Amazon’s cloud computing infrastructure has seen tremendous growth and is silently becoming a core element of the Internet. According to research from DeepField Networks, one-third of the millions of users covered by the study visited a website that uses Amazon’s infrastructure each day, WIRED reported on Wednesday. While most people still think of Amazon mainly as an Internet retailer, the company is quietly becoming “a massive utility” that is responsible for 1% of all Internet traffic in North America, according to Craig Labovitz, the co-founder of DeepField Networks. “My mother, for example, has heard of Facebook. She’s heard of Google. She buys stuff from Amazon. But I don’t think most people realize just how pervasive Amazon is becoming,” he said. “The number of websites that would now break if Amazon were to go down, and the growing pervasiveness of Amazon behind the scenes, is really quite impressive.” The company stored 762 billion objects in its S3 storage cloud last year, three times the number of objects stored 2010, and it operates several data centers on the West Coast, across Europe, and in Virginia, Singapore and Tokyo. More →
Sprint’s head of business markets Paget Alves recently confirmed to CNET that the carrier will launch cloud-based services during the fourth quarter of this year. The offering will be available to small and medium sized business customers. Sprint will provide security, software and Internet hosting, and it will also offer an “infrastructure as a service” option, Alves told CNET. “The telcos are in a unique position because our business is centered around the cloud,” Alves said. “There’s quite a bit of demand. It’s the [number one] topic of conversation with [chief information officers].” Other carriers are also working on cloud-based services; in April, Verizon Wireless acquired cloud and managed IT infrastructure leader Terremark Worldwide for $1.4 billion. More →
According to analysts at Gerson Lehrman Group, Sprint is already in the process of transitioning to LTE. In an analysis published Wednesday, the firm claims knowledge of “project leapfrog,” allegedly Sprint’s codename for the buildout of a new LTE network that will take place over the next several years. “Sprint has initiated project leapfrog with Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, and Samsung to upgrade its network to LTE while also removing iDEN base stations and fully utilizing its 800MHz spectrum,” the report states. “This three year project is designed to leave Sprint with a competitive, nationwide LTE network while reducing operating costs.” The report follows earlier news that Sprint plans to finally shift the business it gained in acquiring Nextel off of its old iDEN network and onto its CDMA network. More →
Speaking to Reuters recently, Iraq’s communications minister, Mohammed Allawi, said he believes the auction for a fourth mobile phone operator license at the end of this year could fetch between $1 billion and $2 billion. Similarly, Allawi said that the licensing fees, installation and equipment required to install a new network would cost between $1 billion and $2 billion. 40% of the revenues raised from the auction would be given to the mobile operator, 35% would be given to the public, and the final 25% would be given to Iraq’s communication ministry. In 2007 AsiaCell, Korek Telcom, and Zain paid $1.25 billion each for 15-year mobile phone operator licenses. Allawi hopes that the fourth license will be used for faster data networks. “Regarding the fourth license, the most important thing about it is that we are going for more advanced technology,” Allawi said. “Until this moment, we have no 3G in Iraq, we have no 4G. We have only GSM.” More →
This morning, Nokia Siemens announced that it would acquire $1.2 billion in network infrastructure assets from telecom giant Motorola. As the press release states: “Motorola’s networks infrastructure business provides products and services for wireless networks, including GSM, CDMA, WCDMA, WiMAX and LTE. This business is a market leader in WiMAX, with 41 contracts in 21 countries; has a strong global footprint in CDMA with 30 active networks in 22 countries; and a robust GSM installed base, with more than 80 active networks in 66 countries; and excellent traction with LTE early adopters.” Some of the highlights of the deal include:
- Transaction expected to significantly strengthen Nokia Siemens Networks’ presence globally, particularly in the United States and Japan.
- Nokia Siemens Networks targeting to gain incumbent relationships with more than 50 operators and strengthen relationships with others.
- Acquisition to enhance position of Nokia Siemens Networks in key wireless technologies; will give company large global footprint in CDMA.
- Motorola retains the iDEN business, substantially all the patents related to its wireless network infrastructure business, and other selected assets.
- The companies expect to complete closing activities by the end of 2010.
The biggest CDMA player in the U.S. — Verizon Wireless — released a statement saying, “This deal brings together two important Verizon suppliers; we look forward to our continuing work with Nokia Siemens Networks.” We’ve got the full press release after the bounce. More →
You know it’s bad when AT&T starts to take some heat from Saturday Night Live and not just Twitter and the blogosphere. With ongoing criticism about its network and sub-par performance, AT&T was recently accused of increasing data revenues and neglecting its infrastructure. In response to these claims, AT&T not only denies ditching its network maintenance while swimming in cash, but it also delineates plans for improving future performance. While AT&T won’t break down capital expenditures to tell us exactly how much was spent on infrastructure for competitive reasons, here is part of its statement regarding the rumors:
Here’s a look at how we’re spending what’s expected to be between $17 and $18 billion in improvements in 2009 to our wireline and wireless networks, with billions on wireless:
- We are nearly doubling the wireless spectrum serving 3G customers in hundreds of markets across the country, using high-quality 850 MHz spectrum. This additional spectrum expands overall network capacity and improves in-building reception.
- We are adding about 2,000 new cell sites to our network in 2009, expanding service to new cities and improving coverage in other areas.
- We’re adding about 100,000 new backhaul connections, which add critical capacity between cell sites and the global IP backbone network.
- We’re enabling widespread access to our Wi-Fi network – the largest in the country with more than 20,000 hotspots in all 50 states – allowing customers to take advantage of the best available AT&T mobile broadband connection.
- We’re rolling out even faster 3G speeds with deployment of HSPA 7.2 technology and are preparing for field trials of next generation, LTE wireless networks next year, with deployment planning to begin in 2011. This schedule aligns with industry expectations for when a wide variety of compatible 4G wireless devices should be available.