Thursday, August 23, 2007

XFONE to Acquire Texas-Based NTS

Xfone USA agreed to acquire NTS Communications, a provider of integrated voice, data and video services based in Lubbock, Texas, for $42 million.

NTS operates the largest CLEC network in West Texas, providing local, long distance, broadband data, video and private line services to approximately 47,500 residential and business customers. Markets served include Lubbock, Amarillo, Midland/Odessa, Abilene, Wichita Falls, Pampa and Plainview. NTS operates through 21 ILEC central office collocation sites within its core areas and provides nationwide private line and regional long distance service as well as statewide, Midwest and northwest regional services to customers beyond its own network facilities through a variety of inter-carrier arrangements.

The company says it has invested over $23 million in developing a Fiber-to-the-Premise platform for residential and business customers.

Following the acquisition, the combined company will have annualized revenues and EBITDA exceeding $114 million and $13 million, respectively based upon the first six months of 2007 unaudited results.

MetroFi Free Welcomes Apple iPhone Users

MetroFi, which operates metropolitan Wi-Fi networks in nine cities across the U.S., is welcoming iPhone users to its free, advertising-supported access service. After a one-time registration, iPhone users can get quick, single-touch, free access to the Internet by selecting MetroFi-Free as their iPhone's preferred Wi-Fi network. This enables iPhone users to launch the MetroFi-Free service automatically when touching the Safari browser button on the iPhone home screen.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, MetroFi noted that it has logged network sessions by 1,000 unique iPhone devices in July. This represents 5% of the Bay Area networks' user population that month, which is on par with iPhone usage the company has been seeing in other MetroFi markets as well.

Vitesse to Sell Storage Products Business to Maxim

Vitesse Semiconductor agreed to sell a portion of its storage products business to Maxim Integrated Products for $63 million in cash and potential earn-out payments of up to $12 million in the aggregate.

The deal includes Vitesse's Serial Attached SCSI (SAS), Serial Attached ATA (SATA) expander product segments, enclosure and baseboard management devices and certain other assets of Vitesse's Storage Products Division, which is based in Colorado Springs. Vitesse will retain its RAID-on-Chip (ROC) and Fibre Channel product segments, which had been part of the Storage Products Division and will be integrated into its continuing operations.

Vitesse said it plans to focus on its core networking and Ethernet IC businesses. Vitesse also announced $30 million in new financing, which the Company will use, along with the sale proceeds, to repay its existing credit facility and to invest in its business.

Alcatel-Lucent Wins US$100 Million Contract in Uganda

Hits Telecom Uganda, a new regional operator whose majority shareholder is Abu Dhabi-based International Investment House, signed a US$100 million contract with Alcatel-Lucent to deploy a new GSM network.

Under the contract, Alcatel-Lucent will supply an end-to-end GSM network including network design, OSS/BSS integration and managed services. It will also supply transmission solutions, including microwave systems, and its IP routing solution.

Hits Telecom Uganda has been awarded a full telecommunications license, which includes the GSM 900/1800 spectrum, WIMAX broadband, international gateway, mobile virtual network operation and data transmission services.

Hits Telecom Uganda plans to introduce its services in time for the Summit of the 53 Heads of States of the Commonwealth Countries, which will take place in November.

Comcast Reaches 3 Million Phone Customers, Launches in Colorado Springs

Comcast announced the launch of its Digital Voice in Colorado Springs, offering unlimited direct-dial local and domestic long-distance calling, Web access to voicemail, E911 service, and 12 of the most popular calling features such as three-way calling, call waiting, caller ID, speed dial and enhanced voicemail.

Comcast noted that it has more than three million phone customers. Comcast Digital Voice is currently available in more than 70 markets nationwide, reaching 38 million homes.