Archive for November 2008

Clearwire + Nextel = The New Clearwire.

November 30, 2008
Clearwire and Sprint Nextel announced today that they have completed the transaction to combine their next-generation wireless Internet businesses. With the closing, Sprint contributed all of its 2.5 GHz spectrum and its WiMAX-related assets, including its XOHM business, to Clearwire. In addition, Clearwire has received a $3.2 Billion cash investment from Comcast, Intel, Time Warner Cable, Google and Bright House Networks.

The transaction with Sprint and the new cash investment were completed on the terms originally announced on May 7, 2008. The new company retains the name Clearwire and remains headquartered in Kirkland, Washington. The deal, announced in May, will provide funding for Sprint and Clearwire to build the network and allow cable providers to offer wireless services to help them compete with rivals AT&T and Verizon. It will use Sprint’s existing broadcast wireless towers and its wired fiber network.

On Monday, December 1, 2008, at 10 a.m. Eastern Time (7 a.m. Pacific Time), Clearwire will hold a conference call for press and industry analysts to share its perspective and provide other details about the new company.

Sprint, which had earlier said they’d spend some $5 billion by 2010 building their WiMAX network across the United States, will now own about 51 percent of the new company. Sprint’s new partners will invest some $3 billion. Clearwire will own about 27 percent. Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Intel, Google and Bright House will get a combined 22 percent.

The partners have put the value of the deal at $12 billion, a figure that includes radio spectrum and equipment provided by Sprint Nextel and Clearwire, and the $3.2 billion invested by the partners.

Clearwire will be the only company allowed to sell 4G access as a standalone service, according to Sprint CTO Berry West. Sprint will essentially access the network as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), selling combined 3G and 4G access plans. Clearwire CEO Ben Wolff told the Seattle Times that, ultimately,the company could “get to 20,000 or 30,000 employees” nationally. Clearwire has about 2,000 employees now, including 350 to 400 at its Kirkland headquarters. Sprint has about 700 in its WiMax unit, including a research and development group in Herndon, Va.

Clearwire’s next rollout is expected to be in Portland, Oregon, early next year, where the company has been testing the system with partner Intel for the last year.


Vietnam on WiMax “orbit”.

November 30, 2008

Motorola announced this week that the company has deployed its first WiMAX trial network for Vietnam Datacommunications Company (VDC), a member company of the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT), the largest Internet service provider (ISP) in Vietnam.

The network allows VDC to test next-generation wireless broadband services in major cities of Vietnam, the company said.


The launch of the WiMAX service follows the signing of an agreement between Motorola and VDC to commence a technical and commercial WiMAX trial in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City last year. Under the agreement, Motorola will install WiMAX Diversity Access Points and more than 100 customer premises equipment (CPE) in the nation’s two largest cities.

Motorola WiMAX 802.16e technology allows more people across the country access to faster Internet connections and other advanced telecom services, contributing to the country’s economic growth.
“Vietnam Datacommunications Company gains competitive advantages by being a pioneer in trialing and launching new WiMAX services, which will allow us to capture market opportunities in the next generation wireless broadband space,” Mr. Vu Hoang Lien, CEO, VDC.

MarketWatch: Motorola Deploys Its First WiMAX 802.16e Trial Network in Vietnam.

WiMax is here.

November 27, 2008

 As the WiMAX world is finding out, market size and momentum tend to win over time, even when there is a perceived technological advantage.

A new report forecasts that by 2013 WiMAX will have 103 million subscribers–unfortunately HSPA will have more than one billion users in the same timescale. In an accurate summing up of the situation facing WiMAX, Mike Roberts, author of the Informa report on WiMAX, describes the situation as ‘the best of times and the worst of times’ for the broadband technology. The last year has seen WiMAX pass a number of key milestones including product certification, the launch of WiMAX services by major operators and the introduction of WiMAX notebooks and other devices.

WiMAX is also playing a key role in major emerging markets such as India where it will account for 24 per cent of total broadband subscribers by 2013. However, during the same period, HSDPA has become a runaway success with operators in major markets worldwide deploying the broadband technology. There is some good news for WiMAX in the longer term. Although major operators including China Mobile have fully committed to LTE the earliest the fourth generation technology can begin deployment is 2010 and that is likely to slip by at least two years. Given that WiMAX will be the leading OFDMA technology by 2013 it should be able to give the nascent LTE a run for its money in some regions.

Telecomredux: WiMAX faces the best and worst of times.

VoIP equipment down, capex spending not so much.

November 27, 2008


A pair of reports by Infonetics Research reports that large carriers are scaling back on VoIP equipment purchases by 8 percent in 3Q08, with total capex spending expected to be down around 2 percent in 2009.

Even as service providers spent $816 million on VoIP marketing spending in 3Q08, sales for high-density media gateways experienced a steep decline, and the softswitch market dipped as well in the quarter. The good news is that sales of SBCs and media servers are both up, with softswitches, SBCs and media servers seeing year-over-year growth from 2007.

U.S. carriers were always slowing down their VoIP spends after completing major projects, while in Western Europe and some parts of Asia, inventories were already high. Infonetics predicts that new VoIP projects will be postponed or canceled as more consumers ditch their landlines. The research firm expects a two year pause in the overall carrier VoIP space, with a pick-up coming in 2011.

Turning to the worldwide service provider capex report, sales are on track to reach $275 billion in 2008, up 10.5 percent from the previous year. However, most of the growth is anticipated due to currency appreciation against the U.S. dollar, which peaked back in July. Overall, Infonetics sees a 2 percent downturn in worldwide carrier capex in 2009, led by big cuts by service providers in the Asia Pacific region. The following year – 2010 – is expected to be flat with a slow return to growth due to the start of a new investment cycle.

The good news is most service providers have clean balance sheets, having already adjusted their books after the binge died and forced deep “double-digit” capex cuts. This time around, North America, EMEA and CALA are expected to have low to mid single-digit cuts, while there’s likely to be “steep” double-digit capex cuts in Russia and Asia Pacific.

Infonetics Research:
Service Provider VoIP.
Telecom carriers entering global economic crisis on solid ground; 
tough road ahead

Sen Rockefeller Will Be Active Overseer In Telecoms.

November 21, 2008


  The telecom industry has been trying to figure out what the regulatory effect of the Obama Administration will be, and with the promise of a national CTO and movement on Net neutrality and other policies, it could be extensive. Now, it appears that Sen. John Rockefeller (D-W.V.) likely will become chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, which steers and influences much of the telecom industry.

Observers believe that Rockefeller will be much more active as chairman than previous committee leader Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), especially when it comes to Net neutrality legislation, and privacy issues related to traffic monitoring. He also has been viewed in the past as a champion of Internet availability for public libraries, schools and the under-privileged. Additionally, he has taken on the Federal Communications Commission in the past, joining other legislators in urging a review of the agency’s processes.

However, it also was Rockefeller who helped drive Congress toward a compromise on the amended Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allowed telcos immunity for engaging in warrantless wiretapping at the federal government’s request. That compromise angered some fellow Democrats, but President-Elect Barack Obama, who supported telco immunity in the Senate, was not among them.

Dow Jones: Sen Rockefeller Will Be Active Overseer In New Role.

No kidding. Bangladesh ISPs Licences to be scrapped if found running VoIP!

November 17, 2008

  The chief telecom regulation authority in Bangladesh will cancel the license of any Internet service provider (ISP) found running an illegal VoIP business in the country.

A “zero tolerance policy” is in effect. After raids last week, the authorities shut down one ISP and seized equipment used for the illegal activities 

In February the Bangladesh Telecommunication and Regulatory Commission (BTRC) issued three international gateway (IGW) licenses to companies for the purpose of routing international incoming and outgoing calls through VoIP. However, the three IGW operators can’t handle the VoIP call volume being generated within and routed to the country, resulting in a booming grey market. About 25 percent of IGW calls are being routed successfully, said one source.

About 11 million minutes of calls go to and from Bangladesh every day, with 90 percent made by expatriates living around the world and calling home. With over 200 authorized ISPs in the country, a little illegal VoIP on the side is quite tempting, especially since they can charge 2.5 cents per minute – undercutting 4 cent rates charged by IGW licensees.

Bangladesh regulators have had a long-running battle to control VoIP within the country. Phone minutes are a good source of revenue for the government.

Daily Star: BTRC takes tough line on rogue ISPs.

Euro mobile carriers! Who are “They”, anyway? European Union checking again the bad guys as they are blocking VoIP.

November 14, 2008

  The executive branch of the European Union is investigating whether wireless carriers there are illegally blocking VoIP calls from being carried over their networks. You know you can’t use Skype-like applications over 3G using your iPhone? If the Commission gets its way, that practice would end, one would assume.

It’s like this: the European Commission doesn’t like it when companies screw you, the consumer, over. So since it suspects, apparently, that the wireless carriers are, in fact, screwing you, it’s launched the investigation. The Commission sent a questionnaire to several unknown wireless carriers asking them a whole host of questions about what “tools” they use to manage their network, including the restriction of VoIP.


And why are mobile carriers so fearful of the likes of Skype running on their network? They’re afraid that consumers will exclusively use VoIP instead of the regular voice network to make calls.