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In the UK, analysts say broadband speeds are rising and prices are falling, but what about future higher-speed network plans? As BT strengthens its partnership with Huawei for its fibre rollout, questions are raised about how future-proof fibre really is

Broadband prices in the UK remained somewhat stable during the recession, but have fallen in the past six months, according to latest research from Analysys Mason. The company said the average price paid for a fixed broadband service bundle (a single-, double- or triple-play package) has declined by about €5 between the fourth quarter of 2009 and the second quarter of 2010 to €40.7 per month.

According to Martin Scott, senior analyst at Analysys Mason, competition from mobile broadband services contributed to the downward pressure on fixed broadband tariffs during the first half of 2010.

"Having said that, the premium that providers charge for mobile broadband services is also eroding. Prepaid mobile broadband services with usage caps of 3 GB or more (which are sufficient for light users) now undercut entry-level fixed broadband service propositions in terms of price in most Western European countries," said Scott.

By contrast, broadband access speeds have increased: "Almost 20% of the tariffs we tracked during the second quarter of 2010 offered downstream bandwidths of 30 Mbps or greater (although the proportion of subscribers that actually take these ultra-fast services is likely to be much lower than 20%). Consequently, the average price per megabit per second has declined from €7.5 in the fourth quarter of 2009 to just €5.8 in the second quarter of 2010," Scott added.

Much higher speeds than this are only likely to be possible when the UK gets more fibre, but a separate report from Analysys Mason has raised some concerns over the future viability of fibre for markets in Europe.

According to principal analyst Rupert Wood, while regulatory hurdles are still often cited as the main obstacles to widespread fibre rollout, "a more intractable problem" is that wireless devices and services will continue to capture consumer telecoms "because it is in this area that there is the greatest rate of innovation," said Wood.

According to Wood, the increasing availability and growth of smartphones and wireless services "makes it harder for wireline operators because overall consumer spend on telecoms has long since ceased to grow in developed economies. Even though many cable operators have been offering superfast fixed broadband connectivity for some time in Europe and North America, take-up of such services remains troublingly low."

The vague promise of future services may appeal to some early FTTH adopters, he added. "However, it will become increasingly ineffective as a selling point unless the rate of innovation in devices and services that are uniquely suitable for FTTH gets some new impetus from vendors and service providers. The future cannot be simply plotted against increasing fixed-line bandwidth."

Wood said the indications from telcos are that FTTH capex will be "grossly disproportionate" to that of cheaper alternatives such as VDSL, and this is problematic as consumers' willingness to pay a premium for additional bandwidth is low, particularly in Europe.

He commented that current levels of commitment to FTTH look "unsustainable and fundamentally unreasonable", especially when VDSL networks will pass far more households.

"We therefore expect telcos that have opted for FTTH rollout beyond proof-of-concept trials and greenfield sites to back away from further commitment and, in some cases, reduce the scale of their FTTH roll-out plans. We would expect them to opt instead for a more cautious VDSL-based approach," he added.

The UK has been one of the slowest of the developed markets to roll out broadband, although Virgin Media has now upgraded its backbone network with fibre and BT has also announced plans to continue with its fibre plans.

This week Huawei also announced that it had strengthened its strategic partnership with BT by providing a number of access products to support BT Openreach's deployment of the company's new national fibre network.

BT has said it is planning to spend an extra £1 billion on its next-generation broadband network to bring superfast broadband to two-thirds of UK households by 2015, but it is still hedging its best by saying this is subject to an acceptable environment for investment. The company's current fibre spending plan is £2.5 billion.

Huawei today announced it has further strengthened its strategic partnership with BT by providing a number of access products to support BT's Openreach division in the deployment of the company's new national fibre network.

BT is planning to spend an extra £1 billion on its next-generation broadband network to bring superfast broadband to two-thirds of UK households by 2015, subject to an acceptable environment for investment. As one of BT's strategic partners, Huawei is providing BT with professional solutions to fulfil the requirements of BT's Next-Generation Access network. Huawei's SingleFAN (fibre access network) solution is based on an open and unified platform, enabling Openreach to significantly reduce operation and maintenance costs. The SingleFAN solution is also said to offer a future-proof platform for Communications Providers using the Openreach network to roll out multi-play services to residential and business customers.

Steve Robertson, Openreach's CEO said:  ‘‘BT and Huawei have had a strong relationship for several years; we are pleased to extend this further by choosing Huawei as one of our strategic partners to help us deploy Next-Generation Access on a national scale as part of BT's £2.5bn investment in fibre technology. Huawei's cutting-edge optical access and transmission technology will provide our CP customers with the ability to offer more diversified high-bandwidth services and an improved broadband experience to their customers."

‘‘We are proud to contribute to the construction of BT's pan-UK fibre deployment,'' said Chengdong Yu, president of Huawei Europe. ‘‘Huawei has extensive experience in designing and delivering optical access solutions around the world and we will apply this experience together with our strong innovation abilities, to collaborate with BT in achieving its strategic goals and bringing super-fast broadband to the UK.''

BT and Huawei started FTTx deployment in 2008 resulting in the launch of FTTC superfast broadband services this year.

iBwave, a provider of in-building wireless software solutions, has signed a referral agreement with UK-based Aircom International, an independent network planning and optimisation consultancy.  Through the partnership, Aircom will supplement its existing radio network optimisation and planning solutions, delivered to customers worldwide, with iBwave's indoor planning tools and techniques.

Aircom will promote iBwave's software solutions, including its software Design suite, across the entire global wireless market value chain including wireless carriers, system integrators and equipment manufacturers.   The collaboration will enable Aircom and iBwave to deliver in-building network coverage and capacity to mobile operators across major cities and urban centres.  This will help generate return on investment for existing network CAPEX through the profitable delivery of new and existing services.

"Mobile operators face an ongoing challenge ensuring sufficient network coverage and capacity is available to deliver a positive user experience to customers," said Darryl Edwards, CEO of Aircom.  "Converged indoor and outdoor coverage solutions play a key role in meeting user expectations, ensuring they receive strong mobile connectivity wherever they may be.  Our partnership with iBwave further strengthens our broad existing network planning offering and gives us more flexibility to evolve with the changing needs of mobile users wishing to access mobile services indoors."

"We are very proud of this new partnership with Aircom. We strongly believe that the new collaboration is not only in the interests of both parties, but also highly advantageous to global mobile operators.  Our focus is to deliver cost effective mobile capacity coverage to mobile users indoors while ensuring mobile operators are ready for future LTE network migration," says Mario Bouchard, President and CEO of iBwave.

Ciena, the network specialist, today announced that Bouygues Telecom, part of the Bouygues group, has deployed the CN 4200 FlexSelect Advanced Services Platform across France to expand the operator's broadband DSL aggregation and transport network as well as increase capacity to support rising volumes of mobile traffic.

Bouygues Telecom is said to be one of the top three mobile operators in France and, in addition to its 3G mobile network, which covers more than 80 percent of the French population with a high-speed mobile broadband service, it also offers fixed line and DSL services throughout the country.

CN 4200, part of Ciena's Packet-Optical Transport portfolio that addresses any transport network requirement and offers a variety of service and interface options, allows Bouygues Telecom to cost-effectively support new voice, video and data services for both its business and consumer customers. In addition, CN 4200's dynamic optical programmability - driven by its FlexiPort technology - supports the operator's future service and capacity needs by providing the ability to scale and reconfigure the transport network on demand in direct response to the evolving needs of its customers.

Francois Locoh-Donou, VP and general manager of Ciena in the EMEA region, said: "The introduction of new services and growing subscriber numbers are putting increasing pressure on service providers to operate more efficiently and lower costs without compromising security and performance. By selecting CN 4200, Bouygues Telecom has secured improved efficiency, infrastructure scalability and improved reliability of its fixed and mobile networks for the delivery of data-rich end-user applications, ensuring its ability to continue innovating and adapting to its customers' evolving requirements."

Designed to allow wireless operators to deploy commercial location-based services quickly, Andrew Solutions has introduced the new standalone GeoLENs Secure User Plane Location (SUPL) Platform.

"SUPL has become an important and attractive architecture for location-enabling wireless networks given its ease of implementation through bypassing the access network signaling dependencies," said Martin Dawson, director, Mobile Location, Andrew. "Commercial location-based services can be provided without the cost and complication of implementing control plane location interfaces in the network."

Andrew's new GeoLENs SUPL Platform is based on a standalone server compliant to the Open Mobile Alliance's SUPL 1.0 standard, which utilizes the user plane for providing the location of a mobile device. The benefits of using SUPL for determining location are said to include easy integration into operator networks, offering immediate high-accuracy location capabilities with minimal investment in network infrastructure. The GeoLENs SUPL Platform has already been deployed by multiple Tier 1 operators to support commercial LBS, says Andrew.

"Our development and deployment of a standalone SUPL Platform is in response to operator requests for such a solution," said Dawson. "The versatility and adaptability of the GeoLENs location solution paired with Andrew's expertise in location technologies helped us respond quickly to this market need."

Andrew says it was one of the first vendors to recognize the potential of SUPL and has been offering the capability in its GeoLENs portfolio for a number of years. This is the first time, however, that the company is offering a standalone SUPL configuration for wireless operators who need SUPL-only functionality. SUPL-based location allows operators to provide their subscribers location-based applications even when roaming as it operates independently of the capabilities of the visited access network.

While SUPL can offer a quicker, cost-effective way to deploy commercial LBS, control plane location capabilities are typically needed for meeting E-911 requirements and enabling security applications. Andrew believes its comprehensive GeoLENs Mobile Location Center supports the widest range of positioning capabilities available from a single vendor including network-based, control plane technologies.

SUPL determines location by using radio measurements made by the mobile device from cell towers, Wi-Fi, and GPS signals. SUPL calculates location based on knowledge of such radio network sources and topology, and it can also provide GPS assistance data to the end device. Andrew's GeoLENs SUPL Platform enables operators to locate mobile devices that are SUPL-enabled over a secure data connection using a variety of positioning technologies including Cell ID, Enhanced Cell-ID, and A-GPS.

Andrew also operates a SUPL interoperability testing program with handset vendors to ensure interoperability between GeoLENs and mobile devices, lowering the cost of deployment for wireless operators. The enormous surge in smartphones and location-aware applications is significantly increasing activity in this program as operators explore quick, cost-efficient methods for supporting high-accuracy location throughout their networks. The upcoming SUPL 2.0 standard will enable operators to provide location in LTE networks, offer geo-fencing applications that allow operators to target users in specific geographic areas, and support other powerful features.

Andrew's GeoLENs SUPL Platform is available now globally, with SUPL 2.0 LTE functionality planned for 2011.

Telecom Italia, Italy's main communications service provider, is undertaking a trial of LTE, in collaboration with Nokia Siemens Networks, in selected city areas of Turin, Italy.

With the 4G mobile network, TIM says its customers will be able to access services such as high definition video streaming, video conferencing, online gaming and many other multimedia applications for smart devices.

Nokia Siemens Networks' end-to-end offering for LTE comprises its Flexi Multiradio Base Station, as well as its Evolved Packet Core (EPC) technology, which consists of the highly-scalable Flexi NG (Network Gateway) and Flexi NS (Network Server).

According to a new study from Juniper Research, LTE 4G mobile networks will provide businesses and consumers with dramatically increased speeds and capacity to combat the effects of the mobile data traffic explosion such as network crashes. However, only 1 in every 20 subscribers will benefit,  it concluded.

With the rate of LTE network commitments at an all time high, the 4G LTE report forecasts that the number of LTE mobile broadband subscribers will exceed 300 million globally by 2015. Most of this growth will occur from 2012 but mobile operators are preparing now as rapidly increasing data traffic from mobile apps and mobile internet usage forces them to react.

Report author Howard Wilcox explained: "Although 1 in 20 globally is low overall, in fact our research found that usage levels will be significantly higher in other regions such as North America where it will be closer to 1 in 5 as major operators plan rollouts in the next 6 months."

Juniper's extensive primary interview programme pinpointed several hurdles that LTE needs to overcome in order to succeed. For instance, LTE needs to avoid the mistakes of 3G and ensure that suitable devices are available when networks are launched.

Further findings include:

·  LTE's main markets will be the developed nations of North America, Western Europe, the Far East and China, which together will account for 90% of the market by 2015.

·  The industry is looking for answers regarding new business models that will replace existing data plans.

ZTE, a global provider of telecommunications equipment and network solutions, today announced a contract with Telenor Hungary, a subsidiary of one of the Telenor Group, to build a GSM/UMTS/LTE network in Hungary. ZTE will provide the company with radio and core infrastructure over the next five years, including its industry leading End-to-End and Uni-RAN solutions.

"As part of our vision of a Digital Hungary, we predict a growing need for simple- to-use, value-for-money mobile communications services across Hungary, especially mobile broadband and we now see that the time has come to switch to the next gear and take the lead in providing even faster and even more reliable services to our customers," said Anders Jensen, CEO of Telenor Hungary.

ZTE will switch, expand and operate the GSM/UMTS/LTE network and deploy over 6,000 base stations, including LTE eNodeBs throughout the country. With its SDR-based solution, ZTE will help Telenor Hungary achieve a unified 2G/3G/LTE core network, supporting multi-mode and multi-band wireless services. This technology eliminates the need for further infrastructure upgrades, providing the operator with the flexibility to roll-out new services and a smooth evolution path to LTE.

"This agreement with Telenor Hungary marks another major breakthrough in the European market for ZTE's Uni-RAN technology and further cements our partnership with Telenor. With ZTE's unified network, Telenor Hungary will have the flexibility to upgrade its network as new services are rolled-out, preparing it for the imminent 4G era", Kenneth Fredriksen, GM of ZTE's Telenor Business Unit.

ZTE has previously built unified GSM/UMTS/LTE networks for Telenor in India and Montenegro. It follows progress in the Portuguese, German and Belgium markets. ZTE has to date rolled-out 7 LTE commercial networks and over 50 LTE trials distributed in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific areas.

Mobile broadband is driving overall take-up as fixed broadband penetration remains static, says Ofcom in latest Communications Market report.

Almost three-quarters of UK householders now have access to the Internet, according to latest figures from Ofcom, and the majority (71%) of the 73% use broadband technologies such as DSL or cable.

According to the Communications Market report from the regulator, fixed broadband take-up is now 65%, while mobile broadband is slowly ramping up users with 15% take-up. The proportion of households with mobile broadband as their only broadband connection increased from 3% of all households in Q1 2009 to 6% in Q1 2010.

Indeed, Ofcom comments that mobile broadband is now a key driver of broadband growth: overall broadband penetration grew by three percentage points but fixed penetration remained unchanged from the previous year. Almost a quarter of adults (23%) also access content online on their mobile phones.

"In Q1 2010, 23% of adults used mobile data services, up from 20% in Q1 2009. Among 15-24s, use of mobile data services rose to 45%," said Ofcom.

As for how people now use the Internet, Ofcom said social networking now accounts for almost a quarter (23%) of all time spent largely due to the growth of Facebook. In May, Facebook had 25 million unique users in the UK.

Overall telecoms retail revenue fell by 2.6% in 2009 to £30.4 billion, however. This was in spite of a 7% increase in mobile call volumes and a 25% rise in the number of text messages. Data usage over the UK Internet infrastructure was estimated by Ofcom to have increased by 68% in 2009, and data volumes over mobile networks increased by 240%.

Ofcom commented that revenue fell due to the first year-on-year decline in mobile voice revenue (down 3.5%) combined with a small fall in fixed-line Internet access revenues and an acceleration in the decline in fixed-voice revenues.

What's more, average household spend on telecoms services fell by 3.7% to £62.10 in 2009. This represented 3.0% of average household spend, down from 3.2% in 2008, with most of this drop being due to falling mobile prices, Ofcom commented.

Overall, household spend on telecoms services has fallen by over 13% in real terms in the past five years, despite a 10% increase in call volumes (fixed and mobile) and 50% growth in the number of internet connections over the same period.

The average cost of a residential fixed-line broadband connection fell by a third between 2005 and 2009, even though speeds have increased. The average monthly cost was £13.31 in 2009.

In the mobile services market, nearly one in three mobile connections were using 3G at the end of 2009, as total 3G connections increased by 39% during the year to 25.5 million.

The InterLab Software System developed by 7 layers has been chosen by the CDMA Certification Forum (CCF) for its new CCF Test Plan Database. InterLab offers consistent data and process management, thus securing global access to information needed for CDMA certification and improving the overall test and certification experience. CCF members can now generate test plans for CDMA devices automatically via the Internet, thus easing the certification process and ensuring global compatibility.

The goal of the CCF is to enable its members to automatically generate device-specific test plans that are in accordance with the latest CCF certification requirements. The system is also used as an online platform for technical working groups that are jointly developing and maintaining test specifications and providing the latest versions to CCF members. These test specifications provide the basis for up-to-date CCF test plans including all relevant certification criteria available via the web.

"The InterLab Software System is capable of efficiently supporting a seamless requirements verification management process for complex high-tech products. When used with all its capabilities, InterLab can connect requirements management, test plan generation, test execution and reporting. It can easily be implemented into existing processes while corresponding software and test systems can be integrated to the InterLab platform. This way InterLab provides a high level of automation and a location independent test process", says Carsten Kuhfuss, Project Manager of the InterLab Business Unit of 7 layers. "The InterLab driven CCF Test Plan Database ensures process consistency. It allows the CCF to easily manage the update of test specifications and test plans as well as the generation and administration of vendor specific test plans."

"InterLab was chosen because it offers convenient web-functionalities and integrates easily into our existing processes" explains Jerry Carr, Quality Manager for CCF. "The CCF certification administration as well as CDMA test laboratories and CDMA product manufacturers are seeing great benefits in using this tool, such as the fact that the automatic generation of test plans ensures the consistency of the test plans used by CDMA vendors." 

As comScore reports growing usage of the Twitter social networking service, and more people are spending even more time online, Gartner issues dire warnings about the environmental impact of data centres, PCs - and ultimately the Internet

We are all spending more time online: not only has the Internet become an integral part of many people's working lives, but some of us would simply not be able to do our jobs without it.

Now the Internet has wormed its way into our private lives, with social networks abounding. We have Facebook "friends" we don't even like, and your worst enemy can find out what you are up to via Twitter. It's pretty scary if you think about it.

But the Internet is like a drug: Nokia's Charmaine Eggberry, who until recently was a key figure at Research in Motion, was right to describe the always-on BlackBerry messaging devices as "CrackBerrys" because of our ongoing addiction to being online and contactable all the time.

Twitter is fuelled by the same desires, and usage of the social networking service is growing exponentially. According to latest figures from the comScore research company, almost 93 million unique Internet users aged 15 and over visited in June - a rise of 109% over the previous year. This even excludes usage of Twitter-based applications such as TweetDeck.

The highest penetration, perhaps somewhat unexpectedly, is in Indonesia, where 20.8% of all Internet users visited Twitter in June. Brazil and Venezuela were next in line.

" has experienced an explosion in global traffic over the past year, establishing itself as one of the most-visited social networking sites across each of the five worldwide regions," said Graham Mudd, comScore vice president, search & media, in a press statement. "Today nearly three out of four global Internet users access social networking sites each month, making it one of the most ubiquitous activities across the Web."

An analysis of the five major global regions by comScore revealed that Latin America experienced the strongest audience growth, surging 305% to 15.4 million users. Asia Pacific ranked as the second-fastest growing region, climbing 243% to 25.1 million visitors. The Middle East and Africa jumped 142% to 5 million visitors, while Europe soared 106% to 22.5 million visitors. North America, where Twitter has reached a higher maturity level than other regions, saw a growth of 22% to nearly 25 million visitors in June.

Smartphone usage is also driving Twitter adoption in the US and Europe: comScore said in the US, 8.3% of smartphone users (4.2 million people) accessed in a month, while in Europe the overall average was 2.8% of 1.7 million smartphone users.

The message is hard to ignore: Internet-based applications that allow people to easily communicate with each other are in heavy demand and usage is likely to keep on growing both at work and at home. Such applications also increasingly include video, and indeed videoconferencing software or telepresence is on most company agendas as they seek to cut costs and reduce their carbon footprint.

Not so fast, says research and analysis company Gartner. To be able to use the Internet we rely on PCs, mobile devices and of course data centres to store those cumbersome but necessary things, servers.

It's no secret that data centres can be unwieldy beasts that still need some tinkering to get their CO2 emissions under control. But the picture painted by Gartner looks even worse than most people probably realised: according to Gartner, data centres account for 23% of global ICT emissions, while the ICT industry as a whole produces 2% of global CO2 emissions, "placing it on a par with the aviation industry".

So slashing long-distance travel in favour of long-winded telepresence meetings suddenly looks less like the greener option...

Even worse, Gartner says PCs and monitors account for a whopping 40% of ICT emissions. And the situation is set to get worse as data centre emissions are rising even more quickly that PC emissions.

"Not enough attention has been paid to reducing the data centre's carbon emissions," observes Rakesh Kumar, research vice-president at Gartner, in a press release. "Data centres account for such a large portion of ICT CO2 emissions for three main reasons: There is a lack of floor-space, a failure to house high-density servers and increased power consumption and heat generation. These three issues will affect the cost of running a data centre. For example, Gartner predicts energy consumption of microprocessors alone will rise for the next ten years."

Kumar provides several suggestions to help contain the situation. It's to be hoped that companies and Internet service providers all over the world have already got some more sustainable policies in place if the situation is not to get any worse very soon...

Redknee, a provider of business-critical billing and charging software and solutions for communications service providers, today announced the closing of its acquisition of Nimbus Systems, a privately-held company that specializes in next generation billing, content settlement and customer care. Redknee announced its intent to acquire Nimbus Systems on July 30, 2010.

Caroline Chappell, Analyst at Large, Heavy Reading commented: "The acquisition of Nimbus Systems by Redknee reiterates how the real-time billing and customer care space is becoming one of the most dynamic domains in the industry today. As the world continues to converge towards 3G and 4G networks, the need for robust end-to-end offerings in real-time billing and customer care becomes more urgent as service providers look to drive data revenue and increase profitability."

The technology and product synergies between Nimbus Systems and Redknee's will see the full integration of Nimbus Systems' solutions into Redknee's product portfolio. It will provide a broader set of offerings to Redknee's customers as they upgrade or replace legacy systems in order to migrate to next generation billing, charging and customer care platforms. Redknee and Nimbus Systems' independently developed software, which includes open APIs, will ensure that Redknee's solutions can be fully integrated into any existing billing systems and are flexible and scalable to the evolving needs of service providers. In addition, the expanded product portfolio will enable service providers to launch more services, while reducing OPEX and time-to-market.

Lucas Skoczkowski, Redknee's CEO commented: "We are excited to announce the closing of this acquisition. We believe that the combined customer base, domain expertise and product portfolio of Redknee and Nimbus Systems will bring new opportunities to accelerate growth and increase our revenues and earnings. As we integrate Nimbus Systems, we will look to cross-sell each-others offerings to our existing combined customer base, while being able to offer new customers a broader range of products and services. In the future, Redknee will consider expanding into new geographies and extend our target markets around our core platform of monetization and customer care management."

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.