Wednesday, July 8, 2009

3Com Reports Quarterly Revenue of $295 Million, Down 8.2% YoY

3Com reported revenue for its fiscal 2009 fourth quarter, which ended May 29, 2009, of $295.1 million, compared to revenue of $321.3 million in the corresponding period in fiscal 2008, an 8.2 percent decrease. Net income in the quarter was $20.2 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $166.7 million, or $(0.41) per share, in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2008.

Fiscal year 2008 fourth quarter results included a $158.0 million goodwill impairment charge. On a non-GAAP basis, net income for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2009 was $37.2 million, or $0.10 per diluted share, compared with net income of $35.6 million, or $0.09 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2008.

Revenue for the full fiscal year 2009 was $1,317.0 million, compared with $1,294.9 million in the prior year, a 1.7 percent increase.

Akamai Releases State of the Internet Report for Q1 2009

Akamai Technologies published a State of the Internet report for Q1 2009 providing insight into key Internet statistics such as origin of attack traffic, network and Web site outages and Internet connectivity levels across the globe. Some highlights from the report follow.

Attack Traffic

During the first quarter of 2009, Akamai observed attack traffic originating from 68 unique countries around the world. The United States and China were the two largest attack traffic sources, accounting for nearly 50% of observed traffic in total. The top 10 ports saw approximately 90% of the observed attack traffic, with more two-thirds of the traffic likely related to the Conficker worm.


A number of new submarine cable projects were announced or deployed in the first quarter that are expected ultimately to improve Internet connectivity for countries in Africa, Europe, South America and the Caribbean, and Oceania. New WiMAX projects and deployments will bring broadband wireless connectivity to countries in Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, and the former Soviet Union. Fiber-to-the-home efforts announced in the first quarter will benefit users in New Zealand, Australia, Bali, Latvia, Scotland, and England.

The first quarter also saw nominal advances in IPv6 adoption, including seven more country-level domains enabling their DNS servers for IPv6. In the United States, and countries around the globe, "stimulus funding" was allocated in the first quarter to help improve broadband availability in rural areas.

Broadband Connectivity

Through its globally-deployed server network, and by virtue of the billions of requests for Web content that it services on a daily basis, Akamai has developed a unique level of visibility into the connection speeds of those systems issuing the requests, and as such, of broadband adoption around the globe. Akamai observed a nearly five percent increase (from the fourth quarter of 2008) globally in the number of unique IP addresses connecting to Akamai's network.

Current highlights and historical trends for average connection speeds on a global basis can be found in Akamai's data visualization tool, available at In the first quarter of 2009, one-fifth of the Internet connections around the world were at speeds of greater than 5 Mbps, a 5 percent increase from the prior quarter, and a nearly 30 percent increase over the same period last year. Globally, the average connection speed increased by approximately 11 percent, growing to 1.7 Mbps, and more than 120 countries had connection speeds under 1 Mbps.

Fastest Global Countries

From a global connection speed perspective, Japan unseated South Korea for the highest levels of "high broadband" (>5 Mbps) connectivity, though South Korea maintained the highest average connection speed, at 11 Mbps. For the first time since publishing the State of the Internet report in the first quarter of 2008, South Korea no longer had the largest percentage of connections to Akamai at speeds above 5 Mbps, with a significant 25% decline. Akamai also saw fewer unique IP addresses from South Korea during the first quarter, along with a lower average connection speed. The first place spot was taken by Japan, with 57% of connections to Akamai at high broadband levels. Nearly a third of Japan's connections to Akamai are at speeds between 5-10 Mbps. Sweden showed a similar percentage of connections between 5-10 Mbps, while other countries in the top 10 saw levels below 30 percent.

Fastest U.S. States

Continuing the trend established throughout 2008, the East Coast of the United States continued to lead the country in the greatest level of broadband connectivity, with 8 of the top 10 states on the list. Delaware maintained its top position, with 62% of connections to Akamai occurring at 5 Mbps or greater, and the highest average connection speed in the United States, at 7.2 Mbps. Maine has nearly quadrupled its percentage of high broadband connections to Akamai since the first quarter of 2008.

Anritsu Offers Next Gen Base Station Analyzer for 4G

Anritsu introduced a handheld base station analyzer supporting emerging 4G standards as well as installed 2G/3G networks. The MT8221B's platform provides a 20 MHz demodulation capability to measure technologies such as LTE and WiMAX, and a 30-MHz Zero-Span IF Output for external demodulation of virtually any other wideband signal. In addition, a Vector Signal Generator option with the flexibility to generate two modulated signals plus noise is available for comprehensive receiver testing.

Senior cell site technicians and RF engineers can use the BTS Master MT8221B to test and verify the installation and commissioning of base stations and cell sites, for optimal wireless network performance. It is equally suited for on-going maintenance and troubleshooting to help ensure the operation of wireless network infrastructure. Key performance indicators (KPIs), such as dropped calls, call denial, or call blocking rates due to a malfunction at the cell site or interference, can be easily and accurately detected with the BTS Master MT8221B.

Verizon Business Launches Application Security Program

Verizon Business introduced an Application Security Program that takes a risk-based approach to protecting the critical data contained within each application. The program helps understand and identify the potential security threats to their applications, and take steps to protect them. Customers also have the option to pursue a Verizon Cybertrust Application Certification, which verifies that their information-security controls, policies and procedures meet a stringent set of standards.

As shown by Verizon Business' "2009 Data Breach Investigations Report," hackers often sneak into and compromise a company's sensitive data and business systems via insecure applications. Of the 285 million compromised records from the 90 confirmed breaches in 2008 that were examined by the report, 79 percent were compromised via Web applications.

The Verizon Application Security Program comprises three tiers: Baseline, Assess and Certify.

In the first tier of the program, Verizon security experts conduct an initial application-risk assessment, which consists of baseline scanning and reviewing the software development lifecycle of the applications. Verizon determines the types of data consumed by specific applications, which is critical to establishing each application's risk level, and also determines which applications present the highest risk for the business.

The second tier focuses on high-risk applications. Verizon conducts a full-scale review to assess the criticality and severity of impact to the business if these assets were to be exploited. Typical assessment activities include application vulnerability assessments, penetration testing and security source code reviews.

The third tier offers customers the option of pursing the Verizon Cybertrust Application Certification, which verifies that an organization's information-security controls, policies and procedures have been examined, measured and validated against a stringent set of Verizon security standards.

Verizon said its certification is rigorous, and renewal requires annual recertification. Certified customers can display and share the Verizon Cybertrust seal with customers, partners and prospects to demonstrate that information security is a top priority for them.

The service is available immediately available in the U.S. and in a number of other countries to large-business customers.

RCN Drops Bid for FiberNet, Deal with Zayo Proceeds

RCN withdrew its proposal to acquire FiberNet for $12.50 per share.

Consequently, FiberNet is proceeding with a sale to Zayo Group for $11.45 per share in cash. The transaction is not subject to any financing condition. The transaction is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2009.

FiberNet owns and operates integrated colocation facilities and diverse transport routes in the gateway markets of New York/New Jersey, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami.

Zayo Group is a regional provider of telecom services -- including bandwidth, voice and managed services -- to carrier, enterprise, SME and government customers. Zayo Group currently provides its service over a fiber network that spans 129 markets in 23 states. Zayo Group consists of three complementary business units: Zayo Bandwidth, Zayo Managed Services and Onvoy Voice Services.

Qualcomm Donates Rapidly Deployable 3G Base Station to ITU

Qualcomm will donate a rapidly deployable 3G CDMA base station to the I.T.U. to improve emergency communications for disaster preparedness and to coordinate relief activities in the aftermath of a disaster. The system has an estimated value of $500,000.

JDSU to Acquire Finisar's Network Tools Business

JDSU will acquire Finisar's Network Tools business for approximately $40.6 million in cash. The Network Tools business, which had revenue of $44.2 million in Finisar's fiscal year 2009 ending April 30, 2009, provides storage area network (SAN) protocol test tools, software and services. The companies expect to close the transaction before the end of July 2009.

The Network Tools portfolio, focused on the SAN analysis and data generation and load testing segments, specializes in a wide range of storage protocols, such as Fibre Channel, Gigabit Ethernet, 10GigE, iSCSI, SAS and SATA.

JDSU said the acquisition will help it expand its lab test market presence. Network Tools' customers include the world's leading storage network system and component manufacturers, system integrators as well as enterprises operating major data centers. The combination of JDSU's communications test development expertise in areas such 40/100G with Network Tools' strength in storage network protocol test will fuel product innovation addressing Fibre Channel over Ethernet and other emerging SAN test market opportunities.

The Network Tools business, currently headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA, includes more than 100 employees worldwide. Upon close of the transaction, Network Tools will form the Storage Network Test unit in the Instrument Business Division of JDSU's Communications Test and Measurement business segment. Dave Buse will continue to lead the business, reporting to Jerry Gentile, general manager of JDSU's Instrument Business Division.

EXFO Launches Smaller, Portable Test Platform

EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering introduced a four-slot version of its FTB-500 portable test platform, which is intended for installation, maintenance and troubleshooting applications on telecom networks.

For ROADM and PTN network turn-up, the four-slot FTB-500 simultaneously runs an optical spectrum analyzer (FTB-5240S-P-InB) and a SONET/SDH, OTN, Ethernet and Fibre Channel analyzer (FTB-8130NGE Power Blazer), a combination that delivers multiple software-based test capabilities, including in-band OSNR measurement for qualifying newly commissioned OTN links, standard and over-clocked OTN functionalities for commissioning the transport layer, and SONET/SDH, Ethernet and Fibre Channel functionalities for qualifying all ROADM-supported interfaces. In addition, the FTB-500 offers battery operation, remote management and integrated optical tools, making it the industry's leading ROADM-based network testing solution.

BT Accelerates its Fiber Rollout

BT will accelerate its fibre rollout to cover more than a million additional homes and businesses across the UK. The acceleration of BT's plans will see 1.5 million homes have access to such services by early summer 2010 . A million of those homes will have access by March, which is a doubling of the original pace of deployment.

BT said it aims to make super-fibre broadband available to 40 percent of the UK -- or some 10 million homes -- by 2012. The company has pledged to spend £1.5 billion for the rollout. This investment falls within BT's current capital expenditure plans. Sixty nine locations across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales will benefit from this latest phase of BT's investment programme. The pilots of the technology went live this week in Muswell Hill, London and Whitchurch, South Wales. Sixteen service providers are participating in the pilots.

BT is using a mix of Fibre to the premise (FTTP) and Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) topologies, with FTTC expected to be the predominant architecture. FTTP delivers downstream speeds of up to 100 Mbps-- and potentially up to 1000 Mbps in the future - and upstream speeds of up to 40 Mbps. FTTC can be used to support download speeds of up to 40 Mbps initially, potentially rising to 60 Mbps in the future. Initial upstream speeds will be between 5 and 10 Mbps rising to 15 Mbps.

Steve Robertson, CEO of Openreach, the division of BT responsible for the roll-out said: "Fibre is the future and so we're speeding up the pace of our plans. We had aimed to get fibre to half a million homes by next March but we're now being far more ambitious. We've received a tremendous response to date and so we're keen to get on with the job.

Deutsche Telekom Announces VDSL Wholesale Deal

Deutsche Telekom reached a wholesale agreement for 1&1 and Vodafone to offer VDSL connections over its network in Germany.

The service is due to be launched over the next few months. 1&1 and Vodafone will be the first competitors to use the wholesale service for VDSL Double Play, which will offer customers transmission speeds of up to 50 Mbps while surfing the Internet. Deutsche Telekom has already expanded its VDSL network in 50 German towns and cities.

In a press statement, Deutsche Telekom emphasized that it reached this agreement voluntarily and that it views regulatory pressure as counter-productive.

DT already has plans in place to expand the network in 13 German towns and cities by teaming up with competitors such as Vodafone, EWE, M-Net and NetAachen. Further discussions are also underway.

"No new infrastructure will be built simply as a result of regulating network access. What Germany now needs is the courage to deregulate; more freedom will help further boost growth in the broadband market," stated Timotheus Höttges, Chief Financial Officer at Deutsche Telekom.

Sprint Awards 7-Year Network Mgt Deal to Ericsson

Sprint awarded a seven-year network management outsourcing contract to Ericsson covering its CDMA, iDEN and wireline networks. Sprint said the deal enables it to focus on delivering a superior customer experience, innovative services and popular new devices while letting Ericsson handle the day-to-day operations of its network. Key points of the deal include:

  • Sprint retains full ownership and control of its network assets, and solely owns network strategy and investment decisions.

  • Customers will continue to work directly with Sprint employees as their primary contact, as Sprint retains full control of the customer experience, customer technical support and services review.

  • Sprint retains technology and vendor selections.

  • Ericsson assumes responsibility for the day-to-day services, provisioning and maintenance for the Sprint-owned CDMA, iDEN and wireline networks.

  • Ericsson will optimize Sprint's multi-vendor inventory of assets such as spare parts and transmission equipment, and provide processes and tools for managing the national network platforms and operational support systems.

  • The transferred employees will become part of Ericsson Services Inc., a wholly-owned Ericsson subsidiary based in Overland Park, KS, a move that retains jobs in the United States. No force reductions are currently contemplated as a result of this agreement.

The agreement, with an option for renewal, will result in payments for services valued at between $4.5 billion and $5 billion (USD) over the seven-year term of the contract. The transaction calls for about 6,000 Sprint employees to begin performing their network functions as Ericsson employees sometime in the 3rd quarter.

A new entity called Ericsson Services Inc. will be established in Overland Park, KS.

Sprint said it also foresees cost savings, better inventory management and increased network efficiencies from the deal. The cost savings will be reinvested in the network for better coverage. Expected cost savings were not specified in the announcement.