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Telstra Intimidated by 5 ?Teenage Hackers
Friday, 24 June 2011 12:20
Lulz_SecurityTelstra is backing off from a plan to block suspected child porn sites "because of fears of reprisals from the internet vigilantes behind a spate of recent cyber attacks. It is understood the unstructured collective of hackers that identifies itself as Lulz Security, which has an agenda to wreak havoc on corporate and government cyber assets, claiming this is to expose security flaws, is one of Telstra main concerns." Andrew Colley, The Australian, a Rupert Murdoch paper. http://bit.ly/k6ZrXA
Update 6/28 Perhaps because of the embarrassment of the news reports, Telstra has changed their minds and agreed to block Interpol's list of sites.
  Ryan Gallagher and Charles Arthur in the Guardian report LulzSec had only six to eight members, two of whom apparently left as the FBI and MI-5 dedicate dozens of agents. http://bit.ly/juEICl.The Guardian has four days of logs of a LulzSec chat room from inside. http://bit.ly/k6ZrXA. Their report and others suggest that the LuluSez folks are not all teenagers, although a 19 year old friend of the group was arrested in Britain.
    Phiber Optik, an old friend, discovered going to jail for hacking is very unpleasent. Some of the best hackers in the world work for the government and it's much tougher than people realize to elude them all. Be very careful.
    Pros know that the Internet is much more fragile than most people realize. Jennie's editing some interviews with Columbia University experts who believe the only reason the Internet is not regularly crashed is that the people who know how to crash it choose not to. In particular, the professional malware folks make their (very large) living over the net and have strong incentive not to destroy it.
    Ten years ago, a famous Internet pioneer said of course he and many others could bring the whole thing down. Fortunately, they don't want to.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 14:37
Kuwait "relentlessly calling on ISP's to lower internet service prices"
Saturday, 18 June 2011 16:00
The popular sentiment, even in wealthy Gulf States, is that Internet prices need to come down. Some of the most interesting carriers, Etisalat in particular, come from the region. Abu Dhabi is the first capital city to approach 100% fiber to the home and soon nearly all the UAE will be fibered. Al-Mazidi sounds good in this statement, but like all politicians, Al-Mazidi should be judged on results, not rhetoric. From the official Kuwaiti news agency:

Communication ministry calls on ISPs to reduce internet prices
Communications  6/15/2011 6:29:00 PM
Minister of Information and Communication Sami Al-NesefMinister of Information and Communication Sami Al-Nesef
KUWAIT, June 15 (KUNA) -- Kuwait's Ministry of Communication Undersecretary Abdulmuhsen Al-Mazidi stressed Wednesday the importance of decreasing internet service prices, calling upon by the ministry to open up the country's market for other Internet Service Providers (ISP).
Al-Mazidi told KUNA that there are many aspects relating to communication and information technology with regard to internet prices that needs to be addressed, including the completion of a vision establish a law on the Communication and Information Technology Institute, which in turn organize such fields.
The official added that his ministry is relentlessly calling on ISP's to lower internet service prices according to capacities agreed upon previously.
Al-Mazidi noted that the ministry is also keen to complete soon laws regarding the institute mentioned previously, adding that a draft law is expected to be approved by the assigned National Assembly Committee next Sunday.
Meanwhile, Minister of Information and Communication Sami Al-Nesef issued a decision to reduce prices of telephone mobile communications in the country, including mobile calls made locally or internationally through any of GCC countries.
The Ministry of Communication said, in a statement, ministerial decision 119-2011 was based on proposed recommendations by the GCC 19th ministers of communication and information last year, which state on the importance of local private companies to abide by agreed upon prices on mobile calls inside GCC countries. (end) mgb.mb KUNA 151829 Jun 11NNNN


Last Updated on Friday, 01 July 2011 00:15
AT&T U-Verse Build Essentially Ending http://bit.ly/kAIbd1
Monday, 13 June 2011 21:30
My article at DSL Reports is straight from AT&T President John Stankey at Citibank: after reaching the 2011 goal of 30M homes passed, there will be very little additional U-Verse buildout. He announced 55-60% as their ultimate goal - about the same 30M homes. He suggested that 25-30% of AT&T homes will only be offered ADSL. 20% are "not a heavy emphasis for investment," i.e. 5-10 million of AT&T's 50 million homes are screwed unless they have a decent cable alternative. (Yes, rounding means not necessarily equal to 100 %.)
    U-Verse is holding and winning customers much better than I and others expected. CFO Ritcher told investors "Consumer wireline is growing again, thanks to our U-verse product. We're really just seeing the benefits of scaling the service and it gives us great momentum. U-verse is transforming our consumer results. Where we offer U-verse, our ARPUs are higher, our churn is lower, our customer satisfaction is better across all of our products." I'm guessing that what's going on is that AT&T decided they had no choice but to raise capex on wireless, accelerating the LTE build to prevent falling too far behind Verizon. Expanding U-verse to 75-85% is almost surely profitable after cost of capital, but any competent CFO today would tell his boss "Don't raise capex if you can help it." More at http://bit.ly/kAIbd1
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 June 2011 16:30
VDSL: Booming in Europe, Flat in U.S., Losing to Fiber in Asia
Wednesday, 08 June 2011 13:43

"VDSL Port Shipments Grow to Record" was the headline of Dell'oro's release (below), great news to report. Steve Nozik attributed the growth to multiple carriers in Europe upgrading: Deutsche Telekom, British Telecom, Belgacom, Swisscom and KPN Holland among them. All are seeing major losses to cable and feel they have no choice but to upgrade. Each is doing some fiber home and some DSL from cabinets. Nearly all the cabinents are VDSL, for much higher speeds at short reach.

      Asia on the other hand is seeing a drop off in VDSL, where most new builds are fiber all the way to the apartment. Until recently, half of Japan's "fiber to the home" actually terminated in the basement. 100 megabit VDSL went up to the apartment. Bendable fiber has lowered the fiber installation cost and little VDSL is being added. North America was mostly AT&T's U-Verse, which was flattish.

     The majority of ports are still expected to be ADSL - but given the lower price for ADSL, the revenues should be close to equal in 2012.

I've reported that John Stankey of AT&T says the U-Verse build will virtually end this year, so VDSL to North America won't grow. AT&T's enduser growth is likely to slow when the U-Verse build ends, Craig Moffett projects. The impact of that will more likely be 2013 than 2012, I believe, because bonding will allow 5M+ homes, already passed by U-Verse, to actually reach the solid 25 megabits the TV service is designed around.  

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 11:37
Reliability is Job #1: ASSIA Upgrades Espresse DSM
Thursday, 12 May 2011 15:53

In one minute, a tech in the field can get a full diagnostic across all the tones of a DSL signal, with instructions not to leave the home until it's fixed right. On the phone, a full diagnostic can run before a customer help call is assigned to a tech, directing true hardware problems to a tech able to work them rather than the first level support.

   ASSIA's new Expresse 2.3 reduces diagnostic inaccuracy from perhaps 20% to less than 10% and provides real time reporting for trouble shooting. That doesn't sound as exciting as doubling and quadrupling speed with bonding and vectoring, but is very much appreciated by managers needing to reducing operating expense. Reducing truck rolls and repeat visits yield enormous savings. 

    2.3 features a new, improved noise model; separate testing of each tone; ability to discover multiple bridge taps; and geocoding/binder management. I'm on the advisory board of ASSIA which means I see the internal data. It's working very well.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 May 2011 08:11
1.5M March at China Telecom; 6M China Quarter
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 18:20
China_Telecom_posterIn March, China Telecom added 1,470,000 new broadband subscribers. The total for the quarter at China Telecom was 3.4M adds to 67M. U.S. net adds for the year 2010 were also about 3.4M. China Unicom/Netcom added 2.5M to 50M.
     An increasing percentage of broadband at both companies is fiber home and from the basement, but neither breaks out how much is DSL and how much fiber. GPON is now part of the mix, although EPON figures are probably still higher. Anyone who has data, please share.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 May 2011 02:56
"Honest Policy Wonks" Prevented Net Monopolies
Monday, 11 April 2011 22:26

Ray_Tomlinson“Honest policy wonks can play a very useful role,” Prof Shane Greenstein writes http://bit.ly/fA3w6G, explaining why the Internet wasn't monopolized when it went commercial. He goes on to make an important point, that the information superhighway metaphor is “misleading for policy aimed at economic growth through broadband.” Far too many “studies” have only looked at positive effects while ignoring the many negative ones. (Bookstores closing, teachers being laid off, newspapers dying.) Shane makes the provocative comment

“The Internet is everywhere but the economic payoff is not. Urban leadership dominates the geography of economics of the Internet, as it did computing." He adds "Physical capital is not evenly distributed. The Internet enhanced what was already working. Prior investment tended to concentrate in major cities. Skilled human capital abundant in cities. There are Marshallian externalities for IT specialists, who are more abundant in thick labor markets in major cities. The returns to investment depend on finding specialists." Therefore the "Returns to Internet investment are higher in cities. Especially during the first wave of investment."
Last Updated on Thursday, 30 June 2011 15:18
"The Economic Evidence Remains Uncertain,"
Thursday, 23 June 2011 20:28
sam_paltridgeTaylor Reynolds and Sam Paltridge at OECD are two of the most respected economists covering broadband. Like me, they are strong advocates of more broadband but are also committed to accuracy in presenting data. Their influential new report on national broadband plans reflects what every unbiased economist in the field knows: many claims are made for economic benefits of broadband but the evidence behind them is weak. I've included their section below, which points to some substantial claims but does not confirm them. 
    Some of the best work cannot find any effect large enough to measure. There essentially is not enough data for a meaningful analysis on the situation where 60-75% are connected and availability is over 95%. The U.S. and Western Europe are now in a very different situation than when few had broadband. Nearly everyone economically active has a connection. Additional investment will mostly be about higher speeds, and there is essentially zero evidence anywhere in the world that higher speeds have a large effect on economic growth. (I hope they do, but it's more likely to be a very small effect.)
    A second paper, Next Generation Access Networks and Market Structure, is painfully wonkish but very thoughtful. They go far beyond the usual cliches about competition. One key takeaway is that developing facilities-based competition is extremely challenging in fiber to the home/basement environments unless coax cable is already in place. This is a key battle in Australia and New Zealand, both building national fiber networks to nearly every home. Australia's NBN is government-built, with Telstra becoming "just another reseller." Telecom New Zealand is being split into wholesale and retail (structural separation). The resulting entity has near monopoly power. Britain has shown the problems, including price raises by BT Wholesale and Openreach. Cable is only in 50% of the country with no competitor for the rest. UK retail deregulation has worked very well, with advancing services and some of the best pricing in Europe. But the wholesale price is high and has gone up. The result is prices 10-15% above comparables in France.
    People active in policy need to read them.
Last Updated on Thursday, 23 June 2011 22:59
Australia: Rats Eating the Lines
Thursday, 16 June 2011 12:13

rat_by_ann_althouse"There is a hell of a rat plague," Telstra confirms, as 50 customers in Birdsville have lost service. Diamantina Mayor Robbie Dare tells ABC this  "has been going [on] there for four or five months and they don't seem like they are letting up either." Chewed up cables are letting water in. Some of the faults are intermittent and hence especially hard for Telstra to diagnose. The problem has become severe across Queensland since the flooding.

     The Broadband Forum has not yet released a protocol for testing DSL lines for rodent damage.

Deutsche Telecom, Verizon: Our Voice Quality Won't Suck Much Longer
Friday, 10 June 2011 17:37
hdvoice_futre_callingVerizon CTO Tony Melone gets it "You really, really see a quality difference with high-def Voice over IP, which we plan on implementing." About 30 seconds after you hear HD Voice, you realize the phone quality you've been listening to all your life sucks compared to what's possible. With CTO Tony Werner of Comcast also promising HD Voice http://bit.ly/jlUBQu, all the other carriers in North America will now need to make plans to upgrade.
    Neither of the Tonys put a time frame on deployment, but Verizon intends serious deployment of Voice over LTE in 2013 and it would be natural to deliver HD from the beginning. Either the first or second LTE iPhone will almost certainly have HD built in. It requires the phone to have a better microphone, but otherwise any 2013 era smartphone should easily be able to process a wideband codec.  
     Deutsche Telekom has just begun deploying millions of home gateways designed for HD cordless handsets. Daniel Hartnett of Lantiq is supplying the COSIC chip that brings the latest DECT cordless standard, CAT-iq 2.0 and allows connecting two DECT phones. Nearly all gateways today have enough processing power and memory to run the high-bit-rate codec for HD; the primary additional cost is just the $2 chip. Free.fr has HD CAT-iq 2.0 in the new revolution gateway, and France Telecom is providing the same function on a USB stick. France Telecom is in general deployment of HD, first in Moldavia and soon in Spain, Poland, Switzerland and Paris.
    Doug Mahony of HD Voice News "will bet a couple of doughnuts that cable execs will be talking more about HD voice at a Tuesday afternoon session entitled 'Talk About a Dream: New Directions in Cable Voice.'" He promises to wear a pink shirt so people will know what question is coming.
      HD Voice uses an improved codec with wider dynamic range and a higher bit rate than ordinary voice calls, wired or wireless. It's typically 32 kilobits, an insignificant network load in a megabit era. The added gear is now so cheap - ? $3 - it's almost a no-brainer to include it. 
    It will likely spread across Europe in the next 2-3 years, where DECT phones are popular. The U.S. is behind, but as soon as either of the Tonys deploys expect a mad rush to match them. Networks with millions of subscribers take years to change, so if you will need to match Verizon or Comcast you need to begin engineering work yesterday. 
   Interoperability - so that a Comcast customer can make an HD call to a Verizon customer - is still little more than a dream.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 02:51
"Is DSL finally dying?" No!
Tuesday, 24 May 2011 17:11

grim_reaper_eyehook.comJeff Heynan at Infonetics reported a double-digit drop in DSL equipment sales, inspiring Dan O'Shea at Telephony to headline "Is DSL Finally Dying?" Both note that DSL sales in Q1 were actually ahead of the same month last year. Yet Dan writes "Fiber is the future." Given that less than 30% of the U.S. is likely to be served by fiber this decade, that's quite a statement. Europe's figure is similar. There's little reason to expect much change next decade, as wireless gets increasingly central. John Cioffi was told to forget about DSL in 1990 because "fiber was the future." I think I remember John say "fiber is the future and it always will be." But DSL is the present for the vast majority of North America outside of Verizon territory. Europe varies by country, but DSL is likely more common than fiber across the continent for at least another decade.

     Heynan does report one crucial trend: more and more PON going into China.

Last Updated on Friday, 03 June 2011 19:34
Ericsson's Near Million Port DSLAM Quarter
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 15:04
A_different_EricssonEricsson reports a "Strong quarter for DSL as a result of VDSL2 upgrade and network modernization programs. In central offices, voice is migrating from Class 5 to softswitches while adding broadband via multi-service access nodes (MSANs), using a common IP uplink for both voice and mobile broadband traffic." That's up 85% over last year. Nearly all of the 885K ports shipped went to Europe, where several big carriers are running VDSL from field nodes.
      They are also finding some success with GPON in China. China Telecom and China Unicom, formerly EPON shops, are doing significant quantities of GPON. China Mobile/Tietong, until now a very small factor in landlines, is beginning major GPON investments. Ericsson told me 18 months ago they could bring GPON prices into striking range of EPON, which has been selling in million quantities for under $100/home. The orders are now coming in, with most of the >10K ports of GPON going to Asia.
      I hope the other companies making market share claims follow Ericsson's example and supply actual numbers rather than vague claims. http://bit.ly/kwyrTM

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 May 2011 19:15
Alcatel Takes Vectoring to Luxembourg
Tuesday, 19 April 2011 15:59
The green bands in the picture are the results in the first Alcatel_luxreported field trial of vectoring for noise cancellation. The results - on loops less than 1,000 meters - are excellent and as predicted by theory. Line speed as much as doubled in the instances noise was the problem. Other lines, which ran faster in the first place, saw gains as little as 20%. The first chart is from Alcatel, working with P&T Luxembourg. This is not production equipment and the chips may still be FPGA's. It's an important proof of concept, while manufacturers compete to be the first with well-tested, production ready gear (?2013.)

   Vectored noise cancellation is the grail of DSL, promising to add 50-100% to the performance on most loops under 1,000 meters. There's little doubt the results will be excellent in new builds, such as the VDSL/FTTN being installed from cabinets at British Telecom. All the lines can be connected to a single line card or otherwise organized to efficiently vector.

    The harder problem is using vectoring to increase speeds in mixed deployments, which includes most of those already in existence. Ikanos is working on "node-scale" vectoring, which works across line cards and is promising. Further Alcatel data, this time working with Swisscom, showed excellent lab results (below) even in mixed binders more typical of existing builds. Results were good, even with 5 ADSL2 lines in the same binder.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 April 2011 04:16
Telefonica Losing DSL Customers, DOCSIS Gaining in Spain
Wednesday, 06 April 2011 19:29

Spanish_broadband_sharesTelefonica totally dominated Spanish broadband until a few years ago but actually lost 23K DSL customers in February. Since January 2010, alternative carriers have added 667K while Telefonica gained only 138K. The cause is no mystery; the CMT finally revised the unbundling rules to give the competitors a better deal.

    In the first four months after launching 30 meg and 50 meg DOCSIS 4.0, Ono Cable signed up 128K subscribers (bandaancha.eu.) Some were upgrades of existing customers, but Ono has net adds of 65K since last September and Telefonica only 13K. Ono, like Numericable in France and Virgin in Britain, has severe financial constraints and is limited in how effectively it can compete.

       Spain is finally getting some fiber home. 9,000 signed up in January and February, to a total of 66K. Telefonica has made some extravagant promises to fiber the country, including all of Madrid in a few years. The actual build is much slower as Telefonica has diverted investment funds to the faster growing - and more competitive - markets in Latin America. 

       Before we praise CMT, the Spanish regulator, they need to explain why they want to raise the access charge by 7 percent, to €8.32 a month. (NYT) If regulators want fiber, the right move is obviously to reduce the return on copper. Matthias Kurth got that one right, cutting Germany's access charges.

    Update 14 April Telefonica presented to investors a dismal prospect for its business in Spain and up to 6,000 layoffs. That's one way to make the numbers work for a few years but only a temporary solution. 

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 April 2011 17:22
Asia's Great DSL & Fiber Quarter
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 11:23
Q1_2011_top_10The Forum/Point-Topic figures show Q1 as the "fastest global broadband growth since 2009." The heart of the story is China, whose 6M new subscribers were 40% of the 15M worldwide. Fiber is about half of the new connections in China according to one estimate, but I haven't been able to find an official source. China's growing at twice the rate of Europe or the U.S, The Internet is not yet "a Chinese lake," but China's (135M) lead over the U.S. (89M) now is about 10M more than the count in the third largest, Japan (35M). In another year at the current pace, China's count will be as much as the U.S., Japan, and #4 Germany (28M).
Q2 in China looks slightly slower. China Telecom + China Unicom did about 3.5M in April and May. I predict the growth will accelerate when the political obstacles to cable modems are Q1_2011_World_Breakdownovercome, likely soon.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 17:40
Dado Back in Charge at Ikanos
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 19:53
dado_bDado Banatao worked miracles in the chip business over the decades, but so far hasn't been able to pull any rabbits out of the hat for Ikanos. His VC firm took control of the company a while back and Dado did a turn as CEO. He passed the job on to John Quigley from SiRF another of his companies. That hasn't worked out.  John is now leaving and "will now be pursuing interests more aligned to my passion for change management and enabling both individuals and organizations to explore the unfettered art of the possible.”
    Dado's first action was to Company confirm revenue and earnings for the second quarter. Revenues will be between $31.0 million and $34.0 million. VDSL, the company's strength, is booming in Europe. Germany, England, KPN in Holland and  Belgacom are deploying.
     Ikanos Vice President of Vectoring Technology, Kevin Fischer, recently brought a 32 line demonstration of node-scale vectoring to the TNO conference in Leiden. Ikanos believes "Line-card only vectoring provides only marginal benefits," at least in some realworld examples. They believe that noise needs to be cancelled across the binder to be effective in large-scale network deployments. I'm waiting for field trials and actual deployments to prove what works. Without a doubt, vectoring VDSL can dramatically reduce noise and increase speeds on short (less than 1,000 meter) loops. 
     Bonding + vectoring = 100 megabit DSL. Some places, someday. Probably soon.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 20:38
$30 To Double Modem Speed With Bonding
Friday, 10 June 2011 16:17

David Thompson of ZyXEL intends to sell millions of bonded gateways and is pricing to make it so: he'll happily sell double-speedtwins_from_rchrd bonded gateways to telcos for about $30 more than a regular gateway. That provides 80 megabits a very short distance with the 12 megahertz VDSL2 and 25 megabits thousands of feet further than a single line. Bonding has been included in DSL standards for a decade, but numerous practical problems have meant very few actual customers. Gateway and modem processors now typically have enough processing power to keep up with two lines. ZyXEL needs only a single VDSL chip for two 12 megahertz connections, further reducing cost. I doubt the incremental bill of materials is more than $3-5. On the other end, DSLAM ports are also coming down in price, often to about $30. 

     Doubling speed now costs less than $100/home, including the extra DSLAM port, the bonded modem, and the extra labor for connection. That's about $2/month over 48 months, plus a few dimes per month (at most) for the additional bandwidth itself. There's plenty of unused copper almost everywhere as wireless replaces landlines. Any telco who chooses to offer double speeds has no technical obstacles. 

     Most telcos do not and will not offer double speeds, unfortunately, unless required by regulators. Nearly every telco has fired so many engineers and field staff they are afraid to complicate their networks with any non-standard component. The crucial exception is carriers selling IPTV, who now can offer TV to many more customers.

      AT&T has about 5 million homes passed by U-Verse that can't buy TV because they are too far for the minimum 25 megabit service. That's why AT&T has been promising customers bonding since 2007 and becoming increasingly frustrated with unfulfilled promises from manufacturers. When they choose vendors, the volume could be huge. 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 02:58
AT&T Redoubling Outreach for Latino Employees
Thursday, 12 May 2011 23:26

Alicia_AbellaAT&T is right to highlight their Latino executives. "Alicia Abella PhD, executive director, AT&T Labs, gave the commencement address at the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering on May 6, 2011. ...Thaddeus Arroyo, chief information officer, has been named to Hispanic Engineer and Information Technology’s 2011 Most Influential in Technology list ...  Carmen Nava, senior vice president, Consumer, has been listed in Hispanic Business magazine was as a finalist for the Hispanic Business Woman of the Year award." The Bells have long been known for hiring groups shunned by some other companies. AT&T calculates that 12% of their workforce is Latino, and the quotes are from a press release encouraging more Latinos to apply for jobs. For decades, blacks have known they have a better chance of success at the telcos than at many other companies.

    Ralph de la Vega, born in Cuba, is president of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets and running much of the company from Atlanta, the old Cingular base. Ralph started with very little and rose to the top based on ability. He's an extraordinary executive who wrote a book, Obstacles Welcome, intended to inspire others. I reread it recently and noticed that in a plain spoken way there's a great deal of business wisdom passed on. It's definitely worth reading even if you're not part of the target group.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 May 2011 00:00
$2B Tax Saving at AT&T, Verizon
Thursday, 21 April 2011 18:46

PenniesAT&T income tax expense went down 37% in Q1 2011 compared to the year before, from $2.863B to $1,802B. Verizon also saved $1B on a drop in income tax provision from $1,622B to $617B, 62%. At AT&T, the tax benefit was nearly a third of earnings and more than the entire growth in net. The same is true at Verizon. Neither reporters nor several wall street analysts referenced the tax savings, which were so large they change the story. 

     I'm not suggesting anything improper or special favors for either company. Each took $20B in losses on their pension funds, which could shelter a heck of a lot of income. This is just one more reason to tread lightly based on quarterly and even single year results.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 April 2011 23:33
DSL "Amplifier" Delivers 8 Meg 14,000 Feet
Thursday, 14 April 2011 19:34

Actelis_broadband_acceleratorsYour mileage will almost certainly differ, but one lucky home saw their speed go from 1 megabit downstream to 8 megabits. More typical is a doubling from perhaps 1 meg to perhaps 2 meg. The current unit is aimed ay low speeds beyond 12,000 feet. It's logical for Actelis to also offer units designed to bring 2-3 megabit lines up to the new FCC broadband definition of 4 megabits.

     Essentially, you plug in a small box around the middle of the line and let it do some magic. It's sized for 1, 2, 5, 25 or more lines and works off the phone line power. Once installed, it's designed to work indefinitely without maintenance. There's little opex after the initial installation and pole-climbing. The components are inexpensive, so the price of the unit itself can be very reasonable if purchased in large quantities.

    Actelis purchased the product IP of Phylogy’s Triplestream, line conditioner/amplifier which has been on the market since 2005. They tweaked the product to reduce interference and are re-launching it as the "Actelis Broadband Accelerator." "We've solved the spectral compatibility problem," Actelis' Eric Vallone tells me. "That's our secret sauce. Most customers getting 1 meg will see a 100% improvement."

    The earlier design has sold over 100,000 lines, many in South America. There are plenty of places this can be very helpful, even if it's not ideal everywhere. Earlier distributor Charles Industries has an excellent 15 page product brief with installation and troubleshooting advice. 

    The first version of this story said "The unit is polarity-sensitive. Don't plug it in backwards." But Vallone writes me the new model has minimized the problem.

Last Updated on Sunday, 17 April 2011 22:17
Nikos on Calix: Not Really a Sell
Tuesday, 05 April 2011 07:20
S___ happens. Nikos Theodosopoulos, probably the best equipment guy on Wall Street, did not issue a rare sell on Calix early this morning. His Tuesday morning email said just that, but clicking to the report itself shows his actual opinion is "Valuation: Maintain Buy Rating, Raising PT To $23 From $20." The report goes through several hands before it's sent, and somewhere along the line someone made a mistake. I'm sure they are scurrying at UBS to correct things but I wanted to put this out immediately to prevent confusion as the market opens.
        I'll follow up later today. Researching pointed me to a 58% increase in the Calix stock price in about four months. They've had some good news, but that's a remarkable run. I'll let Nikos tell professional investors whether to buy or sell this one; for anyone without a strong tolerance for losses, I wouldn't put money, long or short, in wireline telecom equipment. It's a tough and declining market, and there definitely will be losers as well as winners.
        Calix's greatest strength is satisfied customers. Thay've now bought Occam, which also has excellent customer relations. Those are strong positives, but it's a tough market for all and caution is indicated.
        1:30 Tuesday The stock fell over $25M by 11 in an up market. It since recovered some. The only other visible news was that Goldman raised their "12-month price target to $21 from $19 based on a target P/E multiple of 19X applied to our new FY12 EPS estimate of $1.11."(Benzinga.com) That pattern is consistent with people initially misunderstanding the UBS report and then learning better. Alternatively, it may be that investors were hoping for even more favorable news and were disappointed. Or it could just be the seemingly random noise that often dominates stock prices.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 April 2011 12:39
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