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 Wednesday, October 05, 2011
German universal service plan may be dropped

Telecompaper is reporting that Germany may have dropped its universal service plan, which sought to add a universal broadband service to the German telecom law change has been dropped. The plan had received a lot of criticism from network operators. German federal broadband operators association Breko welcomes the decision to drop the universal broadband service proposal and claims that a lot of regional network operators, who would not have survived the introduction of such service, will justify the trust they received.

Read the hfull article at http://www.telecompaper.com/news/german-universal-broadband-service-plan-is-dropped

Wednesday, October 05, 2011 9:17:40 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 23, 2011
ITU and the Broadband Commission for Digital Development

ITU and the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development are proud to host the Broadband Leadership Summit on 24-25 October 2011, immediately before the opening of ITU TELECOM World 2011. The Broadband Leadership Summit will feature a series of eight Plenary Sessions bringing together top CEOs (including Cisco, Intel, Fujitsu, Ericsson and Alcatel Lucent), various Heads of State and Governments, the Heads of a number of international organizations (including UNESCO, the OECD and WIPO) and members of the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Digital Development with other key players to discuss the issues facing today's global broadband industry.

Hot topics to be debated by panellists and speakers include the benefits of broadband for stimulating economic growth and jobs, business models that work in emerging markets, the evolution of online regulation, latest trends in social media and smart societies, the impact of the latest financial repercussions on financing the industry and how broadband can boost progress in achieving the MDGs. Watch this space for further announcements!

Friday, September 23, 2011 8:02:21 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 05, 2011
New study on mobile pricing

A new study by Wireless Intelligence looks into the price elasticity of mobile pricing around the world, and has modelled price sensitivity across global mobile markets. The study found that, between 2001-2009, each US cent decrease in EPPM resulted in an average increase of 5.6 minutes calling time per month for every mobile user in the world. Total global voice minutes reached 1.6 trillion in 2010.

"While the last ten years have seen the number of global mobile connections grow fivefold, the actual usage of mobile devices has grown at a much faster rate," said Wireless Intelligence analyst and report author Calum Dewar. "The most significant factor in this relationship is the simultaneous decrease in call prices." The report highlights a number of other factors behind rising levels of mobile usage, including increasing competition between operators, new pricing strategies, and fixed-to-mobile migration.

The decline in prices was found to be more of a factor in rising mobile usage in the developing world, where MoU has more than doubled since 2001 to 295 minutes per user per month in Q4 2010 – now almost at the same level as the developed world (298 minutes).

For more detail, see here.

Monday, September 05, 2011 3:43:41 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 12, 2009
Report finds that mobile operators are better placed to weather the economic storm

A new report from the ITU finds that in general, mobile operators are better placed to weather the economic storm. Mobile operators generally enjoy greater flexibility in terms of capex commitments, as capex commitments represent only 20-30% of their total cost base.  Mobile operators have invested heavily in 3G networks, but the cost of incremental upgrades (e.g. to those based on high-speed packet access or HSPA) is comparatively low.  Mobile operators can also undertake greater network-sharing to limit costs and boost gains in coverage, for only limited amounts of additional capital.  ABI Research notes that growth rates in regional mobile capex may slow, but capex will probably not decline on a global basis.

In contrast, investment in NGN may be less discretionary for fixed-line operators, however, competing with new market entrants, capacity resellers and cable TV, as well as increasingly, mobile broadband. Universal service obligations may also prevent fixed carriers from reducing their capex commitments substantially.  Several carriers such as AT&T have reported cuts of capex of between 10-15%, but industry analysts Informa find that operators' investment plans have not been 'severely altered' so far, with many operators acknowledging the importance of investment in ensuring that quality of services is maintained.

Read more in ITU's forthcoming report, "Confronting the Crisis: Its Impact on the ICT Industry", which will be published on Monday 16 February 2009.

Thursday, February 12, 2009 2:05:15 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Report finds that the most immediate impact of the financial crisis is on investment & financing

A new report from the ITU finds that the most immediate impact of the financial crisis on the global ICT industry is on telco investment and financing.  A prolonged recession could potentially starve operators of the capital investment needed to upgrade their network infrastructure.

The report finds that investment funds are less readily available, while refinancing costs have rised sharply, with recent telco debt issuance in Europe being secured at spreads of up to 4.75% in late 2008, some 3-4% higher than the situation pre-crisis (with the exact rate depending on individual firms' debt ratings). Where bonds can be refinanced, it is clear that they are incurring higher interest costs. For example, Sprint Nextel recently renegotiated its debt from its original credit line of US$ 6 billion at LIBOR plus 0.75% for a new line of US$ 4 billion at LIBOR plus 4% (depending on the company's debt rating).  In their industry strategy paper, "A defensive sector for defensive times", Deutsche Bank estimates that European incumbents alone have some EUR 21 billion of bonds matruing soon in 2009, with a further EUR 26 billion of other financial liabilities, which may need to be refinanced over the coming year.

Read more in ITU's forthcoming report, "Confronting the Crisis: Its Impact on the ICT Industry", which will be published on Monday 16 February 2009.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009 1:54:30 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, November 29, 2008
Global broadband subscribers exceeded 400 million in November 2008

TelecomWeb is reporting that the number of broadband subscribers in the world surpassed the 400 million mark in November 2008. Global broadband subscribers amounted to only 57,000 ten years ago in 1998, but are projected to exceed 680 million in another five years (2013), despite the current economic situation.

Source: Point Topic.

However, the geographical distribution of broadband subscribers is very concentrated. ITU monitors prices for fixed broadband access around the world and estimates that commercial fixed broadband access was available in some 181 countries in 2007.  According to Point Topic, only forty countries account for some 98% of all global broadband subscribers presently. 

Such an intense concentration of broadband subscribers (in mainly OECD countries, China and a few other countries) has strong implications for reshaping the digital divide - broadband technology offers opportunities for using advanced applications in enhanced Internet access, but Internet users in many countries may continue to be excluded from high-speed Internet access. ITU continues to monitor the development of the digital divide and is undertaking many projects to bring high-speed broadband Internet access to rural and underserved areas.

Read more here.

Saturday, November 29, 2008 10:01:47 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Insights into growth in mobile transmission capacity from CMO of Harris Stratex

BNAmericas summarizes insights from an interview with Shaun McFall, Harris Stratex Networks' Chief Marketing Officer. According to McFall, IP mobile backhaul is growing 20% worldwide annually in the most developed markets, due to the rising penetration of smartphones and growing use of data. Data transport over mobile networks grew four times in 2007 and is projected to grow another four times this year: "Growth in demand for capacity runs all the way from the core network to the base station. When they get to radio access networks, they're going to start running into difficulties because these networks were not designed for that capacity," McFall said. "The modernization of those networks is what we see as our opportunity; to migrate it to Ethernet or allow [gradual migration] so they can still keep the legacy TDM network on the air for 5-10 yrs."

"Future mobile networks some years from now will probably eventually be all Ethernet and between now and then they will be increasingly a mix of Ethernet and TDM. The latest generation of microwave products are designed to transport both," he added.

Read more...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 8:03:52 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
FibroLAN unveils new 10 Gigabit Ethernet NTU

Telecom Web is reporting that fiber-optic access specialist FibroLAN has unveiled a new 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Local Area Network (LAN) Network Termination Unit (NTU) extender/demarcation device that it claims is an industry first.
The new offering, designated the GA10, is aimed at such very large bandwidth users as Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs) or very large enterprise users. FibroLAN, based in Yoqneam, Israel, but with U.S. headquarters in Rochelle Park, N.J., says its new product fills three clear market niches:
- As an NTU, the GA10 terminates a 10 GbE service to very large users, whilst it can handle lower rates as well.
- For wholesale operations, the GA10 can be used as a clear demarcation device between primary carriers and their partners.
- The GA10 can be used to extend transmission distances and/or to change wavelengths - for example, several GA10s can be cascaded to extend transmission well-beyond the current 80 kilometer limit for 10 GbE without reverting to more expensive technologies.

In addition, when combined with its recently introduced extended wavelength division multiplexer (WDM) line, up to ten 10 GbE services can be transmitted concurrently over a fiber pair.  Such technology offers the business segment multiple new applications, but also offers exciting new prospects for helping bridge the digital divide.

Read more...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 7:55:29 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 16, 2008
What living in a Hyperconnected world means - juggling devices & applications

Maravedis is reporting that, according to a recent survey by Nortel (based on a survey of 2,400 people), there is a growing trend towards hyperconnectivity: 16% of Internet users live a “hyperconnected” life, meaning they regularly use more than 7 devices and more than 9 applications; 36% are “increasingly connected,” meaning they use 4 devices and 9 applications; 20% are passive online users, and 28% are not very connected. Today’s users want networks that support voice services, while entertainment and media applications are also increasingly popular.

Read more.

Thursday, October 16, 2008 7:29:16 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Vodacom SA improves its 3G offering with Alcatel as partner

Vodacom South Africa, the wireless carrier owned 50/50 by Telkom SA and the Vodafone Group, has given Alcatel-Lucent a nearly $30 million contract to design, build and deploy an upgrade of its existing 3G network. Vodacom is a Pan-African carrier providing GSM service to more than 34 million customers in South Africa, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho and Mozambique. Vodacom South Africa launched its 3G network in December 2004, its 3G HSDPA network in March 2006 and its 3G HSDPA 3.6 with HSUPA network this past February. Vodacom's South African GSM and 3G networks cover more than 98 percent of the population.

On commercial launch, Vodacom says the network modernization project “will boost the capacity and coverage of Vodacom’s network and will enable the carrier to offer its customers a wide range of advanced next-generation mobile broadband services in future.” The enhanced 3G wireless network, which will be based on Alcatel-Lucent UMTS and HSDPA/HSUPA technologies, will improve Vodacom’s network voice-quality and data-transmission speeds while further strengthening indoor coverage in urban areas.

Read more.

Thursday, October 16, 2008 7:14:39 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Emerging markets accounted for 60% of WiMAX subscribers in 2007

WiMAX has now seen the light of day in 305 deployments across 118 countries, according to the WiMAX Forum’s count in June 2008. In an example of technological leapfrogging, emerging markets, short on broadband offerings, accounted for more than 60% of subscribers on WiMAX networks globally in 2007.

Pyramid Research has just published a report analysing the deployment of commercial WiMAX networks and operators' market strategies in emerging economies. The report examines the competitive dynamics, end-user demand patterns and market potential of WiMAX, from adoption rates to spectrum licensing trends.

Read more.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 1:49:15 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
NGN Forum and IMS Forum have merged

Telecom Web is reporting that the NGN Forum and the IMS Forum, the two major trade groups promoting the convergence of telecommunication voice and data services, have merged. Both have been working to promote the integration of wired and wireless technologies, with the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) viewed as focusing on consumer markets and the NGN Forum focusing on enterprise-oriented services, using the term Unified Communications (UC) rather than IMS. Telecom Web reports that in recent months, the two had already begun cooperating in endeavors including plugfests. By combining IMS with SIP and UC, and using Service Delivery Platforms (SDP), the united organization is expected to bring together developers, service providers, integrators and solution vendors.

ITU has carried out notable work in developing the detailed standards for the deployment of NGN. ITU has launched the NGN Global Standards Initiative (NGN-GSI) to give service providers the means to offer the wide range of services expected in NGN and to harmonize different approaches to NGN architecture worldwide. ITU's Study Group 13 (SG13) has developed a standard (ITU-T Recommendation) for interworking between the two dominant technologies in NGN, Ethernet and MPLS (multiprotocol label switching). SG 13 has also done significant work in the field of Virtual Private Networks (VPN) on standards that will allow VPNs to work over all kinds of networks - optical, MPLS, IP etc.

Read more.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 8:08:16 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 09, 2008
China overtakes USA to become the world's Broadband Number One

UK consultancy Point Topic is reporting that China and the US are currently neck and neck in terms of their absolute numbers of broadband subscribers, but that, at current growth rates, China is set to forge ahead and overtake the US to become the world's largest broadband market. Point Topic CEO, Oliver Johnson, calls it "a major milestone for China", noting that “launching people into space is spectacular, but having the biggest broadband market down here on earth means a lot more for building a modern, hi-tech economy.”

When broadband first surged ahead in China, some observers predicted that it would overtake the USA in 2006. But then, broadband growth in China levelled off, just as it speeded up in the USA. For 18 months, the two countries ran in parallel, with similar additions in each quarter. Then, trends diverged sharply in 2008. In the USA, new broadband additions fell from 3.4 million in Q4 of 2007 to barely 1.1 million in Q2 of 2008, while in China, new broadband lines suddenly rose from 3.5 million to 5.0 million over the same period. By the end of June, China was home to 76.0 million broadband connections, only 900,000 fewer than the US. This gap was smaller than the total number that China added in July alone, at some 1.14 million according to Chinese official figures.

“It’s not so surprising that the US has been overtaken in absolute numbers – after all, China has more than three times as many homes and people”, Johnson points out. “But the US has also fallen behind the leading European and Asian countries in percentage take-up of broadband".

Read more...

Thursday, October 09, 2008 11:34:19 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 06, 2008
Drivers of Broadband in Latin America

As reported by BN Americas, the incoming Vice President of Sales & Customer Services Joe Manuele of Actelis, the Californian-based Ethernet over copper provider, has observed that they are seeing a big boom in broadband in Latin America driven by triple play, 3G and web 2.0 applications. Many operators are moving away from legacy-based ATM DSLAMs (network devices that receive signals from DSL lines and backhaul them to a central office) towards new IP DSLAMs.  Actelis' technology uses advanced digital techniques to provide backhaul from DSLAMs to the central office with Ethernet quality using existing legacy copper infrastructure, rather than fiber. Operators can benefit as they can meet growing demand for bandwidth from 3G services, without having to invest in fiber.

"Everyone is really spooked about the cost of oil and the cost of travel", Manuele observed. "All these new services like teleconferencing and telepresence over IP require very high speeds and symmetrical traffic, which have to be bidirectional. So we're launching services with carriers that are offering web 2.0 applications using [existing] copper infrastructure.  Actelis' "Ethernet bonding capabilities over copper" allow carriers to reach speeds of up to 100Mbps for symmetrical data transport, making bandwidth hungry applications - such as telepresence - possible over copper.  Actelis is backhauling DSL and WiMax traffic.

Such technology could boost the use of teleconferencing and telepresence over existing infrastructure, reducing the need for business travel and hence the carbon footprint of executive travel.  For more information, see here.

Monday, October 06, 2008 8:48:16 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 03, 2008
Strong growth in revenues for Red Hat, especially in Latin America

Business News Americas is reporting that US Linux open source technology provider Red Hat has posted strong overall global growth with total revenues of US$164mn for 2Q 2009, a year-over-year increase of 29% or nearly a third.

According to Red Hat's Latin American marketing manager, Martín D'Elia, Latin America recorded the fastest growth due to good levels of IT adoption and faster decision cycles compared with more mature regions, and a higher penetration of open source than in other regions.

In terms of technologies, Red Hat will concentrate its efforts in virtualization for the operating system - an area that the company recently bolstered with the acquisition of Israeli IT firm Qumranet, which provides virtualization technologies for the desktops. D'Elia noted that, "while data centers are evolving to virtualized environments, they need to increase their virtualization offering to the desktop. This is a good business model for smaller companies, which can't afford an IT department, and is also good for large firms and the government, since there are big savings in hardware, energy and administration".

For more information, see here.

Friday, October 03, 2008 10:44:24 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Different business strategies for WiMAX deployments

Business News Americas conducted an insightful interview with Aptilo Networks' CEO Torbjorn Ward. Aptilo Networks, a Swedish vendor of integrated service management and access control solutions for WiMAX networks, is witnessing considerable growth in WiMAX markets in the Caribbean and South American regions.

Speaking from the WiMAX World conference in Chicago earlier this week, Ward noted that the business case for WiMAX in developing markets is very different to that in developed markets. In developing nations, wireless infrastructure is deployed to provide voice and Internet coverage to remote areas lacking fixed-line infrastructure. While mobile penetration is often high, broadband penetration is typically very low. In developed markets, WiMAX operators are pushing the concept of advanced 4G connectivity.

On the debate about whether WiMAX or LTE will prove more dominant, Ward observed "this not a horse race in which there is going to be a winner or loser". He noted that there are a variety of technologies competing to provide fixed broadband to the home (such as DSL over copper or fiber and cable).  Ward suggested that LTE is the obvious migration path for mobile operators, while WiMAX may appeal more to greenfield operators. "Who is winning [between cable or wireline operators]?  If you are a cable operator you can only work with cable and if you're a wireline operator you can only work with DSL," Ward said. "My point is that's exactly the same thing when it comes to WiMax and GSM and LTE. If you're a GSM operator, you can offer that over mobile broadband and later LTE. If you're not a GSM license holder, you can offer WiMAX".

Ward quoted Ron Resnick, president of the WiMAX Forum, as stating that there are 1,700 WiMAX licenses in the process of being issued worldwide, in addition to the 300-400 WiMAX operators already active today.

For more information, please see here.

Friday, October 03, 2008 8:00:18 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 25, 2008
China is pursuing a multi-pronged approach to 3G

China is pursuing a multi-technology approach to 3G, according to Telecom Web. Telecom Web is reporting that Chinese authorities are in the process of awarding several licenses for 3G, ending years of speculation about China's 3G licensing process.

China Mobile, with 392 million of China's 583.5 million mobile subscribers, is in line to get a 3G license requiring it to use China's home-grown TD-SCDMA. China Telecom, the largest fixed-line operator with 216 million customers, bought China Unicom's CDMA network (which currently has 43 million customers) and merged with China Satellite Communications Corp. The company has been awarded a 3G license for CDMA 1x EV-DO. Meanwhile, China Unicom, which has 125.4 million GSM subscribers and is now without its CDMA network (which was merged with Netcom, China's Number Two fixed-line provider) is getting a 3G license for WCDMA. Licenses are being awarded for 300 Chinese cities.

For more information, see here.

Thursday, September 25, 2008 2:14:46 PM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 14, 2008
Media Advisory: ITU TELECOM ASIA Forum addresses policy for next-generation networks - New regulatory approaches to match innovation in telecommunication/ICT technology

This ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 Forum session addresses the theme: Meeting the Needs of Society. Today's modern world of communications is witness to innovative systems that present a host of both opportunities and challenges for public policy frameworks. The current telecommunications regulatory model applies to legacy publicly switched telecommunications networks (PSTN). However, the rapid investment in next-generation networks (NGN) is creating new regulatory issues and challenges, calling for a paradigm shift in ICT regulation.

NGN is a packet-based Internet Protocol (IP) network designed to deliver a full range of services - from broadband Internet to fixed, wireless and mobile voice and data, and even broadcast television -- over a single network with guaranteed quality of service. The imminent replacement of circuit-switched phone systems with the new packet-switched architecture illustrates how regulatory approaches must match innovation. A significant challenge with NGN is matching the right policy and regulatory settings to facilitate migration to NGN and stimulate investment in the new networks. This session will consider the costs and benefits of investing in the still uncharted NGN terrain. [More...]

Thursday, August 14, 2008 11:00:38 AM (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |