Thursday, August 10, 2006

AWS Auction Reaches $2.4 Billion in Bids, T-Mobile Leads

After 8 rounds, the FCC's auction of licenses for Advanced Wireless Services (AWS-1) spectrum has reached $2.4 billion in bids.

The Top Ten Bidders by Net Provisionally Winning Bids so far:

  • T-Mobile License

  • Dolan Family Holding (holder in Cablevision)

  • Spectrum Co. (backed by Comcast, Time Warner, Cox and Sprint Nextel)

  • Cricket Licensee

  • MetroPCS

  • AWS Wireless Inc.

  • Wireless DBS LLC - (backed by DirecTV, News Corp, Fox, EchoStar, Rupert Murdoch, and EchoStar)

  • Barat Wireless

  • Cavalier Wireless

  • Antares Holdings

Daily results from the bidding are posting online.
  • AWS-1 bands are currently being used for a variety of Government and non-Government services and require relocating incumbent operations. The lower half of these paired frequencies, i.e., 1710-1755 MHz, is currently a Government band and is covered by a Congressional mandate that requires that auction proceeds fund the estimated relocation costs of incumbent federal entities. The upper half of these paired frequencies, i.e., 2110-2150 MHz band, is used by private (including state and local governmental public safety services) and common carrier fixed microwave services (�FS�). The 2150-2155 MHz band is currently used by the Broadband Radio Service (BRS).

Motricity Raises $32 Million for Mobile Marketplace

Motricity, a start-up headquartered in Research Triangle Park, N.C., received $32 million for its solutions for the mobile content industry. Concurrently, the company announced the appointment of David Holland, vice president and treasurer of Cisco Systems and Steve Clark, former chief executive officer of SpectraSite Communications, to its board of directors.

The $32 million is part of a larger funding round that will close in stages in the coming weeks. It was led by Advanced Equities Inc. with participation from other existing investors.

Motricity's Mobile Marketplace Management enables consumers to receive the right content at the right time. Its mobile content delivery platform, "Fuel", is used by content partners such as BET, CBS, NBC, Turner, Cingular, Verizon Wireless, Alltel, Sprint,, Palm and others.
  • In July, Motricity acquired Los Angeles-based GoldPocket Wireless, a leader in mobile interactivity and marketing solutions for media and entertainment companies, broadening Motricity's customer footprint. The acquisition of GoldPocket Wireless extends Fuel's capabilities, adding messaging aggregation to more than 200 million mobile subscribers and marketing campaign management.

Telstra Reaches 1.48 million Broadband Users

Telstra announced a profit after tax of AUD$3.18 billion for the financial year ended 30 June 2006, a decrease of $1.13 billion or 26.2 percent on the prior year. Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) declined by 20.7 percent or $1.44 billion to $5.50 billion, at the better end of the market guidance decline of 21 to 26 percent.

Some highlights:

  • Total income (excluding finance income) grew by 2.9 percent or $658 million to $23.10 billion due to increases in broadband, mobiles, Sensis, IP solutions, inter-carrier services and pay TV bundling, offset by a decline in revenues from PSTN, specialized data and ISDN products. Sales revenue grew 3.9 percent in the second half, more than double the first half growth rate, and 2.7 percent for the year.

  • Internet and IP services revenue grew $530 million or 38.5 percent to $1.91 billion, driven by retail broadband revenue growth of $267 million or 57.7 percent and increased use of data services by business customers.

  • Telstra added 303,000 retail broadband subscribers in the second half and 620,000 for the full year, bringing the subscriber base to 1.48 million. The company holds 44% of Australia's broadband market.

  • Total mobile goods and services revenue growth was 6.1 percent or $284 million to $4.97 billion. Construction of the new 3G 850 network is ahead of schedule and more than three-quarters completed.

  • PSTN products revenue was $7.48 billion, a decline of 6.7 percent or $540 million for the year, with a decline of 7.6 percent in the first half and 5.8 percent in the second. There has been a general reduction in PSTN volumes and yield declines due to competitive pricing pressure and continuing customer migration to other products. Since June 2005, Telstra has lost 270,000 retail lines, while wholesale gained 90,000 lines.

  • Telstra's total workforce has been reduced by 3,859 full time equivalent staff, contractors and agency staff excluding the CSL New World merger (3,262 allowing for the merger).

CommScope Drops Bid to Acquire Andrew

CommScope, which is the global leader in structured cabling systems for business enterprise applications and also the largest manufacturer of coaxial cable for Hybrid Fiber Coaxial (HFC), decided not to pursue its proposal to acquire Andrew Corporation at the present time.
  • A day earlier, Andrew Corporation had rejected CommScope's proposal to acquire all of Andrew's outstanding shares for $9.50 per share in cash.

AT&T Supplies MPLS-based Services to Geotech

AT&T was awarded a three-year contract to provide AT&T will provide a variety of network and voice services to Environmental Equipment, Inc., which is based in Denver and has offices across the U.S. and one in Spain. AT&T will provide MPLS Private Network Transport (PNT), Managed Internet Service, IP Telephony, and local and long distance voice services.

Deutsche Telekom Takes 10% Stake in Click&Buy

Deutsche Telekom's T-Online Venture Fund has made a 10% investment in Switzerland-based FIRSTGATE Holding AG, which owns Click&Buy, Europe's leading provider of Internet payment services.

Click&Buy makes it possible for providers to outsource complex billing for paid content, services and goods. The system handles both billing in various currencies and the processing of credit cards, direct debits and the 40 most commonly used payment procedures in Europe. Click&Buy's customers include Electronic Arts, T-Online Gamesload, Apple iTunes, Skype, Nero, Tiscali, and others.

In addition to expanding the business relations between T-Pay, the online payment system by T-Com, and Click&Buy, the plan is to achieve interoperability. In future, this will open up the possibility for T-Pay, one of the leading German payment systems, to offer payment of T-Com bills through Click&Buy as well.

More than 40 million telephone customers will then have the opportunity to pay simply, safely and quickly with T-Pay through Click&Buy.


Japan's JCSAT-10 Satellite Launched

The JCSAT-10 telecommunications satellite was successfully launched from Kourou, French Guiana aboard an Ariane 5 rocket. JCSAT-10, which was designed and built by Lockheed Martin for JSAT Corporation of Japan, is the fourth in a series of six A2100 satellites planned this year and the second of three satellites the company will deliver to JSAT. JCSAT-9 was launched earlier this year and JCSAT-11 is scheduled for launch in 2007.

JCSAT-10 is a high-power hybrid satellite consisting of 30 active Ku-band transponders and 12 active C- band transponders that will provide coverage to Japan, the Asia-Pacific region and Hawaii. JCSAT-10 will operate from 128 degrees east and is designed for a minimum service life of 15 years.

Lockheed Martin's A2100 geosynchronous spacecraft series is designed to meet a wide variety of telecommunications needs including Ka-band broadband and broadcast services, fixed satellite services in C-band and Ku-band, high- power direct broadcast services using the Ku-band frequency spectrum and mobile satellite services using UHF, L-band and S-band payloads.

Ericsson Selected by Poland's Polkomtel

Polkomtel awarded a 3 year managed services contract to Ericsson to manage the design, development, deployment and integration of a new multi-vendor 2G/3G network in Northern and Western Poland, starting October 1, 2006. Under the contract, 20 employees from technical departments will be transferred from Polkomtel to Ericsson and will further strengthen the services organization of Ericsson in Poland.

The managed services contract complements the previous network implementation agreement between Ericsson and the operator. Polkomtel will remain the owner of the network.