Saturday, March 1, 2008

Mitsubishi Exits Mobile Handset Business

Mitsubishi Electric has decided to no longer continue its mobile handset business in Japan. The company said it will strategically shift resources to its other communication-related businesses, including next generation network (NGN) related equipment and base stations.

Mitsubishi Electric started supplying car phones in 1983 to NTT. In recent year, it has been a supplier to NTT DoCoMo.

Mitsubishi Electric had previously forecast shipment of approximately 2.1 million handsets in fiscal 2008 (April 1, 2007-March 31, 2008).

Motorola Lands $335 Million Contract with Zain Saudi Arabia

Motorola has signed a $335 million turnkey contract to deploy and manage a 2G/3G mobile communications network for Zain in Saudi Arabia, the recent addition to the Zain group in Saudi Arabia. Under the deal, Motorola will supply its GSM/HSxPA network solutions as well as managed services for network design, integration, deployment, operations and maintenance.

Network deployment is expected to commence in Q1 2008 to enable Zain to launch its network in Saudi Arabia later this year.

A substantial portion of the purchase price on this contract will be financed by Motorola.http://www.motorola.com
  • In January 2008, Nokia Siemens Networks announced a contract valued at approximately US$1 billion to roll out a state-of–the-art greenfield mobile network in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on behalf of Zain. Formerly known as the MTC Group, Zain is the leading telecommunications mobile provider in 22 countries across the Middle East and Africa and was recently awarded the third mobile telecommunications license for Saudi Arabia. Nokia Siemens Networks will provide to Zain in Saudi Arabia the latest 2G and 3G mobile network technologies, including HSDPA and HSUPA, based on the latest base station design and distributed architecture for both radio access and core networks according to the 3GPP release 4 standard. Nokia Siemens Networks said it will deliver a full turnkey solution, including managed services for five years from a dedicated local network operations center. The US$ 935 million turnkey contract also includes network planning, implementation, project management, systems integration, logistics management, multi-vendor maintenance, field services and network optimization for the base station sites. The company will also provide a wide range of operations and business support system (OSS/BSS) solutions.

Intel's Centrino Atom Aims for New Mobile Internet Devices

Intel unveiled its new line of low-power "Atom" processors designed specifically for mobile Internet devices (MIDs) and a new class of Internet-centric computers expected later this year. Intel sees these new market segments as significant new growth opportunities.

The Intel Atom processor features a new microarchitecture that maintains Intel Core 2 Duo instruction set compatibility and includes support for multiple threads. The chip measures less than 25 mm² and packs 47 million transistors, making it Intel's smallest and lowest power processor yet. These new chips, previously codenamed Silverthorne and Diamondville, will be manufactured on Intel's 45nm process with hi-k metal gate technology. Intel said new chips in this line have a thermal design power (TDP) specification in 0.6-2.5 watt range and scale to 1.8GHz speeds depending on customer need. By comparison, today's mainstream mobile Core 2 Duo processors have a TDP in the 35-watt range.

The Intel Centrino Atom processor, formerly codenamed "Menlow," includes the Intel Atom processor, a low-power companion chip with integrated graphics, a wireless radio, and thinner and lighter designs. Together, these components are designed to enable mobile computing.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

EC Telecom Rules: More Progress on Emergency 112 Caller Location Info

The European Commission cited progress on the issue of European emergency number 112 caller location information. Following action from the European Commission, caller location information for mobile calls is now available in Latvia and that the issue is being tackled with urgency by the authorities in Poland. The issue of caller location information in these two countries will no longer be taken to the European Court of Justice.

There are five Member States in which caller location information for 112 calls from mobile phones is not yet available. These are Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Romania and Slovakia. In addition, the 112 number is not yet fully available in Bulgaria .

Europe's GÉANT Extends Global Connections

GÉANT, the advanced pan-European backbone network connecting National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) across the continent, is now linking up to similar networks world-wide with the aim of creating a single global research network.

GÉANT currently connects 34 national research networks using multiple 10 Gbps wavelengths and linking some 3,500 universities and their 30 million users. High-speed links will now be established with regional research network infrastructures emerging in the Balkans, the Black Sea and Mediterranean regions, as well Asia, Southern Africa and Latin America.

GÉANT was launched in 2000 as a jointly funded initiative to upgrade Europe's research and education networking infrastructure with €200 million in total.http://www.geant2.net

Mario Rosso appointed new CEO of Tiscali

Tiscali announced the appointment of Mario Rosso as its new CEO, replacing Tommaso Pompei, who has stepped down after two years at the post. The company also confirmed its intention to pursue a strategic plan in light of the ongoing consolidation process in the telecommunication arena in Europe.

Harris Stratex to Resell Brix Networks' Service Assurance Products

Harris Stratex Networks has agreed to resell Brix Networks' converged service assurance products as part of its NetBoss network management offering. The two companies have also integrated Brix Networks' BrixWorx analysis and correlation software engine with the NetBoss product suite. The combined BrixWorx/NetBoss offering provides IP service and network performance visibility, network management, and service impact analysis - plus automated service level agreement (SLA) capabilities.

Covad Shareholders Approve Buyout by Platinum Equity

Shareholders in Covad Communications holding a majority of the company's outstanding shares approved Covad's acquisition by an affiliate of Platinum Equity for $1.02 per share in cash. The deal remains subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including approval of the Federal Communications Commission and state public utility commissions in many of the states in which Covad operates. Covad confirmed that the required FCC and state commission filings have been completed and that it is awaiting approval from the FCC and two remaining state commissions. The approvals are expected within the next 30 to 60 days.

The deal was first announced in October 2007.

Akamai Wins Patent Case Against Limelight

The U.S. District Court of Massachusetts ruled in favor of Akamai in a patent infringement case against Limelight Networks. Both companies operate content delivery networks. The jury awarded Akamai $45,526,946 in damages, plus interest, for infringing U.S. Patent No. 6,108,703.

FCC Publishes Studies on Spectrum Management Issues

The FCC's Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis (OSP) released three working papers
on two important spectrum management issues:

Working Paper #41, "Enhancing Spectrum's Value Via Market-informed Congestion Etiquettes"
and Working Paper #42, "Modeling the Efficiency of Spectrum Designated to License Use and
Unlicensed Operations,"
examine ways in which spectrum designated to licensed and unlicensed use can
be more efficiently used. Under the examined environment, theory predicts that society leaves half of the value it can
receive from spectrum "on the table."

The FCC said one new approach to spectrum management utilizes various types of user information to address the inefficient use
problem. Assuming a close similarity between the naturally occurring environment and the experimental
one, analysis reveals that the average efficiency of the existing etiquette employed in most unlicensed
equipment is 42%. In comparison, experimental analysis reveals that the average efficiency of one
market-informed etiquette - the Informed Greedy Algorithm - is 70%. This and other results form the
factual basis for generating an entirely new type of spectrum allocation wherein a given band of spectrum
is treated as a common pool resource in the absence of excessive spectrum congestion, but is treated as an
excludable private good in the presence of such congestion.

Working Paper #43, "A Market-based Approach to Establishing Licensing Rules: Licensed
Versus Unlicensed Use of Spectrum,"
examines the feasibility of employing a market mechanism to
determine whether spectrum should be designated to either licensed or unlicensed use.

The full text of each working paper is available online.

Tata Consultancy Services to provide R&D for Nokia Siemens Networks

Nokia Siemens Networks announced a multimillion Euro outsourcing agreement with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to transfer product engineering and R&D services as well as parts of the Operations and Business Software (OBS) business unit activities from Nokia Siemens Networks to TCS. The reassigned parts belong to the Nokia Siemens Networks development center in Düsseldorf, Germany, including 90 employees who will be transferred to TCS as part of this engagement.

Nokia Siemens Networks said the transfer of R&D capabilities to trusted business partners such as TCS is part of Nokia Siemens Networks' overall strategy to realize synergy savings.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Telefónica Reaches 169 million Wireless, 10.2 million Retail Subscribers

Telefónica reported strong 2007 financial results driven by an expanding customer base (+12.5%), revenues (+6.7%), OIBDA (+19.3%), OI (+42.1%) and net profit (+42.9%), all up compared with 2006. Telefónica had a total of 228 million accesses, of which 169 million were wireless telephony accesses and 10.2 million retail broadband accesses.

Telefónica has also improved its shareholder remuneration policy and launched a new share buyback program for 100 million shares up to first half of 2009. This will be complemented by a dividend payment of 1 euro per share charged against 2008 earnings.

Some highlights:

  • Telefónica España has 46.4 million accesses, an increase of 5% on 2006, underpinned by growth in wireless and broadband customers.

  • Telefónica Latinoamérica has 134.1 million accesses, up +16.9% year-on-year thanks to the strong growth in broadband, a robust wireless market, which registered a new record for net adds in the fourth quarter, and an expanding Pay TV customer base, which increases close to 75% compared with 2006.

  • By access type, growth in mobile accesses at the Telefónica Group accelerated to 16.6% year-on-year to 169.2 million.

  • Retail Internet broadband accesses at the Telefónica Group surged 28.9% year-on-year to over 10.2 million at the end of December. Take-up for ADSL, TV and voice bundles remained strong, making a significant contribution to developing the broadband market and forging customer loyalty. In Spain, retail broadband accesses surpassed 4.5 million (up +22.1% year-on-year), in Latin America, 5 million (+33.2%) and in Europe, 670,000 (+48.3%).

  • Pay TV accesses at the end of the quarter exceeded 1.7 million, 64.3% more than in 2006, with operations up and running in Spain, the Czech Republic, Peru, Chile, Colombia and Brazil.

  • CapEx in 2007 totaled 8,027 million euros, an increase of 0.3% year-on-year.

Soapstone Releases Beta Version of its Control Plane Software

Soapstone Networks, which is a business unit of Avici Systems, released the beta version of its Provider Network Controller (PNC)
multi-vendor, multi-technology dynamic control plane. Soapstone said the new product would help automate the entire service lifecycle by providing state of the art provisioning, monitoring and repair, network fault to service correlation, performance, optimization, and planning software to carrier and enterprise customers. Net One Systems, one of Japan's leading networking and systems integration providers is a beta customer for the PNC software.

The beta release includes the PBB-TE module for the PNC which includes the dynamic provisioning, monitoring and repair of services across a multi-vendor Carrier Ethernet network as well as network operations support.

Key capabilities include:

1.) Dynamic Service Provisioning. One of the main features of the PNC control plane is the dynamic provisioning of services across a multi-vendor network. In addition to simple, best-effort shortest path routing, the PNC performs path computations involving a variety of constraints and
equipment limitations.

2.) Service Monitoring and Repair. After a network event (link/node/fiber failure) the network equipment responds in less than 50msec to provide service protection. Since the PNC has a database containing the network topology it has the ability to determine which service(s) was
affected by the outage and creates both a primary and secondary path to restore the service and ensure that it always remains protected.

3.) Bridge-and-Roll. Provides network operations support by making it possible for customers to introduce new hardware or services seamlessly into a network or perform routine maintenance in an automated fashion. This capability enables customers to request the removal of nodes from
active service without disruption to services. When a node is taken out of service by the customer, the PNC notices all of the affected services and for each service that is impacted, the PNC re-computes paths for services that were locked due to lack of a network resource. As with
any path selection, the Committed Information Rate (CIR) of each service is used in the path
selection and no oversubscription occurs.

France's Cegelec Selects Juniper for Remote Access

Cegelec, a French technology services company, has selected Juniper Networks' secure routing and remote access solutions to improve the quality and accessibility of network resources for corporate users at hundreds of sites throughout Europe. The Juniper SSG security appliances link approximately 12 international branch sites, in addition to more than 150 small office-home office sites in France and other countries. The Juniper Networks NetScreen-Security Manager solution was also deployed to provide centralized management of the SSG network, enabling remote modification of routing or security rules automatically from a single source.

The Juniper Networks Secure Services Gateway (SSG) firewall/VPN appliances integrate firewall, IPSec VPN and optional unified threat management features such as antivirus, anti-phishing, anti spam, and web filtering, with high-performance routing capabilities in a single platform.

Avanex Offers Compact EDFA Module for 40 Gbps Transponders

Avanex unveiled a compact power transient-suppressed EDFA featuring improved 40 Gbps receiver sensitivity. The amplifier has a gain of 27dB and output power up to 15dB in a compact package designed for integration into 40 Gbps line cards. Advanced power control suppresses input transients of +/-6dB to less than +/-1dB, extending the automatic gain control capabilities of the existing PureGain 1600 platform upon which it's built.

Avanex Releases 10G XFP Transceivers for 40km and 80km

Avanex released new 10G XFP transceivers suitable for 40km and 80km transmission applications in access and metropolitan networks. The new PowerPort 2080, for TDM applications, and the PowerPort 2180 for DWDM applications, are 10 Gbps EML-based transceivers that combine leading-edge optics and RF electronics to create a high performance and lower power-dissipation reach capability up to 80km.

Hitachi and Opnext Introduce 4 x 25 Gbps Laser for 100 Gbps Interface

Hitachi and Opnext announced the first wide temperature range operation of 1310-nm 25 Gbps EA-DFB lasers for 100 Gbps Ethernet 10km single-mode fiber (SMF) application. The companies noted that a 10km SMF (single mode fiber) 100 Gbps Ethernet specification is already being discussed in the IEEE 802.3ba taskforce.

To achieve the 100 Gbps rate, Hitachi and Opnext are using four channels of 1310-nm 25 Gbps via WDM. The companies have demonstrated EA-DFB lasers operating at 25 Gbps with wavelengths of 1290-, 1310-, 1330- and 1350-nm. The 25 Gbps operation was achieved using high speed device technology which has been already confirmed in 1550-nm 40 Gbps EA-DFB lasers currently used commercially in 40 Gbps transceivers. A wide temperature range operation from 0ºC to 85ºC was also reported. This was achieved using advanced aluminum-based material system in the EA (electro-absorption) modulator section. This semiconductor material system has a temperature tolerant band-gap structure which decreases the temperature dependent performance of the modulator.

HomePlug and Panasonic Submit Powerline Proposal to IEEE

The HomePlug Powerline Alliance and Panasonic are hoping that the IEEE will advance their jointly-submitted proposal for the creation of an international standard for In-Home and Access powerline communication technologies. Following a vote in mid-October, the IEEE P1901 work group rejected all other proposals, leaving the HomePlug/Panasonic proposal as the only remaining proposal under consideration. The next IEEE meeting will be taking place March 5-6, 2008, in Fukuoka, Japan.

The HomePlug Alliance and Panasonic said they fully support the IEEE process and believe that the completion of an industry-wide standard will be a significant step forward for the powerline industry. The final solution recommended to the IEEE P1901 work group by HomePlug and Panasonic will be a more complete solution than was originally anticipated, and takes into account the requests of all interested parties and offers the efficiency of a single MAC with the flexibility to support both the HomePlug AV and HD-PLC PHYs.

Sonus Posts Preliminary Q4 Sales of $97 Million

Sonus Networks reported preliminary Q4 revenue of $97.1 million, compared with $76.6 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2007 and $79.0 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006. Revenues for the year ended December 31, 2007 are expected to be $320.3 million, compared with $279.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2006.

Sonus is not providing detailed GAAP or non-GAAP financial results for the quarter or full year at this time, as the audit of the company's financial statements for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2007 has not yet been completed.

UTStarcom Sees Growth in Q4 2007

UTStarcom reported Q4 2007 net sales of $806 million as compared to $704 million in the fourth quarter of 2006. Gross margins for the fourth quarter 2007 were 12.7% as compared to 11.1% in the fourth quarter of 2006. Net loss for the fourth quarter of 2007 was $24.6 million, or a loss of ($0.20) per share, as compared to a loss of $42 million, or ($0.35) per share in the fourth quarter of 2006.

et sales for the full year 2007 were $2.5 billion as compared to $2.5 billion in 2006. Gross margins for the full year 2007 were 13.0% as compared with 15.7% in 2006. Net loss for the year was $195.6 million, or a loss of ($1.62) per share, as compared to a loss of $117.3 million, or ($0.97) per share in 2006.

"Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2007, we launched a number of initiatives, including a restructure of the Company to focus on our core growth technologies, including IPTV, and IP-based softswitch and broadband devices. Through 2008, we shall be very focused on continued operational improvements and the execution of our new strategy," stated Peter Blackmore, chief operating officer of UTStarcom.