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Alcatel-Lucent pushes IPTV into new markets

Posted: 28 Jul 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IPTV? STB? networks?

Alcatel-Lucent 's turnkey, compact IPTV solution uses Microsoft Mediaroom to cost-effectively support networks of between 1,000 and 100,000 STBs. Dubbed the Integrated Solution for Microsoft Mediaroom, the IPTV solution provides high-quality TV programming while enabling new consumer media services through the blending and personalization of web and broadcasting content. The solution uses only a single equipment rack but supports more than three times as many households than previous versions of the company's Microsoft Mediaroom-based IPTV solution.

The first carrier to use Alcatel-Lucent's new IPTV solution is Cinergy MetroNet in the United States. The service provider will begin offering Alcatel-Lucent-powered IPTV services to six cities in Indiana, reaching approximately 50,000 potential customers in July, 2010.

The Integrated Solution for Microsoft Mediaroom is a substantially modified version of Alcatel-Lucent's previous solution. It uses IP technology to transmit TV signals while enabling a variety of new services.

"The needs of operators serving smaller customer bases are unique because they often don't need large multi-rack solutions," said Vince Vittore, principal analyst for market researcher Yankee Group. "Alcatel-Lucent's approach to this market is unique because it combines a great user experience with a reasonable price point and leverages its experience as a video integrator."

Serving local markets

The Integrated Solution is designed to meet the cost requirements of regional communication service providers such as Cinergy MetroNet who serve local and regional markets.

"We want to provide our customers superior service and access to such capabilities as WholeHome DVR, interactive applications and over-the-top content," said John Cinelli, CEO of Cinergy MetroNet. "Alcatel-Lucent's IPTV solution fits our business needs and gives us a powerful, flexible, and differentiating tool to deliver IPTV-based services to our customers."

Cinergy MetroNet plans to offer its customers multimedia services such as broadcast TV blended with web content; the ability to simultaneously record multiple shows while watching another; and the delivery of personalized content such as weather, traffic and news.

"Operators who support from 1,000 to 100,000 STBs are underserved when it comes to IPTV and next generation multimedia services," said Geeta Chaudhary, VP, multimedia integration services group, Alcatel-Lucent. "To address this need we created an optimized IPTV solution that is pre-integrated and lab tested, minimizing the technical and commercial risks associated with launching IPTV services. We estimate that more than 11 million new IPTV subscribers will be served by regional communication service providers in the coming three years and this compact release is designed to help our customers better address this huge opportunity"

Some key features of the new solution include the design integration of Microsoft's Mediaroom Hyper-V architecture in such a way that more than triples the number of STBs supported in a single deployment and reduces the number of servers needed. The solution is further optimized when deployed on HP BladeSystem with HP Virtual Connect technology, reducing the complexity of the architecture and increasing flexibility to respond to change in workload demands. The small physical footprint means a much "greener" deployment with reduced overall energy and operating costs. It is also pre-tested in Alcatel-Lucent's end-to-end IP Transformation Center laboratories, resulting in reduced technical risk and improved time to market by as much as 30 percent.

Alcatel-Lucent also supports regional communications service providers with a host of IPTV consulting services such as: end-user insight, demand analysis, IPTV services definition and launch as well as the end-to-end management.

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