Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Agilent Teams with Datang on TD-SCDMA

Agilent Technologies and Datang Telecom Technology & Industry Holdings agreed to collaborate in the development of TD-SCDMA and related technologies in the test and measurement areas. As the initiator of the TD-SCDMA 3G mobile communication international standard, the owner of core patents, the driver of industry development and the leader of equipment market, Datang Holdings plays a key role in the creation and global deployment of TD-SCDMA and TD LTE. Agilent and Datang Holdings will work together to support the TD-SCDMA.

Acme Packet Acquires Covergence for Software SBCs

Acme Packet has acquired privately-held Covergence, a supplier of software-based session border controllers (SBCs), for approximately $22.8 million, consisting of approximately $22.2 million of Acme Packet common stock and an aggregate of $0.6 million in cash payments to stockholders of Covergence and tax withholding payments.

Covergence, which is based in Maynard, Massachusetts, supplies SBC functionality as hardened Unix-based software for Intel x86-class servers. Applications include VoIP/IP telephony, Unified Communications and Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) applications within global 1000 enterprises.

Acme Packet said Covergence's products complement its existing Net-Net family of custom hardware-based SBCs by extending the low-end product range to address the needs of small and remote enterprise locations. The Covergence acquisition will also add four of the Fortune 25 to Acme Packet's growing base of enterprise customers.

Comcast's Revenue Grows 5% in Q1, All-Digital Transition Underway

Citing customer upgrades to digital and advanced video services as well as continued growth in high-speed Internet (HSI),
Comcast's revenue from its cable operations increased 5% to $8.3 billion for the first quarter of 2009 as compared to $7.9 billion in the first quarter of 2008. The gains were partially offset by video customer losses and lower advertising revenue. The monthly average total revenue per video customer increased 8% from $106.70 to $115.27, reflecting an increasing number of customers taking multiple services.

Some highlights for the quarter:

  • As of March 31, 2009, Comcast's video, high-speed Internet and voice customers totaled 46.1 million, reflecting 549,000 net additions during the first quarter of 2009.

  • Comcast now serves over 15,258,000, a gain of 329,000 in the quarter.

  • Total Revenue Generating Units reached 63,426,000, up 6% compared to last year and a gain of 837,000 in Q1

  • Comcast added 298,000 Digital Voice accounts in Q1, giving it a total of 6,769,000 customers.

  • 300 million on-demand views per month

  • Voice ARPU is $39 per month.

  • Voice penetration is 14%

  • Free Cash Flow totaled $1.4 billion in the first quarter of 2009 as compared to $702 million in 2008, a 95% increase.

  • Consolidated capital expenditures decreased 19% from the prior year to $1.2 billion, or 13.1% of total revenue, reflecting a decreased level of capital intensity at Comcast Cable.

  • In a conference call, Comcast executives said new additions weakened in March and April due to the overall economy and increased video competition.

  • DOCSIS 3.0 is now deployed in 35% of the footprint with a goal of reaching 65% by year end

  • Comcast also provided an update on its all digital conversion. a project that is expected to add more bandwidth than any other improvement to its network infrastructure. The all-digital conversion will add 250 to 300 MHZ of bandwidth by moving 40-50 analog channels to digital and leaving just the lifeline basic channels in analog. The bandwidth gain makes room for more HD channels and ethnic programming. The upgrade does not impact lifeline basic customers who will continue to receive analog service For the 72% of the customer based currently served by digital service, only secondary TV sets inside the home without STBs will need to transition to a digital adapter. For the 14% of the customer base currently purchasing the expanded basic tier, Comcast will provide digital adapters. About 5% of the network footprint has already made the transition. Portland was the first market. The upgraded network and the new digital adapters are performing well. Three quarters of customers are choosing to self-install the digital adapters, resulting in far fewer truck rolls than forecast. The company also foresees an upside as digital customers are more likely to take on an additional service or to choose pay-per-view. The transition is built into 2009 and 2010 budgets.

Motorola Posts Q1 Sales of $5.4 billion

Motorola reports Q1 2009 sales of $5.4 billion. The total GAAP net loss in the first quarter of 2009 was $231 million, or $0.10 per share, which includes net income of $0.03 per share from discontinued operations. The GAAP net loss from continuing operations was $291 million, or $0.13 per share. The GAAP net loss from continuing operations includes net charges of $0.05 per share from highlighted items, primarily related to cost-reduction initiatives.

Some highlights from the quarterly report:

  • Mobile Devices segment sales were $1.8 billion, down 45 percent compared to the year-ago quarter.

  • During the quarter, Mobile Devices shipped 14.7 million handsets and estimates its share of the global handset market was 6.0 percent.

  • Motorola is aiming to deliver differentiated smartphone devices in the fourth quarter of 2009

  • During Q1, Motorola launched seven new phones, including three GSM devices, two 3G devices and two CDMA devices

  • Home and Networks Mobility segment sales were $2.0 billion, down 16 percent compared to the year-ago quarter.

  • Home and Networks Mobility shipped more than 4.3 million digital entertainment devices during Q1

  • Motorola introduced industry's first commercial receiver/decoder (IRD) to deliver three-channel MPEG-4 to MPEG-2 High Definition TV

  • Enterprise Mobility Solutions segment sales were $1.6 billion, down 11 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. GAAP operating earnings were $156 million, compared to operating earnings of $250 million in the year-ago quarter.

Equinix Opens Development Center in Singapore

Equinix announced the opening of a new global IT development center in Singapore. The facility will provide dedicated global application development support, database management and technical support services to all Equinix business units globally.

Verizon Enhances its Internet Security Suite

Verizon has enhanced its Internet Security Suite (VISS) for broadband subscribers with new Wi-Fi security capabilities. The VISS, which uses Radialpoint's ISP-delivered security and support technology, is available to Verizon FiOS Internet and Verizon High Speed Internet customers, as well as other broadband users.

The new Wi-Fi Security feature helps protect subscribers from hackers, eavesdroppers and other security threats associated with unsecured wireless networks and hot spots. When connecting to a wireless network, the service displays an alert if a network is unencrypted and, by providing simple how-to instructions, encourages users to set up encryption. When subscribers use public hot spots, Wi-Fi security can automatically turn off network discovery and sharing for increased security.

Other VISS capabilities include:

  • Virus Protection: Automatically safeguards customers from viruses,
    worms and Trojans. Simple to use, it offers automatic scans, updates
    and quarantines resulting in fewer support calls and a more secure

  • Spyware Protection: Detects and quarantines spyware before it attacks
    a PC. The service is automatically configured, updated and maintained.

  • Fraud Protection: Combats identity theft attacks and fraudulent
    campaigns conducted by e-mail, instant messaging (IM), blogs and Web
    hijacking techniques.

  • Firewall: Blocks unauthorized intrusions, malicious hackers and other
    hostile access attempts from both incoming and outgoing connections,
    with fully managed, automatically updated and customized firewall

  • Parental Controls: A secure, easy-to-use content-filtering program
    that allows subscribers to prevent their children from accessing
    inappropriate Internet content. Blocks millions of URLs, and also
    manages the use of online applications and the amount of time children
    spend online.

  • PC Optimizer: Offers subscribers a superior customer experience and
    maximized computer and Internet performance. With a full range of disk
    cleanup and optimization features such as defragmenting files, the
    service automatically improves system operation on a regular basis.

  • Pop-up & Ad Blocker: Helps ensure a faster and less cluttered browsing
    experience by blocking online ads such as pop-ups, pop-unders,
    banners, animations and tile ads.

  • Privacy Manager: Scans all outgoing communications for sensitive or
    identifying user information to help prevent its release without
    consent. It also provides control over how much information Web sites
    record about browsing habits, as well as a cleanup utility to
    automatically remove data traces left by browsers and programs.

Verizon sells f the security suite at a monthly price of $5.99 or as an annual subscription costing $59.99.

IBM Unveils Cloudburst Appliance

IBM introduced two new products to extend its service-oriented architecture (SOA) into a cloud services environment. These new offerings enable clients to easily create application environments that can be deployed and managed in a "private cloud". The goal is to combine the flexibility of SOA with the adaptability of the cloud. The new products include:

  • IBM WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance -- a new hardware appliance that provides access to software virtual images and patterns that can be used as is or easily customized, and then securely deployed, managed and maintained in a private cloud. The WebSphere CloudBurst, which IBM describes as the first hardware appliance of its kind, stores and secures WebSphere Application Server Hypervisor Edition images and patterns to be dispensed into a cloud. This helps customers develop, test and deploy business applications, ending the use of manual, complex or time-intensive processes associated with creating application environments. Once finished, resources are automatically returned to the shared resource pool and logged for internal charge-back purposes. WebSphere CloudBurst also manages individual user and group access, giving IT managers the right kind of access controls with optimal efficiency rates.

  • IBM WebSphere Application Server Hypervisor Edition -- a version of IBM WebSphere Application Server software optimized to run in a virtualized hardware server environments such as VMware, and comes preloaded in WebSphere Cloudburst.

As part of its public cloud initiatives, IBM is also announcing BPM BlueWorks, a cloud-based set of strategy and business process tools. BPM BlueWorks provides business users with the collateral they need to implement business strategies within their organizations based on industry-proven business process management techniques.

IBM noted a number of initiatives that allow customers to leverage its software in a cloud. IBM is working in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), a subsidiary of, Inc. to make IBM software available in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). WebSphere sMash, Informix Dynamic Server, DB2, and WebSphere Portal with Lotus Web Content Management Standard Edition are available today through a "pay as you go" model for both development and production instances. In addition to those products, IBM is also announcing the availability of IBM Mashup Center and Lotus Forms Turbo for development and test use in Amazon EC2, and intends to add WebSphere Application Server and WebSphere eXtreme Scale to these offerings.

Obama Nominates Clyburn for FCC Commissioner

President Obama nominated Mignon L. Clyburn to serve as one of the five FCC Commissioners.

Since 1998, Mignon Clyburn has been a member of South Carolina's Public Service Commission, which regulates the state's investor owned public utilities, including providers of telecommunications services. The South Carolina General Assembly elected Clyburn as a Commissioner representing the Sixth Congressional District in May of 1998, and she has been re-elected three times. She chaired the Commission from 2002 to 2004. Clyburn is a past chair of the Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. She is presently the chair of the Washington Action Committee of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC).

Clyburn graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science degree in Banking, Finance & Economics in 1984. Before her election to the Public Service Commission she spent fourteen years as the Publisher and General Manager of The Coastal Times, a weekly newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina.

One Minute Video: Test Authoring

Presented by:

Kingston Duffie, Founder and CTO, Fanfare Software

Defense Department's JITC Certifies Alcatel-Lucent's IP Routers

The U.S. Department of Defense's Joint Interoperability Test Command has certified the Alcatel-Lucent 7750 and 7710 Service Routers. The equipment will be added to the IPv6 Approved Products List.

IBM Global Finance Arranges up to $2 Billion to Support Stimulus

In a bid to support the rollout smart technology solutions tied to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), IBM Global Financing is making up to $2 billion available to finance IT initiatives in key economic stimulus areas. The move will help US organizations move ahead with IT projects that could improve their infrastructure or competitive edge and point them in the direction of economic recovery. IBM noted that its consulting and technology business units are active in some of the key stimulus areas identified in the Act -- including the Smart Grid, Health Information Technology and Broadband Access.

Integrated Device Technology and Tundra Sign Merger Agreement

Integrated Device Technology (IDT) and Tundra Semiconductor signed a definitive acquisition agreement under which IDT will acquire Tundra for CDN$6.25 per share, for an aggregate purchase price of approximately CDN$120.8 million.

Gennum, which had made an earlier offer to acquire Tundra, declined to match the IDT bid.

"IDT is excited about the proposed acquisition of Tundra. We look forward to better serving our customers by utilizing the Tundra core strengths in serial switching and bridging using PCI Express, RapidIO and VME, with the existing IDT mixed signal product portfolio," said Dr. Ted Tewksbury, president and CEO at IDT. "We believe the result of this transaction will provide our customers with a broader product offering as well as improved service, support and future roadmap of serial connectivity innovations. This transaction reflects our commitment to extending our technology leadership in the communications end market, which is particularly critical in the current challenging economic environment."

"Tundra is excited to bring this opportunity to shareholders and customers," said Daniel Hoste, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tundra. "We believe that the combined technology innovation capability of the two companies will allow our customers better service, products, and support with their increasingly complex communications solutions."

Airtel Picks Alcatel-Lucent for Managed Services, Tops 96 Million Mobiles

Bharti Airtel and Alcatel-Lucent have formed a joint venture to manage Bharti Airtel's pan-India broadband and telephone services and help Airtel's transition to next generation networks. A new legal entity is being formed which will be operated by Alcatel-Lucent.

Under the joint venture, Alcatel-Lucent will design, plan, deploy, optimize and manage Bharti Airtel's broadband and telephone network across India. This managed services partnership will include all end-to-end activities -- service rollout, installation and fault repair, service continuity and transformation. It will support Bharti Airtel's transformation to next generation networks, offering advanced services like high-speed internet, triple play, media-rich VAS, MPLS, VPN for both retail and business customers. The partnership will also drive optimal capital investment and increase operational efficiency by moving voice and data traffic onto a single, 'packetized' infrastructure.

Separately, Bharti Airtel reported earlier this week that it now has over 96 million mobile users. The company's consolidated total revenues for the quarter ended March 31, 2009 of Rs. 9,825 crore grew by 26% and EBITDA of Rs. 4,001 crore grew by 23% on a year on year basis. Bharti Airtel estimates that it holds a 24% market share of all India wireless subscribers. This market share figure is up from 23.7% corresponding to the same period of last year.

Ericsson Sees Limited Impact from Global Downturn, Sales up 5%

Ericsson's ales in Q1 2009 increased 12% year-over-year and 16% for comparable units, i.e. excluding Ericsson Mobile Platforms and PBX operations. Excluding currency exchange rate effects, growth amounted to 5% for comparable units.

"We have started the year with good growth ahead of the market and a positive margin trend but with a weaker cash flow," said Carl-Henric Svanberg, President and CEO of Ericsson. "Sales of network infrastructure are stable and the demand for professional services is growing. We have won several strategic contracts during the quarter, including 3G for China Unicom, 4G for Verizon Wireless and managed services for Vodafone UK."

"The effects of the global economic recession on the global mobile network market are so far limited. We have seen operators, in a few markets where local currencies have depreciated dramatically, postpone investments. Some operators are also more cautious with longer-term investments in fixed networks, such as rollout of fiber networks. Most operators, however, have healthy financial positions, there is a strong traffic growth and the networks are fairly loaded."

Ericsson noted that worldwide mobile subscriptions grew by some 181 million in the quarter to a total of 4.16 billion. The number of new WCDMA subscriptions is accelerating and grew by 27 million in the quarter to a total of 319 million. In the twelve-month period ending December 31, 2008, fixed broadband connections grew by 18% year-over-year to close to 400 million, adding nearly 60 million subscribers.

Some additional highlights from the quarterly report:

  • Ericsson's cost reduction activities are running according to plan, targeting annual savings of SEK 10 b. from the second half of 2010.

  • Networks sales increased by 12% year-over-year, positively impacted by a weaker SEK. Sales, excluding network rollout, were up with especially strong performance in China, India and the US. Sales of network rollout services decreased 38% sequentially, reflecting a lower proportion of turnkey projects. The increase in operating margin was a result of the weaker SEK, business mix and lower costs, despite a negative impact from the ongoing large rollouts in China and India.

  • Professional Services sales increased by 28% year-over-year. Growth in constant currencies amounted to 10%. Managed services continued to grow substantially and were up 34% year-over-year. The growing interest for managed services is driven by operators' increased focus on cost, especially in the current market environment. Operating margin in the quarter reached 15% (14%) due to continued efficiency gains.

  • During the quarter, five new managed services contracts were signed, including key contracts with T-Mobile and Hutch for their shared network in UK and with Vodafone UK. The total number of subscribers in managed operations is now 275 million, of which 60% are in high-growth markets.

  • Multimedia sales increased by 25% year-over-year for comparable units, i.e. excluding divestment of the PBX operations and Ericsson Mobile Platforms. Revenue Management and IPX (multimedia brokering) continued to show good growth. Some cable and satellite operators are postponing TV investments. Operating margin in the quarter for comparable units was 2% (-9%).

  • Ericsson's joint ventures, Sony Ericsson and ST-Ericsson, are affected by the economic downturn and the dramatic decline in consumer demand for handsets.

  • Sony Ericsson shipped 14.5 million mobile phones in the quarter were 14.5 million, a decrease of 35% year-over-year. Sales in the quarter were EUR 1,736 million, a decrease of 36% year-over-year. Sales decreased primarily as a result of continued weak consumer confidence and de-stocking in the retail and distribution channels. Gross margin declined both year-on-year and sequentially, reflecting a change in the product mix, material write-offs, and exchange rate volatility.

  • ST-Ericsson, which was formed in February 2009 by merging STMicroelectronics' wireless business and Ericsson Mobile Platforms, was significantly affected by the slowdown in the handset market and ongoing de-stocking among operators. A cost adjustment program of USD 250 m. was launched in the fourth quarter 2008, and is under execution. An additional cost reduction program of USD 230 m. has been launched to adapt to current market conditions.

  • In terms of regional patterns, Ericsson said Asia Pacific sales increased by 26% year-over-year. The company describes the mobile broadband rollout in China as the largest ever in the world and notes that it is being done in record time.

  • Deliveries are high also to India, Indonesia and Vietnam. The development is strong also in Japan, where operators are building mobile broadband networks and the consumer demand for subscriptions bundled with laptops has quickly created a new market. Operators in Bangladesh and Pakistan are slowing investments due to difficult local business environment.

  • Latin American sales increased by 5% year-over-year with continued expansions of 2G networks as well as rollout of mobile broadband. Brazil and Mexico showed good development while some countries in the region were slower. In addition, there is a growing demand for managed services across the region.

  • North American sales increased by 21% year-over-year. The rollout of mobile broadband continues and the underlying growth is good. The contract with Verizon Wireless for a nationwide 4G/LTE network was especially encouraging as Verizon Wireless is a new customer to Ericsson. Revenue from this contract will mainly affect 2010. There is an emerging interest for managed services also in this region.

TeliaSonera International Carrier Selects Infinera for US Network

TeliaSonera International Carrier, one of the leading pan-European wholesale providers of quality cross-border IP, voice and wholesale services, has selected Infinera to build a new nationwide network in the United States. Financial terms were not disclosed.

TeliaSonera International Carrier offers services on more than 43,000 kilometers (27,000 miles) of its own fiber optic network throughout the world. The carrier is upgrading its nationwide US network by deploying the Infinera DTN in order to support its vision of becoming "the global IP carrier of choice."

AMCC Licenses Elliptic's 3G Security

AppliedMicro (AMCC) has licensed Elliptic's SNOW 3G security engine in support of AppliedMicro customers implementing 3GPP LTE (Long Term Evolution) base stations. AMCC's Power Architecture family of processors is targeted at mobile base stations for the 3GPP LTE standard. The engine supports a high bandwidth SNOW 3G cryptographic core required by the new standard as well as direct memory access (DMA) capability. This DMA feature allows the security engine to act as a co-processor to the PowerPC processor and it can take full control of the system bus and independently process LTE traffic requiring encryption and authentication. This completely offloads the PowerPC from the security processing, allowing it to handle the other packet processing and management tasks required in the base station.