BBH Report Home Page
December 14, 2003 Provided by System Dynamics Inc.

Heard on the Net

News about People and Companies Influencing The Broadband Home


People News

Ken Carroll was named president and CEO of WildBlue Communications. Carroll was previously Senior VP and CFO of Primestar Inc. ( www.wildblue.com )

John Connelly was appointed EVP of marketing and business development at BigBand Networks. Connelly was previously at Network Physics. ( www.bigbandnet.com )

Colin Dixon was named chief marketing officer of Kasenna. Previously he was with Liberate Technologies. ( www.kasenna.com )

Andy Paff was named President and CEO of Cedar Point Communications. He was previously CTO at Broadband Services, Inc. ( www.cedarpointcom.com )

Mark Pascarella was appointed President of Gotuit Media. Martin Wahl, previously Director of Product Management at Broadbus Technologies, was named as Gotuit's Director of Engineering. ( www.gotuit.com )

John Petter was named director of customer strategy at Telewest Broadband. He had been director of marketing and planning. ( www.telewest.co.uk )

Michael Pulli is becoming President of the Americas division of Pace Micro Technology. Current Americas President Neil Gaydon is returning to the UK as EVP worldwide sales and marketing. ( www.pacemicro.com )

Michael L. Talley has joined 2Wire as VP, customer service and support. He was previously with Fujitsu and Mitel. ( www.2wire.com )

Brad Warnock was promoted to VP of Business Development at Phonex; he was their Director of Marketing ( www.phonex.com )

Gerald Wesel was appointed chairman of the board of Ellacoya Networks, and will oversee day-to-day operations; previous CEO Ron Sege is relocating to the West coast for personal reasons. Wesel presently is chairman of Orthogon Systems. ( www.ellacoya.com )


Company News

--Acquisitions

AOL acquired Singingfish, Inc., a provider of audio and video search services. ( www.aol.com )

Cisco is acquiring Latitude Communications Inc. for approximately $80 million. This will add rich media conferencing to Cisco's portfolio. ( www.cisco.com ) ( www.latitude.com )

DirecTV approved the use of wireless phone jacks from Phonex Broadband to use the existing home power lines to connect their set-top to the phone line. ( www.DIRECTV.com ) ( www.phonex.com )

Motorola has agreed to acquire the assets of XtremeSpectrum, a pioneer of ultra-wideband (UWB) solutions for multimedia connectivity. Financial terms of the deal will not be disclosed. ( www.motorola.com ) ( www.xtremespectrum.com )

Polycom agreed to acquire Voyant Technologies, a provider of voice conferencing and collaboration network solutions, for approximately $110.7 million in cash consideration. ( www.polycom.com ) ( www.voyanttech.com )

Sigma Systems has re-acquired the company from Liberate Technologies for about $3.6 million in cash and the assumption of roughly $7 million in lease obligations and other liabilities. ( www.sigma-systems.com ) ( www.liberate.com )

--Funding

Amino Communications, a set-top box vendor, closed a £5 million funding round. ( www.aminocom.com )

Azimuth Systems announced its formation and entry into the wireless data communications performance validation market. It received $12.9 million in preliminary and second-round capital. ( www.azimuthsystems.com )

Brix Networks, a provider of service assurance solutions, raised $8.1 million in a fourth round of financing. ( www.brixnet.com )

Mimix Broadband, a fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications, announced closing its second funding round with $8 million. ( www.mimixbroadband.com )

Net2Phone closed a public offering, generating gross proceeds of approximately $63 million. ( net2phone.com )

ReefEdge Networks, a provider of managed and secure wireless LAN systems, raised $13 million in its latest round of financing. ( www.reefedge.com )

Sylantro, software provider for hosted communications services, raised $4.5 million in seried D funding. ( www.sylantro.com )

Visible World, a technology company providing a solution for getting consumers to watch TV ads, raised $8 million in a second round of funding. ( www.visibleworld.com )

Vonage, a provider of broadband phone service, raised $35 million in new financing. ( www.vonage.com )

--Other News

Broadcom announced InConcert™, a new technology to allow wireless devices, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, to collaboratively co-exist within the same radio frequency. ( www.broadcom.com )

Buffalo Technology introduced LinkStation(tm) - a network storage center for storing media files such as videos, photos and music which can also be used as a file and print server. The product, targeted to the home and SOHO markets, is a plug-and-play network storage center with a pre-formatted 120GB hard drive that connects directly into a network, an Ethernet Interface and two high-speed USB 2.0 ports and has a street price of $299. ( www.buffalotech.com )

Free Telecom of France is offering digital TV services via ADSL to their Internet access and telephone clients, according to La Tribune. Free's clients get a telephone line and internet access for €29.99 a month. The new offer provides individual or packages of channels, of which about 30 are free. Users receive the service via their Freebox terminal, which has an installed base of about 100,000 in France. ( www.free.fr )

N2 Broadband and Gotuit Media announced a partnership to integrate N2's VOD platform with Gotuit Media's content indexing technology. The solution is currently being trialed by a major MSO. ( www.N2Broadband.com ) ( www.gotuit.com )

Time Warner Cable confirmed that the Interactive Personal Video Group--which has been developing the networked PVR MystroTV service--has been folded back into the MSO and will report to Mike LaJoie, according to Multichannel News. ( www.timewarnercable.com )

Verizon's CTO outlined their four-pronged fiber network strategy at a Lehman Brothers' Conference. He confirmed that they plan to pass one million homes by the end of 2003, with at least 100 COs equipped in nine states, according to Converge. They also intend to use a converged network for both existing and new services. ( www.verizon.com )


Briefly Noted

--Standards

At the Wi-Fi Planet conference, speakers indicated that the new 802.11e QoS standard is expected to be published by the summer of 2004 and in first products by yearend. The Wi-Fi Alliance says it will skip an interim certification for multimedia and VoIP extensions to 802.11x, since the IEEE standards body will fast track the full standard. ( www.jupiterevents.com/80211/fall03/ )

--Senior Citizens Lead Internet Growth

Nielsen/NetRatings reported that senior citizens 65 and older were the fastest growing age geoup online in the U.S. ( www.nielsen-netratings.com )

--Competition in the UK

UK: Six UK communications companies have come together to launch the Broadband Industry Group, an organization aimed at promoting competition in the broadband market in the UK. ( www.bigfuture.org )

-- Gotuit Media -- Moving Us Toward the On-Demand World

We had a brief telephone interview with Mark Pascarella, the new CEO of Gotuit Media. We'll cover them more in the future, but were intrigued by their technology to help create non-linear viewing experiences. Just as we can get almost any text information on the Web today, we look forward to a world in which this can also apply to images and videos. Gotuit's technology is a step in that direction. It is designed to make watching broadcast content more like browsing a magazine--so you can "get to the good parts". ( www.gotuit.com )

Their proprietary workstations simplify the task for human editors to generate metadata to enable quick reference to specific parts of content after it has been broadbcast. This can enable viewers to see all the homeruns in a ballgame after it is over, or see all the plays by their favorite players. Gotuit intends to license their tools, but for now they generate the metadata themselves.

Mark said they are currently in trials with a major services operator and expect deployments in 2004. While the business model is still far from clear, we're interested in their trial results and next steps.