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NEC Europe, a subsidiary of NEC Corporation (NEC), announced that, as of today, it fully owns NEC Philips Unified Solutions.  The business unit will change its name to NEC Unified Solutions.  NEC formerly had a majority shareholder stake alongside Royal Philips Electronics.

"NEC Unified Solutions is a leader in communications solutions such as IP Telephony systems, SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) servers and Unified Communications applications for the SMB and enterprise markets," said Paul Kievit, President of NEC Unified Solutions.  "NEC is pursuing its global cloud computing strategy and this move will enhance our software-centric and cloud-computing-based solutions for telecom operators, governments and public sectors across Europe."

"Our focus on cloud computing requires the integration of IT and communication network resources, skill sets and expertise," said Nobuyuki Yanaginuma, Associate Senior Vice President of NEC Corporation and President of NEC Europe. "The new structure will enable us to offer our cloud solutions to a broad customer base, from carriers to enterprises."

NEC Europe has also announced that it has consolidated its IT platform business from NEC Computers S.A.S.  NEC's IT platform business includes a comprehensive portfolio of IT solutions including servers, storage, virtualization and integrated services.

"NEC's cloud services strategy is supported by its expertise and knowledge of IT platform and customer-focused services," said Shigeru Matsuura, General Manager of IT Platform Solutions, NEC Europe Ltd.

According to Telefónica Spain, subscribers will soon enjoy a six-fold jump in its current mobile broadband speeds. The country's largest service provider has selected Nokia Siemens Networks to upgrade its 3G radio network to HSPA+, in preparation for the next generation of mobile communications. The three-year project will enable Telefónica Spain to increase data download speeds from 7.2 Mbps to 42 Mbps, the maximum possible in the current generation of 3G networks. 
 
"As subscriber demand grows, delivering a world-class mobile broadband experience requires a strong technology foundation," says Carlos Calvo, head of Technology, Operations & Systems at Telefónica Spain. "Through this project we will significantly improve our overall network performance allowing us to continue offering the best available mobile broadband services to our customers. Moreover, as Nokia Siemens Networks solution is highly energy-efficient, this will support our commitment to environmental sustainability and lower our operational costs." 
 
Nokia Siemens Networks will deploy new functionalities in response to Telefónica customers' demands for more speed, bandwidth and new services. Telefónica's network will be outfitted with evolved High Speed Packet Access (HSPA+) to boost the bandwidth used for data connections. The modernization project also foresees the possibility of providing 3G and GSM access simultaneously using the same 900 MHz band of radio spectrum, once the regulatory authorities allow it. 
 
"Telefónica is committed to continuous innovation, as well as improving the quality and breadth of its service offerings as a key factor to maintain its leadership," says Pentti Tolonen, head of Telefónica Spain customer team at Nokia Siemens Networks. "With our expertise and technology, Telefónica will improve network capacity, smart device signalling capability and ensure high quality advanced wireless services both today and in the future." 
 
The project will use Nokia Siemens Networks' LTE-ready Flexi Base Stations, a flexible and modular platform that brings significant energy efficiency and reduces the environmental impact of the network. The calculated yearly decrease in energy consumption, as a consequence of the network modernization, equals to 27.000 MWh, equivalent to the energy consumption of 6.750 Spanish homes*. In addition, Nokia Siemens Networks will provide its NetAct network management system to efficiently monitor, manage and optimize Telefónica's network. 

Interoute, owner of Europe's largest next generation network, today announced that it has extended its pan-European fibre optic network into Istanbul, connecting Turkey to the heart of the EU.

Despite the large numbers of European companies operating in Turkey, only a small number of providers cross the border into the EU, making options extremely limited for carriers and businesses. With Interoute's fibre investment in Turkey, the provider becomes the only European operator to be able to provide high capacity connectivity direct from 26 European countries into Turkey's business centre.

Uniquely positioned between Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Turkey is a strategic global hub for multinational businesses. The country attracted more than $11 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2009 from multinational companies despite the global recession. Last year 54.7 per cent of companies operating in Turkey were from European Union (EU) countries.

Interoute's network has the highest capacity of any European network and is designed to carry video, multimedia internet traffic and bandwidth intensive digital applications. The company has followed a strategy of extending its high capacity network East and South East into emerging business markets and continually seeks to meet the demand for fibre across Europe and beyond. Interoute's pan-European network now covers 98 cities in 28 countries. All traffic through the Istanbul PoP will be monitored by Interoute's NOC (network operations centre) in Prague and businesses can benefit from advanced managed services including connectivity, VPN services, managed hosting, Unified Communications and VoIP solutions. 

Renzo Ravaglia EVP Wholesale at Interoute, said: "Turkey is known for its heritage and history and 2010 rightly sees Istanbul take its turn as the European Capital of Culture. But equally impressive is Istanbul's development into a key business and media hub for national and international business. As increasing numbers of European companies look to Turkey for new business opportunities the requirement for the type of high capacity, highly resilient data connectivity that Interoute specialises in, is growing."

The R&S SMU200A high-end vector signal generator from Rohde & Schwarz is now available with an option that supports realtime processing of feedback information in LTE base station receiver tests.

Equipped with the R&S SMU-K69 option, the signal generator processes HARQ feedback as well as uplink timing adjustment commands from the base station, and then adapts the LTE signal dynamically in line with the 3GPP TS 36.141 test specification. These tests previously required special test user equipment (UE) and fading simulators, but Rohde & Schwarz now offers a one-box solution to replace complex test setups - the R&S SMU200A combines RF signal generation and fading simulation with realtime feedback processing capability all in a single instrument.

The 3GPP TS 36.141 conformance test specification defines a range of demanding closed-loop performance tests to characterize the performance of LTE base station receivers. A base station must be able to dynamically check the transmission of channel-coded data packets. This means that during testing, a signal generator not only needs to send RF signals with the correct channel coding in compliance with the LTE standard, but must also be able to respond to the feedback information from the base station. With the new R&S SMU K69 option (closed-loop BS test), the R&S SMU200A high-end signal generator now supports realtime processing of hybrid automatic repeat request (HARQ) feedback information and uplink timing adjustment commands.

Using the HARQ function, a base station signals to a mobile phone whether it received a data packet correctly or incorrectly. If transmission was impaired, for example by fading, the base station requests retransmission of the packet with modified channel coding. The R&S SMU200A behaves in a way that is analogous to the HARQ processes of real user equipment. The signal generator can also be installed with options that introduce fading and additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN) to simulate transmission conditions as stipulated by the test specification. This makes it possible to verify the base station's response to the received data packets with respect to the standard, using a single instrument.

A base station uses uplink timing adjustment to adapt the timing of all transmitting mobile phones in order to prevent overlapping transmissions. Due to the R&S SMU200A's dual-path architecture, even the demanding uplink timing adjustment test can be performed with a single unit: The signal generator simulates a stationary UE on one path and a moving UE on the other. The moving UE can transmit with or without a time offset relative to the stationary UE.

The R&S SMU200A features RF performance that in many cases surpasses that of test UE. This provides base station developers with more accurate and reliable results. The signal generator can also be used for many other base station LTE receiver tests specified by the standard, and therefore minimizes test setup complexity.

The R&S SMU-K69 LTE closed-loop BS test option for the R&S SMU200A high-end vector signal generator is now available from Rohde & Schwarz. An LTE closed loop BS test option (R&S AMU-K69) is also available for the R&S AMU200A baseband signal generator and fading simulator.

The 5th annual IPTV Awards took place on Tuesday 23rd march 2010 at the Royal Garden Hotel in London and Witbe QoE, global provider of test & monitoring solution for video network performance received the Award for the "Best Quality Improvement Solution".

This category covers any technology or service that can be used to test, monitor, report upon, analyse or manage video services delivered over IP-based networks.

"We are very proud of this award. It shows recognition for our investments to deliver a disruptive technology that really helps operators to deliver the best in class services.The vision we have been promoting since 10 years is now a reality: Quality of Experience control is the key for confidence and has become vital at this stage of the market development" commented Jean-Michel Planche, President of Witbe.

Witbe has developed new technology for monitoring solution designed to complement existing solutions that take care of the Quality of Service. It combines end-to-end system that provides the standard reference key Performance and Quality indicators, delivering them through a central system to the people that need to know: the engineering teams, support staff and senior management.

Its has been deployed by IPTV operators around the world, including Orange, KPN, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica, Vodafone and Singtel.

Verizon Wireless has announced it has selected 7 layers as a laboratory to test devices for operation on the nationwide 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network that Verizon Wireless is building on the Upper 700 MHz C-Block spectrum. 7 layers will validate that the devices meet the minimal performance and conformance specifications necessary to operate on the Verizon Wireless LTE network.

Any organization considering offering devices on the upcoming Verizon Wireless LTE network will be able to work with 7 layers engineers.  Additional details on when a device can be submitted for approval will be available at a later date.

Today's announcement marks the first time the companies have worked together for device testing.

To learn more about 7 layers LTE testing services and test solutions, visit http://www.7layers.com/. Visit www.verizonwireless.com/lte  for information about Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE wireless network.

Verimatrix, provider of content security technologies for pay-TV networks, today announced that WIST, one of the longest-established telcos in Poland, has deployed the Verimatrix Video Content Authority System (VCAS) for IPTV to secure its comprehensive lineup of services for the Rzeszow region. Working with partner VECTOR, VCAS for IPTV secures content for 80 MPEG-2/MPEG-4 channels, video-on-demand (VOD) and network personal video recorder (nPVR) services.

WIST is delivering IPTV services to subscribers via its ADSL2+ network and is using BeeSMART middleware, customized by VECTOR, and the 1910 series of set-top boxes from Motorola. WIST selected VCAS for IPTV based on Verimatrix's successful track record and strong endorsement from VECTOR.

"Verimatrix is well-regarded in this region and the telecommunications industry," said Andrzej Kochanowicz, vice president of the Board of Telecommunication Cooperative WIST. "We had some unique network requirements and VCAS for IPTV provided the flexibility of a software-based content protection solution that we were looking for. It enabled us to gain access to premium content to help maintain customer loyalty and attract new subscribers."

VCAS for IPTV leverages the two-way IP infrastructure in WIST's network by providing a more sophisticated level of content security than traditional smart card-based systems. Cryptographic and e-commerce technologies proven in Internet banking, enable VCAS to secure content and enhance revenue streams, while successfully combating digital piracy and unauthorized access wherever it may occur within the distribution chain.

"IPTV continues to be an attractive service for telcos to gain a competitive edge. Operators now have a broad choice in proven solutions that best match their future network goals," said Steve Oetegenn, chief sales and marketing officer. "We give full credit to the strength of our partnership ecosystem that enables us to deploy a cost-effective content security solution."

Huawei has announced that it has achieved the world's fastest LTE-advanced downlink speeds of up to 1.2 Gb/s at CTIA Wireless 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

"Huawei's LTE-advanced technology enables future development of LTE for operators and provides unparalleled mobile broadband experiences for consumers. The record speeds, which are more than 40 times faster than existing commercial 3G networks, are expected to revolutionize user experience by meeting bandwidth requirements of data-heavy applications," said Karen Yu, President of Huawei USA. "Huawei will continue to invest heavily in LTE and is committed to promoting industry developments and maturity."

The demonstration utilized Huawei's SingleRAN prototype LTE-advanced solution with 80 MHz multi-carrier wideband radio and included following features: carrier aggregation (CA), 4x4 multi-input multi-output (MIMO), coordinated multipoint transmission (CoMP) and relay. Huawei's SingleRAN solution is said to support network multi-mode convergence and evolution while reducing total cost of ownership for operators.

Mobile data surpassed voice on a global basis during December of 2009, Ericsson has announced at the CTIA Wireless 2010 convention in Las Vegas. The finding is said to be based on Ericsson measurements from live networks covering all regions of the world.

Ericsson's findings show that data traffic globally grew 280% during each of the last two years, and is forecast to double annually over the next five years. The crossover occurred at approximately 140,000 Terabytes per month in both voice and data traffic. The data traffic increase is contributing to revenue growth for operators when more and more consumers use data traffic generating devices such as smartphones and PCs. During the same period, Ericsson measurements show that traffic in 3G networks surpassed that of 2G networks.

"This is a significant milestone with some 400 million mobile broadband subscriptions now generating more data traffic than the voice traffic from the total 4.6 billion mobile  subscriptions around the world," said Hans Vestberg, Ericsson President and CEO, speaking at a management briefing in Las Vegas. "Our view that the appeal of anywhere, anytime connectivity would drive mobile broadband growth is confirmed by the real world measurements under taken by Ericsson."

Social networking sites on mobile devices and mobile broadband-based PCs now account for a large percentage of mobile data traffic. For example, over 200 mobile operators in 60 countries are deploying and promoting Facebook mobile products, with over 100 million active users accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.

Supporting the view is a recent Ericsson consumer insights study showing that as much as 80% of mobile broadband users demand anytime, anywhere access. It has become part of daily life. The study was based on 4,580 consumers in six mature markets. It also finds that as mobile data traffic increases, the mobile broadband connection is becoming as personal as the mobile phone. 80% of respondents said they would not share their laptop with anyone and 65% would not share their mobile broadband connection.

With the new consumer behavior mobile networks will need to be dimensioned for data as well as voice. This is expected to require significant network modernization and transformation to all-IP technologies and new support systems, says Ericsson.

TM Forum and BT today unveiled the Cloud Service Broker (CSB) Catalyst, a new TM Forum rapid development and demonstration project that will define and create a trusted and governed cloud management platform, to simplify the delivery of complex cloud services to enterprise customers. 

The collaboration, which also involves Comptel Corporation, Infonova, OpenNMS Group and Square Hoop, will look at the role of the CSB in addressing enterprise cloud customer concerns in areas such as application performance, security and vendor lock-in. The platform will be demonstrated at Management World 2010, taking place May 18-20, 2010 in Nice.

In the TM Forum Catalyst project, developed by BT's Innovate & Design organisation, BT Global Services will serve as both an enterprise consumer and retailer of a number of complex cloud services.  The project, consisting of a definition and development phase and a final demonstration, will explore the aggregation, delivery and operation of cloud services while addressing a variety of trust and governance requirements.

The CSB Catalyst will address a number of the key concerns for Cloud adoption highlighted by TM Forum's Enterprise Cloud Buyers Council (ECBC).  The ECBC represents the interests of large Enterprise buyers and is the cornerstone of TM Forum's managing Cloud Services Initiative - an ecosystem of cloud buyers and sellers of which BT is a key member.  The goal of the ecosystem is to drive Tm Forum's Cloud Services Initiative in order to improve the understanding of the needs of enterprise cloud buyers and to remove any potential barriers to the uptake of cloud technology.

Comptel will provide an order portal and active service catalog, to manage the different components of a service, as well as a service designer to aid the rapid assembly of cloud services.  These concepts were initially demonstrated though previous catalyst collaborations with BT, namely the Product and Service Assembly (PSA) initiative and the Service Model catalyst.

Infonova will provide a billing catalog and billing engine, to manage the monetization of cloud services, and to enable the enterprise customer to be virtual operators of these services.

OpenNMS will provide monitoring services  as part of service assurance.

Square Hoop, through product catalogs, will orchestrate what is presented to the enterprise customer by aggregating product, service and billing information.

"As the cloud services market matures, there is the potential for these offerings to develop into complex combinations of services from a range of trusted and less trusted sources," said Gary Bruce, catalyst lead, BT Innovate & Design.  "The CSB Catalyst will explore resolutions to the issues that enterprises face when buying these types of combination cloud services and put in place the governance, security and transparency that will be imperative to their adoption."

John Gillam, BT Global Services said, "The Cloud Service Broker TM Forum Catalyst provides an excellent opportunity to address the barriers to cloud adoption for enterprise customers. Whilst enterprises wish to lever value from the cloud, they are apprehensive over losing control, citing areas of concern such as IT Governance, application performance, runaway costs, inadequate security and technology lock-in. The CSB addresses this by matching cloud services to each enterprise's needs, enforcing the right policies, and then showing how this can be backed up by an ongoing service level agreement. We believe developments of this nature will be of primary importance in future cloud services."

"The CSB explores some of the core issues that enterprises wishing to take advantage of future increasingly complex cloud services are likely to face," said Jim Warner, vice president, cloud programs, TM Forum.  "These issues are at the heart of the TM Forum's Managing Cloud Services initiative, of which the ECBC and the various cloud Catalysts are a critical part."

Interoute, owner operator of Europe's largest next-generation network, has completed two extensions to its Fast Trade service, connecting Lyon to Paris and Hamburg to Stockholm, reducing latency between key European trading platforms by 15 per cent.  The extensions will reduce round trip delay between London, Amsterdam and Paris and the rapidly growing financial markets in Scandinavia.

Financial institutions now have more choice than ever before when it comes to choosing which trading platform to list with, as more and more European markets are offering algorithmic trading. Interoute is said to be helping to accelerate this process by improving round trip delay between established and fast growing European trading platforms.  Interoute has direct connectivity agreements in place with a number of Europe's leading financial platforms, including NASDAQ OMX EUROPE (NEURO).

Lee Myall, UK Regional Director at Interoute, said: "Until recently high risk and poor latency restricted financial trading in the Scandinavian regions. The introduction of clearing houses in October 2009 addressed the issue of risk, and now Interoute Fast Trade is helping to reduce the latency between trading platforms. With the recent changes, the Scandinavian trading market is proving to be very attractive to European traders."

Since launching in August 2009, Interoute says it has received a surge in demand for its Fast Trade service, which offers ultra low latency connectivity between 28 countries in Europe.  A range of institutions, from large blue-chip banks to small, specialist electronic trading organisations and emerging specialists in high-frequency trading, have signed up for the service.

Fast Trade is a point to point service based on Interoute's SDH and wavelength platforms. When bandwidth is purchased, it is solely dedicated to the financial institution, ensuring that latency does not vary, even during the most volatile trading times.  Equally, the contractual round trip delay of Fast Trade circuits is based on the exact route that the circuit will take and is measured before handover to the nearest 10th of a millisecond. This forms the basis of its premium service level agreement, which allows organisations to cancel if the service level guarantee is breached during contract term.

Harmonic today announced that Swisscom, Switzerland's leading telecom provider, has selected Harmonic's ProStream real-time multi-screen transcoder to enable Swisscom's new WebTV and MobileTV service, encompassing more than 30 channels delivered in multiple formats for viewing on a wide variety of devices.

The ProStream 4000 is a  key component of Harmonic's MediaPrism Convergence Suite for multi-screen video delivery, and makes it possible for Swisscom to seamlessly transcode both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) broadcast video content to mobile and Internet formats. Its software-based all-IP architecture can be  integrated into an existing IP headend, and provides a field-upgradeable codec library.

"Harmonic offered us a compelling convergence solution and superior technology roadmap for enabling the delivery of TV to our mobile customers," said Volker Dietzel Head of TV & Portal Development at Swisscom Switzerland Ltd. "We have been pleased with the performance, flexibility and scalability of the ProStream 4000 transcoder for the extension of our TV proposition."

"Over the years Swisscom has been a pioneering operator using the latest technologies to bring new and exciting services to their subscribers. The new Swisscom TV service represents a great step forward in offering innovative and high quality Internet and mobile video," said Thierry Fautier, Senior Director of Convergence Solutions at Harmonic. "We are working closely with leading operators like Swisscom to make the vision of 'anytime, anywhere' video a reality. The ProStream 4000 was designed specifically to support mobile and web video applications, and as part of the MediaPrism convergence suite, can be used as part of a complete and integrated TV, PC and mobile delivery architecture."

Redknee, a provider of business-critical software and solutions for communications service providers, has announced that its real-time rating and charging solution is now part of Telefonica O2 Ireland's mobile broadband service for its prepaid customers.

Redknee's Next Generation Rating and Charging (NGRC) solution, in addition to already supporting O2's mobile internet services for prepaid and post-paid customers, enables O2 to provide prepaid mobile broadband customers with flexible pricing plans, such as daily or monthly packages. O2 provides its customers with enhanced account visibility and access via a web portal where they can instantly view their balances in real-time and top-up online if necessary. NGRC also enables O2 subscribers to set alerts when they are close to their usage threshold, so they can choose to top up their account or manage their future usage.

Telefonica O2 Ireland's Chief Technology Officer, Pat Moynihan comments: "It was a priority for O2 to deliver a prepaid mobile broadband offering to our customers in 2009. Redknee was selected to deliver the project based on their technical NGRC solution that enables our customers to have real time and flexible charging capabilities. There was a very strong commitment throughout the project to deliver on our customers' expectations and the feedback from our customers since launch has been very positive".

Redknee's CEO Lucas Skoczkowski comments: "We are pleased to support Telefonica O2 Ireland's prepaid mobile broadband offering. Redknee continues to deliver on its commitment to monetize operators' services for all their subscribers across all service types - data, content, location, messaging or voice in wireless, fixed and broadband environments. At Redknee we are committed to our customers' success and remain focused on producing patented, award winning, business critical software solutions that deliver results."

According to the latest research from Informa Telecoms & Media, the IPTV market continues to expand with global IPTV subscriptions reaching 29.7 million at the end of 2009, up from 19.4 million a year earlier. In particular, IPTV has started to win significant share in several emerging markets and has made inroads into some developed mid-sized ones, albeit at a slow pace.

The number of quarterly net new subscriptions, or net additions, for broadband-based TV services from telecoms operators and ISPs reached a record high of 3.2 million in the last three months of last year. But just four countries accounted for nearly two-thirds of all IPTV subscriptions: France, the US, China and South Korea.

"IPTV still has a long way to go. The technology had only 5% of the multichannel-TV market and less than 2% penetration of the world's households, despite services being available in over 50 countries. In many markets, services have simply struggled to make progress against cable, satellite and terrestrial TV competition," comments Rob Gallagher, Principal Analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.

"But the potential for delivering broadband-based services to the TV should not be underestimated. Despite the low number of success stories for conventional IPTV, the underlying technology is increasingly being embraced by cable, satellite and terrestrial TV providers as well as Internet firms, media groups and consumer electronics manufacturers."

IPTV has gained significant share in markets where one or more competing forms of multichannel TV are absent or weak, such as Iceland (81.0%), Qatar (80.0%), Cyprus (67.0%), Slovenia (35.0%), Croatia (25.0%), Estonia (25.0%), Montenegro (23.5%) and Greece (23.5%). Services also began to take the majority of net additions in some more competitive mid-sized markets in 2009, including Switzerland, Belgium, Singapore and Portugal.

    

@eurocomms