Archive for August 2008

Wi-Fi Gets a Roaming Standard — 802.11r.

August 29, 2008

 The IEEE has completed 802.11r, a standard that lets Wi-Fi devices roam quickly between access points, improving the performance of VoIP on enterprise LANs.

The IEEE 802.11 standards were originally defined with single access points in mind. But when devices move from one access point to another, it takes around 100ms to re-associate, and several seconds to re-establish authenticated connections using 802.1x. That will drop a voice call.

The new standard, IEEE 802.11r, is also known as Fast Basic Service Set Transition. It allows the network to establish a security and QoS state for the device at the new access point, before it roams between the two, so the transition can take place in less than 50ms – the standard required for voice roaming.

The IEEE has been working on 802.11r for four years, and the concept has been solid since 2005, but the standard was formally approved and published by the IEEE this summer. The 802.11r standard will govern the way roaming mobile clients communicate with access points, establish security associations and reserve QoS resources. Under 802.11r, clients can use the current access point as a conduit to other access points, allowing clients to minimize disruptions caused by changing channels.

VoIP service revenue up 52% in 2007; boom expected to continue.

August 16, 2008

Communications market research firm Infonetics Research reports that worldwide revenue from hosted VoIP and managed IP PBX services jumped 52% to $24 billion in 2007 after surging 66% in 2006, and is expected to grow in the strong double-digits through at least 2011.

Infonetics’ report, VoIP Services and Subscribers, shows that hosted VoIP services continue to outpace managed IP PBX services by far, with residential services fueling market growth.
“While VoIP services are being embraced by consumers worldwide, businesses have been comparatively slower in their adoption due to various roadblocks. This is about to change, though, as technical issues are resolved. For example, many PBX manufacturers have already added SIP trunking interfaces to their equipment, and more recently, they’ve greatly expanded the list of certified service providers, and that’s going to fuel the growth in SIP trunking services. These kinds of developments will boost the overall VoIP business services segment for years to come,” said Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise voice and data at Infonetics Research.
Other report highlights:

  • The number of worldwide residential/SOHO VoIP subscribers grew 60% between 2006 and 2007, to over 75 million, with the largest gains in North America and EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa), although Asia Pacific still leads
  • Asia Pacific, which had been leading the VoIP scene for a few years, is now neck and neck with EMEA and North America in 2007; EMEA will break away this year and lead the market at least through 2011
  • Business customer (vs. consumer) share of worldwide hosted VoIP service revenue will increase from 26% in 2007 to 41% in 2011
  • Comcast is North America’s largest consumer VoIP service provider, with 20% subscriber market share, France Télécom leads in the EMEA region, Softbank leads in Asia Pacific, and Cableco and Vono Brazil are neck and neck in CALA

Infonetics’ report tracks residential/SOHO VoIP subscribers, managed IP PBX services, and hosted VoIP services split by residential/SOHO and business (with trunking/VoIP VPN and IP Centrex/hosted IP breakouts) in North America (US and Canada), EMEA, Asia Pacific, Caribbean/Latin America, and worldwide.
The report includes regional consumer subscriber market share, tracking AT&T, BT, Cableco, Comcast, Cox, Digilinea, France Télécom, Free, KDDI, ONO, neuf cegetel, NTT, PCCW, SoftBank, Time Warner, Vonage, Vono Brazil, and others.

Source: Infonetics Research.

U.S. mobile data market grows 40 percent in Q2.

August 12, 2008

 

  The U.S. wireless data market grew 40 percent in the second quarter compared to year-ago totals, generating $8.2 billion in data revenues, according to a new report issued by advisory firm Chetan Sharma Consulting. Mobile data has now yielded $15.7 billion in the first six months of 2008, a 38 percent increase over the first half of 2007 and on pace to reach $34 billion for the year.
Some Q2 highlights:

  • Overall ARPU among U.S. operators increased by $0.46, with average voice ARPU declining by $0.05 while average data ARPU grew by $0.50.
  • Verizon Wireless leads in data ARPU with $12.58 (or 24.4 percent of total revenues), followed by Sprint at $12 (or 21.4 percent), AT&T at $11.59 (or 22.9 percent) and T-Mobile USA at $8.60 (or 17 percent).
  • Verizon generated an industry-record $2.6 billion in data revenues, followed by AT&T at $2.5 billion. Both operators are on target to exceed $10 billion in annual data revenues, and together they account for 62 percent of the U.S. market’s total data services revenues.
  • Non-messaging services account for 50 percent to 60 percent of U.S. operator data revenues.
  • Venture investment in mobile is on the decline–during the first half of the year, private wireless firms announced $1.8B in 173 financings, compared to $2.7 billion in 209 financings over the first six months of 2007.
Source: Chetan Sharma Consulting.

European Commission cuts a slice of spectrum for vehicle-to-vehicle communication.

August 6, 2008

  The European Commission has just set aside a slice of spectrum that’s intended specifically to let vehicles communicate with each other. As with the Dash and other similar devices, the idea here is to give drivers a heads up about traffic jams and other potential hazards, with real-time data provided by other drivers ensuring all that info is as up to date as possible. The system, which will make use of 30MHz of spectrum in the 5.9GHz band, will also apparently allow roadside transmitters to send vital info to vehicles passing by, although exactly when that might happen is, of course, a bit unclear at the moment.

The Register: EU grabs 30MHz of spectrum for talking cars.