23/11/2005

UK wholesale broadband prices slashed - Network IT Week

UK wholesale broadband prices slashed - Network IT Week

BT have dropped the connection charge for fully unbundled LLU lines by 40% (from £168.38 to £99.95 ex VAT), this is in-line with wholesale line rental charges BT announced a while back.

This should give a boost for operators wishing to offer full telephony products, rather than leaving BT with the telephony service and just offering Internet (and services over the Internet i.e. VoIP).

If operators do take over the line, then BT don't have to opportunity to get a "blue-bill" in the door and market to the customer. The operator can offer their own flexible tephony services.

Currently Bulldog are really the only ones offering this service.

Global telcos losing billions to fraud - Network IT Week

Global telcos losing billions to fraud - Network IT Week

Revenue assurance is a big problem for telecom operators, fraud plays a big part (as does just plain non-payment by customers), but there are other reasons.

When operators exchange traffic (usually with SS7 interconnects) what one operator thinks they've sent and what the other operator think they've received (or vice versa) rarely agree. Switches may "lose" data records, or records are mispriced (telcoms switches produce what's called CDRs or call data records).

Mediation systems have to be built which analyse the CDRs and then price them accordingly. It's easy to leak revenue in the mediation process.

In order to ensure SS7 traffic is billed correctly complicated equipment needs to be installed into the links to "snoop" call traffic and then this data can be compared to what the switch thinks has gone through. This gets extremely difficult when operators are exchaning traffic with multiple other operators using different ones for different routes. If an operators switches traffic to the wrong one, the costs can rapidly mean they are losing money.

Currently most traditional operators still use SS7 and though complicated it's relatively easy to track what's going on. With new age entrants on the scene and traditional operators moving to what's known as "softswitches" the traffic is moving from legacy telco connecitons to all IP connections. This will give much greater flexibility, but in the short-term at least is likely to cause more revenue leackage until the tools are developed to track IP calls and interconnects.

22/11/2005

Demand for mesh networks poised to rocket - Network IT Week

Demand for mesh networks poised to rocket - Network IT Week

Wireless MESH is probably the future, however it's extremely difficult to get right. If you can control the mesh then there's a chance that you can get it to work efficiently, however things tend to go horribly wrong when they get too big or allow "random" nodes to join.

In a mesh where you have n nodes (assuming a complete mesh i.e. each node connected to all others) the number of links is n(n-1)/2 i.e. for 4 nodes that's 6 links while 10 nodes is 45 links, 100 nodes is 4950 links etc. How you get data from a node to another requires routing tables to hold info on how the nodes are connected and this is where systems rapidly become unmanagable. Generally each node in the network needs to hold a complete routing table.

There are tricks to reduce the routing tables and only having certain nodes holding more info, but that's where clever design comes in.

If Cisco can crack this, the market could be huge.

Nokia to buy Intellisync - Network IT Week

Nokia to buy Intellisync - Network IT Week

Nokia is getting serious about "push Email". Though it already has relationships with Microsoft and RIM (makers of the Blackberry), the Intellisync purchase will give Nokia direct access to their own Email/Calendaring push tye service.

Most phones sold are Nokias and if they can embed the software in forthcoming products, they have a real chance of breaking the stranglehold that RIM/Blackberry currently have in the market.

Microsoft's Windows Mobile 5 will support similar features with the recent Exchange service pack, but they still account for a small proportion of the smartphone market.

Ofcom ponders future of analogue TV spectrum - Network IT Week

Ofcom ponders future of analogue TV spectrum - Network IT Week

The analogue spectrum could be a valuable commodity. As it's "low" frequency it wont be able to sustain huge data rates, however it can still carry multi-megabits per second which means it could be used for wireless broadband. As it's lower frequency it also has very good propogation characteristics and penetrates buildings well (which microwave i.e. >GHz fequencies don't).

A US company xG Technologies have developed a new form of radio modulation which could be ideal for these bands. They use 6KHz carriers and say they can encode 1bit/cycle which is very efficient. If the technology actually works it could be a breakthrough allowing very advanced wireless broadband which would cause little or no interference with other users of neighbouring spectrum. This technology would also work well in the GSM guardbands which Ofcom have opened bidding.

Digit LIVE news - Microsoft turning to an all 64-bit world

Digit LIVE news - Microsoft turning to an all 64-bit world

Microsoft is going 64bit. Not really a suprise, they already have server versions that only support 64bit archtiechtures, now various applications are going that route too.

Linux has already supported 64bit archtechtures for a while, and 32bit apps should run fine on a 64bit environment, now Microsoft are following suite, but making the apps 64bit too.

64bits mean more memory support and faster loading as instead of loading 32bits at a time, 64bits are which is twice the speed for no CPU speed increase.

In a couple of years you'll not be able to buy a PC that isn't 64bit so it makes sense.