BBH Report Home Page
April 26, 2004 Provided by System Dynamics Inc.

Heard on the Net

News about People and Companies Influencing The Broadband Home


People News

Gennadiy Mark Borisov was promoted to VP, Advanced Products, at MTV Networks. ( www.mtv.com )

John Caulfield was appointed VP of sales for North America at 2Wire; he was previously with Vertical Networks. Ted Fagenson was named VP of sales for Latin America and Asia Pacific; he was formerly international sales director for 2Wire. ( www.2wire.com )

Jim Elliot has been named VP of marketing at STSN; he was previously with Lighthouse Communications. ( www.stsn.com )

Matthew Goldman has been hired as Director of Technology at TANDBERG Television. He was previously a technology consultant. ( www.tandbergtv.com )

Ian Jefferson has been appointed VP of Sales at Entone Technologies, and Mark Stalica was appointed VP of Worldwide Sales. Both were previously with Terayon. ( www.entone.com )

Amos Kohn has joined ICTV as VP of Network Modeling; he was most recently with Aviva Communications. ( www.ictv.com )

Benoit (Ben) Legault has joined Ellacoya Networks as VP of technology; he was formerly with ADC. ( www.ellacoya.com )

Oleg Logvinov was named president of the HomePlug Powerline Alliance, and Pete Griffin was named chairman of the board. Logvinov has been President and COO of Enikia. Griffin is Director of Technology at RadioShack. ( www.homeplug.org )

Eric Miller has been promoted to CTO at Vidiom Systems and Rob Beaver to VP of Engineering. ( www.vidiom.com )

Jeff Paine has been named VP of strategic marketing at UTStarcom; he was previously with Syndeo. ( www.utstar.com )

Bob Weissburg was named President of Sales and Marketing, North America for D&M Holdings; he was previously with Sony North America. ( www.dm-holdings.com )


Company News

--Acquisitions

Broadcom is acquiring Widcomm, a provider of Bluetooth software, for approximately $49 million. Broadcom has also acquired advanced video compression provider Sand Video for $77.5 million. ( www.broadcom.com ) ( www.widcomm.com ) ( www.sandvideo.com )

Brooktrout has acquired the outstanding stock of SnowShore Networks for approximately $9 million in cash. ( www.brooktrout.com ) ( www.snowshore.com )

California Amplifier is acquiring Vytek, a wireless systems provider, for approximately $92 million. ( www.calamp.com ) ( www.vytek.com )

Comcast agreed to buy the TechTV cable network from Vulcan Ventures. The deal is said to be valued at around $300 million. ( www.comcast.com ) ( www.techtv.com ) ( www.vulcan.com )

Industry sources report that Intel has bought Envara, a fabless wireless chipset company, for $40 million. The acquisition has not been confirmed by company announcements. ( www.intel.com ) ( www.envara.com )

Intellon has acquired the engineering team and intellectual property of Cogency Semiconductor. Financial details were not disclosed. [See below for our interview with the CEO of Intellon and former CEO of Cogency.] ( www.intellon.com ) ( www.cogency.com )

Kabel Deutschland GmbH, Germany's largest cable operator, is acquiring three smaller companies, Ish, KabelBW and iesy, for about $3.3 billion. ( www.kabeldeutschland.de )

Motorola is buying fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) provider Quantum Bridge. The price was not disclosed. ( www.motorola.com/broadband ) ( www.quantumbridge.com )

STSN has acquired MyCall to serve business travelers in Europe. ( www.stsn.com ) ( www.mycalltele.com )

Zhone Technologies has agreed to buy Sorrento Networks in an all-stock transaction valued at roughly $35 million. ( www.zhone.com ) ( www.sorrentonet.com )

--Funding

Cedar Point Communications, a provider of integrated packet-based voice and multimedia technologies for cable, has secured $20 million in additional funding. ( www.cedarpointcom.com )

Firetide, a mesh networking provider, has closed its Series B Preferred Stock financing round of $13.6 million. ( www.firetide.com )

Intel Capital has invested in four companies associated with the digital home: consumer electronics networking company Digital 5, ultrawideband software developer Staccato Communications, secure services provider Trymedia Systems and ultrawideband chip maker Wisair. Terms of the investments were not released. ( www.intel.com ) ( www.digital5.com ) ( www.staccatocommunications.com ) ( www.trymedia.com ) ( www.wisair.com )

Intellon, a supplier of integrated circuits for high-speed powerline networking, has raised $23.5 million in new equity financing. ( www.intellon.com )

MetroFi, a wireless broadband provider, has received $9 million in Series A funding. ( www.metrofi.com )

Modulus Video, a provider of video compression solutions for digital television, closed an $8.5 million Series A financing. ( www.modulusvideo.com )

MyDTV has raised $7 million in a new round of financing. The company has a TV search engine technology which uses metadata to help consumers personalize channel lineups. ( www.mydtv.net )

NetStreams, a provider of IP-based Networked Audio/Video distribution/control solutions, received a capital infusion from Austin Ventures. The amount was not disclosed. ( www.netstreams.com ) ( www.austinventures.com )

Staccato Communications announced $20 million in Series B funding for its ultrawideband (UWB) wireless technology. ( www.staccatocommunications.com )

WiDeFi, which makes chips to increase wireless network range, has raised $6.8 million in venture capital. ( www.widefi.com )


Other News

Cablelabs recently completed Certification Wave 28, resulting in two new milestones:

  • The first CableHome 1.1 certification was awarded to a product from Cisco-Linksys LLC. CableHome 1.1 adds residential gateway security features, introduces standardized prioritized QoS for home LANs, and adds support for home servers, telecommuters, and home offices.
  • DOCSIS 1.1 certification for Electroline, which represents the first DOCSIS-based plant monitoring device. ( www.cablelabs.com ) ( www.linksys.com ) ( www.electroline.com )

Gotuit Media, a provider of on-demand television, announced a trial agreement with Universal Music Group (UMG), to bring cable subscribers music videos on demand. A test of Gotuit Music OnDemand is currently underway with a major U.S. cable MSO. Additional operator deployments are expected to be announced shortly. ( www.gotuit.com )

Great Wall Broadband Network Service of China is deploying World Wide Packets Ethernet over fiber solution for voice, data and video services. ( www.gwbn.net.cn ) ( www.worldwidepackets.com )

Intel released its new processor family designed for full-motion videoconferencing and DVD-quality video playback on mobile devices. Intel VP Sean Maloney said: "Advances in wireless broadband demand a new kind of wireless device." ( www.intel.com )

The recent National Association of Broadcasters meeting included multiple announcements involving implementations of MPEG4 Part 10 (H.264/AVC/JVT) and IP set-top boxes. Here are a few examples:

  • DG2L--which recently acquired the assets of iVAST--unveiled their high-definition-capable IP set-top based on the advanced MPEG-4 codec.
  • TANDBERG launched its Intelligent Compression Engine (ICE), a video and audio compression platform for Windows Media 9 Series Advanced Profile and MPEG-4 part 10 (H.264/AVC) technologies.
  • Thomson has introduced an IP Video set-top box which supports both current- and next-generation video codecs including MPEG-2, MPEG-4 Part 2, Windows Media 9 Series, and MPEG-4 Part 10. ( www.nab.org ) ( www.dg2l.com ) ( www.tandbergtv.com ) ( www.thomson.net/EN/home )

Navini Networks has joined the WiMAX Forum and plans to add WiMAX-certified broadband wireless systems to its product portfolio and deliver their adaptive phased array antenna technology in IEEE 802.16 standards-based products. Navini believes that Revision e to the IEEE 802.16 standard--which supports mobility--is a key operator requirement. ( www.navini.com ) ( www.wimaxforum.org )

Nextel has doubled the coverage area of its Flarion-based wireless broadband trial, and has begun accepting paying customers. However, David Haskin in MobilePipeline reports that Nextel is also evaluating products from at least one other vendor, IPWireless. ( www.nextel.com ) ( www.flarion.com ) ( www.ipwireless.com )

Personal Broadband Australia (PBA) has launched its iBurst commercial service, using Arraycomm technology in Sydney. The follow-on plan calls for Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane later this year and a full national rollout in 2005. They expect this will provide a fully mobile 1Mbps service to approximately 75 per cent of the Australian population and 95 per cent of Australian businesses. ( www.pba.com.au ) ( www.arraycomm.com )

US homebuilder Pulte Homes has partnered with PAXIO to deliver fiber to the home to five new Northern California communities. ( www.pulte.com ) ( www.paxio.com )

Skype Technologies has introduced PocketSkype, free software which enables Microsoft PocketPC-based handhelds to connect to Wi-Fi access points to make free VoIP calls. Skype is using the excellent voice processing software from Global IP Sound, as they did in their original PC based client. ( www.skype.com ) ( www.globalipsound.com )

--Regulatory

US: The FCC has voted to allow unlicensed wireless devices to operate at higher power in the 3650 MHz band. It is seen as a way to help spread wireless broadband deployment across rural regions. The spectrum, located in the 3650-3700 MHz band, can be used for both fixed and mobile commercial wireless services. ( www.fcc.gov )

--Briefly noted

Big Macs and broadband--do they go together? McDonald's selected Wayport to roll out Wi-Fi access in McDonald's restaurants around the US. McDonald's has dropped pilot programs from both Cometa Networks and Toshiba. Subsequently, Cometa announced they have formed a strategic alliance with Toshiba, and will incorporate some or all of Toshiba's SurfHere hot spots. ( www.wayport.com ) ( www.toshiba.com )

US--Universal Broadband? US President George W. Bush said the US should make it a goal to offer every American access to broadband Internet connections by 2007. However, Bush didn't offer any specifics on how this would happen. His opponent, Senator John F. Kerry, has also spoken about broadband and released an economic plan that called for "spurring the growth of new industries like the broadband technology that will dominate the future." However much those of us in the industry would like to see it happen, however, voters don't cast ballots for candidates because of their position on broadband, even when it is clear that the US is falling farther behind other countries.

The US is far from universal broadband at the moment. US broadband penetration correlates with higher income: A recently released Nielsen/NetRatings study indicates that 69% of US Internet users with incomes of $150K or more are using broadband connections, compared to only 36% of those with earnings between $25K-$50K. ( www.nielsen-netratings.com )

Your car--an extension of your broadband home? The MIT Technology Review reports that "The number of North American car models with wireless devices in the dashboard--collectively known as “telematics“--has doubled since 2001, according to a report today from the Telematics Research Group, an industry forecasting firm. While GM’s OnStar is still the leading provider of telematics services, 25 manufacturers of vehicles sold in North America now offer some form of telematics--ranging from GPS navigation systems to satellite radio and integrated cell phones--on 101 vehicle models." It's hard enough to get all the devices inside the home to communicate, but in addition we'd like compatibility and sometimes interoperability with those in the car. This is a new area of convergence--the one in which the fixed and mobile worlds are meeting. ( www.technologyreview.com ) ( www.telematicsresearch.com )