Broadband Briefs for 05/04/09
• In the media: cable model breakdown ahead?
By Brian Santo
The New York Times takes a look at cable and wonders if a la carte programming isn’t likely after all (story here ).
The newspaper notes that delivering data is getting cheaper, while delivering video is getting more expensive because of rising program costs. ESPN is naturally singled out as the most expensive channel.
The question the NYTimes raises, then, is whether viewers will turn to Web-based video, not because it is more convenient, but because it’s cheaper. If that happens, will cable operators have to start crafting program packages to counter the trend – and if they do, will a la carte be the inevitable result?
• TWC, Convergys expand e-Care contract
By Traci Patterson
Time Warner Cable has expanded and extended its e-Care contract with Convergys Corp.
Partnering with Convergys, TWC offers e-Care alternative customer contact channels that include both e-mail and online chat – in both English and Spanish. Through these channels, customers can receive account information and support, digital phone technical support and answers to queries about billing, browsing, connectivity, and e-mail issues.
“Time Warner Cable strives to provide its customers with the type of service and care opportunities expected from a digital company like ours, and our relationship with Convergys supports our commitment to providing that level of customer care,” said TWC executive vice president and chief marketing officer Sam Howe. "Convergys’ customer management solutions provide us with tools to support our video, high-speed data and voice customers."
• CopperGate’s HomePNA chips chosen by Actiontec
By Traci Patterson
CopperGate Communications’ HomePNA chipsets have been selected by Actiontec Electronics for its newest product, the HomePNA Ethernet-to-Coax Network Adapter.
“Demand for HomePNA technology is booming because it reduces installation costs and time dramatically for IPTV solutions,” said Actiontec vice president of business development Brian Henrichs. “Our HomePNA adapters deliver all the bandwidth customers need without having to install new wires. It is perfect for connecting an optical network terminal (ONT) to set-top boxes and home routers/gateways.”
The Actiontec HomePNA Ethernet-to-coax Network Adapter connects standard Ethernet and coax cabling to bring multimedia to the home; it is especially suited for large, rich media files like HDTV, video-on-demand, movies, music and photos.
• NPD: Curve surpasses iPhone in Q1
By Monica Alleven, Wireless Week
Verizon Wireless’ “buy-one-get-one” promotion helped Research In Motion’s BlackBerry Curve move past Apple’s iPhone to become the best-selling consumer smartphone in the U.S. in the first quarter, according to The NPD Group.
RIM's consumer smartphone market share increased 15 percent, to nearly 50 percent of the smartphone market in the first quarter versus the prior quarter, as Apple's and Palm's share both declined 10 percent each, the research firm says.
Based on U.S. consumer sales of smartphone handsets in NPD's report, the first-quarter 2009 ranking of the top-five best-selling smartphones is as follows: 1) RIM BlackBerry Curve (all 83XX models); 2) Apple iPhone 3G (all models); 3) RIM BlackBerry Storm; 4) RIM BlackBerry Pearl (all models, except flip); 5) T-Mobile G1.
Smartphones, which represented 17 percent of handset sales volume in the first quarter of 2008, now make up 23 percent of sales, according to NPD.
• Developer sues over Android name
By Wireless Week Staff
A software developer is charging that the use of the name Android by Google and partners in the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) is a violation of his company’s trademark.
Erich Specht of Palatine, Ill., and his company Android Data Corp. filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court in Chicago seeking nearly $100 million in damages for trademark infringement, according to various media reports.
Specht trademarked the name Android in 2002; reports say when Google applied for a similar right, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2008 rejected it.
A Google spokesman told Bloomberg today that the claims are without merit.
|More Broadband Direct 05/04/09:|
|• Sprint may outsource network as losses widen |
|• Liberty Media, DirecTV announce spin-off plans |
|• Cox locks in contract pricing in Phoenix area |
|• FCC to assure TV remains accessible after transition |
|• Neb. commission loses appeal on Internet call fees |
|• Sigma Systems launches AMP |
|• Verismo Networks licenses On2 VP6 codec for VuNow |
|• Report: Rural telcos making hay |
|• Broadband Briefs for 05/04/09 |