Pacific Fibre cancels submarine cable systems plans

2012-08-15 18:15:08

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Alcatel-Lucent to cut 5000 jobs
Dissatisfied with its current profit position after the second quarter of 2012 and concerned about the future Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) management today unveiled “The Performance Program,” an effort to cut costs and reshape the company. That reshaping will cost about 5000 people their jobs, according to Alcatel-Lucent management.“Despite having demonstrated our ability to deliver operational profitability, it is clear from the deteriorating macro environment and the competitive pricing environment in certain regions challenging profitability that we must embark on a more aggressive transformation,” said Ben Verwaayen, CEO Alcatel-Lucent, via a press release. “We are therefore launching today The Performance Program to accelerate our transformation and reduce costs by Euro 1.25 billion by the end of next year in order to keep ahead of market realities. These times demand firm actions.”Key parts of The Performance Program, which the company expects to complete by the end of next year, include: a cost reduction target of Euro 1.25 billion   additional employee reduction worldwide of around 5,000 people  exiting or restructuring unprofitable managed services contracts with associated headcount reduction   exiting or restructuring of unprofitable markets  managing the company’s patent portfolio as an independent profit center“These times demand firm actions, but as this will involve shrinking our employee base and exiting certain non-profitable contracts we will use The Performance Program to execute in a measured fashion,” Verwaayen added. “However we are taking aggressive action that will improve our agility in the marketplace while remaining fully committed to both our customers and continuing to deliver world-class innovation.”Inauguration of the cost-cutting program came as Alcatel-Lucent reported that second quarter revenue increased 10.6% sequentially, but decreased 7.1% year-over-year to Euro 3.545 billion. At constant currency exchange rates and perimeter, those figures worsen however; the sequential revenue increase dips to 9.5% and the shortfall versus the same quarter of 2011 increases to 13.2%.Its Networks activities were hard hit in the quarter, seeing a 16.4% revenue decline versus the same period one year ago at constant exchange rates. While IP business grew by a single-digit percentage, Alcatel-Lucent saw double-digit declines in both its Wireless and Optics units. The Optics division garnered Euro 542 million in revenue, down 16.0% from the second quarter of 2011. The terrestrial optics business experienced a high-single digit decline, which would have been worse except that resilience in next-gen products partially made up for declines in legacy optics products. Wireline proved a bright spot, increasing sequentially thanks in large measure to increased demand in fiber access. In fact the quarter marked the first time that the company’s fiber-based access revenues surpassed those of their copper-based access products. The Software, Services & Solutions revenues dropped at a high single-digit rate, while the Enterprise segment saw revenues decline at a mid-single-digit rate.For the quarter, Alcatel-Lucent reported net loss (group share) of Euro 254 million, Euro  0.11 per diluted share ($0.14 per ADS). These figures include the negative after tax impact from Purchase Price Allocation entries of Euro 33 million.
Pacific Fibre cancels submarine cable systems plans
The board of Pacific Fibre, a company assembled in 2010 to raise funds to deploy a submarine cable network that would link Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, has thrown in the towel. The board concluded that it would not be able to raise the NZ$400 million the project would require, and therefore the company has ceased operations.“A 13,000-km cable is clearly an audacious thing to try and do. We were fortunate to find supportive shareholders, fantastic staff, and early customer support from the likes of REANNZ and Vodafone,” explained chairman Sam Morgan via a press statement. “We’ve spent millions of shareholder funds trying to get this done, and despite getting some good investor support we have not been able to find the level of investment required in New Zealand initially and more broadly offshore.”“We started Pacific Fibre because we know how important it is to connect New Zealanders to global markets. The high cost of broadband in New Zealand makes it hard to connect globally and it is this market failure, not a technical failure, that we tried hard to solve,” said co-founder and director Rod Drury.Pacific Fibre signed a supply agreement with TE Subcom in July of last year for a two-cable system, each with two fibers, with a design capacity of 12.8 Tbps (see “TE Subcom supplies Pacific Fibre with trans-Pacific subsea cable system”). The target completion date was 2014.“We feel like we’ve done everything we can to succeed and we are all hugely disappointed that we have not managed to get there,” Morgan said.
TeliaSonera International Carrier taps Nokia Siemens Networks for 100-Gbps technology
TeliaSonera International Carrier customers has deployed a pan-European overlay network capable of supporting speeds of 100 Gbps and more using technology from Nokia Siemens Networks, the systems house reveals.The network, which already used equipment from Nokia Siemens Network, now has 100G capabilities via the hiT 7300 platform’s CP-QPSK technology. CP-QPSK is a version of dual-polarization quadrature phase shift-keying (DP-QPSK) with coherent detection that Nokia Siemens Networks has used for both 40 and 100 Gbps (see "Nokia Siemens Networks delivers platform for rapid, cost-effective optical migration to 40G"). CoreOptics developed the technology before its acquisition by Cisco (see "The emerging role of electronics in optical networks").“The increased adoption of bandwidth-hungry applications requires capacity upgrades,” said Mattias Fridström, vice president, head of technology, at TeliaSonera International Carrier. “We share a longstanding relationship with Nokia Siemens Networks and are very satisfied with its installed base in 10G and 40G wavelengths across the European segment of our global network. Its leading technology for high-capacity networks is exactly what we required for this major transition in our network.”“TeliaSonera International Carrier is a market leader with its networks across North America, Europe, and Russia. Maintaining that position requires greater network capacity to ensure the best end-user experience,” added Mikko Lavanti, head of optical networks customer sales and support at Nokia Siemens Networks. “The new overlay network with our latest technology is fully integrated with Juniper routers to offer a seamless service portfolio to TeliaSonera’s subscribers. It will initially have 40 and 100GbE [Gigabit Ethernet] capacity with the potential to be upgraded to 400G and beyond.”Nokia Siemens Networks also will provide a suite of services including software maintenance, help desk, and spare part management.
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