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GTB Innovation Awards: Wireless network infrastructure

19 August 2009

Read more: Innovation Awards: CSL ZTE Gateway Cambridge Broadband Iridium Blue Ocean Wireless ip.access Cambridge Consultants StarHub

2: Wireless network infrastructure

National mobile services

Software-defined radio for HSPA+: CSL and ZTE

ZTE and Hong Kong operator CSL announced plans for the world’s first all-IP HSPA+ software-defined radio network at Mobile World Congress in February 2009. The commercial network was launched on March 3.

CSL’s 3G subscribers are now experiencing high-speed wireless services through the ZTE-deployed 3G network with a download rate of up to 21 megabits a second.

In addition, the overall network power consumption will be reduced by about 39% per year, with energy savings equivalent to 7,187 tons of CO2 emissions.

ZTE assisted CSL, a Telstra subsidiary, in a series of network migrations to transform its previous networks to HSPA+ for its prepaid, postpaid and corporate customers. CSL previously operated two GSM WCDMA networks which required significant and costly network upgrades.

The network migration needed to be done with no interruption of service and no impact to customer experience. After six months of planning and thousands of tests, ZTE successfully completed the cutover in June.

"CSL is pleased with ZTE’s project delivery capabilities and expertise in handling CSL’s complex network requirements, ensuring a smooth and transparent migration that enables the highest data speed in the mobile industry," said Christian Daigneault, CSL’s chief technology officer.


Business broadband

Corporate wireless broadband access: Gateway Communications and Cambridge Broadband

Gateway Communications, the leading supplier of telecommunications services across Africa, won the award for in partnership with vendor, Cambridge Broadband Networks, for Gateway’s Airlink and Metrolink products, which were launched in Nigeria in May 2008.

The products are designed to revolutionise the way companies operating in West Africa access the internet and connect branch offices.

AirLink is the only true broadband internet service offering access at speeds up to 8 megabits a second which can be installed in 48 hours.

MetroLink allows companies with multiple offices in a metropolitan area to interconnect at high-speed using the same secure, dedicated and quick-to-install product. Because of the speed, security and low installation costs, it has proved to be an ideal solution for banks, consumer goods distribution centres and fuel stations.

AirLink and MetroLink are a step forward for corporate connectivity in Nigeria. With these two products, Gateway provides a broadband solution that beats anything currently on the market in terms of speed and bandwidth.

Gateway plans to introduce both products in 11 major cities in Nigeria in the third quarter of this year as well as Ghana, Cameroon and Mozambique in the next quarter before expanding them into the rest of Africa.


Residential broadband

Residential WiMax network: Atheeb Telecom and Oracle

Saudi Arabia’s newest telecom operator, Etihad Atheeb Telecom, Go, is a challenger brand boldly taking on the incumbent Saudi Telecom. It was formed by an alliance of Atheeb Trading Company, Al-Nahla Trading Company, Batelco of Bahrain and Traco Company.

Go was the first company to go public in Saudi Arabia in the five-month period between August 2008 and February 2009 with a market capitalisation of one billion Saudi riyals in February. It plans to provide residential broadband WiMax services across the kingdom, ultimately making it the single biggest, dedicated pure-play WiMax operator outside North America.

As a new entrant in the Saudi market has rapid growth goals and facing the complexity and high cost of launching IP services. Go worked with Oracle for its strengths in providing an end-to-end approach that simplifies and enhances Go’s IT, BSS and OSS environment.

Go benefitted from systems integrator Wipro and Oracle delivering an innovative, rapid implementation approach which allowed achievement of its aggressive business plan launch and grown strategy.

Success for this project was not just about the launch but in delivering a platform which will deliver for the long terms: low operational cost, rapid service innovation and ensure strong customer relationships.


Maritime business data

High speed marine satellite communication system: Iridium Satellite and Cambridge Consultants

Iridium OpenPort, launched in late 2008, is a new marine satellite communications system offering a cost-effective higher-bandwidth alternative to existing marine satcom services. It has an unmatched combination of benefits for shipowners — multiple independent phone lines, a separate data port with scalable speeds, full IP connectivity, lightweight low-cost equipment, low per-megabyte pricing and 100% global coverage.

Iridium OpenPort offers lower capital costs for acquisition and installation, a smaller, lighter omnidirectional antenna with no expensive and mechanically complex stabilisation pedestal, and no moving parts. This translates into lower maintenance costs. Airtime charges are lower, with the option to reprovision for different data rates — 9.6 to 128 kilobits a second — without any hardware or software modifications.

The technology has been validated through successful sea trials on several platforms and stress tests to ensure the network can accommodate the additional bandwidth without overloading.

Iridium’s constellation of 66 low-earth-orbit satellites provides high-quality, low-latency voice and data communications absolutely everywhere, including waters beyond 70 degrees north or south latitude. These high-latitude shipping routes are becoming increasingly important, shortening distances for many great-circle voyages, but are not served by any other satellite network.


Maritime voice services

Picocell mobile coverage for merchant ships: Blue Ocean Wireless and ip.access

Blue Ocean Wireless’s global service uses ip.access’s nanoGSM picocells on commercial ships to provide on-board 2G mobile phone connectivity to merchant seafarers.

Using the cellular signal generated by the ip.access nanoGSM, crew members can use their own standard GSM phones to make and receive calls and send and receive SMS messages while away at sea.

"We are delighted to win this award for our work with Blue Ocean Wireless. The Blue Ocean service is a truly innovative solution that addresses the global challenge facing those at sea who want to communicate with home, easily and on their own mobile phone," said Jamie Cave, vice president of sales for EMEA as he accepted the award on behalf of ip.access at the dinner.

"Winning this award recognises the achievement of our two companies, and we look forward to continuing our work with Blue Ocean Wireless to develop and deliver new and exciting applications for this technology in the future."

The service is already installed on hundreds of vessels and is widely used in the maritime market and the benefits are set to be enjoyed more widely as further ships are deployed.


Vehicle services

Emergency vehicle-based mobile network: Excelerate Technology and TeleWare

Excelerate Technology introduced the concept of providing emergency response vehicles with their own independent GSM networks using RapidNet, a private mobile network solution developed by TeleWare, the UK’s leading suppliers of intelligent communications solutions.

RapidNet enables mobile incident response vehicles to carry their own GSM network delivering full telecoms capabilities irrespective of the presence or capability of any incumbent national cellular network. Excelerate remains one of the few companies with the expertise to make this work properly.

At the awards dinner particular mention was made of the Department of Health’s Hazardous Area Response Teams — Hart — programme for which Excelerate Technology was appointed technology supplier nationally.

This programme is delivering a new generation of civil contingency vehicles equipped to provide high levels of real-time information and resilient communications, integrating voice, video and data technologies to enhance patient and victim care at major incidents.


Indoor services — residential

Home zone service with 3G femtocells: StarHub and Huawei

StarHub is Singapore’s integrated info-communications provider and the pioneer in hubbing — the ability to deliver bundled, integrated and convergent services over multiple platforms to its customers.

In November 2008, under the brand name Home Zone, StarHub successfully launched the world’s first commercial 3G femtocell network through access devices provided by Huawei.

StarHub’s Home Zone is a value-added service for its mobile and broadband customers. It delivers 3G voice, data and additional services to customers in the home environment through a hybrid-fibre coaxial network using 3G femtocell, offering a seamless fixed-mobile convergence experience to end users.

Home Zone demonstrates the true benefits of hubbing with StarHub by allowing families who are on its 3G mobile and broadband services to enjoy better cost-savings and convenience. For StarHub, Home Zone maximises efficiency of network resources, hence improves cost efficiencies, cross-selling, and churn rates.

Peter Cook, StarHub’s vice president for integrated network engineering, said: "More than anything else, we have been impressed by Huawei’s industry-leading 3G technology roadmaps and its ability to deliver fast-to-market and reliable next-generation wireless applications and services to our customers. We are delighted with our partnership with Huawei and look forward to working closely with them to further enhance our mobile offering in future."


Indoor services — public

Multi-carrier indoor wireless coverage system: Mobily, Powerwave Technologies and ACES

Approximately 2.4 million pilgrims visit the holy city of Mecca in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia annually. Travellers and those who live and work in and around the magnificent complex now benefit from uninterrupted access to wireless voice and data services, courtesy of a state-of-the-art in-building wireless coverage system designed by Powerwave Technologies, a global source of wireless infrastructure solutions.

In 2008, Powerwave and partner ACES were selected by Mobily Saudi Arabia, the second largest wireless operator in the Middle East, to deploy the world’s largest indoor wireless coverage system inside the King Abdul Aziz Endowment, adjacent to The Sacred/Grand Mosque and considered the world’s largest collection of buildings.

The wireless coverage system supports GSM services on 900, 1,800 and 2,100 megahertz commercial frequencies.

Phase two and Phase three, slated for completion in 2009, will bring wireless coverage to four additional buildings and a skyscraper at the centre of the complex.


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