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Pakistan climbing season is on! Polish reach C2 on Nanga Parbat

June 4, 2010 1 comment

Although muted by the roar of Everest summit waves, Pakistan climbing is on: 12 men led by winter pioneer Artur Hajzer are already at work on Nanga Parbat – and moving fast! “On May 25 we set up BC at 4200,” Artur emailed ExplorersWeb.

Earliest birds

The mountaineers set up HQ on the Diamir side of Nanga Parbat last week.

In just a handful of days on the Kinshoffer route, the team has fixed ropes up to C2. “We’re the earliest birds here, teams usually start climbing some weeks later,” the team explained on the expedition website. “We’ve thus found the mountain overloaded with snow, but otherwise weather conditions are good.”

The fast start will hopefully permit a hat-trick: “After Nanga, some of us would like to move to the Gasherbrums,” Artur said.

Not yet in place but sharing the permit are Italians P.Michalski and S.L.Terra plus, separately, an American lady.

Launched by the Polish Alpine Association and supported by Poland’s Ministry of Sport and Tourism and the Kukuczka Foundation, the expedition is part of a 5 years-long project known as “Polish Winter Himalaism 2010-2015”.

The program aims to help promising young climbers (mountain runners, ski-alpinism champions, climbing instructors, etc.) in their first steps at 8000ers accompanied by seasoned Himalayan veterans.

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Categories: General

Service Providers Spent Less on Network Infrastructure Investment in 2009

June 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Infonetics Research, a market research and consulting firm, released its first edition of its 2010 biannual Service Provider Capex, Opex, ARPU, and Subscribers report, presenting on how current economic conditions are impacting telecom markets by region and equipment segment.

The report said that worldwide, service providers spent $295 billion in 2009 on telecom and non-telecom capital expenditure projects, which is 5.9 percent less than they spent in 2008.

Also, the report revealed that carriers reduced investment in network infrastructure by 8 percent in 2009, with the cuts in IP voice infrastructure, optical network equipment, video infrastructure, and IP routers.

In the area of mobile infrastructure, spending make up the largest portion of all network infrastructure investments made by service providers, making it 19 percent.

Worldwide, service providers took in $1.65 trillion in revenue in 2009, a decrease of 4.2 percent from 2008, the report says. Carrier revenue is expected to resume growth in 2010.

“As world economies climbed out of recession, telecom service providers reduced their capital expenditures 5.9 percent worldwide in 2009, in line with our predictions and much less than many had expected. Carrier capex didn’t tank like it did in 2001 for two main reasons: service providers are operating with clean balance sheets, having learned that lesson from the great telecom crash, and the demand for broadband today is very real indeed. Now, don’t declare victory yet, as we forecast worldwide carrier capex to decline again and bottom out in 2010, followed by a new investment cycle starting in 2011 driven by a wave of 2G upgrades, 3G and LTE rollouts, and fiber-based wireline broadband initiatives around the globe,” explained Stéphane Téral, principal analyst for mobile and FMC infrastructure at Infonetics Research.

 Infonetics’ capex report tracks revenue, capex, capex-to-revenue ratios, opex, ARPU, subscribers, and access lines of 184 public and semi-private/government-owned service providers on a monthly and biannual basis. The report includes past, current, and forecast capex and revenue data through 2014 and equipment forecasts through 2010.

Categories: General

And the IP Continues to Sizzle

June 2, 2010 Leave a comment

The IP Sizzles show, an ABP resellers’ roadshow, is currently underway. This year, IP Sizzles officials say, they’re using the model of a multi-country roadshow.

“For the first time ABP will host a combined US tour and an international IP Sizzles,” company officials say, adding that the ABP team and sponsors will cover eight major US cities and also travel to Central and South America.

The tour kicked off in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, earlier this month for the international leg of the tour, and touched down in Los Angeles on May 18th to start the American tour.

As a value added distributor specializing in IP technology, IP Sizzler officials say the show’s mission is “to help you generate more profitable revenues and enable you to get the most out of what IP technology has to offer.” They say they found that the best way to help resellers “was to bring tested and complete packages for you to see and expose your team to at the event the Sizzle.”

Patton Electronics is taking its products on the road for this ABP’s seventh annual IP Sizzles Conference. Patton officials note that central themes of the conference include unified communications, IP surveillance, and IP video applications for SMB.

“Patton will be showcasing our SIP-Trunking that support enterprise-class IP Telephony,” said Sean Gerrity, Patton’s regional director for North America and Japan.

IP Sizzles 2010 is designed around an intense full day program designed, company officials say, to “enlighten and inspire and help you grow your IP technology business in 2010.”

Their agenda is fast paced, they say, and “includes high-level industry information for IP Surveillance, IP Telephony and IP Video with presentations, panel discussions and exhibits plus an optional workshop on the second day with practical hands-on training.”

Categories: General

Himalaya last calls: Makalu summit and casualty report, no cake on Shisha Pangma

June 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Outware’s Makalu expedition folded with a bitter-sweet end: several members summited on May 23rd but Zaharias Kiriakakis was lost. Bad conditions forced the Germans down on Shisha.

Makalu: Climber lost on descent

The six Outware mountaineers’ summit on May 23rd turned into a hard descent in deteriorating weather: Adele had to be helped down while Zaharias (Haris) Kiriakakis (from Greece) lost his way and vanished.

One week later a series of reports have been posted by leader Arnold Coster:

“On May 21, the whole team slept in C2 together,” Arnold wrote. “All the other expedition teams where also still there so, to avoid a traffic jam on the Makalu La and the summit, I decided to split the team in two groups. A slow group who would go for the top from C4 (7750m) and a faster group who could summit from C3 (7450m).”

According to the report, Haris Kiriakakis from Greece an Mor Doron from Israel (on O2) climbed to C4 on May 22, where Mor aborted the climb and descended. The fast group set off on May 23 at 8 pm and were joined in C4 by Haris. The night was cold but clear and still.

“Turkish Tunc Findic was the first on the summit followed by Arnold, Lakpha and Dawa,” said the report. “Two hours later also Guntis, Haris and Kancha Sherpa summited.”

With a storm approaching on descent, the team had to aid Adele Pennington (UK) with extra oxygen. By May 24 the whole team was spread out on the mountain, Arnold reported. “Tunc and Lakpha where already in C3. Guntis, Adele, Dawa and me in C4. but there was still no sign of Haris and Kancha Sherpa.”

“Later I got a radio call from Haris, that he was lost and didn’t know where he was. Kancha waited for him for hours, but couldn’t locate him. For his own safety he decided to go to C4 and look for him the next morning again.”

A prolonged search for Haris proved unsuccessful, in spite of further radio contact with the climber. “On the radio he said he was close to C4, but if he is taking shelter in a cave or crevasse it will be hard to find him, because we can’t see him,” Arnold apparently reported on May 29. (Ed. Note: dates are confusing since the reports seem to be posted days after being written.)

Coster decided to call the search off on May 30th, 5 days after Hari’s first distress call, by when the search party was exhausted while snow and wind had erased all traces, the report said.

Shisha Pangma update: Over for the Germans

Bad weather and loads of snow forced the German Ski team back from 7,800m in their second and final summit attempt on Shisha. All members returned safely to BC: that fact and overall adventure was enough for the team to consider their climb a “partial success.”

Categories: General

VoIP Usage up 200 Percent by Verizon Customers

May 31, 2010 1 comment

Verizon Global Wireless announced that its customers used 200 percent more VoIP time in 2009 than in the previous year.

“Since we launched our VoIP portfolio 10 years ago, we’ve seen steady growth reflecting customer desire for reliable, cost-effective IP voice services,” said Mike Millegan, president of Verizon Global Wholesale, in a statement. “And, as this market grows, we continue to add new VoIP services while enhancing our existing portfolio.”

Verizon has added new applications such as short-duration calling systems for call centers and mass notification systems. The company also announced plans to add a more robust VoIP network interfaces in Europe later this year.

Also by the end of the year, Verizon expects to offer a VoIP-based feature that will enable its users to dispense with paper invoices and instead receive electronic invoices with call details included on them.

Verizon Wireless has forged a close relationship with Skype, the independent VoIP pacesetter, over the past few years.

Millegan attributed much of Verizon’s progress with VoIP to its cooperation with industry standards and committees, both in the U.S. and overseas. “Verizon’s work with standards bodies is important behind-the-scenes work,” Millegan said. “Without standards agreement, acceptance of new technologies and features is slowed.”

Categories: General

Compressed Time Frames and Strict Budgets Encourage Hosted VoIP and Other Managed Services

May 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Appia Communications is a well known provider of managed communication and network services. It recently reported that the compressed time frames and strict budgets have encouraged several companies and organizations to consider hosted VoIP and other remotely-managed services to replace the onsite equipment.

Jason Ulm who is the vice president of sales at Appia said that “The down economy put a lot of projects on hold, but many companies can no longer afford to wait. Some have had to move their offices on short notice. For others, old equipment got older and started to fail. At the same time, the equipment manufacturers are still ramping up operations, resulting in product shortages, supply chain issues and much longer lead times. When your phone system suddenly dies, ‘backorder’ is not a word you want to hear.”

Ulm reminded that the speed and flexibility of hosted deployments have always been powerful, but they’ve taken a new significance in the present atmosphere. He explains the situation by choosing some of the current Appia customers as examples.

“In one case, we helped a retail operation cut capital expenditures by over $200,000 and move into a new store three full weeks sooner than with a traditional build-out. In another, when a voicemail system crashed, we installed a new hosted system and VoIP service for 120 phones before the old equipment vendor could even provide a quote. Hosted deployments are far and away the fastest out there”, added Ulm.

Appia Communications is headquartered in Traverse City, Michigan. Its managed communication and network services are aimed at small and midsized companies and organizations. Its solutions enable the customers to minimize capital investments and expenditures, boost the productivity of employees, improve customer services, and race efficiently against much bigger enterprises.

Appia offers its services to the markets all over the country. Their operations are in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and St. Louis. In addition, Edward Lowe Foundation has selected Appia as one of the “2010 Michigan 50 Companies to Watch”.

Categories: General

Vodacom and Novell Partner in Cloud Computing

May 29, 2010 1 comment

In order to help businesses across Africa securely provision, manage and monitor multi-tenant applications deployed from Vodacom Business’s cloud infrastructure, Novell BrainShare Europe  and Vodacom Business, announced a partnership that will integrate much of Novell’s Intelligent Workload Management portfolio including: SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Platespin Virtualization and Workload Management, and Identity and Security solutions into the network provider’s cloud hosting solutions. 

Richard Vester, executive head of hosted services at Vodacom Business said, “Cloud computing will change the way companies do business. The service delivery model is vastly scalable and less resource and energy intensive, enabling organizations to purchase robust and reliable infrastructure and application services for a reduced cost. However, security concerns are inhibiting the adoption of cloud computing. Our partnership with Novell enables us to deliver infrastructure and application services that can support our customers’ specific security policies and regulatory compliance requirements.”

Markus J. Krauss, vice president of service providers at Novell EMEA said, “Cloud computing is core to Vodacom Business’s strategy and we’re pleased to be their engineering and technology solution partner for their cloud strategy. Vodacom Business is another proof point for Novell’s strategy to become the leader in the intelligent workload management marketplace. We’re looking forward to providing our partner with a more agile, cost effective and scalable way of managing, optimizing and securing cloud environment so they can pass the full benefits of cloud computing onto their customers.”

As businesses move to the cloud, successfully managing all aspects of infrastructure technology including service quality, security and availability, become more critical. Customers need comprehensive information about their physical and virtual server environments to obtain a true picture of how resources are being used, especially when trying to scale and rapidly provision workloads. Designed to take the guesswork out of complex server consolidation and capacity planning initiatives, Vodacom Business is using SUSE Linux Enterprise Server from Novell and virtualization and workload management solutions including PlateSpin Recon, PlateSpin Migrate and PlateSpin Protect from Novell to respond to growing business demands, improve server workload performance, reduce energy consumption and lower costs.

A major benefit of cloud computing is the flexible, on-demand model that allows enterprises to rapidly acquire additional computing power only when needed. However, this presents significant security and audit challenges. Today’s regulations require a complete audit trail when demonstrating identity and security compliance. Vodacom Business will leverage Novell identity and security management solutions to give customers the ability to treat their cloud assets as an extension of the data center. A core tenet of Intelligent Workload Management is the integration of identity and security management into cloud resources. This ensures policies and procedures for regulatory compliance and prudent business practices will be enforced ubiquitously.

Both companies have proven experience working together to enable application providers the ability to offer secure business practices in the cloud. For example, BasisOne, a hosting provider based in South Africa, uses Novell identity and security solutions for its platform that deploys SAP ERP solutions as a service using Vodacom Business’s private cloud. Using Novell identity and security solutions, BasisOne can extend an enterprise organization’s security policies onto the applications that are running on virtual servers at Vodacom Business’s state-of-the-art data center.

Read here about how SingleHop, a leading Chicago-based dedicated server and managed Web hosting provider, has launched the first product under its Cascade cloud hosting services program, the CloudLinux operating system.

Categories: General