Wednesday, April 30, 2008

WiMAX Forum and University of Maryland to Open Applications Lab

The WiMAX Forum has endorsed the MAXWell Lab at the University of Maryland as its first applications lab in North America. Designed to be an environment where future innovators from the university and corporations can develop and test new WiMAX applications, the MAXWell Lab will support application testing in a real-live environment at a technologically neutral site. The initial focus of the MAXWell Lab, which is part of the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, will be location-aware applications. For example, with the deployments of WiMAX in the Washington D.C. area, the Maryland-based MAXWell Lab will be an ideal site to test any applications that run on that system.

In addition to the North American MAXWell Lab, the WiMAX Forum endorsed the M-Taiwan WiMAX Application Lab located in Hsinchu, Taiwan in October 2007. The Taiwan lab, developed to test new WiMAX applications covering categories such as Voice over Internet Protocol and entertainment, opened its doors to equipment and application developers offering a chance to test their products and services for performance on a live WiMAX system and conduct and measure consumer acceptance before bringing them to market.http://www.wimaxforum.org

RMI Launches Multi-core Multi-threaded XLS-Based PCIe Platform

RMI Corporation released its "Axcel" PC3104 Network Accelerator Card -- an XLS-Based PCIe platform for IP networking, VoIP, 3G and broadband applications requiring line-speed gigabit network packet processing in a single PCI Express slot.

Leveraging the power of the XLS multi-core, multi-threaded MIPS64 ISA network processor, the card delivers high-performance deep packet inspection, general-purpose processing, Autonomous Security Acceleration Engine technology, and a compression engine.

RMI said the new card could make a considerable dent in time required to develop new products for broadband and wireless applications.

Sezmi Unveils its TV 2.0 Service and STB

Sezmi , a start-up based in Belmont, California, unveiled a new TV service that combines terrestrial digital broadcast television with existing broadband services to deliver video content to a customized set-top box. The system utilizes available capacity in existing digital television broadcast networks and creates a private, secure broadcast transmission for content. The Sezmi interface aims to provide a seamless integration of live, stored, on-demand and Internet video from different sources.

Sezmi has also developed a smart antenna indoor reception system that makes both its private broadcast and existing terrestrial TV broadcasts accessible. The company said its network-attached reception system can be placed in any location in the home.

Sezmi is seeking partnerships with broadcasters, broadband providers and content companies. It plans to commence technical trials in preparation for commercial launch across several major U.S. markets later this year.
  • Last month, Sezmi (formerly known as Building B) announced plans to co-locate its network operations center (NOC) within Harris Corporation's world-class NOC facility in Melbourne, Fla. in order to leverage Harris' expertise in digital asset management, content aggregation and its nationwide distribution network.

  • In August 2007, Sezmi attracted funding from Morgenthaler Ventures, OmniCapital, Index Ventures and private investors in a $17.5 million financing round.

  • Sezmi is headed by Dr. Buno Pati (co-founder and CEO), who previously founded Numerical Technologies (acquired by Synopsys). Before co-founding Numerical, Dr. Pati served as assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Harvard University and a post-doctoral research associate at Stanford University.

XO Communications Extends Ethernet Services Nationwide

XO Communications has significantly expanded its nationwide Ethernet services footprint. The company is now capable of delivering Ethernet services to more than half a million business locations in 75 major metropolitan markets across the United States utilizing its nationwide fiber networks, expanded deployment of Ethernet over copper technology, and fixed broadband wireless capabilities.

XO said its Ethernet services revenue increased more than 50 percent between 2007 and 2006. In addition to increasing XO Communications' ability to serve this fast growing market, the expanded footprint also increases the company's ability to deliver other services, such as dedicated Internet access, converged IP and MPLS-based IP-VPN services, which can utilize Ethernet as a network access method.

XO's access options include:

  • Fiber -- XO offers Ethernet services at speeds from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps through its 18,000 route mile inter-city fiber optic network and nearly one million fiber miles of metro networks.

  • Ethernet over Copper Technology -- XO is offering mid-band Ethernet services at speeds from 10 Mbps to 88 Mbps

  • Fixed Broadband Wireless Capabilities -- XO has the capability to utilize fixed broadband wireless technology in 36 major metropolitan markets to further expand its network footprint and deliver Ethernet services directly to businesses at speeds ranging from 10Mbps to 155Mbps.

"XO Communications is breaking down the barriers to the wider availability of Ethernet with the unrivalled reach of our Ethernet service delivery capabilities," said Randy Nicklas, chief technology officer at XO Communications. "Our broad nationwide footprint leverages multiple access technologies to support businesses and service providers that are increasingly relying on Ethernet to support mission-critical applications and data across their wide area networks."
  • In February 2008, Cisco announced that XO Communications is deploying new Cisco Ethernet over SONET/SDH (EoS) technology on many of the more than 4,000 Cisco ONS 15454 Multi-service Provisioning Platforms (MSPPs) currently deployed in its network.

  • In December 2007, XO Communications confirmed an upgrade of its nationwide IP/MPLS network using the Cisco IP Next Generation Network (IP NGN) architecture.

  • In October 2007, XO Communications completed an 800 Gbps capacity upgrade on major coast-to-coast routes of its nationwide fiber optic network. The upgrade delivers an additional 80 10-Gbps channels on major coast-to-coast network routes. The upgrade is being delivered on Infinera's DTN system, which XO implemented last year with the initial expansion of its network.

NDS Sees Growth in its Conditional Access

NDS Group, which supplies open end-to-end digital technology and services to digital pay-television platform operators and content providers,
reported quarterly revenue of $213.3 million, up 20% compared to a year earlier.

The number of smart card deliveries in the quarter was 10.6 million, up from 6.4 million a year earlier, while the number of Middleware clients added rose to 6.7 million compared with 5.1 million a year earlier. NDS now has 83.1 million middleware clients deployed.

Commenting on NDS's performance, Dr. Abe Peled, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NDS said, "This has been another good quarter for NDS. We are particularly pleased with our continuing progress on entering the German pay-TV market, and our additional wins in India. Our CA contract extension with Viasat and expanding the relationship to include our MediaHighway middleware are also gratifying and clear evidence of our focus on customer support."

UTStarcom Settles with SEC

UTStarcom has reached final settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") regarding the previously-disclosed SEC investigation of the company's financial disclosures during prior reporting periods, historic option grant awards practices, certain historical sales contracts in China and other matters. Without admitting or denying the allegations in the SEC's complaint, UTStarcom said it has agreed to settle the charges by consenting to a permanent injunction against any future violations of the reporting, books-and-records and internal control provisions of the federal securities laws. No monetary penalties were assessed against the company.

Hong Lu, the Company's current Chief Executive Officer and a director of the Company, also agreed to settle with the SEC without admitting or denying the allegations in the SEC's complaint, by paying a civil penalty of $100,000 and consenting to a permanent injunction on similar terms as the company. Mr. Lu's settlement is subject to a final judgment by a United States District Court.

Nokia Siemens Networks Joins the Multicore Association

Nokia Siemens Networks has joined The Multicore Association, a global non-profit organization focused on developing standards for multicore solutions, and will be represented on the association's executive board.

The Multicore Association is working to enable the widespread adoption of multicore processor implementations by setting standards for how systems will be utilized and programmed.

AT&T to Activate FLO TV Mobile Service

AT&T Mobile TV with FLO service will go live on May 4. This powerful new mobile television service will provide around-the-clock access to some of today's most popular television programs -- live and in color on the mobile phone.

The service will offer TV-quality programming from leading news and entertainment brands: CBS Mobile, ESPN Mobile TV, FOX Mobile, NBC 2Go, NBC News 2Go, MTV Networks' COMEDY CENTRAL, MTV and Nickelodeon, as well as PIX and CNN Mobile Live, which are both AT&T-exclusive channels on MediaFLO USA's FLO TV service.

Comcast Adds 492K Broadband Customers in Q1, Penetration at 28%

Comcast reported steady growth in subscribers, revenues, operating cash flow and free cash flow, as the number of high-speed Internet customers topped 14 million and the number of digital voice subscribers topped 5 million.

Some highlights for Q1 2008:

  • Basic video subscribers declined 57,000 or 0.2% during the first quarter

  • Added 494,000 digital cable subscribers during the first quarter -- 65% or 16.0 million video subscribers have digital service compared to 55% or 13.7 million one year ago. ARPU remained stable at $42/ month.

  • 6.9 million or 43% of digital cable subscribers have advanced services such as digital video recorders (DVR) and/or high-definition television service (HDTV) compared to 5.2 million or 38% one year ago

  • During the quarter, 450,000 digital cable customers added advanced services, like DVR and HDTV, to their digital service either by upgrading or as new customers.

  • Added 492,000 high-speed Internet subscribers during the first quarter to reach 14.1 million customers. Penetration reached 28%.

  • High-speed Internet revenue increased 12% to $1.8 billion in the first quarter of 2008 from $1.6 billion in 2007.

  • Added 639,000 Comcast Digital Voice (CDV) customers during the first quarter - penetration reached 12% or 5.1 million customers.

  • Phone revenue increased 65% to $587 million in the first quarter of 2008 from $356 million in 2007.

  • Comcast has 66,000 circuit-switched customers, and expects to wind down that business by mid-year 2008.

  • Advertising revenue increased 6% to $344 million in the first quarter of 2008 from $322 million in 2007, due primarily to one additional week in the broadcast advertising calendar and an increase in political advertising including revenue from the U.S. presidential primary elections.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Time Warner to Spin-Off Cable Business, Triple Play Reaches 18% Penetration

Time Warner announced plans to separate its cable business from its media assets.

During Q1 2008, Time Warner Cable's revenues grew 8% year over year ($309 million) to $4.2 billion. Subscription revenues were up 8% ($301 million) to $4.0 billion.

Some highlights:

  • Video revenues climbed 4% ($99 million) to $2.6 billion, driven by continued growth in digital video services and video price increases.

  • High-speed data revenues rose 11% ($100 million) to $1.0 billion, fueled mainly by continued year-over-year residential high-speed data subscriber growth.

  • Voice revenues increased 39% ($102 million) to $366 million, reflecting strong Digital Phone subscriber growth. Advertising revenues grew 4% ($8 million) to $197 million.

  • Revenue generating units ("RGUs") reached 33.0 million, reflecting a robust 896,000 net additions.

  • Triple Play subscribers surpassed 2.6 million (or 18% of total customer relationships), benefiting from a record 247,000 net additions.

Motorola and Widevine Sign Global Reseller Agreement

The home and networks mobility division of Motorola will resell Widevine Technologies' conditional access and digital rights management products globally under an agreement announced by the firms.

Motorola offers head-end and consumer device solutions while Widevine Cypher, a downloadable conditional access, digital rights management and digital copy protection solution, enables video operators to acquire and securely distribute premium multimedia from major Hollywood studios and broadcasters. Currently, Motorola and Widevine jointly support over fifty video service providers worldwide.

The joint solution includes Motorola's consumer devices, compression and infrastructure solutions for video delivery and Widevine Cypher which enables telco, cable, Internet, mobile and satellite service providers to support an unlimited number of subscribers and assets using a single content security solution for protecting delivery to all major consumer devices--including set-top boxes, PVRs and PC-based consumer devices.http://www.widevine.com

HP Labs Develops “Memristor�? -- A New Type of Electronic Circuit

Researchers from HP Labs are developing a "memristor" -- a blend of "memory resistor" -- had previously been only theorized as the fourth fundamental circuit element in electrical engineering. The "memristor", which has the unique property of retaining a history of the information it has acquired, promises a new level of innovation in electronics.

In a paper published in today's edition of Nature, four researchers at HP Labs' Information and Quantum Systems Lab, led by R. Stanley Williams, presented the mathematical model and a physical example of a "memristor."

HP said the innovation could lead to the development of a new kind of computer memory that would supplement and eventually replace today's commonly used dynamic random access memory (DRAM). Computers using conventional DRAM lack the ability to retain information once they lose power. A memristor-based computer would retain its information after losing power and would not require the boot-up process, resulting in the consumption of less power and wasted time. Other applications could include the memory and storage systems used in data centers and in cloud-computing clusters.

Leon Chua, a distinguished faculty member in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department of the University of California at Berkeley, initially theorized about and named the element in an academic paper published 37 years ago. Chua argued that the memristor was the fourth fundamental circuit element, along with the resistor, capacitor and inductor, and that it had properties that could not be duplicated by any combination of the other three elements.

BT Introduces ADSL2+ Wholesale Broadband Service

BT will begin offering a Wholesale Broadband Connect (WBC) service to ISPs over its 21st Century Network (21CN). The service uses ADSL2+ for a maximum downstream capacity of 24 Mbps (distance from the exchange, internal wiring, interference from electrical appliances and other factors affect performance.)

Wholesale Broadband Connec will initially be available from exchanges serving around one million homes and businesses. The service will progressively roll out across the country, rising to a potential footprint of 10 million homes and businesses by the spring of 2009.

3Com Names Robert Mao as CEO, Ronald Sege as COO

3Com appointed Robert Mao as its new CEO, replacing Edgar Masri who is leaving the company. Mao will continue to serve on the company's Board of Directors. The company also announced that it hired Ronald Sege as President and Chief Operating Officer and appointed him to the Board of Directors effective upon his joining the company on April 30, 2008.

To support the company's increasing emphasis on its growing and profitable China-based H3C operations, Mao will be based in China. Sege will be located in the United States and will focus on 3Com operations outside of China, accelerating the adoption of H3C-developed products in global market.

Mao, 64, was most recently 3Com Executive Vice President, Corporate Development from August 2006 to March 2007. Prior to joining 3Com, Mao worked for Nortel Networks, where he was President and Chief Executive Officer of the company's greater China operations from 1997 to 2006. Prior to his time at Nortel, he was Regional President of greater China for Alcatel. Mao also held senior managerial and technical positions at ITT in Asia and the United States. He holds a master's degree in material science and metallurgical engineering from Cornell University, and has a master's degree in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Before returning to 3Com, Sege, 51, most recently served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Tropos Networks, Inc. a provider of wireless broadband networks, from 2004 to 2008. He is currently on Tropos' Board of Advisors. Prior to Tropos, Sege was President and Chief Executive Officer of Ellacoya Networks.

Mellanox Wins "Best of Interop" for 10GigE Adapter with FCoE

Mellanox Technologies was named "Best of Interop" in the Data Center and Storage category for its ConnectX EN 10GigE server and storage I/O adapter with Fibre Channel over lossless Ethernet (FCoE). ConnectX EN is the first adapter to support FCoE hardware offload and Priority Based Flow Control, providing a substantial performance boost while also enabling networking and storage I/O consolidation over a unified Ethernet fabric in the Data Center.

New Zealand's WorldxChange Deploys Juniper's E320 Broadband Routers

New Zealand's WorldxChange has deployed Juniper Networks' E320 Broadband Services Routers, enabling the delivery of premium voice and data services over a single connection. WorldxChange has also deployed Juniper Networks Secure Services Gateways (SSGs) to secure its services and backend systems, including its domain name system (DNS) servers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Juniper noted that in the two years since it was introduced, more than 1600 E320 platforms have been shipped to over 70 service provider customers worldwide.

Akamai's Q1 Revenue Grows to $187.0 million, up 34% YoY

Akamai Technologies reported Q1 2008 revenue of $187.0 million, a 34% over first quarter 2007 revenue of $139.3 million, and a two percent increase over fourth quarter 2007 revenue of $183.2 million. Net income (GAAP) was $36.9 million, or $0.20 per diluted share.

The number of customers under long-term services contracts at the end of the first quarter increased by 27 to a record 2,672, an 8 percent increase year-over-year.

Cisco and Nokia See Gains in Mobile Unified Communications

The Mobile Business Solution from Cisco and Nokia is currently being commercially deployed with more than 100 customers, including the city of Biel, Switzerland; the city of Maastrich, The Netherlands; Millipore, United States; Omicron, Austria; SESCAM, Spain; Tifco Hotels, Ireland; and University of Arizona, United States. Additionally the combined solution is in trials with more than 600 enterprise and small and medium-sized business customers.

The Mobile Business Solution from Cisco and Nokia is an IP-based Cisco Unified Communications solution, featuring Nokia's dual-mode business-optimized Eseries smartphones and Cisco Unified Wireless Network family of wireless LAN controllers and access points. The Cisco and Nokia combined mobile unified communication solution helps businesses improve productivity and efficiency across their enterprise and mobile workspaces by extending the rich set of communications features from the Cisco Unified Communications family of products to Nokia Eseries smartphones.

The two companies also announced that they are beginning to deploy each other's mobile solutions. Cisco is beginning to deploy Nokia Eseries smartphones for its sales organization in the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific theaters, while Nokia will begin with Cisco Unified Wireless Network in its offices, labs, and manufacturing sites.

Alcatel-Lucent Posts Q1 Revenue of EUR3.864 billion

Alcatel-Lucent reported that its Q1 2008 revenues declined 0.5% year-over-year and 26.2% sequentially to Euro 3.864 billion. At constant Euro/USD exchange rate, revenues grew 6.3% year-over-year and declined 23.2% sequentially.

At constant exchange rate and on a year-over-year basis, Carrier revenues grew 1.7%, Enterprise revenues grew 8.4% and Services revenues grew 14.6%. The adjusted gross margin was 36.2% of revenues, of which approximately 0.9-percentage point is due to gains on currency hedging. Adjusted2 operating income1 was Euro 36 million or 0.9% of sales, including a Euro 31 million capital gain from the receipt of proceeds due to a sale of intellectual property rights.

"Considering the impact of the Euro/USD adverse shift, our revenue performance was in line with our expectations, with a year-over-year growth of 6.3%and a sequential decline in the mid point of our typical seasonal pattern of --20% to --25%. Our carrier business grew year-over-year at constant exchange rate, reflecting the solid performance of our wireline business, essentially driven by optics. Our wireless access business showed good resilience, as the expected decline in CDMA was more than offset by the strong year-over-year double-digit growth of our revenue in GSM, W‑CDMA and RFS. Our strategic initiatives to enhance growth in the Enterprise and Services businesses are paying off as we report a strong year-over-year growth in each of these segments at constant exchange rate. And our business in North America showed good year-over-year growth in US dollar terms," stated Patricia Russo, Alcatel-Lucent's CEO.

Q1 Revenue Breakdown By Geography

Europe -- 33%

North America -- 35%

Asia-Pacific -- 17%

Rest of World -- 15%

Some other highlights from the financial report:

  • Alcatel-Lucent noted strength in its submarine activities where both revenues and orders doubled in the first quarter 2008.

  • Fixed access activities were impacted by the ongoing decline in new subscribers to copper-based broadband access, with shipments of ADSL ports down 8% year-over-year to 6.6 million. However, the company saw continued growth in the FTTx market, with an increase in shipments of GPON solutions to a number of European, Korean and U.S. large customers such as AT&T, Verizon and France Telecom/Orange

  • Alcatel-Lucent added ten new customers in IP routing and introduced its next generation 7750 SR and 7450 ESS.

  • Alcatel-Lucent's GSM business grew year-over-year in a declining market, driven by network expansions in China, India, the Middle East and Africa. W-CDMA revenues more than doubled year-over-year, albeit from a low base, benefiting from the ramp-up in revenues at several key clients. CDMA revenues declined materially year-over-year, from an especially strong first quarter 2007. Radio Frequency Systems enjoyed very strong year-over-year growth, benefiting from surging demand in North America and China.

  • Alcatel-Lucent's core switching business declined strongly year-over-year, as the rapid drop in legacy TDM voice was only partly offset by growth in mobile and fixed NGN.

Matisse Networks Announces Virtualization For its Metro EtherBurst

Matisse Networks is introducing "vMETRO" virtualization capabilities for its metropolitan optical networking solution.

Matisse's EtherBurst architecture, which has been shipping since last year, integrates Ethernet and WDM technologies.

The new virtualization capabilities could simplify the interconnection of distributed data centers and campus local area networks (LAN) so that servers, storage and bandwidth resources may be efficiently shared across the metro area. Specifically, Matisse's vmSwitching capability, now integrated into EtherBurst, makes it possible for an entire network of EtherBurst systems to operate as a single distributed Layer 2 Ethernet switch. Since vmSwitching makes the metro network of EtherBurst nodes manageable as a single entity, the entire metro network can be managed as any Ethernet switch within the datacenter.

Under this architecture, optical VLANs control the logical grouping of virtualized IT resources throughout a metro region. Matisse noted that conventional circuit based WDM systems only provide point-to-point circuit connectivity and require the ongoing management of a separate Layer 1 network. In contrast, optical VLANs are managed using standard VLAN management interfaces, enabling end-to-end Layer 2 networking of distributed resources.

Matisse's mQOS delivers dynamic bandwidth reallocation, shifting bandwidth in real-time between applications and between sites while ensuring higher priority applications receive all resources necessary for optimal operation. EtherBurst dynamically responds to changing traffic patterns to deliver bandwidth to the highest priority users and applications anywhere across the metro optical network.