IP Capsule E-Newsletter, April 4, 2007

Tue, 04/03/2007 - 8:00pm
IP Capsule from CED Magazine
April 04, 2007
IPso Facto...

Whee! Away we go
The recent deal between Apple and EMI ought to be the beginning of the end for digital rights management (DRM).

One of the key promises of the IP revolution is that consumers will be able to take their content with them wherever they want.

I've recently heard the phenomenon called "what-I-want-where-I want-it" (occasionally with the addendum "when-I-want-it") or WIWWIWI, pronounced "wee-wee," which for solely childish reasons I rather like. Although there are plenty of adults hiccupping the word "eebitdah!" seemingly without embarrassment, I suspect many are going to balk at discussing "wee-wee" in public, so I'm proposing calling it "Whee!" for short.

But I digress...

DRM is at least an annoyance and at worst an aggravation along the road to Whee! From a customer standpoint, if I paid for an LP/8-track/cassette/CD/file, as far as I'm concerned what I get is the right to play it when and where I want for as long as I can keep the turntable/tape deck/boombox/MP3 player operational, and beyond if I can figure out how to transfer one format to the next. Whee!

I really don't care whether that's technically legally what the actual situation is. That's the way I behave, and that's the way just about every one I know behaves when it comes to buying music, and DRM inhibits that. Good riddance.

DRM advocates seem less concerned about alienating their paying customers as they are fixated on pirates, and though that may be misguided, it's at least understandable. The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) estimates that music industry losses to piracy exceeded $2.3 billion dollars in 2006 (click here to download chart). That number is surely inflated, but even if it's double the actual number, it is a serious problem for record companies and the artists they represent.

Choosing DRM is far from irrational. But although DRM certainly inhibits casual, opportunistic piracy, professional pirates are going to figure out how to steal and resell content, DRM or no.

So why bother, especially when there's an alternative: digital watermarking? The Digital Watermarking Alliance says the technology is ready.

True, digital watermarking won't prevent piracy, but DRM doesn't seem to be all that successful doing that either. On the other hand, digital watermarking will be a tool that can be used to find and identify pirates.

It's a tradeoff, and perhaps a scary one for content providers, but with watermarking there is the bonus that if done properly, it won't alienate paying customers.

Music has always been shared, one way or another, from radio broadcasts to record parties to mix tapes/CDs, and maybe that's why the music industry is so much farther down the road to Whee! than the film industry, as just demonstrated by EMI.

The film industry, according to the IIPA, had $2.9 billion in lost revenue in 2005, the last year for which estimates are available. They're recalculating to take into account peer-to-peer sharing, so the 2006 number is going to be huge. Film studios just aren't ready to follow the record companies. Yet. But they will. Consumers will demand it, and watermarking is a viable alternative for video as well as audio.

And if the studios jettison DRM sooner rather than later, that would relieve service providers from having to develop things like DRM management systems. One less thing to do, that much less equipment to buy, one less complicated chunk of code to maintain, that many fewer headaches explaining to customers why the Whee! service you're selling doesn't really go Whee! That should be a good thing, yes?

Brian Santo, IP Capsule Editor & CED Magazine Senior Editor

Portuguese IPTV provider raises Ruckus
Ruckus Wireless said it has added Sonaecom, Portugal's second largest services provider, as a customer for its MediaFlex multimedia wireless systems. Sonaecom will use the Ruckus Wi-Fi technology to enable its subscribers to distribute its Clix SmarTV IPTV transmissions to other TVs within their homes. The Ruckus MediaFlex system is based on standard 802.11g Wi-Fi.

Etex picks Pannaway platform for GigE network
Etex Telephone Cooperative has designated another vendor for its Triple Play service networks in Texas. Etex will use Pannaway's SCN platform to provide 10 Gbps Ethernet transport services to hospitals, local businesses and eventually other commercial establishments. Etex previously tapped Occam Networks for DSL technology.

U-verse covers a big chunk of Dallas-Ft. Worth
AT&T said U-verse is available to more than 200,000 households in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, the first time the service has been scaled above a few thousand potential subscribers.

At the same time, AT&T is offering a promotion of free HD for a year for all its pay-TV subscribers, whether they sign up for U-verse, or one of AT&T's co-branded services DBS service, offered in conjunction with EchoStar's Dish Network in the old SBC/AT&T territories and with DirecTV in the former Bellsouth territories.

The free access to HD programming offer is one of the first consumer promotions AT&T is featuring across its entire 22- state footprint following its merger with BellSouth in December 2006.

European IPTV market to double in '07...
The European market for IPTV will double from 2.9 million in 2006 to 5.6 million in 2007, according to Screen Digest Subscription revenues from IPTV increasing from about $628 million to over $1.3 billion.

The growing popularity of IPTV in Europe is attributed in part to brand recognition. Consumers seem more willing to try a new service from a familiar, presumably trustworthy company.

The top five IPTV operators in Europe in 2006 were Orange, Telefonica, Free Telecom, Neuf Telecom and Fastweb. Screen Digest expects that these operators will remain in their respective positions throughout 2007, with Neuf Telecom and Free Telecom vying for second place in France. Screen Digest expects most 1 million of the 2.7 million new customers in Europe in '07 will be in France. Also in coming months, Tiscali will launch in Italy, and Swisscom will complete its acquisition of Italy's Fastweb.

The UK is expected to experience the biggest growth in 2007, with Screen Digest forecasting that subscriber numbers will grow from 80,000 to 300,000 by the end of this year largely because of a launch by incumbent BT as well as national launches from rivals Tiscali and France Telecom in the autumn.

...And by 2011, IPTV subs could skyrocket to 103M worldwide
Global IPTV subscribers should rise to 103 million in 2011, up from 3.9 million in 2006, according to iSuppli Corp. predicts. The company estimates that will translate into $39.1 billion in revenue, up by a factor of more than 40 from $960.5 million in 2006.

Global IPTV Subscriber Forecast by Geographic Region, 2006-2011 (Thousands of Subscribers)
Other Asia
Source: iSuppli Corp. April 2007

IPTV isn't really the end, however, it's a means, according to iSuppli. Service providers will be competing not on the basis of having IPTV or not, but on the mix of services they're able to bundle.


Issued a new patent, VoIP Inc. goes hunting
VoIP Inc. said it has sent letters to parties a that VoIP believes are infringing on its recently issued U.S. Patent 6,501,837, covering a method for making a telephone call between two parties, and a method for making a telephone call utilizing a call-back feature from an intermediate point.

The company did not identify the companies it is going after, but its implication was that any company offering Click-To-Call, Virtual and PIN based Internet Calling Cards may be targeted. VoIP Inc. did say several large companies have entered agreements to license its technology, which will make it that much harder for anyone else to escape doing the same.


Alcatel-Lucent to purchase Tropic Networks
Tropic Networks has agreed to sell substantially all its assets to Alcatel-Lucent. In July 2004, Alcatel led a $33 million investment round (Tropic's other investors are venture capital firms).

Tropic focused on ROADM technology. Alcatel-Lucent already has a ROADM portfolio. The key to the deal, Alcatel-Lucent said, was further integration of a technology developed by Tropic Networks called Wavelength Tracker.

Wavelength Tracker tracks and monitors each wavelength in a DWDM system as it passes through the optical network. By applying a unique optical signature to every wavelength that enters the DWDM network, Wavelength Tracker delivers performance monitoring, wavelength path trace, sectionalization, dispersion measurement and fault isolation to networks, according to Tropic.

Tellabs paves path from legacy to Ethernet networks
Tellabs is now selling a Gigabit Ethernet card and associated software for its Tellabs 1000 multiservice access series networks, allowing customers to migrate their networks to Ethernet. Moving to Gigabit Ethernet will enable users to provide higher speed IP-based services, including Internet access and IPTV, over a single system.

Arlington selects EarthLink to build Wi-Fi network
EarthLink has picked up another contract to provide a municipal wireless network. The company will build, own and operate a Wi-Fi network in Arlington County in Virginia, an urban area that borders Washington, D.C. The Wi-Fi mesh network will cover approximately 26 square miles.

Current Issue

April 2007
Issue Contents

Pannaway Technologies
Headquarters: Portsmouth, N.H.
CEO: Mark Carpenter

Claim to Fame: Provides the infrastructure to help smaller phone companies and other service providers offer the triple play, leveraging their existing xDSL or fiber plant.

Recent News of Note: Recently gained the business of Etex in Texas, Arvig Communications Systems in Minnesota, and Ponderosa Telephone in California. Pannaway also recently secured $10 million in new funding.

April 14-19, 2007
Las Vegas, Nev.
More info: Click Here 

China Broadband
Triple Play/IPTV Forum 2007

April 18-19, 2007
Hong Kong
More info: Click Here 

China DSL Forum 2007
April 18-19, 2007
Hong Kong
More info: Click Here 

The Cable Show 2007
May 7-9, 2007
Mandalay Bay - Las Vegas
More info: Click Here 

May 22-24, 2007
More info: Click Here 

China VoIP
Conference & Expo 2007

May 23-24, 2007
Hong Kong
More info: Click Here 

SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2007
June 19-22, 2007
Orlando, Fla.
More info: Click Here 

C-COR Global IP Summit
June 28-29, 2007
Cannes, France
More info: Click Here 

Wireless & Mobile
Expo & Conference

July 17-18, 2007
Toronto, Canada
More info: Click Here

CTAM Summit 2007
July 23-25, 2007
Washington Convention Center
Washington, D.C.
More info: Click Here

Copyright 2007 Advantage Business Media. All rights reserved



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