Press Clippings: October 2008

Major Industry items you might have missed

Friday, October 31, 2008

DoJ approves Verizon Wireless-Alltel, requires divestitures in 22 states.

Source: RCR.

The Department of Justice has approved Verizon Wireless’ UD$28bn. purchase of Alltel, subject to required divestitures of wireless assets in 100 markets encompassing 22 states.
DoJ said the divestitures cover the entire states of North Dakota and South Dakota, major portions of Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Montana, South Carolina, Utah and Wyoming, and sections of Alabama, Arizona, California, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.

Posted by Judith — 5:19 AM

Tatara divests mobile broadband line, focuses on femtos.

Source: TelecomWeb.

Tatara Systems, a developer of SIP-based femtocell convergence, has sold its mobile broadband product line to Smith Micro Software in an all-cash deal.
The assets purchased by Smith Micro include certain intellectual property, patents and technology associated with the Tatara Service Manager client software and the Tatara Subscriber Gateway, which performs client management. Smith Micro also assumed responsibility for Tatara’s facilities and employees based in Vancouver, Canada.

Posted by Judith — 4:24 AM

ACCC grants Telstra further wholesale voice exemptions.

Source: TeleGeography.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced that it will grant fixed line incumbent Telstra further exemptions from its obligations to supply a ‘declared service’ for public switched telephone network originating access in parts of metropolitan Australia, subject to a number of conditions. The ruling, which is in line with the regulator’s recent decision to offer similar exemptions for wholesale line rental and local carriage service, will cover 248 metropolitan exchange service areas, less than Telstra had requested.

Posted by Judith — 4:15 AM

AT&T, Verizon move ahead with femtocells.

Source: FierceBroadband.

AT&T and Verizon this week announced plans to move ahead with femtocells. AT&T has indicated it will begin trialing femtocells later this year and into 2009. Verizon Wireless said it may introduce its first femtocell product next year.

Posted by Judith — 4:00 AM

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Vodafone takes brand into Russia, CIS.


Russia’s leading mobile operator, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), has partnered with Vodafone to bring the brand to Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Armenia.
Vodaphone has announced that it has struck a strategic, non-equity partnership with MTS, giving the Russian operator access to its products, services and devices.

Posted by Judith — 5:38 AM

Banks, telcos to decide on wallet-phones.

Source: Reuters.

The potentially lucrative business of mobile phone wallets is waiting for banks and telecom operators to agree on each one’s role and possible revenue flow in the future.
The world’s biggest payment card company, Mastercard, is to unveil a service for banks, enabling them to install payment cards into clients mobile phones much easier than earlier, possibly breaking the deadlock over the market takeoff.

Posted by Judith — 4:15 AM

Boingo expands its wi-fi roaming network in India.

Source: Converge.

Boingo Wireless has announced the addition of Tata Communications hotspots to the Boingo Roaming Network, giving Boingo members access to over 500 new hotspots under the Tata Indicom brand.

Posted by Judith — 4:07 AM

Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft vow to defend human rights online.

Source: Converge.

A coalition of companies in the information and communications industries, including Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft , launched a Global Network Initiative whose mission is to protect and advance the human rights of freedom of expression and privacy. The Initiative is being launched in the 60th Anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In addition to the three leading Internet companies, the initiative is backed by the United Nations, leading human rights organizations, as well as several distinguished academic institutions.

Posted by Judith — 4:03 AM

CWA sues AT&T Mobility over employee benefits.

Source: RCR.

The Communications Workers of America has sued AT&T Mobility and other subsidiaries of the telecom giant over what it calls corporate shell games to avoid providing benefits to employees.
The lawsuit alleges that AT&T is manipulating consolidations and reorganizations to reassign workers throughout its various entities in a manner that puts at risk union members’ contractual wages, benefits, seniority and working conditions.

Posted by Judith — 3:56 AM

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Norwegian mobile company buys into Indian future.

Source: BWCS.

Norwegian telco Telenor is to buy a 60% stake in Indian mobile operator Unitech Wireless for a reported US$1.07bn. The purchase will give Telenor control of one of the new Indian operators that received licences and radio spectrum earlier this year. Unitech has operating licenses covering all 22 telecom circles in the subcontinent and plans to launch services next year.

Posted by Judith — 5:49 AM

Qualcomm finds Itself in new legal claim.

Source: BWCS.

Not only is Qualcomm deeply embroiled in a long-running dispute with Broadcomm, but it now faces being thrust into a new patent dispute. This time the offended party is Gabriel Technologies, which has lodged a claim for US$1bn. in damages against the US-based chip-maker. Gabriel alleges that Qualcomm subsidiary SnapTrack improperly appropriated intellectual property as part of a joint development agreement with Locate Networks.

Posted by Judith — 4:51 AM

New Zealand, new reseller.

Source: TeleGeography.

A new MVNO has launched in New Zealand, targeting the 70% of the country’s 4.1m. cellular subscribers currently on pre-paid tariffs.
Black+White is the first of a number of MVNOs set to launch in New Zealand over the coming months, with Compass Communications, Orcon and CallPlus all preparing resale services.

Posted by Judith — 4:21 AM

Japanese giant names surprise LTE deployment partners.

Source: TelecomWeb.

Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has turned to a joint team of Nokia Siemens Networks and Fujitsu to develop the gateway technology it needs to launch what will be one of the world’s first deployments of Long Term Evolution 4G wireless broadband.

Posted by Judith — 4:12 AM

Easynet cuts over trans-Atlantic network, stands behind telepresence.

Source: TelecomWeb.

Easynet, a U.K.-based managed network, hosting and telepresence company, has launched its trans-Atlantic IP network aimed at serving global businesses.
The high-performance network connects the U.K. and Europe with such U.S. areas as Washington D.C., New York City, Silicon Valley and Los Angeles. It also connects with Easynet’s Asia-Pacific operations.
Using the new network, Easynet (part of the BSkyB group) says corporate customers on both sides of the Atlantic will be able to support VPN, IP access and hosting applications along with saving reduce trans-Atlantic travel costs by using high-definition telepresence solutions.

Posted by Judith — 4:03 AM

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Microsoft to battle in the clouds.

Source: BBC.

Microsoft has unveiled a cloud computing service, Windows Azure, in which data and applications will not be stored on individuals’ computers.
The framework will be offered alongside the next Windows release, Windows 7.
The move sees Microsoft taking on established players like Google and Amazon in the rapidly growing business of online software.

Posted by Judith — 5:35 AM

Intel to discuss WiMAX with Chunghwa.

Source: TeleGeography.

Chip manufacturer Intel is to meet with representatives from Chunghwa Telecom in Taiwan to discuss collaboration on systems integration. Earlier this year Intel signed a memorandum of understanding with the Taiwanese government under which they will set up a systems integration joint venture in Taiwan. Intel wants to see the new company work with local service providers and equipment vendors towards the development of WiMAX wireless broadband technology.

Posted by Judith — 5:27 AM

Vodafone pleads for more time in India 3G sale.

Source: BWCS.

One of the main players in the forthcoming Indian auction of 3G licences has asked the government to postpone the sale. Vodafone Essar, owned by Vodafone in the UK, has apparently written to the Department of Telecoms in India to say that “mobilizing financial commitments in the current economic environment is proving difficult.”
Vodafone took over Hutchison Essar, India’s fourth largest mobile operator in a US$10.9bn. buy-out in May 2007.

Posted by Judith — 5:18 AM

Monday, October 27, 2008

CenturyTel and Embarq agree merger

Source: TeleGeography.

The US local phone and internet operator CenturyTel has agreed a deal to acquire rival Embarq. The US$11.6bn. transaction includes the assumption of US$5.8bn. of Embarq’s debt. The two companies have a combined operating presence in 33 states with approximately 8m. access lines and 2m. broadband customers.

Posted by Judith — 8:16 AM

AT&T completes backbone upgrade.

Source: TeleGeography.

AT&T has completed the deployment of 40Gbps Ethernet technology over its entire 80,000km US long-haul network. The 40Gbps backbone network is the base for all of the company’s web services, including consumer broadband, wireless data and enterprise applications.

Posted by Judith — 7:18 AM

Cox plans cellular launch in 2009.

Source: TeleGeography.

The US cable operator Cox Communications says it plans to enter the cellular market in the second half of 2009. The cableco has 6.2m. residential and business customers across 15 states.

Posted by Judith — 7:10 AM

EU telcos say soft regulation key to escaping credit crunch.


Europe’s leading telecoms operators have called for a softening of regulation across the sector, to encourage investment in next generation infrastructure in the face of the credit crunch.
A number of areas were identified where regulatory policies could be tweaked to encourage investment. These include lowering the costs of deploying new networks through symmetric obligations to open up all ducts capable of carrying communications networks; and using access regulation to allow for a fair risk sharing between the investor and access seekers, given the high risk of investment in new access networks.

Posted by Judith — 4:31 AM

France to cut a third off mobile termination rates.

Source: BWCS.

The French telecoms regulator, Arcep, looks set to introduce large cuts to mobile termination rates within France. The industry watchdog has opened a public consultation which will last just under one month to examine the possible reductions. The move follows an earlier announcement that Arcep wanted to reduce mobile termination rates by around 30% next year.

Posted by Judith — 3:54 AM

PCCW wins Oman fixed line licence.


A consortium including Hong Kong operator PCCW and a local investor has won a fixed line licence for Oman.
The licence award marks the opening up of the Oman market to overseas investors, as well as the second fixed line licence to be awarded in the country. Oman has a population of approximately 2.75m. and the local regulatory authority estimates the current fixed penetration rate at 10%.

Posted by Judith — 3:47 AM

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Verizon, Klausner settle voice mail patent suit.

Source: Reuters.

Verizon Wireless has settled a lawsuit over voice mail technology with the patent’s owner, Klausner Technologies.
The technology in question involves visual voice mail, which helps consumers access voice messages on their mobile telephones or computers.
Klausner has agreed to similar settlements with other telecommunications and technology firms, such as AT&T and Sprint, as well as Apple.
It also settled with Comcast and Cablevision in recent months, while outstanding cases include those against Comverse Technology, Embarq and Google.

Posted by Judith — 4:51 AM

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sprint joins move to bring down early termination fees.

Source: TeleGeography.

Sprint Nextel is joining the other three incumbent mobile operators in cutting the penalties it imposes on customers who choose to end their contracts with the company early. The operator’s early termination fees are expected to be reduced gradually for each month the customer completes of their contract.

Posted by Judith — 5:48 AM

KPN purchases Dutch MVNO debitel.

Source: TeleGeography.

The Netherlands’ largest telecoms company KPN has struck a deal with debitel of Germany to acquire the latter’s Dutch operations. The acquisition of debitel Nederlands’ approximately 530,000 mobile base, of which 300,000 are on monthly contracts, follows KPN’s buyout of Telfort in 2005 and strengthens still further its position in the domestic mobile market.

Posted by Judith — 5:21 AM

Japan, Korea lead in fiber-optic broadband.

Source: Reuters.

Fiber-optic cable has become the biggest single broadband technology in Korea and Japan, which lead the world in the proportion of households connected to the Internet with super-fast links.

Posted by Judith — 4:05 AM

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Videotron sets out CA$1bn. mobile rollout plan with Nokia Siemens.

Source: TeleGeography.

Quebec-based cableco Videotron has announced that it will invest a total of up to CA$1bn. (US$810m.) in building a mobile network across the province, including the CA$555m. it spent on wireless spectrum in a recent auction.
The quadruple-play provider, which had 995,000 cable broadband customers at the end of June, has an opt-out arrangement with Rogers Communications that will allow Videotron to migrate its existing 55,000 MVNO customers, who are currently offered mobile services over Rogers’ network, onto the newly built system.

Posted by Judith — 6:59 AM

Washington to get T-Mobile 3G service in November.

Source: TeleGeography.

T-Mobile USA has announced it will launch 3G services in the Washington area in late November, and expects to have 3G coverage of around 120 major cities nationwide by that date. Earlier this week T-Mobile introduced 3G services in the Sacramento area, taking the total number of major cities with 3G coverage to 92.

Posted by Judith — 3:59 AM

Nokia enters Madhouse.

Source: BWCS.

Finnish handset maker Nokia is to invest in Chinese mobile advertising company Madhouse, in a bid to secure future ad revenues in the Chinese market. The investment wing of Nokia, Nokia Growth Partners, has invested in the Shanghai-based outfit which operates a network for advertising on wireless application protocol sites. According to Madhouse, the network, known simply as MadNetwork, covers three quarters of China’s total mobile internet traffic.

Posted by Judith — 2:54 AM

Chinese surfers see red over Microsoft black-outs.

Source: Reuters.

Chinese Internet users have expressed fury at Microsoft’s launch of an anti-piracy tool targeting Chinese computer users to ensure they buy genuine software.
The “Windows Genuine Advantage” program, which turns the user’s screen black if the installed software fails a validation test, is Microsoft’s latest weapon in its war on piracy in China, where the vast majority of 200 million computer users are believed to be using counterfeit software, unwittingly or not.

Posted by Judith — 2:49 AM

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Yahoo to axe 10% of workforce.


Yahoo has announced a cut of at least 10% in its workforce by the end of the year as it reported a disappointing third quarter caused by weakening display advertising sales.
The company reported its third consecutive quarter of falling revenues and lowered its forecast for the fourth quarter. The layoffs follow Ebay’s announcement of a 1,500 reduction in its headcount this month and a wave of cuts by smaller web companies.

Posted by Judith — 4:08 AM

Aircom and MobiNil ink 3G network planning deal.

Source: TeleGeography.

Network planning company Aircom International has announced that it has been chosen by MobiNil, Egypt’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, to help plan and implement 3G technologies into the operators existing 2G infrastructure.

Posted by Judith — 3:43 AM

Kyocera jumps on Android bandwagon.


Japanese electronics manufacturer Kyocera is the latest vendor to sign up to Google’s mobile device platform, Android.
The vendor has revealed that it is planning a portfolio of CDMA-based Android devices, tapping software company Wind River Systems to help with the integration of the Open Handset Alliance’s platform.

Posted by Judith — 3:38 AM

HP joins smart crowd.

Source: BWCS.

Hewlett-Packard is today launching a pair of new smart-phones designed to take on the BlackBerry and the iPhone in the all-important business mobile user market. The high-tech handsets will be sold by Vodafone in a European-wide deal.

Posted by Judith — 3:35 AM

January date for Indian sale.

Source: BWCS.

The auction of 3G licences in India will go ahead by the 15th of January next year, Communications and IT Minister A Raja promised yesterday. The process of selling off 3G licences in the subcontinent was originally scheduled to be completed by the end of this year; however, numerous regulatory and financial delays have meant that the process has been held up. Sources say the auction could raise as much as US$10bn.

Posted by Judith — 3:33 AM

New international gateway operator selects Ericsson to manage its network.

Source: TeleGeography.

Bangla Trac Communications, one of three newly licensed international voice gateway operators in Bangladesh, has selected Ericsson to manage the operation of its switching infrastructure. Ericsson will provide operational readiness, and manage the day-to-day operations of Bangla Trac’s new wireline network, providing gateway services for incoming and outgoing international calls under the agreement, the first of its kind in the country.

Posted by Judith — 3:15 AM

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

T-Mobile, TV networks voice spectrum concerns.

Source: TeleGeography.

T-Mobile USA says it is considering legal action to halt the government’s planned sale of wireless spectrum in the AWS-3 band. The cellco is concerned that services using the AWS-3 spectrum will interfere with its own 3G networks which operate in the adjacent AWS-1 band.
Separately, four US TV networks, ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox have called on the FCC to allow them more time to examine a recent report which studied the effects of opening up unused TV spectrum for new services.

Posted by Judith — 5:59 AM

AT&T wins with Tennessee.

Source: TeleGeography.

The US state of Tennessee has awarded AT&T a US$600m. contract to upgrade broadband networks for government authorities. The ten-year deal, which covers all levels of local and state government, as well as schools, will see AT&T upgrade the state’s internet capacity ten-fold.

Posted by Judith — 5:58 AM

Wireless merger threatens competition, groups tell FCC.

Source: WashingtonPost.

A coalition of public interest groups has stepped up protests to the FCC over the proposed merger of Verizon Wireless and rural carrier Alltel, saying the deal would be a threat to competition in the cellphone industry.
The Public Interest Spectrum Trust, comprised of six organizations, has balked at an order proposed last week by the FCC Chairman to approve the merger, which would create the nation’s largest cellphone carrier, with 80m. subscribers.

Posted by Judith — 4:15 AM

New 3G licence for France.

Source: BWCS.

France is to launch a tender for a new 3G licence early next year. The announcement came as part of plan to eradicate the so-called digital divide in the nation. The plan - Digital France 2012 - sets out some 154 new measures aimed at providing broadband for all and covers mobile telephony, fixed line internet and broadcast TV services.

Posted by Judith — 4:03 AM

Monday, October 20, 2008

IMS, NGN forums team for ‘any to any’ communications.

Source: RCR.

The IP Multimedia Subsystem Forum and the Next Generation Networks Forum announced plans to merge their respective activities in an effort to better target multimedia, mobility and fixed services over broadband cable, wireless, wireline and fiber networks.

Posted by Judith — 4:24 AM

Cablevision expands free Wi-Fi.

Source: TeleGeography.

The New York-based cable network operator Cablevision Systems has doubled the size of its public wireless LAN network, deploying new access points in Long Island, Connecticut and Westchester. The firm is offering free Wi-Fi wireless internet access to its Optimum Online broadband cable customers via hotspots sited at high-traffic locations across parts of its service area in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Posted by Judith — 4:06 AM

France Telecom expands into Uganda.


French carrier France Telecom has expanded its African footprint under a deal with Ugandan new entrant Hits Telecom.
Under the agreement, France Telecom will take majority ownership of a new entity, Orange Uganda, which will control Hits Telecom’s existing GSM network and telecom assets.

Posted by Judith — 4:01 AM

Zamtel and Huawei sign fibre-optic backbone deal.

Source: TeleGeography.

Zambia Telecommunications (Zamtel) has inked a deal with Chinese equipment supplier Huawei Technologies for the latter to provide and build a national fibre-optic backbone; the new infrastructure is intended to extend the Lusaka Metropolitan fibre-optic project. The deal will see Huawei lay cables across more than ten routes across the country, and the total cost of both projects is believed to be US$48m.

Posted by Judith — 3:58 AM

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Handsets to become crime targets.

Source: BBC.

The risk of spam and viruses that attack mobile devices is set to rise. Security experts suggest current risks are small, and that attacks will take the same form as PC spam and scams.
End-user protection like anti-virus software is not yet mature in the mobile market, so the issue is being addressed by the network operators. Mobile users are urged to employ the same safe behaviours familiar from PCs to reduce risks.

Posted by Judith — 4:55 AM

Friday, October 17, 2008

FCC active on Election Day.

Source: TeleGeography.

The FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has outlined the agenda for the Commission’s meeting on 4 November. Items include a vote on the use of ‘white space’ between television channels, and the approval of Verizon Wireless’ acquisition of rural carrier Alltel. Martin also said the Sprint-Clearwire WiMAX deal, valued at US$14.5bn., which will merge all Clearwire and Sprint’s Xohm broadband assets, will receive the FCC’s seal of approval with no regulatory conditions attached.

Posted by Judith — 5:07 AM

Cisco, Tata launch global public telepresence net.

Source: TelecomWeb.

Cisco and India’s Tata Communicationshave announced that they have opened the world’s first global managed public telepresence service, with rooms opening in the United States and the U.K. based on Cisco’s telepresence system and Tata’s global networks.

Posted by Judith — 4:56 AM

White space backers see new devices in a year.

Source: Reuters.

Opening unused U.S. television channels to wireless devices, an idea endorsed by communications regulators this week, could spark development of faster devices with features such as high-definition video within a year.
Philips, Motorola, Google, and Microsoft are among the companies that want the unused spectrum for a new generation of wireless devices.

Posted by Judith — 4:45 AM

Thursday, October 16, 2008

G4 mobile on its way.

Source: BWCS.

A powerful consortium of Japanese manufacturers has combined with mobile giant NTT DoCoMo to jointly develop the new SH-Mobile G4 single-chip LSI device. The companies: Renesas Technology, Fujitsu and Sharp Corporation, will together with DoCoMo also develop a platform incorporating the G4 into various mobile standards, including HSUPA, HSDPA, W-CDMA and GSM/GPRS/EDGE. The platform is expected to be ready by the end of March 2010.

Posted by Judith — 10:07 AM

AAPT leaves Terria consortium.

Source: TeleGeography.

Telecom New Zealand’s Australian subsidiary AAPT has withdrawn from the Terria consortium, which plans to bid for the national broadband network tender. The decision to pull out is understood to have been taken following parent company Telecom New Zealand’s announcement that it would invest AU$574m. (US$397m.) in the roll out of a new mobile network in New Zealand.
Following AAPT’s withdrawal the Terria consortium is comprised of Internode Systems, iiNet, Macquarie Telecom, Optus, Primus Telecom, Soul and TransACT.

Posted by Judith — 9:58 AM

Qwest expands reach of Ethernet services.

Source: Converge.

Qwest Communications, which rolled out Ethernet service in 759 new cities this year,has announced a significant expansion of its network reach. This brings the total number of U.S. cities served to 1,129. Qwest also offers Ethernet connectivity in 6 of the 137 international countries it serves.

Posted by Judith — 9:36 AM

Intel buys NetEffect.

Source: InternetNews.

Intel has announced that it has purchased the assets of network connectivity solutions company NetEffect for US$8m. with an eye to further enhance its efforts in the Ethernet networking space.
The new purchase of NetEffect, which had filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year, now could enable Intel to promote Ethernet in another arena: high-performance computing, a category that industry watchers expect to continue growing sharply in coming years.

Posted by Judith — 9:05 AM

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Telecom NZ unveils details of new 3G network.

Source: TeleGeography.

Telecom New Zealand has announced a NZ$574m. (US$347m.) plan to deploy a nationwide 850MHz W-CDMA network by June next year. The firm says the new system will be ready approximately a year before a similar network which is being deployed by rival operator Vodafone.

Posted by Judith — 11:15 AM

Mobile phone ads hit by spending curbs.


The global economic downturn is set to hit advertising on mobile phones until at least 2010, when marketing agencies expect clients to increase their budgets.
Advertising agencies say clients are reining in their marketing spending and focusing on proven mediums such as mass audience television and the internet.

Posted by Judith — 11:01 AM

Netcom and Unicom complete merger.

Source: TeleGeography.

The merger of China Netcom and China Unicom has been completed, with the resultant new company, China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited, established. The new company will integrate the wireless and fixed line services of the two firms to become a full service provider; it has pledged to accelerate the construction of a 3G mobile network and will champion the uptake of fixed line broadband services.

Posted by Judith — 10:20 AM

UK giant database plan ‘Orwellian’.

Source: BBC.

Proposals for a central database of all mobile phone and internet traffic have been condemned as “Orwellian”.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said the police and security services needed new powers to keep up with technology.
She promised that the content of conversations would not be stored, just times and dates of messages and calls.

Posted by Judith — 9:36 AM

India to review market conditions for 3G auction.

Source: InformationWeek.

India plans to review market conditions for a planned auction of radio waves for next generation wireless services, but hopes to start on schedule by December.
India plans to hold a global auction of radio spectrum for 3G and 4G wireless services simultaneously by December, from which it hopes to raise up to 400bn. rupees (US$8.2bn.).

Posted by Judith — 8:12 AM

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Appeals Court vacates ITC ban against Qualcomm.

Source: InformationWeek.

An appeals court has thrown out a U.S. import ban against Qualcomm and Qualcomm’s patent infringement legal battle with Broadcom Corp.
The decision follows a ban issued last year by the International Trade Commission on U.S. sales of some cell phones using Qualcomm chips that it found to infringe on a Broadcom patent.
But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said it vacated the ban on the grounds that the ITC did not have statutory authority to issue one that affected cell phone makers and service providers that were not part of the original case between Qualcomm and Broadcom.
Along with Qualcomm, cell-phone customers including Motorola, Samsung Electronics Co and LG Electronics had appealed the ITC ruling.

Posted by Judith — 2:43 PM

SureWest offloads wireless tower network.

Source: TeleGeography.

The California-based telco SureWest Communications has agreed to sell its telecoms tower network to Global Tower Partners for between US$9.5m. and US$10.2m. The sale of the network of 52 cellular transmission towers follows a deal earlier this year which saw Verizon Wireless take over SureWest’s entire wireless customer base.

Posted by Judith — 9:59 AM

UK firm leads way on EU broadband.

Source: BBC.

A UK organisation has been invited to take part in a major European project to bring broadband to rural areas.
The European Union is spending EUR3.5m. to improve net access across the region.
The B3 - Regions for Better Broadband Connection project aims to tackle the 30% of rural homes and businesses without broadband.
UK-based NYnet was chosen as one of the partners following its introduction of high speed access in North Yorkshire.

Posted by Judith — 9:31 AM

T-Mobile’s G1 success.

Source: TeleGeography.

Press reports are suggesting that cellular operator T-Mobile USA has taken advance orders for around 1.5m. G1 handsets, the new phones based on Google’s Android operating system.
The handsets, which are being manufactured by HTC of Taiwan, are seen as a rival for the popular iPhone device from Apple. The G1 phone is set to be launched by T-Mobile in the US on 22 October, with a UK launch scheduled for November and other European markets to follow early next year.

Posted by Judith — 9:02 AM

Leap expands in Georgia.

Source: TeleGeography.

The US cellco Leap Wireless International has launched its Cricket wireless service in Savannah, Georgia, and Hilton Head, South Carolina, a region which is home to approximately 600,000 people. The Cricket network is now available to 62.3m. people across the US.

Posted by Judith — 9:00 AM

Tata Teleservices plans capital restructure.

Source: TeleGeography.

Tata is planning to restructure its capital in a bid to offset losses totalling approximately INR51.4bn. (US$1.04bn.). The company has reportedly approached the Delhi High Court for approval of the restructure process, and has announced that it has already received shareholder approval for the plan at an earlier EGM; the restructure would see the company write off INR51.4bn. in losses and unabsorbed depreciation. It is believed that the move comes as the telco looks to attract interest from potential foreign strategic partners.

Posted by Judith — 8:52 AM

Hansenet DSL move irritates Telefonica.

Source: TeleGeography.

Telecom Italia’s German subsidiary Hansenet has transferred a portion of its 2.36m. DSL customer base from the Telefonica O2 Germany network to that of incumbent DT. The transfer concerns mostly former AOL Germany customers, which were connected via Telefonica O2.

Posted by Judith — 8:10 AM

Monday, October 13, 2008

FCC says OK to spectrum white spaces.

Source: InternetNews.

A new report by the FCC is siding with Google and Microsoft in their quest to open up “white spaces” in the spectrum.
The wireless spectrum known as white spaces has become a battleground between the Internet giants and broadcasters and wireless carriers over its use and concerns that it will interfere with their networks.
The FCC has released results from its laboratory tests that found little evidence supporting concerns that white spaces interfered with wireless devices operating in an adjacent frequency. Mobile operators and broadcasters had claimed this as a reson as to why the spectrum shouldn’t be unlicensed.

Posted by Judith — 10:39 AM

Verizon agrees to divest more assets to push through Alltel deal.

Source: TeleGeography.

Verizon Wireless, has unveiled plans to sell off assets in 15 additional markets to help ease concerns that its proposed US$28.1bn. acquisition of smaller rival Alltel will harm competition. Following talks with the Department of Justice, Verizon says it will divest airwaves in parts of Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina and Utah. Verizon had already agreed to sell off assets in 85 markets where its operations overlapped with those of Alltel.

Posted by Judith — 10:02 AM

AT&T to sell U-verse at Wal-Mart, Circuit City.

Source: Reuters.

AT&T Inc plans to sell its U-verse high-speed Internet and video service at Wal-Mart and Circuit City stores starting this month, stepping up competition against cable service providers.

Posted by Judith — 9:55 AM

BT Openreach announces fibre pilot sites.

Source: TeleGeography.

Openreach, BT’s local access network division, has announced the two sites for operational pilots of its FTTC service, with trials planned to begin in summer 2009. Two exchanges, one in Muswell Hill, London and one in Whitchurch, South Glamorgan, will be used to conduct the pilot schemes, with up to 15,000 customer premises involved in each area; end users are expected to receive speeds of up to 40Mbps.

Posted by Judith — 9:05 AM

ZTE banned from Telenor supplier list.


Norwegian carrier Telenor has banned Chinese vendor from all of its equipment tenders for six months for an unspecified breach of the carrier’s code of conduct policy.
Telenor has mobile operations in 12 countries, specialising in the Nordics, the Balkans and a handful of Asian markets.

Posted by Judith — 8:48 AM

Saturday, October 11, 2008

FCC, Wireless Providers at odds over plan for unused airwaves.

Source: WashingtonPost.

A report released yesterday by the FCC concluded that using empty airwaves to provide free wireless Internet would not cause major interference with other services, paving the way for FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin’s proposal to sell the airwaves at a federal auction.

Posted by Judith — 9:00 AM

Ethernet benefits from 21CN rethink.

Source: Light Readng.

BT ‘s decision earlier this year to rethink its GBP10bn. (US$16.9bn.) 21CN next-generation network strategy has strengthened the incumbent’s hand in the Ethernet services sector, where it has made significant progress in an increasingly competitive market.

Posted by Judith — 8:35 AM

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bell, Telus team on new wireless network.

Source: Globe and Mail.

Bell Canada and Telus are teaming up to overhaul their wireless communications networks to a more globally popular “next generation” standard in an effort to better compete with rival Rogers Communications.
Bell and Telus have announced plans to overlay their current 3G CDMA networks with the wireless standard HSPA.

Posted by Judith — 11:58 AM

BT outsources operations to Alcatel-Lucent.

Source: Light Reading.

BT has struck a seven-year outsourcing deal with Alcatel-Lucent that will result in about 500 staff transferring from the carrier’s Global Services division to the vendor.

Posted by Judith — 8:16 AM

S.A. government approves Vodafone’s bid to take over Vodacom.

Source: TeleGeography.

The South African government has approved an offer from Vodafone to buy a 15% stake in Vodacom from incumbent telco Telkom, to give the British group majority control of South Africa’s mobile market leader. Vodacom is currently 50% owned by Vodafone and 50% by Telkom, but the partnership has not run smoothly, and long running negotiations culminated yesterday with Telkom’s board agreeing to sell a 15% stake to Vodafone for ZAR22.5bn. (US$2.47bn.).

Posted by Judith — 8:06 AM

EC sanctions Anglo-Irish state aid for undersea cable link.

Source: TeleGeography.

The EC has given the go-ahead for a joint Anglo-Irish government project to provide up to EUR30m. (US$41m.) of public funding to help deploy an international submarine telecoms connection to the North West of Ireland. The cable link is designed to lower the cost of international backhaul connectivity in the region. Ireland is currently served by direct links on its south and east coasts, but lacks direct connectivity in the north-west.

Posted by Judith — 7:30 AM

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Huawei puts mobile sale plans on hold.


Global financial turmoil has forced Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications equipment maker, to shelve plans to sell control of a business unit to a foreign investor.
Asia had been regarded as a bright spot for mergers and acquisitions but bankers said that Huawei’s decision underscored the difficulty of sealing deals in the region amid volatile markets and that several big proposed outbound deals by Asian groups were on hold.

Posted by Judith — 10:36 AM

Alca-Lu completes Motive acquisition.

Source: Digital Media Europe.

Alcatel-Lucent has completed the acquisition of Motive. The acquisition solidifies the existing three-year relationship between the two companies, which had jointly developed and sold remote management software solutions for automating the deployment, configuration and support of advanced home networking devices called residential gateways.

Posted by Judith — 10:07 AM

Telefonica confirms investment plan for Latin America.

Source: TeleGeography.

Spanish telecommunications group Telefonica has confirmed its investment plan for Latin America. The group, which has operations in 13 Latin American countries including Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia, expects investment to be EUR14-16bn. (US$19-22bn.).

Posted by Judith — 10:05 AM

Broadcom renews its patent battle with Qualcomm.

Source: InformationWeek.

Broadcom has filed a new complaint against Qualcomm in the latest chapter in the two companies’ long-running patents litigation over wireless technology.
The Broadcom complaint, filed this week in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego, seeks a declaratory judgment against Qualcomm and argues in part that Qualcomm used “exhausted” patents to charge royalties for both chips in handsets and for the handsets themselves.

Posted by Judith — 10:01 AM

Japanese mobile content firms continue to struggle in the U.S. market.

Source: RCR.

A pioneer in the early days of mobile content, Vindigo was acquired four years ago for US$36.5m. by Japan’s, which had previously acquired the ringtone provider Zingy. For-Side combined the two New York-based firms in a failed effort to take them public; the parent company then failed to find a buyer and pulled the plug on its subsidiary last week, effectively fleeing the U.S. market.
However, the closure of the Japanese-owned firm may have more to do with cultural differences than the fact that mobile content is a tumultuous space.

Posted by Judith — 9:47 AM

NTT’s data centre expansion continues with APT Satellite purchase.

Source: TeleGeography.

NTT Communications’ subsidiary NTT Com Asia has purchased APT Satellite Telecommunications from Skywork and Singasat for approximately HK$161m. (US$D21m.), aiming to expand the Japanese company’s Tai Po Data Centre. APT provides transponder utilisation services, satellite communication services and satellite.

Posted by Judith — 9:30 AM

Sitronics establishes JV with ZTE.

Source: Digital Media Europe.

Sitronics, a provider of telecommunications, information technology and microelectronic solutions in Russia and the CIS with a presence in other EEMEA emerging markets, has established a JV with ZTE, a telecommunications equipment supplier in China. The company is called Sitronics-ZTE.

Posted by Judith — 9:03 AM

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Verizon loses out in VoIP patent case.

Source: TeleGeography

A jury in the US has ruled that cable operator Cox Communications did not infringe on six patents owned by Verizon Communications relating to IP telephony services. The jury decision from the US District Court in Virginia found against Verizon on all six of its complaints against Cox. Verizon started the suit earlier this year, claiming that Cox had violated patents connected to its enhanced internet domain name server and other systems. Verizon had been seeking damages of more than USD400 million. Verizon had previously settled a similar case against VoIP provider Vonage under which Vonage agreed to pay USD117.5 million.

Posted by Judith — 5:53 AM

VeriSign sells Jamba stake to News Corp.

Source: Reuters

News Corp has taken full ownership of mobile content provider Jamba by buying VeriSign Inc’s 49 percent stake for about USD200 million, the two companies said on Tuesday.
Jamba makes content such as wallpapers, ringtones and games for mobile phones. It also offers short episodes — called “mobisodes” — of some Fox TV series, including “24,” “Prison Break” and “Bones,” for phones.

Posted by Judith — 5:52 AM

Google takes aim at drunken messaging.

Source: The Register

The forward-thinking folks at Google have implemented a novel solution to prevent regretful drunken digital correspondence to friends, family, co-workers, and loved ones. Gmail is introducing Mail Googles, a new feature that will tease the bean before ill-conceived late night and weekend emails can be sent out.
Mail Goggles offers the constitution a checkup by asking a series of math problems that must be solved in 60 seconds.

Posted by Judith — 5:45 AM

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

BT and BSNL partner to offer managed services in India.

Source: TeleGeography.

BT has reportedly partnered with state-owned BSNL to offer managed telecom services in India including basic telecom, leased line, internet, mobile and broadband services. As part of the agreement BT will be provided access to BSNL’s pan-India broadband network and services, while in return BSNL will gain access to BT’s global multi-protocol label switching network and the UK-based group’s managed service knowledge.

Posted by Judith — 5:07 AM

Almost one third of iPhone 3G users new to AT&T.

Source: BWCS.

AT&T is claiming a marketing coup as it revealed that around 30% of its new iPhone 3G customers switched carriers specifically to get their hands on the new handset.
According to the figures from the NPD report, which covers the three months from the start of June to the end of August this year, the largest number of iPhone switchers (47%) came from Verizon while only 24% of new iPhone users left T-Mobile and 19% came from Sprint.

Posted by Judith — 4:19 AM

EBay trims its work force and makes acquisitions.

Source: NYT.

EBay has announced it will lay off 10% of its 16,000 workers, including 1,000 permanent employees, and pay US$1.35bn. to acquire the Web payment firm Bill Me Later and the Danish classified advertising companies Den Bla Avis and BilBasen.

Posted by Judith — 3:59 AM

AMD hives off factories in bid to fight Intel.

Source: Reuters.

Chip maker Advanced Micro Devices is reported to be about to hive off its pricey manufacturing plants, get a cash injection and shrink its debt to compete harder against bigger rival Intel for market share.
Two Abu Dhabi state-owned venture capital companies are backing the move. One will put up at least US$5.7bn. into the spun off factories and the other will buy more than US$300m. in AMD stock and warrants.

Posted by Judith — 3:03 AM

Convergys buys OSS specialist.

Source: Light Reading.

Not content with just having OSS minnow Ceon as a partner, Convergys has decided to go the whole way and buy the “product lifecycle management” specialist for an undisclosed sum.

Posted by Judith — 2:57 AM

Monday, October 6, 2008

Four out of five major mobile companies will use BT for backhaul.

Source: BWCS.

BT Wholesale is to provide high-speed backbone links to UK mobile operators T-Mobile and 3 in a new deal. The five year contract will be worth several hundred million pounds to BT Wholesale and highlights the need for mobile operators to guarantee the delivery of high-speed mobile data services to their customers. In April and May of this year, BT signed similar deals with Vodafone and O2 respectively. Orange remains the only major UK mobile company not to be tied to BT.

Posted by Judith — 4:48 AM

Hong Kong launches wireless broadband auction.

Source: TeleGeography.

Hong Kong telecoms regulator OFTA has launched an auction of radio spectrum in the 2.3GHz and 2.5GHz-2.6GHz bands for the provision of broadband wireless access services. A total of 195MHz of spectrum will be auctioned in January 2009. The available spectrum will be divided into twelve frequency bands, each with a bandwidth of 5MHz or a multiple of 5MHz. The reserve price will be HK$25m. (US$3.2m.) for every 5MHz. Licences will be valid for a period of 15 years.

Posted by Judith — 3:48 AM

Search engine Ask gets a facelift.

Source: BBC.

Search engine Ask has had another makeover in an effort to gain boost the numbers of people using it.
The relaunch follows the decision to drop its iconic butler at the beginning of 2006 and the introduction of new applications last year.
Ask will be refocusing on its ability to act as the search engine of choice for those asking questions.

Posted by Judith — 2:40 AM

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Google and Yahoo delay ad deal for antitrust review.

Source: NYT.

Google and Yahoo have announced that they have agreed to delay the start of their search advertising partnership to give the Justice Department more time to investigate its antitrust implications.
The deal calls for Google to place ads alongside some search results on Yahoo.

Posted by Judith — 2:58 AM

Verizon Wireless sweeps J.D. Power survey.

Source: TelecomWeb.

Verizon Wireless has scored a nearly clean sweep in the latest semi- annual survey J.D. Power and Associates customer satisfaction survey, coming in tops in five out of six regions and only a hair behind T-Mobile in the sixth.

Posted by Judith — 1:59 AM

Friday, October 3, 2008

Setback for Nokia music service.


Nokia faces a setback at the global launch of its music service in the UK this month because the country’s big four mobile operators do not plan to sell it.
Vodafone, O2 , Orange and T-Mobile are not expecting to use their high street stores to offer Nokia’s handsets featuring its unlimited music download service in the run-up to Christmas.
That would be a setback for Nokia, the biggest mobile handset maker, which is beginning an ambitious strategy of putting services such as music on to phones. It also underlines tensions between Nokia and the operators.

Posted by Judith — 3:35 AM

Sprint Nextel, AT&T new units.

Source: TeleGeography.

Sprint Nextel has formed a new unit which will focus specifically on offering fixed line services to the corporate market. The new unit will push managed services such as IP WAN, online self-service tools and hosted security.
Sprint’s move was announced the day after AT&T’s restructuring. AT&T’s operations have been reorganised into four divisions: the Mobility and Consumer Markets segment, the Business Services segment, AT&T Operations and the Diversified Business Group.

Posted by Judith — 3:14 AM

Elephant Talk signs contract with T-Mobile Netherlands.

Source: TeleGeography.

International telecoms and multimedia content distributor Elephant Talk Communications has concluded a contract with T-Mobile Netherlands to enable Dutch MVNO’s to operate voice and data services over T-Mobile’s network. The agreement includes the deployment and operation of a fully featured 2G and 3G network.

Posted by Judith — 3:09 AM

European Commission clears DT’s OTE purchase.

Source: TeleGeography.

The European Commission has approved Deutsche Telekom’s purchase of a controlling stake in Greek national telco Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE). DT has a presence in around fifty countries worldwide including local fixed line services through subsidiaries in several EEA member states, whilst OTE provides fixed communications services in Greece and Romania and, through its wholly owned subsidiary Cosmote, mobile services in Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia and Albania.

Posted by Judith — 3:01 AM

Thursday, October 2, 2008

No loans available for Embarq sale.

Source: TeleGeography.

Embarq, the fourth largest US telco by subscribers, has been forced to shelve its sale plans because investors have found it difficult to raise capital in the current economic climate. Companies that had been rumoured to be interested in the sale of the former Sprint Nextel spin-off included Windstream and Qwest.

Posted by Judith — 5:05 AM

C&W’s Thus offer becomes unconditional.

Source: TeleGeography.

British telecoms group Cable & Wireless has made its GBP329m. (US$585m.) offer for Scottish fixed line and broadband provider Thus unconditional. C&W announced that by 29 September it had received acceptances for approximately 55.3% of Thus shares which, combined with its existing stake of 29.9%, brings its total holding to 85.2%
The Glasgow-based group will be known as ‘Thus, a Cable & Wireless Business,’ following the purchase.

Posted by Judith — 4:47 AM

Microsoft steps up online search R&D in Europe.

Source: Reuters.

Microsoft is stepping up efforts to improve online search, where it considerably lags market leader Google, by establishing a three-center research facility in Europe.
Microsoft, whose efforts to buy search company Yahoo Inc have been rebuffed, said it would increase investment and recruitment in the region by opening a new European search technology centre with hubs in Paris, London and Munich.

Posted by Judith — 3:29 AM

Nokia to take on Apple in music, touch-screen phones.

Source: Reuters.

The world’s top mobile phone maker Nokia will launch its free music package on Thursday, which analysts see posing a serious threat to Apple’s dominance in the digital music business.
Nokia is expected to unveil more details on its “Comes with Music” package later on today at an analyst and media event in London. The Finnish company will also launch its first touch-screen phone, to rival Apple’s popular iPhone.

Posted by Judith — 3:03 AM

Ofcom may rethink spectrum sale.

Source: BBC.

UK regulator Ofcom may rethink its plans for the so-called digital dividend in order to bring it more in line with Europe.
The digital dividend is spectrum freed up by the swap from analogue to digital TV, which will allow for a range of new services to be introduced.
The radio waves are being fiercely fought over by broadcasters and mobile operators.
Following criticism Ofcom said that it would rethink the sell-off.

Posted by Judith — 2:58 AM

Orange wins Austrian Licence.

Source: BWCS.

Austrian telecoms regulator, the TKK, has sold off the new national 900MHz GSM licence to Orange Austria. The franchise includes two 0.8MHz packages in the 914MHz - 915 MHz and 959MHz - 960 MHz range. According the TKK, Orange Austria was the highest bidder outbidding Barablu Mobil Austria and T-Mobile Austria.

Posted by Judith — 2:56 AM

The Gores Group takes control of Siemens Enterprise Communications.

Source: Converge.

The Gores Group, a U.S.-based private equity firm, has acquired a 51% stake in Siemens Enterprise Communications. The parent company, Siemens AG, maintains a 49% ownership interest. In the coming months, Siemens Enterprise Communications business will be merged operationally with two of Gores’ portfolio companies - Enterasys, a network equipment and security solutions provider and SER Solutions, a call centre software company.

Posted by Judith — 2:01 AM

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Handset sales set for 13% growth in 2008.

Source: RCR.

Despite concerns about the economy, the mobile device market is on track to deliver 13% growth this year, with annual shipments of 1.3bn. units, according to a report from ABI Research.
Nokia has surpassed 40% market share for the first time. Samsung ranked second in handset market share with 15.2% but Motorola barely held on to the third-place spot with 9.3%, ahead of LG’s 9.2% market share. Sony Ericsson rounded out the list with 8.3% market share.

Posted by Judith — 5:06 AM

Nokia to add messages from Oz.

Source: BWCS.

Finnish handset maker Nokia is to purchase mobile e-mail and IM platform provider Oz Communications. Privately held Oz is based in Canada and has some 220 employees, more significantly the company boasts some 5.5m. customers each paying a monthly subscription to use its services. Oz recently announced an agreement with T-Mobile to deploy its platform in Germany and the UK.

Posted by Judith — 5:01 AM

Virgin Media joins mobile broadband club.

Source: TeleGeography.

UK quadruple play operator Virgin Media has announced the launch of mobile broadband services, making it the most recent entrant to the burgeoning market.
Virgin Media operates as an MVNO on T-Mobile’s infrastructure, and the company claims that its mobile broadband service will cover 85% of the UK.

Posted by Judith — 4:37 AM

Congress OKs greater broadband access.

Source: WashingtonPost.

Congress has passed legislation that will require the government to keep closer tabs on who has access to the Internet and who does not.
Supporters hope the Broadband Data Improvement Act will help policymakers better identify areas of the country that are falling behind when it comes to high-speed Internet access.

Posted by Judith — 4:14 AM

Sprint Nextel: ‘We may place restrictions’ on Xohm usage.

Source: RCR.

The enthusiasm surrounding Sprint Nextel Corp.’s launch of its Xohm-branded mobile WiMAX service took a bit of a hit as it was noted that the service’s terms and conditions contains a clause that would allow Sprint Nextel to limit users’ access to certain content.
Media reform group Free Press noted that Xohm’s T&Cs state Sprint Nextel “may use various tools and techniques designed to limit the bandwidth available for certain bandwidth-intensive applications or protocols, such as file sharing.”

Posted by Judith — 2:41 AM

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