributing to declining Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) rates, mobile operators are actively pushing for growth of the non-voice value-added services (VAS) market.

Despite the economic uncertainties, the mobile services market in South Asian and Middle East countries continues to sustain a growth path, especially in countries such as India.

The key trends in this market have been noted. Presently, mobile voice revenues constitute the largest chunk of mobile operator's revenues, relegating mobile data revenues to a miniscule percentage.

However, the mobile operators have realized that in order to curb depleting ARPUs, they would need to widen their focus on increasing data revenues. In the case of Messaging, the popularity of Peer to Application (P2A) SMS, where mobile subscribers respond to an application such as voting through SMS for a TV program, is on the rise. In terms of Premium Content - Mobile Entertainment segment, it remains the most significant form of mobile VAS across the South Asia and Middle East geographies.

According to Lavanya Palani Batcha, Industry Analyst, ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan, South Asia and Middle East: "With many markets almost reaching saturation point or having surpassed saturation in terms of mobile subscriptions penetration, telecom service providers are in need to bolster the ARPUs; and mobile VAS has the potential to alleviate this issue of declining ARPUs."

The regional trend in different countries is equally interesting. India is the fastest growing mobile market in South Asia with good potential for growth amongst the rural population. The mobile VAS market is set to grow at a strong CAGR of 16.6 percent from 2008 to 2015.

Saudi Arabian mobile market has a high mobile penetration. However, the country still witnesses steady year-on-year growth in this sector. VAS market is expected to exhibit CAGR of 10.6 percent between 2008 and 2015.

Sri Lanka has a relatively moderate mobile user penetration of 42.4 percent; hence there is good potential for growth. 3G services such as Video SMS, Dial and Watch TV have been introduced.

UAE has one of the highest mobile subscription penetrations in the South Asia and Middle East region. Both mobile operators, Etisalat and Du, increasing their focus on revenue streams from VAS and mobile TV and mobile internet, have strong potential. Mobile VAS market estimated CAGR of 11.9 percent between 2008 and 2015.

The Egyptian mobile market still possesses a sizeable under-penetrated addressable market, thereby providing avenues for growth. Relatively strong CAGR of 14.1 percent is estimated for the mobile VAS market in Egypt between 2008 and 2015.

Pakistan's mobile market is robust with intense price wars amongst the local and foreign mobile operators. Estimated mobile VAS market CAGR is 16.8 percent between 2008 and 2015.

The mobile VAS market in South Asia and Middle East is anticipated to exhibit strong to moderate growth owing to untapped potential for VAS in these regions, 3G networks proliferation, and a saturation of revenues, and adoption of plain vanilla mobile voice services. The market is also expected to witness the emergence of stronger mobile VAS content providers/aggregators with the ability to grasp better revenue shares from the mobile operators.

Mobile money transactions increase in Europe

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of Frost & Sullivan's new report "Money in Mobile - European Transactions" to its offering.

Both mobile operators and banks are turning to mobile transactions to foster loyalty and drive revenues. Ranging from vouchers and bank balance checks to remittance and top-up payments, mobile money is finally coming to fruition in both the banked and unbanked sector, while near field communication (NFC) promises to be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

"Solutions targeting the developed world require a long-term strategy, even as providers will need to find a viable solution for retail payments (B2C)," notes the analyst. "NFC is potentially a solution, but hardware costs and mass market availability still remain key challenges for its widespread adoption." In the meantime, SMS-based services will drive growth.

Much of the success to date has been primarily on servicing the unbanked mobile subscriber. The global ratio of mobile phone users to bank accounts is about 4:1.5. Remittances between specific markets, for example, Philippines-Hong Kong and India-UAE, have also been very popular. Currently, in the developed world, it is about getting users comfortable -- such as, for instance, checking balances and portfolio performances.

Operators and banks alike are still building consumer trust in terms of transferring money and paying bills over the phone. "Transaction costs and ease-of-use will drive money transfers and P2P transactions," adds the analyst. "The gap between financial institutions and mobile operators is beginning to narrow, but there is still need for greater education both on the supply and demand side."

Trust, security and greater interoperability to support market expansion
Several trials and small-scale deployments can be seen in key Eastern European markets. The high number of banks in the region foresees interoperability as a key challenge.

"Growth will be driven by high frequency and low-value transactions supported by widespread, cashless transaction systems that are cost-effective and secure," observes the analyst. "Increased cross border cooperation will drive the high growing remittance transactions."

However, five primary concerns remain. These include security issues, the lack of regulation on mobile transactions, quality of service, limited collaboration between different participants and the high cost of solutions.

There is great risk in the industry in the context of point solutions, in particular, not being scalable/suitable for wide scale deployments. Success stories to date reveal that no one solution fits all.

For instance, M-PESA will not necessarily work in India. Services have to be customised to suit the culture, regulation and competitive landscape of a particular region even as skill sets and distribution requirements will vary. "Once there is trust, security and greater interoperability, only then will there be growth in proximity transactions and m-commerce," concludes the analyst.

Ipanema Technologies announces KITE Internet access kit

PARIS, FRANCE: Ipanema Technologies, a leader in integrated WAN Optimization, Application acceleration and Application Performance Management solutions, has announced the availability of KITE: Internet access kit, an easy solution that efficiently controls and optimizes the enterprise’s Internet accesses.

The Internet has become ubiquitous in today's world, and the world of business is no exception. Enterprises have come to rely on it for:
* Users' access to external web sites (web browsing), supplying a variety of content (data, music, images, video), from sites including Wikipedia, Google, flickr, and Dailymotion,
* Users' use of software as a service (SaaS) and cloud computing offerings, for example, Webex, and Amazon EC2,
* Peer-to-peer (data, voice, images) via Skype and other collaboration and sharing solutions,
* External access to enterprise servers from remote offices and mobile employees via the Internet, and to corporate websites by the general public.

It is of primary importance for the enterprise productivity to control and improve the usage and performance of the applications using the Internet accesses. KITE (Internet Access Kit) is an easy solution to efficiently control and optimize the enterprise's internet accesses.

KITE comes with a complete management and reporting software package (IMSS) and an ip|engine appliance for installation on the Internet access link. KITE has five configurations: KITE 20 (up to 20Mbps), KITE 100 (up to 100Mbps), KITE 150 (up to 150Mbps), KITE 300 (up to 300Mbps) and KITE 1000 (up to 1 Gbps full duplex).
KITE offers a comprehensive, integrated set of features to control and optimize the performance of all applications using the Internet.

* Visibility and reporting on not just the network traffic, but on application performance as well.
* Optimization and acceleration to guarantee application performance, whether for VPN, ERP, Intranet, Citrix, Web hosted applications, or others.
* Rightsizing to enable the purchase of the right amount of Internet access bandwidth to achieve the business's employee productivity and/or customer satisfaction goals, without guesswork or over-provisioning.

KITE is available worldwide.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

IMG, ONYX sign license agreement to develop FIGC-branded mobile handsets

LONDON, UK: Onyx, the premium and luxury handset manufacturer, today announced that it has secured a multi-territory agreement with International Management Group (IMG) to use the Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio (FIGC) logo marks across a range of innovative mobile phone handsets including its latest Android and Windows Mobile Smartphones.

Onyx will provide the fans and “tifosi” of the world famous “Azzurri” Italian National Football Team with fully customised handsets at entry and mid level price-points in time for next year’s FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Additionally, a top of the line Limited Edition luxury handset will also be offered to be designed exclusively in Italy and handmade in Switzerland. The Italian National Team, also known as “La Squadra” are the current defending World Cup champions and winner of four World Cup titles.

IMG, the world’s leading independent sports agency, are the authorized worldwide master consumer products licensee for the FIGC.

Zafar Mirza, Chairman of Onyx said: “We are delighted to have secured the Italian National Football Team license. The deal is an example of our innovative marketing and will serve as an exciting showcase of our ability to produce handset devices with user-friendly interfaces that have global appeal.

“Our premium, customised handsets feature elegant design, top quality and world-beating innovation - characteristics that go hand-in-hand with the winning tradition and worldwide fame of the Italian National Team.”

Asia-Pac IPTV subs to hit 9.4 million this year; 37.6 percent of global subs

MALAYSIA: The Asia-Pacific IPTV subscriber base is expected to grow by 51 percent in 2009 to close at 9.4 million users and account for 37.6 percent of the global subscribers.

According to Frost & Sullivan industry analyst Adeel Najam, the region has seen rapid uptake of IPTV services, clocking year-on-year subscriber growth rates of over 60 percent annually for the last three years. He expects Asia-Pac to be the second largest IPTV market in the world by the end of this year; a very close second after Western Europe, which is the oldest IPTV market, housing 38.3 percent of the world’s subscription.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Asia-Pacific IPTV Update, finds that the IPTV subscriber base in the region - covering 14 Asia-Pac countries including Japan - will grow at a CAGR of 24.6 percent annually between 2009 and 2014, soaring to an estimated 23.5 million subscribers by end-2014.

In 2008, only eight Asia-Pac nations had commercial IPTV offerings - China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, India - and subscribers stood at 6.27 million; while Vietnam launched IPTV services in late 2009.

After some delays, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand are all expected to roll-out IPTV services in the next 12 months, with the Philippines last on the bandwagon in 2011.

Apart from Hong Kong (where IPTV is the foremost pay TV platform with a 54 percent market share in 2008), Taiwan, South Korea (predominantly video-on-demand services), Singapore and China, IPTV has so far made tepid in-roads as a major pay TV service elsewhere in the region.

Najam however expects IPTV to gather steam as high-speed broadband projects materialise and operators push ahead to offer multi-play services to make good their costly fibre investments. “After fibre deployments, service providers must offer services like IPTV to maximize revenue potential and return on investments,” he says.

The key considerations for IPTV’s success, he says, are broadband penetration levels and low pay TV presence. As such, Najam believes that as much as 62 percent of the IPTV subscriber net additions from now till 2014 will come from emerging markets like China, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Thailand and the Philippines, where other pay TV players such as cable operators have yet to make a significant impact. Adoption in these countries however will be restricted to urban areas where high-speed
broadband networks are present.

“Another perennial critical determinant is, of course, content,” Najam continues. He attributes Hong Kong’s PCCW’s success of its ‘now TV’ service - the world’s fifth largest IPTV operator and the SAR’s leading pay TV service provider - in no small part, to the right mix of premium and local content.

“With the right content strategy, PCCW not only managed to capture more than 30 percent of Hong Kong’s highly competitive pay TV market within the first two years, but has now tripled its average per user revenue and kept subscriber churn to under one percent,” says Najam.

“Exclusive content, wherever local regulations permit, will give operators a leg up in the game,” he adds. Citing SingTel’s recent win for sole broadcast rights to three seasons of EPL, “The exclusivity deal may not be enough to topple Singapore’s dominant cable TV operator, StarHub, anytime soon, but it clearly gives SingTel a skin in the game and is likely to earn the telco a respectable number of IPTV subscribers,” Najam concludes.

Unified communications market to approach $4.2 billion in 2014

NEW YORK, USA: Unified Communications, merging IP telephony, conferencing and collaboration, messaging and other forms of integrated information exchange, are on a steeply rising curve of adoption in the enterprise. According to a new ABI Research study, the market’s size was just $302 million in 2008, but will rise quickly to nearly $4.2 billion in 2014.

However this market is far from monolithic. “Companies have been buying only those component technologies that they think will deliver immediate value,” says ABI Research practice director Stan Schatt. “It’s only later that they start tying it all together as true Unified Communications.”

Once that happens, synergies multiply: for example, many companies have messaging by voice and email, but when they are integrated, a user can “see” voicemails and have emails read aloud. Such synergies can deliver increased productivity and efficiency, and greater customer satisfaction.

Big corporations with multiple locations will benefit most immediately from Unified Communications, but many vendors’ systems are not interoperable. There are still gaps where no standards exist.

Even the largest vendors such as Cisco don’t make everything, so there’s a premium on partnerships. A few vendors will try to sell end-to-end solutions, but most others will attempt to integrate their offerings with the legacy components they find. That opens a tremendous opportunity in replacing older equipment.

The largest companies may have the required integration expertise in-house, but, says Schatt, “We foresee a booming market for managed services, simply because Unified Communications is tricky and many companies won’t want to spend the time and effort to do it themselves. That applies to the market as a whole, but particularly to smaller businesses.”

Despite the large potential, Unified Communications vendors won’t find it all plain sailing. They are up against internal corporate “turf wars,” a widespread lack of understanding of the benefits Unified Communications can deliver, and a high initial cost.

3Com, TCS to build Andhra Pradesh’s state WAN (APSWAN)

HYDERABAD, INDIA: 3Com Corp. announced that its new partnership with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading IT services, business solutions and outsourcing firm, resulted in it being selected for the Andhra Pradesh State Wide Area Network (APSWAN) project.

Under this deal, 3Com will provide high-end enterprise switching, routing and security solutions for the prestigious project that will connect 23 district offices in the state to increase efficiency in government operations.

In September 2009, the Andhra Pradesh government awarded TCS the country’s largest State Wide Area Network (SWAN) project on a five year Build, Own, Operate, and Transfer (BOOT) model. The project will enable the state government to start and run various projects for citizen services to boost G2G and G2C efficiencies that will help transform the e-governance structure.

“3Com’s leadership in secure and high-performance networking at substantially lower cost helped secure this deal, which will bring significant project deployment savings to TCS,” said Manoj Kanodia, CEO, Inspira Enterprise India Pvt. Ltd, 3Com’s exclusive master distributor in India.

“Being credited for having started the networking industry with the invention of Ethernet, 3Com has been on the forefront of innovation. Our mission is to offer world-class products at affordable prices and we have enabled customers to build high-performance and secure networks at a lower total cost. We have a strong foothold in the education and government verticals across the world and this win with TCS will help us carry our mission further in India,” said Rose Chen, Vice President and General Manager, 3Com Asia Pacific.

“We are happy to partner with 3Com for this prestigious project. The network is an important aspect in this ambitious project, which would connect various government offices with common service centers. It is on this network various e-government initiatives would ride and hence is very critical to the overall project,” said Tanmoy Chakrabarty Vice President and Head Government ISU, TCS.

3Com’s network will enable the state government to communicate and conference across all government offices over VoIP, which will reduce communication costs. Applications covering transport, healthcare, education and municipality will also operate on this e-governance network backbone, which is scheduled to be rolled out within 12 months.

STM announces breakthrough SuperPico package for small GSM operators

IRVINE, USA: STM Group has announced a cost-performance breakthrough for GSM operators with its new IP-Based SuperPico Solution Package.

For a fraction of what it would cost to launch a circuit switched system, operators can deploy a complete, IP-based GSM network infrastructure, including the Mobile Switching Center (MSC), Media Gateway, Pre-Paid Billing System, and Network Management System (NMS).

For new or existing operators interested in deploying an IP-based solution, STM is offering a “starter-package” which serves up to 10,000 prepaid subscribers, and can be upgraded smoothly to serve more than 4 Million subscribers across hundreds of BTS sites.

This package is targeted to new or small GSM operators serving specialty markets, as well as larger operators looking to free themselves from the high recurring costs of their traditional GSM infrastructure as they expand or replace older sites. Annual supplier maintenance fees on these older infrastructures exceed the purchase price of the SuperPico solution; therefore investment payback occurs very rapidly.

“We expect strong interest in this package for network expansion in developing countries,” said Richard Forberg, Vice President of Marketing & Business Development for STM Group.

“Many operators serving markets characterized by low ARPU are unsure how to reduce their CAPEX and OPEX per new subscriber relative to the rapidly falling ARPU in low income areas. Rather than expanding in the traditional way, it is much better to serve these areas with a new IP-based picocell system.”

The ability to operate the SuperPico basestations completely on inexpensive solar power systems is another important advantage in markets deprived of power infrastructure. For these markets, STM also offers a complete private satellite backhaul network as an option.

Global off-deck LBS application activations to exceed 260 million in 2010

LONDON, UK: The surging popularity enjoyed by affordable off-deck LBS applications is creating new momentum, a more open environment, and increased competition in a location industry that has long been dominated by carriers offering expensive subscription-based on-deck services.

ABI Research expects off-deck LBS application downloads to increase to more than 260 million in 2010 and to reach almost two billion by 2014.

“The main drivers of this off-deck LBS revolution are the sudden rise in popularity of a new generation of touch-screen GPS-enabled smartphones, combined with a wide range of application stores launched by handset and mobile operating system vendors,” says ABI Research practice director Dominique Bonte.

“While Apple has set the stage with the iPhone/iTunes platform, it is now being copied by Google (Android), RIM, Nokia (Symbian), and Microsoft (Windows Mobile), allowing smaller LBS developers to compete with traditional off-deck LBS players such as Telenav, Networks in Motion, and Loopt. This competition results from a lower cost structure based on crowd-sourced location content, advertising-funded business models, alternative positioning technologies, and viral marketing techniques.”

However, the nascent off-deck LBS environment is already threatened by looming fragmentation both within and between platforms, and by increasing uncertainty surrounding viable business models, with the ubiquitous freemium and ad-funded approaches illustrating end users’ limited willingness to pay.

Google’s recent announcement offering free turn-by-turn navigation on Android phones has cast further doubt on the prospects for monetizing off-deck LBS, while at the same time undermining the valuation of established hardware players such as Garmin and TomTom, despite both companies recently having launched handset-based products.

While stand-alone off-deck LBS applications will continue to flourish in the coming years, in the longer term they will be gradually replaced by embedded location services such as geo-enabled browsers, location-aware messaging, micro-blogging and other mobile services: these integrated solutions will offer a superior user experience to the average consumer, compared with downloading and managing a portfolio of separate applications.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Comverse, IBM unveil CoE to help telcos speed product rollout, reduce costs

WAKEFIELD, USA: Comverse and IBM have launched a joint Center of Excellence (CoE) in France to help global telecom operators speed time to market for new services, boost subscriber acquisition, and reduce both churn and overall network operating costs.

Established within the IBM Telecom Solutions Lab in France, the CoE uses software components from IBM and Comverse to create a Business Support System/Operational Support System (BSS/OSS) and Service-Delivery environment that provides a dynamic setting.

“To sustain growth in today’s economy, Communication Service Providers are seeking ways to offer subscribers a more positive and differentiated experience while taking complexity and cost out of their businesses,” said Chris Pearson, global telco industry leader for IBM Global Business Services, which also announced three additional telecom development centers today.

This joint approach allows telecom clients to test proofs of concept with new capabilities in simulated environments, enhance innovation, and reduce implementation time and risk. The Service Provider Delivery Environment (SPDE) framework, which is based on a service oriented architecture (SOA) approach, combines with IBM server and storage hardware, such as Power Systems and BladeCenter, to provide the dynamic infrastructure for the CoE.

“Comverse and IBM understand how critical it is to offer systems and processes that support the new business models that operators must deliver to stay competitive,” said Dror Bin, President of Global Sales at Comverse. “We believe that the Comverse-IBM relationship backed by the Center of Excellence will allow our joint customers to have more efficient operations and generate new revenues.”

The emergence of new business models –- and the potential for even more new models with the view to next-generation networks -– requires a converged approach to BSS that is demonstrated at the center.

Comverse ONE Billing and Active Customer Management is a single BSS system that allows operators to manage all subscribers consistently, regardless of payment or service type, resulting in increased loyalty and new service adoption.

The telecom industry has benefited from IBM’s globally-integrated network of capabilities, partnerships and assets that have supported telecom deployments in major and emerging markets since 2000.

Augmented reality on mobile to generate $732 million by 2014, driven by mobile apps and mobile advertising

HAMPSHIRE, UK: A new report from Juniper Research has found that the market for mobile augmented reality (AR) services is expected to reach $732 million by 2014, with revenues derived from a combination of paid-for app downloads, subscription based services and advertising.

The Mobile Augmented Reality report found that annual revenues from AR are unlikely to exceed even $2 million during 2010, due to the fact that only a small minority of smartphones will be AR-enabled. However, this proportion will rise dramatically in the medium term, the result of increasing adoption of Android handsets and iPhones, along with greater deployment of AR enablers such as digital compasses and accelerometers by other leading vendors.

Although initial service adoption will be driven by AR location-based search, Juniper Research expects the first substantial revenues to be derived from AR-enabled games, bolstered by revenues from mobile enterprise solutions from 2012-3 onwards.

Meanwhile, AR advertising is expected to be increasingly attractive to brands and retailers as the potential user base increases, with AR ad networks able to charge higher CPC and CPM rates because of location relevance.

However, the report cautioned that while AR geotagging presents a wealth of opportunities, providers and enablers must carefully consider the potential legal implications of enabling such services.

According to report author Dr Windsor Holden: “The problem is that the embryonic nature of the technology means that we have no legal or regulatory framework in place which specifically covers augmented reality. For example, can a house-owner legitimately demand that a geotag of his or her property be removed? Would that third party require prior permission before creating a tag?”

Other findings include:
• Incremental revenues from subscriptions, upsold content and licences will together comprise the largest AR revenue stream by 2014, overhauling point of sale revenues.
• 350 million handsets expected to be AR enabled by 2014.

Tejas wins Deloitte Technology Fast 50 India award for fifth time in a row!

BANGALORE, INDIA: Tejas Networks, a leader in next-generation optical networking products, was named as a winner in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 India for the fifth year in a row.

This award recognizes the 50 fastest growing technology companies in India. The award was received by CEO and MD Sanjay Nayak at a glittering ceremcony in Bangalore on Friday, November 20th 2009.

Nayak said: "We are delighted to be selected amongst the winners of Deloitte Technology Fast 50 India for the fifth year in succession, with a revenue growth of over 206 percent in the last three years. This is a great recognition for Tejas Networks, which is one of the first technology product companies from India in the fast-growing telecom sector.

"Our consistent growth over the past many years is a result of our execution strategy of aggressively investing in R&D to build world-class products. In addition to our growth in the highly competitive Indian market, we have seen significant international success and our products are deployed in over 50 countries around the world."

Deloitte's Technology Fast 50 India winners are selected from technology companies that are headquartered in India and devote a significant proportion of their operating costs to R&D.

Qualcomm’s Gobi2000 to deliver 3G connectivity in Lenovo ThinkPad laptops

SAN DIEGO & RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, USA: Qualcomm Inc. and Lenovo Group recently announced that Lenovo will incorporate Qualcomm’s new Gobi2000 technology into the upcoming ThinkPad laptops in the X, T and W Series beginning in 2010 to enable global 3G connectivity.

The Gobi-equipped laptops will provide business users with extensive wireless broadband access both domestically and internationally by leveraging the wide availability of both EV-DO and HSPA wireless networks around the world.

“Gobi mobile Internet connectivity will give our business PC users the convenience of using one simple, built-in device to provide mobile broadband access around the world,” said Sam Dusi, vice president, worldwide ThinkPad product marketing, Lenovo.

“This flexible, multi-carrier solution allows mobile workers to seamlessly connect to new broadband networks as they change locations, while simplifying the work of IT managers, to support users around the globe with a single laptop model.”

“We are pleased that Lenovo will be adopting Gobi technology for the popular ThinkPad laptops,” said Barry Matsumori, vice president of product management at Qualcomm CDMA Technologies. “Embedded wireless connectivity is becoming widely recognized for its inherent benefits for both users and enterprises, and Gobi provides unparalleled flexibility for mobile workforces that need to stay connected.”

Businesses deploying ThinkPad laptops with Gobi technology will be able to standardize on a single hardware platform that can be deployed globally. Each region has the flexibility to provision 3G connectivity on an as-needed basis and to their preferred carrier based on the coverage and pricing plans available in their area.

If an employee relocates to a different region or is traveling outside the home coverage area, Gobi technology supports the ability to switch carriers without having to swap data cards and/or reinvest in a new laptop, reducing the costs to deploy 3G. Gobi technology also includes an integrated GPS receiver for enabling location-based services such as asset tracking, real-time data protection, geo-fencing and navigation.

Qualcomm’s embedded Gobi solutions for laptops and netbooks deliver support for the world’s leading 3G technologies as well as for integrated GPS.

Sorrento extends performance monitoring capabilities of WDM management software

DENVER, USA: Sorrento Networks, a global provider of metro optical access solutions, is making it easier for service providers to monitor the health of their optical networks with a new version of its GigaMux 3200 management software.

The updated software, which is used to manage Sorrento’s GigaMux 3200 and 1600 wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) systems, includes a comprehensive performance monitoring package for faster and more precise detection of optical network errors. Also new with software version 7.4.12 is a more robust reporting tool that gives customers more flexibility and presentation options for their error reporting.

“Service-oriented networking requires controlling the performance of the optical networking and understanding errors at a detailed level so they can be quickly corrected and prevented,” said Jim Nevelle, CEO of Sorrento Networks.

“Our updated software gives GigaMux 3200 and 1600 customers even more insight into the functioning of their optical networks so they can accomplish these tasks with greater ease of use.”

Sorrento’s updated software improves the ability of service providers to actively monitor optical networks to help in the detection and prevention of network errors. It conducts per-wavelength optical-layer performance monitoring and delivers detailed insight into device utilization and errors, as well as the fault management of the network.

The GigaMux 3200/1600 platform is designed to free carriers from restrictive transport technologies and provide system flexibility to accommodate changing end-user demands.

A protocol-independent design allows the GigaMux 3200 and 1600 systems to transport and extend the traffic of SONET/SDH, layer 2/3 Ethernet, and SANs simultaneously and in their native format. By supporting each traffic type natively, the network can grow and evolve based on traffic requirements.

Sorrento’s new management software, which comes bundled with the GigaMux 3200/1600 platform, is now available worldwide.

Klausner Technologies sues Motorola for visual voicemail patent infringement

NEW YORK, USA: Klausner Technologies, Inc. has filed suit against Motorola Inc. for patent infringement.

The lawsuit is based on the recent introduction of Motorola’s new “CLIQ” mobile phone, which uses Klausner Technologies' Visual Voicemail patented technology. Various other Motorola models with the Visual Voicemail feature are already covered under Klausner Technologies Visual Voicemail patent licenses granted to mobile operators.

Klausner Technologies currently has 24 Visual Voicemail patent licensees, including major US and European wireless service providers, cell phone manufacturers, and cable/VOIP providers, as well as other providers of Visual Voicemail services.

The suit has been filed in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas by the California law firm of Dovel & Luner.

RIM/BlackBerry sued by Klausner Technologies for visual voicemail patent infringement

NEW YORK, USA: Klausner Technologies, Inc. announced that it has filed suit against Research in Motion Ltd for patent infringement.

The lawsuit is based on the recent unveiling by RIM of certain new 3G “BlackBerry Bold 9700” mobile phones which use Klausner Technologies' Visual Voicemail patented technology. Various Blackberry models with the Visual Voicemail feature are already covered under Klausner Technologies Visual Voicemail patent licenses granted to mobile operators.

Klausner Technologies currently has 24 Visual Voicemail patent licensees, including major US and European wireless service providers, cell phone manufacturers, cable/VOIP providers as well as other providers of Visual Voicemail services.

The suit has been filed in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas by the California law firm of Dovel & Luner.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Optical transport equipment market revenues drop in Q3

REDWOOD CITY, USA: According to a newly published report by Dell’Oro Group, worldwide optical market revenues were just under $3 billion in the third quarter of this year, a 4 percent decline over the second quarter of this year.

The demand for optical transport equipment stabilized in North America where revenues have increased in the two most recent quarters. Asia Pacific continues to be the largest region for optical transport equipment with nearly 40 percent of worldwide market revenues.

“We believe that the optical market is recovering, and forecast steady improvements in year-over-year growth rates as well as a return to positive year-over-year growth by the first quarter of 2010,” said Jimmy Yu, Director of Optical Transport research at Dell’Oro Group.

“We expect the 2010 optical sales recovery to be primarily led by increased demand for metro equipment, such as WDM Metro systems and Multiservice SONET/SDH systems, and 40 Gbps wavelengths. The DWDM Long Haul market may continue to be weak through 2010, but with continued strength in 40 Gbps wavelengths,” Yu added.

The report indicates that DWDM Long Haul 40 Gbps wavelength shipments during the third quarter of this year increased more than 10 percent sequentially and 130 percent year-over-year.

Top 10 consumer mobile applications for 2012

STAMFORD, USA: Gartner, Inc. has identified the top 10 consumer mobile applications for 2012. Gartner listed applications based on their impact on consumers and industry players, considering revenue, loyalty, business model, consumer value and estimated market penetration.

“Consumer mobile applications and services are no longer the prerogative of mobile carriers,” said Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner. “The increasing consumer interest in smartphones, the participation of Internet players in the mobile space, and the emergence of application stores and cross-industry services are reducing the dominance of mobile carriers. Each player will influence how the application is delivered and experienced by consumers, who ultimately vote with their attention and spending power.”

“The ultimate competition between industry players is for control of the ‘ecosystem’ and user experience, and the owner of the ecosystem will benefit the most in terms of revenue and user loyalty,” Ms. Shen said. “We predict that most users will use no more than five mobile applications at a time and most future opportunities will come from niche market ‘killer applications’.”

The top 10 consumer mobile applications in 2012 will include:

No. 1: Money Transfer
This service allows people to send money to others using Short Message Service (SMS). Its lower costs, faster speed and convenience compared with traditional transfer services have strong appeal to users in developing markets, and most services signed up several million users within their first year.

However, challenges do exist in both regulatory and operational risks. Because of the fast growth of mobile money transfer, regulators in many markets are piling in to investigate the impact on consumer costs, security, fraud and money laundering. On the operational side, market conditions vary, as do the local resources of service providers, so providers need different market strategies when entering a new territory.

No. 2: Location-Based Services
Location-based services (LBS) form part of context-aware services, a service that Gartner expects will be one of the most disruptive in the next few years. Gartner predicts that the LBS user base will grow globally from 96 million in 2009 to more than 526 million in 2012.

LBS is ranked No. 2 in Gartner’s top 10 because of its perceived high user value and its influence on user loyalty. Its high user value is the result of its ability to meet a range of needs, ranging from productivity and goal fulfillment to social networking and entertainment.

No. 3: Mobile Search
The ultimate purpose of mobile search is to drive sales and marketing opportunities on the mobile phone. To achieve this, the industry first needs to improve the user experience of mobile search so that people will come back again.

Mobile search is ranked No. 3 because of its high impact on technology innovation and industry revenue. Consumers will stay loyal to some search services, but instead of sticking to one or two search providers on the Internet, Gartner expects loyalty on the mobile phone to be shared between a few search providers that have unique technologies for mobile search.

No. 4: Mobile Browsing
Mobile browsing is a widely available technology present on more than 60 percent of handsets shipped in 2009, a percentage Gartner expects to rise to approximately 80 percent in 2013. Gartner has ranked mobile browsing No. 4 because of its broad appeal to all businesses.

Mobile Web systems have the potential to offer a good return on investment. They involve much lower development costs than native code, reuse many existing skills and tools, and can be agile — both delivered and updated quickly. Therefore, the mobile Web will be a key part of most corporate business-to-consumer (B2C) mobile strategies.

No. 5: Mobile Health Monitoring
Mobile health monitoring is the use of IT and mobile telecommunications to monitor patients remotely, and could help governments, care delivery organizations (CDOs) and healthcare payers reduce costs related to chronic diseases and improve the quality of life of their patients.

In developing markets, the mobility aspect is key as mobile network coverage is superior to fixed network in the majority of developing countries. Currently, mobile health monitoring is at an early stage of market maturity and implementation, and project rollouts have so far been limited to pilot projects. In the future, the industry will be able to monetize the service by offering mobile healthcare monitoring products, services and solutions to CDOs.

No. 6: Mobile Payment
Mobile payment usually serves three purposes. First, it is a way of making payment when few alternatives are available. Second, it is an extension of online payment for easy access and convenience. Third, it is an additional factor of authentication for enhanced security.

Mobile payment made Gartner’s top 10 list because of the number of parties it affects — including mobile carriers, banks, merchants, device vendors, regulators and consumers — and the rising interest from both developing and developed markets.

Because of the many choices of technologies and business models, as well as regulatory requirements and local conditions, mobile payment will be a highly fragmented market. There will not be standard practices of deployment, so parties will need to find a working solution on a case-by-case basis.

No. 7: Near Field Communication Services
Near field communication (NFC) allows contactless data transfer between compatible devices by placing them close to each other, within ten centimeters. The technology can be used, for example, for retail purchases, transportation, personal identification and loyalty cards.

NFC is ranked No. 7 in Gartner’s top ten because it can increase user loyalty for all service providers, and it will have a big impact on carriers' business models. However, its biggest challenge is reaching business agreement between mobile carriers and service providers, such as banks and transportation companies. Gartner expects to see large-scale deployments starting from late 2010, when NFC phones are likely to ship in volume, with Asia leading deployments followed by Europe and North America.

No. 8: Mobile Advertising
Mobile advertising in all regions is continuing to grow through the economic downturn, driven by interest from advertisers in this new opportunity and by the increased use of smartphones and the wireless Internet. Total spending on mobile advertising in 2008 was $530.2 million, which Gartner expects to will grow to $7.5 billion in 2012.

Mobile advertising makes the top 10 list because it will be an important way to monetize content on the mobile Internet, offering free applications and services to end users. The mobile channel will be used as part of larger advertising campaigns in various media, including TV, radio, print and outdoors.

No. 9: Mobile Instant Messaging
Price and usability problems have historically held back adoption of mobile instant messaging (IM), while commercial barriers and uncertain business models have precluded widespread carrier deployment and promotion.

Mobile IM is on Gartner’s top 10 list because of latent user demand and market conditions that are conducive to its future adoption. It has a particular appeal to users in developing markets that may rely on mobile phones as their only connectivity device. Mobile IM presents an opportunity for mobile advertising and social networking, which have been built into some of the more advanced mobile IM clients.

No. 10: Mobile Music
Mobile music so far has been disappointing — except for ring tones and ring-back tones, which have turned into a multibillion-dollar service. On the other hand, it is unfair to dismiss the value of mobile music, as consumers want music on their phones and to carry it around.

We see efforts by various players in coming up with innovative models, such as device or service bundles, to address pricing and usability issues. iTunes makes people pay for music, which shows that a superior user experience does make a difference.

TomTom unveils two new GPS devices for Black Friday

CONCORD, USA: TomTom provided further details today on the full range of features available in two new TomTom devices highlighted in Walmart’s Black Friday specials.

Both devices are designed for effortless navigation from A to B, guiding drivers door to door with spoken instructions, including “text to speech” for spoken street names.

TomTom ONE 125 SE features
* 3.5 inch touchscreen in a slim, lightweight device;
* Preloaded maps of the US;
* Spoken instructions, including “text to speech” for spoken street names;
* Preloaded Points of Interest: millions of points of interest enhance the travelling experience and help users easily find gas stations, hotels, restaurants and more;
* Award-winning Fold and Go EasyPort Mount, that easily folds to fit in any bag or shirt pocket.

TomTom XL 325 SE features:
* Extra wide 4.3 inch touchscreen;
* Preloaded maps of the US;
* Spoken instructions, including “text to speech” for spoken street names;
* Preloaded Points of Interest: millions of points of interest enhance the travelling experience and help users easily find gas stations, hotels, restaurants and more;
* Award-winning Fold and Go EasyPort Mount, that easily folds to fit in any bag or shirt pocket;

Both products also feature:
* TomTom Map Share technology, which helps users instantly modify street names, street direction, points of interest and more on their devices and benefit from corrections made by others;
* 30 Day Latest Map Guarantee: if a new map is released within 30 days of purchase, users can download it for free at TomTom HOME;
* TomTom “Help Me!” menu and extensive safety features, giving users direct access to safety and emergency services information;
* Traffic ready (optional service): RDS-TMC traffic receiver accessory keeps drivers up-to-date on traffic events to minimize potential delays;
* Fuel Prices (optional service): helps users find the lowest priced gas along the way;
* TomTom HOME, a free desktop application keeps users’ devices up-to-date at all times. New maps or software versions can also be downloaded.

Taptu brings search for touch-friendly content to Android with new app

CAMBRIDGE, UK: Taptu, the fastest way to search the touch-friendly web, has launched an Android app, providing users with search results that are optimized for viewing on Android phones.

Android users now have the ability to quickly and easily discover new touch-friendly content in an easy-to-use interface, including web content, images and the freshest, most buzzed-about realtime content delivered through OneRiot’s API.

Taptu returns touch-friendly results, eliminating the frustrations caused by using a search engine designed for the desktop on an Android phone, which can provide results that take upwards of a minute to load over cellular networks.

This is the first release of Taptu’s Android app and a light application utilizing the platform’s browser; additional capabilities such as sharing onto Twitter and Facebook and market app searching will be available in the next version along with improved app functionality

Features of Taptu Android app
Search the touch friendly Web: Taptu’s Android app allows users to search through millions of touch-friendly sites for the latest news, blogs, images and realtime buzz.

Android-Friendly results: Taptu’s Android provides results that are optimized for viewing on a touch interface phone, which eliminates the hassle of resizing, pinching and refocusing sites.

Stay up-to-date with the latest buzz: Taptu’s home page presents people with the hot topics trending on the realtime social web – providing a great way to keep up with the latest buzz when you’re on-the-go.

Steve Ives, founder and CEO of Taptu, said: “With touch-friendly web content continuing to grow, it is vital to make search as simple as possible, while providing users with the most relevant content on their touch devices. Taptu’s Android app allows users to quickly and easily search through results designed for their phones in an intuitive visual interface.”

The Taptu app is now available for free download and is compatible with Android version 1.5 and above.

China Mobile first to sell Dell Mini 3i smart phones

BEIJING, CHINA: China Mobile will soon become the first mobile operator to sell the Mini 3i, a sleek and slim new multi-touch smart phone from Dell designed to leverage the power, flexibility and applications of China Mobile's new OPhone and Mobile Market platforms.

Available in Red Passion and Oiled Bronze colors, the Mini 3i will begin arriving through China Mobile’s nation-wide channels (its authorized stores) by the end of this month and Dell direct to follow.

The Mini 3i runs China Mobile’s flexible OPhone open source platform, and includes the latest in popular entertainment including pre-loaded 139Mail e-mail, Fetion chat and digital maps for navigation. A large 3.5-inch widescreen creates a big-screen experience, making photos and videos bigger and more intense. The Mini 3i is also compatible with a range of consumer applications, e-mail platforms, and office productivity software.

“People today want to carry their lives with them –- they want to discover, capture and share new content as they roam around the world,” said Michael Yang, vice president and general manager for Greater China Consumer of Dell. “We believe Dell’s year-long development collaboration with China Mobile will amplify those experiences better than anyone else in the industry.”

“This signals an important milestone in the long term partnership between China Mobile and Dell,” said a China Mobile spokesperson. “We are excited for Dell to be among the first manufacturers to introduce new technology based on the OPhone platform. We look forward to working with Dell as it brings innovative new products and services to add value to our customers’ lives.”

The Mini 3i is the result of a year-long collaboration with China Mobile and further illustrates Dell’s ongoing investment in smarter and more mobile products. China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile service provider with more than 500 million subscribers, teamed with Dell earlier this year to develop a new product for the rapidly growing base of mobile broadband users in China, embedding 3G technology in the Dell Mini 10 netbook.

With the recent launch of the OPhone platform, industry analysts are estimating that the current base of 180 million mobile broadband users in China will continue to grow at a rapid pace. The Mini 3i is specifically engineered to give those customers a smart phone that delivers fast, easy and fun access to the internet, e-mail, chat, music and video.

AdMob Oct. 2009 metrics report examines top devices on major mobile OSs

SAN MATEO, USA: AdMob, one of the world's largest and fastest growing mobile advertising networks, examines the major mobile Operating Systems and the distribution of requests across top devices that run on them in the October 2009 AdMob Mobile Metrics Report.

The iPhone, Palm and RIM OS's all run exclusively on devices manufactured by those companies, while the Android, Symbian and Windows Mobile OS's run on devices from a variety of manufacturers.

New devices from RIM are generating an increasing percentage of the total number of requests for the platform. The recently launched RIM devices that are gaining traction are the Tour and new versions of the Curve (8900 and 8520).

The older 8100 Pearl series has seen its share of RIM traffic steadily decrease from 28 percent in April to 16 percent in October. However, the 8300 Curve series has maintained approximately 44 percent share over the last six months.

The Android Operating System is a relative newcomer, having turned one year old in October.

Worldwide requests from Android devices increased 5.8 times since April 2009 in the AdMob network. The HTC Dream (G1) has continued to experience strong growth over the past six months and the launch of new devices is driving significant incremental growth in Android traffic. The Motorola Droid already represented 24 percent of all Android requests in AdMob's network two weeks after it launched.

Highlights from the October 2009 AdMob Mobile Metrics Report include:
* In October 2009, 70 percent of iPhone OS requests came from the iPhone while the remaining 30 percent came from the iPod touch.
* In the US, the RIM 8300 Curve and 8100 Pearl series devices have consistently remained in the Top 20 devices over the last two years. In the UK, the 9000 Bold and 8900 Curve have seen strong growth and are now the number 10 and 11 devices, respectively.
* In the US, Android had 20 percent share of smartphone traffic, up from 7 percent six months before, and the HTC Magic (myTouch 3G) and HTC Dream were both Top 10 devices. In the UK, the HTC Dream, HTC Magic, and HTC Hero are all Top 10 devices in the AdMob network.
* The Motorola CLIQ has also seen fast pickup since its launch at T-Mobile in the US and generated six percent of Android traffic on November 18.
* The top Symbian and Windows Mobile devices have not changed in 2009 and both platforms have lost smartphone share. One of Nokia's first touchscreen models, the 5800 XpressMusic, is the one of the few newcomers to the list of Top 20 Symbian devices in 2009.

AdMob stores and analyzes handset and operator data from every ad request in its network of more than 15,000 mobile Web sites and applications to optimize ad serving.

Each month, the AdMob Mobile Metrics Report aggregates this data to provide insights into major trends in the mobile ecosystem. The AdMob share is calculated by the percentage of requests received from a particular handset; it is a measure of relative mobile Web and application usage and does not represent handset sales.

See additional detail on methodology of the report at

CMAI welcomes TRAI’s move on MNP request processing charge

NEW DELHI, INDIA: CMAI Association of India (CMAI), the only Integrated Association in India for telecom and IT sector having all stake holders as its members, today welcomed TRAI’s move to fix Mobile Number Portability (MNP) request processing charge at Rs. 19, and hailed it as a momentous decision that will help all existing and future Mobile consumers.

Ravi Sharma, Executive Chairman, CMAI Association of India said: “CMAI has always been at the forefront of advocating policies and regulations that benefits the consumers and at the same time provides equitable platform for growth of telecom eco-system. The TRAI’s decision of fixing the processing charge of MNP to Rs. 19 will go a long way in creating a healthy competitive ecosystem and will make Operators more conscious towards Quality of Service. This move will bring consumer rights at the forefront and will ultimately benefit the consumers .”

“CMAI has been consistently advocating measures which benefit the burgeoning mobile subscribers in India like setting up of Mobile Consumer Courts and bringing Mobile termination charges to Zero,” he further added.

To further consumer interest, CMAI Association of India has recently set up a body to pursue the formation of Mobile Consumer Courts to address consumer grievances, and Hon’ble Minister of Law and Justice, Veerappa Moily, has agreed to consider the demand of creation of such consumer courts.

CMAI Association of India is working closely with Ministry of Law and Justice and other bodies for the formulation and creation of consumer friendly policies and institutions, keeping in view the burgeoning mobile subscriber base.

Ciena selected as successful bidder for optical and carrier Ethernet assets of Nortel’s Metro Ethernet Networks Business

LINTHICUM, USA: Ciena Corp. today announced that it has been selected as the successful bidder in the auction of substantially all of the optical networking and carrier Ethernet assets of Nortel’s Metro Ethernet Networks (MEN) business.

Ciena has agreed to pay $530 million in cash and issue $239 million in aggregate principal amount of 6 percent Senior Convertible notes due 2017 for a total consideration of $769 million for the assets.

A motion to approve Ciena as the acquirer will be heard by bankruptcy courts in the US and Canada on December 2, 2009.

“These optical and carrier Ethernet assets bring exceptional technologies, talent and scale that will accelerate Ciena’s current strategy to deliver innovative network solutions to customers worldwide,” said Gary Smith, Ciena’s CEO and president.

“With this combination, we are bringing together complementary technologies in switching and transport to create an innovative powerhouse with the scale to challenge the industry status quo and offer customers a practical path for transitioning to automated, optical Ethernet-based networking. We will be intently focused on integration as we work together to deliver the benefits of this transaction to customers, employees and shareholders.”

“Ciena provides a natural fit for Nortel’s Optical and Carrier Ethernet assets, providing an environment where our businesses' expertise and technology can be grown and leveraged,” said Philippe Morin, president, Metro Ethernet Networks for Nortel.

“The combination of our two organizations creates an industry powerhouse with a heritage of innovation and a shared commitment to building and maintaining reliable networks. With today's agreement, Nortel customers can be assured that they will be working with a known, trusted and experienced partner who can ensure continuity of supply and continue Nortel’s heritage of innovation.”

The assets to be acquired generated approximately $1.36 billion in revenue for Nortel in 2008 and $556 million (unaudited) in the first six months of 2009. Ciena expects the transaction to be significantly accretive to Ciena’s results of operations in fiscal 2011. Ciena is also expected to make employment offers to at least 2,000 Nortel employees to become part of Ciena’s global team of network specialists.

The transaction is expected to close in the first calendar quarter of 2010. Ciena has been granted early termination of the antitrust waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act and also has received notification from the Canadian Competition Bureau terminating the applicable waiting period for the proposed transaction under the Competition Act. The transaction remains subject to additional regional regulatory clearances and customary closing conditions.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Nokia continues to streamline R&D operations

ESPOO, FINLAND: Nokia plans to align its research and development (R&D) operations in Finland and Denmark to be in line with the company's focused portfolio of future products.

The planned changes are expected to affect up to 230 employees at Nokia's Oulu site in Finland and approximately 100 employees at Nokia's Copenhagen site. The total number would represent approximately 2 percent of Nokia's R&D personnel globally.

Nokia aims to support the employees with alternative solutions, such as finding new positions within the company for as many employees as possible. Nokia will begin consultations with employee representatives about these plans where voluntary severance packages among other topics will be discussed.

Nokia maintains a strong R&D presence in both sites; the company has over 2,000 employees in Oulu and over 1,000 employees in Copenhagen. Overall, Nokia has more than 17 000 people employed in its research and development activities.

Infinera ATN gains RUS listing for deployment under federal rural telecom program

SUNNYVALE, USA: Infinera's ATN metro edge platform has been accepted by the US Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Program as suitable for deployment under the USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS) telecom programs. The RUS listing will enable telecom companies building rural networks under the RUS program to take advantage of the simplicity, flexibility, and ease of operations of Infinera's new ATN metro edge platform.

The USDA's Rural Development Telecommunications program provides loans and grants to support the extension of broadband networks into rural areas and to support distance learning and telemedicine initiatives.

RUS capability to promote broadband networks was expanded greatly this year by President Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which appropriated $2.5 billion to the RUS, out of a total broadband stimulus budget of $7.2 billion, to extend broadband networks to unserved and underserved communities nationwide.

The Infinera ATN metro edge platform is a compact, scalable metro edge platform offering flexible configurations to simplify and accelerate network deployment. The ATN has been designed to offer best-in-class density and power consumption, and to support all metro transport services, including Ethernet, SAN, SONET/SDH, OTN and video services.

Seamless integration with the Infinera DTN platform enables an end-to-end Infinera network to deliver ease of operation, capital expenditure savings, integrated bandwidth management, and the power of a single network management system.

Infinera is supporting customers nationwide who have applied for grants to build broadband networks to unserved and underserved communities, including anchor institutions such as schools, higher education, and health care facilities. Infinera networks provide a scalable, cost-effective middle-mile solution with low-cost, simple operations ideal for the new wave of broadband networks.

The new Infinera ATN has been purchased by large and small service providers in the US and overseas. Last month, Deltacom announced it had deployed the ATN in several metro markets in the southeastern US.

"RUS listing is an important milestone for the ATN, as it will make it easier for small, rural telecom companies and other broadband consortia to deploy the ATN and take advantage of its powerful advantages in speed, simplicity, and flexibility," said Paul Morkel, Infinera Director of Product Applications.

The Infinera DTN, Infinera's optical system for long-haul and metro core networks, was approved for RUS listing in February 2009.

The Infinera family of optical solutions includes the Infinera DTN, the first optical system based on large-scale photonic integrated circuits, and the Infinera ATN, a compact metro edge platform that extends the benefits of Infinera's Digital Optical Networks to the metro edge.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Global mobile voice service revenues to start declining in 2011

SINGAPORE: Mobile voice service revenues are on a trajectory to reach their peak in 2010, after which they are likely to start declining, according to the latest forecasts from ABI Research.

Vice-president for forecasting Jake Saunders comments, “Mobile voice has had a meteoric rise since digital cellular networks such as GSM were deployed in 1992. ABI Research forecasts annual mobile voice revenues to reach $580 billion in 2010. From 2011 on, rising subscriber saturation will increasingly erode mobile voice revenues, not just in developed markets but also in a number of emerging markets. By 2014, mobile voice revenues will have contracted by 9.6 percent.”

While mobile operators have received a substantial boost from value-added services such as messaging and Mobile Internet, competition is squeezing margins for a variety of services and carriers. Total mobile data services should generate $169 million in 2009 and will grow at a CAGR of 9 percent until 2014.

By the end of 2009 the declines in annual average revenue per user (ARPU) will have been felt most severely in Asia-Pacific (-8.7 percent to $105) and Africa (-7.8 percent to $134). ARPU in 2009 in North America will have contracted, but only by -0.6 percent to $526). Mobile Internet revenue ($52) from use of smartphones, netbooks, etc., will help to prop up overall service revenue for the region.

Wireless capital expenditure, on the other hand, shrank 5 percent in 2009 to $132.5 billion. The global recession was widely felt in all parts of the world. Saunders notes, “As handset sales plummeted in 4Q-2009, end-users did not return their handsets nor did they put their handsets aside and refuse to use them. They did, however, try to cap tariff plan usage. Carriers therefore held up a number of CAPEX-related projects to free up some cashflow.”

As the economy has stabilized in 2H-2009, carriers have started to resume capital expenditure. Key areas of spending are core network and radio access network upgrades to support higher data throughput.

Friday, November 20, 2009

CMAI celebrates 500 million telecom subscribers in India

NEW DELHI, INDIA: The CMAI Association of India, the only Integrated Association in India for telecom and IT Sector having all stake holders as its members, felicitated Thiru A. Raja, Hon’ble Minister for Communications and IT, on behalf of entire telecom fraternity, on the landmark achievement of reaching 500 million subscribers milestone.

The felicitation on behalf of CMAI Association of India, was done by Venugopal Dhoot, Chairman; Ravi Sharma, Executive Chairman and NK Goyal, President, CMAI Association of India. Also present on the occasion were PJ Thomas, Secretary, DOT and Dr. JS Sharma, Chairman, TRAI.

Delivering the welcome speech, Venugopal Dhoot, Chairman, CMAI Association of India, said: “On behalf of CMAI and the entire telecom fraternity, I thank the minister for the vision and guidance that has led to this momentous achievement of 500 million subscribers, much before the projected time period. Today, India is veritably witnessing a telecom revolution, and the same is playing a pivotal role in redefining the socio-eco fabric of the country.”

“I am positive that this growth in the telecom segment, under the able leadership of the minister will be an inclusive one bringing the benefit of technology to all strata of society,” he further added.

In his keynote address, Ravi Sharma, Executive Chairman, CMAI Association of India, said: “First my congratulations to the minister on the historic achievement. This historic achievement also brings with it some equally great challenges, which I would adjure the Hon’ble minister to look at. First, one has to see that with increase penetration the consumer interest is safeguarded and QoS is not compromised. There has to be a balance between business interest and consumer interest.

"I would also request the minister keeping in view the larger interest of consumers, to implement a Zero mobile termination charge regime, the benefit of which is passed on to the consumers. I am positive that under the able guidance of the minister, India will reach many more milestones in the telecom space.”

Hon’ble Minister for Communications and IT, Thiru A. Raja, said: “I am very happy to note that CMAI, an integrated Association for IT & telecom, is taking active interest in overall development of telecom and IT sector. It is a matter of pleasure that CMAI is also engaged actively in advocating the interest of consumers. I wish them all the success in their endeavor of serving the cause of providing quality yet affordable products and services to the consumers.”

NK Goyal, President, CMAI Association of India, making the vote of thanks, said: “I thank the Hon’ble minister and all the dignitaries for their presence. And I assure all the telecom stakeholders that they have unflinching support of CMAI Association of India, in promoting the unparalleled growth story of India telecom and taking it to the next level, especially, rural India.”

To further consumer interest, CMAI Association of India has recently set up a body to pursue the formation of Mobile Consumer Courts to address consumer grievances, and Hon’ble Minister of Law and Justice, Veerappa Moily, has agreed to consider the demand of creation of such consumer courts.

CMAI Association of India is working closely with Ministry of Law and Justice and other bodies for the formulation and creation of consumer friendly policies and institutions, keeping in view the burgeoning mobile subscriber base.