Broadcom is entering the PON chip market and has secured design wins with a major tier-1 equipment vendor. While this is something predicted here, the timetable was sooner than expected. This will have a substantial impact on FTTH component and equipment suppliers as well as the carrier currently conducting lab trials with the device.
Ikanos reached an agreement to acquire Centillium’s DSL chipset assets for $12M. This is a shockingly low price and it sets a new valuation floor for telecom component revenue streams that most people in the industry, including us, viewed as annuity assets worth much more. It should also force investors to question whether company cash flows are being invested in new products that will generate superior returns.
The ongoing consolidation of DSL chip suppliers should create a positive structural effect on pricing and improve the overall health of the remaining players. Dave Burstein of DSL Prime fame points out that Broadcom (BRCM), Infineon (IFX), Conexant (CNXT), and Ikanos (IKAN) now account for 95% of DSL chipset market share. This is extremely positive.
Ikanos (IKAN) announced last week that it would pay a ‘leading European OEM’ $1.6M in return for a development agreement, most likely Alcatel. This is a very odd deal and is worthy of closer examination.
The Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is a great source for data on Japanese communication infrastructure and usage. A recent document provides a state-of-the-network update and lays out the goals for the next 3 years.
The excellent Linley Group discusses Cortina’s recent acquisition of Immenstar, (my coverage here) a maker of FTTH silicon. Cortina is rapidly making itself as a consolidator communication silicon companies and Linley speculates their next target might be a ‘small VDSL vendor’. That vendor would be Centillium (CTLM), though I feel it is a better match for suitors other than Cortina.
OK, since I’ve been called out by Om Malik, I’m going to let rip with a stream-of-conciousness monologue on optical. No backspace key, no delete key, spelling corrections ex-post-facto. Here goes.
Centillium Communications (NASDAQ CTLM) has a troubled past and present but the market has mispriced even the most pessimistic scenarios at this point, short of accounting fraud. With proper investor activism this value could be extracted through consolidation, liquidation, or private turnaround scenarios.