Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Telecom Argentina Reaches 783,000 Broadband, 12.3 Million Cellular

For 2007, the Telecom Argentina Group reported consolidated net revenues of P$9,074 million, up 23% vs. the previous year ("FY06"). The major revenue increase came from the cellular business with an expansion of 34% and from Internet businesses with a growth of 23%, both with respect to FY06. Some highlights:

  • The cellular customer base reached 12.3 million (+28%)

  • Broadband subscribers totaled 783,000 (+71%)

  • Fixed lines in service increased by 3% to 4.2 million.

  • Operating Profit before Depreciation and Amortization ("OPBDA") reached P$3,052 million (+34% vs. FY06), equivalent to 34% of net revenues, mainly fueled by cellular telephony growth.

  • Fixed telephony profitability continues weakening due to frozen tariffs and the inflation effect on the general cost structure.

JDSU Enhances its DSL Field Tester with VDSL

JDSU has enhanced its HST-3000 handheld DSL test unit with a new VDSL service interface module (SIM) using an Infineon Technologies chipset and a licensed option for Dr. DSL diagnostic solutions from Aware. Both new features provide additional testing power for field technicians who install and maintain access networks and high bit-rate triple-play services, including IPTV and HDTV.

Using the HST-3000 Infineon VSDL SIM, technicians are able to test across VDSL and ADSL/ADSL2+, including Ikanos, Accelity, and Broadcom VDSL 2 chipsets. The HST-3000 with Dr. DSL enables technicians to perform far-end and in-home physical layer loop diagnostics, DSLAM and customer premises modem emulation, ATM layer testing, and end-to-end IP connectivity.http://www.jdsu.com

Nortel Supplies PBB Carrier Ethernet for China Netcom Chongqing

Nortel is supplying its carrier Ethernet solution for China Netcom Chongqing (CNC CQ). Specifically, CNC CQ is implementing Nortel Metro Ethernet Routing Switch 8600 (MERS 8600), Metro Ethernet Services Unit 1800 (ESU 1800), and Metro Ethernet Manager (MEM) solutions. MERS 8600 is a key component of Nortel's carrier Ethernet solution, implementing PBB/PBT technologies to deliver Gigabit and 10-Gigabit Ethernet performance with Quality of Service (QoS) for business-critical services with premium performance and availability. CNC CQ will also use Metro Ethernet Manager (MEM) to simplify ongoing operations tasks and provide a consistent management interface across Nortel's Metro Ethernet product portfolio. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nortel noted that its Metro Ethernet solution has been deployed by China Telecom and Australia-based Silk Telecom. British Telecom, Frontier Online and Dakota Carrier Network, among others.http://www.nortel.com

Zayo Group Raises $30 Million in Funding

Zayo Group, a regional provider of bandwidth and telecommunications services, closed on $30 million in debt financing from CIT, CoBank and Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Inc. The incremental term debt enabled Zayo's recent acquisition of Citynet Fiber Network (CFN), the wholesale division of integrated communications provider Citynet.

To date, Zayo Group has raised $225 million in equity financing and secured $115 million in debt facilities. With strong financial backing and the veteran leadership team of Caruso and John Scarano, Zayo is poised to continue its growth into 2008 and beyond. http://www.zayo.com
  • In February 2008, Zayo Group closed its previously announced acquisition of Citynet Fiber Network (CFN), the wholesale division of integrated communications provider Citynet. The deal doubles Zayo's metro and regional fiber route miles to 17,000, serving more than 1,400 on-net building locations in 12 states. The sale affects only the wholesale operations of Citynet. Financial terms were not released.

  • Since early 2007, Zayo Group has announced a series of acquisitions, including: VoicePipe Communications (a provider of retail VoIP services that originated as a hosted PBX service offering of ICG Communications), Onvoy (a 1,400-mile fiber network serving Minnesota), Indiana Fiber Works (a 2,200 fiber-route-mile network serving Indiana), PPL Telcom (a 4,600 fiber-route-mile network based in Allentown, Penn. serving areas in the Northeast), and Memphis Networx (a 200 fiber-route-mile network serving the greater Memphis, Tenn. area) .

Alcatel-Lucent, Fujitsu Selected for Sea-Me-We 4 upgrade

Both Alcatel-Lucent and Fujitsu have been selected to participate in upgrading the capacity of the South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe (Sea-Me-We) 4 submarine cable system that connects numerous countries from Singapore to France.

Under the terms of the contract, Alcatel-Lucent will upgrade the India-France submarine link by deploying, installing and commissioning additional DWDM, based on its 1620 Light Manager. In addition, Alcatel-Lucent will upgrade the 1626 Light Manager-based terrestrial link connecting Alexandria and Suez, and the existing SDH equipment, the Alcatel-Lucent 1678 Metro Core Connect, for this extensive network.

Fujitsu will upgrade the Singapore-India submarine link by deploying, installing and commissioning additional DWDM, notably its FLASHWAVE S650 for this extensive network.

The multi-million dollar second upgrade will further double the existing trunk capacity of the system, going beyond the original design capacity. Completion of the upgrade is expected by 2009.

Owned and operated by 16 carriers, Sea-Me-We 4 spans nearly 20,000 km linking 14 countries from France to Singapore via Italy, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand and Malaysia with 16 landing points.

Alcatel-Lucent had the turnkey responsibility of this state-of-the-art network from design to laying for segments 2, 3, and 4 linking Mumbai to Marseilles, as well as the overall responsibility for the synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) end-to-end realization. Alcatel-Lucent, and its co-contractor Fujitsu, had supplied the initial Sea-Me-We 4 network that started commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2005. The network's capacity was subsequently tripled in the third quarter of 2007. http://www.alcatel-lucent.comhtttp://www.fujitsu.com
  • In February 2008, a consortium of nine leading global telecom carriers met in Rome to sign a formal Construction and Maintenance Agreement for a new high-capacity fiber-optic submarine cable that will stretch from India to France via the Middle East. The cable system, known as I-ME-WE (India, Middle East, Western Europe) is the fifth in the series of similar cable systems which includes the SEA-ME-WE series. Parties to the agreement include Bharti Airtel (India), Etisalat (UAE), France Telecom (France), Ogero (Lebanon), PTCL (Pakistan), STC (Saudi Arabia), TE (Egypt), TIS Sparkle (Italy) and VSNL (India). The I-ME-WE cable system is being designed to provide up to 3.84 Tbps and span almost 14,000 kilometers. The companies hope to have the cable in service by late 2009.

Alcatel-Lucent Adds FTTB Capabilities, Including VDSL

Alcatel-Lucent introduced new fiber to the building (FTTB) capabilities for its Intelligent Services Access Manager (ISAM) portfolio of DSL and fiber access products, enabling operators to deliver up to 100 Mbps over copper in multi-dwelling unit (MDU) environments.

Alcatel-Lucent's ISAM FTTB portfolio encompasses four new products, all delivering VDSL services over the copper twisted pair in MDUs. All products share the ISAM family's DSL technology and are managed by the 5520 Access Management System (AMS), covering all ISAM copper and fiber access products.

The ISAM FTTB portfolio includes products with standard Gigabit Ethernet and GPON network aggregation links. It also supports Alcatel-Lucent's "distributed DSLAM" model - a network architecture whereby the remote DSLAMs are managed as remote line cards, connected to a central host. With this model, service providers have up to 24 times fewer nodes to manage, resulting in lower aggregation capital expenditures as well as more cost-effective operations - due to fewer software upgrades, re-use of line cards and fewer systems to configure and maintain.

Alcatel-Lucent noted that its ISAM product portfolio holds a cumulative market share of 41%, and having been deployed by more than 180 customers around the world.http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

Juniper Cites Routing Wins at Carphone Warehouse, nLayer, and Taiwan's HiNet

Juniper Networks announced a series of high-profile deployments for its core and edge routing platforms, including wins with
Carphone Warehouse, nLayer Communications, and HiNet, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chunghwa Telecom.

HiNet, which is a leading ISP in Taiwan, has expanded the capacity of its GigaPOPs with multiple Juniper T640 core routers. HiNet's GigaPOPs are ultra-high performance points of presence supporting advanced IP traffic across the entire HiNet network.

Carphone Warehouse Networks (CPWN), one of the largest independent service providers in the U.K., has deployed Juniper Networks MX960 Ethernet Services Routers in its nationwide Next-Generation Network. The NGN project, which is based entirely on advanced IP and Ethernet technologies, is now live and supporting over 1 million end-users. Carphone Warehouse network currently extends to over 70% of UK households with scope for further expansion in the future. The company is now integrating the 1.5 million broadband users of recently-acquired AOL UK. A year of integration onto the NGN lies ahead and the business is on track to achieve a group target of 3.5m broadband customers by March 2010.

nLayer Communications, a leading provider of high-performance Internet connectivity and wholesale bandwidth solutions, has deployed the MX960 Ethernet Services Router (ESR) in key facilities across its global IP network. The MX960s will support a range of high-capacity wholesale IP transit and MPLS transport services, supporting nLayer's media streaming and content delivery customers. nLayer owns and operates its own diverse global OC-192 infrastructure, and maintains over 600 Gbps of edge capacity to other Internet networks. Its customers include high-profile web properties, content delivery networks, hosting and dedicated access providers.

The Juniper Networks MX960 ESR delivers up to 960 Gbps of switching and routing capacity and is optimized for emerging Ethernet network architectures and services. The MX960 leverages JUNOS software and a purpose-built hardware platform.

Juniper noted that in its first year, the MX960 has shipped to well over 100 customers.http://www.juniper.net

AT&T Outlines $1 Billion in 2008 CAPEX Plans

AT&T announced plans to invest $1 billion in 2008 in its global network, representing a 33 percent increase over last year's enterprise investment and more than double its investment in 2006. AT&T said it is accelerating its efforts to: 1) extend its global network reach and capacity; 2) globalize its portfolio of business services and 3) embed the latest utility computing and other technologies in the network so that companies can deliver real-time applications to their customers, suppliers and partners.

AT&T said key elements of its 2008 spending include:

  • New subsea fiber optic cable capacity to Japan and Asia -- including increased investments in multiple under sea cable systems into South East Asia and Australia, investment in several subsea cable system upgrades to significantly grow capacity on multiples routes in the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, as well as subsea investments on existing cables servicing India and the Middle East.

  • New core MPLS routers in Europe, Asia and the U.S., and the expansion of access to AT&T's global network with new or additional MPLS based IP network access nodes in Europe (Paris, Moscow), the Middle East (Kuwait), India (New Delhi, Kolkata), Japan, Asia (Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore), and Central America (Guatemala).

  • New network-to-network connections to extend network reach into high growth markets in Asia Pacific (India, Australia), Eastern Europe (Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Mongolia) and South America.

  • Enhanced Ethernet network capabilities with the rollout of a global virtual private local area network solution, initially in the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific. In 2008 AT&T plans to make these services available in 14 cities -- Frankfurt, London, Brussels, Paris, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Dublin/Cork, Milan, Madrid and Zurich in Europe; and Hong Kong, Sydney, Singapore, Tokyo in Asia Pacific. By year-end 2008, AT&T expects to have an Ethernet footprint in 39 countries.

  • Adding DSL as an emerging access alternative to China, Finland, Norway and Saudi Arabia. By year-end, DSL will be available as an access alternative in 21 countries.

  • Increasing data center hosting capacity with an additional 180,000 square feet of global capacity by mid 2009 throughout the 38 data centers AT&T has deployed globally. Expansion targets in 2008 will include space augmentation in Singapore, Amsterdam, Boston and Dallas.

  • New application performance management tools to help companies manage and monitor their networks and services online, giving them greater control and flexibility.

  • Integrating and developing unified communications capabilities from the recent acquisition of Interwise, a global provider of Web-based and audio conferencing services to accelerate AT&T's move into the unified communications space.

  • Integrating the global network operations and processes acquired through AT&T's recently expanded networking agreement with IBM, thus enabling greater scope and scale than ever before.

  • Offering global IP-based audio-conferencing services with in-country dial-in access from more than 140 countries, with in-language support.

Packeteer Receives Buyout Offer from Elliot Associates

Elliott Associates. an international fund manager and long-term shareholder of Packeteer, make an unsolicited bid of $5.50 per share to acquire the company -- representing about a 42% premium over Packeteer's closing price on Tuesday.

In an open letter, Elliot, which owns 9.8% of the common stock of Packeteer, expressed its concern over the 37% decline of the company's stock price year-to-date and 67% decline over the past twelve months. Elliot said it hopes to work with Packeteer's management team to negotiate a definitive merger agreement, otherwise it was willing to take the offer directly to the company's shareholders.

Packeteer responded by saying its Board of Directors will evaluate the proposal carefully and promptly, consistent with its fiduciary duties and in light of the best interests of the company's stockholders.http://www.packeteer.com

Sea Launch Prepares for the Launch of DIRECTV 11

Sea Launch set sail from its home port in California for the equatorial Pacific, in preparation for the launch of the DIRECTV 11 broadcast satellite, planned for Monday, March 17.

DIRECTV 11 is one of three recent Boeing 702-model spacecraft built for DIRECTV and is among the largest and most powerful Ka-band satellites built to date. DIRECTV 11, combined with the DIRECTV 10 satellite already in orbit, will provide DIRECTV with the capacity for 150 national HD channels and will be capable of supporting spot beams carrying 1,500 local HD channels.

This is the fourth mission Sea Launch will execute for DIRECTV. Previous satellites include Spaceway 1 (April 26, 2005), DIRECTV 7S (May 4, 2004) and DIRECTV 1R (October 9, 1999).http://www.sea-launch.com

Monday, March 3, 2008

T-Mobile Venture Fund Invests in Ubiquisys for Femtocells

The T-Mobile Venture Fund has made a strategic investment in Ubiquisys, a supplier of 3G femtocells, joining Google and original investors Accel Partners, Atlas Venture and Advent Venture Partners. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Ubiquisys femtocell is currently in mass production with Sony Technium. These units are being used by Ubiquisys' partners such as Nokia Siemens Networks and NEC, to satisfy operator trials worldwide including T-Mobile. This strategic investment supports the drive towards the first commercial launches, anticipated towards the end of 2008.http://www.ubiquisys.com
  • In January 2008, Nokia Siemens Networks announced a collaboration agreement with Ubiquisys to provide mobile network operators with femtocell solutions that offer greatly improved 3G network coverage and quality of mobile services at home. Under the agreement, Nokia Siemens Networks and Ubiquisys will cooperate in the marketing and sales of the joint solution to mobile operators worldwide.

  • In July 2007, Ubiquisys, a start-up based in Swindon, England, raised US$25 million in Series B funding. The company's first round investors, including Accel Partners, Atlas Venture and Advent Venture Partners, were joined by Google. The Ubiquisys ZoneGate femtocell offers mobile users high-quality mobile coverage in the home using their usual 3G cell phones. The device plugs into an existing home broadband gateway or is built into a gateway product that includes WiFi, DSL, Ethernet, phone ports and USB.

Nokia to Support Microsoft Silverlight

Nokia announced plans to make Microsoft Silverlight available

for S60 on Symbian OS as well as for Series 40 devices and Nokia Internet tablets. The deal will substantially extend the reach of Silverlight by making the platform available for hundreds of millions of devices.

Microsoft's Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering next-generation media experiences and rich interactive applications. The companies plan to make Silverlight available to S60 developers later this year with initial service delivery anticipated shortly thereafter for all S60 licensees.http://www.nokia.com

Huawei Launches Mobile TV capable 3.5G Datacard

Huawei Technologies introduced a mobile TV capable 3.5G datacard.

The E510 is a small and slim 2M HSUPA stick equipped with mobile TV functionality. The device integrates mobile TV and mobile broadband, can be used for PCs and laptops.

Huawei's terminal sales, which includes handsets, datacards, fixed wireless terminals and gateways, totaled 40 million units in 2007, and US$2.5 billion in contact sales.htp://www.huawei.com

Firetide Supplies Wireless Mesh Nodes for Seoul Cities

Firetide has supplied its wireless mesh solution for Seoul City's Cheonggye waterway, a major urban renewal project in Korea. The Cheonggye waterway restoration project, which was completed in 2005, was a major undertaking as decades of neglect and development left the steam dry, diminishing its status to that of underground sewer. The elevated highway that covered the stream since 1968 also had to be removed. Now the restored six kilometer waterway is the site of an eco-friendly urban park in the heart of the downtown.

The new public access network serving this park was designed and installed by Samsung SDS, Korea's largest IT systems integrator. The project includes a total of 22 Firetide HotPort mesh nodes and 11 Firetide HotPoint access points.

The Firetide wireless network supports diverse applications including visitor information beamed on to rented PDAs, public video surveillance and underwater video cameras for monitoring wildlife in the stream.http://www.firetide.com

Pulse Offers in-line xDSL filter for VDSL2

Shenzhen-based Pulse, a Technitrol company, introduced its Excelsus brand Z-301LS in-line xDSL filter. The Z-301LS is compatible with VDSL2 and can filter frequencies up to 30 megahertz. It improves the performance of DSL and home phoneline network (HPN) services by filtering all telephone sets, facsimile machines, answering machines, and other phoneline services through a single line while providing optimal voice band performance. It is specifically suited for telephone networks in Asia, Europe, and South America.

Sensorlogic Hires TI Executive

Sensorlogic, which is developing a new platform targeting machine-to-machine (M2M) market, announced the appointment of Greg Jones as its new vice president of marketing and business development. Previously, Jones served as general manager of TI's Service Provider Strategic Marketing organization within the DSP Systems organization. He also previously served as the general manager of DSL Business Unit with the company's broadband communications group. Prior to TI, Jones was founder, chairman, president and CEO of Broadband Gateways Inc., a company focused on technologies in the broadband edge device marketplace.http://www.sensorlogic.com

Saudi Arabia Awards License to OCC Consortium

A new Optical Communications Company ("OCC") consortium's application for license was approved by the Saudi Arabian Council of Ministers and was officially announced and signed by royal decree by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud. The OCC consortium, which is backed by a group of prominent Saudi investors, will receive management and operational support through an exclusive management services agreement with Verizon Business. It will be responsible for providing, hosting and managing both business and residential voice and data services.

Qwest Announces VoIP Upgrades

Qwest Communications announced several VoIP enhancements to its OneFlex product suite. These enhancements include:

  • Compression -- allows customers to maximize their existing bandwidth to place more calls and send data.

  • Escape to Operator -- enables inbound callers to access an operator from their voice mail simply by pressing ‘0' for assistance.

  • Sub Office Administrator Portals -- provides more flexibility for office administrators to manage their systems whether employees are in the office or working remotely.

The Qwest OneFlex product portfolio are OneFlex Hosted VoIP and OneFlex Integrated Access products.http://www.qwest.com

See also