Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Samsung and NSN Complete TD-LTE Data Call

Samsung and Nokia Siemens Networks announced the world's first TD-LTE data call. The demonstration, which was conducted at Nokia Siemens Networks' R&D Center in Hangzhou, China, used Nokia Siemens Networks' end to end TD-LTE network solution and Samsung's TD-LTE USB dongle.

TD-LTE is the variant of LTE for unpaired spectrum expected to be deployed by operators such as China Mobile.

Comcast's Revenue Rises 3.8%, CAPEX Declines 20%

Comcast's overall revenue for Q1 2010 increased 3.8% to $9.2 billion, while Operating Cash Flow increased 3.5% to $3.6 billion. Earnings per Share (EPS) was $0.31, a 14.8% increase from the $0.27 reported in the first quarter of 2009.

Capital Expenditures for the first quarter of 2010 declined 20.3% to $925 million, or 10.1% of total revenue, reflecting timing of equipment purchases and improved pricing, partially offset by growth in Comcast Business Services and advanced services (HD and DVR), as well as the ongoing deployment of wideband and All-Digital.

"Our healthy operating and financial results for the first quarter mark a solid start to 2010. First quarter results were driven by robust customer growth, a rebound in advertising, momentum in Business Services and our continued focus on expense and capital management. We've also made significant progress in deploying All-Digital and DOCSIS 3.0, or wideband," stated Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Comcast.

Some highlights for the quarter:

  • The company lost 82,000 video customers in the quarter, giving it a total of 23,477,000 -- down 2.6% YoY.

  • The company added 399,000 High-Speed Internet Customers in Q1, giving it a total of 16,329,000 at the end of the quarter -- up 7% YoY

  • The company added 273,000 Digital Voice customers in Q1, giving it a total of 7,895,000 -- up 16.6% YoY.

Sprint Sees Improving Trends, Wireless Base at 48.1 Million

Sprint lost a total of 75,000 net subscribers in Q1 2010, however, the company recorded its best year-over-year improvement in post-paid gross subscriber additions and the highest prepaid gross subscriber additions in five years as it achieved the best total company net subscriber results since the third quarter of 2007. Net post-paid subscriber losses improved year-over-year as the company lost 670,000 fewer subscribers than in the first quarter of 2009.

Sprint company served 48.1 million customers at the end of the first quarter of 2010. This includes 33.4 million post-paid subscribers (26 million on CDMA, 6.8 million on iDEN, and 607,000 Power Source users who utilize both networks), 11 million prepaid subscribers (5.7 million on iDEN and 5.3 million on CDMA) and approximately 3.6 million wholesale and affiliate subscribers, all of whom utilize the CDMA network.

Financially, Sprint reported consolidated net operating revenues of approximately $8.1 billion and a net loss of $865 million, which includes a non-cash $365 million (12 cents per share) increase in valuation allowance on deferred tax assets.

"Sprint's first quarter results, including increased net operating revenues and significant year-over-year net post-paid subscriber improvements show we continue to make progress in improving the business," said Dan Hesse, Sprint Nextel CEO.

Some other highlights:

  • Post-paid churn in the quarter was 2.15% compared to 2.25% in the year-ago period and 2.11% in the fourth quarter of 2009.

  • Prepaid churn in the first quarter of 2010 was 5.74%, compared to 6.86% in the year-ago period and 5.56% in the fourth quarter of 2009.

  • Retail wireless service revenues of $6.4 billion for the quarter increased by less than 1% compared to the first quarter of 2009 and increased approximately 3% compared to the fourth quarter of 2009. The year-over-year and sequential improvement is primarily due to an increased number of prepaid subscribers as a result of the acquisition of Virgin Mobile and success of the Boost Monthly Unlimited offering.

  • Wireless post-paid ARPU of approximately $55 for the quarter declined year-over-year from $56, but remained flat sequentially.

  • Wireless equipment subsidy in the first quarter was approximately $1 billion (equipment revenue of $567 million, less cost of products of $1.57 billion) as compared to approximately $840 million in the year-ago period and approximately $960 million in the fourth quarter of 2009.

  • Wireless capital expenditures were $311 million in the first quarter of 2010, compared to $197 million spent in the first quarter of 2009 and $427 million in the fourth quarter of 2009.

  • Wireline capital expenditures were $56 million in the first quarter of 2010, compared to $77 million in the first quarter of 2009 and $62 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. The company made significant capital investments in prior years to build out its IP network, and less capital was required in recent quarters to maintain high quality performance levels.

Corning's Telecom Sales Decline 10% to $364 Million

In its financial report for Q1 2010, Corning noted that telecommunications segment sales were $364 million, a sequential decline of 10% and in line with the company's previous expectations. Year-over-year sales declined 5% in the quarter. Despite the quarterly sales decline, the company saw improved profitability in this segment as it began realizing operational improvements from restructuring actions taken last year. Corning had a telecommunications restructuring charge in last year's fourth quarter.

Corning also said that it anticipates its second-quarter telecommunications segment sequential sales will increase by 10% to 15%. Optical fiber and cable sales are expected to show strength across North America and China throughout the quarter. Sales of hardware and equipment and private network products are also expected to remain strong.

eNsemble Multi-Core Alliance Gets Underway

A new eNsemble Multi-Core Alliance has been established to drive innovations in multi-core parallel processing platforms and software development for next-generation enterprise,telecommunications and data center networks.

The eNsemble Multi-Core Alliance said it will serves as a foundation upon which original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can more effectively and more efficiently develop high-performance networking equipment using industry-leading multi-core processors.

Founding members include: 6WIND, Abatron AG, Advantech, AirHop Communications, Aricent, Axentra, BitDefender, BroadWeb Co., Continuous Computing Corporation, CriticalBlue, D2 Technologies, Effnet AB, ENEA AB, JumpGen Systems, Kaspersky Lab, Lanner Group Limited, Macraigor Systems, Mentor Graphics, NetLogic Microsystems, NEXCOM International Co. LTD., Procera Networks, Qosmos, Sensory Networks, Silicom, and TeamF1.

Mexico's MetroNet Deploys Metro 10GE MPLS Ring with Orckit-Corrigent

MetroNet, which provides wholesale fiber optic service for telecommunications carriers in Mexico, has deployed a 10GE MPLS metro ring in Mexico using Orckit-Corrigent's CE+T solution. The recently deployed network upgrade enables MetroNet to bring 10G Ethernet with multilayer OAM and protection mechanisms to its "Carrier of Carriers" network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

MetroNet is using Orckit-Corrigent's standard and interoperable Layer 2 MPLS to deliver scalable and affordable Carrier's Carrier infrastructure, increasing their number of subscribers, services, and Gigabit Ethernet links. Orckit-Corrigent implements Layer 2 MPLS on a carrier Ethernet switch at the first level of metro aggregation.

ESnet Builds GMPLS Optical VPNs with Infinera

ESnet, the high-performance research network operated by the U.S. Department of Energy, is using Infinera's DTN platform to offer optical virtual private networks (OVPNs) to academic and government research institutes.

OVPNs will be designed to enable ESnet users to manage their own virtual private network securely over the shared Infinera infrastructure. In addition, the network will be designed to enable OVPN users to dynamically provision circuits on the network on demand, when and where they need them.

The network topology includes the following: Infinera's DWDM optical systems are General Multiprotocol Label Switching (GMPLS)-enabled. The deployed Layer 2 switches will additionally support OpenFlow, an open standard that provides a standardized interface to add and remove flow table entries in an Ethernet switch. Layer 3 routers currently include small Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS)-enabled routers, compatible with ESnet's Science Data Network (SDN) running On-demand Secure Circuit and Reservation System or OSCARS.

The Infinera systems support the ability to experiment with multi-domain hybrid networking, enabling research activities targeted at multi-layer, multi-domain control and signaling.

"The ability to isolate and segregate traffic in different control planes for the different types of traffic is key," said Steve Cotter, head of ESnet. "This will allow researchers to test new protocols that can dynamically provision layer 1, 2 or 3 virtual circuits so traffic can be transferred to the most cost-effective layer. We transport very large datasets on our network for climate science and physics. The near term goal is to learn how to identify flows and move them down to the layer where they can be transported with greatest efficiency."

The deployment is part of ESnet's Advanced Network Initiative (ANI) testbed, which is funded by $62 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

In the next few months, ESnet will be issuing a call for proposals for users to conduct research on the testbed. ESnet is also issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for equipment vendors and service providers to build the next phase of the ANI project; a planned nationwide 100G prototype network that is slated to link three of DOE's major supercomputing centers-- NERSC at Berkeley Lab, the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois and the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee-- and MANLAN, the international exchange point in New York.

Bell Labs Opens Eco-oriented Research Center in Australia

Alcatel-Lucent's research arm, Bell Labs, the University of Melbourne and the Victorian State Government are partnering to establish a research center in Melbourne, Australia that will be devoted to innovation in energy efficient networks and technologies. Specifically, the research will focus on the energy efficiency of network infrastructure elements. Both the University of Melbourne and Bell Labs are members of the GreenTouch initiative, a global, industry-wide consortium formed to achieve a dramatic improvement in energy efficiency by driving a radical redesign of communications networks.

The Victorian-based research facility, to be called the Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications (CEET), will have a staff of researchers and technology experts that will build to a team of 22 during the next three years. Bell Labs and the University of Melbourne will share governance of the center which will be based at the University.
  • In January 2010, Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs introduced a consortium of leading researchers to create the technologies needed to make communications networks 1000 times more energy efficient than they are today. Specifically, the Green Touch initiative aims to develop and demonstrate fundamental technologies within five years that could lead to radical redesign of how networks are built and operated.

    Researchers at Bell Labs calculate that wireless networks theoretically could be 10,000 times more energy efficient than they are today. Optical networks, in principle, could reach energy efficiency levels even lower than that. Significant efficiency gains could be possible by rethinking and improving transport, circuits, coding and protocols. Working groups will be established in each of these areas. The five year plan is to create a reference network architecture and demonstrations of the key components required to realize this improvement.

Verizon Launches Data Center Consulting Services

Verizon Business has begun offering new Data Center Consulting Services to help enterprise customers around the globe plan and implement effective data center strategies.

Verizon Business' consultants will assist IT departments avoid the potential pitfalls associated with commonly overlooked requirements such as power for heating and cooling, adequate physical and logical security measures, business continuity planning, and the human and capital costs associated with ongoing management.

The portfolio consists of the following services: facility and infrastructure design; facility and infrastructure implementation; facility, infrastructure and application migration; and facility, infrastructure and application consolidation.

"Verizon has offered enterprise-class data center outsourcing and management services for nearly two decades. The launch of Verizon Data Center Consulting Services is a logical extension of our capabilities and will help large-business and government clients better align their data center strategies to support business and sustainability objectives," stated Bart Vansevenant, director -- enterprise solutions development, Verizon Business.

Verizon Business Opens New Data Center in Hong Kong

Verizon Business has opened a second data center in Hong Kong to enhance its ability to deliver new cloud and data center services in the region while providing direct access to its global network. The new 3,000-square-meter facility, located in the iTech Tower in Tsuen Wan, will feature reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) technology and provide interconnections with the four main local carriers as well as with Verizon's global network, one of the fastest, most expansive and scalable IP networks in the world.

Verizon operates another data center located in Sino Favour on Hong Kong Island.

Ixia Scales 10GE Testing on IxN2X Platform

Ixia demonstrated its new NGY high-density 10GE load module running on its recently acquired IxN2X platform. This provides a high-density 10GE traffic generation solution with layer 2-7 packet generation, routing emulation, and application testing functionality. The new NGY 10GE hardware uses the same field-proven architecture as Ixia's legacy IxYukon load modules.

Ixia said this combination of the N2X line and Ixia hardware reinforces its commitment to preserve the IxN2X roadmap. A newly-released 6.13 version of the IxN2X software includes:

  • IEEE 1588 precision timing protocol emulation

  • L2VPN BGP emulation software

  • IPv6 capabilities for PPPoX

  • SIP over IPv6 emulation

  • HDMI Ethernet test capability

  • PVST+ Emulation

  • New high performance controller running 64-bit Windows 2008.
  • In October 2009, Ixia acquired Agilent's N2X Data Networks Product Line for $44 million in cash. The Agilent N2X is a multiservices test solution for validating the performance and scalability characteristics of next-generation network equipment. The platform offers a range of testing scenarios across broadband access, carrier edge and IP/MPLS core. Several N2X 2-slot and 4-slot chassis models are available along with various test cards for SONET/SDH transport, carrier routing, broadband access and enterprise networks and devices.

Aricent Implements Convergent Billing for Nepal Telecom

Nepal Telecom has awarded a three year systems integration contract to Aricent to provide Convergent Mediation and Convergent Interconnect Billing solutions that enable a wide range of next-generation communication services.

Aricent will act as the primary systems integrator for Convergent Mediation and Interconnect solutions, offering supply, delivery, installation and commissioning for systems supporting both pre-paid and post-paid customers.

In support of the agreement, Aricent will be implementing and integrating its Active Mediation System, in conjunction with Intec's InterconnecT software. The engagement also includes post-deployment managed services in support of the converged solution. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nepal Telecom provides a wide range of telecom services to its existing five million customers in a variety of networks such as Fixed, GSM, CDMA and Data. The company's customer base is estimated to grow to over nine million subscribers in the next three years.

Ikanos' CEO Resigns, Company Updates Financial Guidance

Michael Gulett has resigned as CEO and president and as a member of Ikanos Communications.

Diosdado P. Banatao, the chairman of Ikanos' board of directors, has been appointed executive chairman and has assumed the role of interim president and CEO. Banatao has served as the company's Chairman of the board of directors since August 2009, and has served as a managing partner of Tallwood Venture Capital, a venture capital firm, since June 2000. Previously, Banatao served as executive chairman and interim CEO of SiRF Technologies Holdings and as a venture partner at Mayfield Fund.

In addition, Ikanos updated its revenue and earnings outlook for the first quarter of fiscal 2010. Ikanos now expects its revenues for the first quarter of 2010 to be in the range of $57.0 million to $58.0 million, and based upon preliminary results, expects non-GAAP gross margins to be the range of 42.5-43.5 percent and non-GAAP operating expenses to be in the range of $22.5 to $23.5 million.