Tuesday, August 1, 2006

DiVitas Raises $15 Million for Enterprise FMC Platform

DiVitas Networks, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, raised $15 million in series B funding for its enterprise-class fixed-mobile-convergence (FMC) platform that enables seamless roaming between Wi-Fi and cellular networks.

The platform, which is currently in beta testing, is being designed to work with in any corporate WLAN environment, with any PBX, and over any type of fixed, mobile, or wireless network. A light, client application would run on the dual-mode handset.

DiVitas said the key mission for its forthcoming platform is to provide the cost advantages of seamlessly bridging cellular calls over to lower cost WLANs while enabling enterprises to retain control of this process. This would include the ability to monitor media quality in order to specify when and how handoffs should occur, and the ability to implement advanced security. Security capabilities include application-layer authentication, authorization and access control, session-layer end-to-end encryption, packet filtering and bandwidth policing, network-layer STUN, NAT/Firewall Traversal and automatic pre-authentication.

In the funding round, lead investor Menlo Ventures was joined by existing investor Clearstone Venture Partners. To date, the company has raised $23 million.

  • DiVitas was founded by president and CEO Vivek Khuller and CTO Venkat Kalkunte. Khuller was previously a venture partner at Clearstone Venture Partners, entrepreneur in residence at Matrix Partners, and an executive at Sycamore Networks and Verizon. Kalkunte formerly worked at Cisco, and was founding engineer of Transmedia Communications, which Cisco purchased in 1999. He also worked at Alteon, Stratacom, and other technology companies.

MovieBeam Cites High Customer Satisfaction

MovieBeam, the movies-on-demand service backed The Walt Disney Company, Cisco Systems, Intel and leading venture capital firms, said that nearly 90 percent of respondents to a recent customer survey were "extremely satisfied," "very satisfied" or "satisfied" with their MovieBeam experience.

The MovieBeam movies-on-demand service provides instant access to a library of protected content stored on a set-top box with a hard drive. New content is delivered via MovieBeam's over-the-air datacasting technology.

The service launched in 29 major metropolitan areas across the U.S. in February.

MovieBeam did not disclose the number of subscribers or its churn rate.

Key findings of their customer survey include:

  • Convenience is the number-one reason people chose to purchase a MovieBeam player, with 86 percent of respondents citing this as a factor in their decision. Sixty-three percent cited "no monthly fees," followed by "no late fees" at 47 percent.

  • Going to the video store was the primary way most respondents (60
    percent) were renting movies prior to purchasing a MovieBeam player.

  • Twenty-five percent were previously using a DVD-by-mail service.

  • Only 14 percent had been using a pay-per-view or video-on-demand service through a cable or satellite provider, and less than two percent had been using an Internet-based video-on-demand service.

  • Nearly 80 percent of respondents said they browse for movies on their MovieBeam player at least once each week, six percent of whom check out MovieBeam every day.

  • More than half of respondents (53 percent) reported that their MovieBeam player is connected to a high-definition television (HD TV).

  • Other components connected to the TV where respondents use their MovieBeam player include a DVD player (89 percent), a cable or satellite receiver (61 percent) and a home theater surround sound system (59 percent).

  • Most MovieBeam players (59 percent) are set up in customers' living rooms, with another 27 percent of respondents citing a "home theater room" as the place they use their MovieBeam player.
  • The MovieBeam datacasting signal rides on top of the existing PBS broadcasting infrastructure and National Datacast's network. MovieBeam's HDD player ensures that there are always 100 movies immediately available, with up to 10 new titles automatically delivered digitally each week -- including select movies in high definition (HD).

Australia's Nextgen to Offer National Ethernet VPLS

Nextgen Networks, a specialist provider of high performance data services, plans to provide Australia's first national Ethernet VPLS (Virtual Private LAN Service) connectivity.

Customer benefits will include: the flexibility of a single service at any location, with any-to-any connectivity in a national, secure, multipoint VPN; support for the widest range of IT applications because the Layer 2 Ethernet VPN is protocol transparent to any Layer 3 IP application; customer control of how the network connects to a VPN and how the IP network layer is configured; support for real time and mission critical applications with packaged and standard offering of QoS profiles; and the lowest cost of ownership and operational simplicity with Ethernet connectivity and bundled pricing which is inclusive of most features.

The new network incorporates Alcatel's IP/MPLS-based solutions, including the Alcatel 7750 Service Router, across the seven capital cities of Australia, and setting a new market standard for enabling the delivery of profitable national Ethernet services and high-density aggregation over IP/MPLS-based networks. http://www.alcatel.com

Alcatel Supplies Digital Microwave + Optical for Iraqi Nationwide Backbone

Alcatel has been selected to deliver a turnkey high capacity nation-wide microwave backbone to Iraqi Telecommunications & Post Corporation (ITPC), the sole fixed operator in Iraq. Under the EUR 30 million contract, which is being financed by The World Bank, Alcatel will supply its Alcatel 9600 LSY high-capacity long haul digital microwave radio transmission backbone along with Optical Multi-Service Node (OMSN) systems, PDH multiplex and cross connect. Alcatel will also provide end-to-end network management, power supply equipment and towers providing efficient control & routing throughout the network.

Qwest Reports Improving Revenue and Earnings

Qwest Communications reported revenue of $3.5 billion for the second quarter, benefiting from improving sales for high-speed Internet, advanced data products, long distance and wireless. For the quarter, Qwest reported net income of $117 million, or $0.06 per fully diluted share, compared with a loss of $164 million, or ($0.09) per share in the second quarter 2005.

"We are very pleased that we've entered the second half of the year with the momentum of two profitable quarters," said Richard C. Notebaert, Qwest chairman and CEO. "Our cost structure and investments remain focused and rational while customers are embracing our higher-value, higher ARPU products that contribute to our revenue."

During Q2, Qwest added 120,000 DSL lines, bringing total subscribers to 1.8 million -- a 7 percent increase sequentially and a 51 percent increase year-over-year.

Currently, 80 percent of Qwest's households are eligible for broadband services, up from approximately 67 percent at the end of 2004.

About 98 percent of qualified households are able to purchase broadband speeds of 1.5 Mbps or greater, more than 50 percent are able to purchase service at speeds in excess of 3.0 Mbps, and more than 25 percent are able to purchase service at speeds in excess of 7.0 Mbps.


Movistar Chile Selects Ericsson's Softswitch

Movistar Chile, part of the Telefónica group, has chosen Ericsson's Mobile Softswitch Solution, including multi-service IP transport, to upgrade its network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ericsson said it now powers around 50 percent of all mobile networks with softswitch architecture that are in full commercial service. http://www.ericsson.com

LG Electronics Deploys Riverbed's WAN Appliance

LG Electronics has deployed Riverbed Technology's wide-area data services (WDS) Steelhead appliances at several dozen sites in countries around the world to accelerate application performance over its globally distributed wide area network (WAN) and control bandwidth costs. LG Electronics has more than 100 offices outside its Korean headquarters. Its international network was marked by higher latency than intra-Korea bandwidth. Following the deployment of its appliances, Riverbed said LG Electronics saw significant bandwidth savings that delivered a payback period of five months.


AOL Offers Security Tools for Free to All Online Users

AOL is making online safety and security tools available for free to all computer users. The AOL Safety and Security Center includes free anti-virus software powered by McAfee, spyware protection powered by CA's eTrust PestPatrol, a firewall powered by McAfee, phishing protection powered by RSA Security/Cyota, MarkMonitor, and Cyveillance, and other tools. The AOL Safety and Security Center is available for download by users with an AOL screenname, which is now free. http://www.aol.com

OPNET Report Revenue of $22.6 Million

OPNET Technologies, a provider of management software for networks and applications, announced that quarterly revenue for the first fiscal quarter, ended June 30, 2006, was $22.6 million, compared to $16.5 million for the same quarter in the prior fiscal year. Earnings per share for the first quarter of fiscal 2007 were $0.08 on a diluted basis, compared to negative $0.02 for the same quarter in the prior fiscal year.

Marc A. Cohen, OPNET's Chairman and CEO, stated, "We are very pleased to report a third consecutive quarter of record revenue across all three revenue categories: new software licenses, software license updates and technical support, and professional services. We achieved a gross margin of 78.9% during Q1, driven by new software license revenue of $10.3 million. Operating income for Q1 improved by $1 million from the prior quarter. We also ended the quarter with record deferred revenue of $18.5 million."http://www.opnet.com

Bell Canada Adds 47,000 Broadband Users in Q2

BCE's total revenues of $4,803 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2006 increased 1% over the same period last year. Bell Canada's revenues - $4,296 million - were up 0.9% from the same quarter last year, based on double- digit revenue growth from services such as wireless, video and high speed Internet and Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) solutions.

Some highlights for the quarter:

  • Wireless revenue growth of 11.2% to $857 million in the second quarter compared to $771 million in the second quarter of 2005.

  • Post-paid ARPU of $63 per month, an increase of $2 compared to the same quarter in 2005, due to an improved mix of higher value subscribers as well as higher data revenues from services such as text messaging, mobile browsing, video streaming and gaming.

  • 106,000 postpaid wireless activations were offset by the cancellation of inactive pre-paid subscribers, generating 90,000 net activations in the quarter.

  • The total wireless subscriber base rose to 5,590,000 at the end of the second quarter.

  • Bell's video ARPU was up $4 year over year to $54, reflecting a move toward premium programming packages, higher pay-per-view subscriptions, price increases implemented over the past year and continued traction of the set-top box (STB) rental program.

  • 19,000 new video subscribers -- a decrease from the same period last year -- bringing the total subscriber base up 10.2% year over year to 1,758,000 at the end of the second quarter.

  • Video churn remains low at 1% per month.

  • High-speed Internet susbscriptions were up 14.1% year over year to reach 2,313,000.

  • Bell said that although net broadband additions in the quarter of 47,000 were down compared to the second quarter of 2005, subscriber growth picked up month by month


Wisair Introduces Wireless USB Chip

Wisair introduced a chip based on Certified Wireless USB. The 542 chip supports multiple Wireless USB modes for host and device-side implementations, including Device Wire Adapter (DWA), Host Wire Adapter (HWA), Native Device and Dual Role Device (DRD). Featuring an integrated Wireless USB protocol stack, the 542 chip is implemented with hardware-software partitioning to deliver uncompromising performance and flexibility.

Based on its 542 combined with its 502 Radio Frequency (RF) chip, Wisair will be providing low-cost and low power-consumption reference designs supporting interfaces such as SDIO, USB and Local Bus Interface.


XO Activates 100 Gbps (10 x OC-192) Nationwide Network with Infinera

XO Communications is now carrying customer traffic on major segments of its new, wholly-owned next generation nationwide long haul inter-city fiber optic network.

XO is upgrading its long haul network by deploying the Infinera DTN optical system. The upgrade will initially deliver 100 Gbps (10 x OC-192) of capacity and sets the stage for a ten-fold capacity increase up to 400 Gbps (40 x OC-192) between any two cities on the XO inter-city network. The increased capacity will enable XO to deliver 10 Gbps high speed transport services. In addition, with the deployment of digital optics technology, XO will be able to provision or upgrade customer circuits in a matter of hours versus days.

XO's upgraded inter-city fiber network connects to more than 1 million fiber miles of XO metro fiber in 37 cities across the United States.

"The deployment of this upgraded network marks the first step in creating one of the industry's most advanced digital optical networks," said Ernie Ortega, president of Carrier Sales at XO Communications. "In addition to making our network more efficient, the technology we are deploying will vastly increase our ability to meet rising demand for high-capacity transport services from content providers and service providers, and the cost advantages of our new network will help improve our competitive position in the marketplace."http://www.xo.com/about/network

Sonus Introduces New Network Border Switch

Sonus Networks released a new Network Border Switch (NBS) designed to provide carrier-class IP-peering and security capability to both smaller IP-based voice networks and to less-densely populated regions of larger IP-based networks. Sonus' NBS product line has been shipping since 2003.

The new NBS combines session control, PSTN gateway services and security in a single, high performance, carrier-class system. It provides media handling functionality; extensive IP signaling options that include SIP, SIP-T and H.323; network address and port translation features that protect the privacy of the internal private network topology; session-based firewall functionality; and advanced traffic control features.

Sonus said its smaller form factor NBS enables new customers to enter the market at a lower price point, deploying a solution that can scale seamlessly as demand grows.


BellSouth Extends Metro Ethernet to Network VPN Customers

BellSouth announced extended Ethernet coverage for access to business IP services, seamlessly linking DSL, Private Line, Frame Relay, ATM and Metro Ethernet connections onto a single corporate network. The company integrated Metro Ethernet as an access option on a limited basis in 2004 and has now expanded this capability throughout the Southeast.

BellSouth's Managed Network VPN service uses MPLS to allow internetworking of multiple access methods across networks. BellSouth Metro Ethernet Service can now be used throughout the Southeast as an access method to Network VPN at speeds of 10Mbps, 20Mbps, 50Mbps, 100Mbps, 250Mbps and 500Mbps.

BellSouth said it also plans to integrate its recently announced Mid-Band Ethernet speed options of 2Mbps, 4Mbps and 8Mbps later this year -- further enhancing Metro Ethernet access to IP services.

"Integrating Metro Ethernet access with BellSouth's MPLS-based Network VPN solution expands the networking options available to customers," said Martin Chandler, vice president of product management - Business Markets, BellSouth.


Extreme Networks Reports Revenue of $82.4 Million

Extreme Networks reported net revenue of $82.4 million for its fourth fiscal quarter of 2006, compared to $96.1 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005. Net loss for the quarter was $1.8 million or a loss of $0.02 per diluted share on a GAAP basis. Excluding stock-based compensation expense of $2.2 million, non-GAAP net income for the quarter was $0.4 million or $0.00 per diluted share, compared to non-GAAP net income of $0.3 million or $0.00 per diluted share in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2005.

For the fiscal year, the Company recorded net revenue of $358.6 million, down from $383.3 million in fiscal 2005. Net income for fiscal 2006 was $11.0 million. Excluding stock-based compensation expense of $7.0 million, non-GAAP net income for the fiscal year was $18.0 million, or $0.15 per share, up from $13.3 million or $0.11 per fully diluted share in fiscal 2005.

"We are pleased with the year-over-year improvement in our non-GAAP profitability," said Gordon L. Stitt, CEO of Extreme Networkshttp://www.extremenetworks.com