BBH Report Home Page
March 17, 2003 Provided by System Dynamics Inc.

Heard on the Net

News about People and Companies Influencing The Broadband Home


People News

Craig Dynes has been named CEO of Narad Networks and Chuck Kaplan has become COO. ( www.naradnetworks.com )

Charles Reed was appointed CEO of CKW Wireless Pty Ltd. He was previously VP of of Telecom Venture Group Limited. ( www.arraycomm.com )

David Sales was appointed director of Home Communications for BT Consumer. ( www.bt.com )


Company News

--Acquisitions

Arris has acquired Atoga Systems for $500,000 in cash, plus assumption of certain lease obligations. Atoga has assets in metro optical transport. ( www.arrisi.com ) ( www.atoga.com )

C III Communications has purchased the broadband assets of Broadwing Inc. for $129 million in cash. The unit will continue to operate as Broadwing Communications Services Inc. and C III will retain the current employees. ( www.broadwing.com )

UTStarcom, Inc. is acquiring selected assets of 3Com's CommWorks division in a transaction valued at $100 million in cash. ( www.utstar.com ) ( www.3com.com ) ( www.commworks.com )

--Funding

Cedar Point Communications, a provider of integrated packet-based voice and multimedia switching for the cable industry, secured $25 million in second round financing. ( www.cedarpointcom.com )

Cognio, a provider of cognitive radio solutions, obtained $12.5 million in venture capital backing in its latest funding round. ( www.cognio.com )

Intel Communications Fund announced investments in four companies involved in Wi-Fi technology since the beginning of 2003: rovingIP.net, an inter-network services provider for Wi-Fi service companies; Vivato, a provider of Wi-Fi switches based on Packet Steering technology; Broadreach Networks Limited, a public broadband Internet access provider, and Pronto Networks, a provider of OSS solutions for large hot spot networks. Financial terms of the investments were not disclosed. ( www.intel.com/capital ) ( www.rovingIP.net ) ( www.vivato.net ) ( www.broadreachnet.com ) ( www.prontonetworks.com )

RealNetworks has made an unspecified minority investment in Listen.com. Press coverage indicated that the deal specifies that Real's digital media technology will be the primary platform for Listen's Rhapsody service. ( www.realnetworks.com ) ( www.listen.com )

--Other News

Amperion unveiled both the Amperion Connect Powerline system and PowerWiFi access. The Amperion Connect system offers a suite of hardware and software products that enable broadband access, backhaul, and internal utility services. PowerWiFi access links the power line network to end users via an 802.11b connection. Amperion focuses on medium-voltage power lines. AEP, a large US electric utility and one of Amperion's investors, is one of three utilities performing market trials with Amperion's technology. ( www.amperion.com )

AOL announced the launch of the MusicNet on AOL service which includes music from all five major record labels and major independents; the service includes a 30-day free trial and tiered pricing. AOL is using technology from Sonic Solutions to enable CD-burning. ( www.aoltimewarner.com ) ( www.sonic.com )

BT disclosed its move into the home networking market with the launch of a new concept called the Home of Possibilities at London's Ideal Home Show, backed by a multi-million pound advertising campaign. BT also launched a Home Monitoring service; a "no new wires" Home Networking solution; a Digital Media Player which allows you to listen to streamed audio from your PC anywhere in the house; and a partnership with Microsoft to launch Xbox Live. ( www.bt.com/homenetworking )

Broadcom announced that products based on the 54g™ wireless LAN chipset have achieved Wi-Fi® certification for 802.11b interoperability. ( www.broadcom.com )

Chameleon Technology has revealed their software which allows laptop users to roam from one network to another securely and with limited data interruptions. Chameleon's CEO is Ken Arneson, formerly CEO of Xypoint and an executive at McCaw Cellular and AT&T Wireless. ( www.chameleontechnology.com )

Cometa Networks Inc. announced a deal with iPass so that its hotspots will be part of the iPass Global Broadband Roaming (GBR) service for enterprise users. Cometa plans to begin rolling out its WiFi network in "top" U.S. urban areas during the fourth quarter of 2003. In other news, McDonald's and Cometa announced a pilot program to provide high-speed, broadband Internet access for customers who visit participating McDonald's locations in New York City. During the first three months, customers who purchase an Extra Value Meal(TM) can log on for 60 free minutes of high-speed, wireless Internet access. ( www.cometanetworks.com ) ( www.ipass.com ) ( www.mcdonalds.com )

Etenna Corporation -- an antenna developer for commercial wireless applications -- and Intel are collaborating to create an antenna solution for high performance wireless-enabled notebook computers. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and original design manufacturers (ODMs) can use this reference design to directly address co-existence and incorporate 802.11a/b and Bluetooth™ antennas into their future products. ( www.etenna.com ) ( www.intel.com )

Ikanos Communications demonstrated ADSL Discrete Multi-Tone (ADSL- DMT) traffic from a combined ADSL/VDSL chipset at Toronto's FS-VDSL meeting. The technology is targeted at saving carriers money by creating a single line card that can switch between ADSL and VDSL. ( www.ikanos.com )

Intel introduced Intel Centrino mobile technology which integrates wireless capability into new mobile PCs. Intel is using the Centrino label to encompass their new mobile processor, related chipsets and 802.11 wireless network functions; the technology includes features designed to enable extended battery life and thinner, lighter notebook designs. Intel has blitzed the market with numerous announcements related to mobility and wireless, with PC makers, wireless network service providers, hotels, airports, retail and restaurant chains.( www.intel.com )

N2 Broadband announced what they term an "open" video on demand (VOD) platform for cable operators. Their platform uses published interface specifications, called "OpenStream" which offers the ability to interchange multiple video streaming servers and applications. The system supports both S-A and Motorola digital systems and video streaming servers from vendors like Broadbus, Concurrent, Kasenna, nCUBE and SeaChange. ( www.n2broadband.com )

Narad Networks announced its first cable field trial with Japan-based MSO StarCat Cable Network. Synclayer is Narad's distribution partner in Japan. StarCat will use Narad's business broadband solution to deliver services such as high-speed Internet access and 30 Mbps video streams to customers over StarCat's existing HFC network. StarCat has a subscriber base of 288,000 with 26,000 subscribers connected to the Internet and 610,000 homes passed. Following the field trial, the deployment is expected to expand to small-to-medium sized businesses in Nagoya this spring. ( www.naradnetworks.com ) ( www.starcat.co.jp/english ) ( www.synclayer.co.jp )

Optical Solutions has formed the Muni Consortium, a group of telecommunications companies and consultants dedicated to helping municipalities and utilities deploy broadband networks via passive optical networking (PON) technology. ( www.opticalsolutions.com ) ( www.municonsortium.com )

Optus has launched Australian hotspot service, called Optus Wireless Connect, and announced plans for 500 hotpots nationally within 12 to 18 months. Telstra also has plans to expand the wireless hotspot network it bought from SkyNetGlobal, targeting food and beverage outlets. Telstra has signed up McDonald's for its upcoming services. ( www.optus.net ) ( www.telstra.com.au )

T-Mobile has cut the price for its Unlimited National hotspot plan from $49.99 per month to $29.99 per month with a one-year subscription. Despite the high profile coverage of Wi-Fi, business model pressures also forced the closing of Joltage's operations. ( www.t-mobile.com/hotspot ) ( www.joltage.com )

Tele-Media, a US MSO with more than 250,000 video subs in nine states, will use Gemini Voice Solutions' IP telephony solution to offer VoCable services to its customers. Tele-Media's private branded service will offer customers anywhere flat fee calling and options for CLASS features and multiple lines. ( www.tele-media.com ) ( www.geminivoice.com )

Toshiba of Canada Information Systems Group (ISG) launched Toshiba Hotspots, bringing wireless Internet access to retail and public locations across Canada. Toshiba plans to have more than 1000 Toshiba Hotspot locations operational across Canada within the year. In the US, Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. announced plans to join with Accenture Ltd. to offer hotspot services throughout North America. Toshiba is providing hardware to potential operators, while Accenture will handle support functions. ( www.hotspot.toshiba.com ) ( www.accenture.com )

TeleSym released its SymPhone Client software for Microsoft Windows-equipped computers. This addition brings voice calling to users of Windows notebook, tablet and desktop personal computers, using wireless (802.11) data networks and across the Internet. The SymPhone System extends the functions of the office telephone to any location with Wi-Fi and broadband Internet connectivity, without paying cellular airtime charges. Intel is an investor in this Wi-Fi related company. ( www.telesym.com )

Ucentric has been awarded a patent pertaining to the distribution of media from multiple sources outside the home and across any number of in-home networks. It also pertains to the processing, distribution and control of the media for presentation on any number of in-home devices, such as televisions, stereos, telephones, computers, etc., in a manner appropriate for each device. ( www.ucentric.com )

Vivato rolled out its 802.11b product for indoor networks, and will add an outdoor network product later this year and 802.11a and .11g products after that. The company integrates phased array antenna technology for increased range and reduced interference. Vivato is targeting the enterprise market. ( www.vivato.net )

--Standards, Certifications and Interoperability

The DSL Forum held a successful multi-vendor interoperability "plugfest" for the new ADSL2 physical layer. It tested silicon from seven different vendors: Analog Devices Inc., Aware Inc., Broadcom Corp., Centillium Communications Inc., Infineon Technologies AG, Samsung Electronics and Texas Instruments. ( www.dslforum.com )

The HomePlug Powerline Alliance announced the availability of its market requirements document (MRD) for the HomePlug AV specification. HomePlug AV will be designed to support distribution of data and multi-stream entertainment throughout the home, including High Definition television (HDTV) and Standard Definition television (SDTV). Completion of the AV specification is expected in 15 to 20 months, with integrated circuits and consumer products available thereafter. ( www.homeplug.org )

The SIP Forum, an organization established to promote SIP technology and its interworking, has launched a web site to provide up-to-date information about SIP and its applications. ( www.sipforum.org )

The Wi-Fi Alliance announced plans for Wi-Fi certification of products based on the IEEE 802.11g amendment to the IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN standard. Wi-Fi certification testing of IEEE 802.11g products will begin after the IEEE approves the final standard later this year. The IEEE 802.11g draft amendment currently includes both mandatory and optional components. A new line indicating support for 54 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz band will be added to the capabilities label. ( www.wi-fi.org )


Briefly Noted

Arbitron Inc. and Edison Media Research released their new study, entitled "Internet and Multimedia 10: The Emerging Digital Consumer." The research covers not only Internet usage and streaming media trends, but also information regarding consumer interest in new digital devices, attitudes about programming and a variety of media, including digital cable and satellite television. ( www.arbitron.com ) ( www.edisonresearch.com )

CableLabs staff must be smiling this month at the great PR about the broadband industry and their key role in making cable successful. The Wall Street Journal ran a headline story (03/13/03) on "How Phone Firms Lost to Cable In Consumer Broadband Battle". It started by saying about the telcos: "Content to rent dial-up lines, they dawdled on DSL, then ran into glitches." Dave Burstein of DSL Prime writes "Why is DSL behind cable in North America, while racing ahead everywhere else? One reason is CableLabs, which solves problems like this. When the telcos stopped funding Bellcore, they compromised their future." ( www.cablelabs.com )

Cox Communications has published a white paper outlining its strategy and thinking around Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. The paper concludes that, while VoIP is potentially very attractive, "apples-to-apples" comparisons of VoIP services with primary-line, circuit-switched, network-powered phone services show that VoIP provides only an 8-to-10 percent cost improvement. VoIP would be much more attractive if the MTA is customer purchased and premises powered, unlike today's primary-line services. ( www.cox.com/pressroom )

Leichtman Research Group, Inc. issued a summary of its findings regarding digital cable, from a survey of 1,250 US households in areas where cable TV is available. It concludes that the number of digital cable subscribers will exceed Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) subscribers in the U.S. during the first quarter of 2003. ( www.leichtmanresearch.com )

Raymond James' analyst Phil Leigh has issued a 150 page research report on the future of Digital Media. Copies can be obtained at ( 170.12.99.3/researchpdf/IDIG021003FULLRPT.PDF )

The World's Smallest Film Festival is having a session at CTIA Wireless 2003, but if you're not attending and want to see their showcase of digital video content designed specifically for the new generation of wireless mobile phones, PDAs, and other personal mobile devices, visit ( stonegate.lunarpages.com/wsff/agenda.html )