Friday, October 26, 2012

Clearwire Slows LTE Rollout to Control Costs

 Clearwire will  defer a portion of its LTE network construction in order to better align CAPEX with the expected receipt of LTE revenues.  The company now plans to have 2,000 LTE sites on air by the end of June 2013 and expects to start receiving Sprint prepayment installments in June 2013.  Clearwire said its full year 2012 CAPEX budget is expected to total $125 to $175 million, as compared to most recently provided guidance of $350 to $400 million.

Clearwire ended Q3 2012 with approximately 10.5 million total subscribers, up 10% from 9.5 million subscribers in third quarter 2011. The subscriber base consists of 1.4 million retail subscribers and 9.1 million wholesale subscribers, reflecting 21,000 retail net subscriber adds and 489,000 wholesale net subscriber losses during third quarter 2012. Wholesale subscribers consist primarily of Sprint 3G/4G smartphone customers.

The company said its spectrum holdings give it a strong position in the market.

"Recent developments in the U.S. wireless industry serve as a direct reminder of the key strategic role deep spectrum resources and a global LTE ecosystem will play in the long-term success of any 4G mobile broadband operator," said Erik Prusch, President and CEO of Clearwire. "Clearwire's unmatched spectrum assets and focus on serving major population centers will be the foundation on which we will build a critical 4G LTE network positioned to serve the needs of the industry and the rapidly growing base of 4G customers across the country."

For Q3 2012, Clearwire posted revenue of $313.9 million, down slightly year over year due to a 15% YoY decline in wholesale revenue.  Q3 wholesale revenue was $116.5 million, -- relatively flat compared to Q2.  Retail and other revenue increased 1% year over year to $197.4 million in third quarter 2012. Retail ARPU for third quarter 2012 was $45.06, representing a decrease of $(1.99) year over year as compared to $47.05 in third quarter 2011 primarily due to lower equipment lease and activation revenue under the new no-contract offering.

BT Opens Global IP Hub in Singapore

BT has launched a major Global IP Exchange (GIPX) hub in Singapore to meet the demand for growing traffic over its IP Exchange platform, the wholesale service that enables communications providers to connect VoIP to VoIP and VoIP to traditional voice calls.  The Singapore hub provides a local switch function in the Asia-Pac region for BT.

BT said demand for its GIPX service has grown rapidly since it was launched globally in 2011. BT now supports 290 communications provider customers with around 10 new global customers added every month. 

Beatriz Butsana-Sita, BT Global Services Managing Director, Global Telecom Markets, said: “We’re delighted to celebrate the commissioning of BT’s Singapore GIPX node. It’s the first full hub BT has deployed in Asia-Pac and demonstrates the confidence we have in the region. 

“Delivering our GIPX service closer to our wholesale customers in this region, serves to minimize their cost of interconnect to this world-class clearing house. But what’s more Global IP Exchange also provides an opening into BT’s platform for advanced IP services that we continue to invest in.” 

Steve Best, BT Wholesale’s Managing Director Products, added: “BT’s service is designed to simplify the technical and commercial complexity of achieving IP interoperability, leaving customers free to concentrate on meeting the needs of their end customers. This quarter BT has seen a 12 per cent quarter on quarter increase in voice minutes over its GIPX platform – and the concentration of use in Asia-Pac spurred us on to deploy this new node. We expect demand to continue to grow in the region which will concentrate interconnection in Singapore and this node is now ready to meet this increase in traffic.”

ARM, Red Hat and AppliedMicro Collaborate on 64-Bit Cloud Server

ARM, Red Hat and Applied Micro announced a collaboration to develop a 64-bit server for cloud computing, data centers and enterprises.
AppliedMicro X-Gene Server on a Chip, which is based on the  ARMv8 architecture, is now running Red Hat's Fedora Linux in the lab.
“We have a multi-year history in the ARM space, and already have our community-powered Fedora Linux distribution running on AppliedMicro hardware in our labs,” said Jon Masters, Chief ARM Architect at Red Hat. “Red Hat is collaborating with AppliedMicro to enable support for ARM's 64-bit ARMv8 architecture used in the upcoming X-Gene Server-on-Chip designs. We aim to have a remix of Fedora 19 available in time to support the roll out of that platform.”

RST Global Builds FTTP Underground Network in North Carolina

RST Global Communications, a privately funded company based in Shelby, North Carolina, has begun construction on a 100% fiber-optic network that includes backbone, middle and late mile installation.

The network, which will serve North Carolina’s growing Piedmont region, is installed entirely underground at an average depth of 10 feet.  The company said it is pursuing this approach instead of aerial fiber deployment in order to ensure maximum security, reliability and weather protection.

RST’s next phase of its Real Fiber Network will offer FTTP service to thousands of homes and businesses along the I-85 corridor.