Tuesday, May 18, 2004

HIGHLIGHTS

IT – Software Tech

Citrix tests Web conferencing service
Citrix Online hopes to build on its popular GoToMyPC service for remote computer access with a new Web conferencing program.

The company, a division of networking software seller Citrix Systems, plans to begin offering a free preview version of GoToMeeting on Monday. The service enables customers to present PowerPoint slides, run applications and handle basic collaboration tasks over the Web.

The service will compete in an increasingly crowded market dominated by Web conferencing specialist WebEx. The niche has drawn attention from major software makers such as Microsoft and Macromedia.

Citrix Online will distinguish its service partly through simplicity, said Klaus Schauser, chief technical officer for the Santa Barbara, Calif., and company. Instead of loading the service up with complex interactivity and polling features, GoToMeeting will focus on what actually happens in meetings: talking and looking at PowerPoint slides.

"We're focusing on everyday meetings--this is not a Webinar product; this is not a training product," Schauser said, making the comparison with online seminar products. "Our motto has always been that 'simpler is better,' even though there are some pretty sophisticated capabilities in the product. We can very quickly go from something that's presentation-only to something that's more interactive."

The simplicity goal will also extend to pricing. Citrix Online will charge a flat monthly fee based on the number of simultaneous users, rather than the per-minute pricing typical of the market.

Matt Reid, a senior vice president for product marketing at Citrix Online, said the goal is to make online meetings an everyday choice to improve productivity and cut down on travel and other expenses.

"People like the technology around Web conferencing--they just aren't using it as much as they could," Reid said. "And the product needs to actually get used to generate the savings. That's why we really want to make sure it's affordable for the masses to use."

The paid version of GoToMeeting is set to launch in July. The basic service will cost $49 per month, or $468 per year.

Citrix Online is mainly known for GoToMyPC, a product it acquired from specialist Expertcity that allows any PC to be accessed remotely over the Web.
Source; CNET News.com, May 2004
Write; by David Becker

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Telecommunications – Mobile

Kejian launches GSM phones in India
China Kejian Corporation has launched several GSM phone models in India; the prices range from Rs 4,905 to Rs 16,650. All phones come with a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.
Kejian has entered into an exclusive relationship with the Rajgarhia group, under which Trust Telecom Technologies, a new entity floated by the Rajgarhias, will represent, sell and service Kejian handsets in India and the SAARC region.
India is the first foreign market where Kejian has launched its products, and the company is aiming to invest heavily in positioning and branding here.
Source; Express Computer, May 2004

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Telecommunications – VoIP

Hanoi Telecom Interconnects with T-Systems in Vietnam
Hanoi Telecom has interconnected its network with T-Systems, allowing Hanoi to have its international calls routed over T-Systems' IP network.
T-Systems established nine PoPs within the country. T-Systems is using VocalTec's packet tandem switching solution for the deployment.
Source; Hanoi Telecom

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Internet – Legislation

FCC Plan Would Use Vacant TV Channels For Internet Connections
Lengthy Rulemaking Process Under Way
Washington - Federal regulators have endorsed a plan to use vacant TV channels for high-speed Internet connections. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell says it would "dramatically increase" the availability and quality of wireless Internet connections - especially for people in rural areas. Powell says it would be like "doubling the number of lanes on a congested highway."
But TV broadcasters oppose the proposal. They argue that it would interfere with over-the-air television signals for millions of people. The FCC commissioners voted unanimously to begin the lengthy rulemaking process for the plan.
Source; Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. May 2004

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IT - Law

Lebanon still the pirates haven
Music piracy levels in Lebanon are still over 70 per cent, way ahead of the next worst Egypt at 50 per cent, according to the International Federation for the Phonographic Industry. Piracy is reckoned to cost the global music industry some USD4bn annually.

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Internet – Airlines

Connexion and Lufthansa Launch World’s First Airborne Internet
Connexion by Boeing and Lufthansa German Airlines made history today on flight LH 452 from Munich to Los Angeles by giving passengers the opportunity to be the first in the world to experience real-time, WiFi-based, high-speed Internet connectivity on a commercial flight route. The successful launch of Connexion by Boeing’s commercial airline service was confirmed by e-mail at 3:18 a.m. Pacific time when David Friedman, vice president of Marketing and Direct Sales, sent the following message to his team on the ground: “Hello from 33,000 feet above Germany. The system is on and everything is A-OK. Lots of buzz on board, as this is the start of a new era of communications and aviation history.”
Source; Lufthansa Airlines, May 2004

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FOCUS

Telecommunications – UMTS

Russia Preps for 3G
The huge boom in Russia’s cellular industry has led carriers to plow investment into regional W-CDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) network trials, with analysts touting the country as a potential hotbed of 3G activities.
By the end of April 2004 wireless penetration in Russia had reached 30.8 percent, taking the total to 44.7 million subscribers, according to analysts at Moscow-based J'son & Partners.
With GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) technology dominating 95 percent of the market’s current cellular services, Russia is expected to adopt the European W-CDMA standard as its 3G technology of choice.
The W-CDMA air interface is part of the Universal Mobile Telecommunications Standard (UMTS). Used with existing GSM core networks, the theory goes, W-CDMA-compliant handsets and base stations can increase wireless data transfer rates to a potential maximum of 2 Mbit/s.
In its latest report, J'Son & Partners states that Russian carriers have conducted extensive trials of W-CDMA networks over the past three years.
Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) the country’s largest carrier (16.1 million subscribers), has trialed kit from NEC Corp.; Tokyo: 6701), Siemens AG; and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. Number two, JSC Vimpel-Communications (VimpelCom) (13.9 million) has tested equipment from Alcatel SA; Third-place MegaFon (8.1 million subscribers) is testing kit from LM Ericsson NEC, Nokia Corp. and Siemens.
J’Son claims that 3G licenses are likely to be awarded in the fourth quarter of 2004 and the first quarter of 2005, with network deployment slated for the second or third quarter of 2005. Commercial 3G-service launch “in major Russian cities” is expected in the first and second quarters of 2006.
The Russian 3G market has a great potential to develop through a combination of positive circumstances. The government has a key role... by limiting the influence of market inhibitors and ensuring success through a timely and intelligent development of 3G.
The attraction of Russia’s cellular industry has already led a number of Europe’s Tier 1 carriers to take significant stakes in the market’s three main players. T-Mobile International AG has a 25 percent stake in MTS, and Telenor ASA, which is keen to build a growing presence in the region, holds a 29 percent stake in VimpelCom. Scandinavian powerhouse TeliaSonera AB that is also amassing mobile assets in Northern and Eastern Europe owns 43.8 percent of MegaFon.
Vodafone Group plc is also rumoured to be making a move on the market following its failed bid to take over AT&T Wireless Services Inc. (NYSE: AWE - message board).
Strategically, Russia is a very important market for carriers, there is the potential for huge growth, and many global carriers will be gauging the opportunity for 3G. The fact that licenses are set for award in the next twelve months is another reason why Vodafone may be eyeing up the market.
Source; market sources and corporate data, May 2004-05-18
Write; by LuisB

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