Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cisco Announces First Dividend in its History

For the first time since its IPO in 1990, Cisco will pay a quarterly cash dividend to its shareholders. A quarterly dividend of $0.06 per common share will be paid on April 20, 2011, to all shareholders of record as of the close of business on March 31, 2011. Future dividends will be subject to Board approval.

"As the role of the network expands across the IT sector, Cisco's leadership position in the markets we serve is strong, and the time is right for Cisco to pay our first-ever cash dividend," said Frank Calderoni, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Cisco. "This dividend complements our leading position, and is an important part of our commitment to bring value to shareholders."

Telstra Postpones July 1 Vote on NBN Partnership

Due to ongoing negotiations, Telstra will not be able to complete work necessary to bring the proposed A$11bn deal with the NBN Co. to a shareholder vote on July 1. The company cited statutory requirements for the delay and said it is now looking for a later date. Telstra characterized the ongoing negotiations as continuing "to progress well."
  • In February 2011, Telstra provided an update on negotiations with NBN Co. concerning the National Broadband Network. Key commercial terms of the deal have been now been finalized. NBN Co. would gain access to Telstra facilities and there would be a progressive migration of Telstra traffic onto the National Broadband Network. The deal is expected to deliver approximately $9 billion in post-tax net present value to Telstra.

    Telstra has provisionally agreed commercial terms relating to copper network decommissioning, dark fibre and duct usage, exchange usage, certain roll-out arrangements and other matters with NBN Co. The parties are working to complete the associated operational details and ensure all contingencies are addressed as part of the documentation process which is expected to be completed in the near future.

FCC Approves CenturyLink+Qwest Deal with Conditions

The FCC approved the pending merger of CenturyLink and Qwest Communications, with the following binding and enforceable conditions:

Broadband adoption program for low-income consumers
  • Launch major broadband adoption program focused on connecting the millions of
    low-income consumers in the combined company's 37-state territory.
  • Offer qualifying households broadband starting at less than $10 per month and a
    computer for less than $150, and keep the window open for five years for
    qualifying consumers to sign up.
  • Make a significant annual commitment to marketing, outreach, and digital literacy
    training, and include detailed reporting on outcomes and an independent analysis
    of the program's effectiveness.

Broadband deployment
  • Significantly increase the capacity of the Qwest network, bringing broadband
    with actual download speeds of at least 4 Megabits per second (Mbps) to at least 4
    million more homes and businesses, and at least 20,000 more anchor institutions,
    such as schools, libraries, and community centers.

  • Significantly increase availability of higher-speed broadband: The company will
    more than double the number of homes and businesses that can get 12 Mbps
    broadband, and more than triple the number that can get 40 Mbps broadband.

Advancing Universal Service Fund reform
  • Phase down three forms of support designed for smaller companies, which the
    company currently receives from the federal Universal Service Fund.

Protection against potential transaction-related harms
  • No increase in enterprise service prices for 7 years in a few dozen buildings where
    the companies currently compete (Minneapolis, Minn., and Olympia, Wash.).

  • Safeguards for smooth transition of operations support systems, to protect
    wholesale customers.

  • Ensuring the merger does not harm interconnection agreements with competing
    phone carriers.

  • Maintenance of wholesale service quality.

CenturyLink offers voice, video, and data services in 33 states, serving
approximately 7 million access lines and 2.2 million broadband customers in its region.
CenturyLink also operates as a competitive local exchange carrier in certain local and regional

Qwest operates as a local exchange carrier serving 10.3 million lines in a 14-state region; has 3 million broadband customers; and sells wireless, video, and extensive wholesale services through its subsidiaries. Under the deal, Qwest will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of CenturyLink.

The companies expect to close the merger and combine operations on April 1, 2011, subject to receipt of the remaining necessary regulatory approval. As previously announced, the combined company will use the name CenturyLink and its stock will continue to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under CenturyLink's current symbol, CTL. Qwest shares outstanding at the end of the business day immediately prior to the close date will convert to CenturyLink shares on the close date at an exchange rate of 0.1664 share of CenturyLink for each share of Qwest.http://www.fcc.gov

Xilinx Ships First 28nm FPGA

Xilinx has begun sampling its Kintex-7 K325T Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), marking the industry's fastest product rollout of next generation programmable logic devices built with 28nm technology.

Xilinx said its Kintex-7 K325T device is the first FPGA in this class to deliver the highest number of channels per dollar at less than 12 watts of power for LTE wireless radio cards and next generation wireless base stations. Kintex-7 FPGAs provide the optimized price performance required for flat panel displays, ultrasound equipment and many other applications and includes high-bandwidth, low jitter serial transceivers to address price sensitive wired communication applications. The Kintex-7 K325T FPGA is the first of 28 devices that make up the 7 series FPGA that includes the Artix-7 and Virtex-7 FPGA families.

"In parallel with the development of the first 28nm FPGAs Xilinx refined the Xilinx ISE design tools to enable faster runtimes, enable designs that use up to 2 million logic cells, and shorten migration of AXI protocol-compliant IP initially developed in Virtex-6 and Spartan®-6 FPGAs to the 7 series from weeks to hours," said Bruce Kleinman, Corporate Vice President of Platform Marketing at Xilinx. "As a result of these efforts Xilinx has been able to bring up the first 7 series targeted design platform within hours with a fully operational design that demonstrates the key benefits of the 7 series devices."http:/

NETGEAR to Acquire Westell Technologies' CNS Business

NETGEAR will acquire the Customer Networking Solutions (CNS) division of Westell Technologies, which supplies broadband networking products to U.S. telecommunications service providers, for approximately $33.5 million in cash. The CNS family of products enable high-speed transport and networking of voice, data, video and other advanced services over existing copper and fiber.

NETGEAR is acquiring a select team of Westell employees, including the CNS sales and marketing team, most of its customer base, its core CNS product and test engineering teams, nineteen patents and pending patent applications, proprietary technologies, current products, and products in development. The business relating to the assets that NETGEAR is acquiring generated approximately $39.5 million in net revenue for Westell during the twelve month period ended December 31, 2010.

Westell will retain certain customer relationships as well as its HomeCloud product line.

"This transaction will position NETGEAR as a leader in the U.S. telecommunications service provider home network equipment market. The addition of the CNS customer base that we are acquiring will allow us to accelerate our service provider revenue growth and strengthen our market position among North America Telecommunications operators. We believe that following completion of integration of the CNS business into NETGEAR that the transaction will not have an adverse impact on our overall company operating margins," said Patrick Lo, Chairman and CEO of NETGEAR.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ericsson Completes HD Voice Call on CDMA

Ericsson completed a CDMA wideband High Definition (HD) voice call using the Enhanced Variable Rate Codec Narrowband-Wideband (EVRC-NW) codec. The lab demonstration marks a first first for the CDMA industry.

CDMA HD voice delivers speech in a wider spectral range of 50Hz to 7000Hz.

"We have demonstrated the first high-definition CDMA voice call in the world over an Ericsson network utilizing the new EVRC-NW 3GPP2 standard codec and ensuring interoperability with existing functionality while easing the rollout of future wideband services." says Surya Bommakanti, Vice President, Product Area Core, BU CDMA Mobile Systems, Ericsson. "This is the starting point of a voice quality revolution that will significantly enhance CDMA networks as we know them today."

The Ericsson CDMA development team collaborated with Qualcomm for the HD voice over CDMA demonstration.

GLG: Sprint's Project Leapfrom

The Gerson Lehman Group published a note discussing Sprint's "project leapfrog", which reportedly will involve removing iDEN base stations and moving to LTE with its 800 MHz spectrum. The carrier reportedly has been discussing network sharing/acquisition options with Clearwire, Lightsquared and T-Mobile.
  • In December 2010, Sprint unveiled its "Network Vision" for consolidating its infrastructure and spectrum into a single, more cost-effective and flexible network. Sprint also announced the selection of Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Samsung as key partners to enable this transformation.

    The key idea behind Sprint's "Network Vision" is to operate a single network. Sprint currently uses separate equipment to deploy services on 800 MHz spectrum, 1.9 GHz spectrum and, through its relationship with Clearwire, 2.5 GHz spectrum. The New Vision blueprint calls for the deployment of multimode base stations for delivering 3G/4G services across all of these bands. New remote radio heads at the cell sites would be connected with fiber rather than coaxial risers. The consolidated cell site would be significantly more energy-efficient.

    Sprint intends to repurpose some of its 800MHz spectrum for CDMA service, thereby enhancing coverage, particularly the in-building experience for customers. Augmenting its 1.9GHz footprint with 800MHz, Sprint expects its CDMA coverage density will increase throughout the country.

    Regarding its iDEN network and push-to-talk, Sprint expects to launch the next-generation of PTT services in 2011 on the CDMA network, offering customers sub-second call set-up time along with robust data capabilities. There are no immediate plans to force migrate iDEN customers to the CDMA network, but Sprint expects its PTT device/app portfolio on the CDMA network will continue to evolve to include high-bandwidth data services.

    "Network Vision builds on our legacy of wireless innovation and represents the next step in the evolution of our networks to best meet unprecedented growth in mobility services. We are well- positioned to take advantage of new technology, chipsets, devices and applications. Working with these three partners, we expect to deliver to our customers the most cutting-edge network capabilities available today and in the future."

    The financial impact of the Network Vision plan includes a total, estimated incremental cost over the deployment period to be between $4 billion and $5 billion. Sprint estimates the total net financial benefit over a seven-year period will be between $10 billion and $11 billion.

    The vendor contracts with Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Samsung includes purchases of hardware, software and services. These contracts are divided geographically:

    Alcatel-Lucent: New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C./Baltimore and Los Angeles

    Ericsson: Atlanta, Miami, Houston, Kansas City and Dallas

    Samsung: Chicago, Denver, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Seattle.

Video: Juniper's Converged Supercore

Presented by Luc Ceuppenns, VP, Product Marketing, Juniper Networks

India's Reliance Deploys Cisco ASR 5000, 7600, ME 3800X Routers

Reliance Communications has deployed the Cisco ASR 5000, Cisco 7600 and Cisco ME 3800X Series routers in its new 3G networks. The deployment also paves the way for Reliance's implementation of the recently announced Cisco® MOVE (Monetization, Optimization, Videoscape Experience) framework. The Cisco ME 3800X Series Carrier Ethernet Switch Router is a converged, full-featured aggregation platform purposely designed for the mobile, business, and residential markets. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Sprint Enhances Managed Security for Businesses

Sprint expanded its portfolio of managed security solutions for businesses by partnering with CompuCom as a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP). Through the relationship, Sprint and CompuCom will deliver new and cutting-edge security solutions for businesses, including:

  • Sprint Secure Unified Threat Management (UTM) – Fully managed solution that uses a single device to manage security strategy. UTM services work together as a system to provide better visibility and protection against network threats. Services can include firewall, VPN, Intrusion Detection/Prevention, Antivirus/Antispyware, AntiSpam, Web Filtering, Application Control, and Data Loss Prevention.

  • Sprint Secure Log Management and Compliance – Comprehensive solution that helps identify and mitigate threats at the network, host and application layer, as well as address industry and government compliance requirements for log monitoring, collection and storage.

  • Sprint Secure Vulnerability Monitoring – Monitoring service that identifies and tracks the presence of vulnerabilities in system resources and the applications that run within servers, networks and desktops. Devices on the customer network are scanned on regular intervals, and corrective measures taken when needed to curb the occurrence and potential effects of security incidents.

  • Sprint Secure PCI-DSS Scanning and Assessment – A comprehensive assessment of business security needs, and the development and implementation of a security strategy that helps to ensure compliance with PCI-DSS requirements.

  • Sprint Secure Managed Host-Based Antivirus/AntiSpam – Managed Security experts stationed in the Sprint Security Operations Center remotely monitor and manage an organization's servers, hosting, Antivirus/AntiSpam and other web-filtering applications. The remote systems management service utilizes best practices and standard monitoring and management toolsets to optimize server performance and availability.

Rustock Botnet Taken Down -- up to 1 Billions Spams per Day

The notorious "Rustock" botnet, which used approximately one million infected PCs under its control to send up to a billion spam messages per day, has been taken out by Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) and law enforcement authorities. Writing in a blog post, Richard Boscovich, a Senior Attorney, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, describes how Operation b107 went about tracing the origins of the botnet, securing legal standings against the perpetrators, and obtaining a court order to work with the U.S. Marshals Service to physically capture evidence onsite and, in some cases, seize affected servers from hosting providers in seven cities across the U.S.

RSA Reports Attack on its SecurID Two-factor Authentication

RSA's own security systems have been the victim of an extremely sophisticated cyber attack and this possibly compromises its two-factor, SecurID Authentication product.

In an open letter to customers, RSA's Executive Chairman, Art Coviello, said that the attack penetrated its system and that certain information specifically related to its SecurID two-factor authentication products was extracted.

RSA believes the information extracted does not enable a successful direct attack on any of its RSA SecurID customers. However, the company warns that this information could potentially be used to reduce the effectiveness of a current two-factor authentication implementation as part of a broader attack.

The company does not believe its customers' security related to other RSA products has been similarly impacted.

ZTE's 2010 Revenue Rises 21% to US$10.7 Billion

ZTE Corporation reported annual revenue of RMB 70.264 billion (USD 10.609 billion) in 2010, representing an increase of 21% (in USD rate) against 2009. Net profit was RMB 3.250 billion (USD 490.74 million), representing an increase of 32.22% compared with 2009. Basic earnings per share were RMB RMB1.17 (USD 0.177).

ZTE's revenue from domestic operations in China amounted to RMB 32.198 billion (USD 4.861 billion), representing year-on-year growth of 5.90%. Hot areas in domestic sales included 3G, government and enterprise network sales. During the reporting period, ZTE also began supplying high-end data equipment such as T8000 and M6000 to the three major national carriers in large volumes, while its smart terminal equipment also gained significant market recognition.

ZTE's revenue from its international operations grew 27.45% to RMB 38.066 billion (USD 5.747 billion) and accounted for 54.18% of total operating revenue. For the first time, the US and European markets contributed the largest portion of overseas revenue. These markets recorded year-on-year growth of 50% which accounted for 21% of total operating revenue.

ZTE Chairman Mr. Hou Weigui, said: "In the coming year, the Group will proactively respond to the dynamic requirements of customers and strengthen strategic cooperation in response to the profound changes in the global telecommunications market. Other areas of focus will also include the recruitment and development of high-caliber staff, product differentiation as well as cost-effectiveness and quality of ZTE's solutions. We aim to achieve an excellent performance to benefit society and our shareholders."

Dell'Oro: Microwave Transmission Report


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Verizon Works with SAP for Cloud Enterprise Application Delivery

Verizon will host the SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM) rapid-deployment solution for enterprise customers using its flagship cloud offering, Computing as a Service.

The SAP CRM rapid-deployment solution, the first in a series of SAP solutions deployed in the cloud by Verizon, can help enhance the productivity of enterprise sales, marketing and service professionals. By accessing SAP CRM and subsequent applications in the cloud, enterprises can benefit from easier and faster deployments. The SAP rapid-deployment solution offers enterprises a ready-to-use combination of software, pre-defined services and pre-configured content at a pre-defined price that can be deployed much more quickly, sometimes in as little as eight weeks.

Additionally, enterprises can now integrate their SAP applications with Verizon's Managed Mobility platform by leveraging the Sybase Unwired Platform to mobilize applications including the Mobile Sales for SAP CRM application.

Cortina Files for IPO

Cortina Systems filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of its common stock. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined.

Cortina Systems supplies communications semiconductor solutions enabling next generation network connectivity and efficient bandwidth from the core network to the home network. The portfolio includes carrier-class semiconductor devices for next generation optical transport and passive optical network systems, as well as data center connectivity and digital home solutions.

Japan: Update on Communications Outages

Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications provided the following update on the effort to restore communications services (as of 16-March-2011)

NTT East landlines: 569,000 telephone subscriber lines remain out of services, 59,000 ISDN lines out of service, 148,000 FLET optical lines out of service.

Emergency messaging service remains in operation for Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi
Prefecture, Yamagata Prefecture, Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama Prefecture, Chiba Prefecture and Tokyo, Kanagawa.

NTT West: no damage and no communication restrictions.

KDDI: 42,000 lines are not available. Submarine cables have been restored or rerouted.

Softbank: about 7,000 ISDN and analog phone lines are not available

NTT DoCoMo: 1,930 base stations remain out of service.

KDDI (au): 1,110 base stations remain out of service.

Softbank Mobile: 819 base stations remain out of service.

EMobile: 109 base stations remain out of service.

Willcom: 2,500 PHS base stations remain out of service.

The carriers have also extended fee payment deadlines.

Dell'Oro: Carrier IP Telephony Report


Actelis Debuts ADSL Loop Extenders

Actelis Networks unveiled a new line of Broadband Accelerators (BBAs) for extending the rate and reach of ADSL services without the high cost of deploying remote DSLAMs.

Actelis' family of BBAs are line powered by the existing POTS infrastructure and require no additional equipment. Actelis said its fully standards-based ADSL/ADSL2/ADSL2+ loop extenders can cost effectively enable the delivery of broadband services to virtually every location throughout a carrier's footprint.

The Actelis BBA portfolio marks the company's entrée into the residential marketplace. The company is a leading develop of EFM over copper solutions based on SHDSL technology for SMBs/SMEs and municipalities.

"The recent investment in further developing Actelis' broadband solutions for the residential market is another step forward in the company's continued growth strategy," said Vivek Ragavan, president and CEO of Actelis. "By further expanding our portfolio to include ADSL-based solutions for residential broadband services, we believe that Actelis is well positioned to be the clear worldwide leader in enabling broadband services over copper plant."

Broadband Forum Names New President, Completes EPON Technical Report

The Broadband Forum named Kevin Foster, Head of Access Platform Design at BT, as its new President. He joins Tom Starr (AT&T), who continues as Chairman, Marcin Drzymala (Telekomunikacja Polska) and Andrew Malis (Verizon
Communications) who continue as Vice Presidents, David Sinicrope (Ericsson) who continues
as Secretary and Frank Van der Putten (Alcatel-Lucent) who continues as Treasurer.

The Broadband Forum also announced the approval of three new Technical Reports and two new Marketing Reports:

  • TR-200, using EPON in the context of TR-101

  • TR-115 Corrigendum 2 - VDSL functionality test plan

  • TR-181 – Issue 2, Amendment 2 – IPv6 Device Data Model for TR-069

  • MR-244 (IPv6 tutorial)

  • MR-229 Next Generation Wholesale Access