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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Intel Viiv - why this is important

It's been nice to see a significant up-tick in subscribers to the IMS Insider Monthly Report in the last few weeks.

November's edition, out yesterday, which describes how to create and launch an IPTV-related IMS service proposition seems to have hit a nerve. (To access this, please subscribe at www.ims-insider.com).

Why? Looking through breaking news over the last few weeks, it's clear that things are hotting up in the industry...with significant implications and opportunities for IMS.

Using Star Wars terminology, there's the 'Attack of the Clones' - internet/IT/media companies encroaching on telco territory - and a quite a bit of 'Empire Strikes Back' - traditional telcos preparing furiously to avoid future commoditisation.

Speaking with our contacts in strategy departments inside Operators recently we're seeing that IMS is now starting to emerge from the technical and R&D closet. Senior commercial managers are starting to dust off and flick through the thick tomes on "The Role of IMS in the Future Converged Services" that were left on their desks by hopeful NEP sales people 6 months ago. We're starting to see marketing people being asked by management for their roadmaps for high bandwith propositions, and these people are crying 'help!'.

IMS is starting to enter to the mainstream as a critical enabler of future success.

Here's some of the context for this - news from November/December:


- The biggest news by far is the announcement of Intel's Viiv technology. This has the potential to disintermediate fixed telcos and cablecos from content - see
http://www.telecommagazine.com/NewsGlobe/Commentary/article.asp?Id=AR_1435. Watch out for a marriage made in heaven (or an Unholy Alliance, depending on your point of view): Sony Ericsson putting Intel's Viiv chips into their handsets for seamless integration with Sony's new laptop, TV and IVE range, pumping in content from Sony Coporation and friends. And if this happens, the industry just changed!!

Other relevant news:

- Sony IVE (Instant Video Everywhere) range: integrating VOIP plus video calling into PC's (
- NTL (UK cable monopoly) offers $1.4bn for Virgin Mobile (5th largest UK mobile network) to create quad-play giant.
- BSkyB (UK satellite monopoly) buys Easynet (broadband provider).
- Skype retails in Radio Shack, and bundles with Motorola Bluetooth headsets.
- Google launches first downloadable mobile app (Google Local).
- Nintendo offers free UK wifi access.
- Nokia to set up mobile phone TV service in China.
- UK train network to be fitted with wifi.
- Japanese ISP CinemaNow signs content deal with Warner.


- 3 Italia buys TV firm
- Vodafone launches global Mobile TV

- Sprint Nextel sets up a separate subsidiary to focus on the government and enterprise markets
- BT to roll out IPTV in 'late summer 2006'

- BT launches VOIP service (to undercut Skype and help "sell broadband").
- Telecom Italia launches TV
- Swisscom launches Mobile TV trials.
- Shanghai Media Group and Shanghai Telecom jointly launch broadband-based TV service in Shanghai.
- Deutsche Telekom to bid for the television rights to the German national football league.
- Cingular launches widescale HSDPA services.
- Orange/SFR/Bouygeres found guilty of market collusion (The Empire Striking Back unsuccessfully!!).
- DoCoMo launches own credit card brand.
- KPN announces new 'selling services via the internet' strategy.
- Telus merges fixed and mobile divisions.
- Telefonica and China Netcom form strategic alliance.

I liked this summary of the Virgin/NTL deal by Ovum today (www.ovum.com). Note the bit I've put in bold - this is the key: "This deal would create the UK’s first quad-play company, putting together fixed, mobile, Internet and TV. Quad-play is becoming established in the US, where cut-price deals are starting to improve customer acquisition and reduce churn (for example, Sprint-Nextel recently forged a deal with four cable operators). However, offering cut-price deals to encourage customers to take a quad service is one thing. A much bigger challenge will be to generate value from actual convergence between the services. For example, TV and video on mobiles has yet to be proven in the market."

(See our 'IP Revenue Scorecard' posting on this blog and our November IMS Insider Report (www.ims-insider.com), where we show how to generate revenue from an IPTV-based service

For more detail on any of the news items above go to www.lightreading.com. For analysis of what they mean to the industry and the implications for IMS, please email me:

The Editor

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