IPTV deployment not without challenges, warns Detecon white paper

Complex middleware and undifferentiated “me-too” video offerings from telcos pose potential threats to the roll out of IPTV services, according to a white paper from telecom engineering firm Detecon.

The white paper, “IPTV: Technology and Development Predictions,” offers predictions and caveats, as well as outlines an array of IPTV architectures and explains the core components of an end-to-end system.

According to the paper’s author, Dr. Patrick Pfeffer, Detecon chief network architect, most IPTV middleware is “far too complex,” and subsequent releases are likely to be even more complex. While software mitigates local loop bandwidth limitations, “that doesn’t outweigh the potential risks,” he said.

The paper also cautions that succeeding in IPTV will require more than offering “me-too” video services. While building IPTV networks is within reach, “succeeding in the market will require a dramatic culture change.”

Other key findings include:

  • The Future of Television –Video on Demand? VOD might be the killer app, but it is not restricted to movies and also includes TV programming recorded with network personal video recorders. If VOD becomes a prevalent form of TV viewing, the current IPTV networks will not have enough bandwidth.
  • Renewed CAPEX. The current ADSL network cannot support IPTV and must be overhauled, with double the CAPEX needed to future-proof the network.
  • Small is Beautiful. There are many successful deployments of IPTV across the world. Most of them are by small- or medium-sized operators. Large operators are struggling.

To read an executive summary of the paper, visit www.deteconamericas.com/iptv_paper.shtml.

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