Qwest posts revenue surge, subs increase
By Traci Patterson, CED
Qwest Communications International increased its high-speed Internet, wireless and video subscriber base, its bundled service sales and its overall earnings (which nearly tripled) in Q1 2007.
New high-speed Internet, wireless and video subs continued to outpace declines in mass market access lines, which were down 6.8 percent year-on-year, to 13.6 million. During the quarter, Qwest added 260,000 high-speed Internet, video and wireless subs, resulting in an increase of more than 100,000 in net connections, the company said.
Of the 260,000 subs gained, 167,000 were high-speed Internet adds, a 37 percent increase from Q1 2006. Mass markets data and Internet revenue increased 46 percent year-on-year.
The company added 80,000 net DirecTV subs in Q1 – compared with 38,000 in the year-ago quarter – surpassing the 500,000 video subscriber mark.
Qwest offers DirecTV satellite service as part of its bundled offering across its entire 14-state region. The company’s bundle penetration increased to 59 percent in the quarter, compared with 53 percent a year ago, and consumer ARPU increased 6.1 percent year-on-year to $52.
Qwest reported overall earnings of $240 million, up from $88 million in Q1 2006. Data revenue of $1.2 billion was up 11 percent year-on-year. Operating revenue for Q1 2007 was $3.4 billion, with data and Internet services revenue of $1.2 billion, which is now more than 35 percent of operating revenue. Total net debt declined to $13.8 billion, down $940 million year-on-year.
Meanwhile, Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio and four other one-time Qwest executives have been on trial for arranging a massive financial fraud between 1999 and 2002, forcing the Denver-based company to restate $2.2 billion in revenue.
In April, a jury convicted Nacchio of illegally selling $52 million in stock during the scandal, and he was convicted on 19 counts of insider trading, but acquitted of 23 other counts. Qwest has not admitted any wrongdoing.
U-verse moves into LA, nearby areas
By Brian Santo, CED
Given the opportunity of statewide franchising signed into law last September in California, AT&T U-verse is expanding to encompass several circumscribed areas within and near Los Angeles.
In the Los Angeles/Long Beach/Santa Ana market, AT&T is making U-verse available in parts of Altadena, Anaheim, Burbank, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Glendale, Laguna Niguel, Orange County, Santa Ana, Santa Clarita, and Tustin.
U-verse will also be hitting areas east and west of LA. AT&T will be building out in parts of the Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura metropolitan statistical area (MSA), including Simi Valley, and parts of the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario MSA, including the city of Riverside, County of Riverside, Corona and Norco.
The U-verse menu of features includes more than 25 HD channels, Internet access up to 6 Mbps, and DVR with Web and mobile access to DVR functions.
Report: Satellite broadband chugging along
By Brian Santo, CED
NSR today released the latest edition to its industry-standard report: “Broadband Satellite Markets: 6th Edition.” The report is a comprehensive analysis of the global market for enterprise & SME VSAT networks, single site satellite broadband Internet access services, and satellite IP trunking applications.
Satellite broadband is catching on, with enterprise & SME VSAT networks and single site satellite broadband Internet access services leading the way. Total global revenues from monthly service fees and sales of customer premise equipment (CPE) could exceed $5 billion by 2011, according to a new report from NSR.
The pace is being set by services in the U.S. and Australia, the report indicates, but commercial satellite fleet operators around the world are gaining traction in the market. That said, the number of subscribers is still measured only in hundreds of thousands.
Much of the activity in the rest of the world is represented by government-sponsored or mandated broadband VSAT projects. The Mexican e-Mexico and Enciclomedia projects are two examples.
There are also new networks or expansion of existing networks in Thailand, Colombia and Brazil among others.
Projects are under serious consideration or even have sought proposals in Russia, Turkey, Malaysia, and Argentina, NSR noted.
NSR estimates that almost 900 36-MHz transponders will be needed to provision the global base of broadband VSAT sites and satellite Internet access subscribers by 2011, an almost 40 percent increase over transponders leased in 2006.
“Ku-band capacity will play a dominant role in these markets over the entire forecast period,” stated Patrick French, senior analyst and author of the report. “Yet, many companies are seriously looking to commercial Ka-band, not just dedicated Ka-band satellites like WildBlue-1 and Spaceway-3, for these markets, and the next few years will prove critical in determining just how rapidly the industry moves down this path.”
BPL vendor plugs in Intellon HomePlug tech
By Brian Santo, CED
3One has a line of BPL and intelligent power grid management products. 3One recently deployed a BPL-based Intelligent Grid System with its joint venture partner, Fujian Great Power PLC Equipment Co., in Anhui Province, China.
The network enables automated meter reading, SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition), broadband Internet access, and video surveillance capabilities as part of a comprehensive Distribution Management System across the medium-voltage and low-voltage power grid.
Broadband Briefs for 5/01/07
* Occam Networks helping Iowa CLEC go FTTH
Occam Networks said that the Local Internet Service Company (Lisco), a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) serving the Fairfield, Iowa area, has begun purchasing Occam’s BLC 6000 Fiber products as part of a strategy to overbuild Fairfield with fiber-to-the-home (FTTH).
Lisco has purchased Occam’s 6312 Optical Line Termination blades and 6314s 10GigE Optical Packet Transport and Optical Line Termination blades. When complete, Lisco intends to offer voice, data and video to approximately 4,000 residential subscribers.
* Freedom Interactive gains online video networks
Freedom Interactive, the Internet division of Freedom Communications Inc., has added Brightcove Inc., a pioneer in Internet TV, and MeeVee Inc., an online video and TV guide provider, to its network of more than 40 national Web sites.
The new networks will launch in May, beginning with OCRegister.com, the home of The Orange County Register.
* Cedar Point lands first govt. trial of Safari
Cedar Point Communications Inc. announced the first trial and evaluation of its Safari C³ Multimedia Switching System in the government sector, with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif.
Berkeley Lab will test the capabilities of the system to support the communications needs of researchers and staff on the campus, and it will collaborate with Cedar Point to research advanced applications for VoIP services.
* Japanese MSO launching IP home-monitoring service
Jupiter Telecommunications Co., Japan’s largest MSO, will launch a new IP camera home-monitoring service for high-speed Internet subs with both J:COM NET Premier (30 Mbps) and J:COM NET Highgrade (160 Mbps). The “Peace of Mind” service will launch nationwide in June with Cablenet Kobe Ashiya Co. and Hokusetsu Cable Net Co.
* DNF Controls names SE field technical sales rep
DNF Controls has appointed broadcast industry veteran William M. (Mike) Quinn to the role of Southeast field technical sales representative. Quinn’s territory includes Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Kentucky. Prior to joining DNF Controls, Quinn served as senior sales consultant for premier systems integrator Digital System Technology.
* Tek RF tool now reads wireless coverage quality
Tektronix announced enhancement the of its RF Scout Interference Hunter tool’s applications to include a radio frequency (RF) benchmarking capability. Tek said it enables competitive measurements of carrier network quality and coverage. The tool also includes integrated map-based spectrum analysis for faster and more effective network optimization.
The new RF benchmarking capability enables field engineers and technicians to make multiple measurements at multiple frequencies in one physical pass. For example, the RF Scout can scan GSM and WCDMA signals as well as make noise floor measurements, all in a single pass, allowing benchmarking and analysis of complex RF coverage or interference issues.