Wednesday, October 20, 2004

TI Unveils Digital TV Chip for Cell Phones

Texas Instruments unveiled a single chip solution for cell phones. Code-named "Hollywood," the new chip integrates a tuner, OFDM demodulator and channel decoder processor. It interfaces with TI's OMAP multimedia processors for 2.5G and 3G handsets. The chip will use TI's 90-nanometer process technology. Samples are expected in 2006.

TI's Hollywood chip will support newly established and open digital TV broadcast standards, including Digital Video Broadcasting - Handheld (DVB-H), which was developed for Europe and is expected to extend to North America, and the Japanese specification, Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting - Terrestrial (ISDB-T). Dedicated wireless networks supporting these standards are expected to feature high-quality live broadcast TV (24-30 frames per second) paired with full audio. In comparison, cellular alternatives typically offer one-to-15-frames-per- second streaming capability. The new digital broadcasting networks are expected to support pay-per-view programming, interactive television, and menu/guide systems.

Nokia: Consumers Increasingly Giving Up Their Fixed Line Phones

An estimated 45 million consumers in the U.S., Germany, Great Britain and South Korea are now making all their voice calls from their mobile phone instead of fixed line home phones, according to a survey conducted by MORI on behalf of Nokia.

The study on Fixed-to-Mobile Substitution (FMS) also suggests mobile could challenge fixed line connections for data access in the home, too. On average, those who claim they are certain or very likely to adopt a wireless service for data expect this to happen in 1 to 2 years.

The study also found that the most fertile market for FMS is the young professional group, who use their mobile phone for most of their voice calls. These mobile users are more likely to be male; middle to high income, and make a large volume of voice calls.

Agere Licenses ARM Processor for System-on-a-Chip Applications

Agere Systems has licensed the latest ARM11 family cores for use in its system on a chip (SoC), application- specific integrated circuit (ASIC) and application-specific standard (ASSP) products.
Agere is already a leading provider of ARM technology in its semiconductors.

The ARM11 family is based on the ARMv6 32/16-bit architecture and features the ARM TrustZone extension for improved device security and the ARM Thumb-2 instruction set enhancement for high performance, high density code. ARM11 family cores achieve high frequencies (335-550MHz) without compromising ARM's leadership in silicon area and power efficiency.

Telmex Selects UTStarcom for IP DSLAMs

de Mexico (Telmex) selected UTStarcom to supply its IP DSLAM to complement its current network. Revenue from this contract announcement is anticipated in 2005. Additional financial terms were not disclosed. UTStarcom said the contract reflects is globalization strategy.

University of Washington Chooses Looking Glass Dark Fiber

The University of Washington selected Looking Glass Networks' dark fiber to support research and education in conjunction with Pacific Wave, Pacific Northwest Gigapop, and other high-bandwidth networking initiatives. The dark fiber will be used to extend a connection from certain submarine cable landing points in Oregon and California to Seattle. Looking Glass' Seattle network provided the capacity and connectivity to the key carrier and data aggregation locations the University of Washington required.

EarthLink Reaches 1.3 Million Broadband, 4.0 Million Narrowband Users

EarthLink reported Q3 revenues of $344.0 million, a 1.0% decrease from the third quarter of 2003. Net income was $37.6 million, or $0.24 per share, compared to $3.5 million, or $0.02 per share, from Q3 2003. Some highlights:

  • Net subscriber additions of 67,000 during Q3, ending the period with 5.4 million paying subscribers.

  • Added 74,000 net broadband subscribers during the quarter and ended the quarter with 1.3 million broadband customers, an increase of 34% from a year ago.

  • Broadband subscribers now represent 23.7% of the total subscriber base. Broadband revenues were $104.9 million, an increase of 12.7% over the prior year quarter.

  • Added 133,000 net subscribers through PeoplePC Online, EarthLink's value-priced narrowband service, while it experienced a decrease of 136,000 net subscribers in its more mature premium narrowband service. The company ended the quarter with 4.0 million total narrowband subscribers, an increase of 3.4% from the third quarter of 2003. Total narrowband subscribers included 758,000 PeoplePC Online subscribers as of September 30, 2004 compared to 295,000 as of September 30, 2003.

  • EarthLink ended the quarter with 149,000 web hosting accounts, a decrease of 9.1% from a year ago.

Verizon Expands FTTP Sites, to Hire Up to 5,000 to Accelerate Rollout

Verizon announced FTTP deployment to homes and businesses in Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia -- bringing to nine the total number of states where work is under way. The company had previously announced FTTP deployment in California, Florida and Texas as part its plan to pass some 1 million homes and businesses with the new technology this year. Verizon plans to pass some 2 million additional homes and businesses with the new technology next year.

Verizon expects to make an $800 million capital investment in FTTP this year.

In addition, the company said it has invested in some 40 new operations support systems to handle everything from electronic processing of customer FiOS orders to remotely diagnosing and correcting problems.

Verizon also announced plans to hire between 3,000 and 5,000 new employees by the end of 2005 to help build the network.
  • Verizon's FiOS broadband Internet access services offer download speeds of up to 5 Mbps, 15 Mbps and 30 Mbps, with upstream speeds of up to 2 Mbps for the first two products and 5 Mbps for the third. The 5 Mbps service sells for $34.95 per month, when purchased with a package of Verizon services, and $39.95 when purchased separately.

Alcatel and Fujitsu Show High-Speed Downlink Packet Access

Alcatel and Fujitsu launched a live HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) demonstration system in France. The system is designed for bringing data speeds of up to 14Mbps into existing W-CDMA networks. HSDPA will enable operators to support a considerably larger number of high data-rate users on a single radio carrier. The system, which was developed by Fujitsu based on technical specifications provided by NTT DoCoMo, is located at Alcatel's 3G Reality Centre (3GRC) in Vélizy, France.

France Telecom to Offer Cisco Solutions to Multinationals

France Telecom will offer Cisco-based IP services to multinational companies based in France. The agreement makes France Telecom a Cisco Gold Certified Partner. The companies said they are currently cooperating both on the core of hardware technologies (DSL, LAN switching, mobile wireless and routing) and on advanced technologies (IP telephony and security). Common agreements signed in 2003 and 2004 include BNP, EUR-Information (Crédit Mutuel CIC group) and Société Générale, among others.

Telkom SA Expands Deployment of Alvarion Equipment

Telkom South Africa has placed additional orders for Alvarion's MGW broadband fixed wireless access equipment to complete a country-wide,1.9 GHz wireless network project initiated in 2003. Over the past year, Alvarion's 1.9GHz systems have been deployed in five communities (Hekpoort, Pretoria, Upington, Bloemfontein and Grahamstown). Additional systems are being installed in suburban and rural areas lacking in existing telecom infrastructure and to upgrade others requiring replacement systems. Financial terms were not disclosed. http://www.alvarion.com

Net2Phone Launches Wi-Fi VoIP Service

Net2Phone introduced a Wi-Fi Handset that enables service providers to offer wireless VoIP connectivity into Net2Phone's VoiceLine broadband telephony service. The service enables both inbound and outbound calling and allows users to choose from a U.S. local, U.S. toll-free or U.K. toll-free telephone number, no matter where they reside globally. In addition, the XJ100 supports a wide range of telephony features, including voice mail, Caller ID and call forwarding. Net2Phone said it expects to add a softphone client shortly.

Infonet Expands IP MPLS Network in India

Infonet Services Corporation has expanded its IP MPLS network in India, including new nodes in Bangalore and New Delhi. Infonet India (a partnership between Infonet Services Corporation and i2i, a leading provider of communications services to major businesses in India) is now offering international IP VPN Secure, IP VPN Internet, IP Voice and IP Video VPN, Call Center, Frame Relay and ATM services.

In addition, Infonet has opened a call center and introduced videoconferencing services to India.

Packet Design's Route Explorer Offers MPLS VPN Visibility

Packet Design introduced new "VPN-aware" version of its Route Explorer appliance, giving service providers visibility into the layer 3 virtual private network infrastructure. Route Explorer/MPLS VPN incorporates the IETF RFC 2547bis standard, which uses both BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) and MPLS. The new system adds support for MP-BGP (Multi-protocol BGP).

By applying layer 3 route analytics to VPNs, Packet Design said its Route Explorer lets service providers visualize -- in real time and without the overhead of polling -- how individual VPNs are overlaid on their network infrastructure. Specifically, they can monitor:

  • reachability within the customer VPN, ensuring that VPN prefixes are being properly distributed between relevant provider edge (PE) routers for each customer site;

  • privacy, guarding against unwanted route "leakage" or mingling of information between customer sites;

  • policies, knowing whether VPN prefixes are distributed in accordance with customer-specific requirements, such as a full-mesh or hub-and-spoke.

A single Route Explorer unit installed in the service provider's backbone network peers with provider edge routers and immediately begins monitoring all customer VPNs. By dynamically tracking VPN routing information -- e.g., all PE routers participating in the VPN and every prefix being "advertised" from every customer site -- the system automatically generates a baseline of each customer's VPN. A graphical "dashboard" then displays any deviations from the baseline

NetTest Launches ZettaSolve Professional Services

NetTest launched its ZettaSolve Professional Services Business Unit, which will provide contracted test and monitoring services supporting all network technologies, including Fiber Optic, Wireless, LAN, WAN, ATM, Frame Relay and MPLS on a 24/7 basis. ZettaSolve's range of professional services includes:

  • Network Optimization Services for reducing time to market, lowering equipment costs, reducing network downtime and planning for future upgrades

  • Performance Monitoring Services for anlayzing and optimizing networks, including capacity planning, network configuration evaluations and network and application deployment assessments

  • Engineering & Design Services for designing, deploying, testing, managing, and supporting their networks

  • Training Services for ensuring that the network's staff remains up-to-date on the latest optimization and performance monitoring solutions, and how to test them

  • Calibration, Maintenance and Inventory Management Services.

Cisco to Acquire Perfigo for Network Admission Control

Cisco Systems agreed to acquire Perfigo, a privately-held developer of packaged network access control solutions, approximately $74 million in cash. Perfigo's CleanMachines solution enables organizations to intelligently provide trusted access to "clean" endpoints. The software recognizes users, their devices and roles; evaluates the security posture of the endpoint and scans for vulnerabilities; and enforces policy in the network. It is designed for the Small-Medium Enterprise market and is deployed in educational institutions.

Cisco said the technology complements its own network admission control (Cisco NAC), which leverages a systems architecture approach that is more appropriate for enterprise customers.
The acquisition further enhances Cisco's "Self Defending Network" security strategy of building and deploying proactive and advanced security into the network infrastructure.
  • Perfigo is based in San Francisco backed by investments from Greylock, Inc.

Interoute Expands Network Rollout with Sonus

Interoute is deploying additional Sonus equipment to meet growing demand for its Virtual Voice Network (VVN) in Europe. The company expects to carry more than 100 million minutes of voice traffic per month by the end of 2004. Interoute is implementing a full set of Sonus solutions, including the GSX9000 Open Services Switch, the Insignus Softswitch and the Sonus Insight Management System. Financial terms were not disclosed.

AT&T Reports Revenue of $7.6 billion, Net Loss of $7.1 billion

AT&T reported Q3 consolidated revenue of $7.6 billion and a net loss of $7.1 billion, or $8.95 per diluted share, including non-cash asset impairment charges, as well as net restructuring and other charges. Excluding the asset impairment charges of $11.4 billion and net restructuring and other charges of $1.1 billion, adjusted operating income was $1.2 billion. Some highlights:

  • AT&T Business revenue was $5.6 billion, a decline of 10.4 percent from the prior-year third quarter. Pricing pressure and continued declines in retail volumes negatively affected the unit's revenue performance.

  • Long-distance voice revenue for AT&T Business decreased 16.3 percent from the prior-year third quarter, driven by continued pricing pressure in both the retail and wholesale businesses, as well as a continued decline in retail volumes.

  • Local access lines for AT&T Business totaled nearly 4.7 million at the end of the current period, representing an increase of nearly 56,000 lines from the end of the second quarter of 2004.

  • Data revenue declined 9.7 percent from the prior-year third quarter. Revenue was negatively affected by pricing pressure, weak demand and technology migration. On a sequential basis, data revenue increased 0.2 percent. Data revenue was positively impacted by the customer disconnect of prepaid network capacity. Without the impact of this item, data revenue would have declined slightly sequentially.

  • IP&E-services revenue grew 6.8 percent over the prior-year third quarter. The year-over-year growth was primarily driven by strength in advanced services, including Enhanced Virtual Private Network and IP-enabled frame.

  • AT&T Consumer revenue was $2.0 billion, a decline of 15.2 percent versus the prior-year third quarter, driven by lower standalone LD voice revenue as a result of the continued impact of competition, wireless and Internet substitution and customer migration to lower-priced products

  • AT&T expects its previously announced 20% workforce reduction will result in annualized cost savings of approximately $1.2 billion.

  • Free cash flow was $1.1 billion for the quarter.

New Trade Group Promotes Ethernet 10Gbase LX4 Interface

Leading optical component vendors have formed a new LX4 Trade Group (LX4-TG) to promote interoperability and market awareness for the LX4 standard, which offers the ability to transmit 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) data over existing multi-mode fiber and single- mode fiber infrastructure. Members of the group include MergeOptics GmbH, Opnext, Quake Technologies and WaveSplitter Technologies.

LX4 technology is designed to support LAN, Access, Metro and Core applications over legacy multi-mode fiber that was originally installed to support 100 Megabit Ethernet, One Gigabit Ethernet or FDDI applications. Transmission distances are 300 meters over legacy multi-mode fiber, which is specified as a minimum modal bandwidth of 500MHz-km in the 1310nm window. LX4 modules from different vendors will interoperate, and a pluggable port format offers interchangeability via the front panel. In addition, pluggable LX4 technology enables a "Pay-as-You-Populate" cost structure during installation.

LX4 products in the XENPAK form factor are readily available from multiple vendors, with X2 modules expected in the near future. Each of the 10GBase-LX4 modules from the members of the LX4-TG conform to the highly versatile multi-wavelength transmission format specified within the IEEE 802.3ae standard for 10GbE, which was ratified in June 2002. http://www.emcore.com
  • The 10GbE (IEEE 802.3ae) standard offers several ways to transmit data over different physical media. The term 10GBase-LX4 references a multi-wavelength approach to fiber optic transmission. The "10" stands for 10 Gigabits per second; "Base" means baseband communications; and "LX4" designates four optical wavelengths combined within the module and transmitted over fiber optic cable. Other 10GbE baseband interconnects include 10GBase-CX4, 10GBase-SR, 10GBase-LR and 10GBase-ER. These interconnects are usually offered in integrated modules that insert into XENPAK, X2 or other pluggable port slots, mounted on switches, routers, servers or storage systems.

SBC Adds 402,000 DSL lines in Q3

SBC Communications added 402,000 DSL lines in Q3, giving it a total of 4.7 million subscribers. SBC also added 1.3 million long distance lines, giving it a total of 19.8 million LD accounts in service.

Some highlights for the quarter:

  • Revenues -- totaled $10.3 billion, up 1.4% compared with the third quarter of 2003, driven by solid data growth and progress in consumer bundling. Third-quarter results include a net increase to revenues of approximately $60 million from regulatory and other matters, including the California Public Utilities Commission's September decision on UNE-P rates.

  • Earnings -- were $2.1 billion, or $0.63 per diluted share, and earnings from continuing operations were $1.2 billion, or $0.38 per diluted share.

  • Bundling -- SBC's penetration of consumer retail lines with at least one key service - long distance, DSL, Cingular Wireless or SBC / DISH Network video - increased to 58% at the end of the quarter, up from 36% a year earlier. Success in bundling drove a 9.2% increase in average monthly revenues per consumer retail line.

  • Retail Access Lines -- SBC's retail consumer line base declined by 259,000 in the third quarter, a substantial improvement from declines of 624,000 in the third quarter a year ago and 558,000 in the second quarter of this year. A major driver of this quarter's improvement was a reversal in wholesale line trends. In the third quarter, SBC posted a decline in wholesale lines (UNE-P and resale) of 213,000. This compares with increases of 323,000 in the year-ago third quarter and 137,000 in the second quarter of this year. SBC's business retail access line base declined by 168,000 in the quarter. This compared with declines of 229,000 in the third quarter a year ago and 228,000 in the second quarter of this year.

  • Video -- In Q3, SBC achieved a net gain of 105,000 SBC / DISH Network subscribers to reach 226,000 in service, all added since the company began offering the integrated service in March of this year. At the same time, SBC is developing plans for deployment of an advanced, IP-based network to deliver next-generation, integrated all-digital TV, super-high-speed broadband and IP voice services. The initiative will let SBC deliver high-quality, IP video with virtually unlimited content choice to millions of households. SBC has trials under way and expects to begin deployment in 2005. SBC plans to host a conference call on Nov. 11 to provide additional detail on its Project Lightspeed deployment plans.

  • Data Revenues -- Wireline data revenues grew 6.1% to $2.7 billion in the third quarter, SBC's best-ever quarterly data revenue total. These results reflect continued growth in DSL services and progress in the large-business market.

  • Large-Business Market -- SBC continues to expand into the large-business market. Year to date, SBC signed more than 450 contracts with a value of $1 million or more - including in the third quarter agreements with Ford Motor Co., Unocal Corp. and Provena Health. More than 80% of SBC's third-quarter contracts included data services.

  • Cingular Wireless -- Cingular Wireless accelerated subscriber growth in the third quarter, with record gross customer additions of 2.8 million and net subscriber additions of 657,000. Cingular's third-quarter net-add total was up 54% from its gain in the second quarter of this year, and it ended the quarter with 25.7 million total subscribers. Cingular revenues totaled $4.3 billion in the quarter, up 4.9% from the year-earlier third quarter.

Qwest Settles with the SEC for $250 Million

Qwest Communications reached a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), ending a two-and-a-half year investigation of the company.

Without admitting or denying liability, Qwest agreed on a going-forward basis not to violate provisions of the Federal securities laws, as set forth in the judgment. In addition, the company agreed to pay a $250 million cash civil penalty in two installments, $125 million within 20 business days of the entry of the judgment and $125 million by December 31, 2005.

3Com Opens R&D Center in Hyderabad, India

3Com opened an R&D center in Hyderabad, India in partnership with MARS Telecom. The new research and development center will provide software development for 3Com's VoIP products and will support future growth into wireless, switching and network management.

Broadcom Reports Record Revenue of $646.5 million

Broadcom reported record Q3 revenue of $646.5 million, an increase of 0.8% from the $641.3 million reported for Q2 2004 and an increase of 51.9% from the $425.6 million reported for Q3 2003. Net income (GAAP) was $49.0 million, or $.14 per share (diluted).

"During the third quarter we were able once again to attain record revenues and strong cash generation in spite of the previously-disclosed negative impact of excess inventory within the supply chain," said Alan E. Ross, Broadcom's President and CEO. "While the inventory correction touched all of Broadcom's business groups, it was most pronounced with a limited number of customers in the Broadband Communications and Mobile & Wireless Groups. In addition, during the quarter we experienced the first real impact of the long-anticipated decline in our chipset business for servers based on Intel processors."

See also