Archive for July, 2002


Thursday, July 25th, 2002

ABS will rollout a ‘state of the art’, ‘next generation’ broadband infrastructure not yet seen in Australia, or the Asia Pacific region. The Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSAT) technology allows for the fastest uplink currently available in Australia. With the ability to target various satellites at the one time, this infrastructure will provide excellent opportunities to deliver high-speed broadband into rural, regional Australia, and the Asia Pacific region.

ABS has identified the next generation technology to add to its current products and services. The technology enables two-way satellite links to the Internet via VSAT, allowing smaller terminals (1.2m in size) to emit sufficient power to transmit to the satellite eliminating the need for slow and costly return channel communications via land lines.

ABS currently provides broadband Internet connection services via one-way satellite connections. It currently services over 200 customers including large ISPs, schools, universities, hospitals, SMEs, corporates and government offices, providing fast connection to the Internet via satellite and return links via traditional dial-up, DSL, ISDN or cable links.

The next generation system is capable of supporting high bandwidth applications (eg video conferencing), is scalable from a low start point to significant numbers of remote terminals, will support the new open standard Digital Video Broadcast – Return Channel via Satellite (DBV-RCS), and is now in commercial use in Europe by Eutelsat. The feedback from this customer is extremely positive.

See also:

Australia – Broadband – HFC – MDS – Satellite

Australia – Telecommunications Infrastructure – Regional Infrastructure

-Global – Broadband – Internet – Ka-Band

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Slovak third GSM licence revoked – Sepember 2002

Monday, July 1st, 2002

Slovakia has revoked the GSM licence it issued in July 2002 to local ISP due to the non-payment by Profinet of the first instalment of the licence fee.

Slovakia has two incumbent GSM mobile operators, EuroTel and Orange Slovensko, both of which started operating services in 1997. Mobile subscribers are growing very strongly, with just over 87% annual growth to March 2002. The two operators are showing similar growth rates.

Slovakia has been planning a third GSM operator for some years. As long ago as August 1998, the then regulator, the Ministry of Transport, Posts and Telecommunications (MTPT), announced a tender for a new GSM-1800 licence. Two bids were received but the MTPT rejected them on the grounds that inadequate documentation had been submitted prior to the deadline. A second tender was announced in February 1999 and closed two months later but failed to attract any bids at all. Potential investors were thought to be deterred by uncertainty over interconnection arrangements as well as costs of installing the network.

Orange and EuroTel had protested strongly. They claimed that their networks, particularly in the Bratislava area, were already at the limit of their capacity and that they should be given access to the GSM-1800 spectrum. This resulted in the MTPT selling each of them a GSM-1800 licence for US$10 million each and delaying the third licence.

Plans were announced in September 2000 to award three UMTS licences by the end of 2001. A ‘beauty contest’ tender was eventually launched in January 2002 with a closing date of March 2002 for one 20 year combined GSM-900, GSM-1800 and UMTS licence at a fixed price of US$34.2 million, plus two further 20-year UMTS licences at US$33.86 million each. The closing date was extended twice, to May 2002.

Only one bid was received for the combined licence, from local ISP, The two incumbent mobile operators, Eurotel and Orange, were the lone bidders for the two further UMTS licences. The licences were awarded in July 2002 to the bidders.

From the date of the formal licence award, Profinet was required to launch a GSM service within six months and its 3G service within 30 months. The GSM network had to cover at least 20% of Slovakia’s population within 18 months. In August 2002 it was reported that Profinet had not paid the first instalment, one third of the fee for its licence, which was due. The remaining fee was to be paid by early December. In September the Telecommunications Office revoked the licence.

See also: Slovak Republic.

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Monday, July 1st, 2002

I feel vindicated about my broadband campaign. We now have 300,000 broadband users in Australia and I am very happy with this level of progress. It is working – people like it and are signing up. With the full marketing weight of Telstra behind it we are making good progress. I have spoken with all the players in this market, and have not met anyone who is not happy with their broadband results.

I had a demonstration of the Telstra self-install ADSL kit: it is nothing less than first-class – very easy to install and a great cost saver, especially for the member of the ‘no-techno-fear’ generation. They will have no problems using this kit.

I also understand that Telstra is working on a better ISDN price, something I have long argued for. If they want to treat broadband din a technology-neutral way, then they will have to align the prices of the various broadband technologies. Cable and ADSL are already aligned – ISDN is not. In Germany I observed at first hand the enormous success of ISDN, that country’s broadband entry technology. Over 35% of all Internet users there are on ISDN; another 10% on ADSL. True it remains an entry strategy, but it is a very acceptable one. The message for Telstra is to offer, not a stripped-off residential service, but a first-class, affordable ISDN service for both residential and SME users.

Other broadband news includes the Unwired Paddington launch, the wireless broadband consortium of CKW, the announcement of the NSW Broadband Access Group and several Wi-Fi (802.11b) wireless WAN initiatives (see below).

See also:
Australia – Broadband – xDSL
Australia – Broadband Market Stats and Forecasts
Australia – Broadband – Developments and Analysis 2002-2003

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Monday, July 1st, 2002

The processing of the Higher education R&D survey for the year 2000 was been completed by the ABS in 2002 and results have been released. Details of R&D expenditure and human resources devoted to R&D classified by type of expenditure, type of activity, location of expenditure, source of funds, type of employee, research fields and socioeconomic objectives are available.
Key findings included:
In 2000, Higher Education Expenditure on R&D (HERD) was estimated to be $2,775m at current prices, 9% higher than that recorded in 1998. In volume terms, HERD was 2% up on 1998.
HERD as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell to 0.41% in 2000, down from 0.43% in 1998. Australia’s HERD/GDP ratio remains relatively high when compared with those available for other OECD countries, being higher than those for the United States of America, Germany and France.
Most R&D expenditure by higher education organisations was directed towards Society ($1,123m or 40%) and Economic development ($795m or 29%).
Medical and health sciences ($668m or 24%), Biological sciences ($325m or 12%), Engineering and technology ($309m or 11%) and Agricultural, veterinary and environmental sciences ($205m or 7%) were major fields of research.
The leading states in terms of higher education R&D expenditure were New South Wales with $811m and Victoria with $631m, accounting for 29% and 23% of total R&D expenditure respectively. Queensland accounted for 17% and the Australian Capital Territory 11%.

See also:
Australia – Telecommunications – Imports, R&D
Australia – Tele-education

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Monday, July 1st, 2002

Two years in the making, Telecom New Zealand and Alcatel have formed a strategic partnering relationship to manage the development and integration of Telecom’s trans-Tasman Next Generation Network (NGN).

As part of the deal, Alcatel will become the primary supplier of equipment to provide new services in New Zealand.

The two companies have already agreed to work together to migrate Telecom’s current voice and data networks to an Internet Protocol network in New Zealand and integrate it with their core network in Australia. The first steps of the relationship will be to deliver high-speed network capabilities, optical Ethernet, Multi Protocol Label Switched IP core and advanced DSL.

Telecom may outsource management of its voice network to NEC. The Japanese giant threatened to pull out of New Zealand after Telecom opted to work with Alcatel on its next generation fixed network contract.

The two companies are talking about increasing NEC’ role in running the telco’s existing voice network. NEC has provided core switching for Telecom New Zealand’s voice network for more than two decades.

See also:
Telecom Corporation New Zealand – Subsidiaries and Alliances;
Alcatel Australia.

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