At the very successful ‘Planning the year ahead’ Roundtable last week, we spent most of the time discussing the new converging market – triple-play models and other business-related opportunities that are now beginning to appear on the industry’s radars.

I was surprised that other companies are moving well ahead in this sector and are already scoring interesting results. The participation of some of these early pioneers in this market generated a very different discussion to the ones we have had in the past. It was less technology-oriented and there was very little talk of mobile – the two areas that have dominated the events of the past few years. There was also considerably less discussion of regulations and government policies.

On the day before the Roundtable I had an interesting update from Microsoft on their developments in IP-based broadband TV and media centres.

After ten years of hard work, many false starts and billions of dollars, Microsoft’s persistence seems to have placed it in a position to play a key role in these developments. These developments, as well as our discussions at the Roundtable, concentrate more on the consumer market; however Nick Duval from systems integrator, Allied Telesyn, updated the delegates on the advances they have made with the triple-play model in the retail market.

According to them, it is a lot easier to deploy those services in a controlled environment, utilising a company’s WAN, and, by doing so, enjoy true commercial benefits by achieving some very interesting triple-play business objectives.

Hotels and hospitals can use their internal networks to deliver a range of entertainment and communication services to customers and patients, offering these service providers both interesting new revenue and good customer service opportunities.

The discussion proceeded from there, and delegates representing FttH developers added their ideas about the interesting opportunities that triple play offers them to turn these green-field networks into more commercially viable entities. This, linked to a breakthrough in FttH deployment, significantly reduces the roll-out costs (something I predicted when the US telcos first launched their FttH plans some two years ago).

This has given the FttH industry the boost needed to come up with better solutions, bringing the FttH roll-out cost to under $1500 per home passed.

High-rise residential buildings were seen as another early target for the new model, as it is far easier to bring true broadband services to these buildings than it is to connect individual houses to the infrastructure.

These topics will be revisited at the web conference on Wednesday (February 9), when an international audience will join in the discussion.

It appears that this new form of maintaining interactive contact with you is working, and I am now feeling sufficiently confident to begin planning more web conferences.

It is not too late to register for this event – click here.

At the Roundtable I also asked for suggestions for next month’s Roundtable – Telecoms Industry Consolidation.

I am going to try a slightly different formula this time – inviting merger and acquisition (M&A) experts to participate in this event – not only to provide advice and to discuss the options with us, but also to play a facilitating and networking role. So if you know of experts that I should include in this Roundtable, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Have a good week

Paul Budde

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