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News summary for 6/05/07

Tue, 06/05/2007 - 8:35am

Avaya enters $8.2B merger agreement
By Traci Patterson, CED

Avaya Inc. has entered into a definitive merger agreement with investment firms Silver Lake and TPG Capital for approximately $8.2 billion ($17.50 per common share).

A sale had been anticipated since last week, when Avaya abruptly canceled an investors’ briefing scheduled for May 31.
   
Avaya’s shareholders will receive $17.50 in cash for each share of Avaya common stock they hold, representing a premium of approximately 28 percent over Avaya’s closing share price of $13.67 on May 25, the company said. It also represents a premium of approximately 33 percent over Avaya’s average closing share price of $13.17 during the 30 trading days that ended May 25.
   
Avaya’s board of directors has approved the merger agreement and recommended that the company’s shareholders adopt the agreement. The transaction is expected to close this fall, and it is subject to receipt of shareholder approval and customary regulatory approvals, as well as other customary closing conditions.

Volpi named CEO of Joost
By Traci Patterson, CED

Joost has named Mike Volpi as the company’s CEO, effective immediately.

He succeeds Joost’s founding CEO, Fredrik de Wahl, who will remain at Joost as the CSO.

Volpi joins Joost from Cisco Systems Inc., where it was rumored that he was next in line to lead the company. He spent 13 years in a variety of strategic management roles at Cisco, most recently as the senior VP and general manager for the Routing and Service Provider Technology Group, which included Scientific Atlanta

“Joost is one of the most exciting companies in the media industry,” Volpi stated. “Fredrik [de Wahl] and the Joost team have built a world-class ensemble of talent, and created a company and a product with the potential to change the way video is enjoyed around the world.”

Joost was founded in January 2006 by Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström. The company’s secure Internet platform enables an interactive, ad-supported video experience free of charge.

Executive Co-Chairman Friis said: “Mike’s track record speaks for itself. For Niklas and me, Mike is the dream choice for this role.”

BigBand accuses ex-employees at Imagine with infringement
By Brian Santo, CED

BigBand Networks has brought suit against Imagine Communications, charging the latter with infringing three patents that cover advanced video processing and bandwidth management techniques.

The suit, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, alleges that Imagine products willfully infringe claims of BigBand's U.S. Patents Nos. 6,937,6196,999,477 and 7,058,087. The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief, along with damages for willful infringement.

Five of Imagine Communications' top executives - including the company's founders and CEO - are former BigBand employees.

Imagine’s initial product is the Quality On Demand Gateway, which the company describes as incorporating a new method of statistical multiplexing for the MPEG-2 VOD market. The company claims the QOD Gateway provides up to 15 variable bit rate (VBR) VOD streams that can share the same 256 QAM channel with equivalent quality relative to today’s maximum of 10 constant bit rate (CBR) VOD streams.

Separately, Liwest Kabelmedien GmbH, the second largest cable operator in Austria, has deployed BigBand’s Cuda CMTS to deliver high-speed data and voice services to subscribers near the city of Linz. BigBand said Liwest is also testing its M-CMTS technology.

C-Cor shuffles two divisions, divests a third
By Brian Santo, CED

C-Cor is selling its Outside Plant and Installation Services business, and combining its Network Design and Network Integration businesses into a Professional Services group under the company's Broadband System Solutions organization.

The Outside Plant and Installation Services business is being sold for about $7 million to Source Broadband Services.

The transaction is expected to be completed within 45 days.

The company said the integration of the two formerly separate operations made sense inasmuch as an increasing number of customers were looking not only for products but also for assistance with integrating those products.

“C-Cor will, therefore, focus on growing our network design and integration business that synergistically cuts across all our product lines,” said Dave Woodle, chairman and CEO of C-Cor.

Streaming21 launches IP broadcasting solution
By Traci Patterson, CED

Streaming21 has unveiled its IP broadcasting solution, the Media Relay Server 2.0, which enables the broadcasting of live TV channels and events to TV sets via the Internet.

The solution - which delivers broadcast-quality video streams in MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and H.264, in SD and HD - is an alternative to the satellite delivery of live video and helps broadcasters cut costs on video transmission by using IP networks, the company said.

The server allows for real-time video delivery to TVs through open networks, it accepts subscribers from any ISP, and it delivers over unmanaged and non-multicast networks.

Broadband Briefs for 6/05/07

* SaskTel making time with Symmetricom 
SaskTel will use Symmetricom’s time and frequency solutions for a network-wide synchronization upgrade. SaskTel will equip its offices throughout Saskatchewan to support next-generation services including IPTV, VoIP and 3G wireless. High-quality time and frequency alignment is an essential network infrastructure component that facilitates the reliable transmission of voice, video and data.

* Fast Forward finds a president
DVR technology specialist Fast Forward Video has hired Hal J. Reisiger as the company's new president and CEO. Reisiger joined Fast Forward Video from Enhanced Vision Systems, where he served as president for four years.

Fast Forward Video designs, manufactures, and markets digital video recorders, board-level solutions, and time code generator/readers for professional broadcast, presentation, industrial, and military applications worldwide.

* OpenTV’s PlayJam hits Asia
OpenTV Corp. said that Astro All Asia Networks plc, a DTH satellite TV provider in Malaysia and Brunei, has launched PlayJam Games, a TV channel with interactive games supplied by OpenTV’s PlayJam.

It is the only games channel available on Astro, which broadcasts 75 channels to more than 2 million customers.

PlayJam has created more than 250 games that are delivered to more than 10 million households.

* Clearwire wireless hits Richmond
Clearwire Corp. has launched its wireless high-speed Internet service in Richmond, Va. The coverage area includes Chesterfield, Henrico, Glen Allen, Mechanicsville and Midlothian.

Clearwire is also partnering with the Children’s Museum of Richmond for the Write On! Project, a new computer-based field trip program.

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