Wednesday, June 4, 2008

UK Establishes Code of Practice for ISPs

Ofcom, the official regulator for the UK telecom market, published a new Code of Practice to ensure that internet service providers (ISPs) offer greater clarity over customers' broadband line speeds. The need for such a Code of Practice arises over concern that consumers could be misled or misinformed by ISPs advertising headline speeds that are higher than users can receive in practice. Already, 37 ISPs, representing roughly 80 percent of the broadband market in the UK, have agreed to respect the code.

Ofcom's Code of Practice

Steps that fixed-line ISPs are required to take under the voluntary Code include:

  • providing customers at the point of sale with an accurate estimate of the maximum speed that the line can support, whether it is in the shop, over the internet or on the phone;

  • resolving technical issues to improve speed and offering customers the choice to move onto a lower speed package when estimates given are inaccurate;

  • ensuring all sales and promotion staff have a proper understanding of the products they are selling so they can explain to their customers the meaning of the estimates provided at the point of sale; and

  • providing consumers with information on usage limits and alerting customers when they have breached them.

PCCW Deploys 1xEV-DO Rev. A with Huawei

PCCW, Hong Kong's incumbent telecommunication provider, has selected Huawei to help deploy its CDMA2000 1X/1xEV-DO Rev. A Network. T
Specifically, Huawei will provide its fourth generation CDMA Base Transceiver Station (BTS) solution to help PCCW construct a CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev. A network. Huawei's fourth generation BTS features multi-standard convergence, high integration, All-IP, energy conservation & environmental protection. Financial terms were not disclosed.

As of March 2008, Huawei has won 84 EV-DO commercial contracts and has served leading CDMA operators such as China Unicom, Leap in North America, Reliance and TATA in India, and Telkom in Indonesia.

Ericsson Appoints Head of Networks Business Unit

Ericsson has appointed Johan Wibergh as Senior Vice President and head of its Networks business unit effective July 1, 2008, replacing Kurt Jofs, who has decided to step down and will leave the company at the end of the year.

Johan Wibergh is currently head of Ericsson Brazil. Previously, he was Vice President and head of sales for business unit Global Services during 2004-2005. In June, 2005, he was appointed head of Ericsson in the Nordic and Baltic region.

Ciena Posts Revenue of $242 Million, up 25% YoY

Ciena reported second quarter revenue of $242.2 million, representing a 7% sequential increase from fiscal first quarter revenue of $227.4 million, and an increase of 25% over the same period a year ago when Ciena reported revenue of $193.5 million. Ciena's net income (GAAP) for the fiscal second quarter 2008 was $23.8 million, or $0.23 per diluted common share. This compares to fiscal first quarter GAAP net income of $28.8 million, or $0.28 per diluted common share, and a reported GAAP net income of $13.0 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, for the same period a year ago.

"Ciena continues to execute against a business plan and strategy that has driven faster-than-market growth while delivering solid operating margin and net income," said Gary Smith, Ciena's president and CEO. "In a highly competitive market, Ciena differentiates itself with targeted, innovative solutions and our implementation of automated, software-centric networks that power new applications and help our customers realize the economic benefits of a single, converged network infrastructure."

Dell'Oro: WDM Sales Surpass SONET/SDH for the First Time

Sales of WDM systems surpassed that of SONET/SDH multiplexers for the first time ever in the first quarter of this year, according to a newly published report by Dell'Oro Group. Within the $1.4 billion WDM market, the WDM Metro segment outperformed the DWDM Long Haul segment and grew 47 percent over the year-ago quarter. The report also shows that the WDM Metro market was highly fragmented in the first quarter, with seven vendors accounting for over 80 percent of the market, but with none commanding more than 15 percent revenue share. Cisco was the market leader in the first quarter, followed closely by Alcatel-Lucent and Nortel.

"With Internet traffic growing at such high rates, service providers have to build optical networks that can handle enormous traffic volumes today yet can continue to scale in the immediate future," said Shin Umeda, Vice President of Optical Transport research at Dell'Oro Group.

Tiscali Expands its North American Network

Tiscali International Network (TINet), which provides wholesale IP/MPLS services, announced a major expansion of its North American network footprint, targeting new network Points of Presence (PoP) in Toronto, Seattle, Atlanta and Dallas.

The first Canadian PoP to be deployed on the TINet network is at the Switch & Data Facilities at 151 Front Street, in Toronto. Later this month, TINet will establish network presence in Dallas and then in July, Seattle and Atlanta.

Broadcom's Co-Founder Indicted on Federal Drug and Fraud Charges

Henry T. Nicholas III, the co-founder of Broadcom, was indicted on federal narcotics charges that he regularly maintained a supply of ecstasy, cocaine, methamphetamine and other controlled substances for use and distribution. Among other things, the narcotics indictment accuses Nicholas of using ecstasy to spike the drinks of industry executives and employees of Broadcom customers. According to the indictment, over a nine-year period, Nicholas maintained drug-involved premises, specifically homes in Laguna Hills and Newport Coast, a warehouse in Laguna Niguel and a condominium in Las Vegas. The indictment alleges that Nicholas used ecstasy to spike drinks at parties, and supplied prostitutes and escorts he had hired with controlled substances. The four charges in the narcotics indictment carry a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.

Nicholas and William Ruehle, the former chief financial officer of the Irvine-based technology company, also face charges of engaging in a stock-option backdating scheme that forced Broadcom to write-down $2.2 billion in profits. The indictment alleges that the fraudulent backdating of options by Nicholas and Ruehle was done to permit them to reward Broadcom employees, including Ruehle, with favorably priced options while avoiding the reporting of stock-based compensation expenses, which would have reduced Broadcom's earnings, making its stock less attractive to investors.

Verizon Targets 20% Energy Efficiency Gain in Telco Gear Starting in 2009

Verizon has established its own series of Telecommunications Equipment Energy Efficiency Ratings for new telecommunications-related equipment with the aim of cutting its carbon footprint.

The standards will be applied to certain broadband, video, data-center, network and customer-premises equipment purchased after Jan. 1, 2009. The target provided to the manufacturers of such equipment is 20 percent greater efficiency than today's gear.

Equipment to be tested and rated includes optical and video transport systems, switches and routers, DSLAM high-speed internet equipment and optical line termination gear, as well as switching power systems, data center servers and power adapters that operate customer equipment.

Verizon said its new requirements incorporate new applications of existing methodologies as outlined in SPECpower_ssj2008TM and the Energy Star programs combined with some innovative Verizon-led concepts and methods of measurement. The concepts and measurement methods have been submitted for consideration by appropriate standards bodies, such as ATIS' Network Interface, Power and Protection Committee (NIPP).

Verizon's new Energy Efficiency Requirements for Telecommunications Equipment are posted online.

Verizon FiOS TV to Carry 150 HD Channels

Verizon plans to add more than 60 new channels to its FiOS TV lineup,

including high-definition (HD), sports and multicultural content. Included in the new content will be more than 25 high-definition channels, bringing the total number of HD channels to between 52 and 65, depending on the customer's location.

By year's end, Verizon expects to offer up to 150 HD channels, which will include all available major HD programming. Other Verizon HD choices include hundreds of video-on-demand (VOD) titles per month, with 1,000 HD VOD titles by the end of the year.

Verizon Wireless to Acquire Alltel for $28.1 billion

Verizon Wireless agreed to acquire Alltel Corporation for $5.9 billion. Based on Alltel's projected net debt at closing of $22.2 billion, the aggregate value of the transaction is $28.1 billion. Both carrier operate CDMA networks and plan future LTE migration. Together, the companies serve over 80 million wireless subscribers.

Alltel serves more than 13 million customers in markets in 34 states. This includes 57 primarily rural markets that Verizon Wireless does not serve. Alltel is currently owned by Atlantis Holdings LLC, an affiliate of private investment firm TPG Capital and GS Capital Partners.

Verizon Wireless expects to realize synergies with a net present value, after integration costs, of more than $9 billion driven by reduced capital and operating expense savings. Synergies are expected to generate incremental cost savings of $1 billion in the second year after closing.

"This move will create an enhanced platform of network coverage, spectrum and customer care to better serve the growing needs of both Alltel and Verizon Wireless customers for reliable basic and advanced broadband wireless services," said Lowell McAdam, Verizon Wireless president and chief executive officer.