Thursday, May 3, 2007

TANDBERG TV Unveils its Next Gen Switched Digital Video Solution

TANDBERG Television unveiled its next generation solution for enabling cable operators to offer switched multi-rate (2-20Mbs) digital television video services through an open platform.

The TANDBERG OpenStream Switched Digital Video (SDV) Solution promises massively scalability to more than 15 million digital VOD subscribers through a fully redundant system with seamless failover to ensure the delivery of critical video channels. It supports multi-format (SD/HD; MPEG-2/MPEG-4) environments, allowing cable operators to mix MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 AVC set-top boxes in the same network.

TANDBERG TV said key attributes of its Switched Digital Video solution include:

  • an open architecture, multi-vendor solution

  • serves the deployed base of legacy MPEG-2 set-tops while providing a solution to migrate to advanced video codecs such as MPEG-4 AVC.

  • supports multi-rate (2-20 Mbps) and multi-format (SD/HD; MPEG-2/MPEG-4) video content to enable greater flexibility in video delivery.

  • provides n+1 redundancy for seamless failover, overload protection and load balancing for carrier-class reliability - high availability scalable clustering architecture allows flexible system expansion as SDV services are rolled out.

  • provides centralized network resource management across multiple services - VOD, SDV and HSD - and allows the operator to share network resources.

  • complies with all approved cable industry specifications allowing for seamless integration into existing networks.

  • offers advanced reporting features for network and business planning to enable the operator to manage the switched network.

TANDBERG Television is now part of the Ericsson Group.

Clearwire and AOL Expand Wireless Distribution Agreement

Beginning this month, AOL will to offer Clearwire's high-speed wireless broadband service to AOL users throughout Clearwire markets in the U.S. Previously, AOL and Clearwire had a joint distribution agreement that covered four Clearwire markets -- Jacksonville and Daytona Beach, Fla.; and Stockton and Modesto, Calif. The new joint distribution agreement covers all existing and future Clearwire markets in the U.S. Clearwire is currently available in 38 markets across the country covering more than 400 municipalities including Seattle, Honolulu and Raleigh, N.C.

Cleawire's wireless broadband solution uses licensed spectrum. Radio signals are transmitted from a tower to a small, wireless modem at the customer location.
  • Clearwire, the broadband wireless services provider founded by Craig McCaw, raised $600 million in an initial public offering (IPO).

  • In February, Clearwire agreed to acquire all 2.5 GHz spectrum currently licensed to, or leased by, BellSouth, now AT&T. The sale price is $300 million in cash. For AT&T, the deal follows through on a commitment of the AT&T-BellSouth merger.

  • In January 2007, Clearwire named Scott Richardson as the company's new chief strategy officer. Richardson previously served as vice president of Intel's Mobility Group and general manager of the company's Service Provider Business Group. In these roles, Richardson led Intel's broadband wireless efforts from its inception and was responsible for driving the company's 802.16 silicon products for WiMax Certified wireless equipment and access devices.

  • In July 2006, Clearwire secured $900 million in funding to accelerate its development and deployment of portable and mobile WiMAX networks based on the IEEE 802.16e-2005 standard. The deal included a $600 million investment from Intel Capital, its largest to date, and Motorola's acquisition of Clearwire's subsidiary NextNet Wireless, which supplies OFDM-based non-line-of-sight (NLOS) wireless broadband infrastructure equipment.

Nokia Siemens Networks to Cut 9,000 Jobs

One month after completing its merger, Nokia Siemens Networks announced a round of job cuts affecting up to 9,000 people and aimed at strengthen its competitive position in the communications industry. The company's stated goal is to reduce headcount by 10-15% over a four year period from an initial base of approximately 60,000 with the goal of saving EUR 1.5 billion annually by the end 2010. Some of the job cuts may be in the form of the transfer of personnel to research and development (R&D), manufacturing, and other partners of Nokia Siemens Networks.

Nokia Siemens Networks has begun the process of sharing its proposed overall headcount reduction plans with employees and plans for Germany and Finland with employees and employee representatives. The company plans similar processes will take place in other countries over the next few months.

"This is a necessary step to build a Nokia Siemens Networks able to compete now and in the future," said Simon Beresford-Wylie, chief executive officer of Nokia Siemens Networks. "While we are a global company, with more than sixty percent of our employees already outside of Finland and Germany, both Finland and Germany will continue to be major centers of employment for Nokia Siemens Networks."

"While we have a great opportunity now that we are Nokia Siemens Networks, we also have to face the reality of the market," said Christoph Caselitz, chief market officer of Nokia Siemens Networks. "Many of our customers are facing intense cost pressure, relentless competition, and new business models. We must make the tough changes necessary to adapt to this reality and lower the cost of connectivity if we are to succeed in our vision of having five billion people in 2015 enjoying the benefits of being connected."

Alcatel-Lucent to Build Fiber Overlay on Electrical Grid for France's RTE

RTE, the French public power transmission network operator, awarded a contract to Alcatel-Lucent to deploy an additional several-thousand-kilometer fiber-optic network on its high-voltage transmission grid. ROSE 7 (Réseau Optique de SEcurité, or Optical Security Network) is the continuation of a project that began in 2004 with a 500 Km pilot project in Brittany which has grown to over 5,000 km. The agreement includes project management, engineering, supply, network installation and commissioning, as well as maintenance for the majority of the network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

SES Astra Satellite Successfully Launched

SES Astra' Astra 1L satellite was successfully launched by Arianespace.

SES Astra is the leading direct-to-home (DTH) broadcast system in Europe, serving more than 109 million households via DTH and cable networks. Satellites in the SES Astra fleet transmit 1,864 TV and radio stations.

Astra 1L, built by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS) using an A2100 AX platform, will weigh about 4,500 kg at launch. Equipped with 29 Ku-band active transponders and 2 Ka-band active transponders, Astra 1L will be positioned at 19.2 degrees East, and provide high-power satellite services across Europe. Its design life is approximately 15 years.

Galaxy 17, built by Thales Alenia Space using a Spacebus 3000 B3 platform, is designed to provide television and telephony services for North America. Weighing about 4,100 kg at launch, it is fitted with 24 Ku-band and 24 C-band transponders. Its design life is about 15 years.

Intelsat's Galaxy 17 Satellite Successfully Launched

Intelsat's Galaxy 17 Satellite was successfully launched aboard Arianespace's Ariane 5 ECA rocket. The satellite, built by Thales Alenia Space, will initially operate from 74ºW and offer high-power capacity to video programmers, government and corporate broadband customers in North America and in the Caribbean.

Galaxy 17, built by Thales Alenia Space using a Spacebus 3000 B3 platform, is designed to provide television and telephony services for North America. Weighing about 4,100 kg at launch, it is fitted with 24 Ku-band and 24 C-band transponders. Its design life is about 15 years.

EC Advances its Case Against Germany's "Regulatory Holiday" for DT

The European Commission published a ruling advancing its case against a German law that could grant Deutsche Telekom a "regulatory holiday" in spite of its dominant position in the broadband market. Specifically, the European Commission is objecting to a German telecom law that just entered into force that effectively exempts Deutsche Telekom's new VDSL network from competition, as had been requested by the German incumbent operator. DT is still partly owned by the German State.

With this ruling, the EC has given Germany one month to reply. The EC describes its action as the last step before referring the case to the European Court of Justice.
  • At the CeBIT show in March 2007, Deutsche Telekom's T-Com division announced its plans to accelerate its VDSL rollout for supporting IPTV. The aim is to cover more than 17 million households by the end of 2007. As the next step in the expansion of its VDSL access network, Deutsche Telekom will provide its customers in the following cities with the new high-speed technology: Bochum, Bonn, Bremen, Darmstadt, Dortmund, Dresden, Duisburg, Essen, Karlsruhe, Ludwigshafen, Mainz, Mannheim, Wiesbaden and Wuppertal. This will bring the number of VDSL connected cities in Germany to 26.

FCC Adopts Rules for the Broadcasting-Satellite Services

The FCC adopted rules for the 17/24 GHz Broadcasting-Satellite Service (BSS), which is expected to deliver a mix of local and domestic video, audio, data, video-on-demand, and multi-media services to U.S. consumers, including Alaska and Hawaii. In some cases, these services will complement existing Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) services.

The FCC is implementing a first-come, first-served licensing procedure for the 17/24 GHz BSS, as well as various safeguards, reporting requirements, and licensee obligations. It is also establishing rules and requirements for orbital spacing, minimum antenna diameter, and antenna performance standards. The new rules detail limits for uplink and downlink power levels to minimize the possibility of harmful interference. The new rules also stipulate criteria to facilitate sharing in the 24 GHz and 17 GHz bands.

DIRECTV, Pegasus Development DBS Corp., EchoStar, and Intelsat North America have filed applications for 17/24 GHz BSS space station licenses. These applications represent a wide range of system designs and business plans, from complementing existing DBS services to providing a new suite of services which will include standard-definition and high-definition formats.

FCC Grants Set-top Box Waivers

The FCC's Media Bureau granted several waivers to cable operators regarding compliance requirements for various set-top boxes.

Charter Communications was granted a request for a waiver of the ban on integrated set-top boxes for seven set-top box models until July 1, 2008.

The FCC also granted conditional waivers of the integration ban to Millennium Telcom (OneSource Communications) and GCI Cable, Inc.. The bureau found that these operators' commitments to migrate their systems to all-digital on or before February 17, 2009 justified grant of the waivers. Among other things, migration to all-digital will facilitate the DTV transition and enable expanded service offerings. The Bureau denied Millennium's request for a waiver with respect to one set-top box model, finding Millenium's arguments that this high-end model was critical to its ability to migrate to all-digital unconvincing.

US Army Selects General Dynamics' Ku-Band Satellite Antenna

General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies has been awarded an order under the World Wide Satellite Services contract to provide Ku-band on-the-move satellite communications terminals to the U.S. Army. Under this order, General Dynamics will provide a single Warrior Model 20-20 Satcom-on-the-Move (SOTM) antenna system for verification and testing, with additional purchases to follow successful tests. The total potential value of the award if all options are exercised is $28 million over three years.

General Dynamics said its equipment transmits and receives data at speeds up to 1.54 Mbps in Ku-band, giving unit commanders robust satellite communications in moving vehicles. The terminals track satellites very accurately using a combination of integral satellite-beacon receivers, gyro stabilization and inertial measurement units.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Nortel Posts Q1Revenues of $2.48 billion, up 4% YoY

Nortel reported Q1 2007 revenues of $2.48 billion, up 4% compared to $2.39 billion for the first quarter of 2006 and $3.32 billion for the fourth quarter of 2006. Excluding the impact of its UMTS Access divestiture, revenues increased by 12 percent year over year. There was a net loss of $103 million, or $0.23 per common share on a diluted basis. The gross margin for the quarter was 40.4 percent.

Some highlights:

  • Carrier Networks (CN) revenues in Q1 were $1.01 billion, a decrease of 6 percent compared with the year-ago quarter and a decrease of 32 percent sequentially. In the first quarter, the strong growth in CDMA was more than offset by declines in the GSM/UMTS and in the circuit and packet voice businesses. Excluding the impact of the UMTS Access divestiture, CN revenues increased by 5 percent in the first quarter of 2007 compared with the year-ago quarter.

  • Enterprise Solutions (ES) revenues in the first quarter of 2007 were $597 million, an increase of 31 percent compared with the year-ago quarter and a decrease of 24 percent sequentially. The year over year growth was driven by strong growth in both voice and data businesses.

  • Global Services (GS) revenues in the first quarter of 2007 were $448 million, a decrease of 11 percent compared with the year-ago quarter, and a decrease of 17 percent sequentially. Excluding the impact of the UMTS Access divestiture, GS revenues increased by 1 percent in the first quarter of 2007 compared with the year-ago quarter.

  • Metro Ethernet Networks (MEN) revenues in the first quarter of 2007 were $373 million, an increase of 27 percent compared with the year-ago quarter and a decrease of 17 percent sequentially. The year over year increase in revenues was primarily due to the completion of a large optical and a large data contract and continued traction in the Multiple System Operator market.

THUS Selects Ciena's CN 4200 for London Metro Net

THUS plc has chosen Ciena's CN 4200 FlexSelect Advanced Services Platform to support the delivery of a new high-capacity, next-generation network to the London Metropolitan Network (LMN). As the capital's metropolitan research and education network, the LMN provides more than one million students with access to advanced services and online learning applications, and also connects member institutions to JANET, the UK's research and academic network.

The deployment will connect 137 higher and further education sites across Greater London, offering 20 Gbps capacity to meet the growing demand from educational institutions for higher bandwidth.

Specifically, Ciena's CN 4200 platform will be used to interconnect LMN's three major points of presence (PoPs), namely the University of London Computer Centre (ULCC), Imperial College and Kings College Waterloo Campus, providing two optical transmission wavelengths between each site. Each wavelength will deliver 10 Gbps of capacity. A fourth network link will be deployed to provide Gigabit Ethernet point-to-point connectivity between the ULCC and Queen Mary, University of London. THUS' networks will also interconnect to SuperJANET5, which links users across the UK's education community, and is also supported by Ciena's optical solutions.

THUS has already built bespoke networks based on the CN 4200 platform for other enterprise customers. Additionally, THUS has deployed Ciena's next-generation platforms within its own UK- wide next-generation network, enhancing performance and reliability as well as increasing capacity.

ECI Telecom Posts Quarterly Revenue of $155 million

ECI Telecom reported Q1 revenues of $155 million, compared with $162 million in the first quarter of 2006 and $154 million in the fourth quarter of 2006. GAAP net income reached $18.7 million, or $0.15 per share on a fully diluted basis, compared with first quarter 2006 net income of $3.1 million, or $0.03 per diluted share. Some highlights:

  • Revenues for the Transport Networking Division (reflecting the merger of ECI's Optical Networks and Data Networking Divisions), totaled $105 million for the quarter. This represents a 15% increase from $91 million in the comparable quarter last year and approximately $1 million lower than the fourth quarter of 2006. The sequential decline is due to lower data networking revenues offsetting continued growth in optical networking revenues. On a GAAP basis, operating income for the Division reached $6.8 million, while on a pro forma, non GAAP, basis, operating income reached $9.1 million.

  • Revenues for the Broadband Access Division totaled $45 million for the quarter, down from $62 million in the comparable quarter last year and up from $40 million in the fourth quarter of 2006. On a GAAP basis, operating income for the Division totaled $3.8 million, while pro forma, non GAAP operating income was $4.1 million.

Covad Launches Bonded T1 Service

Covad Communications launched a Bonded T1 service for small businesses and distributed enterprises. Covad's Bonded T1 service combines two 1.5 Mbps T1 lines together to deliver symmetrical 3.0 Mbps data speeds. The service is available nationwide throughout the same footprint as Covad's standard T1 service.

DIRECTV Debuts Portable Satellite TV System

DRECTV began marketing its Sat-Go ("Satellite-to-Go") portable satellite TV system. The briefcase-like design that includes a 17-inch LCD monitor with integrated DIRECTV Receiver, flat antenna and replaceable/rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The unit also includes AC/DC adaptors for home and car. When not being used as a portable/ travel unit, the DIRECTV Sat-Go can also be utilized as an additional in-home DIRECTV Receiver and television. The list price is $1,499.

HP's DRAGON Provides Telecom Data Retention

HP announced a new data retention solution for telecommunication service providers that are being asked by governments to join the fight against global terrorism, organized crime and drug trafficking.

The HP Data Retention and Guardian ONline (DRAGON) solution aims to help service providers to collect and store data from a variety of sources, such as fixed and mobile telephony, email and voicemail, Internet usage, IP telephony, text messaging, and even usage of custom calling features such as call waiting, three-way calling and call forwarding.

HP said the system is a scalable system that enables them to capture massive volumes of voice and data traffic on their networks, retain it for months and years, and retrieve selected records -- almost in real time -- if asked by government agencies.

HP DRAGON is currently deployed with seven telecom service providers in Italy and Turkey. The European Union has approved data retention requirements and its 27 member nations are incorporating the legal framework into national legislation.

Security features are enabled through powerful user authentication controls as well as data and document encryption. All operations are fully auditable.

The HP DRAGON offering consists of a wide variety of products and services, including HP Integrity servers, HP ProLiant servers, ATCA-based HP blade servers, HP ILM Tiered Storage solutions including HP StorageWorks XP Arrays, HP StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Arrays, and nearline and offline storage products, HP DRAGON software, HP BSS software, and HP services and support.

The solution also includes important technologies from industry leaders such as Cisco (application-aware networking) and Oracle (database).

Silver Star Telecom Deploys Hatteras' Mid-band Ethernet

Silver Star Telecom, a wholesale services provider based in Vancouver, Washington, has turned up a new level of advanced Ethernet services using the Hatteras Networks Mid-Band Ethernet platform. Now available to wholesale and retail customers throughout select metro markets in Oregon and Washington, Silver Star Telecom's new Ethernet service will cater to speed-starved business customers at copper-fed locations.

"Hatteras Networks' carrier-class Mid-Band Ethernet solutions enable us to provide Ethernet and IP services in excess of 36Mbps symmetrical to customer locations without access to fiber," said Clint Warta, president and founder of Silver Star Telecom.

BigBand Posts Revenues of $52.8 million, up 62% YoY

In its first quarter as a public company, BigBand Networks reported net revenues of $52.8 million, an increase of 62% over $32.6 million in the first quarter of 2006. GAAP net loss for the quarter was $1.0 million, or ($0.05) per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $1.1 million, or ($0.09) per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2006. Excluding special charges, net of tax, non-GAAP net income for the first quarter of 2007 was $5.8 million, or $0.09 per diluted share.

Gross margin improved to 57.5% on a GAAP basis and 58.0% on a non-GAAP basis.

BigBand Networks completed its initial public offering of common stock on March 20, 2007 and raised net proceeds of approximately $88 million through the issuance of 7.5 million shares. As of March 31, 2007, the Company had $144.6 million in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities.