VillaMontage to Showcase Last Mile Architecture

WASHINGTON (05/02/2000) - VillaMontage Systems Inc., in its debut appearance at a trade show, will demonstrate next week at NetWorld+Interop (N+I) a hybrid optical and wireless architecture designed to deliver broadband Internet access to homes.

The VillaMontage Internet Access System, still in prototype, mixes optical and wireless technologies to deliver speeds up to 10M bps (bits per second) over "last mile" connections to homes at prices comparable to DSL (digital subscriber line) and cable modem technologies, VillaMontage said in a statement issued yesterday.

A startup company founded late last year which former President of Nortel Networks Corp. Dave House joined in January, VillaMontage will also feature its Broadband Operating System Software (BOSS) at next week's N+I event in Las Vegas.

The operating system enables service providers and content developers to partner on new multimedia content and applications. BOSS, which runs over DSL and cable modem Internet access technologies as well as the VillaMontage system, is a "content-aware" operating system that acknowledges the type of data, whether it's games or video, and identifies the required bandwidth, according to the company.

"Our system acts as a translator of high-level applications," said Tony Clark, chief executive officer of VillaMontage, in a telephone interview today. The system "communicates with those applications through open APIs (application programming interfaces), and the demands of the applications are translated into equipment-specific commands... that get passed on to the hardware in our system. "VillaMontage plans to offer the system to MMDS (multipoint multichannel distribution) spectrum holders who are seeking to differentiate themselves in the battle for residential broadband customers.

The VillaMontage Internet Access System is based on the company's Tetherless Network Transport (TNT) Media Access Controller (MAC), which regulates the simultaneous wireless transmission of voice, video and data streams.

The system's three-part hardware architecture includes the Multi-service Switching System (MSS), a multigigabit switch that connects the VillaMontage Internet Access System to the Net backbone. The MSS can support high-speed data, voice and video streams for about 5,000 residential customers from the service provider's point of presence, according to the company.

The architecture also includes a Base Station System (BSS), which has an array of antennas that provide up to 360 degrees of MMDS coverage. The BSS relays over-the-air traffic from all of the homes in an MMDS area to the MSS over a fiber-optic cable.

The third layer of architecture, the Internet Access Server (IAS), has two units, one placed in the home and the other placed outside the customer's home.

It interfaces with the BSS using the VillaMontage TNT MAC protocol over the MMDS spectrum.

The VillaMontage Internet Access System will be ready to enter service provider lab trials in the fourth quarter of this year.

VillaMontage will demonstrate the Internet Access System at N+I in Las Vegas, May 9 through 11, at booth Number 8114. The demonstration will focus on a VOD (video-on-demand) application.

VillaMontage, in San Jose, California, can be reached at +1-408-888-5957 or found on the Web at http://www.villamontage.com/.

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