IP Capsule E-Newsletter, February 23, 2006

Thu, 02/23/2006 - 8:06am

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February 23, 2006

Cable gearing up to wax wireless
The Sprint-cable MSO (Advance/Newhouse, Comcast, Cox and Time Warner Cable) Joint Venture (JV) was created to align the partners and plug in the fourth and final piece of the quadruple play—wireless—while exploring new, emerging technologies and services, is laying the foundation for a new wireless device to be trialed sometime this Spring.

In the meantime, the JV is embracing new members from the small to mid-sized cable operator community and a wide range of technology companies that have the skills to advance the JV.

Herding all of the partners into a seamless and effective venture won't be easy, however. Integrating wireless technology into existing cable networks, which are migrating to more and more IP-delivery, along with a pack of backoffice, OSS, billing and customer care issues are crucial disciplines now being addressed. And, simply getting the partners to share information will be a challenge.

Yet one issue is lurking beneath the JV surface—the use of Sprint's highly coveted 2.5 GHz spectrum. "It's definitely a valuable asset for Sprint and suitable for mobile broadband applications. If Sprint offers mobile video content as a stand alone service, it could cannibalize cable's video service. But I don't see it becoming a competitive concern for cable," says Michael Cai, principal analyst for Parks Associates, a Dallas-based market research and consulting firm.

As for Sprint? It's very aware of the spectrum's value. "It's an amazing asset and we'll use it for video, music and interactive services, while looking at IP wireless. The question is: Can we build a service in that spectrum?" asks Dale Kanoop, general manager of multi-media services for Sprint Nextel.

Progress within the JV may provide Sprint with its answer, but, meanwhile, the carrier is assertively moving ahead with its mobile video plans. Says Kanoop: "We'll use MobiTV, then to Sprint TV and large scale TV deployments are being discussed. Live TV on handsets is also very valuable and will become more prevalent as we move through the Sprint TV phone lineup."

Building a viable business model for the wireless device being developed by the JV is front and center stage, along with recruiting new members and laying an organizational foundation, but behind the curtain, the 2.5 GHz band may prove to be a most interesting understudy.

C-COR adds three MSOs to DPI business
Adelphia Communications and Charter Communications along with Comcast Spotlight, will expand their use of C-COR Inc.'s IP digital ad insertion and on demand platform. C-COR's advertising solution uses a scalable video streaming platform and provides operators with the channel counts needed to deliver addressable advertising, the company says.

C-COR says its DPI server can insert standard definition and high definition MPEG-2 advertising as well as other content such as news updates, local programming, or long-form infomercials into nearly 2,000 cable network channels from a single server.

With the increasing value of local advertising, DPI is expected to become an integral part of a local cable operators' ad sales strategy.

eWAN1 launches global IPTV service
eWAN1, a mid-sized ISP, will launch its Global Internet TV service on April 19 and offer 75 channels of high-definition broadcast and on-demand content. It also announced a plan to begin roll outs of its wireless triple play Digital Media Center set-top-boxes next month worldwide.

eWAN1 recently acquired cable company Clearwave Broadcasting, and will launch its IPTV service through that network on a global basis, the company says. eWan's wholly owned subsidiary, Direct Connect, will provide traditional broadcast television to subscribers.

The company's wireless Digital Media Center gives subscribers the ability to deliver high-definition programming over "non-HDTV" televisions and features an IPTV cache of music channels and time-shifted services. "Our DMC set-top-box is one of the first wireless boxes where subscribers can use their TV sets as computers," maintains eWAN1 President, Scott Kettle.

mPhase phasing in IPTV over switched Ethernet technology
mPhase Technologies is pushing its switched Ethernet multi-service offer to encompass VoIP, high-speed Internet data and streaming video, and will feature its mPhase TV+ System over a Worldwide Packet Network Ethernet network.

The mPhase TV+ System is built around a cluster architecture and the company says will "improve maintenance, with links to industry-standard operations support systems, including element management of IP traffic."

Translation: the system is designed to make it easier and more cost-effective for phone companies to offer interactive television services to broadband customers.

And the research says....
Research and Markets has some food for thought for IPTV providers, or those planning on offering the service:

  1. IPTV deployment depends a great deal on the state of local competition in both the TV and broadband markets;
  2. Most regulatory restrictions have been lifted;
  3. Triple-play bundles are enjoying rapid growth;
  4. The IPTV economy, meanwhile, depends on a range of factors, including:
    From the TV operators' viewpoint: Increasing advertising revenues and subscribers, new sources of revenue.
    From the telcos' viewpoint:
    Fixed line consolidation.

Net2Phone and IDT engaged
Net2Phone, Inc., a "turnkey" provider of PacketCable- and SIP-based VoIP, and IDT Corp are set to merge, following a months-long courtship. Under the deal, Net2Phone will become a wholly owned subsidiary of IDT, a facilities-based, multinational telecommunications services carrier.

The merger is worth an estimated $28 million, with Net2Phone continuing as a division of IDT..

Net2Phone presently markets cable telephony services to more than 1.4 million homes (but has just 57,000 broadband telephone lines in service) through partnerships with MSOs such as Atlantic Broadband, Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico, Bresnan Communications, Millennium Digital Media, Northland Communications and CMA Communications.

What's the connection? It fits into IDT's expanding global telecom strategy.

FrontRange offering suite new version 5.0
FrontRange Solutions has introduced its new telephony business phone system, IP Office Suite. The standards-based offering provides an advanced telephony system that replaces existing proprietary telephony hardware and integrates with Microsoft Office and FrontRange line-of-business applications, while running on a single Microsoft Windows server, the company says.

Eagle lands in Houston
Eagle Broadband is implementing two IP network solutions in Houston for Renaissance Healthcare and Harborwalk, the company announced.

The healthcare business will use Eagle's hosted VoIP based on a Covad IP-PBX, and supported by an 80-person call center. Harborwalk is a waterfront real estate development in Galveston Bay and will deploy a complete managed IP network by Eagle.

And the research says....
Spending in the U.S telecom sector is up and spiking higher, reports the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). And the numbers are impressive.

Total spending in the U.S. telecom industry rose 8.9 percent to nearly $857 billion in 2005, and is expected to climb 10.2 percent in 2006 and reach $944.7 billion. The industry will grow at an average of 9 percent until 2009 and reach $1.2 trillion, the firm says.

The principal driver? Revenue from wireless devices, which topped $15 billion, marking a 23 percent increase over 2004, the report says.

Adzilla brings a targeted advertising techology to NetLogix.

A thrilla for Adzilla, NetLogix
NetLogix and Adzilla New Media will partner to offer a package of ad serving solutions to change the municipal wireless business model. The strategic partnership is mostly about Adzilla's ZILLAcaster technology, which resides in a service provider's network and uses network data in combination with contextual and behavioral targeting to make decisions about the delivery of relevant ad content.

So, what's the big deal? City and service provider networks can tap into the growing local ad markets and target ads to a more segmented market, such as Internet viewers.

Agilent demos packet-data
Agilent Technologies Inc. has successfully demonstrated packet-data throughput of 3.6 Mbps via its wireless one-box test set, the company says. The packet-data channel of Agilent's 8960 Wireless Communications Test Set enables developers to test HSDPA hardware, protocol and applications in realistic operating conditions, the company adds.

Not only is the U.S. telecommunications market growing, but the broadband market isn't far behind, growing from just 4.5 million high-speed Internet access subscribers in 2000 to 41.2 million in 2005, says a recent TIA report.

And, overall spending on Internet access services is predicted to increase 5.3 percent to an estimated $34.8 billion by 2009, and 75 percent of subscribers will access the Internet via broadband connection, the report concludes.

SIPphone's Gizmo Project software will allow free world-wide VoIP calling and is the company's latest release.
(See IP Spotlight.)

February 2006
Issue Contents »

Company: SIPphone
Headquarters: San Diego, Calif.
CEO: Michael Robertson

Claim to Fame: A VoIP company offering free dial tone service for any SIP-based, software or hardware device. Complete with customizable voicemail it provides free VoIP Gizmo Project software to a wide range of computers. It currently connects with Google Talk and more than 100 other networks.

Recent news of note: Launched Area 775, a new VoIP service under which one personal phone number can ring a landline, mobile phone or any computer connected to the Internet. The company also secured $6 million in funding for an expansion into non-PC devices such as adapters, routers, WiFi handsets and dual mode mobile phones.

CTHRA Spring Symposium
March 9
San Diego, Calif.
More information

March 19-23
Las Vegas, Nev.
More information

CCMI's Profitability Assurance 2006
March 22-23
San Diego, Calif.
More information

Internet Home Alliance
Spring 2006 Connected Home Research Planning Conference

March 29, 2006
Orlando, Fla.
More information

NCTA National Show
April 9-11, 2006
Atlanta, Ga.
More information

ACA Washington Summit
American Cable Association
May 8-9
Washington, D.C.
More information

SCTE Cable-Tec Expo
June 20-23, 2006
Denver, Colo.
More information

2nd Annual C-COR Global IP Summit
June 28-29
Athens, Greece
More information

Copyright © 2006 Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


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