BBH Report Home Page
June 22, 2004 Provided by System Dynamics Inc.

Heard on the Net

News about People and Companies Influencing The Broadband Home

People News

Rafael Fonseca was promoted to VP, Product Evolution and System Engineering at Cedar Point Communications. ( www.cedarpointcom.com )

Jeff Gardner has been named VP of Sales at Xtend Networks. He was previously with ADC. ( www.xtendnetworks.com )

Hunt Norment has joined 2Wire as VP of business development. He was formerly with BroadJump. ( www.2wire.com )

Ron da Silva was appointed Director of Broadband Network Technology for Time Warner Cable's Broadband Division. He was previously with America Online. ( www.timewarnercable.com )

Jeremy Toeman will be joining Sling Media to head product management, starting in August, after his honeymoon. He was previously with Mediabolic. ( www.slingmedia.com )

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


Company News

--Acquisitions

Broadcom agreed to buy Zyray Wireless, a provider of co-processors for 3G wireless for $96 million in stock. ( www.broadcom.com ) ( www.zyraywireless.com )

C-COR is acquiring network and service management provider Stargus for approximately $17 million. ( www.c-cor.net ) ( www.stargus.com )

Cable and Wireless plc is purchasing Vivendi Universal's 55% stake in Monaco Telecom for €169 million. ( www.cw.com ) ( www.vivendiuniversal.com ) ( www.monaco-telecom.mc )

Cisco will acquire intellectual property, engineering staff and select assets from Procket Networks, a manufacturer of concurrent services routers, for $89 million. ( www.cisco.com ) ( www.procket.com )

Intec Telecom Systems PLC is buying ADCs retail billing software division for $74.5 million. ( www.intec-telecom-systems.com ) ( www.adc.com )

--Funding

Eagle Broadband has secured $4.9 million in new financing. ( www.eaglebroadband.com )

Kineto Wireless, a start-up that bridges cellular and WLAN VoIP, has raised $35 million in Series C financing. ( www.kinetowireless.com )

SyChip, a developer of RF integrated circuits and modules for wireless Internet appliances, raised $20 million in a fourth funding round. ( www.sychip.com )

Tropos Networks, a provider of systems for building metro-scale Wi-Fi networks, raised $15 million in round D funding. ( www.tropos.com )


Other News

2Wire announced that the DSL Forum has introduced a new standard based on a protocol 2Wire developed. The CPE WAN Management Protocol, known as 'TR-069,' creates an industry standard for the management of devices such as gateways and modems. ( www.2wire.com ) ( www.dslforum.org )

Agere Systems announced technology called Unbreakable Access™, which allows service providers to protect only those applications or services selected-and paid for-by end customers. The new chip set enables delivery of time-sensitive services, such as voice, over a protected path through existing networks. Agere is working with BT, Fujitsu, Marconi and others targeting converged broadband services. ( www.agere.com )

Bell Canada and Microsoft have launched a super portal which combines assets of both companies. For an additional $4.95, Bell Sympatico's high-speed customers can get MSN Premium, which includes many extras such as anti-virus protection, ad blocking, spam filtering and the ability to create a custom home "dashboard" that can be accessed through any Internet connection. ( www.bell.ca ) ( www.microsoft.com ) ( www.sympatico.msn.ca )

Intel continued its WiMAX thrust by signing agreements with Chinese officials in Dalian and Chengdu provinces to develop wireless broadband networks based on WiMAX and separately announcing a collaboration with Proxim to develop and deliver WiMAX solutions. ( www.intel.com ) ( www.wimaxforum.org ) ( www.proxim.com )

Intel announced three new chipsets and new Pentium 4 processors designed to power the new generation of entertainment PCs, enabling such capabilities as High Definition (HD) video and 7.1 surround sound. They also announced Intel Wireless Connect Technology, which enables consumers "to set up and configure a wireless home network in four steps". ( www.intel.com )

KT Corp. is launching Home N its TV-based home networking service. Published reports indicate that the service includes PVR functions; a "home viewer" wireless home security system, which provides real-time images from inside the home via mobile phones; a short-message service, for sending text messages to mobile phones via the TV; and a system for simultaneously watching TV and getting the latest news. It requires a separate gateway device which will be sold by KT. ( www.koreatelecom.com ) ( www.homen.co.kr )

RADVISION announced that its advanced video communications platform has been ported to the Advanced Telecommunications Computing Architecture (ATCA) and is powering a a Korea Telecom demonstration of its ATCA-based service offering of multimedia caller ID, ring-back services and video conferencing, using RADVISION media servers powered by Intel Architecture and optimized for Linux. This solution will be ready for carrier lab trials later this year. ( www.radvision.com )

RealNetworks and Starz Encore Group launched a $12.95 a month movie subscription service for broadband users, called Starz Ticket on Real Movies. The service offers 100 movies at a time, with 25 changing each week; they can be downloaded to up to three computers. The subscription model differs from that used by competitor Movielink, which charges on a per-movie basis. ( www.realnetworks.com ) ( www.starz.com ) ( www.real.com/partners/starz ) ( www.movielink.com )

Texas Instruments announced their new high-bandwidth DSL technology that is backwards compatible with operators´ current infrastructure and will make it possible to add competitive video service revenue to their existing data and voice services. Uni-DSL (UDSL) technology raises the bandwidth of DSL to enable residential delivery of HDTV and other advanced video services, as well as voice and data, with limited fiber deployment. UDSL-based equipment is expected to begin rolling-out in 2006.( www.ti.com/udsl )

Wave7 Optics, whose initial products are based on Ethernet and IP standards, has co-developed a FTTH product with Hitachi Telecom based on Hitachi's FSAN-compliant, BPON technology. Hitachi's AMN1200 family supports the “triple play” of video, very high-speed data and voice services, and is now shipping to customers. ( www.wave7optics.com ) ( www.hitel.com )

--Regulatory

US: The FCC adopted a Report and Order to restructure the 2495-2690 MHz band used by Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service (MMDS) and Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS) operators. The new rules are designed to continue supporting educational uses (for ITFS) and to encourage more advanced broadband services in the MMDS band--renamed Broadband Radio Service (BRS). ( www.fcc.gov )

Canada: Bell Canada filed two applications to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to deliver television to 11 urban centers in Ontario and Quebec. The service is to be delivered via VDSL. Other Canadian phone companies including NBTel, SaskTel, Manitoba Telecom Services and Telus Corp. have already received such licenses. ( www.bell.ca ) ( www.crtc.gc.ca )

--Briefly noted

DSL Forum Update

The DSL Forum sent a recent update on the status of DSL deployments. A few of the interesting facts:

  • North America added 1.3 million subscribers in 1Q042004
  • Broadband DSL has 73.4 million subscribers globally
  • Three countries represented more than half of the new subscribers: China added 2.85 million in the quarter and now has almost 14 million subscribers; the US added 1.18 million - a growth of 13% - significantly closing the gap on Japan, the second largest DSL country; France was the fastest growing of the major DSL countries in the quarter adding 1.07 million, a growth rate of 35%. ( www.dslforum.org/pressroom.htm )

Becoming Blasé about Broadband

It's easy to lose sight of what an amazing world broadband brings to our doorstep. On June 16 we sat at our PCs and watched streaming video in real time as Jeff Pulver and others testified before the US Senate Commerce Committee on The VOIP Regulatory Freedom Act, S. 2281. You may say: "What's so special about that? I do similar things all the time". That we have started to take this for granted is what's so amazing! ( commerce.senate.gov/hearings/witnesslist.cfm?id=1230 )

Meeting Customer Needs--but which customer?

A recent announcement from video-on-demand equipment provider Concurrent seems like a great example of conflict between the needs of a service provider and what the end user wants. Concurrent's new patent-pending ad insertion technology will prevent VOD customers from fast-forwarding through commercials. Advertisers may be breaking out the champagne, and the service provider gets revenue from the advertisers, but we wonder how happy the end user (who also pays) will be when they find they can't escape the commercials. Concurrent bills the technology as maintaining "Advertisement Integrity" but we think that end users will have other phrases in mind if service providers adopt it. And it will certainly spur the sale of DVRs! ( www.ccur.com )

The next "must have" broadband feature

Whether it's coming soon from BellSouth or BT or a cable operator, it appears that the next "must have" feature in the escalating broadband competition may be (to use BellSouth's name) the "turbo button". Its function? Bandwidth-on-demand. It's good for the customer who can subscribe to and pay for a lower level of service which meets their needs most of the time, but can put their foot on the broadband gas for applications that would struggle with their normal bandwidth. And it's good for the service provider, who charges for the bandwidth boost. Multiple technology vendors are supporting such capabilities. Next, we'll see if customers use it the way service providers expect.