Monday, February 7, 2005

VoiceCon Adds Fall Event

BCR, which is hosting this week's VoiceCon event in Orlando, Florida, announced a new VoiceCon Fall 2005 to be held August 29-September 1 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego.

The ongoing VoiceCon Spring Conference in Orlando is experiencing a 25% increase in exhibitors and total attendees compared to last year.

Corrigent Hires Former ECI Telecom Exec

Corrigent Systems, a division of Orckit Communications that supplies packet-enabled add/drop muliplexers (ADMs), announced the appointment of Ido Gur as executive VP of sales and marketing. Mr. Gur most recently was VP of sales and marketing at ECI Telecom's optical division.

Corrigent's CM-100 is a packet-ADM that fuses together SONET/SDH technologies with packet technologies such as RPR, Ethernet and MPLS

Marconi Sales Rise 8% Sequentially

Marconi reported Q3 FY05 sales of £330 million, up 8% over the preceding quarter and up 5% over the same period a year earlier at constant currency. Marconi experienced a year-on-year sales increase of 14% in Optical and Access Networks, driven by growth in UK and Germany. However, BBRS sales declined to £30 million due to lower US Federal Government spending.

There was an adjusted gross profit of £109 million for the quarter.

Mike Parton, CEO of Marconi, said "We are very pleased with the progress that we have made in winning significant new business and driving top line growth, especially in Optical and Access Networks. Pipeline opportunities give us confidence that we can continue to grow sales against a backdrop of fierce pricing pressure in a competitive market place."

EarthLink Reaches 1.4 Million BB Subs, Dial-up Decline Continues

During Q4 2004, EarthLink added 84,000 net broadband subscribers and 118,000 net value PeoplePC Online subscribers, while the net premium dial-up subscriber base decreased by 211,000 and Web hosting accounts declined by 5,000. Overall, EarthLink's customer base declined 14,000 during the fourth quarter.

EarthLink ended Q4 2004 with 5.4 million total subscribers, or a 3.5 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2003. EarthLink ended the quarter with 1.4 million broadband customers, an increase of 28.6 percent from a year ago, and 3.9 million total narrowband subscribers, a decrease of 2.6 percent from the fourth quarter of 2003. Total narrowband subscribers include 876,000 PeoplePC Online subscribers, a 106.6 percent increase from December 31, 2003, and 3.0 million premium narrowband subscribers, a 15.6 percent decrease from the end of 2003.

Overall average monthly churn was 4.7 percent during the fourth quarter of 2004, level with the third quarter of 2004, but an increase from 4.1 percent in last year's fourth quarter. The increase in churn was primarily due to the higher level of gross subscriber additions over the past several quarters, primarily related to PeoplePC Online, whose shorter-tenured customers comprise an increasingly greater proportion of our customer base. Other factors include the higher percentage of newer customers for other services who tend to have a higher rate of churn during initial months of service and premium narrowband customers migrating to broadband services as retail broadband prices have declined.

For the quarter, total revenues were $338.1 million, a 3.0 percent decrease from the fourth quarter of 2003. Broadband revenues were $106.2 million, an increase of 8.1 percent over the prior year quarter, driven by the growth in broadband subscribers. Narrowband revenues were $208.6 million, a decline of 9.5 percent from the prior year quarter. The decline in narrowband revenues was primarily due to the shift in the mix of our narrowband customer base from premium narrowband subscribers to PeoplePC Online subscribers.

Eartlink said its recent wireless joint venture with SK Telecom sets its course toward next gen ISP services. In addition to offering innovative wireless services and applications, Earthlink said it planned to take advantage of the growing convergence of data and voice technologies to launch expanded VoIP and other wireline voice services.

Looking Glass Builds Dedicated Network for Discovery

Discovery Communications, a global real-world media and entertainment company, selected Looking Glass Networks to design and build a private dedicated fiber network in the Washington, DC metro area. The new network provides a dedicated dual SONET ring between Discovery's headquarters and key data centers. Discovery is utilizing Type I on-net and Type II off-net circuits in addition to long haul Ethernet and SONET services from Looking Glass. The network also integrates into Looking Glass' metro and intercity networks. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Hughes Network Systems Europe Adds VoIP to DIRECWAY Satellite

Hughes Network Systems Europe (HNSE) will offer Net2Phone's VoIP service to DIRECWAY broadband satellite customers throughout Europe and the Middle East. The integrated Net2Phone VoIP capability is enabled through HNS' advanced DW6040 Voice Appliance terminal operating over its DIRECWAY satellite service. The jointly developed VoIP capability allocates prioritization to voice packets over data traffic.

Microsoft Acquires Sybari for Messaging Security

Microsoft agreed to acquire Sybari Software Inc., a provider of anti-virus, anti-spam and content-filtering security products for enterprises. Sybari's products help to protect messaging and collaboration servers from viruses, worms and spam. Microsoft said it will use this acquisition to further provide its enterprise customers with new solutions to help protect them from malicious software. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Sybari is based in New York.

NEC Develops 12 Gbps Ultra-High-Speed Chip Interface

NEC Electronics announced a super-fast serial interface circuit technology, an essential component of system chips having large-scale integration (LSI) and used in next-generation broadband networks and high- speed computers.

NEC said its technology enables data transmission of 12 Gbps between LSI chips, or between equipment employing LSI chips. This transmission rate is three to four times faster than conventional transmission rates in current high-end servers or routers, despite the use of legacy printed board traces, wires or cables. NEC also noted that this rate is also five times faster than the PCI Express standard.

IPWireless Ships 3GPP Chipset with full HSDPA

IPWireless released the first TD-CDMA 3GPP chipset with full HSDPA implementation.

The new IPWireless chipset implements full HSDPA for devices, including 16QAM modulation to deliver far higher peak throughputs and higher overall usable capacity for each sector. IPWirelss said its system can now deliver up to 9.7 Mbps throughput per sector. The increased throughput performance is achieved without affecting the coverage and high cell edge performance of TD-CDMA, or affecting mobile handoff between sectors. With TD-CDMA systems, the full sector cell edge throughput is available to a single user. The new chipset also leverages the fact that TD-CDMA networks are fully packet-based on both the uplink and downlink to deliver packet based services to more users per sector. Current WCDMA HSDPA products are only packet-based on the downlink, meaning that the circuit switched architecture required for uplink will still artificially limit the number of users on the network and cause network congestion.

The new chipset is already shipping in IPWireless' plug-and-play PCMCIA cards and desktop modems for UMTS TDD networks in the 1900MHz, 2010MHz, 2500MHz, and 3400MHz bands.

The IPWireless TD-CDMA HSDPA chipset will also support the FDD TD-CDMA solution that will go into field trial in early 2005, delivering up to 14.5Mbps throughput per sector.

BT Selects Covad as U.S. Broadband Partner

BT will use Covad's nationwide network to provide business-class broadband to its U.S.-based customers. Under an agreement announced by the companies, BT will work with Covad to offer all of its business-class broadband services in the 44 states where Covad has a network presence.

ISC Upgrades DNS Root Server to IPv6 with Juniper

Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) has upgraded the Domain Name System F Root installation at its New Zealand location with Juniper Networks M-series routing platforms. The upgrade allows the nameservers at the location to handle IPv6 packet addressing. This latest deployment complements ISC's M-series deployments at its other Asia Pacific root server locations, including Osaka and Seoul. Financial terms were not disclosed.

ISC is a non-profit public benefit corporation that operates one of the 13 root servers behind the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS).

HomePlug Powerline Alliance Adopts France Telecom's Turbo Code

The HomePlug Powerline Alliance, an industry consortium that promotes standards-based powerline communications technologies, will implement a forward error correction (FEC) technology originally developed by France Telecom as part of its HomePlug AV specification. HomePlug AV provides broadband home networking, enabling connectivity and distribution of HDTV, Digital Audio, and Internet access throughout the home via existing power lines.

The advanced preliminary specification for HomePlug AV aims to deliver data rates of up to 200 Mbps to support multiple HDTV streams and the distribution of data throughout a home over existing power lines and at a low price point. The specification will leverage "Turbo Codes" technology licensed from France Telecom.

France Telecom said its Turbo Codes is a form of forward error correction (FEC) that offers power efficiencies approaching the theoretical "Shannon limit." Turbo Codes is also used in other communications standards ranging from cellular telecommunications (CDMA2000 and W-CDMA), satellite (DVB-RCS, CCSD) to broadband wireless (802.16).

Cisco Sales up 12%, Net Income Doubles

Cisco Systems reported net sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2005 were $6.1 billion, compared with $5.4 billion for the second quarter of fiscal 2004, an increase of 12.3 percent, and compared with $6.0 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2005, an increase of 1.5 percent.

Net income for the second quarter of fiscal 2005, on a generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) basis, was $1.4 billion or $0.21 per share, compared with $724 million or $0.10 per share for the second quarter of fiscal 2004, and compared with $1.4 billion or $0.21 per share for the first quarter of fiscal 2005.

"This quarter's solid results, highlighted by record net income and continued order growth across our routing, switching, and advanced technologies, indicate continued product leadership and solid market momentum," said John Chambers, president and CEO, Cisco Systems.

Some highlights of the quarter include:

  • the period was Cisco's 11th consecutive quarter of pro forma profit, as a percentage of revenue, above 20%

  • Product margin gross was 67%

  • Cash flow from operations was $1.8 billion

  • Cisco currently holds about $17 billion in cash and investments

  • there was a 40% year over year (yoy) growth in advanced technologies

  • Revenue breakdown by product category was

    Routers 22%

    Switches 40%

    Advanced Technologies 19%

    Other 3%

    Services 16%

  • Linksys shipped over 470,000 VoIP phone adapter ports during its first full quarter of availability

  • Storage revenue was up 70% yoy and up 40% sequentially

  • Both networked home and IP telephony had revenues of about $220 million, up 40% yoy

  • Wireless revenue was up over 30% yoy

  • Optical revenue was up 30% yoy

  • Security revenue was up over 30% yoy

  • Cisco currently has 12 customers and 12 trials for its CRS platform

  • Areas of concern highlighted by the company include the continued swings in global economic activity and capital spending, as well as the expanding wave of low-cost competitors. The company believes its architectures plus its expanding value-added services strategy will differentiate it in the marketplace.

  • For the next quarter, Cisco expects revenue to be up 8 - 10% yoy and flat to up 2% sequentially.

Level 3 Reports 30% quarter over quarter growth in IP traffic

Level 3 Communications reported a significant acceleration of IP traffic growth during Q4 2004, saying average traffic per day increased over 30%. Level 3 also noted better than expected growth from its wholesale VoIP business.

The company reported Q4 revenue of $1.05 billion compared to $840 million for the third quarter 2004. Communications revenue was $482 million in the fourth quarter versus $423 million for the previous quarter, and information services revenue was $547 million compared to $392 million for the previous quarter.

The net loss for the fourth quarter 2004 was $77 million, or $0.11 per share, compared to a net loss for the previous quarter of $171 million, or $0.25 per share.

Level 3 continues to see new contract activity across all its top customer segments including PTTs, local carriers, long distance companies, cable companies, systems integrators, content providers and ISPs. Specifically, cable companies continue to turn to Level 3 as an underlying provider of a broad portfolio of services that help enable them to deliver local and long distance phone services to their subscribers.

Communications revenue for the full year was $1.68 billion versus $1.95 billion in 2003. Excluding termination revenue, which is non-recurring, and revenue from our mature, declining managed modem and DSL aggregation business, communications revenue increased by approximately 7 percent during 2004. This increase is from growth in transport and infrastructure services, voice and IP VPN services. Managed modem revenue was $485 million and DSL aggregation revenue was $137 million in 2004.

"Our communications revenue was higher than projected this quarter, in part due to better than expected growth, particularly in our VoIP services," said James Q. Crowe, CEO of Level 3. "While still a relatively small percent of communications revenue, our voice revenue increased over 100 percent in the fourth quarter, primarily from our wholesale VoIP services. Additionally, we experienced an acceleration of IP traffic growth on our network during the quarter, and average traffic per day increased over 30 percent sequentially."

"Undeniably, the telecom industry environment remains challenging. In recent years, industry-wide price compression has ranged from 25 percent to 50 percent per annum for transport and IP services, which has basically offset strong unit growth in demand for those services. In addition, ongoing reinvestment in network infrastructure has been required to accommodate increases in traffic volume. At the same time, we believe price compression trends are not sustainable over the longer term."

AT&T Begins Marketing CallVantage Small Office Plan

AT&T launched a CallVantage Small Office Plan offering two VoIP lines with unlimited local and long- distance calling throughout the U.S. and Canada, plus the ability to send and receive faxes for $49.99 per month.

The business-class service offers the ability to subscribe to as many as nine distinctive telephone numbers on the primary line. For an additional monthly charge of $7.49 per number, each additional number's inbound call experience can be managed independently, even though all the numbers share the same line.

An example of a premium feature would be the recently introduced 'Call Filtering' capability that, when combined with other service features, provides the ability to direct calls based on who is calling. 'Call Filtering' carries a monthly recurring charge of $1.99.

Another new feature is "Record & Send", which enables a user to update as many as 20 key clients or colleagues at once a single message delivered by phone, rather than making repetitive calls.

BellSouth Selects Redback for Triple Play

BellSouth selected Redback Networks' SmartEdge Service Gateway platform for its next-generation integrated IP network. The SmartEdge systems will enable the delivery of "Triple Play" services, including potential future IP video services that BellSouth is currently testing, in addition to serving as the new architecture for broadband services and subscriber management. Deployment of the systems could begin as early as the second half of 2005.

Previous generation SMS systems from Redback Networks have powered BellSouth's successful deployments of DSL to its customer base. Currently, Redback products run the majority of the broadband DSL lines in the U.S. Utilizing the next-generation SmartEdge Service Gateway systems provides BellSouth with high bandwidth for integrated video, voice and data networks along with individualized services, very high levels of reliability and advanced edge routing capabilities. Migration from SMS systems to SmartEdge Service Gateway systems is architected to offer seamless, simplified installation, configuration and training.
  • Redback has recently announced deployment of its SmartEdge Service Gateway systems in Triple Play networks of Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom, and Hanaro Telecom, Korea's second largest DSL provider.

BellSouth Selects Alcatel for Next Gen IP DSLAMs

BellSouth named Alcatel as its preferred supplier of IP DSLAMs over the next three years. The agreement extends Alcatel's existing strategic supplier relationship with BellSouth for DSL equipment. Specifically, Alcatel will provide IP DSLAMs from its Intelligent Services Access Manager (ISAM) family for enabling Triple Play services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

BellSouth is testing the Alcatel 7330 and 7302 products with ADSL2+ to provide triple play services at rates up to 24 Mbps per household.
  • In the wake to the 2004 FCC ruling exempting Fiber-to- the-Curb (FTTC) loops from unbundling requirements, BellSouth said it plans to increase the number of homes it annually equips with an advanced fiber platform by 40% in 2005. More than half of BellSouth households are currently served by fiber-fed, short copper loops (<5000ft).

  • In January 2005, BellSouth announced a technical trial of Microsoft TV Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) Edition software platform over its DSL network.

  • BellSouth passed the two million DSL customer milestone in November 2004. BellSouth originally launched its Internet services group in August 1996 before debuting FastAccess DSL two years later in August 1998. Its network reaches nearly 1,600 central offices and approximately 18,000 remote terminals. BellSouth also currently serves one million dial-up Internet subscribers.

  • In November 2004, BellSouth awarded a new broadband supplier contract to Westell Technologies for its remotely-manageable DSL modem. BellSouth will begin shipment of the Westell modem to DSL subscribers beginning next month. The two companies agreed to a new one-year agreement that builds upon the supplier relationship that has been in place for several years. As BellSouth's primary CPE supplier since 2002. Financial terms were not disclosed.
    Westell's ProLine modem use Texas Instruments' AR7 chip designed to support ADSL2+. The modems conform to the DSL Forum's Technical Report TR-069 specification for enabling remote management.

  • In October 2004, SBC Communications selected Alcatel as its primary network infrastructure and services supplier for Project Lightspeed. The deal is estimated to be worth $1.7 billion to Alcatel over the next five years.

Sunday, February 6, 2005

WebEx Deploys Sonus Networks

WebEx Communications is deploying Sonus Networks' Open Services Architecture (OSA), including its GSX9000 Open Services Switch and the Insignus Softswitch, in its data centers to deliver new IP-based conferencing services to its customers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

See also