Monday, July 28, 2008

ST-NXP Wireless to Begin Operations

NXP -- the independent semiconductor company founded by Philips -- and STMicroelectronics announced the closing of the deal bringing together key wireless operations of both companies into ST-NXP Wireless, a deal they announced on April 10th, 2008. At the closing, STMicroelectronics took an 80% stake in the joint venture and contributed $1.55 billion to NXP, including a control premium. The new organization will start with a cash balance of about $350 million.

The joint venture launches as a solid top-three industry player with a complete wireless product and technology portfolio and as a leading supplier to major handset manufacturers who together ship more than 80% of all handsets.

"The wireless industry is undergoing a major change. Semiconductor companies are coming to play an ever more important role, contributing an ever larger share of the product value chain to handset makers, who expect us to deliver leading-edge solutions across the full spectrum of mobile applications," said Alain Dutheil, Chief Executive Officer of ST-NXP Wireless.

Hitachi and Airvana Enter Development Agreement for CDMA Femtocells

Airvana announced an agreement with Hitachi Communication Technologies to create and deliver customized versions of Airvana Femtocell products for the Japanese market. The solution will inter-work with Hitachi Com core network products.

Airvana's contribution to the solution includes its HubBub CDMA femtocell, which supports both 1x-RTT and EV-DO services; its Universal Access Gateway, a carrier-class femtocell network gateway; and its Femtocell Service Manager, a scalable auto-configuration and remote management system. Hitachi Com brings its carrier-grade Femtocell Convergence Server that allows operators to connect femtocells to an existing mobile switching core, leveraging features and supplementary services that operators have developed over the years to provide service parity between the macro-cellular and femto-cellular networks.

MRV Posts Revenue of $148 Million, up 45% YoY

MRV COMMUNICATIONS reported Q2 revenue of $147.6 million, above previously stated guidance and an increase of 45% over revenue of $102 million in the second quarter of 2007. Strong growth was driven by a 28% increase in the network equipment segment, a 17% increase in the network integration segment and 112% in the optical components segment. Revenue for the six months ended June 30, 2008 was $273.2 million an, increase of 43% from the six months ended June 30, 2007.

MRV said its Network Equipment segment posted the strongest growth in recent history and its best quarter ever with $33.6 million in revenue, compared with $26.4 million in the same quarter of the previous year. For the quarter ended June 30, 2008, MRV Network Integration reported $61.6 million in revenue and Optical Components reported $56.2 million in revenue.

"We are very pleased with our achievement of obtaining significant growth while improving the health of our operational structure," commented Noam Lotan, President and Chief Executive Officer of MRV. "Growth was driven by both our fiber optic group and strong growth for our network equipment division, which traditionally has been our higher margin business segment. We have an innovative product roadmap specifically focused on carrier access and aggregation, packet optical transport and wireless backhaul, which is clearly supporting our mission and contributing to our success."

Vonage Names Former Cingular Exec as CEO

Vonage has appointed Marc Lefar as its new CEO, replacing interim CEO Jeffrey Citron, who had assumed the additional role in April of 2007. Citron will assume the role of non-executive Chairman of the Board and serve as a consultant on long-term strategy. Lefar previously served as Chief Marketing Officer of Cingular Wireless, (now AT&T Mobility). After leaving Cingular, Lefar founded Marketing Insights, a technology and media consultancy. Prior to joining Cingular, Lefar was Executive Vice President, Marketing and Value-Added Services at Cable & Wireless Global.

BT Acquires Ribbit for Telco 2.0 Platform

BT has acquired Ribbit Corporation, a Silicon Valley-based start-up that developed a "voiceware" platform that combines telephony and the Internet, for $105 million in cash.

Ribbit's open platform which enables developers to create new and innovative voice applications and services. For example, using Ribbit, developers have integrated voice into and built voice applications that run directly from Facebook or iGoogle. Ribbit said it has attracted thousands of developers since its launch earlier this year. The company is currently testing a consumer application scheduled for general release later this year.

The foundation of the platform is the Ribbit SmartSwitch, a multi-protocol carrier-grade, CLASS 5 soft switch and an open Flash/Flex-based API .

BT said the acquisition will accelerate its strategy to transform itself into a next- generation, platform-based, software-driven services company. Specifically, the acquisition of the Ribbit platform will complement BT's existing capability in the software platform space with its award-winning Software Development Kit (SDK) initiative. BT's SDKs enable developers to integrate new applications with BT's services using a single line of code. Ribbit, which will maintain its management team and identity, will extend its global footprint by becoming part of BT.

Michael Boustridge, President, BT Americas said: "The Ribbit platform makes it simpler, cheaper and faster to build communications functionality into applications, enabling developers to introduce new revenue-generating voice services in hours, rather than weeks. By combining the Ribbit platform with BT's existing web services, we have the potential to deliver some of the world's finest applications for communications innovation benefiting consumers and businesses alike."

  • Ribbit Corporation was founded in February 2006 and funded by venture capital firms Alsop Louie Partners, Allegis Capital, KPG Ventures and Peninsula Ventures.

Alcatel-Lucent Posts Q2 Revenue of EUR 4.101 billion, up 6.1% sequentially

Alcatel-Lucent reported Q2 revenue of EUR 4.101 billion, up 6.1% sequentially but down 5.2% year-over-year. At constant Euro/USD exchange rate, revenues grew 1.7% year-over-year and 8.5% sequentially. The adjusted2 gross profit was EUR 1,433 million or 34.9% of revenues, compared to an adjusted2 gross profit of EUR 1,447 million or 33.4% of revenues in the year ago-quarter.

During the second quarter of 2008, the CDMA activity declined at a higher pace than the company had planned. This was due, to a large extent, to a strong reduction in the capital expenditure of a key customer in North America.

Some highlights from the period:


  • For Q2, revenues for the Carrier operating segment were EUR 2,811 billion compared to EUR 3,104 million in the year-ago quarter, a 9.4% decrease at current exchange rate and a 3% decrease at constant rate.

  • Fixed access revenue decreased at a double-digit rate, due to the ongoing decline in new subscribers to copper-based broadband access.

  • Alcatel-Lucent shipped 7.7 million xDSL ports in the quarter, down 20% from the demanding basis of the year-ago quarter but up 16% sequentially. The year-over-year decline in xDSL revenue was only partially compensated by the very strong growth in FTTx revenue.

  • In data networking, growth in edge routing was softer this quarter than in the first one, which is essentially attributable to a demanding year-over-year comparison as well as the timing of deliveries at certain large customers. The ATM switching business continued on its structural decline path in the second quarter 2008, albeit at a more moderate rate than in the first quarter.

  • Optical networking enjoyed strong double-digit growth this quarter, essentially driven by submarine activities and wireless transmission while terrestrial optical networks grew at a mid single-digit rate.

  • In mobile networks, the GSM business grew at a double-digit rate in the second quarter, which was driven by network expansions in China, India, the Middle East and Africa. W-CDMA revenue grew very strongly, benefiting from the ramp-up in revenues at several key clients, including AT&T Mobility, Bouygues and SFR and sustained growth at other accounts such as Orange, SKT and KTF. CDMA revenue declined sharply year-over-year, hurt by the significant reduction in the capital expenditure of a key customer in North-America.

  • Core switching activities contracted at a moderate rate in the second quarter, as the ongoing decline in legacy TDM voice was almost entirely offset by the strong, double-digit growth in Fixed and mobile NGN. It must be noted that our NGN activity is now close in size to our TDM activity.

  • Applications activities grew in excess of twenty percent the second quarter, a sharp contrast to the moderate growth rate achieved in the first quarter, due to a pick-up in revenues from Messaging applications and a stabilization in our legacy IN (Intelligent Networks) business.

Enterprise Operating Segment

  • Q2 revenues for the Enterprise operating segment were Euro 386 million compared to Euro 376 million in the year-ago quarter, an increase of 2.7%at current exchange rate and of 7% at constant rate. Adjusted2 operating income1 was Euro 29 million, or 7.4% of revenues compared to Euro 23 million or 6.1% in the year ago quarter.

  • Enterprise Solutions grew in the high single-digit range, with a particularly strong performance in data networking but also good growth in IP Telephony. The division also showed progress in Security solutions, driven by recent successes in firewalls and additional orders for its Laptop Guardian product. From a geographic standpoint, growth remained solid in North America and was strong in APAC.

  • Genesys, the contact centre software activity, enjoyed another quarter of double-digit growth, driven by a strong performance in Europe and good resilience in North America.

Services Operating Segment

  • Q2 revenues for the Services operating segment were Euro 818million compared to Euro 750 million in the year-ago quarter, an increase of 9.1% at current exchange rate and of 16% at constant rate. Adjusted2 operating income1 was Euro 71 million or 8.6% of revenues compared to Euro 29 million or 3.9% of revenues in the year ago quarter.

  • Operations grew very strongly, as a result of some of the very large contracts won in 2007 and in 2008. Alcatel-Lucent announced two large managed services contracts in the second quarter, including Reliance Communications in India and Sunrise in Switzerland.
    Network integration also enjoyed another quarter of very strong growth which was driven by several large and complex projects for the design, integration and optimization of networks in Asia and North America.

  • Growth in professional services -- which includes the integration of software applications either from Alcatel-Lucent or third parties - was more moderate this quarter than in the first one, which is mainly due to a much more demanding comparison basis. For the first half, however, this business grew in the high single-digit range. Finally, Maintenance returned to growth this quarter, due to sustained growth in multivendor maintenance combined with an unusually strong quarter in legacy maintenance.

  • The segment enjoyed a material improvement in profitability year-over-year, due to a very favorable mix, a material increase in the gross margin in Network operations, Network integration and Professional services and an overall better absorption of fixed costs.

NTT Communications Deploys Juniper T1600 Core Routers

NTT Communications (NTT Com) has deployed Juniper Networks' T1600 core routers to scale the capacity of its global IP network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The companies said a key considerations for the T1600 selection included the non-disruptive upgrade path from the T640 to the multi-terabit capacity and energy efficiency advantages of the T1600.

NTT Com began its global IP network service in July 1997 with 45 Mbps bandwidth between Japan and the U.S. In 2000, NTT Com acquired a Tier-1 Internet service provider, Verio, and expanded the bandwidth between Japan and the U.S. to over 1 Gbps. NTT Com has been continuously upgrading its global Tier 1 IP backbone both in bandwidth to support end users' broadband Internet usage, and in direct connections to major ISPs in Asia, the U.S., Europe and the South West Pacific.

Christman, NTT America

1. What is
driving IPv6 in the U.S.?

2. What
IPv6 services are currently offered?

What does a typical IPv4-to-IPv6 migration look like?

Are there significant security concerns with IPv6?

What are the regional differences for IPv6

6. What
consumer applications will benefit from IPv6?

Peering Forum
2008, San Francisco

Juniper Names Vice President, U.S. Enterprise Sales

Juniper Networks Appointed Philip O'Reilly to the position of senior vice president of U.S. enterprise sales. A seasoned leader, Mr. O'Reilly joins Juniper Networks from Solunet, where he served as CEO. Prior to Solunet, O'Reilly was chief financial officer and vice president of business development for Datavon, a VoIP service provider in Texas.

Alcatel-Lucent Chairman Serge Tchuruk and CEO Pat Russo Resign

Alcatel-Lucent announced the resignations of its non-executive Chairman Serge Tchuruk and CEO Pat Russo.

Specifically, Serge Tchuruk has decided to step down on October 1, 2008 and Pat Russo has decided to step down no later than the end of the year. At the Board's request, she will continue to run the company until a new CEO is in place to effect a smooth transition and maintain the continuity of the company's business.

The company's Board will commence a search for a new non-executive Chairman and CEO immediately. The Board is also initiating a process to change the composition of the Board to a smaller group that will include new members. Henry Schacht also announced that he will resign from the Board immediately believing that, being a former CEO, he should not remain beyond the transitional stage of the merger. Mr. Schacht was the CEO of Lucent Technologies prior to Ms. Russo becoming CEO in January 2002.

"The merger phase is now behind us. I am proud that Alcatel-Lucent has become a world leader in a technology which is transforming our society. It is now time that the company acquires a personality of its own, independent from its two predecessors. The Board must also evolve and the Chairman should give the first example, which I have decided to do," said Serge Tchuruk.

"I am very pleased with the progress we are making especially in light of a difficult market environment," said Pat Russo. "Our strategy is taking hold and our results are demonstrating good operational progress. That said, I believe it is the right time for me to step down. The company will benefit from new leadership aligned with a newly composed Board to bring a fresh and independent perspective that will take Alcatel-Lucent to its next level of growth and development in a rapidly changing global market. I have every desire to ensure a smooth transition of leadership within the company and I have informed the Board of my determination to work closely with them until the end of the year or sooner if a successor is named, and we are in agreement on this approach. I have great confidence in Alcatel-Lucent and believe this to be a company with tremendous potential," said Russo.
  • Prior to the merger, Serge Tchuruk was Chairman and CEO of Alcatel, a position he held since 1995. Prior to joining Alcatel, from 1990 to 1995, Serge Tchuruk held the position of Chairman and CEO of Total, which he turned around into one of the world's leading oil and gas companies. From 1986 to 1990, Serge Tchuruk was Chairman and CEO of Orkem (previously called CDF-Chimie), a European chemical company involved in petrochemicals and specialty chemicals.

  • Prior to the merger of Alcatel and Lucent Technologies, Patricia Russo was Chairman and CEO of Lucent. She helped launch Lucent in 1996 and spent more than 20 years of her career managing some of Lucent's and AT&T's largest divisions and most critical corporate functions. She served as Lucent's CEO since January 2002. Before joining AT&T in 1981, Patricia Russo spent eight years in sales and marketing at IBM. Patricia also served as president and chief operating officer at Eastman Kodak Company before returning to Lucent as CEO.