Tuesday, February 3, 2009

BT Launches Free Location-based Wi-Fi in London

BT has launched a personal, location-based Wi-Fi-enabled information service called BT MyPlace that is available from any wireless device using the BT Openzone outdoor Wi-Fi network in central London and the West End.

After registering preferences such as favourite food, shops or activities, users are sent nearby recommendations based on these favourites and their location. The service is funded through on-site advertising at no cost to the 256,000 residents, 800,000 daily commuters, 23 million tourists and over six million business people who visit the city each year. Content partners include Time Out, Love Theatre, Kodak, LondonPass and audible.com. Westminster City Council information and transport detail is also available.

Converged digital media solutions company io global limited is developing and maintaining the service, and the service is supported by Westminster City Council and partners Intel and Cisco. BT MyPlace is free but customers wanting to use the wider internet over the BT outdoor Wi-Fi network will pay as usual.

Telegent Ships 20 million Mobile TV Receivers for Handsets

Telegent Systems has shipped more than 20 million mobile TV receivers since its products became available on the market in mid-

Telegent's single-chip CMOS solution enables free-to-air and subscription mobile TV in mobile handsets. The company said its TV receivers have experienced extremely rapid uptake because operators around the world, including market leaders in China, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, and Turkey have added Telegent-enabled TV handsets to their model lineup in order to address consumer demand for free-to-air analog programming.

For instance, in Indonesia, HT Mobile, formerly known as Hi-Tech, launched its brand in 2007 with a focus on handsets with a TV feature and rapidly became the 6th largest brand in the Indonesia handset market.

Telegent expects further growth in 2009 with expansion to PC TV receivers and digital terrestrial broadcast standards.

Telefonica Movistar Offers ZTE i766 TV Handset

Telefonica Moviles Peru has begun promoting the ZTE i766, a handset with a live TV feature enabled by Telegent's receiver silicon. Telegent's TV feature allows consumers to receive the same free over-the-air analog programming that they receive on their television sets at home. The handset, branded with Telefonica's Movistar logo, is available in all Telefonica retail outlets for 499 soles in prepaid mode.

Telefonica Peru is one of several operators in Latin America, including Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela, that are leading the way in offering TV handsets with live analog broadcast TV to consumers.

"The live TV feature differentiates our product offering and gives consumers what they want -- access to their favorite programs while they are on the move," said Gustavo Kitazono, director of strategic planning of Telefonica Moviles Peru.

Wind River Adds Multicore Asymmetrical Multiprocessing

Wind River released its VxWorks version 6.7 featuring significant enhancements that enable device manufacturers to address critical business issues by exploiting the capabilities of the latest multicore processors. Wind River's cited support from leading multicore partners such as Intel, Freescale, Cavium, and Raza Microelectronics.

Specifically, VxWorks 6.7 allows system designers to select the optimal multicore design configuration, asymmetric multiprocessing (AMP) or symmetric multiprocessing (SMP), to deliver next-generation devices with higher performance thresholds while maintaining or reducing power consumption. VxWorks 6.7 is supported by a rich set of multicore-aware tools that allow customers to efficiently develop multicore-based devices, providing new capabilities for configuration, build, debug, and simulation. Wind River Workbench development suite is an Eclipse-based collection of tools for debugging, code analysis and testing designed to accelerate time-to-market for developers building devices. In addition, Workbench On-Chip Debugging Edition provides connectivity between the host development environment and the target device via the JTAG or on-chip debugging interface on the device, enabling more efficient and effective hardware bring-up, firmware development, and device driver and BSP generation.

Time Warner Cable Takes $14.8 billion Impairment Charge, Sees Some Declines

Time Warner Cable's revenue in Q4 2008 rose 8% ($313 million) over the prior year to $4.4 billion, however, the company reported a net loss of $8.2 billion, or $8.36 per basic and diluted common share compared to net income for the fourth quarter of 2007 of $327 million, or $0.33 per basic and diluted common share.

Certain pretax items in the current year affected comparability, including a $14.8 billion noncash impairment of cable franchise rights, a $367 million noncash impairment related to the company's investment in Clearwire Corporation, $14 million of costs associated with the Company's planned separation from Time Warner and a $13 million non-cash loss on the sale of cable systems.

Some notes for the period:

  • Revenue generating units ("RGUs") totaled 34.2 million as of December 31, 2008 -- reflecting net additions of 175,000 during the fourth quarter.

  • Customer relationships were 14.6 million, a slight decline of 84,000 from the previous quarter

  • Triple play subscribers reached 3.1 million (or 21% of total customer relationships), benefiting from 110,000 net additions during the fourth quarter.

  • Over 54% of customers received bundled services as of December 31, 2008.

  • The number of residential data subscribers was 8.4 million, up from 8.3 million in the preceding quarter.

  • The company plans to layoff 1,250 employees over the coming weeks.

  • Capital Expenditures were $3.5 billion in 2008, an increase of $89 million over 2007, reflecting higher customer premise equipment purchases.


Google Latitude Offers Location-Awareness for Mobile Users

Google launched a new feature in Google Maps for mobile and iGoogle that lets the user share location data with your friends and family online.

Instead of GPS, the service uses wireless location beacons in the Google Maps database to determine an approximate location. Google users can opt into the feature, and then invite friends and family to join Google Latitude. Once they accept, you will see their profile picture appear on a map through a mobile device or desktop PC.

  • Google Latitude is available in 27 countries, and across a variety of devices, including:

  • Android-powered devices, such as the T-Mobile G1

  • most color BlackBerry devices

  • most Windows Mobile 5.0+ devices

  • most Symbian S60 devices (Nokia smartphones)

  • Google.com users of iGoogle

Dell'Oro: Mobile Infrastructure Market Prepares for Rough Times

The mobile infrastructure market is forecasted to experience three successive years of revenue decline, according to a new report from the Dell'Oro Group.. According to the report, between 2009 and 2011, the total market revenue is expected to contract 7 percent. The report also shows that combined GSM and CDMA markets represented over 70 percent of the total infrastructure market revenue in 2008. By 2013, these technologies will represent less than 20 percent.

"The revenue contraction in 2009 is directly attributable to the downturn in the economy," stated Scott Siegler, Senior Analyst of Mobile Infrastructure research at Dell'Oro Group."Looking beyond 2009, while we anticipate seeing significant growth in the 3G, and even 4G technologies, this growth will not be enough to outpace the steep and rapid declines in the GSM and CDMA markets. It is not until 2012, when the WCDMA market returns to its double-digit growth rate, and LTE revenue triples, that the total infrastructure market will return to becoming a growth market. We forecast revenue growth to exceed 10 percent between 2012 and 2013," continued Siegler.

Occam Adds Three Customers for its MSAP

Occam Networks announced three new telecommunications service provider customers for its BLC 6000 platform: Brooke Telecom (Inwood, Ontario), Hill Country Telephone Cooperative (Ingram, Texas) and Warwick Valley Telephone (Warwick, New York). Some details on these deployments:

Brooke Telecom currently maintains a mixed copper/fiber network and plans to transition to all-fiber-only over the next 5-7 years. Brooke recently introduced IPTV to its service mix, which also includes local and long distance voice services, high speed Internet, wireless and business VPNs. The installation includes Occam's POTS, ADSL2Plus, and 10 Gigabit Ethernet Aggregation blades, as well as their optical network terminals (ONTs) and high-density chassis.

Hill Country currently deploys a variety of Occam blades and ONTs, and selected the company again as they continue their FTTH upgrade. Using Occam's GigE FTTP OLTs and ONTs, Hill Country will transition to an all-IP-over-Ethernet based network as part of an aggressive modernization strategy. When complete, the company will offer IPTV, VoIP and video , complementing its existing POTS and DSL services. Hill Country has also installed a 10 Gigabit Ethernet transport network connecting all of its Central Offices and is shortening loop lengths on its remaining copper network, enabling the company to offer new revenue generating services to approximately 80 percent of its subscribers.

Warwick Valley Telephone is upgrading its copper network with Occam's POTS and ADSL2Plus blades to meet subscriber demand for IPTV and Triple Play services in high definition. Warwick Valley Telephone management noted Occam's equipment enabled them to offer HD services to several places to which they didn't think there would be adequate bandwidth.

Dell'Oro: Fixed-line Carrier IP Telephony Market Forecast to Rebound in 2010

Worldwide carrier IP telephony equipment revenues are forecasted to rebound in 2010, after expected declines in 2008 and 2009, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group. The market is projected to grow in single-digits from 2010 through 2013.

According to the Dell'Oro Group report, voice services continue to transition away from fixed connections to mobile or wireless connections, reducing the market for associated fixed-line equipment. The number of fixed telephony lines peaked in 2006 at nearly 1.3 billion and continues to fall. At the same time, the mobile subscriber base has been growing by more than one million subscribers per day.

"The market for carrier IP telephony equipment began to be negatively affected by the global economic slowdown in mid-2008," said Greg Collins, Vice President at Dell'Oro Group."Service providers, especially in developed regions, began reducing their capital spending to better align with their lowered growth expectations and began to focus their capital spending on revenue-generating projects, like IPTV and fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), at the expense of modernizing their considerable base of equipment for customers of plain-old telephone service (POTS). We expect that market for fixed-line carrier IP Telephony equipment to rebound as the economy improves, network modernization rebounds and the market increasingly transitions to voice-over-broadband," Collins added.

Google, Microsoft, Motorola, Others Launch the White Spaces Database Group

Seven leading technology companies are collaborating to facilitate the timely creation and operation of a white spaces database to govern use of the vacant television broadband spectrum, commonly known as TV white spaces. The Group intends to establish data formats and protocols that are open and non-proprietary and will advocate that database administration be open and non-exclusive.

Founding members of the White Spaces Database Group include Comsearch, Dell, Google, HP, Microsoft, Motorola, and NeuStar.

  • In November 2008, the Federal Communications Commission unanimously approved the use of white spaces spectrum by unlicensed devices. Pursuant to that decision, white spaces devices will be required to access a white spaces database to determine available channels before transmit capabilities are engaged. After eight months of thorough laboratory and field-testing, the Commission established geo-location based methods are fully adept at identifying television signals and preventing interference.

Sprint Claims Higher Customer Satisfaction Numbers

Sprint reported progress on its efforts to improve the customer experience with its services. Specifically, c customer satisfaction study issued by J.D. Power & Associates (JDPA) showed significant improvement by Sprint. The JDPA 2009 Vol. 1 survey on
Wireless Customer Care Performance, which surveys wireless users about their experiences with customer service representatives, retail, online and interactive voice response systems, shows Sprint's customer service is making improvement in these areas and has quickly closed the gap within the industry by 50 percent versus the previous JDPA study released in August of 2008.

In 2009, Sprint plans to further improve the customer experience are by providing:

  • Fewer reasons for customers to call customer care with the introduction of simplified pricing and more self-service tools

  • Customers with help on how to choose and learn to use the right Sprint services for them and recommend changes as their needs change

  • More consistent and quality support from care agents leading to better first call resolution

  • Increased efficiency in every customer interaction, allowing our customers to quickly get their questions answered and their issues resolved

  • More reward programs for long-time and high-value customers such as the recently launched Sprint Premier program which offers special upgrades and special discounts.

Verizon Business Integrates its Conferencing App with IM Services

Verizon Business has integrated its Web conferencing application with leading IM services, including IBM Lotus Sametime Unified

Communications and Collaboration, Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 and the Cisco Jabber XCP. This enables its businesses and government agency customers to initiate virtual meetings on the spot. The new tools are available immediately for U.S.-based organizations and are scheduled to be rolled out internationally later this year, along with Verizon audio and net conferencing integration with Microsoft Office Communicator 2007.

Alcatel-Lucent Posts Revenue of EUR 4.9 Billion, Impairment Charge

Citing the drastic deterioration in the global economic outlook, Alcatel-Lucent reported a financial goodwill impairment charge of EUR 3.910 billion, resulting in a net loss of EUR 3.892 billion, or EUR (1.72) per diluted share, for Q4 2008. Revenues for the quarter totaled EUR 4.954 billion, within the company's expectations.

In summary, revenue for fixed and mobile access were down, while strong performance was noted in IP routing, submarine and NGN/IMS sales. The company also saw resilience in its Enterprise business and noted solid growth in Services.

Alcatel-Lucent reiterated its guidance for 2009. The company expects the global telecommunications equipment and related services market to be down between 8% and 12% at constant currency in 2009. The company continues to anticipate an adjusted operating profit around break-even in 2009.

Alcatel-Lucent cited progress on strategic plan: since January 1st, anew organization is in place. The aim is to reduce costs by EUR 750 million on an annual run rate by end 2009.

Alcatel-Lucent has started to implement its plan to introduce more focused R&D and streamline its product portfolio, starting with mature technologies and the refocusing of its WiMAX investment on the enhanced wireless DSL market opportunity, while at the same time significantly boosting investments in LTE.

Alcatel-Lucent is currently exploring co-sourcing and partnering options.

Some highlights for the quarter:


  • For the fourth quarter 2008, revenues for the Carrier operating segment were EUR3.295 billion a decrease of (11.8) % compared to EUR3.734 billion in the year-ago quarter, and an increase of 20.5% compared to EUR2.734 billion in the third quarter 2008. At constant currency exchange rates, Carrier revenues decreased 13.9%year-over-year and increased16.1%sequentially. The segment posted an adjusted2 operating1 profit of EUR45 million or an operating margin of 1.4% compared to a profit of EUR93 million or a margin of 2.5% in the year ago period.

  • Fixed access revenue declined at a double-digit rate this quarter, impacted by the ongoing decline of the legacy ADSL market in Europe and North America.

  • Alcatel-Lucent shipped 6.7 million DSL ports in the quarter, down 21% from the year-ago quarter and up 12% sequentially While the deployment of next generation, fibre-based access networks has been slower than expected for both regulatory and economic reasons, Alcatel-Lucent is best positioned to benefit, with a four-quarter rolling market share ending in the third quarter 2008 of 46% in both the VDSL and GPON segments, according to Dell'Oro.

  • Alcatel-Lucent enjoyed its highest quarter ever in IP/MPLS service router revenues, with strong double-digit growth, reflecting the success of the upgraded product portfolio as well as increased customer diversification, notably in North America. The company's IP/MPLS service routers started shipping to 15 new customers in the fourth quarter, taking the total customer base to more than 250 customers in more than 100 countries. The ATM switching business continued on its structural decline path.

  • Optical networking revenue was impacted by the slowdown in the terrestrial market, particularly in the long distance DWDM segment. This was partly offset by very strong growth in submarine networks and healthy growth in microwave transmission. Alcatel-Lucent is enjoying good traction with its latest introductions, with 60 customers for the next generation optical transport system (1850 TSS) and a total of 25 contracts and trials for the newly introduced microwave packet transport system (9500 MPR).

  • In mobile networks, GSM revenue declined at a lower rate than in the third quarter as the Chinese market recovered after the freeze on network expansions due to the Olympics. W-CDMA revenue was more or less stable when compared to a strong year-ago quarter but grew approximately 50% for the year as whole. CDMA revenue declined at a much lower rate than in the prior two quarters and enjoyed strong sequential recovery, driven by shipments to a new customer in China as well as higher-than-expected capital spending by a large North American CDMA operator.

  • In the Chinese 3G market, where the vendor selection process is ongoing, Alcatel-Lucent believes it is now well positioned to be one of the top three suppliers and expects to be present in all three technologies (CDMA EV-DO, TD-SCDMA, and W-CDMA) with an increased market share compared to 2G technologies. This should result in material volume shipments starting this year, more than compensating for the expected decline of the Chinese 2G market.

  • The company's core switching activities were impacted by the strong decline in legacy TDM voice. After another quarter of double-digit growth, revenues in NGN/IMS are now higher than in legacy TDM switching. Alcatel-Lucent's IMS solution continued to gain traction, with two more customer wins in Canada and Brazil this quarter.

  • Revenue from applications was impacted in the fourth quarter by the decline in legacy payment and Intelligent Networks (IN). Alcatel-Lucent nonetheless enjoyed good growth in Subscriber Data Management and Messaging.


  • For the Fourth quarter 2008, revenues for the Enterprise operating segment were EUR433 million, a decrease of (0.4)% compared to EUR435 million in the year-ago quarter and an increase of 11.7% compared to EUR388 million in the third quarter 2008. At constant currency exchange rates, Enterprise revenues decreased 2.4% year-over-year and increased 7.5% sequentially. Adjusted2 operating income1 was EUR55 million, or 12.6% of revenues compared to EUR56 million or 12.8% in the year-ago quarter.

  • Enterprise Solutions grew slightly in the quarter in spite of deteriorating economic conditions. The decline in the SMB voice telephony market was more than compensated by slight growth in the large enterprise voice telephony market and double-digit growth in data networking. Revenue from security solutions doubled in the quarter, albeit from a small base, driven in part by the success of the company's firewall solutions.

  • Genesys, the contact centre software activity, returned to double-digit growth in the fourth quarter, with a stronger-than-expected finish to the year across all product lines and geographies.

  • From a geographic standpoint, revenue grew strongly in North America driven by the ongoing implementation of a large end-to-end contract, contracted slightly in EMEA and declined in both Latin America and APAC.

  • The adjusted operating margin was almost stable from the year-ago quarter, in spite of the slight revenue decline, reflecting a slight improvement in the segment gross margin.


  • For the fourth quarter 2008, revenues for the Services operating segment were EUR1.086billion an increase of 6.4% compared to EUR1.020 billion in the year-ago quarter and an increase of 24.8% compared to EUR870 million in the third quarter 2008. At constant currency exchange rates, Services revenues increased 6.6% year-over-year and increased 23.3% sequentially.

  • Network operations enjoyed another quarter of very strong growth, driven by some of the large contract wins booked throughout the year, including Brazil Telecom, Reliance, Orange Switzerland, Sunrise and BT.

  • Network integration reported growth in the mid teens this quarter, similar to the prior quarter, driven by complex network design, network optimization and network transformation projects.

  • Professional services revenues were impacted by the above mentioned slow-down in the market for legacy applications including payment and IN. IPTV and OSS integration continued to grow strongly.

  • Finally, Maintenance revenue grew at a mid single-digit rate this quarter.

Cisco Beats Estimates but Sees Impact from Downturn

Cisco reported quarterly revenue of $9.1 billion, down 7.5% compared to a year ago but ahead of market expectations. Net income (GAAP) fell 27% compared to a year ago to $1.5 billion or $0.26 per share. The company said economic conditions now affect all geographies and industry sectors. Total product orders decreased by 14% year-over-year while product revenue decreased by 11%.

"Cisco showcased solid financial strength during a period of significant economic challenge," said John Chambers, chairman and chief executive officer, Cisco. "We remain comfortable with our long-term vision and strategy as we move into new market adjacencies and prioritize our existing opportunities. We intend to accelerate the alignment of our resources to prioritize future growth opportunities, gradually decrease our operating expenses, while building even stronger customer relationships to position Cisco for ongoing, long-term market leadership."

In its webcast conference call, Chambers said the company would trim its operating expenses by $1 billion over the next year by means of a hiring freeze and reducing travel by increasing its use of telepresence .

Some highlights from the quarter:

  • Cash flows from operations were $3.2 billion for the second quarter of fiscal 2009, compared with $2.4 billion for the second quarter of fiscal 2008, and compared with $2.7 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2009.

  • Cash and cash equivalents and investments were $29.5 billion at the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2009, compared with $26.2 billion at the end of fiscal 2008, and compared with $26.8 billion at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2009.

  • Deferred revenue was $9.3 billion at the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2009, compared with $8.9 billion at the end of fiscal 2008, and compared with $8.8 billion at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2009.

U.S. House Approves DTV Delay -- New Cut-off date is June 12

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 264-158 to delay the mandatory switchover to digital TV until June 12. A similar bill already passed in the Senate. The legislation now goes to President Obama for approval.