Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Nortel Reports Q3 Revenue of $2.66 billion, up 22% YoY

Nortel Networks reported Q3 2005 revenues of US$2.66 billion, up 22% year over year. There was a net loss of $105 million, or $0.02 per common share on a diluted basis, compared to a net loss of $259 million, or $0.06 per common share on a diluted basis, in the third quarter of 2004 and net earnings of $45 million, or $0.01 per common share on a diluted basis, in the second quarter of 2005. The net loss in the third quarter of 2005 included special charges of $37 million related to restructuring activities and a net charge of $20 million related to the re-filing of the Company's tax returns as a result of the financial restatements.

Carrier Packet Networks revenues were $754 million, an increase of 41 percent compared with the year-ago quarter and an increase of 2 percent sequentially.

Enterprise Networks revenues were $685 million, an increase of 16 percent compared with the year-ago quarter and a decrease of 6 percent sequentially.

GSM and UMTS Networks revenues were $674 million, an increase of 24 percent compared with the year-ago quarter and a decrease of 6 percent sequentially.

CDMA Networks revenues were $539 million, an increase of 5 percent compared with the year-ago quarter and a decrease of 19 percent sequentially.

LG-Nortel Joint Venture Launches

LG Electronics and Nortel officially launched their joint venture, LG-Nortel Co. Ltd., will offer leading-edge communications and networking solutions in the wireline, optical, wireless and enterprise markets in South Korea and the rest of the world.

LG-Nortel's headquarters will be in South Korea, with sales and marketing located in Kangnam, Seoul; R&D facilities in Anyang in the province of Gyeonggi; and an employee population of approximately 1,400. LG-Nortel also announced the appointment of J.R. Lee from LGE as chief executive officer, Paul House from Nortel as chief operating officer, Peter Dans from Nortel as chief financial officer, and C.H. Hwang from LGE as chief technology officer.

The companies said they have already successfully collaborated to win significant contracts in South Korea since the announcement in January of a Memorandum of Understanding concerning the joint venture. Within the last three months, LG and Nortel have been selected to deploy HSDPA/WCDMA networks for KTF and SKT, paving the way for the joint venture to become a major 3G supplier in one of the most advanced telecommunications markets in the world.

Bell Canada Cites Demand for HD Programming, Launches EVDO Wireless

Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) reported Q3 2005 revenues of Cdn$5.0 billion, up 3.6% from the same period last year. Operating income for the quarter increased to Cdn$957 million, from $25 million in the third quarter of 2004(1), due primarily to restructuring charges recognized in 2004 for the company's employee departure program. Earnings per share (EPS) were $0.48 cents, up from $0.09 the previous year.

Some operational highlights from the quarterly report:


ExpressVu posted its best third quarter since 2001 as net additions jumped 148% over the same quarter in 2004 to 82,000. So far this year, Bell has added 174,000 net new video subscribers, bringing the total subscriber base to 1,677,000, up 14.9% year-over-year. The improvement in net activations this quarter and year-to-date was driven by the positive impact of a set-top box rental program and the addition of 12,500 subscribers from the acquisition of Cable VDN Inc.

Video revenues increased by 17.8% year-over-year, driven by a higher customer base, an improvement in ARPU of $3 over the third quarter of last year and a churn rate of 1.0%, down by 0.1 points year-over-year. The higher ARPU is a result of a pricing increase of $2 and greater up-selling initiatives that leveraged strong programming and hardware offerings. Bell now has 28 HD channels and is the only carrier of NHL Centre Ice in Canada. The company also noted strong demand for its new 9200 HD PVR (Personal Video Recorder) Plus, which can be connected to two televisions for separate program recording and viewing on each.


Bell attracted 358,000 gross subscribers, a 27% increase over the third quarter of 2004. Bell's new Push-to-Talk service, called "10-4", and BlackBerry subscriptions helped deliver 68%, or 243,000 postpaid subscribers of the total gross activations. "10-4" ended the third quarter with 70,000 consumer and business subscribers.
Net additions were 123,000 in the third quarter, up 12.8% over the same period last year.

At the end of the third quarter, Bell had 5.2 million wireless subscribers, an increase of 11.1% when compared to September 30, 2004.

In mid-August, Bell introduced MOBI TV, the first Canadian mobile television application. This new technology will provide customers with a variety of television programming on their mobile handsets.
On October 31, Bell became the first wireless operator in Canada to launch Evolution, Data Optimized (EVDO).

High-speed Internet

Bell's high-speed Internet service added 106,000 subscribers in the third quarter of 2005, an increase of 26% over the same period in 2004. The total high-speed subscriber base reached 2,134,000, up 24% over the third quarter of last year.

Fujitsu Cites Design Wins for WiMAX System-on-Chip

Fujitsu announced two design wins for its WiMAX System-on-Chip (SoC), which was introduced in April 2005.

  • MiTAC Technology, a global leader in PC, networking and communications products, has introduced a new indoor subscriber station based on the Fujitsu MB87M3400. The indoor subscriber station, which complies with the IEEE 802.16-2004 and ETSI HiperMAN standards, supports network routing, WiMAX-based Broadband Wireless Access (BWA), and voice over IP (VoIP). It connects with a WiMAX base station using a 3.5GHz wireless link to deliver high-speed voice, data and multimedia content.

  • Aperto Networks, a leading WiMAX systems provider serving more than 200 operators in 65 countries, has announced that its indoor, self-install WiMAX broadband wireless products for consumers will be available in the first quarter of 2006.
  • Fujitsu's chipset uses an OFDM 256 (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) PHY that supports channels from 1.75MHz up to 20MHz, and can operate in TDD or FDD modes, with support for all available channel bandwidths. A programmable frequency selection generates the sample clock for any desired bandwidth. When applying 64QAM modulation in a 20MHz channel and using all 192 sub-carriers, the SoC's data rate can go up to 75Mbps. Uplink sub-channelization is also supported.

    The Fujitsu WiMAX SoC incorporates sophisticated processing power, including a main RISC engine that implements the 802.16 upper-layer MAC, scheduler, drivers, protocol stacks, and user application software. Also on board is a secondary RISC/DSP that functions as a co-processor, which executes lower-layer MAC functions, offloading processing from the upper-layer MAC and enhancing total performance. A multi-channel DMA controller handles high-speed transactions among agents on a high-performance bus.

    Fujitsu said its WiMAX SoC also incorporates radio control and all required analog circuits, along with a comprehensive set of integrated peripheral functions. To ensure security, the chipset uses DES/AES/CCM encryption/decryption engines for the 802.16 MAC privacy sub-layer. The chip also includes a memory controller, an Ethernet engine for interfacing to the network, and high-performance DAC/ADC for flexible baseband interface.

Nokia Previews DVB-H Mobile Handsets

Nokia expanded its Nseries multimedia range to include three new handsets for devices for consumers to wirelessly watch mobile TV, stream music, share photos and send emails with attachments, using technologies such as 3G, WLAN and Universal Plug and Play (UPnP).

"We expect the market for convergence devices to double to 100 million units in 2006. Developers, media companies and enterprises are shifting their focus to Nokia's S60 smartphone platform, as they see the business potential of using it to offer content and ensure secure remote access to corporate applications," said Nokia Chairman and CEO Jorma Ollila.

The new Nseries devices include:

Nokia N92 -- the first mobile device with a built-in DVB-H receiver, making it possible for users to watch and record live broadcast TV. The device features applications to make it easier for users to watch and search for TV programs, create personal channel lists, subscribe to TV-channel packages, set program reminders and access interactive TV services. The ergonomic form factor includes media keys, a view mode and a large (2.8") anti-glare QVGA screen supporting 16 million colors. To start watching mobile TV, users simply need to open the Nokia N92 in view mode and press the Multimedia key. An Electronic Service Guide (ESG) contains information about the available TV channels, programs and services. Other mobile TV features include watching time of up to four hours, recording and 30 seconds replay. The Nokia N92 is also an XpressMusic device, with up to 2 GB memory card support. Additional connectivity options include Wi-Fi, infrared, Bluetooth as well as USB 2.0

Nokia N71 -- an "all-in-one entertainment" handset featuring a stereo FM radio and support for digital music and videos. The Nokia N71 also features the new Nokia Web Browser with Mini Map. This allows a semi-transparent, zoomed-out view of a web page, so that users can quickly orientate themselves on a handset screen.

Nokia N80 -- equipped with WLAN and 3G, the Nokia N80 is the world's first handset to feature UPnP technology. This allows it to be used as a remote control for wirelessly swapping content between compatible PCs, audio equipment and TVs. Images and video stored on the Nokia N80 or on a compatible PC can be viewed on a TV, for instance, while music stored on the device can be played through an audio system. Nokia N80 users can also print wirelessly to any UPnP-enabled printer. In addition, the Nokia N80 supports most commonly used email solutions and office-application formats. The Nokia N80 is also the first quadband handset designed to work on 3G (WCDMA 1900 or 2100), WLAN, EDGE and four GSM bands (850/900/1800/1900). As for imaging, the handset incorporates a 3 megapixel camera with capture key for fast and stable camera activation, full-screen landscape capture utilizing the entire available high definition display, and a dedicated close-up mode switch, the Nokia N80 also features CIF video capture with inbuilt video stabilization. It supports 2GB memory cards.

Nokia also previewed new Eseries smartphones designed for the business users. Nokia Eseries devices support all GSM bands, 3G, WLAN, corporate email access and advanced voice functionality (including IP PBX connectivity over WLAN), and offer integrated security features and tools for device management. Multiple email solutions are supported, including BlackBerry Connect, GoodLink, Nokia Business Center, Seven Mobile Mail, Seven Always-on mail and Visto Mobile.

QUALCOMM Posts Revenue of $1.56 billion, up 40% YoY

QUALCOMM reported quarterly revenue of $1.56 billion, up 40% year-over-year and 15% sequentially. Net income was $538 million, up 37% year-over-year and down 4% sequentially. Some highlights from the quarterly report:

  • shipped approximately 40 million MSM chips to customers worldwide during the , compared to approximately 39 million units in the same quarter last year and approximately 36 million units in the prior quarter. A record quantity for any single quarter, the year's cumulative total is also a record with 151 million MSM chips shipped.

  • announced its second billion chips shipped since the company's first CDMA solution shipped in 1996. The second billion follow only two years after the first billion were shipped over a period of 8 years from 1996 to 2003.

  • more than 130 major wireless equipment manufacturers are now licensed by QUALCOMM for CDMA2000 products.

  • more than 60 major wireless equipment manufacturers are now licensed by QUALCOMM for WCDMA and/or TD-SCDMA products.

  • As of September 2005, 56 wireless operators were offering BREW services in 29 countries, including customers acquired related to the ELATA acquisition.

"Our record financial results reflect the accelerating migration to CDMA throughout the world," said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, chief executive officer of QUALCOMM. "As of September 2005, there were approximately 159 operators offering third generation services in 71 countries with over 200 million subscribers."http://www.qualcomm.com

Senate Committee Approves E9-1-1 Improvement Act

The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee unanimously approved the "E9-1-1 Improvement Act" (S.1063). If passed into law, the bill would:

  • require the FCC to develop new rules for VoIP 9-1-1 within 120 days,

  • give VoIP providers direct access to the 9-1-1 network,

  • establish FCC waiver authority to provide flexibility,

  • ensure VoIP services are never cut off due to issues related to 9-1-1 capabilities,

  • provide equivalent liability protection for VoIP 911 as other phone services,

  • acknowledge the importance of industry's role in developing technological standards and solutions for automatically identifying the geographic location of users of nomadic VoIP service,

  • and require the creation of a national plan for a next generation 9-1-1 system that uses VoIP to provide breakthrough advances in emergency communications.

Staci Pies, President of the VON Coalition, said "There is a growing recognition among policymakers that there are distinct technical differences between fixed and nomadic VoIP, and that providing 9-1-1 and enhanced 9-1-1 services is a responsibility shared by many. They recognize that providing E9-1-1 requires Incumbent phone companies to provide reasonable access to the 9-1-1 network itself, equivalent liability relief for 9-1-1 call takers, and assurances that someone will be there to answer the phone. Importantly, the legislation also ensures that VoIP customers are not cut off from vital communications services. This legislation focuses not only on what is achievable today, but on developing a comprehensive national plan for creating a next generation 9-1-1 network capable of a host of breakthrough emergency enhancements."http://www.senate.govhttp://www.von.org

Sprint Nextel and Cable Partners Plan "Quadruple Play"

Sprint Nextel, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and Advance/Newhouse Communications outlined their plans to form a joint venture to offer "Quadruple Play" services -- video entertainment, wireline voice, and wireless voice and high-speed data services.

$200 Million Commitment

The joint venture, which is mutually exclusive for three years and has a 20-year term, calls for a combined initial financial commitment of $200 million, $100 million of which will be committed by Sprint and $100 million of which will be committed collectively by the cable companies. The investment is expected to be used to fund the development of the converged services, national marketing initiatives and back office integration.

In each market, the price of the integrated offering will be agreed to by Sprint and the cable company serving that market. Each cable company will be responsible for billing customers and for customer service in its territory for the converged offering. Customers can enjoy the convenience of a single bill for all of their services, including video, data, phone and wireless.

Unlike MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) or other wholesale relationships, the companies participating in this joint venture will retain full economic benefits of the acquired customers, similar to what they currently enjoy through their direct retail channels.

The joint venture will market its converged services to the 41 million customers currently served by the cable companies as well as to Sprint's nearly 46 million wireless subscribers. The venture has the potential to serve approximately 75 million homes currently passed by the cable companies. The companies contemplate additional participation from other cable companies.

The five companies also agreed to explore potential next generation wireless technology business plans for new services that could be provided using Sprint's Broadband Radio Spectrum (2.5 GHz), with the goal of further integrating wireline and wireless services.

Beginning in 2006, the companies in the joint venture plan to:

  • Offer consumers access to the expanded four element bundle, or "Quadruple Play," or any combination of services including video, wireless voice and data services, high speed Internet and cable phone service.

  • Serve growing consumer demand for a wireless "third screen" beyond the TV and computer screens.

  • Develop and introduce new co-branded wireless devices that will provide new and unique features that integrate cable and wireless services all on a single device.

  • Sell and market these co-branded products and services to customers through a combination of 1,600 Sprint retail stores, cable retail outlets and other third-party distributors, including thousands of RadioShack stores.

Gary Forsee, president and CEO of Sprint Nextel said, "The new Sprint-cable partnerships will forever transform what used to be merely a cell phone into an indispensable third screen in customers' lives."

Brian Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast said, "This agreement, which represents the most expansive technological convergence of its kind, will deliver to our customers an unprecedented level of real-time, high-speed mobility and access to content all in a single package.

Jim Robbins, president and CEO of Cox Communications said, "This revolutionary partnership will forever change the way Americans consume entertainment, communicate and exchange information."

An interactive demo is online.

ANT Delivers IP STBs in Korea with Micro Network

ANT, a supplier of embedded browser, content control and user interface software for IPTV and consumer electronics, is working with Micro Network Korea Co. Ltd. for local sales and technical support as part of an expansion into Korea. ANT recently announced three new customers in Korea who have licensed ANT Galio through the company's relationship with Micro Network: Kaon Media, Homecast and InfoEq.

  • Kaon Media, is a Korean R&D and manufacturing company focused on the digital terrestrial and satellite broadcasting receiver sector, which has licensed ANT Galio for integration into an IP set-top box and PVR (personal video recorder). The products will be targeted to operator customers in Europe, the Middle East, India, Korea and China.

  • Homecast, a global set-top-box supplier in Korea focused on research, development and manufacturing of receivers for digital satellite, terrestrial and cable broadcasting, will also target Europe, the Middle East, India, Korea and China with an IP set-top box featuring ANT Galio.

  • InfoEQ is a leading manufacturer of IP set-top boxes and video on demand systems in Korea. The company will use ANT Galio in targeting customers in Japan and Korea with a new IP set-top box.

In addition, ANT announced the opening of a new support and development centre in Shanghai to provide local service and expertise to China's rapidly growing IPTV market.

WSJ: Equipment Firms May Cash In On IPTV

Worldwide deployments of IPTV, particularly in Europe and Asia, are expected to make the biggest financial impact on two groups of cable-equipment vendors -- set-top box makers and encoding technology companies -- according to an article in The Wall Street Journal by Ellen Sheng. The article says there are about 50 makers of IP set-top boxes at the moment, making the segment ripe for consolidation. Scientific Atlanta and Motorola are seen as the "big beneficiaries and most likely acquirers." As for encoding companies, Harmonic and Tandberg are seen as the big beneficiaries, with Skystream and Modulus Video cited as possible acquisition targets.