Thursday, August 19, 2010

FCC's Copps & Clyburn Reclassification of Broadband

Speaking at "The Future of the Internet" Public Hearing, Minneapolis, Minnesota, FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn stated their support for the principles of Net Neutrality. Both also back the position that the FCC should reclassify broadband as the telecommunications service, establishing its authority to enforce rules. The comments come in the wake of the recent Verizon-Google agreement on Internet governance, which the commissioners criticized for being a closed room deal between industry giants.

Copps: "Our job now is to correct course by reclassifying broadband as the telecommunications service that it is (you know: actually call an apple an apple) and then craft rules and procedures that will protect consumers against discrimination, protect against a privatized Internet, and protect against the cannibalization, cable-ization and further consolidation of broadband technology."

Clyburn: "Any proposal that favors the FCC being stripped of its rulemaking authority regarding consumer protection and non-discrimination requirements, and any proposal that would advocate that no agency will have authority over Internet access would be impossible for me to embrace and should leave us all wondering, if that should ever
happen, exactly who is going to protect Internet consumers?"

U.S. Senators Raise Security Concerns about Huawei

A group of eight U.S. senators published a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Director of National Intelligence General James Clapper to raise their concern Huawei Technologies as a potential supplier to Sprint Nextel. Specifically, the senators claim that Huawei maintains close ties with China's military and poses a national security risk to the United States. The senators also cite Huawei's sales activity in Iran, intellectual property concerns, and financial support from the Chinese government.

The senators request a range of information from the Obama administration, including whether the U.S. Treasury Department has negotiated any possible arrangements by which Huawei could invest in or acquire control over a supplier involved with sensitive U.S. government projects? Whether the intelligence community has any cybersecurity concerns regarding Huawei? Whether Sprint-Nextel has any contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense or the intelligence community? Whether U.S.-based employees of Huawei have been granted security clearance for access to classified information?

The letter was signed by Senators Kyl, Bond, Shelby, Inhofe, Bunning, Sessions, Burr and Collins.

For its part, Huawei circulated a letter to the media in which it states that it is an employee-owned private company with no ownership stake by the Chinese government or the military. Huawei further asserts that it has a good intellectual property record and that it abides by the law in all of the territories in which it operates.

Chile Plans LTE Auctions

Chile's regulatory authority for telecommunications (Subtel) has confirmed plans to launch an auction from LTE spectrum in December. The bidding will cover the 2.6 GHz band. The first licenses are expected to be awarded by mid-2011.

"Todo Chile Comunicado" Extends 3G for Rural Broadband

The government of Chile and Entel, the nation's leading telecom operator, have announced a project to extend 3G and fixed broadband services across rural areas of the country, bringing coverage to an estimated 3 million people for the first time.

The project, known as "Todo Chile Comunicado", will bring 3G coverage to 1,474 rural sites, as well as extending fiber optic nodes to 12 regional centers, over the next 3 years. The project is expected to represent a total investment of US$100 million with government subsidies accounting for about US$43 million of this cost.

The network is expected to deliver a low-cost Internet service at 1 Mbps downlink and 256k upstream, as well as serve public facilities, including schools and health centers. The first phase of the project begins in September with rollout to 450 locations.

Nokia to Acquire Motally for Mobile Analytics Service

Nokia agreed to acquire Motally, a privately-held US-based company that provides a mobile analytics service. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Motally offers in-application tracking and reporting, and is designed to enable developers and publishers to optimize the development of their mobile applications through increased understanding of how users engage. The service offering is planned to be adapted for Qt, Symbian, Meego and Java developers, and Nokia plans to continue serving Motally's existing customer base.

"The acquisition underpins Nokia's drive to deliver in-application and mobile web browsing analytics to Ovi's growing, global eco-system of developers and publishers, enabling partners to better connect with their customers and optimize and monetize their offering," said Marco Argenti, Vice President, Media, Nokia.

Motally currently employs a team of eight people and is based in San Francisco.

Six Cities are Bidding to Host Mobile World Congress 2013

Six cities are competing to host the GSMA Mobile World Congress event starting in 2013. Amsterdam, Barcelona, Cologne, Milan, Munich and Paris have been named candidate cities who are vying to become the home of Mobile World Congress for the five-year period from 2013 through 2017. The GSMA expects to identify a short list of finalist cities in January 2011 and to complete the evaluation process and to announce the host city in mid-2011.

"The mobile industry continues to evolve at an unprecedented pace and the GSMA is also advancing its business to meet the changing requirements of constituents across the global communications industry," said John Hoffman, CEO, GSMA Ltd. "The Mobile World Congress has grown significantly since it was started in 1987, and we look forward to shaping the future of the event with one of these outstanding candidate cities."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Marvell Posts Revenue of $896 Million, Up 5% Sequentially

Marvell Technology Group reported revenue of $896 million for the quarter ending July 31, 2010, a 40 percent increase from $641 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2010, ended August 1, 2009, and a 5 percent sequential increase from $856 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2011, ended May 1, 2010.

GAAP net income was $220 million, or $0.33 per share (diluted), for the second quarter of fiscal 2011, compared with a GAAP net income of $58 million, or $0.09 per share (diluted), for the second quarter of fiscal 2010. GAAP net income in the first quarter of fiscal 2011 was $206 million, or $0.30 per share (diluted).

"We delivered excellent results for the second quarter," said Dr. Sehat Sutardja, Marvell's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We experienced significant revenue growth in our mobile and wireless end market which increased over 50 percent sequentially, and over 140 percent year over year, while revenue from our networking end market grew 4 percent sequentially, and over 30 percent year over year. Despite the challenges of a softening macroeconomic environment for PCs, we continue to deliver best in class profitability on both operating and cash flow margins, demonstrating the robustness of our long-term business model driven by the transformation of our revenues to the mobile and wireless semiconductor end market. Given the long-term confidence we have in our business model, we are pleased to announce the Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase program of $500 million."

Marvell also authorized a program to repurchase up to $500 million of its outstanding common shares, depending on market conditions and other factors.

ZTE Reports 1H 2010 Revenue of US$4.5 Billion

ZTE Corporation reported that its interim 2010 revenue of US$4.524 billion, up by 10.89% year-on-year. The net profit grew by 12.02% to US$129.143 million in the six months ended June 30, 2010 based on Hong Kong financial reporting standards. Basic earnings per share amounted to US$0.047.

ZTE's international revenue rose 19.58% year-on-year to USD2.246 billion, accounting for 49.65% of its total operating revenue. Revenue contribution from the European and US markets amounted to 18% of total revenue for the first time. The year-on-year revenue contribution from these two markets increased by 45%.

ZTE noted that its international revenue from Asia declined due to an incident relating to the safety inspection of communications equipment in India.

By product, the Group registered year-on-year revenue growth of 1.08% for carrier networks, 39.71% for terminal products and 17.99% for telecommunication software systems, services and other products. Driven by the buildup of 3G users in China, domestic sales of the Group's terminal products (comprising 3G handsets in various modes) increased significantly, laying a solid foundation for sales revenue growth of terminal products. Internationally, the Group's terminal products, particularly the 3G handsets and data card products, have made an impact in high-end markets.

China Mobile Appoints Mr. Li Yue as CEO

Mr. Wang Jianzhou has stepped down as CEO of China Mobile but remains as Executive Director and Chairman of the company.

Mr. Li Yue assumes the role of CEO and continues as a Director of the company. Li (age 51) joined China Mobile's Board of Directors in 2003. He previously served as Deputy Director General and Chief Engineer of Tianjin
Long-Distance Telecommunications Bureau, among many other postings. Li holds a Bachelor's Degree in telephone exchange from the Correspondence College of Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, a Master's Degree in business administration from Tianjin University and a doctoral degree in business administration from Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

China Mobile noted that it has not entered into any service contract with Mr. Li, who will be subject to retirement by rotation and re-election at annual general meetings of the company every three years. Mr. Li will receive a salary of HK$100,000 per month, plus a discretionary bonus and a discretionary award of share options as may be determined by the Board with reference to his performance, together with an annual director's fee of HK$180,000 as proposed by the Board and approved by shareholders of the company.

Freescale Intros New PowerQUICC II Processors

Freescale Semiconductor is introducing a new portfolio of PowerQUICC II Pro processors for applications such as line cards, WLAN access points, intelligent NIC equipment, smart energy gateways, and general purpose controls.

All the new devices incorporate the e300c3 (MPC603e-based) core built on Power Architecture technology, which includes 16 Kbytes of L1 instruction and data caches, IEEE 754 double precision floating point unit, dual integer units and on-chip memory management units (MMUs). The MPC8306/09 devices provide up to 800 MIPS of performance along with high integration and low power consumption, enabling fanless, "green" and low-cost designs.

"The MPC830x portfolio caters to new or existing customers looking for processors with high integration, scalable performance and low power for entry-level networking, industrial control or factory automation applications," said Dhiraj Handa, director and general manager of the Customer Specific Products Division of Freescale's Networking & Multimedia Group.

China Mobile Tops 554 Million Customers

China Mobile, the world's largest mobile operator reported healthy momentum in the first half of 2010,
although subscriber growth rates have slowed due to increasing mobile penetration rates and intensifying industry competition. For the six months of 2010, the Group's operating revenue reached RMB229,818 million, up 7.9% over the same period last year, while the Group achieved a 4.2% increase in profit over year to RMB57,643 million, representing a relatively high margin of 25.1%.

The total customer base at the end of June 2010 was 554 million. Monthly net adds averaged 5.29 million for the year, which is below the rate of growth from a year earlier. During the first half of the year, the carrier added 31,750,000 mobile lines, down from a net add of 35,874,000 new customers during the first half of 2009. In addition, China Mobile's market share fell from 72% to 69% over the period.

Average minutes of usage per user per month (MOU) was 520 minutes, up 6.1% over the same period last year, and average revenue per user per month (ARPU) was RMB72, exhibiting a moderately declining trend.

Total voice minutes carried over the China Mobile network reached 1.665 trillion minutes for the first half of the year -- up 20% over the first half of the year. Total voice revenues rose 5.8% to 161.9 billion RMB compared to a year earlier.

China Mobile noted a slowdown in SMS usage growth due to high penetration, IM to SMS substitution and cheaper
voice tariffs.

Mobile Internet access is growing rapidly and has become a key growth driver, contributing 65.7% of value-added
business revenue growth.

For future growth, China Mobile is pursuing a "Blue Ocean" strategy. Growth areas include New Customers in rural, migrant worker and family groups; New Voice usage by refining market segments; New Business and New Services by stimulating existing customers with new applications; New Arenas, such as developing the Internet of Things; and New Business Models in the mobile Internet Era. China Mobile is also targeting Mobile Payment/Mobile
Wallet, Mobile Reading, Mobile Video, Mobile Gaming, Music Downloads and Mobile TV services.

China Mobile launched a Mobile Payment/Mobile Wallet service in May and now has 360 merchants and 2.7 million users.

China Mobile's 3G network now has 115,000 base stations active in 238 cities. The number of activated 3G base stations is expected to pass 200,000 by the end of the year. Overall, China Mobile has 600,000 base stations, with fiber optic access reaching 96% of these locations.

China Mobile also provided an update on its technology roadmap. The company cited good progress in TD-LTE development and multiple city field trials are now planned following the successful network demonstration at Shanghai World Expo.

China Mobile is actively promoting a synchronized development and convergence of TD-LTE/FDD LTE in international standards organizations. TD-LTE has also gained support from China's government and from the industry ecosystems. The TD-LTE chipsets are now expected in the first half of 2011.

WildBlue Wins $19M Grant for Rural Satellite Broadband

WildBlue Communications, a subsidiary of ViaSat, won a grant valued at $19.5 million to connect unserved residents to affordable broadband services. The funding comes from the Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service (RUS) under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 (ARRA).

Subscribers covered by the grant would receive service from one of WildBlue's three current satellites - Anik-F2, WildBlue-1, and AMC-15 - and starting in mid 2011, from the new high-capacity ViaSat-1 satellite.

Airband and Sparkplug Announce Merger -- Fixed Wireless Operators

Airband Communications and Sparkplug Communications have merged, creating one of the largest fixed wireless operators, serves 17 markets across the U.S. providing voice and data services for businesses. Financial terms were not disclosed. Key markets include Atlanta; Austin; Baltimore; Dallas; Des Moines; Fort Lauderdale; Fort Worth; Houston; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Miami; Orange County, Calif; Philadelphia; Phoenix; San Antonio; San Diego and Washington, D.C.

Airband delivers data services from 1 Mbps to over GigE speeds and a full suite of VoIP services including hosted VoIP and VoIP/SIP trunking.

The new company, which will be known as Airband Communications, is headquartered in Dallas. Michael Ruley, formerly CEO of Sparkplug, becomes CEO of Airband. Tim Kinnear, formerly CEO of Airband stays on as CFO.

"Our companies share the belief that it's critical to increase market penetration in existing territories and leverage the economies of scale we will realize with our combined networks and services," said Airband CEO Michael Ruley. "As a combined entity, we will have the financial backing, network and human resources required to grow, organically and strategically, and to further enhance our competitive position in our markets."

In addition, the merged company will receive $20 million in financing as part of the transaction. Previous equity backers Ignition Partners, Key Venture Partners, M/C Venture Partners and Trilogy Equity Partners, each of which bring significant track records in telecommunications services, are leading the $11 million equity investment. In addition, Airband received $9 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank and MMV Financial. The new financing will be used to fund growth and acquisitions.
  • In April 2010, Towerstream acquired Sparkplug Communications' Chicago, Illinois and Nashville, Tennessee networks.

Motorola and SF Bay Area LTE Public Safety Project Get $50 Million Grant

Motorola and the Public Safety Agencies within the greater San Francisco Bay Area received $50.6 million in grant funding today from the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

The NTIA grant will be funding the Bay Area Wireless Enhanced Broadband (BayWEB) program through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).

The BayWeb project will provide advanced communications capabilities for first responders and public safety professionals across jurisdictions in the Bay Area. The network will use LTE operating on 700 MHz frequencies.

BayWEB is a component of the Bay Area Regional Interoperable Communications System (BayRICS). BayRICS also consists of a P25 voice system, microwave system, and information sharing applications.

Motorola said the new BTOP funding will leverage Project Cornerstone, an LTE demonstration project using an experimental FCC license, to include the larger Bay Area utilizing almost 200 pre-existing sites. This demonstration is the first of its kind for Public Safety within the nation utilizing the 700MHz spectrum.

Additionally, this funding will provide a public access network to serve schools, hospitals, libraries and community colleges throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area Region.

"Motorola is proud to participate in one of the first projects for public safety funded by the NTIA," said Greg Brown, CEO, Motorola Solutions. "The BayWEB project will directly address the many challenges that public safety faces in the Bay Area by providing first responders with a hardened public safety network that will be available in emergencies, natural disasters and catastrophic events, while also providing community anchor institutions, business and residential end users with affordable Internet access services."

Intel to Acquire McAfee, Bringing Focus to Device Security

Intel has agreed to acquire McAfee in a deal valued at approximately $7.68 billion ($48 per share).

McAfee offers a suite of software-related security solutions, including end-point and networking products and services that are focused on helping to ensure Internet-connected devices and networks are protected.

Intel said the combination of security software and hardware from one company will ultimately protect devices better from online threats. Intel also said the deal augments its mobile wireless strategy and signals its commitment to focus on security on par with energy-efficient performance and connectivity.

"With the rapid expansion of growth across a vast array of Internet-connected devices, more and more of the elements of our lives have moved online," said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO. "In the past, energy-efficient performance and connectivity have defined computing requirements. Looking forward, security will join those as a third pillar of what people demand from all computing experiences.

"The cyber threat landscape has changed dramatically over the past few years, with millions of new threats appearing every month," said Dave DeWalt, president and CEO of McAfee. "We believe this acquisition will result in our ability to deliver a safer, more secure and trusted Internet-enabled device experience."

McAfee, based in Santa Clara and founded in 1987, is the world's largest dedicated security technology company with approximately $2 billion in revenue in 2009. It has approximately 6,100 employees.

Broadcom Demos FastRTV Channel Change Technology

Broadcom announced a new "FastRTV" Channel Change Acceleration technology for digital set-top boxes that improves television channel change speeds by up to 5 times. The quick channel changing capability minimizes delays or pauses as consumers surf through channels. It works with existing conditional access (CA) systems and does not require changes to broadcast streams.

FastRTV technology is now available on Broadcom's system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions for digital cable set-top boxes (STBs) and universal digital transport adapters (uDTAs).

Comcast is the first service provider to deploy Broadcom's FastRTV technology in its uDTA deployments to transition from analog to standard definition (SD) digital TV broadcasts.

Verizon Wireless Debuts its First Handset from ZTE

Verizon Wireless introduced its first mobile handset from ZTE. The Verizon Wireless Salute is a slim slider phone offers up to 240 minutes of talk time and up to 220 hours of standby time on a single charge. The unit is priced at $19.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement.

Marvell Acquires DS2 for Powerline Chips

Marvell acquired the intellectual property and assets of Diseno de Sistemas en Silicio S.A. ("DS2"), a supplier of high speed semiconductor solutions for powerline communications. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Marvell said powerline technology represents one of the easiest and most reliable ways to build a network for distributing broadband media in most homes.

DS2 was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Valencia, Spain. The company was a leading technology innovator in next-generation wireline technology based on the standard, which aims to combine, powerline, coaxial, and phoneline wiring within a single wired home network. DS2 was also a global supplier of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) solutions and Universal Powerline Association (UPA) compatible circuits for Digital Home, Smart Grid and Ethernet over Coax applications. At the close of the acquisition, approximately 75 employees joined Marvell's worldwide development team.

"With the industry ready to standardize on Powerline technology and consumer demand for new home networking options rising fast, now is the time to drive innovation in this space," said Gani Jusuf, Vice President of Product Development, Communications and Consumer Business Group of Marvell Semiconductor.
  • In March 2010, DS2, which supplies high-speed powerline and coax communications silicon, initiated a voluntary Concurso de Acreedores (similar to a Chapter 11 filing) in the Spanish courts while it develops a plan of reorganization to address its debt. DS2 said it will continue to operate as usual and continue its long-standing commitment to its customers, suppliers, partners and employees.

    At the time, DS2 confirmed that is in the process of finalizing development of its chipset and will have samples in Q3. DS2's next generation silicon is also compatible with the installed base of UPA devices providing extended life cycle and investment protection for current deployments of DS2 technology.

Level 3 Inks Services Deal with CoSentry

Level 3 Communications signed an expanded agreement with CoSentry, a provider of business continuity and managed technical services, to provide the company with wavelength and high-speed Internet protocol (HSIP) services that will facilitate broadband connectivity for CoSentry's enterprise customers in the Americas, Australia and Europe.

Headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, CoSentry provides enterprises with data center, disaster recovery and cloud solutions, and has worked with Level 3 for Ethernet private line (EPL) and Internet protocol (IP) services since 2007. Under the terms of the expanded three-year agreement, Level 3 will provide CoSentry with 10 gigabit (GB) wavelengths and two GB HSIP.

Global Crossing Deploys Veraz ControlSwitch in Latin America

Global Crossing has deployed Veraz Networks' ControlSwitch platform to interconnect its networks in several Latin American countries.

Global Crossing is leveraging the highly distributed architecture of the ControlSwitch by placing the call processing elements of the switch in each of its operating countries, while centralizing operational aspects such as billing and element management. By utilizing these capabilities, Global Crossing is significantly simplifying the management of its Latin American network, providing customers with improved response times, and consequently, facilitating a better overall customer experience.

Veraz said the open interfaces of the ControlSwitch enable Global Crossing to integrate its installed base of media gateways and legacy third-party applications flawlessly into the ControlSwitch, ensuring service continuity to the company's existing customers and improving its ability to introduce new products and services in a seamless manner.

Global Crossing is a leading provider of IP and Ethernet services in the region and has operations in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, Mexico, Venezuela, the United States (Florida) and the Caribbean region. In addition to its IP-based, fiber-optic network, Global Crossing's regional infrastructure includes 15 metropolitan networks and 15 world-class data centers located in the main business centers of Latin America.