Greg Galitzine : Greg Galitzine's VoIP Authority Blog
Greg Galitzine

WiMAX

VocalTec Announces Customer Wins

February 24, 2009

For those who have been around the VoIP industry for some time, the name VocalTec is synonymous with the industry's earliest days. VocalTec is a true VoIP pioneer and many even credit them for creating the first commercial products that put VoIP on the map. As with anything, origins are often debatable, but there is no denying that the company played a pivotal role in the first days of this industry.   Having gone through its own financial troubles, amid regional and more broad economic downturns through the years, in addition to the evolution from H.323 to SIP, VocalTec saw its star dim and went through a period of restructuring, but is slowly and steadily making its way back into the limelight of the IP communications space.   Just today the company announced that VMB, a carrier in St. Petersburg, Russia, has selected VocalTec solutions for its VoIP network rollout.   And, last week, VocalTec announced that Amatole Telecoms, a South African USAL (Under-Serviced Area License) service provider, had selected VocalTec's Essentra VoIP solutions in a VoIP deployment over Amatole Telecoms' WiMAX carrier-grade, converged IP network. 
  According to the announcement, VocalTec's Essentra solution will support Amatole Telecoms' requirement to provide customers with innovative residential and enterprise services, over a next-generation network architecture, enabling the provision of subscriber services at reduced cost, while enhancing service flexibility as well as the rapid deployment of value-adding services and applications.   It's good to see the name of a one-time high-flier back in the news, announcing customer wins no less.   The company will be releasing its fourth quarter and full year 2008 results on Monday, March 2, 2009 at 10:00am ET. Mr. Ido Gur, the President & CEO of VocalTec will lead the call, and management will review and discuss the results, and will be available to answer questions.   Details, including dial-in information of the call can be found here.   Looking back to VocalTec's last reported numbers, for the third quarter (2008) we see that revenues for were $1.4 million.

Wireless Association Comments on Stimulus Plan

February 10, 2009

President Obama's economic stimulus plan passed its first hurdle today, clearing the Senate, en route to the House.   Among the many elements of the bill, there is nearly $7billion in available funding for the delivery of wireless broadband to rural areas.   Fred Campbell, the President of the Wireless Communications Association International issued the following statement:   "WCAI is pleased that the Senate stimulus bill includes $6.65 billion in grants for broadband deployment. As the only broadband platform that is capable of providing access everywhere, all the time, and at affordable prices, wireless broadband is essential to broadband connectivity, especially in rural areas.

In-Stat: WiMAX Market Strong, Yet Some Vendors Shrink from Opportunity

February 10, 2009

According to industry researcher In-Stat, "Broadband communications have become a crucial communications tool, so demand for mobile WiMAX technology remains strong."   But some vendors, especially those slow to migrate to the latest standards, might not be willing to wait around for that demand to translate into tangible sales.   "While the market for 802.16e will continue to grow, it does not mean happy days are here for every vendor," says Daryl Schoolar, In-Stat analyst. "In-Stat expects to see more infrastructure vendors pull back or leave the WiMAX market entirely. This is especially true for vendors that have been slow moving from 802.16d to the 802.16e standard."   According to the In-Stat research: ·         WiMAX base station revenues grew by 137.9% in 2008. ·         Global WiMAX subscriptions will be over 85 million by the end of 2013. ·         Deployments of 802.16e are contributing to the decline of sales in the fixed WiMAX standard, 802.16d.   Seems to me that this market opportunity is real and continues to evolve. With some vendors pulling out before the market matures, it appears that there will be more to go around for the remaining players that do hang in there.

The Bell Has NOT Rung on WiMAX

January 30, 2009

So there's been quite a bit of buzz this past few weeks about the potential demise of WiMAX.   First Nokia stopped production of their WiMAX device, then there was some news about Intel writing off their entire investment in the venture with Clearwire... It was covered all over TMCnet, but Rich summed it up nicely in his post: The Trillion Dollar Question - Is WiMAX Dying?   Now, LTE has its proponents and WiMAX has its detractors, but Carl Ford, writing on the 4GWE blog points out the following:   While many want me to point to LTE as the clear winner, I don't think this would be a sign of WiMAX's apocalypse. I instead see this as a prudent move on Nortel's part to emphasize the pieces of the solutions they own. Partnerships in Telecom are pretty easily forced by the carriers, and the real story is that no carrier is forcing Nortel to support WiMAX.   This maybe proof that WiMAX is in trouble, but it's more likely proof that the legacy Nortel customers are not looking for Nortel to go into new areas with them.   So I asked Scenna Tabesh, director of marketing communications for the WiMAX Forum, for some insight into the Nortel situation as well as the future co-existence of the two 4G approaches, LTE and WiMAX.

Alvarion Responds to Nortel Change of Heart

January 30, 2009

Alvarion -- playing the role of jilted lover -- is justifiably perturbed by the announcement yesterday that Nortel is "refining" their carrier focus. 

By refining, Nortel is saying that  the company "...has decided to discontinue its mobile WiMAX business and end its joint agreement with Alvarion Ltd."   Breaking up is never fun.   And so, in response to being jilted, Alvarion is reportedly "analyzing the details of actions it will take to mitigate the impact on its business, and expects to provide more information about these actions during its fourth quarter 2008 financial results conference call on Wednesday, February 4, 2009."   According to a release issued by Alvarion, the strategic agreement, entered into in June of last year calls for:   ...among other things, the resale by Nortel of the Alvarion platform of WiMAX access products and Nortel's contribution of resources and funding to accelerate Alvarion's development of its portfolio of WiMAX base stations. Under the terms of the agreement, Nortel is obligated to pay Alvarion for certain research and development services beyond Q4; however, collection of these payments is uncertain and subject to Nortel's creditor protection proceedings.     Alvarion is figuring out what the next steps will be, but in the meantime, President and CEO Tzvika Friedman is sounding all the right notes:   We are obviously disappointed in the direction this has taken; however, Alvarion's industry position has never been stronger. In Q4, our WiMAX shipments, excluding Nortel, reached a record $54.4 million and WiMAX revenues were $42.3 million. Our book-to-bill remained well above 1, and we ended the year with over $140 million in cash on our balance sheet.   During 2008, we won numerous major WiMAX deals, both directly and with various partners.

Praise for LTE, WiMAX' Bad Week

January 9, 2009

  Market researcher ABI Research has released a new study that points to continued enthusiasm for LTE deployment.   Coming on the heels of a turbulent week for WiMAX (see: Intel's $950 million investment write-down and Nokia ceasing production of its only WiMAX device) it's a positive sign indeed for this 4G technology.   Now before we get carried away with the premature burial of WiMAX, it's important to note that Clearwire did light up a new city this week (Portland, OR) and has plans to start service in up to nine other cities in 2009. Let's wait before we get out the shovels.   Still ABI's report Long Term Evolution (LTE) draws attention to the fact that Verizon, (possibly sensing some blood in the water?) has reportedly moved up their LTE deployment plans by a year, from 2010 to 2009.   ABI notes that globally, 18 operators have announced LTE rollout plans.   Writing in the recent report, ABI Research senior analyst Nadine Manjaro said,   ABI Research believes that NTT will also deploy LTE in Japan in 2009. We forecast that by 2013 operators will spend over $8.6 billion on LTE base station infrastructure alone. For operators that have already deployed 3G networks, LTE will be a key CAPEX driver over the next five years.   Manjaro also notes that LTE application development could be a major driver of investment as operators explore which services to deploy.   As an example, Manjaro looks to Sprint and Verizon and their plans to provide third-party access to their GPS data.   The resulting new applications will tie mobility and presence aspects together to create more compelling services than in the past.

TMC, Ex-VON Team Join Up for 4G Event, Web Site

October 30, 2008

TMC and Crossfire Media announced they were working together to produce 4G Wireless Evolution, comprising a Web site, an event, and other media to address a growing need for information regarding the next generation of wireless.   4G is the fourth generation of wireless communications, which is expected to be implemented globally in the next 2-5 years, and which will offer significantly faster speeds and broader applications than current wireless networks can allow. The result will be an influx of new technologies and a significant increase in the number of customers using wireless communications for a wide variety of uses.   The 4G Wireless Evolution Conference is the first event dedicated to 4G technologies, and will take place February 2-4, 2009 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.   Industry watchers will note that this collaboration brings together some familiar faces, working together for the first time. In fact, over the past several weeks, the TMC team of Dave Rodriguez, Michael Genaro and I have been meeting with our counterparts at Crossfire Media: Scott Kargman, Joann Varello and Carl Ford to hash out the details of the partnership and to build the conference program and the Web sites. It's amazing to see all that hard work come to fruition today with the official launch.   Of course, now the work truly begins to make 4G Wireless Evolution the industry's #1 resource for all things 4G.

TelcoBridges at WiMAX World

October 3, 2008

I know Rich already mentioned earlier that he stopped by to speak with Gaetan Campeau and the rest of the TelcoBridges team at WiMAX World, but I too had the pleasure of sitting down to hear what they were doing at this event.   Building on the high-availability Toolpack announced at ITEXPO, I learned that the company sees a great opportunity in WiMAX.   "We see very few voice solutions in WiMAX," Campeau told me.   "In WiMAX, since most deployments are by new service providers, they need a platform that can grow along with them," he added.   It's true that most WiMAX deployments are starting small, be it citywide, or covering small regions. Not too many nationwide deployments yet....   So for these carriers, they either offload voice to a competitor and not realize revenue, or they can deploy a voice solution like TelcoBridges and keep the revenue.   Campeau explained that increasing the ARPU is key for these operators. With the usual data ARPU running at around $45, adding voice can generate an increase of up to $23 on average. Per user.   That's good math, especially in the light of today's economic news.

Off to WiMAX World

October 1, 2008

I'm heading out on my way to WiMAX World, in Chicago and I'm looking forward to the series of meetings at the event.   As I mentioned in yesterday's blog entry, the wireless sector holds some promise, even in the face of the current economic ... "condition."     Take for example yesterday's long awaited launch of Sprint's XOHM next-generation 4G wireless network based on mobile WiMAX technology in Baltimore.   Said Barry West, president of Sprint's XOHM business unit, "This is truly an historic day with the birth of a completely new Internet-based business model that alters the dynamics of the traditional telecom industry. Wireless consumers will experience WiMAX device and XOHM service innovation on multiple levels as the computer, Internet, telecom and consumer electronics industries converge to redefine wireless mobility."   I'm looking forward to learning about more exciting news coming from the wireless sector.   Time to board...        

Updated WiMAX Stats Released

July 7, 2008

According to the latest WiMAXCounts Quarterly Report from Maravedis, the global BWA/WiMAX subscriber base increased by 260,246 in the first quarter of 2008, reaching a total of 1,988,246 subscribers

"Even with an increase of more than 19% in WiMAX subscribers in the first quarter of 2008, operators are still waiting for the tipping point that will lead to acceleration of WiMAX adoption and deployments," said Adlane Fellah, CEO and founder of Maravedis. "The key factors mainly center on certification of mobile WiMAX equipment, a reduction in CPE pricing and the emergence of a device ecosystem."

Among the report's key findings:
• 65% of Operators are already commercial, 14% are trialing, 9% are planning their launch, 10% have idle spectrum and 2% have returned/lost spectrum.
• Clearwire USA remains the top operator in number of subscribers, with an estimated 443,000 subscribers in the United States at the end of Q1 2008, an increase of 12.5% compared to the 394,000 subscribers reported in Q4 2007.
• The split by subscriber type among WiMAXCounts operators was 65% residential and 35% business.
• Motorola remains the leader in equipment deployed for both BWA/WiMAX CPEs.



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