The Ultimate Guide to IPTV is a supplement to the June 2006 issue of Telecommunications“ Americas. Copyright 2006 Horizon House Publication
Service providers and vendors are
working collaboratively to de ne
the architecture, requirements and Using IMS and IP convergence to e ability to provide real-time,
standards for IPTV. deliver what the customer wants. exible billing, provisioning solutions
Maria Estefania, ATIS Andrea Sorensen, Amdocs will be critical to the success of many
service providers as they enter
Renata Silva, Siemens
Leveraging the power of IMS and
intelligent, content-aware optical/
Ethernet networks to deliver Helping service providers rede ne the Telecom providers with rich IPTV
innovative TV services wherever, end-user service experience. service creation platforms will be the
whenever and however your Jim White, Alcatel masters of their own fate.
customers want them. Phil ompson, mPhase Technologies
Rob Piconi, Lucent Technologies
e traditional emphasis on managing e real lesson for service providers
networks must change to provide is evolution — and pricing.
Video/IPTV-to-network linkages the reliability, QoS and ‘always-on’ Tom Nolle, CIMI Corp.
are needed in order for providers bandwidth availability essential for IPTV.
to be able to deliver a high-quality Sameh Yamany, Trendium
experience to millions of customers
while maximizing resources. For service providers and OEM
David Benham, Cisco Systems players, hybrids will deliver more
reliability and fewer customer service
Service providers need to look beyond calls, having a signi cant impact on
IPTV alone and bundle it as one of customer satisfaction and
Savvy service providers are embracing many services. Adopting this strategy brand loyalty.
IPTV as the winning platform will help dramatically increase Kurt Scherf, Parks Associates
for delivering the latest revenue- broadband service revenue.
generating entertainment and Gary Southwell, Juniper Networks
Christine Heckart, Microso TV,
and Carl Rijsbrack, Alcatel
Take nothing for granted,
early adopters say.
Jim Barthold, The Ultimate Guide to IPTV is a supplement to the June 2006 issue of
Telecommunications® Magazine Telecommunications® Americas. Copyright 2006 Horizon House Publications.
pleased to partner with Telecommunications® Magazine in presenting
to you e Ultimate Guide to IPTV. In this publication, you will nd the latest
information supporting IPTV service deployments, by the communications
industry’s leading equipment and so ware companies.
Over the past several years, service providers have made enormous investments
in new network infrastructure and ber deployments, all designed to bring
unsurpassed bandwidth speeds and new services to the user. Among these new
services is IPTV, or Internet Protocol Television.
IPTV o ers an unparalleled and revolutionary video and entertainment
experience. at’s because it o ers much more than just “live television.” IPTV
o ers a dizzying array of entertainment options and functions – iTV, gaming
options, Video on Demand, Pay Per View, and much more. It is capturing the
imagination of consumers
who’ve already had the
opportunity to either subscribe,
or in some cases preview this exciting new service
in various test markets.
As IPTV matures as a technology, so does the need
for industry collaboration. Critical to the ongoing
rollout and mass deployment of IPTV service is
the ability of service providers and the vendor
community to reach consensus on critical architecture requirements, as well as standards that support
content delivery, digital rights management, Quality of Service, interoperability, and other technical
and operational considerations. It is for this reason that the Alliance for Telecommunications
Industry Solutions (ATIS) moved forward with the creation of the IPTV Interoperability Forum
– an industry venue where leading service providers, manufacturers and so ware companies are
eshing out the architecture and standards that will further support the delivery of IPTV into the
marketplace. In this Ultimate Guide to IPTV you will learn more about this exciting initiative, and
the path ATIS member companies are taking to fully realize IPTV service.
Also featured in this informative guide are valuable contributions from several industry leaders
in IPTV. From their articles, you will learn more about how these companies are supporting IPTV
with solutions for service assurance, middleware, service integration, billing, and much more.
ank you for your interest in the Ultimate Guide to IPTV. We hope you nd it most useful as
you give consideration to the technology and operations path and real business opportunities that
IPTV service o ers to our industry and its users.
Susan M. Miller
President & CEO, ATIS
Service providers and vendors are working collaboratively to de ne
the architecture, requirements and standards for IPTV
Maria Estefania, ATIS
gained tremendous momentum the standards and the most appropriate multimedia, but may not have visibility to
for purposes of deploying real-time technology path is a critical step towards other aspects of the application.
entertainment video and TV service e ective deployment of IPTV services, Companies active in the ATIS IIF
o erings. Providers of “traditional” telecom and the desired revenue generation that include service providers such as AT&T,
services throughout the world currently will follow. It is for this reason that the Bell Canada, BellSouth, BT, Qwest,
utilize, or are presently deploying video Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Rogers Wireless and Verizon; as well as
services over IP networks. Solutions (ATIS) – the communications industry vendors, to include Alcatel, Cisco,
From the telecom service provider’s industry’s technical planning and standards Ericsson, Fujitsu, Juniper Networks, Lucent,
standpoint, IPTV encompasses service development organization based in Microso , Nortel Networks, Siemens, and
provider network subscriber services that Washington, DC – established the IPTV Sun Microsystems. ATIS established the IIF
deliver secure broadcast-quality audio and Interoperability Forum (IIF). in June 2005, following the recommendation
video to devices for display or recording. e ATIS IIF is responsible for developing of an exploratory group of ATIS member
Services may include broadcast type services business-driven technical requirements and companies, which identi ed a series of
beyond live TV, to include video on demand standards,andforfacilitatingrelatedtechnical technical and operational issues surrounding
(VOD), Pay Per View (PPV) services, Live TV activities that enable the interoperability, IPTV that need to be addressed by the
Pause and Rewind Functionality, Interactive interconnection and implementation of industry. ose issues include:
To support the smooth and e ective rollout
of IPTV, it is critical for the industry to
reach consensus on an overarching reference
architecture that addresses all elements
of an IPTV solution. In response to this
need, the ATIS IIF Architecture Task Force
recently completed its IPTV Architecture
Requirements Document (ATIS IIF-WF-
100R12), which de nes, in broad terms, the
scope for IPTV services, and identi es the
TV (iTV) services and even distribution of IPTV systems and services. e scope of high-level requirements that will guide the
content by IPTV service users/consumers. work within the ATIS IIF includes: developmentofarchitecturespeci cationsover
Such IPTV services are delivered across an • Develop interoperability agreements, time. Areas of focus within the IIF Architecture
access agnostic, packet switched network that technical reports, or other types of ATIS Requirements Document include:
employs the IP protocol to transport the audio standards where appropriate. • A nite de nition of services that qualify as
and video signals. In contrast to video over • Provide a venue for interoperability activities. IPTV services.
the public Internet, with IPTV deployments, • Provide a venue for the assessment of IPTV • e functions necessary for content
network security and performance are tightly issues in the context of NGN directions. providers to provide content to the service
managed to ensure a superior entertainment • Coordinate standards activities that providers.
experience, resulting in a compelling relate to IPTV technologies. is includes • Functions required by service providers to
business environment for content providers, providing a liaison function between various o er IPTV services.
advertisers and customers alike. standards organizations and forums that are • Functions required by network providers
Broad industry agreement on both each working on important components for to deliver IPTV services.
• Functions in the home networking unique to IPTV service, but is needed to circuit–based networks that impact QoS
environment that ware necessary for the support a consumer’s quality of experience and network performance.
consumer to receive IPTV services. (QoE) expectations while multiple • Assuring that satisfactory end-to-end IP
service tra c types are also on the same performance is actually achieved, which
network. While today’s deployments are could require seamless signaling of end-
nding pragmatic solutions, end-to-end to-end QoS parameters across both
QoS for multiservice (voice, video, data) network and user interfaces.
networks is de nitely viewed today as a • Path establishment (call set-up,
Because there are no accepted metrics
for assessing requirements for content
security and quality of content delivery,
content providers today are somewhat
unilaterally establishing requirements for
purposes of granting rights to distribute
content via IPTV.
Regarding quality of content delivery,
while some standards do exist, a planning
tool for video may be needed, which might work in progress, or perhaps better stated channel-switching delays, network server
be similar in scope to the “E-Model” voice as “works in progress” because there is no responses) comparable to what users have
transmission planning tool as speci ed in single solution to the issue. experienced with non-IPTV services.
ITU-T Recommendation G.107. Such a While industry standard de nitions • Reliability and robustness of service
technology independent metric would exist for QoS and network performance components and critical protocols (e.g.,
allow service providers to engineer their requirements for delivering video routing, especially multicast routing).
content networks from an application content, some substantial challenges • Operation during, and recovery from,
layer to overcome impairments that may remain for QoS in the context of IPTV. commercial power outages.
be speci c to a particular technology. As examples, lacking are proven, robust, • Assuring that satisfactory end-to-
For these reasons, the ATIS IIF is and scalable standardized mechanisms end performance is actually achieved,
actively de ning the requirements for the following: especially when disparate networks (e.g.,
for the interoperability of systems • Rapid and complete restoration of IP ber and wireless) are being traversed.
and components in the IPTV digital layer (not just physical layer) connectivity e ATIS IIF’s QoS Task Force
rights management (DRM)/security following severe outages (or attacks) of is presently working on a series of
environment. Its Digital Rights heavily loaded networks. requirements for QoS that are based on
Management Task Force is now • Path availability levels comparable to user QoE tests that address these areas
completing work on the new ATIS
standard, IIF-WT-008R11, which g
de nes such requirements, for purposes Source: Atis
of creating an IPTV DRM/security Core
interoperability speci cation during Transports region-Independent video content
– Premium channels, Broadcast network feeds,
its next phase of work. Additionally, a centralized video ser vers
third IIF Task Force that is addressing Region-Independent Region-Dependent Metro/Aggregation
QoS is giving consideration to de ning Video Content Video Content Transports region-Independent video content
Transports region-specific video content
applications and requirements for a “V- – Community content, local network feeds,
distributed video servers
Model” planning tool. Traffic Multicast
RecognizingthatIPTVserviceproviders Traffic Unicast
must have the exibility to select, adopt,
and deploy solutions according to their
SHE VHO VSO DNG
speci c business needs, a key objective of
the ATIS IIF is to enable the widest range
of IPTV business models, while keeping
IPTV content secure, and enabling Core Metro/Aggregation Access Home Network
Segment Segment Segment Segment
security vendor competition and platform
what users have become accustomed with and others, and seeks to identify or
circuit-based data ows. establish appropriate QoS metrics for
• Timing and synchronization IPTV. Such metrics would include delity
e need for end-to-end QoS is not mechanisms similar to those present in standards for subscriber video delivery;
allowance for transcoding and packet loss; customer equipment (such as set-top boxes) standards development community; develop
error “link budgets;” speci cations for error • Content provider – network interface test plans for equipment based on interface
concealment in video codecs; and de nitions speci cation for third-party content speci cations; and serve as a potential
for measuring channel change latency. providers. sponsor of testing and certi cation activities.
is Task Force will begin its work once the
guidelines and requirements are established
by the other IIF Task Forces.
IPTV service is critical to the business
strategies of today’s telecommunications
service providers. e IPTV video and
entertainment experience is receiving an
enormously positive response in test markets
throughout the U.S., and globally. To fully
with IPTV, service providers, manufacturers,
• Encoder – Set-top box compatibility for and so ware companies must collaborate on
MPEG-4 AVC. the technical requirements and standards
• Video Encoder – Network QoS standards needed to move IPTV technologies and
While considerable work is underway for joint optimization of the network applications ever more aggressively into the
on interoperability testing for some and codec algorithms. marketplace.
of the components of IPTV (DSL, for • OSS and BSS interfaces. For more information on the work of the
example), there appears to be little work ATIS IPTV Interoperability Forum, and to
on interoperability testing at the IPTV A fourth ATIS IIF Task Force – the obtain IPTV standards and architecture
application level. Some areas where Testing and Interoperability Task Force requirements, visit the ATIS web site at
interoperability standards would help in the – was established to de ne interface www.atis.org.
delivery of IPTV services include: speci cations; identify appropriate testing Maria Estefania is vice president of
• Customer – network interface speci cation for and interoperability work within the Industry Forums at ATIS
Leveraging the power of IMS and intelligent, content-aware optical/
Ethernet networks to deliver innovative TV services wherever, whenever
and however your customers want them
Rob Piconi, Lucent Technologies
consumers have from multimedia content anywhere in the cases bundled services still require separate
changed – they want communications world, that can be sent to anywhere in the services platforms or “stovepipes” for each
experiences to be available when and where world, with channels selected based on each type of service, so capital and operational
they are, and provide a richer and more individual user’s preferences. ese video costs remain quite substantial.
interactive experience. ey want their TV, and new multimedia services represent e IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)
Internet, e-mail, IM, and personal voice signi cant growth opportunities for service architecture, however, o ers operators an
services to nd them – whatever device providers, who will be required to o set opportunity to move beyond conventional
they are using and wherever they are, be it the degradation in their traditional voice bundled services to create pro table,
at home, at work or on the go. ey would revenue as VoIP and other service o erings personalized, blended services. It is
also like to be able to sign-on to the network from new competitors begin to take share. important to point out that services blending
once to access all of their services, and to Service providers are exploring ways to is very di erent from the services bundling
receive a single bill that is clear and easy to address these customer demands, and have described above.
understand. Most importantly, they want taken steps to simplify things for their Blending comes about by enabling
all of these features to be personalized to subscribers. For instance, many operators traditionally independent services to interact
address their individual needs and interests have introduced service bundles designed to with one another, typically by sharing
and to be delivered in a way that is simple give consumers a single, integrated package information such as buddy lists, location
and seamless and that enhances their of the key services they are looking for, most data, presence information and subscriber
preferences and pro les.
Because they are based on a single delivery
platform, services such as instant messaging
can be combined with voice and IPTV
capabilities to create such new o erings as
multiparty video-enabled messaging on TV.
Additionally, because IMS-based services
are delivered using a standardized network
framework, operators can take advantage
of both capital and operational savings and
quicker “time to service delivery,” which
lifestyle, rather than complicates it. notably voice, broadband Internet access, over time could give them a competitive
To compete with competitive triple play and TV – typically over cable or satellite – as advantage against other providers. While
o erings from cable TV multiple service well as mobile voice and data services. some level of blending is possible using
operators (MSOs), many traditional telecom However, while standard IPTV o erings the “stovepipe” approach, o ering blended
service providers are beginning to introduce are likely to help operators retain and services in this way would be both costly
IPTV o erings to address consumers’ acquire customers, these services do not and complex.
entertainment needs – IP provides an address one of the fundamental challenges As service providers begin to rollout more
attractive method for delivering TV and inherent in bundling of services, namely widespread commercial IPTV services,
video services because it o ers operators and price erosion. Typically, when multiple they will need a way to compete with, and
their subscribers a great deal of exibility in services are bundled, subscribers pay a take share from other more established
terms of the ability to personalize service single, low price, driving down the average players in the eld -- cable and satellite TV
o erings and in the future support access to revenue per user (ARPU) derived from each providers – and IMS can provide the edge
a virtually unlimited channel line-up created individual service. Additionally, in most they need. With IMS, operators will be able
to go beyond traditional service o erings
to provide powerful, high-demand IP
multimedia applications such as:
• Caller ID on TV: Displays Caller
ID information on the TV screen and
allows consumers the option to pause
programming, answer the call – and
resume the video where they left off
when they’re done -- or send the call
to voice mail.
• Video and data services bundling: and with a consistent look and feel that is simplify multicast hierarchy and service
Enables subscribers to use their TV to personalized to the needs of the speci c management
launch new applications during TV end-user. • Cost e ciency enabling competitive
programming, letting them browse the service bundles
web, shop, or vote in interactive programs, Many large carriers have selected VPLS-
or access their voicemail or e-mail. based carrier Ethernet infrastructure to
• Locator for Family Finder applications: While these new services present enormous aggregate the subscriber tra c coming
Locate speci ed friends and family opportunities for operators, they also over DSL, FTTH or wireless connections,
members and have their location present some challenges. e introduction for its reliability, scalability and lower cost.
displayed on their TV, using their of video onto service provider networks is To maintain sub-50 millisecond recovery,
loved one’s existing cell phone presence expected to generate network tra c that carriers can implement technologies such
enablement features. will dwarf the volume of tra c generated as SONET APS, SDH SNCP, and VPLS/
• Personalized Advertisements: Users by both current and future data and voice MPLS
will receive and view ads that are services; recent bandwidth studies highlight Ultimately, the technologies employed
targeted to them and selected based this expected growth (see Figure 1). From depend on several factors including
on their preferences and viewing/ a network infrastructure perspective, expected capacity requirements, tra c
purchasing habits. distributing this video tra c e ectively, engineering and QoS requirements.
• Mobile Multimedia: Access TV services scaling it to support thousands and even Operators also need to evaluate existing
from any location, using any device, while millions of users while delivering a superior infrastructure investments, and the
enjoying the same selection, look and feel quality of experience will be priority economics of the business case. In order
of home applications. number one. to achieve greater e ectiveness in the
e examples noted above are just a few To achieve this, the network design of the solution, the best approach
of the service blends that IMS-enabled infrastructure must be resilient and able may entail the split of the network into
TV services -- or IP Multimedia TV - to uphold the level of QoS, reliability, several parts with the best technology
- can enable operators to o er. Each of and availability demanded by users. chosen for each. In other instances,
these blended services share some fairly ough the network must continue to
unique, and compelling attributes that support traditional voice and data tra c,
current-generation TV providers will be it also needs to scale to support much
hard-pressed to match in the near term. higher-bandwidth blended services.
Perhaps most notably, IMS enables Such services have substantially lower
services to be easily personalized to tolerance to network errors and require
address the needs of individual users. IMS the network to support the following
also addresses the need for portability, service capabilities:
ensuring that services can be delivered • High availability – deliver user expected
seamlessly across wireless and wireline quality of experience with hardware,
networks of various types, reaching so ware and network redundancy and
subscribers wherever they are in the form sub-50 millisecond network recovery,
most appropriate to their location, and avoiding service interruptions
preferences. • High scalability of bandwidth,
In addition, IMS includes elements subscribers, and QoS to support delivery
that support dynamic allocation of of multiple services to a large subscriber converged platforms combining the
bandwidth, enable the network to base latest Ethernet and VPLS capabilities
adapt to particular customer needs, and • E cient multicast for high video combined with TDM, WDM and routing
supply the appropriate level of network scalability - support both Layer 3 capabilities may be employed. e key to
resources to ensure a given level of protocol independent multicast (PIM)- success is combining all these technology
quality for a particular application. e based multicast to optimize bandwidth and infrastructure choices with integrated
service can thus be delivered in a way that usage and Layer 2 virtual private LAN management and services.
is compatible with the device being used service (VPLS)--based multicast to
Continued on page 14
Video/IPTV-to-network linkages are needed in order for providers to be
able to deliver a high-quality experience to millions of customers while
David Benham, Cisco Systems
and IPTV services, of on-demand services and the conversion experienced on Friday and Saturday nights
especially a mix of new high-de nition to high-de nition further accelerate video have already climbed to as high as 20 percent
channels and on-demand video, will drive the bandwidth requirements. of all set-top boxes in many U.S. markets.
need for large amounts of bandwidth. Service So, how much bandwidth is needed to UsingtheexampleinFigure1,adistribution
Providers need intelligent video-to-network support a robust video/IPTV service? For network that is designed to deliver on-
demand content to 4000 subscribers served
out of one central o ce with an assumed
20 percent peak concurrency rate requires
about 4 Gbps of capacity for the on-demand
Because video, especially on-demand
services, can quickly consume much more
network bandwidth than the Internet access
and VoIP services, it is easy to see why the
network must be optimized for it.
linkages in order to provide a high quality of the bandwidth-consuming on-demand
experience (QoE) to viewing audiences. service, the most di cult factor to predict
is the peak concurrency rate, which is the What happens when demand rises above
number of subscriber devices, such as set- the peak concurrency rate that was assumed
top boxes, that will want to acquire any when designing the network and/or video
e amount of network bandwidth required on-demand stream at the same time. With on demand (VoD) service capacity? If a
to transport video services is typically much the addition of premium channel content particular VoD server complex cannot
more than what is required to support voice available on demand and bundled inside a service a particular request, it may get
and Internet access services. Increased use subscription service, peak concurrency rates rerouted to another VoD server complex that
has capacity. If the network capacity over a
set of link(s) is exceeded, allowing too many
VoD sessions to be set up could cause a high
packet drop rate for nearly all of the video
streams. is will result in many subscribers
4M Homes / 400 CO = 10,000 average homes perceiving an outage.
Video Play Take Rate = 40% = 4,000 Video Subs/CO Why? Video is very intolerant to packet loss,
2 TVs/Sub x 20% VoD Peak Concurrency = 1600 streams/CO in large part because it is highly compressed.
94% VoD at SD @ 2M/stream + 6% at HD @ 8M/stream Losing a packet may result in the loss of
~ 4xGbps / CO valuable encoded information and a visible
degradation of video quality. To achieve a
300 channels w/ 20% HDTV at 8M/each & 80% SD at 2M/each goal of no more than one visible artifact per
~ 1xGbps/CO 2-hour movie, the allowed packet loss rate
for video is 10-6. Assuming a random loss
pattern for video packets means that both IP, or Layer 3 routing, present on every e cient way for an admission control
drops caused by congestion and drops network element from the VoD server solution to decide whether or not a
caused by bit errors on physical links complex to the aggregation router in the new VoD stream should be allowed to
must be avoided or concealed. central o ce makes in-path admission a speci c subscriber and their video-
Instead of allowing more video sessions control possible. consuming devices.
to set up than the deployed bandwidth Second, to prevent a video stream from
can handle, operators need a network- being sent to a set-top box if the access
based admission control that can link to a subscriber’s home doesn’t have
deliver a busy signal to the requesting enough capacity to carry the stream, the Unlike with the on-demand service,
subscriber. While a busy signal is not VoD server or a network component in subscribers that experience a complete
what the subscriber wants to receive, the path mechanism will send a request outage in the broadcast service cannot
the possibility of mass degradation of to an o -path component. e o -path come back when the outage is over and
the VoD service is much worse. component may be a policy server, as continue where they le o . us, the
An intelligent solution could support
more sophisticated busy signals. For
example, if a service knows that streams
are ending soon, busy messages could
give subscribers choices such as a
delayed start of a VoD or an alternative
service o ering.
Performing admission control for the
VoD service, for example, is a key video-
to- network linkage that can preserve a
high QoE for subscribers. e admission
control solution must be able to take into
account complex network topologies
that have redundant and load-sharing
paths in the transport network as well
as access link utilization and/or business
policies that may be enforcing other
types of constraints on the subscriber’s
service. To do this, the network’s routers,
in coordination with policy managers
and on-demand servers/managers, need
to collectively perform an admission
control function called Integrated Video
First, an in-path method performs
admission control for the complex core shown in Figure 2, that is keeping track availability requirements for the broadcast
and distribution network topologies of the access network, which is usually service are understandably high.
found in service provider next-generation a simple and static topology. e policy When the aggregation router is
network designs. e solution utilizes the server can check to see if the access link con gured as the Layer 3 edge device for
Resource Reservation Protocol (RSVP) has enough unused bandwidth as well as video, the distribution network can take
for in-path signaling, sent by the VoD check business policies that may or may advantage of “anycast” support for a quick
server or a component on its behalf prior not allow the stream to be supported, and failover of video encoders/streamers
to starting the VoD session. then either allow the VoD session or deny in separate headend facilities. With the
e RSVP message traverses the exact it at that time. anycast feature, you con gure two or
path the VoD session will use, thus Only using an o -path component to more multicast sources that are sending
tracking in real time any changes in perform admission control for the core to the same IP multicast group (same
the complex network topologies in the and distribution layers, where tracking multicast destination address) and have
core and distribution layers. Along the in real time any changes in the complex the same IP source address. IP multicast
path, IP routers perform a bandwidth network topologies is needed, is sub- technology uses a reverse path lookup to
accounting function, either allowing the optimal. e combination of in-path determine which IP source is closest to
session or denying it if bandwidth is not admission control with an o -path policy any particular PIM edge node.
available for that VoD stream. Having server at the edge is the most reliable and e result is that the replication path
aggregation routers to the core edge router
being recalculated to take into account the
change in location of the multicast source.
None of these actions involve the
subscriber’s video-consuming equipment.
e quick failover between redundant
broadcast encoders/streamers using the
anycast approach results in only a portion of
subscribers experiencing a brief disruption
to the quality of their broadcast while the
remainder of subscribers experience no
disruption at all.
While the example shows two sources with
presumably the same channel line-up, they
could be supporting di erent ad zones with
di erent content inserted. is solution
gives the greatest exibility in failover design
while minimizing the number of subscribers
that might experience a very brief outage in
the event of a failover.
Innovative video service-to-network
linkages, plus enough bandwidth to support
a successful launch of VoD and HDTV,
for a single multicast group can consist of When anycasting technology is combined can enable service providers to provide
a separate multicast tree for each broadcast with the ability of the network to detect video/IPTV services with a high quality of
encoder/streamer, in this case, splitting the failure of an encoder/streamer, routing experience to their subscribers.
the subscriber base between two headend protocolswillreconverge. isreconvergence David Benham is Senior Manager, Video/
facilities as shown in Figure 3. will result in the reverse path from the IPTV Solutions Development, Cisco Systems
From page 11
allocation across transport networks and
achieving end-to-end QoS.
Clearly, the key to success is optimizing
the underlying infrastructure to support
all of these services while providing a very
high-quality user experience at an attractive
price point. By leveraging an IMS-based
core network, combined with an intelligent,
It is clear that IPTV services o er a have become accustomed. content-aware transport architecture
very attractive opportunity for telecom To this end, IMS-enabled network integrating carrier Ethernet and converged
operators to generate incremental revenue, elements allow providers to o er such service optical/Ethernet technologies – controlled
and retain subscribers that might be assurance, and to derive premium value through RACF -- operators will be able
considering triple-play bundles from from their network investments through a to meet the challenge of competing in the
traditional TV competitors. IP Multimedia tight integration with the IMS architecture. emerging world of real-time multimedia
TV, however, could provide these operators ese elements interoperate with the services. is combination o ers operators
the opportunity to take share from their IMS architecture via ITU-T’s Resource something that traditional TV service
competitors by introducing value-added, Admission and Control Functions (RACF) providers can’t easily replicate.
personalized multimedia services that other to provide bandwidth and QoS policing IPTV + IMS = IP Multimedia TV – IPTV
providers simply can’t match. ough it is and monitoring either on a per user session the way it should be.
critical that these new services be delivered or on an aggregate of user sessions. is Rob Piconi is vice president and general
reliably and in a manner that meets or enables service control and transport to be manager, Broadband Solutions,
exceeds the expectations that customers bridged thereby providing dynamic resource Lucent Technologies.
Savvy service providers are embracing IPTV as the winning
platform for delivering the latest revenue-generating
entertainment and communications services.
Christine Heckart, Microso TV, and Carl Rijsbrack, Alcatel
“the next big thing” in the industry. secure IP network over which all services create today’s enhanced platforms. ese
As a network operator, can you succeed in can be delivered. is is crucial because new, all IP-based systems are now being
transforming your business model from it serves to fundamentally change your adopted by the world’s largest and most
transport-centric to content-centric? What operational costs over time. Since this is a respected telecom companies, including
models will prove most successful during two-way network, it also provides you with AT&T, BT, Deutsche Telekom, Swisscom,
this transition? Perhaps most importantly, a competitive advantage over traditional and many others.
when and how should you enter this market? broadcast networks and contains the seeds to e IPTV industry has made remarkable
progress in developing a platform that will
drive the future of television and ultimately
meet and exceed consumers’ expectations.
It will give consumers greater selection of
TV content and services, tailored to their
individual tastes, as well as cross-device
connected entertainment services. Most
importantly for you, this platform is the
foundation for a dramatic service provider
transform the entertainment and advertising business transformation that brings new
industries, as well. revenues, new pro ts, new business models,
So while the part of the acronym IPTV and an entirely new relationship with
that’s most widely understood is TV, this is by customers. e platform provides entry into
no means the most important element. e markets for content and communications
shi toward “all-IP”-based communications and can be expanded to include commerce
will not only change our entertainment and community aspects, as well. We are
experience, but our entire communications on the edge of a new frontier, and it is the
experience. It places users squarely at pioneers that will reap the largest rewards.
the center of their own communications If there is “gold in them hills,” not to
universe and allows them to choose which mention the land grab opportunities, how
device is most appropriate at a given time. do you enter this market and initially take
As the content and advertising industries share? And is there an opportunity beyond
have become better acquainted with IPTV, just the share shi ? Can we, in fact, nd
they’re already beginning to see the real gold? Can we increase the overall size of the
Further Is now too soon, too late, or the right time? opportunities for their businesses, from industry as we expand beyond basic content
down the road,
e rst step is to transform your disparate improved security, enhanced content into whole new o erings and business
be able to view voice and data networks into a single IP- packaging, more interactive programming models?
programming based service delivery environment for and advertising, and more measurable e opportunity is signi cant, and the best
from the guide in creating and delivering new video, voice and business results. method for seizing this opportunity is to
a smaller picture data services. think big, get started, and move fast.
within the guide
Building IPTV capability into a network
allows you to deliver TV and video content First-generation IPTV services, o en based
over a common IP network. And it allows on ATM technologies, have been in the IPTV is an underlying technology that
voice and data to be fully integrated as well. market for several years and provided the creates a whole new range of services to be
at ful lls the promise at last of a single, formative learning experiences needed to delivered to homes. e goal of entering
this market isn’t just to provide a package just want great content, great entertainment, customer care, payment systems and the
of TV services. It is really to provide in a relaxed environment. In the United States service creation environnement, as well
a connected TV experience. We’ve all alone, the average American spends a few as strategies for service packaging, value
heard about the triple play of voice, video hours in front of the TV set daily. creation, and entry into new markets.
and data, but the real value comes when
service providers can deliver converged
services running seamlessly across a
uni ed service delivery environment.
ere are a wide variety of converged
services that can be created as you mix
and match the underlying elements. And
since we’re thinking big, we should stretch
into new territory, like the integration
of commerce, communication and
community. Combined with content,
these are the four “Cs”.
An example: As your customer comes to
the end of a great movie they have rented
from your service, you can give them
the opportunity to buy the DVD or the
soundtrack, right from their TV. You can
o er them the opporutnity to record a evolves,
program from the cell phone service you consumers
provide them while they commute home, will be able to
and then watch that recorded show from get caller-ID
on their TV
any TV in the house, with advertising
appropriate to their interests. Today, as a We’ve painted a picture of what TV can Recent consumer research shows that
provider, you can connect people using and will be with IPTV. But for now, it’s a package of features that tie the PC,
PCs and phones. With IPTV you can turn time to frame that picture, hang it on the the TV and the phone are much more
the TV into a two-way communication wall, roll up our sleeves and get to work. enticing to customers than a lower price.
vehicle that provides your customers at work starts by nailing the basics.
a rich window into the lives of their First, you will need to go to market
extended family and friends. with a better TV o ering. Start with
And as a provider you can link all these a strategy for three critical types of
together to help cement your relationship transformation–aservicetransformation,
with valued customers. Your customers a network transformation and a business
can send a home video of their children transformation. ese must work together
straight to grandma’s TV set from across to bring about the total transformation
the country, or take a picture from their needed to survive and thrive in the next
cell phone while at the beach and send it decade. e service transformation
to their TV screen for immediate viewing requires strategic planning of the New thinking is required as the industry
and they can even talk about it. ese are converged personal services you want to moves into this new territory. Grabbing
examples of converged services, and it is o er and acquire the right content to do share with lower prices simply starts a
one part of the “think big” vision of IPTV. it. You can also nd third-party content price war and erodes the very margins
For the service provider, IPTV is an aggregators if you don’t want to cut that will pay for the transformations
opportunity to transform the business individual content deals on your own. needed and the new innovations desired
model from bandwidth-based to Second, you need one IP network that by consumers. Focus on delivering
content-based services and applications. can deliver any type of service mix with new value, not on lowering prices for
It is a chance to deeply entwine voice, a great experience. is probably means traditional packages. As tempting as low
video and data into rich experiences. upgrading your network bandwidth and prices may be, it is a short-term solution
It is a chance to complement existing converging disparate networks. Invest and a long-term problem.
pay TV experiences by monetizing early in your IP network architecture for
new commerce, community and service orchestration between IPTV and
communications experiences. IMS service delivery, a strategic step to If you’re a service provider and you’re not
prepare for a seamless user experience of in this market yet, are you behind? Not
voice, data and video. yet, but you will be if you don’t move fast.
Do you know the killer application for the ird is the potential for business e market is evolving quickly. Today’s
television? It’s watchingTV.Mostpeoplereally transformation. is involves upgrades to
Continued on page 39
Take nothing for granted, early adopters say
Jim Barthold, Telecommunications® Magazine
you can’t take for granted. broadcast content;
• e dentist isn’t lying when he says “ is • e home networks and set-top boxes. at scenario — the infrastructure’s good
may hurt a teensy bit.” enough to carry the content as long as you
• e federal government will step up and provision the content correctly on that
help when a natural disaster attens your If the carrier is not deploying ber to the infrastructure — was a recurring service
community. premises — a relatively safe assumption provider theme.
•Video is just another IP application. — the access network can be a tricky piece “Everyone likes to believe that the access
For this article, only the third point is of the video provisioning puzzle, because network is not important — the copper wire
serious; the others are facetious. ere is no twisted-pair copper, no matter how clean, and provisioning it. But when you think
way that video is just another IP application was never expected to handle video’s high about it, they have to install new service
running on a telephone network. bandwidth requirements. in new neighborhoods,” said Dan Baker,
“Deploying IP video is a very large e ort Even if that copper is already carrying high- research director for Dittberner Associates.
that becomes more di cult as the network speed Internet over DSL, it’s not necessarily While not everyone takes the copper for
becomes larger because the problems up to the challenge of video. granted, most believe it’s good enough.
tend to compound themselves,” said Bob “Data is a best-e ort attempt, so if “You’re always going to have a line here
Larribeau, program director for IPTV at a packet of information is lost during or a line there where you may have issues,”
MRG Research. transmission, the system knows to resend said Brian Eltom, director of marketing and
MRG has identi ed several key areas the packet. In the case of video, we can’t business development for digital interactive
tolerate any lost packets because that would video at Canadian carrier SaskTel. “We were
show up as an anomaly on the screen,” said quite fortunate in that our copper plant was
Bill DeMuth, CTO of northern California- in pretty good shape.”
based SureWest Communications, an early Actually, Eltom said, most copper plant
service deployer. is serviceable.
Still, for the sake of argument, it seems as if “ ere are going to be cases where we have
video should be just another IP element on to replace drops, but we would probably
an advanced telco network. have had to perform that work just for the
“It sounds like it ought to be easy enough Internet or voice products,” he said.
to do, but because IPTV or video is such SureWest has approached the video
a bandwidth hog, it creates its own set business from almost every angle: ber, coax
of problems,” said Rick Vergin, CEO of and twisted pair. Its technical foundation
Chibardun Telephone Cooperative. has always been to deliver two video streams
Chibardun, Vergin emphasized, “didn’t and have enough bandwidth le for at least a
have too much of a problem” with its existing megabit of high-speed data throughput and
copper infrastructure delivering signals about voice.
that service providers must address when 6,000 feet to suburban and rural Wisconsin “ at’s going to take about 10 megabits of
provisioning an IPTV network: customers over a VDSL network. delivery,” DeMuth said.
• e access and aggregation networks for “We haven’t found there’s too much With those requirements in mind,
distributing the content; problem with our plant, but some people the operator must then determine what
• e video headend and equipment for are going out 12,000, 18,000 feet (with more percentage of the network can be fed with
dealing with the content; conventional DSL products), and they’ve 10 megabits in the near term then expand
•Content protection, including digital had some problems with reduced capacity,” that to a longer term view accomplished
rights management for encryption around Vergin said. “either by tightening up the network or
hoping that some of the new compression — a key piece of any IPTV o ering progress to migrate into the digital world,”
technologies will get you the coverage,” — measurable quality assurance goes out he said.
he said. the window, Larribeau said. Provisioning work within the headend
“QoS does not work when you go to video or CO isn’t as complex as it once was,
on demand because you’re sending unique or at least it doesn’t have to be, said Dan
Cavalier Telephone, a CLEC launching streams to the subscriber and your network Prokopetz, vice president of so ware for
IPTV on the eastern seaboard, uses becomes dominated by video tra c,” SaskTel International, the carrier-owned
carrier network infrastructure primarily Larribeau explained. “ at means there are equipment vendor.
from Verizon Communications and has very few lower priority packets to discard,
adopted the new compression technology not enough to discard when congestion
approach. occurs and you have to start discarding
e Richmond, Va.-based carrier is one video or voice-over-IP packets. at’s not a
of the rst telcos to embrace next-gen good situation and that’s an issue in terms
MPEG-4 over an ADSL2+ platform. e of how these networks are engineered and
combination gives the carrier 10 Mbps deployed.”
to 15 Mbps over a copper pair and “was
a catalyst for our ability to deliver this “What you have to do is extend your
service,” said Andy Lobred, Cavalier’s Cable companies have delivered video POTS provisioning processes into your
vice president of product management since their inception and have always used high-speed Internet ... and then you extend
and marketing. headends to receive, encrypt or otherwise it into your video,” Prokopetz said. “You
“We feel like we have a convergence of format and send out the video streams. need one integrated platform that will
the network technology; a convergence of Carriers have had COs and switches. provision all these services, and, of course,
the ADSL2+ technology as well as things Video, as everyone concedes, is a di erent you have to mix VoIP into that as well and
that are going on with respect to MPEG-4 beast and a headend is not a CO. whatever else comes down the pike.”
in the video platform,” he said. Project Mutual Telephone in Rupert, Too many providers, he said, layer
As if that isn’t enough, the carrier is also Idaho, evinces cable’s headend model one OSS on top of another on top of the
eyeing some forms of copper bonding to with its IP television system. It has a main existing infrastructure in a vertical pile
increase capacity even more. CO and a remote headend or satellite that’s sloppy and ine cient. Prokopetz
ShaneBroyles,researchanddevelopment ranch, of sorts, at its construction yard suggests scraping away the layers and
coordinator at Rural Telephone Service about two miles out of town. using what’s familiar.
Co. in Lenore, Kan., agreed that clean “We pull video signals o a Simulsat “Itmakessensetouseasingleprovisioning
plant is only part of provisioning networks dish and a dish that’s tailored to pull in process and extend the base application out
to carry big chunks of bandwidth. HITS (headend in the sky) signals. We to encompass everything else. If you can
“You certainly need to be doing at least
ADSL2+ because with 2+ you’re getting
anywhere from 20 to 23 megs on the
downstream,” Broyles said.
Since Rural consumes about 4.5 Mbps
per standard video stream, ADSL2+ is
plenty of bandwidth to deliver two viable
video streams and high-speed data.
e access network also must be
monitored closely before, a er and
during provisioning. is is where
vendor-provided and generic cable test
equipment “is extremely important,”
Broyles said. “We could probably do a
better job of using it. Without those,
you’re just working in the dark.”
Even then there are problems transport that into town via ber optic do POTS, you extend it into high-speed
because the copper network is loaded cable and that signal is transported out on Internet, extend it into video, extend it into
with passive devices “which you can’t our local network,” said Mike Tylka, vice VoIP, extend it into whatever else happens,”
interrogate or provision; you have to president and plant manager. he said.
have a guy go out there and hook it up,” Of course, Project Mutual was already
Dittberner’s Baker said. in the cable TV business and “had the
When it comes to video on demand analog headend, and it became a natural Another headend headache is just
starting to throb: getting MPEG-4 content channels, there wasn’t overwhelming the inside wiring being as high quality as
from satellite providers and mixing that demand for encryption, scrambling or other it needs to be,” said Jonathan Hurd, vice
with formatted o -air signals. At the very video content security. at’s now becoming president of broadband and media practices
least this is going to require several hundred a hot button for telcos provisioning IPTV. for Adventis.
thousand dollars of headend investment. “Certainly we have encountered that on the While phone companies spend a lot of
“We’re looking to NRTC (National Rural video-on-demand platform, [and] we are seeing time making sure that the ber or copper is
Telecommunications Cooperative) and a few more broadcasters beginning to ask about up to snu , an old or badly connected home
SES Americom. ey’re going to do all the content security,” SaskTel’s Eltom said. network can stop the service in a nger snap,
and even a well-wired home is an added
“We’re still looking for cost-e ective methods
to handle that,” said SureWest’s DeMuth, who’s
been delivering IPTV so long he’s coined the
term IPTV-2 because “we’re at the second
generation of IPTV in my mind.”
Home phone lines could possibly have
compression and converting the signals into SaskTel is implementing a system been installed when AT&T was “the phone
an IP signal then beam it up to the satellite, proactively that will deliver across-the-board company.” ey work for phones and usually
which is going to beam it down to ILECs in security for every channel — even though deliver adequate high-speed Internet to
IP format,” Vergin said. Eltom thinks that’s overkill. modems that sit near computers that sit
e carriers must install an MPEG-4 “Today, because it’s a closed IP network, near phone jacks. Video is another story; the
headend to receive and retransmit the we have some security and content controls television, unlike the computer, probably
satellite signals then spend another chunk in place. We also have an audit process that doesn’t sit near the phone jack.
of change to translate local o -air channels goes on at the router points in the city where “If there’s old coax in the house, maybe we’ll
into MPEG-4 as well. there’s a check that looks at what a customer’s use some devices to utilize that coax, but in
“ e cost of the headend is one of the major channel subscription looks like and what some cases you’re going to have to rewire the
barriers to small telcos getting involved in channels they are accessing,” he said. house with Cat 5 wiring. at gets expensive,
this,” Vergin said, pointing to an average cost e problem is, IP equates to Internet and either through additional labor or through
hardware,” DeMuth said, warning, “don’t
underestimate the time spent in the house.”
Larribeau agreed the home is a landmine.
“It’s a reasonable guess to say that half the
calls to the telco center on IPTV are going to
be related to problems in the home. Service
providers need to look very seriously at what
they can do to manage, or at least monitor,
of around $300,000, about two-thirds of which that throws a scare into content providers. the home network so they can quickly
would be to get the local o -air channels and “More and more content providers are resolve these issues and possibly even
convert them to MPEG-4. requiring encryption,” Cavalier’s Lobred anticipate them,” he said.
While a grouping of disparate pieces, the said, suggesting that it’s a good idea to use Besides that, Hurd said, while most people
headend is driven by middleware that “sets up an encryption so ware provider that has don’t think of the computer hooked to
whatchannelsthecustomergets,” saidBradEvans, a relationship with those who develop the the DSL network as the phone company’s
CEO and chairman of Cavalier Telephone. content. “ at helps move through some of responsibility, a set-top box hooked to the
“We tied our middleware into our OSS the hurdles with some of the content guys.” television belongs to the telco.
system, so we’re going to have ow-through “ e user might hook it up incorrectly or
provisioning, where it will automatically set move it from one room to another ... and
up the channels the customer wants, ow Provisioning the home, everyone agreed, break it,” Hurd added. “ en there’s the
through to our DSL and loop orderings, and is the biggest IPTV hassle. With a number connection from that set-top box to the TV
set up the phone features, Internet features of new players getting into the set-top, cost where you get into things like ground loops
and video features,” Evans said. shouldn’t be a big problem for a situation and interference with other video that can
Middleware also drives Cavalier’s billing, where every television set needs a box. cause degradation of the signal.”
tying everything back to the base POTS Outside that, though, the home is a free-for-
provisioning infrastructure. all battle zone.
“ e phone company can bring the IP Just as an overview, the network must be
signal up to the household like they do provisioned to deliver top quality video
In the past, except for a few premium now for DSL [but] can’t necessarily rely on
Continued on page 39
Using IMS and IP convergence to deliver what the customer wants
Andrea Sorensen, Amdocs
your phone ring when you are voice, wireless and Internet. Search engines access to blended voice-data-content service
right in the middle of your favorite show, at like Google and Yahoo! are becoming experiences no matter the network or
that critical turning point in the show? You providers of converged o erings. Even eBay device. Initially designed for wireless service
miss the show’s turning point, and when you has jumped on the convergence bandwagon providers, IMS has recently been adopted
hang up from your phone call, well, you’re with their acquisition of Internet-voice by the European Telecommunications
lost and don’t know what is going on, so you provider Skype. With all of these new Standards Institute (ETSI) and CableLabs.
may as well just turn the TV o and go do entrants, how do the traditional wireline ese announcements have signi cantly
the dishes. providers replace revenue and subscribers strengthened IMS’ standing, practically
We are all increasingly busy, and lost to these competitors? converting it into the only available roadmap
perhaps our busy lifestyle is due in part to Wireline service providers have a strong for reaching the new frontier of ubiquitous
new communications tools that keep us base to support not only the triple play and communications and entertainment.
connected. However, as consumers, we grand slam o erings, but they are suitably A vision of a future o ering where IMS
should be happy to know that the plethora of positioned to be leaders in convergence. and IPTV interwork, and convergence has
acronyms out there -- IPTV, IMS, SIP, FMC However, simply delivering these services been achieved is shown in Figure 1.
-- are also going to help us to relax and be is not enough to di erentiate from the Of course, the vision of IMS enabled IP
entertained on our terms in the future. competition. Providers must deliver to convergence will not be easily achieved.
is provides excellent fodder for consumers what they want – a grand slam Most analysts agree that real IMS will reach
signi cant adoption in three to ve years.
However, this is something that service
providers can and are beginning to include
in their planning.
e journey to IMS and IP convergence
has signi cant challenges in the areas of
marketing, organization/business process,
and, of course, technology. One of the most
signi cant challenges is BSS/OSS. To ensure
successful delivery of the sophisticated
services enabled by IMS, service providers
must realign their business strategies to
focus on the customer and their speci c
needs – this is called adopting an integrated
customer management strategy.
service providers as they move beyond bundle of fully integrated services tailored to
basic bundling and discounts and into the meet their speci c needs. Figure2isagoodrepresentationofintegrated
feature-rich o erings that will come with IP IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem), a new customer management. By adopting an
convergence. network abstraction layer based on a 3GPP integrated customer management approach,
Traditional players in today’s telecom standard, should enable service providers to a service providers’ resources are aligned
market are facing sti competition from do that and more. By ‘unhooking’ services around the customer, providing visibility
all directions. Cable operators are focusing from networks and devices, IMS will across all services supported by the IP
on the triple- and quadruple-plays, moving enable service providers to roll out a “killer platform and insight into how and when
beyond traditional TV services and into environment” characterized by ubiquitous customers use their services as well as their
personal preferences such as payment, and support its service without insight not even be watching their show in their
billing features and services. is creates or regard to the other services in the living room. ey could be watching
unlimited opportunities to leverage bundle, or the customer’s behaviors and from their laptop as they sit in a co ee
the customer experience to maximize preferences. is fragmented approach shop, connected via the local hot spot.
value for both the service provider and meant that the service provider had When their “phone” rings, the person
the customer, particularly in the area of no insight into their customers and calling may have dialed the consumer’s
personalization. any customer experience was merely home number, but the consumer is not
Marrying IMS and IPTV to deliver a by-product of the service provider’s there. So follow-me functionality sends
bundled services in the future is operating activity. the call to the logged-in laptop on the
perceived to deliver greater value From the customers’ perspective, even advise of the consumer. e consumer
and empowerment to the consumer. though they were actually only dealing can then point and click to answer the
However, these technologies need to with one service provider, their perception phone, but at the same time select the
be implemented and rolled out in the was that they were dealing with at least option to have their show paused, or even
context of the BSS/OSS supporting four di erent companies. Any perceived recorded, to be resumed a er they hang
customers. Consider that the majority value of the bundle was negated by a up from their conversation.
of customers have had less than optimal customer experience that was ine cient, e same consumer could have selected
bundling experiences. For example, a impersonal and extremely frustrating! an option to send a message back to the
leading North American service provider As well, such a clearly disjointed process caller “Hey, I’m chillin’, I’ll call you later.”
recently o ered a highly attractive service gives the customer the message that true So, now simply being well connected
bundle that included xed voice, wireless, convergence is a long, long way away. doesn’t just mean more ways to nd the
satellite TV, and high-speed Internet with consumer, it means empowering the
a common monthly bill. An independent consumer to manage up-time and down-
sampling of this service found that for one Serviceprovidersarenotonlyrollingoutnew time on their own terms.
customer, it took a total of three weeks to services and capabilities based on enabling econsumerisinfullcontrol. Aswehave
switch from his existing service to this technologies like IPTV, IP convergence already seen in the market, it is not enough
bundle. During this three-week period, and IMS, but they are also recognizing to just rapidly bundle services together and
the customer had over 21 interactions the impacts on BSS and OSS, as part of present a common bill. To achieve market
with the service provider, including four the overall delivery of true convergence. leadership, service providers must undergo
technician visits, more than six hours on Without this overarching strategy, ultimate a signi cant business transformation from
the phone with CSRs and seven di erent convergence will elude all parties. legacy platforms and network-focused
welcome letters! Take the example outlined earlier – the business models to an agile, customer-
e problem: e service provider consumer watching television. When the centric business model that facilitates
operated along line of business silos phone rings, they pick up and miss some selling and buying in the supermarket
in which the organization structures, (or all) of their show. In a truly converged of digital, multi-media services and an
business processes and front- and back- environment, enabled by IMS, ubiquity intentional customer experience at all
o ce systems were all network-centric will be achieved across the IP network, touch points – true integrated customer
and operated in isolation. As a result, and an integrated customer management management.
each line of business interacted separately approach will deliver options to the Andrea Sorensen is marketing manager,
with the customer to con gure, provision consumer. Firstly, the consumer may Wireline & IP Convergence, at Amdocs
Helping service providers rede ne the end-user service experience
Jim White, Alcatel
is undergoing a broadband- services integrator approach where services triple play implementation means service
powered competitive transformation. IPTV de nition, globally proven reference solutions integrators need to demonstrate experience
completely changes the competitive landscape and integration services can accelerate the in implementing new technologies such
for the broadband household. Users demand transformation process. as IPTV, IP multimedia subsystem (IMS),
a better, more empowered experience and broadband infrastructures; and exible
service providers must deliver it now or miss architectures that leverage installed assets
the opportunity to enter the market with a and signi cantly shorten time to market.
compelling service o ering. But, the urgency Triple play represents both a mass-market
and complexity require a services integration opportunity and threat for service providers,
partner who translates user expectations completely rede ning the residential User-centric triple play services represent
into game-changing services that are the communicationsbundleanddrivingstrategic the rst signi cant opportunity for service
foundation for competitive transformation decision-making. Any service provider integrators, but network transformations
with a revenue stream from either phone, can also start in other ways. For instance,
Internet or TV must re-think their service many service providers have taken their
o ering to address this change. Many service own strategic steps to be ready to make
providers now realize that their business will transformative network investments around
be completely di erent in ve years, and that strategic service opportunities such as
their network must be transformed to drive xed-mobile convergence and managed
a new business direction. communication services for small, medium
e amount of associated change is and enterprise businesses. Other service
daunting and service providers are looking providers initiate network transformations
for help. ey need: as a prerequisite for new services by focusing
1. A service transformation that changes their initial e ort not on any speci c service,
the relationship service providers have with but on achieving other strategic business
their residential customers, from service objectives. For example, changing business
and who can help shi service providers’ transaction-based (phone, Internet and cost structures in anticipation of regulatory
focus from managing networks to managing TV) to a relationship where the service or market changes and enhancing business
the user experience and developing new provider manages the communications and support systems (BSS).
business models. entertainment experience residential users e services integrator engagement model
A services integrator is a partner who can experience at home and away; can facilitate the development of these
manage and implement a service provider’s 2. A new network that supports mass- opportunities as well by focusing customers’
service-driven network transformation: market IP services, xed and mobile e orts on their primary economic purpose,
consulting with the service provider about services, customer speci c con gurations, which is to provide services to users that add
detailed service de nitions and reference lower operating costs and proactive service value. e reference solution for each situation
solution recommendations, and ensuring that assurance; can adjust to each speci c customer situation.
the IP transformation is delivered on-time 3. Business transformation that reduces
and within budget via integration services. innovative services deployment risks and
Triple play represents the rst global telecom allows new business models.
service transformation that supports a real e market urgency and complexity of In simple terms, services integration is