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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
CableLabs issues new PacketCable
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
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
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
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
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
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.
sub counts are moving on up.