Monday, May 4, 2009

Accanto Systems Introduces Customer Service Assurance Solution

Accanto Systems (formerly Sunrise Telecom Protocol Products Group) has developed a new intelligent Customer Service Assurance (iCSA) solution for managing wireless and wireline networks by providing a customer-centric view of services.

Accanto correlates massive amounts of information collected from the network, services, subscribers and devices themselves into an Oracle database. The system serves as a unified tool to effectively monitor, and proactively solve problems specific customers are experiencing with the quality or usage of services. Accanto iCSA also links easily with Customer Relationship Management systems, resulting in faster troubleshooting and resolution of complicated issues.

iCSA is composed of Accanto's high performance probe/protocol analyzer products (NeTracker, 3GMaster and MSA-QX), its Traffic Analysis and Monitoring System (TAMS), as well as newly developed "X-Ray" application modules, which are based on Oracle business intelligence. Accanto iCSA is also highly customizable, and integrates easily into the service provider's existing operations systems, thanks to consulting expertise from its newly merged group of OSS consultants (formerly LTE Innovations).

Accanto Systems also announced that its Traffic Analysis and Monitoring System (TAMS) was selected by Jamaica-based Digicel as an integrated network monitoring and troubleshooting solution for its growing pan-Caribbean and Central America mobile network. The system will utilize Accanto's Mobile X-Ray Customer Service Assurance platform to optimize efficiency and service quality of mobile data services.

CopperGate Supplies HomePNA Chipsets to Actiontec

CopperGate Communications' HomePNA chipsets have been selected by Actiontec Electronics for its newest product, the HomePNA Ethernet-to-Coax Network Adapter. The adapter connects standard Ethernet and coax cabling. It is suited for large rich media files like HDTV, video on demand, movies, music, and photos.

The companies noted that HomePNA technology has been selected by more than 40 service providers, including four out of the top five North American telcos deploying IPTV.

Sprint to Launch BlackBerry FMC Service

Sprint is preparing to launch a BlackBerry Mobile Voice System (MVS) service that ties together a converged desk phone and mobile device experience on BlackBerry smartphones to help mobile workers be accessible from virtually anywhere for improved productivity, enhanced collaboration with co-workers, and backend management and IT controls. Mobile workers can streamline their communications with one corporate phone number that simultaneously rings up to four devices, one caller ID and a consolidated voice mailbox. BlackBerry smartphone users can access enterprise desk phone functions like transfer, allow and block callers, and seamlessly handoff of calls between BlackBerry smartphones and desk phones using the integrated, intuitive interface on their BlackBerry smartphones.

BlackBerry MVS supports BlackBerry smartphones with BlackBerry Device Software 4.2.1 or higher, including the BlackBerry Curve 8350i smartphone. The BlackBerry Curve 8350i smartphone operates on the Nextel National Network and features national push-to-talk service with sub-second call setup. It is also the first push-to-talk BlackBerry smartphone to offer built-in Wi-Fi support and Group Connect.

Fixed mobile convergence solutions, including BlackBerry MVS, are available through Sprint's newly formed Business Markets Group (BMG).

ADVA Reports Q1 Revenue of EUR 56.9 million, Beating Expectations

ADVA Optical Networking reported Q1 2009 revenues of EUR 56.9 million -- ahead of guidance of between EUR 50 million and EUR 55 million -- up 5% vs. Q1 2008 at EUR 54.0 million and marginally better than the EUR 56.8 million reported in Q4 2008. IFRS pro forma operating income, excluding stock-based compensation and amortization & impairment of goodwill & acquisition-related intangible assets, amounted to EUR -0.1 million or -0.1% of revenues in Q1 2009, in line with guidance of between -4% and +1% of revenues.

"We are very pleased with our Q1 2009 revenues of EUR 56.9 million, which exceed guidance and are up for the third consecutive quarter. This development is also in contrast to the trend of most of our competitors in the current economic crisis. Further, we managed to improve our pro forma gross margin from 39.1% in Q1 2008 to 43.1% in Q1 2009, mainly resulting from more favorable component procurement terms as well as from variations in regional revenue distribution and in product and customer mix," commented Jaswir Singh, chief financial officer of ADVA Optical Networking.

IP/MPLS Forum to Support MEF Carrier Ethernet Services

The IP/MPLS Forum will develop a new set of MPLS-based specifications and requirements supporting Carrier Ethernet Services as defined by the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF). Specifically, the Forum's work will support both Carrier Ethernet using Layer 2 VPN services as well as interworking with Provider Bridging Ethernet supporting Q-in-Q and MAC-in-MAC. The forum will closely align their efforts with ongoing work within the IEEE and IETF in these areas to ensure broad operator and vendor support for the final requirement and architecture specifications.

"MPLS has long been defined as a convergence technology which allows service providers to bring together disparate networks and leverage network features for greater economies of scale," said Andrew Malis, Chairman and President of the IP/MPLS Forum. "Through this new effort of the forum, we believe operators will be able to increase their use of Ethernet for both service and transport layers in the network, and economically offer Carrier Ethernet services to their customers."

Additional information including milestones and schedules will be announced by the Forum in the weeks and months ahead.

Sonus Revenue Falls to $41 Million, Down 33% YoY

Sonus Networks reported Q1 revenue of $41.0 million, down 54% compared to revenue from continuing operations of $89.5 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 and down 33% from $73.6 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2008. The company's net loss on a GAAP basis was $16.2 million, or $0.06 per share, for the first quarter of 2009, compared to a loss from continuing operations of $99.0 million, or $0.37 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2008, and income from continuing operations of $1.0 million, or $0.00 per share, for the first quarter of 2008. The company ended the quarter with cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities and investments totaling $386.1 million.

"The economic environment continues to be challenging," said Richard Nottenburg, president and chief executive officer of Sonus Networks. "We took additional cost and realignment actions during the first quarter and continued to focus our investment dollars on delivering new products and services which enhance the value proposition we bring to customers. The strength of our balance sheet - specifically substantial cash and investments with no debt, gives us confidence we have the resources we need to achieve our plan."

Spreadtrum Gains $44 Million China Bank Loan for Baseband Chipsets

Spreadtrum Communications, a supplier of wireless baseband chipsets for China, announced that its Chinese subsidiary received RMB 300 million (approximately $44 million) of new financing from a Chinese bank in the form of a 3-year fixed term loan.Interest on borrowings will be initially set at 5.4% annually, to be reset annually at the then benchmark applicable rate as set by the People's Bank of China.

"This indicates the Chinese government's strong support and high confidence in Spreadtrum to develop semiconductor products in 2nd and 3rd generation wireless communications in the Chinese market. We plan to use our borrowings under the loan to increase R&D investment in our GSM and TD-SCDMA projects and to expand our IC operations in China," said Dr. Leo Li, president and CEO of Spreadtrum Communications.

Broadcom Begins Hostile Tender for Emulex Shares

One day after the Board of Directors of Emulex rejected its acquisition bid, Broadcom launched a tender offer for all the outstanding shares of common stock of the company.

Broadcom is offering $9.25 net per share in cash (less any applicable withholding taxes and without interest). This represents a total equity value of approximately $764 million. The offer represents a 62-percent premium to Emulex's average closing stock price for the 30 trading days immediately prior to Broadcom's public offer on April 21, 2009; and a 42-percent premium over the median 12-month stock price target published by research analysts as of April 20, 2009.

Scott A. McGregor, President and Chief Executive Officer of Broadcom, said "We are disappointed by Emulex Corporation's rejection of Broadcom's proposal which would deliver substantial, immediate and highly certain value to Emulex's stockholders, while further providing significant benefits to customers and employees alike. The Emulex Board's response on Monday and its continued unwillingness to engage in discussions with Broadcom are clearly not in the best interests of either its stockholders or its customers. This intransigence could cause needless delay in efforts to combine our two companies, leading to further deterioration of Emulex's market share and stockholder value."

"Emulex's Board has taken steps, including the adoption of a 'poison pill' and the imposition of bylaw amendments, to erect barriers to stockholders' ability to express their will as owners of Emulex," continued Mr. McGregor. "While we much prefer to arrive at a negotiated agreement with Emulex, the Emulex Board has left us with no choice but to ask Emulex stockholders to call for a special meeting of stockholders so that they can consider the merits of our offer for themselves."

LSI Unveils its Next Gen Traffic Management for Carrier Ethernet

LSI announced Ethernet Functional Programming Interface (FPI) Release 3.0, its next-generation, traffic management software for carrier-class Ethernet transport. The release offers a new suite of scalable features and functions developed expressly for carrier-class Ethernet networks, including wireless backhaul management tools for service classification, reliability and quality of service.

The new FPI leverages a single interface across the full range of LSI APP multicore processors, enabling OEMs to utilize a single application across a broad system portfolio, reducing up-front R&D investment. The LSI APP platform is comprised of a multicore general-purpose processor and specialized programmable cores which provide packet processing, traffic management and security functions. Specifically, LSI Ethernet FPI 3.0 offersOAM (operations, administration and maintenance) and CFM (connectivity fault management) functions, and contains a programmable toolkit that enables wireless service providers to provision guaranteed service levels, improve network reliability and significantly reduce operating costs. Performance monitoring, link detection and network diagnostics are accelerated on the LSI communications processor. Because the bulk of OAM processing is offloaded from the host, system performance is increased and overall costs are also reduced.

LSI noted that its Ethernet FPI 3.0 also provides support for Internet protocol security (IPsec) encryption, decryption and public key acceleration. Because true and pseudo random number generators are generated by the security engine embedded in the LSI communications processor, security processing occurs without intervention from the host.

The software supports provider backbone bridging and transport applications, along with ITU-T G.8031 and G.8032 compliant automatic Ethernet protection switching. In addition, the FPI is compliant with MEF industry standards 6.1, 10.1 and 14, and IEEE(R) 802.1ag, IEEE 802.3ah and ITU-T Y.1731. LSI has demonstrated IEEE 1588v2 protocol stack integration on its APP3300 platform.

Altair Outlines LTE Product Roadmap

Altair Semiconductor outlined its 3GPP LTE product roadmap, which includes a baseband processor, and complementing MIMO RF transceiver chips designed to support world-wide LTE bands and duplex-modes.

Altair's LTE chipsets are developed using the company's proprietary O2P software-defined 4G processor architecture. This technology is currently deployed in Altair's FourGee(TM)-2150 for mobile WiMAX, and FourGee(TM)-4150, for XGP, both recognized as leaders in their respective markets for high performance and power efficiency.

Altair's LTE product portfolio is comprised of:

  • "FourGee"-3100 - a fully optimized LTE CAT-3 baseband processor that in addition to LTE supports other 4G/OFDM technology variants, including WiMAX and XGP and will be available in Q409. The chip is bundled with a complete LTE protocol stack which includes PHY, MAC, RLC, PDCP, RRC and NAS layers.

  • FourGee-6150 - a MIMO RF transceiver that supports LTE-TDD. This product will be available in mid-2009.

  • FourGee-6200 - a multi-band LTE-FDD MIMO transceiver that supports the most popular LTE bands in North America, Japan and Europe. The chip will be available in Q210.

Sunrise Telecom Debuts Enhanced Cable Modem Network Analyzer

Sunrise Telecom announced the next generation of its CM2000 cable modem network analyzer with simple network management protocol (SNMP) and Telnet testing, integrated file transfer protocol (FTP) and new options for a CAD viewer and signature capture. The tool can be used field personnel to install, service and verify complex triple play networks.

Cox Expands DOCSIS 3.0 in Northern Virginia

Cox Communications has begun offering DOCSIS 3.0-based Ultimate Internet service in Fairfax County and Fredericksburg at up to 50 Mbps downstream and 5 Mbps upstream. The standard price for the residential Ultimate Internet package will be $139.99 per month, with an introductory rate of $109 per month.

The company has already launched DOCSIS 3.0 in Lafayette Parish, La., and plans to offer Ultimate Internet to several Cox markets by the end of 2009, and to more than two-thirds of its footprint in 2010.

Harris Stratex Networks Posts Q1 Revenue of $158 Million, Down 11% YoY

Harris Stratex Networks reported quarterly revenue of $158.0 million, compared with $178.2 million in the year ago period. GAAP net loss was $38.3 million or $0.65 per share, compared with net income of $5.2 million or $0.05 per diluted share in the year ago quarter.

Revenue in the North America segment was $42.2 million, compared with $56.9 million in the year ago period. International revenue was $112.9 million, compared with $117.1 million in the year ago period. Network Operations revenue was $2.9 million compared with $4.2 million in the year ago period.

"In the face of difficult market conditions, our focus on operational improvements, balance sheet metrics, and overall cash management yielded strong results," said Harald Braun, president and chief executive officer of Harris Stratex Networks. "Our cash and short-term investments reached a record $116 million and our operating cash flow was positive for the seventh consecutive quarter."

"During the third quarter we continued global infrastructure build-outs addressing expanded broadband requirements as our network operator customers sought to meet continuing increases in data traffic. In February, we acquired Telsima, a leading developer of next-generation broadband wireless network solutions. We believe this acquisition affords us a strategic advantage with technology, software and a customer base as we pursue future 4G opportunities," added Braun.

Alcatel-Lucent Posts Revenue of EUR 3.6 billion, down 7% YoY

Citing capital constraints especially in North America, Alcatel-Lucent report Q1 2009 revenues of Euro 3.598 billion, down 6.9% year-over-year. At constant currency exchange rates, revenue fell by 11.2% year-over-year and 28.3% sequentially. The was an operating loss of Euro 254 million or 7.1% of revenue. Adjusted gross margin came in at 31.5% of revenue for the quarter, down from 36.2% in the year ago quarter and 33.3% in the fourth quarter 2008.

"As we discussed before, 2009 will be a year of transition. We are reshaping the company and aggressively pursuing our product portfolio rationalization, co-sourcing, working capital management and SG&A reduction programs. While expected, given seasonality and tough market conditions, we are not pleased with the operating loss incurred in the first quarter. Our guidance for the year remains unchanged and we are taking appropriate actions," commented Ben Verwaayen, Alcatel-Lucent's CEO.

Some highlights of the quarterly report:


  • For the first quarter 2009, revenues for the Carrier segment were Euro 2.219 billion, a decrease of 14.0% compared to Euro 2.581 billion in the year-ago quarter and a decrease of 29.1% compared to Euro 3.129 billion in the fourth quarter 2008. At constant currency exchange rates, Carrier revenues decreased 18.3% year-over-year and 30.7% sequentially.

  • Revenues for the IP division were Euro 287 million, an increase of 4.7% from the year ago quarter. Alcatel-Lucent enjoyed another quarter of solid growth in IP/MPLS service routers, with particular strength in EMEA, partly offset by the continuing decline in ATM revenues.

  • Resilience in Optics: Revenues for the Optics division were Euro 657 million, a 2.1% decline from the year ago quarter, with contrasted market dynamics. On the one hand, revenues from long distance DWDM), optical cross connects and wireless transmission declined. On the other, metro aggregation grew at a double-digit rate and submarine optics grew strongly.

  • Wireless impacted by the decline in 2G: Revenues for the Wireless Networks division were Euro 911 million, a decline of 18.0% from the year ago quarter.

  • CDMA revenues declined materially which was driven largely by lower sales in North America, only partially offset by the roll-out of EV-DO in China.

  • GSM also declined significantly, as slower economic growth and in some cases currency devaluations impacted this activity in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. W-CDMA revenue increased very strongly, driven by North America and initial roll-outs in China. Finally, the company's LTE solution is getting increased traction in the market place: in addition to its selection as one of the two vendors for Verizon, Alcatel-Lucent was shortlisted in several LTE trials this quarter.

  • Slowdown in access and switching: Revenues for the Wireline networks division were Euro 394 million, a decline of 28.4% from the year ago quarter. This decline was largely driven by legacy ADSL access and core switching, partially offset by the growth in VDSL and home networking (DSL CPE and GPON ONTs).

  • Alcatel-Lucent's IMS solution continued to gain traction and was selected by 4 new customers this quarter, including FT/Orange as part of its planned replacement of H323 technology by a SIP based platform for its VoIP services.


  • For the first quarter 2009, revenues for the Applications software segment were Euro 255 million, an increase of 13.3% compared to Euro 225 million in the year-ago quarter and a decrease of 22.5% compared to Euro 329 million in the fourth quarter 2008.

  • Carrier applications revenue grew at a double-digit rate, which was largely driven by rich communications solutions (IMS applications and messaging) in North America, the successful integration of the Motive portfolio and to a lesser extent payment and subscriber data management in Asia-Pacific, fuelled by wireless subscriber growth and the roll of 3G in China.

  • Genesys, the contact centre software activity, saw a decline in revenues this quarter due to the combination of strong results in the year-ago quarter, when a major contract was landed with a large European operator, and the slow-down in corporate investment.


  • For the first quarter 2009, revenues for the Enterprise segment were Euro 245 million, a decrease of 17.5% compared to Euro 297 million in the year-ago quarter and a decrease of 23.0% compared to Euro 318 million in the fourth quarter 2008.

  • Revenues from Enterprise solutions declined in the low teens this quarter, as constraints in corporate investment impacted the voice telephony market, primarily in the SMB space, while the large enterprise market proved more resilient. Revenues were approximately stable in data networking and grew in security solutions and unified communications.

  • Revenues from Industrial components were the most impacted by the global market conditions and declined at a material rate this quarter.

  • From a geographic standpoint, Europe and Asia Pacific were the weakest, while North America saw a limited decline and Central and Latin America enjoyed slight growth.


  • For the first quarter 2009, revenues for the Services segment were Euro 797 million, an increase of 20.6% compared to Euro 661 million in the year-ago quarter and a decrease of 23.0% compared to Euro 1,035 million in the fourth quarter 2008.

  • Managed & Outsourcing solutions grew very strongly this quarter, driven by the many large contracts signed throughout the year 2008 and which had not come into effect in the first quarter of last year. Alcatel-Lucent signed three new managed services contracts this quarter, including BASE in Belgium.

Alcatel-Lucent noted that it is actively sharpening its portfolio around its "high leverage network" strategy, which aims at ensuring continuous and cost-effective scaling of bandwidth from the access to the transport layer, while "instrumenting" the network with built-in service and application awareness as well as traffic optimization capabilities. The company confirmed that it is engaged in active discussions with potential co-sourcing partners. The aim is to develop a joint go-to-market approach to leverage the IT/telecommunications convergence and help Alcatel-Lucent optimize its efficiency in areas such as IS/IT, finance, HR and R&D.

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

The full report along with a webcast is online.