IN ORBIT: World Wide Wire

IN ORBIT: World Wide Wire

A-P fixed telecom bigger than Europe's by 2005The Asia-Pacific region's fixed-line telecommunications services market will grow by 9 percent annually over the next five years and will be worth US$208 billion in the year 2005, according to a report from research group Gartner.

By that time, the Asia-Pacific telecommunications market will be larger than Europe's, and two-thirds the size of the US market, Gartner said.

Most of the growth will be in Internet and other data services, the report claimed. The total market for fixed-line data services will more than double, from $26 billion in 2000 to $59 billion in 2005, with compound annual revenue growth of 18 percent. The region will see strong growth in ISP (Internet service provider) services and leased lines, even in less-developed parts of the region, according to Gartner.

The voice services market will grow at 6.7 percent annually over the same period, growing from $108 billion in 2000 to $149 billion in 2005. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services will account for $27 billion in revenue by 2005, with China becoming the region's largest VoIP market, Gartner said.

By David Legard.

IBM Global Services flexes Web-hosting muscleIBM Global Services, considered by some analysts to be a sleeping giant among the struggling managed hosting services provider market, has announced a set of 30 new service offerings for its Web-hosting customers.

Including a wide array of offerings ranging from security assessments and design, to Linux implementation for the Intel hardware platform, to assisting small Web-hosting customers with their retail Web site implementation, IBM Global Services claims to be focused on fulfilling customer needs beyond co-location services.

Currently limited to the Intel

platform, IBM Global Services' new Linux Web-hosting services will allow customers to choose Linux Red Hat 6.2 support as well as applications designed for Solaris, Windows 2000, NT and AIX.

The company said in the future, IBM Global Services will play a large role in pushing managed services toward the application side - still a complex and cumbersome endeavour being tackled by large hosting providers.

"This is a long race and IBM is in it for the long haul. It's an industry that's been characterised more by niche players. In part, the breadth of what we're doing will give us legs in the long haul," the company's spokesperson said.

NZ to scrap Domainz registry system

New Zealand's Domainz registry system, expected to cost over NZ$400,000 but coming in at a hefty NZ$773,000 (and counting), is to be scrapped.

Launched on May 10 last year after a number of delays, the system was built by Advantage Group and was set to replace an aging University of Waikato system built to manage the registry of "dot-nz" domain names.

However, as the costs spiralled and more than 50 major bugs were uncovered, ISPs began to complain about the system. Domainz's owner, InternetNZ, signalled it would move to a shared registry system where all parties interested in registering domain names would be able to do so directly.

"As yet there's no functional specification for it, but in effect there is a clear intention to replace the existing system," confirmed Domainz spokesperson.

Domainz ordered an external review of the existing system and the report is due to be released in the next few weeks.

Source: Computerworld New Zealand Online.

CA financials vary

Both fans and critics of Computer Associates International could find something to like about the software vendor's latest financial results. Under a new accounting method, the company recently reported a net operating income of US$323 million for the quarter ending June 30, up 61 percent from the previous year's -$201 million. But based on its historical reporting procedures, CA posted a loss of $342 million, compared with a $21 million profit a year earlier.

Companies search for lay-off alternativesHalf of the IT executives interviewed for a recent US study said their companies have explored or will explore alternatives to lay-offs. The study, by US-based Cutter Consortium, asked IT managers at 50 firms with 25 or more IT employees about their cost-cutting plans. It found that temporary pay reductions, shorter workweeks and job-sharing arrangements are the most popular strategies.

Siemens posts third-quarter loss, plans further cost-cutting measuresGerman engineering and electronics behemoth Siemens AG has reported a net loss for its fiscal third quarter and announced it would take additional cost-cutting measures at its Information and Communication Networks (ICN) division.

Excluding special items, Siemens posted a net loss of 489 million euros (A$830 million, as of June 30, the last day of the quarter being reported), down from a net profit of 439 million euros in the same quarter last year.

Sales amounted to 20.3 billion euros, up from 16.5 billion euros in the same period last year.

The results are mixed throughout the conglomerate. Some divisions, such as power generation and medical, posted sizeable earnings gains, while other divisions, particularly ICN and Information and Communications Mobile (ICM), began restructuring in the face of sharply reduced demand, Siemens said.

"Our third-quarter earnings are unsatisfactory," said Siemens chief executive officer (CEO) Heinrich von Pierer in a statement. "Over the coming weeks we will define further measures to improve our results, particularly at ICN."

For the full fiscal year 2001 Siemens expects net profit to fall below that recorded for 2000.

By Joris Evers.

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