Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Europe Reaches Agreement on Telecoms Reform

The European Parliament and the European Council reached an agreement on a Telecoms package aimed at strengthening consumer protections in the broadband market. The full package of regulatory reform have been under discussion for years, but recently negotiations became snagged by the issue of copyright piracy.

Under a compromise agreement over amendment 138, which had been the stumbling block, Internet users accused of copyright infringements cannot be cut off from their Internet connection without a "fair and impartial procedure" rather than a court proceeding. The deal clears the way for the European Parliament to adopt the full Telecoms Package.

The full Telecoms Package calls for the creation of a single, independent European Telecom Market Authority accountable to the European Parliament. This new authority would ensure that the 27 national regulators work as an efficient team on creating a seamless telecoms market across Europe. The new regulator would facilitate cross-border EU services in relation to rights-of-use for scarce resources such as spectrum and numbers, and enabling operators wishing to do so to use a single European area code for their services. It is also expected to play a role in opening markets still dominated by an incumbent player.

In order for the Telecoms package to come into force, the European parliament and the Council have to confirm the agreement. This is expected to happen before the end this month.

Telefónica to Acquire Hansenet in Germany for EUR 900 Million

Telefónica will acquire Hansenet from Telecom Italia for EUR 900 million in cash. Telefónica will add new fixed and mobile subscribers, making Telefónica O2 Germany the number three player in the German telecommunications market. The combination of both companies annual revenue will amount to almost five billion euros. The transaction is subject to approval from the relevant competition authorities and is expected to be finalized during the first quarter of 2010.

After the acquisition is finalized, Telefonica O2 Germany will add Hansenet's DSL customers which currently stand at around 2.2 million and will also strength the capability to serve bundle-offers of mobile and fixed net products. Telefónica will therefore become a leading integrated telecommunication provider in Germany with 15 million mobile and 2.4 million DSL customers in the country.

DT and FT Finalize Deal to Combine T-Mobile UK and Orange UK

Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom signed the final agreement to combine their UK operations, T-Mobile and Orange, into a 50:50 joint venture company. The deal was first announced on 8 September 2009. Completion is conditional upon approval by the relevant authorities and remains expected in the first half of 2010 as previously indicated.

Infinera Appoints VP of Sales for EMEA

Infinera named Chris Champion as its new Vice President of Sales, EMEA with responsibility for leading Infinera's sales activities in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa markets. Since joining Infinera in 2003, Mr. Champion has played a key role in building Infinera's European business. Previously, Champion held ales, marketing, and business development roles at Corvis Corporation and Nortel Networks.

Telenor Norway Selects Starent for Packet Core

Telenor Norway has selected Starent Networks' multimedia core network equipment for the carrier's 2G, 3G/UMTS and 4G/LTE networks. Specifically, Telenor will deploy Starent's market-leading Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) and Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN) for the 2G and 3G/UMTS networks and Mobility Management Entity (MME), Serving Gateway (SGW) and Packet Data Network Gateway (PGW) for the 4G/LTE network on the ST40 multimedia core platform. Additionally, Telenor's network will utilize Starent's Network-Based Traffic Optimization In-Line Service. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"This is the biggest upgrade of the mobile network in Norway we have ever carried out. It will create a solid base for further developing the services offered by the Telenor mobile network and the quality of those services. Our main aim is to provide customers with better, more innovative services across the country. This means better in terms of capacity, speed and stability," explains Ragnar Kårhus, CEO of Telenor Norway.

Ericsson's CTO to Head company's Silicon Valley Operations

Håkan Eriksson, who currently serves as Ericsson's CTO, has been appointed to head the company's IP business in Silicon Valley. Eriksson will keep his current role as CTO (Chief Technology Officer) and head of Group Function Technology & Portfolio Management and will remain as member of the Group Management Team.

Bert Nordberg, who previously held this position, has been newly appointed as President of Sony Ericsson.

Nokia Siemens Networks Partners with Neusoft in China

Nokia Siemens Networks and Neusoft agreed to expand their existing joint venture in China. The two companies will jointly address new and emerging market opportunities ranging from applications, security, service management, business support systems and customer relationship management, bundling their sales, development and delivery resources to strengthen the combined overall competitiveness of Nokia Siemens Networks and Neusoft. The entity is based in Dalian and will be able to build on the strong current basis the two mother companies have in the China market.

Telefónica O2 Germany Activates 28 Mbps HSPA+ with Huawei

Telefónica O2 Germany has activated a mobile HSPA+ data network in an urban area of Munich offer download rates of up to 28 Mbps and upload rates of up to 5.76 Mbps. The network technology and the surfstick will be provided by O2' s partner Huawei Technologies.

During the initial phase, signed O2 customers who work or live in the western urban area of Munich or around Munich's Marienplatz will be able to test the new mobile broadband internet. They will receive a stick from Huawei and the required mobile data flat rate. Until 31 December 2009 no additional costs will accrue to these customers for the use of HSPA+. The high HSPA+ upload and download rates enable high quality internet television, fastest response times for online games and even more efficient access to business data.

Huawei Completes TD-LTE Tests for 2010 Shanghai World Expo

Huawei's System Architecture Evolution solution has completed all mandatory and optional tests on the TD-LTE trial network for 2010 Shanghai World Expo. The tests were conducted by China Mobile Research Institute and Shanghai Mobile, a subsidiary of China Mobile, to evaluate the LTE/SAE solutions among all the leading vendors for deploying the commercial TD-LTE network for the coming event.

Huawei said the core network tests verified the functionalities of MME (Mobility Management Entity), Serving Gateway, PDN Gateway and the HSS (Home Subscriber Server). The company noted that it is the only vendor with its commercial SAE solution that has successfully passed all 119 tests.

As a partner of Shanghai Mobile, Huawei provided end-to-end network solutions for the TD-LTE trial, including mobile network, SAE, terminals, chips and transmission systems.

UTStarcom Q3 Sales Fall to $70.5 Million

UTStarcom reported Q3 sales of $70.5 million as compared to $180.6 million in the third quarter of 2008. The decline in sales primarily reflects the China market's continued wind down of the PAS infrastructure and handset businesses. Gross margins for the third quarter of 2009 were 34% as compared to 32% in the third quarter of 2008. The third quarter 2009 operating expenses were $58.0 million compared to $92.2 million a year ago. The reduction in expenses primarily reflects the benefits of ongoing restructuring and cost cutting initiatives. The operating loss for the third quarter of 2009 and 2008 was $33.8 million and $34.9 million, respectively.

The net loss for the third quarter of 2009 was $34.6 million, or ($0.27) per share, and includes $8.9 million in charges primarily related to the restructuring actions announced in June. The third quarter of 2008 net loss was $55.9 million, or ($0.45) per share.

"The third quarter was a time of transition for our company as we worked aggressively to execute the corporate initiatives we announced in June," said Peter Blackmore, UTStarcom's chief executive officer and president. "We have implemented significant changes that enable us to invest in selective IP-based infrastructure products and key geographic regions. Meanwhile we continue to improve our operational structure so we can achieve our financial goals in 2010 and beyond."

Xelerated Supports Precision Time Protocol and Synchronous Ethernet in Silicon

Xelerated introduced a Precision Time Solution that enables its network processors and programmable Ethernet switching silicon to preserve synchronization in packet-based mobile backhaul links.

Significantly, Xelerated's Precision Time Solution provides hardware and software support for both Precision Time Protocol (IEEE 1588 v1 and v2/2008) and Synchronous Ethernet (ITU G.8262). For maximum flexibility, the solution supports any type of synchronization service on any port. Special attention has been put to highly accurate time stamping, time and frequency monitoring, as well as optimized performance supporting one-step operations for Precision Time Protocol.

Xelerated said its design allow mobile backhaul providers to evolve their services as the LTE technology framework is updated with new standards for quality of service, synchronization and service interworking. In addition, programmability enables system vendors to offer a common portfolio meeting the stringent PTN requirements as outlined by China Mobile while paving the way for LTE.

"Next-generation mobile backhaul must leverage a unified fiber access design to meet the price points and dense service requirements in LTE. A unified approach with superior synchronous options can make this solution happen now," said Thomas Eklund, vice president of marketing and business development for Xelerated. "We have put extensive resources into our new Precision Time Solution, which enables service providers to securely migrate to Carrier Ethernet and stop investing in costly legacy equipment with limited lifetimes."

Codenomicon Releases Fuzzing Tool for Security Testing

Codenomicon released a general purpose fuzzing tool for testing communication interfaces. The new DEFENSICS Traffic Capture Fuzzer loads threat vectors from sources like network analyzers and vulnerability feeds, and automatically generates extensive tests to find zero-day threats in protocol implementations.

"In a matter of minutes from getting my hands on our Traffic Capture Fuzzer, I was already testing a wide range of proprietary protocols, which had always worried me, but for which Model-Based Fuzzers would have been impossible to create," says Ari Takanen, CTO of Codenomicon and co-author of Fuzzing, a security testing book for both security experts and network engineers. "I can definitely see all of our customers benefiting from this solution," he continues.

Codenomicon said its Traffic Capture Fuzzer reads files in PCAP format, which is supported by all network analyzers and which is generally accepted as a standard for storing network flows. The Traffic Capture Fuzzer is software-based solution, and can be used at every stage of the software development lifecycle.

Occam Posts Q3 Revenue of $21.7 million

Occam Networks reported Q3 revenue of $21.7 million, compared with revenue of $25.1 million for the same period a year ago and with revenue of $21.0 million for the second quarter of 2009. Third-quarter 2009 revenue reflected the impact of a revenue deferral of $1.3 million of some shipments due to the bankruptcy filing by FairPoint Communications on October 26, 2009. FairPoint has announced that it will continue operations uninterrupted during this process and Occam expects to supply product during the company's post-petition period.

As reported under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and including a previously announced $1.7 million charge related to a settlement of a stockholder class action lawsuit, initially filed on April 26, 2007, net loss attributable to common stockholders for the third quarter of 2009 was $2.6 million, or a loss of $0.13 per basic share, compared with a net loss of $659,000, or a loss of $0.03 per basic share, for the comparable period a year ago. Second-quarter 2009 net loss was $2.4 million, or a loss of $0.12 per basic share.

"Despite the revenue deferral from FairPoint, we were encouraged by higher shipments overall, due to an increase in the order rate by customers during the quarter," said Bob Howard-Anderson, president and CEO of Occam. "In addition, our bottom-line results reflected the steps we have taken in recent months to reduce total operating expenses.

Veraz Posts Q3 Revenue of $18.7 Million, up 11% Sequentially

Veraz Networks reported Q3 revenues of $18.7 million, an 11% increase over the preceding quarter and a 19% decrease over the third quarter of 2008. On a GAAP basis, net loss was $(1.6 million), or $(0.04) loss per share, a 44% improvement over the preceding quarter, and an improvement over the loss of $(5.4 million) or $(0.13) loss per share reported in the third quarter of 2008. Gross margin was 64%, as compared to 54% for the preceding quarter and 59% for the third quarter of 2008.

Our operations were profitable on a non-GAAP basis as we strengthened our gross margins and sharpened our focus on the cost controls that create long term, sustainable profitability," said Doug Sabella, Chief Executive Officer of Veraz Networks. "In addition, we are pleased to have added eight new customers in the quarter: four new switching customers and four new bandwidth optimization customers."

Harris Stratex Networks' Revenue Falls to $120 Million

Harris Stratex Networks reported quarterly revenue of $120.0 million, compared with $195.8 million in the year ago period. GAAP net loss was $7.8 million or $0.13 per share, compared with a GAAP net income of $6.5 million or $0.10 per diluted share in the year ago quarter.

Revenue in North America was $48.0 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2010, compared with $63.0 million in the year ago period. International revenue was $72.0 million, compared with $132.8 million in the year ago period. Network Operations revenue, which represented 2 percent of revenue in FY2009, is now reported within the North America and International segments.

"The macroeconomic environment remains challenging and continues to constrain our revenue growth potential. However, we are seeing stabilization in North America, continued strength in Asia Pacific and even early indications of potential growth in countries hardest hit by this downturn," said Harald Braun, president and chief executive officer of Harris Stratex Networks.

Clearwire Appoints New Execs for Corporate Strategy and Marketing

Clearwire announced the appointment of David D. Maquera as senior vice president and chief strategy officer, where he will be responsible for technology development, strategic planning and implementation. Maquera most recently served as vice president of strategic development for Cricket Communications/Leap Wireless, Inc., where he was responsible for delivering strategic initiatives to successfully drive the company's growth, including development of the wireless broadband product, strategic partnerships, and spectrum acquisitions. In eight years at Cricket/Leap, he also served as the company's chief information officer (CIO) and as vice president of product engineering, where he developed and launched Cricket's first mobile data products.

Clearwire also named Thomas Enraght-Moony as senior vice president and general manager of CLEAR Online, where he will serve as head of marketing for the company overseeing all advertising and marketing activities as well as the company's online sales and customer management.
He joins Clearwire from where he last served as CEO; previously served as COO, and earlier as senior vice president and general manager for North America. Prior to joining, Enraght-Moony was director and then vice president of eCommerce at AT&T Wireless.