Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Taiwan-based Alpha Networks Posts Q4 Revenue of $155 Million

Taiwan-based Alpha Networks, a leading OEM/ODM network equipment supplier, reported Q4 2009 consolidated revenue of NT$4,927 million (US$154.9 million), an increase of 1.6% QoQ. Net income was NT$316 million, an increase of 38% QoQ, and EPS after tax was NT$0.68.

Revenue by product categories was as follows: LAN/MAN accounts for 44%, Wireless at 32%, Broadband
plus VoIP at 12%, Digital Multimedia at 10%, and others at 2%.

Canada's National Capital Commission Deploys BridgeWave's Gigabit Wireless

Canada's National Capital Commission (NCC) has selected BridgeWave's AR60-AES links to deliver high-capacity, secure connectivity in Ottawa, Ontario, the nation's capital.

The NCC, which is a Canadian Crown corporation, administers federally owned lands and buildings in Ottawa. The NCC recently expanded and had to relocate some employees to a remote location which needed connectivity to support user's industrial and graphic design work. It was essential for the expansion to also effectively support Internet and corporate database access and HR and finance applications at the new office.

BridgeWave said its high-capacity links have saved taxpayer money by allowing the NCC to eliminate substantial upfront or monthly network connectivity expenses, yielding a return on investment (ROI) in 20 months. The NCC chose BridgeWave's AR60 with Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) instead of installing new fiber or supplementing the existing copper infrastructure. Two BridgeWave AR60 links with AES capacity were installed in only three days. The narrow beamwidth of the BridgeWave links create "virtual pipes" for mission critical applications, making signal interception near impossible. BridgeWave's AR60-AES gigabit wireless links contain built-in 256-bit AES encryption, the strongest encryption commercially available.

Another major consideration for using BridgeWave gigabit links was the ability to maintain server centralization. As full-rate gigabit connectivity was available between locations, the NCC did not have to procure additional servers and the associated backup infrastructure for the new office. Installing servers at the new office would have cost more than the entire BridgeWave solution and would have complicated the deployment and the ongoing support.

Apparent Enhances Cloud Network Performance Management Service

Apparent Networks released a series of enhancements for PathView Cloud hosted network performance management service, including new features for VoIP assessments.

The subscription-based PathView Cloud service monitors and measures the performance of end-to-end network paths --- including portions that traverse third-party networks.

New features for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and Network Assessment include:

  • MSP Branding --- MSPs can custom-brand PathView Cloud's user interface and reports and deliver them as a service to their customers.

  • MSP Organization --- New self-service multi-tenancy capabilities allow MSPs to manage all customers from a single PathView Cloud screen and perform drill-down analyses. The organizational structure allows MSPs to easily add new customers to PathView Cloud as their customer base grows.

  • MSP Customer Deployment Analysis --- MSPs can track PathView Cloud services they deliver to their customers and export reports for efficient customer billing.

  • VoIP Assessments --- Allow users to determine their networks' readiness for VoIP prior to deployment. Assessments can be performed on up to 2,500 network paths at a single time to ensure overall network readiness for VoIP. Graphical reports clearly show overall network readiness for VoIP and also identify potential problems.

  • Expanded Data Assessment Capabilities --- Enable users to assess their entire network at once to identify whether networks can handle the additional traffic of new data applications. If trouble areas are detected, PathView Cloud performs full hop-by-hop analyses across network paths to identify issues and provide remediation information.

  • Support for the New PathView microAppliance --- The PathView microAppliance is a zero-administration device that can be used as the source or target of PathView tests. It eliminates the need to provision computer resources for the PathView Cloud and is ideal for remote offices that may lack a suitable, always-on device.

AboveNet -- Revenue for Lit Services Surpass Dark Fiber

AboveNet reported revenue of $94.3 million, an increase of $4.5 million, or 5.0%, compared to the fourth quarter of 2008. Excluding contract termination revenue from the 2008 and 2009 fourth quarters, revenue would have been $81.1 million and $93.4 million, respectively, an increase of $12.3 million, or 15.2%.

Domestic metro services revenue grew 27.6% to $25.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2009 from $19.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2008; domestic WAN services revenue increased 21.4% to $17.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2009 from $14.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2008.

"In 2009 we posted strong results that were in line with our expectations for revenue growth, Adjusted EBITDA margin and capital spending," said Bill LaPerch, AboveNet's President and CEO. "We executed well against our strategy to grow with our customers and enlarge our addressable market by focusing on lit services. In 2009, for the first time, lit services revenue surpassed dark fiber revenue. We also turned free cash flow positive, giving us additional capital for growth." http://www.above.nethttp://

CA to Acquire Nimsoft for $350 Million

CA agreed to acquire privately-held Nimsoft, a provider of IT performance and availability monitoring solutions, in an all-cash transaction valued at $350 million.

Nimsoft has developed monitoring and reporting solutions for public cloud and on-demand offerings like Google Apps for Business, The Rackspace Cloud, Amazon Web Services and EC2, Salesforce.com, as well as internal applications, databases, and physical and virtual server environments.

The Nimsoft Unified Monitoring solution allows managed service providers (MSPs) to gain visibility into the performance and availability of their customers' business applications across both internal and external IT infrastructures.

CA said the Nimsoft acquisition significantly extends its ability to meet the unique IT management needs of emerging enterprises and MSPs, both of which are playing leading roles in the growth of cloud computing.

The deal follows CA's recent acquisitions of Cassatt, NetQoS and Oblicore and the planned acquisition of 3Tera.

Nimsoft is based in Redwood City, California.

Sprint Delivers M2M to Enable Usage-Based Insurance for Vehicles

Sprint is delivering an M2M service that monitors actual miles driven by a particular vehicle, and enabling insurance companies to set their coverage fee based on this data. This is known as Usage-based Insurance (UBI).

Specifically, Sprint and Walsh Wireless released a certified solution developed to meet this unique and growing market - the Walsh Wireless Data Logger, powered exclusively by Sprint 3G Mobile Broadband.

The companies said the UBI model helps insurance companies be more innovative and competitive in their approach by improving their risk assessment process, reducing customer churn and ultimately reducing the claims received. Drivers could see a reduction in their premiums by being rewarded for low mileage and/or safe driving habits. The Walsh Data Logger provides the ability to wirelessly monitor in real-time the performance of a vehicle, its location and the driver's driving pattern. It can also benefit government entities and businesses that need to better manage large fleets of vehicles.
  • In October 2009, Sprint announced the formation of its Emerging Solutions Business group, which focuses exclusively on the rapid delivery of end-to-end M2M and mobile computing solutions to businesses and consumers.

AT&T Adds First Electric Vehicles to Corporate Fleet

AT&T has added its first all-electric cargo truck, the Smith Newton, to its corporate fleet. AT&T operates more than 77,000 vehicles in its commercial fleet.

The vehicle - recognized as the world's largest electric battery-powered truck - is now servicing St. Louis, Missouri. The zero-tailpipe-emission Smith Newton runs free of normal engine noise and vibration, and it stores electric energy through regenerative braking.

In addition, AT&T has committed to be one of the first purchasers of the Ford Transit Connect Electric, the first fully-electric commercial vehicle to be widely sold in the United States.

"We are focused on driving down our dependence on imported sources of fuel and are open to alternative fuel resources that can reliably power our expanding fleet," said Jerome Webber, vice president, AT&T Fleet Operations.

The Smith Newton and - by the end of 2010 - the Ford Transit Connect Electric - are part of a $565 million planned investment announced in March 2009. AT&T expects to spend an estimated $350 million to purchase about 8,000 compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, and approximately $215 million to replace 7,100 fleet passenger cars with alternative-fuel models. http://www.att.com/csr

FCC: Broadband Plan to Include Equal Access for People with Disabilities

The FCC's upcoming National Broadband Plan, which will be released next week, includes many recommendations on how to expand the reach and depth of broadband's benefits to people with disabilities.

With broadband technologies, "we have the opportunity to consider accessibility issues relatively early in the deployment process and enable people with disabilities to share fully in the benefits of broadband," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a speech at a conference co-sponsored by Silicon Flatirons and the American Association of People with Disabilities and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

Working recommendations in the Plan include:

  • A government-wide Accessibility Initiative and establishment of a Broadband
    Accessibility Working Group

  • An ongoing Accessibility and Innovation Forum at the FCC for stakeholders to share best
    practices and collaborate on accessibility solutions

  • Action by the FCC, DOJ, and Congress to update accessibility laws and policies and
    make sure they are enforced.

  • Authorization by Congress for limited use of Universal Service Fund for assistive
    technology users and developers

  • Use of TRS funds for broadband services and assistive technology subsidies and for
    funding additional IP-based services.

Dell'Oro: Packet Microwave Market Grew 40% in Q4 2010

Worldwide microwave transmission equipment revenues grew 9 percent in the fourth quarter 2009, with the packet microwave revenues growing 40 percent during the same period, according to a newly launched Microwave Transmission report from Dell'Oro Group. The new report tracks TDM, packet, and hybrid microwave equipment used primarily in mobile backhaul.

The report indicates that the top 3 packet microwave vendors during the fourth quarter were Dragonwave (37 percent), Alcatel-Lucent (30 percent), and Bridgewave (9 percent).

"Despite being the smallest segment of the market, packet microwave grew the fastest during 2009, as wireless service providers continued to gain comfort in a packet-only architecture," said Jimmy Yu, Director of Microwave Transmission research at Dell'Oro Group. "Although North America is the smallest overall market for microwave equipment, it was in fact, the largest region for packet microwave equipment deployments in the quarter. This is due to the demands placed by Clearwire's rapid deployment of 4G WiMAX service using microwave for cell site backhaul," Yu added.

comScore Counts 42.7 million SmartPhone Users in U.S.

In the 3 month average ending in January, 234 million Americans were mobile subscribers ages 13 and older, according to a new report on key trends in the U.S. mobile phone industry released by comScore.

The report ranked the leading mobile original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and smartphone operating system (OS) platforms in the U.S. according to their share of current mobile subscribers age 13 and older, as well as popular activities and content accessed via the subscriber's primary mobile phone. The January report found Motorola to be the top handset manufacturer overall with 22.9 percent market share, while RIM led among smartphone platforms with 43.0 percent market share.

42.7 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones in an average month during the November to January period, up 18 percent from the August through October period. RIM was the leading mobile smartphone platform in the U.S. with 43.0 percent share of U.S. smartphone subscribers, rising 1.7 percentage points versus three months earlier. Apple ranked second with 25.1 percent share (up 0.3 percentage points), followed by Microsoft at 15.7 percent, Google at 7.1 percent (up 4.3 percentage points), and Palm at 5.7 percent. Google's Android platform continues to see rapid gains in market share.

In addition, comScore said 63.5 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, up 1.5 percentage points versus three months prior.

Dell'Oro: Packet Microwave Revenues Surge