Thursday, October 27, 2016

Qualcomm to Acquire NXP for $38 Billion

Qualcomm agreed to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of NXP for $110.00 per share in cash, representing a total enterprise value of approximately $47 billion. The deal will be financed through cash on hand and $11 billion in new debt. The companies expect total annualized synergies of $500 million within two years of close.

NXP Semiconductors N.V., which headquartered in Eindhoven, Netherlands, employs approximately 45,000 people in more than 35 countries and is known for its mixed-signal semiconductor electronics. The company was known as Philips Semiconductor prior to 2006.

Key markets include automotive, broad-based microcontrollers, secure identification, network processing and RF power. NXP has a broad customer base, serving more than 25,000 customers through its direct sales channel and global network of distribution channel partners.

For Q3 2016, NXP reported revenue of $2.469 billion, up 4.4% over a year ago, and GAAP gross profit of $1.184 billion, up 7.7% over a year ago.

The combined company is expected to have annual revenues of more than $30 billion, serviceable addressable markets of $138 billion in 2020 and leadership positions across mobile, automotive, IoT, security, RF and networking.

"With innovation and invention at our core, Qualcomm has played a critical role in driving the evolution of the mobile industry. The NXP acquisition accelerates our strategy to extend our leading mobile technology into robust new opportunities, where we will be well positioned to lead by delivering integrated semiconductor solutions at scale," said Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated. "By joining Qualcomm's leading SoC capabilities and technology roadmap with NXP's leading industry sales channels and positions in automotive, security and IoT, we will be even better positioned to empower customers and consumers to realize all the benefits of the intelligently connected world."

Qualcomm also noted that the acquisition is a tax efficient use of its offshore cash.

NXP to Acquire Freescale for $11.8 Billion

NXP Semiconductor agreed to acquire Freescale for $6.25 per share in cash and 0.3521 of an NXP ordinary share for each Freescale common share, implying a total equity value for Freescale of approximately $11.8 billion (based on NXP's closing stock price as of February 27, 2015) and a total enterprise value of approximately $16.7 billion including Freescale's net debt.

The deal creates the largest supplier of semiconductors for the automotive industry and the No.1 supplier of general microcontrollers (MCUs).

The combined company will capitalize on the growing opportunities created by the accelerating demand for security, connectivity and processing. NXP estimates annual cost synergies of $500 million.

"Today's announcement is a transformative step in our objective to become the industry leader in high performance mixed signal solutions. The combination of NXP and Freescale creates an industry powerhouse focused on the high growth opportunities in the Smarter World. We fully expect to continue to significantly out-grow the overall market, drive world-class profitability and generate even more cash, which taken together will maximize value for both Freescale and NXP shareholders," said Richard Clemmer, NXP Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Clemmer will continue to be the President and Chief Executive Officer of the merged company.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

AT&T Activates First LTE-M Commercial Site

AT&T switched on North America’s first LTE-M enabled commercial site in San Ramon, California.

Key features and benefits expected from LTE-M are:

  • Lower costs for modules that connect IoT devices to the LTE network.
  • Longer battery life; up to 10 years for certain enabled IoT devices.
  • Better coverage for IoT devices underground and deep inside buildings.

The site activation supports the pilot of AT&T’s LTE-M Low-Power Wide-Area network at the AT&T Labs in San Ramon. AT&T said it plans to make the technology widely available across its commercial network throughout 2017.

It will connect a wide variety of IoT solutions challenged by existing network technology. These include smart utility meters, asset monitoring, vending machines, alarm systems, fleet, heavy equipment, mHealth and wearables.

The pilot will also include solutions from a robust contingent of technology providers:  Altair, Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., Sierra Wireless, Telit, u-blox, Wistron NeWeb Corp. (WNC), and Xirgo Technologies.  The technology is expected to be available to customers outside of the pilot starting in 2017.

“We’ve joined with Altair, Ericsson and technology leaders from across the ecosystem to launch the first LTE-M enabled commercial site in North America,” said Chris Penrose, president, Internet of Things Solutions, AT&T. “Innovations like LTE-M will bring IoT to more end points than ever before. It’s part of our strategy to offer the widest range of IoT network options to our customers.”

Participants in the pilot will include:

  • Badger Meter – analyze how the LTE-M network, which is dedicated to supporting the IoT, may be used to enhance communications for smart water devices.
  • CalAmp – explore how the LTE-M network can help companies more efficiently manage their connected vehicles and assets.
  • Capstone Metering – demonstrate how LTE-M can improve Smart Cities sensor technologies. It will look to increase battery life and improve connectivity and sensor monitoring for underground smart water meters.
  • PepsiCo -- examine and test ways that sensors can improve the in-store experience with smart vending solutions for the thousands of PepsiCo products consumers love and enjoy.
  • Samsung – evaluate an LTE-M-based solution to enhance performance for consumer solutions. This may include wearables or other consumer devices.

Vendors Showcase Application Portability with OpenStack

Vendors at this week's OpenStack Summit in Barcelona showcased application portability across a diversity of OpenStack public and private clouds.

The Community Interop Challenge took a holistic approach to prove interoperability, asking all participants to successfully run the same workload and automated deployment tools across their OpenStack distributions and public clouds. The challengers ran a 3-tiered LAMPStack enterprise application using Ansible and OpenStack Shade live on stage, and also executed a second workload using Docker Swarm scripts and Terraform as part of the collaborative effort.

Participating OpenStack vendors included AT&T, Canonical, Cisco, DreamHost, Deutsche Telekom, Fujitsu, HPE, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Linaro, Mirantis, OSIC, OVH, Rackspace, Red Hat, SUSE and VMware.

The Foundation also announced continued progress and adoption of the “OpenStack Powered” program, which requires OpenStack products and services to run interoperability tests in order to carry the OpenStack brand. There are now 46 products and services meeting interoperability standards, including 11 public cloud providers which alone have a footprint of 34 datacenters globally.

In addition, the European Advanced Networking Test Center (EANTC) also demonstrated a different type of interoperability and performance of OpenStack within complex Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) systems.

Ericsson Brings on Investor AB's Börje Ekholm to Head Turnaround

Ericsson's Board of Directors has appointed Börje Ekholm President and CEO, effective January 16, 2017.

Ekholm currently serves as CEO of Patricia Industries, a division within Investor. Prior to assuming this position in 2015, Börje Ekholm held the position as President and CEO of Investor AB between 2005 and 2015. Previous positions also include President of Investor Growth Capital Inc., as well as positions with Novare Kapital AB and McKinsey & Co Inc.

Ekholm is a member of the Board of Directors for Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, Alibaba Inc., NASDAQ OMX Group Inc. and Trimble Navigation Ltd. He is also a member of the University Board of KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

Chairman of the Board Leif Johansson says: "I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Börje Ekholm. He has a solid understanding of both the technology and business implications of the ongoing convergence of telecoms, IT and media. Having served on Ericsson's Board of Directors for the past ten years, Börje Ekholm has full understanding of the challenges and the opportunities Ericsson currently faces."

Hans Vestberg is Out as CEO of Ericsson

Hans Vestberg has stepped down as President and CEO and member of Ericsson's Board of Directors.

Jan Frykhammar, Executive Vice President and CFO, will assume the CEO position until a new CEO is in office.

The resignation comes under pressure from the company's Board of Directors, which issued a statement saying that new leadership is required to address changing market conditions and "drive the next phase of Ericsson's development."  As stated during the disappointing financial report last week, the company must further cut expenses.

In a press statement, Chairman of the Board Leif Johansson says: "Hans Vestberg has led the company for seven years through significant industry and company transformation. Hans has been instrumental in building strong relationships with key customers around the world and his leadership and energy have been an inspiration to employees and leaders across Ericsson. However, in the current environment and as the company accelerates its strategy execution, the Board of Directors has decided that the time is right for a new leader to drive the next phase in Ericsson's development."

  • In June 2009, Hans Vestberg took over as CEO of Ericsson, replacing Carl-Henric Svanberg who had taken over as CEO of BP.

IBM's Watson to Analyze Video Content

IBM introduced new Watson-powered cognitive services for unlocking data-rich insights for video content and audiences.

The idea is to apply cognitive technology for mining and analyzing the complex data in video.

“Companies are creating video with vast amounts of valuable data, but they don’t have a way to easily identify that information or audience reaction to it,” said Braxton Jarratt, general manager, IBM Cloud Video. “Today’s new services are a major step forward in using IBM’s cognitive and cloud capabilities to help companies unlock meaningful information about their videos and viewers so they can create and curate more personalized content that matters to specific audiences.”

Accessible through the IBM Cloud, these new services analyze video data that can otherwise be difficult and time-consuming to manually process. They include:            

  • Live Event Analysis: Combines Watson APIs with IBM Cloud Video streaming video solutions to track near real-time audience reaction of live events by analyzing social media feeds.
  • Video Scene Detection: Automatically segments videos into meaningful scenes to make it more efficient to find and deliver targeted content.
  • Audience Insights: Integrates IBM Cloud Video solutions with the IBM Media Insights Platform, a cognitive solution that uses Watson APIs to help identify audience preferences, including what they are watching and saying, through social media.

F5 Posts Strong Quarter, Sales Rise to $525.3 million, up 6% YoY

F5 Networks posted revenue of $525.3 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2016, up 6 percent from $496.5 million in the prior quarter and 5 percent from $501.3 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2015. For fiscal year 2016, revenue was $2.0 billion, up 4 percent from $1.92 billion last year.

GAAP net income for the fourth quarter was $108.9 million ($1.64 per diluted share) compared to $91.8 million ($1.37 per diluted share) in the third quarter of 2016 and $97.0 million ($1.36 per diluted share) in the fourth quarter a year ago. GAAP net income for the year was $365.9 million ($5.38 per diluted share) versus $365.0 million ($5.03 per diluted share) in fiscal year 2015.

"Strengthening product sales in the second half of fiscal 2016 culminated in strong fourth quarter results and record annual revenue and earnings,” said John McAdam, F5 president and chief executive officer. “On a regional basis, Americas, APAC and Japan all delivered solid sequential and year over year sales growth, while sales in EMEA were down significantly from the fourth quarter a year ago.

“We believe there are several emerging market conditions that are driving an increased appeal of our products with our customers. These include the ability to orchestrate SSL traffic flows, provision our proxy based security solutions to deploy a consistent security stack across on-premise, off-premise and public cloud infrastructures, and customers moving workloads to public and private cloud architectures. We believe these trends, combined with our new product offerings will drive our business forward in fiscal 2017 and beyond.

Infinera Reports Revenue of $186 Million

Infinera reported GAAP revenue of $185.5 million for its third quarter of 2016 compared to $258.8 million in the second quarter of 2016 and $232.5 million in the third quarter of 2015. GAAP gross margin for the quarter was 45.6% compared to 47.8% in the second quarter of 2016 and 44.2% in the third quarter of 2015. GAAP operating margin for the quarter was (5.9)% compared to 6.2% in the second quarter of 2016 and 6.1% in the third quarter of 2015. GAAP net loss for the quarter was $(11.2) million, or $(0.08) per share, compared to net income of $11.5 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2016, and net income of $8.5 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2015.

“As expected, weak demand across much of our business in the third quarter led to financial results that were below our standards,” said Tom Fallon, Infinera’s Chief Executive Officer. “While the revenue environment is likely to remain challenging in the near term, we are making continued progress towards delivering our next generation of products and increasing the cadence in which we will introduce step function technology improvements. I firmly believe that we have the team and the core technologies that will enable us to recover from our current challenges and ultimately return to delivering differentiated financial results.”

Aqua Comms Appoints Nigel Bayliff as CEO

Aqua Comms , the operator of Ireland’s first dedicated subsea fibre-optic network interconnecting New York, Dublin and London, has appointed Nigel Bayliff as its new Chief Executive Officer, replacing interim CEO Greg Varisco, who remains a senior executive with the company.

“We are excited for Nigel to join the team as our new CEO,” remarks Mr. Varisco. “Nigel’s strategic vision, technological expertise and proven leadership experience with some of the most successful global telecom and subsea cable companies in the world will prove invaluable as Aqua Comms embarks on the next leg of its journey and expands its customer base and networks.”

Prior to joining Aqua Comms, Bayliff was advisor and consultant to cable development, private equity and government clients in the industry, and Vice-Chairman of the United Nations joint task force that examined the gathering of disaster mitigation and climate information from the global web of undersea cable systems.  Mr. Bayliff also served as CEO and a board member of Huawei Marine Networks, which he led from a start-up to initial success in the subsea cable construction industry while introducing several major, technological advances into the marketplace.  Prior to this, he was a member of the executive team of FLAG Telecom where he served as an officer and deputy chairman for a number of group companies.  At FLAG, Mr. Bayliff was responsible for the construction and operation of the FLAG Global Network, which encompasses 65,000 km of submarine cable systems and provides carrier-grade connectivity services to 40 countries.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

ARM Extends its IoT Strategy with Secure Cortex Processors

ARM unveiled new processors for delivering security, efficiency, low-power connectivity and device life cycle management for the Internet of Things (IoT).  The rolluot includes the new processors, radio technology, subsystems, end-to-end security and a cloud-based services platform, ARM is aiming to increase the rate at which IoT scales globally.

Some highlights:

  • Cortex-M33 features configuration options including a coprocessor interface, DSP and floating point computation, with increased performance and efficiency relative to Cortex-M3 and Cortex-M4.
  • Cortex-M23 takes security to the most constrained devices, building on the standard set by Cortex-M0+ as an ultra-low power microprocessor in a tiny footprint.
  • TrustZone CryptoCell-312 fortifies the SoC with a rich set of security features protecting the authenticity, integrity and confidentiality of code and data.
  • Next-generation ARM Cordio radio IP with Bluetooth 5 and 802.15.4-based standards ZigBee and Thread. Next-generation Bluetooth 5 enables faster data rates and extends ranges within existing ultra-low-power envelopes. 802.15.4 helps to ensure compatibility within the expanding ZigBee and Thread device market.
  • New mbed Cloud, a new standards and cloud-based SaaS solution for secure IoT device management. mbed Cloud helps OEMs to simplify connection, provisioning, updating and securing of devices across complex networks.

“As IoT technologies become more pervasive, it is time for a complete solution that secures data from the sensor to the service,” said Pete Hutton, executive vice president and president of product groups, ARM. “ARM partners shipped a record 15 billion chips last year, many destined for smart embedded applications. The IoT already runs on ARM but the goal now is scale, which we are enabling today through a uniquely comprehensive set of technologies and services built to work together seamlessly.”

Netronome Brings Express Virtio for OpenStack

Netronome announced the addition of Express Virtio (XVIO) technology to its Agilio Server Networking Platform.

The XVIO technology brings to the standard Virtio drivers available in many Guest OS’s the level of performance of SR-IOV solutions but maintains full VM mobility.

The advanced XVIO technology is based on and builds upon industry standard and open source technologies such as SR-IOV, Virtio and DPDK supported by OpenStack. The XVIO technology and software components are transparent and integrate easily with open source and commercial server networking software such Open vSwitch (OVS), Linux Firewall and Contrail vRouter. VMs and their applications do not require any changes and all popular guest operation systems with standard Virtio drivers are supported. Netronome has implemented solutions to seamlessly integrate XVIO technology into OpenStack and has an OpenStack request for enhancement (RFE) to Nova and Neutron components for the same.

Netronome said its solution enables virtual machines (VMs) managed using OpenStack to experience bare metal-like networking performance while at the same time supporting complete hardware independence and seamless customer VM onboarding. For the cloud service provider, the benefit utilizing OpenStack cloud orchestration is a consistent and homogenous infrastructure where VMs can be placed and moved to optimize utilization of the data center while maintaining high performance. XVIO technology enabled in Agilio server networking platforms such as Agilio OVS and Agilio vRouter are now integrated with Ericsson’s Cloud SDN product and Juniper’s Open Contrail vRouter product respectively, enabling OpenStack-based networking to deliver higher application performance while reducing TCO by up to 6 times.

“Cloud providers need to enable customers to bring their own hardware-independent VMs while providing an underlying infrastructure that transparently delivers hardware-accelerated performance, pervasive security at scale, and accurate, timely network analytics,” said Sujal Das, chief strategy and marketing officer at Netronome. “With our OEM partners, Netronome is pioneering OpenStack networking, delivering hardware accelerated and easily deployable solutions for the private and public cloud markets for the first time in the industry.”

Netronome Brings Hardware-Acceleration to OpenStack Networking

Netronome has tuned its Agilio Server Networking Platform for delivering hardware-acceleration for OpenStack networking, allowing data centers to accelerate applications such as network virtualization, security, load balancing and telemetry using different data plane options suitable for use cases spanning traditional IT to IaaS and Telco NFV workloads. Netronome's own testing has found a 5X boost in VM performance when network functions are offloaded to its Agilio interface cards.

At this week's OpenStack Summit in Austin, Netronome, in collaboration with Ericsson and Mirantis, is showcasing acceleration of open source datapath implementations, specifically, Open vSwitch (OVS), Stateful Firewall (Connection Tracking) and OpenContrail vRouter using Agilio CX intelligent server adapters. The company said this approach will be incorporated as an enhanced OpenStack networking plug-in architecture specification. As a result, critical networking functions that would otherwise hamper performance of the OpenStack implementation are offloaded to the Agilio platform, accommodating significantly more virtual machines per server leading to up to 6X lower TCO and higher services revenue per server compared to traditional NICs.

“The OpenStack platform has become the de facto cloud and SDN orchestration tool and server-based networking has become the cornerstone of pervasive SDN and cloud-based networks,” said Sujal Das, senior vice president and general manager, strategy and marketing at Netronome. “Our flagship Agilio product-based demonstrations and proposed open specification bring much needed hardware-based efficiency to that mix.”

Netronome's Agilio Server Networking Accelerates Cloud Data Centers

Netronome introduced its Agilio Server Networking Platform for transparently offloading server-based networking data paths, such as open virtual switch (OVS), Juniper Networks Contrail vRouter, and Linux firewall.

The company said its hardware and software-based Agilio platform delivers up to 5X higher throughput while reducing CPU requirements by up to 80 percent compared to traditional NICs and server-based networking implemented in software.

Server-based networking is being widely deployed in cloud data centers to handle virtualization, firewalls, load balancing, telemetry, zero-trust security using micro-segmentation, virtual network functions (VNFs) and application-based analytics. The big cloud providers (AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google) are using server-based networking in their mega data centers. Netronome's Agilio solution accelerates such server-based networking functions by offloading compute-intensive flow and tunnel processing from the CPUs.

The Agilio CX intelligent server adapters (ISAs) are based on Netronome's own flow processing silicon (NFP-4000) and software architecture (Agilio Software). The Agilio ISAs use onboard memory to support up to two million security policies, and deliver 28Mpps of throughput using hardware-based acceleration.

Sprint's Revenues Return to Growth

Sprint reported the first year-over-year increase in total net quarterly operating revenues in over two years, a year-over-year increase of more than five times in postpaid phone net additions, and record low postpaid phone churn. Total net operating revenues were $8.25 billion grew 3 percent year-over-year and wireless net operating revenues of $7.85 billion grew nearly 5 percent year-over-year. The company also reported a net loss of $142 million, operating income of $622 million, and Adjusted EBITDA of $2.35 billion.

“We took another step forward in our plan toward sustainable profitability and cash generation with this quarter’s results,” said Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure. “The top line is now growing, we continue to take costs out of the business, and we are successfully raising money at materially lower rates to reduce our future cash interest expenses.”

Some highlights:

  • Total liquidity was $11.3 billion at the end of the quarter, including $5.7 billion of cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments. 
  • Additionally, the company also has $1.1 billion of availability under vendor financing agreements that can be used toward the purchase of 2.5GHz network equipment.
  • Last week, the company priced $3.5 billion of spectrum-backed senior secured notes at 3.36 percent, which is less than half of the company’s current effective interest rate. 
  • Total net additions were 740,000 in the quarter, including postpaid net additions of 344,000, prepaid net losses of 427,000, and wholesale and affiliate net additions of 823,000.
  • Total postpaid churn of 1.52 percent in the quarter improved by two basis points year-over-year.
  • Sprint said it aims to unlock the value of the largest spectrum holdings in the U.S. by densifying and optimizing its network to provide customers the best experience. The company’s LTE Plus Network combines a rich tri-band spectrum portfolio with the LTE Advanced features of carrier aggregation and antenna beamforming.

Sprint’s LTE Plus Network is now available in more than 250 markets and the company has started to deploy three-channel carrier aggregation in such markets as Chicago, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Cleveland, and Columbus. These deployments will provide peak download speeds of more than 200Mbps on capable devices when available. The company currently has 10 three-channel carrier aggregation capable devices, including the recently launched iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S7.

Juniper Posts Q3 Revenue of $1.285 Billion, up 3% YoY

Juniper Networks reported Q3 revenues of $1,285.3 million, an increase of 3% year-over-year and an increase of 5% sequentially. GAAP operating margin for the third quarter of 2016 was 19.5%, a decrease from 20.7% in the third quarter of 2015, and an increase from 16.7% in the second quarter of 2016. Net income (GAAP) was $172.4 million, a decrease of 13% year-over-year and an increase of 23% sequentially. GAAP diluted earnings per share for the third quarter of 2016 was $0.45.

"I am pleased to report a solid quarter of revenue growth and operating performance. We are executing well on our strategy, with a product and innovation pipeline that has never been stronger," said Rami Rahim, chief executive officer at Juniper Networks. "One of the most important trends happening around us is the shift to the cloud, which is shaping our strategy and plays to Juniper's core competencies in building high-performance networks. I am optimistic with where we are headed as a company and our ability to continue to innovate, deliver value to our customers and expand our business opportunities."

"We delivered solid profitability and continued to generate strong cash flow from operations, with meaningful sequential improvements across key performance metrics: earnings per share, operating margin and operating income," said Ken Miller, chief financial officer at Juniper Networks. "We believe our strategy, products and ongoing investments will enable us to drive top-line growth and grow shareholder value for the long-term."

Radisys Posts Q3 Revenue of $55 Million, up 24%

Radisys posted Q3 revenue of $55.4 million, representing a 24% year-on-year revenue growth. GAAP loss per share was $0.07, with non-GAAP earnings of $0.07 per diluted share.

Software-Systems revenue was $10.4 million, compared to $14.6 million in the prior quarter and $15.5 million in the third quarter of 2015. The year-on-year decline was the result of large prior year orders for MediaEngine product from an Asian service provider deploying its greenfield LTE network.

Embedded Products revenue was $45.0 million, compared to $46.7 million in the prior quarter and $29.3 million in the third quarter of 2015. The year-on-year increase reflects the shipment of follow-on DCEngine orders and growth with existing Embedded customers, offset by expected declines with non-strategic legacy customers.

“Third quarter revenue exceeded the top end of our guidance range, due in part to a partial pull-in of DCEngine orders from our largest Tier 1 U.S. customer that we previously expected to deliver in the fourth quarter,” said Brian Bronson, Radisys President and Chief Executive Officer. “Earnings were also better than expected in the quarter, resulting in non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.21 for the first nine months of 2016, which is equivalent to our full year EPS in 2015.

“Strategically, the ongoing traction with our Tier 1 U.S. customer over the last few quarters for both DCEngine and FlowEngine, combined with the recently expanded activity across multiple product lines at our large customer in Asia, are powerful testaments to our ability to introduce and implement highly disruptive solutions for leading service providers. Our execution in support of commercial deployments by these service providers has meaningfully elevated awareness of Radisys at multiple Tier 1 service providers that are now either actively evaluating in labs or conducting trials of our DCEngine and FlowEngine products. During the quarter, we also advanced sales activity for our MediaEngine product line by securing a long-term strategic win in support of next-generation NFV conferencing deployments, which we expect initial bookings from in the first half of 2017.

The Daily Beast Discloses AT&T's "Hemisphere" Tracking Program

The Daily Beast published details on "Hemisphere," a secret program run by AT&T to provide law enforcement agencies with location data gleaned from trillions of call records.

The searches are performed by AT&T without legal warrants but with administrative subpoena, according to the report, as a product for the law enforcement agencies.

The Daily Beast article also says alleges that the Hemisphere has grown to become a very lucrative operation for AT&T.

Google Fiber Expansion Officially Halted, Craig Barratt Steps Down

The Google Fiber project officially confirmed that it is pausing operations and laying off workers in many cities where it had once anticipated deploying an FTTH network. The company is now considering new technology options and may resume discussions with potential partners in the future.

Google Fiber will continue the rollout in cities where the service has already launched or where construction is underway.

Craig Barratt, SVP, Alphabet and CEO of Access, is stepping down.

Monday, October 24, 2016

ITU Bumps to 2Gbps, Adds Support for Coax

The ITU-T Study Group 15 has doubled the standard to support top down link speeds of 2 Gbps.

The first ITU standard harnesses up to 106MHZ of spectrum frequency to deliver top speeds of 1Gbps on copper lines of less than 50 meters. The updated standard will allow 212MHz to be used.  The amendment also enables to be used over coaxial copper cables.

The amendment also specifies a mechanism for dynamic time assessment, functionality that enables upstream or downstream transmission to exploit’s full aggregate net data rate. This functionality will improve users’ broadband experience by increasing upload or download speeds in line with the demands of the applications in use.

In addition, the new ITU-T G.7701 “Common Control Aspects” describes commonalities in SDN and ASON network management-control, covering common SDN and ASON control approaches as they relate to transport resources and their representation, control components, control communications, and naming and addressing.

Marvell Unveils its 25GbE Data Center Solution

Marvell introduced its 25 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) end-to-end data center solution comprised of its Prestera 98CX84xx family of 25G Ethernet (GbE) switches and Alaska C 88X5123 and 88X5113 Ethernet transceivers, all fully compliant with the IEEE 25GbE and 100GbE standards.

The new Prestera 98CX84xx switch family is designed specifically for mainstream data center high-performance server applications and addresses the most common top of rack (ToR) port configurations.  The Prestera devices are integrated with 25GbE PHYs, enabling data centers to break the 1W per 25G port barrier for 25G ToR applications.

Marvell's Prestera 98CX84xx switches also include an abstraction layer which integrates seamlessly with Open Computing Project (OCP) switch abstraction interface (SAI) application program interfaces (APIs). Marvell provides an OpenSwitch driver plug-in that facilitates easy integration with the OpenSwitch application stack.

The Alaska C 88X5123 Ethernet transceiver enables customers to support the new IEEE 25GbE specifications on their existing switch ASICs without the expensive investment involved in new silicon development.

The Alaska C 88X5113 Ethernet transceiver, a 40G Ethernet to 25G Ethernet Gearbox device, enables a 40GbE stream to be translated to a 25G Ethernet stream. This device is purpose-built to enable existing 40GbE-capable server NIC controllers to support native 25GbE, hastening the availability of 25GbE-capable NICs.

"I believe Marvell's 25GbE-optimized devices are a significant contribution to the industry, helping drive the adoption of 25GbE server access to meet increasing bandwidth demands in data centers," said Michael Zimmerman, vice president and general manager, Connectivity, Storage and Infrastructure (CSI) Business Unit at Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. "Our newest 25G Ethernet switch devices, PHY and Gearbox devices extend Marvell's leadership of providing best-in-class networking solutions optimized for high performance, cost effective, and energy-efficient computing."

T-Mobile US Continues to Capture Mobile Share

In the third quarter of 2016, T-Mobile US added 2.0 million total net customers while delivering 13% year-over-year growth in service revenue, $366 million in net income, and $2.6 billion in Adjusted EBITDA.

“That’s 14 quarters in a row that T-Mobile has won share from the competition,” said John Legere, President and CEO of T-Mobile. “The Un-carrier is delivering. We took share and grew our customer base while producing both financial growth and shareholder value. Most importantly, we are delivering results for both customers and shareholders alike.”

Some highlights:

  • Service revenues for the third quarter of 2016 grew by 13% year-over-year, primarily due to continued growth in T-Mobile’s customer base. 
  • T-Mobile US total customer base now stands at more than 69 million. 
  • This was the fourteenth consecutive quarter in which the vompany has generated more than 1 million net customer additions.
  • Branded prepaid net customer additions were 684,000, which was the second best quarterly performance in company history. 
  • Wholesale net customer additions were 317,000 in the third quarter of 2016.
  • Branded postpaid phone churn was 1.32% in the third quarter of 2016, up 5 basis points compared to 1.27% in the second quarter of 2016 and down 14 basis points compared to 1.46% in the third quarter of 2015. 
  • Branded prepaid churn was 3.82% in the third quarter of 2016, compared to 3.91% in the second quarter of 2016 and 4.09% in the third quarter of 2015.
  • Branded postpaid phone Average Revenue per User (ARPU) of $48.15 in the third quarter of 2016 was up 2.2% sequentially and generally stable year-over-year. 
  • T-Mobile noted that it is continuing to build out Extended Range LTE, which operates on the company's low-band 700 MHz A-Block spectrum, to enhance coverage and in-building performance. 
  • Extended Range LTE currently covers more than 225 million people in 366 market areas. In the third quarter of 2016, T-Mobile closed on several previously announced transactions that increased its total low-band spectrum holdings to 260 million POPs. The company expects to close on additional previously announced transactions in the fourth quarter of 2016, bringing its total low-band spectrum holdings to 272 million POPs upon closing.
  • Q3 capital expenditures were $1.2 billion, down from $1.3 billion in the second quarter of 2016 and up from $1.1 billion in the third quarter of 2015. Cash capital expenditures for the full-year 2016 are expected to be in the range of $4.5 to $4.7 billion, narrowing the previous guidance range of $4.5 to $4.8 billion.

See also