Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Harris Wins $600 Million Contract to Modernize U.S. Strategic Satellite Terminals

Harris has been awarded a 10-year, $600 million contract for the U.S. Army's Modernization of Enterprise Terminals (MET) program. The next-generation military satellite communications terminals developed for the MET program will provide the worldwide backbone for high-priority military communications and missile defense systems.

As prime contractor, Harris will develop, test and certify four unique terminal configurations during a 30-month, First Article Test phase. In addition, Harris will provide production hardware under the five-year base contract, with five additional option years, and will support field activities such as site preparation, installation, test, operations, and maintenance. The program will be managed by Team DCATS - Project Manager, Defense Communications and Army Transmission Systems.

Specifically, Harris will replace up to eighty AN/GSC-52, AN/GSC-39, AN/FSC-78 and other aging strategic satellite communications terminals around the world with new, simultaneous X- and Ka-band terminals capable of interfacing with the new Wideband Global Satellite constellation as well as with legacy satellite systems. The new terminals will support Internet Protocol and Dedicated Circuit Connectivity within the Global Information Grid, providing critical reach-back capability for the warfighter.

Marvell Offers Single Chip Solution for Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 3.0

Marvell announced that its 88W8688 Bluetooth Wi-Fi combination chip fully supports the recently announced Bluetooth 3.0 + HS (High Speed) specification. The Marvell implementation is designed to allow the new Bluetooth radio to deliver up to 10 to 15 times the throughput of standard Bluetooth 2.1 implementations - at least 24 Mbps. Marvell solutions are differentiated by a superior 802.11 Protocol Adaptation Layer (PAL) that supports simultaneous connection of Bluetooth 3.0 and Wi-Fi using the same radio.

AT&T Sees Surge in Wi-Fi Connections with Boost from Starbucks

AT&T, which currently operates nearly 20,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the U.S., reported significant growth in the number of Wi-Fi users and connections.

AT&T Wi-Fi connections totaled 10.5 million in the first quarter of 2009 - more than triple the 3.4 million connections in the first quarter of 2008, and more than half AT&T's 20 million total Wi-Fi connections for all of 2008. The usage surge was driven by growth in AT&T's wired and wireless broadband customer base, the proliferation of Wi-Fi enabled devices and the transition of Starbucks locations to AT&T's Wi-Fi footprint.

AT&T broadband connections - including wireline and wireless LaptopConnect cards - grew by 471,000 in the first quarter to reach 16.7 million in service. AT&T provides Wi-Fi access at no extra charge with qualifying AT&T high speed Internet plans, 3G LaptopConnect plans and select smartphone plans.

In the first quarter, Wayport -- which AT&T acquired in December 2008 -- began operating as AT&T Wi-Fi Services. Wayport's footprint included hotspot locations in retail, hospitality and healthcare venues.

WildBlue Demos Next Gen Satellite Broadband at 18 Mbps

WildBlue Communications has brought its mobile demonstration trailer to Denver to showcase what satellite broadband will be like in the future, with download speeds approaching 18Mbps, twelve times faster than current WildBlue service. The currently serves nearly 400,000 customers in the rural U.S., including 11,000 subscribers here in Colorado.

As the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Agriculture begins to map out criteria for the $7.2 billion in federal stimulus funding targeted at broadband, WildBlue is seeking to demonstrate how satellite broadband serves the needs of the hardest-to-reach homeowners and small businesses in America. WildBlue Communications has been an advocate in Washington, D.C. for the satellite broadband industry as satellite technology is an essential component in the initiative to provide universal broadband access to all Americans.

PMC-Sierra Reports Q1 Revenue off $103 Million, Down 18% YoY

PMC-Sierra reported Q1 2009 revenue of $102.6 million, a decrease of 18% compared with the first quarter of 2008 and 15% lower than the $120.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. Net loss in the first quarter of 2009 on a GAAP basis was $3.9 million (GAAP loss per share of $0.02) compared with a GAAP net loss in the first quarter of 2008 of $20.9 million (GAAP loss per share of $0.10).

"In the first quarter of 2009, we experienced strong demand for our wireless and wireline communications products in China," said Greg Lang, president and chief executive officer of PMC-Sierra. "We lowered operating expenses during the first quarter and will maintain our focus on keeping our operating expenses in line with our business opportunities."

Juniper Posts Preliminary Q1 Revenue of $762 Million, Down 7% YoY

Juniper Networks' Q1 2009 revenues declined 7% on a year-over-year basis to $764.2 million. The company posted GAAP net loss of $(4.5) million, or $(0.01) per diluted share, and non-GAAP net income of $91.6 million, or $0.17 per diluted share. Net loss on a GAAP basis includes a non-recurring $61.8 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, non-cash charge related to the impairment of certain net deferred tax assets due to a change in California income tax law enacted during the first quarter of 2009.

In the Service Provider segment, US and EMEA revenue declines were partially offset by APAC growth. In the Enterprise segment, Juniper saw revenue growth in all theaters year-over-year.

"Juniper has responded well to the challenging macroeconomic environment. Our focus remains on balancing short-term market realities with our commitment to creating long-term shareholder value. We're doing that by aggressively and thoughtfully managing operating expenses to ensure that we maintain strong levels of investment in our innovation and customer focused initiatives," stated Kevin Johnson, Juniper's Chief Executive Officer. "Our March quarter results indicate that we're executing on this plan, as operating margin was better than expected and new product introductions in our EX, SRX and TX lines are gaining good traction with customers."

Juniper's operating margin for the first quarter of 2009 declined to 10.6% on a GAAP basis from 17.3% in the same quarter a year ago. Non-GAAP operating margin for the first quarter of 2009 declined to 16.4% from 23.5% in the first quarter of 2008.

Riverbed Reports Revenue of $88 Million, Up 21% YoY

Riverbed Technology, which supplies WAN optimization platforms, reported total GAAP revenue for Q1'09 of $88.2 million, an increase of 21% from $73.0 million of GAAP revenue reported in the first quarter of fiscal year 2008 (Q1'08). GAAP net income for Q1'09 was $974,000, or $0.01 per diluted share. This compares to GAAP net income of $638,000, or $0.01 per diluted share, in Q1'08.

"We are pleased with the strong results we are reporting for the first quarter," said Jerry M. Kennelly, Riverbed president and CEO. "We executed well, achieving 21 percent year-over-year revenue growth and a 33 percent increase in non-GAAP operating profit."

During the quarter, Riverbed announced an OEM agreement with Microsoft to license Windows Server 2008 for integration on the Riverbed Steelhead appliance through the Riverbed Services Platform (RSP).

Starent Posts Q1 Revenue of $73 Million, Up 30% YoY

Starent Networks reported Q1 2009 revenue of $73.2 million, an increase of 30% from the first quarter of 2008. Net income for the first quarter of 2009 was $12.8 million, or $0.17 per diluted share, compared to net income of $9.7 million, or $0.13 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2008.

During Q1, Starent announced its selection by Verizon Wireless as a packet core vendor for its LTE network. Starent's open LTE Evolved Packet Core (EPC) offers 2G/3G functionality currently and supports an evolution to LTE through software upgradeability.

Ixia Reports Q1 Revenue of $37 Million, Down 11% YoY

Ixia reported Q1 2009 revenue of $37.1 million, down 11% compared to $41.7 million in the 2008 first quarter. On a GAAP basis, the company recorded a net loss for the 2009 first quarter of $4.0 million, or $0.06 per share, compared to net income of $106,000, or $0.00 per diluted share, for the 2008 first quarter.

"Despite the challenging business conditions during the first quarter, we generated positive cash flow from our operations, and were encouraged by year-over-year top line growth in some key markets," commented Atul Bhatnagar, Ixia's president and chief executive officer. "Revenues in the Asia Pacific region hit new levels led by record quarters in Japan and China. We also saw an increase in our service provider business where bookings were up by 19% over last year. However, the uncertainty of the global economy continues to impact the buying decisions of many of our customers, particularly in the United States where some network equipment manufacturers and carriers delayed or reduced spending during the first quarter. We believe that the remainder of 2009 will continue to be challenging, but we are prepared to meet these challenges by focusing on key product innovation, customer delight and cost controls. We are committed to maintaining and enhancing our profitability and positive operating cash flow while meeting the needs of our customers."

As of March 31, 2009, Ixia had cash, cash equivalents and investments of $202.2 million and no debt.

Netflix Surpasses 10 Million Subscribers

Netflix ended the first quarter of 2009 with approximately 10,310,000 total subscribers, representing 25 percent year-over-year growth from 8,243,000 total subscribers at the end of the first quarter of 2008 and 10 percent sequential growth from 9,390,000 subscribers at the end of the fourth quarter of 2008. The company added more net subscribers than in any previous quarter in its history. The company now has 12,000 choices in its on-demand streaming library and over 100,000 DVD titles.

Extreme Posts Revenue of $77.2 million

Extreme Networks reported quarterly net revenue of $77.2 million, down 6% compared to $82.0 million in the year-ago quarter. Non-GAAP net income was $1.2 million or $0.01 per diluted share, excluding $1.2 million in share-based compensation charges and $2.1 million in restructuring charges, compared to year-ago non-GAAP net income of $1.1 million or $0.01 per diluted share, excluding $1.3 million in share-based compensation.

"We delivered positive pro-forma earnings in a challenging market and took steps to reduce our cost structure," said Mark Canepa, president and CEO of Extreme Networks.

Zhone Reports Q1 Revenue of $24.1 Million, Down 22%

Zhone Technologies reported Q1 revenue of was $24.1 million, down 22% compared with $31.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2008 and down 44% from the $43.0 million for the first quarter of 2008. Net loss for the first quarter of 2009 (GAAP) was $6.9 million or $0.05 per share compared with a net loss of $4.7 million or $0.03 per share for the fourth quarter of 2008, and a net loss of $0.9 million or $0.01 per share for the first quarter of 2008.

"The first quarter proved to be even more challenging because of the global economic difficulties," stated Mory Ejabat, Zhone's chief executive officer. "However, we are beginning to see signs of an improving environment and are encouraged by growing backlog and prospects for revenue growth throughout the remainder of the year."

ZTE Posts 35% YoY Growth for Q1

China-based ZTE reported Q1 2009 revenue amounting to RMB 11.67 billion, representing an increase of 35.00% compared with the same period last year. Net profit was RMB 78.66 million, representing an increase of 29.17% compared with the same period last year. Basic earnings per share were RMB 0.06.

ZTE posted a 46.9% growth in system devices, while revenues from 3G and GSM network construction remained strong. Revenue from mobile handset products grews by 22.2% against the same period last year, while telecom software systems, services and other products grew by 3.6% as compared to the same period last year.

ZTE said it is committed to aggressively expanding internationally. Over the past few years it has been pursuing partnerships with mainstream operators in the emerging markets. Going forward, ZTE is setting up independent business units to pursue markets in Europe and the U.S.

Apple Tops One Billion iPhone App Store Downloads

Apple surpassed the 1 billion iPhone application downloads in just nine months.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ikanos to Acquire Conexant's Broadband Access Business

Ikanos Communications has agreed to acquire he Broadband Access product line from Conexant Systems for $54 million in cash and the assumption of certain employee and facility related liabilities.

Ikanos and Conexant account for a cumulative 330 million broadband access ports shipped to date. Conexant's Broadband Access product line has traditionally been strong in North America and China while Ikanos has led in Japan, Korea and Europe. The combined company will be well positioned to address the global market for broadband semiconductors, and better serve customers in all geographies. Ikanos will build on its status as the VDSL market share leader, will add substantial ADSL market share, and will have a broad product portfolio that includes SHDSL, 802.11 b/g wireless networking, Ethernet switching, and passive optical networking (PON). In addition, the combined company will have both MIPS- and ARM-based processors that are powering broadband access networks around the world.

The acquisition is expected to more than double Ikanos' revenue, while providing significant leverage in its cost and spending structure. Ikanos also expects that the transaction will be accretive to its non-GAAP earnings per share within the first year after the close of the transaction.

"With the number of home networks doubling to more than 400 million by 2013 according to analysts, there's a substantial opportunity for Ikanos to address the need for delivering bandwidth to and throughout the home," said Michael Gulett, president and CEO of Ikanos. "We'll use our strengthened leadership in broadband access as a platform on which to build new offerings that extend multi-play services seamlessly everywhere they are needed."

In connection with this transaction, Tallwood Venture Capital, a leading investment firm focused on the semiconductor industry, has agreed to purchase 24 million shares of Ikanos common stock for $42 million, or $1.75 per share. Tallwood will also receive warrants to purchase an additional 7.8 million shares of common stock at $1.75 per share. The deal is expected to be completed in the third quarter of calendar year 2009.

CWA Comments on AT&T's Results and Ongoing Labor Negotiations

The Communications Workers of America, which is currently negotiating a new labor contract with AT&T, said the better-than-expected financial results posted by AT&T demonstrate that the fact that AT&T is well-positioned to lead the telecommunications industry into the future digital age. The union believes AT&T is well-positioned to help move our nation out of economic crisis and back into prosperity. AT&T remains the 7th largest company in the world, in terms of market capitalization. It posted $12.9 billion in profits last year. CWA represents 180,000 workers at AT&T.

CWA President Larry Cohen pointed out that AT&T's strength is its integrated network and the CWA workers that keep it operating. "Broadband and wireless don't exist without wireline. That makes building and maintaining the network a critical part of the company's business plan."

CWA and AT&T currently are in contract negotiations for new contracts covering nearly 100,000 workers.

Equinix Revenues Rise 4% in Q1

Equinix's revenue rose to $199.2 million for Q1 2009, a 4% increase over the previous quarter, and a 26% increase over the same quarter last year, including a negative impact due to foreign currency fluctuations of $1.1 million. Recurring revenues, consisting primarily of colocation, interconnection and managed services, were $191.3 million for the first quarter, a 5% increase over the previous quarter, and a 27% increase over the same quarter last year. Non-recurring revenues were $7.9 million in the quarter, consisting primarily of professional services and installation fees.

For the second quarter of 2009, the Company expects revenues to be in the range of $206.0 to $210.0 million. Cash gross margins are expected to range between 63% and 64% and includes incremental costs from expansion IBX centers opening in the quarter.

Capital expenditures in the first quarter were $75.0 million, of which $10.3 million was attributed to ongoing capital expenditures and $64.7 million was attributed to expansion capital expenditures.

Capital expenditures for 2009 are expected to be in the range of $325.0 to $375.0 million, comprised of approximately $60.0 million of ongoing capital expenditures and $265.0 to $315.0 million of expansion capital expenditures. Expansion capital expenditures are for the announced expansions in the Amsterdam, Chicago, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Singapore markets.

T-Mobile USA Teams with Echelon to Pursue Smart Grid Opportunity

Echelon is teaming up with T-Mobile USA to accelerate the adoption of the smart grid in the North American market by reducing the communications cost of smart meters. The partnership combines Echelon's Networked Energy Services (NES) system with T-Mobile's GSM cellular network. As part of the agreement, Echelon will utilize an embedded T-Mobile SIM within a cellular radio module to enable all the Echelon smart meters on a given low voltage transformer to communicate back to the utility over the smart grid, and T-Mobile will offer users of Echelon's NES system innovative and cost-effective pricing plans for data usage.

Unlike systems with a dedicated, proprietary radio per metering point, multiple NES meters can share a single IP connection among all the meters on a given low voltage transformer, driving down the per-point connection cost and eliminating the need for the utility to build and maintain a dedicated private wireless network for their meters.

T-Mobile's embedded SIM for Machine-to-Machine (M2M) is approximately the size of a head of a pin and it can withstand challenging environmental factors such as temperature, humidity and motion, according to the company. The embedded SIM preserves many of the benefits of a GSM-based SIM solution (authentication, encryption and storage), but at a fraction the size of the traditional SIM.

"We believe the initiative we have announced today with T-Mobile should fundamentally change the way utilities in North America think about deploying AMI systems," said Jim Andrus, Echelon vice president of NES Sales Americas. "While the investment in coverage, reliability and security of carriers such as T-Mobile is unmatched by what a utility could do on their own, the operating costs of public networks have traditionally limited their use in the North American market. In contrast, aggressive pricing plans have made the use of the public cellular networks as the backhaul of smart grid systems the norm in Europe. We believe the programs we have put in place with T-Mobile can have the same impact on the North American market."

Fujitsu Microelectronics Launches 1394 Controller for HD Video in Vehicle Networks

Fujitsu Microelectronics America introduced a 1394 Automotive controller that transmits high-definition video over an in-vehicle multimedia network. The new Fujitsu MB88395 controller can simultaneously transmit multiple streams around the vehicle, such as HD video (1,280 dots x 720 lines) from Blu-Ray DVDs, digital TV, and car navigation images. The device uses an 800 Mbps physical layer and link layer, along with the Fujitsu proprietary SmartCODEC, which provides high compression and can transmit HD video without perceptible latency.

"The 1394 Automotive standard is now moving forward for in-vehicle multimedia networking, and we expect it to become the preferred automotive networking standard for entertainment, information, and other applications," said Philip Hughes, senior director, Automotive Business Group, Fujitsu Microelectronics America. "Fujitsu Microelectronics anticipated the need for rear-seat entertainment and has taken a global leadership position in 1394 controller technology. This new device, co-developed with Fujitsu VLSI Limited, allows HD video content to be easily viewed throughout the vehicle. We expect this new 1394 Automotive in-vehicle networking technology will be in vehicles in the 2011 and 2012 model years."

PandaLabs: Spam Accounts for 91 Percent of Email Traffic

Less than seven percent of emails that reached companies in the first quarter of 2009 were legitimate correspondence, according to PandaLabs. Some 91 percent of messages were spam, while 1.6 percent, or more than 1.1 million messages, were infected with some type of malware. This data is based on the analysis by TrustLayer Mail, the clean mail managed service from Panda Security, which examined 69 million email messages sent in the first quarter of 2009.

Included below are highlights of recent findings in Q109:

  • Approximately 302,000 computers were newly infected and turned into zombies to redistribute spam.

  • The U.S. remains the leading source of spam during the first quarter of 2009, accounting for 11.6 percent of the total, followed by Brazil (11.5 percent) and Romania (5.8 percent).

  • Spam about various "loans" jumped to the top of the list of top spam topics, with 28% this quarter.

  • Twitter has been heavily targeted by cyber-crooks as a platform for launching phishing attacks. Attackers prey on peoples' curiosity by sending them a direct message telling them that there is a post about them or an image of them on a blog. When users click on the link, they are redirected to a spoof Twitter page. If users enter their Twitter credentials on this page, their data will fall into the hands of cyber-crooks who then use the accounts to send spam.