Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Verizon Adds 299K IPTV Subscribers in 1Q09

Verizon added 299,000 IPTV FiOS TV subscribers in 1Q09, leaving it with a total of 2.217 million. It also added 298,000 FiOS FTTH subscribers, giving it a total of 2.779 million at the end of the quarter.

Verizon continues to make strong progress. Its FiOS TV service is clearly an important part of its FiOS offering.

France Telecom Adds 354K IPTV Subscribers in 1Q09

France Telecom added 354,000 IPTV subscribers across all of its operations leaving it with a total of 2.463 million at the end of the quarter. In France it added 257,000 IPTV subscribers, leaving it with a total of 2.166 million. Its Pay TV subscriptions in France grew by 240,000 in France ending the quarter with 1.138 million.

France Telecom added 12,000 subscribers in Spain, giving it a total of 99,000. It added 85,000 in Poland ending the quarter with 198,000 subscribers.

France Telecom is continuing to do well. Its operation in Spain has even started to increase again.

Chunghwa Telecom Added 10K IPTV Subscribers in 1Q09

Chunghwa Telecom added 10,000 IPTV subscribers in 1Q09, giving it 686,000 at the end of the quarter. It plans to strengthen its offering by repackaging and introducing premium content, with new marketing programs, and by introducing interactive capabilities.

This was a significant drop in new subscribers. I expect that the current economic crisis had a lot to do with it.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Telia Adds 22K IPTV Subscribers in 1Q09

Telia Sonera added 22,000 IPTV subscribers across all of its operations in 1Q09, leaving with with a total of 509,000 at the end of the quarter. The country by country results were:
  • Sweden added 9,000 new subscribers, giving it a total of 333,000 at the end of the quarter.
  • Norway added no new IPTV subscribers and ended the quarter with 10,000.
  • Denmark added 1,000 new IPTV subscribers, ending the quarter with 2,000.
  • Lithuania added 14,000, giving it 81,000 and the end of 1Q09.
  • Estonia added 9,000 new IPTV subscribers, ending the quarter with 83,000.

Telia Sonera continued to have modest growth in its IPTV service.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

ATT Adds 284K IPTV Subscribers in 1Q09

ATT added 284,000 IPTV subscribers in 1Q09, leaving it with a total of 1.329 million at the end of the quarter. Over the same period it added 359,000 broadband subscribers, giving it a total of 15.436 million.

ATT continues to make good progress in spite of the difficult financial environment. It will easily exceed 2 million IPTV subscribers by the end of 2009 if it maintains this rate. It now sees its IPTV service as a significant driver for its broadband business.

Cantv in Venezuela to invest $400M in IPTV

TV Latam has posted an article saying that state owned Cantv in Venezuela will spend $400M on its IPTV system to reach 1.26 million subscribers using a system provided by ZTE. During the first trial stage of the project, Cantv will offer its service to 67.090 users who will have access to 140 channels.

Venezuela is taking a democratic approach and plans to offer a mass market service. This is a huge win for ZTE.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

PCCW Adds 26K IPTV Subscribers in 2H08

PCCW added 26,000 IPTV subscribers in 2H08 leaving it with a total of 953,000 IPTV subscribers at the end of 2008. This is consistent with its increase of 27,000 broadband subscribers over the same period, giving 1.302 M at the end of 2008. It also added 18,000 IPTV paying subscribers in 2H08, leaving it with 686,000 at the end of the year.

PCCW continues more than five years of growth with its IPTV service.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

ATIS IPTV Interoperability Forum Issues Phase 1 Specs

The ATIS IPTV Interoperability Forum released five new standards establishing IPTV’s foundational framework.
  • IPTV Linear TV Service (ATIS-0800018), which establishes IPTV’s fundamental building blocks for expansion into more advanced services, including pay-per-view and next-generation gaming.
  • IPTVConsumer Domain Device Configuration Metadata (ATIS-0800022), which specifies the data structures (metadata) required to provide basic information needed to acquire IPTV content.
  • Media Formats and Protocols for IPTV Services (ATIS-0800013), which is a comprehensive listing of the protocols and media formats required for the implementation of IPTV-related services.
  • IPTV Terminal Metadata Specification (ATIS-0800029), which defines the data structure that facilitates the exchange of user-related data and the IPTV devices
  • Fault Codes for IPTV (ATIS-0800028), which includes a categorized listing of fault codes for IPTV functions and components.

These documents are available from the ATIS Document Store.

This is a good effort but it still seems like too little too late.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Time Warner Backing Off Usage Caps

Light Reading has published an article that states that Time Warner has shelved plans to extend its trial of usage caps currently underway in Beaumont, Texas to Rochester, N.Y.; Greensboro, N.C.; and San Antonio and Austin, Texas. Take a look a my previous posting to get information on the Beaumont trial.

Apparently, Time Warner is bowing to public and political pressure. It continues to believe in usage caps and believes that it needs to better educate its users.

Personally, I think usage caps and usage charging will not be accepted and is a tool that Time Warner is using to quash competition from over the top Internet TV services.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

180Squared Introduces Microsoft Mediaroom for Small Telcos

180Squared has introduced "Mediaroom in a box" that prepackages Microsoft Mediaroom for small telcos. Previously, Mediaroom was targeted to large carriers who wanted to integrate it themselves. The 180Squared bundle includes:

  • Services
    o Full Architecture and Deployment Services for Mediaroom
    o B/OSS Integration Service
  • Software
    o 180SQUARED Framework B/OSS Package
     Global Operations Manager
     B/OSS Interfaces and Work Flow Engine
     Basic STB Management
    o Caller ID
    o Remote (Web) PVR
This looks like a useful adjunct to Microsoft's Mediaroom strategy that addresses Check Spellingthe needs of smaller operators. It will be interesting to see how it does compared to software packages built specifically for this market such as Nokia Siemens/Myrio, Minerva, and Dreampark.

Microsoft Adds NPVR to Mediaroom

Microsoft introduced the NPVR Mediaroom Anytime feature set, which provides the ability to:

  • Restart Anytime offers the ability for viewers to rewind or restart the currently airing program from any point.
  • Live Anytime allows viewers to scroll backward in the Interactive Program Guide to watch previously aired programs. These previously aired programs also can be made accessible through the service provider's video on demand library.
  • Download Anytime extends Microsoft Mediaroom-powered services to more consumers by enabling viewers to download on-demand movies and programs to their set-top boxes so they can watch them anytime regardless of bandwidth constraints. For example, viewers could watch high-definition programs on low-bandwidth networks.
In addition, Microsoft announced that the Mediaroom platform has reached nearly 2.5 million subscriber homes worldwide, an increase of more than 1.5 million new connections in the past year.

These NPVR functions are important IPTV services. They are very popular where they have been introduced in Europe and China. The U.S. providers are waiting to see the final results of the battle between Cablevision and the studios over this service.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

21K IPTV Subscribers in Latin America

TV Telco Latam published and article that states that Latin America recorded 21,495 IPTV clients in December 2008, which meant a 139% growth as compared to the same month in 2007.

Telco IPTV is just getting off the ground in Latin America. It faces major regulatory hurdles and strong cable and satellite competition.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Time Warner Modifying Usage Caps

Light Reading published an article describing how Time Warner is modifying its usage caps and another article listing the usage caps both Time Warner and ATT are offering in Beaumont, Texas. Time Warner is offering a higher tier that offers a higher usage cap.

These caps range from 5 GB per month to 150 GB per month.

It is always interesting to calculate how much HD TV viewing that these caps will permit. A cap of 10 GB permits less than 3 hours of HD viewing in the month. A cap of 100 GB permits less that 1 hour of HD viewing per day and a cap of 150 GB permits less that 1.5 hours per day.

Clearly these caps will discourage the use of the broadband service to deliver video to the TV. This is certainly a way that the telcos and the cable companies can keep their customers on their own TV services and away from over the top Internet TV services.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

ATT 3 Screen Masters Golf Tournament Coverage

ATT is providing coverage of the 2009 Masters Golf Tournament over its U-verse IPTV service, to the PC, and to mobile phones. Live content to all three screens includes:
  • Par 3 Contest, which featured a live feed from the contest on Wednesday, April 8.
  • Masters Extra, which gives AT&T viewers one hour of coverage before cable and network broadcast coverage begins.
  • Amen Corner Live, which features live coverage of the 11th, 12th and 13th holes.
    15th/16th Live, which features live coverage of the 15th and 16th holes.
On demand coverage includes:
  • Masters Moments, featuring a series of 24 vignettes from past Tournaments available to U-Verse and PC viewers.
  • Multiple Player Interviews, offered daily via U-verse TV VOD, the PC, and mobile video.
  • Masters TV, including daily previews and recaps available via to the PC and mobile video.

This is a nice set of 3 screen programming. It does show the complexity of making this kind of offering. Consequently, compelling 3 screen programming will continue to be limited to these special events quite a while.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Belgacom Considering New IPTV Middleware

Light Reading published an article saying that Belgacom is considering replacing its Nokia Siemens middleware. Light Reading thinks that Microsoft is the leading contender. The other major vendors supporting Microsoft are Arris/C-Cor for video on demand, Amino for set-top boxes, and Verimatrix for content security.

The Nokia Siemens middleware came from its acquisition of Myrio. Myrio's middleware was originally designed for the small U.S. independent telcos.

This is an interesting situation. It does not appear that Nokia Siemens has made the investment in the Myrio middleware to allow it to scale to meet Belgacom's needs and to support the next generation of interactive applications.

Microsoft's Mediaroom is an obvious candidate. I expect that Alcatel-Lucent will use its strong relationship with Belgacom to push the MyView middleware that it acquired from Telefonica. Thomson's middleware that is used by France Telecom should be another strong candidate.

It will be bad news for Arris/C-Cor, Amino, and Verimatrix if Belgacom its replaces Nokia Siemens middleware.