Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wi-Fi Alliance Sees Confusion in Labeling White Spaces as 'Super Wi-Fi"

The Wi-Fi Alliance is expressing concern over the growing use of the terms “Super Wi-Fi�? or “Next Generation Wi-Fi�? to describe wireless broadband access over the unlicensed spectrum known as Television White Spaces.

The Wi-Fi Alliance cautions that recently-announced deployments using terms like “Super Wi-Fi�? are not in fact Wi-Fi, as the technology does not interoperate with the billions of Wi-Fi devices in use today. In a press release, the Wi-Fi Alliance notes that Wi-Fi is its registered trademark and that the term “Super Wi-Fi�? is not an authorized extension of the bran.

Clearwire Completes $300 Million Bond Sale

Clearwire completed a sale of $300.0 million aggregate principal amount of 14.75% first-priority senior secured notes due 2016 at an issue price of 100% (the “Notes�?). The funds will be used for the deployment of mobile 4G LTE technology alongside the mobile 4G WiMAX technology currently on its network and for the operation and maintenance of its networks and for general corporate purposes.

Tekelec's Privatization is Complete

A consortium led by Siris Capital Group completed its acquisition of Tekelec for approximately $780 million, or $11.00 per share in cash.

“Our new ownership structure will enable us to continue our rapid expansion into the mobile data business and capitalize on our leadership in the voice and text signaling business and to rapidly expand our mobile data business,�? said Ron de Lange, president and CEO of Tekelec. “Going forward, our customers can expect the same dedication to innovation, customer service and support that define our company.�?http://www.tekelec.comTekelec's integrated Home Subscriber Server (HSS) address resolution database and its LTE Diameter Signaling Router (DSR) have been deployed by a tier-one North American Service Provider. This allows the service provider to scale LTE services by routing Diameter messages to the appropriate HSS in the network.

Tekelec's LTE products include:

Home Subscriber Server which serves as the central authentication and mobility management point in LTE Evolved Packet Core and IMS networks, and supports the latest 3GPP standards, including Idle-Mode Signaling Reduction. The HSS is an application on Tekelec's Subscriber Data Server, which also includes the Subscriber Profile Repository (SPR), the Equipment Identity Register (EIR), the next-generation Home Location Register (ngHLR) and an HLR-proxy to ensure seamless 3G/LTE services and device management.

Diameter Signaling Router, which scales and manages services and applications in LTE core networks for hundreds of millions of subscribers. The DSR centralizes routing, traffic management and load-balancing tasks associated with Diameter traffic.

Policy Server, a Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF) that integrates with the HSS and acts as the brain for policy coordination, dynamic bandwidth control, charging, consumption and other factors for a subscriber's entire data session.

Performance Intelligence Center (PIC), a performance management system that converts network traffic information into useful business intelligence for service providers to improve the customer experience. The PIC integrates with the DSR to eliminate the need for additional probes and network elements to analyze how subscribers are using IP-enabled devices and applications. In addition, Tekelec added the PIC troubleshooting features to the core DSR platform to continuously monitor the DSR's performance.

Each of these products runs on Tekelec's EAGLE XG middleware platform, built to meet the core network scalability needs of the world's largest networks.

Marvell Cuts its Financial Guidance Citing Thai Flood

Marvell cut its financial outlook for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, ending January 28, 2012. The company now expects net revenue for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 to be in the range of $735 million to $745 million, compared with prior outlook of between $775 million to $825 million.

"The supply of disk drives started to recover in our fourth fiscal quarter, but later than we had originally anticipated. Our SSD revenues grew more than expected but not enough to offset the impact of the Thailand floods on our HDD volumes," said Dr. Sehat Sutardja, Marvell's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "In addition, we experienced year-end demand softness at our mobile and wireless customers, particularly in China. We believe these effects are near term only, and should not impact our results in the new fiscal year."http://

NTT DOCOMO Extends LTE Introductory Discounts

NTT DOCOMO announced a set of discounts for subscribers to its "Xi" LTE s from May 1 to September 30, 2012. Subscribers to selected packet flat-rate and data service plans will automatically receive a ¥1,050 (including tax) discount on their basic monthly charges. At present, Xi subscribers are scheduled to receive monthly discounts of ¥1,575 (including tax) through April 30, so the new campaign means they will continue to enjoy special discounts until the end of September.

In addition, NTT DOCOMO announced plans to throttle users who exceed 7GB of data per month, unless they choose to pay an additional ¥2,625 per month for each additional 2GB increment. This plan goes into effect on October 1.

NSN Renews EUR 1.3 Billion Loan

Nokia Siemens Networks signed forward starting term and multicurrency revolving facilities agreement valued at €1.305bn with 15 international banks. The loan will replace Nokia Siemens Networks’ existing revolving credit facility when it matures in June 2012.

NTT Docomo Reports LTE Progress

As of December 31, 2011, NTT Docomo had 1.14 million LTE subscribers -- its first full year of operating a commercial LTE network.

Docomo currently has four LTE handsets, 2 LTE-enabled tablets, and three LTE modems/routers on offer.

Docomo's LTE network now covers all prefectural capital-sized cities across Japan, covering about 24% of the population. This footprint consists of approximately 5,000 LTE base stations in operation. By the end of March 2012, Docomo aims to have approximately LTE 7,000 base stations in operation.

In November, NTT Docomo introduced a "Xi Talk 24" service that provides LTE customers with unlimited voice calling to all other Docomo subscribers (including 3G users) for a flat rate of 1,480 yen per month. Already 80% of LTE handsets are on this plan.

Overall, NTT Docomo had 59.62 million subscribers across Japan, up slightly by 2.41 million users over a year earlier.

On the financial side, during the quarter ending Dec. 31, NTT Docomo generated revenue of ¥3,174 billion, down ¥35.0 billion from the same period last year due a decline in voice ARPU, which was partially offset by a rise in packet data revenue. Operating expenses declined by ¥20.3 billion yen in the quarter due to a more efficient use of CAPEX, yielding an operating income of ¥743 billion for the quarter, which is a decrease of ¥14.7 billion from a year earlier.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Verizon Expands Network in Africa and the Middle East

Verizon announced the expansion of its Private IP service to the following locations: Gabon on Africa's western coast; Djibouti and Ethiopia on the Horn of Africa; Malawi and Zimbabwe in Eastern Africa; and Swaziland in the southern region. The expansion brings to 21 the number of African countries where Verizon's Private IP is now available. In addition, the network has been expanded to Bahrain and Qatar in the Middle East. Services were already available in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi and Dubai).

AT&T Reports Soaring Wi-Fi Traffic

The volume of traffic on AT&T's Wi-Fi network nearly tripled in 2011 over 2010 for a total of 1.2 billion overall connections. The uptick in traffic was especially noticeable in Q4 2011, when 486.9 million connections were made over the 3 month period. There are now more than three million connections per day to the AT&T Wi-Fi Network

"As AT&T Wi-Fi connections and usage soar at hospitality locations, retail stores, stadiums and enterprise businesses, venues are benefiting by making Wi-Fi available to their customers and employees," said Angie Wiskocil, Senior Vice President, AT&T Wi-Fi Services.

Alcatel-Lucent Appoints Head of Enterprise Division

Alcatel-Lucent has appointed Michel Emelianoff as President of its Enterprise division, succeeding Tom Burns, who after 12 years is leaving the company for personal reasons. Michel Emelianoff is Vice President & General Manager, Data & Security Solutions for Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise. He joined Alcatel Enterprise in 1998 as Sales Director, Northern Europe. Prior to joining Alcatel, Michel spent six years at Siemens, where he held positions in sales, marketing, and business development in Germany, France, and the U.S. Michel Emelianoff is a graduate of “Ecole Centrale�? Paris with a degree in aeronautical engineering.

Oclaro Sees Recovery from Thai Floods

Oclaro reported revenues of $86.5 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2012, compared to revenues of $105.8 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2012. While above the high end of the company’s guidance for the quarter, revenues and operating results for the quarter were materially impacted by the flood in Thailand. GAAP gross margin was 13% for the second quarter of fiscal 2012, compared to a GAAP gross margin of 23% in the first quarter of fiscal 2012.

“In the second quarter of fiscal 2012, Oclaro achieved revenue at the high end of our previous guidance range, primarily due to our recovery efforts from the recent Thailand flooding,�? said Alain Couder, chairman and CEO of Oclaro. "We are pleased with our recovery progress thus far. We expect full commercial production by the end of March for three of our five affected product lines and within the June quarter for the remaining two. In spite of the flood, we remain focused on enabling Oclaro to emerge from this period better positioned than before, in terms of our market position on certain existing products, recent introductions and our pipeline of new products and new technologies."

Nokia Posts Q4 2011 Net sales of EUR 10.0 Billion, Down 21%

Nokia reported net sales of EUR 10.0 billion for the fourth quarter of 2011, down 21% from Q4 2010 and up 11% from the preceding quarter. There was a loss of nearly EUR 1.1 billion.

Sales of devices and services overall fell by 29%: in Europe, these sales fell 38%, in China by 40% and in North America, these sales fell by 77%.

On the bright side, Nokia reported that the sale of more than one million of its new Windows-based Lumia phones.

"In the war of ecosystems, clearly there are some strong contenders already on the field. And with Lumia, we have demonstrated that we belong on the field. Our specific intent has been to establish a beachhead in this war of ecosystems, and country by country that is what we are now accomplishing. To date we have sold well over 1 million Lumia devices. From this beachhead of more than 1 million Lumia devices, you will see us push forward with the sales, marketing and successive product introductions necessary to be successful. We also plan to bring the Lumia series to additional markets including China and Latin America in the first half of 2012," stated Stephen Elop, Nokia's CEO.

Nokia is now preparing to launch the Lumia phones in China, Latin America and other markets. The company expects 2012 will be its year of transition and has not provided a sales outlook as before.

Sales at Nokia Siemens Networks for Q4 2011 amounted to EUR 3.815 billion, down 4% from last year but up 12% over Q3 2011. The company said the year-on-year decrease in Nokia Siemens Networks' net sales in the fourth quarter 2011 was driven primarily by a decline in sales of infrastructure equipment, which more than offset the contribution from the acquired Motorola Solutions networks assets and a slight increase in sales of services. Excluding the acquired Motorola Solutions networks assets, net sales would have decreased by 11% year-on-year. The sequential increase in Nokia Siemens Networks' net sales in the fourth quarter 2011 was driven primarily by industry seasonality. Services represented slightly over 50% of Nokia Siemens Networks' net sales in the fourth quarter 2011.

AT&T: iPhone Accounts for 80% of Smartphone Sales

AT&T reported blockbuster mobile broadband sales in Q4 2011 with 9.4 million smartphone activations in the quarter -- 50 percent more than the previous quarterly record and nearly double 3Q11 sales. This equates to over 100,000 smartphone activations for every day of the quarter. There were 7.6 million iPhone activations, meaning that Apple represented 81% of smartphone sales in Q4 for AT&T.

“This was a blowout quarter for smartphone sales. Our network performance is at a high level on voice quality and best-in-class mobile download speeds. U-verse sales continue to be strong and business revenue trends are on a good track," stated Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and chief executive officer.

For Q4, AT&T’s consolidated revenues totaled $32.5 billion, up $1.1 billion, or 3.6 percent, versus the year-earlier quarter. Compared with the fourth quarter of 2010, operating expenses were $41.5 billion versus $29.3 billion; operating loss was $9.0 billion, compared to operating income of $2.1 billion; and AT&T’s operating income margin was (27.7) percent, compared to 6.7 percent, including costs related to T-Mobile USA.

CAPEX for 2012 is expected to be about $20 billion, stable with 2011, as increases in wireless spending offset declines in wireline capital expenditures.

Some highlights:


Best Postpaid Growth. AT&T posted a net increase in total wireless subscribers of 2.5 million in the fourth quarter to reach 103.2 million in service. Subscriber additions for the quarter include postpaid net adds of 717,000, the best gain in five quarters. Prepaid net adds were 159,000, connected device net adds were 1,029,000 and reseller net adds were 592,000. Fourth-quarter net adds reflect accelerated adoption of smartphones, including the October launch of iPhone 4S, increases in prepaid and reseller subscribers and sales of tablets and connected devices such as automobile monitoring systems, security systems and a host of other emerging products.

Record Quarter for Smartphone Sales. Fourth-quarter smartphone sales represented more than 80 percent of postpaid device sales. Both iPhone and Android device sales set records.

At the end of the quarter, 56.8 percent of AT&T’s 69.3 million postpaid subscribers had smartphones, up from 42.7 percent a year earlier and 32.8 percent two years ago.

The average ARPU for smartphones on AT&T’s network is 1.9 times that of the company’s non-smartphone devices. About 87 percent of smartphone subscribers are on FamilyTalk® or business plans. Churn levels for these subscribers are significantly lower than for other postpaid subscribers.

AT&T had its best sales quarter ever for branded computing subscribers, a new growth area for the company that includes tablets, aircards, mobile Wi-Fi hot spot devices, tethering plans and other data-only devices.

AT&T added 571,000 of these devices to reach 5.1 million, an almost 70 percent increase in total subscribers from a year ago. Most of those new subscribers were tablets, with 311,000 added in the quarter, more than half of which were postpaid.

Total wireless revenues, which include equipment sales, were up 10.0 percent year over year to $16.7 billion. Wireless service revenues increased 4.0 percent, to $14.3 billion, in the fourth quarter.

Wireless data revenues — driven by Internet access, access to applications, messaging and related services — increased by $956 million, or 19.4 percent, from the year-earlier quarter to $5.9 billion. AT&T’s postpaid wireless subscribers on monthly data plans increased by 16.4 percent over the past year. The number of subscribers on tiered data plans also continues to increase. About 22 million, or 56 percent, of all smartphone subscribers are on tiered data plans, and about 70 percent have chosen the higher-tier plans.

Wireless margins were impacted by record-setting smartphone sales and customer upgrade levels. This was offset in part by improved operating efficiencies and further revenue gains from the company’s growing base of high-quality smartphone subscribers. AT&T’s fourth-quarter wireless operating income margin was 15.2 percent versus 22.9 percent in the year-earlier quarter, and AT&T’s wireless EBITDA service margin was 28.7 percent, compared with 37.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010.


Total business revenues grew sequentially for the second consecutive quarter. Revenues were $9.3 billion, down 1.4 percent versus the year-earlier quarter but a slight increase over the third quarter of 2011. The year-over-year decline reflects economic conditions and weakness in voice and legacy data products somewhat offset by growth in IP data. Business service revenues, which exclude CPE, declined 1.2 percent year over year, compared to a year-over-year decline of 4.3 percent in the year-ago quarter and were essentially flat sequentially, despite fewer business days in the fourth quarter.

Revenues from the new-generation capabilities that lead AT&T’s most advanced business solutions — including Ethernet, VPNs, hosting, IP conferencing and application services — grew 16.4 percent versus the year-earlier quarter, continuing strong trends in this area. This now represents a nearly $6 billion annualized revenue stream.

Total business IP data revenues grew 9.2 percent versus the year-earlier fourth quarter, led by growth in VPN revenues. IP-based solutions allow customers to easily add managed services such as network security, cloud services and IP conferencing on top of their infrastructures. Total business data revenues grew 1.3 percent year over year.

Revenues from residential customers totaled $5.3 billion, an increase of 0.5 percent versus the fourth quarter a year ago. The fourth quarter marked the sixth consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth.

AT&T U-verse TV added 208,000 subscribers to reach 3.8 million in service. As U-verse scales, its margins improve, contributing to profitability. In the fourth quarter, the AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet attach rate was 90 percent and about half of new subscribers took AT&T U-verse Voice. About three-fourths of AT&T U-verse TV subscribers have a triple- or quad-play option from AT&T. ARPU for U-verse triple-play customers was almost $170, up 2.5 percent year over year.

AT&T’s U-verse deployment has reached its goal of passing 30 million living units.

AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet delivered a fourth-quarter net gain of 587,000 subscribers to reach a total of 5.2 million, helping offset losses from DSL. Overall, AT&T lost 49,000 wireline broadband connections. About 74 percent of consumers have a broadband plan delivering speeds of 3 Mbps or higher versus 65 percent in the year-ago quarter.

Orange Sees Growth in French Cloud Computing

Orange Business Services reported that it now has over 3,600 customers in France using its cloud computing solutions. This includes 110 for the Flexible Computing Express Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offer, introduced in October 2011, and over 2,500 small business customers for Cloud Pro, a suite of online services launched in June 2011.

Riverbed's Q4 Revenue Rises to $203 Million, up 7% YoY

Riverbed Technology reported Q4 2011 revenue of $203 million, an increase of 7% from $190 million reported in the third quarter of This compares to GAAP net income of $19 million, or $0.12 per share, in Q3’11 and $13 million, or $0.08 per share, in Q4’10. GAAP net income for 2011 was $64 million, or $0.38 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income of $34 million, or $0.22 per diluted share, in 2010.

"We believe we are in the strongest strategic and competitive position in our history. Adding to that, early in 2012 we will be entering what we think will be Riverbed’s most exciting and important product cycle yet.�?

"The business has been executing well and fourth quarter revenue growth was fueled by strong enterprise sales in both the U.S. and EMEA,�? added Randy S. Gottfried, Riverbed Chief Financial Officer. “Despite higher disk drive costs resulting from recent Thai floods, we reported strong gross and operating margins in the fourth quarter. We believe our past investments in our core and new products will continue to yield solid revenue and profit growth in 2012.�?

Freescale's Q4 Sales Decline to $1.01 billion

Freescale Semiconductor reported net sales for the fourth quarter of 2011 were $1.01 billion, compared to $1.14 billion in the third quarter of 2011 and $1.18 billion in the fourth quarter last year. Net sales for calendar year 2011 were $4.57 billion compared to $4.46 billion in calendar year 2010.

The net loss for the fourth quarter of 2011 was $6 million, or $.02 per share, compared to a loss of $88 million, or $.36 per share, in the third quarter of 2011 and a loss of $102 million, or $.52 per share, in the same period last year. The net loss for calendar year 2011 was $410 million or $1.82 per share compared to a loss of $1.05 billion or $5.35 per share in calendar year 2010.

"The Freescale team executed well in 2011,�? said Rich Beyer, chairman and CEO. “We grew revenues, improved margins and significantly improved our capital structure through an initial public offering. M

Juniper Posts Weak Q4 Revenue

Juniper Networks' net revenues for the fourth quarter of 2011 decreased 6% on a year-over-year basis, and increased 1% sequentially, to $1,120.8 million. For the year ended December 31, 2011, Juniper's revenue increased 9% on a year-over-year basis to $4,448.7 million.

The company posted GAAP net income of $96.2 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, and non-GAAP net income of $150.1 million, or $0.28 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2011. Included in the GAAP diluted earnings per share was a $0.02 cents impact for restructuring and other charges.

"The December quarter was an atypical and unexpectedly weak finish to the year, with reduced spending by some of our largest customers," said Robyn Denholm, Juniper's chief financial officer. "While long-term industry fundamentals remain strong, we expect the near-term environment to remain challenging. We will invest in support of our strategy while continuing our focus on execution and prudent cost management."

Other Financial Highlights Total cash, cash equivalents and investments as of the fourth quarter of 2011 was $4,292.4 million, compared to $4,130.3 million as of the third quarter of 2011 and $2,821.6 million as of the fourth quarter of 2010.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Amazon Web Services Adds Storage Gateway

Amazon Web Services introduced a new option for enterprises to securely upload data to the AWS cloud.

The AWS Storage Gateway connects an on-premises software appliance with cloud-based storage for seamless integration between on-premises IT environments and AWS storage infrastructure. The service provides low-latency performance by maintaining data in on-premises storage hardware while asynchronously uploading data to AWS, where it is encrypted and securely stored in the Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3).

Pricing for the AWS Storage Gateway is $125/month per installed gateway and comes with a 60 day free trial. Snapshot storage pricing starts at only $0.14 per gigabyte per month.

“With the AWS Storage Gateway, we’re providing businesses yet another way to easily take advantage of AWS’s secure, scalable and cost-effective cloud storage for use with their on-premises applications�?
“With the AWS Storage Gateway, we’re providing businesses yet another way to easily take advantage of AWS’s secure, scalable and cost-effective cloud storage for use with their on-premises applications,�? said Alyssa Henry, General Manager of AWS Storage Services. “The AWS Storage Gateway works with your existing applications using a standard iSCSI interface, securely transfers your data to AWS over SSL, and stores data encrypted at rest in Amazon S3.�?

TE Connectivity Posts Slower Communication Sales

TE Connectivity reported quarterly sales of $3.3 billion. Earnings per share from continuing operations (GAAP EPS) were $0.59 for the quarter and adjusted EPS were $0.66. Included in the GAAP EPS were $0.03 per share of restructuring and other charges, $0.01 per share of acquisition-related charges and $0.04 per share of tax items. Free cash flow was $85 million for the quarter.

"The first quarter was a slow start to our fiscal year due to lower-than-expected demand in our Communications and Industrial Solutions segment and our Telecom Networks business. This more than offset continued strength in our Transportation Solutions segment," said TE Connectivity Chief Executive Officer Tom Lynch. "

Motorola Solutions Sees Strong Q4

Motorola Solutions posted Q4 revenue of $2.3 billion, up 5 percent from a year ago. GAAP operating earnings in the fourth quarter of 2011 were $276 million or 12 percent of sales, compared to $272 million or 12 percent of sales in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Government sales in Q4 totaled $1.5 billion, up 6 percent from a year ago, while enterprise sales were $753 million, up 3 percent from a year ago.

“Our record fourth quarter capped a very strong and exciting year for our company,�? said Greg Brown, chairman and CEO of Motorola Solutions. “We streamlined and strengthened our portfolio, grew operating earnings more than five times revenue growth, expanded operating margins, generated strong cash flow and prioritized return of capital to our shareholders.�?