Surprise, Surprise: No Offers for Qwest Longhaul Yet

May 13th, 2009
 

The Denver Post is reporting that there are as yet 'no public offers' for the longhaul network of q, which was reported to be for sale last month.  Now, it is rather unclear why anyone would expect a 'public offer' for a unit that has never 'publicly' been for sale - but then it seems there is rarely an actual for-sale sign on an asset anymore since nobody wants to be seen as needing to sell.  Nevertheless it isn't terribly surprising that finding a buyer would be difficult for Qwest's national fiber footprint and extra conduits.  [Read more →]

Leave a Comment

AT&T, NEC, Corning Take it up to 32Tbps

May 12th, 2009
 

Forget mere 100G, how about 32T?  Now that's fast! AT&T, NEC, and Corning researchers have achieved transmission at that speed over a single fiber on an optically amplified 580km link.  Now, this was not over a production network of course, it was in a lab with EDFA amplifiers sitting between rolls of cable.  Over each of 320 wavelengths went a 116Gbps signal.  In total, they say that is 25% faster than prior demonstrations, and that it demonstrates the viability of using 25Ghz spacing. [Read more →]

Leave a Comment

Earnings: Metro Fiber Still Strong Despite Headwinds

May 12th, 2009
 

No less than three of the largest operators of metro fiber reported earnings today:  TW Telecom, XO Communications, and Abovenet.  Together, that represents nearly 15,0000 lit buildings.  So how did they do?  Pretty well overall, no negative surprises despite what may have been the toughest economic quarter in a very long time.

With the one of the largest competitive metro footprints in the US and not many other distractions, TW Telecom (NASDAQ:TWTC, news, filings) makes for an excellent economic bellweather [Read more →]

3 Comments

IPhones: Today’s Savior and Today’s Menace

May 11th, 2009
 

As if we needed any more proof that our society needs to see a psychiatrist, today's buzz is about the data usage of the iPhone. The Wall Street Journal online has an article today detailing how iPhone users are using 2-4 times the bandwidth used by other smartphone operators.  They have some nice charts showing why this is, but they don't really need them.  Owners of the iPhone use more bandwidth because it's a great device designed to enable them to make use of that bandwidth [Read more →]

Leave a Comment

New Addition: Regional Fiber Maps

May 11th, 2009
 

Continuing in my series of collected links to maps of fiber networks, I have updated an old list of mine from six months ago, and I have placed it with the others under the Resources item in the menu bar under the title USA Regional Fiber.  Networks on this list lie between the longhaul and the metro.  They generally hook up more than one metro area and many tier-4 markets along the way, but are primarily focused on one or perhaps a few states.  Obviously, many larger companies also have regional fiber, but those assets are best found on their longhaul network maps.

These assets have what is one of the lowest public profiles amongst all [Read more →]

Leave a Comment

Up Next: Streaming Media East

May 11th, 2009
 

Prepare to be inundated with news about the online video world this week, it's time for Streaming Media East this Tuesday and Wednesday in New York.  In the world of bandwidth, we must always keep an eye on where video is going, or even thinking about going, simply because of the massive numbers of bits involved.  But if, like me, you simply can't make it to New York, or if you just want to catch a particular segment - the event is being streamed live by Scribe Media.  The keynote by Akamai's CEO Paul Sagan alone should be illuminating.

There is also Monday's CDN Summit [Read more →]

Leave a Comment

IP Transit Market Holds Back Cogent

May 9th, 2009
 

Upstart network provider Cogent Communications (NASDAQ:CCOI, news, filings) reported earnings yesterday, reporting revenues of $55.1M - up $54.9M sequentially.  That was below analyst expectations overall, but in this environment it could easily have been worse.  In fact, if it were just the IP Transit business, revenues would have declined between 2 and 3% even as traffic went up 21% in the same period.  What happened?  Well, the IP transit market is rough right now all by itself - customers have been delaying purchases and using more of the capacity they have already bought. Cogent has responded with promotional deals which have brought in more traffic, but precious little revenue.  They say that comes later in the year. [Read more →]

4 Comments

Tiscali Finally Unloads UK Operations

May 8th, 2009
 

Almost exactly a year ago, Carphone Warehouse bid £550M for Tiscali's UK arm, and Tiscali walked.  Since then they have learned what the price is when your bluff is called and everyone on the planet knows you have a busted flush.  Today they finally managed to agree to terms with Carphone, at a price of £236M or well over 50% off.  Oops.  For its part, Carphone Warehouse gets to be the top independent ISP in the UK, with some 4.25M subscribers. [Read more →]

Leave a Comment

European Network Maps

May 8th, 2009
 

I have posted another maps resource, European Network Maps, in which I collect and maintain links to the publicly available maps of European network providers.   In this case, my criteria are those spanning markets in at least 5 countries - smaller and more regionally focused networks will be collected on another page.  While I keep tabs on the European fiber and data market as best I can, I obviously know less about it than that of the USA and there are certainly going to be networks I have missed - big ones [Read more →]

Leave a Comment

So Many Earnings Reports, So Little News

May 7th, 2009
 

That's a good thing.  The market has been pricing the whole sector as if the bottom will drop out any day and everyone will fall into an alligator tank. But so far, the floor has stayed firmly attached to the walls.  Its not that there hasn't been revenue pressure - there obviously has - it's that it has been relatively pedestrian revenue pressure compared to the horror-fest built into expectations.  [Read more →]

3 Comments

A Rambling Birthday

May 7th, 2009
 

One year ago today, I posted my first article on Telecom Ramblings.  Since then this site has evolved so rapidly it has just boggled my mind at times.  It started as a curiosity, soon grew into a hobby, and has been on an upward trend ever since.  I have been truly humbled by the outpouring of interest in my various ramblings about the telecom and internet infrastructure sectors.  I'd like to thank everyone out there for the feedback and support that has made it possible, as well as [Read more →]

7 Comments

On Level 3’s Latest Restructuring Effort

May 7th, 2009
 

On last week's conference call, Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) described a restructuring effort whose effects have been reverberating throughout the company.  As part of it they trimmed 150 people, focused on the director level and above, in their words 'flattening the organization' - never pleasant for those affected of course.  Obviously, with the arrival of Jeff Storey as COO and President, there were going to be changes as he puts his stamp on the organization.  While it's still early, overall I'm actually impressed by the steps he is taking.  Dan Rayburn has a nice post today on the changes to the CDN group and the potential effects for customers of those services.  Level 3 is bringing the independently run group closer to the rest of the organization as it transitions from startup to growth mode.  But the changes to the Business Markets group go in the exact opposite direction, which is [Read more →]

8 Comments

Outsourcing Networks: Why Wireless But Not Wireline?

May 6th, 2009
 

Ever since the news earlier this week that Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S, news, filings) might outsource the operation and maintenance of its cellular network to Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC, news, filings), a question has been tugging at me.  Why is it that outsourcing of wireless networks is so hot, yet outsourcing of fiber networks is not?  In this particular case, why does Sprint not choose to outsource its longhaul network instead?  [Read more →]

5 Comments

RCN: Metro Fiber Holding Up Well

May 6th, 2009
 

RCN Business (NASDAQ:RCNI, news, filings) reported earnings yesterday, and while I don't follow the consumer side of their business they do break out the financials of their metro fiber arm RCN Metro.  That means RCN's report gives us a glimpse into how the ugly economic environment is really affecting the metro fiber business.  Level 3 of course has piles of metro fiber and reported last week, but their operations are so diverse that it is difficult to distill such details.  RCN Metro said back in March that the recession was not causing them problems, so did the numbers reflect that?  [Read more →]

Leave a Comment

Has Commercial 100G Arrived?

May 5th, 2009
 

Well, almost anyway.  That's what Ciena (NASDAQ:CIEN, news, filings) and NYSE Euronext are saying.  The two plan to deploy 100G wavelengths between datacenters in NYC and in London that will underlie the exchange group's next generation infrastructure.  No, not on the transatlantic route of course, just the metro ones presumably.  But this is what some would call 'true' 100G, meaning over a single wavelength rather than by aggregating some combination of 10G and 40G.  [Read more →]

Leave a Comment

Prepaid Gains Rescue Sprint

May 5th, 2009
 

Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S, news, filings) didn't have a great Q1 with its postpaid customers, losing over a million of them yet again.  But this time they made up for much of it on the prepaid side with Boost Mobile and from sources like the Kindle.  Revenues of $8.2B were perhaps a tad light relative to expectations, still down $200M sequentially of course.  But cost savings brought adjusted EPS in at $0.03, which was actually a bit better than anticipated.  [Read more →]

Leave a Comment

Global Crossing: Currency, Camelot Slow Things Down

May 5th, 2009
 

glbc reported earnings after the bell today, showing some pressure from the economy but mostly the effects of the foreign exchange markets and the final runoff of the Camelot revenue.  Revenues of $609M included another $20M sequential hit from the currency markets, so on a constant currency basis they generally met expectations.  As compared with my own predictions - which did not include the currency effects either - I had not included the Camelot contract churn in my calculations (roughly [Read more →]

Leave a Comment

Sprint’s Outsourcing Puzzle

May 4th, 2009
 

The WSJ Online is reporting that Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S, news, filings) is in final negotiations to outsource the operations and maintenance of its cellular network to Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC, news, filings).  The move, should it actually happen, would transfer thousands of employees across the company and save a purported $2B.  Sprint has, of course, been trying to find a way out of its downward spiral ever since the Nextel acquisition went south.  While outsourcing by cellular operators has been a growing trend in Asia and Europe, this would be the first of its kind by a major US operator.  What do you think, should cell operators be [Read more →]

4 Comments

Global Crossing Earnings Primer for Q1/2009

May 4th, 2009
 

glbc reports earnings after the bell today, so lets look at a quick preview of what we might see.  The way I see it, there are competing trends.  On the positive side, Global Crossing has shown increasing vigor over the past year, with solid growth in revenue, ebitda, and free cash flow.  They have indicated that while the economy cannot be ignored, they continue to see healthy demand.  On the negative side, the first quarter is historically the toughest season for the company on both costs and revenues, and this year we have to add in wildness in the foreign exchange markets.  And relative strength or not, likely revenue pressures from the overall economy cannot be ignored.  The company's guidance for 2009 reflected conservative economic assumptions, and I see no reason for that to [Read more →]

Leave a Comment

Digital Hollywood Spring – Streamed Live for Free

May 3rd, 2009
 

What happens in the world of content these days has relevance to the telecom and internet infrastructure sectors.  Therefore, as far away as I usually am from the tradeshow and conference circuit, I greatly appreciate it when events are available via a free live webcast.  That's the case with this week's Digital Hollywood Spring conference, which covers new trends in digital media.   So if you want to do your part to increase internet traffic on the web, or just want to see a bit here or there without having [Read more →]

Leave a Comment

Who Will Buy Velocix?

May 2nd, 2009
 

Dan Rayburn is reporting that CDN Velocix is currently negotiating a sale,  apparently with two buyers still in the game.  Precisely who those two potential buyers might be is not yet public, but because of Velocix's unique approach it would seem as if a network operator would be a natural fit.  Velocix's 'Metro' offering is the prize here, because it fits so well with the ISP model.  Using it, service providers can build their own private CDN that lives within the Velocix network, having some control over its design, usage, and revenue generation.  To guess what telecom might buy Velocix, we should look at [Read more →]

7 Comments

In Other Earnings News

May 1st, 2009
 

The earnings reports came so thick this week I couldn't dedicate a post to each one.  Here are a few comments about the rest of the field.

q warned earlier this month that their revenues would be light, and at $3.17B they were - but it wasn't anything shocking.  Landlines fell to 11.2M, which shocked no one.  Through the aggressive cost cutting that has been sweeping the whole sector they were able to grow earnings per share to $0.12, which seems to have pleased the market.  Will they sell the [Read more →]

Leave a Comment

On Akamai and the Cloud

May 1st, 2009
 

Ryan Lawler over on Contentinople has an interesting piece on Akamai's terminology shift recently, placing its own distributed architecture under the umbrella of cloud computing.   I have talked about the relationship between the CDN and the cloud before, albeit clumsily, and what Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM, news, filings) said parallels some of my own thoughts.  When it comes to virtualization, it's not just about the servers.  The network matters, and that Akamai has leveraged a distributed, virtualized [Read more →]

Leave a Comment