Parks Associates Blog

Monday, October 29, 2007

TelcoTV - early predictions are coming true

I find the TelcoTV show to be a very accomodating conference - the show floor is a good way to get some updates on what's hot and happening in the Telco/IPTV space. Furthermore, with another year of rollouts under their belts, telcos and their solutions providers are increasingly talking about real activity and case studies that back some early hypotheses around business model development.

It turns out, for example, that converged communications (a simple example being Caller ID on the TV) is now showing some promising results in terms of cutomer satisfaction and loyalty. The folks at Integra5 discussed some recent survey work among Comporium customers that indicates that this is an important feature. Based on our own survey work - Parks Associates' Bundled Services & Residential Gateways study, we found both Caller ID on the TV and a phone service with greater utility between mobile and fixed-line calling to be areas where telcos should make some inroads in initial stages.

As we've posted in previous blogs, home networking remains a key to telco TV and bundled services strategies. It was interesting to hear both Thomson and Tilgin discuss the role of of their IMS-capable routers and home networking equipment in providing a crucial translation point between the IMS services and legacy platforms. As service providers evaluate the deployment of IMS services (or consider how they can use legacy instrustructure to provide more of a modular approach to converged communications and entertainment applications), the role of home networking equipment as an intermediary hasn't been discussed much. This should take on greater importance as we're expecting to see more IMS deployments occur in Q3 and Q4 2008. We're currently writing about the home network space through the lens of service providers in our report Networks in the Home: The Global Service Provider Play.

Of course, advertising remains such a hot area, although there are still plenty of questions surrounding how it's going to be best implemented and used. There were discussions about some of the challenges facing telcos in the area of ad insertion, particularly in MPEG-4 deployments, where the different profiles associated with the video streams are going to require some fairly sophisticated and on-the-fly transrating by ad insertion and grooming technologies. Our analysts Kim Kitchens and Harry Wang are looking into what's next in advertising in an upcoming report New Advertising Platforms and Technologies. They will be covering the word of interactive and targeted advertising for the television in this report.

There was also talk of what's next in the telco TV space, and the role of the mobile platform (particularly the mobile phone) in enabling more seamless communications and entertainment experiences is obviously a big focus. Advertising again will be a focus of companies such as Tandberg, which is now part of Ericsson. They anticipate that they will have some significant opportunities to provide compelling advertising solutions that reach across broadband, television, and mobile communications services. And, as the handset and other portable and mobile devices evolve to incorporate more multimedia functionality (and play a stronger role within the context of the service provider's offerings), the incorporation of more robust storage (both hard drive and flash) is going to be an interesting area to watch. Chris Roden is finishing up his analysis of storage requirements for mobile and portable devices in Storage Opportunities for Handheld Devices.

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