Broadband Briefs for 2/16/10
• Cox consolidates operations in Vegas
By Mike Robuck
Cox Communications, the nation’s third-largest cable operator, has signed a long-term lease for 84,397 square feet of industrial space in order to consolidate its operations in Las Vegas.
According to real estate Web site GlobeSt.com, the total consideration for the long-term lease was approximately $5.5 million. Cox will use the large building in north Las Vegas to consolidate its operations, reduce expenses and increase efficiencies at it continues to expand its business, according to GlobeSt.com.
The building is located in Hughes Cheyenne Center, which is a master-planned business park in the North Las Vegas business district. The deal was one of the largest industrial leases signed in the Las Vegas area since 2008 in terms of square footage and dollar value.
Cox competes against CenturyLink in Las Vegas.
• Shaw set to buy CanWest broadcast assets
By Brian Santo
Shaw Communications is set to purchase some of the key broadcast assets of CanWest, another Canadian media company that has been operating under bankruptcy protection.
The most recent proposal would have Shaw buy only 20 percent of CanWest, but with those shares pick up 80 percent of the voting stock. Court documents associated with the bankruptcy peg the minimum value of the acquisition at about $65 million; various media reports expect the final deal to be valued somewhat higher, perhaps as much as $100 million or more.
If there’s some equivocation on the form of the deal, it’s because of Goldman Sachs, which has an interest in several of the programming assets owned by CanWest that would end up with Shaw. The investment firm objected not to the deal, but to the fact that the deal was struck without its being consulted, according to reports. Goldman may yet have some input on the final details of the proposal.
• Entone integrates Vudu Apps for hybrid TV offering
By Mike Robuck
Entone announced that it is taking orders for second-quarter delivery of its Vudu-enabled Janus Media Hub and Amulet IPTV Receiver.
Entone said its new line of broadband TV devices integrate the latest Vudu technologies, including Vudu Apps, a cloud platform for the delivery of Internet entertainment services, and the Vudu Movie Service.
With the integration, telco operators that deploy the Vudu-enabled Janus Media Hub and Amulet IPTV Receiver will be able to offer their end users access to more than 100 apps, ranging from news services to Internet destinations to Vudu Movies.
“By integrating Vudu Apps, Entone provides its telco customers with the industry's lowest-cost integrated platform for the delivery of traditional broadcast and IP video programming, industry-leading HD on-demand movie services and rich Internet apps,” said Tony Miranz, co-founder of Vudu.
• IBBS offers insight on business services for smaller cable ops
By Mike Robuck
Integrated Broadband Services (IBBS) is taking a three-pronged approach to educating small- and medium-size cable operators on business services opportunities. IBBS’ seven-day program includes a white paper by Pike & Fisher, a Webcast this Thursday and a presence at the upcoming NCTC Winter Educational Conference in Long Beach, Calif.
The white paper, “The Commercial Services Opportunity for Tier 2 and 3 Cable Operators,” is available as a free download from IBBS’ Web site. The white paper looks at the opportunity available to Tier 2 and 3 cable operators, provides a revenue forecast for the sector and offers tips on how to pursue opportunities.
The second phase of the campaign is Thursday’s Webcast. IBBS vice president and general manager of commercial services Mike Griffith will discuss this research, as well as the intricacies behind an effective managed services launch.
Lastly, IBBS executives will talk about the research findings at the NCTC Winter Educational Conference next week in Long Beach.
• Beceem to launch LTE-WiMAX chip
By Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week
Beceem says it is creating a chip that supports both LTE and WiMAX technologies. The BCS500 chip will be sampled to customers by the end of this year and is expected to hit mass production in the second half of 2011.
"Our BCS500 will end the 4G debate by connecting to any 4G LTE or WiMAX network with seamless roaming and switching between TDD and FDD configuration as needed, freeing operators from concerns how best to utilize their available spectrum assets," said Beceem's vice president of marketing Lars Johnsson.
The chip will support the latest revisions of the IEEE 802.16 standard, as well as the 3GPP-LTE Release 8 specifications. It also supports both TDD and FDD configurations for LTE and IEEE 802.16m and features real-time channel reconfiguration with a multi-mode "autosense" feature that automatically detects the network type.
A dual-mode LTE/WiMAX chip could come in handy in markets like the U.S., where it would enable roaming between coexisting WiMAX and LTE networks.