Thursday, August 5, 2010

NTT Adds 588,000 Optical Access Lines in Q2

The NTT Group reported quarterly revenue of ¥957.1 billion (a decrease of 0.4% from the same period of the previous fiscal year). Despite an increase in IP-related revenues due to an increase in FLET'S Hikari subscriptions, fixed voice-related services revenue decreased mainly due to the decline in fixed-line telephone subscriptions. Consolidated operating expenses for the quarter fell to ¥915.6 billion (a decrease of 3.1% from the same period of the previous fiscal year) due to a decrease in personnel expenses as a result of a decline in the number of employees and such factors as a decrease in operating expenses, including depreciation and amortization. As a result, consolidated operating income for the first quarter of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2011 was ¥41.5 billion (an increase of 158.3% from the same period of the previous fiscal year).

NTT added 588,000 FLET's Hikari optical access lines in the quarter, giving it a total of 13.8 million across its East and West divisions. NTT is now offering service tiers with maximum download speeds of 200 Mbps and 1 Gbps. Meanwhile, ADSL accounts fell by 129,000 in the quarter and the company has 3,253,000 remaining.

In mobile, the company added 432,000 subscribers in the quarter for a total of 56,515,000.

Huawei Supplies Core Routers for China TieTong

China TieTong, the former China Railway Communication company and now a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Mobile, has selected Huawei as the sole provider for a massive expansion of IP backbone (CTTNET).

Huawei will provide its advanced Quidway NetEngine5000E (NE5000E) core routers for this project. Financial terms were not disclosed.

China TieTong's CTTNET is facing a rapid growth in broadband subscribers and expects 10 million by the end of the year. Traffic on CTTNET is growing between 70 percent and 100 percent each year.

Huawei said its NE5000E was chosen because offers the port density and core scalability needed for this project. In addition, the router' s patented resilient matrix and in-service hardware expansion will enable seamless capacity expansion of router cluster systems.

To date, the global cumulative shipments of Huawei's core router NE5000E and relevant cluster systems have reached over 2,000, including deployments by SingTel, China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom, and France Telecom (FT).

Avere Raises $17 Million for Demand-Driven Storage

Avere Systems, start-up based in Pittsburgh, PA, raised $17 million in new venture funding to support its Demand-driven Storage,br solutions.

Avere aims to deliver faster application performance at lower cost by intelligently moving active data between traditional storage devices and its series of FXT appliances, which contain both solid-state storage and traditional spinning media. Reads, writes and metadata are allocated to storage media via Avere's unique approach to dynamic tiering. Allocation algorithms running on the FXT appliances monitor access frequency patterns and workload type and manage data placement on multiple internal tiers to increase performance, distribute workload in the cluster and minimize requests to the mass storage server. Movement of data occurs in real-time - not in hours or days - and occurs at the file-level or even block-level within a file. All of this is done automatically by the system.

The Avere appliances can be clustered for maximum scalability. The company claims a 5:1 reduction in disks, power, and rack space.

Avere launched its FXT Series appliances less than a year ago and the company said its has closed major deals with customers like Sony Pictures Imageworks and GX Technology.

The series B funding round was led by Tenaya Capital and included original investors Menlo Ventures and Norwest Venture Partners.
  • Avere is headed by Ronald Bianchini, Jr. (co-founder, President and CEO), who previously was a Senior Vice President at NetApp, where he served as the leader of the NetApp Pittsburgh Technology Center. Before NetApp, he was CEO and Co-Founder of Spinnaker Networks, which developed the Storage Grid architecture acquired by NetApp.

Verizon Wireless Notes 1H Test Data

During the first half of 2010, test engineers from Verizon Wireless drove a total of 497,700 miles across the U.S. and conducted 1.69 million voice call attempts and 9.7 million data tests. The testing measured performance and quality on the Verizon Wireless network as well as on the networks of all major competitors.

Data collected year-round by the company's nationwide team of 100 test men and women - the largest single team of systems performance engineers deployed by a U.S. wireless service provider - provide the support for the company's "nation's most reliable wireless network" claim.

The compan said that the data collected by its team over 100 test engineers consistently show that the Verizon Wireless network beats all other carriers. The collected data also helps Verizon Wireless plan its multi-billion dollar network capital expenditure program.

NSN Claims GSM Boost with Dynamic Frequency and Channel Allocation

Nokia Siemens Networks announced a unique Dynamic Frequency and Channel Allocation (DFCA) feature that that it claims will double GSM network capacity within existing spectrum.

Nokia Siemens Networks' DFCA leverages a combination of software capabilities to increase the traffic carrying capacity of existing sites, while improving network quality. This, in turn, minimizes the immediate investment in additional sites, reducing the total cost of ownership. An added benefit is a huge increase in energy efficiency per subscriber.

"DFCA has immense potential to help operators address the challenge of ever increasing voice and data traffic," said Prashant Agnihotri, head of GSM/EDGE product management, Nokia Siemens Networks. "It helps operators squeeze voice calls into less bandwidth, so it can be alternatively used for data, either through Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) or by re-farming the spectrum to Wideband Code Division Multiple Access/Long Term Evolution (WCDMA/LTE). It brings a substantial increase for operators in terms of potential earnings per base station site."
  • In January 2009, Nokia Siemens Networks announced the successful implementation of Orthogonal Sub Channel (OSC) technology to carry four calls in one GSM radio timeslot. This effectively doubles the voice capacity of the GSM radio network. The OSC demonstration was conducted as a drive test using four handsets sharing only one radio timeslot and without compromising the call quality. The demonstration, which was held on January 21, used existing commercially available GSM handsets.

    Nokia Siemens Networks said the OSC demonstration was the first of its kind The company is actively contributing to the standardization of OSC and is planning to have the technology commercially available in 2010.

Inmarsat Plans Ka-band Global Mobile Broadband Service

Inmarsat unveiled plans for a global, mobile broadband service offering downloads speeds of up to 50 Mbps using Ka-band satellites. The company plans to invest US$1.2 billion to launch the network by 2014.

Inmarsat said its forthcoming Global Xpress will address the established growing markets for VSAT services in the maritime, energy and government sectors, with further growth potential in developing markets such as the aeronautical sector. Inmarsat will target US$500 million of annual Ka-band revenues five years after the global service is launched.

As a first step, Inmarsat has contracted for three state-of-the-art Boeing 702HP Ka-band satellites. Eac will carry a payload of 89 Ka-band beams - capable of flexing capacity across the globe and enabling Inmarsat to adapt to shifting subscriber usage patterns over their projected lifetime of 15 years. Upload speeds are estimated at 5 Mbps.

Under a separate arrangement, Boeing has agreed to become a distribution partner for Inmarsat's Ka-band and L-band services, and has committed to capacity purchases representing more than 10 per cent of Inmarsat's target Ka-band revenues in the first five years after launch.

"Global Xpress will be faster and less expensive than current Ku-band market offerings, it will be delivered to smaller and cheaper terminals and be the first offered on a seamless, global, end-to-end basis with high-quality of service. Picture 50Mpbs services to a ship or aircraft, and 10Mpbs to an antenna the size of an iPad (20cm).

Two Minute Video: The New Metrics of 100G Testing

Presented by: Dave Schneider, Ixia

American Tower Corp. Acquires India's Essar Telecom Infrastructure

American Tower Corp., which owns and operates over 32,000 communications sites in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, and India, has acquired Essar Telecom Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. (ETIPL) from the Essar Group, for approximately $430 million in cash.

The deal includes ETIPL's portfolio of over 4,600 wireless communications tower sites, as well as a number of towers under construction. The acquired portfolio includes sites across 14 of the 23 telecom circles in India and has an industry leading tenancy ratio of 1.9. In addition, this acquisition increases the size of the company's communications tower site portfolio in India by almost threefold and its global portfolio to more than 32,000 communication sites.

"The Essar acquisition brings us to a portfolio of over 7,000 communication tower sites in India, providing a solid platform for future revenue growth. We are excited about the ongoing potential of this market as our customers in India continue to build out their nationwide networks while also seeking to launch next generation technologies with newly awarded spectrum," said Jim Taiclet, Chairman, President and CEO.

CBeyond Revenues Grow 9.7% YoY to $112 Million

Cbeyond, a managed service provider operating in 13 U.S. markets, reported Q2 revenue of $111.8 million, up 9.7% over the second quarter of 2009. The company's adjusted EBITDA was $18.4 million for Q2 2010 compared with $13.8 million in the second quarter of 2009, and $18.6 million in Q1 2010. There was a net loss of ($0.1) million in the second quarter of 2010 compared with a net loss of ($2.2) million in the second quarter of 2009.

As of the end of Q2, Cbeyond was serving 53,518 total customers in its 13 operating markets, reflecting net customer additions of 1,787 in the second quarter of 2010, an increase of 15.3% in total customers year-over-year. Average monthly revenue per customer location (ARPU) was $708 during Q2, compared with $723 in Q1 and $748 in the Q2 2009.

"We are pleased to report continued strong results in adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow during the second quarter of 2010," said Jim Geiger, chief executive officer of Cbeyond. "Our adjusted EBITDA of $18.4 million represents an increase of approximately 33% over the second quarter of 2009. We are also pleased to note that Cbeyond posted ‘free cash flow' of $3.2 million in the second quarter, with free cash flow totaling $8.6 million in the first half of 2010. Free cash flow is a non-GAAP measure that we define as adjusted EBITDA less capital expenditures. While adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow results have developed largely as planned, revenue and ARPU have continued to be challenging in this tough economic and increasingly price-sensitive environment. Our efforts are focused on trying to optimize profitability in our target markets while continuing to grow and maintain our customer base."

Geiger added, "Despite the still-sluggish small business sector, Cbeyond posted an increase in the level of customer additions in the second quarter, the San Francisco Bay Area market became an Established Market this quarter, and we are excited to note that we recently launched services in Boston, our 14th market."

AboveNet Opens Fiber Network in Denver

AboveNet is activating a new private fiber optic metro network in Denver. The rollout will span 97 route miles of 432 and 216 fiber cables, delivering 23,000 fiber miles. AboveNet has already begun selling to customers in Denver, and additional commercial installations of dark fiber and other selected lit services will be available for service by January 1, 2011.