When Google Talks, People Listen

March 15th, 2009

Late last week, Google let the world know what it has done with GrandCentral, the voip company they bought over a year and a half ago.  The upgraded service, Google Voice, is designed to fit inside the world of GMail and Google Docs, and looks really slick.  Or at least the marketing package looks really slick, so far the service is only available as an upgrade for existing GrandCentral users.  The rest of us just get to watch for now.  The blogosphere is of course boiling over about it, and I don't blame them - this is the first really [Read more →]

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Level 3 Wins at M3X, MDI

March 13th, 2009

Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) has been pretty quiet lately, but managed to announce a few wins this week.  The first came from their Business Markets group.  MDI Holdings selected Level3 for direct connections between its main locations: two in Florida, two in California, and one in Texas.  The multi-year contract includes voice and data services over an IPVPN.   MDI specializes in health care management, i.e. appointments, claims processing and payment, etc.   The Business Markets group has had some trouble over the last year finding a path to growth, but it does seem to have some traction [Read more →]

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Internap Comes In Light

March 13th, 2009

Boutique internet and colocation provider Internap Network Services (NASDAQ:INAP, news, filings) reported earnings after the bell.  Revenues of $64.2M were down sequentially from the third quarter's $65.4M, and a bit lower than expected.  IP services revenues came in light at $30.1M and CDN services declined a bit as well, partially offset by the usual increase in colocation revenue.  As a result, for the full year the company grew revenues by 8.5%, just missing its 9-13% growth projection.  Given the extent of the economic mess, I did not expect Internap to see growth this quarter and hence I wasn't surprised.   As a high end provider to mid-sized web-centric companies, [Read more →]

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Lit Buildings and Metro Fiber Update – March 2009

March 12th, 2009

As promised, I have updated my list of metro fiber providers and lit buildings. The list itself will no long live in a post with a published date that quickly scrolls off the bottom of the screen. I have found it useful to have around and searching for it was annoying. Therefore I have given it a permanent page of its own that you can access off the top menu bar, underneath the 'More' item. [Read more →]

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Comcast: We're Number 3

March 12th, 2009

Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA, news, filings) today staked a claim to the #3 slot in US home phone subscribers, based on its current 6.47M as compared with the 5.96M of q.  Of course, in terms of total phone lines Qwest has 6.5M, and it isn't clear to me which number Comcast is comparable to.  What does it matter?  It doesn't.  Whether this milestone was passed or will be passed is irrelevant, the trend is clear.  Qwest is losing landlines steadily while Comcast is gaining them just as steadily, and therefore it was a foregone conclusion that this day would come.  It doesn't seem likely [Read more →]

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Clearwire Hires Morrow

March 11th, 2009

WiMax protagonist clwr hired a new CEO yesterday:  William Morrow who was CEO of Pacific Gas & Electric.  Despite his recent home in the energy sector, he has pedigree in the wireless business with executive roles at Vodafone and Japan Telecom.  I wonder also if there isn't an energy angle here, the energy utilities have towers and many have fiber - Morrow might be able to interface with them better given his background. He will replace Wolff as CEO, Wolf will become co-chairman.  The move may have surprised some, but [Read more →]

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Verizon Business Keeps DISA Contract

March 11th, 2009

In news that won't surprise anyone much, Verizon (NYSE:VZ, news, filings) Business has won the DTS-P II contract from DISA, providing network and data services to defense sites in the Expanded Asia Pacific Region.  Why the government needs to expand a region which covers two-thirds of the globe is beyond my ken, but it includes the Caribbean as well.    This will replace the DTS-P contract vehicle, which was of course already held by Verizon Business.  The new contract is worth a maximum of $2.5B over ten years, so it isn't chump change.  I assume this is not part of the Networx Universal or Enterprise?  Nevertheless, congrats to Verizon Business - government contracts are nice work when you can get them, at least after [Read more →]

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Profile: Global Crossing in 2009 – Part I

March 10th, 2009

In what I hope will be a regular new feature on Telecom Ramblings, I will be talking with companies in the sector - large and small - and assembling a profile of where they stand this year, where they hope to go, and what they may face in this challenging economic environment.  The first company I will look at is glbc, whom I had the opportunity to speak with recently.  [Read more →]

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Profile: Global Crossing in 2009 – Part II

March 10th, 2009

Part I of this two part series focused on my own impressions of glbc.  In Part II, we hear from the company directly.  Recently,  I had the opportunity to ask Gary Breauninger, Chief Administrative Officer of Global Crossing, a series of questions.  Gary has been with Global Crossing for many years, serving previously as chief marketing officer, senior vice president for planning and business finance, and a number of other executive roles.  In January of 2009, Gary shifted over to his current position as Chief Administrative Officer. [Read more →]

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Comparing Disasters

March 9th, 2009

On Friday, a blog on the Wall Street Journal site discussed a new milestone that we recently passed.  The marketcap of financial shares in the S&P 500 is now down 83% from its high, surpassing the low point after the tech bubble popped when the marketcap of technology shares fell 82% from their peak.  The article then notes similarities and differences between this crash and that one,  notably this bit which as a tech crash survivor I take slight issue with: [Read more →]

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Zillion TV Raises the Curtain

March 9th, 2009

Zillion TV, a new entry into the internet video market, emerged from stealth mode over the weekend.  Contentinople has a nice article,  and the mainstream press has it all over the place (LA Times, Forbes).  The startup has powerful backers and partners and seem to be heading for a quick start, planning to have 15,000 titles online by the end of the year.  I like the name, but I'm somewhat skeptical about the business model.  Here are the main features as I currently understand them. [Read more →]

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The Universal Femtocell

March 8th, 2009

Tracey Higginbotham over on GigaOm reports that Embarq has published a patent application for something called a Universal Femtocell.  The idea behind a universal femtocell is that it can be configured to work with any cell phone network, much like a universal remote control works with any DVD/TV/etc (except the one you happen to have of course).  Of course, Embarq doesn't have a wireless business and won't have one after it has merged with CenturyTel either.  While this is just a patent filing and not a product offering, it does lead to the basic question: why is Embarq dabbling in femtocells at all? [Read more →]

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Clearwire Details Its Plans

March 6th, 2009

Nobody really cared much about the fourth quarter financials that clwr reported today, they had eyes only for news of the great WiMAX buildout.  That's understandable of course, because Q4 results end that chapter in the company's life.  After finally getting hitched with Sprint's Xohm and raising $3B, the company moving forward now will be so dramatically different that comparisons and trends are rather pointless, and Q4's revenues of $20.5M and loss of $118M don't tell us much.  Hey, at least nobody cares to what extent the economy is hurting sales!  Instead, we listened to what 2009 will bring. [Read more →]

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Teliasonera Plans to Join CDN Rush

March 5th, 2009

Scandanavian incumbent carrier Teliasonera plans to enter the content delivery business with an announcement sometime next month, according to a report by Dan Rayburn.  While details are scarce, it looks like TeliaSonera AB (ETR:TLS, news, filings) will join British Telecom (NYSE:BT, news, filings) and AT&T (NYSE:T, news, filings) and build their own system rather than buy an existing CDN or partner with someone, although they may buy a video content management firm as part of the effort. [Read more →]

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Ciena Reports, Lays Off 200 More

March 5th, 2009

As expected, Ciena (NASDAQ:CIEN, news, filings) had a tough fiscal Q1 which ended on January 30th.  Equipment makers have been taking it on the chin since the crisis deteriorated in late summer, as carriers have dramatically cut back capital expenditures.  Revenues of $167.4M were a bit light, down another 7% from the prior quarter which wasn't fun either, and 26% from a year ago.  The loss per share of $(0.09) was a bit worse than what the market may have expected.  Given the economic conditions, they declined [Read more →]

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Larissa Herda Calls For New Era

March 4th, 2009

Keynoting COMPTEL yesterday, CEO Larissa Herda of TW Telecom (NASDAQ:TWTC, news, filings) used the pulpit to call for a National Business Broadband Policy. It's no secret that competitive service providers of all stripes have high hopes for the Obama administration.  The last eight years were rather friendly to the incumbents, to put it lightly.  [Read more →]

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What Can Zayo Buy For $128M?

March 4th, 2009

Today Zayo revealed that its recent equity financing amounted to $128M, which in this market is an amazing number for a company of Zayo's size and easily exceeded both my initial $50M and updated $100M guesses.  It wasn't just from the original investors either, this time Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners came along for the ride.  While there has been some money raised during this credit crisis, most of it has been defensive money - for refinancing or continuation of needed buildouts.  By contrast, Zayo's new money appears to be for offense, and its backers are clearly looking to take advantage [Read more →]

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MediaXstream Rides Hibernia To Europe

March 3rd, 2009

Video network specialist MediaXstream has chosen Hibernia Atlantic for its transatlantic capacity requirements. The deal is for multiple diverse 10Gbps wavelengths from North America to London and Dublin, and further extends MediaXstream's young DTM video network such that it can serve customers with European needs. And who is MediaXstream? That's a question I asked myself, until I ran into a familiar name in its CEO Del Bothof. [Read more →]

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An Update to TheJuice's LVLT Model

March 3rd, 2009

Hello everyone! Attached are the updated Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) models based on data for the recently filed 10k. What I've done is include the three main models I will use this year to track our performance. The first model is my perception of Q1 results. As you can see I'm thinking we are going to see a drop in top-line but continued strength in sga/cogs improvements. [Read more →]

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Pacnet Launches a CDN

March 3rd, 2009

Today Pacific telecom and undersea-cable operator Pacnet announced its new Media Delivery Service, becoming the latest carrier to enter the CDN business.  The new product is available globally from today, and seems to offer both http website acceleration and streaming capabilities (both Flash and Silverlight).  The company, as one might expect, sees its advantages stemming from its ownership of the network, as opposed to pure CDNs.  It's something of an interesting proposition though, Pacnet basically crosses the Pacific, their nodes presumably are primarily on what some call the ring of fire and are hooked up by undersea cables, but wouldn't have [Read more →]

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Rockefeller Group Joins Hibernia's Global Financial Network

March 2nd, 2009

The Technology Solutions portion of Rockefeller Group has teamed up with Hibernia Atlantic's Global Financial Network (GFN) to offer its clients bandwidth services in many of the world's biggest financial markets.  The GFN was just unveiled in December, and seems to be gaining some early traction despite the rather inauspicious timing.  This deal with Rockefeller Group follows an earlier one at IPC Network Services, and both are enablers rather than users - they hook up bandwidth for the real customers.  I sort of doubt that business is brisk [Read more →]

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US Signal Expands in Wisconsin

March 2nd, 2009

Last week, midwest regional and metro operator US Signal sneaked a press release past my nets, announcing their expansion plans northward in Wisconsin.  The company has long had dark fiber loops in Green Bay, Appleton, and Oshkosh, and they now plan to light 250 miles of regional fiber to hook up those markets and open new PoPs.  That will bring their total up to 4500 route miles, 700 of them metro loops.  Apparently, the metro fiber business remains pretty strong up in the rust belt, strong enough [Read more →]

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Plans for My Metro Fiber and Lit Buildings List

March 2nd, 2009

In the next two weeks I am planning to update and enhance my metro fiber and lit buildings spreadsheet.  The purpose of the list has always been to illustrate who is out there and understand where they fit into the fiber ecosystem, and I hope that a few improvements will help with that goal.  First of all, I will add columns for average fiber count and ownership status (IRU, sheath, conduit).  Second, I intend to make the current version more generally available in a page off the top menu bar.  There are other things I'd like to do, but which seem out of reach for now.  For instance, it would be very helpful to know something about the types of buildings connected - some providers may have many small lit buildings, others may have fewer yet much larger [Read more →]

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