Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tata Teleservices signs passive infrastructure sharing agreement with BSNL

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Tata Teleservices Ltd (TTSL), India’s fastest-growing pan-India telecom service provider, announced the signing of a landmark ‘Master Services Agreement for Passive Infrastructure Sharing’ with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), becoming the first Indian private telecom operator to enter into an agreement of this nature.

The agreement, valid for 15 years, will be applicable to both Tata Teleservices and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) in all of India’s 22 telecom circles.

“This is a moment of pride for us, as we have become the first private telecom operator to enter into such a strategically important agreement with BSNL, one that will allow us to expand our telecom footprint across the country much more quickly,” Madhav Joshi, President, Legal and Regulatory Affairs, Tata Teleservices, said.

The agreement comes at a very strategic time for Tata Teleservices Limited (TTSL) and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Limited (TTML), as both companies have been aggressively expanding their network presence on the CDMA side with Tata Indicom, while also rolling out GSM services under the TATA DOCOMO brand name.

“In the short space of just three months, we have already rolled out our GSM services in nine Circles—Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Orissa, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh and Haryana,” AG Rao, Chief Technology Officer, Tata Teleservices, said. “This agreement has the potential to not just speed up our network expansion and rollout process, but would also have a substantial impact in terms of reduced costs,” he added.

Under the terms of the agreement, TTSL and TTML will have access to thousands of BSNL towers all across the country.

Consolidation in AME's mobile market will continue for next several years

CAMBRIDGE, USA: In-country consolidation in the mobile market has already begun in Africa and the Middle East and will become a more important trend over the next few years, pushing incumbents to find new ways to protect their customer base, according to a new report from Pyramid Research.

Three Is Company, Four Is a Crowd: Mobile Players Proliferate in AME examines the factors that we expect will drive consolidation over the coming years. We start by recapping the dynamics behind the increasing numbers of licenses and operators.

The 17-page report then examines the degree of success of third, fourth, and fifth entrants in terms of subscription market share. A look at some of the successful strategies which incumbent operators are adopting to protect their customer base follows. Finally we examine the first case of in-country consolidation - and its likely implications for African mobile operators.

Competition in mobile markets across Africa and the Middle East will intensify as new licenses continue to be made available in Africa, even though many late entrants struggle to establish a sustainable business where three or more networks are already in operation, notes Dearbhla McHenry, analyst at Pyramid Research and author of the report.

"Although third entrants in Africa and the Middle East have gained as much as 37 percent of their markets within three years, the picture for fourth and fifth operators is gloomier: our analysis suggests that market shares of 8.7 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively, are more realistic targets," she adds.

"Several factors determine whether a late entrant to a mobile market in Africa and the Middle East will overcome the odds and gain significant market share, as explained in this report," says McHenry. "It is often the case that operators entering a market where another operator has recently launched will tend to find it difficult to establish an additional brand," she explains.

The region's leading operators, however, are getting better at reducing churn and increasing loyalty.

"International and regional operators, in particular, have an advantage in being able to implement best practices learned overseas -- MTN, for instance, has experienced growing competition in many of its markets, has maintained a strong position, for instance in Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria," says McHenry.

At the end of July 2009, one of the first in-country mergers in the region took place in Sierra Leone. Market leader Africell agreed to buy Millicom-owned operator Tigo for an undisclosed sum. "We believe that this event may signal the start of a new trend, since several other operators look similarly vulnerable to acquisition," says McHenry. "As a result, we believe in-country consolidation, as well as operators exiting markets, will be an increasingly common event over the coming five years," she adds.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Airbiquity and Nokia enter licensing agreement

SEATTLE, USA: Airbiquity Inc., a global leader in wireless connected services, and Nokia Corp. have entered into an agreement whereby Nokia has agreed to license from Airbiquity certain patent rights including the 6,681,121; 7,206,305; and, 7,221,669 US patents.

The license to these patents allows for Nokia to provide TTY functionality in its GSM handsets according to 3GPP specifications.

Airbiquity delivers vehicle telematics and connected services solutions worldwide through a flexible ecosystem with the most reliable, cost-effective, easy to use two-way wireless connectivity solutions and best-in-class applications centered-around its VIAaq managed services platform.

Airbiquity partners with leading automotive OEMs and personal navigation device (PND) companies to connect drivers with information that enhances the driving experience.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Stoke enhances SSX with software spanning requirements of 3G and 4G networks

SANTA CLARA, USA: Mobile broadband gateway developer Stoke Inc. introduced a new software release enabling mobile broadband operators to immediately support initial 4G/LTE deployments, while enhancing the profit potential of their current 3G networks.

Based on extensive lab and commercial operator trials, Stoke has enhanced both its StokeOS software and its SSX-3000 platform to address the specific requirements of high availability, reduced operational expense, high performance and end-to-end security in eNodeB aggregation.

Mobile data networks worldwide are buckling under the explosive growth in data traffic, driven by the popularity of data hungry smartphones, iPhones and, above all, Laptops with 3G modems.

StokeOS Version 4.5 offers an innovative platform enabling operators to improve performance, reduce churn and increase profitability from their existing 3G networks while they prepare for investment in 4G/LTE.

Stéphane Téral, Principal Analyst, mobile and FMC Infrastructure at international research and consulting firm Infonetics Research commented: "Despite the sophistication of traffic analysis tools as well as the wireline Internet experience, no one was smart enough to foresee the once-in-a-century mobile data traffic tsunami. Consequently, we have reached the point of urgency to develop and implement new tools and techniques that help mobile operators cope with and thrive in this new reality."

New features in StokeOS 4.5 support deployments of all-IP backhaul architect, and allow carriers to leverage lower-cost open IP transport networks at the earliest stages of 4G/LTE. Capabilities in this software version include intra-device resilience, redundancy within individual Stoke SSX-3000 devices to reduce cost, power, and overall footprint, and support both for femtocells and LTE eNodeB base stations.

"Based on extensive customer input as well as our own engineering vision, this release was specifically designed to deliver the security and performance features required by LTE deployments, while providing breakthrough functionality for the pressing needs of today’s 3G architectures," said Michael Homeier, vice president of product management at Stoke.

"StokeOS 4.5 allows us to deliver a truly scalable gateway at home in both 3G and 4G environments, and supports operators’ best-of-breed selection strategy to optimize their LTE investments."

According to recent analyst reports, telecommunications carriers worldwide will be deploying next generation networks for their wireless backhaul starting in 2012 to satisfy surging demand from bandwidth hungry services and devices.

The multitude of radio standards is also putting pressure on vendors to implement reconfigurable software solutions, and on operators to revamp their mobile core networks to an all-IP platform. StokeOS Version 4.5 addresses these requirements for multi-vendor, all-IP environments while supporting both 3G and 4G architectures.

Four main considerations for eNodeB aggregation
Secure Communications: When open IP is used for wired or wireless backhaul, the signaling and subscriber traffic must be secured from the eNodeB to the operator core. The SSX-3000 is a high density, high throughput security gateway, providing line rate, low-latency, encrypted communications.

Tunnel Management: Unlike user to network secure sessions, the interaction between eNodeB and the security aggregator is of "network to network" type, therefore traffic destined for user endpoints as well as to the eNodeB itself must be protected. The gateway must be able to distinguish between traffic to subscribers and traffic destined for the eNodeB in the same encrypted tunnel. StokeOS 4.5 also provides a range of tunnel initialization and recovery options to ensure non-stop operations.

Deployment Flexibility: The gateway must be capable of supporting many types of home, pole-top and macro eNodeB units from a range of eNodeB suppliers to support expected operator LTE radio access network deployment models. It must also support different deployment architectures, providing operators with the freedom to select best-of-breed solutions for 4G, and 3G environments.

Operational Efficiency: In lab and commercial trials, customers identified efficiencies in space and power usage, multiple functionality, high availability and high scalability as key operational metrics.

Highest throughput, lowest cost per subscriber
The SSX-3000 delivers connection and traffic throughput densities from 8,000 to 240,000 connected subscribers, in throughput configurations from 4Gbps to 16Gbps, in a five-rack unit form factor.

Each gateway can support multiple concurrent applications, offering massive capital, energy and operational savings and 7x - 10x improvement in cost per session over traditional solutions, together with strong standards-based authentication and IP security capabilities.

ZyXEL announces multi-service CPEs for FTTH deployments

ANAHEIM, USA: ZyXEL Communications Inc., a leading provider of secure broadband networking, Internet connectivity and routing products, announced several solutions for FTTH deployment, designed to enable telcos to offer multiple services including high-speed Internet, VoIP and wireless home networking in a single box.

ZyXEL’s FTTH line includes three new Ethernet-based devices - P-2612HW, NBG-420N and NBG-417N -- all of which connect directly to the Optical Network Terminator (ONT) and allow operators to equip residential subscribers with wireless home connectivity. The P-2612HW is an all-in-one wireless gateway with dual ADSL2 / Ethernet WAN, two VoIP ports and a four-port switch.

The NGB-420N is a high performance 11n wireless home gateway with four Gigabit Ethernet ports. Both the P-2612HW and NBG-420N have auto-provisioning and remote management with built-in TR-069 support and advanced QoS features for IPTV, making them a great choice for operators for deploying premium services at reduced cost.

Finally, the NBG-417N is an entry level 11n router with a four-port Ethernet switch that offers an economical home networking solution to subscribers.

With customizable services, features and levels of performance, ZyXEL’'s FTTH products allow operators to offer different service bundles to meet increasing demand for high speed Internet, home connectivity and premium services like IPTV.

Home networking and super high-speed connectivity are becoming increasingly important to residential and business customers, and operators are feeling pressure to deliver a breadth of top-quality broadband networking products in order to remain competitive.

By partnering with ZyXEL, operators benefit from exceptional US-based support, a familiar user interface and easy migration from one solution to another. End users enjoy solid performance, multiple service options and easy resolution of technical issues via remote device management.

“Now that families are placing a larger emphasis on home entertainment, and as homes and businesses alike rely on services that require super-high-speed connections, ZyXEL’s FTTH products allow telcos to offer a breadth of services to meet individual customer needs,” said Brian Feng, senior vice president, key accounts business unit for ZyXEL.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Media phones to enjoy strong growth in the “Fourth Screen” market, reaching $5 billion by 2014

SCOTTSDALE, USA: According to a new connected home devices study from ABI Research, “fourth screen” devices – some new, some variants on ideas that have been around for several years – promise novel experiences for users and new revenue streams for operators.

These devices include digital photo frames, media phones, and Internet appliances, Media phones will be among the fastest-growing device types, and will generate a market value above $5 billion by 2014.

ABI Research industry analyst Michael Inouye says: “While the first media phone models only appeared late last year in the US (earlier in Asia), more than 30 million units will be shipped in 2014. These devices, which feature video playback, Internet connectivity, and some form of voice functionality, will be among the strongest performers among Fourth Screen products.”

Digital photo frames have been in the market for some years, and currently ship in numbers that dwarf the other categories in this segment. Recently market growth has slowed somewhat, but a new Wi-Fi equipped variant is expected to show strong growth over the next few years before leveling off around 2013.

All these devices share one market obstacle. “Fourth screen devices in general are competing against more multifunction devices such as smartphones,” says Inouye. But for consumers who want more permanent, dedicated control, they can be a compelling proposition. One key to success for all these devices is definitely greater consumer education. Vendors and retailers are pinning many hopes on the holiday gift-giving seasons of the next few years.”

Latest LiMo platform release heralded by iconic handset from Samsung and Vodafone

LONDON, UK & TOKYO, JAPAN: LiMo Foundation™, a global consortium of mobile industry leaders today announced the launch of the first LiMo Release 2 (R2) handset that supports the brand new Vodafone 360 service on a ground breaking Samsung device. This news coincides with the further announcement from LiMo today within which all operator members on the LiMo Board have reaffirmed their intent to bring LiMo R2 devices and associated services to market during 2009/2010.

The Vodafone 360 H1 by Samsung, which boasts one of the market’s sleekest and most sophisticated touchscreen user interfaces (UI), provides end users with a state-of-the-art user experience to extend and enrich their service experience through Vodafone 360. This highly evolved coupling of an advanced device with next generation operator services epitomizes the distinct capabilities of the LiMo Platform and the uniquely collaborative nature of the LiMo ecosystem. Further highly innovative and differentiated R2 devices from LiMo members will flow into all regions through 2009 and 2010.

“The collaboration between Vodafone and Samsung that resulted in the 360 H1 device is a ringing endorsement of LiMo’s uniquely independent and collaborative approach to realising key technology for the benefit of the whole industry and signals the first of a wave of R2 LiMo handsets due in the coming months,” said Morgan Gillis, Executive Director of LiMo Foundation. “The Vodafone 360 H1 by Samsung delivers an inspiring service and handset combination which illustrates the game-changing results that eventuate when a handset platform enables leading operators and vendors to realise their vision of new user experiences with full freedom.”

“As a Founder Member of the LiMo Foundation, we have been highly involved in driving the Platform forward and are truly delighted that Samsung has delivered the first R2 LiMo handset”, said JK Shin, Executive Vice President and Head of Mobile Communications division, Samsung Electronics. “Vodafone 360 H1 by Samsung is our commitment to deliver the quality and richness of the LiMo Platform to consumers worldwide. Together with Samsung'’s proven technology leadership in the mobile phone industry, I strongly believe that Samsung will provide better value to our consumers along with Vodafone’s ground breaking service, Vodafone 360.”

As Samsung’'s first LiMo based product, the Vodafone 360 H1 offers a superior mobile experience to end-users through the Vodafone 360 service. The Vodafone 360 H1 by Samsung comes with an ultra brilliant 3.5” WVGA AMOLED display and a wide range of advanced features including 720P HD video recording as well as exclusive Vodafone services. Equipped with high performance in a stylish design, the phone provides a superb user interface and seamless connectivity.

The Vodafone 360 service includes a universal contact list that integrates information from address books within various services, and a 3D zoom feature that enables users to browse through their latest interaction in chronological order.

“Vodafone is privileged and honoured to be the first operator to launch a LiMo handset based on the R2 LiMo Platform. We believe this groundbreaking smartphone and platform combination will completely revolutionize the way in which end-users access their favourite services on their mobile phone,” said Patrick Chomet, Vodafone Group Director of Terminals and a founder director of the LiMo Foundation, “We have chosen to launch our new service strategy on the LiMo Platform, which demonstrates Vodafone’'s strong belief and ongoing commitment to LiMo.”

Android key to defining mobile experience from operators

BOSTON, USA: Due to the rise of mobile internet and its associated revenue opportunities, cell phone carriers are trying to wrestle control of the user experience away from device manufacturers.

Operators are focusing on open operating systems, such as Google’s Android, which allow them greater design input, and create additional revenue opportunities from application downloads.

The next big advance in mobile user experience will come from digital home convergence. These findings were based on interviews conducted with cell phone operators in the US and Western Europe. Details may be found in the Strategy Analytics Wireless Media Labs report, “Mobile Operators Aiming for Control and Convergence of the User Experience.”

“Cell phone carriers still face many barriers to delivery of an optimal user experience,” commented Chris Schreiner, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics. “Organizational structures that do not foster communication between different product and service groups are a major obstacle to developing a holistic experience.”

Kevin Nolan, Vice President in the Strategy Analytics User Experience Practice, added, "Operators that offer so-called ‘Triple Play’ packages combining broadband, TV and cell phones, have an immediate head start on the ability to make the next leap in mobile user experience into the digital home.”

LiMo platform at heart of leading global operator service strategies

LONDON, UK & TOKYO, JAPAN: LiMo Foundation today announced that global operators on LiMo’s Board of Directors will be launching new handsets during 2009/10 based upon the existing R2 & planned 2010 R3 release of the LiMo PlatformTM. Operators that intend to bring these handsets to market include NTT DOCOMO, Orange, SK Telecom, Telefonica, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone.

The LiMo Platform reflects best-in-breed IP contributions of major stakeholders across the mobile industry, which in turn enables operators to leverage a common, pre-integrated software platform across many devices while providing deeply customized experiences to their customers.

The LiMo Platform allows full freedom of choice in regards to application distribution paths and business terms so that mobile applications and services can be brought to market through a variety of channels, including current and emerging application stores and customer portals.

Operators will be able to work with application providers and other participants in the LiMo ecosystem to deliver personalized services and a highly compelling mobile experience to their customers.

“In addition to serving as a market-proven codebase upon which OEMs can produce handsets of varying form factors, the LiMo Platform provides a fully independent and pervasive foundation from which operators can freely deploy and monetize their own visions for compelling next generation applications and services for their consumers around the globe,” said Morgan Gillis, executive director of LiMo Foundation.

“As the value line continues to move further up the mobile software stack, LiMo is playing a critical role as the centre of gravity for industry collaboration within device software.”

Handsets for the upcoming operator deployments will be sourced from LiMo OEMs who have worked collaboratively with other LiMo members to develop and refine the LiMo Platform. OEMs within LiMo Foundation include Board members LG, NEC, Panasonic and Samsung, Core Member Casio Hitachi, and also Associate members Huawei and ZTE. To date, over 40LiMo compliant handset models have been delivered to millions of consumers around the world.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Samsung and Tata DOCOMO launch Samsung Galaxy I7500 in India

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Tata DOCOMO, the GSM brand of Tata Teleservices Ltd, and Samsung Mobile have launched the first Android-powered Samsung mobile phone with in-built Google Mobile Services —-- Samsung Galaxy (I7500) -- in India.

Samsung Galaxy is a cutting-edge Smartphone, featuring a 3.2” AMOLED full touch-screen and 7.2 Mbps HSDPA and WiFi connectivity, providing users access to Google Mobile services and full Web browsing at excellent speeds.

“TATA DOCOMO is a young brand that recently rolled out GSM services across eight circles (so far),” Deepak Gulati, President, TATA DOCOMO, said. “When we launched our services, we had promised our subscribers that we would bring to them the best products and services—products that will stand for innovation and a pioneering spirit, and which would offer them convenience and simplicity.

“Living up to that promise, we are launching the Samsung Galaxy with one-touch Google Mobile Services (GMS). This launch marks the beginning of TATA DOCOMO’s relationship with Samsung. We will continue working together to launch more innovative mobile offerings for Indian consumers on the Tata DOCOMO platform,” he added.

Announcing the launch, B.D. Park, Director - Telecom, Samsung India Electronics Pvt Ltd stated: “We are very happy to be launching the Company’s first Android-powered mobile phone with Google Mobile Services in partnership with TATA DOCOMO. This powerful device will allow consumers to fully experience all mobile based Google applications on this phone. With its innovative features, Samsung Galaxy will offer a strong value proposition to discerning TATA DOCOMO customers.”

Samsung Galaxy (I7500) offers users access to the full suite of Google Mobile Services, including Google Search, Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Google Calendar, Google Talk and Android Market.

The integrated GPS receiver enables comprehensive use of Google Maps features, such as My Location, Google Latitude, local search and detailed route description. Thousands of other applications are available in the Android Market. “Applications from the Android Market can be downloaded and installed on to this mobile over the air, without the use of a PC, thereby opening up an entire new world to the user.” states Asim Warsi, GM-Marketing, Samsung India Electronics Ltd.

Under an exclusive tie-up, Samsung and Tata DOCOMO are launching this complete touch-screen, lifestyle phone in all the Circles where Tata DOCOMO has kicked off its GSM services, with an attractive consumer offer of 500 MB free download per month, for a period of six months.

“At TATA DOCOMO, our promise has been to provide a refreshingly different experience to our fast-growing customer base,” Sunil Tandon, Regional Head, TATA DOCOMO, said. “The launch of the Samsung Android is part of that endeavor—to provide subscribers with a world-class product that lets them experience the vast range of applications of the Android Market.”

Based on Samsung’s proven product leadership, Samsung I7500 comes with latest multimedia features. The large and vivid 3.2” AMOLED display ensures brilliant representation of multimedia content and an enjoyable full-touch mobile experience.

Along with supporting a 5-megapixel camera and various multimedia codec formats, the I7500 also provides a long battery life (1500mAh) and generous memory capacity (Internal Memory of 8 GB and Expandable External Memory up to 32 GB) to enjoy all the applications and multimedia content. The phone also boasts a slim and compact design—it is a mere 11.9mm thick.

Tata DOCOMO has launched its services across eight telecom Circles in the country already, and the same has been received with great enthusiasm. Samsung Galaxy will target the tech-savvy and up market consumers who are always on the move and need to have constant access to information, entertainment and interactive mobile experience.

Samsung Galaxy comes at a special introductory price of Rs 28,990 in the Indian market.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Modest mobile growth in emerging markets

BOSTON, USA: The worst effects of the global recession may be over for mobile communications in emerging markets. Second quarter results from major operators in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe show modest growth in subscriptions and usage, according to the recent report from Strategy Analytics, “Emerging Markets and the Financial Crisis at Midyear: Light in the Middle of the Tunnel.”

After three successive flat or declining quarters, average minutes of use (MOU) for a basket of 26 key operators climbed a respectable 5 percent in Q2 2009, a rate not seen since the same period in 2008. Total subscriptions rose 4 percent, continuing a recovering trend begun in the first quarter of the year.

“Don’'t open the champagne quite yet,” cautions Tom Elliott, director of the Emerging Markets Communications Strategies service and author of the report. “There is still a lot of potential weakness in these markets.” Handset sales remain well below the levels of a year ago, and many operators have been unable to convert growth in subscriptions and traffic into increased revenue.

Emerging market economies also remain highly dependent on conditions in the developed world; and the pace those recoveries can affect key factors like demand for commodity products, foreign aid and home-bound remittances from overseas workers.

Noting that the global crisis has debunked the myth that developed and developing economies have been decoupled, Harvey Cohen, President of Strategy Analytics, says: “Growth of communications activity is a good indicator of economic health, particularly at the so-called ‘bottom of the pyramid.’ If you don’t have the money you’re not going to buy that phone, or make that extra call.”

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Yankee Group predicts $4.2bn mobile app gold rush by 2013

BOSTON, USA: Yankee Group estimates that nearly 7 billion U.S. smartphone app downloads will garner $4.2 billion in revenue by 2013. And with the number of smartphone users set to quadruple to 160 million at the same time, Yankee Group uses just two words to describe the market to come: gold rush.

How can developers and app store owners position themselves to profit from the impending bonanza? Two Yankee Group reports, “Forecasting the U.S. Mobile App Gold Rush” and “Which Mobile App Platform Deserves Your Software?” offer key insights:

Fit the app to the platform. While Nokia, Apple, Windows Mobile and RIM each have an installed base of more than 25 million devices, not all platforms are created equal. For now, consumer developers should focus on RIM’s Blackberry, where consumer-oriented apps are scarce, while those aiming at enterprises should target Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android to address those relatively untapped markets.

Price your apps appropriately. Paid apps will account for one in four downloads in 2013. While 99cent apps are the norm now, Yankee Group predicts that paid apps will cost $2.37 on average by 2013, increasing today'’s $343 million download market by more than 10 times over those five years.

Focus on marketing. App store owners need to attract developers by marketing their apps and promoting the store’s successes via top 25 lists, download counters and running revenue tallies.

“Apps have been around for years,” said Carl Howe, director at Yankee Group and author of the reports. “But app stores have created mass-market products with million-dollar revenue streams attached. Every mobile software developer could be the next Bill Gates for smartphones, but only if they bet on the platforms with the right reach and fit for their application.”

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

HCL-BSNL to work together on National Broadband Penetration program

BANGALORE, INDIA: One of India’s largest telecom companies, BSNL, and HCL Infosystems, announced that they will be working together on the National Broadband Penetration Program (NBPP), a nationwide initiative to accelerate IT proliferation in rural India.

The project aims to accelerate PC and broadband penetration by offering a complete solution and to create new markets in the interiors of the country.

The NBPP project, believed to be the largest government program to promote rural connectivity till date, aims to break through the affordability barrier.

The project aims to power the next million PC+ Broadband connections in untapped market space through the Universal Services Obligation Fund (USOF) under DOT which has granted a subsidy to BSNL for providing wire line broadband connectivity in rural and remote areas.

USOF will be providing a subsidy of Rs. 4500/- per broadband connection that BSNL will be rolling out through their existing 27,789 rural and remote telephone exchanges.

“Today, the need to create a progressive environment of growth is more than ever before. Indian economy, in the past few years, has grown but the growth can be accelerated and made more inclusive by providing an impetus to PC and Broadband penetration in rural India. This project for BSNL is in line with our strategy for mass adoption of PC + Broadband to promote India’s GDP growth,” said Ajai Chowdhry, Chairman & CEO, HCL Infosystems Ltd.

With this ambitious program, HCL and BSNL aim to address the significant untapped demand in rural markets by providing a complete solution to the customer This solution will be available to customer at a nominal payment of Rs. 2,250/- followed by Rs. 300/- per month for the PC and subsidized broadband package at Rs.99/- or Rs.150/- per month.

This program is seen as an initiative from Government of India and USOF to support inclusive growth. Different countries across the globe have adopted this model of partnering with IT companies to infuse PC-Broadband growth for national development. As India is poised for growth, this program will significantly contribute in ensuring sustained economic growth. There is a direct and favourable correlation to the number of Personal Computers (PCs) per inhabitant to the per capita GDP of the country.

A study shows that for country like China, the per capita GDP is expected to increase from $ 8,000 to $ 18,000 as PC penetration increases from 5 percent to 24 percent from 2005 to 2015. Countries like Korea, Singapore and Sweden attribute their inclusive economic growth over the past decade greatly to the increased PC & broadband penetration.

“This is indeed the one of the major initiatives to bridge the digital divide by offering PC + Broadband at a subsidized rates to our customers. We are delighted to partner with HCL Infosystems for this nation wide program. The missing pie in PC and broadband proliferation was the affordability and service which are now being provided jointly by us and HCL, with support from USOF to increase desirability.” said Kuldeep Goyal, CMD, BSNL.

Complementing BSNLs need for a partner with extensive rural reach, experience and servicing ability, HCL Infosystems continues to lay more emphasis on creating appropriate programs and solutions for the Indian rural markets. Committed to bridge the ‘Digital Divide’ in the country HCL has been one of the pioneers in India to create special ICT products and solutions for the rural markets.

Over the years, HCL has innovated and developed various products and solutions to address the rural market in India including rural PCs that work on car batteries, special products for milk co-operatives in rural India, packages for education and literacy in rural India, the development of special software and hardware products for addressing financial inclusion of persons who currently do not use the banking system in rural India, programs for panchayat computerisation and support for community service centres through government schemes and the ITC e-Chaupal program.

Speaking on the occasion, Ajay Bhattacharya, USOF (Administrator) commented that the steps taken by BSNL are in the right direction of digitalizing India with a special emphasis on rural India. USOF desires that more such partnerships should be developed in future so that benefits of broadband should reach every citizen of the country.

Providing strength to NBPP program will be HCL's innovative service & support initiative, ‘HCL TOUCH’, which is delivered through one of India’s largest IT service and support networks. HCL Touch has a network that reaches out to over 4,000 towns and delivers services in 11 regional languages. The ‘HCL Touch’ network consists of 14 remote support centers, 505 service offices, 390 ware houses and 150 repair centers.

Rajesh Wadhwa, who heads Fixed Access Business in BSNL expressed his happiness on the program. He stressed that field staff must come up to the expectation of the overall objective of the project. He told that this initiative will prove to be a major milestone in taking country to next level of civilization.

Speaking on the occasion, Intel South Asia’s Managing Director of the Sales and Marketing Group, R. Sivakumar said: “Intel has been committed to delivering the technology needed to connect Indians to the Internet and enabling them to leverage its unlimited potential. Affordable access to information via broadband internet is the key for India’s competitiveness in today’s global economy.

"The National Broadband Penetration Program is an excellent step forward and brings access of 21st century learning skills and IT business tools and opportunities to our population base. Intel is pleased to partner with HCL and BSNL on the National Broadband Penetration Program that aims to accelerate PC and broadband penetration.”

Mobile VoIP could transform mobile landscape

SCOTTSDALE, USA: Mobile VoIP is moving beyond its initial function as a new mechanism to get inexpensive international calls, reports In-Stat.

While Mobile VoIP still poses a direct threat to operator voice revenue, it also represents a dynamic new capability that promises numerous applications. In-Stat projects that by 2013 Mobile VoIP applications will generate annual revenues of $32.2 billion, driven by over 278 million registered users worldwide.

One new application integrates Mobile VoIP into a unified mobile interface to social networking sites. In another new development, MVNOs and 3G operators without legacy networks are using Mobile VoIP to more cost effectively add voice to data offerings. In yet another scenario, a few carriers are using a form of Mobile VoIP, UMA, to support better indoor coverage and off-load macro networks.

"Applications such as Skype and Vonage have influenced users to think of voice as a data application,” says Frank Dickson, In-Stat analyst. “The increasing penetration of Wi-Fi in mobile devices was the beach head that Mobile VoIP applications needed.

"As user habits are being shaped by rich on-line communication experiences, mobile carriers control over devices and data applications is waning. Mobile carrier attempts to slow the spread of on-line Mobile VoIP are proving challenging as well.”

Recent research by In-Stat found the following:
* Activities associated with early Mobile VoIP successes are likely to influence LTE operator voice plans in ways that potentially favor IMS.
* While the EMEA region has more Mobile VoIP related revenue currently, Asia Pacific will be the largest regional market by 2013.
* Dual-mode handsets will approach nearly 400 Million units shipped in 2013.
* Revenue and users associated with Mobile VoIP will be distributed among online Mobile VoIP services, 3G-Based Mobile VoIP offerings, and WiMAX/LTE Mobile VoIP offerings.

Sequans launches LTE program

CHICAGO, USA: Sequans Communications, the world’'s leading WiMAX chipmaker, made public its move into LTE and details of the LTE development program it launched earlier this year.

Sequans has been preparing for this move as part of its long-term growth strategy and has been steadily adding resources and headcount to support it. Sequans intends to develop products for both the LTE and WiMAX markets in parallel.

“Our success in WiMAX has enabled us to expand naturally into LTE, and we are ready to meet the needs of LTE equipment manufacturers with outstanding silicon and software solutions, building upon our significant experience with WiMAX operators and OEMs,” said Georges Karam, Sequans CEO.

“We have assigned a number of our key engineers to the LTE program and have hired others with deep experience in cellular technology, who have successfully developed LTE components that meet 3GPP specifications. Our LTE team will leverage our proven development methodology to deliver world-class LTE chips to this important market.

“Our WiMAX development will continue unabated, and we are looking forward to a very strong 2010 where our new generation 65nm SQN1200 family, the most highly integrated Mobile WiMAX semiconductor solutions in the industry, will gain an even stronger foothold in the market.

“We see WiMAX deployments ramping up sharply and expect that demand for our differentiated solutions will increase accordingly. Operators in Japan, USA, India, Russia, Malaysia and Taiwan, to name a few, will add millions of subscribers in 2010, and Sequans is ready to meet this demand. We have established sure momentum and expect our WiMAX shipments in 2010 to at least triple,” said Karam.

Sequans expects to continue adding resources to its LTE organization this year and will demonstrate its first LTE solutions beginning early 2010, in support of pre-commercial operator trials.

Yankee Group uncovers 4G disconnect

CHICAGO, USA: While 60 percent of users surveyed by Yankee Group say they are interested in mobile Internet access, just 3 percent say they are anxiously awaiting 4G and 43 percent say they have heard the term “4G” but don’'t understand what it means.

That disconnect is just one hurdle service providers must overcome before they can successfully reap the promise of 4G and the mobile Internet.

These are core topics of 4G World and Mobile Internet World, which run through Sept. 18. The events have 7,000 registered attendees, and feature 250 sponsors and exhibitors and 150 speakers, including eight Yankee Group analysts. The report, “Beyond 4G Rhetoric: Capitalizing on the Mobile Internet,” released today spotlights industry challenges:

* Mobile Internet is spawning new, tougher competition. Service providers are not only challenged to transform their businesses for the mobile Internet, but must also keep up with innovative non-carrier competitors, like device makers Apple, Google, Microsoft, RIM and Nokia, as well as new entrants in emerging markets.

* High smartphone usage will continue to stress networks. Yankee Group surveys show 60 percent of users are likely or highly likely to purchase a smartphone as their next mobile device. Data traffic is expected to increase by more than 29 times between 2009 and 2015, with most demand coming from smartphones. In fact, the proportion of data traffic coming from smartphones will increase from 18.5 to 56 percent between 2009 and 2015.

* Service providers must overhaul their infrastructure. “In addition to moving to all-IP cores, service providers must adopt holistic strategies to transform their entire network, IT and operational ecosystems,” says Phil Marshall, senior research fellow and author of the report. “Service providers must capitalize on the mobile Internet or perish.”

Growing demand for mobile Internet requires 'smarter' networks

WAKEFIELD, USA: Telecom operators must allocate mobile broadband access according to business priorities and move away from flat-rate pricing plans to accommodate the growing “on-the-go” demand for mobile Internet services, according to two Comverse executives speaking this week at 4G World, a telecom conference about next-generation wireless technologies in Chicago.

“For close to 30 years, Comverse has had the foresight to develop products and solutions for coming waves of technology to ensure long-term operator success,” said John Bunyan, Chief Marketing Officer of Comverse, the world's leading supplier of software and systems enabling value-added messaging and content services, converged billing and active customer management, and IP communications.

“At 4G World, we will continue that tradition by sharing our strategies for smarter networks for mobile data and smarter systems for billing and active customer management,” Bunyan said.

The exponential growth in mobile data traffic growth requires a comprehensive approach to managing and controlling the traffic load, which can also reduce the urgency to expand existing network capacity.

Providing value beyond connectivity, the Comverse Mobile Internet HUB offers smart traffic management that allocates bandwidth based on a network’s real-time load.

The Comverse Mobile Internet HUB also helps network operators boost usage among current customers, as well as attract new ones, by providing flexible pricing plans tailored to individual user lifestyles and preferences and by speeding new services to the market ahead of competitors.

As more advanced applications and services become available on next-generation mobile networks, innovative pricing and billing models are more effective than flat-rate plans to help operators maximize revenues and improve their subscribers’ overall experience.

The Comverse ONE Billing & Active Customer Management solution, the company’s flagship Business Support System (BSS) offering, can support these emerging charging models, including hybrid prepaid/postpaid models, policy-based models and multiple identities. Comverse ONE is a single unified system that presents a consistent real-time 360-degree view of the customer.

”We welcome Comverse’s participation in our 4G World event to present their successful strategies for converged BSS and the mobile Internet,” said Ashvin Vellody, Senior Vice President, Research at Yankee Group. “Comverse’s solutions align well with our vision of the Anywhere Network® and further fuel the 4G communication lifestyle that consumers are striving for.”

Global Crossing benefits from Digital Fuel IT cost management solution

SAN MATEO, USA: Digital Fuel, the leader in On-Demand IT Cost Visibility solutions, today announced that Global Crossing has put Digital Fuel’s ServiceFlow IT Cost Management and Service Level Management applications to work as a core business application to reduce service costs, drive efficiencies, and help ensure world-class delivery times for its service portfolio.

Using ServiceFlow, Global Crossing has improved tracking for a number of its telecommunications services by merging financial data from numerous sources into a single business application that automatically aggregates margin and cost information tied back to specific services.

“ServiceFlow is not intended to replace Business Intelligence, data warehousing or reporting tools. Instead, we find it to be a powerful augmentation to those tools,” said Tim Hallowell, chief architect for Global Crossing.

“We use ServiceFlow for three purposes: to analyze revenue, costs and margins for our services; to measure service performance; and to better manage our end-to-end service delivery cycle. In so doing, ServiceFlow helps us continually improve our services, our cost to serve, our profitability, and our customer satisfaction.”

Global Crossing is one of the world’s foremost IP solutions providers, offering voice, data and video services to 40 percent of the Fortune 500 as well as to 700 carriers, mobile operators and ISPs around the globe.

With operations on six continents, Global Crossing uses an advanced service delivery model to bundle its products into comprehensive, integrated solutions. With ServiceFlow, Global Crossing can analyze costs and margins associated with the delivery of each solution to improve efficiency and accurately distribute charges based on automated cost allocations.

ServiceFlow is Digital Fuel’s suite of Web-based solutions that helps service organizations cost, price, bill, charge for, and control IT spend and usage. The IT Cost Management application provides the cost visibility necessary to operate a service organization like a well-managed business, reducing costs in an optimized way for maximum business benefit.

“Global Crossing is a leading global service organization,” said Yisrael Dancziger, CEO of Digital Fuel. “The company’s entire business depends upon a disciplined approach to managing service costs. That they’ve chosen Digital Fuel as a driver for their overall customer- and business-facing service management initiatives is a testament to ServiceFlow’s position as an industry-standard solution for service cost management from a business perspective.”

Proactive service cost management
According to Hallowell, ServiceFlow is serving as a unified decision support system for revenue and margin analysis at Global Crossing. He explained that ServiceFlow helps Global Crossing normalize the disparate data sources that are inherent in a large organization and transforms them into a new level of business information invaluable for making better, proactive service decisions.

“Whether we need to get data out of general ledger, Sybase, SQLserver, DB2, spreadsheets or billing systems, ServiceFlow will dynamically pull that data into its unified platform and automatically create a new level of business information with cost and margin visibility,” he noted.

Service delivery analysis
While Global Crossing currently uses ServiceFlow primarily for product-centric revenue, cost and margin tracking, notification and analysis, the company is exploring ways to exploit more of the application’s Service Level Management (SLM) capabilities as well.

“We are always looking to get more efficient. With ServiceFlow, we’re able to better manage our product delivery cycle, since even a one-day improvement, multiplied many times over, will improve our bottom line,” Hallowell stated.

Since implementing ServiceFlow at Global Crossing, the application is making believers of executives and managers who in the past used various reporting tools to track revenue and margins.

“We keep finding new ways for ServiceFlow to provide benefits without the pains of trying to do it with other tools like a data warehouse that ServiceFlow is designed to quickly augment,” commented Hallowell.

“It uniquely complements our existing tools and brings a business process automation approach to managing our services that is focused on services, customers, cost drivers, and our business objectives. ServiceFlow quickly turns isolated data into unified business level information for better decision making. The new level of business information, and the speed at which we are pulling it together, are extremely impressive.”

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Clearwire could deploy LTE in addition to WiMAX

MONTREAL, CANADA: Maravedis is proud to announce our new report, Sizing up the Competitive Opportunities for Verizon (LTE) and Clearwire (WiMAX), authored by Partner and Senior Analyst Robert Syputa.

The report takes a look at these leading ventures into next generation wireless deployments as a study not just of the competitive challenges and opportunities facing Clearwire and Verizon, but as a portal through which to view the emergence of true ‘broadband everywhere’ performance over wireless networks.

As Clearwire presses ahead aggressively to deploy WiMAX, Verizon is moving ahead with fast paced development of LTE, as AT&T prepares to follow.

Despite the technology differences between the standards, each player must confront the complex shifts in market demand for mobile broadband devices as they balance a growing array of partnerships, classes of service, and the potential cannibalization of existing business.

As the largest contiguous wireless broadband spectrum holder, Clearwire’s challenge is to become a new type of facilities-based operator that can be parlayed through a growing array of partnerships to serve an open IP broadband market. Technology choice is not necessarily cast in stone nor the most important determinant of long-term success.

Friday, September 11, 2009

iPhone’s China introduction to boost smart phone market

EL SEGUNDO, USA: The arrival of Apple Inc.’s iPhone in China is expected to help accelerate global shipment growth for smart phones in 2010 and 2011, according to iSuppli Corp.

Worldwide factory shipments of smart phones are expected to rise to 235.6 million units in 2010, up 27.9 percent from 184.2 million in 2009. Shipment growth will accelerate to 41.8 percent in 2011 to reach 334.1 million. This follows 2009 when growth is expected to slow to 11.6 percent, down from 20.6 percent in 2008, due to the global economic slowdown.

Although growth in the smart phone market is set to decelerate in 2009 compared to 2008, it still represents a rare bright spot for the troubled cell phone market. Global cell phone shipments are set to decline by 12.3 percent in 2009.

“China Unicom’s move to start selling iPhones in China starting in the fourth quarter will sound the starting gun for China’s smart phone market,” said Tina Teng, senior analyst for iSuppli. “The arrival of the iPhone has compelled China Unicom’s competitor China Mobile to introduce its own smart phone products and app store, helping to boost the market.”

Smart phone shipments in China in 2010 will rise by 42.5 percent to reach 30.2 million units, up from 21.2 million in 2009, the fastest growth rate of any country tracked by iSuppli.

China will experience the strongest growth in smart-phone unit shipments of all global regions in the coming years. Shipments will rise at a 30.6 percent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) to reach 63.6 million units in 2013, up from 16.7 million in 2008.

The way for increased smart phone acceptance in China has been opened up by the deployment of 3G networks in the country.

Childhood’s end
Another factor contributing to the success of smart phones is the newfound maturity of the product’s supply chain throughout the world.

“The smart-phone market now has moved past the infancy stage and has entered a period that presents enormous growth opportunities for a number of key players, including device manufacturers, operators, semiconductor vendors, and platform providers,” Teng said.

“There has been broad deployment of 3G networks worldwide, a proliferation of wireless broadband services and the rising availability of various multimedia applications for mobile devices. With all this in place, wireless network operators are expected to offer competitive data service plans and aggressive subsidies to reduce consumer smart phone prices.

“Furthermore, in encouraging customers to upgrade, wireless operators and handset brands are promoting the value smart phones deliver to consumers, rather than just playing up the hardware.”

10G-EPON standard ratified

PISCATAWAY, USA: Over 40 companies and organizations that supported or participated in the IEEE P802.3av 10 Gb/s Ethernet Passive Optical Network (10G-EPON) Task Force are celebrating completion of IEEE Std. 802.3avTM-2009, also known as Physical Layer Specifications and Management Parameters for 10 Gb/s Passive Optical Networks. IEEE Std. 802.3av and its predecessor, IEEE Std. 802.3ahTM-2004, are specifications that describe Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) telecommunications systems.

The following companies have expressed their support for the approved standard: Alloptic, Anritsu Company, ARRIS, B-DeltaCom, Bright House Networks, Cambridge Industries Group, China Mobile Communications Corporation, China Telecom – STTRI, China Unicom – Beijing, Corecess, Cortina Systems, CyOptics, Dasan Networks, Dongwon, Enablence Technologies, ETRI, FiberHome, Fujitsu, H3C, Hisense Broadband, Hitachi, Huawei Technologies, Kawasaki Microelectronics, KDDI R&D, KT, Ligent Photonics, Mitsubishi Electric, NEC, NTT Corporation, OF Networks, OneChip Photonics, PMC-Sierra, Shanghai Luster Teraband Photonics Co., Sumitomo Electric, Teknovus, Telekom Malaysia R&D, Ubiquoss, Vitesse Semiconductor, and ZTE. The China Communications Standards Association (CCSA), the Ethernet Alliance, the Optical Access (FTTx) Industry Alliance (OAIA) of China, and the Taiwan Optical Communication Industry Alliance also endorse the 10G-EPON standard.

The IEEE Std. 802.3av 10G-EPON standard supports symmetric and asymmetric line-rate operations. The symmetric option operates at 10 Gb/s in both the downstream and upstream directions. The asymmetric option, which reflects the fact that IP video services create bandwidth pressure mostly in the downstream direction, uses 10 Gb/s downstream and 1 Gb/s upstream.

IEEE Std. 802.3ah 1 Gb/s EPON (1G-EPON) systems have been deployed to more than 30 million subscribers worldwide and support diverse services, including IPTV, VoIP, and cellular backhaul.

Given the large and accelerating deployment of 1G-EPON systems, the IEEE Std. 802.3av enables seamless upgrades via the simultaneous operation of 1 Gb/s and 10 Gb/s symmetric and asymmetric EPON systems on the same outside plant. This allows operators to introduce 10G-EPON without replacing any existing 1G-EPON customer equipment and minimizes the operational impact of upgrading a large, in-service FTTH network.

Initial deployments of the 10G-EPON equipment are expected in 2010.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Samsung Mobile intros Samsung Freeform with Alltel Wireless

DALLAS, USA: Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile), the No.1 mobile phone provider in the US, and Alltel Wireless, announced the availability of the Samsung Freeform (SCH-r351).

The Freeform is a sleek and stylish bar phone with a variety of appealing capabilities for Alltel Wireless customers.

The Samsung Freeform boasts a large 2.2 inch QCIF color display that makes pictures pop for a better viewing experience and is available in two color options, teal and red wine.

The four-row QWERTY keyboard and multiple messaging options feature threaded text entry, which lets users send text messages instantly. Freeform users can access their favorite applications by clicking on customizable navigation keys.

The Freeform allows users to play individual music files or create full playlists, replicating a standalone MP3 player experience. The handset is equipped with stereo Bluetooth, allowing users to truly go wireless and an expandable memory up to 16GB.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

INSIDE Contactless, CONNECTHINGS take NFC to next level

AIX-EN-PROVENCE & PARIS, FRANCE: INSIDE Contactless, the world leader in advanced open-standard contactless chip technologies, and CONNECTHINGS, a pioneer in providing systems that deliver contextualized services and content based on location and time, today announced a partnership to give Near Field Communication (NFC) the intelligence it needs to go beyond payment and transit applications to enable a broad range of mobile services.

To accomplish this, the two companies will jointly develop, promote and commercialize the Wave-Me™ NFC services platform, an end-to-end solution carriers and third-party service providers can use to give subscribers easy access to a broad range of consumer services and applications through their mobile phones.

“When INSIDE announced its Wave-Me technologies in February of this year, we introduced our vision of a service-rich future for NFC, and the partnership we are announcing today is an important step in realizing that vision,” said Loic Hamon, Vice President Marketing NFC of INSIDE Contactless.

“Together with CONNECTHINGS, we are developing the key infrastructure elements that will give operators and service providers a powerful NFC service delivery platform and transform how people interact with and use their mobile devices.”

The two companies occupy dominant positions within their respective markets, and their combined expertise and experience create a unique force to drive the development of the Wave-Me NFC services platform and define the intelligent interfaces and protocols necessary for communication between NFC handsets, NFC tags and the platform.

INSIDE will provide its NFC technology know-how, NFC hardware, loadable application-level software for the handset, Wave-Me products, NFC tags and other patented technology. CONNECTHINGS brings knowledge from its AdTag™ server-side contextualized content management, as well as its experience with NFC tag and mobile application life cycle management and other technologies.

“This partnership with INSIDE Contactless demonstrates our commitment to distributing and commercializing NFC tags to deliver contextualized services to mobile phone users and to managing tags and application life cycle,” said Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, founder and chief executive officer of CONNECTHINGS.

“We share INSIDE’s vision of consumers using their mobile phones to scan tags to quickly gain access to value added and contextual services, and look forward to working with INSIDE on the creation of this NFC services platform.”

Wave-Me-enabled handsets will allow people to access relevant, profile-based services with a simple gesture. When “waved” near a corresponding Wave-Me NFC tag, the Wave-Me technology automatically simulates a complex series of keystrokes, eliminating awkward, time-consuming, multi-keystroke chores. Wave-Me tags could also contain relevant phone numbers or complex URLs to send SMS messages or send and retrieve information from web sites.

Merchants and other businesses will be able to sponsor Wave-Me applications, with the possibility of displaying branding information not only on the tag, but also on the handset screen with accompanying sound or music.

Museums and cities will be able to provide Wave-Me applications to their visitors, with the possibility of using NFC tags deployed in their environment to access services. These tags will provide quick access not only to a multimedia guide but also to added-value features like annotation and content sharing. INSIDE and CONNECTHINGS plan to demonstrate the Wave-Me NFC services platform later this year.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

TATA DOCOMO launches 'diet-sms'

NEW DELHI, INDIA: TATA DOCOMO, the GSM brand of Tata Teleservices Ltd, India’s fastest-growing pan-India dual-technology telecom service provider, has announced another innovative offer in the country, diet-sms, with customers being given the never-before option of paying for any SMS they send on a per-character pricing plan.

The cost of any ‘diet-sms’ will be only 1 paise per character used, thereby providing complete value to customers. Furthermore, there will be no charge for spaces between words, living up to TATA DOCOMO’s promise of not charging subscribers for the ‘unused’.

TATA DOCOMO has launched services in eight telecom circles in just two months, and the countrywide rollout of its GSM services is expected to be completed by this year.

“In all of the eight Circles where we have launched our GSM services, we made the promise of introducing path-breaking innovative products and services, and never-before tariff options. The diet-sms service is another way of fulfilling that promise,” Deepak Gulati, President, TATA DOCOMO, said.

“Today’s customer is discerning and seeks transparency, innovation and differentiation. Our products and services are tailored to uphold the trust associated with the House of Tata—and TATA DOCOMO follows the concept of fare being fair. From today, all TATA DOCOMO subscribers will be able to enjoy the benefits of pay-as-you-use even in SMS,” he added.

The unique part of the offer is that any customer can choose the diet-sms option when he/she has short text messages to send—he/she can continue to use the regular SMS option for longer SMS. “Our diet-sms concept is a result of thought leadership, creativity and innovation, riding on TATA DOCOMO’s customer-centric approach to doing business,” Mr Gurinder Singh Sandhu, Head of Marketing at TATA DOCOMO said.

“We broke the per-minute pricing paradigm for voice calls when we launched our services—with diet-sms, we are doing it again, this time on the SMS front. At TATA DOCOMO, we believe in taking the best that technology has to offer to make life more refreshing for our customers,” Gulati said.

To send a diet-sms, a customer has to:
* Go to the SIM-based menu on the phone (called Dive-in Now), scroll to the diet-sms option under the English Language menu, open it and send the SMS; or

* TATA DOCOMO has also launched a phone application which can be downloaded from TATA DOCOMO ‘Dive In’ WAP portal, or by simply sending a SMS “diet” to 54321. * Using this diet-sms application, the customer can send short text messages easily; or
* TATA DOCOMO customers can also send a diet-sms using the normal SMS menu. They need to type the mobile number followed by a space followed by the message and sms this to the short code 52208.

The downloaded diet-sms application also contains a bank of most common short SMS as templates. Customers can select from any of these templates and send the message by simply clicking ‘Send’.

“The diet-sms service is revolutionary and tailor-made to suit Indian customers—a survey conducted by TATA DOCOMO found out that a majority of SMS sent in India are very short—we designed this application after studying trends such as this, in order to benefit the customer,” Gulati said.

The diet-sms service is available to customers on the per-character pricing plan on the TATA DOCOMO network only.

T-Mobile and Orange move to upset UK status quo

Emeka Obiodu and Steven Hartley, senior analysts with Ovum

UK: UK mobile network operators T-Mobile and Orange have announced exclusive negotiations to combine their UK operations into a 50:50 joint venture. Based on December 2008 figures, the combined entity would have 28 million subscribers and 37 percent market share.

Creating a new market leader
The first thing to note about today’s announcement is that it is for exclusive negotiations. The deal is unlikely to be signed until the end of October, with completion expected in the first half of next year.

Furthermore, on this morning’s briefing call both parties were keen to stress that the two brands would operate separately for a further 18 months, with a new brand not expected to launch until 2012 (maybe not the best idea when the Olympics come to London and global branding efforts to thousands of roamers are undermined). Therefore, there is still a long way to go and in the short term the deal will change very little.

However, assuming the deal goes through without a hitch, it does realign the UK competitive landscape. To date the two separate operators have struggled to close the gap on Vodafone and O2. The combined entity would not only become the clear market leader, but the synergies (through network integration, marketing and distribution, and other efficiencies) are promised to be £620 million by 2014, thereby improving profitability immensely.

It is important to remember too that Orange’s fixed broadband assets are also included in the deal, so the combination would enable T-Mobile customers to receive integrated offerings. This should not be overstated, but for T-Mobile the lack of a fixed strategy was leaving it somewhat exposed to future trends in the UK.

Huge challenges for Vodafone and 3
The T-Mobile/Orange merger sets the stage for a total transformation of the UK mobile market and poses the question of the response from Vodafone, O2 and 3. Unsurprisingly, 3 will be the most affected as the merger cuts it adrift in the market.

With a market share of less than 6 percent it would become too small to compete realistically and would have to reconsider its presence in the UK, either by becoming an MVNO or exiting the market.

For Vodafone, this merger is a blow as it relegates it to third in its domestic market. This will dent the group’s ego, and Vodafone must take steps to ameliorate it. Even a takeover of 3 will not be sufficient. However, given the recent cosiness between Vodafone and BT, this might just become the prompt for Vodafone to tie-up with BT and take the initiative in its domestic market as an integrated telco.

O2 and Virgin Mobile will be less impacted. O2 will lose its market leadership, but it has successfully challenged the market leader before, both in the UK and Germany. Therefore we do not see any drastic response from it. Virgin Mobile’s involvement will be limited to where its wholesale deal resides. If regulators compel T-Mobile/Orange to spin off the deal, then Virgin Mobile will get ready to work with a new partner.

Ovum expects regulators to approve deal
While the 37 percent market share of the combined Orange/T-Mobile business looks big, comparisons with Europe make it look reasonable. Market leaders in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal have similar shares. Indeed, regulators will look at a broader definition of dominance when approving the deal.

Regulators will have to look at the Virgin Mobile wholesale deal with T-Mobile and T-Mobile’s network-sharing deal with 3. We expect the Virgin Mobile deal to be decoupled –- Orange/T-Mobile tacitly suggested this by separating out Virgin Mobile’s customers in their subscriber data.

Regulators will likely encourage the continuation of T-Mobile’s network-sharing deal with 3, unless 3 becomes a takeover target itself. Finally, negotiations about spectrum re-farming are unlikely to be solved with this merger and the expected government plan should still materialise.

Ultimately, as long as regulators impose the necessary safeguards, we do not believe the deal is bad for consumers. Competition is good for consumers, but with five major players the UK operators were competing themselves to death and badly needed to consolidate.

The UK’s operators face many challenges, including recouping the billions invested in 3G; expanding and upgrading network coverage; and getting ready for 4G –- and all this without seeking any government subsidy. Therefore, something needed to be done.

Open IPTV Forum continues technical evolution with public release of Architecture Specification for Release 2

UK: The Open IPTV Forum (OIPF) is pleased to announce the publication of the Architecture Specification for IPTV infrastructure elements and services to be included in Release 2 of the OIPF Specifications. The Architecture Specification is freely available for download from the Publications section of the Forum website www.oipf.tv.

Release 1 of the OIPF technical specifications was published early in 2009, and the Forum technical workgroups are now actively engaged in developing Release 2. The Release 1 profiling specification, which will finalise the first release, is expected at the end of September.

The newly published Release 2 Architecture Specification provides the additional functional components and technologies needed to support the Release 2 requirements published earlier.

The Release 2 architecture specification addresses a number of new services and features by introducing or extending functionality in a number of key areas:

- Broadening of the service domain to include mobile networks, allowing OIPF-specified features such as remote access, notifications, and session transfer & replication to extend to mobile devices.

- Enhanced content access for consumers including more sophisticated local & network PVR, timeshift, PPV and personalized channels.

- Remote access and remote management functions for more flexible control of the TV experience.

- Functions to increase consumer convenience, such as notifications, TV bookmarking, parental controls and session controls across multiple devices.

- Features, which assist the service provider in the provision and measuring of the service, including forced playout controls and audience research.

The OIPF was established in 2007 to develop and publish end-to-end specifications for standardised IPTV solutions, helping eliminate many of the interoperability and portability issues, which have historically hampered IPTV service providers as they build their solutions.

The specifications are being developed in a phased manner, to provide interested parties with timely and increasingly comprehensive coverage of the many infrastructure and functional areas involved in an end-to-end IPTV solution.

According to Yun Chao Hu, Chair of the OIPF: “The Forum was established to develop specifications to satisfy a recognisable and urgent market need, and we have consistently set ourselves aggressive targets for our development work. This latest milestone maintains our momentum and reinforces the credibility of the organisation as it continues to grow and thrive, and I wish to congratulate all those who have contributed to the successful development of the Architecture Specification for Release 2.

"Reaching agreement among a large and diverse membership is not without its challenges, and it is to the credit of all involved that by maintaining an appropriate focus we continue to make effective progress towards the practical benefits the Forum was set up to deliver.“

Sun Direct crosses 4 million subscribers in India

CHENNAI, INDIA: Sun Direct Pvt Ltd, the leading direct-to-home (DTH) service provider in the country achieved another milestone by crossing the 4 million subscriber base; the fastest growing player in the DTH market to do so in under two years, since its launch in December 2007.

Setting up a scorching growth pace in the market with its Value for Money offer, right regional content mix, deep distribution across the country and offering flexi-content pricing, all of which have enabled Sun Direct to become the fastest growing DTH player in the country today.

Commenting on this landmark achievement, Tony D’Silva, Chief Operating Officer, Sun Direct, said: "From the beginning we had clear plans on the value we will offer to our customers; our Think Regional: Go National strategy helped shape our approach in different markets.

"Today, we have achieved a pan India customer base and have established a strong brand presence for Sun Direct as a national player, the 4 million landmark achievement is a laudable milestone in our continuing journey to market leadership in this industry."

Continuing the several firsts to its credit, be it India’s first DTH player to launch HDTV services or the first to use MPEG-4 technology as well as becoming the youngest player to grab 4 million subscribers in under two years has become more of a habit to this young aggressive national DTH player.

Persistent expands mobile application development capabilities with Apple iPhone Center of Excellence

PUNE, INDIA: Persistent Systems, a leader in software product development services, today announced the creation of a dedicated Center of Excellence (CoE) for application development on the Apple iPhone platform.

The CoE supports Persistent’s vision to be the preferred engineering partner enabling customers to build customized mobile applications on the iPhone platform.

Through the CoE, which includes a fully equipped lab facility, Persistent will build ready-to-use, re-useable building blocks that save 20-40 percent of development efforts and solution accelerators to reduce time-to-market.

The company’s engineers have already created automation tools and frameworks that accelerate development, porting, interoperability testing and certification of mobile applications. Currently, over 350+ engineers work exclusively on a variety of mobile platforms to develop over 50 product releases per year for carrier-grade and enterprise class applications.

The iPhone 3G, launched in July 2008, has sold over 5.2 million units per quarter with users downloading more than 1.5 billion applications from the App Store in its first year.

The versatility offered by iPhone 3G has leading organizations evaluating various alternatives for the development of enterprise mobility and workforce automation solutions. Persistent’s mobility practice team has already successfully developed a number of browser-based and native applications.

Most recently, Persistent developed the image puzzle game Jumble. A native iPhone application, Persistent’s Jumble has been designed from the ground up to leverage iPhone’s unique interface. The game is supported on iPhone (version 2.2 onwards) operating system and has received 4+ rating from iPhone users.

"The Apple iPhone has revolutionized the smart phone market," said Hari Haran, president, Persistent Systems Inc. "Persistent is committed to staying ahead of the curve and our team has in-depth understanding of the iPhone application software development ecosystem. We are excited about the new CoE with exclusive focus on iPhone application development. Organizations can leverage our expertise for performance enhancement and consistent user experience with exceptional quality."

With more than a decade of experience in mobile application development, Persistent also has the expertise to certify and upload iPhone applications to the APPLE AppStore.

The company has expertise in all major mobile platforms, including iPhone, BREW, J2ME, Windows Mobile, Symbian, Palm, Embedded Linux and BlackBerry, and is a member of the Android Open Handset Alliance. Persistent’s Mobility practice recently released two new applications in the Android Open Mobile platform: ‘Knight Tour,’ a chess game and ‘World of Web,’ (WoW) an application, thus enabling partner companies to expedite development on the rich and evolving mobile platform.

Persistent’s mobility capabilities include:
• Expertise in developing carrier grade/enterprise class applications, including push-email, social networking, enterprise mobility and PIM services

• Expertise in porting device applications

• Expertise in developing applications, as well as protocol stacks

• Expertise in device testing and certification

NGN funding gap

Craig Skinner, Senior Consultant, Ovum

UK: The dilemma facing both fixed and mobile next generation network builders is the current and foreseeable gap between network costs and the revenues that can be captured by the network business.

Even in the absence of regulation, the shift to IP based networks has seen an increasing commoditisation of network services. New services are being enabled, but the benefits are largely being captured either by end customers or the retail service providers.

The traditional bulwark of telecoms revenues, voice, is also progressively becoming a commodity service provided over the network rather than from within the network. The response by operators is to supplement and eventually largely replace voice revenues with a combination of commodity bandwidth services and, where possible, value added services.

In an antithesis of the IP network vs services separation philosophy, standards and technology such as IMS seek to re-embed service functionality into the network core.

Most operators are attempting to delay the inevitable for as long as possible, with the non-approval of the Google Voice application being a recent high-profile example.

Video, whether live streaming or stored content, has long been hyped as a next generation service. While video over IP does require high bandwidth to deliver customer expectations on quality and hence justifies building higher bandwidth networks, the revenue model has proven more challenging.

With viewers typically not willing to cover the costs of most video viewing, the traditional broadcasting industry model is to source the revenue gap from advertising. The question for network providers is whether they can capture any of this revenue source.

The standard approach to regulating next generation networks (predominantly fixed) in a number of countries looks like it will focus on creating wholesale only networks.

While there are sound economic arguments to separate the network infrastructure from the services delivery to promote services competition, it should be understood that a strict retail-wholesale separation will also separate the retail revenues from the wholesale network costs, exacerbating the cost-revenue funding gap.

A lot of the debate about the value of next generation networks seems to confuse this retail-wholesale distinction, with analysts talking up retail services and revenues that will not be accessible to the wholesale network provider.

One solution to this cost-revenue funding gap is for government subsidy of the network infrastructure costs, diverting money from other infrastructure budgets where benefits from greater use of telecoms network services can lead to potential infrastructure cost savings, such as in transport infrastructure.

Telefónica, China Unicom in strategic alliance, mutual investment agreement

BEIJING, CHINA & MADRID, SPAIN: Telefónica and China Unicom have entered into a strategic alliance agreement.

Pursuant to which, the parties agreed that they would cooperate in various business areas such as the joint acquisition of infrastructure and equipment for customers, the joint development of wireless service platforms, the joint provision of services to multinational enterprises, roaming, R&D, the sharing of best practices and technical, operational and management expertise, the joint development of a set of strategic initiatives within the framework of network and technology development, as well as establish an exchange program for their managers.

In addition, both parties have also entered into a subscription agreement pursuant to which China Unicom and Telefónica agreed to invest the equivalent of US$1 billion in the other party through the acquisition of each party’s shares.

Pursuant to the subscription agreement, the share price for the subscription is the arithmetic average of the closing prices of each party’s shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the Madrid Stock Exchange respectively for the 30 consecutive trading days ending on 28 August 2009.

After the completion of the transaction, China Unicom’s shareholding in Telefónica will be approximately 0.88 percent and Telefónica’s shareholding in China Unicom will increase to approximately 8 percent from 5.38 percent.

These agreements were signed in Beijing by the operators’ respective chairmen, César Alierta and Chang Xiaobing, and mark a major step forward in the cooperation agreements carried out between the carriers to date.

After the signing of the two agreements, Telefónica Chairman César Alierta said: “We are delighted with this alliance, which will bolster both of our companies’ leadership positions, giving us a combined global customer base of nearly 550 million.

"We are fully committed to the alliance and will exploit the synergies offered by this far-reaching cooperation to benefit our shareholders and customers alike, making us bigger and more diversified so we can continue to compete globally by offering convergent solutions and best practices."

Chang Xiaobing, Chairman of China Unicom, added: "We are pleased to see that the strategic partnership between China Unicom and Telefónica has been further deepened on the current basis. Both of the companies are major full spectrum services carriers in their respective market, and both have third-generation mobile communications business under WCDMA standard.

"We are looking forward to enhancing the partnership and achieving a win-win situation for both parties. We believe that the partnership will help improve our capacities to provide extensive telecommunication and information application services, and maximize shareholders’ return."

LSI, Aricent in strategic collaboration to accelerate deployment of next-generation networks

MILPITAS, USA: LSI Corp. and Aricent announced an expansion of their strategic collaboration to accelerate the deployment of wireless and wireline networking infrastructure and enterprise networking systems to the global marketplace.

Aricent and LSI currently offer pre-integrated software stacks for multi-service business gateways that run on LSI APP communications processors and have co-developed broadband networking software with IPv6 capabilities. Now, the two companies have extended their collaboration to wireless and additional wireline infrastructure applications.

"Aricent is a global innovation, technology and services company with a goal of providing OEMs with comprehensive software frameworks and engineering services, which ultimately reduce development risk and costs, while speeding time to market of wireless and wireline infrastructure solutions," said C.P. Murali, senior vice president, OEM BU at Aricent.

"Our laser focus clearly differentiates us as a truly unique supplier, co-creating together with our customers the world's most innovative communications products and services."

LSI develops highly integrated, multicore communications platforms that enable high-bandwidth, content-rich services. LSI and Aricent expect that pre-integration of their products will enable OEMs to reduce product development cost and time to market by as much as 50 percent. Aricent has a long history of developing production-ready software based on LSI multicore processor products.

"Demand for next-generation rich media services continues to escalate, and the pace of innovation is causing product development intervals to shrink," said Charlie Kawwas, vice president of marketing, Networking Components Division, LSI.

"A key element of our strategy is to partner with global providers like Aricent who can provide standard products and custom software services so OEMs can rapidly develop next-generation solutions at significantly lower cost."

Currently, telecom OEMs are required to integrate software and hardware components from many different suppliers in order to create next-generation systems for service provider networks.

Through early collaboration, LSI expects to enable pre-integrated, pre-optimized solutions for OEMs that reduce the time and cost of delivering systems.

BroadLight, Jungo intro GPON residential gateway reference platform

PARIS, FRANCE: BroadLight, the leading supplier of GPON semiconductors, and Jungo Ltd, an NDS Group company and a leading provider of software solutions for residential gateways, announced that the two companies have integrated Jungo's OpenRG residential gateway software with BroadLight’s BL2348 GPON System-on-Chip.

This new GPON gateway reference platform enables service providers to offer their customers high-speed broadband access and advanced digital home services over fiber networks.

The new platform allows service providers to accelerate the introduction of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) services and benefit from increased ARPU, while at the same time reducing gateway development costs.

The GPON residential gateway platform from Jungo and Broadlight offers intelligent data routing with quality of service (QoS), carrier-class VoIP, IPv6 support, and virtual private networks with firewalls. The platform also provides seamless support for multiple local area network (LAN) technologies, including Ethernet, USB and WiFi.

The BL2348 integrated network processor (NP) combined with the OpenRG middleware’s open, modular architecture gives gateway manufacturers and service providers unparalleled flexibility for bringing customized products to the market.

"Our collaboration with Jungo has produced a versatile platform for the rapid development of cost-effective residential gateways, connecting the high-speed digital home to FTTH services," said Doron Tal, VP Business Development and Product Management of BroadLight.

"Combining the superior flexibility and performance of the BL2348 SoC with Jungo's field-proven OpenRG gateway middleware enables us to deliver a complete, ready-to-deploy GPON gateway platform for service providers."

“Fiber networks are gaining momentum worldwide, enabling service providers to increase ARPU with a range of advanced, high-bandwidth digital home services, while at the same time requiring sophisticated CPE in subscribers’ homes,” said Eran Rom, Jungo’s CEO.

“We are pleased to be working with BroadLight to offer a robust platform for GPON gateways based on the company’s market-leading semiconductor offering. This partnership further emphasizes Jungo’s ability to supply service providers with best-in-class uniform middleware for their entire home gateway installed base, on all chosen hardware platforms and network technologies.”

MobileOne launches Novatel Wireless’ MiFi 2352 intelligent mobile hotspot

SINGAPORE & SAN DIEGO, USA: Novatel Wireless Inc. (Nasdaq:NVTL), a provider of wireless broadband access solutions and MobileOne (M1) a leading mobile operator based in Singapore and part of the Vodafone partner network, announced that MiFi, Novatel Wireless’ tiny battery-powered Intelligent Mobile Hotspot that was keenly awaited by American consumers before its launch earlier this year, will debut in Asia at COMEX 2009 this Thursday.

M1 has partnered with Novatel Wireless to offer Singaporeans MiFi, the industry’s first ultra portable credit card-sized Intelligent Mobile Hotspot that allows users to create their own personal Wi-Fi hotspots, revolutionizing the way mobile broadband is used. M1, known for breaking new ground with numerous innovative broadband devices and services, is proud to be the first operator in Asia to offer this unprecedented connectivity solution.

The MiFi 2352 creates a Wi-Fi bubble that provides high speed Internet connectivity for up to five devices. Users can create their personal mobile hotspot wherever they go instead of having to search for a non-secure public access point.

Users can be constantly connected to their Wi-Fi devices such as notebooks, gaming devices, printers and mobile phones while on the move, transforming the consumer broadband experience with access available nearly anywhere and anytime.

For instance, users can download and print photos from their digital camera and laptop while simultaneously challenging friends to an online game, even while in a moving train or automobile.

“M1 took the lead in offering mobile broadband in Singapore,” said P. Subramaniam, M1’s Chief Marketing Officer. “We are proud to be the first operator in Asia to offer MiFi. Together with our partner Novatel Wireless, we have introduced a brand new service innovation in the mobile broadband space. With the concept of hotspots now following the users, MiFi will influence and change the way mobile broadband is utilized.”

“With M1’s leading services and MiFi, M1’s customers will receive unprecedented functionality and access for their wireless devices,” said Rob Hadley, CMO for Novatel Wireless. “We are very pleased to partner with M1 the first operator in Asia to deliver the most advanced wireless data ecosystem available for our combined customers.”

Portability and ease of use are the two most celebrated features of the MiFi 2352. MiFi does not require any type of installation or previously installed software. Users simply need to turn on the unit to connect to Wi-Fi enabled handsets or devices.

MiFi is powered by a built-in battery and does not require any external power source. When fully charged, it can support four hours of active use with downlink and uplink speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps and 5.76 Mbps respectively.

The MiFi 2352 will be available at M1 Shop from this Thursday. Consumers can also check it out at COMEX 2009. Pricing details will be announced at launch.

Tata Communications Transformation Services (TCTS) starts management of SEACOM cable system

MUMBAI, INDIA: Tata Communications Transformation Services Ltd (TCTS), a leading provider of business transformation, telecom BPO and consultancy services, announced that it has launched NOC operations, subsequent to SEACOM commissioning the 1.28 Terabytes per second (Tb/s), 17,000-kilometre cable system.

TCTS NOC has started managing the network administration, operations and maintenance functions of this SEACOM cable system which connects the African continent to the rest of the world.

Leveraging its parent company's (Tata Communications) expertise in the sub-sea domain, TCTS will help SEACOM enhance connectivity for businesses based out of Europe, Asia and India by providing them with cable and capacity options into Africa and vice versa; an option never available before.

SEACOM will ensure a robust fulfillment and assurance experience to its customers through TCTS' offshore global delivery centres, which provide cost-effective 24X7 service delivery to customers across the world.

The SEACOM cable system enables Tata Communications to provide fully integrated network services from South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya to its networks in Europe, Asia and India.

Besides high capacity international bandwidth, enterprises and carriers using SEACOM can enjoy delay-free voice and video services made possible by reduced Round Trip Delay (RTD).

"We are proud to be associated with the SEACOM cable project that will bring much needed connectivity into Africa. With our expertise in managing operations of submarine and terrestrial networks, we can bring process efficiencies to SEACOM and as a result transform the businesses and lives of the local people," said V.S. Shridhar, COO of TCTS.

The launch of SEACOM augments the SAT3 and SAFE cables in West Africa and South Africa. This gives telcos in Africa the ability to provide a fully redundant service by supplying access via two routes to anywhere in the world, and can reach Europe, for the first time, via multiple routes.

"Before the development of this cable system, most east and southern African nations relied on small and costly satellite circuits to meet their international network requirements," said Brian Herlihy, SEACOM CEO.

"SEACOM's establishment marks the first step in meeting the region's fast rising demand for bandwidth and connectivity and we expect many more services to be rolled out as a result of SEACOM's arrival. Businesses using the SEACOM network will truly benefit from TCTS' expertise in managing all business and network operations as well as the leverage offered through the broader Tata Communications group of businesses."

Monday, September 7, 2009

ICNIRP guidelines for Indian telecom sector

GERMANY: The Department of Telecommunication, TEC, vide its order dated 23rd July 2008, has approved the adoption of International Commission on Non–Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines for the telecom sector in india. These guidelines lay down the limints of maximum exposure that can be permitted from mobile phones and base stations.

Recently, the ICNIRP has issued a press note in respect of the validity of the present radiofrequency safety recommendations for limiting exposure to electromagnetic fields up to 300 GHz.

The statement concludes that:
“The recent in vitro and animal genotoxicity and carcinogenicity studies are consistent over all and indicate that such effects are unlikely at low levels of exposure. Therefore, ICNIRP reconfirms the 1,998 basic restrictions in the frequency range 100KHz–300GHz for the moment.”

The ICNIRP guidelines were published in 1998 and are considered to be the safest, and have been adopted by most of the countries across the globe to ensure compliance against all the safety limits from EMF.

The World Health Organization (WHO), is closely involved with the studies and research being carried out by various international bodies, and has recommended adoption of ICNIRP standards to limit human exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF).

. In India, the Telecom Commission in its order dated July 23, 2008 has approved the adoption of ICNIRP guidelines.

The statement also comments on mobile phones:
'...individual national and multinational [INTERPHONE] results published thus far do not indicate an elevation of the risk of cancers in the head with cell phones.

Regarding base stations, the statement states that:
'Epidemiological data on possible health effects of chronic, low-level, whole-body exposure in the far-field of radiofrequency (RF) transmitters are poor, especially because of lack of satisfactory individual exposure assessment. The few studies with adequate exposure assessment did not reveal any health-related effects. Exposure levels due to cell phone base stations are generally around one-ten-thousandth of the guideline levels.'

This is an important confirmation that the present WHO and ITU endorsed safety recommendations i.e. ICNIRP are protective for all persons against all established health risks.

We believe that the same will remove many misconceptions and apprehensions with regard to the radiations from the mobile phones and base stations.

Cellular Specialties empowers small businesses to quickly boost in-building cell phone coverage

MANCHESTER, USA: Cellular Specialties Inc. (CSI), a recognized leader in the design and implementation of in-building wireless solutions and digital amplification products, announced the availability of its In-Building Wireless Kit.

It dramatically simplifies the process of ensuring strong, in-building reception for cell phone high-speed data services, PDAs. Starting at under $10,000, CSI’s wireless kit optimizes reception inside 25,000 and 50,000 sq ft buildings and includes professional installation services.

According to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped a total of 244.8 million units [mobile phones] in the first quarter of 2009. The report also states that: “As the overall market dropped 15.8 percent in 1Q09, converged mobile devices (commonly referred to as smart phones) continue to grow year on year at 4 percent. Growth within this segment was evident in Western Europe, North America, and Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan). Mobile operators have become progressively more open to raising subsidies within this segment as dependence on data revenue has increased as a result of reduced consumer demand for new handsets."

As more businesses rely on mobile and smart phones as an important means to communicate, it becomes imperative that these devices maintain their service connectivity when inside office buildings, warehouses, manufacturing floors as well as hospitals and universities.

Scott Goodrich, CSI’s president of Product Division, underscores the value of his company’s timely offering.

He says: "The increased proliferation of mobile phones, and the reliance on these devices for voice and data services, has led to the public demand for connectivity everywhere — even in difficult-to-reach indoor areas. However, the ability to ensure reliable in-building cell phone reception has always been priced beyond the means of small to mid-sized business owners.

"CSI is addressing this issue with our new in-building wireless kits that package the latest digital technology in a small device and combines it with installation performed by experts — with decades of wireless configuration and installation services. With this new offering, small to mid-sized business owners can now take charge of supporting their employees’ cell phone voice and data needs."

CSI’s In-Building Wireless Kit features Verizon Wireless and AT&T approved products. Its small footprint is designed to be easily installed to provide an immediate boost for weak cell phone signals. Components and features of the kit include:

• Consistent, strong signal solution to optimize data throughput for 3G applications.
• Customizable solution options for challenging environments.
• Optional extended warranty and maintenance contracts.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Broadcom's GPON product family complements broadband carrier access portfolio

PARIS, FRANCE, Broadband World Forum Europe 2009: Broadcom Corp. announced its first product offerings in the Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) market with a scalable family of products spanning from gigabit bridges to fully integrated access device (IAD) capabilities.

Broadcom's GPON portfolio leverages their field proven processor, switch and physical layer (PHY) intellectual property cores, in conjunction with the industry's most widely deployed Linux and VoIP software suite, enabling FTTH and FTTN solutions. With this announcement, Broadcom further completes its carrier access portfolio delivering highly integrated solutions for ADSL, VDSL and now GPON technologies.

Broadcom's new GPON solutions enable high definition (HD) video, VoIP, high-speed internet (HSI), gaming, and higher bandwidth provisional services such as video-on-demand (VoD) and rapid download of IP video content.

FTTH and FTTN solutions can deliver much faster broadband speeds to the end-user than is possible over the existing copper access network allowing service providers to offer advanced triple play services.

The Broadcom BCM6800 family of GPON gateway processors are designed to facilitate the realization of more cost effective optical network terminals (ONTs) or optical network units (ONUs) used in conjunction with service provider passive optical networks (PONs).

The product family provides unparalleled levels of integration utilizing Broadcom's high performance, 400 MHz dual core processor architecture, hardware-assisted gigabit bridging and routing, hardware-assisted IPsec security for virtual private network (VPN) termination, gigabit switch and PHYs, VoIP, support for USB 2.0 host and devices, and support for Broadcom's latest WLAN devices utilizing PCI Express. The BCM6800 family includes TR-069 and OMCI management software.

Another unique capability in Broadcom's GPON portfolio is the world's first integration of the Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) standard, which has already received MoCA 1.1 certification from the MoCA Certification Board.

The solution in the BCM6800 portfolio integrates a MoCA media access controller (MAC), PHY transceiver and RF tuner which enable service providers (using GPON technology) to easily and cost effectively transform a subscriber's existing coax network into a home media distribution gateway.

As a result, service providers that use coax for media distribution within the home can offer whole-home digital media services that allow subscribers to securely access, store and share multiple types of digital media content including HDTV programs, video-on-demand, digital video recorder (DVR) recordings, Internet content and VoIP.

Each solution within the BCM6800 product family leverages Broadcom's success in xDSL gateway chips and residential gateway software development and is designed in a 65 nanometer (nm) CMOS process that provides high integration, low power consumption, and small footprint size.

Telecom carriers and OEM customers are able to preserve their software investment across multiple access technologies by leveraging Broadcom's field proven networking, management, Kernel, and VoIP software architectures used on all Broadcom ADSL, VDSL and PON subscriber products.

"Our entry into the GPON market complements our carrier access portfolio of highly integrated, versatile single-chip solutions for next generation broadband services by enabling gigabit networks and extending performance, cost and manageability of subscriber equipment," said Greg Fischer, Vice President & General Manager of Broadcom's Carrier Access line of business.

"Our presence and commitment to the carrier market are well established with leadership in DSL, Ethernet and WLAN products. The global GPON standard provides next generation FTTH and FTTN opportunities and we look forward to extending our leading access technologies and investments in this area."

The Broadcom BCM6800 family of GPON devices are now shipping to early access customers. Pricing is available upon request.