Broadband Briefs for 09/08/09
• Windstream to acquire Lexcom
By Traci Patterson
Windstream Corp. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Lexcom Inc. – which is based in Lexington, N.C. – for approximately $141 million in cash.
Windstream will add approximately 23,000 access lines, 9,000 high-speed Internet customers and 12,000 cable TV customers in the transaction.
The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to certain conditions, including necessary approvals from federal and state regulators and Lexcom shareholders. The company intends to finance the acquisition with existing cash and current capacity on its revolving credit agreement.
• Opera brings the Web to TV
By Traci Patterson
Opera Software has released Opera Devices SDK 10, a Web technology-based toolkit for bringing the Web and widgets to TVs and other connected devices. Opera’s technology – which allows for customization, ease-of-use for the consumer and the ability to port the technology cross-device – will be demonstrated this week at IBC2009 in Amsterdam.
Some features of Opera Devices SDK 10 include: hardware acceleration, where consumers can speed up the rendering of Web pages, applications or UIs by taking advantage of an accelerated DirectFB driver; extended support for silicon platforms, since it is pre-ported to TV platforms, including CE3100 (Intel) and ST7105 (STMicroelectronics) chipsets; improved UI transitions and animations; easier on-screen navigation and improved visual presentation; and standards-compliant, including fully W3C compliant.
“With Opera Devices SDK 10, we have developed a seamless marriage of the Web and TV,” said Jon von Tetzchner, CEO of Opera Software. “Opera provides the framework for your TV experience, and with Web technology, the kind of compelling content that the consumer wants is easy to create. Moreover, we continue to work closely with Open IPTV Forum, as we share common strategic goals: lower the integration cost, speed up time to market for IPTV services and enable choice for consumers.”
• Analyst: Starent gains if Verizon gets Apple device
By The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) – Starent Networks stands to gain if Apple picks up Verizon Wireless as a carrier for its popular iPhone or a new portable computer, a CL King analyst said Tuesday. Verizon would need to add capacity on its network to accommodate the extra Web traffic that would come with Apple customers, CL King analyst Lawrence Harris said in a note.
That would likely mean buying equipment from Starent, a Tewksbury, Mass.-based company that makes technology for connecting cell phones to the Internet. Along with the iPhone, Apple is rumored to be working on a small "tablet"-style computer, something like an oversized iPod.
Harris said a decision from Apple to add Verizon as a carrier for one or both "is becoming increasingly likely." He said the move makes sense for Apple because it could head off a government investigation of the company's exclusive deal with AT&T and boost iPhone sales.
Harris reiterated an "Accumulate" rating on Starent shares.
• SES World Skies takes over
By Traci Patterson
SES Americom has come up with the name of SES World Skies for its newly integrated operation.
SES World Skies has an expanding fleet of 25 satellites within the 40-satellite global SES fleet, with six additional spacecraft slated for launch over the next two years.
“With the integration of SES Americom-New Skies nearly complete, SES World Skies more precisely describes the reach of our evolving fleet, the depth of our expertise, and our rock solid customer commitment around the globe,” said Rob Bednarek, president and CEO of SES World Skies.