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IP Capsule E-Newsletter, December 22, 2005

Wed, 12/21/2005 - 7:00pm

IP Capsule Newsletter-120705

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December 22, 2005

Holding off on IPTV
Verizon Communications Inc.'s FiOS TV, the company's video service now deployed in parts of Florida, Texas and Virginia, and SeaChange International's IP Video Systems are combining to bring thousands of hours of on demand movies to a growing telco TV market, but don't hold your breath for a quick "IP paradigm shift," cautioned Stuart Elby, vice president of network architecture and enterprise technology for Verizon, who spoke at a recent Light Reading Telecom Investment Conference.

Elby admitted the technology isn't ready for a full IPTV deployment, at least until 2007, but Verizon, to hasten its quest for early revenue, "didn't want to wait, even if we could do it in stages," he said. The big issue? "Technically speaking, the problem is getting highly scalable IP multicast. Nobody has ever built an IP multicast network on that scale before," he said.

Akin to cable's present approach, Verizon is presently using an RF overlay to deliver video services, although running IPTV all the way to the home is on the roadmap.

That's not the only problem. Maintaining the reliability and service quality of two super headends in different parts of the country and the on-going OSS and IT challenges must be addressed as well, the company has reported. It has developed 40 new support systems for the network transformation to a FTTP (fiber-to-the-premises) broadband network.

And there's more. Spending billions of dollars on network upgrades, rolling out services with unproven IPTV platforms, and navigating the difficult acquisition process are expected to slow down IPTV's progress, reported a recent Forrester Research study.

Nevertheless, Verizon's vision, Elby concluded, is to base its network on IP technologies, whether it's via a combination of MPLS, VoIP or IP Multimedia System (IMS), which, in turn, will allow the company to push out any type of service to any kind of new device, according to a Light Reading report.

Just don't look for that vision to turn to reality for a few years.

Editor's note: IP Capsule wishes everyone a joyful holiday season. IP Capsule will return on January 11, 2006. Cheers!



Digeo, Comporium get their IPTV feet wet

Digeo tapped the existing Ethernet port of the Moxi platform for its IPTV trial work with Comporium.
Digeo Inc. and Comporium have completed a set of IP-based multi-room DVR tests in about six homes in Rock Hill and Charlotte, N.C. They tested several situations, including multi-stream HD DVR over a fiber-to-the-home network; multi-stream standard definition DVR applications over DSL; and multi-room distribution of live and recorded content over IP. Digeo's cable-centric Moxi Media Center was the key component, and was able to handle IPTV services without any modifications on the hardware, said Digeo CEO Mike Fidler. Comporium also used the Moxi Mate device for multi-room DVR tests.

IPTV players are expected to benefit most from the tests, Fidler said. "They are coming third into the video play (following cable and DBS) and they need something that is compelling and meets or exceeds expectations from a consumer's [standpoint]."

Coaxsys doubles networking speed
Coaxsys Inc. is set to unveil a new iteration of its Ethernet-over-coax networking platform that pushes speeds to 200 Mbps.

Powered by silicon from STMicroelectronics, Coaxsys' latest TVnet system will bow officially at next month's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The initial generation of Coaxsys' TVnet technology was designed to deliver speeds as high as 104 Mbps over distances up to 250 feet. Several telcos are using the gear to distribute IP-based video services over existing home coax, essentially eliminating the need for homes to be outfitted with Cat-5 cabling. Coaxsys also has cut integration deals with IP set-top providers such as Amino Communictions. Entone Technologies offers a similar approach with its "Hydra" gateway product line.

Coaxsys' latest entrant is also equipped to compete with other next-gen home networking technologies such as HomePlug AV and 802.11n. It also pushes speeds closer to the 270 Mbps proposed by the Multimedia over Coax Alliance, an effort that includes support from Comcast Cable, EchoStar Communications, and chipmaker Entropic Communications.

Coaxsys, however, has reached the market first, claiming to have deployed "tens of thousands" of TVnet adapters thus far.

Conexant chips away in China
Conexant Systems Inc. and Coship Electronics Co. Ltd., China's largest manufacturer of set-top boxes (STBs), will base its new Anysight220c IP receiver on the chipmaker's MPEG-4/H.264 high definition digital broadcast television platform. Coship's IP STB is scheduled for a January deployment in Asia. Coship's IP STB is based on three Conexant's chips.

And the research says...
Kagan Research is projecting the residential average revenue per unit (ARPU) to soar from $72.89 per month in 2004 to $143.15 per month by 2015. The reason? Some bullish predictions on future deployments of advanced services and the continuing access to capital markets. There's a pattern of growth as well. Cable has doubled its ARPU in the past 10 years, even as DBS has grown from zero to 25 million subscribers.

And in the bundling space, following Comcast and Time Warner Cable's decision to offer family viewing bundles prompted by the pressure on the cable industry to offer a la carte packages, Kagan reports that the price per network is actually dropping, with the average package increased to 64 national basic cable channels today from 27 channels ten years ago. And, subscribers are now paying about $1.49 per day. Cable operators are paying an average of 21 cents per subscriber per month for each channel in its big basic package in 2005, the report maintained.



BellSouth and 8x8 hook up for VoIP
BellSouth Corp. and 8x8 Inc. have signed an agreement which calls for 8x8 to provide technology, integration and operational services for BellSouth Digital Phone Service.

The agreement means 8x8 will develop a suite of VoIP service components including a call switching platform, feature servers, customer portals and consumer premise equipment. BellSouth is simultaneously pushing ahead with its IPTV strategy and "no new wires" technology, while looking at various models to bring content into the home, which ties in with the company's overall video, voice and data strategy. And the strategy is? Everything IP.

Jabber's Jingle opens new version of protocols
The Jabber Software Foundation (JSF) has published initial documentation of Jingle, a set of extensions to the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP), an Internet standard for presence, real-time messaging for use in VoIP, video and other peer-to-peer multimedia sessions.

The value in Jingle's protocols lies in their ability for the Jabber community, which includes a number of open source projects and companies, to build a wide range of new applications, from voice and video to file sharing and gaming. Google is the top dog supporting the protocols.

Comcast launches VoIP service in Maryland and Northern Virginia
Comcast Communications continued its VoIP rollout to include Maryland and Northern Virginia. The company now offers the service in 20 markets and by 2006, plans to reach more than 15 million homes. A notable difference over voice services that use the public Internet, however, is that Comcast's VoIP travels over its proprietary managed network, the company notes.

NexTone University opens higher ed VoIP class
NexTone Communications is launching its NexTone University to offer network engineers and architects a means to create a "new generation of session-layer networking experts," the company said. With real-time IP session management becoming a crucial component to a carrier's success in the IP space, interconnecting VoIP, wireless and IP Multimedia Subsystems (IMS) calls for some serious education. Hence, NexTone's focus on VoIP and other digital media applications.

NexTone has been operating a pilot program in the UK for several months, the company said. Registration begins in January 2006.

JDSU's
HST-3000

JDSU passes test, ships 500 handheld VoIP service testers
JDSU shipped more than 500 of its HST-3000 handheld service testers to "one of the largest" U.S. telecommunications service providers for ADSL2/2+ and IP video testing, the company said.

The handheld tester is designed to meet the growing requirements of field technicians responsible for access network service installation and maintenance. It can test all triple play services as well.

 



Texas electric company gets bullish on BPL
TXU Electric Delivery and Current Communications Group have forged a deal to broadband-enable TXU's power grid.

Under a 10-year, $150 million deal, Current has signed on to design, build and operate the broadband over powerline (BPL) network, which will offer high-speed data services to about 2 million homes and businesses in the Dallas-Forth Worth area, and other parts of Texas.

They expect to begin the BPL network deployment in 2006.

The resulting "Smart Grid" will be based on BPL overlay technology from Current. In addition to data services, the companies hope to offer video and voice services.

TXU Corp., the parent of TXU Electric Delivery, said it will become an equity holder in Current, joining companies such as Google Inc., The Hearst Corp. and Liberty Associated Partners.

AT&T will use 2Wire's HomePortal 3000 series.

2Wire delivers IP gateways to AT&T
2Wire Inc. will deliver IP-based residential gateways for AT&T's U-verse suite of services.

The gateway will provide AT&T with a home network that will provide IP-based services throughout the home, including IP-based video, high-speed Internet access and eventually VoIP. AT&T has already signed on Motorola and Scientific-Atlanta to supply IP-based set-tops for the U-verse video service.




Place your bets on gambling online. Revenues from online gambling are expected to increase from $1.1 billion in 2005 to more than $3.5 billion in 2009, says research group, Parks Associates. Online console gaming, massively multiplayer online gaming (MMOG), multiplayer Internet gaming and mobile multiplayer gaming will drive the revenue surge.

The SMB (small and medium business) market is a safe bet as well. The SMB market for online marketing and advertising was a whopping $1.3 billion, growing at a 49 percent clip, reports The Yankee Group.

Note: A glitch in the distribution process prohibited some last minute edits in the Dec. 14 issue. Our apologies. It's been fixed. —CK

 


December 2005
Issue Contents »



Company: Entropic Communications
Headquarters: San Diego, Calif.
URL: www.entropic.com
CEO: Patrick Henry

Claim to Fame: Launched in 2001, Entropic is a developer of LAN and WAN coax networking silicon for home digital entertainment. Its products enable the distribution of digital entertainment in the home by leveraging the existing coax infrastructure to fundamentally change the way content such as movies, music and images are stored and networked.

Recent news of note: The company, a member of the Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA), recently shipped its 100,000th c.LINK-270 chipset.


Consumer Electronics Show
Jan. 5-8, 2006
Location: Las Vegas, Nev.
More information:
www.cesweb.org

SCTE Conference on
Emerging Technologies

Jan.10-12, 2006
Location: Tampa, Fla.
More information:
http://et.scte.org

NCTA National Show
April 9-11, 2006
Location: Atlanta, Ga.
More information:
www.thenationalshow.com

SCTE Cable-Tec Expo
June 20-23, 2006
Location: Denver, Colo.
More information:
www.scte.org




Copyright © 2005 Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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