Ciena Shows Some Muscle

September 3rd, 2009
 

Network equipment provider Ciena (NASDAQ:CIEN, news, filings) reported its fiscal third quarter earnings this morning, providing the latest update on the state of the economy in telecom.  The equipment providers have taken the brunt of the recession, as carriers have cut back on the capex that has been their lifeblood.  But this quarter, Ciena finally managed to turn the tide with sequential growth with revenues of $164.8M from $144.2M last quarter.  That's really quite decent, I think analysts were only looking (hoping) for the low 150's.  Adjusted net loss of $0.05 was also better than anyone seems to have expected. [Read more →]

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AT&T Looking to Buy Leap? Vonage? Are you kidding?

September 3rd, 2009
 

A twin pair of rumors hit the street yesterday, both of which seem to be living proof of the phrase "There's a sucker born every minute".  First, there was this insane notion that AT&T (NYSE:T, news, filings) might buy Vonage (NYSE:VG, news, filings).  Right, that's why they spent years choking off their own CallVantage VoIP product - so they could attract regulatory scrutiny by buying another one, cannibalize their own revenue with it, and further piss off the rather significant percentage of [Read more →]

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Qwest Picks Alcatel-Lucent for 100G

September 2nd, 2009
 

q has made its 100G move, they will be upgrading their network to 100G with gear from Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU, news, filings).  Of course, only bits and pieces of 100G gear are actually ready yet from any provider, but Qwest will start with the 100G ethernet router interface announced earlier this summer. The 100G portion of the ultra-longhaul DWDM gear will no doubt come online when it is ready.  This is a nice win for Alcatel-Lucent, certainly giving its 100G efforts an early boost.   [Read more →]

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Anchors Away at Infinera

September 2nd, 2009
 

Yesterday, Infinera (NASDAQ:INFN, news, filings) announced its new product line for undersea cables, making formal something that had been trickling out over the past few quarters.  The new Submarine Line Modules (SLMs) incorporate silicon optical amplifiers for ultra-longhaul reach.  As with other Infinera gear, operators can expand to 160 wavelengths on a single fiber, which will help current cables in the Atlantic continue to meet capacity requirements for a few years if true under those conditions.  The public material doesn't give details on the actual distances the new gear is capable of, it almost certainly depends on the design and age of the particular cable.  But they did give us the name of one of its customers: [Read more →]

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Vonage Lands On the iPhone

September 1st, 2009
 

Today Vonage (NYSE:VG, news, filings) announced that Apple has approved its iPhone application.  Last week the company's stock surged and I thought it might be due to M&A in the air but it since has become apparent that it was just a critical mass of buzz about getting onto the iPhone.  So what does the app do?  Vonage isn't saying, but geez how hard can this be? [Read more →]

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EBay Finally Sells Skype

September 1st, 2009
 

EBay today announced the sale of a 65% stake in VoIP phenomenon Skype to private equity at a price of $1.9B.  The buyers are led by Silver Lake, Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.  Ebay will keep a 35% stake in the company, and thus keep a finger in the pie and stay in the game - just in case they were right all along about buying it, just wrong about how to leverage it.  The $1.9M pricetag values the overall company at $2.75B, just slightly up from the purchase price - so it may not have been a great deal for Ebay, but it could have [Read more →]

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David Ross Group to Manage Gulf Bridge Cable Project

September 1st, 2009
 

With telecom news in the USA at low ebb before Labor day, a bit of news from overseas is quite welcome.  Gulf Bridge International (GBI), which is planning a new cable connecting the nations of the Persian Gulf to each other and to both India and Europe, has chosen the David Ross Group (DRG) to manage the effort, according to an announcement this morning.  DRG specializes in this kind of development work for submarine cables and is a natural choice, though personally I don't envy anyone trying to work in that part of the world. [Read more →]

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Savvis Unveils Project Spirit

September 1st, 2009
 

Earlier this morning, datacenter and managed hosting provider Savvis (news, filings) [a subsidiary of CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL, news, filings)] unveiled its next generation cloud computing platform, dubbed Project Spirit.   The biggest feature?  Virtual Private Data Centers, or VPDC's, with multi-tiered quality of service.   The new platform will be powered by Nexus switches from Cisco and automated by vSphere and VMsafe by VMWare.  Of course, at the moment this is just a project in development, it isn't even going into beta until wintertime. [Read more →]

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Calix Raises $100M to Meet Stimulus Demand

August 31st, 2009
 

Telecom equipment supplier Calix announced today that it has raised $100M in new financing.  The total will include both $50M in equity from its current investors and another $50M in debt from Silicon Valley Bank.  It's a substantial move for Calix amidst capital markets that are friendlier than they were 6 months ago, but are nevertheless still quite unfriendly. [Read more →]

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Zayo Aims For Stimulus Funds, In Quantity

August 30th, 2009
 

Upstart metro and regional fiber provider Zayo Group (news, filings) has also thrown its hat into the stimulus funding ring.  That's not a surprise, the company has been quite vocal in its efforts, and began putting together a team to pursue the opportunity back in the first quarter.  They are seeking $25M directly, which would be used to extend its network into 80 communities and 21 institutes of higher education in the Midwest.  And beyond that they have applied with partners for another $50M in other markets.  To bolster their bids, they will be committing $10-15M of their own cash to the effort.   These are rather substantial amounts for a company of Zayo's size, and if the bids are successful [Read more →]

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Trouble spending $7.4B? Naaah

August 29th, 2009
 

So did the non-participation of Verizon (NYSE:VZ, news, filings), AT&T (NYSE:T, news, filings), and q harm the industry's ability to find projects to spend the first $4B in stimulus funds the RUS and NTIA are offering?  Are you kidding?  As the Friday deadline closed and the applications piled up, the number came to $28B requested, 7 times the amount available.  That's a lot of projects proposed by people who aren't troubled by the network neutrality strings that might be attached.  The breakdown: [Read more →]

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The Puzzle of Rural Broadband

August 27th, 2009
 

Dan O'Shea over at FierceTelecom has some great commentary on expectations and realities for rural broadband.  One of his main points is that rural communities and the PUCs that look after them often want broadband but they want it within the context of a Bell type company that no longer exists.  We really need to get past this and see rural communication infrastructure in a modern context. [Read more →]

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AlcaHuaweiLu? Not Gonna Happen

August 27th, 2009
 

There's a rumor going around that either Huawei or ZTE are preparing a bid for Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU, news, filings).  The argument is that both Chinese telecom equipment vendors have a lower cost structure, and would therefore have a better shot at making Alcatel-Lucent's business profitable.  While it would certainly be a blockbuster deal, there's just no way it's going to happen.   [Read more →]

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360Networks Makes Pitch for Stimulus Funding

August 27th, 2009
 

Western US fiber and VoIP operator 360Networks has made its own pitch for stimulus dollars.  360 hopes to use the funds for 'middle mile' projects in 17 markets with a 10 mile surrounding radius along a 1011 mile stretch of fiber between Chicago and New Orleans.   It's a fairly unique north-south route, one which could certainly use some more competition.  They have been working with last mile providers over the last six months to put together viable packages. [Read more →]

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China Telecom, Reliance to Build India-China Link

August 26th, 2009
 

China Telecom and Reliance have launched a fiber link between China and India that runs southward (and downard of course) from Tibet.  Initially only 20Gbps, the system will supposedly have an initial design capacity of 4.8Tbps.  It sounds like no big deal, but have you ever noticed the different roles played by submarine and terrestrial networks in different parts of the world?  In North America and Europe, terrestrial cables hook up just about everything on the continent, and the submarine cables hook those networks up to the other continents.  Everywhere else, submarine cables hook up countries on the same continent and terrestrial fiber networks often don't cross national boundaries.   [Read more →]

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What’s Going On With Vonage?

August 25th, 2009
 

For much of the past year, Vonage (NYSE:VG, news, filings) has slipped further and further out of the headlines as it struggled to refinance its debt and bring its costs into line.  For six months, its stock price  has languished in the $0.40 range.  But out of nowhere, it closed at $0.60 yesterday, $1.59 today, and is at the moment trading at $1.84 after hours.  The only news came last week when Vonage announced major enhancements to its international calling and voicemail services.  As nice as that is for customers, if anything it expands costs without expanding revenue from a shareholder perspective and isn't worth such a breathtaking 300% move on its own. [Read more →]

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Level 3 Makes Its Case For Stimulus Funds

August 25th, 2009
 

Yesterday, Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) made good on its promises and announced it has applied for broadband stimulus funds in the amount of $15M in grant funds and $5M in matching funds.  The target of course is the 'middle mile', which has been one of the industry's favorite terms in the last two quarters.  Level 3 would use the funds to bring middle mile bandwidth to some 50 underserved markets.  Those 50 markets would primarily be in or adjacent to [Read more →]

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Help Me Build a List of Asia/Pacific/Australia Network Maps

August 24th, 2009
 

I have been creating and maintaining various lists of network map resources for a while now, but only of the geographical regions where I am most familiar.  Today I'm working on a new region:  the Asia/Pacific/Australia theatre.  Well, ok it's not really a region, it's more of a hemisphere.  But in terms of internet geography, it's still a bit more limited in scope and I'll lump it together for the sake of temporary convenience - we can always divide it up later if it makes sense.  But I very much need the help of readers to complete this list.  Why?  Because even though I'm frequently in the region physically, [Read more →]

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Apple, Google, AT&T: The Perfect Crucible

August 23rd, 2009
 

Every now and then, what should be a minor commercial dispute becomes something more.  Apps for the iPhone have been rejected by Apple for less reason with less uproar, but they just don't touch all the bases that this one does.  Watching the dance has been fascinating.  So now Apple hasn't actually rejected the Google Voice app, it just hasn't accepted it yet because it needs more time to study it.  Right...  In other words, they realized after the fact that claiming the power of gatekeeper will be complex.  And AT&T supposedly had no role in the rejection, which of course depends on how you define the word 'role'.  The whole setup is a perfect crucible, a triangle of love, hate, and [Read more →]

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Interesting Moves at the FCC

August 21st, 2009
 

In the last two days, the FCC made three interesting moves.  That's not bad at all for an agency that has historically considered pushing back deadlines to be interesting moves.  As a first order of business, they started a blog and began twittering!   And not only that but 15 hours ago they twittered that they finally know what RSS is.  Now, I'm not entirely sure what to expect in the way of blogging and twittering from a government committee (do they have to vote on it before posting it?), but a few months ago I called for the modernization [Read more →]

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Roundup of Contracts: An Air Force Base, a Health Network, and Norwegian Football

August 20th, 2009
 

In the past week or so, there have been several telecom and data contracts awarded that I found interesting, but which I didn't actually manage to write an entire post on.  Sometimes it can be difficult to get excited by PR, and August is the toughest month in which to write.  But it's been a decent week when it comes to announced sales and in this economy we should keep a close eye on things, so here is a quick [Read more →]

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Tata, Tyco Complete TGN Extension to Asia

August 19th, 2009
 

In a press release today, Tata Communications (news, filings) and Tyco Telecommunications announced that they have completed the installation, testing, and commissioning of the TGN Intra Asia cable, or TGN-IA.  The undersea cable system links Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Vietnam and the Philippines with 6700km route miles and an initial 3.8Tbps design capacity.  More importantly, the route is apparently diverse from that corridor near Taiwan where every other cable seems to go through.  They also claim a unique direct fiber route between [Read more →]

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Big Dreams at Omnicity

August 19th, 2009
 

I have long wondered about the business case for rural wireless ISPs.  It has always seemed to me that WiMAX ought to be a natural fit for bringing broadband to rural areas due to its wide range.  However, in the media we hear mainly about the efforts of clwr in the largest cities and little else.  Now it's not as if there aren't companies out there doing aiming at the rural WISP space, it's that they tend to be small, local entities with a particular geographical focus and no national scale.   [Read more →]

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