Sunday, July 25, 2010

BT Employs "SmartWater" Invisible Paint to Deter Cable Theft

BT's Openreach division has begun to deploy an invisible, "SmartWater" forensic ink in its cabling across the UK as a deterrence to metal thieves. Driven by the recent surge in scrap copper prices, metal theft is a growing problem.


BT's Metal Theft Taskforce is using the SmartWater as a means to tag anyone tampering with its lines. SmartWater is a forensic marking liquid that is unique to a particular location. It will be used to mark the outer shell and inner core of Openreach cable, along with tools and other equipment. This will allow police to irrefutably identify where any stolen items have come from. Any thieves who target Openreach property face being sprayed with the liquid.


BT and the British Transport Police the system, which is also interconnected with GPS, will be used in hot-spot areas to capture criminals red-handed.


Detective Inspector Robin Conway from British Transport Police said: "Cable and metal theft is high on BTP's agenda due to the disruption and economic effect it has on businesses and communities. Anyone arrested for metal theft will be examined for traces of SmartWater. A search will be made of the person's house and any property, including vehicles with traces of SmartWater on them, is likely to be seized by police. Scrap metal dealers will also be visited regularly to ensure they are assisting British Transport Police in identifying criminals attempting to sell stolen metal."


Openreach is already using SmartWater in North London, where it is credited with reducing the number of network attacks, as would-be thieves are discouraged from entering areas where they may be sprayed with the solution, or taking equipment which has been coated.


In addition to rolling out SmartWater, Openreach is stepping up mobile patrolling of network sites, introducing new locks for manholes, and working closely with local police forces on dedicated "sting" operations to target metal thieves. Last year, BT worked with Police to achieve over 200 arrests.
http://www.btplc.com

Global Crossing Posts Q2 Revenue of $630M, Down 3% Sequentially

Global Crossing reported consolidated revenue was $630 million in the second quarter of 2010, a decrease of 3 percent sequentially and essentially flat year over year. Compared with both prior periods, wholesale voice revenue declined $20 million due to pricing actions taken to improve margin performance. In addition, the sequential decrease included a $9 million unfavorable foreign exchange impact and the year-over-year decrease included a $7 million favorable foreign exchange impact. In constant currency terms, consolidated revenue decreased 1 percent sequentially and 2 percent year over year.


The company's "invest and grow" services generated revenue of $555 million in the second quarter, flat on a sequential basis and an increase of 3 percent year over year, including substantially all of the foreign exchange impacts referenced above. In constant currency terms, "invest and grow" revenue increased 2 percent both sequentially and year over year.


Global Crossing reported $93 million of OIBDA in the second quarter, compared with $77 million in the first quarter of 2010 and $93 million in the second quarter of 2009. On a segment basis, ROW, GC Impsat and GCUK contributed $32 million, $41 million and $20 million, respectively.


Global Crossing's consolidated net loss applicable to common shareholders was $48 million for the second quarter of 2010. On a sequential basis, net loss decreased $72 million, principally due to a decrease in unfavorable foreign exchange impacts and an increase in OIBDA. http://www.globalcrossing.com

CENX Partners with EXFO for SLA Monitoring of Carrier Ethernet Exchange

CENX, which operates Carrier Ethernet exchanges, will begin providing off-net service-level SLA monitoring for Carrier Ethernet services. The new monitoring service is a result of a collaborative partnership between CENX and EXFO, which specializes in test and service assurance solutions for network operators.


CENX said it system enables buyers and sellers of Ethernet virtual connection to monitor key performance indicators across its exchange. Previously, when a service provider needed service-level SLA monitoring to off-net locations via a partner network, their best alternative was to deploy expensive, customer premises monitoring equipment at each of these off-net locations.


Using EXFO's service assurance technology, the CENX System proactively monitors each Ethernet virtual connection (EVC) from the CENX exchange to the off-net Ethernet Service Locations. EXFO's BrixNGN Carrier Ethernet Service Assurance System utilizes a scalable vendor-agnostic methodology to monitor any EVC regardless of the type of vendor equipment at the demarcation points. This enables constant, normalized measurement of the performance of
each service against its SLA criteria.


"This partnership with EXFO represents a significant breakthrough in the industry. It allows a
service provider to deliver an on-net experience for their off-net customer locations without the
huge cost overhead of deploying additional monitoring equipment," said Nan Chen, President
of CENX.
http://www.cenx.com

NXP Acquires Jennic for Wireless Controllers

NXP Semiconductors has acquired Jennic, a leading developer of low power RF solutions for wireless applications in smart energy, environment, logistics and consumer markets. NXP paid approximately $12.2 million to acquire 100% ownership of Jennic shares, plus up to $7.8 million in additional consideration over the next two years if Jennic meets certain performance targets. Approximately 50 UK-based employees will transfer to NXP.


Jennic specializes in 802.15.4 and Zigbee low power RF solutions. The portfolio includes software stacks for Zigbee PRO, 6LowPAN and RF4CE. Applications include smart grid and metering, smart lighting networks, home and building automation and consumer remote controls solutions. Jennic is headquartered in Sheffield, UK.


NXP plans to integrated Jennic's technology with its High Performance Mixed Signal products. Together, this provides NXP with a wireless semiconductor platform for emerging technologies including eMetering, smart lighting, building automation, asset tracking and device remote controls.


"Innovation in low-power wireless RF technology is driving significant demand for exciting new applications and usage models across a broad range of industries," said Rick Clemmer, President and CEO, NXP Semiconductors. "The low power RF solutions for wireless applications which Jennic has developed have set a benchmark for driving down power performance. These also represent a great example of High Performance Mixed Signal technology, which together will enable us to jointly target attractive growth markets and offer a complete range of wireless semiconductor solutions."http://www.nxp.com
http://www.jennic.com

New DMCA Exemptions Allow Mobile Phone Jailbreaking, Carrier Unlock

The Library of Congress announced a number of exemptions from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), including the "jail breaking" of mobile phones. These exemptions from the copyright law are based on whether the prohibition on circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works is causing or is likely to cause adverse effects on the ability of users of any particular classes of copyrighted works to make noninfringing uses of those works.


Specifically, the Library of Congress named six classes of works for which it is now permitted for persons to circumvent access controls in order to engage in noninfringing uses of works.


The six classes of works cited by the Library of Congress are:


(1) Motion pictures on DVDs that are lawfully made and acquired and that are protected by the Content Scrambling System when circumvention is accomplished solely in order to accomplish the incorporation of short portions of motion pictures into new works for the purpose of criticism or comment, and where the person engaging in circumvention believes and has reasonable grounds for believing that circumvention is necessary to fulfill the purpose of the use in the following instances: (i) Educational uses by college and university professors and by college and university film and media studies students; (ii) Documentary filmmaking; (iii) Noncommercial videos.


(2) Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications, when they have been lawfully obtained, with computer programs on the telephone handset.


(3) Computer programs, in the form of firmware or software, that enable used wireless telephone handsets to connect to a wireless telecommunications network, when circumvention is initiated by the owner of the copy of the computer program solely in order to connect to a wireless telecommunications network and access to the network is authorized by the operator of the network.


(4) Video games accessible on personal computers and protected by technological protection measures that control access to lawfully obtained works, when circumvention is accomplished solely for the purpose of good faith testing for, investigating, or correcting security flaws or vulnerabilities.


(5) Computer programs protected by dongles that prevent access due to malfunction or damage and which are obsolete. A dongle shall be considered obsolete if it is no longer manufactured or if a replacement or repair is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace; and


(6) Literary works distributed in ebook format when all existing ebook editions of the work (including digital text editions made available by authorized entities) contain access controls that prevent the enabling either of the book's read-aloud function or of screen readers that render the text into a specialized format.


More details are online.
http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/2010/10-169.html

NetLogic Packs 128 CPUs for 240 Million PPS Performance

NetLogic Microsystems unveiled a multi-core communications processor solution that integrates 128 NXCPUs and over 160 programmable processing engines to deliver 160Gbps throughput and 240 million packets-per-second (Mpps) of intelligent application performance for next-generation 3G/4G mobile wireless infrastructure, enterprise, storage, security, metro Ethernet, edge and core infrastructure network applications.


The new NetLogic XLP8128S multi-core processor solution leverages the company's XLP processor architecture to offer scalability to 128 NXCPUs, each operating at up to 2.0 GHz and based on its superscalar engine and out-of-order execution capabilities for converged data plane and control plane processing.


The 128 NXCPUs offer full cache and memory coherency over the high-speed Inter-chip Coherency Interface (ICI), enabling software applications to seamlessly run in Symmetric Multi Processing (SMP) or Asymmetric Multi Processing (AMP) modes. The company said its unique combination of superior processor cores and scalability from 1 to 128 NXCPUs deliver over 240 Mpps of intelligent application processing performance, making it the highest performance multi-core communications processors for intelligent Layers 4-7 network, services and application processing.


"Our ability to scale to 128 NXCPUs with full cache and memory coherency to deliver 160Gbps throughput and over 240Mpps of application performance is unprecedented in the industry, and enables a new class of equipment for our customers," said Behrooz Abdi, executive vice president and general manager at NetLogic Microsystems. "We are excited to continue to be at the forefront of technology innovation in the area of multi-core processing for next-generation network and communications infrastructure, security and storage applications."


The XLP8128S solution features NetLogic Microsystems' high-speed, low-latency Enhanced Fast Messaging Network to enable efficient, high-bandwidth communication among the 128 NXCPUs and to support billions of in-flight messages and packet descriptors between all on-chip elements. To complement the 128 NXCPUs, the XLP8128S solution offers over 160 fully-autonomous processing engines that provide independent and complete offload of certain network functions from the NXCPUs, including:

  • 160 Gbps fully-autonomous Security Acceleration Engine supporting networking, wireless and storage encryption/decryption/authentication protocols


  • 160 Gbps Network Acceleration Engines for Ingress/Egress Packet Parsing and Management


  • 512 Gbps RAID-5/RAID-6 Acceleration


  • 40 Gbps Compression/Decompression


  • Packet Ordering


  • Storage De-Duplication Acceleration


  • TCP Segmentation Offload


  • IEEE 1588 Hardware Time Stamping


The XLP8128S solution will sample in Q3 2010.
http://www.netlogicmicro.com

Pace to Acquire 2Wire, Consolidating STB Market

Pace, a leading global supplier of set-top boxes for satellite, cable, IPTV and terrestrial platforms, agreed to acquire 2Wire for $475 million in cash. The consideration includes 2Wire's balance sheet cash at closing, expected to be approximately $55 million.


2Wire supplies residential gateways and multi-service IPTV STBs. The company's key customers include AT&T for its U-verse rollout, as well as Bell Canada, Telmex, BT, SingTel, and others. 2Wire, which is based in San Jose, California, is currently owned by a consortium of strategic and financial investors including Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, Telmex, Oak Investment Partners, Meritech Capital Partners, and Technology Crossover Ventures.


Following the completion of the acquisition, Pace, already the number one global digital set-top box company, would also become the number one provider of telco residential gateway devices in the US and the number three provider globally.


"This acquisition will strengthen our Americas business, extending Pace's US market coverage with entry into the tier one telco market. We have built a strong position in the US with cable and satellite operators and 2Wire, with its expertise in the broadband residential gateway market, will enable us to address a full range of US operator requirements. 2Wire's software and gateway expertise will further drive development of our home entertainment convergence strategy. The transaction introduces deep client relationships with important customers including AT&T and further develops our platform to deliver ongoing sustainable growth," stated Neil Gaydon, Chief Executive Officer of Pace.


Pace is based in Saltaire, West Yorkshire, UK and employs over 1,000 people in locations around the world.
http://www.pace.com
http://www.2wire.com
  • 2Wire was founded in 1998 by former members of PictureTel and Polycom.


  • As of 2010, 2Wire has shipped more than 30 million intelligent gateways.

Clearwire Sells WiMAX Operations in Ireland to Imagine

Imagine Communications Group has acquired Clearwire's Irish operations. As part of the transaction, Clearwire will become a minority shareholder and will nominate a representative to Imagine's board of directors. Other specific financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


Imagine gained 50mHz of spectrum when purchasing Irish Broadband in 2008, added more spectrum in a Comreg process in 2009, and with Clearwire Ireland Limited's spectrum now has over 120mHz of crucial 3.4/3.6mHz spectrum. Following the Clearwire transaction, Imagine will have nearly 400 high sites nationwide to facilitate the rapid roll out of the WiMax network.


Imagine expects that the WiMax network will cover 90 percent of Ireland within two years, with prices undercutting Eircom by 50 percent.
http://www.imagine.iehttp://www.clearwire.com

Ceragon Acquires Advanced Carrier Ethernet NMS Technology

Ceragon Networks announced an agreement to acquire the right to use and further develop advanced Ethernet network management software which will accelerate enhancements to its end-to-end network management system (NMS). Ceragon did not name the developer of this technology but said the deal will enhance its FibeAir platforms and its PolyView management solution. The development effort is expected to simplify the design and management of complex Ethernet backhaul networks. Among the features is the ability to manage Ethernet services across multiple technologies and vendor domains, as well as to assign and manage differentiated service level agreements (SLAs) while ensuring high quality of service (QoS) from end-to-end.
http://www.ceragon.com

AT&T Expands its Wi-Fi Hotzone Pilot Project

AT&T is expanding its pilot project to create large outdoor Wi-Fi hotzones in areas with consistently high 3G traffic. In May, AT&T has launched a Wi-Fi hotzone in New York City's Times Square to provide a mobile broadband offload option. Customer usage has been better than expected. Now, the company has created an AT&T Wi-Fi hotzone in downtown Charlotte, N.C. AT&T plans to further expand the pilot project with the launch of a third AT&T Wi-Fi hotzone in Chicago in the coming weeks.


"Our first AT&T Wi-Fi hotzone in New York City has received praise from our customers, and we're excited to introduce this Wi-Fi solution in Charlotte," said Angie Wiskocil, senior vice president, AT&T Wi-Fi Services. "Wi-Fi plays a key role in our strategy to mobilize everything that's important to our customers - including entertainment, news, social networks and business apps. With these pilot AT&T Wi-Fi hotzones, we're examining new ways to use a combination of our Wi-Fi and 3G networks to deliver the best possible mobile broadband experience."


AT&T noted that in the second quarter 2010, it handled 68.1 million Wi-Fi connections on its network, compared to just 15 million in the same quarter last year. Many of the most popular AT&T smartphones support auto-authentication at AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots, making it automatic and convenient for customers to connect. Customers can log onto AT&T Wi-Fi hotzones and more than 20,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots nationwide without it counting toward their monthly smartphone data usage.http://

Dell'Oro: 40/100 Gbps DWDM Revenue to Exceed $3B by 2014

Total worldwide DWDM Optical Transport equipment revenue is forecast to be $9.3 billion in 2014, of which just over $3 billion will come from 40/100 Gbps, according to a newly released five year forecast report from Dell'Oro Group.


"The demand for 40 Gbps DWDM was resilient in 2009 even as the market for optical equipment was under extreme pressure," said Jimmy Yu, Sr. Director of Optical Transport research at Dell'Oro Group. "40 Gbps DWDM revenues more than doubled in 2009 even though the overall DWDM market declined. Despite the availability of 100 Gbps DWDM, we think demand for 40 Gbps DWDM will continue to expand, and are forecasting a 55 percent CAGR over the next five years, in large part because of the price premium of 100 Gbps. This doesn't mean that there's no demand for 100 Gbps. We think 100 Gbps DWDM shipments will also grow, but that the higher volumes probably won't occur until late 2012 when we think the price of 100 Gbps wavelengths will be lower than that of 40 Gbps wavelengths," added Mr. Yu.
http://www.delloro.com

Friday, July 23, 2010

Verizon Sees Continued Wireless Growth, Confirms LTE on Track for Q4

Verizon Communications reported total Q2 operating revenues of $26.8 billion, a decrease of 0.3 percent compared with second-quarter 2009. The company reported a loss of 7 cents in basic earnings per share (EPS) in the quarter, which included $2.3 billion in pre-tax costs for workforce reductions associated with a second-quarter incentive offer that will lead to approximately 11,000 voluntary separations this year.



Verizon noted continued strong cash flow growth, coupled with improved margins for both its Wireless and Wireline business segments, and improved revenue trends for sales to global business customers. Wireless data revenues were especially strong, up about 24% year-on-year. The company confirmed that its LTE launch is on schedule for Q4.


"Verizon showed solid improvement in operational results in the quarter," said Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg. "In addition, the wireline spin-off to Frontier on July 1 improves our future growth profile. We see the opportunity to create additional shareholder value with a revenue portfolio that is now more heavily focused on wireless, FiOS and global IP." Seidenberg added, "We have the network platforms in place, and the product and service innovations in the pipeline, to fuel the next generation of growth in our changing industry. Our cost-reduction efforts are gaining momentum, and trends in the global business market are showing signs of stabilization."


Some highlights:

Wireless

  • Verizon Wireless added 665,000 retail postpaid and 454,000 total retail customers in the quarter, excluding divestitures and adjustments, both increases over the first quarter of 2010.


  • At the end of Q2, the company had 86.2 million retail customers, which represented nearly 94 percent of the company's wireless customers, the largest number of retail customers of any U.S. wireless provider. The company also added 896,000 reseller customers in the second quarter. The total number of customers at the end of the quarter was 92.1 million, after adding 1.4 million total net customers in the quarter and removing a net 2.1 million customers in connection with divestitures and conforming adjustments related to the Alltel acquisition.


  • In addition, the company had 7.7 million "other connections" at the end of the quarter -- such as machine-to-machine, eReaders and telematics -- adding 264,000 net other connections in the quarter. This brings the number of total wireless connections to 99.7 million at the end of the second quarter.


  • In the second quarter, data revenues increased to 34.5 percent of all service revenues, up from 29.3 percent in the second quarter 2009.


  • Retail postpaid churn, retail churn and total customer churn remained low, at 0.94 percent, 1.33 percent and 1.27 percent, respectively. All are the company's best levels in nearly two years.


  • Retail service revenues in the quarter totaled $13.5 billion, up 4.2 percent year over year. Retail data revenue was up 23.4 percent to $4.7 billion. Service revenues in the second quarter were $14.0 billion, up 5.2 percent. Total revenues were $16.0 billion, up 3.4 percent year over year.


  • Retail service ARPU grew 0.9 percent over the second quarter of 2009 to $51.56. Retail data ARPU increased to $17.85, up 19.4 percent year over year.


  • Wireless CAPEX was $2.3 billion due to the LTE rollout. Year-to-date, wireless CAPEX is $4 billion, which is up $698 million or about 21%.


Wireline Operations


  • Verizon added 196,000 net new FiOS Internet customers and 174,000 net new FiOS TV customers. Verizon has posted consecutive quarterly gains in the number of customers using FiOS services since FiOS Internet was introduced in 2004, and by the end of the second quarter had 3.8 million FiOS Internet and 3.2 million FiOS TV customers.


  • FiOS Internet penetration (customers as a percentage of potential customers) was 29.7 percent by the end of the quarter, with the product available for sale to 12.9 million premises. This compares with 28.1 percent and 11.0 million, respectively, at the end of second-quarter 2009.


  • FiOS TV penetration was 25.9 percent by the end of the quarter, with the product available for sale to 12.4 million premises. This compares with 24.6 percent and 10.3 million, respectively, at the end of second-quarter 2009.


  • Total wireline broadband and video revenues were $1.8 billion in the quarter, up 20.1 percent from second-quarter 2009. This includes FiOS broadband revenues, which grew 33.2 percent year over year. All FiOS-based services, including narrowband voice, generated 43 percent of consumer wireline revenues in second-quarter 2010, compared with 33 percent in second-quarter 2009.


  • Wireline CAPEX was $1.8 billion, down by 24%. Year-to-date, wireline CapEx of $3.3 billion is down nearly $1 billion, reflecting lower FiOS deployment capital.


  • Consumer ARPU for wireline services was $80.76 in the quarter, up 11.4 percent compared with second-quarter 2009. ARPU for FiOS customers was more than $145.


  • Global enterprise revenue totaled $4.0 billion in the quarter, an increase of 0.6 percent compared with second-quarter 2009 and an improvement from the 1.4 percent year-over-year decline in the first quarter of 2010. Sales of strategic enterprise services -- such as security and IT solutions, as well as strategic networking -- generated $1.6 billion, up 6.2 percent compared with second-quarter 2009.


Verizon Wireless also confirmed plans to launch its LTE network in 25 to 30 markets by the end of this year and cover virtually all of its current nationwide 3G footprint by the end of 2013. In addition, as part of its 4G LTE network deployment plans, Verizon Wireless announced efforts during the quarter to work with rural companies to collaboratively build and operate a 4G network in those areas, using Verizon Wireless' 700MHz spectrum.
http://www.verizon.com

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Riverbed Broadens its Scope with Virtualized WAN Optimization

Riverbed Technology released a virtualized version of its Steelhead wide area network (WAN) optimization appliance, enabling enterprises to extend the benefits of WAN optimization to new locations without needing a physical Riverbed appliance. Riverbed's Virtual Steelhead works in conjunction with VMware's vSphere Platform.


Riverbed said its Virtual Steelhead offers the same WAN optimization performance metrics and features as its appliance, but can be deployed in a wider range of environments that may have specialized requirements, such as ruggedized environments or environments with space limitations, as well as data centers that have been heavily virtualized.


Riverbed claims WAN application performance boosts of up to 100X for its Steelhead line. The new virtualized version uses resources in the virtualized computing environment at the client end. The Steelhead software functionality runs in a virtual machine in the equipment already available at the client end. For instance, for military field operations, a ruggedized virtualized server may already be part of the deployed equipment, so the WAN optimization functionality is better run in a virtualized machine on the hardened server rather than as an additional appliance.


Additionally, service providers and systems integrators that deliver managed services based on Riverbed WAN optimization now have the option to deliver a virtualized solution without having to put an additional physical box in the customer location, making provisioning easier and allowing customers to more cost-effectively reap the benefits of application acceleration and IT consolidation with a flexible pay-as-you-grow model.


"Our server infrastructure is 80% virtualized today. The option to extend virtualization to a WAN optimization solution based on Riverbed's best-of-breed Steelhead appliance will enable our continued effort to reduce our IT hardware footprint. Virtual Steelhead is built on a proven WAN optimization solution. Virtualization is an innovative way to handle consolidation, cost-control measures, and even green initiatives," said Searl Tate, director of engineering at Paul Hastings, a global law firm.


Virtual Steelhead is expected to be generally available in Q3 2010.
http://www.riverbed.com

ShoreTel Step Up with Release 11 of UC Platform

ShoreTel continues to shine with Release 11 of its unified communications system, adding such features as a companion iPhone app and a distributed database for scaling enterprise VoIP deployments. Additional instances of the ShoreTel 11 database can be installed at remote sites, helping to alleviate potential performance bottlenecks and eliminate single points of failure.


The ShoreTel Communicator client is now available for the Web and for the iPhone, allowing users to manage communications from Macintosh computers and iPhones, along with BlackBerry and other popular devices.


ShoreTel 11 offers extended legacy PBX integration capabilities with expanded QSIG support, making it easier for customers to leverage existing investments and migrate to ShoreTel's all IP-based UC capabilities over time.


In addition, the company released ShoreTel Contact Center 6, adding new capabilities that make it easier to integrate contact center activities with existing core business processes.


New real time APIs and event feeds open up the flow of contact center data to other applications, helping call centers improve responsiveness and improve flexibility. Increased scalability and high availability features also provide a robust foundation and flexible geographic footprint for large call centers. As with all previous ShoreTel releases, ShoreTel Contact Center 6 is available as a free upgrade for current customers with a ShoreTel support contract, as part of ShoreTel's standard support service.
http://www.shoretel.com

Sigma Designs Introduces Chipset for Low-Cost MS Mediaroom STB

Sigma Designs introduced a low-cost Microsoft Mediaroom compatible set top box platform based on its second generation SMP8652 media processor SoC (system-on-chip).


Sigma Designs has completed integration with Mediaroom client software and are anticipated to begin deployment with leading carriers in the second half of 2010.


Sigma's single chip implementation features a 500-Mhz MIPS host CPU, a second processor called the IPU for offloading burdensome real-time tasks, and a third processor dedicated to managing security functions. Its advanced decoder engines support high definition video decoding of H.264 (MPEG-4 part 10), Windows Media® Video 9, VC-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 (part 2), the new AVS standard, and can support up to 16 independent streams on screen in different formats. High-performance graphics acceleration, multi-standard audio decoding, and advanced display processing capabilities round out its multimedia core. Powerful content security is ensured through a dedicated secure processor, on-chip flash memory, and a range of digital rights management (DRM) engines for high-speed payload decryption. Additional functions include 32-bit DDR-2 memory controller, dual Gigabit Ethernet controller, dual USB 2.0 controller, NAND flash controller, and SATA controller enable a single-chip solution for most set top boxes.


The company confirmed that multiple Mediaroom OEMs are currently designing new set top boxes based around the SMP8652 for low-cost applications such as additional rooms in the home.
Additionally, OEMs are also moving ahead with implementations of the SMP8654, another Mediaroom platform from Sigma offering even higher performance within the same family of devices. The first to market will be Tatung, with its recently approved SMP8652-based set top boxes.


Microsoft's Mediaroom platform is currently delivering services to an estimated 5 million subscribers worldwide.



"A key part of our Mediaroom marketing strategy is to continually drive down costs in our ecosystem while ensuring delivery of the full-featured, high quality viewing experience that consumers demand," said Steve Koepp, senior manager, business development of Microsoft's Media Platform Business. "As a key ecosystem partner, Sigma Designs is helping to advance this goal, enabling ever more cost-efficient set top box designs to help further accelerate the availability and reach of world-class TV services powered by Mediaroom."http://www.sigmadesigns.com

AT&T U-verse Achieves First Billion-Dollar Revenue Quarter

In Q2 2010, AT&T achieved its first ever billion-dollar revenue quarter for its U-verse services.


During Q2, AT&T had 209,000 U-verse TV subscriber net additions to drive the U-verse TV subscriber total to 2.5 million, up by more than 900,000 over the past year. More than 75 percent of U-verse TV customers choose a triple- or quad-play of integrated U-verse TV, Internet, home phone and/or wireless services. The average revenue per user (ARPU) for U-verse triple-play customers was nearly $160 a month, up 13.8 percent year over year and 6.8 percent from the first quarter of 2010.
http://www.att.com

AT&T Adds Nearly 900,000 Connected Devices in Q2

AT&T added about 900,000 connected devices to its network in Q2 2010, bring the total number of connected devices to nearly 6.7 million. This includes both emerging consumer devices and machine-to-machine devices.


AT&T has certified more than 850 specialty devices - such as eReaders, netbooks, digital photo frames, personal navigation devices, home security monitoring and smart grid devices - for use on its wireless network.


In addition, responding to the growing demand for emerging device solutions in the enterprise market, AT&T recently formed the Advanced Enterprise Mobility Solutions Group. Created in May 2010, this group delivers advanced mobile applications and solutions for both traditional and emerging devices to businesses, governments and organizations of all sizes.


In addition, AT&T has announced plans this year to support several new devices. Those new emerging device categories include:


Healthcare: AT&T will provide the nationwide network connection for Vitality GlowCaps, intelligent pill caps designed to help patients take medications regularly through a series of reminders, including light, sound, text message and phone call alerts if the cap is not opened as scheduled. The AT&T connected pill caps are expected in market in the coming months.


Tracking: AT&T is providing the wireless connection for a pallet tracking device managed by American Security Logistics. The connected responder is placed in a shipping pallet and can be tracked by GPS, which helps feed information to a service bureau across AT&T's nationwide network. The responder will eventually extend to other devices, including those used to track pets and Alzheimer's patients.


Tablets: OpenPeak, a leading provider of multimedia touch-screen devices and device management platforms, has selected AT&T as the wireless carrier for its upcoming OpenTablet multipurpose computing tablet. The tablet, expected in late 2010, will combine communications, entertainment and home management capabilities. The device will feature AT&T mobile broadband connectivity.
http://www.att.com

Ericsson Cites Operator Caution, Component Shortages & Bottlenecks

Ericsson's sales for Q2 2010 were down -8% year-over-year but up 6% sequentially, reaching SEK 48.0 billion compared to SEK 52.1 billion a year earlier. Gross margin, excluding restructuring, improved slightly sequentially and improved year-over-year to 39% (36%) due to business mix and efficiency gains. However, Ericsson said operators in a number of developing markets remain cautious in their network upgrade plans..


Cost reduction activities have reduced Ericsson's operating expenses, but the company incurred costs in integrating the recently acquired CDMA and GSM businesses from Nortel, as well as incurring higher investments in certain R&D areas and growing number of 4G/LTE trials.


"Operators showed a continued good demand for mobile broadband driven by smartphone and laptop usage. Sales were however impacted by continued industry component shortages and supply chain bottlenecks. We estimate that this
had a negative impact on our sales in the quarter by SEK 3-4 b," stated Hans Vestberg, President and CEO of Ericsson.


Some highlights for the quarter.


Networks

  • Networks' sales in the quarter declined by -12% year-over-year. Voice related sales, such as 2G access
    and circuit switched core continued to decline.


  • Increased mobile broadband sales (3G), including radio, backhaul and packet core, partly offset this impact. CDMA continued to develop favorably. Similar to the first quarter segment sales were negatively impacted by continued component shortages and supply chain bottlenecks.


  • The strong data traffic uptake is creating transmission bottlenecks and demand for microwave based backhaul solutions was strong in the quarter.


  • EBITA margin in the quarter increased year-over-year to 17% (14%) despite lower sales, positively impacted
    by continued efficiency gains and business mix with a high proportion of network expansions.


Global Services

  • Global Services sales were flat year-over-year, but increased 11% sequentially. Global services sales
    account for some 42% of total Group sales.


  • Professional Services sales increased 5% year-over-year and in local currencies growth amounted to 9%
    year-over-year. Managed Services sales in the quarter increased by 23% year-over-year.


  • Network Rollout sales decreased -12% year-over-year.


  • The year-over-year slow-down in growth in Global Services sales is primarily an effect of lower network
    rollout activity driven by fewer turnkey projects, continued component shortages and supply chain
    bottlenecks.


  • There is a continued good demand for services targeting the operational efficiency of operators,
    such as managed services, systems integration and consulting. Operators also show growing interest in
    network optimization services, driven by mobile broadband build out, as well as revenue assurance
    services. Services related to 2G voice sales developed unfavorably also this quarter.


  • During the quarter, nine managed services contracts were signed of which six were extensions or
    expansions of existing customer agreements.


Multimedia

  • Multimedia sales in the quarter decreased by -27% year-over-year due to continued weak demand for
    revenue management solutions in regions India, Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. Sales grew 5%
    sequentially, driven by TV and Multimedia Brokering.


  • The TV business continued to show good development with strong demand for compression technology.


Ericsson reported mixed results geographically, with some regions growing quickly and others decreasing.

  • North America sales increased 128% year-over-year and 37% sequentially. The strong mobile data growth was further spurred by the launch of smartphones by all leading carriers. In the quarter, Ericsson started volume deliveries of 4G/LTE.


  • Latin America sales decreased -12% year-over-year and grew 6% sequentially. Operator consolidation is
    ongoing in the region. Lower cost smartphones has created continuous growth in mobile broadband usage,
    pushing operators for investments in networks and services.


  • Northern Europe and Central Asia sales decreased by -7% year-over-year and increased
    16% sequentially. Sales of mobile network infrastructure increased sequentially, mainly driven
    by major 2G expansions and 3G build-outs in the Eastern part of the region.


  • Western and Central Europe sales decreased -19% year-over-year and -16% sequentially due to cautious operator investments in parts of the region. Development in the region showed large variations, parts of Western Europe developed favorably while Central Europe in general was slow. Services represented two thirds of the sales in the
    quarter, and operators' focus on efficiency continued to drive a strong interest in exploring business models
    such as network sharing and network transformations leading to opportunities both in services and networks.


  • Mediterranean sales decreased -17% year-over-year and increased 11% sequentially. Operator investments
    in Spain and Greece were low due to overall economic environment.


  • Middle East sales decreased -20% year-over-year and by -4% sequentially. Services sales showed a
    continued growth in the quarter driven by demand for managed services. Services represented 46% of the
    business in the region this quarter.


  • Sub-Saharan Africa sales decreased by -19% year-over-year and increased 22% sequentially. The region
    continued to be impacted by the global economic downturn with a tight credit environment. Operator
    consolidation is also taking place in the region, which temporarily reduced investments. Mobile subscriptions
    are developing positively with net additions for both voice and broadband services. New mobile licenses
    are being selected in certain countries.


  • India sales decreased -63% year-over-year and -41% sequentially due to cautious operator investments in
    the lead up to the 3G auctions as well as the ongoing government initiated security clearance process. The
    decline in business volumes mainly affected mobile infrastructure sales while recurring services business
    maintained its good development.


  • China and North East Asia sales decreased -36% year-over-year and by -7% sequentially. The year-over-
    year decline is related to timing of roll-out for 3G/WCDMA in mainland China. In 2009 a majority of
    network rollouts took place during the first half of the year.


  • South East Asia and Oceania sales decreased -36% year-over-year and increased 4% sequentially. Sales
    of network equipment were weaker overall due to cautious investment in a number of markets.
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See also