Thursday, May 8, 2008

CableLabs Certifies DOCSIS 3.0 Gear: Six Modems, 3 CMTSs

CableLabs awarded certification status for Data over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) 3.0 cable modems to Ambit, Arris, Cisco, Motorola for two modems; and SMC. This represents the first certification of DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems.

CableLabs also awarded "full" qualification status for Cable Modem Termination Systems (CMTS) to Casa Systems for two devices. This is the first qualification of a DOCSIS 3.0 CMTS representing "full" or complete compliance with all requirements of the DOCSIS 3.0 specification for headends. Motorola received bronze qualification for its CMTS. CableLabs noted that the headends were tested under a tiered program that was created as a way to encourage CMTS makers to submit gear for testing earlier than they otherwise might have done.
The three-tiered program for CMTS qualification--bronze, silver and full--progressively scales compliance with some of the more long term DOCSIS 3.0 CMTS requirements.

DOCSIS 3.0 achieves the higher data rates through channel bonding in both the upstream and downstream directions. In addition, DOCSIS 3.0 is backward compatible with all existing DOCSIS products.

Ericsson Readies LTE for Sweden's 2.6GHz Spectrum Winners

Ericsson said it is ready to deliver end-to-end HSPA and LTE technology to the winners of Sweden's recent 2.6GHz spectrum auction. Ericsson's offerings for the 2.6GHz band are based on its multi-standard RBS 3000 and RBS 6000 series. These energy efficient base stations support WCDMA/HSPA/LTE and GSM/EDGE/WCDMA/HSPA/LTE respectively. Ericsson's RBS suite offers the smallest base stations on the market and facilitates low-cost migration and easy network integration. HSPA is already commercially deployed in more than 185 networks in 80 countries, with more than 600 devices launched.

Nokia Siemens Networks Demos 10 Mbps Internet High Speed Packet Access

Nokia Siemens Networks, in conjunction with mobilkom austria, demonstrated an I nternet High Speed Packet Access (I-HSPA) data call with a downlink speed reaching 10.1 Mbps. The I-HSPA functionality is designed for heavy data and rich multimedia usage over the wireless network. I-HSPA by Nokia Siemens Networks introduces a flat network architecture to the 3G networks based on Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) technology by connecting the base station directly to the Internet. The solution also complies with Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, which promises data rates of up to 173 Mbps. In addition to the world's fastest I-HSPA call, Nokia Siemens Networks also demonstrated its LTE solution for the first time in Austria.
  • In February 2008, Nokia Siemens Network launched its Long Term Evolution (LTE) / System Architecture Evolution (SAE) solution for radio and core networks, including a new Flexi Multimode Base Station, Mobility Management Entity (MME) and System Architecture Evolution (SAE) Gateway. Nokia Siemens Networks said its LTE solution would be aimed at both new operators and operators upgrading existing GSM/WCDMA/HSPA networks. The new Flexi Multimode Base Station is a small, modular and energy-efficient design that will make full use of the software defined radio concept. The Flexi Multimode Base Station can be deployed with WCDMA/HSPA starting from 3Q 2008 and software upgraded to LTE from the second half of 2009. The Nokia Siemens Networks Flexi Base Station family currently supports FDD and TDD based technologies.

Cogent Posts Revenue of $52 Million, up 20% YoY

Cogent Communications announced net service revenue of $52.1 million for the three months ended March 31, 2008, an increase of 19.5% over $43.6 million for the three months ended March 31, 2007. On-net revenue was $42.8 million for the quarter, an increase of 29.1% over $33.2 million a year earlier. Off-net revenue was $8.0 million for the three months ended March 31, 2008, a decrease of 5.5% from $8.5 million for the three months ended March 31, 2007. Off-net customers are located in buildings directly connected to Cogent's network using other carriers' facilities and services to provide the last mile portion of the link from the customers' premises to Cogent's network.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), as adjusted, was $14.6 million for the three months ended March 31, 2008, an increase of 45.4%, over $10.1 million for the three months ended March 31, 2007. EBITDA, as adjusted, margin increased from 23.1% for the three months ended March 31, 2007 to 28.1% for the three months ended March 31, 2008. Basic and diluted net loss applicable to common stock was $(0.21) per share for the three months ended March 31, 2008 compared to $(0.19) per share for the three months ended March 31, 2007.

Some operational highlights:

  • Total customer connections were 15,596 as of March 31, 2008 compared to 12,939 as of March 31, 2007, an increase of 20.5%.

  • On-net customer connections were 11,849 as of March 31, 2008 compared to 8,565 as of March 31, 2007, an increase of 38.3%.

  • Off-net customer connections were 3,003 as of March 31, 2008 compared to 3,433 as of March 31, 2007, a decrease of 12.5%.

  • Non-core customer connections were 744 as of March 31, 2008 compared to 941 as of March 31, 2007, a decrease of 20.9%.

  • The number of on-net buildings increased by 118 from 1,129 as of March 31, 2007 to 1,247 as of March 31, 2008.

European Commission Revisits Roaming Regulations

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the functioning and the effects of the EU Roaming Regulation. Feedback is being sought from industry, consumers and other interested stakeholders to review the functioning and effectiveness of the EU Roaming Regulation, which entered into force on 30 June 2007.

Specific issues under review include:

  • inadvertent roaming (or involuntary roaming) when consumers use their mobile phone close to the border of a neighbouring country and are connected to a foreign network;

  • the effect of the Regulation on smaller operators and on domestic prices;

  • the issue of actual and billed minutes (e.g. whether there has been any detrimental trend away from "per second" to "per minute" billing as a result of the Regulation);

  • whether regulation is necessary for data roaming services and SMS in light of current retail prices and market developments;

  • the duration of the EU Roaming Regulation (until 30 June 2010 or beyond).

Current EU Roaming Regulation requires operators to offer customers a "Eurotariff" for voice calls when roaming in other Member States and introduced ceilings (excl. VAT) of €0.49 per minute for making calls and €0.24 per minute for receiving calls. These will decrease to €0.46 and €0.22 respectively on 30 August 2008 and to €0.43 and €0.19 on 30 August 2009. At the end of September 2007, over 400 million EU citizens could already benefit from a "Eurotariff".

The Roaming Regulation is limited to voice calls and expires on 30 June 2010 unless the European Parliament and the Council decide to extend it beyond this date, on the basis of a proposal from the European Commission. The Commission must carry out a review and report to the European Parliament and the Council in 2008.

SureWest Sells Wireless Business to Verizon Wireless

SureWest Communications

completed the previously announced sale of the operating assets of its Wireless business to Verizon Wireless for an aggregate cash purchase price of $69.0 million. Verizon Wireless acquired the spectrum licenses and operating assets of SureWest Wireless, excluding SureWest's more than 50-owned communication towers.
  • 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.