Monday, January 14, 2013

ARRIS Sells Shares to Comcast to Fund Motorola Home Acquisition

ARRIS will sell approximately 10.6 million shares of its common stock, valued at $150.0 million, to Comcast in order to raise money for its previously announced acquisition of the Motorola Home business, which is currently owned by Google.

Under the deal, the ARRIS shares issued to Comcast will reduce, on a share-for-share basis, the number of shares of ARRIS stock to be issued to Google and simultaneously increase the cash consideration to be received by Google by $150.0 million.  The total purchase price remains the same.  Following the close of the deal, Comcast and Google will each own approximately 7.85% of the outstanding ARRIS shares post-closing based on ARRIS' current capitalization.

"We are very pleased that Comcast has agreed to make this significant investment in ARRIS," said Bob Stanzione, Chairman and CEO of ARRIS.  "We believe this investment by one of our largest customers is a strong indication of customer support for the Motorola Home acquisition and its potential to accelerate innovation to the benefit of the industry and consumers."

  • In December, Google agreed to sell its Motorola Home Business to ARRIS for $2.35 billion in cash and stock.
  • Motorola Home is a leading global supplier of digital video and IPTV hardware and software solutions for the cable, telecom, broadcast & satellite markets. The Motorola Home division, which is based in Horsham, PA, had revenues of approximately $3.4 billion over the past 4 quarters and about 5,000 employees. The company is profitable.
  • ARRIS reported revenue of approximately $1.3 billion over the past 4 quarters. It has approximately 2,100 employees and is based in Suwanee, Georgia.
  • For ARRIS, the acquisition effectively triples its overall revenue, brings an enhanced product portfolio, a larger customer base, and strengthened relationships with cable operators and broadband service providers worldwide. The deal also includes the transfer of certain Motorola patents related to the business.

Two More Huge Data Centers Planned for Ashburn, Virginia

Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) has signed a lease with Fortune 500 company for two shell buildings in Ashburn, Virginia.

COPT said construction on the first 200,000 square foot building (COPT DC-8) will commence early in 2013 and that construction on a second 115,000 square foot building (COPT DC-9) no later than mid-2014.  The company also noted that these two projects brought the company’s development leasing volume in 2012 to 1.2 million square feet.

"We are pleased to be able to meet this customer’s need in Northern Virginia, one of COPT’s strategic markets," stated Roger A. Waesche, Jr., President & Chief Executive Officer of COPT.

  • In October 2012, RagingWire Data Centers, which operates 650,000 square feet (60,000m2) of wholesale and retail data center space in Northern California and Northern Virginia, has paid $20 million offer to acquire 75 acres of land in Ashburn, Virginia.

    RagingWire said it plans to build  a 750,000 square foot (69,000m2) data center in phases on the site.

    RagingWire currently operates a 150,000 square foot facility in Ashburn, along with its flagship 500,000 data center in Sacramento, California.  The current Ashburn facility was activated in July 2012. It features 2N+2 redundancy in its critical facilities infrastructure all the way to the customer’s rack and 21 megawatts of highly available facility power.  The campus includes RagingWire’s patented power management system and a number of energy efficiency innovations. 

How Facebook Handles Back-up

Facebook has developed a three stage back-up strategy for maintain high-availability of its massive MySQL installation across thousand of servers in multiple geographic regions.

In this blog posting, Facebook's Eric Barrett describes the Binary logs and mysqldump (Stage 1), Hadoop DFS (Stage 2), and Long-term Storage (Stage 3) components that make up its strategy.  On the networking side, he notes that back-up system currently needs to move many petabytes per week.

Arrow Bundles IBM Flex + Juniper QFabric

Arrow Electronics will offer converged infrastructure for cloud data centers by integratin the IBM Flex System and the Juniper Networks' QFabric.

Arrow said its bundled solution helps customers manage virtualization demands driven by big data initiatives that require integrated server and storage.  Tested and integrated into a single part number, the Arrow bundled solution combines the IBM Flex System server, storage, management, and the Juniper Networks QFabric networking speed and scalability.

"Arrow is pleased to enable these two technology powerhouses, IBM and Juniper, to come together in a complementary fashion to deliver a robust converged infrastructure solution to the respective channel ecosystems," said Sean Kerins, president, North America, Enterprise Computing Solutions, Arrow. "Customers have clearly demonstrated their preference for choice. This bundle enables solution providers to deliver infrastructure that caters to their customers' current and future needs."

Canadian Court: Former Nortel Execs Not Guilty of Fraud

The Ontario Superior Court has acquitted Nortel's CEO, Frank Dunn, its former CFO, Douglas Beatty, and its former controller, Michael Gollogly of fraud charges in a case dating back to 2002 and 2003.

Nortel posted significant losses in 2001 and 2002 and downsized its work force by nearly two-thirds. Later 2002 and 2003, Nortel published financial results that made it appear as though the company was recovering faster than in actuality.  The three former executives were charged with manipulating the company's financial statements so as to appear more profitable and garner bonus payments for themselves.  The defendants argued that their accounting methods were approved by the company's outside auditor, Deloitte & Touche.

  • In June 2008, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) formally filed criminal charges against Frank Dunn, the former CEO of Nortel; Douglas Beatty, the former CFO of Nortel; and Michael Gollogly, the former Corporate Controller of Nortel.  The charge alleged the three men made false entries and omitted materials particular in the books and documents in regards to the financial results of Nortel.
  • In January 2005, Nortel released key findings of an extensive, independent review, which found that its former corporate management (terminated for cause) and former finance management (also terminated for cause) in the company's finance organization endorsed, and employees carried out, accounting practices relating to the recording and release of provisions that "were not in compliance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles ("U.S. GAAP") in at least four quarters, including the third and fourth quarters of 2002 and the first and second quarters of 2003." In three of those four quarters - when Nortel was at, or close to, break even - these practices were undertaken to meet internally imposed pro-forma earnings before taxes ("EBT") targets.  Nortel posted significant losses in 2001 and 2002 and downsized its work force by nearly two-thirds. The doctored results from 2002/3 made it look as though the company was recovering faster than in actuality.
  • On 27-April-2004, Nortel fired Frank Dunn "for cause." Nortel Networks also fired its former chief financial officer, Douglas Beatty, and former controller, Michael Gollogly, both of whom had been placed on paid leave of absence by Nortel Networks on 15-March-2004.

Southern Cross Cuts Trans-Pacific Prices with 40/100G Upgrade

The Southern Cross Trans-Pacific submarine cable network, which connects Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii and the west coast of the U.S., is cutting prices by 20% thanks to its 40G & 100G upgrade programme, which is due for completion in February.

Southern Cross said its latest price decline marks the second stage of the eighth major capacity expansion programme since 2001. The current stage is based on Ciena’s 40Gbps transmission equipment and takes total lit capacity on the Southern Cross Network to 2 Tbps.  The third stage of the current expansion programme is being implemented concurrently and is based on Ciena's 100 Gbps transmission equipment. 100G technology is already installed on some network segments and will take lit capacity to 2.6 Tbps by June 2013.

“We have reduced our capacity prices by another 20%”, said Sales and Marketing Director Ross Pfeffer. “This will be our 10th major price reduction since 2000 and over the period our price decline has averaged more than 22% per year... Our protected circuits continue to provide 100% availability and the performance of the six fibre pairs and 500 repeaters on the diverse cable network is better today than when constructed more than 10 years ago."

  • The Southern Cross upgrades use Ciena's 6500 platforms equipped with 40G and 100G submarine-grade coherent line interfaces on each of Southern Cross’ seven segments. Southern Cross is also using Ciena’s 5430 and 5410 Reconfigurable Switching Systems, which offer 3.6 Tbs) and 1.2 Tbps of OTN-based intelligent control plane-enabled switching capacity for bandwidth aggregation and management.

Level 3 Connects NATO-Russia Council Air Traffic Monitoring

The NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency has selected Level 3 Communications to install and maintain an IP Virtual Private Network (VPN) to be used by the NATO-Russia Council Cooperative Airspace Initiative (NRC CAI).

The joint NRC will have a 24/7 capability to monitor air traffic, thereby enhancing airspace transparency between NATO and Russia.   Level 3 said its network will connect a range of NATO monitoring facilities and enable real-time display and observation of commercial airspace activities.

Radisys Increases Q4 Guidance on Strong Finish to Year

Radisys boosted its financial guidance for Q4 2012 saying it now expects revenue to be near the high end of the range provided on October 30, 2012 and positive non-GAAP earnings per share compared to a previous guidance range of ($0.06) to breakeven.

"A strong finish to the year in our software and solutions business along with continued operational focus enabled us to return to profitability more quickly than originally expected,” commented Brian Bronson, Radisys President and Chief Executive Officer. "Additionally, we generated positive cash flow in the fourth quarter and have adequate liquidity to retire the $16.9 million of convertible debt coming due in February 2013. We will set a specific earnings release and conference call date over the next month. I look forward to sharing the full results for the quarter, go forward guidance, and an update on the strategic objectives we outlined in October at that time."

Aviat Boosts Financial Guidance

Aviat Networks boosted its financial outlook for its second quarter of fiscal 2013, ended 28-Dec-2012, saying it now expects revenue in the range of $123M - $126M.  The prior guidance range was $115M - $120M.  Orders were greater than revenues.

Ixia Boosts Q4 Outlook

Ixia increased its Q4 2012 revenue guidance to be in the range of $123.5 million to $124.5 million, above its previously stated guidance range of $118 million to $122 million.

Combined Q4 revenue from its two recent acquisitions, Anue Systems and BreakingPoint Systems is expected to be in the range of $30 to $31 million, compared with its previously stated guidance of $26 to $28 million.

"Ixia delivered an impressive fourth quarter with strong momentum across all of our solutions," commented Vic Alston, Ixia's president and chief executive officer. “The integration of our Anue and BreakingPoint acquisitions is tracking well and we are increasing our presence at enterprise and service provider accounts. Ixia is well positioned to help these customers accelerate and secure the delivery of applications over their mobile and data center networks."

Softbank Tests Sequans LTE Interference Cancellation

Softbank has conducted a technical trial of Sequans’ AIR (advanced interference rejection) technology to determine its value in mitigating interference in LTE networks. Sequans AIR is an interference mitigation algorithm whereby the receiver uses multiple antennas to form a receive beam toward the desired signal and spatial nulls toward interfering signals.

Sequans said the laboratory trial used commercial eNodeBs (base stations) commonly deployed in Softbank’s network and a receiver equipped with Sequans AIR.  This was tested against a default receiver in both high mobility (vehicular) and low mobility (pedestrian) scenarios. In both cases the Sequans AIR receiver delivered performance gains well above the default receiver, measured at 7dB in the low mobility case and 9dB in the high mobility case.

Sequans notes that its AIR technology is designed to work in any LTE network, regardless of eNodeB vendor, carrier frequency, channel bandwidth, or duplexing method.

"These gains are meaningful to operators and their end users,” said Georges Karam, Sequans CEO. “In the low mobility case, we showed that a Sequans AIR receiver can handle about five times as much interference as a non-Sequans AIR receiver, and for the high mobility case, the Sequans AIR receiver can handle about eight times as much interference. This translates into 10 Mbps higher throughput in the low mobility case and 14 Mbps higher throughput in the high mobility case. In very high interference areas, such as might be encountered near cell edges, users can expect to get three times better throughput—this can mean users staying connected in conditions where other devices would be dropped from the network.”

Volex Acquires AppliedMicro Active Optical

Volex has acquired active optical technology from AppliedMicro for approximately US$2 million. Under the deal, AppliedMicro has agreed to a five-year non-compete in connection with the marketing and sale of active optical cables, transceivers, modules and related assemblies. The companies also agreed to share ownership of the associated active optical patent portfolio, allowing each company to continue development of the technologies, and forming the basis for the two companies to collaborate on next-generation optical interconnect products and solutions.

"We chose Volex to take the platform forward due to its strong focus on the active optical cable space and extensive customer relationships in data-center markets," said George Jones, vice president of marketing and business development for connectivity solutions at AppliedMicro.

Volex said the acquisition supports its entry into the emerging multi-billion dollar optical interconnect market for high-speed data applications in data center and telecommunications, as well as the consumer, healthcare and industrial markets.

Ray Walsh, Volex CEO, stated: "Our data-center and telecommunications customers have been asking for a cost-effective, high-speed optical solution to replace legacy copper interconnects."

European Cybercrime Centre Opens in the Hague

A new European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) has opened in the Hague, Netherlands.   EC3 will focus on illegal online activities carried out by organised crime groups, especially attacks targeting e-banking and other online financial activities, online child sexual exploitation and those crimes that affect the critical infrastructure and information systems in the EU.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

GSA: LTE is now Mainstream - 145 Networks Launched

There are now 145 mobile operators who have launched commercial LTE service in 66 countries, according to the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), and this number is forecast to reach 234 LTE networks in service by the end of 2013.  Meanwhile, the number of LTE subscriptions increased almost 10-fold in the year to September 2012, reaching 44 million.

Some other observations from the GSA's newly published Evolution to LTE report:

The majority of network deployments use FDD and operate in paired spectrum.
  • 1800 MHz (3GPP band 3) has emerged as the dominant band for LTE network deployments in virtually all regions of the world.
  • 58 operators i.e. 40% of all commercial LTE operators, use 1800 MHz spectrum either as a single band system, or as part of a multi-band deployment, in 39 countries. At least another 22 LTE 1800 network deployments are in progress in the Asia Pacific region, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
  • 130 LTE products, almost 1 in 4, support LTE 1800.
  • The second most popular band in which LTE systems are deployed is 2.6 GHz (band 7).
  • The TDD mode of the LTE standard has also gained strong traction and interest across the world. A total of 13 operators have launched commercial services using LTE TDD, which is the optimal solution for use in unpaired spectrum.
  • The FDD and TDD modes are fully complementary. LTE TDD shares most of the FDD design and standards and uses a common core network, and industry commitment is strong. Some operators have commercially launched LTE service using both FDD and TDD modes.
  • Six TDD systems are deployed in band 38 (2.6 GHz), five systems are in band 40 (2.3 GHz) and there is one deployment each in band 41 (2.5 GHz) and bands 42/43 (3.5 GHz). Bands 38 and 40 have the largest ecosystems for LTE TDD user devices.

Ericsson Transfers Mobile Patents to Unwired Planet, Gains Access to Wider Portfolio

Ericsson will transfer 2,185 issued U.S. and international patents and patent applications to Unwired Planet, an intellectual property holding firm with many patents considered fundamental to mobile communications.

Under the deal, Ericsson will also contribute 100 additional patent assets annually to Unwired Planet commencing in 2014 through 2018.

In return, Ericsson gains access to Unwired Planet's enlarged patent portfolio. Ericsson will also gain rights in future revenues generated from the enlarged  patent portfolio.

"In 1997, Ericsson and Unwired Planet introduced the Wireless Application Protocol that
brought Internet access to mobile devices,” said Kasim Alfalahi, Chief Intellectual Property Officer, Ericsson. “Following this transaction, Unwired Planet’s portfolio will reflect decades of invention at the forefront of mobile infrastructure, handset technologies and over-the-top services. We are pleased to have concluded this business deal with Unwired Planet as an alternative channel for IP licensing.”

Unwired Planet is based in Reno, Nevada.

CITIC Telecom Buys Out Macau Telecom for US$1.2 Billion

CITIC Telecom will buy out the entire equity stakes in Companhia de Telecomunicações de Macau (CTM) that are currently held by Cable & Wireless Communications and PT (Portugal Telecom) for US$1,161.3 million (approximately HK$9,000.1 million).

 The deal consists of the 79% interest held by C&W and PT. CITIC previously held a 20% stake in CTM. Companhia de Telecomunicações de Macau is principally engaged in mobile, fixed line and broadband services in Macau and is a major supplier of enterprise telecom services to corporate customers in Macau.

CITIC Telecom is a subsidiary of CITIC Pacific Limited, a publicly traded Hong Kong corporation with diversified business expertise and interests in Hong Kong and Mainland China — including Special Steel manufacturing, Civil Infrastructure, Iron Ore Mining, Property, and Energy.

Streetline Raises $25 Million for M2M Smart Parking

Streetline, a start-up based in Foster City, California, raised $25 million in Series C funding for its M2M smart parking systems for cities.

Streetline says it now has more than 30 cities and universities using its real-time smart parking solutions.  The first two European deployments are in Braunschweig, Germany and Birmingham, U.K.

Streetline's patented smart parking platform detects the presence of a car through a network of ultra-low power wireless sensors located in individual parking spaces. Data from these sensors, or from counting equipment installed in parking garages and lots, is then made available in real time via various cloud-based applications, such as Parker, the leading consumer guidance app for smartphones, tablets, personal computers and – soon – in-car navigation systems, as well as other applications geared toward city planners and parking facility operators. In addition to real-time data, Streetline also integrates garage data for over 23,000 locations into the only unified and complete parking data package for consumers through Parker.

The new funding was led by True Ventures, and new investors Citi and Qualcomm Incorporated, acting through its venture investment group, Qualcomm Ventures. Pro-rata follow-on investments were made by Sutter Hill Ventures, RockPort Capital Partners, and Fontinalis Partners to complete the round. The Series C financing augments the $25 million credit facility Streetline recently secured from Citi that enables the company to offer innovative financing options for municipalities deploying smart parking solutions.

"Streetline is harnessing the power of the 'Internet of Things' to tackle one of the great unsolved urban problems: parking," said Zia Yusuf, president and CEO of Streetline. "With more than 30 deployments in both the U.S. and Europe, we've moved beyond smart parking as a concept to smart parking as a reality. This investment is a validation of Streetline's achievements to date and represents a considerable endorsement of our future growth potential globally. We are delighted to welcome our new investors True Ventures, Citi, and Qualcomm and the continued support of Sutter Hill, RockPort Capital and Fontinalis."

Streetline recently announced a collaboration with Cisco to bring smart parking to two Silicon Valley cities (San Mateo and San Carlos).

Guavus Raises $30 Million for Big Data Analytics for Carriers

Guavus, a start-up based in San Mateo, California with R&D in India, closed a $30 million round of new funding to support its big data analytics solutions

Guavus specializes in big data analytics solutions for tier-1 communications service providers.  It offers a suite of decisioning applications that have pre-built intelligence for faster time to insights across network, device, content and subscriber analytics.  The company said its solutions have allowed carriers to both realize cost savings by optimizing network capacity and increase revenues by delivering a better consumer experience.

Guavus claims two of the top three mobile operators and backbone carriers in the United States utilize Guavus Big Data analytics solutions.

The funding round was led by Investor Growth Capital (IGC) with participation from QuestMark Partners and previous investors Artiman Ventures, Sofinnova Ventures and Intel Capital.

“The explosion in sensor, operational and network data presents an unprecedented opportunity for businesses in every industry to deliver and optimize services, continuously,” said Anukool Lakhina, founder and CEO of Guavus.  “To generate value from this data, they need a new data fabric that fuses disparate sources of data streaming on the network with existing information systems, and provides contextually-aware decisioning applications that can be used to trigger business processes at the exact moment of need."

Guavus was founded in February 2006.

American Airlines' New A320s, 737s Use Both Satellite and Air-to-Ground Internet

Gogo has been selected to install two in-flight connectivity solutions on American Airlines' new Airbus A320 family and Boeing 737 deliveries: Ku-band satellite and Gogo's next generation Air to Ground technology - ATG-4.

The dual systems will enable the aircraft to provide seamless in-flight internet service on domestic and international flights.  Installations will occur as the new aircraft are delivered to American beginning in 2013.

"Installing the two systems helps ensure these aircraft will stay connected wherever they fly, whether they're flying domestically or headed to an international destination," said Gogo's president and CEO,Michael Small.  "Gogo's ability to deploy multiple connectivity solutions gives us the flexibility to install the right technology for each individual aircraft regardless of its mission. American's decision to use both solutions is further acknowledgment of the significant advantages of the dual system for an enhanced customer experience."

  • Gogo was previously selected to outfit existing MD-80 and Boeing 737, 757 and 767 aircraft in American's domestic fleet. Gogo service is currently available on more than 400 American aircraft.

Brocade Wins Permanent Injunction Against A10 Networks

A U.S. court in San Jose, California confirmed a $60 million damages verdict against A10 Networks and entered an order permanently enjoining A10 from infringing on Brocade's patents involving technologies for Global Server Load Balancing and High Availability. The Court enjoined A10 from "making, using, selling, or offering to sell in the United States, or importing into the United States any AX series application delivery controller that includes features that infringe" on these asserted claims.

Last August, a jury found for Brocade on four claims of patent infringement involving technologies for Global Server Load Balancing and High Availability and found that the A10 AX Series line of load balancers infringe on these specific patents.

"We appreciate the Court's careful attention to the evidence and its willingness to enforce important intellectual property rights," said Tyler Wall, vice president and general counsel at Brocade.

For its part, A10 Networks described the court ruling as "a narrowly-tailored injunction against certain products," noting that the court explicitly held that "[c]ustomers of A10 who have already purchased and continue to use infringing AX Series devices shall not be affected by this injunction."

"We have already designed around the issue, completed rigorous testing of non-infringing software, and will ship AX Series products immediately to serve our outgoing and future orders," stated Lee Chen, CEO of A10 Networks.