Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Level 3 Delivers Backhaul for Verizon Wireless LTE

Level 3 Communications is providing Verizon Wireless with backbone infrastructure and cell-site backhaul solutions to support its ongoing rollout of its LTE network.


Level 3 is also supporting cell-site backhaul requirements in a number of rural markets in New England and the Western United States for Verizon Wireless by leveraging its recently launched Tower Access solution that combines connectivity to existing cell towers with a mix of new on-site tower construction and colocation at Level 3 sites. Financial terms were not disclosed.


"Wireless consumers and enterprise users demand the ability to be connected to everything, everywhere, all the time – something we've been ready to handle for years," said Andrew Crouch, president of Sales for Level 3. "Starting over a decade ago, we designed a network from the ground up to handle evolving and growing data needs. Verizon Wireless is leveraging our technologies to build one of the world's most advanced wireless networks."http://www.level3.com

AT&T Driven by Mobile Broadband Growth

Robust mobile broadband growth underpinned AT&T's financial performance in Q1, as the company posted consolidated revenues of $31.2 billion, up more than $700 million, or 2.3 percent, versus the year-earlier quarter, marking the company's fifth consecutive quarter with a year-over-year revenue increase.


First-quarter 2011 net income attributable to AT&T totaled $3.4 billion, or $0.57 per diluted share. These results compare with reported net income attributable to AT&T of $2.5 billion, or $0.41 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2010. Excluding 2010 significant items, earnings per share for the first quarter of 2011 was stable with earnings per share of $0.58 per diluted share in the year-ago first quarter.


"We delivered another robust mobile broadband growth quarter for a very solid start to the year," said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and chief executive officer. "We posted double-digit wireless revenue growth, and we set new first-quarter records in total net adds, connected device net adds and smartphone sales. Growth in tablets and other branded computing subscribers also continues to be strong.


"Mobile broadband networks are driving unprecedented growth and innovation, and AT&T is playing a leading role in bringing these benefits to customers," Stephenson said. "That's why our agreement to acquire T-Mobile USA, which we announced in March, is so important. Combined, the two companies' spectrum and network assets will allow us to simultaneously address spectrum issues created by this increased demand and improve customers' network experience as volumes continue to grow."


Some highlight from the company's quarterly report:


AT&T posted a net gain in total wireless subscribers of 2.0 million, to reach 97.5 million in service.


Retail net adds for the quarter include postpaid net adds of 62,000. Excluding the impacts of the Alltel and Centennial integration migrations, postpaid net adds were approximately 165,000. Prepaid net adds were 85,000.


More than 5.5 million smartphones were sold in the first quarter, the third-highest quarter ever and an increase of more than 60 percent year over year.


3.6 million iPhones were activated. Approximately 65 percent of postpaid sales were smartphones.


At the end of the quarter, 46.2 percent of AT&T's 68.1 million postpaid subscribers had smartphones, up from 34.7 percent a year earlier.


The average ARPU for smartphones on AT&T's network is 1.8 times that of the company's other devices. More than 80 percent of smartphone subscribers are on FamilyTalk and/or business discount plans. Churn levels for these subscribers are significantly lower than for other postpaid subscribers.


Connected device net adds were 1.3 million, and reseller net adds were 561,000.


The first LTE services are on-track for launch later this year.

Wireless churn was 1.36 percent versus 1.30 percent in the first quarter of 2010 and 1.32 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010. Postpaid churn was 1.18 percent, compared to 1.07 percent in the year-ago first quarter and 1.15 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010. Excluding the impacts of the Alltel and Centennial migrations, postpaid churn was 1.12 percent for the quarter, compared with 1.05 percent in the year-ago quarter and 1.10 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010.


Double-Digit Wireless Revenue Growth. Total wireless revenues, which include equipment sales, were up 10.2 percent year over year to $15.3 billion. Wireless service revenues increased 8.6 percent, to $14.0 billion, in the first quarter.


Wireless data revenues — driven by messaging, Internet access, access to applications and related services — increased nearly $1 billion, or 23.9 percent, from the year-earlier quarter to $5.1 billion.

AT&T postpaid wireless subscribers on monthly data plans increased by 18.7 percent over the past year. Versus the year-earlier quarter, total text messages carried on the AT&T network increased by more than 25 percent to 179.8 billion, and multimedia messages increased by 54.2 percent to 3.7 billion.

Wireline

Revenue from residential customers totaled $5.3 billion in the first quarter, up 0.5 percent year over year, the third consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth.


AT&T U-verse TV added 218,000 subscribers to reach 3.2 million in service. In the first quarter, the AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet attach rate continued to run above 90 percent and nearly 60 percent of subscribers took AT&T U-verse Voice. More than three-fourths of AT&T U-verse TV subscribers have a triple- or quad-play option from AT&T. ARPU for U-verse triple-play customers was $168, up 14.3 percent year over year.


AT&T's U-verse deployment now reaches 28 million living units. Companywide penetration of eligible living units is 15.3 percent, and across areas marketed to for 30 months or more, overall penetration is 23.8 percent.


AT&T's total video subscribers, which combine the company's U-verse and bundled satellite customers, reached 5.1 million at the end of the quarter, representing 20.6 percent of households served.

AT&T posted a 175,000 net gain in wireline broadband connections. About two-thirds of consumers have a broadband plan of 3 Mbps or higher.


AT&T U-verse penetration and a significant number of subscribers on triple- or quad-play options drove 26.1 percent year-over-year growth in IP revenues from residential customers (broadband, U-verse TV and U-verse Voice). IP revenues now represent 46.9 percent of total wireline consumer revenue, up from 37.4 percent in the first quarter of 2010.


Wireline revenues per household served increased 6.5 percent versus the year-earlier first quarter and were up 1.4 percent sequentially (average revenue per household is total consumer wireline revenue divided by the average monthly households in service), driven by AT&T U-verse services. This marked AT&T's 13th consecutive quarter with year-over-year growth in wireline consumer revenues per household.


In the first quarter, AT&T posted a decline in total consumer revenue connections due primarily to expected declines in traditional voice access lines, consistent with broader industry trends and somewhat offset by increases in U-verse TV, broadband and VoIP connections.


AT&T U-verse Voice connections increased by 181,000 in the quarter and 716,000 over the past four quarters. Total consumer revenue connections at the end of the first quarter were 43.1 million, compared with 45.0 million at the end of the first quarter of 2010 and 43.4 million at the end of the fourth quarter of 2010.


Total business revenues were $9.3 billion, a decline of 4.5 percent versus the year-earlier quarter and down 2.0 percent sequentially, reflecting economic weakness in voice and legacy data products and the third-quarter 2010 sale of the company's Japan assets. When normalized for the Japan sale, total business revenues declined 3.6 percent, about the same rate as normalized results for the fourth quarter of 2010 and improved from the year-ago quarter. Business service revenues, which exclude CPE, declined 4.4 percent year over year and were down slightly sequentially.


Total business IP data revenues grew 8.5 percent versus the year-earlier first quarter, led by growth in VPN revenues. More than 70 percent of AT&T's frame customers have made the transition to IP-based solutions, which allow them to easily add managed services such as network security, cloud services and IP conferencing on top of their infrastructures. Total business data revenue growth was 0.3 percent when compared to a year earlier.


AT&T's first-quarter wireline operating income margin was 11.5 percent, down slightly compared to 12.0 percent in the year-earlier quarter and 13.0 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010.
http://www.att.com

Anite Gains LTE Protocol Conformance Testing Certification

Anite's LTE protocol conformance testing toolset has been approved by the Global Certification Forum (GCF) for the certification of devices intended for deployment on LTE Bands 01, Japan, & 07, Europe.


The company notes that its Conformance Toolset nows meets test coverage requirements for LTE protocol testing across LTE bands 01, 07, 13 & 20 and TD-LTE bands 38 & 40.
http://www.anite.com

LightSquared and Cellular South Sign LTE Roaming Pact

LightSquared announced an LTE roaming agreement with Cellular South, a privately owned wireless communications provider headquartered in Ridgeland, Mississipp. The deal will provide subscribers of Cellular South with a nationwide 4G-LTE footprint as well as satellite coverage in rural areas where there is no terrestrial network. It will also expand LightSquared's 4G data coverage to additional rural communities.


"LightSquared's wholesale-only, integrated 4G-LTE wireless broadband and satellite network, makes them a valuable partner because it enables us to provide our customers, including those in rural locations, with nationwide access to the most advanced technology and reliable coverage available," said Hu Meena, president and CEO of Cellular South.
http://www.LightSquared.com
http://www.cellularsouth.com

Qualcomm Posts Record Revenues of $3.9 Billion

Qualcomm reported record quarterly revenues of $3.88 billion, up 46% YoY and 16% sequentially. Prior guidance called for $3.45 - $3.75 billion in quarterly revenue.


Operating income was $1.07 billion, up 38% YoY and down 3% sequentially. Net income was $999 million, up 29% YoY and down 15% sequentially.


"We are pleased to report record quarterly revenues, and we are raising our revenue and earnings guidance for the year as the demand for smartphones across an array of geographies and tiers continues to grow," said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm. "In addition, we have resolved the second of the two previously disclosed licensee disputes. We continue to execute on our strategic priorities as our partners deploy our technologies and solutions to offer leading wireless products and services to consumers worldwide."http://www.qualcomm.com

Telco Systems Acquires ANDA's Portfolio

Telco Systems has acquired the major assets and intellectual property of ANDA Networks. Financial terms of the all-cash deal were not disclosed.


ANDA is supplier of Carrier Class Ethernet and wireless backhaul platforms. It was an early entrant into the market.


Telco Systems said the acquisition expands its portfolio. Ethernet over TDM products supporting IP/MPLS technology from ANDA and Telco Systems fiber-based edge switching and mobile backhaul aggregation solutions combine to offer a fully integrated range of carrier class, MEF certified Ethernet solutions.


The acquisition will add ANDA's installed base of over 30,000 system platforms at Tier 1 carriers' networks in the US and Canada to Telco Systems' $2B worldwide installed base of service providers, mobile operators and cable MSOs.


"Telco Systems continually looks for strategic opportunities in order to grow both our business and product offerings. ANDA's strong suite of Ethernet access products in conjunction with our multi-service Ethernet edge solutions will provide customers a complete range of choices for Carrier Ethernet regardless of the installed infrastructure," said Avi Cohen, executive vice president of business development marketing for Telco Systems. "We expect that this acquisition will yield immediate benefits to Telco Systems, ANDA, and our combined service provider customer base."


"The combination with Telco Systems creates synergies in terms of technology and customers," said Charles R. Kenmore, ANDA Networks president and CEO. "We believe that Telco Systems is the best choice for the short and long term for our stakeholders, customers, and people."http://www.telco.com
http://www.andanetworks.com
  • ANDA Networks was founded in January 1998 by Wufu Chen and prominent network technology entrepreneurs from Cisco, Motorola, Alcatel, Nortel, Ericsson and HP. The company raised approximately $100 million in venture funding over the years..


  • ANDA is headed by Charles R. Kenmore, who has been with the company since 1999. Prior to joining ANDA Networks, Kenmore was President of ADC International; Vice President and General Manager of the international division Information Systems Group at Motorola; founding head of Sprint International; and Vice-President and General Manager of the international systems integration division at Comsat.


  • ANDA is based in Sunnyvale, California with R&D in Wuhan, China.

USDA Announces $40 Million for Rural FTTP Projects

The USDA Rural Development's Rural Utilities Service announced almost $40 million in loans for telecom projects in Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota, Montana and Oklahoma. The financing will be used to construct more than 1,000 miles of FTTP systems in rural areas. Recipients include:



Georgia

Pembroke Telephone Company; $11,954,000



Illinois

Alhambra-Grantfork Telephone Company; $8,775,000

Woodhull Telephone Company; $3,403,000

Oneida Telephone Company; $2,619,000



Iowa

Minburn Telephone Company; $2,921,000



Kansas

Zenda Telephone Company; $2,950,000



North Dakota/Montana

Reservation Telephone Cooperative; $2,293,000



Oklahoma

Medicine Park Telephone Company; $4,236,000



USDA Rural Development funded more than 16,000 miles of FTTP projects during fiscal year 2010 to upgrade, expand or replace networks and perform system maintenance. http://www.usda.gov

Bright House Deploys Cisco ASR 9000 for Carrier Ethernet

Bright House Networks, a cable operator serving more than 2.4 million customers in Florida, California and several other metro markets, has deployed the Cisco ASR 9000 Series Aggregation Services Routers as its Carrier Ethernet platform. The Cisco ASR 9000 is used to deliver enhanced video, data, voice and mobile backhaul services throughout its converged network. The company also will use the platform to continue to expand its high-speed Internet "Road Runner Lightning" service, using DOCSIS 3.0 technology, to all of its residential and business customers.



"With the Cisco ASR 9000, we gain significant technological and operational advantages," said Craig Cowden, Bright House Networks senior vice president of network engineering and operations. "The Cisco ASR 9000 provides the capacity we need for network bandwidth growth and the necessary quality of service capabilities for our converged triple-play service offerings, while also helping us to simplify network operations."



Bright House Networks is the sixth largest owner and operator of cable systems in the U.S. and the second largest in Florida.http://www.cisco.com http://www.brighthouse.com

China Mobile Signs MoU with Alcatel-Lucent for LightRadio

China Mobile has signed a memorandum of understanding with Alcatel-Lucent to pursue pioneering developments in next generation mobile communications. The pact include Alcatel-Lucent's recently announced "lightRadio" architecture. Specifically, under the framework the companies will jointly explore:

  • the evolution of mobile network architectures leveraging and integrating China Mobile's Cloud-RAN and Alcatel-Lucent's lightRadio and advanced antennas technology;


  • explore the evolution of core network structure on the basis of network virtualization; and


  • develop technologies and approaches for alternative energy use to achieve green ICT.


Ben Verwaayen, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent, said: "This vital collaborative agreement will bring together two industry leaders, using joint research, to bring new breakthroughs to market at what we call the speed of ideas.""



Wang Jianzhou, Chairman of China Mobile said "Co-development with Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs will benefit evolving our network technology to support the next generation of mobile-based applications, experiences, economies, and social networks."



The partnership agreement was signed by Romano Valussi, President of Alcatel-Lucent in China, and Bill Huang, president of China Mobile Research Institute in a signing ceremony in Beijing.http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

  • Alcatel-Lucent's lightRadio represents a new architecture where the base station, typically located at the base of each cell site tower, is broken into its components elements and distributed through the antenna or the network for cloud-like processing. Additionally the various cell site tower antennas are combined and shrunk into a single small powerful, Bell Labs-pioneered multi frequency, multi standard (2G, 3G, LTE) device that can be mounted on poles, sides of buildings or anywhere else there is power and a broadband connection.

ZTE Shows WiMAX/LTE Integration with Malaysia's Packet One

ZTE has demonstrated the ability for WiMAX and TD-LTE to co-exist on the same network. The demonstration was conducted with Malaysia's Packet One Networks, (P1), one of the most successful WiMAX operators in the world.



ZTE is the developer of P1's incumbent WiMAX network. During the demonstration, ZTE used the same WiMAX system to upgrade it into the TD-LTE system in less than an hour without replacing any hardware. During this process, two terminals shared the 20MHz bandwidth, and the peak speed of TD-LTE during the demonstration was up to 130Mbps.



ZTE said its demonstration proved that the company's base-station supports the seamless upgrade from WiMAX to TD-LTE and that the company has the right solution for the evolution for WiMAX and TD-LTE to co-exist.



P1's Chief Executive Officer Michael Lai said "WiMAX has enabled P1 to become a 4G leader in Southeast Asia. Our next step is to become the first company leveraging on the power of WiMAX and LTE so that we can provide the world's best 4G technologies to our customers."



"The decision to deploy LTE will depend on other major operators in Asia. In other words, it will depend on the maturity of the eco-system when operators around the world, such as China and India, begin the commercial application of TD-LTE as well as also the availability of LTE devices."



ZTE has many technical and commercial advantages in the converged application of LTE FDD/LTE TDD, as well as CDMA/LTE and WiMAX/LTE TDD. Recently, Hi3G chose ZTE to build the world's first LTE FDD/TDD dual-mode commercial network in Sweden and Denmark.



As the global LTE leader, ZTE has signed 15 contracts with global operators for the commercial deployment of LTE, has jointly deployed nearly 65 trail networks, and owns 20 commercial and test TD-LTE networks.http://wwwen.zte.com.cn/en/http://www.p1.com.my/

Clearwire Expands Network in Washington D.C. and Baltimore

Clearwire announced a significant expansion of its WiMAX network footprint and key capacity upgrades for mobile broadband customers in the greater Washington D.C. and Baltimore metro areas. Sprint and Comcast are also offering expanded coverage in these areas.http://www.clearwire.com.

See also