Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Valley Telephone Picks ADTRAN for FTTP

Valley Telephone Cooperative, which serves south Texas and is the recipient of the single largest Broadband Stimulus award in the state, has selected ADTRAN's broadband portfolio for its Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) rollout. This project will allow VTCI to extend high-bandwidth triple-play and Ethernet services throughout its coverage area, doubling its addressable market for Active Ethernet-based services to over 9,000 new subscribers in the region.

Mellanox Expects $104.1 million in New Share Offering

Mellanox Technologies expects to raise approximately $104.1 million in a public offering of 3,450,000 newly issued ordinary shares. The underwriters exercised their option to purchase an additional 450,000 over the 3 million shares previously expected in the offering. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC and Barclays Capital Inc. are acting as the book-running managers for the offering. Stifel Nicolaus Weisel is acting as co-manager for the offering.

Taiwan Approves Cross Straight Telecom Cable

Taiwan's National Communications Commission (NCC) has given the go-ahead for an undersea cable system directing connecting with mainland China. The project will link Taiwan's Kinmen island with the city of Xiamen, in China's Fujian Province. It is funded by three Taiwanese operators (Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Telecom and Far EasTone Telecommunications) and three mainland operators (China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom).

Verizon: LTE is a Game Changer

Verizon is very well positioned for handling the macroeconomic downturn because of its FiOS growth and its early lead with LTE said Lowell McAdam, President and CEO of Verizon, speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia XX Conference. Some notes from McAdam's talk:

  • LTE is one of the true game changing technologies for the industry that really makes you sit up and say "wow". Verizon has seen a strong market acceptance for its LTE launch. The many new application possibilities coming through its LTE Innovation centers indicate that LTE will change the way many businesses are run. The company sees positive margin implications with the LTE network and will keep pushing LTE very hard in the market, building on its early lead.

  • The company will build content linkage between FiOS and its LTE service.

  • The market opportunity to expand the FiOS rollout at the moment is small, but this could change depending on labor costs and technology. The company is looking at in-home wireless networking that would deliver HD to multiple TV sets in a large house without the expense of setting up and maintaining coax cabling. This could change the model for FiOS and lead the company to expand the rollout further than what it has already committed to.

  • McAdam does not hold a position on the AT&T + T-Mobile merger and DOJ lawsuit. Verizon is watching this deal very closely and is concerned about impact that government rulings will have on the market. He felt that AT&T's spectrum crunch made it inevitable that they would attempt such an acquisition.

  • McAdam is not worried about Sprint getting the iPhone.

  • The Terramark acquisition opens up new possibilities in enterprise services.

  • In addition to iOS and Android, McAdam predicts a third ecosystem will gain traction this year.

China Telecom Picks Alcatel-Lucent for 3G Upgrade Projects

China Telecom has selected Alcatel-Lucent to expand and upgrade its 3G CDMA network with its CDMA/EV-DO Radio Access Network portfolio. This includes Alcatel-Lucent's multi-carrier, high-capacity and LTE-ready 9916 BTS and separate 9234 Remote Radio heads, as well as the performance-increasing Multi-Carrier EV-DO Modem (EVM). Alcatel-Lucent will also deploy its CDMA Mobile Packet Core network solution including the 9290 Mobility Manager and 9281 Packet Switch.

In addition to the increase in capacity, under the agreement Alcatel-Lucent will lower associated costs across 56 cities in 9 provinces. Customers will experience higher data speeds and improved quality of voice and data services while giving China Telecom a competitive advantage to attract new subscribers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Broadband Forum Release Fiber Access Specifications

The Broadband Forum released its BroadbandSuite 5.0, which brings together all its work for fiber access networks.
Specifically, BroadbandSuite 5.0 encompasses a number of architecture, management and market
requirement specifications addressing PON that include:

  • TR-142 Framework for TR-069-enabled PON devices (EPON)

  • TR-155 G-PON ONU Requirements for CPE

  • TR-156 Using G-PON Access in the Context of TR-101

  • TR-167 G-PON-fed TR-101 Ethernet Access Node

  • TR-200 Using EPON in the context of TR-101

Two specifications that are in final approval, which define the test plans for G-PON ONU Conformance:

  • WT-247 G-PON ONU Abstract Test Plan

  • OD- 247 G-PON ONU Conformance Test Plan

It also includes two white papers and a tutorial that provide valuable additional information
and background on G-PON:

  • MR-185 White Paper: Next Generation Broadband Access

  • MR-229 White Paper: Leveraging Standards for Next Generation Broadband Wholesale Access

  • MR-246 G-PON Tutorial

"Fiber rollouts, especially hybrid DSL/PON deployments are growing faster than ever. We expect to see fiber figures continue to rise in our mid-year report due next week. BroadbandSuite 5.0 is a major resource for the industry to facilitate and accelerate the deployment of PON and it paves the way for next generation fiber technologies, including XG-PON1 and beyond," stated Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum.

Sprint: Lack of iPhone has been Biggest Factor in Churn

The iPhone is the number one factor for churn on the Sprint network, said Dan Hesse, Sprint's CEO, speaking at the Goldman Sachs 20th Annual Communicopia Conference. Hesse did not confirm whether Sprint will begin selling the iPhone next month, but did say the company overall brand and customer metrics continue to improve despite the lack of the iPhone to date, and that financial guidance to date has not taken into account the iPhone in its portfolio. Some notes:

  • Sprint will be unveiling its network vision on October 7th. Hesse said this network architecture will give it a lot of flexibility both in terms of technology, possible network partnerships, network sharing agreements, and market scenarios.

  • Sprint now serves over 52 million subscribers and is the fastest growing among major US operators in the post-paid category.

  • Sprint continues to lose Nextel customers.

  • The company has been free cash positive for a number of quarters.

  • Simple rate plans have proven successful.

  • Sprint believes that anti-competitive consolidation is at the fundamental objection at the heart of the DOJ lawsuit to block the AT&T=T-Mobile deal. Sprint does not believe AT&T can adequately address this issue.

Sequans Targeted by Shareholder Lawsuit

Sequans Communications was named in a class action lawsuit filed by Holzer Holzer & Fistel, LLC. The lawsuit alleges that Sequans knew but failed to disclose that it was facing declining revenues from its WiMax products. The lawsuit further alleges, among other things, that Sequans materially overstated its position with regard to 4G LTE products. http://www.holzerlaw.com

Court Sets Date of Feb 13, 2012 for AT&T+T-Mobile Lawsuit

The U.S. District Court, District of Columbia has set a date of February 13, 2012 to hear lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice to block AT&T's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA.

Cisco Declares Quarterly Dividend

Cisco declared a quarterly dividend of $0.06 per common share to be paid on October 26, 2011, to all shareholders of record as of the close of business on October 6, 2011. Cisco's Board of Directors approved the initiation of quarterly cash dividends to its shareholders in March 2011.

SoftLayer Launches International Operations

SoftLayer, which operates data centers in key U.S. markets, announced the launch of international operations. The company has just opened a state-of-the-art data center in Singapore and established network POPs in Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo. New facilities are under construction in Amsterdam and a European network launch is planned for November.

The new Singapore data center offers capacity for more than 16,000 servers. Fiber connectivity is from multiple Tier-1 network carriers, including NTT, Tata, and Equinix, with direct network connections to SoftLayer facilities in San Jose and Los Angeles. SoftLayer said its network in the region offers latency of less than 40ms from any of the Asian POPs throughout the region.

“We are excited to bring our unique solutions to hosting to the Asia-Pacific region,�? said Lance Crosby, Chief Executive Officer for SoftLayer. “We've had an international customer base for quite some time, with almost half of our 23,000 customers coming from more than 140 countries besides the U.S. But we couldn't be happier to now have a truly international presence, putting our industry-leading solutions so much closer to our customers and their countless end users.�?

With the new Asian and European facilities, SoftLayer will have 13 data centers and 16 PoPs worldwide. http://www.softlayer.com

Big Switch Hires VMware's Howie Xu

Big Switch Networks, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, has hired Howie Xu to lead the R&D organization. Xu led VMware's networking R&D team for the past five years and, under his leadership, the team innovated and developed the industry's first Distributed Virtual Switch and collaborated with Cisco on Nexus 1000V. He joined VMware in 2002 as one of the lead developers in virtual networking. He is credited with co-inventing VMware's Virtual Switch and holds multiple patents in this area.

Big Switch is focused on OpenFlow and the benefits of virtualization and cloud architecture for enterprise networks. http://www.bigswitch.com

Ikanos and ASSIA Partner on G.Vector Ecosystem

Ikanos Communications is working with ASSIA to simplify the deployment of G.Vector broadband networks capable of 100 Mbps performance over traditional copper telephone lines. The partners are creating an ecosystem for service providers around the world that enables new bandwidth-intensive services and streamlines “time to revenue�? on vectored networks. A demonstration of the combination of Ikanos' NodeScale™ Vectoring and ASSIA's DSL Expresse software tools will be held at next week's Broadband World Forum in Paris.

ASSIA DSL Expresse can be accessed by technicians via an iPhone application to offer line performance information, trouble-shooting tools, and diagnostic details for helping technicians respond quickly and effectively to field problems. http://www.ikanos.com http://www.assia-inc.com

LightSquared Announces GPS Filters with Javad GNSS

LightSquared is working with Javad GNSS Inc. to develop a system that it believes will eliminate related interference issues for high-precision GPS devices.

To develop the technology, Javad GNSS took its existing receivers and reconfigured the filters and linear amplifiers to make them completely compatible with LightSquared's bottom 10 MHz of spectrum.

The companies said testing on initial prototypes are promising and the preproduction units will be released for public tests in October, followed by mass production. The system can be adapted to work with high-precision GPS devices including those already in the agriculture, surveying, construction and defense industries. High-precision receivers for positioning applications are expected to go to market by November 2011 and precision timing devices by March 2012.

"I have said from the beginning that this interference issue will be resolved as soon as smart engineers like Javad Ashjaee put their minds to it. With this new system, Mr. Ashjaee makes another mark for himself as a cutting edge pioneer in the precision GPS industry, a field he has helped shape for more than 30 years," said Sanjiv Ahuja, chairman and chief executive officer of LightSquared. http://www.LightSquared.com http://www.javad.com/

The Gores Group to Acquire Alpheus for Fiber Net in Texas

The Gores Group, a leading Los Angeles-based private equity firm, agreed to acquire Alpheus Communications, one of the largest fiber network and data center operators in Texas. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Alpheus Communications, which has a strong presence in Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio, operates a backbone with more than 2,800 route miles of long-haul fiber and nearly 3,250 metro route miles.

The Gores Group intends to combine Alpheus with First Communications, an existing Gores portfolio company. http://alpheuscommunications.com/