Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Verizon CFO Doreen Toben to Retire in 2009

Doreen A. Toben, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Verizon Communications, plans to retire around mid-year 2009. A successor to Toben will be named shortly. As CFO since 2002, Toben has been involved in virtually all of Verizon's strategic initiatives and significant decisions, including its investments in wireless broadband, fiber to the home and global Internet backbones. Prior to being CFO, Toben was senior vice president and chief financial officer for Verizon's Domestic Telecom group, with responsibility for finance and strategic planning.

Since the mid-1990s, Toben has played a key role in the series of mergers that created Verizon. She was vice president and controller for Bell Atlantic in July 2000, when the company merged with GTE to form Verizon. Prior to that, she was the chief financial officer of Bell Atlantic's telecom operations, and had been vice president of finance and controller when Bell Atlantic merged with NYNEX in August 1997. Toben began her career in 1983 at AT&T in treasury and served in positions of increasing responsibility in the areas of finance and strategic planning there, and subsequently at Bell Atlantic.

Avanex Posts Q4 Revenue of $38 Million, down 16% Sequentially

Avanex reported net revenue of $38.0 million for its second quarter of fiscal 2009 (ending 31-Dec-08) , a decrease of 16.1 percent from $45.3 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2009, and a decrease of 26.9 percent from $52.0 million in the same period last year. Gross margin in the second quarter of fiscal 2009 was 15.4%, a decrease from 17.2% in the first quarter of fiscal 2009, and a decrease from 31.0% in the same period last year. Net loss in the second quarter of fiscal 2009 was $16.8 million, or ($1.08) per diluted share, compared with net loss of $9.6 million, or ($0.63) per diluted share in the first quarter of fiscal 2009.

"While the company is continuing to face challenges in light of the current macro-economic environment, we are taking action by reducing our workforce by 5% and scaling back on other discretionary expenses. We believe that the proposed merger with Bookham, Inc. announced last week, will improve our market position," said Giovanni Barbarossa, CEO and President of Avanex.

Ixia Reports Q4 Revenue of $41 Million

Ixia reported Q4 2008 revenue of $41.0 million compared to $46.4 million in the 2007 fourth quarter. For the 2008 full year, total revenues increased to $175.9 million from $174.1 million in 2007. Ixia recorded a net loss (GAAP) for the 2008 fourth quarter of $18.3 million, or $0.29 per share, compared to net income of $4.4 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, for the 2007 fourth quarter. The company's 2008 fourth quarter net loss includes an impairment charge of $15.8 million for the write down of auction rate securities. The company's 2008 fourth quarter operating expenses include $2.1 million of non-recurring charges, consisting primarily of costs associated with certain strategic initiatives and severance-related charges.

"Although our 2008 fourth quarter and full year results were adversely impacted by the global economic slowdown and write downs of impaired investments, we continued to generate positive cash flow from our operations," commented Atul Bhatnagar, Ixia's president and chief executive officer. "While we expect 2009 to be a challenging year, we are committed to delivering innovative and quality products to the market place and supporting our customers. We believe that we have a competitive advantage in the market, and that this advantage will help drive business when the economy recovers. Also, we recently announced an agreement with a new partner who will assist us with our manufacturing and supply chain management. By leveraging their operational expertise and purchasing power, we expect to realize financial benefits commencing in the second half of the year."

Tata Communications Tests GSMA IP eXchange with TELUS and Telekom Austria

Tata Communications has completed trials of its wireless IP interconnection technology, part of the international GSM Association's program to develop the next generation of wireless services. The Tata Communications trial verified its IP eXchange framework can interconnect wireless networks over IP, which is more efficient and flexible than the traditional Time-Division Multiplexing technology.

Tata Communications' trials were part of the GSMA's IP eXchange (IPX) Pre-Commercial Implementation Project, which is verifying the design and operation of IPX networks through a series of trials designed to validate technical and commercial specifications. Once adopted, IPX will act as a private global IP backbone, open to any telecommunications company adhering to the required standards. IPX will provide fixed and mobile service providers with a technical and commercial platform for the performance-based exchange of IP-based services.

In the trial, Tata Communications partnered with Canadian telecommunications company, TELUS and Telekom Austria to successfully interconnect voice services using different signaling and transmission standards. The trial demonstrated the flexibility of Tata Communications' newly-deployed NGN network by bridging voice over IP services using several very different standards. The trial demonstrates that Tata Communications, with its unique global footprint and service capabilities, can commercialize IPX Voice Services.

EXFO Offers Packet-OTN Test Suite

EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering has added an Ethernet-over-OTN (EoOTN) and an advanced OTN analysis test suite to its FTB-81xx Transport Blazer and Power Blazer lines of test modules.

The FTB-8130NG Transport Blazer and the FTB-8130NGE Power Blazer modules provide the ability to test Ethernet-over-OTN (EoOTN) through the generation and mapping of 10 GigE LAN traffic directly into OTU1e and OTU2e payloads, allowing network operators to efficiently test next-generation carrier Ethernet core transport networks. In addition, the FTB-8120/8120NG/8120NGE and FTB-8130/8130NG/8130NGE modules, as well as the FTB-8140 module now also support the ability to analyze and manipulate OTN overhead bytes and to intrusively test OTN signals in through mode up to 43 Gbps.

Motorola PKI Center Selected as Root Certificate Vendor for WiMAX Forum

Motorola's public key infrastructure (PKI) Center of Excellence in San Diego has been selected by the WiMAX Forum(R) to be a root certificate authority for WiMAX devices worldwide. Devices that will connect to a WiMAX network - such as cell phones, laptop computers and portable media players - are generally required to have a device certificate in order for that device to be authenticated and then become functional on that network.

Motorola's PKI Center has produced more than 650 million certificates since inception. 180 million certificates were issued in 2008 alone to authenticate and secure services to devices of all types including cell phones, cable and satellite set top boxes, cable modems, portable media players, two-way radios, and more.

Carbonite Expands to New Data Center in Boston

Carbonite, which offers online backup services for consumers and small businesses, opened a new data center in a collocation facility operated by Internap Network Services Corporation. As the anchor tenant of Internap's newest Boston-area data center, Carbonite's storage capacity will more than triple. The new facility is located in Somerville.

Carbonite said its revenue and customer base both tripled last year. Since its inception in 2006, Carbonite has backed up more than 25 billion files and restored more than 2 billion files.

Broadcom's Wireless Chips Support Android Mobile Platform

The software that controls Broadcom's Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/FM combination silicon is a standard component of the latest Android operating system. Broadcom said this is the first time that the Android platform includes native support for a multi-functional wireless connectivity solution (or "combo" chip). Open access to portions of Broadcom's combo drivers provides Android developers with a head-start in designing mobile devices and applications that utilize the best in wireless connectivity solutions.

The current generation of Android-based handsets features both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, but uses discrete components.

"Two of the most exciting trends in the handset industry are the growing popularity of Android and the transition to combo chips for connectivity," said Chris Bergey, Director of Broadcom's Embedded WLAN line of business. "As a founding member of the Open Handset Alliance, we are committed to advancing the Android platform by contributing our software and facilitating greater access to our combination chips in the open source community. We expect a plethora of products and applications to evolve from the connected Android platform in the not-so-distant future."

JDSU Transfers its Shenzhen Manufacturing to Sanmina-SCI

Sanmina-SCI, a leading electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider, will acquire certain manufacturing assets, inventories, and employees related to JDSU's operations in Shenzhen, China. As part of the agreement, Sanmina-SCI will build on JDSU's Shenzhen operations to offer New Product Introduction (NPI) and manufacturing services for advanced optical products. Sanmina-SCI intends to produce and deliver orders without any interruption to JDSU and its customers. JDSU will continue to maintain corporate functions and product development in the region. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"The new partnership represents an important part of JDSU's manufacturing strategy to leverage the skills of world-class EMS partners like Sanmina-SCI for products and services where possible, while retaining key elements internally that provide a unique advantage to JDSU," said Alan Lowe, president of the Communications and Commercial Optical Products business segment at JDSU. "

UPnP Specifications Gain ISO Validation

UPnP technology has attained worldwide recognition by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). In December 2008, ISO and IEC published an international standard version of the UPnP Device Architecture and Device Protocols.

The UPnP Forum said this validation as the world's first international standard for device interoperability on IP networks solidifies UPnP architecture's position as the leading technology for discovery and control of networked devices.

Building on this momentum, UPnP Forum also announced the release of UPnP Device Architecture Version 1.1 (UDA 1.1), a significant enhancement of the architectural elements used to define protocols for communication between controllers or control points, and devices. UDA 1.1, a fully backward-compatible update to UDA 1.0, adds a number of extensions, including:

  • Support for the full range of XML Schema data types to provide more protocol design options

  • Multicast event notifications to reduce network traffic

  • Improved robustness of device discovery on wireless networks

  • Improved performance and scalability on large networks

  • Compliance with RFC 3927 (the IETF standard for automatic IP address assignment), SOAP 1.1 and the WS-I Basic Profile to increase alignment with Web services technologies

  • IPv6 support directly into the UPnP Device Architecture and clarifies operation of devices that support multiple IP addresses including both IPv4 and IPv6

  • Many clarifications and explanations to assist implementers

UPnP Forum has also completed several new specifications including updates to its Audio Video (AV) and Quality of Service (QoS) device control protocols and services. The latest QoS service descriptions (QoS:3) feature parameterized QoS for the first time. The QosDevice is responsible for providing the appropriate network resources to traffic streams and information about the state of the device as requested by the QosManager.

Qwest Offer Personal Digital Vault Back-up Service

Qwest has begun offering an online back-up service for its High-Speed Internet customers.

Qwest Personal Digital Vault offers encrypted, offsite protection. All new and existing Qwest High-Speed Internet customers are provided 2GB of free online vault space. Customers can sign up for 50GB of vault space for $6.99 per month or unlimited vault space for $9.99 per month. Customers who purchase a 12-month term for 50GB or unlimited vault space save more than 15 percent on the monthly rates.

Verizon Business Wins $120.8 million Contract with the U.S. GSA

Verizon Business won a contract valued at up to $120.8 million with the U.S. General Services Administration to provide a range of local voice and data services to federal agencies in five Mid-Atlantic states. The agreement, known as the Mid-Atlantic Local Services Acquisition (LSA) contract, covers three years and four renewable option years. Under terms of the deal, the GSA and other federal agencies in the Mid-Atlantic region - which covers Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia - can immediately buy local voice and data services. They include Centrex, Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) services, network-based voice messaging, private line data services, and related managed and professional services.

The LSA contract also provides an option to add VoIP in the future. The contract replaces three Metropolitan Area Acquisition (MAA) agreements that Verizon Business had in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Norfolk, as well as the Mid-Atlantic Access Contract for Centrex Services.

Verizon Business is the largest supplier of communication services to the federal government.

Philadelphia Approves Verizon's FiOS Franchise

The Philadelphia City Council unanimously approved an ordinance authorizing Verizon Pennsylvania to offer its all-fiber-optic FiOS TV service to city residents.

As part of the 15-year cable franchise included in the legislation, Verizon will make FiOS TV available throughout the city over the next seven years.
http://www.verizon.comIn December, Verizon made a pitch to the Philadelphia City Council Committee on Public Property and Public Works to install its all-fiber-optic network and bring real TV choice to more than 600,000 households throughout the city. The company is seeking franchise agreement from the city.

Key points of Verizon's proposal:

  • Verizon plans to bring fiber optics directly to every Philadelphian's home. More than 600,000 households will have access to FiOS TV, including households in multiple dwelling units.

  • The full deployment of Verizon's FTTP network throughout the entire city will occur within seven years of the franchise ordinance's effective date.

  • The network will deliver an all-digital FiOS TV lineup, including VOD.

  • Payment of franchise fees equivalent to 5 per cent of gross revenues on cable TV service.

  • Payment to the city of $2 million for a technology and education fund.

  • Payment of $9.2 million in grants to support the city's public, education and government access channels.

  • Up to 15 all-digital public, educational and governmental access channels for use by the city or its Public Access Corporation over the life of the agreement.

  • An extensive and appropriate set of customer service provisions.

Opnext Quarterly Revenue Declines 12% to $70.5 Million

Opnext's sales decreased $9.7 million for the fiscal quarter ending in December, or 12.1%, to $70.5 million from $80.2 million in the quarter ended September 2008. The decrease affected all product lines except XFP products. There was a net loss of $14.5 million, or $(0.23) per diluted share, as compared to net income of $1.2 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, for the quarter ended September 30, 2008, and $4.3 million, or $0.07 per diluted share, for the quarter ended December 31, 2007.

Sales of 10Gbps and above products decreased $8.9 million, or 13.6%, to $56.7 million, while sales of less than 10 Gbps products decreased $0.6 million, or 6.7%, to $8.4 million, and sales of industrial and commercial product decreased $0.2 million, or 3.6%, to $5.4 million. However, sales increased $4.1 million, or 6.2%, from $66.4 million in the quarter ended December 31, 2007, primarily as a result of increased sales of XFP, X2 and SFP products, partially offset by lower sales of 40G and XENPAK modules.

Sales to Cisco and Alcatel-Lucent represented 35.2% and 15.9% of total sales, respectively, as compared to 38.6% and 14.6% for the quarter ended September 30, 2008, and 37.6% and 19.9% for the quarter ended December 31, 2007. Sales to the balance of the top ten customers during the quarter ended December 31, 2008 increased 4.4% sequentially and represented 31.8% of total revenue.

"The market weakness that we saw at the end of last quarter continued to impact our performance throughout the December quarter. We expect that weakness to continue in 2009. In addition, we are experiencing increased pricing pressure, an unfavorable product mix and the adverse effect of foreign currency exchange fluctuations. In this difficult demand environment, our focus is on continuing to serve our customer base, completing the integration of StrataLight, and reducing our expense structure while we continue to invest in R&D programs for our future. Our goal remains to enhance our industry leadership at the higher network speeds and expand our customer relationships as we address the continuing need for greater bandwidth," commented Harry Bosco, Opnext's CEO.

Softbank Sees Mobile Growth Outpace Competitors

Softbank Japan reported nine month net sales of 1,982.2 billion yen, a decrease of 76.5 billion yen or 3.7% year-on-year. The principal reason was a 23% year-on-year decline in handset sales. Operating income was 274.6 billion yen, an increase of 14.5 billion yen or 5.6% increase year-on-year.

Some highlights:


  • Total number of subscribers as of the end of December 2008 was 19.99 million yen (1.41 million yen increase from the end of the previous fiscal year).

  • No. 1 in monthly net additions for 20 consecutive months through December 2008.

  • 3G subscription ratio as of the end of December 2008 was 86.2% (10.6 percentage point increase from the end of the previous fiscal year).

  • Total ARPU*2 in the third quarter was 4,090 yen (a decline of 220 yen from the end of the previous fiscal year and a decline of ¥80 yen from the second quarter).

  • Voice ARPU in the third quarter was 2,300 yen (a decline of 410 yen from the end of the previous fiscal year and a decline of ¥160 yen from the second quarter).

  • Data ARPU in the third quarter was 1,790 yen (an increase of 190 yen from the end of the previous fiscal year and an increase of ¥80 yen from the second quarter).

  • The churn rate for the third quarter was 0.91% (0.28 percentage point improvement from the end of the previous fiscal year)

  • The upgrade rate for the third quarter was 1.67% (0.26 percentage point improvement from the end of the previous fiscal year).)


  • Net sales in the Broadband Infrastructure segment were 58.3 billion yen (5.9 billion yen or 9.3% decrease year-on-year).

  • Operating income in the Broadband Infrastructure segment was 14.3 billion yen (3.0 billion yen or 26.8% increase year-on-year).

  • Net sales in the Fixed-line Telecommunications segment were 90.1 billion yen (0.2 billion yen or 0.2% increase year-on-year).

  • Operating income in the Fixed-line Telecommunications segment was 5.7 billion yen (4.4 billion yen or 320.1% increase year-on-year).

  • Net sales in the Internet Culture segment were 64.2 billion yen (2.2 billion yen or 3.4% decrease year-on-year).

  • Operating income in the Internet Culture segment was 30.8 billion yen (2.0 billion yen or 7.0% increase year-on-year).

NTT Reaches 10.6 Million Residential Optical Access Lines

Japan's NTT Group reported nine-month revenues of 7.73 trillion yen, down 1.1% from a year earlier. Profits rose to 544.08 billion yen ($6.05 billion) compared to 322.22 billion yen a year earlier.

Employment levels remained steady at 208,050 across all NTT division, compared to 209,050 a year earlier.

Capital investment rose to 1.491 trillion yen, compared to 1.383 trillion year a year earlier. At NTT DoCoMo, capital spending came in at 500.5 billion year, compared to 488.2 billion yen a year earlier.