Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sprint Reaffirms Commitment to Nextel iDEN National Network

Sprint reiterated its continuing commitment to the Nextel iDEN National Network ,saying it intends to retain and rejuvenate this important asset. As part of that commitment, Sprint and Motorola have extended their long-term partnership to provide enhanced network and infrastructure support, including software upgrades, and to provide the best products and services to customers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"The iDEN network is a key differentiator for Sprint, as it allows us to offer products and services no other carrier in the industry can match. We continue to build on our support for our industry-leading push-to-talk Nextel Direct Connect franchise through our aggressive marketing efforts which exploit the unique features and functionality of the iDEN network," said Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint.

On Nov. 2, Sprint will launch the Motorola i576, and later this year, will debut the BlackBerry Curve 8350i smartphone. These devices allow customers to access national sub-second call-set-ups, as well as Bluetooth and GPS. In addition, Sprint plans to launch a total of eight new Nextel Direct Connect handsets as part of its new device portfolio in 2009, with five expected to launch during the first half of the year.

In addition, Boost Mobile, Sprint's prepaid business, is being refocused to compete aggressively for customers impacted by the current economic environment with a lower per-minute rate and other attractive pricing options. Boost Mobile offers phones and pre-paid services with no long-term contracts, credit checks or activation fees, primarily on the Nextel National Network.

In early 2009, Boost Mobile plans to introduce Boost Unlimited on the iDEN network, offering a nationwide home calling area for one monthly fee.

BT Trims Guidance Citing Weakness in Global Business Services

BT Group plc trimmed its guidance for the second quarter (ending 30-September-2008) of its 2008/9 financial year and for the full year. For the second quarter, the company now expects to report that group revenue that will be ahead of expectations but that EBITDA and earnings per share will be slightly below expectations. BT Retail, BT Wholesale, Openreach and Other activities will deliver results in line with or ahead of expectations.

However, the company said the performance of BT Global Services will be disappointing. Revenue growth in this division will remain strong, up 15 per cent year on year, but EBITDA of around £120 million will be significantly below expectations. The fall in EBITDA is due to slower than anticipated delivery of efficiency savings and the continued decline in higher margin UK business.

BT expects to report a year on year improvement in free cash flow for the quarter. The Board intends to declare an interim dividend of 5.4 pence per share in line with last year.

Ian Livingston, Chief Executive of BT, said: "BT is performing in line with or ahead of expectations in all but one of its divisions, so the results in BT Global Services are particularly disappointing. We acknowledge that the performance in this part of the group is unsatisfactory and are committed to taking decisive action to rectify the situation. BT Global Services already has a number of cost efficiency and margin improvement initiatives in place and we are now focused on speeding up the execution of these initiatives which will deliver margin improvement going forward. We intend to set new targets for this division as improved performance is delivered."

In addition, BT announced that François Barrault resigned as Chief Executive, BT Global Services and as a BT Group plc Board director on October 30th. He has been replaced by Hanif Lalani, currently Group Finance Director.

FCC Allows GlobalStar / Open Range to Offer MSS/WiMAX

The FCC granted in part a request by Globalstar to modify its authority for an ancillary terrestrial component ("ATC") to be operated in conjunction with the Globalstar Mobile Satellite Service ("MSS") system. Specifically, the FCC modified Globalstar's license to permit use of the WiMAX air interface protocol. Globalstar and its spectrum lessee, Open Range Communications, are now permitted to commence deployment of a broadband service consistent with a $267 million loan commitment from the Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Utilities Program.

According to the FCC order, Globalstar plans to collaborate with one or more "terrestrial partners" to offer MSS
bundled together with ATC broadband service. To that end, Globalstar has entered into a spectrum lease agreement with Open Range. Under the terms of the agreement, Open Range would construct and operate an ATC network using S-band spectrum leased from Globalstar. The two companies would provide MSS/ATC service to customers equipped with dual-mode handheld terminals, Open Range providing the ATC service and Globalstar providing the MSS component.

The first-generation mobile device for the Globalstar/Open Range rural broadband service offering would be a MSS/ATC handheld unit based on the same architecture as Globalstar's SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker.

For the initial rollout of the Globalstar/Open Range service offering, the existing SPOT device would be adapted to incorporate a WiMAX broadband modem for access to the Globalstar/Open Range ATC network through a standard USB connection to
laptop computers or connection to VoIP phones. Open Range plans to deploy these first-generation broadband ATC services beginning in the second quarter of 2009, first to approximately 2,500 customers in 5 markets in a "proof-of-concept
deployment." These customers will receive the first generation device with one-way only, low-data rate MSS capabilities, but will be offered an exchange upgrade when a newer device becomes available beginning in early 2010. The newer device will be upgradeable to include a chipset that is capable of supporting two-way high-speed MSS. This device would be deployed in approximately 189-217 markets. The chipset, to be manufactured by Hughes Network Systems, is scheduled to become available in production quantities in early 2011.

Nortel Offers Energy Saving Incentive to Data Center Customers

Nortel introduced a promotion program that offers discounts based on three times the estimated annual energy consumption costs of a new Nortel data network solution to its customers in Europe, Africa and the Middle East (EMEA). With the promotion, Nortel is providing a price discount equivalent to three times the estimated current yearly power bill of the data network configuration purchased.

The discount value is calculated using the "Nortel Energy Efficiency Calculator". The energy efficiency tool was created by Nortel to enable decision makers to measure their energy consumption costs and identify the cost-saving opportunities of working with a Nortel data center solution. The Calculator enables customers to input various network deployment alternatives in network design and discover the potential energy cost savings of a Nortel solution, or even when a Nortel-for-Nortel upgrade will provide the return on investment.

Nortel said its gear consume up to 40 percent less power that similar offerings from a major competitor, based on independent third-party tests conducted by the Tolly Group.

The 'Nortel Powers Your Network Promotion' runs until December 31, 2008 and is available via Nortel's EMEA channel of accredited resellers.

Cisco Boosts Investment in VMware

Cisco will acquire an increased equity stake in VMware. Specifically, the company will purchase 500,000 shares of VMware Class A common stock currently held by Intel Corporation for approximately $13.3M. Upon closing of the investment, Cisco will own approximately 1.7% percent of VMware's total outstanding common stock.

Cisco said its purchase is intended to build on the strong inter-company collaboration between Cisco and VMware in the adoption of the companies' virtualization products and solutions that address the intersection of virtualization and networking technologies.
  • In September, 2008, Cisco and VMware announced several joint initiatives in the data center virtualization market including the launch of the The Cisco Nexus 1000V distributed virtual software switch, enhanced professional services and reseller certification training.

NTT DOCOMO Outlines Plans for Next Gen Services

NTT DOCOMO outlined a wide-ranging plan to be implemented between 2008 and 2012 that will transform the company from being primarily a mobile voice operator in a mature market into a provider of a advanced services that enrich people's lives.

After a period of rapid expansion, the Japanese mobile communications market has entered a mature phase. Now that total subscriptions exceed 100 million, it is difficult to expect further growth on a significant level unless breakthroughs are made. In addition, customers' values have diversified and their demands have become increasingly sophisticated.

DOCOMO believes that the market has potential for significant growth if services that take advantage of unique mobile properties -- such as real-time immediacy, personal authentication and geo-location -- can be developed in conjunction with the evolution of networks and handsets. The increasing adoption of open-platform handsets and entry of new global players will produce new services that transcend conventional boundaries and thereby propel further advancements and diversification in the market.

Perceiving this as an opportunity, DOCOMO said it intends to drive innovation in collaboration with a wide range of partners on a global scale, committing the company to taking on the challenge of creating new value by leveraging the virtually unlimited potential of mobile phones.

Given the high level of market saturation and competition, DOCOMO is also undertaking steps to strengthen its core business. Chief among these is an effort to boost packet ARPU by expanding the uptake of video services and pushing flat-rate plans for packet access. The company will expand the uptake and usage of smart phones and data cards, etc., which are expected to see a growth in demand in line with the expansion of the market for second-phones used mainly for data access, etc.

DOCOMO will also trim expenses by 10 percent. This will include a nationwide optimization of customer call centers and
bill collection operations, as well an an improved supply chain management and nationwide optimization of logistics operations. The company will implement measures to reduce greenhouse gas emission from its network facilities by introducing solar power systems and adopting other natural energy sources under the "Green NTT" initiative.

In terms of growing its network, DOCOMO plans to roll-out LTE from 2010, as one of the first adopters in the world. It also expects LTE to be adopted as the mainstream strategy of other global operatos. In March 2008, NTT DoCoMo demonstrated a downlink transmission rate of 250 Mbps over a high-speed wireless network in an outdoor test of an experimental Super 3G system for mobile communications. The "Super 3G" system trial has been underway using an actual wireless environment near its R&D labs in Yokosuka, just south of Tokyo, since February.

In terms of next-gen handsets, DOCOMO plans to adopt open platforms supporting enhanced hardware and software. It envisions a wide diversification of designs and user interfaces. DOCOMO will contribute to a globally common handset platform leveraging the technical/service advancements achieved through the commercial introduction of Linux/Symbian handsets, and bundling DOCOMO-specific software in a package. DOCOMO will aim to advance services by optimizing the allocation of functions between the handset and network. For example, by partially dispersing the processing load to the network leveraging its high-speed, low-latency and large-capacity characteristics, it becomes possible to deliver extremely rich services. An example of this could be a natural language translation service between Japanese and French. The handset would have only a thin client. Japanese would be spoken into the handset for translation processing in the network. A full translation into French would be delivered.

DOCOMO seeks to expand geographic coverage and improve the quality of roaming service by leveraging the CONEXUS alliance, which includes as its members KT, smart, FarEasTone, Hutchinson, BSNL, indosat, etc.

In terms of investments, DOCOMO will will make investments in or form alliances with content providers, especially video content providers that add value to the network. DOCOMO is also willing to invest in companies developing elemental handset-related technologies required to realize various advanced services and to reduce costs.

DOCOMO is also setting its sights on larger, social goals. The company will expand its research aimed at creating an infrastructure that contributes to the development of society. It can do so by leveraging such things as traffic data, GPS location and other information from the mobile population. Such data could be useful to predict future trends and aid in the development of safe and environmentally-friendly cities. DOCOMO said it is conduct ing such reseach in collaboration with national/local governments and various industry partners.

A 27-page PowerPoint presentation is online.
  • Last month, NTT DOCOMO has selected Fujitsu to provide Nokia Siemens Networks' core technology for its Super 3G / Long Term Evolution core network. Fujitsu and Nokia Siemens Networks have agreed to cooperate on jointly developing the Service Architecture Evolution (SAE) Gateway, including the Serving Gateway and the PDN Gateway, for the Super 3G project's Long Term Evolution (LTE) core. Financial terms were not disclosed. The selection of SAE Gateway vendors means NTT DOCOMO is on track to be among the world's first operators to introduce LTE into its network.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

One Minute Video: What is a WDM PON?

One Minute Video presented by Dr. Paul Morkel -- What is E-NNI?

Jargon Buster

France Telecom Sees Revenue Growth Exceeding GDP in Key Markets

France Telecom Group revenue of EUR 39.9 billion for the first nine months of 2008, up 3.4% YoY on a comparable basis. Third-quarter 2008 revenue grew 2.3% on a comparable basis. The company said its performance comes in the context of the difficult general economic environment. Other than Spain and some emerging markets, the Group saw no impact on its operations from the slowdown in the economy. It's aim is to continue outpacing GDP in its key markets.

Some highlights:

Personal Communication Services

  • Revenue from Personal Communication Services (PCS) totalled 21.985 billion euros in the first nine months of 2008, a 1.5% increase on an historical basis. This includes the unfavourable impact of exchange rates (-504 million euros) and the effect of changes in the scope of consolidation (-480 million euros with the sale of Orange's mobile operations in the Netherlands and the acquisitions of Voxmobile in Luxembourg and of Ten in France).

  • On a comparable basis, growth for the first nine months was 6.4%. Excluding the impact of the rate decreases for call terminations and roaming (estimated at -663 million euros), growth continued to be very strong on a comparable basis, at 9.9%, following 10.8% growth in the first half.

  • Third quarter 2008 revenue (7.604 billion euros) was up 0.8% on an historical basis and up 5.1% on a comparable basis. Excluding the impact of the rate decrease for call terminations and roaming (estimated at -208 million euros) quarterly revenue grew by 8.2%. This is driven both by mature Western European countries (particularly France, the United Kingdom and Belgium) and by emerging markets (particularly the Middle East and Romania).

  • There were 117.6 million customers at 30 September 2008, excluding MVNOs, an increase of 12.0% year on year on a comparable basis (+12.6 million new customers, of which 3.2 million were acquired in the third quarter of 2008).

  • The number of mobile broadband customers was up sharply at 23.2 million at 30 September 2008 compared with 12.8 million at 30 September 2007, an 81% increase year on year.

  • The MVNO customer base in Europe rose to 2.5 million at 30 September 2008 (of which 1.7 million were
    in France), compared with 1.5 million a year earlier on a comparable basis (of which 1.2 million were in

Home Communication Services

  • Revenue for the third quarter 2008 was up 0.7% on an historical basis (5.711 billion euros). On a
    comparable basis, the quarter was down 1.2%.

  • Revenue from ADSL broadband services6, up 23%, very largely offset the downward trend in traditional
    telephone services and represented 24.1% of total Home Communication Services revenue over the first
    nine months of 2008, compared with 19.6% for the same period in 2007.

  • The number of residential ADSL broadband subscribers in Europe rose to 12.4 million at 30 September 2008,
    representing annual growth of 11.1% on a comparable basis (1.2 million new ADSL subscribers). ADSL
    Multiservices grew strongly

  • Tthe number of Liveboxes rose 35% in one year, with 7.5 million units sold in Europe at 30 September 2008,
    up from 5.5 million at 30 September 2007 on a comparable basis.

  • There were 6.0 million Voice over IP customers at 30 September 2008, up from 4.1 million at 30 September
    2007, growth of 49% in one year on a comparable basis.

  • ADSL digital TV services (IPTV) had a total of 1.746 million subscribers in Europe at 30 September 2008,
    compared with 1.017 million at 30 September 2007, a 72% increase in one year.

Enterprise Communication Services

  • Revenue for Enterprise Communication Services (ECS) totalled 5.740 billion euros for the first nine months of 2008, a 0.5% increase on an historical basis, including the unfavourable impact of exchange rates (-126 million euros) and the positive impact of changes in the scope of consolidation (+21 million euros), in particular with the integration of the "Enterprise" and "Managed Services" divisions of GTL India that was acquired in July 2007.

  • Fixed telephony and traditional data services continued their downward trend, with a 5.4% decline for the first nine months of 2008 on a comparable basis (after a decline of 5.3% in the first half). This was less than the decline recorded in 2007 over the same period (-9.5% on a comparable basis), reflecting fewer migrations from data networks to IP networks after the steady depletion of previous years.

  • Advanced Business Network Services rose 8.0% over the first nine months of 2008 on a comparable basis, after rising 7.9% in the first half. This rate of growth is higher than that of the first nine months of 2007 (+6.5% on a comparable basis), reflecting the continuing growth of IP network services. The number of IPVPN subscribers worldwide rose 9.8% year on year to 314,000 at 30 September 2008. Similarly, the Business Everywhere mobility offer was up 20.8% in France, with 664,000 users at 30 September 2008.

  • Revenues for Extended Business Services continued their sharp climb. On a comparable basis, revenue grew 16.1% over the first nine months of 2008, after rising 16.0% in the first half. The Group's growth outperformed the market, driven by the growth of service platforms and consulting as well as project management operations linked to the management of business data networks.

  • Other Business Services recorded a slowdown in revenue growth (+4.9% over the first nine months of 2008 compared with +10.9% in the first half), reflecting slower equipment sales. At the same time, broadcast services of the subsidiary Globecast continued to grow steadily.

Commenting on the third quarter results, Didier Lombard, France Telecom Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated: "With third-quarter revenue growth of 2.3%, the Group has for the fourth consecutive quarter maintained a level of activity that outperformed the estimated average GDP across the Group's worldwide footprint."

Qwest to Report Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Qwest Communications has joined The Climate Registry as a founding member, and in so doing has committed to calculate, independently verify and publicly report its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across North America.

The Climate Registry is a nonprofit organization that seeks to provides data on greenhouse gas emissions. The Climate Registry establishes consistent, transparent standards throughout North America for businesses and governments to calculate, verify and publicly report their carbon footprints in a single, unified registry. The protocol is based on the internationally recognized GHG measurement standards of the World Resources Institute and World Business Council on Sustainability.

Qwest noted that it already discloses its direct and indirect carbon emissions through its Carbon Disclosure Project.http://www.qwest.com

Alcatel-Lucent Reports Q3 Revenue of EUR 4.065 Billion, Down 6.6% YoY

Alcatel-Lucent's revenues for Q3 2008 declined 6.6% year-over-year and decreased 0.9% sequentially to Euro 4.065 billion. At constant exchange rate, revenues declined 2.2% year-over-year and 2.9% sequentially.

At constant exchange rate and on a year-over-year basis, Carrier revenues declined 9.4%, Enterprise revenues grew 6.3% and Services revenues grew 16.6%.

The adjusted gross margin was 32.5% of revenues, or 33.0% excluding a currency hedging loss of Euro 23 million. Adjusted operating expenses declined 9.6% year-over-year and 4.5% sequentially, leading to an adjusted operating income of Euro 40 million or 1.0% of revenues. Adjusted net income was Euro 41 million or Euro 0.02 per diluted share, including a one-time income of Euro 63 million pre tax and of Euro 38 million after tax resulting from the amendment of the post retirement healthcare plan.

Ben Verwaayen, CEO commented: "First, let me state that we are in good shape from a cash standpoint. We achieved a positive cash flow from operating activities this quarter through the reduction of our operating working capital requirements. The funded status of our pensions and other post retirement benefits remains materially positive with a prudent asset allocation. With gross cash on hand and marketable securities of Euro 4.46 billion and less than Euro 1 billion worth of bond debt maturing in the next 12 months, we are adequately funded.

"Second, we met our revenue guidance in a more challenging macroeconomic environment. In addition to the ongoing CDMA decline, we saw a reduction in spending by certain customers in developed markets, especially in fixed access and terrestrial optics. This was partly offset, however, by the strong performance of certain carrier activities, including W-CDMA, NGN and submarine networks. In addition, we continued to grow our Enterprise business at a healthy rate and saw accelerated growth in Services. "

Some highlights:

Carrier Operating Segment

  • Carrier operating segment were Euro 2,734 million compared to Euro 3,142 million in the year-ago quarter, a 13.0% decrease at current exchange rate and a 9.4% decrease at constant rate.

  • Fixed access revenue decreased at a strong double-digit rate. The ongoing decline in new subscribers to copper-based broadband access, coupled with a rapidly deteriorating economic environment led certain customers in North America and Europe to reduce their capital expenditure plans for fixed access, thus impacting both DSL and Digital Loop Carrier (DLC) activities.

  • Alcatel-Lucent shipped 6.1 million DSL ports in the quarter, down 23% from the year-ago quarter and 21% sequentially.

  • Revenue from FTTH solutions more than doubled this quarter, taking the year-to-date growth to more than 60%. Alcatel-Lucent further reinforced its leadership position in next generation broadband access both in FTTN, where it was selected by KPN as its exclusive supplier and in FTTH where it announced several contract wins, including EPB in US, Telecom Malaysia and Neuf Cegetel in France as part of a social housing project in Paris.

  • In data networking, revenue from IP/MPLS service routers enjoyed solid growth both year over year and sequentially, shipping to more than 20 new customers, taking the total to more than 250 customers to date. Alcatel-Lucent announced new wins with Eircom (Ireland), Bezeq (Israel), EPB Telecom (USA) and Telecom Malaysia. The company's solution for mobile backhauling (7705 Service Aggregation Router), is also gaining traction with more than 20 customers and 20 additional trials. The ATM switching business continued on its structural decline path.

  • Optical networking grew slightly this quarter, a contrast with the double-digit growth rate reported in the first half, reflecting a slowdown in the terrestrial optical networking market. Submarine networks and microwave transmission activities grew at a strong double-digit rate.

  • In mobile networks, GSM revenue declined this quarter, due to the temporary freeze on networks expansion in China during the Olympics. W-CDMA revenue doubled this quarter, as it continued to benefit from a strong ramp-up in revenues in France, the US and Korea. Alcatel-Lucent won several new W-CDMA customers in the third quarter including Vodacom in South Africa and BSNL/ITI in India. Year to date, the company has been selected by 11 new W-CDMA customers, taking the total to more than 50. CDMA revenues declined materially year-over-year but recovered sequentially, as the company began shipments to a Chinese customer.

  • LTE: in the past months, the roadmaps as well as the technical and business requirements of key operators around the world have significantly evolved. Recognizing the diversity of the market, Alcatel-Lucent and NEC are further optimizing the scope and format of their technical collaboration in the LTE radio access space. The two companies are currently considering the opportunity to focus their technical cooperation on selected parts of the LTE radio access platform, in the form of specific joint development agreements as appropriate. Alcatel-Lucent is fully committed to providing its customers with a superior end-to-end LTE solution. The company has already accelerated its global LTE development program in the past two quarters, and will continue to do so to meet the roadmap and requirements of its key customers around the globe.

  • The company's core switching activities declined moderately year over year, as the decline in legacy TDM voice was almost entirely offset by the strong, double-digit growth in NGN.

  • Applications had a softer quarter due to a slowdown in legacy Messaging and IN (Intelligent Networks) activities. Revenue from Subscriber Data Management and Multimedia applications continued to enjoy strong double-digit growth driven by Asia and the Americas.

Enterprise Operating Segment

  • For the third quarter 2008, revenues for the Enterprise operating segment were Euro 388 million compared to Euro 380 million in the year-ago quarter, an increase of 2.2% at current exchange rate and of 6.3% at constant rate. Adjusted operating income was Euro 29 million, or 7.5% of revenues, flat from last year.

  • Enterprise Solutions grew in the mid single-digit range. This was driven by Data networking which enjoyed its seventh consecutive quarter of double-digit growth as well as the sustained momentum in sales of voice solutions to large enterprises, more than offsetting the slowdown in demand from small and medium businesses.

  • Genesys, the contact centre software activity, grew at a high single-digit rate this quarter versus a double-digit rate in the first half, due to a slowdown in professional services.

  • From a geographic standpoint, the segment saw double-digit growth in both North America and Latin America and low-single digit growth in both Europe and Asia.

  • The adjusted operating margin of the Enterprise segment was stable both year-over-year and sequentially, at a rather high level.

Services Operating Segment

  • For the third quarter 2008, revenues for the Services operating segment were Euro 870 million compared to Euro 776 million in the year-ago quarter, an increase of 12.1% at current exchange rate and of 16.6% at constant rate.

  • Network operations enjoyed accelerated growth this quarter, both in revenues and orders due to the ramp-up of some of the large contract wins announced since the start of the year.

  • Network integration grew in the high teens this quarter, a somewhat slower growth than in the first half, due to the slowdown in the part of the business which is attached to the sale of carrier products. Alcatel-Lucent nevertheless continued to enjoy very strong growth in complex network design, network optimization and network transformation projects.

  • Growth in Professional services - which include the integration of software applications either from Alcatel-Lucent or third parties - accelerated to the high teens this quarter compared to the high single-digit growth achieved in the first half, driven by IPTV and OSS integration.

Chunghwa Telecom Reports Q3 Revenue Decline or 1.5%

Chunghwa Telecom, the incumbent operator in Taiwan, reported a 3% revenue growth for the first nine months of 2008, but a revenue decline of 1.5% in Q3 2008. Chunghwa's total revenue for the first nine months of 2008 reached NT$151.9 billion, of which 28.4% was from fixed-line services, 35.9% was from mobile services, 24.5% was from Internet and data services and the remainder 11.2% was from other revenues, including handset sales from SENAO and Chunghwa.

Internet and data revenue of NT$37.3 billion in the first nine months of 2008 was 1.3% higher than the comparable period in 2007. This was driven by the continued growth in the total broadband subscriber base, FTTB and ADSL speed upgrades, and partly offset by an ADSL tariff adjustment that took effect on April 1, 2008.

Mobile revenue decreased by 2.0% in the first nine months of 2008 to NT$54.6 billion. This was primarily due to the positive effects of the 2.5% increase in subscriber numbers and the 26.8% increase in value added service revenue year-over-year, but was offset by the traffic decline and the price cuts by the National Communication Commission ("NCC").

Total fixed-line revenue declined 3.7% to NT$43.1 billion as compared to the prior year period. International Long Distance revenue decreased 4.2%, mainly due to increased competition from calling card and the decrease in settlement income resulting from the fluctuation of FX rate. Local and domestic long distance revenues decreased by 2.9% and 6.5% year-over-year, respectively, for the first nine months of 2008, mainly due to mobile and VOIP substitution.

For the third quarter 2008, Internet revenue was 0.3% lower while data revenue increased by 2.5% year-over-year. Mobile revenue decreased by 3.4%, mainly due to the price cuts imposed by the NCC and promotional packages provided by Chunghwa. Fixed line revenue as a whole decreased by 5.1% as compared to the same period last year.

As to the global economic downturn, Dr. Shyue-ching Lu, Chairman and CEO of Chunghwa Telecom, made the following comment: "The current financial crisis has impacted the global economy, especially in the US. Based on our current outlook, given that telecommunication is a utility-like service and our dominant leadership in Taiwan, the impact on us will be relatively small. As a result, currently, we are still confident that we should be able to achieve our annual guidance which we set out earlier in 2008."

STMicroelectronics and Arkados to Develop 200 Mbps HomePlug AV Chip

Arkados and STMicroelectronics reached an agreement to develop and manufacture a 200 Mbps HomePlug AV wideband powerline modem System-on-Chip (SoC). The chip, which is planned for availability mid-next year, is being designed to power applications ranging from simple Ethernet-to-powerline bridges to full-featured products as wide ranging as HDTV distribution, digital set-top boxes, IPTV, whole-house audio, networked digital picture frames, surveillance systems, and also industrial and commercial applications, especially targeting the Smart Grid and Green Energy segments.

The companies said their HomePlug AV-based SoC will boast an integrated AFE (analog front end), a wide variety of built-in interfaces, and a powerful ARM processor. The SoC will offer processing in cutting-edge 65nm geometry, providing savings in both cost and power consumption, while also offering full interoperability with the existing base of nearly 20 million HomePlug 1.0 chips, a feature currently not available in competing HomePlug AV devices.

The next-generation chip will include support for the Inter PHY Communication Protocol (IPP), currently being defined by the IEEE P1901 Working Group; the chip could also be the first to market compatible with the expected IEEE 1901 industry standard for high-speed powerline communications.

Motorola Sees Separation its Businesses beyond 2009

Motorola reported Q3 2008 sales of $7.5 billion and a GAAP net loss from continuing operations of $397 million, or a loss of $0.18 per share (including special charges of $0.23 per share).

Greg Brown, Motorola's co-chief executive officer and CEO of Broadband Mobility Solutions, said, "The company had positive operating cash flow of $180 million and ended the quarter with a total cash* position of $7.6 billion. Our balance sheet and liquidity position give us agility and flexibility in today's weakened global economy and turbulent financial markets. In addition, we benefit from a global customer base and a broad portfolio of products and solutions that meet the needs of our customers."

Sanjay Jha, Motorola's co-chief executive officer and CEO of Mobile Devices, said, "While our strategic intent to separate the company remains intact, we are no longer targeting the third quarter of 2009, primarily due to the macro-economic environment, stresses in the financial markets and the changes underway in Mobile Devices. We have made progress on various elements of the separation plan and will continue to prepare for a potential transaction at the appropriate timeframe that serves the best interests of the company and its shareholders."

Some highlights for the quarter:

Mobile Devices

  • Mobile Devices segment sales were $3.1 billion, down 31 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. The segment reported an operating loss of $840 million, compared to an operating loss of $248 million in the year-ago quarter.

  • Shipped 25.4 million handsets and began shipping 16 new products to key markets, including three new 3G devices

Home and Networks Mobility

  • Home and Networks Mobility segment sales were $2.4 billion, down 1 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. Operating earnings increased to $263 million, which represents an increase of 65 percent compared to operating earnings of $159 million in the year-ago quarter.

  • Expanded operating margin year-over-year from 7 percent of sales to 11 percent of sales

  • Shipped 4.1 million digital entertainment devices, compared to 2.7 million in the year-ago quarter, due to continued strong demand for HD, HD/DVR and IPTV devices

  • Signed multiple contracts worth $431 million with China Mobile Communications Corporation for its GSM network upgrades and expansion

  • Announced the multimedia set-top platform and its first implementation with KDDI, an operator in Japan

  • Won IPTV contract with Deutsche Telekom in Germany

Enterprise Mobility Solutions

  • Enterprise Mobility Solutions segment sales were $2.0 billion, up 4 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. Operating earnings increased to $403 million, which represents an increase of 23 percent compared to operating earnings of $328 million in the year-ago quarter.

  • Expanded operating margin year-over-year from 17 percent of sales to 20 percent of sales

  • Continued to realize strong international demand in the government and public safety markets

  • Launched APX, the industry's first Project 25 multi-band radio with multi-agency interoperability, dual-sided portable operation and integrated GPS

  • Completed acquisition of AirDefense, a leading wireless LAN security provider, subsequent to the end of the quarter

  • Signed a definitive agreement to sell the biometrics business to SAFRAN, subsequent to the end of the quarter.

European Commission Opens Investigation into Telekomunikacja Polska

The European Commission has opened an anti-trust investigation of Telekomunikacja Polska S.A., the incumbent telecom operator in Poland. EC officials conducted an unannounced inspection at the company's premises on 23-September-2008.

The European Commission said it suspects that Telekomunikacja Polska may have infringed EC Treaty rules on abuse of a dominant market position (Article 82). The Commission officials were accompanied by their counterparts from the Polish national competition authority - Urząd Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów.

"The Quilt" Research Network Extends Contract with Level 3

The Quilt, a coalition of regional network organizations representing many top U.S. research and education institutions, has renewed its multi-year contract with Level 3 Communications. The framework agreement gives Quilt members access to Level 3's Tier 1 Internet backbones in North America and Europe.

Most Quilt members are non-profit regional network aggregators that provide advanced network services in support of research and education. http://www.level3.com

TiVo and Netflix Announce Movie Streaming Deal

TiVo announced a deal that will give users of its TiVo Series3, TiVo HD, and TiVo HD XL DVRs the ability to have thousands of movies and TV episodes instantly streamed from Netflix.

The two companies said they are initiating a test of the new capability in several thousand U.S. households and expect it to be broadly available in early December. Users will need to subscribe to both Netflix and TiVO service.http://www.tivo.com

AT&T Provides iPhone and BlackBerry Customers with Complementary Wi-Fi

AT&T will begin offering free Wi-Fi service to current and new customers of select Blackberry smartphones and Apple iPhones. AT&T's Wi-Fi network includes 17,000 hot spots in Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, and thousands of other locations.

AT&T, Lenovo and Ericsson Partner on Embedded Broadband in Notebook PCs

AT&T , Lenovo and Ericsson announced an alliance to embedded 3G modems in certain ThinkPad notebook PCs in the U.S. The collaboration significantly lowers the price premium usually associated with built-in mobile broadband technology by up to $150 per PC from previous pricing.

Under the agreement, AT&T's 3G service is available on a full range of Lenovo ThinkPad notebooks, which come factory-equipped with Ericsson built-in mobile broadband modules. All three of the ThinkPad SL notebooks and all notebooks in Lenovo's T and X series are included in the offering. http://www.att.com

Verizon Cites FiOS Milestones for Q3

Verizon said customer growth accelerated for its FiOS services in the third quarter 2008 as the company's telecommunications group introduced new features and expanded the fiber network's footprint. Some milestones for the quarter:

  • Launched FiOS TV in four new markets -- New York City, Washington state, Harrisburg, Pa., and western New York. Overall, Verizon made FiOS TV service available for sale to a record 1.2 million additional premises in the quarter, bringing the total to 8.2 million.

  • Added 233,000 net new FiOS TV customers, compared with 176,000 in the second quarter 2008. The company has 1.6 million FiOS TV customers, compared with more than 700,000 FiOS TV customers at the end of third-quarter 2007.

  • Increased FiOS TV sales penetration (sales as a percentage of potential customers) to 19.7 percent, compared with 15.2 percent in last year's third quarter.

  • Continued to launch high-definition channels and now offers more HD than cable in each FiOS TV market, with 100 HD channels already available in several regions.

  • Began adding new features that take advantage of the fiber network's interactive capabilities including streaming of recorded HD video with Verizon's Home Media DVR; new free informational widgets; purchasing via remote control; and a feature that allows customers to pause live programming, change channels, and then return to the paused program and pick up watching right where they left off.

  • Added 225,000 net new FiOS Internet customers, compared with 187,000 in the second quarter 2008. The company has 2.2 million FiOS Internet customers, compared with 1.3 million FiOS Internet customers at the end of third-quarter 2007.

  • Increased FiOS Internet sales penetration to 24.2 percent, compared with 20.0 percent in last year's third quarter. FiOS Internet is available for sale to nearly 9.1 million premises.

  • Offered its broadband customers access to free parental controls and launched a Parental Control Center offering tips and tools for parents on how to protect their children when they're online.

  • Announced that it has completed almost two-thirds of its FiOS build-out in which the company expects to pass 18 million homes and business with fiber through 2010. At the end of the third quarter 2008, Verizon's broadband fiber-to-the-premises network passed 11.9 million premises.

  • Announced that fiber-to-the-home now covers more than one-third of Verizon's wireline households and that nearly 70 percent of these homes passed can buy Verizon's video service.

  • Continued building its all-fiber-optic network using GPON. The nearly 200 switching centers in 12 states where GPON is being deployed today will grow to 400 centers by the end of 2009. More than 40 percent of homes passed by fiber will be served by GPON technology by the end of next year, rising to 50 percent by 2010.

Verizon Wins Defense Contracts Valued at Up to $1.12 billion

Verizon Business announced two contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization (DITCO) valued t up to $1.12 billion. The services will be provided under the federal Networx contracting program.

Under one agreement valued at as much as $752 million, DITCO, the contracting arm of the department's Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), selected Verizon Business in a Networx Fair Opportunity conducted in June 2008 to provide Defense Department agencies with data services. They include network-based Internet Protocol Virtual Private Network services based on multi protocol label switching; Internet protocol services; asynchronous transfer mode; and wireless and point-to-point private line for existing services.

DISA provides real-time information technology (IT) and communications support to the president, vice president, secretary of defense and the military services including the combatant commands. Critical IP VPN data traffic will ride on the Verizon Business vBNS+ (Very High Performance Backbone Network Service) network, which is dedicated primarily to government and educational institutions with high-performance network requirements.

In a separate agreement valued at as much as $368 million, DITCO designated Verizon Business in a Networx Fair Opportunity held in February 2008 as the primary provider for voice services to help more than 700,000 users at military locations worldwide communicate and collaborate effectively. Long-distance, toll-free, calling-card, ISDN (integrated services digital network) and video-teleconferencing are among the services Verizon Business will provide.

As the projects are implemented, DITCO will have the ability to order additional services from Verizon Business that could increase the value of the agreements. The agreements were awarded under the U.S. General Services Administration's Networx Universal contract, which covers 10 years. Networx is among the largest federal telecommunication contracts ever awarded by the General Services Administration (GSA), providing federal agencies with a common vehicle for purchasing a comprehensive set of networking and technical services.

Verizon noted that it has been providing voice and data services to DITCO under the GSA's Federal Telecommunications Service (FTS) 2001 contract, the predecessor to the Networx program.

Department of Justice Requires Divestitures in Verizon's Acquisition of Alltel

The U.S. Department of Justice will require Verizon Communications Corp. to divest assets in 100 areas in 22 states in order to proceed with its $28 billion acquisition of Alltel Corp.

The Department said that the transaction as originally proposed would have substantially lessened competition to the detriment of consumers of mobile wireless telecommunications services in those areas, and likely would result in higher prices, lower quality and reduced network investments.

Verizon and Alltel are significant competitors and each is the other's closest competitor for a significant set of customers in 94 Cellular Marketing Areas (CMAs), as defined by the FCC.

The divestitures cover the entire states of North Dakota and South Dakota; large portions of the states of Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Montana, South Carolina, Utah and Wyoming; and portions of the states of Alabama, Arizona, California, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.

The Department's Antitrust Division, along with the Attorneys General of the states of Alabama, California, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, filed a civil lawsuit today in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to block the proposed acquisition of Alltel by Verizon. At the same time, the Department and state Attorneys General filed a proposed settlement that, if approved by the court, would resolve the competitive concerns in the lawsuit. Additionally, as a part of the settlement, the Department filed to modify two existing consent decrees.

The transaction also is subject to review by the FCC. The Department of Justice said it coordinated with the FCC throughout its deliberations.http://www.usdoj.gov
  • In June 2008, Verizon Wireless agreed to acquire Alltel Corporation for $5.9 billion. Based on Alltel's projected net debt at closing of $22.2 billion, the aggregate value of the transaction is $28.1 billion. Both carrier operate CDMA networks and plan future LTE migration. Together, the companies serve over 80 million wireless subscribers.

    Alltel serves more than 13 million customers in markets in 34 states. This includes 57 primarily rural markets that Verizon Wireless does not serve. Alltel is currently owned by Atlantis Holdings LLC, an affiliate of private investment firm TPG Capital and GS Capital Partners.

    At the time the deal was announced, Verizon Wireless expects to realize synergies with a net present value, after integration costs, of more than $9 billion driven by reduced capital and operating expense savings. Synergies are expected to generate incremental cost savings of $1 billion in the second year after closing.

One Minute Video: What is E-NNI?

One Minute Video presented by Jim Theodoras -- What is E-NNI?

Jargon Buster

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Qwest Reports Mixed Q3 Results, Announces 1,200 Job Cuts

Qwest Communications reported Q3 net revenue of $3.4 billion, a decline of 2 percent year over year but flat with the second quarter of 2008. Q3 net income was $151 million, or $0.09 per diluted share. This compares to net income of $2.1 billion, or $1.08 per diluted share, during the same period in 2007. The year-ago period results included a one-time tax benefit of $2.1 billion and a $353 million charge for legal matters. The current quarter net income includes a charge of $63 million for severance and a lease restructuring benefit of $33 million. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $1.08 billion compared to $1.15 billion in the prior year and $1.14 billion in the second quarter of 2008.

Some notable items from the Q3 2008 report:

  • Qwest expects to reduce its workforce during the fourth quarter by approximately 1,200, or a little more than 3 percent of the total workforce as of the end of the third quarter.

  • Customer demand for data services across all business segments contributed to 10 percent year-over-year growth in total data, Internet and video services revenue. Sequentially, data, Internet and video revenue grew by 4 percent on the strength of Business and Wholesale results.

  • Total voice services revenue of $1.8 billion declined 8 percent year over year and continued to be impacted by increased wireless substitution, cable competition and deteriorating economic trends. At the end of the third quarter, total access lines were 11.9 million -- a decline of 8.9 percent compared to the third quarter of 2007.

  • Mass Markets third quarter revenue was $1.4 billion, a 5 percent decline compared to the prior year and a 2 percent decline compared to the second quarter. Excluding wireless, revenue declined 4 percent year over year and 1 percent sequentially. Voice services revenue declined 9 percent compared to the prior year and 2 percent sequentially due to lower access lines. The launch of wireless customer migration efforts impacted wireless service revenue, which declined 15 percent year over year and 6 percent compared to the second quarter. This rate of decline is expected to accelerate in upcoming quarters. Data, Internet and video revenue improved 12 percent compared to the third quarter of 2007 and 1 percent sequentially.

  • Net broadband subscribers increased by 61,000 in the quarter with nearly 40,000 subscribers purchasing services over Qwest's FTTN network. The company continues to see strong demand for higher speed services with the majority of FTTN customers opting for connection speeds of 7Mbps or higher.

  • Video subscribers increased by 39,000 during the quarter resulting in total video subscribers of 761,000. Wireless subscribers fell by 45,000 due, in part, to migration efforts. At the end of the third quarter, Mass Markets access lines were 8.0 million, a decline of 9.7 percent from the year-ago period.

  • Mass Markets segment income declined by 7 percent sequentially and 5 percent compared to the year-ago period. Segment income margin of 47.2 percent fell from 49.9 percent in the second quarter and was flat compared to the year-ago period. In addition to the effects of on-going access line losses, the third quarter margin also reflects sequential increases in marketing and bad debt expense offset by lower wireless operating costs.

  • Third quarter revenue in Wholesale Markets was $815 million, a decline of 5 percent year over year as a result of local access line erosion and lower long-distance voice revenue. Sequentially, revenue declined by 1 percent as results in data and Internet revenue partially offset voice services revenue declines.

"In the quarter, our financial results were again mixed," said Edward A. Mueller, Qwest's chairman and CEO. "We are pleased with the rebound in broadband sales in the quarter, and our Business Markets reported a strong top-line. We also produced solid free cash flow. However, our margins were impacted by fewer consumer access lines and a less profitable revenue mix. Reflecting our cautious outlook on the near-term direction of the economy, we have taken a number of steps to keep our costs aligned with customer demand and maintain maximum financial strength and flexibility."

MetaSwitch and Data Connection Report Record Revenue

Data Connection Ltd (DCL) announced record revenues of $118.1 million for the fiscal year ending August 31, 2008, an increase of 15.4% year-over-year, making the company profitable for the 27th consecutive year.

The company's MetaSwitch division grew 22% compared to the same period last year, and now accounts for 78% of the total revenue. Growth was driven both by larger Tier 1 carrier deployments and continued expansion of the customer base, to a total of more than 400 service provider and 250 OEM customers.

"Clearly we and our customers are subject to the same macro forces as the rest of the economy," said Ian Ferguson, chairman and founder of Data Connection and MetaSwitch. "However, we are seeing benefits from the current slowdown as our carrier and OEM customers search out suppliers who can deliver clear and immediate positive impact on their bottom line. This is what we do, based on our reliability, exceptional customer support and service, quality engineering and innovation. While the future is less certain than ever, we see this fundamental value proposition continuing to drive strong growth through 2009." http://www.metaswitch.com

GMI 2008 Tests Six NGN Scenarios

GMI 2008 -- the MultiService Forum's (MSF) massive biennial interoperability event spanning three continents -- is currently underway with twenty-two vendor participants and some 225 devices under test. This year's event reflects the growing role of IMS in enabling network service integration. A particular emphasis on emerging IPTV applications has been underlined by the co-operation between the MSF and the Alliance for Telecommunications Solutions (ATIS). This is the first time the MSF has formally partnered with a standards organization.

GMI 2008 involves the testing of six physical scenarios, including 82 basic test cases with nearly 500 test permutations. The test plans extend over 600 pages.

The first two physical scenarios test End-to-End Session Control, with QoS, for a range of access technologies -- baseband, broadband, 3GPP, WIMAX, 3GPP2 & TD-SCDMA -- over a converged core network. The third scenario addresses IPTV, with an emphasis on specifications developed by the ATIS IIF. This is the first time standardized IPTV is being put to the test in a network context to validate automatic configuration of set top boxes, and to deliver true quality of experience.

The continuing growth in feature-rich mobile telephony underlines the significance of the fourth scenario: location based services, including routing and privacy issues. The solution under test is designed to work synergistically with that of other organizations such as NENA, and will make use of standards already in place.

Scenario five, Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), integrates IMS with web-based services. This scenario is designed to test the capability for carriers to access a virtually unlimited range of services for a public that is increasingly demanding the full richness of web services both at home and on the move. The final scenario addresses management issues, in particular the on-line management of IPTV set top boxes and collection of IPTV related statistics without the cost and delay that results from the servicing truck-rolls of today's TV systems.

"What's unique about our work" commented Roger Ward, President of the MSF, "is the way our members have collaborated to define six networked test scenarios of practical interest to major carriers as a focus for validating the MSF Release 4 architectural framework and supporting Implementation Agreements (IAs). With five major carriers and test labs hosting GMI 2008, we have had no trouble in attracting leading vendors from three continents to participate and are sure that we will achieve results that will be of great value both to MSF members and to the industry as a whole.

"In GMI 2008, interoperability testing is conducted first within each lab, and then between labs, for each of the six test scenarios. With so many results to collate, a customized test capture tool had to be developed specifically for this event, giving the MSF a unique capability to capture, automatically aggregate, and analyze globally distributed test results" Ward noted.

ShoreTel's Revenue Rises to $35.9 million

ShoreTel, which supplies Unified Communications (UC) solutions, reported revenue for its first quarter of fiscal year 2009 of $35.9 million, an increase of 12 percent over the first quarter of fiscal year 2008 and a three percent increase over the prior quarter. GAAP net loss was $2.2 million, or $(0.05) per share, compared to GAAP net income of $2.6 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, reported in the first quarter of fiscal year 2008. GAAP net loss in the first quarter of fiscal year 2009 included $2.7 million in stock- based compensation expenses, compared to $1.1 million reported in the first quarter of fiscal year 2008.

GAAP gross margins for the first quarter of fiscal year 2009 were 64 percent, compared with 64 percent during the same quarter last year. GAAP gross margins in the first quarter of fiscal year 2009 included $216,000 in stock-based compensation expenses, compared to $66,000 in the first quarter of fiscal year 2008. Non-GAAP gross margins, which exclude stock-based compensation expenses, were 65 percent in the first quarter of fiscal year 2009, compared with 64 percent during the same quarter last year.

ShoreTel said it signed more than 800 new customers during the quarter, a quarterly record, bringing total customers to more than 8,800.

Comcast Delivers Solid Q3 Results, Revenue hits $8.5 Billion

Comcast 's revenue increased 10% in the third quarter of 2008 to $8.5 billion, while Operating Cash Flow increased 10% to $3.2 billion and Operating Income increased 20% to $1.7 billion. This growth was due to solid operating results at Comcast Cable and in the Programming segment, as well as the positive impact of cable acquisitions.

Some highlights for Q3:


  • Basic video subscribers declined 147,000 or 0.6% sequentially during the third quarter.

  • Added 417,000 digital cable subscribers during the third quarter - 69% or 16.8 million video subscribers have digital service.

  • 7.3 million or 44% of digital cable subscribers have advanced services such as digital video recorders (DVR) and/or high-definition television service (HDTV).

  • Video revenue increased 4% to $4.7 billion in the third quarter of 2008 from $4.5 billion in 2007. The revenue increase reflects price increases for video services and growth in digital video customers, offset in part by an increasing number of customers in bundles and promotional offers, as well as a decline in basic video customers.

  • Basic video subscribers decreased by 147,000 to 24.4 million during the third quarter, including an estimated loss of 15,000 subscribers due to the hurricanes, compared to a 56,000 subscriber decline in the third quarter of 2007. Year to date through September 30, 2008, basic subscribers decreased 342,000, reflecting a more challenging competitive and economic environment.

  • Comcast added 417,000 digital cable customers in Q3 2008, compared to 503,000 in the same period one year ago. Year to date through September 30, 2008, Comcast added 1.2 million digital cable customers. PPV revenue increased 9% in the third quarter and for the first nine months of 2008.

High-Speed Internet

  • Added 382,000 high-speed Internet subscribers during the third quarter - penetration reached 30% of homes passed or 14.7 million customers.

  • High-speed Internet revenue increased 9% to $1.8 billion in the third quarter of 2008 from $1.7 billion in 2007 reflecting an 11% increase in subscribers and a 2% decline in average monthly revenue per subscriber to $41.74 as a result of additional bundling and the recent introduction of new offers and speed tiers.


  • Added 483,000 Comcast Digital Voice (CDV) customers during the third quarter - penetration reached 13% of homes passed or 6.1 million customers.

  • Phone revenue increased 44% from $479 million to $690 million in the third quarter of 2008, reflecting significant growth in CDV subscribers and a 5% decrease in average revenue per subscriber to $38.98, resulting from an increase in the number of customers receiving service as part of a promotional offer or in a new product package. The increase in CDV revenue was also partially offset by a $49 million or 96% decline in circuit-switched phone revenue as Comcast exits that product offering.

  • Year to date through September 30, 2008, phone revenue increased 52% from $1.3 billion to $1.9 billion, reflecting significant growth in CDV customers, partially offset by a $182 million decline in circuit-switched phone revenue.


  • Advertising revenue decreased 10% to $374 million in the third quarter of 2008 from $417 million in 2007, reflecting one less week in the broadcast advertising calendar as well as continued softness in the advertising marketplace, only partially offset by an increase in political advertising. Year to date through September 30, 2008, ad sales decreased 3% to $1.1 billion.

Motorola Opens Broadband Wireless Lab in Malaysia

Motorola has set up a new MMU-Motorola Wireless Broadband Technology Lab at Multimedia University ("MMU"), Cyberjaya, providing a conducive wireless network environment for students and faculty members to conduct applied research on the latest wireless broadband technologies. The Wireless Broadband Technology Lab is the first of its kind in Malaysia and supports MMU's goal to "Enable the Knowledge Society through WiMAX".

Motorola is providing its MOTOwi4 wireless broadband equipment, including Canopy, MOTOMESHTM Duo, wi4 WiMAX access points and customer premises equipments (CPEs), for the Lab.

Australia's AAPT Selects Alcatel-Lucent to Merge Networks

AAPT, one of Australia's three largest telecommunications companies and part of the Telecom New Zealand Group, has selected Alcatel-Lucent's IP/MPLS Terabit Service Router Platform. AAPT, which merged with PowerTel in 2007, is consolidating its two network platforms increasing capacity and enhancing the overall flexibility of the network. This project is expected to be completed in May 2009. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Alcatel-Lucent will deploy its IP/MPLS Terabit Service Routing portfolio including the 7450 Ethernet Service Switch (ESS), the 7750 Service Router (SR) and the 5620 Service Aware Manager (SAM) platform. The Alcatel-Lucent 7450 ESS will enable AAPT to offer carrier grade Ethernet VPN services while the 7750 SR will enhance IP capacity and service flexibility within the network; the 5620 SAM will streamline network commissioning, service activation, service troubleshooting and OSS integration enabling AAPT to rapidly deploy and flexibly manage advanced enterprise services. http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

Japan's WILLCOM Selects Alcatel-Lucent IP Routers

WILLCOM, which provides mobile communications using PHS (Personal Handyphone System) to some 4.6 million subscribers (as of end of January 2008), has selected Alcatel-Lucent's IP service router portfolio as the foundation for its wireless IP network. The Alcatel-Lucent service routers will enable WILLCOM to support increased traffic growth and new advanced service features required for the commercial launch of their next-generation wireless services, eXtended Global Platform (XGP) in October 2009.

Alcatel-Lucent deployed its 7750 and 7710 Service Routers (SR) into the core and edge of WILLCOM's network following a series of stringent test and evaluations, including a field trial for more than a year with Itochu Techno Solutions Corporation (CTC). The Alcatel-Lucent IP/MPLS service-oriented architecture provides WILLCOM with a resilient, highly differentiated network with the powerful quality of service required for innovative, next-generation wireless IP services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"Preparation for the launch of our XGP has been progressing steadily, with the Alcatel-Lucent's solution performing very well in the core and edge of our IP network. It is meeting the high standards we need to provide our customers the kind of quality services they can expect from us ", said Yoshiki Chika, Director, Executive Vice President, WILLCOM Inc.

XGP (eXtended Global Platform) is a wireless broadband communications based on current PHS (Personal Handy Phone) with additions of advanced technologies such as OFDM and MIMO. WILLCOM has chosen the commercial branding name of XGP as "WILLCOM CORE (Communication Of Revolution & Evolution)" and aims to be the "CORE" of your communications and business by "evolving" to an open broadband based on the "revolutionary" technology of microcell network made up of 160k base stations like PHS. Also, XGP has been standardized at PHS MoU Group and has been recommended as a Broadband Wireless Access system by ITU (XGP: ITU-R M. 1801).

Cox Adds Caller ID-to-the-TV

Cox, which ranks as the third largest cable operator (6.2 million customers) and the eighth largest phone company in the U.S. with more than 3 million residential and business telephone customers, introduced a Caller ID to the TV capability.

TV Caller ID is currently offered in Oklahoma City, Okla., at no additional cost to Cox customers who subscribe to Cox Digital Telephone with Caller ID and Cox Digital Cable. The capability will be expanded to additional markets in 2009.

Bell Canada's Q3 Revenue Rises 1.8%

Bell Canada's Q3 revenue rose 1.8% to $3.8 billion while EBITDA was up 2.4%. Bell's operating income was $451 million, or 34% lower than last year due to restructuring and other charges of $320 million this quarter. These charges include amounts for workforce reduction initiatives, the proposed privatization transaction, and the relocation of employees and the closing of real estate facilities. Adjusted for these charges, Bell's operating income grew by 3.6%.

Some highlights:

  • The Bell Wireless segment had 113,000 postpaid net activations, or 49% more than last year, with postpaid churn improving to 1.1% from 1.4%. Total net activations were 117,000, reflecting a decrease in prepaid net activations to 4,000 from 61,000 the year before. Total Bell Wireless operating revenues increased by 9.3% and Bell Wireless EBITDA grew by 6.0%.

  • Wireline momentum continued with improvements in residential line losses for the fourth consecutive quarter and improving performance in the high-speed Internet business. High-speed Internet net activations were 33,000 this quarter, compared with 29,000 in Q3 2007, bringing Bell's total high-speed Internet customer connections to 2,046,000.

  • Residential local line losses improved by 32,000 to 72,000 this quarter from 104,000 in the same quarter last year. Total NAS declined by 10.0% over the last twelve months. However, total NAS declined by just 5.8% when normalized for the previously announced contract termination with a major wholesale customer and a beginning-of-year adjustment to Bell's residential NAS base following a review of historical records.

  • Bell's operating revenues grew by 1.8% to $3,757 million this quarter as growth in wireless, video, and data revenues more than offset declines in local and access, long distance, and equipment and other revenues. Revenues from Bell's growth services portfolio of wireless, video, high-speed Internet and other services, such as ICT solutions, grew by 8% and now represent 60% of Bell's revenues.

Alcatel-Lucent Names Robert Vrij as Head of the Americas Region

Alcatel-Lucent has appointed Robert Vrij as head of the Americas Region. Vrij will report to Alcatel-Lucent CEO Ben Verwaayen and will be responsible for overseeing all of the company's sales and operations in North America and CALA (Caribbean and Latin America.) He will be a member of the company's management committee and his office will be in Murray Hill, New Jersey, the headquarters for the Americas region.

Most recently, Vrij was president and chief executive officer of Openwave Systems where he reduced total expenses in excess of 30%, improved gross margins, rationalized the portfolio, delivered new technology leading products to market and put the company on a path to profitability. From 2004 to 2007, he was the Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing Solutions with Genband, a provider of IP solutions to service providers. He also held senior sales positions with Nextiraone (now Blackbox) a reseller of converged telephony products for the enterprise market. Vrij also held leadership positions with Lucent Technologies from 1999 to 2002 including responsibility for the company's wireline business in the Europe and Middle East Region. And from 1993 to 1997 he held a number of sales, marketing and management positions with AT&T's global and regional joint ventures including as director of worldwide voice and data services and channel management operations.

AT&T Installs Energy-Saving Software on its Own PCs

AT&T is installing NightWatchman PC power management software from 1E on 310,000 desktop computers across its domestic operations to help improve energy efficiency.

AT&T said that powering down its corporate PCs during non-work hours would save more than 135 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year and eliminate 123,941 tons of carbon dioxide emissions -- equivalent to the electricity required to power 14,892 homes.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ixia and Juniper Establish Energy Consumption Rating (ECR) Initiative

Juniper Networks, Ixia and Lawrence Berkeley National Labs announced the formation of the Energy Consumption Rating (ECR) Initiative -- a framework for measuring the energy efficiency of network and telecom devices. The aim is to measure the energy consumption of networking equipment so as to be able to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the network.

The ECR Initiative has produced a metric that creates a common energy denominator between different network and telecom systems operating within a single product class. The ECR methodology defines the procedures and conditions for measurements and calculations, and can be readily implemented with industry-standard test equipment. Specifically, the final ECR "performance-per-energy unit" rating, expressed in (watts) / (Gigabit per second) can be reported as a peak (scalar) or synthetic (weighted) metric that takes dynamic energy management capabilities into account. The ECR framework and methodology is vendor-neutral and can be easily adapted to upcoming energy-related ICT standards and legislations. With growing interest from national and international standard bodies to lower operational expenses and the environmental footprint of networking, the ECR offers a turnkey solution for reporting, measuring and regulating energy efficiency of network components.

Ixia is offering an "IxGreen" solution that integrates its test platform with energy measurement devices, correlating the energy statistics against application load. The following current, voltage and power data is collected and made available via real-time statistics views and reports.

As part of a ECR Initiative launch day event hosted at Ixia's iSimCity proof-of-concept lab in Santa Clara, California, Juniper Networks presented its T1600 core routing platform for energy-efficiency testing. The T1600 achieved an ECR value of 9.1 Watts/Gbps, making it one of the more efficient core routing platforms, according to the companies.

The ECR Initiative is welcoming additional participants and users from network equipment manufacturers, government agencies, carriers, and enterprises. The ECR specification and additional details are available for free.

Cornell University Deploys BridgeWave for Wireless Network Hardening

Cornell University has deployed several of BridgeWave Communications' 60-GHz gigabit wireless links as part of their network hardening strategy. BridgeWave's AR60 and AR60X products provide uninterrupted campus connectivity even during inclement weather or natural disaster situations. Additionally, the products' built-in Advanced Encryption Standards (AES) feature would protect University research from potential network tapping.

BridgeWave said its AdaptRate (AR) products are being used by Cornell to augment a vulnerable fiber link in the campus network as well as to serve as backup for their other network links. Cornell was particularly interested in the products' built-in AES feature and the exclusive AdaptRate technology. The AR radios momentarily switch transmissions from GigE to 100 Mbps data rates during intense or violent weather patterns or during moments of torrential downpour to maintain a highly available link.

Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft Vow to Defend Human Rights Online

A coalition of companies in the information and communications industries, including Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft , launched a Global Network Initiative whose mission is to protect and advance the human rights of freedom of expression and privacy. The Initiative is being launched in the 60th Anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In addition to the three leading Internet companies, the initiative is backed by the United Nations, leading human rights organizations (NGOs), as well as several distinguished academic institutions.

Founding members of the coalition said today's online resources require significant new commitments from across the industry, including: establishing greater transparency with users; assessing human rights risk; requesting the legal rationale for government actions and policies; training employees; challenging human rights violations; and providing whistle-blowing mechanisms through which violations of the Principles can be reported.

The Global Network Initiative outlined a set of Principles on Freedom of Expression and Privacy. In part, these include:

Freedom of Expression

Freedom of opinion and expression is a human right and guarantor of human dignity. The right to freedom of opinion and expression includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Freedom of opinion and expression supports an informed citizenry and is vital to ensuring public and private sector accountability. Broad public access to information and the freedom to create and communicate ideas are critical to the advancement of knowledge, economic opportunity and human potential.

The right to freedom of expression should not be restricted by governments, except in narrowly defined circumstances based on internationally recognized laws or standards. These restrictions should be consistent with international human rights laws and standards, the rule of law and be necessary and proportionate for the relevant purpose.

Participating companies will respect and protect the freedom of expression of their users by seeking to avoid or minimize the impact of government restrictions on freedom of expression, including restrictions on the information available to users and the opportunities for users to create and communicate ideas and information, regardless of frontiers or media of communication.

Participating companies will respect and protect the freedom of expression rights of their users when confronted with government demands, laws and regulations to suppress freedom of expression, remove content or otherwise limit access to information and ideas in a manner inconsistent with internationally recognized laws and standards.


Privacy is a human right and guarantor of human dignity. Privacy is important to maintaining personal security, protecting identity and promoting freedom of expression in the digital age.

Everyone should be free from illegal or arbitrary interference with the right to privacy and should have the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

The right to privacy should not be restricted by governments, except in narrowly defined circumstances based on internationally recognized laws and standards. These restrictions should be consistent with international human rights laws and standards, the rule of law and be necessary and proportionate for the relevant purpose.

Participating companies will employ protections with respect to personal information in all countries where they operate in order to protect the privacy rights of users.

Participating companies will respect and protect the privacy rights of users when confronted with government demands, laws or regulations that compromise privacy in a manner inconsistent with internationally recognized laws and standards.

More information is online.

Boingo Expands Its Wi-Fi Roaming Network in India

Boingo Wireless announced the addition of Tata Communications hotspots to the Boingo Roaming Network,

giving Boingo members access to over 500 new hotspots under the Tata Indicom brand. With the addition of the Tata Communications network, Boingo members will be able to enjoy high speed Wi-Fi connections in restaurants, cafés, coffee shops and airports while traveling through India.

Starent Posts Q3 Revenue of $66.1 million, Up 80% YoY

Starent Networks, while supplies mobile data aggregation platforms, reported Q3 revenue of $66.1 million, an increase of 80% from the third quarter of 2007. Revenues for the nine months ended September 30, 2008 were $183.5 million, up 93% from the same period a year ago. Net income for the third quarter of 2008 was $19.6 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, compared to net income of $1.6 million for the same period in 2007.

Tellabs Shows its Latest MSPP

Tellabs introduced a compact, fully-featured multiservice provisioning platform (MSPP) that evolved from its 6325 Edge Node. The new Tellabs 6335 Switch Node shares common modules with the Tellabs 6325 node, yet has more slots for better capital and operational expense savings versus stacking multiple nodes.

Key features of the Tellabs 6335 node include:

  • Is a dual-purpose platform that works both as an MSPP as well as a WDM transport solution. Operators can mix MSPP and WDM simultaneously in the same universal shelf and reap the benefits of seamless capacity upgrade from single channel to multichannel networks.

  • Supports 16 wavelengths complemented by a suite of muxponders, transponders and wavelength sensitive filters fulfilling the needs of metro-edge applications.

  • Features a compact, modular design with two sizes, a two-rack and a seven-rack unit, that fit well in metro and core networks and customer locations and reduce power consumption.

  • Supports 2G and 3G mobile transport services for efficient mobile backhaul.

  • Offers higher flexibility and availability required in highly competitive markets.

The new Tellabs 6335 node will be available in the first quarter of 2009.

Verizon Launches Fast-Forward-Disabled VOD with Disney-ABC

Disney-ABC Television Group and Verizon announced deal that will make top ABC's television shows ("Desperate Housewives," "Grey's Anatomy," "Lost," "Samantha Who?" and "Ugly Betty") available via video-on-demand (VOD) to Verizon FiOS TV customers across the country just one day after their broadcast premieres. All the episodes are offered at no charge and in high definition (HD).

As with other ABC VOD offerings, Verizon will disable the fast-forward option on the FiOS TV VOD service for all offered ABC content. ABC first made its fast-forward-disabled VOD offering available last fall during a trial in California. The companies said that viewers of this fast-forwarding-disabled ABC VOD content overwhelmingly (93 percent) found the advertising acceptable in exchange for gaining free access to their favorite shows.

Verizon FiOS TV's VOD library now offers more than 11,000 titles per month, 70 percent of which are free.

Microsoft Demos Web Versions of Office Apps

As part of its preview event for Windows 7, Microsoft also demonstrated new Web applications for Office. This consisted of lightweight versions of Microsoft Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote that could be used from within standard Web browsers. The company showed how anyone can use all of the Web, phone, and PC versions of Office to edit the same rich document, switching among them with lossless file compatibility.

Office Web applications for Microsoft Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote will be available to individuals through Office Live, and to businesses though a hosted subscription and existing volume licensing programs. Microsoft plans to release a private Technical Preview of Office Web applications later this year.

"We are bringing the best of the Web to Windows, and the best of Windows to the Web," said Ray Ozzie, chief software architect at Microsoft. "From PC to the Web to the phone, and from the server to cloud, we are focused on enabling the creation of the next generation of user experiences that change the way we live, work and play."

Level 3 Expands CDN Capacity in Asia

Level 3 Communications has expanded its Content Delivery Network (CDN) capacity in Asia. The upgrade increases content delivery capacity in Asia by a factor of 10 and extends the CDN network into China. With this expansion, the Level 3 CDN footprint in the region includes: Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.

ARRIS Reports Q3 Revenues of $297 Million, Strong DOCSIS 3.0 Shipments

ARRIS reported preliminary and unaudited Q3 revenues of $297.6 million, representing an increase of $16.5 million, or 6%, as compared to second quarter 2008 revenues of $281.1 million. Third quarter and first nine month 2008 revenues increased $42.9 million, or 17%, and $109.5 million, or 15%, respectively, as compared to the same periods in 2007, primarily as a result of the C-COR acquisition in December 2007. Third quarter 2008 gross margin was $106.1 million, or 35.7%, as compared to $92.9 million, or 33.0%, in the second quarter 2008 and $68.8 million, or 27.0%, in the third quarter 2007. Net income (GAAP) was $0.19 per diluted share, as compared to $0.08 per diluted share in the second quarter 2008 and $0.25 per diluted share in the third quarter 2007.

The company also announced that its flagship Cable Modem Termination System (CMTS), the ARRIS C4, continues to ship in record numbers to cable operators around the world. The ARRIS C4 CMTS supports downstream channel bonding capabilities for speeds up to 160 Mbps.

"Our CMTS business in the quarter was remarkably strong with record shipments as customers began their rollouts of new DOCSIS 3.0 wideband platforms," said Bob Stanzione, ARRIS Chairman & CEO. "Partially offsetting our strong CMTS performance were the expected Access, Transport & Supplies results. Although the current economic climate may present some obstacles in the near term, demand for ARRIS products that enable high speed data and video traffic remains strong as both competition and traffic intensifies. In addition, opportunities in Latin America, Asia and Europe, give me optimism that our international sales will be a bright spot in ARRIS' results in the coming year.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Equinix Unveils New Branding, Marks 10th Anniversary

Equinix launched a new corporate brand to mark its 10th anniversary. The company said its new logo, which represents a fortress structure, symbolizes the critical role that it plays in safeguarding its customers' information assets. In addition, with the increasingly global nature of its business, Equinix's Internet Business Exchange (IBX) data centers will be re-branded as "International Business Exchange" data centers, representing Equinix's evolution beyond Internet connectivity to global network connectivity.

The new brand initiative comes one year after the acquisition of leading European colocation services provider IXEurope, which provided Equinix with an extensive presence in the European market.

Verizon Beats Estimates with Growth in Wireless , FiOS, Business Services;

Verizon Communications reported strong results for Q3 2008 supported by Verizon Wireless' continued strong performance, accelerating numbers of new FiOS customers, and continued increased sales of strategic business services. Verizon's total operating revenues grew 4.1 percent to $24.8 billion in the third quarter 2008, from $23.8 billion in the third quarter 2007. This is an increase of 5.4 percent when adjusted for the spinoff of non-strategic local exchange and related Wireline business assets earlier this year (non-GAAP). Total operating expenses increased 5.2 percent to $20.6 billion, or 5.4 percent on an adjusted basis, comparing third-quarter 2008 with third-quarter 2007. The company reported 59 cents in diluted earnings per share (EPS) in the third quarter 2008, compared with 44 cents per share in the third quarter 2007.

Some highlights for the quarter:

Verizon Wireless

  • Wireless retail gross customer additions were strong, up 5.3 percent over the prior year.

  • Organic growth (growth from sources other than acquisitions) was 1.5 million retail net customer additions, essentially all post-paid.

  • Total growth was 2.1 million retail net additions. This included 630,000 retail customers from the Rural Cellular Corp. acquisition, and Verizon expects to have a net loss of approximately 120,000 of these customers under an exchange agreement with another carrier.

  • Verizon Wireless had 70.8 million total customers at the end of the quarter.

  • Churn was 1.33 percent. Among the company's retail post-paid customers, churn was even lower at 1.03 percent.

  • Verizon Wireless continued its double-digit revenue growth, with total revenues of $12.7 billion, up 12.5 percent year over year. Service revenues were $10.9 billion, up 12.2 percent year over year, driven by customer growth and demand for data services.

  • Total service ARPU of $52.18 was up 0.9 percent year over year, reflecting strong growth in total data ARPU, which was up 28.3 percent.


  • Verizon added 233,000 net new FiOS TV customers, compared with 176,000 in the second quarter 2008. The company has 1.6 million FiOS TV customers, compared with more than 700,000 FiOS TV customers at the end of third-quarter 2007.

  • Verizon added 225,000 net new FiOS Internet customers, compared with 187,000 in the second quarter 2008. The company has 2.2 million FiOS Internet customers, compared with 1.3 million FiOS Internet customers at the end of third-quarter 2007.

  • FiOS Internet sales penetration (sales as a percentage of potential customers) increased to 24.2 percent, compared with 20.0 percent in last year's third quarter. FiOS Internet is available for sale to nearly 9.1 million premises.

  • FiOS TV sales penetration increased to 19.7 percent, compared with 15.2 percent in last year's third quarter. Verizon made FiOS TV service available for sale to a record 1.2 million additional premises in the quarter, bringing the total to 8.2 million.

  • Broadband and video revenues from consumer customers totaled $1.1 billion in the third quarter, representing year-over-year growth of 45.3 percent.

  • Consumer ARPU in legacy Verizon wireline markets (which excludes consumer markets served by the former MCI) was $66.67, a 12.8 percent increase compared with last year's third quarter.

  • Verizon's broadband fiber-to-the-premises network passed 11.9 million premises throughout the company's wireline service territory by the end of the quarter.

  • Total broadband connections were 8.5 million, a net increase of 129,000 over the second quarter 2008. This includes a decrease of 96,000 DSL-based Verizon High Speed Internet connections, which was more than offset by the increase in FiOS Internet customers. The 8.5 million is a 9.1 percent year-over-year increase.

  • Broadband and TV products now account for 29.1 percent of consumer ARPU in legacy markets, compared with 27.6 percent in the second quarter 2008. The ARPU among FiOS customers continues to be more than $130 per month.

Verizon Business

  • Verizon Business had total revenues of $5.4 billion, or growth of 1.2 percent compared with last year's third quarter. This was Verizon Business' eighth consecutive quarter of year-over-year pro-forma revenue growth (non-GAAP, calculated as if Verizon and MCI had merged on Jan. 1, 2005).

  • Sales of strategic services -- such as IP (Internet protocol), managed services, Ethernet and optical ring services -- continued to drive growth at Verizon Business. These services generated $1.6 billion in revenue, up 15.4 percent from third-quarter 2007.

  • Verizon Business continued to expand its global network reach and capabilities, announcing during the quarter that the first phase of the Trans-Pacific Express submarine cable system directly connecting Mainland China, the U.S., South Korea and Taiwan is ready for service. The company also began a significant expansion of its operations in India, activating Private IP nodes in five major business centers following receipt of international and national long-distance licenses earlier this year.

  • Additional global network enhancements included installing 27 additional Private IP edge switches globally for a total of 621 edge switches in 158 markets; completing the first phase of the company's U.S. optical mesh network; expanding its mesh network in the Asia-Pacific region to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea; and deploying an additional 1,348 ultra long haul route-miles in the U.S.

Indonesia's Axis Expands GSM Network with Ericsson

Axis, Indonesia's newest GSM/3G operator, has awarded an expansion contract to Ericsson for the next phase of the operator's national network rollout program. The agreement, which includes network operation and technical support, will allow Axis to provide improved services and greater coverage to its subscribers while reducing operating expenses. Under the agreement, Ericsson will be responsible for the deployment of a GSM/EDGE and WCDMA radio access network, including about 2100 sites in Greater Jakarta, Banten and Sumatra. Ericsson will also supply its mobile backhaul solution with optical and microwave products. The contract also includes a three-year managed services agreement to provide technical support and network operation, including field operations and support services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Cox Confirms Plans for Wireless Launch in 2009

Cox Communications, the third largest cable operator in the U.S, with 6.2 million customers, confirmed plans to add wireless offerings to its bundle of entertainment and communications service. Specifically, Cox will use Sprint's nationwide network to quickly enter the market in 2009. At the same time, Cox is concurrently building its own 3G network for additional market launches in 2009. Cox will also test 4G technology utilizing LTE (long term evolution).

In recent years, Cox has spent $500 million to acquire wireless spectrum in various FCC auctions.

"Wireless service will be a key driver to Cox's future growth," said Pat Esser, president of Cox Communications. "As wireless communications enters the new generation, we are uniquely positioned to deliver the entertainment and communications services our customers want, whenever, however and wherever they want them. Our bundled customers will become even ‘stickier' as we offer them the best customer experience. To deliver the best customer experience, we will manage every aspect of the service, from product development to marketing and sales to back-office operations and customer support and billing."
  • Earlier this year, Sprint Nextel and its cable operator partners agreed to unwind the relationship under which Comcast, Cox and Time Warner bundled Sprint's mobile service under the "Pivot" brand.

Atheros Targets 802.11g Upgrades with "Align" 802.11n Silicon

Atheros Communications introduced its new "Align" product line based on the IEEE draft 802.11n 1-stream specification. The new silicon provides a low-cost solution for enabling Wi-Fi devices that deliver performance enhancements over the existing 802.11g technology, at comparable price points. Align solutions are also forward compatible to higher-performance, multi-stream, MIMO-based 802.11n. Target applications include low-cost notebook, netbook, home networking and consumer electronics.

The Atheros Align portfolio is positioned for low-cost Wi-Fi connectivity, while the company's XSPAN family (launched in 2006) offers higher-performance 2-stream, MIMO-enabled 802.11n connectivity at up to 300 Mbps PHY rates per band.

Atheros' Align solutions deliver up to 150 Mbps PHY rates, and leverage the efficiencies of the 802.11n media access control (MAC) technology to achieve actual throughput levels up to five times that of legacy 802.11g. Atheros said the higher throughput of 1-stream products improves network efficiency by occupying the wireless channel for shorter periods than slower 11g devices -- reducing congestion and increasing capacity for additional wireless devices. Align products employ optional features of the 11n specification and Atheros' advanced radio design techniques, to effectively double the wireless coverage versus legacy WLAN solutions.

The Atheros AR9285 single-chip PCI Express (PCIe) solution is designed for sub-$500 notebook and netbook products. The single chip integrates the MAC/baseband and radio transceiver, as well as the power amplifier, low noise amplifiers and antenna switch -- the entire RF front-end -- providing a complete WLAN solution.

The Atheros Align AR9002AP-1S chipset for home networking targets value-priced wireless routing equipment, with increased capacity and range over legacy 802.11g. The chipset consists of the AR9285 1-stream MAC/BB/radio and the new Atheros AR7240 network processor System-on-Chip (SOC) which features advanced power management and a network processor with integrated 5-port Fast Ethernet switch -- based on the company's ETHOS technology. The AR7240 provides 400 MHz of processing power, ample to support 1-stream solutions as well as higher-performance, 2-stream, MIMO radio designs. The Atheros network processor is specifically engineered to optimize wireless performance by looking beyond clock speed and focusing on overall system efficiency. The AR7240 features a MIPS32 24K(R) processor core, 64KB of instruction memory cache up to four times that offered by competitor NPUs, and a high speed 16-bit Double-Data-Rate (DDR) memory interface to dramatically increase raw memory speed.

The Atheros AR9271 single-chip USB solution provides enhanced Wi-Fi performance and value for home gateways, set-top boxes, gaming consoles, printers and a variety of other embedded wireless products. The single chip features a new architecture that integrates both a CPU and memory to run more of the wireless LAN function on-chip.

The AR9002AP-1S chipset for AP/Routers and AR9285 single chip for PCs are sampling now. The AR9271 embedded USB solution will begin sampling in late Q4 2008.