Hybrid opportunity for telcos

The report – Taking Advantage of the Best of IPTV and SatTV – from the firm's Telecoms, Information, Media & Electronics (TIME) Practice, predicts that it will not be long before linear TV is replaced by an on-demand, ad hoc consumption model, brought about by consumers' growing familiarity with Personal Video Recorder (PVR) and on Demand (TVoD or VoD) services. Telecoms operators have an opportunity to gain a share of the content market by playing the role of content aggregator and offering an on-demand service that allows consumers access to a variety of programming, while at the same time increasing coverage with hybrid Direct-to-Home (DTH) solutions.

Given that many telecoms operators are already supplementing their IPTV offer with DTH TV services, the report identifies an IPTV/DTH hybrid as the most cost-effective and market-ready option for telecoms providers to bring to market. The report identifies a flexible range of potential scenarios for bringing so-called ';Hybrid TV' to market, highlighting how the initial investment required for satellite TV roll-out compares favourably to the cost per subscriber necessary to further develop pure IPTV services.

The disadvantage of pure DTH solutions is the lack of the back channel allowing interactive services. By combining the advantages of providing a low Capex broadcast solution through DTH and at the same time providing an IP back channel for interactive services with low bandwidth requirements, interactive services could be offered with close to 100 per cent coverage.

According to the consultancy, ';Hybrid TV' solutions will require the development of new customer-premises equipment, or a so-called ';hybrid set-top box', which offers the functionality to decode satellite TV as well as provide an IP interface for connecting to the internet. It predicts telecoms operators should be prepared to make an initial investment of E80 – E200 per unit in the development and production of the equipment.

“With the tremendous popularity of video on demand services such as YouTube, we believe that the opportunity for telecoms operators to offer value-added services will drive the growth of Paid TV revenues as consumers increase the demand to access content regardless of time, location or type of device,” said Karim Taga co-author of the report and director at the company's TIME Pract

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