Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Alcatel-Lucent Posts Revenue of EUR 5.23 billion, up 18% year-over-year

Alcatel-Lucent reported Q4 2007 revenue of Euro 5.23 billion, up 20% sequentially and 18% year-over-year. Adjusted operating income was Euro 303 million or 5.8 % of revenues. There was a reported net loss (group share) of Euro (2.58) billion or Euro (1.14) per diluted share, including an impairment charge of Euro (2.52) billion.

For the full year 2007, Alcatel-Lucent recorded revenues of Euro 17.79 billion, down 2.5% at current rate, up 2.1% at constant rate.

Patricia Russo, CEO commented: "As we have said, 2007 was a transition year for the company as we executed our integration plans in a difficult market environment. Notwithstanding these challenges, the performance of our wireline, enterprise and services business has been solid. On the other hand, the slower-than-expected ramp up of revenues in WCDMA and NGN/IMS, two areas in which we have been investing, has severely impacted profitability...

"While the long term prospects of our industry remain good, the macroeconomic environment has created uncertainty in our markets in the last few months. Our initial projections for 2008 indicate that the global Telecommunications equipment and related services market should be flat to slightly up at constant EUR/USD rate and slightly down at current rate."

Some highlights:

  • The Carrier business segment recorded a strong double-digit growth, up 16.2% year-over-year at current exchange rate, driven by wireline and wireless. Wireline revenues wereEuro 1,691million compared to a pro-forma3 Euro 1,470 million a year-ago, an increase of 15%.

    Broadband access revenues were down year-over-year in the fourth quarter, as the decline in DSL lines (-5% to 8.3 million) was not yet fully compensated by the ramp-up in G-PON. For 2007, 33.3 million DSL lines were delivered, up 8%.

    Revenues for the wireless business segment were Euro 1,570million compared to a pro-forma Euro 1,249 million in the year-ago quarter, an increase of 26%, driven primarily by higher sales in GSM and WCDMA.

  • The Services business segment also registered a strong 27.0% growth.

  • The Enterprise business segment was up 3.8%.

Qualcomm Announces Multiple HSPA+ Trials in 2008

Qualcomm announced that multiple network operators have committed to trialing HSPA+ technology this year. Carriers expected to trial Qualcomm's HSPA+ technology include Hutchison 3G, Telecom Italia, Telefonica and Telstra.

Qualcomm's HSPA+ is a seamless upgrade from HSPA, delivering up to 28 Mbps mobile broadband and dramatic increases in network capacity without the need for new spectrum. The trials will use Qualcomm's Mobile Data Modem (MDM) MDM8200 chipset. Key features being trialed include 64-QAM HSDPA for 21 Mbps downlink data rates and 2x2 downlink MIMO for 28 Mbps downlink data rates.

Qualcomm to Ship First Multi-mode LTE Chipsets in 2009

Qualcomm has expanded its device chipset roadmap to include Long Term Evolution (LTE). The company announced three multi-mode Mobile Data Modem (MDM) chipsets that will support LTE, as well as other 3GPP and 3GPP2 standards:

  • MDM9200 chipset designed to support UMTS, HSPA+ and LTE

  • MDM9800 chipset designed to support EV-DO Rev. B, UMB and LTE

  • MDM9600 chipset designed to support UMTS, HSPA+, EV-DO Rev. B, UMB and LTE

All three MDM9xxx-series chipsets will offer full backward compatibility. The chipsets will support FDD and TDD duplex modes, different carrier bandwidths and will be capable of supporting peak data rates of up to 50 Mbps on the downlink and 25 Mbps on the uplink.

Qualcomm said these new chipsets will allow UMTS and CDMA2000 operators to upgrade seamlessly to future LTE services while preserving backward compatibility to their existing 3G UMTS and CDMA2000 networks. The LTE solutions are scheduled to sample in the second quarter of 2009.

Consortium of Nine Carriers Back I-Me-We Cable System

A consortium of nine leading global telecom carriers met in Rome to sign a formal Construction and Maintenance Agreement for a new high-capacity fiber-optic submarine cable that will stretch from India to France via the Middle East. The cable system, known as I-ME-WE (India, Middle East, Western Europe) is the fifth in the series of similar cable systems which includes the SEA-ME-WE series.

Parties to the agreement include Bharti Airtel (India), Etisalat (UAE), France Telecom (France), Ogero (Lebanon), PTCL (Pakistan), STC (Saudi Arabia), TE (Egypt), TIS Sparkle (Italy) and VSNL (India).

The I-ME-WE cable system is being designed to provide up to 3.84 Tbps and span almost 14,000 kilometers. The companies hope to have the cable in service by late 2009.

KKR to Invest US$250 million in India's Bharti Infratel

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR), a leading private equity firm, has agreed to invest US$ 250 million in Bharti Infratel.

KKR's investment is in addition to the US$1 billion in Bharti Infratel pledged in December 2007 by leading international investors Temasek Holdings, The Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), Goldman Sachs, Macquarie, AIF Capital and Citigroup & India Equity Partners (IEP).

Bharti Infratel owns over 20,000 sites and holds an approximately 42% stake in Indus Towers, the recently announced joint venture between Bharti, Vodafone and Idea, which has over 70,000 sites. Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers will provide passive infrastructure services to all wireless telecom operators in India on a non-discriminatory basis. Sharing of passive infrastructure results in capex and opex savings and higher capital efficiency for all wireless operators, enabling quicker roll out of services, especially in rural areas, thus benefiting millions of people across India.

Bharti said the investment reinforces the confidence of leading global investors in the Indian telecom sector, which is now the fastest growing telecom market in the world, and the Bharti Group. It is also an endorsement of the Indian Government's visionary policy on sharing of passive infrastructure.http://www.bhartiairtel.in
  • KKR's list of current investments in the networking space includes Aricent, Avago, NXP, YAGEO, NuVox, pages jaunes, 7, and Zhone Technologies, amongst others.

Exalt Announces Wireless Backhaul with Native IP and TDM

Exalt Communications, a start-up based in Campbell, California, announced the launch and general availability of its split-mount Exalt EX-s series of licensed wireless backhaul solutions.

Exalt, which was founded in 2004 by former executives at Western Multiple, developed customized silicon capable of transporting native TDM and native IP over broadband wireless links. The silicon enables software configurable channel bandwidth and modulation, thereby eliminating the need for field replaceable plug-in modules and minimizing downtime. Exalt employs highly efficient modulation at up to 128 QAM to enable the maximum possible transmission capacities over the smallest available spectrum.

The software upgradeable capacity also enables operators to follow a "pay-as-you-grow" model as they expand and modernize their networks. The family of products also offer multiple software configurable interface options, including 4xT1/E1 up to 16xT1/E1, DS3, E3, 10/100BaseT, and 1000BaseT with Ethernet networking features including advanced QoS and VLAN support.

With the addition of the new EX-s series of radios, Exalt's portfolio now covers the most popular licensed and licensed-exempt bands ranging from 2GHz to 40Ghz in three configurations: all-indoor, all-outdoor, and split-mount.

Exalt EX-s indoor units (IDU) are capacity, bandwidth, and frequency independent, and auto-configure to the correct frequency, transmission requirements, and capacity as controlled by band-specific outdoor units (ODU) in all popular FCC part 101, LMDS, and ITU/ETSI licensed bands from 6 GHZ to 40 GHz as well as license-exempt bands from 2.4GHz to 5.8GHz.

Among its applications, Exalt supplies a 4.9 GHz wireless backhaul solution for public safety and video surveillance.

Nokia Siemens Networks Supplies WCDMA/HSPA to Russia's MegaFon

Nokia Siemens Networks announced a contract valued at EUR 320 million with MegaFon, a Russian mobile operator in GSM 900/1800 band. The contract includes the supply of WCDMA/HSPA technology and related 3G Core network upgrades to various regions of Russia.
This is a three-year frame agreement until the end of 2010.

Clearwire Selects Beceem's WiMAX Chipset

Beceem Communications announced the selection of its latest chipset for mobile WiMAX devices as one of the chipsets that
Clearwire is working with for its mobile WiMAX trial in Portland, Oregon. Beceem's chipset solution is powering a family of PC peripheral WiMAX devices to provide a true mobile broadband Internet experience on laptop computers.

The trial in Portland is one of the largest mobile WiMAX network trials in the country, encompassing approximately 145 square miles and more than 40 base stations.

XO Expands Wholesale VoIP Services with Acme Packet

XO Communications has expanded its installed base of Acme Packet Net-Net session border controllers (SBCs) to support its wholesale service provider VoIP customers. Launched in 2005, XO's wholesale VoIP services enable service providers to originate and terminate customer voice calls throughout the United States with a single connection to the XO IP network.

Acme Packet's Net-Net SBCs are used by XO Communications to facilitate interoperability between peering networks and to provide protection of XO's VoIP infrastructure. Acme Packet's Net-SAFE security architecture provides denial of service attack protection, topology hiding and access control to protect XO's network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

ip.access and Mavenir Partner on Femtocells Services Beyond FMC

ip.access, which supplies picocell and femtocell infrastructure solutions, is working with Mavenir Systems, a start-up specializing in service delivery network technology, to deliver new "femtozone" services for mobile phones.

The companies point to the possibility of femtocell services beyond improving mobile voice and data quality in homes . Femtocells hold the promise of enabling brand new services on mobile phones . Typical examples would include parents being able to receive SMS alerts when family members enter or depart the home, presence information updating automatically on social networking sites, and subscribers having a virtual home number which rings all mobiles, traditional phones or PC clients currently in the femtozone at home.

The partnership between the companies involves the integration of Mavenir's Femto Zone solutions, based on the Intelligent Convergence Engine (Mavenir ICE) technology, with ip.access' Oyster 3G femtocell system. Both companies' technologies are currently in trials with operators globally.http://www.ipaccess.com

Verizon Chooses Corning ClearCurve Fiber for FiOS MDUs

Verizon Communications has purchased Corning's ClearCurve rugged drop cable solution for the roll out its FiOS services in multiple-dwelling units (MDUs). Verizon qualified the ClearCurve technology as an optimal solution for MDU applications following a successful series of field trials. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Corning's ClearCurve product helps overcome the installation challenges by providing a bend-resistant fiber optimized for the strenuous deployment conditions in apartment buildings and condominium complexes.

Corning said ClearCurve fiber is hundreds of times more bendable than standard single-mode fiber. The fiber uses Corning's "nanoStructures" technology, enabling the fiber to be bent around very tight corners with virtually no signal loss while maintaining backward compatibility. This enables the fiber to be handled in any way that copper communication cables are handled, such as pulling through wall studs and stapling to wood.

Acme Packet Reports Q4 Revenue of $31.4 million, up 32% y/y

Acme Packet reported Q42007 revenue of $31.4 million, an increase of 32% compared to $23.7 million in the same period last year. Earnings before taxes for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2007 grew to a record $8.7 million, an increase of 29% compared to $6.7 million in the same period last year.

Total revenues for fiscal year 2007 were $113.1 million, an increase of 34% compared to $84.1 million last year. Earnings before taxes grew to $30.9 million, an increase of 22% compared to $25.4 million last year.

"Our strong fourth quarter results further demonstrates our position as the leader in the session border controller market," said Andy Ory, President and Chief Executive Officer of Acme Packet, Inc. "By adding over 120 new customers in 2007 our solutions have now been deployed at nearly 500 customers including 82 of the 100 largest service providers in the world. In 2008, we look to leverage our incumbency in the service provider market and expand our presence in the adjacent enterprise, contact center, and wireless markets to drive market share gains and growth in both revenue and earnings."

2008 Outlook: Acme Packet expects total revenues for fiscal year 2008 to range between $142 million and $147 million. In fiscal year 2008, the Company expects GAAP net income to range between $0.28 and $0.32 per share on a diluted basis and non-GAAP1 net income to range between $0.38 and $0.42 per share on a diluted basis.

Tekelec Posts Q4 Orders of $186 Million

Tekelec reported Q4 2007 orders of $186.2 million, up 34% compared to $138.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2006 and up 71% compared to $109.2 million for the third quarter of 2007. The book-to-bill ratio was 1.62 for the fourth quarter of 2007. Revenue from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of 2007 was $115.2 million, down 8% compared to $125.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2006. Backlog as of December 31, 2007 was $417.0 million compared to $346.1 million as of September 30, 2007 and $389.6 million as of December 31, 2006. On a GAAP basis, the Company reported income from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of 2007 of $10.1 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, compared to income from continuing operations of $9.4 million, or $0.13 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2006.

Motorola Announces Femtocell Family

Motorola introduced its family of femtocell solutions, including its first 3G femtocell customer premises equipment (CPE) devices. These include:

The 8000 Series -- Motorola Femtocell Access Point: is a stand-alone Femtocell with an Ethernet bridge. This product is suitable for connecting to a standard home broadband modem or an existing Wi-Fi gateway

The 8100 Series -- Motorola Femtocell Ethernet Gateway: is an integrated Femtocell access point, with a 4-port Ethernet gateway, VoIP port, USB connections, and an integrated 802-11 b/g Wi-Fi router. This enables users to connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi from their computers and to the 3G cellular network via their standard 3G phone from the same integrated home gateway.

Motorola's end-to-end femtocell solution includes the Motorola NBBS platform -- Motorola's device management system.

Motorola Shows its Next generation NBBS for WiMAX

Motorola unveiled its next generation NBBS device management system, enabling broadband customer premises equipment (CPE), femtocell and mobile device management for WiMAX, GSM/UMTS and CDMA operators.

Motorola's NBBS is a software platform that enables operators to remotely access, configure, and troubleshoot the full portfolio of consumer devices - including mobile phones, CPE and femtocells. The NBBS is a scaleable, carrier-grade system that manages devices, home networks and services. In addition, NBBS enables an excellent end-user experience, improving the relationship between the carrier and the subscriber.

Motorola said its new edition of the NBBS management platform includes support for the following device management protocols:

  • OMA DM - for WiMAX gateways and handsets as well as 3G handsets
  • SNMP - for cable modems and cable set-top monitoring

  • TR-069 - for DSL gateways, WiMAX gateways, VoIP and IP video

  • Telnet - for legacy CPE, firewalls, network security and devices

Level 3 Posts Communications Revenue of $1.08 Billion

Level 3 Communications reported consolidated revenue of $1.10 billion for the fourth quarter 2007, compared to consolidated revenue of $1.06 billion for the third quarter 2007. For the full year 2007, consolidated revenue increased to $4.27 billion, compared to $3.38 billion in 2006. The net loss for the fourth quarter 2007 was $91 million, or $0.06 per share, compared to a net loss of $174 million, or $0.11 per share, for the previous quarter. The net loss for 2007 was $1.11 billion, or $0.73 per share, compared to a net loss of $744 million, or $0.74 per share in 2006.

Total Communications Revenue for the fourth quarter 2007 was $1.08 billion, versus $1.04 billion for the previous quarter. The company recognized $2 million in termination revenue during the fourth quarter 2007 and $5 million in termination revenue during the third quarter 2007.

"During the quarter, we made a number of organizational, process and systems improvements to better align our sales, service and operational capabilities," said James Crowe, CEO of Level 3. "And while we still have more work to do, these actions have significantly reduced our aged backlog of signed sales orders, improved our customer experience, and paved the way to accelerate future revenue growth. Financial performance for the quarter was solid, with particularly strong growth in Core Communications Services Revenue, Unlevered Cash Flow and Free Cash Flow."

NEC and NETGEAR Team on Femtocells

NEC and NETGEAR are collaborating to develop an Integrated 3G Access Point that will be incorporated within NEC's Femtocell Solution offering. NEC provides complete end-to-end solution offering for operators that includes a 3G Femtocell Access Point, Femtocell Gateway, and Access Point Management and Provisioning System.

NETGEAR's Femtocell Voice Gateway (DVG834GH) will form a part of NEC's growing portfolio of multi-vendor Access Points based on standard interfaces. The NETGEAR DVG834GH supports Iu-over-IP and SIP interface. The Iu-over-IP interface between the Access Point and the Femtocell Gateway is derived from the existing 3GPP GAN (Generic Access Network) standard with minor extensions which are currently under consideration for standardization.

NETGEAR's DVG834GH supports a standard 3GPP compliant air interface, enabling the end user to make or receive calls using their existing 3G handset. The NETGEAR DVG834GH will interoperate with and will be managed and provisioned by the NEC Access Point Management and Provisioning system based on the TR-069 standard specifications.

NETGEAR's DVG834GH includes a residential gateway with integrated ADSL2+ modem, router, 10/100 wired LAN switch, 802.11g wireless access point, Voice over-IP (VoIP), SPI double firewall, and a 3G mobile access point based on WCDMA technology. The NETGEAR DVG834GH will enable mobile operators to extend and improve 3G coverage and capacity in a home and/or small office environment, as well as provide seamless access to advanced home networking services via the existing 3G handsets.http://www.netgear.com

Nokia Siemens Networks and NETGEAR Collaborate on Femtocells

Nokia Siemens Networks is working to certify NETGEAR's Femtocell Voice Gateway (DVG834GH) for interoperability with the Nokia Siemens Networks' Femto Gateway. The combined solution will enable mobile operators to deliver high quality cellular phone coverage throughout the home and small office by using the broadband connection.

Launched in July 2007, the Femto Home Access Solution from Nokia Siemens Networks introduces open interfaces, boosting the femtocell ecosystem and enabling operators to further enhance their 3G service offering and coverage.

NETGEAR's newly launched Femtocell Voice Gateway includes a residential gateway with integrated ADSL2+ modem, router, 10/100 wired LAN switch, 802.11g wireless access point, VoIP, SPI double firewall, and private mobile network with 3G femtocell technology.http://www.netgear.com

Verizon Announces Common Stock Repurchase Authorization

Verizon Communications' Board of Directors has authorized the corporation to repurchase up to 100 million shares of its common stock. The board also determined that no additional shares may be acquired under a previously approved program to repurchase up to 100 million shares. Under the previous program, which was due to end Feb. 28, 2010, approval remained to purchase approximately 30 million shares.

Approximately 2.9 billion shares of Verizon common stock are outstanding.

Motorola Introduces Wave 2-Ready WiMAX CPE

Motorola unveiled two new 802.16e Wave 2-ready WiMAX devices. -- the desktop CPEi 750 and a PCCw 200 PC card.

Motorola's desktop CPEi 750, a second generation WiMAX 802.16e-compliant wireless broadband modem, provides fixed, wireless broadband connections to support bandwidth intensive, media rich applications. The CPEi 750 features one data and two VoIP/ATA ports and is available in both 2.5GHz and 3.5GHz. With its "plug-and-play" functionality, it acts as a compact communications center for advanced home communication. The CPEi 750 is slated for availability by mid-2008.

Motorola's new PCCw 200 PC card can support both 2.5GHz and 3.5GHz on one card, giving users access to nomadic and mobile connectivity with global roaming capabilities. The PCCw 200 is expected to be available for commercial deployment in the second quarter of this year.

These new Wave 2-ready devices are successors to Motorola's currently available portfolio that includes the data-only CPEi 100 launched at CES 2008, the outdoor CPEo 400, and the PCCw 100 PC card. The portfolio also includes a data and VoIP product - the CPEi 300.

Motorola noted that it currently has 17 contracts for commercial WiMAX systems and more than 60 WiMAX engagements in 40 countries worldwide, including 46 active trials.