IP Capsule E-Newsletter, April 13, 2006

Thu, 04/13/2006 - 7:04am

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April 13, 2006

VoIP just one battle in the broadband war
With the projected rise of VoIP expected north of 32 million U.S. subscribers by 2010, and nearly 40 percent of all broadband households expected to be signed up for VoIP, the market opportunity for the service is growing, reports a fresh study from eMarketer titled "Consumer VoIP-A Fierce Battle in a Larger War."

And so is the battle in the larger war to capture the up-for-grabs market, with major players in the cable, ISP, Internet portals and pure-play VoIP space all heading for the front lines to capture at least a part of the $190 billion U.S. fixed-line telephony market, which the telecoms have pretty much had to themselves, the report adds.

"A fierce battle is emerging in the VoIP market, and is only one part of a larger war that is being waged on three (or more) fronts between telecoms and cable MSOs. At stake is the so-called triple-play, which is a market worth approximately $300 billion," says Ben Macklin, a senior analyst for eMarketer.

You can add wireless and the quad-play to the battle. Revenues and subscribers for the US fixed-line market have been falling for five years, the report continued, while the number of mobile phone subscribers in 2005—194.5 million—surpassed landline phone subscribers—172.1 million—for the first time.

That is a telling sign that wireless is emerging as the key component to the quad play. The result is likely to be a flurry of wireless related entries into the broadband space, so keep your scorecard handy.

Three players team for MPEG-4 IPTV
Nagravision, PanAmSat and SkyWay Connect are introducing their satellite-based secure MPEG-4 IPTV solution for cable operators and emerging network distributors, the companies announced.

SkyWay Connect's IPTV system leverages PanAmSat's Galaxy satellite fleet and Nagravision's Nagra IP conditional access system to enable the deployment of what they say will be a low-cost, secure IPTV platform.

"Regardless of the medium, IP protocol is clearly emerging as the preferred distribution method of digitally compressed video content," said Bruce Haymes, senior vice president of corporate development and strategy for PanAmSat in a prepared statement.

Why the partnership? The companies believe the growing demand for bulk encrypted and secured advanced video delivered via DSL networks or DOCSIS-based IP networks is growing rapidly. And MPEG-4 AVC encoding systems will help deliver new services in smaller bandwidth footprints.

Orca gets whale of a deal with Jazztel
Orca Interactive, a developer of middleware and applications for IPTV, has struck a deal with Spain's Jazztel, a leading telecom and broadband provider.

The agreement, which will employ Orca's RiGHTv platform, allows Jazztel to support its TV subscribers with IPTV services, initially offering live television over IP using MPEG-4.

What's the big deal? Jazztel is one of the leading telecommunications companies in Spain, and will now offer residential IPTV in addition to its commercial service.

Trango configures remote video and data
Trango Broadband Wireless has announced a hi-speed HD Mesh system configurable for a variety of remote video and data applications. The system operates as a backbone ring capable of capacity in the neighborhood of 45 Mbps.

The announcement is in step with Trango's emergence as a provider of wireless IPTV services.

Why the higher speeds? The wireless HD mesh can be used for security related applications, including nuclear power plants, airports, port districts, military bases, etc. in the interest of homeland security, Trango said.

And the research says...
IPTV subs are on the move…up. Research and Markets is predicting some big subscriber numbers for IPTV, as global subs grow from 3.7 million in 2005 to 37 million in 2009. That's a compound annual growth rate of 78 percent.

Europe is the leading IPTV market, while forecasts for North America have fallen, due to scheduling slips. Schedules for SBC and BellSouth have slipped as well because "they are waiting for MPEG-4 set-top boxes and Microsoft's middleware, as well as the difficulty of integrating IPTV with back office systems," the report said.

Global IPTV revenue is expected to grow from $774 million in 2005 to $9.9 billion in 2009, an 83 percent compound annual growth rate.

With cable and satellite providers battling it out for video and triple play customers, how long can the SBCs and BellSouths wait to bring IPTV fully to market in the U.S.? In the meantime, it looks like IPTV is a more attractive play for service providers in Europe and Asia. Why? A different competitive picture due to differing degrees of cable and DBS penetration.

By 2010, 40 IPTV service providers are likely to have more than 100,000 subscribers, with eight having more than a million. The big IPTV issue? "Many service providers will be addressing significant IPTV scaling issues over the next few years," the report concluded.

Spirent passes test suite to IMS
Spirent Communications has introduced its IMS Test System, designed to address the testing needs from a wireline and wireless perspective. The test system simulates real world traffic models to evaluate wireless core packet data networks, and conducts scalability, performance, interoperability, and quality tests for voice and VoIP prior to deployment, the company said.

Why the new test system? IMS is a very complicated architecture, with complex test scenarios. Test companies such as Spirent are trying to simplify them.

Albany Mutual Telephone, a cooperative going its own way
Albany Mutual Telephone is joining the list of non-traditional providers of the triple play. Pannaway Technologies Inc. has secured a deal to supply the co-op with its IP Ethernet-based, Service Convergence Network (SCN) for copper and fiber broadband deployments to deliver triple play services.

Albany will use a lab certified, interoperable SIP solution from Nortel and Pannaway, and is running IP-OLT (Optical Line Termination) FTTH to 70 percent of its subscriber base.

In addition to the SIP-based VoIP services, Albany will deliver high-speed Internet access and all digital IPTV, the company said.

CableLabs issues new PacketCable specs
CableLabs has issued a series of specifications designed to help cable operators deliver IP-based communications and entertainment to customers' televisions, PCs, and fixed-line and mobile phones.

The new specifications are the latest for PacketCable (dubbed "release 2") and will also enable delivery of advanced features such as real-time video communications to cable digital voice customers.

The specifications define the communications interface requirements necessary for equipment manufacturers to develop interoperable products. The release, CableLabs said, will cover areas such as existing SIP, security, QoS, network address translation (NAT) & firewall traversal, and device provisioning.

"We have defined a complete IP service architecture that is capable of delivering voice, data, and video services to a variety of consumer devices over either fixed or mobile IP networks. Aligning our architecture with developing standards such as SIP and IMS provides greater scale economics for all parties," said Ed Miller, vice president of advanced network systems at CableLabs.

The results will give operators a "general purposes IP services platform," he added, noting that it builds on the base created by PacketCable 1.x (primarily for VoIP) and PacketCable Multimedia, which adds a QoS infrastructure for IP services.

Miller added that CableLabs will next focus on some additional PacketCable work, including cellular integration.

No interference, says COMTek
Communications Technologies Inc. said it will upgrade its 600 overhead broadband over powerline (BPL) devices in its Manassas, Va., market to a second generation technology ("G2") that promises to take care of niggling interference issues.

COMTek filed a report on the Manassas system with the FCC, reporting an independent FCC-certified test showing no interference attributable to BPL in the specific ham radio frequencies covered in a recent FCC filing made by amateur radio operators.

What's the big deal? BPL has long been considered a source of interference in some ham radio frequencies, with both sides hotly contesting the issue. The new test seems to absolve BPL from interference issues, and though ham operators may have detected interference reported to the FCC, the test could find no evidence the interference arose from COMTek's BPL operation, according to COMTek.

Teleste and Corinex deliver 200 Mbps
Corinex Communications and Teleste Corp. are partnering to market high-speed data access solutions to coaxial network operators, the companies announced.

The agreement will enable Teleste to supply its customers with Corinex's 200 Mbps AV200 technology. The new Ethernet over Coax-Cascade product line based on the technology provides true 100 Mbps Ethernet connection over existing coaxial networks, either in buildings or to the curb and the home, the companies added.

Speaking of BPL:
At least 26 power firms are now using broadband over powerline (BPL) technology for internal utility applications, including monitoring, diagnostics and automation, with seven power companies delivering broadband services in the US, says a report by Pike & Fischer.

The US, however, still trails Europe and Asia in BPL use.

VoIP residential sub counts are moving on up.

April 2006
Issue Contents »

Company: Narad Networks, Inc.
Headquarters: Westford, Mass.
CEO: Michael Collette

Claim to Fame: Narad provides switched broadband access solutions that enable cable operators to leverage existing coaxial cable and flexibly use fiber and wireless media to deliver high capacity, high performance IP services.

Recent news of note: With an eye toward fixed mobile convergence, Narad Networks and MediaCell Inc. are developing a platform that will enable cable operators to add wireless capabilities to their wired HFC plants. The combo features Narad's symmetrical 100 Mbps Ethernet-over-coax platform and MediaCell's 802.11-based WirelessTap technology.

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

Summit on Intellectual Property and Digital Media "From Creator to Consumer: Working Together in the Digital World"
May 22-23
The Cable Center
Denver, Colo.
More information

Conference for the Broadcast Cable Financial Management Association (BCFM)
June 11-13
Orlando, Fla.
More information

SCTE Cable-Tec Expo
June 20-23
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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