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Broadpeak teams up with SoftAtHome to bring CDN to the living room

CDN (Content Delivery Network) provider Broadpeak has continued its busy year of making partnerships by teaming up with home gateway software company SoftAtHome to enable operators to deploy scalable OTT services across their existing networks.

The partnership between the two French companies Broadpeak, based in Rennes, and SoftAtHome, in Paris, extends the benefits of CDNs as far as the home gateway, enabling operators to handle peaks in video consumption without having to invest in over provisioning infrastructure that is unused most of the time. It builds on Broadpeak’s nanoCDN technology (announced at IBC 2012 in Amsterdam last month) by incorporating SoftAtHome’s two adaptive streaming technologies — one called the gBox gateway optimized for IPTV, and the IP ipBox set top box for OTT. These two technologies can now be used together following SoftAtHome’s launch of the latest version 5 of its home gateway operating system SOP, also at IBC 2012.

The key point of the partnership is that it enables operators to scale OTT to millions of subscribers by extending the transmission efficiency of its CDN right as far as the home gateway, which becomes in effect an edge server, according to Broadpeak CEO and President Jacques Le Mancq.

“By extending the CDN technology into the subscriber’s home, telecom and cable operators will save millions of dollars that they won’t have to spend on network infrastructure, ” said Le Mancq.

SoftAtHome was chosen as a partner because it will provide Broadpeak, with access to a range of gateways from a variety of hardware manufacturers. SoftAtHome does not make hardware itself, but the software that enables operators to extend their services and provide new applications within the home. It claims to be hardware agnostic through partnering with all the leading gateway makers such as Sagemcom, Samsung, Huawei, Aztech, Pace, ZTE, Siligence, Kaon and Humax.

Crucially, the software runs on the three leading brands of set top box silicon, Broadcom, Lantiq and iKanos. The three, according to SoftAtHome, embrace 80 percent to 90 percent of the gateway market between them.

Broadpeak has carved out a leadership role in the provision of pre-integrated platforms designed to enable traditional pay TV operators to deploy multi-screen services,. And, it has been busy this year forging alliances with providers of relevant components. The objective is to enable smaller providers of OTT technology to club together and put together complete solutions to compete with big players such as Cisco and Ericsson that are virtually one-stop shops covering the whole OTT field with their own product portfolios.

Broadpeak realized early on that smaller operators in particular were unable or unwilling to integrate OTT components themselves and so would only work with vendors or alliances that could deliver the whole package ready integrated.

Early in 2012, Broadpeak revealed a partnership with Harmonic, which provides encoding and other infrastructure components, and the France Telecom company Viaccess/Orca, for content security and discovery. Then, at IBC, the company attempted to claim the high ground in pre-integrated solutions by launching its Broadpeak Open Alliance (BOA) aimed at creating standards that would make it easier for OTT technology providers to come together in partnerships to develop pre-integrated packages.

BOA aims to enable operators to select the best of breed technology for each component of the delivery chain, from the headend equipment to the home gateway. BOA is creating a technical framework, enabling Broadpeak to test its solutions with other technologies from strategic partners to ensure interoperability. The testing process will initially involve home-network components such as broadband home gateways, set-top boxes and middleware. The second phase will target other components of the OTT delivery ecosystem, including video headend equipment, conditional access systems and service platforms.

One of the first to join the BOA was Technicolor, which makes set top boxes and gateways for IPTV and cable TV operators mostly, and has been working to integrate Broadpeak’s nanoCDN technology with its boxes. Now SoftAtHome has joined the BOA as well.