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    A partnership to boost High Speed Internet

    Easyplug, the joint venture between Thomson multimedia and Schneider Electric and world leader in In-Home Internet connections from any power outlet (already millions of nodes sold in the USA), enforces its strategy of creating key partnerships with first-class technology providers. Easyplug has selected the chip-maker DS2, world leader in “broadband access through existing electricity network”, to expand its portfolio of power-line communication (PLC) solutions and enter the high speed Internet access market.
    DS2’s cutting edge 45 megabits per second technology will allow Easyplug to offer access operators the performance required to transmit multimedia content and services using the most extensive cabling system in the world, ie – the existing electrical grids. With 45 megabits per second data rates, operators can provide broadband Internet with high value services to both consumers and small companies, including video-on-demand, on-line gaming, IP telephony, or video conferencing.
    Easyplug and DS2 access solutions will extend existing broadband access leads, such as fiber optic, cable, or DSL, expanding their respective coverage over last meters or hundred meters of the local loop to reach and attract a larger number of customers. They will provide exclusive practical benefits, such as sharing the Internet access between multiple users and enabling easy and flexible connection of PC’s and TV sets and video game consoles through any power outlet. Easyplug will offer access operators DS2-chip based equipment and related services that will boost competitiveness and expand their consumer base.

    According to Isabelle Guillaume, CEO of Easyplug, “Facing the increasing demand for multimedia services by consumers who require ease of use and speed, broadband Internet access solutions over power-line provide a promising response. The unique high data rate performance of the DS2 solution and the practical benefits of communicating over the electrical network will be an attractive option for operators in telecommunications, cable and energy markets. Launching these solutions early 2002, will allow every player to measure accurately the multiple opportunities of this business”.
    “I firmly believe that Easyplug is a perfect partner for DS2, drawing from the electrical infrastructure background of Schneider Electric and the consumer electronics expertise of Thomson multimedia. Easyplug is reinforcing its leadership position in PLC business by choosing the highest performance technology partner to enter the broadband access market over power-line. Their world class manufacturing and unbeatable commercial channels make them ideal partners for us,” announced Jorge Blasco, CEO of DS2.

    > Company profiles:
    > About DS2:
    DS2 is a silicon design house with proprietary Powerline Communications (PLC) technology that opens up the power of the electricity networks to high-speed data services. This technology currently delivers speeds of up to 45 Mbps and supports high quality video, both key features of DS2´s high speed broadband PLC.
    Founded in 1998, DS2 has grown rapidly from 6 to the current 70 employees. The DS2 multi-lingual and multi-disciplinary team includes the right mix of skills that have contributed to developing the current technological successes including unmatched know-how in data transmission over power-lines and extensive expertise in digital signal processing and new modulation techniques, as well as solid business experience and experienced managers.
    DS2´s marketing strategy is based on the formation of alliances and partnerships with key customers and involves extensive field trials around the world as well as direct involvement in standardization activities and direct sales.
    With DS2 you share in the future in high-speed communications.

    > About Easyplug:
    Easyplug is the joint venture owned in equal parts by Thomson multimedia and Schneider Electric to provide the easy connection of any communicating equipment.
    Easyplug believes that mains power outlets provide the most user-oriented connection with the best balance between ease of use, speed, coverage, security, and cost.
    Easyplug’s goal is to become the worldwide leader in power-line communication solutions by providing industrialized products and communication modules through a worldwide sales and distribution network.
    Easyplug is targeting communication applications on residential and professional markets (LANs, video and sound systems distribution, Internet access, interactive TV, home automation, etc.). These markets are expected to generate sales for PLC solutions of more than EUR 1 billion by 2003/2004. Easyplug generates revenues of EUR 21 million in 2001, and plans to double revenues in 2002, growing to over EUR 200 million by 2005.
    Easyplug is involving dedicated R&D resources and expertise and relies on both mother companies’ industrial tools and commercial channels. By creating key partnerships with select PLC technology providers and actively supporting industry initiatives for PLC standardization, Easyplug is committed to establish power-line communication technology as a mainstream networking and connectivity solution.