Tuesday, April 25, 2017

AT&T Q1 Revenue Dips to $39.4 Billion

AT&T reported Q1 revenues of $39.4 billion versus $40.5 billion in the year-ago quarter. The company cited record-low equipment sales in wireless for the revenue dip, but said it recorded its best-ever first-quarter postpaid phone churn of 0.90%

Compared with results for the first quarter of 2016, operating expenses were $32.5 billion versus $33.4 billion; operating income was $6.9 billion versus $7.1 billion; and operating income margin was 17.4% versus 17.6%.

“In a very competitive quarter, we continued to execute on our goals of driving efficiencies in our business while growing adjusted earnings per share. But just as important, the strategic moves we’ve made over the last few months to expand our wireless capacity and fortify our 5G leadership will be felt for years to come,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chairman and CEO. “FirstNet gives us access to 20 megahertz of valuable, low-band spectrum and allows us to deploy our spectrum assets more efficiently as we build a high-quality, mobile broadband network for our first responders. And our planned acquisitions of Fiber Tower and Straight Path will add valuable millimeter wave spectrum assets to our 5G tool kit as we lead the way to the next generation of wireless technology.”

Here are some highlights from AT&T Q1 financial report:

  • Total revenues from Consumer Mobility customers totaled $7.7 billion, down 7.1% versus the year-earlier quarter, reflecting fewer phone sales and upgrades and lower postpaid service revenues mostly due to migrations to business plans. In the quarter, Consumer Mobility lost 353,000 total subscribers with 282,000 prepaid and 19,000 connected device net adds partially offsetting a loss of 66,000 postpaid and 588,000 reseller subscribers. 
  • Total first-quarter revenues from business customers were $16.8 billion, down 4.3% versus the year-earlier quarter due to declines in legacy wireline services and fewer wireless equipment upgrades. Strategic business services, the next-generation wireline services, including VPNs, Ethernet, cloud, hosting, IP conferencing, voice over IP, dedicated internet, IP broadband and security services, grew by $223 million, or 8.1%, versus the year-earlier quarter. These services represent 40% of total business wireline revenues and an annualized revenue stream of nearly $12 billion. Growth in strategic business services helped offset a decline of $743 million in legacy services in the quarter.
  • At the end of the first quarter, AT&T had more than 82 million business wireless subscribers.
  • AT&T Entertainment Group (including DirecTV) total revenues were $12.6 billion, generally flat versus the year-earlier quarter. The Entertainment Group had a net gain of 242,000 IP broadband subscribers in the first quarter with DSL losses of 127,000, for total broadband subscriber growth of 115,000. IP broadband subscribers at the end of the quarter totaled 13.1 million. 


Ericsson's Quarterly Sales Drop by 11%

Ericsson reported Q1 2017 sales of 46.4 billion, down by -11% compared to year earlier due to lower mobile infrastructure investments in certain markets,lower IPR licensing revenues and the renewed managed services contract with reduced scope in North America. Operating income was SEK -12.3 b., after provisions, write-downs and restructuring charges of SEK -13.4 b. Excluding these items the operating income amounted to SEK 1.1 b.

"Our performance in the first quarter continued to be unsatisfactory," stated Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm. "The immediate priority is to improve profitability while also taking action to revitalize technology and market leadership...We are not satisfied with the cost structure of the company and the existing cost and efficiency program is not yielding sufficient results. Based on current profitability, we will intensify our efforts to reduce cost with focus on structural changes to generate lasting efficiency gains and increase cost competitiveness. Our target is to surpass previous ambitions. However, we need to increase investment in certain core areas to develop our product portfolio, which can temporarily increase cost levels."

Some highlights:

  • Despite lower sales, Networks delivered a solid result. The new Ericsson Radio System platform contributed to improving profitability and stabilizing the market share position, after several years of decline.
  • The concerning developments in IT & Cloud continued with significantly increased losses. 
  • Ericsson is seeking alternatives for its IT cloud infrastructure hardware business.
  • The accelerated losses in Media were caused by a faster than anticipated decline in legacy product sales, not offset by growth in the new portfolio. Ericsson is exploring strategic opportunities for Media.


Juniper's Quarterly Sales Jump by 11%

Juniper Networks reported Q1 2017 net revenues of $1,221.0 million, an increase of 11% year-over-year and a decrease of 12% sequentially. GAAP operating margin for the first quarter of 2017 was 12.8%, a decrease from 13.5% in the first quarter of 2016, and a decrease from 20.7% in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Juniper posted GAAP net income of $108.8 million, an increase of 19% year-over-year, and a decrease of 42% sequentially. GAAP diluted earnings per share for the first quarter of 2017 was $0.28.

"We had a positive start to 2017, delivering strong year-over year revenue and earnings growth," said Rami Rahim, chief executive officer at Juniper Networks. "I am proud of the strength of our product and solution portfolios, pleased with the diversification of our customer base, and confident in our ability to execute to our strategy. We continue to drive strong momentum with cloud solutions across our key verticals."


Gigamon Delivers Security Intelligence at 10/40/100G

Gigamon introduced its GigaVUE-HC3, a high-performance appliance to enable pervasive visibility and security intelligence at scale in 10Gb, 40Gb and 100Gb networks.

The new GigaVUE-HC3 extends Gigamon's Visibility Platform and GigaSMART technologies with higher compute and throughput performance, offering:

  • A total of 800Gbps of GigaSMART traffic intelligence per node, scaling to 25Tbps in clustered configurations
  • Up to 3.2Tbps of processing per node that scales to over 100Tbps per cluster.

“Organizations that deal with large volumes of network traffic are increasingly concerned about the attack surface posed by high-speed, distributed infrastructure and the ensuing challenges created for network security teams,” said Ananda Rajagopal, vice president of products at Gigamon. “Ensuring visibility and control in such environments is not just about tapping network traffic but also rapidly finding the proverbial needle in the haystack. The GigaVUE-HC3 is the first platform in the industry to provide intelligent visibility at scale.”

GigaVUE-HC3 will be generally available in May 2017.


Russia's MTS and Ericsson Demo 25G in 5G testing

MTS, a major telco in Russia and the CIS serving over 100 million subscribers, and Ericsson announced that during trials of 5G technology they achieved claimed record data transmission rates of up to 25 Gbit/s using a portable prototype of a smartphone, representing an advance on previous 5G trials that involved only stationary devices.

The testing was conducted by Ericsson and MTS at the Opening Arena stadium in Moscow, where a base station operating in the range of 14.5 to 15.3 GHz transmitted a signal to a portable prototype of a subscriber' device at the speeds of up to 25 Gbit/s. During the trials, MTS and Ericsson tested 5G technology in a range of scenarios requiring high bandwidth and low latency, such as 4K video streaming, virtual reality services and remote robot control over a mobile network.

The latest trials featured technologies including:

1.         Multi-user and massive MIMO with an array of transmit-receive antennas, including serving multiple subscribers in one sector of a cell over the same frequency band.

2.         Beam tracking, designed to provide user devices with a stable, reliable connection and the optimum throughput performance when on the move.

3.         Dynamic TDD, which enhances the data transfer rate and efficiency of wireless network resource utilisation by dynamically redistributing the bandwidth when transmitting traffic in the downlink and upstream channels.

Ericsson noted that the trials were conducted as part of its strategic partnership with MTS established in December 2015. Under the agreement, Ericsson and MTS planned to cooperate on 5G R&D in Russia, encompassing areas including spectrum studies of the next generation network and implementation of a test system.

Subsequently, in June 2016 the companies tested LTE-U (LTE-Unlicensed), demonstrating the aggregation of two frequency bands, 10 MHz in the 1800 MHz band of LTE and 20 MHz in the unlicensed 5 GHz band at WiFi access points, demonstrating data rates of 200 Mbit/s.

Also in June last year, the companies signed a 3 year agreement for the supply of software for the modernisation of the MTS network, to include implementing IoT technology and testing extended GSM technology (EC-GSM-IoT).

Windstream Intros Business Continuity Solution

Windstream, a major provider of advanced network communications, announced the availability of a new business continuity solution, Diverse Connect, designed to ensure reliable connectivity for enterprises that rely on the cloud to support mission-critical applications.

Windstream's Diverse Connect is designed to keep a customer's network endpoints connected and ensure the performance of business functions including in the event of a major network issue. Diverse Connect is offered with a 99.999% (5-9s) uptime SLA that covers services from end-to-end, including over the last mile from Windstream's provider service point to the business' internal network.

The company noted that the migration of applications and real-time communications to the cloud means that enterprises of all sizes increasingly consider highly available network connectivity as a necessity. Diverse Connect serves to remove single points of failure while establishing access diversity and ensuring cloud-based business applications are always up and running.

Windstream's Diverse Connect is available immediately as part of the suite that includes voice, data, unified communications and security. The solution allows customers to provision and customise their services based on specific requirements and to maintain network redundancy at all times.

Key capabilities of Windstream Diverse Connect include:

1.         High availability, ensuring staff can stay connected with sites in the event of a network issue, mitigating potential loss of business or revenue due to outages.

2.         Diversity, providing an additional level of resiliency beyond redundancy by using multiple backup paths with no shared points of failure to keep critical endpoints connected.

3.         Business continuity, ensuring all services provided by Windstream continue to run even in the event of a fibre cut or other last-mile access impairment.

4.         Guaranteed service uptime with 5-9s end-to-end service level agreement that includes a commitment to credit customers for time lost if downtime exceeds 5 minutes per year.

Earlier in April, as part of its cloud services strategy, Windstream announced an agreement to acquire Broadview Networks, a provider of cloud-based unified communications solutions to SMBs, for approximately $227.5 million in cash. Subject to customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017.

Based in Rye Brook, New York, Broadview offers cloud-based unified communications solutions to businesses via its suite of cloud-based services under the OfficeSuite UC brand.

ZTE Implements Virtual SDM for Banglalink in Bangladesh

ZTE announced that it has signed an agreement with Banglalink, a leading digital communications service providers in Bangladesh, to build what is believed will be the largest virtual Subscriber Data Management (vSDM) platform deployed to date.

The transformation project is designed to improve services for the approximately 35 million users of Banglalink's network. Specifically, the vSDM platform will help Banglalink to manage customer data more efficiently, as well as improve service availability.

The upgraded network will offer simultaneous support 2G, 3G and 4G, VoWiFi and VoLTE and other advanced services. The virtualised network is designed to provide faster mobile broadband services and enable services such as video chat, multimedia conferencing and multimedia messaging.

Banglalink Digital Communications is a company of Telecom Ventures, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Global Telecom Holding, owned 51.9% by VEON (formerly known as VimpelCom). VEON, with over 235 million customers, operates in 13 markets, including Russia, Italy, Algeria, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Georgia and Laos, under the Beeline, Kyivstar, WIND, Jazz, banglalink and Djezzy brands.


  • On April 20th, ZTE and VEON announced a global framework agreement covering network function virtualisation infrastructure (NFVI) and virtual evolved packet core (vEPC), as a part of which they plan to cooperate on the development of virtualisation technology. Under the agreement, ZTE is to supply the VEON group with NFVI solutions and deploy large-scale NFVI and vEPC networks in a number of countries where VEON operates, including Russia. The cooperation between the companies is intended to promote VEON's wider NFV strategic planning and digitalisation initiative.
  • In January, ZTE and velcom, a major mobile operator in Belarus and part of Telekom Austria Group, announced the migration of the core of velcom's network to a virtualised, 'vCore' platform. Through the project, all legacy core network components, including HLR/HSS, EPC, MSC and PCRF, were migrated to a fully virtualised platform on OpenStack-based NFV and standard hardware.

AT&T launches fixed wireless Internet service in Georgia under CAF program

AT&T announced the completion of a first wave of fixed wireless Internet availability for rural and underserved locations in Georgia as part of the company's involvement with the FCC Connect America Fund (CAF), through which it has committed to connect over 400,000 locations by the end of 2017 and over 1.1 million locations by 2020.

AT&T noted that the work in Georgia will be expanded to a further 17 states during 2017, namely: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

The fixed wireless Internet offering provides a home Internet connection delivering a minimum download speed of 10 Mbit/s. Connectivity is provided via a wireless tower to a fixed antenna on the customer's home or business, which is designed to offer a cost-effective means of delivering quality, high-speed Internet to customers in rural and underserved areas.

AT&T plans to reach a total of more than 67,000 locations across Georgia using the fixed wireless technology by 2020.


  • In January, AT&T announced that, following trials of fixed wireless Internet (FWI) service in 2016 in a number of states as part of efforts to expand access to primarily rural locations with slow or no Internet connectivity through its participation in the FCC CAF II, it planned to launch FWI in areas where it had accepted CAF support.

    At that time, AT&T noted it was trialing point-to-point millimetre-wave wireless technology that utilised in-building wiring to deliver a 100 Mbit/s connection accessible to each unit. The initial trial was using wired and wireless technologies to provide high speed Internet to multiple apartment complexes in Minneapolis, outside of its traditional 21 state wireline service area. AT&T added that it was aiming to offer speeds of up to 500 Mbit/s in trial properties using the fixed-wireless solution.

Nokia and Kaltura Partner on OTT TV

New York-based Kaltura, a specialist video technology supplier, announced that it has partnered with Nokia under an agreement designed to facilitate the delivery of a more personalised viewing experience leveraging its TV Platform for OTT TV service and Nokia's IP video delivery and storage platforms.

The two companies noted that, based on multiple live deployments for Tier-1 operators and media companies worldwide, they can offer a comprehensive, modular solution that integrates Nokia's Velocix product family, combined with the vendor's experience and capabilities, with Kaltura's proven TV Platform.

Through the partnership, Nokia will offer Kaltura's technology and expertise to customers worldwide to help them meet their business goals and provide a more personalised experience to consumers, while Kaltura will integrate Nokia's IP video products and leverage its systems integration experience to deliver enhanced solutions.

The combined offering encompasses advanced technology and capabilities including cloud DVR, CDN, flexible monetisation models and social media integration.

Kaltura stated that the new partnership with Nokia follows a number of deployments where the two companies were chosen and sourced separately by the telco customer. Building on this, the partnership is intended to enable tighter integration, increased synergy and a more streamlined process for customers.

Kaltura's product offering includes OTT TV and video monetisation solutions for media companies, operators, service providers and content owners, enterprise and education video solutions, and Kaltura VPaaS (Video-Platform-as-a-Service), a self-serve cloud video service designed to enable the creation and deployment of video applications, workflows and services. Kaltua claims customers for its video solutions including Viacom, Vodafone, HBO, ABC, Turner, Warner Brothers and Paramount.

  • In August 2016, Kaltura announced it had secured $50 million in pre-IPO funding from Goldman Sachs' Private Capital Investing group, which it planned to use to extend its footprint across all six continents, and to strengthen its position as the Everything Video company. In conjunction with the funding, Holger Staude, VP, Goldman Sachs' Private Capital Investing group, joined the Kaltura board.

Verizon introduces Fios Gigabit Connection for 8m homes

Verizon, serving nearly 114 million retail connections across the U.S., has announced the launch of Fios Gigabit Connection, a national deployment of gigabit Internet service offering download speed of up to 940 Mbit/s and upload speed as fast as 880 Mbit/s.

Following the launch of Fios Instant Internet service in January, Verizon noted that network performance exceeded expectations, with Instant Internet customers experiencing actual speeds above the advertised symmetrical 750 Mbit/s upload and download rates. Verizon has subsequently fine-tuned the service with new firmware and diagnostic tools to enhance performance to deliver the Fios Gigabit Connection service.

Fios Gigabit Connection is available to more than 8 million homes in parts of the New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Richmond and Hampton Roads, Virginia, Boston, Providence and Washington DC areas. The coverage area adds more than one million homes to the Instant Internet footprint, with Verizon's highest speed Internet service available in the Washington DC and Providence markets for the first time.

In areas where Fios Gigabit Connection service is available, Verizon is offering two tiers of standalone Internet service - 50 Mbit/s and Gigabit Connection. Existing customers to Instant Internet service will automatically receive Fios Gigabit Connection.

As part of its fibre strategy, Verizon launched the One Fiber approach in Boston in 2016 and cited plans to invest $300 million over six years to deploy fibre throughout the city. Verizon originally announced plans in April 2016 to build a new fibre network to support services including Fios in Boston.

In January of this year, the company announced the launch of Fios Instant Internet in parts of Boston and Norfolk, Virginia offering symmetrical 750 Mbit/s bandwidth. Verizon also announced the launch of Fios Instant Internet in greater New York City and northern New Jersey, Philadelphia and Richmond, providing over 7 million premises on the East Coast with access to its Instant Internet offering.

Earlier in April, Verizon announced a three-year minimum purchase agreement with Corning for the provision of fibre optic cable and associated hardware equipment to ensure coverage and capacity for its nationwide wireless broadband network. Under the agreement, Verizon will purchase from Corning up to 20 million km (12.4 million miles) of fibre in each of the three years from 2018 through to 2020, with a minimum purchase commitment of $1.05 billion.

Ixia provides Test and Monitoring for CORD

Ixia, a provider of network testing, visibility and security solutions and now a Keysight Technologies company, has announced a collaboration with the CORD Project, developing the open source CORD (Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter) platform for software defined networks (SDN), network functions virtualisation (NFV) and cloud-based service delivery.

Ixia noted that as service providers begin re-architecting their networks in preparation for 5G, there is a need to carry out comprehensive pre-deployment testing to ensure quality of service and performance, as well as to maintain visibility after deployments to ensure performance.

Ixia test solutions are designed to help service providers deploy and monitor advanced networks and services, such as Voice over LTE and LTE RAN, as well as transition to 5G. The Ixia IxLoad Wireless solution provides end-to-end performance testing for networks and components with emulation of multi-play services, enabling service providers to ensure services perform as expected.

In addition, Ixia's PerfectStorm application and security test hardware is designed to allow service providers to maintain optimal data centre infrastructure performance via testing based on realistic data, video voice, storage and network traffic.

Ixia's network visibility portfolio, which includes network packet brokers (NBP) such as Vision ONE, is designed to enable real-time, end-to-end visibility and deliver insight and security across physical, virtual, SDN and NFV infrastructure.

Ixia noted that the CORD Project, hosted by The Linux Foundation and launched by Open Networking Lab (ON.Lab), the non-profit organization that is merging with Open Networking Foundation (ONF), was established with the aim of accelerating the adoption of SDN and NFV.


  • Keysight Technologies and Ixia announced on April 18th the closing of the acquisition of Ixia by Keysight through an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $1.6 billion, net of cash.

See you at #ITW2017 in Chicago

International Telecoms Week (ITW) is the annual meeting for the global wholesale telecoms industry. This year's event is scheduled for 14-17 May 2017 at the Hyatt Regency & Swissotel in Chicago..

See trailer:  https://youtu.be/onr_2CGsoE0