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IN THIS ISSUE:
Heard on the Net
Broadband Home Networking
Update on Broadband Competition in the US
Nurturing Home Networking Companies
Broadband Home Conferences
pulver.com 2001 Calendar
Kjell Andersson has been appointed as President, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Enikia, the powerline home networking company. Andersson was previously President and CEO, Omnipoint Technologies. ( www.enikia.com )
Margaret Cutler has been named VP of Human Resources at Chinook Communications. She was previously with the Motorola Broadband Communications Sector. ( www.chinook.com )
David DeMoranville has joined Narad Networks as VP of operations. He was formerly with Qualcomm. ( www.naradnetworks.com )
Patti S. Hart , former CEO of Telocity, has been named Chairman and CEO of Excite@Home. Prior to Telocity, she was president and COO of Sprint's long-distance unit. ( <A HREF="http://corp.excite.com">corp.excite.com</A> )
Anil Khatod was named chief marketing and strategy officer of Nortel Networks. He previously was president of the company's global Internet division. ( www.nortel.com )
Martin Leamy has been promoted to President and COO of OpenTV. ( www.opentv.com )
Guy Pepper has been named CEO of Kobalt Interactive. In addition,George Krieger was named President. Pepper and Krieger are both media industry veterans. ( www.kobalt.tv )
Joanna Shields has joined RealNetworks as Vice President, Europe. Shields was previously CEO of Veon. ( www.realnetworks.com )
Nigel Stacey has been appointed Operations Director at Pace Micro Technology. Stacey was previously at Telewest Communications. In addition, Graham Williams has been promoted to VP of technology at Pace Micro Technology Americas. ( www.pacemicro.com )
(Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to report a change in your position.)
Comcast completed the acquisition of AT&T Broadband cable systems serving approximately 595,000 customers in six states. The transaction will better cluster the territories Comcast serves. AT&T received shares of AT&T stock previously held by Comcast and valued at over $2.2 billion. ( www.comcast.com )
@Security Broadband Corp. has received $45 million in second round financing from multiple investors, including seven major cable companies. ( www.atsecurity.net )
Jungo Software Technologies Inc. has secured $7m in its second round of financing. The round was lead by TeleSoft Partners of San Mateo, joined by Infineon Ventures and the Intel Communications Fund. ( www.jungo.com )
MetaTV has received $28 million in funding in a round led by Comcast Interactive Capital and Cox. ( www.metatv.com )
Two Way TV has announced that Swedish investment house SMI Media Invest will invest £12 million into the interactive television entertainment company. SMI Media Invest is a fund focused on new companies in the digital interactive TV sector across Europe. ( www.twowaytv.com )
Vonage has secured $12 million in an initial round of financing with angel investors. Vonage plans to launch SIP-based, VoIP services. ( www.vonage.com )
ADC has formed the Broadband Infrastructure and Access (BIA) organization, which represents the merging of the former Broadband Connectivity and Broadband Access and Transport groups. The BIA organization will focus on the company's DSL, IP cable, optics and connectivity businesses. The company has also created a new office of the chairman, which include ADC's new chairman and CEO, Rick Roscitt; Lynn Davis, president and COO; and Bob Switz, CFO. ( www.adc.com )
Broadband2Wireless Inc. , a provider of fixed-broadband-wireless services. has launched Airora, the Airborne Internet service with deployment beginning in Boston. They are deploying their wireless network using the 2.4 GHz frequency band, with plans to migrate to 5.8 GHz over time. ( www.bb2w.com )
BroadJump continues winning cable customers with Adelphia being the latest MSO to deploy BroadJump's software platform. Other BroadJump customers include AT&T Broadband and Time Warner Cable, and DSL wins with SBC and Sprint. ( www.broadjump.com )
CableLabs announced that it has formed the Bandwidth Modeling and Management Vendor Forum, where CableLabs members can discuss upcoming bandwidth modeling and management requirements with vendors. The forum is part of an existing CableLabs project aimed at identifying and developing vendor products that allow cable companies to model and manage bandwidth utilization of cable-based network services. ( www.cablelabs.com )
Calico Commerce announced that BBned, a telecom carrier providing DSL services in the Netherlands, has chosen Calico's Interactive suite to enable and manage online orders for DSL line provisioning. ( www.calico.com ) ( www.bbned.nl )
Cayman Systems announced an agreement with Verizon's Enterprise Solutions Group for distributing Cayman's broadband gateways through Verizon's Enterprise sales channels. ( www.cayman.com ) ( www.verizon.com )
Compaq Computer is reportedly working on a new class of products made for playing video and delivering it via the Internet, according to CNET. Their EVP is quoted as saying: "As (carriers) move broadband into the home, you will continue to see the PC evolve. You can now do video on demand or video storage applications". ( www.compaq.com )
EarthLink is offering its subscribers multiple choices of broadband technologies. In addition to their DSL coverage they and Cox Communications agreed to conduct a technical trial of EarthLink's Internet services over Cox's broadband cable network. The six-month trial, which begins in the third quarter, will allow both companies to test the service with the option of negotiating a definitive open access agreement. EarthLink also announced the launch of its two-way high-speed satellite Internet access service, EarthLink Satellite Powered by DirecPC. ( www.earthlink.net ) ( www.cox.com )
Ericsson announced the Cordless Internet Radio H100; it uses Bluetooth technology to provide cordless access to Internet radio stations without the use of a computer. Ericsson also announced a joint development partnership with The MTVi Group (part of Viacom) "to bring unique interactive content and services to the consumer." ( www.ericsson.com ) ( www.mtvi.com )
Gatespace is adding support for UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) to its portfolio of OSGi based (Open Services Gateway Initiative) products. In other news, Gatespace has signed an agreement with Gamefederation to coordinate software platforms and co-market joint offerings; has announced an alliance with Digital Pockets, Inc., a technology provider for intelligent communities and residences; and plans to partner with MetaVector Technologies in the Integrated Service Gateway Market. ( www.gatespace.com ) ( www.gamefederation.com ) ( www.digitalpockets.com ) ( www.metavectortech.com ) ( www.upnp.org ) ( www.osgi.org )
Minerva Networks and a group of partner companies launched the IP Television Alliance. It brings together companies enabling the delivery of rich-media services over broadband IP networks. Charter members include Minerva Networks, Nortel Networks, SGI, Philips CryptoTec, Motorola, DemandVideo, Elastic Networks, Alloptic, Inprimis, nCUBE, Pace Micro, World Wide Packets, InfoSpace, and Terayon. ( www.minervanetworks.com/alliance/home.htm )
Microsoft and Qwest announced a five-year strategic alliance to combine premium MSN Access and services with Qwest's broadband network and services to more than 12 million consumer homes in Qwest's 14-state US local service area. Qwest will exclusively market MSN Internet Access and services to new and existing customers and MSN will purchase broadband capacity, DSL, dial ports, and billing and collections services. ( www.qwest.com ) ( www.microsoft.com )
Nortel Networks announced a deal with Minerva Networks for implementing and co-marketing broadband IP video solutions. The architecture combines Minerva's IP Headend for subscriber management, media aggregation and distribution of entertainment services over Nortel's broadband IP networks. ( www.nortelnetworks.com ) ( www.minervasys.com )
NTT announced plans to "muster its entrepreneurial resources to create a company whose mission is to develop broadband content services. ... Beyond this, the company will aim at further development of the demand for broadband content ... making the most of the strengths of fiber-optic transmission services and next-generation mobile services,". ( www.ntt.com )
ReplayTV Inc. signed a long-term licensing agreement with Motorola’s Broadband Communications Sector for ReplayTV to be a primary provider of core DVR software for Motorola’s digital cable set-tops. ( www.replaytv.com ) ( www.motorola.com ) ( www.sonicblue.com )
SerCoNet Ltd. introduced its 100 Mbps backbone network running over existing home phone wiring. Using SerCoNet's technology, the existing telephone wiring becomes the backbone of broadband, high-speed home networks. ( www.serconet.co.il )
Sony has reportedly delayed its eVilla Web-browsing appliance, according to CNET.com. Although 3Com and others have exited the Internet appliance business, Sony intends to move forward with their $500 device which should be available in June. The device works with Sony's service, expected to cost $21.95 monthly. It is being characterized as a network entertainment center rather than an information center. ( www.sony.com )
Spike Broadband announced the planned creation in Denmark of a large fixed wireless deployment to occur over the next five years. The $400 million contract to deploy services in the 3.5 GHz frequency band with SONOFON, a BellSouth International and Telenor company, will include services such as broadband data and video, and a large end-user VoIP deployment. ( www.spikebroadband.net ) ( www.sonofon.dk )
We are frequently asked about home networking for broadband homes. When readers write in to ask for our advice, we have been referring them to a piece we wrote for our website a year ago (see references at the end of the article). We thought it was time to revisit the subject and see what has changed.
A year ago, we did not think any of the emerging home networking technologies was ready for prime time. For new construction, we recommended wiring with Category 5 twisted pair and RG-6 coax; for existing homes, we advised waiting for technologies to mature.
The current generation of technologies has matured to the point that we can now recommend them if the primary application is data; they should also work satisfactorily for many voice and audio applications and promise some support for video. If whole-home video is an important requirement, we would recommend waiting for another turn of the technology crank - or wiring with Cat5e/RG-6.
Broadband home applications
The desired networking infrastructure for the broadband home is determined by the broadband applications in the home. The growth in these applications goes hand-in-hand with the migration of applications from analog to digital.
While Internet services are all digital, all other applications -- telephony, audio, and video -- have been delivered to the home in analog formats. CDs and DVDs have started delivering digital forms of audio and video to the home, and more and more people have started using MP3 digital audio and PC-based digital telephony. Over the next decade, the dominant analog formats will all be augmented -- and eventually replaced -- by digital formats.
The network for the future broadband home should provide support for five broad categories of digital applications: data, telephone, audio, video, and automation.
The future broadband home will include broadband appliances, a home broadband infrastructure, some form of broadband access, and the ability to get broadband content.
The current situation - driving forces
While most people would agree on the future vision described above, they would disagree on the specific problems to be solved, the priorities of the applications and the appropriate timetable for addressing them.
There are multiple problems to be solved. In the US, today's major problem is sharing a single broadband modem across multiple PCs in different rooms of the house, tomorrow's problem includes telephony and audio, and the day after tomorrow's includes video.
There are many parties of interest when approaching these problems. These include the consumer, the broadband access provider, other ISPs, and external providers of services such as telephony, home security, appliance maintenance, and content.
The needs of the various parties are different and sometimes in conflict. As an example, one reason consumers buy today's home gateways is to avoid paying an monthly fee to the access provider for additional IP addresses (the gateway provides the addresses); this is clearly in the consumer's best interest but not in the access provider's. The access provider may want to use the home gateway to monitor and control the user's consumption of bandwidth; this would be in the service provider's best interest but not the consumer's.
For these reasons, plans for the home broadband infrastructure differ considerably, depending in part on who pays to provide the infrastructure in the home: the consumer, the access provider, or a third-party services provider such as power utility. The specifics also depend on the country, competition in the local market, the applications, and the appropriate appliances. What's right in the US may be very different in Scandinavia and different again in the UK or Hong Kong.
Here are some examples:
Development Phasing and Timing
In countries with substantial PC penetration (US, Canada, Scandinavia, Korea, Hong Kong, etc.), we believe the market development of the broadband home infrastructure will occur in three phases:
Our best estimate of market timing is as follows:
The phasing and timing may well be different in TV-centric markets such as the UK, where video distribution has a higher priority.
Near Term Appears Stable
2001 seems to be a pretty good bet for a substantial takeoff in home networking and gateways. While the early "no new wires" technologies were inadequate in several factors - especially bandwidth, the current technologies seem "over the bar" to meet consumer needs for broadband access sharing; these technologies are now maturing.
None of these solutions has sufficient bandwidth for "whole-home" multi-channel video. For new construction, we think that Category 5e "structured wiring" remains the best bet to "future-proof" for the full suite of applications including multi-channel HD video; we continue to recommend RG-6 coax for near-term support of analog audio and video. (Some people have talked about using in-home fiber, but we believe this is overkill; well-engineered and well-installed Cat5e should provide as much bandwidth as is needed for many years to come.)
Some people have talked about using mobile wireless (UMTS, 3G) and in-home solutions based on these technologies. These solutions appear weak compared with the approaches discussed above - they don't provide adequate bandwidth for applications beyond the cell phone.
Later outlook timing may be optimistic
While we are confident that home networking and gateways are poised to take off this year, the timeline may be exposed.
Finally, we think that the timing of a full-scale market rollout depends on recognition by all parties that they are part of a common ecosystem. Coordinated efforts by most or all players -- access providers, equipment vendors, services providers -- will be required for full development of the broadband home market.
For our original article, please see ( www.thebroadbandhome.com/structured.html ) See ( www.thebroadbandhome.com/resources.html#distrib ) for links to many of the technologies mentioned in this article. If you are interested in our prior articles on home networking and gateways, see www.thebroadbandhome.com/report/3.html for an index of back issues of this report; especially see "It's Time For the 'IP Plumber'!" (3/18/2001); "How The Home Gateway Can Help Avoid Blackouts" (1/18/2001); "Gatespace and OSGi: Using the Home Gateway to Provide Services" (1/2/2001); and "Home Gateways - What Are They For?" (9/10/2000).
In BBHR, March 18, 2001, we wrote about 'Making the Broadband Home a Reality--Keep an Eye On Washington!'. In it we said "Everyone in the Broadband Home industry depends on broadband access becoming available to most homes at a price the family is willing to pay. We believe that widespread installation of broadband will happen only by encouraging competition for the last mile."
Since that time, several developments in the US have made our cautionary note even more appropriate. One of these is the House bill, HR1542, the so-called "The Internet Freedom and Broadband Deployment Act of 2001". In it the RBOCs seek to eliminate line sharing provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which requires the Bells to open their lines to competition. It also effectively allows them into inter-LATA data (and thus IP voice) by stating that "High speed data services and Internet access services constitute unique markets that are likewise incompatible with the prohibition on Bell operating company provision of interLATA services". Further, it contains no incentives for the former Bells to go into rural areas, which was what its proponents originally claimed was one of the purposes of the bill.
The results of the demise of most of the DLECs like Northpoint and the slowdown in plans of others like RCN Communications has been predictable. Verizon Communications has raised its main monthly rate for digital subscriber line services from $40 to $50, and slightly increased access speeds. BellSouth is also boosting the fees they charge for DSL Internet access. SBC had already boosted their rates. With DSL rates going up, some cable operators are also increasing rates. AT&T Broadband cable modem subscribers will pay up to $6 a month more for the service starting June 1. So far, AOL Time Warner has not followed suit.
If the US is trying to increase the availability and use of broadband access, we seem to have a strange way of encouraging competition. The incumbent telephone companies and cable operators seem to be settling into the same type of cozy duopoly that kept US cell phone service prices very high for more than a decade.
New technologies may provide a way out of this situation in some markets. The new technologies for "non-line of sight" wireless broadband access promise reduced costs, and fiber solutions are becoming increasingly cost effective for high density environments. Once the economic situation improves in the US, there will be some attractive opportunities to provide competitive service in the "right" geographies.
Israel has a robust technology sector, which has been especially well known for such innovations as its work in IP telephony. Currently, there is growing interest and investment in Israel on the home networking scene. A home networking forum is in the process of being established there to meet the common needs and interests of these young companies. The organizers are Yehuda Binder, CEO of SerCoNet and forum president and Ofer Vilenski, CEO of Jungo and chairman of the forum.
The companies participating in the forum are involved in residential gateways and multiple "flavors" of networking, including power line, Bluetooth, phone line, cable and infra-red. Some are chip providers and others create complete products and solutions. Since we share their view that many companies need to cooperate to create a successful ecosystem for home broadband, we will share additional information about the forum and its members as they develop and launch their Web site. (www.jungo.com/openrg) ( www.serconet.co.il )
Last chance for Europe Summit
The Broadband Home Europe Summit 2001 will take place May 14-15 at the Sheraton Airport Hotel and Conference Center in Amsterdam, Netherlands. This Sunday, May 13, is the last day for "Online Pre-Registration"; by pre-registering at this time, you will save $200.00. Online registration will guarantee you a seat as well.
You can see the full roster of sessions and speakers in the conference schedule at ( www.thebroadbandhome.com/conference/schedule.html ).
Speaker/Exhibitor Opportunities for San Jose
Looking forward to October, the Web site for Broadband Home Fall 2001 is now online at ( www.thebroadbandhome.com/bbhfall/ ) . If you are interested in speaking, exhibiting or sponsoring please submit your particular interest at the site. June 1 is the deadline for speaking proposals.
The breakout sessions will include such topics as compelling applications; home networking; home gateways; home automation; fiber solutions; hot new technologies; content delivery solutions; broadband appliances; interactive TV; security and privacy; provisioning, managing and billing; broadband access choices; and the investor's view.
System Dynamics will be organizing and moderating the Broadband track at several upcoming conferences as well as organizing upcoming Broadband Home Conferences. (See the complete calendar at www.pulver.com/conference )
Broadband Home Europe Summit, May 14-15, 2001 - Amsterdam, Netherlands ( www.thebroadbandhome.com/conference/ )
Broadband Home Fall 2001, October 1-3, 2001 - San Jose, CA ( www.thebroadbandhome.com/bbhfall/ )
Fall 2001 Voice on the Net, October 15-18, 2001 - Atlanta, GA ( www.pulver.com/von )
VON Asia 2001, November 12-14, 2001 - Hong Kong, China ( www.pulver.com/asia2001 )
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