Sunday, July 29, 2007

Verizon Wireless to Acquire Rural Cellular for $2.67 Billion

Verizon Wireless will acquire Rural Cellular Corporation for approximately $2.67 billion in cash and assumed debt.

Rural Cellular's network served 716,000 customers as of March 31, 2007, spread across five regional territories. It uses both CDMA and GSM technology separately across these five regional markets. The networks are located in the states of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts, Alabama, Mississippi, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Kansas, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. The acquisition will increase Verizon Wireless coverage by 4.7 million licensed POPs (population).

Verizon Wireless said it plans to deploy CDMA service in Rural Cellular's existing GSM markets and convert the GSM customers to CDMA service. Verizon Wireless, however, anticipates maintaining Rural Cellular's existing GSM networks to continue serving the roaming needs of other GSM carriers' customers.

Verizon Wireless expects to realize more than $1 billion in synergies in reduced roaming and operations expenses.

Alcatel-Lucent Adds CDMA/EV-DO Base Station

Alcatel-Lucent has expanded its CDMA/EV-DO wireless portfolio with a new microcell-type base station that can be deployed in locations such as utility poles and the sides of buildings. Sprint is the first customer to deploy the new product.

The Alcatel-Lucent CDMA Base Station 2400 is designed for seamless integration into both new and existing networks. It supports CDMA2000 1X, 1xEV-DO and Revision A (Rev. A) services.

Telefónica Reaches 1.3 Million Pay TV Customers

During the second quarter of 2007 the Telefónica Group reported continued growth, especially in wireless and broadband, ending the period with 212.6 million accesses, 11.3% more than a year earlier.

Telefónica ended June with 9.1 million retail broadband accesses (+34.9%), 154.9 million mobile accesses (+15.1%) and over 1.3 million pay TV accesses (+64.5%).

Telefónica España currently boasts 45.2 million accesses, an increase of 5.5% year-on-year.

The total number accesses in Telefónica Latinoamérica continued to register a strong growth (+13.9% year-on-year to 121.8 million) thanks to the solid increase in the broadband segment and a robust mobile market.

Telefónica O2 Europe, which continues to focus its efforts on capturing and retention the value customers, saw its total accesses advance 7.4% to 39.8 million.

The company ended June with over 4.2 million retail broadband accesses in Spain (+30.4% year-on-year), 4.4 million in Latin America (+36.8% year-on-year) and 0.5 million in Europe (+60.9% year-on-year) after posting net adds in the second quarter of 206,000, 335,000 and 35,000 respectively.

Pay TV accesses at the end of the quarter 2007 totaled 1.3 million, 64.5% more than a year before, with operations in Spain, the Czech Republic, Peru, Chile and Colombia.

Telefónica España contributed the most to consolidated Group revenues, accounting for 36.6%. In the first semester of 2007, revenues at Telefónica España topped EUR 10,191 million, 5.4% higher than in the same period in 2006, building on the growth seen in the previous quarter.

Verizon Adds 1.6 Million Wireless, 167,000 FiOS TV Subscribers

Citing strength in wireless and FiOS services, Verizon Communications reported $1.7 billion in Q2 earnings, or 58 cents in EPS, up from 43 cents EPS in the second quarter before discontinued operations. Revenues reached $23.3 billion in revenues, up 6.3 percent, compared to the same period last year. Some highlights:


  • 1.6 million retail net customer additions; 1.3 million total net customer additions after reseller reductions. This gives the company a total of 60.1 million retail customers and 62.1 million total customers.

  • Churn was 1.08 percent retail and record 0.85 percent retail post-paid.

  • Wireless revenues totaled $10.8 billion, up 17.1 percent. Service revenues were $9.4 billion, up 17.0 percent, driven by customer growth and demand for data services.

  • Retail service ARPU (average monthly revenue per customer) was $51.84, up 3.0 percent year over year.


  • Added167,000 net new FiOS TV customers in quarter. This gives Verizon 515,000 total FiOS TV customers; and nearly 1.3 million total video customers, including satellite TV.

  • At the end of the quarter, Verizon had 7.7 million total broadband connections (FiOS Internet and DSL), up 25.5 percent, including 288,000 net new broadband connections in quarter; 203,000 net new FiOS Internet customers in quarter, 1.1 million total FiOS Internet customers.

  • Data revenues across all market segments increased 11.6 percent, to $4.4 billion. This reflects increasing revenues from consumer broadband -- such as FiOS services and Verizon High Speed Internet (DSL) -- as well as from wholesale data transport and sales of Verizon Business data services.

  • Verizon Business reported second-quarter 2007 revenues of $5.3 billion, or growth of 2.4 percent compared with the second quarter 2006 on an adjusted basis (non-GAAP).

Amdocs Signs Services Agreement with Telkom South Africa

Telkom South Africa awarded a five-year services agreement to Amdocs. Under the deal, Amdocs will continue to provide maintenance and support services for the Amdocs customer experience systems deployed at Telkom SA since 1999, including consolidated billing, customer relationship management (CRM) and order management. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Wisair Unveils Single CMOS Chip for Wireless USB

Wisair announced commercial availability of a single-die CMOS chip for both host and device Wireless USB applications. The production-ready chip, based on WiMedia and Certified Wireless USB standards, integrates UWB PHY (including RF), MAC and Wireless USB subsystems.

Wisair said its new device could enable a range of Wireless USB applications, including battery-powered, portable devices. The device is implemented in digital CMOS process and supports HWA, DWA and Native device protocols, and features SDIO and USB interfaces, isochronous data transfer and cable and numeric association models.

Wisair noted that its chip can deliver full-room coverage with connectivity ranges of 8 meters at 480Mbps and over 20 meters at 200 Mbps. For mobile devices where battery life is key, the WSR601 provides power-save modes and an average power consumption of 385 mW at 100 Mbps throughput.

XO to Deploy Additional 800 Gbps to National Backbone

XO Communications will deploy an additional 800 Gbps of capacity on major coast-to-coast routes across its nationwide 18,000 route-mile optical network, augmenting a capacity expansion XO completed last year which delivered 400 Gbps of capacity across its network.

Specifically, XO will light two new fiber strands on its nationwide fiber network, adding 800 Gbps of capacity in core XO network nodes which will deliver an additional 80 10-Gbps channels on major coast-to-coast XO network routes. The upgrade is being delivered on Infinera's DTN system, which XO implemented last year with the initial expansion of its network.

XO Communications has also extended the availability of its 3 Guarantee Program, which was initiated earlier this year to offer carriers, cable companies, content providers, large enterprises and wireless companies increased incentives to leverage XO's suite of inter-city and metro network transport solutions, including Ethernet, IP Transit, and Wavelength services.

XO also noted the following milestones:

  • A 514% increase in sales orders for high-capacity inter-city network transport services from Q1 2006 to Q1 2007;

  • New wins with major domestic and international telecommunications carriers, online gaming, content and Internet-centric companies including China Netcom USA, GameRail, NTT America and PCCW Global.

AppTrigger Adds Industry Execs to Advisory Board

AppTrigger announced the appointment of three noted industry executives to its advisory board: Mick Reeve, Dr. Niel Ransom, and Phil Holmes.

Mick Reeve recently retired after 36 years at British Telecom (BT), where he was most recently Chief Architect responsible for BT's overall network and systems architectures. He also led the standards program, directing the architecture for BT's 21st Century Network and ensuring its alignment with global standards.

Dr. Niel Ransom is the former CTO of Alcatel. At Alcatel, he managed an organization encompassing corporate and product strategy, corporate research, R&D investment, mergers and acquisition (M&A) strategy, participation in venture funds, and patents and intellectual property. While at Alcatel, he also held various general management roles, including managing the Alcatel access and metro optical business in the U.S. Dr. Ransom joined Alcatel from BellSouth where he directed an organization responsible for expanding BellSouth's offerings into PCS wireless, IP, video, and advanced intelligent networks.

Phil Holmes, a former Director of Architecture and Technology for Motorola Networks in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), was responsible for ensuring that Motorola's overall network architecture developed in line with advances in telecommunications in the EMEA region and GSM/UMTS marketplace. Phil joined Motorola in September 2005 following a long and highly successful career with BT. Prior; he was CTO of BT Exact.

BridgeWave Raises $7.8 Million for 4G/WiMAX Backhaul

BridgeWave Communications, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, has secured $7.8 million in Series 3 financing for it broadband wireless solutions. BridgeWave supplies Gigabit capacity radio for the 60 GHz and 80 GHz bands.

The funding round includes existing investors plus the additions of SDL Ventures and Intel Capital. In related news, BridgeWave also announced that former Juniper Networks executive Peter Wexler has joined the company's board of directors.

Hurricane Electric Activates 10GigE Peering Points with PAIX

Hurricane Electric has expanded its PAIX public peering footprint with 10GigE ports in both Palo Alto and New York, enabling it to provide nationwide data transmission between the sites. In addition to providing Internet connection and colocation services to Hurricane Electric in Palo Alto and New York, Switch and Data also provides the company with colocation and connectivity services in its Seattle market.

Mintera Adds Adaptive-DPSK Capability for Long Haul DWDM

Mintera, which supplies high bit-rate optical transport systems, introduced a new TP40GA Adaptive-DPSK line card that enables ultra long-haul 40Gbps transmission through 50GHz filters and in-line ROADMs. Mintera said its Adaptive-DPSK is fully compatible with its existing Adaptive Dispersion Compensation technology.

"The combination of Adaptive-DPSK and Adaptive Dispersion Compensation provides a 40Gbps DWDM solution with automatic turn-up and in-service self-optimization suitable for deployment in the most demanding network configurations," said Terry Unter, Mintera CEO.

MRV's Raman Amplifiers Enable Ultra Long-Haul DWDM

MRV Communications released new ultra long-distance optical Raman amplifier modules for its Lambda Driver DWDM transport platform. MRV's new Raman amplifiers utilize stimulated Raman scattering to create optical gain. The new amplifiers increase the single span reach of an optical signal by more than 50 km over traditional Erbium Doped Fiber Amplifier (EDFA)-based alternatives by improving the optical signal-to-noise ratio in amplified long-haul networks.

MRV's EM1600-OAR Raman amplifier family consists of three modules that offer 10dB, 12dB and 15dB of maximum optical gain over G652 fiber. The amplifiers provide flat response for the entire C-band with the optional ability to be configured to other wavelength ranges.

MRV supports several protection techniques including automatic optical shut down upon detection of fiber break or open connector.

Nevis Networks Develops Identity-Based Cloaking Technology

Nevis Networks announced a new secure "Cloaking" capability that enables security administrators to completely mask key network resources from specific users and user groups. The goal is to make network servers and application resources "invisible" to unauthorized users, thereby preventing unauthorized users from launching a range of malicious attacks, including denial of service (DoS), password cracking, and probing for open ports and vulnerabilities.

Nevis said its new cloaking technology is built on the foundation of its LANenforcer identity-based security appliance, which associates network packets with unique user IDs and the user's group affiliation. This allows cloaking and access policies to be defined in simple, easy to manage rules aligned with organizational group definitions. Access policies can be designed to be extremely granular down to a particular application, or specific server.

For example, a user within an organization's engineering department can be prevented from sending/receiving traffic to or from an HR application server. Unlike other access control technologies, it doesn't matter where the engineering user accesses the network from, or how the LAN is segmented, or what workstation he uses. The policy for his role is enforced everywhere in the network. Unauthorized packets are dropped before ever reaching their destination, removing the need for mission critical servers and applications to defend themselves from potential intruders, who can still overwhelm systems with attack attempts.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Entropic Readies IPO -- In-home Networking Silicon

Entropic Communications, a supplier of silicon solutions for in-home networking, filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to a proposed initial public offering of its common stock. The offering is expected to include shares sold by Entropic and by certain of its stockholders.

Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC and Lehman Brothers Inc. will be acting as joint book-running managers of the proposed offering. In addition, Thomas Weisel Partners LLC, JMP Securities LLC and ThinkEquity Partners LLC will be acting as co-managers.
  • In June 2007, Entropic Communications introduced a new version of its c.LINK Coaxial Network Processor for home networking of digital entertainment. Entropic's solution uses existing coax cabling, found in more than 90 percent of all households in the U.S., for distribution of multiple high definition and standard definition video, digital voice and broadband data.

    Entropic said its latest chipset can sustain performance of 270 Mbps. It operates at RF frequencies between 850 to 1500 MHz, allowing coexistence with the frequencies used by wired delivery services. The EN2210 carries key protocols such as IEEE 1394 and Ethernet, the latter making for an easy transition to IP television. c.LINK is essentially IP over coax. It also has embedded all of the required yet still evolving digital rights management (DRM) formats and protocols.

    Entropic's c.LINK is the core technology behind the Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA-TM) MAC/PHY 1.0 specification.

Qatar Telecom Deploys Huawei for Ethernet

Qatar Telecom (Qtel) has deployed Huawei Technologies' E60, Multi-Service Control Gateway (MSCG) as part of its full-service Ethernet network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Blueslice HSS Completes Interoperability with Motorola IMS

Blueslice Networks, a start-up based in Montreal, has completed interoperability testing of its Home Subscriber Server 3000 with the Motorola IMS solution, including the Motorola Call Session Control Function (CSCF).

The Blueslice HSS 3000 integrates a next generation Home Location Register (HLR) with a Home Subscriber Server into a converged subscriber profile management database. It can be used to manage subscriber data from GSM, UMTS/HSPA, or any network providing access to IMS services, such as WiMAX, TISPAN-based fixed lines, and cable networks. The platform is integrated with a subscriber-centric Fixed Mobile Convergence solution, roaming features, a service profile creation toolkit, and a web craft interface (WebCI).

EC Approves Sale of Bulgarian Telecom to AIG Captia

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Bulgarian Telecommunications Company by AIG Capital Partners. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.
  • In May 2007, AIG Capital Partners announced plans to acquire up to a 65% equity stake in Bulgarian Telecommunications , the former state-owned incumbent, for approximately GBP 1 billion.

Yahoo! Appoints Telecom Exec to Board

Yahoo! has appointed Maggie Wilderotter to its Board of Directors. Wilderotter currently serves as chairman and chief executive officer of Citizens Communications. She previously was senior vice president of the worldwide public sector division at Microsoft and before that was CEO of Wink Communications Inc., executive vice president of national operations for AT&T Wireless Services and chief executive officer of AT&T's Aviation Communications Division. She also served as senior vice president of McCaw Cellular Communications Inc. and was a regional president managing the company's California, Nevada, and Hawaii regions.

See also