Monday, April 21, 2008

Motorola Launches Netopia VDSL2 Gateways

Motorola launched its Netopia 7000 Series VDSL2 Gateways designed to deliver high-speed data and IPTV services. Deployment scenarios include fiber-to-the-neighborhood (FTTN) applications, the 7000 Series gateways support high-bandwidth VDSL2 over a single copper pair in the "first mile" from the subscriber's home to the fiber node.

The Motorola Netopia 7000 VDSL2 Gateways are available in three different configurations in order to address the worldwide demand for VDSL2 technology. The various configurations are powered by Broadcom with PhyR, Conexant and Ikanos Communications chipsets.

The 7000 Series gateways feature advanced QoS, VPN and IGMP implementations. All 7000 Series gateways offer comprehensive remote manageability, including centralized remote provisioning, troubleshooting, and management via TR-069 compliant ACS systems, including Motorola's NBBS device management platform. Motorola NBBS also enables the ability to manage devices, such as IPTV set-tops, connected to the gateway through support for the DSL Forum TR-069, TR-111 and TR-135 specifications.

The Motorola Netopia 7000 Series Gateways are also equipped with "3-D Reach Extreme Wi-Fi" technology, which provides extended wireless range, performance, and coverage for 802.11 b/g wireless applications. The gateways include "Wi-Fi Protected Setup" pairing technology, which enables typical users, who possess little understanding of traditional Wi-Fi configuration and security settings, to automatically configure new wireless networks, add new devices, and enable security.

BT Invites UK businesses to Become Wi-Fi Hotspots

UK businesses subscribing to BT Business Total Broadband are being urged to turn their BT Business Hub into a BT Openzone wireless hotspot at no cost. This will allow anyone visiting their premises, be it an office, shop, restaurant or depot, to log on to a separate secure internet channel to check e-mail, surf the web, use internet-enabled applications and make VoIP calls.

The service provides Wi-Fi access to other BT Business Total Broadband customers using their inclusive BT Openzone minutes, plus BT Openzone subscribers (including roaming partners) and BT consumer Total Broadband customers who are members of the BT FON Wi-Fi community.

BT said its customer research indicates that more than a quarter (28 percent) of small businesses believe offering visitors access to telephones and desks improves relationships and ultimately, business.

BT Business Total Broadband customers currently receive an inclusive number of BT Openzone wireless minutes, ranging from 50 to 500 a month depending on the option and contract. These can be used at more than 2,500 BT Openzone Premier hotspots at locations such as hotels, airports and railway stations, the 12 UK wireless city centres, including Newcastle, Liverpool and Westminster, the hotspots provided by the BT FON Wi-Fi community, now with more than 70,000 members, and at any of the new BT Business Total Broadband enabled hotspots.

BT Openreach to Launch Ethernet Backhaul Direct

Openreach will begin offering an Ethernet Backhaul Direct service in May. Using Ethernet, Openreach will be able to offer a new, improved pricing structure for backhaul. The company said communications providers should expect to see savings of up to 50 per cent for the majority of Ethernet Backhaul Direct circuits, when compared with existing prices for backhaul services. The use of the 21st Century Network as a delivery mechanism for Ethernet Backhaul Direct will also enable Openreach to offer higher bandwidths.

Openreach said this new product demonstrates its ongoing commitment to further stimulate competition in the UK broadband market.

Andrew Jones, Managing Director, Business Transformation, Openreach said, "Ethernet Backhaul Direct is a highly efficient and competitively priced, backhaul product. This demonstrates our commitment to the market and to our Communications Provider customers, and builds on our investment in LLU. Our aim is to ensure that the UK continues to have one of the most innovative and competitive telecommunications industries in the world, benefiting both businesses and consumers alike."

Cisco Webex Announces Tree Planting Challenge

Cisco announced a challenge as a part of its 'Plant-A-Tree with WebEx' program. From April 21 through May 31, in addition to planting a tree for each free trial, for every 100 free trials taken Cisco WebEx will plant an additional 100 trees. The challenge is part of Cisco WebEx's ongoing efforts to help business reduce their impact on the environment by reducing the need for travel.

Cisco calculates that replacing business trips with web meeting can dramatically reduce carbon dioxide emissions. For example:

  • Using WebEx instead of one person flying from New York to London for a team meeting would save 2,690 pounds of carbon dioxide

  • Using WebEx instead of two people traveling from Chicago to San Francisco for a sales presentation would save 4,696 pounds of carbon dioxide

  • Using WebEx for a training session with 12 participants flying from Dallas to San Francisco would save 22,377 pounds of carbon dioxide.

Portugal's Sonaecom selects Cisco Carrier Ethernet

Portugal's Sonaecom has selected Cisco Carrier Ethernet solutions to provide the aggregation infrastructure to deliver a high quality of experience to its business and residential customers. The new network is also designed to scale significantly to support Sonaecom's future growth plans, which will include new services such as high-speed fixed and mobile broadband, enhanced virtual private networks (VPNs) for enterprises and residential multi-play services that integrate data, voice, video and mobility. Technologies deployed by Sonaecom include the end-to-end Cisco Carrier Ethernet product family: Cisco Catalyst 4500 Series and ME 6524 Ethernet Switches, 7600 Series Routers and ME 3400 Series Ethernet Access switches. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Pirelli's IPTV STBs Use Sigma Media Processors

Pirelli Broadband Solutions is using Sigma Designs' integrated SMP8634 media processor to power their line of IPTV set-top boxes, which are currently being deployed by two major European operators. Pirelli's portfolio of hybrid set-top boxes brings together IPTV and digital terrestrial TV in one multimedia platform, enabling a wide range of content bundles to be secured through a variety of conditional access system standards and digital rights management technologies. Pirelli's set-top boxes are based on Sigma's single-chip technology and support legacy and new encoding standards such as H.264 and VC-1 at both standard and high definition.

Riverbed Supplies WDS for Australian Trade Commission

The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) has selected and deployed Riverbed Technology's WDS solutions, including its Steelhead Mobile client software and Steelhead appliances, for deployment across its 119 international office to accelerate application exchanges, better share information between offices and improve client services. So far, Austrade has installed the Steelhead appliances in approximately half of its offices, including Sydney, Canberra, and all of the Americas (USA, Canada and South America), with the remainder expected to be deployed by June 2008. It has also purchased 250 licenses for the Steelhead Mobile client software for those staff who travel frequently or do not have permanent offices.

IDT Supplies Route Accelerator to Bay Microsystems

IDT (Integrated Device Technology) announced its Route Accelerator (RA) has been selected for use with Bay Microsystems 40Gbps Chesapeake network processor. The RA is based on a unique algorithmic search architecture featuring automated table management and power efficiency optimization which enables the large forwarding tables required for advanced network applications. The RA is being used in conjunction with the IDT Search Accelerator, adopted by Bay in 2006.

Freescale Announces Q1 Sales of $1.41 Billion

Freescale Semiconductor reported Q1 net sales of $1.41 billion, compared to $1.54 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007 and $1.36 billion in the first quarter of 2007. Operating earnings, net earnings and Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) include non-cash purchase accounting expenses related to the company's acquisition by a private equity consortium in December 2006. The company believes that providing operating earnings and EBITDA exclusive of these expenses, and certain other items, is a more meaningful representation of the company's ongoing financial performance. Including these expenses, the operating and net losses for the first quarter of 2008 were $152 million and $245 million, respectively.

"Despite a challenging economic environment, the Freescale team executed well delivering solid margins, EBITDA and cash flow," said Rich Beyer, chairman and CEO.

Some highlights:

  • Microcontroller net sales were $458 million in the first quarter of 2008, compared to $467 million in the fourth quarter of 2007 and $473 million in the first quarter of 2007.

  • RF, Analog and Sensor net sales were $259 million in the first quarter of 2008, compared to $260 million in the fourth quarter of 2007 and $259 million in the first quarter of 2007.

  • Networking and Multimedia net sales were $269 million in the first quarter of 2008, compared to $303 million in the fourth quarter of 2007 and $274 million in the first quarter of 2007.

  • Cellular net sales were $318 million in the first quarter of 2008, compared to $361 million in the fourth quarter of 2007 and $268 million in the first quarter of 2007.

  • Other net sales were $101 million in the first quarter of 2008 compared to $148 million in the fourth quarter of 2007 and $87 million in the first quarter of 2007.

Tellabs Reports First-Quarter 2008 Revenue of $464 Million

Tellabs posted Q1 revenue of $464 million, up 3% from $452 million in the first quarter of 2007. The company earned $17 million or 4 cents per share on a GAAP (U.S. generally accepted accounting principles) basis, compared with $25 million or 6 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.

Tellabs confirmed that it is discontinuing the Tellabs 8865 optical line terminal, but continuing development of the Tellabs 1100 GPON multiservice access series. Tellabs will use freed-up resources to fund growth initiatives.

Broadband -- First-quarter 2008 revenue from the broadband segment totaled $202 million, down 8% from $219 million in the first quarter of 2007. Within the broadband segment:
  • Data revenue was $43 million, up 51% from $29 million in the year-ago quarter.

  • Access revenue was $100 million, down 18% from $121 million in the year-ago quarter.

  • Managed access revenue was $59 million, down 14% from $69 million in the year-ago quarter.

Transport -- First-quarter 2008 transport revenue totaled $206 million, up 8% from $191 million in the year-ago quarter.

Services -- First-quarter 2008 services revenue was $56 million, up 34% from $42 million in the year-ago quarter.
  • Earlier this month, citing economic reasons, Tellabs announced that it will discontinue current GPON activities focused on Verizon. Tellabs said the decision serves the best interests of both companies and their respective stakeholders. It will continue to be a multi-product and services supplier to Verizon. Tellabs also noted that it will continue its current access strategy, including BPON and GPON.

Broadcom offers Enterprise WLAN Chipset Solution

Broadcom expanded its network switching portfolio with an end-to-end solution for enterprise 802.11n Wi-Fi networks. The new solution combines Broadcom's Intensi-fi silicon with its FASTPATH networking software, which extends the business-critical features from the company's popular StrataXGS enterprise switches.

The new product set includes the Broadcom BCM4342 single-chip 802.11n solution and BCM954342EAP enterprise access point reference design. Enterprise features include robust security, QoS, dynamic channel planning, and support for multiple basic service set identifiers (BSSIDs). The design can be used for standalone access points, as well as for "thin" access points that are managed by a wireless switch or controller running Broadcom's FASTPATH Unified Wireless Switching software.

Broadcom said its end-to-end platform provides centralized RF management, seamless mobility and wireless threat detection and prevention across the entire network. FASTPATH UAP eliminates the need for third-party software or in-house development, which can shave months off a manufacturer's development time.

AT&T Post $31 Billion in Q1 Revenue, Strong Wireless Growth

AT&T reported strong Q1 financial results highlighted by improved wireless and enterprise trends and further expansion of wireless and consolidated margins. Revenues totaled $30.7 billion, up 6.1 percent versus reported results in the year-earlier quarter and up 4.6 percent compared with first-quarter 2007 pro forma revenues, which exclude merger-related accounting impacts on directory revenues. Net income totaled $3.5 billion, up 21.5 percent from $2.8 billion in the year-earlier first quarter, and reported earnings per diluted share totaled $0.57, up 26.7 percent from $0.45 in the first quarter of 2007.

Some highlights for Q1 2008:


  • Wireless Revenue Growth. Total wireless revenues increased 18.3 percent versus the year-earlier first quarter to $11.8 billion. Wireless service revenues, which exclude handset and accessory sales, grew 17.1 percent to $10.6 billion. Revenue growth was driven by strong subscriber gains and continued improvement in ARPU (average monthly revenues per subscriber). AT&T has now posted seven consecutive quarters of year-over-year growth in wireless service ARPU, which was $50.18 in the first quarter, up 2.0 percent versus the year-earlier first quarter. Retail postpaid subscriber ARPU growth was even stronger, up approximately 5 percent.

  • Wireless Data Services. Wireless data revenues grew 57.3 percent versus results in the year-earlier first quarter to $2.3 billion, reflecting robust increases in Internet access, e-mail, messaging, data access and media bundles. Data now represents 21.5 percent of AT&T's total wireless service revenues, up from 16.0 percent in the first quarter of 2007 and 10.9 percent in the first quarter of 2006. During the first quarter, AT&T's wireless customers sent more than 620 million multimedia messages and 44 billion text messages, both volumes more than double totals in the year-earlier first quarter.

  • Wireless Subscriber Gains. AT&T's first-quarter net gain in wireless subscribers totaled 1.3 million, up 104,000, or 8.7 percent, versus net adds in the year-earlier first quarter. AT&T ended the quarter with 71.4 million subscribers in service. Total net adds in the first quarter were reduced by approximately 330,000 because of the shutdown of AT&T's TDMA wireless network in late February. Retail postpaid net adds totaled 705,000 in the first quarter, up 3.7 percent versus net adds in the year-earlier first quarter.

  • Gross Adds. AT&T continued its strong record of wireless subscriber flow share with 5.0 million first-quarter gross subscriber additions, up from 4.3 million in the year-earlier first quarter. Total average monthly subscriber churn, which includes postpaid, prepaid and reseller subscribers, was 1.7 percent, flat with the year-earlier first quarter and with the fourth quarter of 2007. Retail postpaid churn was 1.2 percent, down from 1.3 percent in the year-earlier first quarter and flat with the fourth quarter of 2007.

  • Wireless Operating Income Growth. On a reported basis, AT&T's first-quarter wireless operating expenses totaled $8.9 billion, and operating income was $3.0 billion, up 94.1 percent from $1.5 billion in the first quarter of 2007. On an adjusted basis, wireless operating expenses, which exclude merger-related costs, totaled $8.3 billion, and operating income was $3.5 billion, up 38.5 percent from $2.5 billion in the first quarter of 2007.

  • Wireless Margin Expansion. AT&T's reported wireless operating income margin was 25.0 percent, up from 15.2 percent in the year-earlier first quarter, and its adjusted wireless operating income margin was 29.8 percent, up from 25.5 percent in the year-earlier first quarter. AT&T's first-quarter wireless OIBDA service margin was 41.7 percent, the highest ever achieved by the company's wireless segment, up from an unadjusted 37.5 percent and an adjusted 38.9 percent in the year-earlier first quarter. (OIBDA service margin is operating income before depreciation and amortization, divided by total service revenues.)


  • Enterprise Growth. Driven by solid demand and a strong record of contract wins, AT&T delivered further improvement in enterprise revenue growth in the first quarter, led by a 22.9 percent increase in enterprise IP data revenues, including areas such as virtual private networks, managed Internet services and hosting. Total enterprise revenues continued their ramp and were up 1.2 percent versus results for the first quarter of 2007. This compares with year-over-year pro forma declines of 2.0 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007 and 3.9 percent in the first quarter of 2007. Enterprise service revenues, which exclude effects from acquisitions and CPE sales, grew 2.1 percent, following a 1.5 percent increase in the preceding quarter and a decline of 3.0 percent in the first quarter of 2007. AT&T is the premier provider for enterprise customers, delivering networking services and solutions to multinational corporations, U.S. governmental agencies and regionally based domestic companies.

  • Regional Business. AT&T's total regional business revenues increased 2.6 percent in the first quarter to $3.2 billion, with continued growth in both voice and data services. Regional business service revenues, which exclude CPE sales, grew 3.4 percent. Regional business data revenues, which make up 30.5 percent of the category, grew 6.3 percent, led by strong growth in Ethernet services and 15.2 percent growth in IP data services, including gains in broadband, managed Internet and VPN services. Regional business revenues from small and midsize firms increased approximately 5 percent.

  • Broadband. AT&T's broadband revenues grew 13.2 percent in the first quarter to $1.4 billion. Total high speed Internet connections, which include DSL, U-verse enabled AT&T High Speed Internet and satellite broadband services, increased by 491,000, and AT&T ended the quarter with 14.6 million consumer and business high speed Internet connections, up 1.8 million, or 13.9 percent, over the past year.

  • U-verse TV Services. Growth in AT&T U-verse TV service, the company's next-generation IP-based video service, continued its strong ramp during the first quarter, achieving a net subscriber gain of 148,000 to reach 379,000 in service. AT&T expects a further ramp in the quarters ahead and is on track to reach its target of more than 1 million subscribers by the end of 2008. Total video connections, which include AT&T U-verse service and bundled satellite television service, increased by 264,000 in the quarter to reach 2.6 million.

  • Regional Consumer Trends. First-quarter regional consumer results continued trends of recent quarters, with improved growth in broadband and Advanced TV services offsetting traditional voice access line pressures, resulting in stable revenues. Regional consumer revenues totaled $5.5 billion, down 0.4 percent versus results for the year-earlier first quarter. Regional consumer revenue connections (retail voice, high speed Internet and video) totaled 49.3 million at the end of the quarter. This compares with 49.3 million at the end of the first quarter of 2007 and 49.4 million at the end of the fourth quarter of 2007. Gains in broadband and TV connections over the past year totaled 2.6 million, and consumer IP data revenues, which include revenues from broadband and AT&T U-verse services, increased 18.5 percent versus results for the year-earlier quarter.

  • Wireline Expense Trends. On a reported basis, wireline operating expenses totaled $14.8 billion in the first quarter of 2008, versus $15.1 billion for the year-earlier first quarter. On an adjusted basis, wireline operating expenses totaled $14.4 billion, unchanged from the year-earlier first quarter.

Matisse Networks Names VP of Engineering

Matisse Networks named Prabhat Mishra, 52, as Vice President of Engineering. Mr. Mishra was most recently Senior Vice President of Engineering with Nevis Networks. Previous positions have included Vice President of Engineering at Caspian Networks and Vice President of Engineering at Alteon WebSystems, which was acquired by Nortel Networks. Mr. Mishra also held senior management positions at Sun Microsystems where he was responsible for the development of the SPARCstation product line.

Matisse Networks supplies an "EtherBurst" Packet WDM System for carrier and enterprise metro Ethernet optical transport networks.

Broadcom Posts Q1 Revenue of $1.032 billion, up 14% YoY

Broadcom posted Q1 revenue of $1.032 billion, an increase of 0.5% compared with the $1.027 million reported for the fourth quarter of 2007 and an increase of 14.5% compared with the $901.5 million reported for the first quarter of 2007. Net income (GAAP) for the first quarter of 2008 was $74.3 million, or $.14 per share (diluted), compared with GAAP net income of $90.3 million, or $.16 per share (diluted), for the fourth quarter of 2007, and GAAP net income of $61.0 million, or $.10 per share (diluted), for the first quarter of 2007.

"Broadcom's first quarter results came in much stronger than we expected, driven primarily by greater demand within our traditional wireline businesses -- Enterprise Networking and Broadband Communications. This increased demand enabled Broadcom to achieve a record revenue level and strong cash flow from operations and to fund an aggressive share repurchase program," said Scott A. McGregor, Broadcom's President and Chief Executive Officer. "While we remain cautious on the macroeconomic front, based on strong ordering trends from our customers throughout the first quarter, we expect solid revenue growth for the second quarter within each of our three major target markets."

FCC Chairman Testifies on Network Management

There is not an urgent need for any additional regulations for protecting consumer access to Internet content, said FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, speaking before the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Instead, Martin advocates enforcing current regulations and principles.

Regarding network management practices by Comcast or other ISPs, Martin outlined several criteria that the FCC should consider:

  • First, rules should only protect user's access to legal content. The sharing of illegal content, such as child pornography or content that does not have the appropriate copyright, is not protected by FCC principles. Similarly, applications that are intended to harm the network are not protected.

  • Second, the FCC should consider whether the network service provider adequately disclosed its network management practices. A hallmark of whether something is reasonable is whether an operator is willing to disclose fully and exactly what they are doing. Adequate disclosure of the particular traffic management tools and techniques -- not only to consumers but also to the designers of various applications and entrepreneurs -- is critical. Application designers need to understand what will and will not work on a particular network. For example, does an application developer know that the operator may actually insert reset packets during a session masking the network operator's identity? Consumers must be fully informed about the exact nature of the service they are purchasing and any potential limitations associated with that service. For example, has the consumer been informed that certain applications used to watch video will not work properly
    when there is high congestion?

  • Finally, the FCC should consider whether the network management technique arbitrarily blocks or degrades a particular application. Is the network management practice selectively identifying particular applications or content for differential treatment?