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IN THIS ISSUE:
Heard on the Net
The Broadband Home -
"You can't take it with you when you go"
What Are They For?
Broadband Home Fall 2000
Oct 3-5, Burlingame, CA
pulver.com 2000 Calendar
People News Jonathan Christensen, previously group manager for Microsoft's Network Solutions Group, takes a new position with the company starting September 11th. He will assume a Lead Product Manager role in Microsoft's Subscription Services Division. Aloha, Jonathan! ( www.microsoft.com )
Thomas Moyes, formerly Columbia Tristar Television VP, has been appointed as Chief Financial Officer at Veon. ( www.veon.com )
Ian Aaron, formerly President of SoftNet and SoftNet's subsidiary ISP Channel, has become the President and CEO of TVN Entertainment ( www.tvn.com )
Darryl Ponder has joined Optical Solutions as CEO. He was previously VP/GM of ADC Telecommunications Cable Systems Division. ( www.opticalsolutions.com )
Ray Wilkins, Jr. has been named president and CEO of Pacific Bell and Nevada Bell, reporting to Edward E. Whitacre Jr., chairman and CEO of SBC Communications Inc. Wilkins previously was president of SBC's business communications services.
(Please email email@example.com to report a change in your position.)
Company News Fujitsu Microelectronics Europe and Redux Communications have announced an agreement to cooperate in providing chipsets for broadband IP service termination solutions. It will initially cover reference designs and joint promotion of a DSL-based IP service/multimedia access solution. ( www.fujitsu-fme.com ) ( www.reduxcom.com )
Three independent UK production companies have signed an agreement with Two Way TV to create interactive versions of their TV shows. The deals mean that Two Way TV subscribers can play interactive versions of some game and quiz shows from home. ( www.twowaytv.com )
Portal Software and Terayon have announced an alliance to integrate Terayon's cable modem system with Portal's customer management and billing platform. The combined solution will provide real-time billing and multi-tier pricing support for advanced value-added IP services to be deployed by cable operators and service providers. ( www.terayon.com ) ( www.portal.com )
Pace Micro Technology has announced a new contract to supply 10,000 high specification, ADSL-capable digital set-top boxes to Kingston Communications for their interactive television service. The technology will allow delivery of multi-channel digital broadcast television, video-on-demand, high-speed Internet access and other interactive entertainment services. ( www.pace.co.uk )
MyWeb Inc.com announced that it has begun providing broadband Internet access for China's residential users. Through its agreement with Guanghuan System Integration Co., MyWeb will supply broadband set-top boxes to Donghuan Plaza, marking its official entrance to the Chinese residential broadband market. The number of China's Internet users has doubled every six months for the past three years. By 2005, over 200 million Chinese are expected to be online. ( www.mywebinc.com )
BellSouth Entertainment has selected Liberate Technologies to supply consumer software for its DBS system. The software will provide an interactive program guide, pay-per-view program ordering and advanced telephone features such as caller ID via the TV set. Pace Micro Technology will provide the set-top boxes which will also will provide a connection to a DSL line for Internet service. ( www.bellsouth.com ) ( www.liberate.com ) ( www.pacemicro.com )
Cisco Systems announced it will acquire privately held PixStream of Waterloo, Canada for approximately $369 million (US). PixStream provides solutions to distribute and manage digital video across broadband networks. ( www.cisco.com ) ( www.pixstream.com )
Minerva Networks introduced the Minerva iTVManager(TM), a software solution for the management and delivery of television services over broadband IP networks (IP Television). It enables broadband network operators to offer bundled video, voice, and data services to their subscribers. ( www.minervanetworks.com )
FutureSmart(TM) Networks exhibited their new series of Home Networking and Structured Wiring panels at the Custom Electronics Design and Install Association (CEDIA) show in Indianapolis. ( www.futuresmart.com ) ( www.cedia.org )
Aware, Inc. announced the availability of its new DMTflex technology, a single chipset which operates in any of three modes: (i) multi-port G.lite, (ii) multi-port full rate ADSL or (iii) single-port very high-speed DSL (VDSL). Platforms using the chipsets will support plug-and-play G.lite, full-rate ADSL or VDSL service. ( www.aware.com )
Nokia has unveiled an integrated network gateway that combines SDSL and wireless LAN technology in one product. The product is targeted at small and midsize companies and remote professionals working in home offices. ( www.nokia.com )
BT has finally rolled out its Openworld broadband service for the UK domestic market (see BBHR 8/13/00). The service will initially be available to about a third of the UK population whose local exchange has been upgraded to handle ADSL. It will be charged at GBP39.99 per month plus a one-time setup charge of GBP150. ( www.bt.co.uk )
We recently bought a new Acura RL, complete with a built-in navigation system. We don't buy new cars very often, so we thought it would be fun to play with the "Navi" system. Maybe it's just withdrawal -- after spending so many hours staring at screens in our offices, we need to have one in front of us in the car. It's a pretty cool device, with a 4x6 inch touch screen, lots of ways to get you where you're going, and a friendly female voice to tell you when and where to turn.
As with any new toy, we're still in the novelty stage. We have gone places by address, street intersections, the pre-programmed list of "places" (parks, visitor attractions), pointing on the map. And we've tested the different ways it can calculate routes (direct, "easy", minimizing freeways, minimizing tolls).
It wasn't until the third or fourth use that I started thinking about what I really want this device to do. After all, it has a pretty sophisticated processor in it and via GPS it knows where you are. When going to a friend's home, I don't want to enter the street address and city; the address is in my Outlook database and in my Rex (not a Palm since I confess I've avoided those to date). So my first question was how my car system could access all my personal information so I wouldn't have to enter it through the touch-screen while I'm trying to drive.
Since the display shows me restaurants along the route, my next question was how to call to ask about their menus and whether they have a wait for tables.For that, I'd need the phone number of the restaurant and for my cell phone to be able to get that number and dial it for me.
After a visit with Jeff Pulver, we found ourselves sitting in traffic on the Cross Bronx Expressway. It was great that the Navi system could get us to the New York Botanical Garden to smell flowers instead of exhaust fumes. It would have been even nicer if the system was hooked into traffic alerts, showed them on the map, and found us a better route than the one that was at a standstill.
None of these things is rocket science, just the stuff we're all getting accustomed to in our broadband connected homes and offices. It got us wondering about what the auto industry is doing to make the car a seamless extension of the broadband home. What's missing right now is all the communication capabilities, modularity and standardization that are in various stages of evolution in the fixed environment of the office and home.
I spoke with several folks in the industry and was glad to find that they are working on this. They've coined the word "telematics" to describe the next generation of communications technology for behind the steering wheel. The definition (courtesy of the ATX Web site) is: "Telematics is an emerging industry that offers location-based voice and data communication tools. In other words, telematics provides "smart" information, tailored to where customers are and to what they are doing -- providing enhanced security, navigation, and convenience to mobile consumers."
This is pretty revolutionary stuff for auto manufacturers, who deal with long product development cycles and model years and suddenly see the collision (no pun intended) between the lengthening economic life of automobiles and the shortening cycles of information technology and consumer electronics.
We'll be exploring more on this topic at our upcoming Broadband Home Fall 2000 conference in a session called "Home/Road Transparency". The session will not only look at extending the benefits of the broadband home into your car but also such questions as: "How do people know where to reach me when I'm traveling? How are multiple devices kept in synch? What happens when the laptop I take on the road needs one kind of set up parameters to connect to my home network, another for connecting to the office LAN, and yet another when connecting to a hotel phone?"
For more information on telematics, visit www.atxtechnologies.com and www.wirelesscar.com
Many devices labeled "home gateways" are starting to appear on the market. They span a wide range of features and functions, depending on what vendors believe users need and are willing to pay for. Many service providers are thinking about the role gateways can play and whether they should be part of a package for the consumer.
Increasing diversity in broadband access, home networking, home devices and applications is driving the growth of the gateway. A single PC connected to a cable or DSL modem can get by without a gateway. But a home with multiple PCs (or other Internet devices) in different rooms needs some type of home network and hardware and software "plumbing" to connect the home network to the broadband modem.
In its simplest form, a gateway provides an interface between the broadband access network and the in-home network, and support for dynamic IP addressing (DHCP); most incorporate a home networking solution and some also include a cable or DSL modem.
Gateways are starting to reach the market with much more extensive sets of features and functions. These are based on vendor and service provider perceptions of user needs and the distribution of technical function in the home and the network.
Let's look at these user needs and how vendors have responded with functionality in their home gateways.
High-speed access to the "Net"
In North America and other places with high PC penetration, the starting point for "broadband" is the desire to get faster access to the Internet. While the fastest speed possible with dial-up modems is about 56 thousand bits per second (56K), all "broadband" technologies provide at least half a million bits per second - typically 10 to 50 times faster than with dial-up. This permits much faster Web browsing and software downloading.
-- Home gateways all include either a built-in broadband modem (for cable or DSL access) or an Ethernet interface to an external modem.
Multiple PCs in the home
Many US homes already have more than one PC, and a substantial percentage of new PCs are sold to homes which already have one. When these homes get broadband access, they'd like to hook up all the PCs in the home. People usually want to operate the PCs in different rooms and need some form of home networking to connect the PCs to the broadband modem.
-- Most gateways incorporate some form of home networking. This may be just an Ethernet hub or the base station for phone line, power line, or wireless networking.
Each PC needs its own IP address to operate on the Internet. Residential broadband access connections typically provide only one IP address, with an extra charge for each additional address.
-- Home gateways include support for DHCP and NAT, which permit a single external IP address to serve multiple in-house devices simultaneously.
Information security and privacy
Many families are concerned about outsiders looking at, stealing or modifying data stored on their home PCs, especially if one or more family members work at home.
-- Some home gateways include functions -- routing, packet filtering, authentication and firewalls -- to protect internal data against outside access.
Additional phone lines and features
Many service providers would like to provide telephone services over the broadband connection, using "voice over IP" (VoIP) technology. They believe customers would respond positively to a choice of telephone providers and to additional features.
-- Some home gateways incorporate VoIP functionality, and some include PBX-like features. The gateway provides a platform for new user features, such as the ability to add lines as needed and to redirect calls to another phone number when traveling. Some gateways connect to the existing phones in the home, while others connect to new phones over the home network.
People want to have a common base for home applications, such as centralized backup, and storage of common family information such as calendars and contacts. While servers based on NT or Linux can provide these features, they require "system administration" beyond the capabilities of most families.
-- Some home gateways include embedded Web servers and family applications. Some provide a Web-like "portal" for the home.
Audio and video content storage
As music, TV and movies move to digital form and become available on the Internet, people would like to download music and videos to a media storage system that can be accessed from the PC today and from radios and TVs tomorrow.
-- Some gateways include a home media server as the "home jukebox" for media content.
Home security and control
People want to have a central mechanism to control home lighting, energy management, and security. After leaving for a vacation, people want to be able to check that the garage door is closed, the coffee pot is turned off, and the alarm system is enabled.
-- Several gateways include a home control interface with the ability to see and control in-home devices from the outside.
People who telecommute part-time or full time would like to be able to access their corporate networks in a secure way, and would like to have a home telephone with all the functionality of their office phone.
-- Several gateways include "virtual private network" (VPN) functionality for secure connection to the office network. Some include "remote PBX" functions to provide a full array of telephone features comparable to those on the office telephone.
Easy setup and administration
Most users are not capable of acting as the "system administrator" in setting up and maintaining all the features and functions they'd like in the home.
-- Home gateways are designed for easy setup and maintenance. Field experience will determine whether the typical home user will be able to install and maintain them.
It remains to be seen whether home gateways follow the PC model of user installation and setup, or to what extent a new service function will be created to support the end user. Companies like Sears, with many years' experience in installing and maintaining major home appliances, are good candidates for this future service business.
Several sessions at Broadband Home Fall 2000 will explore these topics in greater detail. Session 13 "Home Gateways" will provide vendor and service provider perspectives on gateways. Session 19 "Who Services the Broadband Home?" will cover installation and maintenance questions.
Several gateway vendors will be speaking at Broadband Home Fall 2000. Visit their websites for more information on their gateway products and features:
The Broadband Home Fall 2000 Conference (BBH Fall 2000) will take place October 3-5 at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Burlingame, CA, near San Francisco airport.
The conference will include a reception for delegates and participants on the evening of October 2nd. This will be a great place to take advantage of unique business and personal networking opportunities.
We've lined up a top-notch group of speakers and sessions. Building on the success of our June Broadband Home Summit, we've expanded the schedule to provide industry perspectives by senior executives and 24 break-out sessions. While other conferences discuss specific elements of broadband to and in the home, Broadband Home Fall 2000 will focus on making the pieces come together to create compelling applications.
Featured speakers and panelists come from broadband content, services and applications providers; all elements of the infrastructure including backbone and access networks; home gateways, networks, appliances and automation; venture capitalists and more.
The conference will include 16 industry perspectives given by thought leaders across all sectors of the Broadband Home industry, including
Seating for the conference is limited. If you are thinking about attending, we suggest that you register soon. If you plan to attend and will require a hotel room, we recommend that you make your hotel reservations as soon as possible.
Visit the conference Web site ( TheBroadbandHome.com/bbh2000 ) for the up-to-date conference schedule. Conference brochures, registration and hotel reservations are all available online through the website.
System Dynamics will be organizing and moderating the Broadband track at several upcoming conferences. (See the complete calendar at www.pulver.com/conference )
Fall 2000 VON - Sept 11-14, Atlanta, GA ( www.pulver.com/von )
The pulver.com Wireless Internet Summit Oct 24-25, New York, NY ( www.pulver.com/wirelesssummit )
VON Asia 2000 - November 13-16, Hong Kong, China ( www.pulver.com/asia2000 )
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