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IBM and NeTune Communications Bring New Digital Technologies to Film Production

Companies to Display Technologies at NAB 2001

White Plains, New York - 28 Mar 2001: IBM and NeTune Communications, today announced an alliance that includes an equity investment by IBM in NeTune, a strategic $112 million dollar, five-year outsourcing agreement, and a commitment to jointly develop digital solutions for the entertainment industry. NeTune Communications is a new provider of a wide range of turnkey integrated broadband services utilizing digital satellite, terrestrial wireless and fiber networking for the motion picture and television production industries.

The agreement establishes IBM as NeTune's information technology and services partner. A key focus of the relationship will be on the acceleration of the rollout of NeTune's revolutionary proprietary ShowRunnerTM package of services, allowing for the first time, practical use of high-resolution digital content to and from any location in the world throughout the film and television production process. The offering includes a suite of easy to use, Web-based, point and click applications for comprehensive data management. This "go anywhere, anytime" solution meets both the creative and production information needs of the industry -- whether users are at a remote film location, a studio, a special visual effects house, or even at home. This is accomplished through secure end-to-end support for the digitization, storage and distribution of digital data of all kinds (high-resolution video, production management information, and general communications) as well as the interactive display of creative content using audio and video conferencing.

The NeTune advanced digital network will leverage multiple IBM technologies. Core hardware technology incorporated into the network will include IBM eServers-pSeries (RS/6000) running the AIX operating system, xSeries servers running the Linux operating system, IBM Enterprise Storage Servers (Shark), Intellistation workstations, and ThinkPad laptop computers. In addition, IBM will manage the supporting IBM systems software and the developed IBM DB2 Universal Databases. IBM will also provide 24x7 technical help desk support and managed operations for the call center, and will oversee the implementation of an asset management system, which will facilitate the accurate tracking of NeTune's global physical asset inventory.

Other terms of the IBM Global Services agreement state that over the next five years, IBM will provide day-to-day operational support, onsite project executive management team support, global systems operation and advanced remote systems management from an IBM Delivery Center.

"Digital convergence has become a main ingredient in the future of entertainment, and now, NeTune's ShowRunnerTM package is providing the motion picture and television industry with new, imaginative, cutting edge applications," said Dick Anderson, general manager of Media and Entertainment at IBM. "We believe NeTune's technology, with IBM inside, will transform the current filmmaking and distribution processes, allowing filmmakers to embrace digital technologies such as high quality digital film dailies, real-time videoconferences, and ubiquitous networks linking all aspects of the creative process."

"As the first-ever broadband satellite, fiber and wireless communications service, our goal has been to assemble an array of leading high-tech and entertainment industry partners," added Curtis Clark, CEO of NeTune Communications. "The technical support from IBM delivers on that objective, and will help ensure rapid adoption of our service by the industry."

IBM and NeTune will showcase NeTune services as part of IBM's overall presentation at the annual NAB convention in Las Vegas, starting April 23, in Booth # L117- North Hall, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This is the first in a series of joint marketing activities that will feature technology integration between the two companies.

Contact(s) information

Lesia Figueira
IBM Media Relations
(914) 642-4880
figueira@us.ibm.com

Al Newman
Newman & Company
(310) 777-5252
asn@newman-co.com

Lu Gregg
NeTune Communications
(310) 342-5500
lu@netune.com

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