BBH Report Home Page
May 31, 2004 Provided by System Dynamics Inc.

Heard on the Net

News about People and Companies Influencing The Broadband Home


People News

Susan Bratton has joined Maven Networks as Senior VP of Sales and Marketing. Previously, Ms. Bratton was with Mailblocks. ( www.maven.net )

Jim Chiddix has become CEO of OpenTV after joining the company's Board last month. Chiddix was previously CTO at Time Warner Cable. ( www.opentv.com )

Robert Clasen has been named president and COO of Starz Encore. ( www.starz.com )

Rich Higgins has joined Stargus as VP of Advanced Technology. He was previously with Time Warner Cable. ( www.stargus.com )

David Juliano was promoted to president of Comcast Online. Juliano was previously the division's senior VP and GM. ( www.comcast.com )

Andreas Melder was appointed Senior VP of Sales, Marketing and Business Development at Intellon. He was previously COO at Clarisay. ( www.intellon.com )

Ed Ogonek has been named president and CEO of Bridgewater Systems. He was previously with Ciena. ( www.bridgewatersystems.com )

M. Douglas Parse has been named VP of Engineering at NetStreams. Parse was previously with Intrinsity. ( www.netstreams.com )

John Wind was named Senior Director of Marketing at Volo Communications. He was previously with Epicus. Lew Brownfield and Sterling Winn have also joined the Volo market development team. ( www.volocommunications.com )

(Please email people@bb-home.com to report a change in your position.)


Company News

--Acquisitions

BigBand Networks is acquiring the IP cable business unit of ADC Telecommunications including its Cuda CMTS and FastFlow Broadband Provisioning product lines. ( www.bigbandnet.com ) ( www.adc.com )

C-COR.net is purchasing Alopa Networks for $15 million in cash and the assumption of liabilities. Separately, C-COR.net is also acquiring Lantern Communications, for approximately $20 million. ( www.c-cor.net ) ( www.alopa.com )

Cable and Wireless plc announced the £18.6 million purchase of Bulldog Communications Limited, a UK company specializing in the provision of broadband services. Bulldog offers a wide range of high-speed broadband services using DSL technology, based on both BT wholesale tariffs and, increasingly, installing its own equipment in BT exchanges under "Local Loop Unbundling" regulation. ( www.cw.com ) ( www.bulldogdsl.com )

Lucent Technologies is purchasing VoIP gateway vendor Telica in a deal valued at $295 million. ( www.lucent.com ) ( www.Telica.com )

Softbank is buying Japan Telecom from Ripplewood Holdings for $3 billion. ( www.softbank.com ) ( www.japan-telecom.co.jp/english/ )

Tellabs is acquiring FTTP provider Advanced Fibre Communications (AFC) for $1.9 billion in cash and stock. ( www.tellabs.com ) ( www.afc.com ).

Thomson is acquiring set-top box manufacturing assets from Hughes Network Systems (HNS) for $250 million cash. The DIRECTV Group, HNS parent company, and Thomson also announced a long-term agreement for the development and supply of digital satellite set-top boxes. ( www.thomson.net/EN/home ) ( www.hns.com ) ( www.directv.com )

Vyyo is acquiring Xtend Networks Ltd., a provider of bandwidth-enhancing solutions for cable TV networks. The deal includes cash payments not to exceed $10.7 million, and the total consideration is not expected to exceed $19.6 million. ( www.vyyo.com ) ( www.xtendnetworks.com )

--Funding

Alcatel has invested $15 million in General Bandwidth. ( www.alcatel.com ) ( www.generalbandwidth.com )

Copper Mountain Networks closed an $11.25 million private placement of common stock. ( www.coppermountain.com )

The FeedRoom, which builds and operates broadband websites for clients, raised over $5 million from both new and existing investors. ( www.feedroom.com )

Ingate Systems AB of Sweden, which produces SIP-capable enterprise firewalls, received approximately $5.8 million in funding. ( www.ingate.com )

Motorola is taking a major stake in DVN (Holdings) Ltd., a Hong Kong-based digital cable television equipment maker. According to a release from DVN, Motorola will spend up to $33 million dollars to buy new DVN shares over two years. The agreement calls for reciprocal technology sharing and for DVN to assist Motorola in the Chinese market. ( www.motorola.com ) ( www.irasia.com/listco/hk/dvn )

Pulse~LINK Inc. announced closing its Series D stock offering for more than $30 Million. The funding is targeted at commercial release of its Software Defined Cognitive Radio Ultra Wideband solution. ( www.pulselink.net )

WaveRider Communications, a non line-of-sight wireless broadband company, completed a private placement of $2.125 million. ( www.waverider.com )


Other News

Broadcom announced two improvements to their 54g™-based wireless LAN devices. SecureEZSetup™ is an intelligent software tool that simplifies wireless LAN network installation and configures security settings. The second is a hardware module claimed to increase the range of 54g™-based wireless LAN devices by up to 50 percent. ( www.broadcom.com )

Cablelabs discussed two new DOCSIS initiatives at a media briefing. DOCSIS 2.X will generate cable-modem specs for video telephony and compatibility with mobile devices. DOCSIS 3.0 will focus on producing standards for delivering IP video for the TV and PC. ( www.cablelabs.com )

Comcast is planning to put Microsoft's TV Foundation Edition digital television software in set-top boxes for up to 5 million of its customers. Comcast will continue to have multiple vendors for this software. ( www.comcast.com ) ( www.microsoft.com )

Cometa Networks is shutting down its Wi-Fi hotspot business due to lack of funding, despite its initial backing by Intel, AT&T and IBM. ( www.cometanetworks.com )

The DSL Forum announced approval of its new Technical Report (TR)-067 "ADSL Interoperability Testing Plan" defining the technical criteria for ADSL interoperability and providing the foundation for the DSL Forum's global Interoperability Program in North America, Europe and Asia. TR-067 specifies ADSL bit-rate and distance requirements beyond those previously specified for ADSL recommendations, and reflects the recent improvements in ADSL modem performance. ( www.dslforum.org )

Ellacoya Networks demonstrated its new Multimedia Services Manager (MSM). Based on CableLabs PacketCable Multimedia (PCMM) specification, it enables broadband operators to provide tiered multimedia applications at various levels of guaranteed bandwidth and with QoS. ( www.ellacoya.com )

Gossiptel has launched their SIP-based consumer broadband telephony service in the UK. It provides free global calls to broadband households; calls to ordinary telephones in 22 countries are priced at 2.5p. ( www.gossiptel.com )

Jupiter VOD Co., Ltd. (J-VOD ) is being established as a national aggregator for video-on-demand content for Japan. It is being formed by four companies with the following percentages interest: Jupiter Programming Co., Ltd. (JPC) 48%; Jupiter Telecommunications Co., Ltd. (J-COM Broadband) 32%; Sumitomo 10%; and Liberty Media International, Inc., 10%. J-VOD will conduct a technical trial with J-COM Broadband this summer with full-scale service launch targeted for January 2005. ( www.jpc.co.jp )

Movielink has signed a deal to offer a customized movie service to Charter Communications broadband subscribers. ( www.movielink.com ) ( www.charter.com )

PCCW subsidiary UK Broadband has launched a UMTS TDD-based wireless broadband network in the U.K. The network uses the 3.4GHz spectrum PCCW acquired last year. The technology is developed by IPWireless. Rates start at £18 per month for the 512k service and £28 a month for 1Mb service. PCCW is considering a nationwide U.K. and Northern Ireland rollout following completion of the London-area launch. ( www.pccw.com ) ( www.ipwireless.com )

ProSyst Software AG is a key player in the GST consortium, a European-funded telematics project which aims to define a standardized telematics system. The project began in March 2004 and is creating an open framework architecture for end-to-end in-vehicle telematics that can provide two-way data and voice communication between a service provider and an end-user subscriber. Participants include BMW, Ford, Opel/OnStar, Renault, Fiat, Volvo, Daimler Chrysler and Siemens VDO. ( www.prosyst.com )

Pulse~LINK has developed the first integrated circuit for a media- diverse UWB Software Defined Cognitive Radio (SDCR) solution. The test silicon unveils an architecture that supports Pulse~LINK's UWB wireless, UWB power line, and UWB cable communications technologies simultaneously on the same chipset. ( www.pulselink.net )

Skype's co-founder Niklas Zennstrom announced that agreements will soon be made public with two telecommunications carriers that allow Skype calls to be made to standard phones anywhere in the US, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Millions of people have downloaded Skype's software to place free phone calls on their computers and PDAs. This basic service will remain free, but premium services will include one that lets Skype users place calls to anyone outside the network. ( www.skype.com )

--Regulatory

US: The FCC issued specifics of the proposed rules to allow unlicensed devices to operate in the broadcast television spectrum at locations where the spectrum is not in use by television stations. These proposals are intended to allow the development of innovative types of unlicensed broadband devices and services in vacant spectrum. The FCC's proposal would require that those wireless devices not interfere with existing broadcast signals. To ensure that no interference is caused to TV stations and their viewers, the FCC proposed to require unlicensed devices to incorporate "smart radio" features that detect and avoid used spectrum. ( www.fcc.gov )

--Briefly noted

Record 1Q04 US broadband adds: Leichtman Research Group (LRG) found that the twenty largest cable and DSL providers in the US – representing about 98% of the market – added a combined total of over 2.34 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2004. Net broadband additions for the quarter were the largest ever, bringing the total number of high-speed Internet subscribers for the leading US cable and DSL providers to over 26.9 million at the end of the first quarter of 2004. DSL providers had their best quarter ever with about 1.17 million net additions. The gain in DSL subscriber additions brought DSL to a virtual tie with cable in terms of market share of net additions for the quarter. However, the top cable companies maintained a 6.4 million subscriber advantage over DSL, with cable now accounting for 16.67 million high-speed Internet subscribers compared to 10.26 million for DSL The top cable broadband providers now have a 62% share of the total market versus 38% for DSL. ( www.leichtmanresearch.com )

DVRs finally taking off: In-Stat/MDR reports that US digital video recorder (DVR) shipments tripled in 2003, rising from 1.5 million in 2002 to 4.6 million 2003. They project that unit shipments will spike to 11 million this year. One driver for the surge is the combination of DVR and DVD functions and a second is the rising demand from satellite and cable TV operators for DVR-enabled set-top boxes. ( www.instat.com )

Faster, faster! Rogers Cable continued the broadband speed escalation game by announcing its new "Hi-Speed Internet Extreme" service, with a speed of 5 Mbps download, and 800kbps upload; the monthly fee is unchanged from the current Rogers Hi-Speed Internet service. Although this is fast for North America, it pales in comparison to cable systems in Japan, described by Tony Werner in a session at the National show, with a 30 Mbps tier and users seeing 25-26 Mbps in the busy hour. And in Korea and Japan, DSL services are both faster and much cheaper than in North America. ( www.rogers.ca )

Wireless Firewire: A new Protocol Adaptation Layer (PAL) for IEEE 1394 over IEEE 802.15.3 has been approved by the 1394 Trade Association. "The PAL is designed as a standard convergence layer between the 802.15.3 MAC and applications developed for wired 1394. It builds upon the 1394 infrastructure--for example, data formats, connection-management schemes, and time synchronization procedures--and takes advantage of the excellent quality of service available in 802.15.3.”