Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Picolight Raises $27.5 Million for VCSEL

Picolight, a start-up based in Louisville, Colorado, completed a $27.5 million in funding, with the addition of $14.5 million in a combination of new equity investment and debt financing. Investor Growth Capital, a new investor, completed the second close with a $7 million equity investment, and was joined by ORIX Venture Finance, LLC, which provided an additional $7.5 million in debt financing. Investor Growth Capital joins previous investors BA Venture Partners, Vesbridge Partners and Coral Capital Management, who collectively invested $13 million in the first close of the round.

Picolight offers a line of 1310nm Vertical Cavity Surface-Emitting Laser (VCSEL) products, from 4 Gigabit fibre channel to 10 Gigabit Ethernet at long-reach over single-mode fiber. Picolight said its revenues and bookings for the past 12 months doubled year-over-year as the company continued to strengthen its product offering and expand its customer base.

Nortel and LG to Establish Joint Venture

LG Electronics and Nortel signed a definitive agreement to form a joint venture that will offer telecom and networking solutions in the wireline, optical, wireless and enterprise areas for South Korean and global customers.

Nortel will own 50 percent plus one share in the joint venture, in exchange for which Nortel will contribute its South Korean distribution and services business and pay US$145 million and other non-monetary consideration. Separately, LG Electronics may be entitled to payments over a two-year period based on achievement by the joint venture of certain business goals.

LG Electronics and Nortel will nominate certain key executives to the management team of the joint venture. It is the intention of the parties to nominate J. R. Lee from LG Electronics to be chief executive officer and Paul House from Nortel to be chief operating officer. The LG Electronics Infrastructure business and Nortel's South Korean operations had aggregate revenues of KRW 600 billion (US$530 million) in 2004.

"Today is another milestone for Nortel as we continue to demonstrate our commitment to open up the Asia region with a best-in-class technology leader," Nortel CEO Bill Owens said. "South Korea leads the world in embracing technology that enhances the human experience. Our relationship with LG better positions Nortel in the dynamic and growing Asia market, will expedite research and development, and will benefit our global customers. Nortel is clearly playing to win."http://www.nortel.com

EMC to Acquire Rainfinity for Network File Virtualization

EMC Corporation agreed to acquire Rainfinity, a start-up based in San Jose, California that provides virtualization solutions for heterogeneous networked attached storage (NAS) and file system environments. The acquisition, valued at less than $100 million, is expected to be completed by the end of August.

Rainfinity's Network File Virtualization technology provides for full read/write access to Windows, Linux and Unix-based files during system migrations, regardless of where the data resides and with no threat of data loss. Customers leverage Rainfinity's heterogeneous NAS and file server virtualization to achieve a broad set of benefits including increased networked storage utilization, non-disruptive upgrades, optimized performance and accelerated networked storage consolidation.

Howard Elias, EMC Executive Vice President, Corporate Marketing and Office of Technology, said, "The rapid growth of unstructured file-based information, along with the rising complexity of its management, have customers demanding the same high utilization rates in their NAS and file system environments that they have come to expect from SANs. Rainfinity is the industry's first standards-based solution available today that virtualizes Windows, Unix and Linux file systems, giving customers improved total cost of ownership across all of their heterogeneous NAS and file server platforms.
  • In February 2001, Rainfinity raised $30 million in venture funding. Carlyle Venture Partners led the round with additional funding from Intel Capital and INVESCO Private Capital. Existing investors, including Alloy Ventures, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), and Spinner Asset Management, also participated. The round brought Rainfinity's total venture capital funding to more than $45 million since the company was started in 1999.

Veoh Networks Develops P2P IPTV Peercasting Network

Veoh Networks, a start-up based in San Diego, announced its "VeohNet" protocol that will form the basis of a forthcoming video transport system "that significantly surpasses the capabilities of existing peer to peer (P2P) systems in effectively distributing high-quality video."

Veoh Networks intends to launch the first Internet Television Peercasting Network in the coming weeks. The company said its system will be built with copyright holder's interests in mind, providing DMCA compliance, unlike traditional P2P systems that do not take this into account and enable the rampant piracy of intellectual property. VeohNet will also use advanced firewall traversal technology that will not require users to open specific ports on their firewalls.

Veoh software, installed on consumers' PCs or Macs, creates a virtual television network that is able to distribute TV-quality, full-screen broadcast video to hundreds of millions of users with broadband Internet connections. The company hopes motion picture studios, television networks, organizations and individuals will publish unlimited amounts of broadcast video content to the network, providing consumers with unparalleled choice in television programming and control over their viewing experience.

A beta version of Veoh's software and service will be available later this month.

Veoh Networks was founded by Dmitry Shapiro, who is credited with creating P2P security software used by more than one million enterprise users today to manage and regulate applications like BitTorrent and Grokster. Its engineering team is led by Dr. Ted Dunning, who was previously the chief scientist at Musicmatch (now a division of Yahoo! Music), IDAnalytics and Aptex (an HNC company).

America Online Debuts AIM Enhancements

America Online unveiled new AIM.com home page and redesigned AIM Today companion screen. The company has also begun rolling out a system-wide upgrade of the AIM 5.9 service that will introduce the new AIM Today and deliver the AOL Explorer browser as an optional feature for AIM users.

"The AIM service has become the front door to more than 43 million Americans' social networks," said Bill Schreiner, vice president, Programming for America Online.

Some of the features of the new AIM.com home page and AIM Today companion screen include:

  • One-click access to AIM. It also includes the free, Web-based AIM Mail service, which lets AIM users use their AIM Screen Name as an e-mail address and offers industry-leading spam and e-mail virus protection plus two gigabytes of storage.

  • AIM Blogs, which supports photo blogging; 40 interactive AIM Games, and approximately 4,000 AIM Expressions.

  • A wide array of instant messaging robots ('bots') that allow users to interact, play and get essential information updates in real time. This season's hottest bots include the "MLB" Buddy for Major League Baseball stats, scores and updates, and the "MillionaireIM" bot, which lets users help stumped contestants as a part of the "Ask the Audience" lifeline on the syndicated "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" show from Buena Vista Television.

  • Access to the full range of AOL.com programming and interactive features, including pre-set and on-demand content from AOL News, AOL Music, AOL Television, AOL Radio, Moviefone and more.

  • A unique "LiveWeb" feature that surfaces what's hot on the Web in real-time so that users always know what people are gravitating toward online and talking about across the blogosphere.

  • A full range of AOL Search services

  • One-click access to the AIM Music Interview of the Week

Qwest Reaches Tentative Settlement with Union

Qwest Communications and the Communications Workers of America reached a tentative three-year labor agreement that covers 25,000 Qwest workers in 13 states. Among the highlights:

  • A wage increase of 7.5 percent over the three-year contract term.

  • Employees will continue to have employer-paid health care, with changes to the out-of-pocket cost structure that will reduce overall costs for many workers. There is a new enrollment fee for spouse and family coverage. Retired workers also will maintain their employer-paid health care, with some offsetting changes to retiree life insurance coverage.

  • Continuation of the 8-hour limit on mandatory overtime per week, enabling workers to balance their work and family lives.


BellSouth Builds Business Broadband Suite

BellSouth introduced new enhancements for its BellSouth FastAccess Business DSL customers:

  • Premium Internet Security

  • Business Domains

  • Shared Web Hosting

  • Business Class Support

The Internet Security offerings include anti-virus software, anti-spyware software and firewall software. For customers with multiple computers, suite pricing starts as low as $11.99 per month.


T-Mobile to Deploy Nokia HSDPA in Germany, NL, UK

T-Mobile and Nokia have signed an agreement for Nokia to deliver its HSDPA solution to T-Mobile in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Under the agreement, Nokia will supply T-Mobile with its HSDPA solution as well as capacity expansions to T-Mobile's radio networks in the three countries. In addition, installation, commissioning and network optimization services are included in the deal. The rollout will begin in Germany in 2006 and then extend to the other countries. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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