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The May 14, 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

Ian Aaron has been named President of Gemstar-TV Guide International's TV Guide Television Group, a new division which handles the company's TV Guide-branded business in the cable and satellite sectors. He was previously President and CEO at TVN Entertainment. ( www.gemstartvguide.com )

Gennadiy Borisov has been appointed Senior Director of Advanced Products at MTV Networks. ( www.mtv.com )

Kevin Conroy was promoted to the new position of EVP and COO of AOL for Broadband; he was previously SVP and GM of AOL Entertainment. ( www.aoltimewarner.com )

Peter Kempf has been named president of the HomePlug Powerline Alliance, Inc. as part of the organization's new roster of officers. Kempf is VP of Marketing for wireless data and networking at Conexant. ( www.homeplug.org ) ( www.conexant.com )

George F. Palmer has joined Bermai as VP of operations and manufacturing for the wireless 802.11x chipset company. Palmer was previously at National Semiconductor. ( www.bermai.com )

Robert (Bob) Rickwood was named GM of RADVISION's Networking Business in EMEA. He was previously at Polycom. ( www.radvision.com )

Robert Selzler has joined two partners and launched 3P Marketing Group. Selzler was previously with InnoMedia. ( www.3PMarketing.com )

Thomas Short, previously with Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, was appointed VP of Operations at WiFiLand. Timothy Ural, previously with salesforce.com, was appointed VP of Technology. ( www.WiFiLand.net )

Walt Thirion was named interim CEO of Bandspeed. ( www.bandspeed.com )

Martin Yudkovitz has been named president of TiVo Inc. Yudkovitz had been Executive Vice President at NBC. ( www.tivo.com )


Company News

--Acquisitions

GoldPocket Interactive, a provider of two-way interactive television (iTV) technologies has acquired WatchPoint Media, marking GoldPocket's entry into the European iTV market. Financial terms were not disclosed. ( www.goldpocket.com ) ( www.watchpointmedia.com )

RealNetworks is acquiring Listen.com, in a transaction valued at approximately $36 million. RealNetworks already owns RealOne™ SuperPass and also holds a 40 percent share in MusicNet, a wholesale supplier of licensed music to online services. ( www.realnetworks.com ) ( www.listen.com )

Tekelec and Santera Systems, Inc. agreed to combine their next-generation switching businesses. The business will be a majority-owned subsidiary of Tekelec. Tekelec will contribute $28 million in cash and its existing packet telephony business. Santera's current investors will contribute its assets and an additional $12 million in cash. ( www.tekelec.com ) ( www.santera.com )

--Funding

Airgo, developer of wireless LAN technology, announced closing its $20 million Series C financing round. ( www.airgonetworks.com )

Dilithium Networks, a provider of wireless multimedia solutions including voice and video transcoding gateways, has closed $10M in Series B funding. ( www.dilithiumnetworks.com )

Jedai Broadband Networks has raised $10 million in series B financing. ( www.jedai.com )

Redline Communications Inc., a provider of broadband fixed wireless equipment has completed a $10 million financing with some of its existing investors. ( www.redlinecommunications.com )

SkyStream Networks, a provider of advanced video networking solutions, has secured U.S. $25 million in private funding. ( www.skystream.com )

WildBlue Communications announced that Liberty Satellite & Technology, Inc. (LSAT), Intelsat, National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC), Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and @Contact LLC have invested $156 million in the company. ( www.wildblue.com )

--Other News

Advent Networks announced the Ultraband™ UAR 220 Access Router, a customer premises device that supports both Advent's Ultraband dedicated bandwidth operations and DOCSIS shared bandwidth operations. Advent says this would permit cable operators to offer service packages combining shared bandwidth for applications like Web browsing and dedicated bandwidth for applications like videoconferencing. ( www.advent.net )

Apple introduced its iTunes Music Store online music service. Users can listen to a 30-second preview of songs in its catalog; they can purchase individual songs for 99 cents and full albums for $8 to $13. Music Store works only on Apple's computers, although a Windows-version is expected by year-end. Billboard Bulletin reports the service sold more than 1 million downloads in its first week. ( www.apple.com/itunes ) ( www.billboardbulletin.com )

Atheros Communications announced availability of “Super G” and “Super A/G” capabilities that deliver up to 90Mbps TCP/IP throughput for 802.11a/g and 802.11g Wireless LANs. These capabilities include a new 108Mbps data rate design for 11g and 11a, real-time hardware data compression, standards-compliant bursting support, and dynamic transmit and modulation optimizations. The capabilities are backward compatible with conventional 11b, 11g, and 11a products. The actual throughput rate depends upon the compressibility of the data. ( www.atheros.com )

Bulldog in Britain joined the trend toward tiered broadband services by launching two new residential high-speed services. AllTime 1000 provides ADSL broadband at 1Mbps downstream and 256kbps upstream for £35.24 per month and AllTime 2000 provides 2Mbps downstream and 256kbps upstream for £52.86 per month. They also offer AllTime 500 ADSL broadband service at £23.48 per month. DSL modems and one time connection fees are not included. ( www.bulldogdsl.com/residential/products/AllTime )

Cedar Point Communications, Inc., announced the new release of SAFARI C³, which integrates all of the functions for carrier class cable telephony, includes support of CALEA, E911 and Operator Interrupt, and delivers to service providers a full set of call features. Cedar Point has received a purchase order from Comcast for a unit to be used in trial deployments. ( www.cedarpointcom.com ) ( www.comcast.com )

Coaxsys, Inc. a new provider of home networking systems via cable TV-style coax wiring announced the company and development of Pure Speed - a coax-based solution for creating "a ‘connected home’ with 100 mb/sec Ethernet performance, without the need for complex wire installation." ( www.coaxsys.com )

The HomePlug Powerline Alliance announced an RFP for the HomePlug AV specification. When finalized, the specification will enable connection between various PC and home entertainment devices, including high-definition satellite and cable set top boxes, PVRs and flat panel monitors. It will be backward compatible with HomePlug 1.0. Technology selection is due in October. ( www.homeplug.org )

Jungo and Samsung introduced an integrated software and silicon reference design providing CPE manufacturers with a production-ready infrastructure to speed up development of broadband gateways, routers and DSL modems. The design is based on Samsung's ARM processor and Jungo's OpenRG software. ( www.jungo.com ) ( www.usa.samsungsemi.com )

Lemur Networks announced availability of its i-Fabric™ Firmware Manager (FM) for cable system operators. The FM allows MSOs to track installed cable modems and remotely effect real-time upgrades of their capabilities (e.g., from DOCSIS 1.0 to DOCSIS 1.1). ( www.lemurnetworks.com )

Mediabolic, a provider of networked entertainment middleware, has signed an agreement with Fujitsu Limited to incorporate Mediabolic's M1 Platform into entertainment-focused Fujitsu products. ( www.mediabolic.com ) ( www.fujitsu.com )

Microsoft announced Music Mixer at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). It will let users send digital music and photos on their PCs to their Xboxes, which can then project a slide show on a TV and play music with Windows Media 9 digital music playback software. It also can strip vocals from any song so that people can sing along to a music track, making it a karaoke machine. Analysts have predicted Microsoft would expand Xbox from a game console into a media hub and this is a step in that direction. ( www.microsoft.com ) ( www.xbox.com/musicmixer )

Motorola Broadband Communications Sector introduced an enhancement to their DCT6000 digital set-top series which integrates both high-definition television and digital video recording capabilities. Comcast has made a multi-year digital cable agreement with Motorola including two set-tops from the DCT6000 family. ( www.motorola.com/broadband ) ( www.comcast.com )

Movielink, the IP-based service formed by five major Hollywood studios, signed a deal with Hollywood.com to offer a co-branded broadband film download service. New movie releases cost $4.99, and older releases cost $2.95 per download. To watch movie previews, trailers, and clips, you need a minimum connection speed of 300 kbps. Once downloaded, users have 30 days to play the movie, which they can watch as many times as they would like within 24 hours. ( www.movielink.com ) ( www.hollywood.com )

Phonex Broadband announced the TimeSlot Quality of Service (QoS) feature for the ReadyWire Powerline Home Communications Chip. It provides the ability to control up to 15 applications with independent prioritization and control. Intended uses include connecting various devices in the home with streaming audio, Internet video and home automation control. ( www.phonex.com )

SlipStream Data Inc. announced that its technology to compress and optimize web and email content will be deployed by Quicksilver Internet for its Internet services in New Zealand. SlipStream's accelerated dial-up access technology has been deployed by other ISPs, including United Online to support higher-speed versions of their NetZero and Juno services. ( www.slipstreamdata.com ) ( www.quicksilver.co.nz ) ( www.unitedonline.net )

T-Mobile announced a bundled service which lets their mobile phone customers add the T-Mobile HotSpot service for $19.99 with unlimited access. ( www.t-mobile.com )

Telia has joined the trend toward tiered broadband services by introducing two new services. The three ADSL services now in their portfolio are the Broadband 250 service (speed: 0.25 Mbit/s), Broadband 500 (0.5 Mbit/s, previously called Telia ADSL Broadband) and the new Broadband 2000 service (2 Mbit/s). ( www.telia.com )

TI announced the AR7, a fully integrated ADSL access router-on-a-chip. It combines a MIPS 32-bit RISC processor, a DSP-based digital transceiver, an ADSL analog front end (AFE) including line driver and receiver and power management onto a single piece of silicon. The AR7 addresses service providers´ needs to support applications such as multi-PC home networking and the ability to provide service to households that were previously too far to reach. ( www.ti.com )

TiVo announced TiVo Basic service. It will only be packaged with licensees' integrated consumer electronics products and will provide entry-level DVR functionality with integrated products such as combined DVD/DVRs. Customers will have the ability to upgrade to the full TiVo service. ( www.tivo.com )

Transmeta Corporation has been designated by Microsoft as a reference design partner for the next generation of Smart Displays. Transmeta provides energy efficient processor technology and the high performance needed for Smart Displays. ( www.transmeta.com ) ( www.microsoft.com )

Tylite, Inc. is offering technology and online financial modeling tools for estimating costs for broadband fiber networks. Their focus is enabling small cities to provide broadband fiber networks to residents, businesses, educational institutions, health care organizations, government and other local users. ( www.tylite.com )

The Wi-Fi Alliance announced the first group of wireless LAN products and reference designs to be certified as meeting the Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) security standard; WPA replaces the previous WEP standard which did not provide adequate protection for networks. Companies with newly certified WPA products include Atheros, Broadcom, Cisco, Intel, Intersil, and Symbol. ( www.wi-fi.org ) ( www.atheros.com ) ( www.broadcom.com ) ( www.cisco.com ) ( www.intel.com ) ( www.intersil.com ) ( www.symbol.com )

Yes TV, an interactive broadband services company, has launched Yes TV Plus, extending its program delivery to PCs. Hutchison Global Communications and PowerCom Network have introduced the service to their Hong Kong broadband customers. ( www.yes.tv ) ( www.hgc.com.hk )


Briefly Noted

Countries

US - The FCC has opened an inquiry into Broadband Power Line (BPL) Communications. They are seeking information and technical data including "the current state of high-speed BPL technology; the potential interference effects, if any, on authorized spectrum users; test results from BPL experimental sites; and the appropriate measurement procedure for testing emission characteristics for all types of carrier current systems." ( www.fcc.gov )

The FCC is also seeking more information from TV broadcasters, cable operators and electronics manufacturers about their efforts to speed the transition to digital signals, according to a letter from Chairman Michael Powell to the U.S. Congress. A recent congressional report found that about 40 percent of Americans had not heard about the digital TV transition at all, while another 43 percent were only "somewhat aware." Powell wants to determine what further steps are needed to help inform consumers.

Korea - The Korean government has announced an expanded vision called "Broadband IT Powerhouse", to promote the IT (information technology) industry as a key economic growth engine, according to the Korea Herald. Korea is the leading country in broadband penetration. The ministry also mapped out a vision for "u-Korea," or ubiquitous Korea. It envisions a telecom network that will be pervasive enough to offer uninterrupted access to the Internet, fixed-line and mobile networks - anytime, anywhere. ( www.koreaherald.co.kr/SITE/data/html_dir/2003/04/28/200304280009.asp )

The OECD released a study titled "After the Telecommunications Bubble". It concludes that broadband is growing fastest in the most competitive markets. It also says that fixed and wireless broadband services represent the biggest opportunity for telecommunication companies. Belgium, a strong promoter of competition between telecom operators and cable companies, now is the fastest-growing broadband services market in Europe. Meanwhile, the United States has fallen to tenth in the OECD's ranking of countries. ( www.oecd.org/EN/document/0,,EN-document-0-nodirectorate-no-2-21578-0,00.html )

China - Parks Associates reports the number of broadband users in China will grow to 13 million by the end of 2003. Their new report "Chinese Telecom Market: Overview and Analysis" says the growth is consistent with recent trends "in which broadband users in China grew from two million in mid-2002 to 6.6 million at year-end 2002, a 230% growth rate in six months." ( www.parksassociates.com )

Also Noted

Telework - ITAC, the association for advancing work from anywhere, released Teleworking Comes of Age with Broadband, its latest Telework America Report. ( www.workingfromanywhere.org/pdf/TWA2003_Executive_Summary.pdf )

comScore Networks announced the results of a recent study detailing broadband usage and quality of service. The comScore analysis found that while consumers are increasingly willing to pay for a faster connection, there is little consistency in the actual network speed delivered by cable modem and DSL providers. ( www.comscore.com/press/release.asp?id=322 )