News summary for 10/30/07
Qwest’s third quarter earnings boosted by tax benefit
By Mike Robuck
Qwest Communications International reported today that its third-quarter net income was bumped up thanks to a $2.15 billion tax benefit. On the other side of the ledger, Qwest’s overall revenue was down in large part because of a 19 percent drop in traditional wholesale services.
Qwest reported a third quarter profit of $2.1 billion, or $1.08 per share, which included the $2.15 billion income tax benefit and $353 million in charges related to the settlement of a litigation case with shareholders. Over the same time frame last year, Qwest reported a profit of $194 million, or 9 cents a share.
Qwest posted a 9.7 percent increase in its Internet and video service revenue. Qwest's Price for Life on broadband service, as well as the availability of discounts on a variety of bundle combinations, helped to increase bundle penetration to 61 percent in the quarter, compared to 56 percent a year ago.
Qwest’s broadband customers increased by 111,000 in the third quarter while it added 62,000 video customers through its partnership with DirecTV. With Qwest’s own ChoiceTV customers and the DirecTV partnership, Qwest has a total of 634,000 video subscribers compared to 350,000 a year ago.
Despite the increase in Internet and video subscribers, Qwest’s revenues were offset by an 8 percent drop in traditional long-distance and local telephone services.
While Verizon and AT&T have sunk billions into providing video services to their subscribers, Qwest has been slow to upgrade its networks for video. Qwest’s board announced it has authorized spending up to $300 million in support of faster broadband speeds connecting its network to customers’ homes.
Nortel showcasing IP-powered business solutions
By Traci Patterson
Nortel’s IP-powered business solutions, which allow service providers to sell and host pre-tested VoIP services to small- and medium-size businesses (SMBs), are being showcased at the fall VON conference in Boston.
The solutions combine the latest VoIP technology with planning, installation, management, and marketing and technical support from Nortel's portfolio of Global Services for SMBs.
Nortel’s solutions offer two options. The first is an end-to-end VoIP lines solution targeted at SMBs without an IT department or specialized IT staff. The carrier delivers the IP lines service from the Nortel Communication Server (CS) 2000 or Application Server (AS) 5200, or as a Nortel hosted solution.
The second option is the IP PBX Interconnect solution for SMBs that prefer an on-site PBX, such as Nortel’s Business Communications Manager (BCM) 50. Carriers can host the connection between the telephone switching system and the public network from the CS2000.
The two options are capable of operating on traditional TDM line equipment or IP lines, or both.
In addition to the VoIP bundles, Nortel will also be offering optional SIP applications, such as multimedia services, fixed/mobile convergence (FMC), click-to-connect, unified messaging (UM) and unified communications (UC) through the company’s alliance with Microsoft.
AT&T expands wholesale VoIP program
By Brian Santo
AT&T has expanded its Voice Over IP Connect Service (AVOICS), a wholesale VoIP service, by offering IP-based connectivity to AT&T's global IP network for long distance call termination. AVOICS provides unbranded and unbundled transport over the AT&T network, as well as termination of international and U.S. domestic traffic.
The expansion of AVOICS includes:
* Increased capacity in the VoIP network infrastructure to meet customer traffic demand
* Increased connectivity from T1 to T3 ... all the way to OC48
* Moving from an AT&T Managed Router Model to a Customer Managed Router
Model to monitor the circuit
* Native and non-native IP traffic on the same circuit with unique IP signaling addresses.
Separately, AT&T opened a new Internet data center in Toronto, and added a third center to serve the metropolitan New York City market, this one in Piscataway, N.J.
The centers are part of the company’s expansion of its global data center footprint, which includes the addition of more space at six existing centers in the U.S. and around the world. The centers support application services, fully managed hosting, advanced monitoring, hosted storage, colocation and other services.
In the U.S., AT&T is adding more space to data centers in Mesa, Ariz.; Irvine, Calif.; and Ashburn, Va. Globally, AT&T has added to its data centers in London, Amsterdam and Singapore.
Speakeasy bows two new voice services for small businesses
By Mike Robuck
Best Buy-owned Speakeasy announced today that it has expanded the company’s VoIP portfolio with the addition of two new digital voice options for small businesses.
The new services include a product offering that uses Speakeasy’s 15 Mbps broadband pipe and a Small Office Calling Plan that can be used with any broadband service.
For small businesses that want download speeds of up to 15 Mbps, Speakeasy said it is one of the only providers in the United States to offer ADSL2 broadband with VoIP. With voice over ADSL2, customers receive Speakeasy's voice-optimized nationwide network, uptime and quality of service guarantees and customer support.
Customers use a single high-speed connection for both voice and data traffic, where both inbound and outbound voice traffic is prioritized over data.
Speakeasy's EasyVoice Small Office Calling Plan offers businesses with five employees or fewer the option of using any broadband service provider. The Small Office Calling Plan is priced at $19.95 a month, per employee.
"By offering both voice and broadband, Speakeasy has the ability to control the quality of service and reliability a customer receives when using our voice services over our broadband," said Bruce Chatterley, Speakeasy's president and CEO, in a statement. "However, we wanted to give customers the flexibility to choose their broadband provider to accommodate a range of small business needs."
Speakeasy was purchased by Best Buy in April, and its broadband, voice and managed service offering are available through Best Buy for Business in the United States.
Broadband Briefs for 10/30/07
* Huawei unleashes WiMAX solution with 4G
By Traci Patterson
Huawei Technologies Co. has rolled out its new WiMAX commercial solution with integrated 4G mobile technologies, which can provide operators with a 30 percent cost-savings on base stations while doubling their system capability, the company said.
Huawei's all IP-based solution adopts the HSPA/LTE/UMB co-platform infrastructure and integrates 4G technologies, including HARQ and MIMO. The solution can deploy WiMAX with GSM, CDMA, IMS, NGN and DSL integrated networks, and it aids operators in providing more high-speed mobile broadband services.
* Tekelec improves traffic management platform
By CED staff
Tekelec has beefed up its Integrated Applications Solution platform. With IAS Release 2.0, the company is launching a new architecture and is adding several applications. The new applications include multi-protocol call trace, network traffic analysis and network diagnostics.
Service providers can use IAS to capture network traffic data that can be used for troubleshooting and for managing traffic, roamers and services. IAS can be deployed with probes or without probes when integrated with Tekelec’s Eagle 5 Integrated Signaling System (ISS).
Tekelec said IAS Release 2.0 has been deployed in operator networks.
* Rodopi, Stratus team on provisioning/OSS system
By Brian Santo
Rodopi and Stratus Technologies have integrated the former’s Web-based billing and provisioning software with the latter’s Entice (Emerging Networks Communications Infrastructure Control Environment) system, which provides VoIP, DOCSIS device provisioning, and flexible management of video services. The two say the combination is a turnkey means for cable operators to automate the delivery of carrier-grade triple play services.
The Rodopi OSS provisions and bills subscribers, whose VoIP services are delivered through Stratus Entice. Features of the integrated system include unified self-activation, unified rating and billing for data, voice and video, single invoice, online reports together with call processing and routing, DOCSIS CPE provisioning and PSTN interfaces.
* D2 Technologies, Ikanos integrate products for VoIP devices
By Mike Robuck
Ikanos Communications and D2 Technologies have teamed up to create a quadruple play residential gateway for VoIP-enabled quad play devices. The integrated product uses Ikanos’ Vx180 VDSL2 gateway processor with D2’s vPort VoIP software, enabling designers and manufacturers to deliver residential gateways that support voice, video, data and mobile wireless services.
The residential gateway is also designed to speed the rollout of new VDSL2 customer premises equipment for the home office or small- to medium-size businesses, offering comprehensive quality of service (QoS) for VoIP and IPTV applications.