Thursday, September 30, 2010

DSL still hot after all these years

Kamalini Ganguly, analyst, Ovum.

DSL still a battleground for major broadband access vendors
AUSTRALIA: In Ovum’s 2Q10 broadband access market share spreadsheet, we estimate quarterly global DSL revenues to be $848 million (not including DSL CPE), a little higher than FTTB/FTTH revenues of $796 million, even when FTTB/FTTH CPE – ONUs and ONTs – are included.

Indeed, over the past two years, even as FTTB/FTTH subscribers and associated equipment revenues have grown steadily worldwide, DSL revenues have been slightly higher each quarter.

Ovum believes the DSL equipment market will not wither away anytime soon. While it is certainly true that DSL subscriber growth is slowing in many countries and that DSL subscribers, in places like Japan and Korea, are being replaced by FTTH/FTTB subscribers, DSL equipment will still be used in many hybrid fiber-copper architectures.

In fact, Ovum forecasts that even in 2015, 63 million DSL ports will be shipped globally (down from 82 million ports in 2009). However, the great majority of these, if not all, will be in conjunction with growth in FTTx subscribers, not DSL.

In announcements, vendors have highlighted 400–500m as the distance where they demonstrated their breakthroughs. The assumption here is that the length of the copper loop (supporting VDSL2 or ADSL2+ to the customer) will be approximately that long, the rest being fiber to the central office as part of an FTTN, FTTC, or FTTB architecture.

The reason not to deploy FTTH all the way to the customer residence will be primarily economic, but technology and regulatory constraints will also play a part. As a result, we believe DSL network equipment will still be a $2 billion market in 2015, hence the scramble by major vendors to continue innovation in DSL.

Several DSL innovations targeting cross-talk in multiple copper pairs
The number of multiple pairs has varied in vendor demonstrations (six for Ericsson; two for Alcatel-Lucent, plus one phantom pair created by the two real pairs; and four for Huawei). The one constant has been the vendors’ claims of ever-higher speeds due to the combined bandwidth of the multiple pairs. Bonding of these multiple pairs is a common theme and soon to be a reality with AT&T’s recent announcement. Cross-talk, however, has long been the DSL problem child, especially with multiple pairs.

Over the past two years, several vendors have announced technical breakthroughs in cancelling or reducing cross-talk, which in combination with bonding, boost the bandwidth capacity that can be supported by each copper pair, drawing ever closer to the theoretical maximum. Of course, these solutions are relevant only where there are multiple pairs. They are rare in developing countries and few developed countries have more than two copper pairs to each home.

Also, it must be borne in mind that Cat-6 and Cat-7 cables have comparable bandwidth capacity due to similar technical breakthroughs, though Cat-6 cables can only be 100m long.

Ultimately fiber will prevail
When commercially launched, these DSL solutions should be cheaper than FTTH, but ultimately the cost comparison and adoption timeline will depend on how these technologies are incorporated in DSL line cards and CPE. In addition, evolution of DSL equipment will be a challenge. How easy will it be to incorporate such technology into MSAP/MSAN platforms and those DSLAMs that are PON fed and deployed in basements of large buildings?

Few in the industry doubt that fiber, with its lower opex burden compared to copper and far higher natural bandwidth capacity, will eventually prevail. Globally, Ovum forecasts that until 2015 at least, FTTH/FTTB subscribers will grow faster than that of DSL and cable, while equipment revenues will overtake that of DSL in 2012.

But, in many countries, completion of FTTH may take up to a few decades. In the meantime, DSL continues to evolve as a viable alternative as part of different architectures. This is particularly relevant for those countries where carriers facing competition plan to launch new services like IPTV, but cannot find the economic justification or the capital to roll out FTTH just yet.

New mobile competitors face serious market challenges

CAMBRIDGE, USA: While the number of mobile network operators has grown over the past six years, mobile services continue to be dominated by the largest operators, posing significant long-term challenges to new competitors in their efforts to build market share and sustainable revenue streams, according to a new report from Pyramid Research.

Influx of New Competitors Poses Challenges for Mobile Operators Worldwide analyzes competition among mobile network operators by examining the number of operators in each country and researching the new players to determine how much of the growth is local and how much is from foreign operators expanding into new markets.

The impact of the global economic crisis of 2007-2009 on market share and competition globally is addressed, along with case studies of three regions: Africa & the Middle East, Asia/Pacific, and Western Europe.

The number of mobile network operators (MNOs) per country has continued to increase from an average 4.0 operators per country in 2004 to 4.9 this year, leading to increased competition at the local level and smaller market share for the top players.

When analyzing emerging and developed markets separately, one can discern two separate and distinct trends: In developed regions, the number of operators stayed relatively flat, whereas in emerging markets the number of operators per country increased from an average of 4.0 in 2004 to 5.4 today, notes Emily Smith, Research Associate at Pyramid.

"As mobile markets mature, Pyramid Research has found that the market share for the top operators converges toward an equilibrium point that is roughly the same across all global regions," Smith says. "While the average market share has hardly changed in developed regions, in emerging regions the market share for top operators has decreased by 10 percentage points in the past seven years."

"Due to consumers' changing appetite for mobile services over the course of the recent global financial crisis, the speed at which the top operators lost share increased, although now that the global economy is moving into a recovery stage, top operators can expect to experience less share shrinkage than in recent years," Smith adds.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Samsung puts fresh thrust on dual SIM handset market

BANGALORE, INDIA: Leading mobile phone provider, Samsung Electronics has enhanced its dual Sim offering in the Indian market by announcing the launch of three new dual Sim handsets which include Samsung Star Duos , the industry’s first ever 3G and 2G touch Dual-Sim Active phone Guru Dual 25 (GT-E1225) and Guru Dual 26 (GT-E1252).

Ranjit Yadav, director-Mobile & IT, Samsung Electronics, stated: “The dual-Sim market continues to be a strong focus area for us. We’re looking at enhancing our presence in this segment through Innovation and excellence. The new product line up is an example of the same. Samsung’s dual–Sim offerings range from Duos, Dual–Sim Active Touch, standby and Dual–Sim shift advantage thereby giving consumers a wider choice in economical operator tariff plans and product benefits.”

The new Samsung Star Duos is the industry’s first 3G + 2G Dual-Standby Touch phone, best suited for consumers who prefer Full – touch functionality in their phones. The 3G + 2G (HSDPA + EDGE) Dual Standby expands communication networks by utilizing two SIM cards to expertly manage both work and life tasks in one unit, and allows switching between both without re - powering the handset. The WAP/MMS/E-mail supported software keeps the user always connected.

The Touch functionality helps in instant messaging, easy access to mobile applications and business related features. While dedicated widgets seamlessly manage switching between 2 SIM cards, the 3 page extended Menu and Touchwiz 2.0 plus provides intuitive UI for easy navigation.

The Samsung B-7722 has distinct Business Features and tools to maintain a mobile office: Active Sync which updates e-mails from the desktop to the user’s mobile, Phone Book 2000 for organizing contacts, Document viewer handles MS Office, PDF TXT and other files, Multi –language dictionary and an offline mode which allows the user to turn off his/her phone while he/she continues to work on other functions.

The versatile Multimedia experience of GT–B7722 is further accentuated by the SoundAlive feature, 5MP AF Camera with Power LED, FindMusic that tracks down new song titles for download on MP3 and Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP to enjoy music on wireless headset. It comes with a 250MB Internal memory, expandable upto 16GB.

The phone offers enhanced connectivity to various social networking sites through Wi-Fi connections, users can upload photos & videos to sites like Facebook, YouTube and Flickr and Multi IM created limitless chat opportunities to Palringo, Gtalk and AOL. The Samsung GT B7722 is priced at Rs. 12,300.

The Samsung Guru Dual 25 (GT–E1225) and Samsung Guru Dual 26 ( GT–E1252) capture the user-centric benefits of the Guru series and provides users with benefits like Large display, stereo FM, Torch, nine regional language support and phonebook and SMS memory to store upto 1000.

The Dual-SIM Shift feature of Guru Dual 25 allows users to carry 2 SIMS on the phone, however only one SIM is active at a time. Users can choose to switch between each SIM as per his convenience. With the Dual – Sim Standby feature of Samsung Guru Dual 26, users can access two separate network and best call rate for better coverage. Users can maintain a personal and business number and use the SIMs for both local and roaming services. The phone also has easy setting for each SIM and is easy to use.

Guru Dual 25 has a large screen size of 1.8” inches QQVGA TFT, while Guru Dual 26 has wide display of 2” QQVGA 262K TFT LCD , with both phones designed to provide superior ergonomic comfort to users. The powerful sound output of phones coupled with Stereo FM radio adds to audio pleasure.

The Samsung E-1225 is also equipped with a 3.5 pi ear jack to further enhance the audio experience. The long battery life of the handsets provide for longer talk time. For Example, Samsung Guru Dual 25 has a 800mAh battery with a talk time of upto 9 hours and a stand by time upto 420 hours. Samsung Guru Dual 26 has a 1000mAh extended battery with 11 hours of talk time and 620 hours in standby mode. The handsets are also equipped with games, mobile prayer, Indian calendar, 40 poly ring tones, SOS message and Bike mode features.

The Samsung Guru Dual 25 (GT–E1225) is priced at: Rs. 2,020 and the Samsung Guru Dual 26 (GT–E 1252) is priced at Rs. 2,240.

With the launch of these three phones, Samsung’s Dual–Sim portfolio now boasts of 10 models in the range of Rs. 2,020 to Rs. 12,300. ”We are looking at the Dual Sim portfolio contributing at least 25 percent to our full year mobile handset sales this year,” stated Yadav.

BlackBerry targets core business customers with PlayBook

Tim Renowden, analyst, Ovum.

AUSTRALIA: The BlackBerry PlayBook certainly looks like a strong contender against Apple’s iPad, at least amongst RIM’s core enterprise customers.

RIM’s dominance of the enterprise smartphone market has begun to come under pressure from Apple and a range of Android competitors, and since the iPad’s launch there has been a lot of discussion about the role of tablet devices in enterprise and the adoption of consumer devices by business users.

The PlayBook is aimed squarely at enterprise users, but RIM has very deliberately included high-end multimedia and gaming capabilities to attract consumers – and of course business users are also consumers.

The PlayBook’s big advantage over the iPad for enterprise customers is that many businesses already have BlackBerry smartphones deployed, and are using the BlackBerry Enterprise Server product to manage their connectivity.

Enterprise IT managers understand the security and device management advantages that BlackBerry has over Apple, and RIM will maintain these advantages with the PlayBook, which is fully compatible with existing BlackBerry services.

The danger for RIM is that Apple already has a big head start in the tablet market, and the buzz around its apps and ‘cool factor’ is significant. Many business users will want to bring their own iPads into the work environment, so this is going to be a long and hard fought battle for RIM, but an important one as mobile devices become an increasingly important part of doing business.

Optical telecom gear market finally recovers from dot-com bust

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Ten years after the Internet bubble burst and took the global telecommunications business down with it, the market for optical telecom network equipment finally has commenced a sustained recovery, according to market research firm iSuppli Corp.

Worldwide optical telecom network equipment revenue will amount to $13.5 billion in 2010, up 7.7 percent from $12.5 billion in 2009. Revenue will continue to rise during the next four years until it reaches $22.1 billion in 2014, the highest total since the market peak of $24.95 billion in 2000.

While revenue briefly spiked in 2006 and 2007, the rise was not sustainable, with the market shrinking to depressed levels again in 2008 and 2009, as presented in Fig. 1.Source: iSuppli, USA.

“During the final stages of the Dot-Com bubble in 2000, when everyone was sure that the boom would last forever, network operators sank billions into infrastructure equipment and fiber,” said Lee Ratliff, Senior Analyst, Broadband and Digital Home, for iSuppli.

“However, when the boom went bust, that fiber was left idle—becoming so called ‘dark fiber’—with much of it remaining unused for a decade. However, with the continued growth of the Internet, the industry finally has absorbed the excess capacity, lighting up the vast excess dark fiber from the bubble, and prompting companies to invest in upgraded optical equipment.”

The new Internet boom
The revival of optical networking is being fueled by the continued expansion of the Internet.

“While the heady days of the Dot-Com era are gone forever, the Internet is still expanding at a CAGR of around 45 percent,” Ratliff noted. “Major factors driving the Internet’s growth include the explosion of high-bandwidth video traffic, peer-to-peer traffic, the rapid expansion of China’s broadband market and the deployment of Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) systems.”

The ever-expanding demand for bandwidth is prompting optics in existing fiber networks to be upgraded to higher speeds. Telcos also are increasing their deployment of Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM), a technology that increases the speed of existing fiber.

Furthermore, new fiber is being installed at rapid rate. Major civil engineering projects including the East Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy) are helping to promote growth.

China boom
In April, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), together with sixother ministries, announced a plan to provides tax incentives and financial subsidies for domestic fiber broadband equipment, optical chip and optical module manufacturers.

Driven by this stimulus, broadband Internet subscribers in China are set to rise to 242.7 million in 2014, up from 132.5 million in 2008, according to iSuppli’s China Research service. Along with such an increase, China’s telcos will double their spending on passive optical network equipment from 2010 to 2014.

Optical semiconductors and MEMS recover
After nearly a decade of stagnation, revenue from semiconductors used in optical networks also is finally is set to begin a multiyear expansion in 2010. Optical network semiconductor revenue is projected to expand to $3.6 billion in 2014, up from $2.1 billion in 2010.

Within this semiconductor segment, the market for optical MEMS for telecom equipment is expected to enjoy a renaissance.

Following eight years of flat or negative growth, the market for optical telecom MEMS will expand at a CAGR of 17.2 percent from 2009 to 2014. Revenue will rise to $245.8 billion in 2014, up from $111.2 billion in 2009, as presented in Fig. 2.Source: iSuppli, USA.

“As deployment of (FTTH) surges, there’s a need to build up metro and long-haul networks to accommodate faster data rates,” said Jérémie Bouchaud, director and principal analyst for MEMS research at iSuppli. “This will have a positive impact on sales of optical MEMS used in metro and long-haul optical telecommunications gear.”

Wavelength-Selective Switching Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexers (WSS ROADMs), devices that enhance the agility of optical networks, are expected to be the fast-growing portion of the optical telecom MEMS market.

Furthermore, MEMS are experiencing rapid growth as Variable Optical Attenuators (VOAs), and are taking share from competing devices. Chinese players like O-NET are rapidly adopting MEMS for their VOAs. As a result, unit shipments of MEMS VOAs will grow by 78 percent in 2010.

Other attractive areas for MEMS in optical networks include Variable Optical Attenuators (VOAs), tunable filters, cross connects and 1XN switches.

Source: iSuppli, USA.

Anritsu intros world’s most economical high performance RF handheld vector network and spectrum analyzer tool

MORGAN HILL, USA: Anritsu Co. has introduced the MS202xB/MS203xB VNA Master series, the highest-performing handheld RF vector network analyzers (VNAs) in the industry.

With frequency coverage from 500 kHz to 4/6 GHz, and featuring multi-instrument functionality in a rugged, lightweight design that can withstand harsh environments, the MS202xB/MS203xB allow field engineers to find faults, optimize mission-critical systems, and maintain more sites while reducing operating and capital equipment expenditures.

VNA Master provides field engineers with a powerful S-parameter measurement tool for on-site installation and maintenance activities, especially two-port transmission measurements such as filter tuning, component test, and phase matching cables.

Versatile, the VNA Master is also an all-in-one tool that can replace laboratory grade instruments, such as scalar analyzers, vector voltmeters, power meters and spectrum analyzers, in the field. In fact, the VNA Master is the highest-performing RF handheld tool for filter tuning based on its fast display updates of 850 usec/point and typical dynamic range of 100 dB.

The MS202xB/MS203xB VNA Master series is designed with a 2-port vector network analyzer architecture that provides S11 and S21 measurements that are generally 10 times more accurate than scalar measurement approaches found in other economy handheld tools.

For example, the VNA Master can measure filter passband insertion loss (i.e., S21) with better than 0.1 dB precision; a scalar approach is on the order of 1.0 dB precision. This difference is critical when measuring signal separation components, in which loss, flatness, and rejection translate into less site coverage, less compliance with the allocated spectrum, or more vulnerability to interference issues.

The improved dynamic range, coupled with selectable IF Bandwidths between 10 Hz and 100 kHz, offers flexibility to configure S-parameter measurements for maximum display updates or maximum accuracy.

Additionally, the VNA Master analyzers have 1 Hz frequency resolution for enhanced measurements of out-of-band filter characteristics. Selection of up to 4001 data points offers hands-free operation when measuring longer cables or verifying filter characteristics. New polar and impedance graphs offer additional flexibility to cable, filter, and antenna readouts.

Mobile operators enjoying buyer’s market for RAN and core network equipment

SINGAPORE: Mobile operator capital expenditure on key network items is expected grow a marginal 3 percent in 2010. Contributions to this 2010 growth are coming mainly from equipment spending on Radio Access Network (RAN) equipment but also Core Network (CN). RAN CAPEX should grow 3.5 percent, while CN spending is expected to grow 8 percent.

“The long-term prospects for network infrastructure revenues are not rosy,” says ABI Research vice president for forecasting Jake Saunders. “The consequences can already be felt in the marketplace as competition cuts equipment prices and forces equipment vendors to consolidate. ABI Research expects there to be a material shift in operator capital equipment spending patterns by 2012.”

For the mobile telecoms operators it is very much a buyer’s market. A number of mobile networks belong to multinationals such as Vodafone, France Telecom, Telefonica and MTN. These operator groups establish framework agreements to get the best terms from the equipment vendors. Vendors such as Ericsson and NSN have seen their margins squeezed by Huawei and ZTE. Motorola and Nortel have diversified their main infrastructure businesses. “There is a real possibility that one of the incumbent vendors might enter serious negotiation to merge with one of the upcoming Chinese vendors,” says Saunders. “Political factors may prevent such a union but the business sense stands.”

While the radio access network still takes the lion’s share of equipment spending, operators are increasingly taking steps to upgrade their core networks. Traffic from multimedia streaming, social network access and messaging is growing exponentially.

While 4G cellular services are still very much at the trial stage, equipment expenditure on 4G CN equipment is expected to outstrip 3G CN equipment spending by 2012. 3G and 4G CN equipment spending is likely to exceed US$12 billion in 2010. With the advent of 4G, spending on IMS and RCS equipment is expected to receive a boost as these technologies help operators to gain economies of scale in offering media-rich and voice-centric services.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pure packet radio backhaul shipments increased 6 percent in Q2 2010

MONTREAL, CANADA & BARCELONA, SPAIN: Pure packet radio backhaul shipments increased 6 percent in Q2 2010 while overall point-to-point microwave backhaul shipments decreased 4 percent, according to Maravedis' latest report, "Wireless Backhaul Market from an All-IP Perspective."

Drawing from in-depth interviews with backhaul vendors and operators worldwide, the report provides a detailed look at wireless backhaul technology, regulatory and market trends.

Maravedis believes the overall wireless backhaul market growth will kick-start again in 2011. "The need for greater capacity in 4G deployments will continue to drive the need for investments in backhaul, including the emerging field of radios in the 60 GHz, 80 GHz bands and Free Space Optics," said Esteban Monturus, author of the report.

Besides more capacity and a wider range of frequencies, vendors are also innovating advanced networking capabilities that include packet prioritization for greater policy management and end-user experience. "In addition to MEF certification, operators are also keen on better monitoring the performance of their backhaul networks. OAM (operation and maintenance) standards are being implemented to add this functionality," commented Maravedis Research Director Adlane Fellah.

Select report findings
* Between Q1 and Q2 2010 microwave shipments grew only in CALA (15.6 percent).
* EMEA continued to gather most of microwave shipments (48.8 percent).
* TDM microwave shipments decreased 26.4 percent in Q2 2010 to $126.43 million.
* Hybrid microwave shipments represented 69.6 percent of total quarterly shipments.
* Ericsson was the microwave shipment leader in Q2 2010 (18.5 percent market share), followed by the ever-growing contender Huawei.
* Ericsson also lead quarterly TDM shipments, while Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei headed pure packet and hybrid shipments, respectively.
* Of all vendors covered by the report, only Exalt and DragonWave embed payload compression techniques.
* None of the microwave vendors covered in the report have noted a substantial demand for IPv6 support.

Espial MediaBase becomes first VOD platform to support bandwidth reservation

OTTAWA, CANADA: Espial, a leader in on-demand TV software and solutions, today announced the availability of Espial MediaBase 9.1. The newest version of Espial’s flagship video-on-demand (VOD) delivery platform, Espial MediaBase 9.1 helps provide improved video quality, extends cable MSO support and dramatically increases storage capacity with COTS technology.

Espial MediaBase is the first VOD platform to implement bandwidth reservation using Resource Reservation Protocol (RSVP). RSVP support allows a VOD session to reserve end-to-end network resources and bandwidth. This provides a guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS) to viewers which reduces operational costs due to service calls and increases brand perception with improved customer satisfaction.

The RSVP solution has been well integrated and validated with Cisco’s RSVP implementation in the network on their flagship access and aggregation platforms and has been proven to enrich the quality of experience for video flows.

Combined with its existing packet loss recovery capabilities, Espial MediaBase is now the leading platform in guaranteeing video quality for operators and subscribers.
Espial MediaBase dramatically extends its storage capacity per server to 320TB and streaming capacity to 40 Gbps using the next generation of COTS hard drives from HP and other commercial-off-the-shelf COTS vendors.

Espial MediaBase is integrated with Ericsson OpenStream Digital Services Platform version 5.0. This integration includes support for the RTI (Real Time Ingest) feature. This allows cable operators to offer Time Shift TV and TV on-Demand services within seconds of a broadcast program going to air. This enables cable operators to offer TVoD service for subscriber retention and additional revenue streams.

Espial MediaBase has extended its leading content delivery networking capabilities with support for the ISA-based, multi-tier architecture in Ericsson OpenStream Digital Services Platform. This optimizes the service efficiency and network bandwidth and content storage utilization for targeted content delivery.

Chunghwa Telecom Labs selects Mu test suite to improve subscriber experience and deliver secure services

SUNNYVALE, USA: Mu Dynamics Inc., a leader in testing next-generation network services, announced that Chunghwa Telecom Laboratories, the R&D arm of the leading telecom service provider in Taiwan has selected the Mu Test Suite in order to quickly develop and deploy new services, ensure the security of its services and quickly resolve customer issues on the network.

Chunghwa Telecom selected Mu Dynamics due to its unique approach of leveraging actual traffic pulled from the service provider's network to quickly identify and resolve problems with a given service. Mu Dynamics is the only company in the industry capable of enabling this type of testing. This approach enables Chunghwa Telecom to accurately test how a new service functions in the live production environment prior to deployment, and ensure the overall security of the service.

In addition, it allows the service provider to quickly identify and fix any potential customer issues once the service is deployed. The result is that Chunghwa Telecom is able to innovate with confidence by delivering an outstanding customer experience with fewer issues and increased reliability.

The company is using the Mu Test Suite, which offers a comprehensive approach to security testing, by employing several product modules to ensure the security and resilience of its NGN services including protocol fuzzing, denial of service (DoS) and published vulnerability analysis (PVA).

For live issues in the field a security alert is triggered by any IPS device and packets are captured along with the suspect traffic. The traffic is then imported into the Mu Test Suite where it is statefully replayed in the test lab to reproduce the alert. Once the problem has been targeted and fixed, it is then re-tested and validated.

"Chunghwa Telecom is recognized worldwide as an innovator that adopts new and exciting technologies," said Dave Kresse, CEO of Mu Dynamics. "With the Mu Test Suite, Chunghwa can now statefully recreate live field issues using actual service traffic and identify security and reliability bugs prior to deployment, enabling increased reliability and a better overall experience for its customers."

As one of the largest telecommunications providers in Asia, Chunghwa Telecom currently offers its more than 30 million customers a full array of services including fixed line, mobile, broadband and Internet access.

Microtune ships over 7.5 million wideband tuners for use in DOCSIS/EuroDOCSIS 3.0-based devices

SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2010, PLANO, USA: As a key indicator of the robust growth of the DOCSIS/ EuroDOCSIS 3.0 technology market, Microtune Inc. announced that it has shipped more than 7.5 million wideband tuners for use in DOCSIS 3.0-based devices.

Leading cable equipment suppliers have built their DOCSIS 3.0 equipment around Microtune’s MT2170 wideband tuner and its companion product, the MT1570 wideband upstream amplifier.

Customers’ ground-breaking products have ranged from data-only cable modems and voice-and-data routers to high-end IPTV gateways. All leverage channel bonding techniques to achieve downstream data rates of 160 Mbps or higher, with the potential to deliver a range of new Internet protocol (IP) services that is now only beginning to be realized.

“Collaborating with Microtune on our extended line of DOCSIS 3.0-based products ensures that our worldwide customers can deliver the highest quality data and voice experience today and be assured of their ability to accommodate sufficient bandwidth to support the converged IP video services of tomorrow," said Bruce McClelland, president, ARRIS Broadband Communications Systems.

“The DOCSIS 3.0 specifications have proven a significant catalyst for cable market growth and innovation, and it continues to transform the worldwide industry,” said James A. Fontaine, president and CEO of Microtune. “Our proven tuners and amplifiers are providing the foundation for our customers’ DOCSIS 3.0 product lines, which in turn, makes it easy for them to evolve new wideband features and services as the DOCSIS 3.0 network rollout continues its momentum.”

“DOCSIS 3.0-certified equipment has become an integral component in the cable industry’s strategy to meet the growing demand for high-bandwidth services such as IP video,” said Mike Paxton, principal analyst, In-Stat. “In addition, most cable TV operators believe that they are just at the beginning of their DOCSIS 3.0 product deployment curve.”

CableLabs’ DOCSIS 3.0 specifications enable downstream data rates of 160 Mbps or higher and upstream data rates of 120 Mbps or higher.

Vocollect intros vehicle mount Talkman

PITTSBURGH & SAN DIEGO, USA: Vocollect Inc., a leader in voice-centric solutions for mobile workers, announced the availability of its newest offering, the Vehicle Mount Talkman solution, designed to help companies accelerate productivity and accuracy, improve ergonomics, and reduce operational costs with vehicle-based workflows in the distribution center (DC)/warehouse.

The uniqueness of this solution lies in directing the work of eyes-busy/hands-busy vehicle-mounted workers via voice, eliminating the need for paper, screens and keyboards. With traditional scanner- and paper-based vehicle mount terminal (VMT) solutions, workers must take time to look at and touch a keyboard, or read a display or paper in unfavorable lighting, which is both inefficient and distracting.

Further, handheld devices used in a vehicle-based workflow can be lost or damaged, as workers transition from driving the vehicle to performing a task. As a voice-centric solution, Vocollect’s Vehicle Mount Talkman voice solution eliminates the need for workers to continually look away from their vehicles’ paths to pause a workflow in order to receive assignments, to send data, or to manage a handheld, thus boosting overall productivity and accuracy.

Typical vehicle-based workflows that may benefit from this voice-centric solution include put-away, replenishment, loading and selection.

Vocollect’s Vehicle Mount Talkman solution is based on its industry-leading Vocollect Voice software, a Talkman T5 voice appliance, vehicle mounting hardware, power adapters and an SRX wireless headset. With the Talkman mounted to and powered from the vehicle, users can move freely within a 20- to 30-foot radius of the vehicle to perform their tasks, communicating with the Talkman via the wireless SRX headset.

“We have been using Vocollect for our distribution operations for eight years. Through the use of a wireless headset and having the mobile device mounted on the truck, Vocollect’s new vehicle mount solution offers greater freedom, which in turn will result in significant gains in worker mobility,” according to Gabe Ibanez, Distribution Systems Manager at Nature’s Best, Brea, Calif., the largest privately owned US wholesaler-distributor of health and natural food products.

For companies with existing Vocollect Voice solutions for picking, the Vehicle Mount Talkman further leverages their voice investment by extending voice to vehicle-based workflows for put-away, replenishment, loading and receiving.

It is ideal for companies looking to increase the flexibility and utilization of vehicles per shift, potentially reducing the number of vehicles required to support a site’s material-handling needs. It also lowers asset management costs and loss/damage risks associated with portable tools and handheld devices.

Once installed, any Talkman T5 unit can move between a vehicle-mounted configuration and a Vehicle Mount Talkman or wearable, body-worn T5 device configuration with no tools or specialized training required.

Joe Pajer, president and CEO, Vocollect, said: “The introduction of a third solution this year is the next step in turning our vision of the voice-enabled warehouse into reality. It immediately follows our earlier introduction of our light industrial solution and enhancements to our current industrial wearable solution.

“This latest Vocollect offering provides a cost-effective and more ergonomic alternative to traditional VMT computing solutions. As part of the voice-centric warehouse, it is designed specifically to help companies compete more effectively in a competitive global market by increasing worker productivity, accuracy and vehicle utilization rates.”

Monday, September 27, 2010

No adverse impact on health from low level of electro-magnetic fields (EMF) propagated from towers: COAI and AUSPI

BANGALORE, INDIA: COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India) and AUSPI (Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India) held a workshop and briefing on “Radiation from Mobile Towers” - Myths Vs Realities.

The workshop aimed at “dispelling the myths” related to alleged health hazards from EMF radiations, by citing extensively from various study findings & research from the most independent organizations of the highest repute.

The workshop included participation from eminent doctors from varied specialist fields like Oncology, Cardiology, and Medicine, Senior official from Ministry of Communications & IT, and eminent scholars and academicians from IIT Madras and Thiagarajar College of Engineering.

Together, the eminent panelists briefed the audience on the various studies which have been conducted world wide, adoption of safety guidelines (ICNIRP) in India and most importantly myths related to alleged health hazards due to low level of electromagnetic waves from mobile towers.

S.C. Khanna, secretary general, AUSPI, in his opening address remarked: “Cellular mobile communications is around 10-15 years old in India. However, in the west, the same has been available for more than 20-30 years. It is pertinent to note that RF exposure of the public started many years ago when radio, television (broadcasting stations) came into being, however no long-term effects have been observed so far.”

Rajan S. Mathews, director general, COAI, while making the presentation on “Radiation from Mobile Towers” - Myths Vs Realities, said: “It is pertinent to dispel the myths surrounding the EMF emitted from mobile towers amongst the public and bring to the public the correct and accurate information based on the scientific evidence, studies and researches done over the past two to three decades by expert panels such as WHO, ICNIRP, FDA (USA).”

He further added that international agencies looking into the health and safety of mobile communications have refuted the misconceptions and have agreed that the scientific research do not demonstrate any health risks from the use of communication devices or towers.

He said: “Also, it is important to understand that the RF radiations emitted by mobile communication systems lie in the non-ionizing part of the electromagnetic spectrum and these radiations do not have enough energy to break the bonds that hold molecules in the cells together. Thus, the exposure to EMF radiations emitted from Mobile Systems cannot produce ionization or cause any genetic damage. And, the RF emissions from mobile phones and base stations are some hundreds times lower than the levels at which the first health effects begin to be established.”

A senior official from the Ministry of Communications & IT explained about the adoption of ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection Board) standards for the telecom sector in India which will ensure abundant precaution and limit the exposure from the base stations and phones.

Prof. Dr. P.R. Goundan and Prof. Dr. S. Raju, added that during the extensive measurements carried out in Delhi the results indicated that even the cumulative emissions from mobile towers were hundred/thousand times lower than the laid out international standards.

The workshop was presided by eminent doctors which included, Dr Purvish Parikh, Medical Oncologist and MD, AmeriCares India, Dr. Siddharth, DM cardiology, UN Mehta Institute of Cardiology and Research Center, BJ Medical College, Ahmedabad and Dr. Manisha Makhija, pediatrician, Jupiter Hospital, Thane.

Also present were eminent people from the industry such as Balkrishan, director (Radio), Telecom Engineering Centre, Dr. PR Goundan, jt. director, CEWIT, IIT, Chennai, and Dr S. Raju, prof. and HOD ECE, Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai.

TR Dua, dy. director general, COAI, while concluding the workshop, remarked, “This workshop would go a long way to highlight the right and truthful message and thus facilitate qualitative improvement in making our lives better/ simpler and thanked members of the media and all the luminaries to have come all the way to highlight the very important issue.”

Thai 3G auction derailed

Nicole McCormick, senior analyst, Ovum

THAILAND: Last week’s 3G auctions in Thailand were officially suspended yesterday. The National Telecommunications Commission was unable to overturn government-owned CAT Telecom’s injunction against the auctions.

CAT argued that the yet-to-be-created National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) had constitutional responsibility for the auctions, not the existing National Telecommunications Commission (NTC). Thailand’s 3G auction could now be delayed until 2012, or even longer. And that’s bad news for the country’s private operators – AIS, DTAC, and True Move.

Monday’s auction foiled at the eleventh hour
Two months ago, things were looking rosy for Thailand’s 3G auction. In July 2010, the NTC published its 3G plan in the Royal Gazette, and Thailand’s 3G auction rules became law. The NTC set an auction date of 20 September 2010.

This was a major breakthrough for the NTC – the country’s 3G auction plan had been debated for five years. On 14 September 2010, AIS, DTAC, and True Move all qualified to participate in the auction, after a last-minute scare about foreign ownership rules.

With a week to go until the auction, government-owned CAT Telecom and TOT were still quiet. But the threat of a potential lawsuit by CAT or TOT lurked in the background. Their unhappiness with the auctions was a consequence of new 3G licensing rules, under which 3G operation licensing fees were to be paid to the NTC and not them. Currently, AIS, DTAC, and True Move pay more than 20 percent of their annual 2G revenues to government-owned CAT and TOT.

CAT launched legal action the week before the auction, and on 16 September Thailand’s Central Administrative Court granted CAT an injunction halting the planned auction. The injunction was granted on the grounds that the revamped constitution of 2007 stipulates that the NTC be replaced by a new unified regulator, the NBTC.

The NTC’s appeal was overturned yesterday by the Supreme Administrative Court. The Constitution Court will now take several months to decide whether the existing regulator has the legal right to conduct the auction. If not, management of the 3G auction process will fall to the new unified regulator, which lacks enabling legislation at the moment.

2100MHz auction postponed until 2012?
If the final verdict in the Constitution Court is a win for CAT, the 3G auction process will be conducted by the NBTC, which still needs its enabling legislation ratified by the Thai parliament.

Even if the government rushes this through the House of Representatives so that it can meet its year-end or early 2011 deadline, finalizing the appointment of the NBTC’s commissioners will probably take months. Then the NBTC has to begin the grueling task of drawing up its frequency master plan and other 3G auction details, which could take several more months.

Thailand’s 3G auction could be pushed back until 2012. The delay could be even longer – AIS chief executive Wichian Mektrakarn has reportedly predicted that it could take at least three years for the NBTC to be established.

The best that the private operators can hope for is that the NTC prevails against CAT in the Constitution Court. Even if this happens, the auctions will have been delayed for months. Meanwhile, AIS, DTAC, and True Move are stuck in a 2G time-warp, relying on GPRS/EDGE to support customer demand for increasingly advanced and bandwidth-hungry applications.

The government is now reportedly considering allowing commercial 3G services to be rolled out in 2G spectrum under the existing 2G concessions. Operators currently offer in-band 3G services on a non-commercial trial basis. Significantly, these services are provided under existing concession arrangements with TOT/CAT, requiring operators to continue paying high 2G revenue-sharing payments.

And the final insult? TOT-owned 3G operator Thai Mobile is reportedly preparing to ask Cabinet for permission to expand its 3G network – which is used by several MVNOs – nationwide next week. Meanwhile, the private operators watch on helplessly.

One97 and Networkplay in exclusive tie-up

MUMBAI, INDIA: One97 Communications Ltd, a leading provider of telecom value added services to telecom operators, consumers and enterprises, and Networkplay – a leading digital ad-space network, have come together in an exclusive partnership, which offers SMS, voice and WAP touch points to advertisers.

The deal allows Networkplay exclusive rights to sell in its own name advertising rights for all Operator Ad Platforms – like Precall, Incomplete Call Announcement, Post Call Notification, IVR, SMS, WAP etc and the Enterprise service offerings like IVR, OBD, SMS, WAP, On Device Clients, in India.

The deal allows Networkplay to bring its advertising and digital marketing expertise into the mobile medium with One97’s highly integrated presence in the network, enterprise and consumer segments.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma, CMD, One97 Communications, said: “Mobile is very important media for marketers and at One97 we strive to deliver the very best experience. With Networkplay's existing synergy with brand owners and media agencies we will be able to accelerate our plans.”

Rammohan Sundaram, founder, CEO and MD, Networkplay added: “One97 is leading the change in the mobile, space with uniquely convergent products and services. Networkplay and One97 together can power the mobile as a medium using inherent synergies. The partnership allows us to increase our stakes in the fast-growing mobile space, where telecom-meets-media is offering opportunities to the eco-system like never before.”

One97 Communications is a leading mobile valued added services firm with strong market presence and a portfolio of products and services. Funded by Capital 18, Networkplay has a diverse digital brand ad network to fulfill audience engagement, optimum reach, and innovative branding solutions on Internet, mobile and DTH.

Asia-Pacific demand for mobile data services increases as mobile voice declines

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Asia-Pacific’s mobile phone market will see a continued decline in voice revenues over the next five years, as intense competition continues to push prices lower, finds Ovum.

According to new figures released by the independent telecoms analyst, Mobile regional and country forecast pack 2010-15, revenues generated in the Asia-Pacific through voice services will fall from $182 billion in 2010 to $176 billion in 2015. The trend is driven by falling ARPU in competitive markets, outweighing overall growth in connections and minutes of use.

However, the picture at the country level is patchy. India, China and Indonesia, being the growth engines of the region for new connections, show continued growth in mobile voice revenues despite falling ARPU. But in developed markets like Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea, where connection markets are saturating, we foresee rapid mobile voice revenue declines,

At the same time, there will be a healthy growth in revenues generated from mobile data services, with an increase from $84 billion in 2010 to $133 billion in 2015. We foresee both rising data connections and data rising ARPU as more consumers in Asia-Pacific opt to use more text, email, social media and video on their mobiles.

Overall, we expect total Asia-Pacific mobile revenues to increase only from $267 billion in 2010 to $310 billion in 2015. However, Ovum sees total connections increasing from 2.6 billion to 3.8 billion over the same period.

David Kennedy, AP Research Director at Ovum, said, “Data is now a key driver of the mobile market and revenues will continue to grow steadily.” By 2015, there will be a much narrower gap between the revenues from voice and data and if data continues to grow at the same rate, it will eventually go into the lead.

“It is a reflection on the way the market is moving; voice services have become commoditized, while demand for access to the internet on the move has grown rapidly,” he concluded.

Mobile handset sales accounted for around 24 percent of Australian CE spending In 2009

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Australia Consumer Electronics Report Q4 2010" report to its offering.

Australia's consumer electronics devices market, defined as including computing devices, mobile handsets and AV products, is projected to be worth around $13.7 billion in 2010.

In Q110, demand for some consumer electronics products such as LCD TV sets decelerated sharply following strong holiday sales at the end of 2009. However, growth was recorded for 3D, large-screen and LED TV sets as well as smartphones, which were estimated to account for above 40 percent of total handset sales.

Consumer electronics spending is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 4 percent to $16.2 billion by 2014. Drivers will include demand for premium TV sets, notebook computers, digital cameras and other key products, as well as rising incomes, product innovation and government programmes for information and communication technology (ICT).

Computer hardware accounted for around 61 percent of Australia's consumer electronics spending in 2009 and will continue to dominate spending.

BMI forecasts that Australian PC sales (including notebooks and accessories) will reach around $6.5 billion in 2010, with the market receiving a boost from phase two of the computers for schools programme. Computer hardware CAGR for the 2010-2014 period is forecast at about 4 percent, driven by sales of notebooks and netbooks.

AV devices
AV spending is projected at US$2.0bn in 2010. AV spending growth is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4 percent to $2.4 billion by 2014. In Q110, sales of LED back-lit TV sets were up while 3D TV sets also surpassed most vendor expectations in the Australian market. Drivers will include demand for premium TV sets and larger screen sizes as well as Internet-enabled TV sets.

Mobile handsets
Mobile handset sales accounted for around 24 percent of Australian consumer electronics spending in 2009.

Australian market handset sales are expected to grow at a CAGR of 5 percent to around $4.5 billion in 2014, as smartphones account for above 50 percent of handset sales. Sales will be dominated by the replacement market, with growing demand for smartphones, PDAs and 3G handsets.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Military terrestrial satcom market to grow slightly

European Microwave Week 2010, BOSTON, USA: Despite long production cycles and relatively small numbers of new satellites, the increasing sophistication of the terrestrial portion of Satcom networks will make way for slight growth in the radio semiconductor market.

The recently published Strategy Analytics Advanced Defense Systems (ADS) data model, “Terrestrial Military Satcom Platforms - Advanced Electronics Component Forecast,” projects a strong initial increase to peak in 2014, followed by a declining trend for the terrestrial portion of the military Satcom market through 2020.

The report projects the total terrestrial portion of the Satcom market will grow from an estimated $423 million in 2008 to as much as of $684 million in 2013, before falling off to slightly more than $500 million in 2020. This Strategy Analytics analysis also segments the communications systems by radio electronics and semiconductors, predicting that this sector of the market will be $85 million by 2020.

“The ability of forces on the ground to use satellite resources will continue to play a significant role in network-centric battle strategies. As terrestrial platforms become more sophisticated in response to evolving battlefield requirements, the radios are keeping pace by incorporating multi-band and higher frequency capabilities” noted Asif Anwar, Director, Advanced Defense Systems at Strategy Analytics, who is presenting on this topic at the European Microwave conference on Wednesday, September 29, 2010.

“Increasingly challenging radio requirements will create attractive opportunities for suppliers, limited primarily by military budget constraints and the resulting small quantity of satellite platforms.”

The Strategy Analytics data model highlights dynamics in market segmentation. It segments total market values by geography, satellite frequency platform, function and device process.

Based on this segmentation, Strategy Analytics estimates that the United States is the dominant consumer. Strategy Analytics also predicts the market value of the EHF (30-300 GHz) satellite frequency platform, driven by newer satellites with higher bandwidth capabilities, will show very strong growth and surpass the SHF (3-30 GHz) satellite frequency segment in 2018.

Technology industry launches High Tech Spectrum Coalition (HTSC)

ARLINGTON, USA: Four leading high tech trade associations have joined forces to create the High Tech Spectrum Coalition (HTSC) to advocate for legislation that would give the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authority to hold voluntary incentive auctions, as called for in the FCC’s March 2010 National Broadband Plan (NBP) and President Obama’s June 2010 spectrum memo.

HTSC members include the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA).

Spectrum is a top priority for the high tech industry. HTSC members concur with the NBP and President Obama that the United States should make 500 MHz of spectrum available for broadband by 2020, 300 MHz of which the NBP specifies should be made available for mobile use by 2015.

The HTSC further agrees that voluntary incentive auctions are a critical new tool to advance a timely and efficient transition from existing lower value spectrum uses to higher value ones, enabling the United States to achieve its broadband goals.

Accordingly, the HTSC urges Congress to promptly grant the FCC authority to hold voluntary incentive spectrum auctions, as the FCC deems appropriate to advance the public interest. The HTSC continues to support the FCC’s authority and flexibility to allocate spectrum for either licensed or unlicensed wireless broadband uses.

The members of HTSC will work together to seek passage of legislation that would grant the FCC the authority to hold voluntary incentive auctions in order to make additional spectrum available for broadband in the near future.

“Broadband is the engine of growth in our innovation-driven economy, and creating a plan for doubling the amount of available spectrum shows that policy makers are embracing new technology as our best path forward,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA. “Now, Congress needs to take the steps necessary to make this plan a reality.”

“Wireless information and communication technologies and services make enterprises more efficient, consumers more productive and our economy more competitive globally,” said Dean Garfield, president and CEO of ITI. “The ever-changing Internet landscape requires that we take a practical 21st Century approach to the spectrum shortfall in the United States. Making additional spectrum available for commercial services as called for in the National Broadband Plan is going to be critical in creating jobs, driving innovation, and cultivating the technologies of the future.”

“The United States is facing a significant spectrum shortfall, and Congress should act to ensure the FCC has the authority and flexibility to support next-generation wireless systems,” said SIA President Brian Toohey. “Semiconductor innovation is a key enabling element of advanced wireless technologies, and we are pleased to be part of the High Tech Spectrum Coalition’s efforts to ensure that government spectrum policy evolves with advances in technology.”

“Spectrum is the life blood of the information and communications technology industry,” said TIA President Grant Seiffert, “and vital for its future, especially when considering that mobile broadband demand already exceeds capacity. TIA is fully engaged with the High Tech Spectrum Coalition and strongly supports its call for legislative action to grant the FCC authority to hold voluntary incentive spectrum auctions. We must give the FCC the tools it needs to reach the goal of the National Broadband Plan and the President’s call to free 500 MHz for mobile broadband.”

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ready, set, zBoost your 3G signal

CEDIA EXPO 2010, ATLANTA, USA: Wi-Ex, a leading provider of consumer cell phone signal boosters for the home, office and on the go, is challenging this year's CEDIA attendees to test their speed with the SimCraft APEX racing simulator in booth #4012.

The SimCraft APEX is a high fidelity, full motion simulator specifically designed for professional and amateur drivers. The APEX allows the driver to experience complete immersion and the feeling of real car control simulation.

"With data, it’s always been about the 'need for speed.' The SimCraft APEX is a fun way to highlight the zBoost product line’s ability to increase speed of 3G data," said Sharon D. Cuppett, vice president of marketing and product development at Wi-Ex. "With consumers increasingly utilizing connected devices including iPads, smart phones and laptops for data, a strong in-door cell phone signal is a necessity for today’s digital lifestyle."

The zBoost custom installer products are designed to create Cell Zones in signal-challenged homes and commercial buildings. The zBoost line of products allows users to take full advantage of voice, data and Internet services on their connected devices including 3G high-speed data and video, instant messaging, pictures and more.

The SimCraft APEX will provide CEDIA attendees to test their speed and enter the zBoost Winner’s Circle. The zBoost Winners Circle will be awarded to the fastest time each day and a Grand Prize on Sunday for the fastest time of the show. Attendees can also learn about the entire line of zBoost cell phone signal boosters including the new zBoost CI YX745.

The zBoost CI YX745 is designed to meet the needs of challenging commercial spaces and large homes and is sold exclusively to custom installers. The zBoost CI YX745 is also included in the new zBoost CEDIA/CI Installer Kit.

Shazam and LG Electronics announce global partnership

LONDON, UK: Shazam, the world’s leading mobile discovery provider, announced that its popular Android application is now being pre-loaded onto LG handsets in a worldwide rollout which has commenced in Europe with the LG Optimus GT540.

Shazam has more than 75 million users and now, LG smartphone customers will be able to access Shazam’s feature-rich Android application out of the box for the first time to:

Discover new music: identify the song that is playing with the option to buy the track.
Learn more about music: read track and album reviews, artist biographies and discographies, plus view song lyrics.
Find out the most popular tagged music with the Shazam Tag Chart.
Find tour information: local and international tour dates for tagged artists and links to buy tickets to concerts.
Share music moments with friends through Facebook, Twitter, SMS and email.
Watch YouTube videos for tagged artists.
Access the Shazam Blog for leading insight to new music.

Andrew Fisher, CEO of Shazam, commented: "Our aim has always been to deliver a fast, accurate and reliable service to consumers to further enhance the capabilities of their devices. Shazam will bring the most complete music discovery experience to millions more LG smartphone users around the world. We are excited to be working with LG and proud of their vote of confidence in Shazam."

The free, pre-loaded Shazam Android application on LG also comes with a seven day free trial of features from the premium Shazam Encore version, including unlimited tagging. Once the initial seven day period is up, users can pay a one-time fee of £2.99 ($4.70 or €3.63) for Shazam Encore; or, continue to tag up to five songs per month with their free Shazam App.

Further markets and handsets will launch in the coming months.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Telecom service providers emerge as key SMB cloud players

NEW YORK, USA: As many traditional small and medium business (SMB) channel partners make the transition to the Cloud services model, telecommunication service providers (telecoms) are making a strong bid for the SMB Cloud share, beyond their traditional voice and data service offerings.

Facing the continuing prospect of declining average revenue per seat (ARPU) and increasing churn, telecoms see the SMB Cloud as an opportunity for sustained revenue growth and customer loyalty.

At the same time, many SMBs are open to expanding their relationships with telecoms beyond traditional voice and data services. According to an upcoming study by AMI-Partners, 38 percent of US SMBs say they are willing to purchase IT products and services (including hardware and software) from telecommunications service providers.

A key driver behind SMB interest in purchasing IT products & services from telecoms is the rapid growth of mobile applications. “SMBs with multiple branches and greater smartphone penetration are more likely to expand their relationship with telecoms,” according to Yuki Uehara, senior Cloud Analyst with AMI.

This growing interest suggests significant opportunities for communication service providers to be one-stop ICT partners, and to reshape the ecosystem of ICT products and services in the global SMB space.

This poses a significant challenge to traditional SMB channel partners, as telecoms bring greater scale, resources and price flexibility. According to AMI’s study, SMBs are attracted to telecoms’ abilities to offer superior customer service, flexible billing, and “one neck to choke” for all IT and communications issues. “This ‘one-stop-shopping’ model, coupled with attractive bundling, pricing and services options, will put pressure on traditional resellers to evolve their business models,” says Ms. Uehara.

Leading players such as AT&T, Verizon and Qwest are increasing their Cloud service portfolio from hosted VoIP, hosted email, and conferencing services, to high-end business applications and managed services.

Most SMBs already have an account with a communication service provider for communication services; adding cloud applications through the existing account significantly lowers the hurdle for SMBs to adopt new services than looking for a new service provider. Communication service providers may be the comprehensive ICT partners in the coming age of Cloud computing.

Aftermarket mobile phone accessories to surpass $50 billion in 2015

NEW YORK, USA: Aftermarket mobile phone accessories – those purchased in addition to any included in the phone’s box – produced worldwide revenue of $26.5 billion last year.

According to latest forecasts from ABI Research, that volume is expected to increase to slightly more than $50 billion in 2015. That represents a CAGR of 11.4 percent over the measured timeframe.

“Market growth in the aftermarket accessories segment is being driven by the explosive growth in smartphone sales,” says senior analyst Michael Morgan. “Smartphones are generally higher-value products than feature phones, so consumers are willing to spend more on the accessories for them. There is also a shift to higher-quality accessories, replacing the cheap, white-label products that characterized the market until recently.”

Retailers don’t see high margins on the phones or their associated plans, so accessories are powerful generators of revenue for them.

The most popular categories include carrying and protective cases for smartphones. Their popularity started with the iPhone 3G and 3GS: upwards of 70% of those phones have aftermarket cases. Now the fashion has also spread to high-end feature-phones such as some in the Samsung product line.

Scratch protectors are popular as well, stimulated by the proliferation of large-screen and touch-screen devices.

Bluetooth headsets have historically sold well; the research shows that attach rates for mid-low-end ($29-79) models are now dropping somewhat. However, higher-end headsets are still performing well, getting a lift from their association with smartphones.

Still popular are memory cards, but a shift in demand is also evident here: because wholesale prices are now so low, and handset makers are adding greater memory capabilities to handsets, they are including cards of 500MB to 2 GB in the box. The capacities of these included cards are rising fast. This is starting to suck oxygen out of the aftermarket memory card market, though shifting usage patterns will still help sustain moderate growth for some time.

Wired stereo headsets also doing well, driven by the more media-centric, music-capable phones.

RedMere intros second generation of self powered cable booster modules

DUBLIN, IRELAND: RedMere, a leading supplier of smart active cable solutions has announced the introduction of the second generation long cable module, the MEA1691, at CEDIA EXPO 2010. The MEA1691 is a compact HDMI 1.4 certificated 10.2Gbps booster module that guarantees interoperability and is future proofed for 3D-ready applications.

This compact booster module fits neatly into the sink side of the HDMI cable and can support 1440p DTV resolutions, 16-bit color depth and 120Hz refresh rates. The MEA1691 requires no external power supply even over distances of 130 feet. RedMere’s patented power-harvesting techniques minimize the current draw on the 5V line thereby complimenting energy efficient TVs.

Rising bandwidth demands to meet the rapid proliferation of 3D-HD technology means that typical HDMI cables are thick and heavy and do not match the ergonomic industrial designs of the modern TV or set-top box.

RedMere enabled HDMI cables not only look much slimmer than the traditional HDMI cables but are easier to route and disguise in the home as well as guaranteeing optimum audio visual quality without the need for additional power. RedMere’s unique technology offers the consumer and installer alike a HDMI cable that matches the look, form and intelligence of the home theatre applications they service.

RedMere’s Chief Marketing Officer Ruud van der Linden commented: “RedMere continues to make significant technological advances in the smart active cable market. The new MEA1691 is effectively the world’s most intelligent long cable module and can enable long, sleek and highly flexible cables that need no external power supply and are future proofed against advancements in the HDMI cable market, allowing the consumer to keep up with the rising popularity of 3D and other HD technologies in the home.”

India cell phone penetration to reach 97 percent in 2014

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Cell phone ownership has become near ubiquitous in India, with wireless subscriptions in 2014 expected to amount to more than 97 percent of the country’s population of 1.26 billion, according to the market research firm iSuppli Corp.

With about 19 million new subscribers added each month during the first four months of 2010 alone, India’s wireless subscriptions are going at a rapid clip. By the end of this year, total wireless subscriptions are projected to reach 766.0 million—45.9 percent higher than the 525.1 million subscribers counted at the end of 2009, iSuppli mobile industry forecasts show.

The pace of growth for the future shows little sign of slackening. Subscriber numbers will continue to increase during the next four years, topping the 1 billion mark by 2012, as shown in the figure.Source: iSuppli, USA.

By 2014, mobile teledensity—a measure of cell phone availability—likely will reach 97.4 percent per 100 persons.

“Such high mobile teledensity means that almost everyone—except children and the abjectly poor—will have a cell phone in India, with those having multiple mobiles boosting total subscription rates and compensating for those without,” said Jagdish Rebello, Ph.D., senior director and principal analyst for wireless research at iSuppli.

All told, the CAGR for mobile handset subscribers in the world’s second most populous country after China will reach 18.6 percent from 2009 to 2014.

Driving the overall growth of wireless subscribers is the expansion of the rural Indian market, where entry-level handsets are most popular.

“A key trend in 2009 was the shift in focus of service providers and handset manufacturers toward the countryside, which continues to offer significant and untapped market opportunity,” Rebello said. “In comparison, the urban market—which accounts for only 30 percent of the country’s population but represents almost 70 percent of telecom subscribers—is close to saturation.”

Accompanying the surge in wireless subscriber numbers is an equal burst of activity in the country’s wireless infrastructure equipment market. With telecom operators upgrading and expanding existing networks, spending on India’s wireless infrastructure equipment market in 2010 will reach $10.8 billion, up 29.7 percent from $8.3 billion last year.

By 2011, network infrastructure spend will rise to more than $11 billion, thanks to the rollout of WiMAX and 3G mobile technology services. The launch of 3G technology in the fourth quarter of 2010 is also expected to significantly boost the sales of smart phones in the country, iSuppli’s India telecom market research shows.

Not surprisingly, a supply chain for telecom manufacturing is emerging, with manufacturers establishing local plants to save on importing costs. Local production capabilities will provide manufacturers with a distinct advantage in the price-sensitive rural Indian market, and various players already have announced their plans to further invest in the expansion of manufacturing and R&D facilities.

Source: iSuppli, USA.

CSR Harmony software platform gives PC users an uncomplicated and comprehensive wireless experience

CAMBRIDGE, UK, SAN JOSE, USA & BANGALORE, INDIA: CSR ahs announced CSR Harmony, an intelligent connectivity software framework, that enables a seamless wireless experience for Windows-based PCs, integrating Bluetooth v4.0 + High Speed, Wi-Fi and GPS functionality.

With CSR Harmony, users now have unparalleled wireless connectivity options including health and fitness, high-end audio and ultra-low power accessories. Users can synchronise data between their PC and mobile devices in a fraction of the time using the new Bluetooth High Speed protocol. Bluetooth v4.0 (also known as Bluetooth low energy) extends the battery life of Bluetooth accessories such as mice and keyboards from months to years.

Combined with CSR’s market-leading Bluetooth audio platforms, CSR Harmony provides a premium audio experience, supporting wide-band mono audio and also the new apt-X lossless stereo codec. The apt-X codec delivers CD-quality audio over the Bluetooth link with virtually no latency.

Lip-sync issues common with normal Bluetooth stereo headsets are a thing of the past. In addition to high-end audio, CSR Harmony enables the Bluetooth and Bluetooth low energy ecosphere of devices including a new range of wireless connected low energy health and fitness products such as heart rate monitors and pedometers.

“PC users now expect a broad range of wireless functionality to be integrated in the PC as standard,” commented Eric Neilson, senior Product Marketing Manager for PCs in CSR’s Audio and Consumer Business Unit. “I’m very excited to say the CSR Harmony-enabled wireless platform provides a wireless solution that enables the user to easily and intelligently manage their ever-growing collection of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS devices through their PC.

“As PCs begin to interact with the low energy devices, sensors, and alternate radios that proliferate around the home, office and around the world, CSR Harmony will open up a vast range of new possibilities offered by Bluetooth low energy and Bluetooth High Speed that is limited only by the creativity of consumer electronics designers. CSR Harmony also provides an excellent route through our audio enhancements for users to enjoy games and music on their PCs the way they were meant to be heard, but without the need for wires.”

Anthony Murray, senior VP of CSR’s Audio and Consumer Business Unit commented on the importance of providing the best wireless connectivity for PC users, “The launch of our CSR Harmony software platform is an important milestone in CSR’s PC strategy and will improve the user experience for the growing number of wireless and location aware use cases around the PC.”

CSR Harmony enables PC Bluetooth profiles, and the new Bluetooth low energy profiles designed for health and fitness, mice and keyboards, and other PC accessories.

CSR Harmony is an integral element of CSR’s Connectivity Platform for PCs and is based on CSR Synergy and BlueCore Host Stack (BCHS) – one of the world’s most widely-used Bluetooth software stacks. CSR, as a wireless leader, is committed to enabling a full range of wireless opportunities in all of its upcoming silicon platforms.

CSR Harmony supports Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems, and is also designed to support future Windows releases.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Touch Panel Control readies TPControl for Android platform

HERTFORD, UK: Touch Panel Control Ltd, an AMX Authorized Product Partner (AMX APP), has announced the TP Control for the Android mobile platform. TPControl for Android follows the phenomenal success of the application for Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and the iPad.

TPControl is an easy-to-use application that enables smart phones and tablet devices to transform into a fully functional touch panel for controlling AMX system platforms for home automation applications, providing real-time, touch control of AV systems, lighting, shades, room temperatures and more.The company will be demonstrating the TPControl application for the Android OS at the CEDIA Expo in Atlanta, September 22-26, 2010. A controlled beta launch is scheduled for after the event, with the product planned to be made widely available by the end of 2010. Several Android-based phones will be supported at the launch.

“With Android OS smartphones acquiring market share leadership in the US among all smartphone OS handsets from the second quarter of this year, it was only a matter of time before we released our application for this fast growing platform,” said Ben Flux, operations director, Touch Panel Control.

“We believe that the availability of this application on the Android platform will further empower the AMX dealer community and enable them to offer cost-effective solutions to a much larger user base.”

According to the company’s development roadmap, TPControl will soon be made available for the Dell Streak and the Samsung Galaxy Tab, as well as being ready for the range of tablet devices from other manufacturers expected to hit the market by the first quarter of 2011.

"We are indeed thrilled at the progress we have made in our goal to provide userfriendly mobile technology-based applications for the AMX community, and the widespread acceptance of our flagship product. We will continue to develop and offer innovative and highly useful products for the AMX dealer community, that will enable them to deliver the greatest value to their customers,” added Flux.

Q09 WLAN tracker: 4Q09 shipments increased by 14.4pc QoQ, and by 4.7pc YoY

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "4Q09 Wireless LAN Tracker" report to its offering.

In 4Q09, worldwide revenue for the WLAN market increased by 11 percent quarter-over-quarter, up from $1.0 billion in 3Q09 to $1.1 billion in 4Q09. Revenue was up 5.2 percent year-over-year. Shipments in 4Q09 increased by 14.4 percent quarter-over-quarter, and by 4.7 percent year-over-year.

This report examines the WLAN market for 4Q09. Market shares for enterprise and SOHO/consumer vendors are provided, based on unit shipments and manufacturers' revenue for the quarter.

Executive summary:
802.11n devices demonstrated explosive growth in 2009, According to In-Stat, 2009 was a premier year for the latest Wi-Fi standard, 802.11n. The 802.11n devices showed significantly stronger growth than 802.11g, reports In-Stat. 802.11n grew 76 percent year-over-year compared with an annual decline of 14 percent for 802.11g.

The wireless LAN (WLAN) market continued to grow in 2009, despite the decline of the worldwide overall market, says Vahid Dejwakh, In-Stat analyst.

Recent research by In-Stat found the following:

* Worldwide revenue was up 5.2 percent in 2009 compared with 2008.
* NETGEAR and D-Link took the lead in WLAN shipment market shares, at 23 percent and 18 percent, respectively.
* 68.5 million WLAN units shipped in 2009.
* SOHO router revenues increased to $1.16 billion in 2009.
* North America accounted for 46 percent of WLAN shipments in Q409.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Re-farming of 2.6GHz creates new opportunities in Brazil

BRAZIL: ANATEL’s decision to re-allocate spectrum in the technology neutral 2.6 GHz band to support the nationwide deployment of next-generation Mobile Broadband services is raising interest in the market.

Brazil represents a huge potential market for the fixed and mobile wireless access industry. Drawing from in-depth interviews with Braziian operators and regulator Anatel, this report provides a detailed look at the country's broadband wireless market and regulatory activity, including details of last year's public consultations on 2.5 and 3.5 GHz spectrum allocation, as well as the impact of the recent refarming of the 2.6GHz band.

"At present, WiMAX activity in Brazil has taken place in the 3.5 GHz band only, with Neovia and Embratel leading the market. The driving applications are high-speed Internet and VoIP, mainly to address the needs of small-to-medium enterprises and multi-dwelling untits markets.

On the other hand, mobile services have been a tremendous success, with 200 million mobile subscribers out of a total population of 192 million," explains report co-author Cintia Garza.

Select key findings
* 75 percent of 3.5 GHz spectrum has yet to be released.
* There are over 130,000 WiMAX subscribers today in Brazil, using a combination of 16e and 16d equipment.
* WiMAX ARPU is US$30 monthly (residential) and US$115 (business), compared to just $15 for 3G services.
* Brazil's 2.6GHz spectrum band had previously been allocated to MMDS operators to support pay-per-view TV services.

Aviat Networks unveils advanced Ethernet switching over microwave solution targeting 4G/LTE backhaul growth

SANTA CLARA, USA: Aviat Networks Inc., a leading wireless expert in advanced IP migration solutions, has announced enhanced integrated Ethernet switching capabilities for its market leading Eclipse Packet Node microwave transmission platform to address the rapid growth of mobile broadband data traffic.

The enhanced platform was successfully tested by the European Advanced Networking Testing Center (EANTC) in August at the industry’s largest annual Carrier Ethernet interoperability test event and is being demonstrated this week at the Carrier Ethernet World Congress (CEWC ) in Warsaw, Poland.

Mobile backhaul traffic continues to grow at a staggering pace globally driven by the proliferation of smart phones loaded with mobile data and video-intensive applications. As operators expand their backhaul networks to accommodate this surge, Ethernet-equipped microwave systems continue to serve a critical role.

This was recently confirmed by Heavy Reading’s 3Q10 Ethernet Backhaul Quarterly Market Tracker report, which projected 800 percent growth for Ethernet microwave deployed sites from 2010-2013.

Having pioneered Hybrid or Dual Native Ethernet/TDM microwave solutions since the introduction of the Eclipse nodal wireless platform in 2004, Aviat Networks continues to evolve its portfolio to address the demands of emerging 4G/LTE networks requiring advanced Ethernet scalability, Quality of Service (QoS), traffic management, synchronisation over packet networks and related features, which are designed to provide a smooth migration path to "all-IP” along with investment protection.

Aviat Networks recently demonstrated the readiness of its enhanced platform by participating in EANTC’s annual Carrier Ethernet interoperability test event, a proving ground for the latest in Carrier Ethernet innovations.

At this year’s event, Aviat Networks was part of a multivendor Synchronous Ethernet (SyncE) test conducted over a combined microwave-wireline network with several vendors including Cisco, Symmetricom, Calnex and MRV. “Aviat Networks successfully completed testing of its latest Eclipse Packet Node solutions alongside 23 other vendors to demonstrate the viability of Ethernet microwave and SyncE for 3G and LTE mobile backhaul applications,” said Carsten Rossenhövel, managing director of EANTC.

Advanced Ethernet switching capabilities for Eclipse Packet Node are being introduced on a new Gigabit Ethernet switching card—planned for introduction later this year—and will be offered alongside existing Eclipse Ethernet cards.

It builds on Aviat Networks’ field-proven experience and leadership in delivering versatile and scalable Hybrid and Packet microwave backhaul solutions and provides a seamless upgrade for customers who have already deployed Eclipse but need multi-Gigabit Ethernet transport with higher performance.

In addition to synchronisation over packet, the new card features advances in capacity, QoS, traffic management and Ethernet services, and supports new Ethernet protection options for high availability service assurance.

“Aviat Networks is pleased to participate in EANTC’s interoperability events—now for the sixth consecutive year—and even more delighted to continue advancing our solutions to address the growing needs of our customers for increased Ethernet versatility and scalability”, said Shaun McFall, chief marketing officer, Aviat Networks.

Interoute extends presence to Russia as demand for next-generation connectivity grows

LONDON, UK: Interoute, the owner operator of Europe’s largest next-generation network, has extended its presence into Russia in response to increasing demand for next generation connectivity and telecommunication services in the region.

The opening of a new office in Russia and the appointment of a Russia and CIS country manager, Elena Chernykh, will enable Interoute to meet the demand of both international companies looking for connectivity in the region and carriers looking for a high speed connection between the East and West.

The Russian market has experienced the fastest internet population growth in Europe, with internet users in Moscow more than doubling from 27 per cent to 60 per cent between 2002 and 2009.

At the same time, growing consumption in China and the Middle East has pushed internet traffic through Russia as it provides the lowest latency terrestrial route between Asia and Europe. The culmination of the two has resulted in an increasing demand for Interoute’s next generation network services, following its network extension into Moscow in 2009.

“Since we extended our network into Russia we’ve experienced a huge demand for our services from both domestic and international companies looking for next generation services and a flexible pricing policy,” said Chernykh. “We are excited to be at the heart of this fast growing market.“

Interoute’s Moscow PoP is fully integrated into Interoute’s pan-European network, providing businesses and service providers with fast, cost effective access to the rest of Europe and resilient, high quality voice and data services to support their operations.

Elena Chernykh, country manager, Russia and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), is supported by Ljubica Denic, regional director CEE. Renzo Ravaglia, executive VP Wholesale, will be responsible for the strategic planning for new business as well as the co-ordination of international relations.

4G LTE netbooks and tablets to represent 20 percent of LTE subscribers by 2015

HAMPSHIRE, UK: According to a new report from Juniper Research, LTE 4G enabled netbooks and tablets will be used by as many as 20 percent, or one in five, LTE subscribers by 2015.

Juniper found that the many advantages of LTE mobile broadband such as high data rates and reduced latency will result in an ideal environment for the proliferation of new and upgraded end user devices such as netbooks, tablets, digital cameras and games consoles to add to laptops and smartphones.

4G LTE Report author Howard Wilcox gave more details: "Juniper’s view is that mobile operators will be keen to embed a wide variety of devices with broadband wireless connectivity, because they see this as a route to stave off ARPU declines. Our forecasts show that there will be roughly as many LTE netbooks and tablets combined as laptops by 2015.”

However, Juniper believes that there are many hurdles for the mobile ecosystem to overcome before this step change in the connectivity of consumers across the world becomes reality. Not least of these are issues around the availability and customer support for connected devices, and most importantly the business model.

Juniper’s extensive primary interviewing programme covering the entire LTE industry found that:
* Video streaming and gaming were viewed as the potential top services on LTE – benefiting from the higher speeds and reduced latency made possible by LTE.
* LTE netbooks and tablets are poised to outstrip LTE laptop shipments, especially in the consumer market.
* The industry is looking for answers regarding the types of business models that will replace existing data plans.

2009, the worst year for telecoms in a decade!

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Global telecoms revenue will bounce back in 2010 thanks to a strong rally in the mobile sector, according to independent telecoms analyst Ovum.

New figures released by Ovum’s Global Telecoms Analyzer show that telecoms service provider revenues only grew by 2.2 percent year on year in 2009 - the worst growth in a decade – and evidence that the telecoms industry finally succumbed to the impact of the global economic downturn.

But the mobile sector has returned to healthy growth, sufficient to overcome the steady decline in fixed line services. Total revenues, as reported by service providers, will grow by 6 per cent in 2010 and a CAGR of 5 percent by 2014.

“Globally, mobile is keeping telecoms buzzing,” John Lively, chief forecaster at Ovum, says. “In 2010, China and India alone will add 329 million new mobile phone connections, equivalent to more than the combined total population of Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK.”

The Global Telecoms Analyzer brings together Ovum’s expert forecasts of the telecoms market. It lets users search for, chart, and download forecasts for the mobile, fixed, consumer, enterprise, infrastructure and components market segments.

It shows that fixed line services will continue to decline although fiber connections for broadband services will increasingly be important for telcos. Overall, the number of fixed lines worldwide will fall from one billion in 2010, to 871 million by 2014. Fixed line services revenues will also fall from around $350 billion to $283 billion, for the same period.

Meanwhile, mobile phone connections will increase from 5.3 billion in 2010 to 7.1 billion in 2014, with the emerging markets of Asia and Africa contributing much of the growth. Revenues from mobile phone services will increase by nearly $100 billion in the three years to 2012.

“While fixed voice lines and revenues will continue declining due to mobile substitution, fixed revenues overall will benefit from the growth in broadband services (internet access, video, and VoIP), enabled by continued deployment of fiber-to-the-premises networks,” Lively adds.

Kineto smart Wi-Fi application available for Android 2.2

MILPITAS, USA: Kineto Wireless, Inc., the key innovator and leading supplier of solutions that enable delivery of mobile services over broadband, announced that it has an updated version of its Smart Wi-Fi Application for Google’s Android operating system version 2.2, also called Froyo.

Kineto’s Smart Wi-Fi Application, based on the 3GPP UMA/GAN standard, turns existing Wi-Fi access points into seamless extensions of the mobile network. Using the Smart Wi-Fi application, subscribers can now resolve indoor mobile coverage problems by receiving their voice and data services over existing Wi-Fi access points.

“Smartphones have highlighted the coverage and capacity challenges of mobile networks, especially in indoor locations. Operators have started to look to Wi-Fi, already installed in many homes and offices, to address these issues,” said Mark Powell, vice president and general manager of Kineto’s Client Business Unit and co-founder of the company.

“To capitalize on this growing demand, we have now enhanced our Smart Wi-Fi Application to support the latest version of Android and validated it with the leading Android smartphone manufacturers.”

Kineto’s Smart Wi-Fi Application is designed for mobile operators to address the network coverage and capacity issues created by the growing popularity of smartphones and subscriber demand for bandwidth intensive applications and services. The company works with device manufacturers and mobile operators to pre-load the application onto devices.

Wi-Fi continues to be the predominant wireless technology in the home. A study conducted by Arbitron earlier this year found that 62% of US broadband-connected households already had Wi-Fi installed.

In-Stat projects that by 2013, shipments of mobile phones with embedded Wi-Fi will exceed ¾ of a billion units. Kineto’s Smart Wi-Fi Application enables mobile operators to extract the maximum benefit from Wi-Fi for their networks and their subscribers.

Monday, September 20, 2010

NeoPhotonics announces integrated coherent receiver (ICR) for 100 Gbps coherent transmission systems

ECOC 2010, TORINO, ITALY: NeoPhotonics announced at the European Conference and Exhibition on Optical Communications (ECOC) the general availability of its Integrated Coherent Receiver (ICR) for 100 Gbps DWDM transmission systems. The ICR is an integrated intradyne receiver based on NeoPhotonics’ Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC) technology.

”We are pleased to enter the production phase on our 100Gbps Integrated Coherent Receiver. The ICR is an important element in enabling ultra high speed network links, and NeoPhotonics is committed to a goal of meeting customer requirements for performance and availability throughout the ramp up in deployment of 100 Gbps DWDM transmission equipment,” said Tim Jenks, chairman and CEO of NeoPhotonics.

NeoPhotonics’ ICR supports the requirements of the OIF* Implementation Agreement on 100G Integrated Polarization Intradyne Coherent Receivers. The device provides advanced demodulation to analyze the state-of-polarization and optical phase of a phase-modulated signal relative to an externally supplied optical reference, enabling recovery of the phase-polarization constellation of 100 Gbps Dual Polarization Quadrature Phase Shift Keyed (DP-DQPSK) format signals.

The ICR incorporates four sets of high sensitivity balanced photodiodes with four differential linear amplifiers to provide four output channels at 32 Gbaud data rates.

“NeoPhotonics utilizes hybrid photonic integration to achieve the high performance required for 100 Gbps applications. NeoPhotonics hybrid PICs use planar glass waveguides for the coherent mixing function and semiconductor chips for the detectors and amplifiers, ensuring that each function is matched to the device and material, improving both performance and yield,” said Ferris Lipscomb, Vice President of Marketing at NeoPhotonics.

Opnext and Ixia demo 40 Gigabit transceiver at ECOC

TURIN, ITALY: Opnext Inc., a leader in state-of-the-art laser technology, and Ixia a leading, global provider of converged IP network test solutions, will demonstrate error-free, line-rate transmission of 40 GbE traffic using the new Opnext 40GBASE-LR4 CFP transceiver module and the Ixia K2 higher speed Ethernet (HSE) test solution.

The demonstration is taking place during the European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC) being held September 20 through September 22 in Turin, Italy.

The Opnext TRC5B20 module is a pluggable optical transceiver enabling 40Gbps Ethernet and SONET traffic transmission over 10km single mode fiber (SMF). The module leverages Opnext’s well-known capability of delivering high performance technology to market in a compact pluggable package while also lowering the overall power consumption.

The module supports four data rates: 39.8Gbps, 41.25Gbps, 43.0Gbps and 44.6Gbps and can be used in both datacom and telecom applications. The Opnext 40GbE transceiver module performance is showcased in the IXIA K2 higher speed Ethernet test solution. The K2 platform is a complete IEEE 802.3ba-2010 standard compliant test solution from layer 1 through layer 7, including bit error rate tests as well as PCS lanes verification.

“We are pleased to see a great deal of interest in the newest addition to our 40G product line,” said Josef Berger, director of Product Marketing at Opnext. “Customers value the versatility of this module because it can be used for both 40G Ethernet and SONET/OTU3e applications in switches, routers and other transport equipment. In addition, the module incorporates Opnext’s state-of-the-art uncooled direct modulated DFB lasers, which enable a low power solution for the market. With the help of Ixia’s K2 test solution, we are showcasing the stable transmission of IP traffic via our optical transceiver.”

“Higher speed Ethernet is real and ready to go,” said David Schneider, senior manager of Market Development at Ixia. “All the components – transceivers, cables, on-board electronics and test/system interfaces – are inter-operating well. We expect to see 40 GbE interfaces in multiple data center products this year, especially high speed switches. Opnext 40G optical transceiver modules are a key enabling product for these switches.”

The demonstration will take place in Opnext’s stand #213 during ECOC 2010, being held September 20th through September 22nd at the Lingotto Fiere Exhibition Center in Turin, Italy.

Smart enablers to uplift revenues, but challenges remain

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: A joint member survey between Ovum and Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF) reveals an optimistic outlook among respondents that believe smart enablers could have a positive impact on their revenues.

“But this doesn’t mean the industry can rest on its laurels: there is still work to be done, notably in defining a collaborative framework that reduces the danger of fragmentation across the smart enablers value chain”, said Eden Zoller, principal analyst.

Based on the survey, the majority (50 percent) of respondents expect smart enablers to produce revenue uplift in the region of 1–25 percent. “The actual revenue uplift will vary depending on the type of player in question and its strategic focus”, said Zoller, based in London.

The survey revealed that operator revenue expectations are comparatively modest, with 7 percent expecting to see revenue uplift in the 1–25 percent bracket. This is logical, as the provision of smart enabler services by operators presents an incremental revenue opportunity to their core business.

The survey reveals opportunities across the value chain. For content players the opportunity is bigger; for example, the ability to use smart enablers to produce an enhanced service that can command a premium. There could also be revenue lift from smarter business models; for example, access to charging APIs that enable in-application billing, which means support for more sophisticated “freemium” business models.

For aggregators, there is the prospect of expanding their whole business proposition to support the smart enabler framework from a cross-network perspective. Technology providers could see revenue benefits from the provision of platfroms and integration services.

Alongside all of the above are opportunities for improved mobile advertising revenues from leveraging smart enablers, particularly those related to customer insights, with (as always) strict adherence to privacy and security best practice.

In terms of their preferred partner: 50 percent of survey respondents want to work with operators, while the rest show a more mixed view of partnership opportunities. While competition is inevitable, all-out war across the value chain will be counterproductive and instead players should look at exploiting collaborative opportunities, of which they are many.

“The reality is that content providers and application developers will work with more than one enabling partner; for example, a web developer might produce a social networking application that draws on application programming interfaces (APIs) from Facebook, Google Maps, and one or more operators’ network location capabilities,” observes Zoller.

“In this context, operator APIs are one of the available tools in a wider web-based toolkit where developers are free to make applications based on a mashup of standardized APIs”.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Service providers moving forward on multiplatform video despite unsure payback

NEW YORK, USA: Consumer demand is driving service providers to develop multiplatform video services for the consumer's "three screens," but the revenue model for this service remains uncertain, according to a major new report from Heavy Reading.

"Service providers are bullish about their prospects in the multiplatform video space, and are looking at ways to extend their pay TV services to additional platforms," says Aditya Kishore, Senior Analyst with Heavy Reading and author of the report. "But they also face their share of challenges, because on both a technology and business front, the specifics of multiplatform video distribution remain unclear."

Most troublingly, there is no clear revenue model for monetizing multiplatform video. Kishore continues: "Some providers are exploring different models, including a straight incremental charge for multiscreen access, but no clear picture has emerged yet on how providers can monetize this capability. Most efforts today seem to be experimental in nature, or designed to add customer value and differentiate the provider. This means that there will be no return on the investment made for deploying multiscreen capabilities, at least for the moment."

Key findings of Multiplatform Video: Overcoming Technology & Revenue Challenges include the following:

Service providers worldwide are interested in multiplatform video. In our proprietary survey, 76 percent of respondents agreed that multiplatform video would be an important requirement for their business within the next five years. Of these, 38 percent strongly agreed. When asked what would make them prioritize multiplatform video more, 25 percent said it was already a top priority.

Consumer demand was the primary driver for service providers looking at multiplatform video. The growth of video on the Internet – and increasingly on mobile devices – has familiarized consumers with the idea of video consumption beyond the TV. Service providers feel they must cater to this demand. Interestingly, direct competition from online video distributors was not seen as much of a concern, though competition from other providers was. This is particularly true of larger service providers, with annual revenue of $1 billion or more.

A robust content management system will likely be required for multiplatform distribution. Managing various video formats and versions, tracking delivery and enforcing various windows and expiry rules, navigating varying metadata requirements and formats, etc. will pose a significant challenge for operators. At some stage, service providers offering three-screen solutions will need a robust content management system capable of supporting these complex requirements.

Middleware operators, VoD management systems, and online video publishing platform vendors are all battling for this role. The content management system will be the brains of the video operation, and the vendor that owns it will be the best positioned. As a result, many players are targeting this space. We believe that on-demand or specialized multiplatform content management systems are probably the best positioned worldwide.