AT&T Knuckles Under on Wireless VoIP

October 6th, 2009

The word is that AT&T has given in on network neutrality over its wireless networks, at least for VoIP.  As pretty much everyone knows by now, there was a clause in the iPhone contract which required VoIP calls to only work over Wi-Fi connections.  The public justification for the rule has been network congestion, while the private one has been one of competition.  However, in light of the unfavorable regulatory scrutiny it appears that AT&T (NYSE:T, news, filings) has decided that discretion is the better part of valor.  Or if you're cynical, maybe not so much... [Read more →]

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Level 3 wins at Metaboli, GameTap

October 6th, 2009

Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) announced a nice CDN contract today in the gaming sector.  The company has already been providing caching and download services to Metaboli in Europe since early this year, and will now also be serving the US operations which operate under the name GameTap.  GameTap used to be part of the Turner Broadcasting empire, but was sold two years ago to Paris based Metaboli.  The transition for that transaction is now complete, and they are re-launching the GameTap brand. [Read more →]

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Equinix to Introduce Carrier Neutral Ethernet Exchanges

October 6th, 2009

It always seems like Ethernet is already everywhere, so it can be easy to forget that one network's Ethernet services don't generally talk directly to another's.  Of course they *can* talk directly given an agreement between two networks, however having each network negotiate a separate agreement with every other network doesn't scale at all.  To the rescue today comes Equinix (NASDAQ:EQIX, news, filings), which is planning a carrier neutral ethernet exchange.  Using gear from Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU, news, filings) they hope to act as a meeting point for carrier ethernet traffic, and by extension to bring standard interconnection to [Read more →]

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So Ciena Wants to Buy Nortel’s MEN

October 6th, 2009

Isn't there a law against that?  Oh wait, wrong capitalization.  Blockbuster news it was not, however the announcement by Ciena (NASDAQ:CIEN, news, filings) that it is in advanced discussions with Nortel over its Metro Ethernet Networks (MEN) business did help to clear the air a bit.  Their expected interest in purchasing the unit has been mentioned for many months, and supposedly somebody even jumped the gun last Friday with an early PR according to an article on SeekingAlpha.  At least now we can get beyond speculating about talks everyone 'knew' were happening, but didn't actually know were happening. [Read more →]

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Vonage’s iPhone App Takes Different Road

October 5th, 2009

Last month, Vonage (NYSE:VG, news, filings) rumors filled the web for a week or two and the stock surged unexpectedly, all apparently due to the company's imminent iPhone application approval.  Well, that day is now here, and the iPhone app is now available - alongside Blackberry and iPod Touch versions.  It's not quite what I expected, but then nothing ever is.  So what is it?  And what is it not? [Read more →]

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KPN Raises Bid for iBasis to $2.25

October 5th, 2009

Dutch telecommunications giant KPN (NYSE:KPN, news) has raised its bid for IBasis (news) [a subsidiary of KPN (NYSE:KPN, news)] by 45%, from $1.55 to $2.25.  The initial bid of $1.55 was met with a rather loud rejection from iBasis's board and a lawsuit to boot, the claim being that KPN was trying to snap up the company on the cheap at the expense of minority shareholders.  KPN owns some 56% of iBasis after merging its own international voice assets into the company several years ago, and the remaining 44% would cost a mere $70M.  KPN would like to own iBasis outright because [Read more →]

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The Extent of the Latency War in Financial Networking

October 4th, 2009

On his own message board, regular commenter Frank Coluccio suggested in response to an Abovenet PR recently that we have a latency war on our hands.  Indeed, a war has been escalating all year in the financial vertical relating to high frequency trading, next generation networks, and ultra-low latency fiber paths.  To refresh my memory I thought I'd go back and find the half dozen or more or so press releases I remembered on the subject since the beginning of the year and look for patterns. [Read more →]

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Level 3 to Sell $275M in Converts

October 1st, 2009

For a while there it seemed like everyone was accessing the credit markets except the one company that always does.  But at last Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) showed up, announcing today an agreement to sell $275M in convertible notes due 2015.  The new notes will bear interest at 7% and be convertible into common stock at $1.80.  They already issued $200M of notes just like these in June of this year. [Read more →]

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Cisco Takes Out Tandberg

October 1st, 2009

Reminding everyone just who it is that has the cash to make deals right now, telecommunications equipment giant Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO, news, filings) announced today that it will be purchasing Norway's Tandberg for some $3B.  That's an 11% premium above the company's current stock price.  Tandberg makes videoconferencing equipment, and its technology is a great fit for Cisco given the focus they have been putting on video in the corporate marketplace, e.g. [Read more →]

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Sparkle Enters CDN Market, Who’s Left?

October 1st, 2009

Telecom Italia Sparkle plans to formally announce its entry into the CDN market via a resale agreement with CDNetworks, according to Dan Rayburn. If there were an award given to carriers for 'Most Likely to be Forgotten by the US media', Sparkle would probably win it.  But their network is international in scope and they are big in Europe.  Reselling the services of an existing CDN is perhaps the least aggressive way to enter the market, but nowadays if you run an IP network it is almost imperative that you have CDN in your portfolio somewhere.   [Read more →]

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Windstream to Downsize by 5%

September 30th, 2009

If you were hoping that the job situation in the telecom sphere had turned around, it may not be over yet - at least not for ILECs.  In a press release today, Windstream (NYSE:WIN, news, filings) announced that it will cut about 5% of its workforce, or 350 out of 7100 jobs, and will take a $15M charge in the fourth quarter.  They say they will look for volunteers and attrition to reduce the impact, but in this environment there won't be that many willing so there will surely be layoffs - good luck [Read more →]

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What Is XO Worth?

September 30th, 2009

Commenting on Monday's article on rejection of Icahn's offer by the board of XO Holdings (news, filings), regular reader Brian Scully asks:

In a world without Icahn, what are the XO assets and revenue stream worth?

A fair question, first let's have a poll and see what readers think. [Read more →]

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Metered Broadband On the Way

September 29th, 2009

Talking at the FTTH Conference and Expo, Verizon CTO Richard Lynch said out loud what is almost certain to be many ISP's response to network neutrality:

At the end of the day the concept of a flat-rate infinitely expandable service is unachievable. We are going to reach a point where we will sell packages of bites. Now I’m not announcing a new pricing plan. But we have already gone this way in wireless because that is where the resource is most constrained.

In other words, unlimited broadband will soon be a historical [Read more →]

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Akamai Unleashes HD Network

September 29th, 2009

Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM, news, filings) had promised an announcement today regarding a new strategic direction for video delivery.  And what did it turn out to be?  Why the Akamai HD Network of course!  The new platform is billed as "the first platform to deliver HD video online to viewers using Adobe Flash technology, Microsoft Silverlight, and to the iPhone, at broadcast-level audience scale."  In other words, they've rolled out the infrastructure to support HD streaming across most of their worldwide network of some 50,000 servers. [Read more →]

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XO Turns Down Icahn, For Now

September 28th, 2009

The special committee of the board of directors of XO Holdings (news, filings) has responded to majority holder Carl Icahn's proposal to buy the 10% or so of shares he doesn't already own.  In an PR released today, the special committee said: [Read more →]

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Global Crossing Reveals New Internal Structure, Website

September 28th, 2009

Feeling that they have finally put their cash-burning, post-disaster recovery phase completely behind them, glbc is embarking on the next stage of its evolution.  The company has reorganized internally into four Customer Facing Units (CFUs), one each for North America, South America, EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), and Worldwide Carrier Services.  For financial reporting they will still be giving us GCUK, GC Impsat, and Rest-Of-World for now, however customers will interact with the new structure.    They seem to have taken a middle road on where the dividing line between CFUs and centralization falls:  areas like sales and local access which [Read more →]

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What’s Behind AT&T’s New FCC Complaint Against Google?

September 27th, 2009

On Friday, AT&T asked the FCC to investigate Google Voice for, get this, violating network neutrality.  On the surface, one might think this is a bit silly, since Google doesn't actually operate a last mile network and therefore isn't terribly likely to be shaping traffic or blocking data.  But nevertheless, underneath the surface there is a point that AT&T is trying to make indirectly, and - I can't believe I'm saying it - it's a valid point. [Read more →]

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Some Weekend Reading Material

September 25th, 2009

The internet never gets old, it has so many nooks and crannies that even in the relatively smaller world of blogs devoted to telecom and internet infrastructure there are always fresh voices out there to find.  I've been exploring a bit, and here are a few that I welcome to my blogroll. [Read more →]

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Finding a Buyer For XO

September 24th, 2009

Ever since Carl Icahn's bid for the 10% of XO Holdings (news, filings) he doesn't already own and the subsequent revelations from the litigation by R2 Investments of two bids last year, I have wondered about something.  Where are those bidders now?  Not just those two - rumored to be Zayo and Paetec, but there have been other talks over the past few years with others like Level 3 and TW Telecom with whom there are obvious synergies.  Icahn is offering some $0.55 which translates to a pathetic net purchase price of about $730M - just six times 2009 EBITDA.  Surely someone [Read more →]

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Fiber-based Telecom Valuations – September 2009

September 23rd, 2009

It has been several months since I last charted relative valuations in the sector, so it's time to see what the summer has wrought on EV/EBITDA ratios for fiber-based telecoms.   Of course, we lost one name from my usual list when Fibernet Telecom Group was purchased by Zayo, but perhaps we can get it back someday if Zayo goes public.  But beyond that, have the early signs of a recovery made themselves evident via higher market valuations?  Here's the chart: [Read more →]

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Net Neutrality: What’s Your Opinion?

September 23rd, 2009

Ok, we've let the dust settle for a couple days since Julius Genachowski's proposed network neutrality rules came out.  The readers of this blog come from all segments of the telecom and internet infrastructure sectors, and it would be interesting to see exactly what we all think of this rather than letting journalists and bloggers endlessly spin right, left, and round and round.  So what say you, readers?

[poll id="29"]

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Metro Fiber September Roundup

September 22nd, 2009

I haven't written as much lately about the metro fiber space lately, but that doesn't mean nothing has been going on.  Actually, what's happening is steady expansion on seemingly all fronts while much of the rest of the sector is still hiding under its rock.  Let's take a look at some news that either slipped past my nets or somehow got bumped by other news. [Read more →]

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As the Fog Lifts, PAETEC Supplies Guidance

September 22nd, 2009

In an announcement this morning, PAETEC (news, filings) supplied financial guidance for the full year 2009, something they had not done previously due to the economic uncertainty.  The reason seems to be stabilization of the economy, and increasing visibility.  Hopefully this is the beginning of a trend, and providers are feeling more confident about their predictive ability.  It would be nice to get a bit more than the opaque levels of caution we have been listening to. [Read more →]

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