Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cisco Reports Sales of $8.2 billion, Down 17% YoY

Cisco reported net sales of $8.2 billion for its third fiscal quarter ending April 25, down 17% year-over-over but ahead of market expectations. Net income (GAAP) was $1.3 billion or $0.23 per share, and non-GAAP net income of $1.8 billion or $0.30 per share. Cisco generated $2 billion in cash in the third quarter, resulting in total cash and investments of $33.6 billion.

"Cisco delivered solid financial performance despite a challenging global economy and period of evolving market dynamics," said John Chambers, chairman and chief executive officer, Cisco. "These results demonstrate our ability to drive operational excellence and manage profitability across varying economic cycles. We will use this period of market transition to align and optimize resources, make strategic investments, move into market adjacencies and enhance relationships with our customers. As we exit the quarter with a compelling financial position and an innovation engine from both a products and business model perspective, we believe we are well positioned for the eventual economic recovery."

Some highlights from the report:

  • In terms of overall customer segments, the public sector was the least impacted across all customer segments markets, but orders were still down 12% overall. For the U.S. public sector, which includes both Federal and State/Local, orders were down in the mid-single digits. Japan and Asia Pacific public sector were both positive at 12% and 20%, order growth respectively.

  • By geography, Japan orders were down year-over-year in the third quarter by approximately 20%. For the U.S., orders in the third quarter were down by approximately 22% year-over-year. Asia Pacific orders were down 27% year-over-year. European Markets in total were down approximately 28% year-over-year in the third quarter. And Emerging Markets was down by 31% year-over-year.

  • Product book to bill was approximately 1.

  • Employee headcount at the end of the quarter was 66,558, down from 67,318 in the preceding quarter.

  • During the quarter, Cisco repurchased $1.2 billion of stock.

  • The company reduced its travel expenses by 50% compared to the previous quarter.

  • Cash flows from operations were $2.0 billion for the third quarter of fiscal 2009, compared with $3.0 billion for the third quarter of fiscal 2008, and compared with $3.2 billion for the second quarter of fiscal 2009.

  • Cash and cash equivalents and investments were $33.6 billion at the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2009, compared with $26.2 billion at the end of fiscal 2008, and compared with $29.5 billion at the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2009.

  • Deferred revenue was $8.8 billion at the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2009, compared with $8.9 billion at the end of fiscal 2008, and compared with $9.3 billion at the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2009.

Verizon Provides Its Managers With BlackBerry Access to Operations Systems

Using a new software program developed for BlackBerry smartphones, Verizon has begun providing its customer-service managers with anytime, anywhere access to the company's systems and records that support service delivery. The new program, called iSite, was developed by Verizon's information technology team in order to leverage the power of wireless communications in the management of telecommunications operations.

The new software offers views of ordering systems, provisioning processes and repair records, among others, eliminating the need to contact personnel manning the systems. Managers working on a DSL installation issue, for example, can access the relevant records to check whether service has been established, whether site visits were scheduled, or to examine recent attempts to remedy a problem. Once any issues are identified, attention can be immediately focused on the problem and corrective action taken.

The program also features up-to-the-minute analyses of the performance of various systems, allowing managers to make decisions on both current and projected problems involving local, regional or national processes that underpin service.

For individual customer accounts, iSite allows detailed account reviews, including, for instance, whether the appropriate service discounts have been applied, should customers complain about billing issues.

Verizon Wireless Plans 700 MHz LTE Device Spec Web Conference

Verizon Wireless will host a web conference on May 13th to discuss 700 MHz C-Block LTE Device Specifications. The Web Conference will focus on specifications for wireless devices -- traditional and innovative -- that will run on the Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network that Verizon Wireless is building to run on 700 MHz C-Block spectrum. Experts will answer questions and gather feedback from the development community, all with a goal of encouraging transparency, clarity and ease in designing devices to run on the open Verizon Wireless LTE network.


Ixia and Force10 Build Largest 10 GE Switching Test

Ixia and Force10 Networks are planning the world's largest ever public demonstration of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) traffic switching at next week's Interop show in Las Vegas.

Ixia's XM12 chassis and 280 IxYukon 10 GE test ports will be switched through Force10 ExaScale data center optimized core switch/routers - sending and receiving 5.6 terabits per second of traffic. Ixia's IxNetwork 5.40 release will be used to prepare and run the test. IxNetwork's next generation technology increases the scale and performance of Ixia's layer 2/3 testing and enables service level agreement (SLA) validation by measuring up to 4 million service-level flows. Each flow represents a possible customer service such as VoIP, video or data center traffic. These IxNetwork service flows ensure performance benchmarking and QoS enforcement with the ability to dynamically update traffic profiles on the fly. Aggregated and per-flow run-time statistics provide rapid drill-down to isolate device problem areas.

:Our next-generation ExaScale core switch/routers require validation of multi-terabit throughput and latency," said Steve Garrison, Vice President of Marketing at Force10. :Ixia's IxYukon and IxNetwork provide us the high density port capacity, while at the same time giving us the sharp tools that we need to characterize our performance."http://www.force10networks.com

Orange Business Supplies Telepresence for Zurich Financial

Orange Business Services is supplying telepresence capabilities for Zurich Financial Services to facilitate and to promote global meetings through advanced video conferencing, while significantly reducing travel costs.

So far, Orange Business Services has provided seven rooms equipped with large screens and a seating capacity of up to 18 people each. The rooms are situated in Los Angeles, Schaumburg, New York, Mercer Island and Agoura Hills in the U.S.; London, U.K.; and Zurich, Switzerland. Since the initial deployment was completed, hundreds of people across Zurich's global businesses have participated in Telepresence meetings, eliminating numerous medium and long haul flights.

:Telepresence enables remote collaboration with a level of immediacy and fluidity that other solutions lack," said Michael Paravicini, Zurich's Chief Information Officer. :It has improved the working experience for Zurich people, it provides wide access to expertise across the business, and it has saved costs and time whilst increasing productivity."http://www.orange-business.com

Occam Networks Announces First-Quarter 2009 Results

Occam Networks reported Q1 revenue of $19.4 million, compared with revenue of $19.7 million for the same period a year ago, and revenue of $31.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2008.

Gross margin for the first quarter was $8.2 million, or 42% of revenue, compared with $8.4 million, or 43% of revenue for the first quarter of 2008. There was a GAAP net loss of $3.0 million, or $0.15 per basic share.

"During the first quarter, we experienced a continuing slowdown in customer orders," said Bob Howard-Anderson, president and CEO of Occam. "This weakness reflects the current economic conditions, as well as a delay effect while our customers evaluate the timing and availability of potential government broadband stimulus funds. We are focused on managing our expenses through this period and, as a result, are planning a workforce reduction of approximately 10 percent to help contain costs. While business conditions may be difficult in the near-term, we remain confident in our longer-term opportunity," he said.

The company currently expects revenue for the second quarter of 2009 to approximate first-quarter 2009 revenue.

Towerstream Reports Strong Customer Installations in Q1

Towerstream, a WiMAX provider currently operating in nine U.S. metropolitan areas, reported that first quarter 2009 revenues increased 64% from the first quarter 2008 and increased 6% from the fourth quarter 2008. The company cited a record number of customer installations in first quarter 2009 and said six markets are now generating positive EBITDA and all nine markets collectively are generating positive EBITDA.

"Our first quarter results were impressive, especially considering the difficult economic environment," said Jeff Thompson, President and Chief Executive Officer. "ARPU for new customers was lower in the first quarter, reflecting more cautious purchasing decisions by new customers. However, our total number of installations reached a corporate record during the quarter, reflecting strong overall customer demand. Businesses need a strong Internet connection to operate effectively and our unique, simple broadband products provide that solution."http://www.towerstream.com

Wireless Gigabit Alliance Plans 60 GHz In-Home Networking

A new Wireless Gigabit (WiGig) Alliance has been formed with the aim of promoting a unified specification for 60 Gigahertz (GHz) wireless technologies that could be used for home multimedia networks. The goal is to allow consumer electronics to communicate without wires at gigabit speeds within a typical room using unlicensed spectrum.

Backers of the WiGig Alliance include Atheros Communications, Broadcom, Dell, Intel, LG Electronics, Marvell International LTD., MediaTek, Microsoft, NEC, Nokia, Panasonic, Samsung Electronics, and Wilocity.

The WiGig specification is expected to be available to member companies in Q4 of 2009.

Ericsson Supplies GPON in New Delhi

Ericsson has supplied an end-to-end fiber access solution, including its EDA 1500 GPON system, for a 3,000-unit residential complex near New Delhi, Residents are enjoying personalized IPTV in high-definition, video-on-demand and other advanced entertainment services. They can download data content at 100 Mbps and access Wi-Fi in the complex's common areas and gardens. Automated lighting, electricity bill payment and security services are also being made possible with Ericsson's high-speed fiber access solution. Ericsson's broadband access network is an open network solution enabling residents to select services from an internet service provider of their choice.

The contract with property management services provider Radius Synergies is the first such agreement for Ericsson with a customer in India's real estate sector. The network also includes Micronet and Ribbonet air-blown fiber and microcable solutions, as well as implementation, systems integration, consulting, training and support services for Radius synergies. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Utah's UTOPIA Offers 100 Mbps Symmetric Residential Internet

UTOPIA (Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency) has connected its first customer to a 100 Mbps symmetric residential Internet service. Service to the customer, who is located in Layton, Utah, is provided over the UTOPIA network by Idaho-based FuzeCore, one of the service providers on the network. FuzeCore's 100 Mbps service is available for $147.00 a month, and offers a dedicated 100 Mbps downstream and 100 Mbps upstream.

The UTOPIA network, owned by a group of 16 Utah cities, provides physical fiber-optic infrastructure directly to customers' homes. Private-sector companies use the network to provide Internet, phone, video and a variety of other broadband services to business and residential customers. UTOPIA's open access model gives customers the freedom to choose from among multiple service providers, who are in direct competition for customers on the network.

UTOPIA noted that it has already begun testing the first Gigabit (1000 Mbps) connection in the residential market.

Nokia Siemens Networks Boosts its NetAct Management

Nokia Siemens Networks is enhancing its NetAct operations support system (OSS) with end-to-end transport and IP management capability.

The aim is to improve operational efficiency by enabling data sharing between different systems and processes across a service provider's whole network, including IP/MPLS, Carrier Ethernet, microwave, optical and access infrastructure.

The enhancements to NetAct will also enable management of applications, such as configuration and point-and-click provisioning, that interact across various transport domains and the whole network including radio and core networks.

EMC's Smarts provides the end-to-end visibility of IP networks in multi-vendor environments as a component of NetAct. The transport management functionality merges and upgrades the best features of the existing Nokia Siemens Networks transport management products. Customers with existing transport element managers from Nokia Siemens Networks will be offered a smooth migration to NetAct.

The unified and modular architecture of NetAct is based on the Nokia Siemens Networks Open EMS Suite software platform that provides standardized, open interfaces that reduce integration costs.

NSN Partners with EMC on IP Management Solutions

Nokia Siemens Networks and EMC Corporation announced an alliance in advanced IP management for service providers.

The co-developed solution promises end-to-end visibility and fault management for both MPLS VPN and IP routing protocol configurations in multi-technology and multi-vendor environments. The solution is based on the mobile network management of Nokia Siemens Networks' NetAct, which will be enhanced with IP domain visibility provided by the EMC Smarts automated IT management solution.

In addition to joint solution development, Nokia Siemens Networks will continue to resell, and provide system integration capabilities for EMC's line of automated IT management solutions -- including EMC Smarts, EMC Application Discovery Manager, EMC VoyenceControl and EMC Infra.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Accanto Systems Introduces Customer Service Assurance Solution

Accanto Systems (formerly Sunrise Telecom Protocol Products Group) has developed a new intelligent Customer Service Assurance (iCSA) solution for managing wireless and wireline networks by providing a customer-centric view of services.

Accanto correlates massive amounts of information collected from the network, services, subscribers and devices themselves into an Oracle database. The system serves as a unified tool to effectively monitor, and proactively solve problems specific customers are experiencing with the quality or usage of services. Accanto iCSA also links easily with Customer Relationship Management systems, resulting in faster troubleshooting and resolution of complicated issues.

iCSA is composed of Accanto's high performance probe/protocol analyzer products (NeTracker, 3GMaster and MSA-QX), its Traffic Analysis and Monitoring System (TAMS), as well as newly developed "X-Ray" application modules, which are based on Oracle business intelligence. Accanto iCSA is also highly customizable, and integrates easily into the service provider's existing operations systems, thanks to consulting expertise from its newly merged group of OSS consultants (formerly LTE Innovations).

Accanto Systems also announced that its Traffic Analysis and Monitoring System (TAMS) was selected by Jamaica-based Digicel as an integrated network monitoring and troubleshooting solution for its growing pan-Caribbean and Central America mobile network. The system will utilize Accanto's Mobile X-Ray Customer Service Assurance platform to optimize efficiency and service quality of mobile data services.

CopperGate Supplies HomePNA Chipsets to Actiontec

CopperGate Communications' HomePNA chipsets have been selected by Actiontec Electronics for its newest product, the HomePNA Ethernet-to-Coax Network Adapter. The adapter connects standard Ethernet and coax cabling. It is suited for large rich media files like HDTV, video on demand, movies, music, and photos.

The companies noted that HomePNA technology has been selected by more than 40 service providers, including four out of the top five North American telcos deploying IPTV.

Sprint to Launch BlackBerry FMC Service

Sprint is preparing to launch a BlackBerry Mobile Voice System (MVS) service that ties together a converged desk phone and mobile device experience on BlackBerry smartphones to help mobile workers be accessible from virtually anywhere for improved productivity, enhanced collaboration with co-workers, and backend management and IT controls. Mobile workers can streamline their communications with one corporate phone number that simultaneously rings up to four devices, one caller ID and a consolidated voice mailbox. BlackBerry smartphone users can access enterprise desk phone functions like transfer, allow and block callers, and seamlessly handoff of calls between BlackBerry smartphones and desk phones using the integrated, intuitive interface on their BlackBerry smartphones.

BlackBerry MVS supports BlackBerry smartphones with BlackBerry Device Software 4.2.1 or higher, including the BlackBerry Curve 8350i smartphone. The BlackBerry Curve 8350i smartphone operates on the Nextel National Network and features national push-to-talk service with sub-second call setup. It is also the first push-to-talk BlackBerry smartphone to offer built-in Wi-Fi support and Group Connect.

Fixed mobile convergence solutions, including BlackBerry MVS, are available through Sprint's newly formed Business Markets Group (BMG).

ADVA Reports Q1 Revenue of EUR 56.9 million, Beating Expectations

ADVA Optical Networking reported Q1 2009 revenues of EUR 56.9 million -- ahead of guidance of between EUR 50 million and EUR 55 million -- up 5% vs. Q1 2008 at EUR 54.0 million and marginally better than the EUR 56.8 million reported in Q4 2008. IFRS pro forma operating income, excluding stock-based compensation and amortization & impairment of goodwill & acquisition-related intangible assets, amounted to EUR -0.1 million or -0.1% of revenues in Q1 2009, in line with guidance of between -4% and +1% of revenues.

"We are very pleased with our Q1 2009 revenues of EUR 56.9 million, which exceed guidance and are up for the third consecutive quarter. This development is also in contrast to the trend of most of our competitors in the current economic crisis. Further, we managed to improve our pro forma gross margin from 39.1% in Q1 2008 to 43.1% in Q1 2009, mainly resulting from more favorable component procurement terms as well as from variations in regional revenue distribution and in product and customer mix," commented Jaswir Singh, chief financial officer of ADVA Optical Networking.

IP/MPLS Forum to Support MEF Carrier Ethernet Services

The IP/MPLS Forum will develop a new set of MPLS-based specifications and requirements supporting Carrier Ethernet Services as defined by the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF). Specifically, the Forum's work will support both Carrier Ethernet using Layer 2 VPN services as well as interworking with Provider Bridging Ethernet supporting Q-in-Q and MAC-in-MAC. The forum will closely align their efforts with ongoing work within the IEEE and IETF in these areas to ensure broad operator and vendor support for the final requirement and architecture specifications.

"MPLS has long been defined as a convergence technology which allows service providers to bring together disparate networks and leverage network features for greater economies of scale," said Andrew Malis, Chairman and President of the IP/MPLS Forum. "Through this new effort of the forum, we believe operators will be able to increase their use of Ethernet for both service and transport layers in the network, and economically offer Carrier Ethernet services to their customers."

Additional information including milestones and schedules will be announced by the Forum in the weeks and months ahead.

Sonus Revenue Falls to $41 Million, Down 33% YoY

Sonus Networks reported Q1 revenue of $41.0 million, down 54% compared to revenue from continuing operations of $89.5 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 and down 33% from $73.6 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2008. The company's net loss on a GAAP basis was $16.2 million, or $0.06 per share, for the first quarter of 2009, compared to a loss from continuing operations of $99.0 million, or $0.37 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2008, and income from continuing operations of $1.0 million, or $0.00 per share, for the first quarter of 2008. The company ended the quarter with cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities and investments totaling $386.1 million.

"The economic environment continues to be challenging," said Richard Nottenburg, president and chief executive officer of Sonus Networks. "We took additional cost and realignment actions during the first quarter and continued to focus our investment dollars on delivering new products and services which enhance the value proposition we bring to customers. The strength of our balance sheet - specifically substantial cash and investments with no debt, gives us confidence we have the resources we need to achieve our plan."http://www.sonusnet.com

Spreadtrum Gains $44 Million China Bank Loan for Baseband Chipsets

Spreadtrum Communications, a supplier of wireless baseband chipsets for China, announced that its Chinese subsidiary received RMB 300 million (approximately $44 million) of new financing from a Chinese bank in the form of a 3-year fixed term loan.Interest on borrowings will be initially set at 5.4% annually, to be reset annually at the then benchmark applicable rate as set by the People's Bank of China.

"This indicates the Chinese government's strong support and high confidence in Spreadtrum to develop semiconductor products in 2nd and 3rd generation wireless communications in the Chinese market. We plan to use our borrowings under the loan to increase R&D investment in our GSM and TD-SCDMA projects and to expand our IC operations in China," said Dr. Leo Li, president and CEO of Spreadtrum Communications.

Broadcom Begins Hostile Tender for Emulex Shares

One day after the Board of Directors of Emulex rejected its acquisition bid, Broadcom launched a tender offer for all the outstanding shares of common stock of the company.

Broadcom is offering $9.25 net per share in cash (less any applicable withholding taxes and without interest). This represents a total equity value of approximately $764 million. The offer represents a 62-percent premium to Emulex's average closing stock price for the 30 trading days immediately prior to Broadcom's public offer on April 21, 2009; and a 42-percent premium over the median 12-month stock price target published by research analysts as of April 20, 2009.

Scott A. McGregor, President and Chief Executive Officer of Broadcom, said "We are disappointed by Emulex Corporation's rejection of Broadcom's proposal which would deliver substantial, immediate and highly certain value to Emulex's stockholders, while further providing significant benefits to customers and employees alike. The Emulex Board's response on Monday and its continued unwillingness to engage in discussions with Broadcom are clearly not in the best interests of either its stockholders or its customers. This intransigence could cause needless delay in efforts to combine our two companies, leading to further deterioration of Emulex's market share and stockholder value."

"Emulex's Board has taken steps, including the adoption of a 'poison pill' and the imposition of bylaw amendments, to erect barriers to stockholders' ability to express their will as owners of Emulex," continued Mr. McGregor. "While we much prefer to arrive at a negotiated agreement with Emulex, the Emulex Board has left us with no choice but to ask Emulex stockholders to call for a special meeting of stockholders so that they can consider the merits of our offer for themselves."http://www.broadcom.com