Tuesday, November 4, 2008

AudioCodes Debuts HD VoIP Phones

AudioCodes is expanding its VoIP product portfolio by launching a line of High Definition (HD) VoIP IP Phones for the enterprise and service provider market.

The AudioCodes IP Phone 300HD series is expected to meet a growing demand for High Definition VoIP solutions in end-user phones and terminals, providing high voice fidelity, advanced security and features and enhanced user interface. The IP Phone Series product line is widely interoperable with IP-PBXs, Softswitches and IP Centrex solutions and can utilize the most popular wideband coders such as G.722, G.722.2 (WB-AMR), G.729.1 and G.711.1. Enhanced proprietary capabilities such as packet loss concealment, high quality wideband acoustic echo canceler and low delay adaptive jitter buffer enrich the HD VoIP experience by utilizing these phones.

The AudioCodes 300HD Series of High Definition IP Phones includes three models. The 310HD IP Phone is positioned as an entry level IP-Phone and includes a basic display and user interface. The 320HD Premium model includes a large Monochrome LCD screen. The 350HD Executive model has a large Color LCD. All models support HD VoIP. Power over Ethernet is optional in all models.http://www.audiocodes.com/ipphones

France's Hub télécom Chooses Alcatel-Lucent for IMS

Hub télécom, a French operator and part of the Aéroports de Paris group, has selected Alcatel-Lucent is to supply and integrate a complete IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) solution. The solution will enrich Hub télécom's service offer with a wide range of high value-added convergent services to companies. Hub télécom anticipates the commercial launch of its IMS services in 2009.

Hub télécom is the first operator to incorporate the new Alcatel-Lucent 5060 IP Call Server into its core network. The 5060 ICS relies on an IMS platform, together with shared hardware and software components, to provide advanced multimedia services. Alcatel‑Lucent's complete turnkey IMS solution also includes all "Centrex IMS" functions. Conferences, presence, instant messaging and collaborative work are all enabled by Centrex IMS and the MMIC brick.

"Following the deployment of a turnkey broadband access network to cover the airports of Paris- Charles de Gaulle, Paris-Orly and Paris-Le Bourget, the provision and implementation of our complete IMS solution is a further step for Alcatel-Lucent and Hub télécom", stated Pierre Barnabé, President of Alcatel-Lucent's activities in France, Iberia & Italy. "The transformation of its network will enable Hub télécom to establish itself as a national operator of all-IP services".http://www.alcatel-lucent.comttp://www.hubtelecom.com

Alcatel-Lucent De-Lists shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange

Alcatel-Lucent will delist its ordinary shares from the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) due to the small trading volumes. The delisting will not have any impact on business activities of Alcatel-Lucent in Japan.http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

AT&T and Trimble Offer Fitness Training App for GPS-Enabled Mobile Phones

AT&T and Trimble introduce an "AllSport GPS" application that lets users track their exercise activity on select GPS-enabled AT&T wireless phones. AllSport GPS is available on select GPS-enabled AT&T mobile phones for a $5.99 monthly subscription. An unlimited data plan is also strongly recommended.

From the handset, the application monitors time, speed, calories burned and distance traveled during outdoor workouts such as running, walking, biking and snowboarding. Users can store workouts to monitor progress, view weekly activity logs, map their favorite routes and share activities with friends.

Through the Trimble Outdoors Web site, subscribers can also:

  • Browse an online library of professional and user-generated trips.

  • Upload and recommend routes and customize trips taken by others.

  • Download maps in topographic, street and aerial views to their wireless phone.

  • Send guided workouts to their phones and "race" against the person who originally uploaded the workout.

"This is a terrific example of how third-party applications are helping our customers get the most from their mobile phones," said Mark Collins, vice president of Consumer Voice and Data Services, AT&T Mobility & Consumer Markets.http://www.att.com

HP Launches New BladeSystem for Telcos

HP expanded its portfolio of carrier-grade systems with a blade platform designed to help wired and wireless service providers reduce costs and efficiently expand capacity. The new HP Integrity NonStop NB50000c-cg Carrier-grade (CG) BladeSystem is a NEBS Level 3 chassis designed for 24/7 availability, extreme scalability and high performance while offering the modular flexibility of the existing HP c-Class BladeSystem platform.

The company said its HP Integrity NonStop CG BladeSystem provides significant performance gains over its predecessors and occupies less physical space in crowded central offices and data centers. Compared to the HP Integrity NonStop NS5000CG server, it delivers twice the performance in half the physical footprint. Compared to equivalent HP NonStop S-Series carrier-grade servers, it offers up to four times the processing capacity in half the footprint.

The service availability and scalability of the HP Integrity NonStop CG BladeSystem make it it suitable for uses such as the popular HP OpenCall Home Location Register (HLR). This solution supports more than 200 million mobile subscribers worldwide.

In addition, the platform supports many Intelligent Network applications, including network enablers for both text and multimedia messaging as well as location services. Business and operations support systems (BSS and OSS) also can be hosted on the HP Integrity NonStop CG Platform. To support advanced services, the platform is ready for networks that include Internet Protocol Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) technologies, such as the HP OpenCall Home Subscriber Server, which handles core mobility functions.

The HP Integrity NonStop CG BladeSystem features a new telecom-specific input/output (I/O) infrastructure that leverages standards-based processing engines called Cluster I/O Modules (CLIMs). By offloading specific processing tasks from the host HP NonStop server, the CLIMs increase performance and reduce I/O and storage processing costs.

The new platform ships with three carrier-grade CLIMs, with others to follow in 2009:

  • An IP CG CLIM for system networking protocols, IPSec and Ethernet connectivity;

  • A Storage CG CLIM for various HP storage disks and arrays; and

  • A Telecom CLIM that handles the M3UA layer for Signaling System 7 messages over a digital, IP-based system.

"Verizon Wireless has built the nation's most reliable wireless network, and HP NonStop technology has played a critical part in that success," said Dan Belenets, executive director, National Network Operations, Verizon Wireless. "We think the HP Integrity NonStop BladeSystem will provide superior reliability, greater performance and reduced costs."

HP also offers a commercial, enterprise-class counterpart to the HP Integrity NonStop CG BladeSystem.http://www.hp.com/go/nonstop/bladesystem/telco

France's Numericable Deploys Juniper's Core Routing and Security Network Infrastructure

Numericable, France's leading cable operator, is deploying Juniper Networks' M- and T-series routing platforms, Integrated Security Gateway (ISG) platforms and FW/VPN security appliances for its next-generation network. The installation uses Juniper's T640 core routers to underpin the network and backbone service with several 10GB links to support its Paris-based customers.

The network is also extended nationwide with a number of 10GB loops, which rely on Juniper Networks M320 multiservice edge routers. Additional deployments are planned in the future to further extend the network's reach in line with changing business requirements. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Numericable secures its core network with Juniper Networks ISG 1000s and 2000s. The ISG products are purpose-built security platforms that deliver unmatched firewall and VPN performance at scale. Full IPS capabilities are available with the optional IDP security modules providing protection from the latest worms, spyware, Trojans and other emerging attacks. The IDP security modules also stop network attacks and disruption from abuse of network protocols including those used in multi-media applications.

Numericable's remote locations are secured by Juniper's security appliances for distributed Enterprises. These appliances are feature-rich, enterprise-class network security solutions that integrate a complete set of best-in-class UTM security features including Deep Inspection, Antivirus (includes Anti-Spyware, Anti-Adware and Anti-Phishing), Anti-Spam, and Web Filtering.

Juniper noted that Numericable is one of the first European cable operators to migrate to a high-performance, all-IP backbone network, enabling it to introduce new advanced multiplay services such as Video-on-Demand (VoD), High Definition TV and Internet services at up to 100 Mbps.http://www.juniper.netwww.numericable.fr

Tata Communications Launches Vulnerability Management Service (VMS)

Tata Communications has launched a new Vulnerability Management Service (VMS) built upon Qualys' "QualysGuard" vulnerability management and compliance solutions.

Tata Communications' VMS provides discovery and mapping of IT assets, asset prioritization, vulnerability assessment, remediation tracking, and comprehensive reporting. The service automates the process of enterprise vulnerability management and supports policy compliance initiatives. The service is aimed at companies that need to comply with regulatory, statutory, industry, and internal requirements such as PCI DSS, SB1386, HIPPA, Sarbanes Oxley, and the EU Data Privacy Directive.

Tata Communications' said its new service enables IT security and system administration staff to leapfrog the complexities around assessment and information management and focus on the remediation tasks that require business and technical judgment, leveraging the automated capabilities that are foundational element of the new service. Qualys' vulnerability management Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution is already a standard for more than 35% of the Fortune 100, and Tata Communications is now able to deliver the same capabilities to its customers.

Chelsio's 10GbE Adapters Support Windows 2008 Servers

Chelsio Communications' 10-Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) Unified Wire adapters now fully support Microsoft Windows Server 2008, enabling stateless NIC, TOE, iSCSI and clustering for data center and high performance computing (HPC) environments running Windows Server 2008.

Chelsio has added Windows Server 2008 support for Microsoft Network Direct, Microsoft Winsock Direct (WSD) and Microsoft TCP Chimney. Network Direct is a new low-latency RDMA network API that is part of Windows HPC Server 2008. Winsock Direct is Microsoft's API for direct communication between user space applications. WSD bypasses the operating system and allows for a lower latency interface. It is primarily used for clustering and HPC applications.


Meraki Offers Municipal WiFi Kit for $10K

Meraki introduced its "Main Street WiFi Starter Pack" to assist any town or business district deploy broadband wireless access across a full square mile.
The kit includes the technology and support to make it easy for cities and towns to deploy WiFi across approximately 1 square mile for less than $10,000. Meraki estimates a competing wireless system from Motorola or Tranzeo might cost between $25,000 and $100,000 per square milehttp://www.meraki.com

Amdocs to Acquire ChangingWorlds for Personalization System

Amdocs agreed to acquire ChangingWorlds, a privately-held provider of personalization and intelligent portal solutions for mobile service providers, for $60 million in cash. Additional consideration may be paid later based on the achievement of certain performance metrics.

ChangingWorlds' patented technology automatically builds subscriber profiles based on user behavior and usage patterns that require no user input or action to make finding relevant content faster and requiring less clicks. For example, a sports enthusiast will see the link to latest information about his favorite football team on his home page, while a classical music fan will see the link to the upcoming concerts in his area.

Amdocs said ChangingWorlds' technology, combined with the Amdocs CES portfolio, will enable better customer experiences by allowing end users to quickly get relevant information based on what they use most, making it easier to navigate the Internet on their phones and reducing the time they spend looking for content.

ChangingWorlds' technology currently addresses mobile devices, and Amdocs said it intends to expand the technology to three screens (mobile, PC and television) to personalize the customer experience across all touch points. ChangingWorlds and Amdocs share several customers including Sprint, the Vodafone Group and Telefonica O2.

"Sprint is committed to delivering the best possible customer experience across a wide range of data services, including Internet browsing," said Kevin Packingham, senior vice president of product and technology development for Sprint. "Sprint and Amdocs have worked together for years on a number of important projects designed to enhance the customer experience. ChangingWorlds has been integral to our Sprint Web offering and provides the technology and expertise that will help us continue to deliver enhanced and personalized Internet services."

ChangingWorlds is based in Dublin, Ireland.http://www.amdocs.comhttp://www.changingworlds.com/

ADVA Optical Posts Q3 Revenue of EUR 54 Million, In-line with Expectations

ADVA Optical Networking reported Q3 2008 revenues of EUR 54.1 million, compared to EUR 61.5 million in Q3 2007 and EUR 52.7 million in Q2 2008. The figure is in line with guidance of between EUR 50 million and EUR 58 million.

IFRS pro forma operating income, excluding stock-based compensation and amortization & impairment of goodwill & acquisition-related intangible assets, came in at EUR 1.3 million in Q3 2008 or 2.4% of revenues, also in line with guidance of between -4% and +4%. This compares to Q3 2007 IFRS pro forma operating income of EUR 4.0 million or 6.5% of revenues, and to Q2 2008 IFRS pro forma operating income of EUR -0.1 million or -0.1% of revenues. The year-over-year pro forma operating income reduction to the largest extent was driven by weaker revenues.

The IFRS operating loss in Q3 2008 was EUR 0.1 million, after an operating income of EUR 1.3 million in Q3 2007. The key driver for this development is the above-mentioned decline of pro forma operating income. In part, the decline is offset by lower scheduled amortization of intangible assets from acquisitions, which amounted to EUR 0.6 million in Q3 2008 after EUR 2.0 million in Q3 2007.

IFRS net income in Q3 2008 amounted to EUR 0.4 million, after a net loss of EUR 1.2 million in Q3 2007. The Q3 2008 net income was largely driven by the factors impacting the operating result described above, by net foreign currency exchange gains of EUR 0.5 million and by an income tax benefit of EUR 0.3 million.

"Our Q3 2008 revenues at EUR 54.1 million came in at about the midpoint of guidance of between EUR 50 million and EUR 58 million, while our pro forma operating income at 2.4% of revenues was at the upper end of our guidance of between -4% and+4% of revenues. This development was driven by variations in regional revenue distribution and in product and customer mix, which led to higher gross margins than originally anticipated, and by slightly higher than expected net capitalization of development expenses. In addition, we saw a significant rise in our operating cash flow to EUR 9.2 million in Q3 2008, fueled by improved working capital management. Consequently, our quarter-end net liquidity rose to EUR 5.4 million, an increase of EUR 4.6 million vs. the previous quarter," commented Jaswir Singh, chief financial officer of ADVA Optical Networking.

As for its outlook, the company said that based on the volatile macro environment, it expects Q4 2008 revenues to range between EUR 50 million and EUR 58 million.http://www.advaoptical.com

Cisco Posts Strong Quarterly Revenue but Warns on Short-term Outlook

Cisco reported net sales for its first quart of fiscal 2009 (ended October 25, 2008) of $10.3 billion, net income (GAAP) of $2.2 billion or $0.37 per share, and non-GAAP net income of $2.5 billion or $0.42 per share. The earnings were slightly ahead of market expectations and reflected a year-over-year growth rate of 8%.

However, Cisco CEO John Chambers warned that the weak global economy is having an impact and that Q2 revenues could fall by up to 10%. Already in October, orders were down by 9%. On the bright side, network traffic volumes continue to rise at a rapid clip.

"Cisco delivered solid revenue and earnings growth in what is clearly a very challenging global economy," said John Chambers, chairman and CEO, Cisco. "Our strategy and focus for managing the business through this market transition is clear - we will manage and prioritize our resources, invest in innovation, and build even stronger relationships with our customers to help enable their success." Chambers continued.

Some highlights for the quarter:

  • Switching revenue was $3.6 billion, an increase of 8% year-over-year driven by growth in both our modular and fixed switching portfolio.

  • Routing revenue was $1.9 billion, up 1% year-over-year.

  • Advanced Technologies revenue totaled $2.7 billion, representing an increase of 17% year-over-year.

  • Other product revenue totaled $442 million, a decrease of 13% year-over-year, related to our optical and cable business this quarter.

  • Total service revenue was $1.7 billion, up 10% year-over-year with solid growth in Emerging Markets. We are pleased with our growth in advanced services of approximately 15%.

  • GAAP net income for the first quarter was $2.2 billion, flat compared to $2.2 billion in the first quarter of fiscal year 2008.

  • GAAP earnings per share on a fully diluted basis for the first quarter were $0.37, up from $0.35 in the same quarter of fiscal year 2008.

  • Non-GAAP net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 was $2.5 billion, flat year-over-year. As a reminder in the first quarter of fiscal year 2008 we recorded a one-time tax benefit of $162M.

  • Non-GAAP earnings per share on a fully diluted basis for the first quarter were $0.42, up from $0.40 in the first quarter of fiscal year 2008, a 5% increase year-over-year and our highest earnings per share to date. The one-time tax benefit in the first quarter fiscal year 2008 was approximately $0.03 per share.

  • Total gross margin by geography ranged from 63.4% for Emerging Markets to 69.0% in Japan this quarter. Across the geographies the margins have remained relatively stable over the last few quarters.

  • Interest and other income was $123 million for the first quarter, including the recognition of realized gains, losses and impairments.

Cisco Outlines Six-Point Downturn Plan

As part of its quarterly financial reporting, Cisco executives as discussed the strategy for handling the financial downturn. Cisco has approximately $27 billion in cash and investments. It also has a diverse product, geographic and customer segment mix.

Cisco Capital, the company's financing arm, continues to provide financing to customers and channel partners. In fiscal year 2008, Cisco Capital originated or facilitated approximately $4.3 billion in lease and longer-term loan arrangement. Cisco said the number of credit requests or inquiries has increased in the current environment, but that it has adhered to a consistent methodology for balancing risk, reward and sales enablement. The company stated that there has been no material impact to the quality of its portfolio.

Cisco also enumerated a six-point game plan for the current downturn includes:

1. Continue Vision/Strategy/Execution Model. Cisco believes its vision of how the industry will evolve is being driven by the increasing role intelligent networks will play as all forms of communication and IT are enabled by the network. Its differentiated strategy enabled by networked collaboration. The company plans to remain focused on both the technology and business architectures. The overall vision/strategy/execution model continues as present.

2. Collaboration/Web 2.0 driving future growth and productivity. Cisco plans to a rapid expansion of collaborative technologies and new business models in both product architectures and its own internal IT implementation. The company will realign resources to focus on over two dozen market adjacencies that will loosely then tightly come together with its core technologies. Cisco will expand its use of Web 2.0 technologies such as TelePresence, WebEx, wikis, blogs, discussions forums, widgets, etc. in an architectural process-driven approach that drives productivity.

3. Resource management and realignment. Third, through its councils and boards structure, Cisco has already realigned over $500 million of resources to these opportunities. The company plans to realign another $500 million of resources while at the same time reducing expenses for fiscal year 2009 by over $1 billion from the original budget. The goal is to achieve these changes by the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2009. This includes a pause on hiring, as well as reductions in travel, off site meetings, outside services, equipment, events, prototypes, marketing and other activities.

4. Aggressive in strategy. Prioritize and Execute. Cisco said it will be bold in taking good business risk during this downturn to build on market transitions, opportunities, and put its many assets to use in existing and new markets as the recovery occurs. Cisco will prioritize the top five objectives of both the company and each of its councils and boards. It will then align resources to these top objectives. The top objectives for the company are:

  • 1) Next generation company and next generation customer relationships-what is called Cisco 3.0 internally;

  • 2) Collaboration/Web 2.0;

  • 3) Data center/virtualization;

  • 4) Video; and

  • 5) Globalization.

5. Investment in U.S. and Selective Emerging Countries. Cisco intends to invest aggressively in two geographies: the U.S. and selective emerging countries. The company believes the U.S. will be the first major country to recover. The strategy on emerging countries is simple. Over time Cisco expects the majority of the world's GDP growth will come from the emerging countries. In expanding these relationships during tough times, the goal is to be uniquely positioned as the market turn-around occurs. This is identical to Cisco's strategy during Asia's 1997 financial crisis.

6. Power of the Network as the Platform-Driving the Future of Communications/IT. Cisco will remain focused on its stretch goal of evolving into the top communication and IT company which will be enabled by the expanding role of intelligent networks. http://www.cisco.com