Tuesday, March 7, 2006

CeBIT: Siemens Partners with Yahoo!, Unveils Consumer Gear

At CeBIT, Siemens and Yahoo! announced a partnership to enable consumers to enjoy voice-enhanced services. The companies agreed to offer and promote the Siemens Gigaset M34 USB adapter, which IP-enables Gigaset telephones with Yahoo! Messenger with Voice's VoIP calling capabilities by the third quarter of 2006. The Gigaset adapter, which works together with Gigaset cordless phones (on devices introduced after the fall of 2004 and that belong to the C-Class and above), allows users to make and receive calls through Yahoo! Messenger with Voice's free PC-to-PC calling feature, and make cost--effective calls to fixed line phones through the Phone In and Phone Out features.

Siemens also unveiled a series of consumer entertainment and communications products, many of which are IP-enabled. These include:

SIP cordless phones -- the first in a series of DECT cordless phones with integrated VoIP functionality at CeBIT. Once the Gigaset has been connected to a home router via the LAN connection, users simply select their Internet provider from the menu of the Gigaset handset and the right settings are automatically loaded. Providers that use the common SIP (s ession initiation protocol) are supported. The base station can be used with up to six handsets.

IP Set-top Boxes -- the Gigaset HD360 IP and 860 IP are based on a single chip and an open platform. They support different middleware (Siemens Myrio, Microsoft IPTV, Imagenio, Alcatel OMC) and operating systems (Linux, Windows CE), as well as various forms of digital rights management (Verimatrix, Windows DRM, NDS). The Gigaset 860 IP features a hard disk with a capacity of up to 250 GB, a smart card reader or two DVB tuners. This creates a hybrid box that can receive IPTV as well as television via satellite, cable or terrestrially. The hard disk provides PVR functionality. Both new set-top boxes have interfaces such as SCART, S-video, S-PDIF and HDMI for HDTV, as well as Ethernet for connection to the Internet. Devices can be connected via USB -- digital photo cameras, for example.

WLAN/DSL Residential Gateway -- the new Gigaset SX763 WLAN dsl combines a wireless Internet router (integrated ADSL 2+ modem) with a USB port, two analogue interfaces as well as four Ethernet ports for networking PCs and is home entertainment ready. It supports VoIP and PSTN, while remaining compatible with all of the latest Siemens cordless telephones and TV set top boxes, as well as supporting all the familiar functionality of wireline telephones. Up to six extensions (analog, LAN, WLAN) can be used with the Gigaset SX763 WLAN dsl. It uses Atheros Wi-Fi chips.

WiMAX modem -- the new Gigaset SE461 WiMAX modem with router functionality supports data transfer rates of up to 20 Mbps with QoS and bandwidth management. To permit worldwide use, the modem handles the frequency ranges 2.3 to 2.5 GHz, 3.4 to 3.6 GHz and 3.6 to 3.8 GHz. The device offers remote management capabilities so that carriers can update the software. An Ethernet interface and support of MS Windows, MacOS and Linux permit networking with other devices. Two different antennas will be offered. An output power of up to 27 dBM ensures efficient use of the network, supports connection of a large number of users and bridges large distances to the WiMAX base station.

DVB-T and DVB-S Set-top Boxes -- two new set-top boxes feature twin tuners so that viewers can watch one program while recording another on their VHS or DVD recorder. The Gigaset M365 T is a set-top box for digital terrestrial television (DVB-T) and the Gigaset M365 S is for digital satellite TV (DVB-S). Users can record their favorite program simply by connecting their VHS or DVD recorder to the Gigaset M365 S/T with a SCART cable.

Siemens also announced that it is working with German television network ZDF to develop set-top boxes for a free internet video portal. The service would run over any broadband connection and download video content to the STB.



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