Press Clippings: March 2011

Major Industry items you might have missed

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Google Introduces New Social Tool and Settles Privacy Charge.

Source: The New York Times

Google is trying social networking again, even as it pays a price for earlier privacy blunders.
Google introduced its latest social tool on Wednesday, the same day it settled with the Federal Trade Commission over charges of deceptive privacy practices last year for Buzz, the social networking tool in Gmail.
Under the settlement, Google agreed to start a privacy program, permit audits for 20 years and face US$16,000 fines for any future privacy misrepresentations. This is the first time the F.T.C. has charged a company with such violations and ordered it to start a privacy program, the commission said.
The new social networking tool, called +1, lets people annotate Google search results and ads so they can recommend Web pages to friends and acquaintances. It is the biggest feature yet in Google’s long-awaited social networking toolkit.

Posted by Sarah — 12:16 PM

Vodafone, NTT Boost India Investments.

Source: Light Reading

Vodafone Group plc and NTT Docomo Inc. have announced additional investments in India’s growing mobile sector.
Vodafone is spending US$5bn to buy the stake the Essar Group currently holds in Vodafone Essar , India’s third-largest mobile operator with more than 127 million customers.
The move, expected to be finalized by November this year, will boost Vodafone’s stake in its Indian operation to 75 percent, slightly higher than the foreign ownership threshold, so Vodafone will need to divest at least 1 percent of its holding.

Posted by Sarah — 12:15 PM

Ofcom acts to cut home phone and broadband prices.

Source: BBC

The cost of home telephone and broadband services could come down after telecoms regulator Ofcom moved to reduce the wholesale price.
It has revised the list of rates that Openreach, which manages BT’s network, can charge other providers for using its services.
In some cases, the wholesale price could fall by more than 10% per year.The move could benefit companies such as TalkTalk and Sky, but not Virgin Media which uses its own cable network.

Under Ofcom’s proposals the prices of two of the ways that BT’s rivals get access to its network will come down.

Posted by Sarah — 12:14 PM

Tunisian government seizes Orange sub.

Source: The Register

The Tunisian government has seized 51 per cent of local mobile network Orange from its previous owner - the son-in-law of the country’s ousted president.
Mobile operating licenses have long been a favoured gift of dubious dictators to their equally dubious relatives - Zimbabwe is just one example.
The seizure is a result of the newly-formed Tunisian government taking action against 110 people, and their assets, linked to the previous regime.

Posted by Sarah — 12:13 PM

Cisco Debuts New Nexus in Networking Update.


Cisco is updating its networking portfolio with new switches and software to help improve virtualization deployments.
The new Nexus 3000 switching platform is tailored for high frequency trading environments that require ultra-low latency. With the Nexus 5548 and 5596, Cisco is including unified ports to fully enable data center convergence.
With unified ports, any port can be provisioned as either a 1 GbE, 10 GbE, Fibre Channel or Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) port. The Nexus 5596 provides 96 ports while the Nexus 5548 provides 48 ports

Posted by Sarah — 12:11 PM

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Verizon Readies 100G Launch in US .

Source: Light Reading

Following years of tests, trials and a commercial launch in Europe, Verizon Communications Inc. has announced it will commercially deploy 100Gbit/s optical transport connections in the U.S. within the coming weeks.
Using equipment from Ciena Corp. (coherent optical transport) and Juniper Networks Inc.(core routers), the same supplier combo as in Europe, Verizon will light up Chicago to New York, Sacramento to Los Angeles and Minneapolis to Kansas City.

Posted by Sarah — 11:52 AM

ZTE to supply Hi3G with LTE TDD/FDD equipment.

Source: TeleGeography

ZTE Corporation has announced it will deliver Long Term Evolution (LTE) infrastructure equipment to telecoms company Hi3G, which plans to build LTE Frequency Division Duplex (FDD)/Time Division Duplex (TDD) dual-mode networks in two of the operator’s Nordic markets, Sweden and Denmark. The base stations will be based on ZTE’s Uni-RAN Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology, which will enable Hi3G to support all viable mobile standards and frequency bands, housing both the upgraded 3G network and the two versions of LTE: TDD and FDD.

Posted by Sarah — 11:51 AM

PLDT to buy Sun Cellular in PHP 74bn (US$1.7bn) deal.

Source: Telecompaper

Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) is planning to buy Digital Telecommunications Philippines (Digitel) in a deal worth up to PHP 74.1bn (US$1.7bn). Digitel is the 100 percent owner of Digitel Mobile Philippines which owns the brand Sun Cellular.

Posted by Sarah — 11:49 AM

BT helps accelerate NTV’s high speed trains .

Source: BT

BT today announced the signature of a substantial outsourcing contract with NTV (Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori), the first private operator on the Italian high speed rail network, to build its communication infrastructure and to manage its ICT services. BT becomes NTV’s sole partner to project manage and integrate all communication services (fixed and mobile), the systems management of the data processing centre, the Wi-Fi coverage of the stations where NTV is operational and which will provide services to their customers.

Posted by Sarah — 11:47 AM

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cisco to buy newScale to boost cloud computing.

Source: Reuters

Cisco Systems Inc said on Tuesday it plans to buy privately held software company newScale Inc, in a deal that would ramp up its cloud computing services.
Financial terms of the deal were undisclosed. Cisco said the deal would be completed in the second half of its fiscal year 2011.
NewScale, which makes portals for cloud computing, has more than 2 million users worldwide, including 20 percent of the Fortune 50 companies, according to its website. Some of newScale’s customers are AT&T Inc, American Express Co and Siemens AG.

Posted by Sarah — 12:10 PM

IBM in A$200m broadband network win.

Source: The Register

Australia’s NBN Co chief Mike Quigley has announced that IBM will be the prime systems integrator for its business support systems / operational support systems (BSS / OSS) project.
Since most of the A$43bn (US$42.6bn) project is civil engineering such as trench-digging and cable-laying, the BSS / OSS decision has been keenly watched as one of the largest single IT opportunities in the National Broadband Network.

Posted by Sarah — 12:07 PM

PT snaps up bigger 25.28% stake in Oi.

Source: TeleGeography

Bloomberg writes that Portugal Telecom (PT) has purchased a 25.28% stake in Brazilian telecoms group Telemar Norte Leste (Oi) for BRL8.32 billion (US$5bn), taking a bigger stake in the group than it had originally planned to. The Portuguese giant’s stake has been built up from direct investments in Oi and through indirect purchases in its biggest shareholders, PT said in a statement.

Posted by Sarah — 12:06 PM

Tekelec addresses LTE signaling challenges.

Source: Connected Planet

With its Diameter-based carrier-grade core network routing capabilities, Tekelec claims to address Diameter shortcomings for better network performance.
When Tekelec announced this week it has integrated its performance management and troubleshooting solution with its routing hub, it was addressing a significant yet often-neglected topic related to the move to LTE: the challenge of how to scale the signaling aspect of LTE. This could create substantial operational expense when adding subscribers. It also adds major complexity in managing the many additional connections and the overall growth of nodes as carriers deploy and attempt to scale myriad network elements (e.g., home subscriber servers or mobility management entities)

Posted by Sarah — 12:00 PM

Monday, March 28, 2011

120 Underground Wi-Fi hotspots will erupt in 2012.

Source: The Register

Transport for London is tendering for bidders to open Wi-Fi hotspots at underground stations, and possibly even at bus stations and stops.
The decision follows a trial with BT OpenZone at Charing Cross tube station in central London.
Transport for London said the tender was for up to 120 tube stations, out of a total of 260.The contract will be awarded to a provider or reseller by the end of 2011 with the aim of getting some stations at least online by the Olympics.
The first stage will be to open London Underground’s own Wi-Fi networks at 16 stations for customers to use.

Posted by Sarah — 1:04 PM

Tabula Gets US$108m - & Cisco

Source: Light Reading

Field Programmable Gate Array startup Tabula Inc. is announcing Monday that it’s raised US$108m and landed Cisco Systems a customer.
The fourth-round funding brings Tabula’s total to US$214m. Tabula is spending that money developing SpaceTime, a radical technology that lets chip circuitry reconfigure itself while running a process. The result is a chip more compact than a large FPGA but more versatile than an Application-Specific Integrated Circuit.
Tabula isn’t saying what Cisco is using the chips for. Separately Tabula officials say a Tier 1 equipment vendor has completed a base station design using the chips.

Posted by Sarah — 12:42 PM

Itanium Dump Could Cost Oracle Billions .

Source: Information Week

Forcing customers to buy Sun hardware if they want to run Oracle apps may be the only way to justify a US$7.4bn acquisition, but such a move could alienate customers and deliver them straight to rivals.
Larry Ellison thinks he has found a way to shore up the struggling server business he bought for US$7.4bn last year in the form of Sun Microsystems—force customers to buy Sun hardware if they want to continue to run the latest Oracle software. That’s about as close to a bet-the-company strategy as you can get.

Posted by Sarah — 12:06 PM

Friday, March 25, 2011

United Utilities taps Ericsson to deliver fibre to 65 rural communities in Alaska.

Source: TeleGeography

Swedish equipment manufacturer Ericsson has confirmed that it has been selected by United Utilities Inc (UUI) to roll out a fibre-optic broadband network in 65 rural communities in south-west Alaska. The US$88m rollout, which has been branded ‘TERRA-SW’ is being co-funded by UUI’s parent company GCI and the USDA Rural Utilities Service, which has pledged to provide US$44m of the final budget.

Posted by Sarah — 12:15 PM

Microsoft spends US$7.5m on net addresses.

Source: BBC

Microsoft has offered to pay US$7.5m (GBP4.7m) for net addresses from bankrupt telecoms firm Nortel.The 666,624 IP version 4 (IPv4) net addresses were put up for auction as part of the sell-off of Nortel’s assets.
Blocks of IPv4 are valuable because the pool of this generation of address is close to running dry.It was predicted that a market in IPv4 would appear among companies facing a costly migration to the newer IPv6.

Posted by Sarah — 12:13 PM

Alca-Lu to help China Mobile deploy TD-LTE trial network.

Source: TeleGeography

Alcatel-Lucent (Alca-Lu) has announced it has been selected by China Mobile to participate in the ‘world’s largest’ 4G TD-LTE trial network deployment in China. The qualification follows successful completion of various interoperability tests using the 2300MHz and 2600MHz bands which started in January 2010 as required by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information (MIIT) and China Mobile. Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell, Alca-Lu’s flagship company in China, is one of the first suppliers to have successfully achieved this key milestone and will be deploying its end-to-end LTE solution for China Mobile’s large-scale 4G TD-LTE trial in the city of Shanghai.

Posted by Sarah — 12:12 PM

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ericsson to Spend US$7bn on Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Source: Business Week

Ericcson AB plans to spend about US$7bn on projects in sub-Saharan Africa by 2020, Jonas Stringberg, the company’s chief financial officer for the region, said.
The Stockholm-based company sees an opportunity in Africa for mobile devices because of the poor connectivity of fixed- line phones, Stringberg said today at a conference in Gaborone, Botswana’s capital.
The company, part of a business delegation from Sweden visiting the southern African country, is doing research on how to boost connectivity in rural communites in Kenya, he said.

Posted by Sarah — 1:07 PM

Wi-Fi Alliance working on data offload standard.

Source: Connected Planet

Everyone is popping out a carrier Wi-Fi solution these days. The Wi-Fi Alliance is no exception. The critical difference is that the Alliance’s solution will be standardized. The Alliance is developing a certification program for Wi-Fi access points and dual-mode mobile devices that will automatically authenticate and provision smartphones and other mobile gadgets on public Wi-Fi networks.

Posted by Sarah — 1:04 PM

Skype names new chief financial officer.

Source: Reuters

Internet telephone service Skype said it named Jonathan Chadwick, a former McAfee financial executive, as its chief financial officer.
Chadwick replaces Adrian Dillon as CFO. Dillon has left the company, Skype said in a statement.

Posted by Sarah — 1:03 PM

Nokia plans talks to cut staffing levels.

Source: Scotsman

Nokia plans to start talks with staff next month over significant job losses following a tie-up with Microsoft.
The world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer last month announced it was abandoning its own software platform in favour of Microsoft’s Windows operating system, a move which is expected to lead to a sharp reduction in its workforce.
Finnish labour unions fear the move could cost thousands of jobs in the Nordic country alone.

Posted by Sarah — 12:06 PM

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sprint cries foul over rivals’ mega-merger.

Source: Reuters.

Sprint Nextel Corp cried foul over a planned merger between AT&T Inc and T-Mobile USA, saying the deal would stifle competition and potentially hurt its profitability.
Sprint executives attending a wireless industry event on Monday criticized AT&T’s proposed US$39bn of Deutsche Telekom’s U.S. unit, announced on Sunday, and listed several ways it could hurt the wireless industry.

Posted by Sarah — 1:26 PM

LightSquared inks deal with Best Buy.

Source: The Register

Audacious wannabe network wholesaler LightSquared has inked a deal with Best Buy to provide connectivity for the retailer’s MVNO offering, with testing to start early next year.
Best Buy joins Leap Wireless and Open Range in signing up to use LightSquared’s yet-to-be-built LTE network. That network relies on radio spectrum previously reserved for satellite use, making it cheap, but the addition of the big brand retailer will be important, as LightSquared is still struggling to raise the US$7bn it needs to build the network.

Posted by Sarah — 1:25 PM

Sandvine partners with Citrix for mobile packet core offload.

Source: Connected Planet

Sandvine today announced it will work with Citrix Systems to offer mobile packet core offload solutions for mobile carriers. This might be of particular interest to carriers focused on going beyond 3G (e.g., HSPA deployments), as the data-intensive nature of services on next-gen networks means carriers will want to lower capital expenditures while improving customer experience.
With this announcement, Sandvine goes the next step in its usage and traffic management play by utilizing application awareness. It does so by combining its network policy control capabilities (in its Sandvine Policy Traffic Switch) with the Citrix NetScaler, a Web application delivery and load balancer solution.

Posted by Sarah — 1:21 PM

Motorola buys into IPTV.

Source: The Inquirer

Motorola Mobility will acquire the Swedish IPTV software firm Dreampark, an Internet television personalisation middleware developer.
The acquisition is expected to close this Spring and financial details have not been disclosed. Motorola did say that the company will be integrated into its set-top box building Converged Experiences business, which is part of the recently spun off Mobility business.
Dreampark develops software that network operators can use to customise Internet television portals, which are expected to increase in use as more services are launched and Internet protocol TV sets are released.

Posted by Sarah — 1:12 PM

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ofcom launches next-generation 4G consultation.

Source: BBC

The telecoms regulator has launched a consultation on how best to sell off the rights to the next generation of mobile wireless networks.
The auction of the fourth generation, or 4G, spectrum will be the largest ever, equivalent to three quarters of the mobile spectrum in use today.
The last time an auction was held, for 3G in 2000, it raised a record GBP22.5bn for the Treasury. The auction itself is expected to start in the first quarter of 2012.

Posted by Sarah — 1:03 PM

FCC approves CenturyLink, Qwest merger; stipulates list of clauses.

Source: Telegeography

US telecoms regulator the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted approval to the long-running USD10.6bn merger that will see fixed line operator CenturyLink purchase rival telco Qwest Communications. The FCC’s decision clears the way for the companies to close the merger on 1 April 2011. The transaction, which was first announced in April 2010, has already won approval by 20 states and the District of Columbia. Shareholders from both companies have also approved the deal. In July 2010 the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission cleared the transaction, after determining there were no antitrust concerns.

Posted by Sarah — 1:02 PM

NetAmerica, Ericsson Offer Rural 4G Alternative.

Source: Light Reading.

NetAmerica Alliance LLC has chosen Ericsson AB as the sole supplier for an ambitious plan to create a nationwide 4G partnership of spectrum-owning independent telcos.
The idea is to bring next-gen wireless technologies to rural areas faster and more cheaply by wielding the economic influence of a large carrier.
The NetAmerica Alliance would serve as a national brand and would negotiate national roaming agreements, tackling another thorny issue for rural wireless operators.

Posted by Sarah — 1:01 PM

Cable-ized Picocells Give MSOs Spot at LTE Table.

Source: Light Reading

Save for Cox Communications Inc. , cable’s got little going for it right now in the way of deploying Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks and services. But that doesn’t mean it can’t play a role in helping telcos backhaul their LTE traffic.
A new LTE/Wi-Fi metro picocell from BelAir Networks Inc.could help cable share in the LTE buildout spoils.
Cable operators could use that picocell product, called the 100LP, to host LTE backhaul capacity for Tier 1 cellular carriers while also using the product to support an MSO’s own outdoor Wi-Fi service, says BelAir President and CEO Bernard Herscovich

Posted by Sarah — 12:59 PM

BT revamps wholesale voice-over-ip offering.

Source: BT

BT today announced the re-launch of its wholesale voice-over-IP (WVoIP) offering, to meet growing customer demand and match the latest internet standards in the market. The WVoIP platform underwent a significant upgrade - including the renewal of its SIP core and gateways - assuring scalability and reliability. BT also added new features for its reseller community. The new features include the option to connect via direct access lines - using BT’s Ethernet service. Furthermore, a new automated system enables partners to perform number porting directly via the secure, web-based, European Reseller System (ERS) portal.

Posted by Sarah — 12:37 PM

Monday, March 21, 2011

Why AT&T bought T-Mobile.

Source: CNN

AT&T, criticized and even despised for its inability to keep up with growing mobile data usage, thinks it has found the solution to its network woes. And all it will cost the telecom giant is US$39bn and months (or even years) of regulatory hurdles.
In a stunning move, AT&T has acquired T-Mobile USA for a whopping US$39bn from Deutsche Telekom. Along with acquiring approximately 8% of AT&T, Deutsche Telekom will also be gaining a seat on AT&T’s board of directors.
The new combined entity, if it can garner regulatory approval, will be largest carrier in the U.S. by leaps and bounds. AT&T and T-Mobile USA combined have over 25% more subscribers now than Verizon (125+ million vs. 93+ million).
This acquisition isn’t about subscriber bases, though; it’s about improving AT&T’s reliability and preparing it for the 4G era of wireless communication.

Posted by Sarah — 1:36 PM

New regulations allow mobile, internet, TV consumers to be choosy.

Source: TeleGeography

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has introduced new rules which make switching mobile phone, internet and television providers easier for consumers, reports the Montreal Gazette. The new framework will force providers to make all necessary arrangements to have services transferred over to them from their competitors, the regulator announced.

Posted by Sarah — 1:35 PM

Verizon Endorses Ethernet Exchange Model.

Source: Light Reading

Verizon Communications Inc.’s Global Wholesale operation is expanding its use of the CENX Inc. Ethernet exchange, adding connections in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., because carrier customers like the exchange model.
The Ethernet exchange model is proving popular among Verizon Wholesale’s carrier customers as a cost-effective way of reaching a smaller number of customers or breaking into a market with Ethernet services, says Brendan Gunn, product manager in the Global Wholesale Unit.

Posted by Sarah — 1:34 PM

Japanese catastrophe forces Cisco to delay March security update.

Source: The Inquirer

Cisco has delayed its planned March security advisories and notices update, blaming the recent Japanese catastrophe.
Cisco’s security advisories and notices update was due out in a couple of days on 23 March and was intended for users of its IOS software on routers and switches. But Cisco has pushed that advisory date all the way back to September and deferred the disclosure for the next planned IOS software advisory.
The networking outfit claimed the security advisory was delayed because the terrible series of catastrophes hitting Japan mean that its users and the public don’t have equal access to patched software.

Posted by Sarah — 1:33 PM

Bypassing the big guys to get broadband.

Source: Washington Post

Paul Conlin, the proprietor of Blaze Broadband, is not a typical telecom executive. He drives a red pickup and climbs roofs. When customers call tech support, he is the one who answers.
Conlin delivers broadband to Fauquier County homes bypassed by Comcast and Verizon, bouncing wireless signals from antennae on barns, silos, water towers and cellphone poles.

Posted by Sarah — 1:31 PM

Friday, March 18, 2011

Vimpelcom receives shareholder, regulatory approval for Wind Telecom merger.

Source: TeleGeography

Russian telco Vimpelcom has announced that its shareholders approved ‘all of the items on the agenda’ at yesterday’s Special General Meeting (SGM), paving the way for the company to complete its proposed merger with Wind Telecom (formerly Weather Investments), the telecoms holding company owned by Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris. Shareholders representing 93.1% of the company’s voting shares participated in the SGM, with 53.3% giving their approval of the long-running transaction.

Posted by Sarah — 1:35 PM

Network testing in an IP world: No longer ‘deploy, watch it blow up, respond’

Source: Connected Planet.

No one could have imagined 24 months ago the volume and breadth of applications that would be running over operator networks today. Nor could we imagine all the hoops operators must jump through to make sure applications perform as they should, scaling to meet customer expectations—all while managing security and privacy concerns.
Today, intelligence in networks is no longer a “port-level-only” concern. Throughput is just part of the picture now, as operators have to be able to look at applications in a granular “content-aware” or “application-aware” fashion that zeroes in on applications and the policies that have to be applied to ensure things like QoS, entitlements or blockages of certain applications.
To help operators better test such IP application scenarios, Mu Dynamics has created a “crowd-sourced” packet capture repository that network testers can use to recreate real network scenarios (as the captured packets are based on actual network traffic).

Posted by Sarah — 1:33 PM

Phones4U in GBP700m sale.

Source: Independent

Retailer Phones4U has today been sold in a deal thought to be worth up to GBP700m that will trigger a second payout for founder John Caudwell.
The company, which has more than 500 stores in the UK and employs about 6,000 staff, is to be snapped up by Fitness First-owner BC Partners.
The Staffordshire-based retailer, which reported a 20% increase in sales to GBP900m in 2010, is mainly owned by US-based investor Providence Equity although Mr Caudwell and the management team still hold a 25% stake.

Posted by Sarah — 1:29 PM

Can Unlicensed Spectrum Solve Rural Broadband?

Source: Light Reading

Rural carrier Townes Tele-Communications Inc. is conducting the first pilot test of a new wireless system designed to let rural carriers use unlicensed spectrum to offer mobile and fixed voice, text and, ultimately, broadband data service.
A technology from xG Technology LLC called xMax will be initially deployed in Lewisville, Ark., as part of a test to gain Rural Utilities Service (RUS) certification, but Townes also plans to use the system in many of its other rural properties in Texas, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Arkansas, Missouri and Florida.
Gaining RUS certification would allow Townes to apply for federal funding of the xMax deployment as part of the effort to increase rural broadband service. The technology might also fit into what many see as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ‘s increasing focus on wireless options for broadband.

Posted by Sarah — 1:28 PM

Firefox 4 Arrives Next Week .

Source: Information Week.

Mozilla’s Firefox 4, the latest iteration of the second most popular Web browser in the world, will be officially released on March 22, 2011.
It’s been a long time coming. The first Firefox 4 beta was released July 6, 2010. At the time, Mozilla was aiming to deliver a release candidate in the fall of 2010.

Posted by Sarah — 1:27 PM

Google to enforce SSL encryption on developer APIs.

Source: The Register

Google will soon require the use of SSL encryption with three of its developer-facing APIs.
Beginning September 15, Google will require all developers to use SSL connections for all requests through its Google Documents List, Google Spreadsheet, and Google Sites APIs. In other words, these APIs will only accept requests via HTTPS. If you make a request to an old HTTP address, such as, it will no longer work. You must use

Posted by Sarah — 1:26 PM

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Japan supply squeeze worries spread to telco gear.

Source: Reuters.

Top mobile telecom equipment makers joined automakers in warning of a damaging supply squeeze as the impact of Japan’s devastating earthquake spreads, adding to fears in a sector hampered by shortages.

Japan, home to around a fifth of the world’s semiconductor production, has seen factories making everything from chips to car parts closed following Friday’s earthquake, threatening supplies to manufacturers across the globe.
Most are making contingency plans, scrambling to source key components elsewhere while working out how much inventory they have available to keep production going.
Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent and chipmaker STMicroelectronics all warned of a likely impact on supplies.

Posted by Sarah — 1:20 PM

Telkom Kenya inks KES4 billion 3G contract with ZTE.

Source: TeleGeograph.

Telkom Kenya has announced that it has awarded the contract to roll out its 3G network to Chinese equipment manufacturer ZTE Corporation; the deal is worth approximately KES4 billion (USD46.1 million). The cellco acquired the country’s third 3G licence for a reduced price of USD10 million in November 2010. Telkom Kenya CEO Mickael Ghossein confirmed that the operator expects to launch commercial 3G services in all major cities before end-June 2011, before expanding the network to other areas in a phased rollout. Further, the CEO confirmed that ZTE’s 3G infrastructure will allow seamless upgrades to 4G, without the need for expensive network overlays and infrastructural replacements.

Posted by Sarah — 1:18 PM

The SkyLink’s the limit as CDMA operator is given approval to build W-CDMA network.

Source: TeleGeography

According to local press reports, Russian CDMA operator SkyLink has been given permission by the State Radio Frequency Commission (SRFC) to roll out a W-CDMA network. SkyLink, which was acquired by Russian telecoms holding company Svyazinvest in a share swap deal signed in November 2009, will now be able to compete with the so-called ‘Big Three’ mobile operators - Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), Vimpelcom and MegFon - on a level playing field.

Posted by Sarah — 1:17 PM

Cox Wireless Preps for New England Launch.

Source: Light Reading

Cox Communications Inc. confirmed a local report that the MSO will soon announce wireless launch plans for Rhode Island and its other nearby markets.
“Cox will unveil its plans for offering wireless service in its New England market later this month,” an MSO spokesman notes.
A Cox official told that it could “probably expect to see some activity in the market around the launch of our service in the month of April,” but stopped short of saying when Cox intends to actually start selling services.
However, New England is next in line to get Cox’s new wireless service, which initially will piggyback on the Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S) 3G network. Cox is also building out its own network and has plans to migrate to Long Term Evolution (LTE).

Posted by Sarah — 1:15 PM

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

BT and Vodafone extend MVNO deal.

Source: TeleGeography

British fixed line incumbent BT has reportedly inked a five-year extension to its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) agreement with mobile network operator Vodafone UK, Mobile Today reports. While BT is thought to currently have less than 100,000 mobile subscribers the decision to renew its partnership with Vodafone is thought to be a sign of its intent to make a play for a bigger slice of the country’s mobile sector.

Posted by Sarah — 12:23 PM

Japan Strives to Restore Services.

Source: Light Reading

In the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, mobile operators and communication service providers are still working to restore services in the country. Their work is challenged by rolling power blackouts and the threat of a new crisis, as fears grow over radiation leaks following the explosions that caused damage to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. But there are clear signs of progress.

Posted by Sarah — 12:22 PM

SEACOM expands network to five extra countries.

Source: TeleGeography

East African submarine cable operator SEACOM has announced that its services are now accessible from five additional African nations: Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. The network expansion is coupled with increasing resilience through its recent acquisition of east and west coast submarine cable capacity.

Posted by Sarah — 12:20 PM

Three ponders big squeeze: City, duopoly, Ofcom have little sympathy.

Source: The Register

UK punters face higher prices from an oligopoly of three mobile providers unless Ofcom rethinks its spectrum policy, Three UK’s CEO Kevin Russell said at a policy debate in London today. As it stands, Ofcom will hand all of the prime 900Mhz spectrum currently used by Vodafone and O2 for 2G back to them to use again for 3G. Ofcom had wanted to parcel it out - as other countries do, to make sure market competition remains keen. The decision to hand this public property back to Voda and O2 raises doubts about Three’s continued participation in the UK market.

Posted by Sarah — 12:19 PM

Phone, car companies collaborate to connect cars, phones.

Source: The Register

Eleven companies want to make it easier to connect your mobile gadgetry to your car, and to get the two talking a common language. They have formed the inevitable industry consortium to do it.
Said body is the Car Connectivity Consortium, and it’s backed by phone manufacturers Nokia, Samsung and LG; in-car electronics firms Panasonic and Alpine; and motor makers Daimler, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Toyota and VW.

Posted by Sarah — 12:07 PM

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Altobridge Raises USD12 Million for Rural Wireless Access

Source: Converge!

Altobridge, a start-up based in Dublin, Ireland, has raised USD12 million in funding from Intel Capital and IFC for its low-cost, low-capital, wireless communications solutions designed for rural communities.
The Altobridge solution provides wireless access for remote communities, enterprises and schools of the world’s emerging markets. The company claims its “Data-at-the-Edge” reduces mobile network operators’ backhaul requirements by at least 50%.

Posted by Sarah — 12:41 PM

Moko buys US mobile outfit.

Source: The Register.

The international ambitions of Australian mobile social networking service provider have ramped up with the acquisition of US based Cellfish Media for USD5.5m.
The purchase will give MOKO access to more than 500,000 paid US mobile subscribers and follows the company’s acquisition in January of UK based EyeVibe. Following the transaction, Cellfish will hold an approximate 17% interest in Moko.

Posted by Sarah — 12:40 PM

Ofcom says mobile users to benefit from rate cuts.


The cost of calling mobile phones from other networks and landlines is set to fall after Ofcom imposed cuts.Termination charges - the fee mobile phone firms charge rivals for handling calls from their networks - will fall by 80% over the next four years.
Mobile operators charge between (UK Pence) 4.18p and 4.48p to the cost of delivering a call to another network.But Ofcom wants this reduced to 0.69p by 2014-15, and says it expects the cuts to be passed on to customers. The phased reductions will begin on 1 April with the termination rate for the big four operators - O2, Everything Everywhere, Vodafone, and 3UK - cut to 2.66p.

Posted by Sarah — 12:38 PM

MegaPath to upgrade copper-over-Ethernet speeds.

Source: Connected Planet Online

MegaPath said today it plans to upgrade the equipment it has deployed in 300 central offices in 15 major U.S. markets to support Ethernet-over-copper services at speeds as fast as 90 Mb/s. The company expects to complete the upgrade, which is based on equipment from Adtran, before the end of the year and to add central offices in 35 additional markets before the end of 2012, said MegaPath CEO Craig Young in an interview with Connected Planet. The final footprint will reach about 75% of U.S. businesses, Young said.

Posted by Sarah — 12:36 PM

Monday, March 14, 2011

Vodafone, Verizon to pool enterprise units.

Source: Reuters

British mobile operator Vodafone and its U.S. partner Verizon plan to combine parts of their businesses and share some equipment costs, according to a report in Britain’s Sunday Times. The report said the pair were examining plans to pool parts of their enterprise divisions that serve multi-national clients and that the two companies were considering buying network equipment together.

Posted by Sarah — 1:13 PM

America Movil to swap Jamaican cellco for two Digicel ops.

Source: TeleGeography

America Movil has announced that it has entered into an agreement with Digicel Group to acquire 100% of Digicel’s operations in Honduras and El Salvador. As part of the transaction, America Movil will sell Jamaican subsidiary Claro to Digicel. The completion of the transaction is subject to governmental and regulatory approvals in
Honduras, El Salvador and Jamaica, among other conditions, and is expected to be finalised during the second quarter of 2011.

Posted by Sarah — 1:08 PM

Zoove’s Short Dialing Codes Go Cross-Carrier.

Source: Light Reading

Sprint Nextel Corp. and T-Mobile USA joined their larger peers Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. Monday in syncing up with startup Zoove for a form of mobile marketing that’s even simpler than SMS campaigns. Zoove hosts an exclusive registry of short-dialing codes called StarStar Numbers for mobile advertising. Monday’s announcement means Zoove has locked up the entire Tier 1 market in the U.S.

Posted by Sarah — 12:53 PM

AT&T to introduce data caps on DSL.

Source: cnet

Unlimited data will soon be a thing of the past for all AT&T customers, as the company confirms it will put a cap on data usage for its DSL and U-verse broadband services.
Customers who exceed a monthly limit of 150 gigabytes of data in three separate months will be charged USD10 extra for every additional 50 gigabytes of data they consume. Customers subscribing to AT&T’s faster U-verse broadband service will have a limit of 250 gigabytes. The new policy goes into effect starting May 2, the company said.

Posted by Sarah — 12:49 PM

Friday, March 11, 2011

Kabel BW plans IPO for first half of 2011.

Source: Telecom Paper

German cable network operator Kabel BW unveiled plans to float on the German stock exchange in the first half of this year. Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan are joint global coordinators for the initial public offering (IPO) and BofA Merrill Lynch and Royal Bank of Scotland will act as joint bookrunners. More details about the listing will be made public during the coming weeks.

Posted by Sarah — 9:14 AM

Inflight Wi-Fi hits more turbulence.

Source: New Scientist

Inflight Wi-Fi and cellphone services - which transmit low power microwave radio signals within an aircraft’s fuselage - have already been criticised by security engineers for providing a ready means for terrorists to remotely detonate explosives. Now the technology has been found to be interfering with flight critical electronics too. This latest finding was made by Boeing while testing inflight Wi-Fi equipment for use on its next generation 737 twin-engined aircraft.

Posted by Sarah — 9:13 AM

AOL waves goodbye to 900 staffers.

Source: The Register

AOL pointed 900 of its employees towards the door marked Exit yesterday, as part of the company’s effort to recast itself as a media content provider. Just last month, the firm’s CEO Tim Armstrong confirmed the USD315m buyout of the Huffington Post. Around 200 staffers based in the US were laid off, following that purchase. AOL axed 400 jobs in India and said a further 300 roles at the company would be outsourced to third-party outfits.

Posted by Sarah — 8:34 AM

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Vimpelcom finally closes Laotian purchase.

Source: TeleGeography

After a notable delay related to regulatory approval for the deal, Russian mobile giant Vimpelcom has announced that it has now completed the purchase of a 78% stake in Laotian mobile network operator Tigo (formerly Millicom Lao). With regulatory issues now resolved Vimpelcom said that it has paid around USD65m to Millicom International Cellular for the stake in the cellco, while the deal also saw the Russian company repay some USD23m of Tigo’s debt.

Posted by Sarah — 11:39 AM

Ofcom says no to automatically renewed contract badness.

Source: The Register

Telecoms firms will be banned from automatically signing customers up to renewed contracts with minimum contract periods, telecoms regulator has said. BT and a number of smaller providers operate such contracts but this must stop, Ofcom has said in a consultation proposing a change to its rules on contract terms. Automatically renewable contracts (ARCs), or rollover contracts, sign users up to subsequent contract periods once a first contract period ends unless the telecoms operator is asked by the users not to. These subsequent contracts have fixed terms and penalties for leaving early.

Posted by Sarah — 11:36 AM

Home wi-fi ‘30% slower’ than fixed broadband.

Source: BBC News

People relying on home wi-fi are getting significantly slower speeds than from their fixed broadband connection, research suggests. The study ran one million tests over 14,000 wi-fi connections in the UK, US, Spain and Italy. On average, the results showed a 30% drop-off compared to the speed coming into the home. However, the research also suggests that users tolerate slower speeds in exchange for the freedom wi-fi offers.

Posted by Sarah — 11:34 AM

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Telmex reveals plans to split fixed voice operations.

Source: TeleGeography

Mexican fixed line incumbent Telefonos de Mexico (Telmex) has unveiled plans to break its fixed line voice operations apart, revealing it aims to form two separate companies, one of which will exclusively serve rural areas, the Wall Street Journal reports. Under the telco’s proposals, which will require the approval of the Secretario de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT) and other regulatory bodies, Telmex intends to create a new company, Telmex Social, to service rural regions and those areas of the country ‘in which there is no economic interest of any competitor’.

Posted by Sarah — 11:52 AM

NSN’s Moto Acquisition Delayed - Again.

Source: Light Reading

The completion of Nokia Siemens Networks ‘s USD1.2bn deal to acquire Motorola Solutions Inc., Motorola’s wireless infrastructure business, has been delayed again, and this time indefinitely.
NSN issued a statement on Wednesday morning to announce that the acquisition will not close in the first quarter of 2011 as planned because it is still pending approval from Chinese regulatory authorities.

Posted by Sarah — 11:50 AM

Swedes may soon exchange postage stamps for SMS codes.

Source: ars technica

There’s something ritualistic about finishing off a letter with a stamp before dropping it in the mailbox. In Sweden, however, that ritual is about to be replaced with a more high-tech one: people may soon be able to pay for their postage via text message, thereby eliminating the need for a stamp.

Posted by Sarah — 11:47 AM

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Microsoft to pay Nokia USD1bn in phones deal.

Source: TelecomPaper

Microsoft will pay Nokia more than USD1bn to promote and develop Windows-based handsets as part of their smartphone software agreement, two people with knowledge of the terms told Bloomberg. At the same time, Nokia will pay Microsoft a fee for each copy of Windows used in its phones. Accoring to the report, the two companies are still finalising the details of the agreement, which is expected to run for more than five years.

Posted by Sarah — 11:40 AM

Spooks want backdoor into your network.

Source: The Register

The Communications-Electronics Security Group (CESG) at the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has historically only provided best practice guidance and security product certification to the private sector, while taking a more active role in helping government departments defend their networks against cyber attacks.
Security chiefs are now pushing to get an expanded role in “monitoring unusual network traffic” and repelling cyber attacks at critical national infrastructure firms.

Posted by Sarah — 11:37 AM

Monday, March 7, 2011

Nokia washes hands of Qt.

Source: The Register

Nokia is flogging off the Qt commercial licensing and services business it acquired with Trolltech three years ago. Finnish software house Digia will pick up the business - and 19 developers from Nokia - for an undisclosed sum.

Posted by Sarah — 12:18 PM

Government makes GBP50m available for broadband expansion.

Source: Tech Watch

Chancellor George Osborne has announced that the government is to make GBP50m worth of funds available to help expand broadband across the UK. This is the first stage of the government’s GBP830m push to spread high speed broadband access across the country and make it available to even rural communities, running up to 2015.

Posted by Sarah — 12:17 PM

BT opens new technology showcase in Singapore.


BT achieved another milestone in its Asia Pacific expansion plan with the opening of its new Singapore Technology. The new facility is part of BT’s ongoing investment programme in the region, aimed at delivering crucial communication services that help multinational companies succeed in their business opportunities across Asia, and help local corporations operate in other parts of the world.

Posted by Sarah — 12:14 PM

Steady as she goes for Seychelles submarine project

Source: TeleGeography

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided a EUR8m (USD11m) loan to the Seychelles Cable Systems Company (SCS) for the installation and operation of the island nation’s first international submarine fibre-optic cable. The planned 1,930km cable will link the main island of Mahe to the existing Eastern Africa Submarine System (EASSy) in Tanzania, and is expected to be operational by the second half of 2012.

Posted by Sarah — 12:11 PM

Salmat to close city and regional call centres.

Source: The Register

Call centre outsourcing company Salmat has announced that Telstra is dispensing with most of the call centre services it supplies to the carrier. With a loss of business estimated at between AUD4m and AUD5m in EBITDA terms, the company will be closing call centres in regional centres Geelong, Wagga Wagga and Bundaberg, as well as the inner city suburb of Surry Hills.

Posted by Sarah — 12:09 PM

Friday, March 4, 2011

The birth of the wholesale mobile offload operator

Source: Connected Planet

Towerstream may be known for its WiMax access business, but over the last six months it’s been quietly setting up a WiFi business on the side, one that’s proven popular with consumers and it hopes will prove popular with a new type of customer: wireless operators.
Rather than build a commercial hotspot network, Towerstream has devised a wholesale mobile offload network throughout the streets of Manhattan.

Posted by Sarah — 10:57 AM

China plans to track cellphone users, sparking human rights concerns

Source: Washington Post

China said it may begin tracking cellphone users in Beijing through location technology it hopes will help city authorities better manage traffic. But the announcement also sparked fresh concerns that the government may be using mobile technology to surveil its residents.

Posted by Sarah — 10:56 AM

Russian giants ink national LTE deal with Yota

Source: TeleGeography

Four of Russia’s largest telecoms operators have agreed a deal that will see them unite to facilitate the rollout of a national Long Term Evolution (LTE) network by 2014. The so-called ‘Big Three’ mobile operators Vimpelcom, MegaFon and Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), as well as state-owned fixed line operator Rostelecom, have signed a deal with WiMAX operator Scartel which will see the firm become their 4G network provider of choice.

Posted by Sarah — 10:55 AM

Straight outta Compton (Ontario): local cableco joins Rogers

Source: TeleGeography

Canadian quadruple-play operator Rogers Communications has expanded its cable footprint by purchasing Ontario-based triple-play provider Compton Communications for an undisclosed sum.

Posted by Sarah — 10:53 AM

Thursday, March 3, 2011

BT fibre-to-the-premises trial takes 7 hours per install.

Source: The Register

BT’s new fibre optic upgrade is delivering better real world speeds than the company’s old copper-based network when compared to advertised “up to” broadband rates, according to the latest figures from Ofcom.
Meanwhile, the UK telecoms giant is continuing to test out its latest fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) kit.

Posted by Sarah — 11:44 AM

Orange France and Free Mobile sign 2G roaming deal.

Source: TeleGeography

French mobile start-up Free Mobile, part of the Iliad Group, and Orange France have signed a 2G roaming agreement and agreed to extend this provision to include 3G services. In a press release today, Orange confirmed that following a series of negotiations over the last few months, the two firms signed a national roaming agreement on 2 March 2011 for their respective 2G networks in France. Further, Free Mobile and Orange have extended the terms of the agreement to include their respective 3G networks.

Posted by Sarah — 11:37 AM

O2 boots up opt-in-out for phone filth.

Source: The Register

O2 has finally switched on its porn-blocker, much to the annoyance of customers who don’t see why they should prove their age.
British mobile operators are required to provide age-verification before allowing access to “adult” content, but different operators opt customers in and out by default. It seems that O2 is now learning firmly towards the “out” option and started asking customers for a credit card transaction to prove their age, which is winding up many.

Posted by Sarah — 10:51 AM

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

AT&T’s Cloud Strategy: Bigger Is Better.

Source: Light Reading

AT&T Inc. may take its knocks for being a massive former monopoly, but when it comes to delivering cloud-based services to enterprises, having vast IP and IT resources, mobile and fixed networks, and long-term relationships with computing and applications giants can only be a good thing.
That’s why AT&T’s description of how it differentiates in the increasingly competitive world of cloud is all about a high degree of integration and security, mobile enablement, and ease of use for its business customers.
“What is key for us is the ability to leverage the cloud as part of a network service experience — without a network you don’t have a cloud,” says Steve Caniano, VP of AT&T Hosting and Cloud Services. “By layering capabilities of cloud in conjunction with our network, we really think we can offer customers a different value proposition.”
AT&T hasn’t been touting its cloud capabilities as loudly as some competitors, but that may be changing. This month, AT&T unveiled five significant enhancements to its cloud strategy, including making it easier for customers to use AT&T VPNs to link to cloud computing, enhancing its cloud storage and cloud security capability, extending clouds to mobile applications and increasing work with third-party application providers.

Posted by Sarah — 11:46 AM

HP Revs Up Wi-Fi With 900 Mbps Access Points.

Source: InternetNews

HP is pushing its networking portfolio to new speeds. This week the firm is focusing on the enterprise Wi-Fi market, a networking segment of increasing importance as demand for bandwidth continues to rise.
HP has announced its Mobile Access Solution, a portfolio of three access points that cap out at a capacity of 900 Mbps. The dual-radio MSM460 and MSM466 are what HP calls 3x3 arrays.

Posted by Sarah — 11:13 AM

Ofcom calls on ISPs to advertise more realistic speeds.

Source: TeleGeography

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom is to introduce a new code of practice later this year under which it hopes ISPs will be more realistic in their advertising of broadband speeds. The watchdog has released figures showing that the average advertised speed in the UK is currently 13.8Mbps, whereas the actual average speed being delivered to UK households is only 6.2Mbps. The new code will be introduced in July and ISPs will be expected to accompany any ‘top end’ speed boasts with a typical speeds range (TSR) of at least equal prominence. ‘Very few ADSL broadband customers achieved average actual download speeds close to advertised ‘up to’ speeds. Just 3% of customers on up to 20Mbps or 24Mbps DSL services received average download speeds of over 16Mbps, while 69% received average download speeds of 8Mbps or less,’ revealed Ofcom in a statement.

Posted by Sarah — 11:08 AM

Lumison snaps up rival Blue Square in GBP22m deal.


Lumison, the veteran internet business, will today unveil its first acquisition since it was bought out last autumn by a private equity firm.
The company, which provides web connectivity and managed IT services, is to pay GBP22m for Blue Square Data, a sector peer that allow customers to situate their computer servers in facilities with “highly resilient power, cooling and network connectivity and high levels of security”.
Lumison, which was acquired by Bridgepoint Development Capital (BDC) in a move that was seen as a springboard for an acquisition spree, said Blue Square also provided customers with on-site engineers to diagnose and rectify IT faults, and also carry out technical project work.

Posted by Sarah — 11:03 AM

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Telstra, PCCW complete Reach restructuring.

Source: TeleGeography.

Australia’s Telstra and Hong Kong’s PCCW have completed the previously announced restructuring of their international carrier unit Reach, dividing the international assets in the 50/50 venture between both parties. The remaining joint assets will continue to be managed by Reach in Hong Kong.

Posted by Judith — 2:37 AM

Imagine takes Motorola to court over WiMAX dispute.

Source: TeleGeography.

Irish alternative broadband services provider Imagine is suing equipment manufacturer Motorola for EUR90m. (US$124m.) over alleged breach of contract concerning a plan to roll out a WiMAX network in the Republic.

Posted by Judith — 2:06 AM

AT&T to sell Amazon Kindle.

Source: Telecompaper.

AT&T is expanding further in connected devices with a deal to sell the Amazon Kindle in its shops. The agreement sees Amazon extending the device for the first time beyond its own sales channel. AT&T already provides mobile broadband service for the device.

Posted by Judith — 1:44 AM

Deutsche Telekom plans fibre-optic network expansion.

Source: Telecompaper.

Deutsche Telekom has confirmed plans to deploy FTTH connections to up to 160,000 households in ten cities in 2011. To meet increasing demand for bandwidth, Telekom is deploying a combination of technologies that matches fibre optics and copper lines with broadband wireless such as HSPA+, LTE and WLANs, to create a nationwide, broadband gigabit network.

Posted by Judith — 1:00 AM

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