Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Alcatel-Lucent's EPC Breaks 100 Gbps Barrier in Ixia Test

Alcatel-Lucent's Evolved Packet Core (EPC) solution broke the 100 Gbps barrier for mobile gateway performance in a test performed with Ixia.

A set of two Alcatel-Lucent 7750 Service Routers, deployed in the role of LTE/EPC Serving Gateway and Packet Data Network (PDN) gateway, were stressed using Ixia's IxLoad application and Acceleron load modules and successfully passed multimedia traffic over simultaneous 80 Gbps downstream and 20 Gbps upstream links.

Ixia IxLoad application and Acceleron load modules generated and tested a continuous flow of real-time traffic using more than 1.5 million active LTE connections (bearers) loaded at 65 Kbps each. This traffic, aggregated at more than 100 Gbps, was processed and passed across an Alcatel-Lucent EPC, which included two Alcatel-Lucent 7750 Service Routers. The scenario roughly equated to 1.5 million voice LTE channels or, inversely, more than 65,000 high-definition html-based H.264 video sessions running concurrently at aggregate speeds over 100 Gbps.

"These test results show that aggregate speeds over 100 Gbps are today's reality for the Alcatel-Lucent LTE Evolved Packet Core gateways -- speeds that are necessary to accommodate the exponential rise of traffic in the mobile broadband evolution," said Kevin Macaluso, Vice President and General Manager of the Service Router product group within Alcatel-Lucent.

"LTE is about massive increase of video and data traffic which demands massive throughput in the Evolved Packet Core," said Victor Alston, Senior Vice President, Product Development at Ixia. "This collaboration with Alcatel-Lucent sets a new benchmark for LTE data plane processing and showcases the best practices in LTE service quality validation."

Overture Raises $17.2 Million for Carrier Ethernet

Overture Networks has closed an additional $17.2M round of equity funding to support its Carrier Ethernet offerings.

Overture Networks supplies Carrier Ethernet edge and aggregation equipment to more than 225 service providers and enterprise customers worldwide. Its ISG family can deliver Carrier Ethernet over fiber, SONET/SDH, and TDM/PDH. The privately-held company is based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina with a technology center in Richardson, Texas.

The new round of funding was lead by QuestMark Partners, who joins existing investors, including Intel Capital, Intersouth Partners, Morgenthaler Ventures, Tenaya Capital, TDF Fund and Gray Ventures. In addition, Tim Krongard, Partner, QuestMark Partners will take a seat on Overture's Board.

Level 3 Delivers Managed Video Network for ABC

Level 3 Communications will provide its Managed Video Network Services (MVNS) platform to ABC News locations in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., allowing the broadcaster to move more video and data content. Under a three-year contract, Level 3 will install its MVNS offering at each of the ABC News Bureau locations. The broadcaster will have direct access to Level 3's Tier 1 Internet backbone allowing transmission of both video and data from a single platform. Level 3 will also provide Ethernet Virtual Private Line network (EVPL).

PMC-Sierra Posts Revenues of $153 Million, Up 49%

PMC-Sierra reported Q1 net revenues of $152.8 million, a year-over-year increase of 49% compared with $102.6 million in the first quarter of 2009, and 9.5% higher than revenues of $139.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Net income in the first quarter of 2010 on a GAAP basis was $27.0 million (GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.12) compared with a GAAP net loss in the first quarter of 2009 of $3.9 million (GAAP loss per share of $0.02). Non-GAAP net income in the first quarter of 2010 was $43.5 million (non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.19) compared with non-GAAP net income of $12.4 million (non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.06) in the first quarter of 2009. On a year-over-year basis, this represents growth in non-GAAP net income of $31.1 million or 251%.

"In the first quarter of 2010, we experienced improving demand in our Wide Area Network Infrastructure business and saw the continuation of healthy demand in our Enterprise Storage business as global IT spending improves year over year," said Greg Lang, president and chief executive officer of PMC-Sierra. "Revenue in the first quarter of 2010 was 9% above our previous quarterly revenue peak in the second quarter of 2008, while non-GAAP net income was 46% above the second quarter of 2008."http://www.pmc-sierra.comhttp://

Nokia Siemens Networks Announces EUR 750 Million Contracts in China

Nokia Siemens Networks has signed frame agreements with China Mobile and China Unicom to continue purchasing GSM, WCDMA and TD-SCDMA mobile network equipment and solutions. The two Chinese operators signed similar agreements last year as part of the China-Europe Purchasing delegation.

Under the scope of the current agreements, China Mobile plans to purchase Nokia Siemens Networks' GSM and TD-SCDMA network equipment, and its IP Multimedia Subsystem solution.

China Unicom, on the other hand, will source Nokia Siemens Networks' GSM and WCDMA equipment, as well as its HSPA solution, while continuing to purchase the company's unique "direct tunnel" packet core technology. Direct tunnel will help the operator cost-effectively keep pace with the rising demand for data traffic.

Nokia Siemens Networks noted that it has steadily built up a strong manufacturing, R&D, operations and distribution presence in China. Three of its nine manufacturing sites are located in the country. Nokia Siemens Networks has also significantly invested in R&D activities in China, creating a TD-LTE competence center in Hangzhou, with plans to increase its R&D staff during 2010.

Gigamon Introduces Smaller Data Access Switch for Monitoring Tools

Gigamon introduced an entry level version of its Data Access Switch, which aggregates, multicasts, filters and divides traffic flows across multiple passive monitoring tools.

The GigaVUE-212 is a modular packet-aware Data Access Switch with much of the same functionality as the company's existing platforms. It offers an eight 1GE ports and two 10GE ports with an optional expansion module for support of another four 1GE ports.

Gigamon's data access switch provides span ports for out-of-band monitoring of complex and remote networks. The new GigaVUE-212 can be used by data centers or enterprises who either require a low-cost option in order to enhance their network monitoring for the first time, or who have areas of their networks where they need lower port counts to support monitoring.
  • Earlier this year, Gigamon released new "GigaSMART" software that leverages 10 Gbps, full line-rate packet modification technology to offer time stamping, network port labeling, slicing and masking capabilities.

AT&T Wi-Fi Network Sees 5X Traffic Growth in Q1 YoY

AT&T reported that use of its more than 20,000 U.S. Wi-Fi hotspots surged to 53.1 million connections in the first quarter. This is nearly five times higher than the 10.7 million connections made in the first quarter last year, and more than half of the 85.5 million total Wi-Fi connections made in 2009.

The Wi-Fi network is designed to complement AT&T's wireless and wired broadband networks. At the end of the first quarter, nearly 32 million AT&T customers had AT&T Wi-Fi access included with their qualifying smartphone, AT&T High Speed Internet and 3G LaptopConnect plans, an added value and convenience that drives Wi-Fi usage. Many smartphones, including the iPhone support auto-authentication at AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots. In Q1, 69 percent of Wi-Fi connections were made from smartphones and integrated devices, up from 35 percent a year ago in the first quarter of 2009.

The total number of AT&T broadband connections -- which includes both wireline broadband and wireless LaptopConnect cards -- grew by 278,000 in the first quarter to reach 17.5 million in service.

Vitesse Introduces EcoEthernet Technology Exceeding 802.3az

Vitesse Semiconductor introduced its second generation "EcoEthernet" technology, with power-saving features exceeding the IEEE's 802.3az Energy Efficient Ethernet standards.

EcoEthernet 2.0 silicon, which is designed for enterprise LAN, data center and carrier Ethernet switches, optimizes performance for all link speeds, while providing unique energy-saving capabilities for temperature monitoring, smart fan control, and adjustable LED brightness.

Vitesse said its technology enables Gigabit Ethernet ports to dissipate well below 400 mW, while drawing less than 200 mW when operating in Fast Ethernet speeds. Features intended to reduce fan and front-panel display power ensure that switches and Carrier access systems based on EcoEthernet 2.0 will offer the lowest possible energy use for the next generation of green network appliances.

The recent work of the IEEE's 802.3az EEE Task Force to establish further green opportunities for Ethernet are aligned with coalition efforts such as The Green Grid and GreenTouch for making Enterprise, data center, and telecom networks more energy efficient. Vitesse's EcoEthernet technology allows manufacturers to design products for these emerging standards.

"Until now, most Ethernet IC development has focused solely on the cost and performance gains achieved by using 65-nm technology. However, relying on this process alone is not a comprehensive green strategy," said Jason Rock, product marketing manager at Vitesse.

As part of the EcoEthernet portfolio, Vitesse is introducing a 12-port Gigabit Ethernet PHY device with dual media copper and fiber support. It features "ActiPHY" automatic link-power down and "PerfectReach" intelligent cable algorithm, along with IEEE 802.3az idle power savings, temperature monitoring, smart fan control, and adjustable LED brightness.

Vitesse notes that the new IC achieves its breakthrough power dissipation of 370 mW/port for 1000BASE-T copper and 150 mW for fiber, not only through optimal design techniques in a 65-nm CMOS process, but through support of both low pin count SGMII and QSGMII interfaces. Sampling begins this quarter.

"The unprecedented density of Vitesse's new 12-port VSC8512, combined with its EcoEthernet 2.0 technology simplifies designing next-generation green Enterprise switches and Carrier Ethernet switch and routers with 24-, 48-, and even 96-ports in a single line card," said Rock.

Verizon: Wireless Data Grows as Other Areas Slow

Verizon Communications reported Q1 2010 financial results in line with expectations with its strongest area of growth in wireless data services, FiOS and broadband, as traditional services declined and subscriber growth slowed. Verizon Wireless recorded 1.5 million total net customer additions for Q1 2010.

Verizon's total operating revenues were $26.9 billion in the first quarter of 2010, an increase of 1.2 percent compared with the first quarter of 2009. Net income attributable to Verizon was $0.4 billion in the first quarter of 2010, compared with $1.6 billion in the first quarter of 2009.

Capital expenditures totaled $3.5 billion in the first quarter of 2010. Although this was down 6.8 percent from the first quarter of 2009, Verizon reiterated its guidance that total 2010 capital spending will range from $16.8 billion to $17.2 billion.

Highlights include:

Verizon Wireless

Added 423,000 retail postpaid and 284,000 total retail customers in the quarter, excluding acquisitions and adjustments. Nearly 95 percent of the company's customers are retail, the most retail customers of any U.S. wireless provider. The company had 87.8 million retail customers at the end of the first quarter, an increase of 4.4 percent year over year.

The total number of customers at the end of the quarter was 92.8 million, an increase of 7.2 percent year over year, with 1.5 million total net customer additions in the first quarter 2010. In addition, the company has 7.3 million other connections, including machine-to-machine (M2M), eReaders and telematics, bringing total connections to 100.1 million.

Retail postpaid churn, retail churn and total customer churn was 1.07 percent, 1.46 percent and 1.40 percent, respectively. All are improved year over year.

Retail service revenues in the quarter totaled $13.4 billion, up 5.0 percent year over year. Retail data revenue was up 25.6 percent to $4.5 billion. Service revenues in the first quarter were $13.8 billion, up 5.9 percent. Total revenues were $15.8 billion, up 4.4 percent year over year.

Retail service ARPU was flat at $50.95. Retail data ARPU increased to $17.06, up 19.6 percent year over year.

Wireless operating income margin was 28.9 percent, an increase of 0.7 percentage points year over year. Segment EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) margin on service revenues (non-GAAP) was 46.0 percent, the same as first-quarter 2009.


First-quarter 2010 operating revenues were $11.2 billion, a decline of 2.9 percent compared with first-quarter 2009. This is an improvement of 1.0 percentage point compared with the year-over-year revenue declines reported in the fourth quarter 2009.

First-quarter 2010 operating expenses were $11.1 billion, an increase of 1.7 percent compared with first-quarter 2009. In first-quarter 2010, savings from continued workforce reductions and other initiatives were more than offset by weather-related expenses in the Northeast, and incremental pension and retiree benefit expenses.

Broadband connections totaled 9.3 million at the end of the first quarter 2010, a 4.3 percent year-over-year increase. This is a net increase of 90,000 from the fourth quarter 2009, as the increase in FiOS Internet connections more than offset a decrease in DSL-based High Speed Internet connections.

As of the end of first-quarter 2010, the FiOS network passed 15.6 million premises. Verizon continues to target passing 18 million premises with FiOS. Since the company has already secured video franchises to meet this target, it is spreading the passing of remaining premises several years past 2010.

New Verizon offerings for multinational corporate and government customers included a cloud-based data backup service offered jointly with IBM; a managed mobility solution tailored to government customers; a managed immersive videoconferencing solution with Cisco; and new professional consulting services.

Continuing to broaden its global scope and capabilities, Verizon installed 11 additional Private IP edge routers for a total of 763 edge routers in 215 sites throughout 59 countries. The company also expanded its Private IP network into three additional Latin American locations -- Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Santiago, Chile. Additionally, Verizon enhanced its Trans-Atlantic global mesh network to eight-way diversity with the addition of the Atlantic Crossing-1 cable system.

Nokia: SmartPhone Sales Rise, NSN is Profitable

Citing tough competition in high-end mobile devices, Nokia reported Q1 2010 net sales of EUR 9.5 billion, up 3% year-on-year and down 21% sequentially (up 1% and down 21% at constant currency).
. Nokia continues to expect industry mobile device volumes to be up approximately 10% in 2010, compared to 2009 (based on its revised definition of the industry mobile device market applicable beginning in 2010).

For Nokia Siemens Networks, first quarter 2010 net sales decreased 9% to EUR 2.7 billion, compared with EUR 3.0 billion in the first quarter 2009, reflecting challenging competitive factors and market conditions. However, gross profit increased 11% to EUR 782 million, compared with EUR 703 million in the first quarter 2009, with a gross margin of 28.8% (23.5%).

Some highlights for the quarter:

  • Devices & Services net sales of EUR 6.7 billion, up 8% year-on-year and down 19% sequentially (up 7% and down 19% at constant currency). A key highlight in Q1 was the inclusion of navigation into Nokia smartphones. Devices & Services net sales are forecast to be between EUR 6.7 billion and EUR 7.2 billion in the second quarter 2010.

  • Services net sales of EUR 148 million, down 12% sequentially; billings of EUR 228 million, up 1% sequentially.

  • Nokia total mobile device volumes of 107.8 million units, up 16% year-on-year and down 15% sequentially.

  • Nokia converged mobile device (smartphone and mobile computer) volumes of 21.5 million units, up 57% year-on-year and up 3% sequentially. The company believes its device market share was 33 percent in Q1 -- down 2 percent sequentially

  • Nokia mobile device ASP (including services revenue) of EUR 62, down from EUR 64 in Q4 2009.

  • Devices & Services gross margin of 32.4%, down from 33.8% in Q1 2009 and 34.3% in Q4 2009.

  • Devices & Services non-IFRS operating margin of 12.1%, up from 10.4% in Q1 2009 and down from 15.4% in Q4 2009.

  • NAVTEQ non-IFRS net sales of EUR 189 million, up 41% year-on-year and down 16% sequentially (up 46% and down 18% at constant currency).

  • Nokia Siemens Networks net sales of EUR 2.7 billion, down 9% year-on-year and down 25% sequentially (down 12% and 27% at constant currency).

  • Nokia Siemens Networks non-IFRS operating margin of 0.6%, up from -4.1% in Q1 2009 and down from 5.5% in Q4 2009.

  • Nokia operating cash flow of EUR 1.0 billion.

  • Total cash and other liquid assets of EUR 9.7 billion at the end of Q1 2010.

"During the quarter, we also demonstrated our ability to deliver the Nokia smartphone experience to consumers on a global scale, with our smartphone shipments up by more than 50% year-on-year... In infrastructure, Nokia Siemens Networks' profitability benefited from a positive sales mix in Q1. I am also pleased to see encouraging results from the company's focus on helping operators meet the challenge of the rapid growth in data and signaling traffic from smartphones," stated Olli-Pekka KALLASVUO, Nokia's CEO.

CenturyTel to Acquire Qwest -- Presence in 37 States

CenturyLink (CenturyTel) will acquire Qwest Communications in a tax-free, stock-for-stock transaction valued at $22.4 billion, including net debt of $11.8 billion. Under the deal, Qwest shareholders will receive 0.1664 CenturyLink shares for each share of Qwest common stock they own at closing. Upon closing of the transaction, CenturyLink shareholders are expected to own approximately 50.5 percent and Qwest shareholders are expected to own approximately 49.5 percent of the combined company. The deal represents a premium to Qwest shareholders of approximately 15 percent over Qwest's closing stock price on April 21, 2010.

The companies expect their merger to generate annual operating and capital synergies of approximately $625 million when fully recognized over a three- to five-year period. Key drivers of these synergies include reduction of corporate overhead, elimination of duplicate functions and systems, and increased operational efficiencies. The transaction also is expected to generate annual capital expenditure synergies of approximately $50 million within the first two years after close.

As of December 31, 2009, CenturyLink and Qwest served local markets in 37 states with approximately 5 million broadband customers, 17 million access lines, 1,415,000 video subscribers and 850,000 wireless consumers. The corporate headquarters of the combined company will be Monroe, La. The company also will maintain a key operational presence in Denver, including a regional headquarters, the Qwest Business Markets Group, as well as other functions to be determined.

Reasons given for the merger include:

  • Increased Capabilities: The combination creates a robust, national 173,000-mile fiber network. With a more diverse mix of offerings, increased scale and stronger product portfolio, the company will be able to reach more customers with a broad range of solutions.

  • Expanded and Enhanced Competitive Offerings: The company will have the national breadth and local depth to provide broadband products and services including high speed Internet, video entertainment, data hosting and managed services, as well as fiber to cell tower connectivity and other high bandwidth services. In addition, Qwest Business serves 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies and is one of the three universal service providers for Networx, the U.S. government services contract.

  • Financial Strength and Flexibility: For the 12 months ended December 31, 2009, the combined company would have had pro forma revenues of $19.8 billion, pro forma EBITDA of approximately $8.2 billion, and pro forma free cash flow of approximately $3.4 billion, excluding synergies. The combined company's pro forma net leverage would have been 2.2 times EBITDA for the 12 months ended December 31, 2009, including synergies on a full run-rate basis and excluding integration costs. No new financing or refinancing is required as a result of this transaction.

"This combination will enhance our ability to deploy innovative IP products and high-bandwidth services to business customers, expand broadband availability and speed to consumers, and offer superior, differentiated video products, stated Glen F. Post III, CenturyLink's chief executive officer and president.

"Over the last several years, Qwest has been focused on generating sustainable free cash flow and strengthening the balance sheet, as well as creating innovative approaches to drive efficiency and perfect the customer experience. We are pleased with the progress we have made and believe that the combined company will be well positioned to win in an increasingly competitive marketplace," said Edward A. Mueller, Qwest's chairman and chief executive officer.http://http://
  • In July 2009, CenturyTel merged with EMBARQ, the former wireline division of Sprint.. EMBARQ, which was formerly Sprint's Local Telecommunications Division (spun out as an independent company in 2006). At the time this deal was announced, the transaction reflected an enterprise value of approximately $11.6 billion for Embarq, including the assumption of $5.8 billion of EMBARQ's debt. And at the time, Embarq had 5.8 million local phone lines and 1.4 million DSL customers.