Tuesday, January 22, 2013

AT&T to Acquire Alltel for $780 million

AT&T will acquire Alltel, the mobile operator owned by Atlantic Tele-Network, Inc. (ATNI), for $780 million in cash.

The deal includes wireless licenses, wireless properties, network assets, retail stores and approximately 585,000 subscribers.  This business generated revenues for the first nine months of 2012 of approximately $350 million.

Alltel operates a CDMA network covering approximately 4.6 million people in primarily rural areas across six states — Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina.

Once the network is upgraded to 4G, AT&T said the Alltel assets will be complementary to its own network.  Alltel's spectrum is in the 700 MHz, 850 MHz and 1900 MHz bands.

"We are pleased that AT&T recognizes the value of our U.S. wireless retail operations and is acquiring these assets," said Michael T. Prior, Chief Executive Officer. "Alltel's customers will benefit from access to a nationwide 4G network, a larger device selection, additional retail locations and a broader range of product offerings. Additionally, many of our employees should benefit from new career opportunities within AT&T. We will work closely with AT&T to close the transaction and to ensure a smooth transition for our customers and employees."


  • The current Alltel brand, which is owned by Atlantic Tele-Network, was formed in early 2010 following ATNI's acquisition of wireless properties, licenses and network assets from Verizon Wireless, which was required by the FCC to sell these coverage areas.
  • In January 2009, Verizon Communications acquired the original Alltel Corporation for approximately $5.9 billion. The FCC and the Department of Justice required Verizon to divest assets in 100 areas in 22 states to win approval for the deal.
  • The original Alltel traced its heritage back to the foundation of  the Allied Telephone Company in Arkansas in 1943.

Verizon: 2012 Revenues Up 4.5% YoY, Charges for Q4

Verizon Communications reported strong customer and revenue growth in Verizon Wireless and Verizon FiOS services in Q4 2012, however there was a loss of $1.48 in EPS in Q4 2012, due to non-operational charges, including impacts from Superstorm Sandy (38 cents per share) and pension/benefit costs.  Verizon Wireless service revenues were up 8.5% in the quarter, while FiOS revenues were up 15.7 percent and strategic enterprise services were up 5.3%.

For full-year 2012, Verizon’s revenues totaled $115.8 billion, up by 4.5 percent, or $5.0 billion, compared with 2011.   CAPEX was $16.2 billion in 2012, including $135 million in companywide capital related to Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts -- downabout $70 million less than in 2011.

Some highlights from the quarterly report:

Verizon Wireless

  • Q4 revenues were $20.0 billion, up 9.5 percent year over year.  Service revenues in the quarter totaled $16.4 billion, up 8.5 percent year over year.  Retail service revenues grew 8.4 percent year over year, to $15.8 billion.
  • Retail postpaid ARPA (average revenue per account) grew 6.6 percent over fourth-quarter 2011, to $146.80 per month.
  • Added 2.2 million net retail connections in Q4, including a record-high 2.1 million retail postpaid net connections.  Verizon Wireless added 5.0 million net retail postpaid connections in 2012, the most in four years.
  • At the end of 2012, the company had 98.2 million retail connections, a 6.6 percent increase year over year -- including 92.5 million retail postpaid connections.
  • At year-end 2012, smartphones accounted for more than 58 percent of the Verizon Wireless retail postpaid customer phone base, up from 53 percent at the end of third-quarter 2012.


  • FiOS customer growth in fourth-quarter 2012 was greater than in the prior two quarters, despite the disruption caused by Superstorm Sandy. Verizon added 144,000 net new FiOS Internet connections and 134,000 net new FiOS Video connections in fourth-quarter 2012.  Verizon had a total of 5.4 million FiOS Internet and 4.7 million FiOS Video connections at the end of the quarter, representing year-over-year increases of 12.6 percent and 13.3 percent, respectively.
  • In 2012, Verizon migrated 223,000 homes to fiber, which contributed to an 11 percent improvement in trouble reports across Verizon’s entire copper network for the year.  The company has a target of 300,000 additional migrations within FiOS markets in 2013.
  • Q4 operating revenues were $10.0 billion, a decline of 1.5 percent compared with fourth-quarter 2011.  Consumer revenues grew 4.1 percent compared with fourth-quarter 2011.
  • Consumer ARPU for wireline services increased to $105.63 in fourth-quarter 2012, up 9.5 percent compared with Q4 2011.
  • ARPU for FiOS customers continues to be more than $150.  FiOS services produced about 68 percent of consumer wireline revenues in fourth-quarter 2012.  About two-thirds of FiOS consumer customers have purchased a “triple play” of phone, Internet and video services.
  • Global enterprise revenues totaled $3.8 billion in the quarter, down 2.1 percent compared with fourth-quarter 2011.  Sales of strategic services increased 5.3 percent compared with fourth-quarter 2011 and represented 54 percent of global enterprise revenues.  Strategic services include Verizon Terremark cloud and data center services, security and IT solutions, advanced communications, and strategic networking.


Verizon Enterprise Looks to Cloud Computing, Security, Managed Services

During Q4 2012, Verizon Enterprise recorded $2.1 billion in revenue for strategic services to $2.1 billion, up 5.3% compared with fourth-quarter 2011. Strategic services now represent 54% of the company's global enterprise revenues.

On its earning's call on Tuesday, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said the company is looking to drive growth in its enterprise strategic services in 2013, specifically in the areas of cloud computing, security, and managed services.

Verizon Enterprise Solutions completed agreements with multinational and U.S. corporations including The Coca-Cola Company, Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels Ltd., Bridgestone Americas, CME Group and Shred-It for advanced business technology solutions. The company also launched a comprehensive cloud and data center infrastructure portfolio specifically designed to help the health care industry meet the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements for safeguarding electronic protected health information.

Verizon Enterprise Solutions also saw one of its most significant M2M customer engagements during the final quarter of 2012, offered new solutions focused on solving customer problems in the areas of healthcare and security, and won recognition for its solutions around the globe.


AT&T and China Telecom Implement Network to Network Interconnect

AT&T and China Telecom have implemented an NNI (Network to Network Interconnect) in New York and San Jose.

The interconnect enables China Telecom to expand its Ethernet and MPLS service coverage into the U.S. and other parts of the world to serve a growing number of Chinese enterprises. AT&T is working closely with China Telecom to automate inter-carrier processes needed to provision and support customer services.

AT&T is also turning up its network solutions for global companies looking to expand operations in China.


  • In November 2011, AT&T and China Telecom signed a strategic framework agreement covering a range of business services, including Virtual Private Network (VPN), Ethernet and unified communication solutions. 

Amazon Web Services Adds High Memory Instances

Amazon Web Services has begun offering High Memory Cluster Eight Extra Large (cr1.8xlarge) instances for Amazon EC2.

Amazon said its new EC2 instance type is ideal for applications that benefit from a high level of memory capacity, computational power and network bandwidth.

High Memory Cluster instances provide customers with 2 Intel Xeon E5-2670 8-core processors, 244 GiB of RAM, 240 GB of SSD-based instance storage, and high bandwidth networking with support for cluster placement group.


Nimbus Ships One Petabyte of Flash Memory Arrays Last Month

Nimbus Data Systems shipped over one petabyte (1,024 terabytes) of flash memory in its last month, mostly for its latest Gemini flash memory array designed for server virtualization, databases, and web-scale applications.

The record shipment represents a 415% sales increase for the company in 2012 compared to the prior year. The bulk of the shipment total includes Nimbus Data's

"Shipping over a petabyte of flash memory in the past month demonstrates flash memory's rise as the torch-bearer for next-generation primary storage and Nimbus' technology leadership and operational maturity. We foresee continued rapid adoption of Nimbus Data solutions as the storage industry goes through perhaps its greatest paradigm shift in decades," stated Thomas Isakovich, CEO and founder of Nimbus Data.


ACN & Flash Wireless Select Devicescape's Wi-Fi Offload Service

Flash Wireless, a U.S.-based mobile virtual network operator, will integrate Devicescape's Wi-Fi offload service, giving users  automatic access to more than 11 million high quality Wi-Fi hotspots in the Devicescape Curated Virtual Network (CVN).

Flash Wireless is a partner of  ACN, which is a direct seller of telecommunications and essential services for residential and business customers.

Devicescape said its service offers policy and quality control management options that dynamically integrate amenity-based public Wi-Fi networks, encourage home and personal network use, all while ensuring a transparent user experience.  The company's carrier-grade Curated Virtual Network tests and re-tests tens of millions of newly discovered and existing hotspots before automatically and seamlessly connecting participating mobile devices as they come into range. 

"From the start, ACN has sought to provide our customers with high value digital services that are both economical and easy to use," said Michael Whitt, Vice President of ACN. "Devicescape's service is a perfect fit; with Flash Wireless, our end-users will experience automatic access to high quality mobile data, while the utilization of Devicescape's virtual network of Wi-Fi hotspots will allow us to decrease our operational costs and still maximize savings for subscribers."

Emerald Networks Signs Cable Landing Deal with AT&T

Emerald Networks, which is planning a new submarine cable system connecting North America to Europe and Iceland, announced a Landing Party Agreement (LPA) with AT&T.

Specifically, AT&T will provide facilities and operational support for terminating the Emerald Express subsea cable at the former TAT12/13 cable station in Shirley, NY.

"As we continue toward full implementation of Emerald Express, we are extremely pleased and looking forward to a productive relationship with our strategic collaborators, including AT&T," said Dr. William C. Marra, CEO of Emerald Networks. "Due to the continued market expansion of media and mobile demand for internet bandwidth and new multimedia applications we are anticipating massive market changes driven by explosive growth in telecommunications traffic worldwide, and our system will be part of this evolution."


  • Emerald Networks' submarine cable system will span 6,700 km along the "Great Circle" route connecting North America to Europe via Iceland. The company has previous calculated that this northerly route will have a latency of less than 62 milliseconds round trip from New York to London, making it one of the fastest networks across the Atlantic.

NeoPhotonics to Acquire Lapis OCU for 100G Photonic Integrated Circuit Technology

NeoPhotonics, which provides photonic integrated circuit (PIC) modules and subsystems , agreed to acquire the semiconductor optical components business unit (OCU) of LAPIS Semiconductor Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary of ROHM Co. Ltd.  NeoPhotonics will pay approximately $36.8 million in cash, which is comprised of approximately $21.2 million in cash, before adjustments for the business unit and an additional $15.6 million over three years for the associated real estate.

LAPIS Semiconductor OCU provides a broad range of lasers, drivers, and detectors for high speed 100G applications.

The company’s, lasers, photodetectors and analog semiconductor integrated circuits (ICs) are critical elements of coherent and other high speed optical transmission devices.  The business had revenue of approximately $45 million for the first nine months ended September 30, 2012. For the same period, approximately 30% of revenue attributable to OCU was from network equipment manufacturers that are also customers of NeoPhotonics, approximately 6% of revenue attributable to OCU was from NeoPhotonics, and the remainder attributable to OCU was from other optical module manufacturers and test and measurement customers.  LAPIS Semiconductor OCU is located near Tokyo, Japan.

NeoPhotonics said the acquisition will accelerate the development of its Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC) technology by coupling complex optical devices and analog semiconductor ICs within the same platform. In addition, the NeoPhotonics technology portfolio would expand to include high speed semiconductor devices for signal generation and amplification, which are designed to enable advanced modulation methodologies, enhanced performance, and reduced power consumption in communications networks.

“The transaction is a natural step in the relationship between NeoPhotonics and LAPIS Semiconductor OCU, as the businesses have been collaborating closely on high speed coherent technology development for the past four years. Further we plan to leverage our existing sales channels after the acquisition, as the two businesses serve many common customers. The transaction will provide NeoPhotonics with revenue from OCU’s advanced lasers and drivers used in many of today’s 100G client-side data transmission modules,” said Tim Jenks, NeoPhotonics Chairman and CEO.


Lapis Semiconductor was previously OKI Semiconductor

Chelsio's Terminator 5 ASIC Powers 40G Ethernet iWARP RDMA, iSCSI, TOE, FCoE

Chelsio Communications introduced its fifth generation, Terminator 5 ASIC for delivering 40 GbE speeds in high performance clustering, storage and data networking applications.  The new ASIC simultaneously supports TCP/IP and UDP/IP socket applications, RDMA applications and SCSI applications at wire speed, thereby allowing InfiniBand and FibreChannel applications to run unmodified and concurrently over standard Ethernet.
Chelsio's T5 ASIC is a highly integrated, hyper-virtualized 10/40GbE controller with full offload support of a complete Unified Wire solution comprising NIC, TOE, iWARP RDMA, iSCSI, FCoE and NAT.

By leveraging its protocol-rich high speed network processing architecture, the company said it has been able to achieve both low latency (sub 1usec through hardware) and high bandwidth, limited only by the PCI bus. Furthermore, it scales to true 40 Gigabit line rate operation from a single TCP connection to thousands of connections, and allows simultaneous low latency and high bandwidth operation thanks to multiple physical channels through the ASIC.

Some key features of the T5:
  • PCI Express v3.0 x8 host interface
  • 2xDDR-3 memory interfaces
  • 4x100M/1G/10G or 2x40G Ethernet ports
  • Designed for very low latency, high bandwidth and high packet processing rate
  • TOE/iWARP RDMA/iSCSI/FCoE port to port, and adapter to adapter failover
  • SR-IOV 8PF/128VF + VEPA/VEB 802.1Qbg/h offload virtualization
  • Integrated OpenFlow ready virtual Ethernet switch
  • T10-DIF/DIX protection support for both FCoE and iSCSI
Chelsio notes that its previous generation designs achieved more than 200 OEM platform wins and more than 400,000 ports shipped worldwide. 

ADVA Supplies 100G for Croatia's HEP Group

ADVA Optical Networking announced the deployment of its 100G technology by Hrvatska Elektroprivreda (HEP Group), the Croatian government’s national electricity company.

The 100G deployment uses the ADVA FSP 3000 platform and spans a distance of over 400 km between the Croatian cities of Zagreb and Split.

“This 100G introduction is the next step in the drive to modernize the country’s communications infrastructure and significantly improve the performance and flexibility of our networks,” said Zelimir Pibercnik, director of IT and Telecommunications, HEP Group.


7signal Names Jeff Reedy as CEO

7signal Solutions, which supplies Wireless Performance Optimization for Wireless LAN applications, named Jeff Reedy as President and CEO.

Reedy was a co-founder and CEO of Overture Networks, a leading provider of Carrier Ethernet solutions based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.


NTT DOCOMO's Smartphone Spring Line-Up Adds "Twonky Beam"

NTT DOCOMO unveiled its 2013 spring device lineup, including 11 smartphones and tablets, plus one mobile Wi-Fi router.

Some of the new and prominent features:

  • First DOCOMO smartphones capable of full-HD for superb high-definition video.
  • Compatible with DOCOMO’s Xi LTE service for max. downlink of 112.5 Mbps (some areas), the fastest LTE connection in Japan as of January 21.
  • A large selection of models featuring quad-core CPUs for increased enjoyment of mobile games and videos.
  • Many models running on Android 4.1.
  • Large-capacity batteries (2,000mAh or more) for power-thirsty users.
  • Smartphone model with special safety and security features for preteens.

DOCOMO is also pushing ahead with a "Smart Home" initiative for sharing videos, music and other content between smartphones and home electronics.  As part of this initiative, DOCOMO is offering a Wi-Fi-dedicated tablet with access to its dmarket portal and a "SmartTV dstick," which is a small flash drive-like HDMI device for transferring movies and animation from dmarket to large-screen televisions.

In addition, new functions have been added to the "Twonky Beam" app, which enables DOCOMO smartphones to play full-HD digital-terrestrial and broadcast-satellite programs that are stored on the user’s Blu-ray recording devices at home.


Alcatel-Lucent Supplies IP/MPLS to Du in UAE

Alcatel-Lucent will supply its IP/MPLS solution, based on its 7750 Service Router (SR), 7705 Service Aggregation Router (SAR) and 5620 Service Aware Manager (SAM) to du for deployment in the UAE.  

The network will support du's high-speed broadband access, IPTV services, mobile video and other advanced services. The first phase of the project was installed last month. Financial terms were not disclosed.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Infinera and Telstra Test 100G Soft Decision FEC on Submarine Cable

Infinera announced the first successful demonstration of a 100 Gbps signal enhanced with Soft Decision Forward Error Correction (SD-FEC) across Telstra Global’s dedicated fibre pair within Segment S5 of AAG Hawaii to California submarine cable -- a span of 4,200km.   The test used Infinera’s DTN-X platform and a prototype super-channel line card enabled with Infinera’s 3rd generation FlexCoherent Processor for real time SD-FEC processing combined with the industry’s only 500 Gbps Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs).

Infinera said SD-FEC technology has the potential to double the transmission capacity of existing submarine cables with its advanced error recovery capabilities.  In this test, multiple Infinera FlexCoherent modulation formats were able to close the link with no bit errors detected.  Infinera’s FlexCoherent technology enables its line card to be configured for a specific modulation format via simple software controls.

"We are delighted by the results of this field trial and this shows further increased capacity potential for Telstra Global’s leading submarine cable plant. Our continuing focus on cutting edge technologies will enable us to continue to deliver new services to our customers and meet their future capacity needs with a long term, reliable offering," stated Martijn Blanken, Telstra's Global Managing Director.

"We are pleased to see that our 3rd generation FlexCoherent™ Processor along with 500 Gb/s PICs, is performing exceptionally in real world environments. Over the past few months we’ve shown that a PIC-based long haul super-channel implementation can deal with record-breaking levels of PMD impairments in fiber; deliver a full 8Tb/s of capacity on Dispersion Shifted Fiber that service providers might have written off as useless, and now with Telstra’s help we’ve shown that with the addition of SD-FEC, this technology is capable of being deployed on some of the longest and most challenging cable routes in the world," stated Dr. David Welch, Infinera's co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer.

Huawei Hits 2012 Sales of US$35.40 Billion, Up 8%

Huawei announced 2012 global sales revenues to reach CNY 220.2 billion (UD$35.40 billion), an 8% year-on-year increase, with a net profit of CNY 15.4 billion (US$2.48 billion), a 33% increase from the previous year. (percentage increase based on CNY)

Huawei said about 70% of its revenue was generated from serving leading telecommunications operators, including 45 of the world's top 50.

Some notes:

  • Carrier Network business group - CNY 160.3 billion
  • Consumer business group -- CNY 48.4 billion -- sales continuing to grow in developed markets including Europe and Japan.
  • Enterprise business  -- CNY 11.5 billion.
  • R&D expenses in 2012 were CNY 29.9 billion (US$4.81 billion) , representing for more than 13% of the year's revenue.
  • The domestic market in China recorded CNY 73.6 billion in revenue.
  • Overseas revenue was CNY 145.3 billion (US$23.36 billion) or 66% of overall revenue: Asia-Pacific region saw revenue of CNY 37.4 billion (US$6.01 billion) , while Europe, Middle East and Africa recorded CNY 77.4 billion (US$12.44 billion) and the Americas contributed CNY 31.8 billion (US$5.18 billion). 

"We insist on strictly controlling G&A expenses and allocate more resources to bolster the front line and ensure continuous improvements on customer delivery and service quality," said Ms. Cathy Meng, Huawei's CFO. "In addition, Huawei continued its ongoing management transformation, raising combined operating efficiency with an integrated financial services program."

Huawei noted that its results are audited by KPMG.  The annual report will be released in April.


Ericsson Acquires Devoteam Telecom & Media

Ericsson agreed to acquire Devoteam Telecom & Media (France) for its consulting and systems integration for operations and business support systems, service delivery platforms and applications, IP Multimedia Subsystems, IP and radio networks and TV. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deal will see 400 skilled, France-based, IT services professionals join Ericsson. It includes also the acquisition of TV SmartVision operations.

Devoteam Telecom & Media represents about 7% of Devoteam’s global turnover.

"Acquiring activities of Devoteam adds unique expertise in complex, strategic and technical consulting engagements that will enable us to immediately enhance the value that we bring to our customers," says Magnus Mandersson, Ericsson's Executive Vice President and Head of Business Unit Global Services. "It is further proof of Ericsson's commitment to act as the partner of choice for the business transformation currently taking place within the telecommunications industry."

Derek Nutley, Telecoms Director at Devoteam declared: "This transaction fits with Devoteam's 2015 strategic plan. It will allow us to focus more on innovation around the Devoteam's value proposition. Ericsson is a key business partner of Devoteam - notably in UK and Mediterranean countries - and we hope that this transaction will further strengthen our relationship. I am convinced that the teams of Devoteam Telecom & Media in France will benefit from Ericsson's end-to-end know-how, scale and global presence."


Alcatel-Lucent Selected for Trans-Pacific Cable Upgrade

Alcatel-Lucent has been selected to upgrade a 9,600km trans-Pacific digital submarine cable system that provides direct connectivity from the Japanese east coast to California.  The cable, which is owned by 5 major carriers, originally was designed for an ultimate capacity of 960 Gbps per fiber pair. The upgrade will quadruple its original design capacity by use of Alcatel-Lucent’s advanced coherent technology, delivering an ultimate capacity of up to 4 Terabits per second (Tbps) per fiber pair.

The upgrade is based on the Alcatel-Lucent 1620 Light Manager submarine line terminal equipment using coherent technology at 40G, expandable to 100G, and managed by the Alcatel-Lucent 1350 optical management system.

The solution was demonstrated earlier this year on the trans-Pacific submarine cable system network.


NEC Tests 1 Tbps Super Channel using 100GbE subcarriers

NEC announced a test of a 1 Tbps super-channel based on 100GbE subcarriers and transmitted over a trans-oceanic distance.

NEC's super-channels are achieved using techniques such as parallel high-speed transceivers, advanced modulation formats and advanced pulse shaping. 

For this trial, NEC combined a software-defined pulse shaper together with flexible-grid real-time 100 Gbps subcarriers to create a 1 Tbps superchannel.  The pulse-shaper is designed to mitigate transmission impairments and to offer flexible bandwidth allocation capabilities. NEC reported error-free transmission over a 5,400km link consisting of commercially available optical fiber and cost-effective repeater spacing. 

NEC also implemented a 1 Tbps superchannel composed of full-digital100 Gbps subcarriers. Each subcarrier is equipped with a digital signal processor at the transmitter, which can potentially extend the re-configurability to a variable modulation format and/or for variable error-correction capabilities. This cutting-edge digital-transmitter technology enables the 1 Tbps superchannel to successfully transmit beyond 7,200-km.

ZTE Forecasts Net Loss for 2012 but Profit in Q1 2013

Citing delays with some domestic and international network projects, the recognition of earlier lower-margin contracts and a drop in revenue for terminal products, ZTE may post a net loss of between RMB2.5 billion and RMB2.9 billion for full year 2012, a reversal of 221.35% and 240.77% compared to a year earlier.

However, ZTE is forecasting a profit in the first quarter of 2013 as a result of the company’s operational review and strategic realignment efforts.

For 2013, ZTE said its reforms will include:

  • control its growth in employee numbers, reduce unnecessary consumption, and improve efficiency.
  • sharpen its focus on mainstream customers and products, improving internal coordination to ensure resources are channeled into the development and innovation of key projects.
  • streamline its internal organization to form simplified, three-layer structure, comprised of headquarters, operational division and representative office, thereby eliminating some regional and structural groupings. 


  • In December, China Development Bank (CDB) agreed expand its financing facility for ZTE to US$20 billion. Citing the uncertain economic recovery in the United States and the debt crisis in Europe as primary factors that weaken growth in the global telecommunications market, CDB said its financial support could help ZTE achieve a stronger market position internationally.