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The December 17, 2007 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

Paul Chermak has joined Symmetricom as EVP, Global Sales and Support. Chermak was previously with I2 Technologies. ( www.symmetricom.com )

Jack Fijolek was named VP, Corporate Business Development, UTStarcom earlier this year. ( www.utstarcom.com )

Craig J. Garen has joined Conexant Systems as senior VP and GM of Broadband Access. Garen was previously at LSI Corporation. ( www.conexant.com )

Mike Johnson was appointed CFO of wireless networking company Trapeze Networks. ( www.trapezenetworks.com )

Peter Low has been appointed president and COO of Ensequence. Low is a veteran of MTV Networks and Cablevision Systems. ( www.ensequence.com )

Walt Ungerer has been promoted to EVP, Corporate Strategy and Investor Relations at Vyyo Inc, and Christopher Graham was named VP of Sales. ( www.vyyo.com )

Mark Warner has joined Advanced Broadcast Solutions (ABS) as VP. He was previously director of Microsoft Studios. ( www.advancedbroadcastsolutions.com )

Padmasree Warrior has been named CTO of Cisco Systems. She was previously head of technology at Motorola. ( www.cisco.com )


Company News

Acquisitions

Atheros Communications signed a definitive agreement to acquire u-Nav Microelectronics, a privately held fabless semiconductor company specializing in global positioning system (GPS) chipsets and enabling software. The cash and stock transaction is valued at approximately $54 million. ( www.atheros.com ) ( www.unav-micro.com )

Cisco has agreed to purchase WiMAX vendor Navini Networks for $330 million. ( www.cisco.com ) ( www.navininetworks.com )

D&M Holdings has sold most of the assets of DVR pioneer ReplayTV to DirecTV. Terms of the agreement were not released. Tokyo-based D&M said it will continue to service existing contracts for current ReplayTV subscribers "for the foreseeable future" while DirecTV will assume most of the other assets. ( www.dm-holdings.com ) ( www.replaytv.com ) ( www.directv.com )

DivX has acquired MainConcept, a provider of encoding systems. The purchase is valued at $22 million in stock and cash, with a further incentive payment of up to $6 million. Adobe recently licensed MainConcept software for the MPEG-4 AVC codec H.264 for its Flash product. ( www.divx.com ) ( www.mainconcept.com )

Macrovision has signed an agreement to acquire Gemstar-TV Guide for $2.8 billion in cash and stock. ( www.macrovision.com ) ( www.gemstartvguide.com )

Microsoft is purchasing Openwave Systems's mobile software and services subsidiary Musicwave for $46 million. ( www.microsoft.com ) ( www.musicwave.net )

Occam Networks has completed its purchase of certain assets of Terawave Communications for $3.2 million in cash, cancellation of bridge financing of $1.9 million and the assumption of certain liabilities and purchase commitments of Terawave. ( www.occamnetworks.com ) ( www.terawave.com )

Platinum Equity LLC, a private equity firm, is buying Covad Communications for $304 million. ( www.platinumequity.com )( www.covad.com )

Smith Micro Software is acquiring PCTELs Mobility Solutions Group (MSG) for $59.7 million. ( www.smithmicro.com ) ( mobilitysolutions.pctel.com )

STMicroelectronics is acquiring Genesis Microchip. The total equity value of the transaction amounts to about $336 million. ( www.st.com ) ( www.gnss.com )

SureWest Communications is buying closely held Everest Broadband for $173 million in cash. SureWest will now pass about 281,000 customers in two markets. ( www.surewest.com ) ( www.everestbroadband.com )

Funding

Alloptic, an optical networking equipment firm, announced it has received $24 million in Series B funding. ( www.alloptic.com )

Avail Media, a provider of IPTV and advanced media services to broadband operators, closed the final tranche of a $25 million Series B round of funding and secured $5 million in debt financing. ( www.availmedia.com )

Backchannelmedia, a provider of advanced software solutions for the TV advertising industry, has secured $3 million. ( www.backchannelmedia.com )

BrightRoll, a video advertising network, has secured $5 million in Series B funding. ( brightroll.com )

Enure Networks Ltd., a home networking management software firm, has secured $5 million in bridge financing and a new CEO. ( www.enure.com )

Gigle Semiconductor,a high definition networking chip company, has secured $20 million in Series B financing. ( www.gigle.biz )

GridNetworks Inc., a company focused on delivering video content over broadband networks, has closed a $9.5 million Series A financing. ( www.gridnetworks.com )

Imagine Communications, a company focused on maximizing bandwidth efficiency and capacity of operator video networks, raised $15 million in second-round funding. ( www.imagine-com.com )

Invidi Technologies, which provides targeted advertising to video service providers, has raised $25 million. ( www.invidi.com )

ON Networks, an online HD video company, has closed $12M in Series B funding. ( www.onnetworks.com )

Quantenna Communications, a fabless semiconductor company creating advanced, chipsets for wireless technology, started by Ikanos founder Behrooz Rezvani, has secured $12.7 million in Series B funding. ( www.quantenna.com )

Ruckus Wireless Inc., a WiFi technology supplier, has raised $7.5 million in Series E funding. ( www.ruckuswireless.com )


Other News

Russia's telecom operator Comstar has signed an agreement with Intel to jointly develop the first mobile WiMAX network in Russia. It will be launched by the end of 2008 and will initially cover Moscow. ( www.comstar-uts.ru ) ( www.intel.com )

Cox Communications has announced plans to raise plant bandwidth to 1 Gigahertz, take over operation of its own fiber backbone and consolidate linear TV and video-on-demand services into two national hubs. The initiative, called the Extended Optical Network (EON) is designed to move Cox into the 2010 service world, a place that will require far more bandwidth and diversity of content. ( www.cox.com )

EarthLink has announced it is considering "strategic alternatives" for its troubled municipal WiFi business. It is ceasing investments in new muni Wi-Fi networks, and stopping investments in existing or partially completed networks. ( www.earthlink.com )

The Nielsen Company and Digimarc Corporation announced Nielsen Digital Media Manager which will use digital watermarking and fingerprinting to track content and assure copyright compliance. The new service will focus initially on online distribution of U.S. TV content. Subsequent phases will focus on DVDs, movies, music, video games and other content. The solutions are expected to be available in mid-2008. ( www.nielsen.com ) ( www.digimarc.com )

Pioneer Electronics announced its online TV platform SyncTV, an a la carte video service that allows users to download high-quality video from subscribed channels. SyncTV will charge between $2 and $4 per month for channels from which they can then download as many episodes or titles as they wish. ( www.pioneerelectronics.com ) ( www.synctv.com )

Sprint Nextel and Clearwire have dropped plans to jointly build a nationwide WiMAX network. This event, together with the resignation of Gary Forsee as CEO of Sprint, has led industry watchers to question whether the success of mobile WiMAX is in jeopardy. ( www.sprint.com ) ( www.clearwire.com )

A new ViP-TV IPTV platform from EchoStar has been announced. ViP-TV offers over 300 local and national channels, push and pull video on demand and associated infrastructure support to telcos, private and rural cable operators, and municipal and community video providers that have obtained the rights for distribution of such programming over their wire-line networks. The service will be a competitor to SES Americom's IP-Prime. ( www.echostarviptv.com ) ( www.echostar.com )

The newly created Yassini Broadband Knowledge Center is a $10 million facility located in Boston, which will host teams of student investigators looking beyond current broadband applications. Commercially successful ideas will be sold and the money reinvested in the center. The facility is intended to serve as an executive scholarship and broadband policy center. ( www.yas.com )


Alliances, Consortia, Standards

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has created protocols that will enable Bluetooth to use WiFi as it waits for ultra-wideband technology to develop in handsets. The Bluetooth SIG is using WiFi alongside UWB as a stopgap measure. ( www.bluetooth.com )

The DSL Forum has made public its BroadbandSuite Release Plan, a roadmap of Forum work that addresses issues ranging from interoperability to remote management of the digital home. The goal of the new plan is to identify which Technical Requirements (TRs) are associated with specific milestones of broadband development. ( www.dslforum.org )

The EU has endorsed DVB-H as the official mobile television standard, despite opposition from countries including Britain, Germany and the Netherlands. ( www.dvb-h.org )

The Femto Forum, launched in July, with a base of seven members, has grown to 40 in three months. New members include Alcatel-Lucent, NEC, Nokia Siemens Networks, Motorola, and ZTE. ( www.femtoforum.org )

The Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) ratified and announced immediate availability of MoCA 1.1. This new extension incorporates PQoS (parameterized quality of service) for bandwidth management and prioritization of multiple streams of HD content, and packet aggregation achieving net throughputs of 175 Mbps. MoCA 1.1 also includes an increase in network size from the current eight nodes to 16 nodes (see more in MoCA article below). ( www.mocalliance.org )

The Open Handset Alliance, whose members include Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, Motorola, Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm, has committed to working with Android, an open and free mobile platform. Google announced plans to provide Android, an open-source software for mobile phones. ( www.openhandsetalliance.com ) ( www.google.com )

The Radiocommunication Sector of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU-R) has accepted IEEE 802.16 (which it terms "IMT-2000 OFDMA TDD WMAN") as a 3G standard. It is the sixth technology it has accepted as a 3G wireless standard. Others include W-CDMA, CDMA-2000 and TD-SCDMA. Some observers noted that what the ITU approved was 802.16 as a Time Division Duplex (TDD) technology but didn't accept 802.16 for use in Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) bands. The latter represent the preponderance of licensed frequencies. ( www.itu.int/ITU-R )

Navini, Beceem, Fujitsu and Runcom announced the formation of the "Smart Antenna RF Test Alliance* (SMART) which is designed to promote beamforming and beamformed MIMO, technology included in the mobile WiMAX Wave 2 standard. The SMART Alliance will publish a system performance baseline for the mandatory Smart Antenna features adopted by the WiMAX Forum for Mobile WiMAX.

The IEEE P1901 Working Group, which is developing a Draft Standard for Broadband over Power Line Networks, voted in November among submissions for the final technology to be sent to the P1901 committee for approval as the BPL in-home and access standard. The group was scheduled to meet again in San Diego in December. Outcomes have not yet been disclosed. ( grouper.ieee.org/groups/1901 )