Wednesday, May 17, 2006

BT Reaches 7.9 million DSL Connections

BT reported revenue of £5,134 million for its fourth fiscal quarter (ending 31-Mar-2006), up 7 percent (5 percent excluding acquisitions). New wave revenue was £1,851 million, up 28 percent, represents 36 percent of total revenue. EBITDA before specific items and leaver costs was £1,498 million, up 1 percent.

Revenue for the full fiscal year was £19,514 million, up 6 percent (3 percent excluding the impact of reductions to mobile termination rates and acquisitions). New wave revenue were £6,282 million, up 38 percent, represents 32 percent of total revenue.

"This quarter's results are a terrific set of numbers. They show BT firing on all cylinders, with EBITDA, revenue and earnings per share* all growing. These results provide further evidence that our strategy of embracing change is working. We have now delivered sixteen consecutive quarters of growth in earnings per share," said Ben Verwaayen, BT's Chief Executive.

Some highlights:

  • New wave revenue is mainly generated from networked IT services, broadband and mobility.

  • Networked IT services revenue grew by 22 percent to £1,214 million, broadband revenue increased by 44 percent to £421 million and mobility revenue increased by 41 percent to £82 million. Excluding Albacom and Infonet, the organic growth in new wave revenue was 23 percent.

  • BT had 7.9 million wholesale broadband connections at March 31, 2006, including 356,000 local loop unbundled lines, an increase of 2.9 million connections year on year.

  • Revenue from the group's traditional businesses declined by 3 percent, continuing recent trends. This reflects regulatory intervention, competition, price reductions and also technological changes that we are using to drive customers from traditional services to new wave services.

  • The underlying 12 month rolling average revenue per consumer household (net of mobile termination charges) of £251 increased by £1 compared to last quarter, with increased broadband volumes more than offsetting lower call revenues. Contracted revenues were 67 percent of the total, which is 4 percentage points higher than last year.

BT Signs DreamWorks for Broadband TV Service

BT announced a video-on-demand film deal with DreamWorks for its next-generation TV-via-broadband service, BT Vision, which it plans to launch in Autumn 2006.

At launch, BT Vision will offer a range of film, music and television programming all available on-demand as well as all the Freeview channels, plus interactive and communications and all available on the TV, with no compulsory subscription.

The agreement provides BT Vision with popular current films in the pay-per-view window and, through BT's existing deal with Paramount, an extensive range of older and classic films, all available for consumer purchase on demand.

Embarq Completes Spin-off from Sprint

Embarq, the former local communications division of Sprint, completed its spin-off from its parent company and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: EQ) as an independent, public company.

Embarq begins trading as a member of the S&P 500. For the year ended December 31, 2005, Embarq had approximately $6.3 billion in revenues, which would rank it among the Fortune 500.

Embarq's assets and business consists largely of those that comprised Sprint Nextel's former Local Telecommunications Division and Sprint North Supply operations. The company has approximately 20,000 employees and provides services in 18 states offering local and long distance voice, data, high speed internet, wireless, and entertainment services.

The company is preparing to launch MVNO wireless service under the its own brand later this year.

With Spin-off Complete, Sprint Focuses on Mobility

Following the spin-off of its local telephone operations (Embarq), Sprint Nextel will focus primarily on building its position in the market for mobile communications products and services. Sprint's progress and plans include:

  • Continue to enhance the "Sprint Power Vision" network by extending the high-speed footprint. By year-end 2006, the network is expected to reach 190 million people. Sprint will implement second-generation technology upgrades later this year, with additional mobility benefits to users planned to begin in 2007.

  • Formed a joint venture with four of the nation's leading cable companies to offer integrated wireless and cable based services leading to the development of next-generation converged video entertainment, wireline and wireless data and communications products and services. Initial launch of integrated services is planned for seven pilot cities in the second half of 2006, with next-generation services scheduled to be available on a national scale in 2007.

  • Enhanced relationships with various cable companies

  • Continued development of a dual-mode phone designed to combine Nextel walkie-talkie features and the power of Sprint voice and data services in the second half of 2006.

  • Continued focus on wireless data, with the highest data revenue per user, and plans to introduce more products, services and features

  • Sprint plans to announce a technology selection in mid-2006 for the provision of fourth generation wireless broadband services in the 2.5 GHz spectrum.

"Our company is now positioned to focus on our vision of converging our unique wireless and Internet wireline assets to create an entirely new suite of mobility and IP-based products and services for our customers. With each month since our merger concluded last August, we've announced steps that support our strategy to become a data services company with the ability to erase the barriers between wireless and wireline services for consumer and business customers. In the months ahead, we'll build on that momentum as we bring greater innovation to the marketplace, allowing customers to do what they want, where they want, when they want," said Sprint Nextel president and CEO Gary Forsee.

Telenor Wins Initial Approval to Launch BGAN Satellite Service in U.S.

Telenor Satellite Services received initial licensing approval to offer Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) service throughout the United States.

Telenor's approval to offer the service throughout the United States follows last month's expansion of the new global voice and broadband data service by satellite operator Inmarsat to cover the Americas.

BGAN offers users high-speed IP-based broadband communications plus simultaneous voice (telephony) calling via a portfolio of small, lightweight user terminals.

Telenor Satellite Services is the only BGAN Distribution Partner to offer "Terralink", a proprietary IP networking platform and Global Points of Presence (PoP) Network.

The Telenor BGAN PoP located in Norway is an integrated part of the Inmarsat BGAN Core Network and is connected to the Inmarsat Satellite Access Station through high-capacity leased lines.

Terralink enables IP-connectivity for all BGAN services, including the Streaming IP services with guaranteed data rates up to 256 Kbps.

Telenor Satellite Services is one of only two BGAN Interconnect Partners that route circuit-switched, fixed-to-mobile and mobile-to-fixed voice telephony and ISDN BGAN traffic to the PSTN for added security and quality of service.
  • In December 2005, Inmarsat launched its Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN), a satellite-based mobile IP service that delivers Internet and intranet content and solutions, video-on-demand, videoconferencing, fax, e-mail, phone and LAN access at speeds of up to 492 kbps. There is an option for guaranteed data rates up to 256 kbps.

    The service is delivered using a pair of new Inmarsat-4 satellites -- which are among the largest and most advanced commercial communications spacecraft ever launched. BGAN is initially available across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Service to the Americas is expected to be available in Q2 2006. The two satellites will deliver seamless broadband coverage across 85% of the world's landmass and be available to 98% of the world's population.

    BGAN satellite terminals are about half the size of a laptop and can be connected using wired or wireless connections, including Bluetooth and 802.11b.

    BGAN terminals and airtime are being sold through selected Inmarsat Distribution Partners (DPs). These include BT, France Telecom, KDDI (Japan), MCN (China), MVS (USA), SingTel, Stratos (USA), Telenor Satellite Services (Norway and USA), and Xantic (Australia and the Netherlands).

  • In November 2005, the Inmarsat-4 communications satellite was successfully launched in geosynchronous transfer orbit by a Zenit-3SL rocket from the Sea Launch Odyssey platform in the Pacific. Inmarsat-4 is among the largest communications satellites ever launched -- 5,958 kg (13,108 lb). It is designed to provide high-speed mobile service to people throughout the Americas during its 13-year service life. It is one in a series of satellites designed to support the Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN). One of a family of three similar spacecraft, this Inmarsat-4 F2 satellite carries a single global beam that covers up to a third of the Earth's surface, 19 wide spot beams and 228 narrow spot beams. It has a total end-of-life power of 13kW.

Vitesse Receives Court Subpoena

Vitesse Semiconductor received a grand jury subpoena from the office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York requesting documents from 1999 through the present referring to, relating to, or involving the granting of stock options.

Vitesse also announced that it has been notified by the Division of Enforcement of the Securities and Exchange Commission that it is conducting an investigation of Vitesse and that the Division of Enforcement has requested documents from January 1, 1995 through the present relating to the grant of stock options.

Deutsche Telekom launches "Hello Future" Campaign

Deutsche Telekom is launching a "Hello Future" marketing campaign on May 22, 2006 with the goal of jump starting its corporate image in advance of new service rollouts.

"The aim of the new campaign is to enable Deutsche Telekom to assert its role of pioneer on the market. The company is to be equated with innovative strength, reliability, credibility and continuity. Customers should trust the company, feel secure and genuinely like it," said Antje Hundhausen, Head of Marketing Communication at Deutsche Telekom.
  • Earlier this month, Deutsche Telekom confirmed that it is on-track to launch its IPTV service by mid-year. VDSL upgrades have been completed at 12,000 aggregation points in ten cities. The company said it has signed agreements with a number of TV content providers. It also has suppliers on board for set-top boxes (Cisco) and software (Microsoft).

    Deutsche Telekom also confirmed that it is on-track to launch its "T-One" fixed-mobile-convergence service by mid-year. A trial with some 1,000 users will launch this month.

Sony Ericsson Debuts Sports WALKMAN Phone

Sony Ericsson introduced its sporty W710 WALKMAN phone, featuring music player capabilities along with a motion sensor designed to measure the user's running speed, distance and time. The unit has a jogging application along with a daily step counter that resets automatically at midnight.

The W710 also features a 2 Megapixel camera with digital zoom and includes a 512MB Memory Stick Micro (upgradeable to GB cards).

Other highlights include:

  • WALKMAN player -- advanced music player with Mega Bass; allows search and sort by artist, album, track and playlist

  • FM Radio with RDS -- up to 20 favorite channels can be stored with the preset function. The FM Radio can be used as an alarm clock

  • Flight Mode -- turn the phone off in no-phone zones for music player only

  • Quad Band EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 for Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Americas

  • Quad Band EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 for Mainland China

Limelight Delivering "Today" Show Netcast on

Limelight Networks' content delivery network is being used for the netcast of NBC News' "Today" show. NBC News is now making the first complete hour of each "Today" broadcast available online for free at

As the primary content delivery network for, Limelight also powers the delivery of original programs and live video events. serves more than 40 million videos to 25 million unique users every month.


BBC Film Network Leverages VeriSign's Kontiki

The newly launched BBC Film Network site is leveraging the Kontiki media delivery system. The service, which is free to the first 10,000 subscribers, allows emerging British filmmakers to showcase their work online and gives viewers up-to-the-minute access to the latest short film releases. The interactive online service was designed by ioko, a specialist in digital and on-demand media.

Kontiki, which was recently acquired by VeriSign, combines a P2P distribution mechanism with content tracking and auditing mechanisms.

Microsoft to Acquire Whale Communications for SSL VPN

Microsoft agreed to acquire Whale Communications, a developer of secure access products based in New Jersey, for an undisclosed sum.

Whale is a pioneer in Windows-based SSL VPN and Web application firewalls that help protect and provide more secure access to high-value business applications. Its products provide remote access, deep content inspection and granular access control.

Microsoft said Whale's Intelligent Application Gateway and Application Optimizers will add complementary SSL VPN and comprehensive application-layer filtering capabilities to its existing secure access solutions built around Microsoft Windows Server and Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration Server (ISA Server), which provide site-to-site and remote access VPN and application publishing.

"Our customers are faced with balancing the need to protect their data and network infrastructure with the connectivity needs of an increasingly mobile work force," said Ted Kummert, corporate vice president of the Security, Access and Solutions Division at Microsoft. "We are committed to providing a comprehensive secure access platform that helps customers easily extend and manage the reach of their information systems. The acquisition of Whale's complementary technologies is a key part of meeting that commitment.

The company is headquartered in Fort Lee, N.J., and has international offices in Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Israel, and representation in France.
  • Whale introduced its application-layer firewall in 2000, which was followed by the introduction of a powerful application-aware reverse web proxy for online commerce and e-business a year later.

AOL Acquires Lightningcast for Broadband Video Advertising

AOL has acquired Lightningcast, a start-up that developed a software-based broadband video advertising platform, for an undisclosed sum.

The Lightningcast System is a hosted ad insertion, trafficking, scheduling, auditing, and reporting platform used by major media companies including AOL, Microsoft, Disney/ABC, Scripps Networks, MTV and others.

Since 2002, AOL has successfully used Lightningcast's platform, first for audio (AOL Radio) and later for video streaming advertisements (AOL Video) - partnering on such innovative, groundbreaking projects as the recently launched broadband network, "In2TV", from AOL and Warner Bros.

Lightningcast is a venture-backed company based in Washington, DC. Its principle investors are BlueRun Ventures, Redleaf Group, Global Internet Ventures, New Markets Growth Fund, Birchmere Ventures, WWC Capital, and the Washington Dinner Club.

The company was founded in 1999 and has 34 employees.

Marvell Reports Quarterly Revenue of $521 Million, up 43%

Marvell Technology reported record net revenue for its first quarter of fiscal 2007 of $521.2 million, an increase of 42.9% over net revenue of $364.8 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2006 and a 6.6% sequential increase from net revenue of $489.0 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006. Net income (GAAP) was $75.3 million, or $0.23 per share (diluted), for the first quarter of fiscal 2007, compared with a net income under GAAP of $63.5 million, or $0.20 per share (diluted), for the first quarter of fiscal 2006.

Revenue for the first quarter was a record for Marvell and represented the 34th consecutive quarter for sequential revenue growth.

Ditech Modifies its Name

Ditech Communications has changed its name to Ditech Networks, a move that the company said would reinforce its position in telecommunication service providers' networks, where its technology optimizes voice quality for both circuit-switched and IP-based communication services. Ditech Networks will continue to trade on the NASDAQ National Market under its current symbol, DITC.