Monday, December 31, 2012

TeliaSonera completes transactions for mobile data growth in Kazakhstan


SWEDEN: The formal conditions to complete the acquisition of the WiMax operations of the Kazakh Co. Alem Communications, from its owner Midas Telecom, and an indirect minority investment in KazTransCom, through the purchase of shares from Alatau LLP, have been met. The intention to carry out the transactions was announced on August 14, and they are expected to complete in early January 2013.

With the acquisition of a WiMax network in six cities TeliaSonera also secures valuable frequencies in the 2.5/2.6 GHz band, which are important in order to cater to an anticipated increased demand for mobile data. The frequencies are compatible for use with mobile data transmission technologies such as 4G.

Following completion of the transactions, Kcell, TeliaSonera’s subsidiary in Kazakhstan, will have full access to these businesses on commercial terms. It already deploys the backbone capacity of KazTransCom's national fibre optic network, and it has started to prepare for the deployment of the frequencies of Alem Communications.

TeliaSonera intends to transfer to Kcell the WiMax operations, including frequencies, and its investment in KazTransCom, subject to satisfaction of certain conditions as disclosed in the Kcell IPO prospectus.

The total value of the transactions is $205 million (subject to any post completion accounting adjustments), of which the Wimax acquisition from Midas Telecom represents $170 million, and the minority investment and option rights related to KazTransCom represents $35 million. Midas Telecom LLP is owned by Ms. Aigul Nuriyeva and Alatau LLP is owned by Ms. Raushan Sagdiyeva.

Friday, December 28, 2012

PCTEL consolidates into PCTEL connected solutions and RF solutions


USA: PCTEL Inc. will combine the Antenna Products Group and Connected Solutions into PCTEL Connected Solutions. Jeff Miller, who has been promoted to president, Connected Solutions will manage that group’s sales, marketing, product and business development, and engineering.

Tony Kobrinetz, as senior VP and COO, Connected Solutions, will manage that group’s production, distribution, and manufacturing operations in Bloomingdale, Illinois, Lexington, North Carolina, and Tianjin, China. In that capacity, Tony will also serve as the Corporate CTO and CIO. David Neumann, who has been the VP, Global Sales for RF Solutions has been promoted to VP and GM, RF Solutions. As part of this re-organization, the company’s Network Engineering Services group, led by Bob Joslin, will now report to David.

The consolidation of the company’s product and service groups into two businesses reflects the similarity in customers and focus between the scanning receiver business and network services and, similarly, the shared customers and product solutions between Connected Solutions (formerly Telworx) and the Antenna Products Group.

The company anticipates that PCTEL Connected Solutions will contribute approximately 70-80 percent of the total revenue in 2013 with RF Solutions contributing the balance. Tim Scronce, who had been leading the Connected Solutions operation has left the company to pursue other interests.

Tecnotree receives order from new operator in Africa


FINLAND: Telecom IT solutions provider Tecnotree has received a purchase order worth $4.6 million from a new operator customer in Africa.

Tecnotree will deliver a voice messaging solution based on the Tecnotree Agility Messaging product suite. The delivery is expected to be completed in six months.

Stavros Vougas, VP for Tecnotree Middle East and Africa, comments: ”Tecnotree is delighted to be present in this region. Africa faces strong growth in telecommunications services, and we are ideally positioned to help operators meet the demand as a broad suite solutions provider. With this new, important order, we now serve 30 telecom operators across the African continent.”

Rostelecom meets new year of 2013 with actualized strategy


RUSSIA: OJSC Rostelecom announced that at its meeting on December 26, 2012, the Company’s Board of Directors approved an updated strategy blueprint of the Company development for 2013-2017, prepared pursuant to requirements of the Federal Agency for the State Property Management (Rosimuschestvo).

Ivan Rodionov, chairman of the Board of Directors, said, “We have actualized the Strategy taking into account the market dynamics and focusing on growth segments like fixed and mobile data, Pay TV and innovative services. In legacy segments we are more focused on cost optimization.”

The newly approved strategy takes into account market trends and updated launch dates of the Company’s UMTS networks, including those in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

The updated strategy emphasizes the difference between managing Rostelecom fixed-line business (fixed-line communications, as well as fixed broadband access, IPTV, VPN) and the Company’s key growth drivers (innovative cloud services and mobile business, primarily Wireless Broadband (WBB). The fixed-line business currently accounting for significantly more than half of the Company revenues is expected to decline over the five year term, as well as its profitability. Fixed-line telephony revenues dynamics are expected to be offset by revenue from broadband and IPTV.

According to the strategy, growth in innovative cloud services and WBB will enable Rostelecom to growth in line with the Russian telecom market (CAGR over the period 2013-2017 is expected to be around 6 percent) or slightly over the market. This forecast is in line with the previous high single digit revenue growth guidance.

The business growth will be facilitated by focusing CAPEX on developing broadband access, Pay TV and transport network (accounting for 60 percent of the total CAPEX over 2013-2017), and on the mobile segment (24 percent of the total CAPEX over the same period). The remaining CAPEX will be spent on innovations etc. The average over 2013-2017 CAPEX to revenue ratio is expected around 14 percent, mainly due to the finalization of roll-out of IT systems and passing the investments pick in innovations segment after 2014.

The second ambitious goal for the years to come is cost cutting in the fixed-line segment. The ultimate goal for 2017 is Group OIBDA margin at level of 39 percent.

The cost cutting will be achieved by modernization of networks and avoiding overlaps, centralization and reduction of management levels in the Company, releasing real estate and cutting its maintenance costs.

Earlier the actualized strategy was discussed at a meeting of an extended Strategy Committee of the Board, attended by the Strategy Committee’s members, other Board members, and representatives of Rosimuschestvo and the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media of Russia.

The Board of Directors also approved the Risk Management Programme (RMP) for 2013. Currently, the RPM is focused on the most significant risks, primarily commercial risks and risks of changes in regulation. The identified risks were evaluated in details down to business segment level, services, and also across regions, down to specific cities in some instances.

An essential component of the RMP is pragmatic measures put in place to mitigate risks, while the RPM for 2013 contains primarily project measures. Management responsibility for risk management system is reflected in motivation programme. These initiatives were supported by the Board of Directors. Risk management reports are to be submitted quarterly to the Board of Directors for review.

The Board of Director also approved Rostelecom budget for 2013.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

CDNetworks selects Etisalat’s SmartHub to enhance online shopping


USA: Etisalat has recently formed a regional strategic partnership with CDNetworks through Etisalat’s SmartHub, to allow greater opportunities for e-commerce and online purchases in the UAE.

The partnership with Etisalat means that the UAE is the latest country to become CDNetworks point of presence (PoP) in the Middle East, joining Turkey, Iraq, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, with CDNetworks now having more than 140 PoPs worldwide.

“With 70 percent of the UAE population online, CDNetworks customers will benefit greatly from the partnership with Etisalat,” said Jeff Kim, COO Americas/EMEA, CDNetworks. “This point of presence, added to our existing coverage in the Middle East, ensures that our customers who offer online goods and services in the region can provide the best user experience possible.”

The UAE has a solid base of affluent shoppers who are turning to the Internet to research and purchase items. A recent study by MasterCard found that consumers in UAE shop online for airline tickets, hotel rooms and home appliances as well as clothing accessories.

According to the International Monetary Fund, the UAE has the seventh largest 2011 GDP per capita in the world, which, says the Central Bank, is potentially growing by 3.5 percent in 2012, representing a significant market for CDNetworks travel and retail customers.

Asia fixed broadband and Internet market and forecasts


USA: Reportlinker.com announces that a new market research report is available in its catalog: Asia Fixed Broadband and Internet Market and Forecasts.

Fixed broadband in Asia still dominated by the North Asia players as the other markets try hard to close the 'digital gap'The energetic expansion of broadband was for a long time a phenomenon limited to the developed economies, with narrowband dial-up access being the norm in the majority of the poorer developing countries of the region.

This has been changing rapidly of late, but nonetheless there remains a 'digital gap'. In those economies where there is extensive access to broadband, both DSL and cable modem platforms have both proved popular, with DSL establishing a clear advantage.

In fact, Asia has become the leading region in the world for DSL, with close to 40 percent of the global DSL subscribers to be found in the region. More recently, we have seen the arrival of FttX as an alternative platform for broadband access in Asia. FttX already comprises over 50 percent of the high speed internet access connections in the leading technology markets of Japan and South Korea. And in Japan, as FttX grows DSL has been in decline.

As broadband internet continues to extend its presence across Asia, the region's broadband market finds itself dominated by six 'high flyers.' These 'High' ranked markets comprise five economies of North Asia plus Singapore. South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau, Taiwan and Japan, for the moment at least, have been well and truly leading the way in terms of both penetration and sophistication of their broadband services and infrastructure.

Their fixed broadband penetration rates by population are in excess of 20 percent; this sees fixed broadband household penetrations of between 90 percent and 100 percent.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Mobile gaming market to reach $100 billion by 2017


CANADA: Lucky Nugget, one of the largest and most popular casinos to operate in Canada, can confirm the mobile gaming market is set to reach $100 billion in just five years. The market is fuelled by the expansion of the smartphone market along with an increase in gaming and gambling apps and mobile-enabled online casinos.

Eighty-five percent of the Canadian population uses a cellphone, which is almost 26 million people and 45 percent of these cellphone users own a smartphone. As much as 50 percent of Canada’s mobile population uses the Internet on a regular basis, most do so to use downloaded apps – 85 percent of smartphone users – and many of these apps are games.

As online casino sites look to expand and attract new users, mobile is becoming increasingly important. Not only do the best online casino sites now offer mobile-enabled pages, where content is designed specifically for cellphones – adapted to smaller screens etc – they are also developing apps which can be downloaded to offer 24/7 gaming on the go.

Mobile gaming takes all the benefits of online gambling one step further. When online casinos first came into existence they offered greater flexibility, choice and inclusivity when compared to land-based casinos that were restrictive, exclusionary and often thousands of miles away from where a player lived and worked.

Mobile gambling enhances online gaming by yet another degree. Players can place bets on the train during their commute to work, whilst watching TV at home or even during their lunch breaks. Choice has been greatly expanded at the same time and in a bid to make things mobile friendly, sites have become more user-friendly too. The result is that mobile gambling is even easier and more flexible and diverse than online casino gambling.

Of course there is still a place for regular online casinos, just as there is for land-based casinos. A diversified market offers maximum choice and thus appeals to an even greater numbers of players. Plus, new players can be attracted by these other mediums; mobile gamers may want to upgrade to online games and may even progress to land-based gaming in the future.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

AT&T receives FCC approval for acquisition of NextWave


USA: AT&T announced that the FCC has approved AT&T’s pending acquisition of NextWave Wireless and other pending WCS spectrum acquisitions. The FCC previously approved a joint proposal from AT&T and Sirius XM that permits deployment of mobile broadband service in the WCS band.

“The long era of dispute and uncertainty surrounding the WCS spectrum band is finally over. With the Order released this week, AT&T will be able to complete acquisitions that will give it a path to robust commercial LTE deployment in the WCS band,” said Joan Marsh, AT&T vice president of Federal Regulatory.

“We applaud the FCC Chairman and Commissioners for their commitment to fostering innovative spectrum solutions that unlock under-utilized spectrum bands to serve the growing demands of American consumers. Repositioning the WCS band for LTE deployment is a significant accomplishment which will spur aggressive investment by AT&T and create good paying jobs across the wireless and technology eco-systems.

"This is also a win for our customers, who will benefit from today’s Order for years to come as we realize the spectrum’s full potential to enhance our wireless broadband offerings.”

AT&T intends to deploy WCS spectrum for added 4G LTE capacity in approximately three years. AT&T now expects the NextWave transaction will close during the first quarter of 2013.

Monday, December 24, 2012

By 2015, one-third of consumer brands will integrate payment into branded mobile apps


USA: By 2015, 33 percent of consumer brands will integrate payment into their branded mobile apps, according to Gartner, Inc. In the next three years, this trend will unfold so that brands can sell directly and enhance the customer experience. This trend will be more pronounced for brands with retail outlets, such as those in the fashion, food and drink, grocery and entertainment sectors.

"Many consumer brands have launched branded apps that focus on marketing activities such as offering product information, checking loyalty points, and collecting coupons and offers. A few early adopters have integrated payment functions into their apps. Brands need to help consumers make purchasing decisions in an efficient and personalized way," said Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner.

"Branded apps should be good shopping apps in the first place, and payment is only the final step before making the sale. To achieve this, they will use a combination of mobile apps, text messages and Web browsers to engage customers and increase sales. In developed markets, apps will lead the way, whereas in emerging markets text messages are likely to dominate initially."

Consumers might prefer to use an aggregator app — a single app from which they can access multiple brands. Such apps can be online marketplace apps or specialist apps dealing with location information, promotional offers and travel. Branded companies' apps will have to compete with these aggregator apps in terms of richness of offering and user experience. Only those that deliver compelling value and user experience will last.

Mobile operators feeling pressure from OTT and free services


USA: Infonetics Research released excerpts from its 2G, 3G, 4G (LTE) Services and Subscribers: Voice, SMS/MMS, and Broadband market size and forecasts report, which tracks mobile services revenue, mobile voice and data average revenue per user (ARPU), and mobile voice and broadband subscribers.

“As we approach mobile saturation, the mobile industry is undeniably shifting from voice to data, and over-the-top voice revenue is shifting away from mobile operators,” notes Stéphane Téral, principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics at Infonetics Research.

“SMS use is fading in places like Japan, the US, the Netherlands, and the UK in favor of free applications over mobile broadband that enable Internet browsing, email and, more importantly, video. Those services may be free to subscribers, but handling the traffic is not free to the network operators.”

Téral adds: “Service providers are spending billions of dollars to upgrade their networks to handle the skyrocketing traffic; if they don’t, they face network outages and subscriber turnover. They’re all looking for cost savings and efficiencies. But it comes down to subscribers either being willing to pay a fair price for the services provided or not.”

Mobile services market highlights
* Mobile service revenue is increasing year-over-year but the growth rate is decreasing and in some cases not keeping pace with network operator capital expenditures (capex).
* Despite the rise of revenue from mobile data services, blended ARPU continues to fall or stay flat due to fierce competition, declining voice ARPU, and regulatory tariffs.
* Mobile broadband services are growing fastest, with global revenue on track to nearly double between 2012 and 2016.
* Revenue from services carried on W-CDMA/HSPA networks will exceed revenue from CDMA2000/EV-DO-based services by more than six-fold by 2016.
* Thanks to its aggressive LTE strategy, Verizon Wireless now accounts for just over 1/3 of the world’s 44 million LTE subscribers.
* Asia Pacific is home to around 45 percent of the world’s 1.1 billion mobile broadband subscribers.
* Mobile broadband subscribers are expected to surpass contract voice subscribers by 2015.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

octoScope intros industry’s first MIMO wireless channel emulation logic subsystem


USA: octoScope, Inc., a wireless solutions and services company, announced a real-time logic implementation of its multiple input multiple output (MIMO) octoFade wireless testing solution.

When applied to a wireless signal using digital signal processing, channel emulation makes the signal appear as though it has traversed a realistic indoor or outdoor space, having been reflected from walls, cars, people or other surfaces.

With octoFade, channel emulation can be integrated into wireless test equipment such as vector signal generators (VSG) and base-station emulators. octoFade implements channel models defined by standards bodies such as IEEE 802.11 and 3GPP. These channel models emulate the effects of multipath and Doppler fading occurring in typical indoor and outdoor environments.

octoFade is the first computational subsystem of a MIMO wireless channel emulator being offered stand-alone for integration into test instruments or testbeds.

octoFade-3GPP is an RTL solution that implements standards-based 2G/3G/LTE channel models (802.11n/ac models to be added soon). octoFade-module is a PCIe based FPGA board running octoFade-3GPP RTL in a PC system. A powerful applications programming interface (API) lets engineers and integrators configure octoFade logic with 3GPP certification channel models. Engineers can also configure octoFade with custom channel models.

octoFade-3GPP RTL and octoFade-module hardware can be easily integrated with test equipment, such as base station emulators or VSGs, thereby enabling these instruments to also serve as channel emulators, saving end-users the cost of expensive (typically over $100k) stand-alone channel emulators.

An excellent platform for channel emulation is the recently announced National Instruments Vector Signal Transceiver (VST), a VSG and a VSA (vector signal analyzer) in a single module. Incorporating state of the art RF front end and FPGA subsystems, the NI VST hardware and open LabVIEW architecture make a perfect ‘home’ for a multitude of test functions, including channel emulation.

“National Instruments welcomes developers such as octoScope to enable the NI Vector Signal Transceiver with wireless channel emulation functionality. The addition of octoScope's software-based IP extends the use of National Instruments RF instruments to a multitude of important test functions, particularly in an automated quality assurance testbed,” said Eric Starkloff, VP of Marketing at National Instruments.

“octoFade-module is the only channel-emulation solution that provides baseband interfaces for integration into test equipment or for use in a variety of radio development environments and testbeds,” said Fanny Mlinarsky, president of octoScope. “Competing channel emulation solutions burden users with expensive RF hardware, when in many cases the required hardware already exists in testbeds,” she added.

octoFade-3GPP RTL and octoFade-module are a continuation of octoScope’s channel emulation solution, octoFade-WiFi. octoFade-WiFi is a software-based implementation of 802.11n/ac channel models offering source code or executable library for test waveform generation.

octoScope plans to integrate channel emulation functionality with its octoBox controlled RF environment testbed to create a powerful laboratory setup capable of emulating real-world conditions, including multipath, Doppler, motion of devices, noise and interference. The octoBox testbed is currently used by engineers to test radio range, throughput, roaming and mesh functionality.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Critical role of broadband demand stimulation strategies


USA: Sonia Jorge, consulting director for Pyramid Research's Regulation and Public Policy Practice, has published a new research note, highlighting the critical role that that governments, service providers, device manufacturers and other ICT ecosystem's stakeholders play in generating demand for broadband access and services across emerging markets.

Demand for broadband services continues to increase across regions, and mobile broadband plays a unique role in the access equation. Therefore, it is no surprise that several governments and service providers have worked tirelessly to improve spectrum management, licensing processes and to make desirable spectrum available for the provision of mobile broadband services, notes Jorge.

"Several variables determine the level of demand, but one thing is clear: When the technology and relevant services are available, users are willing to spend a considerable amount of their incomes in connectivity and services, including applications that are relevant to their productive activities," Jorge explains.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

NETGEAR's most advanced DOCSIS gateway receives CableLabs DOCSIS 3.0 certification


USA: NETGEAR Inc., a global networking company that delivers innovative products to consumers, businesses and service providers, today announced that its CG4500 voice/data Gateway has received the CableLabs DOCSIS 3.0 certification. This unit has the capability for 24 x 4 channel bonding.

The CG4500TM is NETGEAR's most advanced DOCSIS 3.0 voice/data gateway integrating in one device. Features include:

24 x 4 channel bonding: With rapid growth in the access bandwidth being deployed by telecom providers worldwide, Multi-System Operators (MSOs) are facing a challenging competitive environment. With a 24x4 channel bonded DOCSIS gateway, MSOs now have a compelling solution to address this threat.

In addition, a 24 x 4 channel bonded solution like the NETGEAR CG4500 enables MSOs to accelerate their migration strategy to an all IP access network, offering up to 1Gbps throughput making it three times faster than any DOCSIS gateway available in the market today.

Concurrent dual band wireless: With the explosion of connected media devices within the home, supporting operator's multi-screen initiatives is now an imperative. The CG4500 addresses this requirement with high-performance dual-band concurrent 802.11n wireless networking.  The dual-band wireless provides up to 900Mbps (450+450 Mbps) aggregate speed and with simultaneous dual-band technology helps mitigate interference ensuring sustained throughput and reliable connections.

Integrated MoCA: In addition, MoCA is now the preferred technology of choice for MSOs to reliably connect devices within the home.  With integrated MoCA, the CG4500 gateway enables seamless data and video distribution over the in-home coax network.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

D-Link first to receive Broadband Forum TR-069 certification


USA:  D-Link has received Broadband Forum TR-069 certification for the D-Link Wireless N750 Dual Band Router (DIR-835), providing advanced remote management capabilities to service providers and increased ease-of-use to customers.

While D-Link has been shipping TR-069-enabled CPE routers to North American and European service provider customers for the past four years, the Wireless N750 Dual Band Router (DIR-835) is the first shipping CPE router with TR-069 certification, underscoring its commitment to continued innovation and to helping Internet service providers (ISPs) deliver an enhanced customer experience.

"Service providers face many challenges as they work to deliver the optimal end user experience for today's homes," said Eli Gavra, senior VP, Service Provider Business Unit, D-Link. "The new Broadband Forum TR-069 certification augments D-Link's ongoing efforts to support new technologies and to deliver high performance products that are easier to use and manage for both our service provider partners and our customers."

The TR-069 certification, also known as CPE WAN Management Protocol, was developed by the Broadband Forum to help establish a foundation of interoperability for continued innovation in connected home services.

As the number of broadband subscribers, applications, devices, and services continues to grow, the Broadband Forum's efforts enable home, business and converged broadband services, encompassing customer, access and backbone networks. The certification testing is handled by the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL), an independent laboratory, under its Home Networking Consortium.

"This has been a notable commitment for all who have been involved in this initial wave of certification," said Robin Mersh , CEO of Broadband Forum. "We congratulate D-Link on their product's successful bid for BBF.069 certification and for their company's continued commitment to adherence to global standards."

The D-Link Wireless N750 Dual Band Router (DIR-835) offers a range of performance and network management features for service providers, including simultaneous dual band performance – 2.4GHz and 5GHz – for streaming HD videos and playing games while chatting and surfing the web with less interference.

In addition, the DIR-835 offers fast multimedia streaming at speeds of up to 450Mbps as well as four Gigabit Ethernet ports for faster wired network. SharePort Plus Technology also allows users to share USB Printers and storage devices over the network.

Wireless technology takes center stage at 2013 International CES


2013 International CES, USA: The 2013 International CES will unveil the latest wireless technologies and trends across the mobile connected universe, including advancements in accessories, the cloud, e-books, embedded technology, smartphones and tablets, through a series of keynote addresses, supersessions, conference tracks and TechZones dedicated to future trends in wireless technology.

Owned and produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the 2013 CES, the world’s largest annual innovation event, will take place January 8-11, in Las Vegas.

With more than 1,200 exhibitors showcasing wireless technologies at the 2013 CES, mobile connected devices are driving the industry as consumers seek to stay connected anywhere, anytime. CEA research shows that smartphone sales will see continued growth in 2013 and will remain the primary revenue driver for the industry.

Shipment revenues for smartphones are expected to reach $37 billion in 2013, with more than 125.8 million units shipping to dealers, up 16 percent from 2012. Tablet computers also are expected to see phenomenal growth. In 2013, unit sales of tablets are projected to surpass 105 million (up 54 percent), resulting in $35.6 billion in shipment revenue, up 22 percent year-over-year.

“Wireless convergence is set to unleash a plethora of real world, next-gen wireless technologies as the 2013 CES,” said Karen Chupka, senior VP of International CES and corporate business strategy. “Half of the fun of the 2013 CES will be seeing the news announcements, experiencing the latest wireless technologies firsthand and learning more about what’s to come in our keynotes, sessions and TechZones.”

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Samsung displaces Nokia as top cellphone brand in 2012


USA: For the first time in 14 years, wireless communications giant Nokia will not sit atop the global cellphone business on an annual basis at the end of 2012—with Samsung set to seize the mobile handset market’s top rank.

Samsung is expected to account for 29 percent of worldwide cellphone shipments, up from 24 percent in 2011, according to the IHS iSuppli Mobile and Wireless Communications Service. Nokia’s share this year will drop to 24 percent, down from 30 percent last year.

A dislodged Nokia will cause Samsung to rise to first place for the full year of 2012, up from the second rank in 2011, the first time the South Korean electronics titan will occupy the top on a yearly basis. Nokia will fall to the runner-up spot, the first time since 1998 it  won’t be in peak position for overall cellphone shipments during a full calendar year.

“The competitive reality of the cellphone market in 2012 was ‘live by the smartphone; die by the smartphone,’” said Wayne Lam, senior analyst for wireless communications at IHS.

“Smartphones represent the fastest-growing segment of the cellphone market—and will account for nearly half of all wireless handset shipments for all of 2012. Samsung’s successes and Nokia’s struggles in the cellphone market this year were determined entirely by the two companies’ divergent fortunes in the smartphone sector.”

Global smartphone shipments are set to rise by 35.5 percent this year, while overall cellphone shipments will increase by approximately 1 percent. This rapid growth will propel 2012 smartphone penetration to 47 percent, up from 35 percent in 2011.

Samsung’s success vs. Nokia’s nosedive
Samsung's success has been built on its “fast follower” strategy for design and manufacturing. The company produces dozens of new smartphone models every year that address all segments of the market, from the high end to the low end.

Samsung monitors the big trends in smartphone design, user needs and unmet market opportunities, then creates products to fit those markets quickly and efficiently.

Meanwhile, Finnish-based Nokia is mired in transitioning its smartphone line to the Windows operating system, resulting in declining shipments for the company. Sales of the company’s older Symbian-based phones have plunged, while its new Microsoft Windows 7-based handsets haven’t been able to make up for the loss so far.

Samsung is expected to post the best performance among the Top 5 smartphone brands in 2012, with its share of global smartphone shipments rising 8 points to 28 percent, up from 20 percent in 2011. In contrast, Nokia will suffer the biggest decrease, with its share forecast to plunge by 11 points to 5 percent in 2012, down from 16 percent in 2011.

Samsung pulls ahead of Apple
Samsung and Apple ended 2011 in a neck-and-neck battle for leadership in the smartphone market, with only 1 percentage point of market share separating them. However, entering the 2012 year, Samsung moved ahead decisively ahead of Apple with a wide range of Android smartphone offerings.

Samsung made significant gains in both the high end as well as the low-cost market with its Galaxy line of smartphones. This diversified market approach has allowed Samsung to address a larger target audience for its phones than Apple’s limited premium iPhone line.

The Samsung and Apple duopoly represents the dominant force in the smartphone market, with the two companies accounting for 49 percent of shipments in 2012, up from 39 percent in 2011. While Nokia and Canada’s Research in Motion (RIM) also held double-digit shares of the market in 2011, Samsung and Apple remain the only two players that will each command a double-digit portion of the smartphone space in 2012.

HTC and RIM face challenges
Along with Nokia, two other entities—HTC of Taiwan, as well as RIM—struggled throughout 2012 in the smartphone market.

HTC is facing a tough battle against Samsung, an acknowledged technology powerhouse, in the Android smartphone market. Market share for HTC will shrink to 5 percent in 2012, down from 9 percent in 2011.

RIM, meanwhile, lacking a fresh new version of its operating system, has seen its market share slip as the company’s traditional enterprise consumers left the platform for both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. RIM’s share will fall to 5 percent in 2012, down from 11 percent in 2011.

2013: Smartphones go mainstream
With the growth momentum behind smartphones, IHS anticipates that the smartphone penetration rate in 2013 will elevate smartphones into the majority among all phone segments, at 56 percent. This event will mark a significant tipping point in the mobile handset market, as the smartphone takes a dominant position in the industry.

Source: IHS iSuppli, USA.

2012 mobile year in review


USA: Mobile Future released the "2012 Mobile Year in Review," a video that takes a rapid-fire tour of the blistering evolution and demand for wireless connectivity in an eventful 2012.

The video highlights unprecedented social media engagement; fast growing demand for and adoption of smarter mobile devices; and the surge of faster mobile networks with accelerated connections.

"From mobile social networking to leading-edge devices and faster service, the 2012 mobile marketplace is a true model of success in today's innovation economy," said Mobile Future Chairman Jonathan Spalter . "After another year of profound progress, we can say with confidence our mobile future guarantees greater possibility and unlimited potential."

Key 2012 highlights include:

Unprecedented social media mobile engagement
* Mobile data usage literally doubled in 2012.
* At 31 million tweets the 2012 Presidential Election was the most Tweeted event in history. Six in 10 Americans now want the right to vote – via wireless.
* 10 million photos were shared on Instagram during Thanksgiving 2012 – peaking at 226 pictures per second.
* Over 50 percent of all mobile data was video, and consumers watched 9.3 billion mobile videos in the US alone.

Rapid growth of smarter mobile devices
* More than half of the Americans now own smartphones, and there are over 1 billion smartphones globally.
* Apple sold more mobile devices in 2012 than it sold computers ever.
* iPhone 5 sales alone could single-handedly move the entire $15 trillion US economy by up to half a percent.

Surge of faster mobile networks with accelerated connections
* North America leads the world in next-generation mobile and is home to 69 percent of the world's LTE subscribers.

The Broadband Forum ends year strong; looks forward to a milestone year ahead


USA: Gathering in Osaka for the final quarterly meeting of 2012, the Broadband Forum reflects on a dynamic year, celebrating the remarkable body of work that the Forum has again achieved.

Annual highlights include the creation of 31 technical reports, the launch of the BBF.069 CPE Certification program and recognition of the first BBF.069 certified products, the new G-PON Certification successes and the advancement of the Broadband Forum's end-to-end multi-service architecture specifications.

Key technology experts from the Broadband Forum's member organizations attended the quarterly meeting, representing many of the world's leading Telco and Cable service providers, equipment manufacturers, chip vendors and other key organizations.

"Each year I am amazed at the volume and quality of work we are able to deliver from each of our working groups," said Robin Mersh , CEO of the Broadband Forum. "Our members work extremely hard and their enthusiasm and commitment is exemplary – it is their contribution which is driving forward a whole host of initiatives that will make broadband even better and the adoption of new technologies even faster."

BBF.069 CPE certification takes off 
2012 will be remembered in the industry for the key advances in TR-069 CPE WAN Management Protocol, the Broadband Forum's globally adopted protocol and key enabler for the digital home.

An Ovum Connected Home report, published in June, identified over 147M TR-069 managed devices by the end of 2011, which is set to soar following the launch of Broadband Forum's BBF.069 CPE Certification Program and the announcement of the first devices to achieve Certification. The first companies with products to achieve certification are Broadcom, Cisco, D-Link, Huawei and Lantiq - all received certificates at a celebratory reception in Osaka, which was held in their honor, for this great achievement.

Furthermore, the ITU-T's recent approval of G.9980 and official recommendation of TR-069 cements TR-069 as THE remote management protocol in the global broadband industry's toolbox.

Malcolm Johnson, director Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU said: "ITU welcomes the Broadband Forum's initiative to contribute its TR-069 management protocol for inclusion within an international ITU-T Recommendation. I believe this will strongly promote the availability of the standard and help operators to manage the wide range of devices on their networks and help to shape today's broadband landscape."

Ending the year with great fanfare, the Broadband Forum was honored to be the first industry body to win the new Outstanding Contribution to Broadband Success award at the Broadband World Forum InfoVision Awards. This award was won in recognition of the global impact of the TR-069 CPE WAN Management Protocol.

New mobile backhaul and multi-service requirements drive development of host of new network specifications
Highlights of the year include the launch of the Forum's latest release - BroadbandSuite 6.0: 4G/LTE Ready Mobile Backhaul which addresses advanced mobile network requirements with specifications, test plans and best practice documentation. TR-223: "Requirements for MPLS over Aggregated Interfaces (MPLSoAI)" was approved and brings MPLS into the access aggregation space.

The end-to-end architecture work progressed towards the goal of establishing a single converged network capable of ensuring quality multiservice delivery as well as ensuring compatibility and interworking for the next generation FMC network. The latest publications include:

* TR-145: Multi-service Broadband Network Functional Modules and Architecture.
* TR-203: Interworking between Next Generation Fixed and 3GPP Wireless Networks.
* TR-242: IPv6 Transition Mechanisms for Broadband Networks.
* TR-254: Functionality Tests for Ethernet Based Access Nodes.
* TR-134:  Broadband Policy Control Framework (BPCF).

Chartered to drive medium to long term innovation in broadband, the Broadband Forum launched this year a new working group called SIMR – Service Innovation and Market Requirements. With a focus on the early identification and addressing of future business requirements, as well as potential enablers and disruptors, the Forum is committed to driving interoperability and expediting the next wave of innovation in the broadband industry. Work has already started on assessing the impact of Cloud, Virtualization and Software Defined Networks (SDN) on broadband deployments.

Serving as the unified voice of the broadband industry, the Broadband Forum developed further technical input to the European Union's code of conduct governing broadband energy efficiency targets.  The Forum also initiated new work in the area of energy efficient MPLS mobile backhaul.

The suite of DSL Quality Management (DQM) specifications are making quite an impact on measurement and provisioning practices worldwide.  And building on that ONM theme, a key piece of work that is getting growing attention from operators and regulators is the Access Service Performance Metrics (WT-304), which will specify a test architecture and framework to enable standards-based broadband performance measurements.

Forum honors its own
Without amazing leadership and industry expertise, none of the Broadband Forum work would be possible. In Osaka, three awards were given to outstanding individuals. First congratulations go out to Yves Hertoghs from Cisco Systems, who was inducted into the Circle of Excellence for his ongoing contributions to the architecture work of the Broadband Forum. In the past 7 years, Yves has been a key contributor to TR-101 and TR-144, and as an editor he has played a pivotal role in getting TR-145 finalized. His continued support helps to drive discussions on future multi-service network architectures.

Two long-serving members of the Broadband Forum, Andrew G. Malis of Verizon and AT&T's Tom Anschutz , were recognized with Distinguished Fellow Awards, the Forum's highest accolade. Andrew was recognized as one of the founding members and drivers, and later Chairman and President, of the IP/MPLS Forum (which is now part of the Broadband Forum) and for his contributions to the Frame Relay and ATM Forums. He serves today as a Vice President on the Broadband Forum Board. Tom is a distinguished network architect who has participated in the Forum from 2003 through 2012. Previously inducted into the Circle of Excellence for his work, he served as editor for TR-059 and TR-156, and has been a major contributor to TR-134, TR-101, WT-102, WT-081 and WT-178.

"With gratitude to our members for their continued support, we celebrate this year of accomplishments, and look forward with anticipation of the challenges that 2013 will bring.  From FTTdp to Network Enhanced Residential Gateways, Policy Convergence to Multi-service Architecture and Nodal Requirements - next year is already loaded with essential industry initiatives," adds Tom Starr , Chairman of the Broadband Forum.

With planning for the next wave of innovation in place, the Broadband Forum is continuing to provide early migration solutions and is committed to driving day-one interoperability of new technologies and services - proactively removing obstacles to new service provider offerings and deployments, while improving broadband customer experience.

Reliance licenses SPIRIT mobile video engine


RUSSIA: SPIRIT DSP announced that Indian telecom operator Infotel, a subsidiary of Reliance Group, one of India’s top three private sector business houses with annual turnover  of more than $60 billion, has licensed TeamSpirit Voice&Video Engine Mobile.

Reliance intends to invest $10 billion in its LTE network and has turned to SPIRIT's software products for voice and video calls over LTE instead of waiting for phone makers who are slow in offering handsets transmitting voice and video in 4G networks.

The lack of mobile devices supporting VoLTE (Voice-over-LTE) drives a growing number of carriers to implement a software-only product, which is more flexible, scalable and offers a quicker time to market. SPIRIT engines plays a key role in providing HD voice and video quality as a part of IMS/RCS service infrastructure on popular Android and iOS smartphones and tablet PCs, as well as PCs with Mac OS or Windows.

By using SPIRIT engines, Reliance will be able to offer its subscribers high-quality services as an alternative to Skype over cellular networks and attract new high-value subscribers that used services from other operators and commercial OTT service providers.

"While the number of LTE networks is growing, the quantity of mobile devices models supporting VoLTE is extremely small. LTE phones and tablets mainly support only data transmission over an LTE modem, while voice and video are going via 2G/3G network. It’s an akward situation for mobile operators who had hoped that phone OEMs would flood the market with 4G LTE-ready phones," said SPIRIT’s VP Alex Kravchenko.

"Carriers in dozens of countries now plan to or already deploy VVoIP services under their own brands in an effort to stop subscribers from switching to OTT providers, such as Skype, Viber and WhatsApp. The TeamSpirit software engines enable the transmission of voice and video packets via LTE modems and help operators use mobile devices available in today's market. Reliance’s decision to follow the growing trend is a good example of carriers' flexibility to create their own competitive services faster. It’s The Fastest who wins in today highly competitive technology world, not The Biggest one."

EMEA unified communications and collaboration market to reach $11.7 billion by 2016


SPAIN: According to a new study from International Data Corp. (IDC), the unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) market in EMEA will be worth around $6.9 billion in 2011 and $11.7 billion by 2016.

"IDC predicts a compound annual growth rate of around 10.9% in the next five years and believes that though we have seen moderate growth in the EMEA region, the recession will continue to have a knock-on effect on new shipments of UC&C technologies throughout the forecast period," said Isabel Montero, senior research analyst, IDC EMEA Unified Communications and Collaboration.

"We don't anticipate an immediate recovery, especially if the eurozone were to dissolve. The current state of the economy is diverting businesses from making investment decisions in new IT technologies and as a result the cost versus ROI of such investments will be a top priority."

The study also reveals that:
* Of the major economies in the region, only Germany achieved double-digit growth in UC&C deployments in 2012 compared with 2011. Germany grew 10.3 percent, and was followed by France (9.6 percent) and the UK (7.7 percent).

* Russia, the Czech Republic, and Poland are expected to have the strongest CAGRs in the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region throughout the forecast period. This will be primarily driven by the replacement of traditional equipment with next-generation enterprise voice connections.

* South Africa and Turkey will continue to be the leading countries in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region in terms of higher deployment levels of UC&C technologies. Companies in these countries are starting to invest heavily in the replacement of existing infrastructure in order to be able to integrate UC&C technologies, with a special focus on videoconferencing equipment and collaborative applications.

* Although we have seen moderate growth in the EMEA region, the ongoing recession will have a knock-on effect on new shipments of UC&C technologies throughout the forecast period. The need for businesses to reduce operational costs (such as travel) will drive demand for collaborative applications such as conferencing applications, enterprise social software platforms, and videoconferencing/telepresence equipment.

One of the key challenges for organizations looking to adopt UC&C is identifying the right mix of UC&C technologies, features, and applications that are the most appropriate for their business needs and, more importantly, are the sources they would consider for UC&C deployments and expertise.

"An equally important consideration, especially among larger organizations, is whether or not to develop a UC center of excellence [COE] within the organization," added Montero. "This would be a designated group that brings together individuals from various areas of the organization — such as IT, business applications, lines of business, and customer services — to provide guidance and direction for UC&C deployment plans, project development, and ongoing usage. This group could be formed early on, ideally to gain experience and feedback from initial projects."

Monday, December 17, 2012

European mobile application market size reached 1.68 billion Euro in 2012


EUROPE: The market for mobile applications has become a multi Euro business. In 2012 publishers in the top five European countries will have generated 1.68 billion. Euros with paid application downloads, in-app purchasing and in-app advertising. The growth rate during the initial years is above 140 percent.

Since 2008 (the initial full year of the new application eco system) the market has changed from a niche „gaming and entertainment“channel for players on-the-move to an „app“hype with more than 2 mio. applications published. The hype is similar to the „www.“ hype in the early 2000s, but five to seven times faster.

The European application market represents approximately 20 percent of the global market. The biggest European app markets are:  UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and France. They account for 15 percent of the global app market.

Among those top 5 EU countries, there are significant differences in size and structure of the domestic markets. This directly impacts the platform and business model decisions every publisher must make before setting up an app project.

Entropic and Cortina develop advanced broadband router/headless gateway reference platform


USA: Entropic Communications and Cortina Systems Inc. announced their joint collaboration to accelerate the development of high performance customer premise equipment (CPE) including broadband routers and headless gateways, which enable advanced data and TV applications. The reference design addresses service providers' growing CPE needs as they offer higher broadband speeds, newer applications and IP-based video to enhance the user experience.

The collaboration leverages the power of Entropic's first-to-market, MoCA (Multimedia over Coax Alliance) 2.0 solution paired with Cortina's CS7542 scalable digital home multi-service platform. The Cortina CS7542 is the industry's leading dual ARM Cortex-A9 processor architecture with multiple enterprise-class acceleration engines.

The CS7542's acceleration engines significantly reduce CPU load for Wi-Fi 802.11ac/n performance, freeing up the Cortex-A9 processor to provide value-add services and a future-proofed solution for platform upgrades. Together, this CPE platform creates a powerhouse system to bring next generation data and video services into and throughout the home, with best of breed performance and service to the consumer.

Service providers and OEMs will now have access to a reference design that allows them to quickly develop products with the highest levels of performance and unsurpassed wire or wireless data throughput of 400 Mbps to 1,000 Mbps, depending on the requirements of the operator.

Entropic's MoCA 2.0 solution enables operators to offer the most reliable whole-home network backbone with backward interoperability to existing MoCA 1.x networks for multi-room DVR, streaming HD VoD content, and extending Wi-Fi coverage throughout the home to support streaming video and data services to tablets and other mobile devices, all on the same coaxial cable.

Ultra-wideband antenna system supports wireless technologies


USA: CommScope has introduced Argus UltraBand, believed to be the world’s first ultra-wideband antenna system capable of supporting the four major air-interface standards in almost any wireless frequency range.
UltraBand enables operators to reduce the number of antennas in their networks, lowering tower leasing costs while increasing speed to market capability.

Every iteration of wireless technology typically requires operators to deploy new antenna equipment in their networks. Towers get cluttered with multiple antennas while installation and maintenance become more complicated. UltraBand helps solve this problem by supporting multiple frequency bands and technology standards from one antenna. For example, operators will be able to deploy LTE in 2.6 GHz and 700 MHz while supporting W-CDMA in 2.1 GHz—all from the same antenna.

Deploying UltraBand can save operators time and expense during their next technology rollouts, according to Philip Sorrells, VP, Strategic Marketing—Wireless, CommScope. “The UltraBand antenna is a dynamic, future-ready solution for launching a high performance wireless network with multiple air interface technologies using multiple frequency bands,” said Sorrells. “The ability to deploy a flexible, scalable and independently optimized antenna technology simplifies the network while providing the operator with the maximum degree of future-ready capacity.”

The UltraBand antenna system is optimized for high performance in capacity-sensitive, data-driven systems. UltraBand utilizes pattern shaping technologies pioneered by Argus, a leader in antenna technology innovation that in 2011 became part of CommScope and its Andrew portfolio of global wireless solutions. The antenna system supports MIMO implementation for advanced capacity solutions.

“UltraBand is extremely versatile, ready to support multiple bands now and in the future as new standards and bands emerge,” said Sorrells. “UltraBand protects operators from some of the uncertainty inherent in wireless technology evolution.”

CommScope’s first UltraBand model is a 10-port, 2.5 meter version, available now.

Yota Devices to launch the YotaPhone


RUSSIA: Coming in 2013, you can have a whole new relationship with your smartphone. Thanks to the new YotaPhone, from Yota Devices, with two displays, it will help you enjoy life’s virtual side without missing the real one.

One side is a high resolution LCD Android phone. The other side is an electronic paper display (EPD), which is your personal space for information, images and interaction you always use and always need

The YotaPhone is a powerful Android-based phone with extended touch areas and HD resolution display. The electronic paper display (EPD) is your personal space for receiving notifications, linking to your social media, reading news as it happens or simply displaying your favorite pictures. The two sides are linked together to open a new world of unlimited user experiences.
Technical specifications
Platform: Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM 8960 Dual Core 1.5 Ghz Krait.
OS: Android, 4.2 Jelly Bean release.
Dimensions: 67x131(7.3/9.9) mm.
Weight: 140 grams.
EPD: Eink, 4.3”.
LCD: JDI, 4.3” 1280x720 (HD).
Connectivity: LTE (bands 3, 7, 20 MIMO), 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi (Direct), BT, NFC.
Memory: 32 or 64 GB Flash, 2 GB RAM.
Controls: Gestures on the extended capacitive areas. Touch strip for EPD control.
Keys: Power and Volume Keys.
Connectors: Magnetic adaptor for charging and data, audio 3.5mm.
SIM slot: SIM slot combined with power key button.
Battery: 2100 mAh.
Camera: 12 MP main camera, HD front camera.

Portlogic Systems announces VOIP 1


CANADA: Portlogic Systems Inc., a mobile and Internet software developer and kiosk solutions provider for electronic payments, marketing delivery and community communication systems, announced the formation of a new subsidiary VOIP 1 Inc.

VOIP 1 Inc. is a FCC, 214 licensed, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) based international telecommunications carrier providing a platform to deliver both voice and data solutions to retail customers, business enterprise, and carriers worldwide.

"It is a very exciting time for the telecom industry. And this represents a major leap forward in marketability, revenue and profitability and will give Portlogic Systems a new platform to further its goals in the mobile arena and more," said Joseph Putegnat, president and CEO.

"Initially, VOIP 1 will supply mobile and voice solutions to major telecom carriers around the world. We will continue to expand our vision to the retail area, on a select worldwide basis to both businesses and individuals, by offering our exclusive telecom solutions of advanced Cloud based IP-PBX technology and Smartphone mobile offerings."

In the Visiongain report 'The Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Market 2012-2017: Prospects for Skype and Other Players' released earlier in the year, research indicates that in 2012 global revenues from VoIP will reach a figure of $65 billion. Juniper Research predicts that the total number of mobile VoIP minutes will jump from 15 billion minutes in 2010 to 470.6 billion minutes by 2015. The United States is going to account for 135 billion mobile VoIP minutes by 2015.

Analysts at Juniper Research also now estimate there will be about one billion users of mobile VoIP apps and services by about 2017.

Friday, December 14, 2012

NI acquires Signalion adding IP for wireless communications test


USA: National Instruments announced its acquisition of Dresden, Germany-based Signalion GmbH. The acquisition delivers strong wireless communications talent and technologies to the NI platform, which are critical to NI’s goal to continue to drive long term growth in the communications test industry.

Signalion founders, Dr. Tim Hentschel and Dr. Thorsten Dräger, will remain with the company as co-managing directors, and work closely with NI R&D to evolve the capabilities of NI LabVIEW system design software and modular PXI hardware for wireless test applications. Signalion will continue to operate as a wholly owned NI subsidiary and to sell and support its products through its direct, distributor and OEM channels.

“NI continues to invest in the strategic areas of RF research, design and test,” said Dr. James Truchard, president, CEO and co-founder of National Instruments.

“Signalion has assembled a top team of researchers and developers through its close relationship with Technische Universität Dresden (TU Dresden) working on the latest standards such as LTE, LTE-advanced and even fifth-generation wireless research. This expertise combined with a strong product portfolio strengthens our market position while laying the foundation for continued innovation using the NI PXI RF platform and LabVIEW for mobile communications and infrastructure test.”

“We at Signalion are excited to join National Instruments,” said Hentschel. “Our significant experience with RF communications complements the NI platform and we look forward to working on products that will broaden the NI product offering.”

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ericsson: 10 hot consumer trends for 2013


SWEDEN: As 2012 draws to a close, Ericsson ConsumerLab has identified the hottest consumer trends for 2013 and beyond. For more than 15 years, ConsumerLab has conducted research into people's values, behavior and ways of using ICT products and services.

Michael Björn, Head of Research at ConsumerLab, says: "Our global research program is based on annual interviews with over 100,000 individuals in more than 40 countries and 15 megacities. Over the years we have amassed a huge database of consumer trend data - and we see that the pace of change is currently more rapid than ever"

Here are the 10 hottest consumer trends:

1. Cloud reliance reshapes device needs. More than 50 percent of tablet users and well above 40 percent of smartphone users in USA, Japan, Australia and Sweden appreciate the improved simplicity of having the same apps and data seamlessly available through the cloud on multiple devices.

2. Computing for a scattered mind. From desktops, files and folders to flat surfaces, apps and cloud services, consumers are increasingly turning their backs on a computing paradigm for the focused mind. Tasks are handled at the spur of the moment - as we stand in a shopping line or talk to someone at a café. Purchase intent is higher for tablets compared to desktop PCs, and for smartphones compared to laptops.

3. Bring your own broadband to work. A total of 57 percent of smartphone users use their personal smartphone subscriptions at work. Personal smartphones are increasingly being used for work, to send emails, plan business trips, find locations and more.

4. City-dwellers go relentlessly mobile. By relentlessly accessing the internet always and everywhere, consumers are now an unstoppable force making internet truly mobile. Total smartphone subscriptions will reach 3.3 billion by 2018 and mobile network coverage is one of the most important drivers of satisfaction for city life.

5. Personal social security networks. As a result of economic turbulence, trust in traditional structures and authorities is decreasing and consumers increasingly trust their personal communities. Personal networks online serve as a safety net and social media is shaping up to be a serious contender to the traditional job agency.

6. Women drive the smartphone market. New figures clearly show that women drive mass-market smartphone adoption. No less than 97 percent of female smartphone owners use SMS. A total of 77 percent send and receive photos, 59 percent use social networking, 24 percent check in at locations and 17 percent redeem coupons. The figures for men are lower in these areas.

7. Cities become hubs for social creativity. City center dwellers have significantly more friends online than people in suburban areas. 12 percent of people that live in cities say that the main reason for using social networks is to connect and exchange ideas with others, making it the third most common reason for social networking after staying up-to-date with friends and keeping them updated.

8. In-line shopping. A total of 32 percent of smartphone users already shop with smartphones; they now start to combine in-store and online shopping aspects. They want to see products, get information and make price comparisons, and make purchases immediately without having to que up at the cash register.

9. TV goes social. A total of 62 percent of viewers use social forums while watching video and TV - and 42 percent of those who use social forums or chats while watching discuss things they currently watch on a weekly basis. Over 30 percent are more likely to pay for content watched in social contexts. The majority of video and TV consumption on mobile devices takes place in the home.

10. Learning in transformation. Learning is transformed through both internal and external forces: Young people bring their personal technology experience into the classroom, driving a bottom-up pressure for change. Simultaneously governments and institutions look for new ICT solutions in order to be more efficient. Connectivity changes the outlook for children on a global scale. In India, around 30 million of 69 million urban children aged 9 to 18 own mobile phones.

Aricent, Contela and Mindspeed announce VoLTE integration for small cell base stations


USA: Aricent, Contela and Mindspeed Technologies Inc. announced that they have integrated Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) into small cell base stations.

The new solution features the Mindspeed Transcede 3000 system-on-chip (SoC) in a Contela LTE small cell product, with fully-integrated carrier-class software from both Mindspeed and Aricent that meets 3GPP Release 9 “Home eNodeB” specifications, including support for self organizing network (SON) features.

Traditional base station products have supported LTE data services only, leaving voice to be carried by the legacy 3G network, most likely on a macrocell. According to Informa Research, 98 percent of carriers agree that small cells are essential to their LTE network rollout, which means that support for voice will be a critical element. VoLTE is the preferred way to carry voice calls over the all-IP LTE network, but only a few carriers have adopted it so far.

Most LTE deployments use legacy network technologies (Circuit Switched Fall Back, or CSFB) for enabling voice connectivity, which has various drawbacks, including low battery life and network inefficiencies. VoLTE voice calls can have guaranteed bandwidth and quality of service (QoS) which enables “HD voice,” using wider bandwidths and better quality codecs to delive clearer calls than traditional cellular or even landline voice services.

“We have demonstrated our leadership position in carrier-class small cells in both 3G and now LTE,” said Jang Ahn Kwon, VP and CMO at Contela, “But this industry is built on eco-systems and we could not have done it so quickly without our partners at Mindspeed and Aricent. Operators around the world are deploying carrier-class, public-access small cells as a fundamental part of their networks, which started with HSPA and has become mainstream with LTE. We are proud to have taken a step forward with this support for native VoLTE in our products.”

“VoLTE is a highly important technology for wider deployment of LTE, and we are pleased to have played a critical role in developing the VoLTE software and enabling this service in collaboration with our partners,” said Pratyush Dasgupta, VP and head of wireless practice, at Aricent. “Aricent is one of the leaders in developing LTE eNodeB software and we are constantly investing in LTE and enhancing our solution by incorporating features such as VoLTE and SON that help provide robust coverage and connectivity in a range of deployment scenarios.”

"Without VoLTE a 4G small cell is only delivering a fraction of its true potential, so we are pleased to enable this service," said Naser Adas, VP and GM of wireless business unit at Mindspeed. "Once more we have demonstrated Mindspeed’s small cell SoC technology leadership: working with partners to improve small cell technology, to deliver better services for consumers and better economics for mobile operators."

Airtel completes 4G LTE trial in Nigeria


NIGERIA: Airtel Nigeria has taken a giant stride in its quest to pioneer innovation and lead a new phase of telecoms revolution in the country as it announced the successful completion of the Long Term Evolution (LTE) trial in Lagos, the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria.

LTE, widely accepted as the true 4G, is a standard for wireless communication of high-speed data for mobile phones and data terminals. It is based on advanced network technologies with a central focus of increasing the capacity and speed using a different radio interface together with enhanced core network.

With the successful completion of the first 4G LTE trial in Lagos, Airtel says it is ready for test in the other major cities across the country including Abuja and Port Harcourt.

The company added that the Lagos trial threw up exciting results as data users could open up simultaneous HD Videos on Youtube without buffering.  Download speed, under ideal conditions was 37 Mbps, while under non ideal conditions, was 32 Mbps; upload speed was 10.6 Mbps.

LTE is a truly global mobile phone standard for advanced mobile broadband. There is use of different frequency bands in different countries, which will mean that only multi-band phones will be able to use LTE in all countries where it is supported.

In February this year, Airtel Nigeria took a significant step to deepen its network capacity and quality when it announced the roll-out of widest 3.75G services across the 36 States in Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

With the pan-Nigeria launch of 3.75G services, the widest and largest in the country, the company has improved customers’ experience with high speed mobile broadband and internet access, empowering telecoms consumers to watch live TV, download music, make video calls as well as send and receive emails using enabled devices.

Boingo to provide global roaming and data offload solutions for NTT DOCOMO


USA: Boingo Wireless Inc. announced the expansion of its relationship with NTT DOCOMO, INC., Japan’s premier mobile communications company and the second largest mobile operator in Asia. Boingo is now providing Wi-Fi roaming and data offload services for NTT DOCOMO.

The agreement will give NTT DOCOMO access to Boingo’s global network of more than 600,000 hotspots, including hundreds of airports, thousands of hotels and restaurants, and myriad metropolitan hotzones worldwide. NTT DOCOMO will extend the Boingo worldwide network of managed and aggregated hotspots to its customers, providing a seamless global user experience.

“Our partnership with NTT DOCOMO is a testament to the strength of our global Wi-Fi network and its ability to provide an offload solution for one of the largest mobile carriers in the Asia Pacific region,” said Allen Pan, director of Asia Pacific for Boingo Wireless. “As the cost of global data roaming has become an increasing pain point for carriers, our turnkey global Wi-Fi platform will give them a remedy to ease that pain for customers, as well.”

Through a separate agreement with NTT DOCOMO, Boingo customers and partners can now access NTT DOCOMO’S more than 55,000 hotspots throughout Japan, in locations such as airport lounges, hotels, shopping centers, restaurants and cafes, and transit stations. The NTT DOCOMO hotspot network will also be available to Boingo’s other platform service partners.

The addition of the NTT DOCOMO locations increases Boingo’s Wi-Fi footprint in Japan to more than 60,000 hotspots.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Global smartphone market to grow 24.3 percent in 2013; OS battle heats up


TAIWAN: As a recent smartphone study from global market research firm TrendForce indicates, entry to mid-level smartphones are gaining popularity as component cost decreases and 3G and LTE networks are becoming more widespread.

In 2013, global smartphone shipments are expected to reach 876 million units, a 24.3 percent increase – more than 30 percent of which will be shipments of Chinese smartphone brands. The top five global leaders in the smartphone industry are Samsung, Apple, Lenovo, HTC, and Nokia; Samsung and Apple alone account for 45 percent of global shipments.

Chinese brands Huawei, Coolpad, and ZTE have made it into the top ten, pushing out RIM. TrendForce indicates smartphone industry growth is slowing, as next year’s forecast is well below the over 50 percent growth that has been shown by smartphones in the past few years.

As such, makers are looking for ways to increase profits. In addition to improving hardware specifications and developing LTE smartphones, software and cloud applications will prove an important area to master if manufacturers want a leg up on the competition.

OS battle: Android growth surges, iOS steady, Microsoft gaining ground
Hardware remains important in the smartphone war, but software and cloud apps are the new key to success. With the arrival of the Windows 8 mobile platform in 2012, the OS battle is sure to heat up next year.

The flexibility of Google’s Android platform allows manufacturers to get creative with software and hardware integration, resulting in more product differentiation. According to a smartphone operating system market share survey conducted by TrendForce, benefitting from the rise of entry and mid-range smartphones,

Android market share is expected to see 70 percent g1rowth in 2012, up from 50 percent in 2011. For 2013, it is predicted that Android will have an immense market advantage and will be very difficult to beat.

Apple, under the guidance of Tim Cook, has seen roughly the same market share in 2013 as in the previous year – around 18 percent. New Apple products continue to stir up the market, but their power of attraction seems to be waning slightly. As for Microsoft, its recently released Windows 8 platform already has takers.

In addition to long-time strategic partner Nokia, Samsung and HTC have also chosen the Windows 8 OS for new products released in late 2012. As more manufacturers choose Microsoft’s new platform, market share is forecast to increase to 8.7 percent in 2013.

TrendForce believes if the Windows 8 OS is able to take at least 10 percent of the market, Microsoft’s position on the smartphone market will be solidified. In 2013, the software giant may adopt its tablet strategy for the smartphone market and introduce its own devices, making the most of its new platform by calling the shots on the hardware specs.

KONKA set to enter Indian smart phones market with investment of $30 million


INDIA: KONKA, the leading global consumer electronic and mobile phone brand with a track record of successful innovation for 30 years and with $3 billion turnover, having sold 300 million devices, has entered into a strategic partnership with MAK Mobility Pvt Ltd.

KONKA smartphones operate on Google's Android platform and are targeted at young, tech savvy, style conscious people, who want sophistication and panache.

MAK Mobility will provide the platform for distribution and supply chain management of the brand in India. In a highly competitive environment, successful Smartphone distribution requires value added distribution and strong relationship with key retail chains/outlets for which MAK has the desired management bandwidth and competence to effectively deliver the same.

Li Hongtao, chairman of KONKA Telecom, said: "We aim to offer quality products with novel features matching the expectations of the discerning consumers, especially the youth whose lifestyle increasingly revolves around smart devices. We plan to create localized mobile internet eco-system by providing smart devices bundled with cloud based services and applications.

"We were very careful in selecting our partners in India as this is a long term plan for us and we would like to bet on teams which have the proven ability to manage scale without compromising on the essentials of the business. Our products are going to be our testimonials."

Manish Pengoriya, director of MAK Mobility, said: "Our success will be based on building robust real time distribution network focused on the key smartphones markets across India. We would endeavor to provide KONKA customers with matchless experience and quality through investment in technology enabling real time distribution and in development of KONKA smartphone experience zones in key retail outlets across the country."

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Qualcomm Atheros expands networking infrastructure portfolio


USA: Qualcomm Inc. announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Atheros, Inc., launched the QCA871x series of high port-count Gigabit Ethernet switch solutions, featuring the industry's first unified wired and wireless switch functionality for small- and medium-business (SMB) customers, and the QCA851x series, consisting of high port-count wired solutions.

The new high-performance chipsets are designed to enable simple, automated, end-to-end switch and access point solutions at price points that will help worldwide SMB customers achieve advanced cloud management typically associated with enterprise-class switch solutions.

With the QCA871x series, Qualcomm Atheros is the first company to integrate wireless controller functions into the switch silicon, enabling the solution to process and forward both wired Ethernet 802.3 and Wi-Fi 802.11 packets simultaneously at wire speed. Furthermore, the complete Control and Provisioning of Wireless Access Points Protocol (CAPWAP) support in the QCA871x allows remote access point control and management to enhance network performance and lower maintenance costs.

The QCA871x also eliminates the need for an external multi-core CPU commonly employed in traditional Wi-Fi Access Controller architectures, replacing it with an integrated, high-performance CPU, thus providing a competitive cost structure to address SMB requirements.

Most SMB locations do not have dedicated IT support for network security functions. To address this network management gap, the QCA871x and QCA851x solutions implement a unique series of simple-to-use, highly secure features not found in standard switch offerings.

In addition to the native DOS prevention technologies and multi-stage ACL engine, the QCA871x and QCA851x contain the industry's only multi-level isolation accelerator, allowing users to create features such as port isolation and private VLANs with a simple select and click matrix.

Qualcomm Atheros' QCA871x/QCA851x switch series also offers rich managed Layer 2/Layer 3 (L2/L3) features in an easy to use solution with reduced complexity and cost structure relative to the traditional enterprise switch, thus bringing a high-performance, yet cost-effective solution to the SMB segment.

To meet the harsh environmental and power challenges such as those found in emerging countries, the new switch series features Qualcomm Atheros' patent-pending surge protection and advanced anti-electrostatic discharge (anti-ESD) technologies. These enhancements lower total cost of ownership by reducing potential surge and ESD damage at manufacturing lines and in the field.

With its current portfolio of high-volume, single-port LAN-on-motherboard (LOM), physical layer transceiver (PHY), and SOHO switch solutions, Qualcomm Atheros has shipped more than 100 million Ethernet chips over the past 12 months. Building upon its expertise in high-volume markets, Qualcomm Atheros is uniquely positioned to address the industry's growing SMB high port-count Gigabit switch market.

"Qualcomm Atheros' R&D and engineering teams worldwide have proven experience in multiple Ethernet segments," said George Chu, GM and VP of the Ethernet group, infrastructure business unit, Qualcomm Atheros. "With the convergence of wired and wireless networks, this is the ideal time for us to enter the high port switching market and to accelerate the momentum of unified wired and wireless networks."

Qualcomm Atheros' new high port-count Gigabit Ethernet switch series is now sampling to customers and is expected to ship in volume beginning in the first quarter of 2013.

Despite downturn in 2012, RF power amplifier sales for wireless infrastructure should top $2.4 billion


USA: Although 2012 turned out to be an off year for RF power amplifiers and devices for wireless infrastructure the market still held its own. The current year should be viewed as a breathing space before both segments resume stable and moderate growth after an explosive 2011.

The Asia-Pacific Region, including Japan, continues to account for over 75 percent of the RF power semiconductor devices that are sold into the mobile wireless infrastructure segment. According to research director Lance Wilson, “For the foreseeable future the Asia-Pacific region, particularly China, will remain the most important region and focus for RF power amplifiers and high-power RF devices for wireless infrastructure.”

Despite the off year RF power amplifier sales for wireless infrastructure will top $2.4 billion and RF power device sales will be over $600 million.

LTE will become an increasingly important factor in both of these businesses even though the rollout has not been as rapid as the industry would like. Nevertheless, it is already worldwide in scope. “Although LTE has not significantly impacted RF power amplifier and device sales as of yet,” says Wilson, “it is going to bolster RF power sales in the wireless infrastructure space from 2012 on.”

The continuing overall need for wireless data remains an important driver for the overall market for both RF power amplifiers and RF power devices.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Ericsson starts negotiations on ownership of ST-Ericsson


SWEDEN: Ericsson announced that it will continue to work together with STMicroelectronics to find a suitable strategic solution for the two companies joint venture, ST-Ericsson. STMicroelectronics has announced its intention to exit as a shareholder in ST-Ericsson.

ST-Ericsson announced its strategic plan in April 2012 and is in the middle of executing on company transformation aiming at lowering its break-even point and introducing new technologies.

Ericsson continues to believe that the modem technology, which it originally contributed to the Joint Venture, has a strategic value for the wireless industry. For Ericsson, a key priority in this process is a successful market introduction of the new LTE modems that it is certain will be very competitive and needed in the market.

During the process, Ericsson will not speculate on the possible outcomes, timelines, and future ownership structures of ST-Ericsson.

CIOs in Asia-Pacific embracing BYOD trend


AUSTRALIA: Ovum’s recent report revealed that “bring you own device” (BYOD) is becoming very popular among MNCs in Asia-Pacific. Over 70 percent of the surveyed companies already have policies to support approved employee-owned devices. Despite the large number of MNCs embracing this trend, however, support is initially limited to certain areas and roles within the organization.

Claudio Castelli, Ovum senior analyst, Enterprise Telecoms, says: "The growing acceptance of the BYOD trend by IT departments, and the greater need to mobilize data applications and support a broader range of mobile devices, mean that CIOs are struggling to define their enterprise mobility strategy. This is even more challenging for MNCs in Asia-Pacific, which have to cope with the various aspects of mobility across a region that is extremely fragmented in terms of service availability, network quality, workplace practices, culture, and regulatory environment."

Many companies’ IT departments frequently do not have the ability or resources to meet the associated challenge in-house, and are therefore considering providers’ help. Managed mobility services offer an attractive approach to the issue, and are increasingly popular. Providers see this as a unique opportunity, and are launching a growing number of solutions and services to support BYOD policies.

Over 60 percent of respondents identified the reduced cost to the company in terms of purchasing hardware as a major benefit of managing employee-owned mobile devices. Many mobile device management (MDM) providers cite innovation as another key benefit of supporting BYOD, but most CIOs remain skeptical of this. Less than a third of IT decision-makers believe innovation is an important benefit of managing employee-owned devices.

“The BYOD trend is driven primarily by employees’ desire to use their consumer mobile devices of choice at work. Although CIOs recognize that employee satisfaction and retention are important benefits of BYOD, they are pragmatic, and are building the business cases around cost savings rather than productivity gains,” concludes Castelli.

VCXC launches world's largest IP voice communication exchange


USA: Voice Communication Exchange Committee (VCXC) has launched the world's largest all-IP voice communications exchange with 100 million reachable IP population.

The Communication Exchange enables a new all-IP telco category combining IP services, IP devices, IP access, and IP interconnects. VCXC offers a multistakeholder governance alternative to traditional telecom regulation and allows operators to demonstrate the public interest benefits of leaving IP communications unregulated.

The initial 12-month trial launches with events in Washington, DC on December 19, 2012.

By combining elements of Free World Dial-up, ITXC, and Vonage with AT&T U-verse, the all-IP telco represents a new category distinct from any of the 21 service provider types recognized by the FCC. Operational expense benefits, reduced regulatory expenses, and revenue growth through HD voice and other new services make the all-IP telco the future of the telecom industry.

The VCXC Communication Exchange offers member network operators:
1) Immediate policy parity with information technology companies.
2) Private member-to-member bilateral IP interconnects supporting IP provisioned services.
3) Support for a transition to HD voice as the universal core voice service by June 15, 2018.

"Bandwidth.com's participation in the VCXC Communication Exchange reflects our founding belief in the potential of IP communications to transform the telecommunications industry," said John Murdock, president, Bandwidth.com. "Bandwidth.com's customers like Pinger and Google already use the flexibility of all-IP connections to create compelling new communication services."

“Ooma supports the VCXC Communication Exchange as the first of a new wave of private all-IP service interworking exchanges moving VoIP interconnection off the PSTN," said Toby Farrand, VP Engineering, Ooma. "VCXC membership makes it possible for Ooma's customers to enjoy the benefits of HD Voice not just when calling other Ooma customers, but when they make or receive calls from the customers of other all-IP telco's participating in the Communication Exchange as well."

Friday, December 7, 2012

DOCOMO PACIFIC to deploy ip.access 3G small cells


UK: Leading small cell innovator and manufacturer ip.access announced DOCOMO PACIFIC as the latest customer for its range of indoor home, office and enterprise 3G small cells.

DOCOMO PACIFIC, a wholly-owned independent subsidiary of NTT DOCOMO, will begin deploying the small cells this month on the Pacific island of Guam where the challenges of the local climate – especially typhoons – mean that the majority of buildings are of particularly dense concrete construction making them very difficult to penetrate with standard 3G outdoor network signals.

The Enterprise, SoHo and Consumer small cells will be deployed as part of a next generation core network upgrade by DOCOMO PACIFIC who were particularly attracted to the end-to-end capabilities of the ip.access small cell access points, Small Cell Gateway and integrated operational support.

Announcing the new contract, ip.access CEO Simon Brown said: “We’re very pleased to be extending our business in the Asia Pacific region and to be working for the first time with DOCOMO PACIFIC. This contract is also further vindication of our decision to concentrate on delivering end-to-end capability and ensuring that we give operators the tools to successfully integrate and manage the small cell network layer within their macro networks.”

DOCOMO PACIFIC CEO and pesident, Jay Shedd, confirmed that the ability to support plug-and-play deployment and integrate with the next generation core mobile network were crucial factors in choosing to work with ip.access.

“Small cells are becoming an integral part of networks going forward,” he said, “and the ability to quickly deploy them – either to solve coverage issues or provide increased capacity - is an incredibly important factor. As an operator you want to deliver the best possible network service, regardless of location, and the ip.access small cells will help us provide coverage and capacity deep inside even the largest office buildings.”

Want to host a meeting from your iPad?


USA: LogMeIn Inc. just released an update to its popular online meeting app, join.me, which provides iPad owners the ability to host meetings and present files from anywhere with an Internet connection. A quick update for existing app users and as a download for new users, the join.me app provides people the ability to virtually collaborate with others in a matter of seconds.

People can now invite others into a meeting, visually share files, and even join into a conversation via VoIP or chat directly from their iPad. Meeting attendees can join the iPad-hosted meeting for free from PCs, Macs, iPads, iPhones, Android and Windows 8 devices.  As a result, people are free to work with colleagues and customers from virtually anywhere in the world.

A light-weight, simple and secure online meeting app, join.me is one of the world’s most popular collaboration products. Every month, more than one million people host or attend their first ever join.me meeting. And every week more than half a million people use join.me to collaborate on projects across the hall or across the globe.

Offered in both free and premium, or ‘pro’, editions, join.me can be used to start and join online meetings in a matter of seconds, offering a stark contrast to the notoriously slow set-up time for traditional web conferencing tools.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Huawei announces commercial availability of industry's first enterprise-level 802.11ac access point


CHINA: Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, today announced the commercial availability of the industry's first enterprise-level 802.11ac access point (AP) products.

Huawei's introduction of the first 802.11ac APs in the enterprise market marks another important milestone for Huawei as one of the leading ICT solution providers in the industry. This is also testament to Huawei's commitment to Gigabit wireless access, further promoting the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend and accelerating business transformation.

Comprising two models, AP7030DN-AC and AP7130DN-AC, Huawei's enterprise-level 802.11ac APs support throughput of up to 1.3Gbps at 5G frequency and 1.75Gbps at dual frequency, and allow for smooth evolution from 11n to 11ac. Its high performance and industry-leading features will enable enterprise users to enjoy a wide range of wireless services that have high bandwidth requirements, such as HD video streaming, multi-media activities and cloud desktop access.

Independently developed by Huawei's dedicated design team, the 802.11ac APs feature a world-class casing design which was awarded the "iF Product Design Award 2013" presented by iF International Forum Design, a prestigious design promotion organization based in Germany.

"We are delighted to announce the global commercial availability of the 802.11ac AP. The rapid growth and development of smart devices, mobile networks as well as the increasing trend towards BYOD has brought about tremendous change in enterprise business models of work and operations. In line with our dedication to customer-centric innovation, the launch of the 802.11ac APs are a reflection of Huawei Enterprise's commitment to developing and providing cutting-edge technologies, so as to provide a better way for enterprises to improve connectivity and optimize their businesses," said Fan Hongwei, WLAN product director, Huawei Enterprise Networking Product Line.

After the debut of the 802.11ac WLAN AP in July 2012, Huawei demonstrated its Gigabit-level flow rate to the international audience at Interop Mumbai in October 2012. Huawei 802.11ac AP's commercial availability reflects the maturity of the WLAN 802.11ac product category.
Drawing on its comprehensive industry experience and technical expertise in the wireless field, Huawei currently owns over 100 patents in WLAN technologies and is actively involved in industry standards organizations, with a number of staff serving as chairpersons and other senior positions such as the IEEE 802.11ac Task Group.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

SPIRIT DSP receives patent for HD voice codec IP-MR for IP-networks


RUSSIA: SPIRIT DSP has received a patent for its scalable, wideband, error resilient HD voice codec IP-MR designed for video soft phones and web videoconferencing products.

The patent was granted to SPIRIT for multilayer, scalable, packet loss-resilient speech coding technology for IP-networks. Implementations of SPIRIT IP-MR HD voice codec are already used in massively multiplayer online games and IP-telephony and videoconferencing software. SPIRIT IP-MR is a patent-free codec, which means that, unlike other high-profile codecs, it doesn’t require paying any patent royalties to SPIRIT.

One of the advantages of the patented IP-MR codec is its ability to adapt on the fly to changing bandwidth. The codec's variable bit rate provides the best possible quality of speech or audio for current network conditions. Its capabilities are enhanced by its robustness to packet loss and delay. Built-in mechanisms help to provide high speech quality even when the network is overloaded and/or has insufficient resources. Transmitted voice layers are prioritized, and high-priority packets are subject to guaranteed delivery (in QoS networks).

Progressive coding algorithm used in IP-MR makes it possible to improve speech quality without additional network load. As a result, IP-MR has the ability to connect multiple participants that use channels with different bandwidth without transcoding to prevent delays and voice quality degradation.

The IP-MR automatically adjusts bit rates and the codec scalability provides maximum voice quality for all participants adjusted for their current channel bandwidth. The patented coding algorithm and built-in network impairments compensation mechanisms allow for optimization of voice traffic to ensure smooth and high-quality voice communication. The same coding principles were used in H.264 SVC video codec after IP-MR came on the market. The optimized algorithmic complexity of IP-MR allows the codec to run fine on mobile devices.

Receiving a patent for IP-MR is the next step of its professional recognition after its payload was adopted in 2011 by Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the key institution responsible for systems standards interconnection, protocols and devices interaction across the Internet.

The codec received IETF's recognition and standardization approval as RFC 6262 to enable interoperability of voice products or different vendors based on IP-MR, that means an ability of any developer to use it in such a way that other devices will recognize it, with no interoperability issues.

All benefits of the IP-MR codec are used in the scalable cross-platform software product from SPIRIT, TeamSpirit Voice & Video Engine SDK, which enables rapid development of voice and video applications for all popular platforms, including PC, Mac, operation systems and Linux, smartphones and tablets running under iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

SPIRIT IP-MR codec is used in IP telephony and videoconferencing products from AT&T, Blizzard, China Mobile, Dialogic, Huawei, Korea Telecom, LG U+, Maaii, Oracle, Rostelecom, and many others. SPIRIT IP-MR codec is positioned for telcos and service providers and competes against proprietary HD voice codecs from Google, Skype and Microsoft. IP-MR HD voice codec is also used in SPIRIT VideoMost multi-point web videoconferencing software available for white-label licensing to carriers, service providers and system integrators.

ZTE announces $20bn strategic co-operation agreement with China Development Bank


Matt Walker, Principal Analyst Network Infrastructure Telecoms, Ovum

AUSTRALIA: ZTE signed a similar, $15 billion deal with the CDB in 2009, the same year Huawei signed a $30 billion deal with the CDB. For both vendors, these were extensions of earlier agreements. So, today’s news is consistent with past practices.

However, this deal comes at a crucial time for the company, and the industry. In 2009, ZTE pursued new financing with clear hopes of growing global share during the financial downturn; it succeeded in this. But three years later, telecom infrastructure markets remain weak, and no vendors are immune from the current pressures.

This $20 billion agreement gives ZTE a much-needed financial boost as it copes with weak sales, declining profits, and layoffs. At a time when several key rivals are struggling, and selling assets to raise cash, fresh support from the CDB may give ZTE a buffer to ride out the current turmoil.

But there is a risk for the company. Accepting this support will make it harder for ZTE to further penetrate western European and North American markets, where policymakers are concerned about unfair competition from Chinese suppliers.

This news will not go unnoticed by ZTE’s opponents, both those in the marketplace and the political sphere. It is worth noting, though, that ZTE has released this news publicly, as part of its financial disclosure requirements tied to listing on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. Not all of its competitors have such obligations.”

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

iPass Open Mobile global Wi-Fi service first enterprise connectivity management solution


USA: iPass Inc. announced that its Open Mobile global Wi-Fi service is the first enterprise connectivity management solution to support Microsoft's recently released Windows 8 operating system.

Support for Windows 8 is available via two different iPass Open Mobile clients. Open Mobile v1.0 for Windows Touch is a new Open Mobile client available via the Windows Store that will work on Windows 8 and Windows RT mobile devices supporting x86, x64 and ARM processors.

For IT managed Windows 8 devices, iPass has also made a version of its standard Open Mobile client (v2.3) available that is not available via the Windows store.

iPass Open Mobile delivers a service for enterprises that simply, securely and cost-effectively enables employees to be globally mobile from any device. Additionally, iPass Open Mobile provides access to the iPass Mobile Network, the world’s largest carrier-grade Wi-Fi network  of more than one million hotspots including in-flight Internet, hotels, airports and business venues around the world.

Qualcomm and Pixtronix expands display technology agreement with Sharp


USA: Qualcomm Inc. announced the expansion of its display technology agreement between its subsidiary Pixtronix Inc. and  Sharp Corp. to develop and commercialize high-quality color, low-power MEMS displays incorporating IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) technology and built utilizing existing LCD manufacturing infrastructure, and Qualcomm's equity investment in Sharp.

As a result of the equity investment, Qualcomm will become a minority shareholder in Sharp.

Qualcomm's equity investment in Sharp and the expanded joint development agreement build upon the existing work between Sharp and Pixtronix as the two companies have been engaged in development activities for the last year and a half. The goal of this joint effort is to accelerate commercialization of Pixtronix's low power MEMS displays utilizing Sharp's IGZO technology.

The equity investment by Qualcomm will take place in stages and the consummation of the transaction is subject to certain contingencies.

"As one of the leading electronics companies in the world, Sharp has an established industry brand and is a recognized leader in the development and commercialization of new innovative display technologies," said Derek Aberle, executive VP and group president of Qualcomm.

"Expanding our existing relationship with Sharp to jointly commercialize new MEMS display technologies will help both companies realize their shared goal of driving high performance, lower power displays for a variety of devices, including smartphones and tablets."

"Sharp has brought many innovations to the display industry, including the world's first commercialization of IGZO technology in LCD displays this year," said Yoshisuke Hasegawa, executive managing officer of Sharp, "Sharp is targeting to accelerate the commercialization of MEMS displays by combining Sharp's cutting-edge IGZO technology and Pixtronix's MEMS display technology."