CEOs of the country’s top mobile operators — Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Reliance Communications — have appealed to the government for extension of spectrum holdings for licenses expiring in 2015-16 and sought a “big bang” auction of airwaves to tide over network problems. In a letter written to telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, a copy of which has also been marked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, they said the measures are necessary to address the issue of spectrum shortage and also boost investor confidence. Source

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Increasing Government Expenditure for the Development of Telecom Infrastructure and Projects Such as National Optical Fiber Network to Drive Telecom Cable Market. According to the recently published report by TechSci Research, “India Telecom Cable Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2019″, the telecom cable market in India is forecast to reach USD354.23 million by 2019. Growing number of telecom subscribers, growing penetration of smartphones and rising demand for high speed data transmission are the major factors propelling the demand for telecom cables in the country. With increasing data traffic, expansion of telecom infrastructure has become inevitable, thereby spurring the market for telecom cables. In 2013, advanced optical fiber cables that are designed for high speed data transfer dominated the market, holding over 50% market share in value terms. The segment is expected to continue dominating through the forecast period due to rising demand for high speed Internet on the go. The Government of India is planning to connect 250,000 Gram Panchayats in various parts of the country to their respective district blocks for stream lining various sectors healthcare, education, etc. This is expected to drive the adoption of telecom cables in rural India on the back of rising number of mobile subscribers. In addition, projects like Network for Spectrum (NFS) being implemented by the Indian Army and Indian Navy are also expected fuel the market for telecom cables in the country. In addition, the expected 4G rollout would further propel the demand for telecom cables in the country. Considering these opportunities, telecom operators are also eyeing to expand their penetration level in rural areas over the forecast period. “Increasing penetration of telecom services in rural India has emerged as the major growth driver for the Indian telecom cable market. Teledensity in India is increasing continuously due to the growing demand for high speed internet services, which cannot be catered by traditional copper cable network. On account of these factors, fiber optics cables market is expected to gain a lion’s share in India’s telecom cable market. “, said Mr. Karan Chechi, Research Director with TechSci Research, a research based global management consulting firm.

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The number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 946.40 million at the end of July to 951.84 million at the end of August – a monthly growth rate of 0.57 percent – Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) said. The urban subscription increased from 562.43 million at the end of July to 566.60 million at the end of August, and the rural subscription increased from 383.97 million to 385.25 million during the same period. The monthly growth rates of urban and rural subscription were 0.74 percent and 0.33 percent respectively. The overall tele-density in India increased from 76 percent at the end of July to 76.36 percent at the end of August. The total wireless subscriber base increased from 918.72 million at the end of July to 924.32 million at the end of August, a monthly growth rate of 0.61 percent, the data revealed.

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Telecom Italia and Veryx announced that they are exploring solutions to evolve Telecom Italia’s service lifecycle testing capabilities. Telecom Italia’s initiative is in line with its strong commitment to follow the MEF activities and processes to innovate CE 2.0 services and make them Dynamic, Agile and Orchestrated, as the MEF NaaS paradigm envisions. Telecom Italia is jointly innovating with Veryx, a leader in CE 2.0 testing. TI was the first European Service Provider to get CE 2.0 certified and the first Service Provider worldwide to obtain the CE 2.0 certification for Ethernet Access Services (EAS) in April 2013. Furthermore, in 2014 Telecom Italia Sparkle (TI’s branch for International services) also achieved the CE 2.0 certification for EAS. TI is now in a unique condition to offer CE 2.0 compliant services end-to-end, both on the domestic and international segments, creating regional and global CE networks for its customers. After getting certified for CE 2.0, TI started experiencing an increase of interest from its customers on Carrier Ethernet services and began benefiting from simpler technical discussions during business negotiations, thanks to the pre-defined MEF compliant services specifications. “Nowadays, and as seen in Telecom Italia’s recent developments, Service Providers are innovating faster than ever. In this process, the services offered to customers, circuit configurations and equipment used may vary, making it very challenging for Carriers to ensure, on an on-going basis, that the services they offer throughout their networks are compliant to the industry specifications and are meeting the highest quality standards” said Isabelle Morency, VP of Engineering at Veryx Technologies. “Ensuring compliance in each phase of the service lifecycle is the key to success” she added. For Telecom Italia, CE 2.0 certification is only the first step in its service evolution path. As part of CE 2.0 Service Management Lifecycle, Telecom Italia is scouting innovative solutions for Service Activation Testing (SAT), providing deep verification of the network devices involved in the service chain, while ensuring that the Service Levels Specification (SLS) are met for connectivity, configuration and performance. Ultimately, the preferred Service Activation Testing solution will allow Telecom Italia to offer CE services at assured quality levels and performance benchmarks, with full verification during the provisioning and turn-up process and improvement in troubleshooting efficiency. One of the main challenges in CE 2.0 service management lifecycle is the availability of the right tools to help design standard services, perform comprehensive Service Activation Testing and proactive SLA monitoring while at the same time optimizing the cost and effort involved in the testing and troubleshooting aspects. Veryx Technologies has designed its latest automated testing solution, SAMTEST, to help service providers in all stages of the CE 2.0 Service Management Lifecycle i.e., Service design, Service activation testing, monitoring and troubleshooting. Its deep involvement in the MEF technical developments, expertise in testing and partnership with key industry players has enhanced Veryx SAMTEST to be a unique, flexible but comprehensive solution to CE 2.0 Service Management. Telecom Italia plans to leverage these features of SAMTEST to achieve its service management goals. Telecom Italia and Veryx are planning lab trials of SAMTEST in the coming weeks, followed by a field trial. The tests will be conducted at the Telecom Italia’s Labs based in Turin and then moved out to the production network for the verification of actual CE 2.0 services.

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The MEF announces that six participant groups have been selected to showcase interactive, Proof of Concept demonstrations of new service & technology innovations to shape the future of global networking and fuel productivity gains for service providers and end-users. The live Proof of Concept Showcase will be the focal point of the GEN14 event (GEN14.com) held on 17-20 November in Washington, DC. The Showcase will feature leading-edge implementations of dynamic cloud-centric services with SDN, NFV, automated provisioning, service orchestration, and other innovations. Selected Showcase participants and their themes are: Allstream, Tata Communications : Demonstrate orchestration across carriers using API built on open MEF standards, for on-demand bandwidth. SDN extends CE2.0 Interconnect to elastic services, accelerating availability of secure and assured cloud services everywhere Amartus, Transition Networks : Rapid, agile environment to orchestrate and automate the roll-out, provisioning and operations of on-demand network and Cloud services. This environment uses an open-system and open-standards approach, CE 2.0 Ethernet demarcation devices and virtualized NFV, SDN and Cloud technologies CenturyLink, Ciena : Showcase benefits of automated orchestration of MEF services with collaboratively developed APIs related to the upcoming MEF 7.3 Information Model, interface profiles for simplified service activation and configuration and automated API testing Cyan : Demonstrate how Carrier Ethernet is enhanced by SDN and NFV including dynamic, on-demand services with end-to-end multi-vendor control, service chaining and multi-domain orchestration Oracle, InfoVista : Self-serve ordering and performance assurance of commercial-ready Network-as-a-Service, dynamically orchestrated and assured across the service provider and wholesale partners, integrated fully into critical business management processes, and designed for network technology abstraction. WebNMS, Omnitron Systems, VeEX . SDN orchestration of MEF CE 2.0 Services over a multi-vendor network with elastic service provisioning , Fault Isolation and dynamic bandwidth on demand with Service Activation & Assurance via cloud-based self-service Customer SLA portal “The Proof of Concept showcase gets to the heart of true innovation. MEF GEN14 attendees can witness, first hand, collaborating implementations of what is possible in the world of service delivery to business users,” says Nan Chen, President of the MEF. “The response to our call for participants has been extraordinary. We thank and congratulate each collaborating group and the individual organizations for their ideas and efforts that reflect GEN14’s spirit of innovation. We can’t wait to see all of these systems in action at the event.” Showcase participants were required to submit proposals based on interactive, on-site, and live networking that demonstrates new and upcoming implementations. The MEF has retained the services of well-known MEF member company EANTC as show organizers. Detailed Showcase profiles will be made available on the GEN14 and MEF web sites in the near future.

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. The MEF announced the finalists for MEF 2014 Ethernet Excellence Awards. The Awards greatly expand previous MEF annual awards programs to properly recognize services, technology, professional excellence and innovation in the worldwide Carrier Ethernet community. The Awards recognize new implementations that support scalability, virtual functionality, SDN, management, global reach and other solutions central to the delivery of Carrier Ethernet in 2014 and beyond. The winners of the twenty-nine awards will be presented at a special Ethernet Excellence Awards Dinner on 18 November 2014 – a highlight of the Global Ethernet Networking 2014 (GEN14) event held on 17 – 20 November 2014 at the Gaylord National in Washington, DC. “We had easily a record number of outstanding entries for this year’s new Ethernet Excellence Awards program, with large numbers in each of the new technology and Carrier Ethernet business application categories,” said Nan Chen, President of the MEF. “The MEF congratulates the finalists for their innovative work in accelerating the worldwide adoption of performance-assured Carrier Ethernet services.” The judging panel for the awards was comprised of global and regional senior analysts from IDC, Infonetics, Vertical Systems, Gartner, Frost & Sullivan, Ovum, the Rayno Report and independent judges especially for the Certified Professional of the Year award. The Finalists: -Best Application of the Year – Education: Comcast Business, Cox Business, Verizon -Best Application of the Year – Financial: Colt Technology Services, Comcast Business, Indosat -Best Application of the Year – Government: AT&T, Comcast Business, PLDT -Best Application of the Year – Health: Comcast Business, Indosat -Best Application of the Year – Media/Sports/Entertainment: AT&T, Colt Technology Services, Comcast Business – Best Application of the Year – Other Applications: Colt Technology Services, Comcast Business, Tata Communications -Best Service of the Year – APAC: KVH, PLDT, Telstra -Best Service of the Year – CALA: INTERNEXA, Level 3 Communications, Colt Technology Services -Best Service of the Year – EMEA: Colt Technology Services, GTS Central Europe, Verizon -Best Service of the Year – Global: Tata Communications, Telstra, Verizon -Best Service of the Year – North America: Bell Canada, Comcast Business, Verizon -Retail Service Provider of the Year – APAC: PLDT, Tata Communications, Verizon -Retail Service Provider of the Year – CALA: Level 3 Communications, Verizon, Colt Technology Services -Retail Service Provider of the Year – EMEA: Colt Technology Services, GTS Central Europe, Verizon -Retail Service Provider of the Year – Global: Level 3 Communications, Verizon – Retail Service Provider of the Year – North America: Comcast Business, tw telecom – Wholesale Service Provider of the Year – APAC: PCCW Global, PLDT, Telstra -Wholesale Service Provider of the Year – CALA: INTERNEXA, Level 3 Communications -Wholesale Service Provider of the Year – EMEA: Colt Technology Services, Deutsche Telekom, Verizon Global Wholesale -Wholesale Service Provider of the Year – Global: Level 3 Communications, SingTel, Telstra – Wholesale Service Provider of the Year – North America: Comcast Business, tw telecom, Verizon Global Wholesale – Network Technology Provider of the Year – Network Technology Provider of the Year: Alcatel-Lucent, Colt Technology Services, Cyan -Best Network Technology of the Year – Multi-Vendor Innovation: Colt Technology Services, Overture, Verizon -Best Network Technology of the Year – Scalability: Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, Verizon -Best Network Technology of the Year – Service Management/Orchestration: Cyan, Overture, Verizon -Best Network Technology of the Year – Technology Innovation: Alcatel-Lucent, Colt Technology Services, RAD -Professionals of the Year – Ethernet Industry Person of the Year: Ali Sajassi, Cisco, Bill Stemper, Comcast Business, Vincent Alesi, Verizon -Professionals of the Year – MEF Carrier Ethernet Certified Professional of the Year: PLDT, Sendang Praptomo, Telekomunikasi Indonesia International, Simi Babbar, Time Warner Cable

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Smartphones will account for two out of every three mobile connections globally by 2020, said global mobile operators industry body GSMA . The study, “Smartphone forecasts and assumptions, 2007-2020″ conducted by GSMA Intelligence, a research wing of the GSMA, predicts that the number of smartphone connections will grow three-fold over the next six years. The report puts India at the fourth slot in top 10 global smartphones markets. According to GSMA, India had 111-million smartphone connections in the second quarter of 2014, trailing leader China, US and Brazil. Asia Pacific accounts for about half of the global smartphone connections, even though smartphone penetration in the region is currently below 40%

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About 1,538 MHz of spectrum in various bands for telecom services may be made available for auction next year, a move that will help the government expand mobile and broadband penetration in the country. In the premium 700 Mhz band, which can be used for 4G and is even being considered for 5G services, 93 MHz of radiowaves can be put for sale. In the 800 MHz (CMDA), 900 MHz and 1,800 MHz bands 117.5 MHz, 184 MHz and 104 MHz, respectively, can be made available, sources said. In 2,300 MHz band (broadband wireless access spectrum) 320 MHz spectrum and in the 2,500 MHz band, about 720 MHz could also be put on the block for sale, they added. Source

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The Indian telecom sector will witness consolidation in the near future, according to Uninor India CEO Morten Karlsen Sorby. He said: “While it (consolidation) has been speculated since 2008-09, nothing has really happened on larger consolidations in the country.” Sorby said that although the Indian market is huge, there is a shared view among the players as well as the regulator, Telecome Regulatory Authority of India, that the sector needs a certain scale and that the economics is still weak. Uninor India, a subsidiary of Norway’s Telenor, is adding roughly 800,000 new customers every month, he said, adding the consolidated user base now stands at 42 million across its six operating circles. (Source)

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The telecom regulator has rued India’s dismal broadband penetration and questioned the telecom department’s decision to only involve state-owned companies to implement the Rs 21,000-crore national optic fibre network (NOFN) project, which is already running three years behind schedule. In a consultation paper, titled ‘Delivering Broadband Quickly’ unveiled Wednesday, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has also invited industry feedback on a relevant “timeframe for auctioning spectrum in the 700 MHz band,” to offer the most efficient airwaves to telcos for boosting India’s poor broadband penetration. It has also invited suggestions on awarding engineering, procurement & construction (EPC) contracts to private telecom operators through the international competitive bidding route to speed up NOFN, which will be the core broadband backbone for delivering high-speed internet and government services to the common man under the Centre’s Rs 1.13 lakh-crore Digital India drive.

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