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The January 21, 2003 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

Mitch Auster has become Director of Cable Product Marketing at Internet Photonics. The company also appointed Peter Dale as VP of its cable business unit. Peter was previously with Narad Networks. ( www.internetphotonics.com )

Margaret A. "Maggie" Bellville has been named EVP and COO of Charter Communicatiaons. ( www.charter.com )

Steve Bucholz and Mike Kropf have joined ICTV as vice presidents of sales, and will be responsible for securing field deployments of HeadendWare with cable system operators in the United States and Canada. ( www.ictv.com )

Kevin Mardesich has joined Bob Gold & Associates. Kevin was previously at Fox Cable Networks. ( www.bobgoldpr.com )

Corey Walker has joined Broadband Services, Inc., as Director of MapVantage GIS Operations. He was previously with AM Broadband Services, Inc. ( www.broadbandsvc.com )

Wray West has been named VP, Systems Engineering, at Cedar Point Communications. He was the Founder of Indus River Networks. ( www.cedarpointcom.com )


Company News

--Acquisitions

Freedomland Internet Television Network SpA, will pay €170 million to buy Italy's telecommunications infrastructure maker Tecnosistemi SpA. ( www.freedomland.net/ita ) ( www.tecnosistemi.com )

Hanaro, South Korea's second largest broadband service provider, is acquiring 72 percent of Thrunet Co. The total cost of the deal is about $106 million. ( www.hanaro.com/english ) ( english.thrunet.com/ )

Home Director has become a public company, due to transactions completing Netword's acquisition of the company. Home Director's existing Chairman and CEO, Don Witmer, and its President and COO, Robert Wise, have the same positions at the public company. ( www.homedirector.com )

Motorola, Inc. announced that it intends to make a tender offer for the outstanding publicly held shares of its subsidiary, Next Level Communications, Inc. Motorola currently owns 74% of the stock. Acquiring the balance will cost approximately $30 million. ( www.motorola.com ) ( www.nextlevel.com )

Pinnacle Systems has acquired Hamburg-based Steinberg Media Technologies AG, paying €23 million for the acquisition. ( www.pinnaclesys.com ) ( www.steinberg-ag.net )

USA Broadband has purchased the interests and operations of Las Americas Broadband Inc. in Cable California SA de CV, a Mexican cable operator in the Northern Baja California region of Mexico.

Verso Technologies is acquiring the assets of Clarent, a VoIP supplier, for $9.8 million. ( www.verso.com ) ( www.clarent.com )

--Funding

ArrayComm's Australian subsidiary CKW Wireless has received AUD 14 million ($7.9 million) from Mitsubishi and e-millennium Asia for the pre-commercial rollout in Australia. ( www.arraycomm.com )

Ellacoya Networks has closed a new $14 million round of venture capital funding from Atlas Venture and Flagship Ventures as well as previous investors. ( www.ellacoya.com )

Intel Communications Fund is investing an undisclosed portion of the $150 million targeted for Wi-Fi technology companies on STSN and TeleSym. ( www.intel.com )

  • STSN provides wired and wireless high-speed data communications to hotels and conference centers. The investment will help finance the expansion of STSN’s hotspots at 400 hotel properties in the US, UK and Germany including select Marriott-associated hotels. ( www.stsn.com )
  • TeleSym develops software for laptops and PDAs that enables voice calls over wireless LANs, the Internet and enterprise networks. Their software turns a PDA into a phone. ( www.telesym.com )

NetMotion Wireless has raised another $6 million to close its Series B round with $10.8 million. The company's NetMotion Mobility Software permits secure connection to wireless networks and seamless movement across coverage gaps from wireless devices such as PDAs and laptops. ( www.netmotionwireless.com )

Occam Networks Inc. has sold approximately $11 million of Series A Preferred Stock at a price per share of $7.50 in a private placement. ( www.occamnetworks.com )

SiGe Semiconductor, a supplier of analog integrated circuits for wireless access, cable telephony and high-speed optical systems, has raised $42.8 million in Series B funding. ( www.sige.com )

Unique Broadband Systems has acquired 20 per cent of Look Communications which provides digital TV and high-speed Internet using wireless technologies, for $2.35 million. ( www.uniquesys.com ) ( www.look.ca )

WildBlue Communications announced an investment of $156 million by Liberty Satellite & Technology, Inc., Intelsat, NRTC, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and David Drucker. They expect the investment to close in the second quarter of 2003. WildBlue will offer two-way wireless broadband services via satellite beginning in 2004. ( www.wildblue.com )

--Other News

ArrayComm, Inc. and LG Electronics signed an agreement for LGE to license ArrayComm's i-BURST Personal Broadband System. LG, a Korean electronics leader, will manufacture and distribute base stations and wireless modems, with commercial product availability expected in the second half of this year. ( www.arraycomm.com ) ( www.lgeus.com )

InnoMedia, a supplier of Internet and broadband access IP telephony solutions, introduced InfoTalk 7, a standalone Internet appliance that works over the Internet without a personal computer; it allows users to place Internet calls to any regular or cell phone using InnoSphere™, InnoMedia's Global IP Telecommunications network. In separate news, InnoMedia and Cirpack, a vendor of next-generation public telephony switches for telecom operators, announced successful completion of interoperability testing between InnoMedia's VoIP CPEs and Cirpack's Class-5 Local Exchange Switch; this architecture enables operators to provide legacy TDM voice services and next-generation IP telephony from the same voice switching platform. ( www.innomedia.com ) ( www.cirpack.com )

Korea Thrunet Co., Ltd. will launch "On-TV", a service allowing their broadband Internet subscribers to view a variety of high-density multimedia content from the Internet on their TV screens rather than PC monitors. The service will start in February 2003. Either wired or wireless devices will connect between the PC and TV. ( www.thrunet.com )

Listen.com announced it is working with leading consumer electronics companies, such as Motorola and Thomson's RCA brand, to bring its RHAPSODY music subscription service to the stereo. The company recently joined the UPnP Forum and intends to make RHAPSODY compatible with all new UPnP-compliant devices coming to market in 2003. The music will be carried from the PC to the stereo over such home networking technologies as Wi-Fi, ethernet and powerline networking. ( www.listen.com ) ( www.motorola.com ) ( www.rca.com ) ( www.upnp.org )

Mediabolic, Inc. and Texas Instruments announced a complete set of silicon and software solutions for building a variety of connected entertainment products for the consumer electronics market, including DVD players, audio/video receivers, televisions, media servers, and other networked devices. Separately, Mediabolic announced that it would incorporate support for UPnP technologies and pursue UPnP compliance testing for its Mediabolic ONE platform - a middleware solution optimized for embedded digital entertainment devices. ( www.mediabolic.com ) ( www.ti.com )

Motorola, Inc., Xtratyme Technologies, Inc. and NCSC (National Cooperative Services Corporation) have announced a cooperative relationship to work together to provide the resources needed to enable communities across the world to build broadband wireless networks where broadband access is currently unavailable. ( www.motorola.com/canopy ) ( www.xtratyme.com ) ( www.ncscmn.org )

Motorola, Avaya and Proxim announced a collaboration to create and deploy converged cellular, wireless LAN and Internet Protocol telephony products including a Wi-Fi/cellular dual-system phone from Motorola, session initiation protocol (SIP)-enabled IP telephony software from Avaya and voice-enabled wireless LAN infrastructure from Proxim. ( www.motorola.com ) ( www.avaya.com ) ( www.proxim.com )

NTL Incorporated announced that its financial recapitalization plan has been successfully completed and it has emerged from Chapter 11 proceedings in the US. ( www.ntl.com )

The Rural Broadband Coalition(RBC) is a newly formed US association of government organizations, telecommunication companies/utilities, for-profit utilities, rural electric cooperatives, municipalities, public utility districts, technology companies and associations, ISPs, and others, dedicated to supporting the deployment of broadband Internet access to rural America. ( www.ruralbroadbandcoalition.net )

Wanadoo, a subsidiary of France Telecom, announced that it had reached 1 million broadband customers in France by the end of 2002 and almost 1.4 million total ADSL and cable subscribers across Europe. Broadband subscribers now represent 16 per cent of the Wanadoo customer base, up from 9 per cent at end December 2001. ( www.wanadoo.com )

Wavexpress, a unit of Wave Systems, has launched a broadband video news service in association with the Associated Press. It allows AP video clips to be available to Wavexpress' TVTonic subscribers. Wavexpress enables secure delivery of games, movies and video to the PC. A basic subscription costs $1.95 a month for TVTonic's five basic channels. ( www.wave.com ) ( www.tvtonic.com )

XtremeSpectrum, a provider of ultra-wideband chipsets, demonstrated their technology at the Consumer Electronics Show, by wirelessly streaming multiple HDTV streams to two separate large screen displays. ( www.xtremespectrum.com )

--Standards, Certifications and Interoperability

CableLabs made several announcements after completion of certification wave 24 ( www.cablelabs.com ):

  • DOCSIS 2.0 status was awarded to five companies: certification for modems from Motorola, Scientific-Atlanta, Terayon, Texas Instruments and Xrosstech and qualification for the CMTS from Terayon.
  • CableHome 1.0 certification was given to residential gateways from LinkSys and NETGEAR.
  • PacketCable stamp of approval went to multimedia terminal adapters (MTAs) from Arris and Toshiba, and CMTSs from Cisco and Terayon.

tComLabs and the EuroDOCSIS Certification Board (ECB) finished certification waves 9 and 9B, announcing that more cable modems and CMTSs were given certification and qualification respectively for EuroDOCSIS 1.0 and 1.1. ( www.tcomlabs.com )

The ITU-T (International Telecommunications Union – Telecommunication Sector) has announced the approval of a standard, now known as Recommendation J.122, defining the second-generation data over cable system, also known as DOCSIS 2.0. ( www.itu.int/home/ )

US: Major consumer electronics and US cable companies reached agreement on digital TV transition issues in a MOU agreed to by 14 consumer electronics companies, representing the majority of HDTV sales in the United States, and seven major cable operators, representing more than 75 percent of all cable subscribers. The joint recommendations include a set of technical standards for cable systems and “cable-ready” DTV products; a proposed regulatory framework for support of digital TV receivers, digital recorders with secure interfaces and other devices on cable systems; a draft security technology license to ensure that high-value content can be transferred securely in the home network by consumers; and “encoding rules” to resolve pending copyright-based concerns about home recording and viewing. The parties also agreed to begin working together immediately on standards for future interactive digital cable TV products. ( www.ce.org ) ( www.ncta.com )


Briefly Noted

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (Panasonic) and Sony Corporation announced their agreement to work in partnership on the development of an enhanced Linux platform for digital home electronic devices. They say the operating system will be used in products such as televisions, DVDs and microwave ovens. Will we need Ctrl-Alt-Delete to defrost a bagel? ( www.panasonic.co.jp/global ) ( www.sony.net ) ( www.linuxdevices.com )

After trying to help Dave's brother hook up some simple video equipment, a friend pointed us to this article by Don Norman about "The Perils of Home Theater": ( www.jnd.org/dn.mss/ProblemsOfHomeTheater.html )

Nielsen/NetRatings says US residential broadband users grew 59% in 2002, while dial-up dropped 10% in December. The fastest growing broadband audience was the over-50 age group. See ( www.nielsen-netratings.com/pr/pr_030115.pdf )

At last month's Broadband Plus, Broadcom demonstrated an in-home video distribution network using the 802.11g protocol to distribute digital video running at 2.4 GHz over coaxial cable, while simultaneously running analog video over the same line. Broadcom says this would pave the way for a unified wired and wireless home networking solution standard, dramatically simplifying the networking challenge presented by multiple standards within the home. ( www.broadcom.com )