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The October 17, 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

Subhajit Bagchi has joined Azaire Networks as its new VP of operations. He was previously with IP Unity. ( www.azairenet.com )

Ray Blair, VP-BPL Initiatives at IBM, was elected as the United Power Line Council's new Technology Co-Chairman of its Board of Directors. ( www.ibm.com ) ( www.uplc.org )

Dr. Sam Endy was appointed to the new position of VP & GM of the Mobile Wireless Business Unit at Atheros. Endy was previously president and CEO of TeleCIS Wireless. ( www.atheros.com )

Danial Faizullabhoy was named president and CEO of BroadLogic Network. He was previously at venture capital firm Walden International. ( www.broadlogic.com )

Satoshi Ikeuchi was named President and CEO at Fujitsu Network Communications and Joe Massery was promoted to senior VP of development. ( us.fujitsu.com/telecom )

Kevin Reinis was named president and CEO of NetStreams. He was previously CEO at Yosemite Technologies. Founder Herman Cardenas was named Chairman of the Board. ( www.netstreams.com )

Pasquale 'Pat' Romano was appointed president and CEO of 2Wire. He succeeds Brian Hinman who will continue to serve on 2Wire's board of directors. [Editor's Note: Congratulations Pat! We also wish Brian the very best in whatever he does next -- he is currently three for three in terms of success with companies he has founded.] ( www.2wire.com )

Samrat Vasisht was named VP of marketing and Matthew Byrne senior VP of mobile sales at On2 Technologies. ( www.on2.com )


Company News

Acquisitions

Microsoft is acquiring Israel-based Gteko Ltd., a PC technical support and services company, for $110 million. ( www.microsoft.com ) ( www.gteko.com )

Motorola has acquired Symbol Technologies for $3.9 billion. Separately, Motorola is purchasing privately held Vertasent LLC, which has solutions for managing on-demand services in the broadband cable industry. Financial terms of the Vertasent acquisition were not disclosed. ( www.motorola.com ) ( www.symbol.com ) ( www.vertasent.com )

France's Societe Francaise de Radiotelephone (SFR), a Vivendi subsidiary, is purchasing the fixed and broadband businesses of Sweden's Tele2 in France for approximately $450 million. SFR is one of three major wireless operators in the French mobile market. ( www.sfr.fr ) ( www.tele2.com )

Time Warner has completed the restructuring of their AOL Europe businesses by selling AOL France's Internet access business to Neuf Cegetel for about $365 million in cash. The Carphone Warehouse is acquiring AOL’s Internet access business in the UK for $688 million. Previously, AOL Deutschland was sold to Telecom Italia. ( www.timewarner.com ) ( www.neufcegetel.fr ) ( www.carphonewarehouse.com )

Funding

BelAir Networks, a provider of mobile wireless broadband mesh network solutions, announced a $21.4 million Series D financing round. ( www.belairnetworks.com )

BPL Global, a provider of software solutions and systems integration services for broadband over power line and smart grid infrastructures, has received $25 million in equity investments, largely from a consortium of Kuwaiti-based companies. ( www.bplglobal.net )

Ripe Digital Entertainment (RDE), an on-demand digital media company, has received $32 million in Series B financing from companies including Hearst-Argyle and Time Warner Investments. ( www.ripedigital.com )

Ruckus Wireless has secured $16 million in new financing from companies including Motorola Ventures and T-Online Venture Fund. ( www.ruckuswireless.com )


Other News

Apple Computer announced a wireless video streaming set-top box, code-named iTV, to be released in Q1 2007. The box, to be priced at $299, is designed to stream movies, music, and other multimedia files from a computer to a television. It includes a power supply, USB 2.0, 802.11 wireless of a type not announced, and Ethernet; it has HDMI and component video, and stereo and optical audio out to your TV. The announcement was made along with one for an iTunes library with 75 feature-length movies. ( www.apple.com )

BelAir Networks is supplying equipment for a new 60 square mile muni Wi-Fi network in Minneapolis. The city will become the anchor-tenant of the network which will be owned and operated by US Internet. The city wants to enhance public safety and bridge the digital divide. The platform enables US Internet to use WiMAX for backhaul and supports IEEE 802.16e for an eventual move to mobile WiMAX. ( www.belairnetworks.com ) ( www.usinternet.com )

Comcast and CBS announced that they will make eight of the CBS TV Network's leading prime time series available free to Comcast Digital Cable customers with ON DEMAND. The series will include paid commercial spots sold by CBS. The deal replaces a previous one to offer CBS programming for 99 cents per episode only in markets served by CBS owned and operated stations. ( www.comcast.com ) ( www.cbs.com )

Google announced a News Archive Search to allow users to search back over 200 years of historical content. Google has partnered with news organizations such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and the Guardian and aggregators including Factiva and LexisNexis. Both free and fee-based content is included in Archive Search. ( www.google.com )

IP Wireless will be the technology provider for a New York City wireless broadband public-safety network that will add high-speed data and video capabilities to the city's first responders and transportation personnel. The $500 million contract to build and maintain the network was won by Northrop Grumman. The five-year agreement calls for the first data network to be activated in Lower Manhattan by January 2007. ( www.ipwireless.com )

Intel and DIRECTV announced that DIRECTV Plus® HD DVR, a set-top with an integrated digital media adapter, is in final testing with VIIV and will be deployable to customers via a software download starting in December. ( www.intel.com ) ( www.directv.com )

Intellon and Digital Deck won a Technology Innovation Accelerated Award for the Digital Home category at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. They demonstrated a whole-home media experience with the combination of the Digital Deck Home Media System and HomePlug AV powerline technology as the network backbone. ( www.intellon.com ) ( www.digitaldeck.com ) ( www.intel.com/idf )

Motorola introduced a new line of voice-enabled cable modems that will use Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) to support advanced multimedia services for IP phone subscribers. ( www.motorola.com )

SES Americom has announced carriage deals with 30 programmers for their new IP PRIME satellite-delivered TV service which is now under test by BellSouth and the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative. The IP PRIME video distribution solution enables telcos to provide hundreds of standard and HD television channels for the video component of their bundled offerings. ( www.ses-americom.com )

Sprint Nextel has launched Sprint Power View, a sports and entertainment video programming network intended for viewing on mobile devices. The service is free to Sprint Vision and Power Vision subscribers and is supported on a variety of Sanyo, Samsung and LG phone models. ( www.sprint.com )

Telecom Italia announced a major reorganization to split its fixed-line and mobile businesses into two new companies in order to sharpen its focus on broadband and media activities. The announcement was followed by the stepping down of TI's Chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera, a strike protesting the reorganization, and statements from Italian Premier Romano Prodi insisting he didn't meddle in the restructuring plans. ( www.telecomitalia.com )

Tivo announced its Series3 HD DVR. Its dual tuner can record 30 hours of high-definition programming (300 hours of standard) via a cable card or from over-the-air signals and has a number of other special features. The unit carries a price tag of $799, not including the costs of a Tivo subscription, up to two CableCards and a cable subscription. ( www.tivo.com )

Vodafone is teaming with Italian broadband operator FastWeb to create wireless/broadband bundles in its markets. Vodaphone previously announced a similar deal with BT Wholesale. The first Vodafone Italia/FastWeb offering, called Vodafone Casa FastWeb, permits customers, when at home, to use their cellphones to make calls to all fixed-line and mobile numbers for the cost of a landline phone call. It also includes ADSL broadband. Customers will also be offered Vodafone Infinity FastWeb, for calls between Vodafone mobile phones and FastWeb's fixed-line devices. ( www.vodafone.it ) ( company.fastweb.it )

Yahoo! has partnered with Current TV, a cable and satellite channel powered by “viewer-created content” to create the Yahoo! Current Network. They presently have four channels devoted respectively to action videos, celebrity buzz, auto and motor cycling drivers and travel. ( www.yahoo.com ) ( www.current.tv ) ( video.yahoo.com/currenttv )


Industry Alliances

Fixed/Mobile Convergence

The Wi-Fi Alliance and CTIA have developed a testing program for Wi-Fi/cellular phones which offers RF performance mapping in a converged environment. To complete the testing, a device must be Wi-Fi certified for core Wi-Fi interoperability, and CTIA certified for core cellular performance. The data will be collected from tests conducted in independent laboratories, which will be authorized and recognized by both organizations. ( www.wi-fi.org ) ( www.ctia.org )

WiMAX Spectrum Owners

A new group, called the WiMAX Spectrum Owners Alliance (WiSOA), has been formed by a group of companies that own spectrum and operate services in the WiMAX bands. Founding members include Unwired Australia, Network Plus Mauritius, UK Broadband, Irish Broadband, Austar Australia/Liberty Group, Telecom New Zealand, WiMAX Telecom Group, Enertel, and Woosh Telecom. WiSOA "is focussed on the regulation, commercialization, and deployment of WiMAX spectrum in the 2.3–2.5 GHz and the 3.4–3.5 GHz ranges." At its inaugural meeting, WiSOA announced its intention to sign the first international WiMAX roaming agreement in December. ( www.wisoa.com )