Wednesday, February 22, 2012

ZTE Claims 33% Sales Growth in First 9 months of 2011

ZTE claims a 33.4 per cent increase in sales revenue year-on-year to US$9.17 billion in the first nine months of 2011. This makes ZTE the fastest growing major network equipment supplier. Average revenue growth for the industry during the first three quarters of 2011 was approximately 10 percent, according to the company.

ZTE credits its growth in part to a successful expansion into Tier-1 markets around the globe, including work with Softbank in Japan, Bharti Airtel in India, and América Móvil in Mexico.

Marvell Revenues Slide 22% to $743 Million

Marvell Technology Group reported quarterly revenue for its fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, ended Jan 28, 2012) of $743 million, a 22 percent sequential decrease from $950 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2012, ended October 29, 2011, and down 18 percent from $901 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011, ended January 29, 2011. GAAP net income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 was $81 million, or $0.13 per share (diluted), compared with GAAP net income of $195 million, or $0.32 per share (diluted) in the third quarter of fiscal 2012, and $223 million, or $0.33 per share (diluted), for the fourth of last year.

"Fiscal year 2012 was a challenging year for Marvell in which we endured not only a choppy macro-economic environment but also the effects of an earthquake, massive floods, and product transitions at one of our largest customers. In spite of these challenges, Marvell delivered excellent profitability and free cash flow margins while simultaneously increasing our investments for several new initiatives," said Dr. Sehat Sutardja, Marvell's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "During fiscal 2012, Marvell was successful in several new products and initiatives. Our China TD business is now producing tangible results, our SSD revenue has exceeded expectations and our networking business is growing due to new products and share gains. As a result of these new initiatives and the recovery in the hard disk drive industry, we expect to see steady improvement in each of our end markets in the new fiscal year."

Tellabs Enhances its Mobile Backhaul for LTE

Tellabs announced a major refresh of its mobile backhaul portfolio with a goal of providing enhanced support for LTE and soon LTE-Advanced traffic.

Key enhancements include:

  • the ability to deliver up to 10 Gbps mobile backhaul speeds to cell sites

  • multiple built-in synchronization and syntonization schemes for LTE

  • the Tellabs 7100 and 7300 have been improved for fiber-optic mobile backhaul

  • a new Tellabs 8611 Access Switch provides 10G interfaces in a compact 2RU unit optimized for cell sites and small aggregation locations,

  • the Tellabs 8630 system now provides up to 80G of capacity

  • the Tellabs 8660 system provides up to 240G of capacity

  • the Tellabs 8800 system provides up to 360G of capacity

  • the Tellabs 9200 system provides up to 5.5 Terabits of capacity.

LSI Adopts Multicore ARM for Mobile Infrastructure Processing

LSI will leverage ARM processor core for the first time in its Axxia platform for next-generation wireless infrastructure.

The Axxia solutions will combine the latest ARM Cortex A-15 processors cores with LSI hardware accelerators, resulting in a system on a chip uniquely suited to building intelligent, heterogeneous networks. Key points:

  • Energy-efficient, low-power multicore processors for base stations and wireless infrastructure.

  • Scalable performance to contend with massive data growth driven by smartphones, tablets and cloud-based services.

  • Embedded intelligence to identify traffic, recognize applications and deliver the right content at the right time, enabling real-time services including mobile video.

  • Third-party tools and support through the ARM community and LSI networking ecosystem.

“Consumers worldwide have an insatiable appetite for mobile broadband services. Operators need intelligent solutions to deliver exponentially growing traffic without exponentially growing their costs and power consumption,�? said Jim Anderson, senior vice president and general manager, Networking Components Division, LSI. “With solutions ranging from dual core to 16 or more cores, the Axxia wireless platform delivers the intelligence and performance to accelerate mobile networks from small cells to macro base stations.�?

HP Enhances its Home Subscriber Server for LTE

HP has expanded its Actionable Customer Intelligence portfolio with two key offerings designed for communications service providers (CSPs):

  • The HP Home Subscriber Server (HSS) solution, which supports multiple networks, is enhanced with mobility management features that help CSPs migrate smoothly from 2G/3G networks to LTE networks. HSS is the primary customer database with information including personal profiles and the mobile services they use. New features in HP HSS version 5.1 include seamless fallback from LTE to 2G/3G; Voice over LTE (VoLTE); and Voice calls between LTE and 3G networks using the Single Voice Call Continuity protocol as an IMS application.

  • The HP Subscriber, Network and Application Policy (SNAP) management solution now integrates real-time charging (billing) so CSPs can apply business rules that allow personalized services and offers to customers. HP SNAP combines policy and charging rules to create a single, holistic view of rules that draws on data from diverse sources, including the network (both 3G and LTE), billing systems, customer data stores and application environments. This lets service providers to develop policy and charging rules that enable personalized, context-aware offerings for customers. Such offerings can include tiered pricing plans, content packages, customized service bundles, and real-time up-sell offers.

“LTE is both a challenge and an opportunity for CSPs, as it levels the playing field for intense ‘co-opetition’ and opens the door to new revenues,�? said David Sliter, vice president and general manager, Communications and Media Solutions, HP Enterprise Services. “HP is helping CSPs use their unique assets to forge personalized, loyal customer relationships that can lead to entirely new revenue streams.�?

NSN Showcases Active Antennas with Telecom Italia

Nokia Siemens Networks will showcase a live Active Antenna System at Mobile World Congress 2012 in partnership with Telecom Italia. The companies will demonstrate the beam forming capability of the Flexi Multiradio Antenna System, which creates moving beams of radio signals that can be directed at individual users or confined to a specific area. Telecom Italia is currently conducting trials of the technology in its network and has been collaborating with NSN on a common R&D framework for intelligent antennas since 2006.

Nokia Siemens Networks said its active antenna systems can increase base station capacity by up to 65 percent and coverage by as much as 30 percent compared to traditional antennas. The Active Antenna System technology integrates several radio frequency (RF) components such as power amplifiers and transceivers into the antenna dipoles. This enables the unique beam forming capability that delivers significant performance enhancement and energy efficiency. In addition to improved capacity and coverage,

T-Mobile USA Cites iPhone for Customer Defections, LTE Planned for 2013

As of the end of Q4 2011, T-Mobile USA had 33.2 million customers, down from 33.7 million customers at both the end of third quarter 2011 and the end of fourth quarter 2010. Net customer losses of 526,000 compared to net customer additions of 126,000 in the third quarter of 2011, and net customer losses of 23,000 in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Service revenues were $4.57 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011, down from $4.67 billion in the third quarter of 2011 and $4.69 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010. T-Mobile USA reported Adjusted OIBDA was $1.40 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to $1.45 billion in the third quarter of 2011 and $1.34 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Blended ARPU in the fourth quarter of 2011 was $46, consistent with the fourth quarter of 2010.

"In 2011, T-Mobile USA showed solid financial performance with a remarkable adjusted OIBDA turn-around in the second half of the year, despite nine challenging months during the pending acquisition. We further increased our 4G data speed to 42 Mbps, expanded our sales channels, launched 25 new 4G handsets and significantly improved our operational efficiency. As a result, adjusted OIBDA rose again year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2011 and branded data ARPU grew 20 percent year-on-year as smartphone adoption accelerated,�? said Philipp Humm CEO and President of T-Mobile USA. "However, not carrying the iPhone led to a significant increase in contract deactivations in the fourth quarter of 2011. In 2012 and 2013, T-Mobile USA will invest to get the business back to growth, including an incremental $1.4 billion investment in its network modernization initiative, which will total a $4 billion investment over time."

Specifically, starting in 2013, T-Mobile USA will use spectrum it obtained through the failed AT&T merger, along with refarmed frequencies, to launch LTE services. The $1.4 billion in incremental CAPEX will support this initiative.

Cash capital expenditures in Q4 2011 were $551 million, compared to $741 million in the third quarter of 2011 and $828 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. CAPEX during 2011 were driven by the continued build-out of the HSPA+ 21 and HSPA+ 42 networks.

MetroPCS Reports Increased Profitability

MetroPCS Communications continued to add subscribers in Q4 2011, although at a slower rate, as service revenues reached $1.1 billion for the quarter, an increase of $162 million, or 17% over last year. The company reported growth in quarterly Adjusted EBITDA of 15% over the fourth quarter 2010 and ended the fourth quarter 2011 with over 9.3 million subscribers.

“Throughout 2011, we maintained our cost discipline while growing our subscriber base. We believe 2011 results were driven by our compelling lineup of smartphones and our continued investment in our CDMA network combined with our focus on enhancing the customer experience. For the sixth consecutive year, we added over 1 million net subscribers, growing our subscriber base at a 30% CAGR over the same period. This growth rate is outstanding and we believe demonstrates that no annual contract mobile broadband wireless service continues to be the fastest growing sector within wireless. As we move towards the second half of 2012, we expect to offer MetroPCS subscribers Android smartphones on our 4G LTE network at lower prices. Since our launch of Android smartphones in late 2010, 35% of our subscriber base is now on a smartphone plan. With our 4G LTE network and line-up of smartphones, we believe we can build on our momentum and continue to drive profitable growth,�? stated Roger D. Linquist, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MetroPCS.

Some other highlights:

Average revenue per user (ARPU) of $40.55 for the fourth quarter of 2011 represents an increase of $0.76 when compared to the fourth quarter of 2010. The increase in ARPU was primarily attributable to continued demand for our Wireless for All and 4G LTE service plans offset by an increase in family plan penetration from 32% of our customer base in 2010 to 45% of our customer base in 2011.

Churn decreased 80 basis points from 4.5% to 3.7%, when compared to the third quarter of 2011, and increased 20 basis points when compared to the fourth quarter of 2010. The sequential decrease in churn was driven by normal seasonal effects related to the traditional retail selling periods, as well as improved network performance resulting from the investment in our CDMA network to meet increased data demands.

Procera Sees Strong Growth for its Policy Enforcement

On February 21, Procera Networks reported Q4 2011 revenue of $15.6 million, up 28% sequentially from revenue of $12.2 million in the third quarter of 2011 and up 108% from revenue of $7.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. Revenue for 2011 was $44.4 million, up 118% from revenue of $20.3 million in 2010. Net income for Q4 2011 was $1.8 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, compared to net income of $182,000, or $0.02 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2010. Net income for 2011 was $3.8 million, or $0.28 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $2.9 million, or $0.27 per share, in 2010.

Procera added 15 new service provider companies in Q4 including two new Tier-1 customers in Asia-Pac and Western Europe, and noted bookings of approximately $10 million.

Annual revenue guidance for 2012 is for 30% revenue growth, year-over-year.

"Our strong fourth quarter and full year financial results reflect performance against our growth initiatives for 2011, a year in which we achieved business expansion and balance: we entered new markets; expanded our product line; received significant follow-on orders, including eight from our existing Tier-1 customers; and won six new Tier-1 customers across fixed/mobile and cable broadband service providers. We continued to gain traction in the rapidly growing fixed/mobile market with strong contribution from fixed/mobile in 2011 and our momentum with cable customers continued with the significant follow-on orders we received from cable customers during 2011. We believe there are significant opportunities within broadband operators for expansion and replacements, as well as initial deployment of our solutions," stated James Brear, president and CEO of Procera Networks.

Radisys: Strong Carrier Interest in Small Cells, Wi-Fi Offload, VoLTE

Small cell networks will be widely deployed by mobile operators worldwide over the next two years, according to a global operator survey commissioned by Radisys and undertaken by wireless analysts Senza Fili Consulting, ahead of Mobile World Congress 2012. In fact, 100% of surveyed operators in Europe and Asia intend to deploy small cell networks within two years, while 100% of North American operators will do so in three years' time.

Some key highlights from the survey:

  • 86% of all operators surveyed support VoLTE

  • 82% of all operators surveyed support Wi-Fi offload

  • 82% of all operators surveyed believe new mobile devices will have a positive impact on revenues and subscriber experience

  • 71% of all operators surveyed viewed new mobile devices as the most disruptive force in the next three years
  • In North America, the most disruptive force will be VoLTE. In Europe, it will be new mobile devices, and in Asia Pacific, it will be, jointly, Wi-Fi offload, small cells and TDD/FDD hybrid networks, with devices in second.

  • 58% of all operators surveyed believe LTE Advanced will have a highly positive impact on revenues and subscriber experience; 66% agree that it will not happen for three years.

"Devices will continue to be the main driver to change in our industry," comments Monica Paolini of Senza Fili Consulting. "They have fundamentally changed the way subscribers use mobile broadband - why they use it, what they do with it, and how much traffic they generate. Yet, there is a pervasive feeling that we have just started to scratch the surface."

More on the Radisys website.

MEF Introduces Carrier Ethernet 2.0

The Metro Ethernet Forum introduced a set of "Carrier Ethernet 2.0" specifications aimed at revolutionizing the efficiency and usability of Ethernet service delivery through the addition of three standardized features: Multi-class-of-service (Multi-CoS), Interconnect and Manageability.

Carrier Ethernet 2.0 is defined by its ability to deliver differentiated applications over interconnected, managed networks globally. Whereas the first generation of Carrier Ethernet standardized E-Line and E-LAN services, CE 2.0 standardizes Multi-CoS over eight interconnected services, including two versions of E-Line, E-LAN, E-Tree and E-Access.

Newly defined Multi-CoS extensions will now ensure standardized performance objectives across geographic boundaries, resulting in improved QoS and optimized efficiency on a global scale. New interconnect specifications extend the reach between carriers, and new management specifications provide scalability and measurability not previously possible. A new Mobile Backhaul Implementation Agreement creates a standard for 4G mobile backhaul services through Multi-CoS-enable interconnects.

The Metro Ethernet Forum cited several benefits for enterprises and Service Providers, most notably better service level agreements (SLAs) per location regardless of location.

Key standards and implementation agreements supporting CE 2.0 were completed by the MEF in January. The Metro Ethernet Forum is also planning to offer CE 2.0 certifications.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Orange First Out with Intel-powered Smartphone

Orange plans to market an Android smartphone powered by Intel's Atom Z2460 processor. The first model will run on the carrier's HSPA+ network and should hit the market by mid-year under the Orange label. The initial model will run Android's Gingerbread platform with a planned upgrade to Android's Ice Cream Sandwich platform shortly thereafter. Another feature, the phone boasts a camera that can take 10 pictures in under a second with 8-megapixel quality.

ZTE Shows First TD-LTE + Wi-Fi Pico Base Station

ZTE unveiled a TD-LTE multi-mode Pico base station. The multi-mode design supports LTE and WiFi simultaneously. Operators can configure the Pico to work in Wi-Fi mode initially, and as their LTE rollout gets underway, TD-LTE/WiFi dual-mode can then be enabled. In addition, the Pico can work in CPE mode and use TD-LTE as wireless backhaul while simultaneously working as a WiFi access point. The relay-assisted product also enables operators that lack wireline backhaul resources to efficiently develop their advanced heterogeneous LTE networks.

Symmetricom Shows LTE Synchronization over IPv6

Symmetricom has completed testing showing IPv6 interoperability between network elements, LTE eNodeBs and synchronization master clocks. The testing was performed between Symmetricom's grandmaster clock connected to Alcatel-Lucent's switches, routers, and LTE basestations.

Symmetricom already provides IPv6-enabled 1588 grandmasters and a next generation network (NGN) ready platform that can adapt to any network topology.

"IPv6 is a key initiative for many operators in 2012 and the transition will require solutions and technologies that are interoperable," said Fred Davant, LTE and Light Radio senior product manager, Alcatel-Lucent. "We're proud to have conducted these industry-first tests with Symmetricom because this demonstrates to our customers that we are able to support their IPv6 initiatives over their LTE networks."

Telefónica Deploys 2.6 GHz LTE at MWC with ALU's LightRadio

On the eve of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Telefónica activated an LTE network using the 2.6Ghz frequency band and small cell architecture. Download performance is rated at 100 Mbps with uploads ranging between 40-60Mbps. Telefónica said each cell in its LTE network can comfortably support 30 people browsing simultaneously with average speed of 30Mbps. Telefónica also expects to see vastly improved indoor coverage and can increase capacity by up to 400 per cent in high density data-traffic areas.

In a press conference with partners Alcatel-Lucent and Samsung, Enrique Blanco, Telefónica's Chief Technology Officer stated 'Today the future of mobile networks begins. The deployment of LTE that Telefónica has brought to the MWC, together with Alcatel -Lucent, gives us a glimpse of a tomorrow where everyone and everything is seamlessly connected, and in superfast time. But the challenge ahead is to ensure that all the technologies currently being deployed – 2G, 3G, LTE, Wi-Fi and Fiber – can co-exist to deliver next generation communications. Telefónica's strategy is to develop intelligent networks that allow these different technologies to co-exist efficiently and cover customers' growing connectivity needs in markets that are at different stages of development."

Telefónica's network is using Alcatel-Lucent's lightRadio technology, allowing conventional radio base stations co-exist with 4G metro cells (small base stations incorporating antennas and radio) working on the same frequency and with no interference. As a strong supporter for Telefonica's LTE service initiative, Samsung is also presenting the first LTE smart mobile devices for band 7 (2.6Ghz), GALAXY S II LTE smartphone and GALAXY Tab 8.9 LTE tablet, which can be used on this new high-capacity network.

Wim Sweldens, President of Alcatel-Lucent's Wireless Division said: 'This close collaboration with Telefónica through our co-creation programme is a clear articulation of the future of mobile broadband – rather than merely evolving their current architecture, which was designed for voice and messaging, Telefónica is making fast progress toward building a mobile broadband network designed with the future in mind. The wireless network of the future needs to be lighter, greener and closer to customers and deliver much higher capacity - that is what lightRadio is all about'.

Japanese Players Target Multi-Mode Wireless Modem Chip

NTT DOCOMO, NEC, Panasonic Mobile Communications and Fujitsu are joining forces to develop the software and hardware intellectual property for a single large-scale integration (LSI) chip that will enable small, energy-efficient modems to support the GSM, W-CDMA, HSPA+ and LTE mobile standards.

The first prototype chips has already been taped out and tested.

All mobile broadband standards supported by the chip meet 3GPP specifications. The LTE standard supports FDD (Frequency Division Duplexing) mode adopted by DOCOMO and TDD (Time Division Duplexing) mode expected to be adopted for LTE networks in China and other markets, which will help to further the development of advanced mobile devices by manufacturers worldwide.

The four partners, in addition to other major players in the mobile technology field, working through a joint venture currently being planned, aim to commercialize the chip in Japan and other countries as quickly as possible. A follow-up chip supporting LTE-Advanced is also being planned.

NEC Launches LTE Femtos

NEC launched two new indoor LTE Femtocell base stations designed for offices and homes.

NEC's RAN-GW (radio access network gateway) system connect to a telecom carrier's core network through an indoor broadband connection, while the connections between the base stations and terminals occur over LTE. The base stations feature plug-and-play functionality that configures the device simply by connecting it to the broadband line, without the need for any initial settings. The stations automatically control radio wave interference, which ensures high-quality communications and enables users to build high-speed, high-volume communications environments indoors, even when installed amid different networks, such as outdoor LTE base stations. The base stations will be available in the second quarter of 2012.

"NEC has an extensive track record in the Femtocell market, having made agreements with 18 telecom carriers around the world to deliver comprehensive Femtocell systems that include femto gateways, base stations and 39 trials," said Tadatoshi Fujiwara, senior vice president at NEC Europe. "NEC plays a central role as a board member of the Small Cell Forum, a gathering of Femtocell-related telecom carriers and vendors, and for three years running has received awards from the Forum in recognition of its efforts in the field."

Navy's MUOS Satellite Successfully Launched

The first Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite, which will provide simultaneous voice, video and data communications to U.S. military combatants, was successfully launched into orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

The first satellite in the MUOS constellation was built by Lockheed Martin. MUOS satellites feature a wideband code division multiple access payload that incorporates advanced technology to provide a 16-fold increase in transmission throughput over the current UFO satellite system. A single MUOS satellite will provide four times the capacity of the entire legacy UFO constellation of 10 satellites. The satellites also include a hosted legacy UHF payload that will be fully compatible with the current UFO system and legacy terminals.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems, which is the MUOS prime contractor and system integrator, said the first MUOS satellite and associated ground system will provide initial on-orbit capability this year with the four-satellite global constellation achieving full operational capability in 2015, extending UHF narrowband communications availability well past 2025.

"MUOS is a revolutionary new satellite system that will provide unprecedented new communications capabilities for the armed forces," said Kevin Bilger, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager of Global Communications Systems. "We look forward to executing a smooth and efficient on-orbit checkout, paving the way for operational use."http://

MWC12: Barcelona Transit Strike Averted

Pubic transit workers in Barcelona voted not to strike, averting potentially chaotic transportation issues at this week's Mobile World Congress. The metro system is now expected to run as normal throughout the week.

MWC12: Carriers Showcase Connected Living

At the Mobile World Congress 2012, the GSMA is hosting a Connected House with the participation of AT&T, KT and Vodafone and their partners – Accenture, Airbiquity, AQ Corporation, Ericsson, Intel, KTH, Qualcomm, Rsupport, Sony and Zelitron.

Embedded SIM is be featured in a number of the demonstrations.

AT&T is showcasing its Blue Libris Personal Emergency Response System, a health monitor for seniors, patients and children. AT&T will also be featuring its "Digital Life", a wholesale IP-based remote monitoring and automation platform that will equip global service providers with the capabilities to offer their subscribers customisable, web-based home automation, energy and security services. The platform will enable providers to offer devices like wireless sensors and cameras that will communicate with a control center inside the home, managed through a web based user interface.

KT is introducing a "Kibot" robot that teaches children to read, sing and speak in different languages. This robot terminal provides customized 'Smart Home' services for infants and elementary school students, assuring safety through learning, play, and home monitoring.

Vodafone is highlighting a Tracking and Monitoring Service to help companies monitor and manage stock levels while preventing the theft of valuable assets such as refrigerators. The live demo shows how companies can check the location in real time of an ice cream cooler – and monitor whether it has been moved or stolen.