Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Consumer interest in more Wi-Fi services from mobile operators

MILPITAS, USA: Seventy eight percent of people in the US who own smartphones with Wi-Fi capabilities would be interested in an application that would use Wi-Fi to deliver ‘five bars’ of coverage at home or in the office, according to a MarketTools Zoomerang survey of 330 smartphone owners.

The survey also showed 88 percent would be interested in a service from their mobile operator that would give discounted calling when the phone was connected to Wi-Fi.

Additional highlights from the online survey conducted April 2010, include:

* 43 percent of people who own smartphones with Wi-Fi capabilities use the Wi-Fi every day.
* 45 percent of those people use Wi-Fi because it provides easy access to the Internet, and 43 percent use it because it is faster than the cellular network.
* 24 percent say Wi-Fi on their smartphones is annoying because it only works in some locations, reflecting a desire to use Wi-Fi more broadly.
* 30 percent of respondents own a Research in Motion (RIM) smartphone; 27 percent own an Apple iPhone.
* 48 percent use AT&T as their mobile operator; 11 percent are T-Mobile customers.

“Consumers in the US are clearly interested in taking more advantage of the Wi-Fi on their smartphones in order to improve mobile service and save them money,” said Mark Powell, vice president and general manager of Kineto’s Client Business Unit. “Mobile operators have distinct market opportunities to reduce churn, improve service quality and keep customers satisfied by enhancing their use of Wi-Fi.”

To address subscriber demand and combat its data crunch, AT&T recently announced that it has launched a Wi-Fi hotzone in New York City’s Times Square offering free access to its smartphone customers. The goal of this pilot deployment is to explore the use of Wi-Fi in areas with high volumes of 3G traffic and mobile data usage.

In the first quarter of 2010, AT&T reported that 69 percent of the company’s Wi-Fi connections were made from smartphones and integrated devices, up from 35 percent in the first quarter of 2009.

picoChip CEO to accompany UKTI delegation to India

BATH, UK: picoChip is proud to announce its participation in the UK-India Government Summit, an initiative organized by the Department of Telecommunications of the Government of India and UK Trade and Investment, part of the UK government.

The Summit brings together business leaders and representatives of both governments to foster closer ties between the two countries.

picoChip CEO Nigel Toon has been invited to join the UK delegation, representing the high tech sector alongside many of the country's foremost business leaders. This invitation emphasizes the company's commercial success, technological strength, and leadership position in the telecommunications sector. Additionally Nigel Toon will be the only business leader actually speaking at the Enabling Innovation India event.

During the conference picoChip will be announcing its recent developments and customer successes within the Indian market.

Global broadband subscribers to reach 1 billion by 2015

BOSTON, USA: The total number of broadband subscriptions worldwide will reach one billion by 2015, according to a report just published by analyst firm Strategy Analytics.

The Asia Pacific region, which today claims almost 45 percent of all broadband subscriptions, will lead in subscriber growth, seeing a CAGR of nearly 18 percent in the next five years.

DSL will remain the dominant access platform, though it will give way to fiber over the next five years. By 2015, one quarter of broadband homes will connect via fiber, says the report. Service revenues will grow nearly 9 percent over the forecast period, however average revenue per user (ARPU) will decline slightly.

“While broadband growth has been impressive, it is important to note that in 2010 more than 60 percent of households worldwide have no access to the Internet—much less broadband,” said Ben Piper, author of the report and Director of the Strategy Analytics Multiplay Market Dynamics service.

M2M markets grow strongly, but many module vendors skirting EDGE

SCOTTSDALE, USA: Cellular M2M (Machine-to-Machine) module shipments approached 28 million in 2009, and according to ABI Research, they will quadruple to exceed 114 million in 2015. This is a market showing strong growth, but not all segments of it are benefitting equally.

“Not so long ago, it appeared likely that M2M would be making liberal use of the EDGE cellular air interface standard,” says practice director Sam Lucero. “However, market data suggests that EDGE has not become the technology of choice for many M2M vendors.”

EDGE is in some ways a logical option for M2M applications. A 2.5G technology, it operates in the same frequency bands as GSM/GPRS, but with greater spectral efficiency and lower cost. Since many M2M use cases don’t require 3G speeds and bandwidth and not all carriers have 3G spectrum licenses, EDGE would seem a useful upgrade path from GSM/GPRS.

But, says Lucero, “Module shipment data since 2003 shows no significant adoption of EDGE in the M2M market. After many years of only nominal shipments, ABI Research must now conclude that EDGE will likely never gain traction in the future.”

Application developers are largely either staying with the GSM/GPRS standard where bandwidth or future-proofing are not prime considerations, or are shifting directly to WCDMA in cases where they are.

Why this lack of enthusiasm? Developers have proven extremely cost-sensitive, opting to forgo even the minimal extra expense of EDGE if they can live with GSM/GPRS. Also, concern about future-proofing appears to be growing. Despite EDGE’s immediate benefits, it does not address fundamental anxieties about GSM/GPRS/EDGE networks being “turned off” in favor of 3G/4G at some point within the deployed life-span of M2M applications.

This doesn’t mean that EDGE is never used. It has seen uptake in commercial telematics and consumer OEM telematics, as well as fixed wireless terminals and industrial PDAs.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Positioning cellphone to influence the economy as a whole

NEW YORK, USA: Blue Spoon Consulting has published a system-level framework for strategy innovation by the telecommunications industry.

Available as a briefing note for download through the Blue Spoon Consulting website, Positioning the Cellphone to Influence the US Economy shifts the premise of strategy itself, from an 'experience curve' based on how best to develop and market wireless products and services, to the idea of a 'collaboration curve' based on novel linkages to create new categories for growth.

This is a whole new model to improve strategic performance, unlock "next practice" business concepts, and reposition the industry as a keystone to new economic systems.

UNH-IOL launches consortium for latest IEEE ratified Ethernet standard

DURHAM, USA: The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL), an independent provider of broad-based testing and standards conformance services for the networking industry, announced the launch of a new consortium for companies preparing products for the IEEE 802.3ba standard for high speed Ethernet.

The consortium is currently accepting founding member companies who will have an early opportunity to provide input into the testing process and have market ready products as the high speed Ethernet standards evolve.

As the demand for increased bandwidth continues to accelerate, the need to extend the current protocol to adapt to market needs was an imperative. The IEEE 802.3ba Ethernet standard was ratified this past June and is the first standard to specify two new Ethernet speeds – 40 Gb/s for computing and networked storage applications and 100 Gb/s for core networking applications.

The IEEE 802.3ba Task Force goal in initiating the standard was not only to handle higher speeds, but to maintain compatibility with existing devices and preserve previous investments in research and development.

The UNH-IOL offers a variety of testing programs, or consortiums, representing a collaboration of industry leaders in network equipment, test equipment and industry forums, as well as service providers. Working together, the consortiums can decrease research and development and quality assurance expenses, reduce product time to market and drive the industry acceptance of a technology.

“As standards evolve, our on-going participation in Ethernet standards development has given us particular insights into the best ways to test products and ensure interoperability,” said Jeff Lapak, senior engineer for the UNH-IOL. “We encourage companies to get involved early to have the most impact on implementing the new standard and preparing for market adoption.”

The UNH-IOL collaborative testing model distributes the cost of performing trusted, independent testing and validation through an annual membership. The fee for participation in the 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium is $24K.

The UNH-IOL provides broad-based flexible testing services to cost effectively meet network interoperability requirements for the industry and has been conducting Ethernet testing for more than 16 years. By operating one of the world’s most comprehensive test beds, the UNH-IOL is the de facto standard for knowledge and experience in Ethernet testing.

iPhone 4 still the smartphone benchmark but Android appeal is growing

Adam Leach, Principal Analyst, Ovum

AUSTRALIA: In three short years, the iPhone has become the industry benchmark for high-end smartphones and the fourth generation device only reinforces this view. The success of the iPhone is down to a number of interrelated factors.

First, Apple created a device with a genuinely unique user experience, one that consumers still find engaging and easy to use. Second, Apple wrapped this user experience into a well designed and sleek form factor. Third, the company created an end-to-end platform that integrates Apple's own services (e.g., iTunes) as well as third party services onto the device (through the hugely successful App Store).

But perhaps more important subsequently has been Apple’s ability to build and motivate a large and active developer community that produces content, in the form of apps.

This ecosystem of developers and the value they bring to the platform, as well as to consumers, is the hardest aspect of the iPhone proposition for other companies to replicate, especially given the reluctance of developers to support multiple software platforms. It is also the reason Apple is so keen to protect this community from disintermediation by the open web and hence its rather tough stance with Adobe over Flash.

However, the iPhone 4 faces much stiffer competition than its predecessors. The rise of Google Android over the last two years has been phenomenal and is allowing manufacturers to create appealing alternatives to the iPhone; critically at cheaper prices. These handsets are more than just iPhone clones.

The risk to Apple is that these devices offer greater freedom with available content and may prove more appealing, if it offers the right user and developer experience, than a device with Apple approved content only. This may ultimately be what puts the brakes on unlimited iPhone growth.

Mobile application download and revenue forecast: 2010–15Source: Ovum.

Emerging handset provider strategies in China

Tracey Chen, Senior Analyst, Ovum

AUSTRALIA: Competition between handset providers is intensifying in China. White-label handset providers have driven gross margins per unit from nearly $90 in 2004 to less than $1.50 now.

Meanwhile, more domestic and international players have joined the market; for example, Lenovo recently launched its own smartphone, and RIM has announced a partnership with China Telecom.

Some handset providers have focused on volume, while others are carving out higher-margin positions. Providers need to set up appropriate partnerships to execute these strategies, and have recently tended to opt for one or a combination of the following.

Path I: supporting operator requirements
In this scenario, the operators control the user interface and pre-install their own value-added services. In return, the handset providers gain commitments to minimum device purchases and the ability to leverage the operators’ sales networks.

All China’s operators have adopted partnership strategies of this kind for 3G handsets; for example, Lenovo has teamed up with China Unicom to launch LePhone, a smartphone aimed at the iPhone’s target segment and pre-installed with China Unicom applications.

Path II: handsets as consumer electronic devices
In this case, handset providers cooperate with content and application providers. Certain special-featured devices will be popular in specific segments; for example, music devices such as Sony Ericsson’s music handsets. In some cases handset providers have partnered with vertical Internet portals; for example, Nokia has teamed up with www.tudou.com , a popular online video website, to launch a handset with a pre-installed widget for Tudou’s video services.

This strategy creates differentiation and a selling point for attracting users in targeted segments. It has already seen some success, particularly in the youth segment, attracting young people who want access to these websites on the move.

Path III: handsets as application platforms
Here handset providers act as an enabler, and establish an open platform for third-party developers; Apple, RIM, and Nokia have all taken this path. However, this strategy can be risky due to conflict with telcos. All of the mainland Chinese operators have launched their own application stores, which compete with handset-based offers.

While China Mobile was able to negotiate a partnership agreement with Nokia that favored its own application store, the operator’s leverage is partly due to aggressive handset subsidies that will be expensive to maintain. Chinese operators are reluctant to become bitpipes, but with handset providers expanding control of the user interface, it is hard to imagine them reversing this trend.

Pressure is on the operators
In the 3G era, all operators realize the importance of the handset and have launched significant handset subsidy policies. Path I is beneficial for operators that maximize their bargaining power by partnering with weaker brands. In contrast, handset providers need to avoid relying too much on operator subsidies and should develop their core competencies to follow the second and third paths.

In the final analysis, the player that controls the user interface will win the lion’s share of margin. Handset providers are currently in a stronger long-term position, and operators must use their subsidy strategies to buy time to develop their own content offers and brand recognition. This would be impossible in a smaller market, but the sheer scale of their Chinese customer bases is an asset that few operators enjoy.

European carrier deploys XTT 5000 handheld test solution from Sunrise Telecom

SAN JOSE, USA: Sunrise Telecom Inc. announced that a Tier One European telecom carrier has selected its XTT 5000 handheld test device, which now includes Fibre Channel testing capabilities.

The handheld, lightweight XTT 5000 has dual port capabilities for simultaneously testing two Fibre Channel links, cutting in half the time typically spent on link activation and verification, and boosting workforce productivity for service provider test and measurement technicians. The XTT 5000 also provides testing for the installation and maintenance of 10 Gigabit Ethernet, Gigabit Metro Ethernet and IP services.

With the latest option, the XTT 5000 allows service providers to test the 1G, 2G and 4G Fibre Channel links used to connect storage area network services employed for high-bandwidth tasks, such as transactional activity in the banking and finance industries.

Bahaa Moukadam, Sunrise Telecom’s CEO, said the European carrier chose the XTT 5000 because it simplifies the test and measurement process, saving the carrier time and allowing for more productive use of test and measurement resources in the field.

Moukadam added the carrier also commended the XTT 5000’s overall feature set and intuitive user interface as well as its compact size and its light weight compared with competing test and measurement solutions.

"Our updated XTT 5000 solution facilitates installation of Ethernet and Fibre Channel links rapidly and efficiently, while reducing operational costs, meeting SLAs, and giving service provider customers more reliable networks,” Moukadam said.

The XTT 5000 also provides Web-based remote operation through a LAN, giving field technicians access to remote engineers who can help troubleshoot problems without the need for a site visit. Field personnel can quickly and easily comprehend the XTT 5000’s intuitive user interface, reducing the time and expense of device training.

The Dual Port Fibre Channel option for the XTT 5000 is available today from Sunrise Telecom as a field upgradeable option.

Monday, July 26, 2010

CENX, EXFO to deploy industry’s first off-net SLA monitoring for carrier Ethernet services

LOS ANGELES, USA: CENX Inc., the operator of the world’s first and most connected Carrier Ethernet exchange with more than 10 million accessible Ethernet Service Locations (ESLs), announced the industry’s first deployment of off-net service-level SLA monitoring for Carrier Ethernet services.

The new monitoring service is a result of a collaborative partnership between CENX and EXFO, a leading provider of test and service assurance solutions for network operators. This new capability yields compelling advantages for service providers interconnecting via a CENX exchange.

Previously, when a service provider needed service-level SLA monitoring to off-net locations via a partner network, their practical choices were to (i) “run blind,” with no ability to measure, alarm and report on the Ethernet service quality to these off-net locations or (ii) deploy expensive, customer premises monitoring equipment at each of these off-net locations.

This latter approach also required high ongoing costs as the service provider needed to put in place mechanisms to deploy, spare and repair this equipment for all off-net locations on a global basis.

Now, when a service provider chooses to reach off-net ESLs via a CENX exchange, a much more elegant and cost-effective mechanism is available. With the integration of EXFO’s scalable and flexible service assurance technology, the CENX System proactively monitors each Ethernet virtual connection (EVC) from the CENX exchange to the off-net Ethernet Service Locations.

EXFO’s BrixNGN Carrier Ethernet Service Assurance System utilizes a scalable vendor-agnostic methodology to monitor any EVC regardless of the type of vendor equipment at the demarcation points. This enables constant, normalized measurement of the performance of each service against its SLA criteria.

The monitoring Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are gathered centrally and analyzed to provide both real-time notification of service degradation beyond preset thresholds and historical SLA reports. Buyers and sellers of the monitored EVC can securely access this information in a normalized form (i.e., consistent across the different seller networks) either via the CENX Market web interface or via open APIs directly into their operational support systems (OSS).

“This partnership with EXFO represents a significant breakthrough in the industry. It allows a service provider to deliver an on-net experience for their off-net customer locations without the huge cost overhead of deploying additional monitoring equipment,” said Nan Chen, president of CENX. “Best-in-class monitoring is a key element of CENX’s strategy, which enables and supports all elements of Carrier Ethernet services via our exchanges.”

“This is a very exciting development both for EXFO and for the industry,” said Vivian Hudson, GM, EXFO Service Assurance.

“We believe that the combination of EXFO’s recognized leadership and CENX’s innovative Carrier Ethernet exchanges create a new level of worldwide neutral, standards-based and vendor-agnostic measured services providing enhanced end-to-end Ethernet performance visibility that is key to the success of service providers in this growing market.”

LiMo Foundation, GNOME Foundation to catalyze further open source innovation

THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS: LiMo Foundation and GNOME Foundation announced a key partnership with the objective of collaborating closely on open source innovation.

Starting immediately, LiMo Foundation will become a member of GNOME Foundation’s Advisory Board and GNOME Foundation will become an Industry Liaison Partner for LiMo Foundation. This development represents a natural formalization founded upon the significant use of GNOME Mobile software components within Release 2 and Release 3 of the LiMo PlatformTM.

“LiMo has a proud heritage of well established open source technology and is committed to bringing open source innovation to a broad range of commercial products,” said Morgan Gillis, executive director of LiMo Foundation. “This close alignment between LiMo and GNOME provides important support for this commitment and will take in an expanding ecosystem of products and services developed by GNOME developers in conjunction with the members of LiMo Foundation.”

The LiMo Platform is a Linux based mobile device platform developed collaboratively by a group of mobile industry leaders using high quality open source technologies, including multiple components from GNOME Mobile project such as Glib, GTK+, D-Bus, GStreamer and BlueZ, amongst others.

“The objective of GNOME Mobile is to provide a platform for the next stage of client computing. We are committed to bringing the quality and freedom of GNOME to users on mobile platforms,” said Stormy Peters, Executive Director of GNOME Foundation. “We are excited to work with commercial partners like the LiMo Foundation to ensure that GNOME Mobile technologies are available on mobile and connected devices incorporating the LiMo platform.”

Hitachi Cable develops world's first 40 Gigabit port terabit box switch

TOKYO, JAPAN: Hitachi Cable has announced the development of the terabit box switch Apresia 15000-64XL-PSR, and Apresia 15000-32XL-PSR of its APRESIA series of Ethernet switches.

Both the terabit box switch Apresia 15000-64XL-PSR and Apresia 15000-32XL-PSR will be the world's first 40 gigabit port equipment. Sales of these new switches will start at the end of February 2011.

Hitachi Cable developed its original brand of Ethernet switches APRESIA series in 2003, and has expanded its sales to carrier wide-area Ethernet services and enterprise LAN.

APRESIA has been highly regarded for its high reliability and its flexible feature development that consistently meet customers' demands. The enterprise Apresia 13000 series developed under the new BoxCore concept for improving network efficiency by using box switches as core switches has also received high customer satisfaction.

In recent years, for a more efficient core business system operation, there are increasing businesses that construct intra-firm data centers or leverage data centers as a backbone of cloud computing, which is used to provide software and information services via a network.

For this reason, the demands for wider broadband networks are increasing at backbone or server access points where traffic gets congested. To meet the demand for such high capacity, IEEE 802 Committee has promoted the standardization of the next generation 40G/100G technology. In addition, as the efficiency of IT investment becomes more important, the need for more cost-effective network equipment also rises.

In the context of such trends, Hitachi Cable developed the world's first 40 gigabit box switches, Apresia 15000-64XL-PSR and Apresia 15000-32XL-PSR.

Hitachi Cable develops world's first 40 Gigabit port terabit box switch

TOKYO, JAPAN: Hitachi Cable has announced the development of the terabit box switch Apresia 15000-64XL-PSR, and Apresia 15000-32XL-PSR of its APRESIA series of Ethernet switches.

Both the terabit box switch Apresia 15000-64XL-PSR and Apresia 15000-32XL-PSR will be the world's first 40 gigabit port equipment. Sales of these new switches will start at the end of February 2011.

Hitachi Cable developed its original brand of Ethernet switches APRESIA series in 2003, and has expanded its sales to carrier wide-area Ethernet services and enterprise LAN.

APRESIA has been highly regarded for its high reliability and its flexible feature development that consistently meet customers' demands. The enterprise Apresia 13000 series developed under the new BoxCore concept for improving network efficiency by using box switches as core switches has also received high customer satisfaction.

In recent years, for a more efficient core business system operation, there are increasing businesses that construct intra-firm data centers or leverage data centers as a backbone of cloud computing, which is used to provide software and information services via a network.

For this reason, the demands for wider broadband networks are increasing at backbone or server access points where traffic gets congested. To meet the demand for such high capacity, IEEE 802 Committee has promoted the standardization of the next generation 40G/100G technology. In addition, as the efficiency of IT investment becomes more important, the need for more cost-effective network equipment also rises.

In the context of such trends, Hitachi Cable developed the world's first 40 gigabit box switches, Apresia 15000-64XL-PSR and Apresia 15000-32XL-PSR.

Return to M2M opportunity with vigour

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Ovum’s newly published research on “Operator Strategies in machine-to-machine (M2M) communications” reveals that M2M communications is once again a hot topic for mobile network operators, who have returned to this application area with refreshed strategies and increased appetites.

“The increased interest in M2M has two origins: first, many operators are positioning themselves to provide infrastructure, connectivity, and service as enterprises seek to connect their major assets to their networks. M2M in a B2B environment is all about asset optimisation and process efficiency,” noted Evan Kirchheimer, leader of Ovum’s Enterprise Telecoms practice. A classic example is smart metering, which has been sparked in part by regulation. But we also see opportunities in vending/point-of-sale and logistics.

“Second, and potentially an order of magnitude more important, is the network-enablement of an increasing number of consumer devices,” added Kirchheimer. Consumer electronics companies expect their products to be always connected, and therefore are increasingly interested in M2M. This raises the possibility of major customer deals, some of which will be global in scale.

“The launch of eReaders such as the Kindle has provided a new impetus for M2M,” continued Kirchheimer. While not all operators see the value in such a deal, and believe a more telco-advantageous revenue model is needed, they recognize that it is a major opportunity in terms of numbers of connected devices, and to top it off, new delivery and commercial models are emerging (including the use of a partner, such as Jasper Wireless, for its M2M service delivery platform). Such developments make M2M services simpler for operators to build and faster to launch, as well as less risky for potential customers.

“Ovum expects almost all of the major global operators to have cemented their strategies by the first half of 2011,” continues Kirchheimer.

The challenge will be for operators with ambition to go beyond simple network provision and add value by working with module and hardware suppliers to ensure all devices are network-ready, and to partner with SIs to map the service to their clients’ business requirements.

“On the other hand, some operators will choose a wholesale route whereby they provide the connectivity and relevant partner relationships, but devise revenue models centered on volume. The two approaches are not mutually exclusive,” concluded Kirchheimer.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

TRAI releases Indian telecom services quarterly performance indicators

NEW DELHI, INDIA: The Indian Telecom Quarterly Performance Indicators Report for January – March 2010 released yesterday by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) reveals that the number of telephone subscribers has increased from 562.16 million at the end of December-2009 to 621.28 million at the end of March-2010.

This marks a sequential growth of 10.52 percent over the previous quarter and reflects year-on-year (Y-O-Y) growth of 44.58 percent over the same quarter of last year. With this, the overall teledensity in India has reached 52.74 as on March 31, 2010.

Trends in Telephone subscribers and Teledensity in IndiaSource: TRAI, India.

Subscription in urban areas has grown from 387.63 million at the end of December-2009 to 420.47 million at the end of March-2010, taking the urban teledensity from 110.96 to 119.73. Rural subscription has increased from 174.53 to 200.81 million leading to increase in rural teledensity from 21.16 to 24.29, during this period.

About 56 percent of the total net additions have been in urban areas as compared to 57 percent in the previous quarter. The share of rural subscribers has increased to 32.3 percent in total subscription from 31 percent in December-2009.

Composition of Telephone SubscribersSource: TRAI, India.

With 59.23 million net additions during the quarter, total wireless (GSM + CDMA) subscriber base has increased to 584.32 million at the end of March-2010, and the wireless teledensity has reached 49.60.

Internet subscribers have increased from 15.24 million at the end of December-2009 to 16.18 millions at the end of March-2010, registering a quarterly growth rate of 6.17 percent.

The number of broadband subscribers increased from 7.82 million at the end of December-2009 to 8.71 million at the end of March-2010, registering a quarterly growth of 12.15 percent and Y-O-Y growth of 41.05 percent.

Share of broadband subscription in total Internet subscription increased from 51.3 percent in December-2009 to 54.2 percent in March-2010. Also, 86.6 percent of the broadband subscribers are using Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) technology.

Trends in Internet/Broadband subscriptionSource: TRAI, India.

The average revenue per user (ARPU) for GSM-full mobility service declined by 8.6 percent, from Rs. 144 in quarter ending December, 2009 to Rs. 131 in quarter ending March-2010, with Y-O-Y decrease of 36.1 percent.

ARPU for CDMA – full mobility service declined by 7.4 percent, from Rs. 82 in quarter ending December-2009 to Rs. 76 in quarter ending March-2010. ARPU for CDMA has declined by 22.9 percent on Y-O-Y basis.

The complete report is available on TRAI’s website.

Source: Press Information Bureau, India

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ovum on Vodafone's results -- Europe poses challenge

INDIA: Following the announcement of Vodafone's results, independent telecoms analyst Ovum released a statement.

Emeka Obiodu, senior analyst at Ovum, said: “Vodafone’s result is great news for the company as it is the first time it has returned to positive revenue growth since the recession struck in 2008.

“India, Vodacom and, remarkably, Turkey did well, but the challenge for Vodafone is in Europe.

“As Ovum had said in the past, Vodafone’s key strategic agenda should be to nurture their European business back to growth before growth in their Indian operation inevitably stalls.

“The result shows they have largely achieved that. Both Germany and the UK have returned to organic growth. Performance in Spain is understandable given the depth of the economic problems in the country.

“It is worth noting that the growth in Europe has been driven by increased uptake of smartphone and mobile connectivity packages. This is certainly good news. But there is no indication that Vodafone has had success with its mobile content solutions such as Vodafone 360.”

Friday, July 23, 2010

Aquantia sets new bar for 10GBASE-T market with industry’s highest performance 40nm PHY

MILPITAS, USA: Aquantia, the leading developer of mainstream 10GBASE-T PHY solutions, has achieved a performance breakthrough with its 40nm generation product platform, demonstrating 120-meter reach on a Category 6A cabling system in a data center environment. The company’s full portfolio of the industry’s highest-performing PHY chips includes quad, dual and single-port configurations.

Robust cable reach with margin above the standard 100-meter mark is important for accelerated adoption of 10GBASE-T technology. While others have set the 100-meter reach as their goal, Aquantia’s solution has established a new bar in performance.

Additional margin enhances the end-user experience and mainstreams the design for system OEMs. End-users benefit from the additional margin as it allows for variability in connectors, cable bends, etc. It also helps system OEMs to simplify their design and lowers their cost by allowing for generic magnetic, fewer PCB layers and overall enhanced reliability.

Aquantia partnered with Siemon to test its flagship 40nm 10GBASE-T PHYs across the wide range of copper cables typically deployed in enterprise and data centers. The tests were performed on cable configurations extending beyond the IEEE 802.3an standard of 55m on Cat 6 and 100m on Cat 6A and Cat 7, pushing the envelope to the maximum insertion loss defined by TIA standards.

The tests demonstrated the Aquantia 40nm 10GBASE-T PHY running error-free performance over a 120-meter Siemon Z-MAX Cat 6A channel, the maximum distance achieved so far in the industry for 10Gigabit Ethernet on copper.

“For Aquantia to extend the transmission distance of high performance Category 6A cabling to 120 meters is the ultimate evidence of the robustness and superiority of its 10GBASE-T architecture and its successful implementation in 40nm,” says John Siemon, CTO at Siemon.

“This is a further confirmation of the maturity of the 10GBASE-T industry and the lead taken by Aquantia as an outperforming silicon supplier. We are excited about working with Aquantia. Instead of shortening the distance over copper cabling in the Data Center and falling short of industry standard requirements, we are extending it while offering end-users greater design flexibility,” says Siemon.

Aquantia’s 40nm devices builds upon its disruptive, patent protected, Mixed-Mode Signal Processing architecture, which has the characteristics of both simplifying the Analog Front End (AFE) and reducing the size and complexity of the digital section of the chip by performing advanced Signal Processing in analog. The net result is lower power consumption and lower cost compared to competitive approaches.

Ramin Shirani, Aquantia vice president of engineering, said: “The superior linearity of our AFE along with our MMSP architecture are the cornerstones of our product offering and the reasons for this latest achievement. We are already working to break our own record as we have done in previous generations.”

Nokia Q2 2010 net sales EUR 10 billion

FINLAND: Nokia's second quarter 2010 net sales increased 1 percent to EUR 10 billion, compared with EUR 9.9 billion in the second quarter 2009. At constant currency, group net sales would have decreased 4 percent year-on-year.

Q2 2010 Highlights
- Nokia net sales of EUR 10.0 billion, up 1 percent year-on-year and 5 percent sequentially (down 4 percent and up 2 percent at constant currency).
- Devices & Services net sales of EUR 6.8 billion, up 3 percent year-on-year and 2 percent sequentially (down 2 percent and 1 percent at constant currency).
- Services net sales of EUR 158 million, up 7 percent sequentially; billings of EUR 295 million, up 29 percent sequentially.
- Nokia total mobile device volumes of 111.1 million units, up 8 percent year-on-year and 3 percent sequentially.
- Nokia converged mobile device (smartphone and mobile computer) volumes of 24 million units, up 42 percent year-on-year and 12 percent sequentially.
- Nokia mobile device ASP (including services revenue) of EUR 61, down from EUR 62 in Q1 2010.
- Devices & Services gross margin of 30.2 percent, down from 34 percent in Q2 2009 and 32.4 percent in Q1 2010.
- Devices & Services non-IFRS operating margin of 9.5 percent, down from 12.2 percent in Q2 2009 and 12.1 percent in Q1 2010.
- NAVTEQ non-IFRS net sales of EUR 253 million, up 71 percent year-on-year and 34 percent sequentially (up 69 percent and 30 percent at constant currency).
- Nokia Siemens Networks net sales of EUR 3 billion, down 5 percent year-on-year and up 12 percent sequentially (down 11 percent and up 10 percent at constant currency).
- Nokia Siemens Networks non-IFRS operating margin of 1.7 percent, up from 0.1 percent in Q2 2009 and 0.6 percent in Q1 2010.
- Nokia operating cash flow of EUR 944 million.
- Total cash and other liquid assets of EUR 9.5 billion at the end of Q2 2010.
- Nokia taxes were unfavorably impacted by Nokia Siemens Networks taxes as no tax benefits are recognized for certain Nokia Siemens Networks deferred tax items. If Nokia's estimated long-term tax rate of 26 percent had been applied, non-IFRS Nokia EPS would have been approximately half a Euro cent higher.

Olli-Pekka Kallasvoo, CEO, Nokia, said: "Despite facing continuing competitive challenges, we ended the second quarter with several reasons to be optimistic about our future. For one, the global handset market has continued to grow at a healthy pace, led by some of the less mature markets where Nokia is strong. We are also encouraged by the solid second quarter performance of our Mobile Phones business, helped by an improving line-up of affordable models.

"In smartphones, we continue to renew our portfolio. We believe that the Nokia N8, the first of our Symbian^3 devices, will have a user experience superior to that of any smartphone Nokia has created. The Nokia N8 will be followed soon thereafter by further Symbian^3 smartphones that we are confident will give the platform broader appeal and reach, and kick-start Nokia's fightback at the higher end of the market."Source: Nokia.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Worldwide camera phone shipment volume likely to exceed 1 billion units in 2010

TAIWAN: According to the MIC, Taiwan, affected by the global economic downturn, the shipment volume of mobile phone brand-name vendors Nokia, Motorola, and Sony Ericsson suffered from shipment declines in 2009. As a result, worldwide full-year mobile phone shipment volume in 2009 declined 2.3 percent year-on-year to 1.25 billion units.

With the continuous falling prices of mobile phone camera modules, mobile phone vendors continued to follow their product strategies envisaging camera modules as standard items for mobile phones, shipment volume of camera phones for full-year 2009 managed to achieve a 1.2 percent year-on-year growth to 920 million units. Camera phones accounted for 74 percent of the total mobile phone shipments in 2009.

Worldwide Camera Phone Market Scale, 2009-2013Source: MIC, May 2010.

In anticipation of the global economic recovery in 2010, with demand for mobile phones in emerging markets continuing to grow, combining the emergence of replacement demand for mobile phones in mature markets, five brand-name mobile phone vendors adjusted upward their shipment forecasts for 2010.

It is anticipated that worldwide mobile phone shipment volume for the full year 2010 will total 1.32 billion units, representing a 5.9 percent year-on-year growth. With mobile phone brands continuing to increase the shipment share of their camera phones worldwide, worldwide full-year camera phone shipment volume in 2010 is expected to exceed 1 billion units, growing 11.7 percent compared to the previous year.

The share of mobile phones equipped with a camera module is forecasted to reach 78.1 percent in 2010, up from 74 percent in 2009.

New CE players entering smartphone market this year to account for over 26 million units by 2015

HAMPSHIRE, UK: A new study from Juniper Research has forecast that challengers from the consumer electronics market will achieve global sales of smartphones exceeding 26 million by 2015. In addition, Asia will assert greater influence in the production of Smartphone devices.

“The availability of the Android operating system and the commoditised nature of several elements of the handset supply chain are behind both of these developments,” says Anthony Cox, senior Analyst at Juniper Research. “Any manufacturer with consumer electronics expertise can add mobility to their devices by incorporating an Android operating system into a smartphone,” he says, adding that they are doing so partly due to the tight margins in the PC industry.

Until five or six years ago Western Europe dominated the handset market, the US manufacturers led by RIM and latterly Apple then began to assert their dominance. The market is shifting again as handset manufacturers like HTC, LG and ZTE bolster their smartphone portfolios, finds the report.

Further findings from the Smartphones report include:
• Smartphone functionality will increasingly filter down to mid-tier handsets.
• Competition will drive smartphone pricing down, though this may be mitigated against by the launch of handsets with new functionality.
• The combination of the smartphone and the app store will result in substantial increases in data usage over the smartphone device.
• 3D functionality and dual core processors are among several technical development which will come to light over the next five years.

At least 10 players are planning to launch both smartphone and tablets this year but it remains to be seen how they will fare: “Barriers to entry may have come down but competition is fiercer than ever,” says Cox. “The consumer is likely to benefit most through lower prices and enhanced functionality,” he says, even if some players fall by the wayside.

China broadband market sizzles

EL SEGUNDO, USA: After a disappointing fourth quarter of 2009, the number of broadband subscribers in China posted impressive sequential growth of 57 percent in the first quarter of 2010, according to iSuppli Corp.

China in the first quarter posted the fastest growth in broadband subscribers of any global region, as presented in the attached figure. The country accounted for 37 percent of new worldwide subscribers during the quarter in the first quarter, as presented in the figure.Source: iSuppli, USA.

Based on the performance in April and May, the blistering growth should continue in the second quarter, with an estimated 5.5 million net new subscribers added when final figures are tallied.

Growth isn’t expected to slow down as the Chinese government in April approved a stimulus plan for building fiber broadband networks through seven government ministries. Overall, the stimulus plan calls for $22 billion in total investment in fiber networks that will establish more than 80 million fiber broadband ports by the end of 2011.

iSuppli’s predicts China’s broadband subscribers will rise to 183.9 million by 2014, up from 103.2 million in 2009.

“While some believed that the poor performance in the fourth quarter of 2009 would signal a slowdown to the stimulus in China for broadband, this doesn’t seem to be the case,” said Lee Ratliff, senior analyst for broadband and the digital home at iSuppli. “Along with the stimulus program, first-half subscriber growth indicates that the broadband market in China is still going strong and will likely remain the dominant for years to come—assuming the economy remains stable.”

Get stimulated
China’s decision to inject $22 billion into fiber deployment shows a high level of commitment from the government to develop a strong base for fiber access in China.

The seven ministries that will participate in the broadband stimulus program to provide new fiber deployments across the country include the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Science, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban-Rural Construction, and the State Administration of Taxation.

To increase deployment of the technology, the stimulus program will provide tax incentives and subsidies to domestic fiber broadband equipment manufacturers as well as to vendors of optical chips and optical modules.

Unlike previous stimulus programs, this new policy directly targets and benefits the equipment manufacturers.

Who benefits?
The current expansion in the broadband market and its projected growth due to the stimulus program will continue to fuel the upward movement of Chinese telecom OEMs as well, particularly those with a large stake in the optical market.

The most likely winners from this blistering growth in the broadband space are Huawei Technologies, ZTE, Shanghai Bell Alcatel and FiberHome. Similarly, optical vendors Source Photonics, WTD, NeoPhotonics, AcceLink and WXZTE will see some benefit.

Western vendors that are looking for a piece of the pie from this stimulus program will likely need to partner with local companies or deepen relations with Tier 1 domestic vendors and OEMs in order to take advantage. And for vendors without a long-term strategy for China, they must develop one quickly or risk being left out of one of the most significant broadband markets in the world.

Source: iSuppli, USA.

Teledata uses Mindspeed’s Comcerto media processing solutions for BroadAccess multiservice access gateway family

NEWPORT BEACH, USA: Mindspeed Technologies Inc. announced that Teledata Networks, the international business unit of Enablence, is shipping Mindspeed’s Comcerto communications convergence processors on their BroadAccess family of multiservice access gateways for Access/Fiber-to-the-x (FTTx) networks.

Teledata Networks is a leading global provider of innovative multiservice access solutions for next-generation networks.

Teledata is using Mindspeed’s Comcerto processors to speed time-to-market for its growing family of BroadAccess multiservice access gateways, which provide wireline service providers with an optimal solution for delivering advanced triple-play and business services and simplifying the migration to next-generation networks and FTTx network architectures.

The Comcerto solution is being used in Teledata’s BroadAccess platforms, which are optimized for triple-play and other broadband services. The BroadAccess family delivers full carrier Ethernet capabilities, with complete support for voice and IP broadband services over copper and fiber, and can operate as a multiservice gateway, IP digital subscriber line access multiplexer (IP-DSLAM) or carrier Ethernet switch in any fiber-access topology over a wide variety of service interfaces.

“Mindspeed’s Comcerto processors offer a complete, fully tested, high-density voice over IP (VoIP) media-processing solution that allows our BroadAccess systems to deliver all of the voice features our customers require,” said David Abrahamoff, vice president of R&D with Teledata.

“Additionally, the Comcerto processors’ scalability and common software architecture has allowed us to quickly and cost-effectively create new products with lower channel densities and a common feature set.”

“Mindspeed is pleased to provide our Comcerto media-processing solutions to Teledata, and to be supporting the company’s rapid expansion into such key markets as Asia, Europe and Latin America,” said Kurt Michel, marketing director for Mindspeed’s communications convergence processing (CCP) business unit. “By choosing the Comcerto solution to help fuel its growth in more than 55 countries, we believe that Teledata has validated the features and maturity of the Comcerto platform for global deployment.”

Mindspeed’s Comcerto communications convergence processors combine powerful digital signal processor (DSP) cores, acceleration co-processors and flexible packet processing engines to provide complete system-on-chip (SoC) media processing solutions. This approach reduces overall design time and system cost.

The Comcerto processors support packet-TDM and packet-packet operation for a variety of media processing applications, including media gateways and session border controllers (SBCs). Mindspeed also includes robust, industry-proven software for Comcerto devices, delivering a true, carrier-class SoC solution for VoIP applications.

Undersea cables and WiMax to propel Africa’s broadband growth

CAMBRIDGE, USA: Driven by improvements in the terrestrial backbones and last-mile networks, the new undersea cables surrounding Africa will boost the broadband penetration rate from 3.2 percent in 2010 to 6.8 percent in 2015, according to a new report from Pyramid Research.

“We predict that WiMax will grow at a CAGR of 30 percent between 2010 and 2015; we also foresee similar trends in mobile broadband, particularly in the data cards/modems”

New Undersea Cables Help Boost Africa’s Broadband Prospects analyzes the factors related to the new undersea cables that will be instrumental in the growth of broadband adoption and revenue in Africa, specifically how variations in the state of domestic terrestrial networks in the regions where these cables land can impact potential operator revenue and broadband penetration rates among end users.

New undersea cables will drive the growth of total broadband users in Africa from 40 million in 2010 to 92 million in 2015 at a CAGR of 18 percent, while revenue will increase at a CAGR of 16 percent in the same period to US$20 billion, notes Kerem Arsal, Analyst at Pyramid Research.

During the forecast period, WiMax will take center stage in the coverage for the last-mile access and its access lines. “We predict that WiMax will grow at a CAGR of 30 percent between 2010 and 2015; we also foresee similar trends in mobile broadband, particularly in the data cards/modems,” says Arsal.

“Many African telecom markets have the potential to improve their poor broadband penetration rates and limited revenues and transform their competitive structures,” Arsal claims, “however, there is still much work to be done by the players across the telecom value chain if they wish to take full advantage of this opportunity.”

Tiered pricing strategies designed by undersea cable operators for smaller capacities and shorter durations, such as that announced by EASSy (Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System), will improve competitiveness in the AME region. Growing broadband access will also need end-user devices that can exploit the available bandwidth.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

US government certifies Fujitsu packet optical networking platform

RICHARDSON, USA: Fujitsu, a leading provider of business, information technology, and communications solutions, announced that its FLASHWAVE 9500 Packet Optical Networking Platform (Packet ONP), having demonstrated exceptional interoperability and information assurance performance capabilities, has become the latest of the company’s optical networking solutions on the Unified Capabilities (UC) Approved Products List (APL).

The FLASHWAVE 9500 joins the FLASHWAVE 4100 ES micro Packet ONP and FLASHWAVE 4500 Multiservice Provisioning Platform (MSPP), among other Fujitsu platforms, on this list of approved products for deployment by the US government.

The FLASHWAVE 9500 Packet ONP is leading a new class of optical networking solutions that simultaneously support Connection-oriented Ethernet (COE), ROADM and SONET/SDH transport technologies. By combining circuit and packet-based switching the FLASHWAVE 9500 platform enables a migration away from disparate legacy technologies toward a ubiquitous, secure and highly reliable converged Global Information Grid (GIG).

“The growing list of Fujitsu products on the APL is further evidence of our long-standing commitment to meeting the communications needs of the federal government,” said Jeana Cunningham, vice president of federal sales at Fujitsu Network Communications. “The FLASHWAVE 9500 Packet ONP, manufactured in Richardson, Texas, supports the government’s need for a highly-secure, always-on global network connecting those in the office and those in the field with required mission-critical information.

The FLASHWAVE 9500 Packet ONP supports the creation of a universal optical infrastructure where both Ethernet and SONET/SDH traffic can be aggregated and transported in its native format.

Integrated COE transport technology combines packet aggregation and connectivity services with the proven operational robustness of optical networking, including high quality software and database management, management interface functionality, and precision fault sectionalization. The platform’s pluggable ROADM option allows efficient network scalability up to 88 wavelengths.

Fujitsu is a key supplier of SONET, Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) and COE solutions to the federal government. FLASHWAVE optical networking solutions and NETSMART management platforms are available through General Services Administration (GSA) contract number GS-35F-0414K.

US ranks 23rd in broadband development

BOSTON, USA: The United States still trails much of the world in broadband development, ranking 23rd on the list of the top 57 countries, according to rankings released this week by analyst firm Strategy Analytics.

South Korea holds on to the title of the world’s most advanced broadband market. Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Lithuania, and Japan round out the top five slots.

The rankings are the result of a new broadband measurement tool just launched by Strategy Analytics. The “Broadband Composite Index” (BCI) examines and scores the broadband development of fifty-seven individual countries in five categories, including household penetration, speed, affordability, value for money, and urbanicity. The resulting score provides a more balanced and robust view of broadband development, according to the firm.

“The traditional single metric approach of looking at broadband is becoming less relevant,” said Ben Piper, Director of the Strategy Analytics Multiplay Market Dynamics service and author of the report. “We feel confident that our multifactor index is a superior indicator of a country’s relative broadband advancement.”

The United States, which placed 23rd on the list, trailed the rankings in a number of the five index components. Piper says competition—or the lack of it—is to blame for the high prices and low average speeds in the US.

“With essentially zero intra-platform competition, US service providers have little incentive to innovate offerings or differentiate beyond par,” said Piper.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

NSN to acquire certain wireless infrastructure assets of Motorola

Julien Grivolas, principal analyst, Ovum

AUSTRALIA: NSN has announced plans to acquire Motorola’s GSM, CDMA, WCDMA, LTE, and WiMAX wireless assets for $1.2 billion. NSN will acquire several R&D centers as part of the deal, and approximately 7,500 Motorola employees are expected to be transferred to NSN.

The companies expect to complete the acquisition by the end of 2010, subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approval.

NSN is again an active player driving wireless network equipment industry consolidation
NSN stated a number of times during the past two years that there were still too many players in the wireless equipment industry and that its goal was to remain one of the top three players in the future. To achieve this goal, NSN was convinced that it had to reinforce its position in the US in particular.

Having historically been out of the CDMA business, NSN had a weak position in the US market despite some deals in the mobile core segment (such as an IMS deal with Verizon Wireless for its LTE project) and in the optical area. After its failed attempt to acquire Nortel’s CDMA/LTE assets, Motorola was NSN’s last potential target to achieve this goal. Huawei and ZTE were also in the mix but would have struggled to close such an acquisition for political reasons.

Globally, this deal is mostly about scale and reach. The deal also marks NSN’s entry into the CDMA business, as well as its comeback in the WiMAX infrastructure market. Adding Motorola’s wireless RAN assets – which represented a turnover of $3.7 billion in 2009 – will make NSN better positioned to compete against Ericsson, Huawei, and Alcatel-Lucent.

In the US, the acquisition gives NSN an immediate footprint in the wireless infrastructure business through Motorola’s contracts with Verizon Wireless and Sprint for CDMA, as well as with Clearwire for WiMAX. NSN claims that it will consequently become the number three supplier instead of being number five in the US.

The move also significantly strengthens NSN’s position in Japan.

KDDI is a long-standing CDMA customer of Motorola and is one of the two commercial LTE customers Motorola has been able to secure. Already selected by NTT DoCoMo for LTE, NSN claims that it will be the largest foreign supplier in the Japanese market following the acquisition.

NSN rightly remains out of iDEN business
iDEN is a proprietary technology developed by Motorola, and only Sprint-Nextel and Nextel International’s affiliates use it. Acquiring this declining business would have made no sense for NSN as there would have been no synergies.

Unsurprisingly, Motorola will retain the iDEN business. Motorola will also retain all the patents related to its global wireless businesses, but NSN will have unlimited access to them through a perpetual cross-license. The intellectual property rights were kept because they are considered valuable to other Motorola businesses.

LTE may be the most challenging segment from an integration perspective
Not being in the CDMA business, NSN will just add Motorola’s CDMA portfolio to its own wireless portfolio and will certainly follow Motorola’s current strategy in this segment, which is to ensure profitability by focusing on the requests of its largest customers. Being active in CDMA will better position NSN to tap into the CDMA-to-LTE business opportunity.

We expect that NSN will gradually encourage Motorola’s GSM references to migrate to NSN products. In the UMTS/HSPA domain, Motorola was reselling Huawei’s solutions. We anticipate that NSN will eventually try to attract these references as well.

NSN has been reselling WiMAX solutions from Alvarion since its decision to stop in-house development. With $600 million in revenues, Motorola is a leading WiMAX vendor and NSN will rely on these solutions going forward.

From an integration perspective, the two product lines are mostly complementary except perhaps for LTE. Both NSN and Motorola have invested in the development of LTE (FDD and TDD) solutions. NSN has been positioning its smooth software-based evolution path for its 3GPP customers as being a key differentiator.

Motorola has taken a similar approach to market its solution to its WiMAX customers (such as Clearwire). How to reconcile the two solutions while ensuring synergies is a question mark to us. From a rationalization point of view, TD-LTE may even be the most strategic part of the integration.”

KASIKORNBANK, AIS and Gemalto bring NFC to mobile users in Thailand

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS: Gemalto, a leader in digital security, announced that it will provide its Trusted Services Management (TSM) service to support the launch of Near-Field Communication (NFC) applications in Thailand.

The service is the first pan-Asian deployment for Gemalto’s certified TSM center in Taiwan. This pioneering project has Gemalto partnering with KASIKORNBANK, the country’s second largest bank, and with Advanced Info Services (AIS), the nation’s largest telecommunications operator.

Mobile NFC opens up an entire new dimension in digital freedom for Thai consumers, transforming their mobile phones into contactless devices for touch-and-go applications, such as payment at retail outlet partners. Since starting in July 2010, selected customers simply collect their phone from KASIKORNBANK to enjoy mobile NFC services.

Gemalto is entrusted with the management and preparation of sensitive user information from KASIKORNBANK to operate secure over-the-air (OTA) personalization services that enable mobile subscribers to gain access to NFC payments and AIS services.

“With the ubiquitous nature of mobile phones, we are always looking for innovations to improve our offerings to our customers,” commented Suvit Arayawilaipong, VP, Product & Service Development, Advanced Info Service Plc. “This is the first OTA provisioning service that is offered from outside the country. It allows NFC to be deployed in Thailand smoothly and securely. With Gemalto we are working with a partner that we can trust.”

Art Wichiencharoen, senior VP of Retail and SME e-Business, KASIKORNBANK, added: “Leveraging Gemalto’s experience, we are able to make NFC payment easy to use. We have a simple user interface on the phone that guides a user to some 40 retail outlets where they can immediately perform mobile NFC payments like for food, entertainment and grocery shopping. They will appreciate this fast and fuss-free new means of payment.”

“With KASIKORNBANK and AIS we are able to bring the convenience of mobile NFC sooner and in a secure manner to Thai consumers,” stated Tan Teck-Lee, president, Gemalto Asia.

“Gemalto’s TSM services are designed to be implemented securely across national borders and this will help countries to overcome local barriers to NFC implementations. Gemalto is clearly the partner of choice, having the most extensive experience in NFC launches and numerous pilot programs active across the world.”

IPWireless, Huawei ally on interoperable solutions for integrated mobile broadcast (IMB) technology

SAN FRANCISCO, USA: IPWireless, a pioneer in developing key enabling IMB technology, and Huawei, a leader in providing next-generation telecommunications network solutions for operators around the world, jointly announced that the two companies have signed a co-operation agreement with respect to the production of each party’s Integrated Mobile Broadcast (IMB) technology.

This co-operation will include interoperability testing (IOT) and service provider trials. These ground-breaking interoperability tests will assure operators that they can confidently source IMB equipment from multiple vendors and assure handset manufacturers that their devices will be fully compatible with all IMB networks.

IMB is capable of streaming live video and broadcasting and storing popular content on the device for later consumption – both resulting in significant offloading of data traffic from existing 3G networks.

IPWireless and Huawei are committed to the development of an IMB ecosystem and ensuring readiness of the technology for market as quickly as possible. IOT will ensure compatibility between Huawei IMB base stations and IPWireless chipsets. Both companies are also working together on several commercial and technical IMB pilots.

IMB was defined in the 3GPP release 8 standards, and was recently endorsed by the GSMA as their preferred method for the efficient delivery of broadcast services. IMB enables spectrally efficient delivery of broadcast services, in TDD spectrum based on techniques that are aligned with existing FDD WCDMA standards.

This allows for a smooth handover between IMB and existing 3G networks. Operators can use IMB within a spectrum band that, although already allocated to them in connection with many 3G licenses, has hitherto been unused due to the lack of an appropriate technology.

“For IMB to achieve its full potential it is critical that solutions based on the technology are brought to market as quickly and easily as possible,” said William Jones, CEO, IPWireless.

“As a leader in this industry, we are dedicated to the development of the ecosystem so that operators and their hardware partners are able to confidently and swiftly deploy IMB solutions. We are delighted to be working with Huawei in ensuring that the huge potential for mobile broadcast is realised.”

“Our operator customers are seeing an explosive growth in mobile data traffic, driven by consumer appetite for multimedia on the move,” said Jiang Wangcheng, president of Huawei UMTS network. “IMB provides profitability to mobile broadband operators for their business. We are very pleased to partner with IPWireless to explore the approach of developing profitable mobile broadband network, and to promote the IMB technology to matureness and commercialization.”

The companies are aiming to commence interoperability testing in Q3 2010.

Desh Deshpande to co-chair President Obama’s National Advisory Council

BANGALORE, INDIA: Dr. Gururaj Deshpande, chairman of Tejas Networks, A123 and Akshaya Patra, USA has been appointed as the Co-Chairman of President Obama’s National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

He will support President Obama’s innovation strategy by helping to develop policies that foster entrepreneurship, create jobs, and drive economic growth. This was announced by US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke at a US Department of Commerce, University Innovation Forum at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Deshpande is one of 26 members and the only Indian to be co-chairing this council. Members of the council include serial entrepreneurs, university presidents, investors and non-profit leaders. Steve Case, Mary Sue Coleman, and Desh Deshpande will serve as Co-Chairs.

“America's innovation engine is not as efficient or as effective as it needs to be, and we are not creating as many jobs as we should,” Locke said.

“We must get better at connecting the great ideas to the great company builders. The National Advisory Council will help the administration develop a broader strategy to spur innovation and enable entrepreneurs to develop breakthrough technologies and dynamic companies, and to create jobs all across America.I want to extend my gratitude to the leaders selected to The National Advisory Council. Their work will be a key component of America’s economic recovery.”

Dr. Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande is a highly successful entrepreneur and philanthropist. Dr. Deshpande serves as a member of the MIT Corporation, and his generous donations have made possible MIT's Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation.

The Deshpande Foundation is one of the leading philanthropic foundations in the areas of innovation, entrepreneurship and international development. Through its grants, the Deshpande Foundation has helped launch innovative companies, helped NGOs develop an international presence and launched partnerships with some of the most remarkable change agents in the world today.

Since 2000, Dr. Deshpande and his wife, Jaishree, have been involved in several non-profit initiatives that include support for MIT, IIT, TiE, Akshaya Patra Foundation, Public Health Foundation of India and the Social Entrepreneurship Sandbox in Hubli, India.

Telstra plans launch of e-health cloud services

Dr. Steve Hodgkinson, Research Director, Ovum

AUSTRALIA: Telstra and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) announced the signing of an agreement to work together to launch e-health applications on a web-hosted service platform.

The announcement comes at a time when the e-health agenda in Australia is heating up following the government’s commitment earlier in the year of more than $460 million for a national e-health strategy, and the federal parliament’s recent passing of crucial enabling legislation for healthcare identifiers.

One of the biggest challenges for e-health reform is to achieve a more coherent and integrated approach to sharing information across more than 1,300 hospitals, 20,000 GP and specialist practices, and 5,000 pharmacies. The fragmentation of the sector’s governance regimes and ongoing turmoil in funding and organizational arrangements make top-down reform a tough game that will be played out over decades.

In this context it is also attractive to look for ways to accelerate bottom-up interoperability, which is all about the clinical and practice-management systems implemented in medical practices. Upgrading these systems and orchestrating them to produce a national e-health symphony is a huge task, but cloud computing is starting to be recognized as a potentially viable way of encouraging adoption of the next generation of standardized interoperable systems.

Telstra is looking to offer medical practitioners the benefits of the latest application functionality and standards-based interoperability accessed via the Internet from a secure and robust cloud back end.

Health can learn a cloud lesson from other sectors
Salesforce.com’s SaaS CRM and service-center applications are used by more than 75,000 organizations around the world, ranging from some with thousands of users to others with only a few. Standardized but configurable applications can meet the disparate needs of a large number of organizations irrespective of their business type and geographic location.

This provides a thought-provoking example of how SaaS solutions can achieve a critical mass of bottom-up adoption simply by providing a better “mousetrap” – a good enough solution that is easier to try, buy, deploy, and use than more traditional in-house alternatives because the application is already running at scale and available over the Internet, and data just needs to be migrated.

An e-health SaaS portal must offer integrated solutions
Australian vendors in the clinical-care and practice-management systems landscape include among many others Best Practice, Global Health, Health Communication Network (HCN), Houston Medical, Intrahealth, iSoft, Jam Software, LRS Health, Smart soft, Intracore, Medilink, Meditech, and Zedmed. Global vendors are also present in the market.

Many are moving their systems online, and some, such as Intracore with its Online Practice Management Studio, already have SaaS offerings. Telstra has some toe-in-the-water experience with its T-Suite SaaS portal, but it will need to come up with a much more compelling offering to create momentum in the fragmented e-health market.

In our view, the key will be to provide integration benefits in addition to those from simply plugging GPs into a robust computing utility. Piecemeal solutions will hardly be compelling enough for GPs to switch from their existing approach, so Telstra will need to orchestrate an integrated suite of SaaS offerings pre-configured to align and stay aligned with the standards and interoperability requirements of the national e-health strategy, and also leverage its communications strengths in areas such as telehealth. This would make a better mousetrap.

Telstra is wise to stake out its claim early in the emerging e-health cloud services market because the sector is at the start of a major phase of technology renewal. While it is not yet clear exactly how, where, and when cloud services will gain traction with medical practices, the winners will be those that occupy the territory nationally and learn fast.

Nokia Siemens Networks to acquire certain wireless network infrastructure assets of Motorola for $1.2 billion

ESPOO, FINLAND & SCHAUMBURG, USA: Nokia Siemens Networks and Motorola Inc. jointly announced that the companies have entered into an agreement under which Nokia Siemens Networks will acquire the majority of Motorola’s wireless network infrastructure assets for $1.2 billion in cash.

The companies expect to complete closing activities by the end of 2010, subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approvals.

“This is an exciting acquisition that I believe has significant benefits for customers, employees and our shareholders,” said Rajeev Suri, CEO of Nokia Siemens Networks.

“Motorola’s current customers will continue to get world-class support for their installed base and a clear path for transitioning to next generation technologies while employees will join an industry leader with global scale and reach. Nokia Siemens Networks will see the benefits of a deal that is expected to enhance profitability and cash-flow and to have significant upside potential.”

"Motorola is very proud of the operational and financial performance of our Networks business and its employees, who will now become a valuable addition to Nokia Siemens Networks. We are excited to have reached this agreement to combine our Networks team with such an industry leader," said Greg Brown, Co-CEO of Motorola.

"This is great news for our customers, our investors and our people and will allow us to sharpen our strategic focus on providing mission and business critical solutions for our government, public safety, and enterprise customers.”

As part of the transaction, Nokia Siemens Networks expects to gain incumbent relationships with more than 50 operators and to strengthen its position with China Mobile, Clearwire, KDDI, Sprint, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone.

“We are pleased to be able to add new relationships with some customers, and reinforce our position with others,” said Suri. “I believe the addition of Motorola’s Networks business will significantly strengthen our worldwide presence, enhance our scale in the United States, Japan and other priority regions and reinforce our leadership position in the global wireless sector.”

“Verizon views today’s announcement as good news for the global wireless industry,” said Richard J. Lynch, executive VP and CTO of Verizon. “This deal brings together two important Verizon suppliers; we look forward to our continuing work with Nokia Siemens Networks.”

Nokia Siemens Networks expects that based on revenue, with the addition of the Motorola wireless network infrastructure business, it will become the #3 wireless infrastructure vendor in the United States, the #1 foreign wireless vendor in Japan, and strengthen its current #2 position in the global infrastructure segment.

Motorola’s networks infrastructure business provides products and services for wireless networks, including GSM, CDMA, WCDMA, WiMAX and LTE. This business is a market leader in WiMAX, with 41 contracts in 21 countries; has a strong global footprint in CDMA with 30 active networks in 22 countries; and a robust GSM installed base, with more than 80 active networks in 66 countries; and excellent traction with LTE early adopters.

“As customers look to transition from CDMA networks to next generation technologies, the addition of the Motorola wireless network infrastructure business is targeted to ensure that we are well placed to meet those needs,” said Bosco Novak, head of Customer Operations at Nokia Siemens Networks. “Together, we will utilize the combined strength of Nokia Siemens Networks’ TD-LTE solutions and Motorola’s WiMAX and LTE businesses, to better meet customers’ evolving technology and business needs.”

Approximately 7,500 employees are expected to transfer to Nokia Siemens Networks from Motorola’s wireless network infrastructure business when the transaction closes, including large research and development sites in the United States, China and India. Motorola retains the iDEN business, substantially all the patents related to its wireless network infrastructure business and other selected assets.

The companies expect to complete closing activities by the end of 2010 and therefore do not expect the transaction to have any impact on Nokia Siemens Networks’ financial performance in 2010.

Nokia Siemens Networks and Motorola also are exploring a global relationship in the public safety arena. This relationship would combine Motorola’s leadership in providing solutions to public safety organizations with Nokia Siemens Networks’ commercial LTE solutions.

Moving away from unprofitable flat-rates

PADERBORN, GERMANY: The model of flat-rate pricing has operators caught up in low revenues and rising costs.

Orga Systems, #1 choice for real-time charging and billing, provides a unique integration between network and IT for a subscriber management that meets customers' needs and wishes. This is the way to overcome unprofitable pricing models and, at the same time, boost customer satisfaction.

Subscriber management is the way out of unprofitable flat-rates
To move away from unprofitable flat-rate pricing, operators have to identify their customers and their habits: which customer uses which service and at what rate? They should also use all historical data available as a basis for future planning. In addition, they must take into account a new generation of subscribers, those who grew up with internet and mobile.

This generation of subscribers interacts much more with devices than former generations. Therefore operators need to migrate all subscribers to one single platform where they can measure what these customers need. This way they can build a closer relationship to each customer with online real-time offerings based on the individual preferences of each subscriber.

Entering a partnership with content oriented services - finally
Operators understand themselves as providers of a pipe that links their customers to the network. But operators are much more: they can partner with the companies at the other end of the pipe.

Those companies, such as social networks or search engines, rely on the pipe that operators provide to bring their innovations to the customer. Those new applications and services drain the pipe and demand for high speed connections. Thus, a partnership could be mutually beneficial, just like a symbiosis between operators and content oriented services.

Availability of traditional cell sites insufficient to support increasing data demand

MONTREAL, CANADA & SEATTLE, USA: New radio access technology and additional spectrum alone will not provide sufficient additional mobile capacity according to the second issue of the 4Ggear Quarterly Report on 4G Infrastructure trends.

Per-capita mobile data-usage will grow 10,000 percent in the next five years. The growth driven by heavy SmartPhone markets requires carriers adopt new approaches to RAN deployment and management. This is driving increased interest in picocell base stations and innovative backhaul solutions.

"As conventional macrocell approaches fall short, service providers are going to be deploying more RAN equipment to deal with the demand," stated Chad Pralle, lead author of the latest 4GgearTM report. "Vendors will need to provide solutions that enable service providers to do this cost-effectively."

"Self-Organizing Networks will become a necessary component of networks as service providers are forced to increase the number of base stations in their network in the face of comparatively modest revenue growth" said Maravedis Research Director Adlane Fellah.

"The trend to consolidate 4G efforts around 3GPP LTE benefits suppliers, service providers and consumers by reducing confusion in the marketplace, and leads the industry into the growth phase of 4G," stated Robert Syputa, co-author of the report and Senior Advisor at Maravedis Research.

This quarter's select key findings
* Short term WiMAX growth will be driven by mainstream mobile networking, and medium-term growth will be driven by deployments across specific vertical markets requiring fixed/nomadic access Femtocells will decrease in importance in the face of all-IP networks in lieu of WiFi with increased SmartPhone penetration.

* Ericsson and Huawei tie for the number one spot in our ranking of LTE vendors' future potential.

Trapeze Networks unveils affordable 802.11n wireless solution

PLEASANTON, USA: Trapeze Networks, a Belden Brand and leader in enterprise wireless LAN equipment and management software, announced the availability of three new product platforms in its 802.11n solution family – the Mobility Exchange (MX) 800R, a scalable 802.11n wireless networking controller, and the Mobility Point (MP) 522 and 522E, affordable 802.11n indoor and outdoor wireless access points (APs).

According to Gartner Dataquest, 802.11n will account for almost 97 percent of the wireless products shipments by 2014, up from 35 percent in 2009.

"Many Trapeze Networks customers, especially in markets such as healthcare and education, have accelerated their adoption of 802.11n driven by new applications and a foundation of reliable architecture," said Trapeze Networks president Dhrupad Trivedi.

"Trapeze's new product platforms will further support this market transition for our customers and provide an exciting product and solution roadmap. The introduction of these new products breaks the pricing barrier, driving the cost of 802.11n solutions closer to high-end 802.11 a/b/g offerings."

Building on a scalable hardware-based WLAN packet processing architecture, the new MX-800R high-capacity wireless networking controller is an industry first and is specifically designed for mainstream 802.11n applications. The new MX-800R offers these capabilities and benefits:

Control and Provisioning of Wireless Access Points (CAPWAP) – enabled Switching Silicon – hardware-accelerated CAPWAP processing and forwarding.

Line-rate Centralized Switching – three-stream ready for up to 128 dual-radio 802.11n APs with 8Gbps of line-rate wireless switching.

Scalability – capable of handling traffic from 2-stream and 3-stream APs ensuring scalable, long-term deployments.

High Availability – dual power, hitless-failover, link aggregation, controller virtualization and clustering, and self optimizing/self healing.

The new MP-522 and MP-522E high-speed 2x2 MIMO access points advance Trapeze Networks' strategy to offer a family of 802.11n solutions optimized for either high-density deployments or maximum coverage. RingMaster, Trapeze Networks' industry-leading planning and management tool, guarantees an easy and reliable deployment.

The MP-522 has tamper-proof internal antennas for high-density indoor applications and supports granular control of transmit power to suit deployment needs. The Plenum-rated MP-522E has external antenna ports for hybrid indoor/outdoor uses, leverages existing 802.3af Power over Ethernet (PoE), and is ideal for outdoor applications with a climate controlled enclosure and flexible options including a solar panel with PoE.

The MP-522 and 522E are "Green APs" with concurrent dual-radio operation at highest rates within 802.3af PoE power budget and under 9W idle power consumption.

Trapeze Networks' spectrum analysis implementation lets IT departments experience enhanced spectrum analysis benefits due to its integration with Mobility Services in an SLA framework.

Equipped with the latest 2-stream Wi-Fi chipset, Trapeze Networks' MP-522 allows simultaneous or dedicated spectrum scanning and is used as an extension to existing ActiveScan and SentryScan technologies.

More sophisticated channel hopping and interference avoidance strategies driven by policies are capable due to the expansion of WIDS/WIPS capabilities with support for additional signatures including microwave ovens, cordless phones, Bluetooth and radar.

"As Bonita Unified School District users and applications increasingly go mobile, Trapeze Networks' MX-800R 802.11n controller and MP-522 11n access points give us the performance we need today and the ability to grow in the future as we fully transition from 802.11b/g to 802.11n wireless networking products," said Jack Hipp, director of computer information services, Bonita Unified School District, San Dimas/California.

Institut National Langues and Civilisations Orientales, INALCO, the organization for all oriental language learning in Paris, uses Trapeze Networks' new MX-800R.

"As a premier wireless networking integrator, we are as meticulous about selecting the solutions we put in our own network as we are with recommending solutions to our customers," said Thierry Poulain, president directeur general of French system integrator Interdata. "Trapeze Networks' MX-800R is the only 802.11n wireless networking controller we would entrust with our own network and we recommend it to our valued customers."

China VoIP & Digital Telecom Inc. signs first contract with banking industry

JINAN, CHINA: Beijing PowerUnique Technology Co. Ltd (BPUT), one of the wholly-owned subsidiaries of China VoIP & Digital Telecom Inc. has signed a virtualization agreement with CITIC Group (CITIC) in Beijing and will launch its integrated datacenter virtualization solution.

CITIC Group, a large state-owned investment company, was established in 1979 by Ron Yiren, former vice president of China. In 2009, the company had more than $30 billion in revenue.

BPUT will provide CITIC with industry-leading comprehensive datacenter solution technologies. This will help CITIC reduce investment and operating expenses, lowering the total cost of ownership. It will also enhance CITIC's datacenter security and reduce the required number of servers, resulting in higher energy-savings, lower emissions and more environmentally-friendly effects.

"We feel privileged to work with a company of such caliber as the CITIG Group," said Kunwu Li, president and CEO of China VoIP & Digital Telecom.

"CITIC is our first customer in the banking industry. Their trust in us demonstrates our unique position in the virtualization technology market. We designed the integrated virtualization datacenter solution based on CITIC's current needs and by assessing their future plans. The agreement allows us to showcase a successful virtualization solution and to market to other banking customers. We are certainly pleased to see that our solution is proving to be profitable and useful to CITIC."

InterDigital joins Femto Forum

KING OF PRUSSIA, USA: InterDigital Inc. has joined the Femto Forum, the independent industry and operator association that supports femtocell deployment worldwide.

As a full member, InterDigital will contribute to the technical advancement of femtocell products and services through active participation in working groups, standardization initiatives and technical presentations.

InterDigital’s value-added technologies for smart bandwidth management and new services over heterogeneous networks enable:

* Bandwidth and QoS management across any radio access within heterogeneous networks - such as femto and WLAN - including bandwidth segregation and aggregation, and mobility;
* Operator-enabled machine-to-machine (M2M) services, connecting capillary WLAN/WPAN networks to operators’ wide-area networks; and
* Seamless bandwidth-efficient multimedia delivery and mobility across a variety of devices in a connected home or enterprise.

“Femtocells have continually pushed the boundaries of modern cellular radio technology. We are delighted to welcome InterDigital to the Femto Forum and look forward to benefitting from its significant cellular experience,” said Simon Saunders, chairman of the Femto Forum.

“The Forum is chartered to encourage the growth of a partner ecosystem committed to innovation in standards-based network infrastructure and to achieve high levels of collaboration and product interoperability. We look forward to InterDigital’s contributions to the Femto Forum working groups to develop and standardize solutions.”

James J. Nolan, executive VP R&D, InterDigital, said: “The charter of the Femto Forum is well aligned with InterDigital’s vision of tomorrow’s Network of Networks, characterized by the seamless integration of advanced cellular systems with multiple other air interfaces that intelligently and constantly connect people and things across a myriad of wide, local and personal area networks.

“We applaud the Forum’s achievements to date and InterDigital is looking forward to participating in this independent, technology agnostic organization; one that is inclusive of all relevant stakeholders.”

Monday, July 19, 2010

NTT crashes the global IT party

Jens Butler and Mike Sapien (Principal Analyst), Ovum

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Mergers such as NTT’s plans to acquire Dimension Data for $3.2 billion always create an interesting split in opinion, not around the proposed future value but around how the combined organizations will fare as a single entity. Is this a game-changing move that is in line with a new world order of IT and telecoms convergence, or a mismatched reactive marriage prompted by a land grab?

Is it all really about cloud and convergence, or just a land grab?
The parties claim the merger will enable them to “offer new IT services worldwide in the age of cloud computing,” combining NTT’s network and hosting capacity with DiData’s SI capabilities, but will the combined entity be able to create an integrated set of global services offerings to take advantage of this trend?

Given DiData’s substantial footprint and rates of growth, this merger does certainly provide NTT with access to some previously relatively untapped and expanding geographies ($1 billion in revenues in each of Africa, Europe, and ANZ), as well as greatly expanding its network integration, IT, and managed services capabilities. However, the combined entity will still be no more than a buzz within the North American market.

To date, NTT has been noticeably quiet in the global services space and one of the few large, global telcos not to have such a pronounced, global strategy. Then again, maybe it has just watched as its peers have more often than not stumbled in this arena and has waited to pick up the “cheaper” pieces.

What’s in it for DiData? Access to NTT’s extensive hosting capacity, a strong balance sheet to invest in its “cloud” vision, and an end-to-end stack to bring to market. Interestingly, DiData was making progress in transforming itself from a purely Cisco-centric network integrator to a more mainstream, multi-vendor systems integrator. Clarity around the future of this program will be a top priority.

Culture clash
But there are historic warning signs that must be heeded in such a cross-cultural, cross-industry marriage, with the respective HQs so widely separated by miles, time zones, and cultures. Such trysts have not had the greatest success in terms of globalizing, integrating, and delivering a common vision: Fujitsu’s acquisitions (e.g. ICL & Amdahl) and NTT’s Verio acquisition highlight the difficulties in creating such an integrated entity.

And with a history of less than successful telco acquisitions of services organizations (Telstra/Kaz, KPN/Getronics), it does raise the question of whether the cultures of “big pipes/product/incumbent sales” can combine with a “consultative/dynamic/solution approach” to create the craved-for market success.

Unless the respective management teams align at the top, the resulting merged company could well be governed by the “slowest” common denominator of decision-making and drive minimal innovation beyond competitive reactions. The resulting culture clash may also be the major hurdle that can hinder any significant synergistic benefits.

A lot of competitors and partners will be watching this one eagerly
Is NTT buying into these “closer to the client, on-premise” capabilities to create an end-to-end capability or is this to gain access to DiData’s top-tier Cisco integrator relationship and thus enhance its procurement leverage (and volumes) in CPE-related deals?

Such a deal has a wide-reaching impact across industries and geographies and ensures a large set of critical eyes will follow the progress closely, so any integration needs to be well planned and executed.

The disparate cultures conundrum will be a substantial barrier (but not insurmountable), and will need to be considered in line with the potential impact on DiData’s ecosystem of relationships with SIs, equipment manufacturers, and other telcos, globally and locally.

NTT is procuring far more than geographic footprint, enhanced capabilities, and a successful and growing business; it is gaining direct access to customers through a more mature and embedded relationship model.

Seventy percent of all mobile devices to be baseband modem enabled by 2014

SCOTTSDALE, USA: The transition to 4G communication standards has begun, but transition will be slow, reports In-Stat. One indication of the sluggish pace: Only 3.6 percent of mobile devices with baseband connectivity will be using 4G standards in 2014, according to an In-Stat forecast. This is the case even though existing 3G networks are being stressed by data traffic that is increasing at exponential levels.

"Much higher percentages of computing and mobile consumer electronics (CE) devices will feature integrated baseband modems over the next few years," says Jim McGregor, In-Stat analyst. "Unfortunately, few will have 4G capability. The transition to 4G wireless technologies is challenged by multiple wireless standards, limited spectrum availability, constricting business models, and other market and industry issues."

Recent In-Stat research found:
* About 2 billion mobile devices out of a total of 2.8 billion will ship with baseband modem technology in 2014.
* Despite the early lead of WiMAX, LTE is expected to account for 61.2 percent of 4G-enabled mobile devices in 2014.
* Smartphones and computing devices are the only devices expected to transition to 4G technologies over the next five years. Handsets and mobile CE devices will remain on 2G/3G networks because of lower performance, cost, and power requirements.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Four out of five cell phones to integrate GPS by end of 2011

EL SEGUNDO, USA: With cell phones increasingly becoming the nexus of the burgeoning markets for navigation and Location Based Services (LBS), the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology in such platforms is set to explode during the coming years, according to iSuppli Corp.

In the fourth quarter of 2011, 79.9 percent of cell phones shipped—amounting to 318.3 million units—will incorporate GPS functionality, up from 56.1 percent in the first quarter of 2009—or 187.8 million units—iSuppli predicts.

The figure presents iSuppli’s forecast of penetration of GPS functionality in mobile phones.Source: iSuppli, USA.

The adoption of GPS in mobile handsets is being driven by smart phones.

“The smart phone is the key product driving the technology industry today—and social networking services and applications spurred by GPS-related features are critical elements in the smart phone market today,” said Dr. Jagdish Rebello, director and principal analyst for iSuppli.

“This is illustrated by Google Inc.’s decision to make turn-by-turn navigation, LBS and mobile ads the central features in its bid to take on Apple in the smart phone market, and make up the central pillars of its strategy to increasingly monetize mobile search.”

Smart phones are taking over from Portable Navigation Devices (PNDs) as the major platform for navigation. By 2014, usage of navigation-enabled smart phones will exceed that of PNDs.

Furthermore, the smart phone is likely to generate many innovative LBS apps in the next five years. Apple’s iPhone already has more than 6,000 LBS apps available.
Meanwhile, both Apple and Google are focusing on mobile advertising as a key source of revenue used in association with LBS.

Apple’s new iAd platform, part of the company’s updated iPhone OS 4 operating system, enables the embedding of advertisements into applications, allowing iPhone users to interact with the ad without leaving the app. Similarly, Google in May acquired leading mobile ad provider AdMob.

Nonetheless, Apple recently upped the ante in the smart phone GPS segment with the addition of a gyroscope to its latest iPhone model. Used in combination with GPS, an accelerometer, a compass and the gyroscope can be used for in indoor navigation with floor accuracy.

iSuppli also sees an increased penetration of embedded GPS in a range of consumer and compute electronic devices by 2014. For example, iSuppli estimates that 18 percent of laptops and 42 percent of portable handheld video game players will have embedded GPS in 2014.

Altogether, the boom in mobile handset navigation will benefit suppliers of GPS semiconductors such as Texas Instruments, Broadcom Corp., Infineon Technologies and CSR.

GPS is not the only embedded connectivity technology that will be increasingly embedded in consumer and compute electronics devices. With the ratification of the Bluetooth 4.0 standard supporting the Bluetooth Low Energy profile, iSuppli expects increased penetration of Bluetooth in wireless mice, keypads and other interface devices for the mobile and desktop market—an area that has been dominated by proprietary technologies.

Source: iSuppli, USA.