Wednesday, June 30, 2010

MHL 1.0 specification and adopter agreement now available

SUNNYVALE, USA: MHL, LLC the entity responsible for administering the MHL Consortium, announced the availability of the MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) specification version 1.0 and Adopter Agreement.

The MHL standard defines a new mobile interface to directly connect mobile phones and other portable consumer electronics devices to high-definition televisions and displays. One of the key advantages of the MHL specification is that it enables manufacturers to utilize widely established connectors available in today’s mobile and CE products.

“The increasing availability of storage and media capabilities on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile electronics is contributing to the consumption of video on the go,” said Michael Palma, senior research analyst for Consumer Semiconductors of market research firm IDC.

“The MHL specification should enhance the ability to link these portable devices to HDTVs opening up opportunities for manufacturers and service providers to deliver new applications and add more value for consumers.”

The MHL 1.0 specification delivers the following functionality:

Video: Up to 1080p/60 picture quality can be displayed from portable devices to TVs and displays.
Audio: Up to 192 kHz of audio transmission is supported, delivering up to 7.1 channel Linear Pulse Code Modulation (LPCM) surround sound and compressed audio.
Power: Five volts and 500 mA are provided from an A/V device to continuously power the portable device and charge its batteries.

Products implementing the MHL 1.0 specification have the following benefits:

Connect: With a simple 5-pin interface, mobile devices can output high-quality video and digital audio over a single cable while receiving power from TVs and displays and multi-purposing existing connectors in the market.
Control: Consumers can display digital media from portable devices to A/V devices and access content with a remote through command and control technology.
Protect: High-value video and audio content is safe from unauthorized interception and copying with High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP).

“Our 1.0 specification release marks another MHL milestone and brings us one step closer in achieving our goal of becoming the standard of choice for wired mobile connectivity,” said Barry McAuliffe, president of MHL, LLC. “Utilizing existing connectors saves valuable space in devices by keeping form factors small, allows for cost-effective implementation, and enables consumers to get more functionality and features from a single connector.”

Apple’s iPhone 4 delivery difficulties might open up company to competitive risk

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Apple Inc.’s difficulties in satisfying the massive demand for the iPhone 4 are raising questions about the company’s management of the supply chain and prompting frustrated customers to consider competitors’ smart phones, according to iSuppli Corp.

iSuppli estimates that Apple in 2010 will ship 21.7 million iPhone 4s, representing 51 percent of the 42.6 million iPhones Apple is expected to ship during the year. The attached figure presents Apple’s top-line forecast for the iPhone from 2008 to 2013—a sum that includes Apple’s previous-generation iPhone 3G and 3GS models.

Releasing a new phone every June since 2007, when the first iPhone launched on the market, Apple has risen very quickly from virtually zero presence to become the No. 3 smart phone player, ranking just below Nokia Corp. and Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM)—both of which have enjoyed much longer runs in the wireless field. Nokia, responding to the threat of the iPhone 4, recently reorganized its business units. Meanwhile, RIM, its share of the market also under assault, is working on a highly anticipated update of its operating system.

The huge early demand for the iPhone 4, however, has come at some cost to Apple. Logging 600,000 units on the first day that the product first became available for pre-ordering, the Apple Store and partner carrier AT&T Inc. very quickly became overwhelmed, prompting both to stop taking orders just one day after the pre-order was available.

In addition to the order freeze, consumers reacted with dismay to Apple’s repeated pushback of its online pre-order shipment date—first from June 24 to July 2—and then further back to July 14.

“While the channel supply issue might not impact total iPhone sales for the entire year, what is happening now certainly has done some damage to the Apple brand,” said Tina Teng, senior analyst for wireless communications at iSuppli. “Consumers, questioning Apple’s supply chain management capability, have started looking for alternative devices. In particular, consumers are not satisfied with Apple’s response to the antenna issue causing poor reception and dropped calls.”

Furthermore, Teng said that for manufacturers, the object lesson to be derived from the iPhone 4 unveiling is that any product launches involving a new technology or different component could raise a hornet’s nest of issues that throws channel supply into serious jeopardy.

“The lesson here is manufacturers beware,” Teng said.

Options for the aggravated consumer
Despite the feverish coverage engendered by the iPhone 4, Apple’s various competitors continue to push for awareness of what they advertise as viable alternatives, leveraging the many new features of their offerings.

“While North American consumers are grappling with the iPhone 4 shortage, consumers— especially those in other regions—know they have other smart phone options,” Teng said.

In the case of Nokia, the Finnish company is placing its bets on the state-of-the-art N8, which offers real video conferencing over a 3G network, HDMI connection for HD video output, an exchangeable battery, a side-loaded MicroSD memory card up to 32GB and more importantly, support for a Lite version of Adobe Flash—an obvious and intentional omission left out on all iPhones, including the current iPhone 4.

A second competitor can be found in the 4G EVO, from Taiwanese manufacturer HTC Corp. Billed as the first 4G handset in North America and carried by AT&T rival network Sprint Nextel Corp., the 4G EVO is equipped with a Wi-Fi router capable of supporting eight devices when there is no voice traffic—a feature lacking in the iPhone 4.

A third competitor, Samsung Electronics Corp. Ltd., has made bold statements about plans to double its smart phone market share this year in view of the company’s new line of Galaxy S phones, which carry the increasingly popular Android operating system from Google Inc.

Admittedly, the ambitious plans of Apple’s competitors—and even Apple’s own stumbles in delivering its much heralded product—probably pose no deterrent to hordes of devoted Apple fans aching to get their hands on the next available iPhone 4. These users are determined to sit out the wait, however long it takes.

However, while Apple has the enviable benefit of playing to a captive audience, the moves from a battle-weary—yet determined—competition to step up its game are all too real and could pose a real risk to Apple.

“With threats coming from every corner of the market,” Teng surmised, “can Apple afford another slip in its supply chain management?”Source: iSuppli, USA

Adobe should cut its iPhone losses and switch focus

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Adobe should cut its losses with Apple and target its flagship Flash Player at telecoms carriers, independent analyst Ovum has claimed in a new report.

With the spat over Apple’s refusal to support the Adobe Flash technology on its iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices continuing to generate column inches, Ovum believes it is time for Adobe to turn the tables by courting new sponsors of its technology in the shape of telecoms operators.

The report states that Adobe and telecoms carriers are faced with similar threats and share similar goals in relation to value-added applications and content, and that carriers should therefore seek an industry-wide partnership with Adobe to use Flash as the basis of their own multi-screen device, development, delivery, and distribution systems.

Ovum believes both sides could work together to create a developer ecosystem around connected devices that would compete with, and even outdo its rivals in terms of developer and user experience and multi-screen reach.

Tony Cripps, Ovum principal analyst and report author, said: “The reality is that in the new multi-screen world, Apple and Adobe are ultimately competing for the support of the same finite pool of application and content developers.

“If Adobe is to continue growing the opportunity for Flash and its ability to pull through sales of its developer tools, it needs to find new ways to leverage its existing developer goodwill. Doing so would help maximise opportunities for success in an environment where heavily vertically-integrated offerings from vendors such as Apple are beginning to lead developer thinking through force of will and market dominance.”

Cripps added: ”Clearly, if Flash is to become a preferred technology around which carriers can build their applications and content strategies – while retaining or increasing its own relevance to developers – it will not just happen by itself. There needs to be a will in both directions to drive this idea forward. However, we are convinced there is merit in the idea and that it should be pursued.”

Industry leaders establish MIFARE4Mobile Industry Group

SINGAOPORE: Seven leading players in the Near Field Communication (NFC) ecosystem, Ericsson, Gemalto, NXP, Oberthur Technologies, STMicroelectronics, Venyon, a company in the Giesecke&Devrient group, and ViVOtech have joined forces to form the MIFARE4Mobile Industry Group.

The aim of the group is to enable its members to collaborate and work together to standardize and advance the uniform management of MIFARE applications on NFC-enabled secure elements, such as SIM cards, and mobile phones.

MIFARE has become the most widely adopted contactless technology on the market today and is an essential element in public transportation schemes, ticketing systems and access management around the world. MIFARE4Mobile is a technology, which has been developed by NXP and is used to manage MIFARE-based services in NFC mobile devices, from the over-the-air installation to the end-user interaction via the user interface of the mobile phone.

By bringing together some of the key players in the NFC ecosystem, the group will act as a platform to provide future direction, discuss experiences and share best practices to ensure evolution, interoperable development and implementation of the MIFARE4Mobile technology.

“The creation of this new industry group provides further impetus to the development of NFC applications for mobile phones especially given MIFARE’s reach as a key contactless platform,” said Jonathan Collins, principal analyst, ABI Research “As SIM-based NFC phones come to market, greater collaboration by all stakeholders to remove development and interoperability barriers in existing contactless infrastructures will help drive NFC adoption.”

“The MIFARE4Mobile technology enables mobile network operators, trusted services managers and service providers to seamlessly leverage NFC-enabled mobile phone services on the existing vast MIFARE infrastructures around the world,” said Dr. Nav Bains, Senior Director Mobile Money, GSM Association. “Increased collaboration by some of NFC’s most influential stakeholders will support the creation and facilitate the integration of business for the mobile network industry related to NFC-based services.”

Over the next few months, the MIFARE4Mobile industry group will further develop the specifications supporting MIFARE DESFire technology and multiple Trusted Service Managers, following the initial MIFARE4Mobile release from late 2008 supporting MIFARE Classic technology. Licences for the MIFARE4Mobile Interface specifications are free of charge.

As an increased number of companies begin to develop their own NFC applications to support transactions such as ticketing, there is an increased need for collaboration with other partners in the ecosystem to enable interoperable over the air configuration of SIM cards and handsets.

This process automatically facilitates the activation, updates, provisioning and lifecycle management of contactless mobile services. The MIFARE4Mobile industry group, which includes both hardware partners and trusted service managers, will actively support the global adoption of NFC and the needs of all stakeholders.

Qualcomm and MediaTek held 56 percent share of cellular baseband revenues in 2009

BOSTON, USA: The cellular baseband processor market recovered well in the second half of 2009, as described in the latest report, “BASEBAND Market Share Tracker: Qualcomm Extends Revenue Share Lead,” from the Strategy Analytics Baseband Quarterly Metrics service module.

The report reveals that the cellular baseband market exceeded $11 billion in 2009, down about 0.7 percent as the market faced ASP (average selling price) challenges. The study also provisionally estimates that total cellular baseband processor revenues reached $2.8 billion in Q1 2010.

The cellular baseband processor market continued to show dynamism as market share fluctuations were evident in 2009. Qualcomm, MediaTek, Infineon, Broadcom and Marvell made progress in 2009 while ST-Ericsson, Texas Instruments and Freescale had a difficult year. ST-Ericsson’s challenges can be attributed to continued product restructuring and share loss at its tier-1 handset OEMs. TD-SCDMA was the only bright spot for ST-Ericsson in 2009.

Stuart Robinson, Director of the Handset Component Technologies service, said: "Strategy Analytics believes that both Infineon and Broadcom benefitted from multi-sourcing strategies at tier-1 handset OEMs which significantly improved their baseband revenues and volumes in 2009. With Texas Instruments exiting from the baseband business, both Infineon and Broadcom are well-positioned to win most of the GSM/GPRS/EDGE business at Nokia in 2010.”

“MediaTek is now second only to Qualcomm in the cellular baseband market on the strength of the low-cost and grey handset markets,” commented Sravan Kundojjala, analyst.

“However, MediaTek was absent in the important W-CDMA baseband market in 2009, which we estimate represented one-third of total global cellular baseband revenues. Looking forward, Strategy Analytics believes that multi-sourcing strategies, new radio technologies (LTE, TD-SCDMA), mobile broadband and Asia baseband vendors will provide growth opportunities to MediaTek and other cellular baseband players.”

Envivio puts HDTV in palm of your hand with support for iPhone 4

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, USA: Envivio announced that the world’s most widely-deployed solution for delivering Mobile TV, its 4Caster C42 encoding/transcoding platform, now offers high definition (HD) video support to the Apple iPhone 4, taking maximum advantage of the device’s capabilities.

The upgrade for 4Caster creates an unprecedented mobile video experience by enabling services for the first time that deliver high definition live and on demand TV services that make full use of the high resolution iPhone 4 “Retina Display.”

The Envivio 4Caster solution provides simultaneous support for delivering services to the complete range of devices and technologies from Apple, including iPad, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod, Safari 5 and QuickTime X.

Envivio solutions power premier network operator and over the top TV services for the iPhone and iPad around the world, including premium Pay TV, sports and movie content for operators in Europe, coverage of the Olympics and NHL hockey in Canada, coverage of the World Cup in France and Germany and telecomm Mobile TV services worldwide.

”As the screens on mobile devices achieve higher levels of fidelity, it is incumbent upon services to provide consumers with video streams that make the most of that capability,” said Julien Signès, president and CEO of Envivio.

“Envivio solutions ensure that those high expectations are met, meaning happy subscribers today, while providing the flexibility to address even more compelling devices down the road. The combination of the iPhone 4 and Envivio 4Caster delivers a true HD-caliber experience in the palm of your hand.”

Support for the iPhone 4 is available as an upgrade for existing 4Caster C42 systems. The upgrade enables services to deliver video that is optimized for the 3.5-inch, 960×640 resolution “Retina Display.” The high pixel density of the display makes images appear exceptionally smooth and continuous. Envivio H.264 Extreme Main Profile Compression, regarded as the industry’s highest quality video codec, ensures the best quality video stream is delivered at precisely the resolution of the iPhone 4.

Multi-profile output maximizes service density by making it possible to simultaneously service iPads and iPhones, as well as PCs, smartphones and other devices. Ingesting up to eight IP, four analog or four SDI channel sources, the 4Caster C42 simultaneously encodes and protects content in multiple profiles.

This multi-profile encoding also powers Apple adaptive streaming to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of video, regardless of fluctuations in network bandwidth.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Global enterprise WLAN market to grow 23 percent and reach $2.1 billion in 2010

FRAMINGHAM, USA: Despite a crushing global economic recession in 2009, the worldwide enterprise-class wireless LAN (WLAN) market suffered relatively small market declines and is now poised for a strong rebound in 2010.

According to new research by International Data Corporation (IDC), the WLAN market will gain momentum throughout the year, growing 23 percent from $1.7 billion in 2009 to a robust $2.1 billion in 2010.

Enterprises continue to embrace wireless to increase efficiency and user productivity. "Unlike other markets that were ravaged by the recession, economic uncertainty and the structural causes of the downturn did not change the fundamental drivers for the growth of wireless in the enterprise," said Rohit Mehra, director, Enterprise Communications Infrastructure. "New applications, new devices, and new verticals are all contributing to the organic growth of Wi-Fi across all regions."

The proliferation of wireless devices on the network increases both the importance and pervasiveness of the enterprise wireless network. "More and more customers are demanding resilient, intelligent, scalable, and adaptive wireless network infrastructures. They are gearing up for widespread deployments across the board -- not just in the carpeted areas of enterprise and in the education market segment, but in widespread applications across major verticals," Mehra said. Recovery from short-term softness in retail, manufacturing, and services verticals, combined with the continued strength in education, healthcare, and government, will help drive WLAN growth in 2010.

Additional findings from IDC's research include the following:

* WLAN connectivity is shifting from "nice-to-have" to "essential-to-have" within the enterprise.
* Growth in 802.11n deployments is accelerating in 2010, with 57.5 percent of all dependent access points (APs) being "n" based.
* With the uncertainties around 802.11n and Power over Ethernet behind us, the momentum continues to build for network managers to move forward with network expansions, upgrades and green field rollouts.
* WLANs will begin to dampen demand for ethernet switch ports in 2010.
* The channel for WLANs continues to be increasingly important as the market goes global, especially given the variances in the technical competencies across the regions.

8th VAS ASIA 2010 to help maximise VAS revenues for Indian telecom industry

NEW DELHI, INDIA: All the major Indian telecom operators, along with the leading VAS technology organisations will be congregating at 8th VAS Asia 2010 – a single day International Conference & Exhibition which is being held on July 9th 2010 at Le Meridien, New Delhi.

Organized by Bharat Exhibitions, VAS Asia 2010 is India's premier and only forum on VAS for fast growing Indian Telecom Industry. Now into successful 8th year, VAS ASIA 2010 will offer the best business platform in the country for Indian telecom industry to conduct business and share their strategic plans for India. A recent study projects the value-added services market in India is expected to grow to about $5.6 billion by 2011.

Currently, MVAS in India accounts for 10 percent of the operator revenue, which is expected to reach 18 percent by end of 2010. The opportunities in MVAS Space in India, is huge.

Global majors in the VAS segment are participating in the event - Making it truly global platform to conduct business Buongiorno, teleDNA, One97 Communications, OnMobile, Comviva, Dialogic, Audiocodes, Nokia Siemens Networks, Radisys,Donjin, Xtend Technologies, One 97Communications, Nuance, NetXcell, Byte Mobile, CanvasM, Apalya, Aricent, Eastcom, Motorola, Sangoma, Synway, Tecnomic, Telesoft, Technologies, IBM and BSNL will share their strategic plans for India.

Among the telecom operators - Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Aircel, BSNL, MTNL, Reliance Communications, TATA Teleservices, Sistema Shyam, Virgin Mobile, Etisilat, Unitech Telenor, TATA DoCoMo, Datacom would be part of the event.

Real-time charging as a key enabler for profitable business

PADERBORN, GERMANY: New mobile broadband devices are the corner stone for vast growth of mobile broadband usage. Operators will have to allow for huge volumes at very high speed and wireless access.

In 2010, mobile broadband will surpass fixed broadband and in 2014 already, industry experts estimate 2bn mobile broadband users in 2014. Orga Systems, #1 choice in real-time charging and billing, shows why real-time charging is essential for profitable business while demand on mobile broadband is increasing steadily.

Hugh data volumes at high speed
Current mobile broadband results clearly indicate that the volume consumed will rise enormously.

The industry is coming from 0.09 Exabyte per month globally in 2009 and experiencing usage of 0.2 Exabyte per month globally in 2010. Industry associations' estimated usage in 2011 is already a monthly global usage of 0.6 Exabyte. This is likely to double in 2012 and again nearly triple from 2012 to 2014 (meaning 3.6 Exabyte usage per month globally in 2014).

Allowing for this high volume data service at high speeds will lead to an explosion of cloud services. Europe has the leading infrastructure but must take care to enable ubiquitous access in real time in order to stay ahead of the field. Mobile broadband services will provide tremendous opportunities for flourishing business and job creation.

These next-generation services will make sure that Europe is among the leaders for both the development and uptake of future mobile business. Real-time charging is a great opportunity for Europe to take the lead.

Advanced solutions for European telecoms market
At NGT Europe Summit 2010 Orga Systems, will show why real-time rating, charging and policy management are the key to solving the challenge of increasing data traffic alongside with shrinking revenues.

iPhone 4 carries BOM of $187.51: iSuppli

EL SEGUNDO, USA: The iPhone 4’s design may be radically different—but the strategy remains the same, with the latest member of the product line carrying a Bill of Materials (BOM) that should continue to generate high profit margins for Apple Inc., according to iSuppli Corp.’s Teardown Analysis service.

The 16Gbyte version of the iPhone 4 carries a BOM of $187.51, based on a preliminary cost estimate derived from a physical teardown of the product.

“Just as it did with the iPad, Apple has thrown away the electronics playbook with the iPhone 4, reaching new heights in terms of industrial design, electronics integration and user interface,” said Kevin Keller, principal analyst, teardown services, for iSuppli.

“However, the BOM of the fourth-generation model closely aligns with those of previous iPhones. With the iPhone maintaining its existing pricing, Apple will be able to maintain the prodigious margins that have allowed it to build up a colossal cash reserve—one whose size is exceeded only by Microsoft Corp.”

iSuppli estimated the BOM of the 3GS in 2009 at $170.80; the 3G in 2008 at $166.31
and the first iPhone in 2007 at $217.73.

The figure presents the results of iSuppli’s preliminary teardown estimate. Please note that the BOM accounts only for hardware costs and does not include other expenses such as manufacturing, software, marketing, distribution and royalties and licensing fees.Source: iSuppli, USA.

Housing complex
One of the most apparent examples of the iPhone 4’s design innovation is its completely redesigned housing. Unlike the unibody housing of previous models, the iPhone 4’s enclosure is composed of multiple pieces, allowing it to accommodate a considerably larger battery as well as the much-discussed integrated antenna.

“The metal housing of the outer enclosure serves as a physical antenna, a tough task to design and manufacture because antennae pieces have to be insulated from other parts, and yet be rigid around the perimeter,” Keller said. “This adds more complexity and cost, but elegantly uses every possible cubic millimeter of the iPhone for function, and not just form. The tight intertwining of form and function is an area where Apple has always excelled.”

Less is more in wireless
The wireless subsection of the iPhone 4 is far smaller than in previous members of the line because of greatly increased integration of the Radio Frequency (RF) functionality into the core chipset components, despite the presence of an additional air standard: High-Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA), which allows the uploading of bandwidth-intensive HD video.

“Out of the nearly 300 cell phones torn down by iSuppli, the iPhone comes the closest to integrating the entire wireless interface—including all the supporting Radio Frequency (RF) modules—on a single chip,” Keller said. “This further enhances the iPhone 4’s space efficiency and serves as yet another testament to the advanced state of Apple’s design.”

Design winners
The LCD display represents the single most expensive component in the iPhone 4, costing $28.50 and accounting for 15.2 percent of the product’s total BOM. The 3.5-inch display uses advanced Low-Temperature Polysilicon (LTPS) and In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology, and features a 960 by 630 resolution—four times that of the iPhone 3GS.

While the display is not labeled, iSuppli believes the most likely supplier is LG Display. Toshiba Mobile Display (TMD) also could serve as a source for the part.
The next most expensive single component is the NAND-type flash memory. In the 16Gbyte version of the iPhone 4, the NAND costs $27 and accounts for 14.4 percent of the BOM. In the individual iPhone 4 torn down by iSuppli, the NAND flash was supplied by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., although Apple could be employing other sources as well.

Samsung also supplies the next costliest part, the 4Gbits of mobile Double Data Rate (DDR) SDRAM, priced at $13.80, or 7.4 percent of the BOM.

Following on the value ranking is the baseband Integrated Circuit (IC), at $11.72, or 6.3 percent of the BOM. Infineon Technologies AG is the supplier of this part, iSuppli’s teardown reveals.

Next on the component cost countdown is the A4 applications processor, manufactured by Samsung but using Apple’s Intellectual Property (IP). iSuppli estimates the cost of the A4 at $10.75, or 5.7 percent of the iPhone 4’s BOM.

Other parts and suppliers
Subsequent on the cost list is the capacitive touch screen with reinforced glass, at $10.00, or 5.3 percent of the BOM. While the supplier of the touch screen is not labeled and thus cannot be determined through a teardown analysis, iSuppli believes the source is TPK and/or Balda.

The main camera on the iPhone, a 5-megapixel autofocus device, costs $9.75, and accounts for 5.2 percent of the BOM. Like the touch screen, the camera cannot be identified from a teardown.

The Wi-Fi Bluetooth controller IC, priced at $7.80 and representing 4.2 percent of the BOM, is supplied by Broadcom Corp.

Other parts in the iPhone 4 include:
* The $5.80 battery, with an unknown supplier.
* NOR flash, supplied by Intel Corp./Numonyx; and Double Data Rate (DDR) mobile DRAM, provided by Elpida Memory Inc., at a combined cost of $2.70.
* A $2.60 microelectromechanical (MEMS) gyroscope, supplied by STMicroelectronics.
* Infineon’s $2.33 quad-band GSM/Edge transceiver.
* The $2.03 main power-management IC from Dialog Semiconductor.
* A Global Positioning System (GPS) chip from Broadcom, costing $1.75.
* Texas Instruments Inc.’s touch screen controller IC, at $1.23.
* Cirrus Logic’s $1.15 audio codec.
* An e-compass from AKM Semiconductor Inc., at 70 cents.
* The accelerometer, provided by STMicroelectronics, and costing 65 cents.

Source: iSuppli, USA

CFP MSA releases updated hardware and firmware documents defining 40Gbps and 100Gbps optical transceivers

FREMONT, USA: Avago Technologies, Finisar Corp., Opnext Inc. and Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd have announced that Revision 1.4 of the CFP Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) hardware and firmware specification documents is now available on the CFP MSA website at:

In addition, the three companies, which founded the CFP MSA and first announced it in March 2009, welcome Avago Technologies as a new member. Other manufacturer companies interested in joining the CFP MSA are encouraged to contact an existing MSA representative.

The purpose of the CFP MSA is to define a hot-pluggable optical transceiver form factor to enable 40Gbps and 100Gbps applications, including next-generation High Speed Ethernet (40GbE and 100GbE). Pluggable CFP transceivers will support the ultra-high bandwidth requirements of data communications and telecommunications networks that form the backbone of the internet.

According to industry analysts, IP traffic is expected to nearly double every two years through 2013, potentially resulting in core network bandwidth shortages. The IP traffic volume will be driven by high-quality video services like VOD and IPTV as well as the availability of high-speed and high-capacity access networks such as FTTx and WiFi.

To prevent these shortages, carriers and service providers are already planning the deployment of next-generation high-speed network protocols. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has recently standardized 40Gigabit and 100Gigabit Ethernet under the P802.3ba Task Force and is currently working to add new features to 40Gigabit Ethernet in the P802.3bg Task Force.

In addition to the existing 40Gbps telecom standards, both the OIF and the ITU-T are working on standardizing SDH/OTN telecom interfaces for long-haul transmission of 100Gigabit Ethernet.

Pluggable transceiver modules compliant to the CFP MSA will be used on these 40Gbps and 100Gbps interfaces. The CFP MSA is defining the specifications required to support multiple applications using the same form factor. These applications include various protocols (such as 40GbE, 100GbE, OC-768/STM-256, OTU3), media types (multimode and single mode fiber optics) and link distances.

The CFP MSA utilizes numerous innovative features like advanced thermal management, EMI management and enhanced electrical signal integrity design to define the transceiver mechanical form factor, the optical connector, the 10x10Gbps electrical connector with its pin assignments, the MDIO-based transceiver management interface and the hardware required on the system host board.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Chile's telecom market rebounds with bundles and data services

CAMBRIDGE, UK: Despite the impact of the economic crisis and a 45 percent reduction in mobile interconnection charges in 2009, Chile will remain one of the most advanced telecom markets in Latin America, with its availability of advanced data communications solutions, multiplay offerings and overall telecom services adoption giving it an edge over other markets in the region, according to a new report from Pyramid Research.

Chile: Mobile Data and Product Bundles Continue to Power Strong Growth delivers a full accounting of Chile's telecom sector, including a full breakout of network operator revenues and market share by network service type (fixed services, mobile services, and pay TV).

The 30-page report provides a five-year demand forecast for telecom services in Chile, broken out by seven different service types, as well as a five-year forecast of mobile service uptake by technology type. It includes a detailed analysis of Chile's regulatory and economic environment and offers action points for network operators, vendors, and investors.

Chile's telecom market will rebound with a 4.4 percent CAGR from 2010 through 2015, reaching $6.1 billion, propelled by significant increases in fixed and mobile data services. Mobile data service revenue will account for 23 percent of total service revenue by 2015, notes Sergio Cruz Zarate, Analyst at Large at Pyramid Research.

"Revenue derived from data services will increase from 24 percent in 2010 to 35 percent in 2015. The rise will be the result of higher penetration rates enabled by continued declines in pricing," indicates Zarate.

Bundled offers, a decrease in tariffs, and wide coverage have helped broadband gain traction despite the economic crisis. "Broadband operators - fixed and mobile - are bundling connectivity with devices, helping to push penetration higher. Pyramid Research projects fixed broadband penetration to reach 17.1 percent by year-end 2015," Zarate says.

Pay-TV, which remains largely underpenetrated in Chile at less than 40 percent of the households, will also see an important rate of growth during the forecast period (8.5 percent CAGR) driven by the entry of traditional telecommunications service providers into the pay-TV space.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Continuous Computing, picoChip earn industry honours for LTE femtocell reference design

Femtocells World Summit 2010, SAN DIEGO, USA & LONDON, UK: Continuous Computing, the global provider of integrated platform solutions that address the mobile broadband capacity challenge, and picoChip have won a prestigious Femto Forum Femtocell Industry Award for their joint Long Term Evolution (LTE) Femtocell Reference Design.

The Continuous Computing / picoChip LTE Femtocell Reference Design, a true industry first, was chosen as the winner in the “Best Enabling Technology” category by a judging panel of industry analysts and representatives from leading wireless trade bodies. The awards ceremony took place on Wednesday evening at The Landmark Hotel as part of the Femtocells World Summit in London.

“The Continuous Computing and picoChip LTE reference design is a great example of an enabling technology that is necessary to kick-start development of LTE femtocells,” said William Webb, Director of Technology Resources at Ofcom, the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries, on behalf of the judging panel.

“The timing of this reference design is critical for the introduction of LTE femtocells as operators begin to roll out the first LTE networks. At the same time, there is a growing understanding of the importance of multi-tier cellular architectures as we move from 3G to 4G and as networks begin to cope with user demand for capacity. The judges wanted to recognize the role of this crucial component in what is likely to become a necessary part of future 4G networks.”

The LTE Femtocell Reference Design is the first integrated and fully-tested LTE femtocell solution for both TDD and FDD (time and frequency division duplexing) networks. It includes an LTE baseband implementation, radio frequency hardware and packet processor, Trillium protocol software, intelligent router functionality and a complete Evolved Packet Core (EPC) simulator.

Femtocell device manufacturers and network equipment providers can use the reference design to create and bring to market LTE femtocell solutions quickly and cost-effectively.

The Femto Forum Award is the second award that the LTE Femtocell Reference Design has won in two months: in May, it scooped the Award for “Best Enabling Product/Technology for LTE” at the Informa LTE Awards, held at the LTE World Summit in Amsterdam. The LTE Femtocell Reference Design, developed by Continuous Computing and picoChip in conjunction with Cavium Networks, made its debut in February 2010 at Mobile World Congress, and has been commercially available since that time.

Commenting on the second LTE Femtocell Reference Design award win, Manish Singh, vice president of product line management at Continuous Computing, said: “We’re delighted with this latest award win and the recognition for Continuous Computing’s pioneering work in 3G and LTE femtocell technology, which has resulted in over 20 femtocell customer wins. With the LTE Femtocell Reference Design, vendors can save substantial time, money and risk in developing devices that are expected to play a major part in LTE networks.

“Operators must seriously consider their value and importance - both for delivering effective localized coverage to subscribers and enabling easy voice and data traffic offload to solve potential wireless broadband capacity issues.”

Thursday, June 24, 2010

iSuppli issues fast facts on iPhone 4

EL SEGUNDO, USA: In advance of iSuppli Corp.’s planned teardown analysis of Apple Inc.’s iPhone 4, iSuppli Corp. is issuing the following fast facts:

* The latest member of the iPhone line illustrates Apple’s new User Interface (UI)-oriented approach to product design, first seen in the iPad.

* “Apple in the past has always doubled the amount of NAND flash memory in the newest version of its iPhone line,” said Andrew Rassweiler, director and principal analyst, teardown services, for iSuppli.

“However, with the iPhone 4, Apple is standing pat at the 32Gbyte level. This shows that the iPhone has reached the point where data-storage memory is no longer one of the most critical features. Instead, the focus has shifted to the UI, with the major innovations of the iPhone 4 occurring in areas including the retina display, as well as the use of gyroscope-based control.”

* The iPhone 4’s gyroscope is most likely supplied by STMicroelectronics. Beyond being used for the UI, the gyroscope also can be employed for navigation and image stabilization.

* iSuppli expects the iPhone 4 to include a version of the A4 processor seen in the iPad—with some important differences. As in the iPad, the A4 will use an ARM Cortex microprocessor core, and will be manufactured by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. using 45nm semiconductor manufacturing process technology.

However, the iPhone’s A4 likely will operate at a slower clock speed than the 1GHz frequency in the iPad—most likely at 800MHz. Furthermore, the iPhone’s A4 is likely to add additional accelerator cores for encoding/decoding High-Definition (HD) video, supporting the phone’s HD camera.

* Beyond enhancements to the A4, the iPhone 4 will include other features designed to support HD. For example, the iPhone 4 likely will double its mobile DRAM content to 4Gbits, up from 2Gbits in the iPhone 3G S. Furthermore, the iPhone 4 will add support for High-Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) to allow the uploading of bandwidth-intensive HD video. HSUPA supports uplink speeds up to 5.76Mbit/sec.

* The iPhone 4 employs an antenna integrated into the stainless steel enclosure of the phone. Apple actually may have employed a design which isolates portions of the enclosure to, in effect, separate the enclosure into two or three separate antennas in the product in order to improve signal integrity. “Using two or more antennas enables spatial diversity, which can reduce some of the problems previous models of the iPhone have suffered with dropped calls,” said Francis Sideco, principal analyst, wireless communications, for iSuppli.

Source: iSuppli, USA

Smart phones become new LBS battleground

EL SEGUNDO, USA: With smart phones emerging as the strategic computing platform for the next decade, the usage of smart-phone-based OEM and aftermarket on-board navigation systems is set to soar by a factor of 10 in 2010 and boom by nearly fortyfold in 2014, iSuppli Corp. predicts.

The number of smart-phone-based OEM and aftermarket on-board navigation systems in use is projected to rise to 81 million units in 2010, up from 8 million in 2009. By 2014, usage will increase to 297 million.

The figure presents iSuppli’s forecast of the usage of smart-phone on-board navigation systems.Source: iSuppli, USA.

“Smart phones over the next decade will rival PCs as a market for hardware, software, communications and location based services (LBS),” said Danny Kim, analyst and global manager for automotive research at iSuppli. “In the last two years alone, the smart phone has become the most important platform for map and navigation usage. With maps becoming a standard feature in a growing number of smart phones, the number of smart phone map users is increasing sharply.”

The smart phone is also rapidly pioneering new LBS applications.

“iSuppli also believes—for several reasons—that the smart phone is likely to generate many innovative LBS apps in the next five years, “Kim added. “First, Apple Inc.’s iPhone is the most successful LBS battleground so far with more than 6,000 LBS apps available. Furthermore, the iPhone’s dominance is primarily in the aftermarket downloadable navigation application market. Finally, Nokia Corp. and Android devices will lead the OEM preloaded navigation application market.”

Smart phone on-board navigation market: OEM vs. aftermarket
Navigation software can be included by smart phone manufacturers and embedded into the smart phone—an approach iSuppli calls OEM on-board smart phone navigation, similar to the terminology used in the auto industry.

Most on-board navigation software will be included as a feature by smart phone manufacturers and preloaded onto the device. To this end, OEM or preloaded on-board navigation will be the largest segment of the overall market for on-board smart phone navigation, driven mainly by Nokia.

Navigation applications also can be downloaded by the smart phone user after the device is purchased, a model iSuppli terms as aftermarket on-board smart phone navigation.

While the segment is much smaller, aftermarket on-board smart phone navigation is expected to get a big boost in 2010 given that Nokia made available its Ovi Map with turn-by-turn navigation a free download earlier this year. More than 10 million Ovi Map navigation applications were downloaded in the first quarter, although download volume in the second quarter will decline because Nokia already has preloaded the navigation application on all of its smart phones.

Most of the paid aftermarket on-board activities are currently on the Apple iPhone given that navigation is not a preloaded app. To date, the iPhone accounts for nearly 50 percent market share of the total number of aftermarket on-board navigation sales, estimated at more than 2.9 million applications in 2009.

A large opportunity
Such numbers offer considerable opportunity for navigation software companies. And because Apple gets 30 percent of the navigation app retail value, the business model also benefits Apple significantly. In 2010, the iPhone on-board navigation market is forecasted at 5.8 million units with an average price of at least $50 per app, which translates into around $290 million in retail value or approximately $87 million for Apple.

In contrast, Nokia receives no revenue for its preloaded Ovi Map navigation software. Because Nokia owns its map supplier, Navteq, Nokia can afford to give away a free navigation program. Other smart phone companies will also need a low-cost map source to compete with Nokia’s free navigation application.

The increasing availability of low-cost maps will allow many smart phone manufacturers to offer free preloaded on-board navigation software as the open-source maps expand their coverage. Such availability means that aftermarket on-board navigation will see a declining market share in smart phones.

In the automotive topical report, entitled: Smart Phones: The New LBS Battleground, iSuppli will discuss major smart phone application ecosystems—including the iPhone OS X, Android, BlackBerry OS, Symbian, Microsoft Windows Phone 7 and others—as smart phones become the battleground for all types of mobile applications that could be rendered onto the vehicle headunit.

Source: iSuppli, USA.

7.2 million WiMAX subscribers reached in Q1 2010

MONTREAL, CANADA: 2.3 million BWA/WiMAX subscribers were added in 2009 according to the 11th issue of the 4GCounts Quarterly Report from Maravedis.

Yota's decision to migrate its network to LTE appears quite political, and is negatively impacting the WiMAX ecosystem and deployment plans of other WiMAX players. "Carriers are worried about the perceived lack of commitment towards 802.16m," said Maravedis Research Director Adlane Fellah. "However despite the hype surrounding TD-LTE, we do not see much of an ecosystem in the near term."

"Spectrum winners, especially those in India, cannot afford to wait 2-3 years before deploying TD-LTE while WIMAX deployments move forward," said Cintia Garza, 4GCounts Team Leader. "If a carrier deploys WiMAX now with the intention of migrating to TD-LTE in the future, a significant challenge emerges regarding how to manage the millions of WiMAX device users."

Maravedis anticipates that 18 LTE networks will be operational worldwide by the end of this year. "However, most of them will be covering reduced areas in their respective countries, so we expect multimode 3G-LTE USB dongles to be crucial for LTE services to attract customers," noted report co-author Esteban Monturus.

Mobile data usage continues to grow across technologies. "While large wireless carriers such as AT&T are moving away from unlimited data plans, Clearwire continues to offer these," commented the report's other co-author Basharat Ashai.

This quarter's select key findings
* The residential and business WiMAX ARPU generated among operators during Q1 2010 across all regions was of $42 and $21, respectively.
* Total BWA?WiMAX revenues for the full year 2009 totaled $3.03 billion, compared to $1.69 billion at the end of 2008.
* Indoor modems have the largest market share, accounting for over 3.6 million units or 62 percent, followed by 1.11 million USB dongles and 528,000 PCMCIA cards.
* The base station sectors installed base as of Q1 2010 totaled 308,006.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Is telecoms innovation at risk?

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Although telecoms vendors continue to spend in the range of 13–14 percent of their revenues (on average) on Research & Development (R&D), venture capital (VC) funding of telecoms vendor start-ups has fallen steadily in the last few years.

Even with this drop, telecoms-related patent filings are still on the rise, but there’s a growing consensus that telecoms vendors’ differentiation must come from software, applications, and services. “We agree, but worry that current trends in venture capital and vendor R&D threaten innovation”, said Matt Walker, Principal Analyst.

Annualized R&D expenses as a share of revenues have fluctuated in the range of 13–14 percent, on average, over the last three years for a group of ten large telecoms systems vendors that Ovum studied for this research. Chinese vendors (Huawei and ZTE) are below average at around 9-10 percent, while Juniper, Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), and Ericsson are well above average. [technically, the 13-14 percent is repetitive but it reads alright to me; I deleted two words from the intro to make the 2nd reference more of an elaboration]

“Because of recent market consolidation and cost pressures brought on by hard-bargaining carriers and aggressive Chinese vendors, many big western vendors are cutting back staff and closing facilities,” adds Walker, based in Thailand. “This may lead to lower R&D/revenues ratios in the future. More important is the trend we have already observed in venture capital, which typically funds the “game-changing” ideas that big vendors often ignore.”

VC support for telecoms vendors has fallen steadily in the last few years, from $1.82 billion for the four quarters ended 3Q08 to just $1.18 billion in the 2Q09–1Q10 period. As a percent of the ten big vendors’ internal R&D expense, vendor VC funding has thus fallen from 5.6 percent in 3Q08 to just over 4 percent in 1Q10. We believe this poses a substantial risk to carriers in the level of innovation they will be able to internalize by working with, acquiring, or even copying successful start-ups.

The costs of lower levels of internal R&D and VC-driven investment come in several areas:

* slower introduction of new technologies.
* more reliance on the standards process before product introductions (and an aversion to introduce anything proprietary, even when it is “better”).
* potentially less differentiation in product areas that feature innovative approaches.
* less potential for M&As, given fewer attractive targets.

Matt Walker believes that Chinese vendors have a strong incentive to exploit others’ weaknesses right now. “They are eager to earn their stripes as innovators and may be able to do so faster while western VCs and vendors are distracted,” said Walker.

They may consider creating venture funds of their own, along the lines of what many large tech players have done, e.g. Intel, Microsoft, Motorola, and Google. Short of this, they can also open new R&D facilities in locations hit by the cutbacks (and bankruptcies) of their western competitors. Huawei, in fact, announced in April 2010 that it would build a new R&D center in Kanata, near Ottawa, Canada, presumably trying to tap some of the skilled engineers who formerly worked for (or around) Nortel and are now scrambling for work.

New CAT-iq audio test system available

GERMANY: On April 23 the DECT Forum, the international association of the wireless home and enterprise communication industry, officially approved the new “Test Specification Audio for CAT-iq 2.0 Devices”. As partner of the DECT Forum, HEAD acoustics GmbH, the international solution provider for communication quality testing, has been and still is actively involved in the development of all audio-related test specifications for CAT-iq.

HEAD acoustics is pleased to announce the immediate availability of a complete test system for measuring and certifying CAT-iq devices according to the new “Test Specification Audio for CAT-iq 2.0 Devices”. Big test houses, which are members of the DECT Forum have already been equipped with the new CAT-iq measurement system provided by HEAD acoustics and are using it for development, optimization and certification. The audio quality (echo, reverberation, frequency response, voice quality) of CAT-iq HD Voice devices is brought to a high level by this new standard.

“The DECT Forum is pleased to work with HEAD acoustics for the audio part of CAT-iq 2.0 certification. HEAD acoustics has long been a partner to the DECT industry and are well known and respected for the upkeep of the highest standards with respect to audio test and measurement. We are looking forward to prolonging this successful industry partnership”, says Daniel Hartnett, DECT Forum Board member and Chairman of the CAT-iq Working Group.

CAT-iq (Cordless Advanced Technology - Internet and Quality) has successfully been introduced into the market as the successor of the DECT standard by the DECT Forum. CAT-iq is continuously developed in further profiles and requires a certification of terminals by means of measurement systems approved by the DECT Forum and used by qualified test laboratories.

The new ACQUA measurement standard CAT-IQ 2.0 (Code 6794) contains the full imple- mentation of all measurements specified by the “Test Specification Audio” (Version 1.11) as automated test suite for the communication analysis system ACQUA. In combination with the new NG-DECT/CAT-iq measurement front end MFE X (Code 6481) and further HEAD acoustics components, a complete test system for measuring and certifying CAT-iq devices according to the new “Test Specification Audio” is now available.

MFE X serves as “Reference Portable Part“ (RefPP) and as “Reference Fixed Part“ (RefFP) for acoustic measurements of cordless terminals. As required by CAT-iq, it supports modern wideband and IP connections as well as the classic DECT telephony. As required by CAT-iq, it supports modern wideband and IP connections as well as the classic DECT telephony.

MFE X is used in conjunction with the following system components:

* ACQUA (communication analysis system, version 2.4.200 with extensions or later),
* HMS II.3 (artificial head measurement system) with HHP III (handset positioning mechanism),
* MFE VI.1 (analog measurement front end with integrated mouth amplifier),
* MFE VIII (IP reference gateway),
* MFE IX (IP network impairment simulator with WLAN/WiFi access point).

SMobile Systems analysis of Android App Store reveals massive potential for malware and viruses

COLUMBUS, USA: For the first time since its inception, Android based smartphones outsold iPhones in the first part of 2010. Consumers who purchase these smartphones are downloading millions of Android-based applications, and, according to a new SMobile Systems analysis of the Android market, putting their personal and professional data at risk.

SMobile System's Global Threat Center has performed an in-depth analysis of over 48,000 applications currently available on the Android market and discovered the following threats:

* 20 percent of applications in the Android market grant a third party application access to private or sensitive information that an attacker could use for malicious purposes, such as Identity Theft, mobile banking fraud and corporate espionage;
* 5 percent of applications have the ability to place a call to any number, without requiring user intervention;
* Dozens of applications have the identical type of access to sensitive information as known spyware
* 2 percent of market submissions can allow an application to send unknown premium SMS messages without user intervention.

"The Android operating system and the Android Market are quickly becoming the most widely used mobile platform and app store in the world. There are individuals and organizations out there right now, developing malicious code designed to capture your most personal information and use it to their advantage," said Neil Book, CEO of SMobile Systems.

Toshiba and Trek establish Forum to promote SD Cards embedding wireless communication functions

TOKYO, JAPAN: Toshiba Corp. has announced the launch of an industry forum to promote a new SD card that integrates Wi-Fi wireless communication with data storage capabilities. The forum, the "Standard Promotion Forum for Memory Cards Embedding WLAN has been founded by Toshiba and Singapore-based Trek 2000 International Ltd.

In recent years, as digital cameras have achieved huge rates of market penetration, the need for quick and easy way to share photographs has grown. The new card offers an innovative solution that brings new capabilities to the already very popular SDHC format.

The card is designed to bring Wi-Fi functionality to digital still cameras that have an SDHC slot. Once in a camera, a card can recognize and communicate with the same type of card in another camera (on a one-to-one basis), and users can exchange photographs quickly and easily. It also allows users to upload and download photographs to and from a server without any need for a cable connection or transfers of the memory card.

The new card is compliant with the SD memory card standard, supports IEEE 802.11b/g and has an 8-gigabyte capacity. It can transfer both JPEG and RAW images, the two most widely used digital formats.

Toshiba and Trek will invite the participation of digital camera manufacturers and other interested parties in promoting the card, and in exchanges of technical information toward establishing standard specifications and expanding the use of the card.

Toshiba is a market leader in the development and manufacture of NAND flash memory, which is indispensable for today's personal digital devices. The company seeks to enhance and expand its memory business by proposing new applications for NAND flash memories.

Features of SD card embedding wireless communication functions
* The ability to send and receive image data among digital still cameras equipped with an SDHC slot and the card.
* Upload and downloads of digital photographs between a digital still camera equipped with an SDHC slot and the card, and in a Wi-Fi environment, and a server.
* User management of image transmission and reception minimizes power consumption compared with current solution.

Panduit delivers smallest diameter category 6A cabling system for high speed data transport

TINLEY PARK, USA: Panduit, a world-class developer and provider of Unified Physical InfrastructureSM based solutions, introduces the industry’s smallest diameter Category 6A copper cabling system.

This new TX6A-SD 10Gig UTP Copper Cabling System is part of Panduit’s High Speed Data Transport Solutions (HSDT) offering proven performance to ensure availability, reliability and scalability of mission critical systems.

Meeting standards body requirements up to 70 meters, this Category 6A system offers a 0.24 in. cable diameter for easier cable routing and increases fill capacity 115 percent over industry standard limits. This allows data center and other customers to quickly and easily deploy a 10GBASE-T solution while reducing energy costs and increasing thermal performance in high density environments. The superior cable management ensures proper airflow for improved network performance and availability.

“We analyzed our customers’ needs for data center cabling, and discovered that almost all data center channels are less than 70 meters. Taking this into account and applying our Matrix technology, we were able to greatly reduce the cable size while keeping margin above the Category 6A and Class EA specifications to provide our end-users with easy to use, trouble-free, risk-mitigating 10Gig ready cable plants,” stated Bob Dennelly, Panduit Division Manager of Copper Systems.

Panduit and industry leaders are working to provide cost-effective and seamless migration from Gigabit to 10Gigabit Ethernet. A 10GBASE-T Ecosystem with companies including Cisco and Intel was launched at Cisco Live in Barcelona to demonstrate the industry’s most complete end-to-end solution with investment protection. The demonstration incorporated the TX6A-SD 10Gig UTP Copper Cabling System.

“The 10GBASE-T ecosystem solution includes industry-leading switches and cabling from companies such as Cisco and Panduit, respectively, as well as a new generation of Intel adapters,” said Steve Schultz, director of marketing, Intel LAN Access Division. “10GBASE-T’s backward compatibility with Gigabit Ethernet and solid ecosystem give customers an easy migration path to 10 Gigabit Ethernet.”

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Number of worldwide mobile payment users to reach 108.6 million in 2010

STAMFORD, USA: The number of mobile payment users worldwide will exceed 108.6 million in 2010, a 54.5 percent increase from 2009, when there were 70.2 million users, according to Gartner Inc. Mobile payment users will represent 2.1 percent of all mobile users in 2010.

"We continue to see strong growth in developing markets in Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa for mobile payment, while adoption in North America and Western Europe lags behind due to the plentiful choices of payment instruments that consumers have," said Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner. "Developing markets have found the right formula for mobile money services — functions that users want and an ecosystem that can sustain the service."

"The answer for developed markets, however, remains elusive. The offerings for developed markets will take a different format," Ms. Shen said. "Instead of a point offering for mobile payment, the service needs to be built on top of the existing payment behavior and infrastructure so that users can choose any channel — retail, phone, online or mobile — that suits their context at the moment of payment."

Asia/Pacific is the leading region with mobile payment users. In Asia/Pacific, mobile payment users will surpass 62.8 million in 2010 (see Table 1), and represent 2.6 percent of all mobile users. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), mobile payment users will total 27.1 million and represent 2.1 percent of all mobile users in the region. In North America, mobile payment users will number 3.5 million and represent 1.1 percent of all mobile users in the region.

Table 1: Mobile Payment Users by Region (Thousands)Note: EMEA Region includes Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa.
Source: Gartner (June 2010).

Ms. Shen said that the strong demand for mobile payment in developing markets is being driven by the unbanked and underbanked populations that do not have ready access to the banking infrastructure or PC, positioning mobile as the natural choice of access platform. At the same time, regulators in early-adopter markets are tightening up policies to provide better user protection and fight against unlawful financial activities relating to money transfer.

Short Message Service (SMS) remains the dominant mobile payment technology. Its ubiquity and ease of use makes it the technology of choice, not only for consumers in developing markets, but also for those in developed markets. Wireless Application Protocol/Web can support either downloadable clients or mobile browsers. It is more frequently used by consumers in developed markets due to the higher penetration of data-capable phones and active data plans.

Many financial institutions have failed to see the business case of Near Field Communication (NFC) payment, in particular, which offers similar functionality to contactless cards but with the added complexity of dealing with mobile carriers and other ecosystem partners.

Ms. Shen urged service providers in developing markets to investigate service interoperability to speed market uptake and foster healthy competition. She said that solution providers should ensure platform flexibility so that platforms can work with both the bank's and mobile carrier's systems, and so that it can be readily customized for local deployments.

Other interested parties will include financial institutions, which can use mobile payment to reach the unbanked and underbanked populations that cannot be easily reached with the traditional infrastructure. They will need to collaborate with mobile carriers in developing markets to take advantage of their brand recognition and service coverage. In developed markets, they should work with large retailers and online merchants to build on existing purchase and payment behavior.

Nokia lowers devices and services Q2 2010 outlook and updates full year 2010 outlook

ESPOO, FINLAND: Nokia has commented on factors impacting its business and updated its second quarter and full year 2010 outlook for Devices & Services.

During the second quarter 2010, multiple factors are negatively impacting Nokia's business to a greater extent than previously expected. These factors include: the competitive environment, particularly at the high-end of the market, and shifts in product mix towards somewhat lower gross margin products. In addition, the recent depreciation of the Euro affects Nokia's cost of goods sold, operating expenses and global pricing tactics.

Updated outlook for Devices & Services for the second quarter 2010:
- Nokia now expects Devices & Services net sales to be at the lower end of, or slightly below, its previously expected range of EUR 6.7 billion to EUR 7.2 billion for the second quarter 2010. This update is primarily due to lower than previously expected average selling prices and mobile device volumes.

- Nokia now expects Devices & Services non-IFRS operating margin to be at the lower end of, or slightly below, its previously expected range of 9-12 percent for the second quarter 2010. This update is primarily due to a lower than previously expected gross margin.

Updated outlook for Devices & Services and mobile device market for the full year 2010:
- Nokia continues to expect industry mobile device volumes to be up approximately 10 percent in 2010, compared to 2009 (based on its revised definition of the industry mobile device market applicable beginning in 2010).

- Nokia continues to target its mobile device volume market share to be flat in 2010, compared to 2009.

- Nokia now expects its mobile device value market share to be slightly lower in 2010, compared to 2009. This update is primarily due to the competitive situation at the high-end of the market and shifts in product mix. This is an update to our previous target to increase our mobile device value market share slightly in 2010, compared to 2009.

- Nokia continues to target non-IFRS operating expenses in Devices & Services of approximately EUR 5.7 billion in 2010.

- Nokia now expects Devices & Services non-IFRS operating margin to be at the lower end of, or below, its previously targeted range of 11-13 percent for the full year 2010. This update is primarily due to the currently estimated gross margin, which is lower than previously estimated. Nokia expects Devices & Services non-IFRS operating margin during the fourth quarter 2010 to be higher than the currently expected full year Devices & Services non-IFRS operating margin.

Nokia will provide its second quarter results and more details on its 2010 full year outlook when it reports its Q2 2010 results on July 22, 2010.

Fujitsu and Toshiba sign MOU to merge mobile phone businesses

TOKYO, JAPAN: Last week, Fujitsu Ltd and Toshiba Corp. announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to merge their mobile phone businesses.

According to the MOU, Toshiba will transfer its mobile phone business to a new company to be established October 1, 2010, and Fujitsu will acquire a majority of the shares in the company.

By merging their mobile phones businesses, Fujitsu and Toshiba are aiming to become the No. 1 provider of mobile phones in Japan. Collaboration in the mobile phone business will allow Fujitsu and Toshiba to strengthen their handset development platforms for the Japanese market and enable the companies to continue to create highly competitive products for their customers.

Both Fujitsu and Toshiba are market leaders in designing compact, highly functional handsets. This competitive advantage will be leveraged to develop highly competitive next-generation handsets for the expanding smartphone market.

Competitive advantages
Fujitsu manufactures some of Japan's most advanced mobile phones for sale through partner NTT DOCOMO, INC. Fujitsu's proprietary technologies include mobile phone software platforms, water- and dust-resistant design, fingerprint security and sensor technologies. Fujitsu mobile phones have become the handset of choice for many generations of users in Japan.

Toshiba manufactures a range of mobile phone handsets that include a wealth of world-class technologies, including smartphone-related technologies and imaging technologies developed in its LCD television business. In Japan, Toshiba provides its handsets through sales partners KDDI CORPORATION, NTT DOCOMO, INC., and SOFTBANK MOBILE Corp. Last year, Toshiba shifted domestic handset production overseas in order to raise global cost competitiveness.

Business development plans
By combining their mobile phone development know-how and technological strengths, Fujitsu and Toshiba intend on enhancing their handset development capabilities and at the same time improving business efficiency. On the basis of these strengths, the companies will manufacture handsets which are responsive to the needs of customers and competitive in the dynamic mobile phone market. Through continuous innovation, Fujitsu and Toshiba will collaborate to develop new handsets for markets in and outside Japan which support rich and rewarding lifestyles.

Fujitsu and Toshiba plan to sign a final contract at the end of July 2010.

Comviva expands presence in Latin America and the Caribbean

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Comviva, the global leader in providing mobile solutions beyond VAS, today announced its expansion into the Latin America and Caribbean region with the opening of its office in Miami. The company also announced the appointment of Max Padró as General Manager to head the region.

“Our expansion into Latin America and the Caribbean is part of an ongoing strategy to forge closer ties with our customers across the globe by strengthening our presence and capabilities across our key markets. The setting up of the office in Miami will help us serve our customers better while responding faster to market opportunities.” said Manoranjan Mohapatra, CEO, Comviva.

“We are happy to appoint Max as the head of our regional operations. Max brings with him over 28 years of experience across the industry and a keen understanding of the market, which will further strengthen Comviva’s presence in the region.”

Max Padró, General Manager, Comviva, said: “I am honored to be part of brand Comviva. The establishment of our new office reinforces Comviva’s commitment to the region and is a first step in getting closer to our customers in Latin America and the Caribbean. Comviva is the global leader with extensive experience in deploying mobile solutions across all major telecom operators worldwide. We are confident of adding value to its existing and potential clients in the region.”

Comviva drives revenues for operators by delivering a broad range of innovative mobile value added solutions that enhance end user’s service experience. Comviva’s award winning mobiquity mobile commerce solutions and Virtual SIM address the needs of base of pyramid segments. Whereas its PreTUPSTM prepaid solution brings affordable, easily accessible mobile top-up to prepaid subscribers.

Smartphone as a platform for augmented reality

PADERBORN, GERMANY: Augmented reality is currently seeing a new upswing. The current generation of mobile web-enabled handsets makes it possible for the first time to execute related CPU-intensive tasks within seconds.

With further growth of this technology, data volumes running on mobile operators’ networks will reach a new peak, too. With its product portfolio Orga Systems, #1 choice for real-time charging and billing, offers MNOs tailor-made real-time based solutions to achieve revenues with the new data services and to generate profitable growth.

Augmented reality opens up new opportunities
The Augmented Reality technology offers new, unforeseen opportunities: thus the handset becomes a map during hikes, describing in details the sights along the route. In the same manner, information on a given product, such as ingredients or test reports, can be obtained in the supermarket through the bar code. By no later than the upcoming launch of the new LTE (Long Term Evolution) standard, such functions should have become standard features of every Smartphone.

Real-time solutions as the basis for successful growth
Dynamic real-time based policy management enables MNOs to increase turnover in the areas of broadband and data. Completely personalized services meet customer’s needs, thus opening up new customer segments. Orga Systems’ Next Generation Control Point helps network operators to manage complex customer profiles and billing rules for all services.

The solution includes dynamic policy management, active mediation and charging control on one single platform. All solutions are based on Orga Systems’ longstanding experience in the area of real-time charging and billing, for more than 65 million mobile customers on one system.

Advanced solutions for Latin American telecoms market
Futurecom will take place on the 29th and 30th of June, 2010, for the first time in Santiago de Chile. Here, the latest topics and news influencing the telecoms market in a sustainable manner will be discussed.

Currently, more than 200 million subscribers served by leading Latin American MNOs rely on Orga Systems’ outstanding expertise in real-time based technology. In dialogue with these MNOs Orga Systems will continue to actively shape the future of mobile telecommunications.

ip.access, Kineto Wireless complete standards-based femtocell interoperability testing

CAMBRIDGE, UK & MILPITAS, USA: ip.access, the leading developer of femtocell and picocell solutions, and Kineto Wireless, the leading supplier of solutions that enable delivery of mobile services over broadband, have announced successful interoperability testing between ip.access’ Oyster 3G femtocell Access Point and Kineto’s Multi-Service Access Gateway (MSA-GW).

The testing was based on 3GPP’s Release 8 Iuh specification, which defines the standard interface between femtocell Access Points and the femtocell gateway. The Iuh standard makes it easier for mobile network operators to deploy femtocells in multi-vendor environments, ultimately giving them a wider choice of suppliers.

Kineto and ip.access have separately deployed femtocell solutions successfully for mobile network operators. The two companies have taken a leading role in the development of the Iuh standard through their involvement in the Femto Forum and 3GPP, and both companies participated in the world’s first femtocell plugfest organized by the Femto Forum and ETSI in March 2010.

“We are fully committed to the standards process, and are pleased to extend our participation in the Femto Forum plugfest to a deeper level with Kineto,” said Dr. Nick Johnson, CTO of ip.access. “The femtocell industry’s progress in defining and implementing open standards has been impressive, and we see this is an important step in proving and improving those standards. Kineto and ip.access are two companies distinguished by having their technology live in production networks. This step marks another important milestone in our lengthening technical leadership.”

“Delivery of standards-based femtocell systems are crucial to supporting the next phase of operator deployments,” said Ken Kolderup, vice president and general manager of Kineto’s Infrastructure Business Unit. “The relative ease with which we were able to confirm interoperability with ip.access is a testament to both the completeness of the Iu h specification and the market-readiness of our respective products.”

Zee Studios leverages NAVTEQ’s mobile advertising solution

NEW DELHI, INDIA: NAVTEQ, the leading global provider of maps, traffic and location data enabling navigation, location-based services and mobile advertising around the world, said that Zee Studios, India’s premier English language movie channel, tapped NAVTEQ Media Solutions’ mobile ad network to promote its upcoming movie schedule to Airtel mobile users, a campaign that registered a high impact click through rate (CTR) with consumers.

The centerpiece of the promotion was as an application that mobile users downloaded to browse Zee Studio’s scheduled film broadcasts. After downloading the app, consumers could click on movie titles to view synopsis and movie critiques. High engagement was built with users enabling a calendar synch option which set reminders for movies they were interested in watching.

Free to download, the application is supported by NAVTEQ’s premium mobile ad network and received as high as 8.77 percent CTR from consumers who downloaded the application. NAVTEQ’s premium mobile ad network provides high quality and impactful mobile advertising solutions throughout India and the world.

“NAVTEQ has a long history with Airtel,” said Christopher Rothey, vice president, advertising, NAVTEQ. “We know the power of mobile advertising and believe it can actually help enhance the user experience of a new generation of applications and products throughout India.”

Telstra and NBN reach milestone agreement on fiber rollout

David Kennedy, research director, Ovum

AUSTRALIA: Telstra and the Australian government’s new NBN Co have agreed a price for the transfer of Telstra’s access network traffic to the new fiber National Broadband Network (NBN). The heads of agreement includes rental of Telstra’s network of pits and ducts. This is an important step for the Australian NBN, but many hurdles must be crossed before a final deal is reached.

A heads of agreement, not a final deal
Telstra and the government-owned NBN Co have been negotiating the terms of Telstra’s involvement in the NBN project for over a year. On 21 June 2010, the government, the NBN Co, and Telstra jointly announced that they had reached a non-binding agreement for Telstra to progressively transfer its wholesale and retail traffic to the NBN as it is rolled out over the next eight years.

Importantly, the government has achieved a political victory by progressing negotiations towards the successful rollout of the NBN in advance of the national election expected later this year. As the situation in the UK with the fixed-line levy demonstrates, a change in government has the potential to derail what had been planned.

The parties have agreed the compensation to be paid to Telstra for the loss of its fixed access revenues and for the use of its ducts, and for transferring the cost of the USO to a new USO Co, giving the agreement real substance. The net present value of this compensation will be A$11 billion, which is in the region of estimates of value made by financial analysts. This money will ultimately come from the government.

Of course, this is not a final deal, and either party could walk away before the deal is finalized. The parties cannot yet share details, and it is clear that some of these details remain undecided. The announcement nevertheless demonstrates a willingness on both sides of the table to progress the negotiations, and makes the prospect of a successful rollout more likely.

Regulatory approval will be required for any final deal, either through an authorization for a non-compete agreement or legislation. Neither of these can be guaranteed, since the regulator has not seen a final deal and the government does not control Parliament.

Implications for the NBN Co and Telstra
First and foremost, this announcement makes it much less likely that Telstra and the NBN Co will compete in the wholesale market. The business case for a privately funded national wholesale-only fiber network is weak at best.

We believe that substantial public subsidy will be required whatever the competitive scenario, but competition would have inflated the level of subsidy required. Of course, the government must ultimately contribute the A$11 billion, but this is less than the total losses that competition would have generated over the eight-year rollout timeframe.

Like the NBN Co, Telstra gets added certainty out of this agreement, which offers a clear pathway to migrate its business to a next-generation fiber environment and locks in the value of its customer base and physical assets.

Implications for the industry
If this heads of agreement can be developed into a final deal, the implications for the Australian industry are enormous. Will the smaller ISPs and operators emerge winners from this upheaval?

First, Telstra and the NBN Co’s interests will be increasingly aligned – Telstra will be the NBN Co’s biggest customer. To complicate matters, it is likely that the NBN Co will buy backhaul capacity from Telstra in rural areas. It is essential that the rest of the industry demands transparency in any final deal to ensure that no hidden cross-subsidies creep into pricing arrangements between the two companies. It will be the role of the regulator to scrutinize this.

Second, and in the medium term, the access network will be commoditized. The whole industry will need to seek competitive differentiation in improved customer service, managed service infrastructure for enterprise, media services for consumers, and mobile infrastructure investment.

This will be a major shift in the pattern of competition, but one that Telstra will be well placed to make. With an A$11 billion war chest to spend over the next eight years, and reduced exposure to the cost of a copper access network, Telstra will be free to invest in a range of new strategies, technologies, and services. It will therefore be a strong competitor in any industry future.

Voltaire expands 10 GbE portfolio with low-latency layer 2/3 switch

NEW YORK, USA: Voltaire Ltd, a leading provider of scale-out data center fabrics, today announced the immediate availability of the Voltaire Vantage 6024, a low-latency, high-performance Layer 2/3 top-of-rack switch optimized for next generation and virtualized data centers and cloud computing environments.

The switch provides the industry’s most power-efficient and lowest latency capabilities on 10 Gigabit Ethernet, enabling new levels of efficiency, scalability and real-time application performance. The switch also supports converged enhanced Ethernet (CEE) capabilities enabling the consolidation of multiple network tiers and fabrics to significantly reduce infrastructure expenses.

The combination of the Voltaire Vantage 8500 Layer 2 core switches and new Vantage 6024 switches enables customers to build flat data center fabrics of more than 3,400 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports with non-blocking, lossless switch capacity of 69.12 Terabits per second.

Voltaire Unified Fabric Manager (UFM) software orchestrates the fabric as a single logical entity, enforcing fabric-wide service policies, providing real-time fabric and application level monitoring, and simplifying fabric administration across many physical and virtual switching elements.

“Data center network architectures are in the midst of a dramatic change, moving towards flat, scale-out 10 GbE fabrics designed for performance, efficiency and virtual machine mobility,” said Lucinda Borovick, research vice president, Datacenter Networks, IDC. “Solutions such as Voltaire Vantage 10 GbE switches and UFM software enable these new architectures and also provide virtual machine awareness on the network.”

Voltaire also announced the industry’s first turnkey 10 GbE switching and software infrastructure solution for low latency trading. The solution is comprised of the Voltaire Vantage 6024 switch, Voltaire Messaging Accelerator (VMA) software, network interface cards and cables. It is ideal for co-located low latency trading and smaller high-frequency trading environments where one rack handles the full trading operations. Voltaire’s unique VMA software dramatically improves performance of high frequency trading and other multi-cast applications, further reducing networking latency and increasing application throughput per server.

Voltaire also offers VMA software for 20-40 Gb/s InfiniBand fabrics, which continue to deliver the lowest latencies – as much as 30% lower than Ethernet-based solutions. Voltaire’s VMA software and low latency InfiniBand fabrics are used in many of the world’s top banks, hedge funds and exchanges, including the recently announced next-generation equities trading platform to be deployed at Singapore Exchange (SGX).

“Voltaire’s unique approach to low latency trading networks is heavily focused on software that reduces application latency even more than what can be achieved in hardware,” said Asaf Somekh, vice president of marketing, Voltaire. “By coupling Voltaire VMA software and our new Vantage 6024 10 GbE switch, customers can rest assured that they are getting the lowest possible latency on 10 GbE for high frequency trading in a package that is well-suited for the limited space in co-located environments.”

Voltaire offers the solution in a variety of pre-configured bundles that include the Layer 2/3 switch, VMA software licenses, 10 GbE Network Interface Cards (NICs) and cables to provide a turnkey, out-of-the box solution that’s optimized for both exchange connectivity and external clients. Customers also have the option to purchase Voltaire professional services for installation and testing, giving them access to technical expertise and faster time to production.

Panduit delivers smallest diameter category 6A cabling system for high speed data transport

TINLEY PARK, USA: Panduit, a world-class developer and provider of Unified Physical InfrastructureSM based solutions, introduces the industry’s smallest diameter Category 6A copper cabling system.

This new TX6A-SD 10Gig UTP Copper Cabling System is part of Panduit’s High Speed Data Transport Solutions (HSDT) offering proven performance to ensure availability, reliability and scalability of mission critical systems.

Meeting standards body requirements up to 70 meters, this Category 6A system offers a 0.24 in. cable diameter for easier cable routing and increases fill capacity 115 percent over industry standard limits. This allows data center and other customers to quickly and easily deploy a 10GBASE-T solution while reducing energy costs and increasing thermal performance in high density environments. The superior cable management ensures proper airflow for improved network performance and availability.

“We analyzed our customers’ needs for data center cabling, and discovered that almost all data center channels are less than 70 meters. Taking this into account and applying our Matrix technology, we were able to greatly reduce the cable size while keeping margin above the Category 6A and Class EA specifications to provide our end-users with easy to use, trouble-free, risk-mitigating 10Gig ready cable plants,” stated Bob Dennelly, Panduit Division Manager of Copper Systems.

Panduit and industry leaders are working to provide cost-effective and seamless migration from Gigabit to 10Gigabit Ethernet. A 10GBASE-T Ecosystem with companies including Cisco and Intel was launched at Cisco Live in Barcelona to demonstrate the industry’s most complete end-to-end solution with investment protection. The demonstration incorporated the TX6A-SD 10Gig UTP Copper Cabling System.

“The 10GBASE-T ecosystem solution includes industry-leading switches and cabling from companies such as Cisco and Panduit, respectively, as well as a new generation of Intel adapters,” said Steve Schultz, director of marketing, Intel LAN Access Division. “10GBASE-T’s backward compatibility with Gigabit Ethernet and solid ecosystem give customers an easy migration path to 10 Gigabit Ethernet.”

Monday, June 21, 2010

ip.access and AlertMe demonstrate femtocell-enabled home energy management solution

CAMBRIDGE, UK: ip.access, the leading developer of femtocell and picocell solutions, and, the pioneer in home energy management systems, have created a demonstration showing how femtocells can be integrated into smart home energy management solutions.

With femtocell integration, the AlertMe Energy service can automatically detect when phones enter or leave the house and can therefore power down lights, televisions and other home appliances automatically when the house is empty. The service can also switch the services back on again when the residents return.

The ip.access femtocell powered service also enables mobile phones to control electrical devices in different parts of the house using a series of commands and automatic triggers.

Smart energy metering and control is the subject of extensive EU regulation over the coming years, and services such as AlertMe Energy, which allows electrical appliances in the home to be controlled via the Internet, are set to become a part of everyone's lives in the near future.

ip.access has combined the AlertMe Energy service with its own femtocell technology. The solution works by allowing electrical appliances to switch on and off automatically in response to the presence or absence of phones in the home. The “presence” information is routinely gathered by the femtocell but is normally only used to route cellphone traffic and set tariffs.

The AlertMe integration enables this presence information to be used to set personalised light and power preferences which are activated automatically when a subscriber arrives at home. Pre-set electrical outlets can also switch off automatically to save energy a few minutes after the last person has left the house.

The demo also shows how supplementary services codes on the phone can be personalised through the femtocell when the phone is at home, allowing the phone to be used to switch appliances on and off remotely. For example, a subscriber could type *1# on their phone to switch off the downstairs lights and power after retiring upstairs to bed.

“One automatic trigger could be to switch the kettle on as soon as you arrive home,” said Dr Andy Tiller, VP Marketing at ip.access. “But there is a lot more to this than just tea and convenience.

“Using a femtocell to personalise supplementary services codes is a new and unique idea,” he said. “It enables the mobile phone to become a powerful controller for all kinds of applications in the home. And because it’s a network-enabled feature, it works with any handset – there are no applications to install.”

According to founder Pilgrim Beart, “The mobile phone is increasingly the remote-control for your life. Most people carry their handset everywhere they go, making it an ideal control device for the AlertMe Energy service. And because everyone already has a mobile phone, there is no extra cost involved.”

The demo also shows how the AlertMe Hub (the central device that receives instructions via the Internet and controls the electrical plugs in the home) can be integrated inside a femtocell Access Point, receiving its power and Internet connection through the femtocell. In this way, a mobile operator could offer a smart home energy management solution as an integrated option to its femtocell subscribers.

ip.access will be showing the demonstration at the Femtocells World Summit in London from 22-24 June.

Telstra and NBN Co. deal

David Kennedy, Research Director, Ovum

AUSTRALIA: Though many details have not been finalized, this Heads of Agreement is a substantial step towards realising the NBN.

In effect, this is a non-compete wholesale layer agreement between the NBN Co and Telstra. It reflects a major shift in the industry, away from policy to promote infrastructure competition and towards a monopoly access network regulated as a utility.

For Telstra, this agreement means more certainty. It proves a clear pathway to migrate its business to a next generation fibre environment, and locks in the value of its customer base and physical assets.

For the NBN Co, it secures Telstra as a customer, rather than a competitor. This means that its future revenue stream is much more certain.

For the rest of the industry, this makes the future of the NBN Co more secure, but also makes Telstra into the NBN Co’s most important customer. Telstra and the NBN Co’s interests are lining up, and Telstra’s competitors should be wary.

But the agreement has several hurdles to leap before it can be finalised. There is still a lot of detail that must be negotiated. The final agreement will require ACCC approval, Telstra shareholder approval, and enabling legislation for the proposed USO changes. There is no guarantee that the deal will be finalised in its current form.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

China Telecom and ZTE sign PON equipment contract

CommunicAsia2010, SINGAPORE & SHENZHEN, CHINA: ZTE Corp. has won a large Passive Optical Network (PON) equipment contract from China Telecom valued at over CNY 1 billion.

ZTE’s PON equipment will support China’s Telecom’s City Optical Network project which was launched in 2009 with the aim of providing customers with higher speed broadband access to enhance their user experience.

Under the contract, ZTE will provide its ZXA10 xPON passive access system to China Telecom. The new network solution is based on triple-play service which provides perfect multicast and DBA capabilities and supports high broadband subscriber access services such as HSI, VoIP, IPTV, and CATV.

As a global telecommunications operator and the largest broadband operator in China, China Telecom maintains a broad strategy to constantly expand, and enhances its broadband services and infrastructure - the City Optical Network project falls under this long-term plan.

Under China Telecom’s plan, approximately 20 million lines of fiber optics broadband equipment will be deployed in order to provide 12Mbps broadband access to more than 70 percent of the rural areas and up to 100Mbps access speeds for major cities across the country. The contract for the xPON equipment was tendered earlier this year and ZTE successfully won the bidding process over other competitors.

ZTE and China Telecom started their business relationship in xPON in 2004 and ZTE’s xPON products has already garnered over 40% market share in China over this six-year relationship. In addition, ZTE helped Shanghai Telecom to complete its own City Optical Network project and deploy a FTTx network in the Shanghai World Expo recently.

Inmarsat launches IsatPhone Pro

LONDON, UK: Inmarsat, the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, has launched its new global handheld satellite phone, the IsatPhone Pro. Retailing for as little as US$500, the phone will be a “game changer” in this specialist market.

The new service, Inmarsat’s first global handheld, offers an unmatched specification at the most competitive price point in the market. Extensive testing has shown that IsatPhone Pro has the market’s longest battery life and the most robust handset. These and other market-leading services and features are now available at a suggested retail price of US$699, with promotional prices expected to be around US$500-600.

Andrew Sukawaty, chairman and CEO of Inmarsat, said: “With the promotional incentives at launch, our $500-600 IsatPhone Pro is a 'game changer'. This phone gives us price and performance leadership for the remote environment market.

“We have today entered the handheld satellite phone market with a global handset. It targets customers served by Inmarsat for decades, both at sea and in the most remote parts of the global landmass. It is supported by our existing satellite network and it uses proven technology customized for use in these environments.

“The IsatPhone Pro is tailor-made for tough use. Rugged, splash and dust proof, and with long battery life, it offers global service from day one. This is the first satellite phone to be built for the Inmarsat network from the ground-up, responding to customer needs, for use in harsh environments.

“Today we have delivered a robust, affordable, professional handset for global users. IsatPhone Pro joins our award-winning portfolio of data and voice terminals. It gives us a full range of services for remote environment communications use.”

IsatPhone Pro offers up to 8 hours talk time and up to 100 hours on standby. The handset has secured an IP54 rating and is dust, splash and shock resistant. It is also capable of operating from -20 degrees C to +55 degrees C, which is the widest temperature range of any satellite phone.

Targeted primarily at professional users in the government, media, aid, oil and gas, mining and construction sectors, IsatPhone Pro offers high-quality satellite telephony, text and email messaging. Location data can also be viewed and sent in a text message.

The unique design of IsatPhone Pro, including a fully-manoeuvrable antenna, allows the handset to be placed on its side for easy hands-free use via Bluetooth. IsatPhone Pro has an intuitive GSM-style interface with a high-visibility colour screen, and a larger keypad for easy dialling in gloves.

The distribution partners for IsatPhone Pro are AST, China Telecom, Evosat, Korea Telecom, MCN, MVS, Network Innovations, NSSL, RRSat, Satcom Global, Singtel, Stratos and Vizada.