Tellabs to acquire Wichorus to extend its Mobile Backhaul product portfolio

Breaking News:

To accelerate its transition from an optical transport vendor to an Internet Protocol network equipment company, Tellabs is acquiring mobile packet core maker WiChorus for $165 million in net cash. Tellabs counts 43 of the top 50 service providers as customers, with their IP mobile backhaul products deployed by 120 network operators. The acquisition extends Tellabs wireless backhaul products to a fast growing adjacent market- gateways for mobile IP traffic (such as the ASN Gateway for mobile WiMAX). That market is expected to reach $2.6B in 2013, sporting a better than 22% compound annual growth rate. The transaction is expected to close no later than February 2010.

"We are very excited about this acquisition and believe that, together (the combined company), will revolutionize the mobile Internet," said Tellabs Marketing Communications Manager Ariana Nikitas. She further stated the acquisition would extend Tellabs mobile backhaul product portfolio (see CHART below) to a fast growing adjacent market. "The resulting products will enable service providers to deliver richer experiences to mobile end users," she said.

Analysis:

Tellabs recognizes the mobile Internet is taking off and WiChorus has a product their service provider customers very much need. Sales of smartphones are growing more than 30% a year while netbook sales have been very strong. People are spending more time surfing the Internet while on the move. As a result, Tellabs’ mobile customers expect mobile data traffic to grow 30% to 50% a year for the foreseeable future. AT&T recently indicated its mobile traffic has quadrupled over the past year.

Such high growth demands scalable, next-generation network architectures to deliver 3G and 4G multi-media and video services. This acquisition will enable the combined company to help facilitate delivery of those services, while providing richer experiences to mobile Internet users. It will enable Tellabs to compete with Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, and Cisco (which recently announced its acquisition of Starent Networks) in the 4G/3G mobile packet core market.

While Tellabs spends 17% of its revenues on R & D, they found it more expedient to acquire Wichorus’ mobile packet core technology than develop it internally. They believe this will make them more competitive in the mobile backhaul market. Independent of that, Tellabs has a very high opinion of WiChorus’ mobility management and routing technology.

On a conference call today, Tellabs CEO Robert W. Pullen said the Wichorus platform was a "purpose- built 4G (WiMAX, LTE) architecture that is backward compatible with 3G (GGSN, HSPA, HSPA+)." As a result, it can be sold to WiMAX operators now and 3G or LTE operators in the future. Tellabs stated there were two potential service provider customer types for the WiChorus platform:

– Those that are optimizing their 3G mobile networks and evolving to 4G (LTE).

– Those that have leapfrogged 3G to deploy 4G (Mobile WiMAX and LTE).

Wichorus’ "best in class" deep packet inspection capability and performance was particularly attractive to Tellabs. It was said to produce much less throughput degradation than competitor mobile packet core products. Tellabs claims that the WiChorus 4G packet core product offers eight times more throughput than competitive offerings.

The Wichorus SmartCore™ platform was said to address the unique requirements of the mobile Internet:

  • Includes a full range of mobile IP products (from low entry price to highly scalable) for applications including GGSN, LTE and WiMax, plus new application enablement with superior DPI capability.
  • Offers 8 times more throughput, 4 times more simultaneous Internet connections and active users, compared with competitive platforms in gateway applications.
  • Uniquely combines world-class application analytics with a mobile core gateway for improved traffic engineering and network optimization.
  • Enables customers to analyze and monetize more than 400 of the top mobile Internet applications.
  • Makes mobile networks content-aware and context-aware, with personalized application-awareness.
  • Outperforms other platforms in delivering mobile Internet capacity. For example, competitors’ capacity significantly degrades (as much as 30% to 50%) during deep-packet inspection (DPI).
  • Delivers new and differentiated applications such as Internet offload and distributed LTE gateway. The SmartCore™ platform can offload as much as 70% of traffic at the network edge, increasing core network efficiency and improving user experiences. As a result, customers can save as much as 50% in capital expenses, compared with the present method of operation.

The WiChorus ASN Gateway is being sold to Clearwire and trialed by other mobile WiMAX network providers. Tellabs CEO Pullen said that the company’s next product will be for "business services delivery" using femtocells and picocells.

When asked to comment on future product plans, Ms. Nikitas declined, stating that the acquisition had not yet taken place and could not comment till the merger had actually been consumated.

Tellabs has a large portfolio of transport and network management products for wireless backhaul. These include:

  • Tellabs® 6300 Managed Transport System
  • Tellabs® 7100 Optical Transport Series
  • Tellabs® 7300 Metro Ethernet Switching Series
  • Tellabs® 8100 Managed Access System
  • Tellabs® 8600 Managed Edge System
  • Tellabs® 8800 Multiservice Router Series
  • Tellabs® Intelligent Network Management

Opinion:

We think this is a very good move for both companies and we predict more acquistions and consolidation in the network equipment market.  In particular, watch Ciena which has optical backhaul products, but nothing for the "3G/4G mobile packet core."

Reference:    http://www.tellabs.com/news/2009/index.cfm/nr/79.cfm

CTIA Wireless 2009 report: FCC Plans to Free Spectrum, Remove Barriers to entry for new mobile operators

In a keynote address at the CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment convention in San Diego, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski outlined steps the agency is taking to provide more spectrum and remove obstacles to help speed the development and expansion of next generation wireless networks. Will such measures be effective?

FCC Chairman’s Remarks at CTIA 2009

For several years, Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs), rural and independent telcos and MSOs have been urging the FCC and U.S.  government to free up licensed spectrum to enable them to build faster, more robust and reliable wireless access networks.  Both fixed and mobile WiMAX players would be major beneficiaries of this initiative as WiMAX technology would likely be used by network operators to provide much better wireless broadband service than is possible with unlicensed spectrum, which is prone to interference, coverage gaps and other problems. 

The CTIA – The Wireless Association® ("CTIA") has recently petitioning the FCC to reallocate 800 MHz of spectrum for wireless broadband providers by 2015 (see next section of this article).  At his October 7th CTIA Conference keynote address, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski made reference to that petition by saying that a lack of licensed spectrum is "a looming crisis" as U.S.  consumers increasingly rely on mobile devices such as smart phones, netbooks, eReaders, etc. that require heavy wireless data usage. 

In his address, Genachowski said that the FCC would examine how to reallocate spectrum for wireless Internet services and look towards ways to promote secondary markets for airwaves, giving companies that hold spectrum licenses the right to lease those licenses to others.  "No sector of the communications industry holds greater potential to enhance America’s economic competitiveness, spur job creation, and improve the quality of our lives," Genachowski said.  "My goals with regard to mobile are the same that define and drive all our work: fostering innovation and investment, promoting competition, empowering and protecting consumers, all in an effort to help ensure the U.S.  has a world-leading communications infrastructure for the 21st century.  As this audience knows, it takes years to reallocate spectrum and put it to use.  And there are no easy pickings on the spectrum chart."

Genachowski went on to say that the FCC would also try to clear obstacles for wireless network operators trying to install new 4G networks, including speeding up approvals for new cellphone tower construction, which often are met with local community resistance.  In this regard, the FCC will propose a federal "shot-clock" on tower-siting, while still being sensitive to local jurisdictions.  The siting of towers has long been an obstacle for wireless carriers and tower companies as subscribers embrace mobile services, but city and local governments often don’t want the accompanying infrastructure needed for those services.  Genachowski said he understands that Internet providers and wireless network operators need to manage their networks.  "We recognize there are differences between wired and wireline network technologies," said Genachowski.  "They are different networks and because they are different, I have said the rules that are adopted need to allow for reasonable network management.  But we need to have clear rules of the road for everyone regardless of how they access the Internet."

In a press release issued shortly after Genachowski made his keynote remarks, AT&T Wireless Division CEO Ralph de la Vega called for a fact-based discussion with the FCC.  "Before we begin ‘fixing’ what isn’t broken, we need to be thoughtful about the consequences," said de la Vega. 

In reaction to the Commissioner’s speech, Sprint issued a press release that supports Mr. Genachowski’s recognition of the importance of mobile broadband networks.  "Sprint Nextel shares with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski the view that American business and consumers benefit from the deployment of 4G mobile broadband networks.  At Sprint, we are proud to be the first and only nationwide wireless carrier to offer 4G (i.e.  mobile WiMAX) in the United States.  For Sprint customers, 4G isn’t the future, 4G is here now.  Sprint 4G is available in 16 markets today and we expect to offer Sprint 4G service to 120 million people in 80 markets by the end of 2010."


To read the entire article, including my editorial comment, please see:

http://www.wimax.com/commentary/blog/blog-2009/october-2009/ctia-wireless-it-e-2009-fcc-plans-to-free-spectrum-remove-barriers-1009

What if you could remember everything? Total Recall and e-memory Revolution are coming

To commemorate their new book – Total Recall– the Computer History museum recently hosted a lecture and "fireside chat" on the subject of eMemory and its ability to reshape our lives.    This article is an account of that lecture and discussion, as well as a personal perspective on the subject matter.

For many years, Microsoft Researchers Gordon Bell (x-DEC VP) and Jim Gemmell have been exploring ways to record and easily access every moment in a person’s life, i.e. the proverbial  trail of data that people leave behind.  Since 1998, Gordon Bell- the principal researcher at the Microsoft Research Silicon Valley Campus- has digitally archived every aspect of his life. Conversations, phone calls, photos, CDs, articles, home videos, e-mail — every piece of data Bell has created or consumed has been squirreled away into a database. In effect, he has offloaded the past 11 years of his life into a comprehensive electronic memory bank. This effort was the genesis of the MyLifeBits project at Microsoft Research.

Mr. Bell’s decade-long data dump has convinced Bell that the frailty of bio-memory — what everyone else has to work with — is about to become a thing of the past. He claims we are about to usher in an era where your every moment is recorded.  Will we be able to find the signal (important and relevent information) through the noise (of extraneous recorded information)?  That remains to be seen.
 
Advances in digital storage, digital recording and digital search are converging in a synergistic way to enable the e-memory revolution, according to the authors.  People are already awash in a sea of information.  If they are not already overloaded with files, papers, books, periodicals, etc they will soon be.  Already portions of our lives are digitally captured every day. From the constant stream of e-mail to the GPS-stamped pictures we take on our Smartphones, pieces of ourselves are being stored on Facebook or YouTube or massive portable hard drives.  How to make sense of it all?

The key to unlocking e-memory’s transformative power lies in harnessing mountains of recorded data to find the subject matter of interest.  For example, Mr. Bell, who has a heart condition, tracks his weight daily and monitors the data pumped out by his pacemaker to get a changing snapshot of his well-being. The recorded information could be used to create a picture of one’s overall health.   The ability to  data mine our past would enable us to chart how much exercise we have been doing now in comparison with what we did four years ago. Such graphic tools and related tables could aid in medical diagnosis,  treatment of diseases and ailments, and preventive health care –  potentially a very useful tool for physicians and patients.
 
But what of the potential downsides when bio-memory shifts to bits and bytes? A hint of Big Brother lurks behind the notion that every aspect of life is recorded and stored, the authors say. What if the stored information falls into the wrong hands?  How can the information be protected?  How can the legitimate user be authenticated?  What about backup in case of fire, earthquake or terrorist attack?  Many unresolved questions arise.  Among them are:  access authentication, storage server robustness, file formats, security, client to server upstream and downstream bandwidth requirements, categorizing and cataloging stored information, memory search algorithms and retrieval strategies.
 

”What we’re doing is not really aimed at putting your whole life on Facebook or MySpace or wherever,” Bell said. “This is a memory aid and a recording aid, something you utilize at a personal level.”  

But there’s another danger (besides the privacy issue) with such a personal memory aid;  we could get so caught up in our own memories that we quit living in the present. Already, many of us reminisce about the "good old days."  Could many of us with access to e-memory live in the past?

While the e-memory revolution might be inevetible, as the authors claim, the privacy,  security, and technical implementation issues might delay its onset for longer than most might expect.  Caveat emptor.

Addendum: 

Total Recall: How the E-Memory Revolution will Change Everything with Jim Gemmell and Gordon Bell is now available on the CHM YouTube channel.
This talk explains Gordon’s ongoing efforts to record his life digitally and how retaining and retrieving all the data in your life will change how we live and experience our lives.
 
You can view the lecture here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gWEUA47Q4g

CLEAR 4G WiMAX Innovation Network is Now Open for Developers in Silicon Valley

In an exclusive article, Clearwire details logistics, goals and objectives for the "4G" CLEAR Developer’s Network in Silicon Valley. Largest 4G WiMAX "sandbox" for developers covers more than 20 square miles in Santa Clara, Mountain View and Palo Alto, California.

At the September 17th Telecom Council Carrier Connections conference, Clearwire’s Allen Flanagan provided an overview and short video on the company’s "4G" mobile WiMAX Innovation Network – a pre-commercial network for mobile WiMAX application development and testing in Silicon Valley.  The network went live only two days prior -on September 15th.  The development focus was said to be "4G" Mobile Applications.  These will be described later in this article.

The CLEAR developer network is a precursor to commercial service planned for the San Francisco Bay Area1 in 2010.  It will cover more than 20 square miles in Santa Clara, Mountain View and parts of downtown Palo Alto, California.  The current coverage footprint includes the local campuses of Intel and Google, two founding Innovation Network supporters who have also commenced their own internal 4G application development programs.  Cisco’s campus will receive coverage in the coming months as the network expands.  Clearwire will update the coverage area maps over time

After reviewing terms and conditions, qualified software application developers that live or work in Silicon Valley can register for free mobile WiMAX service, as long as they buy or own a Clearwire approved terminal (see list below).  Bright House, Comcast, Sprint, and Time Warner Cable will join Cisco, Intel and Google in support of Clearwire’s mobile WiMAX application development initiative.  All those companies except Cisco are strategic investors in Clearwire.  The first four plan to resell the CLEAR service, so they have a lot to gain.  All of the participants will aid in promoting the program and have deployed their own respective development resources into the network (e.g.  RAN equipment, IP NGN systems, devices, software, etc). 

Infrastructure providers include: Motorola, Samsung, Huawei (these three vendors supply RAN equipment), and Cisco (Core IP NGN Network). 

Editor’s Note:  Allen could not confirm that all of these infrastructure vendors would be involved in the Innovation Network instance.

Components, modules and applications were said to be available from: Intel, Google, Cisco, and Beceem (chip set).  Netbooks with embedded mobile WiMAX interfaces are available from Lenovo, Dell, Toshiba, Samsung, and Fujitsu for use in the program.  The new Samsung Mondi MID handheld is also supported on the Innovation Network. 

Editors Note:  only the mobile devices listed are eligible for use on the CLEAR Innovation network.  Home modems and CLEAR VOIP products and service are not available on the Innovation Network.

To read the rest of this important article, please go to:

http://www.wimax.com/commentary/blog/blog-2009/september-2009/clear-4g-wimax-innovation-network-open-for-developers-in-silicon-valley-0920

Making Broadband Access Available and Affordable for all in the US‎- Interview with SCU Law Professor Allen Hammond

Professor Allen Hammond, Director of the Broadband Institute of California, offers a perspective on the importance of broadband access and a prescription for making it available and affordable for all U.S. residents.  Recommendations for Digital Inclusion, U.S. Broadband Policy, a national wireless network, funding and measurement tools are also included in this interview. 

Most of us take broadband Internet access for granted.  We watch videos, play music, multi-media games, upload and download large files without even thinking about it.  But not everyone in the U.S. is that fortunate.  A large number of the U.S. population lives in rural or “underserved” areas where broadband access is not available.  Many low income, inner city residents can’t afford cable or DSL based broadband access.   And municipal wireless networks that were promised to provide such access for cities and counties have been delayed or cancelled. 

Those without affordable access to broadband are at a competitive disadvantage; they are at risk of being marginalized and left behind, as more and more mandatory services migrate to the broadband Internet.  Today, most skilled jobs require PC and web based interfacing skills, which are more likely to be learned by those that have broadband Internet access.  Government services (such as Unemployment and Disability claims), education and training (including webinars), health care, travel information, and banking are offered on-line and have become pervasive on the web.  But without broadband access, these services are not conveniently or easily available.  What if you’re bank branch office has been recently closed and you’re told to do most of your banking on-line?  What if you’re applying for a job that requires web surfing, quick access to information, uploading or downloading .ppt or zip files from web sites?  Not good if you don’t have broadband Internet access or related skills.  Those that don’t will be left behind. 

Professor Hammond firmly believes that “Broadband access is a civil rights issue.”  It should not matter if one lives in a sparsely populated or rural area, an inner city, or a suburb.  Rich or poor shouldn’t matter either.  Broadband access should be made available to all that want it at affordable rates.

What’s Digital Inclusion and Why Is It Important?

The Wired for Wireless? Summary Report1 uses the term “Digital Inclusion” to denote the ability of everyone to have access to broadband and the related information technology.  Specifically it states:  “Digital Inclusion means that everyone — regardless of who they are or where they live — can participate in and take advantage of the economic, educational, health, and civic opportunities afforded by broadband and related information technology. 

More than just access to the Internet, Digital Inclusion means that all stakeholders are engaged in the planning and implementation of technology systems; that all potential users can access the technology and know how to use it; and that with these technologies come more services, increased information, and greater community access. As digital technology is increasingly used for educational, employment, health, commercial, and informational purposes, Digital Inclusion is critical for full engagement, participation, and opportunity in the social, economic, and civic life of society.” 

The report found that “wireless networks are effectively supporting government operations and services. Wireless technology is being used for a large range of government tasks: traffic light control, meter reading, data transport from regional offices to headquarters, video surveillance, communication between emergency vehicles, and much more. These projects have proven successful when jurisdictions commit funding toward the deployment and maintenance of the network.   Project research indicates that many local governments in California pursued or are pursuing a wireless network in order to bring broadband access to underserved communities. In most of these cases, the wireless networks were intended to enhance or fill in gaps left by existing deployment.”  However, the deployment of most of those CA municipal wireless networks, e.g. Wireless Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Fresno, etc have gone into hibernation status or they’re just plain dead.

U.S. Government Broadband Stimulus and Plan

The U.S. is one of the few developed countries that does not have a national broadband plan and up till this year, has done little to accelerate or drive broadband deployment.  The federal government has taken the position that broadband Internet is the job of the private sector.  This is in sharp contrast to the public sector build out of roads, highways and bridges.   

On February 17th, 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) became law.  This was the government’s first step to making broadband more available in the U.S.  In particular, the Act allocated $7.2 billion in grant and loan funds for broadband build-outs.   

The complete article can be read at:   http://viodi.com/2009/09/18/affordable-broadband/

No registration required.

ComSoc SCV Oct 14th meeting: Intel’s Vision for the Future of Wireless Communications + supporting articles/ commentary

Date

Wednesday October 14th, 2009, 6:00 – 8:00PM

Location

National Semiconductor, Building E, Conference Room, 2900 Semiconductor Dr, Santa Clara, CA 95051

 
Title
Intel’s Vision for the Future of Wireless Communications 
Speaker
Siavash Alamouti, CTO, Intel’s Mobile Wireless Group
Bio
Siavash Alamouti is an Intel Fellow in the Mobility Group and Chief Technology Officer for the Mobile Wireless Group of Intel.  In this role, he is responsible for all wireless standards with a product roadmap at Intel.  This includes the WiMAX Forum, IEEE 802.16, 3GPP, OMA, WiFi Alliance, IEEE 802.11,etc.  He is also known as the technical champion of WiMAX technology at Intel.

Alamouti is recognized by the IEEE Communications Society as the author of one of the best 57 papers in the last 50 years of the Society’s history.  He is most well known for the invention of "the Alamouti code" which is included in a number of wireless standards.  Siavash holds over 20 patents in the areas of wireless communications and wireless systems design.  He has authored many publications and technical reports in the last decade for the IEEE Communications Society and other organizations that have reached professional audiences both nationally and internationally.

In addition to standards, Intel’s Mobile Wireless Group undertakes research projects that are targeted at investigating new applications and use models enable by wireless technologies.  One example is My WiFi -which enables high speed peer-to-peer communications between devices using WiFi and future technologies such as WiGig (an industry study group that is likely to be proposed to IEEE 802.11) that promises to provide multi Gbps wireless communications using 60 GHz unlicensed band. 

Abstract
Siavash Alamouti, CTO, Intel’s Mobile Wireless Group, will share his vision for wireless communications in the future and describe various ongoing research projects in wireless communications at Intel.  He will talk about the next generation Mobile WiMAX (also known as WiMAX 2.0) based on the emerging IEEE 802.16m standard and a candidate for IMT-Advanced, and will also discuss Intel’s vision for the evolution of WLAN and WPAN technologies.
 
2 interviews with Alamouti published at:
 
 
 
 
WiMAX Standards Update
 
The IEEE 802.16 Working Group met in its Session #63 the week of 31 August 2009 on Jeju, Korea. The IEEE 802.16 Session #63 Report summarizes the outcomes:
 

 
New article exposing the cracks in 3G networks- close to the breaking point?  iPhones Overload AT&T 3G Network
 
 
Please weigh in with your comments- either here or at the viodi.com web site.  What do you think is the solution to the 3G conundrum?

 
Intel and Qualcomm Eye Each Other’s Terrain
 

PCs are evolving into tablet PCs and small laptops, essentially big smartphones that are always on, always connected to the Internet, with all-day battery life — in short, very much like a large iPhone or BlackBerry. Qualcomm calls these devices smartbooks because the design resembles a large smartphone.

Could this be the ultimate battle for mobile computing chip leadership?  Or is it just another overblown WiMAX vs LTE argument?  Let’s hear from you!

 
The inside of computers has been Intel’s territory, as the world’s biggest maker of microprocessors reminds consumers with its “Intel Inside” campaign.

The cellphone’s guts have been the domain of Qualcomm. As the cellphone becomes more like a computer and the computer more like a cellphone, it was inevitable that the two chip makers would clash.
Intel wants to get inside smartphones, and Qualcomm, one of the largest suppliers of chips for wireless phones, wants to get into small notebook computers.
“Intel is trying to come down from the computer and bring their software ecosystem along,” said Qualcomm’s chief executive, Paul E. Jacobs. “We’re trying to go up from the phone and build the software ecosystem.”
Qualcomm, which sells about 22 percent of all chips used in wireless devices including the iPhone, BlackBerry Storm and T-Mobile G1, believes it has never been better situated in its 24-year history to break into the market for computing devices.
Mr. Jacobs sees his company at the center of an industry that is driving the most cutting-edge innovations, as seen in devices like the iPhone and BlackBerry Storm.
 
“That energy is now coming out of the phone industry,” Mr. Jacobs said. “The PC became so standardized that the degree of innovation was not the same as what you see in the phone space.”

 
 
What do you think? Let’s hear from you!

 
 
Is this news article from April 2009, already obsolete? 
Will the world ever see a WiMAX MID, or will the tablet PCs and ebook readers with 3G embedded interfaces be the new gadgets de jour?
 
What about the Intel-Nokia strategic relationship on mobile computing devices – genuine with tangible results or DOA?
 

At a developer event in China, the company, based in Santa Clara, Calif., displayed a range of wireless Internet devices that Intel believes will fill a gap between smartphones and laptops. The company is hoping to capitalize on the success that Apple has had with its iPhone, which is one of the most popular mobile Web smartphones.
Intel is calling the new computers Mobile Internet Devices, or MIDs, and claims that it will have a significant advantage over makers of chips for cellphones because the Intel version will be highly compatible with the company’s laptop and desktop processors for which most Web software is written today.
The first generation of Intel’s MID technology will be aimed at data, not voice communications, leaving the company out of the market for smartphones. That has not damped the enthusiasm of Intel executives who foresee a proliferation of devices ranging from advanced ultracompact laptops to small, tablet-size devices that will be used for browsing the Web, navigation and Internet chat, rather than voice communications.
 
“What enables the innovation is the ability to bring over all the existing PC applications,” said Anand Chandrasekher, general manager of the company’s Ultra Mobility Group.

 

Note:  IEEE members that would like to subscribe to the ComSoc SCV Discussion Group, where this post originally appeared, please follow instruction at the bottom of our web page:

www.ewh.ieee.org/r6/scv/comsoc/

Is WiMAX in India ready to take off or be Dead on Arrival?

India’s 3G and WiMAX spectrum auctions are planned to commence this year paving the way for Mobile Internet and Fixed Broadband Wireless Access.

Introduction

India’s IT/ Telecommunications Minister, Andimuthu Raja, has stated that the government will start the auction of licenses for high-speed wireless services within the next three months.   Many feared that the long delayed auctions might not start until sometime in 2010, so this could be good news.   In November 2008, India’s Telecommunications ministry picked NM Rothschild & Sons Ltd.  as the independent auctioneer to help it sell the permits and aimed to complete the process by early 2009, but that never happened.

The auction to operate 3G mobile-phone services and fixed wireless broadband (WiMAX) services will earn India about 250 billion rupees (US$5.1B), Raja said.   The starting price for each slot of 3G spectrum is 35 billion Indian Rupees (US$716M), lower than the (US$827M) price previously signaled by the government but higher than the original (US$413M) price suggested.   "Since the number of slots are only four, the auction price will be more," Raja said.  

Three available blocks of spectrum in the 2.3 and 2.5GHz band will be auctioned separately for fixed broadband wireless access services.   The so called "WiMAX auction" will be held after the 3G auctions are completed and are expected to follow a similar process.   The government ministers also set a base price of 17.5 billion rupees for permits to operate fixed broadband wireless (WiMAX) services.

As noted above, the 3G and WiMAX spectrum auctions had been scheduled to take place in January this year, but were subject to repeated delays that have allowed government controlled operators BSNL and MTNL to deploy 3G services ahead of privately owned rival carriers.   Those operators had already received licenses for one of the five blocks of spectrum to be allocated for wireless broadband (more in the next section of this article).

It was hoped that early auctions of 3G and WiMAX licenses would result in a growing market for mobile Internet in India, which has much potential and promise.   India is now the second largest wireless market in the world, but almost all of it comes from cellular voice and SMS (rather than from wireless Internet access).   India’s cellular operators added 11.59 million subscribers in May, taking the country’s total to 415.25 million, according to the latest figures from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

To read this entire article (no registration or ads) go to:

http://www.wimax.com/commentary/blog/blog-2009/september-2009/india-upcoming-wimax-auction-0901

Will Outsourcing of Managed Services and Network Maintenance Make Telecoms More Competitive?

Introduction:

Managed services and outsourcing of wireless and wireline network operations has become an emerging trend in the global telecom industry. 

Here are a few recent examples:

-Last year, Embarq outsourced its Network Operation Centers (NOCs) to Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN).
-In a blockbuster deal announced a few months ago, Sprint announced it will pay Ericsson as much as $5 billion over seven years to manage its CDMA and iDEN wireless networks as well as its fixed-line network.
-Alcatel-Lucent has joint ventures with Indian operators Reliance and Airtel for mobile and fixed networks, respectively.
-Light Reading stated this week that Huawei has made significant strides in its managed services provisions in India. The Financial Times reports that BT will outsource the upkeep of its local phone network to a joint venture of Carillion and Telent, in a £1bn deal expected to be agreed in the next two months.
-WiMAX rural operator Open Range today announced an agreement with IP backhaul vendor Harris Stratex to run its NOCs for five years.
-Bharti Airtel signed a managed services deal with Comviva, making it the first telco in the world to have a managed services agreement for all its value-added services portfolio.

Rajeev Suri, Director of NSN’s managed services business unit says the global managed services is a $277 billion market.  Which carrier will be next to outsource its operations? Will that make them more competitive and profitable? And how much new managed services business will traditional network equipment vendors get?  We focus our attention on the new managed network players in this article.

The new kids on the Managed Network block include Huawei,  Carillion and Telent joint venture, and Harris- Stratex. 

For the complete article, please go to:   http://viodi.com/2009/08/22/outsourcing-managed-services/

Opinion:  The newer, greenfield operators that don’t have any experience in managing networks or operations might be better off by outsourcing network operations and/or managed services/ NOCs.

What’s your opinion?  Do you think Clearwire would do well by outsourcing its network maintenance and management services to another vendor?

Interview with Professor Andrew Odlyzko- Most accurate Internet Traffic Tracker- on Mobile Internet now and in the future

Mobile Internet Data Traffic Trends and  Implications for the Wireless Industry

 

Can the growth of mobile data live up to the hype given the current capacity of wireless networks? Interview with Andrew Odlyzko, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Minnesota and expert on internet traffic patterns and growth.

Introduction:

Due to the success of smart phones, app stores, and open platforms, a strong consensus now holds that mobile data is creating the next telecom revolution.  The volume of data transmitted over mobile wireless networks is skyrocketing, growing at rates over 100% per year. 

But is that growth rate sustainable? Bandwidth per user will continue to be limited by overall 3G-network capacity.  Moreover, considerable CAPEX would be required to upgrade mobile networks to 4G.  Also, most subscribers are unwilling to pay rates in excess of $50 or even $70 per month, which most mobile operators need to get a reasonable ROI .  Yet wireless data growth conjures up "visions of sugar plums" for many telecom professionals and wireless industry stakeholders.

To examine the hype vs.  reality of mobile Internet data growth, we checked in with Professor Andrew Odlyzko – a former AT&T Researcher who exposed the myth of exponential (wireline) Internet traffic growth back in 1998 – just prior to the dot com bust and optical networking melt down.  Odlyzko has been tracking Internet traffic trends for over 12 years.  During most of that time period, the actual traffic growth did not live up to the over-hyped projections.
 

To read the rest of this fascinating interview, please go to:
http://www.wimax.com/commentary/blog/blog-2009/august-2009/mobile-internet-data-implications-for-the-wireless-industry-0816

Interview with Siavash Alamouti- CTO of Intel’s Wireless Mobility Group: article #1 posted, sneak look at article #2

Please read the article #1 here:

http://www.wimax.com/commentary/blog/blog-2009/august-2009/why-cellular-carriers-have-not-delivered-on-the-promise-of-the-mobile-internet-0806

Article #2 has been published at:

http://www.wimax.com/commentary/blog/blog-2009/august-2009/how-the-mobile-internet-can-be-realized-through-new-technologies-applications-0810

Here’s the lead-in:Realizing the Mobile Internet- new functions, technology and innovative applications

Abstract:

In the second article resulting from our in depth interview, Siavash Alamouti, CTO of Intel’s Mobile Wireless Group comments on the roadmap, potential new applications, functions, and technical requirements for 4G mobile networks. Specifically, he envisions several intriguing mobile Internet applications and value added services, delineates major performance and feature upgrades for 4G (it is not an evolution from 3G as many think), identifies several technical issues/ problems to be resolved, and explains why LTE is not the panacea many believe it to be.
 

Introduction

Siavash (and many other knowledgeable professionals) have clearly stated that mobile broadband needs to evolve from its current primitive state (a packet overlay to a cellular TDM network), to a wireless broadband network that can accommodate much higher bandwidth per user and overall traffic capacity. A network optimized for mobile voice cannot be “upgraded” to handle high numbers of high bandwidth mobile Internet users that access rich multi-media content or are uploading/ downloading large video and multi-media files.        

In particular, more spectrum is needed for an acceptable subscriber service level along with higher capacity backhaul and a different network architecture. Alamouti states that the mobile Internet requires a technology revolution to accommodate multi-Mbps subscriber connections from many simultaneous users. Clearly, the more bandwidth available per user, the more people benefit from the web. That is, if the mobile Internet service is reasonably priced (which it’s not now on 3G networks).

To obtain low cost per bit, much higher spectrum efficiency is needed than can be achieved by 3G or 3.5G networks. All now agree that 4G networks will be characterized by OFDM, MIMO, and all IP transport. Mobile WiMAX has these features now; LTE will once it’s deployed. Here’s an illustration of the timeline envisioned for the mobile broadband Internet to be realized:

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