Monday, November 24, 2008
The primary result of the survey was that both rural and urban homes prefer TV over all other media including radio, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet.
This indicates that there will be demand for IPTV services. The problem will be to match pricing with willingness to pay.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Tilgin will now focus is on IP Residential Gateways. Tilgin said that it has a strong market position and leading gateway products. Tilgin's IPTV business has not reached the volumes required for sustained profitability. Amino and Tilgin intends to commence a sales cooperation regarding IP Residential Gateways.
There are fewer major new opportunities in Telco IPTV now. We will see more companies that have not reached critical mass following the divestiture or acquisition route.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
This SDK has been used by both Belgacom in Belgium and KPN in The Netherlands to customize their IPTV offerings for the last couple of years. Nokia Siemens in December will make this capability available to its other middleware customers and its small U.S. telco customers, in particular.
Belgacom has used the SDK to give the broadcasters the ability to provide a customized interactive interface along with its programs. The Belgian Idol program uses this capability to give viewers the ability to vote through their TVs for a price of one euro per vote. It shows the real time results of the voting, which creates an auction environment that encourages viewers to vote multiple times to support their favorites.
Belgacom also uses the SDK to provide a mosaic based electronic program guide (EPG). When using this mosaic EPG, the program is viewed using 65 percent of the screen. A mosaic of picture in picture windows of 16 channels around the TV window in the remaining space on the screen. The user then can request the next group of 16 channels or select one of the channels being displayed.
Nokia Siemens is taking the right approach. What it is trying to do is difficult and there are often limitations in these SDKs that limit their applicability. The proof of the pudding will be to see how successfully its customers are in using it to customize and enhance their services and to add applications.
Monday, November 17, 2008
The company lost 21,485 broadband subscribers in 3Q08 leaving it with a total of 3.44 million broadband subscribers. This is on top of a loss of 160,599 broadband subscribers in 2Q08. It has not added broadband subscribers since 3Q07.
SK Telecom has been hit with a significant shrinkage of its broadband business since it acquired Hanaro. Its loss of IPTV subscribers is a reflection of this trend.
The company has just begun to deliver broadcast channels as part of its Mega TV' services , the day following the approval by the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) of its monthly rate of $11 per month U.S. The service provide 33 broadcast channels, including the four national channels of KBS, MBC, SBS and EBS, and about 85,000 movies and other video-on-demand assets.
KT is also planning to launch a premium IPTV service in June 2009, which will provide 80 channels for $16 per month U.S. The company will offer a discount $9 U.S. per month through February 2009.
Korea Telecom's video on demand service has been quite successful. It will be interesting to see how many subscribers convert to the broadcast service. Its video on demand revenue subscribers was about $4 U.S. per month in 3Q08, so the broadcast package represents a significant percentage increase in spending.
City Telecom seems to have found the way to increase its IPTV subscriber base, which has been flat over the last couple of years.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Telefonica's total pay TV base grew by 130,000 subscribers to more than 2.1 million at the end of the quarter. The company has a significant satellite TV offering in South America, that accounts for nearly all of the increase. Its pay TV offering in Brazil is successful with 436,100 subscribers at the end of the quarter.
Telefonica does plan to introduce HDTV before the end of 2008.
Telefonica's IPTV business in Spain has hit a real flat spopt with a significant decrease in its quarterly adds over the last four quarters. It will have to take a different approach to get sales moving again. HD should help.
I believe that Telefonica is offering an IPTV service in Brazil, but it has not split out the IPTV vs. the satellite numbers.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
The rate at which BT added new customers to its BT Vision IPTV service declined sharply in the quarter. Apparently this rate is holding steady in 4Q08, since the company has added 20,000 new subscribers half way through the quarter. Consumer belt tightening may be a significant issue at this time.
In June 2008, Portugal Telecom included Disney Channel in its basic offer. It broadcasted the first free-to-air program HD to all Meo customers, including the Euro 2008 football championship as well as the Olympic Games in HD. In September, Meo started broadcasting the channels of five leading European football clubs (Barcelona, Chelsea, Inter, Manchester United and Real Madrid). In addition, it entered into an exclusive agreement with a leading Portuguese football club, Sport Lisboa e Benfica.
Meo provides more than 110 TV channels and over 1,500 VOD titles. The VOD offer, which include blockbusters from five has been used by about 40 percent of its Meo subscribers, who have consumed an average of 2.8 movies per month.
Meo TV is a real success for Portugal Telecom. It added significantly more Meo customers than broadband customers. Meo is clearly helping Portugal Telecom to increase its over all market share.
The company has not stated how many of its customers are IPTV customers. One of the readers of this blog posted that about 1/3 of its customers are satellite customers. This would give it about 140,000 IPTV customers.
The ASR 9000 incorporates the Cisco Advanced Video Services Module (AVSM) with 4 terabyts of flash RAM storage that offers content caching, ad insertion, fast channel change and error correction of video streams. Fast channel change and onboard error correction for both unicast and multicast video traffic helps ensure that errors can be detected by any set-top box and retransmitted within milliseconds.
The AVSM capabilities of the AVSM provide similar capabilities to Alcatel-Lucent's TPSDA 2.0 approach that provides similar capabilities. Both approach will require support from the IPTV middleware to get their full effect.
The 4 TB of storage will be enough to store about 1,000 hours of HD content. This will be enough for the most popular video on demand assets but not for the long tail of for an extensive NPVR service. Cisco will have to add a lot more storage to really offload video traffic from the network as it is currently claiming. I will write a column for my Telco 2020 blog that will discuss this issue in more detail in a couple of days. I just don't think that a distributed approach will hold up over the long term.
The Broadband Forum, formerly the DSL Forum, released BroadbandSuite 3.0, which provides specifications for triple play delivered via GPON and bonded DSL over a QoS-enabled Ethernet architecture, and remote management beyond the gateway to address video and storage
devices. BroadbandSuite 2.0, released in 2007, provided a roadmap for triple-play access via ADSL-2+.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
In September 2008, Singtel introduced SeasonPass an on demand service which provides viewing of the latest season of Hollywood hit TV shows within 24 hours of their US telecast time, following deals with 3 major Hollywood studios.
Singtel is demonstrating once again that introductory offers that involve a significant increase in monthly fees after some period of time leads to significant churn when the promotion expires.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Microsoft is reaping the rewards of its Tier 1 carrier wins. It moving into the number one position with merchant software packages.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Verizon has said that it costs them $800 to $1,000 per home to make its FiOS fiber service available with a maximum 50 Mbps data service today. The cable companies can accomplish the same thing for one percent the cost. DOCSIS 3.0 will provide the cable companies a strong defense against FiOS and be a very strong offensive weapon against ATT's VDSL U-verse service.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Telecom Italia will have to double the quarterly rate of adding IPTV subscribers that it has achieved across the first three quarters of 2008 in order to achieve its goal of 300,000 IPTV subscribers by the end of the year. This is a tall order.
The continued roll out of VDSL-2 increased the take up of second TVs. At the end of September the total number of second TV users amounted to 53,651 of which 12,063 were added in 3Q08.
Belgacom has invested 55 million euros in its IPTV service in the first three quarters of 2008, including infrastructure and set-top boxes.
Belgacom's IPTV growth continues to be strong in a very competitive market.
At the end of September, the number of its IPTV customers in Eastern Europe was at 164,000, driven mainly by Croatia, with a total of 92,000
This nearly doubled the number of IPTV subscribers added in 2Q08. Deutsche Telekom will have to double again to reach its goal of 500,000 IPTV subscribers by the end of 2008.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
In December, the test will be applied to existing Reno DSL subscribers. The caps are:
- 768 Kbps - 20GB monthly limit or 11 min. per day of HD or 44 min. per day of SD
- 1.5 Mbps - 40 GB or 22 min. per day of HD or 89 min. per day of SD
- 3 Mbps - 60 GB or 33 min. per day of HD or 133 min. per day of SD
- 6 Mbps -80 GB or 44 min. per day of HD or 178 min. per day of SD
Free did not give enough information to unravel the number of IPTV subscribers. Based on history, the number of IPTV subscribers appears to be more than 2.7 million.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Swisscom is experiencing steady growth of its IPTV service. It appears that its February service improvements have had a positive effect.
Orange is also building out its own broadband network, rather than renting lines from BT, which will give it more control and better profit margins.
There has been a lot of discussion that Orange would roll out IPTV in the UK before the end of 2008. This is not going to happen. It looks like Orange is trying to reestablish its position in the UK broadband market. It does not appear that its chances for long term success are very good.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
It has been clear that the cable analog subscribers are those that are most likely to move to Telco IPTV services. Cable subscribers that are considering a digital service must bring in a set-top box. That is a natural point to consider moving from cable to satellite or Telco IPTV services.
Comcast will reduce the likelihood that it will lose customers by converting them to digital with these low cost adapters.
Monday, November 3, 2008
I spoke to Orca about this announcement. Orca said that BCC will deliver broadcast content over fiber to the local carriers that sign up to this service. Orca said that broadband penetration is growing across Russia but is still at a relatively low level. This wholesale approach will lower the cost of introducing an IPTV service by providing a shared headend service. This will improve the business case for IPTV in Russia, where the rate of growth is likely to be low compared to Western Europe and North America.
Orca is smart to emphasize less developed markets such as Russia. Less developed countries such as Russia, the Middle East, and Latin America are likely to present the best new IPTV opportunities.