Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Verizon Expands Network in Africa and the Middle East

Verizon announced the expansion of its Private IP service to the following locations: Gabon on Africa's western coast; Djibouti and Ethiopia on the Horn of Africa; Malawi and Zimbabwe in Eastern Africa; and Swaziland in the southern region. The expansion brings to 21 the number of African countries where Verizon's Private IP is now available. In addition, the network has been expanded to Bahrain and Qatar in the Middle East. Services were already available in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi and Dubai).

AT&T Reports Soaring Wi-Fi Traffic

The volume of traffic on AT&T's Wi-Fi network nearly tripled in 2011 over 2010 for a total of 1.2 billion overall connections. The uptick in traffic was especially noticeable in Q4 2011, when 486.9 million connections were made over the 3 month period. There are now more than three million connections per day to the AT&T Wi-Fi Network

"As AT&T Wi-Fi connections and usage soar at hospitality locations, retail stores, stadiums and enterprise businesses, venues are benefiting by making Wi-Fi available to their customers and employees," said Angie Wiskocil, Senior Vice President, AT&T Wi-Fi Services.

Alcatel-Lucent Appoints Head of Enterprise Division

Alcatel-Lucent has appointed Michel Emelianoff as President of its Enterprise division, succeeding Tom Burns, who after 12 years is leaving the company for personal reasons. Michel Emelianoff is Vice President & General Manager, Data & Security Solutions for Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise. He joined Alcatel Enterprise in 1998 as Sales Director, Northern Europe. Prior to joining Alcatel, Michel spent six years at Siemens, where he held positions in sales, marketing, and business development in Germany, France, and the U.S. Michel Emelianoff is a graduate of “Ecole Centrale�? Paris with a degree in aeronautical engineering.

Oclaro Sees Recovery from Thai Floods

Oclaro reported revenues of $86.5 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2012, compared to revenues of $105.8 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2012. While above the high end of the company’s guidance for the quarter, revenues and operating results for the quarter were materially impacted by the flood in Thailand. GAAP gross margin was 13% for the second quarter of fiscal 2012, compared to a GAAP gross margin of 23% in the first quarter of fiscal 2012.

“In the second quarter of fiscal 2012, Oclaro achieved revenue at the high end of our previous guidance range, primarily due to our recovery efforts from the recent Thailand flooding,�? said Alain Couder, chairman and CEO of Oclaro. "We are pleased with our recovery progress thus far. We expect full commercial production by the end of March for three of our five affected product lines and within the June quarter for the remaining two. In spite of the flood, we remain focused on enabling Oclaro to emerge from this period better positioned than before, in terms of our market position on certain existing products, recent introductions and our pipeline of new products and new technologies."

Nokia Posts Q4 2011 Net sales of EUR 10.0 Billion, Down 21%

Nokia reported net sales of EUR 10.0 billion for the fourth quarter of 2011, down 21% from Q4 2010 and up 11% from the preceding quarter. There was a loss of nearly EUR 1.1 billion.

Sales of devices and services overall fell by 29%: in Europe, these sales fell 38%, in China by 40% and in North America, these sales fell by 77%.

On the bright side, Nokia reported that the sale of more than one million of its new Windows-based Lumia phones.

"In the war of ecosystems, clearly there are some strong contenders already on the field. And with Lumia, we have demonstrated that we belong on the field. Our specific intent has been to establish a beachhead in this war of ecosystems, and country by country that is what we are now accomplishing. To date we have sold well over 1 million Lumia devices. From this beachhead of more than 1 million Lumia devices, you will see us push forward with the sales, marketing and successive product introductions necessary to be successful. We also plan to bring the Lumia series to additional markets including China and Latin America in the first half of 2012," stated Stephen Elop, Nokia's CEO.

Nokia is now preparing to launch the Lumia phones in China, Latin America and other markets. The company expects 2012 will be its year of transition and has not provided a sales outlook as before.

Sales at Nokia Siemens Networks for Q4 2011 amounted to EUR 3.815 billion, down 4% from last year but up 12% over Q3 2011. The company said the year-on-year decrease in Nokia Siemens Networks' net sales in the fourth quarter 2011 was driven primarily by a decline in sales of infrastructure equipment, which more than offset the contribution from the acquired Motorola Solutions networks assets and a slight increase in sales of services. Excluding the acquired Motorola Solutions networks assets, net sales would have decreased by 11% year-on-year. The sequential increase in Nokia Siemens Networks' net sales in the fourth quarter 2011 was driven primarily by industry seasonality. Services represented slightly over 50% of Nokia Siemens Networks' net sales in the fourth quarter 2011.

AT&T: iPhone Accounts for 80% of Smartphone Sales

AT&T reported blockbuster mobile broadband sales in Q4 2011 with 9.4 million smartphone activations in the quarter -- 50 percent more than the previous quarterly record and nearly double 3Q11 sales. This equates to over 100,000 smartphone activations for every day of the quarter. There were 7.6 million iPhone activations, meaning that Apple represented 81% of smartphone sales in Q4 for AT&T.

“This was a blowout quarter for smartphone sales. Our network performance is at a high level on voice quality and best-in-class mobile download speeds. U-verse sales continue to be strong and business revenue trends are on a good track," stated Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and chief executive officer.

For Q4, AT&T’s consolidated revenues totaled $32.5 billion, up $1.1 billion, or 3.6 percent, versus the year-earlier quarter. Compared with the fourth quarter of 2010, operating expenses were $41.5 billion versus $29.3 billion; operating loss was $9.0 billion, compared to operating income of $2.1 billion; and AT&T’s operating income margin was (27.7) percent, compared to 6.7 percent, including costs related to T-Mobile USA.

CAPEX for 2012 is expected to be about $20 billion, stable with 2011, as increases in wireless spending offset declines in wireline capital expenditures.

Some highlights:


Best Postpaid Growth. AT&T posted a net increase in total wireless subscribers of 2.5 million in the fourth quarter to reach 103.2 million in service. Subscriber additions for the quarter include postpaid net adds of 717,000, the best gain in five quarters. Prepaid net adds were 159,000, connected device net adds were 1,029,000 and reseller net adds were 592,000. Fourth-quarter net adds reflect accelerated adoption of smartphones, including the October launch of iPhone 4S, increases in prepaid and reseller subscribers and sales of tablets and connected devices such as automobile monitoring systems, security systems and a host of other emerging products.

Record Quarter for Smartphone Sales. Fourth-quarter smartphone sales represented more than 80 percent of postpaid device sales. Both iPhone and Android device sales set records.

At the end of the quarter, 56.8 percent of AT&T’s 69.3 million postpaid subscribers had smartphones, up from 42.7 percent a year earlier and 32.8 percent two years ago.

The average ARPU for smartphones on AT&T’s network is 1.9 times that of the company’s non-smartphone devices. About 87 percent of smartphone subscribers are on FamilyTalk® or business plans. Churn levels for these subscribers are significantly lower than for other postpaid subscribers.

AT&T had its best sales quarter ever for branded computing subscribers, a new growth area for the company that includes tablets, aircards, mobile Wi-Fi hot spot devices, tethering plans and other data-only devices.

AT&T added 571,000 of these devices to reach 5.1 million, an almost 70 percent increase in total subscribers from a year ago. Most of those new subscribers were tablets, with 311,000 added in the quarter, more than half of which were postpaid.

Total wireless revenues, which include equipment sales, were up 10.0 percent year over year to $16.7 billion. Wireless service revenues increased 4.0 percent, to $14.3 billion, in the fourth quarter.

Wireless data revenues — driven by Internet access, access to applications, messaging and related services — increased by $956 million, or 19.4 percent, from the year-earlier quarter to $5.9 billion. AT&T’s postpaid wireless subscribers on monthly data plans increased by 16.4 percent over the past year. The number of subscribers on tiered data plans also continues to increase. About 22 million, or 56 percent, of all smartphone subscribers are on tiered data plans, and about 70 percent have chosen the higher-tier plans.

Wireless margins were impacted by record-setting smartphone sales and customer upgrade levels. This was offset in part by improved operating efficiencies and further revenue gains from the company’s growing base of high-quality smartphone subscribers. AT&T’s fourth-quarter wireless operating income margin was 15.2 percent versus 22.9 percent in the year-earlier quarter, and AT&T’s wireless EBITDA service margin was 28.7 percent, compared with 37.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010.


Total business revenues grew sequentially for the second consecutive quarter. Revenues were $9.3 billion, down 1.4 percent versus the year-earlier quarter but a slight increase over the third quarter of 2011. The year-over-year decline reflects economic conditions and weakness in voice and legacy data products somewhat offset by growth in IP data. Business service revenues, which exclude CPE, declined 1.2 percent year over year, compared to a year-over-year decline of 4.3 percent in the year-ago quarter and were essentially flat sequentially, despite fewer business days in the fourth quarter.

Revenues from the new-generation capabilities that lead AT&T’s most advanced business solutions — including Ethernet, VPNs, hosting, IP conferencing and application services — grew 16.4 percent versus the year-earlier quarter, continuing strong trends in this area. This now represents a nearly $6 billion annualized revenue stream.

Total business IP data revenues grew 9.2 percent versus the year-earlier fourth quarter, led by growth in VPN revenues. IP-based solutions allow customers to easily add managed services such as network security, cloud services and IP conferencing on top of their infrastructures. Total business data revenues grew 1.3 percent year over year.

Revenues from residential customers totaled $5.3 billion, an increase of 0.5 percent versus the fourth quarter a year ago. The fourth quarter marked the sixth consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth.

AT&T U-verse TV added 208,000 subscribers to reach 3.8 million in service. As U-verse scales, its margins improve, contributing to profitability. In the fourth quarter, the AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet attach rate was 90 percent and about half of new subscribers took AT&T U-verse Voice. About 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 almost $170, up 2.5 percent year over year.

AT&T’s U-verse deployment has reached its goal of passing 30 million living units.

AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet delivered a fourth-quarter net gain of 587,000 subscribers to reach a total of 5.2 million, helping offset losses from DSL. Overall, AT&T lost 49,000 wireline broadband connections. About 74 percent of consumers have a broadband plan delivering speeds of 3 Mbps or higher versus 65 percent in the year-ago quarter.

Orange Sees Growth in French Cloud Computing

Orange Business Services reported that it now has over 3,600 customers in France using its cloud computing solutions. This includes 110 for the Flexible Computing Express Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offer, introduced in October 2011, and over 2,500 small business customers for Cloud Pro, a suite of online services launched in June 2011.

Riverbed's Q4 Revenue Rises to $203 Million, up 7% YoY

Riverbed Technology reported Q4 2011 revenue of $203 million, an increase of 7% from $190 million reported in the third quarter of This compares to GAAP net income of $19 million, or $0.12 per share, in Q3’11 and $13 million, or $0.08 per share, in Q4’10. GAAP net income for 2011 was $64 million, or $0.38 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income of $34 million, or $0.22 per diluted share, in 2010.

"We believe we are in the strongest strategic and competitive position in our history. Adding to that, early in 2012 we will be entering what we think will be Riverbed’s most exciting and important product cycle yet.�?

"The business has been executing well and fourth quarter revenue growth was fueled by strong enterprise sales in both the U.S. and EMEA,�? added Randy S. Gottfried, Riverbed Chief Financial Officer. “Despite higher disk drive costs resulting from recent Thai floods, we reported strong gross and operating margins in the fourth quarter. We believe our past investments in our core and new products will continue to yield solid revenue and profit growth in 2012.�?

Freescale's Q4 Sales Decline to $1.01 billion

Freescale Semiconductor reported net sales for the fourth quarter of 2011 were $1.01 billion, compared to $1.14 billion in the third quarter of 2011 and $1.18 billion in the fourth quarter last year. Net sales for calendar year 2011 were $4.57 billion compared to $4.46 billion in calendar year 2010.

The net loss for the fourth quarter of 2011 was $6 million, or $.02 per share, compared to a loss of $88 million, or $.36 per share, in the third quarter of 2011 and a loss of $102 million, or $.52 per share, in the same period last year. The net loss for calendar year 2011 was $410 million or $1.82 per share compared to a loss of $1.05 billion or $5.35 per share in calendar year 2010.

"The Freescale team executed well in 2011,�? said Rich Beyer, chairman and CEO. “We grew revenues, improved margins and significantly improved our capital structure through an initial public offering. M

Juniper Posts Weak Q4 Revenue

Juniper Networks' net revenues for the fourth quarter of 2011 decreased 6% on a year-over-year basis, and increased 1% sequentially, to $1,120.8 million. For the year ended December 31, 2011, Juniper's revenue increased 9% on a year-over-year basis to $4,448.7 million.

The company posted GAAP net income of $96.2 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, and non-GAAP net income of $150.1 million, or $0.28 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2011. Included in the GAAP diluted earnings per share was a $0.02 cents impact for restructuring and other charges.

"The December quarter was an atypical and unexpectedly weak finish to the year, with reduced spending by some of our largest customers," said Robyn Denholm, Juniper's chief financial officer. "While long-term industry fundamentals remain strong, we expect the near-term environment to remain challenging. We will invest in support of our strategy while continuing our focus on execution and prudent cost management."

Other Financial Highlights Total cash, cash equivalents and investments as of the fourth quarter of 2011 was $4,292.4 million, compared to $4,130.3 million as of the third quarter of 2011 and $2,821.6 million as of the fourth quarter of 2010.