Monday, October 27, 2008

Ixia and Juniper Establish Energy Consumption Rating (ECR) Initiative

Juniper Networks, Ixia and Lawrence Berkeley National Labs announced the formation of the Energy Consumption Rating (ECR) Initiative -- a framework for measuring the energy efficiency of network and telecom devices. The aim is to measure the energy consumption of networking equipment so as to be able to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the network.

The ECR Initiative has produced a metric that creates a common energy denominator between different network and telecom systems operating within a single product class. The ECR methodology defines the procedures and conditions for measurements and calculations, and can be readily implemented with industry-standard test equipment. Specifically, the final ECR "performance-per-energy unit" rating, expressed in (watts) / (Gigabit per second) can be reported as a peak (scalar) or synthetic (weighted) metric that takes dynamic energy management capabilities into account. The ECR framework and methodology is vendor-neutral and can be easily adapted to upcoming energy-related ICT standards and legislations. With growing interest from national and international standard bodies to lower operational expenses and the environmental footprint of networking, the ECR offers a turnkey solution for reporting, measuring and regulating energy efficiency of network components.

Ixia is offering an "IxGreen" solution that integrates its test platform with energy measurement devices, correlating the energy statistics against application load. The following current, voltage and power data is collected and made available via real-time statistics views and reports.

As part of a ECR Initiative launch day event hosted at Ixia's iSimCity proof-of-concept lab in Santa Clara, California, Juniper Networks presented its T1600 core routing platform for energy-efficiency testing. The T1600 achieved an ECR value of 9.1 Watts/Gbps, making it one of the more efficient core routing platforms, according to the companies.

The ECR Initiative is welcoming additional participants and users from network equipment manufacturers, government agencies, carriers, and enterprises. The ECR specification and additional details are available for free.

Cornell University Deploys BridgeWave for Wireless Network Hardening

Cornell University has deployed several of BridgeWave Communications' 60-GHz gigabit wireless links as part of their network hardening strategy. BridgeWave's AR60 and AR60X products provide uninterrupted campus connectivity even during inclement weather or natural disaster situations. Additionally, the products' built-in Advanced Encryption Standards (AES) feature would protect University research from potential network tapping.

BridgeWave said its AdaptRate (AR) products are being used by Cornell to augment a vulnerable fiber link in the campus network as well as to serve as backup for their other network links. Cornell was particularly interested in the products' built-in AES feature and the exclusive AdaptRate technology. The AR radios momentarily switch transmissions from GigE to 100 Mbps data rates during intense or violent weather patterns or during moments of torrential downpour to maintain a highly available link.

Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft Vow to Defend Human Rights Online

A coalition of companies in the information and communications industries, including Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft , launched a Global Network Initiative whose mission is to protect and advance the human rights of freedom of expression and privacy. The Initiative is being launched in the 60th Anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In addition to the three leading Internet companies, the initiative is backed by the United Nations, leading human rights organizations (NGOs), as well as several distinguished academic institutions.

Founding members of the coalition said today's online resources require significant new commitments from across the industry, including: establishing greater transparency with users; assessing human rights risk; requesting the legal rationale for government actions and policies; training employees; challenging human rights violations; and providing whistle-blowing mechanisms through which violations of the Principles can be reported.

The Global Network Initiative outlined a set of Principles on Freedom of Expression and Privacy. In part, these include:

Freedom of Expression

Freedom of opinion and expression is a human right and guarantor of human dignity. The right to freedom of opinion and expression includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Freedom of opinion and expression supports an informed citizenry and is vital to ensuring public and private sector accountability. Broad public access to information and the freedom to create and communicate ideas are critical to the advancement of knowledge, economic opportunity and human potential.

The right to freedom of expression should not be restricted by governments, except in narrowly defined circumstances based on internationally recognized laws or standards. These restrictions should be consistent with international human rights laws and standards, the rule of law and be necessary and proportionate for the relevant purpose.

Participating companies will respect and protect the freedom of expression of their users by seeking to avoid or minimize the impact of government restrictions on freedom of expression, including restrictions on the information available to users and the opportunities for users to create and communicate ideas and information, regardless of frontiers or media of communication.

Participating companies will respect and protect the freedom of expression rights of their users when confronted with government demands, laws and regulations to suppress freedom of expression, remove content or otherwise limit access to information and ideas in a manner inconsistent with internationally recognized laws and standards.


Privacy is a human right and guarantor of human dignity. Privacy is important to maintaining personal security, protecting identity and promoting freedom of expression in the digital age.

Everyone should be free from illegal or arbitrary interference with the right to privacy and should have the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

The right to privacy should not be restricted by governments, except in narrowly defined circumstances based on internationally recognized laws and standards. These restrictions should be consistent with international human rights laws and standards, the rule of law and be necessary and proportionate for the relevant purpose.

Participating companies will employ protections with respect to personal information in all countries where they operate in order to protect the privacy rights of users.

Participating companies will respect and protect the privacy rights of users when confronted with government demands, laws or regulations that compromise privacy in a manner inconsistent with internationally recognized laws and standards.

More information is online.

Boingo Expands Its Wi-Fi Roaming Network in India

Boingo Wireless announced the addition of Tata Communications hotspots to the Boingo Roaming Network,

giving Boingo members access to over 500 new hotspots under the Tata Indicom brand. With the addition of the Tata Communications network, Boingo members will be able to enjoy high speed Wi-Fi connections in restaurants, caf├ęs, coffee shops and airports while traveling through India.

Starent Posts Q3 Revenue of $66.1 million, Up 80% YoY

Starent Networks, while supplies mobile data aggregation platforms, reported Q3 revenue of $66.1 million, an increase of 80% from the third quarter of 2007. Revenues for the nine months ended September 30, 2008 were $183.5 million, up 93% from the same period a year ago. Net income for the third quarter of 2008 was $19.6 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, compared to net income of $1.6 million for the same period in 2007.

Tellabs Shows its Latest MSPP

Tellabs introduced a compact, fully-featured multiservice provisioning platform (MSPP) that evolved from its 6325 Edge Node. The new Tellabs 6335 Switch Node shares common modules with the Tellabs 6325 node, yet has more slots for better capital and operational expense savings versus stacking multiple nodes.

Key features of the Tellabs 6335 node include:

  • Is a dual-purpose platform that works both as an MSPP as well as a WDM transport solution. Operators can mix MSPP and WDM simultaneously in the same universal shelf and reap the benefits of seamless capacity upgrade from single channel to multichannel networks.

  • Supports 16 wavelengths complemented by a suite of muxponders, transponders and wavelength sensitive filters fulfilling the needs of metro-edge applications.

  • Features a compact, modular design with two sizes, a two-rack and a seven-rack unit, that fit well in metro and core networks and customer locations and reduce power consumption.

  • Supports 2G and 3G mobile transport services for efficient mobile backhaul.

  • Offers higher flexibility and availability required in highly competitive markets.

The new Tellabs 6335 node will be available in the first quarter of 2009.

Verizon Launches Fast-Forward-Disabled VOD with Disney-ABC

Disney-ABC Television Group and Verizon announced deal that will make top ABC's television shows ("Desperate Housewives," "Grey's Anatomy," "Lost," "Samantha Who?" and "Ugly Betty") available via video-on-demand (VOD) to Verizon FiOS TV customers across the country just one day after their broadcast premieres. All the episodes are offered at no charge and in high definition (HD).

As with other ABC VOD offerings, Verizon will disable the fast-forward option on the FiOS TV VOD service for all offered ABC content. ABC first made its fast-forward-disabled VOD offering available last fall during a trial in California. The companies said that viewers of this fast-forwarding-disabled ABC VOD content overwhelmingly (93 percent) found the advertising acceptable in exchange for gaining free access to their favorite shows.

Verizon FiOS TV's VOD library now offers more than 11,000 titles per month, 70 percent of which are free.

Microsoft Demos Web Versions of Office Apps

As part of its preview event for Windows 7, Microsoft also demonstrated new Web applications for Office. This consisted of lightweight versions of Microsoft Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote that could be used from within standard Web browsers. The company showed how anyone can use all of the Web, phone, and PC versions of Office to edit the same rich document, switching among them with lossless file compatibility.

Office Web applications for Microsoft Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote will be available to individuals through Office Live, and to businesses though a hosted subscription and existing volume licensing programs. Microsoft plans to release a private Technical Preview of Office Web applications later this year.

"We are bringing the best of the Web to Windows, and the best of Windows to the Web," said Ray Ozzie, chief software architect at Microsoft. "From PC to the Web to the phone, and from the server to cloud, we are focused on enabling the creation of the next generation of user experiences that change the way we live, work and play."

Level 3 Expands CDN Capacity in Asia

Level 3 Communications has expanded its Content Delivery Network (CDN) capacity in Asia. The upgrade increases content delivery capacity in Asia by a factor of 10 and extends the CDN network into China. With this expansion, the Level 3 CDN footprint in the region includes: Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.

ARRIS Reports Q3 Revenues of $297 Million, Strong DOCSIS 3.0 Shipments

ARRIS reported preliminary and unaudited Q3 revenues of $297.6 million, representing an increase of $16.5 million, or 6%, as compared to second quarter 2008 revenues of $281.1 million. Third quarter and first nine month 2008 revenues increased $42.9 million, or 17%, and $109.5 million, or 15%, respectively, as compared to the same periods in 2007, primarily as a result of the C-COR acquisition in December 2007. Third quarter 2008 gross margin was $106.1 million, or 35.7%, as compared to $92.9 million, or 33.0%, in the second quarter 2008 and $68.8 million, or 27.0%, in the third quarter 2007. Net income (GAAP) was $0.19 per diluted share, as compared to $0.08 per diluted share in the second quarter 2008 and $0.25 per diluted share in the third quarter 2007.

The company also announced that its flagship Cable Modem Termination System (CMTS), the ARRIS C4, continues to ship in record numbers to cable operators around the world. The ARRIS C4 CMTS supports downstream channel bonding capabilities for speeds up to 160 Mbps.

"Our CMTS business in the quarter was remarkably strong with record shipments as customers began their rollouts of new DOCSIS 3.0 wideband platforms," said Bob Stanzione, ARRIS Chairman & CEO. "Partially offsetting our strong CMTS performance were the expected Access, Transport & Supplies results. Although the current economic climate may present some obstacles in the near term, demand for ARRIS products that enable high speed data and video traffic remains strong as both competition and traffic intensifies. In addition, opportunities in Latin America, Asia and Europe, give me optimism that our international sales will be a bright spot in ARRIS' results in the coming year.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Equinix Unveils New Branding, Marks 10th Anniversary

Equinix launched a new corporate brand to mark its 10th anniversary. The company said its new logo, which represents a fortress structure, symbolizes the critical role that it plays in safeguarding its customers' information assets. In addition, with the increasingly global nature of its business, Equinix's Internet Business Exchange (IBX) data centers will be re-branded as "International Business Exchange" data centers, representing Equinix's evolution beyond Internet connectivity to global network connectivity.

The new brand initiative comes one year after the acquisition of leading European colocation services provider IXEurope, which provided Equinix with an extensive presence in the European market.

Verizon Beats Estimates with Growth in Wireless , FiOS, Business Services;

Verizon Communications reported strong results for Q3 2008 supported by Verizon Wireless' continued strong performance, accelerating numbers of new FiOS customers, and continued increased sales of strategic business services. Verizon's total operating revenues grew 4.1 percent to $24.8 billion in the third quarter 2008, from $23.8 billion in the third quarter 2007. This is an increase of 5.4 percent when adjusted for the spinoff of non-strategic local exchange and related Wireline business assets earlier this year (non-GAAP). Total operating expenses increased 5.2 percent to $20.6 billion, or 5.4 percent on an adjusted basis, comparing third-quarter 2008 with third-quarter 2007. The company reported 59 cents in diluted earnings per share (EPS) in the third quarter 2008, compared with 44 cents per share in the third quarter 2007.

Some highlights for the quarter:

Verizon Wireless

  • Wireless retail gross customer additions were strong, up 5.3 percent over the prior year.

  • Organic growth (growth from sources other than acquisitions) was 1.5 million retail net customer additions, essentially all post-paid.

  • Total growth was 2.1 million retail net additions. This included 630,000 retail customers from the Rural Cellular Corp. acquisition, and Verizon expects to have a net loss of approximately 120,000 of these customers under an exchange agreement with another carrier.

  • Verizon Wireless had 70.8 million total customers at the end of the quarter.

  • Churn was 1.33 percent. Among the company's retail post-paid customers, churn was even lower at 1.03 percent.

  • Verizon Wireless continued its double-digit revenue growth, with total revenues of $12.7 billion, up 12.5 percent year over year. Service revenues were $10.9 billion, up 12.2 percent year over year, driven by customer growth and demand for data services.

  • Total service ARPU of $52.18 was up 0.9 percent year over year, reflecting strong growth in total data ARPU, which was up 28.3 percent.


  • Verizon added 233,000 net new FiOS TV customers, compared with 176,000 in the second quarter 2008. The company has 1.6 million FiOS TV customers, compared with more than 700,000 FiOS TV customers at the end of third-quarter 2007.

  • Verizon added 225,000 net new FiOS Internet customers, compared with 187,000 in the second quarter 2008. The company has 2.2 million FiOS Internet customers, compared with 1.3 million FiOS Internet customers at the end of third-quarter 2007.

  • FiOS Internet sales penetration (sales as a percentage of potential customers) increased to 24.2 percent, compared with 20.0 percent in last year's third quarter. FiOS Internet is available for sale to nearly 9.1 million premises.

  • FiOS TV sales penetration increased to 19.7 percent, compared with 15.2 percent in last year's third quarter. Verizon made FiOS TV service available for sale to a record 1.2 million additional premises in the quarter, bringing the total to 8.2 million.

  • Broadband and video revenues from consumer customers totaled $1.1 billion in the third quarter, representing year-over-year growth of 45.3 percent.

  • Consumer ARPU in legacy Verizon wireline markets (which excludes consumer markets served by the former MCI) was $66.67, a 12.8 percent increase compared with last year's third quarter.

  • Verizon's broadband fiber-to-the-premises network passed 11.9 million premises throughout the company's wireline service territory by the end of the quarter.

  • Total broadband connections were 8.5 million, a net increase of 129,000 over the second quarter 2008. This includes a decrease of 96,000 DSL-based Verizon High Speed Internet connections, which was more than offset by the increase in FiOS Internet customers. The 8.5 million is a 9.1 percent year-over-year increase.

  • Broadband and TV products now account for 29.1 percent of consumer ARPU in legacy markets, compared with 27.6 percent in the second quarter 2008. The ARPU among FiOS customers continues to be more than $130 per month.

Verizon Business

  • Verizon Business had total revenues of $5.4 billion, or growth of 1.2 percent compared with last year's third quarter. This was Verizon Business' eighth consecutive quarter of year-over-year pro-forma revenue growth (non-GAAP, calculated as if Verizon and MCI had merged on Jan. 1, 2005).

  • Sales of strategic services -- such as IP (Internet protocol), managed services, Ethernet and optical ring services -- continued to drive growth at Verizon Business. These services generated $1.6 billion in revenue, up 15.4 percent from third-quarter 2007.

  • Verizon Business continued to expand its global network reach and capabilities, announcing during the quarter that the first phase of the Trans-Pacific Express submarine cable system directly connecting Mainland China, the U.S., South Korea and Taiwan is ready for service. The company also began a significant expansion of its operations in India, activating Private IP nodes in five major business centers following receipt of international and national long-distance licenses earlier this year.

  • Additional global network enhancements included installing 27 additional Private IP edge switches globally for a total of 621 edge switches in 158 markets; completing the first phase of the company's U.S. optical mesh network; expanding its mesh network in the Asia-Pacific region to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea; and deploying an additional 1,348 ultra long haul route-miles in the U.S.

Indonesia's Axis Expands GSM Network with Ericsson

Axis, Indonesia's newest GSM/3G operator, has awarded an expansion contract to Ericsson for the next phase of the operator's national network rollout program. The agreement, which includes network operation and technical support, will allow Axis to provide improved services and greater coverage to its subscribers while reducing operating expenses. Under the agreement, Ericsson will be responsible for the deployment of a GSM/EDGE and WCDMA radio access network, including about 2100 sites in Greater Jakarta, Banten and Sumatra. Ericsson will also supply its mobile backhaul solution with optical and microwave products. The contract also includes a three-year managed services agreement to provide technical support and network operation, including field operations and support services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Cox Confirms Plans for Wireless Launch in 2009

Cox Communications, the third largest cable operator in the U.S, with 6.2 million customers, confirmed plans to add wireless offerings to its bundle of entertainment and communications service. Specifically, Cox will use Sprint's nationwide network to quickly enter the market in 2009. At the same time, Cox is concurrently building its own 3G network for additional market launches in 2009. Cox will also test 4G technology utilizing LTE (long term evolution).

In recent years, Cox has spent $500 million to acquire wireless spectrum in various FCC auctions.

"Wireless service will be a key driver to Cox's future growth," said Pat Esser, president of Cox Communications. "As wireless communications enters the new generation, we are uniquely positioned to deliver the entertainment and communications services our customers want, whenever, however and wherever they want them. Our bundled customers will become even ‘stickier' as we offer them the best customer experience. To deliver the best customer experience, we will manage every aspect of the service, from product development to marketing and sales to back-office operations and customer support and billing."
  • Earlier this year, Sprint Nextel and its cable operator partners agreed to unwind the relationship under which Comcast, Cox and Time Warner bundled Sprint's mobile service under the "Pivot" brand.

Atheros Targets 802.11g Upgrades with "Align" 802.11n Silicon

Atheros Communications introduced its new "Align" product line based on the IEEE draft 802.11n 1-stream specification. The new silicon provides a low-cost solution for enabling Wi-Fi devices that deliver performance enhancements over the existing 802.11g technology, at comparable price points. Align solutions are also forward compatible to higher-performance, multi-stream, MIMO-based 802.11n. Target applications include low-cost notebook, netbook, home networking and consumer electronics.

The Atheros Align portfolio is positioned for low-cost Wi-Fi connectivity, while the company's XSPAN family (launched in 2006) offers higher-performance 2-stream, MIMO-enabled 802.11n connectivity at up to 300 Mbps PHY rates per band.

Atheros' Align solutions deliver up to 150 Mbps PHY rates, and leverage the efficiencies of the 802.11n media access control (MAC) technology to achieve actual throughput levels up to five times that of legacy 802.11g. Atheros said the higher throughput of 1-stream products improves network efficiency by occupying the wireless channel for shorter periods than slower 11g devices -- reducing congestion and increasing capacity for additional wireless devices. Align products employ optional features of the 11n specification and Atheros' advanced radio design techniques, to effectively double the wireless coverage versus legacy WLAN solutions.

The Atheros AR9285 single-chip PCI Express (PCIe) solution is designed for sub-$500 notebook and netbook products. The single chip integrates the MAC/baseband and radio transceiver, as well as the power amplifier, low noise amplifiers and antenna switch -- the entire RF front-end -- providing a complete WLAN solution.

The Atheros Align AR9002AP-1S chipset for home networking targets value-priced wireless routing equipment, with increased capacity and range over legacy 802.11g. The chipset consists of the AR9285 1-stream MAC/BB/radio and the new Atheros AR7240 network processor System-on-Chip (SOC) which features advanced power management and a network processor with integrated 5-port Fast Ethernet switch -- based on the company's ETHOS technology. The AR7240 provides 400 MHz of processing power, ample to support 1-stream solutions as well as higher-performance, 2-stream, MIMO radio designs. The Atheros network processor is specifically engineered to optimize wireless performance by looking beyond clock speed and focusing on overall system efficiency. The AR7240 features a MIPS32 24K(R) processor core, 64KB of instruction memory cache up to four times that offered by competitor NPUs, and a high speed 16-bit Double-Data-Rate (DDR) memory interface to dramatically increase raw memory speed.

The Atheros AR9271 single-chip USB solution provides enhanced Wi-Fi performance and value for home gateways, set-top boxes, gaming consoles, printers and a variety of other embedded wireless products. The single chip features a new architecture that integrates both a CPU and memory to run more of the wireless LAN function on-chip.

The AR9002AP-1S chipset for AP/Routers and AR9285 single chip for PCs are sampling now. The AR9271 embedded USB solution will begin sampling in late Q4 2008.

Atheros Revenue Rises to Record $138.1 million

Atheros Communications reported record Q3 revenue of $138.1 million, compared with $121.5 million reported in the second quarter of 2008 and $106.3 million reported in the third quarter of 2007. Net income (GAAP) was $10.1 million or $0.16 per diluted share. This compares with GAAP net income of $10.1 million or $0.16 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2008.

GAAP net income in the third quarter of 2007 was $9.7 million or $0.16 per diluted share. Total cash, cash equivalents and short-term marketable securities were $274.1 million at Sept. 30, 2008, up $21.5 million from the prior quarter.

"We are pleased to report our 14th consecutive quarter of revenue growth," said Dr. Craig Barratt, president and chief executive officer. "Our 14 percent sequential increase in revenue was driven by strength in each of our three channels - PC, Networking and Consumer. Demand for our expanded family of 802.11n products was particularly strong while our 802.11g solutions continue to be incorporated into a wide variety of value-oriented laptops, networking products and consumer devices."

Microsoft Debuts "Azure" Internet Cloud Services Platform

Microsoft introduced its "Windows Azure" operating system and Azure Services Platform (Azure) for cloud-based computing using Microsoft global data center network. Microsoft said its aim is to provide developers with the on-demand compute and storage resources to host, scale, and manage Internet or cloud applications.

Over the past year, Microsoft has opened major data centers in Quincy, Washington, and San Antonio, Texas. Additional Microsoft data centers are scheduled to open in Chicago and Dublin, Ireland.

Azure makes use of existing Microsoft technologies, such as the Microsoft .NET Framework and Visual Studio. Developers also access the Azure Services Platform using a variety of common Internet standards. Specifically, Azure provides an open, standards-based and interoperable environment with support for multiple internet protocols, including HTTP, REST, SOAP, and XML.

Key components of the Azure Services Platform include:

  • Windows Azure for service hosting and management, low-level scalable storage, computation and networking

  • Microsoft SQL Services for a wide range of database services and reporting

  • Microsoft .NET Services which are service-based implementations of familiar .NET Framework concepts such as workflow and access control

  • Live Services for a consistent way for users to store, share and synchronize documents, photos, files and information across their PCs, phones, PC applications and Web sites

  • Microsoft SharePoint Services and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Services for business content, collaboration and rapid solution development in the cloud.

Microsoft said the key advantage for developers is that its cloud-based approach allows them to pay only for the services they use, while reducing the capital costs associated with purchasing hardware and infrastructure.

ADC Notes Key OFDMA Intellectual Property for LTE, WiMAX

ADC announced that its OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access) multipoint-to-point technology has been recognized in the upcoming update of "WiMAX/LTE IPR and Market Impact Report" from broadband wireless and WiMAX industry research and analysis firm Maravedis Inc. The Maravedis report also noted Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia, Huawei, AT&T, Nortel and Ericsson as companies with key 4G technologies.

OFDMA technology divides available bandwidth into many orthogonal subcarriers, which can be dynamically allocated to multiple users as needed. This flexibility in bandwidth allocation, along with OFDM's resistance to multipath effects, makes OFDMA the technology of choice for 4G networks trying to push the envelope of bandwidth efficiency.

ADC noted that its effort to break into the broadband data transport market began in the early 1990s, when it launched an a $250 million R&D effort supported by some 200 engineers. The company brought to market synchronized OFDMA, an industry-first synchronized multipoint-to-point system leveraging the advantages of orthogonal frequency division multiplexing with sub-channelization in an upstream channel to achieve dramatic improvements in transmission efficiency. After this period of intense development, ADC successfully built and deployed more than 100,000 OFDMA modems. The U.S. Patent Office has issued more than 40 patents to ADC and dozens of additional applications are pending.

An executive summary of Maravedis' "WiMAX/LTE IPR and Market Impact Report" and ordering information for the 4G report can be viewed by visiting

CenturyTel to Acquire EMBARQ

CenturyTel agreed to acquire EMBARQ, creating one of the leading communications companies in the United States. The two companies have a combined operating presence in 33 states with approximately eight million access lines and two million broadband customers. The combined company is expected to have pro forma revenue in excess of $8.8 billion, pro forma EBITDA of approximately $4.2 billion, pro forma leverage of 2.1 times EBITDA and pro forma free cash flow of approximately $1.8 billion, based on anticipated full run-rate synergies and operating results for the twelve months ended September 30, 2008.

EMBARQ, which was formerly Sprint's Local Telecommunications Division, was spun out as an independent company in 2006.

Under the terms of the agreement, EMBARQ shareholders will receive 1.37 CenturyTel shares for each share of EMBARQ common stock they own. Based on the closing stock price for CenturyTel on October 24, 2008, this consideration would be equivalent to $40.42 of CenturyTel stock for each EMBARQ share, representing a premium to EMBARQ shareholders of approximately 36% over EMBARQ's closing stock price on Friday.

The transaction reflects an enterprise value of approximately $11.6 billion, including the assumption of $5.8 billion of EMBARQ's debt. Upon closing of the transaction, EMBARQ shareholders are expected to own approximately 66% and CenturyTel shareholders are expected to own approximately 34% of the combined company.

The companies said their merger will generate synergies of approximately $400 million annually within the first three years of operation. Key drivers of these synergies include reduction of corporate overhead, elimination of duplicate functions, enhanced revenue opportunities and increased operational efficiencies through the adoption of best practices and capabilities from each company.

Glen Post will be Chief Executive Officer, Tom Gerke will assume the role of executive Vice-Chairman of the Board, Karen Puckett will be Chief Operating Officer and Stewart Ewing will serve as Chief Financial Officer.

Corporate headquarters will be in Monroe, Louisiana. The combined company will also maintain a significant presence in Overland Park, Kansas.

The name of the combined company will be determined prior to the close of the transaction.

  • In March 2008, Embarq named Tom A. Gerke, 51, as its new CEO. Since January 2007 he has led EMBARQ's Wholesale Markets business unit, while continuing to lead the company's legal, regulatory and external affairs functions. Before joining EMBARQ, in connection with its spin-off from Sprint Nextel, he held a variety of leadership roles at Sprint Nextel, including executive vice president and general counsel.

  • In December 2007, Sprint Nextel named Daniel R. Hesse, as its new president and CEO. He previously was chairman, president and CEO of Embarq, which was previously Sprint's Local Telecommunications Division.

AT&T Expands U-verse TV channel Lineup

AT&T announced several additions to its U-verse TV channel lineup, including more than 30 new HD channels and new international programming packages for Chinese, Polish, Russian, French and European-sports audiences.

Beginning Nov. 3, U-verse TV customers will receive up to 30 new HD channels at no additional charge as part of their existing HD service subscription, depending on their programming package. With the additions, U-verse TV offers more than 75 HD channels -- exceeding the HD channel lineups offered by the major local cable providers in every U-verse market.