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The December 13, 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

Michael Brunsveld has been appointed Managing Director for Cedar Point Communications' new European subsidiary. Brunsveld was previously with Nortel Networks Germany. ( www.cedarpointcom.com )

Randy Falco has been named chairman and CEO of AOL. Falco previously spent 31 years at NBC. ( www.aol.com )

Jason Hirschhorn and Ben White have joined Sling Media. Their role is to take the company, which is known for place-shifting TV content, into what Hirschhorn calls "phase two"—letting users work with content in ways that haven't been done before. Both were previously with MTV Networks. ( www.slingmedia.com )

Jeff Lindholm was named senior VP of worldwide field operations at BigBand Networks. Previously, Lindholm was chief marketing officer at Juniper. ( www.bigbandnet.com )

Robin Main has been named senior VP of application software development at TANDBERG Television. Main was previously with Movaz Networks. ( www.tandbergtv.com )

Tony Werner has been appointed CTO of Comcast starting January 1, 2007. Werner is presently senior VP and CTO at Liberty Global. ( www.comcast.com )


Company News

Acquisitions

Alcatel and Lucent Technologies have completed their $13.5 billion merger transaction. They will operate under the name Alcatel-Lucent. ( www.alcatel-lucent.com )

Alvarion has sold its Cellular Mobile business unit to LGC Wireless for $15 million. Alvarion now intends to focus all of their resources on their WiMAX business. ( www.alvarion.com ) ( www.lgcwireless.com )

BSkyB has acquired a stake of 17.9 per cent in ITV plc for approximately £940 million. The acquisition came shortly after NTL had approached ITV about a potential merger. ( www.sky.com ) ( www.itv.com )

Motorola agreed to purchase broadband gateway provider Netopia for $208 million. ( www.motorola.com ) ( www.netopia.com )

NDS Group Plc is acquiring Jungo Ltd., a residential gateway software provider, for up to $107.5 million in cash. This includes a $17 million earn-out payment contingent on the attainment of certain targets in the 12 months following completion of the deal. ( www.nds.com ) ( www.jungo.com )

Qualcomm is acquiring two wireless networking companies: WiFi/MIMO chip vendor Airgo for an undisclosed amount and the majority of RF Micro Devices Bluetooth assets for $39 million. ( www.qualcomm.com ) ( www.airgo.com ) ( www.rfmd.com )

Funding

Artimi, a developer of ultra wideband chip technology, has raised $26.5 million in Series B funding. ( www.artimi.com )

BitTorrent has closed $20 million in Series B financing. ( www.bittorrent.com )

Digital Bridge Communications a WiMAX broadband service provider to underserved communities, has raised over $11 million in Series A venture financing and $6.25 million in debt from Comerica Bankregions. ( www.digitalbridgecommunications.com )

Intel Capital announced it has surpassed $1 billion worth of investments in 2006, a significant increase over the previous two years. Intel Capital invested $265 million in 2005 and $130 million in 2004. Clearwire, which received $600 million in July 2006 accouncts for a significant portion of this investment. ( www.intel.com )

SEQUANS Communications, a WiMAX semiconductor vendor, has received a "substantial investment" from Motorola, through its venture capital arm. ( www.sequans.com ) ( www.motorola.com )


Other News

3 Group, which has 3G licences in 11 markets, has announced the launch of their new flat-priced mobile broadband service. They also announced global partnerships with Sling Media, Orb and Google, which supplement previously announced agreements with Skype, Microsoft and Yahoo. Customers will pay their basic subscription fee plus an additional flat fee to access basic mobile broadband services such as Skype calls and text messaging. Customers taking broadband-rich services such as Orb and Sling Media will pay an additional access fee. ( www.three.com ) ( www.slingmedia.com ) ( www.orb.com ) ( www.google.com )

BSkyB and Google announced a set of multi-year agreements to partner in three areas: a User Generated Video (UGV) portal; a customized version of Google Mail as well as contacts, calendar and instant messaging; and search and advertising. The companies agreed to explore additional areas such as VoIP services in the future. ( www.sky.com ) ( www.google.com )

BroadLogic Network Technologies has announced its new TeraPIX video-processor chip which is capable of decoding dozens of digital video streams and generating a full analog and digital service tier that any number of cable-ready devices can view. The TeraPIX processor powers a Residential Gateway, which allows the network to be all-digital while subscribers continue to receive cable-ready analog video, digital video, high speed data and voice services. ( www.broadlogic.com )

CableLabs has published new testing procedures to verify that retail “Plug and Play” devices can receive multiple streams of programming from new multi-stream CableCARD™s (or M-Card™s). The CableLabs effort was supported by TiVo, Motorola, Digeo, Solekai, Digital Keystone, and ViXS. ( www.cablelabs.com )( www.tivo.com ) ( www.motorola.com ) ( www.digeo.com ) ( www.solekai.com ) ( www.digitalkeystone.com ) ( www.vixs.com )

CETECOM Spain, which does testing of mobile and wireless technologies such as WiMAX, has been renamed AT4 Wireless. As part of the differentiation within Cetecom, all other CETECOM companies and laboratories in Germany, France, the USA and Asia will continue to act under the name of CETECOM. ( www.cetecom.com )( www.at4wireless.com )

Comcast has launched wireless service in partnership with Sprint Nextel in two markets: Boston and Portland, Ore. Comcast's wireless is an add-on for subscribers of its "triple play" of cable TV, telephone and high speed Internet. Time Warner also offers a Mobile Access service that links cable TV, Road Runner and home Digital Phone services with Sprint wireless phone, and Cox expects to offer similar serices early in 2007. ( www.comcast.com ) ( www.sprint-nextel.com ) ( www.timewarner.com ) ( www.cox.com )

Microsoft has announced agreements with content companies such as CBS, MTV Networks and Paramount Pictures as part of its plan to distribute content thorough the Xbox Live network. By year end they expect availability of over 1,000 hours of content in both standard and high-definition formats. ( www.microsoft.com ) ( www.xbox.com )

Orb has started offering users a program that lets them view, search and create media channels from the Internet and direct it onto cell phones and laptops from sites like YouTube or Google Video. The service works on advanced smartphones such as Nokia's N80. ( www.orb.com )

TeliaSonera is restructuring itself into four divisions: mobility services; broadband services; integrated enterprise services; and Eurasia. ( www.teliasonera.com )

TiVo announced five enhancements that allow consumers to select their own content and bring it from the Internet to their TV. These include: a "unified search" across broadcast, cable and broadband content sources; celebrity talent recommendations for automatically recording content; an easy way to share home videos with friends on a private channel; new PC software to transcode Web video for TV sets; and new TiVoCast service programming partners. ( www.tivo.com )

WildBlue Communications has successfully launched its Ka-band spot beam satellite, WildBlue-1. WildBlue provides high-speed Internet connectivity via satellite to homes and small businesses in communities where terrestrial broadband access is either limited or unavailable. ( www.wildblue.net )


Industry Alliances

HomePNA released the HomePNA 3.1 specification that increases data rates over existing home wiring to 320 Mbps. It is intended to allow service providers to simultaneously distribute triple-play IPTV, voice and Internet data. ( www.homepna.org )

The HomePlug Powerline Alliance has added Texas Instruments, LG and TCL to its leadership. ( www.homeplug.com ) ( www.ti.com ) ( www.lge.com ) ( www.tclhk.com )


Countries

Canada - The Canadian government has over-ruled a decision by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC 2005-28). The government is calling on the CRTC to refrain from economic regulation of certain Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. ( www.crtc.ca )

UK - Ofcom announced proposals for the UK’s largest single release of radio spectrum, which could be used for a range of new services such as mobile broadband and advanced wireless services. The consultation document seeks views on proposals to auction licences to use three spectrum bands: 2500-2690 MHz, 2010-2025 MHz and 2290-2300 MHz. In total 215 MHz will be available. ( www.ofcom.org.uk )