Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Telefónica Reaches 169 million Wireless, 10.2 million Retail Subscribers

Telefónica reported strong 2007 financial results driven by an expanding customer base (+12.5%), revenues (+6.7%), OIBDA (+19.3%), OI (+42.1%) and net profit (+42.9%), all up compared with 2006. Telefónica had a total of 228 million accesses, of which 169 million were wireless telephony accesses and 10.2 million retail broadband accesses.

Telefónica has also improved its shareholder remuneration policy and launched a new share buyback program for 100 million shares up to first half of 2009. This will be complemented by a dividend payment of 1 euro per share charged against 2008 earnings.

Some highlights:

  • Telefónica España has 46.4 million accesses, an increase of 5% on 2006, underpinned by growth in wireless and broadband customers.

  • Telefónica Latinoamérica has 134.1 million accesses, up +16.9% year-on-year thanks to the strong growth in broadband, a robust wireless market, which registered a new record for net adds in the fourth quarter, and an expanding Pay TV customer base, which increases close to 75% compared with 2006.

  • By access type, growth in mobile accesses at the Telefónica Group accelerated to 16.6% year-on-year to 169.2 million.

  • Retail Internet broadband accesses at the Telefónica Group surged 28.9% year-on-year to over 10.2 million at the end of December. Take-up for ADSL, TV and voice bundles remained strong, making a significant contribution to developing the broadband market and forging customer loyalty. In Spain, retail broadband accesses surpassed 4.5 million (up +22.1% year-on-year), in Latin America, 5 million (+33.2%) and in Europe, 670,000 (+48.3%).

  • Pay TV accesses at the end of the quarter exceeded 1.7 million, 64.3% more than in 2006, with operations up and running in Spain, the Czech Republic, Peru, Chile, Colombia and Brazil.

  • CapEx in 2007 totaled 8,027 million euros, an increase of 0.3% year-on-year.

Soapstone Releases Beta Version of its Control Plane Software

Soapstone Networks, which is a business unit of Avici Systems, released the beta version of its Provider Network Controller (PNC)
multi-vendor, multi-technology dynamic control plane. Soapstone said the new product would help automate the entire service lifecycle by providing state of the art provisioning, monitoring and repair, network fault to service correlation, performance, optimization, and planning software to carrier and enterprise customers. Net One Systems, one of Japan's leading networking and systems integration providers is a beta customer for the PNC software.

The beta release includes the PBB-TE module for the PNC which includes the dynamic provisioning, monitoring and repair of services across a multi-vendor Carrier Ethernet network as well as network operations support.

Key capabilities include:

1.) Dynamic Service Provisioning. One of the main features of the PNC control plane is the dynamic provisioning of services across a multi-vendor network. In addition to simple, best-effort shortest path routing, the PNC performs path computations involving a variety of constraints and
equipment limitations.

2.) Service Monitoring and Repair. After a network event (link/node/fiber failure) the network equipment responds in less than 50msec to provide service protection. Since the PNC has a database containing the network topology it has the ability to determine which service(s) was
affected by the outage and creates both a primary and secondary path to restore the service and ensure that it always remains protected.

3.) Bridge-and-Roll. Provides network operations support by making it possible for customers to introduce new hardware or services seamlessly into a network or perform routine maintenance in an automated fashion. This capability enables customers to request the removal of nodes from
active service without disruption to services. When a node is taken out of service by the customer, the PNC notices all of the affected services and for each service that is impacted, the PNC re-computes paths for services that were locked due to lack of a network resource. As with
any path selection, the Committed Information Rate (CIR) of each service is used in the path
selection and no oversubscription occurs.

France's Cegelec Selects Juniper for Remote Access

Cegelec, a French technology services company, has selected Juniper Networks' secure routing and remote access solutions to improve the quality and accessibility of network resources for corporate users at hundreds of sites throughout Europe. The Juniper SSG security appliances link approximately 12 international branch sites, in addition to more than 150 small office-home office sites in France and other countries. The Juniper Networks NetScreen-Security Manager solution was also deployed to provide centralized management of the SSG network, enabling remote modification of routing or security rules automatically from a single source.

The Juniper Networks Secure Services Gateway (SSG) firewall/VPN appliances integrate firewall, IPSec VPN and optional unified threat management features such as antivirus, anti-phishing, anti spam, and web filtering, with high-performance routing capabilities in a single platform.

Avanex Offers Compact EDFA Module for 40 Gbps Transponders

Avanex unveiled a compact power transient-suppressed EDFA featuring improved 40 Gbps receiver sensitivity. The amplifier has a gain of 27dB and output power up to 15dB in a compact package designed for integration into 40 Gbps line cards. Advanced power control suppresses input transients of +/-6dB to less than +/-1dB, extending the automatic gain control capabilities of the existing PureGain 1600 platform upon which it's built.

Avanex Releases 10G XFP Transceivers for 40km and 80km

Avanex released new 10G XFP transceivers suitable for 40km and 80km transmission applications in access and metropolitan networks. The new PowerPort 2080, for TDM applications, and the PowerPort 2180 for DWDM applications, are 10 Gbps EML-based transceivers that combine leading-edge optics and RF electronics to create a high performance and lower power-dissipation reach capability up to 80km.

Hitachi and Opnext Introduce 4 x 25 Gbps Laser for 100 Gbps Interface

Hitachi and Opnext announced the first wide temperature range operation of 1310-nm 25 Gbps EA-DFB lasers for 100 Gbps Ethernet 10km single-mode fiber (SMF) application. The companies noted that a 10km SMF (single mode fiber) 100 Gbps Ethernet specification is already being discussed in the IEEE 802.3ba taskforce.

To achieve the 100 Gbps rate, Hitachi and Opnext are using four channels of 1310-nm 25 Gbps via WDM. The companies have demonstrated EA-DFB lasers operating at 25 Gbps with wavelengths of 1290-, 1310-, 1330- and 1350-nm. The 25 Gbps operation was achieved using high speed device technology which has been already confirmed in 1550-nm 40 Gbps EA-DFB lasers currently used commercially in 40 Gbps transceivers. A wide temperature range operation from 0ºC to 85ºC was also reported. This was achieved using advanced aluminum-based material system in the EA (electro-absorption) modulator section. This semiconductor material system has a temperature tolerant band-gap structure which decreases the temperature dependent performance of the modulator.

HomePlug and Panasonic Submit Powerline Proposal to IEEE

The HomePlug Powerline Alliance and Panasonic are hoping that the IEEE will advance their jointly-submitted proposal for the creation of an international standard for In-Home and Access powerline communication technologies. Following a vote in mid-October, the IEEE P1901 work group rejected all other proposals, leaving the HomePlug/Panasonic proposal as the only remaining proposal under consideration. The next IEEE meeting will be taking place March 5-6, 2008, in Fukuoka, Japan.

The HomePlug Alliance and Panasonic said they fully support the IEEE process and believe that the completion of an industry-wide standard will be a significant step forward for the powerline industry. The final solution recommended to the IEEE P1901 work group by HomePlug and Panasonic will be a more complete solution than was originally anticipated, and takes into account the requests of all interested parties and offers the efficiency of a single MAC with the flexibility to support both the HomePlug AV and HD-PLC PHYs.

Sonus Posts Preliminary Q4 Sales of $97 Million

Sonus Networks reported preliminary Q4 revenue of $97.1 million, compared with $76.6 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2007 and $79.0 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006. Revenues for the year ended December 31, 2007 are expected to be $320.3 million, compared with $279.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2006.

Sonus is not providing detailed GAAP or non-GAAP financial results for the quarter or full year at this time, as the audit of the company's financial statements for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2007 has not yet been completed.

UTStarcom Sees Growth in Q4 2007

UTStarcom reported Q4 2007 net sales of $806 million as compared to $704 million in the fourth quarter of 2006. Gross margins for the fourth quarter 2007 were 12.7% as compared to 11.1% in the fourth quarter of 2006. Net loss for the fourth quarter of 2007 was $24.6 million, or a loss of ($0.20) per share, as compared to a loss of $42 million, or ($0.35) per share in the fourth quarter of 2006.

et sales for the full year 2007 were $2.5 billion as compared to $2.5 billion in 2006. Gross margins for the full year 2007 were 13.0% as compared with 15.7% in 2006. Net loss for the year was $195.6 million, or a loss of ($1.62) per share, as compared to a loss of $117.3 million, or ($0.97) per share in 2006.

"Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2007, we launched a number of initiatives, including a restructure of the Company to focus on our core growth technologies, including IPTV, and IP-based softswitch and broadband devices. Through 2008, we shall be very focused on continued operational improvements and the execution of our new strategy," stated Peter Blackmore, chief operating officer of UTStarcom.

Level 3 and IBM Announce Patent Cross-License

Level 3 Communications and IBM announced a long-term patent cross-license agreement.

Under the deal, IBM granted Level 3 licenses to IBM's approximately 42,000 pending and issued patents which cover a broad range of telecommunications services and technologies. In turn, Level 3 granted IBM licenses to those of Level 3's more than 850 pending and issued patents which cover a broad range of information handling systems. The licenses will last as long as the lives of the respective patents. Other terms of the cross-license agreement were not disclosed.http://www.level3.com

Sprint Takes $29 Billion Impairment Charge as Subscribers and Profitability Decline

Sprint will take a goodwill impairment charge of $29.7 billion to write-down the value of its Nextel acquisition. The company reported declines in subscribers and profitability in Q4 2007 and announced steps it is taking to stabilize its financial situation, including canceling any dividends for the foreseeable future.

The company reported Q4 2007 net revenue of $9.8 billion, compared to $10.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2006. Full-year 2007 revenues were $40.1 billion versus $41.0 billion in 2006. Including the impairment charge, the net loss for the quarter was $29.5 billion or $10.36 diluted loss per share compared to net income of $261 million or 9 cents diluted earnings per share in the fourth quarter a year ago. After adjusting for the goodwill impairment charge, as well as the effects of other special items and merger-related amortization costs, adjusted EPS before amortization was 21 cents in Q4 2007, compared to 29 cents in Q4 2006.

Some key points:

  • Q4 wireless revenues were $8.5 billion, a 2% sequential decline and a 6% decline from the fourth quarter of 2006. Data revenues increased 12% sequentially and 26% year-over-year. Full-year revenues were $34.7 billion, a 1% decline compared to full-year 2006, primarily driven by lower equipment revenue.

  • Wireless subscribers declined 108,000 in the fourth quarter, due to gains in wholesale and Boost Unlimited subscribers offset by decreases in iDEN post-paid and traditional Boost pre-paid users.

  • The company had 53.8 million total wireless subscribers at the end of 2007. This compares with 53.1 million subscribers at the end of 2006. The net growth of 700,000 subscribers for the year reflects a gain of 1.9 million subscribers in prepaid and wholesale segments, offset by a net decline of 1.2 million in direct and affiliate post-paid subscribers.

  • .
  • At the end of Q4, Sprint Nextel served a little more than 35 million subscribers on the CDMA platform, 17.3 million on iDEN and 1.4 million PowerSource subscribers who access both platforms.

  • Q4 post-paid churn was 2.3%, matching Q3 2007 and Q4 2006. Wireless post-paid ARPU in the quarter was a little more than $58, a 1% sequential decline and a 4% decrease compared to the fourth quarter of 2006. ARPU continues to be pressured by lower voice contributions, partially offset by growth in data services.

  • Q4 wireline revenues were $1.6 billion, a modest sequential increase and a decline of 1% compared to the fourth quarter of 2006. Internet Protocol (IP) revenues increased 11% sequentially and 42% on an annual basis. Full-year 2007 revenues were $6.5 billion compared to $6.6 billion in 2006.

Deutsche Telekom Posts 2007 results

Deutsche Telekom reported Q4 and full-year financial results for 2007, posting adjusted EBITDA of EUR 19.3 billion, which is about the same as in 2006 and ahead of its guidance of EU 19 billion. Free cash flow before dividends increased to EUR 6.6 billion, also just ahead of the company's prior guidance. The company cited double-digit growth in mobile communications abroad and bright prospects in broadband and IP television, offset by continuing fixed-network line losses, the growing trend towards flat rates, and falling prices for Internet access.

Some notable points from the annual report:

  • T-Mobile Deutschland signed up 962,000 new fixed-term contract customers in 2007, an increase of 20.7 percent compared with 2006. Overall, T-Mobile increased its subscriber base in Germany to almost 36 million at year-end.

  • At EUR 8.0 billion, revenue at T-Mobile Deutschland was down 2.7 percent on 2006 following a 4.7 percent decrease in the previous year. Adjusted EBITDA fell by 11.1 percent year-on-year to EUR 2.9 billion.

  • Excluding Germany, T-Mobile revenue rose to EUR 27.1 billion in the 2007 financial year, an increase of 12.2 percent on 2006.

  • T-Mobile USA remains the principal growth driver outside Germany with revenue up 3.3 percent to EUR 14.1 billion and adjusted EBITDA up
    4.3 percent year-on-year to EUR 3.9 billion. On a dollar basis, revenue climbed by a substantial 12.6 percent and adjusted EBITDA rose by as
    much as 13.7 percent.

  • T-Mobile's international subscriber base expanded by more than 6.5 million net additions to 83.7 million.

  • T-Home revenue declined by 8.0 percent in Germany in the 2007 financial year to EUR 20.1 billion. As a result,

  • In Germany, T-Home maintained its lead in the broadband market with a new customer share of around 44 percent of broadband growth for 2007 as a whole. T-Home won just under 2 million new broadband DSL customers in 2007. As a result, more than 9 million customers
    in Germany now have a broadband line directly from T-Home. In addition, there are 3.5 million resale DSL lines.

  • The VDSL rollout has reached 27 towns and cities, while another 750 are supplied with ADSL2+. This means around half of all German households had access to VDSL orADSL2+ Internet connections in 2007.

  • By the end of 2008, the company aims to have signed up half a million IPTV customers.

  • T-Home's activities outside Germany proved successful in Eastern Europe, where revenue rose by 3.7 percent to EUR 2.4 billion in the
    2007 financial year and adjusted EBITDA also increased by 4.1 percent to EUR 1.1 billion. This improvement was mainly attributable to the growth of the Eastern European broadband market. The number of broadband lines including resale was lifted by around 400,000 to 1.4 million, an increase of 39.5 percent.

  • T-Systems' business outside Germany expanded by 7.1 percent in 2007 to EUR 2.5 billion. In Germany, by contrast, revenue fell by 10.0 percent to EUR 9.5 billion. Overall, therefore, revenue at Deutsche Telekom's Business Customers arm decreased by 6.9 percent to EUR 12.0 billion at the close of 2007. This is primarily due to the decline in internal revenues in the Group, which slipped 15.5 percent to EUR 3.0 billion.

Sprint Launches its $99.99 ''Simply Everything'' Plan

Sprint introduced a domestic unlimited pricing plan that gives customers unlimited voice, data, text, e-mail, Web-surfing, Sprint TV, Sprint Music, GPS Navigation, Direct Connect and Group Connect for $99.99 a month.

"Wireless today is about much more than just voice. It is about data services - texting, email, video, pictures, music, navigation, surfing the Web and more. Customers want these applications, but without complexity and without having to worry about their bill," said Dan Hesse, president and CEO, Sprint Nextel.
  • Earlier this month, AT&T announced a $99.99 per month wireless plan or unlimited U.S. calling on all devices with no domestic roaming or long distance charges. Verizon Wireless introduced a new Nationwide Unlimited Anytime Minute Plan at a flat rate of $99.99 per month. And
    T-Mobile USA announced an unlimited nationwide wireless calling and unlimited nationwide messaging for $99.99 per month that includes unlimited messaging includes text messages (SMS), picture messages (MMS) and instant messages (IM).