Comcast connects with Thomson on home networking

Mon, 07/27/2009 - 8:35am
Mike Robuck

Comcast has signed an agreement with Thomson that will let it use Thomson’s platform for creating communications and home networking hubs in subscribers’ homes.

Comcast will be using Thomson’s Advanced Cable Gateway devices to provide digital voice and data services to its customers, including cordless phone handsets to view e-mail, manage voicemail and catch up on news, weather and sports. Comcast subscribers will also be able to use “click-to-call” from a universal address book powered by Plaxo, a business directory, or call logs.

“Thomson’s highly innovative Advanced Cable Gateway devices are a central part of our rollout of enhanced digital communications services. Thomson’s gateways add functionality and features beyond that of traditional offerings,” said Tony Werner, chief technology officer and executive vice president at Comcast. “The new device will enable Comcast to offer a whole new level of services to our subscribers. We will thus not only be improving the phone services within the home, but expanding the visual experience beyond the TV and PC.”

Comcast and Thomson expect to start deploying the Advanced Cable Gateway in the third quarter of 2009. Financial terms of the agreement weren’t available.

Last year, Thomson signed on as one of the digital transport adaptor (DTA) providers for Comcast, which also has DTA deals in place with Motorola and Pace.

Thomson said today that Comcast would be rolling out its DTAs over the coming weeks as part of its digital conversion project. Thomson is currently working on the second generation of DTA, which will be smaller than a PDA and more environmentally friendly.

On Friday, Thomson was able to forge an agreement with its senior creditors that was designed to help it avoid bankruptcy and reduce its 2.84 billion euros ($4.04 billion) of debt by raising funds through the sale of shares, exchangeable bonds and assets.

Under the terms of the plan, Thomson will repay 45 percent of its debt, raising 989 million euros in share and bond sales and about 300 million through asset disposals.

Thomson said its first-half net loss increased to 325 million euros from 182 million euros a year earlier. Thomson’s revenues dropped 5.5 percent to 1.8 billion euros. Earnings before interest and tax from continuing operations were 51 million euros in the first half, which was an increase over the 21 million euros from a year ago.

More Broadband Direct 07/27/09:
•  Verizon's Q2 profit falls; telco plans job cuts
•  BigBand introduces control plane software for bandwidth sharing
•  Comcast connects with Thomson on home networking
•  Symmetricom names Côté prez, CEO
•  Windjammer signs up for broadband support from IBBS
•  SinglePipe adopts a new image
•  XCast picks up 2 new customers
•  Ericsson to get Nortel assets
•  CMC racks up more than 260 cable ops for Hits Quantum
•  Broadband Briefs for 07/27/09



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