Cable operators want features and capabilities to further
differentiate their VoIP services from traditional phone service
that people have been accustomed to getting from traditional
carriers (which explains the enthusiasm for caller ID on TV).
A variety of companies are rushing to comply. Some of the
features and capabilities they’re offering will certainly
help fuel the growth of VoIP.
Not that VoIP seems to need much help. About a third (34
percent) of all U.S. residential landlines, or 25.5 million,
will be converted to VoIP by 2010, according to the TIA’s
Telecommunications Market Review and Forecast. That’s up from
10 percent, or 9.5 million, in 2006.
An interesting thing is that operators will not only be able
to market many of the VoIP enhancements and features as differentiators,
but that MSOs can also use some of these products to support
their own marketing operations.
TARGUSinfo calculates that it has caller-name (or CNAM) data
for over 250 million lines, including approximately 75 percent
of the roughly 10 million U.S. cable voice and VoIP subscribers.
Providers can use this data to offer superior enhanced caller
ID services, such as offering callers’ full names, as opposed
to being limited to 15 characters. Addresses are also available
to be displayed, if so desired. The data is transferable across
multiple devices and platforms; it will support caller ID
on the TV, for example.
to talk on the phone.
Source: Prendergast Library
This data can not only be displayed at the time of the call,
but can be included on bills, to help subscribers identify
The same data can be used by the provider for marketing purposes.
With name and address information, marketing materials can
be personalized. The data can also be used for everything
from confirming lead information to helping to building friends-and-family
type calling plans.
Rob Fisher, vice president of CNAM strategy at TARGUSinfo,
said, “Our capabilities provide the foundation for a wide
array of sticky services that subscribers love and will continue
to pay for.”
a division of BSG
Clearing Solutions, has teamed with First
Marketing to create an electronic welcome program
designed to give service providers the ability to communicate
with their new customers immediately following the completion
of third-party verification. The product, called the e-Kit,
makes it easier to sell services through retail operations
such as Best Buy or Amazon.com.
VoiceLog will notify First Marketing when a new subscriber’s
third party verification is valid. First Marketing will then
generate an electronic welcome kit via e-mail, containing
everything a customer needs to use his or her new service.
has expanded its VoIP call recording portfolio to include
SmartRecord Cards and Recording-enabled SIP Trunks. Both features
are expected to be attractive to business users.
The SmartRecord Cards are 800-number cards that allow the
user to record calls from any location. The user enters the
800-number, enters the destination number and then retrieves
the recorded conversation on-line through an on-line interface.
The Recording-enabled SIP Trunks provide call recording service
to professionals without investing in their own call recording
Santo, IP Capsule Editor, and CED Magazine
Vendors beat the IPTV World
Technically, this is about next week in IPTV, but
since so few companies seem able to wait for the IPTV
World Forum to actually begin on March 5th in London,
here we go.
Television said it will launch its iPlex UltraCompression
high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) IPTV head-end
at the forum. TandbergTV says the product goes beyond mere
encoding to aid in video processing and distribution. The
iPlex system is capable of MPEG-2 SD encoding, MPEG-4 AVC
HD and SD encoding, MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 AVC transcoding, MPEG-2
transrating, and picture-in-picture (PIP) service generation.
TandbergTV is claiming bandwidth improvements of up to 50
percent over previously deployed MPEG-4 AVC units. With MPEG-4
AVC HD UltraCompression, iPlex enables the delivery of two
full-resolution HDTV channels on an ADSL2+ network with loops
of 2-kilometers (about 6,500 feet) at data rates below 6 Mbps
for 1080i video or 4Mbps for 720p video.
plans to introduce its ISIS IPTV system, which uses both RAM
and hard disk storage, to deliver streaming video. ISIS works
in conjunction with the company’s new Auto-CDN, an automatic
content distribution platform. Using these technologies, content
providers can offer IPTV applications such as the ability
to pause, start over, and NPVR.
said it will demo its DiviCom Electra 7000 HD H.264 multi-service
encoder, along with its Armada intelligent asset manager for
on-demand systems, and its StreamLiner network video recorder,
each of which is up for a show award. Harmonic reminded that
its video compression, stream processing and delivery solutions
are being used by CanalSatellite (serving the France Telecom,
Neuf-Cegetel and Free IPTV networks), PCCW (Hong Kong), SingTel
(Singapore) T-Com Germany (Deutsche Telekom), T-Online France,
and Telekom Austria.
Electra 7000 encoder
plans to go beyond just IPTV to show how TV can be converged
with VoIP, instant messaging, multimedia messaging services
and presence services through its IPTV system.
During a keynote speech, Ed Graczyk, worldwide director of
marketing and communications for Microsoft
TV, is scheduled to demonstrate IPTV on the Xbox 360.
Microsoft said IPTV on Xbox 360 is expected to be available
through select service providers as early as the holiday season
in 2007. Possibilities include Microsoft IPTV Edition users
AT&T, BT Group PLC, Deutsche Telekom, T-Online in France
Jaguar deploys optical backbone
in network expansion
Communications, a CLEC serving rural communities in
the southeastern Minnesota, has deployed ECI
Telecom’s XDM Multi-Service optical platform for the
backbone expansion of its fiber to the premise (FTTP) network.
Jaguar, armed with $4.6 million in funding from the USDA’s
Rural Utilities Service (RUS) program, is expanding its broadband
network to include IPTV to its voice and data services.
U-verse trickles into Wisconsin
U-verse has touched down in two markets in Wisconsin. U-verse
is now available in limited areas in and around Milwaukee
and Racine, the 12th and 13th markets for the service. AT&T
said U-verse has nearly 7,000 customers; approximately 3,000
of those subscribers are in AT&T’s test bed city, San
OEN begins commercial IPTV
rollout in Houston
Following a market trial begun in September, Optical
Entertainment Network (OEN) now has IPTV, VoIP and
symmetrical Internet services at speeds up to 10 Mbps commercially
available in Houston. Tweaking Verizon’s nose, OEN is staking
a claim as the first FTTH company to launch in a major market.
OEN’s said its Fision Triple Play Plus Services are available
starting in the Northwest section of Houston. OEN is using Phonoscope’s
metro area network to deliver services. Phonoscope’s MAN has
250,000 household easements and is within 100 to 500 meters
of approximately 1.6 million households in the Houston area.
Verizon connects with Revver
will beef up its FiOS TV service with user-generated content
via the telco’s “Surround” broadband portal. Revver is already
available to Verizon Wireless customers with V CAST-enabled
handsets. Verizon said it will offer the same fare on its
web portal by Q1 2007, and on FiOS TV sometime later this
ARRIS gets a foothold in Japan
Katch Networks, a cable operator in Aichi Prefecture Japan,
has chosen ARRIS‘
C4 CMTS to implement the KDDI Cable Plus Primary VoIP service.
KDDI is one of Japan’s largest telecom providers; cable service
providers such as KATCH Networks use its network to provide
primary line VoIP telephony service over HFC, Arris explained.
Katch provides primary line service to 227,000 homes.
George Fletcher, Arris senior VP of sales for Japan, said,
“Our C4 CMTS platform exceeded KATCH’s performance expectations
and secures a strategic launching pad and customer reference
for other operators in Japan who want to successfully and
confidently deploy KDDI Cable Plus Primary VoIP service.”
Brix revises VoIP monitoring
product to support cable
has added support for cable VoIP to its BrixCall VoIP analysis
and correlation application. The product, to be available
in two months, aims to increase cable operators’ visibility
into VoIP quality of service (QoS).
The enhanced version of BrixCall provides support for the
Network-based Call Signaling (NCS) protocol commonly used
in cable environments. It correlates passive monitoring thresholds
and active test results to help automate and streamline troubleshooting,
fault isolation, and overall call quality and performance
in a cable infrastructure.
Home-Phone/wireless long distance
connections now free at Rogers
Rogers Home Phone customers will be able to make Canadian
long distance calls from their home phone to any other Rogers
Wireless, Rogers Home Phone or Fido number, at no charge. Rogers Communications
calls the benefit My Home Connections.
Cisco is going
out of its way
to label the Linksys dual-mode
(landline/Skype) handset an “iPhone”
Apple gets to use “iPhone.”
Cisco to make one?
Beatles, now Cisco.
Everything seems to be going Apple
Inc.’s way after it secured from the latter for the
rights to use the term “iPhone.” Earlier this month, Apple
Inc. and The Beatles’ publishing company, Apple Corp., came
to an accommodation that allowed the iPod maker to use the
trademark in conjunction with music-related goods and services.
Perhaps more interesting, Cisco and Apple said they will
explore opportunities for interoperability in the areas of
security, and consumer and enterprise communications. That
raises the possibility that Cisco might be able to make Apple-compatible
iPhones of its own.
Vox to power CityvoiceTEL’s
has signed on to provide the VoIP services offered by Canadian
broadband provider CityvoiceTEL’s new broadband over power
line (BPL) service. CityvoiceTEL
is currently working with Vox to provide VoIP over BPL in
areas in central and south Florida – Vox’s backyard. The initial
deployment aims to attract about 10,000 subscribers; a second
deployment phase could double that figure, according to CityvoiceTEL
CTO Roy Dell. CityvoiceTEL is also working with Vox to provide
VoIP through wireless mesh networks, in addition to DSL, cable,
Verizon makes 50 Mbps data
tier available in Tampa area
is now offering its 50 Mbps FiOS Internet service in parts
of five counties in the Tampa, Fla., area. The 50 Mbps tier
is thus far available in six of the 16 states where Verizon
has deployed FiOS. Subscribers get 5 Mbps on the upstream.
Verizon declined to say how many households in Tampa could
subscribe to the 50 Mbps tier; the TV franchise agreements
Verizon has struck in the Tampa area cover only a few thousand
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With major film studio backing,
BitTorrent goes legal
As it promised, BitTorrent
has finally repositioning itself as a legit network – the
BitTorrent Entertainment Network, which has legal access to
films and programs from several major Hollywood studios.
killed P2P piracy! “South
Park” is available – legally – on BitTorrent.
Users of the BitTorrent network will be able to rent movies,
purchase television shows and music videos, as well as publish
and share their own content. BitTorrent told The New York
here), registration required) that it has rights to
sell movies, but it will not because the studios are charging
too much. It also told the NYTimes that the current DRM system
is too cumbersome from the standpoint of the user interface.
BitTorrent’s peer-to-peer network has as many as 135 million
users. The company claims to represent anywhere between 40-
to 50 percent of global Internet traffic. Om
Malik asks if they are going to start paying for access.
(BitTorrent says about a third of its users have indicated
a willingness to pay for content.) Will new users, presumably
the ones willing to pay for access, have the patience for
BitTorrent? And perhaps most importantly, will service providers
put up with BitTorrent clogging their pipes?
2006 CMTS revenue tops $1B;
Cisco still dominates
With telco rivals breathing down their necks, cable operators
continue to roll out VoIP and expand both the reach and scope
of data services. That required CMTS equipment, and in 2006,
the cable industry was on buying spree – worldwide CMTS revenue
for the first time exceeded $1 billion.
The total was up 39% from 2005, when revenue reached its
previous high of $736 million, according to Infonetics
Research’s. The worldwide market is expected to near
the $1.5 billion mark in 2010. Between competitive pressure,
new services, and upgrades to DOCSIS 3.0, Infonetics expects
double-digit growth in the CMTS market through at least 2010.
Source: Infonetics Research
All 4 major players in the market – Arris, BigBand, Cisco,
– saw substantial gains in both revenue and port shipments
in 2006. Cisco has a grip on more than half the market.
Cable positioned to win broadband
The cable industry and its technology arsenal is “poised to
‘win’ in the majority of the country,” says a new report from Sanford
C. Bernstein & Co., titled “The Dumb Pipe Paradox.”
Although the telcos are starting to deploy advanced fiber-to-the-home
(FTTH) and fiber-to-the-neighborhood (FTTN) networks and will
create some competitive pockets, the reach of those technologies
will be sharply limited, the report said, while cable is already
positioned to offer voice, video and data services via a single
FTTH networks will reach less than 14 percent of U.S. homes
by the end of this decade. Verizon’s FiOS plant will be offered
to just 13 percent of the U.S., Bernstein said, citing Verizon’s
projections. FTTN networks, akin to AT&T’s strategy in
brownfield areas, will reach 26 percent of the country by
2010, the report forecasted.
That means the balance of the telco footprint – about 60
percent – will continue to be served by DSL technologies which
will not remain competitive with cable modem service for much
Napa approves AT&T Wi-Fi
has won approval from authorities in Napa, Calif., to build
and support a 12-square-mile WiFi network. Construction is
expected to begin in the next few weeks. The first phase,
covering two square miles of Napa, is expected to be finished
this summer, and the additional expansion should be completed
by early 2008. The network will support speeds of up to 1
Mbps. The free, ad-supported option will offer speeds of about
200 kbps, and access of up to 10 hours per month.
Claim to Fame: One of the pre-eminent communications
equipment companies, with a particular strength in cellular
Recent News of Note: The company is trying to remake
itself into a soup-to-nuts IPTV vendor, most recently with
its cash offer to buy Tandberg Television, trumping a previous
bid by ARRIS. Ericsson would have to find a way to integrate
Tandberg with previous acquisitions in the general IPTV space,
including Entrisphere, Redback Networks, and Marconi.