Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spirent to Acquire Mu Dynamics for $40 Million

Spirent Communications agreed to acquire Mu Dynamics, which offers a network security and application performance testing tools, for $40.0 million in cash.

Mu Studio, the company's flag ship product line, enables performance and security testing of cloud infrastructure, including network security systems, deep packet inspection (DPI) solutions, and LTE networks. Its Blitz is a self-service load and performance testing solution for cloud applications. Mu TestCloud compiles thousands of ready-to-runs tests, covering hundreds of applications.

Spirent said it plans to continue selling, supporting and enhancing the existing Mu solutions and integrating them with Spirent's test platforms. With the newly acquired property, Spirent's testing suite includes:

Spirent TestCenter, Avalanche and Landslide - Networks and applications testing with market-leading performance, user emulation and encryption with mobility

Studio Security - Cyber security and resiliency assessment with millions of prebuilt protocol fuzz tests

Studio Performance - Rapid development of realistic application traffic with thousands of ready-to-run business and consumer applications as test content

Blitz - Unique Cloud-based application performance management platform.

Spirent expects to consolidate $9.0 to $10.0 million in revenue post-acquisition in 2012, with a positive return on sales. For the first full year post-acquisition in 2013, revenues are expected to be in the range of $17.0 to $19.0 million operating at Spirent’s average return on sales, resulting in a positive enhancement to earnings and achieving an attractive return on investment, in line with Spirent’s objectives.

Windstream Announces New Carrier Switched Ethernet Solution

Windstream introduced a wholesale Carrier Switched Ethernet service that provides other carriers with access to Windstream’s ILEC footprint.

Carrier Switched Ethernet provides wholesale carriers access to 980 exchanges within the Windstream network. With the solution, interconnect ports of 100 Mbps, 1 Gbps, and 10 Gbps are available, and end user loops from 3 Mbps to 1 Gbps are supported.

"To have a competitive advantage in today’s market, carriers must have the ability to provide end-user-to-WAN connectivity to their customers," said Don Perkins, Windstream Vice President of Business Marketing. “Carrier Switched Ethernet will extend the ability for our carriers to reach 90 percent or more of the businesses in Windstream’s ILEC footprint with Ethernet access. This increased reach—coupled with the scalability of Ethernet—will provide our carrier customers with the ability to efficiently and effectively deploy robust WAN solutions to their end-users that would otherwise be difficult to reach."
  • In December 2011, Windstream completed its previously announced acquisition of PAETEC Holding Corp. for approximately $2.3 billion.

    In December 2010, PAETEC acquired privately-owned Cavalier Telephone for $460 million, making it one of the largest competitive local communication service providers in the United States. The acquisition includes Cavalier's wholly owned subsidiary, Intellifiber Networks, which operates a high capacity fiber network spanning approximately 16,600 route miles and representing over $2 billion of investment by companies Cavalier acquired over the last decade.

    In June 2010, Windstream acquired Iowa Telecommunications Services, Inc. in a transaction valued at approximately $1.2 billion. As of March 31, 2010, Iowa Telecom provided service to approximately 249,000 access lines, 96,000 high-speed Internet customers and 27,500 digital TV customers in Iowa and Minnesota.
    In July 2006, Alltel completed the spin off its wireline business, which was merged with VALOR Communications Group to create Windstream, a major wireline operator focused on the rural U.S. market.

Ixia Hits Q1 Revenue of $85.6 Million

Ixia reported Q1 2012 revenue of $85.6 million, compared with $78.5 million reported for the 2011 first quarter and $83.7 million reported for the 2011 fourth quarter. On a GAAP basis, the company recorded net income for the 2012 first quarter of $4.4 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, compared with net income of $7.1 million, or $0.10 per diluted share, for the 2011 first quarter

"In the first quarter, we achieved record revenue primarily driven by a robust quarter in Japan as well as the strong sales of our LTE solutions worldwide," commented Victor Alston, Ixia's chief operating officer. "We are encouraged by the strong start to the year and the opportunities for growth we see in 2012. While we have seen increases in the levels of our operating expenses over the last few quarters, we believe that these investments position us well in the more rapidly growing and promising segments of our market, including virtualization, cloud, mobility and security test solutions for the converged networks of the future. These investments pave the way for Ixia to be a leader in emerging markets for the years to come."

NSN Tunes TD-LTE for 1.9 GHz Frequency Bands

Nokia Siemens Networks is extending its TD-LTE to the 1.9GHz frequency bands. The move allows operators to use existing 1.9GHz spectrum allocations to provide TD-LTE services. The 1.9GHz TD-LTE support is provided via the company’s Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station.

China Mobile, the world's largest operator, has specific plans to evolve its TD-SCDMA network to dual-mode, supporting both TD-SCDMA and TD-LTE services in the 1.9GHz band via a simple software upgrade. The TD-SCDMA spectrum can then be refarmed to support TD-LTE services, hastening China Mobile’s move to the 4G technology.

"The expansion of our TD-LTE portfolio to the 1.9GHz bands marks another step forward in Nokia Siemens Networks’ commitment to driving the TD-LTE ecosystem by supporting China Mobile’s strategy, and at the same time accelerating TD-LTE deployments globally," said Markus Borchert, president at Nokia Siemens Networks Greater China. “TD-LTE provides a much faster and highly responsive mobile internet experience, offering speeds of up to 112 megabits per second (Mbps) and enabling HD video and immersive interactive gaming on smartphones, tablets and laptops. All these TD-LTE benefits will now be available in the 1.9GHz bands, extending the reach of TD-LTE."

Nokia Siemens Networks will be conducting lab trials of its TD-LTE capability in the 1.9GHz band at its Hangzhou open lab in China, and this offering is expected to be commercially available by Q4 2012.

Bytemobile Extends its Adaptive Traffic Management System

Bytemobile has extended its Adaptive Traffic Management System for ensuring quality of experience (QoE) in mobile networks with two new products for 3G and 4G networks.

Introduced last year, Bytemobile's T3100 Adaptive Traffic Manager, which was the first product in the series, is an in-line platform designed to automatically adapt and manage all mobile IP traffic based on real-time network conditions. The NEBS Level 3-compliant platform integrates a combination of network elements for caching, load balancing, deep packet inspection (DPI), web and video optimization, policy control, and analytics. It is designed to be deployed in the core of mobile networks, between the RAN and the Internet.

The new T1100 Traffic Director and the T2100 Content Accelerator provide operators with a seamless single-vendor solution for processing video and web traffic to deliver increased network efficiency and the best possible user experience under all network conditions.

The T1100 Traffic Director is designed to deliver the intelligence and performance required to scale next-generation networks and applications. It is a flexible application delivery controller – powered by Citrix NetScaler and custom-built for deployment with Bytemobile’s Smart Capacity platforms. It provides a seamless exchange of information to intelligently distribute traffic load at all times, resulting in higher availability, greater throughput and simplified operational management. The T1100 also features advanced Citrix NetScaler TriScale technology, including new clustering capabilities that enable multiple appliances to work as a single system so overall network capacity can scale from just megabits/sec to terabits/sec.

The T2100 Content Accelerator is an intelligent caching appliance. Because of its seamless integration with Bytemobile’s two Smart Capacity platforms, operators can add the T2100 to existing traffic management deployments and immediately begin accelerating the multimedia experience by bringing streaming video and audio closer to the subscriber.

Bytemobile noted that more than half of all mobile video and audio content can be served from cache. As a result, the T2100 immediately accelerates the video user experience for more than 50% of an operator’s subscriber base, while also enhancing the experience for the other half through resulting improved network capacity.

Alvarion Appoints New CEO

Alvarion has appointed Hezi Lapid as its new CEO, replacing Eran Gorev who decided to leave the company to pursue other interests, having completed the initial phases of a strategic transformation of the company. Mr. Lapid most recently served as Chairman and CEO of Axerra Networks, a provider of carrier network equipment. Prior to joining Axerra, he headed multiple business units as an executive of ECI Telecom Ltd. from 1995 until 2003. He also served as CEO of C. Mer Industries, a global system integrator delivering turn-key solutions for wireless networks.

Orange Business Services and Verizon Enterprise Link Cisco Telepresence

Orange Business Services and Verizon Enterprise Solutions announced an interprovider connectivity agreement enabling Verizon Immersive Video Exchange customers and Orange Telepresence Community customers to collaborate via video meetings with a greater pool of participating customers, partners and suppliers worldwide, using Cisco TelePresence endpoints.

Andrew McFadzen, head of International Network Solutions at Orange Business Services, said: “Orange is committed to implementing interexchange services to make it easier for our customers to communicate via telepresence, regardless of network or exchange. This agreement expands the telepresence ecosystem for customers of both providers, generating an even more compelling return on investment for telepresence customers. Our objective is to make telepresence as border-free as a phone call."

Riverbed Posts Revenue of $182 Million, up 12%

Riverbed posted GAAP revenue of $182 million for Q1 2012, compared to $164 million in the first quarter of 2011, representing 12% year-over-year growth. GAAP net income for Q1'12 was $7 million, or $0.04 per share, compared to GAAP net income of $13 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, last year.

“In a seasonally difficult quarter, we completed a major product cycle and achieved results within our guidance range," said Jerry M. Kennelly, Riverbed president and CEO. “Looking ahead, we expect our new Steelhead, Granite, and Cascade products, along with Stingray and Whitewater, to form the basis for Riverbed's next leg of growth as we continue to execute on our vision to deliver a complete performance platform. Our competitive position is strong, our addressable market is growing, and we are optimistic about the opportunity before us."

Extreme Networks Sees Sales Shortfall for Q1

Extreme Networks announced preliminary financial results for its 2012 fiscal third quarter ended April 1, 2012. For the quarter, total net revenue will be in the range of $73.0-73.5 million, as compared to $75.7 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2011 and previous guidance of $80-85 million for the quarter. In addition, estimated non-GAAP EPS per diluted share is $0.04 per share versus a loss of $0.05 per share in the third quarter of fiscal 2011 and previous guidance in the range of $0.06-0.08 per share.

"I am disappointed that we have not been able to meet our Q3 guidance. Revenue for the quarter is lower than expected due to sales execution issues, lower mobility service provider sales, and macro economic conditions, all of which inhibited our ability to deliver an expected improvement on normal seasonality," said Oscar Rodriguez, president and CEO of Extreme Networks.

Cox Invests in InSite Wireless Group for Towers

Cox Enterprises announced an investment in InSite Wireless Group, which owns and operates wireless communication tower site facilities and distributed antenna systems (DAS) across the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Cox Communications (CCI) will contribute approximately 150 of its existing wireless towers while Cox Enterprises (the parent firm) will make an additional cash investment in InSite. Terms of the agreement were not immediately released.

NYT: Cisco Memo Outlines SDN Plans

The New York Times published details from a Cisco internal memo address that discusses the company's strategy with regards to software defined networking. According to the "all hands" memorandum, Cisco believes it is well positioned because of its customer accounts, its operating system, its ASICs and its engineering expertise. The company has SDN development work underway on a number of fronts and has funded an internal start-up called Insieme that will also address network programmability.

Nokia Sees Increasing Challenges as Revenue Falls 29%

Citing fierce competitive pressure, Nokia reported Q1 2012 revenue of EUR 7.354 billion, down 29% from the EUR 10.399 billion a year ago, and down 26% from the preceding quarter. Nokia reported an operating loss of EUR 1.340 billion for the quarter, compared to a loss of EUR 954 million in Q4 2011. The company has net cash of EUR 4.872 billion remaining on its balance sheet, compared to EUR 6.372 billion a year ago.

"We are navigating through a significant company transition in an industry environment that continues to evolve and shift quickly. Over the last year we have made progress on our new strategy, but we have faced greater than expected competitive challenges. We have launched four Lumia devices ahead of schedule to encouraging awards and popular acclaim. The actual sales results have been mixed. We exceeded expectations in markets including the United States, but establishing momentum in certain markets including the UK has been more challenging," stated Stephen Elop, Nokia CEO.

Some notes:

In China, Nokia's mobile device shipments by volume plunged by 62% compared to a year earlier. In North America, the drop was 50% and in Europe the loss was 32%.

Looking ahead, Nokia expects its non-IFRS Devices & Services operating margin in the second quarter 2012 to be similar to or below the first quarter 2012 level of negative 3.0%.

The company also noted that during Q1 received a quarterly platform support payment of USD 250 million (approximately EUR 189 million).

Nokia Siemens Networks completed the acquisition of Motorola Solutions' networks assets on April 30, 2011. Accordingly, the results of Nokia Siemens Networks for the first quarter 2012 are not directly comparable to its results for the first quarter 2011.

Nokia Siemens Networks reported net sales of EUR 2.947 for Q1 2012, compared with EUR 3.815 billion in Q4 2011.

The year-on-year decrease in Nokia Siemens Networks' net sales in the first quarter 2012 was driven primarily by a decline in sales of infrastructure equipment, which more than offset a slight increase in sales of services. The sequential decline in Nokia Siemens Networks' net sales in the first quarter 2012 was driven primarily by industry seasonality.

Verizon Reaches 47% Smartphone Penetration, LTE at 9% of Post Paid Base

Driven by a 7.7% increase in wireless service revenues and continued gains in FiOS, Verizon Communications reported double-digit percentage growth in year-over-year quarterly earnings results and increased cash flow in first-quarter 2012.

"We built momentum coming out of 2011, and our results show that we continue to execute in the key growth areas of our business. Verizon Wireless produced both great growth and great margins, and we produced another strong quarter of FiOS growth. We are confident we will improve Wireline margins for the full year. Our repositioning of Verizon Enterprise Solutions has better aligned our strengths in high-growth markets, and we expect our enterprise business to contribute even more to overall Wireline revenue growth and profitability over time," stated Lowell McAdam, Verizon chairman and CEO.

Some highlights:

Verizon’s total operating revenues were $28.2 billion on a consolidated basis, an increase of 4.6 percent compared with first-quarter 2011.

Diluted earnings per share (EPS) were 59 cents, compared with 51 cents per share in 1Q 2011 - a 15.7 percent increase.

Wireless CAPEX was $1.9 billion, which was lower by $850 million, or 31%, from the first quarter last year.

Wireline CAPEX was $1.5 billion, about 5% higher than the first quarter last year. This increase is due to timing, strategic spending in enterprise and some copper-to-fiber migration within the residential customer base.

Wireless Highlights

Service revenues in the quarter totaled $15.4 billion, up 7.7 percent year over year. Retail service revenues grew 8.9 percent year over year, to $14.9 billion, an increase of 110 basis points over fourth-quarter 2011 and the highest growth rate in three years.

Data revenues were $6.6 billion, up $1.1 billion - or 21.1 percent - year over year, and represent 42.9 percent of all service revenues. Total revenues were $18.3 billion, up 8.2 percent year over year.

Retail postpaid ARPU grew 3.6 percent over first-quarter 2011, to $55.43. Retail postpaid data ARPU increased to $23.80, up 16.0 percent year over year. Retail service ARPU grew 3.4 percent, to $53.66.

Wireless operating income margin was 28.6 percent. Segment EBITDA margin on service revenues (non-GAAP) was 46.3 percent.

Verizon Wireless added 734,000 retail net customers in the first quarter, including 501,000 retail postpaid net customers. These additions exclude acquisitions and adjustments.

At the end of the first quarter, the company had 93.0 million retail customers, a 5.2 percent increase year over year, including 88.0 million retail postpaid customers.

At the end of the first quarter, nearly 47 percent of Verizon Wireless’ retail postpaid customer phone base were smartphones, up from 43.5 percent at the end of fourth-quarter 2011.

There were 2.9 million 4G LTE device sales in 1Q ’12.

Verizon Wireless now has 8 million 4G LTE customer connections, representing 9% of the postpaid base. Of note, about two thirds of these are smartphones.

Retail postpaid churn was 0.96 percent, an improvement of 5 basis points year over year. Total retail churn was 1.24 percent, an improvement of 9 basis points year over year.

Verizon Wireless introduced five new 4G LTE devices in the first quarter 2012: the Droid 4 and Droid Razr Maxx by Motorola, the Spectrum and Lucid by LG, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7. In addition, the Apple iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G became available from Verizon Wireless in mid-March.

Wireline Highlights

First-quarter 2012 operating revenues were $9.9 billion, a decline of 2.0 percent compared with first-quarter 2011. Wireline operating income margin was 1.6 percent, compared with 2.8 percent in first-quarter 2011, and Segment EBITDA margin (non-GAAP) was 22.6 percent, compared with 23.6 percent in first-quarter 2011.
Consumer revenues grew 1.7 percent compared with first-quarter 2011. Consumer ARPU for wireline services was $97.88 in first-quarter 2012, up 8.1 percent compared with first-quarter 2011. ARPU for FiOS customers continued to total more than $148 in first-quarter 2012. FiOS services to consumer retail customers represented 63 percent of consumer wireline revenues in first-quarter 2012.

Global enterprise revenues totaled $3.9 billion in the quarter, up 0.9 percent compared with first-quarter 2011. Sales of strategic services – including Terremark cloud services, security and IT solutions, and strategic networking – increased 11.6 percent compared with first-quarter 2011 and represented 51 percent of global enterprise revenues in first-quarter 2012.

Verizon added 193,000 net new FiOS Internet connections and 180,000 net new FiOS Video connections in first-quarter 2012. Verizon had a total of 5.0 million FiOS Internet and 4.4 million FiOS Video connections at the end of the quarter.

FiOS penetration (subscribers as a percentage of potential subscribers) continued to increase. FiOS Internet penetration was 36.4 percent at the end of first-quarter 2012, compared with 33.1 percent at the end of first-quarter 2011. In the same periods, FiOS Video penetration was 32.3 percent, compared with 29.1 percent.

Broadband connections totaled 8.8 million at the end of first-quarter 2012, a 3.3 percent year-over-year increase. The net increase of 104,000 broadband connections from fourth-quarter 2011 was the highest quarterly net-add total since second-quarter 2009.

Verizon continued to expand its 100 Gbps network, enabling several more network routes in the U.S. and two additional routes in Europe.