Displaying items by tag: Hong Kong

ZTE’s share price nosedives as it resumes trading

Written on Thursday, 14 June 2018 08:26

Chinese telecommunications behemoth ZTE has seen its share price plummet by a whopping 39% following the resumption of its trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange. The Chinese vendor was able to resume trading after it reached a resolution agreement with the United States.

ZTE looked set to go out of business following the decision by the US Commerce Department to prohibit American companies from selling crucial hardware and software components to it for a period of seven years.

US officials implemented the ban after it claimed ZTE had failed to make the changes to its Board of Directors after being found guilty of trade violations with Iran and North Korea in 2016. However, following protracted negotiations between Beijing and Washington a settlement deal was finally reached which allowed ZTE to resume business in the United States.

The telecommunications colossus may have been saved but that didn’t stop its share price from nosediving by 39.22 to HK$15.56 during Hong Kong morning trade - while it also plunged by its 10 percent daily limit to 28.18 yuan in Shenzhen.

Fiscal analysts have predicted that whilst the nightmare for ZTE may be over with the US, the company will have to deal with the consequences of that saga for a significant period of time.

Analysts Edison Lee and Timothy Chau said, “While the nightmare is now over, ZTE will likely have to deal with many changes. We expect significant near-term selling pressure and a volatile stock price."

The ZTE crisis was a major issue during trade talks between the US and China, and the Trump administration were able to use that as leverage in the discussions. The ZTE settlement came just days after Beijing offered to increase purchases of US goods by $70bn in an effort to cut the yawning trade imbalance with the US.

It has been reported that Trump has demanded a $200 billion reduction in its trade deficit with China over two years.

“The US agreement with ZTE with fine and change of management, in other words, is a political deal," said analyst Dickie Wong at Kingston Securities. "If the US didn't 'free' ZTE in this way, US companies would find it very difficult in any moves in China, including decisions on mergers and acquisitions," Wong added.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Hong Kong-Americas (HKA) submarine cable contract signed

Written on Sunday, 11 February 2018 11:53

The Hong Kong-Americas (HKA) consortium and Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) have signed a turnkey contract for the deployment of the Hong Kong-Americas (HKA) submarine cable network, which will span more than 13,000 kilometers.

This new open cable system will increase connectivity between Hong Kong and the US and will reinforce Hong Kong’s role as a key communications hub in the Asia-Pacific region. The HKA consortium includes China Telecom, China Unicom, Facebook, Tata Communications, and Telstra as the major parties.

The HKA system will feature six fiber pairs and will connect Chung Hom Kok in Hong Kong to Hermosa Beach in California; additional connectivity options may be exercised in future. Its open design will deliver significant cost benefits as well as enhanced bandwidth availability for telecommunications services and content-based services between Asia and North America. Target completion date for the HKA System is in the year 2020. 

Chung Hom Kok Cable Landing Station is located at Chung Hom Kok in the central island of Hong Kong and is the southernmost cable landing station in Hong Kong. Three cables of the C2C Network land at the Chung Hom Kok Cable Landing Station. In addition, the Southeast Asia Japan cable system lands at this station. The station is owned by Pacnet (Telstra) with Pacnet and China telecom Global providing backhaul.

Leveraging its state-of-the-art subsea technology, the ASN solution will deliver greater diversity of connections, enhanced reliability and network efficiency, as well as enabling optimal connectivity between major data centers in Asia and the USA.
The solution includes ASN's submarine WSS ROADM units, the latest generation of repeaters and will offer high performance and powering resilience, enabling over 80Tb/s transmission capacity. In addition, it is also compatible with future generations of submarine line terminal equipped with Probabilistic Shaping technology.

Philippe Piron, President of Alcatel Submarine Netwoks, said: "We are proud to work with the HKA consortium on this project, which incorporates several innovations from ASN and will be based on the latest high-performance submarine line design. The trust placed upon us by the HKA consortium validates our position as a key player for submarine network infrastructures in the Asia-Pacific region and the reinforcement of our local presence.”

Piron added: “It also provides a strong platform to further demonstrate our commitment in project management and in the development of local relationships to support operators and content providers for their network and capacity expansion strategies."

Telstra said it would invest in a half fiber pair on the Hong Kong Americas (HKA) cable. Telstra said it would also purchase capacity equivalent to 6 terabits per second on the Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN), which like HKA will stretch from Hong Kong to the west coast of the US. Google and Facebook are also backing the PLCN.

The PLCN will have a total capacity of around 120 terabits per second and include 12,800 kilometers of fiber. The cables will offer lower latency than the Asia-America Gateway (AAG), which connects South-East Asia to the west coast of the US via Guam and Hawaii.

“Together with the current AAG cable on which Telstra carries the most traffic today, these two investments will provide us with increased capacity across the important Hong Kong to US route, one of the fastest growing routes in the world for capacity demand,” Telstra’s group managing director of global services and international, David Burns, said in a statement.

Published in Infrastructure

Ericsson and SmarTone, the leading mobile network operator in Hong Kong, are trialing FDD (Frequency Division Duplex) Massive MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) technology as part of the operator’s network evolution plan towards 5G.

The trial, involving FDD Massive MIMO on 1800 MHz, represents the first of its kind for operators in Hong Kong. It is proving the capabilities of this key technology ahead of the live deployment in 2018 of AIR 3246, Ericsson’s new radio that can support Massive MIMO over 4G/LTE with Ericsson’s 5G Massive MIMO Plug-In.

“We are working closely with SmarTone to develop, trial, and deploy key 5G technologies that will further enhance the user experience,” said Nishant Batra, Head of Product Area Network Infrastructure, Ericsson. “The recent LAA field trial, and now the trial of FDD Massive MIMO, enables us to jointly shape the next-generation network technology.”

Massive MIMO is a key technology that bridges network evolution from 4G to 5G, adding intelligent capacity and boosting user experience. Massive MIMO on FDD yields a multi-fold increase of network capacity and increase user throughput by up to five times, boosting performance for end users.

“Our extension of the strategic partnership with Ericsson in October last year includes a five-year network evolution plan towards 5G,” said Stephen Chau, Chief Technology Officer of SmarTone. “This trial represents a significant milestone in our collaboration, and reinforces SmarTone’s leadership in the network evolution journey.

Chau added, “Ericsson’s FDD Massive MIMO solution will play an instrumental part in providing our customers in dense urban environments with enhanced user experiences they have come to expect from SmarTone.”

Ericsson has recently launched its first radio, AIR 3246, supporting FDD Massive MIMO for both 4G and 5G. The technology enables operators – especially in metropolitan areas – to bring 5G to subscribers using today’s mid-band spectrum and boost capacity in their LTE networks.

Published in Telecom Operators

Ericsson and SmarTone, the leading mobile network operator in Hong Kong, are trialing FDD (Frequency Division Duplex) Massive MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) technology as part of the operator’s network evolution plan towards 5G.

The trial, involving FDD Massive MIMO on 1800 MHz, represents the first of its kind for operators in Hong Kong. It is proving the capabilities of this key technology ahead of the live deployment in 2018 of AIR 3246, Ericsson’s new radio that can support Massive MIMO over 4G/LTE with Ericsson’s 5G Massive MIMO Plug-In.

“We are working closely with SmarTone to develop, trial, and deploy key 5G technologies that will further enhance the user experience,” said Nishant Batra, Head of Product Area Network Infrastructure, Ericsson. “The recent LAA field trial, and now the trial of FDD Massive MIMO, enables us to jointly shape the next-generation network technology.”

Massive MIMO is a key technology that bridges network evolution from 4G to 5G, adding intelligent capacity and boosting user experience. Massive MIMO on FDD yields a multi-fold increase of network capacity and increase user throughput by up to five times, boosting performance for end users.

“Our extension of the strategic partnership with Ericsson in October last year includes a five-year network evolution plan towards 5G,” said Stephen Chau, Chief Technology Officer of SmarTone. “This trial represents a significant milestone in our collaboration, and reinforces SmarTone’s leadership in the network evolution journey.

Chau added, “Ericsson’s FDD Massive MIMO solution will play an instrumental part in providing our customers in dense urban environments with enhanced user experiences they have come to expect from SmarTone.”

Ericsson has recently launched its first radio, AIR 3246, supporting FDD Massive MIMO for both 4G and 5G. The technology enables operators – especially in metropolitan areas – to bring 5G to subscribers using today’s mid-band spectrum and boost capacity in their LTE networks.

Published in Telecom Operators

PCCW Global launches Online Cloud Connect to Microsoft Azure

Written on Tuesday, 31 October 2017 10:31

PCCW Global, the international operating division of HKT, Hong Kong’s premier telecommunications service provider, has launched the Online Cloud Connect service providing connectivity to Microsoft Azure.

This is an innovative Network-as-a-Service product that extends a customer’s MPLS network service to both Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Office 365, benefiting them by providing a service which is insulated from the public Internet with improved and predictable performance and vastly reduced latency.

The Online Cloud Connect service leverages the capabilities of PCCW Global's Software Defined Network (SDN) and is an evolution beyond traditional and existing cloud connect services in the market. Enterprises and institutions gain flexibility, scalability, reliable performance and control over their connectivity to the cloud to fit their requirements at any given time.

Mr. Jordick Wong, Senior Vice President, Product and Vendor Management, PCCW Global, said, “Through an intuitive, easy to manage online service portal, our MPLS customers can now establish their own private connection to Microsoft Azure very easily and conveniently.”

Wong added, “The service portal offers online ordering and automatic provisioning together with flexible subscription packages starting from as little as a one-hour timeslot. Customers can subscribe to the bandwidth they require from a range of 50 to 1000 Mbps at the point of demand, and pay as they go without any human interaction being required.”

The Online Cloud Connect service is in the process of further extending its online ordering and automatic provisioning capabilities to include other major public cloud service providers.

Hong Kong’s SmarTone successfully trials LAA with Ericsson

Written on Monday, 04 September 2017 07:01

Ericsson and SmarTone, the leading mobile network operator in Hong Kong, have taken a significant step toward 5G with the successful trial of Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) technology in a live over-the-air demonstration in Hong Kong.

LAA allows the use of unlicensed spectrum in the 5GHz band in combination with licensed spectrum. By doing this, subscribers get an enhanced mobile broadband experience with even more capacity and faster speeds while operators make efficient use of unlicensed spectrum resources.

“SmarTone is very pleased to have completed the first LAA trial in Hong Kong.  LAA is an important technological evolution that can combine licensed and unlicensed spectrum to provide LTE service,” said Stephen Chau, Chief Technology Officer of SmarTone.

“It will be widely adopted in the US and European markets in the near future.  We are very excited that with the support of Ericsson, our long-term technology partner, SmarTone has once again brought a groundbreaking technology to mobile users in Hong Kong and taken a great step further toward 5G,” Chau added.

SmarTone used one LTE 10MHz band aggregated with three 20MHz bands of unlicensed spectrum for the trial. Together with 4CC carrier aggregation, 4x4 MIMO and 256QAM technologies, the trial used a Qualcomm® SnapdragonTM X16 LTE mobile test device and Ericsson’s micro Radio 2205 for LAA, which is designed for unlicensed spectrum use and provides small dimensions, flexible mounting and superior performance.  Future enhancement of LAA includes 5CC carrier aggregation support in 2018, and allows the download speeds to exceed 1Gbps.

“LAA is a key evolution of mobile technology and we are pleased to be first in Hong Kong together with SmarTone to demonstrate the increased capacity, improved speeds and enhanced user experience through the combination of licensed and unlicensed spectrum,” said Petra Schirren, President of Ericsson Hong Kong and Macau. “Through the introduction of advanced technologies, such as LAA, we enable Gigabit Class LTE on the road to 5G.”

This latest news is a significant milestone for SmarTone and Ericsson, after the companies extended their partnership in Q4, 2016 to transform the operator’s network beyond 4G. It also adds to a slew of recent achievements using LAA from Ericsson on the road to Gigabit LTE.

LAA is a key technology as operators evolve their networks to achieve Gigabit LTE. The milestone requires more spectrum than what most operators have access to, and by opening up previously untapped resources of unlicensed spectrum using LAA, operators can deliver speeds once thought only possible over fiber. 

Published in Telecom Operators

PCCW Global, the international operating division of HKT, Hong Kong’s premier telecommunications service provider, is collaborating with Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, the leading OS for container, cloud, scale-out and hyperscale computing, and CPLANE NETWORKS, the leader in multi-site OpenStack cloud orchestration, to create new cloud services for its customers.

Implementation at PCCW Global’s two next generation data centers in Reston, VA, US and Hong Kong is currently underway, with plans to expand to other strategic cities around the world over time. Cloud services provided in these centers are designed to enable “self-service” provisioning to accelerate service deployment for customers as well as seamless integration with and easy consumption of existing PCCW Global integrated communications solutions.

Mr. Bret Rehart, Chief Network and Information Officer of PCCW Global, said: “As applications continue to move closer to the network edge, the demands for workload agility and mobility are becoming increasingly important for our customers. Customers have needs for new applications for NFV and Internet of Things (IoT) and want them faster, at the right location, and tailored to their specific needs.”

“Our aim is to provide dynamic network and cloud based services that not only automatically flex in response to our customers’ policies and service level commitments, but also self-adjust based on rapidly changing network conditions. The approach we have taken, working with Canonical and CPLANE NETWORKS, will enable us to deliver a level of performance, scalability and automation that would otherwise be unachievable with traditional service configuration solutions.”

The delivery of additional value-added services such as security, video or application suites can be easily added on-demand as well as integrated with connectivity to public clouds and other infrastructure to create enhanced, enterprise-level services, a truly hybrid private to public cloud offering.

Using Ubuntu OpenStack and CPLANE’s Multi-Site Manager, Canonical and CPLANE NETWORKS will deliver unmatched performance and scalability for a truly global OpenStack cloud. 

Canonical’s Juju Charms will also extend the Canonical / CPLANE OpenStack solution by providing an automated mechanism to deploy base OpenStack cloud services, and enables a full ecosystem of value-added services for enterprise and edge applications, NFV and IoT enablement.

Mr. Brandon Williams, Chief Executive Officer of CPLANE NETWORKS, said: “The two great market forces of today, the proliferation of mobile / IoT devices and the conquering wave of public clouds, are growing at a phenomenal rate. But they are growing apart; the first is becoming more distributed and fragmented while the latter is becoming cheaper and more centralized. Canonical and CPLANE NETWORKS have bridged this gap with a hyper-distributed cloud solution for service providers. PCCW Global will be the first to market with an edge-cloud offering for the applications that will power this new frontier.”

Mr. Anand Krishnan, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Cloud, Canonical, said: “Canonical in partnership with CPLANE NETWORKS is enabling PCCW Global to deliver new cloud services. These services will be supplied to the edge of the network, meeting customer’s growing need for services at scale and speed with the economic benefit of an automated OpenStack deployment. Using Ubuntu OpenStack, the most widely deployed OpenStack in production clouds today, and CPLANE NETWORKS’ Multi-Site Manager, Canonical and CPLANE NETWORKS are delivering unmatched performance and scalability for a truly global OpenStack cloud.”

Samsung Electronics recently increased its Samsung Pay application’s reach around the world by expanding in four markets over two days. Samsung Pay officially launches in Sweden and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and enters early access in Hong Kong and Switzerland.

With these market expansions, Samsung Pay continues to both bring mobile payments to new regions of the world and expand to new markets in regions where the service is already available. Launches in the UAE and Sweden showcase Samsung Pay’s first markets in the Middle East and the Nordics respectively, while Hong Kong and Switzerland demonstrate continued commitment and strength in Asia and Europe.

“Less than two years ago, Samsung Pay came to life in Korea with a simple mission: To empower customers with mobile payments that are simple, secure and available almost anywhere,” said Thomas Ko, VP and Global General Manager of Samsung Pay.

“Today, Samsung Pay is so much more. Our launches in different parts of the world demonstrate governments’ and consumers’ changing attitudes towards progressing to a cashless society. It is through the interest and support of our partners that we are able to answer their needs by offering Samsung Pay in these markets. We are incredibly proud of our rapid expansion and growth in such a short period of time, and look forward to bringing the most comprehensive digital wallet to all our users around the world.”

With the availability of the Galaxy S8 and S8+, users will be able to exclusively take advantage of several new features for an enhanced experience with Samsung Pay. In addition to the existing authentication methods, Galaxy S8/S8+ users can make use of iris scanning as a new form of biometric authentication to access Samsung Pay, enabling a secure, yet more convenient way to pay.

To continue the evolution to a digital wallet, Samsung Pay continues to expand its availability beyond smartphones by introducing Samsung Pay on the Gear S3 in three additional markets. Beginning in April, Samsung Pay is newly supported on the Gear S3 in Russia, Sweden and the UAE, in addition to the US, Singapore and Australia, enabling an even more convenient way for users to pay with their smartwatches. Details on additional Gear S3 support elsewhere will be available soon.

Published in Apps

PCCW Global, the international operating division of HKT, Hong Kong’s premier telecommunications service provider, and Caton Technology Corp. (Caton), a technology provider of advanced video transmission and managed file transfer solutions, will work together to deliver to international viewers the exciting 29th Summer Universiade, a global student sporting and cultural event to be hosted by Taipei, Taiwan in August.

Licenced broadcasters at the games will be able to contribute and distribute their live videos and big media files seamlessly from the International Broadcasting Center back to their home countries via the integrated delivery solution provided by this collaboration.

PCCW Global and Caton will jointly deliver new, innovative, cost-effective, and reliable services that redefine the workflow for global media contributions and distributions. PCCW Global will integrate Caton’s professional video transmission and managed file transfer solutions using Caton’s Real-Time Transport Protocol (R2TP*) and Fast Files Transfer Protocol (F2TP*) technologies, into PCCW Global’s reliable Global Television Network (GTVN) and Global Internet Access (GIA) networks.

These innovative technologies and service solutions will be installed and utilized at the 2017 Summer Universiade, a major international event staged every two years. Second only to the Olympic Games in significance and prestige, the Universiade covers 12 days of sporting competition, allowing university student-athletes from all over the world to celebrate with the host city in a true spirit of friendship and sportsmanship. This year’s competition will involve a total of 22 sports and 270 gold medal events. More than 150 countries are expected to participate in the Summer Universiade, confirming its status as a major media event with global connections.

Mr. Jordick Wong, Senior Vice President, Product and Vendor Management, PCCW Global, said, “We are extremely excited about our collaboration with Caton, which gives us another opportunity to serve international broadcasters with our robust global fiber infrastructure which delivers 99.999% service availability to our customers. By integrating Caton’s R2TP and F2TP technologies with our GTVN and Tier 1 GIA network, we are able to provide services with a perfect balance of cost, quality, reliability, and lead-time for live video signal and large media file delivery over the Internet.”

Mr. Eric Hamilton, Chief Operating Officer, Caton Technology Corp., said, “In 2011, Caton foresaw the need for dramatic improvements in how we support the surging demand of video on the Internet. We developed R2TP and F2TP technologies to enable more flexible, stable and reliable transmission even under the most demanding conditions. Now, building on our long standing partnership with PCCW Global, our combined solution will provide additional capacity, reliability and security to the global market.”

These integrated solutions are now available from PCCW Global and ready to service world class sports events, such as the Universiade, other live events, and worldwide media content contributions and distributions.

Published in Telecom Operators

PCCW Global, the international operating division of HKT, Hong Kong’s premier telecommunications service provider, and Ideal Systems, Asia’s largest broadcast and media systems integrator, have successfully delivered the world’s first live 360° and 3D multi-camera coverage of the 2017 Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens with the support of Now TV, the official host broadcaster of the event, providing viewers with a totally immersive virtual reality (VR) viewing experience.

PCCW Global’s expertise in live mega event management and new media technology delivery, together with Ideal Systems’ broadcast solutions and virtual reality expertise, enabled the team to deliver this complex solution in less than six weeks from project initiation.

The collaboration involved Ideal Systems delivering the content acquisition using a number of pitch-side Nokia OZO 360° cameras. These cameras provided a UHD IP signal which was delivered over HKT fiber to Nokia servers in the control room, to facilitate live stitching from each of the cameras’ eight 2K lenses to create multiple stitched 3D UHD streams.

These 360° audio and video streams were switched and passed through to the Harmonic Electra VS encoders for delivery to the PCCW Global media delivery network. Six streams were routed from the stadium for live distribution by Now TV to consumers’ mobile devices, PCs and VR headsets, including Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vive, Zeiss VR One Plus and Google Cardboard via YouTube 360.

The challenges of real-time live VR streaming compared to traditional TV revolve around the complexity of dealing with data rates which are significantly larger and more demanding on the delivery networks - with close to 6Gbps of uncompressed video coming from each OZO Live Server. By way of comparison, reports from Broadband Forum suggest that even basic VR video requires 17 times the bandwidth of normal HD video.

From Ideal Systems’ side, the project involved its live production teams for the on-site set up and live “stitching and switching” production. It also involved Ideal Systems’ software development department, which developed and published the downloadable apps utilizing the Nokia OZO API for the VR headsets and provided onsite network security and publishing platforms.

Mr. Mike van den Bergh, Chief Marketing Officer of PCCW Global, said, “This world’s first delivery of a complete source-to-screen solution for immersive 360 VR viewing was one of the most exciting projects our team has been involved in, because while it truly showcased our innovation and media delivery capabilities, it also tested our abilities fully, leveraging as it did both our extensive experience in delivering mega sports events, and our ability to successfully put such a complex solution together in a very short space of time.”

Mr. Jim Butler, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ideal Systems Group, said, “We are very excited to be on the bleeding edge of this next wave of broadcast innovation and are honored to have been chosen as the 360 VR partner by PCCW Global. We had no play book to go by and are writing the rules as we go. It is a bit daunting to be first, especially with an event of this magnitude and duration. We are delighted that it has been such a successful project for us and PCCW Global and ultimately Now TV’s viewers.”

Published in Internet of Things
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