Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Orange Reaches 174 Million Accesses

France Telecom group's consolidated revenues for the first half 2008 rose to EUR 26.304 billion, a 3.9% increase on a comparable basis following a 3.6% increase in the second half of 2007. This improvement concerned mature Western European markets, which were up 3.0% on a comparable basis. Revenues in developing markets were up by 11.2% in the first half 2008. On an historical basis, growth in the first half 2008 was 1.5%, including the unfavourable impact of exchange rates (-€336 million), the disposal of the mobile and Internet operations of Orange Netherlands, and the acquisition of in Spain on 31 July 2007.

For Q2 , France Telecom's consolidated revenues were €13.276 billion, a 4.1% increase on a comparable basis, compared with a 3.7% increase in the first quarter. Growth from mature Western European markets continued to improve, rising 3.4% in the second quarter 2008 compared with 2.5% in the first quarter.

Some highlights:

  • Personal Communication Services saw revenues climb 7.3% in the quarter on a comparable basis, higher than the 6.8% growth achieved in the first quarter, also on a comparable basis. The improvement in the second quarter was primarily related to strong growth in contract customers in France and the United Kingdom. At the same time, Poland and the emerging markets continued their steady growth, despite the impact of lower prices.

  • The Group had 113.8 million PCS (mobile) customers at 30 June 2008, excluding MVNOs, up 13.2% year on year on a comparable basis (13.3 million customers added).

  • The number of mobile broadband customers nearly doubled in one year to 21.0 million at 30 June 2008 (of which 9.0 million in France), compared with 10.8 million at 30 June 2007 (of which 5.2 million in France).

  • The MVNO customer base in Europe rose to 2.3 million at 30 June 2008 (of which 1.6 million in France), compared with 1.4 million one year earlier on a comparable basis (of which 1.1 million in France).

  • Home Communication Services (HCS) posted a 0.7% increase in revenues on a comparable basis, up slightly from the first quarter which itself was stable compared to the previous year. The continuous growth of ADSL broadband benefited Home Communication Services, particularly in France, rising to 12.2 million customers in Europe at 30 June 2008, with more than 500,000 new customers added in the first half 2008.

  • Revenues from ADSL broadband services4, up 29%, very largely offset the downward trend in traditional telephone services. ADSL broadband revenues represented 24% of total HCS revenues in the first half of 2008, compared with 19% in the first half of 2007.

  • The number of Liveboxes rose 42% in one year, with 7.1 million units leased in Europe at 30 June 2008, up from 5.0 million at 30 June 2007 on a comparable basis.

  • There were 5.7 million VoIP customers at 30 June 2008, up from 3.5 million at 30 June 2007, an increase of 61% year on year (figures on a comparable basis).

  • Revenues from traditional calling services dropped 17.9% on both an historical basis and a comparable basis, due to the rapid growth of Voice over IP services.

  • ADSL digital TV services (IPTV) had a total of 1.54 million subscribers in Europe at 30 June 2008, compared with 872,000 one year earlier, a 76% increase in one year.

  • Enterprise Communication Services revenues were up 3.9% in the second quarter 2008, after rising 2.0% in the first quarter (on a comparable basis). This reflects a gradual slowing of the downward trend that has characterized traditional telephony and data services. At the same time, sales of ICT services2 continued to grow steadily and were up 11.3% in the first half 2008, outperforming the market.

  • Capital expenditure on tangible and intangible assets (CAPEX) rose to €3.134 billion in the first half of 2008, a 5.6% increase on an historical basis and a 5.2% increase on a comparable basis.

Telefónica Group Now Serving 245 million Access Points

Telefónica reported financial results in line with the growth targets for both the Group as a whole and for the different geographic areas (Spain, rest of Europe, and Latin America), leaving it on track to meet the financial targets announced for 2008. Telefónica achieved overall revenues of EUR 28.149billion in the first six months of 2008, for a year-on-year increase of 1.2%. Changes in the consolidation perimeter subtract 2.8 percentage points to revenue growth, while the impact of foreign exchange rates reduced the growth by another 2.8 percentage points. Year-on-year revenue growth was 1.2% in the April-June 2008 period.

Some highlights:

  • Total accesses (wireless + wireline across all regions) rose 15.2% compared to June 2007 to 245.1 million, due to the high commercial activity recorded across markets. This growth was underpinned by the increase in wireless (+19%), broadband (+25.1%) and pay TV (+57.4%) accesses.

  • By type of access, Telefónica Group's mobile accesses stood close to 182.7 million at the end of June, with around 15 million additional customers (+54.3% year-on-year) in the six-month period. The main contributors were Brazil (nearly 7 million customers, around 3 million stripping out the incorporation of Telemig in April 2008), Mexico (1.6 million), Peru (1.3 million) and Germany (1.1 million).

  • Retail Internet broadband accesses stood at close to 11.5 million, with a year-on-year rise of 25.1%, driven by the growing penetration of voice, ADSL and Pay TV bundles. Accesses in Spain reached over 5 million (+18.3% year-on-year), 5.5 million in Latin America (+26.1% year-on-year), and 917,000 in Europe (+69.7% year-on-year). Net adds in the first half of 2008 totaled 1.1 million accesses, of which 390,923 were in Spain, 489,981 in Latin America and 247,026 in Europe.

  • Pay TV accesses stood at over 2 million at end of the first half of the year, up 57.4% on the prior year, due to net adds of close to 280,000 accesses in the first half (+25% compared to the same period of 2007). The Company currently offers Pay TV services in Spain, the Czech Republic, Peru, Chile, Colombia and Brazil.


Veraz Announces Restructuring

Veraz Networks announced a restructuring that involves reducing its overall headcount and streamlining operations. The company has reduced its workforce by approximately 160 employees and contractors and consolidated certain operations across all organizations, bringing worldwide headcount to approximately 300. The company said these initiatives, which will significantly lower Veraz's break-even point, will result in a third quarter pre-tax restructuring charge, excluding stock-based compensation, of approximately $1.2 million to $1.5 million consisting primarily of severance costs, equipment write-downs and facilities consolidation.

Motorola Posts Q2 Sales of $8.1 billion, Ahead of Expectations

Motorola exceeded market expectations by reporting Q2 sales of $8.1 billion and GAAP net earnings of $4 million. The company had positive operating cash flow of $204 million and ended the quarter with a net cash* position of $3.6 billion and a total cash position of $7.8 billion.

"Motorola's Home and Networks Mobility and Enterprise Mobility Solutions segments delivered strong results in the second quarter, driven by sales growth and operating margin expansion. These segments are well positioned to continue generating year-over-year sales and margin growth during the second half," said Greg Brown, Motorola president and chief executive officer.

Some highlights:

  • Mobile Devices segment sales were $3.3 billion, down 22 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. The segment reported an operating loss of $346 million, compared to an operating loss of $332 million in the year-ago quarter.

  • During Q2, Motorola shipped 28.1 million handsets, and maintained its share of the global handset market

  • Home and Networks Mobility segment sales were $2.7 billion, up 7 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. Operating earnings were $245 million, which represents an increase of 28 percent as compared to operating earnings of $191 million in the year-ago quarter.

  • Motorola experienced record sales in Home, driven by shipments of 4.9 million digital entertainment devices, due to continued strong demand for HD, HD/DVR and IPTV devices

  • Consumer demand for HD content continued to drive the uptake of MPEG-4. This quarter we added DirectTV, HBO LatAM and Starz to the lineup of programmers and service providers transitioning from MPEG-2

  • DOCSIS 3.0 momentum started to build with certification for multiple Motorola cable modems, bronze qualification for the BSR 64000 cable modem termination system edge route, as well as customer deployment with J-Com in Japan

  • Motorola now has 19 contracts for commercial WiMAX systems in 16 countries.

  • Enterprise Mobility Solutions segment sales were $2.0 billion, up 6 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. Operating earnings increased to $377 million, which represents an increase of 24 percent as compared to operating earnings of $303 million in the year-ago quarter.

NZ's TelstraClear Selects Juniper's E320

New Zealand's TelstraClear has upgraded its broadband network capacity and enhanced its service delivery capabilities with Juniper Networks E320 Broadband Services Routers and C-series Controllers. TelstraClear is using the C-series Controllers to manage service provisioning over a wide array of access types, including cable and retail and wholesale DSL.

Juniper said the upgrade ensures adequate capacity to address TelstraClear's fast-growing subscriber base and to support its increasingly rich mix of residential broadband access, business services and other advanced IP applications. The E320 router supports high subscriber density, high system capacity and high-density Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces,.

Telekom Malaysia Expands Optical Net with Ericsson

Telekom Malaysia awarded a two-year contract to Ericsson for the nationwide expansion of its optical network. Specifically, the contract is for the supply of SDH and DWDM equipment, installation services and comprehensive maintenance. Deployment started in June 2008. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The included products for high-speed transport are the Marconi-branded Optical Multiservice (OMS) and MHL 3000 WDM product families.

Alcatel-Lucent Wins Submarine Cable Network Bid

Alcatel-Lucent was awarded a contract to deploy the Atlantic-Mediterranean segment of the 15,000 km (9,000 mile), Europe India Gateway (EIG) submarine cable system.

The planned Europe India Gateway (EIG) will connect three continents at a cost of more than US$700 million. The 15,000-kilometer (9,000-mile) cable network system is expected to be completed in 2010. Landings are planned in the United Kingdom, Portugal, Gibraltar, Morocco, Monaco, France, Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Oman, United Arab Emirates, and India. In addition to complementing existing high bandwidth cable systems in the region, the EIG cable system will provide much needed diversity for broadband traffic currently relying largely on traditional routes from Europe to India. Capacity is expected to scale to 3.84 Tbps.

Alcatel-Lucent will provide complete turnkey work for its portion of the EIG system. Alcatel-Lucent will have responsibility for the design, manufacture, installation and commissioning of the Atlantic-Mediterranean submarine segment, which spans 7,100 km. The company will also use the 1678 Metro Core Connect, and deploy its latest generation 1626 Light Manager DWDM (dense wavelength division multiplexing) transmission equipment to provide seamless connectivity across the two terrestrial links in the UK and Egypt at 40 Gbps.http://www.alcatel-lucent.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.

Qualcomm Achieves 20 Mbps HSPA+ Data Call

Qualcomm completed the world's first data call using High-Speed Packet Access Plus (HSPA+) network technology. The call achieved a data transfer rate of more than 20 Mbps in a 5 MHz channel. The call was completed using Qualcomm's MDM8200 product, the industry's first chipset solution for HSPA+.

HSPA+, also known as HSPA Evolved, is designed to enhance the mobile broadband user experience and enable a wide range of services. Qualcomm estimates HSPA+ will allow operators to double the data and triple the voice capacity of their networks compared to current HSPA deployments. The latest evolution of WCDMA technology, HSPA+ Release 7, will offer downlink data transfer rates of up to 28 Mbps and uplink rates of up to 11 Mbps. Future HSPA+ releases are expected to support downlink peak rates of 42-84 Mbps and uplink peak rates of 23 Mbps by using a variety of advanced techniques, including multiple carriers for transferring data. HSPA+ is backward compatible with prior generations of WCDMA and does not require new spectrum for deployment. Operators can leverage their existing network and spectrum resources to offer next-generation wireless bandwidth and performance.

"Today's call represents another milestone for Qualcomm in the evolution of the HSPA road map," said Alex Katouzian, vice president of product management, Qualcomm CDMA Technologies. "End users will enjoy quicker connections to the Internet with HSPA+ while network operators will appreciate the opportunity to offer more services to their subscribers."

The technology delivers higher peak and average data rates, lower latency, better response times, longer battery life and an enhanced, always-on experience compared to the current generation of mobile networks.

Qualcomm's MDM8200 chipset is currently sampling. It supports deployments in existing frequency bands, as well as in the 900 MHz band and the 2.5 GHz IMT-2000 extension band.

Allot Cites Deployment by Global Tier 1 Operator

Allot Communications announced the deployment of its Service Gateway Omega by a global Tier 1 operator, which currently services more than 20 million subscribers. The customer name was not disclosed.

"The increasing adoption of Allot solutions by mobile operators worldwide is a direct outcome of the exploding growth of data bandwidth and services over mobile networks and their emergence as an additional platform to deliver broadband services," commented Allot CEO and president, Rami Hadar. "The Service Gateway, equipped with Subscriber Management and Quota Management capabilities, facilitates the shift towards offering tiered and Value Added services."

BT Reaches 13.0 Million Broadband End Users

Citing growth in managed solutions, broadband and convergence revenue, BT reported quarterly revenue of 5,177 million pounds, up 3 percent. EBITDA before specific items and leaver costs increased by 1 percent year on year. Earnings per share before specific items and leaver costs increased by 2 percent to 6.1 pence.

Some highlights:

  • BT reached 13.0 million wholesale broadband connections (DSL and LLU) at June 30, 2008, including 4.8 million local loop unbundled lines. This represents an increase of 1.8 million wholesale broadband connections year on year. There were 338,000 net additional broadband connections in the quarter.

  • BT remain the UK's number one retail broadband provider with a customer base of 4.5 million at June 30, 2008, which represents a market share of 35 percent.

  • Managed solutions revenue grew by 21 per cent to 1,408 million pounds, and broadband and convergence revenue increased by 4 per cent to 640 million pounds. Managed solutions includes revenue from our networked IT services, managed network solutions and MPLS. Broadband and convergence revenue includes revenue from broadband, LLU, mobility and convergence solutions.

  • The growth in managed solutions was mainly due to 17 per cent growth in networked IT services and 36 per cent growth in MPLS revenue. This revenue growth in the quarter was partially offset by a 6 per cent decline in revenue from calls and lines to 1,647 million pounds, together with a 7 per cent decline in revenue from transit, conveyance, interconnect circuits, WLR, global carrier and other wholesale products to 827 million pounds.

  • Revenue from major corporate customers increased by 12 per cent to 1,961 million pounds, reflecting the increased take up of our networked IT services, the impact of foreign exchange and recent acquisitions by BT Global Services.

  • Revenue from our business customers (comprising smaller and medium sized UK businesses) grew by 5 per cent to 661 million pounds, continuing the recent trend.

  • Revenue from consumer customer segments of 1,228 million pounds was broadly flat year on year, with the impact of call package price reductions and a decline in calls revenue being offset by growth in broadband revenue. The 12 month rolling average revenue per consumer household increased by 4 pounds in the quarter to 278 pounds, reflecting the increasing number of customers taking multiple services from BT. Increased broadband revenue and the growth of value added propositions per household, have more than offset the lower call package prices in the quarter.

  • Wholesale (UK and global carrier) customer revenue decreased by 7 per cent to 1,320 million pounds as a result of the impact of volume and price reductions on DSL broadband and the decrease in low margin transit revenue and conveyance volumes, which was partially offset by growth in managed network solutions revenue, migrations to local loop unbundling (LLU) arrangements, and growth in global carrier revenue of 19 per cent.

AT&T Announces New Managed Services Contract

AT&T announced a data services contract with American Nuclear Insurers (ANI), a joint underwriting association that provides liability insurance for nuclear facilities throughout the United States. Under the terms of the contract, AT&T will serve as ANI's primary data services provider, delivering AT&T Secure E-mail Gateway service and AT&T Web Security to the company's headquarters. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Cablevision Surpasses 2 Million Optimum Voice Lines

Cablevision Systems, which serves the NYC metropolitan area, has surpassed 2 million phone lines in service -- a company milestone. Cablevision offers small and medium-sized business customers up to 12 lines of Optimum Voice, up to four lines for residential customers.

Extreme Networks Posts Revenue of $98.3 Million, up 13% YoY

Extreme Networks reported quarterly net revenue of $98.3 million, compared to $87.1 million in the year-ago quarter, a 13% increase. Net income on a GAAP basis was $0.8 million or $0.01 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $5.0 million or a loss of $0.04 per diluted share in the year-ago quarter.

"With revenue up 13% for the quarter and 6% for the year, we continue to gain momentum with our channels and end users," said Mark Canepa, president and CEO of Extreme Networks.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

ITU Appoints BT Exec to Chair Climate Change Group

BT's Dr Dave Faulkner has been selected by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to chair a new Focus Group examining the impact of information and communication technology (ICT) on climate change.
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The new group will focus in particular on the reduction of ICT emissions and how ICTs can assist in cutting emissions in other industry sectors such as energy, transportation and buildings. The ICT sector is seen as a major part of the solution to climate change with the growth of teleconferencing and other e-communication services reducing the need for physical journeys and international travel.

"It is crucial that the ICT industry both acknowledges and seeks to reduce its role in climate change. Communications technologies can play a vital role in reducing carbon emissions worldwide. Developing global standards for reducing the energy requirements of networks and equipment will help make ICT an even more powerful tool for businesses to use in managing their greenhouse gas emissions and meeting their climate change targets," stated Dr. Faulkner.

Qwest Now Offering Verizon Wireless Services

Qwest Communications is now offering Verizon Wireless services to all new residential and business customers in its residential service area. The companies announced a five-year agent earlier this year.

Corning Announces $1 Billion Stock Repurchase Plan

Corning's board of directors and executive committee have approved the repurchase of up to $1 billion of common stock between now and the end of 2009. This is in addition to last year's $500 million repurchase authorization of which $125 million remains.

Separately, Corning reported Q2 sales of $1.69 billion, up 19% year over year. Earnings per share were $2.01, including a $2.429 billion net special gain primarily related to the release of U.S. deferred tax asset valuation allowances.

Telecommunications segment sales in the second quarter were $477 million, a 13% sequential increase and a 9% increase over a year ago. The increase was driven by strong fiber-to-the-premises demand as well as overall strength in optical fiber sales.

Tiscali International Network To Expand via Equinix's European Centers

Tiscali International Network (TINet), which specializes in wholesale IP-MPLS market, selected Equinix as a strategic partner for the expansionof its European network.

The expansion will occur initially from Equinix's Frankfurt and Paris Internet Business Exchange (IBX) data centers.

TINet offers IP Transit, MPLS lines and long distance Ethernet services to major service providers in North America, Hong Kong, Singapore and across Europe. TINet has an extensive network of close to 100 IP/MPLS PoPs.http://www.equinix.com

Crescendo Raises $9.5 Million for Web Application Acceleration

Crescendo Networks, a start-up based in Israel, secured $9.5 million in third round funding for its web application acceleration solutions. Crescendo Networks features a multi-tier application architecture that improves the operation of existing application infrastructure. The company was founded in 2002.

The Challenge Fund -- Etgar II L.P. participated in the current financing and joined current investors, Evergreen Venture Partners, Apax Partners, Magma Venture Partners, StageOne Ventures and Convergent Capital. The company has now raised $36.2 million to date.

Internet2 to Provide Dedicated 10Gbps to GENI Effort

Internet2 has agreed tol donate a 10 Gbps dedicated circuit on its national backbone to support the GENI Project Office (GPO), located at BBN, and its subcontractors as they build and test prototypes of the GENI system. GENI subcontractors and developers will be able to access the circuit at every connection point on the network to enable nationwide collaboration on GENI prototypes.

GENI is envisioned as a national data communications laboratory, supporting experiments on a wide variety of advanced research in communications, networking, distributed systems, cyber-security, networked services, and applications. It is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

BBN is currently negotiating with potential subcontractors who responded to the GPO's solicitation earlier this year and expects to announce the subcontracts shortly.http://www.geni.net
  • The Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI), a project managed by BBN Technologies, is funded by grants from the US National Science Foundation.

Australia's Foxtel Selects NDS to Power Quad Tuner HD DVR

FOXTEL, which delivers subscription TV via cable and satellite to more than 1.5 million homes in Australia, has selected NDS XTV DVR technology to power its new FOXTEL iQ2 High Definition quad tuner DVR. NDS has also developed a next-generation EPG for the FOXTEL iQ2 and carried out the systems integration for the launch of FOXTEL's HD services.

NDS XTV technology allows subscribers to pause, record, play back, rewind and fast forward their TV programs for viewing when they choose.