Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Motorola Trims Q4 Expectations

Based on preliminary numbers, Motorola said its Q4 2006 sales figures are now estimated to be in the range of $11.6 to $11.8 billion, versus the guidance given on October 17, 2006, of $11.8 to $12.1 billion. Fourth-quarter GAAP earnings per share are now estimated to be in the range of $0.13 to $0.16, which is below the company's internal forecast at the start of the fourth quarter.

Motorola said the shortfall in both sales and earnings occurred in its Mobile Devices segment. The company cited an unfavorable geographical and product-tier mix of sales as compared to the company's internal forecast. In the fourth quarter, Mobile Devices unit sales were approximately 66 million units, up 23 percent from the third quarter of 2006 and up 48 percent from the fourth quarter of 2005.

Motorola also said Q4 results for both the Networks & Enterprise and Connected Home segments are expected to meet or exceed the internal expectations of the company at the start of the fourth quarter.

Full results are expected on January 19.

NTT DoCoMo Acquires Stake in Nippon Television Network

NTT DoCoMo acquired a 3% stake in Nippon Television Network Corporation (NTV). The companies have been collaborating on new services converging mobile communications and broadcasting. "One-segment" terrestrial digital broadcasting was launched in April 2006 and the companies note growing sales of compatible handsets.

Conexant Debuts VDSL2 CPE Gateway and CO Chips

Conexant Systems introduced a family of integrated VDSL2 customer premises equipment (CPE) and central office (Co) system-on-chip (SoC) solutions.

The new SoC family has been optimized for triple-play services ranging from VDSL2 voice-enabled CPE gateways to basic bridges. The SoCs feature a flexible architecture that supports all VDSL2 profiles up to "30a" for applications requiring 100/100 Mbps operation, an integrated voice-over-IP engine, and a network processor. The chipsets also include advanced CPE technology that significantly improves VDSL performance by reducing interference on the copper lines.

Significantly, Conexant said its second-generation Accelity-2 chipset delivers downstream speeds beyond 140 Mbps. Accelity-2 features a VDSL bonding capability that allows service providers to deliver IPTV services to a wider subscriber base, and expand their revenue-generating potential. Bonding increases bandwidth capacity and extends reach by enabling the transmission of data over two lines instead of a single channel. Additional advanced features include support for key data interfaces including SMII and POS-PHY that are required for high-speed, non-blocking throughput in fiber-based triple-play service deployments VDSL2/ADSL convergence is supported on a per port basis compatible with all data interfaces and high-speed aggregation devices.

Alcatel-Lucent has selected Accelity-2 for its ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) DSL products for deployments in Europe and elsewhere. The company has also secured North American and Asian design-wins with Calix, Huawei, NEC, Schmid Telecom, and ZTE.

Key features of the new VDSL2 CPE chips include:

  • An integrated hardware accelerator engine that enables up to one Gbps data throughput.

  • A dedicated voice digital signal processor (DSP) to support two simultaneous VoIP channels.

  • A flexible DSP architecture available in 30MHz or 17MHz bandwidth and two-pair bonded configurations enabling cost-optimized products for fiber-to-the-building (FTTB), fiber-to-the-node (FTTN), and CO deployments.

  • Full backward-compatibility with ADSL/2/2plus applications to enable highly interoperable ADSL/2/2plus fallback capabilities.

Pulse~LINK Introduces its UWB Whole-Home Interactive HD Solution

At next week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Pulse~LINK will introduce its "CWave" Whole-Home Interactive HD solutions, with demonstrations hosted by the High Definition Audio-Video Network Alliance (HANA), the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA), Texas Instruments, and Vivid Logic.

CWave will be featured in the industry's first demonstration of simultaneous operation of 1394 and Ethernet supported devices over shared coax and wireless media. A combination of devices, including HDTVs, Blu-ray Players, DVRs, Media Center PCs, and Multimedia Storage devices, will be used to showcase room-to-room connectivity of HD content with interactive menu selection guides. Products include the new DLNA CERTIFIED Pioneer Elite Blu-ray Disc player and PureVision high-definition plasma TV, DLNA CERTIFIED Sony Media Center Laptops, HANA enabled DVRs and HDTV's supplied by Samsung, and Indigita A/V hard drives supplied by IntellaSys. Demonstrations will also showcase Pulse~LINK‘s ability to wirelessly stream 1080p HD content within a room between a Media center PC and a wirelessly connected HDTV.

New Micro-USB Specification Targets Mobile Devices

The USB Implementers Forum completed work on a new Micro-USB specification designed to replace many of the Mini-series plugs and receptacles currently used in portable products.

The new specification supports the USB On-The-Go (OTG) supplement, which was created in response to the growing need for portable devices to communicate directly with each other when a PC is not available.

Micro-series definitions include: Micro-B receptacles for standard devices, Micro-AB receptacles for OTG devices, Micro-A and Micro-B plugs, and standard cables.

The USB Implementers Forum said the Micro-series' stainless steel shell should yield more than 10,000 insertion cycles for longer life and higher durability. A passive latching mechanism provides for higher extraction forces.

Redback Trims Q4 Revenue Expectations

Redback Networks trimmed its revenue expectations for the quarter ended 31-Dec-2006, saying it now expects revenue of approximately $64 million.

"The fourth quarter was our largest quarter ever for the SmartEdge products as we experienced substantial quarter over quarter revenue growth and the acquisition of several new large SmartEdge customers," said Kevin DeNuccio, president and chief executive officer, Redback Networks. "Unfortunately we failed to meet our revenue targets due to, among other reasons, distribution channel disruptions caused by the timing of our proposed acquisition by Ericsson, and lower than expected revenue from our older SMS product line as we transitioned our largest SMS customers in the fourth quarter to our SmartEdge products. We expect that substantially all of the delayed purchases will become revenue in 2007."
  • On 20-Dec-2006, Ericsson announced plans to acquire Redback Networks for $2.1 billion, or $25 dollars per Redback share.

Tim Smith Named President of Vonage Network

Tim Smith was named President of Vonage Network, a position he had held on an interim basis since June 2006. As president of Vonage Network Inc., a subsidiary of Vonage Holdings Corp., he will oversee all of Vonage's network and systems operations globally and manage the Vonage Network staff. Before joining Vonage in July 2005 as SVP of Network and Systems Infrastructure, Smith worked in various management roles for Sun Microsystems, UUNET Technologies and Wayport.

Cisco to Acquire IronPort for Email Security

Cisco Systems agreed to acquire IronPort Systems, a start-up specializing in messaging security appliances, for approximately $830 million in cash and stock.

IronPort, which is based in San Bruno, California, is best known for its email security platform. The company claims that eight of the ten largest ISPs and nearly 20% of the world's largest enterprises are using its platforms. The systems provide spam defense, virus defense and content scanning. IronPort also offers a line of web security appliances, which protect the network perimeter against spyware and a wide variety of Web-based threats. These appliances combine multiple layers of Web security technology such as deep application content inspection, a Layer 4 Traffic Monitor, IronPort Web "Reputation Filters" and multiple malware signatures.

"We feel there is enormous potential for enhanced email and message protection solutions to be integrated into the existing Cisco Self-Defending Network framework," said Richard Palmer, senior vice president of Cisco's Security Technology Group.

IronPort has 408 employees based primarily in San Bruno, California.
  • IronPort Systems is headed by Scott Weiss, CEO and co-founder. Weiss was one of the early team members at Hotmail, which grew to become the world's largest web-based email service and was acquired by Microsoft.

  • IronPort Systems was founded in 2000.

  • In November 2006, IronPort agreed to acquire PostX Corporation, a leading provider of email encryption technology for enterprises based in Cupertino, California.

  • In October 2004, IronPort raised $45 million in series D funding, bringing the total amount of money raised to date to $90 million. The financing was led by New Enterprise Associates, with participation of Rembrandt Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures and Allegis Capital.

Verso Acquires iMarc Product Line from Zhone

Verso Technologies has acquired the iMarc product line from Paradyne Networks, Inc., a subsidiary of Zhone Technologies. Verso had previously served as a reseller of Zhone products. Under the deal, Verso will pay $2.5 million. In addition, Zhone will provide contract manufacturing services to Verso for a period of up to six months. Verso will then purchase from Zhone the inventory relating to the iMarc product line.

Verso said the iMarc product line is closely aligned with its portfolio and distribution model, which Verso recently expanded as a result of the June 2006 acquisition of the assets of Verilink Corporation.

The iMarc product line is a family of ATM, IP service units, and branch monitors, providing demarcation between carrier and enterprise networks. The iMarc line provides carriers the ability to monitor and manage compliance of Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

Broadcom Debuts Digital Cable Set-Top Box System-on-a-Chip

Broadcom introduced a digital cable set-top box chip that includes support for DOCSIS/EURDOCSIS 2.0 cable modem specifications, as well as downstream channel bonding compatible with the upcoming DOCSIS 3.0 specification. Downstream channel bonding combines several DOCSIS channels together to significantly increase data rates, thereby enabling IP videos services by the cable operator.

Video compression support on the new BCM7118 chip includes advanced video coding (AVC) MPEG-4, part 10, VC-1 (the SMPTE standard), and MPEG-2.

The BCM7118 also features an integrated Broadcom secure processor (BSP), which provides very sophisticated security features to protect high-value content and to prevent set-top box tampering.

Broadcom said its BCM7118 integrates hardware and software that performs content security functions in a highly protected environment on-chip, effectively providing a tamper proof barrier for video and audio content. Each chip is programmed by Broadcom with a permanent unique identification and configuration that forms the foundation for specific conditional access systems, decryption key processing, key management and system protection that includes the forthcoming downloadable security system.

Telesat Canada Chooses Space Systems/Loral To Build Nimiq 5 Satellite

Telesat Canada selected Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) to build the Nimiq 5, a new high-power, direct broadcast satellite. Based on SS/L's heritage 1300 platform, the satellite will be equipped with 32 active high-power Ku-band transponders, providing a footprint across Canada.

Nimiq 5's entire payload is under contract to Bell ExpressVu, Canada's leading direct- to-home service provider, to be used for a wide range of digital television services. The satellite is planned for completion in 2009.

Nimiq 5 will be the first satellite in Telesat's fleet to be manufactured by Space Systems/Loral.

JDSU to Acquire Casabyte for Mobile QoS Monitoring

JDSU agreed to acquire Casabyte Inc., a provider of service quality monitoring solutions for mobile network operators, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition is targeted at the need for quality of service (QoS) test solutions as network operators deliver bandwidth-intensive multimedia content over converged fixed- mobile networks. The deal is expected to close this quarter.

Casabyte will be integrated with JDSU's Communications Test and Measurement division, one of the leading providers of service assurance solutions to telecommunications and cable network operators worldwide.

Casabyte's service quality monitoring products include the RCATS (Remote Cellular Automated Test System) platform and a managed wireless test platform known as RoamerNet. Casabyte, based outside of Seattle in Renton, Washington, serves tier-one mobile service providers.
The solutions are compatible with 2G (GSM, TDMA, cdmaOne & iDEN), as well as 2.5G (GPRS, EDGE & CDMA2000 1xRTT), 3G (WCDMA/UMTS & CDMA2000 1xEV-DO).

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Symmetricom Acquires QoSmetrics

Symmetricom agreed to acquire QoSmetrics, a privately held provider of QoE solutions for IPTV and other triple play services, for $16 million in cash.

QoSmetrics offers a broad base of tools to measure key IP Performance Metrics (IPPM), as well as to monitor VoIP and video-based data streams. The products provide real time, multi-protocol, end-to-end monitoring and diagnostic capabilities that enable service providers to troubleshoot and often prevent network issues.

Symmetricom said the acquisition would enhance its position in emerging areas of the global telecommunications industry by providing those service providers with the tools and monitoring capabilities necessary to maximize QoE for end users of triple play services.

QoSmetrics was founded in 1999 and maintains corporate and R&D facilities in Camarillo, California and in Paris, France.
  • Symmetricom specializes in timing solutions, delivering precision, reliability and efficiency to wireline and wireless networks, instrumentation and testing applications and network time management. The company's synchronization solutions include primary reference sources, building integrated timing supplies (BITS), GPS timing receivers, time and frequency distribution systems, network time servers and ruggedized oscillators. Symmetricom also incorporates technologies including Universal Timing Interface (UTI), Network Time Protocol (NTP), Precision Time Protocol (IEEE 1588), and others supporting the world's migration to Next Generation Networks (NGN).

SpectraLink Shows its Next Generation Wi-Fi Telephones

SpectraLink announced its next-generation Wi-Fi telephony handsets supporting IEEE 802.11a, b and g radio standards.

The new NetLink 8000 Series handsets are enterprise-grade handsets designed for long talk times (four, six and eight hours depending on model) added durability and resilience.

Two models are available: the basic NetLink 8020 Wireless Telephone, and the enhanced NetLink 8030 Wireless Telephone supporting SpectraLink's exclusive integrated push-to-talk (PTT) capabilities, now enhanced with 24 PTT channels plus a unique priority channel for emergency broadcast applications.

The handsets can use either SpectraLink Voice Priority (SVP) or Wireless Multimedia (WMM) (depending on Wi-Fi infrastructure support). Security includes Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA/WPA2).

List price for the NetLink 8020 Wireless Telephone is $595, while the PTT-enabled NetLink 8030 Wireless Telephone is priced at $675.

Atheros Debuts XSPAN Dual-Concurrent Wireless Router

Atheros Communications launched its highest performance 802.11n solution to date -- a chipset that combines its XSPAN draft 802.11n technology with its Wireless Network Processor Unit (WNPU). The chipset offers concurrent operation in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wireless LAN (WLAN) frequency bands, delivering up to 600 Mbps aggregate physical data rates and the flexibility to segregate application content into the channels that provide the best user experience.
The solution provides up to 27 non-overlapping channels, enabling end users to run numerous WLAN applications simultaneously while avoiding interference which often plagues networks operating solely in the 2.4 GHz frequency band.

Atheros said its new AR5008AP-3NX2 chipset targets retail, SOHO and enterprise networking customers that want to provide the highest wireless throughput, coverage and capacity. Specifically, the combined 2.4 and 5 GHz channel capacity supports jitter-free transmission of multimedia applications.

For instance, the 2.4 GHz band could be used for applications less sensitive to bandwidth limitations and interference, such as Internet data traffic, streaming MP3s and wireless printing. The 5 GHz band with 24 channels, fewer legacy devices and virtually no interferers, could be used for high-bandwidth, latency-sensitive applications that require uninterrupted throughput: HD video streaming, VoIP calls and multi-player online gaming.

Atheros also noted that the Microsoft Windows Vista operating system advocates use of dual-concurrent networks and the allocation of applications onto separate frequency bands based on throughput requirement, latency-sensitivity and interference in the network.

The new Atheros AR5008AP-3NX2 chipset consists of dual AR5416 MAC/baseband ICs, the AR2133 and AR5133 radios and the AR7161 wireless network processor. The solution is based on Atheros' XSPAN with Signal-Sustain Technology, a 3x3 MIMO architecture. The wireless network processor features dual 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet ports, dual USB 2.0 and additional interfaces for video, audio and voice applications.

NextWave Wireless to Acquire GO Networks for Metro WiFi

San Diego-based NextWave Wireless will acquire GO Networks, a privately-held developer of 802.11 based mobile broadband wireless solutions for wide area, high capacity metropolitan deployments.

GO's Metro Broadband Wireless (MBW) system is a highly-scalable Wi-Fi network solution that combines a proprietary adaptive beamforming antenna engine with a self-organizing and multi-frequency mesh architecture.

GO Networks is headquartered in Mountain View, California and has its research and development facilities in Tel Aviv, Israel.

NextWave will pay approximately $13.3 million in cash at closing. Additional consideration of up to $25.7 million will be paid in NextWave common stock, based on the achievement of certain operational milestones in the 18 month period subsequent to the closing of the acquisition, as specified in the agreement. NextWave will also assume GO's existing obligations totaling approximately $7.46 million, of which $1.33 million will be paid at closing and the balance will remain in place following the merger.

NextWave Wireless develops WiMAX semiconductors, network components and complete wireless LAN/WAN network solutions. Its PacketVideo subsidiary, a global provider of embedded multimedia software for mobile phones and converged devices, provides a wide range of multimedia solutions to many of the leading wireless carriers and handset manufacturers worldwide. The company was founded in 2005 by veterans from AT&T Wireless, Intel, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, QUALCOMM, and Texas Instruments.

NextWave has acquired a nationwide spectrum footprint in the U.S. that covers 247 million people and owns nationwide WiMAX spectrum in Germany through a majority-controlled joint venture. The company intends to partner with companies to deploy next-generation wireless broadband networks on its spectrum that utilizes its next-generation wireless broadband products and technologies.

Sonus Posts Record Year End Order Activity

Sonus Networks reported very strong customer activity in the fourth quarter of 2006, resulting in both fourth quarter and full year 2006 orders at record levels.

The company said its growth is being fueled by continued demand as major network operators increase their adoption and deployment of IP-voice networks.

Sonus also announced that the NASDAQ Listing Qualification Panel has allowed the company until February 12, 2007 to file its Form 10-Qs for the quarters ended June 30, 2006 and September 30, 2006 and any required restatements.

Wisair Debuts Wireless USB PCI Express Mini Card

Wisair is introducing a Wireless USB PCI Express Mini Card reference design for notebook PCs, as well as a Wireless USB hub reference design. Both reference designs leverage the company's latest 542 chip, based on Certified Wireless USB, which was recently granted WiMedia PHY registration. The design provides four to seven USB ports and includes features such as dual internal antennas fitting into slim enclosures, as well as unique PHY capabilities for extended coverage and link robustness.

See also