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The two millionth radio base station has been delivered by Ericsson, the company has announced. The unit was an Ericsson RBS 6000 unit, delivered as part of a mobile broadband network expansion project.

Ericsson says it has supplied the majority of HSPA networks operating at speeds of 14.4 Mbps or higher, and claims to be the only supplier participating in all major 4G/LTE network builds currently underway. Ericsson's mobile network equipment in total already connects more than 1.5 billion people worldwide, it says.

"Ericsson's milestone delivery is proof of the explosive growth of mobile broadband," said Ericsson's Vice President and Head of Radio Networks Ulf Ewaldsson. "The exponential growth in consumer adoption, data speeds and technology advancements continues to transform the way people communicate. As the world leader in mobile communications, Ericsson is proud of its role in advancing the industry."

A main driver behind the massive acceleration of deliveries is said to be Ericsson's RBS 6000, a multi-standard, energy-efficient base station that supports GSM/EDGE, WCDMA/HSPA and LTE in a single package. The RBS 6000 series products are available in indoor, outdoor and main-remote packages. Its compact design requires only 25 percent of the space used by previous generations while at the same time increasing capacity by over 10 times. The RBS 6000 series is said to substantially reduce power consumption by 20 to 65 percent, compared to earlier Ericsson radio base stations thereby. They are the most energy efficient and best-in-class base stations available in the industry.

Turkcell, a leading communications and technology company in Turkey, can now remotely monitor and control its base station site operations, with the deployment of OneBase InSite Connect, the site management solution from Andrew Solutions. Andrew, and its business partner in Turkey, MIKOM, have supplied InSite Connect for Turkcell's wireless network.

"A thorough evaluation and trial of InSite Connect verified its usefulness in monitoring site equipment, sending alerts, decreasing site visits, and increasing energy efficiency," said Andrea Casini, vice president of sales and marketing, Europe, Middle East and North Africa, Andrew. "InSite Connect is one system that can support all of Turkcell's site operations."

InSite Connect is said to be a comprehensive solution that remotely controls, manages and monitors the subsystems at each base station site, enabling network operators to coordinate and manage the conditions at base station sites and other remote facilities across their networks. InSite Connect is base station vender agnostic, capable of controlling and monitoring a wide array of devices from leading subsystem manufacturers. Operators can realise OpEx savings through the reduction of wasted energy usage and cell site visits for maintenance, the elimination of cell site visits for RET antenna adjustment, and the curtailment of theft and vandalism related expenses. InSite Connect can also act as a platform for efficient deployment of complimentary technologies such as IP synchronisation of network traffic monitoring.

"Turkcell chose InSite Connect because of its extensive capabilities, scalability and future-proof expandability for site control, management and monitoring," said Engin Arikan, chief executive officer, MIKOM. "The long history and excellent working relationship between Andrew and MIKOM helped make the entire process run smoothly."

With InSite Connect, remote electrical tilt antennas can be adjusted without a site visit, while thermostats can be programmed to optimise energy consumption and limit unnecessary climatisation. Field technicians can be equipped with details about equipment troubles before heading to a site, avoiding unnecessary second trips. Theft and vandalism can be decreased or prevented with IP cameras, while network equipment problems can be monitored and alarms sent before major network disruptions occur. Site access can be controlled and power consumption metered.

"The amount of tasks that InSite Connect can manage in one system is quite extensive and derives from its ability to work with any OEM standard and equipment," said Casini. "We are seeing great interest in InSite Connect by operators worldwide."

The OneBase InSite Connect system is comprised of two primary components: the central management system (CMS) and the remote controller units (RCU). The CMS server is centrally installed in an operator's core network and is designed to communicate with the RCU at cell sites. Each RCU is a 1RU 19-inch rack-mountable unit with a total of 87 ports available for connectivity to local cell site subsystems. The RCU can be optionally configured with three remote electrical tilt antenna controllers, providing standard AISG interfaces for monitoring and controlling AISG 1.1 and AISG 2.0 compliant RET antennas and TMAs.

Reliance Globalcom, a global provider of managed network and application delivery services for multinational enterprises, carriers and service providers, today announced that it has been awarded a three-year contract by Acision - a specialist in mobile data - to design, implement and manage its new global Wide Area Network (WAN), managed security and hosting solution.

Reliance Globalcom will implement a truly hybrid Ethernet, MPLS and Internet VPN solution across 33 locations in 23 countries across the world, with sites ranging from data centres to small offices. In addition to the managed network, the solution includes a fully managed Firewall Security Service and Proxy Server Hosting.

Reliance Globalcom's Hybrid multi-carrier VNO solution will replace Acision's current single carrier MPLS network and provide it with the ability to scale its network over time, whilst maintaining a high quality of service availability and assurance.

"Reliance Globalcom's consultative approach has provided us with a solution that has the scope to grow and reshape as our business expands and develops," says Lindsay Miller, VP, ICT at Acision. "The single point of management will free up our internal resources to focus on business development activities, and providing long term cost-efficiencies."

"We are delighted that Acision has chosen to work with us," says Tom Homer, Reliance Globalcom Managing Director, UK & Nordics. "The relationship shows the real value of our consultative approach and the flexibility of our Hybrid VNO solution."

Daisy, a provider of unified communications, has announced the launch of its new VoIP proposition.

Daisy VoIP is said to be a key part of Daisy's unified communications portfolio and provides business customers with the flexibility to use VoIP either in part, by connecting a Daisy SmartBox to an existing telephone system, or in full with Daisy's fully Hosted IP Centrex system. Daisy VoIP is also said to offer reduced costs, free on-net calls between customer sites, low call charges and greater flexibility and scalability compared to traditional fixed line products.

In addition, all customers receive full on-site support and access to a host of user and group based call features, as well as new product features such as call recording and fax to email.  Daisy says it also offers customers the latest Polycom HD (High Definition) voice handsets, including IP Conferencing phones.

Andrew Goldwater, Commercial Director of Systems Services, said: "The transmission of voice calls over a dedicated high-speed broadband internet connection for small-medium businesses is now a reality and we expect to see widespread adoption.

"With the rollout of 21CN there is a confidence to deliver IP telephony and with the products now robust enough for business quality this is now a viable option for firms as it requires limited capital investment and offers the flexibility and scalability for future expansion.

"We are committed to being the leading provider of unified communications to SME and mid market sectors and are confident in rapidly expanding our VoIP market share in this sector."
This latest offering enhances Daisy's already extensive portfolio and positions the company as one of the only communications providers able to supply a truly unified suite of data, voice, mobile and system solutions to the SME and mid-market business community.

As part of its strategy to consolidate the fragmented communications market, Daisy has completed key acquisitions over the last 12 months. And, it says, it is the expertise and experience contained within these that has allowed the business to enter the VoIP market as an IP telephony carrier, boasting its own IP platform as well as Data Centre facilities. 

As service providers decide what measures they need to implement in their networks, they are spending more on service fulfilment systems to help them plan for a more complex future.

Network operators have many difficult decisions to make, not only about which network technologies they should implement but also about the new types of services they want to be able to offer their customers in future.

As a result, they are investing more in technology that would help them better plan for their future requirements. According to Analysys Mason, the worldwide market for telecoms fulfilment systems will grow from US$2.2 billion in 2009 to US$3.2 billion in 2014, at a CAGR of 7.4%.

Essentially, service fulfilment systems allow network operators to plan the capacity and technology of their networks, prepare networks to provide services, and to plan and implement the changes required in the network and services layers to support the services as ordered by customers, says senior analyst Mark Mortensen.

Mortensen says that a number of factors are driving this growth in the short-term, such as the evolution of networks towards optical/packet technology, the move towards more complex service bundles, the deregulation of markets, increased competition, and a growing desire to meet the communications needs of SMEs.

But he says more interesting factors will come into play in the long term as operators "adjust their business models to take advantage of new opportunities, and the service fulfilment software market changes to support them".

One factor is what Mortensen terms "double-sided" business offerings, whereby service providers will provide a platform that will allow businesses to provide their services to end-users and collect money from both sides.

"Such value-added services and platforms will require their own service fulfilment infrastructure, along with content management and management of the increasingly complex end-user devices," he says. "This market will emerge by 2012."

Cloud computing is of course another factor (see the upcoming issue of European Communications magazine for more on this topic), along with national broadband infrastructure projects and renewed interest in convergence projects. For example, service providers may offer SaaS and IaaS to consumer, business and government markets. "As a result, they will need a new service fulfilment infrastructure that is tuned to this environment," says Mortensen. "It will be 2013 before substantial movement occurs in this market, but experiments and market trials will be common until then."

"Many market drivers create a need for service fulfilment convergence," comments Mortensen. The most important drivers are the need for service providers to introduce services rapidly, increase customer self-care, improve scalability, and introduce converged services, new mobile services, and new content and data services.

Global Crossing, a global IP solutions provider, today announced it has been selected to provide high-speed Internet connectivity for Broadcasting Center Europe (BCE), a European specialist in technical services for the media and broadcasting sectors.

Under the terms of the deal, Global Crossing will supply Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) to the company as well as Ethernet point-to-point services. These services will improve the organisation's connectivity, telecommunications infrastructure and network performance. The project will allow BCE to run both voice and data traffic between multiple sites, reliably and quickly, while the improved Internet access will make it easier to transfer the large files involved in post-production media services.

"With more than 200 employees and over 400 clients worldwide, large amounts of data are transmitted and exchanged across our network on a daily basis," said Jean-Alain Jachiet, Head of System, Telecom & Network Solutions at BCE.  "We are convinced that these new services will have an important impact on our business - both in the way our employees are able to work, and in the level of service we can provide to our customers.  We'll also fully benefit from increased network resilience and potential cost savings as our whole telecoms network operates more efficiently."

The announcement reflects Global Crossing's expanded local presence and progress since becoming a member of LU-CIX, the Luxembourg Commercial Internet Exchange.  The network expansion allows enterprises, carriers and service providers located within the country access to a unique and secure IP network globally.

Ted Higase, managing director of EMEA for Global Crossing, commented on the success and significance of the partnership: "We are delighted to be working with BCE and helping them to build the pathways they need for future success.  We are committed to providing first-class services to a commercially significant region, and are working together with BCE and other customers and partners to develop Luxembourg into a major European IT, telecommunications and Internet hub."

Higase continued, "This partnership and our recent investments in this region are extremely important to Global Crossing.  In signing this deal, we are very proud to have been selected to provide services to such an important and established organisation and look forward to continuing our work with both BCE and other businesses within the region."

Global Crossing also is working with BCE as a partner in other areas.  As an IT service provider specialised in providing service to the largest broadcasters in Europe, BCE also operates a large co-location data centre within Luxemburg.  Recently, Global Crossing announced it had opened a new Point of Presence at the BCE data centre with the installation of a new Global Crossing EtherExtend Flex Access Service Router (ASR).  The ASR provides Ethernet access to Global Crossing's EtherSphere(tm) Virtual Private Line Service (VPLS), Layer 3 IP MPLS Virtual Private Network (IP VPN) service, as well as Dedicated Internet Access. 

ZTE, a global provider of telecommunications equipment and network solutions, announced today the deployment of Spain's first WiMAX 802.16e network with Iberbanda, a Spanish broadband telecommunication operator.

The deployment was executed in the Spanish regions of Galicia on the north-west coast of the country and neighbouring Asturias. The initiative will provide high-speed broadband access services.

The deal follows an existing agreement signed between ZTE and Iberbanda in December 2009 to supply 500 WiMAX base stations for two years to provide high-speed broadband services to the rural parts of Spain.

ZTE says it has built the largest 2.3G WiMAX commercial network in Southeast Asia with 170,000 subscribers.

As of June 2010, ZTE says it has successfully rolled out 59 WiMAX networks in 41 countries. 

TM Forum today announced the launch of their Frameworx Conformance Certification program, enabling Service Providers and Suppliers to gain an independent assessment of their conformance to Frameworx, the communications industry's only integrated business and IT architecture.

Service Providers procure standards-based products to reduce risk, increase speed of service deployment, and lower costs-critical needs brought on by market saturation, mobile data explosion, and financial pressures.  They can now assess product conformance to industry-defined best practices and standards with:

·   TM Forum Frameworx Implementation Conformance Certification that allows Service Providers to validate their organizational processes against TM Forum Frameworx standards and best practices and to use the results to identify areas of conformance and opportunities for improvement.

·   Suppliers, vendors, and systems integrators can validate their own products against TM Forum Frameworx standards and best practices with the TM Forum Frameworx Product Conformance Certification. The results identify areas for improvement and determine the extent to which products are consistent with best-in-class standards.

Frameworx serves as a blueprint for a Service Provider's entire operational back office, and is compatible with industry standards such as ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) and Services Oriented Architecture (SOA). It defines standard process and information models required to run the business and the major systems that implement and automate those processes. It also defines the architectural rules for grouping systems into logical domains-such as enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management-and the standardized interfaces between those domains.

Service Providers can validate and improve the efficiency of their organization and its business processes by certifying their company's adherence to TM Forum Business Process Framework's (eTOM) best-in-class industry standards. Conformance Certification assessments enable Service Providers to:

·         Gain an independent benchmark of product or implementation conformance to Frameworx. The conformance assessment report can act as a roadmap for further development to ensure the benefits of Frameworx are fully obtained.

·         Reduce the cost, timeframe, and risk associated with the integration of a new product or service.

·          Significantly reduce the cost of the handling the RFx process, through the use of standard RFx templates and response mechanisms.

·         Provide a common language and data definitions for defining business processes, which is key to providing improved customer response time and satisfaction.

Conformance Certification assessments enable Suppliers to provide an objective view of the product's conformance that can be used to market and sell the product to the growing number of Service Providers demanding Frameworx conformance. By implementing Frameworx standards and best practices they can: Maximize the return on development investment; Drive down costs and risks by using proven industry standards rather than inventing solutions themselves; Reduce support costs by providing one standardized rather than numerous custom solutions; Ease integration with their customer's business architecture.

"TM Forum's Conformance Certification illustrates commitment to interoperability, and provides reassurance to customers seeking standards-based, and therefore, cost effective and flexible solutions. With TM Forum Frameworx becoming an increasingly prominent requirement of Service Providers for their operations and IT architecture, the ability to prove conformance to these standards will set Suppliers apart from their competition." Keith Willetts, Chairman & CEO, TM Forum

"We encourage common industry approaches that help us build a vibrant market delivering innovative software at realistic prices. We welcome Frameworx, as it future-proofs investments as the market changes. We especially welcome the ability to build systems and processes tailored to our specific business needs using a common set of standard building blocks." - Phil Dance, Managing Director, BT

 "We are delighted that Tribold has been awarded TM Forum Information Framework (SID) conformance certification. We're focused on delivering rapid returns and business benefit to our customers and adhering to the SID can only assist in this aim." Catherine Michel, CTO and Founder, Tribold

"We chose to be an early adopter of the TM Forum's standards conformance testing program. By taking the initiative to undergo formal testing, we hope to communicate to our service provider customers that we understand the importance of cost reduction and more agile business processes, and that we are willing to make a substantial up-front investment to help our customers to reach their goals." Zarar Rana, CEO, ConceptWave

Force10 Networks, a global technology provider, today announced that the Belgium National Internet eXchange (BNIX) has selected its ExaScale E-Series family of switch/routers for the delivery of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) peering services to its enterprise business and service provider customers.  As an Internet exchange, BNIX provides high-performance interconnections between its members, which include more than 40 ISPs, content providers, research centers, government agencies and business users throughout Belgium.

BNIX is built around a distributed Layer 2 switching architecture and provides IPv4, Multicast and IPv6 services. Peering is available at a number of point-of-presence locations throughout Belgium, which are inter-connected via multiple 10 GbE links.  BNIX, whose members are directly inter-connected, delivers dramatically improved connection quality and increased Internet access speeds to its users.

"As our membership grew and their applications became more bandwidth-intensive, our IP traffic scaled accordingly but adding capacity to our existing architecture became increasingly cumbersome and cost prohibitive," said Jan Torreele, technical director at BNIX.  "Deploying the Force10 E1200, with its purpose-built operating system and greater port density, provided us with the energy efficiency and the reduced total cost of ownership (TCO) we needed to keep our costs competitive for our members."

By deploying the ExaScale platform, BNIX has leveraged the modular Force10 operating system (FTOS) software to design the most efficient network core that satisfied their need to provide reliable, high performance connections between its subscribing members while minimising the physical footprint, power and cooling costs of its network.  The E1200 offers scalable unicast and multicast routing for advanced services networks, delivering an industry-leading total throughput of more than two billion packets per second across a switching fabric capacity of 3.5 Tbps, or 125 Gbps of raw capacity per slot.  Also contributing to the smaller footprint and lower TCO was the ExaScale's ability to support up to 140 line-rate 10 GbE SFP+ ports per chassis.

BNIX joins a growing list of Internet exchanges around the world that have standardised on Force10 switches to deliver cost-effective and reliable GbE and 10 GbE services to their customers.  In the U.S., the three largest Internet exchanges have deployed Force10 Ethernet technology to connect hundreds of customers.  Moreover, one of the leading exchanges in Central Europe and the leading exchange in Japan also power their peering services with Force10.

"Force10 has maintained a deep and rich heritage with Internet exchange customers because of the inherent cost, latency and bandwidth benefits that they have been able to pass along through direct interconnections and superior routing efficiencies," said Steve Garrison, vice president, marketing, Force10 Networks.  "By leveraging the non-blocking, line-rate 10 GbE throughput and the efficiency characteristics provided by FTOS, the E1200 provides BNIX the robust network core it needs to deliver flexible, on-demand peering services that can scale and respond to changing conditions."

The mobile video market is set for rapid expansion in the next few years, with revenues expected to roughly triple between 2009 and 2014, rising from $436 million to $1.34 billion, according to new research from eMarketer.

Mobile video revenues, including direct downloads, subscriptions and ad-supported video, are expected to reach $548 million in 2010 as the population of mobile video viewers in the US grows to 23.9 million, the firm reports.
 
"Video is in many ways the most fragmented of the three primary mobile content categories," said Noah Elkin, eMarketer senior analyst. "Video consumption on mobile phones can take place through various channels, including paid and free applications, mobile websites, pay-per-view downloads and subscriptions through mobile carriers."

Of these three primary revenue streams for mobile video, the ad-supported component will be the fastest growing. Ad-supported mobile video revenues will post a 60% CAGR between 2009 and 2014.

The number of mobile video viewers, which includes people of any age who watch video content on mobile phones through mobile browser, subscriptions, downloads or applications at least once per month, will continue growing in the double digits for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.8% from 2009 through 2014.

A new study has found that disappointing adoption levels of existing mobile TV services, allied to competition both from streamed mobile services facilitated by the growing prevalence of WiFi and from mobile reception of free-to-air terrestrial networks, has lead to growing disillusionment within the industry.

The Juniper Research report found that the number of paying subscribers to networks based on standards such as DVB-H, DMB, CMMB and MediaFLO were not expected to exceed 10 million globally until 2013 (reaching only 5% of 190m paid mobile TV users) at the earliest - by which time more than 180 million mobile customers will be subscribing to 3G/4G/WiFi enabled mobile TV services.

According to mobile TV report author Dr Windsor Holden, Qualcomm's recent announcement that it is seeking to sell mobile TV subsidiary MediaFLO is understandable: "MediaFLO has been hamstrung by various factors, many of which have been outside its control. The delay in analogue switch off prevented it from gaining national coverage; its partners set the service price at too high a level which put off potential customers. When you factor in likely free to air competition over ATSC-M/H in the medium term, then clearly MediaFLO faces a difficult future in the US."

However, the Juniper Report argues that MediaFLO may have better long-term prospects in Asian markets such as Japan and Taiwan, and that its networks - and those of other mobile broadcast service providers - may be better served focusing on delivering a wide range of data services rather than as acting as pure mobile TV distributors. It also identifies a further revenue stream for mobile TV delivered to in-vehicle entertainment systems.

The gradual deployment of cloud-based services by enterprises means that outsourced services will complement traditional in-house deployments in the early phases of cloud computing, say analysts.

It's been the most-hyped development in telecoms for years, but while cloud computing is expected to present some exciting new revenue opportunities for telcos, analysts note that enterprise users will not be rushing to hand over all their applications and IT infrastructure just yet.

According to Cesar Bachelet, senior analyst at Analysys Mason, worldwide revenue from outsourced enterprise cloud-based services will almost treble between 2010 and 2015, growing from US$12.1 billion to $35.6 billion.

"This makes it one of the biggest growth opportunities in the ICT industry," says Bachelet.

Certainly during the recent difficult economic times, enterprises have been looking at ways of reducing IT costs. Outsourcing their internal network operations to others, such as telecoms providers or systems integrators, is one approach they can take to reduce capex and also benefit from the greater flexibility that managed services can offer.

Despite this, says Bachelet, "enterprises are unlikely to migrate en masse from traditional IT infrastructure to cloud-based solutions."

He says concerns relating to issues such as vendor lock-in and data security are preventing organisations from fully embracing outsourced cloud-based services.

Instead, enterprises and organisations are currently adopting cloud services in a modest and restrained way in order to benefit from some of the advantages such services are able to provide.

For example, they are using outsourced cloud-based services to provide on-demand computing services when they need the additional capacity. One example provided by Bachelet is Steria's Infrastructure On Command, which deliver services through an online self-provisioning portal, and can be available 20 minutes after the order is placed. "This eliminates the need to adjust the scale of in-house IT infrastructure to meet peak-time requirements," notes Bachelet.

Other ways in which enterprises are using cloud computing include moving non-critical applications to outsourced cloud services, as well as trying out new applications via the cloud. Both of these approaches can help reduce the burden on corporate IT departments and minimise the risk of investing in new applications.

As has already been noted by a number of telcos that plan to make cloud one of their biggest areas of investment going forward, enterprises are unlikely to start outsourcing major mission-critical applications for some time to come (see the face-to-face interview with Orange Business Services CEO Vivek Badrinath in the summer 2010 issue of European Communications magazine).

Bachelet says the market will be driven by the partial and selective adoption of outsourced cloud-based services in order to meet specific needs. "This will result in a prevalence of hybrid computing environments, in which outsourced services complement traditional in-house deployments," he adds.

He also notes that many organisations are either considering or implementing private clouds in an attempt to exploit both approaches. For example, they are using cloud technologies such as virtualisation, which enables organisations to optimise their IT infrastructure and introduce new business models for the provision of internal IT services. "Bringing the cloud in-house enables organisations to address the two key concerns about outsourced services: vendor lock-in and data security," Bachelet adds.

In view of the expected co-existence of different computing environments, integration will be extremely complex and is best left to the systems integrators, advises Bachelet.

So where do the network and cable operators fit in?

"Network and cable operators that are moving up the value chain should focus on the SME market, because SMEs will typically opt for standalone or pre-integrated applications," says Bachelet.

* The next issue of European Communications will feature a special focus on cloud computing, and will take a look at all aspects from what's in it for telcos through to security and standards.

    

@eurocomms