Thursday, March 31, 2011

PLDT DIGITEL Merger in Philippines

Source: PLDT

I was quite busy over the past few days at work & home so I din't talk about this news. But no surprise to me. After the AT&T deal, I am looking forward to more consolidation and Philippines started the ball rolling on.

This is certainly a very good deal for PLDT & Digi. Digi is the new entrant in the market and the third largest player or the smallest among big three (Smart, Globe, Sun). Now the market becomes pre-2005 situation where the Smart & Globe were head-on with each other. If I're to do a simple SWOT from Globe perspective,


* Globe is aggressively expanding the network and with the new network it can better handle the competition
* Good support from investors and possible learn from Optus (part of SingTel group in similar situation in Australia) to break the dominance of PLDT
* Potential NG-NBN which may create more opportunities


* Old networks, and the expansion taking few more years, Coverage still a problem in remote areas & country side.
* New technologies require huge capex and difficult to head-on with rival with deeper pockets
* PLDT has end to end value chain (Broadband, Wireless, Fixed, Satellite & Media firms) and owns lots of content. Globe WiMAX - LTE strategy is still not clear and lacks content.


* Duopoly is better and those customers who doesn't like Smart may look at Globe
* Without SUN, the price erosion may be stopped. The bucket strategy may be gone :) and margins may see improvement


* Globe will face the PLDT in it's strongest form.  & with the scale of PLDT can manage their costs and in turn still can offer cheap prices which Globe cannot offer. Market share erosion/stagnation
* New entrant in to the market/regulatory intervention(?)

Overall for Globe, the situation is not as bleak as it looks. If Globe can change the processes and optimize its structure they have a very good opportunity to improve their situation.

I always believe that the TELCO core competency is transporting packets from one end to another end and if they can deliver efficiently and effectively they don't have to worry about OTP or whatever new entrants. Given the fact that todays business driver is 'Data', it makes perfect sense for Globe to look internally to optimize their cost structure. One easy way is to look at Bharti and their managed services model. Bottom line is either need to increase the revenue or decrease the cost. Given the situation I doubt Globe can increase the revenue (they can stabilize) but they can reduce the cost. Being part of the Singtel group, I believe they can get the details of Bharti deal with relative ease/Or they can simply start working with vendors (e.g. Ericsson, NSN, ALU, Huawei) to optimize their cost structure

In year 2009, Globe's EBIDTA margins're healthy 54% (Look here for a comparison) and if they can maintain that would keep them in the top league of performers.

SingCash increases its share capital (Singtel injects more cash)

Source: CNA

SingTel's wholly-owned subsidiary, SingCash has increased its share capital from SGD 1 to SGD 100,000 via the allotment and issue of 99,999 ordinary shares to SingTel Singapore. SingTel established the subsidiary earlier this month for mobile commerce related services, including mobile remittances and payments.

SingCash is a new creation by SingTel. The company was created just couple of weeks back and goals seems to be 'me too' kind of focus. Why I'd think this is going to be a short term buzz,

1) M-Commerce - Consumer: We all know TELCO's tried very hard to entice consumers to purchase stuff using mobile phones (?) and WAP portals. This was 3G days and what can make this happen? I wouldn't bet on bigger screen or hsdpa speeds. It's the actual stuff and mobile or telco's are just plain access media only.

2) M-Commerce - Remittances: If singcash trying to partner with existing players, there is no unique value it can create for singtel group. If they want to go head-on with them, again I'd say they need to do their home work..
Most of the foreigners/residents who remit back home falls in to two categories. PMETS or workers. If you are a PMET the chances are very high that they'd use the internet banking and send money in thousands or hundreds. Here the interface & ease of use is the key.
For workers, its a different story. Western Union so far managed a fair share in the very low end market. Another popular way is the traditional bank draft. Why people use this is mainly due to the 'ease of access' at destination. By using western union the parents/spouses/dependants back home can get the money within their village or town and most of the times on the same day.

3) M-Commerce - Payment: No comments here. We've seen how well Starhub, Singtel did with NFC mobile phones and partnership with Ezlink & Nets.
If Google & Apple were to introduce the NFC stuff in their upcoming releases there will be momentum but how singcash can benefit from that is unknown and I don't have any +ve expectations about singcash here.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Singapore electricity prices - 2000 to now

Singapore power services or SP Services announced that their charges will increase by 6.1% from April. (News Report from Channelnewsasia here)

I've tried to do a simple graph showing the historical prices of electricity tariff over last ten years here and here goes the image.

I've tried to add the inflation (From MAS) too but seems no big impact over time. My calculation of inflation adjusted is pretty raw and I've used excel and PV/FV to 'adjust'. So if any of the financial experts/gurus see better way to do please don't get furious and I am willing to learn..

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Huawei Strategy


I've posted briefly on Huawei on their open letter to US & VHA decision. According to the post, a Huawei executive mentioned that they need to change their strategy and I fully agree with them.

"A product- or technology-centered approach to corporate strategy is correct in an era of insufficient supply,"  "But in an era of excess supply, (strategy) needs to have customer demand at its center."

Also, Huawei successfully transformed the mobile & telco industry. There was a day, when the vendors demand hefty prices for the equipment, software price, license charges & maintenance charges. I remember a classic example where we started negotiation with an European vendor for UAT Charges. After Huawei entered in to the market, the situation became more and more competitive and they effectively commoditized the hardware market.

Some key points from the report.

* Huawei plans to work with major customers to jointly develop "customer innovation centers," assigning staff members with expertise in various product lines and technical factors to work directly on-site with customers and so far they've setup in Vodafone, Telefonica & China Mobile.

* Increased focus on terminal. Revenues of the division grew 24 percent from 2009 to US$ 4.5 billion last year, and now comprise 16 percent of the company revenues.

* Cloud computing is another arena and they want to be in the top 3 players. And at a press conference, Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei said his company's cloud platforms would "catch up with and surpass Cisco's in not too long a time."

Though I believe in Huawei abilities, my concern will be on their execution & their image.

Their biggest problem is execution and typically in communication & process. Most of the times either the communication breaks or mis-interpreted or totally missing. While the process seems to be very fluid and different project managers seems to follow different structures. This was evident in the mail from Telekom Malaysia CEO letter to Huawei Chairman in last year.

"Image" is another challenge for Huawei. They have to handle it and it's pretty sensitive...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

NTP 11 - New Telecom Policy of India

Source: Hindu

The early indications show, that the government is moving in the right direction. They are recommending, Preferential status to "Made In India" goods. Noting that we are increasing depending on services sector its a good move to improve the manufacturing sector. I wish to have an equivalent of Huawei/ZTE or Samsung/LG in India. We are spending billions of dollars every year on telecom equipment but failed to develop a complete eco system. Given the scale of market it puzzles me and wish to get some info on it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

AT&T to buy T-Mobile. Signs of consolidation in the telco markets??

Source: LA Times

If approved by regulators, this would create the largest telco in US with 130 million subscribers (Verizon - ~94 mil subscribers) and the market will see more such attempts.

IMO, if there is any country with real requirement (from $ & c perspective) that would be India. Right now there are more than 15 operators with licenses and at least 4 to 5 major players in any of the region. Bharti, Reliance, Vodafone, Idea, Aircel & BSNL controls majority share. Regional players like Spice, MTNL, BPL gained respectable share and continue to create competition in their respective markets. New entrants like Etisalat, Videocon, Unitech, S Tel have not started their operations but showed great ambitions. Also TRAI didn't rule out the possibility of opening up for more MVNO's.

I don't think any other country has such a huge number of players in the market and there is a great need of consolidation. Big guys like Bharti, Voda, Rcom may target regional players and small players. But a perfect surprise would be if they manage to merge. They can streamline their operations, reduce their capital expenditure and improve profitability which is good for them as well as the overall market.

Singapore, I don't see any such possibility with the three players in a perfect Oligopoly market. I remember IDA tried to introduce a fourth player but finally distributed the spectrum to the three players.

Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, & Philippines markets are similar in nature with high barriers and lots of uncertainties.

So overall in the ASEAN region I don't hope for M&A but in the South Asia I do hope that M&A activities rise and create a balanced market.

Friday, March 18, 2011


HUTCHISON PORT HOLDINGS TRUST N (NS8U.SI ) opens at 0.97 on it's trading opening. The IPO price is 1.01 makes its about 4% discount :)
Just within the five minutes the total trading volume is > 100 million shares and HPH became the top volume stock in the market. The low is 0.960 so far with the high being 0.980 so far.
I think this continues the trend of stocks opening at less than the IPO price in SGX.

As I am writing this post the volume hit150 million.....May be it'll hit more than 500 million before end of the day..

Update: After three hours, the total volume is 616 million & value 591 millions and close @ 0.950

I think this is a record for a stock to hit that volume/value. By the way I won't believe that the price dropped due to the happenings in Japan. This is a perfect way for the promoters to dispose their assets and get hard cash.. 

some photos from India - Ongole, Motumala

In my recent trip to India, we managed to find some time to visit one of the villages. Some photos from the trip.
Government School in the village
Though the cities and urban areas changed a lot, the rural side still keeps the traditions, cultural practice and relations. The photo here is the school children celebrating the National Day and you can see the beautiful kids 'praying' for the nation. These schools used to be the backbone of nations education system, but recently with the privatization most of the qualified teachers opted for cities and higher pays. Still we can find some of the best teachers in rural areas, but the numbers are dwindling so does the quality of education.
-Famous kotha patnam beach.

This is a beautiful beach near Kotha Patnam town, and when we're kids the place was quite peaceful. Now pretty commercialized with weekend crowds and business men occupying most of the place. The terrible thing I noticed is most of the beach front areas are occupied by political leaders (understood the market rate for acre is close to 300 grand).
Kotha patnam beach - fishing boats

Another view of the beach with fishing boats in the back. Traditionally the besta community stays near the sea and they are exceptionally good in understanding the signs and symptoms of sea. This place was hit by Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004, and thanks to the wisdom of old folks who understand that there is a problem with the 'sound & color of ocean' and moved to higher grounds. Significant damage was done to the boats, fishing nets and assets but now its back to normal.


Vempali Chettu
This plant used to occupy almost all the empty lands when I was a kid and the farmers used to plow the land with this plant. This contains lots and lots of minerals and offers the necessary nutrients for the paddy. This is the real 'organic booster'
Vempali Chettu. (Sci: Tephrosia Purpurea), in Hindi it's called Saraphonkh

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cost/Reach gap. Good post from Cisco Blog

Here is an excellent post from cisco blog, and it talks about the "Cost/Reach" gap. Today most of the organizations be it public or private or finding themselves increased responsibilities/requirements while their ability to pay is reduced. This was not new to Singapore as our labor head put it in our slang, Cheaper, Better, Faster. While this is targeted at the employers, and true to certain extent what I'd love to see is the governments & large organizations adapting the same and taking the lead for rest of the small players.

I've mentioned that in Singapore we are lagging in adopting new technologies due to various reasons, and this is where the public sector can play a very good role. They can show the rest, that by adapting new technologies they can cut cost and pass on their savings to the public.

UK ISP's & TELCO's release a CoP for industry.

Just realized that the service providers released a Code of Practice (CoP) on traffic management transparency of broadband services. The full paper can be downloaded from here.

I've mentioned about net neutrality in Singapore & Operator responses  here. This is after IDA request them for information/submissions. The UK CoP is voluntary and supported by service providers; BSkyB, BT, O2, TalkTalk, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone – these service providers account for 90% of all fixed-line broadband customers and 60% of all mobile customers in the UK. The group's first priority is to publish a common Key Factor Indicator table (KFI), summarizing the traffic management practices by June 2011.

The mobile operators T-Mobile & Orange didn't participate and I believe they'll share their policy on traffic management soon.

The principles of CoP are below.

*Firstly an  explicit  commitment  to  provide  more  information  to  consumers  about  what practices are used in networks to (a) help maximise capacity for everyone’s benefit and (b) to support adherence by customers to terms and conditions

* Secondly, an agreed set of good practice principles that will inform how ISPs communicate 
that  information  to  consumers.    Signatories  agree  that  the  information  they  provide  about 
traffic management to their current and prospective customers will be: 
Understandable, Appropriate , Accessible , Current , Comparable , Verifiable 

* Thirdly,  to  deliver  on  the  comparability  principle,  signatories  commit  to  publishing  a 
consistent  Key  Facts  Indicator  (KFI)  table,  summarising  the  traffic  management  practices 
they use for each broadband product they currently market. 

CoP on implementing Traffic management.

* To manage the overall network  - Prioritize/deprioritize time-critical applications (e.g. video streaming)
* In relation to Customer's contract - Data Caps, or As per T&C's of the contract

The actual means of implementation is not shared but I am sure it's by using DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) tools (e.g. Cisco-SCE8000, Allot, Sandvine, Arbor, Procera, & lot more Mobile vendors). However DPI tools does have their own limitation and tend to generate lot of false positives. For example a simple SSL tunnel (If you use HTTPS instead of HTTP) cannot be inspected, so if P2P uses tunneling or VPN or TOR kind of networks, the DPI's are not very useful.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Scammers using Singapore brand

My friend Amit posted about this company Speakasia Pte Ltd here.
In summary the scheme is very simple. You need to pay $120 to join as their panelist. After that you'll receive a monthly newsletter containing surveys and the survey companies pay you for the accepted and completed surveys. However what makes me wonder,

* You need to PAY USD 120 to join as a panelist. Then you need to bring more "TEAM MATES" to the panel, and you get your money back with more new members. Also you'll get commision from your TEAM MATES joining your team. A great Ponzi in making.
* ACRA website says the company didn't had a AGM and the status is a red X.
* They pay you in USD but to overcome the "currency conversion risk" they are offering you 1 USD = 50INR. In reality the conversion is 1USD=45INR. Which company offers 10% extra to overcome the conversion risk
* You need to get more and more people to join your "team" to ensure you get more money.
* Lot more suspicious stuff (no body seems picking up the phone in their office, the contact e-mail seems to be inactive, ...)

The company even promoting heavily on local television and national news papers. They claim their "Authenticity" based on

* They are from Singapore
* They registered with ACRA
* The bank accounts and money transactions all are via UOB.

Singapore enjoys such a great reputation in the region as a nation which is corruption free, comply to standards, high ethics; and these companies are leveraging on the name and making quick money. I've written to ACRA on this case but I am not sure whether they can take any action but I sincerely hope that they do take some action to ensure these companies tarnish our reputation.

Monday, March 14, 2011

More jobs asking for IPv6 skills (Huawei, Cisco etc)

It seems the IPv6 market in ASEAN region is getting the momentum. I've posted here, the job opening from Singtel for a IPv6 program manager. Now I came across few jobs and the most prominent one's are from Huawei & Cisco.

Huawei expecting the candidate to have hands on experience and excellent working knowledge on "IPV4/6 protocol/ solutions such as 6RD, NAT64, etc and best practices for transiting from IPV4 to IPV6 in data, fixed and mobile networks ". 

There are few more openings in the market asking for IPv6 experience and good to see some momentum. I strongly believe this is the right time, IDA to release the guidelines for SME implementation and to be more aggressive on the acceptance. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

IPv6 services in Singapore

After my post here, I've called the three telco's for IPv6 consumer services. Surprisingly none of them offering to consumers. Singnet told that they are currently ready to offer for SME/Corporate and if I am interested, then I can speak to my account manager or technical support folks. Even their fiber offering as part of NG-NBN doesn't come with IPv6 addresses.

I think our ISP's are believing that they can manage with NAT or CGN given the fact that the market is pretty saturated and growth prospects are limited. However they'd be surprised with Mobile. There is huge potential in mobile market space and this in turn can spur connected home or M2M or other value added services. So dear ISP's, better to offer earlier so valuable knowledge can be gained.


SingTel updated its website here. Hope they start offering IPv6 soon in Singapore.

Right now large enterprises can opt in for the poc/trial and based on my understanding with singtel, they are willing to offer almost all the current services (multicast is an exception though)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Reliance chooses Cisco ASR-5000

Source: Cisco Blog

I think this can be a very good entry for Cisco in 3G/LTE domain in India. So far the Chinese vendors dominated the market. Indeed Reliance uses Huawei equipment heavily and typically the contract agreements with Huawei comes with a "commercial loan" from Chinese bank. (Huawei publicly admitted in their open letter to USA. I've posted it here) So I am a bit surprised that Reliance opted for Cisco.

Knowing Bharti heavy reliance on managed services model, and Ericsson strong push for their Ericsson SE1200 (Old Redback SE1200) routers I believe Bharti is using lot of SE1200 boxes in their 3G network. TATA in turn is using Juniper & Huawei. Overall, this is going to be a battle ground for traditional mobile vendors as well as the IP vendors.

Japan Tsunami / Earth Quake - Marketers trying to sell slots in the 'event'

Did we became so materialistic that even a disaster is perceived as an event?
Also did the journalists show some empathy for the suffering nation and not smile during the reporting..

I was watching CNA news yesterday. The reporter started to show the graphical animation on how/why earth quakes happen, and this is the weirdest and untimely reporting I've ever seen in CNA. He was so excited he couldn't control the smile on his lips. Either the program was just copied from a science exhibition or the reporter must be thinking about some other good stuff. 

To worse it off, I'm not sure whether this is true or not, but I saw a image posted in forums showing CNA mailer.

CNA, no comments. Mediacorp says their vision is to be the top media company with a "heart". Hopefully they 'walk the talk'.. 

MediaCorp’s vision is to be the top media company in Asia and being “top” means a company with a heart, driven by a belief that our successes should positively impact the communities around us. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Singapore Mobile users are more data hungry..

Source: Fiercebroadbandwireless

FierceWireless: Are you looking at tiered pricing or application-based charging?
Montefiore: The CEO of France Telecom was speaking at the GSMA Leadership Forum and he said that 60 percent of the data traffic is generated by 10 percent of the base. In Singapore 90 percent of the data traffic is generated by 3 percent of the base. Some are paying too much and some are paying too little. We really have to rebalance this. And it's up to the operators within the GSMA to get together and figure this out.

Above lines are directly copied from Fiercewireless website. For more interesting comments please check the direct link above.

If I've to comment, I'd say this is mainly due to the market positioning. In Singapore all three TELCO's positioned Mobile data as a replacement rather than complimentary to Fixed broadband. Just like how Mobile phones became personal and replaced the home fixed phones, the mobile internet positioned to replace the fixed internet at homes. We've young couples who didn't subscribed to DSL or Cable internet at homes and just relying on iPhones or Samsungs for their internet connectivity. With the wonderful coverage we've in Singapore this further spurs the replacement.

Also the cost (~SGD 10-15 for unlimited monthly) which is perhaps the lowest in the region further accelerated the adoption. So we've people who subscribed to mobile internet and using bittorrent or file downloads or P2P streaming almost continuously.

Now, I am sure the three telco's engineers and managers are looking to reduce their costs & how to normalize the behavior. All of them are doing Traffic Shaping via Fair Usage Policies (FUP) and trying to offload traffic to Wi-Fi or fixed internet. I'll continue with another post on the offloading, policy options & challenges.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Facebook offers Movie Streaming - Start with Dark Night


Facebook joined the crowd and offering "Dark Night" for 30 facebook credits. The validity is 48 hours. For the beginning Facebook says that it's only available in US market. I can understand why only US and not the rest of the world. It's pretty simple reason.

If Facebook to offer HD quality video content over internet worldwide they need to ensure that they've connectivity throughout the world. Google is years ahead with the GCN (Google Content Network) and peering agreements with almost all Tier-1 & major operators. They even invested in Submarine cable connecting Asia-Pac with US
If Facebook to follow suite it will take them few years and lots of money. So for the time being US residents can enjoy watching movies(?) from Facebook and use the Facebook credits. I think within couple of weeks or months I strongly believe Google will offer similar services.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cisco drops UMI price


Cisco dropped the price by 100 and now it costs $499 and subscription is $99/year. Originally the equipment price is $599 and subscription is $300/year. So that's a hefty drop. Still IMHO, the service is one of the worst from the tech giant. This will not be a success because

* I can use Skype and I don't sit in front of a TV for video calls. My laptop screen is big enough and I get pretty decent quality with Skype 5.

* There are few more alternatives like Google or Yahoo or old MSN. Did I mention all of them are FREE

* The idea lifecycle is too short. If people love to use TV for video calling we are in the midst of connecting our TV's to Internet. We've seen Samsung TV's that can support Skype natively and soon more and more TV's will be coming with Internet connectivity. Then it's a matter of time before someone write "APP" for TV. It could be Apple or Google.

* If I want to do it right now I can just plug in my Laptop to the TV via HDMI. So I don't need to spend a single $.

Overall it seems Cisco need to seriously think on what they want to do and should focus on what is their strength. In my view, their strength is Routers, Switches & other stuff which is more like Enterprises & Service Providers. Juniper recently announced their strategy and the VP made it clear that their profit margins will remain around 68% for the next couple of years. Its not the same case for Cisco. Cisco margins are squeezed and we can see that in their Q3.

Please, no more UMI or FLIP. While I appreciate your efforts to create/capture Consumer segment you should try to understand what these folks really want.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Federal Government Strategy for Cloud Computing

The report can be downloaded here & the presentation from here

This would give a very big boost to Cloud providers and infra supporting them. If the Gov can migrate then lot of enterprises and quasi gov agencies (in US & Worldwide) will definitely consider moving to the cloud. In my opinion there is only ONE BIG CONSIDERATION. It's Security. If the agencies can develop a strategy to handle the security portion then it'll bring an enormous advantage to the public.

From Singapore context, IMO it'll take quite a lot of time before the government jumps to Cloud Infra. I don't think technically its challenging but mainly due to our innate culture of not taking the risks and fear of loosing face. So it may take few years before the private enterprises moves to Cloud.

The first major move was from singtel. If you noticed, singnet moved their e-mail services to Cloud (Google Mail). I think this saved millions of $ for singnet as basically they don't need to maintain the e-mail servers and the support systems any more. Google will be happy with the service charges + close to one million subscribers on their e-mail system and they can sell more advertisements.

I hope IDA takes the lead in reducing their cost and shows the path for large organizations and small players. End of the day the savings can be passed down to the consumer thus applying the "cheaper, better, faster" to organizations as well. :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

IPv6 in Singapore & Singtel job opening for IPv6 program manager

Here is a job opening for IP folks. IPv6 Program Manager in Singtel

Interesting to see that a job opening specifically for IPv6. Today we are running out of Public IPv4 addresses and APNIC announced their last block allocation last month. In Singapore I see all the Mobile operators are issuing Public IP for their mobile broadband (e.g. internet apn, sh-internet) which took me by surprise. Singapore is the only country I've seen which is using Public IP for mobile broadband.

I've captured the public IP allocation (best estimate only as this is based on publicly available info) and here is the table. This is the list of Top-5 IP owners in Singapore based on APNIC allocations. I've further break it based on their actual operations.
If you see the availability of Public IP for each of the postpaid subscriber (Stats from 2010 annual reports of M1, SH, ST) the ratio looks pretty bad for singtel mobile.
For singnet the ratio is close to 1 and they are left with approx 100 K IP. Assuming they have used/reserved 64,000 IP for infra & other misc purposes they are left with little margins. Which means if they want to add new dsl subscribers, they need to get new public IP internally or externally. Currently the IPv4 black market prices are going around US5/IP which is relatively cheap but moving forward this may increase and become a burden.

Also for the NG-NBN subscribers they need to give new IP addresses. If the NG-NBN opens up a new segment (unlikely as the internet penetration hitting >100%) then it will be an added trouble to singnet.

So overall I believe singtel will feel the pinch much earlier than sh or m1 and singtel is working in the right direction by getting a program mgr to lead the deployment. Also in the region the mobile broadband is just in the starting phase and going to explode in the coming years. So they can share the lessons and experiences regionally. For the ROI portion, with the deployment experience potentially they can offer their IPv6 migration services to SME's or Corporates. :)

Huawei open letter to United States (Gov + People)


This is in reply to the supposed gov blockage of 3Leaf acquisition. This is not the first time US block a deal because of potential security issues/concerns. In my opinion after the Huawei indicant in India there is a lot of disbelief and suspiciousness about the company operations and intentions. If huawei learned one or two things from Sun Tzu, they'd not be in this position :)

But moving forward, I see more and more governments try to scrutinize the Chinese companies deals and their operations which is not going to be a good thing for them. What they need to do is they need to build the credibility and trust. Today most of the deals with Chinese companies goes like "Yes deals". What ever the Customer requirement is the vendor answer will be "Yes". It may sound good but in reality this is not always good. They've changed their image from pure copy cat & cheap player to respectable technological firm, so for Huawei, it's the time they should learn from their counterparts..

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

IDA-Singapore to issue code of practice for Service Providers (SRII-CoP)

IDA will be issuing code of practise for Service Providers to bolster Secure & Resilient Internet infrastructure. As per the statement,

The Code covers the protection of the core Internet infrastructure such as routers, switches and critical network components, and details the objectives and controls essential to prevent, detect and respond to security incidents. These requirements, which are consistent with internationally recognised standards and best practices for the industry, will put the ISPs in good stead and provide assurance to their consumers.

I couldn't find a copy in IDA website but I strongly support the initiative and IMO it could've been done years back. I've a strong belief that the code (SRII-CoP) is modeled something like the NIST/CIS recommendations. If IDA include the requirement to protect the customers (e.g. Anti Spam, Anti Virus, Anti Spyware, DDOS etc) that'd be the best from IDA in recent years. This should be offered free of cost, as this is becoming basic and even Google offers some sort of protection by giving a warning if we try to visit a site with malware/spyware. IMO, ISP's need to invest some money to protect their customers and the ROI for them is most likely 'less calls to their contact centers'.

Hope IDA releases the document for public so we can understand the details and also create new documents/recommendations to secure Routers & Firewalls in Enterprise networks. This will greatly help SME's and other organizations to work on a common benchmarking framework.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) replacing their RAN with Huawei


Interesting to see VHA replacing their RAN network. Also Optus is working with NSN & Huawei and if they choose NSN,  then it's became a testing ground for the three largest telecom vendors in australia (Telstra is with Ericsson). VHA didn't specify what was the root cause or actual case behind the dropped calls, delayed sms & voice mails, slow data speeds and long waits to customer care :) but I don't think the problem is completely with the radio network. It was working pretty well until middle of last year and during the second half the performance drop became pretty obvious.

Most of the carriers I've seen had the problems during the early days of HS launches. This is due to various reasons but main culprit is the optimization and configuration. So hopefully VHA managed to find the root cause and they are addressing it by replacing their RAN.

 By the way I am not a radio expert so the comments about radio are based on my conversation with radio experts rather than from my own experience.