Sunday, May 7, 2006

Toronto Hydro Telecom Selects Siemens for Mesh Wi-Fi

Siemens will supply a mesh Wi-Fi network for Toronto Hydro Telecom, which plans to build the largest ubiquitous Wi-Fi zone in Canada. Negotiations relating to the terms and conditions of equipment supply, implementation and services are ongoing and have not yet been finalized. It is anticipated that the deployment covering ten square kilometers will be fully deployed in downtown Toronto by year-end 2006.

Siemens' "Wireless Integration@vantage" wireless integration platform uses software from Garderos Software Innovations, a wholly-owned Siemens subsidiary. The network nodes are from the "Siemens Mesh@vantage MR" product family, based on industry-leading wireless mesh technology from BelAir Networks.


Lucent and Movaz Extend Metro DWDM Partnership

Lucent Technologies and Movaz Networks have expanded an an existing agreement under which the two companies are delivering metro DWDM networks to service providers worldwide. The partnership brings together Lucent's Metropolis Wavelength Services Manager (WSM) and Movaz' RAYexpress optical platform. Under the expanded agreement, Lucent will manage elements of Movaz's supply chain operations, including key component purchases, product manufacturing, and customer delivery requirements.

Under the auspices of this relationship, Lucent introduced its Metropolis WSM product in 2004, and is currently supporting deployments with operators worldwide, including recently announced agreements with the U.S. Army and Taiwan Mobile.

  • In January 2006, Movaz Networks announced the closing of $20 million in equity financing with an additional line of credit for $12 million, supporing its optical networking solutions. At the time, Movaz said it had 90 customers around the world and over 4,000 nodes currently in service.

UNH-IOL Offers VDSL2 Testing with Spirent

The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) is expanding its DSL capabilities by offering VDSL2 testing.

UNH-IOL is using Spirent Communications' DLS V2A Integrated System, a physical-layer test setup including lab-grade wireline simulation and noise generation for testing VDSL2 technology. Spirent's test system addresses the growing demand for testing variants of DSL that can support high-bandwidth multimedia applications with integrated voice, data and video streams.

The UNH-IOL DSL Consortium will use the Spirent test solutions to simulate North American loops and crosstalk models for VDSL2 systems up to 30Mhz, expanding upon the laboratory's current ADSL2/2+ test capabilities.

The UNH-IOL DSL Consortium currently tests interoperability and conformance in ADSL (ANSI T.413-1998, ITU-T G.992.1, and G.992.2), DSL2 (ITU-T G.992.3 and ITU-T G.992.4), ADSL2+ (ITU-T G.992.5), VDSL (ITU-T G.993.1) and VDSL 2 products. The consortium regularly hosts interoperability test events sponsored by industry associations.

Redback Proposes Public Offering of Common Stock

Redback Networks intends to offer 3,500,000 shares of its common stock in a public offering. Certain of Redback Networks' stockholders also intend to offer an additional 4,698,000 shares of common stock in the offering. A shelf registration statement relating to the shares of common stock being offered became effective upon filing today with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Redback Networks and the selling stockholders expect to grant the underwriters in the offering an option to purchase, at the public offering price, up to 1,229,700 additional shares of common stock, of which 614,850 will come from Redback Networks and 614,850 will come from the selling stockholders. Goldman, Sachs & Co. and UBS Investment Bank will act as the joint bookrunning managers for the offering. Cowen and Company, Thomas Weisel Partners LLC and Merriman Curhan Ford & Co. will act as co-managers for the offering.

Crown Castle to Acquire Mountain Union for Cell Towers

Crown Castle, which owns, operates and manages over 11,000 cell phone towers and wireless communications sites in the U.S. and Australia, agreed to acquire privately-held Mountain Union Telecom for approximately $309 million in cash (reduced by outstanding indebtedness). Mountain Union's assets at closing are expected to include 468 completed sites as well as 79 towers in various stages of development.

Crown Castle currently provides coverage to 76 of the top 100 U.S. markets and to substantially all of the Australian population.

Mountain Union's completed sites are expected to add approximately $26 million in annualized site rental revenue, over 92% of which is derived from wireless telephony, broadcast, and government tenants, and approximately $18.2 million in annualized site rental gross margin. The average age of the completed sites in the portfolio is 4.6 years with concentrations in key markets such as Puerto Rico, Los Angeles, Denver, Phoenix and Las Vegas.

  • Modeo, a subsidiary of Crown Castle International, plans to officially launch its DVB network and its commercial-grade multicast mobile broadcast center during 2006 in select major U.S. markets, including New York City. The company currently is working on deployment of the network to the top 30 U.S. markets, with launches targeted throughout 2007.

Vonage Offers IPO Shares to U.S. Customers

Vonage is offering a Directed Share Program as part of its proposed initial public offering (IPO) of common stock/ The program will enable eligible customers to purchase shares at the IPO price.

To be eligible to purchase common stock at the IPO price in the Vonage IPO, customers must meet strict eligibility criteria. Vonage customers may be eligible to participate if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • they opened accounts with Vonage America on or prior to December 15, 2005, and

  • maintained their accounts in good standing through February 1, 2006, and

  • are a U.S. citizen, and

  • reside in the U.S. when the offering closes, and

  • have a valid social security number

Verizon Invests in Online Game Provider

Verizon has made an equity investment in Super Computer International (SCI), a provider of gaming client applications, on-game display technologies, backend infrastructure and support for high speed online multiplayer video gaming. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Verizon said it is workin with SCI on the the deployment of a next-generation, online game browsing and messaging platform called PlayLinc that will give gamers more control over their multiplayer gaming interactions, a richer set of social networking tools and a wider variety of gaming experiences. Among the features gamers can take advantage of on the PlayLinc platform will be support for a variety of gaming platforms, messaging tools including IM and VoIP, dynamic server launching, server browsing, team management, buddy tracking, player invitations, on-game controls, etc.

"Verizon's relationship with SCI will help us speed the development and distribution of an advanced online gaming platform with capabilities that we believe no other game messenger currently delivers," said Mitch Dornich, group product manager for new product development at Verizon. "We're bringing together Verizon's strengths in broadband, the Internet, communications and mass marketing with SCI's state-of-the-art gaming technologies and expertise to create an entirely new experience for the online gaming community."http://www.verizon.com
  • Super Computer International, which is based in Atlanta, operates server farms in San Jose, Dallas, Ashburn (Va) and Amsterdam.

PCCW Global Extends MPLS in Brazil, Mexico

PCCW Global, a U.S. based subsidiary of the incumbent operator in Hong Kong, has leveraged partnerships with Embratel, Bestel, and IFX to expand its MPLS-based VPN service into Brazil and Mexico. In addition, PCCW Global has also announced expanded coverage to several new markets in the Middle East, most recently with TE Data of Egypt.

The PCCW Global network now covers 70 countries and over 700 cities worldwide.

Sea Launch Selected for EchoStar XI Launch in 2007

EchoStar Communications selected Sea Launch for the launch of its EchoStar XI Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) in 2007. This will be Sea Launch's third mission with an EchoStar spacecraft, having launched EchoStar IX in August 2003 and EchoStar X in February 2006.

EchoStar XI's Ku-band payload will provide additional capacity and capabilities for EchoStar's DISH Network.

AT&T Outlines Satellite, Fixed Wireless and WiMAX Plans

AT&T Chairman and CEO Edward E. Whitacre outlined plans to expand broadband availability beyond its wireline infrastructure throughout its traditional 13-state local service territory. The initiatives include three components:

  • SatelliteIn partnership with WildBlue, AT&T will begin offering a satellite-based broadband service later this month in select rural markets which are not served by landline broadband services. Rural satellite broadband subscribers will have three service packages to choose from, with prices ranging from $49.95 to $79.95 per month, and broadband speed options ranging up to 1.5 Mbps downstream and up to 256 Kbps upstream. WildBlue will provide equipment management, installation and distribution services

  • Project Lightspeed AT&T affirmed its intent to make its video services available -- within three years -- to more than 5.5 million low-income households as part of its initial build in 41 target
    markets. The company said low-income customers would have access to the full suite of AT&T U-Verse products, including voice, video, high-speed Internet access and, later, VoIP services.

    AT&T plans to spend approximately $4.6 billion on its Project Lightspeed initiative to reach nearly 19 million homes by year-end 2008 as part of its initial deployment.

  • WiMAX and other fixes wireless -- New deployments will begin later this year in Texas and Nevada, joining existing AT&T fixed wireless service offers in Alaska, Georgia and New Jersey. AT&T said these deployment will help it evaluate fixed wireless using both licensed and unlicensed spectrum as an option for rural and urban settings.

AT&T, which is the largest DSL provider in the U.S. with 7.4 million lines in service, said DSL is currently available to nearly four out of five customer locations within its 13-state local service area.

  • WildBlue currently utilizes the Ka-band spot beam capacity over the United States on Telesat Canada's Anik F2 satellite, which was launched by Arianespace in July 2004. WildBlue's service provides two-way wireless high-speed Internet access. The service is being offered by over 280 rural electric and telephone companies affiliated with the NRTC (National Rural Telephone Cooperative). Service began June 2005.

  • WildBlue's next Ka-band spot beam satellite, WildBlue-1, has been scheduled for launch aboard an Ariane 5 vehicle in Q4 2006. WildBlue-1, manufactured by Space Systems/Loral, will approximately triple WildBlue's customer capacity, and is expected to handle WildBlue's continuing rapid customer growth into 2008 and beyond. WildBlue-1 is a 4.7 metric ton high power satellite based on Space Systems/Loral's 1300 spacecraft bus and provides Ka-band spot beam capacity over the contiguous United States. Spot beam Ka-band satellites are a key component in WildBlue's low-cost wireless broadband infrastructure.

AudioCodes Posts Q1 Revenue of $31 Million

AudioCodes reported Q1 revenue of $31.3 million compared to $30.6 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2005 and $26.9 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2005. First quarter revenues grew 2.3% sequentially and increased 16.4% compared to the first quarter of 2005. Net income (GAAP) was $2.3 million, or $0.05 per diluted share.

"In the first quarter of 2006, we experienced increased demand for AudioCodes' media gateways and media servers that resulted in record revenues and our eighteenth consecutive quarter of top line growth. We secured important design wins and partnerships in fixed mobile convergence, Voice over Broadband, and SIP applications which will all eventually converge on an IMS core network," stated Shabtai Adlersberg, President, Chairman and CEO of AudioCodes.

Sonus Reports Q1 Revenue of $60 Million

Sonus Networks reported Q1 revenues (ending 31-Mar-06) of $60 million, compared with $57.2 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005 and $33.6 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2005. Net income on a GAAP basis for the first quarter of 2006 was $5.7 million or $0.02 per share.

"Q1 was another solid quarter for Sonus. We reported record quarterly revenues and healthy cash flow from operations, while making strides toward achieving our long-term financial model," said Hassan Ahmed, chairman and CEO, Sonus Networks.

Sonus also noted that it has completed two years of selling its products through Motorola, and, as a result of its positive history with Motorola, is now reporting this revenue on a sell-in basis where revenue is recognized upon the shipment of products to Motorola, resulting in approximately an additional $3 million in revenue being recognized in the first quarter of fiscal 2006.

In Q1 2006, Sonus announced new or expanded customer relationships with eight service providers. In North America, Vonage deployed Sonus' IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)-ready solution to support traffic from their rapidly growing subscriber base. Also in the U.S., West Interactive Corporation and 360networks Corporation each selected Sonus' IMS-ready architecture. Sonus also announced Intrado as a customer. In Japan, KDDI selected Sonus as its exclusive vendor for its convergence-enabled packet voice network. Sonus also announced its first Japanese wireless customer, WILLCOM. JAPAN TELECOM, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of SOFTBANK, also announced that it selected Sonus as the foundation for its next-generation IP-based voice network.

Ditech Raises Financial Outlook

Ditech Communications raised its financial guidance, saying it now expects revenue for the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2006 ending April 30, 2006 to be approximately $20 million, up 43% from the third quarter fiscal 2006 revenues of $14 million.

The company expects gross margins will be in the range of 70-71% with operating expenses in the range of $11.6 million - $11.9 million. As a result, diluted earnings per share are expected to be in the range of $0.06 - $0.07.

"Our fourth quarter results were outstanding and reflected progress in all areas of our business," said Tim Montgomery, president and CEO of Ditech Communications. "We grew our core North American voice processing business with further deployment of our industry leading Broadband Voice Processor platform. We accelerated our fourth quarter momentum with international sales and installations of our VQA - Voice Quality Assurance products. We also saw traction in our VoIP offerings. I wish to thank all of our employees for their dedication and successful execution on all fronts."

Based upon expected bookings, timing of shipments and deferred revenues, Ditech Communications expects revenues in the first quarter of fiscal 2007 to increase approximately 10% over revenues of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006. Gross margins are expected to be flat to slightly down due to product and geographic mix.

TI Updates Gateway Software

Texas Instruments announced substantial updates to its gateway software solution, the Network Support Package (NSP). The latest version (3.7.1 ) of this network stack includes improved system performance and throughput, enhanced Quality of Service (QoS) and policy routing, enhanced "Telogy Software" for Voice over DSL applications and improved remote management, including support for DSL Forum TR-069. The software is ideally suited for TI's AR7 residential gateway solutions and is also designed for quick migration to devices based on TI's next-generation UR8 architecture.

In addition to industry standard support of Telnet, Secure Shell (SSH), ClearEoC and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), the updated NSP 3.7.1 software improves on remote management with the addition of DSL Forum TR-069 support. TR-069 defines a mechanism that encompasses secure auto-configuration of a CPE and also incorporates other CPE management functions into a common framework.

The new NSP 3.7.1 also integrates a sophisticated QoS framework, which provides much more than ensuring available bandwidth and minimum delays for time-sensitive applications such as video and voice. NSP 3.7.1 solves the challenges of supporting different QoS markings from different networks by maintaining full control over packets from the time they are received until the time they leave the gateway. It also leverages Telogy Software to include support for Supplementary Services, 2-port Foreign Exchange Station (FXS) telephony interface support and secure Real-Time Transport Protocol (RTP). It also supports TI's "PIQUA" embedded IP quality management technology, offering real-time monitoring of IP services. PIQUA technology allows service providers to proactively assess network quality parameters and dynamically adapt to changing conditions to enhance the subscriber experience.

Captures Packet Intelligence at the Traffic Source
TI's chips are widely deployed at the edge of IP networks, its new
announced PIQUA technology offers the potential to collect vast amounts
of packet data at the source. PIQUA could be used to knit together a
quality of service (QoS) management fabric that addresses all of the
discovery, configuration, monitoring and repair tasks in the diverse and
widely dispersed elements of IP networks.