Netflix Comes Streaming Out of 2008

January 27th, 2009
 

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX, news, filings) reported fourth quarter results that beat all expectations yesterday.  Their subscriber count rose to 9.4M, a rather unexpected number since just last quarter they reduced the upper end of projections from 9.25M to 9.15M only to blow past both.  Revenue was $359.6M and from that the company managed to earn $0.38 per share.  But doesn't Netflix sell to consumers who have spent the last three months cowering from the economy and deciding what to cut from their budgets?  [Read more →]

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DT Enters the CDN Game

January 27th, 2009
 

The international wholesale division of Deutsche Telecom AG (ETR:DTE, news, filings) entered the content delivery (CDN) business today, announcing a partnership with Edgecast.   They are the sixth carrier to enter the CDN marketplace in any substantial way, and the first based in Europe.  One wonders why they didn't just buy Edgecast, which is about a hundredth or even a thousandth [Read more →]

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Sprint Tightens Belt 8000 Notches

January 26th, 2009
 

In what has to be one of the more predictable job actions of this new year, Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S, news, filings) has announced the elimination of some 8000 positions as part of an effort to save some $1.2B in annual labor costs.  While this includes 850 that were going under a voluntary separation plan already, it is painfully obvious that most of the rest will be of the involuntary nature.  For all those out there who stand to be affected [Read more →]

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BT Pondering Mobile Again?

January 26th, 2009
 

There is a report that British Telecom (NYSE:BT, news, filings) is considering re-entering the wireless business, yet again.  It happens every now again, at one point last year they were thought to be considering a WiMax buildout.  This time, the rumor involves some sort of joint venture between T-Mobile and 3.  Of course, BT does offer mobile services, but as an MVNO.  They used to have a mobile arm, but that was split off, rename O2 and was later purchased by [Read more →]

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Waiting to Hear From Verizon, AT&T

January 26th, 2009
 

Earnings season started last week, but for telecom and internet infrastructure the first big shoes to drop will be Verizon (NYSE:VZ, news, filings) on Tuesday and AT&T (NYSE:T, news, filings) on Wednesday.  Because they are so large, any effects from the economic downturn must show up in their results.  We can perhaps take their results as a barometer for the entire sector, upon which we can judge the smaller players and specialists.  Because they are so [Read more →]

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Limelight Wins Level 3 Suit

January 24th, 2009
 

Earlier today, the jury came back with a verdict in the CDN patent suit between Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) and Limelight Networks (NASDAQ:LLNW, news, filings), declaring that Limelight did not infringe on either of the two patents.  The jury did not declare either patent invalid, but simply said there was no infringement.  Level 3 may still appeal the verdict and the appeals process could take a year or two, but this is a better result for Limelight than last year's loss to Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM, news, filings) with a $45M payout that is still under appeal.  [Read more →]

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PAETEC expands to Portland

January 23rd, 2009
 

Competitive telecommunications carrier PAETEC (news, filings) announced its expansion to Portland, Oregon yesterday, opening a sales office and adding 15 staff in the new market.  They will be offering a full range of data and voice products to enterprises large and small.  Portland is a more traditional market for PAETEC, meaning they don't have their own fiber but rather lease from those who do.  That does make expansion a bit easier to do in a difficult economic climate since [Read more →]

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BT Still Struggling in Global Services

January 22nd, 2009
 

British Telecom (NYSE:BT, news, filings) pre-announced today that they will take a £340M charge ($472M) in their Global Services (BTGS) division. Often such write-offs are for things like goodwill, and while they aren't great they are usually an acknowledgment of something the market already knows. That does not appear to be the case here. Rather, BTGS had to re-evaluate large contracts to "take into account a more cautious view of the recognition of cost efficiencies and other changes in assumptions and estimates, particularly in light of the current economic outlook."

Translation?  The [Read more →]

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Cloaking for Wireless

January 22nd, 2009
 

We've been hearing of special cloaking materials for a while now, and it's still a concept right out of science fiction.  The applications the press dreams up are generally far beyond reality, but an article over on Yahoo this morning caught my eye.  You know how hard it is to get full wireless coverage, to get every last dead spot covered?  What if you could just cloak that building, tower, or tree in the way?   Just apply a cloaking material to it, and wireless signals will just bend [Read more →]

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TW Telecom Adopts Rights Plan

January 21st, 2009
 

Late yesterday, TW Telecom (NASDAQ:TWTC, news, filings) announced they have adopted a rights plan designed to protect their Net Operating Losses (NOLs).  The reason given is that unprecedented market volatility and unclear reporting requirements make it possible that a technical change of control could occur accidentally, and the company's access to its NOLs could then be restricted.  Companies in the telecom space are no stranger to NOLs.  If they aren't an RBOC, they probably [Read more →]

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A Change for RSS Subscribers

January 20th, 2009
 

A few days ago, TelecomRamblings's RSS feed switched from Feedburner to Google, as part of Google's assimilation of Feedburner feeds.  Google of course, thinks everything went perfectly and the old address forwards to the new one.  However, it appears to do so very slowly, so readers subscribed via the old method don't see new posts for a while - especially Firefox LiveBookmarks and Bloglines, but also Google Reader itself sometimes it seems.  If this is affecting you, simply resubscribe by clicking on this button:  or any other RSS button on www.telecomramblings.com, then just delete the old subscription via whatever reader you use. [Read more →]

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Comcast Has Some Explaining To Do

January 20th, 2009
 

Over the weekend, the FCC filed a letter to Comcast asking for more information about the network management plan they rolled out in September.  That plan seemed pretty bland at the time, slowing bandwidth speeds for bandwidth hogs based simply on total usage rather than targeting specific applications.  What's the problem?  Well, it seems that Comcast's VoIP platform doesn't get slowed down when this happens, whereas other VoIP traffic does.  Where Comcast got the brilliant idea to advertise this as an advantage despite how it looks I'll never know, it's as if someone put a kick-me sign on their own butt. [Read more →]

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Global Crossing Upgrades AC-1

January 20th, 2009
 

At the Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC), glbc announced today that they are upgrading their Atlantic Crossing 1 cable.  That's the original cable from 1998, as opposed to the larger AC-1/Yellow which it shares with Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings).  Global Crossing is adding some 600Gbps to AC-1, which is a hefty pile that should be enough for a year or two or three. [Read more →]

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XO Crosses the Pacific

January 19th, 2009
 

XO Holdings (news, filings) has inked a deal with Pacific Crossing for capacity on the PC-1 cable, hooking up at Grover Beach with access to Japan, targeting Asian customers.  This is a new and somewhat surprising move by XO, which as recently as July had little capex to spend on expansion.  The refinancing of their debt by majority owner Carl Icahn gave them enough cash to do something, and I have been waiting to see what they might have on the drawing board.  Apparently, it was [Read more →]

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Blue Cross Blue Shield Chooses Level 3

January 19th, 2009
 

Internet backbone operator Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) today announced that they have been selected by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) as a national provider.  Level 3 will extend a wide range of services (voice, data, video) to all 39 BCBSA companies nationwide, taking full advantage of its metro and longhaul footprint.  The exchange of medical data is sure to be one of the big growth areas in networking over the [Read more →]

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Verizon Business: What a Mesh!

January 19th, 2009
 

Yesterday, Verizon (NYSE:VZ, news, filings) announced further developments in its Verizon Business division's international expansion.  Their Pacific mesh network, begun in 2007, has been completed after the final extension to Singapore.  The seven way mesh across the Pacific, which uses capacity on the new Trans Pacific Express cable as well as many others, is designed to seamlessly reroute traffic on cable cuts with greater reliability than before.  In parallel, a dozen [Read more →]

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CDN Pricing Pressure Steady

January 18th, 2009
 

On Friday, Dan Rayburn offered an update on CDN pricing trends for video delivery in the fourth quarter - as always, it's worth a read.  Amongst the data is that CDN pricing in Q4 was basically consistent with Q3.  Could it be that the economic crisis has injected pricing rationality into the market?  Year over year pricing per GB delivered fell 30-35%.  That is still a pretty hefty pricing decline that roughly (and IMHO properly) matches what the IP transit market has done this year.  But it is of course only half the story since traffic growth over CDNs has been strong.  How much traffic growth does it take to balance a 30-35% pricing decline?  The number is 50%.  Was CDN traffic growth above 50% in 2008?  Yes I think so, and therefore the pie is still growing.  [Read more →]

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Padmasree Warrior as Obama's CTO?

January 16th, 2009
 

Reports are that President-elect Obama has narrowed his choice for his newly-created post of CTO, and on that final list is Cisco's CTO Padmasree Warrior.  Let's just leave aside for a moment just what this CTO position is - because I have yet to see it defined in anything other than political buzzwords.  And let's ignore Cisco's involvement too, because I don't know what that means yet either...  [Read more →]

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Musical Chairs

January 16th, 2009
 

Alongside the economic blizzard and the winter cold has come a reshuffling of executives at carriers and service providers.  That's natural I suppose in a time where everyone is trying to streamline.  So to keep up, let's go through a few of the recent events in this game of musical chairs.  This is obviously not a complete list, if you have one to add please don't hesitate [Read more →]

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MetroPCS Finds a Crack in the Credit Market Door

January 15th, 2009
 

Apparently, the credit markets actually aren't dead, not quite anyway.  There is still some money out there.  Yesterday independent wireless carrier MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS, news, filings) announced they would try to raise $300M in bonds, offering more of their existing 9.25% senior debt at a discount.  My first thought was "Good luck, you're gonna need it", but apparently I was wrong.  Just 24 hours later, MetroPCS announced that they in fact will sell $550M of those bonds at $0.895, for an effective yield of 11.82%.

Now that's not cheap money, but [Read more →]

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TeliaSonera Moves Ahead with LTE

January 15th, 2009
 

Today TeliaSonera AB (ETR:TLS, news, filings) took another step along the road to 4G, awarding its first two LTE contracts for two cities on its Nordic home turf. Huawei won the contract for Oslo, and Ericsson won the contract for Stockholm. The 4G system will be based on 3GPP LTE/SAE standards, capable of speeds in the hundreds of Mbps in trials. What that means in a congested production network is anyone's guess of course, but it will surely be [Read more →]

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Nortel Sinks Beneath the Waves

January 14th, 2009
 

According to various sources, nt will file for bankruptcy later today.    At one point back in the bubble, Nortel had a marketcap of $200B and was the largest company in Canada, and that number now looks likely to go the rest of the way to zero.  Speculation is that the company will be broken up in bankruptcy court and sold to competitors.  Who buys (or tries to buy) which pieces of Nortel will probably be a major source of [Read more →]

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Julius Genachowski at the FCC

January 14th, 2009
 

So now we know that Obama's choice for FCC Chairman is his longtime friend and advisor Julius Genachowski.  Genachowski is the guy who helped Obama formulate his technology strategy during the campaign, so at least we know he knows how to use the internet.  I don't envy his position, the current world of FCC regulation is a total basketcase.  Stepping into the role now has to be a bit like voluntarily putting your foot into the [Read more →]

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