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As of mid-March, the Balearic island Formentera offered a special service to its inhabitants and guests. Where DSL-speed Internet was formerly available in selected areas only, it is now almost universally available due to high-speed access based on wireless LAN. The basis for this unique network is the outdoor WLAN infrastructure supplied by the networking specialists LANCOM Systems. Access to "Wifi Formentera" costs 10 Euros per month.

A little over 100,000 Euros was invested by the island's governing Consell Insular de Formentera in the very modern wireless LAN, which provides coverage to almost all of the populated areas. The first step was to set up a WLAN backbone networking various public buildings.  This extended the broadband network across the whole island, covering a distance of some 19km. Using this backbone as a basis, a total of eight distributor stations provide the users with broadband coverage in so-called Wi-Fi zones available between La Savina and La Mola.

"Providing broadband coverage by WLAN is a trail-blazing approach," says Silvia Tur, Departmental Head of New Technologies on Formentera. "No other technology can provide broadband Internet over such an extensive area so quickly and so economically."

Political circles far beyond Formentera showed considerable interest in LANCOM outdoor wireless LAN solutions and their potential for closing the gaps in the DSL map economically:  The German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel and the Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero visited LANCOM's exhibition booth at this year's CeBIT to inform themselves at firsthand about successful projects and the possibilities offered by this technology.

The network was planned and implemented by the Spanish LANCOM Solution Partner Segura Duran Assessors S.A. The wireless backbone system consists of 7 outdoor WLAN access points based on the 300-Mbps WLAN standard 802.11n (LANCOM OAP-310agn), which are interconnected via 5-GHz point-to-point links. The wireless bridge links are based on specialised dual-polarization antennas transmitting 2 parallel data streams to achieve a very high net data throughput of up to 100 Mbps.

Each distributor station consists of 3 to 5 OAP-310agn outdoor access points with specialised sector or omni-directional antennas. The resulting Wi-Fi zones provide high-speed Internet access in areas with a radius of up to 2 kilometers. Also operating with high-speed 802.11n WLAN, these units transmit in the 2.4-GHz band for reasons of compatibility. The users can work with standard wireless LAN routers, access points, or WLAN-equipped laptops.

ZTE has announced today it has started selling its HSPA+ 28.8M data card with Cosmote in Greece. The card claims record speeds for mobile broadband services by using advanced HSPA+MIMO (High Speed Packet Access, Multiple Input Multiple Output) technology.

Cosmote became the first company in Greece to offer 28.8Mbps with its "Cosmote Internet on the Go" data transfer package - said to be the country's most popular mobile broadband offering. The new speeds are available through the updated ZTE MF662 data card, which is offered for free through selected "Cosmote Internet On The Go" plans.

By deploying advanced HSPA+MIMO technology with the MF662, Cosmote's customers can get up to 28.8 Mbps download speed and 5.8 Mbps upload speed for easy access to the Internet, wherever and whenever they want.

Cosmote is the first mobile company in Greece, and among the first in Europe, to upgrade its network to HSPA+ technology broadband data speeds. The new broadband speeds are available in selected areas of Athens, and will gradually be expanded across the country. Last year, ZTE and Cosmote jointly launched a MF662 data card modem supporting download and upload speeds of up to 21.6Mbps and 5.76Mbps respectively.

Interxion, a European provider of colocation data centre services, and CENX, operator of the world's first Carrier Ethernet Exchanges, today announced a partnership to launch a pan-European Carrier Neutral Ethernet Exchange service. The service will be available in Interxion's London data centre in June 2010 with expansions being planned for other locations including, amongst others, Amsterdam and Paris.

The CENX-Interxion partnership will help to accelerate the already rapid growth in demand for Carrier Ethernet services in Europe. Market analyst Infonetics Research expects that as a direct result of efficient and economical interconnects between service providers, the market for Ethernet Services can grow at 20% CAGR to a total of almost US$40 Billion in 2013. CENX's proven business processes and methodologies enable service providers to gain access to the CENX marketplace within 30 days, which today includes over 5 million Ethernet end user locations provided globally by more than ten service providers including Verizon and Level 3. This partnership will facilitate rapid and easy access by carriers located at Interxion to the new CENX service and generate cost savings, as well as extending the potential reach of Carrier Ethernet networks across Europe for the benefit of their customers. Interxion's data centres in 11 countries provide direct connectivity to the highest carrier density in Europe of any data centre operator, including all the major Carrier Ethernet service providers.

"The Interxion and CENX partnership creates carrier-neutral integration points that meet critical market demand for ubiquitous network and service delivery of data, voice, and video over Carrier Ethernet," said Stan Hubbard, Senior Analyst with Heavy Reading. "This move will allow service providers to establish interconnections quickly and effectively in key European markets, enabling them to focus on their primary business goal of serving their end-customers and accelerating revenue."

"Through this agreement, we are delivering on our strategy of further enhancing our connectivity proposition and driving cost savings for customers in the rapidly growing Carrier Ethernet service market," said Kevin Dean, Chief Marketing Officer Interxion. "By seeking out CENX as the leading neutral, best-of-breed operator of Carrier Ethernet exchanges, Interxion can continue to offer its carrier, digital media, financial services, content and cloud provider customers the best connectivity products, while we stay focused on operating and building out our best of breed data centre footprint. With its world-leading solution and deep understanding of Carrier Ethernet services, CENX is uniquely positioned to service Ethernet data-driven requirements, driving down customer costs and offering improved reach in the process."

"Building on its seven years of working on the development of Carrier Ethernet, the CENX team has launched their services in November 2009 and has already made accessible over 5 Million Ethernet end user locations across the U.S., by connecting the networks of more than ten major carriers, including Verizon and Level 3. Our partnership with European market leader Interxion, with over 350 interconnected carriers throughout Europe, allows CENX to create the only European solution bringing both the ease of colocated physical connectivity together with the efficiency of CENX's Carrier Ethernet Exchange solution," said Nan Chen, CEO and co-founder of CENX. "Interxion has the optimum balance between carrier and content provider customers, ideal for the rapid migration towards the integration of data, voice and video delivered over a Carrier Ethernet infrastructure."

T-Mobile UK and 3 UK says they are on course to complete their joint network infrastructure program by the end of 2010. When completed, it's claimed it will be Europe's largest shared network and will offer smartphone and dongle customers the biggest 3G coverage in the UK, along with 'excellent levels of connection coverage and performance'.

The HSDPA 3G network already offers outdoor coverage to more than 90% of Britain's population and, by the end of this year, network coverage will be expanded to more than 98% of the population.

In December 2007, anticipating the rapid growth of Mobile Internet and data usage that was to come, T-Mobile UK and 3 UK pooled their 3G network infrastructure in a 50:50 joint venture company, Mobile Broadband Network Ltd. (MBNL). The purpose was to be able to create Britain's best 3G network more rapidly and more efficiently than either party could do alone.

The resulting shared network requires fewer masts, consumes less energy and is claimed to provide customers with a 'superior mobile broadband service'.

MBNL has already consolidated more than 7,000 sites out of a total of over 12,500 T-Mobile UK and 3 UK mast sites due to be brought together by October this year. When completed, the integration program will also mean more than 3,000 redundant sites will have been switched off.

Reinforcing the network's capacity, a new contract worth over £400 million has been agreed between MBNL, on behalf of T-Mobile UK and 3 UK, and Nokia Siemens Networks. This will include the provision of 3G radio network infrastructure, mobile network planning, implementation, optimization and maintenance. The provision of equipment and services is already underway.

Graham Payne, managing director of MBNL said: "Smartphone and mobile laptop data traffic growth in the UK has been unprecedented, and every sign is it will continue growing fast. With Nokia Siemens Networks, we are confident of providing the UK's most smartphone friendly, high-speed 3G network to more people in the UK than any other operator, delivering exceptional services to both T-Mobile UK and 3 UK subscribers."

Both T-Mobile UK and 3 UK say they have experienced very high growth in mobile data and Internet usage resulting in the MBNL network carrying 'by far' the highest volume of data traffic of all networks deployed by Nokia Siemens Networks globally.

Emin Gurdenli, technical director at T-Mobile UK said: "As high-speed mobile broadband becomes increasingly adopted for fast, simple Internet access wherever you are, network performance becomes an increasingly important competitive differentiator. The growth in mobile broadband usage clearly provides challenges for networks. They are challenges we have anticipated and intend to keep on anticipating with our further investment in technology and services."

Graham Baxter, chief technology officer at 3 UK said: "We believe that with Nokia Siemens Networks as our principal technology partner, MBNL will deliver on its objective of creating what will be Europe's largest HSDPA network in record timescales to quickly enable the best customer experience."

To ensure that both operators can enjoy the benefits of the MBNL network expansion, while functioning independently, Nokia Siemens Networks has implemented its Multi-operator Radio Access Network (MORAN) platform which offers flexibility while merging two networks, enables the re-use of existing infrastructure, and allows a reduction in the number of sites.

Steve Glanville, head of the T-Mobile UK and MBNL customer team at Nokia Siemens Networks said: "As operators across the world strive to realize the opportunities offered by mobile broadband, they also face major challenges related to costs and efficiency. We have a strong existing relationship with T-Mobile and 3 UK, and are committed to helping them deliver their growth objectives. We are helping them simplify their network, meet the ever increasing consumer demand for capacity, and realize cost savings."

Billing software and customer care product provider MetraTech has a new client in the form of Nervogrid - an Information Technology (IT) service provider for the SME sector, which has chosen product MetraNet as the billing solution for its Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) offerings. MetraNet's dynamic business modelling-based building system will allow Nervogrid to offer fully-managed, secure and performance-guaranteed IT services to businesses within a range of industries whilst employing a pay-as-you-go model.

"We need to be able to quickly syndicate a wide variety of IT services from a diverse set of vendors and provide our clients a high level of automation in a cost-efficient, pay-as-you-go model," said Aleksi Partanen, Chief Executive Officer of Nervogrid. "Most of the billing solutions we looked at are very rigid and don't come close to providing the flexibility and scalability that our billing platform requires. MetraNet was the only settlement, customer care and billing system that could map into our SOA Service Delivery Platform and dynamically deliver the change management necessary to service our clients both today and over time."

MetraTech's billing software will merge with Nervogrid's DaaS offerings and allow businesses to focus on their core expertise and use the 'cloud' as a virtual IT infrastructure. Clients can outsource the management of business applications, desktop infrastructure services and datacenter services to Nervogrid. All these IT services are centrally-produced and managed in Nervogrid's datacenters and delivered to customers over a network. Services are subscription-based and clients only pay for what they use, whether it is by the number of users, worksites or gigabytes.

"It's exciting to see companies like Nervogrid successfully exploit the power of Cloud Computing," said MetraTech's Scott Swartz, Chief Executive Officer of the subscription and cloud billing expert. "The unparalleled flexibility and elasticity of MetraTech's dynamic business modeling approach is a perfect fit for Nervogrid and other businesses that want to create Cloud Computing and Software-as-a-Service offerings. We are looking forward to working with the Nervogrid team to make their innovative DaaS IT services highly successful."

Telecom operators will soon have a simpler option for upgrading optical networks directly to 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) with technology developed with funding from the European Union. Field trials of the HECTO (high-speed electro-optical components for integrated transmitter and receiver in optical communications) project's technology are said to have demonstrated that 100GbE networks can be deployed that are less complex than before.

In the HECTO project, which was funded by a European Union grant, Nokia Siemens Networks partnered with component vendors, academic institutions and non-profit research institutes from Denmark, Germany, Greece and Sweden. The key benefit of the HECTO project is a method that cuts the number of transceivers - the components that send and receive pulses of information carrying light - for 100G network links of less than 40 kilometers by 75%. With HECTO, operators can provide short-haul 100GbE using only one transceiver on a single wavelength, rather than four transceivers at four separate wavelengths. This alone can reduce the complexity of 100GbE transmission providing a cost-effective way to upgrade optical networks.

"100GbE is the next big step in the networking world, bringing the additional capacity that will be needed for new bandwidth-hungry applications and the widespread adoption of smart devices," says Rainer H. Derksen, senior research scientist at Nokia Siemens Networks. "The HECTO approach is ideal for short-haul transmission because it does not require the complex transceivers needed for longer distance network links. At the same time, it meets the increased capacity demands in the metro and access portions of the network. This landmark project fits well with our vision of using innovation to help operators upgrade to 100GbE without major network investments."

Nokia Siemens Networks led the HECTO project's activities surrounding the assessment of component specifications and technology. Nokia Siemens Networks drew on its experience in high-speed transmission trials in both systems evaluation lab experiments and field trials. In addition, the company served as the interface between the consortium and standardization bodies.

HECTO project partners to Nokia Siemens Networks were from Sweden (Photonics and Microwave Engineering department of the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Acreo AB and Syntune AB), Germany (Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute, Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF and u2t Photonics AG), Denmark (DTU Fotonik) and Greece (the University of Peloponnese).

Roaming revenues are critical to mobile operators' profitability, yet they are under threat from regulation and competitive solutions.

So how can operators extract more revenue from their inbound and outbound roaming customers? One way is to make sure that their most valuable customers are receiving the best customer experience. But how can operators correlate network and performance and customer experience with their most valuable users?

You can find out how at an exclusive European Communications webinar, held in association with CommProve. The webinar will illustrate how operators can get more from their roaming customers, and go beyond the blunt tools current roaming solutions offer them.

Sign up to attend this webinar here. If you are involved in roaming services, marketing, network operations, assurance or support, or responsible for driving roaming service revenues, then this is a webinar you should not miss. Click on the here to go to the registration page.

SFR, in collaboration with Nokia Siemens Networks, will be displaying the latest HSPA+ technology, with download speeds of up to 28 Mbps, on a live 3G network in a trial to be held in the city of Marseille. After the successful trial and deployment of 14.4 Mbps for SFR in 2009, Nokia Siemens Networks is continuing to support the operator's drive to ramp up its mobile data bandwidth.

"We have witnessed significant changes in mobile devices and service usage over the past year, with mobile operators ramping up their networks to ride this explosive trend," said Nicolas Huguet, head of the SFR customer team at Nokia Siemens Networks. "It is essential for our customers' success that we have a constant pipeline of innovative technology that enables increasingly fast and easy network transformation. The technology showcased today with our partner SFR will bring fundamental improvements to its customers' service in quality of experience."

The cornerstone of the HSPA+ trial with SFR is Nokia Siemens Networks' Flexi Multiradio base station, which is said to be ideal for providing higher broadband throughput, enabling a highly cost-efficient transition to HSPA+ and LTE with simple software upgrades.

Enablence Technologies, a supplier of fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) equipment for triple-play residential and business services and optical components and subsystems for access, metro and long-haul markets, today announced it has signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire Teledata Networks Ltd. an Israeli company.

Teledata is a provider of products and solutions enabling telecom providers to migrate to Next Generation Networks. Teledata has accumulated a wide installed base, spanning millions of lines in over 55 countries worldwide, including Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Kazakhstan and South Africa, many of which are Tier 1 service providers.

"With this merger, Enablence will become a strategic player in the global broadband market, with the critical mass to meet the needs of service providers in established and emerging markets and the ability to service Tier 1 operators internationally," said Arvind Chhatbar, Chairman of Enablence.

"This is an important and exciting development for Teledata as it will not only allow Teledata to continue to build on its existing strengths but also provide our global customers with an established technology path to meet their future needs for state-of-the-art solutions," said Eran Ziv, the CEO of TeleData.

"Teledata focuses on emerging markets with its BroadAccess platform. The BroadAccess family provides wireline service providers with an optimal solution for delivery of advanced triple-play and business services over copper, and enables a smooth migration to Next Generation Networks and FTTx network architectures," said Tim Thorsteinson, the incoming CEO of Enablence. "With Teledata's capabilities, Enablence will be able to serve its current customers that wish to extend the useful life of their existing copper networks. Teledata's customers will benefit from having Enablence's GPON and Active Ethernet solutions to migrate their existing copper networks to fiber."

Squire Technologies, equipment manufacturer of NGN and TDM telecommunication products and network solutions, together with Teanet, a leading provider of IP Telephony services in Italy, have announced the successful completion of PSTN interconnect acceptance tests with Telecom Italia. The approval ensures the Squire Technologies media gateway solution provides a smooth migration for operators between the Telecom Italia's PSTN network and IP based services.

Wholesale VoIP providers need to continually address the challenge to cut costs and increase efficiencies, and the scalable SVI-MG media gateway enables entrants to compete with newly added value services. Connection to the PSTN/SS7 backbone is a regulatory requirement in many countries offering the benefits of lower operational costs and additional services. With over 70 deployments worldwide, Squire Technologies is a proven solution delivering competitive carrier grade products worldwide.

Matteo La Cognata, Project Manager, Teanet Servizi, Italy. "The incumbent system was becoming challenging to manage and after comparing other solutions the Squire media gateway fulfilled our proposal for a single box system that supported G.722, our existing infrastructure and the interface ensured swift user adoption. The Telecom Italia approval means as a service provider we can press on streamlining our IP services to our fixed and mobile customers."

Simon Dinnage, Business Development Director, Squire Technologies, "We are delighted to have passed the Telecom Italia interconnect process and this adds to Squire's existing carrier product certifications including France Telecom and British Telecom. The service benefits are immediately apparent for SS7 interconnect and the SVI media gateway consistently delivers greater access to competitive IP solutions, for which providers are more commonly demanding today."

Derdack, a specialist in mobile messaging platforms and enterprise notification software, today announced that the European Southern Observatory (ESO), said to be the world's most productive astronomical observatory, has selected message master Enterprise Alert to increase availability for critical IT services.  The installation in Santiago, Chile will add automated, mobile notification capabilities to existing network monitoring functionality provided by WhatsUp.

Andrew Wright, Network Specialist, ESO said, "We knew that message master Enterprise Alert was already successfully integrated with WhatsUp at our headquarters near Munich, Germany.  The latest version of Derdack's software has powerful features for notification automation, in particular two-way closed loop notifications, the ability to automatically escalate alerts, assignment of ownership of alerts, and failover capabilities. It was a straightforward decision to roll out the software to our Chile operation. During the implementation I have been very impressed with Derdack's highly responsive service and support."

ESO operates a Support Centre in Santiago which is connected to the telescope installations in Chile's Atacama region and 600 km and 1000 km north of Santiago.  The observatories rely on the IT network and consistent internet access to transfer huge amounts of scientific data at a very high rate back to its offices in Europe.  If there is a technical fault such as a server failure or interruption in internet access, ESO's WhatsUp software would send a ‘fire and forget' email notification to support engineers.  However if the problem also affected email access or the network itself then there was no way to send these alerts.

message master Enterprise Alert will be implemented with an external GSM modem in Santiago. Hence, it can function independently of the monitored network or Internet access and can alert IT staff on any failure of these services. It is interfaced with a local installation of WhatsUp.  Once an alert has been generated by WhatsUp, message master Enterprise Alert will send a text message to the appropriate support engineer's mobile phone and track delivery.  In the event of delivery failure, delay or non-response, message master Enterprise Alert will automatically escalate the alert to the next available team member. 

A number of future business uses for message master Enterprise Alert have already been identified.  These include communicating day to day tasks to field based engineers and potential integration with weather monitoring systems for early notification of adverse conditions such as electrical storms which could damage sensitive equipment.

Wright commented, "We chose message master Enterprise Alert as it is a future proof and comprehensive notification solution that offers the flexibility and scalability that will enable us to leverage our investment into other areas of our business in addition to IT monitoring.  We will improve critical service uptime and improve continuity of our scientific operations."

Matthes Derdack, Managing Director of Derdack added, "Constant availability of internet access is vital to the continuing operation of the observatories.  By introducing network-independent notification capabilities, ESO will gain the ability to recover far more quickly from Internet and IT issues that affect service uptime and data transfer operations. We are proud to support the scientific operations of one of the major astronomical research facilities in the world."

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan - Mobile Broadband in Central and Eastern Europe - says that the market earned revenues of €1.1 billion in 2009 and forecasts this to reach €5.2 billion in 2014. The service penetration is expected to grow from 2 per cent to 10 per cent within the forecast period, says F & S..

"Due to relatively low overall broadband penetration, mobile broadband will be a complementary rather than supplementary service to fixed broadband in CEE countries," says Frost & Sullivan ICT Research Analyst Edyta Kosowska. "Therefore, mobile broadband operators should initially focus on improving the service quality through sufficient network upgrades as customers expect the same download speed and data download limits as from fixed broadband internet. Only when achieved that, the operators should follow Western European players' strategies and concentrate on developing wider range of value-added services (VAS)."

The Frost & Sullivan study assesses the status of mobile broadband in five CEE key markets: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia and Slovakia. The analysis is based on key performance indicators and looks at the way different mobile broadband technologies are evolving on those markets. The technologies considered are: code division multiple access (CDMA) revision A and revision B; flash orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (Flash OFDM), high speed downlink packet access (HSDPA), high speed packet access plus (HSPA+), mobile worldwide interoperability for microwave access (Mobile WiMAX) and long-term evolution (LTE).

"Most of the market participants start mobile broadband service development from large cities' centres, where they can count on relatively quick return on investment," states Edyta Kosowska. This move is still economically justified, as the highest demand comes from people with increased mobility needs such as company workers and students. "However, in the near future, growth potential will be mainly visible within rural areas, where overall broadband penetration remains relatively low. Therefore, focusing on this target group can be a worthwhile consideration," adds Kosowska.

Targeting population from the rural areas is a very good solution especially in the EU countries. "First of all, companies implementing this strategy can count on market regulators' favour, as it links directly with the ‘preventing digital exclusion' policy. Additionally, part of the investment might be financed by EU funds," concludes Kosowska.

    

@eurocomms