Thursday, January 29, 2009

Nokia Siemens Releases 2009 Connectivity Scorecard

Nokia Siemens Networks has released the 2009 version of its Connectivity Scorecard that was accompanied by a presentation. The study gives a score from 1 to 10 for 50 countries based on business and consumer connectivity. It gives a separate comparison for what it calls innovation driven economies and the resource and efficiency driven economies.
  • The U.S. is the leader of the innovation driven economies with a score of 7.71 and Poland was in last place with a score of 2.49. The median score was 5.37.
  • Malaysia is the leader of of the resource and efficiency driven economies with a score of 7.07 and Nigeria was in the last place with a score of 1.30. The median score was 3.60.

The conclusion of the study was that the innovation driven economies need to adopt a 21st century infrastructure and that the resource and efficiency driven economies need to take their infrastructure to the next level.

It is well worth taking a look at this presentation. It gives a fair assessment of where the industry stands on a global basis. The good new is that there is plenty for all of us to do, no matter where we are.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cisco Introduces Green Switches

Cisco introduced the Cisco EnergyWise technology for its Catalyst switches that measures, reports and reduces the energy consumption of IP devices such as phones, laptops and access points. It also announced industry partnerships along with a middleware acquisition that will enable the management of power consumption for entire building systems such as lights, elevators, and air conditioning and heating.

EnergyWise will roll out in three phases:
  • In the first phase (February 2009), Network Control, EnergyWise will be supported on Catalyst switches and manage the energy consumption of IP devices such as phones, video surveillance cameras and wireless access points.
  • In the next phase (Summer 2009), IT Control, there will be expanded industry support of EnergyWise on devices such as personal computers (PCs), laptops and printers.
  • In the final phase (Early 2010), Building Control, EnergyWise will be extended to the management of building system assets such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), elevators, lights, employee badge access systems, fire alarm systems and security systems.

This is an interesting approach that leverages installed switches and Cisco's industry position to address energy management in businesses. I will not be surprised if Microsoft comes up with a similar offering on its servers.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Inauguration Strains the Internet

The inauguration of President Barak Obama on January 20 put a significant strain on the Internet. There were reports of difficulties connecting to the broadcast.

Arbor Networks published and article that shows the traffic peak that occurred. Backbone traffic jumped by as much as 40 percent over a normal Tuesday.

This peak occurred with most people using lower speed streams intended for PCs. Think of what would have happened if this content were be delivered to HDTVs at 1080p resolution!

Beefing up the Internet to handle this kind of demand but of HD streams is the challenge that the major ISPs have to face to make Internet TV more than a side show. This experience showed that the Content Delivery Networks were effective in managing backbone traffic, where they were used. This leaves the metro networks. My report Telecom 2020: Transformation Strategies suggests that video needs to be kept at the optical layer in the metro networks to handle this kind of onslaught. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Is Comcast Cable Telephone Service VoIP?

The U.S. FCC has sent a letter to Comcast requesting clarification of its cable telephony service. It points out that Vonage or other Internet VoIP services can suffer degraded performance due to its recently implemented traffic management scheme. It also says that Comcast stated that its own cable telephony service is offered separately and will not be affected in the same way.

The letter ends by asking Comcast why its cable telephony service should be treated as an Internet VoIP service and exempted from the fees associated with circuit switched voice services.

It looks like Comcast is being hoist on its own petard. I don't think carriers should have it both ways. They need to treat Internet VoIP services equally to their own VoIP services.

Latvia to Offer 500 Mbps Broadband

Light Reading published an article that describes Lattlecom's plans to offer 500 Mbps broadband service by the end of 2009 that will grow to 10 Gbps over time. Lattlecom is the national carrier in Latvia and is a subsidiary of TeliaSonera. Lattlecom will use an FTTB approach and will bring fiber services to apartment buildings.

I think you have to be careful in evaluating this. It is not clear how much bandwidth will be provided from the apartment building to the network to support the service. While it is possible for a shared facility to provide high apparent speeds to individual users for most Internet applications, TV content will be much more difficult to support because it is deterministic in nature.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Verizon FiOS to Poach ATT Customers

Verizon is planning to expand its FiOS deployment in the Dallas, Texas area to cover homes now served by ATT. It will extend its fiber network a few miles to accomplish this.

I would like to think that this is a major push by Verizon into ATT's territory, but it is just a border skirmish. Verizon is taking advantage of communities that are close to its current network.

Verizon can do this in other former GTE territories such as Los Angeles and Los Gatos (a small community in the heart of Silicon Valley). Verizon would find strong demand for FiOS in both of these communities.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Free Adds 17 More VoIP Destinations

Free in France has added 17 more countries that its customers can call using its broadband VoIP service. It now provides free calling to 87 countries globally. These countries include major the Asian countries India and Indonesia as well as Colombia and Costa Rica in Latin America, Bahrain in the Middle East, and Georgia, Macedonia, and Albania in Europe.

Free arguably provides the most attractive broadband bundle globally with 24 Mbps Internet, IPTV, and free VoIP calling to 87 countries at less than 30 euros per month. (If anybody needs a telecom analyst in Paris, je peux parler Francais. (:-)

Seriously, I would like to better understand how Free does this. I assume that it is based on interconnect agreements that are not encumbered with usage charges. If this catches on with other carriers, it will cause a complete collapse of the long distance calling business model.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Cisco Introduces Connected Consumer Electronics Devices

Cisco introduced a line of audio and video connected media systems for consumers. At the same time Cisco introduced Eos software platform that lets content provider create web sites that can provide content to these systems. Cisco also announced a licensing program that allows other consumer device manufacturers to offer devices that can operate in this environment.

This announcement appears to be a major step forward in making the Internet the central source for entertainment media. Internet content will become very important during the next decade. The Internet will give the cable TV, the satellite TV, and the Telco IPTV providers a real run for their money.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

FTTH Broadband Stimulus Proposals

The U.S. Fiber to the Home Council has published an economic analysis of its proposals for including broadband deployment as part of the stimulus package that the U.S. government is currently considering. These proposals include tax incentives to support fiber to the home in urban and suburban areas and DSL in rural areas.

Including FTTH as part of the stimulus package could bring the U.S. into the 21st century with respect to broadband. The problem will be competing with other kinds of projects, such such as roads and bridges. The second problem will be to keep the focus on FTTH and not have the funding and incentives diverted to VDSL and other short term technologies.

Femto Cell Survey Article

Light Reading has published a nice survey article about the state of femto cell technology. Femto cells are likely to very important but are just getting off the ground now.