Oracle & EU go Cloud; FTTH economics; Free making waves - Telco 2.0 News Review

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(Ed. Don't forget to join us at Digital Arabia in Dubai, 6-7 November, and Digital Asia in Singapore, 3-5 December. The agendas cover the Digital Economy, Digital Commerce and Digital Entertainment in each region, and there's a great line up of top-notch stimulus speakers from Du, Mobily, Etisalat, Singtel, Globe, Qtel, Telecom Indonesia, Google, Amex, Unilever and others.)

Larry Ellison has committed Oracle to the cloud, in his keynote at their OpenWorld customer conference. The company is offering a version of its key database product optimised for cloud environments, a version of its Exadata database machine intended for operating large in-memory databases in the cloud, and a pair of cloud services. One of these will be a classical public cloud, while the other will be installed on customer premises and managed by Oracle employees. There's some discussion of this kind of hybrid strategy here.

Meanwhile, Amazon has started offering Oracle databases in its RDS product, and now lets you provision cloud databases in terms of I/O operations per second. NASDAQ's new financial services-specific cloud is detailed here, at the AWS Blog, as it turns out to be implemented using Amazon's Virtual Private Cloud.

OpenStack's latest release, rather sinisterly codenamed "Folsom", dropped on schedule last week. Major changes include much more support for managing virtual network components from OpenStack, and interestingly, integration with VMWare's virtual switch. There's also a new block store and many incremental improvements to the core computing functions.

Containerised data-centres are growing at 40% annually, says a report. Embratel is spending $50m building a big data centre to support its own cloud services.

Google just opened a new data centre in Dublin and the numbers are a fascinating insight into the scale of these projects.

Construction of the data center took just under one year to complete [and cost $75m], and in total over 1,000 people working for 90 specialist building and engineering companies contributed to the build, with an average of 250 people working on site on any given day. Over 80 percent of the businesses involved were Irish. In total approximately 400,000 man-hours were dedicated to design and construction of the data centre.

Here's an interesting experience, of selecting the site for a Microsoft data centre.

How Wordpress.com works. A fascinating Google research paper on the next generation of databases. Dan Rayburn reports on more merger activity in CDN.

And the European Union thinks its cloud strategy could mean $160bn in additional GDP growth in the EU by 2020.

Another key Telco 2.0 market is M2M, of course. From the 3G & 4G Wireless Blog, here's our Chart of the Week, which points up just how bad the fragmentation is getting.

M2MRelatedStandards.jpg

Meanwhile, old Telco 2.0 ally Rudolf van der Berg is interviewed.

RIM teased the developers with some more details of BB10 this week, and released a video showing Developer Relations VP Alec Saunders and two other execs performing old REO Speedwagon songs. Right.

RIM's Q2s were out, and they were marginally less bad than expected, which caused the shares to surge. Whether that counts more as a sucker-rally or a recovery play is yet to be seen, but Larry Dignan makes the case for RIM in ZDNet.

Nokia, meanwhile, is sticking to premium prices for the Lumia 920.

A bad moment for Samsung: hackers demonstrate how to remote-wipe their Touchwiz gadgets with a crafted URI. Sammy provided a factory-restore command that can be accessed via USSD, but apparently forgot that the TELURL protocol lets you pass phone numbers in web links, so an attacker could put the remote-wipe code in a link and send it to the target as a text, e-mail, Twitter update, or whatever. Once clicked, the content of the link is dispatched to the dialler...ouch. A fix has been pushed out.

Crunchy old geeks will like the new business-focused HP tablet, as all the parts are user-serviceable like a proper PC.

A shot at forecasting iPhone 5 production and inventory. Intel Research poaches Roger Jellicoe, long-time Motorola VP and father of the classic StarTAC and RAZR gadgets. Apparently, as a VP he had the authority to summon the corporate jet, which gives the story a charming Mad Men executive washroom flavour.

Also, who knew that the two biggest hits of the US mobile industry were both designed by Brits?

China Labour Bulletin reports in detail on last week's riot at Foxconn. CNET goes to the source - a rare earth mine.

Dave Burstein has some interesting data on FTTH costs. The equipment cost of a fibre hookup is now down to $100 for builds as big as those in China or Google's in Kansas City. And the logic of take-rates seems to make a powerful case for public sector investment - as the cost to pass homes is amortised over the paying subscribers, getting more people to sign up effectively means lower costs. In the Aussie NBN, the cost to pass is around $600 and the cost per subscriber is somewhere between $1000 and $1500 - because the whole subscriber base is transitioning over, for a likely take rate approaching 80%. Google expects a take rate around 33%, which implies a cost per subscriber double that.

Meanwhile, Android users in the US download on average about 870MB a month from cellular and 2.5GB from WLAN hotspots. The Competitive Carriers Association has a deal with Boingo to provide white-label WLAN offload.

Softbank is acquiring eAccess, making Japan the next market to go down to three national operators.

Vodafone and Telefonica get regulatory clearance to share infrastructure in the UK.

SFR has begun including their TV box in the standard bundle, in an effort to relieve the pressure from Free. Speaking of which, Carrefour is dropping its MVNO and becoming an Orange reseller in the face of intense competition from Free.

Telefonica is floating O2 Germany on the stock market.

Virgin Mobile has been quietly testing out LTE small cells along with the WiFi kit in its street cabinets.

UK LTE spectrum is expected to sell for £4bn, or at least the British opposition party are hoping it will, as they want to use the money to build houses.

Can FreedomPop make money selling free broadband? Probably not, if last time is anything to go by.

Frankfurt's DE-CIX Internet exchange passes 2 terabits a second. Will the Americans start an IX in Benghazi? Sooner you than me. The small cell market is expected to grow very fast, but from a low base.

A trip to Huawei.

The key media of the future - voice, video, identity, maps, and augmented reality? Dan York links to our Video of the Week, with SIP pioneer Cullen "Fluffy" Jennings talking about his work as co-chair of the IETF's RTCWeb standardisation group.

RTCWeb Explained from Cullen Jennings on Vimeo.

Meanwhile, Tim Cook apologised for the state of Apple Maps in iOS 6, and suggested that customers download an alternative mapping app. That must have been a painful letter to write.

So they turned to Google. But it was a trick. There is no Google. Eric Schmidt was quoted this week as saying that they hadn't got an iOS 6 Maps app and weren't working on one. It sounds like he's decided to let Apple have a long think about the wisdom of ending their agreement.

Gizmodo points out that the whole mess makes Nokia look good. They've just signed a deal to be Oracle's default mapping provider.

Persona, Mozilla's identity application, has launched into beta this week.

The BBC's R&D Blog discusses the sheer fragmentation pain of the smart TV world. Zeebox lands in the US. YouView initial numbers are unimpressive.

Marissa Mayer's plans for Yahoo! were announced in an all-hands meeting this week, and they are surprisingly non-specific. (They're going to focus on the four Cs - culture, company goals, calibration, and compensation.)

There's a bit more in a leaked report here.

Amazon has a new line of business - finance. Specifically, they're offering merchants who use their platform credit, in order to help them build up inventory in the run-up to Christmas.

Microsoft has bought into Klout and wants to integrate it into Bing. Klout? That would be the company that started sucking up everyone's Twitter account and calculating (sometimes hilariously odd) social metrics on them, claiming that everyone had opted in by default. ReadWriteWeb explains why this isn't a great idea, being more polite than we'd be.

MySpace has done a total redesign. And it's rather handsome. But can a crashed social network really be turned around? We're going to find out.

The new Myspace from Myspace on Vimeo.

Alibaba isn't giving up on its forkdroid OS project. Yandex is distributing Opera Software's products to its subscribers. Canonical wanted to include Amazon shopping results in the desktop search in Ubuntu Linux, Linux users were about as happy about this as you might expect, Canonical changed course. Adobe's code-signing server got hacked.

And the legendary WELL online community has been sold...to its members.