Archive for July, 2009

Rosemary Sinclair new chair of INTUG

Friday, July 31st, 2009

The International Telecommunications Users Group (INTUG) has appointed Rosemary Sinclair of Australia as its new Chairman, taking over from Dr Sergio Antocicco of Italy who passed away suddenly in May.

Rosemary Sinclair is Managing Director of the Australian Telecommunications Users Group, based in Sydney. She has held that position since 2001 and has served on the Board of INTUG for the past 8 years.

BuddeComm would like to congratulate Rosemary. This is happening at a critical time when Australia is attracting world attention for its visionary developments in broadband infrastructure, with Rosemary in this position this will further enhance Australia’s visibility in the international telecoms market, which will be good for all involved.

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Special discount for BuddeComm customers

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Occasionally we get offers for our customers that are too good to refuse, and this is one of them …..

Terrapinn is organising a telecoms conference, coming up in September, called Telecoms World Australia.

This is a senior level conference and networking event, looking at the NBN FttH announcement and its implications in detail, as well as other key issues and opportunities for the Australasian telecoms market.

Within the conference program issues that will be addressed include optimising network infrastructure, convergence, delivering new services, reducing churn and maximising investment. There is also a dedicated ‘Future Wireless’ day which covers LTE, mobile WiMAX and femtocells. You can view the details on the event website at the following link: http://www.terrapinn.com/2009/telcom/

The standard ticket price for the conference is $A3,295 + GST.

Terrapinn is offering Buddecomm subscribers (on an exclusive basis) the opportunity to register for $1,595. The claim your special price pls contact John Pozoglou tel. 61 2 9021 8856, email john.pozoglou@terrapinn.com

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Ergon trials electric vehicles

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Ergon Energy and Energetique have announced a joint project to develop and test the integration of electric vehicles with the electricity grid.

The Grid Intelligent Electric Vehicle project will demonstrate Smart Charge and Vehicle to Grid (V2G) capabilities and integration with energy management systems – essential work in assessing the benefits and drawbacks of vehicle-grid integration.

While Grid Intelligent Electric Vehicles and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles are expected to have increasing market appeal, smart integration with the network is crucial.

Ergon Energy will evaluate the impact of electric vehicles charging from the grid and control of energy flow between the vehicle and the grid. During peak load periods, the flow of energy can be delayed, slowed or reversed to manage peak demand and provide benefits to the vehicle user and the network.

The Energetique Grid Intelligent Electric Vehicle will enable Smart Charge whereby vehicle users will specify their energy requirements for driving and Vehicle to Grid where they will specify the additional energy capacity of the battery can be utilised by the network. In this way the vehicle can deliver power when the utility requires it while still meeting the customers driving needs.

By collaboratively managing the vehicle batteries, customers will be able to reduce their energy costs and electric vehicles can become a valuable tool for network management and reduce electricity supply costs.

See also:

Australia – Smart Grids – Major Players & Projects

Australia – Smart Grids – Analysis – The Market in 2009

Australia – Trans-sector thinking leading to smart communities

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NBN is moving in the right direction

Friday, July 31st, 2009

One of the complaints made when the government announced the NBN was that it was very sketchy on the subject of financial viability (business plan).

While that was a sound comment I argued that we didn’t want the government to become involved in that. We need the government for the vision but we need the private sector to come up with the business plans.

So in my commentary I concentrated on supporting the vision and buying some time that would allow us to pave the way for work to start on the business plan.

As I have noted in my international analyses on other national broadband initiatives, the Australian case can’t be copied to another country, nor can we copy plans from others. The reason Australia took the specific path it embarked upon was to stop Telstra; the money that will be made available is thanks to the financial crisis this allowed the government to introduce infrastructure-based stimulus investments. We were able to grasp that opportunity; such actions were warranted because of the multiplier effect of this investment (smart grids, healthcare, education), based on a trans-sector approach.

We were also unique in that the Minister, and indeed the Cabinet, supported that broader approach. This caused the industry and the wider community to stop and think about whether such a whole-of-government model could work – and this has resulted in a widespread acceptance of the view that this is the way to proceed.

While it would have been great if all the financial and business plans had been in place from the outset the most likely outcome of that would have been that every man and his dog would have had an opinion on those details. As it was, the vision was far easier for most to accept.

We now see that comments are becoming more positive. I have even glimpsed a conciliatory message from the Opposition. This has been helped by the announcement that Mike Quigley has accepted the role of Chairman/CEO of the new NBN Corp.

In Tasmania, the equally respected Doug Campbell will run the Tassie NBN Corporation. Both these people are perceived by all parties to be very reliable and trustworthy. With their involvement we will be able to start underpinning the vision with sound business models, led by people who are highly qualified.

The government’s shock therapy has also changed Telstra. Its thinking is now much more aligned with the rest of the industry – especially, again, on the trans-sector vision aspect. We must start somewhere and it is much better to start there, where we share common ground.

The situation in Australia is also different in that – thanks to the foresight of the Minister – there is room to manoeuvre on how the plan will be implemented. There is room to give Telstra more or less shareholding; we can negotiate values of assets and so on. As long as the end goal is kept rock-solid – an open access wholesale network – there are variations on how to get there.

Paul Budde

See also:

Australia – National Broadband Network – Overview & Analysis

Australia – National Broadband Network – Critical Considerations

Australia – Smart Grids – Analysis – The Market in 2009

Australia – Digital Media – E-Health

Australia – Trans-sector thinking leading to smart communities

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Wireless broadband boom in Israel

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Israel has a very competitive telecommunications market with one of the highest mobile penetration rates in the world and also one of the highest household broadband penetration rates. A new report introduces the key aspects of the market with statistics and analysis; it overviews the key regulatory issues affecting Israel’s telecom industry in some detail. The nature of competition in the market is changing and the advent of VoIP, triple play strategies and the new digital media puts particular focus on the details of regulation. The recommendations of the Gronau Commission are likely to cause further regulatory changes in the near future.

Israel has very competitive fixed-line voice, broadband and digital media market sectors. Bezeq has retained the vast majority of the domestic fixed-line voice services, but new licences being granted for VoIP service provision are beginning to shake up the market. Partner, Netvision, Xfone and Bezeq International had all acquired VoIP licences and had begun providing competitive domestic telephone services by early 2009. The International fixed-line voice market is already very competitive and recent mergers have created strong players.

Market competition is fierce, both between cable and DSL infrastructures and between ISPs. Competition is also fierce between Bezeq’s satellite TV subsidiary YES and cable TV operator HOT. Israel’s very high broadband penetration rate provides great potential for triple play and digital media developments and competitors are manoeuvring for positions.

Israel’s mobile communications market is one of the most competitive in the region, with four operators in a saturated market. The difficulties of growth through new customer acquisitions and voice tariff competition have led the operators to focus on mobile data, regularly launching new value-added products and extending their offerings to provide bundled services including fixed-line. Third generation services have been launched by the three major operators and subscriber numbers are significant. Success in selling mobile content and applications is essential to combat falling ARPU.

Key highlights:

  • Infrastructure investment by the mobile operators in 3G and HSPA is having an impact. Cellcom has flagged its intention to build its own infrastructure to be operational by the time its contract with Bezeq runs out in 2010.
  • Pelephone launched its 3.5G HSPA network in February 2009, after investing NIS1 billion and by April there were over 200,000 subscribers on the new network.
  • Bezeq’s share of the domestic fixed-line voice market has now fallen to below the magic 85% figure. Bezeq is awaiting the promised licence amendments and has applied to the Ministry of Communications for a VoIP permit. Bezeq reportedly aims to migrate all its fixed-line subscribers to VoIP by 2014.
  • Bezeq has begun the rollout of its NGN with a pilot in Ness Ziona, Kiron and Rishon LeZion and plans to complete the nationwide rollout by 2013. In June 2009, the operator had migrated 100,000 of its existing subscribers to the new network which provides speeds of up to 15Mb/s.
  • In February 2009, a proposed merger between Bezeq and YES was approved by the Restricted Trade Practices Tribunal, with conditions which will cause a further shift in the telecommunications landscape if the merger goes ahead. The conditions include a requirement for Bezeq to unbundle its NGN to make it available to other operators and a requirement to keep YES on the air.
  • In addition to a competitive FTA TV market, the majority of the Israeli population subscribe to cable or satellite TV, mostly digital. Both HOT and DBS satellite TV operator YES offer PVRs and HOT also offers VoD services.

For more info on the new BuddeComm report see: Israel – Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband

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