Light Reading

Vodafone Netherlands Rolls Out IPTV

Mari Silbey

Vodafone, one of the world's largest wireless carriers, is gradually shifting from traditional TV technology in the Netherlands to IPTV delivered over its own fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network.

Vodafone Netherlands has partnered at launch with Entone Inc. for IPTV set-top boxes and Divitel for systems integration.

The win is a big one for Entone, which has largely gained traction in the hybrid TV market with smaller service providers. Vodafone Netherlands has roughly 5 million mobile customers and is now rolling out IPTV service in addition to FTTH-based broadband under the Vodafone Thuis brand. The service includes video-on-demand content from broadcasters and premium programmers such as Home Box Office Inc. (HBO) , as well as digital video recording capabilities and the ability to pause live TV.

Vodafone Netherlands is using Entone's EnterLink video networking solution with the Entone Amulet media hub and the Entone Kamai media player. The solution includes 802.11ac WiFi and Multimedia over Coax (MoCA) support for in-home networking. (See Entone Extends Home Cloud Solution With EnterLink and Entone Box Fuses TV With OTT.)

Entone CEO Steve McKay told Light Reading that his company's product suite starts with television, but also extends to multiscreen video solutions and will soon include a home control offering. McKay believes that mobile carriers will increasingly have to differentiate themselves by offering integrated, multiscreen services.

"What I believe is that there's a global trend for mobile operators to look to leverage the smartphone as the control center for the connected consumer," he said. McKay also declared that "the battle for the consumer has actually left the living room," and noted that Entone has pushed many of its research and development resources into the mobile space. (See TiVo Teams With Entone for IPTV and Entone, LG Blend OTT With Live TV.)

Vodafone Netherlands, meanwhile, recently launched new mobile TV apps with the help of technology provider Vinson. The apps for iOS and Android work in conjunction with subscriber set-tops and in-home WiFi.

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

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4/16/2014 | 5:11:05 PM
A Global Trend to Come
"What I believe is that there's a global trend for mobile operators to look to leverage the smartphone as the control center for the connected consumer," 

I think McKay is right.  It's probably going to be like bamboo -- start small, with slow growth over a few years, and the suddenly ramp up and explode.  I've heard the term called a 'groundswell' as well, but it's coming.
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