2009, Verizon Wireless & LTE, together.

Posted December 11, 2008 by packetdata
Categories: Broadband, LTE, Wi-Max

Verizon Wireless CTO Dick Lynch said the operator expects to have Long Term Evolution technology in service somewhere in the U.S. by December 2009. Lynch, speaking at Cisco Systems’ C-Scape conference in San Jose, also said Verizon will offer femtocells, which will likely include WiFi as an added feature, shortly after introducing LTE.

“A femtocell of LTE or an access point of WiFi is a really critical component of the way customers want their broadband delivered,” Lynch said.

Verizon’s move represents an aggressive timeframe for LTE, which has largely been understood to hit the market in 2010. However, speakers at this week’s LTE America’s conference indicated they were skeptical that a 2010 LTE launch was attainable, according to an article in RCR News. LTE was supposed to be standardized by the end of this year, but the date has now been pushed to March.

Qualcomm has also recently issued an aggressive timeline for releasing engineering samples of its LTE/HSPA+ device modem. It is trying for the second quarter of 2009. The company, however, cautioned commercial availability of of the MDM9000 “still depends on a number of very uncertain factors, many of which are dependent on mobile network operators’ plans and investment priorities about how and when to roll out this next stage of wireless technology,” said Enrico Salvatori, senior vice president and general manager for Qualcomm Europe, speaking at the company’s inaugural European Innovation Summit last week.

Why the rush for Verizon? Ken Hyers, analyst with Technology Business Research, said in a recent interview that Verizon desires to push aggressively with LTE because it’s running out of data capacity on its CDMA EVDO network and must compete with higher speed HSPA+ AT&T Wireless is rolling out before its own LTE launch.

“The operator’s entire reputation is built around network quality and coverage and having the best network,” Hyers said. Verizon “will have to continue increasing data capacity.”

RCR Wireless: VZW plan to deploy LTE in 2009 could rely on non-standard technology.

Obama commits to broadband investment.

Posted December 11, 2008 by packetdata
Categories: Broadband

 

  President-elect Barack Obama indicated in his weekly radio and YouTube address Saturday that broadband and national Internet access would be part of what has been referred to by observers as the “new New Deal,” Obama’s plan to attack economic crisis and rampant unemployment through massive national infrastructure investment. In the early 20th Century, that meant money for highway construction and other public works projects, but in the 21st Century, the Internet is getting added to the list.

Obama said Saturday, “It is unacceptable that the United States ranks 15th in the world in broadband adoption.” Glad we finally know where he stands on that issue-we’re kidding, since among other things, Obama already is being called the first broadband-conscious president. Obama also unfortunately resurrected the phrase “information superhighway.”

Obama’s verbal commitment to broadband and Internet investment comes after an aide to House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) last week indicated that Congress would include technology infrastructure investment as part of a multi-industry economic stimulus package. Also, Obama’s words answered the “Call to Action for a National Broadband Strategy” made by a coalition of dozens of telecom companies just over a week ago.

Broadcasting & Cable: Obama Vows Broadband Expansion in Recovery Plan.

There will not be a United Europe, ever. EU ministers reject ‘super-regulator’ idea.

Posted December 1, 2008 by packetdata
Categories: Uncategorized

  The effort to create a so-called “super-regulator” of telecom matters in Europe was dealt another blow late last week while Americans were preparing their Thanksgiving dinners. While meeting in Brussels, Belgium, the European Union telecoms ministers rejected the latest proposal from the European Commission and Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding to create such a group that could have veto power over the regulatory agencies of individual European countries.

Reding has pursued variations on the super-regulator plan for more than a year, but the European Union has only made minor concessions toward her efforts. After last week’s rejection, Reding cited a recent U.S. intelligence report that suggested the EU’s status as a politically powerful group could weaken by 2025.

EUobserver: EU states bin telecoms ‘super-regulator’ idea.

Clearwire + Nextel = The New Clearwire.

Posted November 30, 2008 by packetdata
Categories: Broadband, Wi-Max

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”.

Posted November 30, 2008 by packetdata
Categories: Wi-Max


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.

Posted November 27, 2008 by packetdata
Categories: Wi-Max

 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.

Posted November 27, 2008 by packetdata
Categories: VoIP

 

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 dot.com 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