BBH Report Home Page
December 15, 2005 Provided by System Dynamics Inc.

Heard on the Net

News about People and Companies Influencing The Broadband Home


People News

Jeff Abbas has been promoted to President and CEO of the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC). He was previously NCTC’s senior VP of business affairs. ( www.cabletvcoop.org )

John Canning has become Director of Content Production at Yahoo Adventures. He was previously with Microsoft. ( adventures.yahoo.com )

Marty Falaro has joined encryption and digital rights management company, SecureMedia, as VP, Worldwide Sales. ( www.securemedia.com )

Reid A. Fitzgerald was named Director of Network Sales and H. Lee Linton as Director of Business Solutions for Grande Communications. ( www.grandecom.com )

Barry A. Hoberman was named President and CEO of ultrawideband chip company TZero Technologies. He was previously with Virtual Silicon Technology. ( www.tzti.com )

Robert A. Quigley has joined Charter Communications as executive VP and chief marketing officer (CMO). Quigley was previously with AOL. ( www.charter.com )

Justin Rattner was appointed as CTO at Intel. The company also appointed Eric Kim to be CMO. ( www.intel.com )

David Zonsheine was appointed as VP for R&D at Infogate Online. Zonsheine was previously at Enigma. ( www.infogateonline.com )


Company News

Acquisitions

Alcatel, AT&T, and Telefonos de Mexico have agreed to acquire a majority stake in residential gateway and backend management company 2Wire. Alcatel's share was 25% and cost $120 million; together AT&T and Telemex are purchasing 26%. ( www.alcatel.com ) ( www.att.com ) ( www.telmex.com.mx ) ( www.2wire.com )

Airspan Networks has acquired Wi-Fi specialist Radionet Oy of Finland. The purchase price is estimated at up to $1.88 million in cash. ( www.airspan.com ) ( www.radionet.com )

Cisco Systems plans to acquire cable equipment company Scientific-Atlanta in a deal valued at approximately $6.9 billion. The Scientific-Atlanta operation will be managed by senior VP Mike Volpi, in Cisco’s routing and service provider technology group. ( www.cisco.com ) ( www.scientificatlanta.com )

Korea Telecom, Korea's largest fixed-line telco, paid 28 billion Won ($27.2 million) for 51% of the production and talent management company, Sidus FNH. This is part of KT's drive to become a multi-media corporation through infrastructure upgrades and content acquisitions. ( www.kt.co.kr/kthome/eng/index.jsp ) ( www.sidus.net )

Funding

Beceem Communications has raised $22 million in Series C funding to speed its WiMAX-compliant chipset development. ( www.beceem.com )

Brightcove, an open Internet TV service, announced it has raised $16.2 million in B round funding. Brightcove simultaneously announced a content distribution partnership with AOL, and the appointment of Barry Diller to the Brightcove Board. ( www.brightcove.com )

BroadLight, a supplier of communication chips and optical transceivers, closed a $10 million series D financing round led by Motorola Ventures. ( www.broadlight.com )

CopperGate, a home and media networking chip provider, closed a $14.5 million third round of funding. ( www.copper-gate.com )

Inetcam, a provider of software for real-time streaming of video to cellphones, obtained $12.5 million in funding. ( www.inetcam.com )

Intel has launched a $50M venture capital fund to invest in technology companies in the Middle East and Turkey. The development focus will include broadband infrastructure, mobile wireless using WiMAX, local content and digital health solutions. Separately, Intel Capital has made a strategic investment in digital HD radio technology developer iBiquity Digital. ( www.intel.com ) ( www.ibquity.com )

Navio Systems, a digital rights management company, closed a $25.4 million Series B round of funding. ( www.navio.com )

Strix Systems, a wireless mesh network switching provider, has secured $12 million in its round of preferred stock financing. ( www.strixsystems.com )

VividLogic a provider of home-entertainment infrastructure software, completed a Series A funding round of $3 million. ( www.vividlogic.com )

World Wide Packets, a provider of Carrier Ethernet solutions, completed a round of funding for $25.5 million. ( www.worldwidepackets.com )

YouTube, a video-sharing Web site, raised $3.5 million Series A financing. ( www.youtube.com )


Other News

AOL and Warner Brothers Domestic Cable Distribution announced a collaboration forming In2TV, a new broadband network to launch this January. It will enable consumers to stream more than 300 classic TV series from Warner Bros., free and on-demand, on the Web. Its programs will be advertising supported. AOL will deliver content over peer-to-peer grid distribution networks, developed in partnership with Kontiki and using a new "AOL Hi-Q" high-quality video format designed for full-screen viewing on PC monitors or TVs. ( www.aol.com ) ( www.warnerbros.com ) ( www.kontiki.com )

Cablevision Systems ratcheted up the broadband speed wars by expanding its Optimum Online Internet service to offer customers symmetrical speeds of up to 50 Mbps. They increased the speeds for current subscribers from 10 Mbps downstream/1 Mbps upstream to 15 Mbps down/2 Mbps up at no additional cost. The company also rolled out 30-mbps and 50-mbps options across its territory. ( www.cablevision.com )

Cisco Systems announced a new series of access points that can be used for citywide Wi-Fi deployments. The new access points can be deployed on rooftops, light posts and power poles and each is equipped with two radios. ( www.cisco.com )

Gemstar-TV Guide International and Handmark launched "TV Guide Mobile". TV Guide Mobile offers subscribers access to TV Guide daily local TV listings. The service is designed for Palm handhelds, Treo smartphones and Windows Mobile pocket PCs and smartphones.( www.gemstartvguide.com ) ( www.handmark.com )

Inmarsat switched on its satellite-based broadband service called The Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN). The service is targeted at users in locations with unreliable or non-existent telecommunications infrastructure and will offer simultaneous voice and data at rates up to 492 Kbps. It currently covers Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa, with plans for further extension. The initial terminals weigh about 1kg and are half the size of a laptop, so don't plan to put them in your pocket. The cost of transferring one megabyte of data from anywhere in the world is put at between $4 to $7, while a voice call is expected to cost under $1 a minute. ( www.inmarsat.com )

Korea Telecom launched WiBro mobile broadband wireless at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Busan. ( www.kt.co.kr/kthome/eng/index.jsp )

Ruckus Wireless announced their Interoperability and Open Testing program (RIOT) for testing operation of IP-enabled media appliances, such as set-top boxes, PVRs, mobile video players and conditional access systems over their Wi-Fi technology. Participants include Advanced Digital Broadcast, Amino, i3 micro technology, Entone Technologies, Telsey Telecommunications and Sling Media. ( www.ruckuswireless.com )

Skype released a new version of its software that includes video calling. ( www.skype.com )

Sony launched an Internet calling service called Instant Video Everywhere (IVE) that emphasizes video conferencing. The basic version which is free, lets users make computer-to-computer calls. The premium version, which allows users to connect with traditional and mobile phones, costs $9.95 a month. ( sony.glowpoint.com )

Standards

MoCA: The Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) announced completion of its first “Plugfest” where eight member companies tested products to verify that they interoperate and perform consistently with the specifications. The first MoCA certification wave is expected this month. ( www.mocalliance.org )

Mobile WiMAX: A mobile WiMax standard has been approved by the IEEE and will be designated 802.16e-2005. Mobile WiMax trials and certification testing are expected to start in the first quarter of 2006, organized by the WiMax Forum. Products will likely follow in late 2006 and services by early 2007. ( www.ieee802.org ) ( www.wimaxforum.org )


Countries

Australia

Telstra has said it will seek legislative reforms before proceeding with its planned $5 billion next-generation network. Telstra wants to exempt new services from mandated 3rd party access. ( www.telstra.com/au )

UK

Digital TV transition: In a report commissioned by UK regulator Ofcom, technology consultants Scientific Generics reported that the switchover costs to digital TV could affect up to 40% of households, with the total bill for non-voluntary conversion estimated at £572m (€847m). The report estimates that between 60% and 75% of homes will have converted all their AV equipment to digital prior to switchover, which begins in 2008.

BT price reductions to ISPs: The price BT charges ISPs to connect new broadband customers to BT's unbundled local loops will be cut after 15 December by 40%. Regulator Ofcom has continued to pressure BT, and a string of price reductions has been implemented.

US Statistics

HDTV: Kagan Research issued a report on "The State of High Definition Television 2006" which projects that in the US "The number of HD sets sold in 2005 will number 10.1 mil. At the end of 2005, more than 23 million HD sets will have been sold since first becoming available in 1998" and that at the end of 2005 "17.2% of TVHHs will have at least one set." ( www.kagan.com )

Cable Telephony: IP Media Monitor reported that the top U.S. cable operators passed the four million voice customer mark in Q3 05, with quarterly telephony customer gains going strong and around 9% of all cable homes passed that can buy telephony service, do so. ( www.ipmediamonitor.com )

Broadband Growth: Broadband Daily reported that US broadband households exceeded 39 million in 3Q05. They also indicated that the four Bell operating companies added roughly 1.3 million DSL customers in the third quarter, their strongest collective quarter ever.