Friday, February 3, 2012

Sprint Unveils iDen Decommissioning Sites with 4G Rollout Underway

Sprint has activated a new Nextel iDEN network page that lets the user input a zip code and then see a map of iDEN network towers in the area and which are slated for decommissioning.

The first towers being removed from the iDEN network are considered "excess capacity" sites, which were deployed years ago when a much bigger iDEN network was anticipated. To keep the iDEN service in operation for now, other towers in the area will be retuned to cover the lost territory.

Sprint plans to decommission the first iDEN towers in New Orleans, once Mardi Gras is over at the end of the month.
  • In October 2011, Sprint confirmed that as part of Network Vision, it will be decommissioning of over 25,000 iDEN sites.

  • In December 2011, Sprint deployed the first multi-mode base station as part of its Network Vision architecture. The new base station, which has been activated in Branchburg, New Jersey, is radiating multiple spectrum bands (1.9GHz and 800MHz) and powering both 1x and EVDO services. It is fully integrated with the existing network and performing as expected. Under its Network Vision plan, Sprint intends to repurpose some of its 800MHz spectrum for Sprint 3G 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. More density generally equates to fewer dropped calls and a more seamless network experience for customers.

Network World: Reed Hundt on Why Spectrum Bill is Terrible

Network World published an interview with former Federal Communications Commission chairman Reed Hundt, who has characterized spectrum auction legislation under consideration by the U.S. House of Representatives as "the single worst telecom bill" he's seen. Two major issues of concern for Hundt are: (1) the idea that future spectrum auctions should not have any bidding eligibility rules set by the FCC, and (2) that unlicensed spectrum should not be a priority for the FCC.

Forbes: More Smartphone Shipments than PCs

An article from Forbes notes that sales of smartphones outpaced PCs for the first time in 2011. According to figures cited from Canalys, 487.7 million smartphones were shipped in 2011 versus 414.6 million PCs, which include tablet PCs.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Netflix Licenses Streaming EYE IO's Streaming Technology

EYE IO, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, announced the first commercial license of its Internet video streaming technology with Netflix.

eyeIO said its video encoding is fully compliant with existing standards. The technology can be deployed as either a cloud or local solution and the enhanced video can be viewed without a custom video player or equipment modification.

“eyeIO provides a straightforward solution for accommodating the rapidly growing demand for video delivery around the world by alleviating the overwhelming bandwidth currently required to stream video,�? said Rodolfo Vargas, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of eyeIO. “Our future could not look more promising as eyeIO continues to challenge the commonly accepted limits of Internet video delivery and enables everyone connected tohttp://www.eyeio.comeyeIO was founded by Charles Steinberg, former CEO of Ampex Corporation and former President of the Business and Professional Products Company of Sony Electronics; Robert C. Hagerty, former Chairman and CEO of Polycom; and Rodolfo Vargas, former Senior Program Manager of Video at Microsoft and former Co-Chairman of Video Streaming and Internet Interactivity at the DVD Forum.

Telenor to Offer ip.access' Small Cells

ip.access announced a major global agreement with Telenor Group for the supply of its end-to-end small cell solutions. ip.access will be able to supply its standards-compliant end-to-end 3G small cell solution for residential, business and public use to Telenor operators worldwide. The deal also has provision to potentially extend to 4G in future. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Last year, ip.access was the first vendor to pass the milestone of more than half a million 3G small cells operational in networks globally.

NetAmerica Alliance Deploys Ericsson's LTE Home Gateway

Members of the NetAmerica Alliance are the first service providers to deploy Ericsson's powerful 4G LTE Mobile Broadband Router in the U.S.

NetAmerica Alliance, which is based in Dallas, is a group of independent carriers who have joined forces to build-out LTE service in the carriers' license coverage areas.

The new LTE device is being marketed as the UniPort Home Gateway. It serves as a multi-function gateway between the home or small business and the LTE network. As a mobile broadband router, it presents a 4G LTE wireless broadband connection to the network and offers wired Ethernet, Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) and RJ-11 telephone interfaces toward the customer premise. It was developed by Ericsson and is provided to Alliance Members through the technology partnership announced between Ericsson and NetAmerica in 2011.

"Alliance Members have been putting the UniPort through its paces since last fall when we announced the launch of our pilot network," said Scott Donlea, EVP and Chief Operating Officer of NetAmerica. "We are confident to say it is ready for commercial service and both customers and Alliance Members have been pleased with its ease of use and powerful features."
  • In January 2012, NetAlliance completed installation of its SuperCenter, which houses both the Alliance’s IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) as well as its 24/7 Network Operations Center (NOC). The SuperCenter is manned and run by NetAmerica personnel in support of Alliance Members who are deploying 4G LTE service in their respective license areas. Before the NetAmerica Alliance, independent carriers who owned wireless spectrum faced the quandary that while they needed an IMS architecture to evolve their network and a 24/7 operations center to monitor it, the capital investment, services development, and staffing costs were unaffordable for any but the largest carriers. NetAmerica Alliance made that investment, and through its business relationship with Alliance Members, shares the cost of that investment among them. In this manner,

BT Looks to Double FTTC Speeds to 330 Mbps

BT plans to introduce a new faster variant of FTTC broadband this Spring. This service will deliver speeds that are approximately double those on offer today so downstream speeds will be up to 80Mbps rather than up to 40Mbps. Upstream speeds will also be faster at up to 20Mbps.

The company also announced progress with its “FTTP on demand�? in St Agnes, Cornwall. This solution allows additional fibre to be run on demand to a home or business in a Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) enabled area, providing the customer with ultra-fast Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) broadband.

BT currently has more than seven million premises that can access fibre broadband over its network. This figure will rise to ten million in 2012 and then to around two thirds of UK premises by the end of 2014. BT wants to go further and believes it is possible to make fibre broadband available to more than 90% of UK premises by working with local councils and devolved governments. BT is bidding for Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) funds to make that happen.

Openreach chief executive Olivia Garfield said: “FTTP on demand is a significant development for Broadband Britain. Essentially, it could make our fastest speeds available wherever we deploy fibre. This will be welcome news for small businesses who may wish to benefit from the competitive advantage that such speeds provide.

Hutchison Whampoa to Acquire Orange Austria for EUR 1.3 Billion

Hutchison Whampoa Limited will acquire Orange Austria from France Telecom and its partner Mid Europa Partners (“MEP�?) .

Orange Austria had estimated 2011 revenues of approximately €500 million and a total customer base of 2.3 million mobile users at the end of 2011. The company employs almost 800 people.

France Telecom-Orange currently holds a 35% stake in Orange Austria and MEP a 65% stake. As part of the overall transaction, Hutchison will sell frequencies, base station sites, the mobile phone operator Yesss! Telekommunikation GmbH (“Yesss!�?) as well as certain intellectual property rights to Telekom Austria Group, immediately after the acquisition of Orange Austria.

The agreement implies an enterprise value of approximately €1.3 billion for Orange Austria and is expected to provide France Telecom-Orange with cash proceeds of around €70 million for its equity stake.

France Telecom said the sale represents another milestone in the optimization of its portfolio.

Swisscom to Leverage Ericsson's M2M

Swisscom will begin offering commercial machine-to-machine (M2M) services based on Ericsson's Device Connection Platform, which allows for cost-efficient management of a large number of connected devices and machines. The first trials will start in February 2012. The commercial introduction of services is scheduled for the summer 2012.

Swisscom already has several hundred thousand machines connected in Switzerland and the company predicts an addressable market of up to 100 million connected devices and machines in Switzerland alone in the coming years.

Urs Schaeppi, Head of Swisscom Corporate Business Unit, says: "We are entering this partnership - in which Ericsson supports us not only with its M2M connectivity platform, but also with its extensive experience of the worldwide M2M market - with the clear ambition not only to be first in an emerging market, but also to provide our customers with the kind of superior offering they are used to from us. Our ambition is to provide enterprise customers with a scalable, easy-to-configure-and-maintain, telecom-grade solution that helps them to leverage the full potential of their M2M connectivity and gain a competitive advantage."

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Cavium's Revenue Declines 17% in Q4 to $68 Million

Cavium posted Q4 2011 revenue of $56.3 million, a 16.9% sequential decrease from the $67.7 million reported for the third quarter of 2011.
Net loss for the fourth quarter of 2011, on a GAAP basis, was $9.4 million, or $(0.19) per diluted share, compared to net income of $6.0 million, or $0.12 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2011. Gross margins were 58.1% in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to 59.9% in the third quarter of 2011. Total cash and cash equivalents were $63.2 million at December 31, 2011.

Palo Alto Networks Hires Ex-CFO of Aruba Networks

Palo Alto Networks appointed Steffan Tomlinson as its new chief financial officer (CFO), effective immediately. Most notably, from 2005 to 2011, Tomlinson served as chief financial officer of Aruba Networks and was instrumental in both their Initial Public Offering and helping the company scale to facilitate growth. From 2000 to 2005, he was the first non-founder employee and, ultimately, chief financial officer of Peribit Networks.

Extreme Posts Revenue of $82.8 Million, Profit of $4.1 Million

Extreme Networks reported quarterly net revenue of $82.8 million, and GAAP net income of $4.1 million or $0.04 per diluted share.

"These results show the initial positive effect of our company transformation with product revenue up 8% and non-GAAP operating income up 25% from Q1," said Oscar Rodriguez, President and CEO of Extreme Networks. "We are now focused on driving the success of our new products for the cloud, data center and mobile markets, which will begin shipping this quarter."

Rodriguez continued, "Across our vertical markets, we are seeing strong interest in new cloud-scale products including the Black Diamond X8, and our new mobile backhaul products, the E4G cell-site routers."

Total net revenue in Americas was $36.8 million, revenue in EMEA was $32.4 million, and revenue in APAC was $13.6 million. That compares to revenue in Americas of $30.8 million, revenue in EMEA of $37.2 million, and revenue in APAC of $17.1 million for the same period last year. For the quarter, total revenue increased 5%, and product revenue was up 8% sequentially from the first quarter of fiscal 2012.

Anite Collaborates on TD-LTE Testing with China Mobile

Anite, which specializes in wireless device testing technology, announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China Mobile Research Institute (CMRI) to collaborate on research in order to facilitate the global roll-out of TD-LTE technology. The companies are working to develop validated protocol conformance and interoperability test specifications and test systems.

América Móvil Picks Alcatel-Lucent for LTE

América Móvil, the largest wireless operator in the Americas, has selected Alcatel-Lucent to provide infrastructure for its LTE/4G network rollout in Latin America. The initial deployment with Claro, América Móvil's brand in Puerto Rico, is underway. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Alcatel-Lucent noted that its LTE solutions have now been selected by more than 20 customers, including two of the world’s largest service providers for commercial deployments, and are involved in over 70 trials worldwide.
  • As of September 30, 2011, América Móvil had 241.5 million wireless subscribers and 56.4 million fixed revenue generating units in the Americas.

Ericsson and Qualcomm Complete Voice Handover from LTE to WCDMA

Ericsson and Qualcomm announced the successful handover of a voice call from LTE to WCDMA on an end-to-end network. The handover used 3GPP-standardized Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC).

The testing, which was completed in December, demonstrated seamless voice service when the user moves out of LTE coverage as the call is automatically handed over to WCDMA or GSM. The end-to-end network was supplied by Ericsson and the smartphone used an LTE/3G multimode chipset from Qualcomm. The handover mechanism is supported on Ericsson's end-to-end products and solutions; LTE/WCDMA/GSM RAN, Evolved Packet Core, MSC and IMS to work towards VoLTE enabled LTE smartphones.

"By accomplishing this advanced LTE handover technology together with Qualcomm, we now ensure that operators can meet consumers' expectations on a high-quality voice over LTE service. Operators will be able to maintain their quality brand for their voice business when they launch voice over LTE," stated Johan Wibergh, Head of Business Unit Networks, Ericsson.

The first operators are expected to begin deploying SRVCC during 2012, followed by more global commercial launches in 2013.

AT&T and Orange Expand Cisco Telepresence Interconnectivity

AT&T and Orange Business Services announced a new inter-provider connectivity agreement for a global telepresence service that expands the features and capabilities of video collaboration. The new service is available to all AT&T Telepresence Solution and Orange Telepresence Community customers using Cisco TelePresence endpoints.

“This capability with Orange further extends AT&T’s telepresence offer and brings the benefits of the AT&T Business Exchange to even more global customers who understand the value of connecting through face-to-face collaboration,�? said Alan Benway, Executive Director of AT&T Business Solutions. “By using our world-class MPLS network to connect organizations to their customers, suppliers and business partners, telepresence has proven to be a valuable communications tool -- in fact, more than one-third of the companies ranked in the Fortune 100 are connected to the AT&T Business Exchange. Telepresence is a valued solution that is hard to ignore when considering the organizational and environmental benefits the technology brings to the table."

TeliaSonera Increases Stake in GSM Kazakhstan

TeliaSonera has increased its ownership in in GSM Kazakhstan LLP, operating under the brand Kcell, by acquiring a 49 % stake in the company from Kazakhtelecom. The price paid was US$1.519 billion.

TeliaSonera has further agreed, subject to certain conditions, to sell 25 percent of the shares minus one share in Kcell in an Initial Public Offering (IPO). The IPO process has been initiated, and is expected to be completed during 2012. Depending on the share price development after the IPO, TeliaSonera may have to make an additional payment to Kazakhtelecom.

After the transaction, GSM Kazakhstan LLP is owned by Fintur Holdings (51%) and TeliaSonera (49%). Fintur Holdings B.V. is owned by TeliaSonera (58.55%) and Turkcell (41.45%). Once both steps of the transaction have been completed, TeliaSonera’s effective ownership in Kcell will be 61.9%.

HP Enables OpenFlow across its Enterprise Switches

HP is enabling OpenFlow across its FlexNetwork enterprise switches. The new capabilities are delivered as a free software upgrade across 16 switches, including the HP 3500, 5400 and 8200 series. The support will be expended to all switches in the HP FlexNetwork architecture this year.

OpenFlow is an emerging network virtualization technology pioneered at Stanford University and by the Open Networking Foundation, of which HP is a founding member.

OpenFlow is aimed at reducing the complexity of network devices and automating tasks using simplified network management.

“To help enterprises uniformly manage network traffic flow across the data center, HP became an early innovator of the OpenFlow standard, supporting more than 60 universities and research centers in trials, development efforts and practical real-world applications,�? said Bethany Mayer, senior vice president and general manager, Networking, HP. “With more than 10 million OpenFlow-capable switch ports deployed and the broadest portfolio currently available on the market, HP is leading the move to the OpenFlow standard and further simplifying networks for our enterprise clients.�?

Comcast Signs Multiyear Agreement with Amdocs

Comcast Cable Communications agreed to a multi-year extension of its existing software license and services agreements with Amdocs relating to various offerings in the Amdocs CES (customer experience systems) portfolio. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“Comcast is widely recognized for their industry leadership and we look forward to continuing to serve as a provider of systems and services in support of their operations,�? said Brian Shepherd, Amdocs division president.

U.S. Cellular to Launch LTE Next Month

U.S. Cellular, which serves about 5.9 million mobile users, plans to launch its first LTE markets next month in partnership with King Street Wireless. Initial markets include Milwaukee, Madison and Racine, Wis.; Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Davenport, Iowa; Portland and Bangor, Maine; and Greenville, N.C. U.S. Cellular is the first wireless carrier to offer 4G LTE in several of these markets. The next wave of market launches will be announced later this month.

The 4G LTE network will cover 25 percent of U.S. Cellular's customers and will coincide with the launch of the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 4G LTE mobile tablet, followed shortly by the Samsung Galaxy Aviator 4G LTE smartphone.

King Street Wireless currently holds 700 MHz wireless spectrum in 27 states and is partnering with Chicago-based U.S. Cellular to deliver high-speed 4G LTE service to U.S. Cellular's customers in several of the carrier's markets. King Street Wireless is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia.