Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Ellacoya Rolls Out Carrier-class 20 Gbps Deep Packet Inspection

Ellacoya Networks unveiled its fourth-generation platform for wireline and wireless service providers -- a line-rate, deep packet inspection (DPI) system that operates at up to 20 Gbps speeds and is capable of supporting up to 500,000 active subscribers. Previous platforms from Ellacoya scaled to 4 Gbps and up to 64,000 subscribers.

The new FPGA-based Ellacoya e100 platform enables the network operator to identify and manage each packet of network traffic dynamically as it crosses the wire. Traffic can be inspected by subscriber, service type, time-of-day, and other criteria. Combined with Ellacoya's software, the system can provide granular reports on network usage, such as which subscribers are using the most bandwidth, which applications are consuming the greatest resources, or which subscribers are using applications such as Skype.

The platform also enables the provider to manage traffic dynamically, identity and prevent network threats, and provide the basis for quota management, differentiated service plans and quality-assured premium services (IPTV, VoIP, streaming video).

Ellacoya said its broadband service optimization solution allows service providers to classify and manage advanced applications, such as Bit Torrent and Skype. Ellacoya identifies applications through signatures in the data packet and through traffic-pattern analysis. The e100 adds more granular application detection to identify applications within applications; for example streaming video, VoIP and gaming can be detected within a Web (HTTP) download.

The new Ellacoya e100 platform is currently in trials and will be commercially available in March 2007.

Nokia Expects Mobile Handset Shipments to Top 1 Billion in 2007

Nokia expects industry mobile device volumes in 2007 to grow by up to 10%, topping the 1 billion mark for the year. During Q4 2006, Nokia shipped a record 106 million mobile device, up 19% sequentially and 26% year on year. Overall industry volumes for the fourth quarter 2006 reached an estimated 290 million units, up 19% sequentially and year on year.

In converged devices, according to Nokia estimates, the total industry volume reached approximately 24.6 million units for the fourth quarter 2006, compared to an estimated 17.8 million units in the fourth quarter 2005. Nokia's own converged device volumes for the fourth quarter 2006 grew to 11.1 million units, compared to 9.3 million units in the fourth quarter 2005. Almost 6 million Nokia Nseries multimedia computers were shipped in the fourth quarter.

"Nokia was able to increase its share of the global device market significantly in 2006 to an estimated 36%, clearly solidifying our number one position in the industry," said Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, Nokia CEO.

Some highlights from the company's financial report:

  • Nokia's fourth quarter 2006 net sales increased 13% to EUR 11.7 billion, compared to EUR 10.3 billion in the fourth quarter 2005. At constant currency, group net sales would have been up 12% year on year. Nokia's fourth quarter 2006 operating profit increased 11% to EUR 1.5 billion.

  • The average selling price of Nokia's mobile devices declined in the fourth quarter 2006 to EUR 89, compared to EUR 93 in the third quarter 2006 and EUR 99 in the fourth quarter 2005. Sequentially, our ASP was impacted by a lower percentage of sales from our higher end products, specifically from our Multimedia business group, that more than offset the relatively stable ASPs in our entry-level product sales. The year on year decline in our ASP was driven primarily by the strong growth of the emerging markets, which have lower ASPs, and the growth of Nokia's market share in those markets, in addition to which certain higher-end products in our portfolio were not viewed as sufficiently competitive in various markets.

AT&T Reports Strong Earnings, Merger Synergies, U-Verse Rollout Affirmed

Driven by record subscriber gains at Cingular and greater than expected cost synergies from its mergers, AT&T posted strong Q4 net income was $1.9 billion, up 17.1 percent versus $1.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2005, and reported earnings per diluted share were $0.50, up 8.7 percent from $0.46 in the year-earlier quarter.

"Our execution continues to be solid, we closed the year strong, and AT&T has excellent momentum heading into 2007," said Edward E. Whitacre Jr., AT&T chairman and chief executive officer.

In a conference call with investors, Whitacre said the U-verse rollout was moving ahead and the service is now available in 11 markets. The goal is to pass 8 million living units by year end. The company further believes that it is moving past early technical hiccups on the programming side and that the service is now competitive to cable offerings. More than 70% of U-verse subscribers are taking the higher-end video packages and more than 70% sign-up for the highest speed broadband service. The company did not disclose the current number of U-verse subscribers.

Whitacre said the current network architecture of using fiber-to-the-node and then copper for the last leg into customer homes is in fact delivering the bandwidth expected and that the company is not planning to adopt an FTTH architecture for its existing footprint. The company is still evaluating its strategy in the former BellSouth territory, where there is significant amount of fiber already deployed to neighborhoods.

Some highlights for the quarter:

  • High-speed Internet connections -- including DSL, AT&T U-verse and satellite broadband -- increased by 383,000 in Q4 to 8.5 million, up 1.6 million, or 23.4 percent, over the past year.

  • Broadband penetration of consumer primary lines reached 33.3 percent at the end of Q4, up from 25.5 percent a year earlier and 17.7 percent at the end of 2004. Video connections --
    AT&T | DISH Network satellite television and AT&T U-verse service -- increased by 49,000 to reach 635,000 in service. AT&T U-verse services are now launched in parts of 11 markets in Texas, California,
    Indiana and Connecticut.

  • In 2006, AT&T's U-verse deployment reduced full-year earnings per share by $0.06. For the full year 2007, exclusive of any deployment in the former BellSouth region, AT&T's outlook anticipates additional dilution from its U-verse deployment of approximately $0.03 to $0.05 per share above 2006 levels, for a total impact of $0.09 to $0.11 per share.

  • Regional business were revenues up 7.5 percent versus pro forma results for the year-earlier quarter.

  • AT&T's fourth-quarter wireline revenues totaled $14.5 billion, up 22.3 percent from $11.8 billion reported in the fourth quarter of 2005.

  • Enterprise revenues posted their smallest decline since the AT&T Corp. merger -- 3.7 percent versus pro forma results for the year-earlier quarter. This compares with declines of 5.1 percent in the third quarter of 2006 and 7.3 percent in the preceding quarter.

  • Regional consumer revenues were up 0.1 percent versus pro forma results for the year-earlier quarter, reflecting a 259,000 increase in consumer connections over the past
    year to 33.2 million. Consumer connections combine retail access lines, high speed Internet and video connections. Traditional primary consumer lines declined by 227,000 in the fourth quarter, reflecting continued competition. This compares with declines of 242,000 in the third quarter of 2006 and 129,000 in the fourth quarter of 2005.

  • For 2007, AT&T continues to expect to deliver double-digit percentage growth in earnings per share, adjusted to exclude merger-related costs and one-time items, in 2007 and 2008.

  • In 2006, AT&T realized $1.1 billion in total synergies from the SBC/AT&T Corp. merger, versus its January 2006 outlook of $600 million to $800 million in synergies. AT&T now expects that total SBC/AT&T Corp. merger synergies will be at the high end of ranges provided in January of 2006 -- $2.0 billion to $2.4 billion in 2007 and $2.7 billion to $3.0 billion in 2008.

  • Synergies from the BellSouth merger are now expected to be higher and realized earlier than in the company's prior projections. AT&T now expects total synergies to be $0.8 billion to $1.2 billion in 2007, up from its earlier expectation of $0.5 billion to $0.8 billion. In 2008, total synergies are now expected to reach $2.6 billion to $3.0 billion, compared with an earlier view of $1.9 billion to
    $2.4 billion. In 2009, total BellSouth merger synergies are expected to be in the $3.3 billion to $3.8 billion range, up from an earlier projection of $2.6 billion to $3.1 billion.

  • AT&T expects that its capital expenditures will be in the mid teens as a percentage of total revenues in both 2007 and 2008.

JDSU Introduces Remote Test Unit for Optical Networks

JDSU introduced a rack-mounted, remote test unit for its optical network management system (ONMS) that integrates the latest optical time-domain reflectometry (OTDR) and optical switch technologies. The new OTU-8000, which is based on JDSU's MTS/T-BERD 8000, can test hundreds of fiber links within a large (40,000 km2) area and report any faults relative to the nearest physical landmark.

The OTU-8000 can house two field-interchangeable OTDR modules and monitors active fibers using a 1625nm module designed to take into account factors such as the Raman effect of the optical amplifier. The dual-power feeds provide an alternate power input in the event of one power source failure. All configurations are saved on the OTU-8000's solid state disk, and when the server is not available alarms can still be sent directly to the user via e- mail or SMS.

Atlanta Selects EarthLink for Muni Wi-Fi

The city of Atlanta selected EarthLink to build, own and operate a municipal Wi-Fi network. EarthLink plans to provide upload and download speeds up to 1 Mbps. As part of its commitment to open access, EarthLink will enable multiple, competing providers, to offer their services to consumers and businesses over its network.

IEEE RuBee Standard to Link Thousands of Low-Cost Radio Tags at Long Wavelengths

The IEEE Standards Association is working on a new "RuBee"
(IEEE P1902.1) standard aimed at closing the gap between the non-networked, non-programmable RFID tags and high-bandwidth, radiating systems governed by local and personnel area networks (IEEE 802.11 and IEEE 802.15, respectively). RuBee networks operate at long-wavelengths and accommodate low-cost radio tags at ranges to 100 feet.

The IEEE working group developing the standard for RuBee visibility networks will hold its first meeting on February 20th at the Marriott Copley Hotel in Boston, Mass. The meeting will occur one day before the two-day RFID Smart Labels Conference begins at same hotel.

The standard, IEEE P1902.1, "RuBee Standard for Long Wavelength Network Protocol", will allow for networks encompassing thousands of radio tags operating below 450 KHz. RuBee networks provide for real-time inventory under harsh environments, e.g., near metal and water and in the presence of electromagnetic noise. RuBee radio tags, which can be either active or passive, have proven battery lives of ten years or more using inexpensive lithium batteries.

The standard is targeted for completion in late 2007.

Tellabs Ships One Millionth Optical Network Terminal

Tellabs announced the shipment of its one millionth optical network terminal (ONT). Tellabs noted that its ONTs are among the first to be certified by the Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA). MoCA reduces FTTP costs by eliminating the need for new inside wiring. Tellabs is evolving its ONT product line to include Gigabit PON (GPON) technology. The newest ONTs, now in customer evaluations, include the Tellabs 1600-712 Single Family Unit GPON ONT, and the Tellabs 1600-721 and 1600-726 Multiple Dwelling Unit GPON ONTs. These ONTs are a vital component of the Tellabs DynamicHome Solution, delivering 2.4 Gbps downstream and 1.2 Gbps upstream.

Extreme Networks Posts Revenue of $86.9 Million

Extreme Networks reported revenue of $86.9 million for its second fiscal quarter, comprised of $71.1 million in product revenue and $15.8 million in services revenue, a 3.7 percent increase as compared to $83.8 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2007. Net revenue was $92.8 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2006. The company did not provide GAAP or non-GAAP financial statements due to its ongoing investigation into past stock option grants. Extreme expects to restate its prior financial statements.

"We are pleased with the sequential increase in our net revenue results and our further penetration into the service provider customer segment," said Mark Canepa, president and CEO of Extreme Networks.