Cable operators facing IPTV threats

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Cable operators facing IPTV threats

Cable operators around the world face a "perfect storm" as market pressures converge on IPTV, researchers predict.

"The integration of IP video services into cable TV infrastructure is the result of a convergence of market forces," said ABI Research vice president, Stan Schatt.

"The main driver is the threat from the telecoms operators, whose IP network configurations are allowing them to offer more dynamic services.

"As well as moving to IP to counter this threat, the cable operators aim to up the ante by incorporating mobile voice into their bundled offerings as quickly as possible."

Schatt noted that another driver for IP video is the need for improved network efficiency and more available broadband spectrum. To offer more services, cable operators need "bigger pipes".

The analyst noted that operators' voice services are already IP, and are already using IP for data.

Moving the video to IP as well will mean more efficient networks allowing more converged services, such as bringing voice and data services to customers through their TV sets.

"The consequences for equipment vendors will be enormous. North American cable operators collectively spent more than $80bn on network upgrades in recent years, and they will now have to spend freely once more," said Schatt.

"The change to IP video affects not only core head-end equipment, but the set-top boxes found in every household served by cable. This is going to create a huge equipment turnover."
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