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The March 10, 2005 Issue Provided by System Dynamics Inc.
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Heard on the Net

News about People and Companies Influencing The Broadband Home

People News

Michael Ansley was appointed VP, Worldwide Sales and Support at Redline Communications. Ansley was previously with Cisco. ( www.redlinecommunications.com )

John-Michel Bourdon was appointed VP of International Markets and Diptish Datta as VP of Customer Operations at Kaleidescape. Bourdon was previously with Adobe Systems and Datta was formerly with Amdahl. ( www.kaleidescape.com )

William (Bill) Dunbar has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Wi-LAN. ( www.wi-lan.com )

Bruce Eisen was promoted to President at CinemaNow. Before joining CinemaNow, Eisen was at Trimark Pictures Inc. ( www.cinemanow.com )

Clarence “Sam” Endy was named President and CEO of TeleCIS Wireless. Dr. Endy was previously with ArrayComm. ( www.telecis.com )

Philip Graf has been named chairman of the Broadband Stakeholders Group, the key advisory group to the UK government on promoting the adoption of broadband services. ( www.broadbanduk.org )

Evan Grayer has been appointed VP for broadband at DirecTV. He previously held business development roles at Time Warner Cable and AOL. ( www.directv.com )

Jaci Hale was named Director of International Marketing and Relationship Management at ICTV. ( www.ictv.com )

Didier Lombard was named Chairman and CEO, France Telecom, replacing Thierry Breton, who was named France's finance minister. ( www.francetelecom.com )

Nancy Macartney was promoted to the positions of President and CEO at Critical Telecom Corp. ( www.criticaltelecom.com )

George McHorney was appointed CFO and COO at Airpath Wireless Inc. McHorney was previously with Legra Systems Inc. ( www.airpathwireless.com )

Thomas McPherson has been appointed CEO and board member at Cognio Inc. ( www.cognio.com )

Kyle E. McSlarrow has been named President of the NCTA. He was previously at the Department of Energy. ( www.ncta.com )

Jim Miller was named VP of sales and Phil Bedard as VP of manufacturing operations at Ellacoya Networks Inc. ( www.ellacoya.com )

Thomas J. Shea was named chief executive and Rob Seim as CFO at Mirra Inc. ( www.mirra.com )

Jeff Shell was appointed president of Comcast Programming. Shell was previously chief executive of Gemstar. ( www.comcast.com )

Bill Sickler has joined Arcwave as president and CEO. ( www.arcells.com )

Jeff Tyre has been named Director of VOD Product Development at Entone Technologies. ( www.entone.com )

Jack Unger has joined NextPhase Wireless as chief wireless engineer. ( www.nextphasewireless.com )

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


Company News

--Acquisitions

Alcatel agreed to acquire Native Networks Ltd., a provider of carrier-class Ethernet network transport technology, for $55 million in cash. ( www.alcatel.com ) ( www.nativenetworks.com )

Intel is acquiring Oplus Technologies, a provider of video processing products and technologies for digital televisions and displays. ( www.intel.com ) ( www.oplus.com )

RADVISION is acquiring First Virtual Communications and its wholly-owned subsidiary CUseeMe Networks, Inc. for approximately $7.15 million in cash. ( www.radvision.com ) ( www.fvc.com )

--Funding

AirMagnet Inc., a provider of wireless LAN security solutions, has received an unspecified investment from the Intel Communications Fund. ( www.airmagnet.com ) ( www.intel.com/capital )

Arroyo Video Solutions Inc., an advanced video platform provider, raised $12 million in a B-round of financing. ( www.arroyo.tv )

ChoiceStream Inc., a developer of online consumer personalization services, has raised $7 million in a Series A round of financing. ( www.choicestream.com )

Dust Networks has raised $22 million funding in its Series B round. ( www.dustnetworks.com )

Frontier Silicon, a semiconductor group in digital radio, has raised $28m (£15.8m). ( www.frontier-silicon.com )

General Bandwidth, a VoIP equipment manufacturer, has raised $18 million in new financing. ( www.genband.com )

SEQUANS Communications, a WiMAX fabless semi-conductor company, has closed €7 Million (~$9 Million US) in its Series B financing round. ( www.sequans.com )

Vativ Technologies, Inc., a provider of silicon solutions for broadband transport over copper, has raised $11 million in a second round of venture funding. ( www.vativ.com )

Other News

Alcatel and Microsoft have signed a global IP Television collaboration agreement with the goal of accelerating IPTV availability. The deal is aimed at developing a solution for IPTV delivery combining Alcatel's hardware and Microsoft's IPTV software. ( www.alcatel.com ) ( www.microsoft.com )

AOL has announced its intention to offer VoIP services before the end of March. The service will be integrated with AOL's instant-messaging and e-mail software. ( www.aol.com )

BSkyB confirmed that it is on track to launch HDTV in 2006 and announced that Thomson will be the initial supplier of the set-top box for that service. Sky's HDTV box will offer PVR functionality similar to today's Sky+ box. ( www.sky.com ) ( www.thomson.net )

CableLabs announced it has issued the first set of specifications to aid in the creation of next-generation Video-on-Demand (VoD) cable services through the development of headend metadata and content distribution documents. ( www.cablelabs.com )

EarthLink has formed a joint venture with SK Telecom to sell wireless voice and data services in the US. The partners are investing $440 million in the venture, called SK-EarthLink, with each owning 50 percent. EarthLink founder, Sky Dayton, will be CEO. ( www.earthlink.com ) ( www.sktelecom.com )

Ikanos Communications has added the Fx 100100 programmable silicon solution to provide speeds of up to 100 Mbps in both upstream and downstream directions over a single copper line. ( www.ikanos.com )

Movielink, a downloading service owned by five major studios, is partnering with the blinkx search engine. blinkx.tv allows users to search video such as TV or movies to find and download their favorite films from Movielink. ( www.movielink.com ) ( www.blinkx.com )

RCN Corporation launched its WebWatch home monitoring system. It allows customers to remotely view real-time video of their home or business through any PC with a broadband connection. Initial service availability will be in Boston and costs RCN Internet subscribers an additional $9.95 per month. ( www.rcn.com )

SBC has established Wi-Fi roaming agreements with Airpath Wireless and Boingo Wireless. The roaming deals add 3,300 hot-spot locations to SBC's FreedomLink service as well as providing additional revenues when Airpath and Boingo customers roam onto SBC's Wi-Fi network. ( www.sbc.com ) ( www.airpath.com ) ( www.boingo.com )


Regulatory

France - TelecomWeb News Digest reports that France Telecom has agreed to unbundle ADSL access and submit a plan covering full network unbundling by June 1. Unbundling broadband services is part of a broader set of agreements FT proposed to the French regulatory agency Autorité de Régulation des Télécommunications (ART), in response to its demands that France Telecom services be brought more in line with those of other EU countries. ( www.telecomweb.com ) ( www.ft.com ) ( www.art-telecom.fr/eng )

France is preparing for the launch of digital terrestrial TV at the end of March. The service--known as TNT ("TV numerique terrestre")--will offer fourteen free-to-air TV channels. The plan at launch is to reach 35% of the French population with eventual expansion to about 80% of homes. Plans call for pay television services to be launched within one year. ( www.csa.fr )

UK - Ofcom, the communications regulator, published the proposed digital terrestrial switchover timetable for the UK. The analog terrestrial TV switch-off will begin in 2008 and is expected to be completed in 2012. Plans call for phasing by independent television franchise region, with each region taking about six months to convert. Wales is scheduled to switch completely in 2008, while London will be one of the last regions converted by the end of 2011. The plans call for digital replication of analog coverage and an overlap period during which remaining viewers can convert to digital terrestrial, cable or satellite TV. ( www.ofcom.org.uk ) ( www.digitalswitchover.tv )


Standards and Forums

WiMAX

The WiMAX Forum has made several recent announcements:

  • They have chosen Cetecom Spain as the certification labs to conduct its work. While Cetecom will serve as headquarters, regional labs around the world will support their efforts.
  • They have expanded their board of directors to include AT&T, BT and ZTE. They also formed an Applications Working Group and a Network Working Group.
  • Sprint has joined the WiMAX Forum as a Principal Member. ( www.wimaxforum.org ) ( www.cetecom.com ) ( www.sprint.com )

Powerline Communications

  • We missed a story in our January issue indicating that at CES Panasonic launched a new group, named the CE-Powerline Communication Alliance (CEPCA), together with Mitsubishi Electric and Sony. One focus of the group is to allow multiple powerline communication network standards to share the same electric wires in a house without interference. Another is establishing an environment where access to PLC-based home networking is available globally. ( www.panasonic.com ) ( www.mitsubishielectric.com ) ( www.sony.com )
  • More recently, the United Power Line Council (UPLC) and the HomePlug Powerline Alliance signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishing an affiliation to "drive the development of open standards" in Broadband over Power Line (BPL) technologies to benefit members of both associations. ( www.uplc.utc.org/ ) ( www.homeplug.org )

Ultra-Wideband

The WiMedia Alliance said it has merged with the MultiBand OFDM Alliance Special Interest Group. The combined group will be known as the WiMedia Alliance Inc. Both groups plan to interface their complementary protocols for ultra-wideband technology. The Alliance's newly elected President is Stephen R. Wood of Intel. ( www.wimedia.org ) ( www.multibandofdm.org )

Home Gateway Initiative (HGI)

The Home Gateway Initiative (HGI) has been launched to improve the interoperability of gateways with connected home devices throughout the EU and the rest of the world, as well as reducing the costs of home gateways for customers. Participating companies include Belgacom, BT, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom, KPN, Teliasonera, NTT, Telefonica and Telecom Italia. The main tasks of the HGI are to establish technical and interoperability specifications and provide input to standardization bodies. The HGI will base its work on existing standards (ITU-T H 610, DSL Forum, UPnP, DLNA .. .) and identify the gaps in those standards that need to be filled. ( www.homegatewayinitiative.org )