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The December 17, 2002 Issue Provided by System Dynamics Inc.
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Heard on the Net

News about People and Companies Influencing The Broadband Home


People News

Mark Belinsky has been appointed Senior VP and General Manager of Macrovision Corporation's new Music Technology Division. Belinsky has over 20 years of management experience in areas such as digital rights management, copy protection and software licensing. ( www.macrovision.com )

Maggie Bellville has accepted a new position as EVP of operations for Charter Communications. She was previously CEO of Incanta. ( www.charter.com )

David Colley has become CEO at Media Logic. He was previously a founding partner of Callahan Associates. ( www.iseetv.net )

Arthur Dubroff has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer at Net2Phone. ( www.net2phone.com )

Ed Forman has joined ICTV as senior VP, marketing. Forman had previously consulted for ICTV and prior to that served as president and CEO of RealContax, Inc. ( www.ictv.com )

Tom Hurley has been promoted to President of the Comcast Digital Programming Center and Matt Bond has been named EVP of Programming at Comcast Cable Communications. ( www.comcast.com )

Marcos Rosenthal has joined RADVISION and will head their new sales office in Brazil. Rosenthal was previously with PictureTel in South America. ( www.radvision.com )

Teresa Vega has been appointed corporate VP and group president for Telcordia Technologies Inc. Mobility, Cable and Emerging Markets. Vega was previously senior VP and chief marketing officer for Lucent Technologies. ( www.telcordia.com )


Company News

--Funding

2Wire, a provider of broadband gateways, has closed its fifth round of funding with $27.5 million. ( www.2wire.com )

Aperto Networks, a fixed broadband wireless technology vendor, closed its series C equity financing round with $22 million in funding. ( www.apertonetworks.com )

Gotuit Media Corp. has obtained $6 million in venture capital funding. Their system enables viewers to skip through programs by using the remote control to bring up an index on the TV screen and move forward or backward through the show. ( www.gotuit.com )

IPWireless, Inc., a mobile broadband infrastructure provider, has secured over $27 million in additional funding. ( www.ipwireless.com )

--Other News

Boeing's Connexion by Boeing unit has signed a memorandum of understanding with Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) that will lead to installation of Boeing's satellite-based airborne broadband service offering in SAS planes. SAS will install the Connexion by Boeing system in 11 long-haul aircraft as the first stage of a planned larger rollout, with commercial service planned for 2004. ( www.boeing.com/connexion )

Broadcom has released their BroadVoice VoIP telephony solution. It is both a highly-integrated chip providing a modular two-line telephony platform delivering high-quality voice over standard analog phones, and a pair of new voice codecs claiming improved performance at lower bit rates. ( www.broadcom.com )

BroadQ and Advent Networks jointly announced a system that can deliver video-on-demand from cable company facilities to TVs linked thru Sony PlayStation 2 consoles. Advent Networks’ Ultraband System links the cable head-end and the customer premises. It provides 5 Mbps of bandwidth and can support multiple data streams, including MPEG4, MPEG2, DiVX and MP3. BroadQ’s QCast Tuner software is installed on the PlayStation 2 at the customer home and displays the content. ( www.broadq.com ) ( www.adventnetworks.com )

Cometa Networks, a new company formed by Intel Capital, IBM, AT&T, and global investment companies Apax and 3i, will deploy Wi-Fi based broadband wireless access service in “hot spots” throughout the top 50 U.S. metropolitan areas. Cometa will sell services through telcos, ISPs, cable companies, wireless carriers and other Internet retailers. See the "Wireless" article below. ( www.cometanetworks.com )

Conexant and Jungo jointly announced introduction of their CableHome-based HomePlug reference design for home gateways. ( www.conexant.com ) ( www.jungo.com )

ContentGuard, which has a large portfolio of Digital Rights Management (DRM) related technologies, has licenced its DRM intellectual property to Sony for the development, manufacturing and marketing of Sony products and services. ( www.contentguard.com ) ( www.sony.com )

Hughes Electronics Corporation announced that their DIRECTV Broadband subsidiary, which provides broadband via DSL, is closing its high-speed Internet service business. The decision does not affect their DIRECWAY broadband-by-satellite service. ( www.hns.com )

Liberty Cablevision has launched phase 2 of its VoCable trial in Puerto Rico, extending service to 4,000 video subscribers. Liberty is outsourcing the VoIP service to Net2Phone. The service includes call waiting, Caller ID, directory assistance, and support for CALEA. ( www.libertycablevision.com ) ( www.net2phone.com )

N2 Broadband has announced Xport, which will allow cable operators to prepare and manage local content – such as local sports, news and events – within existing VOD (video on demand) systems. Xport is currently being trialed in three divisions of a major MSO and will be commercially available in the first quarter of 2003. ( www.n2broadband.com )

National Semiconductor announced that Samsung Electronics has chosen its Geode processor technology for Samsung's first Internet Protocol (IP) digital set-top boxes (STB). It will be launched in Japan for an interactive TV service, known as BB Cable TV, by Softbank Broadmedia Corp. ( www.national.com ) ( www.samsung.com ) ( www.softbank.co.jp )

Navini Networks nomadic wireless broadband technology is being deployed by YourInter.Net, a regional ISP in Indiana, Pennsylvania, following a successful technology trial of the 2.4 GHz system. This is one of the first commercial deployments of Navini's non-line-of-sight, "zero-install" wireless broadband network. Separately, Navini and Pronto Networks have announced a partnership for providing solutions for service providers wishing to deploy numerous hot spots in large coverage areas, creating "hot zones." ( www.navini.com ) ( www.yourinter.net ) ( www.prontonetworks.com )

Net2Phone announced full interoperable support of ARRIS head end and residential cable equipment for its hosted VoIP solution. Net2Phone is positioning itself as an integrator with the ability to leverage MSO's installed IP infrastructure and operate other key network elements including Net2Phone's network monitoring, billing and operations support systems. ( www.net2phone.com )

Nielsen Media Research, provider of TV audience measurement services and Ucentric Systems, provider of multi-TV PVR applications, announced an agreement to create television audience measurement software that will track usage of personal video recorders on multiple television sets. Nielsen software, integrated into the Ucentric system, will enable Nielsen to collect tuning, recording and playback information from every TV set connected to the Ucentric system. ( www.nielsenmedia.com ) ( www.ucentric.com )

Phonex Broadband has reduced the price for their NeverWire 14 home network device to US$99. As prices of powerline networking devices drop, the market is expected to expand. ( www.phonex.com )

Pioneer Electronics announced their Wireless Gateway Modem which combines a DOCSIS 1.1 cable modem, a router-gateway with four-port Ethernet switch, and an 802.11b wireless base station. They are part of a growing segment which combines multiple functions in a single device. ( www.pioneerelectronics.com )

RealNetworks and Starz Encore Group will launch Starz On Demand, a broadband-based online subscription video on-demand (SVOD) movie service featuring new hit movies. The service, to be available in spring 2003, is offered through the RealOne subscription platform and will offer the same movie titles available via the traditional Starz On Demand digital cable service. ( www.real.com ) ( www.starzsuperpak.com )

Sanyo and Magis Networks will hold the first US demonstration of a prototype Sanyo wireless television system at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January. The demo will show a Sanyo-designed wireless television access point and remote terminal transmitting and receiving video at up to 30 Mbps. ( www.sanyo.co.jp ) ( www.magisnetworks.com )

SBC Communications is dropping its regional brand names in favor of a single national brand, SBC. SBC will no longer market its services under the names of SBC Southwestern Bell, SBC Pacific Bell and SBC Nevada Bell. ( www.sbc.com )

SnowShore and Openwave Systems are collaborating to enable SnowShore’s media servers to power Openwave’s voice messaging software. The collaboration will allow broadband service providers to deliver new messaging services. ( www.SnowShore.com ) ( www.openwave.com )

SONICblue introduced a Networked DVD player. In addition to standard DVD playback, the unit brings pictures, music and video clips stored on your computer onto your TV. The player can stream MPEG2 video files through a wireless network from a computer to a consumer electronics component. The D2730 works with either a PCMCIA Ethernet Adapter or an optional PCMCIA 802.11b Wireless Network Card and can stream MPEG1 and MPEG2 video files at bitrates up to 3 Mbps. ( www.sonicblue.com )

Sony has released its Passage technology which allows cable operators to use equipment from different suppliers on legacy digital CATV networks. It allows operators to introduce alternative conditional access systems, innovative set-top boxes and headend equipment from multiple manufacturers. ( www.sonypassage.com )

Telecom Italia and Intel have teamed to launch an Intel Pentium 4 PC with pre-installed ADSL modem, providing a ready-to-use PC pre-configured for high-speed Internet access. ( www.telecomitalia.it ) ( www.intel.com )

--Standards

The MPEG-4 Audio Licencing Committee has selected Via Licencing Corporation as Licencing Administrator for the MPEG-4 Audio patent pool. The objective is to provide one-stop access to patents from multiple parties that are necessary for MPEG-4 Audio under fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory conditions. ( www.m4if.org )

--Reports

The Q3 report from Point-Topic indicates that the number of digital subscriber lines (DSL) worldwide grew over the quarter by nearly 20% to 30.6 million. Point-Topic notes that the Asia-Pacific region still claims the greatest number of DSL lines with 12.28 million as of Q3. South Korea has the largest number of DSL subscribers, with 6.1 million lines. They also report that China is now fifth in number of DSL lines and growing faster than any other major country. The top 10 countries in terms of total DSL lines are: S.Korea, US, Japan, Germany, China, Taiwan, Canada, France, Spain, Italy. However, in terms of the top 10 countries in DSL lines per 100 population, Hong Kong, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium and Singapore are part of the list. ( www.point-topic.com/analysis )

--Briefly Noted

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) is funding a $900,000 study examining the impact of next-generation high-speed Internet on urban and rural communities. The project will examine Alberta's $295 million SuperNet broadband network as a model for how advanced high-speed Internet connectivity can help communities remove the barriers of distance for the delivery of both commercial content and essential health, education and emergency services. The project will examine such questions as "whether increased on-line opportunities allow more young people to pursue postsecondary education without leaving their rural communities, and whether improved access to the Internet sparks new business opportunities in small towns." ( www.sshrc.ca )

The DSL Forum held its Summit meeting in San Francisco, December 10-12, 2002. At the meeting, Forum President Bill Rodey announced the latest global broadband DSL deployment figures from the third quarter, provided by Point Topic. The next DSL Forum meetings are scheduled for February 10-13 in Dallas, Texas and May 5-8, in Lisbon, Portugal. ( www.dslforum.org )