Archive of the Business Services Category

DOE doles out smart grid stimulus funding

To the applause of many key stakeholders, the Department of Energy will today unveil the recipients of $3.4 billion in stimulus grants for 100 smart grid projects. The grants will range from $400,000 to $200 million to fund 25 large and 75 small utility and state projects across 49 states. The money is meant to enable a complete grid overhaul, as well as create tens of thousands of jobs. more

Enterprises driving growth in mobile data revenue

The economic recession may have caused layoffs and cutting back in the enterprise, but it hasn’t hurt the growth of business use of mobile data services. According to ABI Research, mobile data services revenues will increase 17% next year and continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12% until 2014. more

Nokia still backing venture with Siemens

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo was upfront today about the reasons for the increasingly poor performance Nokia Siemens Networks. While the economy, competition and even the fluctuation in currency were factors, “It is clear that NSN has lost market share,” Kallasvuo said after announcing Nokia’s Q3 earnings.

NSN reported revenue declines of 21% year-over-year in the 3rd quarter, and 28% drop in profits, which forced its parents to take write downs. Nokia wrote off 908 million Euros (US $1.35 billion), increasing its 3rd quarter loss to Euro 1.11 billion (US $1.66 billion). Siemens (NYSE:SI) hasn’t reported its 3rd quarter numbers yet, but according to the Dow Jones Newswires, its write down could be as high as $1.6 billion Euros (US $2.4 billion).

Despite NSN’s poor performance and declining market share, Kallasvuo said both Nokia and Siemens still have faith in the venture. “Let me be clear,” he said. “We continue to support NSN’s efforts to improve its performance. Both shareholders have continued to make the necessary capital available to NSN, so that NSN can meet the product and services needs of the leading operators around the world.”

Last summer, NSN CEO Simon Beresford-Wylie announced his retirement, turning the reins over to NSN head of services Rajeev Suri, who in a recent interview said he plans to push NSN more in the direction of professional and managed services and software while still maintaining a strong infrastructure portfolio. For Q3, services accounted for 47% of NSN’s total revenues.

New optical, Ethernet gear spills out before Supercomm

Equipment vendors are beginning to unveil new optical and carrier Ethernet products in advance of next week’s Supercomm trade show. more

Comcast CEO named among five most ‘overpaid’

Brian RobertsComcast’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Brian Roberts has been named one of the top five most overpaid CEOs by the Corporate Library, a corporate governance research and analysis firm.

Roberts’ total 2008 compensation of more

Networks alone not enough for carriers to compete in CDN

Though telecom carriers in the content delivery networking (CDN) space are quick to point to their networks as differentiators, they will have to climb the service stack – developing more sophisticated service features – to compete.

That was some of the advice from Dan Rayburn, principal analyst with Frost & Sullivan, in a recent Telephony Webcast that you can replay here. more

Mac desktop virtualization vendor does carrier cloud automation too

If you work on a Mac, you probably are familiar with Parallels, the company and software that lets Mac users run the Windows operating system and applications in so-called “virtualized” fashion. In recent weeks, the privately-held Parallels announced a new app to help making a Windows-to-Mac switch easier and another update helping users run Windows and Linux side-by-side.

But for all the attention the vendor’s desktop virtualization business gets — including its success fueling visions of a possible IPO sometime soon –  Parallels also does a healthy business providing hosting companies, including telecom service providers, with an industrial strength platform for automating, virtualizing and provisioning managed services and new cloud computing applications.

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Verizon Business offers IP-based hosted IVR

Verizon Business (NYSE: VZ) is offering a new IP version of its hosted interactive voice response (IVR) service as an alternative to the circuit-based TDM IVR it’s been hosting for eight years, mostly to customers in the financial, health care and government verticals.

The new service, based on Nuance Communications’ (NASDAQ: NUAN) speech-recognition platform, accommodates IP-based call centers and makes it easier to deal with multiple data sources, Verizon said. An API lets callers interface directly with back-end databases and customer relationship management platforms. For example, it allows web-based applications to respond to customers’ calls by retrieving their personal call history and transactions. Also, callers who need to speak to agents can be directed to them via Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) or, if IP-based centers are busy, to legacy TDM call centers.

“This enables the enterprises to migrate to IP at their own pace,” said Tom Smith, group manager for Verizon’s IVR and speech product marketing. “They can continue to leverage their legacy TDM infrastructure while rolling out IP infrastructure to handle any growth or replace end-of-life TDM equipment.”

Carrier M&A activity drops off

I was struck by the apparent drop-off in RLEC M&A activity this year as described in Frontier Communications’ (NYSE: FTR) recent regulatory filings. Leading up to the mid-tier telco’s deal to acquire nearly 5 million access lines from Verizon (NYSE: VZ), Frontier was only considering one other major deal, and even that didn’t get very far.

It’s a stark contrast with last year, when offers were flying in every direction across the RLEC sector, including proposals for three-way mergers. Embarq and CenturyTel talked with at least five other companies about serious M&A offers before the two merged last fall.

And it wasn’t just the RLECs. M&A offers were flying in the CLEC sector, too, last year. The Wall Street Journal reported for the first time only last week that more

Sprint adds WiMax to WiFi router as it prepares to expand 4G coverage

As Sprint (NYSE:S) prepares to expand its 4G footprint beyond Baltimore, it is tweaking its product portfolio to take advantage of the enhanced speeds of Clearwire’s WiMax network. It has begun selling dual-mode WiMax-EV-DO versions of Novatel’s MiFi personal hotspot and the business-targeted CradlePoint wireless broadband router, both of which redistribute capacity from mobile broadband connections to multiple WiFi devices. more

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