Interesting convergence deal where OpenWave (ex UnWired Planet, ex Software.com, provider of value added software stack for the telecom industry) buys into a consumer/content music provider.
Openwave Systems Inc., agreed today to acquire Musiwave, a music entertainment services supplier, for up to EUR114.5 million in cash and stock.
MusiWave did close a third round of funding in September 2002 for 4M€. Shareholders includes ETMF II L.P. a private equity fund advised by BNP Paribas Private Equity, Ventech and CAPE (Crédit Agricole Private Equity).
At €114M, this is a great demonstration of Europe ability to build exit in the 100M€ windows.
I'm preparing for my Wednesday talk about the security market, and just found this BBC report, with some analysis of the recent biannual Symantec Threat Report which identified Voice over IP (Voip) systems as a technology starting to interest hi-tech criminals.
The report predicted that within 18 months, Voip will start to be used as a "significant" attack vector. As well as prompting new attacks, Voip could also resurrect some old hacking techniques, warned the report.
"To me Skype is like a toy." Hossein Eslambolchi, AT&T's CTO and CIO, and AT&T Fellow
If you were looking for examples of why and how large company cannot see disruption unfolding on them, this is a great one. Here is another example (courtesy of isen.com):
". . . we have all spent a lot of money in trials and experiments trying to force the technology into the minds of the consumers. Until we find applications that are easy to use, affordable, make people's lives easier and prove their bottom line, online services are merely going to be toys..."
Robert E. Allen, AT&T's Chairman and CEO , Sept 12, 1995, Networked Economy Conference, Washington, DC.
A Norwegian company has developed bridging technology that will allow you to link your cell phone to Skype - that will then allow you to make long distance phone calls as merely local prices. Oslo’s IPdrum is scheduled for early release this August. IPDrum also stated that they have not been endorsed by Skype, and this is complementary, rather than competition.
You need two cell phones, two SIM cards - one of them connected to your computer with internet access and the Skype program operating. Once you have this set up, you will be able to dial into the phone connected to your computer from anywhere, and then you’ll be prompted to dial the location you want to reach. Once you do so, you’ve made your call. But, of course, calling non-Skype users will get charged as SkypeOut and the fees will apply (about 2.4 cents a minute). Skype calls are free.
Good primer on mesh networking (with some OSS downloadable). We (at Occam Capital) have been looking at that space for quiet a while, and are very interested in talking to any promissing European project...
Mobile adhoc networking allows users to exchange information in a wireless environment without the need for a fixed infrastructure. Each user (or node), equipped with one or more radios, is free to roam about while communicating with others. The path between any pair of users can traverse multiple wireless links and the radios themselves can be heterogeneous, thus enabling an assortment of different types of links to be part of the same adhoc network.
The mobility of the nodes results in a network whose topology is dynamic. The job of the network is to discover the links between the mobile nodes and to build paths so that any user can communicate with any other user, as long as each has a link to the adhoc network. Within the adhoc network, each node acts as a router and forwards packets on behalf of others.
What do we need to do to get the same services in all the large European cities (and start with Paris...). What is impressive it the actual low operation cost (Wifi also means free VoIP calls...). It would be great to get this within the Paris2012 Olympic games preparation)...
Seattle tests free Wi-Fi The Mayor of Seattle booted up a laptop yesterday, looked at the screen, grinned, and in a relieved voice, told a crowd Seattle's free Wi-Fi is on the air. Greg Nickels explained a test of the planned citywide free Internet access service will include two neighborhoods, and expand to four city parks in a month. Restaurant owners in the one of the test areas, Columbia City, told reporters they hope the free service will boost business. "People have staff meetings here at lunch," Cynthia Hobbs told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "This will give them a chance to connect while they are eating and meeting." The cost of Seattle's five-year pilot Wi-Fi program is estimated at $115,000.
Sequans Communications, a fabless semiconductor company that supplies silicon and software for broadband wireless access, has just closed a EUR7 million ($9 million) Series B, led by U.K.-based Add Partners and Vision Capital, which are both new investors.
Good example of what works, ie a great team that has works together before and has credibility to build a solid business and a good space (WiMax infrastructure)
Good example on how good deals in Europe are now shopped and closed internationaly, Add partners is in London, Vision in Geneva, the A round investors in Paris (even if you can still hear a strong French accent here between Sebastien de Lafond and Dominique Pitteloud...)
Congratulation to Georges Karam and the Sequans team...
Cisco has already set up a special software group (yet unnamed) to develop middleware, Web applications, and services products, says one reliable source who is close to the company but asked to remained unnamed. Other sources say Cisco has indeed set up a new software group but that it may have less dramatic goals... ...So why would Cisco do this? Experts point out that with networking technology becoming increasingly commoditized -- and with a looming fret from low-cost hardware competitors in China -- Cisco could help insulate itself from these trends by moving up the software stack and marketing consulting services and developing more sophisticated software...
...Given the company's dominance in routers, something like consulting might be Cisco's best way to create new revenue streams. "There's nowhere else to go," Dzubeck says.
I was playing last night with the latest release of Skype, and decided to use the new feature of importing into skype your Outlook contact base (tools->import contact). BE VERY CAREFUL, as when you do this, the net result is NOT to upload your contact BUT to send a ridiculous spam mail to all your contacts, inviting them to skype you ...
As the meaning of contact-upload (IE non intrusive for your contact) and spamming (IE intrusive for your contact) are VERY different, I'm very unhappy and feel cheated by Skype (and will from now on try to use the product as Little as possible)
Conclusion: if you cheat and try to mislead your customers, you will loose them.
After yesterday unprediction, some 2005 prediction (from Jeff Pulver). I was particularey interested (and agree with) with his predictions no 10, 11 and 16. The recent news on the death of Bluetooth have been exagerated, and 2005 will be the year of Bluetooth
10) ENUM continues to happen around the world and the US will continue to lag.
11) Open Source communications continues to gain momentum. The effects will be felt in 12-18 months
16) If 2004 was the year of WiFi, then 2005 might be the year of Bluetooth. 2005 will see the emergence of the first dual, or multi-mode, phones capable of switching from WiFi to mobile wireless (and perhaps to landline).
12 :: Kinnernet 2007 Tel Aviv - Israel
March 15 to 17 in Ohalo Manor, Kibbutz Kinneret, Jordan Valley. Followed by the Marker Conference in Tel Aviv March 18/19 and Mishkenot Shaananim Symposium in Jerusalem on March 20.
11 :: DLD 2007 DLD Conference
Munich January 21-23 2007.
DLD (Digital, Life, Design) is one of Europe's freshest conferences covering digital innovation, gaming, arts and science, bringing together thought leaders from Europe, the Middle-East, America and Asia
10 :: LE WEB 3 Paris
Dec 11/12 2006
I'll participate (with 1000 others ;-)) to was should be a great European tech gathering...
I'm also hosting a Dinner on Wed Dec 13 (register on my blog if you are interested)