Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Broadcom Execs Take Leaves of Absence Following SEC Charges

Broadcom's Chairman and Chief Technical Officer, Dr. Henry Samueli, and Senior Vice President and General Counsel, David A. Dull, have each taken leaves of absence as executive officers of Broadcom pending resolution of a civil complaint filed against them by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission relating to its previously- disclosed investigation of Broadcom's historical stock option granting practices.

Also pending resolution of the civil action, Dr. Samueli has resigned as a member of the Board of Directors and as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the company. The Board has named John E. Major, an independent director of the company since January 2003, to serve as non-executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.

SingTel Adds 244,000 Mobile Subscribers, Market Penetration at 129%

Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) announced a double-digit growth in net profit and double digit growth in revenue for its fourth quarter ended 31 March 2008, driven by its Singapore business, which posted another record number of mobile net additions, and the strengthening of the Australian dollar. Group revenue in the three months ended 31 March 2008 increased 11 per cent to S$3.76 billion from S$3.38 billion a year ago. Underlying net profit for the quarter posted a 9.2 per cent gain to S$968 million from S$886 million, helped by a strong performance from the regional mobile associates.

Some operational highlights:

  • In Singapore revenue from Data & Internet grew 12 per cent to S$356 million in the fourth quarter driven mainly by strong corporate data and broadband growth.

  • For the quarter, SingTel added 19,000 broadband customers and retained its leadership position with 54.3 per cent market share.

  • SingTel's Wireless@SG also attracted 496,000 customers since its introduction of which 203,000 do not subscribe to SingNet's residential broadband service.

  • Mobile Communications posted another strong quarter with revenue increasing 15 per cent to S$339 million from a year ago. In a market with a penetration level of 129 per cent, SingTel added a record 244,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter. This brings SingTel's total number of users to 2.57 million with a market share of 43.4 per cent.

  • SingTel added 207,000 prepaid customers to 1.19 million users and 37,000 postpaid users as at 31 March 2008.Average revenue per user rose 2 per cent for postpaid customers and 16 per cent for prepaid customers from a year ago.

  • During the next fiscal year, capital expenditure in Singapore as a percentage of operating revenue is expected to rise to mid-teens level because of mobile capacity expansion and an upgrade of the fixed-line network.

  • In Australia, Optus achieved a 4.5 per cent increase in revenue to A$1.94 billion despite the ACCC's mandated reduction in mobile termination rates by 25 per cent to 9 cents per minute from 1 July 2007 and Optus' decision to exit the unprofitable consumer fixed-line resale market.

  • Optus Mobile operating revenue grew 6.5 per cent to A$1.09 billion with 135,000 new subscribers added in the quarter, including 87,000 postpaid additions, taking the total number of mobile customers to 7.14 million. 3G customer numbers increased 21 per cent from a quarter ago to 1.4 million.

  • Mobile EBITDA margin was 35 per cent, declining 4 percentage points from a year ago reflecting acquisition and retention costs to grow the postpaid segment.

  • SMS and other data revenue were at 29 per cent of ARPU, up from 26 per cent a year ago with stimulation of SMS and increased take-up of data services. The proportion of non-SMS data revenue grew to 6.0 per cent of ARPU in the current quarter compared to 4.2 per cent a year ago.

  • On 7 May 2008, Optus announced it would embark on a further investment program to expand its nationwide mobile network beyond 96 per cent population coverage to reach 98 per cent by December 2009.

  • The 3G network provided coverage to 68 per cent of the population as at 31 March 2008.

  • During the quarter, Optus Consumer and SMB Fixed saw continued Unbundled Local Loop (ULL) growth, with 317,000 customers provisioned with telephony and/or broadband services.

  • As at 31 March 2008, Optus had installed equipment in 357 ULL exchanges. The ULL build will comprise a total of 366 exchanges with a coverage footprint of 2.9 million premises.

Belgacom Resells Alcatel-Lucent's Integrated Communications Solution

Belgacom has selected Alcatel-Lucent's Business Integrated Communications Solution (BiCS) portfolio as its preferred midmarket communications offer. The Alcatel-Lucent Business Integrated Communication Solution is a multi-service, single-server communication solution for enterprises with 500 users, supporting 1000 users later this year. Key features include:

  • Communication server: OmniPCX Enterprise IP telephony & Alcatel-Lucent 4645 voice mail

  • Management: OmniVista 4760 Network Management System

  • Contact Center: OmniTouch Contact Center Standard Edition

  • Communication: My Instant Communicator

  • Openness to third party application: XML APIs for simplified third party application integration

  • High reliability via hard disk mirroring

  • " Try before Buying," five free licenses of key communication applications (e.g. UC, contact center agents)

FCC Seeks Comments 700 MHz D Block Spectrum Reauction

The FCC is seeking public comment on how to proceed with the reauction and licensing of the 700 MHz D Block spectrum while maximizing the public safety and commercial benefits of a nationwide, interoperable broadband network.

In July 2007, the FCC adopted rules for the 700 MHz Band spectrum that included the creation of a 10-megahertz license in the D Block to be part of a 700 MHz Public/Private Partnership with the adjacent 10 megahertz of spectrum dedicated to a Public Safety Broadband License. The 700 MHz Public/Private Partnership was designed to achieve the important public policy goal of promoting public safety interoperability, allowing police, fire and other first responders to better communicate with one another in times of emergency.

Because the D Block did not meet its $1.3 billion reserve price in the 700 MHz Auction, the FCC intends to re-auction this spectrum under revised rules.

Issues for which comments are sought include:

  • the rules governing public safety priority access to the network during emergencies;

  • the performance requirements and license term;

  • whether to license the D Block and public safety broadband spectrum on a nationwide or regional basis;

  • the various fees associated with the shared network;

  • whether or not it would be appropriate for the Public Safety Broadband Licensee or any of its agents, advisors, or service providers to serve as a mobile virtual network operator to manage access and use of the 700 MHz D Block of spectrum by first responders;

  • the process for the D Block licensee and the Public Safety Broadband Licensee to negotiate a Network Sharing Agreement;

  • the potential for requirements that the Public Safety Broadband Licensee be a non-profit organization and that no for-profit entities, apart from certain outside advisors or counsel, be involved; and

  • auction-related issues, such as whether to restrict auction participation and how to determine a reserve price.

Pulse~LINK Shows UWB-based Whole-Home HD Video Distribution

Pulse~LINK is demonstrating its Ultra Wideband (UWB) Ethernet-Over-Coax solution for whole-home HD video distribution. The company said its "no new wires" solution can extend Gigabit Ethernet connectivity over a home's existing coaxial cabling, providing service providers, A/V manufacturers and professional installers with a cost effective method to deploy whole-home DVR functionality.

Significantly, Pulse~LINK said its CWave solution can coexist with other signals on the same coax cable, including broadcast video services from a local cable company, and coexist with MoCA technology. The platform networks up to nine HD multimedia content source and display devices throughout the home with end-to-end Quality of Service over existing coax cabling and splitters.

Orange Business Offers MPLS VPNs with Vietnam Datacommunication

Orange Business Services and Vietnam Datacommunication Company (VDC) have entered into a new commercial and technical partnership to offer advanced MPLS-based IP VPN services in Vietnam. The agreement is an expansion of an existing 7-year partnership by Orange Business Services and Vietnam Datacommunication Company.

Orange Business Services said it already has 122 unique multinational customers in Vietnam.

Other than Orange Business Services' presence in Vietnam, the France Telecom Group has been operating in the country since 1997 in a partnership with VNPT and is contemplating active participation in future telecommunications sector developments in Vietnam.

Covad Completes WiMAX Trial in SF Bay Area with Axxcelera

Covad Wireless has completed a WiMAX lab test and field trial in the San Francisco Bay area using equipment from Santa Barbara-based Axxcelera.

The trial included field testing for the reach and performance of Covad's service with Axxcelera's AB-MAX platform WiMAX equipment. The trial confirmed a total symmetric bandwidth of 8.0+ Mbps at 5+ miles and registered less than one percent packet loss and less than 50ms network latency.

Covad will use Axxcelera's WiMAX equipment to power its flagship "Super-T" product, which offers up to 6.0 Mbps of symmetric, business-class broadband access. Covad will begin deployment of its new WIMAX equipment at existing base station locations in Los Angeles, Orange County and the San Francisco Bay Area. Deployment will continue throughout 2008 and into 2009.http://www.covadwireless.com

Sprint and Samsung Ready with Mobile WiMAX

Sprint and Samsung Electronics announced that a trial WiMAX network has met Sprint's commercial acceptance criteria including overall performance, handoff performance and handoff delay. The companies said they passed this key technical milestone after extensive evaluation both in the XOHM lab environment and with the commercial service network being built in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. area. Sprint plans on launching commercial WiMAX service in those cities later this year.

Samsung has been working with Sprint in the United States to test and build Sprint's XOHM mobile broadband Internet service compliant to the mobile WiMAX standard. The companies finalizing a supply agreement in 2007. Key milestones in this cooperation have included:

  • First data session in the lab -- June 2007

  • First data session on the live network -- October 2007

  • Successful interoperability testing with multiple other device vendors -- April 2008.

"This is a major step towards launch readiness and Sprint is extremely pleased with the performance of the mobile WiMAX network and access devices from Samsung," said Barry West, XOHM president. "The collaboration with Samsung and our other partners has created a WiMAX ecosystem that has now proven that it can deliver this new technology to the marketplace well ahead of any feasible alternative."http://www.sprint.com
  • In April, Samsung introduced several WiMAX-enabled devices, including its Express Card (E100 PC Card) and a WiMAX-embedded UMPC (Q1 Ultra Premium Mobile PC).

MTS Allstream Selects Zhone's MALC

Canada's MTS Allstream will deploy Zhone's multi-access line concentrator (MALC) as a full-featured Multi-service access platform optimized for delivering voice and data services over its national network. MTS Allstream will be rolling out the new services and evolving existing offerings with the Zhone MALC platform throughout 2008 and over the next several years. Financial terms were not disclosed.http://www.zhone.com

Qwest Launches "Get in the Loop" Consumer Campaign

Qwest Communications launched its new "Get in the Loop" consumer advertising campaign in 16 markets in the company's 14-state residential service area. Qwest said "Get in the Loop" represents an updated look and feel. It builds on the equity of Qwest's six-year Spirit of Service branding.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Russia's AMT-Group Partners with Italtel on NGN Solutions

AMT-Group, a leading system integrator in Russia, will partner with Italtel on the joint promotion, realization and support of NGN solutions based on the Italtel i-MSS multiservice platform.

The NGN solutions, based on i-MSS (Italtel Multi Service Solutions) platform, will allow Telecom Operators and Large Enterprises to offer Class 4 and Class 5 solutions that support multimedia convergent Next - Generation Services (NGS) such as Voice transfer, Data and Video over IP, Unified Messaging.

Italtel has been working for many years on the Russian market adopting a direct sale model. With this agreement, the company starts to work in Russia also on a partnership model in order to enlarge its presence on the market. AMT-Group is the first among Russian system integrators to become Italtel partner.

The companies noted that the iMSS has been installed in test laboratory of Technopark ZNIIS (Central Scientific Research Institute of Telecommunications) and is currently in operation in the networks of three important Russian operators.http://www.italtel.com

Dilithium Unveils Content Adapter for Real-time Mobile Video

Dilithium, which specializes in high-quality transcoding and multimedia delivery over mobile and broadband networks, introduced a high capacity and scalable solution that automates the real-time adaptation and delivery of video content over multiple networks to any device. Dilithium's patented technologies perform real-time, on demand media conversion for multiple devices with minimal latency, avoiding the need for off-line transcoding. The new Dilithium Content Adapter (DCA), which builds on the company's existing 3G mobile video solutions, is designed for the delivery of interactive, 2-way multimedia content to wireless and broadband devices.

Media delivery has typically required customized coding for each device and network type such as 2.5G, 3G, WiFi or WiMAX, which restricted real-time downloads and is resource intensive as it requires extensive human interaction and expensive capital investment in servers and storage. Dilithium's technologies enable on-demand transcoding, transrating and transsizing of multimedia content. This on-demand processing makes it easier for operators to manage content and allows for additional revenue streams such as targeted ad insertion.

Key features of the DCA include:

  • Real-time Media Transcoding: Conversion and delivery of streamed media (on-demand) as it is downloaded or streamed from the content source.

  • Flexibility: Easily integrated with external platforms such as subscriber databases, billing systems and content management systems. Scripted applications allow control over the con�tent to be played, target bitrates, frame sizes, codecs and file formats from a wide range of sources.

  • Easy Integration: DCA uses the industry standard PHP as a common scripting language leveraging the wide range of standard interfaces to other systems. DCA supports a wide range of service and billing models, including dynamically generated content, subscription services and pay-per-view.

  • Scalability: DCA can be scaled from small scale trial installations of tens of sessions through to distributed systems suitable for very large scale services through the use of service node clusters.

  • Efficiency: Innovative caching facility means that content need only be transcoded once for a specific device or network and can be served to a large number of clients with minimal ad�ditional overhead.

  • Reliability: A comprehensive management application allows all elements of the system to be monitored and configured and a wide range of performance statistics recovered.

Dilithium has over 100 deployments worldwide, including with customers such as Telecom Italia Mobile, Orange, Vodafone, T-Mobile, China Netcom and others.

Telefónica Group Reaches 233.5 million Accesses -- Fixed, Broadband, Wireless, TV

As of 31-Mar-2008, the Telefónica Group was serving a total of 233.5 million access points (fixed, broadband, wireless and pay TV customers) across all its markets, up by 12.9% from a year earlier. This growth was underpinned by the increase in wireless (+16.3%), broadband (+26.8%) and pay TV (+64.4%) accesses.

Telefónica reported organic growth in revenue (+7%), OIBDA (+8.2%) and operating income (+17.2%), underscoring the value of its geographic and business diversification. In absolute terms, Telefónica Latinoamérica increased its weight over Telefónica Group revenues, accounting for 37.1% of the total. Telefónica España and Telefónica Europa accounted for 36.9% and 25% of the total revenues of the Telefónica Group respectively.

Some operational highlights for Q1:

  • By access type, the Telefónica Group's wireless accesses topped 171 million at the end of the first quarter, with net adds of around 4 million customers. The main contributors were Brazil (839,446), Mexico (724,548), Peru (632,114) and Germany (535,994).

  • Retail internet broadband accesses surged 26.8% year-on-year to over 10.8 million at the end of March, driven by: the strong take-up for ADSL, TV and voice bundles, making significant contributions to developing the broadband market and forging customer loyalty. In Spain, retail broadband accesses surpassed 4.8 million (up 20.2% year-on-year), in Latin America, 5.2 million (+29.5% year-on-year) and in Europe, 800,000 (+58.4% year-on-year). Net adds in the third quarter stood at nearly 222,000 in Spain, while this figure amounted to 201,300 and 129,900 in Latin America and Europe respectively.

  • Pay TV accesses at the end of the quarter exceeded 1.8 million, 64.4% more than a year before, with operations up and running in Spain, the Czech Republic, Peru, Chile, Colombia and Brazil. Pay TV, Telefónica Latinoamérica already has over 1.2 million pay TV subscribers, with operations in Peru, Chile, Colombia and Brazil, compared to 700,148 customers in March 2007.

  • Telefónica Spain continues to drive sector growth, with like-for-like increases in revenue and OIBDA of 2.6% an 6.4%, respectively, fuelled by improvement in the broadband business and a marked increase in wireless data revenue

  • Telefónica Latin America delivered healthy organic growth in both revenue (12.6%) and OIBDA (11.8%) thanks to the sharp growth of the wireless business and the penetration increase of broadband and pay TV

  • Telefónica Europe reported robust organic growth in revenue (+6.4%) and OIBDA (+5.3%), in a quarter featuring a strong commercial effort in all the markets

  • Q1 CapEx amounted to 1,319 million euros, leaving operating cash flow (OIBDA-CapEx) of 4,057 million euros.

Verizon Wireless, SFR, SK Telecom Join LiMO Foundation for Open Handset OS

Verizon Wireless has joined the LiMo Foundation,

a global consortium of mobile leaders delivering an open handset platform for the whole mobile industry. Verizon Wireless joins the foundation's other 39 members in working within LiMo's transparent governance model to shape the evolution of the LiMo Platform, while remaining entirely free to deliver their own compelling and differentiated services to mobile customers.

Launched in January 2007 by six mobile industry leaders--Motorola, NEC, NTT DoCoMo, Panasonic Mobile Communications, Samsung Electronics and Vodafone--LiMo was formed to deliver an open and globally consistent software platform based upon Mobile Linux.

Additional new members include Infineon Technologies, Kvaleberg AS, Mozilla Corporation, Red Bend Software, Sagem Mobiles, SFR and SK Telecom.

AT&T's Ralph de la Vega Comments on Wireless Evolution

"The great age of wireless is just ahead of us and AT&T is poised to lead in this space," said Ralph de la Vega, President and CEO of AT&T Mobility speaking at this week's Morgan Stanley Communications Conference. De la Vega cited three key points:

  • Focus and execution are strong at AT&T. The company has lived up to its promise of integrating network following the merger and has remained on track regarding customer growth, ARPU, churn and other metrics.

  • There is a strong upside potential ahead for new media-rich services. Data service revenue growth is already in the 50% range. The adoption of smartphones is on the rise and currently only 16% of post-paid subscribers have data plans. AT&T has the 700 MHz spectrum depth required to deliver media-rich services. AT&T also sees strong wireless data potential for machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, such as delivery trucks, road sensors and automatically-updated signs.

  • AT&T has a clear evolutionary path to LTE that can be implemented step-by-step while remaining backwards compatible with GSM.

No comment on 3G iPhones.

Verizon Business Wins $678.5 million Networx Contract with Dept. of Homeland Security

Verizon Business was awarded a contract valued at $678.5 million over 10 years to deploy and manage a secure global IP network linking thousands of U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sites under a new Networx Universal task order.

Under the contract, Verizon Business will serve as primary service provider under the much-anticipated DHS OneNet program, providing managed IP and security services that support DHS' mission of securing the nation. Specifically, Verizon Business will help the 22 agencies making up DHS combine multiple separate wide area networks onto one common and secure IP network. DHS will rely on Verizon Business to fully manage and secure more than 5,000 agency sites worldwide. As part of the program, Verizon Business has committed to implementing a Security Operations Center (SOC) for DHS.

Additionally, Verizon Business will employ Emergency Communications Services (ECS), a new service available to all government agencies under Networx Universal, to help DHS better prepare for emergency response to man-made and natural disasters. ECS will enable DHS to establish quick, mobile connectivity to any affected area within the United States and its territories to help meet its mission of disaster response and disaster recovery.
  • In March 2007, The General Services Administration (GSA) awarded a set of contracts under its "Networx" program valued at an estimated $20 billion over 10 years -- believed to be the largest networking contracts ever issued. Contract award recipients include AT&T, Verizon Business Services (MCI), and Qwest Government Services.

AT&T Offers GPS TimeTrack Workforce Management via Blackberrys

AT&T will begin offering Xora's "GPS TimeTrack" workforce management solution to AT&T' business mobile customers.

Xora GPS TimeTrack uses Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to give businesses timesheet data collection, job/work-order management, payroll integration and location tracking capabilities on AT&T-powered smartphones.

Xora GPS TimeTrack will be available via wireless download on the BlackBerry 8800, BlackBerry 8820, BlackBerry Pearl 8110 and BlackBerry Curve 8310 handsets, as well as the AT&T Tilt, BlackJack II and MOTO Q 9h global smartphones.

The Xora GPS TimeTrack acts as a mobile version of the punch clock on which employees in the field can log starting and ending times for shifts, breaks and specific jobs by using a simple interface. Back at the office, management can view all of the information on a PC in near real time, including detailed maps showing the current location of all workers, detailed location activity, landmarks and street addresses.

AT&T will offer three monthly subscription plans. Xora GPS TimeTrack Standard is $16.99 for each device, Xora GPS TimeTrack Premier is $24.99 a device and Xora GPS TimeTrack Supervisor, which allows work crew leaders to clock team members in and out, is $29.99 a device. All require a monthly AT&T smartphone data plan. There also is a one-time setup fee of $25 for each subscriber. There also are two Xora add-on services available: Xroutes with TrafIQ for an additional $28.99 a month and EZNav, which provides GPS-guided text and audible turn-by-turn driving directions powered by Garmin, for an additional $6.99 a month for each subscriber.
  • Xora is a start-up based in Mountain View, California. The company is headed by Sanjay Shirole, who previously spent three years as President of Web Apps, a privately funded enterprise software company that he co-founded. Sanjay also spent five years with Oracle Corporation.

CoreOptics Raises $25 Million for 10/40/100 Gbps Optical Modules

CoreOptics, which develops and manufactures 10/40/100 Gbps optical networking subsystems, raised $25 million in new financing from existing its investors, bringing the company's total funding to date to more than $90 million.

CoreOptics currently offers 10 Gbps DWDM, 40 Gbps Single Channel Short Reach and 40/43G DWDM transponder modules. The company's product portfolio also includes 43 Gb/s Ultra-FEC, 40G Mux/DeMux for 4x10G client signals and Interface Converter supporting SFI-5s, SFI-4, XFI to enable building of next generation Open Tolerant Networks. Key benefits of this product platform include reduction in first-in CAPEX, by eliminating the need for the conventional Dispersion Compensation Modules (DCMs) and Dual-Stage amplifiers. The OPEX savings include simplification of network planning, installation and provisioning by enabling a complete set of plug-and-play features.

CoreOptics' specializes in highly advanced equalization solutions based on Maximum Likelihood Sequence Estimator (MLSE) electronic signal processing algorithm at 10 Gbps. The company's next-generation MLSE-2 technology will enable systems vendors and their carrier customers to benefit from much higher Chromatics Dispersion (CD) and Polarization Mode Dispersion (PMD) mitigation capabilities, and to set the physical layer of the optical networks for cost effective deployment of 40 and 100 Gbps services.

Investors include T-Com Venture Fund, GIMV, Crescendo Ventures, TVM Capital, High Tech Private Equity, Atila Ventures, Quest for Growth and others. The team includes over 115 highly skilled engineers with extensive experience in RF and digital ASIC design as well as optical systems, applications and network architecture.

Bharti Airtel Selects Redback's SmartEdge Routers

Bharti Airtel LTD (Airtel), India's largest private integrated telecom services provider, has selected Redback's SmartEdge400 router platform and NetOp policy management software to deliver a mix of pre-paid and on-demand broadband services for its broadband fixed line subscribers. Today, Airtel has more than 55 million total subscribers and is the largest private telecom services provider in India. Over time, Redback and Ericsson will help Airtel unify its fixed and mobile infrastructure to provide a combination of residential and business services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Redback Networks was acquired by Ericsson in January 2007. Over the last 15 months, Redback has won more than 100 carrier deals with Ericsson in 55 countries, including four of the top 10 mobile carriers and two additional top 20 fixed carriers.

Verizon Business Gains Regulatory Approval in Mexico

Verizon Business has received government approval to directly deliver advanced communications services in Mexico. The company had previously been delivering services through partnerships with local telecommunications providers. Verizon Business will now deliver services via its own local operating company. These services will include Verizon Private IP, Verizon Internet Dedicated and managed network services. Verizon Business is also in the final stages of deploying multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) nodes in Mexico City and Monterrey to support Private and Public IP services.