Vimpelcom looking at Canadian acquisitions

Vimpelcom’s CEO Jo Lunder said in an interview during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that the group may consider an acquisition in Canada to strengthen the position of its subsidiary Wind Mobile in the country, reports Bloomberg. Having increased its ownership control of Wind Mobile last month, Vimpelcom will look at organic growth or acquisitions to expand in Canada, Lunder said, adding that ‘We have an interesting opportunity in Canada… There is a strong economy with relatively high average revenue per user.

Thanks to TeleGeography for this article

2013 Network Trends: Top Four Predictions

Network Instruments 2013 Network Trends Top Four predictions

The primary challenges of ensuring reliable cloud performance revolve around the lack of metrics for monitoring SLAs and performance. Understanding these issues is critical for developing successful monitoring strategies.

Death of the PC is Greatly Exaggerated

While everyone is focused on BYOD and the latest tablets as the largest generator of end-user traffic, PCs aren’t going anywhere. According to Deloitte, more than 80 percent of Internet traffic measured in bits will be driven by traditional personal computers (desktops and laptops). The PC will continue to act as the center of operations for every employee.

Resolve: While optimizing services for the mobile user is important, don’t neglect your desktop surfers.

This Isn’t the Year of Software-Defined Networks

Although you’ll hear a lot of discussion and hype around software-defined network (SDN) architecture, you’re not likely to see any SDN solutions in a physical enterprise production environment for around three to five years. It will take this long for clear standards and products to mature. Where you are likely to see movement sooner is within virtualized environments, which I would expect in around two years.

Resolve: Be familiar with SDN concepts, but don’t worry about it impacting your job in 2013.

Year of the Hybrid Cloud

Gartner® analysts are forecasting that by the end of next year, 60 percent of enterprises will have some form of cloud. Shifting costs and the expanded functionality from SaaS services like Salesforce.com® likely drove most companies to begin their entrance into the cloud. Other advantages of cloud will compel many to consider a hybrid approach for other applications. Applications like test and development or disaster recovery which can require scalable, flexible storage would benefit from this approach.

Resolve: Whether services are traversing public or private cloud, your monitoring solution shouldn’t go dark.

40 Gb and 100 Gb Production Environments Emerge

While 2012 was full of conversations around 40 Gb networks, actual adoption focused on 10 Gb deployments. While mobile operators and ISPs are currently leading the charge into the realm beyond 10 Gb, by the end of the year, transaction-heavy enterprises such as large banks and trading institutions will follow.

Resolve: When upgrading network bandwidth, verify your monitoring solutions can keep pace.

Thanks to Network Instruments for this article

Videotron’s Gallic web flicks rival Netflix

Quebec-based quadruple-play cableco Videotron last week launched ‘Illico Club Unlimited’, an online video-on-demand (VoD) service offering the largest collection of French-language television and movie titles in Canada, initially with 800-900 movies and around 20 TV series, costing CAD9.99 (USD9.77) a month, reports the Montreal Gazette. The package is aimed at fighting competition from Netflix (which costs CAD8 a month) and other over-the-top (OTT) content providers in the Francophone Canadian market. Subscribers do not need to be in a Videotron service area nor subscribe to any other Videotron service to sign up for Illico Club Unlimited. Videotron is also making the web-based VoD service available through its new-generation set-top boxes, allowing users to stream package content on their TV without using data allowances on their internet subscription. The latest set-top boxes have been taken up by 500,000 out of 1.46 million digital cable subscribers within less than a year of launch, Videotron added.

Videotron simultaneously announced that it will upgrade cable broadband internet packages by adding unlimited monthly downloads for business users free-of-charge, although the option will cost residential subscribers an additional CAD30 per month or CAD10 a month if subscribing to at least three Videotron services out of TV, internet, home phone and mobile. The unlimited add-ons mirror similar offers recently announced by broadband rivals Bell Canada and Rogers Cable. Videotron will also upgrade upload speeds and data caps on its Ultimate Speed packages, effective 17 April.

Thanks to TeleGeography for this Article

CRTC finalises wholesale internet rates to benefit independent ISPs

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has finalised rates for wholesale high speed internet access services used by independent service providers including ISPs, which it says will lead to significant reductions in the wholesale rates certain providers pay to the large network operators. The CRTC noted that the wholesale rates are based on the large telephone and cable network operators’ costs plus a reasonable markup. ‘Large and small independent service providers now have the certainty they need to continue offering Canadians a choice of innovative and competitive services,’ said Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC. The rates enable large companies to recover their costs and make further investments in their networks, the watchdog claims.

All large telephone and cable companies that provide wholesale high speed access services to independent service providers must now use a single billing model and offer the same rates for business and residential end-users. This will result in a more straightforward billing process for independent service providers, the CRTC stated. Previously, certain large companies charged different rates under different billing models for wholesale and residential business services. The CRTC also expects that the new wholesale rates will have a favourable knock-on impact on prices charged in the competitive retail market.

Thanks to TeleGeography for this article

See The Future by Creating it – Net Optics 2013 Network Update

Net Optics What to Watch out For in 2013When it comes to achieving total network visibility, it’s not enough to keep up with market demands. One must anticipate future needs, evolving network requirements and increasingly complex security threats. Over the past 17 years, we at Net Optics have consistently been first to market with prescient solutions: inventing the network Tap and introducing the first and only Virtualization Tap and first 100Gb Tap.

As we enter 2013, the question is: with what technological trend should we familiarize ourselves? In other words, where are things headed in our industry?

I believe this year we will be hearing a lot about Software Defined Networking. (If you aren’t yet familiar with SDN, read John Ross’ blog post.) As we move into converged environments, an SDN strategy is crucial. Total visibility into such environments presents a variety of challenges, especially when dealing with multi-deployment. multi-vendor implementations. SDN strategies incorporating Net Optics’ family of Total Application and Network Visibility solutions allow packet forwarding and filtering by policy vs. routing protocols for a full view of physical, virtual and private clouds. When you think about it, our Director products have been doing this by redirecting traffic based on a set of network monitoring objectives instead of actual traffic.

This coming year, the market will also continue to see more industry consolidation. Network Packet Brokering point solutions no longer suffice. End-to-end visibility can only be achieved via a combination of NPB and Application-Aware NPM, such as our Best of Interop Finalist Spyke working in tandem with a complete application and network visibility system managed by a Visibility Management System (VMS) that enables total management of this infrastructure.

A new visibility architecture must supplant the silos of the past and take into account the unique challenges presented by converged environments. One can no longer rely solely on solutions geared toward physical networks when working within a combined physical, virtual and private cloud ecosystem.

For Net Optics, 2012 has been a year of large investments into new technologies that further broaden our breadth of products within our market. This is where our next growth will come from in 2013 as old products become commoditized.

We thank Net Optics for this Article

Bell Canada revenues almost flat in fourth quarter

Bell Canada (including Bell Mobility) has reported operating revenues of CAD4.577 billion (USD4.593 billion) in Q4 2012, compared to CAD4.576 billion in Q4 2011, as higher year-over-year revenues driven by the steadily growing contribution of wireless, TV, internet and media services were offset by the continued decline in traditional wireline voice and data services. Bell’s EBITDA was CAD1.582 billion in Q4, up 2.2%, reflecting EBITDA growth of 13.8% at the wireless division and 32.3% at Bell Media. Wireline (including broadband) EBITDA decline of 6.6% in the quarter was recorded despite a CAD35 million year-over-year reduction in wireline operating costs, which contributed to a 0.8 percentage-point improvement in Bell’s consolidated EBITDA margin of 34.6%. For the full-year 2012, Bell Canada’s operating revenues and EBITDA were up 3.0% and 4.4%, respectively, at CAD17.642 billion and CAD6.591 billion. The statement noted that the previous year’s operating revenues and EBITDA reflected nine months of Bell Media revenues and EBITDA, as Bell completed its acquisition of CTV and created Bell Media on 1 April 2011.

Bell invested CAD779 million in new capital in October-December 2012, bringing total CAPEX to CAD2.923 billion in 2012, up 8.9% from the previous year. These investments drive ongoing deployment of broadband fibre to homes, neighbourhoods and businesses in Quebec and Ontario and expansion of the ‘Fibe TV’ service footprint, enhancement of customer service systems, the ongoing rollout of the 4G LTE mobile network in markets across Canada, and the addition of new Bell and The Source retail stores. CEO George Cope stated that Bell ‘continued to expand our Fibe footprint in Montreal and Toronto and launched the country’s largest fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) rollout in Quebec City… Growth services such as Fibe, 4G LTE, and next-generation business services like cloud computing increasingly dominate our operating mix.’

Thanks to TeleGeography for this Article

Bell Aliant highlights fibre progress in end-year results

Canadian full-service telco Bell Aliant has reported that its operating revenues in the fourth quarter of 2012 were CAD695 million (USD696 million), down by CAD6 million or 0.8% from the same quarter in 2011. Growth in internet, TV and wireless revenues largely offset declines in local, long-distance and other revenues. Operating expenses in Q4 2012 were up CAD2 million year-on-year, mainly driven by growth in sales support and TV content costs from a growing direct fibre (‘FibreOP’) customer base, which were largely offset by productivity savings, and a one-time curtailment gain on post-employment benefits in the fourth quarter of 2011 that did not recur in 4Q12. As a result, quarterly EBITDA declined by CAD7 million (2.4%) to CAD317 million. CAPEX in October-December 2012 was 2.0% lower year-on-year at CAD134 million, with the costs of higher FibreOP customer connections offset by lower fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) footprint expansion and lower legacy capital spending. In Q4 2012 FibreOP internet and TV customer net additions increased by 7,100 and 6,200 respectively, up more than 50% compared to the same quarter in 2011. Bell Aliant passed an additional 35,000 homes and businesses with FTTH in the three-month period, compared to 60,000 incremental premises in the year-ago period. Total FTTH coverage reached over 656,000 premises at the end of December 2012, with over 110,000 FTTH active subscribers. The operator expects to reach approximately 800,000 premises with FTTH by the end of 2013.

Thanks to TeleGeography for this Article