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Deals, launches and products

Arqiva, the UK broadcast services business controlled by Australian financial group Macquarie, said this week to Broadband TV News that it will either

By PETER WHITE

Published: 2 June, 2011

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Arqiva, the UK broadcast services business controlled by Australian financial group Macquarie, said this week to Broadband TV News that it will either sell or close its online video service SeeSaw. It began life as Project Kangaroo inside the BBC. The service changed hands for £8 million back in August 2009. SeeSaw originally targeted PCs with paid VoD and would have had a platform on YouView, the internet set top, had it survived. If it had remained at the BBC it may well have survived, but that was blocked by the Competition Commission because of the BBC’s involvement, since the BBC is entirely funded by a government mandated TV license. But without a broadcast brand and the requisite consumer marketing nous, Arqiva was never likely to make the service happen. Recently it said it was looking for partners to help, but it appears that none came forward.

Telekom Austria has said it will rename its IPTV service from aonTV to A1 Kabel TV. A1 is one of its recognized cellular brands in Austria. It will also get more TV channels and offer faster channel change adding foreign language programming to take it to 150 channels including ORF 2 Europe. The service still starts at €4.90 a month and has 110 basic channels, 30 premium channels and 10 HD channels. Last year it had reached 151,000 customers in a pay TV market dominated by cableco UPC and satellite operator Sky Deutschland.

Qualcomm Atheros announced that it has begun sampling the WCN3660 combo chip, designed to bring connectivity to the Qualcomm Snapdragon family of mobile processors. It is optimized for use in smartphone and tablets and supports WiFi connectivity options with multiple WiFi standards as well as supporting Bluetooth 3.0 and 4.0 and FM radio. It will interface with Qualcomm's 28nm Snapdragon mobile processors. Clearly an attempt to get Atheros more mobile platform market share under the cover of its existing relationships.

Apple said it will introduce a new version of iOS and its iCloud at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco next week. It is expected that CEO Steve Jobs will take to the stage to introduce the new products, despite being on medical leave from the company. Key elements of iOS 5 are expected to include support for over-the-air software updates and a location enabled “friends and family finder” for the iPhone and iPad. The new cloud music service iCloud, has now been officially confirmed, chasing similar launches by Amazon and Google, except that Apple has signed licenses with 3 of the 4 major record labels.

Nokia's shares slumped by around 13% after it issued another profit warning, as its handset sales have gone into freefall. Previous forecasts for the full year are “no longer valid” it said. Handset revenue will not only be down, but profits will disappear and the division will only break even. All of it is related to the transition to Windows Phone 7 with customers no longer as comfortable backing Nokia’s legacy platform Symbian. Much of the low end damage is being done by cheap Android devices and it is still 6 months away from WP7 phones.

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