BBH Report Home Page
September 23, 2003 Provided by System Dynamics Inc.

Heard on the Net

News about People and Companies Influencing The Broadband Home


People News

Mitchell Berman has been appointed VP and chief marketing officer for Alopa Networks. ( www.alopa.com )

Brion Feinberg has been named Senior Director of Product Management & Marketing at Lemur Networks. Brion is a 20-year veteran of AT&T and Lucent Technologies. ( www.lemurnetworks.net )

Wes Hoffman has been named EVP and COO of OpenTV. He was previously CEO of ICTV. ( www.opentv.com )

Neil Isaacson has joined Ucentric Systems as its CFO. He was previously the founder and CFO of Cignal Global Communications. ( www.ucentric.com )

Mike McGrail has been named President and CEO of ICTV. ( www.ictv.com )

Steve Silva has joined Comcast Cable as VP of new business development. He was previously with Charter Communications. ( www.comcast.com )

Alan Walp has been named VP of Wireless Marketing and Sales for Europe, Middle East and Africa at CommScope. Previously he was with Radio Frequency Systems (RFS), a division of Alcatel. ( www.commscope.com )

Dave Weisman has been named CEO and board member of Eagle Broadband. ( www.eaglebroadband.com )


Company News

--Acquisitions

Arris completed the acquisition of the cable modem termination systems-related assets of COM21, including the stock of its Irish subsidiary, for $2.8 million. ( www.arrisi.com ) ( www.com21.com )

GlobespanVirata Inc. has acquired the WLAN chip business from Intersil Corp. for approximately $365 million in cash and stock. The deal includes Intersil's portfolio of PRISM IEEE 802.11 wireless local area networking products and intellectual property. ( www.virata.com ) ( www.intersil.com )

NDS Group is acquiring the MediaHighway business from Thomson for about $68 million. NDS and Thomson have agreed to a strategic alliance to provide NDS software solutions on Thomson's product portfolio including settops, modems and headend equipment. ( www.nds.com ) ( www.thomson.net/EN/home )

OpenTV has acquired BettingCorp Limited, a developer and operator of gaming and betting technology and services. BettingCorp's technology allows gaming and betting services operators to use Internet, iTV and wireless platforms with one back-end management system and a single user account. ( www.opentv.com ) ( www.BettingCorp.com )

--Funding

Core Networks closed a $5.7 million round of funding. ( www.corenetworks.com )

Jungo Software Technologies announced that the company has secured $5.5 million in a third round of funding. ( www.jungo.com )

--Other News

AT&T is currently trialing a VoIP solution called AT&T Consumer Digital Solutions (CDS). They are beta testing it in selected areas. ( beta.ataclick.com )

BellSouth and DirecTV announced their plans to offer a voice, video and data bundle. Press reports indicate the companies will explore combining satellite and DSL technology in an even closer collaboration. ( www.bellsouth.com ) ( www.directv.com )

Broadcom has started to ship the BCM4317 (aka AirForce One Chip), a single-chip 802.11b WLAN solution integrating the MAC, PHY, radio and power amplifier. Broadcom also announced two reference designs based on the 4317, both "barely the size of a U.S. postage stamp;" one combines 802.11b and Bluetooth in the same module. Broadcom says this chip will enable a new generation of wireless devices, since it is very small and requires very little power in standby mode. These are targeted to cellular phones, PDAs, digital cameras, and are aggressively priced with modules starting at $10 in 100,000 piece quantities. ( www.broadcom.com )

Cablevision has launched their new Optimum Voice service. Based on VoIP, the service is available to their Optimum Online broadband customers at a monthly rate of $34.95 for unlimited local and long distance calling. It is expected to be available to all of Cablevision's Optimum Online customers by year end. ( www.cablevision.com )

Ellacoya Networks announced availability of gENIOS, their operating system which allows broadband operators to enable IP service control for P2P applications across a carrier network, rather than on a box-by-box basis. ( www.ellacoya.com )

The National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) announced a distribution partnership in which their members will be able to offer WildBlue's two-way satellite broadband service in the continental U.S. NRTC is an investor in WildBlue; its membership includes over 1,100 rural telephone and electric companies. NRTC members will begin marketing the service to homes and small offices in 2004. ( www.nrtc.org ) ( www.wildblue.com )

PCTEL, Inc., a provider of wireless solutions and access technology, is incorporating its software solution with GlobespanViratas 802.11g and 802.11a, b & g WLAN technology (recently acquired from Intersil, see above). The resulting product converts a PC with a PRISM-based client device into a fully functional-access point (AP) with router capabilities. ( www.pctel.com ) ( www.virata.com ) ( www.intersil.com )

Portus has chosen ProSysts OSGi implementation, mBedded Server, for its DIAS advanced services gateway product. Portus is part of the HomeGenesis consortium that had earlier been awarded project support for trials in the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore's (IDA) Connected Homes project. The IDA has selected five consortia to develop and trial their solutions in more than 400 households. ( www.portus.com.au ) ( www.prosyst.com ) ( www.osgi.org ) ( www.ida.gov.sg )

Skype, a new peer-to-peer Internet phone service, has been launched by Kazaa co-founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom. Skype announced release of its Beta 0.92 available in Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, French, German, Portuguese and Swedish. ( www.skype.com )


Briefly Noted

Wireless Video: Daewoo announced their entry into the wireless home entertainment market at the IFA Consumer Electronics show in Berlin. Daewoo is working with ViXS to develop technologies and products for streaming high-quality video over local area networks. The video networking technology provides guaranteed 30 frames per second wireless delivery of multiple standard and high-definition (HD) video streams over an 802.11a network throughout a home. The first product in development is a point-to-point media access device. ViXS previously conducted HDTV demos with Sony and NEC to highlight wireless video capabilities that will soon be available to consumers. ( www.daewoo-electronics.com ) ( www.vixs.com )

News from IDF: The Intel Developer Forum (IDF) is a guide to the topics Intel will be pursuing over the coming months. This year's Forum included focus on the digital home and development of industry specifications for sharing content across multiple devices thru involvement with organizations like the Digital Home Working Group. Also notable is the development of Digital Transmission Content Protection, over Internet Protocol (DTCP/IP) technology. Co-developed by Intel and Hitachi, Toshiba, Sony and Matsushita (Panasonic), it enables home users to share protected entertainment content among a variety of digital devices in the home. Another new technology available from Intel in mid-2004 will simplify home networking by including a wireless access point and router functionality as an embedded feature of the PC. Intel also demonstrated next-generation digital media adapters (DMAs), devices that transfer personal digital video, photos and music from a PC to a TV and a stereo; the DMAs included iCube's Play@TV and Lenovo's Media Link. ( www.intel.com/idf ) ( www.dhwg.org ) ( www.dtcp.com ) ( www.icube.co.kr/eng ) ( www.legendgrp.com )

US-- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) unanimously approved rules for digital cable plug-and-play interoperability between digital cable services and consumer electronics products. The decision is timely for TV manufacturers planing for production of 2004 HDTVs, which can be equipped with uni-directional digital-cable-ready capability. The approval contained minor changes to the agreement reached previously by consumer electronics manufacturers and the cable industry. ( www.fcc.gov )

Cable versus DSL in North America: In the September issue of Cable Datacom News, Kinetic Strategies reported that "the total number of residential cable modem and DSL subscribers in the U.S. topped the 20-million mark in the second quarter of 2003. Including Canadian subscribers, the total residential broadband installed base in North America reached 23.9 million as of June 30, 2003." Kinetic observed that US cable operators' "share of broadband subscriber additions fell to 63.2% in Q2 2003 from 68.5% in Q2 2002." However, US cable operators still have over 66% of the residential broadband market and Canadian MSOs have about 57%. ( www.cabledatacomnews.com )