Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Quantenna Raises $14 Million for its 4X4 MIMO 802.11n Chipsets

Quantenna Communications, a start-up based in Fremont, California, raised $13.85 million in Series C funding for its 4X4 MIMO 802.11n chipsets designed for next gen home networking applications.

Quantenna leverages dynamic digital beamforming to deliver very high-speed wireless coverage throughout the whole home for sharing high definition (HD) video and multimedia content between home gateways and TVs. Quantenna's silicon is targeted at devices such as home residential gateways, set-top boxes, routers, HDTVs and consumer electronic devices, which all require high bandwidth and reliability to support whole home HD video distribution and networking over standard Wi-Fi networks.

The new funding was led by new investor Southern Cross Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors Grazia Equity GmbH, Sequoia Capital, Sigma Partners and Venrock Associates. In addition, Southern Cross Venture Partners Managing Director Dr. Larry Marshall has joined Quantenna's board of directors. With this latest round, total investment in the three-year old wireless semiconductor company now exceeds $42 million.
  • Quantenna's management team includes Dr. Behrooz Rezvani (founder, chairman and chief executive officer) and Dr. Andrea Goldsmith (co-founder and chief technology officer.) Prior to founding Quantenna, Dr. Rezvani founded Ikanos Communications in 1999 and served as chief technology officer through its successful IPO in 2005. Dr. Goldsmith is also a professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University and a recognized expert in the field of wireless communications and networks, with an emphasis on MIMO systems, adaptive transmission, and QoS for wireless applications.

Qwest's Revenue Declines 7% YoY as Wireless Transition Gets Underway

Qwest Communications reported Q1 revenue in the quarter was $3.2 billion, a decline of 7 percent compared to $3.4 billion in the first quarter of 2008 and a decline of 4 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2008. In the quarter, net income was $206 million, an increase of 37 percent compared to $150 million for the first quarter of 2008. Earnings per share for the quarter were 12 cents, a 50 percent increase from the first quarter of 2008.

Total revenue for the first quarter of $3.2 billion reflects 5 percent year-over-year growth in data, Internet and video revenue, which was offset by a decline of 11 percent in voice revenue and lower wireless revenue. Data and Internet revenue growth was the result of strong service revenue growth in both Business Markets and Mass Markets. Voice revenue results reflect lower access lines and the company's efforts to improve the profitability of its wholesale long-distance business, while wireless results include the impact from the migration to the resale platform.

As expected, Qwest's move from a wireless MVNO model to a reseller model beginning in the third quarter of 2008 impacted reported revenue comparisons in the period. Excluding wireless MVNO services, revenues decreased 5 percent vs. the first quarter of 2008 and declined 3 percent sequentially. Qwest transitioned nearly 100,000 customers from its wireless MVNO operation to the Verizon Wireless resale platform in the quarter and reported 30,000 net wireless additions. Qwest has announced that it expects to terminate its wireless MVNO services in October of this year. Qwest also reported strong growth in video subscribers, adding 34,000 customers in the quarter through its partnership with DIRECTV.

Qwest said it is making steady progress on profitability goals with all segments reporting year-over-year and sequential improvement in segment margin percentages.

"Disciplined execution and focus on cost controls have produced a strong start to the year given the current economic climate", said Edward A. Mueller, Qwest Chairman and CEO. "We are seeing tangible results from our focus on our key strategies to perfect the customer experience, including demand for our leading data services and strong results from our partnerships. We continue to tightly manage spending and investments to preserve financial strength and mitigate near-term economic pressures."

Some additional highlights:

  • At the end of the first quarter, Qwest was serving 2.9 million broadband subscribers, which is an increase of 7 percent from the year-ago period.

  • The video subscriber base was 832,000 at the end of the period, an increase of 21 percent from the first quarter of 2008.
    Mass market access lines were 7.5 million at the end of the quarter and declined at an annual rate of 11.4 percent in the period.

  • The total wireless base at the end of the first quarter was 747,000, with about 60 percent of customers being served on the Verizon Wireless platform.

  • Wholesale Markets segment revenue was lower in the quarter due to lower long-distance volumes and a decline in access revenue. Revenue was impacted by the company's continued focus on improving wholesale profitability.

  • Capital spending in the quarter was $334 million, a decrease of 20 percent from the year-ago quarter and 7 percent sequentially. The decline in capital expenditures was mostly due to project timing. A significant portion of capital investment continues to be focused on broadband expansion, including fiber to the node.

  • Qwest continues to expect full year 2009 adjusted free cash flow will be $1.4 to $1.5 billion. Full year adjusted EBITDA is expected to be $4.2 to $4.4 billion, inclusive of an expected increase in non-cash pension and OPEB expense of $200 million. Capital expenditures are expected to be $1.8 billion or lower.

LSI Posts Q1 Revenue of $482 Million, Down 27% YoY

LSI's first quarter 2009 revenues were $482 million, a 27% decrease year-over-year compared to $661 million reported in the first quarter of 2008, and down 21% sequentially compared to $610 million reported in the fourth quarter of 2008. First quarter 2009 GAAP net loss was $104 million or 16 cents per share, compared to first quarter 2008 GAAP net loss of $14 million or 2 cents per share. First quarter 2009 GAAP results compare to fourth quarter 2008 GAAP net loss of $606 million or 94 cents per share. First quarter 2009 GAAP net loss included a net charge of $86 million from special items, consisting primarily of $42.7 million of amortization of acquisition-related items, $25.2 million in net restructuring and other items and $18 million of stock-based compensation expense.

"Despite continued macroeconomic uncertainty, our first quarter revenues were above the midpoint of our guidance range with our storage semiconductor and networking businesses demonstrating strength late in the quarter," said Abhi Talwalkar, LSI president and chief executive officer. "We have also significantly lowered our operating expenses while continuing to invest in key opportunities which position us to grow at above-market rates coming out of the downturn."http://www.lsi.com

Extreme's BlackDiamond Ethernet Switches Gain RUS Certification

Extreme Networks' Ethernet solutions, including its BlackDiamond Ethernet transport switches and certain Summit Series Ethernet switches, are now listed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Telecommunications Program as acceptable for deployment by companies using USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS) funding to build networks.

Wisconsin's Vernon Telephone Deploys Extreme Carrier Ethernet Switches

Vernon Telephone Cooperative, an independent local exchange carrier servicing customers in southwestern Wisconsin, has selected Extreme Networks' Carrier Ethernet solutions, including its recently announced BlackDiamond 20808, to deliver Triple Play services to its 7,000 customers in nine rural communities. Specifically, Extreme Networks has provided Vernon Telephone Cooperative with BlackDiamond 20808 metro Ethernet transport switches for the core, as well as Summit X450 aggregation switches for the edge. Financial terms were not disclosed.


CP Technologies Releases Portable 3G Wireless Router

CP Technologies introduced a portable 3G wireless router that lets the user share a UMTS, EV-DO, or HSDPA network with any Wi-Fi enabled device. The LevelOne MobileSpot Portable Wireless Hotspot (WBR-3800) provides CardBus slot for inserting a compatible broadband wireless data card. The Mac and PC compatible MobileSpot is 802.11b and 802.11g compliant and offers enhanced security features including WPA, WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK authentication with TKIP/AES encryption as well as advanced firewall protection when connected to the Internet. It also provides port-forwarding, SSID enable/disable functionality, MAC address filtering and VPN pass-through of PPTP, L2TP and IPSec secured data connections.

The router comes equipped with a 10/100Mbps Ethernet switch with auto-negotiation and MDI/MDI-X support as well as a 10/100Mbps WAN interface for broadband Internet access with a DSL or cable modem.

The estimated street price of $149.

China Mobile Takes Stake in Taiwan's Far EasTone

China Mobile will acquire a 12% equity stake in Taiwan-based Far EasTone Telecommunications Co.. Specifically, China Mobile will acquire 444,341,020 new shares of Far EasTone, representing 12% of its enlarged issued share capital, for approximately NT$17.77 bn (approximately HK$4.08 bn) in total or NT$40.00 (approximately HK$9.17) per share.

China Mobile and Far EasTone also agreed to cooperate closely in a number of areas, including procurement, roaming services, data and value-added services, and network and technology advancement.

China Mobile said the strategic alliance will facilitate its expansion especially amongst customers doing business on both sides of the Taiwan straights.

"This cooperation is not only a strategic milestone in ramping up our business initiatives, but also a big leap for the Taiwan telecommunications industry. Throughout our corporate history, Far EasTone has benefitted from technological and strategic partnerships with leading global operators. We launched with AT&T and subsequently entered into strategic cooperation with NTT DoCoMo, SingTel and now China Mobile. This new partnership will provide us with a very strong platform to grow," said Mr. Douglas Hsu, Chairman of Far EasTone.

Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C. and China International Capital Corporation Limited act as the financial advisers to China Mobile in this transaction.

Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom Sees 3.6% Revenue Decline

Citing the global economic condition and the increasing market competition, Chunghwa Telecom reported that total revenue for the first quarter of 2009 decreased by 3.6% year-over-year to NT$49.1 billion, of which 26.7% was from fixed-line services, 35.8% was from mobile services, 25.4% was from Internet and data services, and the remainder was mainly from handset sales from Chunghwa's subsidiary SENAO on a consolidated basis.

For the mobile business, total revenue for the first quarter of 2009 amounted to NT$17.6 billion, representing a decline of 3.1% year-over-year. The Internet and data revenue slightly decreased by 0.5% year-over-year to NT$12.5 billion, mainly because of the tariff cut for ISP and ADSL services.

The fixed-line revenue totaled NT$13.1 billion, decreasing 8.9% year-over- year. The local and domestic long distance revenues were decreased by 6.2% and 10.1% respectively, for the first quarter of 2009. These decreases were mainly due to the overall economic downturn, mobile and VOIP substitution. The international long distance revenue was decreased by 14.4% year-over-year, as a result of the overall economic downturn, VOIP substitution and the market competition.

Dr. Shyue-Ching Lu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chunghwa Telecom commented, "For the first quarter of 2009, we continued to executive on our strategic focus of maintaining market leadership for our core services as well as expanding our digital-converged services such as broadband and mobile value-added services, MOD/IPTV, and key enterprise solutions. As a result, we are able to stabilize our top-line performance under the current adverse economic situation."

Some highlights for the period:

  • The capex for the first quarter of 2009 amounted NT$4.7 billion, a 13.8% decrease compared to that for the same period in 2008. Among the NT$4.7 billion capex, 73.6% was for wireline and 17.0% was for wireless.

  • As of the end of March 2009, total HiNet subscribers decreased 0.4% year- over-year. Overall, the company had 4.3 billion broadband subscribers (including ADSL and FTTx subscribers) at the end of March 2009, representing a 0.6% growth year-over-year. By the end of the first quarter of 2009, FTTx subscriptions with an average service speed of 10Mbps reached 1.19 million, representing 27.7% of total broadband subscribers.

  • As of the end of the first quarter of 2009, Chunghwa had 686,000 MOD subscribers, equivalent to 57.6% year-over-year increase.

  • As of March 31, 2009, Chunghwa had 8.98 million mobile subscribers, up 2.9% compared to 8.72 million as of the first quarter of 2008.

  • Chunghwa remained the leading mobile operator in Taiwan. According to statistics published by the ROC National Communications Commission, the company's total subscriber market share (including 2G, 3G and PHS) was 35.1%, while the company's mobile revenue share was 34.0% as of the end of February 2009.

  • As of March 31, 2009, Chunghwa had 3.85 million 3G subscribers, representing a 48.9% increase as compared to that of the end of March 2008.

  • Mobile VAS revenue for the first quarter of 2009 was NT$2.05 billion, posting a 18.5% increase year-over-year. Of this increase, SMS revenue was up 12.9% and mobile Internet revenue increased by 49.6% year-over-year, respectively.

  • As of the end of the first quarter of 2009, the company maintained its leading fixed-line market position, with fixed-line subscribers totaling 12.66 million. According to statistics published by the ROC National Communications Commission, the company's fixed line subscriber market share was 97.3%.

ARRIS Reports Q1 Revenue of $254 Million

ARRIS expects Q1 2009 revenues of $253.5 million as compared to first quarter 2008 revenues of $273.5 million and as compared to fourth quarter 2008 revenues of $292.4 million. Non-GAAP net income in the first quarter 2009 was $0.18 per diluted share, as compared to the first quarter 2008 of $0.12 per diluted share and the fourth quarter 2008 of $0.25 per diluted share.

Order backlog at the end of the first quarter 2009 was $155.0 million and the Company's book to bill ratio in the first quarter was approximately 1.16. This amount compares to order backlog of $114.8 million and book to bill ratio of 0.90 for the fourth quarter of 2008.

"Although macro-economic conditions caused 2009 to start off somewhat slowly, we delivered a solid quarter with significantly higher earnings than a year ago," said Bob Stanzione, ARRIS Chairman & CEO. "During the quarter we have seen positive signs in our business that, coupled with the current plans of our customers, gives me cautious optimism that our business will gain momentum in the second quarter and beyond."

"We are off to a solid start to the year, particularly in light of the overall market conditions and I am pleased to see strengthening demand in the second quarter," said David Potts, ARRIS EVP & CFO. "As a result, we now project that revenues for the company in the second quarter 2009 will be in the range of $270 to $290 million with non-GAAP net income per diluted share in the range of $0.20 to $0.24 and GAAP net income per diluted share, in the range of $0.12 to $0.16."http://www.arrisi.com

Ixia Offers Testing for Virtualized Data Centers

Ixia announced its expansion into virtual network and virtualization testing. Legacy network resources are straight-forward to isolate, balance and test. However, new virtual infrastructure makes it extremely challenging to isolate the network functions and bottlenecks and data center managers need to evaluate system performance under load.

Ixia said its new IxVM product enables data center managers to assess virtual infrastructure performance and capacity. IxVM builds on the company's library of layer 2-7 performance test tools that discover, manage and automate testing in large virtualized environments. The IxVM products can test layer 2/3 virtual network resources and layer 4-7 virtual applications.

IxChariot VM, a component of IxVM, uses software endpoints -- small software components that run on each virtual machine -- that send and receive test traffic, while measuring performance. This makes it possible to source traffic from virtual servers in the same manner as the supported applications. IxExplorer VM uses software endpoints to generate layer 2/3 traffic to test features such as VLAN and QoS.

IxVM allows:
  • performance testing of thousands of VMs simultaneously with real world application traffic

  • independent measurement and convergence testing of VM migration

  • tuning of virtual resources such as servers and NICs

  • measurement of key performance indicators like delay, jitter or packet loss through virtual switches

  • testing of network performance variances when running applications over different operating systems

Sonus Joins Avaya DevConnect Program for SIP Trunks

Sonus Networks has joined the Avaya DevConnect program to accelerate the rapid deployment and use of SIP based IP business trunks. Avaya's program supports the development, compliance-testing and co-marketing of innovative solutions that are compatible with standards-based Avaya solutions. Sonus IP Business Trunks replace legacy TDM voice circuits, making it easier for carriers and enterprises to connect disparate locations, overlay new services and reduce operating costs by eliminating duplicate PRI circuits for voice and data.

Verizon Business Launches De-Duplication Remote Backup for Corporate Networks

Verizon Business is launching a Remote Backup and Restore managed service for corporate servers and PCs -- without overburdening corporate networks. Using "de-duplication" technology, Verizon's new offering employs "variable block size" analysis, a specialized feature that automatically identifies new data for storage and greatly reduces the amount of data transmitted daily. This eliminates the backup of redundant data, reducing network bandwidth and storage capacity requirements for enterprises.

Verizon Business said that unlike many other backup and restore services that can tax a network and slow delivery of mission-critical applications, its Remote Backup and Restore service operates in the background at a low priority.

The new software-as-a-service (SaaS)-enabled capabilities consist of hosted, secure backup and restore solutions for both PCs and servers. Verizon Remote Backup and Restore -- PC is now available in the U.S. and Europe, and will be available in the Asia-Pacific region later this year. This offering joins the Verizon Remote Backup and Restore -- Server service, which has been available in the U.S. since 2006 and is now available to enterprise customers in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

Pricing is usage-based, so that enterprises pay for the amount of data stored.

Verizon Business noted that it already offers e-mail, anti-virus, server monitoring and conferencing applications, as well as wide-area network reporting tools, via a SaaS delivery model. The company's SaaS focus is part of a long-term strategy to offer customers flexibility and choice when purchasing IT solutions. These SaaS capabilities leverage Verizon Business' expansive data center footprint spanning 22 countries and one of the most expansive global IP networks, setting the stage for additional SaaS deployments.

NSN Launches High-Density hiT 7080 Optical Transmission Platform

Nokia Siemens Networks has launched version 4.2 of its hiT 7080 multi-service optical network platform. As a metro/core platform, the hiT 7080 is capable of supporting switching capacities of 40G low order and 340G high order as well as multiple interfaces including: Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet and 10G Ethernet connections. In addition, the platform offers a high degree of automation as well as remote management features.

With a higher port density than previous versions -- 16 versus eight -- the new hiT 7080 reduces the number of extra cards and platforms required, resulting in considerable operational savings in terms of space and power consumption. It is a Multiservice provisioning platform offering direct interworking with DWDM via colored interfaces and OTU2 interfaces (ODU1 multiplexing into ODU2 is supported), providing operators with more choice in networking design and enhanced application possibilities.

"As they gear-up to cope with the 100-fold growth in global data traffic we expect to see between now and 2015, our customers are demanding a platform which provides the opportunity to evolve towards more efficient, packet networking of converging fixed and mobile networks", said Mikko Lavanti, head of Nokia Siemens Networks' business line Next Generation Metro.

NSN noted that its Next Generation Metro portfolio has a strong installed base with more than 150 customer networks in over 100 countries.

Aricent and the IMS Forum Offer NGN Testing Resources

Aricent and the IMS Forum have teamed up to launch a new web resource to serve as industry-wide collaborative platform of comprehensive test cases for the validation of IMS and NGN equipment and services.

The www.TestNGN.org site offers community-based, open repository for NGN testing that allows network equipment manufacturers and service providers to significantly reduce the time, complexity, and cost required to introduce next generation networks and services, including equipment such as multimedia gateways, home subscriber and application servers, and services including voice and multimedia over IP, converged Web-telephony services and IPTV.

The repository will allow equipment manufacturers and service providers to download, post and share global testing experiences, quickly creating a high value knowledge base. This approach will help minimize the time spent on test case development, planning, writing and preparation, and accelerate the testing cycle for NGN architectures while reducing complexity and time to market.

The IMS Forum's TestNGN and Interoperability Working groups are focused respectively on the product interoperability, reliability and operational and management issues associated with converged IMS and NGN applications and services delivered over wireless (3G, LTE), wireline (DSL, optical) and cable broadband. The groups ensure that converged applications and the vehicles which deliver such services will be timely and well supported from a provisioning, billing and management systems perspective.

Aricent has developed an extensive NGN testing practice, employing more than 1,600 test engineers and test consultants. The practice has over 70,000 test cases for wireless, VoIP and IMS, all designed to speed the worldwide delivery of Next Generation Networks.