Thursday, March 31, 2011

Operators battle revenue decline in war against Google and Apple

LONDON, UK: Operators face declining revenues in 2011 if they fail to innovate the way they sell content, enabling brands like Google and Apple to monopolise customer spend according to research by nToklo, providers of social discovery, integration and recommendations tools.

The research reveals that 81 percent of telecoms professionals believe that without innovation, operators face a loss in revenues and 76 percent agree that Apple and Google are eroding operator brand equity, identifying a clear need to look at new and innovative services in order for the operators to continue to compete.

“Apps and other mobile content present a major opportunity and therefore operators must have a content strategy if they are to have any hope to regain revenue. We believe it is time for operators to fight back and regain some of this customer loyalty, which will be critical in driving their business forward,” said Gareth Mee, CEO, nToklo.

“The explosion of smartphones and now tablet devices has resulted in apps becoming one of the major business areas in the mobile telecoms market. As reported earlier this year, Apple has passed the 10 billion App Store download mark and operators need to catch up.”

Operators must be more competitive in the app space, as the research reveals that over half of respondents (59 percent) believe smartphones generate extra revenue opportunities, and 45 percent believe that content and apps are the biggest revenue opportunities for operators today. Whilst 28 percent believe other valued added services are the biggest revenue opportunities, followed by additional data packages (27 percent).

Handsets have traditionally been supplied with pre-loaded software for consumers to make use of all the functionality offered by the device. However, the growth in app and app stores has signalled a move away from this trend, with users looking for new ways to discover software and apps for their smartphones, and operators need to compete here, with the combination of social media and m-commerce offering a great opportunity for differentiation, by leveraging their existing user base.

“The consumers desire to share apps with friends has really driven the popularity of smartphones, and facilitating this is where operators can look to gain some ground back by offering a more extensive social experience,” concludes Mee.

Using a Social Integration Gateway and Recommendations Engine, nToklo can help operators sell more online by empowering customers to share their in store shopping experience with their friends. This approach helps attract more customers to the operator site, creates a more personal and meaningful experience and makes it easier for customers to spend more time and money.

The research was carried out at Mobile World Congress 2011 and interviews were conducted with 71 telecoms professionals.

Near Field Communication Forum announces 32 new members

WAKEFIELD, USA: The NFC Forum, a non-profit industry association that advances the use of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, announced that Google, Inc. is joining the organization as a Principal member.

CSR and Intel, formerly Associate Members, have raised their membership status to the Principal level. Since its founding in 2004, the NFC Forum has drawn market-leading organizations from around the world to its membership roster as momentum builds for the adoption and implementation of Near Field Communication technology.

Principal membership is the second-highest level of membership in the NFC Forum, with each Principal member entitled to appoint a voting representative to each of the Technical, Marketing, and Compliance Committees and Working Groups. Principal members may designate individuals to run for positions leading Committees or Working Groups, and they may propose initiatives and contribute to the development of Forum deliverables. As Principal members, organizations may also participate in the NFC Forum testing and certification program using their own in-house test labs.

The NFC Forum has also welcomed 31 new Associate, Implementer, and Non-Profit members from across the NFC ecosystem. New Associate members include: A&D Co. Ltd, AQ Corp.; China Telecommunication Technology Labs; Communications Global Certification Inc.; Daimler AG; FIME; Hitachi Ltd.; ICT Korea Inc.; Kovio Inc.; KTC (Korea Testing Certification); National IT Industry Promotion Agency RFID/USN Center; Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG; SK C&C USA; SOLIATIS; Sporton International Inc.; TA Technology (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.; TTA; and VI Service Network Co. Ltd.

Joining recently as Implementer members were: 3A Logics Co. Ltd; DeviceFidelity Inc.; HOTech; i-Free; MagTek Inc.; MStar Semiconductor Inc.; MtekVision Co. Ltd; Poken S.A.; Sysnet Group; TUOMI IT S.A.; Via Licensing Corp.; and Waldemar Winckel GmbH & Co. KG. LOGyCA joined as a Non-Profit member.

"The NFC Forum thrives on the active participation of global industry leaders and innovators such as CSR, Google, and Intel," said Koichi Tagawa, chairman of the NFC Forum. "Their energy, ideas, and influence will greatly enhance the work of the Forum, as will the support of our new Associate, Implementer, and Non-Profit members from around the world."

Airtel rings in Bihar’s mobile Internet revolution with launch of 3G services

PATNA, INDIA: India’s leading telecommunications company, Bharti Airtel announced the launch of Airtel 3G services in Patna. With this, customers in Bihar will be able to leverage Airtel’s world class 3G network to enjoy fast internet access and a host of innovative services like Mobile TV entertainment, video calls, live streaming of videos and on the go social networking.

Raghunath Mandava, Operations Director – East, Mobile Services, Bharti Airtel, said: “Having won the trust of over 1.5 crore customers, Airtel is the leading mobile services provider across Bihar and Jharkhand. Today, we are delighted to announce the availability of Airtel 3G services in Patna. With this, our mobile customers in the state will experience the exciting internet world through their mobile devices – anywhere, anytime. We believe Airtel 3G will lead the revolution of internet in Bihar, bringing our customers closer to an all new world of possibilities.”

Airtel mobile customers can opt for 3G services to experience mobile internet at never-experienced-before speeds. To provide faster internet accessibility for computers and laptop users, Airtel also has introduced special HSPA 3G dongles for customers.

Airtel also announced the national launch of a suite of video Interactive Voice Response (IVR) products, which will help even non-internet users to use video streaming to enjoy the power of 3G services on their mobile phones. With this, Airtel 3G customers can now also make calls to video IVR to access various video products like live darshan, video talkies and video portal.

All these services can be enjoyed seamlessly as Airtel provides its customers with timely updates and alerts on their data usage – helping them control their expenditure. The company has also introduced a first of its kind ‘internet usage calculator’ available online to help customers analyse their current internet data usage and choose an Airtel 3G plan accordingly.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Location-based check-in services are attractive but overhyped

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: One of the most important developments in mobile social networking is the emergence of location-based “check-in” services of the type championed by Foursquare and quickly being copied by rivals like Facebook, according to new research* by Ovum.

“Check-in” services have the potential to drive revenues for social networks and this is creating a lot of excitement. But Ovum warns that the buzz is tipping into hype and creating a bandwagon effect that could undermine check-in services before they have had a chance to really take off.

Location-based check-in services use promotions as incentives to drive consumers to a bricks and mortar store in their vicinity where they can collect a reward or redeem discounts and special offers – a winning scenario for advertisers and consumers. “What is so appealing about this concept is that it mixes social networking and advertising in a proposition where the value benefit is obvious to consumers” says Eden Zoller, principal analyst with Ovum’s consumer practice and author of the report. “It also uses location technology in a way that is simple, intuitive and of course social.”

The model adopted by Foursquare and others also has affinities with the one used so successfully by online social commerce provider Groupon, and this is no doubt contributing to the excitement. “We are witnessing a mobile social commerce gold rush but many of the companies coming to the market are doing so with ‘me too’ propositions. The wide availability of such undifferentiated services and growing competition could create fall-out”, advises Zoller.

Foursquare is the poster boy for mobile location-based “check-in” services, but it is not the only one and is being joined by a growing number of players, including Facebook with its Facebook Deals service. “Facebook’s entry into the market is significant as it has the scale and influence that could make the concept mainstream,” observes Zoller. “When Facebook introduces new features its members take note and try them”, concludes Zoller.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Huawei chooses Synaptics ClearPad 7010 to power multi-touch on IDEOS S7 slim tablet

SANTA CLARA, USA: Synaptics Inc., a leading developer of human interface solutions for mobile computing, communications, and entertainment devices announced that Huawei has selected its ClearPad 7010 single-chip solution for the IDEOS S7 Slim tablet. The Huawei IDEOS S7 Slim features a 7" capacitive touchscreen, giving users an intuitive touch interface that is extremely responsive and accurate.

The IDEOS S7 Slim's design and interface are optimized for portability and easy single-handed use. The tablet is thin and light measuring only 12.5 mm thick and weighing only 400 grams; a 16x9 aspect ratio makes it easy to hold. The IDEOS S7 Slim runs Android 2.2, supports HD media with 720p HD playback and multi-tasking, and sports a 3.2 megapixel rear-facing camera. Huawei plans to launch the tablet globally in April 2011.

The 7010, part of Synaptics Series 7 product portfolio for large touchscreen applications, is an excellent touch interface for low power and small component area footprint, supporting up to 8.2" diagonal touchscreens and multi-touch for up to five fingers. Compared to other single-chip solutions, ClearPad 7010 offers:

* Lower power consumption featuring 8-12 mW.
* Industry-leading touch sensing accuracy and linearity.
* Faster finger tracking – 60Hz report rate for up to five fingers.

CSI launches Mobile Manager giving mobile users easy access to business apps in real-time

LEEDS, UK: CSI, one of the UK’s leading business system integrators, has launched Mobile Manager, a new platform that gives mobile users easy access to business applications in real-time.

The company has also created a video “INSTANT” to showcase the functionality of the new solution which is available for download from CSI’s website by visiting:

Designed by CSI’s own development team based in Annesley, Nottinghamshire, Mobile Manager is based on JAVA technology and gives access, via a Web browser, to the most commonly used business applications such as ERP and CRM via all types of mobile devices including iPad, iPhone, Blackberry and Android from any mobile or WiFi network.

Richard Starling, Technical & Operations Director, CSI: said: “Providing instant access via these devices was at the top of our wish list to make our own staff truly mobile. So we understood that likeminded organisations would have the same requirements and we set out to develop a solution that not only delivered value to our own staff - but would be a platform that could be re-sold to the
other businesses to provide the same level of mobile service for their staff. I believe CSI has developed a truly flexible solution that is capable of easily meeting ever-changing business needs.”

He concluded: “We continually strive to develop new solutions that can be tailored quickly and effectively to fit within a specific brief. Mobile Manager is a plug and play solution that can be deployed and delivered to staff within days.”

Mobile Manager from CSI provides a platform for organisations to deliver their line of business applications instantly via mobile or WIFI networks.

AKAI unveils CONNECT leaf

NEW DELHI, INDIA: AKAI Mobiles, a division of one of the largest Japanese Consumer Electronics brand, AKAI India, announced the launch of a full QWERTY keypad mobile phone Connect Leaf. This exciting new offering from Akai comes packed with all the features expected in a business phone. Connect Leaf comes with bar form factor and facilitates both dual SIM and dual standby option.

The main USP of this phone is ultra slim metallic body which comes in two color variants, in black and red colour, dual camera and host of social networking sites that one can easily access on this phone.

The phone comes with 5.6 cm (2.2”) Full QVGA Screen with 262K Color and 240x 320 pixels display resolution. The QWERTY keypad of this phone enables users to comfortably and speedily send SMS and MMS.

Akai Connect Leaf comes along with dual cameras which includes a Primary 1.3 MP camera and digital camera in front. Connectivity options in the phone include PC connectivity, Bluetooth (A2DP), GPRS, MMS, Social networking sites like Opera Mini, Facebook, Yahoo, E-buddy and MSN. The Micro SD/T Flash card slot in the handset facilitates memory expansion of up to 8GB.

Orga Systems reduces TCO to enable profitable growth

PADERBORN, GERMANY: Operators worldwide face the key challenge to overcome the model of flat-rate pricing, which has operators caught up in low revenues and rising costs. Orga Systems, #1 choice for real-time charging and billing, provides a real-time charging, active mediation and policy control solution meeting operators' needs to return to offering profitable mobile broadband services.

Policy control: Monetizing real-time services
In the near future, policy control will be a key tool for operators bridging the gap between increasing data traffic volumes and flat data revenues; enabling operators to move to bandwidth based pricing, from all you can eat to all you can afford, through tiered service offerings.

In the long run, a single platform for all types of subscribers (pre and postpaid) charging all services (data, VAS, etc.) enables operators to launch faster new and differentiating services. Time to Market is one of the most important aspects for operators in highly competitive markets. Furthermore, Orga Systems' solution enables innovative and segmented new services and service bundles, attractive mobile broadband offerings, as well as real-time notifications and interaction based on data made available by real-time subscriber data management.

Easy integration for reduced TCO
Compliant to latest 3GPP specifications, Orga Systems' real-time charging, active mediation and policy control solution can be seamlessly integrated with existing network and IT infrastructures. It performs subscriber specific policy and charging decisions. Real-time subscriber notifications are one key feature enabling a superior end-user experience.

In combination with Orga Systems' real-time convergent charging and billing solutions, NGCP builds a straight forward "end-to-end" solution that reduces operators' TCO and enables future growth.

Comtech awarded $1.7 million of orders for next gen high-power amplifiers and switches

MELVILLE, USA: Comtech Telecommunications Corp. announced that its Melville, New York-based subsidiary, Comtech PST Corp., has received $1.7 million of orders from a domestic prime contractor to develop and manufacture next generation, solid-state, high-power radio signal jamming amplifiers and switches.

These products, which include the very latest solid-state transistor and switch technology and provide for very broad frequency coverage, will be key components in ground based jamming systems manufactured by our customer.

Fred Kornberg, president and CEO of Comtech, said: "We are very proud of our long-standing relationship with this premier supplier of electronic warfare systems to the US Department of Defense. These orders are evidence of our well established technology leadership position with this customer. We look forward to the opportunity to develop these products and manufacture them in high volume in the future."

Comtech PST Corp. is a leading independent supplier of broadband, high-power, high performance RF microwave amplifiers for use in a broad spectrum of applications including defense, medical, satellite communications systems and instrumentation.

Brocade invests $100 million in Asia Pacific’s IT industry to Accelerate Ethernet fabric adoption and migration to cloud architectures

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Brocade announced a number of investments including a $100 million evaluation program designed to enable customers in the Asia Pacific region to quickly deploy Ethernet fabrics as the foundation for highly virtualized data centers. Brocade believes that the IT trends driving transformation in this region make it prime to adopt this fundamental technology to migrate to private, public and hybrid cloud computing architectures.

Ethernet fabric is a new category of networking technology that is purpose-built for virtualization and cloud-optimized data centers. Brocade’s Ethernet fabric solution is powered by Brocade VCS technology and available through the Brocade® VDX 6720 Data Center Switch. In December, Brocade was the industry’s first company to deliver products to market.

The Asia Pacific region presents a vibrant market opportunity for virtualization and cloud-computing related technology investments. According to industry research, the market for virtualization and cloud computing-related expenditures in Asia Pacific is expected to grow from $2.5 billion this year to more than $6.7 billion (USD) by 2016*.

“Brocade intends to compete aggressively for the virtualization and cloud computing business in Asia Pacific because this region is so important to our company’s long-term growth strategy,” said Mike Klayko, CEO of Brocade. “We believe we have a highly differentiated offering in the Ethernet fabric space that is based on a 15-year heritage of technical innovation and experience in building the world’s most mission-critical data center networks.”

Investment components include the following:

• Eligible Brocade customers in Asia Pacific have access to a $100 million product-evaluation program that enables them to test Ethernet fabric and other cloud-infrastructure products and support from Brocade at no cost with the option to purchase directly from Brocade or a preferred Brocade partner;

• A series of executive-level roundtable meetings aimed at regional IT executives and CIOs to be hosted at the Brocade campus in Silicon Valley. These executive forums will feature distinguished speakers and panelists from the leading Silicon Valley companies who are focused on the cloud and virtualization markets;

• A technology workshop series called “How to Reach the Cloud with Brocade Ethernet Fabrics” designed to provide network architects and administrators technical information on how to build virtualized data centers through reliable and scalable cloud-optimized networks. Brocade will host these half-day workshops at no cost to attendees in multiple countries and cities starting in April.

These additional investments augment the significant capital, resources and headcount Brocade has recently invested in the region. Brocade has nearly doubled the number of employees throughout Asia Pacific in the last 10 months. Brocade also has an active and growing R&D presence, IT services and back-office support in key, strategic locations. It also maintains a large manufacturing footprint in the region both directly and through strategic partnerships.

“Growing a business requires continued investment especially in a region as competitive as Asia Pacific,” said Deb Dutta, vice president and general manager of Asia Pacific for Brocade. “These investments demonstrate how strategic we view the opportunities in this region and reflect our confidence about our ability to grow our business in core and emerging markets here.”

Monday, March 28, 2011

CERN adopts PacketLight PL-1000 to connect datacenter

USA: CERN adopted PacketLight PL-1000, a compact and reliable 1U 10G solution, to connect its datacenter

CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, is one of the world’s largest and most respected centres for scientific research. Its business is fundamental physics, finding out what the Universe is made of and how it works. At CERN, the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments are used to study the basic constituents of matter — the fundamental particles. By studying what happens when these particles collide, physicists learn about the laws of Nature.

Founded in 1954, the CERN Laboratory sits astride the Franco–Swiss border near
Geneva. It was one of Europe’s first joint ventures and now has 20 Member States.
PacketLight Networks, in partnership with Infractive, a France based VAD, was able to satisfy the technology need for CERN by providing a flexible, carrier grade DWDM solution fit for all its requirements.

The challenge
The proposed solution had to be compact but reliable carrier grade equipment yet economically feasible. In addition, future upgrades to the network or introduction of additional sites in the network had to be done without interrupting the existing traffic.

PacketLight Networks perfectly matched the requirements of CERN. The PacketLight carrier grade DWDM solution PL-1000 gave CERN a throughput rate of multiple 10 Gbps in a compact and easy to configure 1U chassis with the possibility of a simple upgrade, thanks to pluggable XFP’s.

The PacketLight Networks PL-1000 was chosen because of its compact size, intuitive operation and low costs as compared to other alternative solutions. PL-1000 based solution of PacketLight Networks provides CERN with 8 channels of 10 Gbps services at each site expandable up to 16 10 Gbps channels. Additional services can easily be introduced without interrupting already functional services by connecting additional 1RU chassis and appropriate XFP’s at each site.

By opting for the solution of PacketLight’s active WDM solution, CERN received a completely controlled optical transport network with remote monitoring, a dedicated optical supervisory channel (OSC) and possibility of line protection if desired. In addition, PL-1000’s low latency and low power consumption further reduces CERN’s operating costs.

“We were impressed with the ease and simplicity of the installation process. We chose to install the solution ourselves first in our lab environment, and then pushed it live. The solution was operational in less than a day, which I must say is quite quick for a new technology implementation. In addition, we were pleased with the responsiveness and on-the-pulse customer service that we received from PacketLight, ” stated Jean-Michel Jouanigot, Communication Systems Group Leader, IT Department, CERN.

Offering PlayBook to Android and others is potentially risky

Tony Cripps, Principal Analyst, Ovum

AUSTRALIA: RIM's decision to offer multi-runtime support for its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is understandable but potentially risky. Tapping into the developer communities surrounding multiple popular platforms - such as Android, Adobe Flash (previously announced), AirPlay and Unity games developers, C/C++ developers and its own BlackBerry smartphone developer community - will undoubtedly help expose RIM's PlayBook to a far larger addressable market of application developers.

But the myriad of options now available also runs the risk of confusing those same developers. This was previously the case for Nokia, which at one time was supporting upwards of 10 programming environments for its mobile developers. Apple, in comparison, has made a virtue of keeping its developer options simple - HTML and Objective C/Cocoa Touch - being effectively the only choices. However, this approach has clearly also been self-serving as it reinforces Apple's control over the distribution channel for iOS apps, namely the App Store.

RIM's dilemma is different. The success of mobile devices is increasingly coming to be dictated as much by the availability (or promise of availability) of desirable apps and content as it is by the quality of the devices themselves. While RIM's ecosystem building efforts have been laudable, and reasonably effective, it is nonetheless in danger of being relegated to a secondary player in the minds of developers.

AT&T shakes up LTE landscape, Sprint left stranded?

CTIA WIRELESS 2011, BOSTON, USA: AT&T’s planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA will help to accelerate the early deployment of 4G, but throws the viability of the mobile broadband strategies of Sprint, Clearwire and LightSquared into doubt. This is the conclusion of a recent report by the Strategy Analytics Wireless Operator Strategies service, “AT&T's T-Mobile Acquisition Accelerates LTE Deployments, Puts Pressure on Sprint.”

The acquisition lifts AT&T clear of Verizon Wireless—giving those two carriers a combined 75 percent share of all wireless connections. Although the regulatory approval process will be far from straightforward, this is a level of consolidation which is not unusual by international standards. Strategy Analytics believes that it is good news in terms of driving faster 4G deployment, even though it does put significant pressure on the other carriers in the emerging mobile broadband market and will drive more consolidation there.

“The acquisition has clear pros and cons for the US 4G market,” comments Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, director, Mobile Broadband Opportunities (MBO), speaking from CTIA in Orlando, Florida. “A 4G battle between the top two will be good news for consumers looking for better coverage and more device and service options with better LTE penetration sooner. However, that greater choice will be from fewer carriers, so the competition will need to reorganize in order to succeed.”

Sue Rudd, director, Service Provider Analysis (SPA) at Strategy Analytics, adds: “Competitors are already struggling to be viable. Clearwire is re-organizing to reduce costs. Even though LightSquared closed deals Leap and Best Buy this week, there are probably too many 4G wholesale networks going after too few large wholesale customers. Sprint, despite its 'sizzle' at CTIA this week, is likely to remain a distant third. Both AT&T and Verizon will need Sprint in order to pre-empt anti-trust issues. Strategy Analytics sees many countries where the top three players manage profitable ‘co-opetition.’”

Monetizing the NGN investment: Market prospects and business case for IMS and SDP based apps

DUBLIN, IRELAND: Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Monetizing the NGN Investment: Market Prospects and Business Case for IMS and SDP based Applications" report to its offering.

Next Generation Networks (NGN) promises a high quality end-user experience. Telecommunications service providers expect the NGN framework to provide them with tools that would ensure customer loyalty. However, the path towards achieving the ideal NGN is fraught with formidable challenges. The most critical challenge confronting operators is optimizing their OSS and BSS platforms, systems, and processes.

Deciding where to invest in NGN applications is difficult without key business case analysis. Planning NGN application deployment is difficult without insights into application value to customers, services blending opportunities, or strategies for services migration.

Two key elements of NGN are Service Delivery Platforms (SDP) and the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) framework for service creation, delivery, and management. This report addresses the IMS and SDP ecosystem and value chain, applications, and provides a market forecast for 2011 through 2016.

The report also provides an overall business case analysis for IMS and SDP as well as a per-application assessment for major IMS based applications. Finally, the report provides specific recommendations for network operators, infrastructure providers, and application providers.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fiber broadband enabling IPTV, online video and high speeds for 71 million by end of 2011

SINGAPORE: Worldwide fixed broadband subscriber totaled 503 million at the end of 2010. Nearly 48 million subscribers were added in the fourth quarter alone according to ABI Research’s most recent Broadband Subscribers Market Data. “The increasing penetration of IPTV and online video services is among the factors which boost the growth in subscriptions,” says practice director Jason Blackwell.

South Korea, Hong Kong and France are among the countries and regions with the highest fixed broadband penetration. In countries with high broadband penetration, broadband operators are trying to gain market share by competitive speed and price offers. The result, however, is a drop in broadband subscription fees.

Broadband subscribers today are increasingly using higher speeds to offer more advanced services. In order to meet the demand for higher speeds operators are upgrading their broadband networks. For example, the UK’s national broadband operator, British Telecom, has plans to roll out fiber-to-the cabinet (FTTC) technology in 41 towns by spring next year. This plan will enable households in these areas to get broadband access at up to 40Mbps.

“Network upgrades and offers by the operators of multimedia services over broadband network will accelerate the growing number of subscribers adopting higher broadband speeds,” says research associate Khin Sandi Lynn. At the end of the third quarter of 2010, 7.6 percent of global broadband subscribers could access download speeds above 20Mbps, up from 6.4 percent in 2Q-2010.

Fiber broadband is the technology of choice for many of today’s advanced applications such as IPTV, video conferencing, education and health care. As a result, it is the fastest growing broadband platform. ABI Research estimates that there will be 71 million fiber broadband subscribers at the end of 2011.

Friday, March 25, 2011

India’s telecoms operators and vendors urged to help shape the future

INDIA: India’s telecommunications operators, vendors and research establishments were today urged to become involved with the critical work of developing standards that will help enable the widespread adoption of broadband across India and the world. The call came from Broadband Forum CEO Robin Mersh, who was speaking at the major Convergence India conference and exhibition in New Delhi.

In a packed session entitled “Wireless Broadband – rapid growth in India”, Mersh said that broadband was being re-defined because convergence meant that it was no longer possible to separate out fixed from mobile. The Forum, whose 200-strong membership comprises service providers, vendors and research centres, is involved in wide-ranging standards-focused work, from mobile backhaul to GPON and IPv6.

“We deal with helping real-world problems that are being encountered by operators as they struggle to meet all sorts of challenges – from simply providing basic broadband to coping with major issues such as network convergence and IPv6 migration,” said Mersh.

“While many of these challenges are common to all, some are specific to individual countries and regions. By being part of the Forum, operators and others in India can not only get the support of a wealth of knowledge and experience, but can actually help shape the way future technology decisions are made and ensure they take Indian requirements into account.”

His comments came shortly after Mersh had revealed that India had been one of the top three countries in the world for broadband growth over the last year and could possibly emerge as one of the top ten countries in total broadband as early as the end of the year. India added 2.5 million new broadband lines in 2010 and was positioned at 13th in the world – a massive rise from being 56th just six years previously.

“There has been tremendous and consistent growth in broadband across India in recent years, yet this is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Mersh. “Both fixed and wireless broadband options abound and the Broadband Forum is doing all it can to help India’s service providers engineer smarter and faster networks.”

This had been the Broadband Forum’s first appearance at Convergence India. As well as revealing the regional and global figures for broadband and IPTV penetration, Mersh had showcased the new Broadband Forum IPv6 Toolkit – known as BroadbandSuite 4.0.

This defines the network support of IPv6 from core to user, allows remote management of IPv6 devices, is scalable to address trillions of devices, and future enhancements have the potential to enrich the user experience (supporting secure, mobile and nomadic applications). Most importantly, this IPv6 toolkit will help service providers reduce the impact of IPv4 protocol exhaustion on their services today while ensuring the growth of new users, devices and applications continues unhampered.

“The global industry has just exhausted its stock of IPv4 addresses and so this new development has come just at the right time – and especially for India, where an enormous number of new Internet addresses can expect to be demanded as the millions of unserved consumers come online,” added Mersh.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

airtel unleashes 3G services in North Karnataka

HUBBALLI, INDIA: Bharti airtel, India’s largest telecommunications company, announced the launch of its 3G service in the North Karnataka towns of Hubballi, Dharwad and Belagavi.

Home to the largest customer base of airtel mobile customers in Karnataka, these towns today joined the airtel 3G map in India, to offer unparalleled airtel internet experience on 3G. This follows the successful 3G launches in Bengaluru, Mysore, Mangalore, Udupi, Manipal, Shimoga, Davanagere and Tumkur.

The North Karnataka region has over 30 percent of airtel’s customer base having GPRS connectivity. Besides, the region has the second largest number of 3G enabled handsets in Karnataka after the city of Bangalore. With nearly 50 percent of retailers in North Karnataka selling airtel GPRS packs, this is a very apt region for the availability of 3G services.

Firmly entrenched as an industrial hub in Karnataka, airtel’s 3G operations are set to change the way North Karnataka functions. When 3G operations are underway, many customers will get to experience the differentiators that airtel brings to the table.

Android to drive doubling of smartphone market by 2016

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: The Asia-Pacific (AP) smartphone market will double in size by 2016 to hit shipments of 200 million, predicts Ovum in a new forecast*. Globally, it will hit 653 million shipments, accounting 30.7 percent of shipments derived from AP market.

Android will drive the growth and will emerge as the dominant platform, dramatically outperforming Apple with a massive 20 per cent lead on market share, finds the independent telecoms analyst.

Ovum predicts that smartphones will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12.5 per cent between 2010 and 2016 and will account for approximately 32 per cent of the mobile phone market in AP alone.

Ovum principal analyst Adam Leach said: “The smartphone market will see significant growth over the next five years, once again outperforming the wider mobile phone market. We will see dramatic shifts in dominance for smartphone software platforms, with Android storming into the lead with 38.7 percent per cent market share, compared to Windows Phone with 22.6 per cent, by 2016 in AP alone. The success of the Android platform is being driven by the sheer number of hardware vendors supporting it at both the high and low ends of the market.”

According to Ovum’s forecast, just behind Windows Phone will be Apple’s iOS, with 19 per cent market share by 2016, followed by BlackBerry OS, with 9.2 per cent.

Leach continued: “We expect at least one other platform to achieve mainstream success within the forecast period. This could be an existing player in the market such as Bada, WebOS, or MeeGo, or it could be a new entrant to the market place.”

According to Leach, the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft has redrawn the smartphone market and will result in a significant reduction in shipments of Symbian-based handsets as Nokia transitions to Windows Phone as its primary smartphone platform. However, Nokia still expects to ship 76 million Symbian-based handsets so there will be shipments beyond 2012 and in some regions into 2016.

Leach continued: “For Microsoft the deal provides a committed handset partner that has the potential to make Windows Phone a mainstream smartphone platform. The risk to Microsoft is that other handset makers may choose not to compete with Nokia and may turn their backs on Windows Phone.”

Sky-mobi and Sohu sign advertising agreement

HANGZHOU, CHINA: Sky-mobi Ltd, the leading mobile application store and mobile social network community operator in China, announced that the company has entered into an advertising contract with Sohu, one of the leading Chinese online destinations.

Under the terms of the one-year agreement, Sky-mobi will publish advertisements for Sohu's advertising clients on Sky-mobi's MRP ad network. Sky-mobi will be paid at an agreed minimum target rate, and will share revenue with Sohu that exceeds the minimum target rate.

"We are tremendously excited about our contract with Sohu which represents an important step to extend our business model into the promising mobile advertising space," said Michael Song, chairman and CEO of Sky-mobi.

"As the top mobile application store platform in China, it is a natural fit for us to work with Sohu, one of the most popular portals in China. Our MRP platform is pre-installed on hundreds of millions of handsets across China and is viewed by vast numbers of consumers. We are confident that Sohu's advertising clients will benefit tremendously from the exposure they will get through this arrangement."

Sky-mobi works with handset companies to pre-install its Maopao mobile application store on handsets, including MRP, and with content providers to aggregate and offer a range of applications and content to end-users. Its Maopao store is pre-installed in over 6,600 handset models and is compatible with many different hardware and operating system configurations.

The company collects application store revenues through carriers and their mobile service providers and in turn, shares these revenues with mobile service providers, handset companies and content providers. The standardization of its application store software and Sky-mobi's proven track record of generating revenue for our partners has enabled it to build what the Company believes is China's leading mobile application eco-system with over 800 partners, including over 450 handset companies, over 250 content providers, and over 110 mobile service providers and 10 independent payment processing companies.

Kaiam selects Ensphere’s 10G shunt laser driver for 40G quad transmit sub-assembly

SANTA CLARA, USA: Ensphere Solutions, an emerging leader in advanced communications semiconductor ICs, announced the adoption of Ensphere Solutions’ ESI-1010 10G shunt laser driver by Kaiam Corporation. This driver will be used in Kaiam’s new 40G compact QSFP+ Transmit Optical Subassembly (TOSA).

Kaiam, an emerging company with a breakthrough hybrid optical integration technology, successfully demonstrated a new QSFP+ transmitter and receiver optical subassemblies (ROSA) for 40GBASE-LR4 applications at OFC/NFOEC 2011 in Los Angeles. The 4 channel by 10Gb/s TOSA and ROSA transmit and receive, respectively, a cumulative 40Gb/s in a single mode fiber with a 10km reach. The technology is able to achieve the very high densities needed for such compact transceivers.

Kaiam’s new TOSA and ROSA have raised the bar for the power dissipation, density, and manufacturing cost of 40G optical modules. This has been accomplished by using proprietary micromechanics to solve the alignment issues and build hybrid photonic integrated circuits (PICs).

“The next generation 40Gb/s pluggable modules (QSFP+) for single mode fiber require more than an order of magnitude reduction in area. ESI-1010 has been a key element, allowing us to increase the density while simultaneously reducing power dissipation and improving signal integrity,” said Dr. Thomas Schrans, Kaiam’s VP of Engineering and Product Development.

“We are extremely pleased for having the opportunity to work with Kaiam. Their extensive background in optics and deep appreciation of system-level issues has enabled us to optimize the performance of ESI-1010,” said Hessam Mohajeri, Ensphere’s Chief Executive Officer.

ESI-1010 is a single channel 10G laser diode driver (LDD) able to support a wide variety of laser RC time constants. It is capable of supplying up to 100 mA of bias and 50 mA of modulation currents. In a shunt configuration, ESI-1010 assumes the heavy burden of driving a low impedance laser diode while presenting a 50Ω load to the preceding driver, which is far easier to drive.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

International Telecoms Week (ITW) 2011 announces ITW DealCenter is now available to all registered delegates

NEW YORK, USA: International Telecoms Week (ITW), the annual meeting point for the global wholesale telecoms community, announced the launch of the ITW DealCenter, an online meeting system that allows conference attendees to schedule meetings with peers leading up to and during the event.

For the fourth consecutive year Capacity Media , a publishing and events company focused on the wholesale telecommunications market and carrier-to-carrier business, has selected the DealCenter, LLC to design and deploy the global event's online meeting system.

Only registered delegates will be able to access the online platform, view one another's profiles and invite prospects, customers and partners to targeted, 30-minute meetings to be held on-site; for registration details, please visit ITW 2011 will take place between 23-25 May in Washington DC.

Attendees can now begin using the ITW DealCenter to schedule their meetings. All confirmed meetings will take place in user-designated areas such as meeting rooms, bilateral tables, exhibit booths or other locations within the ITW 2011 host venue, The Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

SRS Labs and Qualcomm sign licensing agreement to bring HD-quality audio to mobile devices

CTIA WIRELESS 2011, ORLANDO & SANTA ANA, USA: SRS Labs Inc. announced the completion of a licensing agreement with Qualcomm Incorporated for the distribution of SRS audio technologies within Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipsets.

“This agreement with Qualcomm is a significant step forward in cementing our worldwide leadership in mobile audio enhancement solutions,” said Bob Lyle, managing director of global business development for SRS Labs.

“Rapid advancements in the availability of HD-quality video for mobile devices as well as the popularity of mobile gaming are driving consumer demand for enhanced, HD-quality audio and 3D audio effects. Given SRS’ know-how of advanced surround sound and 3D audio solutions, we are confident that our class-leading audio enhancement technologies will be a great addition to Qualcomm’s already impressive line of dual-core CPU chipsets, significantly augmenting their audio and multimedia capabilities.”

Qualcomm has licensed SRS Labs’ industry-leading audio APIs, including SRS’ OpenSL ES and OpenAL audio API solutions for mobile devices. In addition, Qualcomm will make available several of SRS’ audio IPs to the company’s Snapdragon dual-core CPU chipsets, including SRS TruMedia, WOW HD, CS Headphone (CSHP) and SRS TruGaming, a 3D positioning technology designed specifically for mobile games. SRS’ mobile technologies have shipped in several million Android and Windows Phone 7 devices to date.

“We are excited to be working with SRS Labs to bring HD-quality audio to the mobile device market,” said Raj Talluri, vice president of product management at Qualcomm CDMA Technologies. “Adding SRS Labs' advanced audio technologies and enabling them to take advantage of Qualcomm’s high performance and low power DSP inside the Snapdragon chipset brings significant value to our customers. This showcases Qualcomm’s commitment to evolve and enhance its mobile multimedia and audio capabilities.”

Japanese earthquake - impact on telecoms network

David Kennedy, research director, Ovum

AUSTRALIA: Japan’s major telcos have been able to restore some fixed and mobile services in the worst affected areas, but the remaining problems will be harder to fix. We expect that some new problems will emerge in the coming weeks as stressed or damaged infrastructure fails, both on land and undersea.

Power shortages have led to rolling blackouts across the country, and these have disrupted access to fixed broadband and VoIP as terminal devices have been left without power.

The damage done
Earthquakes damage telecommunications infrastructure in several ways. The vibrations from the quake, apart from shaking electronic equipment and civil infrastructure, can cause soil to liquefy, stressing or breaking pits, ducts, and cables. Liquefied soil can also enter pits and ducts.

Residual shearing, compression, and tension stresses in surrounding rock and soil also damage infrastructure, which can result in failure days or weeks after the initial earthquake. Damaged ducts and pits can allow water to enter the system, which causes other failures, and undersea cables are particularly vulnerable to this threat. As a result, it is highly likely that further failures will occur.

The two key infrastructure failures were the loss of fixed backhaul routes servicing fixed and mobile communications in the earthquake affected area, and losses of power as generator fuel and battery backups were depleted.

On March 14, the Japan Times quoted NTT East, the main service provider in northeastern Japan, which stated that 880,000 fixed lines were out of service in the region. It also quoted the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, which stated that 11,400 mobile base stations were inoperative. Nationally, the majority of infrastructure remained functional, and data centers seem to have been largely unaffected.

While there was some disruption to international communications due to several reported cable breaks, international connectivity was surprisingly robust, particularly in comparison to the Taiwan earthquake of 2006, which severely disrupted communications in that country.

Since the earthquake, significant progress has been made towards repairing the damage. While fixed service disruptions are still a problem, service is gradually being restored. NTT DoCoMo, which reported that 6,720 of its mobile base stations were inoperative on March 12, announced that only 2,130 were still inoperative on March 15. KDDI initially had 3,800 base stations out of service, which it has since reduced to 1,500, while Softbank has reduced its number of inoperative base stations from 3,786 to 1,157. Traffic restrictions are in place in areas where capacity is still limited.

Progress in repairing mobile communications has been faster than for fixed communications. This may be because operators have prioritized the mobile network, and if so, this makes perfect sense. Fixed communications have been vulnerable to the rolling power blackouts across the country, which have been caused by power shortages arising from damage to power plants. As VoIP terminals and broadband modems are inoperative without mains power, it has meant that users are relying heavily on mobile communications.

It is likely that operators have focused on the easiest repairs, and will find the remaining base stations harder to fix. Operators have resorted to using temporary base stations in the worst affected areas to support emergency teams. Mobile data traffic restrictions remain in place in many areas as the remaining infrastructure is stretched to the limit.

The lessons learned
The robustness of Japan’s network was due to two main factors.
* The density and diversity of the networks within and out of Japan creates many redundancy paths, which prevented major service disruption outside of the worst affected areas.
* Operators have installed specialized civil works which can cope with earthquakes, having learned many lessons from the Kobe earthquake of 1995. Flexible underground conduits between street infrastructure and buildings, sliding joints for ducts to relieve axial forces, and flexible joints in manhole and other access tunnels have become commonplace in new installations since 1995.

However, none of these initiatives have helped the vulnerability of fixed communications devices to power disruption. Even if operators can keep their fiber infrastructure operational, it is of little use if power for terminal devices is not maintained. This problem is likely to grow as the number of networked consumer devices for the fixed network grows.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 aims straight at the heart of the iPad

Ovum principal analyst Tony Cripps:

AUSTRALIA: Certainly, the Galaxy Tab 8.9 trumps the iPad 2 in two key areas of hardware specification touted by Apple: slimness and weight. That said, the weaker content and application potential of the Tab 8.9, compared with iOS devices, continues to expose the main weakness of Android devices in general. That may well be the determining factor in the device's ultimate success rather than pricing.

Samsung no doubt believes that the 8.9 can emulate or exceed the success of the original 7-inch display Galaxy Tab, which sold over two million units in its first three months. Overtaking the iPad 2 in volume shipments in its own right, however, is unlikely to be on Samsung's list of expectations for the 8.9.

There's no doubt that Samsung held back on officially introducing its latest tablet device, the 8.9-inch-display Galaxy Tab, until after Apple's launch of the similarly sized iPad 2. This way Samsung gets to ride the wave of excitement around Apple's second-generation product rather than being swamped by it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Canto Cumulus app for Android, BlackBerry and iPhone/iPad updated

SAN FRANCISCO, USA: Mobile client access to Canto Cumulus improved today with the release of SuduS 2.0 from Canto partner Vitras. Among the app’s new features are the uploading (cataloging) of new files into Cumulus, editing of metadata, access to stored search queries, voice recording, and streaming of videos cataloged in Cumulus.

“SuduS 2.0 adds the final features necessary to make mobile devices fully featured Cumulus clients,” explained Thomas Mockenhaupt, managing director at Vitras. “Cumulus users can now access and work with their Cumulus collections from anywhere.”

Native support for the iPad comes just in time for users to take advantage of the iPad 2, as Mockenhaupt explains.

“Streaming video from Cumulus is particularly nice on the new video hardware inside the iPad 2 and the new Android tablets, and we’re expecting the same from the BlackBerry Playbook when it’s released.”

In addition, iPad users can now add annotations to previews, enabling clients and art directors to relay change requests on-the-go. Voice recording is a new feature mobile users will find particularly useful, says Canto CEO Ulrich Knocke.

“SuduS 2.0 lets me upload files from taxis, airports—anywhere—and I can even record quick voice memos that serve as reminders to me later. This is a great new set of features Vitras has added.”

Users can also download files processed by Cumulus on demand, making it easy to retrieve mobile-friendly versions of high-resolution production files, and even use local viewer apps, like Apple iBooks, to handle cataloged files.

Vitras is a Canto Certified Sales Partner (Platinum), and also publishes the VideoRemixer and SnippiX add-ons for Canto Cumulus.

SuduS 2.0 is available starting at €995 from Vitras. It’s available in Lite, Pro and Corporate versions. Features vary according to edition.

Anritsu joins CDMA Certification Forum

ORLANDO, USA: Anritsu Co. announced that it has become a member of the CCF (CDMA Certification Forum), a global non-profit organization dedicated to establishing test efficiency to streamline time to market and minimize costs associated with CDMA device certification. As a member of CCF, Anritsu will be actively involved with network operators, and chipset and device manufacturers in developing solutions that will help advance wireless technologies.

“It has been part of Anritsu’s charter for 110 years to be actively involved in organizations that further the development of communications technologies. We welcome the opportunity to be part of a forum with other market leaders, so that we can work together to advance new products that will serve the industry and consumers,” said Wade Hulon, VP and GM of Anritsu.

"We are delighted to have Anritsu join the CCF and take part in the ongoing initiatives the CCF develops to optimize CDMA device certification cycles" says Bruce Jolly, CCF General Manager.

As a CCF member, Anritsu will have an active role in discussions that address critical industry issues and help provide solutions for the future. Company representatives will also participate in the creation of new certification standards and interact with leading developers of wireless technologies.

Anritsu has been a leader in CDMA test and measurement equipment since the early stages of the technology. The company offers customers solutions that can validate the performance of CDMA products at the design, manufacturing, and installation and maintenance stages.

Interop enhances CDMA2000 OTA provisioning solution

CTIA WIRELESS 2011, FORT MYERS, USA: Interop Technologies, a provider of core wireless solutions for messaging, device management, and connectivity gateways, has broadened its powerful CDMA OTA provisioning solution to manage Removable User Identity Module (R-UIM) cards for CDMA2000 handsets.

This new capability enables network operators to access elementary files on R-UIM cards to update Preferred Roaming Lists (PRLs), service programming codes, and text messaging services directly on the R-UIM cards of subscriber handsets.

Elementary files are also utilized to update devices on Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks. LTE utilizes Universal Integrated Circuit Cards (UICCs), which are controlled by a CDMA Subscriber Identity Module (CSIM) that relies on elementary files for device updates. Interop’s ability to access elementary files to update R-UIM cards means the company is well-positioned to extend its CDMA OTA provisioning solution to LTE operators in the near future.

Working with the CDMA Development Group (CDG) to help define standards for CDMA Open Market Handsets (OMH), Interop Technologies has expanded the capabilities of its CDMA OTA provisioning solution to utilize Over-the-Air Service Provisioning (OTASP). OTASP enables subscribers to quickly and easily activate R-UIM and OMH SIM cards.

Furthermore, the Interop CDMA OTA solution offers an optional Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system fully integrated into the Over-the-Air Function (OTAF). The IVR saves operators time and resources by automating routine tasks while making support services available around the clock.

With Over-the-Air Parameter Administration (OTAPA), operators can send mass updates to subscriber R-UIM cards or reprogram individual cards, supporting the introduction of new services. The technology enables customer service representatives to perform “one-off” updates, giving engineers time to focus on higher level technical tasks.

Interop’s CDMA OTA solution provides full business visibility with real-time, Web-based customer care and reporting from the OTA campaign to the individual customer level. Additionally, Interop’s CDMA OTA solution enables an operator’s network to update and modify A-Key provisioning data, adding an extra measure of security for subscribers.

In addition to OTASP and OTAPA support for R-UIM, the Interop CDMA OTA solution supports ESN, MEID, pESN, and EUMID equipment identification numbers. The solution also offers a configurable SPC algorithm and retry mechanism providing high activation accuracy with “five nines” (99.999 percent) reliability.

Envivio demos multi-screen TV excellence at IP&TV World Forum

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, USA & LONDON, UK: Envivio, a leading provider of live and on-demand multi-screen IP video processing and delivery solutions, will offer extensive opportunities for attendees of IP&TV World Forum, March 22-24 in London to experience TV without Boundaries.

Envivio’s Stand 158 at the Olympia Exhibition Centre will feature information on the new 4Caster C4 Gen III multi-screen encoder, which delivers nearly twice the processing power and HD density of previous generation encoders, as well as the latest version of firmware for the 4Caster family. This new firmware features Envivio Genesis—the new standards-based output format that transforms TV headends into efficient multi-screen delivery engines.

Eric Rosier, Envivio’s vice president of business development, will join a panel of global experts from some of the world’s leading media companies for an in-depth discussion entitled “Making Multi-Screen Work.” This discussion will explore the requirements for delivering content to multiple screens, how to ensure seamless handover of content between screens, managing content rights and protection in a multi-screen world, and the impact of multiple devices on subscriber content consumption habits.

“Tablets, smartphones, PCs, and connected TVs are radically changing viewing habits, but subscribers expect more than just content—they want high quality services that take full advantage of those devices,” said Envivio president and CEO Julien Signès. “Envivio is helping its customers deliver high quality multi-screen solutions that respond to today’s viewers’ demands.”

The 4Caster C4 Gen III live multi-screen encoder nearly doubles the processing power and is capable of supporting twice the HD channel density of its predecessor. 4Caster C4 Gen III is deployed in live trials at major operators in the US, Europe and Asia to meet the demand for live HD video services for Internet-connected tablets and TVs.

Version 2.4 firmware for the 4Caster C4 family brings numerous enhancements including support for the new Envivio Genesis output format—a single intermediate mezzanine format that supports multiple bit rates and resolutions for live and on demand services for every consumer device across multiple networks.

appMobi releases mobile web services creating comprehensive mobile app ecosystem

ORLANDO & LANCASTER, USA: appMobi announced the addition of four mobile Web services to its comprehensive Platform as a Service (PaaS) mobile app ecosystem solution. Through its free cross platform developer toolkit, the appMobi XDK, appMobi now provides mobile application and Web developers the most complete integrated set of hosted tools and services.

appMobi's new mobile Web services – including 1Touch frictionless payments, pushMobi multimedia push notifications, statMobi mobile analytics, and LiveUpdates over-the-air app updates – join a comprehensive suite of tools enabling any developer to create engaging and monetizable mobile apps, enable mobile commerce and analyze usage.

The appMobi XDK provides integrated tools for fully testing and publishing HTML-based code as either native apps or WebApps. Through the XDK, appMobi's mobile Web services are uniformly available to mobile Web, Apple iOS, Google Android and BlackBerry developers. Apps built with the appMobi XDK, whether native or not, can all utilize native device features, such as the accelerometer, camera, GPS and file system. With the addition of these new mobile Web services, developers can use the appMobi XDK to easily augment existing apps or build new apps that go well beyond the capabilities of currently available apps:

1Touch Frictionless Payments – Selected as a finalist in the 2011 CTIA E-Tech Awards, the 1Touch payment technology enables "single touch" in-app purchases within apps or websites through a highly-secure mobile wallet on the device and a few lines of HTML code. Though Apple's "Paid Subscriptions" and Google's "One Pass" systems make in-app purchasing of virtual goods easy, they don't address the buying of physical goods, nor do they work on the mobile Web. appMobi's 1Touch complements these app stores with one touch purchasing of physical or virtual goods either from within apps or via the mobile Web. 1Touch integrates with payment gateways such as Authorize.Net and PayPal, and with carrier billing. 1Touch brings the ease and convenience of secure frictionless payments to the entire mobile space, finally opening the mobile market to merchants selling physical goods.

pushMobi Multimedia Push Notifications – Push messaging is a proven and powerful way to engage users through mobile apps, alerting them to news, information and messages. With pushMobi, appMobi has evolved push messaging to a new level, delivering rich media messages with video, audio and HTML5 content. The pushMobi online dashboard (which integrates with any ad campaign management software) lets content providers target groups of users based on device, geography, demographics and other criteria.

statMobi Mobile Analytics - Advertisers and webmasters depend on analytics to measure the effectiveness of campaigns and content. statMobi provides app developers the first comprehensive set of analytic tools for measuring app usage, both online and offline. statMobi mobile analytics tracks app starts, clickstreams, push messaging reception and response, and payments made, among other data points. statMobi continuously captures metrics even when a device is offline during app use, then sends them once the device is back online. statMobi is the only "always-on" mobile analytics tool.

LiveUpdates OTA App Updating – Apps created using the appMobi XDK can now push new content, features, bug fixes and new versions over-the-air right to users' devices, without requiring an app store update. With LiveUpdates, developers can better ensure that their users have the latest content and newest versions of their apps.

appMobi is at the vanguard of mobile application innovation. At Mobile World Congress in February 2011, the company unveiled MobiUs – the first-of-its-kind mobile Web browser technology. Mobius allows developers to create Web applications – or WebApps – that exceed the functionality possible with native apps produced without the appMobi XDk, putting the entire World Wide Web on equal footing with app stores as the distribution channel for discovering, downloading and interacting with mobile apps.

CTIA-The Wireless Association announces semi-annual survey results

ORLANDO, USA: CTIA-The Wireless Association released its bi-annual survey, which tracks data submitted by carriers from January-December 2010, documenting wireless trends in subscribership, usage, revenue and capital investment.

The survey results were announced by CTIA's President and CEO Steve Largent on the keynote stage during International CTIA WIRELESS 2011 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. With dramatic increases in smartphone adoption, wireless data traffic and SMS and MMS messaging, the survey is yet another proof point that the U.S. wireless industry needs more spectrum so that service providers can continue to meet growing consumer demand.

The year-end 2010 wireless survey results are:
* Wireless subscriber connections: 302.9 million, compared to year-end 2009: 285 million for an increase of 6 percent.
* Wireless penetration rate: 96 percent compared to year-end 2009: 91.2 percent.
* Minutes of Use (MOU): 2.241 trillion compared to 2009: 2.275 trillion.
* SMS sent and received: 2.052 trillion compared to 2009: 1.563 trillion for an increase of 31 percent.
* MMS sent and received: 56.6 billion compared to 2009: 34 billion for an increase of 64 percent.
* Data traffic on wireless networks in the last six months of 2010: 226.5 billion megabytes compared to the last six months in 2009: 107.8 billion megabytes for an increase of 110 percent.
* Average wireless bill (includes voice and data service): $47.21 compared to year-end 2009: $48.16.
* Number of active smartphones: 78.2 million compared to year-end 2009: 49.8 million for an increase of 57 percent.
* Number of active data-capable devices: 270 million compared to year-end 2009: 257 million for an increase of 5.3 percent.
* Number of web-capable devices: 242 million compared to year-end 2009: 238.4 million.
* Wireless-enabled tablets, laptops and modems: 13.6 million compared to year-end 2009: 11.9 million for an increase of 14.2 percent.

To meet this tremendous demand by businesses and consumers, the US wireless industry continues to invest heavily in its networks and infrastructure. Total annual capital investment in 2010 rose 22 percent to $24.9 billion. Since CTIA began tracking this data in 1985, the cumulative industry investment has totaled more than $310 billion. Neither one of these figures include the spectrum that our members purchased during the federal government auctions.

"Whether it's sending a text, making a phone call or accessing the wireless Internet, the facts prove our industry continues to offer innovative and competitive services and products that consumers love and are using more than ever. This fact-based survey proves why our industry needs more spectrum. In order to meet the demands by consumers and businesses, we need more spectrum so our wireless ecosystem can keep fueling the 'virtuous cycle' of innovation and competition," said Steve Largent, president and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association.

Wireless annual service revenue increased 4.8 percent from a year earlier to $159.9 billion. Wireless data revenue grew to $50.1 billion, representing 31.4 percent of total service revenue.

Actiontec launches family of 4G LTE home routers

ORLANDO, USA: Actiontec Electronics unveiled a family of 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) routers designed for the home/SOHO market. The new 4GRN routers represent some of the most flexible home routers ever built, with blazing fast 4G service speeds, wireless N networking, a Gigabit Ethernet switch, coax networking for satellite support, and FXS ports for supporting VoIP/VoLTE.

Debuting at International CTIA Wireless, the new router family has been named a finalist in CTIA Wireless’ Emerging Technology Awards (Infrastructure: In-Building Wireless/Wi-Fi/LAN category).

LTE (Long Term Evolution) is the next major phase in wireless technology and has the potential to deliver speeds up to 100 Mbps downlink/50 Mbps uplink over the air. The technology promises a superior user experience, with uncompromised support for mobile multimedia, mobile social networking, mobile enterprise and more. Additionally, 4G LTE's speeds can bridge the broadband divide facing rural areas, where it has not been cost-effective to deploy fiber or copper-based broadband services.

Actiontec's LTE routers integrate the 4G radio directly inside the box. As a result, broadband service providers are able to directly control the 4G radio, giving them the ability to deploy 4G service as an integrated part of their service portfolio, as well as provide support and management for the device and service.

In addition, unlike other LTE devices, the 4GRN family supports TR-069 remote management capabilities to help service providers offer superior customer experience and support, with fewer costly truck rolls.

"We have been working closely with major North American carriers throughout the development of the 4GRN-DLV. We believe that this router can take 4G LTE from a promising lab application to a next-gen service that can practically and cost-effectively, be deployed to customers," said Brian Henrichs, chief business development officer at Actiontec Electronics. "We're excited to help lead the 4G revolution alongside other innovative mobile broadband service providers and technology vendors," he added.

With support for wireless N networking, a dual-core 32-bit processor, and robust memory architecture, the routers can simultaneously support a wide range of demanding multimedia applications, including HDTV, standard TV, Voice over IP, media sharing, and online gaming.

To further add to its power, Gigabit Ethernet is available on the WAN side to support speeds up to 1000 Mbps. In addition, for satellite home networks, the routers support coax networking for satellite networking to easily connect televisions, set-top boxes, and gaming consoles over the home’s coax cables.

Similar to Actiontec's other award-winning CPE routers, the 4GRN routers support downloadable applications using Java (with optional Java Virtual Machine and Java Runtime Software). This lets carriers offer a wide range of revenue-generating Java apps to their customers, from home automation to enhanced security. Similar to a mobile app store, applications can be enabled as soon as they're ordered, without a cumbersome firmware update.

The home device features robust enterprise-level security features, including WPA/WPA2 wireless encryption, a customizable firewall, stateful packet inspection, Denial of Service protection, content filtering/parental controls, and intrusion detection.

AT&T continues 4G spectrum grab with T-Mobile buy

EL SEGUNDO, USA: With its purchase of T-Mobile USA, AT&T Inc. appears to be continuing to use acquisitions to gain control of more of the limited supply of wireless spectrum required to compete in the market for 4G services. AT&T announced it will buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom AG in a deal worth $39 billion.

The deal represents the second acquisition that AT&T has undertaken recently that will give it additional 4G spectrum. AT&T in December 2010 expanded its long-term evolution (LTE) downlink bandwidth by acquiring Qualcomm Inc.’s defunct MediaFlo mobile TV service.

The addition of T-Mobile’s spectrum will allow AT&T to immediately gain network capacity and to gain a better competitive position against Sprint Nextel Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. in the key 4G area. The 4G segment represents a fast-growing portion of the wireless market in North America. Subscriptions to 4G in North America took off in 2010, and the service has become a competitive differentiator for AT&T and competitor Sprint.

AT&T has two options for how to use the T-Mobile spectrum. First, AT&T could continue running the two companies separately, since the two have very distinct subscriber bases.

However, IHS believes AT&T is more likely to take another approach and use T-Mobile’s 1700 band spectrum for its LTE 4G service. This move will require the consolidation of the companies’ 3G networks, migrating T-Mobile 3G customers to AT&T's legacy network, as well as offering the option of a discounted upgrade to T-Mobile's existing 3G customers who don't have the devices to support AT&T's bands. This process could be lengthy.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

Bitzer Mobile demos enterprise mobility and consumerization

SANTA CLARA, USA: Bitzer Mobile Inc, a software technology solution provider that simplifies enterprise application access on mobile devices announced they have been selected to present at the AT&T Open Call Contest being held at CTIA Wireless 2011 in the Orange County Convention Center, FL. on Wednesday, March 23.

Bitzer will present on Wednesday, March 23 at 10:20 AM. Bitzer’s demo will show how enterprise CIOs and IT managers can isolate corporate data from personal data on employee-owned mobile devices and enable secure remote access of enterprise applications on the same devices using multi-platform native mobile apps.

CIOs and IT professionals need a single switch to enable and disable employee access and set fine grain application access and permissions. Today employees can download individual native apps from SaaS providers like This approach presents a challenge for CIOs and IT professionals because the individual apps do not tie into the enterprise authentication scheme.

Bitzer's solution provides a comprehensive mobility and consumerization solution that provides a single switch and central portal for CIOs and IT professionals to securely manage mobile remote access across a wide range of enterprise applications including cloud and internal custom applications.

Bitzer's Enterprise Virtual Mobility solution (EVM) consists of a “virtual container” that is deployed on mobile devices as a native app. This virtual container is controlled by the IT personnel in an enterprise to deliver the right data and access to the right mobile employee on a device of his or her choosing. This addresses the demand of consumerization of the enterprise where an employee’s personal mobile device is often used to access corporate data and decision-making information.

SkyCross announces commercial availability of state-tuned iMAT

VIERA, USA: SkyCross, a global developer and manufacturer of advanced antenna and RF solutions that are powering the emergence of 4G networks, announced the commercial availability of its State-Tuned Isolated Mode Antenna Technology (ST-iMAT) for embedded antenna solutions in 4G MIMO devices. The new technology can conserve space inside 4G devices, providing device designers with more design flexibility and enhancing device performance.

The SkyCross patented, state-tuned antennas are an evolutionary extension to the company’s award-winning iMAT technology, which permits a single radiating element to behave like multiple antennas. State tuning enables the MIMO performance of an iMAT single radiating element to be applied across multiple frequency bands while simultaneously increasing radiated efficiency—without increasing the overall size of the antenna relative to conventional approaches.

“SkyCross State-Tuned iMAT is a novel new approach to antenna design,” said Ben Nasker, SkyCross CEO and chairman. “State-Tuned iMAT enables the device antenna to deliver greater MIMO throughput and support multiple frequency bands without increasing antenna size versus separate main and diversity antennas.”

Using SkyCross State-Tuned iMAT, multiband 4G MIMO and 3G diversity antennas can be designed to occupy space in a single location, eliminating performance-robbing issues associated with mutual coupling and high pattern correlation coefficient from multiple nearby antennas operating on the same frequency at the same time.

SkyCross ST-iMAT antennas come pre-configured to address many commonly deployed multiband radio architectures. This includes product versions for 4G/3G combinations serving North American, European, and Asian frequency allocations. ST-iMAT antenna designs from SkyCross are available for USB, smartphone, and tablet form factors. Each ST-iMAT antenna solution can be custom integrated directly into today’s sleek and stylish industrial designs using a variety of design and manufacturing techniques.

Star8 launches Axiom series mobile smart phones

TORONTO, CANADA: Star8 Corp. has announced the launch of its flagship mobile phones, the Axiom series.

The Axiom33, a Qwerty keyboard phone, comes equipped with Digifon mail, a mobile email application providing a seamless push email service. Be alerted every time a new email arrives, without using valuable data time. Star8's proprietary back end system will retrieve your email and let you know it has arrived on your Axiom33.

The most popular social networking applications such as Twitter and Facebook are included along with popular Instant Messaging applications.

Star8 is also pleased to announce The Axiom1000, a full-featured touch screen smart phone. The Axiom1000 runs on Android, the fastest growing mobile operating system in the world. Also included is Star8's exclusive and proprietary push email application, a first for the Android operating system. Manage your data consumption effortlessly.

The Axiom1000 includes social networking hub and instant messaging application as the Axiom33, along with a 4-inch touch screen, assisted-GPS and WiFi.

"The launch of the Axiom Series phones for Star8 is a very exciting time for the company," said William Car, president of Star8. "We are very pleased to have reached this milestone and we are looking forward to the products entering our targeted markets."

Star8 plans to expand the Axiom Series in the near future to include additional form factors and feature sets.

Interop intros messaging personalization and control

FORT MYERS, USA: Interop Technologies, a provider of core wireless solutions for messaging, device management, and connectivity gateways, announces availability of its Messaging Personalization and Control (MPAC) technology for wireless and broadband network operators. The MPAC software can be added to Interop’s existing messaging solutions or any other vendor’s existing messaging platforms to improve the quality and value of the subscriber messaging experience.

Interop Technologies’ MPAC technology enables operators to offer enhanced messaging features to their Short Message Service (SMS), Multimedia Message Service, (MMS), and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) subscribers. These features include personalization, such as message copying and forwarding, group messaging, and the ability to create an auto-reply and a personalized signature.

MPAC archive functionality enables subscribers to store and access SMS and MMS messages online, saving storage space on handsets and preventing loss of stored pictures and messages. With MPAC, subscribers also can more easily share pictures and videos using social media applications.

Using Interop’s MPAC technology, subscribers can filter their messages—or their children’s messages—to avoid inappropriate messaging activity. Such parental controls are important due to recent increases in cyber bullying. MPAC filtering controls support blacklisting and whitelisting phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and domain names.

Parents and businesses can leverage MPAC features to manage messaging costs and control usage. For example, MPAC can apply time-of-day controls, limit the number of messages sent during a particular month, and block all international messages or those originating from specific countries.

Interop also offers a customized subscriber portal that can be easily integrated with operators’ existing services, as well as other Web portals and mobile applications, to help subscribers easily set up their personalization features and controls. The portal gives operators the opportunity to further enhance their brand by customizing the portal, as well as to utilize the portal to up-sell services and generate online advertising revenue.

“MPAC delivers more of the features that messaging subscribers want,” said Jim Dwyer, III, Vice President, Product Management, Interop Technologies. “These enhancements support operators’ efforts to increase subscriber loyalty, reduce churn, and realize more value from their existing customer base.”

Facebook sets sights on the mobile mass market with Snaptu acquisition

Ovum principal analyst Eden Zoller

USA: Snaptu develops applications that make web services available on feature phones, which are the true mass market phone category and therefore exactly where Facebook wants to be.

Feature phones are less highly specified and priced than smartphones like the iPhone and are therefore particularly important for users in emerging markets, where in many countries mobile penetration is greater than fixed. In this context feature phones will dominate consumer access to the Internet and their experience of web services. This is a high growth opportunity and Facebook is making sure it is in a good position to exploit it.

Snaptu developed a Facebook for Feature Phones application earlier this year and it is now available on 2,500 different devices. Facebook must like the results, judging by the $60-$70 million it is widely reported to be paying for the Israeli developer, and clearly sees Snaptu’s technology as a means of extending its reach to a wider base of feature phone users.

AT&T buys T-Mobile

Ovum analyst Steven Hartley, Principal Analyst

AUSTRALIA: The deal is symptomatic of growing market maturity in the US, but is better for AT&T than Deutsche Telekom. AT&T gains spectrum for the forthcoming 4G battle and synergies. Deutsche Telekom gets a short-term cash boost way below the price it paid to enter the US and loses its global presence.

Nevertheless, Sprint is the biggest loser in this deal. It had 16 percent connection market share in Q4 2010 and was the third largest player of four nationwide carriers. It will remain third, but will have half the connection share of Verizon Wireless. Just as it was beginning to recover from its disastrous previous few years, so it is being further cut adrift from the leaders.

The key benefit for AT&T is T-Mobile’s spectrum. This enables AT&T to boost its own LTE plans, while also leveraging T-Mobile’s recent aggressive HSPA+ roll-out. The technology fit makes this so much more appealing than an oft-rumored, but illogical T-Mobile / Sprint tie up.

AT&T also gains scale in operational terms - an estimated $3 billion in synergies are expected per year after three years. The resultingorganisationwill have 129 million connections and 43% market share, although this assumes the deal receives complete regulatory approval without concessions. This is highly unlikely given the scale of the deal and following the asset swaps resulting from Verizon Wireless’ purchase of Alltel in 2008. Nonetheless, AT&T’s press release unashamedly panders to US government concerns:emphasisingcustomer benefits, US ownership, aunionisedworkforce and bridging the digital divide.

Despite all these benefits, integration will not be entirely straightforward. While certainly simpler than a Sprint / T-Mobile integration would have been, AT&T and T-Mobile still have technical hurdles to overcome, not least the fact that they operate today in different GSM spectrum bands. So even after the companies come together it will be some time before devices from the two operators are able to operate on each others’ networks.

Even after that, devices will likely have to be provisioned with more spectrum bands than previously to take advantage of the combined network. And this is on top of all the usual challenges associated with any integration effort. But AT&T certainly has the recent integration experience to make it work, following the BellSouth, SBC and Cingular mergers.

AnyDATA announces availability of high-performance 7” tablet

IRVINE, USA: AnyDATA Corp., a leader in the quality design and manufacture of high-performance wireless devices for network operators and OEMs worldwide, announced the commercial availability of the AMD 120/810, a pocket-sized, full-featured tablet with a 7-inch screen.

The AMD 120/810 is the first in the AnyDATA line of advanced tablets. Both models offer all the features associated with market-leading devices, but are value-priced. The AMD 120 will be available to customers of a leading North American network.

The highly mobile AMD120/810 combines a striking WSVGA display, a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core processor, and the Android operating system to provide a top-quality, mobile productivity and entertainment device for all age groups.

The instant-on AMD120 offers Wi-Fi connectivity; it will launch with the Gingerbread OS and is upgradeable to Honeycomb. The Qualcomm APQ8060 chipset for the AMD120 runs at 1.2 GHz.

The AMD810 for CDMA EV-DO Rev. A cellular networks operates on 800/1900 MHz and AWS bands and launches with the Honeycomb OS. The Qualcomm MSM8660 chipset runs at 1.5 GHz. The AMD810 offers both 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity and can be used as a mobile hotspot for other Wi-Fi devices.

“The value-priced AMD120/810 provides network operators of all sizes with competitive advantage—an opportunity to offer leading-edge tablet technology to all their customers,” said Raymond Kim, VP of Sales and Marketing at AnyDATA. “The AMD120/810 also helps operators to increase mobile broadband adoption more easily compared to procuring cost-prohibitive devices from big brands. Leveraging our strength in mobile broadband connectivity and our investment in Android OS, AnyDATA brings a unique set of value propositions to carriers and consumers.”

Weighing less than 1 pound (440 grams), the hand-sized AMD120/810 incorporates mobility features including Bluetooth 2.1; a USB 2.0 HS interface; dual speaker, microphone, and 3.5 mm ear jack; micro SD slot; as well as an accelerometer, gyroscope, digital compass, and light sensor. The AMD810 3G version also includes A-GPS and stand-alone GPS, enabling personal navigation.

For always-on productivity, the AMD120/810 delivers continuous communications via email, calendar, and—depending on carrier settings—video calls. It also offers access to thousands of Android business applications.

Entertainment features include PC-like Web browsing; access to all social networking sites; HD video recording and playback (HDMI 1080 p at 60fps); a media player with SRS virtual surround sound; a 3-megapixel, auto-focus rear camera with zoom for still images and video; and a 1.3-megapixel Web front camera for video chat with friends and business associates around the world.

Various colors and finishes, Google Mobile Services, and full FCC and carrier certification services also are available.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mindspeed to showcase LTE small cell base station advances

CTIA WIRELESS 2011, NEWPORT BEACH, USA: Mindspeed Technologies Inc., a leading supplier of semiconductor solutions for network infrastructure applications, announced that the company will be demonstrating next-generation long-term evolution (LTE) base station advances based on the company’s Transcede system-on-chip (SOC) solution at the International CTIA Wireless 2011 exhibition from March 22 through March 24, 2011, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

Mindspeed’s Transcede processor is the first fully-integrated commercially-available single SoC eNodeB solution offering 3GPP Release 8-compliant LTE Layer 1, Layer 2 and Layer 3 processing with picocell performance. It enables OEMs to leverage the same software architecture and programming model across the entire family of Transcede processors, and to scale designs from femtocells and picocells to microcells and macrocells. Transcede supports multiple radio access network (RAN) technologies in a single device and provides the industry’s highest level of integration.

Mindspeed is working closely with key enabling technology vendors to facilitate the delivery of a complete solution to its customers. In collaboration with Interphase Corporation, Continuous Computing and Ixia, Mindspeed will host LTE picocell demonstrations for service providers, customers and analysts in booth #4874. Mindspeed will spotlight its Transcede 4000 processor as well as an LTE picocell transmitting high-definition (HD) video.

Comviva signs MoU with Starfish Mobile

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Comviva, the global leader in providing mobile solutions beyond VAS, announced that it has signed an MoU with Starfish Mobile International Inc., one of the leading content aggregators and mobile marketing agencies in Africa. This tie-up with Starfish Mobile will further strengthen Comviva’s RBT (Ring Back Tone) content portfolio in the region.

With this partnership, both Comviva and Starfish Mobile bring their expertise and resources to the table with the content strategy that allows mobile operators to drive the quantity of users on their networks and to achieve sustainable usage of their services.

Manoranjan Mohapatra, CEO, Comviva said: “Music is one application that has proved a major success with subscribers globally, with subscribers embracing various music-based services such as Ring Back Tones. Comviva’s RBT is constantly evolving to meet the growing needs of subscribers across markets as well as support flexible business models that address operator requirements in the African market. The combination of partnering with Starfish Mobile, a leading African content aggregator, together with our proven expertise in deploying and managing music services for operators across multiple growth markets, will further drive the success of ring back tone services in Africa.”

“We are excited about this partnership as Starfish Mobile works closely with a number of both local and international to source an extensive selection of ring back tones that cater to the diverse tastes of consumers across Africa,” he added.

Per Ostberg, chairman, Starfish Mobile International Inc., said: “We see a great opportunity for ring back tones services in Africa. At Starfish Mobile we have developed a content strategy that allows mobile operators to drive the quantity of users on their networks and to achieve sustainable usage of their latest high tech products. Our partnership with Comviva will further add value to operators’ RBT services and extending their appeal to a broader subscriber base as well as expanding our reach in Africa and thus increasing our local and international content partners’ exposure to a variety of markets. We look forward to extend our existing partnerships and footprint in Africa with Comviva.”

Comviva’s RBT content portfolio enables operators to provide a wide range of personalized mobile music applications, allowing subscribers to reflect their personality and emotions using Comviva’s RBT applications. The solution has witnessed huge success with over 13 million subscribers on a single operator network and deployed by over 20 operators across the globe.

Comviva has continuously enhanced its RBT offering to maintain subscriber stickiness, introducing ‘Star 2 Copy’ to simplify usage, ‘”A” Party Caller Tunes’ to provide callers with a choice of tune and AdsRBT to promote subscriber-relevant brands and enable subsidized service usage. Handset and SIM independent, RBT is available to all subscribers, whether prepaid, postpaid, fixed or wireless.

Akai launches dual SIM active 2212

INDIA: AKAI, one of the largest Japanese consumer electronics brands, entered the Indian mobile handset market last year with 10 exciting new models in the dual SIM category. The innovatively designed handsets are affordably priced between Rs. 1,895 to Rs. 7,995.

The USP of Akai mobile phones is the mass appeal to consumers across all segments with a special focus on the youth. The mobile phones are currently available across 15000 retail outlets in the country with a targeted increase to 20,000 outlets in coming few months.

Source: Akai.The AKAI 2212 is the latest mobile phone from the company that comes with ultra slim design and impressive features. This bar shaped mobile phone offers dual SIM dual standby option and boasts of 4.6 cm (1.8”) TFT display. The mobile phone comes equipped with 1.3 megapixel camera with flash. The digital zoom of the camera enables clear image capturing of distant objects. Besides still images, the camera can also record videos.

Other multimedia options of the phone include FM radio & recording, automatic call recording. It sports a one-touch music launch button and 3.5 mm audio-jack. The mobile phone supports memory expansion of up to 4GB. AKAI 2212 has a variety of connectivity features that include GPRS, Bluetooth with A2DP, WAP Browser and USB. The 1000 mAh battery of the phone provides standby time of around 300 hours and also has the useful LED torch feature.

Currently available across 15000 retail outlets in the country with a targeted increase to 20,000 outlets in coming few months. It is priced Rs. 2,200.

AT&T to acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom

DALLAS, USA & BONN, GERMANY: AT&T Inc. and Deutsche Telekom AG announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which AT&T will acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom in a cash-and-stock transaction currently valued at approximately $39 billion. The agreement has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies.

AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile USA provides an optimal combination of network assets to add capacity sooner than any alternative, and it provides an opportunity to improve network quality in the near term for both companies’ customers. In addition, it provides a fast, efficient and certain solution to the impending exhaustion of wireless spectrum in some markets, which limits both companies’ ability to meet the ongoing explosive demand for mobile broadband.

With this transaction, AT&T commits to a significant expansion of robust 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) deployment to 95 percent of the US population to reach an additional 46.5 million Americans beyond current plans – including rural communities and small towns. This helps achieve the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and President Obama’s goals to connect “every part of America to the digital age.” T-Mobile USA does not have a clear path to delivering LTE.

“This transaction represents a major commitment to strengthen and expand critical infrastructure for our nation’s future,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chairman and CEO. “It will improve network quality, and it will bring advanced LTE capabilities to more than 294 million people. Mobile broadband networks drive economic opportunity everywhere, and they enable the expanding high-tech ecosystem that includes device makers, cloud and content providers, app developers, customers, and more. During the past few years, America’s high-tech industry has delivered innovation at unprecedented speed, and this combination will accelerate its continued growth.”

Stephenson continued: “This transaction delivers significant customer, shareowner and public benefits that are available at this level only from the combination of these two companies with complementary network technologies, spectrum positions and operations. We are confident in our ability to execute a seamless integration, and with additional spectrum and network capabilities, we can better meet our customers’ current demands, build for the future and help achieve the President’s goals for a high-speed, wirelessly connected America.”

Deutsche Telekom chairman and CEO, René Obermann, said: “After evaluating strategic options for T-Mobile USA, I am confident that AT&T is the best partner for our customers, shareholders and the mobile broadband ecosystem. Our common network technology makes this a logical combination and provides an efficient path to gaining the spectrum and network assets needed to provide T-Mobile customers with 4G LTE and the best devices. Also, the transaction returns significant value to Deutsche Telekom shareholders and allows us to retain exposure to the US market.”

As part of the transaction, Deutsche Telekom will receive an equity stake in AT&T that, based on the terms of the agreement, would give Deutsche Telekom an ownership interest in AT&T of approximately 8 percent. A Deutsche Telekom representative will join the AT&T Board of Directors.

Competition and pricing
The US wireless industry is one of the most fiercely competitive markets in the world and will remain so after this deal. The US is one of the few countries in the world where a large majority of consumers can choose from five or more wireless providers in their local market. For example, in 18 of the top 20 US local markets, there are five or more providers. Local market competition is escalating among larger carriers, low-cost carriers and several regional wireless players with nationwide service plans. This intense competition is only increasing with the build-out of new 4G networks and the emergence of new market entrants.

The competitiveness of the market has directly benefited consumers. A 2010 report from the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) states the overall average price (adjusted for inflation) for wireless services declined 50 percent from 1999 to 2009, during a period which saw five major wireless mergers.

Addresses wireless spectrum challenges facing AT&T, T-Mobile USA, their customers, and US policymakers
This transaction quickly provides the spectrum and network efficiencies necessary for AT&T to address impending spectrum exhaust in key markets driven by the exponential growth in mobile broadband traffic on its network. AT&T’s mobile data traffic grew 8,000 percent over the past four years and by 2015 it is expected to be eight to 10 times what it was in 2010. Put another way, all of the mobile traffic volume AT&T carried during 2010 is estimated to be carried in just the first six to seven weeks of 2015.

Because AT&T has led the US in smartphones, tablets and e-readers – and as a result, mobile broadband – it requires additional spectrum before new spectrum will become available. In the long term, the entire industry will need additional spectrum to address the explosive growth in demand for mobile broadband.

Improves service quality for US wireless customers
AT&T and T-Mobile USA customers will see service improvements - including improved voice quality - as a result of additional spectrum, increased cell tower density and broader network infrastructure. At closing, AT&T will immediately gain cell sites equivalent to what would have taken on average five years to build without the transaction, and double that in some markets.

The combination will increase AT&T’s network density by approximately 30 percent in some of its most populated areas, while avoiding the need to construct additional cell towers. This transaction will increase spectrum efficiency to increase capacity and output, which not only improves service, but is also the best way to ensure competitive prices and services in a market where demand is extremely high and spectrum is in short supply.

Expands 4G LTE deployment to 95 percent of US population – urban and rural areas
This transaction will directly benefit an additional 46.5 million Americans – equivalent to the combined populations of the states of New York and Texas – who will, as a result of this combination, have access to AT&T’s latest 4G LTE technology. In terms of area covered, the transaction enables 4G LTE deployment to an additional 1.2 million square miles, equivalent to 4.5 times the size of the state of Texas.

Rural and smaller communities will substantially benefit from the expansion of 4G LTE deployment, increasing the competitiveness of the businesses and entrepreneurs in these areas.

Increases AT&T’s investment in the US
The acquisition will increase AT&T’s infrastructure investment in the US by more than $8 billion over seven years. Expansion of AT&T’s 4G LTE network is an important foundation for the next wave of innovation and growth in mobile broadband, ensuring the US continues to lead the world in wireless technology and availability. It makes T-Mobile USA, currently a German-owned US telecom network, part of a US-based company.

An impressive, combined workforce
Bringing AT&T and T-Mobile USA together will create an impressive workforce that is best positioned to compete in today’s global economy. Post-closing, AT&T intends to tap into the significant knowledge and expertise held by employees of both AT&T and T-Mobile USA to succeed. AT&T is the only major US wireless company with a union workforce, offering leading wages, benefits, training and development for employees. The combined company will continue to have a strong employee and operations base in the Seattle area.

Consistent with AT&T’s track record of value-enhancing acquisitions
AT&T has a strong track record of executing value-enhancing acquisitions and expects to create substantial value for shareholders through large, straightforward synergies with a run rate of more than $3 billion, three years after closing onward (excluding integration costs). The value of the synergies is expected to exceed the purchase price of $39 billion. Revenue synergies come from opportunities to increase smartphone penetration and data average revenue per user, with cost savings coming from network efficiencies, subscriber and support savings, reduced churn and avoided capital and spectrum expenditures.

The transaction will enhance margin potential and improve the company’s long-term revenue growth potential as it benefits from a more robust mobile broadband platform for new services.