Alcatel-Lucent introduces IPTV solution based on Microsoft’s Mediaroom

MUMBAI: Alcatel-Lucent has unveiled a turnkey, compact IPTV solution, powered by Microsoft Mediaroom, that is designed to cost-effectively support networks of between 1,000 and 100,000 set-top-boxes in the US.

The solution not only provides television programming, but also enables new consumer media services through the blending and personalisation of web and broadcasting content. This new offer, which uses a single equipment rack, supports more than three times as many households than previous versions of the Microsoft Mediaroom-based IPTV solution.
Cinergy MetroNet is the first customer to use the solution and will begin offering Alcatel-Lucent-powered IPTV services to six cities in Indiana, reaching approximately 50,000 potential customers beginning 26 July 2010.

The Alcatel-Lucent IPTV offer, called the Integrated Solution for Microsoft Mediaroom, is a substantially modified version of an existing solution that Alcatel-Lucent has previously deployed in more than 25 large networks globally. The system uses Internet protocol (IP) technology to transmit the television signals and, thanks to the power and flexibility of IP, enables carriers such as Cinergy to offer a variety of new services.

Yankee Group principal analyst Vince Vittore says, “The needs of operators serving smaller customer bases are unique because they often don’t need large multi-rack solutions. Alcatel-Lucent’s approach to this market is unique because it combines a great user experience with a reasonable price point and leverages its experience as a video integrator.”
This new Integrated Solution is designed to meet the cost requirements of regional communication service providers (CSPs) such as Cinergy MetroNet who serve local and regional markets.
Cinergy MetroNet CEO John Cinelli says, “We want to provide our customers superior service and access to such capabilities as WholeHome DVR, interactive applications and over-the-top content. Alcatel-Lucent’s IPTV solution fits our business needs and gives us a powerful, flexible, and differentiating tool to deliver IPTV-based services to our customers.”

Cinergy MetroNet plans to offer its customers multimedia services such as broadcast TV blended with web content; the ability to simultaneously record multiple shows while watching another; and the delivery of personalized content such as weather, traffic and news.

Alcatel-Lucent’s Multimedia Integration Services group VP Geeta Chaudhary says, “Operatorswho support from 1,000 to 100,000 set-top-boxes are underserved when it comes to IPTV and next generation multimedia services. To address this need we created an optimised IPTV solution that is pre-integrated and lab tested, minimising the technical and commercial risks associated with launching IPTV services. We estimate that more than 11 million new IPTV subscribers will be served by regional communication service providers in the coming three years and this compact release is designed to help our customers better address this huge opportunity.”

In this release of the solution, Alcatel-Lucent has integrated innovative technology from Microsoft and HP. Some key features of the new solution:

The solution, based on Microsoft’s Mediaroom Hyper-V architecture, includes a unique design integration by Alcatel-Lucent that more than triples the number of set-top-boxes supported in a single deployment and reduces the number of servers needed.

This solution is further optimized when deployed on HP BladeSystem with HP Virtual Connect technology, reducing the complexity of the architecture and increasing flexibility to respond to change in workload demands.

The small physical footprint means a much “greener” deployment with reduced overall energy and operating costs.

Pre-tested in Alcatel-Lucent’s end-to-end IP Transformation Center (IPTC) laboratories, resulting in reduced technical risk and improved time to market by as much as 30 per cent.
Alcatel-Lucent also supports regional communications service providers with a host of IPTV consulting services such as: end-user insight, demand analysis, IPTV services definition and launch as well as the end-to-end management.

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