Sunday, August 14, 2011

XO Posts Revenue of $381.7 million, Down Slightly from Last Year

XO Holdings reported Q2 revenue of $381.7 million compared to $383.6 million in the same period last year. Adjusted EBITDA (a non-GAAP financial measure) was $43.4 million in the second quarter of 2011, an increase of 7%, or $2.9 million over the year-ago period. Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of revenue remained flat at 11% for the current quarter compared to the same quarter of 2010.


Net loss for the second quarter 2011 was $10.1 million compared to $1.2 million for the year-ago period. XO's results for the second quarter of 2010 included net investment gains of $5.4 million. There were no investment gains recognized during the second quarter of 2011.


Q2 revenue for Strategic Core services (IP-based services as well as transport) generated $242.8 million in revenue, an increase of $26.5 million, or 12% over the year-ago period. This was offset by year-over-year decreases in Legacy and Non-Core products. Revenue from Legacy products, such as more mature and traditional wireline voice, retail long distance, and other TDM-related products and services, decreased $9.7 million, or 7%, during the second quarter, compared to the year-ago period.
http://www.xo.com

China Mobile Launches Financial Services Arm

China Mobile announced the establishment of a new subsidiary, China Mobile Finance, whose primary business will be the provision of financial management services. The registered capital of the new subsidiary is proposed to be RMB 5 billion. The company said the new operation would strengthen its internal funds management and ensure better control of liquidity risks. Among its activities, China Mobile Finance will provide credit authentication, collection and payment of transaction money, and operate an insurance agency business.
http://www.chinamobileltd.com/

Cortina Deliver Packet Processing Punch for Residential Gateways

Cortina Systems has begun sampling new high-performance silicon for the next wave of multi-service residential gateways.


The newly announced CS7542/CS7522 devices are designed for the convergence of IPTV with DVB, router gateways, and DVR set top boxes. Such platforms will need to deliver simultaneous line rate bandwidth for secured data, voice, video, and mobile services without service degradation.


Cortina Systems is basing its solution on dual ARM Cortex A9 processors with DSP extensions capable of driving 4,000 DMIPS of performance. The design integrates a Gigabit line rate network engine with the ability to support QoS streams from the Service Provider. Cortina is also packing in the processing power for content DRM/CA systems and for advanced security features. In addition, Cortina's SoC solution integrates six transport stream inputs with the expectation that next gen residential gateways will serve IPTV streams as well as DVB and over-the-top content flows. Active power management features are also provided for meeting energy efficiency mandates.


"The digital home is in a rapid transition period where a new single service delivery model is needed to meet the growing demands and requirements for digital content and distribution," said Dr. Stewart Wu, Vice President at Cortina Systems. "To ensure the system's longevity and to support ever increasing bandwidth, Cortina's CS7542/7522 combines hardware‐accelerated, enterprise‐class, networking performance and security features with a flexible and scalable architecture to enable future value‐added services." http://www.cortina-systems.com

LightSquared Signs EarthComm Solutions

Texas-based EarthComm Solutions will become a wholesale customer on LightSquared's planned 4G-LTE network. EarthComm focuses on small and mid-sized cities throughout the southwest United States and beyond. http://www.LightSquared.com http://www.earthcommsolutions.com/

Level 3 Offers Direct Connect to Amazon Web Services

Level 3 Communications is a solution provider for Amazon Web Services' new Direct Connect service.


AWS Direct Connect enables enterprises to set up a connection to an AWS region via a dedicated network circuit. Level 3 can provide end-users with 1G and 10G circuits to the AWS cloud at all Direct Connect sites.


Level 3 said its advanced network and cloud services enable an ultra-high availability, end-to-end cloud platform that optimizes business productivity by delivering AWS services over a network that meets the applications' availability, latency and security requirements.


"Enterprise adoption of Amazon Web Services is growing in both scale and complexity. With this increasing sophistication, many customers want network connectivity options that match their application-specific requirements for performance and security," said Andrew Crouch, president of Sales for Level 3. "AWS Direct Connect customers can leverage Level 3's network to meet the demands of high-end cloud adopters with extensive network reach, bandwidth scale and established connectivity to AWS Direct Connect sites." http://www.level3.com

Time Warner Cable Adds 750K Customers via Insight Acquisition

Time Warner Cable will acquire Insight Communications for $3 billion in cash. Insight serves more than 750,000 customers in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. The operator has approximately 537,000 high-speed data subscribers, 679,000 video subscribers and 297,000 voice subscribers. The company's DOCSIS 3.0 upgrade is largely complete.


Time Warner Cable expects that, after incurring onetime costs and capital expenditures, it will create annual cost efficiencies of approximately $100 million through programming expense savings and other cost reductions.


Insight is currently owned by The Carlyle Group, Crestview Partners, MidOcean Partners, members of Insight management and others. Carlyle and Insight management took the company private in December 2005, and Crestview and MidOcean purchased a significant stake in the company in April 2010.


"We believe in our business and its long-term prospects and have long thought that Insight's well-run, technologically advanced systems would fit well with our Midwest operations. With the deal announced today, we are able to acquire those systems at an attractive price that is consistent with both our disciplined approach to M&A and our capital allocation strategy," said Glenn Britt, Chairman and CEO of Time Warner Cable. "We look forward to serving these customers, welcoming Insight employees to the Time Warner Cable team and building on Insight's successes."


http://www.myinsight.com/

Motorola Mobility Acquisition Brings 17.000 Patents in Wireless, Compression, Security

Google will acquire Motorola Mobility for $40.00 per share in cash, or a total of about $12.5 billion, a premium of 63% to the closing price of Motorola Mobility shares on August 12, 2011.


Google sees the acquisition as a step to "supercharge the Android ecosystem" which it vowed to keep open for licensing by other handset manufacturers. Google will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business.


Motorola Mobility brings a a long history of innovation in mobile phones, including its DynaTAC, StarTAC and RAZR phones and, more recently the DROID by Motorola family of smartphones. In cable TV services, Motorola enabled the first pay-per-view event and launched the first all digital HDTV system. Its innovation also includes digital video compression and encryption, cable modems, the first HD set-top boxes with integrated DVR, and the first multi-room DVR content distribution system. The company has worked extensively on software application and services development for seamlessly integrating media content on multiple screens.


As of January 2011, Motorola owns approximately 24,500 patents and patent applications, worldwide. The patent portfolio generally relates to wireless, audio, video, security, user interface and product design, along with applications and services related to its products. The Mobile Devices business segment claims approximately 14,600 granted patents and 6,700 pending patent applications worldwide, including numerous patents related to various industry standards such as 2G, 3G, 4G, H.264, MPEG-4, 802.11, open mobile alliance (OMA) and near field communications (NFC). The Home business segment claims approximately 1,900 granted patents and 1,300 pending patent applications, worldwide.


Larry Page, CEO of Google, said, "Motorola Mobility's total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies. Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers. I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers."


Sanjay Jha, CEO of Motorola Mobility, said, "This transaction offers significant value for Motorola Mobility's stockholders and provides compelling new opportunities for our employees, customers, and partners around the world. We have shared a productive partnership with Google to advance the Android platform, and now through this combination we will be able to do even more to innovate and deliver outstanding mobility solutions across our mobile devices and home businesses."


Andy Rubin, Senior Vice President of Mobile at Google, said, "We expect that this combination will enable us to break new ground for the Android ecosystem. However, our vision for Android is unchanged and Google remains firmly committed to Android as an open platform and a vibrant open source community. We will continue to work with all of our valued Android partners to develop and distribute innovative Android-powered devices."
http://www.google.com http://www.motorola.com

  • During Q2, Motorola Mobility shipped 4.4 million smart phoneunits and over 440,000 tablets. It also expanded the DROID family at Verizon with introduction of DROID X2 and DROID 3, and forged a renewed relationship with Sprint and its prepaid brands, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA, with the planned introduction of 10 new devices including the PHOTON 4G.


  • For the full year 2011, Motorola Mobility has issued guidance saying it expects total SP and tablet units of 21 -23 million, with 1.3 to 1.5 million tablets.


  • Motorola completed its separation into a Solutions business and a Mobility business on January 4, 2011.


  • In October 2010, Motorola Mobility filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging that Apple’s iPhone, iPad, iTouch and certain Mac computers infringe Motorola patents. Overall, Motorola Mobility’s three complaints include 18 patents, which relate to early-stage innovations developed by Motorola in key technology areas found on many of Apple’s core products and associated services, including MobileMe and the App Store. The Motorola patents include wireless communication technologies, such as WCDMA (3G), GPRS, 802.11 and antenna design, and key smartphone technologies including wireless email, proximity sensing, software application management, location-based services and multi-device synchronization.


  • In November 2010, Motorola Mobility filed complaints against Microsoft alleging infringement of sixteen patents by Microsoft’s PC and Server software, Windows mobile software and Xbox products. The Motorola patents directed to PC and Server software relate to Windows OS, digital video coding, email technology including Exchange, Messenger and Outlook, Windows Live instant messaging and object oriented software architecture. The Motorola patents directed to Windows mobile software relate to Windows Marketplace, Bing maps and object oriented software architecture. The Motorola patents directed to Xbox relate to digital video coding, WiFi technology, and graphical passwords. Motorola Mobility has requested that Microsoft cease using Motorola's patented technology and provide compensation for Microsoft's past infringement.

Xsigo Rewires the Data Center with Virtualized Server Fabric

Xsigo Systems, a start-up based in San Jose, California, unveiled its fully virtualized infrastructure for cloud-optimized data centers. The Xsigo Server Fabric aims to do for infrastructure what VMware did for the servers -- namely, to enable one-click network connections from virtual machines to any data center resource – including servers, networks, storage, and other virtual machines. By providing this "one click" tool to connect VMs to networks and storage while using existing Ethernet routers + FC directors, Xsigo calculates that it can reduce the number of I/O cables and cards in a data center by up to 70%, thereby significantly cutting deployment CAPEX and simplifying operations.


"Cloud data centers demand a different, far more flexible infrastructure, and everyone knows it," said Lloyd Carney, Xsigo CEO. "But while legacy networking vendors remain mired in the status quo, essentially trying to cross oceans with railroads, Xsigo has invented the equivalent of the airplane. Today, Xsigo is ushering in a new era of data center connectivity – virtualized infrastructure – that does for the data center infrastructure what server virtualization did for the servers themselves."


The Xsigo Server Fabric is a rack-based solution that works by virtualizing connections between networks, servers and storage, not by re-configuring switches, switch ports, or VLANs. It supports Ethernet and Fibre Channel connections at up to 40 Gbps. Environments can be scaled to 1,000 physical hosts with tens of thousands of virtual connections linking virtual machines to each other and to network and storage resources.


Xsigo said its fabric is fully interoperable with existing core networking products from Cisco, Brocade, Juniper and others.


Key components include the Xsigo I/O Director and Xsigo XMS Management Software – together with a software upgrade package called the SFS 1.0 Server Fabric Suite. The upgrade package includes host drivers, a management software plug-in, and operating software designed specifically to deliver the enhanced features and scalability of the Xsigo Server Fabric.


The SFS 1.0 Server Fabric Suite will be available in December 2011. It is licensed on a per-physical-host basis at a list price of $1,000 per host. http://www.xsigo.com

  • Xsigo Systems was founded in 2004 and is backed by Kleiner Perkins, Khosla Ventures, Greylock Partners, and North Bridge Venture Partners.


  • Xsigo Systems is headed by Lloyd Carne (CEO, who previously was general manager of IBM's Netcool Division, which acquired Micromuse where Carney had been chairman and CEO. Xsigo's Vice Chairman and Founder is Ashok Krishnamurthi, who previously held the positions of Vice President and General Manager of the Infrastructure Product Line at Juniper Networks.

F5 Acquires Assets of Crescendo Networks

F5 Networks has acquired the intellectual property assets of Crescendo Networks, a start-up founded in 2002 that pursued application acceleration technology.


The assets were acquired through liquidation proceedings in Israel, where Crescendo Networks was headquartered. In addition, a number of key Crescendo employees are joining F5's office in Tel Aviv.


"We welcome members of Crescendo's engineering team to F5 and look forward to enhancing our industry-leading ADN solutions with their technology," said Dan Matte, SVP of Marketing and Business Development at F5. "In particular, Crescendo's intellectual property and technical expertise provide compelling layer 7 FPGA capabilities for hardware and security solutions. With this acquisition, F5 will further strengthen its products' ability to address both the continuing exponential growth of Internet traffic and the rising number of sophisticated security threats impacting applications." http://www.f5.com

  • In July 2008, F5 secured $9.5 million in third round funding for its web application acceleration solutions. Crescendo Networks featured a multi-tier application architecture that improves the operation of existing application infrastructure. Investors included Evergreen Venture Partners, Apax Partners, Magma Venture Partners, StageOne Ventures and Convergent Capital. The company had raised a total of $36.2 million as of that date.

Huawei's Revenue Growth Slows to 11% in First Half of 2011

Huawei reported sales of CNY 98.3 Billion in 1H2011, up 11% year-over-year, as operating profit reached CNY 12.4 billion. Some notes highlighted by the company:



  • In the first half of 2011, Huawei launched the first multi-mode SingleRAN solution which supports both WiMAX and LTE, and helped Saudi Arabian operator Mobily deploy the world's first TD-LTE/WiMAX dual-mode commercial network.
  • <

  • During this period, Huawei also deployed over 130 SingleRAN commercial networks around the world, all of which support LTE. More than 40 of those operators who have deployed the SingleRAN technology will have launched or will soon launch LTE networks.
  • <

  • Huawei won optical supply contracts with six of the seven national broadband projects in the world.
  • <

  • In early 2011, Huawei established its Enterprise Business Operation Center, actively promoting the ICT transformation of the enterprise market. Huawei Enterprise has expanded its businesses into over 100 countries, providing ICT infrastructure construction and information services to multiple industries including government, finance, transportation, power, energy and the Internet.
  • <

  • Huawei Device saw its shipments jump by 40% year-over-year to 72 million units.


"Huawei's performance in the first half of 2011 was in line with our expectations, while growth was stable and robust," said Cathy Meng, Chief Financial Officer, Huawei. "Although the global economy continues to face uncertainty, we remain confident in achieving our annual sales target of CNY 199 billion with our Device and Enterprise businesses as new growth drivers." http://www.huawei.com

  • For its full-year 2010, Huawei reported sales revenues of CNY 185.2 billion (US$28.36 billion), a 24.2% growth over the previous year. For 2010, Huawei also reported an increased net profit of CNY 23.8 billion (US$3.64 billion), up 30.0% from 2009, and net profit margin of 12.3%.

Charter Deploys Cisco CRS-3 and ASR 9000 Routers

Charter Communications, the fourth-largest cable operator in the United States,is deploying the Cisco CRS-3 Carrier Routing System and Cisco ASR 9000 Series Aggregation Services Routers to deliver enhanced video, data, voice and mobile backhaul services to residential and commercial customers. Financial terms were not disclosed.


The Cisco ASR 9000 includes unique video capabilities, such as high-performance multicast, integrated content caching, in-line video performance monitoring, and zero-loss video transport technology. http://www.cisco.com

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Australia's NBN Details its Multicast Video Capabilities

Australia's NBN Co published more detail on the video capabilities of the nation's national fibre network and announced rebates for helping retail service providers to get up and running on its wholesale infrastructure.


Plans call for a robust multicast video feature for carrying video content as a single stream as far into the network as possible before replicating this content for consumers. This multicast product feature aims to deliver backhaul savings, compared to delivery via multiple unicast streams, and brings opportunities for innovative video and interactive content across the NBN.


For retail service providers, NBN Co is pricing the Multicast Access Virtual Circuit at $5 per month for the first 20Mbps allocation and it can be ordered in additional increments. To provide a multicast service, a service provider will also need to purchase a Multicast Domain starting at $250 per month per 100Mbps at each point of interconnect they serve.


While the multicast feature will initially be available on the fibre access network, NBN Co also said it may offer multicast over the wireless and satellite access networks in the future.


NBN Co Head of Product Development and Sales, Jim Hassell said:


"Multicast will be available as an add-on feature to our fibre offering giving service providers the opportunity to introduce very attractive and competitive triple-play voice, broadband and video content to any of their fibre-based customers. It is designed to assist retail service providers to offer new more specialist content such as non-English speaking channels, high-definition TV, 3DTV, interactive services and social TV – efficiently and cost-effectively.


"This should give consumers more choice and freedom to select the content they want, and it should encourage the development and production of new content by creating a more diverse market of service providers who want to purchase content to broadcast.
"We are already starting to see some of our largest electronic retailers marketing 'smart', internet-connected TVs. Our multicast feature will enable the full potential of these types of devices to emerge and to possibly speed the adoption of the new technology."


As for the steps to lower the launch barrier for retail service providers, NBN Co. plans to rebate the wholesale charge for the first 150Mbps per month on its Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) until there are 30,000 premises passed in a connectivity serving area, which connects to a point of interconnect (PoI). Service providers will be able to connect to the National Broadband Network through 121 points of interconnect, with each point servicing between 50,000 and 162,000 premises.


Service providers will still pay the same access charges, which start at $24 per month for a wholesale broadband service designed to achieve 12/1Mbps. However the CVC, which reflects the size of the "pipe" needed to meet the aggregate data usage of consumers, will be rebated to assist a smoother transition to fibre services for service providers. http://www.nbnco.com.au/

MCNC's Golden Leaf Project Enters Phase 2

MCNC, the private, not-for-profit operator of the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN), has begun construction on Round 2 of the of the Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative (GLRBI).


The Golden LEAF project is deploying fiber connections connecting universities, community colleges, schools, health and safety facilities, libraries, county offices, and other community anchor institutions to a statewide fiber optic network.


The Round 2 project is three-times the size of MCNC's BTOP Round 1 project. Those areas of construction for Round 2 include 1,200 miles of broadband infrastructure through 79 counties in North Carolina. Sixty-nine of these counties include significant areas that meet the federal definition of "underserved" for access to affordable broadband services.


The total second phase project cost of $104 million was funded by two sources. The first was a federal BTOP grant of $75.75 million awarded in August 2010 through the NTIA. The BTOP investment was matched by $28.25 million in private donations including the $24 million investment from the Golden LEAF Foundation.


The GLRBI is funded through grants from U.S. Department of Commerce's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) and significant matching funds from private donations and investments including a $24 million investment from the Golden LEAF Foundation. The GLRBI will greatly expand the reach and capacity of NCREN in northeastern, north central, western and south central North Carolina.


"Thanks to the Recovery Act, this project is creating jobs and will support continued innovation and expanded economic and educational opportunities in North Carolina," said Lawrence E. Strickling, Administrator of the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).


MCNC received federal approval to begin GLRBI phase 2 construction in late June. Since that time, MCNC has mobilized efforts and worked to finalize all necessary permits and materials to begin construction.


"MCNC is excited to begin the second phase of building North Carolina's highway to the future. We want to thank our state and federal leaders for their continued support for the Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative," said Joe Freddoso, president and CEO of MCNC. "Today, we can link several sites via HD video for a one-time event. The GLRBI expansion, when complete, will allow us to host hundreds of these sessions simultaneously across the state. It will impact all facilities and institutions connected to NCREN. It will broaden the way teachers teach, students learn, doctors provide care, and for citizens at a local library searching to find a job."


To date, MCNC has awarded contracts for Round 2 to the following firms: CommScope for fiber-optic cable and materials; Edwards Telecommunications, Fiber Technologies, and Globe Communications for construction and fiber installation, and Kimley-Horn & Associates for engineering design, project planning, and related services. http://www.mcnc.org

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Airband Raises $20 Million for Fixed Wireless

Airband Communications, which delivers fixed-wireless voice and data services to businesses in 17 U.S. markets, has raised $20 million in new financing from ABRY Partners. The money will be used to accelerate Airband's growth both organically and through mergers and acquisitions.


Airband currently operates in Atlanta; Austin; Baltimore; Dallas; Des Moines; Fort Lauderdale; Fort Worth; Houston; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Miami; Orange County, Calif.; Philadelphia; Phoenix; San Antonio; San Diego and Washington, D.C.

"The surging demand for high-quality data, VoIP and business continuity services and the explosion of cloud-based computing present us with exceptional growth opportunities," said Airband CEO Michael Ruley. "With this new capital, we can increase our network coverage to better support regional and national accounts, including marquee brands that want Airband services in hundreds of locations."http://www.airband.com
  • In August 2010, Airband Communications and Sparkplug Communications merged, creating one of the largest fixed wireless operators, serves 17 markets across the U.S. providing voice and data services for businesses. Financial terms were not disclosed. Key markets include Atlanta; Austin; Baltimore; Dallas; Des Moines; Fort Lauderdale; Fort Worth; Houston; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Miami; Orange County, Calif; Philadelphia; Phoenix; San Antonio; San Diego and Washington, D.C.


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

Verizon Counts 90 Acts of Sabotage

On day five of the strike by the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Verizon reported a growing amount of sabotage to its network facilities. Since August 6, the company said it has recorded more than 90 acts of sabotage, some of which have directly affected service to thousands of customers across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, including police stations and other emergency responders.


Verizon also noted that its managers and contingency crews have been keeping up with support duties. The company's call centers answered 91 percent of incoming calls on Wednesday. Its management employees have repaired the sabotaged facilities.
http://www.verizon.com

Telstra Returns to EBITDA Growth with Faster Customer Additions

Telstra reported full fiscal year sales revenue of A$24,983 million, up by 0.7%. EBITDA declined by 6.4% or $696 million to $10,151 million, beating guidance and including second half sales revenue growth of 1.8% and EBITDA growth of 0.7%. Telstra also announced free cash flow of $5.5 billion, the addition of more than two million mobile customers in Australia and Hong Kong, and an EBITDA decline of $696 million which was slightly better than expectations owing to productivity benefits and revenue growth achieved in the second half.


"This result demonstrates real progress in our initiatives to improve customer satisfaction, grow our customer numbers, simplify the business and develop growth opportunities. We have seen the company return to revenue growth and expect the momentum across the business to continue in 2012," said David Thodey, CEO.


Some notes:

  • 1.66 million new domestic mobile customers, including 645,000 new postpaid handheld and 914,000 new mobile broadband customers

  • 352,000 new mobile customers in Hong Kong

  • 158,000 new fixed broadband customers

  • 190,000 new T-Box® and 175 thousand T-Hub services

  • 659,000 new customers on bundled multi-product plans, with the total bundled base now more than one million.
http://www.telstra.com

Huawei Supplies TD-LTE to China Mobile Test for Shenzhen University Games

China Mobile has deployed a TD-LTE demonstration network in Shenzhen to provide exclusive coverage for the 26th World University Games. The network uses equipment from Huawei. The company said it is delivering stable connections at 60 - 70 Mbps in the downlink.
http://www.huawei.com

Huawei Supplies TD-LTE to China Mobile Test for Shenzhen University Games

China Mobile has deployed a TD-LTE demonstration network in Shenzhen to provide exclusive coverage for the 26th World University Games. The network uses equipment from Huawei. The company said it is delivering stable connections at 60 - 70 Mbps in the downlink.
http://www.huawei.com