Archive for September 2008

Mobile Broadband Finally Gets a Logo.

September 30, 2008

 The GSM Association has coordinated 3 Group, Asus, Dell, ECS, Ericsson, Gemalto, Lenovo, Microsoft, Orange, Qualcomm, Telefónica Europe, Telecom Italia, TeliaSonera, T-Mobile, Toshiba and Vodafone among others to create the “Mobile Broadband service mark.” It’s a logo designed to let consumers know the item they’re using/seeing on the shelf in a store is a ready-to-run mobile internet device. 

The GSMA said the Mobile Broadband service mark (right), incorporates HSPA (High Speed Packet Access), HSPA Evolved and LTE (Long Term Evolution). Laptops with the new mark will support speeds of at least 3.6Mbps. The technical specification states that 3.6Mbps is required, and that 7.2Mbps is recommended, but the mark will always look the same.

The GSM Association plans to spend more than $1 billion promoting a Mobile Broadband service mark to signify that their gear is GSM compatibile, delivering “a compelling alternative to Wi-Fi.”

Apple and Intel are not joining this party. Apple’s iPhone includes Wi-Fi while Intel is a leading proponent of both WiMax and Wi-Fi, often considered competitors to cellular wireless services.

Pocket-lint: Mobile Broadband get a logo.


Broadband debate is over. House & Senate agree on better broadband data.

September 30, 2008

 Congress approved a bill on Monday that will improve the collection of U.S. broadband deployment data and hand out $40 million to groups working to spur broadband adoption.

The bill, S. 1492, passed the Senate unanimously on Friday and the House of Representatives approved it on Monday with minor revisions; the House wants broadband summary reports to be sent to the Senate and House Commerce Committees, rather than just to the Senate.

Under the bill, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must come up with a better definition of broadband than its current paltry 200 Kbps benchmark, report broadband access by nine-digit ZIP codes, rather than five, and create a $40 million, five-year matching grant program for organizations that work to stimulate broadband adoption.

The FCC has already moved to improve data collection on broadband access, ruling that ISPs have to start providing data on the percentage of subscribers who are residential clients based upon census tract areas. But House and Senate members and other advocacy groups have requested better reporting out of the Commission.

PC Mag: Update: Broadband Data Bill OK’d by Senate, House.

New Trans-Pacific undersea cable completed.

September 30, 2008

Six of the world’s biggest telecommunications companies have completed the construction of the Trans-Pacific Express, a fiber optic cable system across the Pacific. It will directly link the U.S., China, South Korea and Taiwan.

Initial carriers investing in TPE were China NetCom, China Telecom, China Unicom, Chunghwa Telecom, Korea Telecom and Verizon Business; AT&T and NTT Communications signed on earlier this year. The addition of NTT also added a cable landing site to Japan, making for a total of six sites – one in Japan, two in mainland China, and one each in Taiwan, South Korea, and the U.S.

Initially the cable will be configured to handle traffic at 1.28 terabits per second (Tbps), but the system has design capacity of up to 5.12Tbps. Customers can also book individual connections running at 10Gbps. Korea Telecom, South Korea’s largest fixed-line and broadband service provider, led the $500 million project which was signed in December 2006 by Verizon Communications; KT Corp., China Telecom, China Netcom, China Unicom and Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom. Under terms of the arrangement, the project’s $500 million cost was divided roughly evenly among the six partners.

The 18,000 kilometer undersea cable will offer an alternative to the single low-capacity cable that now provides the only direct link between mainland China and the U.S. Currently, most Web traffic between the two countries has to go through Hong Kong or Japan, at times causing transmission delays.

Verizon said in 2006 that the new cable system is designed to handle the equivalent of 62 million simultaneous phone conversations, more than 60 times the overall capacity of the China-U.S. cable at the time, which can handle the equivalent of 1 million simultaneous phone conversations.

Press Release: Next-Generation Trans-Pacific Express Submarine Cable System Is Ready for Service.

WiMax services in Baltimore, today, from Sprint XOHM!

September 29, 2008

   Sprint is reportedly going live with the service in the downtown area today. According to the Baltimore Sun, Sprint’s network in the city is more than half complete and available now to the public, with coverage in large sections of the city and some parts of Baltimore County.

A VoIP option that allows you to plug ordinary phones into a WiMAX terminal jack, and mobile voice are still in the works.

Prices will start at $10 for a day pass, good for 24 hours of unlimited usage. Monthly service starts at $35. There are no contracts.

To use the service, Baltimore customers will have to buy a special WiMax “aircard” or modem, which cost about $45 apiece. There are also special launch discounts, including a $50-a-month plan that offers subscribers unlimited data usage for life.

Sprint and Clearwire plan to create a $14.5 billion joint venture to provide a national WiMax network. They project 120 million to 140 million people would have WiMax access by the end of 2010, although admittedly it is an aggressive prediction. By comparison, AT&T and Verizon Wireless are supporting Long Term Evolution for fast wireless connections they believe could reach a mass market in 2011 to 2012.

USA Today: Sprint takes wireless service to the max in Baltimore.

…from the other hand, VoIP revolution in Europe is underway.

September 25, 2008

   A new TeleGeography report shows rapid uptake of VoIP in Western Europe, with revenues projected to top $5.7 billion in 2008, up from $4.2 billion in 2007. While market penetration in individual countries varies greatly, overall customers continue to flock to VoIP services. 25.3 million consumer VoIP lines were in service by the end of 2007, almost 10 million more than were in service just a year before, which equates to roughly 17 percent household adoption across Western Europe.

France leads the way in adoption of VoIP, as TeleGeography estimates that 42 percent of the population has a VoIP line, whereas Spain’s VoIP uptake is only 2 percent.

All adoption statistics are based on fixed-line replacement VoIP installation, excluding VoIP soft clients like Skype.

Expect continued strong growth in VoIP revenue in Europe, as there are several large markets with low penetration currently, namely Austria and Spain. 

Bottom line, VoIP services will have a dramatic impact on revenues from switched services, both by siphoning subscribers off of the switched network, and by forcing deep reductions in fixed-line voice prices.

Telegeography: European VoIP — the revolution is underway.

VoIP 2Q08 figures.

September 25, 2008

 7.7 million VoIP access lines shipped during the quarter, down from 7.9 million lines in 1Q08. This represents second sequentially quarterly decline from 4Q07. Of the 7.7 million lines shipped during the quarter, estimated 6.8 million went towards residential VoBB. The remaining were deployed as IP Centrex lines.

6.8 million Class 4 VoIP softswitch licenses shipped during the quarter, down from 7.1 million in 1Q08.

8.9 million service provider media gateways ports shipped during 2Q08, up significantly from 8.1 million ports in the previous quarter

5.2 million SBC sessions capacity shipped in 2Q08, down from 8.9 million in 1Q08. Revenue, however, did now show such a depression Q-o-Q. Revenue decreased 1.3% sequentially.

Marginal improvement in IP media service business Q-o-Q

385.4 billion VoIP minutes handled by carriers during 2Q08. Breakdown: 23.3 billion ILD, 270.2 billion NLD, 91.9 billion Local.

Source: iLocus 2Q08 quarterly reports

Sprint May Launch WiMax in Baltimore 6-October.

September 20, 2008

  DSLReports has a tip that Sprint will launch its WiMax service in its first commercially available market on 6-Oct-2008. The site for the service should go live on 26-Sept, allowing sign ups. Pricing will likely be sub-$50. Speeds will likely be advertised as 2 to 4 Mbps with higher bursts. Long-time market watcher Karl Bode writes that backhaul issues appear to be sorted out, with Sprint having signed a number of new deals to ensure that their high-bandwidth WiMax sites can be fed with enough bites.

Baltimore is one of what I believe are still three test markets that will go into commercial availability, albeit as much as a year after initial plans, and then months delayed after revised plans were announced. Still 2 to 4 Mbps is far above the level that current cell technology can achieve as a consistent range.

DSL Reports: Xohm Baltimore Launch October 6.