Stampede of companies hoping to get new telco operating license (& hence the spectrum) in India

More than 500 companies have applied for new telco operating licenses in India. AT&T was one those who applied just before the closing bell for applications.
If AT&T should get the license, it would set the stage for a battle royale between it and Vodafone for a share of the world's fastest-growing cellular market.
AT&T's wireless unit, the former Cingular, is of course already in a death match in the United States with Vodafone because Vodafone owns 40 percent of Verizon Wireless. An extension of that battle to India, where cellular-phone use is growing at an estimated eight million subscribers per month, thus would have the industry worldwide on the edge of its seats.
Just to make things even more interesting, Sistema, the owner of Russia's largest wireless carrier, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), also has applied for an Indian cellular license. There's also some suspicion that, buried in the pile of 500 applications, are papers from proxies for other Tier One cellular players on the world stage.
While DoT is scratching its head over how to decide which of the applicants should get licenses - it hadn't expected to need a process to sort through hundreds of applications. Planning is said to center around a two-stage procedure, most likely the initially weeding out those whose goal is to get a license simply to resell it, instantly becoming quite rich in the process.
What the flood of applicants wants is what's called a Universal Access Services Licence (UASL). Such a license, though, doesn't come with any spectrum; that will be a separate - and potentially expensive - issue. Indeed, there are said to be more than 20 Indian companies that last year were allowed to buy licenses, but they aren't in the cellular business yet because they haven't gotten any spectrum.
At this point, the Indian authorities haven't said exactly what spectrum they eventually will put on offer, although the widespread expectation is they will be looking at channels for 3G and possibly 4G service offerings.
In an almost identical arrangement, Vodafone is paired with India's Essar Group - having bought the Hutchison Telecommunications International Limited (HTIL) stake in what had been Hutchison-Essar earlier this year (TelecomWeb news break, Feb. 12). Vodafone-Essar, though, already is a licensed cellular carrier in India - with Number Three market share as is Idea, sitting in the sixth spot. In all, there are 13 wireless competitors in the market (10 of them offering GSM, three CDMA and one both), although most do not have licenses and spectrum that cover the entire country.
The list of applicants is known to include at least eight major real-estate firms in India.

New "Tilt" in the enterprise phone segment

BlackBerry , iPhone and now Tilt. AT&T is launching new enterprise segment phone. This has not been one of my favorite topics, but the enthusiasm raised by iphone has forced me to look into the features of new "Tilt". We might soon have them in India (Provided DoT acts fast on new applications for licences)

The new "Tilt" phone from AT&T, that may be available in mear future may become the next enterprise phone that may also fit the bill (unlike ipone).
AT&T says the Tilt is its first Windows Mobile 6 smart device, featuring a slide-out QWERTY keypad, a 3-megapixel camera, 3G data speeds from AT&T's UMTS/HSDPA-based BroadbandConnect network and complete global connectivity.
Windows Mobile 6 Tilt users get "the familiar look and feel of their desktop computers at home or in the office," the carrier says, enabling them to view e-mail in their original rich HTML format with live links to Web and Microsoft Office SharePoint sites. All Windows Mobile 6 devices include Microsoft's Direct Push Technology for e-mail delivery and automatic synchronization of Outlook calendars, tasks and contacts through Microsoft Exchange Server. Especially important to enterprises, Windows Mobile 6 offers important device security and management features, including capability to remotely wipe all data from a device should it be lost or stolen, thus helping to ensure that confidential information remains that way.
In addition to Microsoft Direct Push, the AT&T claims its Tilt will be "the first Windows Mobile device in North America to include BlackBerry Connect v4.0 software, which provides BlackBerry e-mail service, security and device management for IT administrators and the benefit for users of wireless synchronization of e-mail, calendar, contacts, task list and memo pad information." BlackBerry Connect v4.0 supports push e-mail for Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Domino and Novell GroupWise through the BlackBerry Enterprise Server and personal e-mail through the BlackBerry Internet Service.
Customers also can use the Tilt to access personal e-mail through AT&T's Xpress Mail service. By completing five steps, AT&T customers can set up their Xpress Mail accounts and begin getting personal e-mail from most major POP3/IMAP personal e-mail services pushed to their AT&T Tilt at preset intervals. They also can sync their calendars, access contact lists and view attachments.
Designed by HTC, which really has been putting itself out there this year at wireless industry shows, the AT&T Tilt also features a 2.8-inch color screen that slides back to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard, and then it "tilts" up to position the screen for reading or creating e-mail, browsing online, using applications or just playing videos and games. The Tilt supports Bluetooth 2.0, allowing as many as six Bluetooth devices to be connected simultaneously to the device; Bluetooth Stereo also is supported.

In addition, the AT&T Tilt features the latest version of TeleNav GPS Navigator that provides GPS-enabled turn-by-turn voice and on-screen driving or walking directions, colorful 3-D moving maps and traffic delay alerts with one-click rerouting. The new GPS version also includes address sharing that allows users to share their current locations or the location of their favorite businesses with other mobile users. Business users have access to TeleNav Track, a mobile workforce-management solution that includes GPS-enabled tracking, time sheets, wireless forms, navigation, job dispatching and bar-code scanning.

Regarding the mobile enterprise need for speed, with 3G broadband speed connectivity across the globe and tri-band UMTS/HSDPA capabilities, the Tilt can operate in Japan and South Korea along with the more than 135 countries in which AT&T offers UMTS, EDGE or GPRS international data roaming. For voice, AT&T says road warriors can make or receive phone calls in more than 190 countries
In the States, the Tilt can connect to AT&T's BroadbandConnect network in more than 170 major metropolitan areas, and coverage outside of 3G service areas is available via AT&T's EDGE network where available. Wi-Fi connections are supported by the 802.11b and g frequencies, and enterprise users can use the Tilt to link to corporate wireless LANs or home Wi-Fi networks.
The new phone is pretty affordable at $299.99 after rebate; customers are held to a two-year contract. Unlimited monthly data plans for corporate e-mail are $44.99 with a voice contract. Data plans for personal e-mail, begin at $29.99 a month for 20 MB; that price reflects a $5/month discount for voice and requires that an eligible wireless voice plan be activated and maintained on the same device (limited to one discounted price per eligible voice plan, the carrier says). AT&T also offers an international data plan for the Tilt -- 20 MB in nearly 30 countries -- for an additional $24.99 a month. TeleNav GPS Navigator is available for additional monthly charges of $5.99 for 10 trips and $9.99 for unlimited trips. TeleNav Track service plans range from $12.99 to $21.99 for each device.
In a related product announcement across the border, Rogers Wireless in Canada says it is increasing its presence Windows Mobile market with the introduction of the Palm Treo 750 smartphone and the MOTO Q 9h. The carrier also announced a free online Windows Mobile 6 upgrade for the HTC S621. In support, Rogers launched an ad campaign earlier this week raise enterprise awareness about how Windows Mobile-based applications help mobile professionals stay productive while away from the office.
"The Canadian converged mobile device market has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years registering 56 percent year-over-year growth in 2006. This has been fuelled largely by Canadian organizations' need to improve employee effectiveness by helping them access company information," says Eddie Chan, research analyst/Mobile/Personal Computing & Technology at IDC Canada. "The availability of high-speed connectivity, combined with the familiarity of the Windows-based platform in a mobile environment, such as Windows Mobile 6, can help organizations and their employees realize the benefits of a mobile solution."

(The features have been sourced ffrom telecom news break story)

Enterprise solutions - AT & T launches 1 Gb/s bandwidth on demand

AT & T's business arm has launched a 1 Gb/s bandwidth on demand offering, as part of its year-old optical mesh offering, for its enterprise and wholesale customers.
The Optical Mesh Services offering lets customers reallocate bandwidth as needed by increasing or decreasing network capacity in what AT&T calls "near real time." It also lets enterprise customers build and self-administer their own SONET networks using the AT & T BusinessDirect customer portal.
AT&T said that the new 1 Gb/s speed is available at 275 locations around the country linked by what it calls its Intelligent Optical Network - a self-healing network with claimed five nines reliability.
A dynamic Layer 1 service helps companies trying to solve the dilemma of build versus buy. An on-demand optical solution with as much needed bandwidth is a compelling solution for mission-critical business applications with zero tolerance for downtime, as well as for business continuity.

Battle won for Wimax - ITU Accepts IEEE 802.16 as a 3G Standard

The IEEE 802.16 has been accepted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as the sixth technology that it has accepted as a 3G wireless standard. The move has caused celebration in both the WiMAX and WiBro communities - both of which are based on 802.16 variations.
WiMAX/WiBro/802.16 join rival technologies W-CDMA, CDMA-2000 and TD -SCDMA in the ITU's IMT-2000 3G spectrum standard.
Technically the ITU has accepted what it has termed "IMT-2000 OFDMA TDD WMAN," a specification "based on a normative reference to IEEE Std 802.16. In other words, IEEE Std 802.16 is now part of the IMT-2000 family. WMAN, is short for "wireless metropolitan area network," which is the real name for 802.16, as set by the IEEE. Put another way, the ITU didn't accept WiMAX. It accepted WMAN. WiMAX, as defined by the WiMAX Forum, is "based upon the harmonized IEEE 802.16/ETSI HiperMAN standard.
South Korea's WiBRO is a mobile form wireless broadband also based on 802.16 and that may even some day be compatible with what's emerging as mobile WiMAX.
Indeed, even Ambassador Richard M. Russell, the U.S. Representative to the World
Qualcomm has fought hard to keep 802.16 away from ITU acceptance whereas Intel has spent a large fortune promoting the technology so that it could break what it sees as Qualcomm's stranglehold on 3G.
One little caveat in the ITU action that at least some observers noted is that what the ITU approved was 802.16 as a Time Division Duplex (TDD) technology. That's fine for the attempt to craft a mobile WiMAX, which is based on TDD. However, the ITU didn't accept 802.16 for use in Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) bands, which account for an estimated 80 percent or more of all the licensed frequencies in the world.
On the other hand, the ITU approval specified OFDMA - Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access - the first time the ITU's done that. Many in the industry believe OFDMA will be a key technology included in the standardization of 4G wireless technology.

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