Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lightower Selects Juniper for IP/MPLS

Lightower Fiber Networks, a leading digital fiber network and broadband service provider in the northeast United States, has expanded its network with Juniper Networks MX Series Ethernet Services Routers. Based on lab tests performed in conjunction with Juniper, Lightower estimates that the use of optimized IP/MPLS in its Carrier Ethernet networks will provide transit times measurably faster than other approaches such as pure Layer 2, while also providing superior traffic management and resiliency. Fast transit times, recovery and high availability are crucial for Lightower customers, such as financial institutions, when network downtime or lags can result in significant expense or lost business. In addition, Lightower is using the virtualization capabilities of the MX Series to maintain separation between different types of services running on the same router, enabling convergence of network services and functionality, while maintaining the appropriate levels of administrative separation.

Korea's Hyosung ITX Deploys Juniper Ethernet Services Router

Hyosung ITX, a major Korean business solution provider, has deployed Juniper Networks' MX Series Ethernet Services Routers to support its content deliver network (CDN), enables the streaming of high-quality video, smooth downloads for online games and maintenance software, and the caching of other high-bandwidth content. To manage content effectively, Hyosung ITX operates six server farms nationwide and employs data mirroring techniques to route data via the fastest and most reliable path from server to user. The network is using Juniper's MX960 and MX480 routers. Additionally, the unique firewall capabilities within the MX Series' JUNOS Software helps protect Hyosung ITX from network threats including Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ceragon Posts Q1 Revenues of $43.9 Million, Down 7%

Ceragon Networks, a supplier of high-capacity LTE ready wireless backhaul solutions, reported Q1 2009 revenues of $43.9 million, down 7% from $47.2 million for the first quarter of 2008 and down 23% from $56.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. Net income (GAAP) was $0.2 million or $0.01 per basic and diluted share, compared to net income of $4.3 million in the first quarter of 2008, or $0.12 per basic share and $0.11 per diluted share.

"Underlying long term growth drivers remain in place and we are encouraged by improving demand from expansion of GSM networks in India to accommodate record subscriber growth as well as signs of improving demand in North America ," said Ira Palti, President and CEO of Ceragon. "At the same time, we are still cautious about the near term outlook due to poor visibility, lengthening sales cycles, and customers' continuing focus on retaining cash. In this environment, our emphasis will continue to be on controlling costs and remaining as flexible as possible in order to react quickly, while preserving our capability to respond effectively when the pace of orders picks up."

Tellme to Provide "One Button" Voice Access in Windows Mobile 6.5

Microsoft's Tellme service will provide "one-button" access for Windows Mobile 6.5 phones due out this fall. The new service puts many of the most popular phone functions behind a single button. Windows phone users just press the side button of their phone to do the following:

  • Send a text by saying "text" to open a text box, then speak the text message and say "send" to send it to anyone in their contact list

  • Initiate a call simply by saying "call" and then the name of anyone in their contact list

  • Search the Web with Microsoft Live Search by speaking your request, such as "weather in San Francisco, California," "pizza in Kansas City," "movies" or "Mother's Day gift ideas".

Microsoft's Tellme Advances its Voice-in-the-Cloud Platform

Microsoft's Tellme group announced three core speech and network innovations that advance its platform for cloud-based voice services. These advancements include the rollout of a VoIP carrier service that reduces customer transport costs, advanced speech services that improve automation of customer service calls, and a new "voice font" technology that delivers a more natural text-to-speech experience. Because Tellme operates as an on-demand service, the new capabilities are immediately available to enterprises across Tellme's platform.

Customer phone inquiries represents a multimillion-dollar expense for many Fortune 1000 companies, with telecom being one of the largest technology costs. The companies said that by using Global Crossing's VoIP service, enterprises can extend their VoIP strategy to customer service calls and eliminate transfer fees, lowering the average per-minute cost 60 percent per call and reducing transfer fees by 100 percent.

The new speech services, which are a result of collaboration between Tellme and Microsoft's Speech Components Group,
are also expected to advance natural user interfaces across other Microsoft products. The Tellme service lets telephone callers use their voice to run queries and access specific information. The service currently handles billions of calls every year and is used by more than 40 million people every month. Tellme provided Microsoft with tuning data from its billions and billions of calls. This is being used to develop new acoustic models, phonetic dictionaries and grammar products that increase the accuracy of every response. The teams built an "online adaptation" capability in which the system can adapt to a caller's acoustic patterns within the first three seconds of speaking. These new platform features make it possible to get the right answer to the caller more often.

In addition, Tellme is now using these technologies to power its mobile services, including the forthcoming Windows Mobile 6.5 application.

QLogic Acquires NetXen for 10GigE Datacenter Silicon

QLogic, a supplier of high performance network infrastructure, has acquired NetXen, a start-up specializing in 10 Gigabit Ethernet networking chips for enterprise datacenters for approximately $21 million in cash.

QLogic said the deal provides it with complementary networking products and intellectual property. The acquisition further expands QLogic's expertise in strategic areas of technology and enables the company to better address a wider range of emerging customer requirements for converged networks.

NetLogic to Acquire IDT's Search Engine Assets

NetLogic Microsystems agreed to acquire certain assets associated with Integrated Device Technology Inc.'s (IDT) network search engine products for $90 million, plus the costs of inventory on hand. The acquisition includes IDT's search accelerator, network search engine and route accelerator product families and related patents and intellectual property.

NetLogic said these products and technologies will complement and further expand its existing portfolio of knowledge-based processors, NETLite processors and network search engines, and will further strengthen the relationships with NetLogic Microsystems' customer base.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Agilent Teams with Datang on TD-SCDMA

Agilent Technologies and Datang Telecom Technology & Industry Holdings agreed to collaborate in the development of TD-SCDMA and related technologies in the test and measurement areas. As the initiator of the TD-SCDMA 3G mobile communication international standard, the owner of core patents, the driver of industry development and the leader of equipment market, Datang Holdings plays a key role in the creation and global deployment of TD-SCDMA and TD LTE. Agilent and Datang Holdings will work together to support the TD-SCDMA.

Acme Packet Acquires Covergence for Software SBCs

Acme Packet has acquired privately-held Covergence, a supplier of software-based session border controllers (SBCs), for approximately $22.8 million, consisting of approximately $22.2 million of Acme Packet common stock and an aggregate of $0.6 million in cash payments to stockholders of Covergence and tax withholding payments.

Covergence, which is based in Maynard, Massachusetts, supplies SBC functionality as hardened Unix-based software for Intel x86-class servers. Applications include VoIP/IP telephony, Unified Communications and Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) applications within global 1000 enterprises.

Acme Packet said Covergence's products complement its existing Net-Net family of custom hardware-based SBCs by extending the low-end product range to address the needs of small and remote enterprise locations. The Covergence acquisition will also add four of the Fortune 25 to Acme Packet's growing base of enterprise customers.

Comcast's Revenue Grows 5% in Q1, All-Digital Transition Underway

Citing customer upgrades to digital and advanced video services as well as continued growth in high-speed Internet (HSI),
Comcast's revenue from its cable operations increased 5% to $8.3 billion for the first quarter of 2009 as compared to $7.9 billion in the first quarter of 2008. The gains were partially offset by video customer losses and lower advertising revenue. The monthly average total revenue per video customer increased 8% from $106.70 to $115.27, reflecting an increasing number of customers taking multiple services.

Some highlights for the quarter:

  • As of March 31, 2009, Comcast's video, high-speed Internet and voice customers totaled 46.1 million, reflecting 549,000 net additions during the first quarter of 2009.

  • Comcast now serves over 15,258,000, a gain of 329,000 in the quarter.

  • Total Revenue Generating Units reached 63,426,000, up 6% compared to last year and a gain of 837,000 in Q1

  • Comcast added 298,000 Digital Voice accounts in Q1, giving it a total of 6,769,000 customers.

  • 300 million on-demand views per month

  • Voice ARPU is $39 per month.

  • Voice penetration is 14%

  • Free Cash Flow totaled $1.4 billion in the first quarter of 2009 as compared to $702 million in 2008, a 95% increase.

  • Consolidated capital expenditures decreased 19% from the prior year to $1.2 billion, or 13.1% of total revenue, reflecting a decreased level of capital intensity at Comcast Cable.

  • In a conference call, Comcast executives said new additions weakened in March and April due to the overall economy and increased video competition.

  • DOCSIS 3.0 is now deployed in 35% of the footprint with a goal of reaching 65% by year end

  • Comcast also provided an update on its all digital conversion. a project that is expected to add more bandwidth than any other improvement to its network infrastructure. The all-digital conversion will add 250 to 300 MHZ of bandwidth by moving 40-50 analog channels to digital and leaving just the lifeline basic channels in analog. The bandwidth gain makes room for more HD channels and ethnic programming. The upgrade does not impact lifeline basic customers who will continue to receive analog service For the 72% of the customer based currently served by digital service, only secondary TV sets inside the home without STBs will need to transition to a digital adapter. For the 14% of the customer base currently purchasing the expanded basic tier, Comcast will provide digital adapters. About 5% of the network footprint has already made the transition. Portland was the first market. The upgraded network and the new digital adapters are performing well. Three quarters of customers are choosing to self-install the digital adapters, resulting in far fewer truck rolls than forecast. The company also foresees an upside as digital customers are more likely to take on an additional service or to choose pay-per-view. The transition is built into 2009 and 2010 budgets.

Motorola Posts Q1 Sales of $5.4 billion

Motorola reports Q1 2009 sales of $5.4 billion. The total GAAP net loss in the first quarter of 2009 was $231 million, or $0.10 per share, which includes net income of $0.03 per share from discontinued operations. The GAAP net loss from continuing operations was $291 million, or $0.13 per share. The GAAP net loss from continuing operations includes net charges of $0.05 per share from highlighted items, primarily related to cost-reduction initiatives.

Some highlights from the quarterly report:

  • Mobile Devices segment sales were $1.8 billion, down 45 percent compared to the year-ago quarter.

  • During the quarter, Mobile Devices shipped 14.7 million handsets and estimates its share of the global handset market was 6.0 percent.

  • Motorola is aiming to deliver differentiated smartphone devices in the fourth quarter of 2009

  • During Q1, Motorola launched seven new phones, including three GSM devices, two 3G devices and two CDMA devices

  • Home and Networks Mobility segment sales were $2.0 billion, down 16 percent compared to the year-ago quarter.

  • Home and Networks Mobility shipped more than 4.3 million digital entertainment devices during Q1

  • Motorola introduced industry's first commercial receiver/decoder (IRD) to deliver three-channel MPEG-4 to MPEG-2 High Definition TV

  • Enterprise Mobility Solutions segment sales were $1.6 billion, down 11 percent compared to the year-ago quarter. GAAP operating earnings were $156 million, compared to operating earnings of $250 million in the year-ago quarter.

Equinix Opens Development Center in Singapore

Equinix announced the opening of a new global IT development center in Singapore. The facility will provide dedicated global application development support, database management and technical support services to all Equinix business units globally.

Verizon Enhances its Internet Security Suite

Verizon has enhanced its Internet Security Suite (VISS) for broadband subscribers with new Wi-Fi security capabilities. The VISS, which uses Radialpoint's ISP-delivered security and support technology, is available to Verizon FiOS Internet and Verizon High Speed Internet customers, as well as other broadband users.

The new Wi-Fi Security feature helps protect subscribers from hackers, eavesdroppers and other security threats associated with unsecured wireless networks and hot spots. When connecting to a wireless network, the service displays an alert if a network is unencrypted and, by providing simple how-to instructions, encourages users to set up encryption. When subscribers use public hot spots, Wi-Fi security can automatically turn off network discovery and sharing for increased security.

Other VISS capabilities include:

  • Virus Protection: Automatically safeguards customers from viruses,
    worms and Trojans. Simple to use, it offers automatic scans, updates
    and quarantines resulting in fewer support calls and a more secure

  • Spyware Protection: Detects and quarantines spyware before it attacks
    a PC. The service is automatically configured, updated and maintained.

  • Fraud Protection: Combats identity theft attacks and fraudulent
    campaigns conducted by e-mail, instant messaging (IM), blogs and Web
    hijacking techniques.

  • Firewall: Blocks unauthorized intrusions, malicious hackers and other
    hostile access attempts from both incoming and outgoing connections,
    with fully managed, automatically updated and customized firewall

  • Parental Controls: A secure, easy-to-use content-filtering program
    that allows subscribers to prevent their children from accessing
    inappropriate Internet content. Blocks millions of URLs, and also
    manages the use of online applications and the amount of time children
    spend online.

  • PC Optimizer: Offers subscribers a superior customer experience and
    maximized computer and Internet performance. With a full range of disk
    cleanup and optimization features such as defragmenting files, the
    service automatically improves system operation on a regular basis.

  • Pop-up & Ad Blocker: Helps ensure a faster and less cluttered browsing
    experience by blocking online ads such as pop-ups, pop-unders,
    banners, animations and tile ads.

  • Privacy Manager: Scans all outgoing communications for sensitive or
    identifying user information to help prevent its release without
    consent. It also provides control over how much information Web sites
    record about browsing habits, as well as a cleanup utility to
    automatically remove data traces left by browsers and programs.

Verizon sells f the security suite at a monthly price of $5.99 or as an annual subscription costing $59.99.

IBM Unveils Cloudburst Appliance

IBM introduced two new products to extend its service-oriented architecture (SOA) into a cloud services environment. These new offerings enable clients to easily create application environments that can be deployed and managed in a "private cloud". The goal is to combine the flexibility of SOA with the adaptability of the cloud. The new products include:

  • IBM WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance -- a new hardware appliance that provides access to software virtual images and patterns that can be used as is or easily customized, and then securely deployed, managed and maintained in a private cloud. The WebSphere CloudBurst, which IBM describes as the first hardware appliance of its kind, stores and secures WebSphere Application Server Hypervisor Edition images and patterns to be dispensed into a cloud. This helps customers develop, test and deploy business applications, ending the use of manual, complex or time-intensive processes associated with creating application environments. Once finished, resources are automatically returned to the shared resource pool and logged for internal charge-back purposes. WebSphere CloudBurst also manages individual user and group access, giving IT managers the right kind of access controls with optimal efficiency rates.

  • IBM WebSphere Application Server Hypervisor Edition -- a version of IBM WebSphere Application Server software optimized to run in a virtualized hardware server environments such as VMware, and comes preloaded in WebSphere Cloudburst.

As part of its public cloud initiatives, IBM is also announcing BPM BlueWorks, a cloud-based set of strategy and business process tools. BPM BlueWorks provides business users with the collateral they need to implement business strategies within their organizations based on industry-proven business process management techniques.

IBM noted a number of initiatives that allow customers to leverage its software in a cloud. IBM is working in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), a subsidiary of, Inc. to make IBM software available in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). WebSphere sMash, Informix Dynamic Server, DB2, and WebSphere Portal with Lotus Web Content Management Standard Edition are available today through a "pay as you go" model for both development and production instances. In addition to those products, IBM is also announcing the availability of IBM Mashup Center and Lotus Forms Turbo for development and test use in Amazon EC2, and intends to add WebSphere Application Server and WebSphere eXtreme Scale to these offerings.

Obama Nominates Clyburn for FCC Commissioner

President Obama nominated Mignon L. Clyburn to serve as one of the five FCC Commissioners.

Since 1998, Mignon Clyburn has been a member of South Carolina's Public Service Commission, which regulates the state's investor owned public utilities, including providers of telecommunications services. The South Carolina General Assembly elected Clyburn as a Commissioner representing the Sixth Congressional District in May of 1998, and she has been re-elected three times. She chaired the Commission from 2002 to 2004. Clyburn is a past chair of the Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. She is presently the chair of the Washington Action Committee of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC).

Clyburn graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science degree in Banking, Finance & Economics in 1984. Before her election to the Public Service Commission she spent fourteen years as the Publisher and General Manager of The Coastal Times, a weekly newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina.

One Minute Video: Test Authoring

Presented by:

Kingston Duffie, Founder and CTO, Fanfare Software

Defense Department's JITC Certifies Alcatel-Lucent's IP Routers

The U.S. Department of Defense's Joint Interoperability Test Command has certified the Alcatel-Lucent 7750 and 7710 Service Routers. The equipment will be added to the IPv6 Approved Products List.

IBM Global Finance Arranges up to $2 Billion to Support Stimulus

In a bid to support the rollout smart technology solutions tied to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), IBM Global Financing is making up to $2 billion available to finance IT initiatives in key economic stimulus areas. The move will help US organizations move ahead with IT projects that could improve their infrastructure or competitive edge and point them in the direction of economic recovery. IBM noted that its consulting and technology business units are active in some of the key stimulus areas identified in the Act -- including the Smart Grid, Health Information Technology and Broadband Access.

Integrated Device Technology and Tundra Sign Merger Agreement

Integrated Device Technology (IDT) and Tundra Semiconductor signed a definitive acquisition agreement under which IDT will acquire Tundra for CDN$6.25 per share, for an aggregate purchase price of approximately CDN$120.8 million.

Gennum, which had made an earlier offer to acquire Tundra, declined to match the IDT bid.

"IDT is excited about the proposed acquisition of Tundra. We look forward to better serving our customers by utilizing the Tundra core strengths in serial switching and bridging using PCI Express, RapidIO and VME, with the existing IDT mixed signal product portfolio," said Dr. Ted Tewksbury, president and CEO at IDT. "We believe the result of this transaction will provide our customers with a broader product offering as well as improved service, support and future roadmap of serial connectivity innovations. This transaction reflects our commitment to extending our technology leadership in the communications end market, which is particularly critical in the current challenging economic environment."

"Tundra is excited to bring this opportunity to shareholders and customers," said Daniel Hoste, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tundra. "We believe that the combined technology innovation capability of the two companies will allow our customers better service, products, and support with their increasingly complex communications solutions."

Airtel Picks Alcatel-Lucent for Managed Services, Tops 96 Million Mobiles

Bharti Airtel and Alcatel-Lucent have formed a joint venture to manage Bharti Airtel's pan-India broadband and telephone services and help Airtel's transition to next generation networks. A new legal entity is being formed which will be operated by Alcatel-Lucent.

Under the joint venture, Alcatel-Lucent will design, plan, deploy, optimize and manage Bharti Airtel's broadband and telephone network across India. This managed services partnership will include all end-to-end activities -- service rollout, installation and fault repair, service continuity and transformation. It will support Bharti Airtel's transformation to next generation networks, offering advanced services like high-speed internet, triple play, media-rich VAS, MPLS, VPN for both retail and business customers. The partnership will also drive optimal capital investment and increase operational efficiency by moving voice and data traffic onto a single, 'packetized' infrastructure.

Separately, Bharti Airtel reported earlier this week that it now has over 96 million mobile users. The company's consolidated total revenues for the quarter ended March 31, 2009 of Rs. 9,825 crore grew by 26% and EBITDA of Rs. 4,001 crore grew by 23% on a year on year basis. Bharti Airtel estimates that it holds a 24% market share of all India wireless subscribers. This market share figure is up from 23.7% corresponding to the same period of last year.