News summary for 8/13/07

Mon, 08/13/2007 - 12:20pm

New Qwest chief has habit of following Notebaert
By Brian Santo

Richard Notebaert’s successor as both chairman and CEO of Qwest Communications will be Edward A. Mueller, who also happened to succeed Notebaert at Ameritech.

Notebaert announced in June that he would be retiring as Qwest’s chief.

Notebaert was chairman and CEO of Ameritech when it merged with SBC (now AT&T) in 1999; Mueller was president and CEO of Ameritech for the subsequent two years.

Prior to that, Mueller had been president of SBC International Operations from 1999 to 2000; and president and CEO of Pacific Bell from 1997-1999. Most recently, he was CEO of home furnishings retailer

Williams-Sonoma. Mueller is also on the boards of VeriSign, The Clorox Company and GSC Acquisition Company.

"Ed is a proven leader with a broad background of communications and retail experience," said Notebaert, whose retirement is effective Aug. 15. "Ed was my top recommendation to the board, and I am confident he will build on Qwest's strong foundation and continue to drive the Spirit of Service to our customers across the country."

Vyyo loses revenue, but cuts loss in Q2
By Traci Patterson

Vyyo Inc.’s total revenue in the second quarter, ended June 30, was down 55 percent year-on-year, but the company cut its year-ago loss of $11 million to $4.7 million in the quarter.

Vyyo’s total revenue for the quarter was $1.7 million, down from $2.8 million a year ago, but up nearly 200 percent - from $623,000 - sequentially.

The $4.7 million loss for the quarter was down 57 percent year-on-year, from $11 million, and down 35 percent sequentially, from $7.2 million. The loss for Q1 2007 “included a one-time, non-cash charge of $3.3 million in financial expenses from extinguishment of debt,” the company said.

In the quarter, Cox deployed Vyyo’s T1 over HFC solution for the delivery of business services in Oklahoma, and Cox chose Vyyo’s 3 GHz taps and passive network elements for deployment within its coaxial network - as part of its newbuild architecture - and for business services in its existing network.

"Our orders from 16 Cox Communications markets and our expanding product trials at Comcast and Charter are further validation that the UltraBand platform - with its ability to double the downstream and quadruple the upstream for $125 per home passed - is the industry's most economic bandwidth expansion alternative," said Vyyo CEO Wayne Davis.

Since the end of the second quarter, Vyyo has added a new CFO, Robert Mills, previously the CFO of Tri-S Security Corp; a new CTO, David Feldman, who has held the position of VP of technology with Charter Communications and Jones Intercable; and a new VP of sales, Jon Koval, who joined Vyyo from BigBand Networks, where he served as regional VP of sales and was responsible for the company's Time Warner Cable account.

Also in Q3, Vyyo - as it shifts from a development phase to emphasize sales and product marketing - reduced its workforce by about 16 percent, with cuts coming mostly from the R&D unit in Israel.

Cisco, TI hook up on DOCSIS 3.0 interoperability test
By Mike Robuck

Cisco and Texas Instruments (TI) have completed interoperability testing of DOCSIS 3.0 upstream channel bonding.

The interop testing was done at CableLabs and paired Cisco’s uBR10012 CMTS with TI’s Puma DOCSIS 3.0 CPE development platform.

Upstream and downstream channel bonding is a key component for DOCSIS 3.0, and for cable operators. It allows operators to combine several radio frequency channels in order to increase bandwidth on the upstream and downstream throughput for customers. Downstream data-transmission rates are in the hundreds of megabits and can scale to potentially gigabits per second.

“This successful demonstration of upstream channel bonding clearly shows there is significant momentum for DOCSIS 3.0,” said Tony Werner, Comcast’s CTO. “We believe this is an important milestone, with DOCSIS 3.0 enabling a new generation of high-bandwidth services that will benefit businesses and consumers around the world.”

While Arris Inc. garnered a lot of attention earlier this year with Comcast CEO Brian Roberts’ data-transmission demonstration at the NCTA show, Cisco has also been showing its own version of wideband technology at several industry conferences.

The increased speeds of channel bonding, along with node splits and other technologies, will give the cable industry a way to combat the speeds of telcos who are using fiber optics to homes or to curbs for their high-speed data services.

Cisco has previously demonstrated downstream channel bonding, multicast and IPv6, which are also key components of DOCSIS 3.0. While cable operators haven’t set a timetable for DOCSIS 3.0 deployments, equipment should be available from vendors starting later this year, or early next year. Some cable operators are already using wideband to increase their high-speed throughput rates.

Charter launches new intl. calling plan
By Mike Robuck

Charter Communications is offering its telephony customers a new international calling service.

The service, dubbed Worldwide 250 Calling Plan, allows a customer 250 minutes to call more than 200 worldwide destinations for an additional $20 per month, with no hidden fees and no per-minute or connection charges. The service, which only works with landline phones, will allow customers to bypass country-based calling rates for international phone calls and cut the cord on calling cards and traditional phone companies.

The service was officially launched at the International Institute of St. Louis, which helps refugees and immigrants by providing social services.

"Because we believe that the Charter Worldwide 250 Calling Plan will make distant places feel a little closer to home, we chose to launch this new service at the International Institute," said Ted Schremp, Charter Telephone’s SVP and general manager.

The calling plan must be ordered in addition to Charter Telephone's standard unlimited local and long-distance calling plan, starting at $29.99 per month.

Verizon combines Verizon Wireless into bundle billing
By Brian Santo

Verizon is drawing mobile telephony service from Verizon Wireless - a joint venture with Vodaphone - more tightly into its service bundle by adding all telephony services onto one bill for the first time.

Verizon customers can sign up at a Verizon Wireless store for the integrated One Bill statement, and they can pay their One Bill at the payment kiosks, where available.

The company said that Verizon Telecom customers with a qualifying plan can save up to $9.99 a month when they combine their home and wireless accounts via One Bill.

Broadband Briefs for 8/13/07

* LightEdge Solutions deploys Actelis’ EADs
By Traci Patterson

LightEdge Solutions Inc. has deployed Actelis Networks’ Ethernet access devices (EADs) from the company’s ML 600 product line, as well as Actelis’ ML 100 and ML 1300 transport and aggregation switches.

LightEdge - a provider of voice, data and network services in the Midwest and Southwest - is serving the growing bandwidth needs of its small- and medium-size business (SMB) customers. LightEdge’s customers can now connect to the company’s IP network via symmetrical Ethernet access connections.

* Towerstream adds Brooklyn PoP to wireless coverage
By Mike Robuck

Towerstream, a fixed wireless Internet provider, added a new point-of-presence (PoP) in Brooklyn, N.Y., to increase its footprint in the New York metropolitan area. The company's new Brooklyn PoP is currently operational and joins existing network PoPs throughout the city, including the Empire State and MetLife buildings.

Towerstream's fixed wireless broadband network delivers high-speed Internet access that supports VoIP, bandwidth on-demand, wireless redundancy, VPNs, disaster recovery, bundled data and video services.

* Alvarion gets FCC certification for wireless system
By Brian Santo

Alvarion said its BreezeAccess VL multipoint wireless broadband solution received FCC certification for the 5.4 GHz and 5.3 GHz license-exempt frequency bands.

This certification follows Dynamic Frequency Selection requirements, which are intended to prevent disruptions to military radars and enable license-exempt fixed wireless broadband operators to increase their 5 GHz spectrum capacity.  

* Espial Group gives STB manufacturer Internet-on-TV abilities
By Traci Patterson

Espial Group Inc., a provider of IPTV middleware and applications, has signed a licensing agreement with Coventive K.K., an international system integrator and set-top box (STB) manufacturer, for Espial's Evo Client.

Evo Client enables content-rich applications and Internet-on-TV services, and Coventive has selected the technology to power its multimedia STBs. To date, Espial has shipped more than one million Evo subscriber licenses worldwide.



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