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
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 surfacethe
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
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
eWAN1 launches global IPTV
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
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
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....
and Markets has some food for thought for IPTV providers,
or those planning on offering the service:
- IPTV deployment depends a great deal on the state of local
competition in both the TV and broadband markets;
- Most regulatory restrictions have been lifted;
- Triple-play bundles are enjoying rapid growth;
- The IPTV economy, meanwhile, depends on a range of factors,
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
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
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
What's the connection? It fits into IDT's expanding global
FrontRange offering suite
new version 5.0
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
Eagle lands in Houston
Broadband is implementing two IP network solutions
in Houston for Renaissance Healthcare and Harborwalk, the
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.
a targeted advertising techology to NetLogix.
A thrilla for Adzilla, NetLogix
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
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
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.