Monday, December 29, 2008

Tiscali IPTV Fails in Italy

The Italian ISP Tiscali will cease its Tiscali TV IPTV service at the end of 2008. No reason was given for the termination of the service. Tiscali TV was launched in mid-2007 and has so far attracted about 50,000 subscribers. It was the third entrant into the IPTV business following Fastweb TV and Telecom Italy. Initially only available in Cagliari, Roma and Milan, the service was subsequently also rolled out in Bologna, Florence, Genoa, Naples, Palermo and Turin. There were also plans to take it national. Tiscali TV offered a number of personalised TV services but failed to contract programming from Sky Italia.

Success with IPTV is clearly not easy. This shows the importance of content. It is not possible to succeed in Italy without Sky Italia content.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Upgrading TCP for the Heavy User

I have made a post on my Telco 2020 blog that may be of interest. It discusses how changes to TCP will help the Internet handle traffic from bandwidth hogs and provide better service to casual users.

I think that this is a potential solution for the Net Neutrality problem, but I am no sure that it will help and IPTV network dominated by unicast IPTV traffic.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

SES Americom to Kill Wholesale IPTV

Telephony published an article that said that SES Americom will discontinue its IP-Prime satellite based IPTV content distribution service in July 2009. In the past year, IP-Prime signed agreements with 70 small telecom operators, 37 of which have reached commercial deployment. The company estimates the number of subscribers remained at less than 10,000 at the end of November.

The small independent U.S. Telcos are a tough market. There are about 1,000 of them with an average of only a couple of thousand customers each. There are actually quite a number with less than 1,000 customers. It is hard to build up a large subscriber base focusing at the low end of this market.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

ITU Issues Home Networking Standard

The ITU has issued the first the first standard for in-home networks capable of delivering room-to-room HDTV. The standard operates over power, coaxial, phone and other home network wiring. The ITU says that it will give up to 20 times the throughput of existing wireless technologies and three times that of existing wired technologies. products could be on the market as early as 2010.

The ITU will work with the HomeGrid Forum, which has been formed to support the standards efforts.

Recommendation ITU-T G.9960 focuses on the physical or PHY layer, giving the data bit rate and quality of service necessary for triple-play residential services as well as business-type services delivered over xDSL, PON, or other access technology. In step with ITU guidelines on new standards development, several power saving modes have been incorporated. Ongoing work is focused on the media access control (MAC) layer.

Home networking is clearly a key issue for IPTV services. The ITU is entering a field that is already occupied by MoCA and HPNA. The ITU brings considerable weight as the premier global telecom standards organization.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Light Reading IPTV Report

Light Reading has published a report on IPTV that is well worth reading. The market view point is U.S. oriented, but the technology and services discussions apply globally. It is definitely worth reading if you would like a survey of the state of the services and technologies.

ATT User Experience

Alan Weinkrantz has written a blog posting describing how he got ATT to drop his cost for a triple bundle from $164 per month to $94 per month by threatening to move to a competitor.

This shows how competitive it is becoming where Telco IPTV services are available in the U.S. I am sure that the cable companies are making similar offers to minimize churn.

ATT Reaches 1M IPTV Subscribers

ATT announced that it will reach 1 million U-verse IPTV subscribers in a few days. It expects that the service will pass 17 million homes by the end of 2008. It is also achieving 10 percent penetration within 12 months of entering a new market.

ATT also said that its U-verse service install times have decreased by 17 percent since 4Q07. More than 90 percent of its U-verse subscribers also subscribe to a broadband data service. 54 percent of its U-verse subscribers did not previously subscribe to DSL services.

ATT has put U-verse on the map as a major competitor in the U.S. pay TV market. The U.S. cable companies clearly have to include ATT as well as Verizon in their competitive calculations.

Friday, December 5, 2008

PCCW IPTV Innovation

Light Reading published an article that summarizes a speech given by PCCW at the IPTV World Forum Asia. It discusses how PCCW has turned IPTV from a defensive service into an offensive service through innovation.

This blog has chronicled many of PCCW's innovations over the last two years. Click on the PCCW link below to see other articles.

PCCW is really the poster child how to use IPTV to improve revenues, improve market position, and to reduce churn.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Telecom Italia Projects 1.5M IPTV Subscribers in 2011

In its update to its strategic plan for 2009-2011 Telecom Italia stated that its goal is to increase its IPTV subscribers to 1.5 million by the end of 2011. The company had 218,000 IPTV subscribers at the end of 3Q08 and plans to have 300,000 IPTV subscribers at the end of 2008.

The goal of 1.5 million IPTV subscribers by the end of 2011 is attainable with an aggressive offering. However, the company is struggling to meet its 2008 target and has not yet shown that it has found how to generate significant growth in its IPTV service.