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News summary for 12/03/07

Mon, 12/03/2007 - 8:11am
CED staff

Cox tops cable industry with 200,000 business telecom customers 
By Mike Robuck

Cox Business announced today that it has passed the 200,000 business customer mark, which it said tops all MSOs in the business services space.

"Cox has completed voice service expansion to all of its markets and is now the seventh-largest telecom provider in the U.S.; this creates a compelling bundle for business customers already familiar with Cox video and high-speed data products," said Mark Bowser, VP of Cox Business, in a statement.

Last month, Cox launched an IP telephony platform that integrates the desktop phone, PC and wireless devices to provide business customers with better communications control, flexibility and functionality. With the launch of this service, Cox Business became the first cable provider in North America to deploy a fully-owned-and-managed IP telephony service that addresses the needs of the broad business market.

The business-focused division of Cox Communications, Cox Business was launched in 2000 and exceeded 100,000 customers in 2003.

SeaChange chalks up Q3 gain, expects Q4 profit
By Brian Santo

SeaChange International announced record earnings in its third quarter, leading to a $3.3 million profit. The company said trends in on-demand products and services are expected to remain favorable and that SeaChange expects to report a profit for the fourth quarter, as well.

SeaChange reported revenue of $49 million, $6.7 million higher than revenue of $42.3 million in the third quarter of 2006. The $3.3 million net income compares with a loss of $1.2 million in Q3 ’06.

The company is still operating at a net loss through the first nine months of its fiscal year.

SeaChange experienced revenue growth in video-on-demand (VOD) and ad insertion hardware and software.

The company said that continued strength from North American cable customers drove much of the increase in VOD systems revenue between this year’s second and third quarters, as well as increased order activity from customers in South Korea and India.

“… Top-line performance in the third quarter benefited from Axiom software deployments with non-SeaChange VOD servers at a large U.S. cable company,” said SeaChange CEO Bill Styslinger, in a statement. “We also began reaping the benefits of our second quarter cost reduction actions, which contributed approximately $1 million to our bottom-line results for the third quarter.”

TiVo hooks up with Google, Photobucket for HD photo sharing 
By Mike Robuck

TiVo has partnered up with Google and Photobucket on a service that will allow TiVo DVR users to share their photographs with each other.

TiVo will work with online photo-sharing companies Picasa Web Albums, which is owned by Google, and Photobucket for photos that will be displayed on TiVo’s Series3 HD DVRs.

"By working with these well-respected and popular photo-sharing partners, TiVo enables families to share their pictures in new, fun ways,” said Jim Denney, TiVo’s VP of product marketing, in a statement. “TiVo continues to show our commitment to differentiated product offerings by allowing subscribers to share their memories on the best picture frame in the house – their television.”

Among other features, TiVo subscribers with broadband connections will be able to customize their photo-viewing capabilities by searching for community photos of interest, by keyword, using TiVo’s search interface. The service will allow TiVo subscribers to create their own custom slideshows to share with friends and family members.

TiVo said the photo-sharing service is offered at no additional charge as part of its existing service subscription fee.

Last year, Time Warner Cable launched a photo-sharing service in its Oceanic system for customers who subscribe to its digital and broadband services. TWC used Simple Star to enable the free service.

XO bases network expansion on Cisco routers
By Brian Santo

XO Communications expects to more than double the capacity of its nationwide IP/MPLS network with the deployment of Cisco’s CRS-1 Carrier Routing System in its network core.

XO’s network is based on Cisco’s IP Next Generation Network (IP NGN) architecture, so relying on Cisco equipment for a capacity expansion was to be expected. The move is preparatory to another doubling, for a four-fold increase in capacity. The deployment will also pave the way for an eventual upgrade to a multi-terabit capable router complex.

XO will deploy the CRS-1 – including high-speed Dedicated Internet access, IP Transit, IP-VPN and VoIP services – for XO’s customer base of businesses, large enterprises and service providers.

The XO IP/MPLS network is designed to offer customers – including cable companies, content providers, enterprises, international telecommunications companies and other service providers – robust and scalable network solutions at high-bandwidth levels to help them manage their growing Internet traffic at speeds of up to 10 Gbps.

SES Americom unveils new HDTV service: IP-Prime HD-4
By Traci Patterson

SES Americom has unleashed IP-Prime HD-4, an HDTV service for operators already delivering MPEG-2 technology.

HD-4 gives MPEG-2 video systems a route to provide subscribers with HDTV over their existing networks. The single rack solution can deliver 32 HD channels within 60 days and can be scaled to add more HD programming.

SES Americom offers telecom companies a complete MPEG-4 IPTV service, but the IP-Prime HD-4 solution allows operators to deliver HDTV without upgrading their entire infrastructure.

HD-4 is a service of IP-Prime, SES Americom’s turnkey IPTV solution that became commercially available in June. IP-Prime minimizes the risk of a complex technical integration, simplifies difficult program acquisition challenges and lowers financial risks for launching a television service, the company said.

Broadband Briefs for 12/03/07

* TWC promotes Mathews to EVP of human resources
By Mike Robuck

Time Warner Cable announced that Tom Mathews has been promoted to EVP of human resources. He previously served as TWC’s SVP of human resources. Mathews will continue to lead the human resources department, which includes the areas of compensation and benefits, employee relations, learning and development, talent acquisition and HR information systems.

* Clearwire launches Internet, phone services in Charlotte
By Traci Patterson

Clearwire Corp. has launched its wireless high-speed Internet access and phone service in the Charlotte, N.C., area.

Clearwire’s next-gen wireless broadband solution allows customers to connect virtually anywhere in the Clearwire service area. The operator’s phone service works with a customer’s existing high-speed Internet access and provides unlimited local and long-distance calling.

* Vyyo promotes Ungerer to EVP of corporate strategy
By Traci Patterson

Vyyo Inc. has promoted Walt Ungerer to EVP of corporate strategy and investor relations. For the past three years, Ungerer has served as VP of corporate communications at Vyyo.

Prior to joining Vyyo, he headed up investor relations at Concurrent and held positions with Scientific Atlanta.

“The growth in acceptance of our UltraBand platform over the past year has moved Vyyo to a more prominent position in next-generation cable networks,” said Wayne Davis, CEO of Vyyo. “Walt’s strong background in corporate finance, his extensive experience in cable and his understanding of the technical challenges the industry faces have helped him play a key leadership role for Vyyo.”

* 75 percent of U.S. Internet users watched video online in September
By Traci Patterson

Nearly 75 percent of U.S. Internet users (about 136 million) watched an online video—either a streaming video or a progressive download—in September, making for an average of three hours of online video per person and a total of more than nine billion videos viewed, according to comScore’s Video Metrix report for the month.

Google Sites, which includes YouTube, topped the month’s rankings with the most unique video viewers and the most videos viewed—2.6 billion, of which 2.5 billion occurred at YouTube (27.6 percent market share). Fox Interactive Media gathered 387 million views (4.2 percent), followed by Yahoo Sites with 381 million (4.1 percent) and Viacom Digital with 304 million (3.3 percent).

* Broadcom sampling single-chip transcoder 
By Brian Santo

Broadcom said it has a new single-chip transcoder that can translate the format, the bit rate and the resolution of audio/video content in real-time to match the format appropriate for any particular playback device.

Supported formats include AVC, MPEG-2, VC-1 and MPEG-4, as well as several Dolby formats, MP3 and PCM. The BCM7043 real-time encoder/transcoder chip is sampling to early access customers. Pricing is available upon request.

* RCN offers MiVision to business services customers
By Traci Patterson

RCN Corp. has rolled out MiVision, or "my vision," to its Business Services customers looking to serve their clientele with Hispanic programming. The programming packages include more than 30 Spanish-language channels and mirror what is currently available to RCN's residential customers.

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