Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Motorola Reorganization Combines Business Units

Motorola announced a reorganization of its Networks and Government & Enterprise Mobility Solutions businesses into one organization, to be called the Networks & Enterprise business.

Greg Brown, currently president of the Government & Enterprise Mobility Solutions business, will lead the new Networks & Enterprise business and continue to report to Ed Zander. Adrian Nemcek, who has successfully led the Networks business over the past five years, will retire from Motorola later this year. Under Nemcek's leadership, Networks, which was primarily a radio access business, is now positioned to be a leader in wireless broadband, wireline, professional services and next-generation core networks. Nemcek will assist Brown in the transition to the new organization until the end of the second quarter, after which he will assist Ed Zander with special initiatives.

Entriq Hires Microsoft and DIRECTV to Drive multimedia content

Entriq announced that Jan Hofmeyr and Stephen Condon have joined the company as Executive Vice President of Business Development and Vice President of Marketing respectively. Entriq provides a full, end-to-end solution to secure and monetize multimedia content for broadband, mobile and IPTV consumers worldwide.

Prior to joining Entriq, Hofmeyr spent seven years with Microsoft Corporation focusing on digital TV support in Windows Operating System. At Microsoft, Mr. Hofmeyr was an integral part of the initial group that founded the new Microsoft eHome division and created the Windows Media Center Edition (MCE), which led to the historic agreement between Microsoft and the US Cable industry that will enable support for digital cable (including HDTV services) in the next release of MCE.

Prior to joining Entriq, Mr. Condon was Chief Marketing Officer at Intertainer where he led the marketing initiatives of the leading broadband on demand content and services provider. Previously he held several leadership positions in the multimedia content industry, specifically in video delivery. His career highlights include working on the launch of DIRECTV and bringing it to over three million subscribers. Mr. Condon was also Vice President of Marketing at INTERVU, one of the original Internet content delivery companies

Amino Integrates Firefox into

Amino will integrate the Firefox browser into its range of IPTV set-top boxes. Firefox will be ported to Amino's software stack and adapted to provide consumers with a clear television interface, wholly different from the web-user experience of the current software. It will also give Amino the ability to customize and optimize the browser for IPTV viewing. The Firefox browser will be available to Amino customers in Q3 2006.

NTL and Telewest Complete Merger, Creating Largest Broadband Provider in the UK

NTL and Telewest completed their merger. The combined company, which will used the NTL name, will have more than 5 million residential customers. It will be the largest provider of residential broadband services in the UK with 2.8 million subscribers, the second largest pay TV provider with 3.3 million subscribers and also the second largest fixed telephony provider with 4.3 million subscribers.

ADC Names President of Active Infrastructure Business Unit

ADC named Hilton Nicholson as President of its Active Infrastructure Business Unit, replacing Mike Pratt who will be leaving ADC to pursue personal interests. Nicholson was the President of ADC's IP Cable Business Unit until it was divested in 2004. Immediately prior to rejoining ADC, Hilton was the Senior Vice President of Product Operations at 3Com, with responsibility for product management, product marketing, R&D, customer technical support and supply chain. Prior to joining ADC in 2002, Hilton had a distinguished twenty-two year career with AT&T and Lucent.

ADC also named Dick Parran to be the President of its U.S. Professional Services business.

Siemens Claims Leading Share of Optical Long-Haul DWDM Market

Siemens Communications claimed a 21% share of the 2005 global market of optical long-haul DWDM transport solutions, with reconfigurable add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) capabilities, according to figures from Infonetics Research cited by the company.

Siemens said it benefited from strong North America sales of its SURPASS hiT 7500 long-haul DWDM solution. Siemens' optical market momentum was especially strong in the second half of 2005, with a 28 percent fourth-quarter global market share that was more than double that of the next ranking DWDM vendor.

Comcast Deploys CallMiner for Data Mining of Customer Support Calls

Comcast is deploying CallMiner's Virtual Server Room (VSR) distributed processing platform it its mid-West call center to analyze 100% of recorded customer calls. Comcast's 200-seat Midwest Call Center generates thousands of hours of recorded calls each day. CallMiner's VSR distributed processing software uses speech recognition to process the recorded audio into minable data. VSR works by harnessing the unused processing power of desktops in its network.

CallMiner said that currently less than .01% of all agent/customer calls are recorded and less are mined to uncover what customers are saying - simply because it's too costly and IT-resource intensive to do so.

Cisco Upgrades Optical Multiservice Transport

Cisco Systems unveiled hardware and software upgrades for its Cisco ONS optical networking portfolio that give service providers and enterprises greater flexibility in delivering new services as well as more ability to scale their networks and manage their optical infrastructures.

The new capabilities include:

  • 10-Gbps data muxponder; a unit that provides data and storage services aggregation over a 10 Gbps wavelength, allowing a variety of data and storage services to be efficiently bundled and transported over a single optical wavelength;

  • 32-channel ROADM-based long-band (L-band) solution, which includes ROADMs and optical amplifiers, transponders and muxponders. These units allow up to 32 wavelengths (100 GHz-spaced) to be transported in the L-band region of the transmission spectrum;

  • Full center-band (C-band) and L-band tunability for 10-Gbps transponder and muxponder cards on 50GHz channel grid;

  • Enterprise systems connection (ESCON) support on 2.5-Gbps data muxponder;

  • Multi-shelf management, which allows centralized provisioning and management of multiple shelves at each DWDM node location;

  • Network-level alarm correlation, which provides simplified trouble-shooting capabilities for an MSTP-based DWDM network, resulting in quicker root cause determination and problem resolution;

  • Future in-service mesh/multi-ring upgrade capability for ROADM-based networks requiring multi-degree applications; and

  • Alien lambda support, which allows for insertion of 10 Gbps or 40 Gbps non-ONS wavelengths into the ROADM network. This means the possible direct interconnection of routers and switches, enabling the elimination of transponders in some cases.

TietoEnator, an international information technology (IT) services provider based in Finland, is using the most recent Cisco ONS 15454 platform upgrades to provision new high speed customer site connections much more rapidly via software.

DataGroup, a Ukrainian telecommunications company, recently introduced a new portfolio of high-capacity services based on the Cisco ONS 15454 Multiservice Transport Platform (MSTP). The new 6500-kilometer countrywide fiber-optic network provides the DWDM backbone for delivering Ethernet-based services in all regional centers of Ukraine.

Russia's Comcor selects Alcatel IP backbone

Comcor, one of the leading service providers in Russia, has upgraded its backbone IP-infrastructure based using Alcatel equipment. The new
infrastructure delivers 10 GigE capacity, which is a significant boost in bandwidth to the existing backbone, and gives Comcor the capability to support the most demanding service level agreements and package tiered service bundles for new IP and Ethernet virtual networking (VPN) services. The installation includes the Alcatel 7750 Service Router (SR) and 5620 Service Aware Manager.

Tekelec Supplies Class 5 Packet Switch to Iowa IOCs

Tekelec announced multi-million dollar contracts with seven IOCs to deploy the Tekelec 7000 Class 5 Packet Switch and Tekelec 6000 VoIP Application Server to replace their legacy switches and roll out SIP-based services. The deployments involve 12 Tekelec 7000 and multiple Tekelec 6000 systems. Six of the operators own the Northern Iowa Communications Partnership (NICP): Ayrshire Farmers Mutual Telephone Company, Northwest Telephone Cooperative Association, Palmer Mutual Telephone Company, River Valley Telecommunications Cooperative, Royal Telephone Company and Terril Telephone Cooperative. These companies have previously deployed Tekelec 7000 and Tekelec 6000 systems. The seventh operator, Farmers Mutual Telephone Company of Stanton, Iowa, is a new customer, purchasing both Tekelec 7000 and Tekelec 6000 systems for its network.

Tekelec noted that in the past year, it has nearly doubled its base of shipped Tekelec 7000 ports in North America.

Coaxsys Hires VP of Corp. Development

Coaxsys, a supplier of in-home IPTV and Multimedia networking, has appointed Ali Taslimi as the company's VP of Corporate Development. Taslimi began his career in a variety of positions at AT&T Bell Laboratories and Lucent Technologies. Since 2000, Taslimi has been intimately involved with equipment manufacturers that serve the broadband networking and IPTV arenas, including Alcatel USA and Occam Networks. He also holds a series of Triple-Play-oriented patents focused on high-bandwidth applications such as video distribution.

Video without Rewiring: Subscriber Deployments Show Promise�and
Problems�with IPTV Networking
IPTV networking performance suffers considerable setbacks when
battle-tested in subscribers� homes. Reams have been written about
the high costs of rewiring homes with Cat-5 as well as the coax-based,
powerline, and wireless networking alternatives for IP video distribution.
However, selecting an effective in-home networking solution requires more
than deciding which wire is most attractive. Beyond lab testing,
real-world Telco deployments have shown that a whole new set of IPTV
networking complications arise.

Vodafone Takes Leadership of the OSS/J Initiative

Jörg Frankenberger, head of OSS Engineering, Vodafone D2 GmbH, has been named chair of the OSS through JavaT Initiative, which aims to help service providers find ways to regain control of their Operations Support Systems (OSS) and achieve the opportunities of the convergence era by quickly and cost-effectively introducing new products and services.

The OSS through Java Initiative is chartered to develop OSS functional APIs that accelerate the development of innovative OSS/BSS solutions where all applications function together. The Initiative's APIs
are aligned with the widely adopted TeleManagement Forum's (TMF) NGOSS (New Generation Operations Systems and Software) framework, and have been formally endorsed by TMF as the most comprehensive technology specific implementation of NGOSS. The APIs are standardized under the latest Java Community Process (JCP) program. The initiative builds on the success of Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EET), XML, and Web Services technologies in enterprise applications and e-commerce.

Frankenberger heads OSS Engineering at Vodafone D2 in Germany. His
department acts as a competence center for Network and Service Management for the Vodafone Group. In this capacity, Frankenberger has been instrumental in implementing standards and technologies that add
efficiencies and lower integration and maintenance costs. Prior to joining Vodafone, he was in charge of Network Management Systems for GSM, IN & Services at Mannesmann-Mobilfunk.

Vodafone has directly contributed to OSS/J for over a year and has taken an active role in the creation of the OSS/J Service Providers Executive Roundtable.

As an immediate result of the increased influence of service providers
adopting OSS/J technology, the Initiative has re-prioritized certain
technical deliverables, and recently made available Web Services profiles for its Trouble Ticket API (JSR 91) and its OSS Common API (JSR 144). Web Services specifications for all other OSS/J APIs will be available by April 2006.


JDSU Unveils FTTx Test Capabilities

JDSU announced the release of the Very Long Range (VLR) OTDR module for its T-BERD and MTS-8000 platform, combining several new features into an OTDR tester for access and metro network optical applications. The module design, which introduces fiber network characterization capabilities, complements the range of OTDR modules within the T-BERD/MTS-8000 platform.

JDSU said the new product optimizes critical OTDR parameters such as speed, dead zone and dynamic range. The JDSU VLR OTDR module combines all three functions with performance features, including a 0.1s refresh time, 0.8m event dead zone, 4m attenuation dead zone, and the first commercially-available, four-wavelength 45 dB OTDR. Also included is 45 dB dynamic range functionality.

Bookham to Acquire Avalon Photonics for VCSELs

Bookham agreed to acquire Avalon Photonics, a supplier of single-mode and multimode Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VCSEL) chips, arrays and subassemblies for sensing and datacom applications, for approximately 765,000 shares of Bookham common stock valued at approximately $5.5 million on signing, and a potential additional 348,000 share earn-out based upon Avalon achieving certain revenue and production performance criteria over a two-year period.

Avalon, which is based in Zurich, Switzerland, developed a single-spatial-mode VCSELs suitable for many sensing and measurement applications and the latest generation of 4GB transceivers.

"The acquisition of Avalon strengthens Bookham's product portfolio by adding a new chip technology -- VCSELs -- to our already broad chip-design. This technology will extend our product offerings in the datacom and sensing markets, areas we believe offer good growth opportunities," said Dr. Giorgio Anania, president and CEO of Bookham Inc.


Verizon Declares Quarterly Dividend

Verizon Communications declared a quarterly dividend of 40.5 cents per outstanding share, unchanged from the previous quarter. The dividend is payable on May 1, 2006, to Verizon Communications shareowners of record at the close of business on April 10, 2006.

eWAN1 to Launch Global IPtv Service in 36 Languages

eWAN1, a company based in Santa Ana, California, plans to launch a Global Internet Television service on April 15th featuring 75 channels of "On Demand" content over any broadband connection.

The company plans to roll out a projected 250,000 of its proprietary "Triple Play" set-top boxes to both U.S. and International consumers this year. The set-top box is pre-bundled with a monthly subscription for the channels of content and consumers will be able to order online and from local retail channels.

EWAN will also feature programming in the following languages: Urdu, Vietnamese, Ukrainian, Turkish, Thai, Tagalog, Swedish, Spanish, Slovak, Hebrew, Serbian, Russian, Romanian, Punjabi, Polish, Portuguese, Persian, Norwegian, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Italian, German, Hindi, Greek, French, Finnish, English, Egyptian, Dutch, Danish, Czech, Cantonese, Bulgarian, Bengali, Armenian and Arabic.

EWAN's wholly owned subsidiary, Direct Connect, will provide traditional broadcast television including such popular programming as HBO, CNN, Showtime, ABC and ESPN, allowing subscribers to pick and choose only those channels they are willing to pay for.

Nearly Half of European and US Consumers Do Not Understand What IPTV Is

A survey conducted by Accenture of 6,000 consumers across the U.S., United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain and Italy found that 46 percent do not understand the term IPTV.

While there is strong consumer interest in the concept of IPTV, the study indicates that IPTV service providers must focus carefully on the marketing and associated end user education to ensure widespread adoption of the service.

"Despite a general lack of understanding about what IPTV means, there is strong consumer interest in the benefits that such a service could bring," said Ray Dogra, global IPTV lead for Accenture's Communications & High Tech practice. "Consumers clearly desire choice, control and the ability to personalize their viewing experience - all of which are the key benefits of an IPTV service."

Some highlights:

  • As part of the survey, respondents were asked what they would do to make television better; the top two answers were "having access to a larger number of movies," selected by 30 percent of respondents and "being able to create your own channel to watch programs whenever you want," selected by 26 percent.

  • When asked what future benefits would encourage consumers to subscribe to an IPTV service, the greatest number of respondents (55 percent) selected less advertising, followed by the ability to choose specialist programs (47 percent).

  • Cost is cited most often as the main barrier to adoption, with 54 percent of respondents indicating they are not willing to pay an extra fee to get an entertainment service that allows them to search for content such as TV, radio shows and music whenever they want.

  • Other key concerns slowing the rate of adoption include security issues (38 percent), such as computer viruses and general quality of service (39 percent) - including poor connections.

  • Younger adults indicated a greater willingness to adopt and pay for IPTV services than older ones.

  • Men indicated a greater interest in IPTV than women.

T-Mobile USA Adds 1.4 million net New Customers in Q4 2005

In the fourth quarter of 2005, T-Mobile USA added 1.39 million net new customers, up from 1.06 million net customers added in the third quarter of 2005 and 1.02 million net added in the fourth quarter of 2004. Postpay customers made up 66% of the fourth quarter customer growth and comprised 85% of T-Mobile USA's total customer base at the end of the year. Additional highlights include:

  • T-Mobile USA service revenues, which consist of postpay, prepaid, roaming and other service revenues, were $3.26 billion in the fourth quarter of 2005, up from $3.15 billion in the third quarter of 2005 and $2.75 billion in the fourth quarter of 2004.

  • Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) was $52 in the fourth quarter of 2005, down from $53 in the third quarter of 2005 and $55 in the fourth quarter of 2004. The year on year decrease in ARPU was primarily caused by a decrease in prepaid ARPU and the increased percentage of prepaid customers in the customer base in 2005, along with a decline in postpay ARPU.

  • Data services revenue from postpay and prepaid customers continued to grow, reaching a total of $279 million in the fourth quarter of 2005. Data revenues now represent 9.6% of postpay ARPU, or $5.21 per postpay customer, compared to 8.8% in the third quarter of 2005 and 6.6% in the fourth quarter of 2004. Central to the growth in data services revenue was a net increase in postpay converged device users of over 123,000 during the fourth quarter of 2005. In total, T-Mobile USA had 1.1 million converged device users at the end of 2005. Converged devices include both BlackBerry and T-Mobile Sidekick devices.

  • Postpay churn was 2.3% in the fourth quarter of 2005, down from 2.4% in the third quarter of 2005 and 2.6% in fourth quarter 2004. Prepaid churn was 6.6% in the fourth quarter of 2005, which was the same in the third quarter of 2005 and fourth quarter 2004. Blended churn, including both postpay and prepaid customers, was 2.9% in the fourth quarter of 2005, the same as in the third quarter of 2005, and down from 3.1% in the fourth quarter of 2004.

  • The average cost of acquiring a customer, Cost Per Gross Add ("CPGA"), was $264 in the fourth quarter of 2005, down from $271 in the third quarter of 2005 and $345 in the fourth quarter of 2004. The decrease in CPGA from the fourth quarter of 2004 is primarily due to changes in the postpay and prepaid sales mix and changes in the competitive environment.

  • The average cash cost of serving customers, Cash Cost Per User, was $24.32 per customer per month in the fourth quarter of 2005, down from $24.65 in the third quarter of 2005 and $27.66 in the fourth quarter of 2004.

  • Capital expenditures were $807 million in the fourth quarter of 2005, compared with $585 million in the third quarter of 2005 and $422 million in the fourth quarter of 2004.

  • T-Mobile USA added more than 1,000 new cell sites in the fourth quarter of 2005, bringing the total number of cell sites to nearly 33,000.

  • During 2005 T-Mobile USA added almost 3,500 new cell sites