Wednesday, August 29, 2007

MetaSwitch Exceeds 500 Softswitch / Media Gateway Deployments

MetaSwitch announced several significant milestones, including:

  • More than 500 of the company's award-winning softswitch / media gateway systems have been deployed by more than 250 service provider customers

  • MetaSwitch solutions are serving subscribers in 50 U.S. states, Canada, Latin America, Europe and Asia

  • MetaSwitch now counts as committed customers nine of the top 50 U.S. ILECs, including such leading providers as Windstream and CenturyTel

  • Its total shipments of Class 5 switching capacity passed the 10 million subscriber mark.

Metaswitch also noted that over the last three years, the company averaged a quarter-to-quarter increase in systems shipped of 23 percent. Over the last year alone, customer deployments accounted for an average of 400,000 new media gateway ports added each quarter.

Cisco and Trend Micro Extend Collaboration

Cisco Systems announced an agreement to extend Trend Micro security services incorporated into Cisco's network infrastructure products. The companies have been collaborating since 2004 when they began plans to incorporate Trend Micro's content security services into Cisco's Adaptive Security Appliance family. In addition to the Cisco ASA collaboration, Trend Micro became one of Cisco's first Network Admission Control partners.

Under the deal, the companies now will work closely on integrating additional content security services into Cisco's routing offerings.

IBM Cites Breakthroughs in Nano Storage, Molecular-level Switching

IBM announced two major scientific breakthroughs in the field of nanotechnology that could have significant impact in digital communications. The basic research is being publishing in two reports by the journal Science.

The first discovery concerns a property called magnetic anisotropy, which concerns an atom's ability to store information. Until now, nobody has been able to measure the magnetic anisotropy of a single atom. Using IBM's special scanning tunneling microscope (STM), researchers were able to manipulate individual iron atoms and arrange them with atomic precision on a specially prepared copper surface. The researchers then determined the orientation and strength of the magnetic anisotropy of the individual iron atoms.

With further work it may be possible to build structures consisting of small clusters of atoms, or even individual atoms, that could reliably store magnetic information.

IBM calculates that digital storage based on magnetic anisotropy would enable nearly 30,000 feature length movies or the entire contents of YouTube -- millions of videos estimated to be more than 1,000 trillion bits of data -- to fit in a device the size of an iPod.

IBM also predicts the breakthrough could lead to new kinds of structures and devices that are so small they could be applied to entire new fields and disciplines beyond traditional computing.

In the second report, IBM researchers unveiled the first single-molecule switch that can operate flawlessly without disrupting the molecule's outer frame -- a significant step toward building computing elements at the molecular scale that are vastly smaller, faster and use less energy than today's computer chips and memory devices.

In addition to switching within a single molecule, the researchers also demonstrated that atoms inside one molecule can be used to switch atoms in an adjacent molecule, representing a rudimentary logic element. This is made possible partly because the molecular framework is not disturbed.

Ciena Reports Revenue of $205.0 million, up 34.4% YoY

Ciena posted third quarter revenue of $205.0 million, representing a 5.9% sequential increase from fiscal second quarter revenue of $193.5 million, and an increase of 34.4% over the same period a year ago when the company reported sales of $152.5 million.

Ciena's net income (GAAP) for the fiscal third quarter 2007 was $28.3 million, or $0.29 per diluted share. This represents a 117.6% sequential increase from fiscal second quarter GAAP net income of $13.0 million, and compares with a reported GAAP net loss of $4.3 million, or a loss of $0.05 per share, for the same period a year ago. Overall gross margin was 47.7% and product gross margin was 53.7%.

Taiwan's Chunghwa Reaches 310,000 FTTB and 333,000 IPTV Subscribers

Chunghwa Telecom, the incumbent operator in Taiwan, reported Q2 revenue of NT$50.6 billion, up 9% over the same period last year, driven by Internet and data revenue (up 6.7%); ADSL & FTTB (up 4.6%), mobile revenue (up 2.2%) and mobile valued added-services (up 23%).

Some highlights for the quarter:

  • Strong growth in HiNet FTTB subscriptions, with net additions of 72k over the course of the second quarter bringing the total number of HiNet FTTB subscribers to 310k on June 30, 2007, a significant increase from 30k a year earlier.

  • Total HiNet Internet subscribers decreased 7.3% from 1Q 2007 to 4.03 million at the end of June 2007, due to the separation of 330k Prepaid Card subscribers from the total HiNet subscriber base since May 2007.

  • As of the end of June 2007, Chunghwa had 333k multimedia on-demand (MOD) or IPTV subscribers, with 48k new subscriptions added during the second quarter, a solid 112.5% year-on-year increase.

  • Overall, the company had 4.17 million broadband subscribers (including ADSL and FTTB subscribers) at the end of June 2007, a 7.7% increase in the number of total broadband subscriptions compared to the same period of last year.

  • By the end of June 2007, the number of ADSL and FTTB subscriptions with a service speed of greater than 8 Mbps reached 1.04 million, representing 24.9% of total broadband subscribers.

  • Total Data revenues were NT$5.69 billion in 1H 2007, a 8.2% increase compared to in 1H 2006.

  • As of June 30, 2007, Chunghwa had 8.58 million mobile subscribers,
    slightly up quarter-on-quarter by 0.29% compared to 8.56 million on March 31, 2007.

  • Chunghwa's total mobile subscriber market share (including 2G, 3G and PHS) was 36.3%, while 2G revenue and 2G subscriber market share were 35.1% and 40.2%, respectively.

  • Chunghwa had 400k net additions to its 3G subscriber base during the second quarter, recording a 31.1% rise in the total number of 3G subscribers to 1.68 million on June 30, 2007. At the end of second quarter this year, the ARPU of 3G was 58% higher than that of 2G.

  • Mobile VAS revenue for 1H 2007 was NT$2.4 billion, posting an 18.0%
    increase year-on-year, with SMS revenue up 24.6% and mobile internet revenue up 23.4%.

  • As of the end of June 2007, the Chunghwa maintained its leading fixed- line market position, with fixed-line subscribers totaling 13.04 million.

Amdocs Cites Milestone for its Qpass Digital Commerce

Amdocs announced that its Qpass digital commerce solution has processed more than $2.5 billion worth of premium digital products and services, representing over 900 million transactions since 2003.

Citing a growth in the number of mobile subscribers using premium data services, Amdocs expects that in 2007 alone its Qpass digital commerce solution will process more than $1 billion in premium digital content, an increase of approximately 40 percent over 2006.

Amdocs also noted an interesting trend in mobile commerce - it has seen the average price per premium content transaction go up from $3.18 in January to $3.49 in June. Direct-to-consumer, or so-called "off-portal" sales in which consumers purchase premium services or products directly from content providers and pay via their service provider billing mechanisms, have also grown as a result of stronger marketing efforts. As of June 2007, off-portal sales grew 15 percent over the previous 12 months contributing to the overall growth in the digital content market.
  • In April 2006, Amdocs agreed to acquire Qpass, a leading provider of digital commerce software and solutions, for approximately $275 million in cash. Qpass can act as a channel between the content provider and the service provider, helping to determine how to offer, manage, charge, and fulfill for the service. It plays a key role in enabling the value chain and monetizing digital content. Qpass currently has relationships with over 300 content providers and also works with some of the largest carrier groups globally, including Cingular, Sprint, and T-Mobile.

Starz Entertainment Employs Motorola's HD Encoding

Starz Entertainment will utilize a Motorola four-channel, high-definition (HD) MPEG encoding system for the upcoming launch of its new HD channels -- Starz Comedy, Starz Edge and Starz Kids & Family.

The new HD system compresses, encrypts, and modulates the HD signals. within a single integrated transmission system. It is configured for STARZ using Motorola's Modular Uplink System which will support Starz's planned future migration to MPEG-4 compression technology.

Motorola said its MPEG-4 AVC technology handles both 1920 x 1080I and 1280 x 720P resolutions at approximately half the bandwidth required with similar MPEG-2 coded signals.

A key component of the enhanced content delivery chain is Motorola's new DSR4410MD multi-program demodulator/decryptor. The new 1 RU product receives DVB-S2 modulated signals and decrypts up to 64 services from a single MPEG-2 transport stream. Testing with STARZ signals has shown reliable transmission at 77.5 Mbps using a 36 MHz, C-Band transponder -- which translates into four- to-five MPEG-2 HD streams or as many as 10 MPEG-4/AVC HD streams.

Deutsche Telekom Promotes IPTV Packages

Deutsche Telekom is showcasing new features of its "Entertain Comfort" IPTV service at this week's Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) show in Berlin. The company is offering new promotions for the IPTV offering, which is now available in 3 price tiers. DT is offering "Bundesliga on PREMIERE" soccer programming, promising a stadium-like effect when watching HD coverage on a wide screen TV. The first 20,000 Entertain customers will get a special offering -- the complete 2007/2008 season of Germany's top-flight Bundesliga soccer league at no extra charge.

Some other highlights:

  • IPTV will be available to 17.2 million households across Germany by the end of the year.

  • VDSL will be available in 27 cities and towns across Germany by the end of the year.

  • ADLS2+ is now available in 750 towns and cities across Germany

  • 10.3 million DSL lines currently in service

  • the company has captured at least 40% market share of new DSL accounts in Germany for the past 3 quarters.

  • VOD library contains 2,000 titles

  • the company is expanding its MyFaves mobile feature, enabling calling across networks for 5 cents per minute