Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Motorola Invests in Amobee Media Systems for Mobile Advertising

Motorola Ventures has made an equity investment in Amobee Media Systems, a start-up developing advertising solutions for mobile operators. Financial terms of the investment were not disclosed.

The Amobee Media System can dynamically insert targeted, interactive advertisements into all types of mobile entertainment and communication channels, including videos, music, messaging, games and WAP, using a single, telco-grade ad-serving infrastructure. The companies said the Amobee system offers mobile operators a new revenue stream by delivering one unique entry point to agencies and advertisers who wish to buy, deploy and monitor campaigns across all mobile channels, while providing the most relevant advertising experience to mobile customers.

Amobee Media Systems, which is based in Redwood City, California and has offices in the UK and in Israel, also enjoys strategic investments from Cisco, Telefonica and Vodafone, as well as financial backing from Accel Partners, Globespan and Sequoia Capital.http://www.amobee.comhttp://www.motorola.com

Motorola Wins US$431 Million GSM Contracts with China Mobile

Motorola announced multiple contracts worth US $431m with China Mobile Communications Corporation (CMCC) for its GSM network upgrades and expansion. The contracts were signed in the first half of 2008 and approximately 50% of the revenue from these contracts was recognized in the first half of 2008.

Under these agreements, Motorola will supply CMCC with GSM network equipment and a range of services. The expanded and optimized GSM networks will then be deployed across 16 provinces and municipalities within the coverage area of CMCC, namely Beijing, Tianjin, Sichuan, Zhejiang, Henan, Hunan, Guangdong, Yunnan, Fujian, Hubei, Shanxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Jiangxi, Anhui and Guizhou. These contracts also enable China Mobile to deliver enhanced and value-added multimedia functionality and services.http://www.motorola.comhttp://www.chinamobile.com

Nominum Protects Against DNS Cache Poisoning and Pharming

Nominum announced that its ISP customers, which serve more than 120 million broadband Internet users, are protected against the new DNS vulnerability . Nominum's new software adds additional security measures, including UDP Source Port Randomization, to its existing set of security measures that have been designed to protect global broadband subscribers from DNS cache poisoning and pharming attacks.

"The events of the last five weeks highlight the profound importance of DNS to the proper functioning of the Internet and the critical role Nominum plays in protecting it," said Tom Tovar CEO of Nominum. "Our customers around the world demonstrated an extraordinary commitment and ability to address this problem quickly and efficiently. Their confidence in Nominum, built on a long history of stable and predictable software releases, allowed them to upgrade rapidly, without disrupting their networks or operations."

Nominum supplies its DNS software to major cable operators, DSL broadband carriers and Internet service providers around the world. The company's DNS software is used by nearly half the global wired Internet broadband users.


Cisco Collaborates with HP on Unified Communications.

Cisco and HP are expanding their relationship to include the delivery of Cisco Unified Communications (UC) to customers around the world. The expanded relationship includes investments by both companies for training and building global marketing and sales programs. This expanded relationship builds on the established Cisco and HP strategic relationship serving global customers, such as the Johor State Government, Malaysia; Heritage Valley Health System, United States; Parts for Trucks, Canada; and Electro Sonic, Canada. Buckinghamshire New University, England, recently selected HP to deploy Cisco Unified Communications.

HP has global strategic alliances with both Cisco and Microsoft, and HP has a wide range of expertise in deploying both companies' unified communications solutions.


Tekelec Reports Q2 Revenues of $116.4 Million, up 6% YoY

Tekelec reported Q2 orders of $122.9 million, up 45% compared to $84.7 million for the second quarter of 2007. Revenue from continuing operations for the second quarter of 2008 was $116.4 million, up 6% compared to $110.0 million for the second quarter of 2007. Backlog from continuing operations as of June 30, 2008 was $387.6 million, up from $381.2 million at March 31, 2008. On a GAAP basis, Tekelec reported income from continuing operations for the second quarter of 2008 of $15.3 million, or $0.22 per diluted share, which includes a one-time tax benefit of $3.7 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, from the utilization of certain capital losses generated by the sale of the company's switching business in 2007.

Frank Plastina, president and chief executive officer of Tekelec, stated "We were very pleased by our strong operating performance for the second quarter and first half of the year. Our level of new orders was particularly strong compared to a year ago and reflects our continued success in generating new customer wins and in responding to demand from existing customers for signaling capacity and other Tekelec products. We were also pleased by the continued strength of our operating margins and strong cash flows during the first six months of 2008."http://www.tekelec.com

Sprint Nextel Posts Q2 Revenue of $9.1 Billion, Trims CAPEX

Sprint Nextel reported Q2 revenues of $9.1 billion and a diluted loss per share of 12 cents.

"We are seeing signs of progress from our efforts to improve the customer experience, rebuild the Sprint brand and increase our profitability," said Dan Hesse, Sprint Nextel CEO. "Our company-wide retention efforts, which include Simply Everything plans, our Now Network campaign and the launch of the Instinct handset are proving to be effective retention tools, particularly for high-value customers, and this is beginning to have positive impacts on churn and ARPU. Our sequential improvement in post-paid churn is the best reported by any national wireless carrier since 2004, and it equals Sprint's best-ever churn performance post-merger."

The company is cutting its CAPEX, trimming external labor costs, and streamlining distribution channels to improve its bottom line.

Some highlights for the period:

  • Capital investments of $646 million were made in the second quarter. These investments were 61% lower than a year ago, due primarily to reduced spending in the Wireless segment. The company recorded approximately $100 million in capital expenditures related to the deployment of WiMAX.

  • Net debt at the end of the period was $19.5 billion, consisting of total debt of $23 billion, offset by cash and marketable securities of $3.5 billion. The company used $1.3 billion in cash in the second quarter to retire all of the 6.125% Senior Notes due in November 2008.

  • The company served 51.9 million wireless customers at the end of Q2, compared to 54.0 million at the end of the second quarter of 2007.

  • For the quarter, total wireless customers declined by 901,000, including losses of 776,000 post-paid customers and 250,000 traditional prepaid users, partially offset by gains of 112,000 Boost Unlimited customers and a 13,000 increase in the number of wholesale and affiliate subscribers.

  • At the end of the second quarter, the company served 38.9 million post-paid subscribers, 4.2 million prepaid subscribers and 8.7 million wholesale and affiliate subscribers.

  • Subscribers by network platform include 35.5 million on CDMA, 14.6 million on iDEN and 1.7 million PowerSource users who utilize both networks.

  • Wireless post-paid churn of just under 2.0% improved by over 45 basis points sequentially and was in line with the year-ago period. The improvement reflects a sequential decline in the number of deactivations among both CDMA and iDEN subscribers.

  • The company reported significant sequential improvements to voluntary and involuntary churn, while the year-over-year metrics were unchanged. Involuntary churn benefited from a better credit mix and seasonality. Voluntary churn benefited from the company-wide focus on improving the customer experience, retention initiatives, strong customer response to Simply Everything and better performance in customer care.

  • For the quarter, the churn rate for CDMA subscribers was slightly below the average post-paid churn rate and iDEN was modestly higher.

  • Boost churn in the second quarter was 7.4%, compared to 9.9% in the first quarter of 2008 due to lower churn for traditional Boost pay-as-you-go subscribers, slightly offset by higher churn for Boost Unlimited.

  • Wireless service revenues of $7.0 billion declined 11% year-over-year and 2% sequentially. The year-over-year decline was due to lower ARPU and fewer subscribers, while the sequential decline was due to fewer wireless subscribers. Wholesale, affiliate, and other service revenues were flat sequentially and were down compared to the year-ago period due to the mix of wholesale customers.

  • Wireless post-paid ARPU in the quarter was stable at $56 as compared to the first quarter 2008 due to improved retention of higher revenue subscribers and a more favorable impact from rate plan migrations. Wireless post-paid ARPU declined by 7% compared to the year-ago period reflecting continued pressure on access and overage revenues, partially offset by data revenue growth. CDMA ARPU was slightly higher than the post-paid average, while iDEN ARPU was modestly lower.

  • Data revenues contributed more than $12 to overall post-paid ARPU in the second quarter, led by growth in CDMA data ARPU. CDMA data ARPU increased nearly $1 from the first quarter, to more than $15, and now accounts for approximately 27% of total CDMA ARPU. The increase was driven by strong take rates on bundled data services, such as those included with Simply Everything, as well as continued growth in data cards.

  • Prepaid ARPU in the quarter was approximately $30 compared to $31 in the year-ago period and $29 in the first quarter of 2008. The sequential increase reflects a growing contribution from Boost Unlimited subscribers, while ARPU of traditional prepaid users did not change significantly from first quarter levels.

  • Wireless equipment revenues of $479 million declined on a sequential and year-over-year basis primarily due to lower handset sales volumes and increases in rebates.

  • Wireless capital investments were $393 million in the second quarter, significantly lower than $918 million spent in the first quarter of 2008 and $1.4 billion spent in the second quarter of 2007. This trend reflects reduced spending on several key projects, including: EVDO-Rev A network expansion, the development of Nextel Direct Connect on CDMA, and the company's Unified Billing Platform. Capital investments in the quarter were primarily targeted at increasing capacity within existing wireless coverage areas and maintaining network quality. In the quarter, dropped and blocked calls declined at a double-digit rate on both the CDMA and iDEN networks, compared to one year ago.

  • Wireline revenues of $1.6 billion were slightly lower sequentially and year-over-year as legacy voice and data declines exceeded Internet revenue growth.

  • Internet revenues increased 42% from the year-ago period and 6% sequentially due to strong demand for Global MPLS services from Enterprise customers and the increasing base of cable subscribers which utilize our VoIP services. Internet revenues as a percent of Wireline revenue have increased from 23% to 33% year-over-year. At the end of the second quarter, the company supported nearly 4 million users of cable partner VoIP services. These services are now available to more than 30 million MSO households.

  • Legacy voice revenues declined 5% sequentially and 14% year-over-year. Retail business voice services declined by 10% compared to the first quarter, but the declines in wholesale, inter-company and consumer revenues were significantly more moderate.

  • Legacy data revenues are being impacted in part by customer transitions to IP services. These legacy services declined 19% compared to the second quarter of 2007 and 6% quarter-over-quarter.

Juniper Extends EX-series Ethernet Switch Interoperability

Juniper Networks is extending interoperability of its EX-series Ethernet switches to network management platforms from AlterPoint, CA, EMC, HP, IBM, InfoVista and SolarWinds. This will allow enterprise customers to achieve greater operational efficiency and simplicity while accelerating the deployment of applications and services.

Support for Juniper's EX-series Ethernet switches is scheduled to be available on the following platforms in Q3 2008: AlterPoint NetworkAuthority v6.5; CA eHealth Network Performance Manager; EMC Smarts v7.03; HP Network Node Manager 7.5 software and HP Network Automation 7.2 Software; IBM Tivoli Netcool/OMNIbus v7.1; InfoVista VistaInsight for Networks v3.0; and SolarWinds Orion v9.0.http://www.juniper.net

Dell'Oro Sees Gradual Migration of POTS Lines to NGN

Worldwide IP Telephony Carrier equipment revenues are projected to grow by an average of 9 percent per year through 2012, driven mostly by the expansion of voice over broadband (VoBB) services, according to the Dell'Oro Group. The report also forecasts that VoBB subscribers will grow almost 40 percent per year over the next five years.

"As service providers deploy broadband connections in order to grow their revenues via data and video services, they are offering voice services that leverage that broadband connection," said Greg Collins, Vice President at Dell'Oro Group. "These triple play (data, voice, and video) services are helping to drive voice over broadband services, which, in turn, are fueling the IP Telephony-Carrier market," he added.

The massive installed base of circuit switched telephone lines represents a tremendous market opportunity for IP Telephony equipment, but many service providers struggle to find a business case for replacing their legacy, class-5 switches.http://www.delloro.com

Qwest Reaches Broadband Milestone

Qwest Communications is now offering its fastest fiber-to-the-neighborhood based Internet service -- with connection speeds of up to 20 Mbps -- to more than 1 million potential customers in 18 markets. Qwest said this marks a critical milestone in its fiber-optic expansion, and represents a significant leap in Qwest's corporate strategy to expand broadband speeds and capabilities to customers.

Qwest Connect Quantum and Qwest Connect Titanium deliver downlink speeds of up to 20 Mbps and 12 Mbps, respectively. Qwest plans to offer the service to 1.8 million potential residential and small-business customers by year-end in 20 markets.http://www.qwest.com/fiberoptic

Telefónica El Salvador Deploys Italtel and Teledata

Teledata Networks will provide an Access Network solution to Telefónica El Salvador, a part of the Telefónica Group, supplying wireless and wireline services, in the framework of its strategic cooperation with Italtel. The BroadAccess MSAG solution which is currently being deployed by Italtel in El Salvador provides a turnkey solution comprising best of breed technology of Teledata Networks Access Networking and Cisco Metro Ethernet Equipment. The solution supports both a traditional V5.2 interface and an option for migration to IP/NGN, and will deliver a similarly varied mix of services, including Telephony, ISDN, ADSL & SHDSL and Ethernet to subscribers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The project follows an earlier success in which Teledata Networks systems were used to seamlessly migrate Telefónica Guatemala's Access Networks to NGN.

Hughes Boosts Consumer Satellite Internet Access to 5 Mbps

Hughes Network Systems is boosting the top download speed of is ElitePremium consumer broadband Internet service to up to 5 Mbps.

ElitePremium joins the newly unveiled Elite and ElitePlus plans with download speeds of up to 2 Mbps and 3 Mbps, respectively and the popular consumer plans -- Home, Pro, and ProPlus which feature recently increased download speeds of up to 1 Mbps, 1.2 Mbps and 1.6 Mbps, respectively.

The enhanced speed of the ElitePremium plan is made possible by the launch of Hughes' SPACEWAY 3 satellite, the largest satellite in the US and the world's first commercial satellite with on-board switching and routing.

HughesNet now has more than 400,000 subscribers across the U.S.http://www.hughesnet.comhttp://www.hughes.com

Siemens Home and Office Communication Devices Appoints CEO for North America

Siemens Home and Office Communication Devices, a leading manufacturer of DECT and IP Phones as well as broadband routers, has appointed Rod Keller as President and CEO of its North American division. He replaces Gerd Pasedag, who will return to SHC headquarters based in Munich, Germany.

Keller will lead a North American team charged with expanding the Siemens presence in both retail markets and with service providers for their cordless voice, next generation communication (NGC) and broadband solutions in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Keller most recently served as Vice President of Worldwide Sales at Linksys, a division of Cisco Systems, Inc. At Linksys, Keller was tasked with developing channel strategies and customer relationships for the consumer and small/medium business (SMB) markets, in addition to leading the global sales organization. Keller has previously served as President and CEO of Augmentix Corporation and in various senior management roles at Trilogy Software, Toshiba, DEC, Compaq, Dell and Epson.


Eye-Fi Secures $11 Million in Series B Funding

Eye-Fi, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, secured $11 million in Series B funding for its wireless memory cards for digital cameras. Eye-Fi was founded in the summer of 2005 and launched its first product, the Eye-Fi Card, in October 2007. Since launch, the company has expanded its product portfolio and introduced new services; formed partnerships with Nikon, Lexar and more than 20 online photo destinations; and expanded its online and brick-and-mortar retail distribution to include national channels, such as Circuit City.

The round was led by TransLink Capital, with new funding from LMS Capital and participation from existing investors Opus Capital and Shasta Ventures. TransLink Capital's co-founder and managing director, Toshi Otani, will join the Eye-Fi board.

AT&T Supplies Converged Network Solution for Marriott

Marriott International and AT&T announced an agreement to provide an IP converged network for hotels. Together Marriott and AT&T have implemented an open-standards solution that is based on design principles established by Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG), a technology solutions association for the hospitality industry, and encourage hotel competitors to follow Marriott's lead. The solution includes AT&T Managed Internet and Managed Router services, as well as services for WiFi connectivity, deployment and management that consolidates multiple network applications being delivered into a hotel property into a single mahttp://www.att.com

UTStarcom Posts Sales of $633 Million, up 18% YoY

UTStarcom reported Q2 sales of $633 million as compared to $538 million in the second quarter of 2007 representing an 18% increase. The operating loss for the second quarter of 2008 was $31.1 million as compared to an operating loss of $55.3 million in the second quarter of 2007. This improvement was primarily due to a $22 million reduction in operating expenses. The net loss for the second quarter of 2008 was $38.8 million, or ($0.31) per share, as compared to a net loss of $61.7 million, or ($0.51) per share in the second quarter of 2007.

The company's Personal Communications Division ("PCD") revenues for the second quarter of 2008 were $449 million as compared to $358 million in the second quarter of 2007. Gross margins for the second quarter of 2008 were 13.0% as compared to 14.8% in the second quarter of 2007.