Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Portugal Telecom Posts Flat Revenues for 2009

In 2009, Portugal Telecom's consolidated operating revenues amounted to Euro 6,785 million, up by 0.9% y.o.y, while EBITDA reached Euro 2,502 million, up also by 0.9% y.o.y. EBITDA margin stood at 36.9% in 2009. Adjusting for the effects of the consolidation of Telemig, lower mobile termination rates (MTRs) and using constant exchange
rate, consolidated operating revenues and EBITDA would have grown by 2.3% and 2.0% y.o.y respectively.

The company reported a net gain of Euro 267 million on the sale of its interests in Meditel, the Moroccan operator.

Some highlights from the annual report:

  • Growth in "Meo" triple-play services offset continued fixed line deactivations. Portugal Telecom's wireline operating revenues increased by 0.8% y.o.y, from Euro 1,931 million to Euro 1,948 million. Retail revenues posted a 1.8% y.o.y increase, from Euro 953 million to Euro 971 million.

  • Retail net additions reached 325 thousand in 2009, driven by the success of PT's Meo triple-play offer,
    decelerating fixed line disconnections and gain in broadband market share.

  • ADSL retail customers increased by 21.5% y.o.y in 2009, reaching 862 thousand customers. Broadband retail net additions reached 152 thousand in 2009 compared to 73 thousand in 2008

  • Pay-TV net additions reached 269 thousand in 2009 and total pay-TV customers stood at 581 thousand, equivalent to 67.4% penetration of the ADSL retail customer base.

  • Retail RGU per access increased by 12.2% y.o.y in 2009 from 1.36 to 1.53.

  • In 2009, TMN's operating revenues decreased by 4.8% y.o.y to Euro 1,518 million, mainly due to the negative
    impact of lower MTRs (Euro 62 million) and lower equipment sales (Euro 15 million), which more than offset
    growth in customer revenues (+0.5% y.o.y in 2009) underpinned by growth in post paid customers and data

  • In Brazil, Vivo's mobile customer base in Q4 2009 increased by 15.1% y.o.y to 51,744 thousand, surpassing the 50 million customer mark during December. GSM and 3G accounted for 43,504 thousand customers at the end of
    December 2009, equivalent to 84.1% of total customers (+14.9pp y.o.y).

NTT Com Expands Global IP-VPN in Russia with TTC

NTT Communications and Company TTK, which operates Russia's largest fiber-optic network, have interconnected their IP-VPN services.

The strategic partnership between NTT Com and TTK began with a memorandum of understanding signed in 2006 to develop data networks, which resulted in the construction and launch of the Hokkaido-Sakhalin Cable System, a 570 km, 640 gigabit/second undersea fiber-optic cable linking Ishikari, Hokkaido, and Nevelsk, Sakhalin, the shortest route between Japan and Russia.

"NTT Communications has been working aggressively to support the global expansion of multinational enterprises by providing them with a growing range of high-quality services," said NTT Com's Yosuke Seki, Vice President of Service Development in the Global Business Division. "Russia is a key emerging market for our customers, a main reason why we established NTT Communications Russia in January 2009. TTK, of course, has been a strategic partner of ours since 2006, when we began collaborating on the Hokkaido-Sakhalin Cable System. The interconnection of our IP-VPN services now enables us to provide fully managed ICT services throughout Russia in support of our customers' ICT optimization initiatives."

Verizon Spends $1.16 Billion in 2009 in CA for Network Projects

Verizon invested $1.167 billion in wired network and wireless network expansion and enhancement programs throughout California in 2009. Verizon invested $682 million in its wired network and $485 million in its wireless network.

Verizon built new FiOS network facilities reaching nearly 166,000 more households, expanding availability of its FiOS TV and FiOS Internet services to more than 1.15 million premises in more than 85 cities and communities across Southern California. FiOS services are now available to more than 1 million single-family homes, nearly 90,000 apartments and condominiums, and more than 46,000 businesses.

ITOCHU to Resell Extreme Networks in Japan

ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) of Japan has become an Extreme Networks' Solution Partner in Japan.

Extreme Networks' said this strategic reseller agreement with CTC, Japan's premier technology integration company with $3B in annual sales, is part of its evolution of its partner strategy in Japan.

AT&T Sets Eco-Friendly Standards for Handsets

AT&T will require mobile handset suppliers to follow a new set of eco-friendly standards.

The first step is to reduce plastic and paper in the mobile phone packaging. For example, the packaging for batteries and data cables will change from plastic "clam shell"-style packaging to small, recyclable paper boxes. The packaging for protective phone cases and car chargers will change to slimmer packaging.

This change will eliminate more than 60 percent of the paper and more than 30 percent of the plastic previously used for accessory products. In addition to containing less paper and plastic, the improved accessory packaging will be printed using non-petroleum-based inks. AT&T estimates that the packaging improvements for device chargers, cases, batteries and data cables will help to avoid more than 200 tons of wasted plastic and paper in 2010.

In addition, AT&T reiterated several significant environmental requirements for handsets that were first announced last year. These requirements begin to take effect for new wireless phones this year. These include:

  • Suppliers will be required to reduce packaging, use non-petroleum based inks and use recycled materials for in-box documentation of new devices.

  • Seventy-five percent of new devices will be at least 65 percent recyclable. By weight, most of the new phones AT&T sells will be made of materials that can be recycled when the phones are retired.

  • A majority of new devices will comply with the GSMA Universal Charging Solution. This will allow consumers to use a single, more energy-efficient charger with most new devices.

  • All new devices will be compliant with the European Unions' Restriction of Hazardous Substances mandate. This directive restricts the use of lead, mercury, and other hazardous materials used in electronic equipment.

  • Suppliers will be required to assert that all devices delivered to AT&T have avoided virgin materials mined in conflict zones within the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Marvell Posts Q4 Revenue of $843 Million, up 5% Sequentially

Marvell Technology posted net revenue for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 of $843 million, a 64 percent increase from $513 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009, ended January 31, 2009, and a 5 percent sequential increase from $803 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2010, ended October 31, 2009.

Net revenue for the fiscal year ended January 30, 2010 was $2.81 billion, a decrease of 5 percent over reported net revenue of $2.95 billion for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2009.

GAAP net income was $205 million, or $0.31 per share (diluted), for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010, compared with a GAAP net loss of $65 million, or $0.11 per share (diluted), for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009. GAAP net income in the third quarter of fiscal 2010 was $202 million, or $0.31 per share (diluted).

"The results for our fourth quarter and fiscal year bring to a close one of the most challenging but successful years for Marvell," said Dr. Sehat Sutardja, Marvell's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Alcatel-Lucent Appoints Jules Meunier as head of W-CDMA/HSPA

Alcatel-Lucent has appointed Jules Meunier to lead its W-CDMA/HSPA product unit. Jules will report to Wim Sweldens, president of the company's Wireless Networks Product Division. Meunier previously served with Nortel Networks for two decades, helping shape the company's direction as its chief technical officer and as head of its wireless business. He also held senior positions in Nortel's wired, wireless and optical communications divisions. After leaving Nortel in 2001 he became president and CEO of Boston-based ProQuent Systems. Meunier has also served on a number of company boards, including Spectrum Signal Processing, Inc. and Zarlink Semiconductors, Inc. and has served on the board of DigiBC, the 250-member Wireless Innovation Network society of British Columbia.

Alcatel-Lucent Notes DSL Milestone -- 200 Million Lines Shipped

Alcatel-Lucent noted a significant milestone -- the company has now shipped over 200 million DSL lines to date.

Alcatel-Lucent's 200 millionth DSL line shipped is a VDSL2 line that will be part of Telefónica's global network transformation project. Alcatel-Lucent's VDSL2 technology enables Telefónica to offer to its customers a wide array of advanced services.

Ciena Reports Revenue of $176 Million, Delays

Ciena reported revenue for its fiscal first quarter 2010 (ended 31-Jan-2010) of $175.9 million, which compares to $167.4 million for the fiscal first quarter 2009.

Ciena's net loss (GAAP) for the fiscal first quarter 2010 was $(53.3) million, or $(0.58) per common share, which compares to a GAAP net loss of $(24.8) million, or $(0.27) per diluted common share for the fiscal first quarter of 2009.

"Revenue recognition delays associated with initial deployments of new platforms with certain customers adversely impacted fiscal first quarter revenue," said Gary Smith, Ciena's CEO and president."However, with strong order flow in the quarter we remain encouraged by continued signs of an improving market environment."

"Based on our current view of the business, we anticipate that our fiscal second quarter revenue will be in the range of $185 million to $195 million," stated Smith. "We also expect that as-adjusted gross margin will be within our target range of mid to high 40s, and as-adjusted operating expense exclusive of integration costs will be roughly flat with that of our first fiscal quarter."

Ciena also confirmed that its acquisition of Nortel's MEN division is now expected to close by end of March.

Level 3 Wins Contract with U.S. Dept. of State

The U.S. Department of State awarded a multiyear contract to Level3 Communications to provide metro network services. Level 3 will deliver services under the Washington Interagency Telecommunications Services (WITS 3) contract that negotiates telecommunications services on behalf of all federal agencies operating within the National Capital Region (NCR). Specifically, Level 3 will provide Internet connectivity to 17 locations within the NCR, including the State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. http://www.level3.comhttp://

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Offers Cybersecurity Challenge

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary is launching a National Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign Challenge to solicit ideas from industry and individuals on how to most effectively educate the American public on cybersecurity. The best and most creative ideas will be gathered and publicly shared. Proposals should be submitted to the Department of Homeland Security by April 30, 2010. Winners of the Challenge will be invited to an event in Washington, D.C., in late spring. They will also partner with the Department to lead in the planning and launch of the campaign during Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October.

The OIF Showcases 100G Components

A the OFC/NFOEC conference in San Diego later this month, the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) will host a showcase of components, modules, and/or other hardware supporting the OIF Physical and Link Layer 100G projects. This will focus on Integrated Photonics Transmitters and Receivers, Forward Error Correction, and Transponders.

OIF member companies that will be participating include Fujitsu Optical Components, NEC, NeoPhotonics, Opnext, Picometrix, Sumitomo Osaka Cement, TriQuint Semiconductor, u2t, and Vitesse Semiconductor.

The OIF noted that its 100G projects cover a number of building blocks for long haul DWDM networks. The Integrated Photonics Transmitter and Receiver projects will define partitioning of photonics sub-components and prepare for a future MSA. The Transponder-Electromechanical project is an MSA for defining a successor to the industry standard 300-pin transponder. The Forward Error Correction project will provide a common basis for a FEC encoder and recommend an upper limit for coding overhead for the 100G optical long haul DWDM communication space.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

ADVA Optical Posts Q4 Revenues of EUR 60M, Topping Expectations

ADVA Optical Networking reported Q4 2009 revenues of EUR 59.6 million, up from EUR 56.8 million in Q4 2008 and EUR 58.1 million in Q3 2009, and slightly above guidance of between EUR 54 million and EUR 59 million. IFRS pro forma operating income, excluding special charges, amounted to EUR 3.1 million in Q4 2009 or 5.2% of revenues, also above guidance of between -1% and +4% of revenues. This compares to a Q4 2008 IFRS pro forma operating income of EUR 0.1 million or 0.1% of revenues, and to Q3 2009 IFRS pro forma operating income of EUR 2.0 million or 3.4% of revenues. The IFRS operating income in Q4 2009 was EUR 2.1 million, after an operating loss of EUR 0.5 million in Q4 2008.

"We are very pleased with our Q4 2009 revenues of EUR 59.6 million. This result slightly exceeds guidance and is up 2.6% vs. the previous quarter and up 4.8% vs. Q4 2008. Our pro forma gross margin increased from 41.8% in Q3 2009 to 45.4% in Q4 2009, principally due to variability of our customer and product mix. In line with strong revenue development, pro forma operating income in Q4 2009 is at 5.2% of revenues, also exceeding guidance," stated Jaswir Singh, chief financial officer & chief operating officer of ADVA Optical Networking.

In Q1 2010, ADVA expects revenues to range between EUR 57 million and EUR 62 million, and anticipates pro forma operating income of between 0% and 4% of revenues.

IBM Researchers Create Nanophotonic Avalanche Photodetector

Researchers at IBM published details on a nanophotonic avalanche photodetector that leverages the "avalanche effect" in Germanium, a material currently used in production of microprocessor chips. Analogous to a snow avalanche on a steep mountain slope, an incoming light pulse initially frees just a few charge carriers which in turn free others until the original signal is amplified many times. Conventional avalanche photodetectors are not able to detect fast optical signals because the avalanche builds slowly.

IBM said its device can receive optical information signals at 40 Gbps and simultaneously multiply them tenfold. It operates with just a 1.5V voltage supply, 20 times smaller than previous demonstrations. Thus many of these tiny communication devices could potentially be powered by just a small AA-size battery, while traditional avalanche photodetectors require 20-30V power supplies.

"This invention brings the vision of on-chip optical interconnections much closer to reality," said Dr. T.C. Chen, vice president, Science and Technology, IBM Research. "With optical communications embedded into the processor chips, the prospect of building power-efficient computer systems with performance at the Exaflop level might not be a very distant future."

The report of this work, entitled "Reinventing Germanium Avalanche Photodetector for Nanophotonic On-chip Optical Interconnects," by Solomon Assefa, Fengnian Xia, and Yurii Vlasov of IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. is published in the March 2010 issue of the scientific journal Nature.

The Avalanche Photodetector achievement, which is the last in a series of prior reports from IBM Research, is the last piece of the puzzle that completes the development of the "nanophotonics toolbox" of devices necessary to build the on-chip interconnects.
  • In December 2006, IBM scientists demonstrated silicon nanophotonic delay line that was used to buffer over a byte of information encoded in optical pulses - a requirement for building optical buffers for on-chip optical communications.

  • In December 2007, IBM scientists announced the development of an ultra-compact silicon electro-optic modulator, which converts electrical signals into the light pulses, a prerequisite for enabling on-chip optical communications.

  • In March 2008, IBM scientists announced the world's tiniest nanophotonic switch for "directing traffic" in on-chip optical communications, ensuring that optical messages can be efficiently routed.

  • In December 2008, researchers at Intel announced the development of a silicon-based Avalanche Photodetector (APD) that could be used to provide high-capacity optical communications between processor cores. The APD is a light sensor that achieves superior sensitivity by detecting light and amplifying weak signals as light is directed onto silicon.

Facebook and Twitter Access via Mobile Browser Skyrockets

Over 30 percent of smartphone users accessed social networking sites via their mobile browser in January 2010, up 8.3 points from 22.5 percent one year ago, according to newly published figures from comScore. Access to Facebook via mobile browser grew 112 percent in the past year, while Twitter experienced a 347 percent jump.

"Social networking remains one of the most popular and fastest-growing behaviors on both the PC-based Internet and the mobile Web," said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile. "Social media is a natural sweet spot for mobile since mobile devices are at the center of how people communicate with their circle of friends, whether by phone, text, email, or, increasingly, accessing social networking sites via a mobile browser."

Some interesting points in the comScore report:

  • In January 2010, 11.1 percent of all mobile phone users accessed a social networking site via mobile browser, an increase of 4.6 percentage points from the previous year.

  • In January 2010, 25.1 million mobile users accessed Facebook via their mobile browser, up 112 percent from the previous year. MySpace attracted 11.4 million users, approximately half that of Facebook, in January.

Open Identity Exchange to Issue Digital Credentials

A new Open Identity Exchange (OIX) has been established with the goal of building trust in the exchange of online identity credentials across public and private sectors.

With initial grants from the OpenID Foundation (OIDF) and Information Card Foundation (ICF), OIX has been approved as a trust framework provider by the United States Government to certify online identity management providers to U.S. federal standards for identity assurance.

Google, Paypal, and Equifax are the first three identity providers certified by OIX to issue digital identity credentials that will be accepted for privacy-protected registration and login at U.S. government websites. Verizon is currently in the certification process and is expected to be completed shortly.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the first government website accepting these credentials, including OpenID and Information Card logins.

"OpenID and Information Card technologies can solve the technical problem of using identity credentials across different websites, but can't solve the problem of how those credentials can be trusted at different levels of assurance. OIX is a solution to this problem not just for the U.S. government, but for many different governments, industry alliances, non-profit associations, telcos, academic networks, and others all over the world who need to establish trust across a wide online population," said Don Thibeau, OIDF Executive Director and OIX Board Chair.]

Panda Security Collaborates on Shutdown of Massive Mariposa Botnet

The Mariposa botnet, a massive network of 13 million infected computers designed to steal sensitive information, has been shutdown and three suspected criminals accused of operating the botnet have been arrested by Spanish law enforcement.

According to IT security firms Panda Security and Defence Intelligence, Mariposa stole account information for social media sites and other online email services, usernames and passwords, banking credentials, and credit card data through infiltrating an estimated 12.7 million compromised personal, corporate, government and university IP addresses in more than 190 countries. The botnet was shutdown and rendered inactive on December 23rd, 2009 thanks to the collaborative effort of different security experts and law enforcement, including Panda Security, Defence Intelligence, the FBI and Spanish Guardia Civil.

"It would be easier for me to provide a list of the Fortune 1000 companies that weren't compromised, rather than the long list of those who were," stated Christopher Davis, CEO for Defence Intelligence, who first discovered the Mariposa botnet.

Highlights from Panda Security's preliminary analysis include:

  • Once infected by the Mariposa bot client, the botmaster installed different malware (advanced keyloggers, banking trojans like Zeus, remote access trojans, etc.) in order to gain additional functionality into the zombie PCs.

  • The botmaster made money by selling parts of the botnet, installing pay-per-install toolbars, selling stolen credentials for online services and using the stolen banking credentials and credit cards to make transactions to overseas mules.

  • The Mariposa botnet spread extremely effectively via P2P networks, USB drives, and MSN links.

An interesting note -- In an apparent act of retaliation, a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack was initiated against Defence Intelligence shortly after the botnet was shut down in December. The attack was powerful enough to impact one large Internet Service Provider, many of whose customers were knocked offline for several hours.

A short description of the Mariposa botnet software can be found at

Verizon Opens Medical Data Exchange

Seeking to accelerate the adoption of electronic health records, Verizon Business has launched an information technology platform that enables the digital sharing of physician-dictated patient notes.

The Verizon Medical Data Exchange provides a way for medical transcriptionists to share digitized patient notes detailing patients' care and treatment with doctors, hospitals and other health care providers.

Verizon Business developed the platform for the Medical Transcription Service Consortium under an agreement announced last November. (See related news release.) Founding consortium members MD-IT and MedQuist currently are using the platform. By August, when the Medical Data Exchange is expected to be in use by all of the consortium's members, 350,000-plus physicians, more than 2,700 clinics and nearly 2,500 hospitals will be supported.