Monday, January 10, 2005

Hanaro Selects BNS to Implement Broadband TV Service

Hanaro has selected Hong Kong-based solutions provider Broadband Network Systems Ltd (BNS) to implement a complete Broadband TV service solution. Financial terms were not disclosed.
  • BNS serves as content aggregator for Chunghwa Telecom's MOD (Multimedia-On-Demand) Service in Taiwan.

FlexLight Names CEO

FlexLight Networks, a developer of Gigabit PON (GPON; ITU-T G.984) optical access network solutions, named J. Michael Camp as its new CEO, replacing Gary Lee, who will remain with the company in the role of Chief Marketing Officer. Most recently, Camp served as CEO of VocalData, which was acquire in 2004 by Tekelec.

Infineon Terminates Business Unit Sale to Finisar

Infineon terminated the agreement under which Finisar had agreed to acquire its fiber optics business unit. Infineon cited circumstances beyond its control, including delays related to SEC filings, for the breakdown of the agreement. In addition, the company said the significant delay and high uncertainty of the deal closing are likely to result in deterioration of its Fiber Optics business and in potential harm to its customers. Infineon will undertake a restructuring of the business unit and may pursue legal options to recover the damages.
  • In April 2004, Finisar agreed to acquire Infineon's fiber optics business in a stock deal valued at US$263 million at the time.

  • Infineon's fiber business is based in Munich, Germany. Finisar is based in Sunnyvale, California.

  • The acquisition would have involved the transfer of Infineon's fiber optic development, manufacturing, and certain marketing activities and approximately 1,200 employees (April 2004). The Infineon Fiber Optics Business Unit develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of fiber optic datacom and telecom modules supporting the common MSA standards, BIDI components that allow bi-directional transmission on a single fiber for fiber-to-the-home applications (FTTH) and Plastic Optical Fiber (POF) components that are used in automotive applications, specifically, for media and safety systems.

Sprint Teams with India's Reliance Infocomm

Sprint has extended its global IP network to India through a partnership with Reliance Infocomm. IP nodes have been deployed in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore. Key services now available in India through Reliance include dedicated Internet, MPLS VPN, managed security and managed network services, as well as a Layer 2 suite of IP-based services based on L2TPv3 technology.

Siemens and Microsoft Announce Worldwide Alliance

The Siemens Communications Group and Microsoft announced a multi-year agreement covering enterprise-grade, presence-enhanced calling, video and Web conferencing, and collaboration solutions. The companies said they share a "common vision of presence-enabled communication that integrates voice, video, instant messaging and Web conferencing into a comprehensive tool suite to improve worker productivity and team collaboration."

Under the alliance, Siemens and Microsoft will align market development and sales activities to deliver:

  • Microsoft Office Live Meeting, a Web conferencing service that enables employees to participate in interactive meetings and share documents with just a phone, a PC and an Internet connection.

  • Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005, Microsoft's enterprise instant-messaging and presence-enabling platform, which improves business efficiencies by enabling information workers to find and communicate with people in real time via an enterprise-grade environment that is integrated with the Microsoft Office System.

  • "Istanbul" -- the newest member of the Microsoft Office System -- an integrated communications client that provides real-time collaboration capabilities. Designed as the preferred client for Live Communications Server 2005, the product will bring instant messaging, extensible presence, PC-based voice and video, and telephony integration together in a single desktop experience.

  • Siemens HiPath OpenScape , a complete presence-enabled collaboration portal built on Live Communications Server 2005 and "Istanbul." OpenScape provides both device and user presence controls across multiple communication media (instant messaging, e-mail, work phone, mobile phone or home phone, for example).

  • Other real-time communication and collaboration products as they are developed.

Occam Networks Raises $5.3 Million in New Funding

Occam Networks re-opened its Series A-2 Preferred Stock financing and sold an additional $5.275 million of Series A-2 Preferred Stock to existing investors, including Alta Partners, U.S. Venture Partners, Norwest Ventures, and New Enterprise Associates in a private placement transaction. These investment firms have also agreed to make an additional investment of up to $2.925 million.

Separately, Occam announced a value-added reseller (VAR) agreement with Pacific Star Communications of Portland, Oregon. Pacific Star will resell Occam's Broadband Loop Carrier (BLC) 6000 Platform of next-generation data and video services to independent operating companies (IOC) and U.S. government entities located domestically and abroad.

Comcast Invests in RGB Networks for Video Processing

RGB Networks, a start-up based in San Mateo, California, raised more than $12 million from strategic investors Comcast Interactive Capital (CIC) and venture capital firm Mitsui & Co. Venture Partners (MCVP), and from existing investors Accel Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

RGB Networks is developing networked video processing solutions that would enable cable operators and telcos to create efficient switched digital video networks to effectively manage, scale and deliver advanced services such as Video On Demand. The company's Video Intelligence Architecture leverages Gigabit Ethernet technology.
  • RGB Networks was co-founded by Adam S. Tom, Dr. Edward A. Krause and Dr. Peter A. Monta, all of whom previously worked for Imedia, a pioneer in the development, delivery and processing of compressed digital video. Imedia was acquired by Terayon Communications Systems in 1999.

SBC to Report $250 million in Personnel Charges

SBC Communications expects its fourth-quarter 2004 reported earnings will include charges totaling approximately $250 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, related to previously announced work force reductions and changes to its management pension plan.

Approximately $150 million of the total are cash charges for severance payments related to the work force reductions. During 2004, SBC had a net reduction in its total work force of more than 6,000 -- with approximately half the reductions occurring in Q4. SBC said in the fourth quarter that expected work force reductions could exceed 10,000 jobs through the end of 2005.

Nokia Trims R&D in Finland, Germany

Nokia's Multimedia Business Group will streamline its global research and development activities. The downsizing is mainly expected to effect employees in Germany and Finland. The number of personnel reductions will be decided after negotiations with employee representatives are finalized.

Nokia has previously announced its intention to bring overall R&D expenditures down to 9% - 10% of net sales by the end of 2006.

MCI Adds Cable to Access Portfolio

MCI is expanding its Internet Broadband portfolio to include cable access. Leveraging its relationship with New Edge Networks, MCI is making available asymmetric cable service from Charter, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable. MCI's cable access offers speeds of 768 kbps for the downlink and speeds of 256 kbps and higher for uplinks. MCI backs the service with 24/7 technical service and support as well as consolidated billing. The cable access supplements the DSL, satellite and Wi-Fi access that MCI already supports.
  • In June 2004, MCI and New Edge Networks extended their strategic relationship to deliver additional DSL coverage. Through New Edge's expanded broadband reach called "Bigfoot," MCI now offers and supports DSL services in 300 metro areas in the U.S.

Caspian Signs Development Deal with Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman awarded a multi-year contract to Caspian Networks for joint development of a critical element of the space communications system payload for the Air Force's Transformational Satellite Communications System (TSAT) Space Segment.

The Lockheed Martin/Northrop Grumman team was awarded one of two industry contracts earlier this year to enter the Risk Reduction and System Definition phase of TSAT. Under a co-development agreement, Caspian and Northrop Grumman's Space Technology sector will jointly develop a space-hardened IP router design for the TSAT mission. Financial terms were not disclosed.

TSAT will provide warfighters with significantly improved beyond-line-of-sight, protected access to the Global Information Grid (GIG), a secure global broadband network for the U.S. government. The system will support the future battlefield by eliminating bandwidth as an operating constraint, providing networked access for emerging high data-rate applications such as unmanned aerial vehicle surveillance and for highly mobile and dynamic forces. TSAT is a crucial element of network-centric warfare and horizontal integration.

Vitria Supplies Order Management Software for Yahoo! BB hikari

Softbank's Yahoo! BB has implemented Vitria as the order management infrastructure for Yahoo! BB hikari, a new broadband service running over fiber access. Specifically, Yahoo! BB will use the Vitria:BusinessWare platform for integrated order management and to centralize business integration processes on a single platform.

Vitria's platform will service orders for Yahoo! BB hikari home (residential) and Yahoo! BB hikari mansion (commercial). Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nortel Networks Completes its Financial Inquiry

Following an extensive independent review, Nortel Networks filed its audited financial statements for the year 2003. The filings include substantial revenue adjustments due to accounting errors related to revenue recognition.

The independent review examined the facts and circumstances leading to the earlier restatement of the company's financial results for 2002, 2001 and 2000 and the first two fiscal quarters of 2003 (which independent review was later extended to cover the balance of 2003).

Among the outcomes of the refiling are the following:

  • The main conclusion of the investigation was that former corporate management (now terminated for cause) and former finance management (now terminated for cause) in the company's finance organization endorsed, and employees carried out, accounting practices relating to the recording and release of provisions that were not in compliance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles ("U.S. GAAP") in at least four quarters, including the third and fourth quarters of 2002 and the first and second quarters of 2003. In three of those four quarters - when Nortel was at, or close to, break even - these practices were undertaken to meet internally imposed pro-forma earnings before taxes ("EBT") targets

  • The actions caused Nortel to report a loss in the fourth quarter of 2002 and to pay no employee bonuses, and to achieve and maintain profitability in the first and second quarters of 2003, which, in turn, caused it to pay bonuses to all Nortel employees and significant bonuses to senior management

  • Nortel Networks' Management "tone at the top" conveyed the strong leadership message that earnings targets could be met through application of accounting practices that finance managers knew or ought to have known were not in compliance with U.S. GAAP and that questioning these practices was not acceptable

  • There was a lack of technical accounting expertise which fostered accounting practices not in compliance with U.S. GAAP

  • There were weak or ineffective internal controls which, in turn, provided little or no check on inaccurate financial reporting

  • The company operated under a complicated "matrix" structure which contributed to a lack of clear responsibility and accountability by business units and by regions

  • There was a lack of integration between the business units.

  • Nortel posted significant losses in 2001 and 2002 and downsized its work force by nearly two-thirds. The remaining employees were asked to undertake significant additional responsibilities with no increase in pay and no bonuses.

  • In April 2004, company CEO Frank Dunn was dismissed "for cause." Nortel Networks also fired its former chief financial officer, Douglas Beatty, and former controller, Michael Gollogly, both of whom had been placed on paid leave of absence by Nortel Networks on 15-March-2004. At the time, Nortel Networks named William Owens as its new president and CEO.

  • Nortel's profits for 2003 totaled $434 million. Previously the company had reported 2003 profits of $732 million .

  • As a result of the inquiry, twelve senior executives of Nortel's core executive leadership team have voluntarily undertaken to pay to the Company over a three year period the amount of their Return to Profitability bonuses awarded in 2003 (net of tax withheld at source) aggregating the equivalent of approximately US$8.6 million.

  • Susan E. Shepard has been appointed to the recently created position of Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer reporting to the chairman of the Board and the president and CEO.

  • Two new members have been added to the company's Board of Directors.

  • Nortel Networks is adopting in full the recommendations by the independent Audit Committee for remedial measures that are intended to prevent the recurrence of the inappropriate accounting conduct.

Uniden Unveils Whole House VoIP Phone System

Uniden America unveiled a 5.8GHz digital expandable corded/cordless phone with built-in VoIP capability. The product is a fully integrated VoIP home phone system that can be expanded to a maximum of ten handsets. Uniden is introducing the phone in partnership with 3 different VoIP providers: Lingo, BroadVoice and SunRocket.

Featuring 5.8GHz technology, the product is compatible with Uniden's TCX800, TCX400, TCX440 color screen phone. Key features includes call waiting, caller ID, handset speakerphone, four-way conferencing, DirectLink two-way radio capability and a do not disturb setting.

Voiceglo Debuts Click-To-Call Feature

Voiceglo has enhanced its Web- and PC-based applications, GloPhone and GloConnect, with a new Click-To-Call feature that allows users to dial any number they see on a Web site using its browser-based telephone service.

The feature turns any phone number listed on a Web site into an active link.
  • In October 2003, Voiceglo added a peer-to-peer voice messaging feature to its proprietary Web- and PC-based service, the GloPhone. The feature is similar to the push-to-talk functionality of cell phones, allowing users to send and receive instant voice messages to other GloPhone users on their buddy list. Specifically, the GloMessenger application allows GloPhone users to send voice messages to one another using MP3 formatted files - without having to initiate a phone call. Users click on a "Send Message" button and record a sound byte that is immediately transmitted to an online buddy. The recipient will then see their GloPhone display window flash - indicating that they have a GloMessage waiting - and can then listen to the audio message and reply.

Lucent to Integrate Alvarion's WiMAX-Ready Platform

Lucent Technologies plans to integrate WiMAX technology, based on the IEEE's 802.16 standard, through Alvarion's BreezeMAX line into its "Accelerate" Next Generation Communications Solutions portfolio, which includes Lucent's IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) solution. Specifically, Lucent will team with Alvarion to deliver a converged networking solution to service providers that includes the seamless interoperability of WiMAX, 3G mobile (CDMA2000 and W-CDMA/UMTS), WiFi and wireline networks. Additionally, as part of this initiative, Lucent Worldwide Services (LWS) will provide a comprehensive suite of deployment, maintenance, and professional services to support WiMAX infrastructure and applications, further extending LWS' multi-vendor services capabilities in important growth markets.

Guangdong Telecom Edge Routing Deployment with Juniper

Guangdong Telecom, China's largest broadband service provider, has deployed Juniper Networks' E-series edge routing platform to provide ADSL to over two million broadband subscribers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Cap Rock Telephone Deploys Optical Solutions' GPON

Cap Rock Telephone Cooperative of Spur, Texas, has selected Optical Solutions' FiberPath 500 FTTP system for a 4500-acre greenfield deployment surrounding a popular man-made lake. Cap Rock, so-named for the area's rocky transition from plains to hill country, serves 5,000 access lines across west Texas. FiberPath 500 is capable of delivering IPTV, 100-plus Mbps data speeds and multiple telephone lines. The system is fully compliant with ITU FSAN standards, and is currently operating in more than 120 communities nationwide. Financial terms were not disclosed.