Thursday, August 23, 2007

XFONE to Acquire Texas-Based NTS

Xfone USA agreed to acquire NTS Communications, a provider of integrated voice, data and video services based in Lubbock, Texas, for $42 million.

NTS operates the largest CLEC network in West Texas, providing local, long distance, broadband data, video and private line services to approximately 47,500 residential and business customers. Markets served include Lubbock, Amarillo, Midland/Odessa, Abilene, Wichita Falls, Pampa and Plainview. NTS operates through 21 ILEC central office collocation sites within its core areas and provides nationwide private line and regional long distance service as well as statewide, Midwest and northwest regional services to customers beyond its own network facilities through a variety of inter-carrier arrangements.

The company says it has invested over $23 million in developing a Fiber-to-the-Premise platform for residential and business customers.

Following the acquisition, the combined company will have annualized revenues and EBITDA exceeding $114 million and $13 million, respectively based upon the first six months of 2007 unaudited results.

MetroFi Free Welcomes Apple iPhone Users

MetroFi, which operates metropolitan Wi-Fi networks in nine cities across the U.S., is welcoming iPhone users to its free, advertising-supported access service. After a one-time registration, iPhone users can get quick, single-touch, free access to the Internet by selecting MetroFi-Free as their iPhone's preferred Wi-Fi network. This enables iPhone users to launch the MetroFi-Free service automatically when touching the Safari browser button on the iPhone home screen.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, MetroFi noted that it has logged network sessions by 1,000 unique iPhone devices in July. This represents 5% of the Bay Area networks' user population that month, which is on par with iPhone usage the company has been seeing in other MetroFi markets as well.

Vitesse to Sell Storage Products Business to Maxim

Vitesse Semiconductor agreed to sell a portion of its storage products business to Maxim Integrated Products for $63 million in cash and potential earn-out payments of up to $12 million in the aggregate.

The deal includes Vitesse's Serial Attached SCSI (SAS), Serial Attached ATA (SATA) expander product segments, enclosure and baseboard management devices and certain other assets of Vitesse's Storage Products Division, which is based in Colorado Springs. Vitesse will retain its RAID-on-Chip (ROC) and Fibre Channel product segments, which had been part of the Storage Products Division and will be integrated into its continuing operations.

Vitesse said it plans to focus on its core networking and Ethernet IC businesses. Vitesse also announced $30 million in new financing, which the Company will use, along with the sale proceeds, to repay its existing credit facility and to invest in its business.

Alcatel-Lucent Wins US$100 Million Contract in Uganda

Hits Telecom Uganda, a new regional operator whose majority shareholder is Abu Dhabi-based International Investment House, signed a US$100 million contract with Alcatel-Lucent to deploy a new GSM network.

Under the contract, Alcatel-Lucent will supply an end-to-end GSM network including network design, OSS/BSS integration and managed services. It will also supply transmission solutions, including microwave systems, and its IP routing solution.

Hits Telecom Uganda has been awarded a full telecommunications license, which includes the GSM 900/1800 spectrum, WIMAX broadband, international gateway, mobile virtual network operation and data transmission services.

Hits Telecom Uganda plans to introduce its services in time for the Summit of the 53 Heads of States of the Commonwealth Countries, which will take place in November.

Comcast Reaches 3 Million Phone Customers, Launches in Colorado Springs

Comcast announced the launch of its Digital Voice in Colorado Springs, offering unlimited direct-dial local and domestic long-distance calling, Web access to voicemail, E911 service, and 12 of the most popular calling features such as three-way calling, call waiting, caller ID, speed dial and enhanced voicemail.

Comcast noted that it has more than three million phone customers. Comcast Digital Voice is currently available in more than 70 markets nationwide, reaching 38 million homes.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

BT Handles Million VoIP Calls per Day for Gov't Agency

BT announced that a newly installed IP telephony platform at the UK's Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is now handling one million VoIP calls per day. The network installation reaches 435 sites around the UK and serves over 35,000 users. To date, over 24,000 new handsets and nearly 4,000 fax and other analogue devices are in use over the new network.

BT is replacing the entire DWP estate of PBX and other legacy telephony services with a Nortel hosted Service that will ultimately support DWP's Telephony & Contact Center users. BT has installed the Nortel Communication Server 2000 Carrier class soft switch in its core network to provide the hosted IP telephony. Nortel is also supply handsets for the project.

Finisar Delivers Narrowly Tunable, Long-Reach 10 Gbps Optical Transmitter

Finisar announced general availability of its 10 Gbps DM80 and DM200 narrowly tunable CMLTM Butterfly Transmitters for DWDM transponders and telecom line card applications.

The new devices employ the directly modulated Chirp Managed Laser (CML) technology recently acquired by Finisar. The DM200 transmits with an output power of 0 to 3 dBm and can transmit at 10 Gbps over distances of 300 km without requiring costly optical dispersion compensation. For applications requiring high output power, the DM80 can transmit distances up to 120 km with an output power of 4-7 dBm.

Both the DM80 and DM200 transmitters offer narrow tunability at either 4-channel, 100 GHz DWDM spacing or 8-channel, 50 GHz DWDM spacing across both C-band and L-band, thus reducing the supply chain complexity by a factor of 4x or 8x compared to non-tunable sources.

FCC Chairman Voices Support for A-la-Carte Programming Model

In an open letter published this week, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin expressed his support for a-la-carte television programming models, saying that consumers should be able to purchase access to television channels individually, or in smaller packages. Martin believes this will lower cable bills and enable greater choice in the market.

CableLabs Approves DTCP-IP Content Protection

CableLabs has approved Digital Transmission Copy Protection (DTCP)-IP technology for protection of cable content using Internet Protocol for unidirectional and bidirectional digital cable products. DTCP provides a means of securing links between consumer electronics device, protecting against unauthorized copying and unauthorized Internet retransmission, while assuring consumers' ability to record broadcast and subscription programming in digital formats for personal use. . This would enable cable subscribers to enjoy digital cable programming, including high-definition and VOD cable content, on consumer electronics devices and personal computers on digital home networks.

The approval was reached in cooperation with Paramount Pictures Corporation, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc., The Walt Disney Company and Warner Bros. Technical Operations, CableLabs and the Digital Transmission Licensing Administrator (DTLA). The approval permits CableLabs licensees under DFAST, CHILA, and DCAS to protect pay-per-view and video-on-demand transmissions

"The agreement we reached today addresses the highly complex concerns raised by the affected parties-cable, content, and consumer electronics- and brings benefits to consumers," said Dr. Richard R. Green, President and CEO of CableLabs.

In conjunction with this agreement, DTLA has withdrawn a related petition at the FCC. CableLabs previously had approved DTCP for protection of content over the IEEE 1394 interface.

Marvell Posts Q2 Revenue of $656.7 Million

Marvell reported record Q2 revenue of $656.7 million, an increase of 14% over net revenue of $574.0 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2007 and a 3% sequential increase from net revenue of $635.1 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2008. Net loss under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) was $56.5 million, or $0.10 per share (diluted), for the second quarter of fiscal 2008, compared with net income under GAAP of $44.9 million, or $0.07 per share (diluted), for the second quarter of fiscal 2007.

"Our Q2 revenue was greater than expected as a result of strong sales for our communications and applications processors, and our wireless LAN products," stated Dr. Sehat Sutardja, Marvell's President and CEO. "We currently believe this growth trend will continue in Q3."

Limelight Signs Microsoft for CDN Services

Limelight Networks announced a major new technology and services agreement with Microsoft under which Limelight will help improve the performance, scalability, and reliability of Internet delivery of media content and online services, including video, music, games, software, and social media, across Microsoft's global Internet properties. Microsoft's web sites serve 460 million unique users per month worldwide.

Under the deal, Microsoft and Limelight will cross-license certain technologies, consider joint development projects in the future, and cooperate on extending and improving their respective technology infrastructures.

Microsoft and Limelight have also entered into a multi-year relationship under which Limelight Networks will continue to provide global media streaming and content delivery services to Microsoft.

The new technology and services agreement is aimed at radically improving user experiences across Internet media properties of Microsoft's globally scaled internet services, which today serve over 460 million unique users per month worldwide.

Alcatel-Lucent to Upgrade Southern Cross Submarine Cable

Alcatel-Lucent was selected to upgrade the landing stations of Southern Cross' 28,900 km submarine cable network.

The upgrade will provide further route diversity and capacity in the Australasian region. Specifically, Alcatel-Lucent will upgrade the network's ten landing stations, which are located close to the major international hubs of Sydney (Australia), Auckland (New Zealand), Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Honolulu (the U.S.) for ease of access.

Alcatel-Lucent described two phases for the project. The first phase will consist in upgrading the existing 480 Gbps capacity up to 660 Gbps by the end of the first quarter 2008 and the second phase will bring it up to 860 Gbps by the end of 2008. The network will support future upgrades up to 2.4 Tbps.

For the submarine section, Alcatel-Lucent will deploy its 1620 Light Manager DWDM submarine line terminal. The landing stations will also be upgraded with the Alcatel-Lucent 1675 LambdaUnite Multi-Service Switch (MSS), offering advanced dynamic networking based on Automatically Switched Optical Network (ASON)/Generalized Multi-Protocol Label Switching (GMPLS) intelligent control plane for improvement of network availability, strengthening of traffic protection and enabling accelerated optical connection provisioning.

This new award follows the contract signed in 2001 for the first upgrade of the Southern Cross network that went into service in November 2000, providing Australasia with a fully protected direct link to the U.S. mainland.

Sun to Change Stock Ticker Symbol to JAVA

Sun Microsystems will change its Nasdaq stock ticker symbol from SUNW to JAVA. The change will go into effect on Monday, August 27, 2007.

"More than a billion people across the globe, representing nearly every demographic, market and industry, rely upon Java's security, innovation and value to connect them with opportunity. That awareness positions Sun, and now our investor base, for the future," said Jonathan Schwartz, president and CEO of Sun.

Brocade Posts Revenue of $327 Million

Brocade posted quarterly revenue of $327.5 million, slightly above the company's preliminary results reported on August 8, 2007. Revenues for the quarter decreased 5% from $345.3 million reported in the preceding quarter and increased 73% from $188.9 million reported in the same period last year.

Reporting on a GAAP basis, net income for the quarter was $10.7 million, or $0.03 per share basic and diluted.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

OIF Hosts Global Interoperability Demonstration

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) is hosting a "Worldwide Interoperability Demonstration - On-Demand Ethernet Services" to showcase interoperability in a multi-carrier environment. Interoperability testing of heterogeneous network equipment includes MSPPs, routers, Ethernet switches, cross-connects, OADMs in the data plane, as well as both embedded and proxy controllers in the control plane.

Participating vendors include Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena Corporation, Ericsson, Huawei Technologies, Marben Products, Sycamore Networks, Tellabs and ZTE.

Participating OIF Carrier members include AT&T, China Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom Group, KDDI, Telecom Italia and Verizon.

OIF participating members are demonstrating end-to-end provisioning of dynamic switched Ethernet services over multiple, control-plane enabled intelligent optical core networks through the use of OIF implementation agreements UNI 2.0 and E-NNI including:

  • Ethernet Private Line - allowing carriers to leverage existing TDM infrastructure to carry Ethernet

  • Neighbor Discovery - automating what is currently a manual provision process between neighbors

  • Control Plane Failure Recovery - an important carrier-class reliability feature

  • Non-Disruptive Bandwidth Modification - optimizes network operation and resources by adapting to bursty data traffic flows.

The test phase of the event has been underway in Carrier labs since June 2007. The event will culminate in a public demonstration of the results at ECOC 2007, September 17-19, 2007 in Berlin.

Cox Selects BigBand for Switched Digital Video

Cox Communications, the third largest cable operator in the US, has selected BigBand Networks' switched digital video (SDV) solution for use in multiple cable systems --- including both Motorola and Scientific Atlanta set-top box environments -- and has begun to deploy the solution in its Northern Virginia market. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"BigBand's switched digital video solution gives us the ability to dramatically expand programming--particularly high-definition channels--at a low cost-per-subscriber," said James Kelso, vice president of video engineering for Cox Communications.

Cox is the third U.S. cable operator to deploy BigBand's SDV solution.

http://www.bigbandnetworks.comBigBand Networks began deploying switched digital video commercially in 2005.

IBM to License OpenScape Technology from Siemens

IBM will license elements of Siemens' OpenScape open unified communications capabilities to enhance the IBM Lotus "Unified Telephony" offering, which is a planned expansion of the Lotus Sametime product family.

By incorporating OpenScape technology, Lotus software users be get access to communications tools within the applications they already use regardless of their back-end telephony systems.
The integration will also enable Lotus customers to decouple their unified communications investments from their PBX infrastructure.

Siemens' OpenScape Unified Communications suite is built on Siemens OpenSOA architecture, and based on Siemens' open communications model.

Siemens said that IBM's decision to license elements of OpenScape and incorporate them within the Lotus Sametime "Unified Telephony" product supports the Siemens' Open Communications model and showcases how SOA-based solutions work well together.

EMBARQ Offers Reward for Copper Cable Thieves

EMBARQ is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of anyone stealing the company's live traffic-carrying cable, primarily copper, in the Las Vegas area.

Copper theft is becoming an industry-wide problem. Officials believe that the copper is taken to recycling centers where it is sold as scrap. So far in Las Vegas, more than 60 people have been arrested for copper theft this year.

Dialogic Debuts Hybrid Media Gateways for Unified Communications

Dialogic introduced its DMG4000 Media Gateway series designed to connect Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 to existing PBX systems and the PSTN.

Based on a standard rack-mount server running Microsoft Windows Server 2003, the DMG4000 gateways are in the class of "basic-hybrid gateways" designed to provide both the media gateway function and the Mediation Server role of Office Communications Server 2007.

Mediation Server provides PSTN and PBX interoperability, high-fidelity audio via the Microsoft RT Audio Codec, and VoIP security for Office Communications Server 2007.

Dialogic said its integration of a media gateway subsystem and Windows Server 2003 delivers two key elements of an Office Communications Server 2007 deployment in one easily managed, 1U rack mount device. The Mediation Server software from Microsoft is a required element of an Office Communications Server 2007 deployment with PBX or PSTN integration, and will come pre-installed on the Dialogic 4000 Media Gateway Series.

The DMG4000 Series feature the Dialogic Diva Media Boards, Dialogic Diva "SIPcontrol" software, Windows Server 2003 and the Mediation Server software for Office Communications Server 2007. These elements are integrated in an Intel IP-Network Server featuring 64-bit Dual-Core Intel Xeon 5100 series processors, RAID 1 hard disk subsystem and redundant power supplies, in a 1U rugged design that can be deployed in a data center rack.

The media gateway sub-system offers dual load-balancing Gigabit Ethernet interfaces towards the IP networks, as well as a choice of either two or four T1/E1 interfaces towards the PSTN or PBX. The two integrated turnkey configurations can support up to 60 or 120 channels of unified communications traffic between legacy networks and the IP network and thus are capable of supporting hundreds of IP endpoints registered to Office Communications Server 2007. Multiple units can be co-located or distributed across a managed IP network as enterprises scale up their unified communications deployments.

Aztek Networks Raises $7.5 Million for Emergency Switches

Aztek Networks, a start-up based in Boulder, Colorado, raised $7.5 million in Series B funding for its Emergency Stand Alone (ESA) switching products.

Aztek Networks 5000S ESA switching device is an open-standards, environmentally hardened and fully redundant ESA switch designed to ensure public safety by constantly maintaining local calling capabilities and subscriber access to emergency 911 services in the event the link to the primary host switch is severed due to an accident or natural disaster.

The funding was led by the Telecommunications Development Fund (TDF), a previous investor in Aztek Networks. Other existing investors, including Sequel Venture Partners and Grotech Capital Group, also contributed to the financing, along with new investor Legend Ventures. The company, which has now secured a total of $14.1 million.