Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Optibase Focusing on Asia

I had an interview with Optibase to discuss its recent announcement that its encoders are being included in the Bharti Airtel IPTV service in India. Optibase is working with UTStarcom at Bharti. UTStarcom is supplying the middleweare, the video on demand systems, the set-top boxes, and the system integration.

In addition to Bharti Airtel, Optibase is included in the IPTV deployments in India by Aksh and Time Broadband. Both of these companies have been licensed by MTNL to offer IPTV services over MTNL's network.

UTStarcom is working with three major integrators and IPTV suppliers UTStarcom, ZTE, and Huawei. UTStarcom has a strong position in the IPTV markets in China and India. ZTE also has a strong position in the IPTV market in China. Huawei is the largest Chinese systems company and has a number of IPTV deployments Asia, the Russian Federation, and Africa.

Optibase expects that its relationships with UTStarcom, Huawei, and ZTE will provide it with a strong entry into the emerging IPTV market in China. Optibase has started to work on AVS products so that it can support the Chinese video compression standard.

Optibase is also making strong sales efforts into Eastern Europe and the Russian Federation. It is seeing a lot of RFPs from Eastern European service providers at this time.

Video encoders are generally acquired early in deployment of an IPTV service. A smaller service provider will need only a single headend system and will fully populate it with encoders before the service goes commercial. A large country will typically add additional headends as the IPTV service is expanded to support additional metropolitan areas.

Optibase's strategy of focusing on India, China, and Eastern Europe is sound. This where the new IPTV services are are being deployed today. The growth potential in both India and China is very strong. Optibase can expect significant continuing business from these two companies over several years as their IPTV services expand.


Ohad said...

Thanks for the update, Bob.

Do you know whether Huawei and ZTE have their own enocders , or do they rely on 3rd party solutions?
I remember Huawei used Tut's Astria for a deployment with China Telecom.

I still don't understand why Utsatrcom uses 3rd party encoders, while it has a proven end-to-end solution.


Bob Larribeau said...


I am not sure what Huawei and ZTE are doing today. I spoke to them a couple of years ago and I believe that they were both going to outside companies.

Huawei was using Tut in its IPTV deployments outside of China. Optibase said they it has replaced Tut now that Tut was acquired by Motorola.

Optibase told me that UTStarcom's encoders are MPEG-4 but do not support AVC and that UTStarcom goes to other companies for AVC applications. UTStarcom has not confirmed this.