Thursday, March 23, 2006

SkyStream Selected for NTELOS Headend in Virginia

SkyStream was selected as video headend partner for NTELOS' new IPTV service over FTTP that will serve its Virginia ILEC footprint.
NTELOS has built a "super video headend" center where it has deployed the SkyStream Mediaplex-20 video headend. From there, NTELOS is distributing the MPEG-2 feed over a 10-Gigabit Metro Ethernet ring to several regional offices and will deploy the SkyStream iPlex edge video headend system for additional video aggregation and distribution. NTELOS will be able to offer local channels, advertising and other programming from these regional centers.

The new TV service will feature national, regional and local video and music programming, including several that will be in HD. NTELOS will receive a video feed from the National Cable Telephone Cooperative (NCTC) for some of its channel lineup.

NTELOS has been an incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) in western Virginia for 109 years and is offering the new IPTV service initially just in its ILEC territory. NTELOS also operates a competitive local exchange carrier network in Virginia, and is a leading wireless provider in the region.


ATEME Releases Single-Chip MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 Encoder

ATEME introduced a single-chip MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 Standard Definition Main Profile Encoder. The ATE4000 device uses state-of-the-art FPGA technology instead of the more traditional multi-processor approach. Target markets for the device include Broadcast Digital Television, IPTV, Satellite, Telco Head-Ends and professional encoders for distribution of video over wired or wireless IP networks where bandwidth and picture quality cannot be compromised.

European Broadcasting Regulators Seek "Television without Frontiers"

Europe's broadcasting regulators from the 25 EU Member States and Croatia, Turkey, Norway and Liechtenstein met to discuss a "TV without Frontiers" directive. Top issues at the meeting in Brussels included measures that limit any programming that incites hatred while also respect media freedom and free speech. The regulators agreed to deepen the discussion with respect to the issues of mobile TV and digital TV. The Commissioner warned that divergences among national licensing systems for mobile broadcasting could throw up unintended obstacles to the deployment of pan-European services and infrastructure. The regulators underlined that licensing decisions remain a national prerogative, but indicated their readiness to discuss the mobile broadcasting license issue with the European Commission. Besides licensing procedures, the lack of a common spectrum allocation could become an obstacle to cross-border mobile services.

Motorola Opens R&D Center in Hangzhou, China

Motorola inaugurated its 17th R&D facility in China, this time in Hangzhou. The new R&D center is designed to provide Chinese operators with local access to Motorola's network technologies as well as to develop local talent while driving network innovation and the growth of China's wireless communications industry.

Groove Mobile Raises $8.5 Million for Mobile Music

Groove Mobile, a start-up based in Andover, Mass., raised $8.5 million for its mobile music e-commerce platform. Groove Mobile is powering the new Sprint Music Store as well as mobile music services for wireless carriers in Canada, the UK (Orange), the European Union, and Asia. The company said it will use the funding to accelerate the growth of its mobile music platform while it continues to expand in global markets.

Groove Mobile's Complete Music Gateway includes Full Track Mobile Downloads, Peer-to-Peer Sharing and Personalized Music Recommendations, in addition to providing Personalized and Programmed Streaming Radio, Music Subscriptions, etc. The service provides access to music from EMI, Warner Music International, V2, Beggars Group, Digital Rights Management and The Orchard libraries.

The new funding was led by Egan Capital and included continuing investors Charles River Ventures, Kodiak Venture Partners, and Star Ventures.

Napatech Secures $5 Million for Programmable Adapters

Napatech, a start-up based in Copenhagen, raised $5 million in new funding for its programmable network adapters. Napatech's product portfolio includes a 1 Gbps and a 10 Gbps platform that offer solutions for network management, traffic analysis and recording, security applications and a toolbox enabling OEM customers to implement their own proprietary intellectual property on the network adapter. The investment coincides with Napatech's acquisition of the network adapter business of Xyratex.

The round was led by Ferd Venture and included Northzone Ventures and DTU Innovation.

Vyyo Raises $25 Million from Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Vyyo, a global supplier of broadband access equipment for cable and private wireless broadband network solutions, completed its previously announced $25million in financing from Goldman, Sachs & Co. The company said the new equity and long-term debt will provide it with increased resources and flexibility as it scales its business in the U.S. cable and utility businesses.

Nortel, Sierra Wireless Achieve First EV-DO Rev A Calls

Nortel and Sierra Wireless achieved the industry's first over the air test calls using EV-DO Revision A wireless technology and pre-commercial wireless data devices. The companies said their milestone confirms the commercial viability of EV-DO Revision A wireless services.

The companies completed over the air tests using Sierra Wireless AirCard 595 wide area wireless network cards, Sierra Wireless MC5725 PCI Express Mini Card embedded modules, and EV-DO Revision A equipment from Nortel. EV-DO Revision A technology will offer significant performance improvements to both the uplink and the downlink speeds compared to current EV-DO (Release 0) networks. EV-DO Revision A enables peak data rates of up to 3.1 Mbps on the downlink and 1.8 Mbps on the uplink.

Nortel noted that it has provided EV-DO equipment to 18 operators worldwide, including Verizon Wireless and Sprint in the United States, VIVO in Brazil, Pelephone in Israel and EURtel in the Czech Republic.