Monday, January 2, 2012

SK Telecom Develops LTE + Wi-Fi Femtocell

South Korea-based SK Telecom has developed its own Wi-Fi Integrated LTE Femtocell to spur its 4G rollout.

The ultra-mini base station improves indoor coverage using both Wi-Fi and LTE, while significantly reduce equipment installation and operating cost. SK Telecom uses POE (Power over Ethernet) to ease installation. The company said its design also minimizes interference between the frequencies within the cellular bands.

SK Telecom plans to build LTE networks in 84 cities across the country by April 2012, eight months ahead of schedule, after which it will utilize Wi-Fi Integrated Femtocells to boost its service quality.

The carrier plans to deploy its Wi-Fi Integrated LTE Femtocells in densely populated regions, focusing primarily on central commercial areas of major cities where LTE traffic and users are concentrated, and then be expanded to areas with high data demand – i.e. indoor areas like shopping centers, offices, houses, and school, etc.

Kang Jong-Ryeol, Head of Network Technology Center of SK Telecom said, "SK Telecom has already installed over one million repeaters to expand LTE coverage including indoors and underground areas and will continue to enhance its LTE service quality by installing Wi-Fi Integrated LTE Femtocells. Furthermore, SK Telecom will keep on developing and providing femtocell technologies suitable for many different environments so as to create an optimal data communication environment for customers."
  • In November 2011, SK Telecom announced an LTE Smart Cloud Access Network (SCAN) pilot deployment. SCAN separates digital signal processing from the base stations and concentrates it in one place, allowing the network to respond to traffic demands in certain locations. Additional antenna radio units can be deployed at a lower cost instead of a full base station. The smart cloud base stations also cooperate with each other to reduce interference, especially in border areas in the network.

  • SK Telecom inaugurated its 4G LTE service in Seoul on July 1, 2011. The network provides a maximum downlink speed of 75Mbps, which is five times faster than that of its 3G WCDMA network (HSUPA) and 1.9 times faster than Wibro that provides maximum downlink speed of 39.8Mbps and maximum uplink speed of 10Mbps. The network uses the 800 MHz band. The company plans to expand the frequency bandwidth for LTE from one-way 5MHz (at the time of service launch) to 10MHz by the fourth quarter of 2011 to achieve the full downlink potential.

    The LTE rollout in Seoul was accomplished by building 1,772 Radio Units (RU) and 609 Digital Units (DU). In addition to this, the company will also use its 200,000 existing 800MHz repeaters to offer seamless and flawless 4G LTE service in all areas of Seoul, including underground and indoor areas.

  • In January 2011, South Korea's SK Telecom announced the selection of Samsung Electronics, LG-Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks as key equipment suppliers for its LTE network.

Acme Packet Cuts Guidance

Citing uncertainty in the North American service provider market, Acme Packet trimmed its financial guidance for Q4 2011. Based on preliminary fourth quarter estimates which are subject to change, the company now expects
total revenues to range between $84 million to $86 million, while total revenues for 2011 are expected to range between $308 million and $310 million compared to its earlier outlook of between $315 million and $320 million.

“Our results were impacted by uncertainty in the North American service provider market,�? said Andy Ory, President and Chief Executive Officer of Acme Packet, Inc. “Outside of the North American service provider market, Acme Packet continued to perform very well – particularly in our enterprise business as well as in our Europe and Latin America businesses. Looking ahead, we believe we are very well positioned to leverage the broad, multi-year, secular growth drivers associated with the global transition from TDM to IP for real time communications like voice and video.�?

Australia's NBN Ends 2011 with 4,000 On-Net Customers

As of December 31, 2011, Australia’s National Broadband Network had more than 4000 homes and businesses were connected to its infrastructure. Construction is expected to ramp up in 2012.

"We will look back on 2011 as a pivotal year for the NBN which saw us move from planning and designing the network to ramping up the rollout of a key piece of telecommunications infrastructure that over the next decade will reach every Australian. Indeed, the biggest challenge we face is managing the expectations of communities who want the NBN – and want it now. The key question we hear is not ‘Why do we need the NBN?’ but ‘When am I going to get it?’ A crucial task for 2012 will be to educate and inform Australians about the principles that dictate the rollout," stated NBN Co’s Head of Product Development and Industry Relations, Jim Hassell.

Qatar's Qtel Offers WaveLink Services up to 100G

Qatar-based Qtel launched a WaveLink WDM service for corporate and government customers. Qtel’s WaveLink provides a complete end-to-end solution offering bandwidths of 1Gbps, 2.5Gbps or 10Gbps, 40Gps going all the way up to 100Gbps. WaveLink can be used to supply Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH), Ethernet, or other protocols such as Fibre Connection (FICON) or Enterprise Systems Connection (ESCON).

WaveLink’s supporting applications range from basic voice and data services to virtualization and storage area network applications, allowing customers to manage traffic over one network.

Zayo Acquires MarquisNet - a Las Vegas Data Center

The Zayo Group has acquired MarquisNet’s data-center business in Las Vegas, Nevada. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The 28,000 square foot data center, located at 7185 Pollock Drive, will be the twelfth zColo Colocation facility.

Zayo noted that the deal represents its 18th acquisition since its inception. The company recently completed the acquisition of 360Networks on December 1, 2011. With the Las Vegas facility, zColo operates 12 data centers across 11 markets, including Los Angeles and three facilities in key Carrier Gateway locations in New York and New Jersey. The company is the exclusive manager and operator of the 60 Hudson St. “Meet-Me-Room�? in New York City, one of the world’s most connected buildings. zColo reported $38.7M in annualized adjusted revenue and $13.5 in annualized adjusted EBITDA in 3Q11.

Rambus Boosts Q4 Guidance

Rambus increased its revenue guidance for Q4 2011, saying it now expects revenue to be approximately $83 million. Rambus initially provided revenue guidance for the quarter in the range of $66 million to $71 million.

LightSquared Appoints Marc Montagner as CFO

LightSquared has appointed Marc Montagner as its new chief financial officer. He previously served as executive vice president, sales, marketing and strategy for SkyTerra, LightSquared’s predecessor company, where he worked on the regulatory, technical and business issues associated with re-purposing SkyTerra’s satellite spectrum for terrestrial use. His nearly 25 years of experience also includes working for companies such as France Telecom, Morgan Stanley, Sprint Nextel and Banc of America Securities.

Prior to joining LightSquared, in addition to his role at SkyTerra, Montagner was managing partner of Dupont Circle Partners, a mergers and acquisitions advisory firm specializing in the media, technology and telecommunications industries. Previously, he was managing director and co-head of the Global Telecom, Media and Technology Merger and Acquisition Group of Banc of America Securities where he advised a number of companies during acquisitions.

Montagner was also senior vice president, corporate development and mergers and acquisitions for Sprint Nextel Corporation, where he was responsible for all M&A activities for the company, including the $70 billion merger between Sprint and Nextel. Prior to Sprint Nextel, Montagner was a managing director in the Telecom and Media Group at Morgan Stanley. Montagner started his career in the telecom industry at France Telecom.

Taipei to Launch FTTH Project

The City of Taipei is launching a municipal FTTH project that aims to install 3,000 km of lines over the next four years. The project will deliver wholesale access to service providers. Five contractors have been selected.

BT Expands Ethernet Service in U.S. and Canada

BT has expanded its global Ethernet virtual private network (VPN) service in the U.S. and Canada with new nodes added in Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Newark, N.J. and Toronto. In addition to the new nodes, three access resilience options are now available:

  • Standard: Offers a single physical connection from the BT point of presence (POP) to the customer site.

  • Diverse: Offers two accesses that are delivered to the same BT POP.

  • Diverse+: Offers two accesses that are delivered to different POPs.

BT Expands Ethernet Service in U.S. and Canada

BT has expanded its global Ethernet virtual private network (VPN) service in the U.S. and Canada with new nodes added in Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Newark, N.J. and Toronto. In addition to the new nodes, three access resilience options are now available:

  • Standard: Offers a single physical connection from the BT point of presence (POP) to the customer site.

  • Diverse: Offers two accesses that are delivered to the same BT POP.

  • Diverse+: Offers two accesses that are delivered to different POPs.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Mergers & Acquisitions

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Newport to Acquire ILX Lightwave for Photonic Devices

Newport Corporation (NASDAQ: NEWP) today reported that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire ILX Lightwave Corporation ("ILX"), a market and technology leader in high-performance test and measurement solutions for laser diodes and other photonics components.

On December 28, Newport Corporation agreed to acquire ILX Lightwave Corporation, for $9.3 million in cash.

ILX , headquartered in Bozeman, Montana, is a supplier of high-performance test and measurement solutions for laser diodes and other photonics components. The product line includes laser diode controllers and drivers, temperature controllers, current sources, optical power and wavelength meters, semiconductor laser/LED burn-in, test and characterization systems, and fiber optic sources. The company expects 2011 revenues of approximately $8 million. The company is profitable, and Newport expects the acquisition to be accretive to its earnings immediately after closing.

Robert J. Phillippy, Newport's President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "The addition of ILX, together with our recent acquisition of Ophir Optronics, will further enhance Newport's position as the industry's leading provider of photonics instrumentation and measurement equipment. With our expanded portfolio of products and technology, we will offer our customers solutions to the most demanding applications in both the scientific and industrial markets."

Verizon Cancels Plans for $2 Convenience Fee

On December 28, Verizon Wireless announced plans to begin charging customers a $2 "convenience fee" for making payments via online credit or debit card transactions. The company later dropped the plan following media attention, consumer complaints, and a statement from the FCC promising to look into the matter.

Exar Trims Financial Guidance

On December 28, Exar Corporation revised downward its financial guidance citing "weaker economic conditions in Asia and Europe and continued inventory corrections" across all product lines. Exar now expects revenue for the fiscal third quarter to be between $28 million and $30 million and non-GAAP gross margin to be between 48% and 50%.

Vodafone Egypt Upgrades Subscriber Data with NSN

Vodafone Egypt, the country’s largest telecom operator, is upgrading its subscriber data management system built on the One-NDS platform provided by Nokia Siemens Networks, enabling the operator to speed up the process of launching new, targeted services. Specifically, Nokia Siemens Networks is upgrading its comprehensive subscriber data management solution, including the One-NDS platform, and providing its Home Location Register (HLR), and Mobile Number Portability (MNP). The One-NDS platform unifies fragmented data into a single repository and is more efficient than having multiple databases for different front-end applications such as HLR and MNP.

Verizon Wireless Cites LTE Growing Pains

During December, Verizon Wireless suffered three intermittent nationwide outages on its LTE network -- all of which were caused by glitches in the network's IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS). Verizon Wireless' VP of network engineering Mike Haberman told GigaOM that these disruptions should be seen in light of the company's pioneering efforts with LTE. As of December 2011, Verizon Wireless has deployed its 4G LTE network in more than 190 markets across the U.S., covering more than 200 million people. The company said it has taken decisive steps to remedy each of the software bugs as well as to segment its network geographically to limit the extent of any future issues.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Cavium Trims Guidance

On December 27, Cavium cut its financial guidance for the fourth quarter of 2011. The company currently expects that revenue in the fourth quarter of 2011 will be between $56 million and $57 million.

The company noted that revenues have been weaker than expected across both the enterprise and service provider as well as the broadband and consumer market segments, and further exasperated by a larger than expected impact of a hub transition at one of its major customers.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

AT&T to Boost LTE Downlinks with Qualcomm's 700 MHz + Carrier Aggregation

The FCC granted regulatory approval for AT&T to acquire 700 MHz licenses from Qualcomm.

AT&T is purchasing 700 MHz spectrum licenses covering more than 300 million people for approximately $1.9 billion. The deal includes all 11 of Qualcomm’s D and E Block licenses in the Lower 700 MHz band.

In its FCC application for license transfer, AT&T said it plans to use supplemental downlink technology (carrier aggregation) to bond this unpaired spectrum with paired spectrum that it already holds. This will enable AT&T
to add substantial capacity on its LTE network once the LTE Advanced standards are released. The licenses at issue cover all of the United States with six or 12 megahertz of Lower 700 MHz spectrum. Specifically, Qualcomm holds all six of the Lower 700 MHz D Block licenses (six megahertz). In addition, Qualcomm holds five of the 176 Economic Area licenses35 (also six megahertz) in the Lower 700 MHz E Block, providing coverage in five of the top 15 metropolitan areas (New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and San Francisco), covering more than 70 million people.

Qualcomm originally planned to use this spectrum for its Media FLO mobile TV service, which was launched in 2009 and then cancelled in early 2011 after failing to catch on in the market.

"This spectrum will help AT&T continue to deliver a world-class mobile broadband experience to our customers," said Bob Quinn, senior vice president-Federal Regulatory, AT&T. "We appreciate the FCC Chairman, the Commissioners and their staff for completing its review before the holidays.

  • In 2008, Qualcomm won eight licenses in the FCC's 700 MHz spectrum auction at a total cost of $558.1 million. Specifically, Qualcomm purchased licenses in the E block covering the Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia and San Francisco Economic Area regions. These licenses doubled Qualcomm's 700 MHz spectrum holdings throughout a footprint of more than 68 million people in 28 individual markets for MediaFLO USA's "FLO TV" service (21 of its top 100 markets) at a cost of $554.6 million. In addition, Qualcomm purchased three licenses on the B block at a cost of $3.5 million.

December 22, 2011

Verizon Wireless Experiences Another LTE Glitch 
Verizon Wireless experienced a nationwide disruption on its 3G and 4G in the early morning hours of Wednesday, December 21. The service was slowly being restored throughout the day. The company has not yet commented on the cause of outage or any potential customer credits. 21-Dec-11
Russia's Yota Launches Wholesale LTE Network in Novosibirsk 
Russia's Yota announced the launch of its first LTE network in Novosibirsk in Siberia. The network is ready for joint operation by several operators. Commercial service is expected to start by January 15, 2012, with modems available in retail shops by various network partners.

Novosibirsk is the third-largest city in Russia with a population of about 1.5 million. 21-Dec-11
  • Earlier this year, Yota announced agreements with Beeline, Megafon, MTS and Rostelekom under which these leading Russian carriers will offer 4G services over Yota's LTE network.
  • Yota has been a leading WiMAX operator but changed course to LTE.
Jawbone Secures $40M for Mobile Lifestyle Products 
Jawbone, which has been known for its premium Bluetooth headsets, received a combined $40 million in funding from Deutsche Telekom, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, private investor Yuri Milner, and investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management. This brings funding to nearly $210 million.

Jawbone, which is based in San Francisco, is positioning itself as a "leading innovator in products and services for the mobile lifestyle."

"We are experiencing fantastic growth and the worldwide demand for our mobile lifestyle products and services is unprecedented," said Hosain Rahman, CEO of Jawbone. 21-Dec-11
Infinera's CTO to Step Down 
Drew Perkins will step down as Infinera’s chief technology officer to pursue other opportunities and will continue to support Infinera in a technical advisory role. Mr. Perkins is one of Infinera’s co-founders and has been at the company since 2001.

Infinera said the office of the CTO will be assumed by Dave Welch, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer. A co-founder and current member of the Board of Directors, Dr. Welch was co-CTO for the four years after the company was founded. 21-Dec-11
Swisscom Picks Ericsson for LTE 
Swisscom has selected Ericsson for an upgrade of its mobile infrastructure to LTE. The selection follows an open tender in which five vendors participated. Swisscom plans to invest several hundred million Swiss francs over the next five years to update all mobile base stations, increase network capacity at heavily frequented locations and press ahead with LTE expansion.

Swisscom plans to begin the rollout in January 2012 and by mid-2014 all 6,000 mobile base stations will be upgraded with new hardware and software and connected to fibre-optic lines. The carrier expects to add more than 300 new mobile sites each year. The antenna systems will not be affected, and the stringent radiation limits will continue to be met. Swisscom also said it intends to set up microcells at busy locations. In addition, the existing HSPA network will be increased to a maximum of 84 Mbps in the downlink. 21-Dec-11
JDSU Intros 40/100 G Test Solution 
JDSU announced that a tier-1 service provider in North America has selected its new T-BERD/MTS-8000 V2 40/100 G Transport Module for field-test applications. The unit is designed for field turn-up and troubleshooting of Carrier Ethernet/packet transport, long-haul, and metro-core networks, as well as government telecommunication centers. The T-BERD/MTS-8000 V2 40/100 G solution can be used for testing OTU3 and OTU4 with 100 GE client, 40 and 100 G Carrier Ethernet with RFC 2544, CoS with 10 data streams, and loop up/down. The T-BERD/MTS-8000 V2 can switch between 40 G and 100 G applications within 12 seconds. It supports both CFP- and QSFP+-based services and offers signature ruggedness, optional battery power, and control connectivity that can withstand extremely diverse test conditions. 21-Dec-11
Telstra International Launches Global DDoS 
Telstra International launched a Global Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Protection service provides for multinational customers.

The service offers 'in the cloud' protection and mitigation of DDoS attack traffic, averting congestion of customer Internet connections and protecting customer web infrastructure, whilst legitimate, clean traffic is delivered to the customer. Telstra's Security Operations Centre (SOC) systems and staff will offer 24/7 monitoring, extensive analysis and highly effective mitigation and traffic cleaning through global cleaning centres. 21-Dec-11
Japanese Carriers Establish Consortium to Promote NFC 
A new Japan Mobile NFC Consortium has been established by NTT DOCOMO, KDDI and SOFTBANK MOBILE to coordinate the adoption of multiple international standards for near field communication (NFC) technologies incorporated in their mobile devices and services.

Japan’s three mobile operators already offer Osaifu- Keitai™(wallet phone) mobile services based on the contactless-IC smartcard called FeliCa.

Overseas, however, mobile operators and service providers are increasingly adopting Type A and Type B standards to develop growing markets for NFC services. In view of this worldwide trend, the consortium intends to work with mobile industry groups in Japan, including service suppliers and handset manufacturers, to incorporate compatibility with the Type A and B standards in the Japanese mobile ecosystem. 21-Dec-11
China Mobile Has Added 60 Million Users in 2011 
As of November 30, China Mobile had 644,319 customer lines in service. During the month of November, the carrier added 5,430,000 users, bringing the total number of additions during 2011 so far to 60,302,000. 21-Dec-11

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Akamai to Acquire Cotendo for Cloud Acceleration Suite

Akamai Technologies has agreed to acquire Cotendo, which specializes in cloud-based acceleration technologies, for approximately $268 million in cash, plus the assumption of outstanding unvested options to purchase Cotendo common stock.

Cotendo offers a suite of Web and mobile acceleration services using from over 30 global distributed point of presence (POPs). Cotendo's single platform software includes acceleration services for dynamic web applications, static and dynamic web content, SSL, Advanced DNS, Adaptive Image Compression, performance monitoring and automatic failover as well as real-time reports and analytics. Cotendo also offers a distributed cloud application environment called Cloudlet that allows decision-making (logic, data) at the edge, closest to the end users.

Cotendo was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, with a technology center in Israel. Cotendo currently has approximately 100 employees, with over 50 based in Israel.

Akamai said the acquisition will increase the pace of innovation in the areas of cloud and mobile optimization.

"As we look to accelerate growth across the dynamic landscapes of cloud and mobile optimization, we are excited to be joining forces with Cotendo," said Paul Sagan, president and CEO of Akamai. "Cotendo's technology, partnerships and people are a strong complement to Akamai. Together, we believe there is tremendous opportunity for our combined technologies as enterprises embrace the move to the cloud and seek solutions for an increasingly mobile world."

  • In June 2011, , introduced a Mobile Acceleration Suite (MAS) to speed up delivery of mobile websites and mobile applications. The solution is especially aimed at reducing latency on mobile devices, which is one of the top revenue killers for content providers. Long page-load times reduce conversions and engagement with applications or sites. The new Cotendo service addresses these latency and page-load performance problems caused by slow or variable mobile network data connectivity rates.

    Cotendo's MAS does not require modifications to the origin site, such as creation of separate Web sites or infrastructure dedicated to mobile content. The MAS suite applies optimizations to speed up mobile content delivery at the logic, content and network layers.

  • Also in June 2011, Cotendo raised $17 million private funding for its cloud-based content acceleration technologies. Strategic investors and new business partners Citrix Systems and Juniper Networks, through its Junos Innovation Fund, participated in this round of funding along with existing venture backers Sequoia, Benchmark and Tenaya Capital. Citrix and Juniper, market leaders in their respective industries, join the growing ranks of Cotendo strategic partners, including AT&T, Google and Sumitomo.

  • In April 2011, Cotendo announced that AT&T is leveraging its "Cloudlet" capabilities in its AT&T Content Acceleration suite for the faster delivery of dynamic content, such as social media and shopping cart data. Specifically, AT&T is teaming with Cotendo to add their Search Engine Optimization and Cloudlet offerings to the AT&T Content Acceleration suite. This will push the business logic of dynamically generated web pages into the content acceleration cloud.

    AccuWeather, which provides up to the minute weather reporting, is using the Cloudlet module of the AT&T Content Acceleration service to improve response times without buying and maintaining additional servers. Previously, users with GPS-enabled smartphones were tying up AccuWeather's whole network with very specific requests for weather data. AT&T said that with the addition of the Cloudlet module, requests for updated weather information can now be made within a larger local geographic area, eliminating the need to travel back to headquarters for the latest forecast. As a result, update requests to headquarters have declined by 75 percent, and AccuWeather is now providing near real-time response important to its users.

  • In April 2011, ntroduced its "Cloudlet" Platform, which helps content providers to push business logic for Web content applications into the cloud and much closer to the end user.

    Cotendo said its Cloudlet paradigm will solve the challenge of quickly and efficiently delivering personalized web pages and device-specific content. This type of highly customized content typically cannot leverage the power of traditional content delivery network and site acceleration feature because each page must be generated individually.

    Cotendo's Cloudlet offers the capability to generate and deliver intelligent and real-time adaptive locally cached dynamic assets that can be content-aware (e.g. cookies), device specific, and selective by context (e.g. user's location). This includes the ability for granular authentication and contextual, personalized application delivery, which enterprises could leverage for serving content to employees and partners around the globe.

    Cotendo also sees an opportunity for its Cloudlet to serve content to mobile devices. Cloudlet promises the ability to deliver location and device-aware information on an as-needed basis while simultaneously reducing their origin server calls by 90%.

    Cloudlet will integrate with other Cotendo content delivery, site acceleration and Web performance optimization offerings. It does not require code alternations to websites or applications.