Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Telco to protect its network from unhealthy competition

By Paul Anthony A. Isla, Reporter

THE mobile-communications operator Next Mobile Inc. will invoke the “prior operator rule” to protect the heavy investment of public utilities from unwarranted, unhealthy and destructive competition. Next Mobile made this announcement as it confirmed its intentions of applying for an authority to operate 3G networks, which will allow enhanced voice, data and video capabilities on users’ cell phones.

In a statement, Next Mobile reiterated its support for the National Telecommunications Commission’s (NTC) proactive approach in establishing the fundamentals for the country’s third generation (3G) mobile-communications deployment. Under the current NTC scheme, public telecommunication entities, which are operating second generation (2G) and 2.5G mobile networks will be given priority rights for assignment of 3G frequency bands.

Next Mobile supports the NTC initiatives in promoting 3G mobile services as a viable and efficient technology for mobile applications, as these would eventually benefit its subscribing public.

Besides holding a congressional telecommunications franchise, Next Mobile is a certified operator of state-of-the-art trunked radio dispatch communication system, namely Motorola Integrated Radio System, now Integrated Digital Enhanced Network (iDEN) technology, the newest and most sophisticated wireless communications technology.

In using iDEN technology, along with its authorized voice and data services equivalent to 2.5G, Next Mobile uses certain portions of the 800 megahertz frequency band assigned to it by the NTC.

Next Mobile said portions assigned to them are not included in the 825 to 845 megahertz and 870 to 890 megahertz bands that have been proposed for reallocation for the use of the 3G mobile-telecommunications services. Next Mobile is not the occupant and actual user of frequencies nearest to those to be reallocated for the use of 3G telecommunications networks. Global Standard for Mobile Communications (GSM), which operates in the 800 megahertz bands, is compatible with Next Mobile’s iDEN, which are both cellular technologies that utilize a great number of base stations and reuse the same frequencies over and over to achieve sufficient traffic capacity.

Next Mobile explained that the only difference between the network architecture of iDEN and GSM is that iDEN is designed to integrate instant-connecting wide-area digital “walkie-talkie” service, with cellular capabilities, packet data services and short message service.

On the other hand, GSM technology is designed primarily for anyone-to-anyone voice communication, not for the secure closed-group communication of iDEN push-to-talk

Monday, August 15, 2005

Innove launches new prepaid call cards

By lynda b. valencia

Innove Communications, Inc, has launched its first prepaid call card service that gives consumers the flexibility to place wireless and wireless domestic and international calls.

Globe I Innove’s new PIN-based prepaid call card, allows users to make calls from any Globelines payphone and landline, whether postpaid or prepaid, Globe Handyphone and Touch Mobile to any landline and mobile carrier here and abroad.

Backed by its parent company Globe Telecoms and the extensive network, Innove offers flexibility and accessibility as well as affordable call rates, to consumers with the introduction of Globe I.

Gil Genio, Innove CEO, said Globe I answers the need of customers to communicate and gives them the freedom to choose whatever device they want to use to the able to link to a broader social community.

"With Innove and Globe working together, we have created one powerful solution for our customers, The way people call to or connect with one another has greatly evolved, making the use of different physical devices that suit their needs and preference," Genio said.

"Globe I centers on the customers, it gives them more choices and offers the convenience that is at the same time very affordable," he added.

Globe I, with its campaign slogan "The Power of One" provides its user what it wants to be able to communicate.

When calling from a Globelines phone to any landline carrier, local calls are charged R1 per minute while national direct dialing (NDD) calls cost R3.50 per minute.

Domestic long distance Globelines-to-Globelines calls are even cheaper at only R1 per minute, while international direct dialing (IDD) calls cost either 0.20 US dollars or 0.40 US dollars per minute, depending on the country being called.

The IDD call rate of 0.20 US dollars per minute is applicable to calls from Globelines landline and payphone to Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, China and US, except for Hawaii and Alaska.

When using Globe I, calls from a Globelines landline to any mobile carrier are priced at R6.50 per minute. Calls from Globe Handyphone post paid and prepaid to other wireless carriers and wireline are pegged at R7.50 per minute while Globe to Globe calls are priced at R6.50 per minute.

At the same time, calls from Touch Mobile to other wireless carriers and wireline are R6.50 per minute, while Touch Mobile to Touch Mobile calls are R5.50 per minute for the first two minutes and R1 per minute thereafter.

Genio said the new Globe I is available at all Globelines Payments and Services Business centers and Globeline prepaid card dealers in R100 and R300 denominations.

Aside from the convenience and the affordable call rates it offers, Globe I is also easy to use, Genio said.

To make a call, users will simply dial 107-88 from any Globelines landline or payphone, Globe Handyphone and Touch Mobile and follow the recorded voice and instructions. – (PNA)

Cellphone TV takes live hurdle

Asia, Europe vie for standard

HELSINKI--As fledgling endeavors to bring live television to mobile phones took a hurdle with the first real-time sports event broadcast at the Athletic World Championships last week, Europe and Asia are already battling with rival technology standards, industry and broadcasting sources said.
With studies in Europe showing that consumers may be willing to pay more than 10 euros (12.44 dollars) per month to watch an average five to 10 minutes of mobile TV per day, the race is on to launch TV services commercially in 2006.

For the "Finnish Mobile TV project" at the Helsinki Athletics competition, the world's biggest mobile phone company Nokia got together with network company Digita, operators Elisa and TeliaSonera, and TV stations YLE, MTV3 and Channel 4 to let 300 people test mobile real-time broadcasts on a smart phone equipped with an experimental TV receiver device.

Reviews were mixed, with users bemoaning the lack of elegance of the bulky device, colours not being true to nature, subtitles too tiny for comfort and the screen glaring like a mirror in sunlight.

But they reported a sharp image and good sound in the multi-channel package, which included domestic broadcasts of the Championship, compilation broadcasts for international distribution and five special Championships broadcasts of individual events. Trial users could also load other feeds from several Finnish and foreign broadcasters.

Jari Lahti, head of the new media department at Finnish Broadcaster YLE, admitted that the testers were "of course company VIPs and it was not like a consumer pilot study."

But it showed that "the technology is quite ready" even if devices were "still bulky," he told Agence France-Presse.

Mobile TV services with DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcasting-Handheld) technology used by Nokia are being piloted in Spain, Germany, Britain, the Netherlands, France, Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia.

But Nokia's big rival, Korean mobile phone maker Samsung, has put its weight behind a competing standard, DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting).

"There is a very strong battle between Korea and Europe," said Jorma Laiho, Director for Technology at YLE.

Independent analysts say both have their advantages. Ville Ollikainen, Group Manager for Multiple Media Systems at the Technical Research Center of Finland (VTT) said DVB-H was "more flexible, less power consuming and providing bandwidth."

But DVB-H could only broadcast terrestrial feeds whereas DMB allows for satellite delivery, he said.

"Its a typical standard race. I think that is absolutely possible that both are going to fly," said YLE's Lahti, noting that different standards already co-exist in digital television where they had led, however, to "consumer confusion."

According to sources at Nokia, the Finnish giant believes it is six to 12 months ahead of Samsung in its standard development.

The targeted market for mobile television is young consumers, said YLE technical manager Thomas Grenman.

Television programs will probably be tailor-made for mobile devices with clips of up to 10 minutes "because I dont think I would like to see a whole evening movie, for instance, from such a small screen," he said.

Manufacturers continue to set their sights on sports buffs as big consumers of mobile TV.

Nokia's head of multimedia communications Kari Tuutti said his company was hoping for a mass market for the phone by the time the Beijing Olympics kick off in 2008.