Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Brazil Opens Pay TV Market to Telcos

The Brazilian legislature approved a new law that opens the pay TV market to telecom service providers. The new law sets unified rules for the service, establishes quotas for programming with local content and independent channels, and removes restrictions on the activities of companies with foreign capital in the sector. Approval by the president is expected. http://www.mc.gov.br/

PAETEC Wins Fiber Contract with U.S. Army Aberdeen Proving Ground

PAETEC was awarded a three-year contract by the Defense Information System Agency (DISA) to provide the U.S. Army Aberdeen Proving Ground with PAETEC's highly dependable fiber infrastructure. PAETEC said this contract provides the Aberdeen Proving Ground with increased fiber network capacity, diverse fiber access points, and DWDM over the company's transport network as part of the DISA backbone network expansion.

JDSU Posts Quarterly Revenue of $471.8 Million

JDSU reported net revenue for the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2011 was $471.8 million and net income was $9.3 million, or $0.04 per share. This compares to net revenue of $454.0 million and net income of $38.6 million, or $0.16 per share for the prior quarter, and net revenue of $390.9 million and net income of $1.5 million, or $0.01 per share for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2010.

For fiscal 2011, net revenue of $1,804.5 million increased 32.3% from $1,363.9 million for fiscal 2010. The net income for fiscal 2011 of $71.6 million, or $0.31 per share, compares to a net loss of $(61.8) million, or $(0.28) per share, for fiscal 2010.

"JDSU delivered solid fiscal fourth quarter and full year financial results. Revenue for the year grew over 32% and operating profits more than doubled," said Tom Waechter, JDSU's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Currently we are seeing macro-economic challenges and inventory corrections which we believe will be short-term in nature as the end market drivers remain strong." http://www.jdsu.com

Canada's EastLink Selects Ericsson as Sole Vendor

Ericsson was awarded a four-year agreement to serve as the sole vendor for EastLink's core and radio access networks, using HSPA+ and next generation technologies. Ericsson will deploy its multi-standard radio base station; RBS 6000, circuit switched and packet networks including Evolved Packet Core and Operation Support Systems (OSS), as well as, providing professional services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
http://www.ericsson.com http://www.eastlink.ca

Verizon to Cut Benefits to Striking Workers on Aug 31

With the labor strike entering its eleventh day, Verizon reported has informed striking workers that their benefits will be cut off at the end of the month. Both sides have accused the other of not negotiating in good faith to end the dispute. http://www.verizon.com http://www.cwa-union.org/

Sprint Updates Tower Agreements for "Network Vision"

Sprint has amended important contracts with Mobilitie, a tower leasing company, to help enable the delivery of next-generation networks through Sprint's Network Vision plan.

The amended agreement involves several hundred of Sprint's existing nationwide cell sites with Mobilitie and includes opportunities to expand the current relationship via build-to-suit solutions. Key points include:

  • Provides Sprint with the flexibility it needs to deploy next-generation technologies and to effect its future migration from iDEN.

  • Enables a quicker deployment of Network Vision by allowing Sprint to operate existing and new Network Vision equipment simultaneously during the transition, enabling a smoother change for customers.

  • Gives Sprint the ability to utilize build-to-suit solutions to meet Sprint's Network Vision schedule.

Sprint noted that it is aggressively working with its vendors to plan, test and begin site preparations. In the lab, calls have successfully been completed on 800 MHz 1x voice, 1x data and SMS. 1900 on MHz 1x voice, 1x data, SMS and EVDO have also been completed. Work has begun on thousands of sites and renegotiation of existing contracts with tower companies is an important step in launching these sites later this year. http://www.sprint.com http://www.Mobilitie.com

  • In July, Sprint and Crown Castle announced a new agreement to enable the delivery of the next-generation networks through Sprint’s Network Vision plan. The agreement impacts more than 10,000 of Sprint’s nationwide cell sites.

  • Also in July, Sprint and LightSquared announced a 15-year agreement that includes spectrum hosting and network services, 4G wholesale, and 3G roaming. The deal gives Sprint $9 billion in cash to build out its 4G network and provides LightSquared with a Tier-One partner for bringing its wholesale-only, nationwide LTE + L-Band broadband satellite service to market, should the FCC approve its GPS terrestrial interference mitigation proposals. Specifically, LightSquared will pay Sprint to deploy and operate a nationwide LTE network that hosts L-Band spectrum licensed to or available to LightSquared. As a wholesale-only carrier with separate core network operations, LightSquared can sell its 4G broadband capacity produced through this spectrum hosting relationship to Sprint, other wireless carriers, and retail partners.

  • 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.

Amdocs Completes Bridgewater Acquisition

Amdocs completed its previously announced acquisition of Bridgewater Systems for CAD$8.20 per share in cash, for about CAD$211 million, or CAD$139 million net of Bridgewater's cash, in aggregate.

Bridgewater Systems provides pre-integrated solutions for mobile and converged operators. Its portfolio includes Service Controller (AAA), Policy Controller (PCRF) and Home Subscriber Server (HSS), anchored by a common identity and device management system.

Amdocs offers business and operational support systems, service delivery platforms, and professional services for network operators. The company generated approximately $3.0 billion in revenue in fiscal 2010, Amdocs has over 19,000 employees and serves customers in more than 60 countries worldwide.

"This strategic acquisition will enable service providers to completely redefine the real-time data experience and maximize the return on their network investments," said Brian Shepherd, group president for Amdocs. "We are delighted to welcome Bridgewater's highly innovative, skilled professionals to Amdocs as we continue expanding our market-leading CES portfolio."

"Following this acquisition, service providers will be able to benefit from data experience solutions based on a pre-integrated combination of Amdocs' leading convergent charging technology and Bridgewater's advanced policy control capabilities that address the increase in demand for high-bandwidth services and the exponential growth of smartphones and other connected devices," said Ed Ogonek, President and CEO for Bridgewater.

Verizon Wireless' LTE Rollout Reaches Half of U.S. Population

Verizon Wireless is activating its LTE network in 15 additional U.S. markets this week while expanding its LTE facilities in 10 other cities. With this activations, the company's LTE service is now available to more than 160 million Americans – more than half the U.S. population.

Verizon Wireless noted that it now sells 10 different LTE devices for its network.

The latest Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE markets include Tucson, Ariz.; Fayetteville/Springdale/Rogers, Ark.; Bakersfield and Salinas/Monterey/Seaside, Calif.; Fort Collins, Colo.; Frederick, Md.; Worcester, Mass.; Omaha, Neb./Council Bluffs, Iowa; Albany, Ithaca and Syracuse, N.Y.; Altoona and Johnstown, Pa.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Provo, Utah. The company is also expanding its 4G LTE network on Thursday in Washington, D.C.; Tampa, Fla.; Atlanta, Ga.; Baltimore, Md.; Boston, Mass.; Lansing, Mich.; New York, N.Y.; Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio; and Salt Lake City-Ogden, Utah.

"In eight short months we've introduced our 4G LTE network to more than half of the U.S. population, while continuing to offer the nation's most reliable 3G network coast to coast," said David Small, chief technical officer of Verizon Wireless. "This matters to millions of Americans because they can take advantage of faster 4G LTE speeds both at home and when they travel throughout the country – today and in many more markets to come this year. Each new market and expansion is significant as it brings us closer to delivering on the promise to bring our 4G LTE network to more than 185 million Americans by the end of 2011." http://www.verizonwireless.comDuring the second-quarter 2011, Verizon Wireless sold 1.2 million 4G LTE smartphones and Internet data devices.

Centrify Secures $16M for On-Premise and Cloud Security

Centrify, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, raised $16 million in Series D funding for its security and compliance solutions designed to centrally control, secure and audit both on-premise and cloud-based systems and applications.

Centrify's software solutions leverage existing Microsoft Active Directory installations to centrally control, secure and audit corporate resources. The company has deployments in more than 3,500 organizations.

Centrify reports record revenue, profitability and accelerated sales growth of approximately 75 percent over the prior fiscal year. Centrify will use the additional funds to expand distribution to meet the growing demand from organizations for its security and compliance solutions, and to accelerate growth in new areas, including cloud environments.

The funding round was led by Index Ventures, with current investors Mayfield Fund, Accel Partners, INVESCO Private Capital and Sigma Partners also participating in the investment. Mike Volpi, Index Ventures partner and former senior executive at Cisco, served as the lead investor on the round.

"Today's IT environment is ever more heterogeneous," said Mr. Volpi. "From a broader range of operating systems and devices being deployed in enterprises to the advent of cloud-based services, we are seeing the proliferation of a diverse range of services that IT needs to support. Centrify provides industry-leading solutions in securing and auditing access to cross-platform systems and applications. We are pleased to join their team to further accelerate their growth." http://www.centrify.comCentrify is headed by Tom Kemp (CEO), who previously was Entrepreneur in Residence at Mayfield, a leading venture capital firm. Kemp was a co-founder of NetIQ and in his last position there served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Development.

North Alabama Electric Cooperative Selects ADTRAN for FTTH

The North Alabama Electric Cooperative has selected ADTRAN's flagship Total Access 5000 Multi-Service Access and Aggregation Platform (MSAP), Total Access 300 Series ONTs and a full suite of NetVanta routers and switches for a Smartgrid + Broadband project. Specifically, the cooperative will take advantage of the combination of GPON and Active Ethernet Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) capabilities of the Total Access 5000 platform. This deployment will enable the electric utility subscribers to move from time-of-day rate models to demand response rate models and energy consumption can be monitored and adjusted in real time. The efficiencies gained in demand response power generation along with enriching these communities with triple-play broadband services have made North Alabama Electric Cooperative a model in the industry.

North Alabama Electric Cooperative serves rural Northeast Alabama. Combining its smart grid initiatives with the lack of broadband connectivity to its serving communities, North Alabama Electric Cooperative is investing in state-of-the-art fiber and broadband architectures. This will allow North Alabama to reach thousands of residents in underserved areas within the region as well as businesses, schools, libraries and even the Bellefonte Nuclear facility. The fiber infrastructure will also allow North Alabama to better communicate with the Tennessee Valley Authority, providing near real-time meter readings that will enable demand response for power generation. http://www.adtran.com

Monday, August 15, 2011

GE's Ruggedized Video Processing Platform Employs Tilera Many Core Processor

GE Intelligent Platforms unveiled a ruggedized video processing platform suited for applications such as unmanned aerial drones that use the Tilera TILEPro64 many-core processor.

The GE 3U OpenVPX-REDI GFG500 Gigabit Ethernet Video Processor and the 3U OpenVPX-REDI MCP500 Processor boards are designed for demanding video and network processing applications that will be deployed in harsh environments.

The GFG500 is pre-loaded with GE's sophisticated algorithms for capturing and processing multiple simultaneous video streams from Gigabit Ethernet-compliant video sources. The MCP500 is a general purpose, many core processor platform designed for accelerating software applications through multiprocessing. The MCP500 is an ideal rugged processing engine for netcentric applications such as packet processing, intrusion detection/deep packet inspection, unified threat management, network monitoring and forensics in tactical wireline and wireless environments.

"As unmanned vehicles – especially unmanned aerial vehicles – assume greater significance in the gathering and communication of intelligence, so the requirement to capture, process and distribute highly detailed video information is becoming an absolute requirement," said Chris Jobling, Product Manager, GE Intelligent Platforms. "The GFG500 and MCP500 respond to this requirement by delivering outstanding video and networking performance within the compact, lightweight footprint of the 3U VPX format – while their ruggedness means that they can be deployed in the harshest of environments."

The Tilera TILEPro64 700MHz processor features an 8 x 8 grid of 64 general purpose processor cores for compute-intensive applications.

Cult of Mac: Why Is Apple Secretly Installing LTE Equipment

Reports surfaced that Apple may be installing LTE equipment in some of its U.S. stores. A report from Cult of Mac speculates that the mysterious gear reported photographed in an Apple store supports the 700MHz and AWS bands that will be used by AT&T. http://www.cultofmac.comhttp://bit.ly/n62sh0

Blue Coat Reports Disappointing Quarter, CEO Steps Down

Blue Coat Systems reported net revenue of $109.5 million for the first quarter of its fiscal 2012, down from $120.7 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 and $122.5 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2011. On a GAAP basis, the Company reported net income of $2.7 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2012, compared with net income of $9.0 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 and $13.9 million, or $0.29 per diluted share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2011.

"Our first quarter results were disappointing as they came in below our expectations," said David W. Hanna, chairman of the board of directors. "We are taking the necessary actions to reinforce our leadership position in the Web security market, while capitalizing on opportunities in the WAN optimization market based on our strong competitive advantages."

For the second fiscal quarter ending October 31, 2011, Blue Coat currently expects net revenue in the range of $103 to $110 million. On a GAAP basis, the company currently expects net loss of $(0.04) per diluted share to net income of $0.04 per diluted share. http://www.bluecoat.com

  • Michael J. Borman joined Blue Coat in September 2010 as its President and Chief Executive Officer. Previously, he spent nearly 30 years at IBM and later was CEO of Avocent Corporation, a developer of server switching systems and software from July 2008, until its acquisition by Emerson Electric in December 2009.

Blue Coat Appoints Greg Clark as CEO

Blue Coat Systems, which supplies Web security and WAN optimization solutions, appointed Gregory S. Clark as president and chief executive officer following the resignation of Michael J. Borman, who has departed as president and CEO and as a director. Mr. Clark most recently was president and CEO of Mincom, an enterprise software company that was acquired in July by the ABB Group, a leader in automation and power technologies.

The Blue Coat board has named board member Carol G. Mills as interim CEO until Mr. Clark's arrival. Ms. Mills has held executive positions at technology companies including CEO of Acta Technology, EVP at Juniper Networks, and VP/GM at HP. http://www.bluecoat.com

Huawei Develops Node Scale Vectoring

Huawei Technologies announced the development of Node Level Vectoring (NLV) technology for eliminating crosstalk in copper pairs. The technology significantly improves throughput in VDSL2 networks. Huawei said its tests of vectoring show the ability to deliver 100 Mbps services at a distance of 300 meters, and 80 Mbps at a distance of 500 meters -- representing gains of approximately 70%.


Nokia Siemens Networks Gains DISA Certification

Nokia Siemens Networks has been accorded "Approved Products List" (APL) status by the U.S. government's Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), enabling the Department of Defense (DoD) and other government agencies to purchase the company's Military Next Generation (Mil NGN) solution. Concurrent with APL status, the DoD has awarded Nokia Siemens Networks contracts to install three Mil NGN systems at locations in Germany, South Korea and Japan. http://www.nsn.com

Telefónica Germany, Telekom and Vodafone

Telefónica Germany, Telekom and Vodafone have agreed to establish their mobile payment service as an independent company. The new entity, known as mpass, will begin operating as early as this year.

More and more customers are taking advantage of convenient and secure payment via mobile or stationary internet from a mobile phone. Once the mobile payment scheme mpass is up and running, the three telecommunications providers plan to expand on their position in mobile payment. The new company will concentrate on stepping up distribution and marketing activities, as well as developing new products.

Aided by new technologies such as Near Field Communication (NFC), the three carriers expect that mobile users will soon be able to make simple, secure and wireless payments in retail shops.

"Payment by mobile phone will increasingly feature in our daily lives," says Michiel van Eldik, Managing Director of Wholesale & Partner Management at Telefónica Germany. "It has actually been possible for several years. And the first NFC smartphones, with full functionality for all aspects of credit and bonus cards, are already in the stores. I think that even as early as next year, consumers will be leaving their credit cards at home and paying by mobile phone instead."

"Queues at supermarket checkouts will soon be a thing of the past," says Christian Illek, Director of Marketing at Telekom Deutschland, adding: "mpass will make mobile payment easier, faster and more secure than with conventional payment means. Within the mpass partnership we are not only applying the specific benefits of mobile phones in the payment market, but, more importantly, we are bundling our customer reach with that of our partners." http://www.telefonica.com

First AT&T LTE Devices on Sale Aug. 21

AT&T will begin selling its first LTE devices in stores and online on August 21 -- even before its LTE network has commercially launched.

The first devices will be the AT&T USBConnect Momentum 4G and the AT&T Mobile Hotspot Elevate 4G, both of which support fallback to the HSPA+ network. AT&T will offer same $50 plan for 5 GB of data as is currently available for USBConnect or Mobile Hotspot customers on the HSPA+ network.

AT&T recently announced plans to roll out 4G LTE in five markets – Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio – later this summer. A specific launch date has not yet been disclosed. By the end of 2011, AT&T plans to offer 4G LTE to customers in at least 15 markets, covering 70 million Americans.

PMC-Sierra Appoints Two Directors

PMC-Sierra announced the appointment of Michael Klayko and Dr. Richard Nottenburg to its Board of Directors. The company also named Mr. Jonathan J. Judge as chairman of the Board.

Mr. Klayko is currently chief executive officer of Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. and a member of the Brocade board of directors. Previously, he was vice president of worldwide sales at Brocade and also served as the vice president of marketing and support and vice president of OEM sales. Dr. Nottenburg is currently a member of the board of directors of Comverse Technology, Inc., Verint Systems, Inc. and Aeroflex Holding Corporation. From June 2008 to October 2010, he served as president, chief executive officer, and a director of Sonus Networks. http://www.pmc-sierra.com

WiMAX Surpasses 20 million Global Subscriber Mark

The number of WiMAX connections worldwide has passed the 20 million subscriber mark, according to figures from Infonetics Research that were cited by The WiMAX Forum. Also according to Infonetics, in the first quarter of 2011 the total worldwide sales of WiMAX equipment reached USD $502.1 million, which is up 49% from the first quarter of 2010. The analyst firm predicts that in 2011 WiMAX equipment will be a USD $2 billion industry.

Some notes from The WiMAX Forum:

  • In the first half of 2011 over 30 different WiMAX networks were either launched or expanded operations.

  • In the first half of 2011, UQ Communications of Japan doubled its subscriber base, breaking the one million subscriber mark in June.

  • YTL, a new Malaysian WiMAX operator that just launched WiMAX services in November 2010, has netted over 300,000 subscribers by June.

  • At an event in July, in which UQ Communications hosted the first public field trial of WiMAX 2, UQ and YTL signed a MoU to develop a pan-Pacific WiMAX hotzone.

  • Clearwire ended Q2 with 7.65 million total subscribers, up 365% from 2Q 2010. Clearwire also again increased its guidance to an expected 10 million subscribers by the end of 2011.

  • Jamaican operator Digicel leveraged its WiMAX network to capture 25% of the local broadband market in less than a year.

  • Mexican WiMAX operator AXTEL increased its WiMAX subscriber base by over 80% to over 332,000.