Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Jobs4America: 4,000 New Call Center Jobs Per Month Enabled by Broadband

Widespread broadband deployment makes it economically feasible to bring back many call center jobs from foreign countries, according to Jobs4America – a coalition of call center operators that aims to create 100,000 new broadband-enabled, call center jobs in the United States over the next two years. The group estimates that an average of 4,000 call center jobs are already being created each month in the U.S. By their count, over 18,000 new call center jobs were created in the U.S. during Q2.

Already more than 5 million Americans work in contact centers. Currently 17 percent of all call center positions (in-house and outsourced) are home based and 80 percent of U.S. companies plan to use at home agents in the next
few years, according to figures cited from Frost & Sullivan.

On Thursday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski presided at an event in Jeffersonville, Indiana where 175 new call center jobs were being created. He also announced 100 new call center jobs in Newark, New Jersey, 300 new jobs in Holland, Michigan, and 4,000 new jobs in St Lucie, Florida where unemployment is 12.5 percent.

Chairman Genachowski said, "This initiative involves meaningful job creation that will have a meaningful
impact across America. Bringing broadband to your town and home in the 21st century is like bringing in
electricity in the 20th – connecting you and your community to the larger economy and opening up new worlds
of commerce and opportunity."

Deutsche Telekom Reports Decline in Revenue & Profitability

Citing a persistently tough economic environment, especially for its T-Mobile USA operation, Deutsche Telekom reported Q2 revenue of EUR 14.5 billion, a decline of 6.8 percent year-on-year. Revenue for continuing operations, excluding T-Mobile USA, fell by 3.3 percent. On a like-for-like basis (i.e., excluding T-Mobile UK), the drop in revenue back in the first quarter amounted to 3.7 percent. Adjusted EBITDA for the Group as a whole fell by 6.5 percent to EUR 4.7 billion. The decrease in continuing operations was 2.6 percent.

Adjusted net profit was positive, increasing by 16.8 percent in the second quarter of 2011 compared with the same period last year to EUR 951 million. Negative special factors came to almost EUR 0.3 billion more than in the same period last year, particularly as a consequence of the costs of staff reorganization, resulting in an unadjusted decrease of 26.7 percent to EUR 348 million. The Group recorded an 18.7-percent increase in free cash flow to EUR 1.8 billion.

"Although these figures are not a cause for celebration, they still give us reason to be confident that we will achieve our targets in a persistently difficult environment," said René Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom. "We are now also seeing light at the end of the tunnel in Southeastern Europe."

Some highlights:


During Q2, the number of broadband lines overtook the number of conventional telephone lines for the first time.

There were 295,000 line losses, an all-time low during the quarter.

Deutsche Telekom's broadband market share held steady at around 46 percent.

The number of users connected to the Internet-based TV service Entertain increased by 34 percent to 1.3 million within a year.

Mobile Internet revenue increased by over 30 percent year-on-year to EUR 409 million, due in large part to the growth in the use of smartphones.

Smartphones now account for more than 60 percent of all devices sold, a year-on-year increase of 30 percent.

Revenue in the Germany segment fell by 3.4 percent to EUR 6 billion compared to the second quarter of 2010.

Service revenues in mobile communications declined by 3.4 percent to EUR 1.7 billion, most due to the impact of the regulatory decision to drastically cut termination charges.


Total revenue fell by 5.5 percent to EUR 3.8 billion compared with the same quarter in 2010. The decrease in the first quarter, adjusted to take into account the deconsolidation of T-Mobile UK, had still amounted to 8 percent. The situation is similar for adjusted EBITDA, which fell by 8 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, while the decrease in the first quarter of this year had still stood at 13 percent.

The best performers were Croatia, with an adjusted EBITDA margin of 45.4 percent, and the Magyar Telekom Group, with a margin of 43.9 percent, adjusted for the influence of the special tax in Hungary. A margin of 38.9 percent was achieved for mobile business in Poland, where the T-Mobile brand was launched in the second quarter in a nationwide campaign.

The economic situation in Greece and Romania remains difficult and continues to put noticeable strain on the business of the OTE Group, where revenue and earnings have fallen significantly.

Systems Solutions

Revenue increased by 1.5 percent to EUR 2.3 billion. External revenue growth stood at 1.7 percent while there was a disproportionately significant increase of 3.1 percent in international revenues. The corporate customer segment recorded a 14.7 percent decrease in adjusted EBITDA to EUR 0.2 billion, due primarily to the aforementioned start-up costs.

T-Mobile USA Sees Net Customer Loss, Higher Data ARPU

T-Mobile USA reported a net loss of 50,000 mobile subscribers in Q2 along with slightly higher ARPU for data services, leading to service revenues of $4.6 billion, consistent with service revenues in the first quarter of 2011.

"The United States remains a difficult market for Deutsche Telekom, but we see improvements compared to the first quarter of 2011. T-Mobile USA will continue its strategy with the extended HSPA+ 42 coverage and continued data growth," said René Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom.

Some highlights:

T-Mobile USA served 33.6 million customers at the end of the second quarter of 2011, generally consistent with the first quarter of 2011 and the second quarter of 2010.

Net customer losses of 50,000 compared to net losses of 99,000 in the first quarter of 2011 and 93,000 in the second quarter of 2010.

The improvement in net contract customer losses was driven primarily by the introduction of new unlimited rate plans in the second quarter and faster growth in our connected device business.

Connected device customers totaled 2.3 million at June 30, 2011.

Prepaid net customer additions, including MVNO customers, were 231,000 in the second quarter of 2011, down 18% compared to 283,000 in the first quarter of 2011 and up substantially from the 199,000 net losses in the second quarter of 2010.

Blended churn, below), reflecting both contract and prepaid customers, decreased to 3.3% in the second quarter of 2011 from 3.4% in both the first quarter of 2011 and the second quarter of 2010.

The year-on-year increase in contract churn was primarily driven by competitive pressures in the US wireless industry which have continued to negatively impact T-Mobile USA's contract customer base.

Prepaid churn decreased in the second quarter of 2011 to 6.6%, from 6.7% in the first quarter of 2011 and 7.6% in the second quarter of 2010.

The sequential decrease in prepaid churn was driven by a shift in the customer base towards traditional prepaid products, which was partially offset by higher MVNO churn.

Year-on-year, prepaid churn decreased due to lower traditional prepaid product churn resulting from the success of T-Mobile USA's recently introduced prepaid monthly unlimited plans.

Blended ARPU was $46 in the second quarter of 2011, consistent with the first quarter of 2011, but lower than $47 in the second quarter of 2010 driven by a shift in the customer base towards prepaid plans.

Contract ARPU was $53 in the second quarter of 2011, up from $52 in the first quarter of 2011 and each of the previous four quarters.

Prepaid ARPU was $18 in the second quarter of 2011, consistent with both the first quarter of 2011 and second quarter of 2010.

Data service revenues were $1.4 billion in the second quarter of 2011, up 17% from the second quarter of 2010.

Data service revenues in the second quarter of 2011 represented 30% of blended ARPU, or $13.60 per customer, up from 29% of blended ARPU, or $13.10 per customer in the first quarter of 2011, and 25% of blended ARPU, or $11.60 per customer in the second quarter of 2010.

9.8 million customers were using smartphones enabled for the T-Mobile USA 3G/4G network. This represents a net increase of 50% or nearly 3.3 million customers using smartphones from the second quarter of 2010.

3G/4G smartphone customers now account for 29% of total customers, up from 27% in the first quarter of 2011 and 19% in the second quarter of 2010.

University of Illinois UC2B Project Picks ADTRAN

The University of Illinois and the cities of Champaign and Urbana have selected ADTRAN for the Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband (UC2B) Broadband Stimulus project, which will bring FTTP services to local K-12 schools, low-income and underserved communities, business customers and Community Anchor Institutions. This is the first phase of the project and is planned to extend services to more than 10,000 residents in the area. ADTRAN will supply its Total Access 5000.

UC2Bis made possible by a $22.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The state of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) provided a $3.5 million grant and local public and private organizations added an additional $3.4 million to fund the project.

Level 3 and Global Crossing Stockholders Approve Merger

Shareholders in both Level 3 and Global Crossing have voted to approve Level 3's proposed acquisition of Global Crossing. The companies expected the deal to close before the end of the year.
  • In April 2011, Level 3 Communications will acquire Global Crossing in a stock-for-stock transaction valued at approximately $3.0 billion.

Sierra Wireless Sees Q2 Drop from Clearwire, Barnes & Noble

Sierra Wireless reported Q2 revenue of $139.9 million, a decrease of 12% compared to $159.1 million in the second quarter of 2010, and a decrease of 3% compared to $144.3 million in the first quarter of 2011. On a GAAP basis, gross margin was $39.1 million, or 28.0% of revenue, in the second quarter of 2011 compared to $46.2 million, or 29.0% of revenue, in the second quarter of 2010.

The company said its year-over-year revenue decrease was principally driven by the loss of revenue from Barnes & Noble and Clearwire, which together accounted for nearly $25 million in revenue in the second quarter of 2010.

Mobile Computing revenue in Q2 was $66.0 million, down 13% compared to $75.5 million in the second quarter of 2010.

Machine-to-Machine ("M2M") revenue was $73.9 million, down 12% compared to $83.6 million in the second quarter of 2010. Excluding sales to Barnes & Noble, the company's core M2M business increased 14% in the second quarter of 2011 on a year-over-year basis.

"Notwithstanding a slower than expected start to 2011, Sierra Wireless remains well positioned in our two target markets. In Mobile Computing, we are launching several new 4G LTE products with key operators and PC OEMs. In M2M, we continue to build on our global leadership position and successfully drive value chain expansion," said Jason Cohenour, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our growth drivers remain intact and despite some product launch delays, we expect significant sequential revenue and earnings growth in the second half of 2011."

Looking ahead, the company expects growth to be driven by the launch of new 4G AirCard products, as well as continued steady year-over-year growth in its core M2M product lines.

Telecom Fiji Deploys Aviat for All-IP Microwave Trunking

Telecom Fiji Limited (TFL), the island nation's sole provider of local and national telephony services, is deploying Aviat Networks' WTM 6000 all-IP trunking microwave radios to link the main islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Aviat Networks will design radio paths and install the high-capacity network for TFL, replacing an aging PDH radio network.

The network must overcome two very demanding paths of approximately 80km of mountainous terrain and the ocean between the islands. In addition, the replacement solution offer the capability to eventually be migrated to an all-IP architecture.

The WTM 6000 complements the Aviat Networks' Eclipse Packet Node radios already in TFL's network. Both will be managed by Aviat Networks' ProVision element management system.

LightSquared Signs PowerNet Global for Wholesale LTE

LightSquared announced another customer for its forthcoming, wholesale LTE service: PowerNet Global, which provides voice, data, SIP, and managed solutions to commercial and residential customers nationwide. PowerNet is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Under this multiyear agreement, PowerNet Global will become a wholesale customer on LightSquared's 4G-LTE network and will develop its own branded voice and high-speed mobile data services for its business and residential customers. This partnership represents a major step towards making the latest generation of mobile services available to PowerNet Global's growing customer base throughout the United States.

SK Telecom Sees Q2 Revenue Rise 5.7%, Income up 2.0%

SK Telecom reported Q2 2011 revenue of KRW 4.041 trillion, operating income of KRW 659.7 billion and net income of KRW 465.4 billion (IFRS consolidated). On a year-on-year basis, revenue, operating income and net income increased by 5.7%, 2.0% and 3.7%, respectively.

The company was serving 7.5 million smartphone subscribers as of the end of June and expects to exceed its 10 million smartphone subscriber target by year-end.

SK Telecom was serving 26.3 million subscribers as of the end of Q2, up by 280,000 for the quarter.

SK Telecom's Chief Financial Officer Ahn Seung-Yun said, "As a mobile operator, SK Telecom will maintain its leadership position in the wireless data market by offering differentiated LTE network quality. Meanwhile, SK Telecom aims to create a flexible environment for business development by spinning off its platform business and nurturing it as the company's strong growth engine."

Verizon's SF Application Innovation Center Opens Next Week

Verizon will open an Application Innovation Center in San Francisco next Wednesday.

The Verizon Application Innovation Center is a place for developers, network engineers, entrepreneurs and others to work together on innovative applications that take advantage of Verizon Wireless' leading 3G and 4G LTE mobile networks.

The San Francisco facility is connected to Verizon's LTE Innovation Center, located in Waltham, Mass., to optimize synergies between development activities at each location. The new space includes several collaboration labs and private development labs, and it offers access to Verizon Wireless equipment; services; and Verizon Wireless experts in application development, software development, network APIs, network performance and business development.

Australia's NBN Goes Live in Melbourne

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard MP officially switched on the National Broadband Network at a ceremony in a suburb of Melbourne, marking the third NBN site on the mainland.

The fibre network in Brunswick covers approximately 2,689 premises and the first 14 homes are now connected. The trial phase is due to run until late September, after which residents in the Brunswick fibre coverage area are expected to be able to order broadband services over the NBN from retail service providers.

NBNCo noted that work in Brunswick began in October 2010 with construction partner Telstra accessing its existing underground infrastructure in order to help minimise the impact of the rollout on the local community.

"The launch today of the NBN in Brunswick and new construction activity we've announced are the latest steps towards delivery of a crucial piece of nation-building infrastructure. The National Broadband Network has the potential to deliver genuine competition in telecommunications and benefit Australian homes, businesses, schools and hospitals for decades to come," stated NBN Co Chairman Harrison Young.

In addition, NBNCo released details on the first communities in five states and territories that will become the first in the country to receive NBN Co's high-speed fixed wireless service, which promises 4G speeds of up to 12 Mbps. The fixed wireless component of the NBN rollout is expected to be completed by 2015 and aims to pass approximately half a million homes and business, four percent of the nation's total addressable premises. The rollout will require the use of around 2300 masts, including existing ones where possible. The fixed wireless service differs from mobile wireless networks in that it is designed to serve a precisely designated number of homes and businesses, each with a wireless receiver affixed to their premise.

The first to receive NBN wireless service will be homes, businesses and institutions in the less densely populated rural and regional communities that surround Geraldton (WA), Toowoomba (Qld), Tamworth (NSW), Ballarat (Vic) and Darwin (NT).

The network is designed to deliver wholesale access speeds of up to 12Mbps*. NBN Co anticipates higher speeds becoming available as technology advances and the network is upgraded.

  • In May 2011, NBN Co awarded a 10-year contract to Ericsson to design, build and operate a 4G fixed-wireless network. The deal is valued at up to AUS $1.1 billion.

HSPA Ecosystem Now Well Entrenched

The latest survey by the GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) finds 3,227 HSPA user devices have been announced in the market, 25% higher than a year ago. The number of manufacturers increased by 29 to 264 in the same period. Two-thirds of user devices support peak downlink speeds of 7.2 Mbps or more, compared to just over 50% a year ago.

The survey also finds that HSPA+ networks are mainstream and being deployed by 1 in 3 HSPA operators. A total of 35 device manufacturers have introduced 182 HSPA+ products, representing 264% year on year growth (in July 2010 GSA confirmed 50 HSPA+ devices had been launched by 11 manufacturers). The HSPA Devices survey confirms that 97 devices support 21 Mbps peak downlink, 13 support 28 Mbps, 71 support 42 Mbps (DC-HSPA+), and 1 product supports 84 Mbps. GSA recently announced a 70% increase over 3 months in the number of 42 Mbps DC-HSPA+ networks which had entered commercial service, plus at least 26 more DC-HSPA+ networks in deployment or planned.


1,340 phones including smartphones

568 USB modems

498 Notebooks, netbooks

404 Wireless routers/gateways, mobile hotspots

292 PC data cards (PCMCIA cards, ExpressCards, embedded modules)

48 Personal Media Players, UMPCs

24 Femtocells

12 E-book readers

8 Cameras

33 Mobile tablets