Several industries are interested in residential connectivity markets, a highly-simplified breakdown of them includes:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR, "Papa" Lorenzo:
BIG on samples and happy hour buffets, periodically declares he's giving up on cheese (might as well call him "anti-American" i know), LOVES his wife (remember, "wife" spelled backwards is "efiw"), is certain his son is destined to be known as "Enzo the Great," appreciates his "parents" more each day (in-laws included), still dislikes cats, greatest fear is mediocrity, has resigned himself to blatant self-promotion (hey! i amuse me), defies popularity by defining himself, and wants (would like) you to pay him lots (market-value) of money for his work.
RESIDENTIAL TECHNOLOGY A Monthly Column with Lorenzo D. Domínguez Residential Connectivity and Convergence:
A Monthly Column with Lorenzo D. Domínguez
Residential Connectivity and Convergence:
The Office Comes Home or How Home Networking Stocks
Will Make You Richer in the Year 2000
WIRELESS AND INFARED NETWORKING MANUFACTURERS
Wireless networking technologies have the distinct advantage over other options of being "easy-to-use" and "no-new-wires" enabled, two key elements in this area which practically everyone has declared will be the major factors in determining consumer habits. The "seamless" capability enables limited mobility for users within the usual premises of most households (up to 150 feet). Moreover, unlike phoneline or powerline based products, wireless solutions do not depend on the quality of existing wiring, and there is more than one person can use the system simultaneously.
However, there are limitations. First and perhaps foremost, to gain any value from the mobility factor you have to own a laptop and for the ability to hook up ten computers to be of any value, you have to own more than one. Being that wireless networking is being primarily sold as a residential solution, the market is fairly limited as well to high-income users and gives phoneline and powerline the advantage of appealing to the masses of the middle-class.
Another problem, at this point wireless options are much more expensive than telephony and powerline, they are limited to where they can transmit in the home, and there are security concerns.
Infrared is a similar technology which is even more limited because of a very low data transfer rate (it is the laser light technology used in entertainment console remote control units), and its point-to-point limitations (the beam must be in the line of sight, so that anything in other rooms cannot be connected). However, things are improving here as well, and if TV proves to be the consumer portal of choice, the little red light may very well be part of the picture to control everything.
Major Supporting Technology Standard Working Group/Industry Alliance Association:
Specification for a low-power, short-range RF network for interconnecting mobile devices such as laptops, cell phones and PC peripherals. In development by a consortium of telecommunications and computer companies.
The Home RF Initiative is aimed at enabling whole-house wireless (RF) networks for voice and data, using. HomeRF products are expected to ship by the end of 1999. The Home RF Working Group is a consortium of primarily computer manufacturers (The ten core members include Compaq; Ericsson; Hewlett-Packard; IBM; Intel; Microsoft; Motorola; Philips; Proxim; and Symbionics) with the goal of enabling the existence of a broad range of interoperable consumer devices by establishing an open industry specification for unlicensed, RF digital communications for PCs and consumer devices in and around the home, otherwise known as the SWAP (Shared Wireless Access) Protocol.
IR Infrared. Having a frequency in the electromagnetic spectrum in the range just below that of red light. Objects radiate infrared in proportion to their temperature. Infrared radiation is divided into categories based on wavelength. IrDA Infrared Data Association. The industry organization of computer, component, and telecommunications vendors who have established the standards for infrared communication between computers and peripheral devices such as printers.
NAME: PROXIM, INC.
DESCRIPTION/PURPOSE: Proxim is a supplier of 2.4 GHz wireless LAN technology to both OEMs and end-users worldwide.
TI SUMMARY: A consistently innovative player in the wireless networking market, Proxim is rated high by 11 out of 12 analysts rating the stock. Its P/E ration is outstanding and it is selling almost $20 below its 52 week high.
STOCK SYMBOL: PROX
ANALYST FIRMS MAKING RECOMMENDATIONS(9/16/99)
6 Strong Buy
BANC OF AMERICA SECURITIES LLC.
In 1994 Proxim introduced the world’s first commercially available 2.4 GHz frequency hopping, spread spectrum (FHSS) wireless LAN products.
Proxim has led the way in wireless communications technology for mobile computer users with a long list of industry firsts including:
Proxim also became the first company to obtain certification for 2.4 GHz frequency hopping products in numerous countries throughout the world. Today, Proxim’s RangeLAN2 products are certified in more than 50 nations worldwide.
COMPETITIVE RATING: ALLIANCES AND ASSOCIATIONS
Proxim technology has been selected as the 2.4 GHz wireless LAN technology of choice by more than 50 suppliers of mobile computing devices, handheld PCs and terminals, and wireless solutions providers. OEM partners include such industry leaders as AMP, Cruise Technologies, Data General, Fujitsu, Hand Held Products, HBO & Company, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intermec, Kinetic, LXE, Matsushita, Monarch, Motorola, Percon, Seiko Epson, and Toshiba among others.
Proxim is an active participant in two key industry groups: the Wireless LAN Interoperability Forum (WLIF) and the Home RF Working Group (Proxim is the sole wireless vendor among the core members).
David King, Chairman, President and CEO
Mr. King joined Proxim in December 1992 as Vice President of Marketing and acting Chief Financial Officer, in July 1993 was appointed President, Chief Executive Officer and Director, and in January 1996 was named Chairman of the Board of Directors. From December 1990 to November 1992, Mr. King served as vice president of marketing and customer services at Vitalink Communications Corporation ("Vitalink"), a LAN internetworking subsidiary of Network Systems Corporation. From 1985 to 1990, Mr. King was Senior Manager in the San Francisco office of McKinsey & Company, Inc., an international management consulting firm, where he was a member of the firm's high technology and health care practices. Mr. King holds three degrees from Harvard University. He received his Bachelor of Arts in economics with honors, and both his J.D and M.B.A with distinction.
Brian Button, Vice President of Marketing and Sales
Mr. Button joined Proxim as Vice President of Marketing in June 1994. In September 1996, Mr. Button was appointed Vice President of Sales and Marketing. From March 1989 to June 1994, Mr. Button worked for StrataCom Corporation, where he held several management positions, most recently as Director, Product Marketing. From May 1982 to February 1989, Mr. Button worked for Hewlett-Packard Company, where he held several marketing management positions. Mr. Button has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of California at Berkeley.
Keith Glover, Vice President of Finance and CFO
Mr. Glover joined Proxim in September 1993. Prior to Proxim, he worked for eight years at Vitalink Communications Corporation, where he held several key financial management positions, most recently as vice president of finance. Before Vitalink, Mr. Glover worked for five years at Rolm Corporation in various financial positions. He also worked two years in public accounting with KPMG Peat Marwick in the San Jose, California office and is a certified public accountant. Mr. Glover received his Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration and accounting from California Polytechnic University in Pomona.
Juan Grau, Vice President of Engineering
Brian Messenger, Vice President of Operations
PRODUCT LINE: The Symphony Cordless Networking Suite, designed to deliver simple, wire-free and hassle-free networking for laptop and desktop computers allowing users to share printers and transfer files to and from other computers. Symphony binds up to 10 computers in a cordless 1.6 Mbps Ethernet local area network (LAN) of up to 150 feet.
Proxim’s RangeLAN2TM and IEEE 802.11-compliant RangeLAN802TM product families today consist of PC Card wireless LAN adapters, ISA card adapters, interchangeable antennas, access and extension points for transparent bridging to Ethernet or Token Ring networks, as well as, the industry’s smallest and lowest power consuming micro-ISA card for OEM integration.
In June 1998 Proxim announced its innovative SymphonyTM family of cordless networking products for the home or small office. Based on Proxim’s commercial products, Symphony products promise to revolutionize the organization of small computer networks.
295 North Bernado Avenue
Mountain View, CA 94043
NAME: DIAMOND MULTIMEDIA SYSTEMS INC.
TI Summary: Diamond is a sleeping giant. It offers one of the few MP3 players on the market and to the recording studios chagrin demand for MP3 is bound to boom com holiday time. Moreover, Diamond recently announced that Compag has chosen it’s HomeFree(TM) Phoneline USB network adapter as the home networking option for its Presario line of Notebook Internet PCs. At $5, DIMD stock is penny stock worth buying.
STOCK SYMBOL: (Nasdaq: DIMD)
Year of Incorporation: 1982
Number of Employees: 900
Analyst Firms Making Recommendations
0 Strong Buy
DEUTSCHE BANC ALEX. BROWN - US
Diamond's HomeFree Phoneline USB Selected as the Home Networking Option for Compaq Presario Notebook Computers
VANCOUVER, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 15, 1999--Diamond Multimedia Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:DIMD), a leader in PC multimedia and Internet connectivity, today announced that Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE:CPQ) has chosen Diamond's HomeFree(TM) Phoneline USB network adapter as the home networking option for its Presario line of Notebook Internet PCs, including the Presario 300 Series Internet mini-notebook PC announced today.
Priced at a U.S. estimated retail price of $69.95, Diamond's HomeFree Phoneline USB product enables consumers to network multiple Presario notebooks and desktops throughout the home using existing telephone wiring. Compaq Presario computers with the new Diamond HomeFree Phoneline home networking option are available now through Compaq's "Built for You" kiosk program at more than 9,300 participating retailers or direct from Compaq.
In April 1995, Diamond raised approximately $120 million in one of the largest technology IPO's of the year, and now trades on Nasdaq under the symbol DIMD. In September 1995, Diamond acquired Supra Corporation, a leading supplier of high-speed fax/modems and related software for the PC and Macintosh markets. In November 1995, Diamond acquired SPEA Software AG, the leading supplier of PC graphics and multimedia accelerators in Germany. The Company reported revenues of more than $443 million in 1997, and ended the year with over $90 million in cash and $180 million in sharholders' equity. According to IDC (10/97), Diamond Multimedia has the #1 worldwide share of the branded graphics board market.
In addition to its San Jose, Calif., headquarters, Diamond Multimedia maintains sales, marketing, engineering or technical support facilities in Vancouver (Wash.), Starnberg (Germany), Paris, Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney and Winnersh (U.K.), as well as various field offices based in the United States. Diamond currently employs over 800 people worldwide.
Diamond Multimedia maintains close-working relationships with its silicon technology suppliers to determine the optimum mix of functions and features at a given price point throughout the product development cycle. The company is recognized for its superior engineering of desktop utilities, multimedia applets and high-performance software drivers, allowing for the optimization of each product's performance, installation and ease of use. Diamond's products use industry standard APIs (application programming interfaces), and many products feature unique, high-value software bundles selected for specific consumer, corporate or professional end-user markets.
Diamond's communications product line features both internal and external fax/modems (up to 56 Kbps) under the Supra brand name, and includes the Supra NetCommander ISDN digital modem that integrates all the features necessary for Windows 95 and Windows NT users to take advantage of high-speed ISDN technology.
Distribution Diamond Multimedia's products are available from major computer retailers, OEMs and value-added resellers, as well as through leading distributors throughout the world.
Company Senior Executives
William J. Schroeder
2880 Junction Ave.
408/325-7000 / (800) 468-5846http://www.diamondmm.com/
Summary:What is ShareWave? It's an ingredient technology supplier of high performance multimedia-capable, digital wireless home networking solutions. ShareWave provides highly integrated chipsets, network protocols, network software, and RF radio designs to leaders of the computing, consumer electronics, and networking industries. Founded in 1996 by a group of former Intel and venture capital executives, ShareWave is privately held with its headquarters in El Dorado Hills, California.
Year of Incorporation: 1982
Number of Employees: 900
Touts itself as the "The ingredient technology supplier for multimedia digital wireless home networks"
DESCRIPTION/PURPOSE: RadioLAN is the world's first company to introduce a 10Mbps indoor wireless local area network (LAN) system. The RadioLAN/10 family of products provides reliable high-speed connectivity and is completely scalable, allowing networks to grow along with the business.
STOCK SYMBOL: NA
RadioLAN has been privately financed since its inception in 1993. Initial financing came from leading Silicon Valley venture capital firms, includingHighland Capital Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Sequoia Capital Partners, as well as a number of individual investors.
RadioLAN has recently completed a private placement, lead by Salomon Smith Barney. Additional investors now include venture capitalist firms TL Ventures (affiliated with Safeguard Scientific, Inc.) and ABN-AMRO.
Cisco Systems and Intel Corporation are among RadioLAN's corporate investment partners.
UPSIDE Magazine Names RadioLAN As One of 1999's Hottest 100 Private Companies
RadioLAN was formed in 1993 by a group of networking and semiconductor industry veterans to design and market high-speed, low-cost wireless local area networks (LANs) compatible with existing wired networks. RadioLAN networks are designed to meet the demands of increasingly mobile workforces and emerging "virtual" organizations that need more flexible access to corporate information. The ability to create a network without pulling cable provides immediate and transparent connectivity to network resources. Operating and maintenance costs associated with moves, expansions and changes in the network are reduced dramatically.
The RadioLAN/10 product line overcomes three major drawbacks that have delayed the adoption of wireless networks: low speed (typically 2Mbps or less), high cost (two to five times the cost of wired solutions) and network incompatibility.
The foundation for RadioLAN/10 is 10BaseRadio, a breakthrough technology that has made possible the first wireless LAN products to match the full 10Mbps data rate of Ethernet LANs. RadioLAN products are compatible with IEEE 802.3 standards and require no FCC licensing. In addition, they can interoperate with standard 10BaseT wired networks without any modifications.
RadioLAN technology takes advantage of both ISM and U-NII 5GHz radio frequency (RF) bands, which offers wider bandwidth than the 902-928MHz or 2.4GHz bands used by most other wireless LAN systems. 10BaseRadio utilizes a focused narrow-band technique, originally developed for satellite systems, to achieve high speed at a per-node cost equivalent to a 10BaseT solution consisting of an adapter card, hub port and cabling. The system uses just five percent of the power required for cellular phones.
Many of the advantages of the RadioLAN/10 product family have their basis in 10BaseRadio, RadioLAN's unique wireless protocol software, which makes the design, installation and operation of wireless LANs simple and inexpensive. Because it offers a simpler, more reliable method of designing and managing LANs, RadioLAN/10 is driving explosive growth in the wireless LAN market. RadioLAN's future plans call for continuing the evolution of wireless LANs toward higher speeds and the ability to handle such emerging network applications as video and multimedia.
In January of 1997 the FCC allocated three frequency bands, the Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII), in the 5GHz spectrum for high-speed wireless networking. RadioLAN introduced the first system approved in one of these bands, and will bring to market products that operate in the new 5.2GHz and 5.3GHz bands. With these new frequencies, the RadioLAN solution can scale to larger environments including large buildings and manufacturing plants.
10BaseRadio Wireless Protocol Software
Communication between RadioLAN/10 access units is managed by RadioLAN's 10BaseRadio protocol software, which automatically adapts for signal integrity and collision control for each unit. The software adjusts automatically to roving or failed nodes as well as network moves, expansions and changes. 10BaseRadio also supports roaming and extends the distances covered by the wireless LAN. Placing access units in between to act as wireless repeaters can interconnect groups of nodes that are out of range.
Michael Clair, Chairman and CEO
Mr. Clair served as president and CEO during 1996 and has been the chairman of the board since 1994. Prior to joining RadioLAN, Mr. Clair was a founder and senior vice-president of sales and marketing at SynOptics Communications Inc. (currently Bay Networks), the world's leading supplier of intelligent hub-based local area networking products. Mr. Clair played a pivotal role in launching SynOptics into the LAN business, helping the compnay grow into a $700M business in just six years. Proior to SynOptics, Mr. Clair spent 7 years at ROLM and 7 years at Tymshare. Mr. Clair has more than 30 years experience in data processing, date and voice communications and local and wide are networking. Mr. Clair serves on the boards of several Silicon Valley companies. Mr. Clair holds a B.S. in Business and an M.B.A., with a concentration in Operations Reserch, from S.U.N.Y in Buffalo, New York.
Peter Kent, CFO
Prior to joining RadioLAN, Mr. Kent was president of INSIGHT Business Systems, a consulting firm he founded in 1993 that focuses on financial and strategic issues for early stage technology companies. The company offers advice and counsel to CEOs and CFOs, and Mr. Kent often served as interim CFO for client companies. Prior to INSIGHT, Mr. Kent served as CFO for ADAPTIVE Corporation; a telecommunications hardware and software company he helped to create in 1989 and sell in 1993. Before that, he served as CFO of Wordstar International (formerly Micropro International), a high-growth software company, which he took public in 1984. Mr. Kent holds an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Stanford University.
Dr. John Langley, Vice President and CTO
Dr. Langley came to RadioLAN from Raytheon Microelectronics where he was the general manager for Raytheon’s 2.4 GHz Wireless LAN product line. Prior to joining Raytheon, he was vice president of Technology
and Business Development for Lucas Aerospace Communications Electronics, a $100 million manufacturer of RF and microwave components and subsystems. Earlier assignments included a divisional general management role in Epsco Inc., a microwave communications equipment company acquired by Lucas and the management consulting company, Arthur D. Little, Inc. Dr. Langley received his bachelors and masters degrees at Georgia Tech and his Ph.D. from University College, Cork in Ireland.
Craig Stouffer, Vice President, Marketing
Craig Stouffer joined RadioLAN from Tut Systems where he was Vice President of Marketing since April 1998. He was responsible for all marketing functions including corporate communications, product management, product marketing, and market management. Mr. Stouffer positioned Tut Systems as one of the 25 Hot companies to Watch in the networking industry, and was also responsible for positioning Tut to achieve one of the hottest valued opening IPOs in NASDAQ history. At Tut, he was responsible for co-founding HomePNA and managing the standardization process in the industry to ensure full adoption of Tut's technology as the specification for in-home phone-line networks. Previously, Mr. Stouffer was successful in co-founding two telecommunications/ network companies - Vergent and Mobius Computer - which were sold to larger entities. He also spent more than 3 years at HP in Cupertino where he worked as a software designer and a technical marketing consultant. Mr. Stouffer has a B.S. in Computer Systems and a B.S. in Theoretical Physics from Indiana Universityy.
Allen F. Yuhas, Vice President, Worldwide Sales
Mr. Yuhas joined RadioLAN in 1998. Most recently, Mr. Yuhas was the senior vice president of worldwide sales and channel marketing at Ridge Technologies, a start-up company that developed large-scale RAID storage subsystems for the enterprise market. Mr. Yuhas developed and implemented Ridge's sales and channel marketing strategy before the company was acquired by Adaptec in 1998. Prior to this, he held a similar position at QMS, where he was responsible for over $200M in worldwide revenue, and Storage Dimensions, where he streamlined the company's overall distribution strategy in the US, Europe and Japan, and helped to increase sales by $40M in two years. Previously, Mr. Yuhas held management positions at Panosonic's Computer Products Division, Paradyne Corp. and Burroughs Corporation (now Unisys). Mr. Yuhas holds a BA in Economics/English from the University of South Alabama and has over 27 years of experience in the computer industry.
Dr. Michael Mancusi, Vice President, Engineering
Dr. Mancusi joined RadioLAN from Ericsson Fiber Access, where he was vice president of network management systems, leading the adoption of a new architecture based on the object-oriented industry standard, CORBA. Prior to his assignment at Ericsson, he was general manager of Bytex, a $50 million manufacturer of LAN hubs and a division of Network Systems Corporation. He has also held positions heading marketing, operations and engineering at Bytex Corp., Tridom Corp. (a start up), RCA Cylix and Oakridge National Laboratories, including 15 years at ATT Bell Labs. Dr. Mancusi has over 20 years of experience managing new product development in the data communications industry and has a Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics from the University of Iowa.
Laurence Elizondo, Vice President, Operations
Mr. Elizondo joined RadioLAN from Diamond Multimedia Systems, where he was the vice president of operations. He was responsible for strategic outsourcing of manufacturing, test, quality and cost of all products. At Diamond Multimedia, Mr. Elizondo oversaw the production of over one million board-level products per month. Prior to Diamond Multimedia, Mr. Elizondo was the senior vice president of sales and business development at Natsteel Electronics, a contract manufacturing company. Mr. Elizondo was instrumental in taking the company from $82 million to over $900 million in sales over four years. Mr. Elizondo has also held management positions at Conner Peripherals and IBM. Mr. Elizondo has over 30 years of experience in the technology industry and holds a B.S. in Industrial Technology from San Jose State University.
NAME: WebGear, Inc.
DESCRIPTION/PURPOSE: Founded in mid-1996 and headquartered in San Jose, California, WebGear, Inc. specializes in the design, development, sales, and support of high technology networking and communications products for the personal computer market. WebGear's goal is to serve the growing wireless market for the home and small office with attractively priced, easy-to-install products that are backed by outstanding customer service and support.
STOCK SYMBOL: NA, privately owned
Research and Development
WebGear's research and development is performed at both the company's headquarters located in San Jose, California and Colorado Springs, Colorado.
WebGear's product strategy is focused on developing high-performance, low cost wireless networking products that allow our customers to access and share computer resources in and around their home or office without the need for a wiring infrastructure. This option to traditional networking systems facilitates fast setup and configuration of a network and it allows users the freedom to roam anywhere within the bounds of the network's physical radius. WebGear plans to offer a full product line of easy-to-install, low cost, low power, wireless products that will provide ease of communication and mobility for today's PC users.
WebGear introduced theAviator™ Wireless Networking Kit early 1998 which is aimed towards the home and small office PC user. This product, which is available through computer retailers nationwide, is the first wireless networking product in its price range - bringing this technology to a new market.
Aviator™ Wireless Networking Products
This product line utilizes our unique wireless local area networking technology for Windows 95 systems. The Aviator Wireless Network provides high-speed wireless connectivity between PCs via a 900MHz radio link.
Our first product, the Aviator Wireless Networking Kit, bundles two Aviator wireless networking modules and accessories that gives the user the capability to quickly setup a Local Area Network in 15 minutes without the need for cables. Data rates are up to 1Mbps with a range of up to 125 feet. Users can share files and printers on the wireless network as well as other network devices via the familiar Windows 95 Network Neighborhood application. One of the Aviator-equipped systems can be configured as a gateway for shared Internet dial-up service and feature the award winning WinProxy™ Internet sharing software.
AviatorUSB™ Wireless Networking Products
In early 1999, WebGear announced the AviatorUSB™ Wireless Network, a product based on the same radio technology as the original Aviator but features a USB connection scheme instead of the parallel port. The AviatorUSB is currently the only USB wireless networking device on the market. This product is intended for those PC users that have a USB connector on their PC and provides the simplest installation yet for a wireless networking device. AviatorUSB is scheduled to ship Q3 1999.
AviatorPRO™ Wireless Networking Products
In the spring of 1999, WebGear rolled out its high-performance AviatorPRO™ Wireless Network product line, a 2.4GHz FHSS wireless technology geared towards both the high-end corporate user as well as the small to medium business user. This product line include a PC Card (PCMCIA) Wireless LAN device as well as a Wireless Access Point that allows wireless network users to connect into an existing wired network. The access point's technology enables users to roam amongst a number of access points while retaining connectivity to an existing wired network. The AviatorPRO products feature an operating range of up to 1000 feet between nodes and supports data rates at up to 2 Mbps. AviatorPRO is ideal for many business applications including temporary workgroup networks, small business office networks where it is difficult to install a wiring infrastructure or where roaming workers need access to a network such as in warehouses. AviatorPRO is now production shipping and is available exclusively through distribution or through authorized value-added resellers worldwide.
Aviator2.4™ Wireless Networking Products
Alongside the AviatorPRO, WebGear introduced its retail version of high-performance wireless networking called the Aviator2.4™, a 2.4GHz FHSS wireless technology geared towards the small business and home PC enthusiast. This product line features peer-to-peer networking for sharing an Internet connection, printer and files with unparalleled performance. The Aviator2.4 products feature an operating range of up to 1000 feet between PCs and support data rates at up to 2 Mbps. Aviator2.4 is now available from major computer retailers nationwide.