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CONTENTS 16 COVER STORY Its proponents suggest that deployment of Fibre to the Home can play a significant role in boosting national economies as well as helping satisfy the burgeoning demand for bandwidth. Colin Mann finds out what measures are being proposed to help FTTH development and what obstacles lie in its path.
22 ROUND TABLE Service providers are under increasing competitive pressure to get content to the consumer across many devices with excellent QoE and comprehensive functionality, with the Content Delivery Network central to the process. Advanced Television gathered three CDN experts in London to share their thoughts on the sector.
26 RESEARCH ROUND UP The research and analyst community continues to find topics such as video consumption trends, device utilisation and revenue forecasts fertile ground for reports and surveys. IP Television summarises the most pertinent.
31 PREVIEW With a new name for 2013, TV Connect promises high-level debate and blue chip exhibitors. IP Television takes a sneak peek at whatâ€™s on offer.
32 COMPANY VIEWPOINT A leading supplier of video solutions for multiscreen content says that implementing the right video processing infrastructure enables media companies to achieve both the delivery of a high-quality video experience that engages and retains viewers â€“ and the maximisation of associated monetisation opportunities.
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OPINION t’s that time of year again and the industry is gathering
PUBLISHER AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Nick Snow firstname.lastname@example.org MANAGING EDITOR Colin Mann email@example.com PUBLISHING ASSISTANT Nik Roseveare firstname.lastname@example.org ART EDITOR Steve Overbury email@example.com COLUMNISTS Vivek Couto Howard Greenfield CONTRIBUTORS Robert Briel - Amsterdam Dieter Brockmeyer - Frankfurt Gail Chiasson - Toronto David del Valle - Madrid Chris Dziadul Sotires Eleftheriou - Paris Barry Flynn Chris Forrester Philip Hunter Joe O’Halloran Farah Jifri Branislav Pekic - Rome SALES DIRECTOR Sanjeev Bhavnani firstname.lastname@example.org
in London for the TV Connect event. This is the latest iteration of what was founded as the IPTV World
Forum, and the more generic name reflects the maturity of the business and the increasing transparency of the barriers between once competing segments. Virgin Media, born of cablecos, is a major ISP, Sky has just bought Telefónica UK's fixed and broadband networks to go to number two in the broadband provider league and operates its own pay-as-you-go OTT service, BT is gatecrashing the TV party with big buys in sport, and Tesco – which dwarfs any of the above in terms of its take of British pay packets – is ramping up its blinkbox service. Where will it all end? There’s a lot of choice for the consumer, so pricing should stay keen. That means the market for ‘tv that is connected’ will doubtless grow many fold – but will the monetisation grow at a rate that produces margins sufficient to fund the capex to up rate the networks to serve the volume of traffic? As revealed in our main feature, the UK is up rating fixed line via FTTC – understandable given our uniquely horizontal housing stock – but not the way to achieve genuinely fast ubiquitous access. We probably won’t have hit 100Mb for all by the time several of our neighbours are taking 1Gb for granted. The
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implications of this for the economy as a whole go far beyond TV. Some of the complexities of the market will probably be alleviated by some of the players getting knocked out. It is inevitable when hitters as heavy as those listed above go to
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war, and we haven’t even mentioned the likes of Netflix, LOVEFiLM, Google or Apple. Tips for winner and losers? I don’t think I’ll hand over that kind of hostage to fortune just yet. But perhaps a form guide: 1. Winners will need big financial fire-power and conviction (sometimes confused with hubris or even foolishness), to believe they can spend massive fortunes on rights and then convert them to profitable subscribers. Of course, some have experience here, and some don’t. 2. Leveraging their influence with suppliers and with existing customers. There’s plenty of evidence on past ability here too. 3. Brilliant, creative marketing and an affinity with innovation. Make up your own minds.
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Tesco launches personalised Clubcard TV ominant UK supermarket chain Tesco has confirmed the launch of Clubcard TV to its 16 million Clubcard loyalty card customers. Michael Comish, CEO of Tesco Digital Entertainment, said: “Clubcard TV offers a whole world of free entertainment for all the family. It makes digital entertainment easy and accessible for our customers.” He said the reason Tesco could offer “great programming for free” was because customers would see relevant advertising before and during the movie or TV show they were watching. “We’ll use Clubcard data to tell us what might be relevant for our customers and therefore help us deliver a more personalised service.”
The service has been developed by the team behind the Tesco movie and TV service blinkbox, with new movies and TV shows added all the time as the service evolves. Customers will have an opportunity to shape Clubcard TV by
ActiveVideo unveils ‘CloudTV Access’ Developer Programme ActiveVideo Networks has launched its ‘CloudTV Access’ developer programme, an initiative designed to accelerate the design and deployment of advanced HTML5 user experiences for millions of users on CloudTV-enabled Smart TVs, set-top boxes and other CE devices. The CloudTV Access program leverages the ‘writeonce, deploy-everywhere’ content creation environment of ActiveVideo’s CloudTV platform to cut app time-to-market by as much as 80% for connected device manufacturers and virtual service providers, as well as cable and IPTV operators.
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Developing on the CloudTV platform is easy, but the programme is designed to help developers who are experienced with HTML5 development on the Web make the transition to television while providing them with the CloudTV tools and resources needed to quickly create cross-platform HTML5 user experiences that can be scalably
providing feedback both on content
streamed to any device. The latest version, CloudTV H5, leverages HTML5 browsers in remote servers to render the most advanced user experiences in the cloud and stream them uniformly to connected TVs, Blu-ray players, tablets and smartphones, as well as set-top boxes ranging from the oldest QAM- to the newest IP-based devices. “Our ability to create the ideal mix of device and cloud resources has resulted in a platform that completely changes the economics of
and additional features they would like to see added. Clubcard TV is supported by targeted advertising based on users’ shopping habits. Advertisers signed up for the launch of the service include Kellogg’s, J&J, Colgate and Danone. There are plans to extend the service to a range of devices including games consoles, tablets, Smart TVs, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes. Clubcard members can access the service by entering their 16-digit number and a few details including date of birth and postcode. In recent years, Tesco has acquired a number of services to harness the potential of digital books (Mobcast) and online streaming (blinkbox and WE7).
television content creation,” said David McElhatten, senior vice president, studio and services for ActiveVideo Networks. “CloudTV H5 ensures that developers have the fastest-possible development environment for rich, low-bandwidth user experiences on any Smart TV, connected device or STB.” CloudTV is available on more than 10 million devices in the United States and abroad with Cablevision Systems, Ziggo, Oceanic Time Warner Cable and other operators, as well as on Philips-brand NetTVs, and is powering advanced user experiences for Net2TV, a virtual service provider. ActiveVideo has also announced that Comcast is using CloudTV in an enhanced video-ondemand (VOD) user experience trial.
Digisoft.tv HbbTV support for Iris Digisoft.tv, a global provider of settop box software for the cable, satellite, terrestrial and telecommunications industry, has confirmed the integration of HbbTV, the global standard for hybrid entertainment, to its Iris platform for set-top boxes. The company will offer HbbTV as an open standard component of its DVB/Hybrid offering. Digisoft.tv recently announced record sales of its Iris platform. Digisoft.tv Head of Product Development Eoin Shanaghy, said that with Iris, Digisoft’s HTML5 platform for next-generation set-top boxes,
customers could already build, grow and adapt applications and services using cutting-edge technology. “HbbTV membership allows us to ensure compliance with the growing number of HbbTV deployments. This provides us and our customers with a clear model for hybrid broadcast/ broadband application delivery,” he added. Dr. Klaus Illgner-Fehns, Chairman of the HbbTV consortium, suggested that with its extensive expertise in interactive TV and set-top box OSs, Digisoft.tv would increase the development and awareness of HbbTV. HbbTV (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV) is a new industry standard providing an open and business neutral technology platform that seamlessly combines TV services delivered via broadcast with services delivered via broadband and also enables access to Internet only services for consumers using connected TVs and set-top boxes. The founding members of the HbbTV consortium together with a large group of supporters jointly developed the HbbTV specification to create a global standard for hybrid entertainment services.
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Alki David ramps up Aero name battle lki David, founder of Internetbased content streaming provider FilmOn, is suing rival service Aereo’s founder Barry Diller in the next stage of the battle between the pair. FilmOn offers all the major US network television networks in seven major cities, as well as having added five hundred premium channels to its line-up, which it claims makes it the world’s largest free premium live TV platform. FilmOn’s ‘False Designation’ complaint, filed in the United States District Court, notes that in January 2012, FilmOn released the FilmOn AIR and FilmOn Aero
portable TV tuner prototypes to the market almost two months before ‘Bamboom’ announced its name change to ‘Aereo’. FilmOn says it even acquired an exclusive licence to the renowned Win-TV Aero, a TV tuner device for capturing overthe-air ATSC Television signals, pointing out that the Aero technology and trademark had existed for some years prior to 2012. “It’s a shame I have to spend millions suing these people. It is the people’s right to a service like FilmOn,” said David (left). “I would much rather continue running my TV stations and building the FilmOn Platform which has in fact today got more current and professionally-made content than Aereo, Hulu, YouTube, U-Stream or any other Live TV or VoD site,” he declared.
Vision247 opens MEA offices With the aim of targeting emerging markets with IPTV and OTT delivery for premium TV services, London based broadcast specialist Vision247, has expanded its global operations with new offices in Dubai along with the appointment of Tanya Vidmar to the role of Managing Director, UAE. Vision247 already works with major regional broadcasters including: Al Arabia; MBC; GEM TV and Iqraa, and will now expand its activities with support for local telecoms operators, offering combined
subscription and pay-per-view services, IPTV and OTT, with provision of both channels and apps. The region’s leading telecom operators have already concluded that the
best strategy for consumers of premium TV services is to merge the adaptability of OTT delivery with the security of managed IPTV. The new MEA offices will support fresh partnerships with the region’s telecoms providers as Vision247 develops its award winning XtremeIPTV and Perception platforms, introducing innovative solutions for telco IPTV networks, including: high performance VoD; network PVR and Time Shift systems; HLS streaming; and new set-top box and mobile client applications. According to Vidmar, the Middle East and Africa regions represent some of the most exciting new opportunities for Vision247. “As a vendor of IPTV and OTT content delivery and management platforms, the company is in a prime position to support the development of free-to-view and pay-TV services, delivered over the Internet, to the new generation of ‘digital’ homes in the region,” she suggested.
Analyst: Amazon’s streaming ambitions hard to ignore lthough attention has been on Netflix as it launches its first major original series, House of Cards, revolutionising content distribution by giving consumer all the content at once, Amazon’s progress in the online video space should not be overlooked, suggests Richard Greenfield, Media Analyst at BTIG Research. Greenfield says that while Netflix gets all of the attention as the clear leader in over-the-top (OTT) streaming video, it is increasingly hard to ignore the progress Amazon has made in a relatively short amount of time. “Amazon appears increasingly serious about being a real player in online video including the launch of original programming, albeit, we do not sense they are currently denting Netflix’s subscriber growth prospects, akin to how HBO and Showtime coexist and flourish,” he advises. He notes that unlike Redbox Instant by Verizon, which is trying to lead with subscription streaming and upsell iVOD/EST, Amazon is using streaming to augment the value of its existing Prime subscription, which leads with freeshipping, while at the same time increasing engagement within the Amazon ecosystem to drive iVOD
Pay-as-you-go sport from NOW TV As anticipated at its July 2012 launch, Sky has enhanced its NOW TV OTT service by making Sky Sports available on a pay-asyou-go basis. For £9.99, customers will be able to get unlimited access for a 24-hour period to coverage from across all six Sky Sports channels. The new service will mean that sports fans who don’t already subscribe to Sky Sports can choose to access a one-off event, such as the Monaco
and EST transactions. In addition, he draws attention to comments made during the Amazon Q4 earnings conference call, which suggest that Amazon still believes this is very early in their streaming video strategy. CFO Tom Szkutak said: “Prime instant video…we think we have a very interesting selection right now and you should expect that we’ll be spending more on content as it relates to Prime over time and we’ll continue to add selection on Amazon instant video” “We’re seeing prime customers certainly the percentage of Prime customers who were watching free content through Prime instant video has gone up dramatically year-over-year. We’ve also increased Prime membership dramatically year-over-year. They
are also purchasing paid content. Those customers that are using the service, they watch free, but they are also paying for new content, which is great…the business is making good progress on the video content side and again, it’s still very early.” Greenfield notes that despite subscription video streaming not being the lead component of an Amazon Prime membership pitch, Amazon has significantly increased the content offered and device access to Prime Instant Video streaming in the past 15 months (apps added include PS3, XBox, iOS and Wii). “While Amazon is not spending the $2 billion or more that Netflix is expected to spend in 2013 on video content, Amazon is likely spending more than $500 million
Grand Prix or Masters Golf. Equally, they can enjoy a full day of action across Sky Sports. The 24-hour pass from NOW TV is the first time that Sky Sports has been available with no contract, set-up costs or installation. NOW TV, which already offers instant access to Sky Movies, is available across a wide range of Internet-connected devices including PC, Mac, iPad and iPhone, selected Android smartphones and Xbox. Sky says the launch in spring 2013 is another example of its commitment to give customers more choice and
flexibility in the way in which they enjoy its content. The company is taking advantage of the rapid growth of connected devices to create a highly-complementary alternative to the value and choice provided by the existing satellite TV service enjoyed by more than 10 million families. Barney Francis, managing director of Sky Sports, described the launch as “an exciting step forward,” adding that the company wanted to open up more choice for sports fans by offering a new and flexible way to enjoy the best live coverage across its
and, like Netflix, is growing increasingly focused on both exclusive syndicated programming and original programming,” he advises. Other factors of note, according to Greenfield: Outbidding Netflix to grab exclusive rights to PBS’s Downton Abbey, whereas historically rights have been non-exclusive with both companies carrying. TNT and Warner Bros. deal for exclusive rights to The Closer and Fallen Skies. Signing A&E deal (A&E, History and Lifetime networks) after Netflix failed to renew its deal with A&E. Amazon Studios producing pilots for six original comedy series and five original children’s series. Unlike Netflix, which skipped piloting and is offering all episodes at once, Amazon is seeking to test which pilots work the best (crowd sourcing, essentially) before proceeding with a full series order. Total dollar amount of Amazon’s investment in originals remains unclear. Reached licensing deals with Fox, EPIX, NBCU, MGM, Paramount, Viacom, Disney, etc. six channels. “This is a way for us to reach new customers and bring the excitement of Sky Sports to an even bigger audience,” he added. NOW TV launched in July 2012 with Sky Movies, offering more of the latest and biggest movies at least 12 months before any other online movies subscription service. The introduction of Sky Sports is likely to be followed on NOW TV by shows from Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Sky Arts and Sky Living, including home-grown drama, original comedy and US shows.
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Internet needs content rethink ccording to media management and workflow specialist Nativ, content owners must leverage new ways of delivering to the Internet to stay in the game. The company has produced an independent report outlining the shortcomings and challenges of Internet delivery and has set out its vision for helping the market overcome these. Nativ notes that in recent years, the consumption of content over Internet-enabled devices has exploded. “There is a rush to dominate the Internet TV service proposition and offer TV anytime, anyplace and in high definition. For consumers, this is a great time as TV and film services become richer, more customisable and ‘always on’ says the company, suggesting that for content owners, it’s a mixed bag of increased opportunity and increased operational pain. Nativ suggests that fortunately, the
HTML5 video player from thePlatform thePlatform, the white-label video publishing company, has introduced an enhanced video Player Service to address this issue, and has placed HTML5 at the forefront of its efforts. thePlatform’s enhanced Player Service provides a simple to use console, so even non-technical users can build their own video players – choosing from a variety of layout templates, skins, color schemes, and more. In 2013, thePlatform’s Player Service will now default to HTML5 players to render video quickly, but seamlessly switch to Flash if needed, allowing consistent playback on websites, iOS devices, Android devices, Windows 8 devices, and more. By leading with HTML5, customers can experience faster load times for video playback, and lower development costs. Unlike other market alternatives, there is also no need
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same technologies that have enabled Internet TV have enabled file-based workflows and digital delivery that help overcome this, highlighting the four key challenges content owners face when delivering content to the Internet: 1. Delivery – How to push bundled content to a remote internet service or have it pulled through a querying interface. 2. Service – Whether to create your own TV service; deliver it to existing internet platforms; or both.
for companies to manage duplicate systems for individual players, since thePlatform’s mpx publishing system automatically associates all the metadata and business policies for each video across both HTML5 and Flash players. “We’ve always supported HTML5, but the technology has matured over the past 18 months, and it’s now ready for primetime,” said Marty Roberts, SVP, sales and marketing, thePlatform. “Companies are being swamped by the combination of devices and browsers needed to ensure their videos render well on their customers’ device of choice. Our new Player Service alleviates that challenge in an incredibly simple and cost-efficient way. HTML5 has become the lead technology that we recommend to our customers for publishing video across devices, and it has replaced Flash as the default setting in our mpx Player Service.”
3. Packaging and delivery technologies - How to handle file formats, metadata, subtitling and digital delivery in order to get the right content in the right format to the right player, on time. 4. Standards – Remember that for every component of VOD delivery (AV, metadata, subtitles, network delivery) there are a growing number of competing standards. “Internet TV is exploding and content owners must sweat value from their content by leveraging multiple deals to stay in the game,” said Nativ CEO Jon Folland. “However fulfillment and delivery of content to the Internet can be incredibly painful and costly with the cost of preparation and repurposing often negating the commercial upsides for smaller deals. What the content industry needs is to embrace new software platforms that are thankfully emerging to answer these challenges.”
Intel confirms online TV plan Chip maker Intel has confirmed that it is working on a set-top box that would stream content to connected TV sets. Speaking at AllThingsDigital, Erik Huggers, general manager of Intel Media, said the device would offer “a vastly superior experience” to today’s cable STBs. Although Intel is traditionally a business-facing company with little exposure to the consumer, Huggers said the company was keen to enter the segment on the basis that it could control every aspect of the service, from chips to software, to get it right. Intel has been struggling in the fiercelycompetitive chip market. Any such service would be dependent on the co-operation of content owners, a point recognised by Huggers, (above) who suggested that media
companies were showing some flexibility. “I think we can bring an incredible TV experience via the Internet, to consumers, and that is a great opportunity for programmers,” he said. He described the planned service not as a value play, but rather “a quality play”. The box would offer ondemand content as well as apps, with a built-in camera able to detect people in a room and deliver personalised programming and advertising.
Quality of Experience
Amazon expands CBS content deal mazon.com has secured an expanded content licensing agreement to bring classic series and hit TV shows from CBS Television and Showtime Networks to Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service, extending the catalogue of CBS content available for Prime members to stream instantly, and enjoy at no additional cost. With this agreement, popular CBS and Showtime series coming to Prime Instant Video for the first time include America’s Next Top Model, Everybody Loves Raymond, Jericho, The L Word, Undercover Boss and United States of Tara, among others. In addition, favourite TV series such as Medium, The Tudors, the complete Star Trek franchise, I Love Lucy and more, will continue to be available for Prime members to stream, commercial-free at no additional cost on Kindle Fire HD, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Roku, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii and Wii U, among other devices. “CBS was one of our earliest content partners for Prime Instant Video and our Prime customers have consistently told us how much they love having access to great CBS and Showtime shows,” said Brad Beale, director of digital video content acquisition for Amazon. “Adding a wider selection of great TV series, while extending our already popular selection
Media management company Red Bee Media has agreed a multi-year deal with Samsung Electronics to provide rich metadata services for Samsung’s new range of Smart TVs across 13 European countries. The deal will see Red Bee Media provide rich EPG content, including localised programme descriptions and images, to power content discovery for over 2,500 channels in 23 languages across 13 European countries including the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the Nordic region. Red Bee Media’s metadata service will make TV content easily searchable on Samsung Smart TVs, and will allow users to discover content through customised
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of CBS programming, continues to make Prime an even better deal for customers – and we love that.” “We’re very pleased to extend our relationship with Amazon and their Prime Instant Video service,” said Scott Koondel, chief corporate licensing officer for CBS Corporation. “Clearly the appetite for CBS programming continues to be very healthy, and we look forward to continuing to reach and establish new fans through Amazon’s terrific platform.” Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service recently announced it will be the exclusive
online subscription home for the CBS summer series Under the Dome – produced by Steven Spielberg and based on Stephen King’s bestselling novel of the same name – which will give Amazon Prime members unlimited access to the TV series just four days after airing and will also be available for purchase and download to all Amazon customers exclusively on Amazon Instant Video. In addition, Amazon announced that Prime Instant Video will soon become the exclusive online subscription home for PBS series, Downton Abbey. The Prime Instant Video library now features more than 36,000 movies and TV episodes.
Red Bee powers Samsung EPGs recommendations and voice navigation. Patrick Tillieux, chief executive officer, Red Bee Media, commented: “We believe that effective and personalised content discovery is
critical to the future TV viewing experience and we’re very proud to be appointed by Samsung as the provider of rich metadata that will help to power the discovery solutions available on their
new range of Smart TVs. We’re delighted to work with Samsung to deliver accurate, localised programme information that will really enrich and enhance the consumer experience across several major European markets and we look forward to developing our partnership further over the coming year.” Red Bee Media is the largest metadata provider in Europe and works with a number of internationally renowned organisations. Rich metadata is a core component of Red Bee Media’s RedDiscover offering, a full service content discovery proposition which spans rich metadata sourcing, creation and EPG distribution, user interface design, personalised search and recommendation tools and second screen apps.
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eracue is providing television and radio programmes distributed all over at Frankfurt Airport site using IPTV, based on the existing network infrastructure and the Teracue IPTV hardware and software for its distribution. More than 90 television and radio channels are distributed over the IPTV network today. This includes the television programmes of public and private television networks, various pay-TV channels and about 20 radio stations. Fraport does not just use IPTV for its own purposes, such as for meeting rooms and lounges or on more than 200 displays on 120 gates. There is also opportunity for catering establishments, bars and retail businesses at the airport to use the IPTV system to show programmes on their own terminals. Furthermore, to date, more than 400 set-top boxes have been connected, which are provided with IPTV channels at Frankfurt Airport. The streaming of television and radio programmes is provided with the help of the DVB-to-IP gateways by Teracue. Signals, such as DVB-S/S2 and DVB-ASI are
Octoshape, Nagra partner for OTT Cloud streaming specialist Octoshape has partnered with content protection and multi-screen television solutions provider NAGRA to enable the secure and efficient delivery of broadcast TV via the Internet by integrating Infinite HD-M, the Octoshape suite of multicast technologies, into NAGRA’s multiscreen television solution, NAGRA MediaLive. The partnership will allow service providers to answer consumer demand for premium over-the-top (OTT) content with broadcast reliability and deliver the highest quality linear and
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Teracue lands at Frankfurt Airport streamed via IP using a multicast process with the hardware plug-in cards designed for robust 24/7 operation. “With our solution, there are DVB satellite signals, which we feed into the network in real-time as IPTV streams, sometimes in HD and sometimes in SD,” says Klaus SchultzFademrecht, manager of the networks department at Fraport. “Back in 2008, we started to convert the television and radio distribution at Fraport into an IPTV solution. As well as the enormous cost advantage, the low maintenance requirements and high degree of
on-demand content, whether free-to-air or high value assets, to a broad range of consumer devices without compromising security or video playback quality. “Adding Octoshape’s network into our multiscreen solution will enable an even higher quality end-user experience with a financially compelling offer for service providers by bringing more efficiency into the mix,” said Jean-Michel Puiatti, SVP multiscreen product unit of NAGRA. “This option brings a unique quality and economic value proposition through CDN cost optimisation to service providers that implement NAGRA MediaLive.”
scalability were decisive reasons for setting up an IPTV system.” In addition, the installed IPTV system is flexible enough to grow with its requirements. For example, in the early stages, set-up was only provided for SD distribution. The upgrade to HD only required replacement of the set-top boxes. According to Schultz-Fademrecht, the company is discovering new fields of application for which IPTV can be used. “We are currently integrating a centrally-controlled mute switch, which can be automatically sent to all connected set-top boxes in emergencies, for example when there is a fire alarm. No laborious expansions to the IPTV network were needed, even to set up this function. Only the Teracue management software ElementManager, which gives remote access to each individual set-top box needs to be upgraded to enable this global mute function. The examples of Fraport and Frankfurt Airport show how a cleverly used IPTV system can not only contribute to a varied offering of infotainment, but also to the safety of passengers.”
“The partnership with NAGRA creates the first demonstrable multicast enabled secure IPTV platform over both the public Internet and private networks globally,” said Michael Koehn Milland, CEO of Octoshape. “The combination of the award-winning innovation in the NAGRA MediaLive system with the quality, scale, and economic aspects of our multicast technologies will create an unbeatable consumer video experience on broadband connected devices and enable an enhanced and sustainable model for broadcast TV over broadband.” The integrated and end-to-
end Octoshape and NAGRA solution brings together NAGRA’s world-class content protection and multiscreen television management systems available through NAGRA MediaLive and Octoshape’s Infinite HD-M multicast network which enables the distribution of broadcast signals via native IP multicast without requiring that service providers upgrade their Internet capacity or expand their current on-net capital investments. The combined solution extends to devices such as PC, tablets and smartphones by using NAGRA’s secure player, NAGRA Media Player (NMP)
elivering the welcome speech at February's FTTH Conference in London, Karin Ahl, president of the FTTH Council Europe, confessed that some of the body's members did not think it appropriate to host the FTTH Conference in the UK because it did not qualify to be listed in the ranking of leading FTTH nations. “However, I am delighted it was chosen, not only because the facilities are great and organisation looks wonderful but also because one of the central issues facing our industry has crystallised most clearly in the UK,” she noted. “The issue concerns the choice of network in the short and medium term – and how today’s choices impact the long term future. The UK may end up being last in Europe because it has focused on a Fibre to the Cabinet solution. We could stick our heads in the sand and pretend this approach does not exist but frankly, that is not my style. We need to make the right decisions for the future, not
ones based on the past,” she declared. “Let’s be clear, the availability of FTTH, coupled to the services it enables, will help shape the economic future of our region. That is a fact! But like at the Olympics, there will be
Its proponents suggest that deployment of Fibre to the Home can play a significant role in boosting national economies as well as helping satisfy the burgeoning demand for bandwidth. Colin Mann finds out what measures are being proposed to help FTTH development and what obstacles lie in its path.
winners and there will be losers. Fibre to the Home wins the gold medal in the telecoms Olympics. It provides unparalleled speeds and capacity and can provide these in a way that is future-proof,” she asserted. “We often speak of the digital divide within individual countries, but our region risks being on the losing side of a global divide where our collective strength is eroded by other countries and regions more willing to invest in the future.” VISION. She suggested that Europe seemed to have lost some of its vision in this respect, and set out to rectify the situation. “I see a set of speed targets for 2020, which in some ways are ambitious but those targets in themselves do not amount to a vision. A lot of people thought the world might end on the 21st December 2012 but it didn’t and I don’t expect it to end in 2020 either. A vision needs to be long-term; it needs to see a better way of living or restructuring society over time to make the most of new technologies and services while remaining competitive on the global stage.” “Europe’s EU 2020 strategy identifies a number of deep seated and long-term challenges facing Europe. Among these challenges, an ageing society, falling productivity, how to generate economic growth
“The availability of FTTH, coupled to the services it enables, will help shape the economic future of our region.” Karin Ahl, FTTH Council Europe 16 IP television
and environmental sustainability are the most pressing and Fibre to the Home networks can be an enabling part of the solution. Of course the EU sees these challenges and even though they have run a variety of consultations about what should be done, the quality of the underlying networks simply doesn’t feature in their considerations, even though it is DG Connect that sets out the Commission’s view,” she advised. REMIT. “Part of our remit at the FTTH Council Europe is to promote the benefits of FTTH but also educate and influence decision makers so that there is a supportive legal framework and the right investments are made. We remain more committed than ever to do this during these challenging times,” she confirmed. “We in the Council used to have a saying: 'Build it once, build it right'. It’s a bit like the fable of the three little pigs who build their houses of straw, timber and brick. Well, we all know how it ended for the little piggies that didn’t think long term. They got eaten by
the wolf. The wolf here is the challenges that face Europe and the quality of the network in place is akin to the quality of houses being built.” “This is why policies matter. Countries are choosing to be FTTH or FTTC (in the Olympics that would mean gold or silver) and policy makers can and will continue to affect that business decision. Operators do not need an affirmation by policy makers of what could happen anyway. If there are to be policy interventions, then surely they must be about delivering a longer term vision that supports the needs of Europe, not necessarily in terms of the telecom sector per se, but rather in terms of broader economic and societal needs. We are actively working to try to drive some of these issues but changing the ingrained shorttermism of some operators and governments is a major challenge. We need to address this! We hope that coming to London will help trigger the discussion locally as well as in the rest of Europe,” she said. She challenged every delegate and speaker at the event, to work that little bit harder and look that little bit deeper. “Let’s ask the tough questions. Let’s face up to the problems and look to find new solutions to them. Let’s reject stale and close-minded thinking and open ourselves to new possibilities. Only then can we change the rules we play under in these tough markets and ultimately change the
COVER STORY economic destiny of our countries and region,” she declared. MESSAGES. Her challenge was taken up emphatically by Swedish MEP Gunnar Hökmark who presented his views on why Europe needs a real push for the deployment of ultrafast broadband. “I have three messages to deliver here today,” he stated. “First of all, new services, innovations and information flows must grow, flourish and create economic growth without being dependent on technological speeds and capacities of the past. Secondly, Europe needs to raise its game and ambitions if we are going to reap the benefits of the new digital revolution. Thirdly, Europe must talk less about megabytes and more about gigabytes.” “It took us 30 years from Thomas Alva
Fibre drives global broadband access forward As broadband subscribers approach 635 million globally, the latest figures published by the Broadband Forum and prepared by broadband industry analysts Point Topic reveal that hybrid fibre access (FTTx) has experienced the highest market gain over the past year. Of the 54m new broadband subscribers added in the year leading up to 3Q 2012, 26m are being served with fibre (48%). Overall, fibre deployments have now passed cable to account for 19.7% of the total broadband market. Despite facing harsh economic times, the overall broadband growth during the third quarter 2012 is estimated at over 12m lines. Oliver Johnson, CEO at Point Topic
Edison's invention of the electric bulb until we started to turn the lights downwards. The mindset of the candle light still kept us captured in the same way as cars and trains for a long time looked like horse carriages. Most new products or inventions use the design and logic of the past simply because our perceptions about the future are based on our experiences from the past,” he observed. “Our minds and understanding about the future have been shaped by the last 30 years. That’s why we underestimate the pace and magnitude of change and overvalue the structures of the past. We still talk about emerging economies although they already have emerged. In Sweden we still talk about the Swedish car industry although it is mainly Chinese. We still talk about the US as the
said: “As the world gradually emerges from financial turmoil, the continued growth of broadband has been a steady light in the storm. We won’t see the triple digit growth of old but many markets are entering a phase of consolidation and consumer multi-service alignment.” The Broadband Forum continues to expand its fibrerelated solutions, building on its comprehensive BroadbandSuite 5.0 release, which is a major resource for the fibre industry to facilitate and accelerate the deployment of PON. The Broadband Forum G-PON ONU (Optical Network Unit) Certification Programme – a world first initiative – is also expanding. The certification programme, known as BBF.247, is open to G-PON ONU products with Ethernet interfaces. This certification demon-
number one economy although European Union thanks to enlargements and the internal market is de facto the world's biggest economy. We still take it for granted that we are leading prosperity and welfare levels although the current crisis suggests that we are leading the global crisis,” he suggested. PHONOMENA. “The emergence of telecoms follows the same pattern regarding the 30 years delay. We still talk about distributing and coordinating frequencies every fourth year in the framework of the International Telecommunication Union, although the market is changing so much faster. Our logic and understanding about the future in telecoms sometimes still seems to be based in a time when an International call was more exciting than Christmas,” he noted.
strates that an ONU conforms to TR-156 and the associated OMCI configuration as defined in the ITU-T G.988, and provides vendors with the opportunity to test once and use their certification globally, saving testing cost and time as they compete in RFPs for business. Equally, it gives operators increased confidence in their vendor selection processes, another step towards providing truly interoperable solutions. “Our G-PON Certification program will help the industry expedite fibre network roll-out and pave the way for swift expansion of superfast broadband and the development of new technologies. It will enable next generation systems to come to the market faster and with interoperability from day one,” commented Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum.
The latest Broadband Forum work includes technical specifications related to Optical Access Nodes and associated test plans for conformance and inter-vendors interoperability. The ONU conformance testing programme is being expanded to address specific ONU profiles. Test plans are also developing around a proposed Broadband Forum G-PON ONU/OLT test suite, which establishes OLT network interoperability with BBF.247 certified ONUs. Furthermore, the G-PON test plans are being extended to XG-PON1, covering both Physical Layer and upper l ayers for ITU-T PON technology. Optical layer management for PON access and Layer 2 PON architecture and functional requirements are also in development, and projects on Intelligent Optical Distribution Networks (ODN) and Fibre to the Distribution Point (FTTdp) have just started. The FTTdp work is particularly exciting since it has the potential to speed up and simplify the installation of super-fast broadband. The Broadband Forum is working with the ITU-T to enable this new architecture, while ETSI is supporting the development by addressing the reverse powering aspects.
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Strong dynamism in FTTH markets Europe reported a solid 15% increase in the number of FTTH/B subscribers during second half 2012, according to research institute IDATE. FTTH/B coverage continues to progress fast in Europe with a growth of 12% in the period. There were nearly 7.3m FTTH/B subscribers in the EU-35 at mid-2012, and 33.8m homes passed. During 2012, several countries showed a real dynamism both in terms of coverage and take up rates. Turkey is leading the Top 5 dynamic countries in terms of percentage of new subscribers in the total FTTH/B subscriber basis, along with Ukraine, Spain, Bulgaria and Russia. The positioning of Spain – the only Western European country present in the list should be noted as the country has entered the European ranking only a few months ago and is facing an economic downturn. The success of FTTH/B is reinforced in such a difficult context, says IDATE. Elsewhere in Europe, pioneering Scandinavian countries, sometimes already considered as mature, are still leading the European market In Denmark, FTTH/B market growth is now higher than the mobile market growth. In Finland, FTTH/B connections are more and more considered as a utility and therefore often included in the apartment monthly rental.s In Sweden, new services are benefiting from a large FTTH/B coverage and an important take up rate: customers used to subscribe to a FTTH/B connection to be able
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to reach e-governance services provided by national entities and they are now turning to other services such as Video On Demand… finally, FTTH/B is a driver for video entertainment! On the other hand, Italy, which was also a pioneer in FTTH/B roll-outs, is beginning to lag behind. Some projects involving several players have been announced but none of them has entered into operation. The strategy unveiled by the incumbent doesn't put a strong accent on FTTH/B. The
Europe from those players, such as in the UK where rural cooperatives have succeeded in motivating citizens to be financially and/or 'physically' involved in roll-outs (e.g. the B4RN / Broadband For the Rural North project). Then, of course, incumbents are main players in all European countries now; they represent 38.4% of homes passed in EU35 at end 2012. The quite recent involvement of Turk Telekom in Turkey driven the dynamism of the country which was clearly
increase in terms of subscribers during 2012 is one of the lowest in Europe (10%), but the potential is still large (12.7% take up rate at end 2012, far from the EU35 average of 21.6%). In terms of players involved in FTTH/B projects, there was no upheaval in 2012. Alternative carriers are still leading the way, representing half of the total homes passed in EU35 at end 2012 (nearly 71% considering EU39). The number of local authorities launching FTTH/B roll-out projects on their territory is increasing a little bit more rapidly than other kinds of players but they still represent only some 11.6% of homes passed in EU35. However, we have noted some interesting projects in
dominated by the competitor Turckell/Superonline until then. The competition between those telcos will probably enhance the take up rate which is still lower than the European average at end 2012 (18.7% vs. 25.8%). In the UK, the situation is totally different. The incumbent BT has decided to deploy FTTC on a national scale. FTTH (mostly referred as FTTP in the UK) will now only be deployed 'on demand'. BT has been really aggressive in the past year and has now reached the same level of coverage as its main competitor, the cableco Virgin Media (13m homes passed with FTTC+VDSL). Apart from local projects, we do not see a very bright future for FTTH/B in UK. IDATE is now catching up
with important changes in the leading East European countries. Russia and Ukraine are the main markets, both in terms of subscribers and homes passed. This is mostly due to the demographic context in those countries. In Russia, several players are present on the national scale (Beeline, MTS, ERTelecom, Rostelecom), enhancing competition and driving tariffs down. Moreover, end users are migrating more rapidly because previous access solutions (copper networks) were not efficient enough. Sweden is still a leading FTTH/B market. E-governance is a real success there and citizens are now very confident in their FTTH/B connections to pay for new kind of services such as Video on Demand. Other TV services (linear TV) are most of the time included in the apartment monthly rental but customers are now ready to subscribe to new kind of services. In Sweden, the take up rate reaches 48.4% at end 2012, much higher than European average. Regarding the technology, Ethernet is still operator first choice across the EU and represented 78% of all FTTH/B roll-outs at end 2012. As for network architecture, the gap between FTTH and FTTB has increased during last quarter 2012 and now FTTB architecture represents 70% of roll-outs at end 2012 (compared to 62% six months earlier). Players are favouring an FTTB configuration as it allows them to avoid the issues that come with installing fibre on private property, and especially MDUs – i.e. having to negotiate with each property owner.
“If we look at the development over the last 30 years we have seen a new rapid emergence of telecoms connecting the world at a pace that no one could have believed, with capacities that no one would have dared to plan for and with services that we either didn’t foresee or rather saw as phenomena in the world of Flash Gordon. Just look at the figures: Mobile devices will outnumber humans this year, 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet in 2020. In 2016 networks will be carrying 130
Russia leads in Euro fibre race European fibre to the home (FTTH) deployment continues to grow steadily, but the gap between the leaders and laggards is increasing, according to the latest figures from the FTTH Council Europe, revealed during the industry organisation’s FTTH Conference. Russia has emerged as a clear fibre leader in the region. The country added 2.2m new FTTH subscribers in the second half of 2012 – more than all of the 27 Member States of the European Union combined – to reach a grand total of 7.5m fibre-connected homes. This corresponds to a dramatic increase in FTTH subscribers of more than 42%. Across the EU27 countries, the number of FTTH subscribers continued to grow at an accelerated rate of 15% in the second half of 2012. During this period, Europe added 820,000 subscribers in total, bringing the number of fibre-connected homes to 6.24m. Scandinavia, Baltic countries and the Netherlands contributed 26% of these new subscribers, Eastern European economies 33%, and France and Portugal 30%. The top five ‘dynamic’ economies, where not only subscriber growth in the past year was high but also where new 2012 subscribers represented the highest proportion
exabytes of data each year, equivalent to 33 billion DVDs. The Internet has changed the logics of media, politics, revolutions, culture, business and finance as well as the global economy and individual access to knowledge and information. The Internet has changed the world in the same way that electricity and the light bulbs changed the world more than 100 years ago.” “The remarkable thing is that we now, for the first time, are seeing a development where technical devices and services no longer are designed and created from the logic of the
past. Contrary to typewriters that later became computers, or mobile phones that were inspired by the traditional phone, today's tablets, smart phones or smart devices have been designed in line with the opportunities and the logic of today's modern information technologies. It is the information and knowledge services of today that are forming the design of the devices, not the logic of the past,” he claimed. CONCLUSIONS. “This leads me to my first conclusion that new services, innovations and information flows must be able to grow, flour-
of total subscribers at end2012, were Turkey, Ukraine, Spain, Bulgaria and Russia. In Turkey, subscribers more
with 22.6% of homes having FTTH subscriptions. In the ranking, 10 nations can now claim more than 10% FTTH
than doubled in the last year. Spain, new entrant in the FTTH ranking since June 2012, also confirmed its dynamism. In terms of household penetration, the dominant fibre nation remains Lithuania, which already has 100% coverage of FTTH and over 31% of homes connected to fibre. Sweden takes second place in the European FTTH Ranking,
penetration, up from seven in June 2012. In order from the top they are Lithuania, Sweden, Bulgaria, Latvia, Norway, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Denmark and Portugal. “Eastern Europe and Scandinavian countries have reinforced their position as fibre leaders, and the disparity between the early and late adopters is becoming even
more apparent,” said Karin Ahl, president of the FTTH Council Europe. “These FTTH leaders are gaining an economic advantage over their less well-connected neighbours. Good communications infrastructure helps to retain existing businesses and attract new ones. Fibred-up nations can make a head start on deploying new services like remote health care and smart grid technologies. Countries that delay the roll out of FTTH are looking at a serious lost opportunity to prepare for their economic future.” According to the FTTH Council, many of the major western economies are still dragging their feet over fibre. Italy and Spain remain at the bottom of the FTTH ranking, and once again, Germany and the UK failed to qualify. The number of fibre connected homes in the UK stands at less than 0.1%. The FTTH Market Panorama, which is updated twice a year by IDATE for the FTTH Council Europe, records the number of subscribers in each country across the continent of Europe, and ranks them according to the percentage of homes taking a direct fibre connection. The panorama includes both FTTH and fibre to the building or FTTB, an approach suited to apartment blocks where the building’s existing cabling can be used to make the final connection to the customer.
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“Europe must talk less about megabytes and more about gigabytes.” Gunnar Hökmark, MEP ish and create economic growth without being dependent on technological speeds and capacity of the past. We need new digital highways that can accommodate the growth generated by new services. If Europe wants to be in the lead, that is,” he remarked. “Because we all know what's at stake. We all know the enormous growth prospects for those economies that manage to tap into the new opportunities offered by the Internet. For example: A doubling of mobile data use leads to an increase of 0.5 percentage points in GDP per capita growth rates On average, ICT accounts for 6% of the
FTTH welcomes French broadband initiative The FTTH Council Europe has welcomed the announcement of the French government that it is to invest €20 billion into ultra-fast broadband infrastructure with a special focus on future-proof fibre in the coming years. The European Union government decided to reduce the broadband budget in the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) from €9 billion to €1 billion. According to Karin
20 IP television
EU’s GDP and the digital economy is growing at 7 times the rate. Internet economy has accounted for 21 % of GDP growth in the world’s most advanced economies in the past five years. If the Internet was a national economy, it would rank in the world’s top five But the big potential of the Internet economy lies in the productivity gains that it can offer to other sectors. When moving towards a cloud based economy these productivity gains will be even bigger in the future. Europe needs to act now if we want to lead this development. If we want to transform the competitiveness of our industries and our services sector, if we want the telecom and Internet industry to prosper and invest in Europe, if we want to kickstart European economy out of the crisis, if we want to attract investments from all over the world. If we want to create growth in Europe.” “If we are happy to be number three or four we can just follow what others are doing. And they will do and do, and do and do. This leads me to the second conclusion that Europe needs to raise its game and ambitions if we are going to reap the benefits of the new digital revolution Just look around the world: Only 20 % of the 2.1 billion Internet users in the world come from Europe. Economies such as South Korea, Japan and Hong-Kong are connecting their markets with fibre reaching around 50 % of the households today. China now has over 1 billion mobile phone users Russia has emerged as a clear fibre leader in our region, adding 2.2m new fibre subscribers in the second half of 2012 – more than all of Europe’s 27 Member States combined. This is all happening while only 1.3 per cent
Ahl, president of the FTTH Council Europe, in doing so, they missed an opportunity to make a strong statement towards the importance of broadband and of the Digital Agenda in Europe. “By reducing the CEF budget, the European governments also took the individual responsibility to ensure a positive investment framework for future-proof fibre broadband in their countries. With François Hollande’s announcement, France made a clear statement that it is willing to take this responsibility. The FTTH Council
of Europeans use lines that deliver 100 Mbps or more,” he lamented. FRAGMENTATION. “This is all happening while Europe's political vision is to deliver 30 Mbps to all and 100 Mbps to 50 per cent by 2020. This is all happening while Europe's telecom market is fragmented, suffering from 27 different rules, whether it is about copyright regimes or content distribution. Is this the right answer to getting Europe back on a growth path? Is this the right answer to ensure that Europe becomes the leading global hub for the Internet economy? Is this the right answer to drive investments to Europe,” he asked. “No. It is not! The true logic of the global economy is convergence which means that everything can happen anywhere. And it will happen were the best conditions are available. I want Europe to be home to this new digital revolution that will develop even more rapidly in the next 10 years than what we have seen in the last 10 years,” he declared. This led to his third conclusion: “Europe must talk less about megabytes and more about gigabytes. In Japan we have already seen laboratory experiences transmitting information via fibre with a speed of 14 trillion bytes a second. That will not be the everyday reality tomorrow, but tells us something of how rapidly the borders and the limitations are changing. In South-Korea, 1 Gigabyte is becoming normal. In the rural village of Sunne in the forests deep in Sweden they have 1 Gigabyte. In a small community in Arkholme — a tiny village in the UK, they have one Gigabyte. And when I am at my country house in the most Southern Sweden I have a higher speed by 4G than at home in the centre of Stockholm with fixed broadband,” he reported.
Europe welcomes this decision and hopes that other EU countries will follow the example of France very soon,” she stated. Ahl had earlier expressed disappointment that the EU Member States did not agree on the digital part of the Connecting Europe Facility. “By reducing the financial envelope down to €1 billion for telecommunications there will be no room for the support of fibre infrastructure investments. The decision shows that there still is a lack of understanding of European Governments on the impor-
tance of future-proof broadband networks. Governments all over the world increase their efforts to ensure the availability of real broadband connections for their citizens. Therefore the European Union has just missed an important chance to make the right decision, not only for the years to come but also, and more importantly, for the future of a competitive Europe,” she stated. She confirmed that the FTTH Council Europe would continue its efforts to create awareness for the importance of fibre access networks in Europe.
Successful service strategies for FTTH operators One of the arguments often used to defer or avoid deployment of fibre networks is that there is no evidence of demand for ultra-high-speed services and applications. But a study commissioned by the FTTH Council Europe shows that this perception does not match the reality. Benoît Felten at Diffraction Analysis analysed the subscriber growth of a number of established FTTH service providers. The most significant factor influencing the take-up rate was the length of time that the business had been in operation. This can be explained by the simple fact that the service can only grow in places where the infrastructure has already been deployed. As the potential customer base expands, marketing becomes
more effective, and the number of people taking the service increases accordingly. While demand builds up fairly gradually, the research shows that there is no inherent problem with demand. Interestingly, this finding was independent of the strategy being pursued by the FTTH service provider. Essentially there are three strategies: Players following 'acquisition' strategies aim to maximise the number of customers through aggressive pricing. At the opposite extreme are service providers following 'premium' strategies, who position their products at premium end of the market. And there are service providers who fall somewhere in between, typically because their pricing is constrained by competition and the local market. The study also showed that service providers offer a wider range of services over FTTH, with triple-play being standard. While most service port-
TARGETS. “If Europe wants to be a global leader in the new Internet economy we must set ambitious targets,” he declared, echoing Ahl's 'Vision'. “In 2020, I want all Europeans to be connected to 100 Mbps, with at least 50 per cent of the households connected to 1 Gbps.” He noted previous progress in this area: “The radio spectrum programme for which I was responsible will play a crucial role in releasing more spectrum for mobile services. Europe has set a world-leading target of identifying 1.200 MHz for mobile broadband. Europe must now deliver on these targets. We have put new rules in place to get rid of the roaming problem. From 2014, consumers will be able to connect their iPad or iPhones directly to a local operator within any Member State, without having to roam back via their national network. We have put in place some important competition triggers such as local loop unbundling.” He accepted that much more was needed to be done. “Investments in fixed lines are crucial if we should reap the benefits of the new digital revolution. As we move towards a cloud based universe consumers and business
folios centre on content, some enterprising service providers have expanded into home automation and security, and healthcare and education services are on the horizon. Others have formed partnerships with over-the-top service providers to speed up the introduction of new services. The wider choice in services is one reason that FTTH subscribers purchase more services and add-ons, such as video on demand, than DSL customers do. The other reason is improved stability and instantaneous access, which makes the user experience more reliable and comfortable, and in turn leads to higher consumption. The increase in user activity typically translates into significantly higher average revenues per user (ARPU) for the service provider. Among the sample in the study, FTTH ARPUs were on average 47% higher than DSL ARPUs for the
wants to access high-speed Internet anywhere and everywhere without caring about the particular access. The fixed network needs the mobile and vice versa,” he said. “Take the example of Stockholm, the pre-existence of an extensive fibre network throughout Stockholm has allowed 4G mobile broadband competition to a degree not seen anywhere else in the world yet. I have received the Industry Committees support for ensuring that networks which are funded via the EU budget should deliver 100 Mbps to rural areas and 1 gigabyte to urban areas. Although the money for funding telecommunication infrastructure has been severely reduced by heads of state in the latest EU budget compromise, I want these criteria to be a template for public broadband investments in Europe. At the same time, it is the market players that should continue to be the main drivers in Europe's broadband deployment. A fully competitive landscape is the best way to nurture innovations, lower consumer costs and better user experience. Updating old copper networks is not a long-term solution. Instead of continuing to invest in the copper network, we must
same service provider (or, where unavailable, in the same market); and can be much higher. However, the chosen service strategy of the FTTH operator has a big effect on the ARPU. 'Premium' FTTH service providers had ARPUs on average 280% higher than those following an 'acquisition' strategy. The difference in revenues between competitive and incumbent service providers also turned out to be notable. Competitive players, on average, had ARPUs only 21% higher than the average DSL ARPUs whereas incumbents had ARPUs 71% higher. Competitive players are more likely to drive acquisition through aggressive pricing, whereas incumbents often take a cautious approach to the transition to fibre infrastructure – partly because they cannot offer the new, improved services to all customers simultaneously.
drive investments from the copper network, to fibre networks with unlimited speeds and capacity. The fibre networks must be open and accessible for all services that want to use it. We need to continue to open up spectrum for mobile services. The 700 Mhz band should be opened up for mobile services and licences should be awarded on a pan European basis. More capacity is also needed in the 5 GHz band to enable a continued growth for short-range connections such as WiFi. Finally, we need reforms driving content such as combating fragmentation in European digital markets, addressing especially fragmented IP rights. If Europe is to be home to the new digital revolution where new services and innovations create prosperity and economic growth, we need to have the fastest broadband speeds in the world. To generate growth and to get out of the crisis, Europe must display leadership regarding the Internet, broadband, mobile data traffic and other services. All governments know that. The European Commission knows that. The industry knows it. And the rest of the world knows. All we have to do is to act, and we have to act now,” he concluded.
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seven years on from that, it has evolved into a very competitive and complex business. Many – including us now provide content media management, transcoding, stream-
solution overcomes the limitations of the network.” “Increasing the ability of the network is certainly a defining characteristic of CDN,” agrees Jaques Le Mancq, president and CEO
Service providers are under increasing competitive pressure to get content to the consumer across many devices with excellent QoE and comprehensive functionality. A provider can no longer be a passive carrier but must be an active intermediary and the CDN is central to the process.
he term Content Delivery Network seems to cover a pretty broad waterfront from self-service Internet provision to major, complex, enterprise solutions. When we gathered three CDN experts in London, we began asking them for some defining characteristics for the CDN. “In the beginning CDN just meant servers that provided streaming on the public Internet,” says Matt Vidmar, chairman and CTO of Vision247, “now, I would say about
nanoCDN from Broadpeak nanoCDN is a patented video delivery technology that leverages Broadband Gateways and Set-Top-Boxes to make them an extension of cable and telecom operators CDNs into their subscribers' home network. The first application revolutionises live TV OTT delivery by removing all the hurdles related to peak hour consumption: whatever the number of viewers, the same amount of bandwidth is used over the network. By using subscriber’s
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ing and even payment handling. The ordinary transit business represents less and less as margins have been reduced. We now provide the complete capability to an operator to run their channels and on demand portals.” EFFICIENCY. George Mikeladze, business development director for Qarva, notes their business is about boosting QoE and efficiency over the network for OTT and IPTV services so they can compete with cable and other providers. “A big example of improved efficiency is to make the channel change time match that of broadcast. If people have to wait seconds for channel change that’s unattractive – we have reduced that to 0.2 seconds. Our
home broadband gateways or STBs as part of the Content Delivery Network infrastructure, nanoCDN makes live OTT video delivery to any device truly scalable. Cable and telecom operators deploying nanoCDN technology leverage their subscriber’s home network to cost-effectively deliver high-quality, live OTT video services to millions of simultaneous viewers using only a few megabits per second from the operator’s network. nanoCDN provides operators with a unique differentiator with respect to traditional CDN players when it comes to deploying operatorCDN at the best cost. nanoCDN is a technology that relies on the usage of home network equipment as elements
of Broadpeak, “and scalability is a key attribute. With OTT the consumption rate is exploding, and the latest demonstration of that was the Olympics in London when the consumption ran as high as 700Gbs for live TV online; that’s 10 times higher than for Beijing in 2008.” Surely a factor working against efficiency in the network is the myriad of streaming formats? “For many of our customers we are facilitating the same content will delivered at least in four protocols and under each protocol with typically five bit rates, so that’s 20 streams of the same content. And for VOD we would typically have at least three file formats. We hope
of the CDN, allowing to leverage on these equipment resources to boost the video delivery capabilities of a CDN. www.broadpeak.tv
Qarva Qarva technology represents unique and innovative software designed and developed to provide an immediate enhancement of an IPTV service or ecosystem and, as a result, improve viewer QoE. The dynamic expansion of the IPTV industry presents many
ROUND TABLE DLNA, driven by the CE side of the business, will help,” says Vidmar. “I don’t think three or four formats is too difficult to handle,” comments Le Mancq, “and anyway it is unlikely any one version is going to emerge any time soon.” PERFORMANCE. “I do think these different protocols can give performance problems that’s why we have our proprietary protocol for distribution through CDN nodes – it means we do have to have clients running on each device, a custom player, to optimise performance and efficiency,” declares Mikeladze. “There are so many devices with so many applications we think it better not to touch it, so we take a cloud approach,” explains Le Mancq, “and we optimise everything in the network.” LATENCY. “I agree,” says Vidmar, “our priority when developing our system was we had to deal with low power legacy set top boxes, so the only way to provide, say, user PVR – and all the smart features – was to run them in the cloud. We have also developed proprietary methods for dealing with latency in the network and reducing it to be comparable with other delivery systems, this is very important for sports or news services.” “For me the cloud is more marketing hype than reality because previously it was called the network and load balancing, the cloud is just an elastic network potentially spread
opportunities for market growth through simple, cost effective service enhancements. This is where Qarva technology’s fundamental value lies. Qarva is designed to be market impacting, cost reducing and bottom line enhancing. Using native C++ based software makes Qarva’s products and solutions blazing fast. Novel technologies eliminate traditional integration challenges and offer unique solutions. Designed and developed with the viewers wishes balanced against customer needs to improve QoS, Qarva has a direct positive effect on capital and operating expenses, decreasing churn and increasing ARPU through improved QoE. Operators, middleware clients, software integrators and suppliers all find Qarva technology’s unique products and solutions cost benefitting and service enhancing. Please visit our products page for more information about how Qarva technology’s products and solutions offer the capability to cost effectively strengthen your market position. www.qarva.com
across more servers, ” comments Mikeladze. The challenge to CDNs is clearly getting harder as services and service sophistication proliferates; content formats, multiple file management, different streaming technologies, variable network performance, transaction management, all populate the CDN provider’s inbox. And yet network providers and content suppliers often regard them as ‘just’ a unit of the cost of delivery, there to be squeezed as hard as possible on costs. How CDN’s provide value and still make a profit? “We believe the ultimate CDN providers will be the network providers and our products have helped providers have an edge, for example Telecom Argentina played the Copa America over the net and were able to provide it to others like Telefonica. But it is difficult for networks to be successful CDN providers. Multi-screen is being provided but it is very hard to monetise, also they are coming late to the market and you need to innovate. If you go to Akamai, you see they are deploying something like 105,000 servers, so even as a large operator it is hard to get a return on anything like an equivalent investment,” says Le Mancq. “We believe they can compete but they have to realise what their real assets are: they have a managed network and they have deployed millions of servers; the home gateways and the set top boxes. Each one is a server – it has a CPU – it’s got some kind of
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storage and it is connected, perhaps with DLNA, to the rest of the home. This is what we term a nano CDN network and it means network service providers can be best placed to implement their own CDN.” “I agree, the new CDN model is the use of the third party server model,” declares Vidmar, “not create a gigantic overhead in servers. The CDN should run the core hub server but distribution has to be in partnership with network operators. What you are selling is essentially a reduction on their backbone load, which is a direct cost reduction.” “When it comes to CDN global or local for now it will be split. Small operators will need to use a global service, whereas big operators will benefit from having their own private CDN. I think some standardised CDN protocols need to be introduced and then you can get some real cooperation, partnerships, between global and local. Ultimately we need a common language like HTML for content.” comments Mikeladze. “Certainly the main problem is the operators are providing CDN heavy services as a defence against OTT and, therefore, there isn’t a big business case for investing in CDN even though they do have a major traffic problem. We have to provide cost-effective solutions that make use of the investment they have already made in managed networks and CPE,” says Le Mancq.
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From Barcelona to Sunnyvale: Mobile video zeitgeist Howard Greenfield reports on three start-ups in the mobile video space obile World Congress, the big Kahuna of mobile technology in Barcelona in late February, showcased the newest trends from across the planet. But back in Silicon Valley, developments just as compelling continued apace. Last year (along with hun-
dreds of other Einsteins) I cleverly coined ‘Video is the New Text’ as my column title about edX, the MIT/Harvard e-video initiative. This year, new interactive services are increasingly at our fingertips in the living room as well as the subway. The multi-screen proliferation of video content from TV to PC and mobile devices is leaving no stone unturned. Its rampage is foisting power and control upon the masses foreseen only by forward-looking geeks just two years ago. These capabilities are luring consumers with new creative mobile production tools. So, as all things cloud-based this and cloud-based that are being extolled, it’s striking how many tangible mobile apps and services—risk-taking innovations betting on new media - are
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poised to become lucrative business models. And they will pop if their execution is as brilliant as their seed idea. As proof points, consider just one tiny grouping from Silicon Valley: WeVideo Box, and YesVideo - and one more for good measure from New York City - Vine.
The first, WeVideo, is a former Norwegian startup that moved to the US, pulled down $20m in Series A funding last year, and has built out a web video editing service. The company has already delivered a YouTube editor, Google drive partnership, and Disney promotion of The Avengers movie release that lets movie fans create custom movie trailers. Located in Palo Alto, its application includes a story-board UI, timeline lay-outs for experts, as well as a ‘super simple’ mode for beginner, or lay editors. WeVideo even lets you select video clips and graphics from Facebook, Instagram, and Dropbox for editing. “We are the first to truly deliver an Instagram video experience,” says CEO Jostein
Svendsen, who adds that the company’s vision is to help consumers create great videos “from anywhere and on any device”. Enterprise cloud storage company Box, is an unusual application enabler in this mix. At the February Tablet Strategy West conference in San Francisco, Chris Yeh, VP of Platform Engineering, explained the US/Canada National Hockey League’s (NHLPA) team video project. For one month, five league players used BlackBerry PlayBooks to make reality videos of their lives which were then edited into webisodes featured during the 2012 hockey season. Using an app created specially for the PlayBook, players uploaded their daily video files to Box where NHLPA editors produced up-to-the minute content. The NHLPA believes this has built a larger audience by creating more engagement with hockey fans everywhere. Yeh also referenced his company’s free 5GB storage offer – and pointed out consumers should look out for the regular 50 GB free specials that Box runs from time to time. Another Palo Alto company, YesVideo, claims over 5m customers have used its service since 1999 to transfer videotapes to DVD and online. Its iPhone app allows consumers to access personal video on-the-go. Michael Chang, CEO, formerly head of Greystripe, recently remarked in TechCrunch that he believes video cloud storage will become free. He believes Google is best positioned to fund such an initiative, but that Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu are also empowering consumers to “take part in their content” with interactive features that let them create their clips in the
Howard Greenfield is strategic director of business development at NXP Software and president of Go Associates, a global consulting firm helping companies bring technology to market. He is co-author of IPTV & Internet Video, Second Edition (Focal Press/ NAB). He may be reached at howard@ go-associates.com.
shadow of media professionals. One more proof point from New York is Vine. Amidst many random industry developments “a real trend is short video sharing happening with services like Vine,” notes Ben Bajarin, principal analyst with Creative Strategies in Silicon Valley. There are many services with the premise of short-burst video sharing, and this “six plus second burst of video will scale and inevitably put increased pressure on the network provider infrastructure,” suggests Bajarin. Sound like Twitter? That’s because it is. Vine was acquired by Twitter last year even before it had launched its service. More than long-form video, this trend is likely to be a part of the mobile video experience taking place outside the house. Bajarin believes we’ll see more and more new over the top video services break onto the scene. It’s clear that people will be able to consume the same programming and more on their PCs, Smartphones, and tablets as they do on their TV. “A world like this,” says Bajarin, “has never existed, and it’s just around the corner.”
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RESEARCH IPTV heads for 18% of pay-TV market The worldwide Pay-TV market grew at a steady pace in 2012, generating $238 billion by endof-year, up from $223 billion in 2011, according to ABI Research’s Pay-TV ARPU and Revenues Market Data. The global Pay-TV market is expected to generate $304 billion in 2018 with a CAGR of 4%. Service revenue contributions from cable TV are proving mixed. The Asia-Pacific region saw service revenue growth due to underlying increase in subscriptions. However, cable TV operators in North America are experiencing a decline in service revenue as result of a contracting subscriber base, despite cable TV innovations such as DVR and HDTV. Globally, IPTV is gaining market share year-over-year while the rest of the pay-TV platforms are slowly contracting. IPTV service revenue market share increased from 10% in 2011 to 11.5% in 2012. Cable TV market share dropped to 47% in 2012 from 48.5% in 2011 while satellite TV market share dropped around 1%. “Availability of super-fast broadband networks and bundle offers from telcos over high-speed networks are driving the growth of IPTV adoption. IPTV market share is expected to increase to 18 per cent in 2018, to generate $53 billion in revenue,” according to Jake Saunders, VP and practice director of core forecasting.
13-fold growth in mobile data According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2012 to 2017, worldwide mobile data traffic will increase 13-fold over the next four years, reaching 11.2 exabytes
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per month (for an annual run rate of 134 exabytes) by 2017. The expected steady increase in mobile traffic is partly due to continued strong growth in the number of mobile Internet connections (personal devices and machine-to-machine applications), which will exceed the world’s population (United Nations estimates 7.6 billion) by 2017. The forecast’s annual run rate of 134 exabytes of mobile data traffic is equivalent to: 134 times all the Internet Protocol traffic (fixed and mobile) generated in the year 2000, or 30 trillion images (e.g., via MMS or Instagram) — 10 images daily from each person on earth for one year, or 3 trillion video clips (e.g., YouTube) — one video clip daily from each person on earth over one year. The projected 2012 to 2017 global mobile data traffic increase represents a compound annual growth rate of 66%. The incremental amount of traffic being added to the mobile Internet just between 2016 and 2017 is 3.7 exabytes per month, which is more than four times the estimated size of the entire mobile Internet in 2012 (885 petabytes per month). During the 2012 to 2017 forecast period, Cisco anticipates that global mobile data traffic will outpace global fixed data traffic by a factor of three. The following major trends are driving global mobile data traffic growth: More mobile users: By 2017, there will be 5.2 billion mobile users (up from 4.3 billion in 2012). More mobile connections: By 2017, there will be more than 10 billion mobile devices/connections, including more than 1.7 billion M2M connections (up from
7 billion total mobile devices and M2M connections in 2012). Faster mobile speeds: Average global mobile network speeds will increase seven-fold from 2012 (0.5 Mbps) to 2017 (3.9 Mbps). More mobile video: By 2017, mobile video will represent 66% of global mobile data traffic (up from 51% in 2012). In terms of the impact of Mobile Devices/Connections: Smartphones, laptops, and tablets will drive 93% of global mobile data traffic by 2017. M2M traffic (such as GPS systems in cars, asset tracking systems, medical applications, etc.) will represent 5% of 2017 global mobile data traffic. Basic handsets will account for the remaining 2% of global mobile data traffic in 2017. In 2012, 14% of all mobile-connected devices/connections (1 billion) were IPv6-capable. By 2017, 41% of all
mobile data traffic was offloaded (428 petabytes/month). By 2017, 46% of total mobile data traffic will be offloaded (9.6 exabytes/month). In terms of mobile data traffic growth rates over the forecast period, the Middle East and Africa region is projected to have the highest regional growth rate. Below is how each of the regions ranks in terms of growth rate by 2017: The Middle East and Africa: 77% CAGR (17.3-fold growth) Asia-Pacific: 76% CAGR (16.9-fold growth) Latin America: 67% CAGR (13.2-fold growth) Central and Eastern Europe: 66% CAGR (12.8fold growth) North America: 56% CAGR (9.4-fold growth) Western Europe: 50% CAGR (7.6-fold growth) In terms of mobile data traffic generation, the Asia-Pacific region is projected to generate the most mobile data traffic. This is the regional rank in
mobile-connected devices/connections (4.2 billion) will be IPv6-capable. To address the rise in demand for mobile Internet, and to address the lack of available new mobile spectrum and the expense and complexity of adding new macrocell sites, service providers are increasingly looking to offload traffic to fixed or Wi-Fi networks. In 2012, 33% of total
terms of anticipated mobile data traffic generation by 2017: Asia-Pacific: 5.3 exabytes/month North America: 2.1 exabytes/month Western Europe: 1.4 exabytes/month The Middle East and Africa: 0.9 exabytes/month Central and Eastern Europe: 0.8 exabytes/month
Latin America: 0.7 exabytes/month The average mobile connection is expected to increase sevenfold from 2012 to 2017. Mobile connection speeds are a key factor in supporting mobile data traffic growth. Cisco notes that many global mobile carriers are deploying 4G technologies to address consumer and business users’ demands for wireless services. In many emerging markets, carriers are creating new mobile networks with 4G solutions. In mature markets, carriers are supplementing or replacing legacy (2G/3G) networks with 4G technologies. The Cisco Mobile VNI study now projects the growth and impact of 4G. In 2012, 2G supported 76% of global mobile devices/M2M connections; 3G supported 23%; and 4G supported 1%. By 2017, 2G networks will support 33% of global mobile devices/M2M connections; 3G networks will support 57%; and 4G networks will support 10%. In 2012, 4G connections accounted for 14% (124 petabytes/month) of mobile data traffic. By 2017, 4G connections will account for 45% (5 exabytes/month) of mobile data traffic. In 2012, the average 4G connection generated 2.1 gigabytes of mobile data traffic per month, which is 19 times the 0.110 gigabytes/month for the average non-4G connection. By 2017, 4G traffic will grow 40-fold, a 109% CAGR. Doug Webster, vice president of service provider networking marketing, Cisco, noted that by 2017, global mobile data traffic would continue its “truly remarkable” growth, increasing 13-fold over the next five years, to reach an amount more than 46 times the total amount of mobile IP traffic just a few years ago in 2010. “With such dramatic adoption, we are rapidly approaching the time
when nearly every network experience will be a mobile one and, more often than not, a visual one as well. This trend is a result of the seemingly insatiable demand by consumers and businesses alike to achieve the benefits gained when connecting people, data, and things in an Internet of Everything,” he concluded. *An exabyte is a unit of information or computer storage equal to one quintillion bytes.
IPTV increases Canadian market share IPTV in Canada is rapidly gaining momentum at the expense of incumbent cable and satellite services, with IPTV’s share of pay-TV subscriptions in the country rising to nearly to 10% in the third quarter of 2012. IPTV accounted for 9.6% of Canadian pay-TV video subscriptions in the third quarter, according to IHS Screen Digest Television Intelligence, from information and analytics provider IHS. This is up from 6.6% during the third quarter of 2011, and from 1.6% in the third quarter of 2007. Such an expansion will set the pace for IPTV’s portion of Canada’s subscriber base to rise to 18.1% by the end of 2017, in the process causing the combined share of competitive technologies—cable and satellite—to fall to 81.9%. “Canadian telcos are adding IPTV subscribers at a rapid clip as Telus and Bell Canada engage in large-scale buildouts of their infrastructure in order to reach more potential customers,” said Erik Brannon, analyst for television research at IHS. “IPTV will continue to make strong gains in Canada in the coming years, eroding the dominant position now held by the cable and satellite services.” Just as in the United States, IPTV's growth in Canada has come at the expense of cable and, to a lesser extent, satellite. Both cable and satellite continued to lose subscribers in the third quarter of 2012, each experiencing a 2% year-
over-year decline in subscriber growth compared to the third quarter of 2011. The response from Canadian cable operators has been muted so far, but there are signs they are not staying idle as subscribers go elsewhere. For example, Shaw Cable is betting on its massive Wi-Fi hot spot roll-out to reduce churn for its broadband service, and ultimately its video subscribers. Broadband service at Shaw is becoming a valuable component to its bundled services and will play a pivotal role in retaining pay-TV subs. Bell Canada in the third quarter reported explosive growth for its IPTV service, Fibe TV. Fibe TV added 42,973 net new customers to pass 200,000 for the first time, with net additions in the same quarter of 2011 amounting to 20,297. The company now accounts for 18% of IPTV subscribers in Canada, leaving Aliant, SaskTel and Manitoba Telecom (MTS) each with less than 10% of the market. Telus remains Canada's IPTV giant, holding 56% of the total Canadian IPTV market, with its service capturing 43% of the third quarter's IPTV growth. SaskTel, the first IPTV operator to enter the market in 2002, together with MTS held nearly an equal share of IPTV subscribers until Telus leapt ahead in 2010. If the rapid uptake of IPTV services from Bell Canada and Telus is any indication, there will be significant pressure upon incumbent pay-TV operators when they enter new markets. As a whole, Canada’s payTV industry has been able to fend off the threat from OTT services in large part due to strict data caps and limited OTT options. However, the situation could change if data caps start to loosen up and broadband subscribers continue to increase. Netflix, for instance, now has more than 1 million subscribers in Canada,
even though its content offerings are still relatively limited compared to the United States.
Streaming gaining with traditional viewers According to The NPD Group, while traditional pay TV operators and broadcast networks still dominate the consumer television landscape, new options are emerging, from subscription video on demand (SVoD), to electronic sellthrough (EST), to free TV streaming. According to the firm, while SVOD drives the most online TV streams by far, the incidence of consumers who used SVOD and free streaming in 2012 was relatively equal. According to NPD’s Free Streaming TV report, 12% of US TV watchers reported streaming TV shows for free during the prior three months, compared to 14% who watched a TV show via SVOD. “Over half of the viewers for streaming TV are between the ages of 18 and 34, so the YouTube generation is evolving from short-form and user-generated content to TV shows and, like YouTube, they can watch where and when they want,” said Russ Crupnick, senior vice president of industry analysis at NPD. “Despite the attention lavished on tablets and phones, an astonishing 83 per cent of free TV streaming programmes are viewed on a computer.” Nearly all US broadcast and cable TV networks offer free streaming of their programming via the Internet; however, based on NPD’s latest information, consumer usage of freestreaming TV sites varies. Hulu.com dominated free streaming TV, accounting for 43% of total streams during 2012. After Hulu, the five broadcast network sites (CBS.com, ABC.com, FOX.com, NBC.com, and CWTV.com) accounted for another 30% of total streams. Four cable TV sites - abcfamily.com, comedycentral.com, MTV.com, and
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A&ETV.com - round out the topten free streaming TV sites. NPD’s research shows that streaming consumers are very satisfied overall with the experience. All of the top 10 free streaming sites have strong consumer feedback with 75% or more of each of these site’s users reporting that they intend to return to the site in the future. Hulu.com, in particular, has very committed users, given that two-thirds say that they “definitely” will return to the site. These free sites generally perform well on convenience and site organisation. Most of them also perform well on current release availability; however, Fox.com streamers rate the site much lower on this measure, due to the fact that Fox generally delays availability of its programming. “The consumer response to programme availability on Fox, speaks to the often-controversial question of whether the audience detects shows that are windowed,” Crupnick said. Based on NPD’s findings, the shift toward Internet video distribution drives a more complex and diverse set of content and purchase and rental options to consumers. With it comes a more diverse set of direct and indirect competitors among movie studios and TV networks, as well as their TV and digital distribution partners. According to Crupnick, “from the consumer perspective, it is important to monitor the habits and perceptions of the audience as all of these distribution models evolve, which will help align programming to the target audience and inform whether consumers are responding positively to the experience these options provide.”
Online video market maturing According to digital measurement and analytics specialist comScore, the coming year will present marketers with a range of opportunities to connect and engage with consumers. The findings are contained in
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the 2013 U.S. Digital Future in Focus report. This annual report examines how the prevailing trends in social media, search, online video, digital advertising, mobile and e-commerce are defining the current digital marketplace and what these trends mean for the year ahead. “2013 is poised to be digital’s most exciting year yet as the growing ubiquity of digital platforms presents marketers with nearly endless opportunities to connect and engage with consumers,” said Linda Abraham, comScore CMO and EVP of global product development. “It’s clear that the dynamics of the marketplace have fundamentally evolved through the adoption of smartphones and tablets and the increasingly ‘digital’ nature of all media. Navigating this changing landscape requires a holistic understanding of the key trends, underlying drivers and new opportunities that the digital ecosystem will bring in the year ahead.” Among the key insights from the report: Online Video Brings TV Dollars to Digital as Consumers Become More Platform Agnostic – The US online video market also shows signs of maturing from a consumption standpoint, but monetisation is picking up steam as YouTube ramps up advertising efforts while traditional media players find success with TV commercial content. Because the demand for high-impact video advertising exceeds the available inventory, look for continued momentum on the advertising side – particularly as targeting improves. Digital Advertising Improves Accountability in Quest for Print and TV Ad Dollars – Nearly 6 trillion display ad impressions were delivered across the web in 2012 as brand marketers have become increasingly comfortable with a medium capable of delivering strong
marketing ROI. Despite delivering so many impressions, comScore research showed that an average of 3 in 10 ads are never rendered in-view, leading to significant waste, weaker campaign performance and a glut of poor-performing inventory that imbalances the supply-and-demand equation and depresses CPMs. Through the continued adoption of a viewable impressions standard, the market is beginning to embrace a digital scarcity model that better aligns monetisation with the value created by the inventory. Smartphone and Tablets Carve Out Space in MultiPlatform Digital Media Landscape – Smartphones continued to drive the mobile landscape in 2012, finally reaching 50% market penetration in 2012. The Android platform also hit a 50% milestone as it captured the majority of the smartphone market for the first time. Meanwhile, tablets continued to gain traction, with 52.4m US tablet owners as of December 2012. The rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets, and consumers’ increasing use thereof, has resulted in a fragmented digital media landscape where the typical consumer now shares his time across multiple screens.
Over 80% watch online video at home Innovations in technology, a multitude of connected devices, and evolutions in the media distribution landscape have provided more ways than ever to consume media across different screens, whether at home, at work, or on-the-go. To understand how consumers around the world are responding to this fragmented media environment, Nielsen surveyed online consumers across the globe on their multi-screen media usage, device ownership and purchase
intentions, Internet access points, and how they see mobile technology’s role in the future. Nielsen’s Global Survey of Multi-Screen Media Usage of more than 28,000 Internet respondents in 56 countries indicates that watching video content on computers has become just as popular as watching video content on television among online consumers, with over 80% reporting watching video content at home on a computer (84%) or on TV (83%) at least once a month. By contrast, in 2010, more online consumers reported watching video content on TV (90%) than on a computer (86%) in a month-long period. While the in-home TV and computer are still the most popular devices to watch video content, usage and growth in online and mobile technologies is making a sustained impact. Three-quarters (74%) of global respondents report watching video via the Internet (on any device), up four points since 2010, and over half of global online consumers (56%) say they watch video on a mobile phone at least once a month and 28% at least once a day. Online video consumption is likely to continue its rise, as consumers are increasingly connecting to the Internet at high speeds. More than half (57%) of online respondents around the world indicate they own a computer with highspeed online access—an increase of four points since 2010, and an additional 16% say they plan to purchase one within the next year. While tablets are an emerging category with lower levels of penetration than smartphones, global consumers are exhibiting increased interest around these devices. According to the survey findings, 12% of online respondents worldwide own a tablet today—up over 70% from the seven% who reported ownership in 2010.
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US growth decelerates in Q4 The growth of the US IPTV market continued to decelerate in the fourth quarter of 2012, as a consequence of the impact of Hurricane Sandy and the slowing expansion of Verizon's FiOS service. The two major US IPTV players, Verizon and AT&T, reported a combined gain of 326,000 video subscribers in the fourth quarter, down 19% from the 402,000 acquired during the same period in 2011, according to the IHS Screen Digest Television Intelligence Service at information and analytics provider IHS. This marked the second consecutive year of slowing subscriber growth in the fourth quarter, with the total for the last three months of 2011 down 7% from 430,000 in 2010. For the entire year of 2012, net subscriber adds for the two U.S. IPTV services amounted to 1.3m, down 14% from 1.5m in 2011. Through to 2017, both major US IPTV players will continue to see their subscriber gains moderate as the market becomes more mature. By 2017, IHS Screen Digest expects that IPTV in the United States will account for 13.4m pay-TV households, or 10.8% of all pay-TV subscribers. “Verizon's FiOS accounted for the majority of the slowdown, as the fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) service added only 134,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2012, down from the 194,000 gained during same period in 2011,” said Erik Brannon, senior analyst for television research at IHS. “The disruption caused by Hurricane Sandy may have slowed FiOS’s progress. However, the major reason for the deceleration is that FiOS is largely finished expanding its footprint into new geographic areas of the United States. FiOS’s penetration is significantly higher than that of U-verse, causing longterm growth to slow for Verizon's IPTV service.” FiOS in 2012 increased its
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video subscriber base by 553,000 to reach 4.7m, up 13.3% from 4.2m in 2011. This represents a 21% reduction from the 701,000 increase in 2011. FiOS’s video penetration now stands at 33.3%, compared to 31.5% at the end of 2011. Nevertheless, the largest US IPTV provider grew its video subscriber base by 13.3% in 2012. AT&T continues to maintain its growth in its U-verse video services, as 192,000 subscribers joined in the fourth quarter of 2012, only 8,000 less than during the same period in 2011. U-verse video subscribers grew 19.6% for the year and now stand at 4.53m, closing in on FiOS’s total video subscribers. With a much broader rollout of U-verse, the fibre-tothe-node service passes 72% more eligible video homes than FiOS. Given a significantly larger reach and low video penetration of just 18.7%, AT&T is also able to maintain steady growth in gains for its IPTV services. All told, U-verse added 745,000 subscribers in 2012, down just 7.3% from 2011's net gain of 804,000 subscribers. IHS Screen Digest concludes that IPTV growth continues in the United States, although at a reduced pace. “Plenty of room for expansion remains as FiOS focuses on penetration levels and U-verse stresses marketing to its lightly penetrated footprint,” it advises.
Smart TVs to top 50% of market More than one of every four television sets shipped worldwide in 2012 was a Smart TV, with the rapid sales growth of these Internet-connected sets paving the way for them to account for more than half of the market by 2015. Worldwide shipments of Smart TVs amounted to 66m units in 2012, up 27% from 52m in 2011, according to the IHS Screen Digest TV Technology Service from infor-
mation and analytics provider IHS. This impressive growth gave smart TVs a 27% share of the total television market for the year. By 2015, shipments are expected to rise to 141m units and account for 55% of global television shipments, the first time they will make up more than half the market. The following year, shipments will expand to 173m units, amounting to nearly two-thirds of the worldwide television total. “Despite a decline in global television shipments in 2012, consumer demand for Internetconnected televisions soared during the year—and the surge in sales shows no signs of abating,” said Veronica Thayer, TV systems analyst at IHS. “Smart TVs are rapidly joining the mainstream as manufacturers refine their products to add new features and to make them easier to use.” According to IHS Screen Digest, Smart TVs have come a long way from the first models introduced a few years ago. TV manufacturers have been continuously improving the user interface and features to make them more user friendly, creating multiple and innovating ways as well to control and interact with the TV set. Some companies, including LG, Samsung and Sony, have focused on developing their own Smart TV platforms. By doing so, these manufacturers are seeking ways to differentiate themselves from the competition and to add new hardware and software features that enhance the consumer experience. Some of these features include content discovery, personalisation of the home screen, recommendation engines, advanced controls— i.e., gesture, motion, and voice—and multiscreen capabilities. IHS Screen Digest suggests that one of the most promising features that can drive consumers to the purchase and use of Smart TVs is partnership by a smart TV brand with pay-
TV operators. Using Smart TVs as a client device in a pay-TV household can help TV manufacturers distinguish their products in the marketplace, reduce customer premises equipment costs for operators and ultimately benefit consumers. Even so, IHS Screen Digest warns that the proliferation of proprietary Smart TV platforms has caused fragmentation and created problems for the developers of television apps. TV manufacturers LG Electronics, TP Vision—for Philips TVs—and Toshiba founded the Smart TV Alliance in June 2012, to allow developers to create apps using open standard systems that can successfully run on all the platforms supported by the alliance. Panasonic joined the alliance in January 2013, and more companies are expected to sign up in the future. An emerging trend of 'smartready' TV models has come about through the partnership announced by Roku during the Consumer Electronics Show in January with several TV manufacturers, including Coby, Hisense, TCL and Westinghouse. Using the smart-ready approach, any television enabled with a mobile high-definition link (MHL) can be turned into a smart TV using a Roku Streaming Stick. These types of partnerships are highly valuable to second- and third-tier brands that wish to compete in the smart TV market. For its part, Google TV has made some improvements since it was first launched in the market, more recently adding voice search and a new TV guide called 'PrimeTime'. However, this has yet to resonate with consumers. Sony released the first Google TV set in 2010, but now only sells it as a separate box, similar to the Vizio CoStar and the Hisense Pulse. LG Electronics continues to offer Smart TVs with Google TV, first introduced in 2012, on screen sizes ranging from 42 inches to 60 inches.
PREVIEW début of Appear TV’s new multi-screen and OTT solutions based on its modular head-end architecture and its range of encoding and transcoding solutions.
Broadpeak — Stand 218
With a new name for 2013, the event promises high-level debate and exhibitors as usual. Formerly the IP&TV Forum, the event (Olympia Exhibition Centre, London, March 19-21) now in its ninth year, has evolved to reflect the changing nature of the converging connected entertainment ecosystem, which increasingly looks towards services, content and user-experience, rather than just technology, to drive the market.
SELECTED EXHIBITORS ACCESS CO - Stand 127 The provider of advanced software solutions and services that enable operators, device manufacturers, content owners and consumers to make the most of today’s multi-screen, connected world will be showcasing a suite of solutions which offer operators and content owners secure multi-screen monetising opportunities. Visitors to the stand will be able to see the European launch of NetFront Browser NX 3.0 a lightning-speed HTML5 browser, which enables the delivery of next generation UIs to the consumer.
The provider of content delivery networks (CDN) and high-performance video-ondemand (VOD) servers for cable, IPTV, OTT, and hybrid TV operators worldwide, will demonstrate umbrellaCDN, a new solution — geared toward content providers — that makes the allocation of content to multiple CDNs possible.
devolo - Stand G2 The PowerLine Communication (PLC) specialist, is presenting its OEM portfolio which includes its WiFi Move Technology and Hybrid TV products, aimed at Internet Service Providers (ISP), telecommunication providers and cable network operators. The WiFi Move Technology enables comprehensive Wi-Fi networking throughout the home at the push of a button for the first time, while its hybrid TV portfolio has been expanded with the new SAT>IP-compatible dLAN TV SAT Multituner.
Edgeware – Stand 167 The specialist in distributed video delivery, will demonstrate a number of features, and functionalities related to its Convoy VDN (video delivery network) system. The company will discuss its vision of how these features/functions will enable operators to take a truly converged approach to video delivery. – a growing industry trend.
Appear TV - Stand 123
Ericsson - Stand 117
The video distribution specialist will demonstrate products that are designed to open up new business and creative opportunities. Highlights include the EMEA
The company will demonstrate next generation platforms that unify TV anywhere services, make delivery networks video-optimised, and bring deep inte-
gration and services to its customers. On-stand demonstrations will show how Ericsson is enabling operators and service providers to leverage the latest technologies in the creation of compelling user interfaces and how best to integrate companion screens for content interaction and discovery.
Harmonic – Stand 85 The specialist in video delivery infrastructure will showcase a comprehensive range of next-generation multiscreen production and delivery solutions. Harmonic will highlight its extensive portfolio of multi-screen video encoding and stream processing solutions optimised for real-time and file-based production and processing workflows. “TV Connect provide Harmonic with perfect platforms to address broadcasters and operators in a wide variety of markets, including Europe, Africa, and the Middle East,” said Peter Alexander, senior vice president of marketing and chief marketing officer.
nangu.TV- Stand 69 The interactive media platform specialist will highlight its Media Platform integration via Motorola and iP4.tv hybrid set-top boxes and will showcase: Remote control; Multi-screen; Interactive CATV and OTT. nangu.TV’s Media Platform goes much further than traditional IPTV systems allowing the user to deliver content over any Internet connection.
SeaWell Networks – Stand 113 The specialist in monetising multi-screen TV will be featuring its latest customer deployment news, as well as its rapid compliance with the new MPEG-DASH based HbbTV 1.5 specification. It will will also be showcasing its approach to bring architectural sanity to multi-screen 2.0 challenges. SeaWell is the only provider that dramatically reduces the cost of multiscreen deployments, while increasing the level of management, monetisation and optimisation for new and existing networks.
Tvinci - Stand 21 The provider of white-label platform for pay-OTT TV will present its OTT 2.0 platform, which enables TV operators, telcos and media companies to create a personalised, social TV experience for end-users consuming premium content across multiple devices.
Thomson Video Networks - Stand 92 The broadcast technology expert is highlighting the ViBE VS7000 platform for Over-the-top (OTT) and Web TV streaming services, as well as contribution solutions. The ViBE VS7000 video systemcombines Thomson's renowned next-generation compression platform for outstanding picture quality in an allIP environment with live broadcast-quality encoding, video preprocessing, and faster-than-real-time file transcoding.
ruwido – Stand 64 Demonstrations will show how the company is creating “user experience excellence” within the living room by way of intelligent interaction devices and solutions that enhance the viewing experience by meeting consumer needs for simple, intuitive methods of engaging with their connected TV offering.
Witbe - Stand 159 The provider of Quality of Experience monitoring solutions for multimedia services, over any network, to any device, will be showcasing its range of expertise during the event, as well as its latest innovations and client wins.
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Keith Wymbs, vice president of marketing at Elemental Technologies, discusses advanced video solutions for multiscreen content.
ith multiscreen services now reaching an estimated 66% of pay-TV subscribers in Western Europe and 90% in North America, it’s clear that the opportunity and value in extending premium content and services to as many screens as possible is broadly recognised. Multiscreen viewing of live and on-demand content also presents challenges in the form of more complex video processing requirements, the need to process massive amounts of video, and the need to support an expanding number of file formats.
builds on Elemental’s cutting-edge use of graphics processing units (GPUs) to optimise video streaming over IP networks. “Traditional video processing capabilities are now being deployed in cloud architectures, giving operators the flexibility to reallocate resources as new applications come online,” said Rosen. “The Elemental software platform, coupled with next generation processors, provides a unique bridge to media deployment architectures of the future.” Elemental now supports next-generation GPU and CPU architectures with its award-
a dual power supply, in a desktop form factor and with a quieter chassis. Additional options include ASI input, Pro-MPEG support, and cloudbased video processing.
Comcast Uses NextGeneration
The Key to Multiscreen Success: High-Quality Video – Everywhere Pay-TV operators are aggressively investing in infrastructure that can scale from today’s multiscreen applications to meet coming requirements including IP over cable, live multiscreen streaming of full channel line-ups, and increases in the size of VOD catalogues, according to Sam Rosen, practice director at ABI Research. Any technology platform in the video delivery workflow has to be flexible enough to evolve continually with the market and ready to provide a high-quality viewing experience across a range of target devices.
Next-Generation Architecture for Video Processing Pay-TV operators, content owners, and broadcasters are seeking to expand platforms for next-generation multiscreen video workflows that can support requirements such as ultrahigh definition resolutions, HEVC/H.265 and MPEG-DASH. In direct response to these needs, Elemental Technologies, the leading supplier of video solutions for multiscreen content delivery, recently announced next-generation architecture for video processing. Doubling the performance of its Elemental Live and Elemental Server products, the new platform
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winning software-based video processing solutions with the launch of NVIDIA® Tesla® GPU accelerator and Intel Sandy Bridge-based versions of its two flagship video processing platforms. The performance gains with the new processors also enable customers to cut their rack space in half. By using Nvidia Tesla GPUs, Elemental is harnessing the most powerful programmable architecture on the market today, and offering customers unmatched video quality with products that continue to set the standard for large-scale video processing. “Elemental pioneered the use of GPUs for high-quality video transcoding, and they continue to innovate by developing new platforms that fully harness the massively parallel processing power of Tesla accelerators,” said Greg Estes, general manager of Media and Entertainment at NVIDIA. “The increased density and throughput available with these new Elemental products will continue to set the standard for enterprise video processing in the industry.” Along with powerful processor upgrades across its product line, Elemental has new form factors available from SuperMicro, Dell, and HP that offer more flexible workflow choices. Customers can opt for systems with
Elemental Platform for VOD Several dozen customers have moved to nextgeneration Elemental platforms, including Comcast, the largest cable operator and the largest home internet service provider in the United States. Comcast, which has used Elemental products to help deliver Xfinity video for nearly two years, has put these systems through their paces at its Dry Creek facility in Colorado, one of its national distribution points for VOD, the majority of which is still being delivered in the MPEG-2 format. Dave Higgins, vice president video quality and reliability for Comcast recently told U.Sbased CED Magazine that the company has been receiving higher-quality mezzanine files from programmers which are then processed using Elemental Server for multiscreen delivery. As a result, Comcast has been seeing improvements in both bandwidth efficiency and video quality. “You usually get one or the other,” Higgins said. “In this case we’re getting both, and that’s what’s so exciting for us. The migration path Elemental offers has allowed us to significantly increase our video transport quality and efficiency as the market demand for multiscreen video continues to grow.”
Maximising Multiscreen: Monetisation As multiscreen viewing of premium content becomes mainstream, content programmers and service providers are working to deliver a highquality video experience that engages and retains viewers – and to maximise associated monetisation opportunities. Implementing the right video processing infrastructure enables media companies to achieve both. Elemental’s latest release of its video processing software, which comes with unified support for multiple codecs, delivery standards and content protection technologies, lets customers across market segments more widely deploy and monetise multiscreen video services. With this software release, Elemental offers a flexible software architecture appropriate for pay TV operators, content programmers, studio and post-production houses, sports rights-holders and more. Paired with the performance and throughput capabilities of our live and filebased video processing solutions, customers reap the rewards of our software-based approach to large-scale video deployments. Designed to support next-generation GPU and CPU architectures, software release 2.0 is now available for Elemental’s suite of products for video processing, packaging and streaming
live and on-demand video and is already deployed with more than 100 customers. The release brings together a host of features for multiscreen video delivery to create a unified solution including: Increased performance – With nextgeneration processor architectures and an optimised video pipeline, Elemental systems offer double the performance and density of previous generation solutions in a single RU footprint. Increased throughput allows customers to bring multiscreen assets to market more quickly and in a smaller footprint than ever before. Comprehensive codec support – Support for multiple codecs running simultaneously on a single platform provides customers with a seamless migration path from existing video delivery standards to future compression technologies. Elemental solutions offer MPEG-2, H.264, VC-1 and HEVC / H.265 encoding with patented compression technology as well as support for JPEG 2000 and ProRes mezzanine assets. Current and future standards – In addition to support for common video streaming protocols such as Adobe RTMP and HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS), Microsoft Smooth Streaming and Apple HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), Elemental software supports newly emerging technologies including MPEG-DASH, Ultraviolet and 4K Ultra HD. Advanced encryption and protection – Secure content with a variety of integrated technologies including Civolution forensic watermarking for both live and VOD content, Adobe Flash Access, Apple Sample-AES and Microsoft PlayReady as well as DRM solutions from NDS, Verimatrix and Widevine. Increased monetisation – Support for ESAM dynamic ad insertion and Nielsen ID3 tagging give pay TV operators a path to multiscreen video delivery and a way to deepen audience engagement and interaction. Media companies can also take advantage of the Adobe Primetime ecosystem for ad insertion as well as ad integration solutions from BlackArrow and mDialog. Augmented audio options – With release 2.0, robust support for audio encoding is available across the Elemental product line, including support for DTS Express, Dolby Digital, Dolby E and Dolby Digital Plus. In addition, release 2.0 features support for Dolby Digital Plus in Apple HLS and Microsoft Smooth Streaming, raising the bar for audio fidelity in the streaming market. Accessibility features – Audio loudness management lets broadcasters adhere to the CALM Act and new captioning features, including caption burn-in, SMPTE-TT and SCC file creation, let content creators adhere to captioning requirements coming into effect later this year. Elemental makes it easy to caption content originally aired on television and destined for delivery over the Internet.
HEVC/H.265: Expanding the Multiscreen Opportunity Next generation algorithms promising 50% bit rate reductions without sacrifices to overall quality are poised to enter the market with the
adoption of High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC/H.265). The bandwidth efficiencies associated with the adoption of HEVC promise to greatly expand delivery of high-quality, high-resolution video over bandwidth-constrained networks – and to accelerate key new multiscreen offers such as 4K/Ultra HD. With a flexible software-based architecture, video processing solutions from Elemental offer support for the new codec via a seamless software upgrade. Elemental has deep experience developing video codecs from open specifications to full implementation using general-purpose programmable architectures (GPUs and CPUs). Easing the transition to H.265 within legacy MPEG-2 and H.264 infrastructures, software-upgradeable solutions from Elemental can incorporate new compression approaches much more quickly than existing fixed hardware encoding and decoding platforms, such as ASICs and DSPs (digital signal processors). The computational intensity of HEVC lends itself perfectly to the processing performance advantage available with GPUs. Video processing software from Elemental delivers H.265 content at very low video bit rates to a wide variety of viewing devices, creating ubiquity that will richly reward content providers, broadcasters and consumers. H.265 support will be commercially available in Q2 ’13 on Elemental Live and Elemental Server platforms. H.265 reference streams are available from Elemental today.
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Diary March 19-21 TV Connect London Informa www.tvconnectevent.com +44 (0)20 7017 5506 21-23 CCBN Beijing SARFT www.ccbn.tv +86-010-86091774
April 6-11 NAB Las Vegas NAB www.nabshow.com +1 202 595 2052 8-10 Broadband MEA Dubai, UAE Informa mea.broadbandworldforum.com +44 (0)20 7017 5506 8-11 MIPTV 2013 Cannes Reed MIDEM www.mipworld.com/miptv +33 1 41 90 44 41 9-10 Broadband World Forum Asia Hong Kong Informa http://asia.broadband worldforum.com +44 (0)20 7017 5506 16-17 PEVE Entertainment 2013 London IHS Screen Digest www.screendigest.com/ events/peve +44 (0)20 7424 2888
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25 Television Convergence London Westminster Media Forum www.westminsterforumprojects.co.uk +44 (0)1344 864796 25-26 FT Digital Media Conference London FT www.ft-live.com/digitalmedia +44 (0)20 7775 6653 26-May 2 DTG Summit London DTG www.dtg.org +44 (0)20 7840 6500 29-May 3 Digital Hollywood Spring Hollywood Digital Hollywood www.digitalhollywood.com +1 212-352-9720 May 21-22 Social TV World Summit London Informa http://socialtvworldsummit.com +44 (0)20 7017 5506 21-23 CTIA Wireless 2013 Las Vegas CTIA
9-12 Banff World Media Festival Banff Achilles Media www.banffmediafestival.com +1-888-287-2279 10-12 The Cable Show Washington NCTA http://2013.thecableshow.com +1 202-222-2430 12 The Future of Digital Entertainment 2013 London Intellect www.intellectuk.org/events +44 (0)20 7331 2188
25-26 The Future of Broadcasting London Marketforce http://marketforce.eu.com/events +44 (0)20 7760 8699
July 4 The Futuresource Entertainment Summit 2013 London Futuresource Consulting www.futuresourceconsulting.com/events.htm +44 (0)1582 500100
18-21 BroadcastAsia Singapore Singapore Exhibition Services www.broadcast-asia.com +65 6233 6638 19-20 Digital Home World Summit London Informa http://digitalhomeworldsummit.com +44 (0)20 7017 5506 25-27 Digital TV CEE Krakow Informa http://digitaltvcee.com +44 (0)20 7017 5506
www.ctia2013.com +1 801-676-7980 June 4-6 ANGA COM Cologne ANGA www.angacom.de +49 (0) 221 99 80 81 0
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