& cplSiteName &

Qwest Ready to Ride Video's Over-the-Top Wave

Carol Wilson
LR Cable News Analysis
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Management World Americas -- Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) continues to chart a unique course among major U.S. telecom service providers, focusing on improving its broadband network in the belief that video content is moving rapidly to an over-the-top (OTT), on-demand model, Neil Cox, Qwest's EVP for product and IT, said here today at the TM Forum -run event.

"Only sports need to be live," Cox said. "We see these walled-garden IPTV models breaking down. We see a tremendous amount of over-the-top video."

For that reason, Qwest will continue to partner with DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV), which has added an Ethernet jack to its newest DVR/set-top receiver to bring broadband content to the TV set "to provide a really rich customer experience," said Cox.

Even sports programming is moving to the online model, he said, citing Major League Baseball's successful online video efforts.

"We are seeing ASV -- ad-supported video -- and Blu-rays and new TVs hooked up to the Internet, and we at Qwest are not going to stand in the way," Cox said. "We want to make sure [OTT content providers'] video works better on our network than on anyone else's network."

Qwest will focus on providing content-delivery networks, as well as provisioning, maintenance, and billing, which are the company's strengths, in order to "get into the value stream of these economics," Cox said.

Qwest also sees opportunity in bringing broadband to the 40 percent of customers in its territory that don't yet subscribe, and in moving customers to higher tiered services, given that half of broadband customers today get 1.5 Mbit/s, he said.

Qwest offers 40-Mbit/s downstream and 20-Mbit/s upstream service to the more than 3 million homes passed by its fiber-to-the-node and VDSL2+ network today, Cox said, noting that the telco is adding more than 1 million homes per year to that network. (See Qwest Attacks Comcast With 40 Mbit/s.)

On the enterprise side, cloud computing represents an opportunity for Qwest to move beyond providing space and power in the hosting centers it built on its long-distance fiber network early in the decade to offer cloud computing. Just a few years back, "you could have played football in one of our hosting centers" because they were large empty buildings, but they are now running at 90 percent capacity, Cox said.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:51:31 PM
re: Qwest Ready to Ride Video's Over-the-Top Wave
Or is Qwest a failure because it couldn't deliver an IPTV service that we could take seriously?

Say what you will about walled gardens being doomed, but I know a lot of folks who pay more than $100 a month to companies like Charter and AT&T and those providers aren't splitting revenues with DirecTV.
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:51:30 PM
re: Qwest Ready to Ride Video's Over-the-Top Wave
So is IPTV a bad idea, or just a bad idea to Qwest because Qwest couldn't afford it?
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:51:30 PM
re: Qwest Ready to Ride Video's Over-the-Top Wave


I don't know about "a failure" but they are the one large telco with really bad financials dating back to the whole Qwest formation.  It is taking a lot of investment by AT&T and Verizon to compete.  Qwest does not have the money to invest, so they are taking the path to save their lines.  Optimal?  Probably not.  But it is probably the only thing they can do.



Jeff Baumgartner
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:51:29 PM
re: Qwest Ready to Ride Video's Over-the-Top Wave

I think if Qwest had its druthers and could afford to do it, they'd build out their own video service...and take all the subscription and ad dollars that MSOs and VZ and ATT already don't have to share.  Qwest headed down that road too early with the VDSL ChoiceTV stuff they operated in Phoenix and Highlands Ranch, Co, and opted to just phase it all out and put all its video eggs in the DirecTV basket.

But at TelcoTV it seemed like the price for entry for tier2 and tier3 telcos are starting to make more sense, so it'll be interesting to see when or if Qwest alters its strategy or if it's going to stick to DirecTV and continue to sell the virtues of that story.  i don't expect to see much in the way of a change there for a long time.  Jb

Carol Wilson
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
12/5/2012 | 3:51:27 PM
re: Qwest Ready to Ride Video's Over-the-Top Wave
The thing is that while IPTV is getting cheaper to deploy, video is not becoming more lucrative as a product - it remains a very low margin product for providers, since most of the service income collected is paid out monthly to content owners. What Qwest has been saying consistently for at least two years now is that they think they can make incremental revenues on other services.
Jeff Baumgartner
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:51:20 PM
re: Qwest Ready to Ride Video's Over-the-Top Wave
That's a good point. Even though IPTV gear is cheaper, license fees for programming aren't as favorable for a company just getting into the video game and lacking a sizable sub base. Partnering with companies like NCTC help the smaller guys, but the rates they get aren't as good as those that big guys like Comcast and TWC get, which tier 2 and tier 3 operators have lamented for...ever. JB
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
Wednesday, September 14, 1:00PM EDT
What Is Agile?
Kent J. McDonald, Product Owner, Agile Alliance
Friday, September 16, 1:00PM EDT
How to Implement Agile
Wednesday, September 21, 1:00PM EDT
What Is DevOps?
Colin Kincaid, CTO, Service Provider, Cisco
Friday, September 23, 1:00PM EDT
How to Implement DevOps
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
F5 Virtual Network Function Integrations With Partner Orchestration Platform

8|24|16   |   6:38   |   (0) comments

F5's Kishore Patnam, product manager for F5's service provider solutions, discusses why service providers are moving towards virtualization and how his clients are utilizing F5's solutions.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: Intel's Alexis Black Bjorlin

8|17|16   |   06:23   |   (0) comments

Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Accelerating Telecom Digital Transformation With Nominum DNS

8|1|16   |   12:04   |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders gets an update from Nominum CEO Gary Messiana on how his company is helping carriers on the digital transformation journey.
LRTV Custom TV
Reinventing Operations for a Virtual, Software-Defined World

7|28|16   |   5:23   |   (0) comments

Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Jim Hodges speaks with Accenture's Larry Socher and Matt Anderson about what service providers must do to transform their business to get the benefits of SDN and NFV including: leveraging DevOps, introducing real-time OSS and implementing analytics.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu Sales Leader Shares Lessons Learned

7|27|16   |   5:12   |   (1) comment

As Fujitsu's only female sales leader, Annie Bogue knows the importance of asking for what you want, being flexible (she's been relocated five times), keeping a meticulous calendar, 'leaning in,' working harder than everyone else around you, being aware and more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
VeEX Test & Measurement Solutions

7|25|16   |   08:57   |   (0) comments

Cyrille Morelle, president and CEO of VeEX Inc., talks test and measurement with Light Reading's Steve Saunders at BCE 2016. This includes innovative products such as VeSion Cloud-Based platform for network monitoring; MTTplus Modular Test platform for Access, Business, Carrier Ethernet, Transport and Core services; and OPX-BOX+ for Fiber Optics.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live From BCE 2016

7|25|16   |   03:20   |   (0) comments

VeEX's Senior Director of Business Development, Perry Romano, explains how VeEX provides tools to help install, maintain, monitor and manage network infrastructure efficiently and effectively. The portfolio of products on display include the RXT-6000, MTTplus and TX300s.
LRTV Custom TV
Real-Time Telemetry & Analytics for Intelligent SDN Orchestration

7|25|16   |   03:09   |   (0) comments

Packet Design CEO Scott Sherwood discusses how real-time network telemetry and analytics are enabling a new breed of SDN orchestration applications.
From the Founder
The Russo Report: Driving Disruption

7|25|16   |   07:44   |   (2) comments

In the first episode of a four-part series, Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders and Calix President and CEO Carl Russo drive around town discussing the disruptive mega-changes in the communications industry and where hope lies for service providers to meet the escalating demands of the cloud.
LRTV Custom TV
NetScout: Maximizing Enterprise Cloud for Digital Transformation

7|20|16   |   04:53   |   (0) comments

Light Reading Editor Mitch Wagner talks to NetScout CMO Jim McNiel about maximizing the benefits of enterprise cloud and digital transformation while minimizing potential pitfalls with a proper monitoring and instrumentation strategy.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Ciena's VP Offers a Career Crash Course

7|20|16   |   4:14   |   (2) comments

How did Ciena's Vice President of Sales, Angela Finn, carve out her career path? Simple, she tells WiC. She stayed true to her company, customers and principles. She shares her advice for women on how to be authentic and credible, as well as for companies that want to make a real change to their culture and practices.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 2 – Climbing the Virtualization Maturity Curve

7|19|16   |   06:56   |   (0) comments

Many of the initial use case implementations are single-vendor and self-contained. The industry is still climbing the virtualization maturity curve, needing further clarity and stability in the NFV infrastructure (NFVi) and greater availability and choice of virtualized network functions (VNFs). Interoperability between NFVis and VNFs from different vendors ...
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Five of the Top 10 most targeted countries in Check Point Software Technologies' global Malware & Threat Index for Q1 2016 are in Africa.
Hot Topics
Cisco Developing 'Monica' Digital Assistant
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 8/22/2016
Cisco Throws 5,500 Overboard on Cruise to Richer Waters
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 8/17/2016
VoLTE Can Drive 4G Small Cells Adoption
Ravi Narayanan, Senior Analyst – Cloud & Next Generation Mobile Networks, Heavy Reading, 8/18/2016
Rocket Fiber Lights Up Detroit With Gigabit
Elizabeth Miller Coyne, Managing Editor, 8/22/2016
Rumors of a Sprint/T-Mobile Merger Again
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/17/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Bridging the tech skills gap is a major challenge for service providers and suppliers alike today – and the challenge is two-fold when it comes to increasing the number of women in the comms space. Level 3 Communications has made it a priority to overcome both challenges by implementing several unique programs focused on building the right candidates from within – in addition to filling the funnel by supporting STEM and other education programs. During this radio show, you’ll learn about these programs from Mary Beth McGrath, SVP of Global Talent Management at Level 3, and the best ways to bridge your own skills gap so that you are motivated and equipped for change. Plus you’ll have the chance to ask Mary Beth your questions live on the air.