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Greg Galitzine

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Alvarion Responds to Nortel Change of Heart

January 30, 2009

Alvarion -- playing the role of jilted lover -- is justifiably perturbed by the announcement yesterday that Nortel is "refining" their carrier focus. 

By refining, Nortel is saying that  the company "...has decided to discontinue its mobile WiMAX business and end its joint agreement with Alvarion Ltd."   Breaking up is never fun.   And so, in response to being jilted, Alvarion is reportedly "analyzing the details of actions it will take to mitigate the impact on its business, and expects to provide more information about these actions during its fourth quarter 2008 financial results conference call on Wednesday, February 4, 2009."   According to a release issued by Alvarion, the strategic agreement, entered into in June of last year calls for:   ...among other things, the resale by Nortel of the Alvarion platform of WiMAX access products and Nortel's contribution of resources and funding to accelerate Alvarion's development of its portfolio of WiMAX base stations. Under the terms of the agreement, Nortel is obligated to pay Alvarion for certain research and development services beyond Q4; however, collection of these payments is uncertain and subject to Nortel's creditor protection proceedings.     Alvarion is figuring out what the next steps will be, but in the meantime, President and CEO Tzvika Friedman is sounding all the right notes:   We are obviously disappointed in the direction this has taken; however, Alvarion's industry position has never been stronger. In Q4, our WiMAX shipments, excluding Nortel, reached a record $54.4 million and WiMAX revenues were $42.3 million. Our book-to-bill remained well above 1, and we ended the year with over $140 million in cash on our balance sheet.   During 2008, we won numerous major WiMAX deals, both directly and with various partners.

Skype to Verizon? Just Sayin'...

January 29, 2009

First Verizon said: No more Copper by 2016.   Then word came down that Verizon was not going to stop offering voice over copper lines after all.   Next we heard speculation that eBay was going to offload Skype.   Recently we're hearing how Verizon is clipping its VoiceWing VoIP business.     It's becoming "crystal clear"  to me that Verizon is going to buy Skype and offer the VoIP service to their FiOS customers as a value add. You know, "...those cable guys are making you pay for voice... we'll give you voice for free. Oh and check out our new devices, our diverse lineup of over 100 HD channels, and for a nominal fee, please take advantage of the seamless integration with our wireless service."   With everyone else speculating that Skype might go to Google, or Microsoft, or BT or France Telecom or Cisco...

TMC Blogs: The Week in Review

January 23, 2009

What was the big story this week? No doubt it was the inauguration of Barack Obama, as the 44th President of the United States and the first African-American to hold that post. Truly a historic day for our nation: a day when many people put politics aside to welcome our newest leader to his job, and judging by the crowds in Washington, D.C. this past Tuesday it was quite a welcome indeed.   Rich is excited.

Copps Named Acting FCC Chair

January 22, 2009

President Obama has named FCC commissioner Michael J. Copps Acting Chairman of the FCC.

  In a written statement, Copps expressed his gratitude and pledged to serve:   I thank President Obama for his confidence in me and for this opportunity to serve. I know that I have a truly gifted and terrific team to work with. I pledge every effort I am capable of to help steer the Commission through its current transition to new leadership.   Copps, who has been on the Commission since 2001, previously served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Trade Development at the U.S. Department of Commerce from 1998 until January 2001.   His colleague, Commissioner Robert M. McDowell shared his thoughts in a statement as well. McDowell, a former FCC lobbyist was previously Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel of COMPTEL, an industry organization.   According to McDowell:   I am pleased that President Obama has announced that my friend and colleague, Mike Copps, will serve as acting chairman of the Commission. I appreciate the sacrifices Beth, Mike and the Copps family have made during his distinguished public service career. I look forward to continuing to work with him at this unique time.

Genesys Acquires Conseros, SDE

January 22, 2009

Mobile Backhaul Certification

January 21, 2009

A new certification program, designed to act as a benchmark for mobile operators, backhaul providers and end users was launched by the IP/MPLS Forum today.


The Mobile Backhaul Certification program will initially focus on certifying standards-compliant implementations of Circuit Emulation services over MPLS as defined in the IP/MPLS Forum's MPLS Mobile Backhaul Initiative (MMBI), which defines how MPLS can be used to backhaul TDM traffic for mobile operators.


The certification program will lay out a set of guidelines and test procedures and will be administered by Iometrix, the Forum's certified lab partner.


According to Andrew G. Malis, Chairman and President of the IP/MPLS Forum:


The Mobile Backhaul Certification Program represents a needed step in the evolution of MPLS solutions which have already proven in lab trials to be ready to meet the needs of operators around the world.


The first group of certified vendors will be announced at the MPLS Ethernet World Congress in Paris this February.

Verizon Plays Down "No More Copper" Comments

January 14, 2009

On second thought, we will NOT be doing away with voice over copper in seven years.   We like VoIP, but we love copper.   Clearly our executive was not supposed to say what he said to that Bloomberg reporter. Either that or the reporter got it wrong.   It's all a misunderstanding.   Nothing to see here... Move along...     Apparently Verizon is backing away from comments that their CMO John Stratton made to a Bloomberg reporter in a story that was carried by the LA Times and that I touched on in my blog on Tuesday.   Eric Rabe, Senior Vice President -- Media Relations has a post today on the Verizon Policy Blog basically saying that no, neither Stratton nor anyone else at Verizon believes that we will move beyond copper in seven years.   I for one felt that seven years was much too aggressive a timetable to move away from that bread and butter transport mechanism, but it says a lot that Verizon would come out so strongly to correct the perception that they were somehow turning their back on the tried and true.   I've pasted Eric Rabe's blog post below in full:     There's been a bit of online buzz about remarks attributed to Verizon Chief Marking Officer John Stratton in a Bloomberg interview (carried in the LA Times) at last week's Consumer Electronics Show. The story says that Verizon plans to "do away with traditional phone lines within seven years as it moves to carry all calls over the Internet."   Here's the background.   First, neither John nor anyone else here thinks that the traditional, circuit-switched phone network will be a thing of the past in seven years. What's often called the public switched telephone network (PSTN) is the world's most reliable, high quality, landline voice communications system. The Verizon traditional phone system will serve customers for a long time to come.   John's point was, and there's not a lot of new news here, that we see that voice can and is becoming an application called VoIP on broadband networks.   VoIP is a logical platform for any company wanting to break into the voice services business, and hundreds of companies have seized on this technology to do so, including every major cable TV company. However, the quality of VoIP voice calls and the reliability of VoIP networks are in no way superior to the quality and reliability provided by the Verizon PSTN network. In short, there is no logical reason for a company like Verizon, with a terrific voice network already in place, to dismantle that network and replace it with VoIP.   At the same time, Verizon is the foremost provider of broadband networks in the USA and a leader in providing broadband around the world. We operate much of the Internet backbone, besides providing wired broadband to 8.5 million American consumers and businesses in the Northeast, and parts of the Northwest, South and Western U.S.   It is clear to us that some parts of the market are moving to VoIP. So the right move for Verizon and our customers is to support transition to VoIP as we have already for many business customers and as we will do as consumer customers evolve to VoIP. You'll see us offer new VoIP products for FiOS in the future, and over time we'll do the same for customers served by other wireline and wireless technologies. This is a logical evolution that we understand and will support.   But don't expect the landline circuit-switched network to magically blink out in seven years.

Hard Times as Nortel Bankruptcy Looms

January 14, 2009

Rich is reporting in his blog that Nortel will file for bankruptcy today, ending the run for one of Canada's biggest corporations and one of telecom's storied companies.   This marks quite the fall from grace for a company that was once one of the highest-fliers of the tech boom.   According to a story in today's Globe and Mail:   Nortel easily qualified as the country's largest company at the peak of the tech boom in 2000, with a $366-billion (Canadian) market capitalization and 95,000 employees.   While still North America's largest telecom equipment maker, Nortel's shares were worth a total of just $192-million yesterday, and the company has 26,000 staff after a bruising series of layoffs over the past eight years.   Nortel stock that soared to $1,231 at the peak of the tech bubble - reflecting a recent consolidation in shares - closed yesterday at 38.5 cents on the Toronto Stock Exchange.   You can expect the vultures will all be out today, slamming the company's management, pointing to the series of accounting scandals that ultimately doomed this company. You'll hear all about the acquisition of Bay Networks and how that never really turned into the perfect fit that had been hoped for. Yes folks, all the news will be bad, and the blame game will be blown out of proportion.   Nortel still has some great technology, and a customer base and service contracts that will have the scavengers salivating.   Unfortunately for the many great employees of the company the end of Nortel as we know it spells something far worse.   The news reports today speak of breaking up the company and selling off the pieces to competitors. In such cases, some employees will be fortunate enough to stay on, but for too many others it's a time of great uncertainty and worry.   I have been fortunate to work with many wonderful people who represented Nortel over the past 12 years, and I hope that they fare well in the wake of whatever goes down.

Praise for LTE, WiMAX' Bad Week

January 9, 2009

  Market researcher ABI Research has released a new study that points to continued enthusiasm for LTE deployment.   Coming on the heels of a turbulent week for WiMAX (see: Intel's $950 million investment write-down and Nokia ceasing production of its only WiMAX device) it's a positive sign indeed for this 4G technology.   Now before we get carried away with the premature burial of WiMAX, it's important to note that Clearwire did light up a new city this week (Portland, OR) and has plans to start service in up to nine other cities in 2009. Let's wait before we get out the shovels.   Still ABI's report Long Term Evolution (LTE) draws attention to the fact that Verizon, (possibly sensing some blood in the water?) has reportedly moved up their LTE deployment plans by a year, from 2010 to 2009.   ABI notes that globally, 18 operators have announced LTE rollout plans.   Writing in the recent report, ABI Research senior analyst Nadine Manjaro said,   ABI Research believes that NTT will also deploy LTE in Japan in 2009. We forecast that by 2013 operators will spend over $8.6 billion on LTE base station infrastructure alone. For operators that have already deployed 3G networks, LTE will be a key CAPEX driver over the next five years.   Manjaro also notes that LTE application development could be a major driver of investment as operators explore which services to deploy.   As an example, Manjaro looks to Sprint and Verizon and their plans to provide third-party access to their GPS data.   The resulting new applications will tie mobility and presence aspects together to create more compelling services than in the past.

5LINX Picks Up Kancharla's Wholesale Services Group

December 19, 2008

5LINX Enterprises, Inc., is acquiring the Wholesale Services Group, of Kancharla Corporation, which including Business, Residential, E911, DID Services and the A-Z Origination/Termination services. These offerings will be immediately available through GLOBALINX, 5LINX's wholly owned subsidiary.   Kancharla will continue to offer the standalone and branded versions of its LeftSeat Billing/OSS software solution.   Mike Machonkin, GLOBALINX Vice President of Sales & Marketing is excited about the deal and believes that it will be good for customers and channel partners alike.   "With the acquisition of Kancharla's wholesale services, GLOBALINX is further demonstrating our commitment to provide our GLOBALINX Customers, Agents and Resellers with the most robust portfolio of products and services available on the market today," Machonkin said.  
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