IPTV service providers that made early progress competing against cable TV companies are not necessarily well positioned for emerging challenges. Over-the-top online video and the multitude of mobile devices outside the home present major difficulties, as they will be capable of both streaming and storing video content. Sanjay Mewada, vice president of strategy at OSS vendor NetCracker, noted these challenges in a presentation last week at the IPTV World Forum North America in Chicago. He suggested that service syndication might be the best strategy for telcos looking to differentiate from other carriers promising a plethora of channel options and integrated access to TV and OTT Web video.
The syndication idea has lurked in the background for some time, as telcos offering IPTV services have focused more on "me-too" channel aggregation in competing with cable TV. Service syndication presents new service fulfillment, service assurance, and content and partner management issues, Mewada said. "The TV itself becomes the transaction engine," he said. "We believe that is something providers want to work toward, but we need to give them a very different order-to-activate process than they are used to traditionally."
NetCracker, which is in the process of being acquired by NEC, last week also announced enhancements to its IPTV platform that address some of those challenges. An enhanced fulfillment capability allows carriers to better support home network provisioning, a broadening array of devices and service ordering over the TV. In the area of service assurance, the NetCracker solution now maps services to performance and fault management information, allowing carriers to act more quickly to support end-to-end service quality. Content management is addressed in the new solution with enhanced support for centralized management of content libraries.
- read more about Mewada's speech at Telephony