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The March 6, 2006 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

Anthony Au was appointed VP of Sales at Cambridge Broadband. He was formerly with Redline Communications. ( www.cambridgebroadband.com )

Antony Carbonari has been appointed director of interactive and commercial media for the television services business of BT. Carbonari was previously director of broadband services for the Walt Disney Internet Group. ( www.bt.com )

Patrick Donovan was appointed as VP of Product Management, and Dan O'Connor as VP of Engineering, at Gotuit Media. Donovan was previously with Motorola and O'Connor was at TV Guide On Screen. ( www.gotuit.com )

ICTV has announced the following new positions in conjunction with its merger with Switched Media: Ed Forman is returning as Executive VP and COO; Michael Taylor is joining as Senior VP of Business Development and Distribution; and Jeremy Edmonds has joined as System Architect. ( www.ictv.com )

Jef Graham was named chairman and chief executive of RGB Networks. He was previously with Juniper. ( www.rgbnetworks.com )

Sarah Hackforth has joined Entone Technologies as VP Sales & Operations EMEA. Previously, she was with Terayon and Motorola Broadband Systems Group. ( www.entone.com )

Alfred Mockett has been appointed chairman and CEO for Motive. He was previously CEO of American Management Systems. ( www.motive.com )

Neil Parkinson was appointed CEO of Irish Broadband Internet Services Ltd. ( www.irishbroadband.ie )

Ciricia Proulx has accepted a new position at Intel in the Service Provider Business Group. She was previously with ViXS. ( www.intel.com )

George Riedel was hired as chief strategy officer for Nortel Networks. He was previously with Juniper Networks. ( www.nortel.com )

Mike Roudi has joined Time Warner Cable as VP of wireless operations. He will manage the MSO's participation in the joint venture between Sprint Nextel Corp., and MSOs Time Warner, Comcast, Cox and Advance/Newhouse. ( www.timewarnercable.com )

Mike Snyder is becoming CEO of Vonage Holdings, while founder Jeff Citron assumes the role of Chairman and Chief Strategist. Snyder was previously with ADT.( www.vonage.com )

Ali Taslimi was named VP of Corporate Development for Coaxsys. His previous positions were focused on broadband networking and IPTV. ( www.coaxsys.com )


Company News

Acquisitions

IDT is acquiring Net2Phone by merging with NTOP Acquisition, a wholly owned subsidiary of IDT. The Net2Phone name would survive, but the company will be a privately-held, wholly-owned subsidiary of IDT. "The aggregate consideration payable in the merger would be approximately $28.1 million." ( www.idt.net ) ( www.net2phone.com )

Irdeto is acquiring Philips' conditional access business unit (CryptoTec). No financial details of the transaction were disclosed. ( www.irdeto.com ) ( www.philips.com )

Tandberg Television is acquiring video compression company SkyStream Networks for $80 million in cash and Tandberg Television shares. ( www.tandbergtv.com ) ( www.skystream.com )

Funding

FON, a Spanish peer-to-peer Wi-Fi network provider, has obtained $21.7 million in Series A funding from Google, Skype and others. The company convinces people to share their home hotspots with others so that, in effect, users trade their Internet connections so everyone’s connected wherever other users are. ( www.fon.com )

Newport Media, a developer of silicon for mobile TV receivers, has closed a $25 million Series B round. The company supports all major mobile TV standards. ( www.newportmediainc.com )

picoChip, which makes silicon for a variety of wireless technologies, has raised $20.5 million in its third round of funding. The funding includes an undisclosed sum from AT&T. ( www.picochip.com )

SpaceWave Technologies, an advanced wireless technologies chip maker, raised nearly $12.1 million in its first round of venture capital. ( www.apacewave.com )


Other News

ArrayComm and Texas Instruments announced a collaboration to combine ArrayComm's smart antenna technology with TI's digital signal processing for wireless infrastructure applications. ( www.arraycomm.com ) ( www.ti.com/wimaxwi )

ICTV, which makes a platform for delivery and distribution of interactive television content, announced that it is merging with Switched Media, a developer of solutions for mass customization of live video streams. The Switched Media team will join ICTV, and the combined companies will retain the ICTV name. ( www.ictv.com )

IPWireless made several recent announcements:

  • Starting in March, Sprint Nextel will test the next generation of IPWireless' mobile broadband technology. Sprint recently invested an additional $10M in IPWireless.
  • Orange will be the first UMTS operator globally to trial TDtv, the company’s recently launched mobile TV and multimedia solution based on the 3GPP Multimedia Broadcast and Multicast Standard (MBMS).
  • IP Wireless is also developing jointly with MobiTV mobile television delivery solutions that combine today’s unicast technologies with TDtv multicasting. ( www.ipwireless.com ) ( www.sprintnextel.com ) ( www.orange.com ) ( www.mobitv.com )

MovieBeam, originally launched by Disney in 2003 in three test markets, announced its VOD service which will be sold at retail. To use it, consumers buy the Linksys-branded set-top box for $200 and pay a one-time activation fee of $30. The service digitally delivers up to 10 movies a week to the box through over-the-air datacasting. New releases cost $3.99 per title; other titles run $1.99. HD movies cost an extra $1. ( www.moviebeam.com ) ( www.linksys.com )

NTT DoCoMo and Nippon Television Network have formed a partnership to investigate mobile digital TV services in Japan. Each company is investing 5 billion yen ($42 million) in a fund that will consider opportunities for bringing Nippon TV content to DoCoMo users. ( www.nttdocomo.com ) ( www.ntv.co.jp/english/index.html )

Octalica, an Israeli chip vendor, has joined the Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA). Octalica will provide an alternate source of silicon for the MoCA standard. ( www.octalica.com ) ( www.mocalliance.org )

Widevine Technologies announced digital copy protection for high definition DVD-based content in both Blu-ray and HD-DVD delivery formats. Widevine recently formed a partnership with Sigma Designs to embed Widevine protection capabilities into Sigma's digital media processors. ( www.widevine.com ) ( www.sigmadesigns.com )


Standards and Trade Associations

The ITU has approved a suite of CableLabs' PacketCable specs as standards for the international version of services including VoIP. The PacketCable-based standards, known internationally as IPCablecom, cover such topics as architecture, network call signaling, call management server (CMS) to CMS signaling and QoS over a cable television network using IP. The ITU also standardized on CableLabs' contributions from DOCSIS and CableHome project. ( www.itu.int ) ( www.cablelabs.com ) ( www.packetcable.com )

The Open PLC European Research Alliance (OPERA) announced the development and approval of a global specification for Powerline Communications (PLC) access, also known as Broadband over Powerline (BPL). Spanish chipmaker DS2 says its technology was selected as the baseline for the specification.( www.ist-OPERA.org ) ( www.ds2.es )

The International Packet Communications Consortium (IPCC), an international trade association dedicated to the advancement of VoIP over broadband, announced its transition to the IMS Forum whose mission will be to accelerate the adoption of IP Multimedia Subsystems (IMS) by providing an environment for discussion and resolution of implementation issues. It will also provide consultancy on IMS best practices. Its founding members include Alcatel, Cisco, CopperCom, Sonus, Sprint Nextel and UTStarcom. ( www.IMSForum.org ) ( www.alcatel.com ) ( www.cisco.com ) ( www.coppercom.com ) ( www.sonusnet.com ) ( www.sprintnextel.com ) ( www.utstar.com )

Countries

US

President Bush signed a budget bill which includes the federal mandate to transition the United States from analog to digital TV broadcasting by midnight February 17, 2009. This will be the biggest TV transition in the US since households moved from monochrome to color receivers over 45 years ago. Consumers will be able to use their analog TVs if they purchase a set-top converter box. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) posted a consumer fact sheet about the transition.