Thursday, February 5, 2015

Frontier to Acquire Verizon Wireline in CA, FL, TX

Frontier Communications agreed to acquire Verizon's wireline operations that provide services to residential, commercial and wholesale customers in California, Florida and Texas, for $10.54 billion in cash. The deal requires regulatory approvals.

These Verizon properties include 3.7 million voice connections, 2.2 million broadband connections, and 1.2 million FiOS video connections. The network being acquired is the product of substantial capital investments by Verizon and is 54 percent FiOS enabled. Verizon spent more than $7 billion in the buildout of FiOS in the acquired territories.

"This transaction marks a natural evolution for our company and leverages our proven skills and established track record from previous integrations," said Maggie Wilderotter, Frontier Communications Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "These properties are a great fit for Frontier and will strengthen our presence in competitive suburban markets and accelerate our recent market share gains. We look forward to realizing the benefits this transaction will bring to our shareholders, customers and employees."

Frontier said the deal benefits it in several ways: these Verizon wireline operations generated revenue of more than $5.7 billion in 2014. Frontier expects costs to be reduced by $525 million in the first year after close and $700 million by year three. Frontier expects the transaction to be 35 percent accretive to free

Frontier will finance this acquisition with the issuance of a combination of equity and equity-linked securities, as well as debt.

http://frontier.com/
http://www.verizon.com


  • In October 2014, Frontier Communications completed its previously announced $2 billion acquisition of AT&T’s wireline business, statewide fiber network, and U-verse operations in Connecticut. As part of the acquisition, Frontier also acquired AT&T’s DISH satellite TV customers in Connecticut.
  • In 2010, Verizon divested its local wireline operations serving residential and small-business customers in predominantly rural areas in 14 states by selling these operations to Frontier Communications. The deal included switched and special access lines, as well as its Internet service and long-distance voice accounts. The deal include all of Verizon's local wireline operating territories in Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Also included were fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) assets deployed by Verizon in 41 local franchises and the state of Indiana.  

American Tower to Acquire 11,489 Towers from Verizon

American Tower Corporation agreed to acquire rights to approximately 11,324 wireless communications towers and purchase approximately 165 additional towers from Verizon Communications for $5.056 billion in cash. The portfolio of approximately 11,489 towers spans all 50 states with approximately 50% of the sites in the top 100 BTAs. The average height of the tower portfolio is approximately 190 feet, with capacity for incremental colocation.

Under the deal, American Tower will have the exclusive right to lease and operate the Verizon towers for a weighted average term of approximately 28 years. In addition, American Tower will have fixed price purchase options to acquire the towers based on their anticipated fair market values at the end of the lease terms. Verizon will sublease space on the towers for a minimum of 10 years with monthly rent of $1,900 per site and fixed annual rent escalators of 2%.

American Tower said the deal, in combination with its legacy footprint, will give it the largest wireless communications real estate portfolio in the United States with over 40,000 tower sites. This transaction expands and strengthens American Tower’s relationships with major U.S. wireless operators, and 85% of pro forma domestic rental and management revenue will be generated by the Big Four U.S. carriers.

“The Verizon tower portfolio is a unique asset. Due to outstanding design and management by the Verizon Wireless network operations team, the portfolio boasts a number of key attributes that we believe will facilitate robust leasing opportunities under our focused management. These attributes include average tower heights approaching 200 feet, ample structural capacity and ground space, very attractive transmission locations with relatively few competing sites, a solid ground lease profile, and excellent documentation and technical information. By acquiring access to this high quality asset base, American Tower will be well positioned to capture incremental leasing activity and extend our ability to drive strong annual organic core growth and solid AFFO per share growth, well into the future,” stated Jim Taiclet, American Tower’s Chief Executive Officer.

American Tower estimates that the Verizon tower portfolio will generate approximately $410 million in domestic rental and management revenue, approximately $235 million in gross margin and will be break-even to AFFO per share in its full first year of operation, and accretive thereafter.

http://www.americantower.com/corporateus/investor-relations/press-releases/index.htm

Brocade Advances its VCS Data Center Fabric with Scalable Switch

Brocade announced significant advancements to its VCS fabric portfolio, including a new high port count switch and new SDN software.

that are designed to significantly improve IT agility and help customers migrate to the New IP. These solutions enable efficient, automated, scale-out network architectures with new, advanced programmability and orchestration to deliver network resources on demand.

The new Brocade VDX 6940 is a high-density fixed form factor switch that can be deployed as a spine or leaf switch in dynamic, scale-out data center architectures. It supports Brocade's VCS Logical Chassis capabilities, enabling up to 48 switches to be managed as a single logical switch. SDN capabilities enable advanced programmability, virtualization, cloud orchestration, and DevOps integration.  Its low-latency, cut-through, non-blocking architecture delivers line-rate performance at all packet sizes to accommodate varying traffic patterns and profiles.

Brocade said the on-chip buffer design in these switches delivers high throughput, a critical capability for environments such as Hadoop.  The company's Zero-Touch Provisioning capabilities enable it to be configured and operational in less than one minute. Two models are offered: the Brocade VDX 6940-36Q offers 36 40GbE QSFP+ ports. Through a breakout cable, each 40 GbE port can be broken into four 10GbE ports for a total of 144 10GbE connections. This represents 40 percent more port capacity than any other network switch in its class. The Brocade VDX 6940-144S provides up to 96 10GbE ports, along with 12 40GbE or four 100GbE ports in a 2U form factor.


"As the rise of the third platform -- including cloud, mobile, social, and Big Data -- accelerates, organizations are encountering new requirements and challenges that cannot be addressed with legacy network architectures that were designed for client-server environments," said Jason Nolet, senior vice president of Data Center Switching, Routing, and Analytics Products Group at Brocade. "Networks must transform from a siloed, static design to an agile, on-demand infrastructure that is automated via data center orchestration frameworks and programmability."


  • SDN Support: Brocade VDX switches will integrate with the Brocade Vyatta Controller, as well as third-party OpenDaylight-compliant controllers, through support of OpenFlow 1.3 to enable a smooth migration to SDN.
  • Cloud Orchestration: In April, Brocade will add VCS Layer 3 functionality to OpenStack Kilo release. The new capabilities include Inter VLAN routing allowing tenants on separate networks to communicate and Layer 3 ACLs to enabling Firewall as a Service (FWaaS).
  • DevOps: Brocade will support Puppet and Python scripting across the Brocade VDX switch family with the release of NOS 6.0.
  • Expanded VMware Integration: Brocade continues to expand its strategic partnership with VMware to enhance the integration of virtualized servers and NSX-based virtual networks with physical networking infrastructure. Brocade is introducing an IP Analytics and Content Pack for VMware vRealize Operations to help simplify operations management across physical and virtual resources. 


http://newsroom.brocade.com/press-releases/brocade-advances-data-center-agility-with-new-vcs--nasdaq-brcd-1173449#.VNQ57P6-2-0

Brocade to Acquire Riverbed's SteelApp ADC

Brocade agreed to acquire Riverbed's SteelApp product line (formerly called Stingray) in an all-cash asset transaction. The deal includes all of the assets of the SteelApp business unit, and SteelApp development and field personnel. Financial terms were not disclosed.

SteelApp is a virtual application delivery controller (ADC) providing scalable, secure, and elastic delivery of enterprise, cloud, and e-commerce applications. The SteelApp product line controls traffic to and from applications and enables fast, reliable, and secure application delivery to users anywhere from the cloud or data center. The latest release of SteelApp 9.9 supports advanced global load balancing including to AWS.

Brocade said it expects ADCs to become one of the first applications to benefit from NFV. ADCs provide application availability, acceleration, and security for users. This includes shielding them from interruptions due to bursts in demand, providing various optimizations based on application type, and facilitating access based upon specific policies. Deploying this functionality in software (vADCs) enables a dramatically better level of flexibility and cost, and aligns directly with Brocade's NFV strategy. Brocade's growing portfolio of software networking products already includes virtual routing, firewall, VPN, SDN controller, and network visibility and analytics.

"Brocade continues to execute aggressively to capitalize on the disruptive force of software in IP networking," said Lloyd Carney, CEO of Brocade. "Brocade is the #2 data center networking vendor worldwide and this acquisition strengthens Brocade's unique position as the adoption of software-centric networking is accelerating. We are thrilled to add SteelApp's widely-adopted solution to our portfolio and will invest our existing ADC resources to aggressively advance the roadmap and extend it into our open Vyatta Platform offering for NFV and SDN."

"The decision to divest the SteelApp product line reflects Riverbed's ongoing commitment to focus on businesses and opportunities that leverage our core competencies," said Jerry M. Kennelly, chairman and CEO of Riverbed Technology. "Riverbed is focused on providing solutions that provide CIOs unparalleled visibility, optimization, and control in the hybrid enterprise, ensuring on-premises, cloud and SaaS applications perform as needed."

http://www.brocade.com
http://www.riverbed.com/products/application-delivery-performance/


  • Brocade has made two previous acquisitions of virtualized networking companies: Vyatta (virtual routing and firewall) and Vistapointe (virtual network visibility and analytics). 
  • In December, Riverbed announced a privatization deal with Thoma Bravo, LLC and Teachers’ Private Capital, the private investor department of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Riverbed stockholders will receive $21.00 per share in cash, or a total of approximately $3.6 billion. 

Nutanix Surpasses $300m Bookings Run Rate

Nutanix, the web-scale converged infrastructure company, reports that it has exceeded an annualized bookings run rate of $300 million based on the results from its second fiscal quarter ended January 31, 2015.

The San Jose-based company said it now has approximately 1,200 customers, including 50 customers who have purchased more than $1 million in aggregate products and services, up from 29 such customers in July 2014. International sales accounted for over 40% of bookings in the quarter.

Nutanix also noted that it now has more than 850 employees, up from 600 in August 2014.

http://www.nutanix.com
  • In October, Nutanix introduced its NX-9000 appliance -- an all-flash hyper-converged platform for scale-out applications and services.  While all previous Nutanix solutions have incorporated flash new NX-9000 appliance pushes the envelope to run applications with large working sets, such as databases supporting online transaction processing (OLTP).  Flash capacity is optimized using Nutanix’s scale-out compression and de-duplication technologies that leverage unused compute resources across all nodes in the cluster, avoiding performance bottlenecks common in both traditional storage and all-flash arrays that depend on dual-controller designs. List pricing for the NX-9000 all-flash hyper-converged system starts at $110,000 per node.
  • In August 2014, Nutanix announced a $140 million Series E funding round at over a $2 billion valuation.  Nutanix offers a Virtual Computing Platform, which integrates compute and storage into a single solution for the data center. Its web-scale software runs on all popular virtualization hypervisors, including VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and open source KVM, and is uniquely able to span multiple hypervisors in the same environment.

Sprint Adds Nearly 1 Million Connections in Q4

Sprint added 967,000 customer connections on its network in Q4 2014, compared to 590,000 in the prior quarter and 682,000 in the prior year quarter.  The company cited momentum with its new pricing structure and said the quality of the customer base is improving as well. Net operating revenues of $9 billion were down 2 percent year-over-year, as lower service revenue was mostly offset by higher equipment revenue.  There was an operating loss of $2.5 billion, which included non-cash charges of $2.1 billion, and Adjusted EBITDA of $1.04 billion.

“We are pleased with the growth in sales in the quarter and the improving quality of our customer base as we begin our turnaround plan,” said Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure. “However, we acknowledge there is a long way to go to reach our goals, including lowering our postpaid churn rates to competitive levels. Our network performance continues to improve, and we are now focused on a strategy that will unlock the true potential of our spectrum assets. I am confident that we have the right plan in place to be successful.”

Some higlights:

  • Postpaid net additions of 30,000 increased by 302,000 sequentially and decreased by 28,000 year-over-year. Postpaid phone losses of 205,000 improved by 295,000 sequentially and 202,000 year-over-year, as higher prime credit quality gross additions were partially offset by higher churn. Device financing options accounted for 46 percent of postpaid sales in the quarter, compared to 27 percent in the prior quarter and 7 percent in the year-ago period.
  • Prepaid net additions of 410,000 were up 88,000 year-over-year due to growth in the Boost brand.
  • Wholesale net additions of 527,000 were up 225,000 from the prior year quarter, mostly driven by connected devices.
  • Sprint had 55.9 million total connections at the end of the quarter.
  • Sprint’s 800 MHz voice deployment reached nationwide availability during Q4.
  • Sprint's 4G LTE now covers 270 million people, and the 2.5 GHz 4G LTE deployment now covers 125 million people.
  • Sprint’s achieved its lowest dropped call rate ever during Q4, representing an over 50 percent year-over-year improvement according to Nielsen.


http://investors.sprint.com/CorporateProfile.aspx?iid=4057219

Global Capacity Releases Network Design Application

Global Capacity introduced its Network Builder application for helping customers design wide area networks based on the company's One Marketplace connectivity platform.

The application enables scenario modeling for optimal network designs based on factors including network cost, service technologies, latency, contract term
and preferred interconnection points. Large enterprises with thousands of sites can optimize their networks without time-consuming request for proposal (RFP) processes, and can specifically identify the cost of different options for quality, performance and location.

“With One Marketplace Network Builder, Global Capacity has delivered on its commitment of Connectivity Made Simple, making technology barriers disappear so anyone can create the network they need,” said Ben Edmond, Chief Revenue Officer of Global Capacity. “One Marketplace plays a critical role in next-generation WAN delivery by providing the cost effective, secure and reliable network connectivity that is essential for businesses to connect across the globe.”

http://www.globalcapacity.com/


In January 2014, Global Capacity completed its previously announced acquisition of MegaPath’s Network Services business unit, creating a $300 million company uniquely positioned to change how businesses and service providers buy data network connectivity.

The deal covered Megapath's wholesale business and national colocation aggregation network. Pivotal Group, a private equity group, provided financing and retains ownership of the company.

Global Capacity said its combination of online applications and network reach enables efficient, cost-effective fulfillment of connectivity solutions to over 14 million businesses across the U.S.

Dell'Oro: Service Provider Router Market to Exceed $11.5 Billion in 2019

The worldwide Service Provider Router market is expected to surpass $11.5 billion by 2019, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group. This includes both Core and Edge Router sales.

“We expect much of the growth to be driven by continued demand for routers used in mobile backhaul and IP backbone networks,” said Alam Tamboli, Senior Analyst at Dell’Oro Group.  “For mobile backhaul, operators in Asia and Europe will continue to invest heavily in their LTE mobile networks and associated routers as they compete for subscribers.  For core routers, operators will evaluate recently introduced platforms that offer much higher capacity than the previous generations,” Tamboli continued.  “Today, some core router platforms offer ten-fold the capacity per rack versus what was available just five years ago.  Operators are expected to upgrade their core router platforms to significantly increase their backbone capacity at a much lower cost per bit transmitted,” he explained.

http://www.delloro.com/news/service-provider-router-market-exceed-11-5-billion-2019-according-delloro-group-forecast

OneAccess Outlines NFV Migration Strategy

OneAccess unveiled its service migration strategy to help Service Providers leverage virtualization technologies while taking into account their existing IT environment.

The company said its strategy emphasizes gradual NFV deployment, leveraging existing provisioning services where necessary,.  New virtualized network functions (VNFs) can in effect be activated and chained to today's legacy services. This service migration approach avoids the leap-of-faith pitfall of alternative green field approaches.

The first step of OneAccess NFV strategy is the introduction of a vCPE Adapter or virtual adapter that enables the full functions of a traditional branch-office CPE to be placed directly in the service chain of an NFV infrastructure. The vCPE Adapter enables all or part of the targeted enterprise network services to be set up using either Netconf, existing legacy protocols or a combination of both.

"Until now, operators and CSPs have been presented with two basic approaches to NFV migration," said Pravin Mirchandani, CMO and NFV evangelist."On the one hand, the big five networking vendors are saying 'Trust us. We'll get you there.' which, in effect, is a fairly transparent invitation to consolidate into inflexible vendor lock-in, something the operators desperately want to avoid. On the other hand, various Layer 2 vendors are advocating a disruptive 'rip and replace' strategy, in a bid to introduce an x86 computing platform into their customers' networks using their equipment. Neither of these approaches takes into account the need to co-exist with existing IT systems or even current upgrade plans to expand or enhance existing enterprise services."

http://www.oneaccess-net.com/press-center/press-releases/item/524-oneaccess-places-service-migration-at-the-heart-of-its-nfv-strategy

Qumulo Raises $40M for Enterprise Storage

Qumulo, a start-up based in Seattle, announced $40 million in Series B funding. The company is focused on enterprise data storage but has not yet disclosed its product plans.

The funding was led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) with participation from existing investors Highland Capital, Madrona Venture Group and Valhalla Partners. The company has raised a total of $67 million to date.

“Enterprises are grappling with the challenge of how to understand, store, and cost-effectively manage an incomprehensible number of files and digital assets,” said Peter Godman, co-founder and CEO of Qumulo. “The caliber of venture capital investors and board members that have joined us underscores the huge market opportunity that exists and reflects investor confidence in the work accomplished over the last three years by our team.”

http://qumulo.com/

ConteXtream Joins HP OpenNFV Partner Program

ConteXtream, which develops carrier-grade network virtualization solutions, has joined the HP OpenNFV Partner Program as an Application Partner to help drive Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) technology for carriers.

HP is a global reseller of ConteXtream technology solutions and ConteXtream is an HP AllianceOne partner. ConteXtream’s SDN fabric is also integrated with the HP NFV software portfolio including NFV Director and HP Helion OpenStack. In addition, they have collaborated on two European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) proof-of-concepts including virtualized Gi-LAN and SDN-enabled virtualized evolved packet core (EPC). ConteXtream’s solution is currently deployed with tier-1 carriers on HP platforms (C7K and DL series), serving over 100 million subscribers, with more than 50 billion analytic records generated per day.

“As the transition to software-defined-networking continues, service providers need robust, high-performance NFV solutions that deliver network-level performance, scalability, flexibility and programmability,” said Nachman Shelef, CEO of ConteXtream. “We are delighted to be a part of the HP OpenNFV Partner Program as this partnership with a trusted vendor helps carriers embrace these technologies with greater ease and agility, while passing forward the benefits to their end-users.”

http://www.contextream.com

See also