Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Ciena Reports 16% Sequential Revenue Growth

Ciena reported first quarter revenue of $94.7 million, representing a 16% sequential increase, and an increase of 43% over the same period a year ago. On a GAAP basis, Ciena's reported net loss for the fiscal first quarter was $57.0 million, or a net loss of $0.10 per share. This loss compares to a GAAP net loss of $76.7 million, or a net loss of $0.16 per share, in the same period a year ago.

Ciena recognized revenue from two customers that each contributed more than 10% of the fiscal first quarter's total revenue. Combined, the two ten percent customers accounted for 31.7% of the quarter's total revenue. In addition, approximately 83% of Ciena's business in the fiscal first quarter came from domestic customers.

As a result of product mix, Ciena's gross margin in the quarter was 25.6%, compared to 29.5% in its fiscal fourth quarter.

"Strong growth from a number of application areas, including core optical transport, core switching and data networking, fueled revenue growth in our fiscal first quarter," said Gary Smith, Ciena's president and CEO. "While our traditional specialty of core networking continues to be a focus for us, one of the most telling signs of the scope and progress of our efforts to become a more strategic provider is that we have increased the number of customers purchasing from multiple product lines by 73 percent compared to the first quarter of 2004 and we're looking to build on that momentum."http://www.ciena.com

Rogers Cable Selects Nortel Cable Telephony Solution

Rogers Cable, Canada's largest cable television company, has selected Nortel as its primary softswitch vendor to support digital phone service, which it plans to begin launching Digital Phone service in mid-2005. Rogers passes 3.3 million homes in Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and has 69% basic cable penetration of its homes passed. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Rogers Digital Phone service will leverage the company's DOCSIS broadband cable network combined with Nortel's Communication Server (CS) 2000 - Compact -- a softswitch that is PacketCable qualified in both North America (CableLabs) and Europe (EUR-Cable Certification Board). Nortel will also provide Rogers with Nuera's ORCA BTX-4K, a high-density media gateway providing PacketCable compliant trunking access to the PSTN.

Rogers' optical transport network is based on Nortel Optical Metro 5200s and Optical Metro 3500s for transport of voice traffic.

Telecom Italia Integrates Avici into Testbed

Telecom Italia Lab has integrated Avici Systems' SSR carrier class routing platform in its hybrid IP/optical network test bed that leverages open standards signaling across the optical and IP domains. Telecom Italia Lab is building an advanced multi-layer network based on IP/MPLS and optical technologies to evaluate the advantages of an intelligent architecture utilizing standards-based interworking between the optical transport network and client devices (IP routers). Leveraging the unified IP/Optical control plane, this IP/optical test bed will be used to evaluate future upgrades to European research infrastructures in order to support the highly demanding applications of the European research community.

Avici said its is leveraging open standards to enable carriers to signal between the IP and optical domains.

FCC Rules Against AT&T on Prepaid Calling Card USF Fees

The FCC ruled that AT&T unlawfully avoided paying millions of dollars of universal service contributions and other fees related to pre-paid long-distance calling card services. The FCC ordered AT&T to file revised universal service contributions forms for the entire period that AT&T has provided its calling card service. In its November 2004 filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, AT&T reported that it had avoided $160 million in universal service contributions on the card since 1999.

The Commission rejected an assertion by AT&T that its practice of inserting verbal advertisements in the calling card service transformed it into an unregulated "information service" not subject to universal service assessments. The FCC found the advertisements to be incidental to the underlying telecommunications service offered to the cardholder, and therefore did not change the regulatory status of the service.

The Commission also rejected AT&T's assertion that calls made within a state shouldn't be subject to intrastate access charges. AT&T said the calls are exempt because they are routed through AT&T's out-of-state switching platform. The Commission generally determines the jurisdiction of a call by its endpoints; calls that originate and terminate in the same state are considered jurisdictionally intrastate.

AT&T plans to appeal the decision. In a statement, AT&T said the FCC decision was legally flawed and that it reversed years of precedent to re-regulate enhanced prepaid calling card services.

AT&T asserts that there are dozens of other companies offering prepaid
cards that do not appear to be contributing to universal service or paying access charges . Rather than settling the issue years ago, AT&T complained that "the Commission has instead dodged the difficult issues and opened another in its long line of rulemakings. By doing so, this Commission continues its legacy of asking many questions but answering very few."http://www.fcc.govhttp://www.att.com

Iridium Cites Favorable Trends for Mobile Satellite Service

Iridium Satellite announced that it had more than 114,000 subscribers as of December 31, 2004, a 22.5% increase over its total number of subscribers at the end of 2003. The company's revenue for the full-year 2004 increased by 23.2% over total revenue for the prior year.

In the general aviation market, the company surpassed a milestone in October of 2,500 aircraft using Iridium-based equipment -- roughly double the number equipped in 2003. In the maritime industry, Iridium announced four significant agreements in 2004 resulting in more than 300 ships being equipped with Iridium satellite terminals. In the defense/government sector, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) exercised an option to extend its contract for airtime on the Iridium network for mobile voice, data and paging services. The U.S. government relies on the Iridium network for many applications, including command and control, logistics and tracking systems, battlefield and weather condition data transmission, remote unattended sensor programs and man-pack soldier systems.

In 2005, Iridium plans to complete the development of a new netted push-to- talk communications architecture. This architecture will provide an efficient broadcast service within a designated region for military, homeland security and commercial applications requiring netted voice and data communications. Iridium expects to make this innovative service available in Q4 2005.

In the second half of 2005, Iridium will launch a new lower cost data modem for short-burst data communications. This data module will leverage the 100% global coverage of the Iridium network and will feature low latency, two- way communications, broadcast and high throughput data capabilities.

Time Warner Telecom Launches VoIP Over Metro Ethernet

Time Warner Telecom is launching its business-class VoIP solution suite in 21 initial markets across the U.S..

The first phase of VoIP-based products offered under TW Telecom ONE SOLUTION, provides solutions for PBX customers. These products include: TW Telecom ONE CONNECT, a VoIP trunking solution; TW Telecom ONE REACH, an IP FX virtual numbering service; and TW Telecom ONE FORUM, a conferencing solution. In concert with this VoIP-based business strategy launch, Time Warner Telecom is offering free VoIP VPN service to all its site-to-site customers in the 44 markets it serves.

"Our strategic approach to this technology may differ slightly from other service providers, but it is consistent with how we have built our networks, solutions and customer care for businesses," said Michael A. Rouleau, senior vice president -- Strategy and Business Development for Time Warner Telecom. "Our strategy is to layer VoIP-based business-class solutions on our robust metro Ethernet platform. This leverages our network strengths and relationships with customers to meet their mission-critical voice needs."http://www.twtelecom.com

Space Systems/Loral Completes DIRECTV 8 Satellite

Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) completed all assembly, integration and tests of the DIRECTV 8 satellite, more than two months ahead of the contracted schedule.

The DIRECTV 8 satellite will provide selectable medium and high power Ku- band broadcast services to the U.S. on up to 32 transponders. The service is optimized to support the current and next generation higher coding rate services that DIRECTV provides. The Ka-band payload will use the full 1,000 MHz of Ka-band communications bandwidth available to link DIRECTV facilities as part of DIRECTV's dramatic infrastructure development for the upcoming launch of local digital and high definition services in the Ka-band.

Peleton Offers Multi-wavelength Laser Source

Peleton, a start-up based in Ottawa, Canada, unveiled its flagship multi-wavelength laser source. Peleton also announced an optical channel controller, a companion module to the multi-wavelength laser source. The products are designed for use in the test and measurement of advanced optical networking equipment.

The laser source generates 40 wavelengths simultaneously on a single output fiber. All of the wavelengths produced by the device are internally locked to the IUT-T grid at a variety of channel spacings. The Peleton multi-wavelength technology is capable of providing wavelength channels in all the L, C and S bands, and it offers locking to specific channel spacings, such as 100GHz or 50GHz. The high scalability and small form factor make it suitable for the optical test and measurement sector.

Peleton's optical channel controller enables power-level control and also enables closed-loop dynamic flatness control.

Tropic Networks, which offers a reconfigurable OADM/DWDM solution, is an early customer of the multi-wavelength laser source.

DIRECTV Expands Networking Contract with AT&T

DIRECTV awarded a new three-year networking contract valued at more than $69 million to AT&T. The deal will provide DIRECTV with the ability to roll out new IP-based technologies, like VoIP, in its call center support networks and enterprise networks. DIRECTV provides digital multichannel television service to more than 13.9 million customers nationwide.


Brooktrout and BayPackets Announce Prepaid Offering

Brooktrout Technology and BayPackets have jointly developed an IP-based network prepaid calling card solution for service providers with circuit-switched, hybrid or packet-based networks.

The IP-based prepaid application runs on BayPackets' Agility Network Services Platform (NSP), which has been designed to scale to support millions of subscribers. Brooktrout's SnowShore Media Server, an open carrier- class IP media server, provides media processing for the BayPackets platform. The Agility Prepaid application includes real-time call rating, support for mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), branded announcements with a customized web portal, multi-language and multi-currency support, and web-based self-provisioning.


China Netcom Builds GPON with Flexlight

China Netcom (CNC), China's second largest service provider, completed the first stage of its GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network: ITU-T G.984.x) deployment linking 15 cities in the north of the country. The deployment uses FlexLight Networks' modular Optimate suite of products. CNC's GPON will be expanded to a further six cities in the coming months.

Michael Camp, President and CEO of FlexLight Networks, Inc., explains, "The successful completion of the first stage of CNC's deployment is a huge endorsement of the technology as a reliable and cost-effective access technology."http://www.flexlight-networks.com
http://www.ponforum.org/In January 2005, FlexLight Networks, a developer of Gigabit PON (GPON; ITU-T G.984) optical access network solutions, named J. Michael Camp as its new CEO, replacing Gary Lee, who will remain with the company in the role of Chief Marketing Officer. Most recently, Camp served as CEO of VocalData, which was acquire in 2004 by Tekelec.

Marconi and Operax Team on QoS Systems

Marconi signed an agreement with Operax, an independent Swedish software vendor, to jointly develop a carrier-class bandwidth management solution. This bandwidth management solution will guarantee QoS across the core and access network. The new solution, which has open interfaces, brings together Marconi's network and service provider expertise and Operax's bandwidth management knowledge and skills. It is based on Operax's established Bandwidth Manager, a network resource control system for IP networks that enables guaranteed end-to-end QoS and allows operators to migrate current and future services onto a converged network.

The new bandwidth manager is integrated with Marconi's Impact portfolio, which includes SoftSwitch, Session Initiation Protocol-based Admission Controller, Session Border Controller and Intelligence platforms. Once fully developed, service providers can deploy policy-based bandwidth management solutions, which will ensure that adequate bandwidth is available at all times for voice and multimedia services.

The Operax bandwidth manager, which supports services such as private circuit emulation and ATM, will be integrated with a number of the products from Marconi's Impact portfolio to provide a complete end-to-end next-generation network solution for IP-based voice and multimedia services. Using common hardware and with a single management solution, Impact delivers class 4 and class 5 telephony services; business services for all types of enterprises; as well as broadband voice and Session Initiation Protocol-based multimedia services.

Cisco Delivers 1 Gbps over HFC with Wideband DOCSIS

Cisco Systems announced "Wideband Protocol for DOCSIS", a new technology able to deliver up to 1 Gbps broadband speeds over existing hybrid fiber coax (HFC) networks. The protocol augments HFC network bandwidth by adding one of more additional downstream to the standard broadband DOCSIS system. This new set of downstream channels is grouped into one larger channel, and is known as a Wideband channel. Cisco said its Wideband Protocol for DOCSIS is compatible with existing DOCSIS 1.x and 2.0 specifications.

Himawari Network, a Japanese cable operator is testing the technology to deliver advanced commercial services. The trial, being conducted at the Toyota Dream Home at Aichi prefecture in Japan, will showcase the ability to converge video, data traffic onto a single IP-based service. The Himawari Wideband trial is based on Cisco's uBR10012 Cable Modem Termination System (CMTS) platform. As part of the trial, Linksys will provide the Wideband cable modem which can receive and process data streams transmitted by the CMTS on multiple radio frequency channels.