Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ixia Sees Weaker Q2

Ixia announced preliminary results for Q2 2011, saying it now expects total revenue to be in the range of $67.0 million to $69.0 million, below the company's previous guidance of $78.0 million to $82.0 million.

Ixia attributed the weaker than expected Q2 results to lower than expected revenue from Asia Pacific and from certain large equipment makers, as well as orders received late in the quarter that could not be fulfilled in the second quarter. Revenue from Cisco Systems, Ixia's largest customer, and from service providers was in line with expectations.

On a GAAP basis, Ixia expects to report breakeven net earnings per diluted share to a net loss of $0.01 per diluted share for the second quarter of 2011, compared with the company's prior guidance of net earnings of $0.08 to $0.12 per diluted share.

"We are disappointed with our revenue performance this quarter, which was impacted by several factors, including delays and reductions in spending by certain large network equipment makers, a large wireless order received too late in the quarter to ship and soft sales in the Asia Pacific region, said Atul Bhatnagar, president and CEO of Ixia. While we expected revenue from Japan to decline sequentially from the record first quarter, we experienced unexpected weakness in other parts of Asia Pacific, such as China and India."

TeliaSonera joins the M2M Roaming Pact with FT and DT

TeliaSonera has signed the cooperation agreement with France Telecom-Orange and Deutsche Telekom to increase the quality of service and interoperability for machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. The goal is to provide enhanced M2M service quality with roaming across networks and borders.

The agreement, which initially was signed by France Telecom-Orange and Deutsche Telekom in February 2011 to cover France, Germany, Belgium, and Luxembourg, has since added The Netherlands and most recently the UK through Everything Everywhere to its purview. The global footprint will now extend to cover TeliaSonera's geographical reach, including Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Estonia and Lithuania.

"With this agreement, now three groups are significantly pushing the boundaries of the M2M ecosystem," said Anne-Marie Thiollet, executive vice president Enterprise Line of Business, Orange Business Services. "Global availability and reliability will spur the commercial adoption of M2M services and stimulate new innovations to the forefront. We are happy to welcome TeliaSonera as a member of our partnership and look forward to other carriers joining us in this endeavor; only by working together can we make the great promise of M2M a reality."

Hibernia Media Deploys Ekinops for Optical Transport

Hibernia Media, which provides managed video transport over fiber using 100% QoS DTM (Dynamic Synchronous Transfer Mode) video transmission, has deployed optical transport equipment from Ekinops to carry uncompressed, high-definition video signals for major broadcasters and content providers, as well as other customers, at its New York City Content Exchange Center (CEC).

The Hibernia Content Exchange Center, at 60 Hudson Street, provides a secure, centralized location for content owners to deliver uncompressed, high-definition content directly to cable, direct broadcast, satellite, IPTV, and new media distributors.

The Ekinops 360 enables DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) transport, providing numerous high-capacity channels over a single fiber. The platform leverages programmable T-Chip (Transport on-a-Chip technology), which enables native encryption right on the card.

"Ekinops not only provided what we consider the best technology, but was also able to deliver an encrypted HD-SDI transmission capability quickly and cost-effectively to meet our urgent customer needs," said Del Bothof, President of Hibernia Media. "In addition, Ekinops provided superb support throughout the whole process, from sales through installation."

Verizon Wireless Offers SMS Status Updates on Data Usage

Starting this week, Verizon Wireless' smartphone users will begin to receive free text message alerts when their data usage crosses thresholds of 50 percent, 75 percent, 90 percent, 100 percent and 110 percent of their data plans' monthly allowances. A number of other online tools are being added to help track mobile data usage.

LightSquared Forms Rural Initiative

LightSquared has formed "Empower Rural America Initiative" to lead its campaign for regulatory approval of its LTE+satellite broadband network. The initiative is led by an advisory board that includes former Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota and former Representatives George Nethercutt of Washington and Charlie Stenholm of Texas.

"There is an overwhelming need for reliable wireless broadband for public safety, education, healthcare and economic development in rural America. We can have a robust, accurate GPS network and also create a substantial new resource for rural America in the form of a wireless network that reaches areas that still don't have broadband access," said former Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota.

AT&T Offers Huawei's 4G Data Card

AT&T has begun marketing the "USBConnect Force 4G" data card, an HSPA/HSPA+ modem from Huawei. The device is offered for free a two-year data agreement or for $89.99 for customers choosing a pay-as-you-go data plan.

Rogers Lights up LTE in Ottawa

Rogers Communications activated Canada's first commercial LTE network, bringing service the Ottawa region. The LTE network coverage spans a broad area from Arnprior, Ontario in the west to Orléans, Ontario in the east and includes the Hull and Gatineau regions of Quebec.

At launch, the Rogers LTE Rocket Stick will be capable of maximum theoretical download speeds of up to 75 Mbps on the Rogers LTE Network. Typical download speeds can range from 12 Mbps to 25 Mbps, which is significantly faster than the speeds Canadians experience on any other network today. As device selection evolves, maximum theoretical download speeds will increase to up to 150 Mbps.

Rogers also announced that network rollout to Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal will occur this fall, and that LTE-enabled smartphones from Samsung and HTC will be available later this year. Rogers expects to extend LTE to a further 21 markets by the end of 2012.

Rogers is working with Ericsson to build Canada's first LTE network. The companies had been testing LTE in Ottawa and Montreal since last fall. The tests measured data speeds, quality of signals and interoperability with Rogers' existing 4G HSPA+ wireless network. The tests confirm that Rogers LTE network in Ottawa is significantly faster than any other Canadian wireless network.

Australia's iiNet Runs 100Gbe on Juniper T1600

iiNet, a leading Australian DSL Internet service provider, migrated its backbone to Juniper Networks T1600 Core Routers at the beginning of this year and started a two-month trial of Juniper's 100GbE interface cards in May.

iiNet currently delivers broadband, telephony and IPTV services across its fixed network infrastructure, with more than 1.3 million customer service agreements in place. With the roll-out of the government-owned National Broadband Network (NBN), Australian ISPs would soon be able to deliver Gigabit services via fiber-to-the-premises connections.

"We're passionate about providing our customers with the very best service and technology," said Greg Bader, chief technology officer at iiNet. "Rather than waiting for the NBN to be rolled out around the country, we're continuously upgrading the iiNet network so our customers can have the very best experience. Partnering with Juniper Networks gives us confidence in the fact that we're using the most advanced technology as we expand our services around the country."

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ericsson Provides Network Operations for Virgin Mobile France

French mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) holding company Omea Telecom has signed an infrastructure and managed services contract with Ericsson in France. Under the contract, Ericsson will provide managed services supporting some 2 million subscribers belonging to Omea Telecom's MVNO Virgin Mobile France.

Ericsson will supply the operator with the full range of telecommunications infrastructure needed for complete customer management. These include databases of subscriber details (Home Location Register), service platforms, and traffic management equipment such as circuit switches and packet solutions. Once the new infrastructure has been installed, Ericsson will operate it for Omea Telecom.

Vodafone Italia Outsources to Ericsson

Vodafone Italy awarded a five-year contract to Ericsson to manage the field operations of its fixed and mobile access and transmission networks, as well as for fixed core network nodes. As part of the five year agreement, about 300 Vodafone Italy employees joined Ericsson on July 1, 2011. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ericsson said it will take over the operation and continue the current services activities while ensuring a smooth transition for Vodafone Italy's staff in order to maintain the operator's high network quality.

Telstra Restructures for Better Market Focus

Telstra Chief Executive Officer David Thodey announced a series of appointments and major initiatives that sharpen the company's focus on customers and position Telstra for industry changes including the National Broadband Network.

"These appointments and initiatives are consistent with our long-term strategy to improve service, win customers, simplify processes and build new growth businesses," Mr Thodey said. "They create a single retail sales and service team designed to free-up customer-facing teams to focus on their primary role of serving and winning customers, and capitalise on the opportunity to grow new revenue streams."

The changes include the following:

Telstra's entire sales and retail customer service workforce will be unified in a single
business unit from 1 August 2011. Telstra Customer Sales & Service, to be headed by Gordon Ballantyne, will be responsible for sales and service to all segments including consumer, business, enterprise and
government customers. In support of the Telstra Customer Sales & Service unit, the company's marketing functions
will be centralised under the leadership of Chief Marketing Officer Mark Buckman.

Telstra veteran Stuart Lee has been appointed as Group Managing Director, Telstra Wholesale. NBN Co will become Telstra's largest wholesale customer by virtue of its agreement to lease Telstra infrastructure including dark fibre, exchange space and ducts for at least 35 years. Telstra Wholesale will continue to comply with separation undertakings.

Recognising the importance of content and value-added services in the post NBN environment, Telstra will form an Applications & Ventures Group (AVG) to spearhead its investment in new and emerging high-speed broadband businesses. Deena Shiff will lead the Applications & Ventures Group from 1 August 2011, relinquishing her role as Group Managing Director, Telstra Business. Will Irving, formerly Group General Counsel, will succeed Ms Shiff as head of Telstra Business and will report to Gordon Ballantyne.

In addition to new executive appointments, Mr Thodey today also announced a series of new lines of business and proposed internal structural changes to support the company's long-term strategy.

Telstra will establish specialised teams to support the company's growth opportunities in Cloud Computing and Media.

Telstra's international business unit, headed by Tarek Robbiati, will gain day-to-day responsibility for managing the network assets it uses to serve international enterprise and carrier customers.

Telstra's Operations business unit will be accountable for providing all back-of-house services for consumer customers, making it easier to manage processes from a customer's point of view, and simpler to track and report the company's operational performance.

Skype + Facebook Promise "Effortless Video Calling"

Facebook and Skype announced deep integration providing "the easiest one-click way to get connected via video with friends and colleagues." The companies said their partnership will make video calling widely pervasive and easily accessible for billions of people.

Group video chat is not initially supported, although Facebook is also announcing a text-based group chat. Development was carried out by joint teams. Skype-out services will be offered to reach users who are not on Facebook.

Facebook said the Skype video integration is an example of a social app running over its infrastructure. The company sees itself as the social platform for reach an audience that now reaches 750 million users.

Skype noted that is now carrying over 300 million minutes per month and at peak times over 50% of traffic is video traffic.

Skype said its most important goal is to become as ubiquitous as possible, rather than just promoting its own interface.

The companies said Microsoft's upcoming acquisition of Skype, which was announced after the joint Skype+Facebook integration was already underway, was not a factor in pursuing this partnership.
  • In May, Microsoft announced plans to acquire Skype for $8.5 billion in cash -- its biggest acquisition to date. The deal is still pending.
  • MySpace noted that it signed a similar agreement with Skype for social video calling in 2007.

Equinix Seeks $500 Million in Public Offering

Equinix intends to offer, subject to market and other conditions, $500 million aggregate principal amount of its senior notes due 2021 under an automatically effective shelf registration statement on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The company said it intends to use the net proceeds from this offering for general corporate purposes, which may include capital expenditures, repayment of its 2.50% convertible subordinated notes due 2012 upon maturity, working capital and potential acquisitions.

Valens Raises $14 Million for HDBaseT Chips

Valens Semiconductor, a start-up based in Israel, raised $14 million in Series B funding for its HDBaseT technology.

Valens' HDBaseT technology is a consumer electronic (CE) connectivity technology optimized for whole-home and commercial multimedia distribution. HDBaseT uses a single, long-reach LAN cable with RJ45 connectors to connect entertainment devices. HDBaseT can deliver uncompressed video/audio up to 10.2 Gbps over Cat5e/6 LAN cables of up to 100m while supporting 100 Mbps Ethernet.

The funding will accelerate the development of follow-on generations of Valens' HDBaseT chipset.

The latest funding round comes from a blend of new strategic partners, including Taiwan-based Pegatron and Japan-based Mitsui & Co. Global Investment Ltd., together with new venture capital fund investors, Amiti Ventures and Aviv Venture Capital. In addition, Genesis Partners and Magma Venture Partners, who participated in Series A round of financing, also contributed to Series B.

Dror Jerushalmi, CEO and Co-Founder of Valens, stated "The quality of investors engaged in this round of financing speaks to the success of our HDBaseT technology and signals trust in our vision and our ability to further penetrate the CE market. These partnerships significantly enhance our ability to strengthen our foothold in the home-networking marketplace. We are ramping up production to deliver HDBaseT chipsets to global ODMs, OEMs and CE manufacturers along with added presence in the Japanese marketplace."

GSA: 24 LTE Networks Have Launched

There are now 24 commercial LTE networks in service and 166 firm commercial LTE network deployments in progress or planned in 62 countries, according to the latest report from The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA). The report covers both LTE FDD and LTE TDD systems. A further 52 operators in 19 additional countries are engaged in LTE technology trials, tests or studies.

Alan Hadden, President, GSA said: "LTE is the fastest developing mobile system technology ever. The number of operators investing in LTE has increased 98% since June 2010, while the number of firm deployment commitments has more than doubled (107%) in the same period. We have again raised our market outlook and forecast at least 91 LTE networks will be in commercial service by end 2012."

GSA also note strong momentum towards deploying LTE in re-farmed spectrum, particularly 1800 MHz (i.e. LTE1800). Four LTE1800 networks are now commercially launched, in Germany, Lithuania, Poland and Singapore, and several more deployments are in progress or planned. The report also notes the growing international interest and acceptance of LTE TDD and confirms numerous studies, trials and deployments underway or planned in Australia, China, India and other Asian markets, Europe, the Middle East, Russia and North America.

Anite Offers LTE Device Performance Test

Anite, which specializes in wireless device testing, announced a new test solution that will include carrier based scripts for LTE data throughput performance for evaluation LTE devices.

Aite's unique LTE data performance solution is based on SAS (Anite's network simulator for device interoperability testing), the Anite 9000 Mobile Test Accelerator platform, and Azimuth Systems ACE MX advanced channel emulator . The ACE MX is architected to meet the needs of OFDM and MIMO based wireless systems in addition to the emulation requirements of 2G/3G systems.

"New mobile devices need to conform to strict industry and operator specific criteria, and thereby live up to user expectations when launched, said Paul Beaver, Product Director at Anite. "With LTE data performance now also under the spotlight Anite can help ensure that LTE devices will perform as expected and accelerate their time to market. These new LTE carrier acceptance scripts offer a cost-effective option for SAS customers who are also interested in LTE data performance testing."

China Unicom Deploy 40 Gbps Optical Backbone with NSN

China Unicom is upgrading its optical backbone with Nokia Siemens Networks' 40 Gbps optical transmission platform.

The 5000 kilometer, 40 Gbps DWDM network paves the way for upgrades to 100Gbps across seven provinces: Chongqing, Hubei, Anhui, Jiangsu, Fujian, Guangdong and Guangxi.

Specifically, Nokia Siemens Networks is providing its hiT 7300 DWDM system with 40G transponder technology that allows continued use of installed fiber infrastructure. The system leverages CP-QPSK modulation with dispersion compensating modules free transmission. Moreover, Nokia Siemens Networks will provide its network management system coupled with services such as network implementation, commissioning and maintenance.

"As one of the largest network operators globally, China Unicom understands the importance of investing in the latest technology," said Markus Borchert, head of Greater China region at Nokia Siemens Networks. "Our 40G DWDM system will ensure a longer life cycle for China Unicom's network by increasing its network capacity to handle data traffic growth. In fact, since CP-QPSK* technology is being used for the first time in China, it will act as a new benchmark for enhancing transport performance and end-user experience."

Monday, July 4, 2011

comScore: 78 Million Americans Own Smartphones, Up 11% in Latest Quarter

For the three month average period ending in May, 234 million Americans ages 13 and older used mobile devices, according to new data released by comScore. 76.8 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in May 2011, up 11 percent from the preceding three month period. Google Android ranked as the top operating system with 38.1 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers, up 5.1 percentage points. Apple strengthened its #2 position with 26.6 percent of the smartphone market, up 1.4 percentage points. RIM ranked third with 24.7 percent share, followed by Microsoft (5.8 percent) and Palm (2.4 percent).

Netflix Charts Expansion in Latin America

Netflix disclosed plans to expand throughout Latin America and the Caribbean later this year with its unlimited movie and TV streaming service. The company plans to offer American, local and global TV shows and movies via a monthly plan. Pricing details have not yet been disclosed.

NSN to Supply GPON for Bulgaria's EVO

EVO Ltd, a leading regional Internet Service Provider in Bulgaria, has awarded a three year contract to Nokia Siemens Networks to supply GPON technology for a network upgrade. EVO has started offering higher bandwidth and new, high-quality data services such as IPTV, to its customers. Specifically, NSN is supplying the customer premise equipment (CPE), the Optical Line Termination (OLT) and services such as installation and maintenance.

"Our goal is to improve the individual experience and satisfaction of our subscribers by providing new high-quality services, and increasing network capacity," said Rosen Velikov, CEO of EVO Ltd. "Nokia Siemens Networks' solution will translate into a more cost-efficient network expansion and also guarantee extremely reliable and high-quality data services to our subscribers."