AT&T, Sprint Duke It Out for Push-to-Talk Subs
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AT&T, Sprint Duke It Out for Push-to-Talk Subs
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) will try to attract Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S) iDEN customers who find themselves decommissioned from Sprint's push-to-talk network (P2T) by opening up pre-registration for a P2T offering that AT&T's expected to launch in November.Sprint, meanwhile, counters that 1 million of these customers have already upgraded to its CDMA network's Direct Connect service.AT&T and Sprint announced their respective P2T news in dueling press releases Tuesday. Both carriers are one-upping the basic walkie-talkie-like P2T service with additional features like group chat, mobile apps, presence and text messaging.AT&T will offer six handsets at launch, and its service works over both its 3G HSPA network and its small but growing Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. Companies are invited to sign up for AT&T's early access program, which lets them pre-register and buy discounted P2T smartphones or start a beta version of the service -- free of charge -- until the actual launch.Sprint has been working on switching its iDEN customers over to its year-old Direct Connect service for months now, as it shuts down its 2G network. The carrier says that its CDMA network now offers three times greater coverage than the legacy iDEN network.Sprint said 60 percent of the total subscribers who left the post-paid Nextel platform last quarter signed up for its Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM)-powered CDMA service, up from 46 percent in the first quarter. Its entire iDEN network will be decommissioned as early as June 30, 2013.Why this matters LTE is Sprint's biggest priority right now, and shutting down its iDEN network will give it more spectrum to deploy the 4G network. But it can't afford to keep losing customers in the process. Migrating them to its CDMA network will be an important but more difficult task now that competitors like AT&T are putting on the full-court press. Sprint started with 20 million iDEN customers, but said in April that it's already down to less than 6 million.
Euronews: Russians Turn On LTE TDD With NSN
Nokia Siemens Networks , Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) (NYSE: MBT) and Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) lead us off in today's charge through the EMEA telecom headlines.MTS is officially launching what it says is Russia's first Long Term Evolution Time Division Duplex (LTE TDD) network, offering downlink speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s in and around Moscow. Nokia Siemens Networks, the sole radio access network and packet core systems supplier for the LTE TDD network, has migrated the operator's entire network from WiMax, pressing into service 2,200 multi-technology base stations. (See MTS Launches LTE TDD With NSN, NSN Claims LTE TDD Speed Record, Euronews: Russia's Ready for LTE and Russian Into LTE TDD .)The carrier trend towards customer experience management (CEM) systems continues, with Telefónica calling on Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)'s Customer Experience Assurance package to address network quality problems for its mobile broadband customers worldwide. (See Telefónica to Deploy HP's CEM Software and Carriers to Pump More Cash Into CEM.)Scandinavian giant TeliaSonera AB (Nasdaq: TLSN) is anxiously awaiting the revelations of a TV program, due to be screened today, which examines its dealings with Takilant, a company in Uzbekistan from which it purchased a 3G license, frequencies and number series. The operator says it will comment on the programme's claims tomorrow, so watch this space.BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) has signed a five-year deal with NCR Corp. for the latter to supply "delivery and integration services" for BT's multi-vendor Converged LAN Connect and IPT offerings aimed at BT enterprise customers worldwide. The value of the contract was not disclosed. (See BT Gets Integration Help From NCR.)France's four main mobile operators have reached an agreement with the city authorities in Paris over the proposed installation of more masts, reports Reuters, potentially paving the way for 4G services. Concerns from environmentalists about the possible effects of mobile radio waves on the health of Parisians had apparently put a stick in the spokes of the 4G bandwagon there.Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s decision to go with a different charger on the new iPhone 5 looks like it has seriously dented the fortunes of Volex, a U.K.-based supplier of power cords for electronic devices. The Daily Telegraph reports that shares in Volex fell 28 percent on Tuesday after it announced that profits would be flat because of an unexpected drop in demand from its largest customer in the consumer sector, which analysts believe is Apple.U.A.E.'s Etisalat has sold a 9.1 percent stake in XL, an Indonesian mobile operator, for AED1.8 billion (US$490 million). Etisalat retains a 4.2 percent stake in XL. (See Etisalat Sells XL Stake.)
Huawei Boasts SDN-Enabled Router
Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. gave the software-defined networking (SDN) sector and its poster-boy protocol OpenFlow yet another shot in the arm today with the announcement of SDN-enabled routers, which are being targeted at carriers that need greater flexibility and efficiency in their IP networks as packet traffic volumes continue to increase.Huawei says its new virtual routing platform (VRP) product, based on a "large capacity hardware platform," features a "centralized control plane and software-defined forwarding plane, enabling operators to build a SDN-ready network featuring fast service deployment, better resource utilization, and open interface for third party application support."The vendor claims the router, which supports OpenFlow, will enable operators to introduce new services quickly and cheaply because the routers can be easily adapted to manage any new service without the need for any new forwarding hardware. In addition, claims the vendor, end-to-end path calculation can be achieved using a centralized controller.For IP core networks, the vendor says its routing-as-a-service (RaaS) enables "control plane distribution and virtualization across chassis and across devices, achieving high-speed forwarding and high reliability." Huawei also boasts a 480Gbit/s forwarding line card on the core router, claiming to be the first to offer such capacity.The vendor notes that its NE40E core router already supports the OpenFlow 1.2 protocol and has undertaken interoperability tests managed by the Open Networking Foundation .In the metro router version, the packet forwarding function is separated from the service processing function, with the latter managed centrally using SDN tools. In the access network, Huawei is promoting the use of network virtualization tools to simplify the management of multiple devices.The announcement comes only weeks after the Chinese vendor outlined its views about how SDN could play a role in carrier networks. It also comes about three months after Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) unveiled its software-based router and about four months after Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) said it had integrated OpenFlow into its routers and switches. (See Huawei Talks SDN, Cisco's Software Router Targets the Cloud and Brocade Sets an SDN Plan.)
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