Sunday, October 31, 2010

SIM card market to approach 3.8 billion units in 2010

LONDON, UK: ABI Research forecasts that the SIM card market will grow 10 percent in 2010, approaching 3.8 billion shipments. Driven by growing connectivity demand, M2M, browser-based services, and new business models, it will continue to grow in volume and value over the next few years as new markets and applications come online.

At the same time, MNOs are evaluating which services are best run on the SIM in an effort to maximize security and combat the threat of third-party application stores, which could limit their future data service revenue.

Principal analyst John Devlin says: “SIM cards offer operators a direct presence with the end-user; it makes sense that service providers will take advantage of the increased level of functionality, performance and security. With handset manufacturers and companies such as Google offering their own portals and services directly to end-users, operators need to be able to compete.”

SIM-based applications and browsers can give operators a branded presence and allow customers easy access to targeted services. It’s not just within the smartphone sector that this is occurring; innovative services are being delivered via SIM-based browsers in many 2G and developing markets.

Volume growth is not just derived from more people buying more mobile phones. A growing variety of devices – both consumer and industrial – are being connected.

Devlin notes: “The ramping up of M2M deployments has started. Automotive and smart metering lead the way, with future potential in areas such as tele-health. Additionally, the variety of devices integrating mobile connectivity is growing. E-readers, tablets, netbooks, laptops, PNDs, and gaming devices are all becoming increasingly connected and will offer enhanced functionality as 4G networks deliver greater bandwidth and multimedia streaming capabilities.”

Devlin concludes: “New business models such as revenue sharing agreements are being offered to the operators in an effort to stimulate demand for new applications and features. In turn this will drive up software and service revenues for SIM vendors and developers, as well as demanding higher-level silicon, which combine to increase overall market revenues.”

NTT DATA, Keane announce definitive merger agreement

BOSTON, USA: NTT DATA Corp. and Keane Inc. announced that NTT DATA and Keane’s parent company, Keane International Inc. have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Knight Subsidiary Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of NTT DATA, will merge with Keane International, resulting in Keane becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of NTT DATA.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory compliance approvals. Keane International is majority owned by Citigroup Venture Capital International Technology Holdings LCC (“CVCI”). Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Bob Khanna, MD of CVCI and Keane International Board member, said: “We are pleased with the transaction and the vital role Keane will play in increasing NTT DATA's global footprint. Equally, NTT DATA's brand, resources and capabilities will add value to Keane's clients and create opportunities for our people.”

Continuing to be headquartered in Boston, Keane provides a broad range of IT services related to custom application development and management, enterprise application services, infrastructure solutions, and business process outsourcing to respected companies and government agencies in the United States as well as public and private sector clients in Europe and Asia Pacific.

It also has significant global delivery capabilities with solutions centers throughout India and Canada that provide clients a cost-effective mix of skilled resources that are deployed to deliver seamless end-to-end solutions.

The transaction is part of NTT DATA’s strategy to accelerate its globalization and boost its global portfolio and overseas presence. Through this transaction, NTT DATA will deepen its industry expertise, gain access to US Blue Chip clients, as well as acquire new relationships in the UK and Australia. NTT DATA will also gain enhanced operational know-how regarding global delivery, which will support its IT services business and enable the provision of vertically-focused IT solutions in the US and abroad.

“This transaction with Keane will allow us to provide comprehensive IT services including system development and management of mission critical systems in North America,” stated Toru Yamashita, president and CEO of NTT DATA.

“Keane has a superior reputation in the area of application and infrastructure services, as well as deep industry expertise. I believe that this, combined with their unique global delivery model and our global scale, offers more cost-effective and higher value solutions to our customers.”

For Keane, the transaction makes the company part of one of the largest global IT service providers and will provide access to NTT DATA’s European and Asian businesses, which will make it possible for Keane to support its customers on an even more global basis. It also creates new opportunities for Keane to offer expanded services and capabilities in the enterprise applications space leveraging NTT DATA’s already strong global SAP presence.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Apple joins top 5 mobile phone vendors as global market grows nearly 15 percent in Q3

FRAMINGHAM, USA: The worldwide mobile phone market grew 14.6 percent in the third quarter of 2010 (3Q10), the fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth, driven in part by the fast-growing converged mobile device category.

According to the International Data Corp. (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped 340.5 million units in 3Q10 compared to 297.1 million units in the third quarter of 2009.

The growing popularity of converged mobile devices, or smartphones, with consumers and businesspersons is evidenced by the appearance of a second smartphone-only vendor in the top 5 ranking. Apple moved into the number 4 position worldwide in 3Q10, joining Research In Motion (RIM) as one of the world's largest mobile phone suppliers. RIM has spent three quarters on IDC's leaderboard. Apple and RIM also posted the highest-growth rates among the top 5 vendors last quarter.

"The entrance of Apple to the top 5 vendor ranking underscores the increased importance of smartphones to the overall market. Moreover, the mobile phone makers that are delivering popular smartphone models are among the fastest growing firms," said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker. "Vendors that aren't developing a strong portfolio of smartphones will be challenged to maintain and grow market share in the future."

Apple, RIM, and the vendors producing Android-based smartphones have put noticeable pressure on Nokia, the overall market leader. "Nokia still leads all vendors by a significant margin for converged mobile devices and mobile phones as a whole," said Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC's Mobile Devices Technology and Trends team.

"However, Nokia's grip on the traditional mobile phone market has been somewhat loosened, as multiple Chinese vendors have gained ground, especially within emerging markets. To bolster its overall competitiveness, Nokia has been focused on improving its smartphone offerings."

Market outlook
IDC believes the worldwide mobile phone market will be driven largely by smartphone growth to the end of 2014.

"The smartphone is becoming the focal point of the personal communications experience," noted Restivo. "As a result, new market growth will be increasingly generated by smartphones. This year, we are expecting the smartphone sub-market to grow 55 percent year over year."

Regional analysis
* Competitive forces emerged in the Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) region last quarter to the detriment of market leader Nokia. In emerging markets, brands such as Micromax, Nexian, and i-Mobile chipped away at Nokia's market share. Android-powered smartphones also gained momentum across the region at the expense of Nokia. Samsung gained ground in South Korea while Huawei, Lenovo, and ZTE launched devices in several markets.

In Japan, mobile phone market growth was driven primarily by domestic vendors Sharp, Panasonic, Fujitsu, and NEC.

* The Western European mobile phone market's growth was largely attributable to smartphones, which grew thanks to the iPhone 4 and Android-powered devices from HTC and Samsung. Demand was also stoked by large operator device subsidies that helped to keep consumer interest in smartphones high.

At the same time, the CEMA handset market grew slowly in 3Q10. As a result, smartphone volumes are growing substantially but still only comprise one-fifth of total shipments for the regions combined. This is modest compared to more economically-developed regions.

* The United States mobile phone market was characterized by growth in the smartphone market. Grabbing headlines were the Apple iPhone 4, RIM's BlackBerry Torch 9800, the HTC EVO 4G, and Motorola's new DROID X and DROID 2, all of which were launched last quarter.

Not to be overlooked was Samsung's Galaxy S smartphone lineup, which were launched at all of the major carriers last quarter. Traditional mobile phones, meanwhile, fought back with smartphone-like functionality, but saw their overall share of the market continue to decline.

In Canada, Android-powered handsets gained momentum as Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson and Motorola shipped new models. Huawei and ASUS, low-cost providers of Android devices, entered the market. RIM's BlackBerry Torch was announced while the iPhone 4 was introduced to great fanfare.

* Despite continued economic sluggishness in some countries, the Latin American region grew as a result of higher smartphone adoption. Vendors like Alcatel, ZTE, and Huawei have targeted Latin America aggressively with entry-level models in an effort to steal share from Nokia, the overall market leader in the region. These models are lower-cost product offerings designed to meet the needs of basic users.

Motorola’s Android-powered devices have also grown quickly in the region due to the popularity of models like the QUENCH, Backflip, and Milestone.

Top five mobile phone vendors
Nokia maintained the top spot in the overall mobile phone market despite year-over-year unit shipment growth of less than 2 percent in new chief executive Steven Elop's first quarter at the helm.

The company grew converged mobile device shipments 61 percent in 3Q10, but average selling prices for the device type dropped to €136, compared to €190 in the same quarter last year. Nokia attributed the plunge to price pressure from competitors and its stated desire to reach more customers. Nokia hopes the C8 and C7 devices will boost ASPs in future.

Samsung marked a new milestone during the third quarter, pushing through the 70 million unit mark for the first time in the company's history. In addition, the company more than doubled the number of converged mobile device shipments from the previous quarter. Driving this was the worldwide release of its Galaxy S i9000 converged mobile device, as well as its bada-based Wave model.

Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, Samsung appears poised to bring more smartphones to market, with a new Wave 2 awaiting launch and more mass-market devices for emerging markets.

LG Electronics missed its 3Q10 total mobile phone and smartphone shipment growth targets, resulting in an overall double-digit shipment decrease when compared to the same quarter one year ago.

LG has yet to make a significant impact in the smartphone category unlike its competitors. Although operating margin returned to the same levels as a year ago, sales and profitability both fell significantly. By the end of the quarter, LG replaced its CEO Nam Yong with Koo Bon-Joon, head of LG's trading firm, LG International.

Apple leapt ahead of several vendors in 3Q10 including RIM, which it surpassed by 1.7-million units, and Sony Ericsson by 3.7-million units. The company's record shipment performance can be attributed to the introduction of the iPhone 4 in 17 new countries last quarter.

The record performance came despite "Antennagate," the name used to describe the controversy around alleged iPhone reception problems, in July.

Research In Motion posted a record number of unit shipments in 3Q10. The BlackBerry maker continues to grow in Latin America, for example, due to the success of the Curve 8520 entry-level model, which has helped drive growth in most emerging markets. The vendor's results were also boosted by the introduction of the higher-cost Torch in the United States, a key market due to the size and intensity of competition.

SonyEricsson, which shipped 10.4 million units in 3Q10, fell off the Top 5 list for the first time since the Tracker was conceived in 2004.Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, October 28, 2010.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Blyk expands in Asia – opens office in Singapore

SINGAPORE, HELSINKI, FINLAND & LONDON, UK: Blyk, the mobile messaging media, today announces the opening of Blyk APAC office in Singapore.

This will bring Blyk’s innovative media model to mobile operators, advertisers and consumers in APAC, and is aligned with Blyk strategy for growth and leadership in mobile advertising and permission based communications.

The new office will be led by Susanna Hasenoehrl who will take responsibility for Blyk’s business development and expansion activity in the Asia Pacific region. She has 10 years of mobile industry experience, and joins from Nokia Siemens Networks having been based previously in Thailand, Singapore and Germany.

Blyk CEO and co-founder Pekka Ala-Pietilä, said: "Following our successful operations in Europe, with Orange in the UK, and Vodafone in the Netherlands, expansion to Asia is a key element in our global strategy. Given the enormous potential in the region, this is an important step in our growth.

"Messaging is a dominant communication channel across the Asian market, and it’s clear the youth segment has a growing appetite for innovative mobile services. Blyk has set an impressive benchmark of engaging mobile consumers and generating high-yield incremental revenues for operators. Equally, there is increasing demand for measurable and highly effective media formats in the region. This gives Blyk extremely strong credentials to expand its mobile media and advertising business in APAC through partnerships with operators."

The Blyk media experience delivers a relevant and targeted program of editorial content and advertising to its opt-in members ensuring a responsive audience for advertisers to reach.

Blyk continues to deliver sustainable and industry-leading results including 25 percent average response rate across all markets, and more than 2600 delivered messaging campaigns. Through its partnerships, Blyk delivers incremental advertising ARPU to operators alongside building a highly engaged member base with low levels of service churn.

Mobile consumers drive proactive customer service

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Mobiles are pushing businesses to be more proactive with their customer service due to the surge in consumer enquiries across many different channels, according to Ovum.

In a new report* the independent telecoms analyst states that companies are feeling the strain of dealing with the array of enquiries they now receive via mobiles, smartphones and other technologies.

It is not just an increased number that businesses need to cope with. Channels such as text message, mobile email, mobile web, apps, as well as the traditional voice all now need to be supported.

To be able to deal with the ever increasing volumes and channels, it states enterprises are offsetting them with proactive communications, which can take the form of automated voice and text messages, emails or web chat.

Ryan Joe, Ovum analyst and report author, said: “Increasing customer touchpoints creates new opportunities for enterprises to reach consumers, but it also creates new problems: what is the best way to reach a certain customer at a certain time? How do you treat a conversation that begins in SMS and crosses to voice as a single interaction?

“This presents them with a significant challenge as businesses have limited resources, but must be able to deliver excellent customer service to boost retention rates and remain competitive.”

Intelligent proactive communications are tools that allow businesses to send personalized, interactive messages to customers to notify them of changes to an account, prescription pickup, remind them of an appointment or that a payment is due. In many instances, they allow customers to make immediate changes if necessary, such as rescheduling an appointment or initiating a payment.

Joe added: “Another advantage for enterprises is that proactive communications offset inbound calls, reducing call volumes and freeing agents to focus on other responsibilities.

“Finally, enterprises have the ability to boost customer satisfaction through intelligent proactive communications. Notifying a specific consumer about an arising issue through the channel she prefers to communicate is good customer service. It allows the consumer to take care of a problem before it really becomes a problem.”

Mobility means real time

PADERBORN, GERMANY: The future of communication is connections. This means that mobility equals real time. The communication world is shifting from disconnected to connected, making people to not only listen or receive, but to live conversation, making the change from isolated to social. Local mobile real time is connecting the world.

Taking into account that today's mobile phones are more powerful than the best computers have been just ten or twenty years ago, mobile network operators can be happy that the possibilities to generate value from those connections are amazingly large. Thanks to recent technology achievements, we are better connected than mankind has ever been before. Orga Systems, #1 choice for real-time charging and billing, offers real-time based solutions, meeting future mobility needs.

Evolution of mobility
Mobility has evolved from devices that were adored, thus making device manufacturers dominating the market.

Today, we are experiencing how applications are driving the industry - applications and media stores generate revenues which no one has ever dreamt of before. Trying to take a look into the future, we can see a connected social generation. Complex end-to-end experience involving personalized offerings will be what tomorrows users are looking for. Mobility will generate revenue from a wide range of additional services like context, advertising, application and services.

Context as social relationship
Despite many new device types entering the market, smartphones will remain the dominant mobile device category. Context - with augmented reality applications and location services - will strongly influence mobile communications for the next decade. Nowadays, context often simply uses location to suggest interest or guide attention. In the future, context will be tied to social relationships and social networks.

Orga Systems offers charging and billing services for context-dependent online charging in real time. By providing interfaces that allow local providers to offer their customers context-aware services, while using pre-existing billing systems, Orga Systems minimizes expenditures for communication service providers.

Source Photonics announces acquisition by Francisco Partners

CHATSWORTH, USA: Source Photonics Inc., a leading provider of optical communication products used in telecommunication systems and data communication networks, has been acquired by Francisco Partners, a leading global technology-focused private equity fund.

Near Margalit, CEO of Source Photonics, said: “Source Photonics provides a powerful value proposition to its Tier 1 customers with its substantial China cost base, advanced technical capabilities, and high-growth business model. We believe Francisco Partners’ experience in the optical component space and in growing technology companies will help accelerate the next phase of Source’s growth, and we consider the investment a strong validation of our business strategy.”

Keith Geeslin, a Partner at Francisco Partners, noted: “Francisco Partners has been engaged in the optical component space for many years and we are now pleased to announce our investment partnership with Source Photonics. We believe Source is a truly differentiated platform for growth and profitability in the optical component space and look forward to partnering with the management team to grow Source into one of the top global vendors for optical components.”

Source Photonics is a leading provider of optical communication products used in telecommunication systems and data communication networks. Source Photonics designs, manufactures, and sells a broad portfolio of optical communication products, including passive optical network, or PON, subsystems, optical transceivers used in the enterprise, access, and metropolitan segments of the market, as well as other optical components, modules and subsystems.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Movial powers world’s most advanced IP communication service, reaching 150 million subscribers

Broadband World Forum 2010, PARIS, FRANCE: Movial, the company that inspires rich and intuitive Internet experiences, announced that MegaFon, one of Russia’s largest mobile operators, has successfully launched the most advanced and most complete mass market integrated PC, mobile and Web communications service, ”MultiFon” powered by Movial Communicator, the industry’s leading IP communication client software.

MultiFon, which users are already praising for its ease of use and convenience over Internet VoIP service offerings, is one of the largest IP communication services in the world with the potential to reach over 150 million subscribers. A truly converged service offering, MultiFon covers more devices than any other IP Communication offering and is available on PC, Mobile, including VoIP on Mobile, web-browsers, and other devices such as USB phones.

The innovative MultiFon converged mass-market communications service leverages Movial Communicator to provide users with “mobile phone” capabilities across all their devices and includes voice, video and VoIP on mobile calls, voicemail, SMS, MMS, IM, Presence, contact list management, networked address book and even an integrated shopping tab, all connected to a single mobile phone number. The service was developed and deployed based on a Teligent platform – a convergent solution which includes SIP, IN and IM elements in an IMS architecture.

MultiFon removes converged communication hassles and complexity by providing subscribers with a single monthly bill tied to their single phone number for mobile phone, PC and Web calls and includes free video calls.

Having a single recognizable phone number across all devices using VoIP from Mobile, PC or Web makes identifying callers easy, and unlike Internet based VoIP providers, MultiFon users needn’t worry about bothersome credit card charges as costs are added to their single mobile phone statement for hassle-free billing.

The new service, which is offered at no cost to subscribers, can be easily downloaded to a PC or comes pre-installed with MegaFon's netbook offering, bundled with USB dongles, Symbian S60 or Android smartphones, or from their favourite web-browsers for click-to-call functionality from anywhere on the Web.

"Movial is proud to have been selected as MegaFon’s technology partner and to have successfully delivered the communication user experience that powers the innovation the MultiFon service delivers to subscribers,” said Jari Ala-Ruona, CEO of Movial. “MegaFon has effectively taken on the Internet VoIP players and seriously raised the bar in creating an integrated customer experience for its subscribers and we applaud their push to offer IP Communications services to their mass market."

“Movial’s user experience design expertise and award-winning Communicator solution provides us with the most technologically advanced options as we continue to drive greater value and provide more flexibility to our subscribers,” said Iakov Bernshteyn, Division Head of new convergent and business market services at MegaFon. “We look forward to our continued partnership with Movial as we expand our MultiFon offer to additional devices and platforms.”

Movial Communicator provides rich HD voice, HD video telephony, enhanced address book and messaging. Movial Communicator provides advanced communication user experiences across PCs, Mobile, TV, and Multimedia devices running on MAC OS, Linux and Microsoft Windows platforms.

Device manufacturers, network equipment vendors and service providers are continuously searching to provide end-users with compelling converged IP-based services across the mobile and fixed domain. These services need to provide end-users with a great user experience as well as leverage IP and IMS infrastructure investments and provide revenue-generating opportunities.

Movial provides proven business solutions for IP communication services. Over 25 carriers rely on Movial’s converged unified communications and rich communications across PC, Mobile, Set-Top Box and other devices.

The company has the most IP communication commercial deployments and IMS clients in the world. Movial customers and partners include MegaFon, Orange, Optimus, Telefonica, Texas Instruments, Samsung and Ericsson.

Vocollect, Raymond present breakthrough technologies

IFDA 2010 Distribution Solutions Conference, PITTSBURGH & TAMPA, USA: Vocollect Inc., a leader in voice-centric solutions for mobile workers, and The Raymond Corp., a global provider of material handling solutions, each presented “Breakthrough Technologies in the DC” at the International Foodservice Distributors Association’s 2010 Distribution Solutions conference, on October 25-27 at the Tampa Convention Center.

Earlier this year, Vocollect announced its vision of the voice-centric warehouse and its many breakthrough solutions designed to support the use of voice technology for replenishment, put-away, let-down, cycle-counting and other distribution tasks beyond picking. Voice-directed workflows improve overall performance and help companies maximize the overall ROI and TCO of their distribution operations.

“More than 70 percent of North America’s leading food companies trust Vocollect to help them solve their business challenges and deliver the highest gains in productivity and performance. Our October 15 announcement – in support of the Produce Traceability Initiative’s voice pick code to support produce traceability in distribution centers and warehouses that use voice technology for order selection – underscores our commitment to providing value to our food customers,” says Tom Murray, vice president of product management and marketing, Vocollect.

“Raymond’s lift truck fleet optimization solution is just one way that Raymond has delivered a customizable suite of tools to help companies in the foodservice industry reduce material handling costs and manage their fleets from anywhere in the world,” says Joe LaFergola, business and information solutions manager, The Raymond Corp.

“Raymond’s total commitment to understanding the foodservice industry and then delivering a comprehensive package of solutions and personalized service to help companies run their operations smarter is part of our philosophy, and we look forward to sharing these insights at the conference,” he said.

Amis Telekom selects Celeno to support nationwide IPTV in Slovenia and Croatia

Broadband World Forum 2010, PARIS, FRANCE: Celeno Communications, a leading provider of semiconductors for multimedia Wi-Fi home networking applications, announced that the leading triple-play service provider in Slovenia and Croatia, Amis Telekom, has selected Celeno-enabled Wi-Fi Ethernet bridges to support its fast-growing “AmisTV2.0” IPTV service.

The Celeno-powered Ethernet bridges are the home-networking cornerstone of the Amis digital TV service. The Ethernet bridges allow for a simple, fast plug-and-play self installation with no need for installing new wires. The Celeno-based solution also provides the infrastructure to support a future evolution towards streaming IPTV content to portable screens and devices so consumers will enjoy “AmisTV2.0” content anytime, anywhere.

“Celeno Wi-Fi technology provides self-installation features that let us dramatically reduce costs associated with IPTV home installations, effectively allowing us to speed up the expansion rate of our IPTV service,” said Boštjan Košak, Amis CEO. “Our goal is to give our customers the flexibility to enjoy our service wherever they like in their homes. The Celeno carrier-grade wireless chipsets allow us to achieve just that.”

“We are very pleased to have been selected by Amis Telekom and to provide wireless IPTV to their subscribers,” said Gilad Rozen, Celeno CEO. “Our continued success proves the robustness and quality of our Wi-Fi technology. We will continue our efforts to offer service providers globally the carrier-grade home networking infrastructure for advanced wireless HD video distribution.”

The “AmisTV2.0” service offers VoD, network PVR and time shifting of the 30 most popular TV channels, allowing viewers to watch their favorite TV content on their own terms. The service runs on a hybrid network that combines IPTV content managed by Amis, with free-to-air digital terrestrial broadcasts.

Celeno’s technology
Celeno’s Wi-Fi chipset, powered by the OptimizAIR technology suite, improves standards-based Wi-Fi to deliver robust HD video with whole-home coverage. It achieves up to 10 times the range and throughput compared to legacy 802.11n solutions while maintaining a robust signal with effectively no packet loss.

The OptimizAir feature set includes the first field-proven Implicit Transmit Digital Beamforming MIMO technique, which enables live, concurrent streaming of multiple HD streams to the edge of the house, reliably and cost effectively.

By using phased array radar-like signal processing techniques, it delivers the Wi-Fi signals directly to the targeted set-top boxes, fighting off interferences without polluting neighboring apartments or systems with unnecessary transmit energy.

Siemens Gigaset launches A490 and A495 cordless phones in South India

BANGALORE, INDIA: Gigaset Communications, a leading manufacturer of cordless telephones under the brand Siemens Gigaset, has launched its new premium cordless phones A490 and A495 in South India.

The new cordless phones by Siemens Gigaset offer high quality performance and cutting-edge design. The models are built for easy to use and durability.

Mathew Oommen, director and GM - dusiness development, True Blue Voice India Pvt Ltd authorized distributor for Siemens Gigaset in South India, mentioned: "We are very much delighted to launch the new cordless phones in the market during this festive season. These products are unique in way, that this is the first time a major cordless phone manufacturer is bringing out models in White Glossy finish to the brand and design conscious cordless phone customers."

Along with an array of features it also comes with the new ECO WDCT technology; A490 and A495 cordless phones are using up to 60 per cent less energy. More importantly all this comes at very affordable price points.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Accenture to unveil two new software tools at SEE 2010

USA: At the upcoming Symbian Exchange and Exhibition (SEE) show in Amsterdam (Nov. 9-10), Accenture will be unveiling two new software tools that can help engineers who develop mobile handsets running on the Symbian operating system to potentially save mobile phone companies hundreds of thousands of dollars in software development costs.

These new tools mean that an engineer based in India, for instance, can debug, analyze and control by computer a mobile handset physically located somewhere else in the world.

This powerful remote access ability has significant cost benefits as it eliminates the travel expenses for an engineer who no longer has to go to where the handset is located.

By providing developers with pinpoint diagnostic and control capabilities, these tools also mean that a mobile phone can potentially reduce by several months the time taken for a phone to reach the market. For high-margin phones, the revenue implications of reaching an all-important market window ahead of competitors could easily be measured in millions of dollars.

Accenture has recently released the first of these tools, Fshell, as an extensible open source contribution to the Symbian platform. Fshell allows developers to write control scripts that automatically manipulate aspects of the data, applications, configuration, and system software running on a phone. In turn, this makes it easier to pin down and identify elusive error conditions that testers have noticed but which can be extremely time-consuming to replicate.

At SEE 2010 Accenture will also roll out the second tool, Autometric, which enables advanced automatic testing of mobile handsets:

* Autometric is an automated user interface (UI) level test and metrics gathering system for Symbian OS devices, which hooks directly into the operating system providing a more robust service than other tools on the market

* The Autometric test suite also accurately measures the time taken to execute large numbers of operations, without any human interaction, helping to avoid unexpected performance slowdowns when users try out different features of their phone

Accenture has already shared these two tools with a selected range of customers including equipment manufacturers, silicon vendors, middleware suppliers, and system integrators.

AdvanceTec releases AdvanceMobile VX1 fixed mobile phone solution for GSM carriers

MIAMI, USA: AdvanceTec Industries Inc., a leader in wireless and commercial in-vehicle communications, announces the release of the AdvanceMobile VX1 GSM Fixed Mobile Phone Solution.

Following the success of the AdvanceMobile phone solution for iDEN carriers, AdvanceTec introduces the VX1 Fixed Mobile Phone solution to assist businesses with a mobile workforce comply with hands-free legislation, text messaging restrictions, and to control ballooning communication costs by providing hands-free communication to and from a selected authorized phone number list and prohibiting text messaging completely.

This will assist in mitigating potential corporate liability incurred with accidents while on the phone, ticket exposure for phone use not in compliance with local hands-free legislation and generally improving the safety of the phone use while operating a vehicle. The AdvanceMobile VX1 is designed for easy permanent placement in the vehicle and has a rugged industrial design which meets the harsh automotive temperature environment.

AdvanceTec’s VX1 is GPS enabled and will provide fleet managers with the capability to track mobile assets globally and provides Telematics features, including Geo Fencing, vehicle speed notification, color coded vehicle tracking and one button emergency notification.

The VX1 provides hands-free, full-duplex voice quality using advanced algorithms to incorporate echo cancellation and noise suppression. A palm microphone can be used in addition to the microphone to replicate the experience of using a two-way radio or to overcome loud in cabin noise by speaking directly in to the Palm Microphone.

“More than ever, in-vehicle communications is an essential part of doing business for the mobile worker,” says Wayne Clarke, VP of Business Development for AdvanceTec. “It’s our mission to help provide our customers and GSM carrier partners with rugged hands-free Fixed Mobile communications that enable the mobile worker to safely communicate while operating a vehicle.”

The AdvanceMobile VX1 uses Motorola GSM Quad Band technology and can be activated on AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile or any other GSM carrier in the United States using existing voice plans. Its Quad Band technology enables carrier partners outside of the USA to activate the VX1 on their networks. The AdvanceMobile VX1 lists for $499 and comes with all the components necessary for an effortless installation.

Eastern Europe growing opportunity for enterprise mobility services

NEW YORK, USA: In an update to ABI Research’s Enterprise Mobility Market Data, total revenue from European mobile enterprise users is forecast to exceed $62 billion by 2014. Average revenue growth across the two regions (Western and Eastern Europe) will equal 1.7 percent; a far better performance than the -1 percent revenue decline for all (both business and consumer) European mobile subscribers.

Enterprise research practice director Dan Shey comments, “Despite an uncertain economic recovery across both Western and Eastern Europe, businesses continue to mobilize. Revenues from the business segment continue to be a bright spot for the European mobile services market.”

Western Europe, with a larger employment base, will garner the majority of Europe’s share, reaching $48 billion by 2014. However Eastern European revenue growth will far outpace its neighbor’s at nearly 2.6 percent.

Data services revenue growth is another bright spot. Revenues from this segment will grow to nearly 50% of mobile services revenues by 2014. This includes messaging services, including text and mobile e-mail services; data plans for handsets, smartphones, laptops, netbooks and media tablets; and applications, both downloaded and line-of-business.

Shey adds, “With Apple, Android, and BlackBerry smartphones penetrating this region and voice revenues declining, mobile data revenues will become an even greater part of the enterprise share-of-wallet.”

Monday, October 25, 2010

2011 will be dominated by increasing smartphones take-up

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Ovum, the analyst and consulting company, unveils the Asia-Pacific’s trends in 2011 for telecoms industry, both from fixed and mobile sectors.

For mobile, 2011 will be dominated by increasing smartphone and wireless broadband take-up. Attractive smartphones will also proliferate more into the prepaid segment this year. But while the data traffic boom will continue unabated, operators will struggle on to seek answers on ways to monetise data.

“We are already seeing some innovative new broadband pricing strategies emerge to milk incremental ARPU from customers, but this year the monetising data dilemma will keep many senior executives awake at night,” said Nicole McCormick, senior analyst.

On fixed side, David Kennedy, Research Director believes that the growth of next-generation access is the trend to watch. “The continued growth of household data traffic, driven by growing demand for video services is putting pressure on older networks. We are now seeing major fibre rollouts in Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. Fibre is already entrenched in Hong Kong, Korea and Japan. The Asia-Pacific region is increasingly the leading region for fibre access, and we expect to see big investments here in the coming year and beyond. More operators will imitate the leading companies to pursue service bundling, fixed value-added services, and in-home devices in an effort lock in household revenue.”

For service providers, Ovum expects wireline revenues in AP to decline slightly in 2011, but mobile revenues will rise 6 percent to $317 billion, supported by 10 percent growth in China and 15 percent in India.

Total revenues in AP, fixed plus mobile, should grow at roughly the same 4 percent rate achieved in 2009 and projected for 2010. Service provider capital expenditures (capex), which eked out 1.2 percent growth in 2009 in AP, are on track to fall 11 percent in 2010, but we expect a 5 percent bounceback in 2011, with the Indian mobile sector a key contributor.

Looking beyond 2011, we expect the ratio of capex to revenues (capital intensity) to continue falling: from 23.7 percent in 2008 regionally, the ratio should hit 19.7 percent in 2010 and 18.8 percent by 2015.

Matt Walker, Ovum principal analyst, notes that this is still well above the global average of under 16 percent, as many markets within AP remain relatively unsaturated, retain strong economic fundamentals, and will outperform global averages for many years to come.

BBWF 2010 opens tomorrow

Broadband World Forum 2010, PARIS, FRANCE: The Broadband World Forum 2010 – and with its truly global line up of speakers, seems to be one not to miss.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the Broadband World Forum 2010 (26-28 October at CNIT, La Defense in Paris, France) will play host to more than 250 visionary speakers discussing over 125 global carrier case studies and presentations.

The comprehensive three-day conference schedule features executive speakers from emerging markets including Malaysia, Japan, Argentina, Egypt, China and Saudi Arabia discussing opportunities in the global broadband market. There are senior level representatives from all the major European operators and service providers, with over 130 operator companies represented.

Gavin Whitechurch, director of Broadband World Forum, commented: “This year’s conference programme is packed full of topical presentations which will excite our delegates and stimulate debate.

“Plus, this year we also have representatives from major international corporations, most notably Verizon, Korea Telecom, Deutsche Telekom who will be discussing the best ways of delivering and protecting digital content in our Executive Institute Leadership Summit.”

Delegates will see a change to the speaker programme this year with the incorporation of four new tracks covering Transport, Intelligence, Access and Services, which are further divided into focus areas to fully enhance the conference experience. These are complemented by the return of the Executive Institute Leadership Summit and the introduction of a Broadband High Growth Markets session.

Gavin added: “Broadband World Forum 2010 is already the biggest in the show’s history - even before we arrive in Paris we’ve had 65 per cent growth in the number of countries attending this year. Our enhanced programme of high quality global speakers has further secured the event as the must-attend broadband show and with delegate numbers already well above last year’s I’m confident they will continue to rise in the next few days.”

Broadband World Forum has long been established as the place to meet and discuss the commercial and technical opportunities, developments and issues surrounding broadband. With over 6,500 pre-registered attendees, the new conference structure for 2010 is in response to delegate feedback and now features analyst breakfast briefings, more keynote sessions, a choice of four conference tracks and a world-class exhibition including 150 companies. In addition, the sold out Broadband InfoVision Awards will now be presented during a full gala dinner cruise on the evening of day one.

Friday, October 22, 2010

China Mobile’s leadership in TD-LTE global development

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: According to Ovum, LTE will gain traction after 2012 with forecast connections of over 300 million in 2015. This is 9.5% of total mobile broadband connections of 3,161 Million. TD-LTE may provide effective upgrade for existing technologies such as TD-SCDMA, TD-HSPA, HSPA, EVDO and WiMAX.

“The fierce competition of the Chinese mobile industry, and longer lead time to sufficiently incubate the national TD-SCDMA standard in Mainland China requires operators and other ecosystem stakeholders to act pro-actively for the sustained development of TD technologies and services”, said CW Cheung, Research Fellow & Consulting Director, Asia-Pacific.

China Mobile is collaborating with its partners Verizon and Vodafone to plan large scale network trials and end-to-end service commercialisation tests of TD-LTE. Many operators in Europe, US and Asia (e.g. Clearwire, NTT DoCoMo, Softbank, Orange, etc.) have joined the move.

China Mobile has engaged support from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), international vendors in chipset (e.g. QualComm for FDD/TDD chipset), network equipment, CPE and device. The concerted efforts will aim to close the ‘gap’ currently led by LTE FD.

The synergy of cross-strait collaboration for TD-LTE value chain and ecosystem development will accelerate the process. The Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) trade framework has removed barriers to bilateral trade between Mainland China and Taiwan.

It will help accelerate the synergic creation of scale economy for the TD value chain - leveraging on Taiwan’s mature ODM/OEM capability in chipset, CPE and systems, and the opportunity to access huge TD-SCDMA market of China Mobile, with support of local vendors and access to labour market.

Taiwan has demonstrated its unique capability in WiMAX value chain. They supply nearly 80 percent of the worldwide WiMAX equipment. The Taiwan Economic Department has recently announced to invest US$ 220 million in next four years to sustain industry development in WiMAX. TD-LTE and WiMAX have shared many common core technologies.

There are some critical success factors for TD-LTE, as detailed below:

* Clarity of telecoms policy on spectrum release plan to support early launch of TD-LTE in Mainland China.
* More explicit policy and funding support to TD-LTE by Taiwan government.
* Mass availability of low cost and mid-market smartphones / devices; interoperability of TD and FD devices; standardisation of “voice over LTE”; and early availability of voice-centric handsets to help create differentiated value propositions for TD-LTE adoption in emerging markets.
* Early launch of ECFA enhancement to Taiwan operators, and reciprocal trade arrangement for Chinese operators to deepen cross-strait collaborations.
* Regulatory reforms in both Mainland China (e.g. liberalization of basic telecoms operation) and Taiwan (e.g. liberalization of Types I & II regulations), together with resolution of related regulatory issues in resource management (e.g. numbering) and infrastructure sharing, etc. to enable facility-based and service-based competition.

Telstra and Accenture team up for enterprise cloud

Steve Hodgkinson, Research Director, Ovum

AUSTRALIA: The enterprise cloud computing market is still nascent in Australia, but it is starting to pick up. Existing domestic IT outsourcing and managed services players such as Macquarie Telecom and Melbourne IT are in the market, along with some of the global vendors such as CSC and Fujitsu.

Optus recently announced the launch of an infrastructure-as-a-service offering called Elevate – partnering with its own Alphawest subsidiary for implementation. Verizon has announced its intention to bring its global computing-as-a-service offering to the Australian market in 2011.

A particular issue in Australia is a strongly stated preference by enterprise and government customers for data to remain onshore within Australian legal jurisdiction. This is compounded by the knowledge that the elastic properties of cloud require scale – no CIO wants to be a big customer of a small cloud provider.

In this context, the enterprise cloud market in Australia remains largely unexplored territory – a market awaiting a dominant leader.

Network computing services – cloud is all about the network
Telstra has a long relationship with Accenture as a systems integration partner, and has worked closely with the company in recent years to virtualize and automate its own internal ICT operations as part of a major IT transformation project.

This new operational capability combined with its managed IP network services has led to the operational platform that Telstra has now launched as its infrastructure-as-a-service offering, called Network Computing Services.

An early test of this new capability was announced last year when Visy Industries migrated its applications into Telstra’s infrastructure under a utility computing arrangement. Komatsu Australia was a second major enterprise win earlier this year. These are substantial infrastructure-as-a-service proof points – both companies are running their SAP systems in the Telstra Network Computing Service.

Nerida Caesar, Group Managing Director of Telstra Enterprise and Government, indicated at a recent Telstra analyst event that $50 million has been invested to date in tools to standardize the Network Computing Services, and that a further $200 million is being allocated during the next two years for people, processes, and technology to build out this offering. Caesar commented that the Telstra board is backing network computing as a key area of growth.

Telstra is reputed to have signed up several other as yet unannounced enterprise and government customers to the new service.

Cloud remains a “relationship sale” at the enterprise level
It is worth noting that the go-to-market approach that Telstra and Accenture have adopted, at least in the first instance, is based on relationship selling, rather than the often-hyped self-service cloud portal (through which cloud services just “sell themselves”).

The focus is on strategic and major sales and on protecting/deepening existing network-centric customer relationships, as opposed to selling cloud computing as a stand-alone IT utility service to new customers.

This is a sensible approach given the cautious nature of the market – selling cloud computing is all about persuading enterprise and government CIOs and IT managers that they can trust this new model of sourcing ICT services. The sales process requires considerable “handholding” to demonstrate the value, to plan and manage the transition of services, and to assist CIOs to manage the new cloud-sourcing model.

Telstra’s main challenge will be its ability to adapt its telecoms-centric marketing and sales operations to selling and servicing this more complex IT-centric relationship sale. This will take time to develop.

Partnership with a systems integrator such as Accenture fast-tracks Telstra’s ability to sell and implement these deals. For Accenture, Telstra has the massive computing and telecommunications infrastructure required to ensure that the reality of the cloud lives up to the promises made during the selling.

Sony Ericsson shifts focus to high-end cell phones

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB in the second quarter saw its smart phone shipments soar even as its overall cell phone shipment ranking declined, reflecting the company’s strategic shift away from lower-margin, higher-volume products and toward more profitable devices, according to iSuppli Corp.

The company’s overall cell phone shipment ranking fell to sixth place in the second quarter, down from fourth in the first quarter. This marked the first time in at least three years that Sony Ericsson didn’t rank among the Top 5 global cell phone brands. While shipments rose 4.8 percent compared to the first quarter, close rivals Research in Motion and ZTE surpassed Sony Ericsson because their growth rates were larger.

On the other side of the equation, Sony Ericsson achieved a 15.4 percent increase in smart phone shipments during the second quarter. This made Sony Ericsson the fourth fastest growing smart phone brand during the second quarter.

“With its shift in focus from volume to value-add, Sony Ericsson is positioning itself to cash in on the fastest growing and most profitable segment of the global wireless market,” said Tina Teng, senior analyst for wireless communications at iSuppli.

“Given that cell phone penetration has reached 73.4 percent of the earth’s population, shipment growth is slowing markedly. Meanwhile, average pricing for mobile phones has declined to extremely low levels and willcontinue to decrease in the coming years. In contrast, smart phones and feature phones continue to offer fast growth and strong profit margins.”

Global shipments of all kinds of cell phones are set to rise at a CAGR of 6.9 percent from 2009 to 2014, down from the 13.9 CAGR for the period of 2003 to 2008. In contrast, smart phone shipments will rise by 22.7 percent from 2009 to 2014.

The table presents iSuppli’s global cell phone market share in the second quarter.Source: iSuppli, USA.

With its shift to the higher-end phone market, Sony Ericsson is mirroring the strategy of Motorola, which has been withdrawing from the market for mainstream cell phones in order to focus on its high-end Droid smart phone line. Sony Ericsson in 2010 entered the Android smart phone marketplace, and it has offered phones like the Xperia line that uses the Android operating system.

The strategic shift is already apparent in Sony Ericsson’s second- and third-quarter results.

For the second quarter, the company’s gross margin amounted to 28 percent, more than double the 12 percent the same time a year ago. Its average selling price in the second quarter of 2010 also rose to 160 euros, up 31.1 percent from 122 euros during
the similar year-ago period.

Overall, smart phones represented 13.6 percent of Sony Ericsson’s total mobile handset shipments in the second quarter of 2010, more than double the 5.8 percent seen during the second quarter of 2009.

Although the Average Selling Price (ASP) slipped by 3.8 percent in the third quarter compared to the second quarter, its gross margin and operating profit rose again. The company’s gross margins amounted to 30 percent in the third quarter, compared to 16 percent a year earlier. Sony Ericsson’s third-quarter operating profit market equaled 4 percent, up from 2 percent in the second quarter and a 4 percent decline in the third quarter of 2009.

The company said smart phones comprised more than 50 percent of its total sales in the third quarter.

Source: iSuppli, USA.

Shape of mobile networks starts to change as femtocells outnumber macrocells in US

LONDON, UK: According to Informa Telecoms & Media’s new quarterly market status report, femtocells now outnumber conventional outdoor cell sites in the United States marking a major milestone in the evolution of mobile networks.

Conservative estimates suggest there are currently 350,000 femtocells and around 256,000 macrocells in the US. Furthermore by March 2011, there are expected to be at least twice as many femtocells as macrocells in the US. Over the past quarter the total number of global femtocell deployments has increased to 17 alongside six further commitments.

Since June, the femtocell market has also seen a number of important new operator deployments including Telefónica’s Spanish mobile arm, Movistar, Everything Everywhere (the UK Orange/T-Mobile joint venture) and Vodafone Greece, which marks the fourth territory where the operator has rolled out the technology.

Over the same period, several operators that are already offering femtocell services have started offering them for free, or at highly discounted rates, as a customer retention measure signifying that the consumer proposition is still evolving.

“We are now starting to see practical evidence that femtocells are irrevocably changing the traditional macrocell culture of mobile networks. Whereas today’s networks consist of a few thousand cells, in the future there will be millions – this will have a massive impact on mobile broadband capacity at a time when networks are under increasing strain,” said Dimitris Mavrakis, Senior Analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.

“Over the past quarter we’ve also seen more major operators roll out the technology and perhaps more importantly an evolution in the femtocell consumer proposition. Three months ago, only one operator was giving away free femtocells, now there are several showing that femtocells are becoming an important customer retention tool.”

Other recent developments include the publication of the first LTE application programming interfaces (APIs) for femtocells, which will help ensure that device manufacturers can cost-effectively source semiconductor components from multiple manufacturers thereby making the market more competitive. Standards development continues to progress with the announcement of the femtocell industry’s second plugfest which is set to take place early in 2011.

Informa Telecoms & Media expects the femtocell market to experience significant growth over the next few years, reaching just under 49 million femtocell access points (FAP) in the market by 2014 and 114 million mobile users accessing mobile networks through femtocells during that year. Healthy growth is anticipated throughout the forecast period with femtocell unit sales reaching 25 million in 2014 alone.

The expansion of the femtocell industry is reflected in the growing membership of the Femto Forum, the femtocell industry association, which now includes 77 vendors and 58 mobile operators representing over 1.5 billion mobile subscribers worldwide, across multiple wireless technologies (WiMAX, UMTS and CDMA) and accounts for 33 percent of total mobile subscribers worldwide.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Stoke announces XGLC20 for LTE gateway apps

4G WORLD, CHICAGO, USA: Mobile broadband gateway developer Stoke Inc. announced the XGLC20, extending the range of its Stoke Session Exchange (SSX) platform with a new packet processing card targeting LTE deployments.

The increased capacity enables mobile operators to reduce the cost per bit for 4G data service delivery while in-depth, line rate packet operations raises the network’s “content IQ” to enable service differentiation and promote network preference among the Internet’s content suppliers.

The SSX family of session management platforms was designed and developed to deliver a wide range of mobile broadband gateway functions to meet the challenges of data services for 3G and 4G network deployments. The XGLC20 extends Stoke’s signature line rate session management, encryption/decryption, and visibility and control, with enhanced capabilities, including five times the throughput and up to four times the session management capacity.

Expanding capacity is critical to managing LTE traffic rates and expected data volumes. For LTE service business models to succeed, operators must also drive service delivery costs down substantially. Power consumption, rack space, and cooling requirements, as well as capital expenses, all factor into the cost of service delivery.

The XGLC20 operates at greater than 10 Gbps per rack unit while consuming less than 25 watts per Gbps. It also delivers the highest managed session throughput per CAPEX dollar today, and manages to set new performance and capacity benchmarks.

Mike Homeier, vice president product management at Stoke, said: “To take on the next phase of mobile bandwidth and data volume growth, operators must consider the deployment of LTE a clean slate. Simply taking on significant expenses by upgrading yesterday’s network elements will not deliver the expected results in the long run. The XGLC20 helps mobile operators realize the promise of LTE—high-speed mobile data services at a fraction of the cost of 3G.”

“Packet core network elements must evolve to keep ahead of the connectivity demand, data rates and traffic volume associated with 4G,” said Jennifer Pigg, vice president, Yankee Group. “Network operators are investing in flexible solutions that can meet these expanding network needs while lowering costs, both CAPEX and OPEX, and enabling operators to monetize the network.”

Enhanced capacity and capabilities for evolved packet core gateway applications including:

* All packet operations function at line rate inclusively (i.e. L4-L7 traffic classification; encryption and decryption; policy enforcement, QoS, and accounting).
* 20Gbps (full duplex) line rate processing per line card.
* Up to 240k active concurrent sessions and 3.8M active service classes per card.
* 4 x 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports (active and standby) per line card.

ASSIA intros ultra-high-speed, dynamic DSL management

Broadband World Forum 2010, REDWOOD CITY, USA: ASSIA Inc., a leading provider of high-performance software tools for Dynamic Spectrum Management (DSM) of Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks, has announced the availability of Expresse Release 2.1.

ASSIA’s Expresse 2.1 reduces calls, dispatches, and churn related to physical layer issues by 30-60 percent and increases speed and service reach by 40 percent. Expresse 2.1 is also the industry’s most scalable solution, serving a network of twenty-million lines with as few as four servers. ASSIA has more than 35 million lines under contract in North America, Europe, and Asia and trials underway on those continents as well as in South America.

“ASSIA is pleased to deliver the world’s first DSL management platform that incorporates next-generation technologies for optimizing DSL networks, commonly known as DSM Level 2,” said Dr. John Cioffi, chairman and CEO. “ASSIA’s advances in building high-speed, large-scale, dynamic DSL management solutions that are equipment-vendor-independent have made ASSIA the fastest-growing company in the industry.”

Available worldwide, Expresse 2.1 enables DSL service providers to realize dramatic speed and reach improvements, lowering operating and capital expense and generating additional significant revenue. ASSIA’s products and services deliver the performance and reliability needed to launch exciting next-generation services such as IP television, faster wireless data transfers to smartphones using broadband, and ultimately 100+ Mbps service over existing phone lines.

GreenTouch signs 18 new members

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS: GreenTouch announced that 18 new organizations from across the telecommunications and energy sectors have joined the consortium.

The addition of these new members – equipment vendors, service providers, research institutions, and universities – will serve to sustain the momentum GreenTouch has generated since its launch in January 2010 and play a critical role in enabling the consortium to achieve the ambitious goal it has set – demonstrating the enabling technologies that will achieve 1000 fold improvement in the energy efficiency of today’s ICT networks.

Since its debut GreenTouch has already achieved a number of key milestones and has been widely recognized for its vision and its accomplishments. The consortium has established a governing board, defined concrete research targets and baseline reference network models, and organized workgroups that have initiated research programs. An initial demonstration of enabling technology is planned for early 2011.

In June, GreenTouch received an award for energy efficiency innovation at the Global Telecoms Business Innovation Awards event. Awareness of the consortium's vision and activities has spread as a result of presentations to audiences ranging from senior EU leadership in Belgium to the TEDGlobal2010 conference in Oxford, England and the ECOC 2010 conference in Turin, Italy.

The new members, representing 11 countries and four continents, include:

Athens Information Technology (AIT) Center for Research & Education -- Greece
Columbia University -- United States
Draka Communications –- The Netherlands
Dublin City University -- Ireland
Electronics and Telecommunication Research Institute (ETRI) -- Korea
Emerson Network Power, Energy Systems, North America, Inc. –- United States
Fondazione Politecnico di Milano -- Italy
Interdisciplinary Institute for Broadband Technology (IBBT vzw) -- Belgium
KT Corporation -- Korea
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology -- Germany
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U. Leuven) -- Belgium
King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology -- Saudi Arabia
Seoul National University -- Korea
University of Cambridge –- United Kingdom
University of Leeds –- United Kingdom
University of Maryland –- United States
University of New South Wales -- Australia
Waterford Institute of Technology -- Ireland

"We at GreenTouch are pleased that this diverse group of organizations is confirming the value of our work and joining our membership," said Gee Rittenhouse, Chairman of GreenTouch and Vice President of Research at Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs. "We welcome their expertise and participation as we work together to achieve our ambitious goals."

GreenTouch serves as a platform for open collaboration that enables its members to make best use of their expertise and pioneer technologies on which energy-efficient networks of the future will depend.

Members include leading experts from around the world who benefit from collaboration on the application of fundamental research to exciting new areas, the transformation of innovative ideas about sustainable networks into breakthrough technologies.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Huawei and Sequans establish partnership for LTE

4G World 2010, CHICAGO, USA: Sequans Communications and Huawei have entered into a partnership to develop and mature TD-LTE technology for the global marketplace.

The two companies have been working together closely for several months on TD-LTE and recently conducted a TD-LTE demonstration in Guangzhou in preparation for the 16th annual Asian Games to be held there beginning next month. Huawei and Sequans have a long history in WiMAX cooperation and have now extended their 4G technology collaboration to TD-LTE.

“Our cooperation with Huawei will yield exciting results for the TD-LTE ecosystem,” said Georges Karam, Sequans CEO. “It is our intention to accelerate the availability of TD-LTE technology, readying it for operator trials in the coming months and then ensuring it is optimized for commercial deployments in 2011. We are very pleased to work with Huawei, a longtime partner of Sequans in 4G, and an accomplished industry leader in next generation networks.”

“We are working side by side with Sequans, our major partner, to optimize performance, test new features, and steadily improve interoperability between our eNodeB platform and Sequans’ UE chipset,” said Tang Xinhong, president of Huawei’s CDMA, WiMAX, and TD product lines. “We have made much progress in advancing the state-of-the-art in LTE performance and interoperability and we look forward to continued development success.”

Huawei and Sequans began working together on LTE when both were chosen by China Mobile late last year to contribute technology for China Mobile’s launch of the world’s first TD-LTE demonstration network at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai in May of this year. The network has become a successful showcase for TD-LTE in the world’s largest communications market.

New revenue opportunities for mobile network operators

PADERBORN, GERMANY: Handsets, using the widespread availability of mobile broadband, consuming bandwidth-intensive video content and applications, are causing operators serious problems.

These problems are shrinking margins and rising network costs. Orga Systems, #1 choice for real-time charging and billing, provides a unique combination of real-time charging, billing and policy management that meets operators' demands and customers' wishes. This is the way to generate revenue from mobile data services again and, at the same time, boost customer satisfaction.

NG mobile data services vs. vanilla voice services
Analysts estimate an annual growth rate of 42 to 55 percent for mobile data usage in saturated markets - in contrast to mobile data revenues, which are expected to grow by about 18 percent.

The reason for this is that today's "all-you-can-eat" tariffs don't allow for operators to capitalize on mobile data usage. Making the problem worse, profitable voice services further decline as texting and mobile messaging are subscribers' preferred means of communication. Necessary investments into the transition to 4G are further troubling operators.

Real-time based solutions for new revenue opportunities
To grow profitably in the long run, operators need to rely on real-time based billing systems, allowing for usage-based or tiered billing. This is the only way forward.

During Futurecom 2010 in São Paulo, Orga Systems will showcase its cutting edge real-time based solutions, opening up new revenue opportunities for mobile network operators.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bluetooth SIG formally announces smart energy effort

WASHINGTON, USA: From GridWeek, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced an enhanced focus on the needs of manufacturers of consumer devices in the Smart Grid environment. This effort, called Bluetooth Smart Energy, addresses the needs for wireless connections of sensors and actuators in the residence.

The organization has released two key strategy documents. The first describes the market for in-home wireless in Smart Energy, domestic HVAC, and home appliances; the second is a technical justification of Bluetooth technology as the choice for these markets. Both papers are available on the Bluetooth website at

Recently, at the Bluetooth SIG Working Group Summit, an optimized business and technical structure was adopted to ensure the continued success of Bluetooth technology over the coming decade. The revised structure will allow the SIG to better address specific requirements for both existing and evolving markets. Reflecting the continuous evolution of the wireless market, the SIG has now aligned around five key focus areas: phones; automotive; home and personal computer; health and fitness; and Smart Energy.

“Ten years ago, the first Bluetooth enabled mobile phone and headset shipped,” said Michael Foley, Ph.D., executive director of the Bluetooth SIG. “In the decade since, more than three billion Bluetooth enabled devices have come to market, serving the world’s broadest range of wireless applications. By 2020, the industry could be integrating more Bluetooth chips into smart meters and home appliances than it is into mobile phones and laptops.”

The Bluetooth SIG’s more than 13,500 members deliver innovative wireless solutions to a worldwide market. Nearly every smart phone and feature phone that ships in the
developed world contains Bluetooth technology, as do most portable computers.

Integration of Bluetooth technology into vehicles has enabled a safer and richer driving experience, while lightweight, cost-effective health and fitness monitoring solutions containing Bluetooth technology enjoy broad acceptance. With the Bluetooth SIG’s embrace of Smart Energy, consumers, utilities, and vendors will now benefit from an ecosystem which has qualified more than 12,000 wireless products over the last ten years.

“Bluetooth wireless technology offers a number of key advantages for Smart Energy applications,” added Foley. “First and foremost, the industry needs assurances that a chosen wireless technology is robust, readily able to cope with interference from the multitude of other wireless products in the home. Second, the wireless technology must be sufficiently secure, ensuring billing accuracy and consumer privacy while protecting against theft of service.

“Third, the technology must be interoperable, backed up by a stringent and effective qualification program. Since Bluetooth wireless technology is the only standard that can give full assurance to each of these concerns, we are excited to publicly announce the Bluetooth Smart Energy Group, which has been working since early this year to define solutions for Smart Energy and Smart Grid applications.”

The Bluetooth specification is the only major unlicensed wireless standard that can deliver a full solution from radio to host application. Bluetooth frequency hopping technology provides robust operation in the home environment, providing a high level of assurance for interference-free communication.

“The comprehensive scope of our specifications enables Bluetooth technology to provide an integrated solution that can cope with interference and which is optimized to have the lowest power consumption for these applications,” said Tom Siep, chairman of the Bluetooth Smart Energy Group.

“That places Bluetooth technology as the prime candidate for the Smart Energy market, giving manufacturers and utilities the confidence that their products and data will be secure and reliable. The Bluetooth SIG is confident in our projections for success as the world addresses the need to make better use of energy.”

S1 mobile adoption on the rise

BAI 2010 Retail Delivery, Booth #1053; NORCROSS & LAS VEGAS, USA: S1 Corp., a leading global provider of payments and financial services software solutions, announced that more than 35 customers across three continents have licensed the S1 Mobile application.

In addition, S1 mobile-enabled customer applications are available on the App StoreSM for the following financial institutions: Trustmark, Mercantile Bank of Michigan, First Community Bank, and Ventura County Credit Union.

According to Jupiter Research, "the number of mobile subscribers who use their phones for mobile banking will exceed 400 million globally by 2013, which is double the number of users this year."

As mobile banking popularity and usage continues to increase, the need for financial institutions to offer compelling and convenient mobile banking and payments applications is vital to support a customer base that is managing more of their daily lives with mobile smart devices. In order to meet that demand, S1 continues to focus on delivering rich new features and applications. S1's banking customers can enhance their mobile banking and payments offerings with an iPad and Blackberry application and a personal payments feature through a relationship with PayPal.

"The S1 Mobile application has enabled us to truly deliver our customers anytime, anywhere access to their financial information," said Joe Gibbs, senior VP, e-Business Services, Trustmark.

"Within the first month of launching our Mobile solution at the beginning of June, which also included an iPhone app, we had over 3,200 downloads of our application from the App Store. We are also using S1's launcher app for BlackBerry and are in the process of testing an iPad app from S1. Our customers have given us very positive feedback, and we are tremendously excited about the potential mobile presents to both Trustmark and our customers."

Trustmark National Bank is a subsidiary of Trustmark Corporation, a $9.8 billion asset, diversified financial services company, with locations in Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas.

"We have been extremely pleased with S1's Mobile applications because our customers expect to have access to their financial lives in the same manner they manage other aspects of their lives through mobile devices," said John Hanley, Advertising and PR officer, Sunflower Bank.

"We did very little marketing, in fact just a single promotion. Within our first day live, we had 300 customers enroll, and by the end of the first week in production, there were 1,000 customers live without any support calls for help with the service." Sunflower Bank is a $1.8-billion community bank headquartered in Salina, Kansas with 33 branch locations throughout Kansas and Colorado.

Mobile banking adoption continues to grow globally and S1 customers are increasingly meeting the demand for on-the-go banking solutions. The S1 Mobile platform offers flexible options, including mobile Internet browser (WAP/xHTML) access, SMS (with an option for IVR PIN) and downloadable applications, which support all key mobile channels, enabling deeper, more profitable customer relationships.

"Mobile banking has quickly become an essential component of a successful multi-channel banking environment," said Johann Dreyer, CEO, S1 Corp.

"We are seeing increased interest for mobile solutions across the global markets we serve. As demand for more convenient banking and payments services continue to grow, financial institutions that deploy S1 Mobile are positioned to deliver real-time mobile payment solutions that ensure they remain an integral part of the payment process and create more revenue generating opportunities."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Nokia N8 smart phone matches iPhone 4 costs

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Despite major differences in features and component selection, Nokia’s new N8 smart phone carries a Bill of Materials (BOM) cost nearly identical to that of the iPhone 4, according to a preliminary teardown analysis conducted by iSuppli Corp.

The N8’s BOM amounts to $187.47, according to a preliminary estimate from iSuppli. The 16Gbyte version of the iPhone 4’s BOM came in at $187.51, based on pricing from iSuppli’s teardown in June, although Apple’s component prices have eroded since that time.

“The N8’S BOM shows Nokia is targeting the product squarely at the touch-screen smart phone segment now dominated by the iPhone,” said Andrew Rassweiler, director, principal analyst and teardown services manager, for iSuppli. “Although the two phones differ markedly in key areas, including the camera and the core silicon, both are designed to hit similar production cost budgets.”

When the approximately $9.50 manufacturing expense of the N8 is factored in, the total cost to produce the smart phone rises to $196.97.

The table presents iSuppli’s preliminary estimate of the N8’s BOM and manufacturing cost. Please note that iSuppli’s teardown assessment accounts only for hardware and manufacturing costs, and does not take into consideration other expenses such as R&D, software, licensing and royalties.Source: iSuppli, USA.

Costly camera
Although not the most costly design feature of the N8, the camera stands out as one of the most striking differences between the N8 and the iPhone 4—and between the N8 and other recent smart phone designs. The primary camera in the N8 is based on a CMOS sensor with a 12-megapixel resolution, compared to just 5 megapixels for the iPhone—and 8 megapixels for the most cutting-edge smart phone designs.

“The 12-megapixel resolution represents the leading edge of camera resolution in handsets, and the N8 is the first smart phone model iSuppli has torn down with such an advanced image sensor,” Rassweiler said. “Apple has never regarded the camera module as a key differentiating feature on iPhones, and has always spent its budget elsewhere within the design. Clearly, Nokia wants the N8 to be distinguished in this aspect.”

In addition to the 12-megapixel camera module is a secondary VGA resolution module and a conventional Xenon flash unit, which allows the N8 to rise to the quality level of digital still cameras in low-light conditions. Most other smart phones employ white LED lights to help in low-light conditions—a solution generally considered to be unsatisfactory.

The camera subsystem costs $31.08, including both camera modules and the Xenon flash unit. This makes it the third most costly subsystem of the N8.

Displays of uniqueness
The most expensive subsystem within the N8, like most other smart phones, is the display and capacitive touch screen section. The technology used in this section also represents one of the bigger differences between the iPhone and N8.

The iPhone 4 employs a 3.5-inch LCD using advanced Low-Temperature Polysilicon (LTPS) and In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology. In contrast, the N8 employs an alternative display technology to the LCD—the Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode (AMOLED).

The AMOLED display is supplied by Samsung Mobile Display, which also provides similar screens commonly found on high-end Android phones.

Not long ago, AMOLED was an exotic new display technology. However, the quality of displays and touchscreens has become the key differentiating feature for smart phone manufacturers. This is especially true now that the display and touch screen practically define the user’s experience as the primary output and input for smart phones.

The N8’s display and touch screen subsystem, which also includes a controller Integrated Circuit (IC) made by Synaptics Inc., is the most expensive portion of the smart phone, carrying a collective $39.25 cost for Nokia.

Valuable memories
Unlike Apple designs that use conventional NAND, the Nokia N8 employs a variant of NAND flash memory known as Embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC). eMMC NAND flash can be slightly more expensive than the conventional variety used in the iPhone 4.

eMMC combines memory with interface circuitry and a controller in a single package, facilitating the design cycle for those who use it in their designs. Although memory is always multisourced, Toshiba was found to be the source in the sample of the N8 iSuppli’s Teardown Analysis Service used for this analysis.

When 4Gbits of additional OneNAND memory and mobile Double Data Rate (DDR) DRAM from Samsung are added in, the memory subsystem carries a total cost of $37.12, making it the second most expensive portion of the N8.

Processor particulars
Fourth on the cost ranking is the applications, media and baseband processing subsystem, at $22.00.

This section features a digital baseband processor IC that is a custom part manufactured by Texas Instruments Inc. It also sports a Broadcom Corp. mobile multimedia processor chip.

The Broadcom multimedia chip, the first time iSuppli has seen this device in a product teardown, features HD support, including the High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI), allowing the transfer of 720p-format video. iSuppli hasn’t identified any discrete HDMI transmitter ICs, and doesn’t expect to find them. The processing subsystem also features a Texas Instruments analog baseband/power management chip.

Supplier lineup
Other notable suppliers and components in the N8 include:

* Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd.’s Bluetooth/wireless local area network IC.
* Texas Instruments’ single-chip GPS device and audio power amplifier.
* ST-Ericsson SA’s RF Transceiver, RF power management IC and power reset device.
* Renesas Electronics Corp.’s Power Amplifier.
* Epcos AG’s front-end module.
* AKM Semiconductor Inc.’s electronic compass,
* STMicroelectronics’ MEMS accelerometer.

Source: iSuppli, USA.

Android becomes smart phone market’s secret sauce for success in Q2

EL SEGUNDO, USA: In a sign of the growing momentum behind Google Corp.’s Android, makers of handsets utilizing the operating system represented the majority of the fastest-growing firms among the Top 10 smart phone brands in the second quarter , according to the mobile and wireless research firm iSuppli Corp.

Droid phone specialist HTC Corp. achieved industry-leading growth, with its smart phone shipments rising by a stunning 63.1 percent in the second quarter compared to the first.

Meanwhile, on the strength of its Android-based Galaxy line of smart phones, Samsung Electronics posted the second strongest performance, with a 55.6 percent sequential rise. New Android licensee Sony Ericsson came in fourth in terms of growth, with shipments rising by 15.4 percent. Finally, Droid-focused Motorola Inc. ranked fifth, with an increase of 12.5 percent.

The table presents iSuppli’s ranking of the Top 10 smart phone brands in the second quarter.Source: iSuppli, USA.

“Every brand that has put effort into designing smart phones using Google’s mobile operating system is riding the Android wave,” said Tina Teng, senior analyst for wireless communications at iSuppli. “From the spectacular growth of HTC and Samsung, to the steady advances of Motorola, Android is the secret sauce for smart phone growth for many companies in 2010.”

HTC on center stage
HTC’s Android success can be traced to wireless operators that want to showcase the capabilities of their upgraded networks by offering handsets with sophisticated features to subscribers.

For example, US wireless carrier Sprint Nextel Corp. is offering HTC’s EVO 4G, a feature-packed Android handset that can capitalize on the high speed of its WiMAX-based 4G network. To keep its momentum going, HTC is expected to offer an Android phone that supports Long Term Evolution (LTE)—the other major standard for 4G.

HTC’s share of global smart phone shipments in the second quarter rose to 8 percent, up from 5.3 percent in the first quarter, allowing the company to solidify its No. 4 position in the market.

Meanwhile, the share of No.5-ranked Samsung rose to 4.6 percent during the same period, up from 3.2 percent in the first quarter. The company’s advance is being driven by its Android-based Galaxy S smart phones, which are enjoying strong acceptance from consumers.

In contrast, Samsung’s phones using its own bada platform don’t appear to be garnering as much interest. The company’s ranking in the global smart phone market rose one position from sixth place in the first quarter.

With its entry into the Android smart phone marketplace in 2010, Sony Ericsson’s share of shipments climbed to 2.5 percent, up from 2.3 percent in the first quarter.

Motorola’s Droid success
While Motorola’s second-quarter growth was relatively modest compared to the high-flying results of HTC and Samsung, there are signs that the company’s decision to put all its eggs in the Android basket are paying off. On the strength of its Droid product line, Motorola now has experienced five consecutive quarters of growth starting in the second quarter of 2009—and has outgrown the overall smart phone market for the last four quarters.

Motorola’s Droid strategy is paying off. In North America, Motorola is benefitting from its advertising campaign with Verizon. Motorola also has been refreshing its smart phone portfolio constantly, keeping consumers interested in its product line.
However, even this success wasn’t enough to keep Motorola from slipping one position to sixth place, down from fifth in the first quarter because of Samsung’s prodigious growth.

Among the fastest-growing smart phone brands, the only one that cannot credit its success in the second quarter to Android was Sharp, which enjoyed the third fastest growth of 48.7 percent. Sharp only recently threw its hat into the Android arena in the fourth quarter; its advance in the second quarter was due to the company gaining market share in Japan.

Slight setback for Apple
Amid the advance of Android, Apple Inc. suffered a 4 percent drop in smart phone shipments in the second quarter. However, the decline doesn’t represent a major setback for the benchmark iPhone brand.

Apple’s decline in the second quarter was because of the transition from the iPhone 3G S to the iPhone 4. The iPhone 3G S was reaching the end of its life, causing sales to drop off. Meanwhile, Apple had trouble keeping up with iPhone 4 demand, resulting in the small decline in shipments.

The contraction caused Apple’s share of smart phone shipments to fall to 13.9 percent in the second quarter, down from 15.7 percent in the first quarter. Nonetheless, the company maintained a firm grip on third place in the global smart phone market.

Source: iSuppli, USA.

9 million BWA/WiMAX subscribers reached in Q2 2010

MONTREAL, CANADA & MIAMI, USA: 1.8 million BWA/WiMAX subscribers were added in Q2 2010 and 2 million will be added in Q3 2010, according to the 12th issue of the 4GCounts Quarterly Report from Maravedis.

With over 600 WiMAX deployments and more than 200 devices and 60 base stations certified, the worldwide WIMAX industry accounted for over 9 million subscribers at the end of Q2 2010. Maravedis predicts 13 million BWA/WiMAX subscribers by the end of 2010. The BWA/WiMAX subscriber market share by standard was 57 percent mobile WiMAX, 25 percent fixed WiMAX and 17 percent proprietary in Q2 2010.

Maravedis also anticipates that 14 LTE networks will be operational worldwide by the end of the year 2010. "The list of operators committed to LTE has grown to 127 members as of the end of Q3 2010," said report co-author Esteban Monturus. "As several 4G spectrum auctions take place before the end of the year (especially in Europe), more operators will feel the need to set their plans regarding LTE," he added.

"Despite the hype around TD-LTE, many important questions remain unanswered. There isn't much of an ecosystem in the near term" said 4GCounts team leader Cintia Garza. "If a carrier is to deploy WiMAX now with the idea to migrate to TD-LTE in the future, a challenge emerges in how to manage the millions of WiMAX device users that it may sign up in the next 2-3 years," she added.

"WiMAX remains a viable alternative for broadband connectivity, particularly where migration to full mobility is not expectedm," said Robert Syputa, Senior Analyst and Advisor. "While the issue of migration to LTE/TD-LTE equipment is being met, operators must still consider how the subscriber device base can converted. The use of multiple-mode WiMAX/LTE is an option now worth considering," he said.

Mobile data traffic continues to be a major challenge for mobile operators. Global mobile data traffic usage increased significantly with 68 percent growth in the first half of 2010, the majority of the traffic generated comes from multimedia applications and streaming video.

This quarter's summary findings
* The residential and business WiMAX ARPU generated among operators during Q2 2010 across all regions was of $39.97 and $112.52, respectively.
* Total BWA/WiMAX revenues for the first half of 2010 totaled $1.92 billion, compared to $1.34 billion for the first half of 2009.
* Indoor modems have the largest market share accounting for over 4.2 million units or 57 percent, followed by 1.5 million USB Dongles and, 553,000 PCMCIA cards.
* Base station sectors installed base as of Q2 2010 totaled 333,323,of which 10% were deployed during the quarter.

Telecoms operator capex still falling but poised for 9 percent rebound in 2011

Matt Walker, Principal Analyst, Ovum.

AUSTRALIA: Service provider (SP) capital expenditure (capex) has been hit hard by recent economic troubles, falling 8 percent in 2009 and on track for another 4 percent drop in 2010.

Yet, Ovum expects the global SP capex to rise 9 percent in 2011, to $303 billion. SP revenues, after declining 2 percent in 2009, are growing again, slowly: we expect 2 percent growth in 2010 and 3 percent in 2011, to $1,854 billion.

Pockets of strong growth exist, but telcos and vendors alike must be picky and open to reinventing business models as industry dynamics evolve towards 2020.

Improved economy and LTE support 2011 recovery; India on the mend
The telecoms industry remains challenged, and growth in most places is modest at best, but things are starting to improve. Looking at data for the four-quarter period ended 2Q10, global revenues grew 3.5 percent year-on-year (YoY), compared to a 2 percent decline in 3Q08–2Q09.

Capex fell 5.3 percent YoY in 3Q09–2Q10, a worse result than 2Q09 but improved from the previous three quarters, where YoY declines were in the upper single digits. Regionally, Asia-Pacific’s revenue strength has been the early driver in the global market’s pickup; India, though, was one key factor in the recent fall in global capex, along with the South & Central America region.

Looking ahead, Ovum has just updated its forecast of SP revenues and capex. For 2010, projected revenue growth of 2 percent and capex growth of -4 percent is consistent with 2Q10 actuals. In 2011, we expect modest upticks in several regional markets; revenues will track macro trends, but less saturated markets such as MEA and India will outperform.

Mobile revenues are growing at an average of 3.5 percent per year, based on the projected 2009–15 CAGR. Fixed revenues, which are shrinking in many developed countries, are still rising but just barely, at an estimated 1.3 percent CAGR in 2009–15.

Capex returns to normality in 2011 at 16.3 percent of revenues
As North America and Europe recovers, India will see the impact of its 3G spectrum auctions, reversing the recent drops in that market’s spending. Globally, we expect many large SPs to make 4G/LTE (or HSPA+) wireless, FTTx, and service- and software-layer investments aimed at reducing costs and enhancing competitiveness.

The impact is that global SP capex will grow from $277 billion in 2010 to $303 billion in 2011, resulting in a slightly increased ratio of capex-to-revenues (capital intensity) of 16.3 percent, from 15.5 percent in 2009.

The global average in 2005–08 was 16.4%, so 2011 marks a return to normality. For 2012–15, we have modest expectations for capex, likely to rise to $320 billion by 2015, with a continued shift away from fixed-line networks, as mobile hits 60 percent of the total in 2015, from 47 percent in 2005. Mobile’s share of revenues over time is comparable.

Tight capex climate requires innovation and business model revamp
Low revenue growth and predictable capex needs make telecoms sound dull: like a utility business, but without a guaranteed rate of return. Whether some parts of telecoms deserve the “utility” label is beyond this comment. What’s clear, though, is that there do remain highly profitable service-, vertical-, and region-specific markets in telecoms.

However, the more successful operators are not standing still. They are seeking out new operating models leveraging content and applications, more scale (often across borders), tighter partnerships with vendors and other third-parties on services and software, and help from regulators.

Vendors are not done consolidating, and continue to push into applications and services. The downturn helped vendors in some regards, as it pushed a few big operators to lay off or spin off and outsource key functions to their vendors. Much of this spending was previously an internal operational expense, so can represent a growth in vendors’ addressable market.

The challenge posed by Chinese vendors to their competitors has not faded, but has morphed as they have entered the mainstream. The urgency – for Ericsson, Cisco, Juniper, Tellabs, NSN, and many others – of developing offerings that can’t easily be matched by Huawei or ZTE has not gone away, and is unlikely to given the continued tight capex climate.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Windows Phone 7 - most important watershed for smartphone market since iPhone

Tony Cripps, Ovum principal analyst.

MELBOURNE: There’s a huge amount resting on the launch of Windows Phone 7 for Microsoft, its device and operator partners, and for the ecosystem market in general. As such, the commercial launch of Windows Phone 7 devices by OEMs and carriers looks set to mark the most important watershed in the smartphone market since the launch of Apple’s first iPhone.

If Windows Phone 7 devices sell in large numbers, Microsoft will rightfully be able to congratulate itself for starting with a clean sheet of paper in its efforts to return to the smartphone top table - a strategy launched by CEO Steve Ballmer in early 2009.

If it fails to claw back market share lost to iPhone and Android, then Windows Phone 7 may well mark the point at which Microsoft turns its back on smartphones forever: targeting its mobile resources at creating compelling services and attracting advertising may prove a better option than beginning again with another mobile operating system, in that instance.

On the face of it, though, Windows Phone 7 looks to have positioned Microsoft on the edge of a smartphone renaissance. Its all-important user experience looks to have brought some genuinely new thinking to a smartphone market in all operating systems feel somewhat similar in use. That’s not the case here and Microsoft should be thanked for taking a different road, especially given that its new operating system seems both intuitive and responsive in the limited time we’ve had to try it.

That said, Microsoft has clearly also borrowed a lot from Apple’s smartphone toolbox by tying the device and its user experience to some tempting content and application proposition, especially the long-awaited tie up with its impressive Xbox Live service.

This should mark out Windows Phone 7 devices as favourites for committed gamers, although there’s also plenty here for media hungry and web savvy users. If Microsoft does fail to make the headway we’d expect with Windows Phone 7, it may decide that its not worth the time, expense and uncertainty of heading back to the drawing board again.