Telefonica bases new global video platform on Microsoft
November 15, 2012
By Colin Mann
In a significant boost to its Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV platform, Telefonica Digital and Microsoft Corp. have agreed a multiyear strategic agreement to create a new Global Video Platform (GVP) for all video entertainment services across Telefonica’s Operating Businesses.
Based on key Microsoft technologies including the Microsoft Mediaroom platform, the GVP delivers TV services over both managed (IPTV) and non-managed (over the top) networks, at global scale, to a range of consumer devices. The first GVP deployments are taking place in Brazil, Chile and Spain, and Telefonica anticipates extending the deployment of TV services based on the GVP to a number of its other Operating Businesses over the next few years.
“Video is a fast-growing market, and we already play a leading role in delivering pay-TV services to customers in Europe and Latin America,” said Vivek Dev, director of Digital Services, Telefonica Digital. “This new platform allows us to reflect the deep and rapid changes happening in this market. It offers the ease and convenience of a global, convergent platform while maintaining flexibility over content for our local businesses. Most important, it allows us to meet customer demands for access to video content on an ever- expanding range of devices,” he added.
The GVP, and its use of Mediaroom, will enable Telefonica to deliver to consumers high-performance, differentiated and feature-rich TV services over both its managed high-speed broadband networks as well as OTT non-managed broadband networks. It provides a range of advanced features to TV subscribers, including time-shifting and multiscreen among others, enabling Telefonica to take advantage of its multidevice capabilities.
“Telefonica is a close partner to Microsoft, and the Global Video Platform, based on the Microsoft Mediaroom platform, will enable them to grow their business and reach new audiences,” said Tom Gibbons, corporate vice president, Operator TV Business, Microsoft. “This new agreement focused on Telefonica’s GVP further extends our alliance in the world of TV and video entertainment to a range of screens throughout the home and on the go, and the benefits will be enjoyed by many millions of people globally. Through its use of IP-based broadband networks and the Microsoft Mediaroom platform, Telefonica’s next-generation TV services are poised to delight and entertain millions of consumers across their markets in Europe and Latin America.”
These services can be enjoyed by consumers on a range of devices inside and outside the home, including set-top boxes, Xbox 360, tablets and smartphones. Because the Mediaroom platform includes key technologies such as Microsoft PlayReady, Internet Information Services Smooth Streaming and Microsoft Silverlight, the delivery of TV services across these various networks and to multiple screen types can all be done via one common technology infrastructure. This is expected to result in significant efficiencies for Telefonica in time to market, cost of delivery and overall scale.
Earlier in November, Telefonica launched its premium Internet Protocol television (IPTV) service in Brazil, which follows a similar launch in Chile in October. Both services, Vivo TV Fibra in Brazil and Movistar IPTV in Chile, are the first IPTV deployments that take advantage of the new GVP platform and its capabilities, offering an exceptional user experience for their Fibre to the Home customers. In November 2011, Telefonica and Microsoft launched the first service enabled by the GVP: Movistar Imagenio on Xbox 360. It provides subscribers with 12 linear channels focused on sports, including the Spanish First Soccer League (Liga BBVA) under Canal+ Liga Channel.
During the past 14 months, the Microsoft Mediaroom platform has continued to scale its deployments and services, surpassing 11 million consumer households and 22 million set-top boxes across the Americas, EMEA and APAC, further securing its position as the world’s most deployed IPTV platform.