Sunday, July 31, 2011

USA Reaches Deals with Canada & Mexico on 700 MHz Sharing along Borders

The FCC announced deals with Industry Canada and Mexico's Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (SCT) for sharing commercial wireless broadband spectrum in the 700 MHz band along the U.S.-Canadian and U.S.-
Mexican border areas. The arrangement with Industry Canada also calls for sharing
spectrum in the 800 MHz band.

Under the arrangements, licensees on both sides of the borders will have greater access to the 698-758
MHz and 776-788 MHz bands.

The sharing is expected to facilitate the deployment of mobile wireless broadband systems near the U.S.-Canadian and U.S.-Mexican borders and will provide consumers in these areas with advanced opportunities for 4G high-speed mobile broadband access.

"These arrangements will unleash investment and benefit consumers near the borders by enabling the
rollout of 4G wireless broadband service and advanced systems for critical public safety and emergency
response communications," Chairman Julius Genachowski stated after signing the documents. "I
appreciate the commitment and dedicated efforts of everyone who has been involved in these
discussions to ensure that we are making the most effective use of this valuable spectrum."http://www.fcc.gov

Cisco Wins 3-Year Support Deal with du

Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du) has awarded a three-year contract to Cisco for network support and optimisation services for existing and future network infrastructure growth.

Cisco Capital (Dubai) arranged financing. The deal provides du with a predictable and optimized Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) over three years.

Extreme Networks Posts Revenue of $89.8 Million

Extreme Networks reported quarterly net revenue of $89.8 million, as compared to $85.5 million for the same period last year. Quarterly net product revenue was $73.8 million, up 4% YoY, and service revenue was $16.0 million, down 8% YoY. Estimated net loss on a GAAP basis for the quarter was $2.1 million or a loss of $0.02* per diluted share, including the impact of a $2.8 million charge for a previously announced restructuring, net of reversals, and $1.5 million in stock-based compensation.

For the quarter, total net revenue in North America was $40.0 million, revenue in EMEA was $34.9 million, and revenue in APAC was $14.9 million. That compares to year-ago revenue in North America of $36.3 million, revenue in EMEA of $36.8 million, and revenue in APAC of $12.4 million.

"We are pleased with our ability to achieve 10% product revenue growth for fiscal year 2011, and the progress we have made transforming the Company in the areas of sales and marketing focus and product realignment," said Oscar Rodriguez, President & CEO of Extreme Networks. "These changes, along with the recently announced restructuring to reduce our overall cost structure, lay the foundation for continued improvements in fiscal 2012. In FY12, the Company will focus on improving its operating income, and is expecting to significantly improve EPS over FY11. I believe Extreme Networks is positioned well to compete in the marketplace with our new products, marketing campaigns, and cost structure. The Company is focused on executing the new vertical market strategy to offer differentiated solutions to our customers, and improved returns to our investors."

Verizon Inks Mobile Payment Deal with American Expres

Verizon Wireless will integrate American Express' new "Serve" digital payment and commerce platform on many of its mobile phones and tablets. Serve simplifies the online checkout experience by authenticating a mobile number, then allowing a customer to make a purchase on-screen.

Verizon Wireless customers will be need to establish Serve accounts that will enable them to make payments and redeem offers for goods and services directly from their mobile phones and tablets with just a few clicks using Serve. Merchants who accept Serve mobile payments will enjoy a streamlined option for processing and settlement. The Serve card is currently accepted by the millions of merchants in the United States who accept American Express.

The companies also agreed to collaborate to source, distribute and simplify redemption of online and mobile offers with participating merchants through the use of the Serve account.
  • In June, Verizon Wireless announced plans for a new service that will allow customers to make online purchases from their smartphones, tablets and PCs using numerous payment methods, including charging purchases to their monthly wireless statements or using traditional payment methods through financial institution partners. The service will be powered by Payfone. Payfone is backed by American Express, Verizon Investments, Rogers Ventures, BlackBerry Partners Fund, Opus Capital, and RRE Ventures.
  • In November 2010, AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless announced the foundation of Isis -- a national mobile commerce network that aims to fundamentally transform how people shop, pay and save. The venture will leverage near-field communication (NFC) technology to enable point-of-sale transactions via mobile phone. Commercial launch in key geographic markets is expected over the next 18 months.

    Together, these operators provide wireless services to more than 200 million U.S. consumers.

    "While mobile payments will be at the core of our offering, it is only the start. We plan to create a mobile wallet that ultimately eliminates the need for consumers to carry cash, credit and debit cards, reward cards, coupons, tickets and transit passes," stated Michael Abbott, Chief Executive Officer of Isis.

    Initial financial partners include Discover, which operates a payment network currently accepted at more than seven million merchant locations nationwide, and Barclays PLC, which is expected to be the first issuer on the network.

    The companies said the Isis mobile commerce network will be available to all merchants, banks, and mobile carriers.


euNetworks Cuts Latency on London to Frankfurt Route

euNetworks Group has optimised the London to Frankfurt low latency route on its dedicated finance network. The company said it is now linking key Finance Exchanges and Multilateral Trading Facilities (MTFs) in London to Frankfurt with a lowest one way latency of 4.29 milliseconds. Additionally, following optimisation from Slough, west of London, to Frankfurt, one way latency on this route is now 4.56 milliseconds.

Level 3 Connects London Stock Exchange

Level 3 Communications now offers connectivity to its colocation facility at London Stock Exchange Group's Data Center in the City of London. The new point-of-presence (PoP) offers connectivity into Level 3's global network.

Microsoft GFS Datacenter Tour

This video traces Microsoft's data centers since 1989 through today's high-efficient Gen 4 designs. Microsoft currently delivers over 200 cloud services to more than a billion customers and 20 million businesses in over 70 countries.

Infinera and SEACOM Test 500 Gbps PICs

Infinera and SEACOM, a leading pan-African telecommunications provider, has completed testing of five 100 Gigabit per second (100 Gbps) coherent optical signals transmitted over 1732 km. The 500 Gbps trial ran over and was looped back across SEACOM's newly built 930 km Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) fiber route which links the SEACOM Mtunzini cable landing station in KwaZulu Natal to the Teraco data center in Johannesburg.

The trial used Infinera's 500 Gbps Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs), each of which integrates five 100 Gbps coherent channels onto a single chip. The PICs were used for both transmitting and receiving the five 100 Gbps signals during the trial, the first time the PICs have been used to transmit and provide real time coherent processing for all 500 Gbps simultaneously on a production network. The trial also demonstrated Infinera's FlexCoherent functionality by switching between QPSK and BPSK modulation.

Infinera said it plans to deliver the 500 Gbps PICs as part of a system which integrates 5 Terabit per second (Tbps) OTN switching and 100 Gbps coherent optical transmission in early 2012.

Windstream Acquisition of Paetec Brings Greater Size, Business Reach

Windstream agreed to acquire PAETEC Holding Corp. for approximately $2.3 billion.

PAETEC is a competitive local exchange carrier and provides telecommunications services primarily to business customers in 46 states and the District of Columbia. The company operates seven data centers in the U.S. and owns approximately 36,700 route miles of fiber in portions of 39 states and the District of Columbia. It has approximately 5,000 employees, including about 875 in the Rochester, N.Y. area. The company was founded in 1998.

Windstream, headquartered in Little Rock, Ark., is an S&P 500 company with operations in 29 states and the District of Columbia and about $4 billion in annual revenues. Windstream provides IP-based voice and data services, MPLS networking, data center and managed hosting services and communication systems to businesses and government agencies. The company also delivers broadband, digital phone and high-definition TV services to residential customers primarily located in rural areas and operates a local and long-haul fiber network spanning approximately 60,000 route miles.

The new combined company will serve business customers in 46 states and the District of Columbia and maintain approximately 100,000 fiber route miles across the country. Windstream will offer data center services across the United States and have improved capability to serve multi-location business customers. It would have had $6.1 billion in total revenue and about $2.4 billion in adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization, which excludes non-cash pension expense, restructuring charges and stock-based compensation expense, on a pro forma basis for the last 12 months ended March 31, 2011. Business and broadband revenues would have comprised approximately 70 percent of total revenue.

Windstream has received $1.1 billion in committed financing in connection with the acquisition, which financing would be required if Windstream refinances the assumed debt. Windstream also will assume or refinance PAETEC's net debt of approximately $1.4 billion at the time of closing. PAETEC stockholders are expected to own approximately 13 percent of the combined company upon closing of the transaction.

"This transaction significantly advances our strategy to drive top-line revenue growth by expanding our focus on business and broadband services," said Jeff Gardner, president and CEO of Windstream. "The combined company will have a nationwide network with a deep fiber footprint to offer enhanced capabilities in strategic growth areas, including IP-based services, data centers, cloud computing and managed services. Financially, we improve our growth profile and lower the payout ratio on our strong dividend, offering investors a unique combination of growth and yield."

  • In December 2010, PAETEC acquired privately-owned Cavalier Telephone for $460 million, making it one of the largest competitive local communication service providers in the United States. The acquisition includes Cavalier's wholly owned subsidiary, Intellifiber Networks, which operates a high capacity fiber network spanning approximately 16,600 route miles and representing over $2 billion of investment by companies Cavalier acquired over the last decade. The expansive 11,947 route-mile intercity network spans the Midwest and Eastern U.S., as well as 4,681 route miles throughout several existing PAETEC metro areas, allowing for broad connectivity options for customers. With this deal complete, PAETEC now has over 10,600 metro fiber-route miles, over 36,700 total fiber-route miles, and 1,178 collocations to support connectivity to enterprise businesses nationwide.

  • In June 2010, Windstream acquired Iowa Telecommunications Services, Inc. in a transaction valued at approximately $1.2 billion. As of March 31, 2010, Iowa Telecom provided service to approximately 249,000 access lines, 96,000 high-speed Internet customers and 27,500 digital TV customers in Iowa and Minnesota.

  • In July 2006, Alltel completed the spin off its wireline business, which was merged with VALOR Communications Group to create Windstream, a major wireline operator focused on the rural U.S. market.

  • In 2007, Windstream acquired CT Communications (NASDAQ: CTCI) for $585 million, adding approximately 158,000 access lines and 29,000 broadband customers. CT Communications served residential and business customers located primarily in North Carolina.

  • Windstream is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Telstra Files its Structural Separation Plan

Telstra officially filed a Structural Separation Undertaking (SSU) and Migration Plan with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), paving the way for the decommission of the Telstra copper network and eventual migration of traffic onto the new fibre infrastructure of Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN).

The Structural Separation Undertaking (SSU) has two components:

  • it commits Telstra to structural separation by 1 July 2018. This will occur through the progressive disconnection of fixed voice and broadband services on Telstra's copper and HFC networks, and subsequent migration of these services onto the NBN;

  • it sets out the various measures which Telstra will put in place to provide for transparency and equivalence in the supply of regulated services to its wholesale customers during the transition to the NBN.

A public consultation is expected soon.

Inmarsat Picks Launch Partner for Global Xpress

Inmarsat has selected International Launch Services (ILS) for the launch of three Inmarsat-5 satellites for its forthcoming Global Xpress network, which promises global, mobile broadband speeds of up to 50 Mbps for users in the government, maritime, enterprise, energy and aeronautical sectors. Inmarsat is investing an estimated amount of US$1.2 billion in the Global Xpress program, which includes launch costs.

The Inmarsat-5 satellites are based on the state-of-the-art 702HP Ka-band satellites currently being built by Boeing.

The launches, scheduled for 2013-14, will use the ILS Proton launch vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. ILS successfully launched Inmarsat's most recent satellite, the third Inmarsat-4, from Baikonur in August 2008.

"Selecting a launch services provider is a critical part of realising our Global Xpress vision," said Andrew Sukawaty, Chairman and CEO of Inmarsat. "Our agreement with ILS shows that we are well on track with our aggressive programme for Global Xpress, with service planned to start in 2013. We have partnered with ILS and Khrunichev for previous launches, and look forward to a successful campaign for Inmarsat-5."

  • The Inmarsat-5 satellites are expected to carry 89 Ka-band beams and will operate in geosynchronous orbit with flexible global coverage. The satellites will use two solar wings to generate approximately 15 kilowatts of power at the start of service and approximately 13.8 kilowatts at the end of their 15-year design life. The first available terminals planned at launch date are 60cm, although Inmarsat expects small designs later.

Vitesse Appoints CFO

Vitesse Semiconductor announced the appointment of Martin S. McDermut as senior vice president, finance and chief financial officer, replacing Rich Yonker who has served as chief financial officer since 2006. McDermut was previously the managing director of Avant Advisory Group, a financial advisory and management consulting firm to entrepreneurial and middle market companies. He has also served as chief financial officer for publicly traded companies including Iris International Inc. and Superconductor Technologies Inc.

Huawei Appoints a High Profile Security Officer

Huawei appointed John Suffolk as its Global Cyber Security Officer. Mr. Suffolk will be based at the Huawei global headquarters in Shenzhen and will report directly to Ren Zhengfei, CEO of Huawei. He will be in charge of developing, managing and supervising Huawei's cyber security assurance strategy and system, which will be adopted by all business units across the company's global offices.

Suffolk comes to Huawei from his position as Chief Information Officer of the U.K. government, where he was responsible for the development and implementation of its Transformational Government Strategies, the Technology Strategy, and the Information Assurance Strategy. Prior to that, he was the Director General of the UK Criminal Justice Transformation Program.

mimoOn Partners with TI for Small Cell LTE Base Stations

mimoOn, which offers LTE software licensing for Software Defined Radio (SDR) platforms, is working with Texas Instruments for 3GPP compliant LTE PHY software. TI will offer complete PHY software for LTE Release 8 and 9 for its' KeyStone multicore architecture, with a specific focus on its newest TMS320TCI6612 and TMS320TCI6614 System-on-Chips (SoCs). These SoCs are especially designed for small cell base stations in the enterprise, pico and metro markets.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

GSA Notes Rapid Growth in LTE Ecosystem

The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) confirms that 45 manufacturers have announced 161 LTE-enabled user devices, representing 155% growth in the number of products reported by GSA in early February 2011.

Alan Hadden, President of GSA, said: "The majority of LTE user devices are focused on the 700 MHz band where LTE networks are developing fastest. As LTE rollouts accelerate in other regions, particularly in Europe and Asia Pacific, where operators will primarily be using 2600 MHz, 1800 MHz and digital dividend spectrum, we expect manufacturers will follow to support them with products for those markets."

The breakdown of LTE devices by form factor is as follows:

Modules = 29

Tablets = 8

Notebooks/netbooks = 10

PC Cards = 2

Smartphones = 8

Routers including personal hotspots = 63

USB modems/dongles = 41

Vodafone Wins 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz Spectrum in Spain

Vodafone Spain was the successful bidder on a total of 60 MHz of spectrum in Spain's auction. Specifically,Vodafone Spain bid successfully for a total of 20 MHz (2x10 MHz) in the 800 MHz band and 40 MHz (2x20MHz) in 2.6 GHz band for a total consideration of €518 million (£454 million1). The 800 MHz ‘digital dividend' spectrum will become available in 2014 after the switchover from analogue to all-digital TV broadcasting in Spain. The 2.6 GHz spectrum band is immediately available for use.

Additionally, Vodafone Spain received approval from the Spanish government to re-farm spectrum in the 900 MHz frequency band currently used for 2G services. The Company has already begun to deploy versatile single Radio Access Network (RAN) base stations designed to handle 2G, 3G and LTE technologies on a common shared platform.

Huawei Opens R&D Center in New Jersey

Huawei announced the opening of its Northeast regional headquarters office in Bridgewater, New Jersey. In addition to sales, services, and operations to deliver on the company's customer-centric promise; the Bridgewater, NJ facility is also the North American Research & Development (R&D) hub for wireless technologies. The opening event was attended by New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno.

Huawei noted that it now has nearly 1,500 U.S. employees, with over 110 employees in New Jersey.

Telefónica España Wins 70 MHz in Spectrum Auction

Telefónica Spain was the winning bidder on five blocks of frequencies (70 MHz total) in the spectrum auction conducted by Spain's Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade. This includes 2x10 MHz in the 800 MHz band, which the company plans to use for a nationwide LTE network. Additionally, Telefónica has secured 2x5 MHz in the 900 MHz band and 2x20 MHz in the 2.6 GHz band, enabling other broadband wireless services.

Telefónica bid 668 million euros, payable in two installments, September 2011 (53%) and June 2012 (47%). The spectrum licenses extends to December 31, 2030.

Telefónica España said it looks forward to launching LTE in September 2011.

Palo Alto Networks Appoints CEO, Notes $200 Million Run Rate

Palo Alto Networks, which supplies next-generation firewalls, has appointed Mark D. McLaughlin as president and CEO. McLaughlin previously served as president and CEO of VeriSign.

Palo Alto Networks also released several financial metrics , including that it has achieved a bookings run rate well above the US$200 million mark and that its cashflow from operations has been positive for five consecutive quarters. The company also noted that it has doubled its employee count over the past year and that to accommodate this growth, it has recently moved into a larger headquarters located in Santa Clara, California.

CA Technologies Acquires Watchmouse for SaaS-based Monitoring

CA Technologies agreed to acquire privately-held Watchmouse B.V., which provides SaaS-based monitoring for cloud, mobile and traditional Web applications. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

WatchMouse uses a globally-distributed infrastructure of more than 60 monitoring stations in more than 40 countries. It replicates real-user transactions from these locations to provide rich, up-to-the-minute insight into application performance and availability.

"As companies extend more applications to their customers through the Web and smartphones, the performance of those applications is having a greater impact on revenue, customer loyalty and brand value," said David Dobson, executive vice president, CA Technologies. "By adding WatchMouse to our industry-leading portfolio of solutions for managing and monitoring IT, we are enabling these companies to better safeguard the performance of these customer-facing applications—so they can better safeguard the performance of their business."

CA said the WatchMouse solution will be sold as an add-on capability to the full-featured CA APM solution. Existing CA APM customers can further extend the value of the solution and gain even deeper visibility into end-to-end transaction performance, regardless of where their applications are running—in the data center, outside the firewall, in the cloud or from a MSP. For customer applications that do not require a comprehensive APM solution, WatchMouse provides a fast, easy and cost-effective way to understand the health, availability and end-user experience.