Archive for June 2008

Clearwire: “Keep an eye on Europe”.

June 30, 2008

  WiMAX deployment, Clearwire has revealed that it is considering partnering with European firms to help it deploy mobile WiMAX. The company owns licences in seven European countries, covering 200 million people. “There are ongoing talks about potential partnerships,” said Clearwire CEO Ben Wolff. “The transaction in the U.S. has prompted some interest. It might behove us to partner with those companies who might bring something more to the table.” Without revealing any names, Wolff said companies of interest could bring with them network infrastructure and subscriber bases.

Clearwire’s expansion into Europe goes back to 2004. Since then, Clearwire has acquired 3.5 GHz licences in Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Romania, and Spain, and through its affiliate in Denmark, Danske Telecom A/S . As of the end of March, Clearwire had just 51,000 customers in Brussels and Ghent, Belgium; Dublin; and Seville, Spain. Separately, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is planning to invest up to US$20 million in the Russian WiMAX broadband Internet provider Prestige, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Enforta Group. The investment, designed to improve Internet coverage in Russia, will help Enforta increase its service area to 55 cities.

EETimes: EBRD to invest in Russia’s broadband development.

 

 

Here we go. Termination fees from European mobile operators to the right direction.

June 30, 2008

 EU’s telecoms commissioner, Viviane Reding, has announced a draft proposal that seeks to cut the termination fees charged by mobile operators by up to 70 per cent. Reding points to the present discrepancy between fixed and mobile termination fees–with fixed rates currently around €0.5 per minute, with their mobile equivalent much higher at around €0.9 or more, depending on the EU state in question! In terms of pricing, European operators they are leaving their own “dream”. From the other hand operators have reacted to this suggestion claiming that a 70 per cent cut would be crippling, adding that the cell phone industry had already seen annual declines for mobile termination fees of 10-15 per cent. Of course they try to keeping existing rates but Mrs. Reding have to push to the decline direction. 

Mobile operators generate around 20 per cent of revenue from termination fees with fixed customers indirectly subsidising mobile operators by paying higher termination rates for calls made from fixed lines to mobiles. This cross-subsidisation is estimated by market researchers at €10 billion in Germany for 1998-2006 and €19 billion in the U.K., Germany and France for 1998-2002. The EU has stated that the consultation with the industry will end on September 3, and the Commission plans to make a formal recommendation for a law in October.

ComputerWorkUK: EC consultation steps up pressure on telcos over termination fees.
CellularNews: European Commission Consults on Lower Termination Rates.
PacketData: Europe still living in another world! Mobile operators jack up roaming fees.

 

VoIP geting popular in European residential sector.

June 29, 2008

 Europeans are hanging up on landlines in favor of mobile phones and VoIP.

The EU spoke with over 26,000 people across 27 countries in the EU during November and December last year to find that 24 percent of European households have canceled their landline phone service in favor of mobile phones. According to the study, 22 percent of European households are using PC software like Skype for making calls over the Internet, with citizens in Latvia (58 percent), Lithuania (51), the Czech Republic (50), Poland (49), and Bulgaria (46) leading the pack.

Some Quality issues:

– 22% of European households have difficulty contacting their Internet service provider about connection problems.

– One in four mobile users is not always able to connect to the mobile network to make a phone call. 28% are sometimes cut off. 

This VoIP trend notably coincides with an increase in Internet access across the EU, with 49 percent of households now having access. 36 percent of those are on some kind of broadband (up from 28 percent the year before). Unfortunately, with the rise of faster access, Symantec says Europe has recently claimed the “king of spam” crown as well. 

The EU’s increase in mobile phone and VoIP dependency parallels trends we’ve seen recently in the US, where 15.8 percent of Americans are rolling only with mobile phones, and 13.8 percent are using VoIP. 

Read: Study from European Union.

Avaya, Cisco and Nortel Patching VoIP ASAP.

June 26, 2008

VoIPSecurity VoIP customers of Avaya, Cisco and Nortel should be on the lookout for patches today by 12 p.m. EDT to correct security vulnerabilities discovered by VoIPshield Laboratories.

According to Network World, VoIPShield earlier found and quietly reported the problems to the three vendors to give them time to develop patches for the flaws. Details of the vulnerabilities and vendor fixes are scheduled to be released in a simultaneous announcement between the three VoIP vendors and the security company. Two of the three vendors are expected to issue patches with the third to issue an advisory.

Vulnerabilities found affect VoIP PBXes and softphone software. If exploited, consequences could include remote code execution, unauthorized access, denial of service, and information harvesting.

Avaya, Cisco and Nortel were chosen by VoIPshield for testing because they represent the bulk of IP PBX sales in North America. Microsoft has been included in the next round of testing with results expected to be announced in about four months. 

Network World: Avaya, Cisco and Nortel face VoIP vulnerabilities.

Mobile hot-spots from …Chrysler!

June 26, 2008

ChryslerWiFi Chrysler would be bringing in-car WiFi to its 2009 lineup. The system will be part of the next-gen UConnect system, feature a 3G-to-WiFi router hidden within the car and require a monthly subscription fee to use the service. Chrysler says the system will run at 600-800kbps down and 200kbps up, and should work with game consoles in vehicles with rear-seat monitors. It’s still not clear whether Chrysler will run the service as its own MNVO or use another provider directly, but pricing is expected to be similar to WLAN PC cards, and there shouldn’t be any long-term contracts involved. 

Los Angeles Times: Information superhighway: Chrysler to turn 2009 vehicles into mobile Wi-Fi hotspots.

Symbian = Open Source like Android thanks to Nokia.

June 26, 2008

SymbianOS ‘One of the biggest contributions to an open community ever made,’ was how Nokia’s CEO, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, positioned the company’s decision to buy out the other investors for €264 million and make the Symbian operating system open source. While this all sounds like a grand and worthy gesture, Nokia’s strategy is to increase the pressure on Microsoft, Apple and Google over who will win the battle for dominance of the smartphone operating system market.

The company plans to launch the non-profit Symbian Foundation, combining several different operating systems including Symbian OS, UIQ, MOAP and S60 and making the whole system open source, so that developers can use the technology for free. This model is not new having been adopted by the computer industry for many years. Perhaps of greater interest is the involvement of AT&T, DoCoMo and Vodafone in the new Symbian Foundation, along with the predictable names of Samsung, Sony Ericsson, STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments–with Qualcomm being noticeably absent.

As estimated Nokia paid out more than US$250M in Symbian licence fees last year, so it makes commercial sense to buy Symbian for about US$410M, rather than keep paying what is effectively a subsidy to the other shareholders.

But this announcement does raise questions: 

– With Nokia now controlling Symbian, how open can the system really be?

– Can Symbian keep pace with or overtake the iPhone’s user interface?

– Will Nokia now ignore Linux, or does it have a plan to use this alternative open platform for its high-end multimedia devices?

– Will the Symbian Foundation (cumbersome committee?) be able to react in a timely manner to whatever the competition might offer?

Guardian: Nokia buys Symbian in web push.
Telegraph: Nokia to rival Google with Symbian buyout

 

Mobile web users to top 1.7bn by 2013, driven by New Web 2.0 collaborative business models.

June 25, 2008

MobileInternet  The number of subscribers using mobile Internet services will rise from 577 million currently, to top 1.7bn by 2013, spurred by demand for collaborative applications known collectively as ‘web 2.0′, and greater 2.5/3G penetration.

Established mobile players face increasing competition from web-based brands and will have to adapt their commercial strategies to accommodate greater collaboration with other members of the value chain, if future revenue growth in the mobile web 2.0 space is to be achieved.

The emergence of collaborative Web 2.0 applications including social networking, user-generated content, location-based services and instant messaging will galvanize the mobile web according to a new report issued by market research firm Juniper Research, which forecasts the number of mobile web users will grow from 577 million in 2008 to more than 1.7 billion in 2013. Juniper also credits expanded 2.5/3G penetration as a catalyst for mobile web uptake, but argues that mobile operators and handset makers will have to adapt their commercial strategies to accommodate greater collaboration with other segments of the value chain if its growth projections are to become a reality.

Additional findings from the Juniper report:

  • The Far East & China will represent the largest market for mobile web use, topping 415 million users by 2013, up from a year-end 2008 total of 190 million.
  • The greatest potential for mobile web adoption lies in South America, while growth opportunities in markets like Western and Eastern Europe (which enjoy greater fixed broadband penetration) are more limited.
  • A number of mobile Web 2.0 applications will hinge on flat-data or even free pricing, meaning industry players must seek new revenue streams.
Source: Juniper Research.