Switch and Data Powers Onward

April 29th, 2009
 

It is quite clear by now that the colocation and datacenter sector is weathering the recession better than almost anyone in the tech space.  sdxc reported first quarter earnings today and followed the lead of Equinix (NASDAQ:EQIX, news, filings), shrugging off the majority of economic pressures.  Revenues of $47.1M were up 18% from the same quarter last year and 2.8% sequentially.  EBITDA also improved to $16.6M, up from both $15.8M last quarter and $12.6M in the same quarter last year.  The loss per share of [Read more →]

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TheJuice on Level 3’s Q1

April 29th, 2009
 

[TheJuice blogs about his financial models and projections for telecom companies, most frequently about Level 3 Communications. Do you want a turn at the microphone? Contact the webmaster]

Hi all. Below are my comments on Q109. [Read more →]

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The Economy Takes a Big Bite Out of Level 3

April 28th, 2009
 

Internet backbone provider Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) reported earnings this morning, checking in with a loss of $0.08 per share, largely in-line with expectations on that front.  Revenues of $980, however, were were down substantially from Q4, well below most estimates and also the projections my own model which is obviously not handling the recession well at all.  Thejuice's predictions were far closer to the mark, but even he was too high. [Read more →]

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Metro Fiber Penetration On the Rise

April 28th, 2009
 

According to a study by Vertical Systems Group, 19.1% of commercial buildings in the USA with 20 or more employees now have fiber.  That is up from just 10.9% just four years ago.  That's real progress of course, but the percentage is still small and it is just changing too slowly.  Looking at it from the other side, 80.9% of such buildings are served primarily by copper, down from 89.1% four years ago.  Comparing that with consumer wireline losses at AT&T (NYSE:T, news, filings), Verizon (NYSE:VZ, news, filings) and others which are more on the order of 10% in the last year alone, one can see that commercial buildings are still getting the very short end of the stick.  [Read more →]

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XO Expands to Raleigh

April 27th, 2009
 

Competitive telecom XO Holdings (news, filings) announced today that it has expanded its network again in North Carolina, this time with services in Raleigh. This move follows closely on last year's expansion to Charlotte, and implies that the previous expansion went well enough for an encore performance.  They seem to be fully operational in Raleigh already, offering both data and voice services to the enterprise. [Read more →]

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Level 3 Earnings Primer: Q1/2009

April 27th, 2009
 

On Tuesday morning, Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) reports earnings for the first quarter of 2009.  As regular readers of this blog know, both I and thejuice follow the company closely.  As the the largest of the non-RBOC USA backbones, their earnings reports can be complex.  This primer is designed to help track and interpret the company's progress or lack thereof.  Personally, I expect no earthshattering news tomorrow.  The economic environment is horrible, but so far bandwidth itself seems [Read more →]

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Limelight Is On a Roll

April 27th, 2009
 

Over the weekend, CDN upstart Limelight Networks (NASDAQ:LLNW, news, filings) won another big court victory.  The ruling sets aside last year's verdict, in which Limelight was said to be infringing on Akamai's patents and was penalized some $45 with more perhaps to come.  Limelight now therefore expects to reverse expenses of $66M it has accrued for it, although I'm not sure when that actually comes into play on the balance sheet - Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM, news, filings) will almost certainly appeal.  That's a nice sum of money to free up, but far more important is that the dark clouds of litigation that have been hanging over the company seem to be [Read more →]

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Juniper’s Q1: Hello From the Bottom?

April 24th, 2009
 

Router specialist Juniper Networks (NASDAQ:JNPR, news, filings) reported earnings after the bell yesterday, and met  expectations with revenues of $764M and adjusted earnings of $0.17.  Ugly?  Definitely, but ugly was entirely expected.  The question in everyone's minds is whether the telecom equipment makers have hit bottom.  The sector is famously sensitive to economic trends due to the capex intensive nature of tech businesses.  When their customers even think about sneezing, equipment vendors are already running a fever.  But it works the other way too, the rebound can be similarly powerful. [Read more →]

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Trenching Your Own Fiber

April 24th, 2009
 

I ran across this interesting bit over on TelephonyOnline that came out of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show this week.   Norwegian triple play provider Lyse Tele has a unique way to do FTTH. They build fiber to the curb, then usually just give the customer instructions on how to connect the house itself.  That's right, the customer gets to dig his own trench, and 80% of their 130K customers have done it this way in exchange for a discount. Given the personal stake one then puts into the build, it's understandable that churn rates are subsequently very low. [Read more →]

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IPhone Sales Beat Out Wireline Losses at AT&T

April 23rd, 2009
 

Telecom's 800 metric ton Gorilla AT&T (NYSE:T, news, filings) reported earnings this morning, and apparently someone forgot to tell them about this 'worst recession since Hoover' thing.  Riding the back of 1.6M iPhone activations, they earned $0.53 per share, some 5 cents higher than expected despite revenues of $30.6B checking in lighter than the expected $31.1B.  No doubt analysts and the media will consider the latter more important since it is in the 'correct' direction.  Overall, AT&T managed a nice quarter despite the economy, though I'd hate to see [Read more →]

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Equinix Strides Easily Into Q2

April 23rd, 2009
 

Colocation specialist Equinix (NASDAQ:EQIX, news, filings) shrugged off the effects of the economy and posted some nice results.  Revenues of $199.2M met guidance and were up 4% sequentially and 26% over this quarter last year.  EBITDA of $91.4 was above guidance of $86-88M, leading to a minor raising/tightening of full year guidance from $365-385M to $370M-385M.  Revenue and EBITDA for Q2 are projected to be $206-210M and $92-94M, respectively.  Equinix had started the year somewhat cautiously due to the difficult economic conditions, but it seems to have a very good handle on things.   [Read more →]

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Conterra: A Window Into Wireless Backhaul – Part 2

April 22nd, 2009
 

In part 1 of this profile, I gave my own impressions of Conterra and its approach to the market.  Now let's hear from the company directly.  I had the opportunity to talk with Stephen Leeolou, CEO and Chairman of Conterra Telecom Services.  Prior to Conterra, Mr. Leeolou co-founded and acted as COO then CEO of Vanguard Cellular Systems from 1982-1999 until selling it to AT&T for almost $2B.

TR: How has the economic crisis affected Conterra's sales pipeline and the wireless backhaul industry in general?

SL: We have just [Read more →]

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Conterra: A Window Into Wireless Backhaul – Part 1

April 22nd, 2009
 

In this profile, Telecom Ramblings looks at the wireless backhaul provider Conterra Telecom Services.  I have traditionally been partial toward fiberoptic networks of course, but fiber does have its imitations and I am rapidly becoming interested in hybrid fiber/wireless networks.  When you get outside the main metro loops yet still need more bandwidth than copper can ever offer, that's where providers like Conterra step in to fill the gap.  They design, build, and operate the wireless middle mile and last mile links of hybrid fiber-wireless metro networks, with over 6000 [Read more →]

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Infinera Trudges Through the Storm, Reports Q1

April 22nd, 2009
 

Everyone has long expected an ugly first quarter from telecom equipment providers, the only question really was whether it was worse than expected.  Today we heard from DWDM specialist Infinera (NASDAQ:INFN, news, filings), which basically reported in-line with expectations.  Revenue of $66.6M were down from $86.2M in Q4, a hefty drop but one everyone knew was coming since that's what happens in the equipment space when carriers slash capex to the bone in a recession.  Adjusted gross margins fell to 31% from 36% in Q4, and the adjusted net loss was $0.19.  Some news reports call that a miss by $0.02, but predicting EPS for Q1 was always a dubious prospect at best.  Frankly I'm amazed [Read more →]

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AT&T Unveils Managed Private CDNs

April 21st, 2009
 

Telecommunications giant AT&T (NYSE:T, news, filings) was one of the first network providers to enter the CDN business, but it has also been one of the quietest.  That changed today with their announcement of Private Content Distribution Services, or AT&T PCDS for short.  What makes a 'Private Network' CDN different from the CDNs we usually talk about?  Apparently, it lives behind the corporate firewall.  This offering is for enterprises seeking to distribute content not to the consumer, but to its own constituent parts.  The content in question would be things like [Read more →]

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XO: A Valuation Model

April 21st, 2009
 

[This is an anonymous guest post by Homer. The author is a denizen of the the message boards on InvestorVillage and is long XOHO. Do you want a turn at the microphone?]

The Basic Model:

The VALUE of the common equity of a firm is the value of the residual claim on the assets. For most ongoing concerns this is equal to the present value of future cash flows minus net liabilities. Thus, we need to look at three variables: [Read more →]

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Tata Scores TV5MONDE CDN Deal

April 21st, 2009
 

Tata Communications (news, filings) announced today that they have been selected by TV5MONDE to stream live events via the internet.  TV5 is a global French-speaking broadcast network, that reaches 180M households from some 200 countries and has programming that originates on three continents.  The global nature of its viewership is undoubtedly the driving force behind this deal, as most content delivery networks remain heavily focused on the US.  Tata's network, which is comprised of the former Teleglobe and Tyco Global Network assets, and the CDN services they have been building on top are more geared toward wider international distribution.  No doubt the assets in and around Quebec helped some.   [Read more →]

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Level 3 Boosts Managed Video Services

April 20th, 2009
 

In a PR today, Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) announced that it has enhanced its video offerings to include managed video network services for broadcasters.  The new service enables both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint broadcast video delivery between locations over Level 3's network, with dynamic allocation and prioritization of bandwidth.   This marks another major step in the integration between Vyvx, which Level 3 acquired from WilTel three years ago, and Level 3's longhaul and metro fiber capabilities. [Read more →]

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NuVox Looking to Get Hitched?

April 20th, 2009
 

Kelly Teal over on the xChange blogs is hearing rumors of a merger between NuVox and PAETEC (news, filings) or between NuVox and One Communications.  A couple months ago, NSP Strategist mentioned that NuVox had refinanced its debt and was looking to buy something, also mentioning One Communications.  NuVox is a privately held CLEC with annual revenues above $500M, but beyond that little is known about their financial situation.  Their network map shows extensive assets throughout the southeast and lower midwest.

While these rumors have NuVox in the buyers seat it sounds to me as if NuVox is the one [Read more →]

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US Longhaul Fiber Maps

April 20th, 2009
 

Following up on last week's international network map compilation, I will now look at USA longhaul fiber networks.  The problem I ran into immediately was where to draw the line.  How extensive must the assets be to be on this list versus one of more local providers?  There are of course a limited number of truly national backbones, but there are others like [Read more →]

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Weekend Roundup

April 18th, 2009
 

Q1 earnings season starts in earnest next week of course, if we are lucky it will be a long parade of remarks that boil down to 'Yes it was bad, but it wasn't that bad!'  How's that for setting the bar low?  It's sitting on the ground so try not to trip over it ok guys?  🙂  In the meantime, here are a few tidbits I've been catching up on. [Read more →]

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What the Cloud Can Learn from VoIP

April 17th, 2009
 

Imagine a technology that promises to revolutionize the way a whole sector works.  It will make what we do now cheaper and more scalable, and it will enable new capabilities across a wide spectrum of technologies.  It will disrupt and revolutionize the way the industry does everything, although nobody is quite sure exactly how it all will really play out.  Everyone wants a piece of it, from large existing corporations all the way to one person basement startups, and it seems as if each one thinks the opportunities are boundless and unplundered.  Whatever happens, the technology is real and important and change really is on the way.  That might describe cloud computing today, but it also described where VoIP was 5 years ago in early 2004.  If we look at what happened to VoIP, can we intuit anything about what might happen to the cloud?  [Read more →]

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The SEC Finally Goes After VoIP Inc

April 17th, 2009
 

Long after it was clear that VoIP Inc was swirling down the drain for good, the SEC has finally stepped in to sniff around.  What it found will surprise only those who weren't watching at the time.  The SEC says that through 2004 and 2005 executives of the company cooked the books, inventing revenues to make it look like they were doing better than they were.  Well, ok that is a bit surprising, because their reported revenue numbers never looked the least bit healthy, and their costs were even worse - you'd think if someone is going to cheat they might as well cheat enough to win or at least to look viable.  [Read more →]

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