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Telcos must leverage cloud capabilities (Original)

Redknee CEO Lucas Skoczkowski explains how the cloud allows service providers to address the full spectrum of the long tail of customers
 
Tony Poul

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BT plans TV rebrand, entertainment push (Original)

BT is planning to slowly rebrand its TV service from BT Vision to BT TV, and has plans to boost its channel line-up later this year. 

Speaking at a Broadcasting Press Guild event yesterday, BT Retail’s chief executive of TV Marc Watson said that BT is rebranding the division following the launch of its web-connected YouView set-top box offering last year.

“We’re going to call our set-top box services and our platform BT TV and within that we’ll have a Vision box and a BT YouView box – so there’s that umbrella brand,” Watson said.

Asked why BT doesn’t simply phase out its older generation BT Vision set-top box, Watson said currently it is only able to offer Sky Sports 1 and 2 on this device, due to ongoing wrangles with Sky about distribution of the channels on its YouView offering.

Speaking about BT’s wider channel plans away from sport, Watson said BT now has all the “biggest channels” on the platform aside from Sky’s entertainment channels like Sky One and Sky Atlantic – though he said he would be open to working commercially with Sky to carry these networks.

He also added: “We are planning to launch more channels later this year, and we’ll be making some more announcements about that in due course, but we’re not quite ready to do it yet.”

In the last year, BT has signed channel deals with the likes of Discovery Networks UK and Viacom International Media Networks to carry stations like Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.…

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Orange preparing for multiscreen launch (Original)

Orange logoFollowing its satellite TV launch, Orange Romania will roll out services on multiple devices to complement this offering in the next couple of weeks, according to Mirek Smyk, managing director, MSCG, who consulted on the project.

The availability of content on multiple screens is seen as a key differentiator of the service, said Smyk. Orange is primarily building a TV service in Romania based on appeal to viewers who want HD services and are currently frustrated by the lack of content available in the market, he told attendees at Informa’s Digital TV CEE event in Krakow yesterday.

The Orange TV service includes 40 HD channels – a record for the Romanian market, according to Smyk – including 26 that were not previously available in the country. In total, 16 of the 100 channels on the platform are new to the Romanian market, said Smyk.

Orange is offering a single subscription for multiscreen, anytime anywhere, usage and Existing Orange customers will be offered a special price. The offering is made up of three packages, including Local HD, which gives 36 Romanian channels, six of which are HD.

A second package, World HD, includes 65 channels with 19 HD services, including international services, while the third package, Universe HD, includes 95 channels with 37 HD services.…

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Telcos primed for mobile cloud plunge (Original)

As the influx of smartphones, tablets, netbooks and laptops continues in the workplace, employees are pushing for state-of-the art mobile applications and cloud storage options to get their work done while on the go.
 
There is clearly a huge market potential here with dramatic growth predicted in the coming years. According to Gartner, 7% of consumer content was stored in the cloud in 2011, and by 2016 it will rise to 36%.
 
As consumers and enterprise users flock to personal clouds, and convergence brings together different companies and sectors - both as competitors and collaborators - across traditional boundaries of industry and technology, communications service providers (CSPs) can participate by developing their own carrier-based versions to provide safe storage for consumer's personal data.
 
In fact, they are uniquely positioned to provide such services.
 
Mobile cloud computing, however, is also creating many core challenges that may come as a surprise to many CSPs.  Successful implementation means addressing the critical concerns around security, storage and system architectures.
 
In many companies, software-as-a-service (SaaS) adoption may already be widespread without proper governance. In some cases, various departments may have bypassed the IT department and adopted multiple SaaS applications.
 
In others, the company's data resides in the servers of SaaS firms that are unfamiliar or sometimes completely unknown to the IT department.…

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German operators and broadcasters mull OTT options at ANGA COM (Original)

Sky Deutschland is mulling the possibility of replicating the Sky Now OTT offering provided by BSkyB, although it has no current plans to launch such a service, according to Holger Ensslin, chief officer, legal regualtory and distribution.

“We are considering that – there is no question,” said Ensslin, speaking on a strategy panel at ANGA COM. Sky Deutschland currently offers standalone day passes for football matches, including in the final phase of the Champions League.

Ensslin said that Sky would take a step into the OTT world by launching a Sky Sports News app as a standalone OTT service this summer. Ensslin said this would be a low-cost service.

Ensslin said that Sky was already an OTT operator in its own right via Sky Go. “It’s not a standalone offer but it’s a big OTT platform,” he said. “In Q1 we had 15 million requests on our platform.”

Thomas Heise, chairman of the board of on-demand service Maxdome, speaking on the same panel, said that his service’s biggest competitor was piracy and illegal consumption of content. Nevertheless, he said, video-on-demand is growing quickly, albeit as a nich service in comparison to pay TV services.

To become mass market services, VOD providers needed to extend reach to as many devices as possible, said Heise.…

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Magyar Telekom to launch OTT service with Verimatrix security (Original)

Magyar Telekom is launching an OTT service using Verimatrix’s Video Content Authority System (VCAS) for Internet TV. The new service,  is designed to expand the existing Magyar Telekom satellite TV platform with interactive services for connected devices, and it is deployed over unmanaged networks featuring the HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) protocol.

The pay-OTT offer is available on multiple screens, including PCs, Macs, iPhones, iPads, Smart TVs and Android-based phones and tablets. Huawei served as the systems integrator for the project.

“We chose to partner with Verimatrix for many reasons, including the ability for VCAS to uniquely scale and support both our immediate and emerging digital TV security needs,” said Matthias Linder, networks technology director, Magyar Telekom. “VCAS gives us the flexibility to rapidly add the services that our subscribers crave – ahead of our competitors.”

Separately, Verimatrix has announced a range of initiatives to help make pay-TV security integrity and flexibility more available to public broadcasters and free-to-air  services. As a component of these initiatives, Verimatrix has developed a solution to support a digital-terrestrial deployment approach for free services.

Verimatrix has customised its Verimatrix Content Authority System (VCAS) for DVB solution to be embedded in low-cost set-top boxes  and later enabled to manage cross-border transmission issues and enable future upgrades to pay TV services, the company said.…

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KPN quad-play offering hits subscriber milestone (Original)

Dutch telco KPN’s Complete quad-play offering, combining TV with fixed and mobile broadband and voice services, which launched in January, has attracted over 50,000 subscribers to date.

KPN said it had attracted 30,000 orders for the service in the first quarter. KPN Complete includes the Plus TV package with 45 additional channels and free unlimted calls to other KPN numbers.

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Eutelsat partners with Tvinci for OTT offering (Original)

Eutelsat KabelKiosk has selected Tvinci’s OTT 2.0 platform to power a new wholesale OTT TV offering for its network operators.

KabelKiosk, operated by Eutelsat Germany, is using the Tvinci platform to allow about 300 affiliate companies to provide an internet-based TV service to more than 3.5 million German homes.

Using the KabelKiosk infrastructure and content, these affiliates can operate pay TV networks under their own brand and provide linear, EPG, restartTV, VOD and catch-up TV to their end users.

The move marks an extension of Eutelsat KabelKiosk’s hybrid DVB & IP platform into a new multiscreen solution.

Eutelsat KabelKiosk will make content available on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, Hbb TV set-top boxes and PCs or Macs, and KabelKiosk’s network operator partners can choose to customise the service as much or as little as they want.

“Consumers are looking for a more immersive TV experience – something more than just a straightforward multi-screen service. Tvinci’s OTT 2.0 platform enables us to deploy a fully managed solution with an exceptional user experience,” said Martina Rutenbeck, managing director of Eutelsat visAvision, which operates KabelKiosk.

Other partners involved in the development include Harmonic for ingestion, Broadpeak for CDN and Playready and Marlin for DRM.…

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Chunghwa Telecom, Asustek team up on cloud services, apps (Original)

Partnership targets consumers in domestic and overseas markets

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Australia debuts national cloud strategy (Original)

A major step forward from the earlier “cloud last” policy

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