Displaying items by tag: Telecommunications

Saudi Telecommunications Company (STC) has announced the imminent launch of “Jawwy from STC,” a new digital mobile experience, becoming one of the first telecommunications operators globally to design and develop a new mobile experience leveraging online and social media.

“Jawwy from STC” will feature its own SIM, app and freshly designed digital channels for sales and customer care. A key differentiator of the service - the Jawwy app - will allow users to build, share and manage their plan in real time, instead of buying fixed plans. The app also offers many unique features including real time contextual offers and notifications, and a simple way for customers to activate services without calling customer support or visiting a store. The app will be available in both iOS and Android versions. The service has been in private beta testing since December 2015.

Once Jawwy from STC is available during May 2016, interested customers may order their SIM card online and have it delivered to their door. The customer care model is also digital-first, featuring self-help, online, social and peer-to-peer support. A “Jawwy from STC” SIM will be necessary to use the service, but customers will be able to keep their current numbers.

“We designed a new end-to-end experience to meet the needs and preferences of a new generation of mobile users, utilizing digital means to bypass physical challenges,” said Subhra Das. “The new service provides an in-app, web-based mobile experience featuring personalization, transparency, e-commerce and crowd sourcing of support, and will be available in both iOS and Android versions.  Jawwy will offer real experience innovation because we challenged ourselves to transcend category norms by designing more customer-first ways of buying, using, care and the overall experience.”

The Kingdom has one of the world’s highest penetration rates of smartphones, social media and online platforms. This has led STC to adopt new approaches to better meet the evolving needs of young, digitally-savvy customers. Saudis under the age of 30 comprise around 65% of the population, and this proportion is set to increase further in the future.

Published in Telecom Operators

SFR, a global operator holding prime positions in all of France’s telecommunications market segments, from consumer to B2B, local authorities and wholesale, is set to become France’s leading content operator by combining telecoms, advertising and media. The company announced the acquisition of Altice N.V.’s 49 percent minority stake in NextRadio, acquired in December 2015 as part of its strategic partnership with Alain Weill, CEO of NextRadio.

NextRadioTV is a benchmark operator in the French information ecosystem, focused on mainstream news, sports, business, high-tech and discovery. NextRadioTV operates powerful businesses and media brands such as BFMTV and RMC (France's fourth TV group and fourth radio station, respectively, in terms of audience), as well as RMC Sport, RMC Découverte, BMF Business, 01net.com (6 million unique visitors monthly) and BFMTV.com (4 million unique visitors monthly). NextRadioTV also owns a minority interest in the Numéro 23 channel.

The proposed transaction values NextRadioTV at an enterprise value of €741 million. The interest in NextRadioTV is acquired by SFR at cost relative to the original price paid by Altice N.V.

SFR also announced that it has entered into negotiations to acquire Altice Media Group France, a leading diversified and profitable media group in France, which publishes more than 20 major national titles, including iconic and well-known brands such as Libération, L'Express, L'Expansion, L'Etudiant and Stratégies.

Altice Media Group France operates an international news channel - i24 News - and has positioned itself as the second largest operator in the French digital press sector. In addition, Altice Media Group France is a leading event organizer: its Salon de l'Etudiant trade fair, in particular, has attracted 2 million visitors annually for more than 30 years.

The proposed transaction values Altice Media Group France at an enterprise value of €241 million. Both transactions represent a unique opportunity to develop SFR into a true cross-media content publisher, capitalizing on a highly diversified portfolio of premium brands. The acquisitions support SFR's business strategy by accelerating the deployment of the global convergence of telecoms, media/content and advertising. The two proposed transactions were approved by SFR's Board of Directors on April 26.

Published in Telecom Operators

Evolution of the Connection

Written on Friday, 01 April 2016 06:26

Past predictions forecasted technology to take over our lives, and the best way to counter it would be to understand this science so well that it would not dominate humanity. This prediction reached the telecommunications industry, which has been speedily connecting both machines and humankind.

The future is in mobile broadband. By the end of this year, there will be almost 386 million LTE connections around the world, and by 2020, this number will leap to over 2.3 billion. This means that 27 percent of the predicted 8.4 billion mobile connections will be running on 4G technologies by 2020.

In terms of consumption, the Cisco Visual Networking Index predicts that by 2018, monthly global mobile data traffic will surpass 15 exabytes; that is 1.8 GB per connection per month with more than half of that over LTE. Even industry players like Nokia expect to be helping operators to deliver 1GB to every subscriber every day.

Every ten years the industry goes through a technological change, where a new generation of technology will be rolled out. Here comes the role of vendors in driving innovation; they are responsible for developing, installing, maintaining and upgrading that infrastructure to meet demand. Capitalizing on their R&D investment, the vendors must convince the operators to buy the latest generation of equipment.

On the other side, as we witness the commercial maturity of LTE, future developments seem far away but worth holding out for, like 5G. The Japanese carrier, NTT Docomo, farmed out contracts to several vendors in order to pilot 5G technologies. It is worth mentioning that Japan, like South Korea, has a very advanced mobile market and although it is not among the firsts to deploy new technologies, it sees very rapid adoption and subsequent saturation. South Korea, however, is expected to have a 5G network available for the Winter Olympics in 2018 and commercial offerings by 2020.

Additionally, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Fujitsu, NEC, Nokia and Samsung have all been selected to work on a 5G proof of concept system, using the 15GHz frequency band for the air interface as well as explore the potential of millimeter wave technology in the 70GHz spectrum band.

With 5G having undefined standards at present, the focus is on access network technologies as an evolution to what has been seen in LTE and LTE-Advanced.

Nowadays, the evolution in mobile connection has defined the new generation and standard; each standard brought with it major attributes, such as 2G for mobility and roaming, 3G for multi-media service and 4G for full IP and greater spectral efficiency. It is obvious that future wireless broadband will be provided not by one standard, but by a combination of several standards and technology families with 3G, 4G and 5G becoming the pillars of future broadband service. With 4G developments, the industry's key focus was on capacity, but with 5G, the key focus is expected to be on capacity density.

Usually, a real world device has about six radios built into it and around three are active at any time. WiFi, cellular and Bluetooth are good examples. So it's feasible that the device would be able to connect to multiple radios at once in order to increase capacity, operating on a dynamic application. Therefore, when every user gets their own cell, there are no limitations on bandwidth, and one subscriber's usage doesn't hurt anyone else's usage of the spectrum because everybody is reusing the same spectrum. Moreover, to increase the capacity on wired networks, the carrier would simply add another wire. But to increase the capacity on wireless networks, the carrier simply adds another access point.

In this regard, Japan's NTT Docomo is following up its 5G trial announcement with the successful virtualization of the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) in joint verification tests with Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco and NEC to support the functions required for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV).The purpose is to enable faster delivery of new telecom services and boost performance by applying virtualization technology to EPC software that takes on LTE data communication functions. The test results, according to Docomo, have confirmed EPC's ability to adaptively boost processing capabilities through controls from the system that manages EPC.

An EC funded organization, METIS, the Mobile and Wireless Communications Enablers for the Twenty-twenty Information Society, is a European consortium aiming to lay foundations for 5G through collaboration across telecommunications manufacturers, network operators, the automotive industry and academia.

Essential services that include eBanking, eLearning and eHealth will see an avalanche of mobile and wireless traffic volume, according to METIS. The communication between humans and machines that requires accessing and sharing information efficiently and safely will drive traffic.

Although LTE is providing a glimpse of the availability of ubiquitous broadband and despite the lack of 5G standards definition, new breakthroughs are being made in access technology. IT innovations are primed to change networks from the core through the use of SDN and NFV.

Apparently, mobile networks are changing and 5G is not only expected to act as a driver for development in the telecom sector, it will also be the force for deeper integration with other industry verticals. It is clear that the telco world's evolution is changing the way we interact, but the question remains: Will the future evolve around more connected machines than connected humans?

Published in Reports

Adel Bazerghi: President of BCE Nexxia on Wholesale Services

Written on Tuesday, 05 January 2016 05:45

Active Telecoms recently visited with Adel Bazerghi President of BCE Nexxia, A Bell Canada Company, and Senior Vice President of Bell Canada Wholesale. This is such a growing market that we felt readers would appreciate hearing Adel’s insights into this business.

He brings more than 30 years of telecommunications experience and expertise to his new role. In this capacity, Adel is focused on driving growth for wholesale telecommunications services in Canada, the US and internationally through new market opportunities and strengthened relationships with clients and partners.

Since joining Bell Canada in 2001, Adel has led technology and product development in mobile voice and data services. In his previous position as Bell Mobility’s Senior Vice President, Products and Pricing, he was instrumental in driving Bell Canada’s leadership in wireless services. In addition to his present BCE Nexxia / Bell Wholesale role, Adel serves as Senior Vice President of Marketing for Bell Business Markets. Adel is recognized for his deep business knowledge and outstanding technological expertise in both wireline and wireless services.

The following are some of the questions and answers from our discussion:

Adel, can you please tell us about Bell Canada’s wholesale operations?

Bell Canada is the country's largest telecommunications company and our wholesale customers represent a full range of service providers, including national and international inter-exchange carriers, local exchange carriers, wireless service providers, resellers and Internet Service Providers.

We have a highly focused and knowledgeable wholesale team that is dedicated to helping our customers grow their markets and expand their reach into Canada from key US meet me points as well as across Canada from within the country.

In the US and internationally, we supply services to our customers through BCE Nexxia, our US-based subsidiary. As part of Bell Canada, we offer our customers access to Canada’s most expansive coast to coast to coast network, connecting the largest number of enterprise locations across the country.

Our customers have access to a full range of IP broadband services, voice and SIP solutions as well as hosting services. We also provide access to a team of technical experts for “hands and feet” deployment and maintenance of network equipment.

We also partner with leading vendors to provide network equipment to our customers. Our goal is to provide a one-stop shop to our customers for all of their connectivity, hosting and professional services and network equipment needs. This is an important value add for our customers as they can quickly expand their network reach into and across Canada with minimal upfront capital expenditures while relying on the reliability of the Bell Canada network and the expertise of a highly skilled 24/7 help desk support team.

Can you tell us about the North America network?

Bell Canada has a North American fiber-optic network with route and Point-of-Presence redundancy to ensure secure and reliable connectivity services to our customers. Our availability on our core network is 99.999%, with no single point of failure and multiple diversity options. We offer, by far, the most fiber to buildings in Canada, with over 5.5 million kilometers of fiber along 75,000 kilometers of routes in Canada and links to more than 33 carrier hotels and data centers in North America.

Our US meet me points are located in Seattle, Chicago, New York, Minneapolis and Ashburn, Virginia. They serve as convenient, cost-effective gateways into Canada and provide cross connection into each location.

What are the network expansion plans for North America?

Bell Canada will continue to focus and expand our fiber network and we have plans to further expand our Ethernet footprint across Canada. We will also continue to enhance our IP VPN and Wavelength services to meet the evolving needs of the marketplace.

Please tell our readers about your use and growth of Ethernet connectivity?

Ethernet is a key component of our wholesale business. Over the years, we have made significant investments to our Carrier Ethernet service to extend our reach in both Canada and the US.

Our solution is certified by the Metro Ethernet Forum, and we have made aggressive expansions to our footprint in Canada through our fiber-build access strategy. This strategy effectively helps us expand our on-net presence and is allowing us to further extend our national reach from coast to coast to coast.

This year we expanded our Ethernet service to the east with the privatization of Bell Aliant in Atlantic Canada. This acquisition allows us to offer our partners seamless Ethernet service in the east and the west.

We also continue to focus on our network capabilities in the US. We have established Ethernet-enabled points of presence in multiple locations on the east and west coasts of the US, including Seattle, Chicago, New York and Ashburn, Virginia. The meet me points serve as convenient gateways into Canada.

Please tell us about your Canadian Network differentiators?

Our fiber network is second to none. It is the most extensive network in Canada and one of the most advanced, spanning coast to coast to coast. We offer cost-effective services in both metro areas and in the most remote regions of Canada, allowing customers to seamlessly connect their locations across the country.

The Bell network offers low-latency, point-to-point access and supports mission-critical applications. The Bell network supports approximately 80 percent of all network traffic in Canada and reaches 99% of people and businesses across the country.

Bell Canada is known as the “trusted solution provider” in Canada. Can you please tell us more?

In addition to the benefits of our network, featuring an expansive, secure and redundant footprint, we are proud of the various teams at Bell that are dedicated to supporting our wholesale customers.

We work in a consultative manner with our customers to ensure we understand their business objectives and meet their stringent requirements. Our Sales teams along with our customer sales engineers develop solutions tailored to meet the specific business needs of our customers. Our technical support team is certified to the most stringent industry standards and is available 24/7.

We offer a wide range of flexible bandwidth choices with multiple classes as well as innovative diversity options. Moreover, we offer customers competitive service level agreements and various redundancy packages so that they can focus on growing their markets while we focus on their network requirements.

When customers work with Bell, they have peace of mind in working with a company with a track record spanning more than 135 years of providing secure, reliable network services backed by a highly skilled team.

Adel, can you please tell us about your future plans for the wholesale group?

The wholesale business is competitive and changing. In 2016 and beyond, we are expanding our efforts and focusing on new high bandwidth, low latency market opportunities including over the top providers, the gaming industry and other industry segments.

This will require us to look at our business model and find new ways to organize ourselves to meet the business needs of these new customers.

We may evolve as a business, but what has brought us success will remain constant – our robust and redundant network, our various dedicated teams and the investments we make in our networks and services.

Published in Interviews

Hong Kong-based PCCW Global, who provides the latest voice and data solutions to multi-national enterprises and communication service providers, has reportedly entered into a long-term partnership agreement with Keppel Data Centers Holding to co-develop and market an international carrier exchange in Hong Kong.

Keppel Data Centers is a joint venture between Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation (Keppel T&T) and Keppel Land. It will work in collaboration with PCCW Global, which is the international division of major operator HKT, to complete the carrier exchange. Both PCCW Global and Keppel Data Centers are themselves subsidiaries of Singapore-listed Keppel Corporation.

“We are happy to partner with PCCW Global for our investment into the Hong Kong collocation market, which benefits from the city’s status as a key telecommunications and financial hub, as well as its connectivity to other hubs in Singapore, Amsterdam, London and Sydney,” said Keppel T&T CEO, Thomas Pang about the partnership.

“The expansion of Keppel’s data center footprint to Hong Kong is another step towards creating a data center value ecosystem that goes beyond collocation to providing value-added services and connectivity for our valued clients,” Pang further added.

According to reports, the carrier exchange will be fitted to Tier III specifications in order to ensure uptime of up to 99.982%. Construction of the carrier exchange is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of this year.

According to Telecom Asia, the new carrier exchange facility will: “offer connectivity-related managed services to facilitate interconnects.” It will be located in the same building as the Hong Kong point of presence for the 100Gbps Asia-Africa-Europe 1 subsea cable, which is also expected to be ready for service in Q4.

In addition, the building will connect to PCCW Global’s backhaul network to link the international carrier exchange to numerous subsea landing stations. This allows for the exchange to be used as a gateway to China.

Published in Telecom Vendors

IDC forecasts spending on public cloud services in the Asia Pacific region excluding Japan (APeJ) to grow at a 22.9 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) - almost six times the rate of overall IT spending growth - from nearly $7b in 2015 to $15b in 2019, exceeding its predicted growth rate of 19.4 percent CAGR for the global market in the same period.

Employees of all Fujairah's government departments and their families will be privileged with world class voice and data services from du. As part of a recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by His Excellency Mohammed Khalifa Al Zayoodi, director of the Human Resources Department in Fujairah, and Marwan Thani, vice president Government Sales at du. The telecommunication company will provide a host of telecommunications services to all Fujairah government entities based on their unique requirements, including national data plans and special rates on calling with the latest smartphones.

Published in Telecom Operators

Saudi Telecom takes controlling stake in Kuwait's VIVA

Written on Wednesday, 03 February 2016 05:51

STC said it has raised its share in VIVA to a controlling stake after acquiring 25.8 percent of shares for $425 million.

STC, the largest Arab telecommunications firm in terms of capitalization, had held a 26-percent stake in VIVA since its establishment in 2008 and was running the company.

Published in Telecom Operators

Integrated Telecom Company (ITC) stands as one of the leading telecom providers in Saudi Arabia. Based in Riyadh, the company has grown into one of today’s fastest-growing telecom companies, offering next-generation solutions for broadband, interconnection, and satellite services for businesses, consumers, and wholesale segments of the Saudi market.

Published in Satellite Industry

As communication technology continues to rapidly adapt and progress, the ITU Radiocommunication Assembly (RA-15) provided an insight into the future of radiocommunication technologies to enhance connectivity and accessibility worldwide; with an introduction to IMT-2020 (5G), Internet of Things, small satellites, and accessibility.

Published in Reports
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