Wednesday, October 28, 2009

France Telecom Reaches 189 Million Customers, Revenue Declines

France Telecom reported revenues of EUR 38.1 billion for the first nine months of 2009, an increase of 0.4% excluding the impact of regulatory measures (down 1.6% on a comparable basis). EBITDA margin was 35.1%, down 0.7 points compared with the first nine months of 2008 as the company trimmed spending. The ratio of CAPEX to revenues was 9.8%, down 1.8 points compared with the first nine months of 2008 (11.6%). Q3 revenues were 12.686 billion euros, a decline of 6.4% on an historical basis compared with the third quarter of 2008, of which -2.8 points was related to the unfavorable impact of exchange rates

France Telecom Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Didier Lombard stated: "Against a backdrop of difficult economic, social and regulatory
conditions, the Group is proving its ability to maintain its performance.

Some highlights for quarter:

  • The Group had 189.1 million customers at 30 September 2009 (excluding MVNOs), up 6.6% year on year with 11.7 million additional customers (net of contract terminations) compared to 30 September 2008.

  • Growth in the number of mobile customers continued rising to 128.8 million customers at 30 September 2009 (excluding MVNOs), a year-on-year increase of 9.5% or 11.2 million additional customers (net of contract terminations). There were 3.3 million additional mobile customers in Q3. At the same time, the MVNO customer base in Europe rose 35.5% to 3.8 million customers at 30 September 2009 (including 2.1 million customers in France), compared with 2.8 million customers a year earlier (including 1.7 million customers in France).

  • Growth in ADSL broadband services1 continued to be strong with 13.4 million customers at 30 September 2009, an increase of 6.0% year on year. Broadband usage was also up sharply (at 30 September 2009) with:

    2.9 million digital TV subscribers (IPTV and satellite), a 67% increase year on year;

    7.3 million Voice over IP subscribers, an increase of 22% year on year; and

    8.5 million Livebox subscribers, an increase of 14% year on year.

  • Revenues from traditional telephone services (subscriptions and traditional telephone communications) fell 10.3%, reflecting the 9.1% year-on-year decrease of traditional consumer telephone subscriptions (18,368 million at 30 September 2009).

  • The decrease in CAPEX reflects the slowdown in investment related to 2G and 3G mobile network capacity expansions and slower growth in fixed broadband services in the European countries.

  • CAPEX as a proportion of revenues should remain at less than 12% for 2009 as a whole. Capital expenditure will be higher in the fourth quarter due to normal seasonality.

Packet Design Signs OEM with Juniper

Packet Design has signed an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) agreement with Juniper Networks. Specifically, Juniper will integrate Packet Design's route analytics products into the new Juniper Networks Junos Space network application platform. The new Route Analyzer product will provide management visibility that helps network engineers with troubleshooting, monitoring and planning for large IP/MPLS networks.

CableLabs Issues Technical RFI For Online TV Service

CableLabs issued a request for information (RFI) to define elements for a common technical approach that would enable consumers to have secure on-line access to subscription video services delivered by any provider. Cable operators are currently testing such services. These include "TV Everywhere" by Time Warner Cable and "On Demand Online" by Comcast.

Cablelabs said it is seeking to define the technical requirements and architecture necessary to enable on-line access to subscription cable TV video services involving both multiple programmers and multiple multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs). A goal is to use existing standards and specifications.

"We are issuing this RFI at the strong urging of our members," noted CableLabs President and CEO Dr. Paul Liao. "It is their belief that a common technical approach will offer greater choice to consumers, and will enable competition among technology providers to support the market," he added.

Juniper Opens Junos Space and Junos Pulse to Developers

Juniper Networks unveiled an open cross-network software platform that allows customers to directly program multiple layers of their networks for rich user experiences, smart economics and fast time to market. This is accomplished using Juniper's Junos network operating system, a new "Junos Space" network application platform and a new "Junos Pulse" integrated network client.

Juniper first opened up the Junos operating system in 2007, delivering a software developer's kit. Junos Space (available today) and Junos Pulse (available in first half 2010) extend that intelligence across the network and to endpoint devices.

Junos Space is an open development and deployment platform for network applications, which enable customers and third-party developers to simplify network operations, automate support and accelerate service delivery. Junos Space initially ships as a platform with three applications:

  • Ethernet Activator, which enables customers to quickly create and activate services, including activation of VPN services up to 10 times faster than competitive products;

  • Route Analyzer, which provides DVR-like recording and playback capability to plan, simulate and troubleshoot MPLS networks;

  • Service Now, which speeds resolution of service issues by having Juniper systems "call" Juniper support experts with troubleshooting data and details, saving valuable time for both customers and service technicians.

Junos Pulse is a new integrated multi-service network client, which reduces the number of client applications that need to be distributed and supported -- and hides security complexity to deliver a better experience for users wherever they are. Junos Pulse will provide location-aware and identity-aware access to networks, including enterprise access controls, remote SSL VPN access and WAN acceleration that are currently available from Juniper in separate network clients. By bringing several products together in a single standards-based client, Junos Pulse will provide network users with a consistent, convenient experience that masks the complexities of security and mobility protocols -- regardless of their location or access device. Junos Pulse will support the Trusted Network Connect (TNC) open standards and specifications.

Juniper Boosts MX Edge Routers with 3D Cards -- Outlines Project Falcon

Juniper Networks will leverage its new Trio silicon to bring "3D" scaling to create a new class of "universal" edge routing. This is accomplished with new modular line cards, new applications and new metro aggregation routers for its existing MX Series of routers.

The new 3D line cards will double capacity for the MX240 model, or triple capacity for the MX480 and MX960. This pushes the maximum edge routing capacity of the MX960 to 2.6 Tbps per chassis. Juniper is also adding a smaller MX80 with 80 Gbps of capacity in a 3U model. This will be available in a modular version as well.

Juniper said the MX960 3D will now offer 4x the capacity as the Cisco ASR 9010, or 2.6X the capacity as the Alcatel-Lucent SR-12.

The new line cards include:

  • MX 3D Universal Edge Line Card: based on a flexible GE / 10GE configuration.

  • MX 3D 100GbE Line Card: edge routing with line-rate 100GbE performance for edge uplink, inter-data center and high-bandwidth aggregation.

  • MX 3D Aggregation Line Card: a 120 Gbps card with the highest 10GE density for aggregation, video distribution, data center and edge routing.

Juniper will start to ship the products in December.

In addition, two new third-party applications being developed on the Junos operating system and Juniper's MX Series: an Active Broadband Networks application for monitoring cable bandwidth and usage to improve cable subscriber experiences; and an Ankeena Networks application for video streaming and caching to enable low-cost, TV-like viewing.

Kim Perdikou, executive vice president and general manager of Juniper's Infrastructure Products Group, said the significance of 3D Scaling goes beyond the bandwidth booth. The technology enables the router to be re-configured through the Junos operating system to optimize the network for service/subscriber requirements. For instance, a platform could be optimized to handle huge number of mobile data users with light traffic volume or smaller number of broadband users downloading HD video.

For the mobile market, Perdikou observed that competitors have introduced a number of point products for edge routing in wireless networks. However, Juniper believes these are limited by bandwidth, scaling of users, security concerns, etc. The company is positioning its 3D routing technology as a "universal" edge, enabling the router to adapt to mobile or wireline requirements, rather than pursue a purpose-built router for this application. Currently, about 70% of the software functionality needed for such a mobile edge router currently runs on the Juniper solution.

Earlier this year, Juniper kicked off "Project Falcon," which aims to deliver 3D universal edge mobility using the Trio chipset. This will be a mobile packet core solution capable of handling subscriber management, billing, etc.

Sprint Subscriber Loss Narrows in Q3, Data ARPU Up

Sprint Nextel reported Q3 net operating revenues of $8.0 billion, a net loss of $478 million and a diluted loss per share of 17 cents. The company generated free cash flow of $664 million in the quarter and $2.1 billion year-to-date in 2009. As of September 30, 2009, the company had $5.9 billion in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments and $1.6 billion in borrowing capacity available under its revolving bank credit facility, for total liquidity of $7.5 billion.

Sprint lost a total of 135,000 net retail subscribers in the quarter. The company's year-over-year post-paid gross addition improvement was the best in Sprint Nextel history, and the sequential improvement was the best in more than five years. Net post-paid subscriber losses have improved by approximately 20 percent in each of the second and third quarters of 2009.

"Sprint achieved its best net retail subscriber results in more than two years and improvement in both post-paid and prepaid gross subscriber additions in the third quarter," said Dan Hesse, Sprint Nextel CEO.

Some highlights for Q3:

  • Sprint served 48.3 million customers at the end of the third quarter of 2009, compared to 48.8 million at the end of the second quarter of 2009. This includes 33.6 million post-paid subscribers (25.0 million on CDMA, 7.8 million on iDEN, and 870,000 Power Source users who utilize both networks), 5.7 million prepaid subscribers (5.2 million on iDEN and 500,000 on CDMA) and 8.9 million wholesale and affiliate subscribers, all of whom utilize the company's CDMA network.

  • For the quarter, net retail subscribers declined by a total of 135,000 and net wireless customers declined by approximately 545,000, including net losses of 801,000 post-paid customers -- comprising 271,000 CDMA and 530,000 iDEN customers (including a net 64,000 customers who transferred from the iDEN network to the CDMA network). The company gained a net 801,000 prepaid iDEN customers, offset by net losses of 135,000 prepaid CDMA customers. The company also experienced a net loss of 410,000 wholesale and affiliate subscribers as a result of subscriber losses from our mobile virtual network operators and deactivation of open machine-to-machine devices that had been activated in the second quarter but may not be utilized.

  • More than 9% of post-paid customers upgraded their handsets during the third quarter, a slight increase sequentially, resulting in increased contract renewals.

  • Post-paid churn in the quarter was 2.17% compared to 2.15% in the year-ago period and 2.05% in the second quarter of 2009. The sequential increase is due to seasonality and heightened competition.

  • Prepaid churn in the third quarter of 2009 was 6.65%, compared to 8.16% in the year-ago period and 6.38% in the second quarter of 2009.

  • Wireless service revenues for the quarter of $6.3 billion declined 8% year-over-year and 2% sequentially. The year-over-year and sequential decline is due to fewer post-paid subscribers, partially offset by more prepaid subscribers.

  • Wireless post-paid ARPU has been stable for the past seven quarters at approximately $56, primarily due to continued growth in fixed-rate bundled plans such as Simply Everything, offset by declines in usage and roaming.

Bytemobile and Camiant Test Mobile Broadband Interoperability

Bytemobile and Camiant announced a joint interoperability partnership that will focus on integrating Bytemobile's Unison Mobile Internet Platform and Camiant's Multimedia Policy Engine (MPE) to deliver intelligent traffic management solutions for mobile broadband services including LTE. Bytemobile and Camiant solutions are compliant with the Policy and Charging Control (PCC) architecture defined by 3GPP.
These solutions enable operators to provide:

  • Tiered service plans to monetize the diversity of traffic mix and application usage

  • Dynamic, widget-based applications and customer notification mechanisms to maximize the utility of operators' services and assure customer understanding

  • An improved customer experience through the addition of intelligence to existing services, particularly mobile video services

Motorola Posts Q3 Sales of $5.5 Billion, Returns to Profit

Motorola reported Q3 sales of $5.5 billion and GAAP earnings from continuing operations of $12 million, or $0.01 per share. Total cash at the end of the third quarter was $7.2 billion, an increase of $700 million compared to the end of the second quarter. The Company generated $616 million of positive operating cash flow during the quarter and expects to continue to generate positive cash flow in the fourth quarter.

Some highlights:

  • Mobile Devices segment sales were $1.7 billion, down 46 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. The GAAP operating loss was $183 million, compared to an operating loss of $840 million in the year-ago quarter. The segment reduced its operating loss by 28 percent sequentially from $253 million in the second quarter of 2009. Additionally, Motorola hipped 13.6 million handsets during the quarter, giving it an estimated global handset market share of 4.7 percent. The company also announced its DROID smartphone based on Android 2.

  • Home and Networks Mobility segment sales were $2.0 billion, down 15 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. GAAP operating earnings were $199 million, compared to operating earnings of $263 million in the year-ago quarter. Motorola shipped 3.3 million digital entertainment devices during the quarter. Motorola also shipped its 1 millionth WiMAX device.

  • Enterprise Mobility Solutions segment sales were $1.8 billion, down 13 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. GAAP operating earnings were $306 million, compared to operating earnings of $403 million in the year-ago quarter.

Motorola expects fourth-quarter earnings from continuing operations to rise to $0.07 to $0.09 per share.

In addition, Motorola appointed Edward J. Fitzpatrick as its CFO, effective immediately. He has been serving in that role since February. Previously, he served as corporate vice president of finance for Motorola's Home & Networks Mobility business.

Eutelsat's Tooway Satellite Selected for Ireland's National Broadband Scheme

Eutelsat's satellite broadband service has been chosen under Ireland's National Broadband Scheme to deliver broadband to homes and businesses in rural Ireland.

Tooway distributor Satellite Broadband Ireland will deliver the service under its recently won contract from 3, the leading Irish mobile broadband provider running the National Broadband Scheme on behalf of the Irish Government. Under the scheme, Tooway's satellite broadband service will be delivered to up to 5% of the 223,000 targeted buildings across rural Ireland. Those qualifying under the scheme will receive Tooway's 3.6 Mbps broadband service for EUR 19.99 per month, following a one-off EUR 49.00 installation & hardware charge.

The National Broadband Scheme sees an estimated EUR 223 million investment by 3, of which a maximum of EUR 79.8 million will be contributed by the Irish Government and EU, to provide broadband services to the designated electoral districts covered by the scheme.

NSN Tests LTE interoperability with four Device Vendors

Nokia Siemens Networks is conducting end-to-end LTE interoperability testing with four leading device vendors across several frequency bands, including AWS, 700 MHz and 2100 MHz. The tests cover several steps in end-to-end network configuration based on commercial LTE hardware, including the Flexi Multiradio Base Station and the Evolved Packet Core, and standard compliant software.

Nokia Siemens Networks recently completed successful calls with end to end LTE network infrastructure and LTE terminals. The company said this milestone shows the interoperability of the Nokia Siemens Networks LTE radio and Flexi NS and Flexi NG evolved packet core network elements with real LTE terminals, and end to end compliancy with the LTE standard (3GPP March 09 baseline specifications). The end-to-end calls were conducted in Nokia Siemens Networks LTE center of competence in Dallas in close cooperation with research and development sites in Ulm and Oulu. Nokia Siemens Networks also recently announced having conducted the world's first LTE call and handover using commercial base station and fully standard compliant software.

In addition, NSN noted that it has shipped LTE compatible Flexi Base Station hardware to over 100 operators, and deployed Direct Tunnel functionality, a precursor to Evolved Packet Core, in over 65 networks.

Juniper Outlines Vision for the "New Network"

In what it describes as the most significant product and technology launch in its 12-year history, Juniper Networks unveiled new software, silicon, systems and partnerships designed to propel the "new network" for enterprise and service provider customers.

The launch event, which coincides with the Internet's 40th anniversary, outlines a future of networking that is open, scalable, simple, secure and automated to address the exploding scale of Internet services for personal and business productivity. Key elements of the Juniper launch include:

  • New Junos software: An open cross-network software platform that allows customers to directly program multiple layers of their networks for rich user experiences, smart economics and fast time to market. The new Junos software platform includes the popular Junos network operating system, the new Junos Space network application platform and new Junos Pulse integrated network client -- all built with the same core design principles, integration approach and development discipline.

  • New Junos-based silicon and systems: A new Junos One family of processors, including the Junos Trio chipset with revolutionary 3D Scaling technology. 3D Scaling enables networks to dynamically support more subscribers, services and bandwidth -- all at the same time. Junos Trio will be delivered in new modular line cards and new 3.5-inch routers for Juniper MX Series, providing two to four times faster throughput than the competition -- up to 2.6 terabits per second -- while using half as much power per gigabit2.The MX 3D products will offer the industry's first "universal edge" with 3D Scaling for delivery of business, residential and mobile services at massive scale on a single network.

  • New Junos-based solutions: Juniper unveiled new cloud networking and security solutions based on the Junos software platform and Juniper systems. The solutions are built upon Juniper's simplified data center network architecture to help customers share and secure their infrastructures while delivering and accessing cloud-based services.

  • New Junos-based partnerships: Juniper announced new go-to-market partnerships with Dell and IBM to deliver Juniper systems as part of their cloud-ready data center solutions. Juniper also announced its first-ever Junos software licensing partnership with Blade Network Technologies, which will develop future blade switches based on the Junos operating system. Juniper also announced several partners who have built or are building applications based on Junos software, including Active Broadband Networks, Ankeena Networks, Harris Stratex, Packet Design, Q1 Labs, Telchemy, Telecom Italia and Triveni Digital.

"Networks are now clearly the hub of business and community around the world, and that's driving massive scale requirements for the next decade," said Kevin Johnson, Juniper's chief executive officer. "Driven by our mission to connect everything and empower everyone, Juniper believes it's time for a new approach to networking. An approach based on smart systems and open software platforms. An approach that adapts to changing business dynamics. An approach that embraces partnership and unleashes innovation. Today is an historic day for Juniper, as we stand tall with our partners and customers to jumpstart the new network."

Juniper's Junos Trio Chipset with 3D Scaling Packs 1.5 Billion Transistors

Representing its fourth generation of purpose-built silicon, Juniper Networks unveiled its "Junos One" family of processors that will be embedded into a broad array of Juniper's future routing, switching and security products. The first product in the set is the "Junos Trio" chipset that features 3D Scaling technology that enables networks to scale dynamically for more bandwidth, subscribers and services while using half as much power per gigabit. Juniper said the new chipset includes more than 30 patent-pending innovations in silicon architecture, packet processing, quality of service and energy efficiency.

Unlike traditional application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and network processing units (NPUs), Junos Trios leverages customized "network instructions" that are designed into silicon to maximize performance and functionality, while working closely with Junos software to ensure programmability of network resources.

Built in 65-nanometer technology, Junos Trio includes four chips with a total of 1.5 billion transistors and 320 simultaneous processes, yielding total router throughput up to 2.6 terabits per second and up to 2.3 million subscribers per rack -- far exceeding the performance and scale possible through off-the-shelf silicon. Junos Trio includes advanced forwarding, queuing, scheduling, synchronization and end-to-end resiliency features, helping customers provide service-level guarantees for voice, video, and data delivery. Junos Trio also incorporates significant power efficiency features to enable more environmentally conscious data center and service provider networks.

The Junos Trio chipset is used in Juniper's new MX 3D products that provide "universal edge" routing for business, residential and mobile services at massive scale on a single network. The new products include new modular line cards, new applications and new metro aggregation routers for Juniper's MX Series routers.

The company noted that it invested $80 million over the last five years to develop Junos Trio.