Sunday, February 27, 2011

XO Launches Enterprise Cloud Communications

XO introduced an Enterprise Cloud Communications service that allows businesses to accelerate the deployment of IP and unified communications, simplify the management of their IP communications needs, and reduce the capital investments and operating costs of their enterprise-wide communications.

XO Enterprise Cloud Communications integrates IP telephony features, local and long distance calling, enterprise-wide HD voice and video, network services, and IP phone sets in a communications as a service, per-user pricing model. All of the applications reside in the cloud.

"XO Enterprise Cloud Communications represents the next evolution of our award-winning IP communications portfolio which today supports 30,000 business customers and more than one million end users," said Mike Toplisek, chief marketing officer for XO Business Services at XO Communications. "This solution is ideal for mid-market businesses and larger enterprises with distributed operations by helping them solve important business issues of controlling costs, improving employee productivity and increasing their competitiveness in the market."

Xtera Adds 100G to its Optical Transport Platform

Xtera Communications announced 100G channel cards for its new Nu-Wave Optima optical transport platform, which features a common, integrated set of modules for long-haul, regional, and metro applications.

The Nu-Wave Optima platform leverages a toolkit of technologies that consists of all-Raman, hybrid EDFA/Raman amplifiers, 10G and 40G interfaces using a variety of modulation formats, next generation ROADMs, and line monitoring technologies.

Xtera said its new 100G optics, when combined with its Raman technology, enables a record 15 Tbps to be carried over a single fiber. The company recently demonstrated 8 x 100 Gbps transported over an extended unrepeatered span of 440km with a loss in excess of 76dB, in effect doubling the capacity that could be achieved using 10G. In addition, the interleaving of 10G signals with 100G signals on a 50GHz grid was also demonstrated, showing the feasibility of seamless upgrade to 100G on existing systems.

The 100G line cards for all applications of the Nu-Wave Optima platform will be available to the general market in June 2011.

Deutsche Telekom will Offer SES ASTRA's Satellite TV

SES ASTRA and Deutsche Telekom announced a partnership in Germany to combine ASTRA's broad satellite free-TV offer with Deutsche Telekom's IPTV product Entertain. The offer will include all free-to-air, TV and radio channels in Standard and High Definition (HD) on ASTRA including HD+ as well as the typical Entertain services like Video on Demand, a TV archive and an Electronic Programme Guide. Entertain Sat also comprises time shift functions and hard disk recording with 500 GB memory. Flat rate telephony and Internet will also be included. Entertain Sat will be available for households all across Germany with a DSL connection of at least 3 Mbps.

HD+ is a platform launched by SES ASTRA in Germany for access to free-TV programmes in HD. The HD+ offer currently comprises eight German private free-TV programmes in HD: RTL HD, Vox HD, RTL2 HD, ProSieben HD, Sat.1 HD, kabel eins HD, Sport1 HD and sixx HD.

SES ASTRA is the leading Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite system in Europe. The satellite fleet currently comprises 16 satellites which deliver services to more than 125 million households and transmit more than 2,600 television and radio channels.

Deutsche Telekom Outlines 2011 FTTH & LTE Plans

At the opening of this year's CeBIT, Deutsche Telekom outlined a number of network initiatives, including fiber optic expansion and LTE rollout in Germany.

In 2011, Deutsche Telekom expects to bring fiber connections to 160,000 households in ten German cities. The network will be capable of speeds of up to 1 Gbps downstream and 0.5 Gbps upstream in the near future. Selected districts of the cities of Braunschweig, Brühl, Hanover, Hennigsdorf, Neu-Isenburg, Kornwestheim, Mettmann, Offenburg, Potsdam and Rastatt will be wired with fiber-optic lines in 2011.

Pilot fiber optics projects were launched in Hennigsdorf and Braunschweig in 2010. In addition, VDSL is available in 50 German cities and more than 60 percent of households in Germany can surf at transmission speeds of six to 16 Mbps.

However, for a widescale rollout, Deutsche Telekom said investment-friendly regulations are required.

"Our decision to expand the fiber-optic network in Germany proves our commitment to our home market. With today's launch of the expansion programme, we are systematically executing our strategy," said Niek Jan van Damme, the member of the Board of Management at Deutsche Telekom AG responsible for business in Germany.

"We have to work together with owners on the expansion and move toward the gigabit society together. This will increase not only the living value of a property, but also its attractiveness," says Niek Jan van Damme. In particular, modern, investment-friendly regulation is needed to speed up expansion of the FTTH networks. "It must be possible to use all existing infrastructure, such as cable conduits from other grid industries or even building networks, to save costs and capture synergy potential. We also have to avoid a patchwork of local fiber-optic networks in Germany, which means the industry has to agree to mutual, open network access," says Mr. van Damme.

In wireless, Deutsche Telekom is pursing HSPA+, LTE and Wi-Fi offload initiatives.In August 2010, Telekom added the first LTE mobile base station in Germany to its network, in Kyritz in Brandenburg. In addition, in the past year, the company boosted large parts of its HSPA/UMTS network to a top speed of 21 Mbps, while increasing coverage by over ten percent, now reaching 83 percent of the population. Marketing of the matching data rates will begin in the second quarter.

In 2011, Telekom plans to upgrade its HSPA/UMTS network once again, doubling available bandwidth in the entire network to up to 42 Mbps by the end of the year.

For LTE, the company will use the 1.8 and 2.6 GHz frequency bands to eventually offer rates of up to 100 Mbps. This new technology will be provided to selected business customers in the early summer of 2011, as part of friendly-user tests. In addition, Cologne will receive near-total LTE coverage, based on the 1.8 and 2.6 GHz frequency bands, and made available to consumers.

Telekom will also be expanding its public Wi-Fi HotSpots, which are currently available at nearly 8,000 locations in Germany. Among other advances, Telekom will equip additional ICE trains from Deutsche Bahn and Lufthansa aircraft with WLAN technology, providing a seamless high-speed network on many travel routes to business customers in particular.

Vitesse to List on NASDAQ

Vitesse Semiconductor announced that its common shares have been approved for listing on the NASDAQ Global Market and will commence trading on March 2, 2011 under the symbol "VTSS."

Cortina Announces Quad 10G EDC Device

Cortina Systems
introduced its CS4317 Electronic Dispersion Compensation (EDC) PHY -- quad 10G device. It integrated MAC layer security, IEEE 1588 v2, and support for 10G SFP+ and IEEE 802.3ba 40G and 100G interfaces. The device is offered in a 17 mm × 17 mm package, which is the smallest in the industry.

The device supports a variety of 10G and 40G (4 × 10G) line-side optical modules, as well as both passive and active copper interconnects. The CS4317 Quad EDC PHY provides Electronic Dispersion Compensation capability on the receive SFI interface that exceeds the requirements of IEEE 802.3aq 10GBase-LRM, SFF8431 linear interface, 10GBase-ZR, and IEEE 802.3ba nPPI specifications.

The device supports 10G/8G/4G/2G/1G FC data rates and Fibre channel rate negotiation. The device also supports the CR4 and CR10 auto negotiation and training as specified by IEEE 802.3ba. The device is fully autonomous and does not require external processors to control the initial convergence or the dynamic adaption of the dispersion compensation. The CS4317 supports both serial XFI and RXAUI host interfaces, and is compliant to the IEEE 802.3ba nAUI specifications.

Sampling is underway.

"The 10G market is ramping, and the 40G and 100G market growth demands support for the IEEE 802.3ba specification," said Scott Feller, product line director at Cortina. "To enable next generation 10G, 40G, and 100G networks from routers to NIC cards to storage boxes, Cortina has integrated features such as MAC Security and IEEE 1588 v2, and support for RXAUI, XFI, and nAUI host interfaces, as well as all line-side optical and copper interface types into the CS4317 device."

Intel Completes McAfee Acquisition

Intel completed its previously announced acquisition of McAfee. The deal was first announced in August 2010.

Intel said this acquisition provides it with the means of tackling security and the pervasive nature of computing threats in an entirely new way. The first fruits of this deal will come to market later this year.

McAfee will continue developing and selling security products and services under its own brand.

As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intel, McAfee reports into Intel's Software and Services Group. The group is managed by Renée James, Intel senior vice president, and general manager. McAfee's president, Dave DeWalt, will report to James.

Level 3 and Saudi Telecom Announce CDN Alliance

Level 3 Communications announced a strategic long-term agreement with Saudi Telecom (STC) to enable international IP and content distribution services in Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East. The agreement will provide US and European CDN with access to a new broadband market in the Middle East across both STC's and Level 3's international networks.

In addition, Level 3 is providing STC with increased IP connectivity in the form of multiple 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps) ports at various points of presence (PoPs) across Europe.

ADVA's Agile Core Express Integrates 100G, ROADMs, GMPLS

ADVA Optical Networking introduced Agile Core Express functionality for its FSP 3000 platform, enabling service providers to use their optical transport network more flexibility and on-demand while supporting 100 Gbps transmission speeds. The agility is created by allowing the IP/MPLS layer to communicate with the optical transport layer.

ADVA's Agile Core Express is defined by three elements:

  • 100 Gbps coherent transmission technology. ADVA is adding 100Gbps with coherent intradyne detection, eliminating the need for dispersion compensation up to 2,500km. Hybrid Raman/EDFA amplification maximizes OSNR performance. The new 100 Gbps "pipes" are not only bigger, but smarter as well, as the service manager has full control over the links.

  • ROADM technology. ADVA's multidegree Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer (ROADM) solution is based on modular building blocks that support colorless, directionless, contentionless and gridless configurations. Customers can opt to deliver any transport service on any port, over any wavelength, to any direction in a network. Integrated amplification provides lowest nodal loss and highest transmission performance. Like the 100 Gbps technology, the ROADM is fully integrated into the control plane, allowing the service manager to dynamically alter paths as needed.

  • End-to-end GMPLS Control Plane. ADVA Optical Networking has fully integrated the 100Gbps and ROADM technologies with a powerful control plane that provides full visibility at the routing layer and full control of the transport layer. This enables end-to-end provisioning as well as fast and dynamic reaction to bandwidth requirements originating from the IP/MPLS layer.

"Networks have become a critical element to life and business, for end users, enterprises and those service providers delivering the capacity," explained Christoph Glingener, chief technology officer of ADVA Optical Networking. "We have one of the most mature control plane implementations in the industry, an extremely flexible ROADM architecture and have introduced new state-of-the-art 100G transmission technologies – the right ingredients to provide efficiency, scalability and automation in the core of the network. We are proud to deliver agile core transport functionality with our FSP 3000 platform, addressing critical needs in the backbone networks of our customers."

The solution is expected to be commercially available in Q3 2011.

  • ADVA's FSP 3000 is a multi-service metro and regional transport platform supporting optical access, backhaul and wavelength services. It is also used for private enterprise networks over dark fiber. As a WDM system, it offers up to 80 protected wavelength carried over various topologies.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

AT&T Launches Location-based Shopping Alerts with Placecast

AT&T will begin offering a location-based, opt-in shopping alert service that delivers special offers to consumers via their mobile phones when they are near a participating store or brand. The service works by creating a "geo-fence" – a virtual-perimeter around a retail location, event, or any geographic area – in order to deliver appropriate location-specific messages. Participating consumers receive relevant marketing messages when they are inside a geo-fence.

The service will initially be available to AT&T customers in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco. Initial sponsors will be HP, Kmart, JetBlue, SC Johnson, Kibbles 'n Bits, Nature's Recipe and the National Milk Mustache "got milk?" Campaign.

AT&T is working with Placecast, a start-up based in San Francisco and New York, to launch the service.

The companies said that messages can be enhanced with information such as weather, traffic, and local shopping area details to more effectively engage consumers.

"We are proud to take mobile marketing into the future with this unique offering that is being embraced by consumers and brands alike," said Greg McCastle, senior vice president of AT&T Advanced Ad Solutions. "ShopAlerts by AT&T enables brands/advertisers to help link consumer engagement with activation and ultimately to the point of sale."

"Kmart has embraced technology to enhance our customer's experience and maintain our value proposition," said Mark Snyder, chief marketing officer of Kmart. "ShopAlerts allows us to deliver this value directly to our customers through innovative technology."
  • In May 2009, Alcatel-Lucent and 1020 Placecast, a start-up based in San Francisco specializing in location-based advertising, announced a partnership to launch a hosted location-based service for wireless network operators. As part of this service, 1020 Placecast leverages its unique ad engine to weave location information into highly relevant SMS or MMS messages delivered on an opt-in basis to mobile users. Alcatel-Lucent, leveraging its Geographic Messaging Services Platform (GMSP) as a hosted service, tracks opt-in subscribers' locations on behalf of the service provider and pushes mobile content to the subscriber when and where is appropriate - based on the advertising campaign developed and managed by the 1020 Placecast platform.

    Alcatel-Lucent's GMSP leverages algorithms developed at Bell Labs to create a "geo-fence" around a particular mobile user or physical location. This enables messages, promotions and ads to reach subscribers at the most appropriate time and place. When a mobile phone user crosses a given "fence," it triggers the delivery of an SMS text message or multimedia message that is relevant to that individual and that location, such as a promotion for a particular store, or the presence of a friend or associate in the area.

    The companies said their network service can support millions of subscribers tracked within millions of geo fences.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Golden Gate Capital Signs Acquisition Deal with Conexant

Gold Holdings, Inc., an affiliate of Golden Gate Capital, has signed a definitive merger agreement with Conexant Systems. Gold Holdings will purchase all of the outstanding shares of Conexant common stock at a price of $2.40 per share in cash. The transaction is expected to close in Q2 2011.

Golden Gate Capital manages more than $9 billion in capital and has completed over 13 going-private transactions in the technology sector since its inception in 2000. The firm is based in San Francisco.

Deutsche Telekom's 2010 Revenue Increases 0.4%

Deutsche Telekom's net revenue for 2010 increased by 0.4 percent to EUR 62.4 billion excluding the UK. The company turned an adjusted net profit of EUR 3.4 billion, on a par with the 2009 figure. Unadjusted for special factors, net profit stood at EUR 1.7 billion, a substantial increase from EUR 0.4 billion in the previous year. Adjusted EBITDA was EUR 19.5 billion in the financial year just ended, matching the forecast made at the start of 2010 (excluding the deconsolidated T-Mobile UK that accounted for around EUR 0.5 billion). At EUR 6.5 billion, free cash flow was considerably higher than the EUR 6.2 billion originally expected.

Deutsche Telekom asserted that business in its home market of Germany was strong, with mobile Internet, smartphones, broadband lines and IPTV as the growth drivers.

Some highlights:

Cash capex totaled EUR 8.6 billion, around 7 percent less than in 2009.

Deutsche Telekom also invested an additional EUR 1.3 billion in new spectrum acquired in the frequency auction in Germany.

In Germany, Total revenue from the German mobile communications business was almost 2 percent up year-on-year at EUR 2.1 billion in the fourth quarter. Service revenues increased to an even larger extent, by 3.4 percent. Excluding the effects from the reduction in termination charges, service revenues increased by around 5 percent. The share of smartphones sold rose sharply, accounting for 50 percent of all terminal devices sold in the fourth quarter. This is more than 20 percentage points higher than in the prior-year quarter. The fastest-growing group by some margin was devices with the Android operating system.

At EUR 25.1 billion, total revenue from the German business was just slightly down on the prior year by 1.1 percent. However, in the fourth quarter of 2010, total revenue increased by 0.6 percent to EUR 6.4 billion. For the full year 2010, adjusted EBITDA remained stable at the prior-year level and amounted to EUR 9.6 billion.

Revenue in the fixed-network segment decreased by just 0.7 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared with around 3 to 6 percent in the preceding quarters.

In Greece, the economic downturn continued in the financial year under review, which also affected OTE's business, with double-digit percentage declines in revenue and earnings in the fourth quarter.

The number of broadband customers in the Europe segment increased by 12 percent in 2010 to a total of 4.6 million. The number of users of IPTV rose by more than 50 percent to 654,000. In mobile communications, the proportion of new contracts with smartphones doubled to more than 30 percent in the fourth quarter.

T-Mobile USA served 33.73 million customers (as defined in Note 3 to the Selected Data, below) at the end of the fourth quarter of 2010, down from 33.76 million at the end of the third quarter of 2010 and 33.79 million at the end of the fourth quarter of 2009. In the fourth quarter of 2010, net customer losses were 23,000, compared to net additions of 137,000 in the third quarter of 2010 and 371,000 in the fourth quarter of 2009. Contract customers were the primary driver for the sequential and year-on-year change in net customers. Contract churn was 2.5% in the fourth quarter of 2010, up from 2.4% in the third quarter of 2010 and consistent with the fourth quarter of 2009.

T-Systems saw continued revenue growth and a clear improvement in earnings in the fourth quarter. Total revenue increased by 3.8 percent year-on-year, 9 percent of which was driven by international business. Revenue generated outside the Group climbed by almost 6 percent, primarily due to increased demand for cloud services and growth in the systems integration business. Total revenue increased by 2.9 percent year-on-year to EUR 9.1 billion in 2010.

KDDI Debuts First WiMAX Phone in Japan

KDDI and Okinawa Cellular Telephone announced the "htc EVO WiMAX ISW11HT" -- the first WiMAX compatible Android smartphone for Japan.

KDDI said the handset allows up to 40Mbps data downlink speed. It also has "Wi-Fi tethering" function to serve as a wireless LAN router. Up to eight wireless LAN compatible devices such as portable game players and note PCs can be connected to the Internet. With Android 2.2, it offers comfortable maneuvering and viewing of Flash web pages.

KDDI offers server pricing plans, including a packet flat rate plan. "+WiMAX" monthly usage fee of 525 yen (including tax) is charged in the month where customer used WiMAX.

China Mobile Adds 5.2 Million in January 2011

China Mobile continues its rapid growth with addition of 5,263,000 users in January 2011, bringing its total customer base to 589,280,000. This compares to 5,115,000 additions in January 2010 and 4,378,000 in December 2010.

Telefónica's Grows 7% in 2010, Reaches 288 Million

Telefónica's global revenues grew 7.1% in 2010 to 60,737 million euros (+9.9% in 4Q), driven by Latin America (+13.3%) and Europe (+12.7%) and the growing contribution of its mobile data business (close to 9,300 million euros, +19.3% year-on-year organic growth). The number of access lines (mobile and fixed) also grew by 7.2% and the company now has 287.6 million accesses worldwide. In 2010, the Company registered organic net adds of 19.2 million accesses. In Spain, despite the fierce competitive environment, net adds in the last year were six times the gains registered in 2009 in comparable terms.

The company credits its regional diversification: Telefónica Latinoamérica and Telefónica Europe (not including its home market of Spain) represent 68% of the Group's consolidated revenue and generate over 60% of consolidated OIBDA.

Some additional highlights:

Telefónica now has 22.2 million mobile broadband clients (+63.9%), and 17.1 million retail fixed broadband internet accesses (+27%). In addition, as a result of the Group's bundling strategy, 89% of the retail fixed broadband accesses in Spain, and 86% of broadband accesses in Latin America form part of a duo or trio package.

Mobile accesses at the Telefónica Group stood at 220.2 million at the end of 2010, a year-on-year growth of 8.9% (both in organic and reported terms). Organic net additions reached 18.2 million in 2010 (1.3 times those recorded in 2009). The focus on high-value customers has been reflected in a significant increase in contract net additions compared to 2009: 53% of organic net additions corresponded to this segment, compared to 38% in 2009. This has left a total of 69.0 million contract customers (+15.9% year-on-year in organic terms), which represents over 31% of the Group's total mobile accesses (+3 percentage points year-on-year organic).

The strong adoption of mobile broadband services, together with the launch of new and more segmented price schemes has allowed the Group to increase its number of mobile broadband accesses to more than 22.2 million by the end of 2010 (+63.9% year-on-year). This represents a penetration over the total mobile access base of 10.1%, 3.4 percentage points higher than at December 2009.

Retail fixed broadband accesses reached a total of 17.1 million (+27.0% year-on-year in reported terms, +10.9% organic). Net additions picked up in the fourth quarter to reach 422 thousand accesses. In 2010, net additions stood at 3.6 million accesses (1.5 million in organic terms). Brazil was once again the driver of the Group's growth in this type of access, with Telesp registering 681 thousand net additions, a record-high figure in the Company's history.

Bundled voice, broadband, and television services remain key to Group strategy and especially to churn control. In Spain, 89% of retail fixed broadband accesses are bundled as part of either a dual or triple play offer, while in Latin America the figure stands at 86%.

The number of pay-TV accesses stood at 2.8 million in 2010, an 8.9% increase in organic terms on December 2009 (+12.0% reported). Fixed telephony accesses totaled 41.4 million, down 2.7% year-on-year in organic terms, although the rate of decrease was slower in the fourth quarter than in previous periods. In reported terms, the number of accesses rose 1.8%.

The average number of employees in 2010 was 269,047 (13,896 employees more than at December 2009), mainly due to the larger workforce at Atento. Excluding Atento, Telefónica Group's average workforce rose 2% year-on-year to 128,012.

At the close of 2010, OIBDA stood at 25,777 million euros, with year-on-year growth of 14% and an OIBDA margin of 42.4%. Operating cash flow stood at 14,933 million euros for the year.

Telefónica invested over 10,800 million euros in 2010, including the spectrum and license acquisitions carried out in Germany and Mexico. In Spain, despite the difficult economic climate, the company increased its investment by 8.4% to 2,021 million euros, consolidating its solid leadership position in the market and its commitment to the country.

FBI Tracks Growing Internet Crime Wave

In 2010,

the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received the second-highest number of complaints since its inception in 2000 and also marked a major milestone in receiving its its two-millionth complaint. On average,
IC3 receives and processes 25,000 complaints per month.

The most common victim complaints in 2010 were non-delivery of payment/merchandise,
scams impersonating the FBI (hereafter "FBI-related scams") and identity theft. Victims of these
crimes reported losing hundreds of millions of dollars. Of the 303,809 complaints received in 2010, IC3 referred 121,710 to law enforcement.

IC3 serves as a conduit for law enforcement to share information and pursue cases that often span jurisdictional boundaries. The 2010 report has just been posted online.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Verizon's Instant Results" LTE Commercial

DOCOMO Rolls out Three Mobile Devices for New BeeTV

NTT DOCOMO introduced three mobile devices:

The MEDIAS N-04C is the world's thinnest 3G smartphone, measuring just 7.7 mm, and weighs only 105 grams. It is equipped for popular services such as mobile wallet (Osaifu-Keitai) and One-Seg mobile digital terrestrial television, convenient infrared-based data exchange, etc.

The Xperia arc SO-01C is powered by Android 2.3 and will achieve a maximum downlink of 14 Mbps. It is the first handset compatible with DOCOMO's enhanced extra-high-speed downlink service, which is set to launch in HSDPA service areas this June.

The Optimus Pad L-06C is powered by the Android 3.0 operating system for tablet PCs. The model, which only weighs 620 grams, features a high-resolution 8.9-inch display and dynamic stereo speakers for "mobile-theater" experiences.

All three models are compatible with the BeeTV video distribution service for Android smartphones that will launch on March 24.