Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Nortel Enhances its Carrier VoIP Communications Server 1500

Nortel is preparing to release a new version of its Communications Server (CS) 1500 in Q3 that will enable carriers to be more efficient by taking advantage of remote upgrades and introduce new billing, operations, administration and maintenance capabilities. Some of the new features enabled include:

  • SIP Business Trunking: Provides carriers an IP connection to PBXs, which allows them to use a single broadband connection for both voice and data traffic to businesses with on-site PBXs. Having a single connection helps cut costs because it eliminates the need to invest in costly (and less functional) TDM media gateways or PRI trunks to interface with the PSTN.

  • Remote upgrades: Provides a more cost-effective method of applying a software release. When the remote upgrade method is used, a Nortel technician can access the carrier's switch remotely to direct the software upgrade.

  • Hunt Group Queuing: Allows business subscribers to ensure that important calls do not go unanswered. If all lines in a hunt group are engaged, incoming calls are placed in a queue while they are waiting to be answered, and connected as soon as a line is free.

  • Contact Center Interoperability: Enterprise customers using Nortel's Business Communication Manager and Communication Server 1000 can be assured that their contact centers will continue to process calls trouble free with the CS 1500 as their connection to the outside world.

  • Standard Service Profiles with Graphical User Interface: This simplifies the carrier's task of provisioning a variety of service packages to residential subscribers.

Comcast's DOCSIS 3.0 Rollout Nears 50% Completion

Comcast has reached nearly 50% of all homes passed by its DOCSIS 3. rollout, which means that nearly 25 million homes and businesses can now get download speeds of up to 50 Mbps.

Comcast's latest DOCSIS 3.0 upgrade has occured in Philadelphia, including the counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery, southern New Jersey and northern Delaware. The speed upgrades began in December 2008.

Informa: Mobile broadband Subscriptions Surge Ahead

There were more than 225 million mobile broadband subscribers (all technologies) at the end of March 2009, representing 93% year-on-year growth, according to Informa Telecoms & Media's latest World Cellular Data Metrics report.

Penetration of mobile broadband remains at its highest in Asia Pacific (over 90 million subscribers), while growth is most notable in Latin America (385% year-on-year growth to over 10 million subscribers).

Informa notes that the evolution of the device market has also contributed to a surge in mobile data traffic. Informa estimates that the increased usage in non-voice services has resulted in mobile operators recording total data revenues of US$46.5bn during 1Q09, which is an 8.5% y-o-y increase on the corresponding period in 2008. The value of the non-voice market for the whole of 2008 was over US$180bn, accounting for over 20% of total service revenues.

The spread of the iPhone continues to boost data usage for those operators that distribute the model with O2 reporting that 40% of its data traffic in UK comes from the smartphone market. Once the preserve of the corporate segment, the consumer market is now driving the evolution of the mobile data market. And yet, the value of the global data market has decreased by 1.8% in the last quarter due to the data market is "global currency exchange volatility."http://www.informatm.com/itmgcontent/icoms

AT&T and Jasper Wireless Launch M2M Platform for Emerging Devices

AT&T, in partnership with Jasper Wireless, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, announced commercial availability of a new platform designed to connect and support a variety of emerging consumer electronic and business devices on AT&T's nationwide wireless network. This will enable the wireless connection of personal navigation, in-car navigation, e-readers, mobile Internet devices, gaming, healthcare, tracking, and other devices. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The platform -- AT&T Control Center, powered by Jasper Wireless -- aims to accelerate market entry for connected devices while offering unique features such as instant activation and flexible rate plans that benefit device manufacturers and end-user customers, including consumers, small businesses and enterprises. Key capabilities include:

  • Instant activation -- simplifies provisioning and enhances the customer experience by automatically activating wireless service when the device is powered on for the first time.

  • Usage analytics -- enables manufacturers and service providers to gain real-time insight into product performance on the AT&T network.
  • Performance assurance -- utilizes best practices to test devices and assure their performance before deployment.

  • Flexible business models -- provides customized rate plans that address the needs of particular market segments.

  • Design services -- optimizes devices for global deployment within a few weeks.

  • Customer support -- ensures service continuity with support from expert engineers.

"With the AT&T Control Center platform, we can offer consumer electronics and M2M device manufacturers and enterprise solution providers an experience they simply cannot receive from another provider," said Glenn Lurie, president, Emerging Device and Resale, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "We're streamlining the process by offering a one-stop solution for network provisioning, device activation, customer support, billing options, performance audits and much more. Consumers and businesses will benefit from an unprecedented end-user experience -- instant activation, flexible pricing options, and customized support."

The partnership was led by AT&T's new Emerging Devices Organization.

Alvarion Offers WiMAX Management for Service Providers

Alvarion launch its new Star Management Suite, a network management solution designed to manage complete WiMAX network infrastructure with the necessary level of control, and to enable operators to simplify management of IP services such as VoIP and IPTV while enhancing quality of service in a centralized, integrated manner.

Star Management Suite is designed to deliver greater network control capabilities with a common feature set across the entire family of BreezeMAX solutions. This new carrier class management system provides critical capabilities essential for service provider network operations, including an effective fault management framework, a common set of network management applications including quality of service (QoS), and a common service assurance suite.

The Star Management Suite has been successfully trialed and used in multiple markets by operators around the world. This solution features tools that allow customers to monitor, visualize and troubleshoot complex WiMAX infrastructure, enabling them to enhance network reliability and performance. It also allows customers to prioritize network traffic and services to deliver critical data to the right people at the right time.

The Star Management Suite includes multiple solutions for overall network management. AlvariSTAR is the network management system already deployed by operators globally. StarACS is a standard based platform capable of managing TR-69 based CPEs. StarQuality is a unique carrier-class performance monitoring system for monitoring WiMAX networks.

NTT Com Offers Integrated Security Solution for Corporate OCN

NTT Communications launched OCN Security Gateway, an integrated security solution for unified threat management (UTM) covering virus protection, an intrusion detection/prevention system (IDS/IPS) and filtering for corporate customers of NTT Com's OCN-branded Internet access services in Japan. The service provides router function, firewall, IDS, and monthly reports covering Web log and general trends in network security. One-stop support, which begins prior to system installation, covers system configuration, operation, and maintenance.

The "Basic Set" version of OCN Security Gateway offers all security functions and the "Firewall Set" also offers an especially robust firewall. Optional services can be added as required. The monthly fee is 19,215 yen (including tax) for the Basic Set and 15,750 yen for the Firewall Set, excluding setup, UTM equipment rental fees and OCN access charges.

iControl Raises $23 Million for Broadband Home Management

iControl Networks, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, raised $23 million in Series C funding for its broadband home management solution.

iControl's broadband home management solution allows homeowners to see and control their homes -- including security and energy systems -- via the Internet, iPhone and other mobile devices. Broadband operators, security providers and utilities could used the technology to deliver home security, energy management, remote monitoring and home health care to consumers.

The new funding includes investments from Tyco International's ADT Security Services, Cisco, Comcast Interactive Capital and GE Security, together with continued investment by Charles River Ventures, Intel Capital and the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) iFund. This brings total venture and strategic capital funding to more than $45 million.

Plastic Logic eReader to Connect via AT&T 3G Network

Plastic Logic, a start-up developing an eReading device for business users, has chosen AT&T's 3G network to provide the mobile broadband connection.

The Plastic Logic Reader, which is also Wi-Fi enabled, is expected to launch in 2010. The company is targetting busy, on-the-go business professionals who want to keep up to date on key information and who need to read and review multiple documents throughout the day. The Plastic Logic device is about the size of an 8.5 x 11 inch pad of paper, less than a ¼ inch thick and weighs less than many print magazines.

"We're extremely proud to be able to offer the Plastic Logic Reader with the nation's fastest 3G network through AT&T. This alliance is a pillar in our strategy to provide mobile business professionals with a device that delivers a great reading experience, and is fully connected through 3G and Wi-Fi to deliver easy access to digital content," said Richard Archuleta, CEO of Plastic Logic.

The Plastic Logic Reader is unique among its competitors due to its plastic display, which is based on the company's revolutionary plastic electronics technology. The eReader features the first ever, commercial high-quality plastic display. Its battery is expected to last days, instead of hours.

Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Zhone Posts Q2 Revenue of $30.3 Million

Zhone Technologies reported Q2 revenue of $30.3 million compared with $24.1 million for the first quarter of 2009 and $40.1 million for the second quarter of 2008. Net loss (GAAP) was $2.3 million or $0.02 per share compared with a net loss of $6.9 million or $0.05 per share for the first quarter of 2009, and a net loss of $80.3 million or $0.53 per share for the second quarter of 2008.

"Strong sequential revenue growth, improving gross margins and continued expense control contributed to better than expected earnings for the quarter," stated Mory Ejabat, Zhone's chief executive officer. "We are encouraged by the immediate acceptance of our new products and hope to build on that momentum to achieve our primary goal of reaching quarterly EBITDA profitability by year end."http://www.zhone.com

NETGEAR's Q2 Revenue Falls to $144 Million from $205 Million in Q2 Last Year

Netgear reported Q2 revenue of $144.7 million, compared to $204.5 million for the second quarter ended June 29, 2008, and $152.0 million in the first quarter ended March 29, 2009. Net loss (GAAP) was $3.3 million, or $0.10 per diluted share. This compared to net income of $11.1 million for the second quarter of 2008 and net loss of $3.8 million in the first quarter of 2009.

Patrick Lo, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NETGEAR, commented, "Due to normal seasonality, the second quarter is generally the slowest quarter of our fiscal year. Given this, we are pleased to achieve net revenue of $144.7 million, especially in light of the worldwide macroeconomic downturn, while at the same time reducing our "on-hand" and our distribution channels' inventory levels. Our net revenue from service providers was approximately 30% of total net revenue, as compared to 27% in the second quarter of 2008, and 27% in the first quarter of 2009. In addition, we are excited to have added Megacable of Mexico to our service provider customer list in the second quarter of 2009."http://www.netgear.com

LSI to Acquire ONStor for Clustered NAS Solutions

LSI Corporation has agreed to acquire ONStor, a privately-held developer of clustered network-attached storage (NAS) solutions, for approximately $25 million in cash inclusive of assumed debt and other net liabilities.

ONStor, which is based in Campbell, California, offers NAS solutions designed to help enterprises consolidate, protect and manage the accelerating growth of unstructured data. ONStor products include NAS gateways, NAS systems and unified storage systems sold to end users through a worldwide network of channel partners and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

"The rapid growth of unstructured data is creating significant challenges for enterprises in provisioning, protecting and managing their storage in an efficient and cost-effective manner," said Abhi Talwalkar, LSI president and chief executive officer. "With the addition of ONStor products and technology, LSI will be well positioned to offer a comprehensive set of storage solutions to help enterprise customers effectively manage both their unstructured and structured data with ease."http://www.lsi.com

Qualcomm Posts Revenue of $2.75 Billion

Qualcomm reported revenue of $2.75 billion for its third quarter of fiscal 2009 ended June 28, 2009, compared to $2.76 billion in the prior year and $2.46 billion in the prior quarter. Net income was $737 million, compared to $748 million in the prior year and a net loss of $289 million in the prior quarter.

"We delivered a strong quarter as the worldwide migration to 3G-enabled products and services remains robust," said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm. "Our revenues were at the high end of our prior guidance, and our operating income exceeded our prior guidance. Our financial results reflect a record quarter for MSM chipset shipments, strong licensing and royalty revenues based on healthy end market demand in the March quarter and a 5 percent year-over-year reduction in combined R&D and SG&A expenses."

"Despite the global economic uncertainty, we anticipate another strong quarter for our chipset shipments in the fourth fiscal quarter. We believe the CDMA inventory channel has largely stabilized, yet remains near historically low levels consistent with our prior forecast. We are raising our fiscal 2009 revenue and operating income estimates given the strong underlying fundamentals of our business."http://www.qualcomm.com

GSMA: Global Mobile Broadband Connections Near 150 million

With more than 300 networks across 127 countries now supporting HSPA, the number of mobile broadband connections will pass the 150 million mark by the end of the summer, according to the GSM Association. Moreover, this figure is expected to reach 200 million connections by early next year and as many as one billion connections by 2013. This includes HSPA, HSPA+ and forthcoming LTE connections via dongles, external data cards, internal laptop modems, and connections built into smart phones and mobile handsets.

According to Wireless Intelligence, the following regions are driving global HSPA connection growth:

  • AsiaPac accounts for almost 50 million live HSPA connections today and will have over 56 million by this September

  • EMEA HSPA connections will pass the 50 million mark any day and will have reached almost 60 million by the end of September this year

  • The US currently has almost 32 million HSPA connections with the number expected to rise to nearly 37 million by this September

  • The Americas will have just over four million connections by the end of September

"The tremendous success of HSPA demonstrates the enormous ongoing demand for truly mobile broadband access, said Dan Warren, Director of Technology, GSMA. "HSPA's leading position is not just important to the mobile industry -- by using a single technology for mobile broadband services globally, we avoid the fragmentation that limits its potential to improve the quality of people's lives."http://www.gsmworld.com