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30 September 2009

Deals, launches and products

US cable technology supplier Arris said that it has orders for its CMTS (cable modem termination system) from Kabeltelevisie Noord-Oost Friesland, known as Kabel Noord. The equipment is DOCSIS 3.0 compliant so will considerably increase data speeds at the 25,000 customers it affects in the Netherlands.

Swisscom has selected Motorola’s Netopia 7300 series VDSL2 gateways to deliver services across Switzerland, including high-speed data, VoIP, HD IPTV and home networking. Swisscom customers will get the gateway as part of a basic package supporting voice and data.

Motorola Home and Networks Mobility in the US said that Cincinnati Bell has chosen its gigabit passive optical network, edge modulation, encryption and encoding systems for deployment in its fiber network. This includes the delivery of HDTV, VOD and SD TV services in both single and multi-dwelling units. Cincinnati Bell already uses Motorola set-tops.

Cisco says it has a deal to provide Sweden’s TeliaSonera with next generation routers and switches that will take its broadband services to 100 Mbps in both directions now, and on to 1 Gbps later. The Cisco point-to-point fiber-to-the-premises (FTTx) solution can deliver multiroom IPTV, VoD and HD video conferencing. TeliaSonera already uses the Cisco CRS-1 and will augment these with its ME 3400 Series and Cisco Catalyst 4500 Carrier Ethernet switches.

US researcher In-Stat says that worldwide Digital Terrestrial TV set top box shipments have plummeted by 35% during the second quarter of Q2 2009 compared to Q1. This was mostly due to US shipments dropping now that the digital switchover has happened there. This was partially offset by growth in Asian market, up 50% to over 1.2 million units. Meanwhile satellite set tops went up to 20.3 million units, making it the largest set top box market. Overall, for 2009, In-Stat expects unit shipments across the set top box markets to be flat compared with 2008. Total revenue will decline by about 1% to just below $17 billion.

The European Commission says that as far as it’s concerned Panasonic can go ahead and buy Sanyo Electric, but has asked that some of the Sanyo battery divisions are sold off, due to dominance in batteries used principally as back-up power for real time clocks in mobile phones and digital cameras. In most markets one of the companies is strong where the other is weak and vice versa, so the merger creates very little new market dominance issues.

The Universal Powerline Association said this week that eight more 200Mbps products. for broadband over power lines, are now certified for the UPA certification logo, which brings the total to 40 after plugfests were recently held. The new certifications include products from Comtrend, Corinex, D-link, Netgear, AcBel, Amper and Conceptronic.

US analog mobile TV chip maker Telegent Systems, said this week that Dr Samuel Sheng has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer from Chief Technology Officer. Sheng’s appointment coincides with a new milestone for the company which has realized significant uptake of its free-to-air analog mobile TV products, shipping 50 million mobile TV receivers since mid-2007.

In the UK, where the DVB-T based Freeview service reaches over 18 million households (and is the dominant form of TV in over half of these) every home will have to re-tune their services some time this week. Some of the TV channels are being moved from one multiplex to another to make room for new HD Channels to be launched in December. Multiplex B is being cleared so that a DVB-T2 signal can be used over it, with HD channels. Over the past few weeks set tops across the country have been generating explanations in text overlays about what customers need to do.

Instead of just intuitively knowing that 3D TV is nowhere near ready to deploy, US researcher In-Stat has actually gone and asked a bunch of US homes what they think about getting 3D TV sets. Only about 25% of people interviewed were ‘extremely interested’ or ‘very interested’, with various degrees of enthusiasm below that making up the majority. However even among the few that like the idea, some 25% don’t want it unless it’s free and another 43% will only spend $200 or less.

Qualcomm said this week that the order which the Japan Fair Trade Commission issued in draft, is now issued fully, unchanged, saying that Qualcomm has to take out key parts of contracts which make its customers agree never to assert IP rights against Qualcomm. It effectively says that Qualcomm forced Japanese licensees to accept cross-license provisions without compensation. Qualcomm said this is not the case and will fight on and request an appeal before the Japanese courts and ask for the order to be stayed while it does so.

Spending on internet advertising in the UK has overtaken TV ad spending for the fist time, as the total UK ad spend fell by £1.5bn in the first half of 2009, according to figures released by the IAB this week. Internet advertising was the only sector to grow while overall advertising fell by 16.6% to £7.5bn. The figures came from research carried out for IAB by PricewaterhouseCoopers and said that internet advertising reached £1.75bn in the first half.