Monday, January 31, 2005

Skype Reaches 23 Million Downloads, Adds Mac Version

Skype announced that it now has more than 23 million registered users and is adding more than 130,000 new users per day. The company also released software versions for Mac OS X and Linux.

Alcatel Supplies DSL in Oman, Yemen

Omantel, the incumbent operator in the Sultanate of Oman, has deployed the Alcatel 7300 Advanced Services Access Manager throughout the country to offer advanced broadband services to their residential users and enterprise customers. Commercial services were launched at the beginning of November 2004.

Separately, Alcatel has been selected by Yemen Telecom to supply equipment for a DSL network. The first phase of the agreement covers the installation of 3,000 DSL lines, which will be put into commercial operation this month.

Hong Kong Broadband Net Offers 100 Mbps Residential Ethernet

Hong Kong Broadband Network Limited (HKBN) has launched a 100 Mbps residential broadband service based on Cisco Systems' Metro Ethernet, IP and optical network solutions. HKBN is installing more than 10,000 Cisco LAN switches and more than 800 Cisco routers in buildings throughout Hong Kong. Category 5e copper cables are wired from the LAN switch cabinet to the apartments of each target customer. Fiber-to-the-building (FTTB) was deployed between the buildings using the Cisco ONS 15454 Multiservice Transport Platform (MSTP) and Cisco Catalyst 4507R Switches. The companies said HKBN's optical backbone is architected to support up to 64,000 Gbps.

Currently, HKBN has established an end-to-end, fully vertical and horizontal broadband coverage to 3,100 residential and 600 commercial buildings, passing a total of 1.2 million homes. It plans to expand to 1.8 million homes passed, which is more than 80% of total homes in Hong Kong, and to 1,500 commercial buildings. At least 90% of HKBN's total homes pass is expected to be serviced by self-owned fiber by mid-2005.

HKBN its also planning to launch a 1 Gbps residential broadband service as early as June 2005.

Meru Wins GSA Contract for WLAN and VoWLAN

Meru Networks was awarded Federal Supply Schedule contract approval by the General Services Administration, enabling U.S. federal agencies, the Department of Defense, and state and local government agencies to purchase Meru voice and data products for Wi-Fi (802.11) wireless LAN applications. The company expects government agencies will benefit from converged voice and data WLANs.

U.S. Marine Corps Selects's Promina, SHOUT Platforms

The U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command has selected's Promina multiservice access and SHOUT900 IP telephony platforms for domestic and overseas deployment in the Joint Enhanced Core Communications System (JECCS). The initial order for 11 JECCS units is valued at approximately $3 million.

JECCS, a Humvee-mounted multifunctional communications system, enables deployed forces to establish mobile network connectivity between land and sea operations. The system leverages the Promina platform to provide both secure and non-secure voice and data telecommunications services, local area network and network management services, messaging services and satellite capabilities for Marine Expeditionary Units in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Camp Pendleton, California and Okinawa, Japan.

Verizon Launches iobi to Small Businesses in NYC, New England

Verizon launched iobi Professional for small businesses in New York and New England. The IP-based service provides individuals with call-management, voice mail, e-mail and other communications services using their PCs, the Web or a voice portal. Additional features include dynamic call log, address book, calendar, text messaging, e-mail messaging, instant SuperPages and personal directory number lookup, an always-on weather display, and access to calling-party maps.

Iobi Professional operates over a variety of Verizon wireline services including basic business lines, Centrex, ISDN, FTTP and others. The service is priced at $11.95 per month.
  • In September 2004, Verizon announced the market launch of "iobi Home" (pronounced eye-OH'-bee), a new control panel service that lets residential customers manage their home PSTN line, call lists, directories, calendars, email, and voice mail using web tools. Iobi can be accessed in any one of three ways - by software downloaded on a personal computer; by logging on to the iobi Web site; or by telephone using a voice-recognition portal. The computer-based software provides the most robust functionality, including on-screen caller ID, online call direction and tracking of calls and voice messages. Using their mouse, consumers can answer, forward or send a call to voice mail in real time; find out where the caller is on a pop-up map; store the number in an address book; play a voice message; and forward voice messages as sound files via e-mail. Pricing is set at $7.95 per month. Verizon Home Voice Mail is recommended for full product functionality.

BT to Manage THALES Network Services

BT was awarded a five-year contract by THALES Group, an international electronics and systems group serving the defense, aeronautics, security and services markets. Under the deal, BT will manage all fixed voice and data network services for THALES and its subsidiaries in 42 countries. BT will take over all operational management of their services and some of the existing contracts, and will manage the gradual migration of those services towards an IP platform, enabling progressive and controlled introduction of VoIP.

Sun Microsystems Offers Grid Computing & Storage Services

Sun Microsystems launched a new "Sun Grid" utility initiative aimed at radically changing the way customers select, acquire and use next-generation IT infrastructure. Sun's new utility offerings include the Sun Grid compute utility and the Sun Grid storage utility. In the coming months, Sun will also roll out additional Sun Grid offerings for the desktop and developer communities. Sun is in the process of rolling out Sun Grid Centers worldwide; initial locations include Virginia, Texas, New Jersey, Canada and Scotland. Sun expects these centers to be fully operational later this year.

Sun Grid is expected to appeal to some corporate customers in industries such as financial services and oil and gas.

  • The Sun Grid compute utility -- provides customers with fully virtualized CPU memory and high-performance storage connected through a secure networked grid, at a price of $1/cpu-hr. Customers can use it for jobs such as Monte Carlo simulations, protein modeling, reservoir simulations, mechanical CAD simulations and similar non-transactional workloads. The Sun Grid compute utility will deliver a standard computing grid, powered by AMD Opteron processor-based systems, Solaris 10 OS and N1 Grid Engine, to help provide customers optimal performance, functionality and security.

  • The Sun Grid storage utility -- supports customers' grid jobs at a price of $1/GB-mo or can be used independent of the compute utility.

SunRocket Selects Netrake for National VoIP Service

SunRocket has selected Netrake' session border controller for its flat-fee residential VoIP phone service. Netrake provides the ability to seamlessly support Hosted Firewall and NAT traversal for offering new, advanced IP services to customers behind enterprise and residential firewalls. Financial terms were not disclosed.

SunRocket's all-inclusive annual home phone service features a unique Bottom-Line Pricing model. Special features include distinctive ringing for multiple household members, find me/follow me, do not disturb, and a browser-based Web account manager. SunRocket's service also provides 911 emergency calling and a built-in monthly allowance for international calling and directory assistance.
  • Telco Systems and Sylantro have each previously announced contracts with SunRocket.

  • Nokia Venture Partners is the lead investor in privately-held SunRocket.

NBC Universal and CinemaNow Sign VOD Deal

CinemaNow signed a deal with NBC Universal to deliver first-run pay-per-view and library titles, including movies and television event programming, on a streaming basis via the CinemaNow Web site.. Content partners for CinemaNow's video-on-demand service now include 20th Century Fox, Disney, Lions Gate, MGM, Sony, Warner Bros., and over 200 other licensors. The company has distribution rights about 6,500 titles.

Infonet Establishes Subsidiary in Hong Kong

Infonet Services has established a wholly-owned subsidiary in Hong Kong. The company has been providing services in Hong Kong since 1980 through its partner PCCW (previously known as HKT). PCCW will continue to act as a reseller of Infonet services to local enterprises based in Hong Kong.
  • In November 2004, BT agreed to acquire Infonet, a provider of international managed voice and data network services, for $965 million (excluding Infonet's net cash balance of $390 million, the aggregate value of the deal is $575 million). Infonet, which is based in El Segundo, California, has local operations in 70 countries and claims 1,800 multinational customers -- including Siemens, Nokia, Bayer AG International, IBM and Hilton International.

Covad Release Q4 Network Metrics

Covad Communications release key operating statistics for Q4 2004, including:

  • the addition of 8,300 DSL lines, bringing total lines in service at year end to 533,200 lines, a 3% increase from 517,000 at the end of 2003.

  • Covad ended with 567 VoIP business customers representing approximately 20,500 VoIP stations.

Telstra BigPond Deploys Juniper Networks E-Series

Australia's Telstra BigPond has chosen Juniper Networks' E-series edge routing platforms to provide connectivity to customers of BigPond's DSL service. At BigPond, the E-series edge routing platforms are being deployed as Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) networking servers to support existing and future subscribers on the Telstra network. L2TP is a secure remote access technology designed to protect sensitive data on DSL and other broadband connections. Financial terms were not disclosed.
  • Telstra BigPond is Australia's largest ISP.

TIA Estimates U.S. Telecom Spending at $784.5 Billion, up 7.9%

Total spending in the U.S. telecommunications industry rose 7.9% in 2004 to an estimated $784.5 billion -- a significant improvement from gains of 3.6% in 2003 and 1.9% in 2002 -- according to TIA's 2005 Telecommunications Market Review and Forecast. The increased spending was driven by an increase in equipment and software revenue and double-digit increases in wireless services, services in support of equipment, and specialized services.

TIA is predicting that the U.S. telecom market will continue growing at a projected 9.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2008, reaching $1.1 trillion. Some highlights of TIA's annual report include:

  • A 5.2% increase in total equipment and software revenue marked the first gain after three consecutive years of decline. From 2000-2003, equipment and software revenue fell $30.5 billion, a cumulative 17.4% decrease, led by the network equipment segment. In 2004 the network equipment market began to emerge from its slump and recorded a 4.7% advance reaching $15.8 billion.

  • Network equipment revenue is expected to increase 9% in 2005 to reach $17.3 billion and achieve a 8.4% CAGR 2005-2008, reaching $22 billion in 2008.

  • The enterprise equipment market expanded 5.9% to $99 billion in 2004, more than the combined gain of the previous three years. In the enterprise market, replacement of legacy equipment and the shift to IP and convergent systems is boosting most segments of equipment spending. Total spending on enterprise equipment is expected to reach $105.6 billion in 2005, a 6.8% increase over 2004.

  • Spending on transport services increased slightly by 3.4% in 2004 reaching $298.7 billion. Local exchange revenues were essentially flat at $124 billion in 2004, but are expected to grow at faster rates in subsequent years as landline providers continue to introduce bundled services at flat rates and to offer VoIP -- diminishing the price advantage enjoyed by wireless. The shift to VoIP will be the key driver in both enterprise and residential markets. The number of VoIP access lines jumped to 6.5 million in 2004 from 3.8 million in 2003 and is expected to expand rapidly, rising to an estimated 26 million by 2008.

  • Toll service spending fell 4.2% to $72.8 billion, its fourth consecutive annual decrease as the shift from wireline to wireless in long-distance traffic continued. Offsetting this decline in 2004 was a 14.6% increase in spending on wireless services to $101.9 billion. Wireless services is one of the key market drivers and continues to gain traction as carriers introduce more data services such as online video games, high-speed third-generation (3G) wireless services, Wi-Fi technology and WiMAX. TIA expects wireless services revenue to increase at a 10.4% CAGR to $151.1 billion in 2008.

  • Internet access revenue rose 12.5%, fueled by rising broadband penetration. Broadband subscribers increased from 5 million in 2001 to more than 32 million in 2004, and TIA expects broadband to surpass dial-up in 2005 and to reach nearly 57 million subscribers by 2008. Overall spending on Internet access services is predicted to increase at a 6.8 CAGR to an estimated $35.3 billion by 2008.

  • Total international telecommunications spending (not including U.S. figures) reached $1.4 trillion in 2004, up 10.2% over 2003. The international telecommunications market is expected to grow faster than the U.S. market, boosted by high growth in wireless services and broadband access. Overall international telecom spending is expected to reach $2 trillion in 2008, growing at a CAGR 10.6% 2005-08.

  • Broadband access is predicted to be the key driver of equipment spending in the international markets, tripling in the next four years and rising to $100.8 billion by 2008. Growing demand for broadband, along with the introduction of IP networks, the rollout of 3G and Wi-Fi services will boost the equipment market. International spending on telecommunications equipment is predicted to increase by 7.4% in 2005 to $256 billion and then to grow at high single-digit rates through 2008.

Ericsson to Resell Critical Telecom's Remote Ethernet DSLAM

Ericsson will integrate Critical Telecom's GEmini Remote Ethernet DSLAM into its global Ethernet DSL Access (EDA) broadband portfolio to help service providers deliver such new generation broadband access services as IPTV.

The new Gemini Ethernet Remote DSLAM provides integrated GigE backhaul (with two GigE ports) in an environmentally-hardened, compact unit that can be deployed inside of remote cabinets. The unit can be installed without the need for local power or for building out a new cabinet or pedestal. A single units offers 24 ports of non-blocking ADSL2+ services. Multiple units can be combines inside a single, fiber-fed cabinet to offer up 192 ports of ADSL2+. Critical Telecom predicts this scalability will enable its design to address the "sweet-spot" in new access network upgrades.

Ericsson has more than 60 contracts around the world for its Ethernet DSL Access solution.

SBC to Link its Brand with Entertainment Services

SBC Communications will begin offering entertainment gifts and other incentives to encourage residential customers to signup for service bundles of local, long distance, DSL, wireless and satellite TV. The incentive include movie and music downloads, PlayStation2 online enabled videogames, and specialized merchandise.

The promotion and advertising campaign are part of an overall initiative to link the SBC brand to premier communications and entertainment services, in advance of the company's introduction later this year of IPTV, VoIP and fast broadband service.

SBC - AT&T Merger to Result in 13,000 Layoffs, Reduced CAPEX

Nearly 60% of cost synergies from SBC's proposed acquisition of AT&T are expected to come from headcount reductions, said senior officials from both companies in a conference call from the investment community. SBC currently has about 163,000 employees, while AT&T has 47,000. The layoffs are likely to affect about 13,000 employees. The job cuts are expected to include 550 engineering positions, 1,100 enterprise data ordering positions, 1,200 enterprise data provisioning positions, 1,500 enterprise care functions, 700 network management positions, 75 access management jobs and an estimated 2,600 job cuts in administrative roles, including legal, HR, finance, PR, advertising, etc. About 1,700 sales positions and 3,400 business operations personnel would also be eliminated in the merger.

In terms of CAPEX procurements, the companies see a 60% overlap between in vendor spend. In its earlier acquisitions (Pacific Bell, Ameritech and SNET), SBC has been able to extract a 10% to 12% supplier concession as it scaled up in size.

The advantages of scale are also expected to work in the merged company's advantage in terms of IP traffic. The merger would combine the largest backbone data provider with the largest local data provider (SBC's DSL and Project Lightspeed). The companies believe they will be positioned as the lowest cost provider.

SBC plans to leverage AT&T's investments in efficiency and automation against the joint company's entire Layer 2 customer base. New efficiencies would also be gained by building work processes around a single network view and not an artificially imposed long haul and local hierarchy.

The companies noted that AT&T's IP backbone carries an order of magnitude more traffic than SBC on a per employee basis. AT&T is over 3X more productive in supporting Frame Relay and ATM ports on a per employee basis. AT&T also carriers over 3X the long distance minutes of use on a per employee basis.

A webcast is archived on the SBC investor relations' website.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Infinera Goes Live with Photonic IC Technology

Infinera, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, announced the first commercial deployment of its Photonic Integrated Circuit technology. Germany's freenet is operating a nationwide network of Infinera DTNs.

Unlike conventional optical systems, which use analog optical devices for key networking functions, the Infinera DTN uses digital technology. Infinera has created its own photonic chips that combine dozens of active and passive devices for managing light. The chips converts all traffic from optical to electronic signals, allowing the DTN to add and drop, multiplex, groom, and protect circuits digitally rather than optically. Infinera's Photonic Integrated Circuits include a 100 Gbps transmitter, which integrates ten lasers, ten 10 Gbps modulators, and an optical multiplexer; as well as a 100 Gbps receiver, which integrates an optical demultiplexer and ten photodiodes. Each enables low-cost optical-electrical conversion on a semiconductor chip.

Infinera is offering an optical transport platform based on its Photonic Integrated Circuits. The
Infinera DTN supports 400 Gbps, i.e., forty 10 Gbps channels in a half rack, and 800Gbps (eighty 10 Gbps channels) in a full rack.. 100 Gbps line cards support a variety of hot-swappable client interfaces including OC-192/STM-64, OC-48/STM-16, 10 Gigabit Ethernet LAN PHY and WAN PHY, and Gigabit Ethernet. The platform runs Infinera's IQ Network Operating System to automate network discovery, configuration, and provisioning via GMPLS.

Infinera said freenet selected its solution because the DTN platform is simpler to operate, delivers services faster, and offer more network flexibility than conventional optical networking systems.
  • Infinera is headed by Jagdeep Singh, who previously founded Lighter Networks, a developer of optical switching equipment that was acquired by CIENA.

  • In October 2004, Infinera raised $52 million in new funding for its Photonic Integrated Circuit technology. The company has raised $205 million to date. Strategic investors in this round include UTStarcom and CTC (Itochu Techno-Science Corporation), both of which are collaborating with Infinera to provide optical networking solutions in Asia. Infinera's investor group includes many of the world's leading venture capital firms as well as a strong group of strategic corporate investors. Venture backers include Accel Partners, Benchmark Capital, JAFCO Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Mobius Venture Capital, Sprout Group, Sutter Hill Ventures, Venrock Associates, and Worldview Technology Partners.

Marconi Forms Partnership with Huawei

Marconi and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. are working on a mutual distribution agreement that would see each company sell certain products from the other's product portfolio into their respective customers. Marconi will distribute certain of Huawei's carrier grade data products into its key customers. Huawei will distribute Marconi's next-generation access radio products into its key customers. The two companies have also discussed how Marconi can use its extensive services structure to support Huawei's pursuit of equipment business in the European market.

Discussions are continuing regarding a joint product development agreement that will see the two companies derive benefits from the sharing of R&D resource and technologies.
  • In January 2005, Huawei Technologies reported that global sales for 2004 reached US$5.58 billion, representing a 45% growth from a year ago. Huawei cited strong growth in its international sales, which contributed 117% percent growth from US$1.05 billion in 2003 to US$2.28 billion in 2004. Sales from the domestic China market continued at an 18% increase from US$2.78 billion in 2003 to US$3.3 billion in 2004.

  • In October 2004, Siemens Communications signed a cooperation contract with Huawei. The deal covers Huawei's network infrastructure products for enterprise customers, and will primarily cover the Huawei portfolio for Quidway routers and switches. Siemens Communications said this cooperation pact with Huawei reinforces its multivendor strategy for Enterprise network infrastructure.

  • In February 2004, Siemens Information and Communication Mobile (Siemens mobile) and Huawei Technologies have formed a joint venture company to develop, manufacture and market TD-SCDMA technology. The companies are investing a combined US$100 million in the new venture, which will be based in Beijing. Siemens mobile will hold 51% in the new company and Huawei will hold 49%.

  • Huawei has a joint venture with 3Com that supplies enterprise networking solutions, including routers and LAN switches.

NCTA Sees Antitrust Issue in SBC-AT&T Deal

Robert Sachs, President & CEO National Cable & Telecommunications Association, issued a statement urging caution in the proposed SBC acquisition of AT&T: "The proposed combination of the largest and second largest telephone providers in SBC's 13-state region raises obvious antitrust concerns that regulatory authorities will have to scrutinize carefully. Cable companies, other phone competitors, consumers and business users alike have a vital interest in ensuring that this new telco behemoth does not act anti-competitively to thwart emerging phone competition. "

Cable Operators Announce Digital Carriage Agreement

the Association for Public Television Stations and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association announced a progressive digital television carriage agreement covering the nation's local public television stations. The deal ensures that local public television stations' digital programming will be carried on cable systems serving the vast majority of the nation's cable subscribers. There are currently 356 Public Television stations in the U.S. As of the end of January, digital signals from about 100 Public Television stations were being carried by cable systems.

Atheros Ships its 20-Millionth Wireless Chipset

Atheros Communications shipped its 20-millionth chipset during the fourth quarter of 2004. In just under three years, the company has delivered six generations of WLAN silicon. In its Q4 financial report, Atheros said demand for its solutions is at an all-time high. Revenue in the fourth quarter was $41.7 million, compared with $38.3 million in the third quarter, an increase of nine percent. Gross margins in the fourth quarter were 44.5 percent, compared with 45.6 percent in the third quarter, at the upper end of the company's guidance.

Network Implications of SBC + AT&T Merger

SBC Communications confirmed its plans to acquire AT&T in an historic deal valued at approximately $16 billion that is likely to reshape the U.S. telecom market.
The companies expect that the combination of a converged, IP backbone with global scale, a high-density of local broadband access lines, and with a nationwide IP-based UMTS/HSDPA wireless network (Cingular) will be the foundation for truly integrated, next-generation services. The companies cited more than $15 billion in identified short term synergies created through their merger. More than 85% of these synergies are expected to come from cost reductions as the two companies and their multiple networks are consolidated.

From a network perspective, the major impacts of the merger are expected to include:

  • the creation of the largest telecom operator in the U.S. Its assets will include more than a nationwide fiber backbone with more than 77,000 fiber route miles, 750 POPs, network assets in 50 countries and 850 cities, 26 data centers, 52 million local access lines, 5.1 million DSL lines and 77% broadband availability rate in SBC territory, and a 60% share of Cingular wireless.

  • AT&T's IP network will become the backbone for all of SBC's IP services. WilTel currently provides a nationwide IP backbone for SBC. All of SBC's long distance traffic also will be moved onto the AT&T IP network

  • SBC plans to accelerate its move to IP in its local networks, leveraging AT&T's CallVantage platform for offering consumer VoIP

  • SBC's Project Lightspeed will be accelerated. It will leverage the national bandwidth capacity of the AT&T network for its video services

  • All local switches in SBC territory will be upgraded and optimized, while eliminating any duplication

  • The companies will combine and optimize their network centers

  • The companies will consolidate network planning and engineering functions

  • Data centers will be consolidated

  • The companies will rationalize their billing platforms and move to more automated systems

  • The new SBC will use its immense purchasing volumes to negotiate better deals with vendors

  • The two companies' IT organizations will be combined

  • SBC and AT&T's wholesale operations will be combined

  • AT&T's headquarters staff will be merged into SBC. The new headquarters will in San Antonio, Texas

The companies expect the synergies to be above and beyond the efficiency and productivity gains currently being driven by new technologies, such as converged carrier transport networks, VoIP, IP VPNs and Ethernet.

The companies hope to close the merger in 2006, pending regulatory approvals. Neither company foresees any major regulatory obstacle to the deal.
  • In January 2003, WilTel announced a contract to provide SBC Communications with 10 Gbps OC-192c transport for building out its national IP network. The facilities are currently used for IP-based services such as business Internet access, SBC- Yahoo! DSL, SBC-Yahoo! Dial, Virtual Private Networking, Internet Data Centers, and Web Hosting.

  • In October 2004, Cingular Wireless completed its $41 billion acquisition of AT&T Wireless.

Agere Teams with HCL on Network Processor Designs

Agere Systems introduced a simplified Functional Programming Interface (FPI) software platform that runs on its network processors, such as its PayloadPlus APP550 for multiservice networking gear. Agere's improved FPI software features a comprehensive suite of protocols and services for target applications. In addition, the software facilitates quick addition of revenue-generating, differentiating features with relatively small, localized changes in code.

Agere also announced a service agreement with HCL Technologies to help enable telecom equipment manufacturers to deliver their products to earlier and at lower cost. Dedicated teams from HCL are working closely with Agere on the FPI software and will provide customization and system integration services to Agere's customers.

MCI to Link Moonv6 IPv6 Network to Commercial Internet

MCI is collaborating with the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) to connect the North American IPv6 Task Force's Moonv6 network to the commercial Internet backbone, allowing nationwide direct connection to the test bed. The connection will give test participants a native, non-tunneled connection to Moonv6 via MCI's MAE Services network exchange points.

MCI's MAE infrastructure facilitates nationwide Layer 2 interconnectivity and public peering between Internet service providers. MAE Services connection points are located in San Jose, Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Chicago, metro Washington, D.C. and Miami (first quarter 2005).

The Moonv6 project is a global effort led by the North American IPv6 Task Force that includes industry leaders, the UNH-IOL, Internet2, the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) and other government agencies, the Defense Research & Engineering Network (DREN) and the High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP).
  • In November 2004, The Moonv6 project, a collaborative effort between the NAv6TF (North American IPv6 Task Force), the UNH-IOL, government agencies and Internet2, completed a new round of interoperability tests aimed at advancing IPv6 testing into new territory.

  • The latest round of testing, which began at the UNH-IOL on October 30 and wrapped up at the U.S. Defense Department's Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) in Fort Huachuca, Arizona on November 12, represented the most aggressive multi-vendor test and demonstration of IPv6 products to date, encompassing voice, wireless, firewalls and application-layer connectivity. Test areas included interoperability in pure IPv6 as well as mixed v6 and IPv4 networks, IEEE 802.11 wireless LANs, VoIP, firewalls and IPsec, dual-stack routing, Internet protocols such as DHCP, DNS and various applications and transition mechanisms.

XO Launches Broadband VoIP Service for Businesses

XO Communications is preparing to launch "Xoptions" Flex, its new bundled VoIP solution for business customers with a broadband connection. The service provides unlimited local and long distance calling over XO's Tier 1 IP network. XOptions Flex will be available for a flat monthly price and include more than a dozen standard voice applications and features for each phone line including call forward, three-way calling, and hunt groups. XOptions Flex will be available in Boston, New York and Washington, DC in early March followed by full nationwide availability in the second quarter.

XO is using BroadSoft's enhanced voice applications software to support XOptions Flex.

XO Communications is also using Sonus Networks' equipment for the service. XO Communications launched their Sonus-based network in 2001 and over the last four years has continued to expand their deployment. Today, the company carries 600 million minutes of customer long distance traffic each month across its IP network.

ARRIS, Xtend Achieve DOCSIS 2.0 using Extended HFC Spectrum

Xtend Networks and ARRIS (announced the ability to offer dedicated high-bandwidth spectrum to commercial customers using standard DOCSIS products. In the tests conducted at ARRIS' laboratories, engineers used off-the-shelf Xtend and ARRIS DOCSIS products under a normal testing environment. Reliable operation and high performance were achieved at 256 QAM modulation downstream and 64 QAM SCDMA modulation upstream.

Xtend's products are based on the ability of advanced application technology and Block Division Multiplexing to increase the available spectrum of the existing cable TV network while providing high-speed symmetrical services to subscribers. Xtend said its technology is compatible with the existing head-end and CPE devices, including DOCSIS, analog and digital TV transmission, and telephony.

Sprint Joins the WiMax Forum

Sprint has joined the WiMAX Forum as a Principal Member to lend its support to that organization's mission of global interoperability standards formation for broadband wireless access products.
Sprint said it is anxious to conduct technical trials as test equipment becomes available.

TiVo Opens Application Platform to Third Party Developers

TiVo released an early-access software development kit (SDK) that allows third parties to create entertainment and information applications that extend the TiVo service. TiVo recently announced a new service strategy to give broadcasters a way to deploy media rich broadband applications to TiVo subscribers,. TiVo subscribers will be able to access such applications from their broadband-connected TiVo Series2 DVRs, whether they're hosted by TiVo servers or running locally on their home PC. TiVo expects a wide variety of applications will be created, such as rich music and photo services, advanced program and movie guides, sports applications, local weather info, and multiplayer social games.

The Java-based SDK is subject to the Common Public License and is available for download on, the world's largest Open Source software development website.

ECI Telecom Expands FTTP Portfolio with New Indoor ONTs

ECI Telecom introduced a new family of standards-based indoor Optical Network Termination (ONT) devices for residences and businesses being served by Broadband Passive Optical Network (BPON). The new Hi-FOCuS B-Light family of indoor ONTs joins the existing family of outdoor ONTs. Both the indoor and outdoor ONT units interconnect various customer-owned devices, including telephones, PCs, and TVs to the operator's BPON network. The products are based on the ITU G.983 standard.

Passave Establishes U.S. Headquarters in Santa Clara

Passave, a supplier of FTTH silicon has opened a new U.S. headquarters. Based in Santa Clara, California. The new U.S. headquarters office incorporates a state-of-the-art development laboratory for support of customers throughout the design-in and deployment of Passave chips in their systems and networks. Passave recently opened Passave Japan KK subsidiary in the world's largest FTTH market, and a new R&D center in Herzlia, Israel.

Passave's EPON solution is compliant with the IEEE 802.3ah standard for Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM).

America Online and Roadrunner Align Broadband Efforts

Time Warner Cable and America Online, both subsidiaries of Time Warner Inc., agreed to develop and market a customized broadband offering with attractive pricing for their current AOL and Road Runner subscribers as well as prospects across the Time Warner Cable footprint. As part of this relationship, America Online will manage the advertising and search opportunities for both the new offering and the Road Runner portal.

The new broadband offering will consist of a special edition of the AOL client optimized for broadband that is combined with Road Runner's high-speed connectivity and its content.

IP Unity Names Motorola Exec to Board

IP Unity has appointed Cas Skrzypczak, general partner at Global Asset Communications, and Adrian Nemcek, an executive vice president of Motorola, Inc. and president of Motorola Networks, to its board of directors. Casimir Skrzypczak joined Global Asset Capital after retiring from Cisco Systems where he served as senior vice president of Customer Services Advocacy. Adrian Nemcek, as president of Motorola Networks, is focused on providing customer solutions for existing cellular radio access, IP networks, telco wireline access, iDEN technology, new broadband wireless access platforms, embedded communications and computer platforms.

Sylantro Names New Feature Server Customers

Sylantro Systems named two new customers, VoEx and STS Telecom. Both companies have integrated Sylantro's applications feature server and hosted communications applications as part of their comprehensive new service strategies to deliver richer, differentiated alternatives to Unbundled Network Element Platform (UNE-P) service offerings.

STS Telecom, a South Florida-based telecommunications service provider, has deployed Sylantro servers and applications as part of the new EVOLUTION enterprise VoIP offering that will be initially deployed in 30 major U.S. markets. STS plans to migrate more than 10,000 existing business and residential customers to the Sylantro platform.

VoEx, a VoIP services and enhanced managed services provider based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has deployed Sylantro's applications feature server as the basis for its IP Centrex and IP Mobility

Japan Telecom Implements Cisco Optical Platform

Japan Telecom has deployed the Cisco ONS 15454 Multiservice Provisioning Platform (MSPP) for its new "Otoku Line" fixed telephone service introduced in December 2004. The Cisco ONS 15454 MSPP forms a metro access ring independently deployed on a nationwide basis. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Analog Devices Announces Blackfin Processors

Analog Devices (ADI) announced the availability of four new network-enabled Blackfin Processors designed for embedded audio, video and communications applications. The Blackfin architecture combines the audio and video processing capabilities of DSPs and media processors with the programming capabilities of embedded 16/32-bit microprocessors. The new devices are targeted at IP-based video delivery, including IPTV set-top boxes.

ZTE, China's largest listed telecommunications equipment provider, has adopted ADI's new Blackfin eMedia Platform for a wide range of broadband CPE devices including IP set-top boxes. In an IP TV set-top box application, the software-programmable Blackfin Processor microarchitecture provides high-performance media processing, efficient audio/video (A/V) compression, low power consumption and multiformat flexibility (MPEG-2, MPEG-4, Windows Media Video, VC1, Windows Media Audio 9 and H.264.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Cox Selects Atrica/Fujitsu for Metro Optical Ethernet

Cox Communications has built a carrier-class optical Ethernet backbone to serve the New Orleans Public Schools using Fujitsu Network Communications' Flexible Architecture for Subscriber Service Termination (FASST) and Ethernet equipment from Atrica. The new network links nearly 140 schools and administrative sites using Gigabit Ethernet connections. Each site now receives high-speed, guaranteed services including Internet access, Voice over IP, IP/H.323 videoconferencing, and distance learning. The new network replaces a mix of T1s, Frame Relay and other access technologies previously employed by the school district.

Cox is using Atrica's A 8100 Optical Ethernet core switches at hub locations, A 4100 Optical Ethernet aggregation switches at select aggregation sites, and A 2100 Optical Ethernet edge switches to deliver services at each school or administration site. Cox is also utilizing the Atrica Service Platform for Ethernet Networks (ASPEN), an integrated service provisioning and management system, to manage the entire network.

Atrica's Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF)-compliant Committed Information Rate (CIR) capabilities allow Cox to accurately control bandwidth and ensure each site has an equal share of bandwidth and services. The equipment also provides guaranteed SLAs, QoS, Ethernet Operations, Administration, Maintenance and Provisioning (OAM&P), and sub-50 millisecond resiliency.

Fujitsu provides service and support for the project. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Fujitsu noted that it has numerous other carrier trials and deployments underway for networks based on its FASST architecture.
  • In June 2004, Fujitsu Network Communications introduced its Flexible Architecture for Subscriber Service Termination (FASST) aimed at integrating SONET, Optical Ethernet, ATM, Frame Relay, IP, MPLS and Operational Support System (OSS) products. Fujitsu has formed partnerships with Atrica and Hammerhead Systems to implement its FASST strategy.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Alcatel and Finmeccanica Merge their Satellite Activities

Alcatel and Finmeccanica reached a final agreement to merge their space activities through the creation of two joint ventures companies, to which both partners will contribute their respective satellite industrial and service activities.

The first company, Alcatel Alenia Space, of which Alcatel will hold 67% and Finmeccanica 33%, will combine Alcatel Space and Alenia Spazio's activities. It will concentrate on the design, development, and manufacturing of space systems, satellites, payloads, instruments and associated ground systems for civilian and military applications. The headquarters of Alcatel Alenia Space will be located in France, with plants in France, Italy, Belgium and Spain. With estimated 2004 sales of EUR 1.8 billion and around 7,200 people, it will create the European leader in satellite systems and services.

The second company, Telespazio, of which Finmeccanica will hold 67% and Alcatel 33%, will combine Telespazio with Alcatel Space Services and Operations activities. It will concentrate on operations and services for satellite solutions, which includes control and exploitation of space systems as well as value-added services for networking, multimedia and earth observation. Its headquarters will be located in Italy with plants in Italy, France and Germany. With estimated 2004 sales of EUR 350 million and around 1,400 people, it will be a key player in the space services market.

Siemens Announces Restructuring of Wireline Business

Siemens announced a corporate restructuring aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of its wireline business. The company said it would be increasing its focus on growth areas such as VoIP, Ethernet Access, applications and services for broadband networks or Home Entertainment. The restructuring is expected to affect some 600 jobs in Germany and 650 jobs overseas, although Siemens seeks to transfer the affected employees within the company wherever possible.

Eblana and Vitesse Announce Breakthrough in Laser Fabrication

Eblana Photonics and Vitesse Semiconductor announced a manufacturing relationship for single-mode laser diodes on Vitesse's 4" Indium Phosphide (InP) Integrated Circuit Fabrication Line.
This manufacturing relationship builds on an industry first where the companies fabricated 2.5 Gbps, single wavelength, laser diodes using established InP IC toolsets and processes.

The companies said their landmark process line production of high-quality laser diodes will have significant impact for the communications industry. Short term, it its expected to disrupt the production costs of photonic components by permitting low cost manufacture of the highest quality laser products on a mature electronics fabrication platform using only IC toolsets and processes and their associated process control regime. The companies believe this manufacturing process will enable the required levels of photonics integration to drive the burgeoning rollout of FTTP and Gigabit Ethernet in Access and Enterprise communications applications. Loner term, they expect that the integration of mature InP circuit technology with a InP laser technology to will create new components and new applications based on integrated photonics and electronics.

Verizon Selects Microsoft TV Platform

Verizon will use the Microsoft TV platform for the commercial rollout of its FiOS TV service. src="
msiptv.jpg" align="left"> The selection builds on a string of recent, high-profile wins for the Microsoft TV platform amongst telecom carriers, including SBC, Telecom Italia, Swisscom/Bluewin and others. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Verizon plans to use the Microsoft TV platform to deliver high-definition television, digital video recording and on-demand programming. In addition, it will provide FiOS TV customers with an interactive programming guide. Verizon and its third-party partners will use the Microsoft software to add advanced IP applications for future FiOS TV services. The companies said this would differentiate Verizon in the marketplace and bring consumers the benefits of voice, video and data convergence.

FiOS TV will also use the Motorola set-top hardware platform.

Verizon said the Microsoft TV platform will work in parallel with its "iobi" service delivery platform, which allows information to be shared across many different networks, applications and devices. Significantly, the Microsoft .NET architecture supports applications on Verizon's iobi platform as well as applications from third-party developers. Microsoft .NET architecture also supports the Microsoft TV platform.
  • In November 2004, SBC Communications selected the new Microsoft IPTV Edition software platform for its Project Lightspeed initiative. The deal was valued at $400 million over 10 years. SBC Labs has been testing an IP-based television service built on the Microsoft TV IPTV Edition platform since June 2004. SBC companies and Microsoft will begin field trials in mid 2005 and plan commercial availability of the IP-based television platform in late 2005.

  • In January 2005, BellSouth announced a technical trial of Microsoft TV Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) Edition software platform over its DSL network. BellSouth plans to leverage new DSL technologies, including ADSL2+ and copper pair bonding, as well as its deep fiber network, to test a feature-rich IP video offer during the first half of 2005.

  • In September 2004, Verizon Communications hired Terry Denson, former vice president of programming for Insight Communications, the ninth-largest cable operator in the country, to manage entertainment content and marketing strategies. As vice president of video programming and content marketing and strategy for Verizon, Denson will guide video product packaging, pricing and marketing strategies; video content acquisition and distribution agreements; and customer education, acquisition and retention planning.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Optical Internetworking Forum Launches New Project

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) is embarking on two new technical projects:

  • the Architecture and Signaling working group, in conjunction with the Carrier working group, will address Neighbor Discovery as it applies to links used by the optical control plane. Neighbor Discovery is a process that allows the control plane to identify new links and to initialize the control plane to use those links. OIF working groups will seek to define Neighbor Discovery requirements based on carrier scenarios and define control plane extensions to achieve them.

  • the Physical and Link Layer (PLL) working group has begun work on a next generation TFI (TDM Framer-to-Fabric Interface) project. The project will extend the existing TFI-5 TDM Framer-to-Fabric Implementation Agreement (IA), which utilizes 2.488 to 3.1104 Gigabits per second signaling to utilize CEI signaling at 6G rates (4.976 to 6.375 Gigabits per second) and 11G rates (9.95 to 11.1 Gigabits per second). This will enable system vendors to architect next generation SONET/SDH Cross-Connect and DCS Digital Cross Connect systems with increased density and lower costs.

    • The OIF's recent quarterly meeting resulted in the reelection of the following officers, Amy Wang of Avici Systems as Interoperability Working Group Co-Chair (Networking), Doug Zuckerman of Telcordia Technologies as OAM&P Working Group Chair, Hans-Martin Foisel of T-Systems / Deutsche Telekom as Carrier Working Group Chair and Brian Von Herzen of Xilinx as Interoperability Working Group Co-Chair (Physical & Link Layer).

NEC Assembles 3G Base Stations in China

NEC has commenced production of 3rd Generation mobile radio base stations (Node-B)
at one of its production sites in China. The facility procures major core pre-product modules, such as channel coding cards and line cards, from NEC's major manufacturing sites in Japan, and other general parts such as power modules and racks from local vendors. The plant then assembles and customizes them according to the requirement of each operator.

The first lot of the products has been delivered in January to operators in Europe. The plant will also be used for manufacturing base stations for the Chinese market.

Takakuni Kuki, Executive General Manager and head of NEC's Mobile Network Operations Unit commented, "NEC hopes to take a leading position for the construction of 3G infrastructure in China... In order to accelerate the progress of the Chinese 3G market, NEC will build up its basic
production as early as possible to meet the increasing demand of the market."
  • In 2004, NEC established a 3G demonstration center in Guangdong. The center showcases NEC's 3G network solution offerings such as node-B radio base station, radio network controller and 3G terminals, and mobile internet application platform, and demonstrates attractive mobile multimedia service using the 3G technology. In addition, NEC recently established "NEC Telecommunications (Hong Kong) Limited", a mobile network operation outsourcing company to further expand the business of the new company to include 3G projects in China in the

Alcatel to Resell Widevine Cypher for TVoDSL

Alcatel has entered into a global agreement to resell Widevine Technologies' Cypher technology-Virtual SmartCard and Application Level encryption for securing content over video networks. The Widevine Virtual SmartCard solution is currently used a content security solution in the TVoDSL and FTTH markets. The companies cited Chunghwa Telecom's rollout as the catalyst for their agreement. Financial terms were not disclosed.

StarOne Selects Alcatel for South American Satellite

Star One, the largest satellite solutions company in Latin America, awarded a contract valued at US$150 million to Alcatel for the construction of a telecommunications satellite serving South America. It is the second satellite that Alcatel will build for the Brazilian operator.

Star One C2, which will be based on the Alcatel Space Spacebus 3000B3 platform, will be fitted with 44 transponders, 28 C-band and 16 Ku-band and 1 X-band. Star One C2 will replace the Star One B2 satellite in the C band for direct TV broadcasting over South America and will provide new optimized capacity in Ku band for telephony and trunking transmissions over two coverage zones: Brazil and Mexico.

Star One, which was incorporated in December 2000, is the outcome of a partnership between Embratel (controlled by US-based WorldCom) and the Société EURpéenne des Satellites SA (SES).

Siemens Sets up Carrier Ethernet Network in Kenya

Kenya Data Networks Ltd. (KDN) has commissioned Siemens Communications to deliver, install and maintain an optical network. The fiber optic rings will be installed in Nairobi and equipped with Siemens Carrier Ethernet technology. The installation is planned for completion in spring of 2005. By that time the metro network should cover a distance of 35 kilometers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The main components in the network are Surpass hiD products, which were developed jointly by Siemens and the Korean company Dasan. Siemens has been the majority shareholder in this company specializing in broadband network access since September 2004.

T-Com Selects Marconi for Europe's First 40G Optical Network

T-Com, the fixed-network unit of Deutsche Telekom, awarded a three-year contract to Marconi to build Europe's first 40 Gbps optical network. Marconi will supply T-Com with its Multihaul 3000 DWDM transmission platform and its ServiceOn Optical network management system. The Multihaul 3000 will act as an expressway carrying high-bandwidth traffic between switching nodes in the network, with a capacity of 3.2 Tbps (terabits per second) on each optical fiber pair. This will give T-Com an unrivalled capacity in its core network.

T-Com's decision to choose Marconi follows its successful involvement in the Global Seamless Network (GSN) research and demonstration project, which ran in 2003.

Marconi's Multihaul 3000 system is configurable for transmission spans of between 100 km and 4000 km. It includes a range of reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexers as well as data, Synchronous Digital Hierarchy and OTN transponders and muxponders for 2.5G, 10G and 40G bandwidths equipped with full-band tunable lasers. The Multihaul 3000's 40G transponders were developed by Marconi in cooperation with CoreOptics.

"This is an important strategic win for Marconi in that it delivers a new platform into a new and prestigious customer," said Mike Parton, CEO, Marconi Corporation plc.

CableLabs Issues Headend VoD Specs

CableLabs issued the first set of specifications to aid in the creation of next-generation Video-on-Demand (VoD) cable services through the development of headend metadata and content distribution documents. Common metadata specifications are expected to pave the way for new types of VoD application models, such as enhanced VoD, subscription VoD, advertising, and audio services in the cable headend. The newly released specifications build upon a family of specifications that currently are in use.

The ADI2.0 (Asset Distribution Interface) Asset Structure specification defines the logical organization of metadata structures (Group Asset, Metadata Asset, Content Asset) and operations to place content assets in context with one or more cable service offerings. This allows for better utilization of asset management systems at cable headends. Additionally, the specification provides a document message structure containing assets and operations that is transmitted from the content provider to the cable operator to provide initial management and validation of files and structures. XML schema formats are used to provide some of the initial validation mechanisms.

The ADI2.0 (Asset Distribution Interface) Asset Inventory Messages specification is an auxiliary document that defines messages to indicate an upcoming schedule of content distribution or messages meant to help content providers manage existing content distribution processes.

CableLabs developed the specifications working with cable operators, content providers, and hardware component developers operating under a royalty-free Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) pool.

Broadcom Reports Q4 Revenue of $539 Million

Broadcom reported Q4 net revenue of $539.4 million, a decrease of 16.6% from the $646.5 million reported for Q3 2004 and an increase of 12.6% from the $479.1 million reported for Q4 2003. Q4 net income (GAAP) was $71.1 million, or $.20 per share (diluted), compared with GAAP net income of $43.9 million, or $.13 per share (diluted), for Q3 2004.

"As discussed previously, our fourth quarter results were negatively impacted by the industry-wide inventory correction that affected all of Broadcom's business groups, but which was most pronounced within a limited number of customers in our direct broadcast satellite (DBS) and enterprise networking businesses. In addition, we continued to experience the long-anticipated decline in our chipset business for servers based on Intel processors. Our focus remains on entering new markets and bringing new products into existing markets," said Scott McGregor, Broadcom's President and CEO.

Nokia Estimates 1.7 Billion Mobile Users Worldwide

Nokia reported record mobile device volumes in Q4 2004, saying it now estimates that mobile subscriptions worldwide number 1.7 billion. The company cited the ongoing boom in growth markets such as Latin America, Russia, India and China, and brisk sales of color screen and camera phones. However, Nokia's North American phone volumes were disappointing.

Nokia's full-year 2004 mobile device market share was 32%, based on an estimated market volume of 643 million units.

Additional highlights of the quarterly report include:

  • Q4 net sales increased 3% to EUR 9 063 million (EUR 8 789 million in Q4 2003), up 8% at constant currency.

  • Q4 operating profit decreased 19% to EUR 1 357 million (EUR 1 669 million), with an operating margin of 15.0% (19.0%).

  • For Q1 2005, Nokia group net sales are expected to be in the range of EUR 7.0 billion - EUR 7.3 billion, compared with EUR 6.6 billion in the first quarter 2004.

Verizon Cites Strong Wireless Growth, Good Start for FTTP

Verizon Communications' Q4 revenues increased 6.2% to a record $18.3 billion, driven by a 10th consecutive quarter of double-digit, year-over-year revenue increases for wireless services. Wireless contributed $27.7 billion to the corporation's $71.3 billion total revenues in 2004. For the fourth quarter 2004, Verizon reported earnings of $3.0 billion, or $1.08 per diluted share, compared with a loss of $1.5 billion, or 53 cents per share, in the fourth quarter 2003. Some highlights for the quarter:

  • Verizon Wireless contributed more than 40 percent of Verizon's total revenues in the fourth quarter 2004, compared with less than 35 percent in the fourth quarter 2003. Wireless revenues were $7.3 billion in the fourth quarter 2004, a 22.7 percent increase compared with $6.0 billion in the fourth quarter 2003. Full-year 2004 wireless revenues were $27.7 billion, an increase of $5.2 billion, or 23.0 percent, compared with 2003.

  • Overall, Verizon's growth businesses -- wireless, long-distance, broadband, data and Enterprise services -- accounted for 55.2 percent of fourth-quarter 2004 revenues, compared with 49.3 percent of fourth-quarter 2003 revenues. Over the past year, revenues from these businesses have grown by 19.0 percent.

  • Operating revenues for Domestic Telecom, the company's U.S. wireline business segment, were $9.7 billion in the fourth quarter 2004, a 2.4 percent decrease compared with the fourth quarter 2003. For the year, wireline operating revenues were $38.6 billion, a 2.7 percent decrease compared with 2003.

  • Verizon Wireless added 1.7 million net new customers, the largest quarterly customer increase in the history of the company. For the year, Verizon Wireless added 6.3 million net new customers, as its total number of customers grew 16.8 percent year-over-year to 43.8 million, including 41.8 million retail customers.

  • Verizon added a net of 306,000 DSL lines in Q4 for a total of 3.6 million DSL lines in service, representing 1.2 million net additions over the past year -- a growth rate of 53.5 percent. Revenues from DSL contributed to total wireline data revenues of $2.0 billion in the fourth quarter 2004, a 9.2 percent increase compared with $1.9 billion in data revenues in the fourth quarter 2003. For the year, data revenues of $7.8 billion grew 7.4 percent compared with 2003 and now represent more than 20 percent of total wireline revenues.

  • Verizon's FiOS fiber-optic-based broadband service currently has more than 20 percent market penetration in Keller, Texas, Verizon's first market, after the first four and a half months of sales.

  • Revenues from long-distance services, including regional toll services, were $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter 2004, a 5.8 percent increase compared with $1.0 billion in the fourth quarter 2003. On an annual basis, these revenues totaled $4.2 billion in 2004, a 10.4 percent increase compared with 2003.

  • The company had 17.7 million long-distance lines in service as of year-end 2004, an increase of 342,000 lines from end of the third quarter 2004.

  • Resale and Unbundled Network Element-Platform (UNE-P) lines totaled 6.6 million at the end of the fourth quarter 2004, up from 5.8 million at the end of the fourth quarter 2003 and down from 6.7 million at the end of the third quarter 2004. UNE-P lines decreased by 93,000 from the third to the fourth quarter in 2004. The company had 53.0 million switched wireline access lines in service as of year-end 2004.

  • Enterprise revenues totaled approximately $6 billion in 2004, increasing 4.9 percent in the fourth quarter 2004 and 1.9 percent in the full year, compared with the same periods in 2003.

  • Verizon's Enterprise Solutions Group ended 2004 with more than 750 Enterprise Advance sales, meeting its year-end target of $250 million in Enterprise Advance revenues.

  • Verizon's total debt decreased $6.1 billion last year, to $39.3 billion at year-end 2004 from $45.4 billion at year-end 2003 -- reaching a previously announced target of debt levels in relation to corporate earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

T-Mobile USA Adds 1 Million Net Customers in Q4

T-Mobile USA added more than 1 million net new customers in Q4 2004, compared to 901,000 in the third quarter of 2004 and 1,015,000 in Q4 2003. The company ended the year with over 17.3 million customers.

Net new postpay customer additions amounted to 812,000 in Q4. Postpay churn was 2.6%, the same as the third quarter of 2004. Blended churn, a mix of postpay and prepay customers, was 3.1% in the fourth quarter of 2004, up from 3.0% in the third quarter of 2004, and down from 3.2% in the fourth quarter of 2003.

Chunghwa Telecom Consolidates on Cisco 12800 Routers

Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom has selected Cisco Systems for an IP Next Generation Network to consolidate traffic of all its services. Cisco 12800 Series Routers will be deployed to scale company's IP backbone to support all its services including MPLS VPNs, multicast video, VoIP and other Internet-related services. Since 2001, Chunghwa Telecom's HiNet division has used the Cisco 12000 Series Routers for its broadband infrastructure.

The major installation of the CHT IP network took less than two months. The upgraded network is expected to serve more than three million customers, including the existing 2.5 million ADSL broadband users. Financial terms were not disclosed.

France's neuf telecom Expands TV-over-DSL Network

neuf telecom's has reached a major milestone in delivering broadband services throughout France with the deployment of a network connecting 3,000 cities in 18 months. neuf telecom is using Cisco equipment for the extension and expansion of its network to support local loop unbundling and to facilitate triple-play over ADSL to residential customers. Cisco's 7600 Series routers, Catalyst 3000 Series switches and Cisco IOS network infrastructure software are used to provide the QoS-enabled multi-service network, supporting intelligent video distribution using dynamic multicast.

In November 2004, the company launched neuf TV, a digital-quality TV over DSL service offering over 70 channels. The company will shortly be launching ADSL2+ services. As of the end of 2004, neuf telecom a total of 700,000 ADSL users from its retail and wholesale operations. neuf telecom reported sales in 2003 of EUR 992 million. For the first half of 2004, neuf telecom increased its sales to EUR 564 million, up 24% compared to the same period in 2003, EBITDA was up 33% to EUR 60 million and earnings of EUR 15 million.

SBC Offers Discounted 3 Mbps Service

SBC Communications trimmed the price on its fastest DSL tier for bundle customers. SBC Yahoo! DSL Pro service, which provides download speeds of up to 3 Mbps, is now $29.99 a month with a one-year term agreement and when bundled with an SBC unlimited local and long distance calling plan. Previously, the lowest price for the 3 Mbps service was $36.99 when ordered online or as part of a Total Connections bundle with a one-year term agreement

Nortel Appoints Peter Currie as CFO

Nortel Networks announced today the appointment of Peter Currie as CFO. Currie is rejoining Nortel as he had previously served as senior vice president and chief financial officer from 1994 until early 1997. He most recently served as vice chairman and chief financial officer of RBC Financial Group, one of North America's leading financial services organizations. This appointment was made following the decision by William Kerr, the current CFO, to step down from this position, which he had assumed last year to lead the completion of the restatement. At the request of president and chief executive officer Bill Owens, Kerr has agreed to serve as senior advisor to the CEO.

DIRECTV Adds 444,000 Subscribers in Q4

The DIRECTV Group added 444,000 net subscribers in Q4, driving full year 2004 additions to more than 1.7 million. As of December 31, the total number of DIRECTV platform subscribers was 13.94 million representing an annual growth rate of 14% compared to the 12.21 million platform subscribers as of December 31, 2003. Additional highlights include:

  • DIRECTV U.S. gross subscriber additions in Q4 increased by 21% to a fourth quarter record of 1,103,000 due to higher penetration rates in local channel markets,

  • Q4 ARPU was $71.92, compared to $71.75 a year earlier

  • Q4 revenues increased 22% to $3.36 billion and operating loss before depreciation and amortization(1) was $156 million compared to operating profit before depreciation and amortization of $11 million in last year's fourth quarter.
  • In Q4, The DIRECTV Group announced an agreement for the sale of substantially all of the remaining assets of HNS to a new entity that will be jointly owned by SkyTerra Communications, Inc. and The DIRECTV Group. SkyTerra is an affiliate of Apollo Management, L.P., a New York-based private equity firm.

ECI Telecom's Hi-FOCuS Employed for Video/DSL

ECI Telecom announced today that over 1 million of its installed Hi-FOCuS broadband lines will be used by carriers to deliver video over copper. The company said its customers in several countries, including Taiwan and France, have recently received approvals and licenses to deliver TV & video over broadband networks.

Novatel Wireless Raises Guidance Citing EV-DO Card Sales

Novatel Wireless increased its financial guidance citing increasing shipments of its newly introduced EV-DO cards and quad-band UMTS cards. The company is currently expecting first quarter revenues to more than double from the prior year period and range between $32 to $34 million.

PMC-Sierra Reports Q4 Revenue of $61.8 Million

PMC-Sierra reported Q4 revenues of $61.8 million compared with $71.2 million for the third quarter of 2004 and $70.6 million for the same period a year ago. This represented a decrease in revenues of 13 percent sequentially and 12 percent on a year-over-year basis. GAAP net income in the fourth quarter of 2004 was $13.1 million (GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.07). This compares to GAAP net income of $6.3 million in the third quarter of 2004 (GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.03).

"We believe that our revenues stabilized in the fourth quarter and industry conditions are improving," said Bob Bailey, president and chief executive officer of PMC-Sierra. "Meanwhile, our new products in Metro Transport, Storage Systems and Voice-over-IP are generating pre-production revenues, giving us confidence that our customers' next-generation systems are moving towards production."

WSJ: SBC and AT&T Holding Acquisition Talks

The Wall Street Journal reported that SBC Communications is in talks to acquire AT&T in a deal potentially valued at over $15 billion. The combination, if approved by regulators, would give SBC access to AT&T corporate and government customers, as well as the largest Internet backbone, among other assets.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Qualcomm, Nortel Complete First Handset HSDPA Calls

Nortel and QUALCOMM completed the industry's first end-to-end calls using High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) on a commercial network and handset equipment. The calls were completed using commercial network equipment from Nortel and the first available handset, which is enabled by QUALCOMM's Mobile Station Modem chipset. Calls were made over a live air connection to a moving automobile to demonstrate the stability of the connection in a real-world environment. A five-megabyte music file was downloaded in less than 30 seconds, and an e-mail with a three-megabyte attachment was downloaded in 20 seconds.

HSDPA is expected to boost network capacity to carry up to three times as much data traffic and up to twice as many wireless users per cell site compared to today's UMTS networks.

Nortel Offers Wi-Fi Hotspot Solution for MSOs

Nortel introduced a wireless local area network product that enable cable operators (MSOs) to provide access to secure high-speed Internet and network services at 'hotspots' in public locations and residential neighborhoods. The solution consists of three components: a strand-mounted Access Point (APU) Unit; a Corporate Services Unit (CSU) that receives wireless signals from the APU; and a choice of directional or omni-directional antennas. When in hotspot mode, users connect directly to the Access Point Unit using Wi-Fi enabled devices such as laptops and PDAs.

Pannaway and Partner on Triple Play

Pannaway Technologies and finalized an integration and distribution agreement whereby Pannaway will integrate's SHOUT platform into its Service Converged Network triple play solution. Pannaway will also provide Tier 1 service support for all SCN-based SHOUT products.

The companies said their agreement would help service providers, including ILECs, to deliver end-to-end SIP-based VoIP services, high-quality digital IP video and high-speed (26 Mbps) Internet access over a single broadband connection.

Pannaway already has ILEC customers using the integrated SCN and SHOUT platform to thousands of rural subscribers.

Hong Kong's PCCW Deploys Riverstone Edge Router

PCCW, the incumbent service provider in Hong Kong, will deploy Riverstone Networks' 15008 Ethernet Edge Router. Cascade Limited, PCCW's professional services subsidiary, will begin deploying the Riverstone 15008 in PCCW's network to provide the carrier's customers with business-class, bandwidth-intensive Ethernet services through its existing metro Ethernet network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The procurement builds upon Riverstone's existing relationship with PCCW, which first deployed Riverstone's RS 8600 and RS 3000 carrier Ethernet routers in 2002 to bridge its ATM network to provide broadband access and VPLS. Riverstone has also delivered Ethernet networks to China Telecom, China Railcom, China Netcom, Chunghwa Telecom and Hutchison Global Communications.
  • Riverstone Networks 15008 Ethernet Edge Router features a 192 Gbps non-blocking switch fabric (384 Gbps full-duplex) providing the ability to converge traffic over MPLS. The new ASIC-driven Riverstone 15008 Ethernet Edge Router employs a distributed and modular operating system architecture that allows the router to detect and restart errant protocols without affecting the rest of the system. The 10GigE router offers IEEE VLAN support and VLAN Stacking. Additional VLAN support includes Ethernet Pseudowire, VPLS and H-VPLS, future Layer 3 VPNs, E-Line and E-LAN, E-UNI , etc.

Vodafone Reaches 150 Million Customers

The Vodafone Group reported its strongest quarter of net additions since December 2000 with over 5.4 million organic net additions, bringing its total proportionate customer base to over 151.8 million. Some highlights from Q4 2004:

  • Highest quarter ever for new Vodafone live! customers of 3.9 million, bringing global Vodafone live! controlled customer base to 28.3 million, including 12.9 million in Japan

  • Vodafone live! with 3G was launched across 13 markets

  • Vodafone UK added 641,000 net customers in the quarter, taking the total base to 15.2 million customers, an increase of over 9% since last year. Churn has continued its improving trend due to ongoing focus on customer retention and loyalty initiatives. Blended annual ARPU reduced to 314 pounds from 318 pounds for the year to December compared to the year to September 2004, principally due to the impact of the reduction in incoming call termination rates of approximately 30% effective from 1 September 2004.

  • In Germany, there were net customer additions of 843,000, for a total closing base of 26.9 million customers. Blended annual ARPU for the year to December was EUR 303 compared to EUR 305 for the year to September 2004, reflecting the impact of lower spending new customers.

  • In Italy, proportionate net customer additions were 359,000 in the quarter, leading to a total proportionate customer base of over 17 million. Blended annual ARPU remained stable at EUR 360 for the year to December compared to the year to September 2004. Churn also remained stable quarter on quarter.

  • In Japan, the closing proportionate base was 14.8 million, reflecting net customer additions of 36,000 in the quarter. The Group's effective ownership in Vodafone Japan reduced from 98.2% to 97.7% following the completion of the merger of Vodafone K.K. and Vodafone Holdings K.K.

  • Vodafone Spain added 457,000 net customers in the quarter, bringing the total customer base to 10.9 million customers, an increase of over 12% on last year. Churn has improved both quarter on quarter and year on year.

Corning Names New CEO

Corning named Wendell P. Weeks (45) to succeed the retiring James R. Houghton (69) as its CEO. Additionally, Peter F. Volanakis, 49, will replace Weeks as chief operating officer.

Communications Union Attacks AT&T's Job Cuts

The Communications Workers of America accused AT&T of cutting another 1,700 jobs and closing four customer service centers in the U.S. while at the same time transferring jobs to the Philippines, India and other offshore locations. Specifically, the CWA is concerned that AT&T will shut call centers in Mesa, Arizona; Syracuse, N.Y.; Marietta, Georgia., and Town and Country, Missouri.

Verizon Implements Windows Media for V CAST

Verizon Wireless is using the Microsoft Windows Media Format to power V CAST, its new 3G consumer wireless broadband multimedia service delivered over its EV-DO (Evolution-Data Optimized) network. Starting next month, Verizon Wireless V CAST customers can stream and play back audio and video clips using Windows Media. The service also uses technology from PacketVideo and thePlatform for Media Inc..

Verizon Wireless said video clips on V CAST are consistently streamed at 15 frames per second.

Verizon Wireless V CAST is supported on three new phones from LG Mobile, Samsung and UTStarcom Personal Communications.

RCN Launches Remote Video Monitoring Service

RCN launched a home monitoring service that allows its cable modem customers to remotely view real-time video of their home or business from any browser on the Net. RCN's WebWatch system allows customers place up to four small wireless cameras throughout their homes or businesses. When away from the home or business, they log in to a secure website through the Internet to view real-time, streaming videos. Customers can view one camera at a time or all four simultaneously. The video can also be recorded for later viewing.

RCN WebWatch leverages software developed by Casero and is based on RCN's Wi-Fi 802.11g wireless broadband home networking package. The service is available to RCN Internet subscribers for an additional $9.95 per month. Included in the monthly service fee is one wireless web camera.

Meru Powers Metro Wi-Fi Service in New Mexico

Meru Networks supplied the core WLAN equipment for a converged wireless network in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. The project, which is described as the largest citywide converged voice and data network in the U.S., has gone live with citywide Wi-Fi data service built on Meru's WLAN solutions. Azulstar Networks, a division of Ottawa Wireless, served as system integrator. Azulstar and the city are also in final testing of wireless VoIP phone services running over the same infrastructure, and expects to launch this within the next 90 days. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Internet2 Launches Hybrid Optical and Packet Infrastructure Initiative

The Internet2 Hybrid Optical and Packet Infrastructure (HOPI) initiative announced its design for a national network testbed infrastructure that allows researchers to experiment with new optical technologies, including dynamically provisioned wavelengths, circuit switched environments, and new transport protocols.

The HOPI testbed will utilize facilities from Internet2's Abilene Network, the National Lambda Rail (NLR) network, The MANLAN exchange point, and regional optical networks. Each HOPI node will consist of an Ethernet switch with 10GigE capabilities, a fiber cross connect switch, and servers to control HOPI's network infrastructure and measure network performance, all designed to model future optical infrastructures.

Over the next three months, HOPI nodes will be deployed in sites supporting substantial international connectivity, including the Pacific Northwest GigPoP in Seattle, StarLight in Chicago, and the NYSERNet/MAN LAN location in New York City. HOPI nodes will also be deployed in Los Angeles for connectivity to the UltraLight project and in Washington D.C. for connectivity to the DRAGON project. Both UltraLight and DRAGON are projects funded by the National Science Foundation. Additionally, all of the HOPI nodes will connect to the existing Abilene routers in their
corresponding cities. These nodes will in turn, connect to Internet2's experimental facilities on the NLR footprint. This configuration will allow Abilene-connected researchers access to the HOPI facilities.

A whitepaper describing the HOPI network architecture is online.

deltathree Selects Level 3 for Wholesale VoIP

deltathree agreed to purchase wholesale VoIP services from Level 3 Communications to support the growth of its Service Provider and Reseller VoIP offerings, as well as iConnectHere, its retail VoIP service. Specifically, deltathree purchased Level 3's (3)VoIP Enhanced Local service to expand its geographic reach. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Level 3's (3)VoIP Enhanced Local service is a wholesale VoIP solution that enables companies who operate their own switching infrastructures to launch IP-based local and long-distance communications services to residential and business customers via any broadband connection. (3)VoIP Enhanced Local provides network trunking, local numbers, local number portability, E911, operator assistance, directory listings, and directory assistance. At the same time, the (3)VoIP Enhanced Local solution allows Level 3 customers to retain the flexibility to manage and control end-user features without the need to implement complex interconnection arrangements.

Israeli Defense Forces Expands Use of ECI's XDM Platform

ECI Telecom received a new $16 million order to provide additional XDM optical equipment to the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). This agreement follows the installation of ECI equipment from a previous order for deployment of the IDF's optical backbone. ECI's Network Management System (NMS), which is integrated in the XDM platform, automatically maps managed elements onto separate technology layers - SONET/SDH, optics and data - enabling the IDF to better manage services.

i2Telecom Deploys Kagoor's Session Border Controllers

i2Telecom, a low-cost VoIP service provider, has deployed Kagoor's VoiceFlow 1000 series session border controller in a high-availability, redundant configuration to deliver global service over its SIP-based network. Kagoor's VoiceFlow 1000 session border controller solves the NAT traversal problem and simplifies the configuration of i2Telecom's microgateway adapter behind NAT devices like cable and DSL modems. Kagoor's network protection solution also provides i2Telecom with added network security.

i2Telecom is a low-cost telecommunications service provider employing a SIP-based network to deliver global VoIP service using its "VoiceStick", a portable Internet phone device that converts any Internet connected computer into a local phone. Once the VoiceStick is installed, a dial pad display enables the user to call any telephone in the world directly from the computer at a fraction of normal long-distance rates.

SBC Adds 425,000 DSL lines in Q4

SBC Communications reported Q4 growth in its wireline business, driven by a 10.5% rise in data revenues and increased penetration of bundled services such as DSL and long distance. Cingular Wireless, which is 60% owned by SBC, achieved a net subscriber gain of 1.8 million on a pro forma basis, more than double the pro forma net subscribers added in the previous quarter. Highlights of SBC's Q4 report include:

  • Q4 2004 earnings from continuing operations were $754 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, including special items., down from Q4 2003 reported earnings from continuing operations of $888 million, or $0.27 per diluted share. Excluding fourth-quarter severance charges and income from disposed equity investments, SBC's fourth-quarter 2003 earnings were $1.0 billion, or $0.30 per diluted share.

  • Q4 operating revenues were $10.3 billion, up 3.1% versus the fourth quarter of 2003. Wireline revenues totaled $9.3 billion, up 3.6% from results in the year-earlier fourth quarter, driven by growth in data solutions and bundled services, including DSL and long distance.

  • DSL - SBC added 425,000 DSL lines in Q4 and ended the year with 5.1 million DSL lines in service. In 2004, SBC added 1.6 million DSL lines. DSL/Internet revenues were up 27.2% versus the fourth quarter of 2003.

  • Long Distance - SBC's total long distance lines increased by 1.1 million in Q4 to end the year with 20.9 million in service, more than triple its in-service total two years earlier.

  • Bundles - SBC's penetration of consumer retail lines with at least one key service - long distance, DSL, joint-billed Cingular Wireless or SBC | DISH Network video - increased to 61% at the end of the quarter, up from 44% a year earlier.

  • Data Revenues - Wireline data revenues grew 10.5% to $2.9 billion in Q4, SBC's best quarterly data revenue growth in the past three years. For the full year, SBC's data revenues
    totaled $11 billion, representing 30% of total wireline revenues.

  • Large-Business Market - SBC's revenues from enterprise customers were up approximately 5% versus the year-earlier fourth quarter. Retail hi-cap and data integration revenues were up 12.6% , as SBC completed additional large-business contracts that provide advanced data solutions, managed services and voice services, including VoIP.

  • Access Lines - SBC's wireline retail consumer line base declined by 192,000 in Q4, an improvement from declines of 259,000 in the preceding quarter and 424,000 in the fourth quarter a year ago. SBC's business retail access line base declined by 74,000 in the fourth quarter. This compares with declines of 168,000 in the preceding quarter and 250,000 in the year-ago fourth quarter. Total switched access lines declined by 580,000 in the quarter. This total includes a 283,000 decline in UNE-P wholesale lines, which compares with a decline of 192,000 in the preceding quarter and an increase of 177,000 in the fourth quarter of 2003. SBC ended 2004 with 45.1 million retail lines and 52.4 million total switched access lines.

  • Video, Integrated Services - Total SBC | DISH Network subscribers increased by 97,000 in the quarter to reach 323,000 in service - all added since the company began offering the integrated service in March 2004. In Q1 2005, SBC plans to begin construction of an advanced, IP-based network to deliver next-generation, integrated all-digital TV, super-high-speed broadband and IP voice
    services. The company expects the network will reach 18 million households by the end of 2007.

  • In 2005, SBC expects continued growth in DSL lines at a pace consistent with 2004. SBC expects positive momentum and further expansion in the enterprise and national data market contributing to high single-digit% age growth in total data revenues. Overall, it is forecasting low single-digit% age revenue growth.

  • SBC expects 2005 capital expenditures will be $5.4 billion to $5.7 billion, with investments in Project Lightspeed and data growth offset to a significant degree by savings in other areas.

  • Cingular Wireless capital expenditures are expected to be $6.8 billion to $7.2 billion, reflecting network expansion initiatives and deployment of its 3G UMTS network with HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access).

  • 2005 free cash flow after dividends are expected to be approximately $3 billion.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Global Crossing Partners with Hong Kong's NWT

Hong Kong-based New World Telecommunications and Global Crossing announced a strategic alliance to deliver MPLS-based VPN and international private leased circuit (IPLC) services. The deal enables NWT to extend its reach through Global Crossing's MPLS-based IP network and its iMPLS service.

Agere Reports Q4 Revenue of $439 million

Agere Systems reported quarterly revenue of $410 million, compared to $439 million in the preceding quarter and $516 million in the year-ago quarter. The company reported a GAAP net loss of $67 million, or $0.04 per share, including $60 million in net restructuring charges and related costs.

"We achieved strong design win momentum in all areas of the business and we are pleased by our continued strength in storage where we increased shipments of read channels and system-on-a-chip solutions to key customers targeting PC and consumer electronics applications," said John Dickson, president and CEO.

Tellabs Reports Q4 Revenue of $379 million

Tellabs reported Q4 2004 revenue of $379 million (which includes one month of AFC revenue of $53 million), up 36% from $279 million in the fourth quarter of 2003. For the year 2004, Tellabs revenue totaled $1.2 billion, up 26% from $980 million in 2003. Tellabs recorded a net loss of $139 million or 32 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2004 as a result of special charges related to the acquisitions of AFC and Vinci Systems and other activities. Excluding charges of $180 million, Tellabs earned 9 cents per share or $41 million in the fourth quarter of 2004.

"Revenue exceeded our expectations in the fourth quarter and in 2004 as a whole," said Krish A. Prabhu, Tellabs president and chief executive officer. "Going forward, Tellabs will stay focused on growth opportunities that fit our customers' needs for fiber access, next-generation wireless and broadband networking."

  • Transport -- Revenue from transport systems totaled $155 million, up 33% from $117 million in the fourth quarter of 2003.

  • Managed Access -- Revenue from managed access systems was $112 million, up 16% from $96 million in the fourth quarter of 2003.

  • Broadband Data -- Revenue of broadband data products was $3.2 million versus $2.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2003.

  • Voice Quality Enhancement -- Revenue from voice-quality enhancement and other systems amounted to $15 million versus $26 million in the fourth quarter of 2003.

  • Access -- Revenue from access solutions totaled $53 million. [Note: The access revenue category includes only December 2004 revenue from all products acquired through the merger with AFC, which closed on Nov. 30, 2004.

  • Services and Solutions -- Services and solutions revenue was $40 million, up 10% from $37 million in the fourth quarter of 2003.

BellSouth Adds Record 224,000 DSL Customers in Q4

BellSouth reported Q4 revenue of $5.15 billion, an increase of 0.8 percent compared to the same quarter in 2003. Income from continuing operations was $496 million compared to $836 million in the same quarter of the previous year. Reported EPS from continuing operations for the quarter was 27 cents compared to 45 cents in the fourth quarter of 2003. The company cited restoration expenses due to hurricanes, severance-related expenses and a previously announced change in the calculation of the retiree medical benefit obligation for its lower earnings. Some highlights from the quarterly report:

  • In 2004, revenue growth from long distance and DSL high-speed Internet service offset reduced revenue from access line declines, holding Communications Group revenue flat at $18.45 billion, compared to 2003. In the fourth quarter, revenue increased 0.6 percent to $4.65 billion compared to the same quarter the previous year. Operating margin for 2004 was 25.1 percent compared to 26.3 percent in 2003.

  • During Q4, BellSouth added 467,000 mass-market long distance customers, giving it more than 6.1 million mass-market long distance customers.

  • As of Dec. 31, more than 200,000 BellSouth customers have added DIRECTV to their communications services packages.

  • As of Dec. 31, total access lines were 21.4 million, down 4.1 percent compared to a year earlier. UNE-P access lines resold by BellSouth competitors were 2.8 million at year-end 2004 compared to 2.4 million at year-end 2003. In the third and fourth quarters of 2004, UNE-P lines began a declining trend and decreased a total of 165,000 over the second half of 2004.

Deutsche Telekom and T-Online Set Exchange Ratio

Deutsche Telekom and T-Online reached a common understanding regarding the exchange ratio range in connection with the proposed merger of T-Online International AG into Deutsche Telekom AG. Both companies expect the exchange ratio to be between 0.45 and 0.55 Deutsche Telekom shares for one T-Online share.

Alcatel Enhances Open Media Client Software

Alcatel launched its next generation 5955 Open Media Client (OMC) software as part of its Open Media Suite. The Alcatel 5955 Open Media Client is a set of software components for IP set-top boxes which add functionality in the set-top box required for advanced features needed for IPTV and enables full lifecycle content management.

With the Open Media Client, Alcatel is defining an industry reference model for IP set-top box vendors to interwork with Alcatel's Open Media Suite, facilitating the integration process for the service provider and lowering the integration costs. With this software, Alcatel is providing an easy way for integration and certification of the rapidly growing number of IP set-top boxes with its Open Media Suite.

Alcatel plans to sublicense the Open Media Client as reference client software to leading IP set-top box software porting partners, chipset (reference design) vendors, and set-top box vendors.

Cingular Goes Live With MobiTV

Cingular Wireless began offering MobiTV, a television network expressly for mobile phones. With MobiTV, Cingular subscribers can watch live news, sports and entertainment programming on 22 channels, including MSNBC, CNBC, ABC News Now, NBC Mobile, FOX Sports, Discovery, TLC, C-SPAN, and other music, sports, fashion, and comedy channels.

MobiTV will be available to Cingular Wireless subscribers using the Nokia 6620, Motorola V3 (RAZR), Motorola V220, Motorola V180, and soon on the Motorola V400 and V600 handsets.

Avaya Reports Quarterly Revenue of $1.148 Billion, up 18%

Avaya reported quarterly revenue of $1.148 billion, up 18% compared to a year earlier. The revenue increase largely reflected the impact of recent acquisitions and favorable currency rates. Excluding these two items, revenues grew at double-digit rates in all regions except the United States where sales were essentially unchanged versus the year ago period. Income from continuing operations of $33 million or seven cents per diluted share.

Avaya said its fiscal 2005 goals are to increase revenues between 25 and 27 percent compared to fiscal 2004 revenues of $4.055 billion, grow operating income by 40 percent compared to $311 million in fiscal 2004 and raise annualized operating margin to between 8.5 and 9 percent compared to 7.7 percent last year.

Avaya noted the shipment milestone of its five millionth IP telephony line.

Chunghwa Telecom Expands Licensing of Orca Middleware

Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom has purchased an additional 10,000 licenses of Orca's RiGHTv IPTV middleware to accommodate growth in its multimedia on demand (MOD) deployments. Orca Interactive has partnered with leading IPTV companies to provide an end-to-end IPTV solution for CHT since its initial rollout. This is the second expansion requested from Orca within less than six month. This brings the total number of Orca middleware licenses at CHT to 40,000.

Siemens Mobile Invests in PhoneBites

PhoneBites, a San Francisco-based start-up, raised $3 million in first round funding provided by Siemens Mobile Acceleration, Cardinal Venture Capital, and Garage Technology Ventures.

PhoneBites has developed a software application that lets subscribers interject sound bites into live telephone conversations, outgoing messages, voicemails and photo messages. Subscriber can insert audio clips by pressing the handset keys during a phone call without interrupting it.
PhoneBites describes this as a "very funny entertainment tool" that mobile operators can offer to their subscribers. In the coming year, the company plans to launch a whole suite of interactive content and voice productivity applications.

Critical Telecom Appoints Former Ciena Exec as its CEO

Critical Telecom announced that Nancy Macartney has been appointed President and CEO. Prior to Critical Telecom, Nancy was the Vice President, Supply Chain Management for CIENA, during which time she was responsible for the Operations integration of Akara Corporation into CIENA. Most recently Nancy was the Vice President of Operations within Critical Telecom.

Critical Telecom is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada.

Fujitsu Cites North American Market Share

Fujitsu Network Communications holds a leading 27.7% share of the North America market for SONET aggregation equipment, according to figures from RHK cited by the company. Within the aggregation market, Fujitsu has a market share in excess of 40% in the $345 million Add/Drop Multiplexer (ADM) segment and a 23% share of the $1.05 billion Optical Edge Device (OED) segment.

Fujitsu cited strong market traction in the transition to OED devices with its FLASHWAVE 4000 MSPPs, which have become standardized in several RBOC, CLEC and MSO networks.

Equinix to Provide U.S. Peering for Allstream

Canadian-based Allstream will deploy its network to three Equinix Internet Business Exchange (IBX) centers in order to directly interconnect with the large aggregation of networks, carriers and ISPs located in Equinix's New York, Washington, D.C. and Chicago area centers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Equinix's centers have become the primary peering locations in the U.S., serving the world's leading ISPs, broadband providers, international networks and major content providers. Other networks on the Equinix GigE Exchange service include Asia Netcom, British Telecom, Cox Communications, Japan Telecom, Swisscom and Verio. Leading content providers on the service include Electronic Arts, Google, Yahoo!, and others.

ADTRAN Reports Q4 Sales of $105 Million

ADTRAN reported Q4 sales of $104.9 million, compared to $113.8 million in the same quarter of 2003. Earnings per share, assuming dilution, were $0.19 for the quarter compared to $0.26 for the fourth quarter of 2003.

ADTRAN Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Smith stated, "After experiencing significant revenue growth since 2002, we saw a pause in our markets in the last half of 2004. We anticipate this pause will resolve itself as employment and IT spending continue to expand and as carriers continue to aggressively promote consumer broadband services."

The company also announced that its Board of Directors declared a cash dividend for the seventh consecutive quarter. The quarterly cash dividend is $0.08 per common share to be paid to holders of record at the close of business on February 4, 2005.

RADVISION Enhances Test Suite for SIP, H.323

RADVISION released version 3.5 of its ProLab Test Management Suite , a scalable testing system suitable for development, quality assurance, deployment, and tuning of voice and video over IP (SIP and H.323) products. New features of version 3.5 include a new improved Graphic User Interface (GUI), improved ease of use, advanced signaling and media testing, advanced monitoring, and a large number of built-in media and scripts.

Designed to run on any standard Microsoft Windows PC system, RADVISION's ProLab Suite provides the ability to simulate a SIP User Agent, H.323 endpoint, Gatekeeper, SIP Server, as well as act as an advanced call generator. Using this platform, developers can test a multitude of voice and video over IP features, from call and signaling generation to simulated network packet loss, packet duplication, or delay. Manual and automated tests include performance testing, stress and load testing, functional testing, torture testing and interoperability testing.

See also