Monday, January 21, 2008

AppTrigger Positions its Application Session Controller for IMS Migration

AppTrigger announced new features in its Ignite Application Session Controller that enable service providers to ensure that their existing voice centric IN applications such as pre-paid and voice messaging are able to work within IMS and next generation networks. AppTrigger's platform resides between the application layer and the control plane with the purpose of delivering call/session control, signaling, switching and media capabilities to support multiple applications for both new and legacy networks.

Specifically, Ignite Application Session Controller (ASC) version 8.0. delivers Intelligent Network -- Service Capability Server (IN-SCS) functionality that enables service providers to bridge the gap by ensuring their existing voice centric IN applications such as pre-paid and voice messaging are able to work within the IMS networks. Service providers could achieve CAPEX savings as they no longer need to re-write or re-purchase these IN applications.

Key IMS migration features include:

  • IN-SCS INAP -- Functionality is for evolving large scale legacy IN applications into IMS network architectures. New IN-SCS INAP (Intelligent Network Application Part is a signaling protocol used in the intelligent network architecture) enables interworking of European wireline networks.

  • SIP ISC Support (IMS Service Control) -- Allows services deployed within the IMS environment to interact with the SIP sessions. Provides critical user profile and information updates coupled with features for IMS applications. This includes ensuring the user is allowed to utilize the requested service and is billed for its use and retrieval of user information to be used by the end application.

  • IN Application Brokering -- AppTrigger's Ignite 8.0 supports brokering two existing IN based applications, allowing service provides to maximize the use of existing applications to create new service offerings.

Nanochip Raises $14 Million for Ultra-High-Capacity Data Storage Chips

Nanochip, a start-up based in Fremont, California, raised $14 million in venture financing for its development of advanced microelectro-mechanical systems (MEMS) silicon data storage chips.

Nanochip is developing a new class of ultra-high-capacity storage chips enabling the storage of tens of gigabytes (GB) of data per chip, or the equivalent of many high-definition feature-length videos.

By coupling MEMS with nano-probe array technology that exceeds the expected limits of conventional lithography used in present semiconductor memory, Nanochip said its forthcoming chips will meet the growing demand for cost-effective, removable and rewritable data storage in a range of computing, server and consumer electronics products.

Nanochip's first products are expected to exceed 100 GB per chip set, reaching terabytes (TB) in the future, and at a substantially lower cost compared with flash memory solutions.

In conjunction with Intel Capital and JK&B Capital, both investors in earlier rounds, this round was led by an additional world-class investment company. The financing round will allow Nanochip to complete development of its first prototypes later this year to support design verification testing and limited customer sampling in 2009.

Nanochip has been granted seven U.S. patents for its technology, and has applied for 34 more.

Ciena to Acquire World Wide Packets, AT&T Selects Platform

Ciena agreed to acquire privately-held World Wide Packets, a supplier of Carrier Ethernet-based solutions,
for approximately $200 million in cash and 3.4 million shares of Ciena common stock. In addition, Ciena will assume up to $15 million in outstanding World Wide Packets debt. Based on the closing price of Ciena's stock on Friday January 18, 2008, of $26.52, the aggregate value of the shares to be issued by Ciena is approximately $90 million.

Worldwide Packets had revenues of approximately $30 million last year.

Ciena also announced today it has been awarded a multi-year contract with AT&T to supply the global carrier with WWP platforms. Financial terms of this contract were not disclosed, but Ciena described the contract as a multiyear deal to supply "flexible, highly-scalable Carrier Ethernet service delivery platforms."

World Wide Packets designs products for the access and aggregation tiers of the network. Its portfolio includes:

  • Service Aggregation Switches (SAS), Service Concentration Switches (SCS) and Service Delivery Switches (SDS);

  • A common operating system -- LightningEdge Operating System (LE-OS);

  • A suite of network management tools for integrated service activation -- Ethernet Services Manager (ESM).

World Wide Packets has shipped more than 70,000 units to 100+ customers in 25 countries. Customers include ntl:Telewest, KPN and several top-tier Multiple System Operators (MSOs) in North America. .

"As part of our strategy to leverage Ethernet as the vehicle for network convergence to optimize the cost and efficiency of network resources, the addition of World Wide Packets' technology expands our ability to address the access and aggregation tiers of the network with simplified IP/Ethernet service architectures," said Gary Smith, president and CEO of Ciena.

"Since the inception of the company, it has been the goal of World Wide Packets to define and provide the next-generation of Carrier Ethernet solutions, and today's news is conclusive validation of our approach," said Matthew Frey, president and COO of World Wide Packets.

Following completion of this transaction, World Wide Packets will continue to operate from its Spokane Valley, Wash. and San Jose, Calif. locations.

Morgan Stanley served as financial advisor to Ciena on this transaction. Goldman Sachs served as financial advisor to World Wide Packets.http://www.ciena.com
  • In 2007, World Wide Packets introduced its LightningEdge 3300 (LE-3300) Service Aggregation Switch for Carrier Ethernet services, featuring capabilities such as Hierarchical Quality of Service (H-QoS), a fully programmable distributed switching architecture, and a redundant hardware design with service cards ranging from 10 Gigabit Ethernet to high-density Gigabit Ethernet.

    The LE-3300 is designed for deployment at first and second tier aggregation points where Carrier Ethernet service transport and handoff to the core network is required.

    The LE-3300 uses hierarchical ingress metering and egress shaping with rich classification, enabling it to deliver any mix of service types simultaneously on any port. The switch is also designed to facilitate bridging of multiple protocols and standards such as MPLS, Provider Backbone Transport, Provider Backbone Bridging and Provider Bridging. Worldwide Packets also provides full physical redundancy with separate management, control and data planes.

  • In December 2007, Ciena announced that BT had selected its CN 3000 Ethernet Access Series as one of its preferred Network Termination Equipment (NTE) platforms for its 21st Century Network (21CN). Ciena is supplying the CN 3000 Series through an OEM agreement with ANDA Networks. Financial terms were not disclosed.

    The CN 3000 Series encompasses a range of copper and fiber-based NTE platforms and complementary NTE aggregators fully compliant with Metro Ethernet Forum specifications. It includes both carrier-to-carrier network demarcation devices as well as customer-located Ethernet access devices, designed specifically to allow service providers to extend homogeneous coverage of managed Ethernet services..

    The CN 3000 also features Ethernet Operations, Administration and Maintenance (OAM) functionality that is integrated with Ciena's ON-Center Network and Services Management Suite. These capabilities enable service management, Quality of Service (QoS) guarantees and end-to-end SLA verification, while ensuring operational savings, as Ethernet services can be remotely provisioned and monitored without site visits. Additionally, the flexibility of the CN 3000 Series means that devices can be upgraded remotely using software..

    The agreement extends BT's partnership with Ciena, which already supplies optical Ethernet transport and switching solutions for the 21CN transmission domain, by enabling BT to provide Ethernet access in the last mile to support the roll-out of new 21CN services and applications.

Tellabs Q4 Revenue Rises 3% to $469 Million

Tellabs reported Q4 2007 revenue of $469 million, up 3% from $455 million in the fourth quarter of 2006. For the year 2007, Tellabs revenue totaled $1.9 billion, down 6% from $2.0 billion in 2006. Tellabs earned $6 million or 1 cent per share in the fourth quarter of 2007 on a GAAP basis, down 78% from $29 million or 7 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2006.

Tellabs also announced a plan to reduce operating expenses. Under this plan, together with the restructuring announced in September 2007, Tellabs expects to achieve $100 million in savings by the end of 2008. Reductions include $75 million from annual operating expenses and $25 million from overhead costs of products and services.

Included in the $100 million plan are future workforce reductions of approximately 225 employees, in addition to 125 employees who were affected by the September restructuring. Under this plan, Tellabs will take charges of $12 million to $14 million during 2008, including approximately $8 million in the first quarter of 2008.

"Last year, nearly half of Tellabs revenue came from new products added since 2003," said Krish A. Prabhu, Tellabs president and chief executive officer. "Gross profit margins are trending up, and Tellabs' plan will reduce annual costs and operating expenses by $100 million. Unfortunately, implementation of the plan will impact Tellabs' workforce."

Broadband -- Fourth-quarter 2007 revenue from the broadband segment totaled $274 million, up 10% from $249 million in the fourth quarter of 2006. Full-year 2007 revenue from the broadband segment was $1,018 million, down 6% from $1,080 million in 2006. Within the broadband segment, for the fourth quarter of 2007:

  • Data revenue was $40 million, up 29% from $31 million in the fourth quarter of 2006.

  • Access revenue grew 12% to $154 million from $138 million in the fourth quarter of 2006.

  • Managed access revenue of $80 million was flat with $80 million in the fourth quarter of 2006.

Transport -- Fourth-quarter 2007 revenue from the transport segment totaled $136 million, down 14% from $159 million in the fourth quarter of 2006. Full-year 2007 revenue from the transport segment was $673 million, down 14% from $778 million in 2006.

Services -- Fourth-quarter 2007 services revenue was $59 million, up 26% from $47 million in the fourth quarter of 2006. Full-year 2007 revenue from the services segment was $222 million, up 22% from $183 million in 2006.

SOFTBANK BB Names Ikanos as Exclusive VDSL2 Chipset Provider

SOFTBANK BB has named Ikanos as the exclusive provider of multi-mode VDSL2 central office (CO) and customer premises equipment (CPE) chipsets to power its new, Fiber to the Remote (FTTR) deployment in Japan. Specifically, SOFTBANK has selected Ikanos' Fx 10050-5 CO and Fx 10050S-5 CPE chipsets in both CO and CPE platforms. The new platforms are also backward compatible with deployed VDSL chipsets, thus facilitating a smoother infrastructure upgrade.

JDSU Introduces Smallest Widely Tunable Transmitter Optical Subassembly

JDSU introduced a widely tunable transmitter optical subassembly (TOSA) for the DWDM transceiver market. The new TOSA brings full band tunability, or the ability for service providers to change to any wavelength on demand, to pluggable small form factor (XFP) transceivers that previously only supported one to two wavelengths. The pluggable small form factor can also be used in products that support 50GHz channel spacing.

JDSU said its new TOSA represents a dramatic reduction in size and cost compared to previous discrete solutions for tunable transmitters.

The TOSA houses JDSU's Integrated Laser Mach Zehnder (ILMZ) chip that was announced in September 2007. The ILMZ is a photonic integrated circuit (PIC) that combines a tunable laser and optical modulator on a tiny chip for smaller, higher performance tunable solutions. JDSU produces the ILMZ using a semiconductor style of manufacturing that allows this functionally integrated optical solution to be produced in high volumes more quickly and efficiently, resulting in lower costs.

AT&T U-verse VoIP Service Debuts in Detroit

AT&T introduced its U-verse Voice digital voice service as part of its triple play package. The service is delivered over the AT&T U-verse IP network. Detroit is the first area in the nation where AT&T U-verse Voice is available. AT&T began a controlled launch in late December and has since expanded the service's availability. The service will continue to expand to more local customers and additional markets in 2008.

U-verse TV customers can choose from two U-verse Voice calling plans:

  • U-verse Voice Unlimited, which includes unlimited local and nationwide minutes to any location in the U.S., Canada or U.S. territories for $40 a month.

  • U-verse Voice 1000, which includes 1,000 Call Anywhere minutes to any location in the U.S. or U.S. territories for $30 a month.

AT&T U-verse Voice has advanced features include:

  • An online management portal for call preferences, voicemails, contacts, call history, etc.

  • U-verse Messaging, which combines AT&T wireless and U-verse Voice messages into a single voice mailbox that can be accessed from any phone line or PC. Customers can listen to, manage and forward voice mail from the online portal, much like an e-mail inbox.

  • Call History, which is viewable online or on a customer's AT&T U-verse TV screen, with a list of the 500 most recent call records.

  • Click to Call, which will connect a call to any number in a customer's Call History with one click of a mouse or the U-verse TV remote control.

  • An online Address Book that is accessible from any PC and allows customers to Click to Call and to create and share contact groups or distribution lists for voice messages.

  • Locate Me, a feature that allows incoming calls to ring up to four numbers at the same time.

  • traditional calling features, such as Call Screening, CalL Blocking, Do Not Disturb and privacy settings.

  • where available, U-verse Voice customers will have Enhanced 911 (E911) service.

American Airlines Begins Installing Aircell Broadband

American Airlines completed the first aircraft installation of the Aircell Internet broadband connectivity solution at its Kansas City maintenance base. American, which will be the first U.S. airline to offer customers Aircell's Internet broadband solution, plans to install and test the technology in 2008 on all 15 of its Boeing 767-200 aircraft that primarily fly transcontinental routes.

Aircell's air-to-ground broadband system will provide an Internet connection, VPN access, and e-mail capabilities. VoIP services will not be available.

Aircell's air-to-ground system uses three lightweight antennae installed on the outside of the aircraft. One antenna, the PCS/GPS antenna, is mounted on the top of the aircraft, and the other two antennae are mounted to the bottom of the aircraft. Customers access the broadband signal using their own Wi-Fi enabled devices, which communicate directly with wireless access points that are distributed evenly throughout the aircraft cabin ceiling. The signal will be transmitted through the 3mhz signal from air to ground using 92 cellular towers throughout the continental United States.

SureWest Sells its Wireless Assets to Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless agreed to acquire SureWest Communications' wireless assets in northern California, operating as SureWest Wireless, for $69.0 million. The purchase includes SureWest Wireless' spectrum licenses, and network and operations assets in the greater Sacramento area. The licenses, which cover a population of 3.8 million people and overlap with areas currently served by Verizon Wireless, will expand the company's capacity in that area. Verizon Wireless plans to begin serving SureWest Wireless' more than 50,000 customers when the deal is finalized. The companies expect the transaction to close in the second quarter of 2008 , subject to federal regulatory approvals.

Steve Oldham, SureWest's CEO, said, "Over the past two years, we have made great strides in transforming SureWest into a full-service integrated communications company focused on offering advanced telephone, Internet and television services over a superior IP-based fiber-to-the-home broadband network that provides the most outstanding customer experience possible. The sale of the Wireless assets is another important step in this transformation and will enhance our financial flexibility in supporting the extension of our triple-play offerings to a broader service area."http://www.verizonwireless.com
  • In December 2007, SureWest agreed to acquire Everest Broadband in a transaction that will more than double SureWest's triple-play residential subscriber base.

  • In 2007, SureWest sold its Directory Publishing business to GateHouse Media for $110 million.

Brocade Unveils Massive 8 Gbps Fibre Channel Switch for Next Gen Data Centers

Brocade introduced its DCX Backbone platform featuring up to 896 ports of 8 Gbps Fibre Channel and aimed at next generation data center networks. Brocade said the new DCX provides more than five times the switching bandwidth of existing SAN directors and supports eight times as many virtual servers. Deployment options including the capability to support Fibre Channel, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), Data Center Ethernet (DCE), Gigabit Ethernet, and iSCSI protocols.

The Brocade Adaptive Networking services features included in the Brocade DCX enable the fabric to dynamically allocate shared resources as changes occur in the requirements of virtual servers and networked storage. If congestion occurs (or is predicted), the fabric can automatically adjust bandwidth and other resources according to defined service levels -- helping to ensure that higher-priority workloads dynamically receive the resources they need.

The Brocade DCX is fully interoperable with Brocade and existing McDATA SANs, complementing the Brocade family of data center infrastructure products -- including the Brocade M6140, Brocade Mi10K, and Brocade 48000 directors; Brocade 200E, Brocade 4900, and Brocade 5000 switches; and Brocade SAN extension solutions.

Brocade said its DCX is also designed for advanced fabric applications for data migration, continuous replication, and data encryption.

"Through massive consolidation of SANs, virtual server networks and Data Center Ethernet networks, the Brocade DCX Backbone will enable customers to drive significant costs out of their data center operations while ensuring the performance, scalability, and five-nines availability required for current and future applications," said Ian Whiting, Vice President and General Manager for the Brocade Data Center Infrastructure Division.

Brocade also highlighted four key Adaptive Networking services for the increasingly virtualized data center. All are available on the Brocade DCX Backbone:

  • Adaptive Fabric Quality of Service (QoS): This feature enables a detailed allocation of data center fabric resources to applications based on the relative importance of the application as defined by its QoS assignment. Brocade virtual channel technology allows each QoS priority to follow its assigned application as the application moves between physical and/or virtualized server and network connections, dynamically adjusting resources to avoid congestion.

  • Adaptive Traffic Management services: This provides data flow and congestion management to support application service levels. Advanced queuing algorithms remove congestion potential and dedicate bandwidth to specific applications as needed.

  • Dynamic Fabric Profiling services: This provides end-to-end analysis of individual application data flows and resource usage, supplying in-depth information about the impact on overall fabric performance. These services identify possible points of congestion, and monitor and report on numerous statistics for physical resource utilization.

  • Adaptive Policy Management services: This capability detects under-utilized shared physical resources, reclaiming or reallocating them to optimize application flow according to defined policies-further ensuring that virtualized resources receive the appropriate amount of physical performance.

Adaptive Networking services from Brocade are available as part of the new Brocade Fabric OS(R) 6.0 software release, included with the new Brocade DCX Backbone.

Amdocs Reports Record Quarterly Revenue

Amdocs reported that for the quarter ended December 31, 2007, revenue was $742.3 million, an increase of 7.4% from last year's first quarter. Net income on a non-GAAP basis was $123.3 million, or $0.56 per diluted share (excluding acquisition-related costs, which include amortization of purchased intangible assets, and excluding equity-based compensation expense, net of related tax effects, of $27.6 million).

The company's GAAP net income was $95.7 million, or $0.44 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income of $93.3 million, or $0.42 per diluted share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2007. Free cash flow for the quarter was $59.0 million, comprised of cash flow from operations of $93.1 million less $34.1 million in net capital expenditures and other.

"We are pleased with our results for the first quarter of fiscal 2008 and believe that we are positioned to achieve our goals for this fiscal year," said Dov Baharav, chief executive officer of Amdocs Management Limited. "This was a very good quarter in terms of new sales, highlighted by the significant expansion of our managed services activities at AT&T and our win at Sprint. We are seeing service providers continue to introduce new products and services over next-generation networks, driven by the increase in data and content activities and by industry consolidation. While we recognize that there are some macro economic indicators that cause uncertainty, we continue to see demand for Amdocs products and services and expect that we will continue to expand our business in 2008."

TI Reports Q4 Revenue of $3.56 Billion, Growth of 3% YoY

Texas Instruments reported Q4 2007 revenue of $3.56 billion and EPS of $0.54, representing a revenue increase of 3 percent from the same quarter a year ago. This growth was led by demand for TI's digital signal processors and high-performance analog products, which were up 12 percent each. Gross profit increased 10 percent and operating profit increased 30 percent.

"It was a good quarter and a good year for TI. We delivered more value to shareholders and built momentum with customers. Perhaps most important to our future performance, we sharpened our focus on analog with increases in dedicated research and development, sales support and manufacturing capacity. Evidence of our potential in this area was notable in high-performance analog where we again made substantial market share gains," said Rich Templeton, TI president and chief executive officer. "We move into the first quarter of 2008 expecting year-over-year growth to accelerate in our semiconductor operations."

Siemens Addresses Power Over Ethernet Challenge for 802.11n Deployments

Siemens Communications introduced its new HiPath Wireless 802.11n solution aimed at solving the Power over Ethernet (PoE) challenge for 802.11n deployments.

Whereas 802.11n offers substantial benefits over previous wireless standards, with speeds up to five times faster than traditional WLANs, greater range and improved reliability, enterprises seeking to power 802.11n access points using their PoE infrastructure have discovered that additional power is required for dual-band 3x3 radios (those functioning in both the 2.4 and 5GHz bands) to work at optimum performance levels. Most enterprise WLANs rely on 802.3af switches, but the six radios used by 802.11n access points tend to draw more power than these switches can provide over a single connection. Some existing 802.11n solutions use a reduced number of radios or frequency bands, or force customers to simultaneously upgrade to higher-wattage, proprietary non-standard PoE switching infrastructure, resulting in significantly reduced performance and more complex and costly deployments.

Siemens said its HiPath Wireless is the first solution to provide full dual-band 3x3 MIMO and 802.11n functionality that complies with the 802.3af Power-over Ethernet (PoE) standard. The Siemens 802.11n solution features a Virtual Network Services (VNS) architecture that provides performance optimization by intelligently routing network traffic between the edge of the network and the core, depending on the application and available network capacities, to maximize the bandwidth that can be achieved on the network. The architecture was designed to achieve optimal high-bandwidth performance without requiring upgrades to the existing wired network controllers.

Siemens' 802.11n solution includes two new 802.11n HiPath Wireless Access Points, AP3610 (internal antenna) and AP3620 (external antenna), a new version of HiPath Wireless Convergence Software (V5 R1) that enables controllers to recognize and manage 802.11n access points, and a new version of HiPath Wireless Manager HiGuard that delivers advanced management and WIPS security for 802.11n-enabled networks, another key advancement from Siemens.

Siemens' HiPath Wireless solution will begin shipping in March 2008. The new HiPath Wireless Access Points will sell for $1,300. Upgrades to the HiPath Wireless Convergence Software will start at $349 and HiPath Wireless Manager HiGuard upgrades are available free of charge.http://www.usa.siemens.com

NextPhase Announces Approval for WiMAX License in 3.65 GHz Band

NextPhase Wireless of Anaheim, California, announced that it has received confirmation from the FCC that their application for a nationwide license to provide WiMAX wireless services in the newly released 3.65 GHz band (3650-3700 MHz) had been approved.

"In late 2007, the FCC acknowledged the challenges faced in deploying WiMAX services in the US, and opened up the 3.65 - 3.7 GHz band for Wireless Broadband Services in an attempt to 'encourage multiple entrants and stimulate the expansion of broadband service to rural and under-served areas'. Applications for nationwide licenses were accepted from November 12, 2007, and I'm happy to announce that our application to provide WiMAX wireless services in the newly released GHz band has been approved," said Robert Ford, President and CEO.

Verizon Expands FiOS Fiber Rollout in Portland, Oregon

Verizon announced plans to deploy its FiOS fiber network to an additional 48,000 homes in the Portland, Oregon area. More than 8.5 million homes and businesses in parts of 16 states are now passed by Verizon's all-fiber network, and the company expects the network to pass about 18 million premises by the end of 2010.
  • Verizon had 1.3 million FiOS Internet customers and 717,000 FiOS TV customers at the end of the third quarter of 2007.