Monday, December 16, 2013

Avago to Acquire LSI for $6.6 Billion

Avago Technologies agreed to acquire LSI Corporation for $11.15 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $6.6 billion.

The acquisition creates a highly diversified semiconductor market leader with approximately $5 billion in annual revenues by adding enterprise storage to Avago's existing wired infrastructure, wireless and industrial businesses.

The combined company will be strongly positioned to capitalize on the growing opportunities created by the rapid increases in data center IP and mobile data traffic.

"This highly complementary and compelling acquisition positions Avago as a leader in the enterprise storage market and expands our offerings and capabilities in wired infrastructure, particularly system-level expertise," stated Hock Tan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Avago. "This combination will increase the Company's scale and diversify our revenue and customer base. In addition to these powerful strategic benefits, as we integrate LSI onto the Avago platform, we expect to drive LSI's operating margins toward Avago's current levels, creating significant additional value for stockholders."

"This transaction provides immediate value to our stockholders, and offers new growth opportunities for our employees to develop a wider range of leading-edge solutions for customers," said Abhi Talwalkar, President and Chief Executive Officer of LSI.  "Our leadership positions in enterprise storage and networking, in combination with Avago, create greater scale to further drive innovations into the datacenter."

Regarding financials, Avago said it expects the deal will be significantly and immediately accretive to its non-GAAP free cash flow and earnings per share. Avago currently anticipates achieving annual cost savings at a run rate of $200 million by the end of the fiscal year ending November 1, 2015, the first full fiscal year after closing.  Avago will fund the acquisition with $1.0 billion of cash from the combined balance sheet, a $4.6 billion term loan from a group of banks, and a $1 billion investment from Silver Lake Partners.

http://investors.avagotech.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=203541&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1884827&highlight=\
http://www.lsi.com/

Crown Castle Completes Tower Deal with AT&T

AT&T and Crown Castle completed a previously announced  $4.85 billion deal under which AT&T will lease the rights to approximately 9,100 of its company-owned wireless towers to Crown Castle.   The deal also includes the sale of approximately 600 AT&T towers to Crown Castle.

Under the terms of the leases, Crown Castle will have exclusive rights to lease and operate approximately the towers, including the option to sublease to other carriers. The average term of the lease rights is about 28 years. As the leases expire, Crown Castle will have fixed price purchase options, totaling approximately $4.2 billion, for these towers based on their estimated fair market values at the end of the lease terms.

AT&T will sublease capacity on the towers from Crown Castle for a minimum of 10 years for $1,900 per month per site, with annual rent increases of 2 percent. AT&T has the option to renew up to a total of 50 years. AT&T will also have access to additional reserve capacity on the towers for future use. AT&T expects the additional capacity will help it continue to meet growing demand for mobile Internet services. The transaction will have no impact on the customer experience.

Intel to Acquire Mindspeed's Wireless Unit - ARM Baseband Processors

Intel will acquire the wireless infrastructure division of Mindspeed Technologies.  Financial terms were not disclosed. The asset sale was contemplated by M/A-COM Technology Solutions' agreement to acquire Mindspeed, which was announced last month.

Mindspeed is a leading supplier of processor for small cells in 3G/HSPA, TD-SCDMA and LTE.  Its base station semiconductor solutions serve residential to enterprise to pico/metro applications. The wireless infrastructure division has sites in Bath, UK; Newport Beach, Calif.; and Shenzhen and Beijing, China.

Mindspeed's current network processors leverage ARM Cortex RISC processor technology.

On her blog, Rose Schooler, vice president and general manager of Intel's Communications and Storage Infrastructure Group, said the acquisition brings a wireless infrastructure team with deep experience in delivering signal processing-related technologies and IP for base stations. She notes that this accelerate the strategy to consolidate networking workloads onto Intel architecture, particulary signal processing for base stations. Intel has been working with China Mobile and SKT on designing Cloud Radio Access Network technologies.

https://communities.intel.com/community/datastack/blog/2013/12/16/intel-agrees-to-acquire-wireless-infrastructure-division-of-mindspeed-technologies-for-key-network-communications-capabilities
http://www.mindspeed.com


  • Mindspeed's latest Transcede 4000/4020 processor uses a scaleable architecture to address the emerging needs of the Next-Generation Mobile Network (NGMN) and enables follow-on devices within the family that address different performance points such as enterprise femtocells.  It delivers Layer 1 and Layer 2 functionality with the performance needed to support base stations ranging in size from macrocells to picocells and the flexibility to support HSPA+, TD-SCDMA, LTE-FDD, LTE-TDD, WiMAX and IMT-Advanced standards in a single System-on-Chip (SoC). Coupling the latest RISC processor technology with a high performance DSP processing array in a single chip, the Transcede 4000/4020 provides low-cost/high-value processing capability from IP packets to IQ samples.
  • In November 2013, M/A-COM Technology Solutions, a supplier of high performance RF, microwave, and millimeter wave products, agreed to acquire Mindspeed Technologies for $5.05 per share in a cash, a 66% premium over the company's previous close of $3.04 on November 4, 2013. This represents an enterprise value of $270 million. Mindspeed, which is based in Newport Beach, California, supplies semiconductors for communications infrastructure, including broadband access networks (fixed and mobile), enterprise networks and metropolitan and wide area networks (fixed and mobile). Its main product lines include its Transcede family of low-power, multi-core system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for 3G and 4G/LTE small cell base stations, and its Comcerto family of processors for triple-play access gateways. M/A-COM, which is based in Lowell, Massachusetts, supplies high performance RF, microwave, and millimeter wave products that enable next-generation internet and modern battlefield applications.

  • In 2012, Mindspeed acquired U.K.-based Picochip Limited, a leading supplier of integrated system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for small cell base stations, for a purchase price of approximately $51.8 million, plus a potential earnout payment of up to $25 million payable in the first calendar quarter of 2013. Picochip specializes in femtocell SoCs. Its publicly announced customers include Alpha Networks, AT4 Wireless, Airspan (partnered with Fujitsu), Intel, ip.Access, Ubiquisys (supplying NEC and Motorola), Willtek, Xinwei Telecom, Zyxel and a number of other major OEMs and ODMs.

Juniper to Acquire WANDL for Multi-layer Planning Software

Juniper Networks agreed to acquire WANDL, a supplier of software solutions for advanced planning, management, design and optimization of next-generation multi-layer networks, for approximately $60 million.

WANDL, which is based in Piscataway, NJ, offers a solutions for advanced network analysis, simulation, optimization, capacity planning and management of IP and MPLS networks as well as network solutions for ATM, PNNI/HPNNI, Frame Relay, TDM, Optical Transport, and Voice networks.  Its IP/MPLSView is a multi-vendor, multi-protocol, and multi-layer Traffic Management and Traffic Engineering solution for IP and/or MPLS networks.

Juniper said the acquisition brings proven technology and deep experience in traffic engineering, multi-layer optimization and path computation, which will help its service provider customers optimize the performance and cost of their networks.

The WANDL team will continue to be headquartered in New Jersey, joining forces with Juniper Networks OpenLab, The Junos® Center for Innovation.

"WANDL, Inc. is a long-time Technology Alliance partner that brings to Juniper a track record of innovation and extensive experience in optimizing network infrastructure. As our service provider customers continue to focus on finding ways to address the proliferation of mobile, video, cloud computing and other data-intensive services, they will benefit from WANDL's capabilities to design and manage networks more easily and cost efficiently, at any scale. We look forward to working together to grow WANDL's core business and continue offering enhanced value for our customers," stated Daniel Hua, senior vice president and general manager, Routing Business Unit, Juniper Networks.

http://www.juniper.net
http://www.wandl.com

Gigamon Deepens its Visibility Fabric

Gigamon announced new applications and enhancements for its Unified Visibility Fabric architecture, including advanced filtering capabilities such as stateful correlation, subscriber awareness, and deep packet visibility.

Gigamon's Visibiilty Fabric Architecture, which features an Application layer and a Services layer, goes beyond interconnecting testing tools to network traffic by providing traffic intelligence across physical, virtual and future SDN infrastructure.  At the Applications layer, Gigamon is updating its de-duplication capability and adding new FlowVUE and GTP correlation capabilities for mobile traffic.  At the Services layer, Gigamon is enhancing its header stripping capability while adding new adaptive packet filtering. The architecture is designed to handle millions of traffic flows across thousands of endpoints.

"As network architectures evolve and network speeds increase, the tools that monitor, manage and secure that network are increasingly turning to the Gigamon Visibility Fabric to provide intelligent correlated traffic filtering in order to keep up with the growth in volumes of data as well as the rapidly evolving network architectures," said Shehzad Merchant, Chief Strategy Officer at Gigamon. "The Visibility Fabric applications and advanced traffic filtering capabilities that we are bringing to market address a growing need for traffic intelligence built right into the Visibility Fabric."

The enhancements and new applications for the Unified Visibility Fabric include:

  • GTP correlation application -- provides the ability to filter and forward correlated subscriber traffic streams that are encapsulated using the GPRS Tunneling Protocol, or GTP, within 3G/4G/LTE environments. GTP correlation utilizes stateful subscriber filtering and forwarding to understand and maintain subscriber-specific sessions, thus helping to ensure Quality of Experience (QoE) as well as reliable accounting, billing and subscriber management.
  • FlowVUE application -- provides active, subscriber-aware flow sampling to intelligently forward only the most relevant traffic to the tools. FlowVUE intelligently manages Big Data traffic, enabling carriers to connect monitoring tools that otherwise would not be able to handle the volume of traffic.
  • Adaptive Packet Filtering -- providing the ability to look for content anywhere in the packet and make intelligent filtering and forwarding decisions. Filtering criteria includes advanced encapsulation protocols and/or inner packet contents beyond Layer 4. These updates enable basic application identification and protocol-aware filtering for packet filtering and distribution.
  • De-duplication Application enhancements -- including IPv6 de-duplication, as well as support for visibility in Cisco FabricPath environments and IP fragmentation awareness.

http://www.gigamon.com/traffic-visibility-fabric
http://www.gigamon.com

Sprint Activates LTE in 70 New Markets

Sprint turned on its LTE service in 70 new markets across the U.S., including Cedar Rapids, Fargo, Kalamazoo, Little Rock, Louisville, Madison, Orlando, San Diego, St. Louis and others.  

Sprint is now delivering LTE in 300 markets across the country.

“In 2013, we made major improvements across our 3G and 4G LTE network,” said Bob Azzi, chief network officer. “In the growing number of markets where the upgrades are nearly complete, our customers are noticing. Re-engineering our entire network has been a big undertaking, but now it’s delivering tangible benefits to our customers. With the announcement of Sprint Spark, the increasing availability of 4G LTE and the improvements we have made to our voice network, we’re full speed ahead for 2014.”

Some Sprint highlights for 2013:
  • Announcement of Sprint Spark, which will use carrier aggregation and other techniques to boost performance of the LTE network.
  • The Softbank transaction, which brings new financial resources to the company.
  • The Clearwire acquisition, which makes Sprint Spark possible by providing access to contiguous 2.5GHz spectrum.
  • The acquisition of spectrum from U.S. Cellular, which significantly increases network capacity in key Midwest markets.
  • The introduction of HD Voice and a target of covering 85 million POPs by the end of 2013.
  • The deployment of in-building systems at key stadiums, airports, concert venues, etc.
  • The transition of iDEN business and government customers to Sprint’s 3G CDMA network.


Marvell Tunes its ARMADA Chipset for China's TD-LTE Rollout

Marvell introduced its high performance ARMADA Mobile PXA1088LTE Pro unified platform to support the issuing of 4G TD-LTE licenses in China and operators worldwide.

The new chipset, which is based on the Marvell's certified multimode modem and power-efficient ARM Cortex A7 quad-core platform, provides the OEM/ODM partners a scalable design to address different market segments for different operators' requirements with three configurations. The high performance PXA1088LTE Pro features a 1.5GHz CPU and supports up to 1080p full-HD display for a premium smart phone or tablet. Its predecessor, the Marvell PXA1088LTE platform, features a 1.2GHz CPU and supports up to 720p HD display.   Both products are capable of supporting 5 communication standards including TD-LTE, FDD-LTE, HSPA+, TD-SCDMA, and EDGE/GSM for 4G LTE operators worldwide. To support China Mobile's $1,000RMB mass market smart phones, a cost-effective solution based on the required communication standards, TD-LTE, TD-SCDMA, and EDGE/GSM, is available with a simplified RF design.

"With the recent announcement of TD-LTE licenses in China, this further accelerates the deployment of 4G LTE.  We believe 2014 will be a big year for the mass deployment of 4G LTE worldwide.  Marvell's ARMADA Mobile PXA1088LTE Pro Family delivers best-in-class, world mode 4G LTE performance, enabling top global mobile carriers and the world's biggest device makers to bring to market affordable, high-performance, media-centric 4G LTE solutions worldwide," said Weili Dai, President and Co-Founder of Marvell. "I'm very proud of Marvell's talented engineering teams around the globe for their commitment, dedication and innovation in delivering industry leading solutions that drive the mass market adoption of 4G LTE and enable the Connected Lifestyle for consumers around the globe."

http://www.marvell.com
http://www.marvell.com/communication-processors/pxa1088/assets/Marvell_PXA1088-LTE-PRO_product_brief.pdf

Infinio Raises $12 Million for Virtualized Network Attached Storage

Infinio, a start-up based in Cambridge, Mass., closed a $12 million Series B funding round to support its NAS data storage accelerator for virtualized environments.

Infinio's Accelerator is a software-only solution that extends the performance life of an existing NAS. The accelerator is a virtual appliance that uses server-side caching to minimize the I/O traffic load on central storage.  It uses 8 GB of idle memory from each ESXi server to create a pooled, deduplicated cache in memory. The product was launched in November.

The Series B round brings Infinio's total funding to date to $24 million. All major backers, including Bessemer Venture Partners, Highland Capital Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Osage University Partners (a partner of Columbia University, home of Infinio's roots), participated in the round.


http://www.infinio.com

Violin Memory Replaces CEO

Violin Memory, which offers persistent memory-based storage, fired CEO Don Basile and named its Chairman, Howard A. Bain III, as interim CEO. A search is underway for a permanent replacement.

The change comes three months after the company raised $162 million in an IPO in September.  Since then, the price of shares has declined significantly.

David Walrod, Chairman of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of the Board of Directors, said, “The Board believes this leadership change is necessary to enhance the management team’s operational focus and ability to execute the Company’s plans for profitable growth. We are, however, fortunate to have someone with Howard’s extensive operational, financial and leadership experience ready to assume the role of interim CEO at this important juncture for the company."

http://www.violin-memory.com/

Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom Picks NSN for LTE

Chunghwa Telecom, the largest operator in Taiwan with over 10 million mobile subscribers, has chosen Nokia Solutions and Networks as a supplier for its LTE network.

NSN will implement an LTE Radio Access Network based on its Flexi Multiradio Base Stations. The company will also expand its 3G network nationwide, ensuring smooth and smart 3G and LTE interworking. As another part of the radio access deal, NSN will enable voice services for LTE smartphone users with its circuit-switched fallback (CSFB) technology. The deal also includes network planning and optimization, system integration, technical consultancy and care services. Financial terms were not disclosed.


http://nsn.com/news-events/press-room/press-releases/nsn-wins-taiwan-s-first-lte-tender

TeliaSonera Announces Restructuring

TeliaSonera announced a corporate restructuring with the goal of increasing customer focus through clearer local accountability. The country structure will be grouped in three geographic areas; Europe, Eurasia and Sweden.  The company also announced its new executive team to lead under the new structure.

http://www.teliasonera.com


  • In November 2013, TeliaSonera announced the dismissal of four individuals because of irregularities in transactions and agreements made by TeliaSonera and partners in Eurasia over the past few years.  The company had retained the international law firm Norton Rose Fulbright LLP to conduct a review of the deals.

  • In February 2013, Lars Nyberg resigned as President and CEO of TeliaSonera following an outside review of  Mannheimer Swartling regarding illegal business practices by the firm in Uzbekistan.  While the review did not find evidence that TeliaSonera engaged in bribery or participated in money laundering, it did criticize TeliaSonera for not vetting its investment partners in Uzbekistan. At the time, TeliaSonera's Board of Directors appointed Per-Arne Blomquist as acting President and CEO.

  • In October 2012, TeliaSonera's Board of Directors hired the law firm Mannheimer Swartling to investigate whether TeliaSonera's investment in a 3G license, frequencies and number blocks in Uzbekistan in 2007 involved corruption or money laundering. Later, the investigation was expanded to include more recent investments in connection with TeliaSonera's operations in Uzbekistan.

See also