NDS Opens Atlanta Office

NDS has hired 20 employees for a newly opened professional services office in Atlanta, in large part to support Cox Communications' interactive TV applications and guide.

NDS is the prime integrator for Cox's tru2way-based interactive program guide, dubbed Trio, and related ITV applications. In addition, the new office will support NDS's work on behalf of Comcast to develop a hardened version of CableLabs' tru2way reference implementation as well as other applications.

"It's totally cable focused," said Jesper Knutsson, vice president and general manager for NDS North America, of the Atlanta location.

Overall, NDS has a professional services team of 350 focused on the U.S., mostly based in Costa Mesa, Calif. The company has about 50 employees in Canada, based in London, Ontario, the majority of whom were former employees of Comcast's TVWorks interactive TV subsidiary.

Comcast in June shut down the 125-employee Canadian office of TVWorks, which had been formed in 2005 as a joint venture with Cox, saying it was shifting development to U.S. offices. Itaas, an Atlanta-area ITV development and consulting firm, subsequently hired fewer than 10 former TVWorks employees.

NDS is stepping up its services arm as the two big cable-technology suppliers -- Cisco Systems and Motorola -- also increase their focus on software and services. Knutsson, however, argued that NDS has an advantage in catering to customers' needs because it doesn't have a legacy hardware business to protect.

"As the world opens up to IP, that gives us more opportunity to bring new solutions to market," he said.

Privately held NDS, based in the U.K. with offices worldwide, is owned by Permira Funds and News Corp. The company has a global research and development staff of 2,500.