Open IPTV Forum gets three new members

Three new members have joined the increasingly popular Open IPTV Forum (OIPF), which, among other things, will soon become the caretaker of all things MPEG Industry Forum (see story).

Set-top box maker Humax (KOSDAQ:115160), Saudi Arabian telecom provider STC (Saudi Telecommunications Company)(Tadawul: 7010) and JT Group, a tier 1 network operator in the Channel islands, have all agreed to participate in the Forum's "work to shape the future of Internet Connected TV," the organization said in a news release.

Humax's Senior Technology Manager Bob Hannent said that his set-top box company "has a strategy towards the use of open standards as much as possible within its next generation products," which makes OIPF membership a given.

STC, the release continued, is the first Middle East member, according to Sami Al Zomaia, data and broadband services director, wants "to be able to influence and network with related companies so as to learn, influence and contribute to IPTV technology and services in the future."

And JT Group has a "vision … to become the partner of choice for global telecoms innovation" making use of the company's FTTH network. "IPTV forms another part of this and will clearly be enabled further with next generation of fiber broadband services," according to Dave Newbold, chief operations and technology officer.

"Each of these major players is a leader in its own way, with innovation in STB technology, with FTTH deployment and as a major operator in the Middle East region respectively," said OIPF President Nilo Mitra at the Forum's 22nd plenary meeting hosted by Rogers Communications (NYSE: RCI) in Montreal. "Having them on board reflects the growing understanding within the industry of the importance of open standards for a global mass market for IP and connected TVs."

The new members are coming aboard just as the OIPF plans "the first trial deployments of OIPF technology in live networks." Most recently the Forum, under Orange France Telecom's sponsorship, completed a lab trial.

While the three newcomers are relatively large players in the IPTV space, the OIPF is open to--and actually encourages--smaller businesses like recent members 3 Screen Solutions, Broadpeak, and Zenterio, it said.

"This ensures that the needs and market requirements of all players in the value chain are reflected in the work of the OIPF and those companies can also benefit from an advanced and in-depth understanding of the forthcoming specifications that will enable a mass market for IPTV globally," the news release concluded.

For more:
 - see the release

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