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The July 10, 2008 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

Duncan Bees has been named CTO of The Home Gateway Initiative (HGI). He succeeds Paolo Pastorino, who will return to his role at Telecom Italia. Bees was previously Technical Advisor at PMC-Sierra; prior to this appointment, he was the co-chair of the HGI QoS working group. ( www.homegatewayinitiative.org )

Scott Durchslag has been named COO at Skype. Scott was previously with the Mobile Devices Business at Motorola. ( www.skype.com )

Mark Laubach is now CTO and VP Engineering at Dimark Technologies, a supplier of TR-069 services for the embedded CPE market. ( www.dimark.com )

David Verklin has been selected as CEO of Canoe Ventures LLC, the new company formed by six major cable companies (Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Cox, Charter and Bright House Networks) to sell targeted ads across their systems. Backing so far totals $150 million. Verklin is an advertising veteran and most recently headed the Aegis Group.


Company News

Acquisitions

Alcatel-Lucent is acquiring broadband service management software provider Motive in a deal valued at $67.8 million. ( www.alcatel-lucent.com ) ( www.motive.com )

Amino Technologies is acquiring Assethouse Technologies the on-demand entertainment services provider behind the BT Vision offering; the purchase price is just over $2.7 million in cash. Amino is also is hiring Andrew Burke, a former BT executive who led BT Vision's IPTV service, as its new CEO. ( www.aminocom.com ) ( www.assethouse.com )

Belden has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire WLAN equipment provider Trapeze Networks, for $133 million in cash. ( belden.com ) ( www.trapezenetworks.com )

Cisco announced plans to acquire Denmark-based DiviTech A/S, a provider of digital-service management systems for broadcasters, cable and IPTV operators. Financial terms were not disclosed. ( www.cisco.com ) ( www.divitech.net )

Cogeco Cable has reached agreement to acquire all of the shares of Toronto Hydro Telecom Inc., the telecommunications subsidiary of Toronto Hydro Corporation for $200 million. ( www.cogeco.com ) ( www.thtelecom.ca )

Cortina Systems, which makes networking chips, announced an agreement to acquire Storm Semiconductor to extend its product line into home networking products. ( www.cortina-systems.com ) ( www.stormsemi.com )

Enablence Technologies has completed the acquisition of Wave7 Optics. The aggregate price was US$10.5 million and 2,078,385 common shares of Enablence. Tom Tighe has been appointed as President of Enablence’s Networks Division (Wave7). ( www.enablence.com ) ( www.wave7optics.com )

Espial Group, a Canadian IPTV middleware vendor, is acquiring Kasenna for $6.5 million. Kasenna customers include Cavalier Telephone, CenturyTel, FastWeb, SaskTel, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications and Knology. ( www.espial.com )

Microsoft bought Navic Networks, a company that delivers targeted interactive ads across cable TV networks. Although the purchase price was not disclosed, Multichannel News pegged the price at $230 million. ( www.microsoft.com ) ( www.navic.tv ) ( www.multichannel.com )

Funding

Cartiza, a stealth mobile WiMAX equipment firm, has received an investment from Comcast Interactive. ( www.cartizanetworks.com ) ( www.civentures.com )

Clearspring Technologies, a widget creation and distribution company, has raised $18 million in Series C financing. ( www.clearspring.com )

Inuk Networks Ltd., a Welsh IPTV service provider, has raised $18.6 million (GBP9.5 million) in its second round of financing. ( www.inuknetworks.com )


Other News

BitTorrent and Orb Networks have entered into a partnership which bundles their respective software, allowing users to stream their music, movies, or other media to their PCs, phones, and other devices. ( www.bittorrent.com ) ( www.orbnetworks.com )

CableLabs, the North American cable industry's non-profit research and development consortium, celebrated its twentieth anniversary in May. Dick Green has been President and CEO of CableLabs since August 1988. Its original R&D budget in 1989 was $2.5 million. ( www.cablelabs.com )

DesignArt, a System-on-a-Chip company focused on WiMAX and 4G, has integrated a complete base station design with high-speed wireless backhaul capability on a single silicon chip. These SoCs contain all needed control and network processors for designing WiMAX base station products with integrated in-band backhaul. ( www.designart.com )

Digeo announced that Charter Communications will deploy its new Moxi dual HD-tuner DVR in 3Q08. This second generation unit uses the Moxi Menu user interface and has CableCard multi-stream two-way support and remote Web scheduling abilities. ( www.digeo.com ) ( www.charter.com )

The DSL Forum has changed its name to The Broadband Forum. ( www.dslforum.org ) ( www.broadband-forum.org )

ICTV, a solution provider for bringing Web content and interactivity to the TV, announced it is changing its name to ActiveVideo Networks. ( www.ictv.com ) ( www.activevideo.com )

Intel announced that it will launch its Centrino 2 Mobile Platform (Montevina) in July. The platform offers an integrated Wi-Fi and WiMax wireless access option and is expected to be smaller, have faster performance and longer battery life than previous mobile models. It also offers native hardware support for high-definition entertainment from DVDs in the Blu-ray format. ( www.intel.com )

JumpTV and NeuLion, both online television pioneers, are planning to merge. This will create a single operation covering a range of sports, international and religious channels, delivered to PCs and through set top boxes to TVs. ( www.jumptv.com ) ( www.neulion.com )

Monster Cable has introduced a new cable-less solution for HDMI. The product consists of a set of two boxes which use ultra-wideband (UWB): a receiver that plugs into the back of a high-definition TV, and a transmitter that connects to a DVD player or other components of a home entertainment center. The UWB technology for their Digital Express HD boxes comes from Sigma Designs. ( www.monstercable.com ) ( www.sigmadesigns.com )

Netflix has partnered with Roku on a $99 set-top box which will stream movies and shows to TVs of customers with broadband connections. The device is Wi-Fi enabled and includes fast forward and rewind. [Long-time readers may recall we installed our first Roku box in the Las Vegas Showhouse for the 2004 CES.] ( www.netflix.com ) ( www.roku.com )

Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and NTT DOCOMO are establishing the Symbian Foundation to create an open mobile software platform. Other members will include AT&T, LG, Samsung, STMicro, TI and Vodafone. To enable the Foundation, Nokia is buying the 52 percent of Symbian it doesn't already own for $412 million. ( www.nokia.com ) ( www.sonyericsson.com ) ( www.motorola.com ) ( www.nttdocomo.com ) ( www.symbianfoundation.org ) ( www.symbian.com )

Sprint Nextel announced it will launch its first commercial XOHM WiMax service in Baltimore this September. ( www.sprint.com ) ( www.xohm.com )


Regions

Europe

Wimax Day reports that the European Commission has adopted a decision that will harmonize the 3400 MHz to 3800 MHz bands in Europe. The move, which allows spectrum in that range to be used for fixed, portable or mobile communications networks by January 2012, is expected to have a positive impact on WiMAX network operators in Europe, most of which use 3.5 GHz spectrum. Currently, most of the 3.5 GHz band licenses restrict usage to fixed or portable services only. ( www.wimaxday.net ) ( ec.europa.eu )


Standards

According to a recent press release from Kineto Wireless, the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) has adopted an official architecture for 3G femtocell home base stations. The architecture, which was backed by Alcatel-Lucent, Kineto Wireless, Motorola and NEC, defines two new network elements, the femtocell and the femtocell gateway. Between these elements is the new Iu-h interface. Femtocell vendors must now modify their access point and network gateway equipment to comply with the new standard interface. ( www.kinetowireless.com ) ( www.3gpp.org )

The WiMAX Forum announced certification for Wave 2 products using MIMO in the 2.5 GHz band. Intel, Motorola, Samsung, Beceem, Sequans, Alvarion, Airspan, and Zyxel received approval for 2.5 GHz base stations. ( www.wimaxforum.org )

The IEEE issued a notice that the 802.20 mobile wireless broadband has been approved. 802.20 has been nearly invisible since work on it was suspended in 2006. 802.20 is the mobile broadband standard that is specified to be capable of delivering download speeds of 1 Mb/s per user with full handoff to devices traveling at up to 250 kilometers per hour. The first working draft of the standard was approved back on Jan. 18, 2006. ( www.ieee.org )

The Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group) announced development of Bluetooth over 802.11, in order to provide Bluetooth a boost in speed. The announcement led to speculation on the impact on the future ultrawideband (UWB) market. ( www.bluetooth.com/Bluetooth/SIG )

The Open IPTV Forum added eleven new members, to bring its total to 29, and reports that the first release of its specifications are close to completion. The group was established to solve IPTV market fragmentation by standardizing an IPTV framework, enabling a 'plug and play' experience for the end-user, and ensuring interoperability. ( www.openiptvforum.org )

The Wi-Fi Alliance has announced a new certification program for voice-capable Wi-Fi devices in home and small office environments, called the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Voice-Personal program. In addition they announced that Broadcom, Cisco and Intel are among the companies that have received certification. ( www.wi-fi.org )